Search found 487 matches

by mesaverde
Sun Feb 05, 2017 4:53 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Sell rental property?
Replies: 11
Views: 1857

Re: Sell rental property?

caseym, Until recently I had the same dilema as you do, but with two differences. One difference was that I was paying $2,100 PITI/month and the property rents for $1,500/month. The other is that I live just a few miles from the rental, so I can easily deal with it. I decided to keep the rental and ...
by mesaverde
Sat Jan 28, 2017 11:39 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Fire extinguishers
Replies: 45
Views: 3727

Re: Fire extinguishers

Just today I bought a fire extinguisher to keep at a rental property that has a gas stove.
Imagine what can be prevented just by having a $20 fire extinguisher on hand.
I've heard stories.... for example, someone cooking bacon and getting distracted... then the grease catching fire.
by mesaverde
Mon Jan 16, 2017 8:05 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Landlord for first time - tips and things to know?
Replies: 44
Views: 6520

Re: Landlord for first time - tips and things to know?

I've been a landlord for 7 years. Lots of great advice here and I'll be reading some of the suggested books. In my experience it's important to be "businesslike" in your demeanor while at the same time "pleasant" (note, I did not say friendly). It's also important to be very clea...
by mesaverde
Thu Jan 12, 2017 7:06 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Best Financial Moves You've Made
Replies: 158
Views: 25776

Re: Best Financial Moves You've Made

1. Teaching personal finance to high school juniors & seniors 2. Consistently saving/investing half my income 3. Building even more wealth by renting out a condo 4. Staying in a low federal income tax bracket 5. Choosing a partner who has similar values 6. Driving cars until they can't be reliab...
by mesaverde
Fri Dec 23, 2016 3:31 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Rush to pay off 0% Auto Loan?
Replies: 44
Views: 6531

Re: Rush to pay off 0% Auto Loan?

This sounds like a pretty expense vehicle. Not only would I pay the loan off, I would also consider selling the vehicle, buying a used one for thousands less (that you can drive for 5-10 years), and invest the difference. Why? You have a lot of your $ tied up in a depreciating asset. Even if you dri...
by mesaverde
Thu Dec 22, 2016 8:52 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Grocery cart rolls into side of car, dent, scratched
Replies: 92
Views: 11254

Re: Grocery cart rolls into side of car, dent, scratched

OP- recently someone sideswiped my 3 year old car in my work parking garage, leaving a significant 3-4 inch scratch. I recommend using your time to get some new paint here: http://www.paintscratch.com/ and fix it yourself. That's what I did. If you order the paint correctly, it will match your vehic...
by mesaverde
Wed Dec 21, 2016 11:33 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Sallie Mae Rewards MC being discontinued
Replies: 154
Views: 23420

Re: Sallie Mae Rewards MC being discontinued

Rather than pursuing one (or more) of the alternate cards suggested in this thread, I'm leaning towards switching to using cash/debit card only. In the end we likely spend more when we use these cash back cards (even if it's on necessities like groceries). This makes any cash back "reward"...
by mesaverde
Tue Dec 20, 2016 10:26 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Sallie Mae Rewards MC being discontinued
Replies: 154
Views: 23420

Re: Sallie Mae Rewards MC being discontinued

I have the Sallie Mae Rewards card and received the letter telling of its discontinuation... that's too bad. Rather than pursuing one (or more) of the alternate cards suggested in this thread, I'm leaning towards switching to using cash/debit card only. In the end we likely spend more when we use th...
by mesaverde
Thu Dec 15, 2016 10:20 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: keep rental condo?
Replies: 11
Views: 1757

Re: keep rental condo?

How have you felt about being a landlord? Although predicting the future can be difficult, do you think the condo is likely to appreciate in value? One "double edged sword" in renting a condo is the matter of what percentage of the condos in the building/complex are rented, as well as act...
by mesaverde
Wed Dec 14, 2016 10:49 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: keep rental condo?
Replies: 11
Views: 1757

Re: keep rental condo?

Thank you, everyone for the feedback. I'm leaning towards putting it up for rent. The total annual cost (before any maintanance) would be $9,000/year ($750x12). This is actually just over $6,000/year because I itemize & would be able to deduct these costs (my federal + state income tax rate is 3...
by mesaverde
Tue Dec 13, 2016 5:53 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: keep rental condo?
Replies: 11
Views: 1757

keep rental condo?

I live with my partner & have been renting out my condo, which is just a few miles away. The condo recently became vacant. Even though it doesn't require too much effort to deal with, I'm wondering if I should continue renting it out or just sell it. Here are the numbers: $119,450 balance on a 2...
by mesaverde
Sun Dec 04, 2016 5:06 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Should I move in order to save on taxes?
Replies: 21
Views: 3277

Re: Should I move in order to save on taxes?

In addition to the sales tax link posted by blueblock, take a look at the average property tax and state income tax by state: http://taxfoundation.org/sites/taxfoundation.org/files/docs/property_taxes-01.png http://taxfoundation.org/article/state-individual-income-tax-rates-and-brackets-2016 Some ot...
by mesaverde
Fri Dec 02, 2016 6:46 am
Forum: Personal Investments
Topic: Pay off mortgage?
Replies: 107
Views: 10571

Re: Pay off mortgage?

This is a question I've dealt with also. I have a 15 year 2.5% fixed rate mortgage with 15 years remaining and a $120,000 balance. After maxing out retirement accounts, I could pay the mortgage off in 5 years, but am choosing to invest in a Vanguard taxable account instead. The likelihood of earning...
by mesaverde
Tue Nov 01, 2016 10:31 pm
Forum: Personal Investments
Topic: Roth Conversions/SEPP & health insurance marketplace premiums
Replies: 5
Views: 790

Re: Roth Conversions/SEPP & health insurance marketplace premiums

If you stop contributing that 8K/yr to 403b will you be contributing to taxable accounts instead? I suggest waiting to convert to Roth until you retire. If your pension will not start until age 65, you will likely be able to convert at 0% to consume the 0% tax bracket (offered by deductions and exe...
by mesaverde
Tue Nov 01, 2016 10:07 pm
Forum: Personal Investments
Topic: Roth Conversions/SEPP & health insurance marketplace premiums
Replies: 5
Views: 790

Re: Roth Conversions/SEPP & health insurance marketplace premiums

If you stop contributing that 8K/yr to 403b will you be contributing to taxable accounts instead? I suggest waiting to convert to Roth until you retire. If your pension will not start until age 65, you will likely be able to convert at 0% to consume the 0% tax bracket (offered by deductions and exe...
by mesaverde
Tue Nov 01, 2016 9:12 pm
Forum: Personal Investments
Topic: Roth Conversions/SEPP & health insurance marketplace premiums
Replies: 5
Views: 790

Roth Conversions/SEPP & health insurance marketplace premiums

With the recent cost increase for health insurance on the marketplace at healthcare.gov it is quite obvious that having a low modified adjusted gross income (MAGI) is key to saving significantly on health insurance. I'm 43 and plan on retiring at age 50, when my mortgage will be paid off. At age 50 ...
by mesaverde
Mon Oct 17, 2016 10:21 am
Forum: Personal Investments
Topic: Am I focusing too much on retirement investing?
Replies: 10
Views: 2631

Re: Am I focusing too much on retirement investing?

My wife and I are in the same situation as you (she maxes out a TSP and I have access to a 403b and government 457b) and similar ages. We plan to retire at around age 50. It looks like you can easily reduce your combined taxes by maxing out all available tax deferred space, especially if you beleive...
by mesaverde
Sun Oct 16, 2016 9:43 pm
Forum: Personal Investments
Topic: Difference btw Fidelity vs Vanguard Total ETF/Mutual Funds
Replies: 12
Views: 2983

Re: Difference btw Fidelity vs Vanguard Total ETF/Mutual Funds

Fidelity's FSTVX fund pays dividends only twice a year.
Vanguard's equivalent fund, VTSAX, pays dividends four times a year.

This may explain why the Vanguard fund has a slightly higher historic return than the Fidelity fund.... dividends paid and reinvested more frequently.
by mesaverde
Sat Oct 08, 2016 7:28 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: refinance to 15 year fixed mortgage?
Replies: 11
Views: 1647

Re: refinance to 15 year fixed mortgage?

I assume the benefit of $700 lower payment / month is partly because a) the new mortgage will be for 15 years again (180 mo) versus the 89 mo that are remaining on the old one. b) No longer includes tax&insurance, but you still need to pay those. The real financial benefit is that you pay 0.75%...
by mesaverde
Fri Oct 07, 2016 3:20 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: refinance to 15 year fixed mortgage?
Replies: 11
Views: 1647

Re: refinance to 15 year fixed mortgage?

Thank you for the suggestion- I did look at the 5/5 Arm but with the slightly higher interest rate (2.65%) the savings is pretty much a wash, and the rate is almost guaranteed to go up in 5 years... there's a good chance I'll stay in the home for longer than 5 years. higher? what are you comparing ...
by mesaverde
Fri Oct 07, 2016 12:58 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: refinance to 15 year fixed mortgage?
Replies: 11
Views: 1647

Re: refinance to 15 year fixed mortgage?

Closing costs with Penfed would be their 1% origination fee and $2,300 in other costs. If you're looking at PenFed but want to avoid the origination fee (~$1000), you might want to check out their 5/5 ARM: https://www.penfed.org/5_5-Adjustable-Rate-Mortgage-ARM/ Currently it's 2.625% for the first ...
by mesaverde
Fri Oct 07, 2016 6:18 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: refinance to 15 year fixed mortgage?
Replies: 11
Views: 1647

Re: refinance to 15 year fixed mortgage?

grabiner wrote:The refinance makes sense, because you will make up the closing costs in lower interest even if you pay off the loan on the same schedule, which is still an option.

Thank you for the feedback, Grabiner.
by mesaverde
Thu Oct 06, 2016 6:42 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: refinance to 15 year fixed mortgage?
Replies: 11
Views: 1647

refinance to 15 year fixed mortgage?

I recently locked in a 2.5% rate on a 15 year fixed mortgage refinance with Penfed. But am still unsure whether I should proceed. I applied for the refinance for two main reasons: 1. By refinancing I'd be able to contribute to my Vanguard Roth IRA. I currently max out a 457b but am not able to save ...
by mesaverde
Sun Sep 25, 2016 12:45 pm
Forum: Personal Investments
Topic: Just Refinanced Homestead - Pay Additional Principal or Invest?
Replies: 11
Views: 1202

Re: Just Refinanced Homestead - Pay Additional Principal or Invest?

I just refinanced my mortgage to 3.25% (30yr) down from 4.0%. Im saving $279 a month from my previous payment and it only cost me $775. This is my only debt. Would you use that $279 to pay additional principal monthly and reduce the payoff to 24 years or invest the $279 in taxable? With such a low ...
by mesaverde
Sun Sep 25, 2016 11:55 am
Forum: Personal Investments
Topic: how to start Substantially Equal Periodic Payments
Replies: 4
Views: 1246

how to start Substantially Equal Periodic Payments

I plan on starting Substantially Equal Periodic Payments (SEPP) from my Vanguard traditional IRA and need to know how to file my tax return in the year I begin SEPP. I see that the distribution will be reported on form 1099-R, that the amount of the distribution will need to be reported on the tax r...
by mesaverde
Wed Apr 06, 2016 6:18 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: refinance potential rental to 15 or 30 year mortgage?
Replies: 6
Views: 856

Re: refinance potential rental to 15 or 30 year mortgage?

Thank you all for the feedback. I'm still not sure what I'll do. I should mention the fact that I expect little maintenance cost for some time. All the appliances, windows, and HVAC have recently been replaced. Floors refinished and new paint. While it is tempting to sell the condo, hanging onto it ...
by mesaverde
Tue Apr 05, 2016 6:43 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: refinance potential rental to 15 or 30 year mortgage?
Replies: 6
Views: 856

refinance potential rental to 15 or 30 year mortgage?

I will most likely move in with my fiance in a year or so & rent my condo out. With mortgage rates very low, I'm thinking of refinancing my condo in anticipation of this move. Currently my mortgage principal & interest, condo fee, and property taxes are $2,100/month. My current mortgage has ...
by mesaverde
Sat Jan 30, 2016 11:35 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: has anyone recently refinanced with PenFed?
Replies: 8
Views: 1690

Re: has anyone recently refinanced with PenFed?

We refi'd with PenFed almost exactly a year ago. It was slower than Christmas, especially for a refi which IMO ought to go more quickly than an initial purchase, but it finally went through. I felt that their communication was pretty much awful. When I'd finally get ahold of someone, the response w...
by mesaverde
Sat Jan 30, 2016 10:29 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: has anyone recently refinanced with PenFed?
Replies: 8
Views: 1690

has anyone recently refinanced with PenFed?

I need to refinance my home and have compared rates at PenFed, Amerisave, and Aimloan. The rates and closing costs are pretty much the same- no significant differences. I'm leaning towards PenFed for these reasons: 1. the loan servicing would not change 2. Penfed often offers other good products lik...
by mesaverde
Sat Jan 23, 2016 12:18 am
Forum: Personal Investments
Topic: Arizona Teacher - 403b vs 457
Replies: 10
Views: 1904

Re: Arizona Teacher - 403b vs 457

I am not a teacher but I work at non-profit that offers both a 403b and 457. For me there are two main reasons I do not use a 457. 1. Some 457 plans are technically held as an asset of the employer and therefore subject to their creditors or bankruptcy. I am not comfortable with some or all of my r...
by mesaverde
Fri Jan 22, 2016 11:57 pm
Forum: Personal Investments
Topic: Arizona Teacher - 403b vs 457
Replies: 10
Views: 1904

Re: Arizona Teacher - 403b vs 457

Hi, I am a public school teacher and have both a Fidelity government 457b and Fidelity 403b in their index funds... TSA consulting is also the administrator (mainly for salary reduction agreements). It's really simple.... if you would like the option of withdrawing $ penalty free before age 59.5 wit...
by mesaverde
Wed Jan 13, 2016 10:04 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Lima, Peru advice
Replies: 23
Views: 3127

Re: Lima, Peru advice

Try authentic Peruvian food at Rincon Chami, on Calle Esperanza next to Parque Central in Miraflores. The restaurant has been there a very long time.... you won't likely find tourists but many Peruvians & delicious food. I've been to Peru 12 times. The scenery, history, food, and culture are wel...
by mesaverde
Thu Dec 17, 2015 9:31 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: refi?
Replies: 10
Views: 1154

Re: refi?

Hi cw123, You may want to look at Third Federal savings & loan for a refinance (if they offer refinances in your state). They have a 10 year fixed rate @ 2.99% with $295 in closing costs, and may have other offers in your state. You can look up reviews of Third Federal here on Bogleheads... they...
by mesaverde
Wed Dec 02, 2015 9:30 pm
Forum: Personal Investments
Topic: Too much in tax-advantaged accounts?
Replies: 115
Views: 15100

Re: Too much in tax-advantaged accounts?

Folks, In my case, I maxed out 401K and Roth IRA. Beyond that, 50% of my investment is in taxable A/C. So, essentially, I could spend money from my taxable A/C and Roth IRA contribution while doing my Roth conversion at zero tax percent rate for many years. KlangFool I think for me, doing significa...
by mesaverde
Wed Dec 02, 2015 4:20 am
Forum: Personal Investments
Topic: Too much in tax-advantaged accounts?
Replies: 115
Views: 15100

Re: Too much in tax-advantaged accounts?

^ It is true that if you're doing the calculations in a vacuum, you're right. But in real life, it doesn't work out that way. Throughout your accumulation years, it's terrific to be saving all of that money in taxes by shoveling everything into your tax-deferred account. When you're older, you forg...
by mesaverde
Sun Nov 29, 2015 10:09 pm
Forum: Personal Investments
Topic: Too much in tax-advantaged accounts?
Replies: 115
Views: 15100

Re: Too much in tax-advantaged accounts?

This is a question I think of sometimes as well. In my situation, I'm able to contribute to both a government 457b and 403b through my employer. Both plans are with Fidelity (low cost index funds). I max the 457b out each year and contribute just enough to the 403b to bring me from the 25% federal t...
by mesaverde
Tue Nov 10, 2015 8:08 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: refinance to Third Federal 10 year fixed @ 2.99% w/ $295 closing costs?
Replies: 5
Views: 1093

refinance to Third Federal 10 year fixed @ 2.99% w/ $295 closing costs?

I currently have a 3.25% fixed rate mortgage with 100 more principal and interest payments of $1,485 remaining. The current balance is $130,462. The value of my home is $235,000 and I'm in the 25% federal (5.75% state) tax brackets. I itemize on the tax return. I live in a state where Third Federal ...
by mesaverde
Sat Nov 07, 2015 7:26 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: refinance to a 15 or 30 year fixed rate mortgage?
Replies: 24
Views: 2891

Re: refinance to a 15 or 30 year fixed rate mortgage?

Meg77 has some awesome analysis above. At furst they appear counter-intutive to someone 30 years away from retirement. But with your numbers and only 8 years to retirement, this makes a lot of sense. I'm sorry to respectfully disagree, but I believe it's only looking at one side of the coin, and mu...
by mesaverde
Thu Nov 05, 2015 5:35 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: refinance to a 15 or 30 year fixed rate mortgage?
Replies: 24
Views: 2891

Re: refinance to a 15 or 30 year fixed rate mortgage?

Meg77 has some awesome analysis above. At furst they appear counter-intutive to someone 30 years away from retirement. But with your numbers and only 8 years to retirement, this makes a lot of sense. Why thank you. *blushing* I wanted to add that if OP does retire at age 50, even with a pension it ...
by mesaverde
Thu Nov 05, 2015 8:49 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: refinance to a 15 or 30 year fixed rate mortgage?
Replies: 24
Views: 2891

Re: refinance to a 15 or 30 year fixed rate mortgage?

Thank you for the feedback. I'm leaning towards the 1st option (15 year fixed). It's not a slam dunk but does make more sense.
by mesaverde
Wed Nov 04, 2015 8:52 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Mortgage dilemma
Replies: 9
Views: 1261

Re: Mortgage dilemma

It sounds like you plan on keeping the home for 10+ years or more. If that's the case, it's probably best to bite the bullet and refinance to a fixed rate mortgage while rates are still low. Let the bank take on some interest rate risk.
by mesaverde
Wed Nov 04, 2015 8:47 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: refinance to a 15 or 30 year fixed rate mortgage?
Replies: 24
Views: 2891

Re: refinance to a 15 or 30 year fixed rate mortgage?

#2. I understand this. A switch from 15 to 30 yr FRM means lower mortgage payments, more cash in your hands to max out retirement accounts. #1. This is a little over 1/2% reduction in rate. Is that sigificantly lowering your payments to add upto the 13k? With the reduction in rate and the higher am...
by mesaverde
Wed Nov 04, 2015 8:15 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: refinance to a 15 or 30 year fixed rate mortgage?
Replies: 24
Views: 2891

Re: refinance to a 15 or 30 year fixed rate mortgage?

We need some more information. Is your current loan a 15 year loan? Are taxes and interest included? If so what are they? Do you have high property taxes or high medical costs because given how low your loan amount is I'm surprised it makes sense to itemize? Yes- my current loan is a 15 year loan. ...
by mesaverde
Wed Nov 04, 2015 6:46 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: refinance to a 15 or 30 year fixed rate mortgage?
Replies: 24
Views: 2891

refinance to a 15 or 30 year fixed rate mortgage?

I want to refinance my condo for several reasons: 1. to save $ in the long term (I don't plan on moving) 2. to increase cash flow (in order to contribute more to retirement accounts) 3. to get rid of an escrow account my current mortage servicer requires for property taxes (I'd rather keep my $ inve...
by mesaverde
Thu Oct 29, 2015 7:20 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: refinance to be able to contribute to Roth IRA?
Replies: 1
Views: 460

refinance to be able to contribute to Roth IRA?

Hello, I'm moving out of my condo and into my girlfriend's house. I'll likely rent the condo out. In this new situation, I will be able to max out a government 457b and 403b, both with Fidelity. Maxing out both takes me from the 25% federal tax bracket down to the 15% bracket. I also want to max out...
by mesaverde
Mon Oct 26, 2015 10:03 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Do you think Ric Edelman is correct, never pay down mortgage
Replies: 407
Views: 106705

Re: Do you think Ric Edelman is correct, never pay down mortgage

Never pay down mortgage? It of course depends on individual circumstances. I have a 3.25% fixed mortgage and could make significant extra principal payments. Instead, I choose to max out both a 403b and government 457b in low cost Fidelity index funds. Maxing both of these accounts out takes me from...
by mesaverde
Mon Sep 21, 2015 5:46 pm
Forum: Personal Investments
Topic: GNMA bond fund vs. total bond market fund
Replies: 11
Views: 2326

GNMA bond fund vs. total bond market fund

Could you help me compare these two bond funds that are offered in my 457b and 403b plans? Right now it appears that the GNMA fund is more attractive than the total bond market fund, especially when considering that we're on the edge of a rising interest rate environment, and shorter durations are m...
by mesaverde
Sun Aug 16, 2015 6:35 pm
Forum: Personal Investments
Topic: checkup: financial goals & retirement
Replies: 3
Views: 859

checkup: financial goals & retirement

Emergency funds: six months (it's the only money I have in a taxable account)
by mesaverde
Sun May 24, 2015 10:38 pm
Forum: Personal Investments
Topic: an appropriate bond fund for taxable account
Replies: 27
Views: 3955

Re: an appropriate bond fund for taxable account

Thank you for the clear explanation. It makes sense. I'll likely continue to make extra principal payments on the mortgage instead of investing in a bond fund.
by mesaverde
Sun May 24, 2015 7:21 am
Forum: Personal Investments
Topic: an appropriate bond fund for taxable account
Replies: 27
Views: 3955

Re: an appropriate bond fund for taxable account

No space left in non-taxable accounts where you could replace stocks for bonds and then use total stock and/or total international funds in taxable which would be much more tax efficient than bonds? I'd take the no-risk 3.25% and keep paying the mortgage down. Of course once you finish with the mor...