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Re: Which 529 plan are you using?

Live in Texas Use the Vanguard Nevada plan. At the time I opened it they were tied with Utah for lowest fees. Don't know if that is still the case. I don't have such massive account balances that it makes much difference. I like being able to see the 529 plan balances on my Vanguard account web page.
by texasdiver
Fri Mar 06, 2015 3:36 pm
 
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Which 529 plan are you using?
Replies: 23
Views: 708

Re: Recommend a custodian for individual HSA account

I was with HSA bank then switched to Eli Lily Credit Union last year which was recently renamed Elements Financial. So whoever maintains the Wiki should probably change the name on the list from Eli Lily to Elements Financial. Here is their HSA web site: http://www.elements.org/health-savings-accoun...
by texasdiver
Fri Mar 06, 2015 2:31 pm
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Recommend a custodian for individual HSA account
Replies: 23
Views: 1329

Re: Washing Dress Shirts

I've been told not to use fabric softener when washing dress shirts, especially no-iron dress shirts because the chemicals in fabric softener can break down the no-iron treatment and make the shirts less crisp in the cuffs, collars, and front.
by texasdiver
Fri Mar 06, 2015 2:04 pm
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Washing Dress Shirts
Replies: 22
Views: 797

Re: question about pensions for people with TSP

TSP is just like a 401k or IRA for your planning purposes. There are some restrictions on how to withdraw it but they unimportant for this conversation. It is not a pension but rather a lump sum of money that you can withdraw as you like, roll over to an IRA, convert to an annuity, or whatever. For ...
by texasdiver
Thu Mar 05, 2015 3:46 pm
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: question about pensions for people with TSP
Replies: 6
Views: 400

Re: 3 Costs Investors Must Control

You can market time anything. Back when I was a Federal employee I sometimes lurked on the TSP forums where Federal employees discuss all things TSP and Federal retirement and it is astonishing the extent to which some came up with elaborate market timing schemes to manipulate their TSP C, S, and G ...
by texasdiver
Thu Mar 05, 2015 2:03 pm
 
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: 3 Costs Investors Must Control
Replies: 40
Views: 2767

Re: Has anyone used Costco car buying service?

Oh, and before you go car shopping you ABSOLUTELY MUST listen to the This American Life episode about car dealers. Eye opening and astonishing.

Here. Go listen http://www.thisamericanlife.org/radio-a ... 3/129-cars
by texasdiver
Thu Mar 05, 2015 12:19 pm
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Has anyone used Costco car buying service?
Replies: 30
Views: 2561

Re: Has anyone used Costco car buying service?

I used it last summer when buying a new car for my wife. It worked well for us due to some special circumstances. We were looking for an AWD Highlander here in Texas where it just so happens that Toyota supplied all of the dealers in the south with only FWD Highlanders. There were zero AWD Highlande...
by texasdiver
Thu Mar 05, 2015 12:15 pm
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Has anyone used Costco car buying service?
Replies: 30
Views: 2561

Re: What is your credit score?

Depends on which score. The free credit score that gets printed on some credit card statments and in Mint is not the same one that is used by the credit agencies when you apply for credit. It is on a different scale. But either way my wife and I are well above 750
by texasdiver
Wed Mar 04, 2015 7:51 pm
 
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: What is your credit score?
Replies: 54
Views: 2958

Re: Rich dad, poor dad

There are web sites devoted to debunking the book and the claims of the author. I'm too lazy to go look them up. You can google if you are interested. But there are folks out there who have put him and the book under the microscope and who question most of his major claims and strategies and questio...
by texasdiver
Tue Mar 03, 2015 9:58 pm
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Rich dad, poor dad
Replies: 31
Views: 3777

Re: Who has owned a ski boat or waverunner & did you regret

Owned half a dozen boats over the years. Never regretted any of them. Some things I have learned. 1. For me I much prefer a trailered boat to one in a slip and I have owned both. Can be a major pain to load up a boat in a slip every weekend when you have to lug everything down to the boat by wheelba...
by texasdiver
Tue Mar 03, 2015 9:50 pm
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Who has owned a ski boat or waverunner & did you regret it?
Replies: 19
Views: 1477

Re: Opinions on living in Jacksonville FL?

Thanks guys. Kind of confirmed my old first impression of Jacksonville. Doesn't sound like much of an upward trajectory from Central Texas which in some ways I kind of like. I do a lot of cycling and the endless web of deserted country roads extending out from me in every direction makes the cycling...
by texasdiver
Tue Mar 03, 2015 9:30 pm
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Opinions on living in Jacksonville FL?
Replies: 19
Views: 1791

Re: Oil & Vinegar

1. Go to Costco and get their Kirkland Signature Modena Balsamic Vinegar and a bottle of their better olive oil. 2. Pick up decorative oil and vinegar bottles and your local kitchen supply store 3. Get a good pepper grinder and sea salt 4. Begin dressing your salads with oil, vinegar, salt, and fres...
by texasdiver
Mon Mar 02, 2015 8:47 pm
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Oil & Vinegar
Replies: 52
Views: 3589

Opinions on living in Jacksonville FL?

I know there are a lot of Floridians here. My wife just emailed me out of the blue this a.m. about a possible job offer in Jacksonville. Any opinions on Jacksonville Florida as a place to live and raise kids? My uninformed impression is that it is not one of the nicer towns in Florida but I think I'...
by texasdiver
Mon Mar 02, 2015 9:51 am
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Opinions on living in Jacksonville FL?
Replies: 19
Views: 1791

Re: Illiquid Assets

Is there really a illiquidity premium? In any event, I tend to think illiquidity is probably the wrong thing for young investors to search out exactly because they tend to be young and not yet with substantial resources. Life tends to give one more twists and turns in your 20s than in your 40s. Youn...
by texasdiver
Sun Mar 01, 2015 9:05 pm
 
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Illiquid Assets
Replies: 37
Views: 2697

Re: where to go shop and buy refrigerator

Costco.....they usually have only one or two models but if it is what you are looking for the price will probably be hard to beat.
by texasdiver
Sun Mar 01, 2015 11:41 am
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: where to go shop and buy refrigerator
Replies: 10
Views: 588

Re: Math on TSP Loan for house

I did the same exact thing when I was your age, working for the Federal government and trying to buy my first house in a high-cost state (Alaska). The rock solid job security of Federal jobs makes it a reasonable idea and the interest you pay on the loan is interest you are paying to yourself. In my...
by texasdiver
Sun Mar 01, 2015 12:21 am
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Math on TSP Loan for house
Replies: 7
Views: 461

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

If it is simply a question of taxes then I agree entirely with livesoft. Maximize the 401k first and HSA if you have one, then Roth. Better to take the tax deduction now and invest it rather than pay it in the hopes that your tax burden in retirement will be greater. However it is not always just a ...
by texasdiver
Sat Feb 28, 2015 11:40 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: 3137

Re: Trying to take control. looking for advice

Yes, your AA is about where my wife and I were at your age. 10 years later we are more like 70/30 with our stock split 2/3 domestic, 1/3 international which is pretty similar. Minimize your fees, simplify your holdings and you are good. Our portfolio is 4x larger than it was at your age and it is al...
by texasdiver
Sat Feb 28, 2015 8:27 pm
 
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Trying to take control. looking for advice
Replies: 11
Views: 1321

Re: Trying to take control. looking for advice

Thanks. It was the Honeywell 401k that really threw me for a loop, because while I can read through the fund information and the expense ratios are fine, I just don't understand what I'm reading well enough to make a good determination on how they compare to index funds. They all perform similar to...
by texasdiver
Sat Feb 28, 2015 9:45 am
 
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Trying to take control. looking for advice
Replies: 11
Views: 1321

Re: Trying to take control. looking for advice

Unfortunately we can't roll over the traditional IRAs into the 401ks because of the plans' rollover restrictions requiring documentation from previous qualified plans. We just don't have the documentation required. Thanks for simplifying and clarifying the options. You've given me some great food f...
by texasdiver
Fri Feb 27, 2015 11:24 pm
 
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Trying to take control. looking for advice
Replies: 11
Views: 1321

Re: Inheritance to be held in expensive trust for ~10 years

I think the other major benefit of switching to Vanguard that I had not considered before is that when the principal is finally distributed (1/2 at 30 and the other 1/2 at 35) they can probably distribute it as shares of the mutual funds they hold rather than as cash. This way I won't eat a bunch o...
by texasdiver
Fri Feb 27, 2015 10:58 pm
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Inheritance to be held in expensive trust for ~10 years
Replies: 55
Views: 6433

Re: Turbotax 2014: Buyer Beware

Frankly the whole excuse sounds horribly dodgy There are thousands of applications made for the Mac. How many of them are forced to do this sort of weird print work-around? Not a single one to my knowledge. Intuit is a big and established company that has been working on macs for decades. This doesn...
by texasdiver
Fri Feb 27, 2015 8:01 pm
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Turbotax 2014: Buyer Beware
Replies: 69
Views: 6675

Re: NYT: "As Hedge Fund Returns Falter,..."

Yes, but when you start getting into 90% losses I think you need a logarithmic measurement. A mere 91.6% loss represents only -10.8 decibels of "wealth attenuation." The 99.8% loss achieved by the Canarsie Capital hedge fund represents -27.0 decibels of wealth attenuation. What percent gr...
by texasdiver
Fri Feb 27, 2015 7:54 pm
 
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: NYT: "As Hedge Fund Returns Falter,..."
Replies: 21
Views: 1475

Re: Would this Real Estate investment be a decent option to

Don't do it.

Keep it simple and grow your portfolio.
by texasdiver
Fri Feb 27, 2015 7:48 pm
 
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Would this Real Estate investment be a decent option to me?
Replies: 6
Views: 717

Re: Trying to take control. looking for advice

This is kind of fun playing with other people's money. You don't seem to have any good international index options in either 401(k) plan. Yours has Dodge and Cox and hers has a mystery International Stock Fund that may or may not be indexed. That would suggest using your IRAs to house your Internati...
by texasdiver
Fri Feb 27, 2015 7:31 pm
 
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Trying to take control. looking for advice
Replies: 11
Views: 1321

Re: Turbotax 2014: Buyer Beware

Regarding the "save as PDF" option on a Mac. There are a whole bunch of Mac programs that will print to pdfs and I think you can print to .pdf within the Mac print dialog boxes so even if Intuit has that feature disabled within TurboTax you should still be able to generate a PDF by going t...
by texasdiver
Fri Feb 27, 2015 6:13 pm
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Turbotax 2014: Buyer Beware
Replies: 69
Views: 6675

Re: Favorite Vacation/Trip

Fly to Costa Rica and split a VRBO rental between you. That has been our favorite vacation so far. Here is the place we stayed and will probably be back next year. Beaches, kayaking, sea turtles, fishing, diving, horseback riding. Pretty much everything is here but there are a bazillion rental optio...
by texasdiver
Fri Feb 27, 2015 11:39 am
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Favorite Vacation/Trip
Replies: 40
Views: 4057

Re: How much is a pension worth?

Another way you could look at it is to determine how large of an investment portfolio you would need to generate the same return using the standard 4% withdrawal rate. The pension is $1600/month which is $19,200 per year. Divide that by 4% (0.04) and you get $480,000 which is the portfolio size you ...
by texasdiver
Fri Feb 27, 2015 9:15 am
 
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: How much is a pension worth?
Replies: 23
Views: 3524

Re: NYT: "As Hedge Fund Returns Falter,..."

What I find especially disconcerting is how many public (and probably private) pension fund have drank the hedge fund Kool-Aid. My own pension is only 4% into hedge funds (and 12% into private equity). But there are some pension funds and other big funds like university endowments that are 25% or mo...
by texasdiver
Fri Feb 27, 2015 8:57 am
 
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: NYT: "As Hedge Fund Returns Falter,..."
Replies: 21
Views: 1475

Re: Is a generator worth it?

Just as a side note, you can often find NG conversion kits for most portable generators. They're generally $100-150. Plus you'd need pipe changes in the house/garage to plumb it where you need it. This. If you have natural gas service to your house, get an outdoor gas supply plumbed to your backyar...
by texasdiver
Fri Feb 27, 2015 8:42 am
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Is a generator worth it?
Replies: 105
Views: 5312

Re: 3 Kids and 2 Dogs - Next Vehicle

OP has 1 child now, one on the way, and plans for a 3rd shortly. If you plan to keep this car until the kids get into school age then you will most certainly find frequent occasions when more than 3 kids are in the car. I'm a dad and I work so I'm hardly Mr. Mom but I'm always finding that I'm runni...
by texasdiver
Thu Feb 26, 2015 11:06 pm
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: 3 Kids and 2 Dogs - Next Vehicle
Replies: 31
Views: 1815

Re: Spending trajectory for families with kids?

You definetely have control over how much you want to spend on them. My wife & I make a good living---and we want to support our kids' passions----so long as they work hard in those endeavors we want to financially support them. It's really fun to watch our kids really get into something---my 7...
by texasdiver
Thu Feb 26, 2015 5:20 pm
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Spending trajectory for families with kids?
Replies: 45
Views: 3477

Re: Help - preparing to enter workforce

Volunteer with a non-profit to gain work experience. There are probably a bazillion in your community
Temp work maybe? That is one way to get your face inside the door of different offices.
by texasdiver
Thu Feb 26, 2015 5:10 pm
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Help - preparing to enter workforce
Replies: 3
Views: 452

Re: What would you do?

Obviously you don't NEED the work, but you don't know what else you are going to do with yourself it seems no harm in keeping your feet wet. Are you signing a 1-3 year contract or can you walk away anytime? That makes a difference obviously. Is the work really just 2 days/week or would you be showin...
by texasdiver
Thu Feb 26, 2015 5:08 pm
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: What would you do?
Replies: 7
Views: 759

Re: Spending trajectory for families with kids?

I did not see where you indicated the sex of your 2 children. If any are girls, your last big expense will likely be a major one: paying for a wedding. It is something I did gladly but it was not cheap. If/when each of my girls get married I plan sit down with each couple and write them a single lu...
by texasdiver
Thu Feb 26, 2015 1:05 pm
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Spending trajectory for families with kids?
Replies: 45
Views: 3477

Re: physicians [Frustrated, considering early retirement]

My hospital employer used to let us buy up to 2 weeks per year, unpaid. But in the process of centralization, standardization, and bastardization, that option went away. Soon after went the option to work less than 0.8 FTE with benefits (even purchased). Now you can work 0.8 FTE or more with benefi...
by texasdiver
Thu Feb 26, 2015 12:42 pm
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: physicians [Frustrated, considering early retirement]
Replies: 132
Views: 8894

Re: 3 Kids and 2 Dogs - Next Vehicle

Three kids in car seats forces you into needing three rows. Not true. You can easily fit three car seats into one row - the only exception I could see is if you have 3, all in pumpkin seats. We do this now quite easily. On side note, of our friends that bought a full size SUV, 1 Ford Expedition, 2 ...
by texasdiver
Thu Feb 26, 2015 12:36 pm
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: 3 Kids and 2 Dogs - Next Vehicle
Replies: 31
Views: 1815

Re: physicians [Frustrated, considering early retirement]

Regarding full time and part time I think Emergdoc points out a very important aspect that doctors and other high income professionals fail to realize. He mentions several times that it is MUCH better to work part time for more years then full time for less years. I don't think doctors seem to get ...
by texasdiver
Thu Feb 26, 2015 12:28 pm
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: physicians [Frustrated, considering early retirement]
Replies: 132
Views: 8894

Re: Checking alternatives to USAA (non-military)

Hi, Although I'm grandfathered into a USAA checking plan, our family doesn't quality for most USAA services (our parents may have been in the military, but they won't sign up for USAA). I love a lot about USAA -- helpful customer service representatives, ATM fee credits, simple website with a lot o...
by texasdiver
Thu Feb 26, 2015 8:49 am
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Checking alternatives to USAA (non-military)
Replies: 8
Views: 739

Re: 3 Kids and 2 Dogs - Next Vehicle

My 2004 Sienna (bought new in May 2003) now has 260,000 miles on it. According to the dash computer the lifetime mileage is 25.2 MPG. It is a FWD not the AWD. In the past 12 years and 260,000 miles of driving the ONLY unscheduled repairs have been (1) replace the air conditioning compressor at 180,0...
by texasdiver
Thu Feb 26, 2015 8:38 am
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: 3 Kids and 2 Dogs - Next Vehicle
Replies: 31
Views: 1815

Re: 3 Kids and 2 Dogs - Next Vehicle

Sienna AWD

At least take a look at one before dumping the cash on a Sequoia which is very long in the tooth and out of date. Only reason to get the Sequoia is if you need the larger towing capacity.
by texasdiver
Thu Feb 26, 2015 12:43 am
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: 3 Kids and 2 Dogs - Next Vehicle
Replies: 31
Views: 1815

Re: 401K Provider I screwed up

My apologies to all. I was double checking the funds offered initially (what has been referred to as list 1) and I missed page 2. Leaving these three funds off the list. Vanguard Total International Stock Index Fund Admiral Vanguard REIT Index Fund Admiral Vanguard Emerging Markets Stock Index Fund...
by texasdiver
Thu Feb 26, 2015 12:31 am
 
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: 401K Provider
Replies: 51
Views: 2110

Re: Is the first 100k really the hardest?

Well, the first 100k took the longest but I would hardly call it hard. Back in the day I was starting out with the Federal government and just maxed out my TSP (Government 401k plan) due to some great advice by an older co-worker and never really paid it any attention except to glance at the quarter...
by texasdiver
Wed Feb 25, 2015 6:22 pm
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Is the first 100k really the hardest?
Replies: 58
Views: 8842

Re: 401K Provider

It would be better than most. The trouble is having a 500 index and Extended market in addition to total stock. Some people would hold both of those not realizing they have just doubled up on something. Other than that, darn near perfect in my opinion. Yeah, you don't really need them but still, mu...
by texasdiver
Wed Feb 25, 2015 11:50 am
 
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: 401K Provider
Replies: 51
Views: 2110

Re: physicians

Not a physician but my wife is and she gets the same blues on occasion. As soon as we can kick the kids out of the house she wants to get an RV and start doing the occasional locum position around the country or world with plenty of travel and relaxation in between. That is our plan for early semi-r...
by texasdiver
Wed Feb 25, 2015 9:52 am
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: physicians [Frustrated, considering early retirement]
Replies: 132
Views: 8894

Re: Dollar Cost Averaging vrs lumpsum investment

To help you get your mind around this question I propose you think about the following scenarios (and ignore tax considerations) 1. Your situation. You receive 500k cash to invest and want to invest it according to your 80/20 asset allocation, do you lump sum or DCA? 2. You inherit a 500k portfolio ...
by texasdiver
Wed Feb 25, 2015 9:27 am
 
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Dollar Cost Averaging vrs lumpsum investment
Replies: 11
Views: 761

Re: 401K Provider

If I was in a position to design a 401k plan for a group of employees I would just model the Federal TSP plan which has 5 base funds and 5 target retirement fund organized in 10-year increments. C Fund (S&P 500 index) S Fund (Russell 4500 extended market index) I Fund (International index) F Fun...
by texasdiver
Wed Feb 25, 2015 9:08 am
 
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: 401K Provider
Replies: 51
Views: 2110

Re: YMCA 403b

Wow...it is the most opaque and absolutely sucky thing I have ever seen. From 10 minutes of looking at the site I discovered the following: 1. They only have 1 fund that they put you in that is a mess. You can see the asset allocation here: https://www.yretirement.org/how-the-fund-works/investments-...
by texasdiver
Tue Feb 24, 2015 11:16 pm
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: YMCA 403b
Replies: 7
Views: 520

Re: 401K Provider

physiorol wrote:I think the second list has international funds. I can choose between either list


Most of your employees may not care or notice, but there may be some who will very much notice the absence of any international funds. It seems a huge omission.
by texasdiver
Tue Feb 24, 2015 9:18 pm
 
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: 401K Provider
Replies: 51
Views: 2110
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