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Re: Collecting: A Hobby First, Investment Second

There's always Tibetan Mastsiffs. In two years they have gone from $200,000 each to being sold at $5 a head for cat food

http://www.nytimes.com/2015/04/18/world ... china.html
by texasdiver
Sat Apr 18, 2015 3:06 pm
 
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Collecting: A Hobby First, Investment Second
Replies: 27
Views: 2231

Re: Collecting: A Hobby First, Investment Second

I had an uncle who was a model railroad buff and had a room in his house dedicated to vintage model trains, brass model engines, and other railroad memorabilia like signs and semaphores. It was his lifetime hobby and his train room was like a museum with some really cool old stuff. I know when he pa...
by texasdiver
Sat Apr 18, 2015 2:55 pm
 
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Collecting: A Hobby First, Investment Second
Replies: 27
Views: 2231

Re: Taking stock at midlife financially

It sounds like you are in great shape and well ahead of me and my wife at similar ages, although we started our career paths much later in life than you did. But it is hard to actually give an opinion about how well you are doing without some idea of your income. If you got where you are now after w...
by texasdiver
Sat Apr 18, 2015 2:43 pm
 
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Taking stock at midlife financially
Replies: 13
Views: 1878

Re: 403(b) in-service transfers/contract exchanges

The answer is almost certainly no. My wife is in the same boat and stuck with a Standard Insurance 403(b) until she leave her job. Unless by chance your employer happened to have multiple 403(b) choices with different providers. This is sometimes the case with large institutions such as school distr...
by texasdiver
Sat Apr 18, 2015 2:33 pm
 
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: 403(b) in-service transfers/contract exchanges
Replies: 2
Views: 249

Re: TSP Participant Account Balances

I've read that many of the very high TSP account balances are a result of rollovers into the TSP from 401(k)s, IRAs, etc. I'm not sure how that would increase the average balance, other than allowing people who've spent part of their careers outside the federal government to catch up to their peers...
by texasdiver
Sat Apr 18, 2015 2:16 pm
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: TSP Participant Account Balances
Replies: 13
Views: 1597

Re: Baby boomers bad for stock market?

I'm skeptical What percentage of investors in the US stock market are middle class boomers who will be forced to sell their holdings to fund retirement compared to the total of all investors? I would imagine that a much larger portion of the stock market is held by large institutions, pension funds,...
by texasdiver
Fri Apr 17, 2015 12:39 pm
 
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Baby boomers bad for stock market?
Replies: 27
Views: 2378

Re: HSA in retirement

Strictly speaking you can use your HSA to pay for anything in retirement (or before retirement) if you have documented your qualifying medical expenses during the time you maintained the HSA and were paying those costs out of pocket. Also note that regular retirement accounts allow for penalty-free ...
by texasdiver
Thu Apr 16, 2015 6:13 pm
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: HSA in retirement
Replies: 10
Views: 619

Re: HSA account with the lowest cost: HSA bank or Vanguard?

I'm using Elements. I have over $2500 account balance so zero fees and earn 1% on my balance. My last transfer to TD Ameritrade was before they instituted their new $25 wire transfer fee but even with the fee which I will only be paying once a year, Elements still comes out ahead of all the other op...
by texasdiver
Thu Apr 16, 2015 2:39 pm
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: HSA account with the lowest cost: HSA bank or Vanguard?
Replies: 22
Views: 4088

Re: Major issues with new HSABank.com website

I've been happy with Elements Financial (formerly ELFCU Credit Union) since switching from HSA Bank. They pay 1% on your account balance and have two basic fees. There is a $3 monthly fee if your account balance drops below $2500 and they have a $25 wire transfer fee to transfer money to TD Ameritra...
by texasdiver
Wed Apr 15, 2015 9:28 pm
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Major issues with new HSABank.com website
Replies: 27
Views: 2603

Re: Can't Just Do Nothing

A dollar saved is a dollar earned. You can also work the spending side of the equation: Coupons, energy efficiency in your house, audit all of your monthly bills (phone, TV, internet, etc.) and look for savings. Churning your internet and TV can also produce substantial savings if you rotate between...
by texasdiver
Wed Apr 15, 2015 11:37 am
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Can't Just Do Nothing
Replies: 41
Views: 5131

Re: Help me choose: HDHP/HSA or Regular Health Care Plan

What is your tax bracket? If you are in the 28% tax bracket then your $6650 HSA contribution for 2015 will earn you a tax savings of $1862 In other words, the government is giving you almost $2 grand per year if you use the HSA plan. If you are young and healthy then it is likely you'll never even u...
by texasdiver
Wed Apr 15, 2015 10:43 am
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Help me choose: HDHP/HSA or Regular Health Care Plan
Replies: 13
Views: 1089

Re: WSJ: You may need less than 80% in retirement

"The over-100 population in the U.S. numbers about 55,000, according to a 2014 Census report; the number of centenarians increased by 60 percent from 1980 to 2010." "Eighty-one percent who live to 100 are women. Having had a lot of time to outlive their savings, 17 percent of those a...
by texasdiver
Tue Apr 14, 2015 3:32 pm
 
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: WSJ: You may need less than 80% in retirement
Replies: 98
Views: 8884

Re: Does your family know about your net worth (ball park)?

My parents....specifically my Dad knows every detail of our finances because I send him an annual document detailing all of our accounts, insurance policies, and all other necessary details in the event that they need to deal with our affairs if we both die or if I die and my wife needs help getting...
by texasdiver
Tue Apr 14, 2015 10:21 am
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Does your family know about your net worth (ball park)?
Replies: 92
Views: 9308

Re: Talking to People About Retirement

The word "retire" can be a loaded word for a lot of people.

Nothing wrong with just telling people that you are cutting back and moving on to part-time consulting work and other projects which is entirely true. No one needs to know how part-time it is.
by texasdiver
Tue Apr 14, 2015 10:13 am
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Talking to People About Retirement
Replies: 70
Views: 6325

Re: Career and college advice for current HS students

I don't believe the community college route is so bad for students who don't know what to do, particularly if they encounter different subjects than they did in high school. They might discover something that interests them, and with a little planning, it's possible to complete a reasonable percent...
by texasdiver
Mon Apr 13, 2015 7:43 pm
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Career and college advice for current HS students
Replies: 34
Views: 2552

Re: Career and college advice for current HS students

:greedy I actually find it difficult to convince kids to think about pursing technical degrees that pretty much have good guaranteed jobs waiting because they are so influenced by the notion that they need to get a 4-year degree in.....something, they aren't sure what. I think this is always the sit...
by texasdiver
Mon Apr 13, 2015 6:00 pm
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Career and college advice for current HS students
Replies: 34
Views: 2552

Re: Neighbor hired a surveyor. Should I be nervous?

He may have been required to get a survey done as part of his financing or refinancing of his loan. Fences are commonly built on one side of the property line or the other in which case one property owner owns the fence not the other. That would make it his fence and he could remove it but he couldn...
by texasdiver
Mon Apr 13, 2015 5:41 pm
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Neighbor hired a surveyor. Should I be nervous?
Replies: 49
Views: 6128

Re: Career and college advice for current HS students

I think overall we've got too many college graduates. The number of jobs that require a degree isn't growing as fast as the number of okay-but-not-great graduates. I hope you get some responses from people who see non-college opportunities. I think this is an extremely important point and something...
by texasdiver
Mon Apr 13, 2015 12:02 pm
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Career and college advice for current HS students
Replies: 34
Views: 2552

Re: Career and college advice for current HS students

I don't necessarily agree with the "not _____ material" assumption. I hate math. Absolutely hate it. But I'm 1 semester away from graduating with an electrical engineering degree. It took 2 tries for me to pass calc 1 and calc 2. Why did I choose this path? I enjoy the broader aspects of ...
by texasdiver
Sun Apr 12, 2015 4:00 pm
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Career and college advice for current HS students
Replies: 34
Views: 2552

Re: The $1 Million Goal: Source of Motivation or Discouragem

I remember stories of my grandfather passing on condo's in Newport Beach,CA for $50k. Those are now multi-million properties. To suggest that $127k was not a lot of $$ in the 60's, and that for that reason $1,000,000 is not a lot today, is probably the most out-of-touch comment from this thread! :)...
by texasdiver
Sun Apr 12, 2015 3:47 pm
 
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: The $1 Million Goal: Source of Motivation or Discouragement?
Replies: 172
Views: 15681

Re: The $1 Million Goal: Source of Motivation or Discouragem

I think the following is a useful way to visualize how much $1Million is. For a couple to earn $1Million over their careers, assuming 40 year career, working 50 weeks per year, 40 hours per week, they need to earn $6.25 per hour. Exactly...... $1 million divided by 40 years equals $25,000 per year ...
by texasdiver
Sun Apr 12, 2015 2:55 pm
 
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: The $1 Million Goal: Source of Motivation or Discouragement?
Replies: 172
Views: 15681

Career and college advice for current HS students

I teach HS science to mostly middle-of-the-road HS seniors (I teach non-AP classes so don't normally get the top 5%) and often find myself in the position of giving college and career advice. Many students are looking for it but many don't have educated or involved parents and the student to counsel...
by texasdiver
Sun Apr 12, 2015 2:04 pm
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Career and college advice for current HS students
Replies: 34
Views: 2552

Re: The $1 Million Goal: Source of Motivation or Discouragem

Quite a few "reaching-2-commas" threads lately. I have a 2-comma goal nowadays as well: I want my portfolio to increase by $1 Million in a single year simply from investment gains. A good year in the stock market can make this possible, but it is also quite a few years away. Since 1970, t...
by texasdiver
Sun Apr 12, 2015 1:21 pm
 
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: The $1 Million Goal: Source of Motivation or Discouragement?
Replies: 172
Views: 15681

Re: The $1 Million Goal: Source of Motivation or Discouragem

I don't understand the fascination with $1 million as a goal. Yes, it's a nice sum to have. But a million dollars ain't what it used to be, back when I was growing up in the 1960's and the TV show "Millionaire" was popular. A guy named Michael Tipton shows up on your doorstep out of the b...
by texasdiver
Sun Apr 12, 2015 1:08 pm
 
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: The $1 Million Goal: Source of Motivation or Discouragement?
Replies: 172
Views: 15681

Re: Password manager recommendations?

Last Pass. Works great across multiple platforms. I use it at home and work on PC and Mac and also on iPhone and iPad.
by texasdiver
Sun Apr 12, 2015 12:12 pm
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Password manager recommendations?
Replies: 45
Views: 2485

Re: best color laser multifunction machine

Definitely the Brother. They have various models. I don't use the OCR engine but for copy and print it is the best machine I have ever used. Footprint is pretty large though so don't count on putting it on your desk. You'll need some dedicated table or cart for it. I have the Brother MFC9330CDW: htt...
by texasdiver
Sun Apr 12, 2015 12:03 pm
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: best color laser multifunction machine
Replies: 2
Views: 448

Re: Cost of College & Weighing the Merits of Top Schools

There is a HUGE geographic element that isn't mentioned here. Perhaps things are different in the little states in the Northeast, but in much of the rest of the country the good local schools are going to carry as much or more weight than fancy out of state schools. Here in Texas one is going to be ...
by texasdiver
Fri Apr 10, 2015 8:40 pm
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Cost of College & Weighing the Merits of Top Schools
Replies: 304
Views: 16474

Re: Paying college costs using IRA- Avoiding 10% penalty

Texasdiver, Thanks for the response. Yes the IRA withdrawals are reported as taxable income on Federal return and there is a schedule to document the claimed qualified expenses. The suggestion of using HELOC had also occurred to me as an alternative. I have to compare the two methods, but initial r...
by texasdiver
Fri Apr 10, 2015 2:15 pm
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Paying college costs using IRA- Avoiding 10% penalty
Replies: 10
Views: 657

Re: Paying college costs using IRA- Avoiding 10% penalty

Texasdiver, Thanks for the response. Yes the IRA withdrawals are reported as taxable income on Federal return and there is a schedule to document the claimed qualified expenses. The suggestion of using HELOC had also occurred to me as an alternative. I have to compare the two methods, but initial r...
by texasdiver
Fri Apr 10, 2015 1:46 pm
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Paying college costs using IRA- Avoiding 10% penalty
Replies: 10
Views: 657

Re: Paying college costs using IRA- Avoiding 10% penalty

Do you not have to report any traditional IRA withdrawals as taxable income if you take them out for college expenses?

Seems like that would make it much more costly than say using a home equity loan or something along those lines.
by texasdiver
Fri Apr 10, 2015 12:46 pm
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Paying college costs using IRA- Avoiding 10% penalty
Replies: 10
Views: 657

Re: I Feel Rushed/Fighting Hourglass

Don't worry about it, just keep yourself pointed in a productive direction. When I was your age I was working part of the year on fishing boats in Alaska and part of the year traveling by motorcycle in Latin America. I went back to grad school at age 30, got a masters degree in fisheries management ...
by texasdiver
Wed Apr 08, 2015 6:41 pm
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: I Feel Rushed/Fighting Hourglass
Replies: 16
Views: 1830

Re: Landscaping budget and suggestions

Be willing to let stuff grow. Often the biggest costs in landscaping are when people pay a lot of extra $$$ to buy larger trees because they want an instantly mature landscape. Trees go up exponentially in price when you buy larger ones. Save the money on smaller trees. In 3-5 years you'll never kno...
by texasdiver
Wed Apr 08, 2015 9:00 am
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Landscaping budget and suggestions
Replies: 6
Views: 673

Re: Vehicle Suggestions with 3 Kids

We have 3 kids (11,13,16) and have had a Toyota Sienna for the past 11 years. I know it's anecdotal, but it's only been to the shop for oil changes every 5K miles and one set of brakes. It now has 91K on it and has been a great vehicle for the family. Wouldn't live without a minivan if I had 3 youn...
by texasdiver
Tue Apr 07, 2015 2:03 pm
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Vehicle Suggestions with 3 Kids
Replies: 41
Views: 2400

Re: Paying for childrens' college

I think it's important to distinguish between the following: (1) Need-based aid: I cannot imagine any parent who would purposely earn less (as distinguished from allocating one's savings and assets in an "optimal" way for FAFSA) so that a child would qualify for need-based financial aid. ...
by texasdiver
Mon Apr 06, 2015 2:33 pm
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Paying for childrens' college
Replies: 121
Views: 7855

Re: How should I go about getting a Will made?

I would find a good estate lawyer. A will is only one of many aspects of estate planning that you need to deal with. You should be thinking about medical directives, powers of attorney, trust and guardianship issues for the child and so forth. You'll also need to think about beneficiary designations...
by texasdiver
Mon Apr 06, 2015 1:03 pm
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: How should I go about getting a Will made?
Replies: 22
Views: 2367

Re: Family member asking for money

I'd offer to help find good health insurance for the child. People shouldn't be facing crushing medical bills if they are properly insured these days.
by texasdiver
Mon Apr 06, 2015 12:57 pm
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Family member asking for money
Replies: 136
Views: 12212

Re: Hate where we live, do we make major changes?

My wife & I hate where we live (upper NY), which obviously impacts our qualify of life. But financially we are golden: I make great $ working from home, she makes good $ with a max pension after 30 yrs, we max our 401k/403b/Roth and we have a nice nut saved (we're in early 40s). After 20 yrs of...
by texasdiver
Sun Apr 05, 2015 1:30 pm
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Hate where we live, do we make major changes?
Replies: 132
Views: 12078

Re: Sunglasses $6 to $200

I require my sunglasses to be readers with prescription reading lens inserts in the lower portion of the lens. That way I can read my phone or a book without taking off the sunglasses. I also have a large face so need large sunglasses or they look weird on me. For some reason these are getting harde...
by texasdiver
Sun Apr 05, 2015 11:25 am
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Sunglasses $6 to $200
Replies: 30
Views: 2794

Re: Should I By a Used Motorhome

No, don't do it and I say this as an RV person. My wife and I currently have a trailer and we have various 5th wheels and motorhomes scattered around our extended family. Here's the deal. RVs are an extremely personal thing. Everyone soon learns exactly what kind of size and space and features they ...
by texasdiver
Sun Apr 05, 2015 11:09 am
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Should I Buy a Used Motorhome
Replies: 26
Views: 1995

Re: Planning for career change and big drop in income

My wife and I are doing the same thing basically. We are looking at how to squeeze our oldest daughter's college expenses into our budget and looking at the possibility of career change and relocation that could result in reduced income potentially. To date we have pretty much been cruising along on...
by texasdiver
Sun Apr 05, 2015 10:13 am
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Planning for career change and big drop in income
Replies: 14
Views: 2180

Re: Family tent recommendations

Are you car camping or backpacking? Makes a huge difference in terms of how big of a tent you can accommodate and how much you need to spend. If you are car camping then one of the big Coleman tents will serve just fine, like one of these: http://www.costco.com/Coleman%C2%AE-Sundome%C2%AE-6-Person-T...
by texasdiver
Sat Apr 04, 2015 7:28 pm
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Family tent recommendations
Replies: 9
Views: 912

Re: Paying for childrens' college

Several in this thread have recommended 2-year community college followed by transfer to a 4-year school. I teach HS (mostly seniors) and have watched hundreds of kids follow this and every other possible route to college. I've also taught part time at the local CC. With few exceptions I would high...
by texasdiver
Sat Apr 04, 2015 10:33 am
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Paying for childrens' college
Replies: 121
Views: 7855

Re: Paying for childrens' college

Several in this thread have recommended 2-year community college followed by transfer to a 4-year school. I teach HS (mostly seniors) and have watched hundreds of kids follow this and every other possible route to college. I've also taught part time at the local CC. With few exceptions I would highl...
by texasdiver
Sat Apr 04, 2015 9:07 am
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Paying for childrens' college
Replies: 121
Views: 7855

Re: Hate where we live, do we make major changes?

- others are very crowded - thinking Phoenix, Houston, DallasFW, Atlanta for example. Austin would be superb, though That thinking about Austin is 15-20 years out of date. The commute sucks here if you are on a normal/downtown type schedule. The overall congestion ranking isn't that high because th...
by texasdiver
Sat Apr 04, 2015 8:31 am
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Hate where we live, do we make major changes?
Replies: 132
Views: 12078

Re: purchase from Guatemala?

Is it a jade store in Antigua Guatemala? They are mostly owned and run by Americans and probably swipe dozens of credit cards every day. I wouldn't particularly worry about it
by texasdiver
Fri Apr 03, 2015 9:06 pm
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: [how to handle a $100] purchase from Guatemala?
Replies: 24
Views: 1619

Re: Paying for children college

My wife and I are looking at our oldest entering college in the fall of 2016. We will be helping pay and have budgeted the cost of an in state public school or out of state public school in terms of tuition and room and board and so forth. But the child will most certainly have to be working her way...
by texasdiver
Fri Apr 03, 2015 1:29 pm
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Paying for childrens' college
Replies: 121
Views: 7855

Re: News article: Vanguard Bets Big on Financial Advice

I'm betting that a significant percentage of those $3.1 trillion in assets are large institutional investors such as university endowments, foundations, trusts and the like. So the average individual account size is probably much less than $150,000. It would be interesting to see the statistics brok...
by texasdiver
Wed Apr 01, 2015 3:20 pm
 
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: News article: Vanguard Bets Big on Financial Advice
Replies: 24
Views: 3106

Re: Hate where we live, do we make major changes?

I also live in the suburbs. While not all streets have sidewalks, there are concrete bike/skate/walk paths reachable within the length of a cul-de-sac street from almost every home. The dog and I walked to the grocery store twice in the last week. However, this place does not score well on walkabil...
by texasdiver
Wed Apr 01, 2015 3:03 pm
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Hate where we live, do we make major changes?
Replies: 132
Views: 12078

Re: Article on "New Patterns" of Boomer Retirement Spending

This article suggests that many Boomers with retirement nest eggs in the $500k range or less are consciously avoiding the "typical" 4% withdraw rate in favor of an alternating spending pattern of "binge and frugality ." http://www.huffingtonpost.com/buck-wargo/baby-boomers-retir...
by texasdiver
Tue Mar 31, 2015 9:48 pm
 
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Article on "New Patterns" of Boomer Retirement Spending
Replies: 9
Views: 1636
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