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Re: What is common for a severance package?

Thanks for the replies. Does the week per year of pay often include total compensation (bonus, stock options, and other benefits)? In my experience, it does not. It goes by your current salary only. However, any unused time off gets added to it. There will be specific rules outlining (potential) bo...
by snowman
Wed Oct 15, 2014 11:19 am
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: What is common for a severance package?
Replies: 25
Views: 1821

Re: Recent statistics of college majors

Very interesting and timely – it’s the college application season for our son.

They should show the first couple of charts to parents of first graders. Maybe a few more parents would spend more time helping their kids with their math homework.

Thanks for sharing.
by snowman
Wed Oct 15, 2014 11:04 am
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Recent statistics of college majors
Replies: 35
Views: 2668

Re: Is Now a Good time to Buy Bonds ???

Don't try to time the market. Instead, come up with a plan if you don't have one already. For example, if you have 3 years to go from 5% to 20%, you move up to 10% in 2015, 15% in 2016, and 20% in 2017. Maybe you will get there through new contributions, re-balancing, or combination of both. Seems p...
by snowman
Thu Sep 25, 2014 8:59 pm
 
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Is Now a Good time to Buy Bonds ???
Replies: 19
Views: 1893

Re: Unexpected Emergency

There is one more step you may want to do with regard to your new CC. Once it arrives in the mail and you activate it, ask CS for increased line of credit. If you have another CC with the same bank already, they will suggest you move whatever amount available, up to the limit on the old card. If the...
by snowman
Thu Sep 25, 2014 8:43 pm
 
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Unexpected Emergency
Replies: 33
Views: 3309

Re: Lump sum or monthly check at retirment

Oh, and I don't know how the $35k would be taxed, so that might affect the sum that actually gets invested which would likely lower the monthly payout in retirement. Also, I believe SWRs are adjusted for inflation. Is the pension distribution? Someone can let us know if this kind of payout cannot g...
by snowman
Thu Sep 25, 2014 4:19 pm
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Lump sum or monthly check at retirement
Replies: 20
Views: 1412

Re: Unexpected Emergency

It really depends on many factors, so here comes simple answer to simple question. No, I would not stop 401k contributions. As some posters already suggested, I would get 0% CC for 18 months - yes, they do exist. Some even come with a signing bonus and cash rewards. I would not even touch EF if I di...
by snowman
Thu Sep 25, 2014 3:57 pm
 
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Unexpected Emergency
Replies: 33
Views: 3309

Re: Who holds your Solo 401k?

Why not more for TDAmeritrade as they have 100 commission free ETFs with no minimum limits that have many Vanguard ETFs? I looked at Fidelity and they do have low ER Spartan funds but many appear to have minimum limits of 2500 or 10k (Im just starting a solo 401k this year and don't have a lot of m...
by snowman
Wed Sep 24, 2014 11:35 pm
 
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Who holds your Solo 401k?
Replies: 37
Views: 2256

Re: Jack and Jill Bathroom a problem?

OP, I just responded to your other post, and was wondering - is this house A or B? Anyway, we have one of these, my wife loved it when we bought it and kids were little (boy and girl). She made a comment that once they become teenagers, they will not want to share the bathroom. Well, that's exactly ...
by snowman
Wed Sep 24, 2014 10:23 pm
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Jack and Jill Bathroom a problem?
Replies: 18
Views: 1901

Re: Who holds your Solo 401k?

Why not more for TDAmeritrade as they have 100 commission free ETFs with no minimum limits that have many Vanguard ETFs? I looked at Fidelity and they do have low ER Spartan funds but many appear to have minimum limits of 2500 or 10k (Im just starting a solo 401k this year and don't have a lot of m...
by snowman
Wed Sep 24, 2014 10:10 pm
 
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Who holds your Solo 401k?
Replies: 37
Views: 2256

Re: Which house to buy?

B, no question.
by snowman
Wed Sep 24, 2014 10:00 pm
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Which house to buy?
Replies: 16
Views: 1435

Re: Help w/ the Mechanics of Solo 401k Contributions?

I stand corrected, and I apologize for that. Thank you, SR. What I described was the solo 401k mechanics of an S-Corp, not LLC. I cannot believe I missed such an important fact! I apologize to OP as well.
by snowman
Tue Sep 09, 2014 11:31 am
 
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Help w/ the Mechanics of Solo 401k Contributions?
Replies: 14
Views: 1047

Re: Help w/ the Mechanics of Solo 401k Contributions?

It really does not matter when, how often or how much you contribute. Just remember that if you already paid yourself, you cannot come back in some future time and designate part of it as 401k employee contribution. Also, you only have until December 31st to make employee salary deferral contributio...
by snowman
Mon Sep 08, 2014 6:14 pm
 
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Help w/ the Mechanics of Solo 401k Contributions?
Replies: 14
Views: 1047

Re: A 'really good book' you did NOT enjoy

War and Peace. I couldn't keep track of all the characters. Anything by Shakespeare and Tolstoy would be on that list too. It's been several decades though. Now people are piling up on Tostoy?! My opinion about the intellectual strength of this Forum is falling fast. Victoria Isn’t it interesting? ...
by snowman
Sun Sep 07, 2014 4:32 pm
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: A 'really good book' you did NOT enjoy
Replies: 226
Views: 11150

Re: A 'really good book' you did NOT enjoy

Recently, I waited 2 months for "The Death of Money" by James Rickards. I was so excited when I got email from the library that it's now available! What a disappointment. I forced myself to finish reading it, hoping with every new chapter that it will get better. It never did... Anything b...
by snowman
Sun Sep 07, 2014 11:34 am
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: A 'really good book' you did NOT enjoy
Replies: 226
Views: 11150

Re: Salzburg or Graz?

What others have said, including Salzburg if you absolutely have to choose.
by snowman
Mon Aug 04, 2014 1:38 pm
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Salzburg or Graz?
Replies: 18
Views: 1253

Re: New vehicle...GMC Acadia, Chevy Traverse, or Buick Encla

Like let's go Bobby, I would like to see reliability reports for this model year. I would be very careful with that assumption. A lot of problems will manifest themselves later in the life of the car. First year model reliability report will, unfortunately, not tell you how that new transmission wi...
by snowman
Tue Jul 29, 2014 1:58 pm
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: New vehicle...GMC Acadia, Chevy Traverse, or Buick Enclave?
Replies: 112
Views: 10592

Re: Where should I open a Solo 401k account?

I concur with Spirit Rider's advise - it depends on what's important to you. Mine is at Fidelity and I would recommend them any time. However, if you want options like Roth, loans, or electronic deposits, you need to look elsewhere.
by snowman
Fri Jul 25, 2014 10:24 am
 
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Where should I open a Solo 401k account?
Replies: 18
Views: 1290

Re: Should I buy a new(er) car, and if so what?

Several thoughts, coming from someone who does all repair (if needed) and maintenance on our cars. First, upgrade your current stereo, it will make a big difference. Second, there is no such thing as 150K mile service costing $450. It may be a product dealership (or another auto shop) is trying to s...
by snowman
Wed Jul 16, 2014 3:21 pm
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Should I buy a new(er) car, and if so what?
Replies: 19
Views: 2390

Re: Likely about to lose job, planning for transition

I am sorry about your situation. Here are my thoughts (although I see several posters beat me to it already). You are correct about health insurance – your job loss is a qualifying event, no gotchas there. However, when mega corps let people go, they generally offer some type of package which genera...
by snowman
Wed Jul 16, 2014 2:54 pm
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Likely about to lose job, planning for transition
Replies: 21
Views: 2698

Re: HSA savings on premium?

You may not be comparing apples to apples if your own coverage is subsidized by your employer. Ask BC for the quote for the 3 of them, then you have direct comparison.
by snowman
Tue Jul 15, 2014 3:46 pm
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: HSA savings on premium?
Replies: 9
Views: 1283

Re: Car did not start: To dispose? How?

It's more than likely battery. There is a small chance terminal connection became loose. It actually happens quite often, so that's the very first thing I would check. I do maintenance myself, but AAA should diagnose and jump start if necessary at your house with no problem. If it ends up being the ...
by snowman
Mon Jul 07, 2014 12:42 pm
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Car did not start: To dispose? How?
Replies: 70
Views: 6192

Re: Should I go back?

I would not go back. I left years ago corporate environment and commute you describe, I pay double for health insurance compared to your current cost, and I get no pension or any other benefits. I am self-employed, with unpredictable income, in some years much lower than what I used to make. I can t...
by snowman
Wed Jul 02, 2014 1:22 pm
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Should I go back?
Replies: 32
Views: 3249

Re: Roth IRA for Teenager

She doesn't have to be the one contributing. For example, she could contribute 10% and you could provide the other 90%. I would avoid you funding 100%, the kid needs to have some skin in the game and get started with the idea of paying themselves first. This is what we have done with our kids over ...
by snowman
Tue Jul 01, 2014 4:01 pm
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Roth IRA for Teenager
Replies: 6
Views: 584

Re: engineers - please help with engineering school selectio

I would not underestimate the benefits of AP courses in high school. Graduates of Carnegie Mellon are finishing with a Masters degree in 4 years. I think the same thing happens at other top schools. I know people are doing it, but I'm not sure its the right thing to do for most students. Yes it sav...
by snowman
Fri Jun 13, 2014 10:57 am
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: engineers - please help with engineering school selection
Replies: 119
Views: 5521

Re: engineers - please help with engineering school selectio

A note on paying for college --- I believe that you are mistaken that the top private schools (MIT, Stanford, CMU, CalTech, Rice, Mines, etc) will cost you less than an out-of-state flagship. If you can pay for in-state, then I predict that you will get neither financial aid at the top private scho...
by snowman
Fri Jun 13, 2014 10:47 am
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: engineers - please help with engineering school selection
Replies: 119
Views: 5521

Re: engineers - please help with engineering school selectio

His stats looks impressive, but the competition is tough. How competitive is his school? What top schools did last few years classes attend? How many went to elite schools? National Merit Finalist? How many AP tests did he take and what were his scores? Does he have any unusual experiences that mak...
by snowman
Fri Jun 13, 2014 10:39 am
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: engineers - please help with engineering school selection
Replies: 119
Views: 5521

Re: engineers - please help with engineering school selectio

OP here. Wow! I cannot believe so many people took their time to respond in such a short period of time. Thank you all for your very thoughtful comments. I will try to briefly address questions/concerns/suggestions, in one relatively condensed reply. “I would not go into engineering if making a lot ...
by snowman
Thu Jun 12, 2014 5:57 pm
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: engineers - please help with engineering school selection
Replies: 119
Views: 5521

engineers - please help with engineering school selection

I would like to solicit advise from this great forum, especially from current and former engineers, although anyone is welcome to chime in. Our goal is to put together a short list of engineering schools to visit over the summer, and apply to ones deemed to offer good fit for our son. We only plan t...
by snowman
Thu Jun 12, 2014 12:11 pm
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: engineers - please help with engineering school selection
Replies: 119
Views: 5521

Re: Tell Me I'm Stupid To Consider Quitting My Job and Movin

OP, Thanks for coming back and posting an update. It's good to know for everyone that offered advise what decision was made after-all. Anyway, don't beat yourself up. Even though you know from my posts that I am a big proponent of happiness vs. money, the decision you made was the best you could mak...
by snowman
Fri May 23, 2014 2:25 pm
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Tell Me I'm Stupid To Consider Quitting My Job and Moving
Replies: 123
Views: 28397

Re: Using HELOC for down payment on retirement home

I would not call myself an expert, but we did just that when we moved the last time, and it worked for us. So I don't see a problem with this strategy, even though some posters will think it's risky. But that was before 2008, and the lending standards have changed since that time. For example, the b...
by snowman
Fri May 23, 2014 12:24 pm
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Using HELOC for down payment on retirement home
Replies: 3
Views: 476

Re: When is a taxable account unnecessary?

No, there is no need. However, you do need to have access to liquid funds in case of emergency. Many people on this board have higher savings rate than their available tax advantaged space, so taxable investing becomes necessity. For our family of 2 self-employed individuals, the tax advantaged spac...
by snowman
Wed May 21, 2014 10:41 am
 
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: When is a taxable account unnecessary?
Replies: 30
Views: 2082

Re: international etf diversification

You don't diversify because of what happened in the past 10-20-30 years. You diversify because you don't know what the returns will be in the NEXT 10-20-30 years.
by snowman
Sat May 17, 2014 11:34 am
 
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: international etf diversification
Replies: 5
Views: 295

Re: When did you tell your children how much you had amassed

Very thoughtful responses so far. It is too early, and there really is no need. Just keep doing what you are doing, and he will be fine. As some posters correctly noted, kids do share sensitive family information when the time is “right” within their peer group. You have to assume this (or any other...
by snowman
Sat May 17, 2014 11:26 am
 
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: When did you tell your children how much you had amassed
Replies: 135
Views: 11242

Re: Car for daughter

If you maintained the TL as you say you did, this is a 200K+ miles car. So no need to spend money on AWD, and with good snow tires, the TL is quite capable in the snow. For this car, she will probably go with winter performance tires (H or V rated). They go on in late fall, depending on the weather ...
by snowman
Sat May 10, 2014 6:51 pm
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Car for daughter
Replies: 39
Views: 2002

Re: Obligations to help parents financially?

The stories I hear around town of parents who "suspend family financial reality just because it's college" surprise me. Though I have never run into anything to rival the OP's story. A good friend of mine who believes parents are not responsible for college costs is co-signing a ton of pr...
by snowman
Sat May 10, 2014 10:57 am
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Obligations to help parents financially?
Replies: 77
Views: 7184

Re: Obligations to help parents financially?

This is a tough situation to be in. You got some good advice already, I would only reiterate not to pay anything until bankruptcy proceedings are completed. Based on your observation, no matter what happens financially, the relationships are already strained. I don’t see that changing for the better...
by snowman
Thu May 08, 2014 7:53 pm
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Obligations to help parents financially?
Replies: 77
Views: 7184

Re: Capital One 360 (Online Checking Acct)

Another one been with ING and now CapOne360 for 10 years. I've had ZERO problems with them. I do all my banking, bill paying, auto-debits, etc with them. They've never made an error in my accounts. They have no-charge ATM's all over the country. They have phone service that actually IS customer ser...
by snowman
Tue Apr 29, 2014 12:56 pm
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Capital One 360 (Online Checking Acct)
Replies: 19
Views: 2671

Re: Switching to Consulting; Retirement Account Options?

These days, both SEP-IRA and solo 401k plans are free to set up and free to maintain. There is no advantage of going with SEP-IRA first and than do rollover; in fact, it might be a negative as some solo 401k administrators do not allow incoming rollovers.
by snowman
Tue Apr 29, 2014 12:46 pm
 
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Switching to Consulting; Retirement Account Options?
Replies: 7
Views: 579

Re: 2003 Accord - 2nd trans going bad - invested $$

I have exact same car as you with 176K miles on it. I maintain it myself, and I enjoy doing it. I change transmission fluid every other oil change, for the most part. You can tell the difference when driving it; I am not sure about longevity, we will see. Anyway, I know that these units can sometime...
by snowman
Mon Apr 28, 2014 6:25 pm
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: 2003 Accord - 2nd trans going bad - invested $$
Replies: 39
Views: 4798

Re: mailed US tax check 4/13 - not cashed yet

Few points, sscritic. Last year I was due a refund from both taxing agencies. I filed electronically both on 2-26. I filed state return for free on the state's website instead of using TT, but their interface was slow and extremely cumbersome and it took over an hour to get through it. It felt like ...
by snowman
Sat Apr 26, 2014 1:59 pm
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: mailed US tax check 4/13 - not cashed yet
Replies: 43
Views: 7400

Re: VW TDI Engines

placeholder wrote:If the cars are not engineered to work with US fuel (regardless of whether that fuel is lower quality) then VW shouldn't be selling them here or they should re-engineer to work with the available fuel.

Agree.
by snowman
Sat Apr 26, 2014 1:37 pm
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: VW TDI Engines
Replies: 48
Views: 12805

Re: VW TDI Engines

While here in the US we generally value reliability the most, the top priority in Europe is engineering. The US is very different from Europe in a number of respects. One of them is in the US number of vehicles and vehicle miles per capita is 40-50% higher. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_cou...
by snowman
Sat Apr 26, 2014 1:28 pm
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: VW TDI Engines
Replies: 48
Views: 12805

Re: mailed US tax check 4/13 - not cashed yet

I e-filed federal and used EFTPS on 4-15. They sure did not take their time like they do with refunds - the money cleared my account on 4-16. Drove to post office on 4-15 to mail my state return with check included (did not want to pay TT $40 to file my state taxes). Made sure they post mark the en...
by snowman
Sat Apr 26, 2014 10:39 am
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: mailed US tax check 4/13 - not cashed yet
Replies: 43
Views: 7400

Re: VW TDI Engines

I have nothing against VW or European cars in general – I grew up with them overseas, my family drives them, they are great cars in many respects. My brother works at VW supplier over there, so I get some occasional insight, but that’s irrelevant here. Once you avoid the junk on the bottom and go ma...
by snowman
Sat Apr 26, 2014 10:28 am
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: VW TDI Engines
Replies: 48
Views: 12805

Re: Help: Tax Advantage Accounts for Self Employed

OP, there have been multiple threads last year comparing different solo 401k providers. Use the search function to get additional details. I am with Fidelity, and there was never any fee involved - no setup fee, no ongoing fee. It was as fast and easy to open solo 401k at Fidelity, as it was to open...
by snowman
Fri Apr 25, 2014 2:59 pm
 
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Help: Tax Advantage Accounts for Self Employed
Replies: 22
Views: 4579

Re: mailed US tax check 4/13 - not cashed yet

I e-filed federal and used EFTPS on 4-15. They sure did not take their time like they do with refunds - the money cleared my account on 4-16. Drove to post office on 4-15 to mail my state return with check included (did not want to pay TT $40 to file my state taxes). Made sure they post mark the env...
by snowman
Fri Apr 25, 2014 2:51 pm
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: mailed US tax check 4/13 - not cashed yet
Replies: 43
Views: 7400

Re: Tell Me I'm Stupid To Consider Quitting My Job and Movin

BTW, a friend of mine, about your age, also an attorney, left his profession several years ago, totally burned out not just from only 2 weeks of vacation, but mainly from the profession itself. He wanted “to do some good in the world, unlike what he was doing daily at his job”, something like that....
by snowman
Fri Apr 25, 2014 12:29 pm
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Tell Me I'm Stupid To Consider Quitting My Job and Moving
Replies: 123
Views: 28397

Re: Tell Me I'm Stupid To Consider Quitting My Job and Movin

I remain greatly appreciative of all of the thoughts and comments expressed. To elaborate a bit further: You need to quit, with a plan for second career. Realize that you will make substantially less money for the rest of your working life, and accept it. That’s your tradeoff for being happy. I ful...
by snowman
Thu Apr 24, 2014 7:18 pm
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Tell Me I'm Stupid To Consider Quitting My Job and Moving
Replies: 123
Views: 28397

Re: Tell Me I'm Stupid To Consider Quitting My Job and Movin

This is a very personal matter, there is no right answer. As I predicted, most people responded with “this is stupid to even consider; why walk away from so much money? Take a vacation, recharge, than go back to the grind, keep increasing your net worth…” I was where you are now some years ago, but ...
by snowman
Thu Apr 24, 2014 11:38 am
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Tell Me I'm Stupid To Consider Quitting My Job and Moving
Replies: 123
Views: 28397

Re: Mr. Money Mustache: Hero or Foolish?

I like the guy, I think he is doing great service to this country. I also happen to like his writing style, although I can understand how it can put off some people. I read his blog only occasionally (seems like I go there only after I read a thread about him on BH), and I don’t agree with everythin...
by snowman
Wed Apr 23, 2014 1:40 pm
 
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Mr. Money Mustache: Hero or Foolish?
Replies: 255
Views: 36430
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