Search found 449 matches

by Afty
Thu Jul 20, 2017 12:41 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Would you let your teenager spend all his savings on a gaming computer?
Replies: 106
Views: 3891

Re: Would you let your teenager spend all his savings on a gaming computer?

Back in the day I convinced my parents to buy a then top of the line 486 PC, ostensibly so that I could do homework. The real reason was so I could play Doom on it. But I also learned how to program, how to assemble hardware, and how to troubleshoot computers. My interest in playing games also led d...
by Afty
Thu Jul 20, 2017 12:31 am
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Son's trust fund for education
Replies: 10
Views: 673

Re: Son's trust fund for education

Since it will all be needed for spending within 2 or 3 years, I would put the money into CDs. Since your son is still in school, presumably he is in low tax bracket. If so, most or all of the gains would not be taxed. Since the market has done well in recent years, I would sell the funds sooner rat...
by Afty
Wed Jul 19, 2017 11:50 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Indoor activities for a 3-year-old
Replies: 53
Views: 1901

Re: Indoor activities for a 3-year-old

p.s. I don't remember my or any parent doing as much as we do with our kids and we turned out just fine. I've been debating it may be more beneficial leaving the kids alone more and just letting them imagine may be better then ANY structure activity. Too much structure I don't think allows for imag...
by Afty
Wed Jul 19, 2017 11:22 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Indoor activities for a 3-year-old
Replies: 53
Views: 1901

Re: Indoor activities for a 3-year-old

Could go to the library. A lot of them will have storytime or other programs for young kids.

Another thing we've done is indoor playgrounds. Sometimes you can find one in you local rec center, or you could go to a fast food place with one.
by Afty
Tue Jul 18, 2017 11:32 am
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: $100K+ increase in salary- Need help with investments
Replies: 14
Views: 2552

Re: $100K+ increase in salary- Need help with investments

One thing I noticed: you're not contributing to your Roth IRAs because of the income limit. Consider using the backdoor Roth technique to get around this. https://www.bogleheads.org/wiki/Backdoor_Roth_IRA They have two tIRAs, with current balances of approximately $32k and $88k respectively. Doing ...
by Afty
Sun Jul 16, 2017 4:23 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: $100K+ increase in salary- Need help with investments
Replies: 14
Views: 2552

Re: $100K+ increase in salary- Need help with investments

One thing I noticed: you're not contributing to your Roth IRAs because of the income limit. Consider using the backdoor Roth technique to get around this. https://www.bogleheads.org/wiki/Backdoor_Roth_IRA
by Afty
Sat Jul 15, 2017 3:03 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: california homeowners - do you have earthquake insurance?
Replies: 41
Views: 2576

Re: california homeowners - do you have earthquake insurance?

We have it, but it's required by our lender so we didn't actively make the decision to carry it. Our insurance company, Amica, underwrites it themselves, and it's separate from the state fund. So it's less likely to have a shortfall in case of a large earthquake.
by Afty
Wed Jul 12, 2017 9:58 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: instant pot [Pressure cooker]
Replies: 34
Views: 2805

Re: instant pot [Pressure cooker]

So do meals taste better versus a crockpot for example, a pot roast? The slow cooker I can just throw everything in there, set and forget, is it the same with this? Yes. There's a long explanation of why on Serious Eats: http://www.seriouseats.com/2016/10/why-pressure-cookers-are-better-than-slow-c...
by Afty
Wed Jul 12, 2017 12:02 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Personal loan to a family member
Replies: 114
Views: 6345

Re: Personal loan to a family member

I wouldn't do it. I'm also dubious that you can give an interest free loan to a family member without one of you having tax consequences. I think if you want to do this properly, you'd have to handle "imputed interest" presumably as a gift to the family member. See https://turbotax.intuit...
by Afty
Wed Jul 12, 2017 11:57 am
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: EE Bonds?
Replies: 44
Views: 1819

Re: EE Bonds?

One problem in your situation is that the EE bonds you buy now should be redeemed in 20 years to maximize return. At that time you'll likely be in your peak earning years and highest tax brackets. If you hold them for another 10 years to full maturity, the effective interest rate plummets. Can you ...
by Afty
Mon Jul 10, 2017 9:54 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: instant pot [Pressure cooker]
Replies: 34
Views: 2805

Re: instant pot [Pressure cooker]

We have one and use it about once a week. It's great for stews, beans, chili, etc. -- anything that would normally simmer in liquid and take several hours. I've been really happy with ours.
by Afty
Mon Jul 10, 2017 9:26 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: HELPPP! What woudl be the best place to combine debt and way to pay it off?
Replies: 11
Views: 936

Re: HELPPP! What woudl be the best place to combine debt and way to pay it off?

2 things: 1) If your girlfriend is finishing med school, won't she be entering a residency program next? If so, she won't be making anywhere near $100k -- more like $50-60k. She could moonlight for some extra income. 2) If she is entering residency, she shouldn't have to start repaying her loans. Sh...
by Afty
Sat Jul 08, 2017 8:01 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Dividend Misunderstandings & Only Spend Return
Replies: 121
Views: 7986

Re: Dividend Misunderstandings & Only Spend Return

This thread sparked a thought: do "total return" charts take into account taxes on the dividends? It seems that it might be best to hold dividend stocks in tax advantaged accounts to avoid tax on dividends.
by Afty
Sat Jul 08, 2017 4:25 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Closing Credit Cards - Advice on Oldest
Replies: 7
Views: 760

Re: Closing Credit Cards - Advice on Oldest

Do you expect to need credit in the near future? I.e. If you're planning to take a mortgage or finance a car soon, then you probably don't want to close those accounts. Otherwise I would close them. Your credit score will recover in not too long.
by Afty
Fri Jul 07, 2017 11:35 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Buy a vehicle cash or finance?
Replies: 58
Views: 3518

Re: Buy a vehicle cash or finance?

I'm on your side (or your wife's side) and wouldn't be totally comfortable with my kids riding around in a 17 year old Camry. I also agree with the other posters that if you're going to buy an SUV now with the plan to have another kid, consider a larger one. Having 3 rows becomes very convenient onc...
by Afty
Thu Jul 06, 2017 8:20 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Buy a vehicle cash or finance?
Replies: 58
Views: 3518

Re: Buy a vehicle cash or finance?

adksherm wrote:If it really is zero interest you should borrow but sometimes cash gives you a discount that makes the loan cost more than zero.

Yes, be careful of this. Often these 0% loan deals have an alternative that gives a discount or rebate if you pay cash.
by Afty
Mon Jul 03, 2017 3:47 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: When to leave a job?
Replies: 11
Views: 1872

Re: When to leave a job?

I would get out while you can. It's much easier to find a job while you currently have one, plus it gives you flexibility to wait until you find something you are really excited about. Also you can typically negotiate it so you are made whole with respect to your RSUs. FWIW, I work at a tech megacor...
by Afty
Tue Jun 27, 2017 12:43 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Bay Area housing
Replies: 69
Views: 5749

Re: Bay Area housing

https://fred.stlouisfed.org/graph/fredgraph.png?g=eed2 My gut says we are near peak Nasdaq / tech employment / Bay Area housing. If I were living in San Francisco, I'd rent. If I were working for Facebook or Google, I'd hedge my RSUs. S&P 500 over the same time period (w/o reinvested dividends,...
by Afty
Mon Jun 26, 2017 6:50 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Question about RSUs
Replies: 4
Views: 497

Re: Question about RSUs

FWIW other companies have different vesting schedules that make this a more appealing form of bonus. My company gives RSU grants that vest regularly (say, every quarter) for 4 years. And you get such a grant every year if your performance is strong. So after a few years of receiving these grants, th...
by Afty
Mon Jun 26, 2017 12:31 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Bay Area housing
Replies: 69
Views: 5749

Re: Bay Area housing

How is this argument about interest rates being at an all time low different from the same argument applied to bonds?
by Afty
Sat Jun 24, 2017 10:14 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Bay Area housing
Replies: 69
Views: 5749

Re: Bay Area housing

The is a key point for OP, I think. Even if you want to buy a house, is it possible in this market without an all-cash offer or at least a very high down payment? Is OP able and/or willing to do so? You can compete with all cash offers by forgoing all financing and appraisal contingencies. It's not...
by Afty
Sat Jun 24, 2017 5:03 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Bay Area housing
Replies: 69
Views: 5749

Re: Bay Area housing

I hate to say it but it is true - pull the trigger asap. I tried to go boglehead conservative in 2010 and fought my wife hard to not buy a bay area home in the downturn. I was completely wrong. It's been 7 years now and even the 10 or more yrs before that there were no 'reasonable' priced times to ...
by Afty
Fri Jun 23, 2017 4:26 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Can you share some of your financial goals?
Replies: 69
Views: 7504

Re: Can you share some of your financial goals?

I think it's a good idea to think hard about what your end goals are. I fully admit though that I'm one of those people who saves just to save and, until recently, never really had financial goals. Here are some goals that I've been tossing around: ⋅  We can buy anything we need without in...
by Afty
Thu Jun 22, 2017 4:18 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: storing loyalty/membership cards digitally?
Replies: 10
Views: 430

Re: storing loyalty/membership cards digitally?

Apple Wallet and Android Pay both store loyalty cards. I scan all of mine and throw the physical ones away.
by Afty
Thu Jun 22, 2017 11:42 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Part-time computer science graduate schools in Boston area?
Replies: 15
Views: 1400

Re: Part-time computer science graduate schools in Boston area?

I took night and online classes at Harvard Extension, but it was >10 years ago. Most classes are not taught by Harvard faculty, but by a practicing professional rather than a professor. They are also more practical (less theoretical) than the classes you would take in an undergraduate or graduate CS...
by Afty
Tue Jun 20, 2017 9:36 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Cancelling home warranty policy after closing?
Replies: 5
Views: 675

Re: Cancelling home warranty policy after closing?

"If buyer purchases a residential service contract, the seller shall reimburse the buyer at closing for the cost of the residential service contract in an amount not exceeding $XXX." I'm no lawyer, but that seems to say that you only get reimbursed if you buy a home warranty. If you don't...
by Afty
Thu Jun 15, 2017 9:39 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Shared equity loan -- how to analyze/think about?
Replies: 13
Views: 1020

Re: Shared equity loan -- how to analyze/think about?

Excellent detective work by ofckrupke. We do in fact have to take this loan in order to access the other, "no brainer" programs. My plan is to pay this one off immediately, before any appreciation has occurred or an appraisal is required. We have 90 days from closing to do that.
by Afty
Thu Jun 15, 2017 1:41 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Poll: 401K Match
Replies: 99
Views: 16535

Re: Poll: 401K Match

We get 100% match of the first $3k, then the greater of $3k or 50% of your contribution above that. If you max that means a 50% match. Our match vests immediately and is unrelated to salary. We also do not have to spread contributions across the year to get the full match, and there is no true up ei...
by Afty
Thu Jun 15, 2017 1:37 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: "Recasting" the home mortgage - questions
Replies: 6
Views: 675

Re: "Recasting" the home mortgage - questions

Excellent information Meg77 and jimb. Really appreciate it. My Mortgage is nearly 1.4M (California/Bay princing....ouch) and I can bring it down to 1.1M. Reasons are to utilize cash better and I don't like to keep high mortgage amounts (tax benefits are a wash with AMT anyways). Can you elaborate o...
by Afty
Thu Jun 15, 2017 1:33 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Mid-40's, single parent, "retired", $1.6M portfolio, investment advice sought.
Replies: 50
Views: 7758

Re: Mid-40's, single parent, "retired", $1.6M portfolio, investment advice sought.

I find it difficult to believe anybody in their 40s could have a possible "difficult" time securing employment in some shape or form, unless there's a disability involved. The drive to search out employment may not be there, but I can only make assumptions. As a single parent of a young c...
by Afty
Tue Jun 13, 2017 2:57 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Shared equity loan -- how to analyze/think about?
Replies: 13
Views: 1020

Re: Shared equity loan -- how to analyze/think about?

Thanks for all the replies. It makes sense to compare the interest on this loan to the expected appreciation of the house. From that perspective, I don't think it makes sense to take the loan. (a friend of mine had a loan like this, I think, because the Ivy League university he taught at was in a hi...
by Afty
Sat Jun 10, 2017 10:21 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Overpaid Big Time On Warranty
Replies: 55
Views: 2949

Re: Overpaid Big Time On Warranty

You buy a Toyota because of its reliability. Why then would you make a bet that the car is not going to be reliable?
by Afty
Thu Jun 08, 2017 9:05 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Shared equity loan -- how to analyze/think about?
Replies: 13
Views: 1020

Re: Shared equity loan -- how to analyze/think about?

Thanks for the questions, they are good things for me to clarify even for myself. How is "gain" calculated? Before or after sellig expenses? How are home improvements added to the value? If you put $50k into home improvements, does the University get $5k of that (free equity) at sale time?...
by Afty
Thu Jun 08, 2017 11:46 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Shared equity loan -- how to analyze/think about?
Replies: 13
Views: 1020

Shared equity loan -- how to analyze/think about?

My wife and I just bought a house! Because she is a professor, the university provides a package of various special loan programs. One is a "shared equity" loan that works like the following. The university provides a loan for 10% of the value of the house. There are no payments on the loa...
by Afty
Tue Jun 06, 2017 4:06 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Nanny or Afterschool Helper finding advice
Replies: 9
Views: 795

Re: Nanny or Afterschool Helper finding advice

I've also used Care.com for an afterschool nanny with mixed results. One person was unreliable and failed to pick our child up from school. We called her references and did the background checks and everything, and I'm not sure what else we could have done to vet her better. I also find that you get...
by Afty
Fri May 05, 2017 11:32 am
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Buffett/IBM
Replies: 73
Views: 6321

Re: Buffett/IBM

I would sell it and reinvest in VTSAX. How much would you end up paying in capital gains? As nedsaid suggested, you might want to spread the sale over a few years to reduce the tax hit. You might also consider donating some of it -- you'll both avoid capital gains and get a tax deduction for the cur...
by Afty
Thu May 04, 2017 11:45 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Starting new job mid-career - What advice to learn from my past?
Replies: 39
Views: 2370

Re: Starting new job mid-career - What advice to learn from my past?

Maybe your instructions were not clear enough? At my job (software development), we consider a user complaint against us a bug, even if we are technically correct. If the user couldn't understand the documentation and had to come to us for help, we improve the documentation until we no longer receiv...
by Afty
Wed May 03, 2017 11:45 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Time to upgrade bed/bath linens
Replies: 23
Views: 2150

Re: Time to upgrade bed/bath linens

The Sweethome is my go-to for recommendations for household stuff. http://thesweethome.com/reviews/best-sheets/ http://thesweethome.com/reviews/best-bath-towel/ I can vouch for the towel recommendation. I bought their recommended Target Fieldcrest towels a few months ago, and they are very nice and ...
by Afty
Wed May 03, 2017 11:35 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Buying a diamond ring
Replies: 57
Views: 3697

Re: Buying a diamond ring

Another +1 for Blue Nile. I bought my wife's ring from them 12 (!) years ago, and she still loves it to this day. I offered to upgrade the stone for our 10th anniversary, and she looked at me like I was crazy. :) We've made many more jewelry purchases from them though the years and have always been ...
by Afty
Tue May 02, 2017 12:04 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Vanguard PAS -- typical portfolio?
Replies: 13
Views: 1647

Re: Vanguard PAS -- typical portfolio?

We use PAS and are basically in a 4-fund portfolio. They customized it a bit for our existing holdings, so for example adding extended market to balance out our existing S&P 500 investment instead of selling and then buying total stock market.
by Afty
Sun Apr 30, 2017 6:11 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Shopping habits and timing of purchase
Replies: 13
Views: 1479

Re: Shopping habits and timing of purchase

My natural tendency is to buy in advance/hoard, but if I look at it rationally, I would probably come out better by buying right when I need something. I buy a lot of stuff that I never end up using, and then there's the problem of finding something when I do need it. Food from Costco is a common pr...
by Afty
Wed Apr 26, 2017 11:06 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Porsche Lease
Replies: 56
Views: 4562

Re: Porsche Lease

OP might also consider taking a high performance driving course. I recently did this "Porsche Experience" at the Porsche Experience Center in L.A. I selected a 911 Carrera S, and I drove it on their closed course for 1.5 hours with an instructor helping me. There was a skidpad, a long acce...
by Afty
Mon Apr 24, 2017 12:49 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Morningstar rating: S&P 5-stars, but TSM 4-stars?
Replies: 10
Views: 1343

Re: Morningstar rating: S&P 5-stars, but TSM 4-stars?

Morningstar ratings have no predictive value:
Our analysis reveals that higher-rated funds are no more likely to outperform a given benchmark than lower-rated funds.

http://www.vanguard.com/pdf/icrwmf.pdf

I suggest you ignore them.
by Afty
Thu Apr 20, 2017 3:38 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Calling for all the Moms: career and family.
Replies: 42
Views: 5600

Re: Calling for all the Moms: career and family.

I’m not a working mom, but I’m married to one. :) It sounds like you’ve taken everything on yourself -- work/breadwinning, home, and childcare. Not only are you heavily involved in your own kids’ lives, you’re taking care of your parents plus relatives back home. There’s only so much one person can ...
by Afty
Wed Apr 19, 2017 12:02 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Favorite online sources for household & personal care items?
Replies: 11
Views: 884

Re: Favorite online sources for household & personal care items?

You can order from Target.com, and they have most of the same household stuff. Shipping is free if you have a Redcard. I order from Target.com sometimes when I don't feel like searching the store for the one or two items I need.
by Afty
Sun Apr 16, 2017 12:37 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Downgrading Comcast (with no other competition)
Replies: 36
Views: 3172

Re: Downgrading Comcast (with no other competition)

I have also recently called Comcast and threatened to cancel to get a retention rate. They were ready to call my bluff. I'm in the same situation as the OP -- no other service available at my address, and I only want Internet. They actually offered to give me Internet + cable for less than Internet ...
by Afty
Fri Apr 14, 2017 7:09 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Anyone else decided not to finish med school?
Replies: 55
Views: 6577

Re: Anyone else decided not to finish med school?

Like others said, if he doesn't want to do it, the earlier that he dropped out the better. But I'm reading the reasons he dropped out as to avoid debt and spend more time with his spouse. It is not my business to judge anybody, but to me those are horrible reasons if accurate. I also think it's gre...
by Afty
Tue Apr 11, 2017 10:36 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: leaving early from work
Replies: 57
Views: 7722

Re: leaving early from work

What are the hours of your daycare? Are they really so short that you cannot fit in a full workday?
by Afty
Fri Apr 07, 2017 11:29 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Help on how to spend more on myself (First World Whine)
Replies: 93
Views: 6219

Re: Help on how to spend more on myself (First World Whine)

Upgraded desktop computer, quality 4K monitor, new TV, photo/negative scanner and probably half a dozen smaller items. Basically things that replace things I already have and still work. I sell things when I upgrade them to a newer version. I'm not sure it's the most effective use of my time as the...
by Afty
Thu Apr 06, 2017 10:44 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Calif Tax Refund Length of Time to Receive
Replies: 19
Views: 1243

Re: Calif Tax Refund Length of Time to Receive

Last year it took 2 months to receive my CA state tax refund. Filed in early April, direct deposited in mid June.

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