Search found 675 matches

by Alto Astral
Mon Oct 16, 2017 12:51 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Health Insurance: HDHP vs PPO with 2 small kids
Replies: 7
Views: 520

Re: Health Insurance: HDHP vs PPO with 2 small kids

B. I am wondering if the savings are worth the sticker shock of the doctor visits till the deductible is met. In our experience, yes. YMMV. See also the 'HDHP Analysis' tab in Tools and calculators - Personal_finance_toolbox - Bogleheads to help quantify the tax advantage, etc. I plugged in my numb...
by Alto Astral
Mon Oct 16, 2017 12:26 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Health Insurance: HDHP vs PPO with 2 small kids
Replies: 7
Views: 520

Re: Health Insurance: HDHP vs PPO with 2 small kids

mega317 wrote:
Sun Oct 15, 2017 11:33 pm
So you've calculated that in the worst case scenario you are saving $700 plus tax deductions? What's your question?
Sorry, the worst case scenario is -$300. I did not account for the difference in out-of-pocket maximums. I updated the original post and struck out the incorrect numbers
by Alto Astral
Sun Oct 15, 2017 8:52 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Health Insurance: HDHP vs PPO with 2 small kids
Replies: 7
Views: 520

Health Insurance: HDHP vs PPO with 2 small kids

Him: Age=38, Income=130K Her: Age=33, Income=100K Desired AA: 70/30 Emergency Funds - 10 months (@ $5K/ month living expense) $50K (5 year CD Ladder 1.3%-2.3%) Investments (66% stock, 30% bond, 4% cash) 4% Cash: $20K (Checking Accounts @ 0.01% - earmarked for his+her bond funds next year) 4% i-Bonds...
by Alto Astral
Tue Sep 05, 2017 8:00 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: SUV thread (with a twist)
Replies: 44
Views: 4232

Re: SUV thread (with a twist)

Does the Prius-V fit your bill? Its slightly smaller than the Outback but more fuel efficient.
by Alto Astral
Sun Aug 06, 2017 7:53 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Beginner Investor
Replies: 4
Views: 539

Re: Beginner Investor

Yes, max out the 401k. Then try to pay off the 4.5% debt. Contribute to Roth IRA. Your emergency fund looks good. Invest the rest in a taxable account to maintain the desired asset allocation
by Alto Astral
Sun Aug 06, 2017 7:47 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Portfolio advice for a newb
Replies: 4
Views: 518

Re: Portfolio advice for a newb

You portfolio looks great. Yes to the backdoor Roth IRA. I would recommend streamline everything in the Joint brokerage account to just Total Stock Market fund and rebalance your overall portfolio to get the 60% bond. You are on the right track otherwise. I would also suggest swapping the target ret...
by Alto Astral
Sun Aug 06, 2017 5:36 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: 100 Best Stocks to Buy in 2017
Replies: 10
Views: 1418

Re: 100 Best Stocks to Buy in 2017

Now that's a title I did not expect on this forum :)
by Alto Astral
Sun Aug 06, 2017 5:31 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Late Bloomer Looking for a start
Replies: 7
Views: 1282

Re: Late Bloomer Looking for a start

Yes, use the backdoor Roth IRA for both you and your wife. Yes to investing the $132 in a 3-fund portfolio (personally I skip the international portion but opinions are split on that). You can also consider i-Bonds as a part fo your bond portfolio: https://www.treasurydirect.gov/indiv/products/prod_...
by Alto Astral
Sun Aug 06, 2017 5:09 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Which Index fund
Replies: 12
Views: 1680

Re: Which Index fund

Hello, Have read advice that suggest part of your portfolio should include an Index fund. Suggestions include VFINX S& P 500 index fund (including Admiral version if funds permit) Also a broader span with VTI total stock market. Views on these or others to consider welcome please? Many thanks I wou...
by Alto Astral
Fri Aug 04, 2017 10:42 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Car accident: insurance or self-pay?
Replies: 22
Views: 1971

Re: Car accident: insurance or self-pay?

Follow-up question re submitting a claim and then change insurers if rates go up - I admit to not understanding the insurance market as well as perhaps I should, but wouldn't a new insurer become aware of the claim? Wouldn't that have to be disclosed in an application, or be available to a new insu...
by Alto Astral
Fri Aug 04, 2017 9:53 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Buy EZ Pass transponder for road trip?
Replies: 45
Views: 2873

Re: Buy EZ Pass transponder for road trip?

Its awesome! Discounted rates, saves time, balance does not expire.
by Alto Astral
Fri Aug 04, 2017 9:32 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Mr handyman?
Replies: 14
Views: 2058

Re: Mr handyman?

I saw a Mr Handyman van for the first time a few hours back. And co-incidentally saw this post. I do remember reading that they are independent franchises. So you would be better off with a handyman based off of local yelp reviews .
by Alto Astral
Fri Aug 04, 2017 9:26 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: S&P500: Good enough or worth it to splice a TSM proxy?
Replies: 7
Views: 793

Re: S&P500: Good enough or worth it to splice a TSM proxy?

Mr Bogle said in 2002 Investors in 500 index funds need feel no compulsion to change horses and switch to a total market portfolio—especially if it would result in a taxable capital gain. Over the long haul, the S&P 500 will do the same job of matching the market that it has always done. Reference: ...
by Alto Astral
Fri Aug 04, 2017 9:17 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Incorrect medical billing sent to collection. What should I do?
Replies: 20
Views: 1279

Re: Incorrect medical billing sent to collection. What should I do?

... My wife called the lab in the past, and after wasting lot of time with them, she was told that it was a billing mistake, and "don't worry about it". Call the lab one more time and see if it gets cleared. Happened to me once. I believe some practices automatically send outstanding bills to colle...
by Alto Astral
Fri Aug 04, 2017 9:10 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: only have 401k & emergency funds. what's next?
Replies: 24
Views: 1822

Re: only have 401k & emergency funds. what's next?

Bones_Jones wrote: 4. about 25k in credit card debts. we spend alot of money in traveling...
what would you do with $1500 a month?
Get rid of this. Talk to you in 17 months (25k/$1500) about next steps.
by Alto Astral
Fri Aug 04, 2017 9:05 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Car accident: insurance or self-pay?
Replies: 22
Views: 1971

Re: Car accident: insurance or self-pay?

I would file due to the larger amount. I had a similar thing happen but another car was involved. They increased rates 3x during the next renewal and I switched companies. I don't see any value in paying out of pocket unless you recently changed insurance companies. The broker is probably partly rig...
by Alto Astral
Sun Jul 23, 2017 10:55 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Best Short Term, Liquid Investments
Replies: 28
Views: 4194

Re: Best Short Term, Liquid Investments

When a house clicks, things happen very fast. We spent a couple of years looking for a house like you did. When it worked we were first time home owners before we knew it. Since you are still actively looking I would stay put; that's what I did for a couple of years when we were looking. I say this ...
by Alto Astral
Sun Jul 23, 2017 10:23 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: How do I get back to my asset allocation?
Replies: 14
Views: 1673

Re: How do I get back to my asset allocation?

65/35 is just right for a 40-year such as myself. Since you call it ultra-conservative, I am guessing you are in your 20s. Its okay to rebalance, no one knows when its going to peak. You may just want to rebalance gradually over the next year by stopping bond contributions. The time-frame would depe...
by Alto Astral
Sun Jul 23, 2017 10:14 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Need advice with investing move
Replies: 2
Views: 264

Re: Need advice with investing move

I appreciate your drive even though you have a $550k annual net passive income. You say you do analyses. Have you considered going the route of a startup or acting like an angel investor for financial companies? As far as trading, I recommend just sticking with index funds. Of course, don't take my ...
by Alto Astral
Sun Jul 23, 2017 9:47 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Am I getting good advice - replace the AC, not the 21 year old furnace
Replies: 33
Views: 2923

Re: Am I getting good advice - replace the AC, not the 21 year old furnace

Surprisingly, I didn't realize the air conditioning wasn't working - I've been comfortable without it. I could simply have it removed, but I wonder about resale value without it. I am in a similar boat. Got a 20+ year old AC. Have had to put in $100 worth of R22 freon a few years in a row. I don't ...
by Alto Astral
Mon Jul 17, 2017 6:55 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Would you look for a general handyman for these home jobs?
Replies: 28
Views: 2974

Re: Would you look for a general handyman for these home jobs?

1. i would call the radon company. I am guessing you already tested the levels using the government test pack? 2. Hvac person 3. General handyman 4. I have this issue. Happens near downspouts when t gets clogged with leaves or maple seeds. Cleaning the area usually fixes it. You may want to look int...
by Alto Astral
Mon Jul 17, 2017 6:49 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: kitchen appliance recommendations, esp refrigerator
Replies: 32
Views: 2268

Re: kitchen appliance recommendations, esp refrigerator

We got a Kitchenaid staineless steel finish with double doors and freezer at the the bottom. Pretty quiet most of the time. Makes a small noise when generating ice - lasts a few seconds and sounds like pebbles dropping on plastic.
by Alto Astral
Mon Jul 17, 2017 6:40 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Does mower brand matter much if they're all Briggs & Stratton engines?
Replies: 84
Views: 7271

Re: Does mower brand matter much if they're all Briggs & Stratton engines?

finite_difference wrote:You can get a Honda mower for $350.
+1 for Honda. Going great for the past 2 summers.
by Alto Astral
Mon Jul 17, 2017 6:35 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Basic Question on I bonds
Replies: 11
Views: 1253

Re: Basic Question on I bonds

The fixed rate will remain for the life of the ibond. However, in your case its 0%, I believe. The variable rate will keep chaning every 6 months like other have pointed out. you can only cash out and re-invest only upto $10k per socil security number. So if you already got $10K for this year, you c...
by Alto Astral
Thu Jul 13, 2017 4:56 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Advice for Asian Indian friend on parking 100k
Replies: 14
Views: 1437

Re: Advice for Asian Indian friend on parking 100k

I suggest leaving it in TotalStockMarket for now. Maybe he does not lose his job and ends up staying here for 2 decades. Even if he loses the job, he could find another in 2 months and decide to stick around.

There's always a geopolitical risk over 2 decades. Pick the lower risk.
by Alto Astral
Tue May 16, 2017 4:39 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Almost done saving for emergency fund...now what?
Replies: 8
Views: 1195

Re: Almost done saving for emergency fund...now what?

Saving 70% on a $70K income is $49k. This would be $490k over 10 years. You would need to get one or more rental properties and rent it out. If its out-if-state rentals, you would need to hire a managements company. This would reduce your rental income. Your rental income would meed to be $4k/month ...
by Alto Astral
Mon May 15, 2017 9:50 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: I-bonds vs 1-2 year CDs
Replies: 4
Views: 911

Re: I-bonds vs 1-2 year CDs

For a 2-3 year horizon, it may not make a big difference with $40K. You won't pay state tax for the i bonds. Federal tax will be deferred for that duration. I prefer/max out i bonds before any CDs
by Alto Astral
Thu May 11, 2017 8:53 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: what to look for in homeowner's insurance?
Replies: 5
Views: 880

Re: what to look for in homeowner's insurance?

Amica has pretty good reviews. I think top in consumer reports. I've had them for over a year. They explained and recommended appropriate coverage. Pleasant process.
by Alto Astral
Sat May 06, 2017 12:42 am
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: A few Questions from a young investor.
Replies: 19
Views: 1416

Re: A few Questions from a young investor.

With < $5500 IRA: If you already have an emergency fund VanguardTotalStockIndex is all you need. You can hold your emergency fund in a Roth IRA if that helps you max it out. In that case, split that portion into either VanguardTotalBondIndex or VanguardPrimeMoneyMarket. This should be fine till you ...
by Alto Astral
Sat May 06, 2017 12:29 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Stay home with kids?
Replies: 103
Views: 8652

Re: Stay home with kids?

2 young kids, 1 in full-time preschool and 1 school aged Are you out of your mind Steven? I would go nuts taking care of kids at home and I (like you and most parents) love my kids to death: 3 year old and newborn. Your preschooler will go to school in a year or two. So it would be like an early re...
by Alto Astral
Sat May 06, 2017 12:23 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Job Decision
Replies: 53
Views: 4268

Re: Job Decision

I was trapped in employment due to immigrant status for many years. Yes, an H-1B or similar visa severely restricts job mobility while you greencard is being processed. I can empathize with you and you may have been unable/unwilling to negotiate a pay-raise during this time to avoid jeopardizing/re...
by Alto Astral
Fri May 05, 2017 8:49 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Swing Set 2700.00??
Replies: 35
Views: 3700

Re: Swing Set 2700.00??

Easily. I know a neighbor 's cost $4K installed
by Alto Astral
Fri May 05, 2017 8:46 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Investing 25k using DCA
Replies: 13
Views: 1086

Re: Investing 25k using DCA

$25k is not DCA. Just mind games. If plan B makes you feel better, thats fine.
by Alto Astral
Tue May 02, 2017 4:10 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Managing finances for a new Indian immigrant parent
Replies: 11
Views: 1306

Re: Managing finances for a new Indian immigrant parent

1. This can be a longer term thing, say within 1-2 years. I would recommend to liquidate those and invest in vanguardtotalstock market index here. You will have the stock-growth along with better tax efficiency and cost. You may want to do it sooner, while the markets are doing well. 2. Yes, you can...
by Alto Astral
Tue May 02, 2017 12:42 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Is 401k loan really a bad idea?
Replies: 57
Views: 4085

Re: Is 401k loan really a bad idea?

I say this without knowing the rest of your portfolio. Its fine as long as you understand the implications. I did it during an emergency and took me a year or so to pay it back. But 50K out of 500K is a smaller portion of your 401k so it will likely not impact your overall asset allocation too much.
by Alto Astral
Tue May 02, 2017 12:39 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: If you had 30,000 dollars to invest in your future, how would you do it?
Replies: 49
Views: 5656

Re: If you had 30,000 dollars to invest in your future, how would you do it?

My parents actually have a decent amount of money saved for me to go to college. School has just never been my thing so I have been holding off. However, if thats what it will truly take to get a good paying job then i will work my hardest for it. I think im going to go to school, for mechanical en...
by Alto Astral
Sun Apr 30, 2017 1:05 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: I bonds May 2017
Replies: 66
Views: 9791

Re: I bonds May 2017

I tried logging in to buy some and got this message:
TreasuryDirect is unavailable.
We apologize for the inconvenience and ask that you try again later.
by Alto Astral
Sun Apr 30, 2017 12:07 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Personal Capital transaction history
Replies: 9
Views: 2111

Re: Personal Capital transaction history

ok, so it seems like you can go further back than the "last year" tab, at least. thanks! would still love to hear from any one who knows for sure.. I got 10 years worth transactions back till Dec 2007 but the website didnt open until 2009, per google? It probably grabbed transactions that...
by Alto Astral
Sun Apr 30, 2017 9:17 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Personal Capital transaction history
Replies: 9
Views: 2111

Re: Personal Capital transaction history

jsa307 wrote:ok, so it seems like you can go further back than the "last year" tab, at least. thanks!

would still love to hear from any one who knows for sure..

I got 10 years worth transactions back till Dec 2007
by Alto Astral
Fri Apr 28, 2017 6:29 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Which sonicare toothbrush do you recommend?
Replies: 13
Views: 1068

Re: Which sonicare toothbrush do you recommend?

I got the basic one. I think its called plus and not platinum/diamond. Its beyond amazing. Charge stays fir a week. Got after-market brush heads from amazon. Hreat buy. Dental hygienist very happy with results during routine visits.
by Alto Astral
Thu Apr 27, 2017 4:52 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Is $20K I-Bonds considered cash or bond?
Replies: 62
Views: 5229

Re: Is $20K I-Bonds considered cash or bond?

Looks like opinion is divided although most have cast their vote one way rather than the other. Me, I look to what you want to do with the answer. In your asset allocation calculations, you appear to have only two splits - a 70% and a 30%. If that is strictly stocks vs bonds, where does cash fall i...
by Alto Astral
Tue Apr 25, 2017 4:26 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Is $20K I-Bonds considered cash or bond?
Replies: 62
Views: 5229

Re: Is $20K I-Bonds considered cash or bond?

I don't view my portfolio as equities/bonds. I view it as equities/fixed income, where fixed income includes anything that provides interest on a regular basis (bond funds, CDs, individual bonds). Where would you classify High Yield bonds? I think you are on the right track, but for me the divide h...
by Alto Astral
Tue Apr 25, 2017 4:23 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Is $20K I-Bonds considered cash or bond?
Replies: 62
Views: 5229

Re: Is $20K I-Bonds considered cash or bond?

I am planning to buy $20K in I-bonds in each of His+Her accounts either before/in May. Just to clarify - did you mean to say that you plan to buy $10k in each account? As you know, the annual purchase limit per person/entity is $10k. So, you can buy $10k for yourself, $10k for your wife, $10k for y...
by Alto Astral
Sun Apr 23, 2017 10:43 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Is $20K I-Bonds considered cash or bond?
Replies: 62
Views: 5229

Re: Is $20K I-Bonds considered cash or bond?

I don't know how people come up with their own definition of cash. My post was not really about the technicalities or definition. Rather my goal was a simply to find if I am maintaining my AA. In the context of AA, I've seen folks list their assets as stocks, bonds, cash. The cash portion is usuall...
by Alto Astral
Sun Apr 23, 2017 1:36 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Is $20K I-Bonds considered cash or bond?
Replies: 62
Views: 5229

Re: Is $20K I-Bonds considered cash or bond?

In questions like this there is no "is considered" but anyone can certainly themselves consider I bonds to be either depending on what the distinction means to you. Most often in the context of a forum like this the issue would be whether or not the asset is marketable and has a fluctuati...
by Alto Astral
Sun Apr 23, 2017 1:32 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Is $20K I-Bonds considered cash or bond?
Replies: 62
Views: 5229

Re: Is $20K I-Bonds considered cash or bond?

I consider a bond a bond whether it is corporate, government or municipal, and consider cash as cash in the bank. If your target AA is 70/30 than the iBonds are part of your 30% bonds in my opinion. Ok, thanks. I saw a few ibonds vs cd posts. Based on that I wasn't sure if it was in the cash or bom...
by Alto Astral
Sun Apr 23, 2017 10:41 am
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Is $20K I-Bonds considered cash or bond?
Replies: 62
Views: 5229

Is $20K I-Bonds considered cash or bond?

Him: Age=37, Income=130K Her: Age=32, Income=100K Desired AA: 70/30 Emergency Funds - 12 months (@ $5K/ month living expense) $50K (1,2,3,4,5 year CD Ladder of $10K each at CapitalOne ranging 1.3%-2.3%) $10K Regular Checking accounts (negligible interest) Investments 9% Cash: $40K (Checking Accounts...
by Alto Astral
Fri Apr 21, 2017 6:17 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Differential aggressiveness for ROTH vs 401K
Replies: 31
Views: 2778

Re: Differential aggressiveness for ROTH vs 401K

I do. I have vanguard total bond index in our ROTHs. The hope is that thw value will be somewhat stable if i need to withdraw any contributions. Needed to do it once before. I was using the ROTH as emergency fund and kept it all in prime money market.
by Alto Astral
Thu Apr 13, 2017 1:41 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: 20yr fixed, 30yr fixed, or 7/1 ARM
Replies: 48
Views: 3683

Re: 20yr fixed, 30yr fixed, or 7/1 ARM

I my case I needed to pick between 15 and 30 year. I picked 30 and started making payments towards principal. That way if all went well, I would have paid it off in 15 years. The flexibility helped since I decided to py the minimum and instead shore up via investmens so I have more options with kids...
by Alto Astral
Mon Apr 03, 2017 3:51 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Transfers from one money market account to another
Replies: 7
Views: 558

Re: Transfers from one money market account to another

Yes that sounds right. I picked "Buy/Sell" since I wanted the Federal funds to buy stock index. Why don't you try with a smaller amount first. Bwsides you will have a second page to "Review" and it goes through only when you click "Submit"