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Re: Opinion on taking 2yr break from substantive retirement

I'll echo some of the other respondents in that the "everything else" category on which you spend $4-5K/month is way too high for your income level. Post a break-down of those expenses and I am sure we can find a lot of things to eliminate. FWIW, we have young twins, and aside from housing...
by ThinkingRunner
Wed Jul 16, 2014 10:47 pm
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Opinion on taking 2yr break from substantive retirement inv?
Replies: 48
Views: 5552

Re: POLL: Walmart vs Amazon

You can shop online at Walmart, too. No need to go into a store and rub shoulders with the so-called "People of Walmart". They have a pretty large selection of items you can get online and their shipping is competitive with Amazon's. We get our diapers from Walmart (Parent's Choice) and th...
by ThinkingRunner
Sat Jul 12, 2014 3:42 pm
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: POLL: Walmart vs Amazon
Replies: 137
Views: 8041

Re: Why buy a car with cash?

we got 0% financing on our 2012 purchase and it was widely advertised at the time on every vehicle. I ended up with a price below TrueCar, below Costco, below the other car-buying service I looked at, and still got 0%. Since then the stock market is up like 40%. I suppose someone will claim they co...
by ThinkingRunner
Wed Jun 25, 2014 2:34 am
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Why buy a car with cash?
Replies: 83
Views: 6087

Re: Child Care - 2 or More Children and Strategies to Pay

Not my thread, but its OT already. The point is that daycare is minor cost, which I agree with... well, not minor, but just one of many costs that add up to a large total. Unless you have a single 2 year old, nobody with kids can calculate the total cost bottom up. It's a top down look at the total...
by ThinkingRunner
Sun May 25, 2014 6:53 pm
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Child Care - 2 or More Children and Strategies to Pay
Replies: 46
Views: 3267

Re: Child Care - 2 or More Children and Strategies to Pay

I thought it was both accurate and helpful. You can't really calculate the cost of kids. But I know what it cost us to live before kids and after. We spend 50k/year on kids minimum (not including daycare SAHM). I realize everyone has different means and priorities, but that seems really high, espec...
by ThinkingRunner
Sat May 24, 2014 11:50 pm
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Child Care - 2 or More Children and Strategies to Pay
Replies: 46
Views: 3267

Re: Child Care - 2 or More Children and Strategies to Pay

We have one child at the moment, pay $375/wk for a home daycare (cost is very competitive with all daycares in the area). This is in Greater Boston area, which is one of the highest in the country, so take that for what it is. We are starting to think about #2 and day care costs have me worried. Pa...
by ThinkingRunner
Sat May 24, 2014 10:41 pm
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Child Care - 2 or More Children and Strategies to Pay
Replies: 46
Views: 3267

Re: Share your networth progression

Ballpark year-end NW, first single, then a couple post-2007. Present ages: 34, 33. 2002 - $1.6K (arrived in the U.S. for graduate school mid-2002) 2003 - $8K 2004 - $20K 2005 - $32K 2006 - $45K 2007 - $55K (got married, spouse graduate student, individual NW: $0) 2008 - $96K (graduated mid-2008, sta...
by ThinkingRunner
Sun May 18, 2014 12:40 pm
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Share your networth progression
Replies: 97
Views: 13500

Re: Sign up for COBRA?

Thanks all. I believe I found the answer to my HSA contribution question while doing my 2013 taxes. TaxAct said: If you are an eligible individual on the first day of the last month of your tax year (December 1 for most taxpayers), you are considered to be an eligible individual for the entire year....
by ThinkingRunner
Sun Mar 23, 2014 9:41 pm
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Sign up for COBRA?
Replies: 7
Views: 904

Re: Sign up for COBRA?

I don't know much about HSAs, but I can tell you that if you have less than a 63 day break in coverage, the break is disregarded for purposes of preexisting conditions exclusion. I would assume it is likewise disregarded for purposes of any individual mandate. I would not bother purchasing COBRA fo...
by ThinkingRunner
Fri Mar 21, 2014 1:54 pm
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Sign up for COBRA?
Replies: 7
Views: 904

Sign up for COBRA?

Here's the situation. I'm taking a week's break between jobs -- terminated previous employment last Friday and will begin new employment this coming Monday. Per former employer HR, health benefits lapse on the day of termination. There was no option to sign up for COBRA at the time since enrollment ...
by ThinkingRunner
Fri Mar 21, 2014 9:03 am
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Sign up for COBRA?
Replies: 7
Views: 904

Re: Permanent Portfolio - A Sympathetic Boglehead's Perspect

Any updates on the PP? eyeballing, it looks like a -7% YOY return. No, only down about 2.4%, which is something like 4% real (inflation adjusted). what's the math? gold: -30% long treasuries: -12% cash: +1% stocks: +30% How is that only -2.4%? Assuming $100 invested at beginning of the year, and us...
by ThinkingRunner
Mon Dec 30, 2013 6:55 pm
 
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Permanent Portfolio - A Sympathetic Boglehead's Perspective
Replies: 203
Views: 22476

Re: 529b accounts and IRS form 709

I posted this exact same question a couple of days ago. As JW says, if your contribution came out of a joint account, you don't need to file form 709.

viewtopic.php?f=1&t=110037&newpost=1600480
by ThinkingRunner
Fri Feb 01, 2013 12:15 pm
 
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: 529b accounts and IRS form 709
Replies: 4
Views: 381

Re: 529 Gift Splitting and Form 709

I still read differently. If you and your spouse agree, all gifts (including gifts of property held with your spouse as joint tenants or tenants by the entirety) either of you make to third parties during the calendar year will be considered as made one-half by each of you I make a gift of $15k to ...
by ThinkingRunner
Thu Jan 31, 2013 6:01 pm
 
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: 529 Gift Splitting and Form 709
Replies: 7
Views: 1176

Re: 529 Gift Splitting and Form 709

You are ASSUMED to have split gifts when coming from a married couples joint account - for "better" or "worse". You don't need to elect the fact that you split gifts. In your example of $20k it's for "better" in that you don't need to worry about tracking that you each...
by ThinkingRunner
Thu Jan 31, 2013 3:56 pm
 
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: 529 Gift Splitting and Form 709
Replies: 7
Views: 1176

Re: 529 Gift Splitting and Form 709

Thanks for your response, sscritic. I looked at the instructions for Form 709 ( http://www.irs.gov/pub/irs-pdf/i709.pdf ), and saw this under "Who Must File" on Page 1. IRS said: "If a gift is of community property, it is considered made one-half by each spouse. For example, a gift of...
by ThinkingRunner
Thu Jan 31, 2013 11:38 am
 
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: 529 Gift Splitting and Form 709
Replies: 7
Views: 1176

529 Gift Splitting and Form 709

Here's the situation. My wife and I had twin babies late last year. As soon as the dust settled, we opened two 529 accounts, one for each child. I am listed as the custodian/owner of both accounts. My wife is listed as successor owner. We then contributed $20,000 to each 529 account (total $40,000 <...
by ThinkingRunner
Wed Jan 30, 2013 11:34 pm
 
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: 529 Gift Splitting and Form 709
Replies: 7
Views: 1176

Re: Firm for ESA Account

Since the Coverdell ESA benefits have been made permanent, I've decided to fund them for my kids in addition to 529 plans. I'm in the process of opening them at TDAmeritrade, which appears to have several no-transaction-fee Vanguard ETFs available. Unfortunately it looks like most custodians don't a...
by ThinkingRunner
Wed Jan 30, 2013 5:17 pm
 
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Firm for ESA Account
Replies: 10
Views: 778

Re: I-bonds for a non US citizen

Yes, you can purchase I-bonds -- I bought paper I-bonds when on H-1B visa. As long as you have a SSN and are a "resident alien for tax purposes" (meaning you file taxes as a U.S. resident and pass either the green card test or the substantial presence test). Since you won't pass the green ...
by ThinkingRunner
Tue Nov 06, 2012 3:53 pm
 
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: I-bonds for a non US citizen
Replies: 15
Views: 1381

Re: When did you start to save a regular significant amount?

At age 22, when I started receiving a stipend from my graduate program. Saved over 50% of my ~20k yearly salary and ended up with over 60k saved by the time I graduated at 28. Since then, the wife and I have been making significantly higher incomes and we still save over 60% of gross (taxes eat up a...
by ThinkingRunner
Mon Aug 20, 2012 9:37 pm
 
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: When did you start to save a regular significant amount?
Replies: 81
Views: 10780

Re: How much do you spend on groceries?

Our average "grocery" bill is about $315/month (3 year average) for two adults. This includes toiletries and other miscellania. Some detailed analysis reproduced from my previous posting on another thread: http://www.bogleheads.org/forum/viewtopic.php?f=2&t=90402&start=50 ThinkingR...
by ThinkingRunner
Tue Apr 24, 2012 2:24 pm
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: How much do you spend on groceries?
Replies: 124
Views: 8891

Re: restricted stock

TFB has a comprehensive overview of RSU tax treatment. Your basis equals the stock price on the vesting date and this amount is taxable to you at ordinary income rates. If you sell immediately upon vesting, RSUs can be thought of as a cash bonus. If you hold on, you will be in capital gain/loss (ST ...
by ThinkingRunner
Wed Mar 14, 2012 10:29 am
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: restricted stock
Replies: 12
Views: 566

Re: Economics of eating out

I track my expenses pretty closely, so I can share actual data. This is for a family of two lacto-ovo-vegetarian adults (spouse and me). In the 3-year period between 01/01/2009 and 12/31/2011, our "Groceries" expense category is at $11,364.31. This includes *all* spending at grocery stores...
by ThinkingRunner
Sat Feb 11, 2012 8:01 pm
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Economics of eating out
Replies: 75
Views: 6585

Re: TreasuryDirect Account Authorization

Remember the original purpose of the Medallion Signature Guarantee program; the safe transfer of stocks and other assets. That's been going on for a long time, well before there was treasurydirect. If you hold securities in physical certificate form and want to transfer or sell them, you will need ...
by ThinkingRunner
Thu Jan 12, 2012 11:06 am
 
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: TreasuryDirect Account Authorization
Replies: 9
Views: 1565

Re: TreasuryDirect Account Authorization

Thank you for your responses. I've had a BofA account for nearly 10 years, so I'll try walking into my local branch to see what they can do about this. I've got documents notarized for no cost at my branch earlier, but it looks like corporate seals and medallion signatures are a different beast. I'l...
by ThinkingRunner
Thu Jan 12, 2012 10:47 am
 
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: TreasuryDirect Account Authorization
Replies: 9
Views: 1565

TreasuryDirect Account Authorization

I just tried signing up for a TreasuryDirect account for the first time. For some reason, they could "not verify" my information and sent me the following e-mail: Thanks again for opening a TreasuryDirect account. We are having difficulty verifying the information you provided when opening...
by ThinkingRunner
Thu Jan 12, 2012 10:04 am
 
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: TreasuryDirect Account Authorization
Replies: 9
Views: 1565

Re: Laptop Advice Needed

I am in the market for a laptop and would love a recommendation. I am eyeing the Toshiba Portege R835 series for about $750, but the HP Pavilion G6X caught my eye below for that same price with incredible specs (found it on CNET with a coupon). I need it for the web/documents/e-mail, no gaming, and...
by ThinkingRunner
Sat Jan 07, 2012 12:04 pm
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Laptop Advice Needed
Replies: 57
Views: 4405

Re: cut the land line with magicjack plus

I'd get Obihai's Obi100/110 voice bridges. What confuses me is that you still need the land line, don't you? Otherwise, what do you hook your router up to? The landline is virtually the cost of the telco's phone service, isn't it? If so, why not just have the minimal phone service? No, you don't ne...
by ThinkingRunner
Fri Jan 06, 2012 5:11 pm
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: cut the land line with magicjack plus
Replies: 42
Views: 4393

Re: cut the land line with magicjack plus

I was wondering if anyone has setup magicjack plus or called someone using it and determined that it was a suitable replacement for their land line. I was reading that the plus fixes some of the annoying things of the original mjack such as better sound, no pc hookup needed and ability to port your...
by ThinkingRunner
Fri Jan 06, 2012 2:59 pm
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: cut the land line with magicjack plus
Replies: 42
Views: 4393

Running Windows in a VM may require significantly more memory and CPU horsepower than your native OS. I tried running Windows XP under VirtualBox on Ubuntu on a 3 year old Pentium dual core with 2GB RAM. It was a dog so I just deleted it. On the other hand, I have the same copy of Windows running li...
by ThinkingRunner
Tue Sep 27, 2011 2:32 pm
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Running Windows on Mac vs. Buying a cheap PC laptop
Replies: 42
Views: 3736

I also like to drink Kool-Aid before breakfast. But good for the uneducated population is that I don't come up with some unproven theory and then claim that it is correct until proven otherwise. The researchers involved hope that data from two US space agency (Nasa) lunar missions will substantiate...
by ThinkingRunner
Wed Aug 03, 2011 6:03 pm
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Nature says Earth may once have had two moons
Replies: 11
Views: 1463

I get 2 MPS up and 1 MPS down, consistently, ever since I started the cable service. That is the bandwidth I pay for and should be plenty. I think a more important measure would be the ping, which is 15 ms. I have VoiP through my cable provider. That could be interfering with Ooma. But if that is t...
by ThinkingRunner
Tue Jul 19, 2011 4:27 pm
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: ooma VOIP free phone service
Replies: 52
Views: 9063

Thanks. Soon, I'll disconnect the old phone line and go just Ooma. My cable company (which has my phone as well) got me mad at them, and I am trying to reduce my relationship with them as much as possible. Have had ooma since October 2009, paid 169.99 for a refurbished unit. Got in on the old deal ...
by ThinkingRunner
Fri Jul 15, 2011 4:49 pm
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: ooma VOIP free phone service
Replies: 52
Views: 9063

Re: NC is number 1

I am a sometimes Appalachian Trail (AT) hiker. The AT in NC is beautiful. Weather in NC is good. If I ever moved again, I would move to NC. My opinion is NC is the best state; N AL where I live, is the number 2. One of the things I like about NC you do not have to adjust to cultural differences, th...
by ThinkingRunner
Thu Jun 16, 2011 11:22 am
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Raleigh, North Carolina opinions?
Replies: 34
Views: 2985

Re: NC is number 1

I am a sometimes Appalachian Trail (AT) hiker. The AT in NC is beautiful. Weather in NC is good. If I ever moved again, I would move to NC. My opinion is NC is the best state; N AL where I live, is the number 2. One of the things I like about NC you do not have to adjust to cultural differences, th...
by ThinkingRunner
Wed Jun 15, 2011 3:55 pm
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Raleigh, North Carolina opinions?
Replies: 34
Views: 2985

I use T-Mobile and like their gold rewards status. I bought my phone for less than $30 and I bought a $100 card which gave me gold status. The minutes on the $100 card last for 1 yr but unused minutes will be renewed if I buy another refill card at any dollar value. If I have 900 minutes after 11 m...
by ThinkingRunner
Fri May 13, 2011 11:25 am
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: prepaid cell phones
Replies: 33
Views: 3233

I don't run barefoot per se (other than occasional strides on a grassy infield) because the terrain doesn't permit it, but I am a strong proponent and practitioner of minimalism. I have been running in the range of 1200-1500 miles a year in shoes with nearly zero "padding" (Puma H-streets...
by ThinkingRunner
Fri May 06, 2011 12:50 pm
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Any Barefoot Runners
Replies: 128
Views: 12119

I don't run barefoot per se (other than occasional strides on a grassy infield) because the terrain doesn't permit it, but I am a strong proponent and practitioner of minimalism. I have been running in the range of 1200-1500 miles a year in shoes with nearly zero "padding" (Puma H-streets)...
by ThinkingRunner
Fri May 06, 2011 10:54 am
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Any Barefoot Runners
Replies: 128
Views: 12119

I have a prepay GoPhone with AT&T. I just refilled my account. My plan was .25c per minute no additional fees. When I called them, they told me I could get .10c per minute no additional fees. So now I get 1000 minutes for a $100.00 refill instead of 400 minutes and that last for one year. I thi...
by ThinkingRunner
Mon Mar 21, 2011 2:48 pm
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: AT&T to Buy T-Mobile
Replies: 27
Views: 3068

I'll chalk it down to a failure in my ability to explain scientific concepts to the layman. This is exactly what I am talking about... its an insulting tone. So now I and those who agree with me don't understand scientific concepts? I am pretty sure Alex Frakt has a lot of experience when it comes ...
by ThinkingRunner
Thu Feb 17, 2011 1:59 pm
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: IBM's Watson on Jeopardy tonight
Replies: 210
Views: 14167

For some, faith in their own beliefs is so strong that no evidence you present will convince them otherwise. Oh please... the negative comments about posters has come from one side in this argument and it needs to stop. Disagree if you like, but stop calling us ignorant in so many words because you...
by ThinkingRunner
Thu Feb 17, 2011 1:19 pm
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: IBM's Watson on Jeopardy tonight
Replies: 210
Views: 14167

I am not sure what the point of all your completely off-base analogies are but you keep coming back to 'free will = intelligence' which is utterly false for two reasons: 1) There is nothing remotely regarding free will in the definition of intelligence. 2) We ourselves cannot even verify if we have...
by ThinkingRunner
Thu Feb 17, 2011 12:59 pm
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: IBM's Watson on Jeopardy tonight
Replies: 210
Views: 14167

. Those arguing Watson is just a prop have refused to accept this definition, likely for the reason that if they were to describe some behavior, it's quite likely a computer will be able to demonstrate it. Maybe not today, but probably not too far in the future. Seems pretty unlikely to me that a c...
by ThinkingRunner
Wed Feb 16, 2011 11:04 pm
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: IBM's Watson on Jeopardy tonight
Replies: 210
Views: 14167

(the most effort it would take is to understand what Alex is asking in the question). - Porcupine If this were a solved problem, computers would have replaced humans in call centers a long time ago. The point of Watson is not its large database, but that meanings and associations can be automatical...
by ThinkingRunner
Wed Feb 16, 2011 6:17 pm
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: IBM's Watson on Jeopardy tonight
Replies: 210
Views: 14167

2) trainable rules-based systems - Watson, Google Translate, modern search engines - inputs and outputs are processed according to fixed rules, but outputs will vary depending on the number and quality of inputs. 3) self-refining systems - ??? - the processing rules for inputs and outputs can be mo...
by ThinkingRunner
Wed Feb 16, 2011 2:39 pm
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: IBM's Watson on Jeopardy tonight
Replies: 210
Views: 14167

OK, I think I can now categorize the different classes of computer program which different classes of people feel meet the minimum requirement to be called AI. 1) fixed rules-based systems - from pocket calculator to most chess programs to spreadsheets - a given set of inputs will always result in ...
by ThinkingRunner
Wed Feb 16, 2011 2:02 pm
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: IBM's Watson on Jeopardy tonight
Replies: 210
Views: 14167

No, because your spreadsheet cannot learn, which is a requirement according to the definition of the word "intelligence". Again, if you insist on using your own definitions of words, then I have no argument. If I tried to teach Watson about music or how to solve a quadratic equation (assu...
by ThinkingRunner
Wed Feb 16, 2011 1:31 pm
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: IBM's Watson on Jeopardy tonight
Replies: 210
Views: 14167

No, because your spreadsheet cannot learn, which is a requirement according to the definition of the word "intelligence". Again, if you insist on using your own definitions of words, then I have no argument. If I tried to teach Watson about music or how to solve a quadratic equation (assu...
by ThinkingRunner
Wed Feb 16, 2011 1:19 pm
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: IBM's Watson on Jeopardy tonight
Replies: 210
Views: 14167

I would also argue that it really doesn't have the ability to learn in the sense that a human does. Yes you can design it to make new correllations with new datasets, but in reality it is just doing the same thing with a different dataset. It is following explicitly the code that was written for it...
by ThinkingRunner
Wed Feb 16, 2011 1:09 pm
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: IBM's Watson on Jeopardy tonight
Replies: 210
Views: 14167

To your last question... the computer program has no awareness of self. I don't agree the computer can reason. Can it apply an algorithm to data? Sure thing... but it cannot do whatever it wants. If it has no will, it cannot reason IMO. My dog can disobey, but a computer program can only do what it...
by ThinkingRunner
Wed Feb 16, 2011 11:17 am
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: IBM's Watson on Jeopardy tonight
Replies: 210
Views: 14167

From some of the responses here, it seems to me that people are grudging Watson's phenomenal performance thus far - it has kicked major butt. Being able to decipher and respond to complex queries in natural language is no mean feat. As someone who works on machine learning problems, it is insulting ...
by ThinkingRunner
Wed Feb 16, 2011 8:37 am
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: IBM's Watson on Jeopardy tonight
Replies: 210
Views: 14167
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