Search found 48 matches

by Chief_Engineer
Mon Oct 28, 2019 3:36 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: How much does a "good school district" matter?
Replies: 76
Views: 6809

Re: How much does a "good school district" matter?

I'll echo others that it is much more important to avoid a truly bad school than to try to move from a mediocre district to a "good" district. Think about what your values are and go from there. Don't just judge a school district by test scores. One of our local districts is the top performing in th...
by Chief_Engineer
Thu Aug 08, 2019 12:00 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Do you pay for kids college if a non-STEM major?
Replies: 62
Views: 3070

Re: Do you pay for kids college if a non-STEM major?

I'm either going to pay for college, or not. Choice of major will not come into it. When people talk about "STEM" and earnings, they're really talking about engineering. Most bachelors degrees in science won't get you much. People who want to do psychological therapy will need at least a masters or ...
by Chief_Engineer
Thu Aug 08, 2019 8:49 am
Forum: Personal Investments
Topic: thoughts on international funds
Replies: 67
Views: 5189

Re: thoughts on international funds

distress is not the right word. dissatisfaction is more appropriate. i'm not losing sleep. i'm just not happy. i could be dead in 20-30 years. if i have to wait that long to see meaningful gains with international, debate over. i'll take whatever i can get with the US right now. No one knows what t...
by Chief_Engineer
Sat Jul 20, 2019 9:16 am
Forum: Personal Investments
Topic: Where to invest "car fund" for 10 years or more
Replies: 22
Views: 2498

Re: Where to invest "car fund" for 10 years or more

I'm curious what the advice would be for someone in the accumulation stage.

Other than my EF, my entire portfolio is tied up in tax-advantaged accounts. If I want to save up for a large purchase in 10 years, where should I put the money? I'm interested it what the suggestions would be for this case.
by Chief_Engineer
Tue Jul 16, 2019 7:50 am
Forum: Personal Investments
Topic: Not Another Pay off the House or Invest...
Replies: 29
Views: 2692

Re: Not Another Pay off the House or Invest...

Inflation is like 2% so the 3.875% is really like 1.875%. I wouldn't invest the extra payment in the market. Instead, put the extra payment in a bank account that pays >1.875%. I don't know of a bank account that is yielding 1.875% in real terms, let alone more. You can't account for inflation for ...
by Chief_Engineer
Mon Jul 15, 2019 8:51 am
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: What is the Boglehead opinion of the inverted yield curve?
Replies: 77
Views: 8919

Re: What is the Boglehead opinion of the inverted yield curve?

Actually there doesn't seem to be any standard specific definition of exactly what constitutes an inverted yield curve... Prof Campbell Harvey (whose PhD thesis first looked at the predictive behavior of the yield curve) gave an interview on The Indicator where he defines what it means to have an i...
by Chief_Engineer
Mon Jul 08, 2019 6:10 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Larry Swedroe: The Historical Imperative For International Diversification
Replies: 347
Views: 21028

Re: Larry Swedroe: The Historical Imperative For International Diversification

Every time I read these threads I find good arguments on both sides of the coin. All they do honestly is serve to confuse me. I've bounced around a couple times from US-only to global cap-weighting... And I'm honestly probably back at square one. I don't know what to do.... Maybe I'll just pay off ...
by Chief_Engineer
Tue Jun 18, 2019 8:49 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Article on high deductible health plans - and the math
Replies: 120
Views: 10312

Re: Article on high deductible health plans - and the math

I don't know what plans others have available, but for us the HDHP was the obvious choice. The difference in premiums between the traditional PPO and the HDHP is $25k. Add in the employer contribution to the HSA and now we're at $27.5k. Considering that the OOP max is something like $7k, I struggle ...
by Chief_Engineer
Sun Feb 17, 2019 10:39 am
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Did you get spooked by the December 2018 fall and gave up on passive?
Replies: 133
Views: 8902

Re: Did you get spooked by the December 2018 fall and gave up on passive?

OP, if you got spooked by the activity in December, then your asset allocation is not appropriate for your risk tolerance. What is your current stock/bond mix? The refrain around here is "need, willingness, and ability" to take risk. You mention getting a late start, that may mean you are taking mor...
by Chief_Engineer
Tue Feb 12, 2019 12:55 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Being content with your finances
Replies: 106
Views: 9165

Re: Being content with your finances

OP sounds like you are very career/achievement oriented. Do you want a large income because of the money, or because of the status? I suggest finding a hobby or cause that you can be passionate about and divert some of your drive there. Careers end and there are only so many rungs to a ladder. What ...
by Chief_Engineer
Mon Feb 11, 2019 9:17 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Did you investigate your partner's financial background before committing?
Replies: 99
Views: 6179

Re: Did you investigate your partner's financial background before committing?

My wife and I met online our last semester of college. We were long distance for 5 months which lead to many late evening phone calls. We met each other's families, moved in together, and I proposed. During our engagement we went through Dave Ramsey's Financial Peace University. Everything was laid ...
by Chief_Engineer
Sun Feb 10, 2019 11:38 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Newlyweds and joint accounts for household expenses
Replies: 120
Views: 6454

Re: Newlyweds and joint accounts for household expenses

Some of what I've read mentioned the opposite - put all income in the joint account and then move some of it to separate accounts. I suppose either way can work depending on the couple? I think it's mostly a philosophical difference. To me , having the income go to the joint account makes it "house...
by Chief_Engineer
Sun Feb 10, 2019 10:37 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Newlyweds and joint accounts for household expenses
Replies: 120
Views: 6454

Re: Newlyweds and joint accounts for household expenses

My wife and I have one joint account where all income goes and all spending comes from. It works for us, and especially makes sense since I earn about 4x more than she does. I don't think there's anything inherently wrong with having separate accounts for discretionary spending as long as you still ...
by Chief_Engineer
Sat Jan 12, 2019 10:02 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: 2017 State Tax Refunds Federally Taxable in 2018!!!
Replies: 22
Views: 3937

Re: 2017 State Tax Refunds Federally Taxable in 2018!!!

I believe this is how itemizing state taxes paid has always worked. The next year any state tax refund is taxable because you deducted more than you actually paid in state taxes. As far as I understand this was unchanged in the new tax law.
by Chief_Engineer
Thu Oct 18, 2018 6:35 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Why dismiss sectors?
Replies: 31
Views: 2036

Re: Why dismiss sectors?

I would say "as optimal as you're gonna get." What definition are you referring to? I would agree that cap-weighted index funds don't get you the maximum possible returns, but nobody is going to get maximum possible returns. What is optimal depends on what your objective is. I would say for most he...
by Chief_Engineer
Wed Oct 17, 2018 3:11 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: "Retirement age uncertainty increases the savings needed for success"
Replies: 48
Views: 5104

Re: "Retirement age uncertainty increases the savings needed for success"

I think this (and most of the predictions ) are field specific. We have a surplus of liberal arts type PhDs. Not as much in sciences. See https://www.insidehighered.com/news/2018/05/09/no-clear-solution-nationwide-shortage-computer-science-professors . My understanding Biz schools are in the middle...
by Chief_Engineer
Wed Oct 17, 2018 2:39 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: "Retirement age uncertainty increases the savings needed for success"
Replies: 48
Views: 5104

Re: "Retirement age uncertainty increases the savings needed for success"

it's going to put these colleges in a real crunch because the supply of new Ph.D.s can barely keep up with the existing turnover. Where have you heard this? My experience is the opposite. There are far more PhDs produced every year than could possibly find academic posts. There are 100s of applican...
by Chief_Engineer
Wed Oct 17, 2018 1:37 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: "Why Jack Bogle Doesn't Own Non-U.S. Stocks"
Replies: 203
Views: 12668

Re: "Why Jack Bogle Doesn't Own Non-U.S. Stocks"

I'm personally 70/30 US/int. I remember seeing some analysis posted here showing that some home country bias was merited and resulted in better risk adjusted returns for many different countries. In the end it boiled down to around 70/30 for a US based investor. That was good enough for me. I think ...
by Chief_Engineer
Wed Oct 10, 2018 8:47 am
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: The benefits of international diversification - NOT: Hulbert
Replies: 80
Views: 6073

Re: The benefits of international diversification - NOT: Hulbert

I've been reading this forum since I was 18 (25 now) and I always viewed the 0% international advice as some weird generational quirk. Most people my age would file US-centric thinking in "world views from a time gone by." Without the emotional appeal, the arguments of the 0% international crowd fa...
by Chief_Engineer
Mon Oct 08, 2018 8:09 am
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Is an emergency fund just about market timing?
Replies: 103
Views: 6081

Re: Is an emergency fund just about market timing?

I find this forum's endless arguing about emergency funds to be fascinating. I think it boils down to the fact that many on this forum are financially secure, and an emergency fund is not for them. An emergency fund is for those who need access to stable liquidity. My wife and I are just starting ou...
by Chief_Engineer
Sun Oct 07, 2018 10:05 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: What is your annual cost for health insurance?
Replies: 155
Views: 14337

Re: What is your annual cost for health insurance?

Ages: 30 and 28, plus 2 kids

Employer provided HDHP PPO with HSA

Deductible: $5k
OOP Max: $8k
20% coinsurance after deductible
Our premium: $1.5k
Employer premium: $16k

Employer also contributes $2.5k to the HSA.
by Chief_Engineer
Wed Sep 19, 2018 6:27 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Why should bond duration = investment horizon?
Replies: 53
Views: 4213

Re: Why should bond duration = investment horizon?

OP, here. I want to thank everyone for their replies. I think I primarily have difficulty wrapping my head around bond funds. This is also complicated by the number of diverse opinions on Bogleheads regarding fixed income strategy. Does the argument boil down to that there is a duration risk premium...
by Chief_Engineer
Wed Sep 19, 2018 9:17 am
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Why should bond duration = investment horizon?
Replies: 53
Views: 4213

Why should bond duration = investment horizon?

In a number of recent bond related threads I've seen people suggest that your bond portfolio should have a duration roughly equal to your investment horizon. However, my searching has not provided much rational as to why. So I thought I would ask here. As I understand, bonds are for 'stability'. Sho...
by Chief_Engineer
Sat Jun 30, 2018 9:55 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Bogleheads approach to hair loss?
Replies: 15
Views: 1271

Re: Bogleheads approach to hair loss?

I believe surgery is the only thing that really works. I first noticed hair on my pillow at the age of 19. I decided the best thing was to just embrace it. I keep my hair short using clippers and don't need to pay for hair cuts anymore. My wife doesn't seem to care, so why should I?
by Chief_Engineer
Fri Jun 22, 2018 8:31 am
Forum: Personal Investments
Topic: Struggling - Seeking Advice to Get On Track
Replies: 93
Views: 6424

Re: Struggling - Seeking Advice to Get On Track

Would I be correct in at looking at this : https://www.irs.gov/retirement-plans/2017-ira-deduction-limits-effect-of-modified-agi-on-deduction-if-you-are-covered-by-a-retirement-plan-at-work I file Married Filing Jointly - My AGI for 2017 was more than $119,000 That said, if I am not getting the ded...
by Chief_Engineer
Thu Jun 21, 2018 6:39 pm
Forum: Personal Investments
Topic: Struggling - Seeking Advice to Get On Track
Replies: 93
Views: 6424

Re: Struggling - Seeking Advice to Get On Track

Investjack - Some of the things you are saying lead me to believe you are unfamiliar with the passive investing strategy that most Bogleheads follow. We cannot say what the rate of return will be for any investment. We tend to invest in index funds that track the stock market, so the return will be ...
by Chief_Engineer
Wed Jun 13, 2018 8:02 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: How do you celebrate (potty trained kid) milestone with your spouse?
Replies: 93
Views: 6369

Re: How do you celebrate (potty trained kid) milestone with your spouse?

...or take your wife out for a nice dinner and tell her you appreciate her for her hard work with your child, but I wouldn’t celebrate potty training. So strange. To me this would be celebrating the potty training. Child rearing is hard. My wife and I haven't had a vacation in 5 years and have aver...
by Chief_Engineer
Tue Jun 12, 2018 8:31 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: How do you celebrate (potty trained kid) milestone with your spouse?
Replies: 93
Views: 6369

Re: How do you celebrate (potty trained kid) milestone with your spouse?

Contrats OP! Our oldest is mostly potty trained. I remember how excited we were in our early successes with him.

I don't know why everyone is being a party pooper (ha!). Personally my wife and I would have a night out without the kids to celebrate.
by Chief_Engineer
Mon Mar 26, 2018 5:41 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Living Expense Caught Up To Income
Replies: 48
Views: 7967

Re: Living Expense Caught Up To Income

About the potholes. In my experience, it is pretty easy to miss potholes unless you are driving too fast and likely following too closely. Yes, I know some cities are just hopeless, but take a good look at how you can improve that recurring and expensive problem by changing your driving habits. :ha...
by Chief_Engineer
Sun Mar 04, 2018 2:02 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: First time taxable account, what do you recommend?
Replies: 24
Views: 4450

Re: First time taxable account, what do you recommend?

Think in terms of allocation, not accounts. Suppose I have a 75/25 stock/bond allocation like this: 401(k): 10k bonds Roth IRA: 10k stocks Taxable: 20k stocks And suppose the market drops, leaving me with: 401(k): 9k bonds Roth IRA: 7k stocks Taxable: 11k stocks My allocation has now become 66/33. ...
by Chief_Engineer
Sun Mar 04, 2018 12:53 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: First time taxable account, what do you recommend?
Replies: 24
Views: 4450

Re: First time taxable account, what do you recommend?

If you have bonds in your 401k as part of your AA, you can purchase $25k of Total U.S. stock and Total International Stock funds in your taxable account. This will give you maximum tax efficiency. If/when the market is down in the next 3 years, you can exchange bond funds from your 401k and sell st...
by Chief_Engineer
Fri Feb 23, 2018 9:13 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Understanding 2017 ACA Insurance >> Alternative to ACA until age 65 >>Possible Solutions??
Replies: 115
Views: 10524

Re: Need Help Understanding 2017 ACA Insurance Bill for $28,690 and tax liabilities? Confused? Help?

You would be surprised. 50% of all medical costs are attributed to people with chronic conditions. I don't know how many people that translates to that receive more in claims than they pay in premium + OOP year after year, but it has to be quite significant, certainly in the millions. Following the...
by Chief_Engineer
Mon Jan 22, 2018 9:50 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Excel for Personal Finance Accounting ?
Replies: 42
Views: 5948

Re: Excel for Personal Finance Accounting ?

I'll put in a third recommendation for GnuCash. I can't list pros and cons because it's the only accounting software I've ever used. But it's flexibility is unmatched. If you're familiar with Python, there's a package (piecash) that lets you access the GnuCash file and process the data any way you w...
by Chief_Engineer
Mon Dec 25, 2017 7:16 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: FY17 Final, Personal Savings Rate
Replies: 26
Views: 2986

Re: FY17 Final, Personal Savings Rate

Looks like this year was about -20% of gross. And no, that negative sign was not a typo. We've been slowly draining our savings this year as I finish my PhD. Next year should be very different!
by Chief_Engineer
Fri Dec 22, 2017 11:46 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Do you include your house in your net worth if you own it outright?
Replies: 89
Views: 8486

Re: Do you include your house in your net worth if you own it outright?

This question always reminds be of the differing options on the meaning of the word "theory." In the scientific community, the term theory is only applied to well-tested ideas. There is a significant body of evidence that supports the theory. However, use of "theory" in the public is much different....
by Chief_Engineer
Fri Dec 22, 2017 11:31 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Do you see a meaningful change in your income with new Tax Bill?
Replies: 266
Views: 26827

Re: Do you see a meaningful change in your income with new Tax Bill?

We will see about a 5% increase in take-home pay than we would have under the old tax law. This is mostly due to the increased phase-out threshold for the child tax credit and lower tax brackets. We live in a low tax state and rent, so we would've claimed the standard deduction no matter what. Our t...
by Chief_Engineer
Mon Dec 11, 2017 12:07 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: 2018 financial goals - what are yours?
Replies: 92
Views: 14037

Re: 2018 financial goals - what are yours?

1) Finish my PhD
2) Rebuild emergency fund
3) Keep maxing out HSA
4) Hopefully, 2018 will be the first year of our marriage with a positive change in net worth.
by Chief_Engineer
Fri Aug 18, 2017 7:58 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Debt vs HSA/529
Replies: 14
Views: 2037

Re: Debt vs HSA/529

Do you consider a reduction from 6.8% to 5% to be a "small" interest rate reduction? Did you get a quote on a 20 year term? federal repayment options are great to have... you should look in detail in the options with loan refinancing because they often have financial hardship options as well. how b...
by Chief_Engineer
Thu Aug 17, 2017 9:06 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Debt vs HSA/529
Replies: 14
Views: 2037

Re: Debt vs HSA/529

Have you looked into student loan refinancing options with sofi? Earnest? Citizens? You should definitely be able to get your rate down substantially, especially if willing to take on a short term (be careful with the high minimum payments). I looked into SoFi and DRB. I got a preliminary offer (th...
by Chief_Engineer
Thu Aug 17, 2017 8:39 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: How can I keep track of my monthly spendings?
Replies: 36
Views: 7601

Re: How can I keep track of my monthly spendings?

I use GnuCash. I keep all receipts in a box and once a week enter them manually. I track our entire financial lives (except cash spending): income, retirement accounts, loans, and expenses. About once a month I reconcile my accounts in GnuCash with the bank. The built-in reports and charts are nice,...
by Chief_Engineer
Fri Aug 11, 2017 7:47 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Debt vs HSA/529
Replies: 14
Views: 2037

Re: Debt vs HSA/529

Do not do the 529 while you have 200k student loan debt with a high interest rate. That is the very definition of robbing Peter to pay Paul, and we do not even know that Paul is going to college. I agree. The only reason I'm asking is if it makes sense due to the 20% tax credit. If it doesn't make ...
by Chief_Engineer
Fri Aug 11, 2017 6:17 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Debt vs HSA/529
Replies: 14
Views: 2037

Re: Debt vs HSA/529

How long will it take to pay off the loans? If you pay 7%, 6%, 5%, and 5% for four years, that's enough of a loss (compared to what you could earn risk-free) that it isn't worth contributing to the 529 this year, unless you can refinance the loans to a lower rate. It will take us 4.5 years to pay o...
by Chief_Engineer
Wed Aug 09, 2017 8:29 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Debt vs HSA/529
Replies: 14
Views: 2037

Re: Debt vs HSA/529

Can your parents/in-laws open a 529 for your children? That would have the college savings available for your children while you are paying down your student loans. But it does not help you with your state income tax. This is a possibility, but my parents don't have much money to offer and her pare...
by Chief_Engineer
Wed Aug 09, 2017 7:54 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Debt vs HSA/529
Replies: 14
Views: 2037

Debt vs HSA/529

Hello everyone. I have a couple questions about whether it makes sense to reduce debt repayment in order to contribute to our HSA and a 529 plan. Here is our relevant information: Debt: Student Loans $240k at 5-7% Tax Filing status: Married Filing Jointly with 2 kids (2 and newborn) Tax Rate: 25% Fe...
by Chief_Engineer
Sat Jan 18, 2014 4:15 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Buried in Student Loans
Replies: 22
Views: 6718

Re: Buried in Student Loans

As an engineering student in Indiana, I'm guessing you're a fellow Boilermaker. From what I recall regarding those staff fees paid through a 529 plan change the amount you can get from the Hope/Lifetime learning tax credits. It has been 5+ years since I looked into this, so things might have change...
by Chief_Engineer
Sat Jan 18, 2014 8:54 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Buried in Student Loans
Replies: 22
Views: 6718

Re: Buried in Student Loans

This is interesting and something I would never have thought of. If I understand correctly, you're saying we can take some of our emergency fund and put it in a 529 to get a tax credit on Indiana taxes, and immediately withdraw it because the principle can be withdrawn without any tax penalties lik...
by Chief_Engineer
Fri Jan 17, 2014 8:45 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Buried in Student Loans
Replies: 22
Views: 6718

Re: Buried in Student Loans

Thank you everyone for your replies. I'd contact Vanguard and do a rollover and conversion to a Roth IRA. Sign up for online statements and there will be no account fees. Put it all in Vanguard Target Retirement 2055 for now. The conversion will cost you about $280 in taxes, but now's a good time si...
by Chief_Engineer
Thu Jan 16, 2014 7:45 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Buried in Student Loans
Replies: 22
Views: 6718

Buried in Student Loans

First of all, I'd like to thank everyone on this board. I've always had an interest in retirement saving and index fund investing, but the things I've learned since finding Bogleheads has been incredible. I've noticed recently in a few threads a desire to hear from lower income members; Average Joes...