Search found 988 matches

by scubadiver
Mon Aug 19, 2019 10:23 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: How to define "HCOL" (high cost of living) areas?
Replies: 78
Views: 4413

Re: How to define "HCOL" (high cost of living) areas?

J G Bankerton wrote:
Mon Aug 19, 2019 10:20 am
This is a list of household income by county. It is a better indicator of HCOL area IMHO. High income means higher prices for everything.

1 Loudoun County Virginia
$134,464
Ashburn, VA, located in Loudoun county, ain't called "cash-burn" for nothing. :D
by scubadiver
Mon Aug 19, 2019 9:43 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Aliens have captured my husband [wants to buy a Porsche]
Replies: 125
Views: 8191

Re: Aliens have captured my husband [wants to buy a Porsche]

While there's no issue with buying a car you can afford, I can't help but feel there must be a better way to spend the extra $50,000* that's being talked about here. Here are some alternatives that would appeal to me. - Get a massage from a good LMT every week (!) for 10 (!) years. That's got to fe...
by scubadiver
Mon Aug 19, 2019 9:22 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: How to define "HCOL" (high cost of living) areas?
Replies: 78
Views: 4413

Re: How to define "HCOL" (high cost of living) areas?

The Virginia side of the DC area has many fine and very affordable state schools.
by scubadiver
Mon Aug 19, 2019 8:42 am
Forum: Personal Investments
Topic: Invest or pay off student loans?
Replies: 37
Views: 1367

Re: Invest or pay off student loans?

I'll add to the "pay off the loans" chorus.

You're not going to get a better guaranteed rate of return. Moreover, debt-free is a wonderful feeling.
by scubadiver
Mon Aug 19, 2019 8:00 am
Forum: Personal Investments
Topic: 529s: One for family vs. One per kid
Replies: 15
Views: 895

529s: One for family vs. One per kid

Right now we have one 529 plan with our oldest named as the beneficiary. Been saving modest amounts in there annually but have prioritized 401k and Roth accounts first. We have more than a year of tuition / room / board saved and depending upon when my wife (currently a stay-at-home mom) returns to ...
by scubadiver
Sun Aug 18, 2019 9:27 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Opportunity cost of saving for a home down payment
Replies: 15
Views: 1170

Re: Opportunity cost of saving for a home down payment

Any individual or family that is consistently saving 50% of their gross can have the privilege of occasionally saying, "Screw the opportunity cost. I'm doing this because that's what I want and I can afford it."
by scubadiver
Sat Aug 17, 2019 9:47 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Aliens have captured my husband [wants to buy a Porsche]
Replies: 125
Views: 8191

Re: Aliens have captured my husband [wants to buy a Porsche]

I'm squarely in the "get the porche" camp. What's the point of all those years of hard work if you can't eventually enjoy burning $90K on a sports car? 8-) • Is it just downright silly have two car seats in the back of an $87k car? (Not to mention the gummy bears that go along with the carseats…) My...
by scubadiver
Sat Aug 17, 2019 4:05 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Anyone retire in their 30s?
Replies: 70
Views: 6828

Re: Anyone retire in their 30s?

This is one of those threads where I really wish my wife was on the forum. She can honestly write that she came to America as a refugee when she was 9 and was a millionaire before 40, having quit her job when she was 28. Of course, her being a stay at home mom allowed me to pursue some interesting c...
by scubadiver
Fri Aug 16, 2019 9:56 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: How to define "HCOL" (high cost of living) areas?
Replies: 78
Views: 4413

Re: How to define "HCOL" (high cost of living) areas?

I often read references to "HCOL" (high cost of living) areas as if it is well understood what that means. But how is that defined? How does one know whether you live in a high cost of living area? Certainly we can all agree that living in Manhattan or San Francisco is a high cost of living area, b...
by scubadiver
Fri Aug 16, 2019 9:36 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: College senior son - how to pay loans best for credit score?
Replies: 23
Views: 1186

Re: College senior son - how to pay loans best for credit score?

Your son is doing great - he'll soon be a college graduate with a marketable degree, has only a modest amount of student loan debt and understands the value of money and the importance of savings. This reflects very well upon his parenting. :beer I'm suspicious of the notion that your son's credit s...
by scubadiver
Wed Aug 14, 2019 5:30 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Way behind and want to make sure we're on right track
Replies: 16
Views: 1300

Re: Way behind and want to make sure we're on right track

Welcome to the forum! Don't get hung up on whether you're behind or ahead or whatever. Instead, you should sit-down with your spouse and determine your financial priorities. I'm sure you have been doing this at some level since you mentioned wanting to buy a house amongst other things. Anyway, try t...
by scubadiver
Tue Aug 13, 2019 3:25 pm
Forum: Personal Investments
Topic: Portfolio Review - New to Forum
Replies: 7
Views: 685

Re: Portfolio Review - New to Forum

Welcome to the forum! Even though 401k options are not great (only 3 low expense Vanguard Funds) planning to roll-in rollover IRA from past 401ks so can set up backdoor Roth. In a world of many bad 401k plans, this is at worst a decent 401k plan. 4. Just a sanity check that rolling my Rollover IRA b...
by scubadiver
Mon Aug 12, 2019 5:11 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Should college student major in environmental science?
Replies: 49
Views: 2745

Re: Should college student major in environmental science?

The OP does not mention anything about student loans, so I am not sure where that came in other then an assumption of yours. To your point, I did assume that a 28 year old in a minimum wage job is going to have a hard time cash-flowing tuition and living expenses while attending a 4-year institutio...
by scubadiver
Mon Aug 12, 2019 1:10 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Should college student major in environmental science?
Replies: 49
Views: 2745

Re: Should college student major in environmental science?

The OP talks about a 28 yr old that has an AA degree and works minimum paid jobs right now - almost anything would be an improvement I believe and it seems to indicate a lack of drive in general. Maybe I'm in a minority here, but $50K in student loan debt that cannot be readily discharged in bankru...
by scubadiver
Sun Aug 11, 2019 12:50 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: How should my Spouse and I handle a $300,000 Settlement?
Replies: 119
Views: 6862

Re: How should my Spouse and I handle a $300,000 Settlement?

My SEP IRA: $1,156.11 My Roth IRA: $9,199.98 My Rollover IRA: $7,909.76 I do not have a 401(k) Plan available to me at this time. Management and I are evaluating 401(k) Plan Options and I believe we will move forward with Employee Fiduciary in 2020 (low fees!). My spouse does not have any money set...
by scubadiver
Thu Aug 08, 2019 8:21 pm
Forum: Personal Investments
Topic: My NEW Portfolio + The State of the Market (DOWN)
Replies: 56
Views: 3100

Re: My NEW Portfolio + The State of the Market (DOWN)

If it makes you feel any better, I recently put a lump-sum $280k into VTI/VXUS (total US/int'l) a few weeks ago (proceeds from a company acquisition that I was very fortunate to receive). I am completely unconcerned by the recent "dip" since that money is for retirement which is ~20+ years away. Wh...
by scubadiver
Thu Aug 08, 2019 2:11 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Should college student major in environmental science?
Replies: 49
Views: 2745

Re: Should college student major in environmental science?

If a friend or family member were to ask me, I would strongly discourage them from pursuing a degree in environmental science. Rather, I would encourage the individual to study something that builds a broad foundational skill set, e.g., chemistry or civil engineering. If said individual was passiona...
by scubadiver
Thu Aug 08, 2019 1:47 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: when blood in the market...
Replies: 15
Views: 2111

Re: when blood in the market...

Blood in the streets?!?! With all apologies to Monty Python, this doesn't even rise to the level of a flesh wound.
by scubadiver
Mon Aug 05, 2019 8:41 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: What is your hobby and how did it come to be your hobby?
Replies: 143
Views: 14184

Re: What is your hobby and how did it come to be your hobby?

Scubadiving - I picked this up when my then girlfriend (now wife) and her father introduced me to it. Been inactive in recent years but will be getting back in the water soon as our oldest is pursuing a junior scuba certification. Skiing - In past years this was limited to a one week annual ski tri...
by scubadiver
Sun Aug 04, 2019 12:41 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Yet another ‘can I afford this house’
Replies: 16
Views: 1599

Re: Yet another ‘can I afford this house’

Thank you all for your responses. I need a good sounding board on a decision this large and appreciate both sides of the fence! To answer some of your questions: 1) 2 401k + 1 Roth maxes 2) putting down 550k because I don’t like the idea of a large payment month to month due to concerns like lay of...
by scubadiver
Sat Aug 03, 2019 3:43 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Day care vs nanny for child care
Replies: 62
Views: 3336

Re: Day care vs nanny for childcare

The three most important words in this discussion. For our family While I did take a few minutes to share a short version of my own family's story, I doubt it's relevant to the OP's situation. He and spouse are both young physicians and heavily invested into the early stages of their professional ca...
by scubadiver
Sat Aug 03, 2019 12:58 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Day care vs nanny for child care
Replies: 62
Views: 3336

Re: Day care vs nanny for childcare

When our oldest was born my wife took 6 months of (mostly) unpaid maternity leave. We placed our daughter in day care when my wife returned to work. The day care was fine, but after five weeks we decided we preferred the prior lifestyle with my wife as a stay-at-home-mom and she resigned her positio...
by scubadiver
Sat Aug 03, 2019 11:41 am
Forum: Personal Investments
Topic: Does it bug anyone else that Vanguard only has money market for cash?
Replies: 101
Views: 8401

Re: Does it bug anyone else that Vanguard only has money market for cash?

No, the Vanguard money market accounts do not concern me.
by scubadiver
Sat Aug 03, 2019 11:12 am
Forum: Personal Investments
Topic: Car loan - Payoff or invest ?
Replies: 11
Views: 741

Re: Car loan - Payoff or invest ?

I recently had a car loan @1.9% with an outstanding balance of $17K and more than enough cash to pay it off.

Scubadiver
by scubadiver
Fri Aug 02, 2019 11:35 am
Forum: Personal Investments
Topic: Finish paying off home or start a IRA?
Replies: 31
Views: 2327

Re: Finish paying off home or start a IRA?

...it makes absolutely no sense for you to open a traditional IRA when you are eligible for a Roth IRA. It can make perfect sense if one assumes the marginal tax rate on tIRA withdrawals will be less than the rate saved due to the tIRA contribution. Indeed you are right. I had assumed the tIRA cont...
by scubadiver
Fri Aug 02, 2019 10:58 am
Forum: Personal Investments
Topic: Finish paying off home or start a IRA?
Replies: 31
Views: 2327

Re: Finish paying off home or start a IRA?

So in my situation a Roth would be more advisable over a traditional ? Not exactly a well-posed question, but.... If you are talking about 401k contributions, go traditional for the tax deferral benefits. If you are talking about an IRA, it makes absolutely no sense for you to open a traditional IR...
by scubadiver
Thu Aug 01, 2019 10:04 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: 529 & Student Loans
Replies: 13
Views: 880

Re: 529 & Student Loans

Is there a nearby community college? DD can live at home (so parents can monitor and save $$) and parents / DD can split cost with DD covering her share through a combination of loans and part-time employment. Do that for two years with the offer of paying full freight when she transfers to a 4-year...
by scubadiver
Thu Aug 01, 2019 9:38 pm
Forum: Personal Investments
Topic: Finish paying off home or start a IRA?
Replies: 31
Views: 2327

Re: Finish paying off home or start a IRA?

Welcome to the forum. With regards to the mortgage, you never mention a rate. In any event, I recommend you prioritize savings in the following way: (1) Contribute to 401k up to employer match, (2) Contribute to Roth IRA up to IRS limits, (3) Contribute to 401k above employer match level up to IRS l...
by scubadiver
Wed Jul 31, 2019 8:26 pm
Forum: Personal Investments
Topic: 29, just starting out, help appreciated!
Replies: 6
Views: 456

Re: 29, just starting out, help appreciated!

Welcome to the forum. It's never too late to start thinking about investing and you're still on the good side of 30. :D 3. Should I pay off my stafford loans first? Simplify your life and just pay these off. 4. My company seems to offer contributions to a Roth 401(k) as an alternative. Should I be o...
by scubadiver
Wed Jul 31, 2019 5:44 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: What is your hobby and how did it come to be your hobby?
Replies: 143
Views: 14184

Re: What is your hobby and how did it come to be your hobby?

Scubadiving - I picked this up when my then girlfriend (now wife) and her father introduced me to it. Been inactive in recent years but will be getting back in the water soon as our oldest is pursuing a junior scuba certification. Skiing - In past years this was limited to a one week annual ski trip...
by scubadiver
Tue Jul 30, 2019 9:41 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: 30-yeard old couple getting ready to get married -- how are we doing? What are we missing?
Replies: 5
Views: 1229

Re: 30-yeard old couple getting ready to get married -- how are we doing? What are we missing?

Welcome to the forum and congrats on your pending nuptial. A few thoughts, in no particular order: Make elimination of grad school loans a 2019 goal. Maybe that's what you mean by ASAP, but let's make it precise. Don't worry about 529 plans until kids actually arrive. Live below your means. VHCOL ar...
by scubadiver
Tue Jul 30, 2019 9:08 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: How am I doing ?
Replies: 17
Views: 1892

Re: How am I doing ?

Welcome to the forum. You haven't indicated your expected expenses in retirement. And you haven't indicated how much you'll be able to save while working. Without a solid estimate for those, there's no real way to determine if you are on track or not. I will echo JoeRetire's comment. It's all about ...
by scubadiver
Tue Jul 30, 2019 8:55 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Credit score: impact of card payment
Replies: 8
Views: 650

Re: Credit score: impact of card payment

Scores of 720+ are generally considered prime credit risks and, as I understand it, qualify for the best available interest rates. You have substantial margin before falling below that threshold. I doubt that a one month bump in credit usage will materially effect the interest rate you are offered.
by scubadiver
Thu Jul 25, 2019 7:12 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Paying Off Mortgage Question
Replies: 77
Views: 6558

Re: Paying Off Mortgage Question

Sure, if we're discussing the balance sheet, then yes, eliminating debt and saving are "the same." But in real life they are not the same. My balance sheet might be the same if I had $100k in my 401k or spent 100k on a sailboat, but I think you'd agree I'm not in the same financial position. Maybe ...
by scubadiver
Mon Jul 22, 2019 7:51 pm
Forum: Personal Investments
Topic: Best approach for couple to take RE: investing/retirement planning?
Replies: 8
Views: 900

Re: Best approach for couple to take RE: investing/retirement planning?

I will not argue that this is the best approach in general, but my wife and I do all our financial planning together. When she became a stay-at-home mom this was unavoidable, but we had combined our finances once we were engaged and more than 4 years before she left the workforce. We have similar mi...
by scubadiver
Mon Jul 22, 2019 6:48 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Any regrets returning to work after baby? Glad you did?
Replies: 9
Views: 878

Re: Any regrets returning to work after baby? Glad you did?

In my experience, this is not strictly a financial decision. Here's our story... I am the husband of a stay-at-home mom. My wife took six months of maternity leave when our first child was born. She had planned to return to work at the end of the 6 months and actually did....for five weeks. We were ...
by scubadiver
Mon Jul 22, 2019 9:04 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Do people in HCOL areas have a higher net worth and more wealth building potential than LCOL?
Replies: 222
Views: 14712

Re: Do people in HCOL areas have a higher net worth and more wealth building potential than LCOL?

Nobody has thought about HCOL possibly being a bubble? e.g. once you arbitrage away (at least some) of the salaries with better technologies, why would the same job be paid differently in different parts of the country (or even the world)? Or, you could think that the share of population for which ...
by scubadiver
Sun Jul 21, 2019 10:07 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Do people in HCOL areas have a higher net worth and more wealth building potential than LCOL?
Replies: 222
Views: 14712

Re: Do people in HCOL areas have a higher net worth and more wealth building potential than LCOL?

<<Since most people save almost nothing, all they usually have in terms of assets is their house.>> And, in an HCOL area, it is more likely for that kind of people to be wiped out in a recession. KlangFool Is that based on data, or intuition? I remember seeing that Miami and Las Vegas were the big ...
by scubadiver
Sun Jul 21, 2019 9:46 pm
Forum: Personal Investments
Topic: Retirement planning advice
Replies: 11
Views: 2530

Re: Retirement planning advice

You have gotten some good advice already and I do not have anything to add to that other than my encouragement. While the fact that you currently have no retirement savings puts you behind by the standards of this forum, you do own a home clear and free and have no other debt to speak of, so congrat...
by scubadiver
Sun Jul 21, 2019 8:41 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Paying Off Mortgage Question
Replies: 77
Views: 6558

Re: Paying Off Mortgage Question

This is really a bit of an apples and oranges question ... You are really asking yourself "should I take a stable return now, or increase my risk in hopes of a greater reward later"? Paying off the mortgage is a known return, with little risk. On the other hand, putting the money aside in the marke...
by scubadiver
Sat Jul 20, 2019 12:38 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Do people in HCOL areas have a higher net worth and more wealth building potential than LCOL?
Replies: 222
Views: 14712

Re: Do people in HCOL areas have a higher net worth and more wealth building potential than LCOL?

If you have high income in a HCOL area, and you have a defined benefit pension based on your higher income (such as Federal Government employees) and with annual COL increases - then you could almost certainly benefit financially by retiring to a LCOL area. Right. If you spend your entire life in a...
by scubadiver
Wed Jul 17, 2019 9:24 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Box wine- update and recommendations?
Replies: 72
Views: 5063

Re: Box wine- update and recommendations?

The only fair warning I’ll give you is that with boxed wine there is NO way to remember how much you have drank- so it can encourage over consumption. Just something to consider... I would agree with this if it were not for the half gallon capacity wine glasses that our in-laws gave us and which I ...
by scubadiver
Wed Jul 17, 2019 7:38 pm
Forum: Personal Investments
Topic: What is your Re-balancing Trigger?
Replies: 28
Views: 1911

Re: What is your Re-balancing Trigger?

My trigger is the calendar. If it's January, it's time to determine if rebalancing needs to be done. This is more or less what I do, with the exception of the 2008-2009 crash where I fortuitously rebalanced again on March 1st. I have no recollection of what my specific trigger was for that other th...
by scubadiver
Wed Jul 17, 2019 7:24 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Box wine- update and recommendations?
Replies: 72
Views: 5063

Re: Box wine- update and recommendations?

Not ashamed to admit that I like Franzia.
by scubadiver
Sun Jul 14, 2019 9:02 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: No A/C in Office [not a safe work environment]
Replies: 86
Views: 7926

Re: No A/C in Office [not a safe work environment]

Any chance your boss might allow you to work from home until the A/C is repaired?
by scubadiver
Sun Jul 14, 2019 7:37 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Pay student loans via cash-out refinance?
Replies: 41
Views: 2055

Re: Pay student loans via cash-out refinance?

Leave the house and the mortgage alone. You don't have a cash flow problem. You are worried that you may have a cash flow problem. Emotions are real and that's ok. So right now you have $1000/mo flexibility in cash flow. Snow balling can increase that flexibility at a slight cost in interest charge...
by scubadiver
Sun Jul 14, 2019 11:49 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: priority of supporting parents vs saving for college
Replies: 54
Views: 3688

Re: priority of supporting parents vs saving for college

Own retirement, then kids college, then anything else. Parents who squander can always take the couch / spare bedroom, but student loans are forever. Agree completely. This may be hard to watch at times, but you have to let your parents live their lives and deal with their problems. Of course if th...
by scubadiver
Fri Jul 12, 2019 9:05 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Going to law school question
Replies: 55
Views: 3551

Re: Going to law school question

I want to be an attorney, not really, but kind of. I want the easiest and possibly cheapest way of becoming an attorney. I really don't care what law school I go to, accredited or not (don't mind taking the baby bar), but want to take the bar in the easiest state possible. Why? The real reason rema...
by scubadiver
Wed Jul 10, 2019 7:48 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Visiting Buffalo,NY / Niagara Falls area - things to see and do?
Replies: 46
Views: 2302

Re: Visiting Buffalo,NY / Niagara Falls area - things to see and do?

I'll second the recommendations for bringing your passport (or enhanced DL) for a day trip to Canada. Recommend that you walk across to the Canadian side though. There is good parking on the American side where you can see the falls and then walk over to the Canadian side for a different perspective...
by scubadiver
Sat Jul 06, 2019 2:01 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: How much should I have saved for retirement by age 40?
Replies: 111
Views: 18141

Re: How much should I have saved for retirement by age 40?

Per 'The Millionaire Next Door' author, Thomas Stanley, your net worth should be at least equal to your age divided by 10 and multiplied by your annual income. TravelforFun Hmm, so if I take a job at Walmart right before retirement, I’ll only need 20000 * 65 / 10 = 130000. I love formulas based on ...