Search found 1747 matches

by flamesabers
Fri Mar 10, 2017 12:46 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Help with prioritization/next step
Replies: 8
Views: 768

Re: Help with prioritization/next step

1. I also advise against investing in real estate. Unless you have substantial assets elsewhere, I think it's a bit too risky to invest your money in something as volatile as real estate. 2. As far as the TSP goes, I would suggest contributing as much as you can to the $18k annual limit. The TSP has...
by flamesabers
Fri Mar 10, 2017 12:26 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Help with 401k and Roth contributions through employer
Replies: 10
Views: 956

Re: Help with 401k and Roth contributions through employer

I do not currently have an IRA. Is that a first step? And then stop contributing past the 6% match and focus on the IRA? What I am contributing now is the max that I have to invest. Every other dollar I make goes to rent/insurance/etc. I have no play money :? Yes, once you get your employer's match...
by flamesabers
Fri Mar 10, 2017 12:13 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Help with 401k and Roth contributions through employer
Replies: 10
Views: 956

Re: Help with 401k and Roth contributions through employer

The Equity Index Trust Class C has a good expense ratio. The rest of your funds, not so much. My advice would be to transfer all of your 401k funds into the Equity Index. You'll save money on the fees and get good exposure to the U.S. stock market. My recommendation would be to contribute enough to ...
by flamesabers
Fri Mar 10, 2017 11:08 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: checking account debit at the speed of light
Replies: 14
Views: 2118

Re: checking account debit at the speed of light

This is just a curiosity question, since I always put money in my checking account before I set up a debit. My credit card takes several days to debit the account for a payment. Overnight I used for the first time the IRS make an estimated tax payment over the web thing. Whoosh at the speed of ligh...
by flamesabers
Fri Mar 10, 2017 10:48 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: W2 question
Replies: 18
Views: 1568

Re: W2 question

will change to married but going to keep the dependents at zero... Unless you're going to receive a lot of taxable income that isn't subjected to withholding, I don't think it's a good idea for anyone to set their dependents claim to zero. In the very least, everyone should claim themselves as a de...
by flamesabers
Fri Mar 10, 2017 10:34 am
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Options for my cash
Replies: 38
Views: 3682

Re: Options for my cash

I agree with using the $200k to pay down your mortgage, especially since you're expecting your income to be going down by about 30% in the next few years. Paying down your mortgage now will make it much easier to continue making mortgage payments when your income goes down. How does paying down the...
by flamesabers
Thu Mar 09, 2017 4:41 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Options for my cash
Replies: 38
Views: 3682

Re: Options for my cash

I agree with using the $200k to pay down your mortgage, especially since you're expecting your income to be going down by about 30% in the next few years. Paying down your mortgage now will make it much easier to continue making mortgage payments when your income goes down.
by flamesabers
Thu Mar 09, 2017 3:17 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: New job, Please recommend 401k Allocations
Replies: 11
Views: 866

Re: New job, Please recommend 401k Allocations

So I'm turning 30 in a couple of months, and started a new job- unfortunately they don't offer a match on the 401k, but instead offer a profit sharing program where they contribute x-amount at the end of the fiscal year. Here are the fund choices for the new 401k: https://www.sponsorportal.com/Spon...
by flamesabers
Thu Mar 09, 2017 2:48 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: W2 question
Replies: 18
Views: 1568

Re: W2 question

pianoboy wrote:it happens every year... Im paying way to much in federal .
the only deductions are house, child, daycare
You should increase the number of the dependents that you're claiming so that you're not getting so much withheld from your earned income.
by flamesabers
Thu Mar 09, 2017 2:44 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Where do I start?
Replies: 11
Views: 1168

Re: Where do I start?

After some research, I just realized I cannot contribute to a ROTH IRA at all. My wife and I file separately. My student loans are very high and I am on an income based repayment plan and a public service loan forgiveness plan (complete forgiveness after 10 years of minimum payments). In order to k...
by flamesabers
Thu Mar 09, 2017 2:19 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Finally making money and need budget advice
Replies: 19
Views: 2884

Re: Finally making money and need budget advice

Op isnt eligible for roth (not married) unless i have numbers wrong. Doesnt it stop at 118k for single? I would in your shoes asap max out the 401k so you can get use to not having that money. Than save the rest as aggressively as you can so you can have a down payment in 1-2 years. Making a full $...
by flamesabers
Thu Mar 09, 2017 12:04 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: W2 question
Replies: 18
Views: 1568

Re: W2 question

Unless you're trying to maximize your amount of paper I-Bonds, I don't think it makes sense for anyone to get a large refund. As others have suggested, I would recommend first reviewing your taxes to see what triggered the large refund. Did you get a bonus or something that was taxed at a rate that ...
by flamesabers
Thu Mar 09, 2017 11:43 am
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: At what $ level should someone really start diversifiying?
Replies: 25
Views: 2895

Re: At what $ level should someone really start diversifiying?

I think one level would be when you have accumulated enough money to meet the required minimum investment balance for funds that offer even lower fees in exchange for making a larger initial contribution. A lot of Vanguard's admiral funds for instance require a minimal balance of $10,000. Other fund...
by flamesabers
Thu Mar 09, 2017 11:24 am
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Sitting on cash....Waiting for a crash
Replies: 175
Views: 32753

Re: Sitting on cash....Waiting for a crash

Inaction (not investing your money) has its own consequences, namely inflation. At the end of the day I don't think there is much difference between preserving the nominal value of your money but losing your purchasing power, and having to deal with some of your investments losing some of its value ...
by flamesabers
Thu Mar 09, 2017 10:52 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: GEICO auto rates vs. USAA: too good to be true?
Replies: 185
Views: 36633

Re: GEICO auto rates vs. USAA: too good to be true?

I'm currently serving active duty military and using USAA, my GEICO quote was $300 a year higher than USAA with the same coverage. Just thought I would add that data point to the list. From what I've heard, most insurance providers don't like to insure active-duty military members because of their ...
by flamesabers
Thu Mar 09, 2017 10:45 am
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Moving to Vanguard
Replies: 4
Views: 776

Re: Moving to Vanguard

I was in the same position as you a number a years ago as far as moving investments from USAA to Vanguard. If I recall correctly, I liquidated the taxable investments and reinvested the money into Vanguard funds. The only costs was the tax liability of liquidating the investments. I don't remember t...
by flamesabers
Wed Mar 08, 2017 6:01 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Car dilemma?
Replies: 25
Views: 2546

Re: Car dilemma?

So I have a 2014 Audi A5 convertible with 27000 miles. Paid in full. I started a new job that requires me to drive about 450 miles per week. That means I'll put close to 25k mile per year on a car. I'm worried as the Audi ages the maintenance will increase. I can afford it. I have a great deal on a...
by flamesabers
Wed Mar 08, 2017 5:39 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Multiple job offers
Replies: 36
Views: 3983

Re: Multiple job offers

How official is Firm B's offer? Have you already done an interview with the HR person and your potential supervisor or have you only just sent in your resume? If it's the latter or if it's not in writing that you will get paid $10k more than Firm A, I would say stick with Firm A. I think the fact th...
by flamesabers
Wed Mar 08, 2017 4:10 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: How to advise coworkers on 401k choices
Replies: 26
Views: 2146

Re: How to advise coworkers on 401k choices

randomizer wrote:
How to advise coworkers on 401k choices
Don't.
I agree. I don't want getting blamed by coworkers because a particular fund has lost value in the last quarter or two.
by flamesabers
Wed Mar 08, 2017 3:43 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Where do I start?
Replies: 11
Views: 1168

Re: Where do I start?

Welcome to the forum. Yes, I think investing in a reputable, low-fee company like Vanguard is a good idea. I agree with what bloom2708 says. Once you got some money set aside that is easily accessible, start focusing on maximizing your contributions to tax advantaged accounts. Have you thought about...
by flamesabers
Wed Mar 08, 2017 3:35 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Finally making money and need budget advice
Replies: 19
Views: 2884

Re: Finally making money and need budget advice

Welcome to the forum! Does your 38% of taxes include state or is it just federal? I'm assuming it's the former since your gross income of $126k would put you in the federal 28% tax bracket. Are you able to claim your mom as a dependent since you're paying for all household expenses as well as her ca...
by flamesabers
Wed Mar 08, 2017 1:03 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Diversifying investments
Replies: 5
Views: 710

Re: Diversifying investments

I think one consideration is whether your investments is being in a taxable or retirement account. If it's the former, I think it makes sense to have a 70/30 ratio, especially if you don't have a strong stomach for downfalls in the stock market or if this investment might be used as an emergency fun...
by flamesabers
Wed Mar 08, 2017 11:48 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Obtaining Bachelors in Accounting @ 30
Replies: 40
Views: 3933

Re: Obtaining Bachelors in Accounting @ 30

I don't have much desire nor greed for money, but all I want is to be able to make a good income to support a family and not having to put future children on a daycare or something. If I pursue Accounting, I feel like that would be the only reason. At the same time, that seems like a very bad reaso...
by flamesabers
Tue Mar 07, 2017 5:16 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: I-Bonds vs CD
Replies: 24
Views: 3118

Re: I-Bonds vs CD

Thanks so much for everyone's help on this! I've decided to purchase the I-bonds closer to the end of the month, per the Bogleheads recommendation guide. However, while I was creating an account on Treasury Direct I noticed there's an option for Sole Proprietorship. Is there any tax benefit for tha...
by flamesabers
Tue Mar 07, 2017 4:39 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: 24 years old in my first year of investing
Replies: 11
Views: 1177

Re: 24 years old in my first year of investing

I am a federal employee (Army officer), and my 401K option is the government's TSP. I have heard mixed reviews about it, and don't know whether or not it is worth investing in. There is an 18k/yr contribution limit. The funds listed are as followed: Lifecycle fund (basically a target retirement fun...
by flamesabers
Tue Mar 07, 2017 4:29 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: GEICO auto rates vs. USAA: too good to be true?
Replies: 185
Views: 36633

Re: GEICO auto rates vs. USAA: too good to be true?

No kidding...I was just reading Buffett's recent letter where he tells those coming to his annual meeting to stop by the GEICO booth for an insurance check up. This prompted me to do a quick comparison of what I pay USAA, who has insured my cars for years, with GEICO's rates. With the 8% discount t...
by flamesabers
Tue Mar 07, 2017 3:30 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: How Much in Your Emergency Fund And Is It Used?
Replies: 197
Views: 27863

Re: How Much in Your Emergency Fund And Is It Used?

I don't have an emergency fund. This to me sounds just like mental accounting. Money is money. It doesn't know where it came from and doesn't care how it will get used. So, I treat my entire assets holistically. The only practical issue is time/liquidity. If I need money at time 0, I have credit ca...
by flamesabers
Tue Mar 07, 2017 12:05 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Am I Paying Too Much in Expense Ratio?
Replies: 27
Views: 2509

Re: Am I Paying Too Much in Expense Ratio?

Yes, you're paying too much in fees. For instance, with a minimum investment of $3,000, Vanguard has a small-cap growth fund with an expense ratio of 0.20% https://personal.vanguard.com/us/funds/snapshot?FundIntExt=INT&FundId=0861 This expense ratio drops to .08% if you can invest $10,000 in the adm...
by flamesabers
Tue Mar 07, 2017 11:49 am
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: roth vs traditional 401k
Replies: 16
Views: 1698

Re: roth vs traditional 401k

Assuming the same tax bracket now as in retirement. I have the option to open a roth or a tax deferred 401k and am having a hard time deciding. Isn't a roth better than a tax deferred 401K for the reason that all the gains, dividends, growth in a roth is tax free vs. a traditional 401K? What am i m...
by flamesabers
Tue Mar 07, 2017 10:45 am
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: 24 years old in my first year of investing
Replies: 11
Views: 1177

Re: 24 years old in my first year of investing

I am kind of stuck on where I should go from here. Should I open a taxable account, or put money in a 401k that my employer doesn't contribute to? I agree with the other posters about investing in your 401k unless all of the available funds charge exorbitant fees. Getting a matching contribution fr...
by flamesabers
Mon Mar 06, 2017 5:58 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Need help picking term life policy (updated 04/10)
Replies: 33
Views: 2908

Re: Need help picking term life policy

So I probably should work with an independent agent? How do I find a good one that won't try to push insurance? I think an independent agent would be a better choice than a captive agent as the former can give you a quote from a number of insurers versus only one insurer. In regards to finding a go...
by flamesabers
Mon Mar 06, 2017 5:41 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Do returns ever justify higher ERs?
Replies: 21
Views: 2259

Re: Do returns every justify higher ERs?

Perhaps the best way to convince yourself to make the switch is to calculate how much money you're losing every year by paying higher fees. The reason why I switched to Vanguard years ago was because I didn't want to pay the higher fees when much more affordable funds are readily accessible. You may...
by flamesabers
Mon Mar 06, 2017 4:06 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Wedding cash gift
Replies: 68
Views: 5847

Re: Wedding cash gift

My advice would be to pocket as much of the money as possible. Weddings are only for one day and at the end of the day you're just as married if you spend lots of money for an extravagant wedding instead of having a very inexpensive wedding. I also heard some couples get so stressed out about the pl...
by flamesabers
Mon Mar 06, 2017 3:11 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Advice requested - always nervous about investing
Replies: 15
Views: 1265

Re: Advice requested - always nervous about investing

So basically, for my cash-on-hand in savings that aren't needed as my emergency fund and down payment, look for a decent return bond fund in which i'm comfortable with the return/risk? Yes, I think that's a good move to ensure your non-retirement portfolio will have greater returns. Down payment ei...
by flamesabers
Mon Mar 06, 2017 2:50 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Need help picking term life policy (updated 04/10)
Replies: 33
Views: 2908

Re: Need help picking term life policy

I would go for the 30 year policy, especially if you're going to have 1 or more kids in the next few years. A 30 year policy will ensure the surviving spouse will have extra money to raise all of your kids to at least the age of 18. In addition, a 30 year policy would be beneficial if you intend to ...
by flamesabers
Mon Mar 06, 2017 2:29 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: bond investing
Replies: 2
Views: 507

Re: bond investing

There's an inverse relationship between bond prices and interest rates. As one goes up, the other goes down. If the Fed does raise rates 3 times this year, the prices of the bonds in the Total Bond Market fund will decrease. Since the average duration for this fund is 6.1 years, this fund will be mo...
by flamesabers
Mon Mar 06, 2017 2:14 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Placement of Funds in All Tax advantaged accounts
Replies: 8
Views: 1052

Re: Placement of Funds in All Tax advantaged accounts

Are you able to invest in a Roth 401k? I agree with your strategy of putting higher risk accounts in retirement accounts. Since you won't be retiring for a few decades, you can afford to ride out the peaks and valleys in the market. I'm not so sure about having your HSA in a high-risk account. You ...
by flamesabers
Mon Mar 06, 2017 12:59 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Placement of Funds in All Tax advantaged accounts
Replies: 8
Views: 1052

Re: Placement of Funds in All Tax advantaged accounts

Are you able to invest in a Roth 401k? I agree with your strategy of putting higher risk accounts in retirement accounts. Since you won't be retiring for a few decades, you can afford to ride out the peaks and valleys in the market. I'm not so sure about having your HSA in a high-risk account. You s...
by flamesabers
Mon Mar 06, 2017 12:39 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Advice requested - always nervous about investing
Replies: 15
Views: 1265

Re: Advice requested - always nervous about investing

I agree with nedsaid about investing in I-Bonds. You and your spouse can purchase a total of $20,000 I-Bonds annually, along with $5,000 paper I-Bonds if you choose to overpay your federal taxes by that amount. If you're worried the rates for the I-Bonds will hit rock bottom again (and stay that way...
by flamesabers
Mon Mar 06, 2017 11:04 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Pay ibonds taxes on interest now or later?
Replies: 23
Views: 2217

Re: Pay ibonds taxes on interest now or later?

My advice would be to go with the tax deferred option unless there are specific reasons that it would be advantageous for you pay interest every year. Even if you may be in a higher tax bracket in 30 years, that doesn't necessarily you'll be in the same or higher tax bracket for every year of the ne...
by flamesabers
Mon Mar 06, 2017 10:34 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Where do you order checks from?
Replies: 57
Views: 5801

Re: Where do you order checks from?

The last time I ordered checks was about 4 years ago through my bank at no charge to me. The last time I paid for checks was from styleschecks.com. I don't remember how much I paid for this order, but I think it was for a reasonable amount. At this rate, I expect my current supply of checks to last ...
by flamesabers
Mon Mar 06, 2017 10:16 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Which eReader to purchase?
Replies: 38
Views: 3197

Re: Which eReader to purchase?

I have the el-cheapo no frills Kindle, $59, which is great for reading. I have had one for about 6 years. I also have a low-cost Kindle for the last several years. It doesn't have a built-in reading light, but I think I got a good deal overall for the price I paid. If/when my current Kindle stops w...
by flamesabers
Fri Mar 03, 2017 9:06 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Employee Stock Purchasing Program
Replies: 19
Views: 1860

Re: Employee Stock Purchasing Program

I have kept every share I've ever bought through our ESPP and have kept every share of stock grants when it vests. The company is in great shape and has a great future. The stock is up significantly recently so accumulating as many shares as possible was the right strategy. I suspect the same viewp...
by flamesabers
Fri Mar 03, 2017 2:55 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: American funds article - active vs indexing argument
Replies: 4
Views: 1179

Re: American funds article - active vs indexing argument

I am skeptical of the benefits of active funds as I think most investors are better off minimizing their investment fees then betting that their fund manager will continually beat the index with a real net gain. Once the loading fees and other standard costs are factored in, active funds aren't usua...
by flamesabers
Fri Mar 03, 2017 12:56 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: When & how much to donate?
Replies: 108
Views: 10098

Re: When & how much to donate?

Beyond not donating so much that you jeopardize your financial stability/goals, I don't think there is any definite rules as to how much or how often you should donate. As other have suggested, I think donating your time is also a worthy gift to give to charities.
by flamesabers
Fri Mar 03, 2017 12:43 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Payoff credit card debt
Replies: 3
Views: 472

Re: Payoff credit card debt

I think another consideration is how this outstanding credit card debt may impact your credit score. If you have too high percentage of credit utilization, your credit score may go down. Unless you need to keep the money in your vanguard fund as an emergency fund for something that may happen in the...
by flamesabers
Fri Mar 03, 2017 12:23 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Ever dip your feet into individual stocks?
Replies: 63
Views: 5241

Re: Ever dip your feet into individual stocks?

I haven't ever invested in individual stocks as there is too much uncertainty for me. While investing in a particular industry may prove to be profitable in the long-term, that doesn't guarantee every company in the industry will be a financial success. Companies can suffer financial setbacks or eve...