Search found 888 matches

by Ron Ronnerson
Sun Jul 23, 2017 3:31 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: 0 Percent CC - how to take advantage
Replies: 24
Views: 2265

Re: 0 Percent CC - how to take advantage

Palatineman, Perhaps I misunderstood. I thought you wanted to try to take advantage of the $62k of new credit line that's available at 0% for 12-15 months. In your response, you mention $4k. That's a big difference and I'm not sure how much you're looking to charge. In any case, if you'd like to spe...
by Ron Ronnerson
Sun Jul 23, 2017 11:58 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: 0 Percent CC - how to take advantage
Replies: 24
Views: 2265

Re: 0 Percent CC - how to take advantage

Prepaying a big amount on your utility bills may not be great either. Factor in inflation. I've prepared a few months of my electric bill to meet minimum spending requirements for a bonus but wouldn't do $4k. Just because a credit line exists doesn't mean you have to use it. You could just do your n...
by Ron Ronnerson
Sat Jul 22, 2017 6:45 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: What's your personal savings rate?
Replies: 135
Views: 14631

Re: What's your personal savings rate?

Our gross income is about 155k and we contribute 35k into retirement accounts ourselves. This includes two Roth IRAs ($11k), a 457b ($18k), and a 403b ($6k). I did not include any of the following (but maybe should?): -My wife’s employer’s contributions into a SEP-IRA for her (they put in 15% of her...
by Ron Ronnerson
Fri Jul 21, 2017 5:57 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: simplicity vs chasing bonuses
Replies: 29
Views: 3162

Re: simplicity vs chasing bonuses

I've found that in this area, complexity pays. Life is about balance, though, and it sounds like you're overdoing it. I look for bonus offers too but only from time to time. I'm willing to accept that I won't be able to take advantage of every bonus offer out there and can live with that. To hunt t...
by Ron Ronnerson
Fri Jul 21, 2017 4:07 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: simplicity vs chasing bonuses
Replies: 29
Views: 3162

Re: simplicity vs chasing bonuses

I've found that in this area, complexity pays. Life is about balance, though, and it sounds like you're overdoing it. I look for bonus offers too but only from time to time. I'm willing to accept that I won't be able to take advantage of every bonus offer out there and can live with that. To hunt th...
by Ron Ronnerson
Fri Jul 21, 2017 9:17 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: State Farm vs Penn National- auto, renters, umbrella?
Replies: 58
Views: 7117

Re: Why does State Farm have poor reviews?

I've been with them for 20 years and been satisfied. I look around every couple of years and no one has been able to beat their price.
by Ron Ronnerson
Thu Jul 20, 2017 7:40 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Vanguard 403b Changes
Replies: 175
Views: 25663

Re: Vanguard 403b Changes

I've been putting money into an IRA and 457b for a while but only started a 403b a few months ago. I have several good options available and the primary reason I chose not to set up my 403b with Vanguard was because I couldn't buy their admiral shares. I wish they'd changed to this new structure jus...
by Ron Ronnerson
Thu Jul 20, 2017 2:23 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: 403(b) Advice
Replies: 6
Views: 769

Re: 403(b) Advice

If you're going to go with a 403b, Vanguard makes sense since the funds you want have slightly lower fees. I had slightly lower fees available in a 403b too but was willing to pay a tad more for a 457b due to the provision that you can access the funds at any age if you separate from your employer. ...
by Ron Ronnerson
Thu Jul 20, 2017 11:23 am
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: 403(b) Advice
Replies: 6
Views: 769

Re: 403(b) Advice

I'm a California teacher and have both a 403b and 457b with CalSTRS Pension 2. I have it set up so that I put in $18k/year into Vanguard Total Stock Market Index Fund in the 457b and put $6k/year into the Vanguard Total Bond Fund in the 403b. These are the same funds Cycling Duo mentioned. I hold in...
by Ron Ronnerson
Thu Jul 20, 2017 1:20 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Those Of You In a HCOLA - What's Your Financial Plan
Replies: 68
Views: 8542

Re: Those Of You In a HCOLA - What's Your Financial Plan

You’re doing great if you’re saving $4k out of $9k per month and are only in your mid-20s. The thing to watch for is not adjusting your lifestyle up too much as you get pay raises in the years ahead. That can occur easily if you don't watch it. We live in the Bay Area and are in our early 40s with ...
by Ron Ronnerson
Wed Jul 19, 2017 8:44 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Those Of You In a HCOLA - What's Your Financial Plan
Replies: 68
Views: 8542

Re: Those Of You In a HCOLA - What's Your Financial Plan

You’re doing great if you’re saving $4k out of $9k per month and are only in your mid-20s. The thing to watch for is not adjusting your lifestyle up too much as you get pay raises in the years ahead. That can occur easily if you don't watch it. We live in the Bay Area and are in our early 40s with a...
by Ron Ronnerson
Wed Jul 19, 2017 4:32 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Eliminate 0% CC balance?
Replies: 30
Views: 2964

Re: Eliminate 0% CC balance?

This is an interesting thread. It seems there are two camps: those who feel pressure when they have any outstanding debt and those who dislike the idea of leaving free money on the table. While I'm generally with Earl Lemongrab on this in that I think of debt as a tool and not something inherently b...
by Ron Ronnerson
Wed Jul 19, 2017 1:44 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: How much to put in a 457?
Replies: 7
Views: 1060

Re: How much to put in a 457?

The advice above is excellent. I'm a public school teacher and, after pension contributions, prioritize in this order: Max our Roth IRAs Max my 457b Put $6k/year into my 403b Doing this allows us to stay in the 15% tax bracket and qualify for almost all of the child tax credit. Save what you can in ...
by Ron Ronnerson
Tue Jul 18, 2017 8:13 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Eliminate 0% CC balance?
Replies: 30
Views: 2964

Re: Eliminate 0% CC balance?

Mentally, it's bothering me to have the debt. However I do understand it's for lack of better terms free money. Would it be considered rational to just pay it off? It is 6,000. Or should I just continue my 12 month schedule to pay it down and invest/save the money instead? The best thing to do in t...
by Ron Ronnerson
Tue Jul 18, 2017 4:40 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Term Life Insurance Questions before I buy
Replies: 8
Views: 862

Re: Term Life Insurance Questions before I buy

I would agree with the points Rupert outlined re amount of coverage. Buy coverage for both of you. You'll appreciate that you bought a 30 year plan, and as noted, you can always drop if you really don't need. The employer offered life is probably age banded, and rates likely will go up every five y...
by Ron Ronnerson
Tue Jul 18, 2017 12:15 am
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: The Final, Definitive Thread on Brokerage Transfer Bonuses
Replies: 1123
Views: 194327

Re: The Final, Definitive Thread on Brokerage Transfer Bonuses

Earl I think you mentioned earlier that you were going to try and get a Scottrade bonus (might be the last opportunity before they merge with Etrade). Did you go ahead with that ? It seems like Scottrade's best bonus right now is around $300 for 100K, $600 for 250 K and so on. No competing bonus fo...
by Ron Ronnerson
Mon Jul 17, 2017 9:33 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: The Final, Definitive Thread on Brokerage Transfer Bonuses
Replies: 1123
Views: 194327

Re: The Final, Definitive Thread on Brokerage Transfer Bonuses

Earl I think you mentioned earlier that you were going to try and get a Scottrade bonus (might be the last opportunity before they merge with Etrade). Did you go ahead with that ? It seems like Scottrade's best bonus right now is around $300 for 100K, $600 for 250 K and so on. No competing bonus fo...
by Ron Ronnerson
Mon Jul 17, 2017 9:20 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Looking for a house around San Jose, CA
Replies: 36
Views: 4514

Re: Looking for a house around San Jose, CA

Anyways, we have substantial money saved for a down payment, with some flexibility, around $120K to $160k. That means with 20% down payment, our budget is limited to $600k to $800k which is pretty laughable for bay area ...The only houses within our budget are south and east San Jose, which are con...
by Ron Ronnerson
Mon Jul 17, 2017 4:01 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Are stock market returns doomed by the Baby Boomers?
Replies: 27
Views: 3795

Re: Are stock market returns doomed by the Baby Boomers?

Not so much. Millenials/echo boomers are a larger demographic than the BBers and they have LOTS of earning years in front of them. Agreed. https://knoema.com/infographics/egyydzc/us-population-by-age-and-generation Yes, and the generation after the Millennials is just as large, or according to some...
by Ron Ronnerson
Mon Jul 17, 2017 11:59 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Is it still worth buying a house in a state with insane property taxes
Replies: 106
Views: 12976

Re: Is it still worth buying a house in a state with insane property taxes

There isn't enough information to properly answer your question. Do you have enough saved for a down payment? Are you interested in being a home owner? Do you plan to stay in the area for the long term? How much is rent for a home similar to the one you might buy? Can you afford to buy and still mee...
by Ron Ronnerson
Sun Jul 16, 2017 10:01 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: How to use retirement funds for college without penalities or taxes?
Replies: 31
Views: 2743

Re: How to use retirement funds for college without penalities or taxes?

I get what you're saying as well. The funds in retirement accounts can't be used until later without penalty. However, money being saved in a 529 for college expenses while kids are young is sort of in the same situation. Now let's say that later day finally arrives. If someone's kid does go to col...
by Ron Ronnerson
Sun Jul 16, 2017 2:12 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: How to use retirement funds for college without penalities or taxes?
Replies: 31
Views: 2743

Re: How to use retirement funds for college without penalities or taxes?

Retirement accounts offer flexibility since 529s have to be used for education to avoid taxes and penalty. It is possible to over-contribute to a 529 and have extra money left over. For example, a child may not go to college or college costs could go down in the future. I disagree that retirement a...
by Ron Ronnerson
Sun Jul 16, 2017 1:15 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: How to use retirement funds for college without penalities or taxes?
Replies: 31
Views: 2743

Re: How to use retirement funds for college without penalities or taxes?

Retirement accounts offer flexibility since 529s have to be used for education to avoid taxes and penalty. It is possible to over-contribute to a 529 and have extra money left over. For example, a child may not go to college or college costs could go down in the future. I disagree that retirement a...
by Ron Ronnerson
Sat Jul 15, 2017 9:56 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: How to use retirement funds for college without penalities or taxes?
Replies: 31
Views: 2743

Re: How to use retirement funds for college without penalities or taxes?

My question is simple. How do you withdraw money from retirement accounts when your children are college age that you don't end up having to pay penalties and/or taxes? The penalties can be avoided if you're old enough. In a 457b, you just have to separate from your employer and can be any age. For...
by Ron Ronnerson
Fri Jul 14, 2017 1:07 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: How to use Retirement Funds for College Savings
Replies: 53
Views: 3465

Re: How to use Retirement Funds for College Savings

I never said I wish/need to max out my retirement accounts, either. What I said was that while I can still contribute to retirment accounts, I see no reason to contribute anywhere else. I can use retirement money to pay for college expenses, or whatever else I want, while also getting tax advantage...
by Ron Ronnerson
Thu Jul 13, 2017 10:33 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: How to use Retirement Funds for College Savings
Replies: 53
Views: 3465

Re: How to use Retirement Funds for College Savings

529s are great in some situations whereas retirement accounts used for college may make sense in others. But's let's clarify. The only account that you can use for college, prior to retirement, is contributions to a Roth IRA, correct? I don't believe you can use 401k / 403b money for college withou...
by Ron Ronnerson
Thu Jul 13, 2017 9:59 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: How to use Retirement Funds for College Savings
Replies: 53
Views: 3465

Re: How to use Retirement Funds for College Savings

Everyone’s situation will be different but we’re saving for college only in retirement accounts. The main reason is flexibility since the funds don’t have to be used only for education. We’re unable to max out the space in our retirement accounts but we’re contributing what we can to them. We’ve be...
by Ron Ronnerson
Thu Jul 13, 2017 5:55 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: How to use Retirement Funds for College Savings
Replies: 53
Views: 3465

Re: How to use Retirement Funds for College Savings

Everyone’s situation will be different but we’re saving for college only in retirement accounts. The main reason is flexibility since the funds don’t have to be used only for education. We’re unable to max out the space in our retirement accounts but we’re contributing what we can to them. We’ve bee...
by Ron Ronnerson
Thu Jul 13, 2017 12:18 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Do you count vehicle equity in net worth?
Replies: 203
Views: 14506

Re: Do you count vehicle equity in net worth?

Even though it should technically be included, I ignore it. We don't buy expensive cars and, over a few years, they depreciate fairly rapidly anyhow. Also, if we sold our cars and got something cheaper due to an emergency, the cash we'd end up with wouldn't be very much after all is said and done. I...
by Ron Ronnerson
Wed Jul 12, 2017 12:31 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Evaluating housing and longer commutes
Replies: 20
Views: 1661

Re: Evaluating housing and longer commutes

As has been said, the biggest cost is the time involved. I would suggest that they work out a schedule of what their day would look like to see how much commute time is feasible. If they plan on having kids, include things like getting everyone ready in the morning, having breakfast, etc. to get an ...
by Ron Ronnerson
Mon Jul 10, 2017 12:57 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: 100k milestone
Replies: 49
Views: 7201

Re: 100k milestone

For those saying you hit 100k and then 10 years later you are at 500-900k? I am only investing an additional $500-600 a month. I am only working with about 30k income before taxes. I can live off of it and am content. How are you able to build your wealth that fast? Where do you have it invested? I...
by Ron Ronnerson
Mon Jul 10, 2017 12:01 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: 100k milestone
Replies: 49
Views: 7201

Re: 100k milestone

Reached $100k net worth at age 35. I'm now 42 and net worth is about $800k.
by Ron Ronnerson
Sun Jul 09, 2017 2:34 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Starting college savings
Replies: 29
Views: 2743

Re: Starting college savings

Like you, I’m a teacher planning to retire around age 61. I’ll also have a supplemental teacher’s retirement account in addition to a decent-size pension. We are in the 15% tax bracket as well. My pension and wife’s social security should cover much of our retirement expenses. For some of the reason...
by Ron Ronnerson
Sat Jul 08, 2017 6:56 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: How are you a leader in personal finance?
Replies: 29
Views: 3826

Re: How are you a leader in personal finance?

While I wouldn’t consider myself a leader, I’m pretty good at keeping costs low by looking for value. We went through each spending category and found that we don’t have to work very much if we could keep costs down. This allows us a lot of time together as a family and has worked well for us. It se...
by Ron Ronnerson
Fri Jul 07, 2017 12:37 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Seeking advice on 1.2m (now 900K) house purchase
Replies: 192
Views: 16873

Re: Seeking advice on 1.2m (now 900K) house purchase

Uncle Pennybags wrote:
SeaToTheBay wrote:if you can afford it, there are a lot of reasons to live here.
Doesn't it bother you that you are sitting on a fault line that WILL violently move?

I try to look on the bright side. Due to rising sea levels, there is a decent chance that we'll already be under water by the time the big one hits.
by Ron Ronnerson
Fri Jul 07, 2017 10:52 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Seeking advice on 1.2m (now 900K) house purchase
Replies: 192
Views: 16873

Re: Seeking advice on 1.2m (now 900K) house purchase

The OP was able to amass $1.4 million in net worth at age 40 despite living in a very high cost of living area. Seems like the HCOL didn't stop her from accumulating wealth that 95% of Americans will never get to attain in their lifetimes. Two possible takeaways from this is 1.) the OP should conti...
by Ron Ronnerson
Thu Jul 06, 2017 8:00 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: What is a Normal Spending Percentage of Take-Home Pay?
Replies: 29
Views: 3408

Re: What is a Normal Spending Percentage of Take-Home Pay?

If I understand the question correctly, we get close to nothing left over. Here are some rough numbers for us: Gross Income: $150k Federal Tax: $10k State Tax: $3k Spending: $90k Retirement Accounts: Whatever is left We currently contribute $11k toward a pension, $11k into Roth IRA accounts, $18k in...
by Ron Ronnerson
Wed Jul 05, 2017 9:05 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Seeking advice on 1.2m (now 900K) house purchase
Replies: 192
Views: 16873

Re: Seeking advice on 1.2m house purchase

This is what I gather so far: 1) 1.2M is indeed way too high for someone who subscribes to the Bogglehead philosophy at my income level - cashflow negative is not a good idea even with vested RSUs. Should budget lower than 800K. I will do this though this will be difficult due to limited supply (bu...
by Ron Ronnerson
Wed Jul 05, 2017 12:52 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Seeking advice on 1.2m (now 900K) house purchase
Replies: 192
Views: 16873

Re: Seeking advice on 1.2m house purchase

I live in the Bay Area and work in Silicon Valley. We're a family of three with a combined income similar to yours. I have excellent job security (tenured teacher). We purchased our home in 2010 for $500k. It's $800k now and we wouldn't be able to afford it today. You can not afford a home that cost...
by Ron Ronnerson
Tue Jul 04, 2017 2:45 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: What's the ideal safe retirement net worth target?
Replies: 264
Views: 51170

Re: What's the ideal safe retirement net worth target?

My wife and I live in the Bay Area where the cost of living is about as high as it gets.When we start taking SS in a few years,about 5000 a month when we both are 70,it will cover all of our basic living expenses.Our house is paid off of course. I have no idea how people need 3 to 10 million in inv...
by Ron Ronnerson
Sun Jul 02, 2017 6:08 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Beginner needs sanity check moving a lot of cash to market.
Replies: 58
Views: 6467

Re: Beginner needs sanity check moving a lot of cash to market.

The OP has high income, relatively low net worth (this is not intended as a slight. His net worth is higher than mine) and an expressed desire to retire early. Thanks for the feedback. We are about 750K net worth with cash and investments, not counting any equity in the home. I am curious to what #...
by Ron Ronnerson
Sun Jul 02, 2017 3:13 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Beginner needs sanity check moving a lot of cash to market.
Replies: 58
Views: 6467

Re: Beginner needs sanity check moving a lot of cash to market.

How much are your monthly expenses? What are your federal and state tax brackets? What is the term of the home loan and how long do you have left until it's paid off? Is your mortgage interest deductible? This information would be helpful in offering you suggestions on how to proceed. Monthly expen...
by Ron Ronnerson
Sun Jul 02, 2017 10:29 am
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Beginner needs sanity check moving a lot of cash to market.
Replies: 58
Views: 6467

Re: Beginner needs sanity check moving a lot of cash to market.

OP,

How much are your monthly expenses?
What are your federal and state tax brackets?
What is the term of the home loan and how long do you have left until it's paid off?
Is your mortgage interest deductible?

This information would be helpful in offering you suggestions on how to proceed.
by Ron Ronnerson
Wed Jun 28, 2017 11:09 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: How many "accounts" do you maintain at your investment firm?
Replies: 31
Views: 2513

Re: How many "accounts" do you maintain at your investment firm?

Investments: His Roth IRA Her Roth IRA Her SEP IRA Her Traditional IRA His 403b His 457b His brokerage Her brokerage Other: His defined benefit plan His defined benefit supplemental plan Healthcare FSA Dependent care FSA 10 bank accounts (checking, savings, money market) - some are joint and some ar...
by Ron Ronnerson
Sun Jun 25, 2017 1:03 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Credit cards' credit lines - pros/cons of requesting reduction?
Replies: 36
Views: 3941

Re: Credit cards' credit lines - pros/cons of requesting reduction?

I did this just yesterday with Chase for the same reasons you mention. It was a 5 minute phone call. I plan to apply for another Chase card later in the year and already had a lot of credit with them. I'm at 3/24 but will be at 2/24 as of next month.
by Ron Ronnerson
Sat Jun 24, 2017 5:30 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Bay Area housing
Replies: 69
Views: 8166

Re: Bay Area housing

I hate to say it but it is true - pull the trigger asap. I tried to go boglehead conservative in 2010 and fought my wife hard to not buy a bay area home in the downturn. I was completely wrong. It's been 7 years now and even the 10 or more yrs before that there were no 'reasonable' priced times to ...
by Ron Ronnerson
Fri Jun 23, 2017 10:04 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: New Baby - Wife stay at home for 1 year?
Replies: 48
Views: 5385

Re: New Baby - Wife stay at home for 1 year?

Since you posted here I am assuming you are concerned about the financial aspect. If your salary can cover all expenses then to cost of having your wife stay at home is: 75,000 wife' salary Plus any match or value of other employer incentives that would be foregone Plus the extra cost, if any, of m...
by Ron Ronnerson
Fri Jun 23, 2017 9:33 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: What do you say when you cancel an account that you only opened for bonus?
Replies: 64
Views: 6691

Re: What do you say when you cancel an account that you only opened for bonus?

If it's a bank account, I say I'm consolidating accounts. Saying this has resulted in no more follow-up questions and the account is closed right away. I've closed lots of bank accounts. When I've initiated transfer requests at brokerages, sometimes the brokerage I'm transferring from has called me ...