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by inbox788
Sat May 23, 2015 2:37 am
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: 529 before conceiving a child?
Replies: 12
Views: 763

Re: 529 before conceiving a child?

Focus your savings on maximizing your retirement plans, paying off debt, paying a big down payment on a house. Good suggestions whether there is a child or not. Secure your future first before worrying about next generation. Like they say, you can always borrow for college, but it's hard to borrow ...
by inbox788
Fri May 22, 2015 5:58 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Not able to max out all the retirement accounts
Replies: 69
Views: 3928

Re: Not able to max out all the retirement accounts

Our household income is between 110K to 120K a year. We need 5K a month for all expenses for family of 4. Not with all these deductions: taxes, health insurance, disability insurance, pension, life insurance. I am also in school and we have to pay for books and tuition. We need: 36K for 401Ks, 18K ...
by inbox788
Fri May 22, 2015 5:48 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Not able to max out all the retirement accounts
Replies: 69
Views: 3928

Re: Not able to max out all the retirement accounts

I read that net worth progression thread....I was noticing some had approx $300K/year over year gains on a $1M portfolio and thinking - wow! what kind of index funds are earning close to 30% a year? ;) Actually, just about everyone was in 2013! And up another 20% in 2014. Good time to be in the mar...
by inbox788
Thu May 21, 2015 1:33 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Neighbor hired a surveyor. Should I be nervous?
Replies: 81
Views: 10352

Re: Neighbor hired a surveyor. Should I be nervous?

Please tell me where I said it wasn't my fault. My landscaper and I accepted fault and put it back the way it was. I said he was being unreasonable about the whole thing based on what was common in the neighborhood. Now we are only 1 of two houses out of 40 that don't have connecting beds around th...
by inbox788
Thu May 21, 2015 1:12 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Lending a car to a niece for a few months - how to arrange insurance
Replies: 10
Views: 948

Re: Lending a car to a niece for a few months - how to arrange insurance

I didn't see this suggestion or missed it, but why doesn't she just get insurance? Maybe your insurance company may add her to your policy or she can insure in her state with a different company. If need be, sign a contract with your niece for the use of the car. http://www.carinsurancecomparison.co...
by inbox788
Wed May 20, 2015 9:49 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Lexus vs. MB vs. BMW
Replies: 78
Views: 6343

Re: Lexus vs. MB vs. BMW

I'm looking for a compact SUV, and thus far I've got it down to the RX 350 vs. the M-class vs. the X5. I think "Luxury Midsize SUVs" is a better description. http://usnews.rankingsandreviews.com/cars-trucks/rankings/Luxury-Midsize-SUVs/ Have considered all of them and pretty much eliminat...
by inbox788
Tue May 19, 2015 6:20 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Should I sell my company's stock and exchange it for an SP500 index fund?
Replies: 60
Views: 3502

Re: Should I sell my company's stock and exchange it for an SP500 index fund?

Yes, diversify! What is your tax bracket? Will you be in a lower tax bracket in the future? You're going to pay taxes either now or later, so the tax is likely to be a wash. Assuming you're 50% in company stock and 50% diversified, if you do nothing, in 3 years, what percentages be? In a worse case ...
by inbox788
Mon May 18, 2015 2:25 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Any ContraFund Fans Here?
Replies: 7
Views: 606

Re: Any ContraFund Fans Here?

I was where you were about 3 years ago, having held Contrafund and Fidelity OTC for over a decade and both have done fairly well, but the higher fees bothered me. It took me a year to decide to move away, and then it was easier to slowly shift about a quarter of my Contrafund holdings at a time. I'm...
by inbox788
Sun May 17, 2015 1:16 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Student Loans- Consolidate or Not?
Replies: 6
Views: 475

Re: Student Loans- Consolidate or Not?

Hey Everyone, Just want everyone's advice. My loans from college and medical school are coming due next month. Between the eight years of higher education and the crazy loan buying/selling market, I now have twelve separate loans with four service providers(started with one service provider). The l...
by inbox788
Sun May 17, 2015 12:04 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Aren't we overdoing electronic auto safety features?
Replies: 149
Views: 6747

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

I guess what we need to see is whether insurance companies are offering premium reductions for collision and PDI coverage for vehicles equipped with forward collision mitigation technology. The assumption is that reduced accident rates will result in lower premiums, but it's likely premiums will in...
by inbox788
Sun May 17, 2015 11:50 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Aren't we overdoing electronic auto safety features?
Replies: 149
Views: 6747

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

This report by IIHS looks at Mercedes vehicles insurance claims of a specific model with vs without specific safety features. Several features show statistical benefit with active curve illumination, high intensity lights, and Mercedes versions of precollision and autonomous braking each showing st...
by inbox788
Sat May 16, 2015 10:51 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: shower glass coating that resists stains? does it work?
Replies: 10
Views: 1222

Re: shower glass coating that resists stains? does it work?

You can also use good quality Carnuba car wax and wax all parts of your shower (if you have a smooth finish tile/material) except for the floor--- if you do it with new tile it works great and will last for several months before another coating is needed--and keep grout and tile from having water d...
by inbox788
Sat May 16, 2015 1:59 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Should I buy a lighter bicycle or lose body weight?
Replies: 53
Views: 3973

Re: Should I buy a lighter bicycle or lose body weight?

If I lose 3 pounds of body weight, is that the equivalent of buying a 3 pounds lighter bike? NO! 1) The simple, but incorrect short answer is the difference is insignificant. And of course you should do both to maximize performance. 2) If you wanted to drop 3 pounds, the fastest and cheapest way is...
by inbox788
Sat May 16, 2015 1:18 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Letter from IRS (I think they are wrong)
Replies: 21
Views: 2734

Re: Letter from IRS (I think they are wrong)

You can elect to treat just enough qualified dividends and long-term capital gains as ordinary income to free up your investment interest expense. The remainder of qualified income still gets the preferential rate. If this is the case but you did not compute the tax correctly on your return, the IR...
by inbox788
Sat May 16, 2015 11:03 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Where to buy Sprint Samsung S3 phone??
Replies: 5
Views: 258

Re: Where to buy Sprint Samsung S3 phone??

Hi, My son broke his Sprint Samsung S3 phone. I am looking for a replacement. Used aka refurnished phone is fine. It will be used on family shared data plan. Any good recommendation as to where to get it?? From Amazon, I see price ranging from $75 to $85. Thanks. KlangFool If you're looking to buy ...
by inbox788
Sat May 16, 2015 3:18 am
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Best Asset Allocation if you've "won the game"
Replies: 86
Views: 8469

Re: Best Asset Allocation if you've "won the game"

I could probably get by withdrawing 4% of assets each year. I do care how much is left when I die, in fact I would gladly try to live off earnings and try to keep the principal intact. My main concern is having an allocation now that does not prohibit me from retiring in 6 years should the market t...
by inbox788
Fri May 15, 2015 5:47 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Am I a Millionaire???
Replies: 53
Views: 6353

Re: Am I a Millionaire???

You could always buy a $1M life insurance policy an die a millionaire. Love this one...finally a reason to have life insurance...'he always wanted to be special and died a millionaire' If I make this out to a charity, could I somehow tax deduct my life insurance contribution as a donation ? Just cu...
by inbox788
Fri May 15, 2015 5:46 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Am I a Millionaire???
Replies: 53
Views: 6353

Re: Am I a Millionaire???

You could always buy a $1M life insurance policy an die a millionaire. Love this one...finally a reason to have life insurance...'he always wanted to be special and died a millionaire' If I make this out to a charity, could I somehow tax deduct my life insurance contribution as a donation ? Just cu...
by inbox788
Fri May 15, 2015 2:20 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: How much can I spend on a car?
Replies: 157
Views: 8646

Re: How much can I spend on a car?

The dealer rule of thumb is 25% on car/transportation expenses (after 50% housing, 25% for everything else, and borrowing to pay taxes). If you make $50k/year, you can afford $12.5k/year x 5 years, so $62.5k (almost twice the Corolla, but not quite th 528i). A good salesman would guide you towards ...
by inbox788
Fri May 15, 2015 1:32 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Aren't we overdoing electronic auto safety features?
Replies: 149
Views: 6747

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

So my question is this: if I pay thousands of dollars to add safety options such as lane change monitoring, automatic braking, adaptive cruise control, blind spot monitoring, etc. to my new vehicle, how much will this actually improve my chances of not getting killed in a car accident over my lifet...
by inbox788
Fri May 15, 2015 12:51 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Am I a Millionaire???
Replies: 53
Views: 6353

Re: Am I a Millionaire???

Inflation has done a real number on the term. When the term was used, the affluent and wealthy aspired to be millionaires. Today, it really refers to those who are multimillionaires and billionaires. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Millionaire At one point in time, the American Express Gold card meant ...
by inbox788
Fri May 15, 2015 12:12 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: How much can I spend on a car?
Replies: 157
Views: 8646

Re: How much can I spend on a car?

How much can you spend? Check how much your portfolio went UP today. That's the amount you can spend on a car: Basically a one day gain in your portfolio on a great day. US total market went up by about 1% today. Using that as representative portfolio gain for the day, the livesoft rule of thumb is...
by inbox788
Fri May 15, 2015 10:54 am
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Best Asset Allocation if you've "won the game"
Replies: 86
Views: 8469

Re: Best Asset Allocation if you've "won the game"

I think the 50/50 answer is adequate for an I don't know the future standpoint. The difficulty is in rebalancing, especially if there is a prolonged bottom. I'm not there yet, but have thought about the idea of 5-10 years of expenses in cash/safe bonds, and investing the rest more aggressively (i.e....
by inbox788
Thu May 14, 2015 5:16 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: How much can I spend on a car?
Replies: 157
Views: 8646

Re: The Million Dollar Car

The savings from buying a less expensive car are enormous. For example, Edmonds gives the five-year "True Cost to Own" for various automobiles: A new BMW 528i Sedan costs $55,264 with a 5-Year True Cost to Own of $74,419. A new Toyota Corolla Sedan costs $18,165 with a 5-Year True Cost to...
by inbox788
Thu May 14, 2015 3:10 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Why is the nasdaq higher than the S&P500 index?
Replies: 8
Views: 1035

Re: Why is the nasdaq higher than the S&P500 index?

A better question is, why is the nasdaq outperforming the sp500 over the last 12 months or over the last X years? https://ca.finance.yahoo.com/q/bc?t=1y&s=QQQ&l=on&z=l&q=l&c=&ql=1&c=%5EGSPC https://ca.finance.yahoo.com/q/bc?t=1y&s=QQQ&l=on&z=l&q=l&c=&a...
by inbox788
Thu May 14, 2015 2:14 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Make my iPhone switch from WiFi to mobile data when WiFi signal is low
Replies: 10
Views: 880

Re: Make my iPhone switch from WiFi to mobile data when WiFi signal is low

I googled and found an answer that might work, SwitchData, but it requires Jailbreaking (i.e. http://pangu8.com/ and other).

http://www.addictivetips.com/ios/automa ... al-is-low/
by inbox788
Wed May 13, 2015 8:43 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Replace timing belt on old car with multiple issues?
Replies: 13
Views: 1210

Re: Replace timing belt on old car with multiple issues?

In keeping with that, if you need a second car to replace the VW, I strongly encourage you to lease a new Honda or Toyota . (The sweet spot is a 36 month lease, so you'd end up leasing two cars over the course of your residency.) Lease interest rates these days are nearly on par with purchase inter...
by inbox788
Tue May 12, 2015 8:27 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Taxes on renting a room in my home to a friend
Replies: 30
Views: 1769

Re: Taxes on renting a room in my home to a friend

The link also gives an example of the type of barter the IRS considers important to report: An example of bartering is a plumber exchanging plumbing services for the dental services of a dentist. You must include in gross income in the year of receipt the fair market value of goods or services rece...
by inbox788
Tue May 12, 2015 7:43 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Taxes on renting a room in my home to a friend
Replies: 30
Views: 1769

Re: Taxes on renting a room in my home to a friend

Barter may work. Instead of rent, take groceries, repairs, car rides/sharing, etc. Sometimes you can enter into non cash agreements to avoid the bureaucracy: http://www.wsj.com/articles/new-yorkers-trade-services-for-free-rent-1412988217 but not always: http://www.irs.gov/taxtopics/tc420.html I did...
by inbox788
Tue May 12, 2015 3:49 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Replace timing belt on old car with multiple issues?
Replies: 13
Views: 1210

Re: Replace timing belt on old car with multiple issues?

In your shoes, I'd get rid of the car and buy a new Civic. It's not the cheapest solution, but your future prospects appear on track, and you don't need the added stress of car problems. There should be adequate programs to keep your payments manageable until your income increases. Just don't oversp...
by inbox788
Tue May 12, 2015 3:36 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Living in LA but working in SF
Replies: 12
Views: 1400

Re: Living in LA but working in SF

I just moved to the LA area because of my fiance's job. I currently work from home but was approached with an offer from a company that is kinda of hard to turn down ; the drawback being the commute. We've discussed the distance thing and while it's not ideal, it's ok for the short term (i.e. next ...
by inbox788
Tue May 12, 2015 3:18 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Taxes on renting a room in my home to a friend
Replies: 30
Views: 1769

Re: Taxes on renting a room in my home to a friend

We live in a complex world. Governments pass laws and regulations intended to achieve one thing, but often, the details have intended and unintended consequences. And sometimes the burden of following all the regulations is burdensome. I'm still unclear as to the right thing to do in these situation...
by inbox788
Tue May 12, 2015 1:02 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: 529 plans- Are they part of your overall A.A?
Replies: 22
Views: 1110

Re: 529 plans- Are they part of your overall A.A?

Yes. I consider it as part of one large pool. I shift allocations to tax advantaged accounts, so looking at just 529 AA would be misleading.

http://www.bogleheads.org/wiki/Placing_ ... ed_account
by inbox788
Mon May 11, 2015 9:18 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: best alternate phone?
Replies: 15
Views: 1325

Re: best alternate phone?

You could do both, get a cheap prepaid cell phone and a voip landline. If you're willing to port your number to Google Voice, it can forward to all three. Search around for specific subjects, here are some recent results: http://www.bogleheads.org/forum/viewtopic.php?f=1&t=111423 http://www.bogl...
by inbox788
Mon May 11, 2015 9:01 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Ways to transition income in family business
Replies: 19
Views: 1483

Re: Ways to transition income in family business

Would it be possible for me to have the business pay for my health care? Would this be a way to shift some income? Or setup a business health care program. Parents would decline I would accept for my spouse and I (and kid) 5th employee would decline (she has coverage) That seems like a no brainer. ...
by inbox788
Mon May 11, 2015 7:59 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Total Bond Index Fund or Other?
Replies: 19
Views: 2282

Re: Total Bond Index Fund or Other?

I think your statement that you didn't give the fixed income portion of your allocation much thought is a common "fault". I pretty much used my Stable Value Fund for much of my accumulation phase. All the risk, action and focus was on the equity side - bonds were just an after thought. My...
by inbox788
Mon May 11, 2015 4:16 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Advisor: buy a nicer home pre-retirement
Replies: 31
Views: 2986

Re: Advisor: buy a nicer home pre-retirement

Are you paying for this advice? I would assume so. Last week we met with a fee-only advisor to do a complete exam of our financials looking ahead to retirement, and everything appears to be in good order. We need more context to figure out if the advice is reasonable or out there. I read the advice...
by inbox788
Mon May 11, 2015 1:36 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Lecture me about "too much house"
Replies: 49
Views: 5327

Re: Lecture me about "too much house"

My problem isn't too much house. It's too much stuff inside the house. Don't forget that one more room is one more room to heat, cool, clean, paint, repair, furnish, fill with decorations, toys, exercise equipment, cabinets, store stuff, etc. The stuff in the room may wind up costing more than the r...
by inbox788
Mon May 11, 2015 10:51 am
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: International - Who really is at 40%
Replies: 93
Views: 6673

Re: International - Who really is at 40%

I've been at 30% for many years and have no plans on changing, but this thread is interesting given that just 6 months ago we had several "why even bother with International?" threads. Yes! Excellent observation. I haven't looked recently. Have international stocks been outperforming in t...
by inbox788
Mon May 11, 2015 12:22 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Frugality Reinforced - The Millionaire Next Door
Replies: 84
Views: 12558

Re: Frugality Reinforced - The Millionaire Next Door

My interest in, ownership of, and derived utility from luxury cars is much less now at age 45 than it was at age 35. This is my experience as well. The more I have, the less I feel the need to impress anyone, and the less I find that I want. As I've gotten older, I find there are more things I want...
by inbox788
Sun May 10, 2015 11:48 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Own Berkshire-A but not getting annual letters/meeting invitation
Replies: 6
Views: 1384

Re: Own Berkshire-A but not getting annual letters/meeting invitation

I own a few b shares and have regularly gotten the annual report. I think it is the brokerage that's dropping the ball. Ironic that it's Buffet vs Bogle. In some ways, Buffet, as far as Berkshire Hathaway represents the antithesis is Bogle. More ironic is that Buffet is advocating S&P500 for wif...
by inbox788
Fri May 08, 2015 12:38 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: What to use to clean car
Replies: 45
Views: 3459

Re: What to use to clean car

I used to just vacuum the inside with a shopvac, but I discovered that the blower works wonders. I remove everything loose in the car. Of course, vacuum first, then open all the doors and blow everything out the other door. Really gets out all the crumbs from the cracks and crevices without the both...
by inbox788
Fri May 08, 2015 12:22 am
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: move to cash for upcoming bear market?
Replies: 68
Views: 8009

Re: move to cash for upcoming bear market?

After you move to all cash, come back in a little while and ask if you should get back in all at once or dollar cost average in. :oops:
by inbox788
Thu May 07, 2015 11:37 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Paying off student loans by selling house
Replies: 43
Views: 2589

Re: Paying off student loans by selling house

The clue for me would be whether you wanted or planned to sell the house anyway. If you wouldn't, except for this debt that bothers you, I think this is a mistake. I should have made this clear beforehand. I apologize. We don't intend to keep the house either way. It's my first home and it's not re...
by inbox788
Tue May 05, 2015 2:01 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: U.S. trade deficit jumps to 6-year high of $51.4B
Replies: 3
Views: 566

U.S. trade deficit jumps to 6-year high of $51.4B

I never really understood trade deficits and balance of trade economics, and I'm hoping someone here can shed some light and provide a readers digest explanation or reference to a simple tutorial. With many items sourced and manufactured worldwide, what constitutes an export or import? GM/Ford cars ...
by inbox788
Tue May 05, 2015 1:04 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Best Municipal Bond Options for Fidelity or Ameritrade
Replies: 10
Views: 780

Re: Best Municipal Bond Options for Fidelity or Ameritrade

Option 3: Buy Vanguard Intermediate Term Municipal Bond Index, Investor Shares - VWITX - .2, $49.99 per purchase at Fidelity, but no cost to sell. Buy blocks of MUB/TFI as needed to sustain bond allocation and then sell after it reaches at least $5,000 to put into the fund. Are we talking about amo...
by inbox788
Sun May 03, 2015 5:48 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Everyone is saying to get out of Bond Funds? Ignore?
Replies: 41
Views: 4936

Re: Everyone is saying to get out of Bond Funds? Ignore?

If "everyone" is saying to get out of bonds, then who's on the other side of the trade? Bonds have to be owned by someone, so for everyone who is selling (or not buying) there must be a buyer (or someone who is holding) on the other side. Are we to assume that all the sellers are geniuses...
by inbox788
Sun May 03, 2015 12:31 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Everyone is saying to get out of Bond Funds? Ignore?
Replies: 41
Views: 4936

Re: Everyone is saying to get out of Bond Funds? Ignore?

I haven't "gotten out" of bond funds, I have chosen to have a lower allocation to them. My portfolio is presently 70% stocks and 30% bonds and cash. My target allocation is 60% stocks and 40% bonds and cash. I guess that is my version of "getting out." I may be right or I may be...
by inbox788
Sun May 03, 2015 11:48 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: How To Find The Best Doctor
Replies: 42
Views: 2869

Re: How To Find The Best Doctor

As a retired surgeon (urologist), I generally agree with the comments by "staythecourse". Doctors should be evaluated on two levels: professional competence in their field, and how well they relate to patients and staff. Ideally one looks for both qualities but that is rare to find. The p...

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