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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: 10
Views: 478

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: 1895

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: 2619

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: 1257

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: 5508

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: 3150

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: 567

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: 5257

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: 5257

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: 5257

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: 5257

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: 5257

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: 27415

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: 386

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: 2040

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: 287

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: 10918

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: 1963

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: 7003

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: 7003

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: 2532

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: 564

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: 4741

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: 7300

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: 12392

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: 12392

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: 7300

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: 12392

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: 4539

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: 7300

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: 27415

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: 27415

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: 27415

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: 33703

Re: Best tires for Honda Odyssey EX-L 2011?

Also, keep in mind that OEM Michelins that came with your van may not be the same tires sold at retail stores under the same name. I would consider Michelin tire before any other brand, assuming the price is right. Really? I would think that if the tire has exactly the same name (not Primacy vs. Pr...
by snowman
Wed Apr 23, 2014 10:49 am
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Best tires for Honda Odyssey EX-L 2011?
Replies: 16
Views: 1459

Re: Best tires for Honda Odyssey EX-L 2011?

Go with Discount Tire. Good prices, great service, honest people. If your tires don't get the mileage stated, you will get pro-rated discount on your next set of tires. There will be no arguing, they will be on your side. Also, keep in mind that OEM Michelins that came with your van may not be the s...
by snowman
Tue Apr 22, 2014 10:09 pm
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Best tires for Honda Odyssey EX-L 2011?
Replies: 16
Views: 1459

Re: If you have ACA health insurance, what is your experien

I have some other interesting anecdotal info: For calendar year 2013, my premium for a $5000 deductible, no co-pays, HDHP was $152 per month. When BCBS sent my premium notice for 2014, this same policy (now called a "bronze" policy and compliant with the new ACA regs) was going to cost $3...
by snowman
Tue Apr 22, 2014 1:05 pm
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: If you have ACA health insurance, what is your experience?
Replies: 222
Views: 16204

Re: If you have ACA health insurance, what is your experien

Looked at the website shortly before the March 31 deadline. They wanted $180/month to ensure just me. Before the ACA, my spouse and I both had health insurance through Humana for $89/month. With ACA, double the price for half the service? No thanks, I'll pay the "no health insurance tax."...
by snowman
Mon Apr 21, 2014 12:27 pm
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: If you have ACA health insurance, what is your experience?
Replies: 222
Views: 16204

Re: If you have ACA health insurance, what is your experien

Our experience has been great. We are a family of 4, both parents in 50s, self-employed. In 2013, we were paying slightly over $1K/month in premium for a HDHP ($6K deductible). We signed up through our state exchange without a hiccup for a silver plan with generous benefits for pretty much the same ...
by snowman
Mon Apr 21, 2014 10:30 am
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: If you have ACA health insurance, what is your experience?
Replies: 222
Views: 16204

Re: problem with Amica, what to do next?

I have been with Amica many years, have had great experience, including claim process on a house. Any time I have called for a quote, they email it to me within minutes of our conversation, even when I don't ask for it. I found it annoying at times, as all I wanted was a ballpark estimate, but it ap...
by snowman
Thu Apr 17, 2014 10:54 am
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: problem with Amica, what to do next?
Replies: 23
Views: 2895

Re: Auto repair - "Threads getting thin in oil pan drain plu

This is just one of many reasons why I change the oil in our cars myself. At this point in time, I think the best solution for you is Fumoto valve, as suggested by other posters. Although, if you don't perform oil change yourself, quick lube places have been known to screw up Fumoto valve as well! I...
by snowman
Thu Mar 27, 2014 11:48 am
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Auto repair - "Threads getting thin in oil pan drain plug"
Replies: 40
Views: 2521

Re: Is there Software for one's car maintenance schedule

The right answer to expected expenses is what a CPA often says - it depends. There are just too many variables; it’s like an economist trying to predict unemployment rate 5 years down the road. Most people will say that point comes when every year you put into car more money than what the car is wor...
by snowman
Fri Mar 14, 2014 2:37 pm
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Is there Software for one's car maintenance schedule
Replies: 49
Views: 3674

Re: Is there Software for one's car maintenance schedule

OP, I am a car guy, meaning I maintain our vehicles and only go to a dealer either during warranty period for free problem fixes (if any), or for a free recall fix. I say that so you understand where my advice is coming from. So far, you got some really good suggestions from other posters, but you k...
by snowman
Fri Mar 14, 2014 12:14 pm
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Is there Software for one's car maintenance schedule
Replies: 49
Views: 3674

Re: non-compete [Employer NDA and Non-Compete agreements]

I am not an attorney, but I am self-employed consultant who signed these in the past. I also require any subcontractor that works with me on my projects to sign them, for my protection. In certain industries, these are very common, and as other posters noted, they are designed to protect the company...
by snowman
Tue Mar 11, 2014 8:09 pm
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: non-compete [Employer NDA and Non-Compete agreements]
Replies: 35
Views: 1637

Re: What to say to Non-Savers

There is nothing you can do about it. With the exception of your mom, it's really none of your business. As other posters smartly suggested, politely change the subject if the issue ever comes up. Don't ever bring it up yourself. You will do well in life when you go your own way and find your own ha...
by snowman
Mon Mar 03, 2014 1:54 pm
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: What to say to Non-Savers
Replies: 71
Views: 5561

Re: Use of tax software for planning

I think it's the best planning tool available - I use TT every year to do just that. I am self employed and my income varies widely. I have CPA doing my business taxes, but I do our personal taxes myself. Here is what I do, but you can certainly alter this approach to fit your specific needs. As soo...
by snowman
Sat Mar 01, 2014 1:43 pm
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Use of tax software for planning
Replies: 17
Views: 1244

Re: FOUR years till oldest child begins college -

This is a book you should read http://www.amazon.com/Paying-College-Without-Edition-Admissions/dp/0804124361/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1393613489&sr=8-1&keywords=paying+for+college+without+going+broke+2014. You can borrow it from your local library, and it does not need to be the latest edi...
by snowman
Fri Feb 28, 2014 2:57 pm
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: FOUR years till oldest child begins college -
Replies: 31
Views: 2057

Re: HELP! Medical costs

OP, I am very sorry about what happened to you. Here are my thoughts. There isn’t much you can do at this point, as far as your medical bills are concerned. Your insurance company will process the claim, and you will be on the hook for the remainder of the bill, according to your policy agreement. Y...
by snowman
Wed Feb 26, 2014 9:15 pm
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: HELP! Medical costs
Replies: 57
Views: 3181

Re: Turbo Tax Bug: Self employed insurace deduction

It's in Turbo Tax, there is no need to enter amounts manually. However, it's not where you would logically expect it (under Deductions & Credits). You can only get there by going through K-1 income section in Income & Wages. The amount will be shown in Business Deductions and Credits, under ...
by snowman
Mon Feb 24, 2014 11:13 am
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Turbo Tax Bug: Self employed insurace deduction
Replies: 7
Views: 498

Re: S Corp Closure - Account Consolidations

OP, you've got great advise already from DSInvestor. I would only add that, depending on your state of residence, ERISA may offer you greater protection from creditors in 401k accounts. If that's at all important to you, than you will want to roll all accounts into your new Fidelity 401k. If that's ...
by snowman
Sun Feb 23, 2014 12:46 pm
 
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: S Corp Closure - Account Consolidations
Replies: 5
Views: 364
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