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Re: POLL: Age for Collecting Social Security Benefits

john94549 wrote:There's no option for married couples doing 62 => spousal at FRA => defer to 70.

Yes, and also because I got 44 benefit-months for my children by filing at 62.
by TomatoTomahto
Tue Aug 19, 2014 10:08 pm
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: POLL: Age for Collecting Social Security Benefits
Replies: 44
Views: 2293

Re: College Counselors

Additionally,
http://talk.collegeconfidential.com/ath ... ce-p1.html

Even though you said your son wasn't being recruited by Ivy and I don't know if football is the sport, it might be informative
by TomatoTomahto
Sun Aug 17, 2014 4:28 pm
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: College Counselors
Replies: 36
Views: 1392

Re: College Counselors

Today you'd have to apply to one of the concurrent college/high school classes program, but you'd still be allowed to attend at least one college course your senior high school year (assuming you were accepted to the program). Not all universities/colleges support such concurrent programs however. ...
by TomatoTomahto
Sun Aug 17, 2014 4:21 pm
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: College Counselors
Replies: 36
Views: 1392

Re: College Counselors

This is kind of unusual for me. When I was in high school and looking to apply for college, I did all of the grunt work and research myself. [snip...] After my junior year of high school, I took Physics and Calculus at a university in the summer. I liked it there, and when the summer was drawing to...
by TomatoTomahto
Sun Aug 17, 2014 3:48 pm
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: College Counselors
Replies: 36
Views: 1392

Re: College Counselors

For what it is worth, I knew and worked with Michelle Hernandez back when she was an assistant admissions director. I did volunteer recruiting for the college. She was very competent and was very interested in doing her best to evaluate every student as an individual worthy of consideration. I don'...
by TomatoTomahto
Sun Aug 17, 2014 3:41 pm
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: College Counselors
Replies: 36
Views: 1392

Re: College Counselors

In any case, neither parent nor counselor should be writing essays or selecting schools for the kid. I didn't "select" the school(s) my son applied to, but I was with him most of the steps on the way to making choices. My son, for example, had been strongly on an MIT/CalTech/CMU direction...
by TomatoTomahto
Sun Aug 17, 2014 12:17 pm
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: College Counselors
Replies: 36
Views: 1392

Re: College Counselors

The above is a round about way of writing, "Why bother to help your son with college apps at all? He will do just fine." I think my son appreciated having an adult to discuss colleges, possible careers, etc. with. The actual application, as such, was his to do. You can get a consultant to...
by TomatoTomahto
Sun Aug 17, 2014 8:49 am
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: College Counselors
Replies: 36
Views: 1392

Re: College Counselors

Livesoft's suggestion of collegeconfidential.com is a good one. Spend some time there, and get a few of the college books (Insider's Guide to Colleges and the like). Some of my favorite schools are part of NESCAC, but the transportation issues should not be ignored if you live in CA. I dropped my so...
by TomatoTomahto
Sat Aug 16, 2014 10:53 pm
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: College Counselors
Replies: 36
Views: 1392

Re: College Counselors

This is where money comes into play; if you have it, you can hire a professional college counselor/advisor and have a greater chance of getting into a better school. Kind of unfair I say. It will not necessarily improve your chances. We have the money, but decided that we did not want to run the ri...
by TomatoTomahto
Sat Aug 16, 2014 9:49 pm
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: College Counselors
Replies: 36
Views: 1392

Re: College Counselors

Jack FFR1846 wrote:If you're doing this for the first time, it looks more complicated than it really is.

If the target is "the Ivies, NESCACs and UCs," it can be pretty complicated, especially finding additional schools as matches and safeties.
by TomatoTomahto
Sat Aug 16, 2014 9:39 pm
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: College Counselors
Replies: 36
Views: 1392

Re: College Counselors

Two teachers at the HS where I teach had been doing that sort of thing on the side and finally this year they both quit teaching to take on private college counseling full time. I'm guessing it is the same in most relatively affluent communities around the country. My son's GC left to start a priva...
by TomatoTomahto
Sat Aug 16, 2014 9:33 pm
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: College Counselors
Replies: 36
Views: 1392

Re: College Counselors

livesoft wrote:Would a place like collegeconfidential generate more counselor leads?

Yes probably. They might or might not be more useful.
by TomatoTomahto
Sat Aug 16, 2014 9:20 pm
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: College Counselors
Replies: 36
Views: 1392

Re: College Counselors

PS. Using Hernandez College Consulting can cost you $42,000. There are more reasonable alternatives, including doing research yourself and him facing the realities of college admissions. My son is a procrastinator, but managed to get 2 applications in on time for Early Action, was pleasantly surpris...
by TomatoTomahto
Sat Aug 16, 2014 9:20 pm
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: College Counselors
Replies: 36
Views: 1392

Re: College Counselors

It might be helpful if you told us a bit about him, both in terms of stats and "what he's like." You say he's interested in schools belonging to two East Coast athletic conferences and also UC. That's an odd grouping; what's the common thread? Is he likely to be a recruited athlete? Do you...
by TomatoTomahto
Sat Aug 16, 2014 9:14 pm
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: College Counselors
Replies: 36
Views: 1392

Re: Telephone Calls! Help! [Telemarketing phone calls]

I set up Nomorobo five days ago, and I'm very pleased with the results. I estimate my "junk" calls are down about 70%. I still receive calls listed from "cell phone" and from spoofed local numbers, but the one-ring calls being short-circuited by Nomorobo are music to my ears. I'...
by TomatoTomahto
Fri Aug 15, 2014 4:14 pm
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Telephone Calls! Help! [Telemarketing phone calls]
Replies: 97
Views: 5707

Re: Lifestyle Creep

My wife's income went up dramatically in the past decade or so, more than making up for my lack of income. We had resolved to live as we had and bank the difference, but between the increased income and the value of our portfolio, it is easy to decide that some choices are not worth worrying about. ...
by TomatoTomahto
Fri Aug 15, 2014 2:45 pm
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Lifestyle Creep
Replies: 22
Views: 2596

Re: Interesting BRK tidbit

I kind of want to jump on the BRK bandwagon and replace all my VTI shares with BRK.B instead. :) just kidding I'm taking Buffett's own advice and jumping off the BRK bandwagon, replacing all my BRK.B shares (and all other single stocks I currently own) with VTI and VXUS within the next year. no kid...
by TomatoTomahto
Fri Aug 15, 2014 2:37 pm
 
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Interesting BRK tidbit
Replies: 16
Views: 1797

Re: Best Short Joke

What do you call a boomerang that doesn't come back when you throw it?




Stupid stick.
by TomatoTomahto
Fri Aug 15, 2014 2:33 pm
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Best Short Joke
Replies: 12
Views: 989

Re: Teaching teen to drive

In NJ, 6 hours in a professional school is mandatory before they can learn with parents. I took every opportunity, even before the lessons began, of "driving out loud." For example, I'd tell the passenger (in this case, my son) to notice how the car in front of us, without a turn signal, l...
by TomatoTomahto
Fri Aug 15, 2014 2:27 pm
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Teaching teen to drive
Replies: 31
Views: 1307

Re: “The more I learn, the more I realize how much I don't k

I see no reason to increase equity now. I would hold at 60-70% equity until settled into retirement. “The more I learn, the more I realize how much I don't know" Keep at it and maybe at some point you will say "the more I learn, the more I realize the less I need to know." :happy Som...
by TomatoTomahto
Fri Aug 15, 2014 9:54 am
 
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: “The more I learn, the more I realize how much I don't know"
Replies: 18
Views: 1904

Re: Mac Airbook

I'm not a fan of laptops personally (among other things, i need an ergonomic keyboard), but my daughter used a MacBook Air for some time and liked it a lot.
by TomatoTomahto
Wed Aug 13, 2014 10:25 pm
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Mac Airbook
Replies: 38
Views: 3101

Re: Any Opinions on Mirrorless Cameras?

cons are the proprietary RAW format (have to use the crappy nikon software to convert), and if i know i'll be shooting indoors i'll take my wife's little point/shoot instead of the j2. also, if you like an eyepiece, you're out of luck with this camera. You generally don't have to use the Nikon soft...
by TomatoTomahto
Wed Aug 13, 2014 5:06 pm
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Any Opinions on Mirrorless Cameras?
Replies: 40
Views: 2011

Re: How much should a New Jersey home inspection cost?

+1 for lawman. I've bought 2 homes that were built in the 20s. The first one had a thorough and detailed inspection, which uncovered some issues but no deal breakers. I learned a lot about the house in the process. That inspector unfortunately retired before I bought the next house, and the second i...
by TomatoTomahto
Tue Aug 12, 2014 10:37 pm
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: How much should a New Jersey home inspection cost?
Replies: 7
Views: 576

Re: Would you tip this tour guide?

I had one of those minivans. It cannot comfortably hold 3 in the back row for a long duration, much less with extra-size passengers. I would not tip at all. It might not be the tour guide's fault, but the tip is intended to be in appreciation of his work and your enjoyment.
by TomatoTomahto
Tue Aug 12, 2014 2:40 pm
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Would you tip this tour guide?
Replies: 22
Views: 2170

Re: Dealership wants to buyback my car

Has anyone ever got these letters from real estate agents? We've gotten a few along the lines of "People have expressed interest in your home (or a home in your neighborhood) and are willing to pay XXX,XXX , etc. I know it's garbage, but it's still amusing, and I wonder what the yield rate is,...
by TomatoTomahto
Mon Aug 11, 2014 4:16 pm
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Dealership wants to buyback my car
Replies: 32
Views: 3359

Re: Dealership wants to buyback my car

I routinely get letters saying that they want to buy back two cars that I got rid of 3 years and 5 years ago. I once answered a realtor's letter which said that they had a buyer for my house; same story, different object. They said they had no specific buyer for my house, but that it was a type whic...
by TomatoTomahto
Mon Aug 11, 2014 12:53 pm
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Dealership wants to buyback my car
Replies: 32
Views: 3359

Re: What are you doing re charitable giving (money, not time

My wife's employer matches the first $5k of charitable donations, a benefit I guess we are now leaving on the table. Maybe we should donate the $5k/year to the B & M Gates Foundation for the match. Check the policy to make sure you can do this. My employer matched but only actual charities, not...
by TomatoTomahto
Sat Aug 09, 2014 6:00 pm
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: What are you doing re charitable giving (money, not time)
Replies: 26
Views: 1502

Re: What are you doing re charitable giving (money, not time

@island, I had a previous employer who also pushed United Way hard, and I felt as you do. I assume that they've recovered from the scandals of a few decades ago. My wife's employer matches the first $5k of charitable donations, a benefit I guess we are now leaving on the table. Maybe we should donat...
by TomatoTomahto
Sat Aug 09, 2014 4:25 pm
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: What are you doing re charitable giving (money, not time)
Replies: 26
Views: 1502

Re: What are you doing re charitable giving (money, not time

I am interpreting nationally as including local organizations outside your local area. I give to a university far from my home, but they are far from being a national organization. Polls are hard to write; or is it definitions that are hard? That's an omission I should have thought of. I think writ...
by TomatoTomahto
Sat Aug 09, 2014 11:20 am
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: What are you doing re charitable giving (money, not time)
Replies: 26
Views: 1502

What are you doing re charitable giving (money, not time)

There is an ongoing thread about charitable giving on the forum. It made me think about it, as I'm currently on a charitable giving moratorium. We recently discovered that two local organizations, to whom we've made significant (for us) contributions, have in our opinion made some unwise choices in ...
by TomatoTomahto
Sat Aug 09, 2014 11:06 am
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: What are you doing re charitable giving (money, not time)
Replies: 26
Views: 1502

Re: It won't matter if your password gets stolen

I hope this doesn't count as a thread hijack. How will 2 factor authentication work with something like Quicken's update function? Currently, I hit one button for the update, it asks me for the "Password Vault" password, and it's off to the races. I hope in the future my phone won't explod...
by TomatoTomahto
Sat Aug 09, 2014 9:23 am
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: It won't matter if your password gets stolen
Replies: 20
Views: 2370

Re: Poll - Do you use Quicken?

Over time, I've added more accounts and have more transactions, so my daily update takes longer. It might even take a whole minute now, but it runs perfectly fine in the background while I browse the web.
by TomatoTomahto
Sat Aug 09, 2014 8:09 am
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Poll - Do you use Quicken?
Replies: 85
Views: 4993

Re: Your Favorite charity organization...? please

I have recently been looking into this question, as I've slowed/stopped charitable contributions now but want to add to my will. The Gates Foundation will accept unsolicited donations that follow strict guidelines. The foundation is a much wiser and more thorough donor than I could be, so I'm thinki...
by TomatoTomahto
Fri Aug 08, 2014 8:52 am
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Your Favorite charity organization...? please
Replies: 91
Views: 3918

Re: Telephone Calls! Help!

Rob5TCP wrote:I was getting 6-10 a day. I joined nomorobo.com
It took some time, but now I am down to 2-3 a day.
Not perfect.

It might not be perfect, but it's the best performing free product I can recall. Unfortunately, not all land lines can benefit from it.
by TomatoTomahto
Thu Aug 07, 2014 10:59 pm
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Telephone Calls! Help! [Telemarketing phone calls]
Replies: 97
Views: 5707

Re: How many Accounts do you log into and how do you manage?

I like Roboform and have heard good things about Keepass and some of the other managers. I don't think it matters which one you use but any of them are so much better than not using one that I can't imagine trying to do without. A password manager is one of my essential programs. A couple of additi...
by TomatoTomahto
Thu Aug 07, 2014 10:53 pm
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: How many Accounts do you log into and how do you manage?
Replies: 52
Views: 2498

Re: XC90 [Volvo XC90 SUV]

The only place I see Volvos is around university towns. Do you happen to live in that kind of area? No, not even close. I live in an affluent suburb of NYC. Most of the folks around here are Wall Street types of one flavor or another, senior law partners, the occasional sports figure, people who so...
by TomatoTomahto
Thu Aug 07, 2014 10:11 pm
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: XC90 [Volvo XC90 SUV]
Replies: 40
Views: 2746

Re: HSA Strategy for high income earners

I was very recently a believer that the HSA was a perfect triple tax free vehicle for my family. The accounting requirements don't faze me that much; I believe that a good faith and reasonable accounting will suffice. I also don't think that there's anything "wrong" or unsavory in doing so...
by TomatoTomahto
Thu Aug 07, 2014 6:41 pm
 
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: HSA Strategy for high income earners
Replies: 79
Views: 5517

Re: XC90 [Volvo XC90 SUV]

The only place I see Volvos is around university towns. Do you happen to live in that kind of area? No, not even close. I live in an affluent suburb of NYC. Most of the folks around here are Wall Street types of one flavor or another, senior law partners, the occasional sports figure, people who so...
by TomatoTomahto
Wed Aug 06, 2014 10:09 pm
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: XC90 [Volvo XC90 SUV]
Replies: 40
Views: 2746

Re: When is a 3.75% load worth it?

Ps. I forgot to answer the question in your title. I would be willing to pay even more than a 3.75% load if it allowed me to go back in time 5 years to buy the fund. Failing that, no thanks.
by TomatoTomahto
Wed Aug 06, 2014 6:09 pm
 
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: When is a 3.75% load worth it?
Replies: 79
Views: 5170

Re: When is a 3.75% load worth it?

[snip...]But it does seem odd that active funds would continue to exist over all these decades if there were such unassailable proof of their eternal inferiority? It would also seem, if such data existed, that retirement/pension funds should cease to offer or even include actively managed funds--in...
by TomatoTomahto
Wed Aug 06, 2014 6:03 pm
 
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: When is a 3.75% load worth it?
Replies: 79
Views: 5170

Re: How many Accounts do you log into and how do you manage?

I use RoboForm to manage my passwords and to "fill in the blanks" online. It is not free, but is moderately priced, and it keeps my passwords and information (including credit card information) synced between my PC and iPad. The user name and master password is in a letter in my safety dep...
by TomatoTomahto
Wed Aug 06, 2014 5:28 pm
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: How many Accounts do you log into and how do you manage?
Replies: 52
Views: 2498

Re: XC90 [Volvo XC90 SUV]

Further to what mudfud said, I was surprised to hear that Volvo might be leaving the US. Maybe every car they sell is in my neighborhood, but they are ubiquitous here. I bought my 2 Volvos at two different dealers, both nearby. One of the dealers opened a new shiny sales and service facility in town...
by TomatoTomahto
Wed Aug 06, 2014 5:21 pm
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: XC90 [Volvo XC90 SUV]
Replies: 40
Views: 2746

Re: XC90

Browser wrote:I figure it costs about 10 times as much for maintenance to fix Volvos, BMW, Audi, and the other other Euro-lux brands as it does to maintain Japanese luxo brands like Acura, Lexus, Infiniti.


Any documentation or references? 10x is a big number.
by TomatoTomahto
Wed Aug 06, 2014 12:37 pm
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: XC90 [Volvo XC90 SUV]
Replies: 40
Views: 2746

Re: How to give advice when you don't know much.

It's really weird because we all are smart enough to realize that we need to educate ourselves but it's amazing how people can present information that makes you feel they are waaay smarter than you'll ever be. The secret is that, even if they're smarter than you (which is quite probably NOT the ca...
by TomatoTomahto
Wed Aug 06, 2014 11:14 am
 
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: How to give advice when you don't know much.
Replies: 33
Views: 1359

Re: How to give advice when you don't know much.

First, welcome to the forum. I think you will find many people here who are very knowledgable (much more than me) and incredibly generous with their time and energy. You will find that many have a viewpoint, but whatever their particular bias, they are not driven by trying to get at your money. Tell...
by TomatoTomahto
Wed Aug 06, 2014 10:52 am
 
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: How to give advice when you don't know much.
Replies: 33
Views: 1359

Re: XC90

Thats a good data point to have. I had the X5 and wanted to get rid of it as soon as it was out of warranty. Glad to know your Volvo experience has not been like that. Funny, we also had a BMW that we couldn't wait to get rid of, and an Audi that we hated and traded in because I couldn't look a pot...
by TomatoTomahto
Wed Aug 06, 2014 8:58 am
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: XC90 [Volvo XC90 SUV]
Replies: 40
Views: 2746

Re: XC90

Rather than seeing the car as fundamentally flawed due to high consumption of gas, brakes, etc. I see it as the result of legitimate design decisions - of course if you want a safer car it will be heavier and wear brakes, tires and suspension more quickly, cost more or both. By calling out the desi...
by TomatoTomahto
Tue Aug 05, 2014 4:28 pm
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: XC90 [Volvo XC90 SUV]
Replies: 40
Views: 2746

Re: XC90

Not to digress but as a very satisfied owner of XC60 for going on five years suggest that you test drive that vehicle before deciding on the older XC90 model. +1000 The 90 is outdated and will soon be replaced. The XC60 is a marvel of comfort and safety. The 2015.5 version is available now. We boug...
by TomatoTomahto
Tue Aug 05, 2014 4:21 pm
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: XC90 [Volvo XC90 SUV]
Replies: 40
Views: 2746

Re: HSA Strategy for high income earners

the tradeoff is between tax-free growth vs having to maintain documentation This is what I still don't get - don't we need to maintain the documentation either way? Even if we reimburse ourselves immediately, we still have to save those receipts to justify that reimbursement in any future audit, ri...
by TomatoTomahto
Tue Aug 05, 2014 1:16 pm
 
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: HSA Strategy for high income earners
Replies: 79
Views: 5517

Re: average American eats out 203 times per year

coldaudio wrote:I enjoy cooking, but my girlfriend does not, so if I end up working late, we won't be cooking that night. I'm trying to change that :D


You should change that; stop working late! :sharebeer
by TomatoTomahto
Tue Aug 05, 2014 12:23 pm
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: average American eats out 203 times per year
Replies: 105
Views: 6356
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