Search found 1180 matches

by Kosmo
Wed Feb 22, 2017 5:56 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Real estate vs debt payments
Replies: 27
Views: 1752

Re: Real estate vs debt payments

He does not have a negative net worth unless his house is $510k or less. Since it was bought for $520k at the market bottom I highly doubt that. That income could easily support the payment on the lot. The problem is having the cash available. However this is exactly the kind of opportunity I would ...
by Kosmo
Tue Feb 21, 2017 8:03 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Student Loan repayment Amortization - seems incorrect
Replies: 6
Views: 400

Re: Student Loan repayment Amortization - seems incorrect

One reason is that some months are 30 days and others are 31. You'll pay more interest in the 31 day months. And you'll pay less interest in March because February is short. Have you figured out what you should have been paying in interest and see if you can determine where the difference is chiming...
by Kosmo
Tue Feb 21, 2017 2:25 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Do you replace your electrical switches/outlets or use an electrician?
Replies: 93
Views: 5156

Re: Do you replace your electrical switches/outlets or use an electrician?

This is definitely DIY. Assuming the existing switch or outlet is wired properly, just make sure you connect everything exactly as the original was connected. As others have said, absolutely make sure the wires you're touching are not energized. I prefer to test with a multimeter instead of a voltag...
by Kosmo
Mon Feb 20, 2017 9:01 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Rental property sale (conversion) - loss question
Replies: 8
Views: 416

Re: Rental property sale (conversion) - loss question

The math is correct. The assumption that the property value at the time of conversion is the same as at the time of purchase is incorrect. What matters for depreciation is the "house" value at the time of conversion. The method I used when converting a property to a rental was (using your ...
by Kosmo
Mon Feb 20, 2017 8:01 am
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Why are HSAs called "triple tax advantaged"?
Replies: 45
Views: 2920

Re: Why are HSAs called "triple tax advantaged"?

Trad IRA is taxed on the way out. The entire amount withdrawn (assuming no basis) is included in income. That's what "(3) Taxed on the way out." means. Trad IRA has this. HSA, Roth IRA, Taxable do not. Stop being ridiculous. "Taxed on the way out" means it is taxable income. Whe...
by Kosmo
Wed Feb 15, 2017 8:38 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Debt Payment Strategy/Interest Question
Replies: 26
Views: 1341

Re: Debt Payment Strategy/Interest Question

Okay, if you're sure of that. I guess what led me wrong is I heard someone say that if a chunk of principal is paid off it "advances you in the amortization schedule." Thanks If you make an additional principal payment of exactly the principal due in the next month's payment, then it's eq...
by Kosmo
Tue Feb 14, 2017 8:02 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Where to buy rare steaks?
Replies: 28
Views: 1965

Re: Where to buy rare steaks?

jbuzolich wrote:+1 again for Costco. Quick sear a minute or two on each side then let it rest a bit and enjoy

You guys must have better Costcos. I've given up getting steaks from there. No problems with other meats, but steaks have been extremely disappointing.
by Kosmo
Tue Feb 14, 2017 7:46 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Where to buy rare steaks?
Replies: 28
Views: 1965

Re: Where to buy rare steaks?

Local butcher? I've got one now, but the shop only opened up about a year ago. Don't know how prevalent a stand alone butcher is.

Alternatively, you could ask a local restaurant you enjoy where they get their meat from.
by Kosmo
Mon Feb 13, 2017 7:48 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Need quick advice: Pay full year's rent or large security deposit?
Replies: 47
Views: 2407

Re: Need quick advice: Pay full year's rent or large security deposit?

Does she really want to pay over 30% of her gross income on rent? That seems excessive.
by Kosmo
Thu Feb 09, 2017 8:17 pm
Forum: Local Chapters and Bogleheads Community
Topic: Your USER NAME...what does it mean?
Replies: 257
Views: 9581

Re: Your USER NAME...what does it mean?

It's a nickname from work. Nicknames from my rugby team most likely wouldn't go over well here.
by Kosmo
Mon Feb 06, 2017 7:59 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Student loan payback question
Replies: 6
Views: 649

Re: Student loan payback question

Pay off the $6k loan with funds from the EF. Immediately. Then dump the loan payment back into the EF each month. I'd be in no hurry to pay off the $4k @ 3%.
by Kosmo
Mon Feb 06, 2017 1:14 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Plumbing issue - advice sought
Replies: 47
Views: 3709

Re: Plumbing issue - advice sought

As the others have alluded to, but not outrightly stated, it's more likely to be a fixture problem, not a pipe problem. Make sure every faucet, valve, connection, etc. is not leaking. Tight, but not over-tight. Check the bolts holding the toilet tank to the bowl, that's sometimes overlooked. If ther...
by Kosmo
Thu Feb 02, 2017 9:39 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Should I prioritize HSA Contributions First?
Replies: 6
Views: 501

Re: Should I prioritize HSA Contributions First?

Yes, prioritize the HSA. No taxes going in and no taxes coming out when used for medical expenses.

Not related to your question: why are you using traditional IRAs instead of Roths? Being in the 15% tax bracket favors Roth IRAs.
by Kosmo
Wed Jan 25, 2017 9:05 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Student Loan vs Invest
Replies: 14
Views: 1353

Re: Student Loan vs Invest

Invest. No one will ever loan you that much money at such a low interest rate for such a long time with 0 collateral ever again. Even a very conservative investment will come out ahead.
by Kosmo
Wed Jan 25, 2017 8:59 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Anyone have experience with plumbing issues or any Plumbers here?
Replies: 30
Views: 2306

Re: Anyone have experience with plumbing issues or any Plumbers here?

This is a pretty easy fix. If you can access the damaged pipe, cut out the damaged section and replace it with Pex. Shark bite fittings will fit Pex and CPVC. Parts are available at any hardware store and they are really easy to use. No tools needed except something to cut with. No way would I pay $...
by Kosmo
Tue Jan 24, 2017 7:51 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Vinyl siding - what is the green growth & how to clean?
Replies: 8
Views: 764

Re: Vinyl siding - what is the green growth & how to clean?

I think it's mildew. I've seen it usually on north facing and shadier walls, not ones that get direct sunlight. Some siding colors hide it better.

Pressure washer every other year or so.
by Kosmo
Tue Jan 24, 2017 12:06 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Do your own taxes?
Replies: 27
Views: 2056

Re: Do you own taxes?

In the past I've used Turbo Tax and Tax Act. For the past 8 or so years I've been essentially doing by hand. I use https://www.freefilefillableforms.com/ . The software does most of the math; you need to know what to enter and where. It sounds like you have a relatively easy return. Unless your 2015...
by Kosmo
Mon Jan 23, 2017 8:51 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: HOA Special Assessment
Replies: 7
Views: 1216

Re: HOA Special Assessment

The payment plan through the HOA should be tied to the unit and not you personally. That means it would be assumable by the next owner should you decide to sell. Of course that would make your unit less attractive to buyers. In your case, pay from funds you have. Unrelated to the financial aspect, w...
by Kosmo
Mon Jan 23, 2017 3:55 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Mortgage VS Payoff
Replies: 16
Views: 1618

Re: Mortgage VS Payoff

Since the property taxes are high in TX (9K) thinking of taking a Mortgage for $320K and invest the same $320 K from the Colorado home sale. Why do high property taxes lead you to believe that taking a mortgage is a good idea? Also, $9k in property taxes on a $430k property is not high. In your cir...
by Kosmo
Mon Jan 23, 2017 12:44 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: What to do with bonus
Replies: 12
Views: 1538

Re: What to do with bonus

If her gross income for the year is around $280k (half a year @ $200k plus $180k bonus) she'll most likely be in the 33% bracket. A lump sum bonus payment usually has taxes withheld at a flat rate (instead of progressive), so figure 90k*0.33 = $30k in federal income taxes. Also don't forget FICA, st...
by Kosmo
Mon Jan 23, 2017 12:20 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: sue renters
Replies: 12
Views: 2235

Re: sue renters

As others have said, yes you can sue. But it's going to cost you time and money with no guarantee of being repaid for damages even if the judge finds in your favor. Having the right to collect payment for damages and actually collecting that payment are not at all the same. Immediate actions: 1) Get...
by Kosmo
Mon Jan 23, 2017 9:13 am
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Advice on Student Loan
Replies: 14
Views: 1385

Re: Advice on Student Loan

If it's a binary decision between paying off the loan or investing VOO for the duration of the loan, then I'd pay it off. 4.5% is above my personal threshold for keeping debt. If it's not a binary decision and there are other options, I'd choose one of those. Split it 50/50 (or any other ratio) and ...
by Kosmo
Fri Jan 20, 2017 8:58 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Pay down 1.9% loan or invest
Replies: 61
Views: 4683

Re: Pay down 1.9% loan or invest

My personal threshold for paying down debt is 3% (after adjusted for tax implications). Debt above 3% gets paid down more aggressively, debt below 3% gets paid off according to schedule. I currently have no debt above 3%. Would you borrow cash @ 1.9% to invest and hopefully earn more than that? Abso...
by Kosmo
Fri Jan 20, 2017 8:46 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: NJ Daycare Costs: What do you pay?
Replies: 10
Views: 1419

Re: NJ Daycare Costs: What do you pay?

Not in NJ, but I'm in a Philly suburb. The current rate is around $1400 per month for a 1 yr old at my daycare. My kids are 3 and 4, but have been at the school since they were 4 months old. When my oldest started it was $950 per month. The rate decrease as the kids got older (lower teacher:child ra...
by Kosmo
Thu Jan 19, 2017 9:07 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Very confused with W4 Allowances
Replies: 33
Views: 2693

Re: Very confused with W4 Allowances

I use as a relatively close guideline the following: (# exemptions + schedule A deductions) / exemption amount Round this number down to the nearest whole number. The prior years values are a good start unless you have better estimates. Only 1 person uses this withholding exemptions number. The othe...
by Kosmo
Thu Jan 19, 2017 6:35 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: East Coast And Work/Life Balance
Replies: 68
Views: 5811

Re: East Coast And Work/Life Balance

Other than 4 years of college, I've lived my entire life in the northeast. Don't want to leave. Cost of living is what it is. Your salary should have increased to compensate for it. They aren't just giving you more money because they are more generous than the TX employer. Dining out for us is in th...
by Kosmo
Sat Jan 14, 2017 8:56 am
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Shouldn't everyone do a traditional IRA/401k instead of a Roth?
Replies: 132
Views: 7763

Re: Shouldn't everyone do a traditional IRA/401k instead of a Roth?

Consider the graph of function y=f(x). It's certainly possible that f(x)<0 and f'(x)>0 for some x, so parts of graph are below x axis and sloping upwards. And someone can can negative tax and positive marginal tax rate. For high positive marginal tax rate Trad typically beats Roth. Also, what FiveK...
by Kosmo
Fri Jan 13, 2017 8:05 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: downhill skiing
Replies: 32
Views: 2335

Re: downhill skiing

My dad is 68 and he goes skiing at least once a week. He has no intentions of giving it up. My mom stopped about 15 years ago.
by Kosmo
Sun Jan 08, 2017 8:55 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Should I ask this contractor to lower his quote?
Replies: 13
Views: 1640

Re: Should I ask this contractor to lower his quote?

You have poorly defined requirements. You know the end result you want achieved, but have not specified which tasks are done to accomplish it. But you've asked contractors to price out those tasks. Which work do you want to get done- Wall off 1 entrance and add a door or install 2 folding doors? Or ...
by Kosmo
Wed Dec 21, 2016 2:23 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: First-Time Home-Buyer Needs Advice
Replies: 19
Views: 1354

Re: First-Time Home-Buyer Needs Advice

Get a 5/1 ARM and pay it off before it resets. That should be under 4%. Although you may have trouble finding a lender for such a small amount. Do you plan on living in this house? If you intend to rent it out, then rates will be higher. Have you calculated if it's better to to pay capital gains tax...
by Kosmo
Thu Dec 15, 2016 9:27 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Front Wheel Drive (FWD) vs All Wheel Drive (AWD)
Replies: 136
Views: 7631

Re: Front Wheel Drive (FWD) vs All Wheel Drive (AWD)

Not only do AWD Siennas eat tires faster than other AWD vehicles they do not have a spare but instead come with run-flat tires. I was going to bring up this point. I would not buy a car that does not have a spare tire. My wife and I both have AWD cars with all weather tires. I'm considering getting...
by Kosmo
Tue Dec 13, 2016 1:01 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: I fundamentally don't understand bond funds
Replies: 22
Views: 2134

Re: I fundamentally don't understand bond funds

Are you assuming the number of bonds dwindle rather than the fund buy more bonds? What does the bond fund buy more bonds with though? If the interest is paid to shareholders only the principal is left - which is lower each year due to defaults. (Assuming not government bonds) It seems to me by the ...
by Kosmo
Sun Dec 11, 2016 1:11 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Teaching a 401(k) class at work...need input
Replies: 17
Views: 1258

Re: Teaching a 401(k) class at work...need input

You need to take a half step back and cover what a 401k is. What's the difference between a tax advantaged account and a taxable account. Before you get into asset allocation (even if you don't use that term) you should go over the options available. You need to explain the inherent risks of stock v...
by Kosmo
Thu Nov 24, 2016 9:45 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Kitchen appliances
Replies: 15
Views: 2004

Re: Kitchen appliances

I can't say about kitchen appliances but my washer and dryer were made by LG. But they are branded Kenmore (Sears) and cost a few hundred dollars less. I haven't had the need to get any service for them but on other Kenmore appliances the customer service has been satisfactory. Don't set the bar too...
by Kosmo
Mon Nov 21, 2016 10:40 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Poker Training Software
Replies: 30
Views: 2646

Re: Poker Training Software

The best way to improve your poker skills is to play. Got any local casinos? Better yet, ask some of the guys in the group if they want to play on an off week for lower stakes. You'll get general playing experience and you'll learn how they play in particular.
by Kosmo
Fri Nov 18, 2016 2:18 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Son has some cash to invest
Replies: 37
Views: 2531

Re: Son has some cash to invest

Your son needs to be asking questions and doing this for himself. It's his money, so let him decide.
by Kosmo
Fri Nov 11, 2016 12:15 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Two Plumbing Tools
Replies: 13
Views: 1503

Re: Two Plumbing Tools

Yes to the basin wrench. They aren't going to break the bank and I have found other uses for them in similar shaped crevices to behind a sink. I can't say anything about the liquid wrench. Every time I've experienced corroded parts I've been replacing them. So destroying them in the removal process ...
by Kosmo
Fri Nov 11, 2016 8:22 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Home shopping, Potential roof leaking despite new roof
Replies: 22
Views: 1395

Re: Home shopping, Potential roof leaking despite new roof

If the roof really is under warranty then the sellers should have no issue getting it fixed for you. At the very least insist on that and that they cover the cost of a 2nd inspection by a different roofer (not home inspector) to make sure it was fixed properly. Or you could ask for a price reduction...
by Kosmo
Tue Nov 08, 2016 7:34 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: PA residents with a 529, do you use the 529 plan sponsored by the state?
Replies: 10
Views: 857

Re: PA residents with a 529, do you use the 529 plan sponsored by the state?

I use the NY plan for my 2 kids. But since I opened those PA has modified their plans. I have not revisited the decision to see if o should switch.
by Kosmo
Mon Nov 07, 2016 9:53 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Garage door opener issue
Replies: 19
Views: 1484

Re: Garage door opener issue

You've got to be kidding. When my garage door moves... well, let's just say that when the earthquake happened last night, I wasn't sure if it was an earthquake, or the garage door going up or down. The fact that you can hear a squeak is amazing. Normal garage door operation sounds like sticking you...
by Kosmo
Sun Nov 06, 2016 8:29 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Roth 401k not being taxed
Replies: 9
Views: 886

Re: Roth 401k not being taxed

You are specifying a percentage of gross pay to go into the 401k. But that doesn't mean you didn't pay taxes on that money. Do the math and figure out how much should have been withheld for taxes. Compare that to your paystub to check if it was done correctly.
by Kosmo
Sat Nov 05, 2016 7:57 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Mandatory Debit Card use, with fee added
Replies: 16
Views: 2220

Re: Mandatory Debit Card use, with fee added

I don't think I've ever encountered a gas station that accepted debit cards but not credit cards. It is fairly common around here to give a discount for paying cash instead of using a card.

And I honestly can't recall ever seeing an Arco station. Is it a left coast chain?
by Kosmo
Thu Nov 03, 2016 10:21 am
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Rental Property Refinance
Replies: 11
Views: 496

Re: Rental Property Refinance

How much is it going to cost you to do the refinance? Can you even get a refinance rate that low on a rental property? How would this affect your income taxes? Is your goal increased cash flow through a lower monthly payment? Personally, I'd keep the existing mortgage. It's cheap long term debt and ...
by Kosmo
Thu Nov 03, 2016 10:04 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Dependent Care FSA vs Dependent Care Tax Credit?
Replies: 14
Views: 1136

Re: Dependent Care FSA vs Dependent Care Tax Credit?

Dependent care FSA is the way to go. It saves fed/state income taxes and FICA taxes. The alternative is 20% of $3k reduction in taxes = $600, not 20% of the amount paid up to $3k.
by Kosmo
Thu Oct 27, 2016 8:36 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Debit or Credit card with no fees
Replies: 25
Views: 980

Re: Debit or Credit card with no fees

J0NATHAN wrote:Not sure how low they're willing to go. This "debit card" would have a low, non-life altering amount on them. (<$1,000 at any given time; probably closer to ~$200)

Why go through all this hassle for ~$200 ?
by Kosmo
Wed Oct 26, 2016 11:30 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Health Equity insufficient funds
Replies: 8
Views: 628

Re: Health Equity insufficient funds

I just checked on my accounts at Health Equity (mine and my wife's) and both have the correct balance. I got a reimbursement via electronic transfer from them on Monday.
by Kosmo
Wed Oct 26, 2016 8:31 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Dream house sold yesterday :(
Replies: 41
Views: 7031

Re: Dream house sold yesterday :(

Does it ever work to offer the buyer more than they paid for the property once escrow closes? My realtor pretty much laughed me off when I mentioned this. If you bought the house, and immediately after you signed all the paperwork I offered you $20k over what you paid for it, would you sell it to m...
by Kosmo
Mon Oct 24, 2016 10:08 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Where do you store your paper documents?
Replies: 36
Views: 2785

Re: Where do you store your paper documents?

Nature has yet to invade the large plastic storage bin in my basement. Although I am considering getting a small safe.
by Kosmo
Mon Oct 24, 2016 1:50 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Property Tax - Estimate
Replies: 10
Views: 799

Re: Property Tax - Estimate

I have no idea how California property taxes work, so your best bet is to listen to those who live/lived there. But the basics are that you need to know the assessed value and the millage rate. Assessed value could be triggered by a sale or a periodic re-assessment (or some other trigger). The milla...
by Kosmo
Fri Oct 21, 2016 11:37 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Finishing a Basement
Replies: 13
Views: 1497

Re: Finishing a Basement

Have you priced out basic materials yourself? Where are you coming up with $10k target? I have a long term plan to finish my basement (DIY) and it costs ~$15k in materials alone. Mine would be about 500 sq ft and includes a bathroom. You being the CG might be the most effective for cost and schedule...

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