Search found 859 matches

by Ron Ronnerson
Sat Jul 21, 2018 7:16 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Why Buy Bond Funds When Patelco/Provident CU Accounts Return 2-3%?
Replies: 8
Views: 935

Re: Why Buy Bond Funds When Patelco/Provident CU Accounts Return 2-3%?

You need to be aware of the limitations of these accounts. Patelco offers competitive rates on only up to $5k. Also, the fine print says “The maximum number of checks that may clear is three (3) in any calendar month period. Certain withdrawal limits apply to Money Market Accounts.” For Provident, y...
by Ron Ronnerson
Fri Jul 20, 2018 7:26 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Salary vs. Lifestyle
Replies: 126
Views: 12441

Re: Salary vs. Lifestyle

I realize that this is a very subjective matter, but after reading one of the threads regarding early retirement, I noticed they recurring theme: Enjoying life while you can (having more time for "living in the sunlight" - hobbies, taking walks, exercising and spending time with family). I thankful...
by Ron Ronnerson
Fri Jul 20, 2018 12:18 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Gift cards: which is "better / safer"? physical or electronic?
Replies: 22
Views: 939

Re: Gift cards: which is "better / safer"? physical or electronic?

So, is it best to simply give up on gift cards entirely? Or, is the fraud risk manageable enough and, if so, which is better: physical or electronic gift cards? I have found that the fraud risk has been manageable enough. However, it's an assessment of reward vs. risk. I've primarily bought physica...
by Ron Ronnerson
Sun Jul 15, 2018 8:06 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: How often do you buy a primary residence?
Replies: 46
Views: 3759

Re: How often do you buy a primary residence?

As infrequently as possible. We bought our home 8 years ago. It’s the first one we’ve purchased and we have no plans to move in the near future (we’ll likely stay in our house another 15-20 years). We live in a town where the median home price is over $1M so the dollar amount involved for transactio...
by Ron Ronnerson
Sun Jul 15, 2018 8:36 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Would you trade experiences in your youth for early retirement
Replies: 81
Views: 5172

Re: Would you trade experiences in your youth for early retirement

Some yes and some no. It’s easier in hindsight to judge which experiences were worth it. It’s harder to know what an experience might offer beforehand. In any case, some of my best experiences cost little to nothing while other experiences cost way more than they should have. If I could, I’d give th...
by Ron Ronnerson
Fri Jul 13, 2018 1:27 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: What to do with extra $2500 a month?????
Replies: 36
Views: 3111

Re: What to do with extra $2500 a month?????

I would look into whether or not you and your wife have a 457b available. If so, and it has good investments available, I would begin to fund 457b accounts. These accounts have a provision which makes them more favorable than 403b accounts for those who retire early. Basically, there is no 10% penal...
by Ron Ronnerson
Mon Jul 09, 2018 11:53 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Should I take a $60k paycut to work 4days/week
Replies: 58
Views: 5204

Re: Should I take a $60k paycut to work 4days/week

At that income level, yes, I would. Time with young children is important too. Seems like you have plenty of money (and still would even with the pay cut) but could use more time.
by Ron Ronnerson
Sun Jul 08, 2018 12:34 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Girls and investing
Replies: 115
Views: 5629

Re: Girls and investing

I’m a parent and elementary school teacher (for the past 15 years). We’re keeping it simple right now for our four-year-old daughter with basic stuff like the importance of saving money and how you should spend your money wisely since it takes time and hard work to earn it. With my 5th graders, I ge...
by Ron Ronnerson
Sat Jul 07, 2018 1:22 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: How do normal people afford the Bay Area?
Replies: 48
Views: 5039

Re: How do normal people afford the Bay Area?

Here is one (longish) story from a self-proclaimed “normal “ person living in the Bay Area. In my 20s, I lived with roommates and rented. When I got married, my wife and I continued to rent for a few years. I’m a teacher and she worked for a small business. We made a combined salary of around $120k ...
by Ron Ronnerson
Thu Jul 05, 2018 9:53 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: What time do you get up in the morning?
Replies: 138
Views: 8955

Re: What time do you get up in the morning?

On weekdays (except summertime), I get up at 6:20 and leave by 7:00. My morning routine is to read the news and check email on my phone for about 15 minutes. Then it’s a mad dash to put in my contact lenses, brush teeth, shave, scoop cat litter, shower, get dressed, and run downstairs. Once on the b...
by Ron Ronnerson
Tue Jul 03, 2018 11:54 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Question about Cutting Cable
Replies: 18
Views: 1778

Re: Question about Cutting Cable

Thanks for the information, everyone. Much appreciated.
by Ron Ronnerson
Tue Jul 03, 2018 1:31 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Question about Cutting Cable
Replies: 18
Views: 1778

Re: Question about Cutting Cable

That's a high cable bill for internet service that slow (24 mbps). I would call and ask for higher speed for free (at least 100mbps). DSL can reach 15 mbps, not far below what you are getting. My one-year agreement with U-Verse is up next month so I'll call and see what they can offer. The current ...
by Ron Ronnerson
Mon Jul 02, 2018 9:50 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Question about Cutting Cable
Replies: 18
Views: 1778

Re: Question about Cutting Cable

Thanks for this info. I will check out the links as well.
by Ron Ronnerson
Mon Jul 02, 2018 7:23 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Question about Cutting Cable
Replies: 18
Views: 1778

Question about Cutting Cable

I’m considering possibly cutting cable. We currently have AT&T Uverse for TV and Internet. We have the U200 package (lots of channels) on 3 TVs, HD service, and HBO. We pay $153 a month (includes taxes and fees). $123 of this goes toward TV and $30 is for Internet (speed is 24 mbps). I’m looking int...
by Ron Ronnerson
Sun Jul 01, 2018 4:06 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: What are your property taxes?
Replies: 212
Views: 12876

Re: What are your property taxes?

Connecticut: $7,800 Property Tax - Value approx $350k. ... leaving CT ... - was it something we taxed? Lets remember that states with high per capita income (NJ, MA, CT, etc), pay out high salaries to public employees and provide very lucrative pensions and benefits. Average teachers salary in CT i...
by Ron Ronnerson
Sun Jul 01, 2018 12:57 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: What are your property taxes?
Replies: 212
Views: 12876

Re: What are your property taxes?

Connecticut: $7,800 Property Tax - Value approx $350k. ... leaving CT ... - was it something we taxed? Lets remember that states with high per capita income (NJ, MA, CT, etc), pay out high salaries to public employees and provide very lucrative pensions and benefits. Average teachers salary in CT i...
by Ron Ronnerson
Wed Jun 27, 2018 8:13 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: IRS publishes draft 2018 1040 - Huge changes made
Replies: 156
Views: 16505

Re: IRS publishes draft 2018 1040 - Huge changes made

A disappointing article, IMO. The author adds in a bunch of what-if's in his not-so-hidden criticism. To me, the obvious question is, how many folks actually use the 'teacher's school supplies' credit? Or, school loans? Sure, that may be a few million, but there are millions more that have no need ...
by Ron Ronnerson
Tue Jun 26, 2018 4:43 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: $1 million house--- sanity check
Replies: 96
Views: 10406

Re: $1 million house--- sanity check

If we wait until we have a few kids, this house will be $1.5 million...I'm not sure we could afford to live in this size house ever again unless we act now. Is this crazy? What am I not considering? Any other numbers that I haven't listed that I should be putting here? Thank you for any advice and ...
by Ron Ronnerson
Thu Jun 21, 2018 9:34 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: What is/ was your career and would you recommend it now?
Replies: 345
Views: 32489

Re: What is/ was your career and would you recommend it now?

My previous career was working as a manager in the financial services field. I did that for a few years but didn't find it to be very fulfilling. I’ve been teaching 5th grade for the past 15 years and enjoy it. Teaching isn’t for everyone but I would recommend it for the right type of person. For th...
by Ron Ronnerson
Sat Jun 09, 2018 11:10 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Why do we work?
Replies: 121
Views: 10567

Re: Why do we work?

Work provides money to buy the basics but I also find it fulfilling and a good way to spend my time. My hours are reasonable (less than 40 hours on average per week) and, beyond that, I don’t work much. If it weren’t for the money, I would reduce my hours further. While I love my job, I also greatly...
by Ron Ronnerson
Tue May 22, 2018 10:32 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Teachers: what are your best personal finance tips?
Replies: 91
Views: 13300

Re: Teachers: what are your best personal finance tips?

I'm in the Bay Area. My home's value is $800k. I bought it in 2010 for $500k. Our gross income was about $120k at the time. I put down 3% but didn't have to pay PMI due to the terms of a teacher loan available at the time. We were paying an extra $800 a month on our mortgage as it was at a rate of ...
by Ron Ronnerson
Tue May 22, 2018 8:00 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Buy this home?
Replies: 39
Views: 4146

Re: Buy this home?

I think you can afford to buy it. However, transaction costs on $1M houses are not small. You said that you’ll be in the area for 5+ years. If it’s 5 years, I would choose to rent. The economy could take a downturn in such a short amount of time and you might have to sell it for less than you’d like...
by Ron Ronnerson
Tue May 22, 2018 7:29 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: SF Bay Area Credit Unions or Banks Questions
Replies: 8
Views: 807

Re: SF Bay Area Credit Unions or Banks Questions

I use Provident Credit Union in the East Bay and have been happy with them. I haven't tried to do very large transfers but have found their customer service and website to be just fine. We keep $25k in a checking account there and have been earning 2.01% for the past couple of years on it. The only ...
by Ron Ronnerson
Tue May 22, 2018 2:20 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Need Help Deciding Between Non-Matching 403(b) and a Roth IRA
Replies: 30
Views: 1742

Re: Need Help Deciding Between Non-Matching 403(b) and a Roth IRA

I’m a teacher in California. I would operate as if your pension will be reduced but not completely eliminated. Maybe expect to receive only half of it if the Connecticut system is really underfunded. Since you don’t pay into social security, I can’t imagine your pension would be entirely eliminated ...
by Ron Ronnerson
Thu May 17, 2018 3:01 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Urgent: escrow situation in bay area
Replies: 50
Views: 3054

Re: Urgent: escrow situation in bay area

You obviously won’t be able to save quite as much but, on the positive, will begin building equity in your house. You said your spouse will begin making $40k plus benefits upon completion of a program as well. The second income along with future raises for both you and your spouse should help bring ...
by Ron Ronnerson
Tue May 15, 2018 6:11 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: New(ish) attending physicians in the Bay Area: Housing
Replies: 150
Views: 12698

Re: New(ish) attending physicians in the Bay Area: Housing

I'm not sure if I'm understanding the facts correctly (so please correct me if I'm mistaken) - you can get a 30 year loan at 0% but only one time? This seems strange but, if it's the case, it seems like quite the deal and I would want to take maximum advantage of it. I'd put as little down as I pos...
by Ron Ronnerson
Tue May 15, 2018 5:25 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: New(ish) attending physicians in the Bay Area: Housing
Replies: 150
Views: 12698

Re: New(ish) attending physicians in the Bay Area: Housing

I'm not sure if I'm understanding the facts correctly (so please correct me if I'm mistaken) - you can get a 30 year loan at 0% but only one time? This seems strange but, if it's the case, it seems like quite the deal and I would want to take maximum advantage of it. I'd put as little down as I poss...
by Ron Ronnerson
Sun May 13, 2018 10:57 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: New(ish) attending physicians in the Bay Area: Housing
Replies: 150
Views: 12698

Re: New(ish) attending physicians in the Bay Area: Housing

I don’t have advice for you in terms of whether you should buy or how much you should spend. Some have suggested living elsewhere but, just personally, there is no way I'd move away from aging parents who spend a lot of time with the grandchildren. Our 4-year-old daughter gets to see all grandparent...
by Ron Ronnerson
Sat May 12, 2018 10:51 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Lucrative careers?
Replies: 318
Views: 24954

Re: Lucrative careers?

You should pursue a career based on what is a good fit for you in terms of your interests and abilities. Factoring in being able to live comfortably on the salary in a certain field makes sense but an arbitrary figure like $100k/year shouldn’t be a primary motivation. You’ll have to spend many hours...
by Ron Ronnerson
Sat Apr 28, 2018 4:10 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: 403b vs roth403b
Replies: 12
Views: 735

Re: 403b vs roth403b

Traditional accounts offer above line deductions and those can be of great value. Here’s a real-life example (my own). My gross income is $106k as a teacher in the Bay Area. I have access to a traditional 403b and a Roth 403b. I’m expecting a pension of about $90k/year around age 60. You might think...
by Ron Ronnerson
Fri Apr 27, 2018 11:30 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Cashing out of the Bay Area
Replies: 84
Views: 10987

Re: Cashing out of the Bay Area

....and self-driving cars may not be too far away. If, down the road (pun intended), it takes a lot less time to commute to Silicon Valley from our area, it could result in even higher home prices in our neighborhood. Self driving cars could easily make the traffic a lot worse since it would put mo...
by Ron Ronnerson
Fri Apr 27, 2018 10:15 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Cashing out of the Bay Area
Replies: 84
Views: 10987

Re: Cashing out of the Bay Area

I used to think that we’d stay in the Bay Area permanently. I’m less sure now. We bought in the East Bay in 2009 and prices have gone up quite a bit since then. Traffic going into Silicon Valley is very congested (to put it mildly) but there are hopeful signs. There is construction underway to allev...
by Ron Ronnerson
Tue Apr 24, 2018 2:24 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: CA Public School Teacher - Union Dues, Pension Contribution
Replies: 17
Views: 2321

Re: CA Public School Teacher - Union Dues, Pension Contribution

I work in a district near the one your wife is considering (about 1/2 hour away). My union dues are about $1200/year and the mandatory pension contribution rate is 10.25%. For those who enter the CalSTRS system in 2013 or later, the rate is 9.2% (lower rate but less generous benefits). Thanks for t...
by Ron Ronnerson
Tue Apr 24, 2018 8:28 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: CA Public School Teacher - Union Dues, Pension Contribution
Replies: 17
Views: 2321

Re: CA Public School Teacher - Union Dues, Pension Contribution

I work in a district near the one your wife is considering (about 1/2 hour away). My union dues are about $1200/year and the mandatory pension contribution rate is 10.25%. For those who enter the CalSTRS system in 2013 or later, the rate is 9.2% (lower rate but less generous benefits).
by Ron Ronnerson
Mon Apr 23, 2018 10:11 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Smart or Stupid? Paying taxes with credit card to satisfy minimum spending requirements.
Replies: 28
Views: 2872

Re: Smart or Stupid? Paying taxes with credit card to satisfy minimum spending requirements.

I’ve paid property taxes to meet minimum spending. My county charges a 2.5% convenience fee for credit card transactions. My property taxes are $10k annually, paid in 2 installments. So I charge $5k and pay a $125 fee. I meet the minimum spending requirement to earn the bonus in one transaction this...
by Ron Ronnerson
Sun Apr 15, 2018 11:51 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: How Far is too Far, Commuting?
Replies: 211
Views: 13333

Re: How Far is too Far, Commuting?

All else being equal, commuting should be avoided. However, usually, all is not equal. Living farther away often means less cost due to lower housing expenses, which could lead to retiring earlier. So, the time spent commuting might be earned back later. Also, often the house further away is bigger ...
by Ron Ronnerson
Sat Apr 14, 2018 6:54 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: BH travel tips?
Replies: 193
Views: 15331

Re: BH travel tips?

We're pretty good at keeping travel costs down (family of three) so thought I'd chime in too in case it is helpful to anyone (apologies for not being more succinct). For the past five years, my wife and I have each been opening up Chase credit card accounts. A typical year means we each open maybe t...
by Ron Ronnerson
Fri Apr 13, 2018 10:05 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Could you support family on 1 income?
Replies: 88
Views: 6470

Re: Could you support family on 1 income?

We’re currently running an experiment (monitoring our income and expenses closely) to see if we can have my wife be a stay-at-home-parent as of next year (or work minimally and have pretty much her entire income go toward retirement accounts). So far, it looks very promising that we’ll be able to ma...
by Ron Ronnerson
Wed Apr 11, 2018 10:26 am
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: NY (HCOL area) - 32(Him) and 31(Her) - Invest in 457 for "early" retirement?
Replies: 12
Views: 1241

Re: NY (HCOL area) - 32(Him) and 31(Her) - Invest in 457 for "early" retirement?

So you think I should stop my 403b contributions completely and only use the 457 right now? Besides expense ratios, are there any other fees that the NYS DCP has that my 403b might not? Iwas thinking this for the three funds: NYSDCB Equity Index (US stock market), ER 0.0084% International Equity Fu...
by Ron Ronnerson
Tue Apr 10, 2018 9:58 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: NY (HCOL area) - 32(Him) and 31(Her) - Invest in 457 for "early" retirement?
Replies: 12
Views: 1241

Re: NY (HCOL area) - 32(Him) and 31(Her) - Invest in 457 for "early" retirement?

Just a very quick google search indicated that you may be able to contribute to both the 403b and the 457 to the maximum, the 457 I think is $18,500 for this year per person. Our (I'm in NYSDC/457 as well) plan provides a Roth 457 option as well, same limits, but unlike a "normal" Roth there are RM...
by Ron Ronnerson
Sun Apr 01, 2018 4:16 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Withdrawing from a Roth Account for ACA Subsidy Reasons
Replies: 7
Views: 862

Withdrawing from a Roth Account for ACA Subsidy Reasons

Edit: Deleted - Question has been sufficiently answered. Thanks to all who responded.
by Ron Ronnerson
Wed Mar 28, 2018 7:12 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Question about ACA Subsidy
Replies: 20
Views: 1967

Re: Question about ACA Subsidy

You're cutting it very close. Are you sure there won't be a bonus or dividends or capital gains or something like that that might disqualify you in the future? The plan would be to get fairly close with a little bit of margin of safety. So I wouldn't try to get qualify for the subsidy by making it ...
by Ron Ronnerson
Wed Mar 28, 2018 6:15 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Question about ACA Subsidy
Replies: 20
Views: 1967

Re: Question about ACA Subsidy

I could use some guidance between these two choices: Option 1 BRONZE HSA HMO Monthly Premium: $3.00 after $841.93 tax credit Primary Care Visits: You pay 40% Generic Drugs: You pay 40% Yearly Deductible $9600 (May Not Apply) Total Expense Estimate: Lower or Option 2 GOLD HMO Monthly Premium: $387.4...
by Ron Ronnerson
Wed Mar 28, 2018 6:08 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Question about ACA Subsidy
Replies: 20
Views: 1967

Re: Question about ACA Subsidy

You're cutting it very close. Are you sure there won't be a bonus or dividends or capital gains or something like that that might disqualify you in the future? The plan would be to get fairly close with a little bit of margin of safety. So I wouldn't try to get qualify for the subsidy by making it ...
by Ron Ronnerson
Wed Mar 28, 2018 10:17 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Question about ACA Subsidy
Replies: 20
Views: 1967

Re: Question about ACA Subsidy

Thanks for the wealth of information, jalbert; it gives me a lot to think about. I greatly appreciate the time you took to provide such a detailed response to my question.
by Ron Ronnerson
Tue Mar 27, 2018 6:47 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Question about ACA Subsidy
Replies: 20
Views: 1967

Re: Question about ACA Subsidy

I went on to the California exchange and entered my income as $80k. It said that my monthly premium for a Bronze 60 HDHP HSA HMO Plan at Kaiser would be $3/month. The subsidy is $841.93. These numbers seem very strange to me. Did I perhaps do something wrong? That is most likely correct, for this y...
by Ron Ronnerson
Sun Mar 25, 2018 7:00 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Question about ACA Subsidy
Replies: 20
Views: 1967

Re: Question about ACA Subsidy

If you are using the HSA for long term investments, the best deal is pretty much with a startup called Lively https://www.bogleheads.org/forum/viewtopic.php?f=2&t=228522 I have my HSA with them. Since you are in CA, you need to know that for state tax purposes, HSA is a taxable account. So you need...
by Ron Ronnerson
Sun Mar 25, 2018 5:44 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Question about ACA Subsidy
Replies: 20
Views: 1967

Re: Question about ACA Subsidy

Thanks for the replies, everyone. For 2019 coverage, it does look like 400% FPL is $83,120, so you would qualify. But you are very close to the edge. I would pick a HSA compatible plan if available so as to be able to reduce the income by about $6850 (the actual amount is not announced yet) for 2019...
by Ron Ronnerson
Sun Mar 25, 2018 3:06 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Question about ACA Subsidy
Replies: 20
Views: 1967

Question about ACA Subsidy

We’re considering the possibility of my wife being a stay-at-home parent as of next year (2019). Our family health insurance has been covered through my wife’s work. We’re both 43 and have one child, age 3 year 10 months. I’m a public school teacher in the Bay Area and work for a large school distri...