Search found 1803 matches

by MathWizard
Wed Jul 29, 2015 12:15 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Are equities really as risky as anyone thinks?
Replies: 52
Views: 1104

Re: Are equities really as risky as anyone thinks?

I believe the OP has a point that the risk of equities seems overstated on this board. If you have enough money, you can invest in stable but poorly performing financial instruments. Risks should be balanced to both 1) what the investor can stomach (often only seen in retrospect) and in 2) what the ...
by MathWizard
Tue Jul 28, 2015 2:30 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Just Got Financially Independent
Replies: 32
Views: 2901

Re: Just Got Financially Independent

Congrats!

I agree that this is one of the few places for this kind of announcement other than perhaps
with your children.

We are all on the way to Fin Ind. , it is just a matter of time.
by MathWizard
Mon Jul 27, 2015 11:25 am
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Opening 529 for children, ages 12, 9, and 4
Replies: 14
Views: 1629

Re: Opening 529 for children, ages 12, 9, and 4

If you don't get a deduction, you might want to consider using a ROTH instead of 529 if you are not already maxing your ROTHs out. The 529 restricted withdrawals to those for "qualified expenses". If you are already maxing ROTH space for your retirement, then ignore this suggestion. You ca...
by MathWizard
Mon Jul 27, 2015 11:03 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Visiting Northern Kentucky / Mammoth Cave area with kids
Replies: 17
Views: 776

Re: Visiting Northern Kentucky / Mammoth Cave area with kids

Just back from Kentucky. Book your torus in advance, they fill up quickly. Make sure everybody is in shape. We took the moderate tours not the most difficult one, but we are likely older. We did have someone who had difficulty on the stairs coming back up. Diamond Cave (inside the park but not part ...
by MathWizard
Wed Jul 22, 2015 4:44 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Home improvement: french drain or dry well?
Replies: 13
Views: 1493

Re: Home improvement: french drain or dry well?

We just have a grassed swale which moves water from the backyard to the storm drain, keeping it way away from the house. The sump pump dumps into the swale. This would be about as cheap and aesthetically pleasing as you can get. French drains can plug up eventually. Since you have non-permeable soil...
by MathWizard
Wed Jul 22, 2015 12:44 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: "The Value of Financial Advice" by Wade Pfau
Replies: 13
Views: 2162

Re: "The Value of Financial Advice" by Wade Pfau

The final problem is most investors who need a good advisor do not recognize the need, and could not make a good choice even if they realized they needed help. Paul Paul makes a good point. It may be that the ability to find a good advisor exceeds that to be a good investor. The individual investor...
by MathWizard
Mon Jul 20, 2015 3:05 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: saving for home vs. 401K
Replies: 4
Views: 692

Re: saving for home vs. 401K

If you can max your tax advantaged space (TAS) and save for a home, that's great. Most people cannot. I'll max out my space for the first time next year, and I've owned my home for 15 years (5 years left on mortgage.) The limits of TAS are the same whether you live in a High Cost of Living locations...
by MathWizard
Sun Jul 19, 2015 9:43 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Roomba - would you buy it again?
Replies: 30
Views: 2584

Re: Roomba - would you buy it again?

Yes, we like ours, and we'd get another one.

It does gets stuck every once in a while,
but helps keep the pet hair down.
by MathWizard
Thu Jul 16, 2015 9:25 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Paying for sibling's college tuition
Replies: 2
Views: 630

Re: Paying for sibling's college tuition

Check out education tax credits first, certainly for you, especially the American Opportunity Tax Credit and Lifetime Learning Credit. http://www.irs.gov/uac/Tax-Benefits-for-Education:-Information-Center The AOC even has a refundable portion so you can get a tax credit even if you don't owe any tax...
by MathWizard
Tue Jul 14, 2015 3:28 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Updated - Propane Oven Makes Me Sick - Repair or Buy New?
Replies: 35
Views: 2137

Re: Updated - Propane Oven Makes Me Sick - Repair or Buy New?

Update: Repair guy says that the gas safety valve is not completely shutting off. Parts are $185 and labor is probably $100, so repair is near $300. New ones on sale (ends today) are about $700. Repair guy thinks the range is about 10 years old. Opinions on whether to repair or replace? Replace. At...
by MathWizard
Mon Jul 13, 2015 9:48 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Drop collision and/or comprehensive insurance?
Replies: 32
Views: 2713

Re: Drop collision and/or comprehensive insurance?

Drop both and self insure.

I only have insurance for low probability high expenses that I cannot self fund.
Why pay the insurance company profits?

I have term life, disability insurance ,
health insurance , liability on cars and
home insurance. That's plenty for the ins company.
by MathWizard
Mon Jul 13, 2015 5:11 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: One car or two in semi-retirement?
Replies: 49
Views: 3340

Re: One car or two in semi-retirement?

For most of my family, in retirement, the norm is more than one vehicle per person. They have more money than they ever had, and very little in the way of obligations. When they buy a newer car, they either give their older car to their kids, or keep if the kids have a better model. Two nice vehicle...
by MathWizard
Mon Jul 13, 2015 4:56 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: 529 Plan for College in the Near Future
Replies: 3
Views: 509

Re: 529 Plan for College in the Near Future

The volatility is too great in the short term to use equities. I know, I put money in a 529 plan in Dec 2007 with a high equity position to use for paying housing in Spring 2009. You know how well that went. I didn't use those 529 funds until 2012, and got back above water, but my wife did not want ...
by MathWizard
Mon Jul 13, 2015 2:29 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Investing vs. Student Loan vs. Emergency Fund
Replies: 9
Views: 709

Re: Investing vs. Student Loan vs. Emergency Fund

With a child and a mortgage, cash-flow is a much higher priority, so concentrate first on the EF. $23K may seem like a lot of debt, but you took it in to increase your human capital. Put $5K to 10K in the bank or Credit Union, so you have immediate access to it. This is more for small "cash-flo...
by MathWizard
Sun Jul 12, 2015 5:49 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: How do you calculate the expected earnings of the stock market?
Replies: 21
Views: 1538

Re: How do you calculate the expected earnings of the stock market?

Short term there no way.

Long term look at Rick Ferri's Portfolio Solutions
30 yr forecast
by MathWizard
Wed Jul 08, 2015 9:02 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: best return on short term investment
Replies: 10
Views: 1270

Re: best return on short term investment

I posted recently on offshore investment companies. Was warned against them. Though I have been told by reputable accountants that online world wide banks do fabulous interest rates for short term investment. I have approx 2m to invest in short term - from 3months - 6 months at most. I would like t...
by MathWizard
Wed Jul 08, 2015 8:51 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Am I rich or am I a poser?
Replies: 11
Views: 2097

Re: Am I rich or am I a poser?

I don't really worry about rich. I worry about financial independence. If both spouses never worked for a wage ever again, would you be able to support your family? To me, that is FI, and what matters, Beyond FI, more money is basically about pleasures and power. Once you reach FI plus maybe more fo...
by MathWizard
Tue Jun 30, 2015 9:40 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Anyone have a cordless electric or robotic lawn mower?
Replies: 8
Views: 972

Re: Anyone have a cordless electric or robotic lawn mower?

I have an electric and a gas powered mower. The gas powered is larger, self-propelled and more powerful, so I use that when the lawn gets long. Otherwise I use the cordless electric. The cordless is at least 8 years old with one battery replacement, but still going OK. The robotic lawn mower sounds ...
by MathWizard
Tue Jun 30, 2015 2:08 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Emergency Portfolio with 30% Stocks
Replies: 33
Views: 2198

Re: Emergency Portfolio with 30% Stocks

I keep 5 months expenses in cash, and have a second-tier EF that is 100% equities. Even if the second tier fund dropped by 50%, it would still constitute 15 months of expenses. So in a crash like 2008/9, I'd have 20 months living expenses even if both my wife and I lost our jobs, and that is if we d...
by MathWizard
Mon Jun 29, 2015 8:31 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: How to use SSD computer
Replies: 24
Views: 2536

Re: How to use SSD computer

I would just use the internal SSD
If you need extra space put a large SD card
in and save to that.
by MathWizard
Mon Jun 29, 2015 2:37 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Vehicle suggestions for Tall?
Replies: 44
Views: 3291

Re: Vehicle suggestions for Tall?

Buick LeSabre http://fueleconomy.gov/ will give you City/Highway and Ave MPG for cars. This shows 17/27 MPG with a combined average of 21 MPG for my 2002 LeSabre, which is pretty close to my experience. Edmunds gives specs for cars, which includes head room, leg room, etc. See: http://www.edmunds.co...
by MathWizard
Mon Jun 29, 2015 2:29 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Smart phone data usage
Replies: 54
Views: 5606

Re: Smart phone data usage

Went to a smartphone 7 months ago. I am a very light user of phone, text and data So far, 5 MB of data used. Mainly checking email, once using google to look up something when not on wifi, google maps and weather forecast while on a trip. I use wifi at work and at home, and in cafe's/coffeehouses Pr...
by MathWizard
Sun Jun 28, 2015 10:29 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: What's your net worth break down? What's ideal?
Replies: 44
Views: 6803

Re: What's your net worth break down? What's ideal?

Part of your wealth is human capital.

As you get closer to retirement, this is going down, so retirement must go up.

I would suggest that any ideal % net worth breakdown that is independent of age
would have take that into consideration.
by MathWizard
Thu Jun 25, 2015 4:51 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Money arguments with spouse and how did you resolve
Replies: 72
Views: 8795

Re: Money arguments with spouse and how did you resolve

We gave money to family who were in a crunch. It was all paid back, but the amounts would not have caused trouble if had not. This was close family, all of whom had treated us well, not cousins. The biggest disagreement was over housing. I did not want to buy too much house, and it was a seller's ma...
by MathWizard
Thu Jun 25, 2015 8:00 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: 10 year old car
Replies: 27
Views: 3233

Re: 10 year old car

If it will stop you from going out and paying thousands on a new car, get some quotes and go ahead and do it if it is $500 or less. Good repair shops can match the paint well. Given it is a hood, they should be able to remove it for painting and not have to spend lots of time taping up adjacent part...
by MathWizard
Wed Jun 24, 2015 5:06 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: What happens if new cars are hailed on in dealer's lot?
Replies: 16
Views: 2570

Re: What happens if new cars are hailed on in dealer's lot?

They collect the insurance money, and sell them in a hail damage sale.
by MathWizard
Tue Jun 23, 2015 12:33 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: MacBook Pro Worth the money?
Replies: 79
Views: 9001

Re: MacBook Pro Worth the money?

After being a diehard PC advocate, we purchased a MacBook pro just a few weeks ago. My wife is in education, and the school gave her a MacBook Air to use during the school year. When she had to give it back and use my 6 year old laptop or 4 year old netbook, (both with SSDs) she would nearly give up...
by MathWizard
Tue Jun 23, 2015 12:25 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Use Roth IRA to remodel house?
Replies: 18
Views: 2120

Re: Use Roth IRA to remodel house?

I'm not recommending that you remodel, unless it is a necessity. (E.g. handicap accessibility
or safety issues.)

If you are determined to spend on a remodel for aesthetics, pull it from the emergency cash rather than ROTH.

Once you take it out of the ROTH, you can't put it back in.
by MathWizard
Mon Jun 22, 2015 5:54 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: What percent of your spending is "basic" and what percent is "discretionary"?
Replies: 42
Views: 4133

Re: What percent of your spending is "basic" and what percent is "discretionary"?

Between 65% and 70%. Discretionary includes paying for college and mortgage payment which will both be done within 5 yrs. Once those expenses go away, we'll save most of it, but probably spend some on the bigger trips we have planned before we are too old to enjoy them. Hmmm... Those expenses don't...
by MathWizard
Mon Jun 22, 2015 11:33 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: What percent of your spending is "basic" and what percent is "discretionary"?
Replies: 42
Views: 4133

Re: What percent of your spending is "basic" and what percent is "discretionary"?

Between 65% and 70%.

Discretionary includes paying for college and mortgage payment which will both be done within 5 yrs.
Once those expenses go away, we'll save most of it, but probably spend some on the bigger trips we
have planned before we are too old to enjoy them.
by MathWizard
Fri Jun 19, 2015 3:03 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Financial and worldly advice to college kids
Replies: 27
Views: 3274

Re: Financial and worldly advice to college kids

You might be surprised what they pick up. If you'd like them to make better decisions, then they have to make the decision, right or wrong. I made plenty of poor financial decisions when I was young, but that was the cost of my financial education. (After my first car that wasn't a junker costing me...
by MathWizard
Fri Jun 19, 2015 1:02 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Should I open up floor of very old home to search for old coins?
Replies: 35
Views: 5094

Re: Should I open up floor of very old home to search for old coins?

To answer the questions posed: If it were me, I would not.

High risk (of damage) for likely little reward.

Also, this is your parents house, not yours. I tend to be much more
conservative with other people's money than my own.
by MathWizard
Fri Jun 19, 2015 11:30 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Suggestions on what to pay off first: mortgage or car payment
Replies: 23
Views: 2523

Re: Suggestions on what to pay off first: mortgage or car payment

I go for C as well.

Put the money in a ROTH, (you can always pull out the contributions in an emergency)
or if you have no ROTH space left and hate debt, put it in savings for your next car, and pay for
that one with cash.
by MathWizard
Thu Jun 18, 2015 4:20 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Your Top 10 Worst Bands/ Musicians and Movies
Replies: 48
Views: 5276

Re: Your Top 10 Worst Bands/ Musicians and Movies

Worst Movies:

Plan 9 from Outer Space
The Blob
Hotel Hell
by MathWizard
Wed Jun 17, 2015 12:11 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Dress Shirts: Off The Rack + Tailored Or Made to Measure
Replies: 15
Views: 1633

Re: Dress Shirts: Off The Rack + Tailored Or Made to Measure

I have the same problem with a big neck size seeming to create the impression you need a tent for a shirt. I've gotten the athletic or slim fit dress shirts from JC Penneys, but I have moved into a higher position for which higher-end shirts are expected. For these, I have been going to Brooks Broth...
by MathWizard
Mon Jun 15, 2015 12:23 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Gifting Money at Parties
Replies: 220
Views: 14348

Re: Gifting Money at Parties

We usually give $50 at a wedding, $75 if family. I agree things have gotten out of hand. At our wedding 32 yrs ago, about 1/3 of the gifts were cash, which amounted to $300 total. We were glad to have it. Neither family was rich, and the cost was borne about 2/3 by my wife and I, and 1/3 by the brid...
by MathWizard
Wed Jun 03, 2015 3:57 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: How to pay $150 In Taxes On $150000 Income
Replies: 37
Views: 7124

Re: How to pay $150 In Taxes On $150000 Income

Wasn't trying to say he was a fraud. Just wondering how the heck you make a meal for $4.50 for five people. How do you do it while still maintaining a healthy minimally processed diet? Oatmeal for 5 is about 50 cents. If one moves away from red meat and large portions, then I can see $5 a meal for ...
by MathWizard
Wed Jun 03, 2015 2:53 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Macbook Air: Spend $ on RAM or Faster Intel HD Graphics?
Replies: 54
Views: 4387

Re: Macbook Air: Spend $ on RAM or Faster Intel HD Graphics?

And while I am at it! Has anyone out there with my needs opted for the new Macbook and what are your thoughts? Roosevelt. I went with a 13" MacBook Pro. 8GB RAM, 256GB SSD for my wife. It is as light as an MacBook Air and has more external connectors, and she like it as well or better than the...
by MathWizard
Tue May 26, 2015 5:21 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: At what point does 529 make sense
Replies: 24
Views: 3337

Re: At what point does 529 make sense

If you get a state income tax break, they are OK. I put them after 401K to the match, and fully funding our ROTHs, but before maxing the 401K. Generally, income has a much bigger effect on financial aid eligibility than assets. I had zero contribution from assets, but my income well under $100K allo...
by MathWizard
Tue May 26, 2015 5:07 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Life insurance as college saving
Replies: 13
Views: 852

Re: Life insurance as college saving

I think you are doing OK on saving for college. Remember that if you are saving $6K per year, then you will also have $6K/year while they are in college in addition to any savings you have built up. You can use ROTH contributions to pay for college if needed, if that is a possibility. You are likely...
by MathWizard
Tue May 26, 2015 2:18 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Church Endowment RFP
Replies: 8
Views: 704

Re: Church Endowment RFP

Having been on the financial board, I found that only the most conservative holdings work. Everyone is appreciative when the endowment grows, but the first time it drops, even by a small amount, all the gains are forgotten, and the integrity/competence of the board members gets questioned. Hard to h...
by MathWizard
Tue May 26, 2015 2:09 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Friends/Family that don't invest!
Replies: 94
Views: 11499

Re: Friends/Family that don't invest!

I only worry about my family (wife and kids). I discuss with my wife, and advise my kids on saving.investing as well as many other things. I don't push it on anyone, even my kids. My wife sees the gains we have made, and appreciates the work I have done to learn all that I can about finances. My kid...
by MathWizard
Tue May 26, 2015 11:34 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Once in a life time trip.
Replies: 121
Views: 7516

Re: Once in a life time trip.

I think that you are setting the bar too high. At 8 yrs. old, most everything is going to be forgettable. Time with family, doing something different is probably all you need. One thing my kids remember is walking on a glacier in Canada. (Athabasca Glacier, Jasper National Park) The youngest was abo...
by MathWizard
Mon May 25, 2015 8:19 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Do-it-yourself handy person: How did you learn?
Replies: 41
Views: 4942

Re: Do-it-yourself handy person: How did you learn?

Older brothers, shop and the library.
by MathWizard
Thu May 21, 2015 9:28 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: The end of the nest egg
Replies: 30
Views: 7795

Re: The end of the nest egg

Most projections I do with the worst case analysis.

I'm far more likely to end up with a huge portfolio, than running out.
by MathWizard
Thu May 21, 2015 9:25 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Teaching maths to a 4 year old
Replies: 31
Views: 2745

Re: Teaching maths to a 4 year old

I bought Legos as the kids loved to build. I also bought a program names sea school, where my boys could "win" fireworks and cheers by fishing for the right answer to a question. They asked to play it, I did not buy nintendo etc until they were much older and had already been given one by ...
by MathWizard
Wed May 20, 2015 2:36 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: How much is financial flexibility worth?
Replies: 19
Views: 2488

Re: How much is financial flexibility worth?

By maxing out ROTHs , you have more flexibility. You can stop funding the ROTHs, increasing available cash-flow by $11K/year If you need more, you can withdraw ROTH contributions, though that will reduce your overall retirement funds. But hey, if you are now in the 28% tax bracket, you are doing wel...
by MathWizard
Tue May 19, 2015 4:19 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: How much does social security factor into your retirement income?
Replies: 169
Views: 13295

Re: How much does social security factor into your retirement income?

None. I make my decisions based on the assumption that we will get zero from Social Security. Do you do the same for government bonds? And stock dividends? etc Yes. When the value of my retirement accounts reaches $600,000, I will retire then. Not a moment sooner or later than that. With a paid off...
by MathWizard
Tue May 19, 2015 4:16 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Living on last months income.
Replies: 33
Views: 3591

Re: Living on last months income.

8foot7,

Thanks for the clarification.

I have a first tier EF and short-term savings in a savings account and CDs, but the checking account drops
to under $1000 by the end of the month most months.

If I had a an extra month's income beyond that, it would go into my retirement accounts.

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