Search found 38 matches

by welldone
Wed Aug 22, 2018 11:22 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Specific Disney fastpass suggestions
Replies: 10
Views: 1273

Re: Specific Disney fastpass suggestions

Magic Kingdom: Peter Pan ride (always has long lines, if you want to ride it either make that a first stop at rope drop or get a fast pass) ThunderMountain Railroad Splash Mountain Seven Dwarves Mine Ride Not a ride fast pass, but make a reservation for Be Our Guest if you want to eat there. Again,...
by welldone
Fri Jun 01, 2018 2:34 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Do average kids from upper middle class families get any free college money (Scholarships / non-repayable grants etc)
Replies: 266
Views: 18970

Re: Do average kids from upper middle class families get any free college money (Scholarships / non-repayable grants etc

An aside, but it cracks me up when I see people refer to schools outside of the "Top 25" (on which ranking site?) or so as "second tier". There are ~4000 colleges and universities in the US. I think many need to open their eyes to the fact there are a lot more schools in the 1st tier than just 25. ...
by welldone
Thu May 31, 2018 11:15 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Do average kids from upper middle class families get any free college money (Scholarships / non-repayable grants etc)
Replies: 266
Views: 18970

Re: Do average kids from upper middle class families get any free college money (Scholarships / non-repayable grants etc

The answer is: It depends. The upper middle class family making 150k/year with 3 kids in college is not the same as the upper middle class family making 400k with 1 kid in school. The first family is likely. The second not so much. You would also have to define what "average upper middle class kid"...
by welldone
Thu May 17, 2018 2:02 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Mortgage decision killing me
Replies: 52
Views: 7189

Re: Mortgage decision killing me

We did a 15 year mortgage. Very similar situation in that we also think this is the forever house barring extreme, unforeseen circumstances. Rate spread was quite different when we made the choice, our 15 year rate was 3%, the 30 year rate was something above 4% at the time we were buying. We are th...
by welldone
Sun Apr 22, 2018 5:07 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Picking College and College Scholarships
Replies: 631
Views: 73499

Re: Picking College and College Scholarships

Congratulations, Notre Dame is a fantastic school with an amazing network. :sharebeer
by welldone
Fri Mar 30, 2018 10:15 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Picking College and College Scholarships
Replies: 631
Views: 73499

Re: Picking College and College Scholarships

FINAL LIST Accepted: **Notre Dame **U of IL (engineering) **Rose-Hulman **Purdue (engineering) **Vanderbilt Waitlisted: **U of Chicago **Cornell **Stanford Is your son thinking about working his waitlist options or making a decision based solely on his current acceptances? He has great options...ca...
by welldone
Tue Mar 27, 2018 10:49 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Picking College and College Scholarships
Replies: 631
Views: 73499

Re: Picking College and College Scholarships

Accepted: **Notre Dame **U of IL (engineering) **Rose-Hulman **Purdue (engineering) **Vanderbilt ... Those are some incredible schools, has your son shown any preference within his current choices? I would also love to hear a post-mortem (if you would be willing) after the final choice has been mad...
by welldone
Fri Mar 16, 2018 12:40 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Picking College and College Scholarships
Replies: 631
Views: 73499

Re: Picking College and College Scholarships

I think it is hard to remember that applying to MIT, or equivalent, in STEM is basically asking to be compared to the best of the best of the best (with honors) in STEM in a very crowded field of applicants. Applying to MIT in a non STEM major means that you have a better chance of standing out in a...
by welldone
Mon Jan 08, 2018 11:40 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Lowball offer on a home
Replies: 82
Views: 7901

Re: Lowball offer on a home

I think lowballing your offer will not get you the result you are hoping for. When we last sold a house (and we were not in any way sentimental about the house being sold) we received an offer that was substantially below our asking price ($100K) and the reason given was that the potential buyers wa...
by welldone
Tue Dec 19, 2017 4:28 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Financial Assistance to Adult Child (health insurance)
Replies: 107
Views: 7434

Re: Financial Assistance to Adult Child (health insurance)

OP, This isn't an easy situation and I don't have a foolproof method to give you to fix the issues your posts have revealed. You have so much more information on the situation that we don't have (and I am not asking you to share more) which may make the following moot. However, I am concerned about ...
by welldone
Tue Jul 11, 2017 9:09 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: How to save for and finance house move up
Replies: 64
Views: 4419

Re: How to save for and finance house move up

I am trying to get my head around your actual numbers and having some trouble. I am thinking you might be 'counting your money twice, thrice or more times'. In your 'aggressive' plan, you have the idea to max retirement out (18k for you, 18k + 18k for your wife's options, plus her 11% mandatory pens...
by welldone
Tue Apr 18, 2017 6:50 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: how much is reasonable amount to spend [on gymnastics]
Replies: 42
Views: 4312

Re: how much is reasonable amount to spend [on gymnastics]

OP - I already said I thought you should stop having your daughter do gymnastics. The time commitment only gets larger (my child is at the gym 6 days a week, at least 4 hours each of those days) and we are paying ~$25k a year for training and travel/competing. Just find something else. There are too...
by welldone
Mon Apr 17, 2017 11:46 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: how much is reasonable amount to spend [on gymnastics]
Replies: 42
Views: 4312

Re: how much is reasonable amount to spend [on gymnastics]

For perspective, a level 7-9 competitive gymnast will spend about 25-30k/year in gym fees, travel, coaches, and gear. That is not to mention additional medical costs that should probably include regular chiropractic care. As you said she loves it, and forcing children to stop something they love is...
by welldone
Tue Feb 14, 2017 9:32 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Kids in Apartment Sharing Bedroom - Workable?
Replies: 55
Views: 4757

Re: Kids in Apartment Sharing Bedroom - Workable?

Our two youngest have shared a bedroom for almost 13 years now. It is a real Oscar & Felix situation but they are very close.
by welldone
Sun Jan 08, 2017 10:50 am
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: "Why 97% of People Don't Use 529 College Savings Plans."
Replies: 262
Views: 50183

Re: "Why 97% of People Don't Use 529 College Savings Plans."

I stopped aggressively contributing because it destroys FAFSA scores. I'm self employed and have enough tax deductions that my kids actually might get a little financial aid. Just a small word of warning to anyone planning this strategy. Lots of deductions that are fine on your IRS forms are not co...
by welldone
Thu Jan 05, 2017 9:05 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Backdoor Roth issue using Federal MMF
Replies: 27
Views: 2736

Re: Backdoor Roth issue using Federal MMF

Yes I was just able to convert as well. Guess Vanguard figured it out. :sharebeer
by welldone
Wed Jan 04, 2017 9:02 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Backdoor Roth issue using Federal MMF
Replies: 27
Views: 2736

Re: Backdoor Roth issue using Federal MMF

Have same exact issue as WCI. Feel better that it isn't just me!
by welldone
Sat Dec 24, 2016 11:21 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Picking College and College Scholarships
Replies: 631
Views: 73499

Re: Picking College and College Scholarships

I would highly recommend running the NPC calculators on the individual school's website to see if your son's list needs to be radically altered. Most of the schools you've just listed are 100% need met, but the school defines need and very few of them offer merit aid at all. If you are sure you won'...
by welldone
Sat Dec 17, 2016 9:11 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Disney World vacation recommendations
Replies: 10
Views: 1585

Re: Disney World vacation recommendations

I think a lot of this comes down to how you view utility on vacation. My children are past the Disney trip phase, but when they were toddler/young children - we decided that convenience trumped cost on trips like Disney. Let me be clear, 'doing Disney' will not be a vacation. It will be an experienc...
by welldone
Sat Sep 24, 2016 2:41 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Would you buy this house in a flood zone? HELP!
Replies: 63
Views: 6173

Re: Would you buy this house in a flood zone? HELP!

We bought a home in a flood plain. We really like it. With luck it will be our forever home. Everyone weighs risks differently. We wanted waterfront property and were willing to risk potential flooding. I would be skeptical of any house located within a flood plain having a insurance cost of $600 pe...
by welldone
Fri Sep 23, 2016 6:10 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Extreme Maximization of College Financial Aid
Replies: 89
Views: 7898

Re: Extreme Maximization of College Financial Aid

I am going to try to point some items out that other posters have alluded to, but not made absolutely clear (unless I missed it somewhere, more than possible). 1. There are ~70 schools (out of over 3,000) in the US who, at this time, pledge to "meet 100% financial need" of admitted students. 2. Your...
by welldone
Tue Aug 09, 2016 9:07 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: How dangerous is Kids Gymnastics?
Replies: 38
Views: 5128

Re: How dangerous is Kids Gymnastics?

I have to agree with the person who said that in gymnastics - "injuries are a matter of when NOT if". One of our children (11 years old - Level 9 women's artistic) competes for a high level gym (has current national team members and other elite athletes) and it is commonplace to see casts, crutches ...
by welldone
Fri Jul 15, 2016 2:49 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Raising a reader
Replies: 53
Views: 5036

Re: Raising a reader

Start reading to your child NOW. Read to children well after the age of 6 or 7. We still read aloud to our children...who are middle/high school aged. Having someone read a great book out loud never goes out of style and they will like doing it as long as you do. We also play books on CD (or mp3) in...
by welldone
Wed Jul 06, 2016 2:35 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Picking College and College Scholarships
Replies: 631
Views: 73499

Re: Picking College and College Scholarships

Illinois actually has a calculator to help estimate your cost by major. I suspect engineering majors pay more in tuition. I know I paid about $2k more per year than Liberal Arts majors at my state school. https://cost.illinois.edu/ When I ran it for 2017, the estimated costs were above $35k for eng...
by welldone
Wed Jul 06, 2016 2:35 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Picking College and College Scholarships
Replies: 631
Views: 73499

Re: Picking College and College Scholarships

UIUC is exceptionally difficult to get into for engineering. And, it is exceptionally expensive even for instate residents. In state total costs for engineering 2016-2017 is about 37K (for comparison - Wisconsin - Madison is about 26K a year for instate rates). Also, Illinois is notoriously stingy w...
by welldone
Wed Jul 06, 2016 2:14 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Picking College and College Scholarships
Replies: 631
Views: 73499

Re: Picking College and College Scholarships

MIT and Standford are 70K a year for undergraduate and they don't offer scholarships - it is all need based aid. You really need to run the NPC calculators for both and realize that both require the CSS profile filled out as well as FAFSA. I wouldn't count on getting much (if any aid) if you and you...
by welldone
Fri May 13, 2016 11:25 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: National Universities rankings 25 to 75 - Highest priority
Replies: 65
Views: 6439

Re: Top 100 colleges - Highest priority

The number of applicants at top schools that pass this first round (good GPA/SAT, tough classes) comes out to multiple thousands of applicants (8k-10k). Source: I have seen the actual data from two top 10 schools. This is true, but this is partly because the same top 1% of students applies to 6 or ...
by welldone
Fri May 06, 2016 10:26 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Should my child and us accept financial aid (loan) for college
Replies: 21
Views: 1745

Re: Should my child and us accept financial aid (loan) for college

No. If you are getting subsidized loans yes. Other wise you guaranteed 4.29% return as a family. Just pay this year ask for subsidized loans next year early. Please disregard the advice above on getting subsidized loans next year. Qualifying for subsidized loans is completely dependent upon your FA...
by welldone
Fri Apr 29, 2016 1:16 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Near-Horizon College Costs -- How to Invest
Replies: 15
Views: 1614

Re: Near-Horizon College Costs -- How to Invest

How about putting $60K per child per year into some sort of safe investment product (CD, high interest savings account, etc) - starting now. On your salary, you should have the cash flow to do so, and then if you lose your job - you have liquid savings available that hasn't been affected by possible...
by welldone
Sun Apr 24, 2016 8:21 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Fixing up your home - or just selling it?
Replies: 17
Views: 2074

Re: Fixing up your home - or just selling it?

We bought our old home in 2005 (about $420K) and when the housing market crashed, lost (on paper) our 20% down payment plus some more on top of it. Even then, most money people were saying there wouldn't be a "real" recovery in housing market for about 10 years. So, we started what I "affectionately...
by welldone
Fri Mar 18, 2016 12:09 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: must do/sees in Beijing and HangZhou
Replies: 13
Views: 1180

Re: must do/sees in Beijing and HangZhou

There are many different sections of the Great Wall. Badaling is the most touristy section, but you can choose to go elsewhere. We've been to several sections, Mutianyu is very good, as is Jinshanling. You can hire a guide/car to take you to any section you want to visit, but most sections are a cou...
by welldone
Wed Sep 16, 2015 3:41 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Buying a car in chicago
Replies: 17
Views: 1574

Re: Buying a car in chicago

Use Costco's car buying negotiated price service if you don't want your daughter to have to bargain. It would be worth it even if you have to buy a membership to Costco to take advantage. Basically, Costco has already negotiated prices for cars at participating dealerships. You tell Costco what car ...
by welldone
Mon May 25, 2015 6:37 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: $4500 reasonable for wills for blended family and some trusts?
Replies: 38
Views: 3721

Re: $4500 reasonable for wills for blended family and some trusts?

I can't speak to whether your situation necessitates legal work totaling $4500 but I can tell you as someone whose spouse is a "big law" attorney of almost 20 years, that in my experience - in order for a good estate/trust lawyer to have boilerplate documents they can use to tailor to each clients p...
by welldone
Mon May 18, 2015 10:20 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: How much does social security factor into your retirement income?
Replies: 169
Views: 25134

Re: How much does social security factor into your retirement income?

I use it to pay my income tax and health insurance. However I could pay both without it.
by welldone
Fri Oct 24, 2014 5:14 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Adoption [Experience from those who have adopted]
Replies: 41
Views: 7297

Re: Adoption [Experience from those who have adopted]

Adoption can a wonderful thing but before you pursue going forward, I would ask yourself (and your wife) why you want to adopt. I am not being facetious when I say this - you really need to decide what is motivating your desire to adopt. As an adoptive parent, I would say that if the desire is for a...
by welldone
Sun Aug 17, 2014 10:50 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Girls gymnastics: what to expect
Replies: 28
Views: 6171

Re: Girls gymnastics: what to expect

Thank you all for the very informative answers, especially welldone and suchong for the very useful details - thanks to your comments I was able to get a bit more detail online on the levels and programs. The expectations at the elite competitive level do sound overwhelming - I have obviously under...
by welldone
Sun Aug 17, 2014 6:25 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Girls gymnastics: what to expect
Replies: 28
Views: 6171

Re: Girls gymnastics: what to expect

Thanks for the welcome. I'm glad you found my post to be informative and hope it answered most of the OPs questions.
by welldone
Sun Aug 17, 2014 3:38 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Girls gymnastics: what to expect
Replies: 28
Views: 6171

Re: Girls gymnastics: what to expect

One of our daughters does competitive club gymnastics. There are many benefits to a sport like gymnastics; especially if you find a great gym and strong coaches. The focus and discipline required in a sport like this are high and competitors learn many important life lessons (drive, the rewards of h...