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Re: smartphone over wifi - still possible?

I've been a tracfone user for years. Just last week I got a tracfone lg 39c (Optimus dynamic II) I works on the Verizon network (CDMA) and calls are better than my last phone. It is a triple minutes phone so a $129 One year service card gives me serive for 12 months and 1200 minutes. It also gives m...
by MathWizard
Thu Nov 20, 2014 11:15 pm
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: smartphone over wifi - still possible?
Replies: 28
Views: 1577

Re: Need help for spending hard-earned money wisely

We have helped out parents, but main focus is on my children. You are a single mom with a dependent and large school loans. I'd consider the following questions: It looks like you have a negative net worth, do you parents have a negative net worth? Why should money be flowing backwards rather than f...
by MathWizard
Mon Nov 17, 2014 5:43 pm
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Need help for spending hard-earned money wisely
Replies: 18
Views: 2363

Re: [Should I] rent out [my] house [for a 3-day event]?

My nephew rented his house in Sturgis for a week, took a vacations
and netted enough for that month's mortgage.

People coming to see the pope are probably not going to trash the house.

It is a calculated risk. I'd probably get the money in advance.
by MathWizard
Mon Nov 17, 2014 5:22 pm
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: [Should I] rent out [my] house [for a 3-day event]?
Replies: 67
Views: 3750

Re: Rebalancing quarterly beats yearly, monthly, or never

The cited paper ignores taxes and transaction costs. for tax-advantaged funds, taxes would not be important, but transaction costs must be borne by someone. My accounts have limits on the number of "trades" I may make in any quarter, to reduce the transaction costs. These transaction costs...
by MathWizard
Tue Nov 11, 2014 3:14 pm
 
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Rebalancing quarterly beats yearly, monthly, or never
Replies: 11
Views: 1101

Re: For the next year or so, why shouldn't we be in all-cas

It's not possible for EVERYONE to be in cash.
Someone will own the businesses.
by MathWizard
Mon Nov 10, 2014 8:16 pm
 
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: For the next year or so, why shouldn't we be in all-cash?
Replies: 54
Views: 6673

Re: Should I shelter all my income?

If you are single, you should be able to have at least $10K in income before incurring any tax. (One personal exemption + standard deduction) I'd also probably at least go further and fill up to the max of the 10% bracket, unless you think you will be in the 0% tax bracket throughout retirement even...
by MathWizard
Mon Nov 10, 2014 5:30 pm
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Should I shelter all my income?
Replies: 3
Views: 661

Re: What Movie Have You Recently Watched?

Saw Interstellar yesterday. Good movie. The story was much better than Gravity IMO. Dave I saw interstellar in an IMAX. The special effects were great. Too loud at times (covered my ears so I could hear later dialogue). The story seemed predictable in many places. I thought they stretched the subst...
by MathWizard
Mon Nov 10, 2014 3:23 pm
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: What Movie Have You Recently Watched?
Replies: 208
Views: 15980

Re: Messy baby restaurant etiquette

Find a restaurant with kid-friendly food, which often is a fast food place, and the food often does not require utensils. Hamburgers, french fries. We found one that served french toast that looked like large french fries and could be dipped. (Kids loved it.) This did not ruin their eating habits, a...
by MathWizard
Mon Nov 10, 2014 11:26 am
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Messy baby restaurant etiquette
Replies: 75
Views: 4428

Re: Cash In CC Points?

Cash in and pay off debt. The points are earning 0% which you are paying 4.84% on your car loan. I never let points grow that large. I used to be able to get a check, and I would put that into savings. Since that option is no longer available, I now use the statement credit option, and just transfer...
by MathWizard
Mon Nov 10, 2014 10:58 am
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Cash In CC Points?
Replies: 22
Views: 2465

Re: AA...any other crazy 80/20 folks out there?

I'm older than you and I'm nearly 90/10 for my portfolio.
(This ignores my savings account and CD which are for cashflow,
if I include them, then I am about 80/20 like you.)
by MathWizard
Fri Nov 07, 2014 2:35 pm
 
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: AA...any other crazy 80/20 folks out there?
Replies: 57
Views: 4743

Re: Good book for 13 year old?

I don't have a specific recommendation. I always looked for teachable moments. When he was with me in line at the bank, I glanced over and noticed the CD rates on the wall. (They were higher then.) I pointed out to him that the ones with higher minimums had better rates, and the one with longer term...
by MathWizard
Fri Nov 07, 2014 2:32 pm
 
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Good book for 13 year old?
Replies: 14
Views: 1655

Re: "Easy" social security question...

The three main reasons I have heard fro taking it as soon as possible are: 1) I won't live that long. ( I would only use that one if I were single and already diagnosed.) The problem is that you "win" if you die earlier than statistics say you would. That is not my definition of "winn...
by MathWizard
Fri Nov 07, 2014 10:08 am
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: "Easy" social security question...
Replies: 50
Views: 3695

Re: Your very first email

Bitnet, to my thesis advisor who was on sabbatical.
by MathWizard
Thu Nov 06, 2014 4:59 pm
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Your very first email
Replies: 60
Views: 2371

Re: 2015: Day Care Flex Spending Account

I'd go with an IRS publication over anything else.
However on page 6 of that Pub, in the section just above the one you mention specifically excludes
education unless it is incidental to the care cost. Example 1 clarifies that.

Of course this is a 2013 Pub, so things could always have changed.
by MathWizard
Thu Nov 06, 2014 4:57 pm
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: 2015: Day Care Flex Spending Account
Replies: 6
Views: 713

Re: How do you automatically rebalance?

I don't automatically re-balance. I watch my balance regularly and when it gets far from my AA, I manually re-balance. I don't have really hard limits on when to re-balance because I have a rather large range of AAs I would be comfortable with. I re-balance when I get close to the edge of that range...
by MathWizard
Wed Nov 05, 2014 7:44 pm
 
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: How do you automatically rebalance?
Replies: 34
Views: 2295

Re: Cash - Throw it on the table!

I am not able to fill up all tax advantaged, so I just use cash in the bank for smoothing cash flow. I also keep 4 months expenses in several CDs, which I can break for an emergency. True cash (not CDs) fluctuates between 1 and 6 months expenses. I am still writing tuition checks, so ebbs occur in J...
by MathWizard
Wed Nov 05, 2014 12:40 pm
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Cash - Throw it all on the table!!!
Replies: 51
Views: 3733

Re: For a 31.5 year old single guy, how am I doing?

You are doing great. At the age of 31, you: are maxing out a 401K, are spending $1200/month less than take-home, and have a net worth over a quarter of a million dollars Your savings into the 401K plus the 1200/month you are not spending means that you are saving $2,658/month, while spending $4,600....
by MathWizard
Mon Nov 03, 2014 11:20 am
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: how am I doing?
Replies: 36
Views: 4097

Re: Ignition key won't turn - more complicated than expected

I would get a replacement cylinder and key that goes with it.
This will require being able to turn the key one more time.
by MathWizard
Sun Nov 02, 2014 7:39 am
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Ignition key won't turn - more complicated than expected
Replies: 24
Views: 1857

Re: Why so long to transfer IRA to Vanguard?

My transfer to Vanguard from Tiaa-cref
Of Roth funds took several weeks, but it
was TC that dragged their heels.
by MathWizard
Fri Oct 31, 2014 4:18 pm
 
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Why so long to transfer IRA to Vanguard?
Replies: 29
Views: 1827

Re: A Little Common Core Math problem

My child is in fifth grade and has similar problems in his math book (the school follows the common core). Based on standardized testing (NWEA) he is currently at the 99th percentile for 11th grade , but is struggling with the common core curriculum. How is this possible, your fifth grader figured ...
by MathWizard
Thu Oct 30, 2014 4:41 pm
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: A Little Common Core Math problem
Replies: 97
Views: 2688

Re: Possibility of financial markets breakdown / transformat

Invest in knowledge. Know how to fix things yourself, grow food, know a little about first aid. Know enough so that if your favored profession is no longer favored, you could still feed yourself. Some items might be handy. A wood stove and an axe if living in wooded areas. Some method for collecting...
by MathWizard
Thu Oct 30, 2014 4:21 pm
 
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Possibility of financial markets breakdown / transformation?
Replies: 16
Views: 1802

Re: Heat pump question

The behavior you describe suggests the heat pump is not working at all.
I'd have it checked.
by MathWizard
Thu Oct 30, 2014 3:14 pm
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Heat pump question
Replies: 50
Views: 3289

Re: A Little Common Core Math problem

Solving this problem with equations requires algebra. Since algebra is not being taught at that grade level the students must rely on critical thinking skills. She did solve the problem – and did it without algebra. Not elegant but sufficient. Good for her. I agree. I assume algebra is not being ta...
by MathWizard
Thu Oct 30, 2014 3:00 pm
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: A Little Common Core Math problem
Replies: 97
Views: 2688

Re: A Little Common Core Math problem

This problem doesn't seem confusing, and I'm not sure why everyone is upset about the concept of Everyday Math (which has been taught LONG before Common Core). x + 8x = 63 9x = 63 x = 7 The cat weighs 7 lbs and the dog weighs 56 lbs. This does not require a calculator nor a pen and paper. Why are s...
by MathWizard
Thu Oct 30, 2014 2:55 pm
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: A Little Common Core Math problem
Replies: 97
Views: 2688

Re: What to ask for when negotiating a severance package?

The only time I have ever heard of someone negotiating a severance package is a CEO who won't come in without a golden parachute. When you are hired and sought after is when you have the most negotiating power. Even one of two months severance is chump change. That's what your EF is for. I'd take wh...
by MathWizard
Thu Oct 30, 2014 10:51 am
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: What to ask for when negotiating a severance package?
Replies: 26
Views: 2117

Re: Protect Your Family from the Unexpected - Fidelity

I'm not worried. I'm more worried about long-term finances, so I take care of that for now, by my wife is more than capable, should I falter. I will likely predecease her, so my kids would need to step up to the plate for her. We've done the same for our parents, as they did for theirs. I think most...
by MathWizard
Thu Oct 30, 2014 10:42 am
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Protect Your Family from the Unexpected - Fidelity
Replies: 1
Views: 520

Re: Early SS or Higher IRA Withdrawal??

I suggest running a few scenarios through I-ORP (h ttp://www.i-orp.com/ ) with differing SS claiming strategies. Also, the higher Trad. IRA withdrawal from 62-70 has a small benefit in that it will reduce your RMDs after 70 1/2 and a slight effect on the amount of SS benefits that are taxable can be...
by MathWizard
Thu Oct 30, 2014 10:35 am
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Early SS or Higher IRA Withdrawal??
Replies: 19
Views: 1582

Re: The safest 4 door sedan out there

I drive cars that are highly rated for safety, but that is but one factor. I find that cars that the safety that derives from a car that "fits" me overrides the small improvement among the most top-rated models. I also give up on the newest safety improvements by not buying new each year. ...
by MathWizard
Thu Oct 30, 2014 10:24 am
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: The safest 4 door sedan out there
Replies: 74
Views: 4530

Re: Roth IRA Emergency Fund Assest Choices

You could check with a credit union about Roth IRA CDs. You don't get great interest but you can fill up the ROTH this year from your EF. Also remember you have until Apr 15 next year to contribute to this year's IRA you just have to note that it is for the previous year . My IRA contibution forms h...
by MathWizard
Wed Oct 29, 2014 9:40 pm
 
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Roth IRA Emergency Fund Assest Choices
Replies: 6
Views: 755

Re: Early SS or Higher IRA Withdrawal??

OP, The higher withdrawal rate is fine, since the extra above the 4% is essentially buying a higher SS benefit later. I've run projection of average income, and find I can support a slightly higher spending rate when I assume claiming at 70 over claiming at 67, even when I only assume we get 75% of ...
by MathWizard
Wed Oct 29, 2014 4:16 pm
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Early SS or Higher IRA Withdrawal??
Replies: 19
Views: 1582

Re: It is foolish for most of us to purchase individual stoc

Taylor Larimore wrote:
The market average ...

MathWizard:

Your paragraph above is the best explanation I have seen of why it is foolish for most of us to purchase individual stocks.

Thank you and best wishes.
Taylor



Taylor,

Coming from you that is high praise.

Thanks!
MathWizard
by MathWizard
Wed Oct 29, 2014 4:01 pm
 
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: how risky is stock investing?
Replies: 16
Views: 1279

Re: shortest mortgage available

Check with local credit unions. About 18 months ago, I was able to get a 7 year 3.75% fixed rate HEL with no closing costs, and no pre-payment penalty at a local credit union. They took the county's assessment as the proof of the value of the house to meet the 70% LTV requirement, and did not requir...
by MathWizard
Wed Oct 29, 2014 2:19 pm
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: shortest mortgage available
Replies: 16
Views: 1954

Re: how risky is stock investing?

I have read the Intelligent Investor, and other investing books. I would suggest reading Bogle's "Common Sense for Mutual Funds", and read the getting started portion of the Wiki (in the bar near the Support this Site icon.) Generally you want to keep expenses low (Expense Ratios are not o...
by MathWizard
Wed Oct 29, 2014 2:07 pm
 
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: how risky is stock investing?
Replies: 16
Views: 1279

Re: What online banks do you like for savings or MMA?

I like local Credit Unions better for cash. With cash, I'm not really after yield, I'm after liquidity. I can drive or bike the two miles to my bank and withdraw my entire account any time during normal business hours or on Sat. mornings. Cash makes up only about 2-5% of my portfolio, much of that i...
by MathWizard
Wed Oct 29, 2014 1:51 pm
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: What online banks do you like for savings or MMA?
Replies: 44
Views: 3092

Re: Finance kids' medical educations with a HELOC?

I would still say that you should have them take out the loans themselves. If they are not willing to bet the loans against their career, you should not either. Only if they absolutely cannot take out loans should you even consider this. Once you are secure in your retirement, and they have graduate...
by MathWizard
Wed Oct 29, 2014 11:57 am
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Finance kids' medical educations with a HELOC?
Replies: 24
Views: 1840

Re: Do you dream about retirement?

Case in point, we live several states away. He rarely sees us or his grandchildren. Despite that, he didn't make any trips out to visit us, even when he had conferences in the area. It simply boggles the mind (pardon the pun) that he would not slow down after "retirement" and spend more t...
by MathWizard
Mon Oct 27, 2014 4:34 pm
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Do you dream about retirement?
Replies: 91
Views: 6566

Re: If holding cash, do you want a Great Depression?

No, not really. This is really a philosophy. This is the theory that in order to richer than your neighbor , you want your neighbor to lose all his money. Now you have more money, but live in a depressed neighborhood, and everyone hates you because you kicked them when they were down. What you reall...
by MathWizard
Mon Oct 27, 2014 4:08 pm
 
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: If holding cash, do you want a Great Depression?
Replies: 50
Views: 4043

Re: Retiring without any additional investments for 25 years

If your annual income is $400-500 K now, how would you be happy living on $120K in retirement? I can understand that you may not have a mortgage and some expenses associated with work and the kids will not be there (hopefully) but I doubt that you are paying out $300K for those expenses, and you cer...
by MathWizard
Mon Oct 27, 2014 10:28 am
 
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Retiring without any additional investments for 25 years
Replies: 20
Views: 2878

Re: Just wondering how you personally calculate net worth

An equally valid question is, how do you calculate your height? I include my feet, and my head, when measuring my height. When I went to the doctor's office recently, they measured my height while I was wearing shoes and weighed me while I was fully clothed . Not only was I heavier than I expected,...
by MathWizard
Mon Oct 27, 2014 10:00 am
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Just wondering how you personally calculate net worth
Replies: 56
Views: 3826

Re: Do you regret buying your home?

No.

We will have to eventually go to single level from a split foyer, once the knees start to go,
but being in a good school district and close to the school were important when the kids were young.
by MathWizard
Fri Oct 24, 2014 5:55 pm
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Do you regret buying your home?
Replies: 82
Views: 6939

Re: How often do you change your car's oil?

3-5 K, with non-synthetic oil but at least once a year, preferably no more than 6 months.
by MathWizard
Fri Oct 24, 2014 10:11 am
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: How often do you change your car's oil?
Replies: 168
Views: 10856

Re: How much to spend on a remodel?

When we did this it was only about $5-$6K for a half-3/4 bath conversion (adding a shower not a tub). This involved moving partition walls, and adding ventilation. Granted that was 15 years ago, but I can't imagine prices have quadrupled since then. Are you putting radiant floor heating in or someth...
by MathWizard
Wed Oct 22, 2014 2:44 pm
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: How much to spend on a remodel?
Replies: 7
Views: 862

Re: Electric Garage Door

I just had my two old wooden doors and springs replaced with new insulated doors and torsion springs. This is the second spring that broke (it sounds like a shotgun when they break), The force was enough that it tore a bracket off the wall, so it was hanging. Luckily nobody was standing outside of t...
by MathWizard
Wed Oct 22, 2014 10:55 am
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Electric Garage Door
Replies: 10
Views: 922

Re: Windows XP

Do the rest of us a favor and retire your machine. If you are browsing the internet on it, it is probably already has some sort of virus on it and is ready to wake up on demand to attack other machines I was configuring a machine years ago, and needed it on the internet for part of the configure. I ...
by MathWizard
Wed Oct 22, 2014 10:00 am
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Windows XP
Replies: 62
Views: 3043

Re: POLL: How fulfilling is your retirement?

Thanks for this poll.

I believe that retirement will be fulfilling, but wonder if my life has been molded around my
work for so long, that I will find myself adrift. It's good to know that this is not the case for
the majority responding to the pool. This makes me less worried.
by MathWizard
Sun Oct 19, 2014 9:29 pm
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: POLL: How fulfilling is your retirement?
Replies: 34
Views: 3043

Re: Got my first cold call - does this mean I've 'made it?'

My 401(k) is managed by Fidelity. When my balance exceeded 500k a few months ago, I got a call from Fidelity representative to offer help to manage my account. I told her that I am OK with my own account and she never called back again. I started to get more calls soon after hitting $500K, maybe th...
by MathWizard
Sun Oct 19, 2014 9:24 pm
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Got my first cold call - does this mean I've 'made it?'
Replies: 30
Views: 5511

Re: Mega bus vacation with toddlers.

How about an alternate suggestion: instead of a nearly 1000 mile trip, I would find something much closer to home for children that age, and use your minivan. We limited trips to 6 hours driving time max (with breaks every 2 hours) until the youngest was 5 years old. Our first long vacation was abou...
by MathWizard
Sat Oct 18, 2014 10:36 pm
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Mega bus vacation with toddlers.
Replies: 27
Views: 2064

Re: Anyone cancelling travel plans?

No change in travel plans.
by MathWizard
Sat Oct 18, 2014 8:54 pm
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Anyone cancelling travel plans?
Replies: 117
Views: 6408

Re: Bill Sharpe on the 4% SWR rule (he thinks it's silly)

You can avoid the whipsaw in income if SS is a large portion of your income, or if you buy enough of an inflation adjusted annuity such that it and SS handle the floor of your expenses, and use a variable withdrawal method for the discretionary spending. The 4% SWR gives you an approximation for wha...
by MathWizard
Wed Oct 15, 2014 5:06 pm
 
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Bill Sharpe on the 4% SWR rule (he thinks it's silly)
Replies: 51
Views: 4693

Re: Should I share financial info with potential guardian?

I'm not sure why you would choose someone who is much older. There are no siblings on either side you would trust? (Yes, really, really trust). We picked a CPA brother of mine as executor with instructions to set up a trust, and chose my wife's sister & husband (the godparents) as the guardians....
by MathWizard
Wed Oct 15, 2014 4:50 pm
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Should I share financial info with potential guardian?
Replies: 5
Views: 758
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