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Everything posted by 2squared

  1. This is not accurate. Every member accrues time while on active status and while drilling. My dh has been active duty Air Force, Air Force Reserves, and air national guard. Right now he's on a stateside deployment with the air national guard. He hasn't had issues moving between the three, and in fact, having the varied experience is favorable for his military career. We view his military career as a non-negotiable, so we structure his civilian employment with that in mind. We are seriously considering dh to be a FT air national guard member because the pay and benefits are so good. He has taken lower pay civilian work so he can keep flexibility with his military career, and we plan to continue that path until he reaches retirement age.
  2. This is not accurate. Every member accrues time while on active status and while drilling. My dh has been active duty Air Force, Air Force Reserves, and air national guard. Right now he's on a stateside deployment with the air national guard. He hasn't had issues moving between the three, and in fact, having the varied experience is favorable for his military career. We view his military career as a non-negotiable, so we structure his civilian employment with that in mind. We are seriously considering dh to be a FT air national guard member because the pay and benefits are so good. He has taken lower pay civilian work so he can keep flexibility with his military career, and we plan to continue that path until he reaches retirement age.
  3. I think you should really evaluate the impact of giving up the medical and retirement. Civilian insurance easily runs $10k+ per year while military healthcare is a small fraction of that number. The pension is inflation adjusted which is another huge benefit. My dh was active duty for four year and Reserves/guard for 8 years. He's currently on a stateside deployment. He won't voluntarily give up his military job. The benefits are just too important. Healthcare alone is priceless.
  4. Bank appraisals don't include age of windows and siding. They go mostly by square feet. I would be more likely to buy a house with new windows/siding/whatever if all else was the same, but I wouldn't pay a premium for it. I'm assuming the realtor didn't think you would be able to recoup the investment in windows and siding. usually improvements incrementally increase value, albeit at a sad % of cost.
  5. Thank you for the feedback thus far! I will be looking at your ideas and suggestions tonight. I'm leaning toward the week before the 4th for crowd reasons, but it will take a few more vacation days.
  6. We are planning a North Carolina beach vacation over July 4th weekend, and I'm hoping someone here has some suggestions on which beaches and locations would be good for our family. We will attend a wedding in Raleigh on July 1 and then were hoping to spend the rest of the week at the beach playing in Atlantic ocean waves. We are open to other adventures, but we need to spend a chunk of time at the ocean since this may be the only time the kids will have to experience ocean waves. I know Raleigh is a couple hours away from the ocean, and I know accommodations are likely already booked for that week. We may need to push our vacation time ahead of the wedding. So....any and all suggestions are welcome. We will be driving roundtrip with all 5 kids from MN.
  7. I have raised my kids to do the right thing and have a lot of empathy. Those traits are difficult in middle school if they can't also laugh at themselves and shrug things off, which I missed teaching my older kids. I was so busy trahing them to see injustice and to do the right thing that I didn't teach them to ignore the litttle things. Now I have a better balance. We tease at home, we laugh at each other in fun, we use sarcasm some now, and I actively show how to let others roll off our backs. It has helped a lot with how my kids are able to interact socially. I did my first two a disservice by not teaching them those things when they were little. I think you need to evaluate the unkind things the kids are saying. Is it at a level where it's bullying or is it more thoughtless things being said? Are these things she should be able to ignore or laugh off or jab back at - normal social give and take - or is it actual bullying? If it's normal thoughtless comments, I think you can help her more by teaching her how to interact in those situations than by removing her.
  8. I would not mistake time together as closeness. You aren't automatically attached to the people you spend the most time with. My 15yo spends much more time with her boyfriend and friends than she does with me, but she is more attached to me than she is to them. We have a strong bond that isn't dependent on face time. She regularly comes to me for advice and to share her confidences, and I know for a fact she doesn't share the same things with her friends. Your bond should be able to weather time apart by the time they are teens. My 13yo is definitely pulling away from his mom, but he always circles back to me when he is struggling. We don't spend much time face time together right now with our busy schedules, but we are still very close and attached. I have to also say that texting helps keep me close to my kids. We text each other about little and big things throughout the day (me at work, them at school). I love that they feel comfortable texting me when they need extra support.
  9. In retirement a best-case scenario would be to have some pre-tax (401k) and post-tax (Roth) income flows. However, you don't want to pay taxes at a higher rate now to avoid a lower rate in the future. If your income is higher now than it would be in retirement, you are usually better off investing in a pre-tax 401k. I would only convert an existing 401k to Roth IRA if you had an unusually low-income year. Paying the tax hit now on a conversion (and potentially pushing yourself into a higher tax bracket in the current year) to save future taxes wouldn't be a gamble I would take. A bird in the hand and all that jazz. Generally employer 401k plans have higher expense ratios and less investment flexibility than a Vanguard rollover IRA. The one exception I know of is probably the government TSP. When we had no tax liability, we contributed to Roth IRAs. Most of our earning years, though, we contribute to pre-tax 401k plans. Never give up a free employer match.
  10. Along with one sheet set per bed, we have one towel per person. Even with a 1:1 ratio, we have towels in the linen closet because my younger kids don't shower every day/night.
  11. I would say business and legal documentation is 90%+ electronic now. Businesses don't store paper records....except maybe banks? The company I work for rents out our unused document storage space to a local bank.
  12. If someone is sick and we know it, they sleep on a 4x5 waterproof pad. We have two of these pads, and they were originally purchased for my bedwetters. I only have one bedwetter now, so he sleeps on one of the pads every night. The other pad lives in his closet. When the kids are little (11yo and under), the sick kid usually sleeps with a parent so we avoid most vomit messes. we haven't had any issues with vomit messes for the 13yo+ crowd. Otherwise we just shift bodies around in the middle of the night and/or sleep on blankets until the sheet is washed. It really hasn't been as issue, even with a larger family. Not having extra sheets hasn't reduced our sleep hours in any way. ETA: We live in MN so we do have extra blankets. Every bed has a blanket and a comforter plus we have lounge blankets...blankets are a necessity for us, extra sheets are not. :)
  13. When I wash sheets, I put them right back in the bed before bedtime. I save time by not folding, and I get the sheets put away every time. I also save storage space since I don't need multiple sets of sheets with this method. Each bed has one set of sheets.
  14. I wouldn't play this game in a one-income family. If the business doesn't value his skills now, there's a high chance they aren't going to come running to him as a consultant. And....what do you do while you wait for them to figure out they want not just those skills, but those skills from this provider? If you have savings to cover that time period and a desire to be self-employed, it's worth a gamble. If not, I wouldn't make this my plan B.
  15. While looking at these four categories seems reasonable, I would sit down with your dh and examine every line of the budget. My guess is other areas can/should be cut down as well. Maybe start with your new income at the top of the page and subtract expenses in priority order, discussing each one and possiblities for reduction as you go. When you run out of money at the bottom, everything not funded gets cut. It'll be a difficult discussion, but sounds like it needs to be done. You could talk about what a bare bones grocery budget looks like as you determine how to fund it. Same with gifts. Some gifts will make the list, but which ones and at what funding level? If you have 5 phones at $200/month, that seems like an expense that can be significantly cut. I see a lot of people with basic cell plans for many lines for under $100/month. I'm sure other expenditures should be evaluated in a similar way. FWIW, your spending is in line with ours for our family of 7. If you don't have the money, though, something will have to be cut.
  16. This was me. Of course, back when I had different thoughts about college all mine were littles and I loved staying home homeschooling them. My heart broke when I had to go back to work FT. But, now I can see that change was probably for the better. My kids are thriving in their public/parochial schools, our income has tripled since then, and we can now afford the things I want for our bigger kids. We just started college savings when my olderest hit high school, and the decision for me to go back to work four years prior gives us financial flexibility to make room for college savings. I used to think they would find a way to pay for their own way through college. Dh and I did it, and we didn't have room to save anyway. It was so far away; mothering and teaching my five littles were all-encompassing at the time. I hadn't looked into the actual cost of today's college or how limited funding options kids actually have. I also hadn't thought through how standard college degrees would become and that my kids will likely need masters for their college degrees to get the same financial lift I received from my undergrad degree. so much has changed since then. I look at my 15yo today and my thought processes about funding college are completely different than they were 5 or 10 years ago. .
  17. Our funding will be a mix of resources: They earn their spending money They take out subsidized loans (if needed) 1 year paid by dh's GI bill (first four) 1 year paid by grandparent savings (all five) 2 years paid by parents (first four) 3 years paid by parents (last one) I am determined to not reduce lifestyle or retirement, so that means increasing income. We only have $7k saved so far, but dh is underemployed. He's taking a temporary assignment in 2018 which should allow us to add $40k of college savings next year. I expect him to continue earning at a higher rate after 2018, but anything can happen.
  18. Our calculations certainly include inputs for interest and taxes, but only the projects with the highest returns are funded and the hurdles rates haven't changed for about a decade. The pool of investment dollars doesn't increase because taxes go down. We have the same investment pool and the tax savings are returned to the owners. Meanwhile, investment returns on projects all improve proportionately due to the change in tax rates, but no additional is allocated to be spent because of the cuts. If we need to make additional investments, it's predicated on our earnings before taxes. Higher taxes may result in lowering investments if cash isn't available for the investments, but likely they will look to increase EBIT rather than change investment dollars. This is how I've only seen investments play out in the companies I have worked for, private and fortune 100. EBIT and sale are th big measurements. Net income isn't discussed within the business.
  19. This should all be true, but I see how our exec packages and compensation are measured. EBIT and EBITDA are the key bonus measurements; cash flow is not. We will make the same investments as before because our investments are based on internal hurdle rates that do not reflect actual interest rates or tax rates. Like I said, the cash flow savings will go directly to the owners. These potential tax savings have not been a factor in our long range plans and strategies...because they hit below EBIT. If tax savings were above EBIT, I would agree that wage growth could result from them. Unemployment is so low right now, we are having trouble hiring and retaining employees. You would think they would pay more as a result, but that's not happening. We aren't paying out bonuses or profit sharing or giving more than COL raises (after three years of no raises). I don't see how this will stimulate job growth when employment is already so low? Are they importing workers too?
  20. Corporate taxes changes do not drive wage and job growth. Exec bonuses are paid on profitability which is calculated before taxes. They are bonused to reduce expenses, which often includes investment in automation to eliminate jobs. Tax reductions impact cash flow which is used to make investments and provide income to company owners. I am positive that any money saved by my company as a result of this tax plan will be paid as dividends to our private owners. The tax cuts will not stimulate new jobs or salary growth for us.
  21. Who is handling the added work of the rental properties - you or him?
  22. With an oct bday, I think you will find he is closer to the middle of his grade rather than on the older side.
  23. I have two boys with sep and oct bdays. My other three have March and April birthdays. My fall birthday kids have a lot of kids older than them in their class. My spring bday kids all have kids more than a year older than them in their classes. Being older in a class is a clear benefit imo. My spring bday boy is gifted. Academics at school bore him no matter which class he is in (as an 8th grader he is in some 9th grade classes), so he has to find challenge in other ways. This would be his fate whether we had grade skipped him or held him back.
  24. We are huge wooden Thomas fans. My oldest ds played with them for years. mixing other brand or off-brand didn't work for him b/c they just didn't fit together well enough. The trains wouldn't run smoothly with other track, so watch for that. I am keeping our extensive collection of Thomas trains forever. My memories of the hours oldest ds would make tracks are priceless. Those tracks spanned rooms. He was amazing with them!
  25. Yes, and that plan would have had to start more than three weeks before birth, which apparently hadn't happened. Once born, CPS would be involved and the mother wouldn't have a say in anything. She may offer up her thoughts like any other citizen at that point, but she gave up her opportunity to impact the result by not coming up with a solution before birth. Also, in our state, once the courts have severed your parental rights with a child, CPS will automatically take future children as well. ** My dh works with these situations, and they are beyond terrible. A very, very low percentage (nearing 0%) is drug addicted parents are able to turn their lives around enough to keep their children once the children have been placed in foster care. The real tragedy here is the children, and prefer laws and procedures that protect their rights over the parental rights. My dh is devastated every time his clients lose their kids, but it's always a better situation for the kids and the parents have had numerous opportunities to change the outcome. The kids don't have five, ten, twenty years to wait. **involuntarily. If parental rights are terminated voluntarily, then future children are not taken automatically.
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