Search found 1160 matches

by kjvmartin
Thu Mar 19, 2015 12:42 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: 32, New to investing, No retirement fund, Advice Please
Replies: 24
Views: 2743

Re: 32, New to investing, No retirement fund, Advice Please

Good to start the compounding interest game as early as possible. You'd need $1000 to start your IRA at Vanguard in a Target Retirement account. This would be a wonderful idea. Of course, you do need to make sure you have a cash cushion available so you can leave your nest egg untouched in an emerge...
by kjvmartin
Wed Mar 18, 2015 1:52 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Costco optical
Replies: 30
Views: 23896

Re: Costco optical

I have a vision insurance plan through my employer and Costco does said they do not work with insurances.

I think I can submit a claim, but it would only be partially covered. I found out that even though all of this is the case, they are generally going to be cheaper than most places.

Mike
by kjvmartin
Sun Mar 15, 2015 5:56 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Do you still use currency or have you gone all-plastic?
Replies: 47
Views: 6086

Re: Do you still use currency or have you gone all-plastic?

Reward cards!
Target - 5%
Costco Amex - Gas 3%
BofA - Gas 3% away from Costco, 2% groceries.
Amazon Visa - 3% Amazon, 2% dining
Chase Freedom - Rotates, currently 5% groceries.
by kjvmartin
Sat Mar 14, 2015 10:59 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Best Business Start-up?
Replies: 16
Views: 2331

Re: Best Business Start-up?

Lyft/Uber isn't really starting much of a business. After 1099 and the wear/tear you really don't do that well.
by kjvmartin
Sat Mar 14, 2015 10:56 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: handling debt collection agency
Replies: 24
Views: 2356

Re: handling debt collection agency

They do not remove debt from credit reports anymore, and believe me, we tried.

Here's the real kicker - it's going to stay on for 7 years from when you pay it, not 7 years from when it was incurred.
by kjvmartin
Thu Mar 12, 2015 9:54 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: What are Costco's best deals?
Replies: 346
Views: 65715

Re: What are Costco's best deals?

hoops777 wrote:I have never seen one not in a higher income area
I certainly have.

http://www.wholefoodsmarket.com/stores/detroit
by kjvmartin
Tue Mar 10, 2015 2:52 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: 31 Year Old Seeking Financial Guidance
Replies: 46
Views: 6104

Re: 31 Year Old Seeking Financial Guidance

Here's my advice & what I would need to do to sleep at night. - erase debt quickly and get the house paid down to the point where you could sell it fast if you had to. I'd consider getting some equity a layer of your emergency fund. We're the same age and my wife can't work right now - there goes ha...
by kjvmartin
Tue Mar 10, 2015 1:54 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Buying New Used Car - Input Appreciated
Replies: 27
Views: 3388

Re: Buying New Used Car - Input Appreciated

I am on my second Mazda 6 for a combined total of 150,000 miles. Brake pads, tires, oil changes, and an air filter or two but no actual problems. I'm over the "new car" bug of my youth and plan to maintain this one properly until such time as I truly need a replacement. It's a 2011 and is paid for. ...
by kjvmartin
Mon Mar 09, 2015 8:35 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Will you buy an Apple Watch?
Replies: 456
Views: 57462

Re: Will you buy an Apple Watch?

There's just not a lot of usefulness. The iPhone pulled me from my Blackberry because it made everything more fluid and accessible. It enhanced my ability to do things I need & want to do online. The whole of the Internet is available with a swipe and a tap. The iPad is a step down in usefulness, bu...
by kjvmartin
Mon Mar 09, 2015 12:13 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: The salary you must earn to buy a home: $48,603.82
Replies: 24
Views: 4953

Re: The salary you must earn to buy a home: $48,603.82

This site seems to make money selling mortgages. Based on a strong credit score, I am pre-qualified for a mortgage amount that would ruin me if I took it.

Isn't this line of thinking what wrecked the housing market some a few years ago?

Mike
by kjvmartin
Sun Mar 08, 2015 8:45 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Thinking of buying electric shaver
Replies: 34
Views: 5798

Re: Thinking of buying electric shaver

I grow facial hair very slowly and unevenly, and it takes about two days to get enough to even shave it off with an electric razor. I have to shave daily and the various electrics I've tried over the years have all been a poor comparison to a gillette mach 3.

Mike
by kjvmartin
Sun Mar 08, 2015 12:30 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Delete
Replies: 5
Views: 836

Re: Balancing Savings Goals

Personally, I think you'll always live in the shadow of your housing need. Once you determine your house, payment, and required expenses, only then can you successfully plan the cars and retirement.

If you decide to finance cars, you could have an effect on how much mortgage you're eligible for.
by kjvmartin
Sun Mar 08, 2015 12:26 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Dress socks
Replies: 7
Views: 1080

Re: Dress socks

Costco dress socks, can't remember the brand. I buy one of each set every 4-5 years or so.
by kjvmartin
Sat Mar 07, 2015 11:59 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Adult Music Lessons
Replies: 30
Views: 3249

Re: Adult Music Lessons

There's a site that runs lessons by professional acclaimed musicians, experts in their fields. I've had great fun and success with the guitar portion, but they have a piano teacher too. http://artistworks.com/piano-lessons-christie-peery The best thing is that you can take a cell phone video of your...
by kjvmartin
Fri Mar 06, 2015 2:18 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Washing Dress Shirts
Replies: 38
Views: 10076

Re: Washing Dress Shirts

Costco dress shirts at the dry $0.99 cleaner. I wear dress shirts 2 days a week, it's a worthwhile small expense to have them crisp on a hanger.
by kjvmartin
Thu Mar 05, 2015 8:39 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Housing Market Too Hot to Touch? Strategy?
Replies: 2
Views: 879

Housing Market Too Hot to Touch? Strategy?

I'm starting to second guess some of my behaviors the past few years. I snowballed everything off in time for our first child, which was our goal. Hindsight - I wish we had made a major downpayment (or even a minor one) on a house before the market went haywire. We're finding bidding wars, houses un...
by kjvmartin
Tue Mar 03, 2015 1:12 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Costco/AmEx relationship ending. New Costco MasterCard?
Replies: 85
Views: 1099616

Re: Costco/AmEx relationship ending. New Costco MasterCard?

I'd love to just have 1 good credit card and not worry about which one to use for various rewards. Costco throws a wrench into that due to Amex. My biggest dislike about the current setup is the yearly reward check. I deposit mine into savings, not included in my income on my budget - it's a nice wa...
by kjvmartin
Tue Mar 03, 2015 11:08 am
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: 401k Loan - Bump it up, lump it, or ignore it?
Replies: 18
Views: 1652

Re: 401k Loan - Bump it up, lump it, or ignore it?

I can increase my payment at any time, thereby shortening the term of repayments. I could do the math and get it paid off in 5 years from origination if I wanted, and maybe I will consider that now. I'd have less to contribute to my new Roth IRA, but peace of mind being in as best compliance with th...
by kjvmartin
Mon Mar 02, 2015 10:13 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: 401k Loan - Bump it up, lump it, or ignore it?
Replies: 18
Views: 1652

Re: 401k Loan - Bump it up, lump it, or ignore it?

I called them once we knew for sure they house wasn't going to work. They told me at this point it was up to me and I could either repay or keep the money.
by kjvmartin
Mon Mar 02, 2015 9:53 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Want to make $750K into $1m...Help
Replies: 25
Views: 3419

Re: Want to make $750K into $1m...Help

Should I instead put some in CD, and some in Vanguard funds? I have tried and have very low risk tolerance. You've already got a nice nest egg and your risk tolerance is low enough that you sell during downturns. Even bonds can go down, so I would do CDs and maybe some I-Bonds for education purpose...
by kjvmartin
Mon Mar 02, 2015 9:53 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: What if you already have a couple million?
Replies: 42
Views: 8187

Re: What if you already have a couple million?

If I had the means to be financially independent for the rest of my life, I would make a change. For me, I plan to stay at ~90% equities until that point. I'm not much for the notion of Target Retirement Funds.

I would probably go to 60/40 at that point or possibly even 40/60.
by kjvmartin
Mon Mar 02, 2015 4:06 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: 401k Loan - Bump it up, lump it, or ignore it?
Replies: 18
Views: 1652

Re: 401k Loan - Bump it up, lump it, or ignore it?

It was a situation purchase agreements and mortgage info was signed, sealed, and delivered. The 401k folks only needed a signed purchase agreement to release funds and there were no more questions after that. There were title issues that halted the deal in court for months on end and the wife was ge...
by kjvmartin
Mon Mar 02, 2015 12:11 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: 401k Loan - Bump it up, lump it, or ignore it?
Replies: 18
Views: 1652

Re: 401k Loan - Bump it up, lump it, or ignore it?

The replies are all appreciated, thank you thank you thank you!! I keep around 4-5 months of expenses in a high yield savings account, since you asked. It's 8k. We live pretty modestly. If I were to max 2014 IRAs for both of us, that would mean I would have to use most of and then rebuild the emerge...
by kjvmartin
Mon Mar 02, 2015 11:23 am
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: 401k Loan - Bump it up, lump it, or ignore it?
Replies: 18
Views: 1652

Re: 401k Loan - Bump it up, lump it, or ignore it?

Are you not already contributing to your 401(k) separately from making loan payments? My spouse had a 401(k) loan and still contributed the max possible along with loan payments. I am contributing, but far from maxing. Until I get a plan in place I've just been doing the minimum to get the match. 3...
by kjvmartin
Mon Mar 02, 2015 11:14 am
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: 401k Loan - Bump it up, lump it, or ignore it?
Replies: 18
Views: 1652

Re: 401k Loan - Bump it up, lump it, or ignore it?

If the choice is 2014 Roth IRAs for you and your spouse or loan, then the choice is clear: Roth IRAs for both of you. I was hoping you would weigh in - I have read quite a few of your posts and wanted to pick your brain. If I'm not mistaken, I've read you recommend that the 401k is of the utmost im...
by kjvmartin
Mon Mar 02, 2015 11:01 am
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: 401k Loan - Bump it up, lump it, or ignore it?
Replies: 18
Views: 1652

401k Loan - Bump it up, lump it, or ignore it?

Greetings - I have searched high & low to find a thread or article with a similar situation to no avail, so I'm looking for some perspective and wisdom. Loan Type - Residential Issue Date - 11/14/2013 Estimated Payoff 11/09/2034 Original Principal $11,200.00 Principal Left $10,717.86 Payment Amount ...
by kjvmartin
Sat Feb 28, 2015 10:36 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Math on TSP Loan for house
Replies: 7
Views: 1003

Re: Math on TSP Loan for house

I'd go for it.

Mike
by kjvmartin
Thu Feb 26, 2015 3:30 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Raise was only 2.44%?
Replies: 49
Views: 7575

Re: Raise was only 2.44%?

Since starting a public service career in 2008 I have been lucky to break even or keep up with inflation. We had furlough days, banked leave time (work 40, get paid for 38), pay freezes, and adjustments to our healthcare to "bring us in line with the public sector." The best I've seen so far will be...
by kjvmartin
Wed Feb 25, 2015 11:00 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: New and over 40
Replies: 27
Views: 3584

Re: New and over 40

It's good to try and get a handle on things. You don't mention any savings, and that should be your top priority right now. That and setting up a budget. I would advise putting $1000 into an FDIC insured savings account as your starter emergency fund. It seems like this would take you around 4-5 mon...
by kjvmartin
Wed Feb 25, 2015 12:40 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: What are Costco's best deals?
Replies: 346
Views: 65715

Re: What are Costco's best deals?

Orange Juice - either Simply Orange or Tropicana. Beats the sale prices at other stores. The fuel prices are also excellent and worthwhile especially if you're there mid-day. Generally no lines and beats local stations by 10 to 15 cents. $3.69/lb for high quality ground beef. We freeze and thaw as n...
by kjvmartin
Wed Feb 25, 2015 12:32 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Guns for hunting/defense
Replies: 159
Views: 23731

Re: Guns for hunting/defense

I carry on duty and recommend the Glock 19 I agree and have one, but I am just curious where you work where you carry a glock 19 on duty? Not familiar with many agencies that issue compact models. I could tell you... but... 8-) My agency requires me to supply my own firearm and all related accessor...
by kjvmartin
Tue Feb 24, 2015 9:46 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Guns for hunting/defense
Replies: 159
Views: 23731

Re: Guns for hunting/defense

I carry on duty and recommend the Glock 19 9mm. Capacity is of the utmost importance, low weight and concealment mean a lot too. Easy to clean/assemble. I tried out fancier/more expensive brands and found them to be either overcomplicated or overweight for my needs. I think the Glock 19 is a very Bo...
by kjvmartin
Tue Feb 24, 2015 11:50 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: How much did you have saved up for retirement at age 30?
Replies: 173
Views: 22771

Re: How much did you have saved up for retirement at age 30?

I'm 30...

$37,764.97 in combined 401k/457/Roth 401k plans. Owe 10k on a loan which I will repay in full by September of this year.
by kjvmartin
Mon Feb 23, 2015 8:22 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Balanced in Taxable ok for 15% tax rate?
Replies: 10
Views: 1908

Re: Balanced in Taxable ok for 15% tax rate?

Very well, you win - I see no reason not to save/invest the maximum allowable in the Roth IRA each year. I'll probably amend 2014 and do a lump sum purchase to cover the prior year. I'll keep this in the VG balanced fund. I honestly don't think my income will ever change much - small COL raises here...
by kjvmartin
Sun Feb 22, 2015 12:00 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Cell Phone Plan Shopping
Replies: 16
Views: 3489

Re: Cell Phone Plan Shopping

I tried the budget plans and went back to Verizon. *Never* had a call dropped calling fellow Verizon subscribers. The rate plan is quite reasonable for what you get now, and they've gotten a little more competitive over the past year. When I talk to my family the discount providers it's not unusual ...
by kjvmartin
Fri Feb 20, 2015 7:45 am
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Balanced in Taxable ok for 15% tax rate?
Replies: 10
Views: 1908

Re: Balanced in Taxable ok for 15% tax rate?

If I could put around $400 extra into savings each pay period (pre tax), according to my estimates it would cost me around $300 out of pocket, and I could retire in my early 50s. My job offers retiree health care. This is tempting to me, but it puts the house savings at a much slower rate. Rents aro...
by kjvmartin
Thu Feb 19, 2015 8:18 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Balanced in Taxable ok for 15% tax rate?
Replies: 10
Views: 1908

Re: Balanced in Taxable ok for 15% tax rate?

Imagine I'd like to pay in cash or mostly cash for a modest house in 5-10 years. 80-120k. I'm 30. I'm married and my wife is a stay-at-home mom. We're entirely debt free and our rent is quite modest. We're near the upper end of the 15% tax bracket. With our household budget we can save around $1000 ...
by kjvmartin
Thu Feb 19, 2015 8:22 am
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Keep buying regardless of price movement?
Replies: 17
Views: 2609

Re: Keep buying regardless of price movement?

I know someone who bought K-Mart when it was a fair price, quite certain that his childhood favorite store would have to grow by leaps and bounds. That didn't work out too well. Same person now thinks JC Penny is bound for a return to greatness! If you read any of the literature about the Bogleheads...
by kjvmartin
Wed Feb 18, 2015 10:03 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Balanced in Taxable ok for 15% tax rate?
Replies: 10
Views: 1908

Re: Balanced in Taxable ok for 15% tax rate?

Good things to think about, thank you.

Mike
by kjvmartin
Wed Feb 18, 2015 8:58 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Balanced in Taxable ok for 15% tax rate?
Replies: 10
Views: 1908

Balanced in Taxable ok for 15% tax rate?

Hello - I've referenced the wiki here and read that balanced funds do not belong in a taxable account. Dividends and capital gains rates are at 0% for someone in the 15% tax rate. If that's where I am/plan to be for a long while, would there be any reason not to put a balanced fund in a taxable acco...
by kjvmartin
Wed Feb 18, 2015 4:20 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: What is your favorite consumer product?
Replies: 309
Views: 50585

Re: What is your favorite consumer product?

Simply Orange
by kjvmartin
Tue Feb 17, 2015 7:24 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Who buys short term CDs?
Replies: 15
Views: 1937

Re: Who buys short term CDs?

I've often wondered if these are offered to try and trick people into getting less return on their savings. A way to save the bank some money.

Mike
by kjvmartin
Tue Feb 17, 2015 7:23 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Extended car warranty - worth it?
Replies: 30
Views: 5744

Re: Extended car warranty - worth it?

I've had now two Mazdas in a row up to almost 70k on my second one with not one issue. I trust Mazda. I'm unlikely to buy an extended warranty for any Mazda product. I generally agree that these are bad ideas, but.... When we got married, my wife asked me to find her an inexpensive compact car. I fo...
by kjvmartin
Tue Feb 17, 2015 4:17 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Dave Ramsey Lashes Out at His Financial Critics
Replies: 89
Views: 17796

Re: Dave Ramsey Lashes Out at His Financial Critics

I know some average families who own small businesses and have a few children. They promote the "wonders" of Dave Ramsey's plans. They are doing pretty well. I tell them I'm happy for their success and try to encourage them to review low cost, no up front fee investing when they bring up Dave. If Da...
by kjvmartin
Tue Feb 17, 2015 2:49 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: apple pay v. google wallet
Replies: 16
Views: 1709

Re: apple pay v. google wallet

Ah, but Costco only accepts AMEX, at least for now, and the google wallet (and I think apple pay) is through Mastercard at point of sale. Maybe Apple is behind Costco announcing they're dropping AMEX as of next year? Joking, but stranger things have happened.[/quote] I still get my rewards using App...
by kjvmartin
Tue Feb 17, 2015 1:14 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: apple pay v. google wallet
Replies: 16
Views: 1709

Re: apple pay v. google wallet

Apple Pay has been out for months now and I still catch Subway employees off guard with it. I truly love the technology. I can use it at Meijer for Groceries, Panera Bread, and Subway. I would use it anywhere it is accepted. Credit Cards haven't changed much or improved in decades. They're about as ...
by kjvmartin
Mon Feb 16, 2015 5:44 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: One stock
Replies: 35
Views: 3033

Re: One stock

Costco.

By what I see, it's not slowing down anytime soon.
by kjvmartin
Sun Feb 15, 2015 4:22 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Question: Buying a House
Replies: 8
Views: 1370

Re: Question: Buying a House

An 800 credit score is fantastic. Opening new credit cards will lower your score - there's a negative for new accounts.

I hit the 800 celling and asked the mortgage folks, banker, etc how to get it higher and they told me it's almost impossible and no one really knows.

Mike
by kjvmartin
Sun Feb 15, 2015 2:34 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: deciding on big ticket item - fitting it into financial plan
Replies: 19
Views: 1862

Re: deciding on big ticket item - fitting it into financial

Can't take it with you. Enjoy life as best you can.

Mike
by kjvmartin
Sat Feb 14, 2015 12:28 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Single stock taxable disadvantages
Replies: 11
Views: 1225

Re: Single stock taxable disadvantages

Truthfully, I don't think low cost funds we like were available "back in the day." We had one conversation about index and mutual funds before he passed. He could not bear to part with *any* of his money for ongoing investment fees. I think before low cost indexing, buy & hold dividend was the smart...