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by William4u
Wed May 27, 2015 5:56 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Cost of a "free" PhD program is around half a million? How does anyone afford this?
Replies: 46
Views: 2241

Re: Cost of a "free" PhD program is around half a million? How does anyone afford this?

And I agree with the above recommendation to not join a lab with 10-year grad students. Get out of grad school after 5 years total, and I think you're doing fine. There are reasons to stay longer than that, but make sure you have a reason. 5 years is typical for science and engineering PhDs. Humani...
by William4u
Wed May 27, 2015 5:46 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: lump sum divorce settlement
Replies: 24
Views: 2101

Re: lump sum divorce settlement

If you take ALL the stats into considerations (without cherry picking), an accounting degree is a really, really good bet for a 15-20 year career. I don't see how anyone can say that without running the numbers. After all, you don't even know the OP's current job & income. Looking at stats of 2...
by William4u
Wed May 27, 2015 5:38 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Cost of a "free" PhD program is around half a million? How does anyone afford this?
Replies: 46
Views: 2241

Re: Cost of a "free" PhD program is around half a million? How does anyone afford this?

During those nine years I learned a lot of intrinsically interesting things that were darn worth learning for their own sake. It was very educational. Yes, educational. That's what a university is about, study, education, research, admission into the community of scholars. +1 My wife and I got our ...
by William4u
Wed May 27, 2015 5:00 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: lump sum divorce settlement
Replies: 24
Views: 2101

Re: lump sum divorce settlement

News stories about college graduates bar tending are media exaggerations, as this article notes. The vast majority of people with a higher degree make way, way more money over a lifetime than those who lack degrees. Even starting in your 50s, there is still ~20 years of working left. Many of the hig...
by William4u
Wed May 27, 2015 12:13 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: lump sum divorce settlement
Replies: 24
Views: 2101

Re: lump sum divorce settlement

+1

I completely agree with Grt2bOutdoors just above.
by William4u
Wed May 27, 2015 11:17 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: lump sum divorce settlement
Replies: 24
Views: 2101

Re: lump sum divorce settlement

Others above are giving good advice. I too am sorry for your situation. In the US, on average, divorce is tougher financially on women than men in the long term. But it sounds like your potential career in accountancy could be the silver lining. I have three female friends who were in similar circum...
by William4u
Tue May 26, 2015 8:38 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Planning Ahead for Retirement, UofM
Replies: 3
Views: 704

Re: Planning Ahead for Retirement, UofM

UofM is very good for these sorts of things!
by William4u
Tue May 26, 2015 1:28 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: John Nash killed in car crash
Replies: 11
Views: 3307

Re: John Nash killed in car crash

This is a real tragedy. From what I read both Nash and his wife were ejected from the cab. The driver (who was presumably at least protected by an air bag if not wearing a seat belt) has survived with non life-threatening injuries. More evidence that one should wear seat belts all the the time. +1 ...
by William4u
Tue May 26, 2015 12:56 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Once in a life time trip.
Replies: 104
Views: 4586

Re: Once in a life time trip.

I saw lots of kids having a blast in Arches National Park in Moab, UT. Hikes are not difficult in Arches NP and everything around you is beautiful. Double O arch hike is fun and they get to scramble up a big rock to hike on a fin. Lots of fun stuff to do around Moab. Moab is highly recommended. Yel...
by William4u
Mon May 25, 2015 5:22 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Help! I'm a hot mess when it comes to investing.
Replies: 12
Views: 1075

Re: Help! I'm a hot mess when it comes to investing.

We have Fidelity and Vanguard. We like the Vanguard Funds marginally better. It isn't a huge difference; Fidelity is fine, but only if you stick to Spartan Funds. We don't like any other Fidelity funds but the Spartan ones. We own some Spartan funds are are happy with them. In general, the best fund...
by William4u
Fri May 22, 2015 7:44 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: please confirm: early retirement
Replies: 90
Views: 7212

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 William4u
Fri May 22, 2015 2:06 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Confused [about bonds]
Replies: 15
Views: 1723

Re: Confused [about bonds]

Thanks 'William4u'. That's an interesting approach. I'd like to replace our Balanced Fund (we also have Wellington) with pure stock and bond components - but our balanced funds now have a fair amount of unrealized capital gains. (We started investing with Vanguard about 25 years ago.) And, in the n...
by William4u
Thu May 21, 2015 11:47 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: South Bend to Chicago to Milwaukee
Replies: 18
Views: 1168

Re: South Bend to Chicago to Milwaukee

apex84 wrote:Going north from Chicago to Milwaukee, you might want to stop by the Chicago Botanic Garden. The other thing I like to do north of the city is see a concert at Ravinia, but that depends on your timeline.


+1 We love the Chicago Botanical Gardens. Well worth a visit.
by William4u
Thu May 21, 2015 9:31 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Confused [about bonds]
Replies: 15
Views: 1723

Re: Confused [about bonds]

Thank you all for your responses. --' downshiftme' for the "heads-up" regarding fund names; -- 'dbr' for the advice to look at taxes and after tax yield; --' grabiner' for fixing my post and pointing out a bond liquidity problem with option #1; -- and' 'confused', sorry about that. Option...
by William4u
Thu May 21, 2015 11:40 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: How much can I spend on a car?
Replies: 157
Views: 8650

Re: How much can I spend on a car?

The diversity of responses here reminds me of a trick I've seen many kids try: ask for advice or permission from enough adults until you get the response you wanted in the first place. Ask mom for a toy, and if she says no, try dad, who is more permissive. Or, as my wife does, ask for something (lik...
by William4u
Wed May 20, 2015 5:37 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Any Experiences Buying Mattress Online
Replies: 26
Views: 2413

Re: Any Experiences Buying Mattress Online

We bought this Night Therapy bed for a guest room, and slept on it a few times. It was surprisingly comfy for less that $200 for a full size bed.

http://www.amazon.com/Night-Therapy-Pre ... B004TN5JSW
by William4u
Tue May 19, 2015 5:32 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: South Bend to Chicago to Milwaukee
Replies: 18
Views: 1168

Re: South Bend to Chicago to Milwaukee

Indiana Dunes National Lakeshore is a beautiful National Park, and is definitely worth a visit. It is about halfway between South Bend and Chicago, and is right off the interstate. So it is a "low cost, high benefit" visit, since it is right off the road you are going to be on anyway. If y...
by William4u
Mon May 18, 2015 3:50 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: MDs--Academics or Private Practice?
Replies: 25
Views: 2245

Re: MDs--Academics or Private Practice?

The only academic MDs I know are tenured or tenure-track at R1 research institutions. Getting tenure at those places is hard enough outside the med school, but in the med school it is much, much harder. Pre-tenure work hours, according to them, are much more than private practice. They worked 7 days...
by William4u
Fri May 15, 2015 3:21 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: How much can I spend on a car?
Replies: 157
Views: 8650

Re: How much can I spend on a car?

Just to chime back in, I think some of the folks here are right about enjoying yourself a little while you're young and able (assuming you and your parents are cool with you doing so while still living at home with them). I bought a Mercedes C300 CPO which was virtually brand new for an incredible ...
by William4u
Fri May 15, 2015 10:20 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: How much can I spend on a car?
Replies: 157
Views: 8650

Re: How much can I spend on a car?

Just to chime back in, I think some of the folks here are right about enjoying yourself a little while you're young and able (assuming you and your parents are cool with you doing so while still living at home with them). I bought a Mercedes C300 CPO which was virtually brand new for an incredible ...
by William4u
Thu May 14, 2015 4:28 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: How much can I spend on a car?
Replies: 157
Views: 8650

Re: The Million Dollar Car

How much do you think I should spend? I was also wondering is this a good time to splurge or not? Tell me what a boglehead would do. kmedina8: Despite the billions of dollars spent on marketing by automobile manufacturers, try to remember that a car is primarily to get from A to B. Nearly ALL cars ...
by William4u
Thu May 14, 2015 2:13 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: How much can I spend on a car?
Replies: 157
Views: 8650

Re: The Million Dollar Car

How much do you think I should spend? I was also wondering is this a good time to splurge or not? Tell me what a boglehead would do. kmedina8: Despite the billions of dollars spent on marketing by automobile manufacturers, try to remember that a car is primarily to get from A to B. Nearly ALL cars ...
by William4u
Thu May 14, 2015 1:46 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Poll: Average E/R [Expense Ratio]
Replies: 49
Views: 3156

Re: Poll: Average E/R [Expense Ratio]

0.15%. I consider that high, but it is due to my equity in international. For domestic alone, I'm around 0.08%.
by William4u
Wed May 13, 2015 11:44 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Any experience with plasma donation to boost income?
Replies: 67
Views: 4848

Re: Any experience with plasma donation to boost income?

You have already invested $100,000+ in your education. I think the donor route is penny wise pound foolish. Invest more in your future career with that time, and it will pay better dividends.
by William4u
Wed May 13, 2015 11:00 am
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: International Small Cap
Replies: 24
Views: 1887

Re: International Small Cap

1. Many here use VSS, which has a good ER for an international small cap etf. 2. Taylor Larimore is probably right: you do not need small cap international. He (and many others) argue in favor of a simple total market approach, which they argue is the most efficient investment strategy on a risk adj...
by William4u
Wed May 13, 2015 5:20 am
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Question on Large Cap funds
Replies: 6
Views: 447

Re: Question on Large Cap funds

It looks like you might only have one good fund in your 401k... the S&P 500 Index Fund. That combo of the other large cap funds probably heavily overlap with the S&P 500 fund in terms of stocks owned and Morninstrar Xray. I would definitely move out of the expensive large cap funds and move ...
by William4u
Sun May 10, 2015 11:42 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Philosophies of frugality.
Replies: 60
Views: 5813

Re: Philosophies of frugality.

I try to avoid spending significant resources (time, effort, money) on gaining marginal utility. For example, we have a modest house and modest cars relative to our income and social circle. We could spend more and get a BMW instead of a Toyota, but why? 99% of the value of a car for us is that it s...
by William4u
Sun May 10, 2015 11:13 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Brand Loyalty
Replies: 60
Views: 3981

Re: Brand Loyalty

"Loyal" to me means you stick with them through the ups and downs, through the thick and thin, in good times and bad. I am loyal to family and friends, but not to brands. If the brand is down, I won't buy it (I hope). If Toyota made unreliable cars, I would not buy them. If my friend is do...
by William4u
Sat May 09, 2015 11:23 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Just transferred from Ameriprise to Fidelity, need help
Replies: 11
Views: 1071

Re: Just transferred from Ameriprise to Fidelity, need help

Congrats on moving from Ameriprise to Fidelity... that is a big improvement.
by William4u
Sat May 09, 2015 9:26 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Driving from Detroit to South Bend
Replies: 19
Views: 1366

Re: Driving from Detroit to South Bend

If you like beer and brewpubs with good food, check out Three Floyds Brewery in Indiana. Zombie Dust is the most popular beer there. It's on the way to Chicago. Also on the way to South Bend is Greenbush Brewery in Sawyer, MI. I recommend the Dunegras IPA and Anger Black IPA. While you're in Ann Ar...
by William4u
Sat May 09, 2015 9:22 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Driving from Detroit to South Bend
Replies: 19
Views: 1366

Re: Driving from Detroit to South Bend

Downtown South Bend is a few minutes away, and has the Oliver Gardens and Center for History I wasn't reading very closely and thought you were recommending that he go to the Olive Garden in South Bend. Got a good laugh out of that. :beer That would be a strange recommendation! Note that I recommen...
by William4u
Sat May 09, 2015 7:53 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Driving from Detroit to South Bend
Replies: 19
Views: 1366

Re: Driving from Detroit to South Bend

Go to St. Joseph, Michigan. It's a beautiful tourist town right on Lake Michigan with a beautiful beach and lighthouse. Nearby is Warren Dunes State Park. Lake Michigan has the highest freshwater sand dunes in the world. If you're coming from Detroit, it's right off I-94. South Bend is a straight s...
by William4u
Sat May 09, 2015 7:28 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Driving from Detroit to South Bend
Replies: 19
Views: 1366

Re: Driving from Detroit to South Bend

I'd spend the extra day in South Bend. So much to see and do. Notre Dame's campus is beautiful, and itself could take a few days to see fully. The Snite Museum (surprisingly good), the Basilica, the lakes, the top of the library, the "Knute Rockne" stadium, and the Grotto are good places t...
by William4u
Fri May 08, 2015 11:12 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Poll: Increasing international equities
Replies: 70
Views: 5572

Re: Poll: Increasing international equities

I've been 60/40 Domestic/International for a good while, and will stay the course. My international is basically evenly split between VXUS, VWO, VSS, and VINEX... so each of those four funds represents 10% of my stock holdings.
by William4u
Thu May 07, 2015 3:10 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: New car vs used car -- what's your approach?
Replies: 57
Views: 2843

Re: New car vs used car -- what's your approach?

Thanks for the info, but I'm not really a car mechanic and have never done any work on cars, so wouldn't really know the first thing or feel comfortable in doing it. It's cool to hear that your 1999 Corolla hasn't had to have much maintenance on it. Do you have a good amount of miles on it as well?...
by William4u
Thu May 07, 2015 12:17 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: New car vs used car -- what's your approach?
Replies: 57
Views: 2843

Re: New car vs used car -- what's your approach?

You say 'The maintenance costs over the last few years have been on the rise' What specifically have you had done? Over the last 3 years I've had to have new brakes installed, front and back, tires replaced brand new, there was some other issue about a cylinder leaking as well but I don't fully rec...
by William4u
Wed May 06, 2015 5:49 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: young needing advice
Replies: 8
Views: 986

Re: young needing advice

For someone just starting out I'd suggest reading William Bernstein's "If You Can" before you make a decision. It's written by a very well respected author, it's only 16 pages long, it's specifically written for someone your age and best of all it's available for free here http://www.etf....
by William4u
Tue May 05, 2015 2:54 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: New car every 5 years instead of 10?
Replies: 129
Views: 9917

Re: New car every 5 years instead of 10?

Sorry but I think driving a 17 year old ANYCAR is foolish from a safety perspective. I don't think there is much difference between a 2010 car and similar 2015 car, but from 1998 to now there are huge safety improvements. I view this like life, disability, fire and liability insurance. Continuing t...
by William4u
Mon May 04, 2015 8:05 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: young needing advice
Replies: 8
Views: 986

Re: young needing advice

First, it is great that you are thinking about the long term at your age. Second, eventually you will need to come up with an AA (Asset Allocation) and IPS (Investment Policy Statement) that details your goals and plan of action. Third, you should try to read the Boglehead's Guide to Investing. It i...
by William4u
Sun May 03, 2015 10:40 pm
Forum: Forum Issues and Administration
Topic: Polls Disabled
Replies: 60
Views: 3590

Re: Polls Disabled

I'm all for the change. The site is excellent in large part due to the volunteers that moderate the site. Having polls isn't important, but avoiding the complications for the moderators is important. I always like the KISS method: keep it simple and reduce complication, and focus on the core mission...
by William4u
Fri May 01, 2015 4:43 pm
Forum: Forum Issues and Administration
Topic: Oh yuck, what just happened to the font?
Replies: 65
Views: 4717

Re: Oh yuck, what just happened to the font?

Font is weird for me now, and it is harder to read.
by William4u
Fri May 01, 2015 10:48 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: New car every 5 years instead of 10?
Replies: 129
Views: 9917

Re: New car every 5 years instead of 10?

I read an article a year ago recommending replacing a car every 5 years on the basis of safety alone. Apparently, every 5 years the car companies substantially improve safety in small overlap crashes, etc. A new car is much more likely to have an excellent crash safety rating, side airbags, and ESC,...
by William4u
Fri May 01, 2015 12:04 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: TV show recommendations?
Replies: 351
Views: 149631

Re: TV show recommendations?

On amazon prime: transparent On netflix: house of cards, orange is the new black. On showtime: Ray Donovan, Homeland On HBO: (some old) the sopranos, true blood, six feet under, Also nip/tuck, breaking bad, mad men. And for comedy: Impractical Jokers and Whose Line is this Anyway? 1. Transparent. 2...
by William4u
Thu Apr 30, 2015 11:56 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Buying a new Honda Civic or keeping the old lexus...
Replies: 25
Views: 1726

Re: Buying a new Honda Civic or keeping the old lexus...

That Lexus is a nice ride. I basically have the same car (same engine, same frame, same suspension) with auto transmission and about 200k miles. It has hardly needed maintenance. With regular oil changes and scheduled maintenance, you car should run easily to 200k miles.
by William4u
Thu Apr 30, 2015 11:50 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Fidelity Contrafund
Replies: 37
Views: 5309

Re: Fidelity Contrafund

They sure do make it hard to do comparisons. I wish there was a simple place to look at returns that includes Dividends and fees, but I guess that get a little complicated. Maybe someday google finance or someone else will include a button to toggle this.
by William4u
Wed Apr 29, 2015 5:57 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Fidelity Contrafund
Replies: 37
Views: 5309

Re: Fidelity Contrafund

Here is Morningstar's data from today. It shows Vanguard Total Market beating Fidelity Contrafund over the last 5 years by quite a bit. I don't understand why both Google Finance and Morningstar show Contrafund underperforming, and your data shows otherwise. Contrafund (5 Year Return Chart)... http:...
by William4u
Thu Apr 23, 2015 3:09 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Fidelity Contrafund
Replies: 37
Views: 5309

Re: Fidelity Contrafund

Contrafund has been recommended in many articles related to retirement accounts, and was claimed to beat S$P500 for many years. I had it before I knew anything about index funds and boglehead stuffs. I got rid of it after I understood the index funds and never regretted. Even in my wife's account w...
by William4u
Thu Apr 23, 2015 10:02 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: [What is safest vehicle on the road today that I can buy?]
Replies: 108
Views: 7353

Re: [What is safest vehicle on the road today that I can buy

While some may consider this non-responsive, the first order determinant of chances of dying in an auto accident is exposure in miles driven per year and selection of what roads are used. A person concerned enough to exhaustively study vehicle selection should also exhaustively consider how to redu...
by William4u
Thu Apr 23, 2015 2:30 am
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Fidelity Contrafund
Replies: 37
Views: 5309

Re: Fidelity Contrafund

Contrafund has been recommended in many articles related to retirement accounts, and was claimed to beat S$P500 for many years. I had it before I knew anything about index funds and boglehead stuffs. I got rid of it after I understood the index funds and never regretted. Even in my wife's account w...
by William4u
Thu Apr 23, 2015 2:11 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: [What is safest vehicle on the road today that I can buy?]
Replies: 108
Views: 7353

Re: [What is safest vehicle on the road today that I can buy

The safest car in the safest category isn't necessarily the safest car. He wants the safest car, not the safest car in the safest category. The safest car might be a smaller car even though it isn't in the safest category. It might not even be listed as the "safest car" in its category. T...

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