Search found 487 matches

by dsmil
Thu Jan 12, 2017 10:51 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Advice for home purchase
Replies: 6
Views: 599

Re: Advice for home purchase

Hi, I'm looking for some advice for my specific situation: -We definitely wouldn't be able to buy the ideal Boglehead way--we could put 5% down (would this allow us to get a conventional loan where we can work to get rid of the PMI or does this limit us to FHA loans only?) We bought a few years ago...
by dsmil
Wed Jan 11, 2017 12:54 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Where do you keep your emergency fund?
Replies: 80
Views: 7260

Re: Where do you keep your emergency fund?

Ours are split between Ally Bank and our Roths with Vanguard (ST Federal Funds & ST Bond Index Fund).
by dsmil
Mon Jan 09, 2017 7:43 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Do Mortgage Terms Improve with Larger Down Payment? (<20% down)
Replies: 3
Views: 428

Re: Effect of down payment on loan offerings (<20% down)

Thanks Meg, that's very good to know. It seems like a good idea would be to save 10% to open up the possibility of a lower rate or 80/10/10 loan. If I'd rather instead pay off the loans at that point, I could always do it at that time.
by dsmil
Mon Jan 09, 2017 3:53 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Do Mortgage Terms Improve with Larger Down Payment? (<20% down)
Replies: 3
Views: 428

Do Mortgage Terms Improve with Larger Down Payment? (<20% down)

Hello Bogleheads, For those who have put less than 20% down on homes (not FHA), have you experienced more favorable mortgage offerings based on the amount that you have put down? Obviously PMI premiums are affected, but what about interest rates? We're most likely going to move in the next 1-2 years...
by dsmil
Thu Jan 05, 2017 11:13 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: What are you up YTD? [Year To Date]
Replies: 1400
Views: 246972

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

12.5% in 2016. I got some help because I made all of my Roth contributions on literally the market low for the year, Feb. 11th. Thanks to Bob Brinker and his buy signal email!

44% Total US
20% Total International
10% REIT
9% Small Cap Value
7% Emerging
10% Total Bonds
by dsmil
Thu Jan 05, 2017 10:57 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Are Younger people funding 529 Plans?
Replies: 109
Views: 8400

Re: Are Younger people funding 529 Plans?

Almost 30 here and we do have a 529 for some gifts from grandparents, but we're saving for college within our Roths. We'll be taking the next year to finally pay off our own students loans, after which our savings will first go towards retirement, and then split between college savings and the next ...
by dsmil
Thu Jan 05, 2017 1:14 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Calculating Effective Tax Rate
Replies: 17
Views: 1117

Re: Calculating Effective Tax Rate

I love seeing my effective tax rate. Most people automatically think that they are taxed at their marginal rate, but it's often not even close to that.
by dsmil
Sun Jan 01, 2017 10:01 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Is it possible to graduate from college in 3 years?
Replies: 101
Views: 5698

Re: Is it possible to graduate from college in 3 years?

My wife did it so yes, but she's the only person I know who did it. If she came in with any AP credits, they would have been minimal. I got through 51 credits senior year and the summer after by taking 6 classes in the fall and spring, 2 classes in the winter, and 3 classes in the summer after gradu...
by dsmil
Thu Dec 29, 2016 9:59 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Boglehead Beer
Replies: 729
Views: 130837

Re: Boglehead Beer

JDDS wrote: I've had two Troegs but not that one.


If Troegs distributes to your area than I highly recommend you trying it. It's their signature beer and will start showing up throughout January.

https://www.beeradvocate.com/beer/profile/694/15881/
by dsmil
Thu Dec 29, 2016 9:55 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Affordable home exercise
Replies: 100
Views: 8984

Re: Affordable home exercise

I would go with a pull up bar and a set of adjustable dumbbells. Weights are really the way to go and I think you'll learn to love them. Adjustable dumbbells with plates are a very economical option rather than buying a ton of different dumbbells. I'm sure that there are many free resources through ...
by dsmil
Wed Dec 28, 2016 3:27 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: How many of you invest 100% at Vanguard?
Replies: 118
Views: 8860

Re: How many of you invest 100% at Vanguard?

I would if I could.
by dsmil
Wed Dec 28, 2016 10:40 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Boglehead Beer
Replies: 729
Views: 130837

Re: Boglehead Beer

The holiday time is always my favorite for beer. My current fridge lineup: Sierra Nevada Celebration Ale (nothing represents the holidays more than this for me) Founders Breakfast Stout (also an every-year purchase at this time) Founders Backwoods Bastard (first time trying and it's very good, altho...
by dsmil
Wed Dec 28, 2016 9:35 am
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Taxable Accounts vs IRA vs Roth IRA
Replies: 8
Views: 1022

Re: Taxable Accounts vs IRA vs Roth IRA

In my mind the lower capital gains rate (15%) would give taxable accounts the edge over a traditional IRA (25%) I think you're forgetting the fact that the money going into your taxable account has already been taxed. So you have your money hit with both an income tax of 25% and a capital gains/div...
by dsmil
Wed Dec 28, 2016 8:00 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Monthly Expenses in line or too much
Replies: 81
Views: 7750

Re: Monthly Expenses in line or too much

We are just a family of 3 (with a toddler) in a medium-high cost of living area but we spend about $3k per month on average other than our mortgage payment. No way should anyone have a budget item of Misc in the multiple hundreds every month. No way. I'm in the same boat here, $500 per month in &quo...
by dsmil
Tue Dec 27, 2016 3:02 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: After contributing Trad 401K to company match, then on to Roth 401k or Roth IRA?
Replies: 7
Views: 474

Re: Does it make sense to contribute to Roth 401K instead of Roth IRA?

Many will argue that everything should go to the traditional 401k while in the 25% bracket. If you've already decided that you want some money to go into a Roth, the difference is pretty marginal so I think you'll be fine either way. The Roth IRA gives you more flexibility but the Roth 401k gives yo...
by dsmil
Tue Dec 27, 2016 11:51 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: I'll never save a 20% down payment. Rent for life?
Replies: 138
Views: 14185

Re: I'll never save a 20% down payment. Rent for life?

If the costs of living in the home (PITI, some for repairs) make sense in your budget compared to renting, I don't see anything wrong with putting less than 20% down.
by dsmil
Thu Dec 22, 2016 8:00 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Sling TV
Replies: 28
Views: 3093

Re: Sling TV

A related question -- am I getting a good deal on my current cable / internet service? I pay $140 a month all-in... that includes cable TV, internet, cable box rental, modem / router rental, surcharges, etc. etc. No phone service, no premium movie channels. What do y'all think? That seems reasonabl...
by dsmil
Wed Dec 21, 2016 12:35 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: housing options-- stretch for schools?
Replies: 37
Views: 2472

Re: housing options-- stretch for schools?

I like option B. I'm in a very similar situation as you where we have a young child and in a HCOL area. For our next house, we're choosing to look at areas with schools only in the 9's and 10's where the houses are 4x income. Similar houses are 3x income in areas with worse schools and we feel bette...
by dsmil
Tue Dec 20, 2016 9:41 am
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: 27 - Planning Ahead For 2017
Replies: 6
Views: 555

Re: 27 - Planning Ahead For 2017

I think you're fine either way. I would probably recommend your low-fee 401k in the 25% bracket, but you'll have 16% of your income (you plus employer contribution) going to the 401k, so putting some in the Roth for some tax diversification isn't a bad idea either. If you do decide to direct everyth...
by dsmil
Mon Dec 19, 2016 10:40 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Closing Credit Cards (Affect on Credit Score)
Replies: 4
Views: 450

Re: Closing Credit Cards (Affect on Credit Score)

I've read mixed things on whether closed accounts are taken into consideration for the average age of credit calculation. I usually read that closed accounts do still count in the calculation until they are dropped from your credit report completely after 10 years.
by dsmil
Fri Dec 16, 2016 1:59 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: When to make Roth IRA contribution
Replies: 9
Views: 847

Re: When to make Roth IRA contribution

Since you won't have any cash flow problems, I think getting the money in earlier is better than spreading it out from a return standpoint. I guess you could still call this dollar cost averaging, but you're just not doing it as often.
by dsmil
Fri Dec 16, 2016 1:23 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Sallie Mae Rewards MC being discontinued
Replies: 154
Views: 19092

Re: Sallie Mae Rewards MC being discontinued

I received the letter yesterday and was disappointed, since we use this for gas, groceries, and amazon. It was always nice to redeem the points for cash back, in combination with our regular travel points cards.
by dsmil
Fri Dec 16, 2016 10:01 am
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Why should one invest in 401k to mathcing, then Roth IRA, then back to 401k?
Replies: 29
Views: 3041

Re: Why should one invest in 401k to mathcing, then Roth IRA, then back to 401k?

In general, 401k's have higher fees, less investment options, and less flexibility than a Roth. So tax considerations aside, the Roth is normally a better place to put your money, after getting the 401k match. A Roth could also give you some tax diversification at retirement when combined with your ...
by dsmil
Tue Dec 13, 2016 11:42 am
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: What % of your net income do you save (not including 401k/IRA)
Replies: 59
Views: 5399

Re: What % of your net income do you save (not including 401k/IRA)

We're at 0% if not counting 401k or IRA, but 10% of gross is going there. All extra money after expenses and retirement savings is going towards making additional payments on student loans. Once student loans are gone in 12 months, we plan on saving 25% of gross towards 401k/HSA/Taxable.
by dsmil
Mon Dec 12, 2016 2:41 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: IRA deduction question
Replies: 5
Views: 336

Re: IRA deduction question

Your AGI does not determine your tax bracket, your taxable income does. You still need to deduct your itemized or standard deduction, and then your exemptions, to determine your taxable income, which would put you into the 15% bracket.
by dsmil
Fri Dec 09, 2016 2:00 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Learning an instrument as an adult? Six Months Progress
Replies: 161
Views: 16889

Re: Learning an instrument as an adult?

In college, I started messing around with my roommate's acoustic guitar and I later bought myself one a couple of years later. I picked it up pretty quickly, and having a background in piano and trumpet helped. I'm not great (stick to chords primarily) but I have fun playing and singing in the basem...
by dsmil
Fri Dec 09, 2016 8:49 am
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: HSA - is keeping 40 years of medical records practical?
Replies: 128
Views: 10785

Re: HSA - is keeping 40 years of medical records practical?

I would just like to point out that keeping keeping funds in the HSA when you otherwise could remove them for eligible healthcare spending is only really a good idea if you have no remaining tax advantaged space. I think this point gets lost at times. NS I don't understand. Normal tax advantaged sp...
by dsmil
Thu Dec 08, 2016 1:50 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Why not have an Emergency Fund in your Roth...(for those who can't max out anyways)
Replies: 22
Views: 2404

Re: Why not have an Emergency Fund in your Roth...(for those who can't max out anyways)

I like the idea because there might be a time in the future where you'll not only be able to max the Roth, but can also shift your Roth emergency funds into Roth retirement funds, and shift your emergency money to taxable. If it's between putting some emergency money into a Roth vs. putting nothing ...
by dsmil
Thu Dec 08, 2016 10:19 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Invest in HSA outside that offered by company
Replies: 7
Views: 533

Re: Invest in HSA outside that offered by company

When you contribute outside of the HSA, yes it's technically after-tax money, but you deduct this on your tax return. I'm about to be in the same boat as you and what I plan on doing is adding another exemption to decrease my paycheck witholding, which will have a similar effect as running the contr...
by dsmil
Thu Dec 08, 2016 8:59 am
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: 15-20% To Retire, or Setting an Exact Number
Replies: 47
Views: 6184

Re: 15-20% To Retire, or Setting an Exact Number

I like using a percentage of income and seeing everything in today's dollars. So when figuring your annual return, you could back out your 3% inflation estimate and see what you'll need to come up with $500k at retirement. You'll then be able to figure out the percentage of income needed to invest f...
by dsmil
Thu Dec 08, 2016 8:45 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Flaunt Your High-Mileage Car
Replies: 316
Views: 34265

Re: Flaunt Your High-Mileage Car

1997 Acura Integra with 165k on it. Bought it used with 40k on it in high school in 2004, and used my summer job money to put speakers in it. I think it's in decent shape (my wife would disagree) but I'm attached to this car and never want to give it up! My wife has a 2000 Toyota Rav 4 with 180k on ...
by dsmil
Wed Dec 07, 2016 2:04 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Emergency Fund Placement
Replies: 10
Views: 882

Re: Emergency Fund Placement

I don't mind a plan like this at all. I have some emergency money in a short term bond fund. The chances that you have an emergency that you couldn't handle because your lifestrategy income fund dropped is pretty slim. Plus, all assets are at your disposal if there is a true emergency that you can't...
by dsmil
Tue Dec 06, 2016 9:20 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Flying Across Atlantic with 98th Percentile 18-Month Child
Replies: 114
Views: 8140

Re: Flying Across Atlantic with 98th Percentile 18-Month Child

My wife and I just flew from the U.S. to Italy and back with an 18 month old. We only booked two seats but the plane was empty enough so we carried on a carseat and were able to have a 3rd seat for our child in the carseat. We also gate checked our stroller. On the way back, United put us in a spot ...
by dsmil
Mon Dec 05, 2016 11:23 am
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Trying to fund retirement in late 20s.
Replies: 23
Views: 2739

Re: Trying to fund retirement in late 20s.

There are a couple of options here. If you are fine delaying those other goals, than throwing everything at retirement is a great idea because the more you save when you are young, the less you have to save in total. Maybe this means saving 30% of your income for a few years and then saving 12% afte...
by dsmil
Thu Dec 01, 2016 9:56 am
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Is American Funds 20xx Target Date Retirement a good fund?
Replies: 10
Views: 847

Re: Is American Funds 20xx Target Date Retirement a good fund?

It looks like the underlying funds are actively managed, not indexes. Are there other target date funds available? Your recommendations would be pretty easy for a lazy approach to work as well, and the fees are probably lower. She could just re-balance once in awhile.
by dsmil
Tue Nov 29, 2016 3:09 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Credit Card cancellation
Replies: 3
Views: 609

Re: Credit Card cancellation

According to Million Mile Secrets, you shouldn't cancel too early because the bank might not like it. Basically they advise closing closer to the date that the fee is about to hit, rather than right after you use the points. http://millionmilesecrets.com/new-to-miles-points-start-here/#step7 "I...
by dsmil
Tue Nov 22, 2016 9:41 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: How Much Housing Payment Can a Boglehead Afford?
Replies: 90
Views: 5433

Re: How Much Housing Payment Can a Boglehead Afford?

Again, I like budgets rather than ratios, but 30% of gross income seems to be at the top of what usually works for us when looking for a new home.
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: 5433

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: 1086

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: 9701

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: 884

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: 2938

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: 688

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: 1881

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: 369

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: 697

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: 3754

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: 7640

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: 382

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: 18175

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...

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