Comments for jlcollinsnh Money - Life - Business Sat, 25 Jul 2015 02:50:02 +0000 hourly 1 Comment on Gone for Summer, an important note on comments and random cool stuff that caught my eye by The Bob's Sat, 25 Jul 2015 02:50:02 +0000 Have a great time this summer with all your adventures. See you in Ecuador this Oct. over that cup of coffee. 😉 Enjoyed the blog post. Take care Jim and Fam.

Comment on Stocks — Part VI: Portfolio ideas to build and keep your wealth by Howard Fri, 24 Jul 2015 13:39:35 +0000 If you don’t mind me being even later, I found this article convincing as to why a “cash reserve” doesn’t really work:

It relies on market timing. “stocks are on sale” always struck me as a little too close to market timing for comfort, even though hardcore index investors use it all the time. They might be on sale, but they could also be more one sale in 6 months..

Unsurprisingly the most boring method still seems to work best; pick and AA (80/20 stocks/bonds?), and rebalance annually, without regards to sale/no-sale.

Comment on How to Give like a Billionaire by Howard Fri, 24 Jul 2015 13:02:56 +0000 Thanks for this information.

I’m a little confused by the vanguard charitable site. Do you have to donate to a 503(c) organization? I assume so as it is tax deductible?

I’ve had the thought of giving to some friend’s kid’s college expenses in the future, if/when I have the money. But this would obviously not be tax deductible. Would it be easiest just to do this out of cash, or could I set up some grant with $50k and give 4%/year? Would be cool to have my own: “Mr H’s educational grant for the advancement of science”! :)

Comment on How I failed my daughter and a simple path to wealth by Sergey Thu, 23 Jul 2015 14:35:15 +0000 Jim, first of all – thank you for your incredible blog.

Of course, I won’t be the first to exclaim “If only I could apply this attitude to my finances 10 years ago!”

Anyway, I am 28 now and ready to start.

I’d be extremely grateful if you could briefly comment on my situation.

I come from a small country in Eastern Europe (Latvia), and therefore cannot become a client of Vanguard or any other major investment company operating reasonable index funds.

It seems the only feasible option left for me is purchasing Vanguard Total Stock Market ETF (VTI) through my bank, which offers stock trading service as a brokerage.

Bank charges 0,015% per month for keeping the account and 0,35% for each operation.

For my long-term investing (30 years) I plan to invest $6000 in VTI now, and add $500-$1000 each month.

May I ask if this seems reasonable? Thank you very much in advance.

Comment on Case Study #13: The Power of Flexibility by Chris Thu, 23 Jul 2015 13:17:51 +0000 I don’t get people waiting on the SS money, especially when it’s going to provide him with positive cash flow for the month!

Maybe it’s just me, but I’m more of a “give me the money now and I’ll decide how to use it.” I’m sure this will change with age (only 29 now).

I had a pension from my first job out of school and rolled it over to an IRA (lump sum) when I transitioned to a new company. I don’t want it to be dependent on the original company. Now it’s all in VTSAX and will be through retirement (aiming at age 40).

On top of all of the above, what about inflation and his SS payments?

$1,700 in 5 years is only $ 1,463.48 in today’s dollars (assuming 3% inflation). That makes it even more of an easy decision. Take SS as soon as possible and invest the difference. No change in lifestyle and an increase in NW!

Comment on Ask jlcollinsnh by jlcollinsnh Thu, 16 Jul 2015 18:36:40 +0000 Thank you for your comment.

However, as I say directly above here:

and at the beginning of my last post here:

I am unable to respond to questions until September.

Please feel free to post yours again at that time and I’ll do my best to help.

In the meantime, may I suggest you read thru the Stock Series and related posts?
Odds are the answer I’d give is already there. :)


Comment on Ask jlcollinsnh by Analee Thu, 16 Jul 2015 17:34:34 +0000 Hi Jim,

I have been reading through your blog recently, currently working through your stock series and other case studies. (So much to read) I found you while reading through Mr. MM’s blog and forum.

So, I recently posted a case study on Mr.MM forum, ( and the nice people over there helped me realize that we could start a family and still save a few hundred a month on just my husband’s salary. However, they have only so far helped with budgeting. I don’t plan to stop working until I actually have the kid, which leaves us in a little different position. I asked on the forum too, but would love to have your wise and informed opinions as well.

We have a lot of savings (37k) – we would like to keep about 10k for a big solar room/ green house/ aquaponics project, but we would be more than willing to put into something if it would work better for us. (We won’t need to spend it all at once since we are going to building it ourselves. When we have time.)

We don’t know what to do with it all/ how to make it work the best for us. We could pay off the car loan (21k @ 3.25%) but would it be better used towards paying down one of the mortgages, or invested somewhere else? If we do pay off the car, we would have 17k sitting in our savings.

With me working, we have a monthly income of 5175 minus the mortgages and expenses (4342) we have a savings of about 833.90 per month (~16%). (~22% without the car payment in there)

If I were to stop working it would cut gas, restaurants, groceries, pet food, phones costs, and even insurance (we could sell extra vehicles then). That in addition to paying off the car loan would allow me to stop working, and still save a little bit per month. (Couple hundred, not very much)

Since I won’t stop working until after I have had kids what can we do prior to that point so that we would have extra money for home renovations and be set up for early retirement, if possible, for my husband. (If I could find a decent telecommuting job, I could work from home and still contribute some income too)

We would like to invest more into retirement and pay down the principal on the house we live in, we would like to invest our savings(so that it is working for us) but we would also like to be able to access some of it for renovations or emergencies.

I would also like to point out that I am not wise in the ways of investing and it is slightly overwhelming, to say the least. We have the accounts we have because it was “common” knowledge that it was good to have, but we do not understand the nuances. I am trying to remedy that, though it looks like I have a lot to go through still. Any help/ advice/ direction is greatly appreciated.


Here is our details.

My husband’s take home pay is about 1444 every 2 weeks or about 37.5k per year

My take home pay is about 606.32 every 2 weeks, which is about 15.8k / year

We have a monthly income of 4100.64 with rental income for a total of 5175.64

Savings- ~37k

Other assets-(no loans or money owed on any of these)

2004 Chevy Silverado- paid for and in good shape- permanent registration this year- value ~5k

2004 Saturn Vue- gift- excellent shape- permanent registration this year. Value ~2k

Honda rebel motorcycle- ~$1000- permanent registration. Used for commuting during good weather.

5 dairy goats (1 in milk, and currently supply’s all our milk needs), 28 heavy breed ducks( 10 of which are of laying age) we get 4-10 eggs a day and can sell a dozen for $6(I only have 1 customer so far, sell about 1 dozen every week or so), surplus ducks will be meat. 1 breeding pair of geese (guard birds, lawn mowers, surplus will be meat). 3 dogs (large rodent exterminators, guard dogs). 1 barn cat (small rodent exterminator).

Retirement/ Investing-

Vanguard- Roth IRA (mine) – VEMAX @ 23.7k. Inactive- nothing added (Should we change this over to the VTSAX or some other fund? Can we?)

TSP- G fund @ 13.1k- inactive- nothing added (Should something be done with the TSP? Nothing is added to it and it just sits there. Should it be rolled into a Vanguard account, something that we could pull from for early retirement?)

Vanguard- Roth IRA (husbands) – VTIVX @ 49.2k- 100 added per month

Husband’s 401K(work) – He thinks ~45K is in there.


We have 2 mortgages

WA house mortgage- I bought the house brand new in 2006, 30 conventional Fixed with PMI @6.5% for $235k. The payment was ~1600, but split 3 ways since I had roommates. We refinance before moving to MT to get the payment down.

So it is currently a 30 convention fixed W/ PMI @ 4.5% Original loan was 198.4k currently it is 188.5k (We tried to sell it last year, but it turned out that we would have had to pay someone 20k just to get rid of it, if anyone had even wanted it. We did not get any offers and hardly any one looked at it) PMI payment is 85. Total 1340 Principal and interest is 1005. Escrow is 334. Property tax is ~2k

Rental income- Rent is set for ~1200, property management takes 10%, and then any maintenance done comes out of it as well. We get about ~ $1075. (We lose about 300 a month from this)

We are going try and list the WA house again this year, but we do not anticipate any better luck. If we do manage to sell it, it would most likely be at a significant loss. Guess time will tell…


MT mortgage is a 30 convention @ 3.25% no PMI Original amount was 255k. Current principal- 242.5k. Payment of 1253.57, 455 in principal, interest 658, 140 escrow. With an additional 100 a month towards principal.


Bills/ monthly expenses-

We have no credit card debt.

Car Payment-

2013 Subaru Impreza- financed. Has a loan total ~23k @ 3.25% with 20.8k left. Monthly payment of $333.17

Electric bill-88

Phones -133




Entertainment -20 (movies, maybe 1-3 times per year)



Pet/ animal food-150

Home improvement-Most of our extra money goes into home renovation or the bank account for future home improvement

Firewood- ~$100 a cord- use 2-4 cords per winter for heating- 33/ month

Propane- $500 to fill tank- may use 1/2 a tank a year- 21/ month

Monthly expenses run about 4441.74 (with an additional 100 going to our homes principal)





Comment on Gone for Summer, an important note on comments and random cool stuff that caught my eye by Kyle Wed, 15 Jul 2015 02:23:08 +0000 Didn’t know you were traveling to Wisconsin, We should meet up. I know your schedule is probably packed but I can entice you with plenty of home brews. I’ll be in down town Milwaukee July 18th serving my home brew at the Firkin Beer Festival.

By the way, I know its been awhile but my offer remains if you would like some help on your site.
I could even take a copy of the live site offline and show you what could be done.

Comment on Ask jlcollinsnh by jlcollinsnh Tue, 14 Jul 2015 00:45:00 +0000 Thank you for your comment.

However, as I say directly above here:

and at the beginning of my last post here:

I am unable to respond to questions until September.

Please feel free to post yours again at that time and I’ll do my best to help.

In the meantime, may I suggest you read thru the Stock Series and related posts?
Odds are the answer I’d give is already there. :)


Comment on Ask jlcollinsnh by Jill Rae Mon, 13 Jul 2015 14:34:14 +0000 Hi. I’m 58, FI with about $1.7 million, about $1 million of which is invested for me by an investment advisor. I’ve earned about 5% on those investments since late 2005, net of fees of 1%. After reading your column (love it! thanks!), I’d like to take over those investments myself and am wondering the best way to go about it. Currently, the money with my advisor consists of $580K in a traditional IRA, $65K in a Roth and $408K in a taxable account. (The remainder is $500K in a paid-off house and $240K in a personal loan earning 6.5%.) Altogether, my advisor has me invested in 17 different mutual funds, 2 ETF’s/Closed End Funds, and 2 fixed income instruments. All are at Schwab. I’d like to move to Vanguard. Should I move everything all at once right now? Or should I move a little more slowly to spread out transfer fees and taxes on capital gains?