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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 12:57 pm
 
Forum: Forum Issues and Administration
Topic: updating phpBB to 3.0.12
Replies: 11
Views: 1288

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 9:29 am
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Vanguard - How America Saves 2014
Replies: 16
Views: 3360

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 7:25 pm
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: POLL: Do/did you get a match? How much?
Replies: 67
Views: 4176

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 11:53 pm
 
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Investing HSA Contributions
Replies: 6
Views: 537

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 11:51 pm
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: How do you dress for work travel?
Replies: 21
Views: 1861

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 10:42 pm
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Worst "Large purchase" ever?
Replies: 110
Views: 11614

Re: Monthly Budget Comparison

Well, if you're not eating meat then that explains a good part of it. Whatever else people may think of it, vegetarianism (or something close to it) tends to be much cheaper. You're not joking about it being low cost, those are really cheap eggs. Absolutely. Another advantage of vegetarianism is th...
by skylar
Thu May 22, 2014 7:10 pm
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Monthly Budget Comparison
Replies: 86
Views: 4659

Re: Monthly Budget Comparison

Here's ours for the Seattle area: TRANSPORTATION - $117 total Bike $12 (amortized monthly maintenance) Public transit $75 Gas - $30 (for when we're bumming rides) CHARITY - $216 GROCERIES - $398 RENT & UTILITIES - $1073 total Rent - $900 Electric - $45 Internet - $35 Phone - $66 Newspaper - $27 ...
by skylar
Thu May 22, 2014 8:37 am
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Monthly Budget Comparison
Replies: 86
Views: 4659

Re: Who are the "good" 403b providers.

My 403b is with Fidelity, although strangely none of the funds are from Fidelity. We have access to all of the Vanguard Target Retirement funds, along with a raft of Vanguard institutional funds, some DFA funds, and some questionable high-ER managed funds. The fees come out to $60/year regardless of...
by skylar
Wed May 21, 2014 8:43 pm
 
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Who are the "good" 403b providers.
Replies: 12
Views: 640

Re: Seattle and Portland, OR restaurant recommendations

Marrakesh in Seattle serves great Morrocan food, in a very authentic setting (the restaraunt is setup like a tent in the desert). I'd highly recommend the Royal Feast if you can get a group of four or more. If not, the 5 course meal is basically the same but I think costs a little bit more. It's in ...
by skylar
Tue Apr 29, 2014 7:00 pm
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Seattle and Portland, OR restaurant recommendations
Replies: 31
Views: 1292

Re: Vanguard S&P 500 vs Total Stock

I used to use Total Stock Market back when my 403b offered it. Now, though, neither my 403b nor my 457 plan offers a Total Stock Market fund, so I have to approximate it with S&P 500 + mid cap + small cap. I hold some of these in my IRA accounts as well, and keeping the same fund types everywher...
by skylar
Sun Apr 13, 2014 3:45 pm
 
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Vanguard S&P 500 vs Total Stock
Replies: 17
Views: 3075

Re: Savers remorse ?

What about saver's remorse for your kids? We're in a position to indulge our kids but don't (relatively speaking). They have everything they need, and plenty of activities and toys, but nothing fancy - they don't take horseriding lessons, we don't go to Disneyland every year, they won't be getting ...
by skylar
Sat Mar 22, 2014 5:03 pm
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Savers remorse ?
Replies: 91
Views: 12198

Re: Vanguard bond funds and leverage

It really depends on what the prospectus says the fund's strategy is going to be. At least for the Total Bond Market Index Fund, the closest mention it has to leverage is a possibility of derivative investments, although the current portfolio report doesn't show anything of the sort. I can't speak f...
by skylar
Wed Mar 12, 2014 8:05 pm
 
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Vanguard bond funds and leverage
Replies: 6
Views: 581

Re: your lowest exspense ratio fund in 401

Have a 403b, whose lowest-expense fund is the Vanguard Institutional Index at 0.05%. That doesn't include recordkeeping fees, which are $60/year, which add ~0.05%, although that will go down as my account grows.
by skylar
Sun Mar 09, 2014 7:31 pm
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: your lowest exspense ratio fund in 401
Replies: 31
Views: 1621

Re: 401 match (poll)

My 403b is age dependent. Under 35 is 100% up to 5%, 35-50 is 7.5%, and over 50 is 10%.
by skylar
Thu Mar 06, 2014 11:53 pm
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: 401 match (poll)
Replies: 33
Views: 1944

Re: SCSI

I still have an external SCSI hard drive laying around here, but I just realized that last year I donated my last machine that had a built-in SCSI interface. If I wanted to use that external hard drive as-is, I would have to get an adapter-card. Probably simpler to actually get a new enclosure for ...
by skylar
Wed Feb 05, 2014 9:21 pm
 
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: SCSI
Replies: 16
Views: 1707

Re: SCSI

The Wizard wrote:Super-speed USB 3.0 has pretty well put a nail in SCSI's coffin...


USB 3.0 still supports SCSI for its mass storage interface. ;)
by skylar
Tue Feb 04, 2014 8:24 pm
 
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: SCSI
Replies: 16
Views: 1707

Re: Who Invests 100% in Passive Index Funds/ETFs

I use entirely passive investments. It's a combination of Vanguard, DFA, a private-label S&P 500 fund in my 457 plan, and a private-label total bond index fund in my wife's 401k. I do have some I and EE bonds, but I suppose those are about as passive as you can get.
by skylar
Thu Jan 16, 2014 8:36 pm
 
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Who Invests 100% in Passive Index Funds/ETFs
Replies: 79
Views: 5775

Re: Are these Vangaurd 457 options decent?

galeno wrote:Is there a 20% of gross annual income limit on how much one can contribute to a 457 plan?


No, it's the same limit as a 401k/403b ($17,5000 this year) but under a separate cap, so you can contribute $17,500 to both a 401k/403b and a 457 simultaneously.
by skylar
Wed Jan 15, 2014 9:36 pm
 
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Are these Vanguard 457 options decent?
Replies: 8
Views: 462

Re: How do you "Stay the Course"?

A couple ways:

  1. I have an IPS.
  2. I stay busy doing other things, so it can be weeks/months before I look at investments.

There's really no need to look at investments more often than you have to rebalance them.
by skylar
Wed Jan 15, 2014 9:16 am
 
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: How do you "Stay the Course"?
Replies: 52
Views: 3452

Re: Vanguard Frequent Trading Policy

Seems to have gone away. I was able to buy shares of several funds that I know used to have a frequent trading restriction (TSM, TISM, SCV) well within the 60 day window since I sold those funds. I did not do anything special. I never saw the squiggly "restricted" symbol so I decided to t...
by skylar
Sun Jan 12, 2014 5:28 pm
 
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Vanguard Frequent Trading Policy
Replies: 17
Views: 1681

Re: Help with WA State 457b

For the bond side I presume nothing in the plan matches total (US nominal investment-grade non-tax-exempt) bond market -- hard to say how close the active fund is though I agree the extra credit risk shouldn't be ignored. It might be worth considering the "savings pool" after investigatin...
by skylar
Tue Jan 07, 2014 12:26 am
 
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Help with WA State 457b
Replies: 5
Views: 386

Re: Do you invest in a taxable account?

I'm another "no". Max'ing out my 403b, 457b, Roth IRA and HSA; and my wife's 401k and Roth IRA, is enough for us.
by skylar
Sun Jan 05, 2014 9:48 pm
 
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Do you invest in a taxable account?
Replies: 111
Views: 7476

Re: How do Vanguard mutual funds/ETFs "rebalance"?

Vanguard's index funds are weighted based on market capitalization. This means that there is no need for them to rebalance as the price of the underlying stocks change, since the changing stock price has already changed the weight. They buy new shares or sell existing shares based on their cash flow...
by skylar
Sun Jan 05, 2014 2:12 am
 
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: How do Vanguard mutual funds/ETFs "rebalance"?
Replies: 3
Views: 444

Re: Help with WA State 457b

I would recommend looking at your entire portfolio as a single unit, rather than each account as completely separate. You might want to post your entire portfolio, using this as a guide: http://www.bogleheads.org/forum/viewtopic.php?f=1&t=6212 I'm also a participant in the WA 457b, but I just us...
by skylar
Sun Jan 05, 2014 2:05 am
 
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Help with WA State 457b
Replies: 5
Views: 386

Re: Water conservation

Consider other lower-hanging fruit. Toilets seem to be ranked at 26% of household water useage. Get dual-flush toilets that have a short flush for fluids only. They are apparently quite exotic here, but have been standard in Germany for a decade at least. I'd bet that's 5-10% right there, and avoid...
by skylar
Sat Jan 04, 2014 12:30 pm
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Water conservation
Replies: 44
Views: 3410

Re: How much do you spend on books a year?

Over 6 years, it looks like we've spent $125/year on average. Many of those are gifts, though. We prefer using our public library when we can, or buying from the library book sale.
by skylar
Fri Jan 03, 2014 9:40 am
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: How much do you spend on books a year?
Replies: 47
Views: 2065

Re: Employer Botched Paycheck

The bigger point will be the FSA -- you opted in to a certain amount contributed for the year, and they should only withhold that amount. If they withheld more, that's a mistake and they need to correct that. The HSA is easier -- excess contributions can be removed by calling the HSA administrator,...
by skylar
Tue Dec 31, 2013 2:52 pm
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Employer Botched Paycheck
Replies: 31
Views: 2331

Re: What is your winter thermostat setting (while you are up

60F for us. That tends to be too warm for me, and too cold for my wife. If we're both unhappy I guess you can call it "compromise".
by skylar
Tue Dec 31, 2013 10:49 am
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: What is your winter thermostat setting (while you are up)?
Replies: 116
Views: 8528

Re: Pemco or other insurance company for home, auto, umbrell

We used Pemco for a few years for renters insurance, until the earthquake rider became too expensive. We switched to State Farm, which is about 5x cheaper.
by skylar
Mon Dec 30, 2013 10:27 pm
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Pemco or other insurance company for home, auto, umbrella
Replies: 4
Views: 293

Re: HSA transfer (Health Equity to Vanguard)

gvsucavie03 wrote:Last question - is a 60/40 AA reasonable or should I follow the "Age in Bonds minus 10" stated in my IPS?


As for us, we use the BND (Vanguard Total Bond Index) ETF, and count it as part of our standard bond allocation.
by skylar
Sun Dec 29, 2013 12:14 pm
 
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: HSA transfer (Health Equity to Vanguard)
Replies: 29
Views: 1845

Re: HSA transfer (Health Equity to Vanguard)

I believe only account closures are assessed $25. Partial transfers are done for free. I did this from Healthequity to HSA Bank and did not get assessed any fees on either side. Caveat emptor, though - The first time went smoothly, but this second time not so much. For some reason Healthequity is th...
by skylar
Fri Dec 27, 2013 5:38 pm
 
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: HSA transfer (Health Equity to Vanguard)
Replies: 29
Views: 1845

Re: I think low cost of living trumps retiring in a no state

VictoriaF wrote:
gkaplan wrote:Next month I'm moving from one high tax state (California) to another high tax state (Oregon).


You will be living in the home of the Powell's bookstore.

Victoria


That would be a guaranteed high-cost-of-living location for us, regardless of any other factors like taxes. :D
by skylar
Thu Dec 26, 2013 2:57 pm
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: I think low cost of living trumps retiring in a no state in
Replies: 80
Views: 5334

Re: Help with Health Equity HSA

I'm going to open an HSA with HealthEquity and give it a try. That's the provider my employer uses, so it's the only way I can get the full deductions (reduced SS and Medicare plus reduced income taxes). If it has a decent option like VLACX I will probably stick with it. If not, I'll just roll it i...
by skylar
Wed Dec 25, 2013 12:19 pm
 
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Help with Health Equity HSA
Replies: 22
Views: 2792

Re: What percentage of your income are you saving?

crowd79 wrote:38% of income.

For those that save beyond 50% or more, scale back some and enjoy life a little. That's kind of ridiculous. :beer


That's the plan, once my wife has a job that actually has PTO. Until then, I figure we might as well put the money to work...
by skylar
Sat Dec 14, 2013 11:29 pm
 
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: What percentage of your income are you saving?
Replies: 208
Views: 12372

Re: What percentage of your income are you saving?

Wife and I are both in our late 20s. We save about 60% of our income, of which about 95% is for retirement. We have a downpayment saved up for a house if we ever wanted to buy a house, but so far we have no desire to stop renting. That also functions as a nice emergency fund if we ever needed it.
by skylar
Fri Dec 13, 2013 8:31 pm
 
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: What percentage of your income are you saving?
Replies: 208
Views: 12372

Re: Monthly, bi-monthly, or weekly purchases

When I was starting out and didn't have much spare cash, I auto-invested once a month for both myself and my wife (aside from our employer stuff, which happens at whatever schedule they have). Now we have more spare cash and invest once a year in January.
by skylar
Thu Dec 12, 2013 10:22 pm
 
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Monthly, bi-monthly, or weekly purchases
Replies: 5
Views: 529

Re: Christmas gift for boss

At least in government work this is generally frowned upon, and might be illegal depending on where you work. I would not do it.
by skylar
Sun Dec 08, 2013 6:01 pm
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Christmas gift for boss
Replies: 34
Views: 2756

Re: Should you reveal your salary to your coworkers?

As a government worker, my salary is public record. You can go to a website and see every raise I got, along with all my coworkers, managers, etc. It never has bothered me nor anyone else I've worked with.
by skylar
Wed Nov 27, 2013 9:38 am
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Should you reveal your salary to your coworkers?
Replies: 107
Views: 7876

Re: Sci-Fi Short Story Recs

I'll second Alastair Reynolds, especially if you like dark sci-fi. Iain Banks is another great British author (sadly, recently deceased), and isn't quite as dark.

Skylar
by skylar
Tue Oct 29, 2013 7:26 pm
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Sci-Fi Short Story Recs
Replies: 60
Views: 3397

Re: How much storage space do you have?

Maybe 50sf between three closets and a storage room in the basement of our apartment. They're not even full either.
by skylar
Sat Oct 26, 2013 1:48 am
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: How much storage space do you have?
Replies: 18
Views: 2147

Re: How many square feet is your home?

700sf for my wife and me. We don't have a lot of stuff, nor do we have desire for lots of stuff. Living simply lets us live close to work and get by without a car too.
by skylar
Wed Oct 16, 2013 7:48 pm
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: How many square feet is your home?
Replies: 162
Views: 10888

Re: Young Guys [and Gals] Making Good Money

This thread is fascinating--it's like seeing what life is like on the other side of the tracks. Anyone else out there scraping by in the nonprofit world? Me - state government employee, got my first raise in four years last week. I'm still underpaid compared to what I could make in industry, althou...
by skylar
Sun Sep 29, 2013 11:36 am
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Young Guys [and Gals] Making Good Money
Replies: 241
Views: 23257

Re: Automatic Debit Errors

I agree that it is important to verify these things. A few years ago, one of my doctors scanned the copay check and also deposited it in the bank. Thanks to my "eagle eye" wife, we caught this and got credit for the double payment. This happened to me once, although my credit union actual...
by skylar
Sun Sep 29, 2013 11:24 am
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Automatic Debit Errors
Replies: 8
Views: 613

Re: Vanguard - Track your transfer

I'm seeing this now too. My wife's account shows two 401k rollovers to a Vanguard IRA that went through just fine, but are listed as "cancelled" now. Fortunately, the rollovers went smoothly and are far enough in the past that I'm not worried.
by skylar
Thu Sep 26, 2013 7:49 pm
 
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Vanguard - Track your transfer
Replies: 22
Views: 2241

Re: If you had a few weeks of downtime, what would you do?

Read, catch up on sleep. If my wife had time off too, maybe travel.
by skylar
Wed Sep 25, 2013 8:21 am
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: If you had a few weeks of downtime, what would you do?
Replies: 39
Views: 1937

Re: Are VFIAX and VTSAX the cheapest mutual funds in the wor

I've got a S&P 500 index fund in my 457 plan that has a 0% ER. Now, to be fair, the account has an admin fee of 0.14% so I'm not really paying 0%, but the ER for the specific fund is 0% and I'm pretty happy either way.

Skylar
by skylar
Mon Sep 16, 2013 8:26 am
 
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Are VFIAX and VTSAX the cheapest mutual funds in the world?
Replies: 14
Views: 1310

Re: Considering a Bread Machine

I got my wife a Breadman bread machine a few years ago as a birthday present for $50. We use it almost every week, and the bread is delicious. You can also just use it to make dough that you put in the oven if you want.
by skylar
Mon Sep 09, 2013 8:53 pm
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Considering a Bread Machine
Replies: 38
Views: 2467

Re: Vacation cost rule of thumb

What's this vacation thing you speak of ? Married 26 years, i think we have had 4 that were 1 week each. :annoyed Yeah, my wife has had one job with paid time off, but the commute was so awful that it wasn't worth it. Since then she's had to take unpaid leave or try to squeeze something in between ...
by skylar
Wed Sep 04, 2013 7:55 pm
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Vacation cost rule of thumb
Replies: 30
Views: 4277
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