Search found 282 matches

by Miguelito
Thu Nov 10, 2016 8:11 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Tax withholding on bonus when at high tax bracket
Replies: 8
Views: 2444

Tax withholding on bonus when at high tax bracket

I'm asking because nearly all I find has to do with people's questions about why bonuses are "taxed so high." That is, they refer to the IRS rules than once a bonus exceeds some amount ($1k, I think), the automatic withholding is 25% for federal tax, which, understandably, for most is more than thei...
by Miguelito
Wed Oct 12, 2016 10:21 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Percent back from landscaping investment
Replies: 19
Views: 3398

Re: Percent back from landscaping investment

Like anything else, I think moderation is key. Some newly built homes had the builder spend very little on landscape. I think spending 5% of the home value is a very safe bet as it almost universally will make the curb appeal better and increase value. Going over-the-top on ornamental gardens may on...
by Miguelito
Mon Sep 05, 2016 9:26 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Professional mid-life crisis
Replies: 28
Views: 5797

Re: Professional mid-life crisis

It sounds to me like that the honeymoon with the new job is over. Engineers like to fix things and solve problems, so it sounds to me that you are bored with the job. I'm not sure how realistic your expectations were - a first level manager gets to juggle competing priorities, attend a lot of meeti...
by Miguelito
Mon Sep 05, 2016 9:19 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Professional mid-life crisis
Replies: 28
Views: 5797

Re: Professional mid-life crisis

The OP made a career choice that isn't working out. Option 1 is your best, but it doesn't go far enough. Let's go with Option 6: 6) Talk with your manager that this isn't working out. You'd like to get back to engineering, or at least do enough of a percentage to keep you sharp. You'll have the bes...
by Miguelito
Mon Sep 05, 2016 8:56 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Professional mid-life crisis
Replies: 28
Views: 5797

Re: Professional mid-life crisis

I'll throw in my 2 cents as someone who manages engineers who run various groups. My comments: * I think nisiprius has some decent points above. #1 is right on in my experience. For #2 and #3, if you have a decent relationship with your manager, I would outline for them exactly the sort of advancem...
by Miguelito
Mon Sep 05, 2016 8:49 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Professional mid-life crisis
Replies: 28
Views: 5797

Re: Professional mid-life crisis

Thanks for the feedback. Just to be clear, the reason for my "crisis" has more to do with my feeling that I could be doing more important things. It's more feeling unfulfilled than anything else. I have high expectations for myself and feel I have high potential. I've made career sacrifices for the ...
by Miguelito
Sun Sep 04, 2016 9:34 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Professional mid-life crisis
Replies: 28
Views: 5797

Professional mid-life crisis

I am under 40 and a well-regarded engineer that has recently moved into management. I like the job and I am doing well in revitalizing the group, setting a new direction, correcting many past mistakes, and overall rising the profile of the group within the company (a lot in part by leveraging my tec...
by Miguelito
Thu Aug 18, 2016 6:45 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Keep working and how much beach house?
Replies: 30
Views: 4312

Re: Keep working and how much beach house?

We toyed with a mountain cabin for several years before opting against. Our kids are only 6 and 9 and already spend significant weekend time in activities (soccer, baseball, dance, rock climbing) and with friends. We travel much less than we used to and certainly wouldn't be able to take them with ...
by Miguelito
Wed Aug 17, 2016 7:00 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Keep working and how much beach house?
Replies: 30
Views: 4312

Re: Keep working and how much beach house?

I am biased and perhaps risk averse, but I don't think I could bring myself to owning a beachfront property. I've felt that way since very young. Heck, I got "blamed" for Katrina when I was just out of college. Working in New England with a girl from Mississippi, I kept hearing her say how much she ...
by Miguelito
Tue Aug 09, 2016 6:45 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Will banks let you pay only the interest part of your mortgage?
Replies: 17
Views: 2854

Re: Will banks let you pay only the interest part of your mortgage?

And for much of the life of an amortized mortgage, most of the payments are interest anyway. It's only when you get near the end of the loan that the principal starts to figure in. Assuming a 30-year mortgage, yes. The principal is only ~16% of the payment to start and it takes about 12 years to ge...
by Miguelito
Tue Jul 19, 2016 12:40 pm
Forum: Personal Investments
Topic: Investing extra cash?
Replies: 19
Views: 2543

Re: Investing extra cash?

On the debt side, after the CC debt and the 14% debt are gone, I would pay off the car at 3% before I would pay off the federal loans. Not just because the interest rate is higher, but also because the balance is lower and likely the monthly payment higher. So you can knock it off sooner and free up...
by Miguelito
Sun Jul 17, 2016 12:20 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Too much house???
Replies: 58
Views: 8052

Re: Too much house???

I like the rule of not having your mortgage more than 2x your salary. Wow, that is extreme. I mean, I can see that if one is super conservative, single and/or fluctuating income, etc. But in HCOL areas that would get you nothing even with a decent income of $150-200k. I think most of the time 3:1 w...
by Miguelito
Fri Jul 15, 2016 3:37 pm
Forum: Personal Investments
Topic: Time for a BH check-up
Replies: 2
Views: 463

Time for a BH check-up

We would like to invest more from our cash savings. We held on to a lot of cash because one of us potentially would have had to start a new business, but that ended up not being the case and we are both salaried employees for the foreseeable future. I can’t help but feel a bit foolish for not invest...
by Miguelito
Thu Jun 30, 2016 6:22 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Boston area teardown bubble? Sign of a housing downturn ahead?
Replies: 74
Views: 6802

Re: Boston area teardown bubble? Sign of a housing downturn ahead?

My house was one of these teardowns - except mine was the result of the builder buying a foreclosed home in 2009. We bought it in 2012 after the build overpriced it and sat on it for a while. The reason for current teardowns (just as was the case back then) is that my town has basically zoned all th...
by Miguelito
Fri Feb 26, 2016 3:56 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: 300 dollars for Chase savings offer
Replies: 40
Views: 9604

Re: 300 dollars for Chase savings offer

I don't see how it wouldn't be taxable.

I'll look into this. I've had a CapitalOne360 (formerly ING Direct) for several years, but I have a respectable amount of money in there, and it would be foolish to stay at 0.75% when there are higher rates to be had elsewhere along with bonuses.
by Miguelito
Mon Feb 22, 2016 3:29 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: End of debit cards for me
Replies: 135
Views: 18008

Re: End of debit cards for me

Sorry to hear. But yeah, I've never had a debit card. Always shred them and never activate them.

Amex as my default, capital one Visa as back up/international, and ATM card. That's all I need.
by Miguelito
Mon Feb 22, 2016 3:27 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Boston Auto Insurance
Replies: 5
Views: 599

Re: Boston Auto Insurance

Progressive, Amica, Metlife, Commerce, Safety come to mind.

I've had Liberty Mutual for many years and have been reasonably happy. A coworker has progressive and he was blown away with how good the service was when he hit a deer and the car was totaled.
by Miguelito
Mon Feb 22, 2016 3:23 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Unfinished basement ideas
Replies: 41
Views: 6452

Re: Unfinished basement ideas

Number 1 issue to look at is moisture. Depending on where you live, how well insulated it is will also make a difference. In your case, a dark ceiling will mean a very dark basement unless you have an incredible amount of lighting. Finally, beware of exposed electrical, HVAC, etc. If kids start play...
by Miguelito
Fri Jan 29, 2016 4:03 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: What age did you start maxing out your retirement contributions?
Replies: 65
Views: 7597

Re: What age did you start maxing out your retirement contributions?

We are an average of 28yo when we maxed out our 401k's. A year later we started maxing out back door IRA's (though we could not do the conversion until a few years later).
by Miguelito
Mon Jan 25, 2016 5:10 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: High income earners and retirement budget?.
Replies: 37
Views: 5924

Re: High income earners and retirement budget?.

I've posted about this in the past. We have a good income and fully expect our home to be paid well before retirement. I am confident we would be happy retiring with $75k/year. My high end retirement budget is in the $125-150k range (lots of vacations, continue to live in our current home, nice cars...
by Miguelito
Thu Jan 21, 2016 3:51 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Brick and Mortar Bank in Massachusetts?
Replies: 31
Views: 2727

Re: Brick and Mortar Bank in Massachusetts?

I've always only had Citizens Bank coming up on nearly 20 years now. I like that they have branches at supermarkets and that they are open late and on weekends. Never had a reason to leave - although I am grandfathered into a pretty good fee-free checking account.
by Miguelito
Mon Jan 11, 2016 2:18 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: How much life insurance do we need?
Replies: 5
Views: 1062

Re: How much life insurance do we need?

Pretty sure this has been answered many times. For us, we just covered ourselves for the balance on the house, kids colleges, and enough to cover child care expenses while young. It depends on your own situation, of course. How much one or the other makes, number of kids, age of kids, other expenses...
by Miguelito
Mon Jan 11, 2016 2:12 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Obtaining Pesos in Mexico
Replies: 16
Views: 1997

Re: Obtaining Pesos in Mexico

Why not an ATM? ...unless you are looking for a lot of money. ATM is the easiest way to get local currency while abroad. This is true for Europe, but I'd be surprised if Mexico doesn't work the same way. Whatever fee you pay (typically a $3-5) is totally worth not having to worry about it.
by Miguelito
Fri Jan 08, 2016 3:48 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Include 529 in net worth?
Replies: 32
Views: 4820

Re: Include 529 in net worth?

To me, net worth is the theoretical pile of money I would end up with if I sold or cashed everything I own. But it's purely an academic number.

529's are not academic. If things go south (you are about to lose your house), that is a pretty liquid pile of money that is all yours.
by Miguelito
Mon Jan 04, 2016 8:00 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Article: Stocks overvalued and could see 50%+ drop
Replies: 29
Views: 5637

Re: Article: Stocks overvalued and could see 50%+ drop

Thanks for the comments. By the way, I do not buy into these kinds of articles, because, as mentioned, they have been around forever. This one in particular threw around a lot of "data." I know better than to trust any chart put out there, so I was wondering if people who are more knowledgeable saw ...
by Miguelito
Mon Jan 04, 2016 3:59 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Article: Stocks overvalued and could see 50%+ drop
Replies: 29
Views: 5637

Article: Stocks overvalued and could see 50%+ drop

http://news.yahoo.com/stock-market-cras ... .html?nf=1

I'm not familiar enough to quickly understand all the data being presented, but just curious about what people here think.
by Miguelito
Tue Dec 22, 2015 9:44 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Biggest lucky break in your personal finances?
Replies: 160
Views: 18574

Re: Biggest lucky break in your personal finances?

None really, other than having jobs that pay well. We both had a lot of school debt, got all our jobs on merit and credentials alone (no connections of any kind), and lost on our first home (probably ~100k in the hole from that still).
by Miguelito
Thu Dec 10, 2015 9:24 am
Forum: Personal Investments
Topic: Maxing 401k as quickly as possible?
Replies: 13
Views: 1054

Re: Maxing 401k as quickly as possible?

I don't like that plan at all, personally. I rather dollar cost average. In fact one of us gets a pretty hefty bonus in January and we make sure to opt out of the 401k in January just to avoid plunking down so much of the contribution in one go. The other one of us must make a 6% contribution every ...
by Miguelito
Tue Dec 08, 2015 4:34 pm
Forum: Personal Investments
Topic: Wife uncomfortable investing in taxable account
Replies: 41
Views: 3677

Re: Wife uncomfortable investing in taxable account

Well, you've gotten a variety of responses and not one asked "what is your goal for the money"? That should affect how it is invested. Long term should take on at least some risk - you can easily find a chart that shows how the value of your money will DECLINE over time because you are earning 0.1%...
by Miguelito
Tue Dec 08, 2015 4:23 pm
Forum: Personal Investments
Topic: Wife uncomfortable investing in taxable account
Replies: 41
Views: 3677

Re: Wife uncomfortable investing in taxable account

MIguelito - Do you have 529s or some equivalent plan for your kids' college already set up? If not you could do that. It is really hard to tell someone what to do with extra money :happy . Yup. 529's are set up and being funded at a reasonable rate. Whenever the market dips (like in the August cras...
by Miguelito
Tue Dec 08, 2015 4:09 pm
Forum: Personal Investments
Topic: Wife uncomfortable investing in taxable account
Replies: 41
Views: 3677

Re: Wife uncomfortable investing in taxable account

It sounds to me like you don't have enough emergency fund actually. "6 months expenses if one of us is laid off" Based on your wife's conservatism and your urge to do something productive with your finances I have a few recommendations, in this order: 1) Continue to max 401 / roth IRA for both 2) B...
by Miguelito
Tue Dec 08, 2015 4:05 pm
Forum: Personal Investments
Topic: Wife uncomfortable investing in taxable account
Replies: 41
Views: 3677

Re: Wife uncomfortable investing in taxable account

My wife, also a foreigner, is like this as well. She would rather keep cash around the house, and use a debit card rather than a credit card and forego plenty of rewards points. The Ally savings account is about as radical as she gets. Meanwhile, her foreign savings are getting raped and pillaged b...
by Miguelito
Tue Dec 08, 2015 4:04 pm
Forum: Personal Investments
Topic: Wife uncomfortable investing in taxable account
Replies: 41
Views: 3677

Re: Wife uncomfortable investing in taxable account

Sorry, but I'm with your wife on this one. DH and I were both layed off the same month and were unemployed for almost a year. Our kids were in elementary school but understood we had to spend wisely. An emergency fund is supposed to be there to help you get through the financially difficult times i...
by Miguelito
Tue Dec 08, 2015 1:50 pm
Forum: Personal Investments
Topic: Wife uncomfortable investing in taxable account
Replies: 41
Views: 3677

Re: Wife uncomfortable investing in taxable account

Women in general tend to be more conservative investors than men. It sounds like your wife is definitely one of those on the conservative side. She is afraid of stocks. Is she also afraid of corporate bonds? Corporate bonds can be a way to get some more return if your wife does not perceive them to...
by Miguelito
Tue Dec 08, 2015 1:07 pm
Forum: Personal Investments
Topic: Wife uncomfortable investing in taxable account
Replies: 41
Views: 3677

Re: Wife uncomfortable investing in taxable account

Angelus359 wrote:I'd say go 50/50 vtsax and high interest CDs

Forget about bonds entirely

There, I said it. High interest CDs are better than bonds if you have less than a half million for 2 people
I thought CD's paid next to nothing. I have to admit I never considered them. I'll look into it.
by Miguelito
Tue Dec 08, 2015 1:05 pm
Forum: Personal Investments
Topic: Wife uncomfortable investing in taxable account
Replies: 41
Views: 3677

Re: Wife uncomfortable investing in taxable account

Compromise is always tough because neither party gets exactly what they want. I'd approach the situation with 50/50 solution--meaning 50% of your taxable savings goes into bonds, CDs or high-yield savings. Please don't take offense at this observation, but sometimes when a partner says she doesn't ...
by Miguelito
Tue Dec 08, 2015 11:51 am
Forum: Personal Investments
Topic: Wife uncomfortable investing in taxable account
Replies: 41
Views: 3677

Re: Wife uncomfortable investing in taxable account

One thing you can do is to check with your lender to see if they will "recast your mortage" (Google this) if you make a large prepayment. If they will then if you pay off 25% of your mortage balance then your required monthly payment would also be reduced by 25%. They are not required to do this bu...
by Miguelito
Tue Dec 08, 2015 11:44 am
Forum: Personal Investments
Topic: Wife uncomfortable investing in taxable account
Replies: 41
Views: 3677

Re: Wife uncomfortable investing in taxable account

I would pay off the mortgage with that cash rather than invest it. The mortgage is probably her main source of uncertainty. After it is paid off, try again to invest it. That pile of cash would pay less than half of our outstanding mortgage, so I cannot wipe the mortgage. If that were the case, we ...
by Miguelito
Tue Dec 08, 2015 11:42 am
Forum: Personal Investments
Topic: Wife uncomfortable investing in taxable account
Replies: 41
Views: 3677

Re: Wife uncomfortable investing in taxable account

So it seems a matter of perception. She's still thinking of that money as an emergency fund, while you're thinking of it as part of the retirement portfolio. The first part is completely true. I don't see it as retirement money necessarily, as I feel our retirement is well funded, but sure it could...
by Miguelito
Tue Dec 08, 2015 11:30 am
Forum: Personal Investments
Topic: Wife uncomfortable investing in taxable account
Replies: 41
Views: 3677

Re: Wife uncomfortable investing in taxable account

southbay wrote:
Miguelito wrote:We currently have less than 12 years left on a 15 year loan at 2.99% fixed, so I think the house is being paid aggressively enough that we should not put any more money there.
Would you borrow money at 2.99% to invest?
Probably not, but a home is highly illiquid.
by Miguelito
Tue Dec 08, 2015 11:24 am
Forum: Personal Investments
Topic: Wife uncomfortable investing in taxable account
Replies: 41
Views: 3677

Re: Wife uncomfortable investing in taxable account

We currently have less than 12 years left on a 15 year loan at 2.99% fixed, so I think the house is being paid aggressively enough that we should not put any more money there.

Also, yes, we fully max out 401k's and his/hers back door Roths.
by Miguelito
Tue Dec 08, 2015 10:50 am
Forum: Personal Investments
Topic: Wife uncomfortable investing in taxable account
Replies: 41
Views: 3677

Wife uncomfortable investing in taxable account

I'm having some difficulty getting my wife on board with how to invest our money. Brief background. We have a healthy retirement account, 50% equity in a nice home, and no debt. We are in our late 30's with two young kids. For many years we have used our funds (leftover after heavy retirement fundin...
by Miguelito
Tue Nov 17, 2015 4:37 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Advice on salary negotiation - Engineering
Replies: 22
Views: 3082

Re: Advice on salary negotiation - Engineering

If this is a company of any size, in my experience, there's seldom any room to negotiate.... other than "thanks" or "no thanks, I'll pass". Granted my experience is only across multiple large Fortune 100 companies - maybe smaller companies have more room for negotiation? When you sit down with your...
by Miguelito
Tue Nov 17, 2015 3:59 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Advice on salary negotiation - Engineering
Replies: 22
Views: 3082

Re: Advice on salary negotiation - Engineering

You may wish to investigate posting this at http://www.eng-tips.com. And also investigating your own company, and similar positions at other companies, at http://www.glassdoor.com. Or see if your professional organization (ASME, etc) provides information on salaries, etc. Thanks. Yeah I did check o...
by Miguelito
Tue Nov 17, 2015 3:52 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Advice on salary negotiation - Engineering
Replies: 22
Views: 3082

Re: Advice on salary negotiation - Engineering

Miguelito, <<I am inclined to ask for a 10% increase. I am wondering if I should ask for more.>> 1) First law of negotiation, whoever give out the first number, loses. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Anchoring So, let them come out the number FIRST. Don't ask. Then, negotiate from there. 2) Supposedl...
by Miguelito
Tue Nov 17, 2015 3:47 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Advice on salary negotiation - Engineering
Replies: 22
Views: 3082

Re: Advice on salary negotiation - Engineering

What follows is my opinion based on several years working in software. You can ask for whatever you could get somewhere else. If they don't give it to you then go somewhere else. Or whatever you can make them believe your alternatives are. I don't suggest lying because few people can pull it off, b...
by Miguelito
Tue Nov 17, 2015 3:14 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Advice on salary negotiation - Engineering
Replies: 22
Views: 3082

Advice on salary negotiation - Engineering

Looking for a bit of guidance here. I'm a principal mechanical engineer and highly regarded in my company (500-1000 people in a HCOL area). An opportunity has finally opened up in an engineering management position. I've interviewed and it has gone very well, and I have every reason to believe I am ...
by Miguelito
Thu Oct 29, 2015 11:42 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Fair share of expenses for spouses?
Replies: 100
Views: 12148

Re: Fair share of expenses for spouses?

I'll never understand the separate finances thing. Our incomes changed over the years with one of them being at some points more then 2 times the other but it was always "our" money. I almost entirely run all the finances. Despite a good income, we check with each other for even fairly small discret...
by Miguelito
Thu Oct 29, 2015 9:46 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Age when you started to max out your retirement accounts?
Replies: 177
Views: 33999

Re: Age when you started to max out your retirement accounts?

I contributed 6% since I started working at 22 after graduation. Starting at age 26 I started maxing out 401k and the following year I started maxing the back door Roth. Wife and I started maxing out both at the same time once she started working. Being in our late 30's, I'm hopeful and optimistic t...
by Miguelito
Fri Sep 18, 2015 8:38 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: If You Have Savings In Your 20s, You’re Doing Something Wrong [article]
Replies: 148
Views: 17766

Re: If You Have Savings In Your 20s, You’re Doing Something Wrong [article]

It's good to be responsible. But let's not forget to live a little. Don't want to be the guy who dies or becomes disabled at 45 just before a long awaited early retirement after a lifetime of extreme frugality.