Search found 114 matches

by majiaknight
Tue Feb 12, 2019 6:10 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Bad Idea or Good Idea? - Investing in 529 College Savings Plan
Replies: 70
Views: 4560

Re: Bad Idea or Good Idea? - Investing in 529 College Savings Plan

I think a lot of people are too breezy about college financing. People think they can take a student loan and simply repay it back. You know federal loans (as of today) your child can only borrow up to $31k for undergraduate degrees. The rest of the college bill, you would have to co-sign a private...
by majiaknight
Tue Jan 29, 2019 7:40 pm
Forum: Personal Investments
Topic: High Earners Mostly Use Taxable Accounts?
Replies: 167
Views: 14686

Re: High Earners Mostly Use Taxable Accounts?

Beyond 401K, backdoor Roth IRA, HSA and 529, I also maxed EE Savings + iBond for spouse and myself which is another $40K (4x $10K/SSN/Year). I may consider to add a minor account at Treasury Direct to buy another $20K under my kid's name which could potentially be used for his higher edu or the down...
by majiaknight
Thu Jan 17, 2019 6:01 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: How much house can I afford (really)?
Replies: 129
Views: 8557

Re: How much house can I afford (really)?

I'd suggest you try to budget monthly expenses to see where you could save for additional mortgage expenses if you really want the upgrade. As someone pointed out you spent ~$162K last year with a $420K house (~3000 sqft). As a comparison my family lived a in a VHCOL area in CA with a ~$1.3M townho...
by majiaknight
Thu Jan 17, 2019 4:14 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: How much house can I afford (really)?
Replies: 129
Views: 8557

Re: How much house can I afford (really)?

I'd suggest you try to budget monthly expenses to see where you could save for additional mortgage expenses if you really want the upgrade. As someone pointed out you spent ~$162K last year with a $420K house (~3000 sqft). As a comparison my family lived a in a VHCOL area in CA with a ~$1.3M townhou...
by majiaknight
Wed Jan 09, 2019 8:14 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Paid off Mortgage...what to do next
Replies: 32
Views: 2858

Re: Paid off Mortgage...what to do next

Big congrats to your mortgage payoff with great execution of the plan! I think you could prioritize with funding your (backdoor) Roth IRA for 2018 before the April deadline. You can withdraw contributions (not earnings) you made to your Roth IRA anytime, tax- and penalty-free. This means you may tre...
by majiaknight
Wed Jan 09, 2019 7:50 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Is buying a $700K first home crazy?
Replies: 70
Views: 7959

Re: Is buying a $700K first home crazy?

I'd say just go for it. Your ages and financials look similar as ours 4 years ago. And our combined income was a little short of $300K back then and bought a TH >$800K in VHCOL in 2014. At your ages with good job security, I think your family deserves a better life with your own house. As you also m...
by majiaknight
Tue Jan 08, 2019 7:05 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Financial goals for 2019 (specific)
Replies: 83
Views: 8359

Re: Financial goals for 2019 (specific)

Aim to complete the following in 2019: 1) 401K--------------------$38,000 Max. $19000/Person x2 for 2019 2) HSA---------------------$7,000 Max. $7000/Family for 2019 3) Roth IRA----------------$12,000 Max. $6000/Person x2 for 2019 4) After-Tax 401K--------~$31,000 Max. $56000 - ($19000 + ~$5500 Matc...
by majiaknight
Tue Jan 08, 2019 6:26 pm
Forum: Personal Investments
Topic: New to Bogleheads - Portfolio Review (1st baby on the way)
Replies: 20
Views: 2454

Re: New to Bogleheads - Portfolio Review (1st baby on the way)

Congrats on your 1st baby! Add some extra suggestions: 1) Consider to max your pre-tax 401K ($19000 for 2019); 2) Consider to max your HSA ($7000 for family in 2019); 3) Consider to max back-door roth-IRA for both you and your (non-working) spouse ($6000 x2 for 2019); - Not sure how much capital gai...
by majiaknight
Wed Dec 05, 2018 7:45 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Older Dads - how do you plan for your own retirement while still raising kids?
Replies: 38
Views: 5494

Re: Older Dads - how do you plan for your own retirement while still raising kids?

I could imagine the high pressure of raising two kids with single income in your situation in the Bay area. But you're not alone and I know some of my colleagues choosing to move to the East Bay (e.g. Dublin) with extremely long daily commute in exchange for more affordable housing and good public s...
by majiaknight
Tue Oct 30, 2018 7:39 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Calculating ROI for PhD
Replies: 86
Views: 5382

Re: Calculating ROI for PhD

My wife and I both got PhDs in high tech fields when we were closed to 30.
My 2cents: I won't consider doing a full-time PhD at your age and family situation mainly due to too many distractions. I don't think you could really calculate ROI for a PhD program as there are so many variables.
by majiaknight
Thu Oct 25, 2018 4:19 pm
Forum: Personal Investments
Topic: Timing mortgage pay down
Replies: 49
Views: 4582

Re: Timing mortgage pay down

Besides all the good discussion above on the theory, I'd suggest OP run the following mortgage payoff calculator (Extra Monthly Payments) to compare difference scenarios: http://www.mtgprofessor.com/calculators/Calculator2a.html You could look at the extra payment benefits and loan schedule to compa...
by majiaknight
Thu Oct 25, 2018 12:10 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Buying an apartment in China
Replies: 14
Views: 1770

Re: Buying an apartment in China

The Chinese RE market is highly regulated and gov policy driven which may restrict purchasing or selling at any time overnight by local gov. Chinese banks also have tightened the foreign currency exchange rules to control capital outflows due to the trade war with US. I have several Chinese friends ...
by majiaknight
Tue Oct 02, 2018 2:05 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Anyone want to share their monthly budget? Here's ours
Replies: 153
Views: 32532

Re: Anyone want to share their monthly budget? Here's ours

Family of three (1 kid attending pre-school) living in the Bay area, CA. Utility Electricity/Gas $107.00 Internet Cable $92.45 Cell Phones $91.63 Water/Sewage $79.00 Housing Mortgage $2,740 Home Insurance $35.92 House Property Tax $916.40 Car x2 CA Reg Fee $32.42 HOA $275.00 Education Pre-school Tui...
by majiaknight
Tue Oct 02, 2018 1:45 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Help me manage my day to day bills to save more!!
Replies: 45
Views: 3907

Re: Help me manage my day to day bills to save more!!

300 electric (this is high because we have a huge inground pool in the summer we have found) 100-water 100-gas (again this is because of the pool in the summer) 60-sewer every 2 months You could compare your spending w/ other folks in this thread: "Anyone want to share their monthly budget? Here's ...
by majiaknight
Mon Oct 01, 2018 7:27 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Anyone want to share their monthly budget? Here's ours
Replies: 153
Views: 32532

Re: Anyone want to share their monthly budget? Here's ours

Mint sim $15/mo cell phone Water 0/mo included in rent, laundry once/mo, shower like 2 times/week - dry my skin badly Garbage 0/mo Car insurance $45/mo liability only Car registration $11.25/mo Food $150/mo - Potato/rice, chicken on sale <$1/lb (dark meat) or $1.70/lb (white meat), a bunch of froze...
by majiaknight
Thu Sep 20, 2018 3:41 pm
Forum: Personal Investments
Topic: Concerns over funding priority when investing with debt
Replies: 42
Views: 2391

Re: Concerns over funding priority when investing with debt

A) i) In a recession, the whole industry may not be hiring regardless of where you are. Folks in a VHCOL area will not last as long. ii) 1 year of unemployment is not very long in that kind of situation. B) In a full-scale recession, nobody is renting or buying the house. They can't. They have no j...
by majiaknight
Wed Sep 19, 2018 11:51 pm
Forum: Personal Investments
Topic: Concerns over funding priority when investing with debt
Replies: 42
Views: 2391

Re: Concerns over funding priority when investing with debt

@All: thank you for all the above excellent comments and suggestions. Below are my takeaways: 1) Continue to max the 401K after-tax ~$31K (mega-backdoor to roth to take advantage of the tax free growth); 2) Use the extra money to build a reserve fund (buy treasury, CD ladder, iBond?) until the 5/1 A...
by majiaknight
Wed Sep 19, 2018 11:20 pm
Forum: Personal Investments
Topic: Concerns over funding priority when investing with debt
Replies: 42
Views: 2391

Re: Concerns over funding priority when investing with debt

<<We would probably move after 1-year unemployment in that worst case scenario. >> A) Then, why would you tie up more money with the house? You may not be able to sell the house within a year without a huge loss. B) Even if you move, you still have to pay the mortgage and property tax of 40K to 60K...
by majiaknight
Wed Sep 19, 2018 7:34 pm
Forum: Personal Investments
Topic: Concerns over funding priority when investing with debt
Replies: 42
Views: 2391

Re: Concerns over funding priority when investing with debt

The only reason why you stay at this location is that of the jobs. If both of you are unemployed, you are given the choice of A) Stay at this location and bleed to death financially. Lose both the house and any remaining asset eventually. Or, B) Abandon the house and use the remaining asset to star...
by majiaknight
Wed Sep 19, 2018 6:35 pm
Forum: Personal Investments
Topic: Concerns over funding priority when investing with debt
Replies: 42
Views: 2391

Re: Concerns over funding priority when investing with debt

<< I'll feel much more comfortable if our debt level is under $200K. >> That does not make any sense. You have a 1.4M house. It is an illiquid asset. Keeping the debt level at 200K simply mean that you have a lot of eggs in the house basket. Your investment is not going to reach 2M or more any time...
by majiaknight
Wed Sep 19, 2018 1:21 pm
Forum: Personal Investments
Topic: Concerns over funding priority when investing with debt
Replies: 42
Views: 2391

Re: Concerns over funding priority when investing with debt

Your marginal rate on taxable investments is 32+9.3+3.8*(1-0.093)% or around 44.8%. You are SALT capped but now pay $19.2k in interest annually, so you are at least $5k into itemizing and will continue to itemize under the current loan terms until the loan balance drops by at least $100-150k (even ...
by majiaknight
Wed Sep 19, 2018 1:16 pm
Forum: Personal Investments
Topic: Concerns over funding priority when investing with debt
Replies: 42
Views: 2391

Re: Concerns over funding priority when investing with debt

You are "House Poor" asset wise. You have 800K investment versus a 1.4 million house. It is not wise to put more money (eggs) into the house basket. Yes, I know. But even with $1.4M it only buys us a townhouse closer to work (no good school district). It's our primary house with no plan to sell it ...
by majiaknight
Wed Sep 19, 2018 12:56 am
Forum: Personal Investments
Topic: Concerns over funding priority when investing with debt
Replies: 42
Views: 2391

Re: Concerns over funding priority when investing with debt

Why is the investment / debt ratio important to you? The only ratio that matters for your mortgage is your income-to-debt coverage ratio. If you believe your income will decline significantly in the near future then you should accelerate your mortgage payback. If not, then you shouldn’t change a th...
by majiaknight
Wed Sep 19, 2018 12:14 am
Forum: Personal Investments
Topic: Concerns over funding priority when investing with debt
Replies: 42
Views: 2391

Re: Concerns over funding priority when investing with debt

Why is the investment / debt ratio important to you? The only ratio that matters for your mortgage is your income-to-debt coverage ratio. If you believe your income will decline significantly in the near future then you should accelerate your mortgage payback. If not, then you shouldn’t change a th...
by majiaknight
Tue Sep 18, 2018 11:32 pm
Forum: Personal Investments
Topic: Concerns over funding priority when investing with debt
Replies: 42
Views: 2391

Re: Concerns over funding priority when investing with debt

Why do you feel the urge to pay off the mortgage? It's a little bit market timing but I think there are other factors as I mentioned in the original post. I find my investment has grown very fast during the last 3 years which now exceeds the mortgage. I start to wonder what will be my comfortable i...
by majiaknight
Tue Sep 18, 2018 11:23 pm
Forum: Personal Investments
Topic: Concerns over funding priority when investing with debt
Replies: 42
Views: 2391

Re: Concerns over funding priority when investing with debt

It depends mainly on your after-tax interest on the mortgage and the after-tax expected return on investments. Keep in mind that mortgage payments have zero volatility. The same is not necessarily true for your investments. For my tax situation (32% tax bracket for 2018), I think it provides only a...
by majiaknight
Tue Sep 18, 2018 7:37 pm
Forum: Personal Investments
Topic: Concerns over funding priority when investing with debt
Replies: 42
Views: 2391

Concerns over funding priority when investing with debt

I've been following the below bogleheads wiki guidance to prioritize investments for several years now. However, recently several factors including the ratio of my current debt to investment portfolio, the stock market condition and the tax reform motivate me to reconsider whether I should prioritiz...
by majiaknight
Sun Jun 03, 2018 1:11 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: $1,000,000 in savings account to pay mortgage?
Replies: 32
Views: 4545

Re: $1,000,000 in savings account to pay mortgage?

You must be a very risk averse investor as normal investor won't even consider putting $1M in saving accounts while still having a large mortgage. So, I guess you should consider paying off the mortgage as a high priority, max your retirement benefits and leave enough emergency fund (>6 month living...
by majiaknight
Sun Jun 03, 2018 12:57 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Have $2.5M at 30, career advice needed
Replies: 49
Views: 8323

Re: Have $2.5M at 30, career advice needed

My family also live in the Bay area, mid-30s and both in high-tech. Just look at your financials in another simplified way: $400K mortgage, $30K property tax and plus $20K*2 for 2 kids' private school. Shouldn't the lower single income of you (i.e. your wife's $200K/Y income) be able to cover everyt...
by majiaknight
Thu May 31, 2018 5:14 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: First Time Home Buyers- Mortgage Questions
Replies: 29
Views: 3035

Re: First Time Home Buyers- Mortgage Questions

My family purchased our first house also a new construction in 2015. Based on our experiences the builder recommended mortgage lender is much easier to deal with as they could easily get all the required documents (my new house has HOA and is among the very early phase of release). Some lenders like...
by majiaknight
Fri May 18, 2018 4:49 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Mortgage Payoff Question
Replies: 22
Views: 3264

Re: Mortgage Payoff Question

We no longer itemize with the tax changes, so basically I would be getting a guaranteed 3.625% return over the next 4 years. Long term investing would likely net more, but I am trying to weight that with the peace of mind of having a completely paid for house. OP, I'm in a very similar situation, a...
by majiaknight
Sat Jan 06, 2018 1:21 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: How much are you putting in a 529?
Replies: 111
Views: 13621

Re: How much are you putting in a 529?

Living in CA w/ one 3-year old and no state tax incentives. Yesterday I just increased my 529 auto-invest from bi-weekly $200 to $600 after learning the expansion of 529 to be used for K-12 (max. $10K/Y) due to the new tax reform. Current balance is ~$11K. We plan to send the kid to private schools ...
by majiaknight
Fri Dec 15, 2017 5:14 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: How much did you contribute to your 401k in 2017?
Replies: 155
Views: 14345

Re: How much did you contribute to your 401k in 2017?

Me: $54,000 (Pre-tax + Match + After-tax)
Spouse: $18,000 (Pre-tax)
Age: both in mid-30s
by majiaknight
Fri Jul 28, 2017 8:06 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Another bay area housing thread..
Replies: 143
Views: 18616

Re: Another bay area housing thread..

My wife and I are in mid-30s and both work at big companies in South Bay Area w/ similar income as yours. We bought our first house in 2014 before our kid was born. When we did the calculation, we wanted to have either of our salaries to be able to cover the 30Y fixed mortgage monthly payment so tha...
by majiaknight
Tue Jul 18, 2017 2:00 pm
Forum: Personal Investments
Topic: Newbie and New Parent: Help w/ Retirement and 529
Replies: 65
Views: 6556

Re: Newbie and New Parent: Help w/ Retirement and 529

I understand personal finance just fine. We all look at finances at slightly different angles. My basic philosophy toward college is I want my kids to at least try to go to college, and if they succeed, I don't want them to have $190,000 in debt when they graduate. I know I can't count on the gover...
by majiaknight
Tue Jul 18, 2017 1:36 am
Forum: Personal Investments
Topic: Newbie and New Parent: Help w/ Retirement and 529
Replies: 65
Views: 6556

Re: Newbie and New Parent: Help w/ Retirement and 529

I really don't care for the expression "max your retirement accounts". For a two income family, that's $47,000 a year ($18,000 each for 401k plus 5500 each for Roth IRA). Few people can or need to put that much into retirement. I would recommend opening a 529 account, putting nominal amount (say $1...
by majiaknight
Mon Jul 17, 2017 5:19 pm
Forum: Personal Investments
Topic: Newbie and New Parent: Help w/ Retirement and 529
Replies: 65
Views: 6556

Re: Newbie and New Parent: Help w/ Retirement and 529

Congratulations on your baby and new home! Looking at your numbers, you should focus more on asset allocation (e.g. you shouldn't put your IRA in money market fund) and max your retirement account (e.g. max your and spouse's Roth IRA first) before considering 529. 529 should be at the bottom of the ...
by majiaknight
Fri Jul 07, 2017 7:06 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: What do you use to capture/save web pages for archival purposes?
Replies: 9
Views: 1121

Re: What do you use to capture/save web pages for archival purposes?

+1 Evernote and their web clipper extension

Every webpage you clipped could be easily reviewed and managed (via tagging) on your desktop/mobile Evernote app even offline.
by majiaknight
Fri Jul 07, 2017 7:03 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Task management / organizing app
Replies: 52
Views: 3274

Re: Task management / organizing app

+1 for Trello (which you could share lists w/ your spouse; I use it mostly for project task management)
+1 for Wunderlist (more traditional to-do list and I use it daily for misc tasks)
by majiaknight
Fri Jul 07, 2017 6:54 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Gift to son buy a condo in San Francisco. Co-ownership?
Replies: 55
Views: 5685

Re: Gift to son buy a condo in San Francisco. Co-ownership?

We are interested in helping our son buy a condo in the pricey SF real estate market by contributing $500K towards the purchase. A gift of $500K would result in a substantial gift tax bill. The other option may be to become co-owners on the deed. In our minds the amount is going to be a gift, not a...
by majiaknight
Thu Jul 06, 2017 12:20 pm
Forum: Personal Investments
Topic: CA 529 or Vanguard 529?
Replies: 30
Views: 9490

Re: CA 529 or Vanguard 529?

I live in CA and choose CA Scholarshare 529 over Vanguard 529 due to the lower ER for the similar index funds. I build a two-fund portfolio for my kid starting w/ a 80/20 ratio: 1) Stock Index CA: TIAA-CREF Equity Index Fund -- ER: 0.08% (was 0.10% when I created my 529 in 6/2016; great to see the E...
by majiaknight
Wed Jul 05, 2017 4:21 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Seeking advice on 1.2m (now 900K) house purchase
Replies: 192
Views: 19365

Re: Seeking advice on 1.2m house purchase

I live in Bay area and I could totally understand OP's situation. I have a friend (single) bought and lived in a 4B SFH two years ago and rent out the other 3 unused rooms. Financially speaking, this is a probably workable and I've seen even several married couples renting out 1 room in their house....
by majiaknight
Tue Jun 27, 2017 6:45 pm
Forum: Personal Investments
Topic: 500K Retirement Account Milestone
Replies: 27
Views: 6600

Re: 500K Retirement Account Milestone

Congratulations to both of the $500K and $1M milestones which are exactly my family's next targets! :beer
by majiaknight
Thu Jun 01, 2017 2:34 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Real Estate: Direct vs Indirect Investment
Replies: 92
Views: 11206

Re: Real Estate: Direct vs Indirect Investment

The question then is whether the legal differences actually achieve their purposes. Fortunately for us, Vanguard has studied this very issue, and this is what they found: https://personal.vanguard.com/pdf/icreecr.pdf Personally, I find that research pretty persuasive--REITs are not a perfect proxy,...
by majiaknight
Tue Apr 25, 2017 3:14 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: 529- should I stop contributing?
Replies: 46
Views: 7378

Re: 529- should I stop contributing?

You could try this 529 calculator:
https://www.scholarshare.com/tools/calculator/

After I run the number for your 6y old, you might be a little over of the 4Y expensive private school's cost w/o new contribution (6% investment return, 6% annual inflation rate for education costs).
by majiaknight
Tue Apr 25, 2017 2:48 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Baby on the way checklist
Replies: 34
Views: 4587

Re: Baby on the way checklist

Congrats! I think you could wait until your baby is born and you have the SSN info. Then you could add your kid to the beneficiary of all financial accounts. You may also need to buy 20 year term-life insurance. I also created a 529 for my kid even w/ no state tax incentive. I guess you are referrin...
by majiaknight
Thu Apr 20, 2017 12:50 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: I will pay off mortgage at 40. What next?
Replies: 22
Views: 7846

Re: I will pay off mortgage at 40. What next?

Check this webpage to prioritize investments after paying off mortgage:
https://www.bogleheads.org/wiki/Priorit ... nvestments

You have 4 lovely kids so you need a lot of money (liquid assets excluding your primary house) to support your large family for the next 18 years.
by majiaknight
Thu Apr 20, 2017 12:33 am
Forum: Personal Investments
Topic: I bonds May 2017
Replies: 66
Views: 12352

Re: I bonds May 2017

Can't imagine why someone would find something with a known nominal rate that has to be held for 20 years to be superior to something that has a known real rate that only has to be held for 5 years but can be held for 30 years. If you truly want known, then a known real rate would seem to be the wa...
by majiaknight
Mon Apr 17, 2017 4:54 pm
Forum: Personal Investments
Topic: First $1M Net Worth Milestone Achieved
Replies: 15
Views: 5883

Re: First $1M Net Worth Milestone Achieved

Congrats! Looks like we have similar experience, as we also landed here in CA just over five years ago, with six figure debt, excluding mortgage :oops: Just this weekend I noticed we have entered two comma club with no mortgage and no debt :happy Big congrats to you! :sharebeer Sometimes I wonder f...
by majiaknight
Wed Apr 12, 2017 7:27 pm
Forum: Personal Investments
Topic: First $1M Net Worth Milestone Achieved
Replies: 15
Views: 5883

First $1M Net Worth Milestone Achieved

I didn't realize that I achieved the first milestone following the 'criteria' below until I learned how much my neighbor's house was sold last week. :moneybag My family is living in very HCOL area and fortunate enough to buy our lovely new house in 2014. Adding the latest house equity to the number ...