Search found 2240 matches

by MathWizard
Wed Sep 28, 2016 3:23 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: The Trouble with "Buy and Hold"
Replies: 130
Views: 9353

Re: The Trouble with "Buy and Hold"

OP, More power to you if you can find a way to make better money in equities than buying and holding a low cost market index fund, especially for passive investing. I can't. There are two parts to making money in the stock market. 1) Gains due to the income earned by businesses make actual products ...
by MathWizard
Mon Sep 26, 2016 3:20 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: College advice
Replies: 33
Views: 2092

Re: College advice

You've gotten lots of good advice so far. I'll just weigh in on the SAT. The 3.975 (assuming on a 4.0 scale) seems inconsistent with an 1100 SAT. SAT: This can be a high pressure test. Students should definitely get a good night's sleep before it. I had my son let the band leader know he would not b...
by MathWizard
Fri Sep 23, 2016 8:18 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Cosigning a new car lease for sister out of state
Replies: 71
Views: 3411

Re: Cosigning a new car lease for sister out of state

POA to a person you've never met???? I would never do so. The person doing so is looking out only for their own interests. The first rule of helping someone is to not endanger yourself doing so. It was a calculated move that they delivered the car. They delivered the car so that if you backed out yo...
by MathWizard
Thu Sep 22, 2016 6:43 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Small smartphone recommendation? Anyone use a BLU?
Replies: 27
Views: 1994

Re: Small smartphone recommendation? Anyone use a BLU?

Two tracfone phones: https://www.amazon.com/LG-Optimus-Dynamic-II-Tracfone/dp/B00HPX2NTG a 3.8 inch 3g smartphone for $29 A little better, more powerful phone, with both front and back cameras: https://www.amazon.com/Ultimate-Android-Prepaid-Minutes-Tracfone/dp/B00PG0D3GW/ref=pd_lpo_107_tr_t_3?ie=UT...
by MathWizard
Wed Sep 21, 2016 12:58 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: "Women and Investing" class offered by Employer
Replies: 83
Views: 5598

Re: "Women and Investing" class offered by Employer

I see no problem with employer benefit sessions, but I have attended several of sessions. This was with TIAA-CREF advisors and HR benefit reps, and the session was informative of the different options, and limits on contributions, no high pressure sell. I do avoid those of advisors who invite you fo...
by MathWizard
Tue Sep 20, 2016 8:08 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Recommendation on Tax Preparation Software
Replies: 26
Views: 1748

Re: Recommendation on Tax Preparation Software

I use TurboTax. My son does his taxes with my version as well. You can use it of up to 5 people.\

I have state income taxes, so I use the deluxe version. I think it is $60.
Fairly cheap compared to a CPA.
by MathWizard
Tue Sep 20, 2016 4:08 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Are Roth contributions the right thing to do?
Replies: 8
Views: 1149

Re: Are Roth contributions the right thing to do?

Since you asked what I would do: The flaw in this for me is that I have no TIra balance, all my IRAs are ROTH. I have plenty of tax deferred in my 403b, I need ROTH to provide some tax diversification. I'm also on the 15/25% line, when maxing out my wife's and my 403b's, so I don't want to contribut...
by MathWizard
Tue Sep 20, 2016 2:31 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Ideas for adult brothers vacation
Replies: 24
Views: 1720

Re: Ideas for adult brothers vacation

Bannf and Jasper National parks in Canada.

There's skiing, Lake Louise, Jasper has the Athabasca Glacier that you can walk up
or be driven to the top.

I don't know about the weather in March to May.
by MathWizard
Tue Sep 20, 2016 12:36 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Inheritance Plan Help
Replies: 19
Views: 1807

Re: Inheritance Plan Help

I'm not sure what significant means, but you can word it in both of your wills that your spouse get all assets except for $X that is to be given to your daughter, and if your spouse has predeceased you, then daughter gets 100% of estate. Or you could do 10% to daughter 90% to spouse instead of a fix...
by MathWizard
Tue Sep 20, 2016 11:08 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: How do you view money over and above your number?
Replies: 47
Views: 4365

Re: How do you view money over and above your number?

The most likely outcome of using the 4% rule is that you end up with more money than you started with, since only in the worst case scenario do you end up with a portfolio of 0. Given that this is typically caused by a poor sequence of returns early on, I would use half of the extra for discretionar...
by MathWizard
Tue Sep 20, 2016 11:02 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Do you really need 2.5 million to retire well?
Replies: 247
Views: 38280

Re: Do you really need 2.5 million to retire well?

Maybe I can compare having more money with delaying social security claim. Why do people delay claiming social security until 70 if they might end up dead before 70? They do this because it is more likely by a longshot they will not end up dead before 70 than that they will. You can explore the dat...
by MathWizard
Mon Sep 19, 2016 10:41 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Is there a point when a used car is too used to be worth buying?
Replies: 43
Views: 3191

Re: Is there a point when a used car is too used to be worth buying?

I can buy older cars because I can fairly accurately judge the quality of a used car. I've worked on cars for 40 years, rebuilding engines and transmissions and doing body work myself. My newest car is a 2002 that I bought 2 years ago. I make sure that I keep them in good shape, fixing things immedi...
by MathWizard
Mon Sep 19, 2016 10:30 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Education cost and kids
Replies: 64
Views: 4507

Re: Education cost and kids

If the kids take loans, that isn't really "skin in the game", because they have not felt the pain of repaying yet. Our kids happened to both want to go to the flagship Univ. in the city where we live. They both had good experiences with professors and retired professors who were fellow chu...
by MathWizard
Mon Sep 19, 2016 12:24 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: RMDs
Replies: 11
Views: 1232

Re: RMDs

.... However, can one spouse (MFJ) pull the entire RMD of both spouses from one plan, perhaps to close out a smaller account or one with inferior choices? Ralph You can't mix between spouses, but if the problem is that you spouse has inferior choices, wouldn't it be better to have the spouse do a r...
by MathWizard
Sat Sep 17, 2016 5:19 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Sawzall and Batt Operated tools questions?
Replies: 25
Views: 1086

Re: Sawzall and Batt Opertated tools questions?

For the branches, I would get a 7 inch electric pole saw. I use a plugin one which has plenty of power. This way I'm on the ground, not on a ladder or on a branch cutting. I also have sawzallls (again plugin) which I something use for brush, but mostly for demolition in carpentry projects. You get a...
by MathWizard
Fri Sep 16, 2016 2:02 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Keys to a Successful Retirement
Replies: 55
Views: 6652

Re: Keys to a Successful Retirement

While I will agree that Bobcat2's advice to work until at least 64 may not apply to everyone in this group, This is probably good advice for most ordinary people. To move back just one year make the nest egg you need much larger. You lose one year's return when your nest egg is huge. You pay all you...
by MathWizard
Fri Sep 16, 2016 11:42 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Am I making the right decision? [staying at current job]
Replies: 13
Views: 874

Re: Am I making the right decision?

Is the partnership assured? Do you have to pay anything to become a partner?

If the answers are yes and no resp. they the answered is an unqualified GO and don't look back.
If not, then more info is required.
by MathWizard
Thu Sep 15, 2016 4:20 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Do you really need 2.5 million to retire well?
Replies: 247
Views: 38280

Re: Do you really need 2.5 million to retire well?

My wife and I should have FI at about 62/63 with no debt, a paid off house and about half that amount (1.25 Million invested). This assumes only 75% of estimated SS benefits (taking SS at 70 for me, at SS at FRA for her which gives best longevity insurance) I would certainly need more if I did not t...
by MathWizard
Wed Sep 14, 2016 8:30 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: What details about personal finance do you share with your kids?
Replies: 20
Views: 1555

Re: What details about personal finance do you share with your kids?

I would be more concerned with why he was asking.

As a consultant, I often get asked something, but what they need is really something else.
I often ask, what do you really want to do?

In this case, why do you ask? What do you really want to know?
by MathWizard
Wed Sep 14, 2016 4:25 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Favorite Coffee
Replies: 137
Views: 8059

Re: Favorite Coffee

Folger's / Butternut at home. If I'm wild, mix in a little hazelnut.

On the road, use a thermos, when that runs out, McDonald's.
by MathWizard
Wed Sep 14, 2016 4:23 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: What's the smallest signup bonus that you'd take on a new credit card?
Replies: 27
Views: 1823

Re: What's the smallest signup bonus that you'd take on a new credit card?

I've passed on $150 and $200, and bit on $300 and $500. So probably $250 to $300. These are regular credit cards, not store cards. I would have considered a 15% bonus for signing up if I could have for a construction project with $5K in materials, but otherwise I just blow by the store cards signup ...
by MathWizard
Wed Sep 14, 2016 9:56 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: 16 GB or 64 GB? [for iPhone SE]
Replies: 25
Views: 1674

Re: 16 GB or 64 GB?

I've gotten by with 32GB fine, with a couple dozen TV shows on it plus podcasts and music and pictures.
The video is by far the largest segment.
by MathWizard
Tue Sep 13, 2016 2:08 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Explaining college tuition increases
Replies: 27
Views: 1667

Re: Explaining college tuition increases

Note that the article blames an inflation adjusted decrease in PER STUDENT state support. If you look at the Florida state system enrollment, for example, https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/State_University_System_of_Florida You will see enrollment increased from about 241K to 341 from 2000 to 2014, so i...
by MathWizard
Mon Sep 12, 2016 12:39 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Why wouldn't I leverage X5 on a 10/90 portfolio like this?
Replies: 23
Views: 2251

Re: Why wouldn't I leverage X5 on a 10/90 portfolio like this?

That’s the whole idea. I “wouldn’t care” to lose 90% of the portfolio if results are finally ok. You do know what a margin call is, right? CppCoder beat me to it. Op, You are looking at the return over a year, but the worst case within that year would likely be larger in which case you could lose e...
by MathWizard
Mon Sep 12, 2016 12:32 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Best Flashlight to keep in home for emergency
Replies: 56
Views: 3601

Re: Best Flashlight to keep in home for emergency

I have a small plugin LED light that goes into an outlet, and stays off while power is active and comes on when the power goes out. The power does not go out often, but this helps avoid stubbed toes when going for a longer lasting light. The small plugin is something like this. http://www.batteryjun...
by MathWizard
Mon Sep 12, 2016 12:21 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Is anyone else feeling courageous enough to buy today?
Replies: 90
Views: 6460

Re: Is anyone else feeling courageous enough to buy today?

I don't get paid till the end of the month. Otherwise I'm fully invested other than my EF.
Better to just stay in the market.
by MathWizard
Sun Sep 11, 2016 5:33 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: So being 40 is "old" in the high tech business?
Replies: 129
Views: 9225

Re: So being 40 is "old" in the high tech business?

I'm well over 40 and in high tech. I've had a single employer, but several "jobs". About every 5-7 years, I'm doing essentially an entirely different job. I basically do whatever it takes to make my employer and my clients successful, always trying to move in the direction of the most valu...
by MathWizard
Sun Sep 11, 2016 4:28 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: 2006 mazda miata for daughter, 42k miles, $10k?
Replies: 64
Views: 4110

Re: 2006 mazda miata for daughter, 42k miles, $10k?

Yes, the Miata would be a fun car for her to drive, but I would worry about safety with a small convertible. Also, she would end up driving more since her friends would want to be seen in a cool car. My boys drove minivans and old 4 door buicks. Both very safe. I remembered when I was their age and ...
by MathWizard
Fri Sep 09, 2016 9:12 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: map frustration
Replies: 76
Views: 3839

Re: map frustration

I used to use Mapquest and Rand McNally before that. I still use the Atlas for planning trips. I love my Garmin which is an LMT model, Lifetime Maps and Traffic It shows the lanes to use to exit (sometimes its to the left or even middle lane) which I would never guess. It also shows traffic alerts, ...
by MathWizard
Thu Sep 08, 2016 5:44 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: What life lessons are key for children?
Replies: 10
Views: 905

Re: What life lessons are key for children?

Folks: What are key life lessons that you were/are teaching your kids at different ages? I have 2 boys (2.5 years and 8 months). As every parent, I want the best for them. I am a naturalized citizen. I am particularly interested in perspectives from folks who have older kids 20+ years old. Sub ques...
by MathWizard
Tue Sep 06, 2016 6:13 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: How much is your cell phone bill?
Replies: 164
Views: 10597

Re: How much is your cell phone bill?

$100/year
Tracfone 1200 min + 1200 texts + 1200 Mbytes per year for 100/yr.

Just signed up for Google Fi, and will try that as an upgrade, since my smartphone is a little slow at 3G,
but gets great call reception almost anywhere in the country.
by MathWizard
Sun Sep 04, 2016 10:06 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: The Big Short
Replies: 196
Views: 23803

Re: The Big Short

I finally got my library hold of The Big Short , and I think certain enablers have gotten off easy. Here's a copy of The Big Short script , and this is what I'm talking about: JARED ...when the market deems some bond too risky to buy, what do you think happens to it? We just warehouse them on our b...
by MathWizard
Fri Sep 02, 2016 2:32 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Magazines for young readers....
Replies: 18
Views: 1397

Re: Magazines for young readers....

For our boys, ZooBooks was a hit.
Each month focused on a single animal.
by MathWizard
Fri Sep 02, 2016 2:27 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Anyone have perspective on dealing with mixed emotions after an inheritance?
Replies: 28
Views: 2621

Re: Anyone have perspective on dealing with mixed emotions after an inheritance?

I'm sure your dad would not want the money to cause you trouble. If you don't have need of the money, lock it away somewhere separate from the rest of your finances until you can deal with it. Think of it as a huge safety net. This may give you a way to handle the much more important issue of grief.
by MathWizard
Tue Aug 30, 2016 7:10 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Unearned Income v. Earned Income Tipping Point
Replies: 8
Views: 819

Re: Unearned Income v. Earned Income Tipping Point

The only negative to earned income (other than having to earn it) would be FICA taxes once your SS benefits of not increase (or increase very much). With earned income, you and your employer pay 6.2% each on up to $118K and 1.45% each with no income limit. If you are self employed, you pay both halv...
by MathWizard
Tue Aug 30, 2016 10:19 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Can we get by without permanent life insurance?
Replies: 85
Views: 5348

Re: Can we get by without permanent life insurance?

... Many forum participants are more concerned than most people about providing for their families financial security. This I agree with. The subject of having a will, term life and disability ins. sufficient to provide for their families comes up often. Liability and umbrella ins. and LTCi also co...
by MathWizard
Sun Aug 28, 2016 12:46 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Roth for Emergency Fund
Replies: 9
Views: 807

Re: Roth for Emergency Fund

patrick013 wrote:Haven't heard this mentioned very often.

Roth IRA Double Duty As Emergency and Retirement Account


Many people here use a multi-tiered EF.
by MathWizard
Thu Aug 25, 2016 4:30 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: should a student invest for retirement?
Replies: 13
Views: 1092

Re: should a student invest for retirement?

The student has debt and money to invest?

I understand keeping an EF while still borrowing money, but if had money above an EF, I would use
it for schooling, not for investing. Maybe even go summers to get out faster and earn "the big bucks".
by MathWizard
Tue Aug 23, 2016 4:35 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Did you use Real Estate to build wealth?
Replies: 45
Views: 3609

Re: Did you use Real Estate to build wealth?

No. I used the stock market.

Real Estate can be capital intensive, and there are property taxes and insurance costs.
I like buying into a business where there are people working to make the business profitable.

I think you only hear about the winners in the real estate market, not the losers.
by MathWizard
Tue Aug 23, 2016 4:28 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: cost to build a deck?
Replies: 10
Views: 1020

Re: cost to build a deck?

I strongly recommend against using pressure treated wood, except for maybe the posts. Spend the money on cedar. Pressure treated wood tends to warp really badly. My wife and I just redid a 10 by 12 deck, a month ago. Materials ran around $1000, all cedar with some pressure treated joists underneath...
by MathWizard
Mon Aug 22, 2016 5:35 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Tips for a 1000 miles car trip with toddler and baby
Replies: 100
Views: 4102

Re: Tips for a 1000 miles car trip with toddler and baby

Reading this thread is a real eye-opener. If it were just me (and possibly other adults) making this trip, I'd do it all in one day. At 70mph, that's 14 hours. Stop twice for gas and bathroom no more than 10 minutes each stop. A long day, sure, but definitely doable. Do kids really need to stop eve...
by MathWizard
Mon Aug 22, 2016 2:57 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: How do you view debt?
Replies: 108
Views: 6556

Re: How do you view debt?

Debt is leverage, and amplifies risk, so I avoid it in general. I only use debt when there is something far more valuable that the debt can allow me to do. 1) Higher Education: I used debt to get myself a PhD, increasing my human capital greatly. 2) Car: In grad school, I was teaching and needed a m...
by MathWizard
Sun Aug 21, 2016 11:21 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: How much do you spend on coffee/tea?
Replies: 58
Views: 2662

Re: How much do you spend on coffee/tea?

About $15-20 / month between my wife and I.
by MathWizard
Sat Aug 20, 2016 3:03 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Credit Card Fraud: How many times is 'normal'?
Replies: 24
Views: 1389

Re: Credit Card Fraud: How many times is 'normal'?

Never in 30 years, but I don't use a CC except for travel. Almost never use one at a restaurant.
by MathWizard
Thu Aug 18, 2016 10:30 pm
Forum: Forum Issues and Administration
Topic: Improving the Bogleheads forum
Replies: 86
Views: 6504

Re: Improving the Bogleheads forum

A more specific suggestion pertinent to investing would be more actionable. Unfortunately, most suggestions are "I liked this feature in another forum, use it here too" without regard to the amount of improvement vs. effort expended. I think that the wiki is underutilized by most posters, ...
by MathWizard
Thu Aug 18, 2016 8:35 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: What is 4 more years of work worth? (Retirement Question)
Replies: 38
Views: 3620

Re: What is 4 more years of work worth? (Retirement Question)

If he wants to keep working, he could retire to get the pension, then take jobs as a sub. teacher.
This won't increase his pension, but he gets the money from working.
by MathWizard
Wed Aug 17, 2016 9:59 am
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Why are bonds taxed more than stocks?
Replies: 29
Views: 3547

Re: Why are bonds taxed more than stocks?

I've long given up on determining logical reasons for the tax code.

There are justifications, but what is done is what a majority of house and senate members
decided which did not get vetoed by the sitting president.

If you want to know, I'd ask your representatives in Congress.
by MathWizard
Mon Aug 15, 2016 2:41 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: FICO Scores: Which one do you get?
Replies: 39
Views: 8246

Re: FICO Scores: Which one do you get?

Chase now offers one for free. I forget which version of the card, since I now have several
different chase cards.
by MathWizard
Mon Aug 15, 2016 2:12 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Using Roth rollover as bridge loan -- is this possible?
Replies: 5
Views: 575

Re: Using Roth rollover as bridge loan -- is this possible?

I'd worry about getting caught on the 60 day window. You might be able to avoid that if the place you roll over to is into an IRA MM fund at your local bank, which you open before hand. How big a down-payment do you need? We could swing a 10% downpayment for anything we'd buy out of the first tier E...
by MathWizard
Sat Aug 13, 2016 4:35 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Do you wash your car yourself, or have it done?
Replies: 96
Views: 5847

Re: Do you wash your car yourself, or have it done?

Is it bad to not wash your car? I have an 07' Accord and almost never wash it. It doesn't have any rust on it. At least none I can see :happy My kids occasionally wash it and I expect that's where all the little scratches have come from as I've seen the long brush being dragged across the driveway ...

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