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Re: Snow blower maintenance and repair

If you'd like to try fixing yourself: I would replace the spark plug (you can also check if it the plug is firing by leaving the sparkplug out of the engine, put touching the engine case (to complete the circuit.) Cranking it in a dark location to see if there is a visible spark. You can also crank ...
by MathWizard
Mon Dec 22, 2014 12:00 pm
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Snow blower maintenance and repair
Replies: 8
Views: 171

Re: How do you factor entitlements into your investing plan?

I plan on Medicare being there. I'd have to work probably another 3 years if it is not, assuming I can get insurance for the two of us at rates similar to that I am paying now for a family. I plan on 75% of projected SS benefits based on statements in the trustees report. Otherwise I assume all othe...
by MathWizard
Mon Dec 22, 2014 11:02 am
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: How do you factor entitlements into your investing plan?
Replies: 52
Views: 4442

Re: Solar USB chargers

For emergencies a crank charger works whether the sun shines or not

At home I have an extra car battery and a power inverter.
The car can be used as well as was said earlier.
by MathWizard
Fri Dec 19, 2014 11:26 pm
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Solar USB chargers
Replies: 14
Views: 1263

Re: Don't be tempted to buy your teen a cheap (old) car, par

We let our kids have our car and we got a newer car. The kids had been riding in that same car with either me or my wife as the driver. We buy safe cars. They have seen us both drive defensively and we taught them to drive and then sent them to driver's education. I think this is so much more import...
by MathWizard
Fri Dec 19, 2014 11:18 pm
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Don't be tempted to buy your teen a cheap (old) car, parents
Replies: 74
Views: 5260

Re: ACA insurance Q... for 26 yo child coming off my insuran

What will this 26-year-old child do when, not if, you're no longer available to manage her financial affairs? PJW I'm going to be more charitable and assume the daughter is asking advice from a more experienced person, just as the OP is asking for advice from more experienced people on this site. I...
by MathWizard
Fri Dec 19, 2014 5:03 pm
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: ACA insurance Q... for 26 yo child coming off my insurance
Replies: 8
Views: 1214

Re: Stolen car recovered, need a plan

do you itemize your deductions? If so: donate it. How is that ever a good deal because even if you got a slightly inflated value over what you could sell it for (unlikely) you still only get your tax rate which for most people is 25% to 35%. I have sold 12 year old cars privately several times. The...
by MathWizard
Fri Dec 19, 2014 4:32 pm
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Stolen car recovered, need a plan
Replies: 25
Views: 2477

Re: Federal Taxes - Sticker Shock (And how to reduce)

I assume you are getting the child tax credit(s), assuming your children are under 16. There is a phase-out of this based on income beginning at $110,000 AGI, so making those 401(k) contributions along with HSA, FSA, health insurance, etc. may help keep one eligible. See http://www.irs.gov/pub/irs-...
by MathWizard
Fri Dec 19, 2014 4:17 pm
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Federal Taxes - Sticker Shock (And how to reduce)
Replies: 58
Views: 4908

Re: Stolen car recovered, need a plan

I would donate the car, and bunch up deduction this year. (prop tax and charitable deductions) Is using Kelley Blue Book or NADA value for such a car acceptable to the IRS for Fair market value on a stolen car? You probably need to get the VIN plate replaced before doing so. I'm just not sure how mu...
by MathWizard
Fri Dec 19, 2014 2:46 pm
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Stolen car recovered, need a plan
Replies: 25
Views: 2477

Re: Disappointed with sale items

Go to a BB store and try the shirts on, don't buy online.
I bought some just a few months ago, and the quality is good.

I rarely buy apparel that I cannot try on.
by MathWizard
Fri Dec 19, 2014 2:36 pm
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Disappointed with sale items
Replies: 22
Views: 2397

Re: Federal Taxes - Sticker Shock (And how to reduce)

Don't concentrate just on Federal Income tax, focus on your entire financial situation. From your comments, you're currently paying about $5500 in interest on student loans. You are just under the limit where student loan interest where $2500 of that is deductible, so this year, student loan interes...
by MathWizard
Fri Dec 19, 2014 2:23 pm
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Federal Taxes - Sticker Shock (And how to reduce)
Replies: 58
Views: 4908

Re: ACA insurance Q... for 26 yo child coming off my insuran

My oldest was in a similar situation. He took a High deductible plan with his new employer and set up HSA contribution which they match in addition to supplying part of the premium. The risk is low when you are young, and the High Deductible plan guards against catastrophic medical bills. I never ha...
by MathWizard
Thu Dec 18, 2014 4:34 pm
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: ACA insurance Q... for 26 yo child coming off my insurance
Replies: 8
Views: 1214

Re: We made our own Will

OK. Good luck to you, and here's hoping the matter will be moot for many decades. :D
by MathWizard
Thu Dec 18, 2014 4:23 pm
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: We made our own Will
Replies: 52
Views: 3482

Re: We made our own Will

A will is one of the most technical of all legal documents to draft. It does not take effect until after you are dead, which means it can not be changed if a mistake is found after you are gone. So, it is not a good idea to do it yourself, it is a very bad idea. You should consult an experienced at...
by MathWizard
Thu Dec 18, 2014 3:44 pm
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: We made our own Will
Replies: 52
Views: 3482

Re: Helping out family members

I probably didn't write it very clearly. It is my sibling, the one in financial need, that got mad at my Dad for visiting me instead of lending them money. This incident made me a bit more wary of loaning anything to them. It seems to indicate a sense of entitlement that our dad is somehow required...
by MathWizard
Thu Dec 18, 2014 9:26 am
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Helping out family members
Replies: 64
Views: 4448

Re: Helping out family members

I helped out an older sibling when still in grad school with a negative net worth. He had helped me out when I had needed it, and I gave what I could gladly. In the situation you are in, I would not give anything. You may also want to reconsider your relationship with the family member who is berati...
by MathWizard
Wed Dec 17, 2014 11:22 pm
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Helping out family members
Replies: 64
Views: 4448

Re: Long term care insurance?

If I could get a deal like nispirius (paid up policy) that was not too much (I can't afford to pay $5 million) where I could depend on the insurer not going belly-up where I could depend on the insurer not denying claims where the dollar amount would be adjusted with inflation in long-term care cost...
by MathWizard
Wed Dec 17, 2014 12:48 pm
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Long term care insurance?
Replies: 23
Views: 1884

Re: When to discuss finances with teens/young adults

No, did not, will not let kids know net worth, unless they have to take over finances. Barring a catastrophe, they should never have to worry about taking care of us financially. Before the first child's first birthday, we had a will drawn up with provisions for trusts for the kids with trustee mana...
by MathWizard
Tue Dec 16, 2014 5:29 pm
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: When to discuss finances with teens/young adults
Replies: 24
Views: 1806

Re: 100% equities - my reasoning

I'll go against the crowd. Except for the fact that you have not experienced a crash you are in among the few that could handle a high equity allocation. Random guy makes a good point that when a downturn happens you should look at where you would be having had an 80/20 portfolio compared with your ...
by MathWizard
Mon Dec 15, 2014 8:16 pm
 
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: 100% equities - my reasoning
Replies: 91
Views: 5929

Re: Five questions to determine Financial Health

On this board, I doubt you'd get more than
A few scores less than 5.

Akin to asking how many NBA players
can dunk the ball.
by MathWizard
Mon Dec 15, 2014 7:49 pm
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Five questions to determine Financial Health
Replies: 7
Views: 979

Re: How do you contribute to your IRA?

I lump sum for the previous year at tax time.

I'm near the top of a bracket, so I fill up the bracket with ROTH,
and put the rest in a tIRA. I expect not to be in the higher
bracket in retirement.
by MathWizard
Mon Dec 15, 2014 2:14 pm
 
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: How do you contribute to your IRA?
Replies: 33
Views: 1650

Re: Embarrassingly stupid question

If you estimate paying zero tax in retirement, post-tax would make sense If you expect to pay about the same in tax then pre-tax would be more appropriate . I use pretax because it is easier. 15% has been my minimum for retirement savings, which I used while simultaneously paying off student loans a...
by MathWizard
Sun Dec 14, 2014 6:13 pm
 
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Embarrassingly stupid question
Replies: 25
Views: 4494

Re: Deductions!

Prepay charitable pledge for 2015
prepay property tax
We bunch deductions from two years
and use standard deduction every other year.

Can you contribute more to HSA?
For next year can you do a flex account
for some medical bills if you have an HSA?
by MathWizard
Sat Dec 13, 2014 10:46 am
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Deductions!
Replies: 31
Views: 2582

Re: (Poll) Did you tap into emergency fund in the past 10 ye

I'm waffling between no and less than 3 months, and went with no. Some people might say that replacing a transmission or replacing a car on short notice constituted an emergency, but I don't consider it an emergency, it is just a part of our cash on hand for anticipated maintenance. Even my wife los...
by MathWizard
Fri Dec 12, 2014 4:06 pm
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: (Poll) Did you tap into emergency fund in the past 10 years?
Replies: 62
Views: 4434

Re: How to teach young kids to be frugal?

Don't worry about buying books. If they want to read, get them books. We read to our kids every night before bed until they were old enough to read in their own. Make sure you take plenty of trips to the public library or bookmobile. I grew up poor, without access to a library. We always had a few b...
by MathWizard
Fri Dec 12, 2014 4:01 pm
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: How to teach young kids to be frugal?
Replies: 65
Views: 4172

Re: "Why Retirement at 65 is a Fairy Tale"

One of my co-workers and I started the same day at work ten years ago and making the same salary. She is two years younger than I. She is still working, but her health is not good and she would love to retire. She asked why I could retire and she could not--she says she will be working forever. I h...
by MathWizard
Fri Dec 12, 2014 12:43 pm
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: "Why Retirement at 65 is a Fairy Tale"
Replies: 117
Views: 11567

Re: Credit card sign-on bonuses -- worth the trouble?

Read the fine print.

My version only gave the $200 as a gift card, and maybe restricted the stores it could be used at.
Maybe yours was different.

I bite only if they allow a check for points or at the very least a statement credit.
by MathWizard
Thu Dec 11, 2014 11:46 am
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Credit card sign-on bonuses -- worth the trouble?
Replies: 83
Views: 5926

Re: Leverage and P/e10

Sounds reasonable in theory. You won't receive alot of support on this board for that plan. I will be the first of many to suggest you read the thread started by the poster "market timer" here who proposed a similar strategy. You can find the thread here: http://www.bogleheads.org/forum/v...
by MathWizard
Wed Dec 10, 2014 4:32 pm
 
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Leverage and P/e10
Replies: 35
Views: 2403

Re: "Why Retirement at 65 is a Fairy Tale"

... If all of the wealth was completely redistributed, how long would it be before the former wealthy people were wealthy again, and the former poor people were back to the start? ... I have no doubt that it would not take long before wealth became concentrated again. However, it may not be the sam...
by MathWizard
Wed Dec 10, 2014 3:53 pm
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: "Why Retirement at 65 is a Fairy Tale"
Replies: 117
Views: 11567

Re: Am I being cheap? [wedding/engagement ring]

Spent $300 on ring and bands that she helped pick out, and went into debt to do it (poor grad student), paying 16% interest (look up interest rates in early 80's). Promised her Paris on our 25th (she chose California instead.) Bought her a nice "20 stone" ring on our 20th that she enjoys w...
by MathWizard
Mon Dec 08, 2014 3:49 pm
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Am I being cheap? [wedding/engagement ring]
Replies: 192
Views: 8810

Re: FICA in Retirement

Looking for some experienced intelligence on what to expect regarding taxes in retirement. Without all the specifics, I just learned that when I retire my company will use the first few pension checks to prepay FICA I would owe in retirement so none is taken out point forward. Anyone hear of this? ...
by MathWizard
Mon Dec 08, 2014 11:16 am
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: FICA in Retirement
Replies: 10
Views: 1615

Re: Youngster talented in science and math

Congrats. My observation: There are a lot of smart people in this world. It is the one who can sell his ideas to others; Is the one who will make the most money and be the most successful. Mostly agree with the "make the most money", because you can leverage your power via other people. O...
by MathWizard
Mon Dec 08, 2014 11:03 am
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Youngster talented in science and math
Replies: 47
Views: 3301

Re: Fly or drive? Not just time vs. money anymore

OP, we do 8 hour drives all the time. Sometimes, after work, getting in at 1-2am, sometimes with a stop in the middle, sometimes going in the daytime. (The latter two mostly depending on winter driving conditions.) My brother did 12,and did it at night when his son was little. His wife would drive u...
by MathWizard
Thu Dec 04, 2014 6:21 pm
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Fly or drive [with a newborn]?
Replies: 58
Views: 4579

Re: Is this a fair thing to say about past returns?

You say you have the same amount of bonds, but what is their quality? If you had the same equities and bonds in both, then the earnings from the underlying instruments is the same, so the difference is purely cost. You cannot say for certain what future returns will be, but the cost difference will ...
by MathWizard
Thu Dec 04, 2014 2:42 pm
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Is this a fair thing to say about past returns?
Replies: 3
Views: 841

Re: Getting Married...Any advice?

Premarital classes.

Just celebrated 32nd.
by MathWizard
Tue Dec 02, 2014 9:42 pm
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Getting Married...Any advice?
Replies: 25
Views: 2574

Re: Why do we like dividends?

For individual stocks, companies decide whether to retain their earnings or pay dividends. As a rule, companies would prefer to retain earnings, as then they get to spend the money. Based on a long consulting career with troubled companies, I am of two minds - good companies wold retain their earni...
by MathWizard
Mon Dec 01, 2014 4:42 pm
 
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Why do we like dividends?
Replies: 114
Views: 8316

Re: Tricky job offer

Why don't you ask the owner if you can report directly to him? After all, he is the one who wants you. +++1 The owner is courting you, not your potential boss. Why is the owner doing that? What problems is the owner having with his current employee that he needs to be challenged? Is the owner someo...
by MathWizard
Mon Dec 01, 2014 4:20 pm
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Tricky job offer
Replies: 17
Views: 2763

Re: Advice on old beater car. Best way to get rid?

I drive my cars into the ground and then junk them.

Cars that are better than the junkyard get offered to my kids, or nieces/nephews.
I've got 30 nieces/nephews and some have kids of their own.

The cars I get rid of are usually in better shape than either my first car or my wife's first car.
by MathWizard
Mon Dec 01, 2014 4:06 pm
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Advice on old beater car. Best way to get rid?
Replies: 34
Views: 2806

Re: Why is Dave Ramsey wrong?

... And then he talks about investing 15% of your annual income for retirement - does anyone know where he came up with that number? Does this only work for a 20 or 30 year old? A way to look at this is to use the "rule of 72" If we assume a real (inflation adjusted) return of 4%, then an...
by MathWizard
Mon Dec 01, 2014 2:41 pm
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Why is Dave Ramsey wrong?
Replies: 73
Views: 9991

Re: Roth IRA for college savings question

I did not write that it won't be needed. I wrote that it will not be used. The reality is that folks who can max out their retirement plan contributions (401(k), 403(b), IRAs) for years before college expenses are good savers and can switch at the college years to simply cash flowing college expens...
by MathWizard
Mon Dec 01, 2014 12:06 pm
 
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Roth IRA for college savings question
Replies: 16
Views: 1316

Re: FDIC vs. NCUA

Both are federally backed, and have the same limits. I would not worry. My guess is your BIL will not be satisfied by any answer you get from anywhere. The only way you would determine whether one is better than another is to have one fail and the other not. At the point that the federal govt. has t...
by MathWizard
Mon Dec 01, 2014 12:00 pm
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: FDIC vs. NCUA
Replies: 7
Views: 836

Re: Retirees activities won’t deplete the nest egg.

223 minutes of TV watching! This is a waste of retirement. Victoria Remember that not everyone retiree has the financial wherewithal to do much other than to sit in front of screen, be it TV or the Internet, and may not have the physical ability to do much else. I have plans to do other things, and...
by MathWizard
Mon Dec 01, 2014 11:51 am
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Retirees activities won’t deplete the nest egg.
Replies: 20
Views: 2271

Re: Make an Efund/college fund mix

Yes, I agree you want to use non-discretionary spending as the basis for emergencies, but remember you have to add in things like COBRA if you are the only one with health-care through work. Per combining funds: We did this with ROTH funds, whose contributions served as a third tier Efund. These cou...
by MathWizard
Mon Dec 01, 2014 11:37 am
 
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Make an Efund/college fund mix
Replies: 11
Views: 764

Re: Spousal Dynamics on Finance

This is just division of labor in our house. The one more interested/ most capable takes in the tasks up to where we are both doing about the same amount of work on average. Somebody reconciles banks statements, mows the lawn, cooks meals, takes care of kids. What happens when one gets sick for a wh...
by MathWizard
Sun Nov 30, 2014 8:11 pm
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Spousal Dynamics on Finance
Replies: 54
Views: 5165

Re: Would you move/stay for better school district?

RM, Sorry to hear about your experience. I had somewhat the same experience, and couldn't wait to get to college. I kept insisting that we needed better preparation, but could not even get access to books (no library in the town, or elementary school, very limited library in high school). Sports see...
by MathWizard
Sun Nov 30, 2014 2:52 pm
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Would you move/stay for better school district?
Replies: 55
Views: 4623

Re: Reached a minor financial milestone this month

A number of people on this board (myself included) made note of their having
a negative net worth at 31, so 1/4 of a million is a great accomplishment at that age.
Congratulations!
by MathWizard
Sat Nov 29, 2014 8:22 pm
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Reached a minor financial milestone this month
Replies: 28
Views: 3689

Re: Would you move/stay for better school district?

Yes and yes and I did both.
I don't regret it.
by MathWizard
Sat Nov 29, 2014 11:30 am
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Would you move/stay for better school district?
Replies: 55
Views: 4623

Re: Shiller CAPE 10 — Why So High These Days?

Thanks for posting this. I have thought that PE10 has been too high, and assumed it had something
to do with reported earnings during periods of huge changes in earnings, but had not known of the FASB change.
It is important to know when metrics change.
by MathWizard
Tue Nov 25, 2014 4:18 pm
 
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Shiller CAPE 10 — Why So High These Days?
Replies: 38
Views: 2955

Re: Do you use a phone book?

Yes.

When at home we at generally unplugged
so a paper copy is quicker than booting
a device.

I don't like the 24x7 plugged in world.
by MathWizard
Sun Nov 23, 2014 5:48 pm
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Do you use a phone book?
Replies: 51
Views: 2138

Re: Do you use a phone book?

Yes.

When at home we at generally unplugged
so a paper copy is quicker than booting
a device.

I don't like the 24x7 plugged in world.
by MathWizard
Sun Nov 23, 2014 5:48 pm
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Do you use a phone book?
Replies: 51
Views: 2138

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: 31
Views: 2682
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