Search found 585 matches

by Afty
Mon Jan 22, 2018 6:47 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Am I being greedy?
Replies: 36
Views: 3429

Re: Am I being greedy?

Personally at your age I would hold at least some bonds. The ratio from TR2050 is a decent place to start -- it's currently 90/10 stocks/bonds. Personally I would be a bit more conservative and aim for 80/20, but your risk tolerance may be higher than mine.
by Afty
Mon Jan 22, 2018 2:50 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Gift and estate tax questions
Replies: 4
Views: 447

Gift and estate tax questions

I was thinking about gift and estate taxes, and had a couple of questions. 1) Gifting money beyond the annual exclusion is ok up to the lifetime exclusion. If you go beyond that, then you pay gift tax. What if the lifetime exclusion decreases so that some of your previous gifts were over the new lim...
by Afty
Sat Jan 20, 2018 4:47 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Pros and Cons of High Rise Condos for retired couple
Replies: 44
Views: 4353

Re: Pros and Cons of High Rise Condos for retired couple

One thing I would look out for is traffic and rowdy crowds from baseball games at AT&T Park. Would they be close enough for that to be a concern?
by Afty
Sat Jan 20, 2018 12:41 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Costco Citi removing Foreign Transaction Fees; No Fee/Reimbursed Fee International ATM; ; Free International Data
Replies: 38
Views: 3712

Re: Costco Citi removing Foreign Transaction Fees; No Fee/Reimbursed Fee International ATM; ; Free International Data

I've used Project Fi for international roaming in Canada, Germany, Taiwan, and Thailand. It worked very well in the first 3 countries (even had LTE in Canada and Germany), but in Thailand, while I had service, it was unusably slow. I would have been better off buying a local SIM in the airport there.
by Afty
Sat Jan 20, 2018 12:19 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Best Way to Invest a Bonus?
Replies: 4
Views: 407

Re: Best Way to Invest a Bonus?

The decision whether to do traditional 401k or Roth 401k is the same whether the money comes from a bonus or your regular paycheck. In the end, it's all treated as income and you pay taxes on it the same way. The only thing to consider is whether receiving the bonus bumps up your income to the point...
by Afty
Fri Jan 19, 2018 4:10 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Costco Citi removing Foreign Transaction Fees; No Fee/Reimbursed Fee International ATM; ; Free International Data
Replies: 38
Views: 3712

Re: Costco Citi removing Foreign Transaction Fees; No Fee/Reimbursed Fee International ATM; ; Free International Data

anonenigma wrote:
Fri Jan 19, 2018 2:31 pm
We used the Costco Citi Card overseas in December and there were no foreign transaction fees.
I traveled to Taiwan and Thailand in December, and I *was* charged the foreign transaction fee when I used my Costco Visa over there. These were for transactions through 12/31.
by Afty
Thu Jan 18, 2018 1:22 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Short Commute or Nicer House?
Replies: 142
Views: 7054

Re: Short Commute or Nicer House?

I've always prioritized commute, and I've never regretted it. There is some research showing that commute length has an outsized effect on your quality of life (for example, https://www.economist.com/blogs/gullive ... -commuting).
by Afty
Thu Jan 18, 2018 1:15 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: 4k UHD TVs worth it?
Replies: 58
Views: 3862

Re: 4k UHD TVs worth it?

I can't imagine you would be able to tell the difference in resolution between 1080p and 4k on a 49" TV at any reasonable viewing distance. HDR is supposed to be a much more noticeable improvement, but there are several competing standards and I'm not sure how it's going to shake out.
by Afty
Wed Jan 17, 2018 10:44 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Take lump sum on inherited IRA and contribute to Roth?
Replies: 1
Views: 154

Re: Take lump sum on inherited IRA and contribute to Roth?

Give your situation, I would do it. Your income will go up and you’ll be paying a higher tax rate for the rest of your life. Thus it makes sense to take the tax hit now.
by Afty
Tue Jan 16, 2018 12:42 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Considering PhD...but so much to consider...
Replies: 51
Views: 3438

Re: Considering PhD...but so much to consider...

Perhaps your field is different, but in STEM you don't plan on walking out with your newly minted PhD and getting a $100k job. Typically the only options are PostDoc positions that pay ~$40k. This can last 3-6 years. I have many colleagues who are 5+ years out of the STEM PhD still making well belo...
by Afty
Sat Jan 13, 2018 4:31 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Replacement Suggestions For Microwave Oven
Replies: 22
Views: 1266

Re: Replacement Suggestions For Microwave Oven

I've owned maybe 5 or 6 different microwaves over the past ~20 years, as my wife and I have moved around several times. As others have said, microwaves are cheap, and I haven't noticed any significant differences among the various microwaves we've had. Our current microwave is a GE model recommended...
by Afty
Sat Jan 13, 2018 4:22 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: What frugal thing did you do today?
Replies: 316
Views: 23485

Re: What frugal thing did you do today?

On the topic of Instant Pots: I cooked a big batch of black beans (recipe for the curious) in mine yesterday. I'll count this as frugal since I made it from scratch instead of buying canned beans. Not totally sure it's cheaper this way, but it certainly tastes better. :)
by Afty
Sat Jan 13, 2018 1:43 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: wireless dead again - router suggestions?
Replies: 35
Views: 1721

Re: wireless dead again - router suggestions?

I agree that routers are designed to run continuously, and turning one off at night is not necessary. I've been running various WiFi routers for at least 10 years and have never needed to turn them off except for updates. How's the airflow where you are placing these routers? Does doing a reset fix ...
by Afty
Sat Jan 13, 2018 1:32 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Almost a pathological fear of debt, to my detriment?
Replies: 79
Views: 4508

Re: Almost a pathological fear of debt, to my detriment?

What do you feel you are missing out on by not taking on debt? Maybe a half percent in forgone interest on a relatively small amount? Not worth the mental effort or potential for error, e.g. forgetting to make a payment, IMO.
by Afty
Wed Jan 10, 2018 6:40 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Help gmail security question
Replies: 27
Views: 1528

Re: Help gmail security question

IMO your effort would be better spent securing the account than deleting emails. Emails alone generally don't contain sensitive information because they are sent without encryption (because of how email works, not specific to Gmail). So for example, emails from Vanguard will only contain info like "...
by Afty
Wed Jan 10, 2018 6:16 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Computers Suck
Replies: 18
Views: 1405

Re: Computers Suck

One of my computer science professors in college made exactly this point -- that computers suck, and that it was our job as the next generation of software engineers to fix them. And I would argue that, while computers still suck, they suck a lot less than they did 10 or 20 years ago. In particular,...
by Afty
Sat Jan 06, 2018 7:05 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: What frugal thing did you do today?
Replies: 316
Views: 23485

Re: What frugal thing did you do today?

Replaced the engine air filters and cabin air filter in my car by myself today. Super easy and saved probably $50 vs. having it done at a shop. There are actual car owners who pay someone else to replace their engine and cabin air filters? My wife would, if I weren't around to do it for her. :) Rep...
by Afty
Sat Jan 06, 2018 2:04 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: What frugal thing did you do today?
Replies: 316
Views: 23485

Re: What frugal thing did you do today?

Replaced the engine air filters and cabin air filter in my car by myself today. Super easy and saved probably $50 vs. having it done at a shop.
by Afty
Thu Jan 04, 2018 1:46 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: What frugal thing did you do today?
Replies: 316
Views: 23485

Re: What frugal thing did you do today?

I bought H&R Block tax software to do my own taxes, as opposed to paying a CPA hundreds of dollars like I used to do. Also paid for the software with my credit card rewards. :)
by Afty
Sun Dec 31, 2017 2:38 am
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Windfall help
Replies: 10
Views: 1007

Re: Windfall help

I had a large sum to invest this past summer. The market was at an all time high, but I read the literature and resolved to make the “correct” decision to lump sum it. I’ve been rewarded with a 10% return in just a few months. I had this same decision to make in 2012, but even then we were 3 years i...
by Afty
Thu Dec 28, 2017 2:06 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Upsizing Real Estate for Location/Ease
Replies: 14
Views: 1180

Re: Upsizing Real Estate for Location/Ease

Are there other benefits to the new location? E.g. does it enable you to walk/bike to work? Is the neighborhood walkable? Better restaurants nearby? How long does it currently take you to get to work? You say that you can get into the city in 10-15 minutes, but also that moving would reduce your com...
by Afty
Thu Dec 28, 2017 1:56 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Can someone explain how AMT works?
Replies: 12
Views: 1913

Re: Can someone explain how AMT works?

AMT is an alternate tax code that disallows many deductions and has different tax brackets. What is listed on your tax return as AMT is actually the difference between your tax liability under AMT and under the standard tax code. The initial goal of the law was to prevent rich people from taking so ...
by Afty
Wed Dec 27, 2017 9:34 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Another should i buy my dream porsche thread...
Replies: 240
Views: 10903

Re: Another should i buy my dream porsche thread...

When are you going to drive this car? I ask because I fantasize about buying a 911, but in the end I can't imagine when I would have time to drive it. My wife and I both work and we have small kids. On weekdays I need something with usable rear seats to take the kids to school. Weekends are filled w...
by Afty
Tue Dec 26, 2017 8:31 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: How can I obtain compensation data?
Replies: 38
Views: 3578

Re: How can I obtain compensation data?

No it's not typical. I'm going by my own experience where companies I work at have two tracks: managerial and technical. There is a 1:1 correspondance between the managerial and technical ladders, including salaries. If you're on the managerial track, then you can expect that at some point, you wil...
by Afty
Tue Dec 26, 2017 3:39 am
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Help with inheritance funds
Replies: 17
Views: 1810

Re: Help with inheritance funds

Do you need to keep the inheritance separate from the rest of your investments? I would merge it all into one big pot, and invest it the same way the rest of your money is invested.
by Afty
Tue Dec 26, 2017 3:33 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: How can I obtain compensation data?
Replies: 38
Views: 3578

Re: How can I obtain compensation data?

At one company I worked at, a group of employees had a suspicion that the men were being paid more than the women, and started an internal salary survey on the company intranet. The company allowed it to go forward, after some back and forth with the legal department. What we all learned from the e...
by Afty
Sun Dec 24, 2017 8:38 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Implications of tax bill on residential real estate (house prices)
Replies: 62
Views: 5695

Re: Implications of tax bill on residential real estate (house prices)

But as noted in other posts, the impact seems unlikely to impact housing in all price ranges and in all income brackets. It should be mostly among the upper price homes (e.g.: 750K to $2,000K) in locations that have a combination of high state income taxes PLUS high local property taxes -- typicall...
by Afty
Sun Dec 24, 2017 5:51 am
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Early retirement pros and cons:
Replies: 58
Views: 6748

Re: Early retirement pros and cons:

A lot of my concerns of ER would be what would I do if my wife wanted to still work and my kids are still in elementary school? It isn't like I would get to spend more time with family then just because I am retired. Also, travel is still difficult if one is married with working spouse and/ or kids...
by Afty
Sun Dec 24, 2017 5:25 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: car thread- too much money?
Replies: 85
Views: 6973

Re: car thread- too much money?

You are broke, but you make a lot of money. How secure is your income? I would get a cheap car and focus on getting out of debt and building some wealth before spending 38k for a Subaru Outback. That seems high. He doesn't make a lot of money yet -- he's a resident who will graduate next year ( see...
by Afty
Thu Dec 21, 2017 10:18 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Feels dumb to hold bonds - Currently 70% Stocks 30% Bonds
Replies: 96
Views: 11326

Re: Feels dumb to hold bonds - Currently 70% Stocks 30% Bonds

I agree that age in bonds is too conservative for most. In the absence of any other information, I would mirror the AA of the appropriate Target Retirement fund for you. That likely means 10% bonds at your age. [/u] For a home downpayment fund??? Hmm... I read the OPs post as asking how to invest t...
by Afty
Thu Dec 21, 2017 10:07 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Feels dumb to hold bonds - Currently 70% Stocks 30% Bonds
Replies: 96
Views: 11326

Re: Feels dumb to hold bonds - Currently 70% Stocks 30% Bonds

I agree that age in bonds is too conservative for most. In the absence of any other information, I would mirror the AA of the appropriate Target Retirement fund for you. That likely means 10% bonds at your age.
by Afty
Wed Dec 20, 2017 2:35 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Online vs. Local Banks for Mortgage
Replies: 5
Views: 669

Re: Online vs. Local Banks for Mortgage

We used Chase for a mortgage this summer. We did the whole thing remotely and it was super smooth. The guy we worked with at Chase was really on the ball and got the loan funded on time. Got a great rate too.
by Afty
Tue Dec 19, 2017 5:47 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Is it worth investing with 15% LTCG tax rate!?
Replies: 25
Views: 2715

Re: Is it worth investing with 15% LTCG tax rate!?

What is your alternative for the $100k? If you keep it in a savings account, you pay income tax on the interest at nearly double the rate. Same for bonds.
by Afty
Tue Dec 19, 2017 5:12 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Spending on myself, am I off base here?
Replies: 104
Views: 5665

Re: Spending on myself, am I off base here?

I would dig deeper and try to understand why your wife is questioning this purchase. Often the reason we tell others is not the underlying reason. Some possibilities: Perhaps she feels like she sacrifices for the good of the family, and feels it is unfair if you don't as well. Perhaps she feels that...
by Afty
Sun Dec 17, 2017 2:48 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Diversification: Is there any way to produce the same returns with less risk?
Replies: 52
Views: 5141

Re: Diversification: Is there any way to produce the same returns with less risk?

This is exactly what investing in the total market instead of an individual stock buys you. If you believe in the efficient market hypothesis, then the expected return of any individual stock should be the same as the total market but with greater risk.
by Afty
Sun Dec 17, 2017 2:43 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Save all this money, what do you splurge on?
Replies: 193
Views: 16824

Re: Save all this money, what do you splurge on?

We bought a house that most Bogleheads would disapprove of. :twisted: We love it, it makes us happy every day.
by Afty
Thu Dec 14, 2017 7:19 am
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Looking ahead to 2018
Replies: 7
Views: 1283

Re: Looking ahead to 2018

Yeah, this is market timing, the idea that a correction is more likely to happen now than at other times. Stay the course. I will do what I always do and make the Roth contribution as early in the year as possible, to maximize time in the market. Incidentally, I would also delay the inherited IRA RM...
by Afty
Thu Dec 14, 2017 3:19 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Sinking fund for dream cars
Replies: 23
Views: 1675

Re: Sinking fund for dream cars

I predict that in 2034, no one will own their own car, and instead we will use an Uber-like service to call a self driving taxi whenever we need to go somewhere.

Can someone please bump this thread in 17 years so we can see who is right? :twisted:
by Afty
Thu Dec 14, 2017 3:05 am
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: What to do after losing $117k in stock market?
Replies: 156
Views: 16822

Re: What to do after losing $117k in stock market?

people have sold their houses to buy crypto currencies.... That's horrifying, unless they got in a year ago. A guy on a different forum I read wanted to cash out his 401k to buy crypto currency. We told him that was idiotic, but he didn't seem convinced. I wouldn't be surprised if he did it anyway....
by Afty
Sat Dec 09, 2017 5:50 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: What MPG App Do You Use To Track Fuel Usage ?
Replies: 61
Views: 2572

Re: What MPG App Do You Use To Track Fuel Usage ?

Fuelly for me as well. I just like having the data. Aside from MPG, you can track fuel costs, differences in how much you use your car, etc. The mileage readout in my car is ~2 MPG too high in my experience.
by Afty
Fri Dec 08, 2017 8:14 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Just not getting it [Stock Picking versus TSM]
Replies: 98
Views: 14240

Re: Just not getting it

You're picking a list of stocks based on their past performance, then validating them by checking their past performance. Of course they've outperformed. The real test is picking those stocks today, then following them out to 1 year, 2 years, 3 years, etc., and seeing if they continue to outperform....
by Afty
Thu Dec 07, 2017 12:20 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Do people still use AAA?
Replies: 242
Views: 15715

Re: Do people still use AAA?

We also switched to coverage through our insurance provider (Amica), for about $5/yr. We've had to use it a couple times and had no issues.
by Afty
Thu Dec 07, 2017 2:16 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Friend buys a lot of stuff because he want's to reduce his tax liability. Is this thinking flawed?
Replies: 47
Views: 4219

Re: Friend buys a lot of stuff because he want's to reduce his tax liability. Is this thinking flawed?

One of the business owner "myths" to those not familiar with business is the ability to "write off" expenses so deeply that the deduction is equal to or greater than the purchase price of the goods or service. It makes zero sense, yet the myth endures. j :D Obligatory Seinfeld reference: https://yo...
by Afty
Wed Dec 06, 2017 2:14 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Timing the housing market
Replies: 35
Views: 2589

Re: Timing the housing market

There's no guarantee that when the market softens, it will soften below the current price. When I moved to the Bay Area in 2011, the prices seemed excessive and we seemed due for a correction. That correction still hasn't come, and home prices now are 70% higher than they were in 2011. It would tak...
by Afty
Wed Dec 06, 2017 1:39 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Timing the housing market
Replies: 35
Views: 2589

Re: Timing the housing market

There's no guarantee that when the market softens, it will soften below the current price. When I moved to the Bay Area in 2011, the prices seemed excessive and we seemed due for a correction. That correction still hasn't come, and home prices now are 70% higher than they were in 2011. It would take...
by Afty
Wed Dec 06, 2017 11:55 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Annoying Ads when turning on Galaxy S7 smartphone
Replies: 6
Views: 412

Re: Annoying Ads when turning on Galaxy S7 smartphone

I wonder if you have installed an app that comes with lock screen ads: https://www.engadget.com/2017/12/01/google-play-bans-apps-with-lockscreen-ads/ They take over your lock screen and display ads on them. Google is cracking down on them, but I doubt they will actively remove such apps from your de...
by Afty
Tue Dec 05, 2017 12:19 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: New Cash - dollar-cost averaging in?
Replies: 35
Views: 2028

Re: New Cash - dollar-cost averaging in?

So I'll register a dissent. The market is setting new records weekly, sometimes daily. Price/earnings ratios in U.S. stocks are high, and a lot of the overall gain of the U.S. market is being led by a small number of stocks. I don't think it's a time to throw lump sums at this market, and especiall...
by Afty
Sun Dec 03, 2017 5:10 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: When/how to pare back cash gifts to young relatives as they get older
Replies: 19
Views: 1750

Re: When/how to pare back cash gifts to young relatives as they get older

My relatives who sent me cash gifts didn’t stop until I had my own kids, then they started sending my kids cash gifts. :D
by Afty
Sun Dec 03, 2017 12:46 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Migrating inherited portfolio to Index funds
Replies: 9
Views: 967

Re: Migrating inherited portfolio to Index funds

A few other ideas: Bucket investments into things you can live with and things you can't, then sell the things you really don't like. Or at least prioritize selling the things you don't want. Donate appreciated securities, maybe set up a donor advised fund. For gifting to children, if the gains are ...
by Afty
Sat Dec 02, 2017 2:49 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: PSA: consider pre-paying your property taxes and January mortgage payment
Replies: 25
Views: 3483

Re: PSA: consider pre-paying your property taxes and January mortgage payment

This is also not advantageous for people paying AMT, right? Since property tax is not deductible under AMT.