Search found 867 matches

by Sandi_k
Sun Jan 20, 2019 2:25 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Best Budgeting App/Program
Replies: 13
Views: 1046

Re: Best Budgeting App/Program

For retirement planning, I have a spreadsheet with lots of plans built in manually. I also like NewRetirement. GetRichSlowly just reviewed it, and Personal Capital, and OnTrajectory: https://www.getrichslowly.org/newretirement-retirement-planning-tool/ For budget planning, I am intrigued by Buxter a...
by Sandi_k
Tue Jan 15, 2019 12:29 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Mortgage: 15 vs 30 year
Replies: 56
Views: 4157

Re: Mortgage: 15 vs 30 year

Why not a 7 or 10 year ARM? Lower interest rate than both the 15 and 30 years. I agree with this suggestion. If you are set on a fixed rate mortgage, then I’d go with the 30 year since you plan to sell the house way before either loan would be paid off. The caveat is that you actually do invest the...
by Sandi_k
Tue Jan 15, 2019 12:23 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: How do you view a savings surplus in retirement?
Replies: 117
Views: 5983

Re: How do you view a savings surplus in retirement?

You’d make your portfolio more conservative, so that you could let it get more aggressive in a bear market. Sounds like market timing. Why would you want to sell your equities in a market like 2008? Have a CD ladder ready to cover your expenses so when things go south you won't have to sell your mo...
by Sandi_k
Tue Jan 15, 2019 1:20 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Fantastic Resort Recommendations???
Replies: 31
Views: 2942

Re: Fantastic Resort Recommendations???

If you really want Key West, the Southernmost on the Beach is lovely - although the rooms are small, IMO. We also liked the Pier House. If you want crazy awesome, there's an island off Key West that requires a boat shuttle - the hotel there is Sunset Key Resort. Last we looked, it was $1k per night ...
by Sandi_k
Tue Jan 15, 2019 12:22 am
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: 29 yo resident doc married need personal finance/investing advice
Replies: 27
Views: 2568

Re: 29 yo resident doc married need personal finance/investing advice

@flyer That’s a good point, I should have specified that average expense of $1500 includes restaurant, groceries, alcohol and bars.. but that could still be a high amount per month Yes, for two people, that's ridiculously high. We live in a HCOL area, and our stats for two are: - $350 Safeway groce...
by Sandi_k
Sat Jan 12, 2019 2:17 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Anyone here major in Economics in college?
Replies: 92
Views: 7040

Re: Anyone here major in Economics in college?

At Berkeley, we see: Econ: Average starting salary: 71K - 16% seeking employment, 7% grad school https://career.berkeley.edu/sites/default/files/pdf/Survey/2017Econ.pdf Business: Average starting salary 77k, 8% seeking employment, 3% grad school https://career.berkeley.edu/sites/default/files/pdf/S...
by Sandi_k
Sat Jan 12, 2019 12:30 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Salary Question During Job Interview
Replies: 17
Views: 2283

Re: Salary Question During Job Interview

Usually if you are interviewing with a company in another city, they will conduct a phone interview first to make sure there is a potential fit before going through the expense and time for an in person interview. Salary range should come up during that conversation. If they do not mention it, you ...
by Sandi_k
Fri Jan 11, 2019 2:38 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Salary Question During Job Interview
Replies: 17
Views: 2283

Re: Salary Question During Job Interview

Ask for the range, and give the explanation of not wanting to waste everyone's time if the range isn't "in the ballpark." Most companies have them.

DO NOT tell them what you're currently paid, as it allows them to lowball if you are indeed underpaid where you are.
by Sandi_k
Fri Jan 11, 2019 1:54 am
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Retired Mother, High Withdrawal Rate, Small Portfolio
Replies: 11
Views: 1670

Re: Retired Mother, High Withdrawal Rate, Small Portfolio

4. Are there any good resources, other than this site, for people who are managing money in retirement? Most of what I find is written for young people who are saving for retirement. I have difficulty find anything geared towards people who are already retired who didn't manage to save enough while...
by Sandi_k
Fri Jan 11, 2019 1:48 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Preventative home & auto checks
Replies: 30
Views: 2190

Re: Preventative home & auto checks

For our house, we proactively replaced the water heater within a year of moving in - apparently, it was the ORIGINAL water heater to the house, and was 34 years old. :shock: :shock: For the car, I would much rather replace and repair things proactively than be stranded somewhere on my 50-mile-each-w...
by Sandi_k
Fri Jan 11, 2019 1:17 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Good Modern Science Fiction
Replies: 353
Views: 50072

Re: Good Modern Science Fiction

Just read Tales From the Mos Eisley Cantina. Obviously a Star Wars work, it features short stories of which the lead character in each is someone who appeared in the "cantina scene" of the first movie. Daniel Keys Moran wrote for that collection, IIRC. His works are FINALLY becoming more available,...
by Sandi_k
Thu Jan 10, 2019 1:01 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Good Modern Science Fiction
Replies: 353
Views: 50072

Re: Good Modern Science Fiction

shawndoggy wrote:
Wed Jan 09, 2019 3:01 pm
anyone have any good references for post-apocalypto kinda stuff? Loved Warday, Z is for Zacharia, On the Beach, etc as a kid. More recently really enjoyed the Silo series. Not really into the fantasy concepts.
The Passage series, by Justin Cronin.
by Sandi_k
Tue Jan 08, 2019 10:12 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Opinions on 2019 RAV4 and/or 2019 Santa Fe
Replies: 23
Views: 1803

Re: Opinions on 2019 RAV4 and/or 2019 Santa Fe

Keep in mind the '19 Sante Fe is a full redesign. I know some like to stay away from the first year of a new redesign. I have a '14 Sante Fe Sport and really love it. I was originally looking at Acura and Infiniti, but the Hyundai provided excellent value and tech. And I've had no repair issues wit...
by Sandi_k
Tue Jan 08, 2019 2:09 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Opinions on 2019 RAV4 and/or 2019 Santa Fe
Replies: 23
Views: 1803

Re: Opinions on 2019 RAV4 and/or 2019 Santa Fe

I'm considering the 2019 RAV4, but we weren't able to crawl around in it at the LA Auto Show last month. :twisted: That said, our local Toyota dealer has a "rental" desk in their lobby - you can rent a Toyota for a day, or a week - separate from having your car serviced. Once the 2019 RAV4 hybrid is...
by Sandi_k
Mon Jan 07, 2019 11:57 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: In Need of (Real) Financial Advice
Replies: 14
Views: 1532

Re: In Need of (Real) Financial Advice

Take your savings off the top - AKA, Pay Yourself First.

Set up auto-deposit into your 401(k) - 15% of gross at a minimum. Then set up an auto-withdrawal into savings for larger items - car replacement, vacations, whatever - into a savings account...

After that, you'll be fine.
by Sandi_k
Mon Jan 07, 2019 7:56 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Fiancée Thinks I'm Putting Too Much Towards Retirement/ Not Enough Towards Short-Term Goals
Replies: 136
Views: 10550

Re: Fiance Thinks I'm Putting Too Much Towards Retirement/ Not Enough Towards Short-Term Goals

I think you are much further along the road to a compromise than you think, although I am a little concerned about the repeated comments from the OP about what the fiancee wants - doesn't want to move twice, doesn't want to live too far from work, doesn't want to liquidate her cash for a house, does...
by Sandi_k
Mon Jan 07, 2019 5:20 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Pension Handcuffs?
Replies: 51
Views: 4350

Re: Pension Handcuffs?

No, the age factor multiplier changes with every month of additional work credit. And each year of service credit makes it even more beneficial (see what I did there?). :D Age 53 = 1.57 x 29 years Age 54 = 1.71 x 30 years Age 55 = 1.85 x 31 years etc. That is still an amazing pension plan. Even wit...
by Sandi_k
Mon Jan 07, 2019 5:12 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Joint Ownership of home with second wife
Replies: 201
Views: 14807

Re: Joint Ownership of home with second wife

Also, being legally married might not make sense currently but that might not mean you couldn't have a wedding and present yourself more like a married couple. You might need to check the common-law marriage rules on that. Are there people who invite their friends and family to a wedding ceremony a...
by Sandi_k
Mon Jan 07, 2019 2:35 am
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Pension Handcuffs?
Replies: 51
Views: 4350

Re: Pension Handcuffs?

No, the 2.5% only applies once I'm over 60. Current age factor is 1.57%, and current service is 29 years. So 1.57 x 29 = 45.53% of Top 3. And further reduced when I take a 100% survivor payout plan, in case I pre-decease DH. It's a crazy increase from age 50 to 60. Thus why we stay until 60, if we ...
by Sandi_k
Mon Jan 07, 2019 12:38 am
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Pension Handcuffs?
Replies: 51
Views: 4350

Re: Pension Handcuffs?

I would spend a lot of time making sure that the math is correct. Typically, pensions pay something like: A: age + years of service, B: some type fo average pay, over the last N years. And use A and B as a lookup function. Are there maximum caps, for type of position and role that you have? Do you ...
by Sandi_k
Sun Jan 06, 2019 8:26 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Pension Handcuffs?
Replies: 51
Views: 4350

Re: Pension Handcuffs?

I stayed with a job I did not particularly like for the pension. I calculated each year how much my pension and SS increased and worked into my seventies. I was not aware of Medicare IRMAA. If you receive a good pension and take SS, when you take RMDs, is difficult to avoid IRMAA. I was not aware o...
by Sandi_k
Sun Jan 06, 2019 8:08 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Pension Handcuffs?
Replies: 51
Views: 4350

Re: Pension Handcuffs?

It's true for me - in fact, the delta is even greater. If I retired today, I'd get $67k per year in retirement, with 100% survivor benefits. If I retire in 6.5 years (age 60) I'd get $156k per year in retirement, with 100% survivor benefits. (This assumes raises of 3% per year). I am upper middle m...
by Sandi_k
Sun Jan 06, 2019 8:07 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Pension Handcuffs?
Replies: 51
Views: 4350

Re: Pension Handcuffs?

I would spend a lot of time making sure that the math is correct. Typically, pensions pay something like: A: age + years of service, B: some type fo average pay, over the last N years. And use A and B as a lookup function. Are there maximum caps, for type of position and role that you have? Do you ...
by Sandi_k
Sun Jan 06, 2019 7:39 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Pension Handcuffs?
Replies: 51
Views: 4350

Re: Pension Handcuffs?

Amazing pension! So if you work 10 more years you get an extra 69,000 per year? What a gig! I will get 12,000 more per year after 10 years, still feel like I have pension handcuffs (and healthcare cuffs) I suspect that the numbers in the original post may have not have been correct since that is al...
by Sandi_k
Sun Jan 06, 2019 3:28 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Pension Handcuffs?
Replies: 51
Views: 4350

Re: Pension Handcuffs?

Amazing pension! So if you work 10 more years you get an extra 69,000 per year? What a gig! I will get 12,000 more per year after 10 years, still feel like I have pension handcuffs (and healthcare cuffs) I suspect that the numbers in the original post may have not have been correct since that is al...
by Sandi_k
Sun Jan 06, 2019 3:13 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: how to get into a low tax bracket when retired, so as to convert from tIRA to Roth
Replies: 17
Views: 1939

Re: how to get into a low tax bracket when retired, so as to convert from tIRA to Roth

Be careful about conversions in a year where you or your spouse turn 63 - it jacks up your income, and you are then subject to IRMAA/Medicare premiums.
by Sandi_k
Sun Jan 06, 2019 2:49 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Do you take inheritance into account when calculating net worth?
Replies: 68
Views: 4510

Re: Do you take inheritance into account when calculating net worth?

squirm wrote:
Sun Jan 06, 2019 2:44 pm
In the past, I asked about taking into account pensions when calculating ones net worth. What about future inheritances?
Nope. Not MY net worth.
by Sandi_k
Sat Jan 05, 2019 12:48 am
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Investment/retirement plan review - 5 years out
Replies: 7
Views: 1166

Re: Investment/retirement plan review - 5 years out

We're planning similarly, with similar circumstances. How I've modeled it: A spreadsheet, with my age (as of Jan 1 of each year) in the far left cell of the row. Subsequent cells include gross salary, percentage of salary saved, then notes the investment account total. I then have a cell showing my ...
by Sandi_k
Sat Jan 05, 2019 12:06 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Which Compact SUV Should I Buy?
Replies: 177
Views: 9288

Re: Which Compact SUV Should I Buy?

I really enjoy my 2015 Lexus NX 300h. It is a hybrid and is very quiet. It's smaller than the 350RX. And you don't see very many around. Donna, this is the current leader among the cars I'm considering to replace my 2010 RX350 (with 237k miles!) Is it comfortable on longer trips? Do you have much r...
by Sandi_k
Fri Jan 04, 2019 11:34 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: master suite features for addition
Replies: 66
Views: 3394

Re: master suite features for addition

We are saving for our master bedroom/ensuite bathroom demo, and I have a very long list. :D For the bathroom: - A larger-than-5' shower. A taller showerhead than normal, as DH as 6'+ and frequently has issues with a showerhead set too low. - Tiled shelves in the wall, to eliminate racks hanging over...
by Sandi_k
Fri Jan 04, 2019 10:10 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Ever wonder if you are saving Too Much?
Replies: 67
Views: 5284

Re: Ever wonder if you are saving Too Much?

Yes. I once told my DH that "I have a savings problem." ;) Some things that have helped: - Spend some time meditating on what brings you JOY. Not enjoyment, but JOY. We realized in our late 30's that life had evolved into us spending our time as our boss, or our parents, or our family commitments, d...
by Sandi_k
Fri Jan 04, 2019 9:30 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: What Do You Spend The Most On Annually?
Replies: 158
Views: 8262

Re: What Do You Spend The Most On Annually?

- Mortgage (P&I only): ~20% of gross income
- Fed, state and property tax: ~21% of gross income
- Pension & 457 savings: ~13% of gross income (+14% employer contribution)
- Groceries, food, eating out: ~7% of gross income
- Travel: 3.5% of gross income

Everything else is under 2%
by Sandi_k
Wed Jan 02, 2019 3:05 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Roth 401k Indecision
Replies: 17
Views: 1254

Re: Roth 401k Indecision

Traditional 401(k) contributions for now. That said, IMO, you do still have some other actions... You note $550k in "traditional" 401(k) and IRAs. 1) Can you roll your existing IRAs into your current 401(k)? If the plan allows it, that will clear the deck for you to: 2) Do backdoor Roth contribution...
by Sandi_k
Wed Jan 02, 2019 2:55 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: I made a mistake by not selling when the market was high this year
Replies: 153
Views: 19442

Re: I made a mistake by not selling when the market was high this year

The formula I use to calculate losses or gains is this: [EV - BV - Adds] / [BV + 1/2 Adds] Ending Value (EV) = $355k Beginning Value (BV) = $361k Contributions/Additions to accounts (Adds) = $10k ($355,000 - $361,000 - $10,000) = -$16,000 divided by: $361,000 + ($10,000 * .50) = $366,000 -$16k/$366,...
by Sandi_k
Wed Jan 02, 2019 2:02 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Favorite Purchase of 2018?
Replies: 255
Views: 19522

Re: Favorite Purchase of 2018?

Two new garage doors. Being able to park in the garage at the press of a button is awesome. ;)
by Sandi_k
Wed Jan 02, 2019 1:31 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Your ideal home size
Replies: 130
Views: 8300

Re: Your ideal home size

We're in a larger home than we *need*, but it's the right house for us, based on the unusual amenities - namely, a built-out basement (in California!) and a three car garage. The basement allows my DH to have a space for his shop and tools, and we also have a section of it set aside as a "guest room...
by Sandi_k
Wed Jan 02, 2019 1:00 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: What are you up YTD? [Year To Date]
Replies: 2299
Views: 400135

Re: What are you up YTD? [Year To Date]

For EOY 2018, we were -2.23%.

But our balances were up, because we continued to contribute. We're up more than $200k since Jan. 1, 2016.

I can live with that. :D
by Sandi_k
Wed Jan 02, 2019 12:56 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: 2019 Expenses > 2019 Income – Help us close the gap
Replies: 128
Views: 7817

Re: 2019 Expenses > 2019 Income – Help us close the gap

Hi Sandi, Sorry, maybe I posted in an unclear way. We were spending $80/month on pet expenses and it's now down to around $40/month due to switching the cat food. So it's a savings of about $500 for the year. Thank you so much for the suggestion as it really seems to be working so far! All the best...
by Sandi_k
Wed Jan 02, 2019 12:30 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: 2019 Expenses > 2019 Income – Help us close the gap
Replies: 128
Views: 7817

Re: 2019 Expenses > 2019 Income – Help us close the gap

Ron, glad to hear that the cat food suggestion was helpful. I still think you can spend less than $500 per month, though. ;) One way we've continued to maximize our budget is to set small, incremental goals. Now that you're hitting $500 per month, aim for $450 next month, and lock that in over 2-3 m...
by Sandi_k
Wed Jan 02, 2019 12:04 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: MIL looking for a large "luxury" sedan
Replies: 51
Views: 4990

Re: MIL looking for a large "luxury" sedan

My 81-year old MIL has been driving Continentals for 15 years. She's in the market for a new sedan, and DH and I went to the LA auto show. Both of us were more impressed by the Buick Lacrosse than we were by the Lincoln Continental or the MKZ. I also tried to interest her in the Lexus ES300h, but sh...
by Sandi_k
Mon Dec 17, 2018 7:25 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: New job, sales at Subaru
Replies: 62
Views: 7698

Re: New job, sales at Subaru

Few pieces of advice: Listen, truly listen to what the customer needs. I'm in sales (not car sales) and I listen way more than I speak. Please do not assume that if a couple comes in to buy a car, that you should immediately gravitate to talking to the man. This has happened to my wife and I multip...
by Sandi_k
Thu Dec 06, 2018 12:54 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Housing values may fall as baby boomers die off or sell off, two studies say
Replies: 21
Views: 2500

Re: Housing values may fall as baby boomers die off or sell off, two studies say

We observed this when we recently visited Palm Springs. All of its emphasis on golf courses and aging Hollywood royalty doesn't seem to be working with the newer generations. A store owner with whom we chatted said that many of the golf courses are now asking the local neighbors to pay a "green spac...
by Sandi_k
Tue Dec 04, 2018 4:56 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Looking for a nice travel watch... recommendations?
Replies: 41
Views: 2430

Re: Looking for a nice travel watch... recommendations?

Hamiltons are nice - not too blingy, not too expensive. And they come with straps or bracelets.

My DH has a Hamilton, and also has a Raymond Weil watch that was ~ $1k, and is lovely.
by Sandi_k
Tue Dec 04, 2018 12:55 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: how to advice super conservative parents
Replies: 14
Views: 1133

Re: how to advice super conservative parents

Maybe they don't want to sell their house and move because they'd owe capital gains? Have you considered that? My FIL and MIL bought a place in 1987 that is now worth substantially more than they paid for it. My MIL increasingly fusses about selling and downsizing. She doesn't understand the tax com...
by Sandi_k
Mon Dec 03, 2018 8:20 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Please Recommend a New Car for Me
Replies: 53
Views: 4476

Re: Please Recommend a New Car for Me

Mazda CX-3.

BTW, you can go to Edmunds - click on Car Finder at the bottom. You can then put in your criteria - manual transmission, wagon or hatchback or crossover. It will give you 20+ options.
by Sandi_k
Mon Dec 03, 2018 7:54 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Scott Burns is Signing Off -- He'll be missed
Replies: 31
Views: 9142

Re: Scott Burns is Signing Off -- He'll be missed

I sadly read that after 40 years as a personal finance writer and commentator, one of my favorites -- Scott Burns, author of the "Couch Potato" portfolio -- is saying farewell. https://assetbuilder.com/knowledge-center/articles/farewell-and-thanks How funny that this got re-shared today - I just sh...
by Sandi_k
Mon Dec 03, 2018 6:51 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: NYT Article: The Myth of Steady Retirement Spending
Replies: 50
Views: 7103

Re: NYT Article: The Myth of Steady Retirement Spending

I definitely plan on spending more in early retirement (first 10 years or so). I read something about a 6.875% plan where you take that amount out every year but never increase it or add in interest rates. Supposedly that gives you more in your first 10-15 years to spend. I tried searching for that...
by Sandi_k
Mon Dec 03, 2018 2:38 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: NYT Article: The Myth of Steady Retirement Spending
Replies: 50
Views: 7103

Re: NYT Article: The Myth of Steady Retirement Spending

I definitely plan on spending more in early retirement (first 10 years or so). I read something about a 6.875% plan where you take that amount out every year but never increase it or add in interest rates. Supposedly that gives you more in your first 10-15 years to spend. I tried searching for that...
by Sandi_k
Mon Dec 03, 2018 2:30 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Out of Stocks to Pay Off Mortgage
Replies: 73
Views: 5198

Re: Out of Stocks to Pay Off Mortgage

What about a 50/50 split? Sell of 50% (or some other percent) of the taxable account to lock in the gains from the last 10+ year bull market, and redirect all future distributions of the remaining $130k towards the mortgage? This greatly reduces the interest you'll pay on the note, still leaves you...
by Sandi_k
Sat Dec 01, 2018 7:51 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: New Homeowner in Retirement/Travel Concerns
Replies: 16
Views: 2157

Re: New Homeowner in Retirement/Travel Concerns

Have you considered finding a graduate student who would serve as housesitter while you're gone? I know many PhD students who take 5-7 years to get their degree. They tend to start at ~ age 24, end about 29 or 30. In short, much more mature than an UG, and not a student who returns to "mom and dad's...