Search found 714 matches

by Big Dog
Wed Jun 13, 2018 7:02 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Cost-basis step-up at death
Replies: 9
Views: 953

Re: Cost-basis step-up at death

However, for the account where your mother is also a surviving joint tenant, only the 50% that your father was deemed to have contributed gets the basis adjustment. A community property state gets full step-up for death of spouse. (Vanguard allows registration as Community Property, and I believe w...
by Big Dog
Sat Jun 09, 2018 1:21 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: daughter wants a college transfer?
Replies: 65
Views: 5062

Re: daughter wants a college transfer?

- She's interested in schools that focus on undergraduate teaching as opposed to research
Sounds like a LAC is exactly her style. That being said, a 3.4 is unlikely to be competitive to transfer to a college like Midd. She may have to look farther down the food chain.

Good luck.
by Big Dog
Sat Jun 09, 2018 11:31 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: ignorant question about fixed rate home equity loans
Replies: 18
Views: 1208

Re: ignorant question about fixed rate home equity loans

I think one of us misplaced a decimal point. I hope it's you :-)
Gah! That's what I get for trying to do math before a cuppa joe. :oops:
by Big Dog
Sat Jun 09, 2018 8:02 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: ignorant question about fixed rate home equity loans
Replies: 18
Views: 1208

Re: ignorant question about fixed rate home equity loans

depends on how much/often you plan to dip into the line, and for how much. $10k * .74 = $740 interest per year. x 5 years? You said "humongous" expense coming up. $50k? OTOH, if the HELOC is just for an emergency, in that you hope to not use it, then the cheapest admin/start up fees that you can get.
by Big Dog
Sat Jun 09, 2018 12:12 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Renter's Insurance for College Dorm
Replies: 32
Views: 2160

Re: Renter's Insurance for College Dorm

Both of my sons had policies through collegestudentinsurance.com (CSI - now Gallagher). NSSI is another company that offers student property insurance. These aren't normal renter's insurance policies but rather specialized policies for students. The advantage over homeowners insurance is the low de...
by Big Dog
Tue Jun 05, 2018 11:28 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Trade in advice [Car]
Replies: 23
Views: 1687

Re: Trade in advice [Car]

Second: when trading in through the dealer, you only pay sales tax on the difference: new_car_price - old_car_trade_in.
Not in California.
by Big Dog
Tue Jun 05, 2018 7:18 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: New AC Unit broken or "feezing". HVAC company says it's my fault for "running it too hard". What can I do?
Replies: 55
Views: 5138

Re: New AC Unit broken or "feezing". HVAC company says it's my fault for "running it too hard". What can I do?

Long story short, the HVAC guy tells me it's my fault because I ran the system too hard and it froze. Utterly ridiculous. Either he sold you the wrong size equipment, or something is up. AC units are made to run; in fact they are more efficient when they run, vs. constant cycling on and off. Find a...
by Big Dog
Sun Jun 03, 2018 7:32 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Can a Retired 60 yo MD, MBA Start a Law Career?
Replies: 273
Views: 12431

Re: Can a Retired 60 yo MD, MBA Start a Law Career?

to answer your question, ALL professional schools love non-traditional applicants. That being said, too late. At the earliest, you'd start law school in teh fall of '19, and graduate 3 years later, or 2022, at which point you'd be what, 64? Do you really want to pay ~$75k/yr for three years to atten...
by Big Dog
Sat Jun 02, 2018 8:11 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Any reasons to not put money down for a Tesla Model 3?
Replies: 45
Views: 2896

Re: Any reasons to not put money down for a Tesla Model 3?

My wife and I both found the controls easy to use. They are different from other cars, but were clearly engineered with some care. The controls may not work well for everyone, but I would surprised how easy it was to get used to them. Ditto. I was actually surprised that my wife "really likes drivi...
by Big Dog
Sat Jun 02, 2018 5:40 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Just bought condo; crazy to take out HELOC to buy a parking spot?
Replies: 28
Views: 2781

Re: Just bought condo; crazy to take out HELOC to buy a parking spot?

Those are interesting ideas. From what I know of this person's needs and setup, it is not difficult to imagine something like this could work for them. Do you have any suggestions or resources for how one might structure such a deal? I'm sure a handshake wouldn't be sufficient! Get a lawyer? yes, y...
by Big Dog
Fri Jun 01, 2018 9:33 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Just bought condo; crazy to take out HELOC to buy a parking spot?
Replies: 28
Views: 2781

Re: Just bought condo; crazy to take out HELOC to buy a parking spot?

I agree that owning the parking spot will add value to your unit. But, the recent layoff is concerning, and not sure now is the time to acquire more debt. OTOH, could you swing a lease-purchase option or some other creative financing from your current space owner. Perhaps put something down and bump...
by Big Dog
Fri Jun 01, 2018 2:59 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Are very old Vanguard statements really available?
Replies: 12
Views: 2590

Re: Are very old Vanguard statements really available?

^^no, Vanguard did not charge me a fee for copies of prior year-end statements.
by Big Dog
Thu May 31, 2018 7:53 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: To take or not to take delivery of Tesla 3
Replies: 1090
Views: 85647

Re: To take or not to take delivery of Tesla 3

grats Andrew. Me and da' wife love driving our M3. Regarding the other points: * wind noise - Keep in mind there is no engine in the Tesla, so the wind noise is more noticeable than in an ICE car. Doesn't mean it is in fact louder * suspension - do you want range, handling or comfort? Elon suggests ...
by Big Dog
Wed May 30, 2018 6:45 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Do average kids from upper middle class families get any free college money (Scholarships / non-repayable grants etc)
Replies: 266
Views: 17509

Re: Do average kids from upper middle class families get any free college money (Scholarships / non-repayable grants etc

generally, the tippy top colleges are need-based only -- no merit money. There are exceptions, however USoCal offers a half-tuition discount to National Merit Scholarship Semi-Finalists; many other colleges participate in the program as well, but their scholarship maybe limited to $2k off. Schools l...
by Big Dog
Sun May 27, 2018 10:47 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: What was your experience inheriting assets held at Vanguard?
Replies: 24
Views: 2206

Re: What was your experience inheriting assets held at Vanguard?

all of mom's accounts were PoD/ToD, and the transfer was fast and easy. I already had a Vanguard account so they just transferred half of mom's balance as soon as they received a death cert. My sister (who recieved the other half of the balances), opened a Vanguard account while waiting for the deat...
by Big Dog
Sun May 27, 2018 9:51 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: work one more year or attend law school
Replies: 67
Views: 5009

Re: work one more year or attend law school

I think this is a rather difficult playing the odds type decision. Placement rates between a top5 and top10 may be only 10–15% different, but it could be the difference between being shut out of biglaw or not, which could make a multi-million career earnings difference. Do you not see the incongrui...
by Big Dog
Sat May 26, 2018 11:41 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Do people still use AAA?
Replies: 293
Views: 23881

Re: Do people still use AAA?

AAA batteries are made by Johnson controls.. Same people who make walmart brand, toyota, and more. They are pretty much all the same. What you need to pay attention to is how fresh they are when they're installed. And like everything, they aint' made like they use to be. Heat is a particular killer...
by Big Dog
Sat May 26, 2018 5:34 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: work one more year or attend law school
Replies: 67
Views: 5009

Re: work one more year or attend law school

So I am accepted to law schools in the top 5 already. I have not asked about deferring yet as I am undecided. I have acceptances in the T14, T10, etc however I think I want to attend the highest ranked school. Also I am attending law school this year or next my current job does not have upward mobi...
by Big Dog
Fri May 25, 2018 9:26 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: work one more year or attend law school
Replies: 67
Views: 5009

Re: work one more year or attend law school

fwiw: if you have the numbers for a T5 law school, you have the numbers to attend a lower-ranked T14 for a LOT less. The ROI on that is much, much better.
by Big Dog
Fri May 25, 2018 7:07 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Air Conditioner Questions: Stop Leak & Qualified Technician
Replies: 9
Views: 736

Re: Air Conditioner Questions: Stop Leak & Qualified Technician

has anyone provided an estimate for a leak check? Supposedly, not that difficult.

As an aside, I'm a big fan of Hvac-talk for insights into home ac:

http://hvac-talk.com/vbb/forumdisplay.p ... ntial-HVAC
by Big Dog
Fri May 25, 2018 6:56 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: To take or not to take delivery of Tesla 3
Replies: 1090
Views: 85647

Re: To take or not to take delivery of Tesla 3

Fair questions. Can’t prove, just like can’t prove they are best and most fun vehicles we have ever owned, purely subjective, though on this one topic my wife and I are in full agreement, which must mean something. Ditto. Wife: "I like driving this car. I really like driving this car." Have had my ...
by Big Dog
Mon May 21, 2018 1:17 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: To take or not to take delivery of Tesla 3
Replies: 1090
Views: 85647

Re: To take or not to take delivery of Tesla 3

Yess, 44 amps is the fastest that you can currently* charge an M3 with a 60 amp circuit. (Of course, some of the Model S's will charge faster.) Since you had a 50 amp circuit already in the garage you were in great shape. I only had a 110/120 in the garage and it was my Ground Fault for the bathroom...
by Big Dog
Mon May 21, 2018 12:32 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: To take or not to take delivery of Tesla 3
Replies: 1090
Views: 85647

Re: To take or not to take delivery of Tesla 3

My understanding is that you just install an outlet like a washing machine receptacle(14-50). Then you can use whichever plug system you want. Tesla or otherwise. I believe there is a good explanation here: https://www.tesla.com/support/home-char ... stallation For me, I could just use my dryer out...
by Big Dog
Mon May 21, 2018 10:53 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: To take or not to take delivery of Tesla 3
Replies: 1090
Views: 85647

Re: To take or not to take delivery of Tesla 3

A few lucky people may get the $35k car with the full tax credit. However, I certainly would not count on that. I'm sure Tesla is hoping that people will see that and opt for the long battery to get the full tax credit. Exactly, but highly unlikely since full tax credit will likely be gone by Dec 3...
by Big Dog
Mon May 21, 2018 10:49 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: To take or not to take delivery of Tesla 3
Replies: 1090
Views: 85647

Re: To take or not to take delivery of Tesla 3

3. How much of the $1000-$1500 for an outdoor level 2 charger would be reusable if I switched to a different EV company? If I want an outdoor charger, is there a generic solution? There are several manufacturers of L2 chargers that work with non-Tesla's. ClipperCreek and Bosch come to mind. You cou...
by Big Dog
Sun May 20, 2018 7:06 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Wife Retiring hesitant to roll-over funds to Vanguard
Replies: 36
Views: 2661

Re: Wife Retiring hesitant to roll-over funds to Vanguard

Sadly Vanguard has eliminated (new) mutual fund accounts and now all they have are those sub-par brokerage accounts.
I've been a long-time Vanguard fund holder and see no real difference since I moved all to the brokerage accounts. Of course, we are buy-and-hold with few transactions per year.
by Big Dog
Sun May 20, 2018 9:56 am
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Wife Retiring hesitant to roll-over funds to Vanguard
Replies: 36
Views: 2661

Re: Wife Retiring hesitant to roll-over funds to Vanguard

one anecdote: my mom had accounts at several brokerages, including Vanguard and Schwab. All were PoD/ToD. (When she died, Schwab was a PIA to get the accounts transferred. Vanguard made it happen within a few days of receiving a certified death certificate.) Schwab said it would go faster if I opene...
by Big Dog
Sat May 19, 2018 9:29 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Transfer on Death Accounts
Replies: 28
Views: 2238

Re: Transfer on Death Accounts

One big downside to Vanguard TOD is that you cannot have a TOD on a joint account.
The only downside is when both spouses die simultaneously, or within a day or so (or before the first death cert is available). Otherwise, the surviving spouse can name a new ToD/PoD beneficiary.
by Big Dog
Sat May 19, 2018 7:50 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Transfer on Death Accounts
Replies: 28
Views: 2238

Re: Transfer on Death Accounts

As far as I know only the only "bad" thing is that the account may get frozen for a short period after death until it gets transferred to the beneficiary. But to avoid that I think you'd need some kind of a trust and most people don't want to go the expense of setting up a trust. PoD/ToD are great ...
by Big Dog
Fri May 18, 2018 8:56 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: New to Bogleheading...young family looking for advice and open to all feedback
Replies: 17
Views: 1141

Re: New to Bogleheading...young family looking for advice and open to all feedback

agree with the others, but I'd also reduce expense to buildup the emergency fund. With rental property, you never know when something will go out and you'll need a tranche of cash immediately. New a/c? Not sure the return is worth pumping $300k into commercial property. (Don't forget, teh new $1M va...
by Big Dog
Wed May 16, 2018 8:54 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Mortgage decision killing me
Replies: 52
Views: 6836

Re: Mortgage decision killing me

Personally I hate 30 year notes because early payments have such minuscule impact on principal.
Get the 30 and pay an additional ~$500/mo. You can always revert to minimum monthly if financial status changes.
by Big Dog
Wed May 16, 2018 8:09 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Mortgage decision killing me
Replies: 52
Views: 6836

Re: Mortgage decision killing me

sorry, but the ARM makes no sense to me. Sure, a recession could be coming, but so could another 5 year economic boom, which raises interest rates.

I'd go with the 30 and pay it down faster. If rates do drop, you can always do a no-cost refi.
by Big Dog
Wed May 16, 2018 7:50 pm
Forum: Local Chapters and Bogleheads Community
Topic: Yes, I'm 89 all right! [Jack Bogle]
Replies: 126
Views: 9868

Re: Yes, I'm 89 all right! [Jack Bogle]

Not sure I can ever express my appreciation for what Jack built. I was a BH before they even existed. Used to be with T. Rowe Price since I lived in Baltimore in the late 70's, and then I read an article about Jack and what he was trying to do. All the angst emanating from Wall Street about Jack bac...
by Big Dog
Wed May 16, 2018 7:35 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Roof TV Antenna Recommendation Needed
Replies: 23
Views: 1645

Re: Roof TV Antenna Recommendation Needed

always been a fan of Weinguard.
by Big Dog
Wed May 16, 2018 11:12 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Neighbor wants to use our land temporarily - let them or not?
Replies: 48
Views: 6282

Re: Neighbor wants to use our land temporarily - let them or not?

'absolutely', but I'd also add, 'your contractor will responsible to repair any damage, correct?' (Just in case his equipment cracks the sidewalk, for example.)
by Big Dog
Tue May 15, 2018 9:29 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: External Portable Hard Drive
Replies: 15
Views: 1182

Re: External Portable Hard Drive

costco is definitely the way to go
by Big Dog
Tue May 15, 2018 9:58 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Credit card with no credit history
Replies: 15
Views: 923

Re: Credit card with no credit history

check with your bank. You can usually get a small ($500) card to start building a history.
by Big Dog
Mon May 14, 2018 7:16 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Gross Margin - why aren't traffic acquisition costs counted as COGS for tech companies?
Replies: 16
Views: 791

Re: Gross Margin - why aren't traffic acquisition costs counted as COGS for tech companies?

So indirectly they earn money based on user traffic. You answered your own question with this line. (emphasis added) Generally, Gross Margin covers direct expenses to make/deliver a product. And yes, some/many software companies have huge gross margins. And that is why its important to examine the ...
by Big Dog
Sun May 13, 2018 3:33 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Does previous FAFSA apps affect future ones?
Replies: 7
Views: 663

Re: Does previous FAFSA apps affect future ones?

protip: some colleges stipulate that if you don't apply for finaid in Year 1, you may be ineligible to apply in Years 2+. Below is the wording from Tufts: "If you apply to Tufts not needing financial aid, you will not be eligible for institutional aid in future years. " Sure, you can appeal for a ch...
by Big Dog
Fri May 11, 2018 10:47 pm
Forum: Local Chapters and Bogleheads Community
Topic: Roll Call for the Retirement Class of 2018!
Replies: 205
Views: 27426

Re: Roll Call for the Retirement Class of 2018!

we'll be ok remommyc. thanks for asking There was a lot of discontent and management upheaval last year, so everyone has been on borrowed time, so to speak. Exiting a year or two earlier than I had planned, but such is life. Will actively look for a senior level job, but with ageism being what it is...
by Big Dog
Fri May 11, 2018 9:19 pm
Forum: Local Chapters and Bogleheads Community
Topic: Roll Call for the Retirement Class of 2018!
Replies: 205
Views: 27426

Re: Roll Call for the Retirement Class of 2018!

I was told last Tuesday that I'm joining the class. :|
by Big Dog
Sun May 06, 2018 10:46 am
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Don't leave your non-spouse heirs TIRAs with basis, unless you hate them!
Replies: 92
Views: 8719

Re: Don't leave your non-spouse heirs TIRAs with basis, unless you hate them!

Don't make non-deductible contributions to an IRA unless a Roth conversion is on the horizon. Bingo. Passing on traditional IRA's is fine, particularly if the basis is zero. But to be clear, very few folks actually make non-deductible IRA contributions; indeed, only 14% of Americans make any IRA co...
by Big Dog
Tue May 01, 2018 10:01 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Berkshire Hathaway B
Replies: 65
Views: 6504

Re: Berkshire Hathaway B

held BRK-B since it was originally sold (2009?). <1% of portfolio
by Big Dog
Sat Apr 28, 2018 9:02 am
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Newly widowed and waay out of my league
Replies: 41
Views: 5350

Re: Newly widowed and waay out of my league

My condolences. Take time to grieve. Its a very difficult time. But the Boglehead forum is one of the most knowledgeable groups out there for free advice that happens to be worth a gazillion times more than what you pay for it. :D But I have to ask, do you have a need for $2-3M when you are 92? (hei...
by Big Dog
Tue Apr 24, 2018 9:44 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: [Vanguard account locked out due to deceased owner]
Replies: 73
Views: 5437

Re: [Vanguard account locked out due to deceased owner]

When my son passed two years ago, Vanguard was amazing. They were among the two easiest institutions to deal with. The day after I called I received a Fed-Ex with everything I needed to fill out. Ditto, only it was my step-mom, and I turned down the offer of Fedex for regular mail. But, they did fi...
by Big Dog
Sat Apr 21, 2018 4:58 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Can physician charity services (or expenses) be written off?
Replies: 10
Views: 979

Re: Can physician charity services (or expenses) be written off?

Are business expenses such as equipment/supplies and employee salaries deducted under normal business operation? I'll need to ask my CPA if we already deduct these expenses anyway, which would make this a moot point.
Exactly.
by Big Dog
Sun Apr 08, 2018 2:23 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Best place to buy a TV
Replies: 33
Views: 2838

Re: Best place to buy a TV

costco
by Big Dog
Sun Apr 08, 2018 12:28 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Undecided students and STEM majors
Replies: 51
Views: 4344

Re: Undecided students and STEM majors

UC schools were at the top of that list, due to high demand and not enough space. Not only that, graduating in 4 years is nearly impossible due to overcrowding. I kind of feel bad for CA kids in that regard, and it's one of the reasons why so many of them go out of state for their engineering degre...
by Big Dog
Sat Apr 07, 2018 11:47 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Ivy school education. Is it worth it?
Replies: 238
Views: 13625

Re: Ivy school education. Is it worth it?

went to a top state school and have been very pleased with my education; however, if my son majors in business I want him to go Ivy League.
That narrows it down to just two (Penn and Cornell), as those are the only Ivies that offer undergrad business.
by Big Dog
Sat Apr 07, 2018 11:39 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Ivy school education. Is it worth it?
Replies: 238
Views: 13625

Re: Ivy school education. Is it worth it?

I want to role play about the young person who studied very hard to get into an high impact school. Lets say Stanford. They worked super hard in high school and then worked super hard in college. Their family were upper middle class so they got some tuition assistance but not a huge amount. This st...