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Re: Real estate frustration in finding a new home

Are you ready to buy the house right now? You may be sending a message that you are "just looking" in which case the Realtor might be reluctant to spend time with a client who isn't ready to buy. Have you been clear on what your needs are? I would agree with looking at houses on the intern...
by stan1
Thu Mar 05, 2015 8:49 am
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Real estate frustration in finding a new home
Replies: 29
Views: 1695

Re: Holdings that shouldn't be in taxable, but now have gain

I'd just leave the TSM alone and not worry about trying to time interest rates/market conditions by selling assets in a taxable account. TSM dividends are qualified so tax rate is lower. The bond fund does not have qualified dividends. I'd be donating that to charity (or selling it when gains are lo...
by stan1
Wed Mar 04, 2015 6:56 am
 
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Holdings that shouldn't be in taxable, but now have gains
Replies: 5
Views: 709

Re: Any ever do a small addition on their house?

Is the basement climate controlled? To be honest I'd set your oldest son up in an informal bedroom downstairs when he turns about 13 (spend a few thousand, don't replace windows or anything major like that). That will give him his own space. A generation of sons who grew up in the 60s and 70s living...
by stan1
Wed Mar 04, 2015 6:49 am
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Any ever do a small addition on their house?
Replies: 20
Views: 1272

Re: Oil & Vinegar

Another vote for California Olive Ranch which they carry at my primary grocery store. I use whatever balsamic I pick off the shelf. Here's a suggestion for making the dressing. I buy 2 oz jello shot cups with lids in bulk. I put in olive oil and balsamic in a 3:1 ratio to make a single serving. Put ...
by stan1
Mon Mar 02, 2015 9:06 pm
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Oil & Vinegar
Replies: 50
Views: 3477

Re: iPhone upgrade

If failing means the home button or power on/off button aren't responding then do a google search for iPhone repair in your city. The address that comes up might be a little shady and they might not speak English well but go down anyways and for about $40 bucks (probably cash only) they'll fix it wh...
by stan1
Sun Mar 01, 2015 3:53 pm
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: iPhone upgrade
Replies: 30
Views: 2356

Re: Investing 1 Mill for 75 year old parent

I would put 1-2 years of expenses (say $75-100K) into an FDIC insured savings account linked to a checking account that her SS is deposited into. Set up the dividends and distributions to pay into the savings account and transfer to the checking account as needed. This should help avoid the need to ...
by stan1
Sun Mar 01, 2015 2:19 pm
 
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Investing 1 Mill for 75 year old parent
Replies: 18
Views: 1669

Re: Advice on next steps - taxable account and portfolio

Re-fi your mortgage (possibly to a 15 year loan). Should be able to find something around 1% lower with no points/origination.
by stan1
Sun Mar 01, 2015 1:50 pm
 
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Advice on next steps - taxable account and portfolio
Replies: 6
Views: 642

Re: Do you consider mortgage payments as savings?

dbr wrote:What causes this ongoing confusion about what it means to save?


Because saving 30% or 50% is obviously better than saving 20%, especially if you want to tell your spouse/friends about it or gloat on the internet. :moneybag
by stan1
Sun Mar 01, 2015 1:38 pm
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Do you consider mortgage payments as savings?
Replies: 316
Views: 12734

Re: Does a Roth IRA make sense if you live in a high COL pla

I seriously feel like crying or something stupid like that, lol. I am really frustrated. I don't understand any of this and feel like I made the wrong decision putting my entire year-end bonus into my Roth IRA for 2015. Chill out, it's insignificant in the big picture. The fact that you saved your ...
by stan1
Sun Mar 01, 2015 1:01 pm
 
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Does a Roth IRA make sense if you live in a high COL place?
Replies: 85
Views: 3132

Re: where to go shop and buy refrigerator

We've bought our last few appliances from Pacific Sales (where we live they have stores -- in some places they are inside Best Buy stores). We've found they have good prices and good selection/availability (especially on higher end products). There are also some local discount appliance stores we've...
by stan1
Sun Mar 01, 2015 12:58 pm
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: where to go shop and buy refrigerator
Replies: 10
Views: 587

Re: Our neighbors home was gutted and rebuilt - Question

It became such a problem in Seattle that they put a limit on the size of a new house. As I recall, a house cannot be larger than 25% above the average size in the neighborhood. Sizes will still creep upward but the pace has been slowed down. Yep, that's subject to local politics of the township and...
by stan1
Sun Mar 01, 2015 12:45 pm
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Our neighbors home was gutted and rebuilt - Question
Replies: 19
Views: 2733

Re: Does a Roth IRA make sense if you live in a high COL pla

So if I were to get a new job in 2015 that, for example, paid $150k/year (I assume this is over limit), I would now be in trouble as a result of having contributed $5500 for 2015? You would need to recharacterize to a Traditional IRA, but then could do a backdoor Roth by converting what you have in...
by stan1
Sun Mar 01, 2015 12:34 pm
 
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Does a Roth IRA make sense if you live in a high COL place?
Replies: 85
Views: 3132

Re: Avoiding the jump to the 25% tax bracket

The basic choices are to spend more on things you can deduct on your taxes (adopt a child, charity, mortgage interest, property taxes, medical care) or to earn less (like using those 0.01% money market accounts). My choice would be to earn as much as I can, keep expenses down, and pay a little more ...
by stan1
Sun Mar 01, 2015 12:21 pm
 
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Avoiding the jump to the 25% tax bracket
Replies: 12
Views: 1741

Re: Does a Roth IRA make sense if you live in a high COL pla

The assumption I am making here is that high COL area correlates to higher taxes that get applied to income. Maybe it's not 100% true but that's where I am coming from. So what is your federal and state marginal tax rate right now? You told us federal was 25% but did not mention state so I assumed ...
by stan1
Sun Mar 01, 2015 11:54 am
 
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Does a Roth IRA make sense if you live in a high COL place?
Replies: 85
Views: 3132

Re: Does a Roth IRA make sense if you live in a high COL pla

The assumption I am making here is that high COL area correlates to higher taxes that get applied to income. Maybe it's not 100% true but that's where I am coming from. So what is your federal and state marginal tax rate right now? You told us federal was 25% but did not mention state so I assumed ...
by stan1
Sun Mar 01, 2015 11:28 am
 
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Does a Roth IRA make sense if you live in a high COL place?
Replies: 85
Views: 3132

Re: Your assistance please - 41 year old couple no kids

I think you are for the most part in great shape with your retirement accounts, but are carrying too much debt. Do you want to be in the landlord business? If you don't mind the hassles and the properties are desirable/easy to rent then I could see keeping them. Many people on this board prefer not ...
by stan1
Sun Mar 01, 2015 10:39 am
 
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Your assistance please - 41 year old couple no kids
Replies: 11
Views: 1310

Re: Replace or repair dishwasher

How much did you pay for the dishwasher in 2007 (or did it come with a new house -- many builders use very low quality appliances)?

You may need to pay more for higher quality.
by stan1
Sun Mar 01, 2015 10:12 am
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Replace or repair dishwasher
Replies: 26
Views: 1168

Re: Selling multi-family - Push to Waive Inspection?

Let the buyer have his inspection. After all, if you were buying, you would want to have an inspection before buying. You can simply let the buyer or any potential buyer know it is being sold "as is". That way if there are issues that any inspection brings to light, the buyer will bear th...
by stan1
Sun Mar 01, 2015 10:03 am
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Selling multi-family - Push to Waive Inspection?
Replies: 23
Views: 1159

Re: Selling multi-family - Push to Waive Inspection?

Putting a house on the market in unknown condition is not a good idea. You want to get major issues such as roof, foundation, water damage, drainage, wood rot taken care of before you set a price and begin negotiations. Any buyer is going to want these items fixed as part of the negotiating process....
by stan1
Sun Mar 01, 2015 9:56 am
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Selling multi-family - Push to Waive Inspection?
Replies: 23
Views: 1159

Re: Buy home and start degree in the same year?

You should be fine buying a house that is about 2X your annual income. Are you saying your sister will be living in your household while she is in school and do you expect that to continue after she graduates? If so you might want to retain the flexibility of renting for a few more years until you f...
by stan1
Sun Mar 01, 2015 9:50 am
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Buy home and start degree in the same year?
Replies: 10
Views: 745

Re: hearing confidential conversations at work

You absolutely should. The recruiter probably already knows, but its best to be proactive and that way there won't be any surprises later on. I would emphasize wanting to protect confidential information rather than saying its a distraction to your work. I would also mention it to my supervisor. It ...
by stan1
Sat Feb 28, 2015 6:57 pm
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: hearing confidential conversations at work
Replies: 3
Views: 753

Re: Do you consider mortgage payments as savings?

Well with all due respect when someone says savings I take that as money put into an account that is safe,not something that can lose value like a stock or a house.Maybe I misunderstood his meaning. When somebody asks, "What percent of your income are you saving?" you are going to include...
by stan1
Sat Feb 28, 2015 6:50 pm
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Do you consider mortgage payments as savings?
Replies: 316
Views: 12734

Re: Our neighbors home was gutted and rebuilt - Question

It's the beginning of the end of your neighborhood. One house after another will be sold, torn down, and a much more expensive house built and occupied by people who have no regard for the effect of what they do (the walls, upper windows looking down directly into neighbors' houses, houses built ou...
by stan1
Sat Feb 28, 2015 6:44 pm
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Our neighbors home was gutted and rebuilt - Question
Replies: 19
Views: 2733

Re: Does a Roth IRA make sense if you live in a high COL pla

Roth IRA is for when you think you will be in a higher tax bracket when you retire. Is this no longer reasonable if you live in San Francisco, New York City, etc (high cost of living places), when you're young? Many young professionals in HCOL areas make too much to contribute to a Roth IRA directly.
by stan1
Sat Feb 28, 2015 6:36 pm
 
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Does a Roth IRA make sense if you live in a high COL place?
Replies: 85
Views: 3132

Re: How do I learn to like sushi?

Also some people who don't like fish do eat tuna which has a different taste. A spicy tuna roll might be an option in that case.
by stan1
Sat Feb 28, 2015 2:41 pm
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: How do I learn to like sushi?
Replies: 80
Views: 4527

Re: How do I learn to like sushi?

California rolls and vegetarian rolls are the answer if they don't serve yakisoba (meat/chicken/noodle), udon (noodle soup), tonkatsu (fried breaded pork cutlet) or teriyaki.
by stan1
Sat Feb 28, 2015 2:36 pm
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: How do I learn to like sushi?
Replies: 80
Views: 4527

Re: Major issues with new HSABank.com website

Yep, some more evidence that HSA's are more hassle than they are worth.
by stan1
Sat Feb 28, 2015 12:46 pm
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Major issues with new HSABank.com website
Replies: 25
Views: 2205

Re: Vanguard Brokerage 1099 Available

Just e-filed my federal and state returns. Now waiting to see if anyone else has already filed with my SSN. :confused
by stan1
Sat Feb 28, 2015 12:44 pm
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Vanguard Brokerage 1099 Available
Replies: 38
Views: 2381

Re: Do you consider mortgage payments as savings?

When I had a mortgage I considered extra payments as savings (since I would have invested that amount in a taxable account had I not put it against the mortgage). Do whatever you want -- just be honest with yourself. Often when people start getting creative with their savings rate/net worth accounti...
by stan1
Sat Feb 28, 2015 9:24 am
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Do you consider mortgage payments as savings?
Replies: 316
Views: 12734

Re: PIN + Signature card in Europe

What countries were you in? Great Britain, Italy, France, and Germany should be mostly OK. Denmark? Probably not.
by stan1
Sat Feb 28, 2015 8:32 am
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: PIN + Signature card in Europe
Replies: 16
Views: 607

Re: Can I afford my dream house?

I'm not sure I'm following everything. Are you asking if someone with $2M in assets and monthly income of $25K (is that before or after tax) can afford a $1.7M house? If you need to pull $350K out of retirement accounts to get a down payment the answer might be no --but its not clear if you could ge...
by stan1
Thu Feb 26, 2015 6:14 pm
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Can I afford my dream house?
Replies: 49
Views: 4041

Re: Buying a House - SF Bay Area

Seems like payment of $5000/month would be doable so that's about a $1M loan as you'd need to put $1200-1500/month towards property tax. Since you have significant taxable savings and upcoming vesting I think you are in the right price range at $1.2-$1.4M if buying a house is a priority for you. I r...
by stan1
Tue Feb 24, 2015 5:36 pm
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Buying a House - SF Bay Area [bayareabuyer]
Replies: 25
Views: 2356

Re: Help! I can't afford to eat on my South Beach vacation

Sometimes we eat big lunches on vacation when meals are cheaper, but that's harder to do when you are with a group who thinks differently about this than you do. Appetizer, salad, pasta, drink, and dessert is a lot of food; there are plenty of restaurants in my HCOL area that would come close to $70...
by stan1
Mon Feb 23, 2015 8:36 pm
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Help! I can't afford to eat on my South Beach vacation
Replies: 60
Views: 4931

Re: Returning a taxable gift.

Sounds like it was a mistake that was quickly corrected, or an informal "loan" that was quickly repaid. No need to make this hard.
by stan1
Sun Feb 22, 2015 6:32 am
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Returning a taxable gift.
Replies: 16
Views: 1136

Re: Reducing Equities in a Taxable Account

I buy some municipal bond funds in taxable and hold some equity funds in tax deferred accounts to help manage this situation. Make charitable contributions using a donor advised fund sourced from your appreciated taxable equity funds. Sell some equity mutual funds when you want to buy a new car or r...
by stan1
Sat Feb 21, 2015 12:13 pm
 
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Reducing Equities in a Taxable Account
Replies: 6
Views: 649

Re: Please look over our finances & help guide us

Since you are on track to receive two pensions plus social security you are well prepared for a comfortable retirement -- even without your investments so saving 22% is great. Don't sacrifice experiences with your kids (sports, camping, hiking). It sounds like you live well below your means. Circums...
by stan1
Sat Feb 21, 2015 11:40 am
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Please look over our finances & help guide us
Replies: 9
Views: 1135

Re: Giving guests free WiFI @ short-term rental = get sued?

I think you both are right. Put up the sign up page/legal disclosures that the renter has to click through/acknowledge but set the price at $0 meaning the cost of the internet is included in the rate you charge rather than itemizing it separately on the bill. That's what many hotels do that have wi-...
by stan1
Sat Feb 21, 2015 9:48 am
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Giving guests free WiFI @ short-term rental = get sued?
Replies: 32
Views: 3668

Re: Please look over our finances & help guide us

Yes, you are doing very well. I would suggest looking into 20 or 30 year term life policies instead of using supplemental FEGLI (assuming you are not military). You want to purchase these in your 30s while you are more likely to get through a lab tests and medical history without any red flags that ...
by stan1
Sat Feb 21, 2015 6:11 am
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Please look over our finances & help guide us
Replies: 9
Views: 1135

Re: Why don't I see more people arguing for a world portfoli

U.S. investors mostly spend U.S. dollars in the U.S. Some investors will not need/want to be exposed to the higher currency risk that comes with a world market capitalization weighting. Currency risk does create "rebalancing opportunities" -- as has happened this year when the Euro dropped...
by stan1
Fri Feb 20, 2015 11:56 am
 
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Why don't I see more people arguing for a world portfolio?
Replies: 41
Views: 2832

Re: Poll: Largest fraudulent charge to your credit card(s)?

About $700 for a ticket on Air Asia after I'd used my credit card at a hotel in Kuala Lumpur and one in Jakarta. It was on my business card and charge was taken off immediately by Citi. The largest legitimate charge I've made to my credit card that triggered a fraud alert was $2300 for carpeting. I ...
by stan1
Thu Feb 19, 2015 10:01 pm
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Poll: Largest fraudulent charge to your credit card(s)?
Replies: 49
Views: 2425

Re: Netflix DVD delivery slowdown?

Great news! Put two disks in the mail at a post office early Monday morning (federal holiday), got acknowledgement email at 0500 Tuesday, and had two more disks in the mail Weds afternoon. Back to two day turnaround, hopefully it will last a while!
by stan1
Thu Feb 19, 2015 9:53 pm
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Netflix DVD delivery slowdown?
Replies: 85
Views: 11134

Re: ? present value of soc sec and pension

What year are you each going to die in? To determine present value you need to know how many years you will get paid pension/SS benefits. Most people can't use actuarial tables because there's no such thing as an "average" person.
by stan1
Thu Feb 19, 2015 9:35 pm
 
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: ? present value of soc sec and pension
Replies: 37
Views: 2867

Re: Vanguard brokerage tax forms changed to late Feb. questi

Is there a reason Vanguard would need an extra month to deliver 1099s for a brokerage account that ONLY holds Vanguard ETFs over an account that ONLY holds Vanguard mutual funds (Jan)? Since ETFs are share classes of the mutual fund wouldn't a corporate restatement that impacts the ETF also impact t...
by stan1
Wed Feb 18, 2015 9:07 am
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Vanguard brokerage tax forms changed to late Feb. question
Replies: 90
Views: 6221

Re: How to handle saving for a new home?

I would keep your savings in cash, rather than paying down your current mortgage. Definitely more flexibility/liquidity with cash. I'd also think about paying off the 5.5% car loan right away with your savings and putting the amount of the payment back into savings (so you'd be saving car payment + ...
by stan1
Tue Feb 17, 2015 12:13 am
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: How to handle saving for a new home?
Replies: 10
Views: 1022

Re: Quicken downloads and 2 factor ID in Vanguard

I hate to be dense, but I still don't quite get it. If someone at another computer steals my username and password, and sits at another computer logging on to my accounts, the request will come from another computer, and they will have to use the two step verification system. My question was why wo...
by stan1
Mon Feb 16, 2015 9:15 pm
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Quicken downloads and 2 factor ID in Vanguard
Replies: 12
Views: 687

Re: What is the best company to open a credit card with?

Right now I have cards with Chase, B of A, Cap One, Amex, and Discover. I have to say I prefer Chase's web / bill pay user interface over the others. I have British Airways and Marriott cards that I only use at their namesakes. Right now I'm using the Amazon card at Amazon plus restaurants and gas f...
by stan1
Mon Feb 16, 2015 8:41 pm
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: What is the best company to open a credit card with?
Replies: 22
Views: 1430

Re: donation receipts

I attach a list of items donated to the receipt. Then I use ItsDeductible to determine the fair market value. If it were a large item (such as some furniture) I would take photos. I also split donations up throughout the year and give to multiple charities rather than having one large donation to a...
by stan1
Mon Feb 16, 2015 4:45 pm
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: donation receipts
Replies: 8
Views: 421

Re: Quicken downloads and 2 factor ID in Vanguard

Do the Bogleheads find it necessary to add the two step verification process to their home computer? I can understand for a mobile app on a cell phone. Absolutely. Two factor authentication helps prevent someone from logging into your Vanguard account from another computer. If your username and pas...
by stan1
Mon Feb 16, 2015 4:27 pm
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Quicken downloads and 2 factor ID in Vanguard
Replies: 12
Views: 687

Re: donation receipts

I attach a list of items donated to the receipt. Then I use ItsDeductible to determine the fair market value. If it were a large item (such as some furniture) I would take photos. I also split donations up throughout the year and give to multiple charities rather than having one large donation to a ...
by stan1
Mon Feb 16, 2015 4:10 pm
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: donation receipts
Replies: 8
Views: 421

Re: Vanguard Tax Exempt Funds

I'd want to hear more specifics before offering advice: How much capital gains are there on the PA bond fund? Are they long term or short term gains? What is her federal tax rate? Is she withdrawing from her investments for living expenses, or living entirely off SS/pension/family? What percentage o...
by stan1
Mon Feb 16, 2015 3:51 pm
 
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Vanguard Tax Exempt Funds
Replies: 2
Views: 427
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