Welcome to the new (and now only) Fora!
Started by Puget, January 26, 2024, 04:02:24 PM
Quote from: Hibush on January 26, 2024, 04:36:58 PMCongratulations on your new condition!After spending that kind of money on windows (post tenure) I found it it made a huge difference in how pleasant the house is. No condensation, no mold, less draft, easy to open and close, good view. Well worth considering. As far as building equity or retirement, just do a little more of what you are doing. I have for many years had an S&P index fund as well as other investments to see whether my great research skills and insight could do better. The answer is a clear NO. I no longer worry whether I should get fancier.And have fun! Buy the fancy bread.
Quote from: arcturus on January 27, 2024, 08:36:10 AMA three fund portfolio (total US stock, total international stock, and bonds) is sufficient. The argument then becomes what percentage of your portfolio should be in each of these investments!
Quote from: Puget on January 28, 2024, 07:11:47 AMThanks everyone! - much to sort through here. To address a few questions- I hear everyone on maintaining an emergency fund and fully intend to do that-- the question is how much-- Between my checking and savings accounts I currently have a year's worth of expenses -- that seems excessively cautious at this point, yes? To clean's question about interest rate-- I'm lucky to have a 3.5% fixed rate mortgage, so it doesn't seem like paying that down more quickly would be a good strategy. I am thinking that it probably makes sense to pay off the remaining 15k on my solar loan at 6.29% (which I would otherwise pay down over the next 3 years).It's not a huge amount, but the saved interest would be enough for a trip or two. I definitely have always had a budget, including budgeting a certain amount for travel and home improvements each year.
Quote from: lightning on January 28, 2024, 08:43:56 AMYou should keep using a budget. The biggest mistake I made was that I didn't feel the need to be as financially disciplined, so I ended up making frivolous purchases, without really thinking about it. I spent many of my younger years sticking with a budget because I had to stick with a budget. After tenure/promotion and professional advancement, I no longer needed to stick to a budget to remain viable and solvent, but I didn't have the financial discipline to deal with excess liquid. So, I took steps to use excess liquid. I paid down all debts, I bought nothing with credit, and I maxed out retirement contributions. (Any credit card purchases were paid off 100% each month.) It's working, but I still end up with probably too much liquid, which really needs to be purposefully directed in a budget. I don't like to keep too much cash-on-hand in an "emergency fund," because I'm simply not going to be unemployed, ever. I'd rather put that $ to use right away in some kind of passive earning capacity, than it sitting around earning nothing, while waiting for an emergency. One thing that I have yet to figure out are the true costs of retirement at the time towards end-of-life, where it is necessary to pay for a lot of medical care and a lot of assisted living. I'm seeing some of my older boomer relatives & friends going through that right now, and I'm finding that even though they benefited from coming of age and maturing during the strongest economy & job market in USA history (relative to any other generation that came before them or after), way too many of them simply didn't set aside enough $ and are now struggling financially.
Quote from: clean on January 28, 2024, 02:24:29 PMA year of expenses is too much, just as having any excessive insurance would be.Are you sure that you have everything covered (before you reallocate the 'emergency fund')? IF you have 6 or even 9 months expenses that should be sufficient, assuming that your employer is in good financial shape. (Remember 'a job for life is the shorter of Your life or your employer's! They go under, or declare a financial emergency and tenure is irrelevant!). Do you expect to need a new car in the next 5 years? Pay cash, and rename some of that emergency fund the Replacement Car fund. (What kind of car are you looking for? What does a used one cost - as there are ample reasons NOT to buy a new one! Allocate a chunk of the excess to the car.For your current car, will it need tires in the next 2 years? Do you have the money saved? Do you have an IRA (hopefully Roth)? Is it fully funded for last year (you can contribute until you do your taxes for last year) and is is fully funded for 2024, you can contribute for that now too!). Make a list of all the things you will need to buy in the next 2 years, and see if you have it covered.Once all of the needs are covered, and IF there is money left, then paying down the debts would be priority. (Some would argue that the debts would be paid off FIRST, and THEN build the emergency fund and prefund the needs). Another thought is Summer School. You should Never Depend on summer money for your annual needs! Summer can always be cut, and you dont want to be short of money. I get paid once a month for 9 months, so I take 25% of each check and deposit it in savings, so that at the start of Summer, I have all the money to get me through til checks resume in Fall. IF I work summer, then that money gets allocated to the items on the spending/savings plan. But IF I dont work a summer, for whatever reason, Im covered. (Not covered that I can NOT work AND go on a 3 month vacation!!, but Ive annualized my pay).