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by schmitz
Thu Apr 23, 2015 1:04 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: How much do you pay in Property Taxes?
Replies: 188
Views: 10978

Re: How much do you pay in Property Taxes?

We have a nice home, but it's not a mansion. We pay $38k/year in northern NJ , on a private road so the neighbors have to chip in for paving, sewer is additional. I wish that i could "put" the house to the town at 90% of appraised value when we decide to leave; there oughta be a law. Btw,...
by schmitz
Sun Apr 05, 2015 9:43 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: anyone have experience with water softeners?
Replies: 41
Views: 1872

anyone have experience with water softeners?

Had our annual water heater checkup and, as I expected, the guy gave me a sales pitch for a water softener. Now, to his defense, our location (south orange county, California) has notoriously hard water and yes we can see mineral deposits on our faucets so I know its there. But I'm always weary of s...
by schmitz
Fri Apr 03, 2015 10:26 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Earthquake coverage in CA
Replies: 20
Views: 1132

Re: Earthquake coverage in CA

For those who do have it, did you get coverage through your current insurance company, or cea (Californiarocks.com), or another company?
by schmitz
Wed Mar 25, 2015 2:48 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Restaurant tipping
Replies: 200
Views: 13641

Re: Restaurant tipping

I figure this thread is a good place for my tipping question (rather than start a new one): My wife and I go out to eat often and we tip (what I think is) well...minimum of 20%. Sometimes 25% or 30%. My question is since we do this, is morally ok to drop our tipping rate in the future when we are r...
by schmitz
Tue Mar 24, 2015 3:59 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Restaurant tipping
Replies: 200
Views: 13641

Re: Restaurant tipping

I figure this thread is a good place for my tipping question (rather than start a new one): My wife and I go out to eat often and we tip (what I think is) well...minimum of 20%. Sometimes 25% or 30%. My question is since we do this, is morally ok to drop our tipping rate in the future when we are r...
by schmitz
Mon Mar 23, 2015 12:54 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Restaurant tipping
Replies: 200
Views: 13641

Re: Restaurant tipping

I figure this thread is a good place for my tipping question (rather than start a new one): My wife and I go out to eat often and we tip (what I think is) well...minimum of 20%. Sometimes 25% or 30%. My question is since we do this, is morally ok to drop our tipping rate in the future when we are re...
by schmitz
Fri Mar 06, 2015 10:57 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: question about pensions for people with TSP
Replies: 11
Views: 1218

Re: question about pensions for people with TSP

yolli71 wrote:
schmitz wrote:Thank you for all the help.

One follow up question : does she need to "sign up" or "activate" a pension or is it given to all employees automatically when they retire (if they qualify for it)?


It's automatic. How long has she been working for the fed govt.?


About 10 years.
by schmitz
Fri Mar 06, 2015 3:22 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: question about pensions for people with TSP
Replies: 11
Views: 1218

Re: question about pensions for people with TSP

Thank you for all the help.

One follow up question : does she need to "sign up" or "activate" a pension or is it given to all employees automatically when they retire (if they qualify for it)?
by schmitz
Fri Mar 06, 2015 10:52 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Who's going to Disney this summer?
Replies: 84
Views: 5485

Re: Who's going to Disney this summer?

555 wrote:Our WDW trips cost about $40 per person per day, including park tickets, accommodation, transport and food.


Could you explain how you were able to do this?
by schmitz
Thu Mar 05, 2015 2:23 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: question about pensions for people with TSP
Replies: 11
Views: 1218

question about pensions for people with TSP

my wife works for the government and therefore has a TSP for retirement. she contributes 17500 per year (plus they match some). my question is, when she retires, does she get her TSP plus a pension (or are they basically one in the same)? are all TSP employees pension-eligible or just those in certa...
by schmitz
Thu Feb 12, 2015 1:54 am
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: How are mutual funds taxed?
Replies: 6
Views: 528

How are mutual funds taxed?

This is probably an over simplified question to a much more complicated topic but I thought id ask anyways and try to gain some information. Suppose you have 500k in your taxable account. 300k was contribution and 200k were gains over say 10 years. If you withdraw 25k, do they assume 15k was from co...
by schmitz
Wed Feb 04, 2015 11:47 am
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Why no talk about investing in Timber?
Replies: 14
Views: 1370

Re: Why no talk about investing in Timber?

Haha oops. I misread the title as tinder and thought "hmmm that's not very bogle-like...to invest in a dating app!"
by schmitz
Thu Jan 01, 2015 8:08 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Almost made it! From $ -530k net worth to $-9k this yr
Replies: 36
Views: 7402

Re: Almost made it! From $ -530k net worth to $-9k this yr

With all due respect to the original poster, I think most of us would have been able to pay off a lot of debt if our income suddenly quadrupled. :D My thought, although I was restraining myself from saying that. Though for many people that doesn't happen. So while it certainly helps to have a signi...
by schmitz
Tue Dec 23, 2014 1:49 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: [Why did my fund suddenly drop in value?]
Replies: 151
Views: 23782

Re: [Why did my fund suddenly drop in value?]

Is the drop-the-price-then-reinvest at the end of every year a good thing for us investors or simply something financially "neutral" that they just have to do? If it's a positive, can someone explain why? Looks like we lose $X and then gain $X right back so I don't see it, nor do I underst...
by schmitz
Fri Nov 28, 2014 3:00 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: 10% off Target GiftCards - Black Friday Preview
Replies: 35
Views: 6319

Re: 10% off Target GiftCards - Black Friday Preview

Yes thanks! Picked up a gift card today in store (which surprisingly wasn't that busier than normal today)
by schmitz
Wed Nov 12, 2014 7:01 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: what is the actual value of my tax deferred accounts?
Replies: 53
Views: 4650

Re: what is the actual value of my tax deferred accounts?

Possibly been already answered but didn't want to start a new thread but let's say your taxable is 500k and the contributions are 400k and returns are 100k Also you are in 30% tax bracket. Does that mean your actual tax rate on the 500k would be considered 6%? (.30)(100)/500 Is my math right? No, t...
by schmitz
Wed Nov 12, 2014 6:52 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: what is the actual value of my tax deferred accounts?
Replies: 53
Views: 4650

Re: what is the actual value of my tax deferred accounts?

Possibly been already answered but didn't want to start a new thread but let's say your taxable is 500k and the contributions are 400k and returns are 100k Also you are in 30% tax bracket. Does that mean your actual tax rate on the 500k would be considered 6%? (.30)(100)/500 Is my math right? No, t...
by schmitz
Wed Nov 12, 2014 6:14 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: what is the actual value of my tax deferred accounts?
Replies: 53
Views: 4650

Re: what is the actual value of my tax deferred accounts?

Possibly been already answered but didn't want to start a new thread but let's say your taxable is 500k and the contributions are 400k and returns are 100k

Also you are in 30% tax bracket. Does that mean your actual tax rate on the 500k would be considered 6%? (.30)(100)/500

Is my math right?
by schmitz
Sat Nov 08, 2014 3:37 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: New car - should I pay cash or use credit?
Replies: 32
Views: 4941

Re: New car - should I pay cash or use credit?

mfswatz9 wrote:I was able to put $5000 on my Amex credit card which I paid off the next month. Then, I paid cash for the balance. Just don't like debt. Enjoy your new car! :beer


Was that to get a 1-2% credit card bonus?
by schmitz
Fri Nov 07, 2014 3:41 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Does anyone use mozy (off site computer backup program)
Replies: 13
Views: 1495

Does anyone use mozy (off site computer backup program)

If so how do you like it?

Have you ever had to recover all your data? Was it simple to use?
by schmitz
Sun Nov 02, 2014 12:57 am
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: What are you up YTD?
Replies: 328
Views: 40965

Re: What are you up YTD?

How do I find ytd returns on vanguards site?

All I can find is my % for the last year.
by schmitz
Sat Nov 01, 2014 3:11 am
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: What are you up YTD?
Replies: 328
Views: 40965

Re: What are you up YTD?

Why is ytd % more important than how much you are up/down in the last 365 days? Ie, why do we judge return rates always from January 1? It's easier to track by selecting "YTD" on websites for returns versus setting a date then trying to input the parameters... But on my vanguard account u...
by schmitz
Fri Oct 31, 2014 10:58 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: What are you up YTD?
Replies: 328
Views: 40965

Re: What are you up YTD?

Why is ytd % more important than how much you are up/down in the last 365 days?

Ie, why do we judge return rates always from January 1?
by schmitz
Thu Oct 23, 2014 2:27 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Just wondering how you personally calculate net worth
Replies: 56
Views: 4356

Re: Just wondering how you personally calculate net worth

Assets - Liabilities = Sum that is then multiplied by 0.50% to account for taxes and others thoughts on what my net worth should really be! :) Multiplied by .50%? Isn't that .005? Anyways to the OP I keep it simple and do the assets-liabilities. Do count house equity but not cars, jewelry, etc. I a...
by schmitz
Tue Oct 14, 2014 12:03 am
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Do you rebalance now?
Replies: 17
Views: 1512

Re: Do you rebalance now?

Stupid question but does rebalance mean buy more stocks or bonds (depending on which way you rebalance) to hit a new asset allocation or does it mean sell/move shares of one type of fund into another?

If you are selling does that mean there will be tax implications every time you rebalance?
by schmitz
Mon Oct 13, 2014 12:11 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Losing money, please advise
Replies: 36
Views: 5521

Re: Losing money, please advise

Reading this thread, all I can think is "I wish I lost 30k this week!"

Actually if I lost a million this week, then I could retire already.
by schmitz
Fri Oct 10, 2014 12:15 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: $400 reward to open Chase accounts
Replies: 52
Views: 14585

Re: $400 reward to open Chase accounts

Sometimes these deals require a direct deposit.

What defines this? I am self employed - can I set something up to direct deposit into the chase account? Like a monthly transfer from my capital one online bank account?
by schmitz
Sat Sep 27, 2014 12:11 am
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: What is your best estimate of the SWR (Safe Withdrawal Rate)
Replies: 77
Views: 4252

Re: What is your best estimate of the SWR (Safe Withdrawal R

could someone explain the way SWR works? im trying to learn the logic behind it. when you say 4%, does that mean you can withdraw 4% every year and never run out of money (in theory) or is the principal supposed to eventually reach 0 after xx number of years? does it keep up with inflation or are yo...
by schmitz
Fri Sep 19, 2014 7:03 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: cost of raising a child by age group
Replies: 27
Views: 2724

Re: cost of raising a child by age group

To keep this on-topic (i.e., unlocked), this thread has to be about your situation. Not ours. I suggest you provide some more information about your personal situation. For example 0-5 can either be the cheapest or the most expensive years depending on your childcare costs. sorry about that. didnt ...
by schmitz
Fri Sep 19, 2014 5:18 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: cost of raising a child by age group
Replies: 27
Views: 2724

Re: cost of raising a child by age group

To keep this on-topic (i.e., unlocked), this thread has to be about your situation. Not ours. I suggest you provide some more information about your personal situation. For example 0-5 can either be the cheapest or the most expensive years depending on your childcare costs. sorry about that. didnt ...
by schmitz
Fri Sep 19, 2014 1:45 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: cost of raising a child by age group
Replies: 27
Views: 2724

cost of raising a child by age group

just had our first child a month ago :D so wanted to get an idea of whats to come financially. obviously raising a child is very expensive but I was looking to see which age group is generally the most expensive and which is the least (if there is such a thing). so based on your experience, how woul...
by schmitz
Fri Sep 12, 2014 9:16 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: bogleheads - can I scale it back?
Replies: 34
Views: 4611

Re: bogleheads - can I scale it back?

Can you scale it back? Of course. Some posts are talking about college costs and other stuff, but what's more important: A parent who is there during a child's early development or some money? I'd argue strongly for a parent who is there and involved. Life has been really easy for me and I can cred...
by schmitz
Fri Sep 12, 2014 9:11 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: bogleheads - can I scale it back?
Replies: 34
Views: 4611

Re: bogleheads - can I scale it back?

What about college savings for your newborn? Do you plan to have more children in the future? maybe one more (if we can survive this first one :) ) so far no college savings but was planning on throwing $50-100 per month into a 529 (but i did just read that article that says only 3% of people do th...
by schmitz
Fri Sep 12, 2014 6:28 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: bogleheads - can I scale it back?
Replies: 34
Views: 4611

Re: bogleheads - can I scale it back?

I see. Quickly reduced $7-$8K in "expenses" to $5,320 ($6240 - $920). As soon as you reduce travel to work, there's another potential $750 there. As you can see, developing a realistic and sensible budget is the first step in financial planning. And, like I said in my first post, anything...
by schmitz
Thu Sep 11, 2014 1:24 am
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: bogleheads - can I scale it back?
Replies: 34
Views: 4611

Re: bogleheads - can I scale it back?

and yes I have ignored SS - dont know how to even consider that in my planning. There's been a lot of discussion on the forum about this. Might be worth a quick search. From what I recall, I believe the amount from SS is considered to be a reduction in the amount of money the pensions and portfolio...
by schmitz
Wed Sep 10, 2014 1:05 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: bogleheads - can I scale it back?
Replies: 34
Views: 4611

Re: bogleheads - can I scale it back?

wow - thanks to everyone for all the great replies, information and well wishes on the baby. i really appreciate it. :) I won't comment on the finances much, but I would just say a hearty word of celebration in your new child. Spending time with your child may be the most rewarding thing you will ev...
by schmitz
Wed Sep 10, 2014 3:14 am
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: bogleheads - can I scale it back?
Replies: 34
Views: 4611

bogleheads - can I scale it back?

Hi bogleheads, Always get good advice here so I'm back for more. I will try my best to make this clear and if you'd like me to provide more details or information, please ask. Basically, my story goes like this. I am 37 and wife is 35. We recently had our first child (less than a month old). Through...
by schmitz
Fri Sep 05, 2014 6:49 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: need help with basic investing math
Replies: 18
Views: 1240

Re: need help with basic investing math

I think your made up scenario describes the period leading up to the 2008 crash pretty well. You seem to be leaving out the possibility of recovery though, which has been the case over much of history. Also, you seem to be using sort of a normal distribution on the positive side, and a fat tail on ...
by schmitz
Fri Sep 05, 2014 6:40 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: need help with basic investing math
Replies: 18
Views: 1240

Re: need help with basic investing math

ok I knew it still worked out in the long run...thanks to everyone for the input/advice. ill keep doing what I AM doing and invest for the future whether the market is up or down.


dickenjb : thanks, but have you really never misspelled a word on a message board?
by schmitz
Fri Sep 05, 2014 5:41 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: need help with basic investing math
Replies: 18
Views: 1240

need help with basic investing math

please bare in mind that these numbers are rounded just for the sake of discussion. I also admit I am not a pro at investing so any help is appreciated (please dont laugh at me too much :happy). say you start with 50k invested and add 10k per year for 5 years. and each of those 5 years makes 10% ret...
by schmitz
Sat Aug 30, 2014 8:22 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: help interpreting TSP monthly annuity
Replies: 2
Views: 345

help interpreting TSP monthly annuity

this is actually through my wife's TSP (I dont have one, but I do the finances in the household). under her benefits statement (on the EPP website) it says: Assuming you continue TSP contributions at the same rate, and earnings on your account average 7% per year, your estimated TSP account balance ...
by schmitz
Tue Aug 26, 2014 5:23 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: What are you up YTD?
Replies: 328
Views: 40965

Re: What are you up YTD?

How do you guys calculate your ytd return percentage?
by schmitz
Tue Aug 26, 2014 4:36 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: California residents - do you have earthquake insurance?
Replies: 54
Views: 3547

Re: California residents - do you have earthquake insurance?

Thanks

Is 10-15% deductible standard? Seems different than other types of insurance where it's a set amount.

Also is that percentage based on current market value? If so how do they determine it? They can't use zillow, can they?
by schmitz
Tue Aug 26, 2014 2:27 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: California residents - do you have earthquake insurance?
Replies: 54
Views: 3547

California residents - do you have earthquake insurance?

The recent quakes in napa got me thinking I should get some. We live in Orange County.

If so how much does it cost you per year compared to your home value?
by schmitz
Mon Aug 25, 2014 3:28 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Received bank statements for a business using our address
Replies: 7
Views: 608

Re: Received bank statements for a business using our addres

Thanks for the replies

I have no idea how to contact her. Never seen the name before and google provided nothing (I assumed her business would have a website but it doesn't).

Should I call the bank?
by schmitz
Mon Aug 25, 2014 3:00 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Received bank statements for a business using our address
Replies: 7
Views: 608

Received bank statements for a business using our address

Not sure how to proceed here.

The other day we received 5 pieces of mail all from Bank of America and all for some lady's small business. Probably some sort of statements.

Any idea how this could happen? Is it a scam? What should be my plan of action?
by schmitz
Tue Aug 12, 2014 11:08 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: POLL: My home is worth less/more in 2014 than in 2007?
Replies: 94
Views: 6489

Re: POLL: My home is worth less/more in 2014 than in 2007?

I don't think Zestimates are as bad as everyone says. Accurate, no, but for knowing when the peak was or when the low was, they aren't going to be off by three years. Since the question is a relative one rather than an absolute one, even if Zillow is constantly 30% too high, a 50% drop will still b...
by schmitz
Thu Aug 07, 2014 7:31 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: How many Accounts do you log into and how do you manage?
Replies: 52
Views: 3230

Re: How many Accounts do you log into and how do you manage?

another password question for those who use capitalone/ING: I notice i can only sign in using a PIN. is this secure enough? i feel like a hacker can figure out a number much quicker than a password with letters, numbers and symbols in it.

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