Search found 13398 matches

by Watty
Wed Jun 02, 2010 9:37 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: just curious would bogleheads pay down a mortgage or invest?
Replies: 7
Views: 1564

I’m in no hurry to pay down a 4.625% mortgage. I think that it is a pretty good bet that inflation will be higher than that in a few years the way money is being created and spent. If paying down your mortgage is right for you and the amount of your mortgage is moderate, then refinancing the loan to...
by Watty
Wed Jun 02, 2010 9:18 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: ARG! Can I reduce my car expense?
Replies: 84
Views: 10281

Some gas stations have affiliated credit cards that give a cash rebate. I have a BP credit card that has a 5% rebate on BP purchases and BP has good prices around here. You can get an idea of how much all the extra miles are really costing you by going to Edmunds.com and getting their on line car ap...
by Watty
Tue Jun 01, 2010 12:24 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Advice: Quitting and relocating without a job?
Replies: 21
Views: 3309

...I've struggled with this issue. Wouldn't putting her address on my resume seem disingenuous? I'm concerned that the first impression a potential employer may get when they contact me is that I "lied" about my location. I've been saying in my cover letters that I'm in the process of relocating, b...
by Watty
Tue Jun 01, 2010 1:00 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Decent income, living in NYC, paying a high rent
Replies: 97
Views: 13463

I think that the original question about high rent is basically wrong. The rent of $2,800 might be $1,500 to $2,000 more than in some small town but the higher salary is more than making up for that. This is especially true since having the apartment means not having to own a car and saving all the ...
by Watty
Tue Jun 01, 2010 12:11 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: anyone know about a Deferred Annuity Trust?
Replies: 20
Views: 3633

I agree that it does not “smell” right. Some problems that jump out are; The biggest is; what is the quality of the Medicaid facilities that they can get into? Why send then to some dive while they still can afford better? Be sure to check out the waiting list and how far away they are. Find out if ...
by Watty
Mon May 31, 2010 11:08 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Advice: Quitting and relocating without a job?
Replies: 21
Views: 3309

It'd also be a good opportunity to "refresh" my skills so that I'm more marketable to employers. This part of your post bothers me. I have been in IT for 30 years and even without the recession I have seen a number of people have trouble finding new jobs after a merger or layoff when their job skil...
by Watty
Sun May 30, 2010 12:44 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Better to buy "retirement home" now or wait till r
Replies: 30
Views: 4044

NAR says 1968-2009 home prices grew 5.4% per year. Inflation averaged 4.5%. Numbers like this can be tricky, the average house in 1968 might have been built in 1960 and have 1200 square feet. If so the big question then becomes what would a house like that sell for today, not what does todays avera...
by Watty
Sun May 30, 2010 12:11 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Better to buy "retirement home" now or wait till r
Replies: 30
Views: 4044

housing averages 1% appreciation real. I have to question that figure. For this to be true, using the “rule of 72”, a 72 year old house would be expected to be worth twice as much today as it was 72 years ago. There are of course many exceptions but the vast majority of houses build 72 years ago in...
by Watty
Sun May 30, 2010 1:00 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Rental restrictions for condos (need advice w/ board)
Replies: 31
Views: 9981

As a side point, if you cannot rent the condo in the future you might still be able to legally donate the use of the condo to a worthy organization, like to a half-way house for sex offenders who have recently been released from prison. You might ever be able to get a tax deduction. The board might ...
by Watty
Sun May 30, 2010 12:22 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Better to buy "retirement home" now or wait till r
Replies: 30
Views: 4044

Having some investments in real estate is good from an asset allocation viewpoint but there is a better and easier way to do this. Instead of buying a condo put your down payment money into REITs and continue to invest more each month instead of making a mortgage payment each month. If you can to th...
by Watty
Thu May 27, 2010 11:17 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: 25 y/o entering graduate school -- any financial perks?
Replies: 13
Views: 2834

I am not an accountant but if the degree you are working on is somehow related to your current job and if the stars align just right then couldn’t you deduct SOME of the school expenses as a work related educational expense. If you are aggressive this could even include things like mileage driven to...
by Watty
Tue May 25, 2010 5:29 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: UPDATE - Options for a financial blow [private schooling]
Replies: 67
Views: 8187

PS

There is one big downside to going to private school to watch out for. That is the kids that go to private school often do not have as many friends that live in their neighborhood because they don't go to school together.

Greg
by Watty
Tue May 25, 2010 5:24 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: UPDATE - Options for a financial blow [private schooling]
Replies: 67
Views: 8187

--Homework Policy: there is daily homework, although not on weekends, as noted with glee on the website (note that there is no demonstrated benefit to homework until high school, and even then, only in certain cases--I do not believe in homework in elementary years as it takes away from family time...
by Watty
Tue May 25, 2010 4:53 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: UPDATE - Options for a financial blow [private schooling]
Replies: 67
Views: 8187

You did not say what the terms of your mortgage are. You might want to consider if refinancing to a 30 year fixed rate mortgage with an interest rate below 5% would reduce your monthly cash requirements. This could be especially helpful if your husband does lose his job. You need to run the numbers ...
by Watty
Tue May 25, 2010 3:36 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Which car should I buy?
Replies: 20
Views: 2850

You did not say how old your kids are, but this could be the car they learn to drive in or "inherit" when they go off to college.

If this is the case, you might keep that in mind when you are looking at safety and reliability.

Greg
by Watty
Tue May 25, 2010 2:08 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: RMDs in inherited IRA
Replies: 24
Views: 3626

Just FYI, when you are researching the history of the RMD's from this account, if you don't find one for last year it could be because none was taken. There was a special rule as part of all the stimulus packages that suspended the requirement to take RMS's for one year last year. As another poster ...
by Watty
Tue May 25, 2010 1:04 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Buy a house with all cash or take out mortgage?
Replies: 34
Views: 4875

A lot depends on your local housing market and how much your rent is, but if you are going to buy in the next few years anyway, then I would be real tempted to buy a house today to get the good interest rate and to take advantage of it being a buyer's market in most areas. You might want to start by...
by Watty
Sat May 22, 2010 12:15 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Most interesting thing to see in the world?
Replies: 113
Views: 14742

Alaska has a great ferry system that goes many of the same places the cruise ships do and you can spend more time at the stops you want to. This is very doable with a kid. I went there when I was in my 20’s and on a tight budget so I used a backpack and set my tent up on the deck like a lot of peopl...
by Watty
Fri May 21, 2010 11:15 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Going to buy a car tomorrow - Any tips?
Replies: 46
Views: 6503

Getting extra keys made for a newer Honda can cost $100 or more each because they have to be specially laser cut and then the car has to be programmed to accept the electronic code in them and only a Honda dealers can do the programming. This is for regular keys, not the remote entry ones. When you ...
by Watty
Fri May 21, 2010 11:01 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Buying a new car using amex rewards
Replies: 6
Views: 1933

Here is a link to my experience using it that I posted on another web site;

http://boards.fool.com/message.asp?sou ... &mrr=1.00

Greg
by Watty
Thu May 20, 2010 3:35 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Closed Mortgage Not Showing Up on Credit Report
Replies: 4
Views: 1390

You should to check with your county or whoever tracks house titles in your area to see if the change in title on the house has been recorded in their records. Some counties have the titles on their web site.

It could be that your paperwork has been lost somewhere.

Greg
by Watty
Wed May 19, 2010 10:23 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: To buy a house now
Replies: 23
Views: 2880

Good time to buy? Let’s see, the current situation is; 1) The lowest mortgage interest rates in a generation. 2) Most local housing markets being full of distressed sellers. 3) Prices are starting to stabilize in some markets. What else could change to make it a better time to buy a house? I sure ca...
by Watty
Wed May 19, 2010 10:58 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Seeking advice on renting or selling inherited property
Replies: 13
Views: 2424

Since it's the only home my parents ever owned and they live there for 55 years, emotionally it's a bit tough to part with.
Seeing renters abuse the place will also be hard.

It is possible that a having a new family buy it will feel like you are "passing the torch" on.

Greg
by Watty
Tue May 18, 2010 11:36 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Son going off to college in the fall.Best way to transfer $
Replies: 26
Views: 3296

My son ended up having to use a different bank than we use because there were no ATM’s from our bank near his college. Using the other banks ATM’s ended up costing him several dollars in fees each time he made a withdrawal which was ridiculous when he only needed some pocket money. It was maybe ten ...
by Watty
Tue May 18, 2010 10:47 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: How to hedge EURO expense?
Replies: 13
Views: 2150

If you book some of the more expensive things like hotel on a US we site now you may be able to lock in the rate in dollars. This can also avoid credit card conversion fees. I have actually been in Europe and booked and paid for a hotel in Europe on Expedia where the price was quoted and charged in ...
by Watty
Sun May 02, 2010 9:15 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: How much do I owe my parents?
Replies: 81
Views: 14688

There is a saying, "Don't trouble trouble, until trouble troubles you." The situation is not good but it doesn't sound like it has reached the trouble(for you) stage yet. It was not clear but it could be years until they need help financially and you can decide what to do when and if that happens. I...
by Watty
Sun Apr 25, 2010 10:33 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: the next "big one'
Replies: 40
Views: 7999

I was talking with a financial institution about going paperless about a year ago(I can't remember which one) and I asked about the possible problem of tracing down accounts for an estate and even for paperless accounts they still mail out paper tax forms once a year to help cover this situation. In...
by Watty
Sun Apr 25, 2010 10:05 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: When do you have enough to pay off a mortgage?
Replies: 50
Views: 8961

I would also look at it from an asset allocation viewpoint and calculate what percent of your net worth (including all your other accounts) the home equity will be if you pay off the mortgage. There is no magic number but if more than a third of your net worth will be in home equity then to me that ...
by Watty
Thu Mar 18, 2010 4:18 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Writing a Mortgage for my Mom
Replies: 28
Views: 3014

One more thought,

If you do get into some sort of complex deal with your Mom, then you may need to also set up some sort of trust or get a life insurance policy on you so if you die before her that she is taken care of. It can happen.

Greg
by Watty
Thu Mar 18, 2010 4:00 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Writing a Mortgage for my Mom
Replies: 28
Views: 3014

I am not sure these are good ideas, but for brainstorming ideas here are few other suggestions. 1) Would a reverse mortgage be a possibility? I know that people with a mortgage can get a reverse mortgage to pay off the original mortgage and then get some cash each month. I would think that it might ...
by Watty
Thu Mar 18, 2010 10:49 am
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: 26 Year Old- Looking to Start a ROTH Debating Which company
Replies: 31
Views: 4087

IMHO: Second, If you can sock away $250 a month, just stick it in a savings account for 12 months and you'll have $3000, then go open your Vanguard Roth IRA and stick it in a Targeted Date account (they're all pretty aggressive imho) until you have enough in there you can branch out into separate f...
by Watty
Wed Mar 17, 2010 11:44 am
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: deleted
Replies: 17
Views: 2882

It OK and even recommended, to "park" the money in an ultra safe investment like FDIC insured CD's or for up to a year or while you learn more. Watch out for the insurance limits, you may made need to split the money between several banks to stay below the maximum insurance limit. Problems may seem ...
by Watty
Tue Mar 16, 2010 12:44 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Two investment accounts wise or not wise
Replies: 19
Views: 2078

Re: Two investment accounts wise or not wise

I’m confused because I’ve always thought that having just one investment account is best because the larger the account gets the more it works for you. The opposite is true, for diversification you want to have several types of accounts so that you have more flexibility in retirement. For flexibili...
by Watty
Tue Mar 16, 2010 9:25 am
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Portfolio help - debt or no debt, 403b or 457?
Replies: 13
Views: 2255

As part of the stimulus there is a special zero percent capital gains tax rate for 2008 through 2010 for people in the 15% or less tax bracket. Google "zero percent capital gains rate" for information on this. You missed the prior years but this year would still be a perfect time to sell some of the...
by Watty
Mon Mar 15, 2010 11:20 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Rent or buy in this hypothetical situation
Replies: 28
Views: 2714

When you are doing the mortgage calculations you need to take into account that part of each mortgage payment is paying down principal and increasing your net worth even if the house does not appreciate. For example a $118K 30 year fixed rate mortgage at 5% would have a mortgage payment of $633, $14...
by Watty
Mon Mar 15, 2010 3:15 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: 24, single, decent savings, confused and need help!
Replies: 6
Views: 2044

You have a great 401K, while there may be some dogs in it and a large numbers of choices, it would be safe to just go with the Spartan index funds or the 2050 target fund for a few years until you have more money in the 401K. Then it would be worthwhile spending the time to figure out how to split t...
by Watty
Mon Mar 15, 2010 12:10 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Mortgage payoff: What would you do?
Replies: 46
Views: 6674

Am I missing something? I didn't do the math but; The Op is able to use the mortgage interest tax deduction so the after tax effective interest rate of the 5.25% loan is much less, maybe in the ballpark of 3% depending on their states income tax. Within the Roth the money could be invested in a 5 ye...
by Watty
Mon Mar 15, 2010 9:45 am
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Newbie seeking some basic advice
Replies: 8
Views: 1206

If you Google "Morningstar x-ray" you will find a web tool that allows you to enter your holdings and it will tell you your overall asset allocation. A few general comments; My guess is that you may be a bit light in bonds but that is OK as long as you know that you are underweighting bonds. In your...
by Watty
Sun Mar 14, 2010 10:59 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Traditional to Roth IRA
Replies: 4
Views: 1605

Re: Traditional to Roth IRA

I am 70 years old and have 80K in Vanguard traditional IRA. Should I convert to a Roth IRA before I begin RMD next year? The first thing you need to do it to calculate what the required distribution is. It is probably less than you think. The life expectancy tables the IRS uses to calculate RMS's a...
by Watty
Sun Mar 14, 2010 10:39 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Roth 401k v. traditional 401k
Replies: 78
Views: 15026

Wow. Are there just a lot of deductions that you can take advantage of when you're closer to retirement? College expenses, etc? When a couple has income below the thresholds and they are over 55 they may be able to contribute up to all these 2009 limits. 401K, $22K deductible IRA, $12K with spouse,...
by Watty
Sun Mar 14, 2010 10:08 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Roth 401k v. traditional 401k
Replies: 78
Views: 15026

Another thing to consider is that if the retirement account does grow to be large then when you are in your 50's you will have the choice of retiring early on a more modest income and lower tax rate than if you work another ten years to retire in a high tax bracket. You also need to look at your tax...
by Watty
Sun Mar 14, 2010 8:53 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Roth 401k v. traditional 401k
Replies: 78
Views: 15026

You are doing great now but lots of things can happen in your life and career that may affect your earnings and the ability to make future contributions. Unless you can make a compelling argument for the Roth, then putting $125 in the traditional 401k instead of $100in the Roth (or whatever the actu...
by Watty
Sun Mar 14, 2010 1:36 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Rent or buy?
Replies: 12
Views: 2195

Unless I am missing something I think the math does not work out. You can rent for $1500 but if you buy, even with the 0% interest you will still have routine maintenance, license fees, and insurance. For simplicity say $500 per year. You might save $1,000 per year but even with the low mileage the ...
by Watty
Sun Mar 14, 2010 12:34 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Purchase a Second home?
Replies: 18
Views: 3142

Property is 3.5 hours from home and plan to use it 20 weekends per year. That is probably 3.5 hours in smooth traffic. Realistically there will be times that it is slower, especially on Friday evenings. If you drive half an hour drive to get home from work before you drive to the house, then the Fr...
by Watty
Sat Mar 13, 2010 11:58 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Personal Finance Advice for High School Students
Replies: 101
Views: 16231

It would be worthwhile to make sure that they have the very basics of how to use Excel to layout a simple financial plan. --------------------------- For an example of the power of compounding you might use this example. When my son was in high school we had "Antiques Roadshow" on the TV and there w...
by Watty
Thu Oct 11, 2007 11:18 am
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Too much overtime?
Replies: 32
Views: 8761

There are situations where too much may be withheld from your paycheck, but you will end up getting this back when you file your tax return at the end of the year. The reason that this can happen is that some(but not all) payroll systems just look at the paycheck to estimate your taxes. To make the ...
by Watty
Thu Oct 11, 2007 10:51 am
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: How to invest windfall of 1.2 mil for early retirement now.
Replies: 23
Views: 6269

There have been a few things that have not been mentioned in this discussion yet; 1) There wasn't any mention of social security. If you can live comfortably on inflation adjusted income of $50K per year, then when social security kicks in, if you get $12.5K from that, then yearly withdrawals will b...
by Watty
Wed Oct 10, 2007 4:15 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: How to invest windfall of 1.2 mil for early retirement now.
Replies: 23
Views: 6269

A few comments; Most of the safe withdrawal rate studies look at the asset allocation mix in determining a withdrawal rate. Be careful about using a rate that assumes something like a 60/40 stock and bond allocation since your allocation is a lot lower in stocks. Between having longer time frame and...