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Re: Secured or Unsecured?

How about a HELOC instead? You might even be able to take the interest as a deduction.
by mhc
Tue Apr 22, 2014 1:09 pm
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Secured or Unsecured?
Replies: 9
Views: 691

Re: POLL: why carry cash?

VictoriaF wrote:
DVMResident wrote:Tip and gifts to friends in cash.


You tip your friends?

Victoria


How do you keep friends liking you? :D
by mhc
Sat Apr 19, 2014 1:16 pm
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: POLL: why carry cash?
Replies: 224
Views: 7348

Re: Beware Vanguard DOES NOT update all your account values

I have VSS in my HSA at Fidelity. I just summed up all my outside holdings from the Accounts & Holdings tab and it matched the number on the Overview tab. I have seen that the totals on the Overview tab did not match the Accounts & Holdings tab. I have learned that if the exact number matter...
by mhc
Sat Apr 19, 2014 10:49 am
 
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Beware Vanguard DOES NOT update all your account values
Replies: 56
Views: 4536

Re: Pot-smoking tourists to Colorado??

I live in Colorado, and I have not seen anyone using pot. I'm sure there are places that encourage it, but I don't know where those places are. Boulder? There are a lot of resort towns where this should not be an issue. When I go hiking, I don't see too many people. A lot of the vacation spots are v...
by mhc
Sat Apr 19, 2014 10:38 am
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Pot-smoking tourists to Colorado??
Replies: 9
Views: 909

Re: POLL: why carry cash?

Reasons to use cash: 0. paying at a state park drop box for day of hiking 1. kids allowance, they don't accept credit cards 2. food truck has $5 minimum for credit cards, 2 fish tacos = $4 3. in a hurry at a restaurant - throw down some money and go 4. girl scout cookies at the door 5. salvation arm...
by mhc
Sat Apr 19, 2014 10:31 am
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: POLL: why carry cash?
Replies: 224
Views: 7348

Re: When are Index Funds purchased?

Vanguard only updates prices at the end of trading days. All purchases are made at the end of the day.
by mhc
Fri Apr 18, 2014 7:24 pm
 
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: When are Index Funds purchased?
Replies: 4
Views: 537

Re: ESPP Shares - What to do?

If you sell immediately there are virtually no capital gains tax to pay. Isn't no tax better than long term capital gains tax? I sell immediately so that I can properly diversify my investments.
by mhc
Fri Apr 18, 2014 10:14 am
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: ESPP Shares - What to do?
Replies: 19
Views: 1087

Re: Happy Easter and Pesach Sameach to Everyone

Thank you. Happy Easter and chag Pesach sameach to all.
by mhc
Fri Apr 18, 2014 10:11 am
 
Forum: Local Chapters and Bogleheads Community
Topic: Happy Easter and Pesach Sameach to Everyone
Replies: 6
Views: 333

Re: Which are non-taxable accounts?

HSA is never taxed if used for qualified medical expenses.
by mhc
Thu Apr 17, 2014 10:44 am
 
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Which are non-taxable accounts?
Replies: 5
Views: 510

Re: VTSAX: Does it eliminate the need for dividend funds?

I do not see any need for them. Go to morningstar and chart them together. They are very close.

In general, I believe total return is more important than dividend yield.

Which is more important to you, total return or dividend yield and why?
by mhc
Mon Apr 14, 2014 10:50 am
 
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: VTSAX: Does it eliminate the need for dividend funds?
Replies: 7
Views: 935

Re: If not dollar cost averaging...then what?

Kidfresh, invest the money when it comes available. There is another context where people lump sum into Roths that I didn't see mentioned above. Let's assume that a person has $6000/mo to invest. Instead of periodic (bi-weekly, semi-monthly, monthly) investing into the Roth, some prefer to lump sum ...
by mhc
Sun Apr 13, 2014 1:16 pm
 
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: If not dollar cost averaging...then what?
Replies: 15
Views: 788

Re: Woodpeckers...I'm desperate!

John3754, I've been spending time on this forum for a little under a year. Your post was hands down the most depressing post I've read so far I know, and I'm sorry, I felt bad writing it but it's all true. We were desperate, the damage to the house and being woken up at the crack of dawn every day ...
by mhc
Sun Apr 13, 2014 12:03 am
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Woodpeckers...I'm desperate!
Replies: 52
Views: 3443

Re: Irrigation system question

Make friends with someone who knows a lot about house repairs/maintenance and ask him to explain to you the proper way to maintain your sprinkler system.

I have a couple of friends at work who are my go to people when I have questions like this or need help around the house.
by mhc
Sat Apr 12, 2014 7:27 pm
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Irrigation system question
Replies: 28
Views: 1188

Re: Irrigation system question

I have been having my sprinkler system blown out for 15 years. I am still on the same backflow valve. Never had a problem. I would ask people in your area if this is common. Maybe your weather is different than mine. I know we had -20F this past winter. I would probably find a new person to winteriz...
by mhc
Sat Apr 12, 2014 5:30 pm
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Irrigation system question
Replies: 28
Views: 1188

Re: Retirement Check

There are multiple tabs on firecalc. Make sure you go to each one and put in the appropriate info.

I got 100% for your data. If you can't get it to work, I'll give more detailed instructions, but I don't have time right now.
by mhc
Sat Apr 12, 2014 11:44 am
 
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Retirement Check
Replies: 12
Views: 1203

Re: Retirement sanity check

Welcome to the forum!

Looks good to me. I put your info into firecalc.com, and it looks good.

If you list your portfolio, there might be some suggestions for improvement there; otherwise, it looks like you are in good shape for retirement.
by mhc
Sat Apr 12, 2014 11:06 am
 
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Retirement Check
Replies: 12
Views: 1203

Re: Do I have too littled invested to diversify?

But first things first, get that 2013 contribution in there. She only has four days left. this is a great point. once she fully funds her Roth for 2013 (for argument sake, we can say she fully invests in US Total Stock Market Index Fund), can she alter her allocation next week without paying any fe...
by mhc
Sat Apr 12, 2014 10:53 am
 
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Do I have too littled invested to diversify?
Replies: 15
Views: 878

Re: Online Retirement Calculators

firecalc and fidelity are the two best I have used. financial engines is entertaining, but I would not follow the portfolio advice because it will be constantly changing.
by mhc
Sat Apr 12, 2014 10:46 am
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Online Retirement Calculators
Replies: 17
Views: 1709

Re: HSA cost benefit analysis

Your analysis looks good. I would go with the HSA. If you wanted to get fancy, you could put equations into excel and plot the two plans with medical costs on horizontal axis and out of pocket for the vertical axis. This will show which plan is better for different amounts of medical costs. Did you ...
by mhc
Sat Apr 12, 2014 10:39 am
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: HSA cost benefit analysis
Replies: 23
Views: 1664

Re: Do I have too littled invested to diversify?

OP, are you and your wife going to have one combined portfolio or two separate portfolios? If it is one portfolio, you need to consider your accounts also. If the portfolios are separate, then starting with only Total Stock Market is fine. When she gets her 401k going, then look for a good bond fund.
by mhc
Fri Apr 11, 2014 4:50 pm
 
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Do I have too littled invested to diversify?
Replies: 15
Views: 878

Re: How often do you rebalance to maintain your AA

I use contributions to keep my portfolio in balance. I get chunks of money throughout the year. I update my spreadsheet with current balances and see where the new money needs to go.
by mhc
Tue Apr 08, 2014 9:48 am
 
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: How often do you rebalance to maintain your AA
Replies: 35
Views: 1680

Re: HELOC

If you are quitting your job to go to school, you may have to repay the 401k loan fully on termination of your job. Make sure you understand all the terms of the 401k loan.

I would lean towards the HELOC.
by mhc
Tue Apr 08, 2014 9:41 am
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: HELOC
Replies: 11
Views: 829

Re: HELOC

Welcome to the forum! What is the interest rate on the HELOC? How long would it take you to pay back the HELOC? I have not looked at HELOC's for a long time, but I had one that was 0% interest for a year. I paid it off by the end of the year. This was probably 10 years ago. If you can do something l...
by mhc
Mon Apr 07, 2014 11:43 pm
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: HELOC
Replies: 11
Views: 829

Re: Home improvement plans not filed with town?

My concern would be if there was no permit, then there was no city inspection. If there was no inspection, who knows what the owner did. Did he follow code? A lot of people are hacks in doing their own work. That is fine as long as the owner lives there. New owner beware!
by mhc
Mon Apr 07, 2014 10:29 am
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Home improvement plans not filed with town?
Replies: 21
Views: 960

Re: Firecalc says I will be 100% successful but ...

What parameters do I change(s) do I make on the Spending Model page to make it tougher to pass? The only one is inflation. The nice thing about firecalc is that you can play with the different fields and see how they affect your success. For example, if you are 100% with 3% inflation and only 50% s...
by mhc
Sun Apr 06, 2014 11:47 pm
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Firecalc says I will be 100% successful but ...
Replies: 13
Views: 2305

Re: electronic signatures: are they safe and easy?

Is electronic signature a good way to make an offer to buy a house that is 300 miles away? I would have no issue doing it. I used electronic signatures for selling a condo in town. With anything on the internet (surfing, email, purchases, ...), there is all kinds of electronic things going on. It r...
by mhc
Sun Apr 06, 2014 11:39 pm
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: electronic signatures: are they safe and easy?
Replies: 7
Views: 401

Re: Umbrella Policy, do you have hands on experience

If you do not know what is covered, you should read your policy. If you have questions, you could also speak to your agent.
by mhc
Sat Apr 05, 2014 10:43 am
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Umbrella Policy, do you have hands on experience
Replies: 15
Views: 1629

Re: Fidelity Bond Fund Question

Welcome to the forum.

FSTVX is not a bond fund. FSITX is the Fidelity Spartan total US bond fund. Take a look at that.
by mhc
Sat Apr 05, 2014 10:37 am
 
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Fidelity Bond Fund Question
Replies: 8
Views: 713

Re: passive versus active

Richk2,

you could try to answer your question by comparing the standard deviations of some active/passive fund pairs. Or you could plot them together and eyeball their standard deviations.
by mhc
Fri Apr 04, 2014 5:51 pm
 
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: passive versus active
Replies: 25
Views: 1224

Re: Buying for someone who "has everything"

One thing that works is to buy something consumable, so even if you already have it, you will use it up. It could be things like a bottle of wine, a gift package of nuts or cheese, etc. Jeff I agree with the quote. I am very difficult to by for, so my family has learned to buy me Walker shortbread ...
by mhc
Fri Apr 04, 2014 3:34 pm
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Buying for someone who "has everything"
Replies: 43
Views: 2306

Re: passive versus active

Richk2, the active is worse than the passive (in general) because of the drags on the returns (expenses, turnover, ...). The returns are not better on the passive funds because the passive funds have more risk and therefore higher expected returns. In general, I would say active funds have more risk...
by mhc
Fri Apr 04, 2014 1:13 pm
 
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: passive versus active
Replies: 25
Views: 1224

Re: Term Life Insurance - Young Couple in 20's

You could factor in SS survivor benefits. I'm 20 years older than you, but the survivor benefits for my family are significant. If you are saving a lot, I think as you get older, the amount of needed insurance decreases due to portfolio size increase. Also, I believe the SS survivor benefits increas...
by mhc
Fri Apr 04, 2014 1:05 pm
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Delete
Replies: 11
Views: 705

Re: POLL: Do you use your HSA funds to pay for medical expen

aw82 wrote:Regarding FICA, can I only avoid FICA if the contributions are payroll deductions? Stated differently, if I make a contribution from my savings account to my HSA, is there any way to recover FICA taxes?


Must be payroll deductions to avoid FICA taxes on the money.
by mhc
Thu Apr 03, 2014 4:11 pm
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: POLL: Do you use your HSA funds to pay for medical expenses?
Replies: 78
Views: 4193

Re: Help investing for education expenses (not college)

Before spending the money on your children, do you think your retirement portfolio is on track for you to retire when you want to with the lifestyle you want?
by mhc
Thu Apr 03, 2014 11:51 am
 
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Help investing for education expenses (not college)
Replies: 4
Views: 192

Re: New bond funds in HSA - should I switch?

Agree with above poster. I would not put bonds in an HSA that is meant as a retirement account. I have small-cap international in mine. The beauty of an HSA is no taxes. I want the highest growth fund to be in my HSA, not the lowest growth.
by mhc
Thu Apr 03, 2014 11:03 am
 
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: New bond funds in HSA - should I switch?
Replies: 16
Views: 644

Re: Preventing Office Theft of Food and Other Stuff

For a while, a co-worker put a lock box in the refrigerator to protect his cream.

Unfortunately, in a large office setting whatever is not locked up or locked down will eventually be stolen.
by mhc
Thu Apr 03, 2014 9:51 am
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Preventing Office Theft of Food and Other Stuff
Replies: 77
Views: 5196

Re: Moving money for roth: all in or over time?

Welcome to the forum.

It really depends. It is hard to say without knowing your complete story. Take a look at:

http://www.bogleheads.org/wiki/Getting_started

Take a look at the Asking Questions section.
by mhc
Wed Apr 02, 2014 11:48 pm
 
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Moving money for roth: all in or over time?
Replies: 5
Views: 664

Re: Assistance with purchasing Fidelity funds

Welcome to the forum. I'll try to get the ball rolling for you. 1. Total Stock Market (TSM) and Total International Stock Market (TISM) funds are good choices for taxable account. If this is at Fidelity, use the Spartan funds. Just make sure you keep your AA in balance. 2. Investing $15k sounds good...
by mhc
Wed Apr 02, 2014 9:32 am
 
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Assistance with purchasing Fidelity funds
Replies: 9
Views: 865

Re: Ex-Employer Vacation Mistake - Taxes and Repayment

See IRS pub 525 P 33 for instructions on how to recover taxes you paid on money you are returning to your employer. You need to get a formal letter from the company showing that you were overpaid so that will have evidence that your repayment was made because you had no right to the funds you are r...
by mhc
Tue Apr 01, 2014 5:39 pm
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Ex-Employer Vacation Mistake - Taxes and Repayment
Replies: 4
Views: 541

Re: Retirement pulse check

Helen2 wrote:What is YMMV?


http://lmgtfy.com/?q=ymmv
by mhc
Tue Apr 01, 2014 5:24 pm
 
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Retirement pulse check
Replies: 15
Views: 1414

Re: DIY Landscaping to Save $

I don't see it mentioned here, but I have a piece of advice that I picked up last year. Avoid wood mulch, as it loses it's color and is supposed to be cleaned up and replaced with new mulch yearly. The alternative is rubber mulch, available in a variety of colors. Lasts much longer, doesn't need re...
by mhc
Tue Apr 01, 2014 5:22 pm
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: DIY Landscaping to Save $
Replies: 10
Views: 1012

Re: Ex-Employer Vacation Mistake - Taxes and Repayment

You need to pay them back. If they underpaid you, would you want them to correct it? It is reasonable to ask for written instructions on how to return the money.

You can file an amended tax return to get your taxes back. I don't know if you need an amended W-2 or not, but that seems reasonable.
by mhc
Tue Apr 01, 2014 4:24 pm
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Ex-Employer Vacation Mistake - Taxes and Repayment
Replies: 4
Views: 541

Re: VSS March Dividend

It looks like the same thing happened in 2013. No distribution in March 2013.
by mhc
Tue Apr 01, 2014 12:30 pm
 
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: VSS March Dividend
Replies: 4
Views: 465

Re: DIY Landscaping to Save $

Here are some ideas. 1. drive/walk around town and see what you like. Pay attention to details. Take pictures. If you don't know what the plants are, take the pictures to the nursery. They will know. 2. County and/or local University Extension services. My neighbor received a plan from a University ...
by mhc
Tue Apr 01, 2014 11:33 am
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: DIY Landscaping to Save $
Replies: 10
Views: 1012

Re: Retirement pulse check

There are many couples in retirement living reasonably off of that much, especially if you hit retirement with no debt. If you want to retire early, SS will not pay the bills in early retirement. Since you are trying to predict events many decades away, it is very hard. I would recommend saving what...
by mhc
Mon Mar 31, 2014 5:26 pm
 
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Retirement pulse check
Replies: 15
Views: 1414

Re: Itemized deductions and mortgage - pay off make sense?

I would look into if you can pay your property taxes two years at a time like you mentioned. If so, you could lump your property taxes and charitable giving into every other year so you can itemize and then take the standard deduction for the in between years. If you can pull that off, you may want ...
by mhc
Mon Mar 31, 2014 3:04 pm
 
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Itemized deductions and mortgage - pay off make sense?
Replies: 11
Views: 651

Re: credit report

placeholder wrote:Discover cards are currently giving one FICO score free each billing cycle (note that you have many FICO scores based on the reports from three different companies).


Some banks will also do this.
by mhc
Mon Mar 31, 2014 2:57 pm
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: credit report
Replies: 12
Views: 486

Re: credit report

The two above explained how to get the credit report. This is what I did to get a free credit score. I kept asking my credit card company to increase my credit limit until they denied me. When they denied me, the letter stating the denial had my credit score. I don't know if this will work for all ...
by mhc
Mon Mar 31, 2014 2:56 pm
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: credit report
Replies: 12
Views: 486

Re: credit report

The two above explained how to get the credit report. This is what I did to get a free credit score. I kept asking my credit card company to increase my credit limit until they denied me. When they denied me, the letter stating the denial had my credit score. I don't know if this will work for all c...
by mhc
Mon Mar 31, 2014 9:34 am
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: credit report
Replies: 12
Views: 486

Re: TurboTax Audit Defense?

I wouldn't pay for it. I never paid for it when I had a rental. I have never been audited.
by mhc
Sun Mar 30, 2014 4:44 pm
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: TurboTax Audit Defense?
Replies: 4
Views: 462
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