Search found 277 matches

by FreemanB
Thu Aug 07, 2014 2:46 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Looking for advice on creating a Will
Replies: 39
Views: 4049

Re: Looking for advice on creating a Will

What happens if you have more children? Do you have to draw up a whole new Will? Or can it be amended? The will can(and should) always be amended as your circumstances change. However, in the specific case of providing for additional children, the language of the will should be flexible enough to n...
by FreemanB
Thu Aug 07, 2014 12:26 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Looking for advice on creating a Will
Replies: 39
Views: 4049

Re: Looking for advice on creating a Will

I would recommend going to a lawyer in your area(Preferably one known or recommended by others) and let them draw up a will, living will, health POA, etc.(You need more than just a will to really protect yourself and family) You can usually get all of these done in one package for a flat fee.(At lea...
by FreemanB
Thu Aug 07, 2014 7:23 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Your opinion of mint.com
Replies: 55
Views: 7201

Re: Your opinion of mint.com

I use it regularly without a second thought about security. The computer you are accessing Mint from is far more likely to be compromised in some way, and each time you log into any account, you incur a risk that your credentials will be exposed. I find it useful for tracking budgets, transactions, ...
by FreemanB
Wed Aug 06, 2014 9:59 am
Forum: Personal Investments
Topic: How to give advice when you don't know much.
Replies: 33
Views: 2047

Re: How to give advice when you don't know much.

I was in a similar situation last weekend discussing IRAs with my sister-in-law and her husband. I'm not an expert by any means, but there are some things I do know that I can say for certain.(Such as recommending my sister-in-law move her IRA from USAA to a lower-cost company such as Vanguard) For ...
by FreemanB
Tue Aug 05, 2014 7:14 am
Forum: Personal Investments
Topic: Roth vs traditional Ira
Replies: 18
Views: 1749

Re: Roth vs traditional Ira

We converted to Roth IRAs several years ago, and now we are above the limit for deducting traditional contributions anyway, so Roths are our only real option.
by FreemanB
Tue Aug 05, 2014 7:06 am
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Vanguard sued for [failing to charge market rates to and then paying taxes on services to its mutual funds]
Replies: 806
Views: 152779

Re: Vanguard sued for charging too little

I am a CPA and a fan of the Vanguard organization. At first I thought this suit had no merit but now I see a problem. I believe it is generally true that commonly owned entities are required to charge each other market rates. If so Vanguard would charge more and pay taxes. The individual mutual fun...
by FreemanB
Fri Jul 25, 2014 7:35 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: advice on used prius purchase using Edmunds
Replies: 5
Views: 1077

Re: advice on used prius purchase using Edmunds

We bought a 2006 Prius last year. DW likes it so well, we will likely get the battery replaced, if and when it goes out. There are independent repair shops that specialize in hybrids and do not have dealer prices. A battery is just a bunch of individual cells connected together, not a secret that i...
by FreemanB
Thu Jul 24, 2014 2:42 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: advice on used prius purchase using Edmunds
Replies: 5
Views: 1077

Re: advice on used prius purchase using Edmunds

It is probably mostly a case of supply and demand. I don't know what area of the country you are in, but in my area(Northern Virginia, DC Metro area) and others, a used Prius is generally a very hot commodity. From your numbers, you are seeing listings that are only about $700 over the Edmunds estim...
by FreemanB
Mon Jul 21, 2014 11:27 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Caught in the IRS fraud mess
Replies: 24
Views: 6577

Re: Caught in the IRS fraud mess

By far the best solution is quick investigation followed by prosecution of the guilty and restoration to the innocent. But congress does not want to allocate the resources to make it happen. Actually, the best solution would be to require employers to submit W2 info to the IRS before any returns ca...
by FreemanB
Sat Jul 12, 2014 11:27 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: POLL: Walmart vs Amazon
Replies: 137
Views: 12324

Re: POLL: Walmart vs Amazon

Although I'm not a big fan of Walmart to begin with, it really hasn't been a viable option for my shopping for several years now. There just weren't any convenient to my house.(Closest for a long time was around 30 minutes away) Since I had two Targets within two miles, that was where I did all of m...
by FreemanB
Sat Jul 12, 2014 9:33 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: High end purses
Replies: 119
Views: 18988

Re: High end purses

My wife bought an expensive(Considering our income at the time) purse early in our marriage. But she picked a good brand that was fairly durable, since she planned on keeping it for a long time. She used it as her normal, daily purse for approximately 13 years before it finally started getting too w...
by FreemanB
Fri Jul 04, 2014 7:39 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: burning 1 lb is how many calories?
Replies: 69
Views: 8144

Re: burning 1 lb is how many calories?

While it is true that normal cardio exercising won't usually "burn off the weight" without diet changes, I personally found that the exercise helped with my diet in another way. After realizing that a grueling(At the time) 25 minute run in 90+ degree weather only burned something like 200-300 calori...
by FreemanB
Tue Jul 01, 2014 5:07 pm
Forum: Personal Investments
Topic: Re-hired at firm, given incorrect 401k info
Replies: 27
Views: 3157

Re: Re-hired at firm, given incorrect 401k info

Could you contribute double what you would have normally for the remainder of the year? I'm contributing nearly double to my 401k in order to pack 12 the entire 17.5k for this year into 7 months of paychecks. And I'm not getting a match. As long as you contribute at least 4% of your salary in the r...
by FreemanB
Tue Jul 01, 2014 3:16 pm
Forum: Personal Investments
Topic: Re-hired at firm, given incorrect 401k info
Replies: 27
Views: 3157

Re: Re-hired at firm, given incorrect 401k info

I wouldn't suck it up. I've frequently had to argue with HR people, payroll departments, and don't even get me started on the insurance benefits admin people.(Fortunately, this was all at a previous company) They make mistakes, and like anywhere else, they are often stubborn about wanting to admit i...
by FreemanB
Mon Jun 30, 2014 2:23 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: When to offer on house: Starting New Job
Replies: 8
Views: 998

Re: When to offer on house: Starting New Job

Talk to your mortgage broker/officer. They are the only ones that can tell you specifically what you need and when you will need it for loan approval. As said above, you can put in an offer anytime you want. However, the key point will be how much time you need for final loan approval, since that wi...
by FreemanB
Mon Jun 30, 2014 1:28 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Breastfeeding and baby formula
Replies: 24
Views: 2318

Re: Breastfeeding and baby formula

I can't speak to prices at big-box stores. Our daughter was a preemie and needed a higher calorie formula that wasn't available in most of the standard places. However, CVS did stock it, and my wife discovered that by signing up for CVS emails, she would get a coupon on average of once a month for 2...
by FreemanB
Fri Jun 27, 2014 9:34 am
Forum: Personal Investments
Topic: Dilemma for 401K Rollover
Replies: 5
Views: 421

Re: Dilemma for 401K Rollover

As a rule of thumb, you should either invest 100% in a Target Retirement fund or not at all. There's no point in splitting between a TR fund and another index fund, since the TR fund generally consists of index funds already. Either stick with something like the 3-fund portfolio or go 100% in the TR...
by FreemanB
Thu Jun 26, 2014 2:28 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Class-action lawsuits
Replies: 16
Views: 2450

Re: Class-action lawsuits

I've been through several of these in the past. Usually, it required little to no effort on my part, beyond perhaps filling out a form. I didn't bother to keep track of how long things took, but sometimes I would get some type of free service/product/discount, sometimes a couple of dollars, and othe...
by FreemanB
Thu Jun 26, 2014 9:07 am
Forum: Personal Investments
Topic: Would you take a tax free loan on investments?
Replies: 15
Views: 1264

Re: Would you take a tax free loan on investments?

Am I wrong to say that I am taxed on the whole loan payment? Or is it only the interest portion of the payment that is taxed? I am trying to wrap my head around that now... You aren't taxed on the loan payment any more than you are taxed on other uses of your paycheck. It basically isn't any differ...
by FreemanB
Tue Jun 24, 2014 8:16 am
Forum: Personal Investments
Topic: Pay Down Principle or Save for Down Payment?
Replies: 11
Views: 1594

Re: Pay Down Principle or Save for Down Payment?

I'm currently at 4.25% with a mortgage of 303k and a Zillow of 284k with a payment of roughly $1850/mo. I would like to move in the next 2 years. I could probably do an extra $500/mo toward principle. From the numbers you've given, it doesn't really look feasible for you to sell your current house ...
by FreemanB
Mon Jun 23, 2014 12:47 pm
Forum: Personal Investments
Topic: Pay Down Principle or Save for Down Payment?
Replies: 11
Views: 1594

Re: Pay Down Principle or Save for Down Payment?

First, when you say you are underwater by about $20k, are you including the costs associated with selling your current home, such as realtor fees? I generally would only expect to get around 93% of the selling price of our home, so you may be much further away from breaking even than $20k. Regardles...
by FreemanB
Wed Jun 18, 2014 12:52 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: How much to front load a 529?
Replies: 16
Views: 1560

Re: How much to front load a 529?

I would say that you first need to figure out what your end goal is in terms of dollars as well as what percentage of costs you expect the 529 to cover, then invest the amount required to meet that goal. For me personally, I used several calculators, formulas, and other approaches and eventually wou...
by FreemanB
Fri Jun 13, 2014 7:56 am
Forum: Personal Investments
Topic: I am a late starter and need some help.
Replies: 41
Views: 7212

Re: I am a late starter and need some help.

I would initially start with the Target Retirement 2035 fund and keep adding money to that. It is a good, no-hassle fund, and you could easily keep it until retirement. After you spend some time reading and learning more about investments, you may decide to switch to other funds that better suit you...
by FreemanB
Thu Jun 12, 2014 2:57 pm
Forum: Personal Investments
Topic: Selling stocks to buy car outright vs financing
Replies: 7
Views: 2565

Re: Selling stocks to buy car outright vs financing

Interest rates on cars will likely range from 0%-3%, depending on new/used and where you finance. You'll likely pay a lot more in taxes on the sale of stocks than you would pay in interest charges on the loan, and that doesn't even take into consideration the lost earnings.(I wouldn't count on 8%, b...
by FreemanB
Thu Jun 12, 2014 1:37 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: If chasing market performance is bad...
Replies: 85
Views: 6916

Re: If chasing market performance is bad...

How can that be? If we know in advance when the wrong times are, how can we not know in advance when the right times are? The key is that we don't know in advance that it will be the wrong time. Or the right time. Those things are only apparent in hindsight. Buying an "undervalued" sector/stock/fun...
by FreemanB
Mon Jun 02, 2014 10:05 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Timing of paying off extra mortgage principal
Replies: 9
Views: 2540

Re: Timing of paying off extra mortgage principal

You don't really need a spreadsheet, since your only real concern is the interest for the two week period between the middle and end of the month. By my rough calculation, assuming you pay 15 days early(15th vs 30th), the interest on that $1150 would be just over $2. So annually, you'd save around $...
by FreemanB
Wed May 28, 2014 7:56 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: question about Dependent Care Flexible Spending Account
Replies: 7
Views: 5010

Re: question about Dependent Care Flexible Spending Account

I've run into this same situation myself. The HCE limit of $1800 is strictly related to your company and their plan requirements, similar to 401k limits for HCEs. The $5000 limit is the maximum combined amount per family set by the IRS, so your wife could contribute the full amount, or it could be s...