Search found 629 matches

by supersharpie
Wed Jan 05, 2011 10:10 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Youth and Social Security
Replies: 84
Views: 7374

Despite my post in this thread I will say I am quite optimistic that anyone in the work force today will be eligible for a decent SS benefit at retirement. While it may seem like a lot of time right now 30 to 35 years is not enough time to pass for any significant changes to be made to the SS system...
by supersharpie
Wed Jan 05, 2011 8:17 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Saving for downpayment...invest or pay off student loans?
Replies: 23
Views: 2537

My concern is that my home will lose value in comparison to the interest I could be saving by paying off the student loans quickly. In this economy you never know. At least the value of the loan payoff would be guaranteed. You would be saving interest by paying down your mortgage, exactly as you wo...
by supersharpie
Wed Jan 05, 2011 7:52 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Saving for downpayment...invest or pay off student loans?
Replies: 23
Views: 2537

What OP needs is liquidity in 10 years. Student loan repayment reduces liquidity in 10 years, relative to investment. Investment, at least in bonds, likely has negative carry relative to student loan repayment (i.e., borrowing at x to earn y, where y is less than x). OP would like to avoid this cos...
by supersharpie
Wed Jan 05, 2011 7:45 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: New Retirement Hazard: Reduced Pensions?
Replies: 62
Views: 7732

The only thing that attracts quality employees to public service is the defined pension plan they are guaranteed. Why else would a college graduate work for considerably lower wages than he can earn in the private sector? People scoff at public employees for their low salaries when the economy is bo...
by supersharpie
Wed Jan 05, 2011 7:36 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: What will you do with your 2% windfall?
Replies: 76
Views: 9706

Only the highest wage earners will get the full 2% since they were never eligible for the Making Work Pay credit. And for those individuals, the 2% is welcome news. 8) Yes it is welcome news. I'll save the couple grand - it will do me a lot better than paying the taxes and hoping for a meager retur...
by supersharpie
Wed Jan 05, 2011 7:20 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Saving for downpayment...invest or pay off student loans?
Replies: 23
Views: 2537

Bob's not my name wrote:
supersharpie wrote:We already purchased our first home so that is out.
Most 401k plans allow you to take a loan for any purpose. Are you thinking of a tIRA withdrawal?
Yes, that is likely what I was thinking about.
by supersharpie
Wed Jan 05, 2011 7:12 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Saving for downpayment...invest or pay off student loans?
Replies: 23
Views: 2537

Or 401k loan. We already purchased our first home so that is out. Hopefully home prices don't increase that much over the next 10 years. I am eying homes that presently cost $450,000 and will meet the needs of what I believe will be a growing family in 10 years. Assuming 3% annual inflation in pric...
by supersharpie
Wed Jan 05, 2011 7:08 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Youth and Social Security
Replies: 84
Views: 7374

Which is more likely: social security will go broke or your state pension system will go broke? Which is more likely: the federal government will default on its debts or your state government will default on its debts? I'd say it depends what state you're talking about... I would advise you to look...
by supersharpie
Wed Jan 05, 2011 6:53 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Saving for downpayment...invest or pay off student loans?
Replies: 23
Views: 2537

Thanks all, it seems like paying off the debt should probably be our focus for the first 4 or 5 years, then invest the last five years. I suppose we could always take out a bridge or home equity loan to afford the down payment if those 5 or 6 years of investing don't yield the $150,000 I project we ...
by supersharpie
Wed Jan 05, 2011 6:45 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: What percentage of your assets to annuitize?
Replies: 30
Views: 5078

At the time of purchase of my/our first SPIA, I paid a premium equal to 10% of our total retirement portfolios, in order to form a pension (I had none), and to delay SS for eleven years. The application required me to state that the current SPIA, along with all additional current annuity products d...
by supersharpie
Wed Jan 05, 2011 6:37 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Youth and Social Security
Replies: 84
Views: 7374

As things stand my wife and I project to be entitled at age 62 to (in 2010 dollars) about $80,000-$90,000 a year in combined pensions (one private, one from the federal government) and Social Security. However, that is merely in our mind that is merely "bonus money" which may or may not actually be ...
by supersharpie
Wed Jan 05, 2011 7:05 am
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Saving for downpayment...invest or pay off student loans?
Replies: 23
Views: 2537

Are the 3% and 4.5% rates fixed or variable? Is the interest deductible for you? Are you both getting the full employer match in your 401ks? Are you both maxing out any ESPP? The 4.5% is fixed, the 3% is variable. We are both already contributing beyond our employer match in our 401ks and also are ...
by supersharpie
Tue Jan 04, 2011 11:46 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: social security survivors benefits
Replies: 6
Views: 1203

I can attempt an explanation of the thinking of Congress. This does not require a fair/unfair, good/bad, right/wrong political judgment, which is not allowed here. A man dies with a 5 year old child. The child deserves support (in congress's opinion), but not for 90 years until death at 95. Support...
by supersharpie
Tue Jan 04, 2011 11:08 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Saving for downpayment...invest or pay off student loans?
Replies: 23
Views: 2537

Saving for downpayment...invest or pay off student loans?

Prior to reading this board my wife and I planned to save $10,000 a year in taxable index funds in preparation for a move to our second home in 2021. However, many on here advised that we just keep the money in an ultra-safe investment, like our money market account which is currently yielding 1.13%...
by supersharpie
Tue Jan 04, 2011 11:01 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Pay off mortgage early??
Replies: 85
Views: 13344

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by supersharpie
Wed Dec 29, 2010 11:10 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: When did you start??
Replies: 57
Views: 7352

I anticipate that I will probably devote 20+ hours a week to our investments from this point forward. 20 hours a week? :shock: I don't think I spend 20 hours a year. Ah, I exaggerated a bit and should clarify the statement. What I meant was that I would spend a substantial amount of time frequentin...
by supersharpie
Wed Dec 29, 2010 8:06 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Medicare part D
Replies: 11
Views: 2200

Re: Medicare part D

How do you make decisions about Medicare part D? A friend asked me to research this for her 85 year old father, who is in pretty good health, but recently had to pay $200 for an antibiotic prescription. I have two basic questions: 1. Is Medicare part D a good idea for everyone? If not, how do you d...
by supersharpie
Wed Dec 29, 2010 7:44 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: When did you start??
Replies: 57
Views: 7352

Very recently. My wife is 26 and I just turned 27. We invested to the match in our company's 401ks since graduating from college and have approximately 28k invested. However, neither of us had any clue about asset allocation when we started contributing. Nonetheless we have earned a decent rate of r...
by supersharpie
Wed Dec 29, 2010 7:58 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Put off retirement savings for 4 years?
Replies: 53
Views: 6306

Re: Put off retirement savings for 4 years?

Or am I crazy? So here's my total financial picture. . . 26 years old Salary: 55k Currently I have been contributing 15% of my take home pay to my 401k and maxing out Roth IRA contributions. My company contributes roughly $1 per dollar I invest up to 5% of my salary. In a savings account I have als...
by supersharpie
Sun Dec 26, 2010 11:26 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: First time investor. Need some advice on a financial plan.
Replies: 3
Views: 779

I think you are doing very well and that your plan is a good one. My approach would be slightly more optimistic regarding the possibility of an emergency. If you feel confident about your job security (and its not completely clear you should in a world where federal budget cuts may occur) and you h...
by supersharpie
Sun Dec 26, 2010 11:19 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Brand new to investing- Need advice
Replies: 44
Views: 5260

Re: Brand new to investing- Need advice

Hello, I'm 18 years old and a freshmen in College. I am receiving military benefits and have a part time job so I made about $7000 dollars in my first semester. I always hear people saying how they wish they would of invested when they were young, so I decided to get involved. I've been doing a lit...
by supersharpie
Sat Dec 25, 2010 3:02 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Roth Conversion and Tax Overhaul
Replies: 11
Views: 1918

Re: Roth Conversion and Tax Overhaul

The conventional wisdom is that tax rates have nowhere to go but up. However, there seems to be increasing talk about the need for a major overhaul of the income tax system that wll actually result in a substantial decrease in the top marginal rate (27% in one proposal). This would be achievable, a...
by supersharpie
Sat Dec 25, 2010 10:01 am
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Investing in bond MFs vs Money Market in taxable account
Replies: 11
Views: 1813

Thanks, I knew I was missing part of the equation! That being said, money markets are offering a max of 1.25% interest at this point so, even with the 25% taxation of dividends, it appears that bond-based MFs that offer 5%-9% returns are still far better short-to-mid-term investment options. Please...
by supersharpie
Sat Dec 25, 2010 12:52 am
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Investing in bond MFs vs Money Market in taxable account
Replies: 11
Views: 1813

Bond fund " dividends" are really interest payouts and are taxed as regular income. It is stock fund dividends that may qualify for QDI treatment and then would have a 15% max under current law. Thanks, I knew I was missing part of the equation! That being said, money markets are offering a max of ...
by supersharpie
Fri Dec 24, 2010 11:37 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Investing in bond MFs vs Money Market in taxable account
Replies: 11
Views: 1813

Investing in bond MFs vs Money Market in taxable account

Why is investing in bond-based mutual funds in taxable accounts a bad idea? Dividends are taxed at 15% vs interest in money market or CDs which is taxed as regular income (in my case 25%). Bond MFs also generally yield several percent more than money market accounts. Are there any tax issues which I...
by supersharpie
Thu Dec 23, 2010 12:48 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: House Fund
Replies: 54
Views: 5685

Chapman, I know that you will take this with a huge grain of salt but...reconsider marrying your girlfriend. There are plenty of wonderful, sensible women out there who would be happy to share in your vision rather than force yours on you. So many unhappy marriages start (and end) with one party hav...
by supersharpie
Thu Dec 23, 2010 11:57 am
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Planning on purchasing a home - best way to invest?
Replies: 10
Views: 1787

Here are the current real yields (excess after inflation) of TIPS bonds at US Treasury. Note that shorter term TIPS are just barely positive in real yield but do offer compensation for inflation. The trailing returns on the bond funds you listed are a result of falling interest rates over the time ...
by supersharpie
Thu Dec 23, 2010 11:34 am
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Planning on purchasing a home - best way to invest?
Replies: 10
Views: 1787

Planning on purchasing a home - best way to invest?

My wife and I bought our "starter home" in 2008 and it is perfect for our current needs. However, in 2021 it is likely we will have one child entering grade school and a toddler as well. Therefore we are going to need a larger home and preferably one in a better school district. That being said we w...
by supersharpie
Wed Dec 22, 2010 2:05 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Fundamental question regarding Roth investments
Replies: 2
Views: 530

Fundamental question regarding Roth investments

Hello all, this is my first post. My wife and I recently purchased our first Vanguard mutual funds (5k in VWINX and 5k in VFINX). We are 27 years old and our AGI is approximately 120k. I forecast that we will be in the same tax bracket (25%) in retirement due to our investments, private pensions, an...