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by mhc
Thu May 28, 2015 9:03 am
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: What am I doing wrong ?
Replies: 38
Views: 3634

Re: What am I doing wrong ?

History may not repeat. I switched from an historical simulation to monte carlo. The success rate drops to almost 86%. Still looks like you are in good shape, especially if you are flexible in your spending. Also, does your $55k a year include any large expenditures like a new car or new roof every ...
by mhc
Wed May 27, 2015 7:42 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: company stock options
Replies: 2
Views: 205

Re: company stock options

Welcome to the forum! When you say stock options, do you mean Restricted Stock Units (RSUs), non-qualified stock options (NQSOs), or Incentive Stock Options (ISOs)? The type determines the strategy to use. It kind of sounds like RSUs. For RSUs I have the company withhold shares to cover the taxes. I...
by mhc
Wed May 27, 2015 11:50 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Best Kid Toys
Replies: 32
Views: 1886

Re: Best Kid Toys

My kids loved Thomas the tank engine. We had a train table so they could build the wooden tracks. Later, the tracks got so big they moved to the floor.
by mhc
Wed May 27, 2015 8:18 am
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Would you compliment 500 Index with Extended Market or Tax Advantaged Small Cap?
Replies: 11
Views: 1041

Re: Would you compliment 500 Index with Extended Market or Tax Advantaged Small Cap?

I would add the non-tax managed Small Cap Index. I use a large cap and small cap in my 401k for the US market.

I think it is somewhat splitting hairs at this point.
by mhc
Tue May 26, 2015 10:31 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Once in a life time trip.
Replies: 120
Views: 6124

Re: Once in a life time trip.

Depends on what the kids like. More than likely, Disney World would be the best for most kids. If they like dolphins, go somewhere tropical that they can swim with dolphins. If they like football, take them to the Superbowl next year. My 7 year old daughter is fascinated with the terra-cotta soldier...
by mhc
Thu May 21, 2015 12:09 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Put money down on new car, dealer wants color change
Replies: 52
Views: 3919

Re: Put money down on new car, dealer wants color change

I would never put earnest money down. If they want to sell me a car, that will get what I want with no earnest money. You should either get your money back in full or ask for a discount that you feel is appropriate for not getting your color. Only you can decide what is an appropriate discount for n...
by mhc
Tue May 19, 2015 3:22 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Living on last months income.
Replies: 33
Views: 3308

Re: Living on last months income.

I don't track my monthly income, so I am sure I don't live on last months income. I only track how much is spent each month. I know that what we spend is much less than our income.
by mhc
Tue May 19, 2015 8:27 am
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: How to treat stock option
Replies: 2
Views: 287

Re: How to treat stock option

I would not include the money in any planning. In 20 years too many things can happen.

Also, your title is misleading since this has nothing to do with stock options.
by mhc
Mon May 18, 2015 4:12 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Charitable Contribution - Appreciated Shares
Replies: 15
Views: 550

Re: Charitable Contribution - Appreciated Shares

cheese_breath wrote:Or you could consider pulling that old IBM 286 out of the basement or firing up Lotus Notes. :P

I still have a couple Symphony tax spreadsheets I converted to Excel eons ago.


Do you mean Lotus 1-2-3?
by mhc
Mon May 18, 2015 2:41 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Charitable Contribution - Appreciated Shares
Replies: 15
Views: 550

Re: Charitable Contribution - Appreciated Shares

Since you are investigating, are you familiar with Donor Advised Funds? They can make donating shares easier. There should be a wiki page on them.
by mhc
Mon May 18, 2015 12:35 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Charitable Contribution - Appreciated Shares
Replies: 15
Views: 550

Re: Charitable Contribution - Appreciated Shares

Since you reinvest dividends and gains, be careful not to donate shares held less than a year. You will lose some of the tax benefits.

I use specific ID to donate shares with the most appreciation.
by mhc
Sat May 16, 2015 8:50 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: On a Scale of 1 - 10.. [Portfolio evaluation]
Replies: 34
Views: 2308

Re: On a Scale of 1 - 10.. [Portfolio evaluation]

8

It is a really good portfolio. I lowered the score mainly for having a 12 month emergency fund. I think it is way too much unless you have special circumstances that demand it.

I also think you have too many funds, but that is because I prefer fewer funds.

Good job.
by mhc
Sat May 16, 2015 9:49 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: How much does social security factor into your retirement income?
Replies: 169
Views: 11228

Re: How much does social security factor into your retirement income?

I sometimes wonder if those who plan to retire in their late 40s to mid 50s understand the effect they will have on their SS benefit and the long term effect that can have on their retirement. It is very easy to look at your SS statement and think "Wow, I have a great benefit I don't need to c...
by mhc
Thu May 14, 2015 11:26 am
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Cheaper version of Total International Stock Index Admiral Shares (VTIAX)
Replies: 10
Views: 959

Re: Cheaper version of Total International Stock Index Admiral Shares (VTIAX)

Investor shares will automatically be converted to admiral shares once you hit $10k. Is that true? In other funds, I need to ask for an exchange to take place. It is true. I have first hand experience. It may take a little while, but it will happen. If you calculate the actual saving by not waiting...
by mhc
Thu May 14, 2015 9:36 am
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Cheaper version of Total International Stock Index Admiral Shares (VTIAX)
Replies: 10
Views: 959

Re: Cheaper version of Total International Stock Index Admiral Shares (VTIAX)

If you go to the Vanguard website and look up the admiral share version of TISM, you will see a link for the investor shares: https://personal.vanguard.com/us/funds/snapshot?FundId=0569&FundIntExt=INT All the information you need is there. Investor shares will automatically be converted to admir...
by mhc
Tue May 12, 2015 11:03 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Backdoor Roth: Schooling my CPA and getting charged for it!
Replies: 134
Views: 9726

Re: Backdoor Roth: Schooling my CPA and getting charged for it!

Your CPA probably did spend time researching the subject. He should be compensated a fair amount. I don't know if $400 is fair or not. I would try to negotiate it to an amount that you think is fair. I respectfully disagree with this. The topic of a backdoor IRA is a fairly well known, and a fairly...
by mhc
Tue May 12, 2015 3:14 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Backdoor Roth: Schooling my CPA and getting charged for it!
Replies: 134
Views: 9726

Re: Backdoor Roth: Schooling my CPA and getting charged for it!

Your CPA probably did spend time researching the subject. He should be compensated a fair amount. I don't know if $400 is fair or not. I would try to negotiate it to an amount that you think is fair.
by mhc
Tue May 12, 2015 12:03 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Define "Take Home Pay"
Replies: 15
Views: 1414

Re: Define "Take Home Pay"

I don't find much utility in take home pay, but a general definition could be your paycheck or direct deposit amount. It gets complicated by do you include additional income: ESPP, stock options, RSUs, bonuses. These should be included in take home pay, since they are income. I regard "take ho...
by mhc
Tue May 12, 2015 10:49 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Define "Take Home Pay"
Replies: 15
Views: 1414

Re: Define "Take Home Pay"

I don't find much utility in take home pay, but a general definition could be your paycheck or direct deposit amount. It gets complicated by do you include additional income: ESPP, stock options, RSUs, bonuses. These should be included in take home pay, since they are income. Also, take home pay can...
by mhc
Tue May 12, 2015 9:02 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Is this a dumb thing to do? [Pied-a-terre to share with daughter]
Replies: 41
Views: 4892

Re: Is this a dumb thing to do?

What does your daughter think? If she doesn't want a roommate, does she want her father hanging around on the weekends? If she is fine with the arrangement, then go for it. It sounds like you have a good relationship with your daughter, and you can afford it.
by mhc
Mon May 11, 2015 8:45 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Which Company Do You Have Auto Insurance With?
Replies: 105
Views: 5357

Re: Which Company Do You Have Auto Insurance With?

rehr22 wrote:State Farm

    1) Home
    2) Auto
    3) Personal Articles
    4) Umbrella


Same. Thanks for saving me the typing. :D
by mhc
Fri May 08, 2015 8:47 am
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: How/Where to know if particular day RBD on that day?
Replies: 13
Views: 1082

Re: How/Where to know if particular day RBD on that day?

I generally ignore the whole RBD thing. I buy when I have the money.

On my my.yahoo page, I have a yahoo portfolio box that lists the major indices. I have also included my company stock and etf versions of TSM, TISM, and TBM. The etfs can be used as a proxy for the MFs.
by mhc
Wed May 06, 2015 8:37 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: What are the Pro's and Con's of Retiring in Amarillo, TX
Replies: 89
Views: 5445

Re: What are the Pro's and Con's of Retiring in Amarillo, TX

Amarillo is Spanish for yellow. Have you ever wondered why it is called Amarillo? I have a guess. I've been there several times when the water was undrinkable due to the sulfur. Maybe they have fixed it now. As others have said, the weather is really bad there. The hill country near Austin would be ...
by mhc
Tue May 05, 2015 8:10 am
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Is this ESPP any good?
Replies: 4
Views: 579

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: 1395

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: 63
Views: 3112

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: 1742

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: 42
Views: 3128

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: 569

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: 1628

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: 2504

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: 448

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: 246

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: 54
Views: 3604

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: 6512

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: 3371

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: 677

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: 4603

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: 4789

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: 6756

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: 2324

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: 723

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: 1001

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: 5314

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: 5314

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: 11574

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: 1480

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: 1209

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?

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