Search found 13025 matches

by Watty
Tue Jan 03, 2012 2:53 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: What Percentage Would You Put Down to Buy First Home?
Replies: 12
Views: 1381

Re: What Percentage Would You Put Down to Buy First Home?

Obviously interest rates are very low right now and are likely to remain as such for some time, ..... I wouldn't count on that. A 4% 30 year fixed rate mortgage when inflation is running 3.4% is very unusual to say the least. For people who can deduct the mortgage interest that is likely a negative...
by Watty
Tue Jan 03, 2012 1:51 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Pros and Cons of Going "All-In" on Contributions
Replies: 7
Views: 1062

Re: Pros and Cons of Going "All-In" on Contributions

Another possible counter-point is that it rearranges my investment priorities a little bit, since I would normally use a larger paycheck to fund my wife's TIRA for a backdoor Roth contribution and to buy our I-bonds. Those would still happen, but only after I'd hit my $49K contribution to my accoun...
by Watty
Tue Jan 03, 2012 11:31 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Girlfriend moving in, lots of student loan debt
Replies: 69
Views: 12690

Re: Girlfriend moving in, lots of student loan debt

As for the IRS, if she's paying utilities in a cohabitation situation how can they say she's a renter?

Very easily. she payx X dollars a month for a roof over her head so it is rent.
by Watty
Mon Jan 02, 2012 11:48 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Girlfriend moving in, lots of student loan debt
Replies: 69
Views: 12690

Re: Girlfriend moving in, lots of student loan debt

I'm writing up a cohabitation agreement which she has agreed to sign. A badly written agreement could be worse than no agreement. You really need to have a lawyer do this if you are going to write something up. Other concerns are that she could be considered a renter and your home insurance might t...
by Watty
Mon Jan 02, 2012 11:32 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Old Lady wants to Retire!
Replies: 27
Views: 4412

Re: Old Lady wants to Retire!

Can you refi the condo mortgage? 5.5% is pretty high even if you are planning to pay off the loan in a few years. I don’t believe that with closing costs it would be cost beneficial to refinance when I can pay off my mortgage ($710 mo.) in a year or two. The bottom line for sure is that I cannot re...
by Watty
Mon Jan 02, 2012 11:25 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Is it rude to speak in a foreign language in the workplace?
Replies: 97
Views: 15325

Re: Is it rude to speak in a foreign language in the workpla

From a pragmatic point of view speaking anything other than English probably isn't good for your career in many companies. It will be taken as an indication that your English isn't very good and may limit your promotion prospects in some positions. I don't know what the right answer is but you need ...
by Watty
Sun Jan 01, 2012 11:58 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Renting Home as Savings Vehicle.
Replies: 21
Views: 2032

Re: Renting Home as Savings Vehicle.

Converting your house to a rental makes your taxes and the depreciation more complicated and it isn't always clear what the net effect will be. Often with a rental the taxes and depreciation will either make it a good investment or not. You should treat the rental as a business and have a firm busin...
by Watty
Sun Jan 01, 2012 11:17 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Buying a House ... Cash or Credit?
Replies: 33
Views: 3601

Re: Buying a House ... Cash or Credit?

As long as you have the cash to pay for it you can make a "cash" offer that is not contingent on financing but you can still finance it and have the mortgage company fund the house at the closing. The catch is that if there is any problem with the loan, then you need to pay cash on the closing date....
by Watty
Sun Jan 01, 2012 10:56 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Travel Advice, Where do you go?
Replies: 9
Views: 1187

Re: Travel Advice, Where do you go?

Trip advisor is a good place to check out opinions about possible destinations. http://www.tripadvisor.com/ If your kids are teenagers. especially girls, then I would be cautious about cruise ships since they operate under the laws of the country they are registered in which is generally some semi-o...
by Watty
Fri Dec 30, 2011 10:09 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Adjusting mortgage payements based on portfolio performance
Replies: 3
Views: 486

Re: Adjusting mortgage payements based on portfolio performa

It is not exact but in a lot of ways a mortgage is very similar to a negative bond. This means if you have a million dollar portfolio and want an 80/20 stock/bond asset allocation and you have $800K in stocks, $200K in Bonds and you have a $200k mortgage then if you count the mortgage as a negative ...
by Watty
Fri Dec 30, 2011 9:25 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: New member and would appreciate your help!
Replies: 9
Views: 984

Re: New member and would appreciate your help!

Bob's not my name wrote:
Watty wrote:In the 25% tax bracket the alternative would be putting $125 into a deductable retirment account or putting $100 into the taxable account and paying $25 in taxes.
100/75 or 133/100 :)

Thanks for catching that.


It is also a good lesson for a new member, verify what you read hear!
by Watty
Fri Dec 30, 2011 3:39 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: New member and would appreciate your help!
Replies: 9
Views: 984

Re: New member and would appreciate your help!

New annual contributions: His 401k: Invest $14k (could increase based on your recommendations) His VG brokerage (taxable): Increase of $36k as a goal in 2012 Her 401k at Fidelity: Invest $3k (matching = 100% of the first 1%, 50% of the next 2%, 25% of the next 10%) 100% vested Being in the 25% tax ...
by Watty
Fri Dec 30, 2011 3:13 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: 403b HELP!!--Advice/Suggestions?
Replies: 20
Views: 1701

Re: 403b HELP!!--Advice/Suggestions?

1. I'm really just interested in getting some feedback about this 403b. Is the aggressive option the BEST option for what they're offering or is there a better way to allocate the funds? What are the expense ratios of the funds that you currentely have money in? My first reaction is that once you o...
by Watty
Fri Dec 30, 2011 1:31 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Bodie: Plan your retirement portfolio for zero real return
Replies: 230
Views: 19283

Re: Bodie: Plan your retirement portfolio for zero real retu

A zero inflation adjusted return isn't all that radical. With a 4% safe withdrawal rate your nest egg would last 25 years instead of the normal target of 30 years. A 3.33% withdrawal rate would last 30 years. This would be about a 16% reduction in your retirement income. The real problem though is t...
by Watty
Fri Dec 30, 2011 1:20 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Relocation to Colorado
Replies: 18
Views: 2543

Re: Relocation to Colorado

1. Cold, short days in the winter. On the short days part, look up the sunrise and sunset and sunset times on the shorttest day of the year. Just being that much farther north makes a big difference. I've moved between Portland Oregon and Atlanta and the differnce in these cities is that there is m...
by Watty
Fri Dec 30, 2011 10:51 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Reasonable Refinance closing costs?
Replies: 17
Views: 2116

Re: Reasonable Refinance closing costs?

Who refinances an underwater property anyway? Just FYI, It does not apply in this situation but I have heard of lenders occasionally allowing some people who are in trouble with their mortgage do a refinance to get slightly better terms even though it doesn't make their situation a whole lot better...
by Watty
Fri Dec 30, 2011 12:58 am
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Financial Standing - 23 year old
Replies: 5
Views: 632

Re: Financial Standing - 23 year old

if you haven't already found it the book "the Bogelheads Guide to investing" is a very good place to start. See the reviews on Amazon; http://www.amazon.com/s/?search-alias=aps&tag=bogleheads.org-20&field-keywords=Bogleheads Your local library may have a copy. If you Google the Morningstar x-ray too...
by Watty
Thu Dec 29, 2011 5:07 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Are cars cheap today? On the cusp of much better?
Replies: 48
Views: 4375

Re: Are cars cheap today? On the cusp of much better?

have always bought a new car when my old one got wrecked.

Another factor is that being forced to buy a car in a hurry can cost you a lot of money.

I have had to do it before and I know I could have saved a LOT of money if I had a few months to car shop instead of less than a week.
by Watty
Thu Dec 29, 2011 4:37 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Help me overcome 20 years of lackadaisical investing
Replies: 17
Views: 2518

Re: Help me overcome 20 years of lackadaisical investing

Refinance your mortgage. 4.875% is terrible. For a jumbo loan? 4.875% is not bad, actually. It's worth checking with a mortgage broker or correspondent lender whether you'd be able to qualify for a lower rate refinance, but still not bad. However, you might consider taking a lump of what's sitting ...
by Watty
Thu Dec 29, 2011 3:48 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Cash - do you keep a stash on hand?
Replies: 83
Views: 8600

Re: Cash - do you keep a stash on hand?

I have found that it is true that you spend less when paying with cash than with credit card so I mainly pay cash for anything less than about $100 now. I have also had an ATM "eat" my card on a Friday at 7:00 PM when all the banks are closed. You can pay for most things by credit card if needed but...
by Watty
Thu Dec 29, 2011 1:49 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Refinance for 10 years?
Replies: 8
Views: 799

Re: Refinance for 10 years?

The rules for appraisals are much stricter now. I just did a refinance the appraisal can back very low but fortunantely that was not a problem for me. If you are close to the 80% loan to value amount this can be a problem. Someone mentioned Amerisave. One problem with their quotes is that on the fir...
by Watty
Thu Dec 29, 2011 12:57 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Are cars cheap today? On the cusp of much better?
Replies: 48
Views: 4375

Re: Are cars cheap today? On the cusp of much better?

<I>... Wondering if the cost of a new car is relatively cheap right now,...</I> You may be asking the wrong question and better question might be "Are used cars getting top dollar right now?" Clearly the answer to that is yes. If your car is in good running order you might be surprised what it will ...
by Watty
Wed Dec 28, 2011 11:34 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: To Pension or not to Pension, that is the question...
Replies: 8
Views: 1098

Re: To Pension or not to Pension, that is the question...

In this situation I would find a fee only financial advisor that charges by the hour to help decide what to do. There are just too many details that could make a big difference. I suspect you've done the math, but $119,000 plopped into an IRA today, compounding tax-free at 5%/annum for 19 years, pro...
by Watty
Wed Dec 28, 2011 11:20 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Best Frugal Way to Create a Will
Replies: 32
Views: 4826

Re: Best Frugal Way to Create a Will

Regarding minors - our estate planning attorney cautioned us about naming our (at the time) minor child as a beneficiary, but rather use a testamentary trust (in your will) or a trust for funds going to a minor. Be carefull about this with retirment accounts. When a trust is named as a beneficiary ...
by Watty
Wed Dec 28, 2011 11:00 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Easiest way to sell stock certificate (some wrinkles)
Replies: 7
Views: 1600

Re: Easiest way to sell stock certificate (some wrinkles)

If you call the company's investor relationsdepartment they may have a way to easily sell the stock from then dividends and possibly the other stock too. You should be able to find their phone number on their web site.
by Watty
Wed Dec 28, 2011 10:54 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Is a home an "investment"?
Replies: 72
Views: 5585

Re: Is a home an "investment"?

I'm not sure if it is necessarily right but there is another way of looking at home equity. This may seem odd but the way my Mom looked at her paid off house was that the equity in the house was her long term care insurance since if she needed to move to a nursing home then the house would be sold a...
by Watty
Wed Dec 28, 2011 6:17 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Is a home an "investment"?
Replies: 72
Views: 5585

Re: Is a home an "investment"?

Recently I looked at the purchase price of my neighbors homes over the last 30 years and remarkably, if you add 2.75% for inflation each year, for the most part their homes are worth about the same or slightly more when adjusted for inflation. Even better look at the home your parents and grandpare...
by Watty
Wed Dec 28, 2011 6:00 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Suggestions on living off of $3M
Replies: 40
Views: 4570

Re: Suggestions on living off of $3M

Looking way into the future, there is one more thing to look into. That is to check to make sure that you will qualify for Medicare when you retire. It is not automatic when you turn 65 and I recall you have to have ten years of work that paid into the Medicare system. If you are a bit short of qual...
by Watty
Wed Dec 28, 2011 5:42 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Suggestions on living off of $3M
Replies: 40
Views: 4570

Re: Suggestions on living off of $3M

You do not need or want to do anything soon but if you are really going to be mostly retired then eventually moving to a low cost of living and low cost area can make a huge difference. This is especially true of property taxes. While you had a high income the your property tax deduction was worth a...
by Watty
Wed Dec 28, 2011 4:57 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: hard assets vs. gold
Replies: 10
Views: 1295

Re: hard assets vs. gold

To protect against inflation, euro crisis, etc. The "etc" could be anywhere from high inflation to a 1930's style depression or something else including muddling through like we have so many times before. Diversification is likely the best way to go instead of betting a large amount how it will tur...
by Watty
Wed Dec 28, 2011 4:47 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: question about renting house to family members
Replies: 4
Views: 923

Re: question about renting house to family members

I would rather keep my taxes simple every year and just collect my money without filing taxes on it.

Me too! :lol:


I'm glad to hear that you will be getting some professional help with your taxes.


Let us know what they say.
by Watty
Wed Dec 28, 2011 1:38 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Need Help With Parents Portfolio (Nearing Retirement)
Replies: 11
Views: 1350

Re: Need Help With Parents Portfolio (Nearing Retirement)

I'm a little confused about opening and funding a new traditional IRA account as being a better option than funding their current Roth IRA's. Broadly speaking unless there is a special situation a Roth is preferable to a traditional IRA when they will be in a lower tax bracket when they are retired...
by Watty
Tue Dec 27, 2011 2:46 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Tax advice for high-income DINKs
Replies: 14
Views: 2694

Re: Tax advice for high-income DINKs

You may be able to open a 529 plan now for any future kids. Just like how a broken clock is right twice a day you could be in one of the rare situations where the much maligned non-immediate annuity or whole life insurance could make sense because of the tax advantages. Ask if you don't understand w...
by Watty
Tue Dec 27, 2011 1:02 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: question about renting house to family members
Replies: 4
Views: 923

Re: question about renting house to family members

I'm not a tax pro but "gift" is not a "gift" if it is in exchange for other considerations. This is sort of like buying a car at a charity auction for $20,000 does not allow you a $20,000 tax deduction if the car is worth that much. Most everyone that has a rental property should have their taxes do...
by Watty
Tue Dec 27, 2011 12:13 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Need Help With Parents Portfolio (Nearing Retirement)
Replies: 11
Views: 1350

Re: Need Help With Parents Portfolio (Nearing Retirement)

1. By end of 2013, they will pay off mortgage and car loan. So they will have little expenses after that. Besides, maybe any health expenses and maintenance/remodeling costs of house. I believe they both applied for Medicare, and my dad is a veteran so hopefully they helps. 2. I have no details on ...
by Watty
Mon Dec 26, 2011 3:23 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Sell individual stocks now to index?
Replies: 7
Views: 935

Re: Sell individual stocks now to index?

Generically speaking one thing that is probably worth doing is to sell enough of the stocks that are down to get $3000 in capital losses before the end of the year so that the maximum of $3000 in capital losses can be used to offset ordinary income on your 2011 taxes. Your tax bracket matters too si...
by Watty
Mon Dec 26, 2011 3:06 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Need Help With Parents Portfolio (Nearing Retirement)
Replies: 11
Views: 1350

Re: Need Help With Parents Portfolio (Nearing Retirement)

A few questions about their situation; 1) What will their expenses be when they retire? 2) What is the benefit amount on the life insurance policy and how much does it cost each year? 3) What is the value of the house? 4) What are the amounts of their social security benefits? They will have a lot o...
by Watty
Mon Dec 26, 2011 12:32 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: bogleheads: why did you fall in love with your wife/GF
Replies: 38
Views: 3464

Re: bogleheads: why did you fall in love with your wife/GF

It has been many years but one of the real pitfalls to watch out for once you leave school is that it becomes much harder to meet people since you may tend to fall into a rut and keep talking to the same people and may rarely meet new people. A good thing to do is to mentally keep track of how many ...
by Watty
Sun Dec 25, 2011 10:54 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Traffic behavior on I95
Replies: 32
Views: 3798

Re: Traffic behavior on I95

If you are really bored you could watch the traffic cams for while and watch for these.
by Watty
Sun Dec 25, 2011 9:50 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Require help with $1.5 million portfolio
Replies: 66
Views: 9643

Re: Require help with $1.5 million portfolio

Question 1: Focusing on the Vanguard and Fidelity 401k accounts ($1.237 million), what would your fund recommendations be to most safely yield 5% growth over the next few years? I would suggest modifying that question to be "yield 5%" to be looking at 5% ABOVE inflation which is running at 3.4% rig...
by Watty
Sun Dec 25, 2011 8:22 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Self moving with U-haul
Replies: 33
Views: 3225

Re: Self moving with U-haul

Be sure to check with your car insurance and credit card insurance to see how large a truck you can rent and still be covered by them. For a two bedroom apartment you might be able to get by with a cargo van that these would probably cover if you don't have too much stuff. Moving trucks can be targe...
by Watty
Sun Dec 25, 2011 7:58 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Seeking input: AWD or 2WD?
Replies: 41
Views: 3221

Re: Seeking input: AWD or 2WD?

The AWD adds a lot of parts and complexity to the car which will result in lower reliably and higher repair costs. This is inherent in the design. All cars have "all wheel brakes" to help you stop when you need to. The all-wheel drive will only help when you do not have your foot on the break and ha...
by Watty
Sun Dec 25, 2011 7:45 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Minivan: new vs used
Replies: 28
Views: 2999

Re: Minivan: new vs used

It may depend on the car model but as I recall ESC (electronic stability control) became standard equipment on most cars in the 2012 model year. I've heard various numbers about how high a percentage of accidents that it helps avoid, especially on larger top heavy cars like a mini-van, but some of t...
by Watty
Fri Dec 23, 2011 2:28 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Investments for Newborn
Replies: 8
Views: 1114

Re: Investments for Newborn

One option is to open up multiple smaller retirement accounts (Roth or IRA) in your name if you are eligible and then name one of the grandkids the beneficiary for each of the smaller accounts. That you way you keep control of it as long as you live and when they inherit it they will get the tax adv...
by Watty
Fri Dec 23, 2011 1:31 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Savannah, Georgia
Replies: 25
Views: 2486

Re: Savannah, Georgia

In Savannah be sure to take a book and just sit for a while in one of the squares and read and people watch. Even in April it will likely be hot humid and uncomfortable late to walk round a lot in the afternoon. Get up and out early If you will be going south of there Cumberland Island is wonderful ...
by Watty
Fri Dec 23, 2011 11:16 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Can I draw SS, work, and increase $?
Replies: 8
Views: 980

Re: Can I draw SS, work, and increase $?

Thanks for your input. Right now I am making more each year than I did when I was "working." I am leaning toward drawing SS now, and increasing my "pool" for the next 4 years. What would you do? Have you made an yet appointment to go into the Social Security Office to let them walk you through your...
by Watty
Thu Dec 22, 2011 3:58 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: When will you/should you attain positive net worth?
Replies: 58
Views: 6335

Re: When will you/should you attain positive net worth?

I don't think that it is coincidence that the prevalence of student loans, and negative net worth, is happening at a time when interest rates are near generational lows. This means that having a large amount of student debt will only cost a few thousand in interest per year and while it might take a...
by Watty
Thu Dec 22, 2011 1:41 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: How to pay ZERO taxes in retirement with 6-figure expenses
Replies: 201
Views: 105396

Re: How to pay ZERO taxes in retirement with 6-figure expens

jeffyscott wrote:
Watty wrote:Pay off their mortgage from their taxable account.
livesoft wrote:The setup:
...
They have no debts and own their home mortgage-free.

ohoops, I was thinking of the other $200K thread.
by Watty
Thu Dec 22, 2011 1:03 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: How to pay ZERO taxes in retirement with 6-figure expenses
Replies: 201
Views: 105396

Re: How to pay ZERO taxes in retirement with 6-figure expens

Pay off their mortgage from their taxable account. This would greatly reduce their cash requirements each year and then they could still take the standard deduction. Withdrawing money from a 401K to pay the mortgage negates any mortage interest deduction. A part time "fun" job that brings in $12,000...