Search found 510 matches

Go to advanced search

by zebrafish
Tue Feb 17, 2015 3:51 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Mortgage for a medical resident (before start date)
Replies: 18
Views: 1032

Re: Mortgage for a medical resident (before start date)

Buying a house isn't a good "deal" if you move in 5 years and you: 1) Can't sell the property immediately and end up paying several months' mortgage payments for an empty property waiting to sell 2) Property values decrease and you end up underwater and need to pay to leave 3) Both #1 and ...
by zebrafish
Sat Jan 17, 2015 11:49 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Guidance Greatly Appreciated
Replies: 4
Views: 511

Re: Guidance Greatly Appreciated

I think the fact that you just did a rollover of your 403b to a vanguard IRA will wreak havoc with your plan to do a backdoor Roth. I think you will now need to pay taxes on any backdoor traditional IRA conversions depending on the amount of pretax money in the ex-403b now that it has been rolled ov...
by zebrafish
Mon Jan 12, 2015 9:46 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Paying MD loans with HELOC
Replies: 5
Views: 897

Re: Paying MD loans with HELOC

I would personally under no circumstances want the emotional stress burden of knowing my school debt was now a relative's HELOC.

But, as the previous poster said, personal finance is personal and finance
by zebrafish
Mon Jan 12, 2015 9:37 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Dazed, Confused and Upset
Replies: 63
Views: 6492

Re: Dazed, Confused and Upset

There aren't a lot of people around here who haven't made financial mistakes of some kind. If they say they haven't, they're probably lying. As Freddy Mercury says, "And bad mistakes. I've made a few". All I have to say is dot com bubble. Fortunately, I the money I lost was chump change ba...
by zebrafish
Thu Jan 08, 2015 11:57 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Increase Investing or Pay Down Mortgage?
Replies: 16
Views: 2103

Re: Increase Investing or Pay Down Mortgage?

I wouldn't pay anything extra on that mortgage unless you're maxing out your tax-advantaged retirement contributions each year. Save as much as you can for retirement. I think this is good advice. Tax-advantaged retirement contributions save you taxes now and help your retirement. You have a very l...
by zebrafish
Thu Jan 08, 2015 11:38 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Should I sell or hold rental property?
Replies: 5
Views: 638

Re: Should I sell or hold rental property?

So you have about ~$20K in equity in the property? I couldn't sell that bad boy fast enough if I could get out now. You're losing money month to month. So it isn't really a good investment property. I'm not a real estate investor by any means, but I wouldn't want that liability or hassle in my life....
by zebrafish
Thu Jan 08, 2015 11:33 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: SoCal City Recommendations Young Family
Replies: 29
Views: 2446

Re: SoCal City Recommendations Young Family

There is no way I'd live in the Inland Empire, especially San Bernardino. You want to live closer to the ocean. Try Irvine. It is about midway between the two with traffic. You can take Amtrak to LA/San Diego from Irvine. Some of the cities mentioned slightly South-- San Juan Capistrano, San Clement...
by zebrafish
Thu Jan 08, 2015 11:29 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Savings Rate vs. FUN
Replies: 43
Views: 3616

Re: Savings Rate vs. FUN

I would pay cash for the car :beer
by zebrafish
Fri Dec 12, 2014 10:08 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Totally Stressed. Husband lost job.
Replies: 29
Views: 7047

Re: Totally Stressed. Husband lost job.

This is not financial advice, but psychological advice. My father lost his job when I was about 7 years old. I remember my mother having a huge psychological breakdown and the stress of that period of time has been a prominent memory for me. I think in some ways, it has influenced me to be risk-avoi...
by zebrafish
Thu Nov 13, 2014 12:50 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Consider freezing your credit
Replies: 45
Views: 5392

Re: Consider freezing your credit

In my state, it costs $10 to freeze with each agency. I believe it is $10 to unfreeze or temporarily unfreeze. It is relatively easy to do by phone or online. When you freeze credit, each agency issues you a PIN that you must keep in a safe place. This PIN is needed to unfreeze or temporarily unfree...
by zebrafish
Thu Nov 13, 2014 12:23 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Consider freezing your credit
Replies: 45
Views: 5392

Consider freezing your credit

Let my story be a warning to others... I received a free credit monitoring for one credit agency as a "gift" after a megacompany leaked my personal information in a data breach several years back. On Tuesday morning, I received an email stating that my credit report had changed. Turns out,...
by zebrafish
Wed Sep 03, 2014 11:15 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Offered Promotion, but longer commute
Replies: 37
Views: 3209

Re: Offered Promotion, but longer commute

I spent 3 1/2 years commuting 75 minutes each way to work before I landed a transfer where my commute was cut to 10-25 minutes.

When you have a family, the extra/wasted time spent in the car just eats at your soul. I think it also takes a toll on your health in terms of stress and fatigue.
by zebrafish
Sat Aug 16, 2014 10:54 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: College Counselors
Replies: 44
Views: 2750

Re: College Counselors

This is kind of unusual for me. When I was in high school and looking to apply for college, I did all of the grunt work and research myself. I spoke to no counselors and just read 1-2 magazines. I wrote the college entrance essays all by myself with no one checking them and I ended up in a decent U...
by zebrafish
Fri Aug 15, 2014 3:56 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Help with Salary Negotiation (Bay Area)
Replies: 13
Views: 1426

Re: Help with Salary Negotiation (Bay Area)

Now, the un-fun part comes up, when he asks me to propose the initial salary. The rule of thumb is that whomever mentions an initial salary loses. If it's the employee, it sets a ceiling; if it's the employer, it sets a floor. If he asks you what you're looking for, simply state, "More than I'...
by zebrafish
Thu Aug 14, 2014 10:41 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Would you tip this tour guide?
Replies: 22
Views: 2432

Re: Would you tip this tour guide?

I think it is always good to tip if the person made a good faith effort to do their best. However, I would make a point of posting negative reviews (or honest reviews of this negative situation) on TripAdvisor and other sites. When I travel, I put a lot of faith into customer reviews. You will help ...
by zebrafish
Wed Aug 13, 2014 11:14 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Oldest age to start medical school?
Replies: 44
Views: 5885

Re: Oldest age to start medical school?

I'll never tell my kid to go to med school, nor will I tell him NOT to go. I'll tell him why I went, what I love about my job, what I don't love about it, and the reasons why I would or wouldn't do it again if given the chance. My dad, also a doc, did the same for me, so I went through it all knowi...
by zebrafish
Wed Aug 13, 2014 11:11 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Best Place to Do Research on Orthopedic Surgeons
Replies: 28
Views: 2033

Re: Best Place to Do Research on Orthopedic Surgeons

From someone also in the business... I do not think there is any website, metric, or feasible way for an outsider to get an accurate assessment of a surgeon's skill. Sad, but true. Internet reviews are completely useless. Frequently negative reviews are from people with unreasonable expectations or ...
by zebrafish
Mon Aug 11, 2014 11:47 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: $65k bonus for student loans...considering not taking it
Replies: 30
Views: 3495

Re: $65k bonus for student loans...considering not taking it

It would be hard to turn down 65K in debt forgiveness NOW, even if you had to pay taxes on this money. This represents over 20% of your debt burden.

You never know what the future will bring with your life, your priorities, or the loan forgiveness program.
by zebrafish
Tue Aug 05, 2014 10:06 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Getting started - downpayment vs. investing
Replies: 5
Views: 565

Re: Getting started - downpayment vs. investing

If your time horizon for needing the money is only 3-4 years, I would not invest in stocks. Stock investing is too risky for such a short time period.

I would use previous suggestion of CD or "high interest" savings account.
by zebrafish
Mon Jun 09, 2014 9:02 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: How To Encourage A Young (Sensitive) Child In Sports
Replies: 115
Views: 6065

Re: How To Encourage A Young (Sensitive) Child In Sports

Davebo: Your son is very lucky to have a father who is not only involved in his life but willing to ask questions, admit mistakes and rethink parenting issues when something seems "off." So, whether or not he ends up being into sports, he is likely to turn out just fine because of your at...
by zebrafish
Mon May 05, 2014 10:52 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Genetic Testing
Replies: 10
Views: 1225

Re: Genetic Testing

From 23andMe: At this time, we have suspended our health-related genetic tests to comply with the U.S. Food and Drug Administration’s directive to discontinue new consumer access during our regulatory review process. In the future, you may be able to receive health-related results, dependent upon F...
by zebrafish
Wed Apr 09, 2014 3:36 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Expensive med. test not covered by insurance
Replies: 74
Views: 5663

Re: Expensive med. test not covered by insurance

CFTY Gene Com Varients $700 [$4045] Molecular Pathology Interp $24 [$81] Thyroxine; Free $8 [$92] FMR1 Gene Detection $954 [$0] Mopath Procedure Level 2 $2550 [$850] This is somewhat helpful. CFTR genotyping should cost maybe ~$200-400; $700 is expensive, $4045 is ridiculous FMR1 Gene detection sho...
by zebrafish
Tue Apr 08, 2014 11:53 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Expensive med. test not covered by insurance
Replies: 74
Views: 5663

Re: Expensive med. test not covered by insurance

Deleted based on information provided later...
by zebrafish
Tue Apr 08, 2014 11:05 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Expensive med. test not covered by insurance
Replies: 74
Views: 5663

Re: Expensive med. test not covered by insurance

Deleted based on information provided later...
by zebrafish
Tue Apr 08, 2014 11:00 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Expensive med. test not covered by insurance
Replies: 74
Views: 5663

Re: Expensive med. test not covered by insurance

Deleted based on information provided later...
by zebrafish
Tue Apr 08, 2014 10:53 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Expensive med. test not covered by insurance
Replies: 74
Views: 5663

Re: Expensive med. test not covered by insurance

Doctors, what would you do in a situation like this? Would you alert a patient if a group of tests could potentially cost them thousands out of pocket? Does your office call their insurance if there is a concern about coverage? I order DNA tests costing in the range of $500 to $6000+ almost every d...
by zebrafish
Thu Apr 03, 2014 8:34 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Bogleheads/Paul Merriman
Replies: 33
Views: 4357

Re: Bogleheads/Paul Merriman

Paul Merriman has a great podcast for someone who is just learning about indexing and investing. He is one of the "good guys". In the pure indexing vs. slice/dice/small cap value debate, Paul Merriman is in the latter category. His advice is generally Bogle-esque. Essentially, if you belie...
by zebrafish
Mon Mar 31, 2014 11:09 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Earthquake insurance in California
Replies: 27
Views: 1876

Re: Earthquake insurance in California

We carry it because: 1. Earthquakes happen here. 2. Our home is a substantial asset as well as a place to live where we choose to live. 3. We can't afford to rebuild it without using investment and retirement money that we want to live on, not put into our home. 4. We don't want to take out another...
by zebrafish
Sun Mar 23, 2014 7:43 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: how to best support cancer research?
Replies: 9
Views: 902

Re: how to best support cancer research?

I don't think you can go wrong with the American Cancer Society. Both my spouse and I have received funding and done some ad hoc reviewing for them. This is a very good organization which is funding very important basic science and clinical research that will help discover new cancer treatments. Con...
by zebrafish
Wed Mar 12, 2014 11:13 am
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Seeking advice on Fund Choices, AA, IRA Custodian, etc.
Replies: 26
Views: 3817

Re: Seeking advice on Fund Choices, AA, IRA Custodian, etc.

4. Up until a few years ago, wife was contributing to traditional 401k, but then started contributing to Roth 401k. When we look up the 401k online, it indicates it is a Roth 401k. We need to better understand how this is split, also on the to-do list. Currently, 100% of your contributions appear t...
by zebrafish
Wed Mar 12, 2014 11:05 am
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Seeking advice on Fund Choices, AA, IRA Custodian, etc.
Replies: 26
Views: 3817

Re: Seeking advice on Fund Choices, AA, IRA Custodian, etc.

1. What is the best strategy to simplify the investments in order to achieve the three/four fund portfolio allocation? One strategy you might consider: 1) Sell all your Roth investments and consolidate them into single money market fund (still within each Roth) 2) Transfer the Roth(s) to Vanguard (...
by zebrafish
Mon Mar 10, 2014 11:06 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Tipping for a haircut at Great Clips
Replies: 56
Views: 5018

Re: Tipping for a haircut at Great Clips

I drop a 20 for haircut w/o shampoo.

C'mon people! These people are working hard for their money. Spare a couple bucks, already.
by zebrafish
Sat Mar 08, 2014 6:36 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Any Subaru owners out there?
Replies: 53
Views: 5207

Re: Any Subaru owners out there?

2009 Outback Wagon. It is the first Subaru I have owned.
A fantastic Car. Currently at 150,000k miles, taking a beating, and still going strong.
It has tons of room for tall people. I'm over 6 feet, and I have several inches of clearance.
I'd definitely buy another.
by zebrafish
Tue Mar 04, 2014 10:19 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Student loans and investing
Replies: 3
Views: 416

Re: Student loans and investing

What is the rationale to try to pay it all off now versus paying minimum and paying it off quickly once I am finished with residency? Well, I think you could make the argument that you fund a Roth now. But the rest of the money you have-- a guaranteed ~7% return on every dollar you put on the debt ...
by zebrafish
Tue Mar 04, 2014 12:16 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Move to California means what $ ?
Replies: 55
Views: 4752

Re: Move to California means what $ ?

I'll chime in that the 10% state income tax is a real kick in the gut.
by zebrafish
Mon Mar 03, 2014 11:43 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Student loans and investing
Replies: 3
Views: 416

Re: Student loans and investing

You may need some cash towards the end of residency to move/relocate. You need an emergency fund. Your student loans have very high interest rate. Some here will tell you that you should do a Roth, because you'll never get that Roth space back in the future. I see the validity of this point. Persona...
by zebrafish
Thu Feb 27, 2014 12:10 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: HELP! Medical costs
Replies: 57
Views: 3708

Re: HELP! Medical costs

The level of service (III) may have to do with the number of history elements, physical exam elements, review of medical data, etc. documented by the M.D. This may have little to do with your subjective view of "severity" I would say $1400 for an ED visit, exam, irrigation, and wound closu...
by zebrafish
Fri Feb 21, 2014 12:00 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Genetic testing: financial implications
Replies: 11
Views: 1045

Re: Genetic testing: financial implications

1) I assume a positive test result could preclude me from buying life insurance. See, e.g., http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/20 ... 102109.htm If so, should I buy life insurance prior to getting tested? If I subsequently test negative, I can presumably cancel my coverage. Yes, it is recommended...
by zebrafish
Wed Feb 19, 2014 10:47 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Job Offer Negotiation / Interview Snafu
Replies: 177
Views: 32851

Re: Job Offer Negotiation / Interview Snafu

I agree about waiting until after the offer. I always wonder about people who ask this question-- why are they asking this? Are they just going to come here and slack? I'm not sure that is a snafu, actually. Post-offer, you can probably get this type of information. But I think you have to be carefu...
by zebrafish
Mon Feb 10, 2014 8:46 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Choosing between sub-par 401k funds & Roth IRA
Replies: 17
Views: 851

Re: Choosing between sub-par 401k funds & Roth IRA

I'm confused. If your 401k is half of your total retirement, and your desired large cap component is 50% of the total portfolio, why can't you invest all of your 401k in Spartan 500? Then the roth gets split up into the rest of the desired assets and allocations. But, I suppose by the end of the yea...
by zebrafish
Sun Feb 09, 2014 4:53 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Cord Blood? [Donating newborn cord blood to charity]
Replies: 16
Views: 1769

Re: Cord Blood? [Donating newborn cord blood to charity]

I don't see any reason now to bank cord blood. Expense is very high, and risk is very, very low for using it in current medical paradigm (if the donor needed a bone marrow transplant for some reason). In the future, we may use stem cells much more for "routine" medicine; however, for this ...
by zebrafish
Thu Jan 30, 2014 11:53 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Withdrawal Roth IRA to pay down student loans
Replies: 9
Views: 659

Re: Withdrawal Roth IRA to pay down student loans

There is no way I would cash out a retirement fund and pay a 10% penalty to pay off a student loan. Your income is pretty good. Get aggressive and use cash flow to pay down the debt.
by zebrafish
Thu Jan 30, 2014 11:45 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Resources for learning management techniques
Replies: 37
Views: 2316

Re: Resources for learning management techniques

It sounds like the OP has some good ideas about how to build the team back up. I think the advice about putting yourself in the other person's shoes is very helpful, and I agree that most people are not toxic jerks (though I have seen a couple), but rational human beings. I constantly battle this in...
by zebrafish
Tue Jan 28, 2014 11:39 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Resources for learning management techniques
Replies: 37
Views: 2316

Re: Resources for learning management techniques

Fallible wrote:Could not agree more on a mentor and for all the reasons you mention. I would add that there also are downsides to be aware of and the OP could google for those.


A good mentor can really be a win-win. Properly chosen, you can get good advice, and generally the mentor helps advance your career.
by zebrafish
Mon Jan 27, 2014 11:29 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Investing vs. Paying High Interest Student Loans
Replies: 7
Views: 590

Re: Investing vs. Paying High Interest Student Loans

The student loan interest rate is high. It is not clear how much: 1) you can save per year towards down payment/debt payment, and 2) you plan to borrow when you purchase a home Both of these kind of factor into the equation. You have a good income. Why can't you pay down the student loans AND save e...
by zebrafish
Mon Jan 27, 2014 10:59 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Resources for learning management techniques
Replies: 37
Views: 2316

Re: Resources for learning management techniques

I'm thinking I need to have a "put my foot down" sort of chat with the problem employee. He is still trying to bypass me for things he would have ran past our boss, such as schedule change requests, travel reimbursements, and so on. I was thinking something along the lines of "If you...
by zebrafish
Sun Jan 26, 2014 10:56 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Resources for learning management techniques
Replies: 37
Views: 2316

Re: Resources for learning management techniques

I'm not sure it is a lack of leadership/managerial training on your part. It sounds like your coworker is a selfish bitter jerk, and both you and he know you don't have a lot of power to make that person behave. No amount of "training" can overcome this problem in certain circumstances. If...
by zebrafish
Sun Jan 26, 2014 12:57 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Please help with 401K fund selection
Replies: 11
Views: 497

Re: Please help with 401K fund selection

Another option would be to choose 100% Wellington in the 401k and keep the Roth in LifeStrategy Growth.

Wellington is very near the desired asset allocation (75/25 vs 80/20) and it would be simpler approach. Wellington isn't purely index, but it has a lot of supporters in the Boglehead community.
by zebrafish
Sun Jan 26, 2014 12:51 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Please help with 401K fund selection
Replies: 11
Views: 497

Re: Please help with 401K fund selection

I would invest to get the maximum employer match. One long-term option is to allocate the entire 401k contribution into the "Principal Global Large Cap S&P 500 Index 0.31" which is a low-cost index option, and then balance out the rest of the portfolio with funds in the Roth to create ...

Go to advanced search