Search found 1628 matches

by Mike Scott
Wed Apr 14, 2021 11:52 am
Forum: Personal Investments
Topic: Which would you do with a small windfall? Pay remaining mortgage or 3-fund it?
Replies: 47
Views: 3643

Re: Which would you do with a small windfall? Pay remaining mortgage or 3-fund it?

IMO, there is a huge difference between paying down a mortgage, and paying off a mortgage. Paying down a mortgage with a windfall might not make sense because you still have the monthly payments. Paying off a mortgage with a windfall eliminates a monthly expense. this; especially at that rate
by Mike Scott
Wed Apr 14, 2021 11:16 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Should I refinance my mortgage?
Replies: 11
Views: 707

Re: Should I refinance my mortgage?

There are shorter term mortgages; often listed as 7 or 10 year ARMs. You would have to do some price shopping to see if it makes enough difference for you. We did a refi to 30 years last fall and intend to let it run out it's term but you are a lot closer to being paid off so that may balance the sc...
by Mike Scott
Tue Apr 13, 2021 2:45 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Mortgage application denied due to large 401k contribution?s
Replies: 27
Views: 2139

Re: Mortgage application denied due to large 401k contribution?s

As self employed, they may be counting the $1000 per month as gross income which will not get you very far.
by Mike Scott
Tue Apr 13, 2021 2:30 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Mortgage application denied due to large 401k contribution?s
Replies: 27
Views: 2139

Re: Mortgage application denied due to large 401k contribution?s

It seems odd that they are not looking at gross income since the 401k contribution is voluntary. Can you ask the lender to double check their evaluation?
by Mike Scott
Tue Apr 13, 2021 2:15 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: walking the last mile - selling our family home
Replies: 12
Views: 1821

Re: walking the last mile - selling our family home

I suppose you could say we have had several "homes" over time all with their own nicknames and memories. The place we bought a few years ago with all the kids still at home is the last place we intend to be. It's the right place in the right community and we have no intention of ever movin...
by Mike Scott
Mon Apr 12, 2021 2:47 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Strategy for passing your Digital Assets upon your death?
Replies: 27
Views: 1357

Re: Strategy for passing your Digital Assets upon your death?

Paper copies of important info kept in safe places by people/places you trust. It's a strategy that has worked a lot longer than digital has existed.
by Mike Scott
Mon Apr 12, 2021 1:34 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Coming out of being debt free - ??
Replies: 14
Views: 1269

Re: Coming out of being debt free - ??

If you have enough ongoing fixed and taxed income to cover the mortgage and other living expenses, a mortgage is fine. One of the arguments is that a mortgage costs more if you have to take money out of tax deferred accounts to pay it and pay taxes on the withdrawal. Another perspective just does no...
by Mike Scott
Sun Apr 11, 2021 8:56 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: How much should I overpay?
Replies: 51
Views: 5188

Re: How much should I overpay?

I would wait. You know what you have so find a way to make it work. Avoid the madness and second guessing.
by Mike Scott
Sat Apr 10, 2021 8:22 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Anxiety about the future
Replies: 57
Views: 6404

Re: Anxiety about the future

Are you just blowing off steam or should you be looking for a therapist or professional/career coach? The whitecoat investor dot com group might be a place to check out a peer group.
by Mike Scott
Sat Apr 10, 2021 7:59 pm
Forum: Personal Investments
Topic: How to understand AA with Pension and SS ahead
Replies: 6
Views: 734

Re: How to understand AA with Pension and SS ahead

There is math if you like. For me, knowing that pension and social security will cover our retirement means that I can have any AA I want.
by Mike Scott
Sat Apr 10, 2021 4:46 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Gardening 2021
Replies: 30
Views: 2488

Re: Gardening 2021

Midwest. My wife has been planting stuff in the garden. The fruit trees are in full bloom. I have 10 lbs of native grass seed mix to put into my prairie project this weekend. The yard needed mowing a week ago but it has been too wet to mow and is still raining. It looks like a great year for dandeli...
by Mike Scott
Sat Apr 10, 2021 4:33 pm
Forum: Personal Investments
Topic: my first Vanguard rebalance
Replies: 13
Views: 1481

Re: my first Vanguard rebalance

Do you have any tax advantaged accounts? If so, you can do your rebalancing there without triggering taxed events in your brokerage account.
by Mike Scott
Sat Apr 10, 2021 3:53 pm
Forum: Personal Investments
Topic: Investment Allocation: Unpredictable Income
Replies: 16
Views: 947

Re: Investment Allocation: Unpredictable Income

Stick with VTSAX (total stock market). It is more tax efficient and is low cost. If you need more income than the dividends, sell some of the gain. Of course you can do the dividend investing thing if you want, but you will pay more taxes by going that route.
by Mike Scott
Sat Apr 10, 2021 1:35 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Scholarship vs endowment
Replies: 8
Views: 657

Re: Scholarship vs endowment

In a similar setting, we chose to go with an endowed fund for longevity but that means less money is available each year. The shcholarship payout will get to students faster. The endowment creates legacy as well as the opportunity for others to contribute to the endowment in the future. Both are goo...
by Mike Scott
Sat Apr 10, 2021 10:23 am
Forum: Personal Investments
Topic: Alternative Investments That Offer Immediate + Scalable Cash Flow
Replies: 13
Views: 898

Re: Alternative Investments That Offer Immediate + Scalable Cash Flow

What about just buying more VTSAX in your brokerage account? It's tax efficient, low cost, completely passive and produces scalable cash flow. It includes real estate if that is really important to you. You may accumulate enough to buy into the real estate market later if you still want to do that.
by Mike Scott
Thu Apr 08, 2021 6:00 pm
Forum: Personal Investments
Topic: Best passive besides dividends?
Replies: 8
Views: 1163

Re: Best passive besides dividends?

Buy and hold total return, tax efficient, low cost stock index funds.
by Mike Scott
Wed Apr 07, 2021 7:45 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Better to buy a new vs used car these days??
Replies: 21
Views: 1986

Re: Better to buy a new vs used car these days??

For the cars that hold their value, the balance has tilted to buying new in many cases. There are often additional discounts when using financing. The old mantra of pay cash for a year or so old car is about dead. In many cases, paying cash costs more than financing. You still have to do your homewo...
by Mike Scott
Wed Apr 07, 2021 3:25 pm
Forum: Personal Investments
Topic: Family with 4 little humans: chances of retiring/financial independence
Replies: 70
Views: 7063

Re: Family with 4 little humans: chances of retiring/financial independence

Based on your stated expenses, you would need to get to about 1.5 million for 25X ignoring any social security etc. It would take about 2 million for 33X for early retirement ignoring any social security etc. A quick run of a compounding calculator says you should be able to get close to the 25X in ...
by Mike Scott
Tue Apr 06, 2021 2:39 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: For those retired or FI, how much do you spend annually?
Replies: 286
Views: 20608

Re: How much do you spend annually in retirement?

The average American or the average Boglehead?
by Mike Scott
Tue Apr 06, 2021 2:37 pm
Forum: Personal Investments
Topic: Need Advice on starting a Health Savings Account
Replies: 8
Views: 463

Re: Need Advice on starting a Health Savings Account

Yes, make sure you are eligible for an HSA and if you are, I would also recommend Fidelity to sign up for an account.
by Mike Scott
Tue Apr 06, 2021 1:12 pm
Forum: Personal Investments
Topic: HSA Receipts
Replies: 16
Views: 1435

Re: HSA Receipts

I reimburse myself once per year with any accumulated receipts and save those receipts with that year tax documents. Any $ left in the HSA moves to my "portfolio spreadsheet" and is included/invested in my long term AA. There is nothing to keep track of long term other than the stack of ta...
by Mike Scott
Mon Apr 05, 2021 1:36 pm
Forum: Personal Investments
Topic: How to shift to more conservative AA
Replies: 12
Views: 1167

Re: How to shift to more conservative AA

This looks like a good day to go to 75/25. Figure out the next step after that is done.
by Mike Scott
Sun Apr 04, 2021 7:37 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Safe Harbor - Do Estimated Tax Payments Count?
Replies: 10
Views: 1180

Re: Safe Harbor - Do Estimated Tax Payments Count?

You can also pay enough estimated taxes in Q1 for the remainder of the year, with or without withholdings, to stay in safe harbor.
by Mike Scott
Sun Apr 04, 2021 5:08 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Using term life to hedge a spouse's pension?
Replies: 10
Views: 886

Re: Using term life to hedge a spouse's pension?

If the pension is a large part of expected retirement income, I would only look at the 100% survivor option. You may be able to make a case for life insurance instead but check out the cost of insurance against any reduction in pension value.
by Mike Scott
Sun Apr 04, 2021 10:51 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: People with Covid-19 vaccination record cards: where are you keeping them?
Replies: 163
Views: 13957

Re: People with Covid-19 vaccination record cards: where are you keeping them?

Clipped to the appointment reminder for my next doctor visit.
by Mike Scott
Sun Apr 04, 2021 10:48 am
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Incredible stock market gains the past year - probably due for a major pullback
Replies: 89
Views: 10813

Re: Incredible stock market gains the past year - probably due for a major pullback

to quote John Denver:
Some days are diamonds, some days are stones
Sometimes the hard times won't leave me alone
by Mike Scott
Sun Apr 04, 2021 10:36 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Any reason to file taxes before May 17?
Replies: 34
Views: 3630

Re: Any reason to file taxes before May 17?

I waited for the software updates that I knew would apply to us and for turbo tax to agree with my tax spreadsheet. We did a federal tax "marathon" session with the family this week. We will wait for the federal efiles and any refunds to settle and then do state filing for everyone closer ...
by Mike Scott
Sun Apr 04, 2021 10:19 am
Forum: Personal Investments
Topic: WSJ article "How to Know if Your Retirement Savings Are on Track"
Replies: 33
Views: 4545

Re: WSJ article "How to Know if Your Retirement Savings Are on Track"

The Xincome "rule" makes complete sense for the vast majority of people. They know what their income is and can do the calculation/comparison in a few seconds. It also makes sense if they spend all of their income. Very few people know their actual expenses, so based on that, they may neve...
by Mike Scott
Sun Apr 04, 2021 9:50 am
Forum: Personal Investments
Topic: Best all-in-one, set it and forget portfolio?
Replies: 36
Views: 3148

Re: Best all-in-one, set it and forget portfolio?

Vanguard, Schwab and Fidelity all have "good enough" balanced funds. Just to show that everyone has an opinion, I very much prefer Vanguard's site over the other two and I prefer their selection of balanced funds. Still, for reasons, I have accounts at all three of them and they are indeed...
by Mike Scott
Sat Apr 03, 2021 9:46 am
Forum: Personal Investments
Topic: Advice on what to do with a "windfall" at age 55
Replies: 19
Views: 3437

Re: Advice on what to do with a "windfall" at age 55

I'm going to to agree with the concern about your income / savings gap. I also think a fee only financial advisor plus a tax advisor could be well worth the cost to help you put together a list of options. There will be some things you can do to chip away at the tax bill while setting yourself up fo...
by Mike Scott
Fri Apr 02, 2021 9:53 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Confirmation of scheduled tax payments
Replies: 6
Views: 572

Re: Confirmation of scheduled tax payments

You can check your tax transcript to see what has posted. It can take a few days to show up.
by Mike Scott
Fri Apr 02, 2021 11:43 am
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: nextdoor referral for "financial advisor" makes sad Boglehead
Replies: 39
Views: 4467

Re: nextdoor referral for "financial advisor" makes sad Boglehead

Most people don't really want advice when they ask for advice. Most people want to be told that what they already think is correct. You are correct in saying that "financial ignorance is expensive". At the same time, some of these folks with expensive advisors may be doing better than they...
by Mike Scott
Fri Apr 02, 2021 9:35 am
Forum: Personal Investments
Topic: What Are You Doing Given Record Stock Market Highs and What Is Your Situation?
Replies: 120
Views: 12616

Re: What Are You Doing Given Record Stock Market Highs and What Is Your Situation?

I updated my spread sheet account balances last night to catch the new high value. I'm not doing anything different but it feels good to see them go up. I will be back to buy something next August/September as funds become available (I have variable income and expenses from March to August).
by Mike Scott
Tue Mar 30, 2021 10:51 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Fidelity Study on Retirement
Replies: 18
Views: 2065

Re: Fidelity Study on Retirement

As it happens, our financial picture is relatively unchanged this year. I had several months of job uncertainty but it ultimately worked out OK. Our three adult kids kept their jobs and one got a new, better job. Since we have been doing taxes recently, I know that all of us kept up our usual invest...
by Mike Scott
Tue Mar 30, 2021 10:29 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Buying a farm
Replies: 34
Views: 4497

Re: Buying a farm

You perhaps could write up a full 30 year owner finance or a rent/lease to own over a longer time period. If you write it up with a full payoff required at the end of five years, you need a solid plan for coming up with a lump sum at that time. In addition to upkeep, insurance and tax considerations...
by Mike Scott
Mon Mar 29, 2021 1:13 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Payoff New Mortgage Aggressively or Invest?
Replies: 37
Views: 3717

Re: Payoff New Mortgage Aggressively or Invest?

At current mortgage rates, I am in the "invest until you have enough to do a complete pay off on the mortgage and then decide what to do" camp.
by Mike Scott
Mon Mar 29, 2021 9:52 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Curious about negative expat experiences -- why don't more people do it?
Replies: 111
Views: 10644

Re: Curious about negative expat experiences -- why don't more people do it?

I have visited a few countries and read extensively about many others. I have no interest in living outside the US. I have many family members and friends who have lived/worked outside the US. Every one of them has "come home" after. Most citizens of other countries stay "home" a...
by Mike Scott
Mon Mar 29, 2021 8:35 am
Forum: Personal Investments
Topic: Fund allocation for $1.5M in 401k Retiring in 5 years?
Replies: 18
Views: 2103

Re: Fund allocation for $1.5M in 401k Retiring in 5 years?

Are any of the fixed allocation (Vanguard Life Strategy) funds available? They don't change over time like most of the Target Date funds.
by Mike Scott
Mon Mar 29, 2021 8:25 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Moving to hometown?
Replies: 25
Views: 1881

Re: Moving to hometown?

A few decades ago and after a few years of moving about the US for professional reasons, we decided that living within a few hours drive of more of our family was important to us. That narrowed the job search to a general geographic area and excluded a couple of places I really enjoy being. I would ...
by Mike Scott
Sun Mar 28, 2021 11:35 am
Forum: Personal Investments
Topic: The safest way to 7%?
Replies: 88
Views: 8331

Re: The safest way to 7%?

OP, you are getting split responses because people are reading the word "safest" differently. What is it you really want/need? If risk is OK, then just go to some flavor of total stock market. If it must be a guranteed return, you probably can't get there.
by Mike Scott
Sat Mar 27, 2021 9:55 pm
Forum: Personal Investments
Topic: Drawdown taxable investment portfolio for mortgage payments?
Replies: 22
Views: 1369

Re: Drawdown taxable investment portfolio for mortgage payments?

That seems like a big stretch on a 140K income.
by Mike Scott
Sat Mar 27, 2021 6:11 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Retire vs resign - Is there a difference?
Replies: 81
Views: 8144

Re: Retire vs resign - Is there a difference?

It will depend on what your specific company policies are for any potential differences.
by Mike Scott
Sat Mar 27, 2021 3:30 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: S&P 500 v Total Stock - What is your favorite and why?
Replies: 104
Views: 8898

Re: S&P 500 v Total Stock - What is your favorite and why?

It apparently does not make a lot of difference in outcomes but I do like the idea of total stock being more diverse.
by Mike Scott
Fri Mar 26, 2021 10:44 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Turning unheated garage into woodshop: add raised flooring?
Replies: 19
Views: 1334

Re: Turning unheated garage into woodshop: add raised flooring?

I would not. Maybe rubber matts for standing in particular places.
by Mike Scott
Fri Mar 26, 2021 9:17 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Help Finding Term Life Insurance (pre-existing heart condition)
Replies: 9
Views: 1111

Re: Help Finding Term Life Insurance (pre-existing heart condition)

Does your employer offer a group life insurance policy? Do you belong to any professional societies or have any memberships that offer policies in their member benefits? Maybe your bank or credit union or mortgage holder? Are there any medical support forums where you could ask others with a similar...
by Mike Scott
Fri Mar 26, 2021 1:14 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Is it true if you have less then $40k Salary then No TAX on Bitcoin long term profits?
Replies: 12
Views: 1422

Re: Is it true if you have less then $40k Salary then No TAX on Bitcoin long term profits?

Run a tax software simulation and see what happens at different levels of selling bitcoin. If you really have millions in bitcoin value, it might be worth paying the taxes to get some/all of it out.
by Mike Scott
Thu Mar 25, 2021 7:41 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Digital persona - curating your online presence
Replies: 28
Views: 2077

Re: Digital persona - curating your online presence

I assume everything about me including my SS # is floating on the web somewhere. Your's probably is too. I have been an employee of multiple state and federal funded agencies for a long time. If you know who I am, most of my life is published in a variety of public spaces. Shrug.
by Mike Scott
Mon Mar 22, 2021 8:13 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Dealing with an extremely weird seller
Replies: 34
Views: 3865

Re: Dealing with an extremely weird seller

Is it any different when you visit the shop or via phone? I suppose you could completely walk away but if he has one of a kind items that you need/want you have to play the game. Collectors can be conflicted sometimes or even just a little crazy.