Search found 2376 matches

by MathWizard
Wed Feb 22, 2017 7:11 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Household budget trim: next up is cell phone plan
Replies: 25
Views: 1910

Re: Household budget trim: next up is cell phone plan

DW is on Google Fi project, and loves it. You need to have one of the specified phones, but it should not matter to you if you are not a phone guy. DW is very strict about not using cellular data, and as a result, her cell phone bill averages $23 a month. We ahev google Fi as well. Ulimited talk/te...
by MathWizard
Tue Feb 21, 2017 4:26 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Do you replace your electrical switches/outlets or use an electrician?
Replies: 74
Views: 3927

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

I do it myself.

I have done 2 way switches, but had trouble with the one set of 3 way switches in my house.

If I need a new outlet, I get an electrician.

I don't mess around in the breaker box though.
by MathWizard
Mon Feb 20, 2017 11:49 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: home improvementl strategy
Replies: 17
Views: 1784

Re: home improvementl strategy

What is the state of your emergency fund?

A roof if needed would constitute an emergency.

If you lost your job tomorrow, would a new driveway make you feel good?
by MathWizard
Sat Feb 18, 2017 7:31 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: 1.3 million dollars in debt
Replies: 36
Views: 7904

Re: 1.3 million dollars in debt

a debt load of 2x annual income can be supported. This is quite common for people just after buying a house. You have taken on two debts which will provide you extra income, and one for a place to live. Most people believe a mortgage is a reasonable kind of debt. Your other two are even better kinds...
by MathWizard
Sat Feb 18, 2017 5:17 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Is a 4% plus CPI withdrawal rate actually aggressive?
Replies: 201
Views: 8365

Re: Is a 4% plus CPI withdrawal rate actually aggressive?

No. I do not consider 4% aggressive. As we near retirement, I have had to convince my spouse that it is not too conservative. Historically, the median terminal value of the portfolio when using a 4% withdrawal has been higher than the starting value. There is great risk in being too high, but going ...
by MathWizard
Wed Feb 15, 2017 9:57 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Why own individual stocks?
Replies: 77
Views: 4829

Re: Why own individual stocks?

cheesepep wrote:I'm 100% individual stocks. I do it because I like doing so and I can (and do) beat the market.

Congrats. We can't all be indexers. Everybody can't beat the market though, so I'll take the market average.

You are taking account of your costs I hope.

Good luck to you.
by MathWizard
Tue Feb 14, 2017 10:23 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Why do you go to restaurants?
Replies: 229
Views: 14482

Re: Why do you go to restaurants?

Your wife likes to go out because someone else is doing the work of food purchase meal planning cooking cleanup etc. Maybe if you cooked the meal she'd like it. Something to do for Valentine's Day. My wife is the much better cook so she does the majority, but I cook sometimes and we cleanup together...
by MathWizard
Fri Feb 10, 2017 7:55 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: How do Bogleheads buy phones?
Replies: 43
Views: 2590

Re: How do Bogleheads buy phones?

Bought an Iphone 5s for tracfone at Target for $200. Pay $100/yr. for service, for a limited amount of talk/text/data. Great Coverage. Use it for work, and as a wireless device at home. Google Fi Nexus5x Unlimited talk/text for $20/month. Taxes & fees bring it to about $23. Data is $10/Gbyte, on...
by MathWizard
Fri Feb 10, 2017 6:18 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Terrible negotiator - need help with words to use [Buying a car]
Replies: 94
Views: 5935

Re: Terrible negotiator - need help with words to use [Buying a car]

The problem you have is that you are stuck on "THIS CAR". Here is how many used cars were sold in the US over the last few years: 2012: 40,500,000 2013: 41,000,000 2014: 41,250,000 2015: 38,276,140 Out of around 40 million cars sold you have to have "THIS EXACT CAR" Now the deale...
by MathWizard
Tue Jan 31, 2017 6:04 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Suze Orman - Let the Buyer Beware
Replies: 26
Views: 5973

Re: Suze Orman - Let the Buyer Beware

I think that her basic financial advice is good, I even gave her "Young, Fabulous and Broke" books to my kids. One thing that I learned from her PBS special was that you could pull contributions from a ROTH IRA at any time. I loved that, since I could use a ROTH and a second tier for my EF...
by MathWizard
Wed Jan 25, 2017 5:40 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: What Percentage (%) of Your Net Worth Should You Invest?
Replies: 13
Views: 2183

Re: What Percentage (%) of Your Net Worth Should You Invest?

Not counting my house or cars or EF or short term funds, 100% of my networth is invested. If you are only counting equities, then I'm 80% invested (80/20 AA) and my wife is 100% invested. Even if I counted all the assets you did not count, and count bonds as investments (I consider them as such), I'...
by MathWizard
Mon Jan 23, 2017 4:42 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Getting my electricity usage under control
Replies: 34
Views: 3700

Re: Getting my electricity usage under control

MD is awfully far north for elec. heat. I assume you have airsource, not geothermal. I assume that nat. gas is not an option. That should be a lot cheaper. The hybrid water heater is not going to help. It heats the water by using a heat pump to draw heat from your house to heat the water. This can b...
by MathWizard
Mon Jan 23, 2017 4:32 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Is Little League Slowly Dying? [Should my kids play this year?]
Replies: 38
Views: 3903

Re: Is Little League Slowly Dying?

When I was a kid, for organized sports for kids, little league was it.
Now there are lots to chose from, so it would make sense that LL would
have less interest.

My sons were in Tae Kwon Do and soccer for extra-curricular activities,
as well as robotics and music when they were in school.
by MathWizard
Mon Jan 23, 2017 2:28 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Load up on cash - it might be one of your best investments
Replies: 53
Views: 8988

Re: Load up on cash - it might be one of your best investments

Cash is not an investment.

I just use enough to cover short term liquidity needs, and for a first tier Emergency Fund.
Most of the time I am 98% invested, carrying only a 2% cash cushion.
by MathWizard
Mon Jan 23, 2017 2:23 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: wisdom of converting most TIRA to Roth
Replies: 19
Views: 2212

Re: wisdom of converting most TIRA to Roth

Almost all of my funds are in tax deferred. My retirement expenses will put me in the 15% tax bracket. I will not be able to convert the majority of this to ROTH without going into the 25% tax bracket, so for me converting the majority to ROTH would not be wise. The other issue is that I live in a s...
by MathWizard
Mon Jan 23, 2017 12:33 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Hypo: What would you do if you were SURE of impending deline in markets
Replies: 62
Views: 4185

Re: Hypo: What would you do if you were SURE of impending deline in markets

Nothing.

The only way I could be sure was if I had inside information.
Trading on such would not compromise my ethics, but could land me in jail.
by MathWizard
Thu Jan 19, 2017 6:58 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Would you switch investment advisor to save $3000+/yr?
Replies: 17
Views: 1710

Re: Would you switch investment advisor to save $3000+/yr?

Yes. My situation is similar to your father's except that I can't move my money yet as I am still employed with money in a 403b. I already moved IRA money to save $500/yr. Once I retire, I expect to move money from my 403b unless I can get a better ER than I currently have. I'm currently paying in t...
by MathWizard
Wed Jan 18, 2017 4:54 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Biting the bullet and getting off the roof.
Replies: 41
Views: 5634

Re: Biting the bullet and getting off the roof.

.... I would probably just make a PVC extension to my hose w/nozzle attached and use the drone for before and after. ... I did this. Shop Vac with a bag inside, and a long PVC pipe with two 90's on the end top form a "J". The long PVC pipe is plenty strong enough, but this does strain the...
by MathWizard
Mon Jan 16, 2017 2:56 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Cardinal Sin - went to cash the day before 2016 election
Replies: 56
Views: 6368

Re: Cardinal Sin - went to cash the day before 2016 election

You didn't mention what you did in 2008/9 That seemed like a riskier situation than an election, even this one. Not quite. You can't assign risk to an event that already happened. The question is, what was the perceived risk at the time? In 2008 we didn't know there was going to be a market crash u...
by MathWizard
Mon Jan 16, 2017 2:08 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Cardinal Sin - went to cash the day before 2016 election
Replies: 56
Views: 6368

Re: Cardinal Sin - went to cash the day before 2016 election

You didn't mention what you did in 2008/9 That seemed like a riskier situation than an election, even this one. Not quite. You can't assign risk to an event that already happened. The question is, what was the perceived risk at the time? In 2008 we didn't know there was going to be a market crash u...
by MathWizard
Sun Jan 15, 2017 2:49 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Cardinal Sin - went to cash the day before 2016 election
Replies: 56
Views: 6368

Re: Cardinal Sin - went to cash the day before 2016 election

Were you 100% equities before? If not did you cash out your bond allocation as well? If the answer is that you held onto Bonds or were 100% equities, I'd suggest that you consider any gains that you missed out on education, on your risk tolerance, and get back in with a lower equity allocation. You ...
by MathWizard
Sat Jan 14, 2017 5:18 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: "Millennials may need to double how much they save for retirement"
Replies: 173
Views: 16483

Re: "Millennials may need to double how much they save for retirement"

Remember that the more you save, the less you ned to replace. In the extreme, if you saved 100%, you need to save zero, since you apparently can live on $0. In les than the extreme, saving in tax deferred allows you savings on taxes, so any extra would be lessened by the difference between current a...
by MathWizard
Sat Jan 14, 2017 5:11 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Should people own 2 cars for themselves?
Replies: 21
Views: 2901

Re: Should people own 2 cars for themselves?

We have 3 vehicles. My son drives the van when he needs to get around, and we use to for hauling. We used to use it of vacations, when the kids were small. Having one extra vehicle does come in handy when one vehicle needs serving, but does cost extra. Renting when you need and extra car might be le...
by MathWizard
Thu Jan 12, 2017 7:09 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: How much do you typically spend in a restaurant?
Replies: 171
Views: 9753

Re: How much do you typically spend in a restaurant?

About $10 per person, not counting tip.

Beverage is water: If we drink alcohol at all, it's at home.

For a splurge, we might get up to $50 for the two of us on our anniversary.
by MathWizard
Wed Jan 11, 2017 4:01 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Where do you keep your emergency fund?
Replies: 80
Views: 6430

Re: Where do you keep your emergency fund?

1st tier : 4 months in savings at local bank 2nd tier : 16 months in ROTH contribution at Vanguard (current account value is 40 months expenses) Local savings is low now because we just did lots of house maintenance and paid off the mortgage (all within 6 months), and my son is in his last year of a...
by MathWizard
Mon Jan 09, 2017 2:38 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: AT&T cell: way to avoid paying for spam texts?
Replies: 21
Views: 1407

Re: AT&T cell: way to avoid paying for spam texts?

Consider switching to Tracphone? I have them as my carrier and I don't get charged for texts below my card's minimum. Plus, if I were to get too many, they don't have a way to charge me for them anyhow. I suppose they stop the texts beyond what I pre-paid for. Not 100% sure. I got 1200 texts, 1200 ...
by MathWizard
Mon Jan 09, 2017 2:24 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: AT&T cell: way to avoid paying for spam texts?
Replies: 21
Views: 1407

Re: AT&T cell: way to avoid paying for spam texts?

Consider switching to Tracphone? I have them as my carrier and I don't get charged for texts below my card's minimum. Plus, if I were to get too many, they don't have a way to charge me for them anyhow. I suppose they stop the texts beyond what I pre-paid for. Not 100% sure. I got 1200 texts, 1200 ...
by MathWizard
Mon Jan 09, 2017 2:12 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Alaska cruise - Help me convince my family
Replies: 60
Views: 4266

Re: Alaska cruise - Help me convince my family

Aren't there other places that everyone would like to go? There are lots of places to see in the world,
or even in the continental US. You can't have seen them all.

I don't get to go on lots of vacations, and would not be happy with an
Alaskan vacation.
by MathWizard
Mon Jan 09, 2017 2:01 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Predicting future Net Worth
Replies: 31
Views: 4115

Re: Predicting future Net Worth

If you are near retirement, and the bulk of your networth is invested (not in a can in the backyard)
You should expect compounded returns, so exponential would be more correct than linear.

There are several calculators out there (firecalc for example) which may be better than
making your own.
by MathWizard
Mon Jan 09, 2017 12:33 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Car purchase: Strategy for a car driven occasionally
Replies: 34
Views: 1971

Re: Car purchase: Strategy for a car driven occasionally

Cars wear out both from high mileage and from age. Newer used cars cost more, as do low mileage cars. If you are going to keep the car a long time, you want it newer, so the only way to get it cheaper is to buy one with high miles. Highway miles are easier than in-town miles so if you go used, I'd g...
by MathWizard
Sun Jan 08, 2017 11:46 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Gas Water Heater vs Electric Tankless
Replies: 26
Views: 1898

Re: Gas Water Heater vs Electric Tankless

I looked at it, and electric was much more expensive to run. In addition, the rate of flow was less because gas heat can heat up water faster. A concern was that the gas lines into my house would not provide enough flow for the the on-demand nat. gas water heater, and would need to be upgraded. I ju...
by MathWizard
Fri Jan 06, 2017 8:47 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: What monetary value has your education provided you?
Replies: 107
Views: 5620

Re: What monetary value has your education provided you?

By your calculation, about 40x so far.

Of course, tuition inflation was huge in the 80's.
by MathWizard
Fri Jan 06, 2017 4:31 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Tell me all about snowblowers
Replies: 42
Views: 2630

Re: Tell me all about snowblowers

I've had a 2 stage, electric start for year. My wife won't use it, as it takes to much effort to move around. It will steer easily if I only have a single wheel move, but it gets stuck very easily. So I lock the axles, then have to heave the thing around. This also leave about 1/8 inch of snow on th...
by MathWizard
Fri Jan 06, 2017 1:58 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Global debt is 325% of GDP
Replies: 15
Views: 1248

Re: Global debt is 325% of GDP

See the following Reuters article: http://uk.reuters.com/article/us-global-debt-iif-idUKKBN14O1PQ I have heard it starts to be a problem once debt gets over 100% of GDP. Is it possible that the whole world could have a Japan-like scenario? No. At least not if you mean default. Unless there is a 193...
by MathWizard
Fri Jan 06, 2017 1:11 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Do we need life insurance?
Replies: 18
Views: 1206

Re: Do we need life insurance?

What about your other expenses? If one of you were to die, would the other be able to pay all household expenses for the rest of their life without working? yes This was what got us. If we both died, I had enough ins through work to handle the kids through age 22., but not if just I died. Kudos to ...
by MathWizard
Thu Jan 05, 2017 5:42 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: "Why 97% of People Don't Use 529 College Savings Plans."
Replies: 153
Views: 28876

Re: "Why 97% of People Don't Use 529 College Savings Plans."

General question- If you want to pay for your kids' college, and your first kid will be in college before you are old enough to take penalty-free retirement distributions, how will you pay for it? Do you just plan to cash flow it out of taxable accounts? What if you don't have enough in taxable acc...
by MathWizard
Wed Jan 04, 2017 10:55 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Investing in a Masters and Ph.D?
Replies: 101
Views: 5223

Re: Investing in a Masters and Ph.D?

I would not pursue this, for two reasons. 1) Financially it would not make sense. 2) If you had really wanted this, you would have done it much earlier If it bothers you, realize that not everyone goes to college. The number of people with a 4 year college degree is just over 30%. Only about 1/10th ...
by MathWizard
Tue Jan 03, 2017 6:42 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Do you model where you *should* be? And if so *how*?
Replies: 8
Views: 1102

Re: Do you model where you *should* be? And if so *how*?

Yes, I estimate this, and run a simulation on what the sustainable withdrawals would be for a fixed (real) income after taxes and health care costs. Both the latter are expenses which will vary in retirement, and the health care costs are mostly borne by my employer now, so I exclude them form the c...
by MathWizard
Tue Jan 03, 2017 6:35 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Max It Out Tomorrow [your IRA]
Replies: 116
Views: 10211

Re: Max It Out Tomorrow

I won't be putting in my 2016 contribution until I am figuring my 2016 taxes.
by MathWizard
Tue Jan 03, 2017 10:51 am
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Whats your number to walk away?
Replies: 245
Views: 28011

Re: Whats your number to walk away?

About $1.5 Million today. $1.25 Million minimum in today's dollars, expect to hit this in 3-4 years, somewhat more now. I haven't figured it, but probably about 1.5 Million today. Not going to happen, as I don't play the lottery, and have no rich uncles, so no sense figuring it. Many assumptions ; p...
by MathWizard
Wed Dec 28, 2016 11:00 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Monthly Expenses in line or too much
Replies: 81
Views: 7047

Re: Monthly Expenses in line or too much

We spend about $52K per year. I'm not counting mortgage, vacation, or college expenses for my son, but am counting property and sales taxes, house, auto, and life insurance, medical copays, car replacement fund. We live in a MCOL area. In retirement, we should be able to get rid of term life, and wo...
by MathWizard
Wed Dec 28, 2016 10:31 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: TV in the bedroom?
Replies: 82
Views: 5166

Re: TV in the bedroom?

I would never consider a TV in the bedroom unless one of us was bedridden.
by MathWizard
Tue Dec 27, 2016 10:14 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Bogleheads and stocks picking
Replies: 26
Views: 2087

Re: Bogleheads and stocks picking

I know how to play (American) football, linebacker specifically. I would never try to play against pros, the first time I tangled with a tight-end blocked, I would end up with broken bones. For me, the same analogy applies to stock picking, I'd be going against pros who do this all the time, an have...
by MathWizard
Tue Dec 27, 2016 4:45 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: How do you plan for retirement?
Replies: 32
Views: 2952

Re: How do you plan for retirement?

I estimate what my expenses will be in retirement. Then estimate what income streams I will have (retiring at various ages) (I estimate only 75% of SS estimate to be conservative.) Estimate what I will have to pay in taxes on those expenses (most of my retirement money is tax deferred.) Estimate ave...
by MathWizard
Mon Dec 26, 2016 10:23 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Is it possible to get a used book exchange going here?
Replies: 9
Views: 1001

Re: Is it possible to get a used book exchange going here?

Plenty of other resources out there.

We use our local library.
by MathWizard
Mon Dec 26, 2016 10:22 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Remember what it was like before the recession?
Replies: 81
Views: 8281

Re: Remember what it was like before the recession?

Before the crash, my wife and I knew housing was overpriced. Given that we had a house, and did not plan to sell it anytime soon, we did not see how this affected us. Boy were we mistaken, Mortgage backed securities, with tranches, with high leverage, with credit default swaps were things we had nev...
by MathWizard
Mon Dec 26, 2016 8:16 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Mifi / Hotspot Alternatives?
Replies: 16
Views: 2082

Re: Mifi / Hotspot Alternatives?

Goggle Fi with a Nexus 5x works fine as a hot spot.
$10/Gbyte for data, only if you use it. $20 + fees per month for unlimited talk+text.

The phone was $250 with 32 Gbytes if memory ($200 with 16GBytes)
by MathWizard
Mon Dec 26, 2016 8:13 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Is it possible to graduate from college in 3 years?
Replies: 101
Views: 4670

Re: Is it possible to graduate from college in 3 years?

In Engineering, it is difficult due to pre-reqs. The programs are laid out for 4 years, and have a sequence of courses that you must take in the right order. The person to ask is an advisor at the school, in the major in which you or your child is going. The AP courses give you credit, but typically...
by MathWizard
Mon Dec 26, 2016 2:38 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Analyzing schools for an advanced child
Replies: 65
Views: 4084

Re: Analyzing schools for an advanced child

Maybe I was crazy, but part of my decision on where to work and live was based on the schools. It has the reputation as the best public school systems in on of the top rated states on the basis of average college entrance exams. The system is not perfect, but is far superior to the one I went to. We...
by MathWizard
Fri Dec 23, 2016 9:34 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Should I Buy an IPhone 5S?
Replies: 36
Views: 3138

Re: Should I Buy an IPhone 5S?

I just bought 2 of them. 1 for my wife, 1 for me. $200 at Target brand-new.

They likely will not run the latest IOS after 6 years. My iPod Touch is 6 years old now, and does
not run the latest IOS.

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