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An old neighbor just had their 4th child and the first through this program and they were very pleased with it. It's intriguing, though I'd be concerned about the financial stability of the underlying organization. The same risks apply for standard health insurance, but it seems like they're more quantifiable.
8 months, 2 weeks ago on My MediShare Review: Goodbye Obamacare
I like to use Numbeo (http://www.numbeo.com) to get an idea of how much food and lodging will cost in different places, particularly if you're planning on doing longer-term travel.
1 year ago on Not a Travel Hacker? Vacation Where and When Your Dollar Goes the Furthest
I love how you show (or at least have started to show) that people don't have to earn Bill Gates money to get to their goals. Plus, even though you didn't really say it in this article, the road to financial independence isn't easy; chances are pretty good that if you want to get there ahead of the average person, you're going to have to do something special and extra. This series is a great idea!
1 year, 1 month ago on How I Became A Millionaire Yearly Update 2002
Before you make a decision like that, you need data. Not just a few days worth, but probably several months. You need know how much you drive the second vehicle when the first vehicle is unavailable, how far you drive, how much it costs, etc. Once you have that information, you can make a reasonably informed decision about whether or not the occasional Zipcar/Uber/ride on the back of a kid's bike option is the more economical. Most of us are willing to pay more to have the convenience, but if it truly is a convenience, then its utility can be measured and we can figure out how much we're paying for that convenience.
1 year, 4 months ago on Dump the Car Payment and Rent Instead
@fastsquatch Hey, Fastquatch (love the name!) - you're right in bringing up the SEPP/72(t) possibility. Had PT asked about funding early retirement, I would have included it (as seen here: http://www.hullfinancialplanning.com/how-do-you-bridge-the-gap-between-early-retirement-and-age-59-12/). As it was, he asked about 59 1/2, rendering SEPP moot, since you have no periodic payment requirements until RMDs at 70 1/2.
You do raise a good point about confidence levels in a simulation (which is subject to its own input errors). A 90% chance of success doesn't mean that you're doomed to eat cat food 10% of the time. It simply means that you would need to make adjustments along the way and reduce your expenditures so that you don't run out of cash before you run out of heartbeats. I think this is one area where the financial planning community falls way short in communication, as presenting probabilities of plan success sometimes implies, unintentionally, this dramatic cliff when the plan doesn't work. See http://www.hullfinancialplanning.com/how-bad-is-bad-the-magnitude-of-failure-in-retirement-planning-scenarios/ for more.
1 year, 6 months ago on Can You Stop Investing When You Hit Your Retirement Number?
@Jeff Good catch! They started out at age 40 with $65k in combined annual income.
Two times: 1. When you're looking to retire significantly early and need a bridge to age 55. 2. When you don't qualify for a Roth and are investing in an asset that is solely for capital gains and your post-retirement income will be in a higher marginal tax bracket than long-term capital gains taxes.
1 year, 7 months ago on Investing Should Be Simple: Tax-Advantaged Accounts and Retirement
@LendAcademy I guess a "SAS wielding PhD physicist" could lend (so to speak) some authority as to how "ludicrous" my claims are: http://www.hullfinancialplanning.com/should-i-invest-in-lendingclub-or-prosper/#comment-3058
1 year, 9 months ago on Peer To Peer Lending Review – Dangers Revealed
Ours is about $420 per year for $2 million in coverage, DINKs, but we own a pit bull mix. We purchased ours through USAA's affiliate. I'm sure someone like Ed Wise, http://www.wiseinsurancegroup.com, could probably do even better for us.
1 year, 10 months ago on The Real Reason You Need Umbrella Insurance
Thanks for sharing my article, Philip! The Menendez brothers plan for getting wealthy just doesn't work
1 year, 11 months ago on Quick Money Tips: Jobs in a Tough Economy
A developer who can design is indeed a golden unicorn. We looked for several years for one and never found that magical, mythical creature. If you can find one, shackle him or her in a basement and feed copious amounts of pizza and Mountain Dew!
1 year, 12 months ago on PTM 029 – How to Launch a Tech Startup Part-Time with Kristen Carney of Cubit
Scale was the exact problem that we faced in the software development company I co-founded. We were a services company (and still are, predominantly), so you can only grow as big as you can a) find projects to do, and b) find people to do said projects for you. It's a better problem than being the one-man shop doing everything for everyone because then your scalability is limited by the number of effective, productive hours you can work. At least when you grow bigger than yourself, the scale is multiplied by the number of people who are working with you. However, at some point, unless you want to become Booz or McKinsey, you hit a horizontal limit - your ability to manage the human scale. That's why we continue to try to develop a software product and have engaged customers like Zappos to be beta clients. Once you create the software, it theoretically scales infinitely and requires much less manpower to maintain and add upon. See: Microsoft. The services part of the company can fund the R&D for the product part of the company (a tenet which applies to nearly any business), but the product will create MUCH higher EBITDA multiples in an acquisition than being a pure services company.
2 years ago on How to Find Business Ideas that Work – Focus on Scale
@seitz_marcus The good thing is that the carryforwards don't expire until you do.
2 years ago on Depreciation Recapture and Your Rental Property: The IRS Giveth and Taketh Away
@The Military Guide Thanks, Nords! Yeah, the other benefit of that exit strategy is that the beneficiaries get a step up in basis, and depreciation recapture does not carry through to the next generation.
@Philip Taylor On the Virginia property, our vacancy is 14%. We refused to let pets and opened it up in the late fall, when few people were looking to rent - or, at least, few people without pets. In our Texas properties, the rate is a touch below 8%. We have a great property manager who keeps them filled, and a great working relationship with her where she birddogs properties for us and has renters lined up as soon as we can close on the property and get it into move-in condition.
2 years, 1 month ago on The Cash Flow Analysis for Our Rental Property at Year End 2013
Personally, I aim to have a little more cash flow in my properties, as the insurance will drag you down a little further and you'll probably continue to have some maintenance costs. Still, if you can be pretty close to CF breakeven pre-tax, then you'll wind up in the good when it's all said and done, since you're not having to bump into the standard deduction for mortgage interest given that it's a rental. It's a heck of a lot better than selling for a loss. If you can hold onto it (and keep it rented out) long enough, then you'll either a) pay off the mortgage and have nice positive CF, or get back to at least breakeven on the capital gain of the sale.
A potential topic to cover, if you haven't already, would be the depreciation recapture rules on the sale of a rental property. A lot of people aren't aware of it and certainly don't understand it.
@Chris Christensen Indescribable yumminess. http://www.food.com/recipe/malva-pudding-south-african-baked-dessert-118545
2 years, 1 month ago on Eating South Africa
Three of my favorite South African foods that didn't make it into the list:
* Malva pudding
Yum! Also, don't forget to wash it down with a great South African wine. My favorite is the Graham Beck winery, and I'm particularly fond of the cap classique!
@smartstep - You are a masterful cat wrangler! Thanks for putting this together!
2 years, 2 months ago on Editorial Calendars: Takeaways from the Latest DFW FinCon Local Meetup
@Nathaniel Copeland The interesting thing is that we're also terrible at estimating how much we'll actually change in the future. We vastly underestimate the change that will happen to ourselves. Daniel Gilbert of Harvard and Timothy Wilson of the University of Virginia just published a study regarding the subject of our current estimates of our future selves: http://news.sciencemag.org/sciencenow/2013/01/your-elusive-future-self.html
2 years, 2 months ago on How to Make Personal Finance Stick – The Shower and the Shovel
Proverbs 22:7 - "Just as the rich rule the poor, so the borrower is servant to the lender."
2 years, 8 months ago on Share Your Favorite Verse