Search found 483 matches

by Afty
Mon Sep 18, 2017 9:54 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Worth buying an excessive priced house?
Replies: 43
Views: 3702

Re: Worth buying an excessive house?

In my opinion schools are worth stretching for, but game rooms and oversize garages are not. Can you find any options in the good school area with an older/smaller/cheaper home? +1. Personally I wouldn't enjoy an excessively large house with a large yard, pool, etc. that I would have to maintain (o...
by Afty
Wed Sep 13, 2017 11:10 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Strategy for smartphones.
Replies: 31
Views: 2400

Re: Strategy for smartphones.

unclescrooge wrote:
Tue Sep 12, 2017 7:56 pm
Does anyone know if the warranties are extended for phones bought with Costco credit cards?
Yes, Citi extends the warranty for an additional 2 years.
by Afty
Tue Sep 12, 2017 11:18 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Is it really Worth it to brown bag your lunch at work?
Replies: 309
Views: 15975

Re: Is it really Worth it to brown bag your lunch at work?

I did this early in my career and did feel it negatively impacted my career. Not so much in the networking sense, but I felt it hurt the team dynamic because I didn't eat with them, and it made me dislike my job more as I didn't make friends at work. The company I work for now provides free food, an...
by Afty
Sun Sep 10, 2017 7:27 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Vanguard's new security key option
Replies: 78
Views: 16483

Re: Vanguard's new security key option

Yubico security keys work on Linux and Mac as well as Windows. I use them on all 3 platforms for my work. See https://www.yubico.com/products/yubikey ... bikey-neo/
by Afty
Fri Sep 08, 2017 6:16 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Bosch dishwasher?
Replies: 90
Views: 6532

Re: Bosch dishwasher?

Furthermore, when you do open the door, it is relatively hard to tell, by inspecting the control panel, whether the dishes are dirty (i.e. hasn't been run) or clean. It's kind of silly, but I bought a dishwasher magnet to solve this problem. You set it to "clean" to mark that the dishes are clean. ...
by Afty
Wed Sep 06, 2017 11:51 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Name something you had to have and now you regret purchasing it?
Replies: 257
Views: 21242

Re: Name something you had to have and now you regret purchasing it?

House with a pool. Since I stink at maintaining it and turned the water green we hire out for $170/month ($2040/yr) plus incidentals ranging from $50-$200/yr. In the last 5 years we had to re-line the pool and replaced the motor costing about $10k plus the extra electricity I figure in these 5 year...
by Afty
Fri Sep 01, 2017 12:24 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: How do you reverse a lifetime of frugality and learn to spend some money?
Replies: 59
Views: 6205

Re: How do you reverse a lifetime of frugality and learn to spend some money?

I would start by splurging on small luxuries rather than expensive items like a new laptop. For example, you could go out for your morning coffee instead of making it at home. You could buy more expensive foods to cook/eat everyday -- fish, fresh fruits and vegetables, steak, whatever you like. You ...
by Afty
Thu Aug 31, 2017 9:39 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: iPhone tempered glass...$6 vs $50?
Replies: 17
Views: 1346

Re: iPhone tempered glass...$6 vs $50?

Phone accessories at a phone store are generally a ripoff. You will find much better deals on Amazon, and usually higher quality as well.
by Afty
Mon Aug 28, 2017 3:54 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Inherited IRA [take as lump sum or life expectancy]
Replies: 13
Views: 1114

Re: Inherited IRA [take as lump sum or life expectancy]

Life expectancy is the clear choice. You get to defer taxes for longer. Also if you don't need the funds, you want to take no more than the RMD, again to preserve tax free growth.
by Afty
Sat Aug 26, 2017 1:29 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Safe car for wife and baby
Replies: 97
Views: 5767

Re: Safe car for wife and baby

I'm surprised by all the responses here... Your wife already drives a safe vehicle. I don't think a baby on board will render the vehicle any less safe, so I don't see the need for buying a new car, much less a new SUV. I always thought the Baby / SUV requirement was a marketing gimmick that a lot ...
by Afty
Tue Aug 22, 2017 11:30 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Why do we consider cash flow from rentals but not our own homes?
Replies: 89
Views: 5744

Re: Why do we consider cash flow from rentals but not our own homes?

Am I missing something? No you are absolutely correct. Your home is part of your portfolio as a non-diversified real estate holding paying a return to you of the rent equivalent minus upkeep expenses & taxes, ... Your mortgage is a short bond position and is also part of your portfolio. +1. Note th...
by Afty
Mon Aug 21, 2017 11:04 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Best internet provider in Boston?
Replies: 8
Views: 589

Re: Best internet provider in Boston?

I'm not sure how typical my experience is, but I had RCN in Somerville and they were horrendous. Really slow speeds (1/10 of the speed I was paying for) and ever increasing prices with no improvements to show for it. We had Comcast in Malden and they were great, no problems except for higher cost th...
by Afty
Thu Aug 17, 2017 10:49 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Anyone have a personal chef?
Replies: 48
Views: 4502

Re: Anyone have a personal chef?

I don't think this is that weird a request. We have friends who have done something similar though they didn't call the person who cooked meals for them a "personal chef." They hired someone to help out in the evenings, do dishes, cook dinner, do laundry, etc. Personally I would first look into hot ...
by Afty
Thu Aug 17, 2017 11:00 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: RSU taxes
Replies: 7
Views: 492

Re: RSU taxes

Typically the price at grant is irrelevant. You pay income tax when the grant vests on the value of the shares on the vesting date, and that also sets your cost basis. So in your example, you would pay income tax on $6000 at the start of year 1, then capital gains on $2000 when you sell the shares i...
by Afty
Tue Aug 15, 2017 11:07 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: What kind of hotel do you get on business travel?
Replies: 44
Views: 3353

Re: What kind of hotel do you get on business travel?

My company has a cost saving initiative for travel (hotel, airfare, meals). There is a hotel rate cap by city, so I'm limited by that. Usually Courtyard or Fairfield Inns work fine, and also earn me some Marriott points. They're usually fine. We also have a cap per city, and you get to bank 1/2 the...
by Afty
Mon Aug 14, 2017 10:18 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: advice for new hi-income house hunters, south Texas
Replies: 9
Views: 892

Re: advice for new hi-income house hunters, south Texas

A realtor's primary goal is to make sure a deal closes successfully. Small differences in commission don't matter much compared to the possibility of not getting a commission at all. This is probably in your best interest as well -- you presumably need a place to live and need it to happen on some t...
by Afty
Sat Aug 12, 2017 10:29 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Upgrade car suspension or wait few more years
Replies: 17
Views: 1367

Re: Upgrade car suspension or wait few more years

3 years is a long time to drive around with bad shocks. I would bite the bullet and replace them.
by Afty
Wed Aug 09, 2017 6:19 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: What's the deal with AMICA???
Replies: 21
Views: 2120

Re: What's the deal with AMICA???

$750/mo sounds like a mistake. Who pays $9000/yr for car insurance??
by Afty
Tue Aug 08, 2017 12:30 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: kids think lazy if retire?
Replies: 70
Views: 8032

Re: kids think lazy if retire?

My dad retired when I was a teenager, but he was older than the OP (60s). It certainly didn't affect the way I saw him as a father and a role model. I didn't really think much about it, to be honest.
by Afty
Mon Aug 07, 2017 11:57 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: How much do kids cost in a high COLA?
Replies: 57
Views: 3922

Re: How much do kids cost in a high COLA?

This is a great thread. So much of it hits home for me. Especially the parts about the unexpectedly difficult parts of being working parents such as dealing with kids getting sick, not having family nearby making it difficult, using all of your vacation time, etc. IMO as a single parent those are go...
by Afty
Sat Aug 05, 2017 1:25 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Roth conversion in a high tax bracket?
Replies: 21
Views: 1815

Re: Roth conversion in a high tax bracket?

If you don't expect your marginal rates to decrease ever (and ignoring inheritance issues...) then converting to Roth makes sense. Can you elaborate on this? Does it makes sense to convert if you expect to be in the same tax bracket upon retirement? For the tax-free growth going forward it could ma...
by Afty
Fri Aug 04, 2017 7:51 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Roth conversion in a high tax bracket?
Replies: 21
Views: 1815

Re: Roth conversion in a high tax bracket?

FiveK wrote:If you don't expect your marginal rates to decrease ever (and ignoring inheritance issues...) then converting to Roth makes sense.
Can you elaborate on this? Does it makes sense to convert if you expect to be in the same tax bracket upon retirement?
by Afty
Fri Aug 04, 2017 2:04 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: How much do kids cost in a high COLA?
Replies: 57
Views: 3922

Re: How much do kids cost in a high COLA?

Child care swamps all other costs.

I have to say that those daycare numbers ($3k/mo) look crazy, even for HCOL. The daycare our kids went to is currently $2k/mo for an infant and we live in one of the highest cost areas in the country.
by Afty
Wed Aug 02, 2017 11:49 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: prescriptions drugs and claw backs
Replies: 20
Views: 1530

Re: prescriptions drugs and claw backs

The reason these coupons exist is really interesting. Insurance companies are trying to push consumers to buy generic drugs whenever possible, by setting a high copay for non-generics. Drug companies want you to buy the non-generic because of the higher costs, which your insurance will largely reimb...
by Afty
Tue Aug 01, 2017 3:47 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Residency/fellowship investing questions!
Replies: 10
Views: 746

Re: Residency/fellowship investing questions!

I will learn more about rolling over the 403B into an IRA. I sincerely appreciate that advice but just don't know what it fully means at this point, sorry :| This just means that you transfer the money from the 403B into a traditional IRA, so you are not tied to that 403b plan after you leave the j...
by Afty
Tue Aug 01, 2017 3:27 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Rent vs sell condo with big capital gain
Replies: 17
Views: 1698

Re: Rent vs sell condo with big capital gain

I would take the money and run. Housing prices are quite high right now, and you can take advantage of nearly the entire $500k capital gains exclusion.
by Afty
Mon Jul 31, 2017 12:00 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: What to do with 3oz of gold?
Replies: 28
Views: 4517

Re: What to do with 3oz of gold?

I inherited a few gold coins and ended up selling them. I don't think they are a very good investment, and I didn't want to worry about storing and potentially losing them.

You can sell them via Apmex.com or a local store that buys gold. Make sure they give you close to the spot price.
by Afty
Sun Jul 30, 2017 4:09 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: How do you decide if you can afford something?
Replies: 63
Views: 3717

Re: How do you decide if you can afford something?

There are some interesting points in this discussion. There's the idea of being able to afford anything, but not being able to afford everything. Maybe you could afford that Bugatti, but could you afford the Bugatti, a vacation home, and a private jet? There's also an idea of value for the money. I ...
by Afty
Sun Jul 30, 2017 4:01 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: How do you decide if you can afford something?
Replies: 63
Views: 3717

Re: How do you decide if you can afford something?

For an example of where I'm at right now, I'm taking a trip to attend a good friend's wedding later this year. My flight (paid for with points) will get in a little after midnight local time. I have the option of spending $25 on a shared airport shuttle that might take 1-1.5 hours to actually get f...
by Afty
Sun Jul 30, 2017 3:54 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: NYT: Buy more takeout and hire a maid, study suggests
Replies: 36
Views: 5960

Re: NYT: Buy more takeout and hire a maid, study suggests

I enjoy cooking and do it most nights. I take pride in making tasty and healthy meals for my family. I HATE cleaning and lawn care, so we hire people to do that for us. I admit I used to feel a bit ridiculous having someone clean for us, but it has made our lives immensely better.
by Afty
Sat Jul 29, 2017 1:45 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Are any advisors not self serving
Replies: 25
Views: 2156

Re: Are any advisors not self serving

I use the Vanguard PAS, and the guy I work with is great. He gives basically the exact advice this forum will give you. He sends Vanguard reports justifying his advice at decision points (e.g. lump sum vs. DCA), and he never recommends anything fishy or self serving. I know Bogleheads don't recommen...
by Afty
Fri Jul 28, 2017 2:48 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Awarded stock; sell and diversify?
Replies: 27
Views: 1115

Re: Awarded stock; sell and diversify?

I work for one of the "open and transparent" tech giants, and I do sell my stock immediately upon vesting. I've come out behind doing this (i.e. our stock has outperformed the market during the time I've worked there), but I don't want to take the risk of something going terribly wrong and losing bo...
by Afty
Thu Jul 27, 2017 9:24 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: WiFi Thermostat?
Replies: 59
Views: 3840

Re: Follow up on wifi thermostat

It seems really suspicious for a thermostat to require a $50/mo fee. I can't find any mention of this fee on the internet.

I wonder if they are tying it to a security system, and the fee is for the security system?
by Afty
Thu Jul 27, 2017 12:56 am
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Cash to Invest
Replies: 28
Views: 1971

Re: Cash to Invest

Lump sum wins 2/3 of the time. Why would you choose the option (DCA) that loses 2/3 of the time?
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: 123
Views: 6993

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: 13
Views: 1268

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: 61
Views: 3117

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: 61
Views: 3117

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: 16
Views: 3328

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: 16
Views: 3328

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: 3030

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: 3021

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: 7119

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.com/tax-t...
by Afty
Wed Jul 12, 2017 11:57 am
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: EE Bonds?
Replies: 44
Views: 2027

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: 3021

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: 1035

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: 282
Views: 15845

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: 793

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: 3942

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: 3942

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.