Search found 842 matches

by campy2010
Wed Jun 26, 2013 3:31 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Is "buying organic" food worth it?
Replies: 89
Views: 7076

Re: Is "buying organic" food worth it?

I buy local produce and meats/chicken but don't require that it is organic. Local produce tastes better. Growing up, I swam in the irrigation canals/lakes full of pesticides and fertilizer run-off and played in backyards right next to crops that were crop-dusted. So anything I do now is probably a w...
by campy2010
Tue Jun 25, 2013 11:37 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Pay off student loans or invest
Replies: 10
Views: 1658

Re: Pay off student loans or invest

The income phase out for Roth IRAs is $10,000 when filing married filing separately. In other words, you have to choose MFS or Roth IRA contributions. You can't do both. You can still do a backdoor Roth IRA; contribute to a non-deductible IRA and immediately convert it to a Roth. (If you made a Rot...
by campy2010
Tue Jun 25, 2013 1:05 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Pay off student loans or invest
Replies: 10
Views: 1658

Re: Pay off student loans or invest

The income phase out for Roth IRAs is $10,000 when filing married filing separately. In other words, you have to choose MFS or Roth IRA contributions. You can't do both. You can still use the IBR program even if you file as a married couple. Your monthly payment may be slightly higher since the form...
by campy2010
Tue Jun 25, 2013 10:15 am
Forum: Forum Issues and Administration
Topic: Bogleheads Without Avatars
Replies: 197
Views: 20598

Re: Bogleheads Without Avatars

Ask and you shall receive.
by campy2010
Mon Jun 24, 2013 9:39 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Airport to Manhattan, what would you do?
Replies: 31
Views: 2035

Re: Airport to Manhattan, what would you do?

I researched this question recently and ran into this blog post, which pretty much covers all the options, except car service and rental car. m I particularly like #6 6. L Train to 8th Avenue, A/C/E Train to Penn Station, New Jersey Transit to Newark Penn Station, New Jersey Transit ticket machine, ...
by campy2010
Thu Jun 20, 2013 9:43 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Move Student Loan to 0% Credit Card
Replies: 13
Views: 4638

Re: Move Student Loan to 0% Credit Card

I did this with my student loans and Navy Federal is the proud owner of my outstanding SL balance. I feel less stressed about repayment, mainly because the last of my loans are sitting at 0%. BUT there are a couple of things to keep in mind. 1. You won't be able to write a check to your SL company w...
by campy2010
Wed Jun 19, 2013 11:21 am
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: 401K Loan -- Sanity Check
Replies: 32
Views: 3164

Re: 401K Loan -- Sanity Check

Penfed 1.99% or maybe it is now 2.49% HEL is also an option. Although note that the HEL may have a minimum term.
by campy2010
Wed Jun 05, 2013 8:54 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Downstairs neighbor wants to inspect my apartment
Replies: 34
Views: 4286

Re: Downstairs neighbor wants to inspect my apartment

Regardless of whether you let them in or not, you might want to consider taking some "before" photos. You know, just in case.
by campy2010
Sat Jun 01, 2013 4:27 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Advice on Debt vs. Investing.
Replies: 25
Views: 5932

Re: Advice on Debt vs. Investing.

So you have takehome pay of over $5/month, debt expenses of about $2k, perhaps another $1k living expenses leaving you with roughly an additional $2k takehome per month. Where is this unaccounted for $3k a month going? You've got $143,000 in student loans, which will be more like $43k - $63k. Take ...
by campy2010
Sat Jun 01, 2013 1:33 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Advice appreciated on retirement planning for young couple
Replies: 15
Views: 1098

Re: Advice appreciated on retirement planning for young coup

I'm confused as to why you would save for a home 2-4 years down the road while you have high interest student loans. Use the savings to pay off (or down) the high interest debt and start over saving for a home. Your family's balance sheet is $170k in the red; you can't afford a home and I'm not sur...
by campy2010
Sat Jun 01, 2013 12:40 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Advice appreciated on retirement planning for young couple
Replies: 15
Views: 1098

Re: Advice appreciated on retirement planning for young coup

I'm confused as to why you would save for a home 2-4 years down the road while you have high interest student loans. Use the savings to pay off (or down) the high interest debt and start over saving for a home. Your family's balance sheet is $170k in the red; you can't afford a home and I'm not sure...
by campy2010
Wed May 29, 2013 6:46 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: FAFSA and College Verification
Replies: 17
Views: 1289

Re: FAFSA and College Verification

You want to tell your Congressmen that people should be able to apply for the FAFSA with no income verification? Really? I'm not sure if you are aware, but there is a considerable amount of fraud and abuse in the student aid system. People with new and stolen identities sign up for community college...
by campy2010
Thu May 16, 2013 4:36 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Move back w/parents or sign 1 year lease
Replies: 42
Views: 3088

Re: Move back w/parents or sign 1 year lease

Very well thought out on all these points. As many have stated, it is a huge investment, and post-MBA salary is not guaranteed. That being said, MBA gives me the chance to get into consulting or i-banking. I am a former consultant at a mid-tier firm, but would not be able to get into a top 5 consul...
by campy2010
Thu May 16, 2013 2:48 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Move back w/parents or sign 1 year lease
Replies: 42
Views: 3088

Re: Move back w/parents or sign 1 year lease

As you well know, both consulting and I-Banking have strict up or out policies and most transition out after a few years. So, in your best case scenario where would you want to go post-consulting or I-Banking. Can you get there from where you are now without an MBA or with a low-cost/part-time MBA?
by campy2010
Thu May 16, 2013 2:15 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Move back w/parents or sign 1 year lease
Replies: 42
Views: 3088

Re: Move back w/parents or sign 1 year lease

It depends on how well you and your parents can live together. Like roommates in college who should discuss living arrangements and sign contracts, you and your parents should talk about how to live together more like "roommates". Who is going to do what chores? Who is going to pay for wh...
by campy2010
Thu May 16, 2013 1:26 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Airfare keeps going up. Buy now or wait?
Replies: 38
Views: 3595

Re: Airfare keeps going up. Buy now or wait?

Like others have said, high season is only getting closer so you need to pull the trigger soon.

Try pricing out flights into another city and connecting to Vienna either by a low cost carrier or by rail.
by campy2010
Thu May 16, 2013 9:46 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: What's Next - Financial Planning
Replies: 8
Views: 917

Re: What's Next - Financial Planning

I think you're focused too much on low-interest debt repayment to the detriment of your retirement savings. This would be my order of operations. 1. Pay down 6.5% student loans IMMMEDIATELY if the money is in savings. You're paying over $250/month to interest and any principal payment will put a sig...
by campy2010
Wed May 15, 2013 7:12 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Using full name for email - bad or good idea?
Replies: 37
Views: 19308

Re: Using full name for email - bad or good idea?

I use firstname.lastname@gmail.com. The major downside is that you get lots of email for those who share your first name and last name. I think spammers oftentimes use common firstname.lastname combos. So, there's that too. Otherwise, no problems. If your firstname lastname is still available, then ...
by campy2010
Wed May 15, 2013 3:52 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Move back w/parents or sign 1 year lease
Replies: 42
Views: 3088

Re: Move back w/parents or sign 1 year lease

It depends on how well you and your parents can live together. Like roommates in college who should discuss living arrangements and sign contracts, you and your parents should talk about how to live together more like "roommates". Who is going to do what chores? Who is going to pay for wh...
by campy2010
Tue May 14, 2013 4:20 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Fiancee Got Into Med School: Should I Rent or Sell My Condo?
Replies: 35
Views: 3863

Re: Fiancee Got Into Med School: Should I Rent or Sell My Co

Federal student loans for professional school don't need to be repaid until you graduate but start accruing interest from day 1. The interest rate is 6.8% on the first $20.5k per year (Stafford) and 7.75% on any additional loans (Grad Plus). In addition, there is a 4% origination fee added to each l...
by campy2010
Mon May 13, 2013 10:13 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: tax friendly states for retirees
Replies: 96
Views: 9290

Re: tax friendly states for retirees

What about Washington state. No income tax, does it rank as favorable? It's on our list of possible someday-retirement places--but because we like Washington, not because it has no income tax, although that's a "background" consideration. It does have a high sales tax, and among the natio...
by campy2010
Tue May 07, 2013 2:59 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Medical Resident: When Should I Get Disability Insurance
Replies: 80
Views: 7355

Re: Medical Resident: When Should I Get Disability Insurance

Agree with the above post. I'm in my early 30s, cyclist, runner, and by all accounts very healthy. But was diagnosed with a relatively serious condition while in grad school a few years ago. I was a student so I had no income to insure but now I'm essentially uninsuranble for the one condition for w...
by campy2010
Sat Apr 06, 2013 10:25 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: American vs Venezuelan cell/3G/4G LTE charges
Replies: 9
Views: 778

Re: American vs Venezuelan cell/3G/4G LTE charges

I have some fond memories of traveling in Venezuela a few years ago. This was in the pre-data plan era, but it was my impression that there is a lot of competition in the Venezuelan cell phone market. Plus, the pay-as-you-go options kept the prices down. But those scratch off cell phone minute cards...
by campy2010
Sun Mar 31, 2013 2:26 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Undergraduate Education? [Pre-Med, How to finance]
Replies: 13
Views: 3712

Re: Undergraduate Education? [Pre-Med, How to finance]

BU: $14k tuition +$14k housing = ~$30k/year x 4 = $120,000 UMass Boston is a commuter school so he may as well live at home. Total cost: $0 Are these the only 2 options? BU is a okay school but is expensive and UMass Boston is toward the bottom of the barrel in the UMass system. He probably couldn't...
by campy2010
Sat Mar 30, 2013 9:08 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: School Loans, IRA, Vanguard, OH MY!
Replies: 35
Views: 2584

Re: School Loans, IRA, Vanguard, OH MY!

Like Livesoft said, the problem with these Income Based Repayment programs is that by committing to not paying off your loans you are essentially betting against your salary increasing over time. And it's a bad bet since your salary should increase with inflation alone. I ran some numbers to see whe...
by campy2010
Sun Mar 24, 2013 12:15 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Gift card for cyclist
Replies: 22
Views: 1366

Re: Gift card for cyclist

Performance Bike or Nashbar tend to have decent choices and some good deals. But Amazon is not a bad choice either.
by campy2010
Sun Mar 17, 2013 9:45 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: New Doctor: Rent or Buy Home in Chicago?
Replies: 47
Views: 3765

Re: New Doctor: Rent or Buy Home in Chicago?

Are you doing a proper comparison? Is the same or similar condo that costs $250K to buy rent at $2K/month? Rental yield = 9.6%. I would be surprised if this is true. Absolutely. According to realtor.com, there are some great condos in Lincoln Park, a very desirable part of Chicago selling for aroun...
by campy2010
Thu Mar 14, 2013 10:59 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Quitting job and starting law school in the Fall - help!
Replies: 97
Views: 15332

Re: Quitting job and starting law school in the Fall - help!

I agree to leave your 401k alone if you have access to a 0% loan from family. EXCEPT, that I would use your 2L year to roll over your 401k to a Roth IRA since your income will likely be at an all-time low that year. Good Luck. Should I leave it in my employer's 401k until then? Or do I roll-over to...
by campy2010
Thu Mar 14, 2013 10:05 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Quitting job and starting law school in the Fall - help!
Replies: 97
Views: 15332

Re: Quitting job and starting law school in the Fall - help!

I agree to leave your 401k alone if you have access to a 0% loan from family. EXCEPT, that I would use your 2L year to roll over your 401k to a Roth IRA since your income will likely be at an all-time low that year. Good Luck.
by campy2010
Tue Mar 05, 2013 9:29 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Ipod docking player
Replies: 6
Views: 591

Re: Ipod docking player

How long until the rechargeable batteries stop holding their charge? Is this issue a dealbreaker that some Amazon reviewers make it out to be?
by campy2010
Thu Feb 28, 2013 1:52 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Grad school loans, savings, and more
Replies: 23
Views: 1950

Re: Grad school loans, savings, and more

Thanks all so much for the (completely uniform!) advice! It's definitely a kick in the ass, and I've begun rearranging my automatic transfers to accomplish this faster. Agree. By the way, I'm a retired partner from a large firm. While your current income is really good, the fact is that you probabl...
by campy2010
Tue Feb 26, 2013 5:28 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Student Loan Repayment Strategy
Replies: 32
Views: 5010

Re: Student Loan Repayment Strategy

Yes, once the interest capitalizes, interest is charged on the interest as well as the principal balance. If I could go back and change my own student loan situation, I would have paid off that accrued interest before repayment began for this very reason. This applies for both unsubsidized and subs...
by campy2010
Mon Feb 25, 2013 4:36 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Student Loan Repayment Strategy
Replies: 32
Views: 5010

Re: Student Loan Repayment Strategy

I agree with the above posters. Your expenses are low, so use your time living with your parents to get rid of at least the higher-interest rate debt. 1. You could earn more investing your money elsewhere, but it is also nice to be debt-free. You have some time to decide while you pay off your high-...
by campy2010
Mon Feb 25, 2013 2:09 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: How do you get a speeding ticket off your record
Replies: 11
Views: 1621

Re: How do you get a speeding ticket off your record

In MA, driving school doesn't remove speeding tickets from your record. He would have had to appeal the ticket in court a year ago. Insurance rates are set by the state and your insurance rates go up by a percentage based on each moving infraction. Your rates will stay elevated for 5 years after the...
by campy2010
Wed Feb 20, 2013 6:35 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Is 35/34 too young for long-term care insurance?
Replies: 133
Views: 8617

Re: Is 35/34 too young for long-term care insurance?

Wouldn't good disability coverage + life insurance be the better choice in both of these situations?
by campy2010
Thu Feb 14, 2013 9:19 am
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Help for 25 year old with $20,000 to invest
Replies: 7
Views: 1208

Re: Help for 25 year old with $20,000 to invest

I don't think you have shared enough information with us. Before investing, your daughter should have a secure emergency fund. If that is covered then what type of investment vehicles does she have access to? Does she have a company 401k? Does she contribute to a Roth IRA already? The type of portfo...
by campy2010
Fri Feb 08, 2013 8:34 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Is it safe to cook/heat food in a tin can?
Replies: 29
Views: 4343

Re: Is it safe to cook/heat food in a tin can?

The only thing better than BPA in your food is warm BPA in your food. YUM. Always heat food in glass in the microwave or stainless steel on the stovetop.
by campy2010
Tue Jan 29, 2013 3:53 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Why do folks ignore voicemails in returning calls??
Replies: 20
Views: 1836

Re: Why do folks ignore voicemails in returning calls??

In your case, you're asking someone to listen to a voicemail, write down a new number and then return the call to that new number. The Magicjack number is already in their caller id, so they return the call to that number. It isn't too surprising, really. It is more surprising to me that you're shoc...
by campy2010
Sat Jan 26, 2013 8:23 am
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Will I be too cash poor?
Replies: 17
Views: 2693

Re: Will I be too cash poor?

Sounds like you'll be fine, particularly because you already have an EF. Consider putting the extra $400/month into a Roth IRA.
by campy2010
Fri Jan 18, 2013 11:28 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Which debt to pay first?
Replies: 30
Views: 2110

Re: Which debt to pay first?

Can you refinance the car? Penfed and Navy Federal, among others, have low interest rate car refis. I would try to go this route and hit the 5.5% student loan first.
by campy2010
Fri Jan 18, 2013 10:59 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Shrinking Snickers bars
Replies: 50
Views: 4707

Re: Shrinking Snickers bars

My bigger beef is that Snickers bars used to taste good. Now they taste like wax and not chocolate. Maybe I'm just getting old and they're exactly the same, but I doubt it. They have reformulated the Snickers bar many times over the years to contain less chocolate and more lower-cost ingredients li...
by campy2010
Fri Jan 18, 2013 8:43 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Shrinking Snickers bars
Replies: 50
Views: 4707

Re: Shrinking Snickers bars

My bigger beef is that Snickers bars used to taste good. Now they taste like wax and not chocolate. Maybe I'm just getting old and they're exactly the same, but I doubt it.
by campy2010
Mon Jan 14, 2013 12:34 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: How to sell a diamond ring
Replies: 16
Views: 2220

Re: How to sell a diamond ring

I would think that the diamond from your engagement ring would have some sort of sentimental value to the wife. If I were you, I would put the diamond into a pendant necklace and call it a day. Surprise her with it for a special occasion.
by campy2010
Sat Jan 12, 2013 12:13 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Things to do in Seattle and Vancouver in Feb
Replies: 14
Views: 1137

Re: Things to do in Seattle and Vancouver in Feb

I live in Bellingham (about 80 miles north of Seattle). Worst month to visit of course, but the San Juan Islands are beautiful (there are over 100 islands in Puget Sound Bay). You can take a ferry from Anacortes. Also the drive up Mt Baker is incredible right here in Bellingham. In Seattle downtown...
by campy2010
Sat Jan 12, 2013 12:10 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Things to do in Seattle and Vancouver in Feb
Replies: 14
Views: 1137

Re: Things to do in Seattle and Vancouver in Feb

I was in Seattle over the holidays and was able to run outside most days, except on Christmas due to an inch or two of snow. It was about 40-50 degrees during the day and a bit of drizzly rain with some sun breaks most days. The weather in the San Juans and Vancouver would be similar. My advice for ...
by campy2010
Thu Jan 10, 2013 12:25 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Colleges Losing Pricing Power
Replies: 41
Views: 2919

Re: Colleges Losing Pricing Power

The millenials (ie baby boomer echo generation) are a large generation, nearly as large as the baby boomer generation itself. So, not only have there been more college-age students the past 10 years but a higher proportion of them are also attending college. Unfortunately for the universities, the n...
by campy2010
Mon Jan 07, 2013 9:51 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: pay off debt or invest
Replies: 20
Views: 3410

Re: pay off debt or invest

The only one i would pay off for sure is the car loan at 4.5% The car loan at 1.9% i would hold onto forever. The others are kind of a tossup. As Brian once said (not in this thread), debt is a tool, not a cancer. Many posters on this forum seem to think of it as a four-lettered word. If you can ha...
by campy2010
Mon Jan 07, 2013 2:49 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: pay off debt or invest
Replies: 20
Views: 3410

Re: pay off debt or invest

You have enough income to do both, without too much trouble. Perhaps, you might want to take a look at your spending to see where your income is going. I would say that your are under-saving for your income level. I would tackle your finances/investments in the following order: 1. 6-month emergency ...
by campy2010
Sat Jan 05, 2013 8:47 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: H & R Block Tax Software on sale
Replies: 30
Views: 4863

Re: H & R Block Tax Software on sale

One of the deal sites mentioned that some folks were receiving free efiles in the HR Block CDs that arrive in the mail. It seemed skewed towards people who had used HR Block in the past and had switched to a competitor in the last couple of years. So, check your junk mail.