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by texasdiver
Sat May 23, 2015 7:17 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Prom budget for teenage girl?
Replies: 88
Views: 6165

Re: Prom budget for teenage girl?

.... first dress she bought online from a place called Prom Diary..... was about $150 for a dress that sold for more like $800 in the local shops. Apparently she was lucky a dress arrived at all, based on the reviews posted about this Prom Diary place. Maybe this was a good lesson (?) for a young p...
by texasdiver
Sat May 23, 2015 2:31 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: please confirm: early retirement
Replies: 84
Views: 6036

Re: please confirm: early retirement

I think some here are overthinking the need for future income in retirement to cover unexpected expenses. The great majority of Americans basically live on fixed incomes during their working lives and make it work. I'm not sure how retirement is necessarily different. I work in education and the maj...
by texasdiver
Sat May 23, 2015 2:01 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: New jobs...advice on IRA and TSP rollovers?
Replies: 6
Views: 259

Re: New jobs...advice on IRA and TSP rollovers?

I had heard that Vanguard-managed 403(b) and 401(k) accounts didn't allow inbound rollovers but I haven't been able to find any specific confirmation of that rule on their web site so I'll just have to actually pick up the phone I think. We do know that their Solo 401k plans do not allow inbound ro...
by texasdiver
Sat May 23, 2015 1:57 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Prom budget for teenage girl?
Replies: 88
Views: 6165

Re: Prom budget for teenage girl?

Actually we came out OK. She had a total everything included budget of $500 and came in under that. The dress was the biggest fiasco. The first dress she bought online from a place called Prom Diary. It turned out to be a sweatshop operation in China. What they do is steal the photos of popular prom...
by texasdiver
Sat May 23, 2015 1:39 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: New jobs...advice on IRA and TSP rollovers?
Replies: 6
Views: 259

Re: New jobs...advice on IRA and TSP rollovers?

If her legacy 403b would accept an inbound rollover, that would be great if you wanted to use backdoor into Roth IRA. If that plan offers Vanguard Target Retirement or LifeStrategy funds, those may have lower expense ratio than similar allocations of TSM/TISM/TBM. Vanguard's funds of funds hold Tot...
by texasdiver
Sat May 23, 2015 11:51 am
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: New jobs...advice on IRA and TSP rollovers?
Replies: 6
Views: 259

New jobs...advice on IRA and TSP rollovers?

My wife and I are getting serious about relocation plans that will involve new jobs for both of us. Is it weird that one of the things that I'm most looking forward is getting our money free from bad 403(b) and profit sharing plans? But I'm not exactly positive what strategy is the best and I'm wond...
by texasdiver
Fri May 22, 2015 12:59 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Friends/Family that don't invest!
Replies: 65
Views: 5794

Re: Friends/Family that don't invest!

My two younger brothers .....actually guessing that if they can both hold out until age 70 they will probably be OK as it won't really be a drop in their income or lifestyle to live just on SS. What will probably save their bacon is their future inheritance which should drop a half million or so in...
by texasdiver
Fri May 22, 2015 10:30 am
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Help me help my retired father -- preferred stocks
Replies: 20
Views: 1424

Re: Help me help my retired father -- preferred stocks

Don't know what tax bracket your father is in, but you will want to be sure of the tax implications before selling a bunch of long-held stocks to buy mutual funds. That could generate substantial long term capital gains and the tax bite could easily be much greater than any potential increase in fut...
by texasdiver
Fri May 22, 2015 7:55 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Friends/Family that don't invest!
Replies: 65
Views: 5794

Re: Friends/Family that don't invest!

My two younger brothers (both in their late 40s) are both single and have both worked in various blue collar jobs their whole lives. All they will really have is their social security. I have brought up retirement savings but they both live pretty month to month. One might have about 100k saved in I...
by texasdiver
Thu May 21, 2015 12:05 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Put money down on new car, dealer wants color change
Replies: 52
Views: 3735

Re: Put money down on new car, dealer wants color change

Pick up the phone and call around. Maybe he is right and there are none with the features you want in that color to be had. Or maybe there are and the dealer just doesn't want to go through the hassle or cost of getting one brought in. But unless you call around to some other dealers you won't know ...
by texasdiver
Thu May 21, 2015 12:01 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Parks to visit between TX and PA?
Replies: 23
Views: 736

Re: Parks to visit between TX and PA?

For this trip I'm hoping to focus mostly on parks we can stop at and explore, both natural parks and historic parks. I'm thinking first stop will be in the Ozarks, maybe get a cabin and do a couple days on a lake in NW Arkansas. Then head east to TN perhaps getting as far as Nashville for a long da...
by texasdiver
Wed May 20, 2015 6:04 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Parks to visit between TX and PA?
Replies: 23
Views: 736

Re: Parks to visit between TX and PA?

Well it sounds like Gettysburg is the one to visit.

I have enough sense of history to know which battles were seminal battles in the war. I just don't know which current day historical parks are the best.
by texasdiver
Wed May 20, 2015 5:56 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Wealth Network
Replies: 7
Views: 764

Re: Wealth Network

Hello I am a management consultant who has been working in the field for over 15 years with a good sound success rate. As many of my clients have reached retirement age and selling out, they are become more cash rich. I have been sending most of them for years to local banks or investment agencies ...
by texasdiver
Wed May 20, 2015 5:46 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Old HSA Question
Replies: 3
Views: 302

Re: Old HSA Question

The one advantage to keeping it in a HSA instead of a Roth is that the money is more instantly usable without taxes or fees if you leave it in an HSA. There are more restrictions on using Roth funds before age 59.5 so it kind of depends on what you want to do with the money. A 529 isn't a bad idea a...
by texasdiver
Wed May 20, 2015 5:34 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Parks to visit between TX and PA?
Replies: 23
Views: 736

Re: Parks to visit between TX and PA?

Most people have given you what I might call the Eastern route. You make it difficult with the no cities criteria. Depending on what part of Texas, Dallas and the JFK museum could be a start. There is Nashville (self explanatory) Mammoth Cave (largest cave ) KY and Luray Caverns Va are also interes...
by texasdiver
Wed May 20, 2015 5:24 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Parks to visit between TX and PA?
Replies: 23
Views: 736

Re: Parks to visit between TX and PA?

Isn't Gettysburg is in eastern Pennsylvania past the end of the trip? St. Louis has that arch-thing, a baseball park, Clydesdales, and Six Flags. Chicago might be on the way, too. Destination is central PA near State College so Gettysburg isn't directly on the route but not that far off. As for Chi...
by texasdiver
Wed May 20, 2015 3:46 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Parks to visit between TX and PA?
Replies: 23
Views: 736

Re: Parks to visit between TX and PA?

Any civil war sites especially good to visit with kids? Perhaps with good interpretive centers, chances for re-enactments and so forth? We probably only have time to visit one of them so it needs to be a good one. I'm guessing there are dozens or hundreds around that region.
by texasdiver
Wed May 20, 2015 2:58 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Old HSA Question
Replies: 3
Views: 302

Re: Old HSA Question

If you aren't otherwise going to fund a Roth and you have enough qualifying expenses then that would make a lot of sense. But only if you weren't already funding the Roth. This is what I would do if I didn't otherwise have the ability to max out our Roth accounts. If you wanted to preserve the flexi...
by texasdiver
Wed May 20, 2015 2:25 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Parks to visit between TX and PA?
Replies: 23
Views: 736

Parks to visit between TX and PA?

Driving out to a family reunion in Central PA with the kids this summer. Last time we did this I just put the pedal down and drove straight I-40 and I-81 the whole way without stopping except to eat and sleep. This time we'd like to take a more leisurely trip and see some sights. Preferably parks an...
by texasdiver
Wed May 20, 2015 12:12 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: much ado about coasting (through life)
Replies: 148
Views: 16684

Re: much ado about coasting (through life)

It sounds like you are burnt out by corporate America which is totally understandable, but IMHO you are too young to be this jaded and want to coast for the rest of your life. If I were you, I would take a break and maybe get into some sort of meaningful work where you can help people, maybe social...
by texasdiver
Wed May 20, 2015 12:00 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Any advice on handling frequent weekend getaways?
Replies: 14
Views: 1791

Re: Any advice on handling frequent weekend getaways?

Wife and 3 kids

We use AirBnB a lot when traveling. More comfortable than cramming a family of 5 into a hotel room and pretty much always much cheaper than getting 2 hotel rooms. Plus we like having a kitchen and not being dependent on restaurants for every meal.
by texasdiver
Tue May 19, 2015 8:25 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Proposed Changes in the Thrift Savings Plan (TSP)
Replies: 4
Views: 726

Re: Proposed Changes in the Thrift Savings Plan (TSP)

What I get from the article is that they really aren't proposing any substantive changes to the TSP program itself (which might be alarming to many here) but rather simply looking for ways to improve their customer service and marketing in an attempt to keep more Feds and former Feds in the program....
by texasdiver
Tue May 19, 2015 8:18 am
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Thrift Savings Plan and three-fund portfolio...
Replies: 22
Views: 1455

Re: Thrift Savings Plan and three-fund portfolio...

If you do decide to go with a G Fund heavy portfolio, just remember that the government can change the rules at any time. There has been some recent scuttlebutt that they may make the return of the G Fund more commensurate with the risk. So, while you should plan based on current rules, it is prude...
by texasdiver
Mon May 18, 2015 7:17 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Best Chromebook 2015
Replies: 52
Views: 3971

Re: Best Chromebook 2015

What are the most common situations where you would need a regular computer and a chromebook would not do? Any time you want to run stand alone software that isn't available on the Chrome OS. Off the top of my mind Quicken Turbo Tax or TaxCut YNAB Photoshop AutoCAD Oracle MS Office at the power use...
by texasdiver
Mon May 18, 2015 1:49 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Retirement and Proximity to "Teaching Hospitals"
Replies: 15
Views: 1516

Re: Retirement and Proximity to "Teaching Hospitals"

I don't think the key factor is whether a hospital is a teaching hospital or not. My wife is in a faculty position in a residency program affiliated with a teaching hospital and she has plenty of horror stories about inexperienced residents. The key is having access to a major medical center with a ...
by texasdiver
Mon May 18, 2015 11:09 am
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Thrift Savings Plan and three-fund portfolio...
Replies: 22
Views: 1455

Re: Thrift Savings Plan and three-fund portfolio...

FYI. You can roll your 5% traditional IRA into the TSP if you want to. That's what I did with all of my traditional IRAs. That will simplify your portfolio a bit. After that it's a question of how to distribute your portfolio between TSP, Roth, and taxable. You need to read the boglehead wiki on eff...
by texasdiver
Mon May 18, 2015 9:52 am
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Thrift Savings Plan and three-fund portfolio...
Replies: 22
Views: 1455

Re: Thrift Savings Plan and three-fund portfolio...

You can't do the 3 fund portfolio with the TSP. Or at least you can't do it with 3 funds. You will have to own both the C and S funds in (I think) a 3:1 ratio to duplicate the Vanguard Total Stock Market fund. The I fund comes pretty close to the Vanguard total International stock fund but doesn't h...
by texasdiver
Sun May 17, 2015 3:49 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Buying house from family member
Replies: 13
Views: 1027

Re: Buying house from family member

I bought my house from my parents in 1977. It was offered to any of the kids. I paid FMV minus unneeded cost of sales 10%. I had 5 siblings who all got a share.(We had all worked on the house, even digging out the basement. The neighbor called us the "Chinese peoples army" . to get their ...
by texasdiver
Sun May 17, 2015 3:43 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Flood Insurance for Florida Condo High Rise?
Replies: 11
Views: 1081

Re: Flood Insurance for Florida Condo High Rise?

I'm confused about what you are insuring against. It would seem to me that you have at least 3 different types of risks due to flooding 1. Damage to your own possessions inside your own 5th floor unit do to flood waters. As you note, this seems pretty unlikely. But you could still suffer some types ...
by texasdiver
Sun May 17, 2015 10:09 am
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Emerging Markets: Yes or No?
Replies: 56
Views: 4090

Re: Emerging Markets: Yes or No?

I am by no means the expert on emerging markets that some of you are, and I'm not nearly as traveled. However my wife and I do travel to Chile at least once a year and due to family we are somewhat invested there and I do my best to educate myself about the Chilean economy. Here is what I've observe...
by texasdiver
Sat May 16, 2015 7:31 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: The striking effects of career sequencing with pension and 401k
Replies: 13
Views: 1893

Re: The striking effects of career sequencing with pension and 401k

One thing I don't see taken into account is an increase in salary over an entire career. The example of $100,000/yr at the beginning of a 40-year career and the same amount per year at the end of a career is totally out of whack. How does it work out if someone is able to save only 10% at the begin...
by texasdiver
Sat May 16, 2015 1:35 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: South Bend to Chicago to Milwaukee
Replies: 18
Views: 1147

Re: South Bend to Chicago to Milwaukee

This is what you have to see between South Bend and Chicago. Most people avoid even getting off the freeway http://bloximages.chicago2.vip.townnews.com/nwitimes.com/content/tncms/assets/v3/editorial/e/bf/ebf1951e-5b10-52ba-be73-35855cf457a3/4fa45dd13db4a.preview-620.jpg http://bloximages.chicago2.vi...
by texasdiver
Sat May 16, 2015 8:32 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Home Prices Are Way Too High
Replies: 26
Views: 3618

Re: Home Prices Are Way Too High

That's why people move to Texas. Around this part of central Texas you can find a fixer-upper for under $50 grand and maybe even get our local HGTV Fixer Upper TV Show folks to fix it up for you. Say something like this: http://www.realtor.com/realestateandhomes-detail/626-Garland-Ave_Waco_TX_76707_...
by texasdiver
Fri May 15, 2015 9:29 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: The striking effects of career sequencing with pension and 401k
Replies: 13
Views: 1893

Re: The striking effects of career sequencing with pension and 401k

It is an interesting example you've given, but it is clearly heavily skewed by compounding. It's also skewed by the pension formulas weighting the highest average salary (typically 3-5 years). The formula heavily favors late-phase careers. In contrast, heavy 401(k) in late-phase careers don't have ...
by texasdiver
Fri May 15, 2015 4:00 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: The striking effects of career sequencing with pension and 401k
Replies: 13
Views: 1893

Re: The striking effects of career sequencing with pension and 401k

It is an interesting example you've given, but it is clearly heavily skewed by compounding. In scenario 1 you have no early age savings rate and in scenario 2 you have $20k per year in the early years. Just because you have a pension doesn't mean you shouldn't save. Especially if you're raking in $...
by texasdiver
Fri May 15, 2015 3:27 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: The striking effects of career sequencing with pension and 401k
Replies: 13
Views: 1893

The striking effects of career sequencing with pension and 401k

My wife is looking at a possible new job that would have a traditional pension as part of the retirement benefits after having worked the first half of her career in a job with no pension but an ordinary 403(b). Consequently I've been running some retirement calculations to see how we would come out...
by texasdiver
Thu May 14, 2015 11:24 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Calculating Net Worth
Replies: 8
Views: 781

Re: Calculating Net Worth

I'm not exactly sure what the purpose of calculating net worth is other than to give yourself a snapshot into your wealth. I just take the value of of my investment portfolio and add to that a conservative estimate of my home equity to come up with my net worth. If you have a lot of debt you'd want ...
by texasdiver
Wed May 13, 2015 11:16 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Is this a dumb thing to do? [Pied-a-terre to share with daughter]
Replies: 41
Views: 4879

Re: Is this a dumb thing to do? [Help daughter purchase condo]

PS...... Perhaps it is just me but I wouldn't try to figure out a joint ownership scheme. Too complicated to do that across generations when you are at different points in your life. Plan A: You buy the condo and let her stay there at some reduced rent in consideration of the fact that you'll be kee...
by texasdiver
Wed May 13, 2015 8:28 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Executor of Will ignores instructions in will!
Replies: 21
Views: 4362

Re: Executor of Will ignores instructions in will!

There's always a legal recourse but some point you'll have to ask how much the estate is really worth and how much is it worth to your wife to be fighting over it. And if anything will be left when you are done.
by texasdiver
Wed May 13, 2015 8:20 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Is this a dumb thing to do? [Pied-a-terre to share with daughter]
Replies: 41
Views: 4879

Re: Is this a dumb thing to do? [Help daughter purchase condo]

Sure why not? Although it doesn't sound like the title of the thread is quite accurate. You aren't helping your daughter purchase a condo. You are buying one for yourself and letting her use it. Some folks here seem to have forgotten or never knew what it was like to be young and single and living i...
by texasdiver
Mon May 11, 2015 5:47 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Epoxy garage floor?
Replies: 20
Views: 2073

Re: Epoxy garage floor?

I've done the DIY epoxy paint in my last two houses and yes it is a great upgrade and makes keeping the floor clean so much easier. But others are right, the prep is 80 percent of the work unless you are working on a brand new garage floor that requires no prep. In a previous life I also worked for ...
by texasdiver
Sun May 10, 2015 10:41 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Frugality Reinforced - The Millionaire Next Door
Replies: 84
Views: 12535

Re: Frugality Reinforced - The Millionaire Next Door

TradingPlaces wrote:[OT comments removed by admin LadyGeek]

Geez guys...lighten up. A personal finance forum is exactly the place to discuss one's struggles and successes, and in this case the application of a classic personal finance text to one's own life.
by texasdiver
Sun May 10, 2015 10:01 am
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: "Should We Teach Teenagers to Trade?"
Replies: 30
Views: 2125

Re: "Should We Teach Teenagers to Trade?"

I wouldn't particularly worry about it one way or the other. For most kids it will be in one ear and out the other and will be about as relevant as playing fantasy football. We frankly overestimate our ability to influence HS students for good or bad and I say that as a HS teacher. The typical HS st...
by texasdiver
Sun May 10, 2015 9:44 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Identity theft
Replies: 24
Views: 2414

Re: Identity theft

I've had the same thing happen with my Alaska Airlines Bank of America card from time to time. If you are concerned, I would freeze your credit. The other strategy is to keep a "burner" card for foreign travel that you only use for that purpose. But that sort of presupposes that using a ca...
by texasdiver
Sat May 09, 2015 6:31 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Anyone ever ship a bicycle?
Replies: 8
Views: 703

Re: Anyone ever ship a bicycle?

Yes, call around to local bike shops to get a shipping box. They most likely crush them and toss them out back for recycling when they assemble new bikes for the store so they aren't likely to have one around unless you request they save one for you. Packing a bike for shipping in a proper bike box ...
by texasdiver
Fri May 08, 2015 5:25 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Advice Needed: Family + Rental Property + Interesting Scenario
Replies: 22
Views: 2168

Re: Advice Needed: Family + Rental Property + Interesting Scenario

1. MIL should find her perfect apartment to rent or buy if she wants to live near you. This is probably not your apartment. Presumably there is something else in which the location, size, and amenities suit her perfectly. 2. You should find your best market rate tenant for your investment property. ...
by texasdiver
Fri May 08, 2015 12:45 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: What are the Pro's and Con's of Retiring in Amarillo, TX
Replies: 89
Views: 5416

Re: What are the Pro's and Con's of Retiring in Amarillo, TX

The problem with Dallas and Houston is that they are in Dallas and Houston, respectively. Houston in particular sounds like it would be one of the last places I'd ever want to live unless I change my appetite for heat, humidity, and traffic. I agree with the above completely, but just wanted to not...
by texasdiver
Fri May 08, 2015 9:27 am
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: 403b investment club help
Replies: 8
Views: 541

Re: 403b investment club help

Acutally I think jimkinny may be on to something. For teachers a better or more diplomatic approach might be to approach it as a book club rather than an investment club. Everyone knows what a book club is and there are many goods books out there that would provide a good starting point for discussi...
by texasdiver
Thu May 07, 2015 7:57 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: 403b investment club help
Replies: 8
Views: 541

Re: 403b investment club help

What state are you in? Some suggested topics: 1. 403(b) Alternatives. If you options are indeed sucky then there may be potential work-arounds, especially if you are not running up to the 403(b) contribution limit. Or even if they were. For example, if I was a teacher with sucky 403(b) options but h...
by texasdiver
Thu May 07, 2015 2:06 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Savings
Replies: 7
Views: 1088

Re: Savings

I don't know what kind of 403(b) options are available in IL. It really depends on the state, some have pretty good low-fee options like Washington and Texas, others trap you into high-fee actively manged plans. By the way, if you don't know, 403(b) plans are the same as 401(k) plans except for gove...

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