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Re: Do you split in-state and fed munis? If so, how?

I only use CA muni funds, no national muni funds. My combined marginal tax rate is 37.3%. CA muni funds comprise up to about 5% of my total asset allocation. I sell holdings in my CA intermediate term tax free fund every 8-10 years when I buy a new car or have a major household expense so sometimes ...
by stan1
Wed Jul 23, 2014 9:27 pm
 
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Do you split in-state and national munis? If so, how?
Replies: 16
Views: 647

Re: Front office vs Enterprise wide IT job

The answer is clear: Front Office if you want to be part of the excitement; Back Office if you don't. I think you should try the FO (especially if you don't have kids); there are many slower paced jobs if you decide you don't like it. You'll have to stay on your toes; I'd also imagine FO folks get l...
by stan1
Wed Jul 23, 2014 9:22 am
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Front office vs Enterprise wide IT job
Replies: 5
Views: 548

Re: Anyone been to Charleston, SC?

Fairly randomly the GF and I booked a trip to Charleston next week. We will be driving from Chicago, and staying thurs-Sun. It was on my list to visit for awhile, for no specific reason other than I heard good things. So here I am trying to find some activities. We are pretty big foodies (god I hat...
by stan1
Wed Jul 23, 2014 4:49 am
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Anyone been to Charleston, SC?
Replies: 21
Views: 915

Re: Poll - Do you use Quicken?

The admiral shares conversion was a hassle (I'd forgotten about it since it happened years ago). Unfortunately I bought TSM and had dividends reinvested. I knew I needed to get the number of shares right for each lot in order to maintain cost basis properly. I ended up building a conversion spreadsh...
by stan1
Mon Jul 21, 2014 10:58 pm
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Poll - Do you use Quicken?
Replies: 66
Views: 3092

Re: Helping My Grandmother

I'm going to summarize some of the options that have been ruled out: - Selling house - Geting a trusted roommate (female, around her age) - Reverse mortage - Moving her in with family - Family helping pay off mortgage - Family helping out with bills/groceries I haven't heard moving to a lower cost o...
by stan1
Sun Jul 20, 2014 11:49 pm
 
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Helping My Grandmother
Replies: 54
Views: 3122

Re: years of investing and balances

Don't think about having $1M in assets/net worth. If you are worried about that number then what you need to focus on is income. Make more and spend the same/less is the secret. The family that makes $400K/year and spends $75K is going to reach $1M much faster than the family that makes $90K and spe...
by stan1
Sun Jul 20, 2014 9:02 pm
 
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: years of investing and balances
Replies: 23
Views: 1922

Re: TSP vs Vanguard

Pick the assset allocation that works for you, then find a target fund that meets the asset allocation you desire. Vanguard's problem was likely benchmarking. If their 2040 fund is underperforming Fidelity's or Schwab's 2040 fund then people think Vanguard's is inferior. It's not, it just has a diff...
by stan1
Sun Jul 20, 2014 8:27 pm
 
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: TSP vs Vanguard
Replies: 10
Views: 1152

Re: Helping My Grandmother

If she won't use a credit card for groceries you could deposit $200/month into her checking account (or whatever number you want to use). I do that with my mom to help her make ends meet. She is 81 and has a little more than your mom because she sold her house this year (but also now has to pay rent...
by stan1
Sun Jul 20, 2014 6:29 pm
 
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Helping My Grandmother
Replies: 54
Views: 3122

Re: Helping My Grandmother

Tough situation for her (and her family). She's fortunate to have family members who care about her. You probably aren't going to like my answer but I don't think she should have anything invested in stocks or bonds. She has zero ability to take risk especially if she is in good health and might liv...
by stan1
Sun Jul 20, 2014 5:51 pm
 
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Helping My Grandmother
Replies: 54
Views: 3122

Re: Buying First Home - Inspection Follow Up Advice

Important to keep in mind that an inspection and an appraisal are two different things. An inspection is theoretically for your benefit, although it's also for the seller's and both Realtor's benefit to avoid lawsuits over undisclosed defects (known or unknown). An appraisal is for the lender's bene...
by stan1
Sun Jul 20, 2014 7:22 am
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Buying First Home - Inspection Follow Up Advice
Replies: 22
Views: 1833

Re: Favorite portfolio tracking software

You might want to start by typing "portfolio software" into the search box. Been addressed many times, and its a lot of personal preference.
by stan1
Sat Jul 19, 2014 4:25 pm
 
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Favorite portfolio tracking software
Replies: 14
Views: 1771

Re: Missing TSP Contribution?

My bi-weekly contributions (employee, agency automatic, and agency matching) all posted as usual on Thursday (7/17). If yours is delayed maybe your agency's payroll system was late to report. Did your paycheck direct deposit properly?
by stan1
Sat Jul 19, 2014 10:34 am
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Missing TSP Contribution?
Replies: 9
Views: 1172

Re: Have you quit your job because of your boss?

Seems like both you and your boss would benefit from you taking a management directed reassignment (e.g. a lateral reassignment to a vacant position elsewhere in the organization without a competitive announcement). Since you've been there 20 years do you have other people who you'd like to work for...
by stan1
Sun Jul 13, 2014 1:23 pm
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Have you quit your job because of your boss?
Replies: 66
Views: 7080

Re: Moving from Midwest to Coastal Cities: COL Adjustment?

Currently in a job in the Midwest earning $80k. Have been contemplating a career move to better places.... I hate crowds, cities and commute, but I'm willing to move if the $$$ is good. I have to ask some questions because these comments seem at odds with each other. What are your criteria for a &q...
by stan1
Sun Jul 13, 2014 11:53 am
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Moving from Midwest to Coastal Cities: COL Adjustment?
Replies: 25
Views: 2504

Re: Travel Converters/Adapters

I've always used a two prong europlug adapter (Type C) in Italy and continental Europe. You can plug a europlug adapter into a Type L outlet (the ground/middle hole in the outlet is unused just like plugging a US Type A plug into a Type B outlet). I no longer have any Type B power requirements when ...
by stan1
Sat Jul 12, 2014 8:45 pm
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Travel Converters/Adapters
Replies: 11
Views: 873

Re: Offer on home accepted- Sellers want to rent for sometim

They are paying cots of Principal, interest, HOA, utilities, taxes for 2 months(trying less than 59 days as lender's condition) Have you considered the income tax cost to you? You have to report their payments to you as rental income. True but it sounds like in this case most if not all of the &quo...
by stan1
Tue Jul 08, 2014 7:12 am
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Offer on home accepted- Sellers want to rent for sometime
Replies: 19
Views: 1666

Re: Offer on home accepted- Sellers want to rent for sometim

Seller should be paying market rent -- not an amount equal to your costs. Utilities should stay in sellers name until you move in (as they would in a rental). Since it is just for 2 months you could request that the rent be paid to you out of the escrow if its not too late. The realtors involved sho...
by stan1
Tue Jul 08, 2014 7:10 am
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Offer on home accepted- Sellers want to rent for sometime
Replies: 19
Views: 1666

Re: Offer on home accepted- Sellers want to rent for sometim

This has become fairly "normal" in my seller's market neighborhood where there are many cash offers on $1M homes. Sellers want to rent back for 2-3 months while they wait for escrow to close on a new house, rather than moving into a rental for that period of time. It has often become a con...
by stan1
Tue Jul 08, 2014 4:55 am
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Offer on home accepted- Sellers want to rent for sometime
Replies: 19
Views: 1666

Re: California Intermediate-Term Tax-Exempt Fund

I have up to about 10% of my portfolio in this fund (I use it to pay for a new car when I need one, then rebuild it). I do not hold any national municipal bond funds. People have been predicting California's geologic destruction and political/economic demise for decades; it hasn't happened yet but m...
by stan1
Mon Jul 07, 2014 5:24 pm
 
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: California Intermediate-Term Tax-Exempt Fund
Replies: 9
Views: 913

Re: Want international exposure? You already have it.

Why would I buy GM stock but not Ford stock? That's why I buy broad index funds like Total Stock market rather than individual stocks. Likewise why would I buy Ford and GM stock but not Toyota, Hyundai, Peugeot, and VW? I have no reason to believe American based companies are fundamentally superior ...
by stan1
Sat Jul 05, 2014 5:49 pm
 
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Want international exposure? You already have it.
Replies: 65
Views: 6326

Re: Valuing a personal residence for net worth purposes

True, but the basic point is that a realitor either chose or was convinced to start there. And looking at the price per sq. ft. it isn't much different than new construction in the area, so I am guessing they will get closer to asking than to the zEstimate. Realtors don't determine the selling pric...
by stan1
Sat Jul 05, 2014 1:47 pm
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Valuing a personal residence for net worth purposes
Replies: 73
Views: 3768

Re: Valuing a personal residence for net worth purposes

Assuming you have no outstanding mortgage on the home, for net worth calculation I would use a realistic value of what it would sell for if you sold it today. That is to say the realistic selling value that would be assigned by you and your realtor. Of course if you have a mortgage balance that wou...
by stan1
Sat Jul 05, 2014 1:23 pm
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Valuing a personal residence for net worth purposes
Replies: 73
Views: 3768

Re: Valuing a personal residence for net worth purposes

I use the value of the home based on recent comparables reduced by 10% for selling costs. My house is in a subdivision of 120 homes so there's at least 5-10 sales every year I can use as a value per square foot comp. In my state the assesssed value on a property tax bill has nothing to do with the r...
by stan1
Sat Jul 05, 2014 12:59 pm
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Valuing a personal residence for net worth purposes
Replies: 73
Views: 3768

Re: Combining finances - gift tax?

blueleaf wrote:Thanks for all the responses so far. One more related question: Does adding her as a co-owner of a bank account count as a "gift" for tax purposes?


Seems like you should wait on some of this until after you are married since you seem very concerned about it.
by stan1
Fri Jul 04, 2014 7:34 pm
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Combining finances - gift tax?
Replies: 15
Views: 742

Re: Best website for airfare?

Make sure you check DCA, IAD, and BWI -- there can be significant price differences at times.

Amazingly enough sometimes it is cheaper to fly from IAD to CLD (Carlsbad) with a plane change at LAX, also.
by stan1
Fri Jul 04, 2014 3:34 pm
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Best website for airfare?
Replies: 20
Views: 2830

Re: [Poll] Which do you include in Asset Allocation?

I include all investable assets and liability (which allows prepayment) that are measurable in my investment portfolio. Some controversial examples: 1. primary residence: included because of appreciating value. Using this logic, I exclude cars. 2. mortgage (liability): included because I consider m...
by stan1
Fri Jul 04, 2014 12:31 am
 
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: [Poll] Which do you include in Asset Allocation?
Replies: 41
Views: 2634

Re: Are You Re-Balancing?

All of my new contributions have gone to bonds for the past two years and I have transferred small cap value shares into my donor advised fund -- so yes.
by stan1
Thu Jul 03, 2014 10:13 pm
 
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: POLL: Are You Re-Balancing?
Replies: 70
Views: 4953

Re: Please Help Me Plan A Trip To Italy

Thank you. I will look into that hotel. Our cruise ends when we get to Rome so everything in Italy will be flexible and individual. Do day trips via rail to Florence, Venice, and Monaco sound reasonable with Rome as our home base? No day trips to Venice or Monaco from Rome. It is possible for Flore...
by stan1
Thu Jul 03, 2014 9:58 pm
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Please Help Me Plan A Trip To Italy
Replies: 26
Views: 1843

Re: Continue subscribing to local newspaper?

I've found that local TV stations put a lot of the local news on their websites (for free) -- and sometimes its updated faster on the TV station websites.
by stan1
Thu Jul 03, 2014 9:43 pm
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Continue subscribing to local newspaper?
Replies: 86
Views: 6128

Re: Sell rental property to pay down mortgage?

Investment property is a business. You are looking cap rates so clearly you are thinking along the right lines. You said the rental is paid of so you should have good positive cash flow. If you don't mind being a landlord and the property is generating income you could direct that to paying down the...
by stan1
Thu Jul 03, 2014 4:37 pm
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Sell rental property to pay down mortgage?
Replies: 5
Views: 556

Re: Do you tell your kids how much you make?

Maybe I'm nosy but my parents owned a small business (retail) and always had pay stubs, tax returns, and accounting reports filed around the house so I knew their incomes down to the penny even though we didn't talk about it. During junior high and high school I did end of day reconciliation and man...
by stan1
Thu Jul 03, 2014 4:19 pm
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Do you tell your kids how much you make?
Replies: 58
Views: 5904

Re: Brick patio question

Several neighbors have put in high end, professionally installed concrete pavers with good success. I make the distinction about high end and professionally installed because I've certainly seen some Home Depot DIY paver projects around that look awful and detract value from the house. The edging is...
by stan1
Thu Jul 03, 2014 2:19 pm
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Brick patio question
Replies: 8
Views: 954

Re: Help/Advice reReal Estate Negotiation

How long has the property you are looking at been on the market? That's important. If the house has been on the market for less than 2 months the seller may be reluctant to take a lower offer. If its been on the market for longer than that they may be open to lower offers -- or may be holding out fo...
by stan1
Thu Jul 03, 2014 1:49 pm
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Help/Advice re Real Estate Negotiation
Replies: 10
Views: 909

Re: TSP vs. IRA?

I would probably do exactly what OP is doing: contribute to the TSP to get the match, max out the Roth iRA, and then when you can save more go back to the TSP. I would not be using a brokerage for my IRA that charges $7/trade for a broad market ETF. I'd be buying Vanguard ETFs at Vanguard with no co...
by stan1
Thu Jul 03, 2014 1:37 pm
 
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: TSP vs. IRA?
Replies: 17
Views: 1405

Re: Gift idea for high school grad?

I would give a $100-200 cash or a gift card to amazon or a gas station if he has a car. If he's getting a lot of financial assistance from his parents he might be best served by having you hold onto it until he graduates from college, gets married, or has children of his own. If he's taking out stud...
by stan1
Thu Jul 03, 2014 12:54 pm
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Gift idea for high school grad?
Replies: 16
Views: 668

Re: Alpo risk in retirement: Overblown?

People figure out how to get by. Friends, family, charity, public assistance, sacrifice. Poverty plus mental illness is really tough.
by stan1
Thu Jul 03, 2014 12:25 pm
 
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Alpo risk in retirement: Overblown?
Replies: 41
Views: 2338

Re: How to admit/should I admit alcohol problem to employer

Can you wait until you have accumulated sufficient vacation time and then just take a long vacation?


-1, goes without saying this needs to be handled now -- not later when its "convenient".
by stan1
Thu Jul 03, 2014 12:03 pm
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: How to admit/should I admit alcohol problem to employer
Replies: 97
Views: 10257

Re: elder care legal question

My mom was in a rehabilitation hospital for almost 4 weeks due to back surgery and is equally stubborn. Rather than trying to help her come home early we focused on getting her to understand that she needed to get out of bed and walk around (as directed); go to physical therapy; and show the doctors...
by stan1
Thu Jul 03, 2014 7:39 am
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: elder care legal question
Replies: 13
Views: 1258

Re: UCLA vs USC Decision [Which college to attend]

Congratulations, you were choosing between two great options. Good luck!
by stan1
Tue Jul 01, 2014 6:20 am
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: UCLA vs USC Decision [Which college to attend]
Replies: 62
Views: 3585

Re: Hiring a genealogy researcher in Eastern Europe

I was also going to suggest the LDS family history center (local or in Salt Lake City). My mother was able to obtain a lot of information about her family (from Poznan, Posen (Prussia)). A lot of families have done genealogy research in the age of the internet; there's a very good chance someone alr...
by stan1
Tue Jul 01, 2014 12:55 am
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Hiring a genealogy researcher in Eastern Europe
Replies: 7
Views: 490

Re: Paying for/negotiating price of oral surgery

FSAFEDS does not use a special debit card. You can submit the bill online as a PDF or JPG (or mail it in) and get reimbursed via direct deposit to the bank account you've linked to FSAFEDS. Remember that large dental bills are routine for federal employees since most of us don't have dental insuranc...
by stan1
Tue Jul 01, 2014 12:34 am
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Paying for/negotiating price of oral surgery
Replies: 21
Views: 1398

Re: Paying for/negotiating price of oral surgery

Do federal employee's have access to health savings accounts (HSA)? If yes, you could enroll for the estimated amount of the surgery and pay for the operation with pre-tax dollars. This would save 15%-25% depending on your marginal tax rate. Grr. I should have thought of this. Thank you! You might ...
by stan1
Mon Jun 30, 2014 9:42 pm
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Paying for/negotiating price of oral surgery
Replies: 21
Views: 1398

Re: POLL: Mortgage as a negative bond

The "mortgage as a negative bond" discussions always seem to me a way for people to rationalize their choice of a risky asset allocation. A 100% equity portfolio is risky, whether you have a $500k mortgage or not. If you need to include your net home equity or mortgage balance in your asse...
by stan1
Mon Jun 30, 2014 9:31 pm
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: POLL: Mortgage as a negative bond
Replies: 89
Views: 2908

Re: Retired Bogleheads want to relocate to California

Garthilk wrote:You may want to consider a lot or land and build your own. You may find something more to your liking in both price and location with a home to suit.


Haha, I thought you were going to suggest a $170K house in the Central Valley ....
by stan1
Mon Jun 30, 2014 12:01 am
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Retired Bogleheads want to relocate to California
Replies: 109
Views: 6841

Re: Driveway crack question

Not a tripping issue, mostly a cosmetic issue. We have a house which we renovated in the last 5 years. The crack is an eyesore since we see it each time we open the front door. We filled it in in the past with filler but that lasted about a year and was gray colored coming no where near the color o...
by stan1
Sun Jun 29, 2014 9:10 pm
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Driveway crack question
Replies: 13
Views: 1155

Re: A Young couple needs investment planning advice

The best way to counter having 50% of your assets in stock options is to save more in other accounts, and with your wife out of college that should be easier. To be honest we never counted stock options as part of our asset allocation; we treated them like a windfall at the time we exercised them (a...
by stan1
Sun Jun 29, 2014 9:04 pm
 
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: A Young couple needs investment planning advice
Replies: 7
Views: 892

Re: Starting out???

Easy: Start with Roth IRAs. Put the money in a Target Retirement or LS fund that matches your desired asset allocation. Homework problem: Which TR/LS fund is it? And what is its portfolio made up of? Roth IRA is not an option. Can you tell us why not? Do you and your wife both have existing Traditi...
by stan1
Sun Jun 29, 2014 8:52 pm
 
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Starting out???
Replies: 14
Views: 894

Re: What To Do With Underwater Rental

Regarding the above, Is there any way in which it would be a good idea to refinance the property using the 35k in my taxible account to lower payments and make this positive cash flow, or just better to get rid of it? Do you want to be a landlord? Being a landlord is a side business as you've surel...
by stan1
Sun Jun 29, 2014 7:12 pm
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: What To Do With Underwater Rental
Replies: 33
Views: 2611

Re: Portfolio Questions - New Member

Frugalman, you have clearly put a lot of thought into this and have come up with a plan that should work well for you. I have no doubt that you can successfully manage this portofolio. However: would your wife prefer something simpler if she were in a situation where she had to do it by herself? Som...
by stan1
Sat Jun 28, 2014 11:56 pm
 
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Portfolio Questions - New Member
Replies: 15
Views: 1269

Re: What To Do With Underwater Rental

I would walk away or short sale, it seems like the best decision, especially if you don't have an emergency fund. This is a money pit , especially with the maintenance. Tell the bank you'll walk if they don't cooperate on the short sale. Agree, I'm assuming a $160K house in California is someplace ...
by stan1
Sat Jun 28, 2014 9:52 pm
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: What To Do With Underwater Rental
Replies: 33
Views: 2611
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