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Re: Does a Roth IRA make sense if you live in a high COL pla

Check out IRS publication 590 (A,B, etc.) Roth contributions must stay in five years to be withdrawn penalty free, in addition to age requirements detailed in those publications. I am hoping to use some Roth contributions as backup college money, but the give year rule limits which contributions I ...
by madbrain
Sun Mar 01, 2015 6:24 am
 
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Does a Roth IRA make sense if you live in a high COL place?
Replies: 79
Views: 2369

Re: [SF BayArea,NorCal]Where do you get your Meat & Fish

Madbrain: I bet Bi-Rite has organic lamb if you pass through SF much I don't often go there. It's 55 miles one way from home and about 1hr10 minutes best case at off peak hours. I wouldn't go there grocery shopping. Also, it's too far of a trip for my Nissan Leaf to make the round trip, unfortunate...
by madbrain
Sun Mar 01, 2015 3:33 am
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: [SF BayArea,NorCal]Where do you get your Meat & Fish
Replies: 8
Views: 443

Re: How long will I l live? (mortality predictor)

Not a very useful site, IMO. I was expecting something that would take into account more than just the birthday and birthplace.

Try this one instead :
https://www.livingto100.com/
by madbrain
Sat Feb 28, 2015 10:17 pm
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: How long will I l live? (mortality predictor)
Replies: 16
Views: 1613

Re: Is Vanguard understaffed?

Ken Schwartz wrote:
madbrain wrote:Note that Vanguard does have some managed funds with ETF shares as well, for example VWLUX - Vanguard long-term tax-exempt .

That's not true. Vanguard Long-Term Tax-Exempt has Investor and Admiral share classes, but no ETF.


Sorry, I misread that article - will edit my post.
by madbrain
Sat Feb 28, 2015 10:10 pm
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Is Vanguard understaffed?
Replies: 37
Views: 3193

Re: [SF BayArea,NorCal]Where do you get your Meat & Fish

Given the skyrocketing meat prices due to extreme drought and dwindling fish supplies this must be on top of everyones mind. Would like to know where/if value conscious families with mouths to feed shop in this extremely HCOL SF Bay Area. Food related expenses of our family have been going up 15%-2...
by madbrain
Sat Feb 28, 2015 9:57 pm
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: [SF BayArea,NorCal]Where do you get your Meat & Fish
Replies: 8
Views: 443

Re: Is Vanguard understaffed?

If you are OK with using ETFs, no reason you need to deal with Vanguard directly. You can use any brokerage firm and buy Vanguard ETFs. Many have excellent service and there are recommendations on other threads. You would have no interaction with Vanguard yet own their low cost funds. Many Vanguard...
by madbrain
Sat Feb 28, 2015 9:33 pm
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Is Vanguard understaffed?
Replies: 37
Views: 3193

Re: Is Vanguard understaffed?

If you are OK with using ETFs, no reason you need to deal with Vanguard directly. You can use any brokerage firm and buy Vanguard ETFs. Many have excellent service and there are recommendations on other threads. You would have no interaction with Vanguard yet own their low cost funds. Many Vanguard...
by madbrain
Fri Feb 27, 2015 11:40 pm
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Is Vanguard understaffed?
Replies: 37
Views: 3193

Re: International is disappointing

airahcaz wrote:
poker27 wrote:
Dutch wrote:You want to buy low and sell high.

Not the other way around.


x2

If international beats US returns by 60% over the next 5 years, will you go all in to international?



No, would reduce international exposure at that point.


So why don't you reduce your US exposure now ?
by madbrain
Fri Feb 27, 2015 8:44 pm
 
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: International is disappointing
Replies: 72
Views: 4344

Re: How does one increase their typing speed and accuracy?

I used to type 125 wpm in AZERTY, and about 100 wpm in QWERTY . I'm much slower now, though I haven't checked my speed recently. I don't really see the need to type that fast. Usually my brain is the limiting factor for what I'm going to be typing next, not my fingers.
by madbrain
Fri Feb 27, 2015 3:06 am
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: How does one increase their typing speed and accuracy?
Replies: 58
Views: 2166

Re: TSM or individual funds

So because you are trying to approximate TSM are you are essentially of the "three fund" and done group? I can see the advantage of holding more funds from the tax loss harvest perspective, but since the old adage is that no one can predict the market, I still struggle with understanding ...
by madbrain
Fri Feb 27, 2015 2:51 am
 
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: TSM or individual funds
Replies: 16
Views: 1226

Re: TSM or individual funds

That Vanguard Institutional looked awesome until I saw the minimum investment of 2 mil......Booooooh! Will have to look closer at the VEXAX....How did you pick this particular fund??? Actually it's $200 million minimum for VIIIX . It's in my 401k and I work for a large company. I picked VEXAX becau...
by madbrain
Thu Feb 26, 2015 10:43 pm
 
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: TSM or individual funds
Replies: 16
Views: 1226

Re: International PE10 Update

Judging from forward exchange rates, the currency market thinks the Euro will depreciate ~1% against the dollar over the next year. It's not nothing, but doesn't explain extreme differences in PE10. How much do you trust the currency markets to predict actual future changes to the currency themselv...
by madbrain
Thu Feb 26, 2015 9:14 pm
 
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: International PE10 Update
Replies: 28
Views: 2412

Re: Credit Card Refund Not Posted

Toons wrote:I have found all my credit card "refunds", and I have had my share of them, take a minimum of 2 business days to show up.Purchases show up immediately as pending :happy


+1
Wait at least a couple of business days. The refund will likely be posted then.
by madbrain
Thu Feb 26, 2015 7:56 pm
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Credit Card Refund Not Posted
Replies: 14
Views: 790

Re: What are Costco's best deals?

Okay, so this one is a little ridiculous, but: Stamps - $48.75 for 100 First Class Forever stamps instead of $49. I figure, if any group would appreciate such a thing, it would be this one. :D And another 2% off if you have the Executive membership, so a final cost of $47.78. :happy Wrong. From : h...
by madbrain
Thu Feb 26, 2015 7:16 pm
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: What are Costco's best deals?
Replies: 133
Views: 9733

Re: International PE10 Update

That said, I think there is a fairly good likelihood that the PE on stocks from many of the countries you listed in the graphs will not stay this low in the long term. But that doesn't do you much good if your capital and earnings are in depreciated currencies. Judging from forward exchange rates, ...
by madbrain
Thu Feb 26, 2015 8:31 am
 
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: International PE10 Update
Replies: 28
Views: 2412

Re: Fidelity IRA match up to $1950

Anyone have an opinion on the new Fidelity IRA match up to $1950? That number is only if you have a $500k IRA to transfer, and are 50+ and making the maximum annual contribution ($6500 including catchup). Most people don't have such large balance IRAs, so the bonus will be much less. If I could do ...
by madbrain
Thu Feb 26, 2015 8:02 am
 
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Fidelity IRA match up to $1950
Replies: 1
Views: 439

Re: TSM or individual funds

Is there any advantage to buying these individual mutual funds over the TSM fund? I don't get why some people prefer this.... 81% Vanguard 500 Index Fund (VFINX) (0.15%) 6% Vanguard Mid-Cap Index Fund (VIMSX) (0.21%) 13% Vanguard Small-Cap Index Fund (NAESX) (0.22%) 100% Vanguard Total Stock Market...
by madbrain
Thu Feb 26, 2015 7:48 am
 
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: TSM or individual funds
Replies: 16
Views: 1226

Re: Illiquid Assets

Primary residence - This is a good example. Not exactly diversified, but it does give a good example of a way for someone young to capitalize on illiquidity. I think the illiquidity is more of an unwanted side effect of owning one's primary residence. It's certainly not the goal. I doubt most peopl...
by madbrain
Thu Feb 26, 2015 7:24 am
 
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Illiquid Assets
Replies: 33
Views: 2135

Re: Illiquid Assets

Younger investors should take on more liquidity risk. There are ways to increase portfolio returns -- returns can be increased by increasing risk. Here are a handful of examples: Credit risk - riskier bonds imply a higher interest rate. Junk bonds have higher rates of return in exchange for a highe...
by madbrain
Thu Feb 26, 2015 2:13 am
 
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Illiquid Assets
Replies: 33
Views: 2135

Re: International PE10 Update

I agree to a point. Markets are good at ranking things. Growth stocks really do grow faster than value stocks. The economic outlook for the US really is better than the outlook for international economies. But where markets get ranking right, they can still be overconfident. Markets tend to overest...
by madbrain
Wed Feb 25, 2015 10:39 pm
 
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: International PE10 Update
Replies: 28
Views: 2412

Re: What are Costco's best deals?

From what I can see, they are primarily counting items and comparing what they see to the item-count number printed on the receipt. In other words they are not checking what you bought but rather how many things you bought. Of course, they may have guidelines about what to check if someone is wheel...
by madbrain
Wed Feb 25, 2015 8:26 pm
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: What are Costco's best deals?
Replies: 133
Views: 9733

Re: Buying a House - SF Bay Area [bayareabuyer]

My wife and I live in the SF Bay Area (south bay), and would like to buy a house. We had our first child a year ago (we are both 31), and currently live in a 2 bedroom apartment. This will be fine for us for another few years, but we have a lot of visitors, and would want to move to an area with a ...
by madbrain
Wed Feb 25, 2015 7:46 pm
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Buying a House - SF Bay Area [bayareabuyer]
Replies: 25
Views: 2306

Re: Buying a home in SF Bay Area [Dumbo]

With your income and current assets, it will be difficult to find a nice place, but not impossible. It depends how badly you want it. I was in a similar situation in 1997 at age 21, with very little assets, and much less income than you, less than half. I knew that I would be staying in the area lon...
by madbrain
Wed Feb 25, 2015 7:31 pm
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Buying a home in SF Bay Area [Dumbo]
Replies: 79
Views: 4124

Re: International PE10 Update

None of this is an exact science and long-term forecast from GMO and RAFI (precise to three significant digits!) should be printed somewhere between the funny pages and your daily horoscope. But one basic fact slaps you in the face looking at these charts. Most countries are at or below their histo...
by madbrain
Wed Feb 25, 2015 6:56 pm
 
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: International PE10 Update
Replies: 28
Views: 2412

Re: International PE10 Update

My own philosophy is that the only reasonably accurate number in a company's financial report is the dividend paid. Everything else is a guess that probably has some relationship to reality, but the relationship might be quite distant. And that guess was made by an executive who has a financial int...
by madbrain
Wed Feb 25, 2015 6:50 pm
 
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: International PE10 Update
Replies: 28
Views: 2412

Re: How much did you have saved up for retirement at age 30?

I had over $200k at age 30, all in my 401k . Then 2008 happened right after.
The 401k is still 6 figures. It should break the half million bar this year.
But it's no longer my only retirement asset.
by madbrain
Wed Feb 25, 2015 6:53 am
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: How much did you have saved up for retirement at age 30?
Replies: 168
Views: 11067

Re: What are Costco's best deals?

The price difference on each of the following items is enough to pay for the Costco membership. If you have cats, cat litter, consistently half the price per pound of nearest competitor. If you bake (I bake bread), flour, in large 25 - 50 lbs bags. Reflector LED bulbs . I still have about 180 CFL bu...
by madbrain
Wed Feb 25, 2015 6:41 am
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: What are Costco's best deals?
Replies: 133
Views: 9733

Re: What's your dream car?

My dream car would be a Terrafugia TF-X .
Image
by madbrain
Mon Feb 23, 2015 10:05 pm
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: What's your dream car?
Replies: 197
Views: 12490

Re: Citi Cash Rewards vs. Fidelity Amex

One thing to consider with the Fidelity AMEX is if you don't have rewards deposited into a Fidelity cash account you only receive 1% rewards. This is not correct, I get 2% back as a statement credit after $12,500 in spending / 25,000 points / $250 at a time. No Fidelity account needed for Fidelity ...
by madbrain
Mon Feb 23, 2015 9:25 pm
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Citi Cash Rewards vs. Fidelity Amex
Replies: 20
Views: 1888

Re: Who's going to Disney this summer?

I hope this increase is used at least in part to cover the cost of measles vaccines for all Disney employees working at the park.
by madbrain
Mon Feb 23, 2015 8:26 pm
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Who's going to Disney this summer?
Replies: 31
Views: 1945

Re: TaxAct question: recomputation of 2103 federal tax retur

I think this would require a time machine.
by madbrain
Sun Feb 22, 2015 6:19 am
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: TaxAct question: recomputation of 2103 federal tax return
Replies: 7
Views: 454

Re: Citi Cash Rewards vs. Fidelity Amex

I've heard Citi has added direct deposit as a redemption option as well. Have they added any automatic redemption option ? Either statement credit or direct deposit would be fine. One of the big advantages of the Fidelity Amex and VISA, IMO, is that I don't have to do anything to redeem the points.
by madbrain
Sat Feb 21, 2015 9:35 pm
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Citi Cash Rewards vs. Fidelity Amex
Replies: 20
Views: 1888

Re: What % of your gross income do you spend on mortgage/ren

About 13% for mortgage principal & interest minimum payment on my mansion .
20% including the prepayments I have been making monthly.

The property tax + insurance + utilities + maintenance is another 10%, though.
by madbrain
Sat Feb 21, 2015 9:29 pm
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: What % of your gross income do you spend on mortgage/rent?
Replies: 155
Views: 8666

Re: What is your favorite consumer product?

Just too many to list.

My 9ft2 Schimmel grand piano .
My 8ft harpsichord .
The ton of home theater equipment I own, just too many products to list :)
My mansion . Some bogleheads will argue a home, is not a consumer product, but I disagree.
by madbrain
Sat Feb 21, 2015 9:26 pm
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: What is your favorite consumer product?
Replies: 156
Views: 9071

Re: Market Top

With DOW and S&P making new highs wondering what are the visitors to this forum doing. Cash out play money ? Sell individual stock positions and reinvest in index funds ? The S&P500 is up a whole 2.82% year to date. Is that really so significant ? FYI, other asset classes - international an...
by madbrain
Fri Feb 20, 2015 8:38 pm
 
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: [What to do at] Market Top
Replies: 57
Views: 4923

Re: Why do companies match 401K contributions?

Dollar for dollar, the expenditure is same for company. Is it, really ? For employees that are maxing out social security taxes, I believe you are correct. But for employees that don't max out SS taxes, increasing their salary also increases the employer-paid portion of social-security taxes, but a...
by madbrain
Fri Feb 20, 2015 7:20 pm
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Why do companies match 401K contributions?
Replies: 50
Views: 4293

Re: Using the "10 year" and "Since Inception" to pick funds

I'm in the process of transferring 401ks, IRAs, and other non-vanguard (high ER) funds to Vanguard. I have a pretty good feel for my approach in terms of AA, risk tolerance, diversification, etc.... I know that past performance doesn't indicate future returns. But when looking at a few different fu...
by madbrain
Thu Feb 19, 2015 11:30 pm
 
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Using the "10 year" and "Since Inception" to pick funds
Replies: 23
Views: 1631

Re: TradingPlaces' advice on travel awards

We're largely off-topic, but you can fly many international airlines using US-based programs as the major carriers have alliance and other nonalliance partners. The easiest way to accrue miles is through credit card sign on bonuses, not flying or daily spend. This is well worn ground if you care to...
by madbrain
Thu Feb 19, 2015 11:18 pm
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: TradingPlaces' advice on travel awards
Replies: 141
Views: 8356

Re: TradingPlaces' advice on travel awards

I believe all American-based mileage programs allow for redeposit of miles for a fee and I would think you could argue to Chase that they should cover the fee. That said, I believe a number of airlines either won't charge or charge a reduced amount for redeposit if you provide proof of illness. I s...
by madbrain
Thu Feb 19, 2015 10:34 pm
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: TradingPlaces' advice on travel awards
Replies: 141
Views: 8356

Re: Why do companies match 401K contributions?

Dollar for dollar, the expenditure is same for company. Is it, really ? For employees that are maxing out social security taxes, I believe you are correct. But for employees that don't max out SS taxes, increasing their salary also increases the employer-paid portion of social-security taxes, but a...
by madbrain
Thu Feb 19, 2015 9:52 pm
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Why do companies match 401K contributions?
Replies: 50
Views: 4293

Re: TradingPlaces' advice on travel awards

I have one question on travel awards . Can you get travel insurance for travel award flights ? And how would the insurer pay you back I have never looked into travel insurance, but a number of credit cards (particularly a number of Chase cards) provide a limited form of travel protection if you pay...
by madbrain
Thu Feb 19, 2015 9:26 pm
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: TradingPlaces' advice on travel awards
Replies: 141
Views: 8356

Re: TradingPlaces' advice on travel awards

I have one question on travel awards . Can you get travel insurance for travel award flights ? And how would the insurer pay you back ? I have been too sick to fly on about 75% of the departure dates, leading to several cancelled vacations, and some delayed. Because I know I am often sick, I always ...
by madbrain
Thu Feb 19, 2015 7:06 pm
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: TradingPlaces' advice on travel awards
Replies: 141
Views: 8356

Re: VWENX huge hit today! [Vanguard Wellington Admiral]

Ummm, WHAT??? I was right, and no one noticed. I am well aware it is not huge, but I noticed there was something wrong, and it turned out I was right!! Are you explaining Wellington to me? I've been in and out of Wellington for the better part of 25 years! I am well aware of what a managed fund is!...
by madbrain
Thu Feb 19, 2015 7:51 am
 
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: VWENX huge hit today! [Vanguard Wellington Admiral]
Replies: 40
Views: 3717

Re: Wait to see what my 2015 MAGI is, or Backdoor Roth now?

When you income hovers around the limit, is the only possible complication to contributing the full $5,500 to a Traditional IRA now, and immediately converting it to a Roth, if your income would permit a partial deduction, that you would have to work that out on your taxes? In other words, is there...
by madbrain
Thu Feb 19, 2015 7:36 am
 
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Wait to see what my 2015 MAGI is, or Backdoor Roth now?
Replies: 5
Views: 369

Re: Another--should I rent it or sell it--post

House is currently worth $900,000, and owe $450,000. Current mortgage is at 3.5%. Monthly mortgage, property tax, and interest is $3250. Rents in the area are easily above $3500/month. Coincidentally, I have a friend who may need to rent a place. He and his wife have stable jobs. I know he takes go...
by madbrain
Thu Feb 19, 2015 6:57 am
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Another--should I rent it or sell it--post
Replies: 25
Views: 1399

Re: Wait to see what my 2015 MAGI is, or Backdoor Roth now?

In 2014, I contributed $5,500 to my Roth early in the year. In December, I was (pleasantly) surprised with a very generous bonus from my employer. This bumped my earned income up to put my MAGI in the phase-out range of the Roth eligibility scale. This resulted in me needing to remove a couple hund...
by madbrain
Thu Feb 19, 2015 6:43 am
 
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Wait to see what my 2015 MAGI is, or Backdoor Roth now?
Replies: 5
Views: 369

Re: The 8x retirement savings rule

When will people have the common sense to realize having x times your final salary means nothing.What matters is how much you have saved and your expenses going forward. How are those unrelated? If one has 20-25x their salary, that's not nothing--that's more than enough to retire on. Not everyone c...
by madbrain
Thu Feb 19, 2015 12:05 am
 
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: The 8x retirement savings rule
Replies: 83
Views: 7646

Re: VWENX huge hit today! [Vanguard Wellington Admiral]

Vanguard has apparently "adjusted" the pricing of the Wellington fund. Earlier it was shown as down .33% (not .033% as in the OP), now it's shown as down only .04% for the Admiral shares. Vindicated!! Thank You. Wondering why the "Bogleheads" didn't mention this, but mocked me.....
by madbrain
Wed Feb 18, 2015 11:52 pm
 
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: VWENX huge hit today! [Vanguard Wellington Admiral]
Replies: 40
Views: 3717

Re: What Movie Have You Recently Watched?

Kingsmen . Don't waste your time on this one. A review... http://www.nytimes.com/2015/02/13/movies/review-in-kingsman-the-secret-service-colin-firth-get-his-suits-splattered.html I watched it on friday. I thought it was entertaining, though I didn't care for the most violent scene (you will know wh...
by madbrain
Tue Feb 17, 2015 8:24 pm
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: What Movie Have You Recently Watched?
Replies: 569
Views: 69429

Re: Extended car warranty - worth it?

Received a call from a company called Solace regarding extended warranty covering another 3 years/100,000. Currently the Chevy Equinox is at 112,000 miles. I have never purchased a warranty either from outside source or dealer. What are your experiences? Is this something worth considering? Cost is...
by madbrain
Tue Feb 17, 2015 8:13 pm
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Extended car warranty - worth it?
Replies: 30
Views: 1833
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