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by verbose
Fri May 22, 2015 1:08 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Let's hear your Dave Ramsey success stories
Replies: 71
Views: 9929

Re: Let's hear your Dave Ramsey success stories

Apparently, even people of above-average intelligence sometimes need to be told how to manage money. It's not so much that we haven't heard it, but that the message didn't sink in the first thousand times we heard it. In our society, temperance is not encouraged and has to be embraced and internaliz...
by verbose
Wed May 20, 2015 3:42 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: How should drivers react to bicycle riders on one lane roads?
Replies: 68
Views: 2664

Re: How should drivers react to bicycle riders on one lane roads?

There are several roads in my local area that are two-lane roads with medians (and tall concrete curbs) and my area is very popular with cyclists because it's a flat flood-plain near scenic rivers and country roads. A broken-down car can completely block the lane (sometimes it can be passed but it's...
by verbose
Tue May 19, 2015 11:14 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: How do Bogleheads (in general) plan to finance their healthcare for later life?
Replies: 34
Views: 3523

Re: How do Bogleheads (in general) plan to finance their healthcare for later life?

HSAs IIRC are not available if you are covered by any non HDHP health insurance or medicare. I keep hearing about the HSA on this board. But apparently I can't have one. My small employer offers a single health insurance choice, which is not HDHP. Since the employer pays 80% of family premium and t...
by verbose
Fri May 15, 2015 9:41 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: My Home: Renovate or get out?
Replies: 13
Views: 1495

Re: My Home: Renovate or get out?

1. Fix-as-it-breaks and leave everything alone. If you are not moving in and continue to rent it, then this. 2. Spend the money and do the repairs+upgrades (Doing everything, its close to 100k. Doing only repairs + minor upgrades: ~30k) If you are going to move in by yourself. But don't underestima...
by verbose
Wed May 13, 2015 4:15 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Brand Loyalty
Replies: 60
Views: 3963

Re: Brand Loyalty

There seem to be different levels of brand loyalty. In some cases, brand loyalty is so high that a consumer won't even look at a competitor's product. In that category, I have Apple and Vanguard. There are probably more than that, but they're not coming to mind. Then there are brands that I will buy...
by verbose
Wed May 13, 2015 9:03 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Credit Cards are Good
Replies: 46
Views: 4098

Re: Credit Cards are Good

Several years ago I cancelled all my credit cards, which were all in good standing and not carrying balances. I will admit that Dave Ramsey was a major influence here, though I don't follow all of his advice. I had been attempting to budget around the credit cards, but found it nearly impossible. On...
by verbose
Wed May 13, 2015 8:27 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: I Hate Vacations
Replies: 113
Views: 9144

Re: I Hate Vacations

I agree with OP, and it's all about the limited vacation time from the employer. Anyone who has more than 3 weeks vacation time (or no limit) probably cannot understand what this is like. I get 10 days per year, two of which I'm expected to use to because my client has more holidays than my employer...
by verbose
Mon May 11, 2015 1:28 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Bought a brand new house - what next?
Replies: 17
Views: 2060

Re: Bought a brand new house - what next?

Your brand-new house probably came with the builder's warranty. Our home had a 2-year warranty that covered everything that broke within 2 years. We regularly had the builder's warranty team out to fix things during those years. Do not immediately finish the basement (if it has one). Ideally, during...
by verbose
Mon May 11, 2015 12:28 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Selling condo should I replace carpeting?
Replies: 15
Views: 1570

Re: Selling condo should I replace carpeting?

We had to replace pet-stained carpet before selling one of our homes. Those of us with pets don't notice the odor as much. There is definitely an odor. Dogs leave an odor even if they haven't excreted on the carpet. With cats, if there was ever excrement on the carpet, it will always smell. If your ...
by verbose
Mon May 11, 2015 11:52 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: escrow increase...
Replies: 28
Views: 1861

Re: escrow increase...

It sounds like the escrow is working correctly. Escrow uses last year's insurance and property taxes as forecasts. Escrow requires a 2-month minimum balance. Escrow generally is required for loans with under 20% equity, especially if you are also paying PMI. I'm not sure if they will change the esti...
by verbose
Fri May 08, 2015 9:20 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: What to use to clean car
Replies: 45
Views: 3443

Re: What to use to clean car

mak1277 wrote:Exterior - rain
Interior - nothing


I like this method but I supplement it by taking the car to a full-service wash about every 6 months. I leave a good tip because the young people are scrubbing down the inside for quite a while.
by verbose
Thu May 07, 2015 4:02 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Where should I keep my EF? [Emergency Fund]
Replies: 11
Views: 1068

Re: Where should I keep my EF?

You may get different answers to these questions here--there isn't a consensus on these. But here's something to start with: 1) Figure out how much you want in your e-fund. I suggest at least $1000. Most people prefer to have at least three months of expenses (which is hopefully less than your take-...
by verbose
Wed May 06, 2015 9:02 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Testamentary Trust Beneficiary Designation
Replies: 8
Views: 433

Re: Testamentary Trust Beneficiary Designation

I have a testamentary trust designation for contingent, but I'm not sure if it will be effective. My attorney specified a five-line "name" for the trust, and it doesn't fit. All of the contingent designations (life insurance, 401k, IRAs) are incorrect because I can't get anything like the ...
by verbose
Fri May 01, 2015 9:13 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: The Engineer's Guide to Investing
Replies: 32
Views: 3077

Re: The Engineer's Guide to Investing

The thing that I see over and over and over is that small consulting engineering firms have the most craptacular employer-provided retirement plans possible. The owners of these firms simply love the MorganStanley, JPMorgan, UBS, MerrillLynch, EdwardJones, Prudential, Nationwide, and other 401(k) p...
by verbose
Fri May 01, 2015 9:03 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Value of personal time
Replies: 24
Views: 1994

Re: Value of personal time

As a working parent, my time isn't so much "valuable" as "not there." I buy gas at the most conveniently located gas station and I don't look at the price. Given that I'm in the Midwest and I get from 25-30 mpg, any difference is in the noise. It doesn't matter whether I attempt ...
by verbose
Thu Apr 23, 2015 11:00 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Mac computer people (or others) need your thoughts
Replies: 15
Views: 1400

Re: Mac computer people (or others) need your thoughts

The program you downloaded is known as a "Trojan Horse." It's malware, but it's not a virus. All computers are vulnerable to Trojan Horses and always have been. A Trojan Horse is a malicious program that is deliberately installed by the user because he thinks it's something else, just as t...
by verbose
Thu Apr 23, 2015 10:44 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: City Tax Question
Replies: 3
Views: 439

Re: City Tax Question

I haven't lived in Ohio for several decades, but I remember the city income taxes (and I don't miss them!). I lived in one city with an income tax and worked in a different city with an income tax. In my case, the city where I worked withheld taxes as a straight 1% of earnings. I didn't need to file...
by verbose
Fri Apr 17, 2015 1:11 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Help with ideas to buy a home in a hot market
Replies: 14
Views: 1630

Re: Help with ideas to buy a home in a hot market

Don't discount #1. We did a double move with (just one) 5-year-old when we built our house. I would do it again becuase it actually simplified the process. Our house had languished on the market and we were having difficulty showing it with our work schedule and our poor old dog who wasn't used to b...
by verbose
Fri Apr 17, 2015 12:15 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Incorrect 1099-MISC - Options?
Replies: 3
Views: 332

Re: Incorrect 1099-MISC - Options?

You noticed there is no fillable 1099-MISC. This form is actually a carbon copy that has to be ordered from the IRS, unless you own business tax software that generates and electronically transmits the forms. Small businesses can buy special software at office supply stores and hand-enter the data. ...
by verbose
Wed Apr 15, 2015 2:20 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Last minute tax question about deductions - need help!
Replies: 11
Views: 522

Re: Last minute tax question about deductions - need help!

On your related question, if you pay the doctor's bill in 2015 for services in 2014, you deduct it in 2015 (if you are still over the 10% cap).
by verbose
Wed Apr 15, 2015 2:16 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Last minute tax question about deductions - need help!
Replies: 11
Views: 522

Re: Last minute tax question about deductions - need help!

Medical Expenses Publication: http://www.irs.gov/pub/irs-pdf/p502.pdf Relevant quote: "You can include only the medical and dental expenses you paid this year, regardless of when the services were provided. " Scanning the document, it appears that the deduction is only based on the year th...
by verbose
Tue Apr 14, 2015 4:16 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Experience with Apple Pay?
Replies: 32
Views: 2505

Re: Experience with Apple Pay?

I've used it a few times, mostly at McDonald's. It's available in the drive-thru, but the cashier has to pick up the credit card machine and dangle it outside the window. The cashiers aren't cheerful when they do that... I'm a single-card person, and sometimes my single card has been left in the poc...
by verbose
Tue Apr 14, 2015 12:58 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Cloud-based home/asset inventory program
Replies: 4
Views: 741

Re: Cloud-based home/asset inventory program

Many of these programs work in tandem with your home computer, which you didn't identify.

I used a Mac program called Home Inventory that has companion iPhone/iPad scanner and cloud backup apps.
by verbose
Tue Apr 07, 2015 2:45 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Battery or Gas Lawn Mower
Replies: 33
Views: 2260

Re: Battery or Gas Lawn Mower

I have a B&D 36V battery-powered mower that I purchased last year. Before that, I'd been using a corded electric mower. I live in a community with small yards that prohibits homeowners from using gas-powered lawn equipment. I'm very happy with the battery-powered mower. With the corded mower, th...
by verbose
Thu Mar 19, 2015 1:31 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Children's Swingset
Replies: 43
Views: 2938

Re: Children's Swingset

We recently got rid of our swingset after years of non-use. There were a few things that contributed to the non-use, which I will list, but the number one intractable problem was WASPS. We continually knocked down the wasp nests, but we couldn't keep the wasps from hovering about the playset. First,...
by verbose
Sat Mar 14, 2015 6:06 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: W-2 Box 12 questions
Replies: 4
Views: 957

Re: W-2 Box 12 questions

Are you sure you aren't looking at Box 14? http://taxhelpwhenyouneedit.blogspot.com/2013/02/w-2-box-14-codes-for-defense-finance.html Code K is Non-taxable dental and vision deductions Code V is Non-taxable health benefits Since those are non-taxable, you probably don't need to do anything with thos...
by verbose
Thu Mar 12, 2015 10:52 am
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: If you could send an investment message 10 years in the past
Replies: 62
Views: 4656

Re: If you could send an investment message 10 years in the

Looking back at me in 2005, money advice would not have been very helpful. Given the emotional turmoil I experienced, I probably would have found a way to waste a pile of money or sabotage the strategy. I would send myself: - The name of the doctor who correctly diagnosed and definitively fixed a me...
by verbose
Wed Mar 11, 2015 12:36 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: 15 or 30 year mortgage?
Replies: 37
Views: 3157

Re: 15 or 30 year mortgage?

Lots to think about here. Here is a little booklet that has lots of good information for new investors: http://www.etf.com/docs/IfYouCan.pdf If you want advice, I would definitely go to Vanguard and try their manager for 0.3%/year. They won't sell you expensive funds, loaded funds, 12b-1 fee funds,...
by verbose
Wed Mar 11, 2015 9:28 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Adding Central Air Conditioning to very old home.
Replies: 20
Views: 1675

Re: Adding Central Air Conditioning to very old home.

For AC, you can often just cool the top story, and cool air will fall through the rest of the house. If you plan to do this, make sure your contractor knows it and sizes the unit appropriately. We have dual-zone AC (installed during new home construction) in a hotter climate than the NE. During the...
by verbose
Tue Mar 10, 2015 2:09 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Buying New Used Car - Input Appreciated
Replies: 27
Views: 2250

Re: Buying New Used Car - Input Appreciated

We recently bought a new used car in the same price range. I wish there was a particular method to use when buying a used car vs. a new car but if there is, we didn't do it correctly. With a used car, you are buying one particular vehicle. The dealer may only have one of what you want on that lot, a...
by verbose
Tue Mar 10, 2015 1:35 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Daycare - 501c3 and paying to hold a spot
Replies: 4
Views: 429

Re: Daycare - 501c3 and paying to hold a spot

You may be able to include this amount as qualified dependent care (form 2441), whether or not it qualifies for dependent care flex spending (which can have more stringent rules). Assuming your wife does return to work in June, then the amounts you paid to hold a spot were required for her to work. ...
by verbose
Mon Mar 09, 2015 3:55 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: How do you decide when to buy car?
Replies: 50
Views: 3690

Re: How do you decide when to buy car?

We waited too long last time. I like to wait until a car just isn't reliable, but we had a 2004 Ford Freestar that never really met the definition of "reliable" to begin with. In retrospect, I should have been saving for a replacement from the moment I acquired that vehicle. It was a gift ...
by verbose
Thu Mar 05, 2015 3:18 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Both Spouses Opened Dependent Care FSA (DCFSA) >$5000
Replies: 5
Views: 559

Re: Both Spouses Opened Dependent Care FSA (DCFSA) >$5000

I did that once. In my case, we both switched employers mid-year and I switched which one of us had the dependent care plan. Due to confusion with pay periods and how the company would divide the single number given over a partial year, we were over 5K by a few hundred. Submit receipts to your emplo...
by verbose
Sun Mar 01, 2015 4:10 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Replace or repair dishwasher
Replies: 26
Views: 1375

Re: Replace or repair dishwasher

Thanks for the replies! This one is a GE. While it was builder-installed, I chose the specific model and paid for an upgrade. In 2007, it was a mid-range model. There is no particle grinder in it. I wouldn't be surprised if something is broken. One of the items I found in the sump was a large piece ...
by verbose
Sun Mar 01, 2015 10:06 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Replace or repair dishwasher
Replies: 26
Views: 1375

Replace or repair dishwasher

I have a dishwasher that was new in 2007. The dishwasher worked perfectly well until the summer of 2010. As soon as I bought dishwashing detergent reformulated to remove phosphates, the dishes were not cleaned. (I didn't know at the time that was the problem, but eventually figured it out.) We have ...
by verbose
Thu Feb 19, 2015 9:36 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Turbo Tax(TT) question - 1099 MISC
Replies: 5
Views: 596

Re: Turbo Tax(TT) question - 1099 MISC

Box 7 is non-employee compensation. From the instructions (link below) If the following four conditions are met, you must generally report a payment as nonemployee compensation. You made the payment to someone who is not your employee; You made the payment for services in the course of your trade or...
by verbose
Sat Feb 07, 2015 5:29 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: AMT Assistant for 2014 is incorrect
Replies: 2
Views: 534

AMT Assistant for 2014 is incorrect

FYI: If you use the IRS AMT Assistant for 2014 (see link below), when it asks for the amount on Line 47 of 1040, you need to provide the amount on Line 48 of 1040 instead (foreign tax credit). The printed worksheet "to see if you should fill in Form 6251" in the 1040 instructions is correc...
by verbose
Sat Jan 24, 2015 7:57 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Avoiding the Kiddie Tax on Capital Gains
Replies: 4
Views: 562

Re: Avoiding the Kiddie Tax on Capital Gains

Thanks, I didn't even realize it was in the Wiki! I will make sure to get this done.
by verbose
Sat Jan 24, 2015 6:21 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Avoiding the Kiddie Tax on Capital Gains
Replies: 4
Views: 562

Avoiding the Kiddie Tax on Capital Gains

My 13-year-old has a UTMA account with $2700 in unrealized capital gains because I transferred her into a new fund in early 2009 (which means she also still has a carry-over capital loss, but not nearly as much as the gain). I remember reading about the "kiddie tax" years ago, and I had in...
by verbose
Sat Apr 06, 2013 8:52 am
Forum: Local Chapters and Bogleheads Community
Topic: St. Louis Chapter 2012+
Replies: 29
Views: 4258

Re: St. Louis Chapter 2012+

I would also like to attend local events, and don't want to be a coordinator. So, since we lack a coordinator (which is OK), perhaps we should brainstorm what kind of event/locale would work for a get-together. I'm not even sure where to start! What do St. Louis Bogleheads think would be a good kind...
by verbose
Fri Jan 25, 2013 8:06 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Pay a speeding ticket or plead to non moving
Replies: 42
Views: 3329

Re: Pay a speeding ticket or plead to non moving

I agree about the driving habits. I've received one ticket in my life, and it wasn't for speeding. However, when my husband is pulled over, he gets a ticket 100% of the time. I've been pulled over for valid reasons probably ten times in my life. I don't cry or anything... I just don't get a ticket.
by verbose
Thu Jan 24, 2013 11:06 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Pay a speeding ticket or plead to non moving
Replies: 42
Views: 3329

Pay a speeding ticket or plead to non moving

I'm wondering how I should pay a speeding ticket. I have two choices: 1) Pay $135, get points on the license, and have an auto insurance increase of unknown quantity 2) Pay $120 to a lawyer plus about $315 in fines, no points, no insurance rate increase My husband usually gets about one ticket a yea...
by verbose
Thu Sep 20, 2012 11:58 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Hardie or Certainteed Fiber Cement Siding?
Replies: 13
Views: 7642

Re: Hardie or Certainteed Fiber Cement Siding?

My Certainteed is from 2007. Most of the people I know with cracked siding have siding from 2004-2008. We had a bit of a lull in building from 2008 -2011 while the builder went bankrupt. I'm not sure what material they're using on the latest new homes. It may not even be from the same manufacturer.
by verbose
Thu Sep 20, 2012 10:46 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Hardie or Certainteed Fiber Cement Siding?
Replies: 13
Views: 7642

Re: Hardie or Certainteed Fiber Cement Siding?

I second the point about installation by qualified contractors. The first batch of houses sided in our neighborhood had more issues, and sooner, due to improper installation. The builder learned, and now we just have issues with the Certainteed material.
by verbose
Thu Sep 20, 2012 6:32 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Hardie or Certainteed Fiber Cement Siding?
Replies: 13
Views: 7642

Re: Hardie or Certainteed Fiber Cement Siding?

Certainteed siding is on my house and a couple hundred other homes in my neighborhood built by the same developer. After a few years (conveniently past the full coverage warranty period) the siding will crack. On my house, the side of the house that faces the most sun is cracked all over, while the ...
by verbose
Fri Aug 31, 2012 6:38 am
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: My 401K fee disclosure was released today...
Replies: 26
Views: 5511

Re: My 401K fee disclosure was released today...

Husband and I have same employer, same 401k through The Standard. I wasn't terribly surprised because it's a small company. We pay 69 bps on top of every expense ratio. There are some very low fund ERs in the 401k, such as Vanguard 500 Index Signal at 5 bps, which becomes 74 bps. I already knew the ...
by verbose
Thu Aug 16, 2012 9:52 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: health insurance "hospital" billing question
Replies: 42
Views: 4031

Re: health insurance "hospital" billing question

OP, you have been tricked, either by the physical therapy office, hospital billing or the insurance company. I haven't figured out which one is responsible, but somebody needed to say something to you about billing, and didn't. This has happened to me. A family member was receiving regular physical ...
by verbose
Tue Aug 14, 2012 6:48 am
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: When it is advantageous to convert to a Roth IRA?
Replies: 17
Views: 4256

Re: When it is advantageous to convert to a Roth IRA?

Thanks for the replies. I've had rollover funds in TIRAs since the mid-90s. There's no way we can predict how long either of us will work for the current employer. It's a much better situation than our last few jobs, and could be many years. I'm not willing to roll into an expensive 401k just for th...
by verbose
Sat Aug 11, 2012 11:31 am
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: When it is advantageous to convert to a Roth IRA?
Replies: 17
Views: 4256

When it is advantageous to convert to a Roth IRA?

I've been thinking for years that we should have some of our retirement assets in Roth IRAs, but it never works out. I wonder when it's best to convert existing IRAs? We are both programmers who switch jobs frequently, so most of our retirement savings are in TIRAs that have been funded by 401k roll...
by verbose
Fri Jul 20, 2012 1:37 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Adopting an adult dog
Replies: 42
Views: 6328

Re: Adopting an adult dog

We adopted a five year old Labrador Retriever as our first dog. She was already trained and socialized (including kids and cats), though we had no idea. Being a typical Lab, she adjusted to our family within 24 hours. She has never chewed up our possessions. Until she reached age 12, we didn't have ...

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