Search found 906 matches

by mlipps
Mon Dec 03, 2012 11:35 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Lottery-winner-went-sour story
Replies: 14
Views: 2482

Re: Lottery-winner-went-sour story

Is it possible to claim the Powerball jackpot anonymously? Or to have a lawyer represent you and not have your name disclosed or accessible through public records? I know that is what I would do if it were legally possible. The folks in MD who won the last big one in the summer were able to remain ...
by mlipps
Mon Dec 03, 2012 10:47 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Re: Comparing Cost of Living Expenses - Part 1
Replies: 47
Views: 3215

Re: Comparing Cost of Living Expenses - Part 1

OK now. To recap, in this thread, I am trying to create a list of items that we can quantify across supposedly high and low COL areas in the country. So far, I've got: - doctors/medical (this should really not vary much across areas, as it is a function of your employer's benefits (i.e., a co-pay o...
by mlipps
Mon Dec 03, 2012 10:42 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: High Salary & High COL vs Low Salary & Low COL
Replies: 80
Views: 9330

Re: High Salary & High COL vs Low Salary & Low COL

[...]My premise - that I have been trying to validate - is that of all the items that constitute COL: a) shelter is the biggest variable, and b) folks do not spend (a lot) more for shelter in high COL areas, i.e., they compromise on their living space/location (however, folks do not do so for all o...
by mlipps
Mon Dec 03, 2012 9:40 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: High Salary & High COL vs Low Salary & Low COL
Replies: 80
Views: 9330

Re: High Salary & High COL vs Low Salary & Low COL

I started another thread to quantify COL. That discussion has already gotten out of hand (i.e., I don't think I am really getting answers to the specific question I asked). Now, based on those responses, I have a simple question that relates to this thread: - those of you who live in high COL place...
by mlipps
Sat Dec 01, 2012 10:24 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: MINT
Replies: 43
Views: 6279

Re: MINT

expat wrote:Mint does not categorize Vanguard transfers or dividends correctly and there is no way to setup a rule to categorize them automatically.
I don't personally use it for investments, but I have heard from others it doesn't work well for this purpose.
by mlipps
Fri Nov 30, 2012 4:00 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: new baby coming - next steps?
Replies: 9
Views: 1259

Re: new baby coming - next steps?

Sorry for the crappy formatting...
by mlipps
Fri Nov 30, 2012 3:59 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: new baby coming - next steps?
Replies: 9
Views: 1259

Re: new baby coming - next steps?

-Is there any way you get a place that isn't so expensive? That rent is insane to me, even based on living in DC the last year, but I do understand that SF & NYC can be even more expensive. No, unfortunately not. We live in Southern California and were paying about $1800/mo for a 1bd. Just moved in...
by mlipps
Fri Nov 30, 2012 3:41 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: new baby coming - next steps?
Replies: 9
Views: 1259

Re: new baby coming - next steps?

Liquidation of the trust is TBD, likely soon because of the rapidly failing health of the relative. It's an inheritance, so that's that. We've paid off about $40k in debt over the last year and a half... hence the limited emergency fund. We have been throwing everything extra every month at the deb...
by mlipps
Fri Nov 30, 2012 3:09 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: new baby coming - next steps?
Replies: 9
Views: 1259

Re: new baby coming - next steps?

Some immediate reactions: -Your trust may well pay off those student loans, but when will it be liquidated? With those interest rates, I'd pay it off now, trust or no trust. There's definitely nowhere else for you to get a guaranteed 4%+ return these days. -With 11k in monthly income, you shouldn't ...
by mlipps
Fri Nov 30, 2012 11:11 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: MINT
Replies: 43
Views: 6279

Re: MINT

I have been thinking about using it to track category spending. Does Mint perform its own categorization, or does it reuse that of the underlying account? I hate how my CC company does it. It does it's own, and you can also set up rules. For instance, it has separate categories for Restaurants, Fas...
by mlipps
Thu Nov 29, 2012 11:23 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Graduate Student Loans
Replies: 24
Views: 3142

Re: Graduate Student Loans

The federal rate is 6.8% with a 2.5% origination fee. The private loan is as low as 4.20% variable and 7.13% fixed with no origination fees though I'm not sure where my credit rating will put me. With the discounts I get on these rates would both be dropped by .50% with another .25% drop after grad...
by mlipps
Thu Nov 29, 2012 4:00 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: High Salary & High COL vs Low Salary & Low COL
Replies: 80
Views: 9330

Re: High Salary & High COL vs Low Salary & Low COL

In my field (engineering) it seems like salaries in high cost areas tend to not be high enough to fully offset the higher costs. That's one of the reasons that I wound up spending most of my career working in Pennsylvania instead of California. I completely agree. My boyfriend works in IT. We just ...
by mlipps
Thu Nov 29, 2012 10:23 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: MINT
Replies: 43
Views: 6279

Re: MINT

I use Mint regularly to aggregate my transactions. I used to use it for budgeting, but I'm currently spending from our savings for our wedding, and also spent from savings for a move, and it was just alerting me every day to this and that being over budget. I couldn't handle looking at all the red, ...
by mlipps
Wed Nov 28, 2012 10:33 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Help with spouse and finances (read: lots of debt)
Replies: 110
Views: 18752

Re: Help with spouse and finances (read: lots of debt)

OP, Maybe you should go back and make the edits to your first post, so that it's clear to others that you're "reviving" (rightfully) an old thread, so we can celebrate your successes instead of rehashing past mistakes.

You should be very proud!
by mlipps
Tue Nov 27, 2012 5:09 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Student Loans vs. Retirement Savings
Replies: 17
Views: 2505

Re: Student Loans vs. Retirement Savings

I assume you are in your 20's, given you have student loan debt. In your 20's, it is not reasonable to expect you to have an emergency fund of 6 months expenses. (Worst come to worst, you move back in with mom&dad. I would do for my kids if my kids lost their jobs early on.) You should have an emer...
by mlipps
Tue Nov 27, 2012 11:46 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Where to apply 'new' cash flow?
Replies: 10
Views: 1346

Re: Where to apply 'new' cash flow?

If you have luck applying payments only to your unsubsidized loans, please post back here. I have a similar set up on mine, and in order to lower my AGI for the year, I want to pay off the accrued interest on my unsub loans. I think I'm going to end up calling and doing an electronic payment for mine.
by mlipps
Tue Nov 27, 2012 10:46 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Student Loans vs. Retirement Savings
Replies: 17
Views: 2505

Re: Student Loans vs. Retirement Savings

If you have an emergency fund, read this article on the Wiki: http://www.bogleheads.org/wiki/Roth_IRA_as_an_emergency_fund This is what I'm currently doing as I pay down $30k in student loans. Basically, you just hold part of your emergency fund in your Roth to sort of "reserve" the space, then star...
by mlipps
Mon Nov 26, 2012 5:58 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Age 18, should I get a credit card?
Replies: 39
Views: 2430

Re: Age 18, should I get a credit card?

This doesn't really work like it used to either thanks to the CARD act. Authorized user is a minimal boost to your credit report now compared to what it used to be. I didn't see anything in the CARD act that addressed authorized users. Could you quote the relevant information? Brian Maybe I'm wrong...
by mlipps
Mon Nov 26, 2012 4:33 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Spouse financial education
Replies: 35
Views: 2821

Re: Spouse financial education

Case-in-point, many women are better at spending money then paying bills. Wow. Sometimes I wonder why woman (like myself) even visit this board... To metaphorically "smack some sense" into close-minded individuals needing some mentoring. :twisted: I would be more than happy to mentor any close-mind...
by mlipps
Mon Nov 26, 2012 4:31 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Age 18, should I get a credit card?
Replies: 39
Views: 2430

Re: Age 18, should I get a credit card?

My suggestion is to ask your parents to add you as a user to one of their existing cards. That will allow you to build a credit history without trying to open an account for yourself. This recommendation is not good if your parents have problems with paying their own cards and have poor credit scor...
by mlipps
Mon Nov 26, 2012 4:04 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Vacation to Washington DC
Replies: 44
Views: 3873

Re: Vacation to Washington DC

When I was there visiting last year, I stayed at a Kimpton property by Adams Morgan for $79/night+parking. That price seems pretty expensive to me, but I'm not sure how much those things fluctuate by season.
by mlipps
Mon Nov 26, 2012 3:16 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Winter Boots
Replies: 27
Views: 4470

Re: Winter Boots

Go here. http://www.rei.com/category/4500006_Men%27s+Footwear If you have an REI nearby, visit the store and get recommendations from the people in the store based on your budget, physique, purpose, frequency of use etc. Some good brands are Keen, Asolo, Salomon, Vasque, Danner, Merrell etc. For sa...
by mlipps
Mon Nov 26, 2012 11:18 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Age 18, should I get a credit card?
Replies: 39
Views: 2430

Re: Age 18, should I get a credit card?

Assuming you can get a card, I don't think it's really going to hurt anything. Personally, I ran a decent balance on my card most of the time in college, utilizing 80-90% of my credit limit sometimes. Of course it goes against every rule in the book to do this, but it was more or less out of necessi...
by mlipps
Mon Nov 26, 2012 10:15 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Spouse financial education
Replies: 35
Views: 2821

Re: Spouse financial education

Case-in-point, many women are better at spending money then paying bills. Excuse you? How incredibly sexist and ridiculous. My mom pays all the bills in their household (although my dad is perfectly capable of doing so) and, as I said, I pay all of them in mine. Take your ignorance somewhere else p...
by mlipps
Sun Nov 25, 2012 7:28 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Spouse financial education
Replies: 35
Views: 2821

Re: Spouse financial education

As far as something to show projected balance based on upcoming bills, PNC Virtual Wallet does something similar. I love my account there and am a big fan of Virtual Wallet's many features. For the bills, I think the best you can do is automate as much as you can and hope for the best. I'm pretty su...
by mlipps
Sun Nov 25, 2012 12:07 am
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: No wonder people are confused...[Selecting retirement plans]
Replies: 29
Views: 3988

Re: No wonder people are confused...

That doesn't even account for the fact that we have two other providers! Luckily, the default is TIAA with 1% contributions that increase 1% automatically each year up to 5% to get the full match. I think they're trying to be helpful, but I agree that for most it's a detriment. For me though, it's g...
by mlipps
Sat Nov 24, 2012 3:44 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: No wonder people are confused...[Selecting retirement plans]
Replies: 29
Views: 3988

Re: No wonder people are confused...

My 403(b) with Fidelity has 300 options, of which about 6-8 are index funds. I agree that it's ridiculous, but I'd still rather have 294 bad choices and 6 good ones instead of 10 mediocre options.
by mlipps
Tue Nov 20, 2012 2:59 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Do you respect your HR department? [career question]
Replies: 49
Views: 4574

Re: Do you respect your HR department? [career question]

I'm always the person who knows all the ins and out and rules of different things, so I think I would do well w/keeping a company in compliance w/assorted regulations. My strengths are learning extremely quickly (an asset for most any position, really), understanding complex concepts, quantitative ...
by mlipps
Tue Nov 20, 2012 1:55 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Do you respect your HR department? [career question]
Replies: 49
Views: 4574

Re: Do you respect your HR department? [career question]

I think there are various things within HR that I would enjoy. Some of them include recruiting, mediation between staff/supervisors (in a good company where this could be done effectively anyway), and benefits management. I'm always the person who knows all the ins and out and rules of different thi...
by mlipps
Mon Nov 19, 2012 5:32 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Farming and Homesteading Thoughts/Advice?
Replies: 27
Views: 2423

Re: Farming and Homesteading Thoughts/Advice?

Does anyone here have any experience or insight into small scale homesteading, farming, and/or ranching? I have been contemplating, in an on-again/off-again manner, quitting my office job and buying some land to farm and raise some animals on. It would be a small-scale operation, nothing beyond 30 ...
by mlipps
Mon Nov 19, 2012 3:14 pm
Forum: Personal Investments
Topic: 24 year old investment help!
Replies: 17
Views: 1437

Re: 24 year old investment help!

To me, cashing out your ROTH for a down payment is a bad, but not horrible, idea. What DOES seem like a horrible idea is being a landlord with essentially no emergency fund. As a renter, I have 6 months emergency fund, and when I purchase a home I plan to expand that to 12+ months. There are so many...
by mlipps
Sun Nov 18, 2012 10:52 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Do you respect your HR department? [career question]
Replies: 49
Views: 4574

Re: Do you respect your HR department? [career question]

I thought I was pretty cynical. And I detest the nomenclature "human resources" rather than "personnel." I am a person, not a "resource!" But I really am bothered by the casual contempt shown in some of the postings above. Certainly, the HR department is what it is. I don't believe the interests of...
by mlipps
Thu Nov 15, 2012 5:10 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Do you respect your HR department? [career question]
Replies: 49
Views: 4574

Re: Do you respect your HR department? [career question]

I think most of your answers have confirmed my suspicions: it could be an interesting and rewarding career, but in most companies, it's a challenging position that mainly consists of fronting for the management and can leave you pretty powerless yourself. Back to trying to convince myself I can tack...
by mlipps
Thu Nov 15, 2012 10:35 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Do you respect your HR department? [career question]
Replies: 49
Views: 4574

Do you respect your HR department? [career question]

I recently started a new position at a university, which means I can attend school for free. I'm contemplating a few paths, mainly HR or getting my CPA/CFP. My concern with the CPA/CFP is that it is a lot of studying/testing, and although I know I'm capable, I'm not sure I have truly have the self-d...
by mlipps
Fri Nov 09, 2012 10:41 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Where To Buy Gifts That Support Charities?
Replies: 17
Views: 1447

Re: Where To Buy Gifts That Support Charities?

Found this one tonight, a little quirkier, I love some of the stuff here:
http://helpink.org/
by mlipps
Tue Nov 06, 2012 12:12 pm
Forum: Personal Investments
Topic: Help Choosing my 401K administrator
Replies: 3
Views: 253

Re: Help Choosing my 401K administrator

Assuming you have to pick just one plan, I would pick the one that fits best in your overall portfolio now and how you project it will in the future. Unless you see this as just a short-term job and really want to make a choice based on one fund offering, then I think you have to look at how the pl...
by mlipps
Tue Nov 06, 2012 10:06 am
Forum: Personal Investments
Topic: Help Choosing my 401K administrator
Replies: 3
Views: 253

Help Choosing my 401K administrator

I'm starting a new job next week and have a strange situation. My employer gives me the option of 3 different companies for my 403(b) contributions. They are TIAA-CREF, Fidelity, and VALIC. VALIC seems a bit unconventional, so I don't think I'll choose it, but I'm a bit torn between Fidelity and TIA...
by mlipps
Mon Oct 29, 2012 12:57 pm
Forum: US Chapters
Topic: Good luck to those hit by Hurricane Sandy...
Replies: 79
Views: 6599

Re: Good luck to those hit by Hurricane Sandy...

Yeah, I live in Northern Silver Spring but in a pretty new building and we didn't lose power during the derecho, unlike nearly everyone else. We're sitting here watching the outages climb on the Pepco website. Stay safe.
by mlipps
Sun Oct 28, 2012 7:43 pm
Forum: US Chapters
Topic: Good luck to those hit by Hurricane Sandy...
Replies: 79
Views: 6599

Re: Good luck to those hit by Hurricane Sandy...

- Cars filled with gas so they can replenish the generator fuel containers (with appropriate siphon). - Laundry caught up. Boring, essential chore that will be appreciated in a few days. No hints on which spouse took care of this, but I recommend hiding the beer until this is done. :wink: For those...
by mlipps
Sun Oct 28, 2012 1:49 pm
Forum: US Chapters
Topic: Good luck to those hit by Hurricane Sandy...
Replies: 79
Views: 6599

Re: Good luck to those hit by Hurricane Sandy...

In DC here, so I think we're going to be ok, just preparing for some power outages and water line breaks. We went to the store Friday night to stock up on water and they were already sold out. Figure the rain will start any minute. Little late for Hurricane Sandy prep, but if this has sparked anyone...
by mlipps
Fri Oct 26, 2012 2:42 pm
Forum: Personal Investments
Topic: My parent's retirement
Replies: 20
Views: 1646

Re: My parent's retirement

Hate to say it but they both need to keep working as long as they are able to. You say your mom has a minimum wage job, can she get something that pays more? If not full time can she work full time? My mom works full time. She's definitely capable of doing something else, but nothing pays much. Whe...
by mlipps
Fri Oct 26, 2012 2:33 pm
Forum: Personal Investments
Topic: My parent's retirement
Replies: 20
Views: 1646

Re: My parent's retirement

Annually, they make around $42k before taxes. At this level of income they can likely qualify for at least getting a partial retirment savings credit so it would be good to look at these numbers. I don't recall but I any 401K and HSA contributions may be subtracted from their income in calculating ...
by mlipps
Fri Oct 26, 2012 2:31 pm
Forum: Personal Investments
Topic: My parent's retirement
Replies: 20
Views: 1646

Re: My parent's retirement

Your mom could take a spousal benefit that would be equal to half of what you dad gets, which would mean they would have more total SS when the time comes. Great suggestion. Not sure if I'm correct, but let's say your father does retire at FRA and your mother decides to keep working. I believe your...
by mlipps
Fri Oct 26, 2012 1:47 pm
Forum: Personal Investments
Topic: My parent's retirement
Replies: 20
Views: 1646

Re: My parent's retirement

My mom has a budget. I just don't want to pry too much. They're very frugal and I know that they'll make do w/whatever they have. They definitely can't move to a lower cost of living area, they live in rural Ohio and it doesn't get much cheaper. I'm just trying to figure out how to best maximize wha...
by mlipps
Fri Oct 26, 2012 12:45 pm
Forum: Personal Investments
Topic: My parent's retirement
Replies: 20
Views: 1646

Re: My parent's retirement

I've been reading some about taxation of SS benefits, as well as things like the "Extra Help" program available for help w/prescription premiums. Because my parents have no taxable investments, nor a Roth, I'm nervous about their tax burden in retirement. Their marginal rate will be the same as it ...
by mlipps
Fri Oct 26, 2012 12:32 pm
Forum: Personal Investments
Topic: My parent's retirement
Replies: 20
Views: 1646

Re: My parent's retirement

Annually, they make around $42k before taxes. My best guess is that their normal household expenses are around $15-20k. Their biggest problem is that their health insurance quality is declining each year. Their deductibles have gone up every year for probably 10 years now. My dad has COPD so he rout...
by mlipps
Fri Oct 26, 2012 12:21 pm
Forum: Personal Investments
Topic: My parent's retirement
Replies: 20
Views: 1646

Re: My parent's retirement

I've been reading some about taxation of SS benefits, as well as things like the "Extra Help" program available for help w/prescription premiums. Because my parents have no taxable investments, nor a Roth, I'm nervous about their tax burden in retirement. Their marginal rate will be the same as it ...
by mlipps
Fri Oct 26, 2012 10:12 am
Forum: Personal Investments
Topic: My parent's retirement
Replies: 20
Views: 1646

Re: My parent's retirement

*bump* :)
by mlipps
Thu Oct 25, 2012 4:31 pm
Forum: Personal Investments
Topic: My parent's retirement
Replies: 20
Views: 1646

My parent's retirement

I've been talking with my parents for a while to gather all their information. They don't make a lot of money but have been frugal and done their best all their lives. I'm trying to help them figure out how to best work w/what they have, as well as plan for the future when they have to draw Social S...
by mlipps
Tue Oct 23, 2012 11:31 am
Forum: Personal Investments
Topic: How does a plan for early retirement affect where you invest
Replies: 31
Views: 3816

Re: How does a plan for early retirement affect where you in

I assume you don't plan to ever have kids. Because if you do you can toss those early retirement plans right out the window unless your income level is extraordinarily higher than normal and you can put aside massive amounts in taxable accounts. You should read Mr. Money Mustache. He's around 35, r...