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by Rupert
Thu May 21, 2015 11:33 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Coverdell Education Savings Account thoughts
Replies: 6
Views: 448

Re: Coverdell Education Savings Account thoughts

I think the only reason to choose a Coverdell over a 529 would be to use it for primary or secondary, as opposed to college, education. If you're sending your kids to private school, it can be really helpful to start funding a Coverdell when the kids are in elementary school to help pay the costs of...
by Rupert
Thu May 21, 2015 10:44 am
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Invest ONLY After Tax Money Into 401(k)?
Replies: 20
Views: 1721

Re: Invest ONLY After Tax Money Into 401(k)?

Does your employer's 401k plan allow you to roll money out of the plan before you reach 59.5, retire, or terminate employment? Most employer-sponsored plans don't allow it. That's the first problem I see with your strategy.
by Rupert
Thu May 21, 2015 10:39 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Teaching maths to a 4 year old
Replies: 31
Views: 2369

Re: Teaching maths to a 4 year old

Is your son in school? I ask because 4 year olds are generally taught pattern recognition in pre-K. That's the earliest sort of formal math education my children received. They started learning basic addition and subtraction as 5 year olds in kindergarten. You might want to check out Kahn Academy if...
by Rupert
Wed May 20, 2015 2:17 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Bonds in Roth or Trad IRA??
Replies: 3
Views: 275

Re: Bonds in Roth or Trad IRA??

On video #8 on "getting started" it is recommended to keep bonds in Trad. IRA rather than Roth. I'm new to this and would like help on why. I figured if you put your bonds in a Roth, all the coupon payments for the life of the bond will never be taxed. But in a Trad. IRA, all those coupon...
by Rupert
Mon May 18, 2015 11:08 am
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Supreme Court rules in favor of 401k participants who object to high fees
Replies: 33
Views: 3466

Re: Supreme Court rules in favor of 401k participants who object to high fees

Tibble should cause some employers to start paying attention to these issues, but the employees have not won anything yet. Tibble only holds that employees were not barred by ERISA's statute of limitations from suing in this case. Here's a very important quote from the opinion's syllabus (I haven't ...
by Rupert
Mon May 18, 2015 10:53 am
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Teaching 8 year old about stock market...
Replies: 22
Views: 1397

Re: Teaching 8 year old about stock market...

Have him hypothetically invest a certain amount of money in a few stocks and then follow their returns for a period of time to see how he would have done had he actually invested in those stocks. Don't forget to subtract brokerage fees, etc, from returns so his lesson is more realistic.
by Rupert
Sun May 17, 2015 7:58 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Keep underground storm cellar (in Florida)?
Replies: 26
Views: 1152

Re: Keep underground storm cellar (in Florida)?

The question is how effective would it be for a real tornado? You would probably leave the area and not go inside the storm cellar. Personally, I never really understood people that have those... Um, I think you're confusing hurricanes and tornadoes. People don't have time to leave the area for tor...
by Rupert
Fri May 15, 2015 9:53 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: House Insurance Site Similar to Term4Sale?
Replies: 11
Views: 905

Re: House Insurance Site Similar to Term4Sale?

[If my house burned down for some reason and was a total loss why on earth would I pay more than double what my house would go for on the open market? Because the company is telling you that's what it would to clean up and rebuild your house with like materials. You can always get another opinion f...
by Rupert
Fri May 15, 2015 9:41 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: My Home: Renovate or get out?
Replies: 13
Views: 1513

Re: My Home: Renovate or get out?

The repairs are one thing; they need to be made now or later. The addition is another matter. Be careful not to improve the house beyond what is standard in the neighborhood. As for you staying there and starting a family, it has been my experience that buying a bigger house is almost always cheaper...
by Rupert
Tue May 12, 2015 8:21 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: House Insurance Site Similar to Term4Sale?
Replies: 11
Views: 905

Re: House Insurance Site Similar to Term4Sale?

I've become very disappointed with AAA Insurance recently as they are unwilling to move their Dwelling Value on my house down even though it is more than double what the current appraisal of my house is. This is resulting in a significant premium, and even if there is a total loss there is no guara...
by Rupert
Mon May 11, 2015 10:57 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Florida Homeowners Insurance
Replies: 19
Views: 1581

Re: Florida Homeowners Insurance

If you think it's expensive now, just wait til you see what it jumps to after the next hurricane . . . if they don't drop you, that is. Insurance has not been the same in Florida and along the Gulf Coast since Hurricanes Ivan and Katrina in 2004 and 2005. I don't imagine it will ever change. It's a ...
by Rupert
Mon May 11, 2015 8:25 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Identity theft
Replies: 27
Views: 2835

Re: Identity theft

thank you all. excellent points and suggestions. Actually Chase also recommended filing a police report. They said that the police wouldn't do anything about it but it was validating document to use when putting credit holds etc. I had another friend that suggested closing the card and opening agai...
by Rupert
Fri May 08, 2015 9:02 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: What to do with mink coat
Replies: 30
Views: 2313

Re: What to do with mink coat

I once won a floor-length mink in a raffle sponsored by my town's opera company. It was a ridiculous thing with an $8000 price tag attached to it. I sold it to a guy I know whose wife is a corporate executive who had to attend a lot of community functions, including the opera. I only charged him wh...
by Rupert
Thu May 07, 2015 3:41 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: What to do with mink coat
Replies: 30
Views: 2313

Re: What to do with mink coat

I once won a floor-length mink in a raffle sponsored by my town's opera company. It was a ridiculous thing with an $8000 price tag attached to it. I sold it to a guy I know whose wife is a corporate executive who had to attend a lot of community functions, including the opera. I only charged him wha...
by Rupert
Wed May 06, 2015 1:29 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: 401k sponsors educating their employees
Replies: 4
Views: 436

Re: 401k sponsors educating their employees

My small business employs an independent adviser -- by "independent" I mean he has no relationship with our custodian or TPA -- to advise our plan committee about investments in the plan and to educate employees about the same. For the plan committee, he monitors fund performance, prepares...
by Rupert
Wed May 06, 2015 8:30 am
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Meeting to improve 403b with our plan administrator
Replies: 13
Views: 927

Re: Meeting to improve 403b with our plan administrator

Does your employer currently offer multiple vendors? If not and especially if it's not a large company, you're going to have a hard time selling this idea. Having multiple vendors is really having multiple plans, and there are increased costs associated with that, both increased administrative costs...
by Rupert
Tue May 05, 2015 8:43 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: 401(k) Trustee
Replies: 5
Views: 486

Re: 401(k) Trustee

My understanding is that the sponsors of an ERISA retirement plan cannot totally eliminate their fiduciary liability under ERISA. You can share and limit liability but not get rid of it entirely. See http://www.dol.gov/ebsa/publications/fiduciaryresponsibility.html. Your best strategy for reducing t...
by Rupert
Tue May 05, 2015 8:29 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: What happens to mortgage when house is willed to non-spouse?
Replies: 22
Views: 2174

Re: What happens to mortgage when house is willed to non-spouse?

bsteiner wrote:Would the exception in 12 U.S.C. § 1701j-3(d)(3) (transfers by devise) in the Garn St. Germain Act apply: https://www.law.cornell.edu/uscode/text/12/1701j-3?


No, because they aren't joint tenants or tenants by the entirety.
by Rupert
Mon May 04, 2015 12:17 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Received a new license plate/number in the mail
Replies: 23
Views: 1803

Re: Received a new license plate/number in the mail

Weird. My state has always sent new numbers when we get new plates, which happens about every 4 years. It's never been a problem. The car tag number is not on my car title or my insurance card; they use the VIN. Only my parking garage cares. If this is new policy for Texas, it's likely the policy wi...
by Rupert
Fri May 01, 2015 12:24 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Karate for kids—Thoughts?
Replies: 47
Views: 2502

Re: Karate for kids—Thoughts?

Karate, like other Eastern arts such as tai chi, yoga, etc., is great not just for physical fitness but also for teaching mindfulness, proper breathing techniques (very important in these anxious times), concentration and self-control. It's often recommended for children who have problems concentrat...
by Rupert
Fri May 01, 2015 11:08 am
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: S&P heavy 401k - Asset Allocation Across Accounts
Replies: 19
Views: 1628

Re: S&P heavy 401k - Asset Allocation Across Accounts

Two things about your portfolio jumped out at me. First, why is your wife's Roth IRA invested entirely in a money market fund? You should hold stocks there with high growth potential. I suggest holding your international stocks there, such as Vanguard's Total International Stock Market Index. Second...
by Rupert
Thu Apr 30, 2015 12:38 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Humbly Seeking Guidance
Replies: 11
Views: 1003

Re: Humbly Seeking Guidance

It helps if you list the fund names and not just tickers. Otherwise we have to look them up to help you. Just a quick glance at your numbers leads me to advise this: Run from Ameriprise. Those ERs are outrageous. But you already know that. Open Roths at Vanguard. Looks like your wife is invested in ...
by Rupert
Thu Apr 30, 2015 11:24 am
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Contributing to Roth & Traditional IRA
Replies: 11
Views: 400

Re: Contributing to Roth & Traditional IRA

I don't think he can determine that based solely on the information you've provided. But you do realize that extra payments and extra principal payments are not the same thing? Are you sure you're making extra principal payments? (It makes no sense to make just extra payments, really). I made this ...
by Rupert
Thu Apr 30, 2015 11:20 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Private Schools - Tuition
Replies: 90
Views: 5512

Re: Private Schools - Tuition

I can't believe y'all are debating public vs. private schools AGAIN. A similar thread on this topic was locked just last week. I vote for banning the topic forever.
by Rupert
Thu Apr 30, 2015 11:13 am
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Contributing to Roth & Traditional IRA
Replies: 11
Views: 400

Re: Contributing to Roth & Traditional IRA

I don't think he can determine that based solely on the information you've provided. But you do realize that extra payments and extra principal payments are not the same thing? Are you sure you're making extra principal payments? (It makes no sense to make just extra payments, really). I made this m...
by Rupert
Wed Apr 29, 2015 3:34 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: LifeLock vs Freezing Credit Reports
Replies: 19
Views: 1363

Re: LifeLock vs Freezing Credit Reports

Personally I consider lifelock a waste of money at best and a scam at worst. I certainly would just manually lock the report if you really want to. That said unless you have severe problems with identity theft I don't think it is worth it to lock the report either. You are not libel for any fraud a...
by Rupert
Tue Apr 28, 2015 12:29 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: New 401(K) Plan - Need help
Replies: 7
Views: 449

Re: New 401(K) Plan - Need help

At 125k, you're well below the Roth income limit for married couples filing jointly, which I believe is around 190k this year. I'd contribute to a Roth, rather than a tIRA.
by Rupert
Tue Apr 28, 2015 11:27 am
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Discover Bank: MM <-> Savings Acct???
Replies: 9
Views: 823

Re: Discover Bank: MM <-> Savings Acct???

Discover Bank is legit. They haven't changed the interest rate willy nilly in the years that I've been using them. Their rate tends to change when other on-line bank account rates change. It hasn't moved much in the last couple of years. It was .8% for a long time. It just recently adjusted upward t...
by Rupert
Tue Apr 28, 2015 11:24 am
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: New 401(K) Plan - Need help
Replies: 7
Views: 449

Re: New 401(K) Plan - Need help

I think the Spartan fund is your best bet in the 401k. I'd put all my 401k savings in that one fund and use an IRA of some sort for bond savings for now (you'll eventually run out of room in an IRA to hold all your bonds but hopefully you'll have a new employer and better 401k by then). As for tIRA ...
by Rupert
Mon Apr 27, 2015 4:14 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Prepping a house for sale: What are the priorities?
Replies: 33
Views: 2923

Re: Prepping a house for sale: What are the priorities?

Professional landscaping, but wait until just before you're going to put the house on the market to do it. Also, hire a good cleaning company to come in and clean it top to bottom just before you list it. I mean really really clean it. When you live in a house, some of its grubbiness becomes invisib...
by Rupert
Thu Apr 23, 2015 4:00 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: How do I know if my 403b is an ERISA plan?
Replies: 3
Views: 339

Re: How do I know if my 403b is an ERISA plan?

ERISA status should be noted in the Plan Document. Generally the document goes out of its way to explain the many ways it complies with ERISA. Does your employer make that document available to you? They're supposed to.
by Rupert
Wed Apr 22, 2015 3:47 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Taxable vs 529 for College
Replies: 8
Views: 931

Re: Taxable vs 529 for College

I think the penalties associated with 529 plans are too severe to risk opening one for hypothetical children. Stuff, such as infertility, happens. I would just put my money in tax-efficient index funds in a taxable account.
by Rupert
Wed Apr 22, 2015 2:39 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Opening Online Savings Account with Credit Freeze
Replies: 10
Views: 1009

Re: Opening Online Savings Account with Credit Freeze

Do you have a Discover card? If so, you might be able to open an online account at Discover Bank, which has competitive rates, without lifting the freeze since Discover would qualify as an existing creditor.
by Rupert
Tue Apr 21, 2015 10:57 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Taking Care Of Leaves
Replies: 18
Views: 1331

Re: Taking Care Of Leaves

I'd go with the bagger, and a rake or a cheap blower to move the leaves from beds, around the house, etc, out onto the grass to be mowed/sucked up by the tractor. I've tried several blower/vac combos, and they're all incredibly slow (until you get up into the $1000 range) You'll probably be mowing ...
by Rupert
Mon Apr 20, 2015 10:07 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Using Zillow/Zestimate to value a home?
Replies: 43
Views: 4866

Re: Using Zillow/Zestimate to value a home?

Gosh, I hate Zillow and would never use them to value a home. OP's post prompted me to look at my home's Zestimate, which I have done many times before and always found to be wrong. Funny thing is, something different about the description and sale history of my home is wrong every time I look. Toda...
by Rupert
Thu Apr 16, 2015 10:37 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: TV show recommendations?
Replies: 351
Views: 149722

Re: TV show recommendations?

I haven't read through all the posts but thought I'd recommend "The Fall" on Netflix in case no one has yet mentioned it. It stars Gillian Anderson, of X-Files fame, and that guy who was just in the "Fifty Shades of Gray" movie (Jamie Dornan, I think is his name). It's a "po...
by Rupert
Thu Apr 16, 2015 8:29 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Another Florida Keys question
Replies: 17
Views: 2399

Re: Another Florida Keys question

Rent a scooter or one of those golf cart things to get around Key West. Parking a car is truly a nightmare, but most guesthouses have special parking for scooters and such.
by Rupert
Wed Apr 15, 2015 10:00 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Raising well-adjusted children when you're "rich"?
Replies: 43
Views: 3610

Re: Raising well-adjusted children when you're "rich"?

The public vs. private nature of a child's school has nothing to do with whether the child will be well-adjusted. Rupert, When you made that statement, are you referring to normal people or "rich" people?? In this thread, we are discussing about "rich" people. For "rich&quo...
by Rupert
Wed Apr 15, 2015 9:43 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Raising well-adjusted children when you're "rich"?
Replies: 43
Views: 3610

Re: Raising well-adjusted children when you're "rich"?

The public vs. private nature of a child's school has nothing to do with whether the child will be well-adjusted. Some of the most obnoxious children I know attend public school. Some of the most humble, community-service oriented kids I know attend private school. Schools don't raise obnoxious, spo...
by Rupert
Mon Apr 13, 2015 10:43 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Is 2007 Accord 60K mile service worth $300?
Replies: 54
Views: 4651

Re: Is 2007 Accord 60K mile service worth $300?

I only take my old Hondas/Acuras back to the dealer to change the transmission fluid because I do believe the experts who say Honda transmissions prefer Honda brand transmission fluid and don't like fluid flushes. (The old Honda tranny fluid should be drained, refilled, drained again, refilled, drai...
by Rupert
Mon Apr 13, 2015 10:32 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: evaluating job offer - health plans
Replies: 19
Views: 1534

Re: evaluating job offer - health plans

Not sure if this will affect you but I'm throwing it out in case it does . . . If the expensive medication you are on for your autoimmune disease is a biologic, you should know that the Affordable Care Act paved the way for the development of generic biologic drugs. Generic versions of some of them ...
by Rupert
Mon Apr 13, 2015 10:17 am
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: 529 -- How much to invest?
Replies: 11
Views: 1480

Re: 529 -- How much to invest?

Save less in 529s than you think you'll need to pay for college. Why? Because changes are coming. The higher education financial bubble must burst because even reasonably wealthy people often cannot afford what colleges are presently charging and it's become a drag on the rest of the economy. Kids w...
by Rupert
Sun Apr 12, 2015 6:09 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Where to buy toddler / kids sneakers?
Replies: 15
Views: 969

Re: Where to buy toddler / kids sneakers?

Amazon.com or 6pm.com, the latter of which is the site where Zappos.com unloads last season's shoes.
by Rupert
Wed Apr 08, 2015 11:58 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Vehicle Suggestions with 3 Kids
Replies: 41
Views: 2559

Re: Vehicle Suggestions with 3 Kids

I agree the Mazda5 is not a good option with 3 car seats. I am 6-1 and my knees were right on the dash of a 2008 I test drove with the seat all the way back. It might a decent 2nd vehicle but the used ones I drove were rough with front suspension issues at only 60k. Huh -- I agree that the 2-2-2 se...
by Rupert
Tue Apr 07, 2015 4:39 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Vehicle Suggestions with 3 Kids
Replies: 41
Views: 2559

Re: Vehicle Suggestions with 3 Kids

You cannot fit three car seats in a Honda Fit. That Honda Fit guy is joking. (I hope.) I have actually seen 5 full-sized college students riding in a Honda Fit, but convertible carseats aren't as malleable as college students. Now that I think about it, one of those 5 college kids was accidentally s...
by Rupert
Tue Apr 07, 2015 11:24 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Life Insurance and Will general questions
Replies: 6
Views: 538

Re: Life Insurance and Will general questions

I read the wiki, but still wanted some basic advice. My wife and I are late 30's no children right now. We always planned to put together a will and possibly look at term or other life options when we had children. I don't want to get into it here, but we are still looking into having at least one ...
by Rupert
Tue Apr 07, 2015 11:17 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Cost of College & Weighing the Merits of Top Schools
Replies: 304
Views: 17612

Re: Cost of College & Weighing the Merits of Top Schools

My opinion is that it depends what your children intend to do for their careers. If they want to work at big Wall Street Banks, management consulting firms, Big Law firms, become a Supreme Court Justice and/or raise their chances of securing a tenure track academic faculty position then they should...
by Rupert
Fri Apr 03, 2015 11:30 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Gearing up for big replacement windows project
Replies: 35
Views: 2747

Re: Gearing up for big replacement windows project

Did Pella give you a quote? Because I also have a 1920s-era house with many many windows, and Pella's quote to replace my windows in just two rooms was around $15,000. That was only for about 7 windows. My situation was somewhat complicated by the fact that my house is in an historic district and a...
by Rupert
Fri Apr 03, 2015 10:57 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Gearing up for big replacement windows project
Replies: 35
Views: 2747

Re: Gearing up for big replacement windows project

Did Pella give you a quote? Because I also have a 1920s-era house with many many windows, and Pella's quote to replace my windows in just two rooms was around $15,000. That was only for about 7 windows. My situation was somewhat complicated by the fact that my house is in an historic district and al...
by Rupert
Wed Apr 01, 2015 4:10 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: 401k with decent options, but outrageous advisory fee
Replies: 11
Views: 878

Re: 401k with decent options, but outrageous advisory fee

Your last point is a good one. Most low-cost providers will not administer small plans, Vanguard (usually) included. (Vanguard seems to accept small plans, provided you use their preferred TPA, occasionally. Whether they're interested in your plan may entirely depend on the day you call them.) Smal...

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