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Personal Finance Advice and Education! (1 Viewer)

Chadstroma

Footballguy
Yeah, for sure.  Is that really all I need?  Figured I probably don't need a full 20%, but didn't think it'd be as low as 3%.  Again, just starting this part of the financial journey so haven't really done any research yet other than knowing I've got to put some money away.
Good credit and first time buyer you can do a conventional loan with 3% down plus some for closing costs and you are rocking and rolling. When ready, let me know and I will get you in touch with a broker in Oregon to assist. 

 

Steve Tasker

Footballguy
SFBayDuck said:
I just started an HSA last year for the first time, so by no means an expert.  But I let it build up to a point where I felt comfortable with the amount of cash there for unexpected medical costs, then started investing the rest.  And I've just invested that like the rest of my retirement portfolio - low cost index funds.

In my case, I'm in sales and switched jobs last year (so no commissions for a few months) so I burned through some of my savings.  Once my savings is built back up enough I'll probably invest the rest in the HSA with no plans to touch it, or I may leave that $1,500-$2,000 (I forget the exact amount) in cash just in case.

I'd also be curious what others are doing.
I contribute the max to my HSA annually and haven't taken a distribution in like 5 years.  Pay all medical costs (thankfully they've been very few since my most recent shoulder surgery, knock on wood) out of pocket without the HSA.

I invest on the same general philosophy, asset mix, etc., as the rest of my investments.  The HSA provider I use is tied in with my work and I don't really love it, but there's no fees once you cross $5,000.  They make you keep $5,000 in cash and you can invest anything above and beyond that $5,000 cash minimum, so I do.

 
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Random

Footballguy
Psychopav said:
What do you use for your cash / low risk fund?

I just opened my HSA with Fidelity. We should have a thread just about HSA investing.  I do need to use my money to pay some healthcare costs, so I'm struggling with how to invest it. 
The payroll deduction goes into a local credit union HSA (cash) account.  I only transfer to fidelity 1-2x per year.

 

matttyl

Footballguy
I contribute the max to my HSA annually and haven't taken a distribution in like 5 years.  Pay all medical costs (thankfully they've been very few since my most recent shoulder surgery, knock on wood) out of pocket without the HSA.

I invest on the same general philosophy, asset mix, etc., as the rest of my investments.  The HSA provider I use is tied in with my work and I don't really love it, but there's no fees once you cross $5,000.  They make you keep $5,000 in cash and you can invest anything above and beyond that $5,000 cash minimum, so I do.
Very high from what I've seen.  Most are $1-2k base, invest the rest.

 

Psychopav

Help us, Joebi-Wan Brynobi, you're our only ho
Very high from what I've seen.  Most are $1-2k base, invest the rest.
In from the fall of 2007 to the spring of 2009, the stock market dropped 50%.  The first purpose of your HSA is to pay for unforeseen medical costs.  $5,000 doesn't seem like a conservative balance to me, to hold in a safe place before speculating with the rest.

 

matttyl

Footballguy
In from the fall of 2007 to the spring of 2009, the stock market dropped 50%.  The first purpose of your HSA is to pay for unforeseen medical costs.  $5,000 doesn't seem like a conservative balance to me, to hold in a safe place before speculating with the rest.
Understood, but you can "invest" in a simple money market or something similar. 

 

matttyl

Footballguy
Right, but, if you have an HSA, you have insurance, so, there's a Maximum-Out-Of-Pocket you can get hit with in a year. $5k seems like it'd be more than most max limits, so there's still cash beyond what you would reasonably expect to pay yourself. 
Not really.  Especially with family coverage. 

 

[icon]

Insoxicated
If no annual fee there really is no reason to close them. 
Also, many cards that DO charge an annual fee have a "no fee" version you can downgrade to. Then just throw the card in a safe for emergencies or something. 

 It keeps your credit history active, while removing the fees. You'll likely lose some sort of benefits, but if you're not using the card and are just keeping it active for the history, who cares. 

 

 

rick6668

Footballguy
One thing I didn't realize on the HDHP, is that once your adult child is no longer a student, but 26 and under, they can still be on your health insurance, but if you are on an HDHP, you cannot use your HSA to pay for any of their medical expenses.

Your child is allowed to open their own HSA.

My son started working full time over a year ago and an EMT and his income fell just below the level to get the Retirement Savings Contributions Savers Credit.  Going to have him opan and contribute to his own HSA in the amount to get his AGI to qualify for this credit.  He already contributed to a Roth IRA to meet the max for this credit, so an HSA is better than a traditional IRA for him I think.

 

Warrior

Footballguy
matttyl said:
Ok, so you were ~34 when you bought the first 20 year term policy?  Just to put some numbers out there, lets say it was $500k.  Fair?

At "select preferred" (one step down from the best health classification) a 34 year old could buy a $500k 20 year term policy for $370/yr.  I just monkeyed around a built a whole life policy  with a $5k a year premium and the same $500k of coverage (you can do that with some more flexible policies).  I get it, it's much, much more.  13 years in, which is where you are now, the term could be continued for another 7 if you wanted for the same 370 a year, or a new 20 year term could be purchased for $930/yr assuming the same health classification. 

But if you had purchased the whole life you'd have ~$71k of cash, for a net additional premium (5,000-370) 4,630 for 13 years.  I get it, that ROR of 2.71 net after tax sucks (mainly because of how low interest rates are today).  But if you were to now go out and buy another term policy for 930 a year, your additional net cost to just continue with the whole life policy would be 4,070, and because of how I built the whole life policy the premium drops from $5k to 2,883 after 20 years (so the additional net cost would be only 1,953).  20 years from now, though, at your "retirement age" of 67 you'd have just a shade over $313k of cash value, and $632k of life insurance.  I ran the ROR of your additional premiums in the WL over that entire 33 years - 4.53%. 

And I also understand that's not amazing either (with interest rates where they are, and thus dividends from insurance companies also being so low), when you compare it to equities over 20-30 years.  But I haven't seen a CD paying that (maybe a better comparison, when factoring in liquidity) since 9/11. 

If you make it to 67 - "term you" walks away with zero cash and zero death benefit.  "WL you" walks away with $313 in cash value if you wanted/needed it, and $632k of a death benefit, which could really open up some other assets for you. 
This is the facepalm moment. A simple passive S&P index fund over the past 13 years (contributing $5,000/yr) nets you $150,722.83.

Repeat: you could have purchased the term policy for those 13 years for a grand total of under 5 grand, and instead of "investing" in Whole Life, you could have invested in an actual non-sleazy investment product. The difference is approx. $80,000 extra in your pocket rather than the pocket of the insurance/snake-oil salesman.

Putrid.

 

The Tick

Footballguy
I'm probably going to need to be looking at a Term life insurance policy in the next year or so, and I'm curious how much of the principle (if any) is based off things you can control and if they will discuss that with you.  I know stuff like age and family history will affect cost, that you can't really change, but what about things like lifestyle and weight?  Do those have significant cost factors in something like a 20year Term policy?  Would someone tell me, hey, if you lose 20lbs, or x% BMI before you actually sign the paperwork for this you'll save $2 or $5 per month for the next 20 years?

I'm pretty good on the health side and active, but my weight has gotten up there a bit in the last 10 years (220's).  Curious if something like getting life insurance would be a reason to reverse a little of that.

 

Sand

Footballguy
This is the facepalm moment. A simple passive S&P index fund over the past 13 years (contributing $5,000/yr) nets you $150,722.83.

Repeat: you could have purchased the term policy for those 13 years for a grand total of under 5 grand, and instead of "investing" in Whole Life, you could have invested in an actual non-sleazy investment product. The difference is approx. $80,000 extra in your pocket rather than the pocket of the insurance/snake-oil salesman.

Putrid.
Yo, Warrior.  This is a high level discussion.  Feel free to throw out all the math you want, but please stay away from the mud slinging.  There's no call for it here.

Thanks, bud.

 

Gawain

Footballguy
With all the corona virus talk I'm having a real tough time not going all cash until after the election.
I'm 40, wife is 37. Three kids, about 100K of home equity and roughly 550K saved, about 100 post-tax.

Thinking that giving up a 95% shot at a 5% gain to avoid the 5% chance of some major catastrophe is the smart move. Just not confident at all in my percentages.

Anyone want to remind me that time in the market trumps (no pun intended) timing the market?
Anyone moving out of equities?

 

matttyl

Footballguy
I'm probably going to need to be looking at a Term life insurance policy in the next year or so, and I'm curious how much of the principle (if any) is based off things you can control and if they will discuss that with you.  I know stuff like age and family history will affect cost, that you can't really change, but what about things like lifestyle and weight?  Do those have significant cost factors in something like a 20year Term policy?  Would someone tell me, hey, if you lose 20lbs, or x% BMI before you actually sign the paperwork for this you'll save $2 or $5 per month for the next 20 years?

I'm pretty good on the health side and active, but my weight has gotten up there a bit in the last 10 years (220's).  Curious if something like getting life insurance would be a reason to reverse a little of that.
Many carriers have a maximum BMI for the best rate and/or any standard rates.  Thats totally separate from family history, personal factors, and other things.  DM if you like and I’ll pull some of those tables up for you.  

 

matttyl

Footballguy
This is the facepalm moment. A simple passive S&P index fund over the past 13 years (contributing $5,000/yr) nets you $150,722.83.

Repeat: you could have purchased the term policy for those 13 years for a grand total of under 5 grand, and instead of "investing" in Whole Life, you could have invested in an actual non-sleazy investment product. The difference is approx. $80,000 extra in your pocket rather than the pocket of the insurance/snake-oil salesman.

Putrid.
And what if you passed away?  You’d give your family $150k (likely taxable), rather than $500k tax free? 

Funny, you even bolded it and then didn’t use the right math.  You wouldn’t be “investing” the entire $5k, only the additional premium over what the term is (which I understand is most of it).  The bottom of the paragraph you bolded a portion of says it pretty clearly - 4.5% tax free ROR.  No, that likely won’t beat the market over a few decades, I never said it would.  But considering the average equity investor earned 5.19% from 1995-2015, it’s not bad.  For a totally liquid and safe emergency fund, it’s pretty decent.  No one is saying (or at least I’m not) to do permanent life coverage instead of equities.  You can do both.  

 

-OZ-

Footballguy
With all the corona virus talk I'm having a real tough time not going all cash until after the election.
I'm 40, wife is 37. Three kids, about 100K of home equity and roughly 550K saved, about 100 post-tax.

Thinking that giving up a 95% shot at a 5% gain to avoid the 5% chance of some major catastrophe is the smart move. Just not confident at all in my percentages.

Anyone want to remind me that time in the market trumps (no pun intended) timing the market?
Anyone moving out of equities?
I might move my 5-10 year money out of equities. Not my 10-50 year money. 

 

pollardsvision

Footballguy
In from the fall of 2007 to the spring of 2009, the stock market dropped 50%.  The first purpose of your HSA is to pay for unforeseen medical costs.  $5,000 doesn't seem like a conservative balance to me, to hold in a safe place before speculating with the rest.
For most. But there are some that really only see it as an investment vehicle. 

Withdrawals for reimbursements for medical expenses can be drawn during a later tax year, and there's currently no limit to what "later" means. So, you can pay current medical expenses out of pocket, keep good receipts and records, then say, 20 years from now, go ahead and take the withdrawals to reimburse. So, you pay for the medical expenses, but still get the tax-free growth from having it invested long-term.

 

wilked

Footballguy
I'm probably going to need to be looking at a Term life insurance policy in the next year or so, and I'm curious how much of the principle (if any) is based off things you can control and if they will discuss that with you.  I know stuff like age and family history will affect cost, that you can't really change, but what about things like lifestyle and weight?  Do those have significant cost factors in something like a 20year Term policy?  Would someone tell me, hey, if you lose 20lbs, or x% BMI before you actually sign the paperwork for this you'll save $2 or $5 per month for the next 20 years?

I'm pretty good on the health side and active, but my weight has gotten up there a bit in the last 10 years (220's).  Curious if something like getting life insurance would be a reason to reverse a little of that.
My advice - if you’ve got a weight issue take care of it for the purest reason (live longer happier life with your family) VW saving $5/month

 

ConstruxBoy

Kate's Daddy
For most. But there are some that really only see it as an investment vehicle. 

Withdrawals for reimbursements for medical expenses can be drawn during a later tax year, and there's currently no limit to what "later" means. So, you can pay current medical expenses out of pocket, keep good receipts and records, then say, 20 years from now, go ahead and take the withdrawals to reimburse. So, you pay for the medical expenses, but still get the tax-free growth from having it invested long-term.
My main advice on HSAs are that the amount to hold in Checking or Cash Equivalents is very dependent on the individual and their risk tolerance/capacity. But you should have an inverse relationship between how much you hold in safety and your investment aggression. If you have $8k in an HSA and want to save $6k for safety, then be pretty aggressive investing the other $2k. If you only feel like you need $2k in cash, be pretty conservative investing the other $6k. 

 
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The Tick

Footballguy
Many carriers have a maximum BMI for the best rate and/or any standard rates.  Thats totally separate from family history, personal factors, and other things.  DM if you like and I’ll pull some of those tables up for you.  
would like to see some info, says you can't receive messages.

 

Sand

Footballguy
Interesting article here about how many people run out of money before their next paycheck.  If you look at Figure 1 the initial bars make sense - those with income issues have trouble making ends meet.  The curve starts dropping a bit at 50k of income (and it should keep dropping to the bottom right).  But then it stops and stays constant.  It absolutely blows me away that 1/3 of folks earning 100+k run out of money before their next paycheck.  And the number is the same at 200+k.  Absolutely astonishing - there are very few circumstances where a 200k earner should be paycheck to paycheck.  A full third?  Blows me away.  

It looks like about 1/3 of folks just can't wait to spend every penny.  

 

stbugs

Footballguy
Interesting article here about how many people run out of money before their next paycheck.  If you look at Figure 1 the initial bars make sense - those with income issues have trouble making ends meet.  The curve starts dropping a bit at 50k of income (and it should keep dropping to the bottom right).  But then it stops and stays constant.  It absolutely blows me away that 1/3 of folks earning 100+k run out of money before their next paycheck.  And the number is the same at 200+k.  Absolutely astonishing - there are very few circumstances where a 200k earner should be paycheck to paycheck.  A full third?  Blows me away.  

It looks like about 1/3 of folks just can't wait to spend every penny.  
It doesn’t surprise me that much. People buy crazy houses and crazy cars. I’ve got a 7 year old Highlander and a 4 year old RX350 (F sport, not a grandpa yet) and both my wife and I make very good money. I can’t tell you how many people drive around in 70k SUVs to sporting events and most of them are younger than us so their mortgages are probably much higher as well. I can only imagine what neighbors with 1 income are doing.

 

ConstruxBoy

Kate's Daddy
Interesting article here about how many people run out of money before their next paycheck.  If you look at Figure 1 the initial bars make sense - those with income issues have trouble making ends meet.  The curve starts dropping a bit at 50k of income (and it should keep dropping to the bottom right).  But then it stops and stays constant.  It absolutely blows me away that 1/3 of folks earning 100+k run out of money before their next paycheck.  And the number is the same at 200+k.  Absolutely astonishing - there are very few circumstances where a 200k earner should be paycheck to paycheck.  A full third?  Blows me away.  

It looks like about 1/3 of folks just can't wait to spend every penny.  
Not surprised either. There's no "real" excuse, but as a generalization, most people spend the money they receive. It's almost human nature. Very few people are savers or FIRE types. So bigger, more expensive houses, cars, dinners are just part of the lifestyle. I get that it's easier to get mad at the higher earners doing it, but it's probably also unrealistic to expect that most won't be in that paycheck to paycheck loop. 

 

Chadstroma

Footballguy
Interesting article here about how many people run out of money before their next paycheck.  If you look at Figure 1 the initial bars make sense - those with income issues have trouble making ends meet.  The curve starts dropping a bit at 50k of income (and it should keep dropping to the bottom right).  But then it stops and stays constant.  It absolutely blows me away that 1/3 of folks earning 100+k run out of money before their next paycheck.  And the number is the same at 200+k.  Absolutely astonishing - there are very few circumstances where a 200k earner should be paycheck to paycheck.  A full third?  Blows me away.  

It looks like about 1/3 of folks just can't wait to spend every penny.  
Having spent 20+ years on a daily basis intimately discussing people's finances that sounds about right. Now ask about how many have properly prepared for retirement and I would say a third would be generous. 

And yes, it isn't just about earning power. I have seen people who make very little but live within their means and have built up savings and retirement. I have seen business owners, doctors, lawyers, etc that make ridiculous amounts of money but then spent ridiculous amounts of money. 

 

Buckna

RMT Beta Tester
Grasshopper and the Ant at its core. Honestly reminds me of a small part of George Carlin’s bit about the 10 Commandments which was something like:

Thou shalt not covet thy neighbor’s goods. Screw that, coveting makes the economy grow!

 
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NutterButter

Footballguy
It doesn’t surprise me that much. People buy crazy houses and crazy cars. I’ve got a 7 year old Highlander and a 4 year old RX350 (F sport, not a grandpa yet) and both my wife and I make very good money. I can’t tell you how many people drive around in 70k SUVs to sporting events and most of them are younger than us so their mortgages are probably much higher as well. I can only imagine what neighbors with 1 income are doing.
Not to mention private schooling.  That stretched us really thin.  

 

NutterButter

Footballguy
This is a shot in the dark.  I'm hoping one of you tax wizards can help me out.   My ex-wife (got divorced last Mar) had a trading account.   Over the years, I've deposited money in there and used it to trade  rather than opening my own account.   Prior to the divorce, I transferred my stocks out of her account and into my own at the same brokerage.  In oct, I sold some shares (some at a loss and some at a gain) and I thought they'd almost cancel each other out so I wouldn't owe any taxes.    I get my 1099 and I see that the stock I sold at a loss has a much lower cost basis than I originally had when it was in my ex-wife's account.  It turns out there's this gift rule adjustment which made the cost basis of that stock the value of the stock at the time of the transfer.   Am I stuck with this cost basis or is there something I can do to recoup the remainder of that cost basis?   Thank you for any help you can provide.   

 

Otis

Footballguy
Stupid question maybe:

If we’re confident that the market will continue to go up over the long haul, why shouldn’t I be putting all or a large chunk of my portfolio into an ETF like UDOW, Pro Shares Ultra Pro Dow 30, which tracks the Dow but gives you 3x the movement in either direction.  I look back just 10 years on that and if I got 15 or 20 years of that return before I retire, I’d retire a pretty wealthy dude. 
 

What am I missing here?  Why doesn’t everyone do this?

 

wilked

Footballguy
Stupid question maybe:

If we’re confident that the market will continue to go up over the long haul, why shouldn’t I be putting all or a large chunk of my portfolio into an ETF like UDOW, Pro Shares Ultra Pro Dow 30, which tracks the Dow but gives you 3x the movement in either direction.  I look back just 10 years on that and if I got 15 or 20 years of that return before I retire, I’d retire a pretty wealthy dude. 
 

What am I missing here?  Why doesn’t everyone do this?
Even if the trend is up, things don’t go in one direction as you know, they go up and down. 
 

the drawdowns in a bear market can wipe out gains quickly. UDOW has the good fortune to be birthed in 2009 after the crash. Had it been born two years earlier there would be no UDOW today, I am certain of that 

2008 saw something like a 40% drop from the top of the market. Now leverage that 3X and tell me how you recover from that. Once down 3X, you don’t get back to par with a 3X gain (put another way - you’ve got $100. You just took a 50% hit, now you’ve got $50. What percent gain do you need to get back to $100?) 

Edit to add: you have to pay high fees for that fund as well, both for mgmt and for the borrowing fees associated with the leveraging 

 
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Otis

Footballguy
Even if the trend is up, things don’t go in one direction as you know, they go up and down. 
 

the drawdowns in a bear market can wipe out gains quickly. UDOW has the good fortune to be birthed in 2009 after the crash. Had it been born two years earlier there would be no UDOW today, I am certain of that 

2008 saw something like a 40% drop from the top of the market. Now leverage that 3X and tell me how you recover from that. Once down 3X, you don’t get back to par with a 3X gain (put another way - you’ve got $100. You just took a 50% hit, now you’ve got $50. What percent gain do you need to get back to $100?) 

Edit to add: you have to pay high fees for that fund as well, both for mgmt and for the borrowing fees associated with the leveraging 
Got it thanks. And yeah, I noticed it went online right after the market tanked, so it really started at a perfect market bottom and had been alive through a historic run. I imagine some really smart folks put a crapload of money into it then thinking there was nowhere to go but up, and they got way richer. 
 

I guess you’re right though, one bad market run could kill your portfolio. 

 

Buckna

RMT Beta Tester
Not to mention private schooling.  That stretched us really thin.  
I also wonder how many people in that 30% on the higher end fall into similar situations that I experienced; nice dual incomes for a while and then suddenly down to one income which could be due to any number of reasons: layoffs, career changes, babies, medical problems, whatever.

In my case we bought more house than we needed to but was still well within our budget when we were dual income; a few years later and my wife decided she hates her job and wants to change careers which significantly reduced our income. Then she had complications from shoulder surgery and couldn’t work for 9 months. That period of time stretched us very thin as well and we ended up cutting back on a lot of things I didn’t really realize we were spending on when we had more money coming in.

 

ConstruxBoy

Kate's Daddy
This is a shot in the dark.  I'm hoping one of you tax wizards can help me out.   My ex-wife (got divorced last Mar) had a trading account.   Over the years, I've deposited money in there and used it to trade  rather than opening my own account.   Prior to the divorce, I transferred my stocks out of her account and into my own at the same brokerage.  In oct, I sold some shares (some at a loss and some at a gain) and I thought they'd almost cancel each other out so I wouldn't owe any taxes.    I get my 1099 and I see that the stock I sold at a loss has a much lower cost basis than I originally had when it was in my ex-wife's account.  It turns out there's this gift rule adjustment which made the cost basis of that stock the value of the stock at the time of the transfer.   Am I stuck with this cost basis or is there something I can do to recoup the remainder of that cost basis?   Thank you for any help you can provide.   
Someone more tax knowledgeable than me should chime in. That is the gift rule adjustment.  I would have thought it didn’t apply between a married couple (at the time of transfer) but maybe it does. I guess if neither account was joint, it makes sense. I think you’re screwed. 

 

stbugs

Footballguy
Someone more tax knowledgeable than me should chime in. That is the gift rule adjustment.  I would have thought it didn’t apply between a married couple (at the time of transfer) but maybe it does. I guess if neither account was joint, it makes sense. I think you’re screwed. 
Yeah, not having it in a joint account wasn’t smart. That said, no chance I’m going to tell you what is correct.

 

stbugs

Footballguy
Not to mention private schooling.  That stretched us really thin.  
Yep. I’m in year 1 of 12 years of college. If all goes well, I should be able to find that all with salary and keep our savings in tact, which would make retirement much easier. That assumes my wife and I are still employed and also ignores any bonuses, etc. My wife stayed home with the kids for around 12 years so we didn’t get to sock away as much as we wanted in 529s. Was a great time to do so in the market but we didn’t have as much free cash. I’m legitimately amazed at where we are now 6-7 years after she went back to work but hot damn I think I’d be done now if I put the screws on the spending. Oh well, 10 more years of employment is all I care about (for me, she can be my sugar mama as long as she wants), but I can see where high income earners can be paycheck to paycheck. Kids, private school, spending spouse, keeping up with the Joneses. It’s easy to spend too much although we’ve had a great time too so I wouldn’t change much, just investing a bit more early (which I will force my boys to do).

One note, I graduated in the 90s into terrible job markets and bear markets (market crack in high school) so you didn’t hear nearly as much of the investing in stock angles until I was closing in on 30 and starting to have kids.

 
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CR69

Footballguy
Interesting article here about how many people run out of money before their next paycheck.  If you look at Figure 1 the initial bars make sense - those with income issues have trouble making ends meet.  The curve starts dropping a bit at 50k of income (and it should keep dropping to the bottom right).  But then it stops and stays constant.  It absolutely blows me away that 1/3 of folks earning 100+k run out of money before their next paycheck.  And the number is the same at 200+k.  Absolutely astonishing - there are very few circumstances where a 200k earner should be paycheck to paycheck.  A full third?  Blows me away.  

It looks like about 1/3 of folks just can't wait to spend every penny.  
It is crazy, but I see it every day. Just yesterday I got some pre-approved to buy a house. They make $200k a year and are having to get a gift for their $25k down payment...

 

Sand

Footballguy
Stupid question maybe:

If we’re confident that the market will continue to go up over the long haul, why shouldn’t I be putting all or a large chunk of my portfolio into an ETF like UDOW, Pro Shares Ultra Pro Dow 30, which tracks the Dow but gives you 3x the movement in either direction.  I look back just 10 years on that and if I got 15 or 20 years of that return before I retire, I’d retire a pretty wealthy dude. 
 

What am I missing here?  Why doesn’t everyone do this?
Hold on to that thought.  I'm working on some stuff.

If you want to read about a strategy based around this thought go look for Hedgefundie's great adventure thread over on bogleheads.  I wrote about it a bit in here and I have a portion of my portfolio in it.

 

gameday

Footballguy
It doesn’t surprise me that much. People buy crazy houses and crazy cars. I’ve got a 7 year old Highlander and a 4 year old RX350 (F sport, not a grandpa yet) and both my wife and I make very good money. I can’t tell you how many people drive around in 70k SUVs to sporting events and most of them are younger than us so their mortgages are probably much higher as well. I can only imagine what neighbors with 1 income are doing.
I just retired (61 YO) so I now have the benefit of hindsight.  I was always a high earner and my wife quit working when we had our 1st kid 21 years ago.  She is very high maintenance and tends to try and stay up with the Joneses.  I, on the other hand, do not care about appearances.

Over the years when she would whine about neighbors having nicer homes, going on more vacations, and driving brand new cars I would remind her that we didn't know their situation and, for all we knew, they were one layoff away from disaster.

We had nice cars but we tended to keep them nearly 10 years.  Instead of a $650K home we could easily have afforded one double that cost. We never put our kids in private schools and they did great in the public ones.

And now that I'm retired many from our circle of friends have confided that they don't think they'll ever have enough $$ to retire.  Pretty damn sad.

 
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matttyl

Footballguy
would like to see some info, says you can't receive messages.
I guess I need to clean out my messages, my bad.

I can't give you a hard and fast rule as all carriers are different.  Some have a set rule in place for build (built around BMI), while others might use a "point system" where you get a point for your BMI being under 30, and then another point if your BMI is under 25, and then various other points for stuff like family history, blood pressure, cholesterol, not smoking.....so many points gets you standard, a few more get you preferred, and maybe a few more get you their best class.  And not all carriers have the same number of health classifications either.

I'll use me as an example - I'm 5'11".  With one carrier, if my weight were between 227-247 I'd qualify for their standard rates - between 206-226 I'd qualify for their preferred, and 205 and under I'd qualify for their premier class.  They have a hard and fast rule - so right off the bat I know my best class.

With another carrier who uses points, you get one point if your BMI is under 30 (216 pounds for me), and another if it's under 25 (180 for me) - but you can still technically get the best rating on your policy without either of those points, assuming you get all the other points.  They also have a hard rule that the highest weight you can get at 5'11" to get standard is 272, and the highest for preferred would be 250. 

I know that's a lot of numbers, but it should give you an idea of what you'd be looking at.  Having a BMI under 28 would be best, but under 30 you should be ok. 

 

stbugs

Footballguy
I just retired (61 YO) so I now have the benefit of hindsight.  I was always a high earner and my wife quit working when we had our 1st kid 21 years ago.  She is very high maintenance and tends to try and stay up with the Joneses.  I, on the other hand, do not care about appearances.

Over the years when she would whine about neighbors having nicer homes, going on more vacations, and driving brand new cars I would remind her that we didn't know their situation and, for all we knew, they were one layoff away from disaster.

We had nice cars but we tended to keep them nearly 10 years.  Instead of a $650K home we could easily have afforded one double that cost. We never put our kids in private schools and they did great in the public ones.

And now that I'm retired many from our circle of friends have confided that they don't think they'll ever have enough $$ to retire.  Pretty damn sad.
Exactly. I’m getting close enough to retirement that I think about it a lot and I’d honestly say that 10 years ago when my wife wasn’t working, I would have been worried. I feel a #### ton better now and actually think if we both continue working for at least 10 years that we should have a really great retirement. My wife is definitely more of a keeping up with the Joneses but it’s vacations which are great and she is making bank now so I give her a lot more leeway. We still keep cars forever and don’t spend $70k for a Suburban like neighbors do and we’ve got 60% equity in a $500k+ house. For our combined salaries and the ridiculously low rates, I’m sure most people would be living in a McMansion. One of the reasons we moved to our neighborhood is because of the schools. I don’t want to pay college costs for pre-college years. Our HS is top 10 in the state, plenty good for our boys.

Anyway, it’s easy to see people who don’t reign in their spending. Some are just wealthy and it doesn’t matter, some are as you said one lay-off away from moving.

 

ConstruxBoy

Kate's Daddy
Exactly. I’m getting close enough to retirement that I think about it a lot and I’d honestly say that 10 years ago when my wife wasn’t working, I would have been worried. I feel a #### ton better now and actually think if we both continue working for at least 10 years that we should have a really great retirement. My wife is definitely more of a keeping up with the Joneses but it’s vacations which are great and she is making bank now so I give her a lot more leeway. We still keep cars forever and don’t spend $70k for a Suburban like neighbors do and we’ve got 60% equity in a $500k+ house. For our combined salaries and the ridiculously low rates, I’m sure most people would be living in a McMansion. One of the reasons we moved to our neighborhood is because of the schools. I don’t want to pay college costs for pre-college years. Our HS is top 10 in the state, plenty good for our boys.

Anyway, it’s easy to see people who don’t reign in their spending. Some are just wealthy and it doesn’t matter, some are as you said one lay-off away from moving.
I mean, it's not as good as its rival HS, but good enough...

😁

 

cosjobs

Footballguy
I recently retired and my wife will next year.

Our current assets are: 

50% real property (home and rental equity)

30% 401K

5% Precious metals

5% Roth IRA (High risk/reward stock - CYDY)

15% cash (money market)

===================

My desire is to maintain our value for the next 6-12 months (maybe longer)

I am thinking of allocating my 401K to 1/3 "5 to go fund", 1/3 Inflation protected Treasury bonds. 1/3 Long term govt bonds

I'm also thinking of moving half of my cash to more precious metals.

With my desire simply to not lose any of my money (other than the 5% Roth gamble), is there a safer mix someone would recommend?

 

ConstruxBoy

Kate's Daddy
I recently retired and my wife will next year.

Our current assets are: 

50% real property (home and rental equity)

30% 401K

5% Precious metals

5% Roth IRA (High risk/reward stock - CYDY)

15% cash (money market)

===================

My desire is to maintain our value for the next 6-12 months (maybe longer)

I am thinking of allocating my 401K to 1/3 "5 to go fund", 1/3 Inflation protected Treasury bonds. 1/3 Long term govt bonds

I'm also thinking of moving half of my cash to more precious metals.

With my desire simply to not lose any of my money (other than the 5% Roth gamble), is there a safer mix someone would recommend?
You should cash it all out and buy a bunker. 
😉

 

ConstruxBoy

Kate's Daddy
I recently retired and my wife will next year.

Our current assets are: 

50% real property (home and rental equity)

30% 401K

5% Precious metals

5% Roth IRA (High risk/reward stock - CYDY)

15% cash (money market)

===================

My desire is to maintain our value for the next 6-12 months (maybe longer)

I am thinking of allocating my 401K to 1/3 "5 to go fund", 1/3 Inflation protected Treasury bonds. 1/3 Long term govt bonds

I'm also thinking of moving half of my cash to more precious metals.

With my desire simply to not lose any of my money (other than the 5% Roth gamble), is there a safer mix someone would recommend?
Joking aside, that's incredibly conservative as it is. Safe? If the economy and securities markets collapse any day now, sure. But if you spend 12 months waiting for that to happen while the markets keep going up, those are gains you'll never get back. And this , I assume, is all your retirement assets? So even money you (hopefully) don't need for 15-20 years? I think it's over the top, but if it makes you sleep better at night, it's right for you. 

I prefer the bucket approach where you have 2 years or so in cash, 4-6 years in bonds and then the rest in solid equities. 

 
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Long Ball Larry

Footballguy
Not sure if this can really be answered, but  just kind of thinking out loud.

we have an opportunity for an illiquid investment (real estate) that would tie up 60k for 3-5 years.  Offers 9.5% dividend each year with an additional projected 47.5% return at the end.  This would leave us with roughly $15k in cash reserves, which makes me a little nervous as not enough security.

We can build up about $3-5k per month in savings for the foreseeable future and I have another property that I am going to try to sell soon to net some additional cash.  We have Roth IRAs as well, which could theoretically be tapped if any huge emergency.

Does this seem like a safe enough backstop for the return?

 

RUSF18

Footballguy
If your planned savings can be relied upon like that, seems like a great opportunity. If you don’t have one already, maybe open up a credit card with a high credit line in case you really need it instead of tapping the IRA. 

 

Long Ball Larry

Footballguy
If your planned savings can be relied upon like that, seems like a great opportunity. If you don’t have one already, maybe open up a credit card with a high credit line in case you really need it instead of tapping the IRA. 
Credit card over a home equity line of credit?  I think we probably have a good enough amount of total available credit on cards.  I think we have 4 or 5 cards probably totaling like $75k available or so. We don’t carry any balances.

 

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