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Re: What experts say about $5,000 watches

I love my $20 Timex. What more can you want than two time zones, bright night light, three alarms that can be restricted to run on only weekdays or weekends, stop watch, and is even reasonably accurate? The alarm feature is my favorite, since it means I never have to remember to set an alarm for wor...
by skylar
Sun Jan 25, 2015 11:33 pm
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Best watch for around $5,000?
Replies: 902
Views: 171762

Re: $7 gas - what would you do?

No change - neither my wife nor I have ever owned a car. I can bike (10 minutes), bus (10-50 minutes), or walk (40 minutes) to work. My wife either buses or carpools to work. How does she compensate for never driving the others in the car pool? She pays for gas. All I know is what she pays, though ...
by skylar
Sat Jan 24, 2015 11:51 am
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: $7 gas - what would you do?
Replies: 125
Views: 18552

Re: $7 gas - what would you do?

No change - neither my wife nor I have ever owned a car. I can bike (10 minutes), bus (10-50 minutes), or walk (40 minutes) to work. My wife either buses or carpools to work. All of our amenities (grocery store, library, doctor, etc.) are easily accessible without a car. If gas hit $7/gal, nothing ...
by skylar
Thu Jan 22, 2015 7:49 pm
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: $7 gas - what would you do?
Replies: 125
Views: 18552

Re: $7 gas - what would you do?

No change - neither my wife nor I have ever owned a car. I can bike (10 minutes), bus (10-50 minutes), or walk (40 minutes) to work. My wife either buses or carpools to work. All of our amenities (grocery store, library, doctor, etc.) are easily accessible without a car. If gas hit $7/gal, nothing i...
by skylar
Wed Jan 21, 2015 8:38 pm
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: $7 gas - what would you do?
Replies: 125
Views: 18552

Re: HSA... any receipt savers?

I pay out of pocket and save receipts for my HSA. I scan the receipts, and save the copy in a folder coded by the year. The file names have a prefix to indicate whether the expense was for me or my wife, and a suffix with the date of the expense. My wife has a copy of the folder, and I keep annotati...
by skylar
Wed Jan 21, 2015 8:30 pm
 
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: HSA... any receipt savers?
Replies: 147
Views: 5696

Re: Health Equity HSA--New Passive Plan

How much better is HSA Bank than Health Equity now that Health Equity has Investor Choice funds consisting of very low ER Vanguard Index funds (ex. VIIIX) for about a 0.40% fee per year? Is it worth it after transfer fees? Here's HSA Bank's full fee breakdown: http://www.hsabank.com/~/media/files/f...
by skylar
Sun Jan 04, 2015 6:30 pm
 
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Health Equity HSA--New Passive Plan
Replies: 66
Views: 10639

Re: Health Equity HSA--New Passive Plan

My employer just switched HSA provider from ChaseHSA to HealthEquity. We use HSA as retirement account, maxing every year, never taking anything out and keeping all the receipts. We have about $47k. I wondering am I better off switching to HSA Bank rather than healthequity. Anyone has done that? We...
by skylar
Sun Jan 04, 2015 10:43 am
 
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Health Equity HSA--New Passive Plan
Replies: 66
Views: 10639

Re: What did you enjoy spending money on this year?

Travel to visit family and friends.

Nothing else comes close.
by skylar
Mon Dec 29, 2014 1:21 pm
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: What did you enjoy spending money on this year?
Replies: 92
Views: 5933

Re: 403b AND 401k

Employee contributions to 403b and 401k are indeed under the same IRS limit ($18k for 2015). 457 plans have a separate $18k limit.
by skylar
Mon Dec 29, 2014 11:52 am
 
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: 403b AND 401k
Replies: 3
Views: 608

Re: What is considered to be a good 401k match?

I work for a large public research university, and our 403b match is 100% on 5% of contributions for employees below age 35, 7.5% for ages 35-50, and 10% for 50+.

My wife, on the other hand, gets no match at all for her 401k.
by skylar
Mon Dec 29, 2014 11:39 am
 
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: What is considered to be a good 401k match?
Replies: 74
Views: 4400

Re: Non-mutual fund retirement trusts.. Safe?

This sounds similar to the Collective Investment Trusts I have in my 457 plan. They function like mutual funds, but I have no ticker symbol and only get a brief annual report. I only use the S&P 500 fund and eyeballing the performance history relative to the actual S&P 500 shows that they ar...
by skylar
Sat Dec 27, 2014 4:03 pm
 
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Non-mutual fund retirement trusts.. Safe?
Replies: 10
Views: 881

Re: Penfed credit card blocked

Aside from a small purchase once a year to keep our card active, we use our card exclusively internationally (maybe once every 2-3 years). Penfed has never found that suspicious.
by skylar
Thu Dec 25, 2014 9:08 am
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Penfed credit card blocked
Replies: 15
Views: 2294

Re: "Chip" credit card for foreign travel

We have a Penfed Promise card with a chip, and used it in Canada with no problems as both a chip+signature card, and just a straight signature card.
by skylar
Wed Dec 24, 2014 9:22 am
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: "Chip" credit card for foreign travel
Replies: 105
Views: 15879

Re: POLL: What are your monthly food expenses?

We spend $300-$400 per month for two people. That's buying mostly organic food at our food coop, or Trader Joes, with some from farmer's markets as well.
by skylar
Tue Dec 23, 2014 10:28 pm
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: POLL: What are your monthly food expenses?
Replies: 67
Views: 4876

Re: Do you travel with friends?

I'm actually on a trip with a friend now. :)

It's been a blast, but you do need to travel with someone who has similar tastes, budget, and transportation (walking, transit, cab, etc.) preferences.
by skylar
Fri Dec 19, 2014 12:29 am
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Do you travel with friends?
Replies: 53
Views: 5323

Re: How much is reasonable to spend on vacation?

So far my wife has had only one job that has come with PTO, and that only lasted nine months. Her other jobs have no PTO, and the most recent one has performance metrics that penalize time off. What little time she does manage to take off gets spent visiting family. Unless she gets another job with ...
by skylar
Mon Dec 15, 2014 6:56 pm
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: How much is reasonable to spend on vacation?
Replies: 30
Views: 2946

Re: How do you contribute to your IRA?

My wife and I each contribute the maximum amount to our Roth IRAs on the first market day of the year. 401k, 403b, and 457 contributions happen throughout the year since we don't have a mechanism to lump sum those.
by skylar
Thu Dec 11, 2014 7:17 pm
 
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: How do you contribute to your IRA?
Replies: 33
Views: 1708

Re: A less common risk to emerging markets value tilting

I cannot quickly find the relevant reference, but IIRC, the DFA "Core" Emerging Markets fund encompasses the elements of a standard EM fund, with additional small cap and value loadings. It is meant truly to be a core emerging markets holding. The "Value" fund still exists (is a...
by skylar
Mon Dec 08, 2014 8:15 am
 
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: A less common risk to emerging markets value tilting
Replies: 32
Views: 2226

Re: Got earthquake insurance?

As a renter in the PNW, earthquake insurance is super cheap since I don't need to cover any structural damage. For ~$25 extra dollars per year, I get covered for damage to possessions and also alternate living arrangements in the event of an earthquake. I hope I never need it, but the cost/value rat...
by skylar
Sun Dec 07, 2014 4:31 pm
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Got earthquake insurance?
Replies: 35
Views: 2109

Re: Documentaries to recommend?

I recommend watching both Carl Sagan's and Neil deGrasse Tyson's Cosmos - even if you have a scientific background it's amazing to see how they can make dry topics interesting.
by skylar
Sat Nov 29, 2014 5:55 pm
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Documentaries to recommend?
Replies: 109
Views: 12650

Re: How did you handle the 2008 bear market ?

2008 was close to the beginning of my investing career. When things got really ugly in September 2008, I had about $10,000 invested. The bear market was the best thing that could have happened for me (obviously not so much for many other people) - not only could I buy shares at a lower level, but it...
by skylar
Thu Nov 27, 2014 10:28 am
 
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: How did you handle the 2008 bear market ?
Replies: 79
Views: 7212

Re: Anyone cancelling travel plans?

Influenza still kills far more people than Ebola. If you don't avoid traveling during flu season, you should be OK traveling now. The media are just hyping this to sell more ads.
by skylar
Sat Oct 18, 2014 11:14 am
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Anyone cancelling travel plans?
Replies: 117
Views: 6554

Re: Fidelity Investments Hacked

Let's say someone hacks my account. What can they now do? Wouldn't it be impossible to empty out my account unless they transferred it all to my linked bank account or sent a check to my house? I suppose they could liquidate my investments and change my AA to 100% penny stocks, but that doesn't see...
by skylar
Mon Oct 13, 2014 6:49 pm
 
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Fidelity Investments Hacked
Replies: 21
Views: 2695

Re: SERVER GOING OFFLINE FOR MAINTENANCE TONIGHT - 7:45 PM E

Thanks so much for the work. It's easy to forget the behind-the-scenes effort to make all this happen.
by skylar
Sun Oct 12, 2014 8:30 pm
 
Forum: Forum Issues and Administration
Topic: SERVER GOING OFFLINE FOR MAINTENANCE TONIGHT - 7:45 PM ET
Replies: 8
Views: 1596

Re: Wow at high ER w/Fidelity Freedom funds compared to Vang

Not only is the ER ridiculous when compared with Vanguard's Target Retirement funds, and not only is almost every constituent fund actively managed (there's two index funds, for about 3.5% of total assets), but the sheer number of holdings makes it basically impossible to know how the fund is suppos...
by skylar
Sat Oct 11, 2014 11:04 pm
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Wow at high ER w/Fidelity Freedom funds compared to Vanguard
Replies: 8
Views: 1282

Re: How much of your Emergency Fund would you lock up in CDs

I keep trying to come up with ways to make more money on the emergency fund. There really isn't any. If it's locked up in a CD it's not easy to get to rapidly if needed. Considered starting to keep some of our emergency fund in I-Bonds because our current money market rate stinks. Discussed it with...
by skylar
Sat Oct 11, 2014 11:00 pm
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: How much of your Emergency Fund would you lock up in CDs?
Replies: 37
Views: 2979

Re: How much of your Emergency Fund would you lock up in CDs

I definitely wouldn't lock up all of it, but some of it is fine. As others have mentioned, it's good to have a few buckets to draw from. For us, it breaks down like this: ⋅  1-4 months of cash in checking, savings, and money market accounts ⋅  6+ months in EE- and I-series saving...
by skylar
Sat Oct 11, 2014 5:27 pm
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: How much of your Emergency Fund would you lock up in CDs?
Replies: 37
Views: 2979

Re: Small Moneysavers Which Add Up

we borrow DVDs from the library I would rather pay the $5.34 for the two DVD rentals from Netflix. I'd probably spend about gallon of gas to get to/from the library. And lthe library DVD rental period is only 1 week. For us, we're within walking distance of two library branches, and the library let...
by skylar
Thu Oct 09, 2014 6:47 pm
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Small Moneysavers Which Add Up
Replies: 74
Views: 7666

Re: Small Moneysavers Which Add Up

2. Share an Internet connection with a neighbor. With modern wifi technology, this is easy to do. It does mean we have a small dead spot, which I filled in with an old Linksys access point, and about 30 minutes of work with DD-WRT's repeater bridge setup. 3. No smart phones - still can't figure out...
by skylar
Thu Oct 09, 2014 6:46 pm
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Small Moneysavers Which Add Up
Replies: 74
Views: 7666

Re: Small Moneysavers Which Add Up

1. No cable TV, Netflix, Amazon Prime, etc. - we borrow DVDs from the library, or watch things online. If we can't do either, it's not worth watching. 2. Share an Internet connection with a neighbor. With modern wifi technology, this is easy to do. It does mean we have a small dead spot, which I fil...
by skylar
Thu Oct 09, 2014 7:22 am
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Small Moneysavers Which Add Up
Replies: 74
Views: 7666

Re: Annual savings to taxes ratio?

jeffyscott wrote:Might have been good to have some categories for savings at higher multiples of taxes than 2x?

Our savings was nearly 6x taxes.


Agreed, we're at about 17x...
by skylar
Tue Oct 07, 2014 9:20 pm
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Annual savings to taxes ratio?
Replies: 25
Views: 2805

Re: Meetings over the lunch hour, taboo?

I am 0% in favor of lunch meetings. I do not schedule meetings that overlap any portion of 11-1. I only attend meetings in this time frame if it allows sufficient time for me too eat. My company will not spring for food at lunch time meeting... so my love of eating and disdain of meetings makes it ...
by skylar
Fri Sep 19, 2014 7:25 am
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Meetings over the lunch hour, taboo?
Replies: 46
Views: 4093

Re: Meetings over the lunch hour, taboo?

I have 12P-1P blocked out every day on my calendar for "Lunch". People are free to schedule meetings over the top of it, and I consider myself free not to go. If it's important enough, I will go, but will politely excuse myself once I can't contribute anything more.
by skylar
Wed Sep 17, 2014 10:31 pm
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Meetings over the lunch hour, taboo?
Replies: 46
Views: 4093

Re: Any success stories of ppl who never made >$50,000?

In my mind, Bogleheads isn't about numbers, it's about philosophy. The number of zeroes behind the first number really doesn't matter - it's your approach to investing that's important. I don't have my copy handy, but in Jack's book "The Little Book of Common Sense Investing" he relates t...
by skylar
Tue Sep 16, 2014 7:19 pm
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Any success stories of ppl who never made >$50,000?
Replies: 149
Views: 10504

Re: POLL: Has a financial firm made a mistake with your mone

Just last week I was at the credit union getting $60 cash and a couple $10 rolls of quarters ($80 total). The receipt had an $80 debit listed, but my post-transaction balance dropped $100. Fortunately I noticed before signing and got the teller to redo the transaction. No big deal. Reading the stori...
by skylar
Sat Sep 06, 2014 10:35 pm
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: POLL: Has a financial firm made a mistake with your money?
Replies: 52
Views: 3024

Re: ACH transfers

NPR's Planet Money had a great show last year about the history and mechanics of ACH:

http://www.npr.org/blogs/money/2013/10/ ... ur-economy

I'd recommend it if you want to know how ACH works in the US, and how other countries do it (often better).
by skylar
Sat Aug 30, 2014 11:39 am
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: ACH transfers
Replies: 14
Views: 1081

Re: Do you tip on the tax?

I eat out so rarely, I don't mind leaving a bit extra when I do. I general, the wait staff work hard and deserve it.
by skylar
Fri Aug 22, 2014 6:27 pm
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Do you tip on the tax? [Restaurants]
Replies: 124
Views: 5804

Re: Do you take all of your allowed paid vacation time?

I get 5 weeks paid vacation (on top of 10 holidays, and 12 days of sick leave), while my wife gets none. I take what I can, but it guarantees I have a couple few weeks every year to roll over. Fortunately there is no upper limit (I think I'm close to 3 months now), but I only get cashed out for 6 we...
by skylar
Fri Aug 22, 2014 6:20 pm
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Do you take all of your allowed paid vacation time?
Replies: 88
Views: 6493

Re: POLL: Uninsured/Underinsured Motorists Coverage?

I have no car, so no auto insurance. AFIAK, UIM coverage is only available as a rider on an auto insurance policy, much as I would like it as a cyclist.
by skylar
Mon Aug 18, 2014 7:25 am
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: POLL: Uninsured/Underinsured Motorists Coverage?
Replies: 17
Views: 1103

Re: What actions to take in a stock market crash?

1. Rebalance

2. Up your contribution rate as high as you can

If you have little invested, a stock market crash is a blessing to be taken advantage of. I'm glad I did.
by skylar
Fri Aug 08, 2014 7:20 am
 
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: What actions to take in a stock market crash?
Replies: 85
Views: 5958

Re: Contribute to 457?

I am not sure but I believe it is based on gross compensation. If I contribute to the 457, I am decreasing my gross compensation. By decreasing my gross compensation I would probable see a small decrease in my employer's 403b match. I contribute to both a 457b and a 403b, and the 403b match is calc...
by skylar
Wed Aug 06, 2014 7:18 am
 
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Contribute to 457?
Replies: 41
Views: 4412

Re: average American eats out 203 times per year

Way under - I'm at 27 this year, and that includes traveling too.

I pack a lunch almost everyday for work, and tend to eat in on the weekends as well. I'd rather spend time at home and read than spend time at a restaraunt.
by skylar
Tue Aug 05, 2014 6:48 pm
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: average American eats out 203 times per year
Replies: 105
Views: 7028

Re: Drought Management

FrugalInvestor wrote:Turned shower water on prior to soaping up and for rinsing, but turned off otherwise.


You can also put a bucket under the faucet while you wait for the shower to warm up.
by skylar
Sun Aug 03, 2014 9:21 am
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Drought Management
Replies: 60
Views: 3297

Re: Vanguard sued for charging too little

So I'm not a tax expert, but if Vanguard charged its owning mutual funds too little to pay taxes, wouldn't that just mean the funds retain more earnings, and the funds' shareholders would be liable for more taxes (if held in a taxable account)? Doesn't seem like a problem to me.
by skylar
Sun Jul 27, 2014 8:55 am
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Vanguard sued for charging too little
Replies: 209
Views: 33258

Re: updating phpBB to 3.0.12

Thanks, Larry! No worries about the outage - it was a fine excuse to get outside.
by skylar
Sat Jul 12, 2014 11:57 am
 
Forum: Forum Issues and Administration
Topic: updating phpBB to 3.0.12
Replies: 11
Views: 1971

Re: Vanguard - How America Saves 2014

Thanks, that's a really interesting report. A few of the notable items I saw: * Use of target-date funds weighted by assets increased from 9% in 2009 to 19% in 2013. * Extreme allocations (100% bonds or 100% stock) declined from 25% in 2009 to 14% in 2013. * Participants with an "index core&quo...
by skylar
Tue Jun 17, 2014 8:29 am
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Vanguard - How America Saves 2014
Replies: 16
Views: 3416

Re: POLL: Do/did you get a match? How much?

It's dependent on age where I work. 5% for those up to age 35, 7.5% up to age 50, and 10% over age 50.
by skylar
Mon Jun 09, 2014 6:25 pm
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: POLL: Do/did you get a match? How much?
Replies: 67
Views: 4303

Re: Investing HSA Contributions

I keep a few thousand dollars in cash in my HSA, and invest the rest in Vanguard's Total Bond Market ETF (BND). I understand the tax benefits of taking more risk than that, but it just makes me leery.
by skylar
Tue May 27, 2014 10:53 pm
 
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Investing HSA Contributions
Replies: 6
Views: 575

Re: How do you dress for work travel?

I wear the same clothes I wear to work - t-shirt and jeans, plus a sweatshirt in case I get cold. It's the joy of working for a university. :)
by skylar
Tue May 27, 2014 10:51 pm
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: How do you dress for work travel?
Replies: 21
Views: 1927

Re: Worst "Large purchase" ever?

I checked back in my accounts, and the only purchases over $10k I have ever made have been index funds at Vanguard. I have yet to regret them. :)
by skylar
Sun May 25, 2014 9:42 pm
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Worst "Large purchase" ever?
Replies: 110
Views: 12372
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