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Re: HSA Receipt Documentation

An EOB or invoice are not evidence of an expense. Only proof of payment does that. I do not know of, or heard of anyone who was asked to justify HSA withdrawals for qualified medical expenses yet. However, I think you are risking future IRS denial, especially if you are following the model of payin...
by skylar
Sun Apr 26, 2015 9:52 am
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: HSA Receipt Documentation
Replies: 12
Views: 810

Re: Did you learn anything from 2008?

I found this forum, which taught me to keep it simple, stay the course, and ignore the noise.
by skylar
Mon Mar 30, 2015 10:14 pm
 
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Did you learn anything from 2008?
Replies: 105
Views: 8523

Re: Recurring utility bills - How do you pay?

If I can, I do autopay using a credit card. One bill requires a check - this is generated automatically using my credit union's bill pay. The credit cards are setup to automatically pay the statement balance from my credit union's checking account. I review the statements for anomalies before they'r...
by skylar
Sat Mar 28, 2015 2:15 pm
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Recurring utility bills - How do you pay?
Replies: 43
Views: 3083

Re: 457(b) Education

Hi all, My wife and I are looking to save additional money for retirement via a 457(b) plan offered by her employer. We currently max her 403b and my 401k. I just have a few clarification questions to make sure I fully understand what we are doing. 1. In terms of maximum amounts, my employer offers...
by skylar
Tue Mar 10, 2015 10:32 pm
 
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: 457(b) Education
Replies: 3
Views: 279

Re: Will you buy an Apple Watch?

6miths wrote:No. Not a watch person.


No. Not an Apple person. :)
by skylar
Mon Mar 09, 2015 10:22 pm
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Will you buy an Apple Watch?
Replies: 378
Views: 23731

Re: What % of your gross income do you spend on mortgage/ren

10% for rent, including utilities.
by skylar
Sun Feb 22, 2015 10:08 am
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: What % of your gross income do you spend on mortgage/rent?
Replies: 155
Views: 9320

Re: Is there a point when your HSA balance is so large....

In addition to Medicare, the IRS allows using HSA funds to pay health insurance premiums for COBRA, and also while you are drawing unemployment. You can use that to count the HSA as part of your emergency funds.
by skylar
Sun Feb 01, 2015 12:25 pm
 
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Is there a point when your HSA balance is so large....
Replies: 13
Views: 1728

Re: HSA: spend or not?

I save receipts and have yet to reimburse myself. Most of my HSA is invested in TBM, with a small amount of cash (basically whatever I haven't had a chance to invest yet). I consider the unreimbursed portion of my HSA to be part of my emergency fund since I can pull it out immediately with no conseq...
by skylar
Sat Jan 31, 2015 5:14 pm
 
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: HSA: spend or not?
Replies: 8
Views: 967

Re: Are Checking Accounts National?

I'll second the credit union recommendation. Many are part of the Co-op Network (https://co-opcreditunions.org) which allows members of one credit union no-charge access to branches and ATMs of any credit union in the network. When you add them all up, the network is about twice the size of Bank of ...
by skylar
Sat Jan 31, 2015 4:48 pm
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Are Checking Accounts National?
Replies: 13
Views: 1136

Re: Your Minimum Annual Expenses

Last year my wife and I spent just short of $45k, including taxes. Presumably if I lost my job, I wouldn't be paying much in taxes, so that brings us down to $33k. From there we could definitely get down to around $22k-25k without much additional pain by stopping travel, dining out, dropping cell ph...
by skylar
Sat Jan 31, 2015 11:23 am
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Your Minimum Annual Expenses
Replies: 37
Views: 3840

Re: 250K or more with Vanguard

Thanks skylar... MF Global is an example of a company that lost client money in the US a few years back.... Anakin Remember that the money lost with MF Global was brokerage/commodities money, not with any mutual fund. Mutual funds are highly regulated by the Investment Company Act, and it would be ...
by skylar
Wed Jan 28, 2015 8:08 pm
 
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: 250K or more with Vanguard
Replies: 17
Views: 5490

Re: 250K or more with Vanguard

Sorry for being unclear... I mean the risk of securities in our mutual fund holdings being lent out, either by Vanguard itself, or by the custodial bank that holds the mutual fund assets. Wondering if we have any documentation from Vanguard to assure us that our mutual funds' underlying stock/bond ...
by skylar
Tue Jan 27, 2015 8:07 pm
 
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: 250K or more with Vanguard
Replies: 17
Views: 5490

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: 942
Views: 189377

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: 19032

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: 19032

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: 19032

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: 203
Views: 10502

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: 11372

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: 11372

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: 6247

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: 629

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: 4556

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: 905

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: 2334

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: 16285

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: 5005

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: 5512

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: 3086

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: 1792

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: 2412

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: 2254

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: 128
Views: 15849

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: 7823

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: 6703

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: 2791

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: 1676

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: 1335

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: 3044

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: 3044

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: 7799

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: 7799

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: 7799

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: 2866

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: 4250

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: 4250

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: 10606

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: 3129

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: 1095

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: 5982

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: 6667
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