Search found 5940 matches

by Epsilon Delta
Fri Dec 09, 2016 6:51 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Selling house at cost to family member - avoiding gift tax
Replies: 13
Views: 1056

Re: Selling house at cost to family member - avoiding gift tax

Forgiving a loan basically identical to gifting someone money with the added complication of a loan being thrown in. Except the timing may be different. If I give $28k now I need to file a gift tax return and it may impact my estate in 2050. If I loan $28k and forgive $14k on Dec 15 and $14k on Jan...
by Epsilon Delta
Fri Dec 09, 2016 6:11 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Retirement savings vs. pre-retirement spend. When is enough enough?
Replies: 23
Views: 1788

Re: Retirement savings vs. pre-retirement spend. When is enough enough?

It might make sense to spend more and save less in the retirement accounts, but it rarely makes sense to save less in the retirement accounts and save more outside of them. If you want to spend more in 5-20 years reduce your retirement savings in 5-20 years, not now. Thanks. I see how that could ma...
by Epsilon Delta
Fri Dec 09, 2016 5:17 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Selling house at cost to family member - avoiding gift tax
Replies: 13
Views: 1056

Re: Selling house at cost to family member - avoiding gift tax

Forgiving a loan basically identical to gifting someone money with the added complication of a loan being thrown in. Except the timing may be different. If I give $28k now I need to file a gift tax return and it may impact my estate in 2050. If I loan $28k and forgive $14k on Dec 15 and $14k on Jan...
by Epsilon Delta
Fri Dec 09, 2016 5:06 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: What if you just *stop* paying your health ins. premiums?
Replies: 10
Views: 1053

Re: What if you just *stop* paying your health ins. premiums?

cheese_breath wrote:Is the grace period written into your contract?


In many cases it's written into the ACA, and it's longer than one month.
by Epsilon Delta
Fri Dec 09, 2016 5:02 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Retirement savings vs. pre-retirement spend. When is enough enough?
Replies: 23
Views: 1788

Re: Retirement savings vs. pre-retirement spend. When is enough enough?

Hi all. I am trying to get a handle on how we should be directing our future investments. Specifically - whether we should continue to max out retirement contributions in lieu of saving for other things (college, a bigger or 2nd house, etc.) I've run many simulations in FireCalc, and assuming we co...
by Epsilon Delta
Fri Dec 09, 2016 12:57 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: HSA - is keeping 40 years of medical records practical?
Replies: 65
Views: 2980

Re: HSA - is keeping 40 years of medical records practical?

First, high medical expenses are not inevitable. Half the population will be be below the median. Most peoples lifetime medical expenses are far below the mean. Second, if you have high medical expenses a large chunk of them will probably be tax free anyway (itemized deductions and probably other th...
by Epsilon Delta
Wed Dec 07, 2016 4:35 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Should I fill out survey evaluation of my boss?
Replies: 51
Views: 3817

Re: Should I fill out survey evaluation of my boss?

Do these work like Uber, where any grade less than 5 out of 5 is a reason for termination?
by Epsilon Delta
Wed Dec 07, 2016 4:33 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Physical security solution for basement door?
Replies: 19
Views: 1252

Re: Physical security solution for basement door?

Would a Bilco door work?
Might be more than you want, or more than you want to pay to have it installed, but it is a possibility.

Image
by Epsilon Delta
Wed Dec 07, 2016 4:25 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Who will run my Ethernet Cables for me?
Replies: 25
Views: 2588

Re: Who will run my Ethernet Cables for me?

I second the comment about running cabling for POE cameras (same network cabling you need) while you have the walls open. Except running one or a couple of cables rarely involves opening up a wall. If you've got the walls open to studs it might make sense to put in extra cables and conduit, but if ...
by Epsilon Delta
Wed Dec 07, 2016 4:15 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: confused about HDMI cables
Replies: 18
Views: 1776

Re: confused about HDMI cables

No, you don't need a new HDMI cable. HDMI is binary. It'll either work or it won't. This. The source will send the signal at what ever resolution it is set to and the signal will either get through or not. If it gets through you will see as perfect a picture as any cable connecting those two ports ...
by Epsilon Delta
Wed Dec 07, 2016 11:50 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: 2nd cell phone in different area code
Replies: 13
Views: 1289

Re: 2nd cell phone in different area code

http://imgs.xkcd.com/comics/cell_number.png (credit to Randall Munroe) However the US is large and the phone system is not quite the same everywhere, so location may matter. Some places have had a single area code since area codes were invented. People just assume it. If you give some people a 10 d...
by Epsilon Delta
Sat Dec 03, 2016 4:06 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: How to darken type in firefox or chrome?
Replies: 27
Views: 1274

Re: How to darken type in firefox or chrome?

I deal with this by tweaking the display rather than the browser. On my laptop tilting the display 10 or 20 degrees hugely changes the contrast, so I just lean it until I can read the site. For a desktop I'd consider tweaking the contrast and color knobs to the same effect. In Linux I can do the sam...
by Epsilon Delta
Sat Dec 03, 2016 3:54 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Boglehead Contest Inspired Brain Teaser
Replies: 15
Views: 922

Re: Boglehead Contest Inspired Brain Teaser

Assuming normal distribution: So in excel the chance of winning is 1 - normdist( 2620, 2398, 396, TRUE ) = .2875 Well it's all about the assumptions, isn't it? What if you switch from a Gaussian distribution to a Laplace distribution as suggested by this article? And in reality who knows? https://s...
by Epsilon Delta
Sat Dec 03, 2016 1:59 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Theoretical high returns unsustainable?
Replies: 22
Views: 2054

Re: Theoretical high returns unsustainable?

Exponential curves rarely have real meaning in finance As Stein's Law says, "If a thing can't go on forever, it will stop." Self limiting systems are often modeled with the logistic function , which is approximately exponential initially but eventually becomes asymptotically constant. If ...
by Epsilon Delta
Sat Dec 03, 2016 1:18 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Boglehead Contest Inspired Brain Teaser
Replies: 15
Views: 922

Re: Boglehead Contest Inspired Brain Teaser

2619.990000001 Or if you limit it to 2 decimals 2620.00 which has a 28.8% chance of winning. +1 I got slightly above 30% chance, but my stats skills are a bit rusty. Here are my numbers if you want to compare the details. The mistake may be mine. By my interpretation the mean is 2200 * 1.09 = 2398 ...
by Epsilon Delta
Sat Dec 03, 2016 3:36 am
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Boglehead Contest Inspired Brain Teaser
Replies: 15
Views: 922

Re: Boglehead Contest Inspired Brain Teaser

2619.990000001

Or if you limit it to 2 decimals 2620.00 which has a 28.8% chance of winning.
by Epsilon Delta
Fri Dec 02, 2016 11:14 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Long ethernet cable or wireless?
Replies: 81
Views: 5422

Re: Long ethernet cable or wireless?

When ordering my last replacement modem/router, I told the ISP that I still didn't want a wireless router, and just to send a wired one. When the router came, there were no visible antennas, so I assumed it was a non-wireless router just like the others. I quickly set it up and forgot about it. The...
by Epsilon Delta
Fri Dec 02, 2016 8:59 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: In search of weak LED lights
Replies: 12
Views: 1084

Re: In search of weak LED lights

It is very hard to find LED bulbs that are dimmer than "40-watt equivalent." You can use a candelabra socket adapter and a night light bulb . 8 lumen might be a bit dim, but candelabra bulbs in the 10 to 25 W equivalent range are readily available. Unfortunately some of the labeling requi...
by Epsilon Delta
Fri Dec 02, 2016 7:32 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: How to Remove a Broken Screw from Mailbox?
Replies: 19
Views: 1062

Re: How to Remove a Broken Screw from Mailbox?

If I had to guess that's a stainless steel screw in aluminum. In that case heat is your friend. Al expands more than steel. After you've soaked with penetrating oil and filed a pair of flats for grip, apply heat to the outside of the box adjacent to the screw (the right side on your original photo),...
by Epsilon Delta
Tue Nov 29, 2016 11:54 am
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Rent paid up front
Replies: 10
Views: 1078

Re: Rent paid up front

I wonder why they started with the word "Generally" as a qualifier. Probably out of habit. The tax code is very large, and there are parts of it (e.g. self-dealing rules, step-transaction doctrine, ...) that given the right facts can reach out and affect pretty much anything in non-obviou...
by Epsilon Delta
Tue Nov 22, 2016 9:48 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: 401(k) Options - Trying to Mimic the Total U.S. Stock Market
Replies: 10
Views: 538

Re: 401(k) Options - Trying to Mimic the Total U.S. Stock Market

Yes, it is my understanding that it is a 50/50 split. Per this link: https://www.bogleheads.org/wiki/Approximating_total_stock_market 92% Russell 1000 -46% growth -46% value 8% Russell 2000 Should be a good approximation. 85% S&P 500 15% Russell 2000 Is another combination you could consider de...
by Epsilon Delta
Tue Nov 22, 2016 8:44 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Energy Efficient Window Fan?
Replies: 20
Views: 1715

Re: Energy Efficient Window Fan?

For efficiency controlling the airflow is probably more important than the efficiency of the fan motor. The ideal is cross ventilation where cool air comes in one window and warm air out another on the other side of the room or house. The fan should fill one of the windows so air can't just cycle ro...
by Epsilon Delta
Tue Nov 22, 2016 7:27 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Best way to claim life insurance payout?
Replies: 10
Views: 1099

Re: Best way to claim life insurance payout?

The insurance company may have a default holding account that may offer interest rates higher than you can get anywhere else. So this may be a viable place to hold the money for a few weeks or so until they can develop an investment plan. Just make sure they invest somewhere else. Sometimes it make...
by Epsilon Delta
Tue Nov 22, 2016 6:13 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: which engineering major for renewables
Replies: 62
Views: 3690

Re: which engineering major for renewables

Most states have engineering licenses for which you have to have an ABET accredited degree or have been working AS AN ENGINEER for 10+ years in order to qualify to TAKE THE EXAM. The topics in the exam are based on things all engineering majors take as well as specific to the major disciplines. A p...
by Epsilon Delta
Mon Nov 14, 2016 10:59 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Drain Cleaner or Plumber for slow drains?
Replies: 52
Views: 3764

Re: Drain Cleaner or Plumber for slow drains?

It's worth noting that Taylor lives in a multi-story condo. So: ⋅ He probably has a bunch of neighbors with essentially the same unit. It's worth asking them what problems they have and what works. ⋅ If the problem is in the communal plumbing (unlikely) the community needs to sol...
by Epsilon Delta
Wed Nov 09, 2016 3:19 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: India to Replace Largest Bank Notes
Replies: 20
Views: 2380

Re: India to Replace Largest Bank Notes

Globally withdrawing old currency is quite common. The US position that old notes remain legal tender is rare. More often either the old currency becomes worthless after a fixed date or the old currency stops being legal tender but will still be exchanged by specific agents (e.g a central bank). The...
by Epsilon Delta
Wed Nov 09, 2016 2:46 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Risk of not paying sales tax?
Replies: 36
Views: 3721

Re: Risk of not paying sales tax?

Oh, Jeeez, almighty. I give up. Epsilon Delta, didn't it occur to you in plodding thru all the tedious text in the link to your BOE - that the Land of Fruit & Nuts has again distinguished itself - duh It all comes down to semantics. In the case of the Calif BOE people - when they say the seller...
by Epsilon Delta
Tue Nov 08, 2016 10:10 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Risk of not paying sales tax?
Replies: 36
Views: 3721

Re: Risk of not paying sales tax?

What are the consequences for continuing to refer to this as paying the tax. :x The seller is collecting the sales tax, not paying. The purchaser is paying . It's more complicated than that. It almost certainly varies by state / locality. I'll use California as an example since they put things on l...
by Epsilon Delta
Mon Nov 07, 2016 11:16 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Secure alternative to Gmail
Replies: 48
Views: 6235

Re: Threat concern

Agreed, but I'd argue that an email properly encrypted with a strong PGP key is not breakable at the current time, even by a state actor. Not to say a side-channel attack couldn't be successful. PGP doesn't encrypt the metadata at all so that's still visible information too. It may not matter if th...
by Epsilon Delta
Mon Nov 07, 2016 10:38 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: A silver lining in unemployment: Reset cost basis to save on future capital gains?
Replies: 8
Views: 1372

Re: A silver lining in unemployment: Reset cost basis to save on future capital gains?

Nobody has mentioned medical insurance and possible ACA tax credits. Depending on your exact circumstances this could range from a non-issue to a first order effect.
by Epsilon Delta
Fri Nov 04, 2016 5:38 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Computing Device - Laptop or Table - for an Elderly Person
Replies: 35
Views: 1869

Re: Computing Device - Laptop or Table - for an Elderly Person

I would also suggest a Chromebox paired with a high quality, moderate-sized monitor. Using an external monitor requires a place to put it, which will probably mean a dedicated computer desk, treating the computer as a small desktop. Many laptops are used on the kitchen table, moving to a sideboard ...
by Epsilon Delta
Fri Sep 02, 2016 3:05 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Frustrated Losing Weight!
Replies: 131
Views: 7270

Re: Frustrated Losing Weight!

Veggies should be your primary food on your plate for all meals. 1/2 the plate! Protein 1/3 and then the remaining 1/6 can be something like soba noodles or sometimes, brown rice. So I never get to enjoy eating again? Is there no solution where I can enjoy good-tasting food, AND lose weight? Brusse...
by Epsilon Delta
Fri Sep 02, 2016 2:50 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Frustrated Losing Weight!
Replies: 131
Views: 7270

Re: Frustrated Losing Weight!

It is easier to diet once a week when you go to the grocers, than three times a day when you go to the fridge.

If you get the munchies in the middle of the night and all you have is a spinach salad, you will eat a spinach salad.
by Epsilon Delta
Fri Sep 02, 2016 2:32 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Some urgent health insurance questions
Replies: 22
Views: 1732

Re: Some urgent health insurance questions

So let me see if I have all this straight - If you leave your job, you can enroll in an ACA plan outside of the regular enrollment period. If you apply up to the 15th of the month, your coverage will start the first of the next month. I believe this special enrollment period runs for 60 days. That ...
by Epsilon Delta
Fri Sep 02, 2016 2:08 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Can company convert to auto renewal without your permission?
Replies: 13
Views: 1077

Re: Can company convert to auto renewal without your permission?

I think whether they can or can't is only of use to the Attorney General, other consumer watchdog, or somebody who is willing to make a federal case of it. For everybody else the answer is that they did. By far the easiest thing to do is tell them "H*** NO" before the renewal, in practice ...
by Epsilon Delta
Fri Sep 02, 2016 1:40 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: When is a variable interest rate preferred over a fixed?
Replies: 16
Views: 1248

Re: When is a variable interest rate preferred over a fixed?

One consideration is how much pain it will cause you if the variable rate rises to the cap. If it will lead you to financial calamity you need to go with the fixed rate even if the expected value of the variable rate is better.
by Epsilon Delta
Fri Sep 02, 2016 1:26 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Short term STRIPS yield less than normal bonds - why?
Replies: 7
Views: 780

Re: Short term STRIPS yield less than normal bonds - why?

Here are some yields (today from Vanguard bond sorting) for STRIPS, compared to notes and bonds for August 15 maturities in each year. Each number is an average of bid and ask for two or three issues. 2017 Bonds/Notes 0.647% 2017 STRIPS 0.635% 2018 Bonds/Notes 0.761% 2018 STRIPS 0.745% 2019 Bonds/N...
by Epsilon Delta
Thu Sep 01, 2016 12:39 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Google Word Processing and Spreadsheet
Replies: 29
Views: 3091

Re: Google Word Processing and Spreadsheet

lookup, index, address, indirect and frenemies, are one of the most miserable APIs I have ever had to work with. It's all inconsistency and off by ones and converting numbers to strings and pasting strings together to do really simple things. Makes me pine for BSD Unix, at least all the Berkeley pro...
by Epsilon Delta
Wed Aug 31, 2016 11:36 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: zero-dividend investing in taxable account
Replies: 58
Views: 6180

Re: zero-dividend investing in taxable account

DeMuth suggested the zero-dividend stocks - randomly selecting which ones is my silly suggestions - which I still think is a reasonable idea. A better idea might be randomly selecting stocks within a sector, and trying to achieve sector exposure that mirrors TSM (I think this is similar to what Wag...
by Epsilon Delta
Wed Aug 31, 2016 10:52 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Resigning from a job: best practices and advice?
Replies: 93
Views: 6183

Re: Resigning from a job: best practices and advice?

You'll also be covered under COBRA for 30 days after termination of your old employer. This is an option if things go awry. You can file for COBRA within this 30 day window. I'm not sure that's accurate. You have 60 days from the date the COBRA notice is sent to apply for COBRA. If you apply during...
by Epsilon Delta
Wed Aug 31, 2016 1:34 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Subaru owners - tin can sound, maybe heat shield?
Replies: 22
Views: 1585

Re: Subaru owners - tin can sound, maybe heat shield?

After putting the car carefully on jackstands, I also try and have some failsafes - some pieces of 6x6 setting on top of the tires (which are setting flat on the floor), etc, so that even if the jackstands somehow fail the car would only fall a couple of inches. I know I'm being paranoid, and I'm O...
by Epsilon Delta
Wed Aug 31, 2016 1:08 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Roth Conversion or Tax Gain Harvest?
Replies: 11
Views: 1072

Re: Roth Conversion or Tax Gain Harvest?

But if harvesting the gains has a larger financial benefit, due to the larger differential in tax rates (e.g., 15% vs. 0% compared to 25% vs. 15% or even worse, 28% vs. 25%), why wouldn't you just do that instead of any Roth conversions? Of course this assumes you have no carry-over losses, in whic...
by Epsilon Delta
Tue Aug 30, 2016 5:53 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Fidelity "FidSafe" Free online storage of documents - is this safe?
Replies: 10
Views: 923

Re: Fidelity "FidSafe" Free online storage of documents - is this safe?

I'm not really convinced of the value of such a thing. In my case, I have printed instructions for my wife (or my executor, if it comes to that) referring to a USB memory stick in my safe with all that type information stored on it. What benefit does FidSafe provide that my USB stick in my safe doe...
by Epsilon Delta
Tue Aug 30, 2016 5:36 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Understanding SS Spousal Benefit
Replies: 8
Views: 871

Re: Understanding SS Spousal Benefit

Thanks, Mike, for the clarification. I still get confused with "spousal benefit" since the rules are different if the spouse is still living or deceased. :? :confused I believe the SSA only uses "spousal benefits" while both are alive. Once one spouse is dead it's "survivor...
by Epsilon Delta
Tue Aug 30, 2016 2:52 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Should I terminate CD to get a better rate?
Replies: 38
Views: 2630

Re: Should I terminate CD to get a better rate?

The 6 month EWP will cost you 1.125%. You will make that up in less than two years with the new CD because the difference is 0.75% per year. I believe that is 0.25% that it will cost me, no? By my calculations, after 50 months, a 5 yr CD at 2.25% should yield 2%. Did I make a mistake? I'm confused ...
by Epsilon Delta
Tue Aug 30, 2016 2:31 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Should I terminate CD to get a better rate?
Replies: 38
Views: 2630

Re: Should I terminate CD to get a better rate?

Andrews FCU offers a 3% APY 84 month IRA certificate. They have offered it for quite awhile, but I have no idea if it will still be available when my other certificate matures in June, 2017. Do you have a better idea if that 3% offer will be replace by 3.25% or 2.75%? This is not a simple arbitrage...
by Epsilon Delta
Tue Aug 30, 2016 2:18 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Looking for guidance on survivor benefits options
Replies: 37
Views: 2081

Re: Looking for guidance on survivor benefits options

---------- Alive --------- - PV Discounted - Only You Only Wife Both at 2% at 4% -------- --------- ----- ------- ------- Single life 1,000 0 1,000 173,000 145,000 Joint 50% 438 438 875 164,000 135,000 Joint 75% 629 629 839 175,000 142,000 Joint 100% 807 807 807 186,000 149,000 That's not how the s...
by Epsilon Delta
Tue Aug 30, 2016 1:59 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Password security question for security experts
Replies: 42
Views: 3623

Re: Password security question for security experts

Don't assume system crackers would design their brute force guessing tool to be specific to the given site. It is more likely they would be using a generic tool they previously built or downloaded from the internet. For a hacker there is a small but significant advantage in eliminating potential pa...
by Epsilon Delta
Tue Aug 30, 2016 1:06 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Fidelity "FidSafe" Free online storage of documents - is this safe?
Replies: 10
Views: 923

Re: Fidelity "FidSafe" Free online storage of documents - is this safe?

This is interesting. I think it's the sort of thing financial institutions should be doing. This piggy backs off of the identification infrastructure (e.g. two factor login) they need to provide anyway. So it has relatively small marginal cost. I would expect they are offering it as an added service...
by Epsilon Delta
Tue Aug 30, 2016 12:39 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Understanding SS Spousal Benefit
Replies: 8
Views: 871

Re: Understanding SS Spousal Benefit

She won't get any spousal benefit until he files. Once he files her benefit will increase as a spousal benefit is added to the benefit payed on her own record. The base amount of her spousal benefit is the difference between half his benefit at FRA and her benefit at FRA. In this case $2069/2 - $683...

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