Search found 2407 matches

by MathWizard
Wed Mar 29, 2017 11:51 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Advice for Used Car Buying
Replies: 26
Views: 1821

Re: Advice for Used Car Buying

I've bought lots of used cars.

When you've settled on a car, take down the VIN, and get a CarFax report for it.
Not a total guarantee, but it should help you avoid cars that have been in an accident
that you didn't know about.
by MathWizard
Wed Mar 29, 2017 11:41 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Not opting for 529... anyone else?
Replies: 84
Views: 4087

Re: Not opting for 529... anyone else?

I used maxed ROTHs ($2K/person at the time) to save for college, but never used them (I cash-flowed instead). The advantage was that ROTHs could be used for retirement, and the contributions could also double as a 2nd tier emergency fund. (The double duty of the ROTH much more important when the kid...
by MathWizard
Thu Mar 23, 2017 9:26 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: How did you do your income taxes?
Replies: 96
Views: 3612

Re: How did you do your income taxes?

TurboTax Deluxe (State Income Taxes)
by MathWizard
Wed Mar 22, 2017 7:09 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Anyone else taking less risk
Replies: 115
Views: 9324

Re: Anyone else taking less risk

Reduced from essentially 100% equities to 80/20 as I am nearing retirement. My spouse and I talked and she was wondering when we should start to switch to some bonds, so it seemed as good a time as ever to reduce equity risk. I like it when we are both on the same page. 80/20 is not that much differ...
by MathWizard
Tue Mar 21, 2017 6:00 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Recommended emergency fund for middle class households: $13,800
Replies: 64
Views: 6431

Re: Recommended emergency fund for middle class households: $13,800

I'm curious how many months of expenses the average Boglehead keeps in an emergency fund, and where they keep it. We have five months earmarked within a Roth IRA plus two months earmarked in a high yield savings account; we add to the savings account bucket each month. We fluctuate between 3 to 6 m...
by MathWizard
Mon Mar 20, 2017 5:56 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Recommended emergency fund for middle class households: $13,800
Replies: 64
Views: 6431

Re: Recommended emergency fund for middle class households: $13,800

I'm curious how many months of expenses the average Boglehead keeps in an emergency fund, and where they keep it. We have five months earmarked within a Roth IRA plus two months earmarked in a high yield savings account; we add to the savings account bucket each month. We fluctuate between 3 to 6 m...
by MathWizard
Sun Mar 19, 2017 1:17 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: cost of Solar Power
Replies: 95
Views: 6249

Re: cost of Solar Power

You are In Maryland, I would suggest looking into how much snow would be on the roof,
and hence on your solar panels, during the winter. That may greatly affect your payback time.
by MathWizard
Fri Mar 17, 2017 9:53 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Emergency Fund
Replies: 16
Views: 1377

Re: Emergency Fund

I always write on these threads about keeping your emergency fund invested in the market. If you can build your "fund" to 200% of what you need then you can withstand a 50% drawdown and still be even or less if you don't have everything in stocks. Betterment did a paper on it recommending...
by MathWizard
Wed Mar 15, 2017 12:16 am
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Don't let your political views impact your investment strategy
Replies: 28
Views: 3774

Re: Don't let your political views impact your investment strategy

I agree with the article, but I disagree with one of the supporting points. In the article, you mention that those who sold after the election "missed the bull market" . The problem is that this is really looking over a very short time span of just 4 months. Prices may be rising, but I do...
by MathWizard
Wed Mar 15, 2017 12:02 am
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Do you avoid international investing like Jack Bogle?
Replies: 151
Views: 7451

Re: Do you avoid international investing like Jack Bogle?

Yes, but only because I can't quantify the
Currency risk
Political risk, and
I don't understand or keep abreast of the laws in other countries.
by MathWizard
Mon Mar 13, 2017 11:39 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: IRA and college savings advice needed
Replies: 38
Views: 1528

Re: IRA and college savings advice needed

Do you have a flexible benefits plan at work for daycare expenses and medical expenses. You are in the 25% tax bracket, so you could be save several hundred there. You are young yet. You probably just got done paying off your student loans. You need reliable & safe vehicles, but I wouldn't go wi...
by MathWizard
Mon Mar 13, 2017 11:11 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: When should you replace a vehicle?
Replies: 52
Views: 3865

Re: When should you replace a vehicle?

I never keep an unreliable car. My wife and I have 3 vehicles, one of which my son drives. I would not hesitate to take any of the 3 on a coast to coast trip. We are at 135K, 116K and 75K, all at least 15 years old. We'll probably be looking within the year to replace the highest milage vehicle. I t...
by MathWizard
Mon Mar 13, 2017 10:55 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Don't let your political views impact your investment strategy
Replies: 28
Views: 3774

Re: Don't let your political views impact your investment strategy

http://www.etf.com/sections/index-investor-corner/swedroe-political-biases-can-impact-your-investing Even I have been surprised at how much of an impact this has had on investor perceptions of market outlook. Hope you find it helpful Larry I agree with the article, but I disagree with one of the su...
by MathWizard
Mon Mar 13, 2017 5:55 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Tell me about Smart TVs and cutting cable
Replies: 101
Views: 7274

Re: Tell me about Smart TVs and cutting cable

I was fine with 2 HD's streaming netflix on a 13 Mbit calble internet. I upgraded to 50Mbit (for $5/month) when they started charging me $10 for going less than 50 GB over a 250 GB data cap. The 50 Mbit subscription doubled my data cap, so I have faster internet, but didn't really need it, as much a...
by MathWizard
Mon Mar 13, 2017 5:50 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: web access in a power failure
Replies: 21
Views: 1472

Re: web access in a power failure

I bought a Google Nexus5x for Project Fi. $23/month for unlimited talk/text + $10 for each GB of data you use. No charge for data if you don't use any. Unlike most other plans, you don't pay extra to use it as a wifi hotspot. So on the rare occasion that my internet connection goes out, I use use th...
by MathWizard
Sun Mar 12, 2017 9:49 am
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Is there such a thing as tax loss harvesting if you are a boglehead?
Replies: 27
Views: 1827

Re: Is there such a thing as tax loss harvesting if you are a boglehead?

I've never had a chance to TLH.

All my money goes into tax advantaged accounts, rather than taxable, which I think is preferable.

I would do so if I could.
by MathWizard
Sun Mar 12, 2017 12:07 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: What to do about a bad neighbor in same unit -- both renters of same landlord.
Replies: 43
Views: 4758

Re: What to do about a bad neighbor in same unit -- both renters of same landlord.

If feasible, you may want to consider moving to a single family residential neighborhood which is
not zoned for renting.

I've found that when people own the place, they are more responsible. (Or maybe the causation is the other way.)
by MathWizard
Sat Mar 11, 2017 11:23 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Anyone sorry they used bonds when starting out
Replies: 94
Views: 6696

Re: Anyone sorry they used bonds when starting out

No, I don't regret it.

The first 6 years I was 50/50. I didn't know what I was doing, and didn't know anyone who invested.
That allocation allowed me to learn, and huge avoid mistakes.

I went to 100% equities for all new purchases.
I just recently went to 80/20 as I am nearing retirement.
by MathWizard
Tue Mar 07, 2017 6:57 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: how often do you shrug at your IPS? [Investment policy statement]
Replies: 50
Views: 3695

Re: how often do you shrug at your IPS?

We don't have a formal IPS. Basically, we have two short-term highly liquid funds, and long term funds #1 ST normal variation in expenditures, prop tax due, insurance due, vacation. #2 ST in brick and mortar Credit Union: unplanned expenses or opportunities: car dies, work sends me somewhere and my ...
by MathWizard
Tue Mar 07, 2017 6:37 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: 50/50 Split of Inheritance for Brothers in 28% and 10% Bracket
Replies: 22
Views: 1334

Re: 50/50 Split of Inheritance for Brothers in 28% and 10% Bracket

You will need to determine whether the trust was drawn up as a simple trust or a complex trust. This also affects the tax return. From page 3 of https://www.irs.gov/pub/irs-tege/eotopicf01.pdf Tax Law Concepts A. Simple Trust A simple trust must distribute all its income currently. Generally, it can...
by MathWizard
Mon Mar 06, 2017 7:34 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: At what age did you drop life and disability insurance?
Replies: 56
Views: 3409

Re: At what age did you drop life and disability insurance?

Keeping both until retired (likely sometime in early to mid 60's). Disability will go when I retire. Term, I might consider keeping half my current benefit a few years into retirement, depending on price, since the loss of one of us means the loss of the smaller SS check. I'll run some scenarios wit...
by MathWizard
Mon Mar 06, 2017 2:24 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: How much do you spend on food in a year?
Replies: 155
Views: 6943

Re: How much do you spend on food in a year?

Between $6K and $7K/yr spent as grocery store, that include paper & cleaning products. Family of 3, son is a vegan, which surprisingly adds to the budget. We also make pack lunches, and make meals for homeless shelter once a month, so that adds a few hundred a year. We don't eat out much.
by MathWizard
Sun Mar 05, 2017 11:37 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: London (UK) Recommendations – Theater, Comedy, Tea, Activities
Replies: 8
Views: 633

Re: London (UK) Recommendations – Theater, Comedy, Tea, Activities

We are planning a London trip for 2 months later. We depend on Rick Steves' books for European vacations. Major London things: Globe theater, a reproduction in London with Shakespeare plays that you can attend. Churchill War rooms British museum We'll also visit Bath. We also plan to go to Dublin us...
by MathWizard
Sun Mar 05, 2017 11:25 am
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: How to 'deal' with large swings in withdrawals when using VPW?
Replies: 26
Views: 1782

Re: How to 'deal' with large swings in withdrawals when using VPW?

The "kids mope about" will not be an issue with me. Only my wife and I will need to be considered. Both of use are adults and understand finances. In retirement, I will not be supporting my kids. The best gift that I can give my kids is not to have to support their parents financially in r...
by MathWizard
Thu Mar 02, 2017 10:12 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Should I get term insurance for spouse ?
Replies: 23
Views: 1375

Re: Should I get term insurance for spouse ?

Grieve for six to twelve months! Not to seem insensitive, but that seems like a very long time... Is this a cultural thing? Wow! I'm from a fairly stoic stock, but loss of a spouse while still having minor children hits pretty hard. 2 of my grandparents had this happen to them, as well as my mother...
by MathWizard
Mon Feb 27, 2017 4:27 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Where to start - converting from generator/UPS to more reasonable solar / powerwall?
Replies: 53
Views: 3448

Re: Where to start - converting from generator/UPS to more reasonable solar / powerwall?

15 year old but barely used G75F1S Olympian (Caterpillar) generator set, producing 63 kW from natural gas, :shock: That's not a whole house backup that's a whole village backup. If you must have a backup the reasonable way to do it is to put in a 5kW or 10kW generator and prioritize the loads. The ...
by MathWizard
Mon Feb 27, 2017 1:15 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Do Boglehead DIY or Pay a Professional?
Replies: 95
Views: 6987

Re: Do Boglehead DIY or Pay a Professional?

OP, You sound just like me. I've always done most everything, rebuilding engines, brake jobs, roof tear-off and re-roof, changed out windows, remodeled several bathrooms over the years, built a new shed, new patio, landscaping, cutting down big trees, I stopped doing oil changes a while ago, noting ...
by MathWizard
Mon Feb 27, 2017 1:02 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: New role inside the company - what would you choose?
Replies: 14
Views: 1696

Re: New role inside the company - what would you choose?

I'd go for #1, but I'm pretty family oriented, and it likely cost me in my career. When the kids are young, 60% travel would be lots of time away. I managed to keep it to one or three weeks a year travel. Barring a catastrophe, I will retire with a standard of living much like I have now, maybe even...
by MathWizard
Sat Feb 25, 2017 5:39 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: mom wants smart phone, are there classes on how to use?
Replies: 40
Views: 2377

Re: mom wants smart phone, are there classes on how to use?

As a newbie of 2 months of smartphone (a too-small-screen cheapie TracFone), I still made good use of Google Maps on a trip in order to find out exactly where I was and where I wanted to go. I may go on to bigger and better, or leave it at that using mostly other "computers" when WiFi is ...
by MathWizard
Fri Feb 24, 2017 1:07 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: new study on Investor behavior being disconnected from financial theory and reality
Replies: 89
Views: 5602

Re: new study on Investor behavior being disconnected from financial theory and reality

In a tax advantaged account, I agree that total return are all that counts. However, it is only that our tax system treating income differently that causes a preference to long-term Capital Gains vs. dividends. 1) Dividends are "forced income" which may not be wanted at that time, as that ...
by MathWizard
Thu Feb 23, 2017 1:52 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Does anyone else have (possibly too much) fun dealing with finances?
Replies: 69
Views: 4927

Re: Does anyone else have (possibly too much) fun dealing with finances?

I find it satisfying, exerting control over my future,
but I would not call it fun, just necessary.

My wife thinks that I think about it too much, but I have been in situations
where I could not say "stuff it" when having to choose
between family and work.
by MathWizard
Wed Feb 22, 2017 7:11 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Household budget trim: next up is cell phone plan
Replies: 30
Views: 2779

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: 93
Views: 5572

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: 19
Views: 2185

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: 8356

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: 232
Views: 10616

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: 88
Views: 6700

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: 15484

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: 2760

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: 6468

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: 6020

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: 2384

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: 3777

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: 3974

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: 9133

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: 2279

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: 4317

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: 1811

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: 5695

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: 6475

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...

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