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by TomatoTomahto
Thu May 28, 2015 1:32 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Aren't we overdoing electronic auto safety features?
Replies: 159
Views: 7430

Re: Aren't we overdoing electronic auto safety features?

I just tried a test drive in an Acura RDX on the freeway with the safety technology package, consisting of adaptive cruise control, lane keeping assist, and collision mitigation. I have mixed impressions. Lane keeping assist seems mildly annoying, since it beeps and flashes a dash warning when you ...
by TomatoTomahto
Thu May 28, 2015 12:00 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Anyone changed careers after building required nest egg?
Replies: 8
Views: 1058

Re: Anyone changed careers after building required nest egg?

Women frequently take time off or seek out more flexible, lower paying jobs in order to have the ability to care for young children or aging parents. There is no disputing that it is most often women who do this, but I want to point out that many men are equally well-suited to those nurturing, supp...
by TomatoTomahto
Thu May 28, 2015 10:40 am
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Vanguard implements 20 character passwords
Replies: 69
Views: 11224

Re: Vanguard implements 20 character passwords

We are in the esteemed >$1M cohort, but tbh, it doesn't seem like such an amazing perk not to be timed out in 15 minutes. I'm not sure that I often spend more than that amount of time there anyway.
by TomatoTomahto
Wed May 27, 2015 9:37 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Backdoor Roth IRA
Replies: 3
Views: 339

Re: Backdoor Roth IRA

We are in that situation. We decided that the one without a traditional IRA (tIRA) would backdoor. The pro-rata stuff is too much of a PITA. If your wife's tIRA is small enough, she could convert it to a Roth with a moderate tax hit -- you will owe taxes on that money someday regardless. Additionall...
by TomatoTomahto
Tue May 26, 2015 6:05 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Life insurance as college saving
Replies: 13
Views: 713

Re: Life insurance as college saving

Life insurance is an excellent way to put kids through college. The only problem is that the kids are the sons and daughters of the life insurance agent. Forget yachts, where are the customers' kids' diplomas? OP, you should look at http://www.collegeconfidential.com. College is affordable for most...
by TomatoTomahto
Tue May 26, 2015 3:35 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Is this one way to pay for my kid's college?
Replies: 25
Views: 1930

Re: Is this one way to pay for my kid's college?

You lost $80k on a now $2M portfolio? Do you think that you have enough now that you won't fall victim to panic selling? I don't understand why you need a separate envelope to pay for college, especially since it's 10 years out? How much of the $2M is in taxable? Can't you just pay for college out o...
by TomatoTomahto
Tue May 26, 2015 7:48 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: My New Car Buying Tips
Replies: 108
Views: 18697

Re: My New Car Buying Tips

The X, although AWD is now available in the S also (it wasn't when I put down my deposit). I have become accustomed to sitting higher up than a sedan, and the Model S is pretty low. How much Out the Door? I won't know until the Design Studio opens up... any day now :D I think it will be around $100...
by TomatoTomahto
Tue May 26, 2015 7:44 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: $4500 reasonable for wills for blended family and some trusts?
Replies: 38
Views: 1955

Re: $4500 reasonable for wills for blended family and some trusts?

I graduated from Trenton Central High on June 21, and left Trenton on June 26. Forever. Personally, I'd never move back to Jersey. PA ? Maybe. Old saying ? N.J. is a good place to be "FROM" I left NJ in '68, sure that I would never come back. I returned in '83, and haven't yet been able t...
by TomatoTomahto
Tue May 26, 2015 7:27 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: $4500 reasonable for wills for blended family and some trusts?
Replies: 38
Views: 1955

Re: $4500 reasonable for wills for blended family and some trusts?

Jerry55, that approach works if there aren't coordination issues between the two wills (eg, who is deemed to have died first if we are in a fatal car accident), trusts to be funded, trusts to have in place while living, executors and trustees who will be making high-stakes decisions about distributi...
by TomatoTomahto
Mon May 25, 2015 11:29 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: $4500 reasonable for wills for blended family and some trusts?
Replies: 38
Views: 1955

Re: $4500 reasonable for wills for blended family and some trusts?

I was just reading through the thread before going to bed, and realize that I misstated our assets. I assume it has no effect on legal fees, but my wife's assets exceed the single lifetime exclusion, but we as a couple are below the Federal limit. At her current and anticipated comp, and our savings...
by TomatoTomahto
Mon May 25, 2015 10:27 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: My New Car Buying Tips
Replies: 108
Views: 18697

Re: My New Car Buying Tips

Too bad, this won't work for a Tesla. :oops: I don't miss all the strategy about buying a car. Tesla is sufficiently special that normal rules don't apply. They've had $5,000 of mine since October of 2013, and I'm still semi-patiently waiting. I finally have a pretty good idea of what the car will ...
by TomatoTomahto
Mon May 25, 2015 10:21 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: $4500 reasonable for wills for blended family and some trusts?
Replies: 38
Views: 1955

Re: $4500 reasonable for wills for blended family and some trusts?

Hope you don't mind me asking, but separate from all the fee issues, etc., how are you and your wife going about thinking through the whole who-gets-what issue? IMO, it gets complicated if I let it. My wife has considerably more assets than my ex has. There was a time when I thought I should equali...
by TomatoTomahto
Mon May 25, 2015 4:31 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: $4500 reasonable for wills for blended family and some trusts?
Replies: 38
Views: 1955

Re: $4500 reasonable for wills for blended family and some trusts?

The Megacorp Legal Services Plan offers you and your family access to an affordable network of attorneys for routine legal services related to personal and family legal issues, such as wills and estate planning; real estate matters; family law; juvenile matters; name changes; consumer protection; p...
by TomatoTomahto
Mon May 25, 2015 4:11 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: $4500 reasonable for wills for blended family and some trusts?
Replies: 38
Views: 1955

Re: $4500 reasonable for wills for blended family and some trusts?

I have no reason to believe your family is unusual. But your original post stated that re-doing your will would be complicated. That is the issue I addressed. That's what lawyers do. They address the issues people express. Perhaps a standard lawyer would suffice for you. I did say that it might be ...
by TomatoTomahto
Mon May 25, 2015 3:45 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: $4500 reasonable for wills for blended family and some trusts?
Replies: 38
Views: 1955

Re: $4500 reasonable for wills for blended family and some trusts?

I think the lawyer should have seen this situation many times before ... What is your evidence and proof for your statement? The Original Poster indicated that this legal situation is complicated, perhaps even unusual. Maybe you can solve all possible legal cosequences at a lower cost. If that's wh...
by TomatoTomahto
Mon May 25, 2015 2:53 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: $4500 reasonable for wills for blended family and some trusts?
Replies: 38
Views: 1955

Re: $4500 reasonable for wills for blended family and some trusts?

Second marriage, kids from both marriages, estate large enough to require tax planning?$4500 is reasonable. Eric, do you think that the lawyers in an employer's legal group plan could do a good job? I'm sure that some extra time is required given the tax planning, blended family, etc., but I wonder...
by TomatoTomahto
Mon May 25, 2015 2:48 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: SERP retirement account [Supplemental Executive Retirement Plan]
Replies: 11
Views: 568

Re: SERP retirement account [Supplemental Executive Retirement Plan]

We never took advantage of one of those, in part because we figure our tax bracket won't be appreciably lower at retirement and we had some post-86 after-tax options which were used in mega backdoor Roth. The company was unlikely to go belly up, but we just overload taxable accounts.
by TomatoTomahto
Mon May 25, 2015 1:47 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: $4500 reasonable for wills for blended family and some trusts?
Replies: 38
Views: 1955

Re: $4500 reasonable for wills for blended family and some trusts?

Livesoft, if he gave you the reference, would you have asked the executor how smoothly the will worked? Yes, I would have no problem talking to relatives, as in, "I'm considering using Mr Lawyer for estate planning purposes. He said your dad was a former client of his, so my condolences, but w...
by TomatoTomahto
Mon May 25, 2015 12:38 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: $4500 reasonable for wills for blended family and some trusts?
Replies: 38
Views: 1955

Re: $4500 reasonable for wills for blended family and some trusts?

Thanks, Wannaretireearly, as luck would have it, my wife is starting a new job Monday and can sign up for a group legal thing. Great idea! I feel a little guilty, since we sat with him for an hour for free, but I guess that's built into his $450/hour. Livesoft, if he gave you the reference, would yo...
by TomatoTomahto
Mon May 25, 2015 11:55 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: $4500 reasonable for wills for blended family and some trusts?
Replies: 38
Views: 1955

$4500 reasonable for wills for blended family and some trusts?

We need to redo our wills. They are slightly complicated in that W wants to, on the off-chance that I outlive her, provide a comfortable life for me and then the remainder to her two children. I in turn want to give everything to my 4 kids (including the same two as my wife has). We are over the fed...
by TomatoTomahto
Sat May 23, 2015 10:10 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Real cost of a Masters (in the US)
Replies: 39
Views: 2858

Re: Real cost of a Masters (in the US)

It might be too late and might not apply where your kids go to school, but my son's CompSci major allows for getting a Master's at the same time as the Bachelor's. With departmental approval, you take 6 more courses in your major (ie presumably in place of electives and/or party time), meet the norm...
by TomatoTomahto
Fri May 22, 2015 10:23 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: My New Car Buying Tips
Replies: 108
Views: 18697

Re: My New Car Buying Tips

Too bad, this won't work for a Tesla. :oops: I don't miss all the strategy about buying a car. Tesla is sufficiently special that normal rules don't apply. They've had $5,000 of mine since October of 2013, and I'm still semi-patiently waiting. I finally have a pretty good idea of what the car will ...
by TomatoTomahto
Fri May 22, 2015 10:13 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Put money down on new car, dealer wants color change
Replies: 52
Views: 3896

Re: Put money down on new car, dealer wants color change

This is why its better to do a Factory Order when possible. Not sure if that's feasible with a Pathfinder. Where's it made? If I am going to pay what a new car costs, I am going to get it with the options I want in a color I want. I am willing to wait. The only exception to this is when a storm flo...
by TomatoTomahto
Fri May 22, 2015 9:47 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Stupid COBRA question
Replies: 12
Views: 860

Re: Stupid COBRA question

I just retired and am using COBRA until Medicare kicks in. During the brief crossover phase (5 days), I was not able to get prescription coverage at the pharmacy, because Aetna had discontinued my plan. I had to wait a few days for instructions to arrive by snail mail from the 3rd party outfit that...
by TomatoTomahto
Thu May 21, 2015 3:13 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Stupid COBRA question
Replies: 12
Views: 860

Re: Stupid COBRA question

The dates of job termination/new hire do not matter. What matters, is what are the dates of health insurance coverage. The day the coverage is lost is the qualifying event. Although current coverage could end on May 27th. It is far more likely that it ends on May 31st. Although new coverage could s...
by TomatoTomahto
Thu May 21, 2015 10:02 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Stupid COBRA question
Replies: 12
Views: 860

Stupid COBRA question

My wife's employment at OldJob officially ends on May 27. Her new employment officially begins June 1. We currently have a HDHP plan that has reached its out-of-pocket maximum, so we want to maintain the plan for the year, rather than joining the plan at NewJob and starting over on deductibles and s...
by TomatoTomahto
Wed May 20, 2015 8:23 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Aren't we overdoing electronic auto safety features?
Replies: 159
Views: 7430

Re: Aren't we overdoing electronic auto safety features?

[...]I don't think you understand how capable many adaptive cruise controls are. For most systems, you can be doing 100 mph and the ACC will bring the car to a complete stop well before a collision.[...] Chris I don't claim to understand driverless cars so have abstained from the discussion; howeve...
by TomatoTomahto
Tue May 19, 2015 7:14 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Time to reach 1M and 2M milestones
Replies: 63
Views: 9366

Re: Time to reach 1M and 2M milestones

To the OP, we saved like crazy since we started working, we never really invested - until after the 09 crash, which is nice in a way....but it took us about 8 years for the 0.5M... Our sizable portfolio barely moved in the past year. I am abt 90% equities + vg index funds. I don't understand how po...
by TomatoTomahto
Tue May 19, 2015 12:39 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Aren't we overdoing electronic auto safety features?
Replies: 159
Views: 7430

Re: Aren't we overdoing electronic auto safety features?

I've been rear-ended three times. Once I got nailed by a couple doing about 50 when I was stopped for a left turn. I don't believe that even if he'd had auto-braking it would have helped much because he never saw me. Do you understand how auto-braking works? The driver doesn't need to see anything ...
by TomatoTomahto
Mon May 18, 2015 10:17 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Time to reach 1M and 2M milestones
Replies: 63
Views: 9366

Re: Time to reach 1M and 2M milestones

Thanks for all the great responses. A related question I have is this - (1) For those who reached $1M and $2M milestones, did you become more conservative in your investing approach? (2) Did you move to a more bond/fixed-income weighted asset allocation even though you were far from retirement? Tha...
by TomatoTomahto
Mon May 18, 2015 10:15 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Time to reach 1M and 2M milestones
Replies: 63
Views: 9366

Re: Time to reach 1M and 2M milestones

Once you hit $2 million, it's just keeping score. The key is a million or so in cash, FDIC/NCUA insured cash. A lot depends on what your obligations and hopes are. I hit $1M with a child entering a private college, child support for another, iirc the last dregs of alimony to pay my ex, and two youn...
by TomatoTomahto
Mon May 18, 2015 5:30 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Time to reach 1M and 2M milestones
Replies: 63
Views: 9366

Re: Time to reach 1M and 2M milestones

I'm not sure how to answer this. Is the >50% my ex-wife took with her considered part of my first million? We were very close to $1M then, but it took another 3-4 years to get there with my "forever" wife. Going from 1-2M took almost 6 years (the $1M mark occurred around 1999-2000). Subseq...
by TomatoTomahto
Mon May 18, 2015 5:04 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: 21 Surprising Statistics That Reveal How Much Stuff We Actually Own
Replies: 11
Views: 2223

Re: 21 Surprising Statistics That Reveal How Much Stuff We Actually Own

1. There are 300,000 items in the average American home (LA Times). For that to be true, I'd have to have 15 items per cubic foot in my house. Are they counting parts as in "my desk phone has 23 buttons, one lcd screen, x transistors, a cable with plugs on either end, etc.?" In that case,...
by TomatoTomahto
Sun May 17, 2015 2:18 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Tesla S
Replies: 682
Views: 89089

Re: Tesla S

I think I'll wait for that orders or magnitude greater capability EV. Many of the improvements are software related, and are thus available to older cars. If they have the sensors, which many Tesla cars have had for some time, a wireless upgrade in June is scheduled to increase the autonomous drivi...
by TomatoTomahto
Sun May 17, 2015 11:29 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Aren't we overdoing electronic auto safety features?
Replies: 159
Views: 7430

Re: Aren't we overdoing electronic auto safety features?

@Browser, developing and implementing safety features is a worthy goal for auto companies. Developing a reputation for safety is also a good thing. However, they don't magically become not-for-profit companies whose only goal is to have more safety features in the hands of consumers. Of course they'...
by TomatoTomahto
Sat May 16, 2015 3:10 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Quicken 2015 for Windows - Any reviews?
Replies: 115
Views: 21343

My sentiment has always been that "the only thing worse than Quicken is everything else."
by TomatoTomahto
Sat May 16, 2015 3:01 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Aren't we overdoing electronic auto safety features?
Replies: 159
Views: 7430

Re: Aren't we overdoing electronic auto safety features?

The answer to the OP i s of course yes. Most studies show that the three major improvements to car safety are 1 Airbags 2. ESC 3. ABS. Everything else is crap. It alarms me that we have people who can't drive without cameras and sensors. Should add, that if you've seen your ABS activated more than ...
by TomatoTomahto
Fri May 15, 2015 9:46 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Aren't we overdoing electronic auto safety features?
Replies: 159
Views: 7430

Re: Aren't we overdoing electronic auto safety features?

Also, for the outsized portion of the BH audience who is, err, quite mature. Remember that driving skills may decline as you enter your 70s, 80s, and beyond... When I was a teen, I took flying lessons and soloed. I was known for an ability to land on a dime (but my navigational skills were sufficie...
by TomatoTomahto
Fri May 15, 2015 3:55 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Aren't we overdoing electronic auto safety features?
Replies: 159
Views: 7430

Re: Aren't we overdoing electronic auto safety features?

I was seriously injured in an auto accident in my youth where, during recovery/rehab/etc., death seemed preferable. Whether you survive the crash or not should not be the only measure of success. I'm sorry to hear it was tough for you. Avoiding such a non-fatal but painful experience for my loved o...
by TomatoTomahto
Fri May 15, 2015 3:15 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Too late to invest in Health Care Fund?
Replies: 56
Views: 4530

Re: Too late to invest in Health Care Fund?

Nah, a lot of what I wrote was kidding, but there is enough LTCG on that fund that selling it isn't the right thing to do now. Additionally, whether the fund goes up or down, it is one of the few investments that my wife has made, and I think there would be an unstated message if I were to sell the...
by TomatoTomahto
Fri May 15, 2015 11:22 am
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Too late to invest in Health Care Fund?
Replies: 56
Views: 4530

Re: Too late to invest in Health Care Fund?

I'm considering buying the Health Care Fund ( VGHCX ) to diversify a bit, but after looking at the trend, it's sky high right now and I feel like it's very unstable right now, the bubble is about to burst soon. But at the same time, I don't want to be accused of being a market timer. Health care is...
by TomatoTomahto
Fri May 15, 2015 11:03 am
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Too late to invest in Health Care Fund?
Replies: 56
Views: 4530

Re: Too late to invest in Health Care Fund?

I'm considering buying the Health Care Fund ( VGHCX ) to diversify a bit, but after looking at the trend, it's sky high right now and I feel like it's very unstable right now, the bubble is about to burst soon. But at the same time, I don't want to be accused of being a market timer. Health care is...
by TomatoTomahto
Thu May 14, 2015 5:06 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Any experience with plasma donation to boost income?
Replies: 67
Views: 4852

Re: Any experience with plasma donation to boost income?

If I didn't have a pit bull, he may actually stand a chance at a shelter. But the reality is that giving my dog to a shelter would be a death sentence for him. He's a pit bull. He will not get adopted. He will be put down. Hopefully humanely. He will probably suffer in a tiny cage sitting in his ow...
by TomatoTomahto
Thu May 14, 2015 3:25 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Any experience with plasma donation to boost income?
Replies: 67
Views: 4852

Re: Any experience with plasma donation to boost income?

Dog expenses: $100. It sounds like you're a bit strapped right now to be having an expensive animal as part of the household. Can you give the dog to a family member or friend or a shelter for adoption? ... Gen/Misc: The dog expense comes up here again per your note. Is this animal necessary? :oops...
by TomatoTomahto
Thu May 14, 2015 3:07 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Will you buy self-driving car?
Replies: 235
Views: 9316

Re: Will you buy self-driving car?

Not my fault. There's a reason I drive a car with no front bumper, the check engine light on, the windshield cracked, bald tires that get replaced only when they blow out, and a horn that works half the time. Maybe if I were convinced that nothing would be my fault, I would allow myself to drive a ...
by TomatoTomahto
Thu May 14, 2015 2:49 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: How much can I spend on a car?
Replies: 157
Views: 8670

Re: How much can I spend on a car?

Michread wrote:Just because someone lives at home doesn't mean someone else is paying your bills! S/he may be paying their own bills and paying Mom & Dad rent.

Absolutely. OP says his monthly expenses are $700/month.
by TomatoTomahto
Thu May 14, 2015 2:42 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: How much can I spend on a car?
Replies: 157
Views: 8670

Re: How much can I spend on a car?

livesoft wrote:How much can you spend? Check how much your portfolio went UP today. That's the amount you can spend on a car: Basically a one day gain in your portfolio on a great day.


You made me look. I didn't make it today, but I'm still getting a Tesla. Was it a great day?
by TomatoTomahto
Thu May 14, 2015 2:39 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: How much can I spend on a car?
Replies: 157
Views: 8670

Re: How much can I spend on a car?

Rather disheartening to read everyone passing judgement on not only this kid, but his parents. He wasn't asking for advice on living at home or moving out, I feel that making comments about how his parents would feel is rather inappropriate. Just my two cents. Sorry to have disheartened you. If he ...
by TomatoTomahto
Thu May 14, 2015 1:47 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: How much can I spend on a car?
Replies: 157
Views: 8670

Re: How much can I spend on a car?

Seriously this guy can buy a ton of cars and still be a boglehead. He is taking home 4k+/month and spending 700 bucks. That is living well below your means. Taking home 4k/month and spending 2k/month (i.e. 1300 bucks on some car) is still living well below your means. The boglehead philosphily isn'...
by TomatoTomahto
Thu May 14, 2015 12:05 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Networth question
Replies: 54
Views: 4440

Re: Networth question

I don't often compute NW, since I don't need it for anything other than getting a quick sense of how I'm doing relative to last year. That said, while you have to live somewhere, we don't have to live in our current house forever, a 5 BR / 6 BA house in a NJ suburb of NYC. I'm pretty sure that if w...

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