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Re: Dashboard Cameras

I've been considering one, but haven't bit yet; have read good things about the GW1 you referenced...might finally be persuaded to take the plunge. As to the question of why...I think you answered that already w/ the video. Seems from that video that the cyclist was in the wrong, and the video shou...
by natureexplorer
Thu Nov 20, 2014 3:13 pm
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Anybody using dash cameras?
Replies: 30
Views: 5554

Dashboard Cameras

[Thread merged, see below. --admin LadyGeek] Does any driver with a dashboard camera? If yes, why? Is there specific device you would recommend and why? On Amazon the G1W seems to be recommended. Here is an example of a video with an accident involving a car and a bicyclist. Warning: the footage is...
by natureexplorer
Thu Nov 20, 2014 3:03 pm
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Anybody using dash cameras?
Replies: 30
Views: 5554

Re: Europe off-season (late Jan), 11 days, $3K budget

With a budget of $270 a day in late January, you can pretty much go anywhere in Europe. I'd recommend considering:

Alps (maybe stay a few nights in a ski resort like Zermatt but don't ski)
Berlin
Zurich
by natureexplorer
Thu Nov 20, 2014 2:44 pm
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Europe off-season (late Jan), 11 days, $3K budget
Replies: 19
Views: 1450

Re: Houston Chapter

Lol. How about another meeting?
by natureexplorer
Wed Oct 29, 2014 7:43 pm
 
Forum: Local Chapters and Bogleheads Community
Topic: Houston Chapter
Replies: 32
Views: 5366

Re: "Being Done" Saving: White Coat Investor blog post

One issue with declaring yourself “done” saving for retirement and now spending more money is that you and your family will get used to a more extravagant lifestyle, which to maintain, means you’ll need to save more money. $2 Million might be plenty of money given your current lifestyle, but if you...
by natureexplorer
Sat Jun 28, 2014 9:28 pm
 
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: "Being Done" Saving: White Coat Investor blog post
Replies: 47
Views: 8034

Re: Houston Chapter

takingcharge wrote:Any interest in having a Houston meeting?
I'd be game.
by natureexplorer
Mon Jun 09, 2014 5:51 pm
 
Forum: Local Chapters and Bogleheads Community
Topic: Houston Chapter
Replies: 32
Views: 5366

Re: I-Bond Rate for May 1, 2014?

There is a thread for that, the one with the title Speculation on I Bond fixed rate for May 1st. There was even a request for someone to use a calculator to figure out the new variable rate. http://www.bogleheads.org/forum/viewtopic.php?p=2034000#p2034000 Read the following post to the one linked a...
by natureexplorer
Sat Apr 19, 2014 4:29 pm
 
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: I-Bond Rate for May 1, 2014?
Replies: 4
Views: 1017

I-Bond Rate for May 1, 2014?

Has anyone calculated what the inflation component on new I-Bonds will be starting May, 2014?

Any estimates of whether the fixed rate will go up?
by natureexplorer
Sat Apr 19, 2014 3:59 pm
 
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: I-Bond Rate for May 1, 2014?
Replies: 4
Views: 1017

Re: Free Tax Return Review (Second Look)

I heard about the H&R Block Second Look - a free review of your current or tax returns. Has anyone used that service? I've been preparing my tax return using TurboTax, but I wouldn't mind a "second look", particularly due to various foreign assets and taxes and business income and exp...
by natureexplorer
Mon Apr 14, 2014 5:10 pm
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Free Tax Return Review (Second Look)
Replies: 2
Views: 366

Free Tax Return Review (Second Look)

I heard about the H&R Block Second Look - a free review of your current or tax returns. Has anyone used that service? I've been preparing my tax return using TurboTax, but I wouldn't mind a "second look", particularly due to various foreign assets and taxes and business income and expe...
by natureexplorer
Mon Apr 14, 2014 11:32 am
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Free Tax Return Review (Second Look)
Replies: 2
Views: 366

Re: Time and benefits vs. money.

anonforthis wrote:However, 15K pay cut is a lot to swallow.
Do you actually spend all your money currently?

FWIW, I've seen people take much bigger paycuts for less stressful jobs and they have no regrets - at least so they tell me.
by natureexplorer
Mon Mar 31, 2014 1:29 pm
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Time and benefits vs. money.
Replies: 21
Views: 1686

Engineering your credit score

You should read this post, it's an extraordinarily informative breakdown of how the FICO is calculated: http://www.reddit.com/r/personalfinance/comments/1zkr5s/fico_scoring_101_behind_the_numbers/ This is indeed quite specific. I quote below the section on credit utlization and highlighted some par...
by natureexplorer
Fri Mar 14, 2014 11:22 am
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Improving Credit Score by Timing Credit Card Payments
Replies: 17
Views: 1133

Did you retire in your 30s?

Did you retire in your 30s? If yes, what lessons did you learn?

What would you do differently?
What would you definitely do again?

What did you tell people when asked what you do?
by natureexplorer
Thu Mar 13, 2014 6:23 pm
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Did you retire in your 30s?
Replies: 55
Views: 5617

Re: Improving Credit Score by Timing Credit Card Payments

Also, under some FICO models (there are 49 of them by the way) it can be slightly (emphasis on the slightly part) detrimental to have many small balances reporting. So if you know you're applying for a loan next month, and you want to squeeze out a few extra FICO points, then let a small balance re...
by natureexplorer
Thu Mar 13, 2014 3:47 pm
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Improving Credit Score by Timing Credit Card Payments
Replies: 17
Views: 1133

Re: Improving Credit Score by Timing Credit Card Payments

theghetto wrote:Just know that its a myth to keep a balance on a credit card, its just a waste of money in interest payments.
Just to bear, of course one would still pay off the entire statement balance by the due date.
by natureexplorer
Thu Mar 13, 2014 2:34 pm
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Improving Credit Score by Timing Credit Card Payments
Replies: 17
Views: 1133

Re: Improving Credit Score by Timing Credit Card Payments

MnD wrote:Both our scores are a little over 800. ... Is there some big cash prize for having a higher score?
Definitely not when you are already at over 800, though I could be wrong about that.
by natureexplorer
Thu Mar 13, 2014 2:25 pm
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Improving Credit Score by Timing Credit Card Payments
Replies: 17
Views: 1133

Improving Credit Score by Timing Credit Card Payments

Will paying off "most" of the credit card balance before the statement closing date improve your credit score? The rationale would be that it reduces your credit utilization. The other rationale is that you want to a leave small balance on the card so that it correctly shows as active on y...
by natureexplorer
Thu Mar 13, 2014 1:35 pm
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Improving Credit Score by Timing Credit Card Payments
Replies: 17
Views: 1133

Re: Admiral shares at non-Vanguard brokerages: share info

Have you asked about the corresponding Signal shares?
by natureexplorer
Mon Mar 10, 2014 7:04 pm
 
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Admiral shares at non-Vanguard brokerages: share info
Replies: 28
Views: 6505

Re: Would you buy Total World index if it had Admiral Shares

Also, it currently holds significantly fewer stocks than the combo, so even if the cost were the same, I'd likely consider the Total World fund to be inferior. This is a good point. Does anyone know why the Total World fund holds less stocks than the Total Stock and Total International funds? Could...
by natureexplorer
Fri Feb 28, 2014 11:57 am
 
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Would you buy Total World index if it had Admiral Shares?
Replies: 40
Views: 3633

Re: Mango prepaid card - 4.8% (effective) APY

FWIW, I opened a Mango account and I received the debit card only 2 or 3 months later. By then, the $5 monthly fees had decreased my balance to negative $10. I called and asked if they could waive the fees in light of the circumstances. They declined this request. I closed the account and they said ...
by natureexplorer
Fri Jan 24, 2014 3:32 pm
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Mango prepaid card - 4.8% (effective) APY
Replies: 74
Views: 26697

Re: Starting a 30 Year TIPS Ladder at Age 25 (Roth IRA)

I've read many of the discussions weighing the merits of owning a bond fund versus laddering. Most of the time, the person wanting to build a ladder is near retirement, so the issue becomes buying bonds that mature in 1 year, 2 years, 3 years... n years as desired. My question is: what if I started...
by natureexplorer
Fri Jan 24, 2014 3:00 pm
 
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Starting a 30 Year TIPS Ladder at Age 25 (Roth IRA)
Replies: 51
Views: 3495

Re: To Keep Renting or Buy First Home?

I'm not necessarily looking for people to tell me to go one way or the other (but I'll certainly hear what you have to say); rather, I'm looking for advice on the situation I'm proposing because I'm certain there are a lot of things that I am missing due to inexperience. Summary: I have recently be...
by natureexplorer
Fri Jan 24, 2014 2:55 pm
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: To Keep Renting or Buy First Home?
Replies: 12
Views: 1312

Re: Paying Taxes with Rewards Credit Card When You Don't Owe

Overall, there are more effective ways of "manufacturing spending" - the frequent flyer message boards are all on this, to gain frequent flyer miles which are often worth more than a measly two cents a dollar - than paying taxes, but paying taxes is one of those "low hanging fruit&qu...
by natureexplorer
Sat Jan 04, 2014 4:00 pm
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Paying Taxes with Rewards Credit Card When You Don't Owe
Replies: 7
Views: 950

Re: Paying Taxes with Rewards Credit Card When You Don't Owe

Furthermore, check the fine print of those cashback rewards. Many times things such as tax payments or buying travelers checks are excluded from the rewards. Good point! That's very much true, one has to do the research and even then there is probably some remaining risk. It seems like this guy has...
by natureexplorer
Sat Jan 04, 2014 3:58 pm
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Paying Taxes with Rewards Credit Card When You Don't Owe
Replies: 7
Views: 950

Re: Paying Taxes with Rewards Credit Card When You Don't Owe

brogrammer wrote:...it is tremendously difficult to deal with them if things go sideways, even when you have done nothing wrong.
Good point about the possiblility that things may not go as planned. Sorry about your troubles, though in your case the troubles was really independent of how you paid the taxes.
by natureexplorer
Sat Jan 04, 2014 3:47 pm
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Paying Taxes with Rewards Credit Card When You Don't Owe
Replies: 7
Views: 950

Paying Taxes with Rewards Credit Card When You Don't Owe

One can easily pay taxes with a credit card for less than 2% in fees: http://www.irs.gov/uac/Pay-Taxes-by-Credit-or-Debit-Card There can be circumstances the reward from a credit card can outweigh the 2 cents per spending. So when you owe taxes, it can make a lot of sense to pay with a credit card. ...
by natureexplorer
Fri Jan 03, 2014 10:44 pm
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Paying Taxes with Rewards Credit Card When You Don't Owe
Replies: 7
Views: 950

Re: 2014 After-Tax (non-Roth) 401k Contribution Limit

52K http://www.irs.gov/pub/irs-tege/cola_table.pdf Thanks ! I assumed the number I have to look for in that table is the one in the "415(c)(1)(A) DC Limits" row, isn't it? By the way, what doe the following rows refer to? 415(b)(1)(A) DB Limits 401(a)(17)/ 404(l) Annual Compensation 408(k...
by natureexplorer
Thu Dec 26, 2013 8:51 pm
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: 2014 After-Tax (non-Roth) 401k Contribution Limit
Replies: 5
Views: 618

2014 After-Tax (non-Roth) 401k Contribution Limit

What are the 2014 limits for all 401k contributions including after-tax (non-Roth) contributions?
by natureexplorer
Thu Dec 26, 2013 8:41 pm
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: 2014 After-Tax (non-Roth) 401k Contribution Limit
Replies: 5
Views: 618

Re: Fool's Gold

The example in this thread is gold, and that would be a case where it is not imaginable that the asset would continue to erode to a thousandth, to a millionth, to a billionth of value while we chase it down. It doesn't have to be imaginable to happen. "some ... catastrophic event that one woul...
by natureexplorer
Fri Dec 20, 2013 3:21 pm
 
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Fool's Gold
Replies: 69
Views: 4228

Re: Fool's Gold

What will happen to you portfolio if that asset you have allocated 5% to, drops gradually 99% in value, and you you continue to rebalance into it? Anyone with math skills? I did a kind of quick exercise in a spreadsheet. The method I used was to assume the loss of 5% of the current value in each su...
by natureexplorer
Fri Dec 20, 2013 2:59 pm
 
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Fool's Gold
Replies: 69
Views: 4228

Re: Fool's Gold

What will happen to you portfolio if that asset you have allocated 5% to, drops gradually 99% in value, and you you continue to rebalance into it? Anyone with math skills? I did a kind of quick exercise in a spreadsheet. The method I used was to assume the loss of 5% of the current value in each su...
by natureexplorer
Fri Dec 20, 2013 2:23 pm
 
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Fool's Gold
Replies: 69
Views: 4228

Re: Fool's Gold

What will happen to you portfolio if that asset you have allocated 5% to, drops gradually 99% in value, and you you continue to rebalance into it?

Anyone with math skills?
by natureexplorer
Fri Dec 20, 2013 12:41 pm
 
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Fool's Gold
Replies: 69
Views: 4228

Re: HSA to Pay Foreign Health Insurance Premium?

Publication 969 seems to provide some insight: You cannot treat insurance premiums as qualified medical expenses unless the premiums are for: 1. Long-term care insurance. 2. Health care continuation coverage (such as coverage under COBRA). 3. Health care coverage while receiving unemployment compens...
by natureexplorer
Fri Dec 20, 2013 10:51 am
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: HSA to Pay Foreign Health Insurance Premium?
Replies: 4
Views: 229

Re: HSA to Pay Foreign Health Insurance Premium?

From Publication 502:
You can include in medical expenses insurance premiums you pay for policies that cover medical care.


And then of course later in the publication, Insurance Premiums are listed among the expenses that are not qualified.
by natureexplorer
Fri Dec 20, 2013 10:38 am
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: HSA to Pay Foreign Health Insurance Premium?
Replies: 4
Views: 229

Re: HSA to Pay Foreign Health Insurance Premium?

Do you mean, are the premiums qualified expenses? Yes. Probably not: http://www.hsabank.com/hsabank/education/irs-qualified-medical-expenses. Interesting. I guess upon (early) retirement it could qualify under the category "Health coverage during unemployment". While the website you link ...
by natureexplorer
Fri Dec 20, 2013 10:35 am
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: HSA to Pay Foreign Health Insurance Premium?
Replies: 4
Views: 229

HSA to Pay Foreign Health Insurance Premium?

Question 1 I have access to a health insurance plan in a foreign (non-US) country that covers worldwide medical expenses. Would the foreign premiums for that plan be eligible for HSA purposes? Question 2 I'm currently covered under my employer's health insurance. Starting January 1, 2014, I'm switc...
by natureexplorer
Fri Dec 20, 2013 9:52 am
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: HSA to Pay Foreign Health Insurance Premium?
Replies: 4
Views: 229

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

Expenses do not have to be approved when you make a tax-free withdrawal from an HSA, they don't have be be approved when you report the withdrawal on your tax form. The only time they would get "approved" is if your tax form was audited, that is when you would need records of the expenses...
by natureexplorer
Fri Dec 20, 2013 9:24 am
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: POLL: Do you use your HSA funds to pay for medical expenses?
Replies: 78
Views: 4728

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

The record keeping can be a hassle. One strategy that I used was to download EOBs and drug purchase records from our HDHP provider. They kept the past 18 months of records online. Each year I downloaded the a year's records so I could have a long-term electronic record of these. That and some backi...
by natureexplorer
Thu Dec 19, 2013 3:57 pm
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: POLL: Do you use your HSA funds to pay for medical expenses?
Replies: 78
Views: 4728

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

I have a single credit card that I use for all medical expenses, (its not the HSA card). I save all medical bills each year, staple then together, and then put them in a box, along with the year end credit card reciept. That sounds like a good strategy, thanks for sharing. But what safe guard do yo...
by natureexplorer
Thu Dec 19, 2013 3:53 pm
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: POLL: Do you use your HSA funds to pay for medical expenses?
Replies: 78
Views: 4728

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

Wow, so far 10 people (45%) have voted " No, I have HSA funds, but I use taxable funds instead. ". Could you please elaborate on your record keeping and strategy? So far 3 people () have " Yes, I use my HSA funds, even though I'm also investing in taxable. ". Why? 2014 will be my...
by natureexplorer
Thu Dec 19, 2013 3:34 pm
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: POLL: Do you use your HSA funds to pay for medical expenses?
Replies: 78
Views: 4728

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

It was my understanding that after age 65, an HSA essentially becomes an IRA, in that you can use it for non-medical expenses. Is this not correct? Yes, but you should always keep those receipts as withdrawals for medical expenses are tax-free. Withdrawals that aren't backed by medical expenses are...
by natureexplorer
Thu Dec 19, 2013 3:26 pm
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: POLL: Do you use your HSA funds to pay for medical expenses?
Replies: 78
Views: 4728

Re: TIRAs or Backdoor Roths?

No need to use the backdoor if you can use the front door.
by natureexplorer
Thu Dec 19, 2013 2:28 pm
 
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: TIRAs or Backdoor Roths?
Replies: 4
Views: 360

POLL: Do you use your HSA funds to pay for medical expenses?

Based on the wiki, I see that in an effort to maximize tax-advantaged space, it is technically advantageous to pay eligible medical expenses with taxable money and keeping the receipts rather than paying for them directly with HSA money. One would then make the withdrawal from the HSA only once one ...
by natureexplorer
Thu Dec 19, 2013 2:00 pm
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: POLL: Do you use your HSA funds to pay for medical expenses?
Replies: 78
Views: 4728

Re: What next: HSA or taxable?

HSA is the best after you have contributed enough to get the company match. HSA contributions are not taxed at all - this includes FICA tax. Withdrawals for eligible healthcare expenses are not taxable. You can also withdraw at age 65 for non-healthcare related expenses without penalty - although i...
by natureexplorer
Thu Dec 19, 2013 9:47 am
 
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: What next: HSA or taxable?
Replies: 12
Views: 928

Re: Vanguard 2013 Year-End Distributions

letsgobobby wrote:If I'm reading it right it looks like 2013 fourth quarter distributions are approximately half of 2012, in VTI, VXUS, VEU, and VOO.
Yeah, I may have to postpone my early retirement :-)
by natureexplorer
Thu Dec 19, 2013 9:23 am
 
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Vanguard 2013 Year-End Distributions
Replies: 36
Views: 4716

Re: Reimbursement from ATM

Yes. I attempted a withdrawal at another bank's ATM, but the machine never spit out the money. I assumed the transaction simply didn't go through, but I later noticed that the amount was withdrawn from my checking account. I filed a claim with my bank describing what happened. They provided a tempor...
by natureexplorer
Tue Dec 17, 2013 12:04 pm
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Reimbursement from ATM
Replies: 28
Views: 1377

Re: Deferred Compensation Plan

risk of losing all deferrals if company becomes insolvent How will the company compensate her for taking this risk? It seems like the only compensation is in the form of providing you with additional tax-advantaged space. Are you already maxing out all your other tax-advantaged space? For example, ...
by natureexplorer
Tue Dec 17, 2013 11:58 am
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Deferred Compensation Plan
Replies: 27
Views: 1768

Re: How long do you keep your cars? Why do you replace it?

Honda Civic: 5 years and going
Maintenance costs (other than the stuff recommended in the manual and new tires): $0
by natureexplorer
Wed Dec 11, 2013 5:22 pm
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: How long do you keep your cars? Why do you replace it?
Replies: 72
Views: 5164

Re: Mango prepaid card - 4.8% (effective) APY

Are people still using the Mango accounts (prepaid and/or savings account)? Do I understand correctly that the funds in either Mango account are FDIC-insured? I'm considering using the savings account for the 6% interest and the prepaid card to load with GreenDot cards purchased with a rewards credi...
by natureexplorer
Sun Oct 27, 2013 9:05 pm
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Mango prepaid card - 4.8% (effective) APY
Replies: 74
Views: 26697
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