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Re: What to do with old Macbook Pro?

Apple has a program that will give you a gift card for your computer if you don't want to try to sell it: http://www.apple.com/recycling/gift-card/ I have a MacBook Air which I really like. It is light and very fast with the flash storage: http://www.apple.com/macbook-air/features.html#storage That...
by mud
Sat Jul 05, 2014 8:49 am
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: What to do with old Macbook Pro?
Replies: 24
Views: 1775

Re: What to do with old Macbook Pro?

+1 I've always had great success using http://www.gazelle.com It's quick, easy, and no hassle, which, to me, is a huge plus. Bob If you decide to go this sort of route, feel free to send me a PM. I run a similar business to Gazelle, and focus on paying people more than Gazelle does for their device...
by mud
Sat Jul 05, 2014 8:31 am
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: What to do with old Macbook Pro?
Replies: 24
Views: 1775

Saving for kid's college--feeling analysis paralysis!

Have a 6 month old, and have been waffling on what exactly to do with grandparent contributions for our child's education. In our state (VA), it would appear there are some tax benefits to 529 plans, but the state-sponsored plans seem to be of the high-fee variety, so not sure whether the tax benefi...
by mud
Mon May 05, 2014 9:11 pm
 
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Saving for kid's college--feeling analysis paralysis!
Replies: 4
Views: 641

Re: Purchasing IPad and need advice

16gb is plenty for all but the biggest digital pack-rat. You can easily fit a reasonable amount (maybe 30-50) of apps, a modest collection of photos and videos taken with the built-in cameras, many hours of music, and even a handful of movies (can rip DVDs to files that are under 1GB each and still ...
by mud
Sun May 04, 2014 11:40 pm
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Purchasing IPad and need advice
Replies: 25
Views: 1881

Re: Ending a year w/lower income, should I make any big move

We're still in very good shape all around…emergency fund is well funded (at Ally Bank), so I'm not really worried too much about cash flow at this point. Probably could go at least 6 months with absolutely no income from me and not need to sell any stocks/shares and just live off the Ally account. M...
by mud
Fri Dec 06, 2013 10:08 am
 
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Ending a year w/lower income, should I make any big moves?
Replies: 4
Views: 543

Ending a year w/lower income, should I make any big moves?

Wife was employed for the year, but will be staying home with our newborn, and I've been self-employed this year earning a pittance. With those combined, we're squarely in the middle part of the 15% federal tax bracket. We've got some individual stock holdings (probably 10% of total assets) at a bro...
by mud
Thu Dec 05, 2013 11:03 pm
 
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Ending a year w/lower income, should I make any big moves?
Replies: 4
Views: 543

Re: New baby, thinking about the college fund & other saving

thanks, all, for your thoughts, and for clearing up some of my misconceptions about 529 plans. I'll do some investigation into what my state offers (VA), and go from there. FWIW, we already have wills, living wills, and POAs, etc, drafted and in effect (have for about 5 years, now, actually). I supp...
by mud
Tue Nov 12, 2013 12:57 am
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: New baby, thinking about the college fund & other savings
Replies: 11
Views: 1110

New baby, thinking about the college fund & other savings

Just had our first child about a week ago. Starting to get into a rhythm at home…lots of changes, to be sure! One set of grandparents have already handed me a cash gift intended for 'the college fund' for our child. Obviously, we don't have a SSN for our child yet (waiting on paperwork from the stat...
by mud
Mon Nov 11, 2013 11:56 am
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: New baby, thinking about the college fund & other savings
Replies: 11
Views: 1110

Re: What does it cost to furnish a house

Quite honestly, it all depends on how much stuff you decide you need. I'm of the persuasion to buy nice, solid, long-lasting furniture, but I don't buy designer stuff…not worth the money to me. And I also don't buy everything all at once. But 2-3 pieces (nice sofa, kitchen table & chairs, etc) t...
by mud
Mon Nov 04, 2013 9:25 pm
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: What does it cost to furnish a house
Replies: 6
Views: 1545

Re: Considering job with FA firm...what salary ballpark?

thanks all, so far. I've checked various sites with salary figures/estimates, and that gives me at least a VERY general ballpark. My location is quite small....or at least small enough that it doesn't show up on most sites that keep track of salary data. I'm also well aware that I will probably take...
by mud
Fri Aug 16, 2013 9:45 pm
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Considering job with FA firm...what salary ballpark?
Replies: 4
Views: 1096

Considering job with FA firm...what salary ballpark?

Without saying too much, I'm considering a job with a small, independent FA firm (lets say about 12 employees), in a small market. Job would put me in charge of retirement plans for client companies and then some individual plans as well. Sounds like there would be very little "selling", b...
by mud
Thu Aug 15, 2013 7:38 pm
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Considering job with FA firm...what salary ballpark?
Replies: 4
Views: 1096

Re: Help with Health Insurance

$1200 a month is indeed ridiculous for a young couple. If you're relatively healthy, with no ongoing major medical issues, I'd echo what others have said and look for a high-deductible plan that's compatible with an HSA. In the long run, there's no reason that this type of plan isn't a good pick. I ...
by mud
Tue Jun 18, 2013 2:11 pm
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Help with Health Insurance
Replies: 47
Views: 2553

Eligiblity for Roth contribution?

I am not currently employed, but am doing a bunch of different things to earn money. Some freelance consulting, a ton of selling on Amazon and Ebay, and other odds and ends. Let's just say for the sake of argument that I have grossed a total of $15,000 so far this year, but I've had $13,000 in expen...
by mud
Mon Apr 15, 2013 12:13 am
 
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Eligiblity for Roth contribution?
Replies: 1
Views: 239

Re: Window Blinds - Bali, Levolor, Hunter Douglas

I had great results with blinds.com just a few months ago. we did 6 windows...and we went with their house brand double-cell blinds (3 light filtering, and 3 blackout). They've been fantastic with customer support when needed, and while their prices weren't bottom of the barrel, I feel like we got w...
by mud
Sun Apr 14, 2013 11:54 pm
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Window Blinds - Bali, Levolor, Hunter Douglas
Replies: 18
Views: 12560

Re: Cell Phone Contract Expiring & Desire to Save $$

I've been on Tracfone for about a year now. How does $80 sound for a YEAR's worth of service, 1200 units/minutes, and a "smart" phone? http://www.ebay.com/itm/150999902331 Even if you don't like that particular phone and want a different one, you can buy the combo deal, sell or give away t...
by mud
Wed Apr 03, 2013 9:42 pm
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Cell Phone Contract Expiring & Desire to Save $$
Replies: 13
Views: 939

Re: When to drop term insurance

it's only $1000/yr, if you can easily afford it, I'd probably keep it. Or, offer it to your kids, if you're inclined to drop it otherwise.
by mud
Thu Mar 21, 2013 8:37 pm
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: When to drop term insurance
Replies: 21
Views: 1671

Re: Financial advice for a newbie high earner

I'll echo what others have stated here. Take your time lining things up and getting into investments. Getting in is much easier than getting out. Since you're already used to living on a low salary, the temptation will be to spend way more than is necessary. Sure, it may be necessary to buy a car so...
by mud
Tue Mar 19, 2013 8:43 am
 
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Financial advice for a newbie high earner
Replies: 78
Views: 7298

Re: tiny cheap server

Sounds like it would be perfect for a webserver...the only thing I'd worry about is running a critical website from a SD card. For a critical website I'd also worry about the power supply, case, connectors etc. Unless you package it correctly this will be pretty vulnerable to the household pet. agr...
by mud
Sat Mar 09, 2013 2:49 pm
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: tiny cheap server [Raspberry Pi]
Replies: 24
Views: 2822

Re: tiny cheap server

very cool. these are cool machines, and I'd love to get one sometime. Sounds like it would be perfect for a webserver...the only thing I'd worry about is running a critical website from a SD card. For the most part they're reliable, but I would take care to keep a current backup (as it sounds like y...
by mud
Sat Mar 09, 2013 2:13 pm
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: tiny cheap server [Raspberry Pi]
Replies: 24
Views: 2822

Re: Teacher looking for summer work

-Personal assistant/concierge service for professionals too busy to pick up dry cleaning and run other errands -Buy stuff at yard sales, estate sales and thrift stores, resell on ebay -House painting -Grow vegetables to sell at a farmers market, to restaurants, or to do a short-season CSA (community...
by mud
Wed Feb 20, 2013 9:58 am
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Teacher looking for summer work
Replies: 13
Views: 798

Re: Replacing a car radio

yup, crutchfield is hard to beat.
by mud
Sun Jan 27, 2013 8:53 am
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Replacing a car radio
Replies: 12
Views: 861

Re: Home voip options

normally, when you port numbers, you shouldn't need to interact in any way with the 'losing' company. The 'receiving' company handles everything. But if what 'paulsiu' mentions is correct, and you're interested in sticking with Vonage, then my advice doesn't apply. But, if you want to get away from ...
by mud
Sun Jan 20, 2013 6:57 pm
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Home voip options
Replies: 34
Views: 2496

Re: Home voip options

I've got to agree with the other folks about Ooma. Works great for us, and has for the past 3+ years. Call quality is good, even on the relatively slow DSL connection we've got (3mb/784kb). We got in on the deal where there was absolutely no ongoing cost once the equipment was purchased (no taxes, f...
by mud
Sat Jan 19, 2013 12:06 pm
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Home voip options
Replies: 34
Views: 2496

Re: SBLI vs Banner for Term Life Insurance?

thanks, all. I think we'll probably go with SBLI.
by mud
Fri Dec 07, 2012 11:45 pm
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: SBLI vs Banner for Term Life Insurance?
Replies: 14
Views: 1689

SBLI vs Banner for Term Life Insurance?

I know lots of folks hold Banner in high esteem, and I'm seeing some good reports for SBLI as well. I've gotten quotes from both for two policies (wife, myself) and SBLI is priced probably $50/year less on each plan vs. the same type of policy with Banner. Any reason I should spend the extra $$ for ...
by mud
Fri Dec 07, 2012 11:06 am
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: SBLI vs Banner for Term Life Insurance?
Replies: 14
Views: 1689

Year-end planning in year with lots of change?

Wife is fully employed, I left my job at the end of June and will not enter another job before the end of the year. We have already done max contributions to our Roth IRAs, Wife maxes contribution to 401k at work, I did the same with Simple IRA while I was employed. I have an HSA and HDHP, HSA contr...
by mud
Thu Nov 08, 2012 2:28 pm
 
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Year-end planning in year with lots of change?
Replies: 3
Views: 459

Re: HSA Accounts

I have an HSA account (savings account) at my local credit union (where I do the rest of my banking). No fees, minimums, etc. The APY is currently well below 1%, but I'd rather have money in a place with low/no fees and have easy access to the funds when needed (free debit card for the account).
by mud
Fri Jul 27, 2012 9:31 am
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: HSA Accounts
Replies: 24
Views: 2300

Re: How much do you spend on groceries?

My wife and I are currently at $595 YEAR TO DATE for our groceries, so about $150/month. Eating out (1-2 times a month at inexpensive restaurants) comes out of our entertainment budget. The $150/month only includes food eaten in the home. Other household purchases (toilet paper, light bulbs, etc) is...
by mud
Tue Apr 24, 2012 10:46 pm
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: How much do you spend on groceries?
Replies: 124
Views: 8883

Re: VUSTX vs. VIPSX

thanks, all, and especially nisiprius for thoughtful explanations. I personally hold VIPSX in my portfolio (along with Total Bond Market). Someone asked me about VUSTX, and I knew very little about it (other than what I'd read on the Vanguard page), so I thought I'd ask here. I think it's for placem...
by mud
Wed Feb 08, 2012 9:12 am
 
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: VUSTX vs. VIPSX
Replies: 13
Views: 1343

VUSTX vs. VIPSX

Just browsing some funds on Vanguard's site. I've read the summaries with each fund, but am wondering if other than the apparently higher risk associated with VUSTX when compared to VIPSX, why would I choose one over the other? What are the benefits of each when compared to each other?
by mud
Wed Feb 08, 2012 12:55 am
 
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: VUSTX vs. VIPSX
Replies: 13
Views: 1343

Re: How do you determine if you're being fairly compensated?

thanks, jazzykat, I'm leaving the "other job offer" idea off the table for now, as I'm not really looking, and I don't want to create any unnecessary tension in that way at this point.
by mud
Sun Nov 06, 2011 4:36 pm
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: How do you determine if you're being fairly compensated?
Replies: 32
Views: 2084

Re: How do you determine if you're being fairly compensated?

My experience has been that with a company this small (< 10 employees), unless you are working for an investor-funded company, not an owner(s)-operated one, you are likely to be underpaid. The employee cost is just too obvious to the owners. Any increase in salary is seen as coming directly from th...
by mud
Sun Nov 06, 2011 4:14 pm
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: How do you determine if you're being fairly compensated?
Replies: 32
Views: 2084

Re: How do you determine if you're being fairly compensated?

I own a small biz. Just under 20 employees. What do the owners do about health insurance? There is no way they are uninsured. It costs us a TON every year, but it is a major benefit we give - we don't require copays for it. I way out-do who my employees would otherwise work for with benefits, inclu...
by mud
Fri Nov 04, 2011 8:34 am
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: How do you determine if you're being fairly compensated?
Replies: 32
Views: 2084

Re: How do you determine if you're being fairly compensated?

This is my first full-time job out of college. I freelanced in the field starting out for a couple of years, then got on board with another company doing long-term contract projects. When I was offered my current job, I made sure that I was getting a raise from my freelance work, and at that point, ...
by mud
Thu Nov 03, 2011 9:58 pm
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: How do you determine if you're being fairly compensated?
Replies: 32
Views: 2084

Re: How do you determine if you're being fairly compensated?

thanks for your responses so far. Unfortunately for me and fortunately for my company, there are no similar companies in our market. So getting a competing offer would require looking outside the area, which is not something I would consider at this point (i.e. taking a job that required a move or s...
by mud
Thu Nov 03, 2011 9:28 pm
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: How do you determine if you're being fairly compensated?
Replies: 32
Views: 2084

How do you determine if you're being fairly compensated?

I have a stable job at a small (fewer than 10 employees) company. I have been there for more than 5 years, have performed my job duties well, and consistently go above and beyond what is asked of me to provide value to the company. I have been told this numerous times by my bosses. Each year I've wo...
by mud
Thu Nov 03, 2011 8:47 pm
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: How do you determine if you're being fairly compensated?
Replies: 32
Views: 2084

I was sold an itinerary that had me arriving at Heathrow and leaving from Gatwick just a couple of hours later. At the time of the purchase I saw "London" and didn't think anything of it. It was only after purchase that I noticed the issue and tried to have the ticket changed. But, at a co...
by mud
Tue Sep 20, 2011 10:57 pm
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Flying to Europe switching planes
Replies: 26
Views: 2143

Re: Expert feedback requested--young couple needs help!

MUD, With 51.3% of your portfolio in Taxable, I would use this money to pay bills and use the paychecks to max-out both 401K ($16.5K) and Simple IRA ($11.5K). I'm putting in 100% of my paychecks from here until the end of the year, but sadly, that won't get me to the max 11.5k for the year (it is j...
by mud
Mon Sep 19, 2011 8:51 pm
 
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Expert feedback requested--young couple needs help!
Replies: 11
Views: 1058

Is her 401k new too? You should max that out. It's not new, but she's only able to make changes to her withholding at certain times of the year. I've asked her to check for me when that period of time is. Quite honestly, when she started this job a couple of years ago, I didn't know enough about ta...
by mud
Mon Sep 19, 2011 8:41 pm
 
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Expert feedback requested--young couple needs help!
Replies: 11
Views: 1058

Bob's not my name wrote:Why are half your savings in taxable?


Because other than the Roths, I haven't had any other tax-free or tax-deferred space to put the $$. Now that my job is finally adding a Simple IRA, part of that issue will be addressed.
by mud
Mon Sep 19, 2011 8:36 pm
 
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Expert feedback requested--young couple needs help!
Replies: 11
Views: 1058

1. I'm looking for ideas of what to put in the simple IRA. I've adjusted the tax rates, they should be correct now. What's the process for converting my wife's IRA into a Roth? I'm open to start to move funds out of Scottrade into my Vanguard indexed portfolio. I assume that it would best be accompl...
by mud
Mon Sep 19, 2011 8:08 am
 
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Expert feedback requested--young couple needs help!
Replies: 11
Views: 1058

Expert feedback requested--young couple needs help!

I’m a "converted Boglehead", and while our investments don't represent the simple and efficient portfolio that I now aspire to, I’m trying to work toward a portfolio that makes sense given our goals and lifestyle. I welcome absolutely any input you have for me, and respect the collected kn...
by mud
Sun Sep 18, 2011 10:35 pm
 
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Expert feedback requested--young couple needs help!
Replies: 11
Views: 1058

UPDATE: The meeting with the ML advisor went exactly as planned--plenty of sales speak, talking about "low fees" (1-2%, etc), "any fund you want, we can get", etc. I asked a lot of questions, indicated to my boss/the owner after the meeting that I didn't like what I had heard re:...
by mud
Fri Sep 16, 2011 9:02 pm
 
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Merrill Lynch meeting re: Ret. Plan - What questions to ask?
Replies: 19
Views: 2822

excellent points and questions, everyone. If there are more, keep them coming, the meeting is on Wed.

thanks--I'm always impressed at the knowledge of the folks here, I've come a long way in my short time here.
by mud
Sat Jul 30, 2011 10:25 pm
 
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Merrill Lynch meeting re: Ret. Plan - What questions to ask?
Replies: 19
Views: 2822

The reason that the owner initially decided to go with ML is that they have some sort of arrangement with Bank of America where our payroll system/direct deposit can automatically handle the contributions to ML (both employee and then employer match). Not sure if that's a unique feature to the BoA/M...
by mud
Sat Jul 30, 2011 4:07 pm
 
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Merrill Lynch meeting re: Ret. Plan - What questions to ask?
Replies: 19
Views: 2822

Merrill Lynch meeting re: Ret. Plan - What questions to ask?

The small company I work for is starting a retirement plan with a company match (don't know all the details, but I think up to 3% of annual salary). Based on what I've been told and what I've read, I think the plan is probably a Simple IRA. My boss has scheduled the Merrill Lynch rep to come in and ...
by mud
Sat Jul 30, 2011 2:30 pm
 
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Merrill Lynch meeting re: Ret. Plan - What questions to ask?
Replies: 19
Views: 2822

Just to chime in--I've had an ooma for the past 1.5 years. Mine was $225 at amazon, and I got in on the old deal with no fees/taxes. When compared to a old-school landline, we've more than paid for the device even if Ooma goes out of business tomorrow. And compared to other VOIP services, we've come...
by mud
Thu Jul 14, 2011 11:00 pm
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: ooma VOIP free phone service
Replies: 52
Views: 9061

So if I do half of the rollover to the total bond fund, does it matter what I put the other 50% in? Even though I already have a bunch in the Total Stock Market Index in taxable funds, would it be bad to have more of the same fund in the Roth? Or is there some benefit to choosing another index, like...
by mud
Thu Jul 14, 2011 10:56 pm
 
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Rolling over Roth IRA - your review would be helpful...
Replies: 3
Views: 342

Rolling over Roth IRA - your review would be helpful...

I've had a Roth IRA at my credit union for the past 10 years, basically invested as a CD, so growing very slowly. About 4 years ago, I saw the light and started a Roth at Vanguard and have been contributing to that Roth only. My CU IRA CD comes due on July 24, and I'm planning to roll it over to Van...
by mud
Thu Jul 14, 2011 10:44 pm
 
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Rolling over Roth IRA - your review would be helpful...
Replies: 3
Views: 342

we went with a nice strand-woven bamboo floor, nailed down. Installed in 2008, no shrinkage or shifting noticed to date, 3 years later. We went with a product from build direct (can't post the link because I'm a new user). I'd say pick something that you like the looks of, and is not the absolute ch...
by mud
Wed Mar 30, 2011 11:43 pm
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Hardwood Flooring Recommendations / Experiences
Replies: 14
Views: 2286

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