Search found 402 matches

by Big Dog
Wed May 24, 2017 6:16 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: California probate - DIY?
Replies: 7
Views: 693

Re: California probate - DIY?

Nolo is excellent, and have been publishing for years.. They started in California company, so they know the rules and laws well.
by Big Dog
Tue May 23, 2017 12:12 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: At what point to buy new car for safety
Replies: 74
Views: 4357

Re: At what point to buy new car for safety

in answer to the original question: never.
by Big Dog
Sun May 21, 2017 7:26 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: No estate plan, are DIYs wills good enough for now? CA residents need ASAP
Replies: 18
Views: 1362

Re: No estate plan, are DIYs wills good enough for now? CA residents need ASAP

not a lawyer, but if everything is titled to go to surviving spouse, either thru Payable-on-Death or Transfer-on-Death, I guess I don't see what the rush is. Even California real estate can be setup to be PoD/ToD, but each spouse has to file a special form with the county. And yes, it can be done qu...
by Big Dog
Sat May 20, 2017 7:03 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Need new Router/Wifi Networking Ideas
Replies: 36
Views: 2923

Re: Need new Router/Wifi Networking Ideas

if you like apple products, you might try the new apple routers first.

I have a new Time Capsule with ac and its range is much better than my previous N router. It covers to the back of the house without using the express to extend the signal.
by Big Dog
Sat May 20, 2017 8:43 am
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Interesting conversation with an alleged SS actuary
Replies: 63
Views: 4714

Re: Interesting conversation with an alleged SS actuary

If you die at 73. All that waiting and 7%... Correct. Waiting is a bet that you/your spouse will make it to 80+. Many will not. Plus You don't pay state tax and you do it you take out of your Ira. ~13 states tax SS. In Oregon we have a 10% tax. So if I take out $4000 a month I'm sending the state $...
by Big Dog
Fri May 19, 2017 11:38 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Interesting conversation with an alleged SS actuary
Replies: 63
Views: 4714

Re: Interesting conversation with an alleged SS actuary

^^Its also not adjusted for race. Asian Americans live longest, on average nearly 10 years longer. African Americans have a life expectancy of ~3.5 years less than White Americans.
by Big Dog
Fri May 19, 2017 1:24 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: garage door problem
Replies: 25
Views: 1416

Re: garage door problem

By what I know how garage doors work (I have installed and maintained them myself in my house), if the springs had broken the door would have slammed back shut. Not necessarily. We had a broken torsion spring (above) and the door went down as far as it could until the unbalance jammed it in its tra...
by Big Dog
Wed May 17, 2017 10:21 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: What are the powers of HR in a company?
Replies: 40
Views: 3028

Re: What are the powers of HR in a company?

In general, abner is correct, but it really doesn't matter. It just may be that the hiring manager has a long relationship and highly values the opinion of overseas [HR] manager, not necessarily from an HR perspective, but just business Ops/culture/fit/other. In such case, your wife could be dinged.
by Big Dog
Tue May 16, 2017 10:32 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Retirees afraid to spend? (Bloomberg)
Replies: 47
Views: 2400

Re: Retirees afraid to spend? (Bloomberg)

Even as retirees live longer.... lives, they’ve become more pessimistic about .... their own financial situation.


It seems to me that such is a logical conclusion. No one wants to outlive their cash, and as noted earlier, defined benefit pension plans have gone away for the masses.
by Big Dog
Tue May 16, 2017 12:34 am
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: New Graduate w/ Large Loans & New Job - Options
Replies: 25
Views: 1711

Re: New Graduate w/ Large Loans & New Job - Options

unless you are working for a nonprofit which could give you loan balance forgiveness in 10 years, I'd look into refinancing the 6.8% into something much lower.
by Big Dog
Sun May 14, 2017 12:33 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: How Old Habits Can Sabotage Retirement
Replies: 51
Views: 7052

Re: How Old Habits Can Sabotage Retirement

or the absurdity of mixing up statistical facts about populations with prudent planning for an individual. Let's say you find that you have a 71% chance of living to age 78. Does that justify spending 1.4 times as much as you'd planned? No, because if you run out of money at age 76 and you aren't d...
by Big Dog
Fri May 12, 2017 9:01 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Price for brakes and rotors?
Replies: 73
Views: 2940

Re: Price for brakes and rotors?

what shape are the rotors in? Can they be machined-down to a smooth surface instead of replaced? (I usually get 2-3 bench-machine smoothings before I have to replace them.) But to answer your question, I had all four of my wheels done last month, including 4 rotors, and it cost ~$1k at an independen...
by Big Dog
Fri May 12, 2017 6:09 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Tesla Solar Roof
Replies: 81
Views: 7731

Re: Tesla Solar Roof

Add in a new 20k roof (we are talking tesla owners not people who buy the cheapest possible roof.) Our basic asphalt shingle roof is $15k to replace. (Just obtained an etiolate due to several leaks the roofer can't stop/plug.) Live in SoCal, and just ran the numbers on the Tesla website, and they w...
by Big Dog
Wed May 10, 2017 11:45 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: 18" vs 20" Tires
Replies: 39
Views: 2115

Re: 18" vs 20" Tires

The 18" tires will likely be also cheaper to replace
by Big Dog
Sun May 07, 2017 9:17 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Transferring vehicle and insurance to adult child
Replies: 11
Views: 712

Re: Transferring vehicle and insurance to adult child

In California, you can just have him re-registered as new owner (on the pink slip). No need to "sell" it to him or pay sales tax obtain smog test.
by Big Dog
Sun May 07, 2017 9:12 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: How to get out of a apartment renter lease? They want $3,600
Replies: 40
Views: 3058

Re: How to get out of a apartment renter lease? They want $3,600

I can't agree with your statement that state laws aren't relevant. Many states or cities have laws governing landlord tenant issues that you cannot contract around; if the contract term is not consistent with that law , in many cases the term is void. Well sure, IF the contract was in violation of ...
by Big Dog
Sat May 06, 2017 11:49 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: How to get out of a apartment renter lease? They want $3,600
Replies: 40
Views: 3058

Re: How to get out of a apartment renter lease? They want $3,600

Regarding the security deposit, I would check applicable laws/regs, but my understanding is that a security deposit is for damage to the rental unit - not for breaking the lease. I would also check all the wording in the lease. State law/regs not relevant since the landlord is offering to cancel th...
by Big Dog
Thu May 04, 2017 9:11 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Wife getting PhD, how to fund? (student vs 401k loan vs home equity, etc)
Replies: 50
Views: 3071

Re: Wife getting PhD, how to fund? (student vs 401k loan vs home equity, etc)

What field is your wife planning to get her PhD in? Attempting a non-fully funded PhD is generally not viewed as a good idea. Indeed, its generally a horrible financial deal. And WHY is she getting a PhD? Career advancement? What field? What are the alternatives? Would a higher GRE score help her g...
by Big Dog
Wed May 03, 2017 11:18 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Time to upgrade bed/bath linens
Replies: 23
Views: 1985

Re: Time to upgrade bed/bath linens

big fan of costco, but hate sateen.....will look for percale next. Thanks for the tip.
by Big Dog
Mon May 01, 2017 10:44 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Buying first home with old hvac
Replies: 92
Views: 3868

Re: Buying first home with old hvac

if you are that concerned, pay for an inspection/testing performed by an HVAC expert. HVAC-Talk is a good source of info. One way to address if buyers aren't willing to concede on price is to finance the purchase of a new A/C by asking the sellers to replace before sale and increasing purchase price...
by Big Dog
Mon May 01, 2017 6:55 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Inherited IRA with an annoying twist
Replies: 7
Views: 1326

Re: Inherited IRA with an annoying twist

Contrary to the OP's suggestion, I think the decedent knew exactly what they were doing when they set this up. Entirely possible. Or, the decedent got sold a bill of goods by the TIAA rep: "now, you never know when your scoundrel kid is gonna blow this money, so I personally recommend the mand...
by Big Dog
Sun Apr 30, 2017 8:52 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Grandparents helping with College tuition
Replies: 27
Views: 1952

Re: Grandparents helping with College tuition

you can keep some assets in the grandparents name, but only for the final 2 years of the last child of a family


isn't FAFSA kid-specific, such that the grandparent's 529 could be held until last two years of the kid's attendance?
by Big Dog
Sun Apr 30, 2017 1:33 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Grandparents helping with College tuition
Replies: 27
Views: 1952

Re: Grandparents helping with College tuition

Assuming your not over the estate tax threshold, just gift all the money to the parents to put in 529's as a lump sum, why not open a 529 owned by the grandparents but in grandkids name as beneficiary? btw: some states allow an income tax deduction to a 529, so if the grandparents live in that stat...
by Big Dog
Sat Apr 29, 2017 11:18 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Selecting health insurance for having a baby
Replies: 4
Views: 306

Re: Selecting health insurance for having a baby

I’ve got enough in my HSA to cover the maximum out of pocket for the cheapest plan. Do I contribute to an FSA this year?


It's my understanding that if you are contributing/have already contributed to the HSA in CY17, you cannot then use an FSA. Check with your HR department.
by Big Dog
Sat Apr 29, 2017 8:46 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: calculating work related mileage as an employee
Replies: 10
Views: 1165

Re: calculating work related mileage as an employee

technically, its only the delta increase that is reimburseable.

If your normal commute home is 10 miles, but your side trip to the bank and Post Office on the way home meant that you drove 12 total miles to get home, then 2 miles is reimbursable.
by Big Dog
Sun Apr 23, 2017 4:32 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Refrigerator Water Filters -- OEM or Generic?
Replies: 23
Views: 15145

Re: Refrigerator Water Filters -- OEM or Generic?

My GE refrigerator has a system that indicates when the filter should be replaced. IMO that feature is designed to sell filters. Not necessarily. The first few times the light came on was about the same time little green things were pumping into my water class. So, it might've have been better to h...
by Big Dog
Sun Apr 23, 2017 2:46 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Lowering service price for charity, tax writeoff?
Replies: 7
Views: 547

Re: Lowering service price for charity, tax writeoff?

Net-net, not sure what it gets you. For example, let's assume that your regular fee for a gig is $1,000, but you discount it for favorite charity to $500.00. At full price, you have $1,000 of income to report, less expenses. At charitable price, you have $500.00 of gross income. If you charge them $...
by Big Dog
Sat Apr 22, 2017 5:43 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Strange cable wall jack in home. What is it? (pics included)
Replies: 18
Views: 3532

Re: Strange cable wall jack in home. What is it? (pics included)

Two cable portfolio? One for All Stock and one for All Bond? obsolete, however, since no international.... I also tend to think it is part of an obsolete antenna TV distribution system in the building. NSA anyone? :twisted: Does anyone know if I would be allowed to just remove that metal box from th...
by Big Dog
Tue Apr 18, 2017 9:36 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Mens Blue Jeans - What are we buying now?!
Replies: 86
Views: 8113

Re: Mens Blue Jeans - What are we buying now?!

the only denim on this rump has been 501 original shrink-to-fit since the dark ages.
by Big Dog
Mon Apr 17, 2017 6:03 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: "Vanguard's free RMD Service: Sign up before you turn 70½"
Replies: 23
Views: 2664

Re: "Vanguard's free RMD Service: Sign up before you turn 70½"

It's not just for 70.5'ers; younger folks can use the RMD service as well, such as holders of inherited IRA's.


Yup, that's me.
by Big Dog
Mon Apr 17, 2017 5:46 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Is my electric bill high?
Replies: 60
Views: 5484

Re: Is my electric bill high?

2,200 sq ft, also in SoCal, 7 miles from the beach, so not considered inland. My bill last month was $9 bucks after some type of Edison rebate. Normal in March is $30. Our usage generally fills up Tier 1 rates ($0.16), unless summer ac is on, where the bill will hit $100/mo, but rarely $150. fwiw: g...
by Big Dog
Sun Apr 16, 2017 10:02 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Investors backing off their equity AA primarily due to 8-year bull market?
Replies: 56
Views: 4738

Re: Investors backing off their equity AA primarily due to 8-year bull market?

However, I have cut back on equities considerably. Not because of the market, but because I'm very close to retirement


me too.
by Big Dog
Tue Apr 11, 2017 9:28 am
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Vanguard RMD Service
Replies: 9
Views: 1163

Re: Vanguard RMD Service

^^sry, I haven't tried ETF's yet.
by Big Dog
Mon Apr 10, 2017 7:52 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Vanguard RMD Service
Replies: 9
Views: 1163

Re: Vanguard RMD Service

you can set it up so they take it right out of whatever fund that you have your RMD in.

For example, last year Vanguard's auto RMD service took my RMD directly out of the REIT account, and deposited the cash into my cleaning account.
by Big Dog
Sun Apr 09, 2017 7:10 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Enlarging emergency fund and the effect on asset allocation
Replies: 27
Views: 2398

Re: Enlarging emergency fund and the effect on asset allocation

I'd only need to earn about 2.5% to beat the "return" of paying off the mortgage,


except the difference is that paying down your mortgage monthly yields a 'guaranteed' 2.5% return. Where can you earn 2.5% in the market, with no risk?
by Big Dog
Fri Apr 07, 2017 10:23 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Donating a low value used car
Replies: 7
Views: 943

Re: Donating a low value used car

We are leaning toward using Charity Motors because the title will be transferred out of her name, you can claim the full market value, Perhaps. According to IRS rules, if they sell the vehicle they must give you a receipt of the sale, i.e., FMV, even if it is sold at auction for parts. My point is ...
by Big Dog
Thu Apr 06, 2017 9:43 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Article--Money Funds Yielding Over 1.​0 Percent Makes News; More Coming Soon
Replies: 21
Views: 2834

Re: Article--Money Funds Yielding Over 1.​0 Percent Makes News; More Coming Soon

Personally I don't get why so many people leave their money in these MMs.


I don't keep much cash on hand, so the extra bps are not worth it to me.
by Big Dog
Wed Apr 05, 2017 10:25 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Best way of transferring wealth to kids?
Replies: 27
Views: 2554

Re: Best way of transferring wealth to kids?

The estate tax doesn't kick in until $5M, so you could always just carry stocks/bonds in your own account and have them transfer/paid to the kids upon your death. Automatic step-up on basis, so no capital gain.
by Big Dog
Wed Apr 05, 2017 9:12 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: replace or keep car with 60k miles?
Replies: 39
Views: 3078

Re: replace or keep car with 60k miles?

The radiator would not have been entirely plastic - it would have an aluminum core with plastic end caps. Actually, the top header piece and bottom footer piece were also plastic. While lighter weight, a rather idiotic design for long-life. If nothing else, the plastic and metal core will expand/co...
by Big Dog
Tue Apr 04, 2017 9:34 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: replace or keep car with 60k miles?
Replies: 39
Views: 3078

Re: replace or keep car with 60k miles?

If you sell the Volvo (I probably would while it has good value) buy something that you can drive for a number of years. My '89 volvo turbo has 189k miles and the only big things that we have replaced are the radiator -- OEM was plastic -- water pump, alternator, muffler, cat, fuel injectors and ju...
by Big Dog
Tue Apr 04, 2017 6:01 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Help with college choice
Replies: 125
Views: 5574

Re: Help with college chioces

EECS at Cal is already a double major, and will not allow you any room for an Econ/Business minor. Plus, Cal's b-school is Haas, and requires a separate application for Junior year. Is Berkeley in state? EECS is a very prestigious program, but at OOS prices is a stretch. In comparison, Vandy for the...
by Big Dog
Sun Apr 02, 2017 10:19 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Buying Sunglasses
Replies: 44
Views: 4733

Re: Buying Sunglasses

I get the Ray-Ban's at Costco. Nothing fancy, but they work great.
by Big Dog
Sun Apr 02, 2017 12:00 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: may return to CA
Replies: 1
Views: 529

Re: may return to CA

If I accept the offer and return to CA now, do they consider me resident for the last 10years? No. I had nothing for CA in 2016, would they expect a tax return for 2016 from me? No. (next year, you will file a state tax return as a Part-Year resident, which would signal to the state that you just m...
by Big Dog
Sat Apr 01, 2017 11:21 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Recent Retiree with many questions
Replies: 29
Views: 4713

Re: Recent Retiree with many questions

I have $320k which I need to move out of the former employer's 401k. You really don't need to move the money out of the 401k. In fact, if it has good investment options and low fees, you could leave it there for awhile or for a long time. Not saying that you should not roll it to an IRA, just that ...
by Big Dog
Sat Apr 01, 2017 11:00 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Is anyone decreasing % of bonds this year?
Replies: 91
Views: 7283

Re: Is anyone decreasing % of bonds this year?

quite the contrary. I'm buying more bonds and decreasing stock allocation. While bond rates suck, I just got laid off in early 60's and can't afford a drop in my equities.
by Big Dog
Mon Mar 27, 2017 3:50 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Need advice about massive changes in daughter's college program by dean
Replies: 52
Views: 4209

Re: Need advice about massive changes in daughter's college program by dean

The problem is that the majority of the undergraduates (of which there are >1000) entered this program precisely because of the technical aspects and industry connections, and now the reputation of the program with industry is at risk of getting a bullet in the back of the neck Academic reputations...
by Big Dog
Sun Mar 19, 2017 4:03 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Paying $20 to E-File State Return
Replies: 75
Views: 12944

Re: Paying $20 to E-File State Return

I have always just printed the state return and mailed it in. one or two stamps is a much better bargain that $20.
by Big Dog
Thu Mar 16, 2017 11:10 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Anyone else taking less risk
Replies: 115
Views: 10086

Re: Anyone else taking less risk

was 75/25, but just got laid off, a few years short of planned retirement. Since future income is unknown, and can't risk a significant downturn, have quickly developed a revised Plan and will be reducing equities on a monthly basis over the next 12 months. (Kinda like dollar cost averaging down.)
by Big Dog
Wed Mar 15, 2017 4:38 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Trying to transfer a Roth IRA and this Medallion Signature requirement is driving me nuts!
Replies: 67
Views: 4538

Re: Trying to transfer a Roth IRA and this Medallion Signature requirement is driving me nuts!

Had a similar problem when my mother passed away last year and I wanted to transfer her POD account to me. Her full retail broker (national name) refused without a medallion. So I wrote a very nice -- and tert -- letter to the CEO and explained how/why their internal policies were prohibiting from r...

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