Search found 3619 matches

by texasdiver
Wed Apr 21, 2021 3:07 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Don't fuss about 529 accounts. Have your child skip the first two years of college instead!
Replies: 199
Views: 14723

Re: Don't fuss about 529 accounts. Have your child skip the first two years of college instead!

I’m pushing my kids to LBYM, seek a major that will give you a well paying job and still enjoy life. Not “follow their passions” down a path where a few folks do well but the majority eke out a life working Starbucks or other low paying jobs to make ends meet. Maybe if they were making films all th...
by texasdiver
Tue Apr 20, 2021 8:38 pm
Forum: Personal Investments
Topic: TSP Questions
Replies: 15
Views: 1466

Re: TSP Questions

I'm 57. My entire TSP balance (which is closing in on 7 figures) is in the Lifecycle 2030 fund. Simple, reasonably safe. I can sleep at night. But I still get decent returns when the stock market goes up. It represents about 1/3 of our total portfolio. The rest is similarly invested in Vanguard and ...
by texasdiver
Mon Apr 19, 2021 12:57 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: What Does College Tuition Really Cost?
Replies: 84
Views: 6551

Re: What Does College Tuition Really Cost?

Here in the Pacific Northwest my daughter got reasonable merit aid offers from Gonzaga, Whitman, Lewis & Clark, University of Oregon, Washington State, and University of Puget Sound. She got a less generous merit aid offer from Occidental College in CA. I wouldn't know what the exact equivalent...
by texasdiver
Sun Apr 18, 2021 3:28 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Don't fuss about 529 accounts. Have your child skip the first two years of college instead!
Replies: 199
Views: 14723

Re: Don't fuss about 529 accounts. Have your child skip the first two years of college instead!

I hear a lot of public school teachers say students are too dumb or too unmotivated to think outside the box by not paying retail for college. Well, why is that? I attended public and private schools and even homeschooled for a year. The schooling system we have in the USA sets very low expectation...
by texasdiver
Sun Apr 18, 2021 3:13 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: What Does College Tuition Really Cost?
Replies: 84
Views: 6551

Re: What Does College Tuition Really Cost?

Here in the Pacific Northwest my daughter got reasonable merit aid offers from Gonzaga, Whitman, Lewis & Clark, University of Oregon, Washington State, and University of Puget Sound. She got a less generous merit aid offer from Occidental College in CA. I wouldn't know what the exact equivalent...
by texasdiver
Sat Apr 17, 2021 10:22 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: What Does College Tuition Really Cost?
Replies: 84
Views: 6551

Re: What Does College Tuition Really Cost?

My daughter had a 3.8 UW GPA and decent test scores, and applied to about a dozen or so colleges this year. I would characterize the schools to which she applied as the higher end of mid tier - not Harvard or MIT or anything, but not Crazy Larry's Discount U either. Our income and assets are high, ...
by texasdiver
Sat Apr 17, 2021 4:27 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Don't fuss about 529 accounts. Have your child skip the first two years of college instead!
Replies: 199
Views: 14723

Re: Don't fuss about 529 accounts. Have your child skip the first two years of college instead!

I'm a HS teacher who has been teaching mostly juniors and seniors at large diverse public schools for the past 15 years in both Texas and Washington State. While I don't disagree with the sentiment, there are some very large caveats. First, when we are talking about the general population writ large...
by texasdiver
Sat Apr 17, 2021 3:59 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Don't fuss about 529 accounts. Have your child skip the first two years of college instead!
Replies: 199
Views: 14723

Re: Don't fuss about 529 accounts. Have your child skip the first two years of college instead!

And a personal note. I advance-placed out of freshman physics, and as a result I missed out on the famous demonstration involving the bowling ball suspended on a long wire. (The professor takes the ball and walks backward with it until their head is flat against the wall and the bowling ball is tou...
by texasdiver
Fri Apr 16, 2021 11:56 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: What Does College Tuition Really Cost?
Replies: 84
Views: 6551

Re: What Does College Tuition Really Cost?

My daughter had a 3.8 UW GPA and decent test scores, and applied to about a dozen or so colleges this year. I would characterize the schools to which she applied as the higher end of mid tier - not Harvard or MIT or anything, but not Crazy Larry's Discount U either. Our income and assets are high, ...
by texasdiver
Fri Apr 16, 2021 11:53 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: What Does College Tuition Really Cost?
Replies: 84
Views: 6551

Re: What Does College Tuition Really Cost?

One other thing to mention is that a number of OOS students will work to qualify for in-state tuition after their first year by doing things like getting a job, taking summer courses, local internship, getting a DL, and signing a 12-month lease, etc. Fees, health insurance, housing, meal plans, etc...
by texasdiver
Fri Apr 16, 2021 2:14 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Are Two College Savings Plans Better Than One?
Replies: 24
Views: 1427

Re: Are Two College Savings Plans Better Than One?

From the original analysis, just scale up the numbers to whatever makes sense for your expected outlay. 1/5 of a total years expense makes a lot of sense to fund each year. By first saving in one account with stocks only, and then putting bonds in a second, if you end up in an overcontribution situ...
by texasdiver
Fri Apr 16, 2021 2:04 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Are Two College Savings Plans Better Than One?
Replies: 24
Views: 1427

Re: Are Two College Savings Plans Better Than One?

Basically, the goal here is to find the current "net price" for a benchmark university (I usually recommend choosing a large in-state public university). Is the net price tuition only or tuition + accommodation? Niche is telling me University of WA is $10,700. Seems cheap. Net price is th...
by texasdiver
Fri Apr 16, 2021 2:01 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Are Two College Savings Plans Better Than One?
Replies: 24
Views: 1427

Re: Are Two College Savings Plans Better Than One?

From the original analysis, just scale up the numbers to whatever makes sense for your expected outlay. 1/5 of a total years expense makes a lot of sense to fund each year. By first saving in one account with stocks only, and then putting bonds in a second, if you end up in an overcontribution situ...
by texasdiver
Fri Apr 16, 2021 1:51 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Are Two College Savings Plans Better Than One?
Replies: 24
Views: 1427

Re: Are Two College Savings Plans Better Than One?

I think you are way-overthinking it. First of all, your numbers for MD are WAY low. Those might be tuition costs, but not room and board and books and other expenses, all of which can be reimbursed out of a 529 plan. We paid for my daughter's off campus apartment and utilities out of her 529 during ...
by texasdiver
Fri Apr 16, 2021 12:09 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: First child entering college in the fall... need some advice
Replies: 186
Views: 11991

Re: First child entering college in the fall... need some advice

I am astonished at how many people are basically treading water like this. I walk around my neighborhood and see people who I know do not have nearly the income that we do but always new cars, fancy furniture, $30,000 plantation shutters, $75,000 landscaping jobs, kitchen remodels, etc. etc. Then w...
by texasdiver
Thu Apr 15, 2021 10:59 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: First child entering college in the fall... need some advice
Replies: 186
Views: 11991

Re: First child entering college in the fall... need some advice

Upward mobility is important to many of us, but not to all of us. For those of us to whom it matters, the pathways are vastly different. OP attended a really good school, OP's spouse attended a good school, and they've got good jobs and a comfortable lifestyle. They have an ultra-bright and talente...
by texasdiver
Thu Apr 15, 2021 10:21 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: First child entering college in the fall... need some advice
Replies: 186
Views: 11991

Re: First child entering college in the fall... need some advice

Upward mobility is important to many of us, but not to all of us. For those of us to whom it matters, the pathways are vastly different. OP attended a really good school, OP's spouse attended a good school, and they've got good jobs and a comfortable lifestyle. They have an ultra-bright and talente...
by texasdiver
Thu Apr 15, 2021 2:36 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Asking for more Merit aid? College decision day 5/1
Replies: 39
Views: 2388

Re: Asking for more Merit aid? College decision day 5/1

As a counterpoint, I've seen multiple examples of this working out. In California, spots at all UCs are set aside for community college transfers. One student I knew who was already coding part time for a startup in high-school skipped the whole college process. He just was too busy to even start i...
by texasdiver
Thu Apr 15, 2021 2:10 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: First child entering college in the fall... need some advice
Replies: 186
Views: 11991

Re: First child entering college in the fall... need some advice

Who pays full MSRP sticker for private school? And again, his first of three children. MADNESS! Lots of people pay full sticker for private schools. I would say that approximately half of all students at selective private college are full pay. Here in the Pacific Northwest the most selective school...
by texasdiver
Thu Apr 15, 2021 1:59 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Asking for more Merit aid? College decision day 5/1
Replies: 39
Views: 2388

Re: Asking for more Merit aid? College decision day 5/1

Just remember that merit aid is nothing more than a pricing mechanism to make lower rated schools competitive with their higher rated peers. It has nothing to do with your child's intrinsic merit. I'd have to disagree with you on this, as this blanket statement is far from being true. Using my son ...
by texasdiver
Wed Apr 14, 2021 9:25 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: First child entering college in the fall... need some advice
Replies: 186
Views: 11991

Re: First child entering college in the fall... need some advice

Lastly, I'm a bit concerned hearing about the level of merit aid ($1k/year if I read correctly?). I obviously don't know your daughter's academic stats, and it's great she got into an elite school, so please understand I mean no harm in saying: If she is just squeaking in, being a small fish in tha...
by texasdiver
Wed Apr 14, 2021 2:45 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: First child entering college in the fall... need some advice
Replies: 186
Views: 11991

Re: First child entering college in the fall... need some advice

Congratulations to your Daughter for all her hard work to get to this enviable position. And certainly credit goes to her parents as well for helping both emotionally and financially. You did not say what field of study your Daughter wished to pursue or which Universities are involved. I think the ...
by texasdiver
Tue Apr 13, 2021 4:08 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: First child entering college in the fall... need some advice
Replies: 186
Views: 11991

Re: First child entering college in the fall... need some advice

To answer the OP's original question. We are a family with a roughly similar AGI. We went through 4 years of paying for college with our oldest daughter from 2016-2020 and our middle child is starting as a freshman this fall. Bottom line? Now that you have locked into a school there really isn't any...
by texasdiver
Tue Apr 13, 2021 3:39 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: First child entering college in the fall... need some advice
Replies: 186
Views: 11991

Re: First child entering college in the fall... need some advice

Congratulations to your Daughter for all her hard work to get to this enviable position. And certainly credit goes to her parents as well for helping both emotionally and financially. You did not say what field of study your Daughter wished to pursue or which Universities are involved. I think the ...
by texasdiver
Fri Apr 09, 2021 12:29 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Anyways to improve financial aid?
Replies: 70
Views: 3698

Re: Anyways to improve financial aid?

.... Don't overdo the AP's if they could impact GPA, since our experience is that (high GPA + less AP courses) >> (lots of AP courses but lower GPA). FWIW, for myself and both my children AP courses allowed us to graduate early and thus saved the costs of a full year of college. That was nothing to...
by texasdiver
Thu Apr 08, 2021 6:47 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Anyways to improve financial aid?
Replies: 70
Views: 3698

Re: Anyways to improve financial aid?

We chose to take a different path. It's always fun to see "history" repeat itself with every new class of parents of future college students, isn't it? Just like the plot of horror movie everybody knows what's going to happen except the cast of characters in the movie. Yeah. At least the ...
by texasdiver
Thu Apr 08, 2021 3:20 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: How much $$ to get kitchen cabinets painted?
Replies: 42
Views: 4130

Re: How much $$ to get kitchen cabinets painted?

I wonder if one has inexpensive 80s plywood cabinets like I do, if it can be better to just get new cabinets from IKEA. If you have high quality wood cabinets then painting makes sense though. I think to do a good job you may need to take them off to paint them depending on the paint that’s used (a...
by texasdiver
Thu Apr 08, 2021 3:15 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: How much $$ to get kitchen cabinets painted?
Replies: 42
Views: 4130

Re: How much $$ to get kitchen cabinets painted?

I did it myself in a previous house. It is a tremendous amount of work to do correctly. I worked my way through college as a commercial painter for a big paint shop in Portland so I knew something of what I was doing. I bought a decent spray gun and compressor. I pulled off all the doors and set the...
by texasdiver
Wed Apr 07, 2021 8:36 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Anyways to improve financial aid?
Replies: 70
Views: 3698

Re: Anyways to improve financial aid?

$30,000/yr. of merit is actually not far off for a good student. My daughter just went through this process. She had a 3.96 GPA and 1400 SAT and probably average extracurriculars. Every single school she applied to in this mid-range private liberal arts college category offered her merit aid in the ...
by texasdiver
Wed Apr 07, 2021 6:13 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Anyways to improve financial aid?
Replies: 70
Views: 3698

Re: Anyways to improve financial aid?

We chose to take a different path. It's always fun to see "history" repeat itself with every new class of parents of future college students, isn't it? Just like the plot of horror movie everybody knows what's going to happen except the cast of characters in the movie. Same for pretty muc...
by texasdiver
Wed Apr 07, 2021 4:31 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Anyways to improve financial aid?
Replies: 70
Views: 3698

Re: Anyways to improve financial aid?

[...] Just for the sake of comparison, my wife has a co-worker (also a physician) who moved into a neighborhood a few blocks from ours about the same time as us. They have a son the same age as our daughter. As freshman and sophomores they played together in the HS marching band until they pulled t...
by texasdiver
Wed Apr 07, 2021 1:34 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Anyways to improve financial aid?
Replies: 70
Views: 3698

Re: Anyways to improve financial aid?

We just went through this process for daughter #2 and I 100% echo the other recommendations here to seek merit aid rather than clever ways to hide your income. Our AGI is double yours yet we still qualified for $7k of need-based aid from one liberal arts college so don't entirely write-off need-base...
by texasdiver
Wed Apr 07, 2021 1:34 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: fire pit recommendations
Replies: 33
Views: 3393

Re: fire pit recommendations

I would have gotten an open firepit for our yard but there are many times during the summer in our location when burn bans are in effect for open fires, making them useless. Instead I picked up a propane fire ring at Lowes that we use frequently. It takes a regular propane cylinder which stores insi...
by texasdiver
Fri Apr 02, 2021 11:12 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Best nonstick pans?
Replies: 65
Views: 5186

Re: Best nonstick pans?

Can you tell us what problems you are having with the pans you have? Sometimes it's not the non-stick part of the pan that's a problem. (it also sounds like some "swedish death cleaning " is in order - and it's time to send some of your pans to the "scrap metal man", recycle bin...
by texasdiver
Fri Apr 02, 2021 5:04 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: New Tool Suggestions
Replies: 31
Views: 2207

Re: New Tool Suggestions

Table saws are most useful for ripping dimensional lumber into custom sizes which is more something you do for furniture making and other custom woodworking types of activities. Ripping long stock is something you can't really do as well with other types of saws. Compound miter saws are more useful ...
by texasdiver
Fri Apr 02, 2021 4:54 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: New Tool Suggestions
Replies: 31
Views: 2207

Re: New Tool Suggestions

New cordless drill and drill driver. The new high voltage ones are so much better and the range of tools you can use with the same batteries keeps increasing every month. I have Makita but there are other good brands. Note: You can also buy higher capacity batteries for your cordless tools than the ...
by texasdiver
Fri Apr 02, 2021 4:38 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Asking for more Merit aid? College decision day 5/1
Replies: 39
Views: 2388

Re: Asking for more Merit aid? College decision day 5/1

The May 1st deadline for choosing a college is quickly approaching. Our son has received merit scholarship offers at all but one school in which he has applied. Three in-state schools have offered a range of full tuition, $9,000/year, and $4,000/year. The later two have a major in which he is inter...
by texasdiver
Fri Apr 02, 2021 4:31 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Asking for more Merit aid? College decision day 5/1
Replies: 39
Views: 2388

Re: Asking for more Merit aid? College decision day 5/1

Be very careful with the strategy to go 2 years to El Cheapo college, then transfer to Wicked Good College. Several things can bite you: 1: Kiss all merit aid goodbye. If Wicked Good College offered only $1k vs El Cheapo giving you $20k, expect Wicked Good to offer zip on transfer. 2: Courses are a...
by texasdiver
Fri Apr 02, 2021 4:19 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Best nonstick pans?
Replies: 65
Views: 5186

Best nonstick pans?

I have a kitchen drawer full of various nonstick frying pans from Costco Kirkland signature to various other expensive and inexpensive options. None of them are really very good. Does anyone have recommendations for the very best nonstick pans for eggs, stir fries, and other uses? Cost is not really...
by texasdiver
Fri Apr 02, 2021 2:33 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Poll - How much is enough / what's your number?
Replies: 86
Views: 13703

Re: Poll - How much is enough / what's your number?

$2.5 million with a paid off house and the kids through college. I like the sound of a nice round $100k retirement income at 4%. We would be just fine at $2 million I’m quite sure, but I like the extra margin of safety as we are in our 50s and who knows what emergencies could still come up. At a min...
by texasdiver
Thu Apr 01, 2021 2:21 pm
Forum: Personal Investments
Topic: How can my father see the light?
Replies: 53
Views: 6228

Re: How can my father see the light?

I’m quite sure you already know and have mentioned the following, but just in case... Translate percentages into real Dollars with your Dad. It isn’t just 1.25% AUM fees with 0.75 expense ratios (which sound like small, abstract numbers), it’s $5000.00 a year. Dad is underwriting a very nice vacati...
by texasdiver
Thu Apr 01, 2021 2:11 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Is auto purchase through Costco a good deal?
Replies: 12
Views: 1713

Re: Is auto purchase through Costco a good deal?

I bought our last two cars through the Costco program. I would judge the pricing to be a fair and perhaps good deal but probably not the best deal you could possibly find if you actually aggressively and ruthlessly comparison shop and go to the mattresses when you bargain with the sales staff. Botto...
by texasdiver
Wed Mar 31, 2021 5:12 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Family car
Replies: 86
Views: 6707

Re: Family car

Sienna for sure. Especially for road trips. We bought a brand new 2003 Sienna when that new changed model year had just come out and drove it near into the ground. I finally donated it to NPR in 2017 when it had over 300,000 miles on it. In 2014 my wife bought a brand new Toyota Highlander Limited. ...
by texasdiver
Tue Mar 30, 2021 1:03 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Family car
Replies: 86
Views: 6707

Re: Family car

The thing that has me dragging my feet on the minivan is I don't want to go big only to have a hands free on the highway version come out in 2 years, so that's why I'm planning to not spend much on our first minivan, it's just to get us to the self driving on the highway version I would be shocked ...
by texasdiver
Tue Mar 30, 2021 12:51 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Shopping for college
Replies: 164
Views: 12990

Re: Shopping for college

Interesting conclusion (highlighted) that I don't entirely agree with based on our experience. I do think some get more merit vs others based on something other than GPA/SAT/ACT/niche talent, but not a vast majority. Many get little to no merit b/c the school's admissions office can't justify givin...
by texasdiver
Mon Mar 29, 2021 10:42 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Tesla for people that keep cars a long time
Replies: 147
Views: 11254

Re: Tesla for people that keep cars a long time

I think 2030 is way too soon for that to be happening for several reasons. One of which is if you live in an urban environment like I do the streets are filled bumper to bumper with parked cars. They have no where to plug an electric car in. <1% of vehicles sold in the US are all electric and that ...
by texasdiver
Mon Mar 29, 2021 10:08 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Family car
Replies: 86
Views: 6707

Re: Family car

Toyota Sienna Hybrid (only comes in hybrid). Get 36 mpg highway and city. We had an older generation model and drove it into the ground with 300,000 miles. Great family car. https://www.toyota.com/sienna/ As your kids get older you won't just only have 2 kids in the car. We frequently had a friend o...
by texasdiver
Mon Mar 29, 2021 9:48 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Useless Investment Books
Replies: 106
Views: 9187

Re: Useless Investment Books

All of them. I mean I have some classic ones on my shelf that have been recommended here. But none of them have actually affected how I invest in the slightest. I just keep simplifying down to the simplest 3-fund type portfolio at the lowest fees, max out contributions as much as possible, and call ...
by texasdiver
Mon Mar 29, 2021 5:32 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: High ranked Univ with liberal arts major or lower ranked school with STEM major
Replies: 121
Views: 8314

Re: High ranked Univ with liberal arts major or lower ranked school with STEM major

The following is the annual report for the National Merit Foundation. https://www.nationalmerit.org/s/1758/images/gid2/editor_documents/annual_report.pdf?gid=2&pgid=61&sessionid=f87d41cb-f5a7-41e1-8103-1fc4204a164b&cc=1 Page 40 has a list of the schools that enrolled NMF's and the numbe...
by texasdiver
Mon Mar 29, 2021 5:19 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: High ranked Univ with liberal arts major or lower ranked school with STEM major
Replies: 121
Views: 8314

Re: High ranked Univ with liberal arts major or lower ranked school with STEM major

I would much rather take a CS degree from Podunk U instead of a Philosophy degree from UC Berkeley or Harvard for purposes of IT industry career progression. I don't know much about IT careers, but in my area, the relevance of one's major to one's work is more important than the prestige of one's a...