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Re: HSA not reflected on W2

I did talk to payroll. They told me they do not reflect HSA or flex spending amount on W2. That's a good amount of money pretax ( $6600 total for us both). I'll call my tax accountant. I don't know who else to call. I'll go and check my last year's W2, but companies use a weird way to report HSA II...
by an_asker
Fri Jan 30, 2015 1:42 pm
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: HSA not reflected on W2
Replies: 16
Views: 834

Re: Rental Car Prices - is this the new normal ?

What's up with these insane rental car prices! I need to rent a mid-size car for a week (7 days - no extra's) Alamo - $616.55 Thrifty- $684.13 The cost of the rental car is more than our two round trip airfares. It's been a few years since we rented a car, but is this what it costs now? To the vete...
by an_asker
Thu Jan 29, 2015 2:59 pm
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Rental Car Prices - is this the new normal ?
Replies: 71
Views: 5756

Re: What counts as "saving"?

Extra mortgage principal payments - spending and savings. The spent part is the amount that you legally owe under the terms of your loan agreement. The savings component is the amount of total interest NOT paid over the life of the mortgage as a result of advancing principal payments upfront. You r...
by an_asker
Thu Jan 22, 2015 3:25 pm
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: What counts as "saving"?
Replies: 128
Views: 6775

Re: What counts as "saving"?

Question 4 (Essay Portion): Are your answers to questions 1-3 different? If so, why? I look forward to your answers. Good hypo. My answers to 1 and 2 would be B, but I think my answer to 3 would be A. It comes down to subjective intent, which maybe is your point. Here's a hint: In each of these sce...
by an_asker
Wed Jan 21, 2015 4:33 pm
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: What counts as "saving"?
Replies: 128
Views: 6775

Re: Why are fruits not cheaper in California?

Don't eat apples eat persimmons. ;-) They are free off the tree and ubiquitous (at least in the Bay Area). In FL, we pay $5 for 5 lbs IIRC when they are even available at SAM's.
by an_asker
Wed Jan 21, 2015 9:02 am
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Why are fruits not cheaper in California?
Replies: 28
Views: 1675

Re: What counts as "saving"?

[...] At the beginning of 2014, Tom has $5,000 in Cash and owns a house valued at $120,000 with a $100,000 mortgage (no other assets or debts). His net worth is $25,000 For 2014, Tom had $50,000 in take home pay after taxes (no retirement contributions). He spent $54,000 , which includes his mortga...
by an_asker
Tue Jan 20, 2015 4:19 pm
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: What counts as "saving"?
Replies: 128
Views: 6775

Re: Did the Swiss stock market really lose 9%?

I hear all your answers, and yes, this is a very rare scenario BUT ... If I am an investor ANYWHERE outside of Switzerland, the value of my <Swiss equivalent of VFINX, if something like that exists> went up not down, regardless of what the news says. That was what I was trying to point out. Valueth...
by an_asker
Tue Jan 20, 2015 4:15 pm
 
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Did the Swiss stock market really lose 9%?
Replies: 15
Views: 2202

Re: Did the Swiss stock market really lose 9%?

I hear all your answers, and yes, this is a very rare scenario BUT ... If I am an investor ANYWHERE outside of Switzerland, the value of my <Swiss equivalent of VFINX, if something like that exists> went up not down, regardless of what the news says. That was what I was trying to point out. Valuethi...
by an_asker
Tue Jan 20, 2015 2:44 pm
 
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Did the Swiss stock market really lose 9%?
Replies: 15
Views: 2202

Did the Swiss stock market really lose 9%?

The headlines said that the day the Swiss Franc was uncoupled from the Euro, the Swiss market tanked by about 9% (let's go with that number even though the actual number stated could be 7% or 10% - I don't remember). But the market really went down only for those who deal in Swiss Francs. Anyone who...
by an_asker
Tue Jan 20, 2015 12:25 pm
 
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Did the Swiss stock market really lose 9%?
Replies: 15
Views: 2202

Re: What counts as "saving"?

It is true that paying down debt does not change your net worth at that moment in time . Assets (cash) and liabilities decrease equally. However, this does not mean the transaction is rightly classified as "spending." Your net worth NEVER changes by purchasing something at it's market val...
by an_asker
Tue Jan 20, 2015 10:38 am
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: What counts as "saving"?
Replies: 128
Views: 6775

Re: Best watch for around $5,000?

Your wife had great timing, Petro: Swiss franc ...the Swiss National Bank abandoned the ceiling on 15 January 2015, and the franc promptly increased in value compared with the euro by 30%, although this only lasted for a few minutes before part of the increase was reversed. The move was not announc...
by an_asker
Fri Jan 16, 2015 6:03 pm
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Best watch for around $5,000?
Replies: 906
Views: 173728

Re: Should I Declare Victory and Pack It In?

Thanks for the kind words. I think any income going forward will be relatively low because I just don't have the drive/guts/heart to do the major cases anymore. I feel more comfortable with office work and minor outpatient cases. Just the honest truth. So $200ish would probably be fair in all since...
by an_asker
Fri Jan 16, 2015 3:36 pm
 
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Should I Declare Victory and Pack It In?
Replies: 173
Views: 16690

Re: Should I Declare Victory and Pack It In?

niceguy7376 wrote:OP,
Are you saying that your retirement accounts are ONLY 2.7 Million while your salary was in mid 6 figures?
If so, are you comfortable to live in the expense range that you talked about? You talked about taxes and insurance of 22k per year but no mention of living expenses. What would they be?

+1!
by an_asker
Fri Jan 16, 2015 10:23 am
 
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Should I Declare Victory and Pack It In?
Replies: 173
Views: 16690

Re: Swiss franc jumps as SNB abandons ceiling versus euro

Break this down for me here, does this mean that it just became even MORE expensive to visit Switzerland? Isn't the dollar supposed to hit parity with the euro this year? Quick breakdown (not needed if you read the article, I would think) - previously, the Swiss Franc was tied to the Euro (at about...
by an_asker
Thu Jan 15, 2015 3:31 pm
 
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Swiss franc jumps as SNB abandons ceiling versus euro
Replies: 25
Views: 2271

Re: Poll - How much is enough / what's your number?

When I was younger I thought I'd work my butt off and retire at 65 with a pile of money. Once I had my son, I decided I wanted to work no longer than 50 so I can spend all of high school with him without working (perhaps a fools decision as he probably won't want anything to do with me by then ;) )...
by an_asker
Tue Jan 13, 2015 12:30 pm
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Poll - How much is enough / what's your number?
Replies: 79
Views: 7603

Login issues with Chrome - Schwab, United, Vanguard ..

Over the weekend, I tried to access my account at Schwab and got kicked out eat time I did so. After this happened three times (I use the token), I panicked and called customer support. They said that they had received calls about issues with Google Chrome. So, I used Firefox and was able to log in ...
by an_asker
Tue Jan 13, 2015 12:08 pm
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Login issues with Chrome - Schwab, United, Vanguard ..
Replies: 2
Views: 531

Re: Thinking about retirement - it's depressing

I find it strange that through this thread, though you have mentioned "family" and "son" not once have you mentioned "wife". Is she on board with your thoughts?
by an_asker
Fri Jan 09, 2015 10:56 am
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Thinking about retirement - it's depressing
Replies: 80
Views: 8528

Re: 0.5% Refi Worthwhile?

The key is how long you plan to hold the property. If you look at the whole life of the loan, any reduction in interest rate will usually show some benefit, unless you're stretching out the term very much. However the bulk of that savings often comes at the end of the loan. So if you don't plan to ...
by an_asker
Wed Jan 07, 2015 1:54 pm
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: 0.5% Refi Worthwhile?
Replies: 17
Views: 1022

Re: Should I purchase a new car or wait?

That's good news. Now you also have a local trustworthy mechanic. :-)
by an_asker
Wed Jan 07, 2015 1:00 pm
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Should I purchase a new car or wait?
Replies: 38
Views: 4272

Re: 0.5% Refi Worthwhile?

Now that I went and checked out what AimLoan is offering, I share Meg77's skepticism. [I picked AimLoan as they were the lowest I could find when I refinanced a few years back, before I refinanced again with PenFed] That said, I disagree with Meg77 on a couple of other points: - if the refi is truly...
by an_asker
Wed Jan 07, 2015 12:36 pm
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: 0.5% Refi Worthwhile?
Replies: 17
Views: 1022

Re: 0.5% Refi Worthwhile?

[...]As for the restarting the loan, I meant it more on how my payments would again consist mostly of interest payments. At least with my current situation, more of the mortgage payments applied to the principal and planned to have the majority of the payments apply towards the principal in several...
by an_asker
Wed Jan 07, 2015 12:07 pm
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: 0.5% Refi Worthwhile?
Replies: 17
Views: 1022

Re: 0.5% Refi Worthwhile?

[...]Cons: Restarting loan meaning paying mostly interest again[...] This is incorrect, assuming that your principal would not change. In other words, if your outstanding loan is $230,000 then your new refinanced loan is also $230,000, then you would be paying less interest not more. The only issue...
by an_asker
Wed Jan 07, 2015 10:55 am
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: 0.5% Refi Worthwhile?
Replies: 17
Views: 1022

Re: Rental condo depreciation (and other deductions) - quest

coaster831 - there are many people much more knowledgeable on this topic than I on this forum but figured I'd provide you some information to get started: 1. The correct value to calculate the basis when converting a property that previously used for personal use to a rental is to determine the the...
by an_asker
Wed Jan 07, 2015 10:47 am
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Rental condo depreciation (and other deductions) - questions
Replies: 6
Views: 595

Re: Can we afford to buy a home?

Would a ~$210k home meet your needs as a family? Skip the small "starter" home and go for the long-term. The transnational (and emotional) costs are too high. If a ~$200k house will not meet you needs, keep saving until you can afford one that will. I agree - you are approaching the house...
by an_asker
Wed Jan 07, 2015 9:45 am
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Can we afford to buy a home?
Replies: 41
Views: 3315

Re: Buying Euros for a France vacation in the summer

I flog myself for not timing our Europe vacation better. Euro was 1.25USD (now 1.19); Swiss Franc was 1.13USD (now 0.98). But I didn't bat an eyelid when the stock market went down three percent and I arguably lost a bundle in my retirement stash. :oops: Oh well ...
by an_asker
Wed Jan 07, 2015 9:24 am
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Buying Euros for a France vacation in the summer
Replies: 13
Views: 1713

Re: Misunderstanding around dimensions

[...]I'm not understanding this "per question charge" and fear of communications/clarification. Isn't it easier to deal with any discrepancy before a deliver is made that reveals a huge discrepancy in one's expectation? What's the harm of confirming the order specifications and clarifying...
by an_asker
Wed Jan 07, 2015 9:06 am
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Misunderstanding around dimensions
Replies: 29
Views: 2025

Re: Cancel Homeowner's Insurance?

tphp99 wrote:I'm also in FL
[...]
umbrella requires $300K liability on all properties.[...]

+1!
by an_asker
Tue Jan 06, 2015 2:09 pm
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Cancel Homeowner's Insurance?
Replies: 106
Views: 6614

New car warranty - what has changed?

I have never purchased additional warranty from the dealer - have made three new car purchases in the last couple of decades. So, this time when we got the Altima, I was a bit taken aback when the dealer tried to sell me additional warranty saying that there is no 'bumper to bumper' warranty on Niss...
by an_asker
Tue Jan 06, 2015 9:22 am
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: New car warranty - what has changed?
Replies: 4
Views: 708

Re: Should I purchase a new car or wait?

That does not make sense. The requirement for most cars that have a timing belt is for it to get replaced at about 80k to 90k. I don't see why this would need to be done right now, if it was done within the last 25k miles or so. I don't think it has been replaced yet. So maybe, it is well overdue. ...
by an_asker
Tue Jan 06, 2015 9:17 am
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Should I purchase a new car or wait?
Replies: 38
Views: 4272

Re: Almost made it! From $ -530k net worth to $-9k this yr

If you increased net worth by $521K, you had to use $521K to do it. Surely, MathMan, you understand that I didn't have to spend $1 to earn $1. Investments did some of the lifting too. As well as free employer money. Our family of six has lived in a 500 square foot dry cabin with total expenses of ~...
by an_asker
Mon Jan 05, 2015 4:23 pm
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Almost made it! From $ -530k net worth to $-9k this yr
Replies: 36
Views: 7354

Re: Misunderstanding around dimensions

Here's what you'd think is a straightfoward question. Let's say you're trying to size something to fit on your property before commiting to buy it. When asked for the dimensions of the footprint to figure out how much space you need, you're told by the place you're buying from: "It's a hundred...
by an_asker
Mon Jan 05, 2015 2:57 pm
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Misunderstanding around dimensions
Replies: 29
Views: 2025

Re: What do you drive, and why?

07 Honda Accord which belonged to my late husband and has many nice creature comforts he liked (that I would never have bought myself): heated leather seats, GPS, moon roof (which I still haven't figured out how to operate and which intimidates me so I ignore it.) But when I get in the car into *hi...
by an_asker
Mon Jan 05, 2015 2:49 pm
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: What do you drive, and why?
Replies: 205
Views: 17379

Re: Misunderstanding around dimensions

Here's what you'd think is a straightfoward question. Let's say you're trying to size something to fit on your property before commiting to buy it. When asked for the dimensions of the footprint to figure out how much space you need, you're told by the place you're buying from: "It's a hundred...
by an_asker
Mon Jan 05, 2015 2:09 pm
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Misunderstanding around dimensions
Replies: 29
Views: 2025

Re: New car - which deal is better?

Without knowing exact options, its impossible to tell you. Things like leather, navigation, and floor mats can swing a price several thousands. My advice, dont even think about it. It will do nothing but harm if you start comparing your new car to other new cars. No no. No harm. We all love having ...
by an_asker
Mon Jan 05, 2015 11:17 am
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Re: New car - which deal is better?
Replies: 4
Views: 849

Re: Car Recommendations for about 25k

[...]1) I'm not really a big car fan, but I do appreciate style and design and things well made. I am a visual effects designer. 2) I'm 41 and single (but hopefully not much longer!) :) ...no mid-life crisis so no need for fancy car...but gonna be last car before the inevitable family SUV type. 3) ...
by an_asker
Mon Jan 05, 2015 10:30 am
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Car Recommendations for about 25k
Replies: 36
Views: 5259

Re: New car - which deal is better?

Strictly speaking, this is not actionable (to me), but I would love to hear pros and cons. My friend and I are each proud owners of new cars in the last few months. He got a 2014 Prius 2 (I think that's what he said - I get so hopelessly confused among the different Prius models/options) and paid ab...
by an_asker
Mon Jan 05, 2015 10:23 am
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Re: New car - which deal is better?
Replies: 4
Views: 849

Re: Bilingual households

I speak a second language other than English. My wife also speak a totally different second language. My thought was wouldn't it be nice to teach each other and the kids each other's language. This may be a good time to do it when they are pre-Kindergarten. For Bilingual or even Trilingual househol...
by an_asker
Mon Jan 05, 2015 9:59 am
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Bilingual households
Replies: 39
Views: 5121

Re: Real Value of Nest Egg

Surely, a bad sequence of returns is much more likely when the market is at an all time high. A bad sequence of returns does not depend on what has happened with the market in the past week, month, or year, nor if the market is at a high or not. It could happen any time. Do you have a source indica...
by an_asker
Mon Jan 05, 2015 9:51 am
 
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Real Value of Nest Egg
Replies: 24
Views: 1932

Re: Almost made it! From $ -530k net worth to $-9k this yr

Tabaxus wrote:
Our family of six has lived in a 500 square foot dry cabin with total expenses of ~$500 per month. But then, we were paid more than that by the state.

[...] I'm just not cut out for it. At all. This is that on steroids.

+1
by an_asker
Mon Jan 05, 2015 9:33 am
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Almost made it! From $ -530k net worth to $-9k this yr
Replies: 36
Views: 7354

Re: What Car is Best?

[...] There is so much demand for late model Camrys and Accords, that the good used ones cost almost as much as a new one. For the small difference in price, you may as well get a new one. Of course, this demand reflects the marketplace perceived value of these cars. In my experience, the Camry is ...
by an_asker
Fri Jan 02, 2015 10:20 am
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: What Car is Best?
Replies: 73
Views: 6276

Re: Creating a not for profit - itemized deductions question

I need to thank everyone who replied once more. I opened one such account for our household - I was par for the course, did so during the last week of December (in hindsight, I should have planned a bit better). Anyway, don't know how it works with Vanguard and Fidelity, but in Schwab the account sh...
by an_asker
Fri Jan 02, 2015 10:16 am
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Creating a not for profit - itemized deductions question
Replies: 5
Views: 434

Re: Why donate to charity?

Can people read the thread? OP has already explained he donates and volunteers. I apologize if my snark was unjustified. In the future it is best to edit the original post if the initial presentation of the situation is markedly different than what was intended or what is relevant to a discussion o...
by an_asker
Fri Jan 02, 2015 9:57 am
 
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Why donate to charity?
Replies: 61
Views: 4127

Re: What Car is Best?

What is your budget? Functionally unlimited. :) There are lots of great options for us in the $20-35k range so no need to go higher. Don't buy a car based on a poll of online folks whichever bulletin board you are on. But I am assuming that you will test drive to make sure it feels right before pur...
by an_asker
Wed Dec 31, 2014 2:55 pm
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: What Car is Best?
Replies: 73
Views: 6276

Re: Why donate to charity?

Short answer. You don't donate to save money (because you won't). You donate to give money. This from an above post explained it: Scenario 1: You do not donate to any charity. You: + $0.67 IRS: + $0.33 Charity: $0 Scenario 2: You donate the buck to charity. You: +$0.33 IRS: -$0.33 Charity: +$1.00 I...
by an_asker
Wed Dec 31, 2014 1:05 pm
 
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Why donate to charity?
Replies: 61
Views: 4127

Re: Why donate to charity?

I don't understand your math. Relative to the scenario where you don't donate anything, these are the amounts everyone ends up with: You: -$0.67 IRS: -$0.33 Charity: +$1.00 I agree. OP: Just to clarify - here are the two scenarios for your marginal dollar earned at 33% tax rate. Here is how that ma...
by an_asker
Wed Dec 31, 2014 10:31 am
 
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Why donate to charity?
Replies: 61
Views: 4127

Re: What Car is Best?

[...] Car purchases are extremely personal. [...] Test drive the car(s) in which you are interested, and pick the one you like the best.[...] +100 +1 ... with the caveat that the car you like is within your budget! I can speak only for myself. ;-) And sometimes not even that ... intangible marriage...
by an_asker
Wed Dec 31, 2014 9:53 am
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: What Car is Best?
Replies: 73
Views: 6276

Re: Should I purchase a new car or wait?

A couple of questions: Have you owned the car since it was new? Has all the manufacturer recommended service been completed? In the recommended time frame? Having to replace a timing belt is common maintenance if you own a car long enough. [...] PS - It has been a few years since I've owned a Honda...
by an_asker
Tue Dec 30, 2014 4:45 pm
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Should I purchase a new car or wait?
Replies: 38
Views: 4272

Re: Engaged - marriage penalty & other practical concerns

I just ran some numbers on my income numbers and my fiance's. It looks like we are on the otherside, we will actually get a marriage "bonus". This is the standard situation. Almost all married couples get a "marriage bonus". The so-called "marriage penalty" is an extre...
by an_asker
Tue Dec 30, 2014 11:33 am
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Engaged - marriage penalty & other practical concerns
Replies: 50
Views: 3877

Re: Selling older car vs. keeping it for low level use

Lots of questions like these can be turned around to get a different perspective. What if someone asked you; "I have $7000 sitting in the bank, should I buy a used car just so that I can have it for these occasional uses?" Most likely you would think they were crazy, but it is the same qu...
by an_asker
Mon Dec 29, 2014 1:08 pm
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Selling older car vs. keeping it for low level use
Replies: 53
Views: 5826

Re: What did you enjoy spending money on this year?

Petrocelli wrote:Golf.

... and the Rolex (even though technically that counts for your wife, right?) ;-)
by an_asker
Mon Dec 29, 2014 1:01 pm
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: What did you enjoy spending money on this year?
Replies: 92
Views: 5939
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