Search found 124 matches

by Brain
Thu Jun 25, 2020 11:25 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Refinance Mega Thread
Replies: 10342
Views: 755008

Re: Refinance Mega Thread

I am applying to four different lenders to get the best refi deal. Each one requires all my crucial personal information, including Social Security number and date of birth. Should I be leery? Is there any way around it? Should I list my wife as a co-borrower? I have not done so yet because my inco...
by Brain
Thu Jun 25, 2020 10:16 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Refinance Mega Thread
Replies: 10342
Views: 755008

Re: Refinance Mega Thread

It's really important to get a bunch of quotes and shop the cheapest one around to the other companies. Wash, rinse, repeat. Persistence is key, and not taking "No" for an answer. Just keep asking if they can do better or if that's the best they can do. Feel free to use lines like, "I...
by Brain
Wed Jun 24, 2020 8:08 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Refinance Mega Thread
Replies: 10342
Views: 755008

Re: Refinance Mega Thread

Ha, I got an email from my processor that late last night, too! Her name isn't Jessica, is it? I asked them about a reissue, but there seems to be some confusion about title insurance. Which is another topic; I've asked two people at my current lender for a copy of their title insurance policy and ...
by Brain
Wed Jun 24, 2020 11:42 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Refinance Mega Thread
Replies: 10342
Views: 755008

Re: Refinance Mega Thread

Seems to me they might be kind of choking at this point where doesn't really want to go down further on the matching but isn't yet letting you know either. Something similar happened with a coworker also refinancing with Better and it seems to be harder to play them once have initially locked the r...
by Brain
Wed Jun 24, 2020 10:52 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Refinance Mega Thread
Replies: 10342
Views: 755008

Re: Refinance Mega Thread

Better has offered 15-year CONV $150.381 2.875% rate $5,161 cash to close A.$3472 pts B.$614 C.$835 D-F etc 3.275% APR 23.345% TIP Amex Cashout to pay off/consolidate a HELOC and 1st mortgage Current mortgage is a 25-year loan $120,797 4.25% 10 years left Heloc $28,381 3.25% 5-7 years left (paying ...
by Brain
Wed Jun 24, 2020 10:48 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Refinance Mega Thread
Replies: 10342
Views: 755008

Re: Refinance Mega Thread

I don’t know what to do but I feel like I need to make a decision today because I’m starting to get happy feet. I was all set to close on a refinance when I decided to try better. With the AMEX promo they came in significantly better than my first option. I went back to first option and they origin...
by Brain
Mon Jun 22, 2020 12:02 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Refinance Mega Thread
Replies: 10342
Views: 755008

Re: Refinance Mega Thread

I don’t know what to do but I feel like I need to make a decision today because I’m starting to get happy feet. I was all set to close on a refinance when I decided to try better. With the AMEX promo they came in significantly better than my first option. I went back to first option and they origin...
by Brain
Fri Jun 19, 2020 11:57 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Refinance Mega Thread
Replies: 10342
Views: 755008

Re: Refinance Mega Thread

I, too, got a fantastic quote from a competitor trying to match Better's Amex deal. The other guy was able to come close. He was $1,565 better than Better without Amex, but $755 short when factoring it in. $755 is $755, so I thanked him for the extraordinary effort and wrapped things up. But now I ...
by Brain
Fri Jun 19, 2020 11:23 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Refinance Mega Thread
Replies: 10342
Views: 755008

Re: Refinance Mega Thread

Yup. I was within a few days of closing on a 30 year 3.125% no fee loan. I decided to try better and they brought me down to a 30 year 3% no fee plus the $2500 from AMEX which I locked. I went back to my original lender and said "I see stories of rates dropping, etc. can you do better." R...
by Brain
Fri Jun 19, 2020 10:20 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Refinance Mega Thread
Replies: 10342
Views: 755008

Re: Refinance Mega Thread

How does one go about doing this? Is the title insurance policy part of the stack of papers you get from a mortgage? You just scanned it and sent to Better? For my prior closing it was sent to me as a PDF and I just emailed that file over. I got the title commitment/binder prior to closing. It wasn...
by Brain
Thu Jun 18, 2020 9:55 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Refinance Mega Thread
Replies: 10342
Views: 755008

Re: Refinance Mega Thread

After 4 weeks, I am finally closing with Better on Friday. I was not happy with the title company they used (Title365) as there were numerous delays during the process. I had initially wanted to use my own title company but Better convinced me not to because they said it would delay the process. We...
by Brain
Thu Jun 18, 2020 8:36 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Refinance Mega Thread
Replies: 10342
Views: 755008

Re: Refinance Mega Thread

If there's concern about which email you used between Amex and Better, be careful when creating your Better account to double-check if you're going to use one of the single sign-on solutions, like Google. I'm using my Google account to sign into Better, so I don't have the opportunity to change my e...
by Brain
Thu Jun 18, 2020 5:36 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Refinance Mega Thread
Replies: 10342
Views: 755008

Re: Refinance Mega Thread

Better beat them with a 2.5% with no points, no fees and $1600 in credits. Toss in the $2500 from Amex and that sounded pretty good! So I locked on Monday night, the lowest day for a 15y. Loan Depot came back and asked to compete, but I told him about the Amex deal and he made a legit effort to mat...
by Brain
Thu Jun 18, 2020 1:32 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Refinance Mega Thread
Replies: 10342
Views: 755008

Re: Refinance Mega Thread

We purchased our home about six years ago and started with a 30y at 4.375%. Three years ago, we refinanced to a 20y at 3.375%. With today's record-low rates, I started looking into a 15y and was hoping to hit 2.5%. Currently owe $235k with a house value of $380k. I talked to Loan Depot, LenderFi, Be...
by Brain
Tue Jun 09, 2020 7:38 pm
Forum: Personal Investments
Topic: Switching Jobs - Already maxed 401k
Replies: 42
Views: 2904

Re: Switching Jobs - Already maxed 401k

Understood. For reference, in my current job, after-tax contributions are matched just the same as pre-tax or Roth would be (as long as you are contributing the 6%) so I've never run into any issues in the 9 years previously. Also, if you're spreading out the 401k contribution over the course of th...
by Brain
Tue Jun 09, 2020 3:11 pm
Forum: Personal Investments
Topic: Switching Jobs - Already maxed 401k
Replies: 42
Views: 2904

Re: Switching Jobs - Already maxed 401k

I'll add an addition note that this one of the primary reasons it's wise to space out ones 401k contributions over the course of the year. Many companies match contributions by the paycheck, so if contributions are filled up early, the match in subsequent paychecks will be missed.
by Brain
Tue Jun 09, 2020 3:07 pm
Forum: Personal Investments
Topic: Switching Jobs - Already maxed 401k
Replies: 42
Views: 2904

Re: Switching Jobs - Already maxed 401k

As it currently stands, my new employer offers Traditional 401k and Roth 401k. After-Tax 401k is not an option at this time..though I will be reaching out to see if that's something that can be implemented to allow me to capture the 6% match through year-end. Mega Backdoor would be icing on the cak...
by Brain
Mon Jan 27, 2020 12:54 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Engineers - What are you making? ($$$)
Replies: 357
Views: 45514

Re: Engineers - What are you making? ($$$)

Systems Engineer (IT, but not a programmer)
Gov't contractor
HCOL area
19 yoe
$208k salary (40 hours/wk)
4% 401k match
$1200 HSA contribution
20 days PTO
10 Fed holidays
by Brain
Mon Jan 27, 2020 12:27 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Is it possible to contest beneficiary of a life insurance and brokerage account of a deceased?
Replies: 51
Views: 4923

Re: Is it possible to contest beneficiary of a life insurance and brokerage account of a deceased?

I don't know if it varies by company or by state, but I've heard of situations where you're not allowed to remove your spouse as a beneficiary of an account without their written permission. I suppose the 99/1% trick may be a workaround for that, too.
by Brain
Wed Dec 25, 2019 1:13 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Job opportunities in Healthcare IT Security - Seeking advice for spouse
Replies: 4
Views: 730

Re: Job opportunities in Healthcare IT Security - Seeking advice for spouse

It sounds like your wife has a pretty good resume for an in-demand field! She's in good shape. Healthcare is a growing field. Cybersecurity is a growing field. Put them together and you've got job security! To her specific experiences: 1. If she's focused on healthcare, focus on the HIPAA part, othe...
by Brain
Mon Jul 29, 2019 9:35 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: New Car Post Purchase Recommendations
Replies: 17
Views: 1857

Re: New Car Post Purchase Recommendations

Congrats to your relative on the new car. The Odyssey is an awesome vehicle. We have a '12 Odyssey ourselves. I frequented https://www.odyclub.com for information prior to purchasing the car and it's a great resource for help. As for an extended warranty, have the buyer visit https://hyannishondacar...
by Brain
Wed Jul 24, 2019 1:45 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Someone at Citibank signed up for an account, then listed my email address..
Replies: 31
Views: 2639

Re: Someone at Citibank signed up for an account, then listed my email address..

A few months ago, I got a notice from Microsoft that the email address for my account (which I rarely use) had changed. I was frantically trying to figure out what happened and how to fix it when I noticed that all of my accounts still worked fine. But I started getting emails about someone else's X...
by Brain
Wed Jul 24, 2019 1:36 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Accord approaching 100k miles, how to push it beyond
Replies: 45
Views: 5601

Re: Accord approaching 100k miles, how to push it beyond

I just sold my '07 Accord with 130,000 miles on it to a friend. I've only done routine maintenance when the minder told me to and I've only had one or two issues that required visiting the shop. I replaced it with a '19 Accord hybrid. I'm looking forward to another dozen years with it (or maybe givi...
by Brain
Mon Jul 22, 2019 1:45 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Should my retirement portfolio be considered separate from my taxable funds?
Replies: 35
Views: 4168

Re: Should my retirement portfolio be considered separate from my taxable funds?

You shouldn't treat the tax-advantaged and taxable funds as separate portfolios because of their tax status, but you should have different strategies based on the purpose of the funds. Obviously, tax-advantaged accounts have their intended purposes (retirement, health savings, education), but money ...
by Brain
Thu May 23, 2019 11:06 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: What is the best way to test drive cars?
Replies: 39
Views: 3349

Re: What is the best way to test drive cars?

The last time I bought a car, I did the test drive in the middle of the workday during my lunch break. That way I had an ironclad excuse to get out before the salesman could go into his spiel. I knew the car I wanted, so the test drive was just to verify that it was acceptable. To purchase the car, ...
by Brain
Tue Mar 19, 2019 9:56 pm
Forum: Personal Investments
Topic: 92 year old father - portfolio review - how much "help"?
Replies: 12
Views: 1613

Re: 92 year old father - portfolio review - how much "help"?

Thank you all for the excellent responses. A lot that I was expecting, but some things I hadn't thought about. Thanks again. A few notes: He did not expressly ask me to reconfigure his entire portfolio, no. I wanted to get a sense of what was possible before making any suggestions. As a few people m...
by Brain
Tue Mar 19, 2019 6:01 pm
Forum: Personal Investments
Topic: 92 year old father - portfolio review - how much "help"?
Replies: 12
Views: 1613

92 year old father - portfolio review - how much "help"?

My father is 92 years old. He had a heart attack last November and ever since his memory has been noticeably worse. He's even recognized this and asked me to help him with doing his taxes, including the calculation for his 2019 RMD. The first step was to document what all accounts he has and their c...
by Brain
Fri Mar 08, 2019 6:07 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Your Opinions on a Masters in Information Systems & Business Analytics
Replies: 17
Views: 2005

Re: Your Opinions on a Masters in Information Systems & Business Analytics

I would say that advanced degrees in IT are of little use. The only exception is if your undergrad degree is not in a STEM field. Especially with gov't contracting, if you don't have a technical degree, you may as well have not gone to college. But you're already working in industry and already have...
by Brain
Thu Mar 07, 2019 12:01 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Progressive Homeowner's Insurance?
Replies: 9
Views: 1150

Re: Progressive Homeowner's Insurance?

I had Erie Insurance for auto and Homesite for my house until last year. The rates kept creeping up so I shopped around and ended up with Progressive for both. As others have mentioned, the homeowner's insurance is subbed out to another company, but you still get the bundling discount. Oddly enough,...
by Brain
Mon Feb 18, 2019 3:24 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Are Should I label employer 401k contributions as "income" or "transfers" in finance software (Mint.com)?
Replies: 11
Views: 856

Re: Are Should I label employer 401k contributions as "income" or "transfers" in finance software (Mint.com)?

I list my company's contributions to my 401k and HSA as income and then their (and my) contributions to those same accounts as expenses. So the company's contributions cancel out, but the fact of the contribution is still listed.
by Brain
Fri Jan 25, 2019 11:18 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Maryland 529 College Investment Plans
Replies: 42
Views: 6777

Re: Maryland 529 College Investment Plans

I'm a Maryland resident and have one account per child for our three children. I contribute $5,000 per child ($2,500 per parent). I don't do anything special to mark the contribution's owner, though. I claim the full amount on our taxes (Married filing jointly). If we get audited, I would think it ...
by Brain
Mon Jan 14, 2019 4:33 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Did you ever "win" big?
Replies: 133
Views: 11190

Re: Did you ever "win" big?

Depends on your definition of big... In 2012, I had some money left over in a "fun money" pot and I decided to put it into the highest risk/reward funds I could find, just to see what would happen (I've since learned my lesson). One of them was a health care fund. I had a sneaking suspicio...
by Brain
Mon Jan 14, 2019 4:21 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Maryland 529 College Investment Plans
Replies: 42
Views: 6777

Re: Maryland 529 College Investment Plans

I'm a Maryland resident and have one account per child for our three children. I contribute $5,000 per child ($2,500 per parent). I don't do anything special to mark the contribution's owner, though. I claim the full amount on our taxes (Married filing jointly). If we get audited, I would think it ...
by Brain
Mon Sep 10, 2018 2:38 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: New Job (1st Management Role)
Replies: 30
Views: 3457

Re: New Job (1st Management Role)

What is the likelihood that if you took the management job and ended up not liking it, would be able to go back to your current position?

If you can do that, and you're interested in seeing if you really have management potential, this might be a nice opportunity to test it out.
by Brain
Mon Sep 10, 2018 1:52 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: How much do bogleheads save in 529?
Replies: 79
Views: 6465

Re: How much do bogleheads save in 529?

We live in Maryland, so we have been contributing $2,500/y per child to the Maryland 529, which is the maximum residents can claim in deductions on state taxes. Last year, with a salary bump, I doubled that since we're married and can claim the deduction twice. Current balances: Third-grader: $40k F...
by Brain
Tue Apr 10, 2018 2:16 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Maryland 529 College Investment Plans
Replies: 42
Views: 6777

Re: Maryland 529 College Investment Plans

I'm a Maryland resident and have one account per child for our three children. I contribute $5,000 per child ($2,500 per parent). I don't do anything special to mark the contribution's owner, though. I claim the full amount on our taxes (Married filing jointly). If we get audited, I would think it w...
by Brain
Thu Mar 08, 2018 3:44 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: What was your % pay raise?
Replies: 179
Views: 22852

Re: What was your % pay raise?

I'm a contractor, so what my company makes off of me (my billing rate) is fairly static. I hadn't gotten a raise in two years, so I asked my boss for a 6% raise. I also asked for another 6% because I just finished my master's degree (on the company dime, no less). It seems that with the recent chang...
by Brain
Fri Feb 16, 2018 3:10 pm
Forum: US Chapters
Topic: Your USER NAME...what does it mean?
Replies: 555
Views: 78696

Re: Your USER NAME...what does it mean?

Um...because I'm super smart, duh!

While that may be true, the real reason is that when I was born (or shortly thereafter, more likely) the clerk who typed up my birth certificate misspelled my first name, striked it out, and then typed the correct name. S/he must have known something!
by Brain
Wed Jan 24, 2018 2:59 pm
Forum: Personal Investments
Topic: Company moving profit sharing from 401k to deferred compensation plan
Replies: 5
Views: 816

Re: Company moving profit sharing from 401k to deferred compensation plan

I just participated in two Q&A sessions both with the company HR folks and the Charles Schwab financial adviser. Neither session gave me any better answers. When I posed my direct question to the financial adviser, she suggested either taking the money as soon as possible, or spreading it out as...
by Brain
Thu Jan 18, 2018 11:05 pm
Forum: Personal Investments
Topic: Company moving profit sharing from 401k to deferred compensation plan
Replies: 5
Views: 816

Re: Company moving profit sharing from 401k to deferred compensation plan

My salary is higher than average, but it's still measured by W2s, so it's quite below the normal range for folks in DCP plans. I'm not even going to defer any of my own money. It's the company money that they're putting there I'm looking at. I'm nowhere near retirement, so even the longest-term defe...
by Brain
Wed Jan 17, 2018 6:22 pm
Forum: Personal Investments
Topic: Company moving profit sharing from 401k to deferred compensation plan
Replies: 5
Views: 816

Re: Company moving profit sharing from 401k to deferred compensation plan

nerdymarketer wrote: Wed Jan 17, 2018 2:07 pm I thought the new tax plan changed how deferred compensation plans are taxed?

If so, this may give you a reason to advocate changing the structure.
Care to elaborate? I haven't found any reference to DCPs when I've read about the new tax law.
by Brain
Wed Jan 17, 2018 1:53 pm
Forum: Personal Investments
Topic: Company moving profit sharing from 401k to deferred compensation plan
Replies: 5
Views: 816

Company moving profit sharing from 401k to deferred compensation plan

Our company was recently purchased by a larger company (both gov't contractors). The new company wants to preserve the enhanced benefits structure for those of us in our high-demand/low-supply sphere. Last year we got a 3% company contribution to the 401k, plus another 5% "profit sharing" ...
by Brain
Tue Dec 26, 2017 3:35 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Statefarm Auto Insurance goes up every 6 months without reason?
Replies: 50
Views: 8509

Re: Statefarm Auto Insurance goes up every 6 months without reason?

Forgot one: drive fewer miles. I have found over the years that this really makes only a negligible or no difference. Most (70%) of accidents happen within 10 miles of home anyways. https://www.injurylawcolorado.com/legal-news/auto-accidents/nearly-70-of-car-accidents-occur-within-10-miles-of-home....
by Brain
Tue Dec 12, 2017 4:09 pm
Forum: Personal Investments
Topic: Which 529K
Replies: 2
Views: 579

Re: Which 529K

Why would you need to repay Ohio? If you were legitimately a state resident when you made the contribution, why wouldn't you be entitled to it due to moving later? Do you have specific guidance from the state tax authority regarding this? The state tax deduction is far more significant than the fund...
by Brain
Thu Nov 30, 2017 12:02 pm
Forum: Personal Investments
Topic: How much to convert to Roth without raising tax bracket
Replies: 12
Views: 2108

Re: How much to convert to Roth without raising tax bracket

Make sure you're marking it as a Roth conversion, not as simple capital gains. I tried to do this too, and at first I was seeing that I could convert hundreds of thousands with no tax increase. I figured I had something wrong. Once I made the fix, it worked better. I was going to let my wife buy me ...
by Brain
Thu Nov 30, 2017 11:52 am
Forum: Personal Investments
Topic: Financial Advisor created potential Roth IRA issue
Replies: 11
Views: 1488

Re: Financial Advisor created potential Roth IRA issue

How long ago was this? Does the statue of limitations come into play?
by Brain
Wed Nov 22, 2017 12:23 pm
Forum: Personal Investments
Topic: 529 and ESA
Replies: 5
Views: 797

Re: 529 and ESA

ESA funds can only be spent on educational expenses (unless you're willing to pay a penalty). I don't think funding another account (even one also expressly intended for educational purposes) counts for that. If your child is in private school, just use the ESA to pay for that and put the money you ...
by Brain
Fri Sep 22, 2017 9:46 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Set up a "reverse auction" to get a deal on buying a car
Replies: 32
Views: 3455

Re: Set up a "reverse auction" to get a deal on buying a car

I know him on a first name basis and proud to consider him a friend. Getting a deal from your buddy is a great way to acquire goods and services. Unfortunately, not everyone has a friend in every sector of the economy. Sometimes, people have to purchase their goods/services from people they don't k...
by Brain
Thu Sep 21, 2017 5:16 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Set up a "reverse auction" to get a deal on buying a car
Replies: 32
Views: 3455

Re: Set up a "reverse auction" to get a deal on buying a car

I have several close friends in the automotive sales industry, one of them owns a dealership. Assuming you are getting the "best" deal by making dealerships compete against each other for the right to sell a vehicle to an anonymous stranger over the internet that they will most likely nev...
by Brain
Tue Sep 05, 2017 10:00 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Stop income tax withholding
Replies: 15
Views: 2160

Re: Stop income tax withholding

Excess capital losses (in excess of capital gains) only give you a deduction of $3,000 max per year. $3000 x 28% tax bracket or whatever bracket you are in = $840 That is not worth messing with IMO, but it sounds like you need to figure out why you are having so much withheld compared to your incom...