Search found 131 matches

by fourkids
Wed Sep 19, 2018 9:31 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Philanthropy 101
Replies: 13
Views: 793

Re: Philanthropy 101

keep it simple. just donate annually. do some research and find 1 or 2 you really like and make good use of their funds. then you can ramp up over the years and add more charities when/if you become passionate about them. That's how I did it and I'm happy with my giving. My 2 main charities get most...
by fourkids
Mon Sep 17, 2018 4:58 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Dilemma: Add room to current house or buy new house?
Replies: 93
Views: 4425

Re: Dilemma: Add room to current house or buy new house?

agree with those who say finish (or partially finish) the basement. much cheaper option. make a music room for the kids, rec room for the kids. xtra bedroom for guests. this is a cheap option, $50k tops all in- just don't add a kitchen down there. then you can reclaim your living room/dining room as...
by fourkids
Wed Sep 12, 2018 10:08 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: MBA vs Home Ownership
Replies: 24
Views: 1988

Re: MBA vs Home Ownership

Chicago or Kellogg MBA. All the way.
Forget about the house- just a distraction. focus on your education, networking and job opportunities in your 20's. it will work out well for you.
It worked out very well for me.
Good luck.
by fourkids
Thu Aug 23, 2018 4:54 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: $360k w/major decisions on the way, please help
Replies: 11
Views: 1523

Re: $360k w/major decisions on the way, please help

also, with so much in savings, open a 529 for that baby soon after birth to let it grow as long as possible tax-free
by fourkids
Thu Aug 23, 2018 4:47 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: $360k w/major decisions on the way, please help
Replies: 11
Views: 1523

Re: $360k w/major decisions on the way, please help

Stay put. Save up. Babies don't need much space, nor amenities.
Wait until baby is a few years old and it will help clarify your needs and wants. Especially when you start thinking a potential 2nd child and about public school systems.
by fourkids
Mon Aug 20, 2018 10:20 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Sheraton Kauai timeshare
Replies: 35
Views: 3825

Re: Sheraton Kauai timeshare

It's a great deal... as long as you are 100% certain you can say NO, no matter what. The more you reiterate NO, and don't lead the salesperson on in any way, the quicker you can end the presentation. One good way to end it is start talking about how your friend just bought a RESALE timeshare for clo...
by fourkids
Thu Aug 02, 2018 4:39 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Question to retirees - money or work/life balance?
Replies: 46
Views: 5449

Re: Question to retirees - money or work/life balance?

I don't regret any time I spent in my 20's and early 30's getting ahead in my career. Working hard, getting promotions, going to grad school, putting in long hours... was all worth it. It got me many promotions and built towards a very good income. Even when I was working 60+ hours/week, I still had...
by fourkids
Fri Jun 15, 2018 10:10 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: can we afford to spend $20K on travel annually
Replies: 89
Views: 7409

Re: can we afford to spend $20K on travel annually

Yes! but get proficient at finding good travel deals, especially on accommodations. By renting out other people's timeshares or using VRBO or Airbnb, you can often get a week's stay for under $1400. Also, drive when you can. Last year we went on 3 very nice weeklong vacations for under $12,000 total...
by fourkids
Thu Jun 14, 2018 9:08 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Timeshare ever worth it? Please share details
Replies: 123
Views: 11351

Re: Timeshare ever worth it? Please share details

Only buy resale. Strongly suggest you only buy a branded hotel in Marriott, Starwood, HGVC, etc. Read tug2.net But probably you should not buy ditto. I bought one 13 years ago. we go mostly every year (it's a property that sells out routinely over spring break), and a couple times have traded it fo...
by fourkids
Wed Jun 13, 2018 11:24 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Install different carpet styles/colors in same floor bedrooms?
Replies: 19
Views: 1121

Re: Install different carpet styles/colors in same floor bedrooms?

This is a design no no. I also think you will tire of it over time.
Tell your wife to get creative with paint, décor, window treatments. All are easier to change every couple years.
by fourkids
Thu Jun 07, 2018 9:03 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: How much to budget for a week long vacation for 2?
Replies: 79
Views: 4738

Re: How much to budget for a week long vacation for 2?

$3000 total. - $500 or a bit more for flights - $1500 for accommodations. (I've had great luck renting out other people's timeshares at Westins, Marriotts, Hyatts) - $1000 for food, drink, etc. (Because we get places with kitchens, we only eat out once or twice a day. I hate eating (paying for) 3 me...
by fourkids
Sun May 20, 2018 6:13 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Fee transparency in private equity
Replies: 9
Views: 744

Re: Fee transparency in private equity

It's pretty commonly known that the average fees for the private equity industry are 2% and 20%. What this means is 2% annual management fee plus 20% of profits over some return threshhold (normally 8%). They are illiquid investments. Normally they are 10 year funds, but that often gets extended to ...
by fourkids
Wed May 09, 2018 3:55 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Portfolio Question - Maxed 401k/ROTH - Now What?
Replies: 9
Views: 764

Re: Portfolio Question - Maxed 401k/ROTH - Now What?

529s for sure.
like a Roth, they grow tax-free if income is used for education
plus you get a state tax deduction
plus they can be transferred between kids if needed.
by fourkids
Tue May 08, 2018 4:45 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Old 401(k), new 401(a) + 457(b), what are my contrib limits?
Replies: 8
Views: 506

Re: Being Laid Off but Found New Job Already

I did this a few years ago. 1) yep, total 401k is capped at $18,500. you have to carefully plan your contributions at your contributions at your new job so you don't go over, otherwise you have to deal with extra paperwork with your tax return. so if possible, calculate and pick a $ amount per month...
by fourkids
Tue May 08, 2018 4:37 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Estimating cost of granite countertop renovation
Replies: 19
Views: 1732

Re: Estimating cost of granite countertop renovation

we had this all done for about $5K. medium end granite, new sink and faucet, old countertop removal. oh, and I was able to also replace a bathroom sink with a remnant granite slab for only $400, since the installers were out for the project anyway. Look and see if you have any other granite needs in...
by fourkids
Tue May 08, 2018 4:18 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Family Vacation in Late Feb
Replies: 30
Views: 1638

Re: Family Vacation in Late Feb

Atlantis, Bahamas is expensive, but very cool. Awesome water park activities for the kids. plus they can swim with the dolphins. Great weather in Feb. Florida is not guaranteed swimming weather.
by fourkids
Tue May 08, 2018 4:11 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Family Vacation in Late Feb
Replies: 30
Views: 1638

Re: Family Vacation in Late Feb

adventurous, non cookie-cutter, wife speaks Spanish, opposite of Disney?
Costa Rica. although it's about 7 hrs from Boston- but worth it.
by fourkids
Tue May 08, 2018 1:35 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: How much car to buy on $250K income, $200K NW, newborn on the way
Replies: 78
Views: 6729

Re: How much car to buy on $250K income, $200K NW, newborn on the way

$25-$30k. A small SUV is the perfect option with a newborn. Honda CRV is a great choice. Many friends got this and still have it 10+ years later. This will last you several years until you need the dreaded minivan (we kept our SUV (14 yrs now) for winter driving and hauling kids/sports equip, etc.)
by fourkids
Mon Apr 30, 2018 9:57 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Money vs. Work-life balance
Replies: 68
Views: 8146

Re: Money vs. Work-life balance

No. I would never go from 4-5 weeks vacation to 2 weeks vacation. 2 weeks vacation is terrible.
by fourkids
Wed Apr 25, 2018 9:46 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Who benefits from "best and final offer" on condo?
Replies: 107
Views: 6940

Re: Who benefits from "best and final offer" on condo?

Unfortunately, you may never know what the reason is for the seller to not come back to you. I participated in a similar best and final offer recently. We would have happily, my wife anyway, increased our offer if they had come back to us. So we weren't following their rules for best and final offe...
by fourkids
Wed Apr 25, 2018 9:43 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Who benefits from "best and final offer" on condo?
Replies: 107
Views: 6940

Re: Who benefits from "best and final offer" on condo?

It means just that. Best and final. Most buyers/sellers don't want to go through rounds and rounds of negotiations. It wastes time and energy of everyone. Most people in a best and final situation truly put in their "walk away" price. This way everyone "wins". The seller gets the best price he/she c...
by fourkids
Wed Apr 25, 2018 9:23 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: How far I am behind in retirement savings?
Replies: 52
Views: 5088

Re: How far I am behind in retirement savings?

agree, behind but catching up fast. if you and your spouse both max out your 401k contributions ($18,500 each) for the next 20 years, you'll have $1.6M (assuming a 5% growth rate) if you both max out, and then increase to $24,500 each at age 50 (allowed by IRS), then you will have $1.8M. these #s wi...
by fourkids
Fri Apr 20, 2018 3:09 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: So many problems I can't even figure out how to prioritize them
Replies: 27
Views: 3045

Re: So many problems I can't even figure out how to prioritize them

for the love of God, get a dishwasher.
I would rather eat crackers every day than live without my dishwasher.
you can get a used one on Craigslist for $50.

in fact, you can get lots of perfectly working items on Craigslist for very cheap. that could solve a dozen of your problems.
by fourkids
Mon Apr 16, 2018 12:20 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Can I retire at age 40?
Replies: 158
Views: 18309

Re: Can I retire at age 40?

also, I know about a half dozen guys in my neighborhood who "retired early" in 2005-2007 and played the stock market as their pseudo career. Every single one of them is back to a regular job after the last recession, with many wives going back to work too. A couple of them downsized to lower cost ar...
by fourkids
Mon Apr 16, 2018 12:10 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Can I retire at age 40?
Replies: 158
Views: 18309

Re: Can I retire at age 40?

No, it wouldn't be wise. I'm like you, just a few years older. We are still so young with too many years of uncertainty in front of us, for a family of 6. Plus, I believe that no one should retire until their portfolio has weathered a recession like 2008-2010 or 2001-2002. Not until your portfolio d...
by fourkids
Mon Mar 19, 2018 4:56 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Can I Retire at 38?
Replies: 118
Views: 13607

Re: Can I Retire at 38?

not both of you. how about 1 of you?
or 1 take an extended leave of absence and then switch.
by fourkids
Fri Mar 16, 2018 3:50 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Time/money trade-offs with work and life balance
Replies: 46
Views: 4238

Re: Time/money trade-offs with work and life balance

It depends what stage of your life you are in IMHO. When I was young (20's), I spent my time trying to grow my salary/career and I had tons of free time, so I would/did accept jobs with 40% salary increase, but only 10 days vacation. All my jobs in my 20's had only 10 days vacation, and I became ade...
by fourkids
Fri Mar 16, 2018 2:47 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: New job transition and pregnant - when to inform employer?
Replies: 30
Views: 2830

Re: New job transition and pregnant - when to inform employer?

wait as long as possible. she might even make it to 20-24 weeks before she is showing. tell her to wear loose fitting clothes from the beginning, so one is suspicious of her growing belly. Ideally, she would be there a 2-3 months and start being productive before she announces. People will be shocke...
by fourkids
Mon Mar 12, 2018 1:53 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Should we buy my wife a new car?
Replies: 53
Views: 4194

Re: Should we buy my wife a new car?

Don't get ahead of yourself. Wait until you/wife are pregnant before getting a new car. Your 2009 Camry can last for several more years. We have a Camry with 130K miles that's still going strong (and we get far more snow than you). My friends just replaced their Camry at 180,000 miles We got a new c...
by fourkids
Fri Mar 09, 2018 9:52 am
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Can I take an 85+% pay cut for fun?
Replies: 80
Views: 10002

Re: Can I take an 85+% pay cut for fun?

try an interim step first before making a drastic change. ask your job if you can go down to 3 or 4 days/week. and/or ask if you can work from home a couple days/week. most companies now would rather be flexible than lose a good employee. or ask if you can take a 6 month or 1 year sabbatical. many m...
by fourkids
Tue Feb 13, 2018 2:05 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Job is starting to suck the life out of me.
Replies: 80
Views: 10595

Re: Job is starting to suck the life out of me.

I was at a Megacorp when I was 30. hated every day. I interviewed with a smaller project team in the firm for a different position on a smaller project. That helped greatly, but I still wasn't happy/content. Dreaded going to work on Monday. So I interviewed with a couple small firms when I was 31. I...
by fourkids
Fri Feb 02, 2018 3:35 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Term insurance premiums: buy now or wait a year or two
Replies: 23
Views: 1054

Re: Term insurance premiums: buy now or wait a year or two

Now! You have a child. do the 20 year policy. Premiums go up a lot with age in your 40's/50's Then start working out and getting healthier, and reapply next year. If your health improves considerably, maybe you'll get a policy with a lower premium and you can just cancel your first policy. and fast ...
by fourkids
Fri Feb 02, 2018 2:00 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: How to Value Multiple Offers
Replies: 8
Views: 774

Re: How to Value Multiple Offers

not choice 3. an extra $25k/yr can buy a lot of after school babysitting for your kids. $100k is 33% more than $75k. Big difference. since 1 and 2 are similar, choose the company/job where you think you'll be happiest, has the best people, and where you can see yourself for the long-term(if need be)...
by fourkids
Wed Jan 24, 2018 12:04 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Working in the real world
Replies: 118
Views: 10324

Re: Working in the real world

Your daughter and her boyfriend need to move to a city, for their own good and career growth. Even though they have great degrees, they will be severely limited staying in NE Ohio. Tell them to move to Chicago, Cinci, Indy, etc for a few years, build their careers and salaries. Honestly, they may en...
by fourkids
Thu Jan 11, 2018 3:45 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: When to upgrade House
Replies: 24
Views: 2674

Re: When to upgrade House

You are a young man. I would focus solely on growing my career for the next 3-4 years until you are 30 and over the $100K income level.
Prematurely thinking of buying a bigger house now is just taking away from what should be your single focus of growing your career and income.
by fourkids
Tue Nov 21, 2017 10:11 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Help DW gets fired, but then next day her boss offers her job back
Replies: 156
Views: 14810

Re: Help DW gets fired, but then next day her boss offers her job back

Yikes, I'm sorry your wife is in this situation. I guess the answer really depends on how much she likes/hates the job and your financial situation. However, being a working mom, I would see how the situation could work for me. Since you have a 4 month old daughter, and many parents would like some ...
by fourkids
Thu Nov 16, 2017 12:18 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Fair way to split expenses?
Replies: 105
Views: 6419

Re: Fair way to split expenses?

separate accounts is possible and can work, as long as you both always remember that marriage is a partnership and you don't nickel and dime each other. My husband and I never set up a joint account. We still have our individual accounts, and roughly split up bills based on % of income earned. I ear...
by fourkids
Fri Oct 06, 2017 3:29 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Choose mortgage 15 vs 30 as well choose larger/smaller down payment
Replies: 7
Views: 1133

Re: Choose mortgage 15 vs 30 as well choose larger/smaller down payment

Very similar to you, but a few years older. Also targeting early retirement. We bought a bigger house 3 years ago and did the 15 year mortgage. I didn't want to have to remember to make extra payments on the 30 year, and I liked the slightly better interest rate. Plus, the mortgage will be paid off ...
by fourkids
Thu Aug 24, 2017 11:06 am
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: What do you do with RMD money you don't need?
Replies: 51
Views: 5906

Re: What do you do with RMD money you don't need?

Congrats for having more income than you need! Enviable position.

I think I would fund my grandkids' college 529 accounts- for which you will get the state tax deduction.
I might also take a fabulous trip.
I already give to charity- but I would give more.
by fourkids
Wed Aug 23, 2017 8:47 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Would you hire an obese nanny?
Replies: 81
Views: 4588

Re: Would you hire an obese nanny?

as a mom of 4yo twin boys,
do you trust that she can run fast enough into the street to catch your kid when he runs or rides his trike into the street?
All my caregivers have been at least as physically active as I am.
by fourkids
Thu Aug 17, 2017 10:41 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Is it worth it? [demanding jobs vs time with family]
Replies: 182
Views: 15631

Re: Is it worth it? [demanding jobs vs time with family]

also, and you'll see this is a couple years, being a full-time working mom gives you an excuse to get out of the inane, disorganized PTA responsibilities that start when your kids enter school. I'm amazed at the countless hours that mostly moms put into these activities. and you get guilted into it....
by fourkids
Thu Aug 17, 2017 10:32 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Is it worth it? [demanding jobs vs time with family]
Replies: 182
Views: 15631

Re: Is it worth it? [demanding jobs vs time with family]

Yes. I'm 45 now and in the last 10 years, my career has really grown and I've reached all my career goals. Honestly, loving care is all a baby/toddler needs- it doesn't all have to come from a parent. My kids are in school now, and none can remember who their caregivers were before age 4 or 5. The l...
by fourkids
Thu Jul 20, 2017 2:30 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: SAT scores - whats the point??
Replies: 37
Views: 2519

Re: SAT scores - whats the point??

is this a real question?

because top tier colleges often have 5-10 times the number of applications as slots they have available. of course they want the smartest kids they can get out of that pool
by fourkids
Tue Jun 27, 2017 9:18 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Best cars for multiple kids
Replies: 51
Views: 4710

Re: Best cars for multiple kids

Honda Odyssey, no brainer. We just did a couple outings with 8 of us this weekend, and we all fit in the minivan comfortably.
by fourkids
Tue May 16, 2017 8:43 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Renting a small apartment vs buying a bigger home
Replies: 26
Views: 2372

Re: Renting a small apartment vs buying a bigger home

I'm a big believer in moving when you have a need that your current home can't fulfill. We moved into a bigger place when we were having our 2nd child and we wanted to be in a good school district. We moved again when we had kids 3&4, and needed more space and a bigger yard. You have a good living s...
by fourkids
Thu Apr 20, 2017 11:42 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Calling for all the Moms: career and family.
Replies: 42
Views: 6537

Re: Calling for all the Moms: career and family.

This is just my opinion so please don't take offense, and also I realize that every family is different. What works for one family might not work for another. I personally would never put a career above my child. He's my first priority and if that means I don't work at all or I only work part time,...
by fourkids
Mon Apr 10, 2017 2:07 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Need help picking term life policy (updated 04/10)
Replies: 33
Views: 2827

Re: Need help picking term life policy (updated 04/10)

Term life insurance is cheap at your age. We got ours at about your age when we had our first child. I suggest the 30yr term for $1M for each you and your wife. We got that and it was about $700/yr for female, $900/yr for male. Since it's cheap, don't skimp with a 20yr policy or less than $1M. You d...
by fourkids
Thu Apr 06, 2017 3:55 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Spending beyond my means, I think..is my budget out of whack?
Replies: 81
Views: 11029

Re: Spending beyond my means, I think..is my budget out of whack?

the early childhood years are the toughest. Most of my friends were in the red those years (dipping into savings), so don't worry, it will naturally get better in a couple years when you drop the $3200 preschool payment, as your income keeps rising. That being said- as a mom of 4- your youngest does...
by fourkids
Thu Apr 06, 2017 3:36 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Bank account growing - Where do we put it?
Replies: 7
Views: 1037

Re: Bank account growing - Where do we put it?

Yes, open a brokerage account. Many brokerages offer bonuses if you deposit at least $100K. For instance Fidelity gives you 50K airline miles or Schwab gives you a $500 cash bonus. Here's a list http://www.hustlermoneyblog.com/best-brokerage-bonuses/ Maybe check with Vanguard and see if they offer a...
by fourkids
Mon Mar 20, 2017 10:05 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Cheapest dress shirt to wear under a sweater
Replies: 34
Views: 3473

Re: Cheapest dress shirt to wear under a sweater

My husband (and I) really like Costco non-iron dress shirts. They are $18, good quality cotton (in our opinion).
He's had several for years, and the collars and elbows are still in good condition. No, they aren't quite Brooks Brothers quality, but they are also a quarter of the price