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Re: 2 days in San Francisco

I'm presenting a poster for a research conference in SF at the end of the month (7/28-29), and DW and I decided to go up early together on Saturday morning (7/26) and make a mini-vacation of it. The conference is right by SFO, but to be closer to attractions in the city we got a room just south of ...
by kermit
Fri Jul 18, 2014 3:28 pm
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: 2 days in San Francisco
Replies: 25
Views: 1642

Re: Is Medical School Worth it Financially?

Finally, for CS/EE/CSE, there was/is the potential for substantial equity compensation not accounted for in the base salary. If lucky, this could work out to six figures per year... or more. http://www.itworld.com/cloud-computing/399839/man-or-myth-3-million-google-engineer This is very important. ...
by kermit
Mon Jun 23, 2014 5:32 pm
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Is Medical School Worth it Financially?
Replies: 66
Views: 5044

Re: Is Medical School Worth it Financially?

I have specific data points from individuals that have basically told me or strongly hinted toward what they make. My cousin is a family practice doctor with Kaiser and makes around $175k. Out of a group of 6 friends in college where 5 chose to be either computer science or engineering and I chose ...
by kermit
Mon Jun 23, 2014 4:41 pm
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Is Medical School Worth it Financially?
Replies: 66
Views: 5044

Re: Is Medical School Worth it Financially?

I think your numbers for medicine are exaggerated and/or make assumptions about what speciality you are going into. My wife is a pediatrician and most of our closest friends are doctors. I know a lot of the intimate details of their salaries; not to mention the fact that they work for a state instit...
by kermit
Mon Jun 23, 2014 3:52 pm
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Is Medical School Worth it Financially?
Replies: 66
Views: 5044

Re: need router advice

AirPort Extreme is the best router I've ever owned; also the most expensive. But it never needs a reboot and has excellent range.
by kermit
Wed May 07, 2014 5:31 pm
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: need router advice
Replies: 56
Views: 3620

Re: Buying first home in SF - gut check

So we bought a house! We ended up increasing our budget (by increasing the down payment, not the mortgage) as we were not happy with the homes we saw in that price range save for a few that we got outbid on :( . But we ended up with a large 4 bedroom down-to-the-studs remodel in the exact neighborho...
by kermit
Fri May 02, 2014 2:21 pm
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Buying first home in SF - gut check
Replies: 93
Views: 9875

Re: Buying first home in SF - gut check

Yet the very idea that this could happen is 'unthinkable' to him. Never did I say this; the mere fact that I'm posed this question here proves I'm well aware of all the risks. And I'm very aware of how lucky I got and the fact that I should not expect the events that got me where I am today to happ...
by kermit
Fri Mar 28, 2014 12:47 pm
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Buying first home in SF - gut check
Replies: 93
Views: 9875

Re: Buying first home in SF - gut check

What do you need all the liquidity for? In other words, why not use most of your $2.5M portfolio to buy the house? This is something I've been wrestling with too. We've been debt free for a long time and I'm not sure how I will feel with a mortgage. But the rates are low enough now that I think hol...
by kermit
Wed Mar 26, 2014 4:25 pm
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Buying first home in SF - gut check
Replies: 93
Views: 9875

Re: Buying first home in SF - gut check

Yes, it is normal for humans to make plans based on optimistic and best case scenarios. Meanwhile, my family is considering selling its apartment building in SF after a two and a half decade bull market. OP should consider - what if wife stays home? what if one job goes away? What if options end up...
by kermit
Wed Mar 26, 2014 4:03 pm
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Buying first home in SF - gut check
Replies: 93
Views: 9875

Re: Buying first home in SF - gut check

If moving somewhere w/ a lower cost of living is an option, the benefits of compounded growth and lowered cost of living would set you on track for a very early retirement. Plug that $2.5M into a spreadsheet, pick a conservative anticipated growth rate, and see where you'd be at age 40... Moving is...
by kermit
Wed Mar 26, 2014 12:38 pm
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Buying first home in SF - gut check
Replies: 93
Views: 9875

Re: Buying first home in SF - gut check

Also - and I don't want or expect you to answer this question - how do you come into $2.5m at age 28? I think the way you approach spending that money matters a lot in terms of how you acquired it. And whether you believe you have additional family resources to fall back on if this bubble bursts or...
by kermit
Wed Mar 26, 2014 3:59 am
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Buying first home in SF - gut check
Replies: 93
Views: 9875

Re: Buying first home in SF - gut check



Nothing new in that document. We all know the housing market in SF is a crazy expensive. I'm not asking if it is worth it. I'm asking if I can afford it.
by kermit
Wed Mar 26, 2014 2:11 am
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Buying first home in SF - gut check
Replies: 93
Views: 9875

Re: Buying first home in SF - gut check

Your property tax will be close to $20k/year. While that shouldn't be a problem now, it may be a burden as you get older and closer to retirement. You can't pay off property tax. It is there every year. Otherwise, you're right, San Francisco is crazy. If it is an older home, check out its earthquak...
by kermit
Wed Mar 26, 2014 1:25 am
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Buying first home in SF - gut check
Replies: 93
Views: 9875

Buying first home in SF - gut check

My wife and I are considering purchasing our first home in San Francisco. A little bit about us: Age: Both 28 Jobs: stable Income: ~$430k with vesting RSUs. If you consider salary only then ~$230k Portfolio: $2.5M (mostly diversified index funds but a small amount of that is vested company stock tha...
by kermit
Wed Mar 26, 2014 1:06 am
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Buying first home in SF - gut check
Replies: 93
Views: 9875

Re: Any other travel freaks?

According to Mint travel is 19% of our expenses. And this doesn't include restaurants, tickets to events, etc. while traveling (those are in a separate category and difficult to tease out which were while traveling). So 19% is just airfare, hotels, and rental cars. It's our largest expense other tha...
by kermit
Wed Feb 05, 2014 10:41 pm
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Any other travel freaks?
Replies: 92
Views: 5843

Re: Good/ enjoy math, but dislike programming: College major

and at the same time he wants to major in something that is likely to get him a good job/ career in the future. ... I'm almost tempted to just advise him to grind through Comp Sci (esp if his grades are ok) and just figure it out after he graduates, but maybe there's a better path/ major? I strongl...
by kermit
Mon Jan 13, 2014 6:12 am
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Good/ enjoy math, but dislike programming: College major?
Replies: 65
Views: 3335

Re: Single & Frugal or Coupled & (Financially) Incompatible?

Frugality isn't black and white. It is a spectrum that one slides up and down over time. I don't think finances should get in the way of love; perhaps that sounds foolish but, in my experience, happiness doesn't come from massing piles of money. My wife and I are young professionals in our late 20s ...
by kermit
Thu Jan 02, 2014 12:57 pm
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Single & Frugal or Coupled & (Financially) Incompatible?
Replies: 77
Views: 5793

Re: Official 2014 IRA is DONE sign-up

Technically nobody can be done since the markets aren't opening today. But my orders are in place and once everything settles I'll do the backdoor conversions immediately.
by kermit
Wed Jan 01, 2014 10:30 am
 
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Official 2014 IRA is done. Sign-up
Replies: 47
Views: 2769

Re: Twitter

Twitter severely underpriced their company. They literally left billions of dollars on the table to be distributed to investors that were lucky enough to get in before the pop. Had they priced it accurately then Twitter would be pocketing that money. And long term investors would be better off becau...
by kermit
Thu Nov 07, 2013 4:27 pm
 
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Twitter IPO?
Replies: 60
Views: 2554

Re: Vanguard Flagship l Advisor

70/30 for a 46 year old who is clearly on track to win the game and then some? Too aggressive for me. I'd be looking closer to 60/40. As far as the funds go; that is basically my exact portfolio but with different ratios. Can't go wrong with those funds. Interesting, as I'd take the opposite approa...
by kermit
Thu Jul 11, 2013 3:21 pm
 
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Vanguard Flagship l Advisor
Replies: 41
Views: 4984

Re: Vanguard Flagship l Advisor

70/30 for a 46 year old who is clearly on track to win the game and then some? Too aggressive for me. I'd be looking closer to 60/40.

As far as the funds go; that is basically my exact portfolio but with different ratios. Can't go wrong with those funds.
by kermit
Wed Jul 10, 2013 9:13 pm
 
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Vanguard Flagship l Advisor
Replies: 41
Views: 4984

Re: WiFi Router Recommendations?

AirPorts do this very well. One connected to your router and a bunch set up around your house extended the network. I do this with a last gen Extreme and a last gen Express. Works brilliantly. Is the Express acting as a extender, picking up the WiFi signal from the Extreme and rebroadcasting it? Ex...
by kermit
Tue Jun 18, 2013 4:53 pm
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: WiFi Router Recommendations?
Replies: 44
Views: 3392

Re: WiFi Router Recommendations?

I have wireless access points (I probably should have been more clear in my initial post) spread out: 2 upstairs and 2 downstairs at roughly opposite ends of the house. Same SSID and password on each. I tried this once, using the same SSID and password with 2 two devices connected via DSL. It did n...
by kermit
Mon Jun 17, 2013 8:43 pm
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: WiFi Router Recommendations?
Replies: 44
Views: 3392

Re: What did you give your wife on your wedding day?

Beautiful earrings to wear down the aisle.
by kermit
Mon Jun 17, 2013 2:52 pm
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: What did you give your wife on your wedding day?
Replies: 81
Views: 4982

Re: WiFi Router Recommendations?

They are on the pricey end but the most robust router I've ever owned, by far, is the Apple AirPort Extreme: http://www.apple.com/airport-extreme/. Very reliable and extremely easy to use. The only change I recommend from the default settings is assigning a different SSID for the 5ghz band. I found ...
by kermit
Mon Jun 17, 2013 11:28 am
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: WiFi Router Recommendations?
Replies: 44
Views: 3392

Re: buying a new laptop

Thanks Brantley. Any idea when the new Haswell chips will come into the market. Apple's WWDC conference on June 10 is expected to have an announcement about using Haswell chips in a completely new lineup of laptops. I expect all of the big name brands to be releasing Haswell updates around this time.
by kermit
Tue May 28, 2013 11:48 am
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: buying a new laptop
Replies: 53
Views: 4966

Re: Dining out : Special requests

I have never had a problem with special requests. My wife is a pescatarian and we often need to make adjustments to even fixed course tasting menus; never have we had issues. The difference is we don't eat at chain restaurants like Buca di Beppo. Nothing against them, they have their part in the wor...
by kermit
Mon May 06, 2013 3:47 am
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Dining out : Special requests
Replies: 52
Views: 3106

Re: First time poster, 30 year old with investment plan

Here are the cheap index funds in your 401k: *S&P 500 INDEX 09/26/2005 Stock Investments large cap, Exp Ratio (gross) - 0.0661% INTERNATIONAL INDEX 09/26/2005 Stock Investments International, Exp Ratio (gross) - 0.0359% BOND INDEX 09/26/2005 Bond/Managed Income, Exp Ratio (gross) - 0.075% I see ...
by kermit
Sun May 05, 2013 10:30 pm
 
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: First time poster, 30 year old with investment plan
Replies: 17
Views: 2074

Re: Poll: How many $100 dinners out per year?

Once a week (possibly every other week). $100 is nothing for a dinner in a big, expensive, food loving city. A more interesting question for cities like San Francisco and New York would be $500 dinners. Those we do about once a year.
by kermit
Wed Apr 17, 2013 9:09 am
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Poll: How many $100 dinners out per year?
Replies: 152
Views: 9556

Re: What % of gross income do you spend on rent/mortgage?

22.7%. The San Francisco Bay Area is very expensive; before we moved here we payed closer to 9%.
by kermit
Thu Mar 14, 2013 11:18 am
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: What % of gross income do you spend on rent/mortgage?
Replies: 132
Views: 6868

Re: "Strategic divorce" for tax-purposes for 2 physicians

What do the numbers look like for married filling separately?
by kermit
Sun Mar 10, 2013 5:05 pm
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: "Strategic divorce" for tax-purposes for 2 physicians
Replies: 47
Views: 4349

Re: Why should young people invest in bonds at all?

Am I the only under-30 (I turn 30 at the end of this upcoming June) with a sizable bond portion? I'm at 30% - slightly more than my age, even! - and, even with the stock portion going up quicker than my bond portion of my portfolio, I'm not tempted to switch over to more equities. Well, this 27 yea...
by kermit
Sun Mar 10, 2013 2:25 pm
 
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Why should young people invest in bonds at all?
Replies: 77
Views: 6063

Re: what low real rates mean for stock returns

I'm 27 years old and maintain a 60/40 ratio. Vanguard says this returns on average 8.6%: https://personal.vanguard.com/us/insights/saving-investing/model-portfolio-allocations. Even with modest inflation this isn't nearing the 2.5% real some of you are throwing around for similar portfolios. Who ca...
by kermit
Fri Mar 01, 2013 1:48 pm
 
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: what low real rates mean for stock returns
Replies: 47
Views: 3972

Re: what low real rates mean for stock returns

I'm 27 years old and maintain a 60/40 ratio. Vanguard says this returns on average 8.6%: https://personal.vanguard.com/us/insights/saving-investing/model-portfolio-allocations. Even with modest inflation this isn't nearing the 2.5% real some of you are throwing around for similar portfolios. Who can...
by kermit
Fri Mar 01, 2013 1:26 pm
 
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: what low real rates mean for stock returns
Replies: 47
Views: 3972

Re: Is Med School still a good financial investment?

http://benbrownmd.wordpress.com/2010/06/20/informedconsent/ is a very good read on this topic. Highly recommended to: those who think doctors are paid too much, those who think teachers are paid too little, and those considering a position in medicine. My wife is a doctor and most of our closest fri...
by kermit
Wed Feb 27, 2013 1:09 am
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Is Med School still a good financial investment?
Replies: 123
Views: 7875

Re: Electric cars (full electrics and plug-in hybrids)

Are there actual plug-in stations out there? I live in PA and have never heard or seen them. Maybe because I do not drive said vehicle. I'd be tempted to get one, but not without a good number of charging stations. I think it just depends on where you live. In the San Francisco Bay area recharge st...
by kermit
Mon Feb 25, 2013 12:01 pm
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Electric cars (full electrics and plug-in hybrids)
Replies: 68
Views: 5988

Re: Stock options/grants, how do you handle?

Like others in this thread: I treat my RSUs as I would a cash bonus. Selling as soon as possible and invest according to your AA is a good plan. This has resulted in wash sales for me; but it's just not a big enough deal to worry about. You'll collect your losses when you sell the shares that caused...
by kermit
Fri Feb 22, 2013 1:42 pm
 
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Stock options/grants, how do you handle?
Replies: 21
Views: 982

Re: What % of your income are you saving for retirement?

It varies year to year based on bonuses. But right now we are 27 years old and saving 25% of our income. In a few years, once my wife is out of residency, we plan to increase this to around 35%.
by kermit
Sat Feb 16, 2013 12:32 pm
 
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: What % of your income are you saving for retirement?
Replies: 228
Views: 20909

Re: When to stop contributing?

livesoft wrote:Do you have other plans for the money? If not, I don't see why you wouldn't keep contributing in order to reduce your taxes.


Reducing taxes is one good reason to continue contributing. I could think of many things we could do with the money.
by kermit
Mon Jan 28, 2013 12:58 am
 
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: When to stop contributing?
Replies: 17
Views: 1895

When to stop contributing?

Does it ever make sense to stop contributing to your retirement beyond reinvesting dividends? Eventually one gets to the point where new contributions (even maxing your 401k, IRA, and doing some taxable investing) are a drop in the bucket compared to the return your portfolio is generating. I've hea...
by kermit
Mon Jan 28, 2013 12:40 am
 
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: When to stop contributing?
Replies: 17
Views: 1895

Re: Do you use a branchless online bank, and why?

They often have very nice websites and excellent phone support. USAA for example has a very well designed and useful interface. But my number one reason is needing to do anything in person is a burden to me. I don't have time during the day to wait in line. And a branchless online bank, for obvious ...
by kermit
Tue Jan 22, 2013 3:45 pm
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Do you use a branchless online bank, and why?
Replies: 37
Views: 2741

Re: Tempur-Pedic mattresses

We *just* bought a new mattress and tried them all out. We decided *not* to buy the Tempur-Pedic for a few reasons: 1) I sleep very warm and the sinking in worried me. 2) We are young and in love. It did not feel like a good material for the thing that young people in love often do in beds. 3) There...
by kermit
Tue Jan 08, 2013 1:30 pm
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Tempur-Pedic mattresses
Replies: 64
Views: 6068

Re: Moderate yield, moderate risk portfolio

Maybe I should ask a different question... what's the best 3-fund portfolio in a taxable account? Most of our investments (80%) is in a taxable account. I'm also interested in only moderate risk; I maintain a 60/40 AA that is nearly all taxable. It consists of: Vanguard Total Stock Market Index Adm...
by kermit
Mon Jan 07, 2013 1:52 am
 
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Moderate yield, moderate risk portfolio
Replies: 8
Views: 770

Re: Vanguard Traditional -> Roth conversion not working onli

Update: I logged into Vanguard this morning and the conversion had taken place. So rest assured if you cannot do it online, and the rep cannot do it over the phone, that some specialist will be able to do it for you and promptly. Great service. My wife was able to do her's completely online. I'm sti...
by kermit
Fri Jan 04, 2013 11:19 am
 
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Vanguard Traditional -> Roth conversion not working online?
Replies: 5
Views: 637

Vanguard Traditional -> Roth conversion not working online?

I am over the income limits so I contributed for 2012 and 2013 yesterday in a Traditional IRA and today logged into Vanguard to convert to a Roth IRA. I did this two years ago without any trouble. But this year Vanguard had an error message when I tried to convert online. I called them and they were...
by kermit
Thu Jan 03, 2013 3:04 pm
 
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Vanguard Traditional -> Roth conversion not working online?
Replies: 5
Views: 637

Re: robbed by strong arm and pickpockets in Rome and Venice

I follow Rick Steves' suggestions. Always use a money belt. Keep most of your cash, credit cards, IDs, and passports in it. Keep only the bare minimum of cash needed for the day and one credit card in your wallet. Keep your wallet in a front pocket. We've been to Italy, Paris, London, and Greece. We...
by kermit
Fri Oct 05, 2012 6:04 pm
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: robbed by strong arm and pickpockets in Rome and Venice
Replies: 63
Views: 8151

Re: Best Used Commuter Car Under $14,000 - Snow/Long Commute

I drove a 2009 Civic all through upstate NY for a few years. Never had any trouble with it in the thick snow.

Some of my friends drove Subarus and claimed they needed it for the snow; I don't know if they drive differently than me but even in lake effect conditions I felt safe in my Civic.
by kermit
Wed Sep 19, 2012 1:28 pm
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Best Used Commuter Car Under $14,000 - Snow/Long Commutes
Replies: 27
Views: 3267

Re: Why do people [Why Would I] live in expensive places?

I live in one of the most expensive cities in the country. But I never want to leave. Why? Proximity to all of this awesome stuff. Friends, family, museums, hiking, restaurants, bars, shopping, etc etc etc. If I walk 10 minutes in any direction from my apartment and I will have crossed several outst...
by kermit
Sat Sep 15, 2012 12:22 pm
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Why do people [Why Would I] live in expensive places?
Replies: 51
Views: 2436

Re: Amazon Prime

I encourage everyone to get Amazon Prime. Also you can "split" the cost by sharing Prime with your family members. My wife, mother, and mother-in-law all are Prime members under my account; they get the same free 2 day delivery that I do. The only thing they don't get are the extras: strea...
by kermit
Sat Sep 01, 2012 1:07 pm
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Amazon Prime
Replies: 66
Views: 6987

Re: When did you start to save a regular significant amount?

My first job out of college I couldn't safe much. My wife was still in school and I had some debt. We saved the minimum required to maximize my employers 401k match. Only around 6k a year I think. Percentage wise this was 12.5% of our income. 3 years later all the debt was gone and we began saving 4...
by kermit
Tue Aug 21, 2012 10:20 am
 
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: When did you start to save a regular significant amount?
Replies: 81
Views: 10780
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