Search found 1077 matches

by scubadiver
Wed Nov 13, 2019 3:07 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Grandparents helping with college
Replies: 24
Views: 1767

Re: Grandparents helping with college

Seems to me that you have 3 options to help pay for college: Write a check directly to the college. Write a check as a gift to your grandchild. Write a check as a gift to your grandchild’s parent(s). Or some combination thereof. or have the student take out students loans and pay them off when the ...
by scubadiver
Sun Nov 10, 2019 2:34 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: WSJ: Underwater Car Loans
Replies: 38
Views: 2270

Re: WSJ: Underwater Car Loans

There's nothing in this article that a good healthy recession can't fix.
by scubadiver
Wed Oct 30, 2019 8:54 pm
Forum: Personal Investments
Topic: We might reduce retirement savings for other budget goals: good/bad?
Replies: 14
Views: 1373

Re: We might reduce retirement savings for other budget goals: good/bad?

My wife and I have some family items we want to budget for over the next few years including child primary education & home improvements over the next 5 years. Our plan is to decrease some spending for the next 3 years to accelerate our savings and reduce our retirement contributions from 20% (as w...
by scubadiver
Wed Oct 30, 2019 8:30 pm
Forum: Personal Investments
Topic: Emergency fund part of Asset Allocation?
Replies: 20
Views: 1312

Re: Emergency fund part of Asset Allocation?

By definition, your emergency fund is a part of your assets that you have allocated. This fact is not changed based upon whether or not you choose to include those funds in calculations of your asset allocation. :D
by scubadiver
Wed Oct 30, 2019 8:09 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: 15 vs 20 year term life???
Replies: 33
Views: 2276

Re: 15 vs 20 year term life???

Is there a good rule of thumb for how long my term life insurance should be? I am 44 years old and due to higher earnings and expenses I find myself looking for supplemental life insurance to add to my employer sponsored $1M plan. My broker is pushing for a 20 year term, but I think a 15 year polic...
by scubadiver
Sun Oct 27, 2019 3:31 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Mortgage payoff
Replies: 55
Views: 3995

Re: Mortgage payoff

Wow...so many questions...don't want yo give too many details. This is 401k pre-tax $. Our balance is $250k. By calculations I can pull $168k, pay the tax from that leaving sufficient funds to pay half, and then pay the remaining Jan 2020. We are currently at 22%, and as long as we stay under the m...
by scubadiver
Sun Oct 27, 2019 1:33 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Mortgage payoff
Replies: 55
Views: 3995

Re: Mortgage payoff

Thanx to the new tax rules we no longer write off our mortgage interest, so I guess the default tax write off is more beneficial. My question, my wife and I are recently retired (62 & 59), our pensions more then cover our minimum requirements. We still have 20 yrs left on a 30 yr fixed 5% mortgage....
by scubadiver
Sun Oct 27, 2019 1:10 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Mortgage payoff
Replies: 55
Views: 3995

Re: Mortgage payoff

Thanx to the new tax rules we no longer write off our mortgage interest, so I guess the default tax write off is more beneficial. My question, my wife and I are recently retired (62 & 59), our pensions more then cover our minimum requirements. We still have 20 yrs left on a 30 yr fixed 5% mortgage....
by scubadiver
Sun Oct 27, 2019 1:01 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: How much does a "good school district" matter?
Replies: 76
Views: 6591

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

I would certainly avoid being in a very bad school district but I suspect there are diminishing returns with respect to being in a "good" school district.
by scubadiver
Sat Oct 26, 2019 2:08 pm
Forum: Personal Investments
Topic: Do You Pay For Financial Advice?
Replies: 76
Views: 4311

Re: Do You Pay For Financial Advice?

Q: Do you pay for financial advice?
A: No.
by scubadiver
Sat Oct 26, 2019 10:58 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Is principal portion of mortgage counted for savings rate purposes?
Replies: 126
Views: 6664

Re: Is principal portion of mortgage counted for savings rate purposes?

I guess this would all lead into the next argument people see two sides of... is a house an investment or consumption item? I see it as a consumption item. Hence, why I feel one spends money on a house. Why does it have to be either/or? Is a mutual fund with 2% annual fees an asset because you can ...
by scubadiver
Wed Oct 23, 2019 7:07 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Is principal portion of mortgage counted for savings rate purposes?
Replies: 126
Views: 6664

Re: Is principal portion of mortgage counted for savings rate purposes?

How you determine your personal savings rate is entirely subjective. It's just a number for you to use to see how you are doing. Most people count things like 401k and Roth IRA contributions or money you might deposit into a money market account, but beyond that, it's the Wild West. If you want to s...
by scubadiver
Tue Oct 22, 2019 1:35 am
Forum: Personal Investments
Topic: High income earner waiting for a bear market to start investing
Replies: 119
Views: 12083

Re: High income earner waiting for a bear market to start investing

I will start looking for a savings account to move my emergency funds into today. Yes, you all are correct - I do have fear. It's hard to jump in. I will start investing probably in international ETFs and small cap... I'm sure someone has already recommended this, but just in case, take a look at W...
by scubadiver
Tue Oct 22, 2019 1:13 am
Forum: Personal Investments
Topic: Advice for friend - lots of loads and high ER yet good returns
Replies: 37
Views: 2501

Re: Advice for friend - lots of loads and high ER yet good returns

I took a look at a friend's portfolio and would appreciate some feedback as the situation is not clear-cut and I don't have experience with loaded funds. Specifically, he has a full array of MFS mutual funds. Each has 5.75% front-loads plus pretty high ER. The funds are: MEIAX, ER 0.83% MFEGX, 0.92...
by scubadiver
Tue Oct 22, 2019 12:52 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Help on Whole Life Policy
Replies: 18
Views: 1317

Re: Help on Whole Life Policy

Even with high BP you should be able to get a $500K 20 year term policy for far less than what you are paying now. Do that. Then cancel the whole life policy. Don't pay maintenance fees or whatever. Get out of the policy and move on.
by scubadiver
Sun Oct 20, 2019 8:54 pm
Forum: Personal Investments
Topic: Late 20s Checkup
Replies: 13
Views: 2304

Re: Late 20s Checkup

I'd love general feedback on the above, and input on the specific questions below: 1) I perceive my long-term earnings to be fairly risky, and might be arguably "over-saving" in the interim to compensate. For those similarly worried about future income uncertainty, how do you budget accordingly? Co...
by scubadiver
Sun Oct 20, 2019 8:40 pm
Forum: Personal Investments
Topic: How do you cope with regret over selling too soon?
Replies: 72
Views: 8702

Re: How do you cope with regret over selling too soon?

• Don't buy individual stocks • Don't watch CNBC • Have a sound investment policy statement • Find a hobby Problem solved ^^This 100%. More generally, I would add that if you're doing something that has a high possibility of a negative outcome and the occurrence of that negative outcome is unaccept...
by scubadiver
Fri Oct 18, 2019 7:51 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Fed Workers Prep for Budget Delays
Replies: 18
Views: 2168

Re: Fed Workers Prep for Budget Delays

I was a federal employee during the 2013 shutdown and was exempted from the furlough, though my pay was not guaranteed until the gov't resumed operations (IIRC). I'll confess that I was surprised at the time to see that a couple of long-time fed employees that I worked with and who were dual income ...
by scubadiver
Wed Oct 16, 2019 8:36 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Suggestions for college savings
Replies: 20
Views: 1739

Re: Suggestions for college savings

We loaded up on our retirement savings, paid off the house, and cash flowed college. Like flight attendants say, take care of yourself first before strapping the air masks on your kids. I agree with this 100%. I noticed in your other thread that you currently have less than $100K in retirement. By ...
by scubadiver
Tue Oct 15, 2019 4:47 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Frustrated with dentist fees
Replies: 82
Views: 6192

Re: Frustrated with dentist fees

If OP does not like his dental insurance, he has the option to buy better insurance or opt-out. Works for me. It has been my experience that what is often referred to as dental insurance is really more like a service plan covering a certain number of cleanings and dental x-rays per year. Basically,...
by scubadiver
Tue Oct 15, 2019 4:34 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Studied in the US long ago, suspect someone might be using my identity in the US
Replies: 7
Views: 1173

Re: Studied in the US long ago, suspect someone might be using my identity in the US

many years ago I went to college in the states. As this was before 9/11, I was issued a SSN (afaik issuing SSNs to foreign students didn't happen afterwards). I suspect someone might be using my identity in the US. The Experian etc. website wants all sorts of information from me to issue my free cr...
by scubadiver
Mon Oct 14, 2019 2:00 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: How much do you spend on clothing?
Replies: 38
Views: 2609

Re: How much do you spend on clothing?

Shoutout to the OP for gently reminding me that I need to get the pocket sewn on my 20 year old ski coat. Thank you!

Scubadiver
by scubadiver
Mon Oct 14, 2019 12:41 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: How much do you spend on clothing?
Replies: 38
Views: 2609

Re: How much do you spend on clothing?

I'm not a professional but I do work in an office setting. As far as clothes go, I bought into the minimalist movement years ago. I own 6 of the same pair of pants and the same with dress shirts and polo shirts. All black. All my clothes were purchased on Amazon and are part of the Amazon Essential...
by scubadiver
Sun Oct 13, 2019 7:57 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Should I invest in a ski in / ski out condo?
Replies: 50
Views: 5275

Re: Should I invest in a ski in / ski out condo?

I'm an avid skier and I understand the draw of owning such a unit. I also understand that you have sufficient cash to buy this and not put your financial future at risk. With all that in mind, I would still pass on this. Here's my thinking.... If you already have family in the area of those particul...
by scubadiver
Sat Oct 12, 2019 11:23 am
Forum: Personal Investments
Topic: Taxable investment account for college?
Replies: 114
Views: 6348

Re: Taxable investment account for college?

I don't wish to raid our Roth IRA to pay for college. Truth be known, neither do I. :) I listed it as my last tier though though I don't expect we'll get to that point due to 529 savings, other taxable savings and cashflow. In any event, at the end of the day I believe a lot of this just comes down...
by scubadiver
Sat Oct 12, 2019 10:57 am
Forum: Personal Investments
Topic: Taxable investment account for college?
Replies: 114
Views: 6348

Re: Taxable investment account for college?

I have seen many colleagues make horrible financial mistakes in their 50’s by raiding their retirement savings in order to fund college costs for their children. Many of them are high income/high spenders with poor financial planning. They have a hard time coming to grips with the fact that they ar...
by scubadiver
Fri Oct 11, 2019 10:18 pm
Forum: Personal Investments
Topic: Taxable investment account for college?
Replies: 114
Views: 6348

Re: Taxable investment account for college?

We have a lot of people trying to outsmart the tax code. I will state again my view: a) 401k money - cannot be used for college without sacrificing tax advantages of 401k. b) Roth IRA money - contributions can be withdrawn but no tax advantages for college savings. Contributions are limited to 12k ...
by scubadiver
Fri Oct 11, 2019 8:13 pm
Forum: Personal Investments
Topic: Taxable investment account for college?
Replies: 114
Views: 6348

Re: Taxable investment account for college?

Yep. Junior is being told the parents have it covered, then the parents don't come through. That is precisely the reason I think the 529 plans offer a better committment. If one makes a commitment to their children, it should be followed through. Obviously even a 529 plan can be raided, at a cost. ...
by scubadiver
Fri Oct 11, 2019 4:31 pm
Forum: Personal Investments
Topic: Taxable investment account for college?
Replies: 114
Views: 6348

Re: Taxable investment account for college?

It strikes me that nobody has yet claimed that they have actually pulled money out of their retirement accounts to pay for college, though I trust your intent to do so with your Roth if you needed to. I am of the same mind that we are committed to fully funding college. Ha, ha. Wouldn't that be fun...
by scubadiver
Fri Oct 11, 2019 3:16 pm
Forum: Personal Investments
Topic: Taxable investment account for college?
Replies: 114
Views: 6348

Re: Taxable investment account for college?

OP, Though I haven’t read through all the comments, it looks like you have received a lot of good advice. I will share with you what my own family is doing, which may have some relevance for your situation. Currently my wife is a stay-at-home mom though she may return to the workforce in the next co...
by scubadiver
Fri Oct 11, 2019 11:27 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: extra $2000/month?
Replies: 14
Views: 2845

Re: extra $2000/month?

TarHeel2002 wrote:
Fri Oct 11, 2019 6:00 am
Maybe a hybrid of taxable and accelerated debt repayment on the house is the ticket. Thanks! :sharebeer
I think you are on the right path here.
by scubadiver
Wed Oct 09, 2019 3:12 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Help Me Decide on a New Vehicle?
Replies: 63
Views: 4849

Re: Help Me Decide on a New Vehicle?

Toyota 4Runner. This is a really bad suggestion, given that the OP wants a vehicle with "a more comfortable ride than the RAV4" for long road trips. The 4Runner is built on an ancient truck-based platform that is over a decade old. It was ranked #21 out of #22 midsize SUV's... - If you care at all ...
by scubadiver
Wed Oct 09, 2019 1:01 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: What would you do? New to this stuff
Replies: 33
Views: 4010

Re: What would you do? New to this stuff

With the $50K emergency fund and $15K in additional cash, I would eliminate the $40K in student loans and max Roth IRAs ($12K total) for you and spouse for 2019. That will leave you with $13K in a dedicated emergency fund but you have more monthly free cash flow and $12K in Roth accounts that you co...
by scubadiver
Wed Oct 09, 2019 12:43 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Help Me Decide on a New Vehicle?
Replies: 63
Views: 4849

Re: Help Me Decide on a New Vehicle?

Toyota 4Runner.
by scubadiver
Wed Oct 09, 2019 12:41 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: When to put on new roof?
Replies: 34
Views: 2808

Re: When to put on new roof?

We will soon need to replace the roof on our house (almost 40 years since we did the current roof). With, probably, a degree of flexibility, are there better times/seasons to do this? The two (probably equal to me) considerations I can think of are: 1. Getting a lower price to have the work done - ...
by scubadiver
Sat Oct 05, 2019 3:25 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: 289
Views: 21925

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

And, a lot of the COL difference is housing, and for homeowners, that greater “cost” doesn’t directly translate to decreased wealth. Right, it's a valuable asset that can be sold in the future. It also typically appreciates a lot more in HCOL areas, so it increases wealth. Except when it doesn't, l...
by scubadiver
Sat Oct 05, 2019 2:22 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Classic car (~70s convertible)
Replies: 19
Views: 1864

Re: Classic car (~70s convertible)

If you were mechanically inclined and had a passion not just for driving, but also for doing the work necessary to maintain such a vehicle, I would say this is a perfectly fine hobby. If you're lucky, you won't loose too much money. If you're really lucky or very handy with a well-equipped garage, y...
by scubadiver
Sat Oct 05, 2019 1:52 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: 289
Views: 21925

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

And, a lot of the COL difference is housing, and for homeowners, that greater “cost” doesn’t directly translate to decreased wealth. Right, it's a valuable asset that can be sold in the future. It also typically appreciates a lot more in HCOL areas, so it increases wealth. Except when it doesn't, l...
by scubadiver
Sat Oct 05, 2019 1:45 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Do you know what your partner spends money on?
Replies: 80
Views: 6523

Re: Do you know what your partner spends money on?

Short answer: yes. Longer Answer: We have a single joint checking and savings account, along with a joint credit card, from which all of our day to day spending is managed. We have a second joint credit card that sees minimal usage. We have a joint brokerage account with Vanguard. The only individua...
by scubadiver
Sat Oct 05, 2019 11:12 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Losing a job in your 50's...
Replies: 431
Views: 62132

Re: Losing a job in your 50's...

Hopefully for those reading this thread, it doesn't take a job loss to snap you into action for a closer, and more detailed look into your budget to delineate your wants from your needs. We were clearly using excess income on more wants than we needed to for certain items, and redirecting that mone...
by scubadiver
Thu Oct 03, 2019 8:57 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Pay-off mortgage before FAFSA?
Replies: 19
Views: 1382

Re: Pay-off mortgage before FAFSA?

A relevant article appeared in today's WSJ: https://www.wsj.com/articles/how-home-e ... _lead_pos9

One of my takeaways from this was that the best course of action depends very much upon the specific school your child is planning to attend.

Scubadiver
by scubadiver
Sun Sep 29, 2019 8:04 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: My Personal Finance Breakdown... Good Start?
Replies: 11
Views: 1680

Re: My Personal Finance Breakdown... Good Start?

Welcome to the forum! You're doing great for your age, so yes, you are off to a good start. With this extra money, should I: A. Contribute to company FSA** B. Further contribute to Roth 401K C. Increase the amount saved toward emergency fund D. Further pay down principle on loans (I also will use my...
by scubadiver
Sun Sep 29, 2019 7:37 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Cash - Throw it all on the table!!!
Replies: 182
Views: 32584

Re: Cash - Throw it all on the table!!!

Curious how many Bogleheads simply have one, and only one bank account such as checking and treat it as an operating account like a business. Yields are not great but the simplicity is an advantage. We have a single checking account with our credit union that currently has just under $50 in it. All...
by scubadiver
Sat Sep 28, 2019 12:22 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Pay-off mortgage before FAFSA?
Replies: 19
Views: 1382

Re: Pay-off mortgage before FAFSA?

I've never liked the strings attached / big penalties with a 529 on non-qualified expenses. We paid off our mortgage and even contributed to our taxable account before a 529. The plan was to be able to financially independent asap. We both had super secure long term jobs, and then all of the sudden...
by scubadiver
Sat Sep 28, 2019 11:42 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Pay-off mortgage before FAFSA?
Replies: 19
Views: 1382

Re: Pay-off mortgage before FAFSA?

Welcome to the forum. You posted an excellent question. I don't know what the correct answer is in your situation, but here are some things I might consider. What type of college might your child plan to attend? For example, are you favoring an in-state public school or private liberal arts college?...
by scubadiver
Thu Sep 26, 2019 6:14 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Long Term FAFSA/College Strategy
Replies: 150
Views: 8704

Re: Long Term FAFSA/College Strategy

...it is difficult to argue that student body at a university where the average student is somewhere around 80th percentile intellectually will be able to withstand the same academic rigor that the student body averaging in the 99th percentile. This is sorta the crux of it for me. I assume that in ...
by scubadiver
Wed Sep 25, 2019 6:40 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Long Term FAFSA/College Strategy
Replies: 150
Views: 8704

Re: Long Term FAFSA/College Strategy

But your inital argument implied that all kids had great, lower cost options, for top schools. That's not the case. But it is true the most kids have great, lower cost options, for good schools. Indeed, most states have at least one, if not multiple, public tier 1 research institutions that are bot...
by scubadiver
Wed Sep 25, 2019 4:51 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Long Term FAFSA/College Strategy
Replies: 150
Views: 8704

Re: Long Term FAFSA/College Strategy

But your inital argument implied that all kids had great, lower cost options, for top schools. That's not the case. But it is true the most kids have great, lower cost options, for good schools. Indeed, most states have at least one, if not multiple, public tier 1 research institutions that are bot...
by scubadiver
Mon Sep 23, 2019 7:21 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Long Term FAFSA/College Strategy
Replies: 150
Views: 8704

Re: Long Term FAFSA/College Strategy

... And this thread is a perfect example of how out of touch BHers are when it comes to college. Paying a $75k a year college bill happily? No thanks. For sure there is some truth in what you are saying, but in fairness, the OP's motivation for this thread was to learn how NOT to pay $75K per year....
by scubadiver
Mon Sep 23, 2019 2:05 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Long Term FAFSA/College Strategy
Replies: 150
Views: 8704

Re: Long Term FAFSA/College Strategy

Oddly, some colleges experimented with lowering the costs of admissions, only to find that their applicant pool declined. Seems that many people screen how "prestigious" a college is by how expensive it is. Lower cost was seen as reflecting a less desirable school. So what did the colleges do? They...