Search found 562 matches

by Big Dog
Mon Nov 06, 2017 12:06 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Employer not offereing HSA. Legal?
Replies: 5
Views: 573

Re: Employer not offereing HSA. Legal?

No, an employer is not obligated to offer anything more than a medical plan approved by ACA (if over 50 employees).
by Big Dog
Sun Nov 05, 2017 7:05 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Picking College and College Scholarships
Replies: 480
Views: 44684

Re: Picking College and College Scholarships

Mudd is a unique experience: top notch math, physical sciences & engineering in a tiny school. But since they are LAC-like, Mudd is also strong in lit/hume courses.
by Big Dog
Sat Nov 04, 2017 8:27 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: How Best to Clean Inside of Windshield
Replies: 11
Views: 1577

Re: How Best to Clean Inside of Windshield

I use windex and a microfiber towel.

(never understood the newspaper thingy....every time I read a paper my fingers get black with ink. How is it that wetting the newspaper -- even with glass cleaner -- just doesn't spread that wet ink on the glass?)
by Big Dog
Sat Nov 04, 2017 12:21 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: College student... Financial mess... Need advice...
Replies: 58
Views: 5601

Re: College student... Financial mess... Need advice...

if you are paying for it, might as well move back in -- or threaten to.
by Big Dog
Sat Nov 04, 2017 12:17 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: At-fault insurance's estimate different from bodyshop's
Replies: 21
Views: 1099

Re: At-fault insurance's estimate different from bodyshop's

Yes, I informed my insurance first right after the accident, and I chose to claim with the other side's insurance. Fortunately, its been awhile since I had an accident -- really, it was wife, but our insurance handled everything even tho the other person was clearly at fault and was ticketed for an...
by Big Dog
Fri Nov 03, 2017 9:58 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Got an iPhoneX
Replies: 155
Views: 10427

Re: Got an iPhoneX

review in today's WSJ -- tech author liked it.
by Big Dog
Fri Nov 03, 2017 9:56 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: At-fault insurance's estimate different from bodyshop's
Replies: 21
Views: 1099

Re: At-fault insurance's estimate different from bodyshop's

what does your insurance company say? I'd call them -- that's what you pay them for.
by Big Dog
Wed Nov 01, 2017 6:23 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: To take or not to take delivery of Tesla 3
Replies: 284
Views: 19270

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

I guess I am,but then again there is no 35,000 Tesla... Fair enough. And I just listened into the earnings call, and production bottlenecks have slowed the ramp by at least 12 weeks. (But probably longer in Elon time.) But, as I stated up thread, my daily driver is an full deprecated '89 Volvo, so ...
by Big Dog
Wed Nov 01, 2017 9:51 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: To take or not to take delivery of Tesla 3
Replies: 284
Views: 19270

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

18,000 for new 2015 Prius,35,000 for new i3 with some upgrades after tax credit... Great cars, but aren't you mixing prices? For example, the base M3 is $35k before tax credit. Getting back to the original question, at 49K, I suspect I have other options which will make me happier. No doubt that $5...
by Big Dog
Tue Oct 31, 2017 11:16 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: To take or not to take delivery of Tesla 3
Replies: 284
Views: 19270

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

Oh....so only 15,000 more than advertised. The $35k model "should" be along a few months after the long-range model hits the streets. But yes, it ain't available now as is the i3. (But isn't the msrp $42k?) Your i3 won't get me to the airport and back (without stopping to charge) to pickup my kids ...
by Big Dog
Tue Oct 31, 2017 9:08 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: To take or not to take delivery of Tesla 3
Replies: 284
Views: 19270

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

I don't know why anyone would do this for any reason other than being an early adopter or maybe it is a prestige/show off thing in your circle of friends and acquaintances. It makes absolutely no sense from a perspective of economics and practicality. I fashion myself as a Boglehead -- my '89 Volvo...
by Big Dog
Tue Oct 31, 2017 5:57 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Parked Car Hit and Need Advice
Replies: 16
Views: 2087

Re: Parked Car Hit and Need Advice

I'd obtain a couple of quotes from local body shops to repaint. Let them know that you'll be paying cash (or credit card), and this is not an insurance claim. Then you can decide whether fixing the 'scar' is worth the $.
by Big Dog
Sun Oct 29, 2017 10:01 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: How fast can tax reform be rolled out (in general)?
Replies: 10
Views: 1932

Re: How fast can tax reform be rolled out (in general)?

IFF they pass any bill quickly, they can easily make it retro to Jan 1-17. Or, they could phase in provisions....for example, lower tax tables immediately, but phase out deductions over time, or vice versa.
by Big Dog
Tue Oct 24, 2017 9:27 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Student Loan: To Pay or Not to Pay: That is the Question
Replies: 32
Views: 2962

Re: Student Loan: To Pay or Not to Pay: That is the Question

is your ESSP pretax? Would you be subject to income taxes if you cash it out now?

Personally, since you are between jobs, I'd keep the loan balance until you find something. It make take 6 weeks or 6 months. I'd conserve cash now.
by Big Dog
Mon Oct 23, 2017 12:15 am
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Wade Pfau’s new book: How Much Can I Spend in Retirement?
Replies: 45
Views: 9992

Re: Wade Pfau’s new book: How Much Can I Spend in Retirement?

read the first two chapters, and so far outstanding.

wrt: hardcopy...I guess I'm a luddite as I still prefer the print copy. :wink:
by Big Dog
Sat Oct 21, 2017 7:07 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Why do I need bonds? (I'm 30)
Replies: 70
Views: 6397

Re: Why do I need bonds? (I'm 30)

never had any bonds until I hit early 60's....slept well at night thru the '87 crash and every one since. Of course, what I missed out on was the opportunity to rebalance and tax loss harvest during the downturns. Net worth in relation to house value has nothing to do with being house poor. Agreed. ...
by Big Dog
Sat Oct 21, 2017 5:16 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: How does/can Walmart offer such inexpensive prescriptions?
Replies: 107
Views: 7063

Re: How does/can Walmart offer such inexpensive prescriptions?

If you web search, you will find that year after year the generic manufacturers of this have recall after recall for screwing up the dosages. Small nit, but the one recall I found was not the dosage of acitve ingredient, but the time release aspect of it. Yes, I get that for a user, that's a distin...
by Big Dog
Sat Oct 21, 2017 3:54 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: How does/can Walmart offer such inexpensive prescriptions?
Replies: 107
Views: 7063

Re: How does/can Walmart offer such inexpensive prescriptions?

OK. I do agree that for true "generics" - it should not make any difference. Not sure your use of quotes is fair. Every generic approved to be sold in the US is a "true generic." That being said, you are exactly correct in that all generics do not react exactly the same in the body as the branded R...
by Big Dog
Sat Oct 21, 2017 3:20 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Should I apply for financial aid if my company reimburses tuition?
Replies: 10
Views: 785

Re: Should I apply for financial aid if my company reimburses tuition?

Don't forget to factor in the cost of the loan points, as prepaid interest.
by Big Dog
Sat Oct 21, 2017 3:09 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: How does/can Walmart offer such inexpensive prescriptions?
Replies: 107
Views: 7063

Re: How does/can Walmart offer such inexpensive prescriptions?

Do they still have those $4 prescriptions? I think it is a loss leader. Exactly. Individual items maybe sold below cost, but on average the Rx dept is a big money maker per sq.ft. of floor space. Remember, the margins on groceries and other items is <5%, so even a 10% margin on Rx is huge to the bo...
by Big Dog
Sat Oct 21, 2017 12:46 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Questions for Landlords - How clean is clean?
Replies: 37
Views: 2228

Re: Questions for Landlords - How clean is clean?

her house, her rules. If you wanted legal, you should not have skirted the legalities to save money. (My daughter was renting a room in Palo Alto, and the situation was similar. For example, she had to plump the couch pillows after each use. Many similar OCD issues with the owner, but the price was ...
by Big Dog
Thu Oct 19, 2017 1:39 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Finally a win for teachers!! [403(b) modified to add funds]
Replies: 33
Views: 2880

Re: Finally a win for teachers!!

Awesome. Great win for public employees everywhere.
by Big Dog
Thu Oct 19, 2017 12:00 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Office wants to pay dentist as contractor (sub-s). Any issues?
Replies: 25
Views: 1617

Re: Office wants to pay dentist as contractor (sub-s). Any issues?

if she is working full time at the dental office and does not have her own patients (i.e., really just renting a chair), there is no question that she is a W2 employee. But given the option we might chose 1099 only because we can shelter a lot of cash via retirement options which a w-2 arrangement w...
by Big Dog
Wed Oct 18, 2017 4:17 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: The overselling of international diversification
Replies: 56
Views: 4985

Re: The overselling of international diversification

^^Touche! (Make Europe Great Again??) :mrgreen:
by Big Dog
Tue Oct 17, 2017 3:22 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: The overselling of international diversification
Replies: 56
Views: 4985

Re: The overselling of international diversification

gotta get me some popcorn to watch the carnage develop on this thread. :beer
by Big Dog
Sun Oct 15, 2017 9:19 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Calculating max electrical load of your home
Replies: 34
Views: 2196

Re: Calculating max electrical load of your home

Most residences, except for McMansions, etc, have a 200 amp "service". Maybe most built in the last xx years or so, but our tract home build in '77, definitely does not have 200 amp service. (The only reason that i know is that I've just started the research to see what I need to do to add a 50 amp...
by Big Dog
Sun Oct 15, 2017 3:31 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Picking College and College Scholarships
Replies: 480
Views: 44684

Re: Picking College and College Scholarships

Best of luck to your son, Timmy.
by Big Dog
Fri Oct 13, 2017 9:29 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Help me understand what happens with the new law and ACA subsidies
Replies: 80
Views: 5858

Re: Help me understand what happen with the new law and ACA subsidies

Same thing goes for car insurance.
Not sure it is the same:
1) Per the LA Times, approx. one-third of drivers in SoCal do not carry auto insurance despite the law.
2) Auto insurance allows you to purchase the bare minimum liability (for your state), or $300k or $500k or even more.
by Big Dog
Fri Oct 13, 2017 9:01 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Father passed away - what to do with fund accounts
Replies: 7
Views: 1172

Re: Father passed away - what to do with fund accounts

More data needed! Sorry to hear about your loss. State of residence? Community property state? Do all assets go to your mom? If so, and it titled in a Community Property account (as opposed to Joint Tenants) assets could receive stepped-up basis, so she could sell those in the taxable accounts with...
by Big Dog
Fri Oct 13, 2017 8:54 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: How many miles/years do you keep your car?
Replies: 108
Views: 7397

Re: How many miles/years do you keep your car?

'87 Saab kept 28 years, 225k miles until tranny died.

'89 Volvo 199k miles, still my daily driver.

Both bought new.
by Big Dog
Sun Oct 08, 2017 7:13 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: New Fiduciary Rule seems to be a big disappointment
Replies: 18
Views: 2477

Re: New Fiduciary Rule seems to be a big disappointment

I recently learned from my current brokerage house (Raymond James) that I can no longer buy no-load mutual funds in my IRA.
Sounds like the rules are working. (dump high cost RJ) :mrgreen:
by Big Dog
Tue Oct 03, 2017 5:28 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Dental/Vision Insurance for Newborn
Replies: 20
Views: 1235

Re: Dental/Vision Insurance for Newborn

not necessary for a newborn. Just add later during open enrollment. I believe the pros recommend a first dental visit when the first tooth erupts, or ~1st bd.
by Big Dog
Mon Oct 02, 2017 5:49 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Picking College and College Scholarships
Replies: 480
Views: 44684

Re: Picking College and College Scholarships

SAT manages to send multiple test dates for one fee Right, but then nearly every college superscores the SAT. Only a few superscore the ACT (bcos it is in their best interest to do so). I’ve become jaded and cynical about the college admissions industry... I'm one of the most cynical out there, so ...
by Big Dog
Mon Oct 02, 2017 4:14 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Picking College and College Scholarships
Replies: 480
Views: 44684

Re: Picking College and College Scholarships

It is a racket. For example, ACT costs per test date, per school. A money-maker, to be sure, but only a few colleges superscore the ACT, so only one report date needs to be sent. (yes, the highly selective colleges do want to see all reports, but that is only a recent change.) Remember, the vast ma...
by Big Dog
Sun Oct 01, 2017 4:52 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Picking College and College Scholarships
Replies: 480
Views: 44684

Re: Picking College and College Scholarships

With everything online, you'd think sending ACT score and grades would be quick and easy. No! Test scores do go pretty quick, once they are available. The Common App usually goes within a couple of days from the time your kid pushes send and you pay the fee. Of course, nearly everything is batch pr...
by Big Dog
Sun Oct 01, 2017 2:50 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Buffett's idea of risk vs risk as in the formula: 'willingness, ability and need'
Replies: 50
Views: 2706

Re: Buffett's idea of risk vs risk as in the formula: 'willingness, ability and need'

Having said that, let's say you have $500K in your 401K at 55 all in equities and the market drops 50%. Can you bear to see that $500K turn into $250K? Even though it may be a temporary drop, would you be able to handle it? As I have learned on BH, the best answer is what helps you sleep at night. ...
by Big Dog
Sun Oct 01, 2017 10:00 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: For buying house: how do you know which schools are "good"?
Replies: 56
Views: 3899

Re: For buying house: how do you know which schools are "good"?

In my experience as an SAT tutor, students can get perfect or near-perfect SAT scores if (1) they have at least an average IQ
I strongly disagree (and so do the stats). There is no way an ~100 IQ is gonna score 750+ on a nationally-normed, timed test. Just impossible.
by Big Dog
Sat Sep 30, 2017 9:37 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Waxing my car!
Replies: 48
Views: 4339

Re: Waxing my car!

For years, I was old school, and would use nothing but fine carnuaba wax. But I've recently been using Meguiar's Ulimate, which is easier to put on an wipe off. Moreover, it doesn't turn white if it gets onto black trim. Highly recommended. https://www.amazon.com/Meguiars-G18216-Ultimate-Liquid-Wax/...
by Big Dog
Sat Sep 30, 2017 9:32 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: For buying house: how do you know which schools are "good"?
Replies: 56
Views: 3899

Re: For buying house: how do you know which schools are "good"?

And if kids from middle class families can get excellent scores on SATs, and that is more from what they learned in school rather than all the privilege of the home they grew up in, Sorry, but this doesn't make any sense to me. To score high on the SAT/ACT, a kid has to be blessed with a high IQ, a...
by Big Dog
Sat Sep 30, 2017 6:56 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: For buying house: how do you know which schools are "good"?
Replies: 56
Views: 3899

Re: For buying house: how do you know which schools are "good"?

Depends on what you mean by good. If your kid desires a theater program, then the top STEM school in your town is probably of no interest. Otherwise, its all about the high schools, and nationally-normed test scores are the easiest to compare. Attached is a start. https://www.usnews.com/education/be...
by Big Dog
Sat Sep 30, 2017 12:10 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Which bogleheads have a "high need to take risk"?
Replies: 51
Views: 4590

Re: Which bogleheads have a "high need to take risk"?

Dunno if I ever had a "need" but I was 100% equities until I turned 60. It wasn't the risk factor; rather, the low bond yields that were not attractive. (I first started investing in MMF which paid 18%.) Of course, as interest rates continued towards zero, the bond returns have been great for the pa...
by Big Dog
Fri Sep 29, 2017 7:20 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Better chance to be accepted to state medical school if also attend undergraduate in the state?
Replies: 18
Views: 1405

Re: Better chance to be accepted to state medical school if also attend undergraduate in the state?

many/most instate public med schools favor their own residents. AAMCS publishes admission stats showing instate/oos admissions. Attending undergrad out of state will not matter as long as the undergrad maintains residency in this case, Texas.
by Big Dog
Wed Sep 27, 2017 1:09 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: $700 to install a dishwasher seem by a plumber?!
Replies: 65
Views: 4657

Re: $700 to install a dishwasher seem by a plumber?!

yes, that price is outrageous, but then plumbers make bank. Travel time to your apt, install time, travel time home.

fwiw: our dishwasher is not an easy install since we added a hardwood floor and its a tight fit under the kitchen counter.
by Big Dog
Tue Sep 26, 2017 11:41 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Should I keep a term life policy I don't need if it has a positive expected value?
Replies: 34
Views: 2634

Re: Should I keep a term life policy I don't need if it has a positive expected value?

I'd invest the money. $60k won't make a dent in your spouse's lifestyle should you pass.

Moreover, if its a group life policy, if you are healthy, you can almost always do better (higher value, lower premium) by checking online insurance vendors. Plus, that makes the ins portable.
by Big Dog
Tue Sep 26, 2017 11:39 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Should I keep a term life policy I don't need if it has a positive expected value?
Replies: 34
Views: 2634

Re: Should I keep a term life policy I don't need if it has a positive expected value?

I'd invest the money. $60k won't make a dent in your spouse's lifestyle should you pass.
by Big Dog
Tue Sep 26, 2017 9:36 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Phone Techies .....
Replies: 32
Views: 2531

Re: Phone Techies .....

I have had the 6 (regular) since it first sold, and don't plan to upgrade anytime soon. But then, I only use it as a phone, and for e-mails and the like. Rarely use the camera, and wireless charging is not of interest. Plus, I carry my phone in my back pocket and sit on it all day, so not sure about...
by Big Dog
Mon Sep 25, 2017 10:41 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: california homeowners - do you have earthquake insurance?
Replies: 79
Views: 6644

Re: california homeowners - do you have earthquake insurance?

We are CA natives, and do not have it. Our reasoning: - 90% of the Loma Prieta claims in the Bay Area (1989) were under the deductible amount (i.e., no insurance payout was made). - Our home is of relatively recent construction, and has a bolted foundation, double shearwall construction, etc. - The...