Search found 58 matches

by welldone
Sat Feb 08, 2020 11:08 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Merit Scholarships - Advice and Strategies?
Replies: 91
Views: 6135

Re: Merit Scholarships - Advice and Strategies?

... I suppose like for everyone else it is a spectrum. If she were to get into a place like Stanford (not that I expect that) we would figure out how to pay for it through some sacrifice and lifestyle adjustments. If she goes to an in-state public then we are fine. Our baseline is about $45k which ...
by welldone
Sat Feb 08, 2020 8:03 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Merit Scholarships - Advice and Strategies?
Replies: 91
Views: 6135

Re: Merit Scholarships - Advice and Strategies?

@texasdiver I think you are right about your daughter's admission prospects at L&C, Santa Clara, UW and OU. Those seem like solid matches for her stats/ECs. You may already know this, but schools like Lewis & Clark, Santa Clara and other LACs on the West Coast aren't going to give a lot of merit aid...
by welldone
Thu Jan 09, 2020 2:51 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: New Sewer Line 2 weeks after Home Purchase. Any Legal Recourse?
Replies: 75
Views: 6037

Re: New Sewer Line 2 weeks after Home Purchase. Any Legal Recourse?

If there was anyone to be upset with, I would think the inspector would be where your wrath should land - not finding what you term 'a huge rodent infestation' is a big red flag as to his inspector skills. Our inspector found evidence of an old pest problem in the house we bought (and we were able t...
by welldone
Sun Dec 01, 2019 1:09 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: High income and college costs question
Replies: 317
Views: 14672

Re: High income and college costs question

If you have a high income, I think it is always better to assume you will not qualify for any need-based financial aid. Though it should also be pointed out that even if you don't have a high income, and do show financial need - not every college has money to give and most do not promise to meet 'fu...
by welldone
Thu Oct 24, 2019 10:02 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Question About Academic Scholarships
Replies: 11
Views: 579

Re: Question About Academic Scholarships

I asked this question because in our case, I was blown away at how much DS will be awarded from a particular small private university close to home. Additionally, there is another award (renewable each year) that he can apply for and if he receives that, we would end up potentially paying only abou...
by welldone
Thu Oct 24, 2019 9:32 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Question About Academic Scholarships
Replies: 11
Views: 579

Re: Question About Academic Scholarships

Colleges aren't a monolith, so your question in large part cannot be answered accurately if you are asking for a generalized answer. Some colleges have endowed scholarships (the endowment would pay the money being offered to students receiving that scholarship), some schools offer named scholarships...
by welldone
Sat Oct 19, 2019 6:24 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: SAT/ACT prep courses worth the money?
Replies: 47
Views: 3425

Re: SAT/ACT prep courses worth the money?

If your child is self-motivated to study for the SAT and/or ACT, then paying for the prep courses is probably a waste of money. If your child has trouble motivating themselves to prep for these types of tests, I think outsourcing the motivation can be worth the money. Our oldest knew that test prep ...
by welldone
Sun Oct 13, 2019 12:06 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: another can I afford this house thread
Replies: 7
Views: 1291

Re: another can I afford this house thread

I think you may want to look at recent articles of people who bought and/or built million dollar+ homes intending to sell the homes "down the road" and who are now finding that there is a dearth (to put it mildly) of buyers looking to spend the kind of money they want to sell their home for on a hom...
by welldone
Sun Sep 15, 2019 9:47 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Selling home- Demanding Buyer (Repairs)
Replies: 495
Views: 56342

Re: Selling home- Demanding Buyer (Repairs)

So, the reason the price was raised to $469k was b/c when we made the initial listing, we had 3 offers all above asking price, 460, 466, and 475 w/in 7 days. To be fair, this was before it was known that the septic needed to be replaced and during the very best time of year to be a seller, early sp...
by welldone
Sat Sep 14, 2019 3:55 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Selling home- Demanding Buyer (Repairs)
Replies: 495
Views: 56342

Re: Selling home- Demanding Buyer (Repairs)

I see what you are saying welldone. And there is also the risk when you go from say 459k to 425k that you missed out on somebody willing to pay 449k, i would think.... ...And we have still been getting a good amount of showings. And bc of that, agent does not think home has been stigmatized. The fe...
by welldone
Fri Sep 13, 2019 8:51 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Selling home- Demanding Buyer (Repairs)
Replies: 495
Views: 56342

Re: Selling home- Demanding Buyer (Repairs)

OP, You have a pricing issue that is going to be tricky to resolve. Dropping the price should be done to get 'new eyes' on the listing but with these piddly price drops - all you have been indicating is that you are increasingly desperate to sell...and if I were a serious buyer for your property I w...
by welldone
Wed Jul 24, 2019 8:53 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Feel like we are spinning our wheels (financially speaking). How far behind are we?!
Replies: 63
Views: 7052

Re: Feel like we are spinning our wheels (financially speaking). How far behind are we?!

right on. the Subaru was purchased 3 years ago. theoretically, i could have easily paid it off yesterday but i always though the "rule of thumb" was that if you can earn more than the interest you're paying it doesn't make sense to pay the loan off early. How much interest can you really be earning...
by welldone
Wed Jul 24, 2019 8:44 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Feel like we are spinning our wheels (financially speaking). How far behind are we?!
Replies: 63
Views: 7052

Re: Feel like we are spinning our wheels (financially speaking). How far behind are we?!

$38k in car debt? Seems unnecessary. unnecessary, sure i suppose? but that's a 2017 Subaru Forester (~$8K principle) and a 2019 Mazda CX-5. my wife wasn't keen on buying used and, to be quite frank, good, recent used vehicles don't seem to net much savings once you factor higher interest rates in. ...
by welldone
Wed Jul 24, 2019 8:01 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Feel like we are spinning our wheels (financially speaking). How far behind are we?!
Replies: 63
Views: 7052

Re: Feel like we are spinning our wheels (financially speaking). How far behind are we?!

It is really hard to give good advice with so little information about where your money is going, and what your goals are (including but not limited to money). Probably the best advice I could give is to sit down with your spouse and try to figure out how much money you want to save. It *could* look...
by welldone
Wed Feb 20, 2019 9:41 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: High earners: thoughts on college and aid
Replies: 91
Views: 8010

Re: High earners: thoughts on college and aid

This is a subject where any advice is going to be lacking because it depends so much on individual circumstances. If you live in a state with a reasonably priced in-state public universities exist, that might be your best bet. But there are states whose public in state universities are fairly pricey...
by welldone
Mon Dec 31, 2018 2:55 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Another Home Purchase Advice Question
Replies: 33
Views: 1249

Re: Another Home Purchase Advice Question

I would seriously recommend stopping for a moment and thinking about what it will be like to pay a mortgage as large as you are considering. Our family income is substantially more than yours, and I will tell you from personal experience that paying a $4k a month mortgage payment gets really old, re...
by welldone
Wed Dec 12, 2018 12:30 pm
Forum: Personal Investments
Topic: Lost value in 529 savings
Replies: 25
Views: 2185

Re: Lost value in 529 savings

I think you may want to re-consider investing in stocks/bonds until you understand the risks involved in investment and are comfortable with the risk level you choose within your investments. If you are new to investing, you should probably also not start with 529s - as many people will tell you - y...
by welldone
Mon Nov 12, 2018 7:55 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Granddaughter needs $ help for university
Replies: 111
Views: 10685

Re: Granddaughter needs $ help for university

Co-signing works by you guaranteeing to pay the debt if your granddaughter doesn't. Does your granddaughter have any means of paying back that $15k? Can you pay that debt if she defaults? Are you willing to risk your credit if she pays late or defaults without telling you so that you have both the c...
by welldone
Wed Nov 07, 2018 9:53 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Are we in trouble?
Replies: 123
Views: 20480

Re: Are we in trouble?

We've sold a couple homes in the Chicagoland area, both within 10 days of listing. One sold for 98% of list price, one sold for full list price. Neither of these homes were sold during hot sellers market. We listed one in October (not a great time to be selling) and the other was listed in February ...
by welldone
Tue Oct 23, 2018 12:00 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: How do you evaluate HDHPs?
Replies: 17
Views: 1416

Re: How do you evaluate HDHPs?

We, too, use an HDHP with an HSA. My best advice is to make sure you can handle the OOP maximum of your plan (if you choose to switch to an HDHP). We've hit ours the past two years (>$10K) and if your finances cannot stand repeated hitting the OOP max - then HDHPs probably aren't for you. If you can...
by welldone
Wed Aug 22, 2018 11:22 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Specific Disney fastpass suggestions
Replies: 10
Views: 1400

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: 21375

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: 21375

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: 7889

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: 650
Views: 87866

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: 650
Views: 87866

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: 650
Views: 87866

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: 650
Views: 87866

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: 8702

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: 7832

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: 4774

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: 4681

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: 4681

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: 5120

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: 54950

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: 3084

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: 3084

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: 650
Views: 87866

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: 1710

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: 8425

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: 8966

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: 6874

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: 6425

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: 650
Views: 87866

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: 650
Views: 87866

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: 650
Views: 87866

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: 7266

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: 1889

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: Personal Investments
Topic: Near-Horizon College Costs -- How to Invest
Replies: 15
Views: 1751

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: 2368

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...