Search found 13398 matches

by Watty
Sun Jun 03, 2012 9:50 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Investment for child
Replies: 8
Views: 636

Re: Investment for child

I am aware of custodian accounts but not very comfortable with him making decisions on the account by himself at 21. I wanted to know if there are any other options. Any advice is greatly appreciated. There are several types of family trusts that can be set up that will allow you a lot of control b...
by Watty
Sun Jun 03, 2012 9:32 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: There are no "Safe Havens"
Replies: 24
Views: 3873

Re: There are no "Safe Havens"

Currently he is approximantely 52% stocks, 38% bonds and 10% gold. Adding REITS or investment properties would give more diversification. Putting the maximimun into iBonds each year would take a while to build up much percentagewise but these could be better than TIPS because of they way they are t...
by Watty
Sun Jun 03, 2012 12:00 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Anyone regret paying off mortgage early?
Replies: 456
Views: 102185

Re: Anyone regret paying off mortgage early?

Watch out for recency bias. My parents kept their mortgage for the full 30 years and they were very happy they did. They had a rate of less than 4% during the double digit inflation years of the late 1970's and early 1980's. Paying the mortgage off or not does not have to be an "either/or" decision ...
by Watty
Fri May 11, 2012 10:11 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Right time to buy for me? Some advice please.
Replies: 24
Views: 2226

Re: Right time to buy for me? Some advice please.

Congratulations on getting so far. Out of curiosity I just checked and UC Davis has married students housing for less than $900 a month for a two bedroom apartment. http://registrar.ucdavis.edu/UCDWebCatalog/student/housing.html http://housing.ucdavis.edu/prospective/fees_parks.asp It might be close...
by Watty
Thu May 10, 2012 10:49 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Large inheritance: invest all at once or gradually?
Replies: 9
Views: 2261

Re: Large inheritance: invest all at once or gradually?

.....into a portfolio appropriate for my age (say, 80/20 equities/bonds in Vanguard mutual funds after setting up an emergency fund). You need to be careful when looking at what is right for your the asset allocation, that allocation sounds pretty reasonable for a retirement account for someone you...
by Watty
Thu May 10, 2012 11:14 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Learner vehicle for a 16-year old boy
Replies: 158
Views: 7795

Re: Learner vehicle for a 16-year old boy

I think you need to research the assumption that a big SUV is automatically a safer car. I have not followed it recently but a lot of them are prone to rollovers and the rollover risk combined with being less maneuverable at least somewhat offsets the size safety benefits, especially for older SUV's...
by Watty
Wed May 09, 2012 2:23 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: 2 months from retirement - what to do?
Replies: 34
Views: 2976

Re: 2 months from retirement - what to do?

Again - thanks for the replies & comments! My wife will be surprised that I joined this community because she shares my concerns about being confident as a DIY investor in the market and not using a CFP. I wish I could look into the future to see how I could do if I followed some of the investment ...
by Watty
Wed May 09, 2012 1:21 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Living Abroad After College
Replies: 19
Views: 2212

Re: Living Abroad After College

During so, I would max out my Roth IRA ....... It would be much better max out your deductable IRA and 401K then do Roth conversions while you are on the road and in the zero percent tax bracket. I work in IT and I have known a few people that tried to take a few years off in mid career with the pl...
by Watty
Tue May 08, 2012 2:15 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: 5/1 ARM refinancing help
Replies: 5
Views: 719

Re: 5/1 ARM refinancing help

Am I missing anything here? Penfed has a no cost 5/5 ARM at 3.0% https://www.penfed.org/55-Adjustable-Rate-Mortgage/?adcode=350&cmpid=search-google-mortgage-350-CRMB4&gclid=CJLAjLGx8a8CFYeR7QodFV4yUg I refinanced with that loan late last year and it has worked out fine for me. Palying the $1,000 cl...
by Watty
Mon May 07, 2012 12:48 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Buy the family house now or when we have the family?
Replies: 31
Views: 1863

Re: Buy the family house now or when we have the family?

1) It would take some compelling numbers for this to make any sense but you didn't give any numbers at all. I would pretty much run the numbers as if you were buying a rental investment property, in fact one option to consider would be to keep living where you are but to rent the house out until you...
by Watty
Sun May 06, 2012 10:56 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Pension--how concerned should I be?
Replies: 17
Views: 2468

Re: Pension--how concerned should I be?

It might have been mentioned but one of the things I have had happen was that when an old pension plan that I was vested in became underfunded is that they limited the ability for people to take the lump sum payout to just 50% of their vested balance. If you are above the guarenteed pension amount o...
by Watty
Sun May 06, 2012 10:38 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: 25 -- trust fund just came in -- need help investing
Replies: 24
Views: 3501

Re: 25 -- trust fund just came in -- need help investing

Does this sound like a smart plan, moving forward--or do you guys believe I'm missing something? That sounds pretty reasonable to me. On these forums you will see several variations of this quote attributed to several different people. "the greatest enemy of a good plan is the dream of a perfect pl...
by Watty
Sun May 06, 2012 11:23 am
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: 25 -- trust fund just came in -- need help investing
Replies: 24
Views: 3501

Re: 25 -- trust fund just came in -- need help investing

), then "splurge" in a couple of warm, sunny places in the south to relax after the heavy touring on the continent. FWIW, Greece needs the money! Hardly a big splurge if you do it right. Here is an example of a hotel that I stayed in the Greek Islands at a few years ago before Greece started having...
by Watty
Sun May 06, 2012 10:48 am
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: 25 -- trust fund just came in -- need help investing
Replies: 24
Views: 3501

Re: 25 -- trust fund just came in -- need help investing

[ quote]Are you guys concerned about the stock market crashing in the next year or two... or as interest rates eventually go up... [/quote] Danged if I know but 20 to 30% declines happen pretty regularly so a decline like this would not surprise me an all. If this was retirement money then over the ...
by Watty
Sun May 06, 2012 10:20 am
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: 25 -- trust fund just came in -- need help investing
Replies: 24
Views: 3501

Re: 25 -- trust fund just came in -- need help investing

In addition, I was given a small trust fund in a few stocks--everything in the Scottrade account except for 216 shares of GE is from this. The unrealized gain, for a total account worth 20k, is exactly $10,000.56. So, I don't plan on touching that stuff for any reason, unless you guys think it woul...
by Watty
Sun May 06, 2012 1:05 am
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: 25 -- trust fund just came in -- need help investing
Replies: 24
Views: 3501

Re: 25 -- trust fund just came in -- need help investing

The idea being I will invest 140k in next week or two, If is fine to leave the cash in a safe insured account for six months to a year while you figure out what to do. It is much more important to not make a big mistake now than to get the money invested quickly. Be sure to check out the Bogelhead ...
by Watty
Sun May 06, 2012 12:14 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Average wedding = 25k?
Replies: 110
Views: 9888

Re: Average wedding = 25k?

Watch out for "average" numbers. A few million dollar weddings will throw them way off. 7. Rehearsal dinner was at a the local convention center. Cost was very reasonable and the food was really good. Here is a tip; We had our rehearsal dinner was at nice Chinese restaurant where we were regulars. W...
by Watty
Fri May 04, 2012 12:53 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Gift money question
Replies: 11
Views: 1157

Re: Gift money question

sscritic - thanks for the heads up jerry - he isn't acting as an executor of a will, it was an annuity that was passed on to him when a death occured, and he doesn't want it, so he is going to cash it out and gift it to me. If you were the next beneficiary listed on the annuity they he may be able ...
by Watty
Fri May 04, 2012 12:08 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: HD digital camcorder - suggest please
Replies: 6
Views: 711

Re: HD digital camcorder - suggest please

I helped a friend with a new video camera that they bought for less than $300 and it seemed to do a decent job but I don't know enough to know how it compares to other models. http://www.amazon.com/Canon-VIXIA-Camcorder-Internal-Memory/dp/B004HW7E7E/ref=sr_1_2?ie=UTF8&qid=1336150802&sr=8-2 One of th...
by Watty
Fri May 04, 2012 8:39 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Anyone rent a car for driving trips?
Replies: 30
Views: 2708

Re: Anyone rent a car for driving trips?

One downside to renting a car is that you will only have one key.

I have misplaced my key before when traveling but I a was able to use my wife's key until I found mine.
by Watty
Thu May 03, 2012 8:16 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Housing prices at 2002 (and 1895) levels
Replies: 28
Views: 3453

Re: Housing prices at 1895 levels, and some related thoughts

One critical factor missing in this article is whether the graph is considering the average (mean or median) home price, or if it is considering the cost of a house per square foot. I would guess the average home of 2012 is considerably larger than the average home of 1895. Still, interesting. Thou...
by Watty
Thu May 03, 2012 4:31 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Buying an "investment" condo
Replies: 19
Views: 2021

Re: Buying an "investment" condo

my family has travelled 2-3 times per year Be sure to get good tax advice. Using the condo that much could result in you losing a lot of tax advantages. If you are using it that much during the ski season then you may need to also discount your expectations of how much rental income there will be. ...
by Watty
Thu May 03, 2012 4:10 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Housing related question: Should I sell, rent out or stay?
Replies: 36
Views: 3398

Re: Housing related question: Should I sell, rent out or sta

Any thoughts, opinions or ideas? I would add option 7 and at least put moving to a less expensive area where you can buy a house for cash up for discussion. There are lots of nice areas, like some college towns, where you could get a heck of a nice house for $300K. Some of the permutations you ment...
by Watty
Thu May 03, 2012 2:55 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: 1 year from selling, put excess into mortgage?
Replies: 4
Views: 705

Re: 1 year from selling, put excess into mortgage?

-Current mortgage is 5.5% PenFed has a special no cost 5/5 ARM at 3.0% that you might look at https://www.penfed.org/55-Adjustable-Rate-Mortgage/?intcid=ad-55ARM-home-mainAd Since it can only go up at most 2% once every five years you would be better off than the 5.5% mortgage for the first ten yea...
by Watty
Thu May 03, 2012 1:51 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: What are the chances I could get a $1,200,000 loan?
Replies: 31
Views: 3827

Re: What are the chances I could get a $1,200,000 loan?

This project sounds pretty unworkable but you might not want to give up yet. You should be able to get a normal mortgage for a duplex, triplex, or quad(? ) because lenders will let you get these with a normal mortgage when they have up to 4 units if you live in one unit. You would want to read your ...
by Watty
Wed May 02, 2012 11:55 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Indecisive Newbie: Rent or Buy a home?
Replies: 39
Views: 3690

Re: Indecisive Newbie: Rent or Buy a home?

You would be hard pressed to come up with the 20% down payment to get the best mortgage rate and pay the closing costs, and furnish the house, and still have a good emergency fund. I would keep renting (where is up to you) but try to live on a budget as if you had bought a house and to save like cra...
by Watty
Tue May 01, 2012 12:09 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Buying a House in SF
Replies: 82
Views: 7168

Re: Buying a House in SF

I know people ignore it all the time but before I moved out of the Bay Area years ago I did some research on the earthquake probabilities. It was pretty rough but the best I could determine was that if I had bought a house there then I would have expected it to have major earthquake damage maybe on...
by Watty
Tue May 01, 2012 11:53 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Anyone use Pen Fed Card for Foreign Cash Advances
Replies: 14
Views: 5098

Re: Anyone use Pen Fed Card for Foreign Cash Advances

Just in case you didn't know, the PIN number for the credit card is different than the normal PenFed PIN that you got when you opened the PenFed account. You need to call them and have them send you credit card PIN by mail. I am doing the same thing with the PenFed card for an upcoming trip and I wa...
by Watty
Mon Apr 30, 2012 10:25 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Percent of net worth in your home
Replies: 26
Views: 15185

Re: Percent of net worth in your home

It really depends on the level of your assets. A person with low means who is mainly living on social might find that putting a relatively high percentage of their net worth into buying a mobile home to avoid paying rent might be a reasonable choice. A very wealthy person who puts a couple of percen...
by Watty
Mon Apr 30, 2012 10:07 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Ideas please
Replies: 9
Views: 684

Re: Ideas please

If the kids do not know the accounts exist, how are they gonna stay out of jail when the IRS comes knocking on their door for failure to pay taxes on the fund distributions that have happened in the last 3 years? +1 That was my thought too. How could their taxes be filed without them knowing? Assum...
by Watty
Mon Apr 30, 2012 9:56 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: contribute to a not so good 401k?
Replies: 6
Views: 636

Re: contribute to a not so good 401k?

If you are over 59.5 years old then you may be eligible to do a " non hardship in service withdrawal " (Google this) and roll your 401k money out to a better IRA once a year or so without paying a penalty or taxes if your plan allows it. The typical HR clerk or 800 number customer service person may...
by Watty
Mon Apr 30, 2012 4:55 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Pay down house or put money in 401k/Roth IRA
Replies: 9
Views: 1126

Re: Pay down house or put money in 401k/Roth IRA

It really depends on the size of your mortgage. Percentagewise putting an extra $10K a year into paying down a $400K mortgage will not have nearly the same impact as if you had a $100K mortgage. One option you might look at is to refinance to the lowest rate lowest cost adjustable rate mortgage you ...
by Watty
Mon Apr 30, 2012 11:08 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: career hedging
Replies: 9
Views: 1770

Re: career hedging

Also, one of my life goals is to live abroad, and I may not be able to do this while tied to one primary employer. Actually the right employer might make this a lot easier than doing it on your own. Some government jobs like those with the state department have lots of international assignments for...
by Watty
Sun Apr 29, 2012 9:27 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Buying a House in SF
Replies: 82
Views: 7168

Re: Buying a House in SF

noob, I live in the same area and work in the same field. assuming that a decent 1bd is 400k and a decent 2bd is 600k, minimum, i would caution you against tying yourself down too much. flexibility is huge in our field and the ability to go work for lower pay at a startup, or move somewhere for a b...
by Watty
Sun Apr 29, 2012 9:01 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: When do you allow yourself to buy a "Want"
Replies: 57
Views: 4429

Re: When do you allow yourself to buy a "Want"

Unless you are an super expensive area of the country then a single person could likely cover all their real "needs" for maybe $20K a year and still live better than 90% of the people in the world.

The question then becomes how to allocate any other the money between your "wants" .
by Watty
Sun Apr 29, 2012 8:45 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: The ole' question--to pay off the mortgage or not.
Replies: 42
Views: 3534

Re: The ole' question--to pay off the mortgage or not.

I would also look at it for and asset allocation point of view and if paying off the house would leave less than a third (or better a quarter) of your net worth in the house then I would pay it off. Paying it off or not does not need to be an "either/or" decision. You could pay off half of it and ke...
by Watty
Sun Apr 29, 2012 7:38 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Career Decision to make
Replies: 16
Views: 1809

Re: Career Decision to make

He has offered me $10k less than what I make now, with a sep ira and not so great benes ,,,,,.The hours are 60+ per week and they are crazy,....About 45 hours per week, no more weekends, no more 4 am hours I work now.
If you look at your hourely rate it will be a lot higher at the new company.
by Watty
Sat Apr 28, 2012 10:47 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Newbie help
Replies: 15
Views: 1163

Re: Newbie help

Lots of good advice. One thing to keep in mind about the 401K contributions is that it might allow you to qualify for up to a 50% credit for the retirement savings on the first two thousand dollars of your retirement savings. http://www.irs.gov/pub/irs-pdf/f8880.pdf Even if you only qualify for less...
by Watty
Sat Apr 28, 2012 11:19 am
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Don't understand the arguments against Roth 401k...
Replies: 21
Views: 2164

Re: Don't understand the arguments against Roth 401k...

At retirement, I am in the 25% tax bracket. You are mixing up your current marginal tax bracket with your overall effective tax rate in retirement. A simple way to look at this it to take out your last tax return where you were in the 25% marginal tax bracket and then look at the form to get your t...
by Watty
Thu Apr 26, 2012 10:31 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: vangaurd slow 1.5 hours on hold
Replies: 13
Views: 1509

Re: vangaurd slow 1.5 hours on hold

Are you sure that that even a real Vanguard phone number???? it is common for scammers to randomoly call people and leave official sounding messages The few times I've gotten a call like this for any financil institutiuon I have always called them back on their normal 800 number and I have never had...
by Watty
Thu Apr 26, 2012 10:20 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: i like to gamble
Replies: 36
Views: 2909

Re: i like to gamble

I had way to much math in college to be able to enjoy gambling at a casino even though I've done it a few times, and I wasn't even very good at math.
by Watty
Thu Apr 26, 2012 9:53 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Transfer of property to spouse
Replies: 14
Views: 1600

Re: Transfer of property to spouse

With that said, can anyone offer suggestions on the best route of transferring the property to him at this point? Where would I get the recorded deed? At the county office? What is the process of transferring, do they just fill out the forms and have a notary sign them? Could this be done by fax si...
by Watty
Thu Apr 26, 2012 10:29 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Going uninsured for 6 months to get pre-existing cond. ins.?
Replies: 42
Views: 3153

Re: Going uninsured for 6 months to get pre-existing cond. i

I don't know what the exact rules are but many people are snowbirds and spend the winter in Florida so it could be that for the first six months(less a day) or whatever the official rules are, you are just fine without getting into trouble. There could then be a 90 or 180 day period after you offici...
by Watty
Wed Apr 25, 2012 4:21 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Transfer of property to spouse
Replies: 14
Views: 1600

Re: Transfer of property to spouse

without a lawyer if possible Your Mom very desperately needs to see a lawyer. !!!!!!!!! Offer to pay for one visit to a lawyer if she can't afford one just so that she knows where she is at. The problem is; What if your Dad files for divorce or stops supporting her the day after she signs over the ...
by Watty
Wed Apr 25, 2012 4:05 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Geology and geophysics - college
Replies: 22
Views: 2668

Re: Geology and geophysics - college

If the oil & gas sector pays 2-3-4-5 times better than the other industries geologists can work for, why do only 19% work in the oil & gas sector? The oil and natural gas exploration as well as mining are boom and bust industries where the layoffs and can be brutal during the busts. They also often...
by Watty
Wed Apr 25, 2012 3:51 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Can't obtain original investment amount
Replies: 16
Views: 1571

Re: Can't obtain original investment amount

Have you call the mutual fund company to see if they can help you out?
by Watty
Wed Apr 25, 2012 10:31 am
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Info on UTMA account holders after college?
Replies: 7
Views: 938

Re: Info on UTMA account holders after college?

My son had a similar UGMA small account from his Grandmother. If you goggle "UTMA (your state name) age majority" then you will find out when the account can become yours, usually 18 or 21. I recall correctly there may be an upper age when you must change the name on the account. Different companies...
by Watty
Wed Apr 25, 2012 9:33 am
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: At the top of the mountain - now, what?
Replies: 38
Views: 3607

Re: At the top of the mountain - now, what?

1. I can plan on withdrawing about 4% of my capital per year forever, If you are paying your financial advisor 1% of your portfolio in upfront or hidden costs a year then you only get 3% a year. Paying for a financial advisor is a personal decision that may or not be a good choice but if you want t...
by Watty
Mon Apr 23, 2012 11:13 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Small houses
Replies: 51
Views: 5143

Re: Small houses

But where do you find small high end, the house equivalent of, say, a Honda Fit or Mini Cooper? The fixed costs of the lot, site preparation, garage, kitchen, driveway, bathroom, etc would be about the same if you build a 1200 or 1600 square foot house so building the larger house usually dosn't co...
by Watty
Mon Apr 23, 2012 5:09 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Advice on how much debt to take on
Replies: 13
Views: 1479

Re: Advice on how much debt to take on

One thing that I didn't see mentioned in your posts was any comments like "I really like business and I think I am good at it, but I need an MBA to get to the next level." It would be good to write down your reasons for getting an MBA and then decide if this program is the best way to reach those go...