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by Watty
Mon May 25, 2015 10:01 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Puzzled about WalMart gift card
Replies: 3
Views: 661

Re: Puzzled about WalMart gift card

Many systems are set up to require a PIN so that even if it does not add any security, it will allow the card to work with systems that require a PIN. With any of the cards like these it it good to keep them until you are sure that you will not be returning anything that you bought with them. When t...
by Watty
Mon May 25, 2015 9:52 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Best way to re-key locks on new house?
Replies: 17
Views: 1031

Re: Best way to re-key locks on new house?

FWIW, I just took out the lock cores and took them to the local True Value or Ace or whatever it is. They rekeyed them to a new key inexpensively - I don't remember if it was $5 or $10 a lock, but it was a lot cheaper than having a locksmith out. +1 Most hardware stores will do this. One trick is t...
by Watty
Mon May 25, 2015 9:40 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Kitchen Remodeling and Microwave Food
Replies: 19
Views: 816

Re: Kitchen Remodeling and Microwave Food

bottlecap wrote:How about a grill? A microwave isn't good for much but leftovers.

JT


+1

Many vegetables BBQ very well. I have not done it yet but you can also cook things in cast iron on a BBQ.
by Watty
Mon May 25, 2015 9:34 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: I'm a mess, how to deploy our money?
Replies: 19
Views: 2629

Re: I'm a mess, how to deploy our money?

What are your thoughts on time horizons? Should I have taking some portion of the Target Funds and aligning them to 2045 (more her horizon) vs. 2040 (my horizon). I didn't check but I would assume that the difference in asset allocation is minimal between those two funds. If you look at the differe...
by Watty
Mon May 25, 2015 3:09 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Do Bogleheads plan to utilize Independent Living facilities?
Replies: 45
Views: 1638

Re: Do Bogleheads plan to utilize Independent Living facilities?

Do Bogleheads plan to utilize independent living as they age.? Yes. It was her choice but after my Dad died my Mom stayed in the suburban home I was raised in. She could afford to have people come in and assist her as she needed it so her care was not an issue but she became very isolated as her fr...
by Watty
Mon May 25, 2015 2:33 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Just bought new car, should I buy extended warranty?
Replies: 29
Views: 1151

Re: Just bought new car, should I buy extended warranty?

You already have a five year base warranty and their power-train warranty goes for ten year which would cover most other large repairs. https://www.hyundaiusa.com/assurance/america-best-warranty.aspx If something like the AC needs to be be repaired after five years it is likely it would cost less th...
by Watty
Mon May 25, 2015 2:11 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: When is it safe to share financial details with gf, future wife
Replies: 53
Views: 4209

Re: When is it safe to share financial details with gf, future wife

*we're also the type that comingles bank accounts and shares passwords for retirement accts, etc. Not everyone likes doing it this way Sharing the passwords is a bad idea. If there is ever a problem where you account gets compromised and drained that could cause problems since it is likely against ...
by Watty
Mon May 25, 2015 10:20 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: When is it safe to share financial details with gf, future wife
Replies: 53
Views: 4209

Re: When is it safe to share financial details with gf, future wife

We are 32 & 33, we've been together for over a year, we are on the same page as far as LBYM, investing, no debt, early retirement, but we've never shared actual figures; I believe my NW is about 3 times higher than hers, mostly because even though we make about the same now, I made/invested a l...
by Watty
Sun May 24, 2015 11:55 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: How to sell a large statue?
Replies: 23
Views: 1815

Re: How to sell a large statue?

I had another thought. I would think that a statue like that might be for a special location where it fits in well with the house like in an atrium or garden.

If so they might want to just include it with the sale of the house.
by Watty
Sun May 24, 2015 11:47 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Mt Hood: 5% chance of eruption in next 30 years.
Replies: 12
Views: 1810

Re: Mt Hood: 5% chance of eruption in next 30 years.

So says USGS. That number struck me as analogous to the standard 4% SWR recommendation: withdraw 4% inflation adjusted per year, and you have only a 5% chance of running out of money over 30 years. That made me wonder. Counting on a 95% success rate in your portfolio should be no different than dec...
by Watty
Sun May 24, 2015 11:29 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Do we need long-term care insurance?
Replies: 11
Views: 1156

Re: Do we need long-term care insurance?

Based on $7K/mo, the calculators say we have a 100% chance of making it to 92 w/o running out of money. That $7K a month is $84K a year. Check to see what long term care typically costs in your area. If it is less than $84K a year then you likely have LTC costs mostly already covered if only one of...
by Watty
Sun May 24, 2015 7:19 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: I'm a mess, how to deploy our money?
Replies: 19
Views: 2629

Re: I'm a mess, how to deploy our money?

I have several key questions: - Do I manage the 529 accounts as separate portfolios from everything else? IE. Do I mix this up with my retirement portfolio in terms of potential rebalancing needs? You would manage these a separate portfolios since they have different goals and will be used at diffe...
by Watty
Sun May 24, 2015 3:02 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Portfolio advice needed
Replies: 3
Views: 365

Re: Portfolio advice needed

Her 401k is over 500k, ..... Our pensions will cover our expected expenses. 300k mortgage 350k cash (was waiting to purchase retirement house, now need safe investments, somewhat liquid) 50k emergency 350k equity in house If you will be selling your house when you retire then it would likely make s...
by Watty
Sun May 24, 2015 2:34 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: A different way of calculating when to retire
Replies: 26
Views: 2401

Re: A different way of calculating when to retire

This implies to me that the opportunity cost of retiring early would be too great, and each additional year of work would meaningfully add to our ability to fund a higher (more expensive) quality of life. You are mixing apples and oranges when you talk about opportunity costs and the numbers in you...
by Watty
Sun May 24, 2015 10:30 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: How to sell a large statue?
Replies: 23
Views: 1815

Re: How to sell a large statue?

If they bought it locally then the place that they bought from it might be willing to buy it back or to sell it on consignment.
by Watty
Sun May 24, 2015 10:22 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Mortgage Payoff Calculation? Help!
Replies: 19
Views: 977

Re: Mortgage Payoff Calculation? Help!

We called the mortgage holder and they calculated the final payment, with recording fee, if paid on a certain date. They also processed it separately, however it was an early, not 1st of the month payment. You should also get the final paperwork a few months later confirming that it was paid off an...
by Watty
Sun May 24, 2015 10:07 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Mortgage Payoff Calculation? Help!
Replies: 19
Views: 977

Re: Mortgage Payoff Calculation? Help!

The mortgage was originated in 11/2010 (a refi, actually) for $214,600 at 4.25% for 30 years. The current amount remaining is $162,500. I have been working on getting my mortgage paid off in about seven years before I retire. I refinanced with the PenFed 5/5 ARM which had a lower interest rate. It ...
by Watty
Sat May 23, 2015 11:25 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: 30 year old freelance musician who wants to catch up
Replies: 8
Views: 930

Re: 30 year old freelance musician who wants to catch up

Since my taxable income is basically zero, I am unable to put anything meaningful in an IRA. So, I would like to put some money in a three-fund taxable portfolio. I am not a tax pro but are you required to take all your deductions that make your taxable income so low? If not then you could at least...
by Watty
Sat May 23, 2015 8:58 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Building a guest house
Replies: 20
Views: 1767

Re: Building a guest house

Don't forget that the income will be taxable income that you will have to pay taxes on. It would be good to do a dummy tax return to see how much you would be clearing after taxes and expenses. When you eventually sell it the depreciation that is recaptured then may cause more taxes to be due. Also ...
by Watty
Sat May 23, 2015 11:18 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Real cost of a Masters (in the US)
Replies: 35
Views: 2348

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

We (the parents) were originally planning to stop our financial help (proxy for "we pay it all") at this stage, but we're getting second thoughts, and would like to better appreciate the costs of a masters degree. Having moved in the US from Europe 18 years ago, we just don't have any fir...
by Watty
Sat May 23, 2015 10:21 am
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: 401k vs Roth401k vs backdoor Roth IRA
Replies: 7
Views: 313

Re: 401k vs Roth401k vs backdoor Roth IRA

I am a high income earner and realize my taxes will be lower in retirement ..... If you are married and filing joint returns, then don't forget that it is likely that one of you will survive the other and could be filing in the higher single tax brackets for many years. Be sure to also look at your...
by Watty
Fri May 22, 2015 10:14 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Investing after Retirement
Replies: 10
Views: 1224

Re: Investing after Retirement

There are not enough details to know if it would be the right thing to do but I would take a hard look at delaying when one of you starts social security until you are 70 to get a larger social security check then. This might mean that you would would spend down part of your savings in the next few ...
by Watty
Fri May 22, 2015 9:57 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Taking out a HELOC to invest
Replies: 19
Views: 1623

Re: Taking out a HELOC to invest

f you answer "no" to the above question, why? 1) Sequence of returns risk. A $100K mortgage would roughly have a $500 a month($6K a year) mortgage payment. If you get unlucky and your investments drop 20% the first year then your portfolio would be down to about $74K (100 - 20 -6). If the...
by Watty
Fri May 22, 2015 9:01 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Electric Pressure Washer Recommendation
Replies: 13
Views: 833

Re: Electric Pressure Washer Recommendation

Karcher!!! Works great. Can get it at Walmart last I heard. Second this - mine works great. Mine too, My wife picked one up at a garage sale that lasted many years with similar light use and the replacement seems to work well too. When I was researching it before my last purchase one of the big dif...
by Watty
Fri May 22, 2015 8:41 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: please confirm: early retirement
Replies: 90
Views: 7062

Re: please confirm: early retirement

I think living on a gross annual income of about $70,000 (inflation adjusted) for a couple for about 20 years in your 50s and 60s is pretty tight and uncomfortable. I would probably not have the discipline and end up spending down more of my portfolio and just hope the financial markets cooperate. ...
by Watty
Fri May 22, 2015 9:51 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Career Advice: Follow "Passion" or Follow the Money?
Replies: 73
Views: 4148

Re: Career Advice: Follow "Passion" or Follow the Money?

1) Better work-life balance, although I don't take advantage of it. I have no attachments/relationship, so what's the use of this perk? If you take the demanding high paying career track and it works out well and you retire at 50, then what will you do for the next 40 years of retirement? It has be...
by Watty
Fri May 22, 2015 9:17 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Advice For Selling A Used Car
Replies: 12
Views: 1271

Re: Advice For Selling A Used Car

In some states the sales tax you pay on your new car purchase is reduced by any trade in amount, for example if you bought a $20K car and got $12K in trade-in then you might only pay sales tax on the $8K difference. Be sure to check on how that works in your state and take that into consideration wh...
by Watty
Thu May 21, 2015 11:28 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Post tax investing or Pay off 2.95% Mortgage?
Replies: 39
Views: 3603

Re: Post tax investing or Pay off 2.95% Mortgage?

If you do decide to pay down then mortgage than one thing that you can do is a save of the money until you can pay down a significant percentage of your mortgage and then see if the lender will "recast your mortgage" (google this). It is likely that they will for a small processing fee and...
by Watty
Thu May 07, 2015 3:27 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Any circumstances when a home seller gives a buyer a check
Replies: 16
Views: 1711

Re: Any circumstances when a home seller gives a buyer a check

This article claims it's a means for a buyer to commit mortgage fraud, by having an undisclosed side deal. http://realtyassociation.com/files/mortgage_fraud.pdf +1 In addition to the legality, there can be all sorts of problems if the sale does not close for any reason which is more common than you...
by Watty
Thu May 07, 2015 3:00 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Do Updates to Home Increase Market Value?
Replies: 32
Views: 2173

Re: Do Updates to Home Increase Market Value?

Regardless of what the right price is, you do not want to use that real estate agent. The reason is that they have shown that they are not very good at sales since part of their presentation is selling themself and justifying the their numbers. They did neither when they were talking with you so it ...
by Watty
Thu May 07, 2015 10:46 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Paying off student loans by selling house
Replies: 43
Views: 2580

Re: Paying off student loans by selling house

If you do decide to pay off her debt then be sure to do it after your are married.

In addition to the possibility of the marriage not happening you would be getting into gift tax issues by giving her that much before you are married.
by Watty
Wed May 06, 2015 4:09 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Paying off student loans by selling house
Replies: 43
Views: 2580

Re: Paying off student loans by selling house

It isn’t like you are dealing with millions of dollars. I don’t know what the statistics are but from the people I know most of the marriages did last more than five years. If you get divorced in five or more years then the $50K will look pretty small compared to what you combined income is over fiv...
by Watty
Tue May 05, 2015 9:42 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: What are the Pro's and Con's of Retiring in Amarillo, TX
Replies: 89
Views: 5423

Re: What are the Pro's and Con's of Retiring in Amarillo, TX

I am looking for a place that is has no state income tax. Lots of places don't have state income taxes. Just FYI, it does not show up in some of the online lists but here in Georgia there is a retirement income exclusion so that there is no state income taxes of almost all types of retirement incom...
by Watty
Tue May 05, 2015 9:12 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: How to negotiate roof replacement (in escrow)?
Replies: 16
Views: 1442

Re: How to negotiate roof replacement (in escrow)?

The roof is 23 years old. The house should have been priced with the roof being 23 years old as a factor. My first house had a shake roof that had problems and needed to be replaced but the total replacement cost was nowhere near what you mentioned even adjusting for inflation. I forget what the ex...
by Watty
Tue May 05, 2015 3:41 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: 18 months from retirement and cash heavy
Replies: 7
Views: 1585

Re: 18 months from retirement and cash heavy

There isn't enough information to make good suggestions. One thing that everyone should take a hard look at though is delaying when one of them starts Social security, along with all the filing strategies for couples. It could be that the best use of the money would be to live on it while delaying s...
by Watty
Mon May 04, 2015 7:48 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: young needing advice
Replies: 8
Views: 985

Re: young needing advice

Here is the link to the getting started wiki which would also be good to review to figure out where to start. https://www.bogleheads.org/wiki/Getting_started Here is the suggested outline on how to as a portfolio question. https://www.bogleheads.org/forum/viewtopic.php?t=6212 How to invest it really...
by Watty
Mon May 04, 2015 6:55 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Do I need another credit card?
Replies: 16
Views: 1151

Re: Do I need another credit card?

I have had occasional problems when a credit card number in compromised and had to be cancelled so having a backup card is good in case this happens when you are out of town. One in a a while something will happen and they will freeze the card with a fraud alert too. You might look at getting a card...
by Watty
Mon May 04, 2015 6:49 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Wife's 401(k) with former employer: annoying calls from Transamerica
Replies: 16
Views: 1269

Re: Wife's 401(k) with former employer: annoying calls from Transamerica

That is a battle not worth fighting, in the time it took to write the post you could have likely helped her initiate rolling out the money into an IRA.
by Watty
Mon May 04, 2015 3:07 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Retiring before kids start college. Thoughts?
Replies: 26
Views: 4602

Re: Retiring before kids start college. Thoughts?

A couple of problems to watch out for with trying to keep your income real low for a few years. 1) By using a lot of your non-taxable assets while the kids are in college you could end up not owing any federal tax. This is a problem if you will have any non-refundable tax credits. 2) You may not be ...
by Watty
Sun May 03, 2015 7:07 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: DIY distance moving
Replies: 37
Views: 2584

Re: DIY distance moving

A few tips; If you need boxes check Craigslist for someone that is selling them after a move. Make your best guess as to the cost per pound to move stuff, like a dollar per pound and anything that does not fit that gets tossed. Books are heavy which makes them expensive to move if you have lots of t...
by Watty
Sun May 03, 2015 6:05 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Capital Gains :(
Replies: 10
Views: 1456

Re: Capital Gains :(

Sometimes it makes sense to keep less than ideal investments so the best course might just be to keep what you have. It would help if you would add the capital gains for each holding and your capital gains tax rate so we might be able to see just what the impact is. Most investments can be "tra...
by Watty
Sun May 03, 2015 4:10 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Received a new license plate/number in the mail
Replies: 23
Views: 1796

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

Once everyone has the new one license plate, then anyone that still has the old plate will sill stick out like a sore thumb and it will be obvious that they are driving an improperly licensed car.
by Watty
Sun May 03, 2015 3:58 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: A fresh start: Helping my widowed mother in retirement
Replies: 12
Views: 1211

Re: A fresh start: Helping my widowed mother in retirement

Of course! I over-estimated not taking into consideration that her other costs would be covered. The amount would be around $125,000. That sounds high for a state like Texas,it would be good to double check on that. Here is a link I have seen before with some more information. http://longtermcare.g...
by Watty
Sun May 03, 2015 12:00 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Financial reasons to get a summer job?
Replies: 36
Views: 1841

Re: Financial reasons to get a summer job?

One advantage you didn't list was that if he works and saves the money then he will have that money when he graduates and is ready to set up his first apartment. Between a security deposit, first and last months rent, and getting some basic furnishings that gets pretty expensive especially if he mov...
by Watty
Sun May 03, 2015 11:20 am
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: A fresh start: Helping my widowed mother in retirement
Replies: 12
Views: 1211

Re: A fresh start: Helping my widowed mother in retirement

Long term care risk We still haven't decided. Either get coverage which would be around $4,600 annually to start with. Or we could set aside around $300,000 that would grow with inflation. This would not be considered part of the portfolio (in spending down). Rather it would be used for LTC if need...
by Watty
Sat May 02, 2015 10:49 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Vacation Ideas out west
Replies: 42
Views: 3094

Re: Vacation Ideas out west

A couple more things I thought about; 1) You did not say if you were camping or not but plan on camping some, especially when good weather is expected. Even if you have to buy some basic equipment(tent, sleeping bag, GOOD sleeping pad) it will pay for itself even if you only camp a handful of nights...
by Watty
Sat May 02, 2015 10:22 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Vacation Ideas out west
Replies: 42
Views: 3094

Re: Vacation Ideas out west

It has been a long time since I was there but Canyon de Chelly would be high on my list. http://www.nps.gov/cach/index.htm As I recall most of the access is by guided tours since it is on Navajo land so you should do some advance research and you may need reservations for some of the tours. As I rec...
by Watty
Sat May 02, 2015 10:01 am
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: How to invest 15 years of living expenses
Replies: 13
Views: 1576

Re: How to invest 15 years of living expenses

So, what to do with the remaining $800K (1,125k-325k)? I am thinking 30-35% equity and the rest in mid duration bond funds, ibonds (currently have 70K), CDs and cash. You should look at your overall asset allocation combining your taxable, Roth, and IRA accounts as one large portfolio then decide w...
by Watty
Sat May 02, 2015 9:51 am
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: How to invest 15 years of living expenses
Replies: 13
Views: 1576

Re: How to invest 15 years of living expenses

The 1,125,000 includes a rental condo (Net market value $325K, no mortgage) It is slightly cash flow positive, on autopilot and currently in a poor sales environment. I hope/expect condo value to keep up with inflation and will sell in the next 5-15 years. How much would it cost you in taxes if you...
by Watty
Thu Apr 30, 2015 10:00 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Australian Article says you DO get what you pay for.
Replies: 4
Views: 747

Re: Australian Article says you DO get what you pay for.

From the article; To illustrate this point, SuperRatings provides the following table from its survey of 162 super funds. The first entries are the three lowest cost funds had a net benefit ranks of 41, 39, and 74, out of 162. These scores are all well above the middle ranking of 81. That pretty muc...

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