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post #1 of 79 (permalink) Old 12-02-2005, 05:43 PM Thread Starter
 
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Financial Opinion

ok guys. this is an extension of the Credit Card minimum payment thread.

I need some opinions.

it is a long story but my wife and i were a bit loose on the credit cards a couple years ago. we have been working for a while on paying them down and havent had much luck. both of us seriously realize things are going to change.

in about a year, we plan to start trying to have kids. kids are expensive. we would like to have some money saved as opposed to paying off bills still or sitting on a small savings.

i am seriously considering cashing in some mutual funds to take a huge chunk out of the debt and then have the rest paid off in 1 month. After we are at zero balance I would be setting up investment deductions to automatically happen from paychecks to force us to save more.

My question is this. my financial advisor says my idea is a very very bad one becuase people never put money away after they are paid off so they canabalized existing investments for a quick fix.

if we dont pay with the investments i have it will take 8 months+ to pay off the debt.

should i do the selling of the mutual fund idea and drastically change habits as soon as we are out of the hole to move forward the correct way? I hate living in debt.
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post #2 of 79 (permalink) Old 12-02-2005, 05:45 PM
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I would takwe the 8 months and pay them off. If thats all its going to take you dont kill your investments just for that, if we were talking years here I would say yes, but 8 months nah, just pay them off as soon as you can.




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post #3 of 79 (permalink) Old 12-02-2005, 05:47 PM Thread Starter
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by HDTony
I would takwe the 8 months and pay them off. If thats all its going to take you dont kill your investments just for that, if we were talking years here I would say yes, but 8 months nah, just pay them off as soon as you can.
8 months is the low side. it could take longer and like i said we would both prefer to have money set aside for when we have kids.
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post #4 of 79 (permalink) Old 12-02-2005, 05:50 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Hawkeye
if we dont pay with the investments i have it will take 8 months+ to pay off the debt.
8 months isn't chit!

If you own a house open a line of credit OR equity loan, pay off the CC now, and you can pay off the debt and write it off.

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post #5 of 79 (permalink) Old 12-02-2005, 05:50 PM
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At this point though you would still have the mutual funds sitting there, those could always be used then to pay off some remaining if any is left around and help with getting set up for the kids.Mind you those mutual funds have been growing while sitting there as well, so they will be worth more at that point.




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post #6 of 79 (permalink) Old 12-02-2005, 05:51 PM
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The simple way to weigh your alternatives is to compare what you make on an investment vs. what you are paying on a debt. Never carry debt that costs more than what your rate of return is on your investments.

Ex: CC debt can range anywhere from 0% to 30% APR. If you take an average of say 15% APR on your credit card balance, you should expect/require your investments to earn at least that rate of return.

Factor in other things like deductions and you can get even more precise.
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post #7 of 79 (permalink) Old 12-02-2005, 05:53 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Kruz
The simple way to weigh your alternatives is to compare what you make on an investment vs. what you are paying on a debt. Never carry debt that costs more than what your rate of return is on your investments.

Ex: CC debt can range anywhere from 0% to 30% APR. If you take an average of say 15% APR on your credit card balance, you should expect/require your investments to earn at least that rate of return.

Factor in other things like deductions and you can get even more precise.
thats definitly another thing you need to look at. John is right, if your only making 5% on your investment and yoru Credit cards are charging you 22% thats not good.




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post #8 of 79 (permalink) Old 12-02-2005, 05:54 PM
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Quote:
If you own a house open a line of credit OR equity loan, pay off the CC now, and you can pay off the debt and write it off.
It's not as simple as it sounds...nothing disappears magically....you don't write it off. What you are able to do is deduct some of that equity line interest to reduce your taxable income and that saves you some money.
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post #9 of 79 (permalink) Old 12-02-2005, 05:54 PM
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Re: Tony's post

Exactly why you can take a equity loan or line of credit, pay the CC off and still take your time paying the debt off and have a tax write off at the same time.

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post #10 of 79 (permalink) Old 12-02-2005, 05:57 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Kruz
It's not as simple as it sounds...nothing disappears magically....you don't write it off. What you are able to do is deduct some of that equity line interest to reduce your taxable income and that saves you some money.
It is pretty simple.

Would you rather be paying 15% intrest on a CC with no deduction?

Or

Pay say 6% and be able to deduct intrest paid to the loan?

Looks like a clear and simple choice to me.

One more thing, you can have the loan amortized over 10 years!

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Last edited by OldSkoolMC; 12-02-2005 at 06:01 PM.
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post #11 of 79 (permalink) Old 12-02-2005, 05:57 PM
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Take John's math, add in the discipline and hassle factor issues. Then add in the peace of mind of being debt free. Based on the more common rates of return in an invesment, and the more common rates of interest, my money would be to pay it off as early as possible. Period.

Now the gotcha is, make sure that it isn't 401k or any other deferred plan. The penalty and the tax liability outweigh the other gains. If your holdings are of that type, pay the 8 months, and leave the funds alone.

Just my opinion, and I am NOT a CFP.

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post #12 of 79 (permalink) Old 12-02-2005, 06:03 PM
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Oldskool...I think we are agreeing on the math. My point is everyone likes to use the phrase "write-off" when it's just a deduction of your taxable income. That term for some people in my experience leads them to believe the debt is wiped out. That's all.
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post #13 of 79 (permalink) Old 12-02-2005, 06:03 PM
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Go to my website and use the tools to make a choice

http://www.mpscpa.com/tools.html Select the "Debt and Credit Cards"

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post #14 of 79 (permalink) Old 12-02-2005, 06:06 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Kruz
Oldskool...I think we are agreeing on the math. My point is everyone likes to use the phrase "write-off" when it's just a deduction of your taxable income. That term for some people in my experience leads them to believe the debt is wiped out. That's all.
Yes, we are.

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post #15 of 79 (permalink) Old 12-02-2005, 06:10 PM Thread Starter
 
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this is the type of info i wanted.

it is all credit card debt. nothing else. the various cards are between 9% APR and 20% apr with the bulk of the balance in the 9% range.

my investment has been 12.5% return this year so far.


i have the frame of mind that it would be best to take the mutual fund and sell it. take that money and the money i will have over the course of 1 month and pay everything off. piece of mind would be great since i have been in the hole for so fucking long.

immediately set up budgets between my wife and i living off 1 salaray to bank the rest away. i believe we would save more in the long run than paying it off little by little. the motivation tends to disappear after a little while when trying to pay off debt and you have a wild weekend that takes you 2 steps back after you had 1 step forward.

i am starting to believe it would be better to pay off the debt as fast as possible and then set it up so that i could not go beyond my budget.
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post #16 of 79 (permalink) Old 12-02-2005, 06:12 PM
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I would just be careful that your "financial advisor" isn't the same guy who sold you the Mutual Fund and is telling you not to sell it.

If you are paying for an independent financial advisor (one who doesn't sell you things), I would take his advice - that's why you pay him, and I hope he has your "bigger" picture in mind.

Taking out another lower home-equity loan to pay high-rate debt can be a good idea, as long as your not planning to move soon, etc., etc. etc.

Everything has a trade-off.

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post #17 of 79 (permalink) Old 12-02-2005, 06:13 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Hawkeye

immediately set up budgets between my wife and i living off 1 salaray to bank the rest away. i believe we would save more in the long run than paying it off little by little. the motivation tends to disappear after a little while when trying to pay off debt and you have a wild weekend that takes you 2 steps back after you had 1 step forward.

i am starting to believe it would be better to pay off the debt as fast as possible and then set it up so that i could not go beyond my budget.
this is the problem. That is so hard to do.




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post #18 of 79 (permalink) Old 12-02-2005, 06:15 PM Thread Starter
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by HDTony
this is the problem. That is so hard to do.
exactly. the longer it takes to pay off a balance there seems to be times that we lose interest or just get tired of fucking waiting.

i always thought it was easier to handle money when you arent trying to get out of the hole.
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post #19 of 79 (permalink) Old 12-02-2005, 06:16 PM Thread Starter
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jcc_rr
I would just be careful that your "financial advisor" isn't the same guy who sold you the Mutual Fund and is telling you not to sell it.

If you are paying for an independent financial advisor (one who doesn't sell you things), I would take his advice - that's why you pay him, and I hope he has your "bigger" picture in mind.

Taking out another lower home-equity loan to pay high-rate debt can be a good idea, as long as your not planning to move soon, etc., etc. etc.

Everything has a trade-off.
they do have a bigger picture in mind for me since i am a very small fish in their investment pond so i am making them no money if i stay.
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post #20 of 79 (permalink) Old 12-02-2005, 10:56 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Hawkeye
8 months is the low side. it could take longer and like i said we would both prefer to have money set aside for when we have kids.
Dude,

You already have money set aside in your mutual funds.

Your adviser is right. But you posses a key to your future all by your self. Look how much your mutual funds are earning you and compare to how much you are wasting in the finance charges. If the difference is huge, which I doubt, then maybe pull the money and pay the cards off. But then you need to be very good about putting money aside on a regular basis.

So, you are the only one who is capable of solving this equation. You were given the tools use them properly.

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post #21 of 79 (permalink) Old 12-02-2005, 11:03 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Hawkeye
this is the type of info i wanted.

it is all credit card debt. nothing else. the various cards are between 9% APR and 20% apr with the bulk of the balance in the 9% range.

my investment has been 12.5% return this year so far.
I should have read this post as well before posting.

Your investment probably earning you as much or just about the same as you are spending on the cards fin charges on average. Depending on how big your mutual fund is vs your balance.

So, I would not touch the funds. Send minimum payment to the 9% and maximum to the 20%. Once done with 20% maximize on 9%. Simple math.

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post #22 of 79 (permalink) Old 12-02-2005, 11:20 PM
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How about selling the bike

My advice is don't get into your mutual funds. By taking the easy/fast route you are not learning how to properly manage your money. By setting a budget and working your debt down you are execising your will power and dedication to setting a budget and sticking with it. Once you work that debt down you will find it is much easy to save and still live a good life style. You'll wonder why it's so easy all of a sudden! Just paying off debt with a quick fix sets you up to make the same mistakes. Just my opinion.

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post #23 of 79 (permalink) Old 12-03-2005, 11:18 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by OldSkoolMC
Re: Tony's post

Exactly why you can take a equity loan or line of credit, pay the CC off and still take your time paying the debt off and have a tax write off at the same time.


I wouldn't suggest doing this. Especially if you trying to have a family soon. You may want that equity in your house to upgrade. The decision is pretty simple. If your investments on average make more interest than what you pay on the credit card don't cash them in. buckle down and pay them off. Worry about setting the money aside later. I assume the money you want to set aside is for emergency purposes. Well, if you pay down your lines of credit you could use those in an ememergency as well.

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post #24 of 79 (permalink) Old 12-03-2005, 12:20 PM
 
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Once you have kids you will never... have... money... again.
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post #25 of 79 (permalink) Old 12-04-2005, 12:05 AM
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I agree the Dr. D. Especially in light of the current investment delivering a good return, I would keep paying for the 8 months. You aren't that far away from being dept free! You will be forced to carefully watch your spending for a while during this period. You need that practice. If you pay it off by selling off another asset, such as your mutual funds, you won't get the practice that you really need to modify your spending habits. You will both feel a sense of accomplishment if you pay it off by learning to cut back instead of cannibalizing your hard-won mutual fund investment.
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post #26 of 79 (permalink) Old 12-04-2005, 07:49 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Kanati
Once you have kids you will never... have... money... again.
No exactly true....but anything you save, you spend on them!

If you have a motorcycle and the associated goodies that go with it. Sell those, if you have a gun safe, filled with expensive guns, sell those. You know that Xbox 360 you bought along with all the games, sell that. That 50" plasma TV you just bought....get rid of it, along with all that fancy A/V equipment. Instead of eating out 3 times a week, eat at home. give up going to the bar. If you have a fancy car with the HUGE payments, get rid of it, buy something cheap. reliable and fun (Scion ) give up smoking. Now that your not sitting in front of you HUGE ASS plasma screen TV, playing Xbox, or going to the bar to drink and smoking, get a second PT job. Use all the above money to pay off your debts. And guess what you'll still have your mutual funds, and you'll still be able to contribute to them.

I personally know one member of this board, who wanted a new BMW, he's bar tending in the evenings Smart guy, isn't going into debt and will have new bike in the spring.

I wanted a new bike(s).....I saved my pennies.....did extra jobs.....watched what I was spending on.....for example do you really need that racer replica Arai helmet, when a closeout HJC helmet from Newenough will do? Do you really need the tire warmers for track days? The easiest thing to do in the world is save money.

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post #27 of 79 (permalink) Old 12-04-2005, 11:06 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by RickC1957
The easiest thing to do in the world is save money.
I wouldn't say it's the easiest thing in the world, but there are a hell of a lot of options and lots of ways to go about it.

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post #28 of 79 (permalink) Old 12-04-2005, 12:04 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Hawkeye
it is all credit card debt. nothing else. the various cards are between 9% APR and 20% apr with the bulk of the balance in the 9% range.

my investment has been 12.5% return this year so far.
have you tried to minimize the interest you are payng for credit card debt by getting a balance transfer to a low rate/0% credit card? that should help a lot, i think. some of the credit cards offer that 0% rate on the transferred balance for as long as you are paying part of it off every month.

and with the rate of return of your rinvestments i wouldn't touch it.

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post #29 of 79 (permalink) Old 12-04-2005, 01:01 PM
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post #30 of 79 (permalink) Old 12-04-2005, 01:15 PM

 
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With all the 0% transfer offers made now adays I fail to see the other choices. Stop paying interest and don't cancel returns from mutual funds. Learn to use someone elses money.........the cc companies. Yes it can get a little confusing to juggle which card does what, but I found out I don't have to pay interest if I learn to manage cash flow.

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