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  • Avatar mapplebum 
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    Posts: 312
    Joined: 04/17/2018

    ZZZ,

    well, that’s kind of what I’m asking about.  I’ve exhausted all the tax advantaged options.  I put in $30-40K into a taxable account nearly every month.

    I’ve looked into Whole Life/UL/VUL and came away unimpressed.

    Does it make sense to divert some of those funds into 529 for exactly the reasons you’re talking about (especially since the penalties for unqualified withdrawals are not very severe)?

    Click to expand…

    If you’re putting that much into a taxable each month I sincerely don’t understand why you wouldn’t pay for your daughter’s graduate school. I mean, is graduate school excessive? Are you open to her finishing college and say, cutting hair for a living? Managing the local grocery store? Not to say you should pony up for more private school if a public one is just as good. If I were you I would play hardball. Tell her she needs to go after funding: full ride + stipend. If she gets it, fantastic, that will give her a leg up applying for jobs. Any kind of experience will. Which leads me to my next suggestion. Does she have a job? Internship? There’s nothing more pathetic than an empty section under “work experience.” If she’s not doing any of those things but is publishing and heavily involved in research, she should get a pass. Otherwise, she needs at least some kind of job. Insisting she gain real experience in her field as a student will help her in the future, even if she responds badly to that now. If she goes after funding and falls short I would average out the cost of a public, in state program and offer that.

    This is never suggested on this forum but here I go. Even without knowing specifics, adult children have a sense of their parent’s financial health. If you’re refusing to pay for her education on the principle that she needs to have “skin in the game” don’t be surprised if it engenders resentment. If paying for another degree is a hardship for you, she should understand and hopefully tell you she doesn’t want your help. Everyone knows the current cost of education is astronomical compared to what previous generations paid. This is not the fault of Millennials or Generation Z. And yet for many students the choice is borrow for an education or bag groceries for the rest of their life. If it’s not a financial hardship, if your children are responsible, and not dealing with chronic issues like gambling or an opioid addiction, I just simply don’t understand why you would willingly place the burden on them.

    Lastly, this suggestion does not seem to have gained traction but I do want to respond to it. The only thing worse than a wealthy parent insisting their child take out education loans is when the wealthy parent becomes the bank. Trust me, don’t go there. If it’s cultural, that’s a different story, but if it’s not, from personal experience I would say it’s impossible to avoid resentment / damaged relationships on one side or the other if not both.

    in reply to: Is overfunding a 529 plan enabling? #238898 Reply
    Avatar mapplebum 
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    Joined: 04/17/2018

    So long as they have kombucha on tap.

    in reply to: What's with this CBD oil fad? #238096 Reply
    Avatar mapplebum 
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    I refuse to buy CBD products but cannabis based muscle soreness salve definitely works.

    in reply to: What's with this CBD oil fad? #238084 Reply
    Avatar mapplebum 
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    Not everyone is as rich and independent as you, FLP. 😉  Pay it off, OP! I agree you won’t regret it.

    in reply to: I feel like paying off my small undergrad loan #237883 Reply
    Avatar mapplebum 
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    Any of you think that you might regret saving too much money now and not being able to do some of those activities when you’re older? An example is a supercar that was brought up in one of the threads or traveling to remote locations. You can enjoy a Ferrari or travel to Antartica now in your 30s and 40s and you probably won’t be able to do that in the 70s.

    Click to expand…

    I disagree that you can’t enjoy those things in your 70’s. Unless you’re trying to pick up chicks but even then I’d feel a little more proud of myself for doing so at 70 than 30. But I digress.

    It’s hard to find a good balance on the spectrum of living below your means. My emotional money barometer is biased. It doesn’t seem excessive that we are paying 5x as much towards loans than when husband was in training but it hurts my soul to see our CC bill consistently double what it used to be. One of the main contributors is the luxury people on this forum deem an adequate excess: travel. Nothing huge, in fact no overseas travel at all this year. But even with some reimbursements it adds up. 3-5 night trips in March, May, June, July, August, 2x October, and November. Two of those trips include partial reimbursements. The “we’re good for it” mentality has sunk in. A marginal upgrade in hotels is absolutely worth it. As is National Emerald Club for just a few dollars more. I don’t know that anything has changed with our food, wine + whiskey habits. We have long since been living the good life in that regard. And then there’s house guests. Before moving this spring we averaged -1 guest per year, but now that we’re in a bigger space we have had FIVE rounds of visitors since May. In no way am I the host who insists on paying for everything but if someone is flying across the country to see us I’ll pick up the tab on at least the most expensive meal. We do like good food and drink. The final evening with our last round of guests we probably drank through close to $500 worth of wine. Welcome to Hôtel de MB, my friends. Lap of luxury.

    As we enter this year of uncertainty there is a part of me that sort of wishes we’d stayed home and used that money to buy me a car. Not to say it won’t happen but after retirement and paying loans, whatever is leftover is now going to the WTFIGTH* fund. I love to travel. Not complaining whatsoever, but once it’s over all you can hope to keep are memories and a new collection of photos on social media. If I bought a new car I would enjoy that sucker nearly ever day. But husband and I are similar in this regard: many small excesses are more palatable than one big one. We’ll see how it plays out. For now I’m fattening our rainy day fund because, well, a storm is coming ?

    Excuse me while I prepare to be crucified for traveling so much.

     

     

    *Key: WTFIGTH = What tf is going to happen

    in reply to: Enjoying your money while you're young #237086 Reply
    Avatar mapplebum 
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    I couldn’t find it but for awhile the husband was obsessed with a cell phone that could only make calls and actually had a notepad and pencil attached to the back. He never bought it. I can’t remember the name of it but did find this The Light Phone

    in reply to: Flip phone #235838 Reply
    Liked by RocDoc
    Avatar mapplebum 
    Participant
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    Joined: 04/17/2018

    I grew up as the oldest of 6 kids in a working class home. (Dad began to move up in the world when I was in high school.) Mom managed the money with a tight fist.

    My wife and I spend plenty compared to the median US household, but very little relative to my income.

    Click to expand…

    i also interpreted the question as spending less relative to income.  you can change cars every two years and still mentally spend less by buying used and selling before tire change.  you can still clip coupons even when your net worth is 7 million.  you can still buy generic versions or wait for sales or try to maximize value rather than purely enjoyment, ie  this one is perfect but twice the price of that other one that i will enjoy 80% as much.   i was teasing the neurosurgeon who makes well into 7 figures because i ran into him at the grocery store and he had 12 boxes of cereal (every single one in the store) because they were on sale for $1 off.  i asked him what the poor people were going to eat.  he just laughed.

     

    Click to expand…

    As people may have noticed, I run on the frugal side, however a neurosurgeon who has a 7 figure salary who is buying 12 boxes of cereal to save 12 bucks doesn’t have a good grasp of math. I remember I saw an interview with Lebron, I guess he has a reputation of pretty cheap amongst his teammates, and he refuses to pay for the premium version of pandora or spotify. That also shows a very poor grasp of math.

    Click to expand…

    Not the point but I don’t understand paying for a music subscription, especially Pandora. Pandora is seriously the worst. Husband and I do not and will never agree on this but if you have Prime, Amazon Music is more than sufficient. Whole albums! No extra cost! I’m sure everyone will ask my recommendation so here it is. I’ve been listening to complete albums of Kishi Bashi, Son Lux, Laura Mvula (<– all classically trained artists), Ibeyi, Sohn, Anohni, Daughter, London Grammar…all free with an existing Prime membership! Plus there’s playlists AND stations so if you insist on not being able to listen to complete albums / choose who you’re listening to (ahem, Pandora) you can use those features. Big fan.

    Click to expand…

    Yep, I love Spotify. As cheap as I am I could not go back to the free version, Spotify premium is great.

    Click to expand…

    I found out today included in a Spotify subscription is Hulu (with ads). Husband has Spotify (against my better judgment) so that means we’ve been paying for a double Hulu subscription. ::face palm::

    Avatar mapplebum 
    Participant
    Status: Spouse
    Posts: 312
    Joined: 04/17/2018

    I grew up as the oldest of 6 kids in a working class home. (Dad began to move up in the world when I was in high school.) Mom managed the money with a tight fist.

    My wife and I spend plenty compared to the median US household, but very little relative to my income.

    Click to expand…

    i also interpreted the question as spending less relative to income.  you can change cars every two years and still mentally spend less by buying used and selling before tire change.  you can still clip coupons even when your net worth is 7 million.  you can still buy generic versions or wait for sales or try to maximize value rather than purely enjoyment, ie  this one is perfect but twice the price of that other one that i will enjoy 80% as much.   i was teasing the neurosurgeon who makes well into 7 figures because i ran into him at the grocery store and he had 12 boxes of cereal (every single one in the store) because they were on sale for $1 off.  i asked him what the poor people were going to eat.  he just laughed.

     

    Click to expand…

    As people may have noticed, I run on the frugal side, however a neurosurgeon who has a 7 figure salary who is buying 12 boxes of cereal to save 12 bucks doesn’t have a good grasp of math. I remember I saw an interview with Lebron, I guess he has a reputation of pretty cheap amongst his teammates, and he refuses to pay for the premium version of pandora or spotify. That also shows a very poor grasp of math.

    Click to expand…

    Not the point but I don’t understand paying for a music subscription, especially Pandora. Pandora is seriously the worst. Husband and I do not and will never agree on this but if you have Prime, Amazon Music is more than sufficient. Whole albums! No extra cost! I’m sure everyone will ask my recommendation so here it is. I’ve been listening to complete albums of Kishi Bashi, Son Lux, Laura Mvula (<– all classically trained artists), Ibeyi, Sohn, Anohni, Daughter, London Grammar…all free with an existing Prime membership! Plus there’s playlists AND stations so if you insist on not being able to listen to complete albums / choose who you’re listening to (ahem, Pandora) you can use those features. Big fan.

    Avatar mapplebum 
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    Joined: 04/17/2018

    I’m all for taking care of your waiter, but I find the “young and need the money” argument to be thin. Lots of people other than waiters are young and need the money. My niece is young and needs the money. The homeless guy is young and needs the money. The tech working extra night shifts is young and needs the money.

    It has to be about paying for a service (which I’m happy to do), otherwise you should just buy into socialism and start handing out your cash to everyone.

    Click to expand…

    I’d say a lot of people “just buy into socialism” but that’s not the point. The point is most waiters make…$2.25 / hr? I briefly worked at a bourbon / small plates restaurant years ago. On Saturdays waiters pulled $200-300 in tips. On Mondays, when I worked, about $30. Everyone should know they make below minimum wage. In order to compensate a 20% tip is customary. If you’re willing to pay 200-300% mark up (at least on alcohol, probably similar with food) and the scrimp on what? $5-15? probably shouldn’t be eating out.

     

    in reply to: How much to tip? #231153 Reply
    Avatar mapplebum 
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    Joined: 04/17/2018

    Save your sense of injustice for something that matters.

    in reply to: How much to tip? #230436 Reply
    Avatar mapplebum 
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    Joined: 04/17/2018

    I never have them clean my room mid-stay. I’m not fancy but I always travel with jewelry. Peace of mind, those safes are useless. I’m not going to tip for a room they haven’t serviced during my stay but maybe I’m just stingy.

    Not sure what I would have done in the OP’s situation, probably 15%. As far as regular dining, once in a blue moon I tip under 20% for bad service. Great service, more. I’m at the point now where my favorite bartenders rarely charge me full price (I usually prefer to eat at the bar) so whatever they leave off the bill I add to their tip.

    It has always irked me when you go out with people who undertip. I waited tables, that cash matters.

    in reply to: How much to tip? #230424 Reply
    Liked by octopus85
    Avatar mapplebum 
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    For some reason I was under the impression FLP lived in Northern-er CA.

     

    We’ll be there in October. He’s ramped up conference attendance and I’ve discovered it’s my favorite way to travel. Not only is it half the cost, I get to do whatever I want during the day!

    We’ve done the HWY 1 drive north from SF several times, and north from LA (is that HWY 1? Can’t remember) but have never driven south from SF. I think we’ll take a couple extra days and do that. Any recommendations? Also, looks like I need to look into a couple restaurants 😉

    in reply to: Bay Area meet up thread #230415 Reply
    Avatar mapplebum 
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    Joined: 04/17/2018

    This is the constant challenge of 1st world issues and winning the game.   Our kids are 2nd generation Americans and in such a short gap of nothing-but-the-shirt-on-your-back grandparents to their literally not-a-single-day-of-hardship it crazy, but true challenges in understanding what hardships can do to one’s drive and appreciation.

    We can make them volunteer at shelters, work with underprivileged children, donate unwanted things, and forego “nice” things; but my children have never experienced an empty stomach beyond a day’s fast nor will they have tattered shoes or inadequate clothing for the weather.  Their hard choices are whether to go to Disneyland upon return from China trip or hit the beach instead.

    We struggle mightily in striking that balance with them and trying to not have them become ‘trust fund kids’; knowing that it will be that if I work into my late 50s in any significant capacity and even below ave market returns. So as q-school said — if we don’t DAF a significant chunk….they WILL be trust fund kids.   My ever hope is that know to keep it real and remember that wealth is salient that can be lost, but your education and drive for improvement can’t.

    Click to expand…

    This topic always confuses me. How old were you when you had kids???? I’m broaching mid 30’s and husband is 36, both sets of parents are in their 60’s. Sure,  his parents helped him more than mine but he’s been independent for the better half of a decade. We have every hope and expectation all 4 parents will live at least another 20 years….so is he a trust fund kid even if he’s in his 50’s when the windfall occurs?

     

    Click to expand…

    I think some of it depends on how much the estate is worth.  At this point, if somehow someone dropped 5 million net taxes on me, i’m not sure i would know how to handle it.  It would definitely affect my approach to life.  My kids will inherit something.  i think we have to begin to have talks with them on how they plan to use it, even if the money is doled out slowly over time (trusts have higher tax rates, so generally for middle age adults there is some incentive to get the money out).  It may or may not affect their career choice and vacation plans and they won’t have to save for kids education.  They will have a different life.    There’s a balance between not counting a chicken before its hatched and reasonable education and planning.

    It’s one thing if your husband is a surgeon and making 1% money anyways.  It’s another thing if brother in law is a social worker doing god’s work but barely scraping by and they just want to use the money to buy a house in a good school district?  Are you going to divide the inheritance equally.  They have their own lives to live, but yes, i would prefer they don’t squander the money i’m working hard to accumulate.   And on the extreme, if it’s all going to charity, i might as well be the one to donate it.

    there are no easy answers.

    jmo

     

     

    Click to expand…

    What I think of as a “Trust Fund Baby” are people who never have to work a day in their life because they come from such considerable wealth. I’ve only known a couple of those, not family of physicians but wealth from private industry. I can think of one friend who knows he has a few million coming to him once his parents pass but like I said, everyone has every hope / expectation that will be in a few decades. In the meantime he has to support his family. For the rest of the multi-generational physician families I know (husband’s included) if anything is to be inherited it will be a surprise. I don’t see it impacting anyone’s decisions. Aside from those with a massive trust it seems the hardest decision for wealthy families to make is when to stop supporting the child, not if.

    in reply to: CYAI: Disney Cruise for the family! #229756 Reply
    Avatar mapplebum 
    Participant
    Status: Spouse
    Posts: 312
    Joined: 04/17/2018

    This is the constant challenge of 1st world issues and winning the game.   Our kids are 2nd generation Americans and in such a short gap of nothing-but-the-shirt-on-your-back grandparents to their literally not-a-single-day-of-hardship it crazy, but true challenges in understanding what hardships can do to one’s drive and appreciation.

    We can make them volunteer at shelters, work with underprivileged children, donate unwanted things, and forego “nice” things; but my children have never experienced an empty stomach beyond a day’s fast nor will they have tattered shoes or inadequate clothing for the weather.  Their hard choices are whether to go to Disneyland upon return from China trip or hit the beach instead.

    We struggle mightily in striking that balance with them and trying to not have them become ‘trust fund kids’; knowing that it will be that if I work into my late 50s in any significant capacity and even below ave market returns. So as q-school said — if we don’t DAF a significant chunk….they WILL be trust fund kids.   My ever hope is that know to keep it real and remember that wealth is salient that can be lost, but your education and drive for improvement can’t.

    Click to expand…

    This topic always confuses me. How old were you when you had kids???? I’m broaching mid 30’s and husband is 36, both sets of parents are in their 60’s. Sure,  his parents helped him more than mine but he’s been independent for the better half of a decade. We have every hope and expectation all 4 parents will live at least another 20 years….so is he a trust fund kid even if he’s in his 50’s when the windfall occurs?

     

    in reply to: CYAI: Disney Cruise for the family! #229694 Reply
    Liked by Lordosis, Anne
    Avatar mapplebum 
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    Joined: 04/17/2018

    As this thread has evolved I’ve had a thought and am not sure if it’s a good one. Thankfully, one of the strong suits of this forum is to…nit.. I mean correct so I have no doubt I’ll be informed with the quickness if this is not a good suggestion.

    What about working backwards? Choose an age you want to retire, do a retirement calculator, divide that by the number of years you expect to work and then subtract it from the average salary of your future specialty. Then start playing around with different loan repayment scenarios — 5 years? 10? 20? 30? At that point really ask yourself when you want to be free of your debt. Do you want to have more kids? Fund 529’s? etc etc. subtract all that, see whats left, and then compare it to your average monthly spending since you finished residency. By doing this you prioritize goals over lifestyle. See what you’re left with on the most aggressive loan repayment schedule and compare that to how you are living now. Not to say you should do it, but put it into perspective. From there you’ll have a clearer sense of where your money is going and what you’ll need to do in order to retire at your desired age. Since so many people have encouraged moving / skipping the fellowship / changing jobs for the sake of this exercise also run the numbers on all those different variations.

    As a spouse this isn’t the most welcoming forum. More so now that I just won’t stop participating. 😉 I’ve stayed because logging in, reading, and responding keeps me engaged. It helps keep a critical perspective on the decisions we’re making (and by we it’s really me. My spouse has no interest in finance). It gives perspective on what a person who is actually making wise choices looks like (read: all our friends spend too much). So, keep logging in, come up with a plan, convince them you have one (and that it’s good enough), and then continue to read and seek guidance.

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