On "The Grand 401(k) Experiment Has Been A Failure"

The interesting question to me is whether this trend will continue. Are 401(k)'s destined to be a failure for all time? Or are we in a strange in-between time where our parents could mostly count on a pension, people didn't understand 401(k)s, and the only people willing to teach us were reaching into our back pocket in the process. Will my daughters be in a better place with this stuff because I understand it now and will drill its importance into them? Will we be a kind of lost generation of retirement planners?

Posted on March 25, 2015 at 8:36 am 0

On An Interview With a Wealthy Retiree About His Taxes

@madrassoup His tax rate is low because his money came in the form of long term capital gains, which is taxed lower than income, and also because of his charitable donations

Posted on March 24, 2015 at 11:34 am 0

On Stars: They're Not Paying Off Their Student Loans Just Like Us!

*peace of mind

Posted on March 24, 2015 at 8:15 am 0

On Stars: They're Not Paying Off Their Student Loans Just Like Us!

It doesn't matter what your investments are doing 'right now' so much as the average over time. In general, a diverse investment account with low fees should return somewhere between 6-10% annualized (at least based on historic returns). If you just bought the one vanguard fund that is the whole stock market, it would have given you about 10% per year with almost no fees. I'd guess that any loans at 3-5% would be a no brainer to put on autopilot and not pay off quickly. Higher than that and it's closer to a toss up and probably advisable to pay it off for piece of mind and for the guaranteed return.

Posted on March 24, 2015 at 8:05 am 0

On In Which I Answer a Question About Marriage and Finances That 'Call Your Girlfriend' Asked Us in October

@jfruh when my wife and I maintained mostly separate accounts we paid into a joint account in proportion to our income. Meaning that since I made 70% of the total 'money' made in our relationship, I covered 70% of the joint expenses. This made sure that my wife wasn't getting completely screwed just because she decided to be a teacher and not an engineer (though it's probably equal in the long run if she actually gets her pension). We also flirted with little modifications, like letting her subtract her student loan payment from her income, which gave her a lower 'ratio' within the marriage. It sounds wonky writing it out like this, but it really worked for a long time.

Posted on March 21, 2015 at 6:05 am 0

On In Which I Answer a Question About Marriage and Finances That 'Call Your Girlfriend' Asked Us in October

I've been married for 5 years and the merging of finances has gone very slowly. We really didn't want to screw it up and end up fighting all the time. We did the 3 account system for a while and kept most of our stuff separate (I wrote about it for BillFold). But after a while we started looking at my idle savings and my wife's debt and decided that we had to look at it all as one big pot of money and act accordingly. Otherwise you're making some really bad math decision and losing out in the long run. We still keep small fun-money accounts that are separate, but everything else is combined. But I think it's best to go slowly to make sure both parties are comfortable. And if one partner is bad with money or emotional about it, I'd say pause any kind of money-combining to avoid trouble.

Posted on March 20, 2015 at 3:11 pm 0

On On Calling Your Employees "Partners"

At engineering firms fancy titles often outpace your actual pay and experience. I went from 'systems engineer' to 'senior system's engineer' within five years of my career. I was 27 and not senior at anything. I realize that in the grand scheme of things this is not a big problem

Posted on March 19, 2015 at 7:34 am 0

On Convenient Cooking, But at a Cost

For the last few months I've spent about 1 hour each Sunday making a modified version of this recipe: http://www.frugalwoods.com/2015/01/23/our-epically-frugal-lunch-recipe/ It ends up making me somewhere between 6-8 Tupperware containers-worth and I eat it everyday for lunch. It's not for everyone - my wife can't stand eating the same thing even two times in a row - but I love it, and I think it works out to less than $1 per meal.

Posted on March 18, 2015 at 2:21 pm 1

On Yay, More Mommy Wars! Now With A Tax Twist

The 'we need higher fertility and more young workers for entitlement programs and whatnot' is such a false argument. There are many ways to increase the number of young workers and actually creating more kids is only one of them. What about allowing young people who already exist to enter the country and work through some kind of program of 'immigration'.

Posted on March 18, 2015 at 1:36 pm 3

On Starbucks' #RaceTogether Makes Unrealistic Assumptions About Both Race and Work

I'm happy to say that my small town has a lot of places that operate at Star's Hollow speed.

Posted on March 18, 2015 at 12:59 pm 0