Search found 500 matches

by dsmil
Tue Nov 22, 2016 7:25 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: How Much Housing Payment Can a Boglehead Afford?
Replies: 90
Views: 5593

Re: How Much Housing Payment Can a Boglehead Afford?

I think the best thing to do is just put the payment into a budget and see what happens. Generally, higher income people can afford a higher percentage of income going to housing because after paying for housing, they are left with more money.
by dsmil
Tue Nov 22, 2016 12:01 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Income Tax Help - Millennial
Replies: 12
Views: 1118

Re: Income Tax Help - Millennial

Getting to the top of the 15% bracket probably doesn't do much for you. You have to realize that if you are $1 into the 25% bracket, only that last dollar is taxed at 25%, not all of your income. The majority of your income would be taxed at 15%, with some also taxed at 10%. Your Roth contributions ...
by dsmil
Sun Nov 20, 2016 9:56 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Do you track your net worth? How long have you done so?
Replies: 110
Views: 9919

Re: Do you track your net worth? How long have you done so?

I have a spreadsheet which I update at the end of every month, and have been doing so for 2 years. I like being able to see how we've progressed over the years and it also lets me see how our emergency fund savings are doing, when I add up all cash savings and subtract credit card balances.
by dsmil
Thu Nov 17, 2016 2:40 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Critique our 2017 financial plan - mid-20’s couple
Replies: 5
Views: 912

Re: Critique our 2017 financial plan - mid-20’s couple

Everything looks good to me. 6 months of emergency money, no debt, and fully funding 2 Roths looks great. I also like your strategy of moving emergency money to the Roth in case your job situation gets shaky, so you can still max out your Roth.
by dsmil
Thu Nov 17, 2016 8:08 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: In total how much have you earned in credit card rewards?
Replies: 32
Views: 3033

Re: In total how much have you earned in credit card rewards?

About $5k worth of sign up bonuses in the 2 years that I've been chasing points and my credit score has never been higher.
by dsmil
Tue Oct 18, 2016 10:25 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Help with mortgage options - low rate or more credit back
Replies: 9
Views: 700

Re: Help with mortgage options - low rate or more credit back

Unless you're going to be in the house for a short period of time, the 3.25% option seems like the way to go. Your payment would be $87 less which would pay itself back in a handful of years (numbers change slightly if itemizing mortgage interest).
by dsmil
Fri Oct 14, 2016 8:37 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Should I keep paying extra on my house?
Replies: 9
Views: 1887

Re: Should I keep paying extra on my house?

If you know that you are going to move, I think saving the money towards the down payment is the way to go. It has the same net effect as putting it towards the mortgage, except it gives you flexibility when buying. we should make enough (yearly income) that we could easily qualify for a 2nd loan. 3...
by dsmil
Thu Oct 06, 2016 10:14 am
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Sanity check for plan to move taxable to Roth
Replies: 5
Views: 381

Re: Sanity check for plan to move taxable to Roth

This looks like a good plan to shift everything to tax advantaged accounts.
by dsmil
Wed Oct 05, 2016 10:16 am
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: College Savings Plans
Replies: 11
Views: 754

Re: College Savings Plans

I also live in MD. We recently opened a Maryland 529 to use for gifts from family only. Our contributions ($350 per month per child estimate) will go into our Roth. If all goes to plan, once college rolls around, our Roth college fund will equal college costs. Of this fund, approximately 50% will be...
by dsmil
Thu Sep 29, 2016 8:46 am
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: reit allocation
Replies: 30
Views: 3928

Re: reit allocation

I have REIT's as 10% of my portfolio and consider it as part of my domestic stock allocation.
by dsmil
Wed Sep 28, 2016 1:16 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Is it worth it to pay extra principal towards mortgage?
Replies: 44
Views: 7827

Re: Is it worth it to pay extra principal towards mortgage?

I would not put extra money towards your mortgage since you are planning on moving in 5 years. That $300 extra per month, or the $13k lump sum that you are proposing could do some serious damage in the stock market from now until retirement. Putting that money towards your mortgage only helps you fr...
by dsmil
Wed Sep 28, 2016 11:00 am
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Portfolio Review-30 years old
Replies: 1
Views: 387

Re: Portfolio Review-30 years old

Everything looks very reasonable to me. Very low fees on those 401k funds which is great. I'm assuming that you meant to say Blackrock Equity "Index" Fund, and not "Income" Fund. FYI, I believe that 80% S&P and 20% Extended Market roughly equals Total U.S. Index funds, in cas...
by dsmil
Tue Sep 27, 2016 8:25 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Does it matter what type of college one goes to?
Replies: 250
Views: 18678

Re: Does it matter what type of college one goes to?

First of all, I think that the major and grades are more important than one's school. A student with a valuable major from a state school will probably have a better time getting a job than a useless major from a top notch school. Also, even if a bigger school is less selective than a smaller and mo...
by dsmil
Fri Sep 23, 2016 9:57 am
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Fundamental Difference in Roth and Traditional 401k
Replies: 49
Views: 3876

Re: Fundamental Difference in Roth and Traditional 401k

I always thought I understood the advantages of a Roth. Investments grow tax-free...that should be an automatic win, right? If I invest $1,000 today, and it grows to $10,000 by the time I retire, I'd rather pay taxes on the $1,000 than the $10,000, right? That is, until I read the following scenari...
by dsmil
Thu Sep 22, 2016 2:26 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: 29 years old, just beginning to invest, 38k salary.
Replies: 20
Views: 3165

Re: 29 years old, just beginning to invest, 38k salary.

First off, tax brackets are mentioned a lot here and it's important to know that tax brackets have to do with taxable income, not gross income. When mentioning your tax bracket and making decisions based off of this, you will fall into the 15% bracket, not the 25% bracket. Your gross income is $38k,...
by dsmil
Wed Sep 21, 2016 12:51 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Do I go for 0% down, no PMI, on a mortgage in SF?
Replies: 22
Views: 1353

Re: Do I go for 0% down, no PMI, on a mortgage in SF?

I wouldn't start thinking about buying a house again just because the bank is willing to give you a loan. The banks haven't learned much from the housing crisis and are still giving loans out that they shouldn't. The bank is the one with little skin in the game because they first get the origination...
by dsmil
Mon Sep 19, 2016 9:48 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Should I make Roth or Traditional 401k contributions?
Replies: 5
Views: 483

Re: Should I make Roth or Traditional 401k contributions?

From your other post, it seems like you're in the 25% tax bracket (remember this is taxable income from tax return, not gross income). In the 25% bracket, most people would recommend traditional 401k contributions. But as a young person, it's nice to also fill your Roth space with emergency money, o...
by dsmil
Fri Sep 16, 2016 11:55 am
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Pay mortgage down (PMI) or invest
Replies: 33
Views: 2840

Re: Pay mortgage down (PMI) or invest

Your mortgage payment won't be recalculated though, so you're still paying the same interest. You just might have the house paid off a few months earlier, 30 years down the line.
by dsmil
Fri Sep 16, 2016 11:34 am
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Pay mortgage down (PMI) or invest
Replies: 33
Views: 2840

Re: Pay mortgage down (PMI) or invest

Making normal payments the PMI is going to be around for about 5 years. Our budget is fairly tight but I could probably get that down to 3yrs or less with the extra money I could put towards it. We do like the home and plan to stay - no plans short or long to move right now. Both our cars are now p...
by dsmil
Fri Sep 16, 2016 10:55 am
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Pay mortgage down (PMI) or invest
Replies: 33
Views: 2840

Re: Pay mortgage down (PMI) or invest

Making normal payments the PMI is going to be around for about 5 years. Our budget is fairly tight but I could probably get that down to 3yrs or less with the extra money I could put towards it. We do like the home and plan to stay - no plans short or long to move right now. Both our cars are now p...
by dsmil
Fri Sep 16, 2016 10:34 am
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Pay mortgage down (PMI) or invest
Replies: 33
Views: 2840

Re: Pay mortgage down (PMI) or invest

What kind of extra money per year are we talking about here? How long do you think you'll be in the house for? I'm guessing that you'll get the extra $25-30k of equity into your house in about 5 years based on normal payments. Maybe you'll find that you'd rather have some more accessible funds at yo...
by dsmil
Fri Sep 16, 2016 10:14 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Baby deals
Replies: 43
Views: 3511

Re: Baby deals

Craigslist and yard sales. You can basically buy things used, use them for a couple of years, and sell them again for a similar price. We also bought used cloth diapers (in great condition). We paid probably $300 and should be able to use them for multiple children.
by dsmil
Tue Sep 13, 2016 2:09 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: What shape is your net worth curve?
Replies: 45
Views: 6779

Re: What shape is your net worth curve?

Ours has been exponentially increasing for a few years after college (good thing because we started at $-90k) and then has been and should be fairly linear in the positive direction going forward.
by dsmil
Thu Sep 08, 2016 2:10 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Do Bogleheads Budget?
Replies: 113
Views: 15364

Re: Do Bogleheads Budget?

We've written down everything and kept a pretty strict budget since getting married. It's helped us meet our goals as we've gone through the period of building an emergency fund and are nearing paying off student loans. I'm hoping that one day we'll only have to "budget" for our savings go...
by dsmil
Fri Sep 02, 2016 8:53 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: When is a variable interest rate preferred over a fixed?
Replies: 17
Views: 1743

Re: When is a variable interest rate preferred over a fixed?

The shorter the payback time and loan amount, the less risk there is with the variable rate. I recently went with variable to refinance student loans but was getting more like a 1.5% discount, and was dealing with 1/4 of the money that you are.
by dsmil
Fri Aug 26, 2016 9:55 am
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Now the time to open S&P 500 Roth IRA?
Replies: 14
Views: 1608

Re: Now the time to open S&P 500 Roth IRA?

There is no reason to wait. Think of it this way, would you rather you lose 50% of $3k or 50% of $300k?
by dsmil
Thu Aug 25, 2016 1:49 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: How much vacation time do you get at work?
Replies: 155
Views: 13245

Re: How much vacation time do you get at work?

27 days of vacation/sick
by dsmil
Wed Aug 24, 2016 11:12 am
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: How do you view debt?
Replies: 108
Views: 8204

Re: How do you view debt?

Early in my accumulation phase, my thought is that I'd rather have $50k in the bank and $50k in loans, than $0 of both. It makes me feel more secure in the case of an emergency. I've generally tried to save 10% of my income in a Roth before making extra student loan payments. This is especially nice...
by dsmil
Tue Aug 23, 2016 1:03 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Planning for Children
Replies: 32
Views: 3115

Re: Planning for Children

My tip is look for things at yard sales and Craigslist. Your child won't know if their toy came straight from the store or from a yard sale, but your wallet will. Plus, if you buy used and then sell those things later, you might break even.
by dsmil
Thu Aug 18, 2016 9:04 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: What's Your Credit Card Rewards Strategy?
Replies: 2126
Views: 369090

Re: What's Your Credit Card Rewards Strategy?

I've been doing the credit card rewards game for 2 years now, since becoming a one-income household and needing to make vacations more affordable. In that time, we've used points for 5 nights in a luxury Paris hotel, flights to/from Charleston, SC and 5 nights in a Hyatt, and flights to/from Rome a...
by dsmil
Tue Aug 16, 2016 1:28 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: buying used car smarter than buying new?
Replies: 89
Views: 6193

Re: buying used car smarter than buying new?

I feel like buying new is better if you are going to run the car into the ground. Your cost per year should be very similar to buying used (more $ and more years), so why not buy new? If you are buying a car but will later sell it, let someone else take the depreciation hit and buy used.
by dsmil
Tue Aug 16, 2016 1:18 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: What's Your Credit Card Rewards Strategy?
Replies: 2126
Views: 369090

Re: What's Your Credit Card Rewards Strategy?

I've been doing the credit card rewards game for 2 years now, since becoming a one-income household and needing to make vacations more affordable. In that time, we've used points for 5 nights in a luxury Paris hotel, flights to/from Charleston, SC and 5 nights in a Hyatt, and flights to/from Rome an...
by dsmil
Tue Jul 26, 2016 1:07 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Rules of Thumb: Max House Value as % of Net Worth?
Replies: 109
Views: 14530

Re: Rules of Thumb: Max House Value as % of Net Worth?

I feel like most rules of thumb for housing are overrated. Sure, they can be used as starting points (or to make you feel good or bad about yourself), but they are usually inferior to just sticking it into your budget and looking at the outcome. Using house value doesn't take the down payment into a...
by dsmil
Mon Jul 25, 2016 9:30 am
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Steering the young couple into right direction
Replies: 11
Views: 1461

Re: Steering the young couple into right direction

Morning Bogleheads, Two questions- What should the wife do if she doesn't have employer matching 401k plan? Explore other tax-deferred options if any or start taxable investment? If our savings grows to large amount then what is good place to keep our savings for future vehicle or another property?...
by dsmil
Fri Jul 22, 2016 8:09 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: What kind of car do Bogleheads like to drive?
Replies: 168
Views: 15196

Re: What kind of car do Bogleheads like to drive?

I'd like to drive a convertible but instead I have a 1997 Acura Integra with a terribly loud engine at the moment.
by dsmil
Thu Jul 14, 2016 8:11 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Saving for college vs maxing out retirement accts
Replies: 24
Views: 2373

Re: Saving for college vs maxing out retirement accts

The argument isn't really that you shouldn't save anything for college until tax advantaged space is maxed. It's more that some recommend not using a 529 or taxable account for college until tax advantaged space is maxed. You can put $11k per year into a Roth and earmark the contributions for colleg...
by dsmil
Wed Jul 13, 2016 8:17 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: What do you spend your money on???
Replies: 149
Views: 16675

Re: What do you spend your money on???

Me: -I like to play golf a couple of times per month, and go to the driving range 1-2 times per week. -1-2 six packs of craft beer per month -Occasional sports/concert tickets -Music Me/Wife: -Go out for coffee on weekends -Go out to eat 2 times per week -Vacations - although we keep it cheaper by e...
by dsmil
Mon Jul 11, 2016 2:17 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Where were you financially when you were at 30?
Replies: 226
Views: 29244

Re: Where were you financially when you were at 30?

I'm 29 which is close enough. But to the original poster, Bogleheads are not typical of the average American. Not that you'd necessarily want to be an average American, but don't get discouraged if you don't match up to the average Boglehead at 30. Married, 1 child $25k emergency fund (5 months) $60...
by dsmil
Fri Jun 24, 2016 2:22 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: house affordability question
Replies: 39
Views: 2468

Re: house affordability question

If you bought a house for $700k, put $350k down and kept the other $350k for retirement and emergency fund purposes, you'd be in nice shape. Sure it's highly priced house for an $100k income but you'd be rewarded for your savings habits. A lot of people have a $350k mortgage on a $100k income and do...
by dsmil
Tue Jun 21, 2016 12:10 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: College vs. retirement
Replies: 11
Views: 1384

Re: College vs. retirement

What is everyone's thoughts on college savings for two children (14-13 years out). Does it make sense to fully fund retirement now, and then switch to paying cash for college when the time comes or to save in multiple accounts at the same time? I think that it's good to start saving for college but...
by dsmil
Thu May 05, 2016 9:00 am
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Your age in bonds minus ten? Not according to Vanguard
Replies: 93
Views: 11065

Re: Your age in bonds minus ten? Not according to Vanguard

I like the curved models that are currently followed in most of the target retirement funds, so I think I'll be at 90/10 until age 40.
by dsmil
Thu May 05, 2016 8:11 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Chase Sapphire Preferred
Replies: 53
Views: 7500

Re: Chase Sapphire Preferred

I tried to downgrade to the new Chase Freedom Unlimited a few days ago but they said that only the normal Chase Sapphire was available to downgrade to.
by dsmil
Wed May 04, 2016 1:34 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: First time home buying, need advice!
Replies: 35
Views: 3677

Re: First time home buying, need advice!

Monthly gross income: $8000 (yearly gross income $96000 divided by 12) we have one income from my husband. Monthly net income for each of you: $4800 for both Percent being saved into your 401k: my husband has thrift savings plan from last August. I will check the percentage.(we are not fluent with ...
by dsmil
Wed May 04, 2016 9:36 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: First time home buying, need advice!
Replies: 35
Views: 3677

Re: First time home buying, need advice!

Follow-up: We found a small rowhouse for $400,000 in the city and are about to make a contract. The seller is not using real state agent, so the price is relatively reasonable compared to other properties around. My question is: How much from our savings($240,000 roughly) should we put for the down...
by dsmil
Tue May 03, 2016 11:13 am
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Paul Merriman's Emergency Fund Recommendation
Replies: 24
Views: 4410

Re: Paul Merriman's Emergency Fund Recommendation

I've been slowly moving emergency money from Ally online savings (taxable) to the Vanguard Short Term Federal Fund (Roth) in order to be able to max out our $11k of annual Roth contributions. In the long term, I'll likely move the emergency money in the Roth to my retirement AA, and have the emergen...
by dsmil
Tue May 03, 2016 10:56 am
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: 5-yr House-buying fund
Replies: 2
Views: 763

Re: 5-yr House-buying fund

It looks like a reasonable plan to me.
by dsmil
Tue May 03, 2016 8:43 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: How Much House
Replies: 64
Views: 7807

Re: How Much House

Bought a townhouse in 2012, 40 minutes from work, and house was 2.5x income (now 3x with wife staying home). We went with a FHA loan and put the minimum 3.5% down. It wasn't the Bogleheads' thing to do, but we are likely to come out ahead vs. renting, and have a nice townhouse rather than a 1 bedroo...
by dsmil
Mon May 02, 2016 9:16 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Couples: Are you and your significant other on the same page financially?
Replies: 65
Views: 7148

Re: Couples: Are you and your significant other on the same page financially?

My wife and I are pretty much on the same page financially. Early on, she wasn't sold on the importance of investing for retirement, but she now fully trusts my retirement savings strategies because she knows how much time I've put into learning about it. We put a budget together which allows us to ...
by dsmil
Fri Apr 29, 2016 12:52 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Degree, College and Career
Replies: 20
Views: 2335

Re: Degree, College and Career

It is correct that if degree is AACSB Accounting Accredited Program then college ranking doesn't make a big difference for first recruitment ? I think that employers want to go to good schools and big schools. Good schools because they know that they students are smart, and big schools because it's...
by dsmil
Fri Apr 29, 2016 12:23 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Chase Sapphire Question
Replies: 15
Views: 1614

Re: Chase Sapphire Question

We were just approved for this card and it's our first in the rewards game. I was wondering if car payments or student loans are eligible? She has both and we are about to pay them both off at once and I was wondering if we could capitalize on this. Thanks. Anything is eligible as long as you use t...