Search found 123 matches

by AustenNut
Fri Jun 14, 2013 11:48 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: apps for budgeting for daily spending
Replies: 14
Views: 2178

Re: apps for budgeting for daily spending

Add me as another happy YNAB user.
by AustenNut
Mon Jun 03, 2013 12:16 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: France - Paris / Nice - Must do List
Replies: 92
Views: 9709

Re: France - Paris / Nice - Must do List

I don't remember the name of this eatery, but I can give you directions. I spent my junior year of college in Aix-en-Provence, France, and still remember this meal very fondly (mouth waters just thinking about it). The friend I went with has gone back twice with others, and still raves about it. It'...
by AustenNut
Mon May 06, 2013 3:22 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Disability insurance for teacher
Replies: 12
Views: 1887

Re: Disability insurance for teacher

Thanks for the advice on the loans. Our only loan is our mortgage though. I'm not in the union, so I don't have access to whatever disability insurer they recommend. So the options I presented in my first post are what I have. Which of those do you think I should take? If it came down to Mass Mutual...
by AustenNut
Fri May 03, 2013 9:21 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Disability insurance for teacher
Replies: 12
Views: 1887

Re: Disability insurance for teacher

Thanks for the replies so far. Maybe it wasn't clear from my first post, but because I am a teacher vested in the retirement system, I would qualify for a disability benefit. Currently that is $900/month. I would not be eligible for Social Security disability payments. If I became disabled, I would ...
by AustenNut
Fri May 03, 2013 6:03 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Disability insurance for teacher
Replies: 12
Views: 1887

Disability insurance for teacher

I am a 32 year old female teacher looking to get my own individual disability insurance policy. I currently have group LTD, but will drop it to get it privately (after reading the contract, I realize there are a lot of holes in it). Though I tried to find someone, there was no one good all-around ag...
by AustenNut
Thu May 02, 2013 6:15 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: 20 year term life vs. Roth IRA
Replies: 24
Views: 4442

Re: 20 year term life vs. Roth IRA

When you speak with your doctor, let them know that you will be applying for life insurance and ask that they word their notes truthfully, but fully. My husband had checked himself into an alcohol rehab program before we met. More than two years later, after we were married, we both decided to get l...
by AustenNut
Thu May 02, 2013 4:58 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Do the Bogleheads here tithe based on net or gross salary?
Replies: 49
Views: 5445

Re: Do the Bogleheads here tithe based on net or gross salar

We give based on our net. As others in the thread mentioned, we would also give out of our retirement distributions (once those start...in a few decades).
by AustenNut
Thu Apr 04, 2013 6:00 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Expecting 1st Child - Pay Down Debt or Increase Savings?
Replies: 21
Views: 1829

Re: Expecting 1st Child - Pay Down Debt or Increase Savings?

With a 14.99% interest rate on the cc debt, I would pay that off first. I second the recommendation of looking into a credit card with a good balance transfer option. We did that with a Citicard cc that offered 0% interest with a 3% transfer fee. We transferred my husband's car 9.9% car loan on to i...
by AustenNut
Thu Apr 04, 2013 5:45 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Wedding band durability & long-term costs- gold vs platinum?
Replies: 40
Views: 4199

Re: Wedding band durability & long-term costs- gold vs plati

Be careful mixing your metals. If you get a platinum band next to a gold one, the platinum band can eventually rub down the gold one. I don't know how long it would take, but it is a concern I would address before proceeding. If you're open to mixing metals, I would highly recommend palladium. It is...
by AustenNut
Sun Mar 17, 2013 9:45 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: The Fine line between responsible and selfish/material
Replies: 104
Views: 10799

Re: The Fine line between responsible and selfish/material

This is a very interesting question. Part of it, I feel, really depends on a family's income. Take two families, for example. Family A has an income of $60,000. If 20% goes toward taxes and 30% towards savings, they are left with $30,000 to cover all their other expenses. Family B has an income of $...
by AustenNut
Fri Feb 22, 2013 10:15 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: What are the best insurance companies?
Replies: 16
Views: 2249

Re: What are the best insurance companies?

My family has always been really happy with their State Farm coverage, and when they had a claim, thought that SF went above and beyond the call of duty. If you live in an area that gets natural disasters, you may want to keep your homeowners' insurance with them. I live in an area that was badly af...
by AustenNut
Mon Feb 18, 2013 6:40 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Is there a rate at which it is irrational to pay off mortgag
Replies: 54
Views: 5574

Re: Is there a rate at which it is irrational to pay off mor

Do you still recommend this calculus for people who refinanced at their original term length? For instance, three years into a 30 year loan they refinance for a lower rate. If they kept the amounts of their monthly payments the same they are "prepaying," but otherwise they're just constantly extendi...
by AustenNut
Mon Feb 18, 2013 6:26 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: What % of your income are you saving for retirement?
Replies: 228
Views: 30748

Re: What % of your income are you saving for retirement?

Our household has been discussing this very issue lately. In my family the "youngest" grandparents to die were in their 80s, and the others in their 90s. I've always assumed that I will make it to retirement, and have a long one at that. My husband's family, on the other hand, is completely opposite...
by AustenNut
Sun Feb 17, 2013 10:27 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Going on Safari suggestions
Replies: 16
Views: 1518

Re: Going on Safari suggestions

My husband and I are going to Tanzania in July, and part of the time we will be doing a safari. We'll be doing Ngorongoro Crater, Tarangire, and the Serengeti (i.e., hoping for the Big 5 and, if we're super lucky, the wildebeest migration). Our research was for a private safari, rather than going wi...
by AustenNut
Wed Feb 13, 2013 11:22 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: 3% to 4% on Checking???
Replies: 17
Views: 3421

Re: 3% to 4% on Checking???

We got excited about this last year when we first found out. Went with an out-of-state credit union that gave 4.25% on the first 10k, and then maybe .50% after (can't remember exactly). About 7 months later it went down to 3.25% on $5k and something like .10% on everything above $5k. With the aggrav...
by AustenNut
Sun Feb 10, 2013 8:46 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Car buying and financial ratios - what do Bogleheads do?
Replies: 100
Views: 10716

Re: Car buying and financial ratios - what do Bogleheads do?

Thanks for the update. Just a quick question of clarification. I understand Dave Ramsey's position about not having cars be worth more than 50% of one's annual income. But is there some caveat about the 4% of net worth? I suspect the average American doesn't have a net worth of more than $100,000. S...
by AustenNut
Sat Feb 09, 2013 11:14 am
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: How are we doing? & Put 25% bracket into 457?
Replies: 29
Views: 5511

Re: How are we doing? & Put 25% bracket into 457?

I liken the STRS DB to be instead of Social Security and 403b/457 to be instead of 401k. This is a good way to look at them for personal planning purposes, and I view my pension and 457 in the same way. All I meant was that an employer and individual contribute to SS via payroll taxes, but some emp...
by AustenNut
Fri Feb 08, 2013 6:50 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: How are we doing? & Put 25% bracket into 457?
Replies: 29
Views: 5511

Re: How are we doing? & Put 25% bracket into 457?

What happened in Rhode Island is quite scary, and is something I'm trying to plan for. My husband and I are both vested in the pension system in Louisiana, but have about 23 years to go before we'd be eligible to retire. Like Ohio, we don't have Social Security. Unlike Rhode Island, there are some ...
by AustenNut
Fri Feb 08, 2013 5:34 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: How are we doing? & Put 25% bracket into 457?
Replies: 29
Views: 5511

Re: How are we doing? & Put 25% bracket into 457?

What happened in Rhode Island is quite scary, and is something I'm trying to plan for. My husband and I are both vested in the pension system in Louisiana, but have about 23 years to go before we'd be eligible to retire. Like Ohio, we don't have Social Security. Unlike Rhode Island, there are some c...
by AustenNut
Mon Feb 04, 2013 12:40 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Concerns with the future of bonds
Replies: 13
Views: 2253

Re: Concerns with the future of bonds

Thanks for the kudos, but I bought my Corolla new. Reliability is my #1 priority when getting a car, and the Corolla definitely fits that bill. So I take it I should just keep the car fund in the bonds until my car gives out?
by AustenNut
Sun Feb 03, 2013 8:48 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Portfolio Help for a teacher
Replies: 12
Views: 1679

Re: Portfolio Help for a teacher

Thanks for the info on New York's plan. I hope for your sake that they won't change it. We're both teachers in Louisiana, and there's nothing like that, though there is a good pension plan. But who knows what changes may happen to that in the future, even though it's supposed to be constitutionally ...
by AustenNut
Sun Feb 03, 2013 7:44 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Portfolio Help for a teacher
Replies: 12
Views: 1679

Re: Portfolio Help for a teacher

Would you mind sharing the name of the comany offering your 403b with that fixed 7% rate? My husband's 403b only guarantees 2%. It'd be great if we could talk his employer into a better option (his 403b options stink).
by AustenNut
Sun Feb 03, 2013 7:01 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Concerns with the future of bonds
Replies: 13
Views: 2253

Re: Concerns with the future of bonds

There is no timeline on the purchase of the new car as I intend to drive my car until it no longer runs (or is in the shop often enough to make me think that it's time to give up the ghost). It's a 2004 Toyota Corolla that has about 75,000 miles, and I only put about 5000 miles on it a year, and it ...
by AustenNut
Sat Feb 02, 2013 8:54 am
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Concerns with the future of bonds
Replies: 13
Views: 2253

Re: Concerns with the future of bonds

Not to hijack the thread, but is it people's recommendations that money for a car fund should be placed in CDs and other FDIC-type accounts and not in bonds at this time? At the moment I'm in limited-term exempt bonds.
by AustenNut
Tue Jan 08, 2013 9:45 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Equal weighting or market cap weighting?
Replies: 124
Views: 9912

Re: Equal weighting or market cap weighting?

OP here. I just wanted to thank everyone for sharing their insight. As a novice I will read ideas elsewhere that sound really interesting, but it's good to know there are helpful, knowledgeable people here who can provide greater depth and perspective on an issue. Many thanks for what you do.
by AustenNut
Mon Jan 07, 2013 5:55 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Equal weighting or market cap weighting?
Replies: 124
Views: 9912

Equal weighting or market cap weighting?

I read this post ( http://www.fool.com/investing/general/2013/01/06/the-most-important-investment-chart-of-the-last-de.aspx#lastVisibleParagraph ) and wanted a Boglehead perspective on it. It's talking about the S&P 500 and discusses whether it is better for everything to be equally weighted (0.2% h...
by AustenNut
Thu Mar 15, 2012 9:06 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Reward Checking Accounts vs High Yield CDs/Savings Accounts
Replies: 22
Views: 4015

Re: Reward Checking Accounts vs High Yield CDs/Savings Accou

We have the Consumers Credit Union rewards checking account. Their system is very straightforward. The uses of the debit card (signature only) go by calendar month so it's clear when the 12 transactions need to be completed by. If you set up auto bill pay with it, that also counts toward the transac...
by AustenNut
Sat Feb 11, 2012 9:22 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Poll: Cost of cheapest option in your 401K/403B/457/etc.?
Replies: 27
Views: 2058

Re: Poll: Cost of cheapest option in your 401K/403B/457/etc.

At my work it's a .9% general fee, and then the cheapest ERs are about .20. So 1.1%. My spouse has it even worse. 1.55% general fee, plus ERs that start around .30. So, 1.85%.
by AustenNut
Thu Feb 09, 2012 7:59 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Tax sheltering, asset allocations, & other newbie questions
Replies: 60
Views: 5045

Re: Tax sheltering, asset allocations, & other newbie questi

I haven't decided what to do with PP. I'm still reading more and learning more. It doesn't seem like a big mistake, and so while I'm making up my mind, it stays. In terms of the $1000, when I had looked on VG (double-checked just now), it said that additional investments to the fund needed to be at ...
by AustenNut
Thu Feb 09, 2012 7:00 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Tax sheltering, asset allocations, & other newbie questions
Replies: 60
Views: 5045

Re: Tax sheltering, asset allocations, & other newbie questi

I didn't totally close out my Scottrade Roth, but I did transfer the vast majority of the assets (I'm keeping PP in there as one can purchase additional shares for only $100 rather than $1000 at VG). Despite having started the process a few weeks ago, things are still in transit. The taxable transfe...
by AustenNut
Wed Feb 08, 2012 12:17 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Where to put e-fund and money for 5-10 years?
Replies: 3
Views: 727

Re: Where to put e-fund and money for 5-10 years?

I'm sorry if I was not clear. The emergency fund would be kept separate from the car fund. The rental property is under contract so I have a good idea as to how much $ that will provide (mid 5-figures). Part of that (~40%) will go to shore up the e-fund, part (~50%) will be invested for retirement, ...
by AustenNut
Tue Feb 07, 2012 11:09 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Where to put e-fund and money for 5-10 years?
Replies: 3
Views: 727

Where to put e-fund and money for 5-10 years?

I am looking for a place to put our emergency fund and savings for a car purchase (7ish years away). Am willing to have a small amount of risk (i.e. could handle losing 5%), and would like to have gains be as high as possible while remaining within that risk range. I would think that the short-term ...
by AustenNut
Tue Feb 07, 2012 9:18 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Tax sheltering, asset allocations, & other newbie questions
Replies: 60
Views: 5045

Re: Tax sheltering, asset allocations, & other newbie questi

No other news from his front (either on other vendor possibilities, or the info on the ING account he already has). Only new piece is that MassMutual contacted me with their info today: 1.18% and no annual fee (though they reserve the right to charge up to 1.5% and $60 annually). No info on the expe...
by AustenNut
Tue Feb 07, 2012 7:46 am
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Investors under 35, what % of your portfolio is cash?
Replies: 50
Views: 4783

Re: Investors under 35, what % of your portfolio is cash?

I'm 31, and 0% of my retirement portfolio is cash. Money saved for other goals is not considered part of my portfolio.
by AustenNut
Mon Feb 06, 2012 9:00 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: ok - what's with all the TIPS?
Replies: 35
Views: 3833

Re: ok - what's with all the TIPS?

Thanks Noobvestor. Maybe I'll hold off then (or maybe just implement and try to stick to it long haul... but will TIPS even be around in 20 years?) for two reasons: 1) My portfolio is still small (the "oh snap everything is headed south at once" factor ain't as hard to swallow) 2) I'm young and can...
by AustenNut
Sun Feb 05, 2012 11:04 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Tax sheltering, asset allocations, & other newbie questions
Replies: 60
Views: 5045

Re: Tax sheltering, asset allocations, & other newbie questi

We've requested the expense ratios for his 403b, but have not received them. Put another request in on Friday. I like to automate a lot of our investing, but I realize that may not be entirely possible over the coming year or so. This year there will probably be a lot more 403b than next year becaus...
by AustenNut
Sat Feb 04, 2012 8:48 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Comparing Fixed Income Funds
Replies: 10
Views: 1718

Re: Comparing Fixed Income Funds

Thanks for the lessons on bonds. I now have a better grasp on things, though I still need to learn a ton more. Would it make sense for people to have the duration of a bond fund relate to the length of time before they would need their investments? For instance, if someone is 20+ years away from nee...
by AustenNut
Sat Feb 04, 2012 6:10 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Comparing Fixed Income Funds
Replies: 10
Views: 1718

Re: Comparing Fixed Income Funds

I'd love some thoughts on this issue too, as I'm another newbie trying to figure out how the fixed income side of our portfolio should look. David Swensen, Harry Browne, etc, all seem to indicate long-term treasuries as a key holding. And when backtesting (yes, I know the past returns does not mean ...
by AustenNut
Sat Feb 04, 2012 10:35 am
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: What are your 403b/401k fees?
Replies: 33
Views: 3477

Re: What are your 403b/401k fees?

The posts here are continuing to make me jealous. The collective bargaining agreement between the teachers and school board is up for renewal this year, and I'm definitely going to push for some better 403b options. (Of course, there's also a decent chance that the board is going to kill the collect...
by AustenNut
Sat Feb 04, 2012 10:16 am
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Tax sheltering, asset allocations, & other newbie questions
Replies: 60
Views: 5045

Re: Tax sheltering, asset allocations, & other newbie questi

My husband's school district didn't have any info on their website about other 403b providers, but I've asked him to contact their HR department to find out what he can. I have to say, this is rather depressing. Assuming his choices are no better than mine, shall we both just use IRAs for the first ...
by AustenNut
Thu Feb 02, 2012 10:33 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Anybody used Quickenloans?
Replies: 7
Views: 1148

Re: Anybody used Quickenloans?

We recently refinanced with Quicken (December 2011). There were various delays and annoyances during the process, but overall they came through. They ended up giving us a credit for pretty much all costs except for the VA fee. And somehow their marketing system wasn't working right, and kept e-maili...
by AustenNut
Thu Feb 02, 2012 8:28 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Tax sheltering, asset allocations, & other newbie questions
Replies: 60
Views: 5045

Re: Tax sheltering, asset allocations, & other newbie questi

Thanks for the feedback about the long-term treasuries. So I've been in contact with some more vendors. American General (aka Ameriprise): They charge $40/year plus 5% upfront sales charge plus 1% fee annually. I think I'll pass on that one. Oppenheimer Funds: I couldn't find out too much except tha...
by AustenNut
Wed Feb 01, 2012 11:37 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Tax sheltering, asset allocations, & other newbie questions
Replies: 60
Views: 5045

Re: Tax sheltering, asset allocations, & other newbie questi

More news on the vendor front. Franklin Templeton said they didn't charge anything additional beyond their regular fund fees (i.e. sales loads & high expense ratios...beyond what I'd have to pay with the other choices). A different ING rep is going to get me the info on expense ratios for their fund...
by AustenNut
Wed Feb 01, 2012 7:59 am
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: What are your 403b/401k fees?
Replies: 33
Views: 3477

Re: What are your 403b/401k fees?

For those of you with 403b plans, would you mind sharing your vendors? In terms of the fees I mentioned originally (0.8-1.55%), these fees are in addition to the fund expense ratios invested in.
by AustenNut
Tue Jan 31, 2012 10:09 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Tax sheltering, asset allocations, & other newbie questions
Replies: 60
Views: 5045

Re: Tax sheltering, asset allocations, & other newbie questi

I'm still investigating the other options. One of the vendors (Horace Mann) sent me info on what I suppose are their 2 options (I'm not sure, I'm getting back to them). I'm not entirely sure I understand what they sent. It seems to be annuities, either with fixed payments (a set minimum, but it can ...
by AustenNut
Tue Jan 31, 2012 9:45 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: What are your 403b/401k fees?
Replies: 33
Views: 3477

What are your 403b/401k fees?

My employer has about 10 different vendors from which to choose for our 403b plans. As I've been reading about their fees, I'm curious to know what other people are being charged in terms of fees for their employer-sponsored plans (though my employer only sponsors insofar as there are plans offered....
by AustenNut
Tue Jan 31, 2012 6:39 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Tax sheltering, asset allocations, & other newbie questions
Replies: 60
Views: 5045

Re: Tax sheltering, asset allocations, & other newbie questi

I heard back from the national branch of the FTJFund Choice, and the national branch charges .45%, and after I spoke with the local guy, he said he also charges .45%. The local broker's part remains flat regardless of the portfolio size, though the national office's charges decrease with size. So it...
by AustenNut
Mon Jan 30, 2012 6:15 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Tax sheltering, asset allocations, & other newbie questions
Replies: 60
Views: 5045

Re: Tax sheltering, asset allocations, & other newbie questi

Thanks for the explanation, Retiredjg. I just spoke with another one of the 403b providers. I would have access to all Vanguard, Fidelity, and many other funds with no-loads, no account minimums, etc. There is a $50 annual fee (reduced to $25 for e-payments) and then there is a 1.25% fee on top of t...
by AustenNut
Sun Jan 29, 2012 6:20 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Tax sheltering, asset allocations, & other newbie questions
Replies: 60
Views: 5045

Re: Tax sheltering, asset allocations, & other newbie questi

I'm a dingbat, a nitwit, and any other pejorative term you want to throw at me. I was looking at my 2010 tax documents, and I misread the tax info. My average tax rate was 15.2%. BUT, our marginal tax rate was 25%.

How does this change our investing advice?
by AustenNut
Sat Jan 28, 2012 4:52 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: How much does a house cost in your area?
Replies: 56
Views: 4618

Re: How much does a house cost in your area?

Looking at the thread on what percentage of gross income was spent on housing costs Which thread is this? I must have missed it. Here's the thread: http://www.bogleheads.org/forum/viewtopic.php?f=2&t=89229. In terms of the accuracy of the poll, I readily admit that it's not going to be perfect. It ...