Search found 1786 matches

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: 926

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: 1788

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: 2174

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: 43
Views: 2740

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: 4256

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: 6470

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: 70
Views: 7315

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: 3056

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: 2501

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: 7982

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: 2032

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: 3842

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: 3842

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: 3108

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: 5004

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: 2355

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: 5041

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: 1568

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: 13689

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: 6952

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: 4256

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: 3238

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: 834

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: 688

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: 11268

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: 7322

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: 4849

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: 7672

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: 2694

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: 2462

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: 12640

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: 3488

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.
by MathWizard
Tue May 19, 2015 4:09 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Living on last months income.
Replies: 33
Views: 3488

Re: Living on last months income.

Does this mean you only have one month's buffer? I haven't done that since grad school. Currently I'm living on money from nearly 100 months ago, or maybe from 6 months ago, depending upon how you figure it. A retiree might be living on income from 360 month's ago. Maybe I am missing your meaning co...
by MathWizard
Tue May 19, 2015 4:02 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Bonds - Picking up Nickels in Front of a Steamroller?
Replies: 50
Views: 5293

Re: Bonds - Picking up Nickels in Front of a Steamroller?

I would reserve that phrase for complex financial instruments, which are priced so that you get a small
gain almost all of the time, until they don't, when you lose it all.

Think
Long Term Capital Management,
highly leveraged mortgage backed securities based upon liar loans,
naked shorts.
by MathWizard
Mon May 18, 2015 5:07 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Benchmarking - Do you and what is your reference?
Replies: 13
Views: 820

Re: Benchmarking - Do you and what is your reference?

I use Russel 3000 as benchmark for equities.
by MathWizard
Mon May 18, 2015 5:04 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Net Worth: How do you 'stack up'
Replies: 6
Views: 2216

Re: Net Worth: How do you 'stack up'

The average person with a college degree is worth almost $1,000,000? I'm way behind. Clearly a flawed tool. It is probably collecting statistics based upon what people are entering. Looking at the 2011 excel spreadsheet from the census, https://www.census.gov/people/wealth/data/disttables.html the ...
by MathWizard
Mon May 18, 2015 1:07 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: To refinance or not to refinance
Replies: 13
Views: 1260

Re: To refinance or not to refinance

A drop in 1% on the loan, yes, I'd go for it. The $4K closing cost seems high. We only have had about $1500 in closing costs, but that was on a smaller mortgage. The $4K likely includes escrow amounts to the new mortgage company, and the previous mortgage company will send you a check for your escro...
by MathWizard
Mon May 18, 2015 12:39 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Time to reach 1M and 2M milestones
Replies: 74
Views: 12774

Re: Time to reach 1M and 2M milestones

For investment portfolio, excludes house and EF, and in today's dollars: $1M expect to be there within 5 years. Total time investing will be 30 years. $2M won't ever make it I found the first 12 to 16 years to be the most important. After that, long-term gains started to outstrip contributions.
by MathWizard
Sat May 16, 2015 9:29 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: How much does social security factor into your retirement income?
Replies: 169
Views: 12640

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

I plan on claiming SS at 70, and plan on 75% of calculated benefits.

I calculate then myself,as the statements assume you work until age 62, FRA or 70. I may
stop working at other times, but claim at 70.

It should be about 1/3 to 1/2 of our income depending on when we retire.
by MathWizard
Wed May 13, 2015 9:00 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Home Internet - Cat 5e or Cat 6
Replies: 49
Views: 3441

Re: Home Internet - Cat 5e or Cat 6

Cat 5e will provide gigabit speeds that should provide plenty of bandwidth for home consumption. cat 6 could support 10 gigabit We stream two 1080p screens at 13gigabit. I'm not sure that my brain can handle sensory input at 10 gigabit. Now if you become a server farm or ISP stream out content you'l...
by MathWizard
Wed May 13, 2015 12:50 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Can a room with only a toilet be considered a bathroom?
Replies: 28
Views: 2407

Re: Can a toilet alone in a room be considered a bathroom?

I would not count it as a bathroom. I don't think any codes are being violated, but they vary from state to state and city to city. Around here, it was pretty common in the old days to stub in sewer/water in the basement for possibly adding a basement bathroom at a future date. (You aren't going to ...
by MathWizard
Tue May 12, 2015 5:02 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: I Hate Vacations
Replies: 113
Views: 10035

Re: I Hate Vacations

I understand where you are coming from.
If it weren't for my wife, I wouldn't enjoy traveling that much.

A good traveling companion makes all the difference.
by MathWizard
Tue May 12, 2015 4:27 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Will you buy self-driving car?
Replies: 235
Views: 10678

Re: Will you buy self-driving car?

it would be a long time before I trusted my life to a software program. You do that every time you get in a commercial air plane. That airplane's software is being babysat by two professionally-trained and highly-experienced human pilots. There's virtually nothing for the plan to crash into, yet it...
by MathWizard
Mon May 11, 2015 5:58 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: What regulatory protections apply to IRAs?
Replies: 3
Views: 322

Re: What regulatory protections apply to IRAs?

Thanks for the link in the Wiki Taylor.
by MathWizard
Mon May 11, 2015 12:11 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: What regulatory protections apply to IRAs?
Replies: 3
Views: 322

What regulatory protections apply to IRAs?

My wife and I have IRAs at TIAA-CREF. With the recent rise in ER for IRAs at that company (rate of about 0.69%) we are looking at Vanguard for all IRA investment. What regulatory protection does an IRA at Vanguard have, and would it be any different from TIAA-CREF? I'm not talking about losing money...
by MathWizard
Sat May 09, 2015 2:21 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Somebody hit our parked car today!!
Replies: 21
Views: 3739

Re: Somebody hit our parked car today!!

Let your agent know, and they should deal with the other insurance agency. I'd take pictures right away, and notify the police (not 911) that an accident occurred (they may want a report). I'd guess there will be little you have to do. When you are driving, you usually fill out an accident report, b...
by MathWizard
Fri May 08, 2015 1:18 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: When to junk a car?
Replies: 27
Views: 2286

Re: When to junk a car?

I think you've gotten the life out of the car.
I would not (and my wife wouldn't let me) sink that much into a 12 yr old
car with 190K on it.

I'd be surprised if you get what you've quoted on trade-in, given the work the car needs.
by MathWizard
Fri May 08, 2015 11:47 am
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: If you worry about a correction, you shouldn't own stocks
Replies: 50
Views: 5809

Re: If you worry about a correction, you shouldn't own stocks

Tim Cook hasn't succeeded in getting Buffet to use a smart phone...he refuses to stop using his flip phone. This man is legendary in his frugality and simplicity Buffet's good friend Bill Gates had a hard time convincing Buffet to buy/use a personal computer. Buffet bought one so that he could play...
by MathWizard
Wed May 06, 2015 1:39 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: The Case FOR the Roth 401k
Replies: 46
Views: 4654

Re: The Case FOR the Roth 401k

The usual advice is: 1) 401k to the match 2) ROTH IRA 3) back to the 401k Not everyone has a Roth 401k option. (Heck, some people don't even have a 401k) Once you get to step 3, you could do a mix of 401k and Roth 401k just like steps 1,2. I find that I will be close to retirement before I will have...

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