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paying a financial advisor

December 11th, 2018 at 08:46 pm

So I've been doing 1 class at a time to be a Certified financial planner. It will cost $5000 to get the certificate. I enjoy the online classes. I'd like be a fee for service financial planner.

I had a phone call evaluation by personal capital today and they tried to sell me their services. It was absolutely rotten, horrible experience.

The website is great. I use it to track my spending and x-ray my investments. But I would NEVER pay 0.89% of the value of our portfolio to have them to tell me which 90 stocks to buy to replace Vanguard Total Index Stock market ETF. Let alone buy the SAME etf small cap (russell) and international, and real estate. Why would anyone?

I mean they have to beat the returns I get by a solid 1% not including all the trading fees and inefficient costs of BUYING and SELLING stocks. I got oh we know how to properly tax loss harvest. I said great so do I. And I don't need to do that since I don't take money out of my investments usually. I keep cash and hence why I have so much cash on hand so I can just pay for stuff like the car we are buying without cashing out our investments.

The woman was like oh you shouldn't have bonds or dividends outside an IRA. I was like I pay 15% mostly on our dividends. It's well worth it. Oh but if you put it in your IRA you won't pay any. Better off taking risk and having greater returns in IRA (especially Roth IRA) and not paying any taxes on large long term gains. Even 15% isn't bad on long term capital gains honestly.

It was such a miserable call. It was infuriating that she's basically trying to sell me 90 individual stocks that will "beat" the total vanguard stock index. That because I invest so heavily in the index I am too weighted in technology and not enough elsewise.

Yes if I let them manage my money they would keep techonolgy at 15% and buy 90 stocks to diversify and properly balance my large US cap investment. I can't imagine a worse sales pitch.

It made me hate idea of being a CFP if all you do is a sales pitch. Versus the idea of being fee based advisor who gives advice not to make money off commission or portfolio size.

Anyway it just left a super terrible taste in my mouth. She also said they would help me invest my DH's 401k, but when I pointed out why? There is limited optionsor investments why do I need advice?

Oh well it's a big picture thing. I told her I already did that and I rebalance my entire portfolio anyway based on his 401k because we can't pick our investments. So we have Bonds index and total stock market index in his 401k. Those were the lowest costs index.

UGH.

Net Worth Calculations

November 1st, 2018 at 10:27 am

We are down around 7.5% from 9/1/18 which it peaked. We are down in mostly our retirement investment accounts. We aren't doing a darn thing. We are holding onto our cash, will invest in January Roth IRA and kids ESA the $12k and $4k. In december we will likely buy out DH's lease for $22k. Right now we are still hanging onto my car loan but that's something up for negotiation to just pay off. But it's at 2.24% and we're earning 1.9% on savings right now with potential for more.

I'm also considering buying the I bonds. Right now the fixed rate is 0.5% announced and that seems good. I'll talk to DH tonight.

Reverse Mortgages

June 8th, 2018 at 11:55 am

So I did my friend Mrs N taxes and peeked at her mom's financials. Mostly because she hasn't been filing and I just wanted to confirm it was okay to not file. Nana was fine not filing.

But in the process of looking over all her documents I told her that she now owed $65k on her condo. She freaked out and said what, why, how?

Well in 2010 she owed $14k on her condo but she was tired of paying the monthly note. She was convinced by her ex-SIL to get a reverse mortgage in the amount of $47k. Her note was paid off and she got $23k in cash, and $8k in fees. She was told that she could live in the house till the end of her life and then Mrs N would have to sell it and pay it off. All true but I guess it wasn't explained that like a Credit Card the $47k would continue to accrue interest and fees every month and the amount owed would balloon.

It also could occur that she would reach the maximum limit to be borrowed from the reverse mortgage, in her case $150k and then be forced to refinance or sell the condo. She sat there stunned. For 8 years she actually believed she could live in her house rent/payment free and never be kicked out. It was soul crushing to see the realization kick in.

I suggested that she consolidate the reverse mortgage and get a regular mortgage now before rates keep on going up. Mrs N just got her divorced finalized yesterday so they have a rough idea of budgeting and finances.

Had I realized they were paying $1k/year in fees and $3k/year in interest on the reverse mortgage I would have suggested a year ago they consolidate while rates were lower.

She also owes an assessment on her condo but she has no idea how much. And a car loan of $10k just started in January 2018 at 5%. That being said if they consolidate all their debt, I'm including Mrs N, to the tune of $120k the payments will be around $600/month. Arrgh because they should have refinanced last year and been saving the money. And the rates are so much higher now about 1%.

I don't know what to say because I don't know if Reverse mortgages are good. I feel like maybe people should sell the house and live in it. But they get the appreciation of staying put and paying interest and fees. I guess it's a risk.

personal capital

March 28th, 2018 at 09:48 pm

I just linked tonight all our data on personal capital website. It was an interesting and enlightening snapshot of our assets and investment allocation. I did it myself earlier this year. Gave me fits figuring everything out efficiently because I worked with what my DH had done and with his 401k.

First up, we have enough in our investments to pay off our mortgage. Not enough in taxable but more than enough to pay it off if we cashed in our retirement accounts. Hadn't every really looked but interesting. Only thing taxable is the 401k and looking at it, I think we'd still have enough after taxes. Very nice.

Second, they checked my target asset allocation and I pretty much hit it dead on. I'm interestingly at a higher 90% stocks and 10% bonds mix. Higher than I thought. I thought I was at 85% and 15%. I wanted to be more at 80% stock/20% bonds. But I guess it's okay.

I just readjusted DH's 401k from VINIX to a mix of a small cap, mid cap, international growth and more bonds. I think we are holding cash that it makes sense to perhaps put a bit more into bonds even with the cash. Actually looking at it more carefully this portfolio does not include our cash position so with it included we are at my 80% stocks/bonds 10%/10% cash so maybe I shouldn't have adjusted the 401k. But I feel like this year bonds might go big and the stock market is due a correction.

A really impressive point is my management fees were evaluated at 0.07%. Yes that's awesome I think. Something I am considering is building a stock dividend portfolio. Investing in our taxable account maybe 5 stocks that pay heavy dividends.

I am also 52.2% US stocks and 23.74% international stocks. I guess things are looking good overall. This is a very nifty tool.

I also am considering buying RE as a diversification play. This is something I want to put 25k into or as much as $50k into a rental. We are talking about partnering with friends, which we'll see.

Finally the retirement projections. Well it says I have a 96% chance of retiring at age 53 with $7600/month. Substantially more than the $4k/month I was projecting. I'd like to hit that instead in 10 years but we have save more than I'm projecting which is entirely doable because I'm projecting only saving $40k/year, right now we're doing more but I want to be conservative.

We are also projecting unfortunately to be $30k short for each kid's college fund by 18. I'm thinking we might be closer to $15k. Why? Because I think it's assuming we won't have the projected $81608 by the time they start which is true. But we still have another 4 years to "save" the $2k/year we are doing and that takes care of $8k. And seeing the number in black and white being a projected $30k short each, means that if I for the next 10 years saved an extra $2k/year we wouldn't be short for either. I'm thinking maybe this year we do a one time $10k contribution to each kid for college and call it a day? I think we might have that the cards.

Anyway try using personal capital. It's an amazing website. https://www.talkable.com/x/cbBCMQ

Fire Success Rate

January 17th, 2018 at 10:52 pm

So I calculated that maxing out our 401k and IRAs for the next 15 years will give us a 100% success rate of retiring for 45 years with a $90k/year income. This is with $0 SS income coming in.

2032 retirement gives us a 2% chance of failure. 2031 retirement gives us a 14% chance of failure. So if we continue down our path the earliest I think we could retire is 2031.

However if increase our savings to $40k/year, saving $10k/year outside for 13 years the failure rate is 2% in 2031. And in the year 2030 it's 12% failure, and in 2029 it's 18% failure.

Also adding back SS does nothing to the success rate. Because we're assuming a lower SS and taken at age 62 even if we retire at age 55.

I think it would be easier to lower the number we need to retire not $90k/year. If we lowered it to say $60k/year we can retire in 2028 or 10 years with 1% failure rate saving $30k/year and 50 years of retirement. That would take us to 100 years old. About what I guessed off the cuff.

I have always said DH and I are about 5 years away from FI. According to Fire Calculator we are. If we save $100k/year for the next 5 years and spend $60k/year, we would have a failure rate of 1% of living on $60k/year for 50 years to age 95.

But the reality is while I know we spend around $60k/year and live well, we need more because we aren't done with say college. Plus I'd rather know that everything above and beyond is gravy rather than cutting it so close.

Have you ever calculated?

Staying Invested

January 12th, 2018 at 11:04 am

I'm curious who on this site is not investing. Or cashing in their chips now to take some of the risk off the table. I've been thinking a lot about it. We're dumping quite a bit into the market right now and I do worry it's high. This is a big topic if you can imagine in a tax office. We're all discussing whether we think the market has another year of gains. So it's on my mind.

Well I decided the other day that we're staying invested. We are sticking with the plan. I am going to put more in and hold it. I'm not going to sit in cash or buy more bonds. I will put rebalance being the beginning of the year, but I'm not going to hold back or change our aggressive stance.

What made me decide this? PS wrote that. Well as I perused our previous net worth and years of record keeping. I know we kept investing in 2007/2008 when we had less than we saved. But then it paid off gangbusters afterwards.

So now yes we have a more invested. And yes we are 10 years older. But talking with DH, he's in it for 10-15 more years. He's not planning on retiring until 15 years when our youngest should be done with college. If they lay him off that's a different story but as of right now it's in our heads he's going to work 15 more years.

That being said I think with a 15-20 year time frame of investing we risk it now. We stay in an aggressive investment strategy of 85% stocks/10% bonds and 5% cash. I don't think we cash in and take some of the returns off the table because we could miss out on more gains. My thoughts are until we are 5 years out we keep on investing aggressively. At 5 years out we switch more to preservation. And perhaps because at 5 years we can make a year to year decision to retire if the market is down maybe work 1 more year.

Do you think you'll keep on investing? Or is it better to take gains off the table?

good news in 2018

January 11th, 2018 at 12:51 pm

2018 has been good so far. Today I deposited 2017 and 2018 IRA contributions for DH and I. $5500 each for each year for $22k in contributions to our Roth IRAs.

Second it's weird but we ended 2017 a bit short of $800k and now it's powered through. We are at $810k, I think the company match came through for DH's 401k at the beginning of the year for last. And now we just contributed $22k. I wonder if I should rethink our stretch goal?

I also wrote down all our investments and I'm going to clean things up this next month.

Bought a minivan and 2017!

December 31st, 2017 at 10:03 am

We bought a 2015 Toyota Sienna AWD Limited minivan. I love, love, love it. I can't say how nice it is to have the space and ease of a bigger car. The car was $28k plus taxes and fees and we borrowed $24k for 4 years at 2.24%.

We are giving my mom the 2010 Subaru Outback. I do feel guilty about getting rid of a car so new, but the minivan I think will be good for 7 years. The plan is to evaluate it when it is 10 years and decide what we need at that time. My mom is getting rid of a 21 year old 1996 Toyota Avalon. And she could buy a new car but refuses so my used car is perfect. Sigh. Trust me I was trying to get her to buy a new car.

2017 wrap up. Our retirement accounts were ridiculous. We started at $626k and contributed $29k. We ended up with $790k today and approximate 21% return for the year.

We started the year with $435k taxable accounts and ended the year with $294k and $250k home equity we put down. Up $109k for the year. Guessing not as much saved as we should have but we did pay a lot of expenses this year.

Overall our NW went up $263k. Our kids have $22k and $14k in college. Plans to discuss this month pay off the car, how much for driveway/drain repairs this summer, roth IRA $11k, $20k taxes, and how much we plan on front loading the kids college.

I think we should earmark $10k per kid this year and see how the year goes. Then with the continual $2k/year per kid we could do another $10k in Jan 2019. I think this should cover 4 years of college?

Retirement compounding numbers

November 3rd, 2017 at 05:30 pm

Here are some interesting compounding numbers. I don't want to run the returns right now.

DH in 2006 started saving the maximum 401k and IRA. But he contributed to Roth IRA in 2005 In total he's saved $201,500 in 401k and $55,000 in a IRA. His total retirement savings is currently $651,693. The number break down something like this.

2005 $4,871
2006 $8,871
2007 $28,729
2008 $56,569
2009 $62,282
2010 $116,743
2011 $174,548
2012 $202,696
2013 $262,920
2014 $381,248
2015 $437,108
2016 $469,526
2017 $532,991
11/2/2017 current value $651,693 with only contributing $18,000 and we haven't saved our Roth IRA.

For me I sort of started in 2003 but my numbers are messy and I didn't have a 401k. But as of today I have $108,687.

2003 $1,604
2004 $1,650
2005 $1,523
2006 $5,797
2007 $6,055
2008 $11,247
2009 $11,964
2010 $18,810
2011 $21,820
2012 $29,829
2013 $39,922
2014 $62,515
2015 $77,467
2016 $83,467
2017 $93,054

11/2/17 current value $108,687 without $5500 2017 contribution. I have contributed $55,000. Power of compounding and staying the course? I've been boringly invested in just the stock market and nothing fancier than an index fund.

If things continue the way they are going I am going to predict we'll pass $1 million in retirement accounts in the next 18-24 months. I guess the truth is that slow and steady win the race. Probably we'd have made more investing in RE but this was pretty easy.

Keep on chugging.

Visualize a plan

October 18th, 2017 at 11:50 am

I think people wonder what they are saving for. Recently more and more friends keep saying the same thing. They don't know what they want out of life. Unhappy and not sure how to change it.

I tell them they need to sit with their partners and visualize a plan. They should write a list about what they want. Some can be short term, some can be long term.

I think people get bogged down in the tiny details and comparing themselves to others. It starts with "oh I don't have any money to save for retirement. Or it's too little." To it's impossible to save for a house, car, etc.

The first step is to sit down and write/think what's important. College for kids? Retirement? Paying off the house? Clearing credit card debt? No car payment.

Then you can look at each goal and make a plan. I will save 1% to retirement and up it every year. I will save $100/month to college. I will keep making car payments into a car fund.

Sometimes I think it's so overwhelming getting started that people throw up their hands and give up rather than just asking what is important? From that answer you can always sketch a more detailed plan.