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by mhc
Tue May 05, 2015 8:10 am
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Is this ESPP any good?
Replies: 4
Views: 494

Re: Is this ESPP any good?

I would pass. The holding period is too long.
by mhc
Tue May 05, 2015 8:09 am
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: How do you access Vanguard account?
Replies: 13
Views: 1195

Re: How do you access Vanguard account?

Browser on laptop at home. If I need to access it during the day at work, it is in a browser running on a virtual Windows machine on a Linux desktop.

Occasionally, I'll login from my tablet, but I don't care much for the interface.
by mhc
Mon May 04, 2015 4:38 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: 400lbs, delivery or pick up?
Replies: 45
Views: 1827

Re: 400lbs, delivery or pick up?

Having it delivered to your house is cheaper and more efficient for everyone. Have it delivered.
by mhc
Sun May 03, 2015 2:50 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: New [marketing approach] by Fidelity, 401K custodian of many
Replies: 23
Views: 1617

Re: New, potentially colossal scam, by Fidelity, 401K custodian of many

These options have been around for years in my Fido 401k account. I get them at the end of using the retirement calculator. I either click past them or close the tab. No big deal.
by mhc
Fri May 01, 2015 3:50 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Vacation Ideas out west
Replies: 35
Views: 2046

Re: Vacation Ideas out west

Here are some more National Parks you may want to consider: Bryce, Zion, Yellowstone, Tetons, Mt Rushmore.

If you made your loop bigger and skipped Rocky Mountain National Park, you could do it. I live very close to RMNP, so I know it is nice, but you could see more by expanding your loop.
by mhc
Fri May 01, 2015 9:06 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: what deductible for HO insurance is most cost-effective?
Replies: 8
Views: 525

Re: what deductible for HO insurance is most cost-effective?

I think your simple math is sufficient. What if you go with an even higher deductible?
by mhc
Fri May 01, 2015 8:55 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Oh Hail! [fix hard to see hail damage to car?]
Replies: 24
Views: 1569

Re: Oh Hail!

OP, if you don't want to drive a car with hail damage, then why are you bringing this up? Get it fixed, especially if you are in a profession where you need a nice car. I would pocket the money. I had to get hail damage repaired once after a major hail storm. It was a nightmare. It took 3 months to ...
by mhc
Thu Apr 30, 2015 3:36 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Karate for kids—Thoughts?
Replies: 47
Views: 2398

Re: Karate for kids—Thoughts?

Karate is good for developing physical skills and discipline. I have a daughter who has been in karate for 5 years or so. She was born with some issues where the left side of her body were physically behind the right side. Karate has helped balance things out. It was a lot cheaper that physical ther...
by mhc
Wed Apr 29, 2015 2:54 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Charitable Contribution Strategy
Replies: 9
Views: 409

Re: Charitable Contribution Strategy

Blackstrat,

your strategy is a good one. I do the same thing, but use a DAF. The DAF has other benefits. I donate to a number of charities. With the DAF I only have to enter one item on my tax return. I can also better control my tax deductions.
by mhc
Wed Apr 29, 2015 8:48 am
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Fidelity HSA Investment
Replies: 1
Views: 228

Re: Fidelity HSA Investment

The Spartan Total Stock Market Investor Class has a $2500 minimum. Once you have $10k in the Investor Class, Fidelity will automatically convert it to the lower ER Advantage Class. I know this because I own this fund. I assume there are other Spartan Funds that have a $2500 minimum.
by mhc
Mon Apr 27, 2015 10:51 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Traveling light up to 2 weeks - ditch the laptop, use phone?
Replies: 53
Views: 3174

Re: Traveling light up to 2 weeks - ditch the laptop, use ph

I ditched the laptop for a tablet. The tablet is a little easier to use for me. Also, I don't carry a phone.
by mhc
Mon Apr 27, 2015 10:48 am
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Who's holding cash?
Replies: 86
Views: 6194

Re: Who's holding cash?

Holding cash is a guaranteed way to lose money. Inflation will slowly erode the value.
by mhc
Sun Apr 26, 2015 8:41 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: How far away from a freight railroad track should you live?
Replies: 51
Views: 3129

Re: How far away from a freight railroad track should you li

Do you like to sleep with the windows open? Since the federal law changed a few years ago, I can hear trains 3-4 miles away, especially in the winter when the air is cold and there are no leaves on the trees. I get woken up several times a week. The horns will blow for almost 10 minutes non-stop due...
by mhc
Sun Apr 26, 2015 1:47 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Hedging against employer stock options
Replies: 6
Views: 654

Re: Hedging against employer stock options

Welcome to the forum!

How long before you can exercise the options? I don't think I would like to go short indefinitely.
by mhc
Fri Apr 24, 2015 12:10 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Best touristy places to live in the world?
Replies: 36
Views: 4465

Re: Best touristy places to live in the world?

I think living in a National Park would be really nice. Many parks I have been to have private residences here and there. Also, often the rangers live onsite.
by mhc
Thu Apr 23, 2015 10:11 am
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Who follows Age in Bonds
Replies: 62
Views: 4486

Re: Who follows Age in Bonds

I don't follow age in bonds. I think it is better to set AA based on phases of life. For example, right now I am 80/20. Once I hit my next goal, I will glide to 70/30. When I retire, I will glide to 60/40. Later in retirement, I may glide to 50/50. Since the market does not care about my age, I do n...
by mhc
Wed Apr 22, 2015 8:23 am
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Why I Chose Target Retirement Funds
Replies: 54
Views: 6404

Re: Why I Chose Target Retirement Funds

I agree that the ER is not a compelling reason to choose or not choose a TR fund. This is more compelling to me: https://www.bogleheads.org/forum/viewtopic.php?f=10&t=164192&newpost=2465283 It is hard to stay the course when the fund keeps changing. It's a minor issue, but one I choose to av...
by mhc
Tue Apr 21, 2015 9:16 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: TX, MT, CO, and NM Comparative Tax Burden
Replies: 37
Views: 2023

Re: TX, MT, CO, and NM Comparative Tax Burden

The Fort Collins numbers look good. The state income tax rate is 4.63%, but your affective rate looks about right.
by mhc
Mon Apr 20, 2015 11:31 am
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: What moves does Fred need to make?
Replies: 7
Views: 710

Re: What moves does Fred need to make?

It looks like $90k of the $96k is covered by SS and pension. Fred can do just about anything with the $750k in the 401k to come up with the other $6k.
by mhc
Fri Apr 17, 2015 12:01 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Ornamental Grasses for Midwest
Replies: 10
Views: 953

Re: Ornamental Grasses for Midwest

You could ask the home owner who has the grass you like. If you make friends with him, he may share some of his grass with you.

I would also suggest going to a local nursery to see what they have and recommend.
by mhc
Wed Apr 15, 2015 8:25 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Poll: Effective average Adjusted Livesoft tax rate?
Replies: 67
Views: 4916

Re: Poll: Effective average Adjusted Livesoft tax rate?

ALI does not include the value of employer subsidized parking or health insurance. Those were decent numbers back when I was in the working class. Is it too late to change it??? Yes, discussed in the previous thread and I decided not to include such a "hidden" compensation. I know that my...
by mhc
Wed Apr 15, 2015 7:59 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Poll: Effective average Adjusted Livesoft tax rate?
Replies: 67
Views: 4916

Re: Poll: Effective average Adjusted Livesoft tax rate?

I am the winner so far with the only poll selection of over 15%. I calculated 15.1%. My agi tax rate is about 17%. Of course this assumes I did my calculations correctly.
by mhc
Tue Apr 14, 2015 8:34 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Does your family know about your net worth (ball park)?
Replies: 98
Views: 11306

Re: Does your family know about your net worth (ball park)?

Q1. I doubt it. My parents only know that I want to retire by 55.

Q2. No idea about my parents or brothers.

Q3. I doubt it would affect my family relations. Inlaws might be a different story. I would never talk about money with the inlaws.
by mhc
Mon Apr 13, 2015 9:20 am
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: 529 -- How much to invest?
Replies: 11
Views: 1425

Re: 529 -- How much to invest?

What are others doing? In a similar fashion, I estimated the cost of a state school for my kids. I live in a city with a state school, so it is easy to keep up with the cost of a 4 year degree. It's in the paper all the time. I set goals to have certain funding levels by certain ages. My oldest is ...
by mhc
Fri Apr 10, 2015 4:04 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Hard time pulling the switch
Replies: 8
Views: 1184

Re: Hard time pulling the switch

KWG,

welcome to the forum.

If you funds are in a tax advantaged account (e.g., IRA), then it is always a good time to switch. Do you have funds in a taxable account also?
by mhc
Fri Apr 10, 2015 3:59 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Would you use your neighbor's son for yard service?
Replies: 33
Views: 2177

Re: Would you use your neighbor's son for yard service?

Give him a shot. Just set your expectations appropriately. He is 15. Remember when you were 15? I'm glad adults were always willing to give me odd jobs in my youth.
by mhc
Thu Apr 09, 2015 3:18 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Am I part of the problem??
Replies: 73
Views: 8757

Re: Am I part of the problem??

Tim,

if you want to keep your job, I wouldn't post such things on the internet.
by mhc
Thu Apr 09, 2015 8:39 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Funny security question for Credit Report and SSA.gov
Replies: 14
Views: 1344

Re: Funny security question for Credit Report and SSA.gov

MossySF wrote:
sharpjm wrote:Ferrari 512 TR/M
Ferrari F40
Toyota Corolla
Ferrari 512
None of the Above/Does not apply"

Anyone guessing has a 50/50 chance to guess this right.


Wouldn't that be a 33% chance instead?


There are 5 choices, so probably 40%.
by mhc
Wed Apr 08, 2015 8:15 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: 2 commas and mortgage-free
Replies: 33
Views: 4519

Re: 2 commas and mortgage-free

Congrats! Time to celebrate.
by mhc
Mon Apr 06, 2015 11:07 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Freewheel for Optimum subscribers
Replies: 1
Views: 170

Re: Freewheel for Optimum subscribers

Won't work where there is no wi-fi. YMMV, but I am rarely have wifi available when I use my cell phone.
by mhc
Mon Apr 06, 2015 11:01 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Pay off mortgage before selling house?
Replies: 10
Views: 1252

Re: Pay off mortgage before selling house?

Not having a mortgage does simplify closing because there is one fewer party to the closing. This reduces paperwork. With that said, people normally sell a house while having a mortgage, so everyone knows how to handle it properly. It's not a big deal. Just more paperwork. When I bought my house, th...
by mhc
Thu Apr 02, 2015 8:17 am
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: 401k opaque option vs self-directed brokerage
Replies: 10
Views: 783

Re: 401k opaque option vs self-directed brokerage

I have Blackrock Collective Investment Trusts in my 401k. Since it is not a mutual fund, there is only a 1-2 page fact sheet, no prospectus. My fact sheets show that the Trusts track the index very closely and have very low ER. Do you have the fact sheets? How much do your Trusts lag their indices?
by mhc
Wed Apr 01, 2015 8:25 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Amazon.com Goes Retro (1999) for April Fool's
Replies: 18
Views: 2262

Re: Amazon.com Goes Retro (1999) for April Fool's

Google Maps lets you play Pacman on the map. Pretty cool.
by mhc
Wed Apr 01, 2015 3:29 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Vanguard Lifestrategy "Aggressive"
Replies: 13
Views: 1380

Re: Vanguard Lifestrategy "Aggressive"

What about the Vanguard Total World Stock Index Fund? It is 100% equities, and it has both US and International coverage.
by mhc
Wed Apr 01, 2015 3:04 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: hate Hate HATE shopping for home services
Replies: 10
Views: 896

Re: hate Hate HATE shopping for home services

It can be difficult, especially when you don't have time to do the research. I would recommend having a list of service providers on hand that have been pre-screened before you actually need them. In general, I know who I would call for any type of problem. I also have a handy man that I trust very ...
by mhc
Tue Mar 31, 2015 8:37 am
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: HSA size
Replies: 4
Views: 675

Re: HSA size

Welcome.

I don't see how an HSA can get too big. "People" say that medical expenses are a large part of retirement. If your $60k triples to $180k and you have less than that in medical expenses, then you are in great shape.
by mhc
Mon Mar 30, 2015 4:10 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Vanguard keeps mailing me dividend checks
Replies: 5
Views: 1314

Re: Vanguard keeps mailing me dividend checks

I had the problem a couple of years ago for one of my funds. After the second call it got fixed. I recommend that you keep calling. It should get fixed eventually.
by mhc
Mon Mar 30, 2015 2:01 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Riddle Me This [Vanguard's bond target so far from Bogle's]
Replies: 10
Views: 1849

Re: Riddle Me This

Age in bonds is just a rule of thumb that some use. You may not fit that rule of thumb. I don't as well as many on this forum.
by mhc
Sat Mar 28, 2015 3:48 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: How to report HSA contributions (form 8889) from W2?
Replies: 3
Views: 267

Re: How to report HSA contributions (form 8889) from W2?

If your contributions came out through a cafateria plan (pre-tax), then line 2 is $0. You already got the tax benefit.
by mhc
Fri Mar 27, 2015 10:21 am
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: please help me understand this stock award
Replies: 19
Views: 641

Re: please help me understand this stock award

Sounds like on the date of grant you will get $80,000 valued option. So say the stock closes at $20 on the date of the grant. Your award would be 4,000 shares at a $20 strike price. Since these shares vest over annual periods, the first 1,000 shares (25% of the shares granted) would vest a year aft...
by mhc
Wed Mar 25, 2015 3:28 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Can bonds & stocks BOTH be negative?
Replies: 14
Views: 1065

Re: Can bonds & stocks BOTH be negative?

Sometimes stocks/bonds are positively correlated and sometimes not. I think the key is that bonds tend not to move as much as stocks. This lowers the volatility of your portfolio. When they happen to be negatively correlated, then the volatility is reduced even more.
by mhc
Wed Mar 25, 2015 9:18 am
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Taxable Account Investing Question?
Replies: 2
Views: 261

Re: Taxable Account Investing Question?

Yes
Yes
Yes
Yes

It looks like your understanding is correct.

How's your emergency fund?
by mhc
Tue Mar 24, 2015 10:58 am
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Please help ..hit with AMT
Replies: 10
Views: 1227

Re: Please help ..hit with AMT

When I do my taxes (Turbotax), there are additional forms for AMT, and if I remember correctly, there is a line item on the back of the 1040 which shows the amount of AMT that you have to pay. If you pay is going to be lower this year, you could recharacterize your Roth conversion, and then convert ...
by mhc
Tue Mar 24, 2015 10:19 am
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Please help ..hit with AMT
Replies: 10
Views: 1227

Re: Please help ..hit with AMT

Are you saying that converting $35k form IRA to Roth doubled your tax liability? That doesn't sound right. How much AMT did you get hit with?

If you can undo the conversion and instead get the IRA into a 401k, you could still do the backdoor roth.
by mhc
Mon Mar 23, 2015 8:37 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Developed & Emgerging vs Total International?
Replies: 7
Views: 766

Re: Developed & Emgerging vs Total International?

talltodd,

makes sense as long as you don't have to pay too much in taxes.
by mhc
Mon Mar 23, 2015 5:12 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Company Savings plan-was Riffed, Now what
Replies: 14
Views: 1988

Re: Company Savings plan-was Riffed, Now what

Welcome to the forum!

If you move the 401k to an IRA, you may complicate a backdoor Roth if you ever desire to do so.
by mhc
Mon Mar 23, 2015 3:50 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Better place to keep money than savings account?
Replies: 20
Views: 3304

Re: Better place to keep money than savings account?

Welcome to the forum!

If you plan on spending the money in the next 1-2 years and you don't want to lose any of it, then a savings account is about as good as it gets. You will lose a little to inflation every year.
by mhc
Sat Mar 21, 2015 10:15 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Splitting a Food Tab on a Combined Birthday Lunch
Replies: 54
Views: 3973

Re: Splitting a Food Tab on a Combined Birthday Lunch

Luke and John pay everything for Matthew and Mark's B-day lunch.
Matthew and Mark pay everything for Luke and John's B-day lunch.
Everyone pays $42/year.
by mhc
Fri Mar 20, 2015 9:04 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Total Stock Market composition
Replies: 6
Views: 732

Re: Total Stock Market composition

Here is a good tool: http://portfolio.morningstar.com/Rtport/Free/InstantXRayDEntry.aspx Look up the 9-box on Morningstar for Vanguard Total Stock Market Index. Then put your 3 funds into the instant x-ray tool. Play with the ratios until it is close enough to the Total Stock Market fund. I wouldn't...

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