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Re: New York New York casino

I was just there a couple of weeks ago. It's a dated hotel at this point, but I had a nice fast foodish meal at the Shake Shack right outside and a cold beer with live music at the Nine Fine Irishmen ($5 cover on a Thursday night). The hotel deal that I got gave me 2 free breakfast buffets, which tu...
by Bfwolf
Sat Apr 18, 2015 12:45 am
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: New York New York casino
Replies: 3
Views: 384

Re: engineers - please help with engineering school selectio

I don't think your son can go wrong, and if the aid offer is better at Minnesota, that may be the tiebreaker. BUT, I will say that he should be REALLY sure he's ready to put with the Minnesota winter for 4 years and is willing to put up with Midwest Winters for a few years after that. Minnesota is r...
by Bfwolf
Fri Apr 17, 2015 6:12 pm
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: engineers - please help with engineering school selection
Replies: 147
Views: 7542

Re: TradingPlaces' advice on travel awards

protagonist wrote:Wow, thanks for that tidbit!! I was unaware. I need to book my summer rooms in Europe soon!!
I assume if you book before 6/1 for the summer the offer still stands. That is what a poster said on the CC Flyertalk forum to which you referred.


Yes, that's what I've read.
by Bfwolf
Thu Apr 16, 2015 9:04 pm
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: TradingPlaces' advice on travel awards
Replies: 212
Views: 43636

Re: Proof vinyl has higher music ceiling than mp3?

IMO, if digital had been invented first, vinyl never would have been invented and people would think you are crazy to even consider it. I believe vinyl is really about nostalgia rather than sound quality.
by Bfwolf
Thu Apr 16, 2015 9:03 pm
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Proof vinyl has higher music ceiling than mp3?
Replies: 35
Views: 2261

Re: TradingPlaces' advice on travel awards

If you are making 4 night bookings, and if they have a hotel where you want to go, consider the three Club Carlson cards. Two cards have an 85K bonus and the third has a 60K bonus. But in addition, if you buy your room with points for one night you get the second night free. I got a really nice roo...
by Bfwolf
Wed Apr 15, 2015 11:57 pm
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: TradingPlaces' advice on travel awards
Replies: 212
Views: 43636

Re: Password manager recommendations?

Another vote for LastPass. It's just REALLY easy to use.

I get the "Trust No One" approach that doesn't like cloud solutions like LastPass, but I also believe that given their entire business model is predicated on keeping those passwords secure that LastPass would be very hard to crack.
by Bfwolf
Mon Apr 13, 2015 1:50 am
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Password manager recommendations?
Replies: 45
Views: 2471

Re: Best fish oil/omega-3 supplement?

I was taking the Kirkland Signature Omega 3 capsule daily, but with recent research raising doubts about the value of fish oil supplements, I've stopped.
by Bfwolf
Sat Apr 11, 2015 10:02 am
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Best fish oil/omega-3 supplement?
Replies: 18
Views: 1218

Re: Should I renege [on a] job offer?

I agree with the consensus: take the consulting job. Doing I banking just to earn more money will lead you to misery. Management consultants earn a great living and it's reasonably easy to eventually parlay it into a job at one of the companies you work. Or you can go back and get your MBA. Doing I ...
by Bfwolf
Fri Apr 10, 2015 1:34 am
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Should I renege [on a] job offer?
Replies: 45
Views: 3216

Re: Bernanke's Blog: why are interest rates so low?

Thanks for sharing this article. A very clear and concise explanation that a layperson can understand.
by Bfwolf
Tue Mar 31, 2015 10:13 pm
 
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Bernanke's Blog: why are interest rates so low?
Replies: 44
Views: 5994

Re: My evil plan backfired

Let the guy have his play money. Set 5% of your entire portfolio for his individual stocks. I hate the term play money. Play money to me is money that you could easily afford to lose, the type that you can lose entirely and not lose one night's sleep. If you anyone posted on this forum that they bu...
by Bfwolf
Fri Mar 27, 2015 9:50 am
 
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: My evil plan backfired
Replies: 53
Views: 6836

Re: My evil plan backfired

MWAHAHAHAHAHAHA. Sorry, had to get my evil plan laugh out of my system. First, congrats on making money. But you're right--it's kind of like when a really bad shooter makes a 3 pointer in the beginning of a game of basketball. Great to get the 3 points, but now he/she is jacking them up for the rest...
by Bfwolf
Thu Mar 26, 2015 3:44 pm
 
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: My evil plan backfired
Replies: 53
Views: 6836

Re: Great ESPP not for "ME"?

Keep in mind that $5,000 in a 401k is not necessarily equal to $5,000 in a taxable account. When you withdraw the money from a 401k in retirement, you will likely pay some income tax on it. So in essence, the government owns a portion of your 401k. Of course with your taxable account there are likel...
by Bfwolf
Thu Mar 26, 2015 2:02 pm
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Great ESPP not for "ME"?
Replies: 20
Views: 1793

Re: Why 529 plan makes any sense??

The money that I earn is used in the following order: 1. For food, clothing and shelter today. 2. Fund 401K upto the match. 3. Fund Roth IRA or backdoor Roth. 4. Fund balance of the 401K. 5. Fund HSA (as stealth IRA) 6. Fund 529 ac to the extent of the state tax exemption. 7. Fund 457 B plan. (My 4...
by Bfwolf
Wed Mar 25, 2015 11:42 pm
 
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: When does a 529 plan make sense to me?
Replies: 194
Views: 8751

Re: Munis when moving to a different state

Welcome to the forum! There will be almost no cost to switch funds when you move; capital gains on muni funds are usually very low. If you move from NY to CA, you will owe NY tax on any dividends you earned while you are a NY resident, and CA tax on any dividends you earned while you are a CA resid...
by Bfwolf
Wed Mar 25, 2015 3:10 pm
 
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Munis when moving to a different state
Replies: 9
Views: 1093

Re: Why 529 plan makes any sense??

It makes sense to me because we are already fully funding our 401K and Roth IRAs. I figured that setting aside some money in a 529 was preferable to a taxable account since I plan to pay for my son's college one day and the 529 means no tax on gains, dividends or interest. I make sure I don't over ...
by Bfwolf
Wed Mar 25, 2015 2:51 pm
 
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: When does a 529 plan make sense to me?
Replies: 194
Views: 8751

Re: Why 529 plan makes any sense??

That state tax deduction come with a cost that Roth IRA does not have. What if you move and your children will be studying different state?? How certain are you that you will be in the same state 10 to 15 years from now?? KlangFool But that shouldn't matter. You've already taken the state tax deduc...
by Bfwolf
Wed Mar 25, 2015 2:15 pm
 
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: When does a 529 plan make sense to me?
Replies: 194
Views: 8751

Re: Why 529 plan makes any sense??

Certainly maxing out the 401k and HSA makes sense for most people who are in the 25% or higher tax bracket. Roth IRAs are more flexible than 529s. BUT, Roth IRA contributions do not offer state tax deductions for contributions like 529s do for some states. So for money that someone is confident thei...
by Bfwolf
Wed Mar 25, 2015 1:56 pm
 
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: When does a 529 plan make sense to me?
Replies: 194
Views: 8751

Re: TradingPlaces' advice on travel awards

Congrats, Victoria! Glad you were able to find flights that worked.
by Bfwolf
Tue Mar 24, 2015 6:46 pm
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: TradingPlaces' advice on travel awards
Replies: 212
Views: 43636

Re: College Savings Options for a Niece

I think the same rationale that applied to your child would apply to your niece. If you're not maxing out your 401k and are in a high federal/state tax bracket, that's likely your first priority. However, I think it's worth considering whether you still plan on being employed when these kids hit col...
by Bfwolf
Tue Mar 24, 2015 2:05 pm
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: College Savings Options for a Niece
Replies: 6
Views: 618

Re: TradingPlaces' advice on travel awards

Thank you, Bfwolf! My trip to Germany is to Berlin, but I could not find any Saver flights to Berlin and switched my stop-over to Frankfurt as the largest hub in the area. I am booking with plenty of time before and after my Berlin event, which would enable me to travel between Frankfurt and Berlin...
by Bfwolf
Mon Mar 23, 2015 9:03 pm
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: TradingPlaces' advice on travel awards
Replies: 212
Views: 43636

Re: TradingPlaces' advice on travel awards

When I called up to book my complex ticket with them, I had the whole itinerary worked out, leg by leg. You can use United's search engine to find all the individual legs and see if there is Saver availability. So when I wanted to go from Tokyo to Hanoi, I already knew there was no direct flight wi...
by Bfwolf
Mon Mar 23, 2015 8:23 pm
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: TradingPlaces' advice on travel awards
Replies: 212
Views: 43636

Re: TradingPlaces' advice on travel awards

Victoria, I recalled from an earlier post that you were planning on being in Germany until 8/16 and then in Seoul on 8/21. It seems you've switched your Germany city from Berlin to Frankfurt....so I'm not 100% sure we're talking about the same itinerary, but on a lark I went on the United site and s...
by Bfwolf
Mon Mar 23, 2015 8:21 pm
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: TradingPlaces' advice on travel awards
Replies: 212
Views: 43636

Re: TradingPlaces' advice on travel awards

Thank you for the heads up about NRT and ICN being in different regions! I have definitely seen it before, but at the time of looking for the routes I forgot about it. However, my itinerary has changed, and this would not be an issue. Now I want to book: 1) IAD-FRA 2) FRA-ICN 3) ICN-DCA When I iden...
by Bfwolf
Mon Mar 23, 2015 7:59 pm
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: TradingPlaces' advice on travel awards
Replies: 212
Views: 43636

Re: TradingPlaces' advice on travel awards

I am trying to make a rewards-based reservation on United Airlines as follows: 1) IAD-FRA 2) FRA-NRT 3) ICN-DCA From what I've read, I can treat it as a round trip Washington ( IAD/DCA ) to Tokyo ( NRT ) with: a) stop over in Frankfurt ( FRA ) and b) open jaw at the destination, i.e., arrive to Tok...
by Bfwolf
Mon Mar 23, 2015 3:51 pm
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: TradingPlaces' advice on travel awards
Replies: 212
Views: 43636

Re: Does an AirBnB guesthouse make sense?

I think the first 2 responses hit the nail on the head. The key question is: do you want to run a mini-hotel? If the answer is yes, then by all means, buying a place and turning it into an Airbnb rental could be a great solution for you. If the answer is no, rent OTHER people's Airbnb units when you...
by Bfwolf
Tue Mar 17, 2015 1:17 pm
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Does an AirBnB guesthouse make sense?
Replies: 19
Views: 2278

Re: Why not use inflation-adjusted SPIA?

They may not be actuarially fair, and they may not be competitive, and they may be overpriced....but (in my case) they are offering a joint-100% survivor initial payout rate of 3.65%. Without any of the risks that go with the "safe" withdrawal rate, like sequence of return risk, market ri...
by Bfwolf
Thu Mar 12, 2015 12:33 pm
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Why not use inflation-adjusted SPIA?
Replies: 117
Views: 4939

Re: What are some common misconceptions found in this forum?

That you can make some very negative assumptions about somebody's motives and character when they ask for advice about something that has to do with relationships with other people.
by Bfwolf
Wed Mar 11, 2015 2:50 pm
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: What are some common misconceptions found in this forum?
Replies: 209
Views: 17742

Re: Will you buy an Apple Watch?

I'm not interested in buying one right now, but I could be after more apps get developed, and I hear from my leading edge friends about the experience. I don't think this is in any way a marketing gimmick, or that Apple is going to somehow trick millions of people out of their money by marketing the...
by Bfwolf
Wed Mar 11, 2015 12:42 am
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Will you buy an Apple Watch?
Replies: 351
Views: 20882

Re: High Cost of Fruits and Vegetables

Those prices sound high to me. There are no proven medical benefits from eating organic foods, so that may be a place to start for reducing costs. A lot of what I consume is frozen. At Walmart, I can buy an 8 serving bag of Pictsweet frozen spinach for $1.98. I can buy a 13 serving bag of frozen mix...
by Bfwolf
Sun Mar 08, 2015 1:02 pm
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: High Cost of Fruits and Vegetables
Replies: 126
Views: 7113

Re: Foreign Currency Hedge for Vacation

I agree that you're overthinking this.

What's a 90% confidence interval on currency impact to your trip vs today? Plus or minus $1,000? $2,000? Knowing it's 50/50 whether it could go in your favor or against you, is that really enough money for you to start in with hedging strategies?
by Bfwolf
Sun Mar 08, 2015 10:47 am
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Foreign Currency Hedge for Vacation
Replies: 14
Views: 1179

Re: Does My Daughter Need A Prenup?

This thread has really been a disaster. OP, I am sorry that some posters are reading way more into the situation and your motives than you wrote and have gotten the knives out to come after you. You don't deserve it. However, I must say to the OP that he has not done much to acknowledge the potentia...
by Bfwolf
Fri Mar 06, 2015 3:16 pm
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Does My Daughter Need A Prenup?
Replies: 175
Views: 6305

Re: My Return for 2014 for Wealthfront is less than 2%

I think if I cannot just use multiple brokers and file what they give me at year end plus whatever I get from individual stocks like MLPs and REITs and so forth and have it not cost me dearly things are way out of whack! People go to great lengths, in my opinion, to over complicate issues. Please g...
by Bfwolf
Fri Mar 06, 2015 1:23 pm
 
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: My Return for 2014 for Wealthfront is less than 2%
Replies: 47
Views: 7229

Re: Does My Daughter Need A Prenup?

I am highly skeptical that she needs a prenup to protect your or grandparents' assets from the potential ex-husband in terms of the immediate split of assets after a divorce assuming a well-written trust. So what we're left with is alimony, which may or may not be limitable by a pre-nup depending on...
by Bfwolf
Fri Mar 06, 2015 1:09 pm
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Does My Daughter Need A Prenup?
Replies: 175
Views: 6305

Re: My Return for 2014 for Wealthfront is less than 2%

Just because you haven't gotten a letter from the IRS about your Schedule D doesn't mean what you've done is correct. Come to think of it I might have received a letter once. But the amount I had to pay was definitely not worth worrying about what you are describing. It could amount to a lot of mon...
by Bfwolf
Thu Mar 05, 2015 10:40 pm
 
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: My Return for 2014 for Wealthfront is less than 2%
Replies: 47
Views: 7229

Re: Vanguard Personal Advisor Service Investment Plan

By the way, one huge bugaboo to watch out for here is taxes. For your taxable investments, you will pay dividend taxes on an on-going basis, and you'll pay long-term capital gains eventually when you sell to support your retirement. That puts a serious drag on your real rate of return. That's also w...
by Bfwolf
Wed Mar 04, 2015 6:54 pm
 
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Vanguard Personal Advisor Service Investment Plan
Replies: 28
Views: 2124

Re: Vanguard Personal Advisor Service Investment Plan

I spoke with my financial advisor from Vanguard today. He said that in order to retire at age 50 with a withdrawal amount of $100k annually for 50 years, I would need 3 million dollars in today's money. To achieve that, me and my wife will have to invest 60-65k annually in addition to our initial 2...
by Bfwolf
Wed Mar 04, 2015 6:41 pm
 
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Vanguard Personal Advisor Service Investment Plan
Replies: 28
Views: 2124

Re: 529 Savings for MBA

Just out of curiosity, when are you planning on going to business school? I had a similar thought recently but I am starting business school this fall so I don't think there would be much benefit to opening a 529 at this point. I think it still could be. Let's say you've got $10,000 in investments ...
by Bfwolf
Wed Mar 04, 2015 6:22 pm
 
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: 529 Savings for MBA
Replies: 11
Views: 995

Re: Where to get medallion signature guarantee

I don't get the "big national banks not giving medallion signature guarantees" thing. What's wrong with them? Totally agree. I have to assume that these brick & mortar banks are losing market share to the Internet banks. One of the few services they can offer that the Internet banks c...
by Bfwolf
Wed Mar 04, 2015 1:11 pm
 
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Where to get medallion signature guarantee
Replies: 49
Views: 4543

Re: Vanguard Personal Advisor Service Investment Plan

Thanks again for all the replies. Our plan is to contribute annually $47k into our combined portfolios. At this rate would retirement at age 50 with an annual withdrawal of $100k be too unreasonable? The $47k would be each of us maxing out our TSP/401 plus IRA accounts. Our combined income is aroun...
by Bfwolf
Wed Mar 04, 2015 12:58 pm
 
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Vanguard Personal Advisor Service Investment Plan
Replies: 28
Views: 2124

Re: What are Costco's best deals?

25% is WalMart's gross margin on sales (as opposed to operating margin). This is the profit margin (sales minus cost of goods) on all of WalMart's sales before subtracting operating costs. Its net operating margin is typically between 3% and 4% of sales. Ya know, I had just taken a wild stab at the...
by Bfwolf
Wed Mar 04, 2015 12:24 pm
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: What are Costco's best deals?
Replies: 220
Views: 20618

Re: Vanguard Personal Advisor Service Investment Plan

The IRS rules on withdrawal of Roth IRAs are somewhat complicated but here are the official rules: http://www.irs.gov/publications/p590b/index.html Especially see "ordering rules" and "qualified distributions". I read the Ordering Rules as what we're talking about is clearly a n...
by Bfwolf
Wed Mar 04, 2015 1:42 am
 
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Vanguard Personal Advisor Service Investment Plan
Replies: 28
Views: 2124

Re: Vanguard Personal Advisor Service Investment Plan

We're trying to retire and travel at age 50 with a withdrawal amount of $100k annually. Is this being too unrealistic? If you can get yourself to about $3+M in assets by age 50, 100K/yr would be a 3% withdrawal rate. This is assuming the OP wants to withdraw $100K a year, inflation adjusted, in 203...
by Bfwolf
Wed Mar 04, 2015 1:30 am
 
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Vanguard Personal Advisor Service Investment Plan
Replies: 28
Views: 2124

Re: Vanguard Personal Advisor Service Investment Plan

We're trying to retire and travel at age 50 with a withdrawal amount of $100k annually. Is this being too unrealistic? This is impossible to answer without more information on how much you plan to save annually between now and then. This is why it's important to have an Investment Policy Statement ...
by Bfwolf
Wed Mar 04, 2015 1:27 am
 
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Vanguard Personal Advisor Service Investment Plan
Replies: 28
Views: 2124

Re: Vanguard Personal Advisor Service Investment Plan

Great info for me to learn. I think the hardest decision now is how to invest the 200k: 1 Option. All into Vanguard stocks 2 Option. 100k into Vanguard stocks and the remainder to max out my wife's solo 401k. HOWEVER in 2-3 years we will be moving so she won't have her business anymore. She's has h...
by Bfwolf
Wed Mar 04, 2015 1:22 am
 
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Vanguard Personal Advisor Service Investment Plan
Replies: 28
Views: 2124

Re: Vanguard Personal Advisor Service Investment Plan

That's genius. What a great loop hole. Is it fully legal in the eyes of IRS? I can run it by my accountant to see what her thoughts are and will update you. Your info may have just changed how I'll invest the current 200k. Thanks! As I mentioned in my edit, I'm skeptical what I laid out will actual...
by Bfwolf
Wed Mar 04, 2015 1:13 am
 
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Vanguard Personal Advisor Service Investment Plan
Replies: 28
Views: 2124

Re: Vanguard Personal Advisor Service Investment Plan

It's my understanding that you can take out Roth IRA contributions (not the gains) at any time and not pay a penalty or be taxed. I would think, but don't know for sure, that you could also take out the Roth Solo 401k contributions (not the gains) without paying a penalty or be taxed after rolling ...
by Bfwolf
Wed Mar 04, 2015 12:51 am
 
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Vanguard Personal Advisor Service Investment Plan
Replies: 28
Views: 2124

Re: Vanguard Personal Advisor Service Investment Plan

@Duckie: Great advice that prevented me from making a big mistake. Mathematically would it make a difference of having a total Roth TSP amount of $71k (future goal)that no longer grows since I'll be exiting the military plus a separate Roth IRA maxed out each year VS. Rolling over that $71k to my e...
by Bfwolf
Wed Mar 04, 2015 12:39 am
 
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Vanguard Personal Advisor Service Investment Plan
Replies: 28
Views: 2124

Re: 529 Savings for MBA

Ya know, I had never thought about the strategy of utilizing a 529 to save for one's own MBA. This is a good idea. It could also prove useful for saving your internship dollars if you worked in a state that provided an income tax deduction for 529 contributions.
by Bfwolf
Tue Mar 03, 2015 11:50 pm
 
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: 529 Savings for MBA
Replies: 11
Views: 995

Re: VEU 3.52% vs. 5 year Treasury 1.58%

I do think the fact that the bond yield is low is relevant. If you've hit your number and have your investments that represent your number in an appropriate portfolio from a risk standpoint, then it's perfectly reasonable to look at new contributions and say "Why do I do want to invest them in ...
by Bfwolf
Tue Mar 03, 2015 11:07 pm
 
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: VEU 3.52% vs. 5 year Treasury 1.58%
Replies: 29
Views: 1859

Re: What are Costco's best deals?

Thank you, Bfwolf! I did notice that after I had tried some new products and came back for more, they disappeared. Occasionally, they reappeared. I don't think this motivated my membership renewal. I renew, because the cost and quality of my groceries provide a good value. Victoria Victoria, I am s...
by Bfwolf
Tue Mar 03, 2015 6:59 pm
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: What are Costco's best deals?
Replies: 220
Views: 20618
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