Search found 1979 matches

by MathWizard
Sat Dec 12, 2015 2:42 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Boglehead cell phone strategy
Replies: 143
Views: 14236

Re: Boglehead cell phone strategy

I use a tracfone with an android phone on a pay as you go plan. Quite cheap for low use, and mainly use wifi for data. The phone (LG Optimus Dynamic II) is $50 to $129 depending on where you get it. $100 per year minimum for service. That's what I have and use. I just added 365 days, 1200 minutes, ...
by MathWizard
Fri Dec 11, 2015 3:02 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Budgeting For An Emergency Fund?
Replies: 24
Views: 1505

Re: Budgeting For An Emergency Fund?

Your taxable account is your EF. Whether you invest your EF conservatively or not is up to you. If the AA is aggressive, I would suggest making the EF twice as big as you would for a conservative AA. (I do that.) The even if the market drops 50%, you have "enough". This is another way of ...
by MathWizard
Fri Dec 11, 2015 2:57 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Do I have enough for financial independence?
Replies: 32
Views: 5198

Re: Do I have enough for financial independence?

Yes you do.

(Reply window would not let me reply with just yes.)
by MathWizard
Fri Dec 11, 2015 1:39 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Budgeting For An Emergency Fund?
Replies: 24
Views: 1505

Re: Budgeting For An Emergency Fund?

Your taxable account is your EF. Whether you invest your EF conservatively or not is up to you.
If the AA is aggressive, I would suggest making the EF twice as big as you would for a conservative AA.
(I do that.) The even if the market drops 50%, you have "enough".
by MathWizard
Thu Dec 10, 2015 5:46 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Passport Renewal
Replies: 29
Views: 3504

Re: Passport Renewal

Don't wait till you need it, renew it well before you need it.
by MathWizard
Thu Dec 10, 2015 5:37 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: How much money should I leave my kids?
Replies: 59
Views: 5813

Re: How much money should I leave my kids?

I set up my will so that in the case my wife and I both died, a trust would take care of the money until they were 25. Mostly because I could imagine what kind of trouble I'd have gotten into if I'd been handed hundreds of thousand when I turned 18. I'd probably have died racing corvettes on county ...
by MathWizard
Wed Dec 09, 2015 6:13 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: New [Need] help undoing damage
Replies: 33
Views: 2493

Re: New [Need] help undoing damage

Can't help with insurance, but your plan looks good on the other stuff. What is a non-retirement IRA in your children's name? If it is an inherited IRA, I wonder if you should drain it now while you are in a lower tax bracket. Growth Allocation Fund–Class A (FGTIX): Total operating expenses-1.34%, ...
by MathWizard
Wed Dec 09, 2015 5:51 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Wade Pfau on Reverse Mortgages
Replies: 41
Views: 3954

Re: Wade Pfau on Reverse Mortgages

The idea of a RM is to try to get away from having a huge amount of an un-diversified illiquid asset as part of your net worth. It would seems to be a better strategy to downsize into a handicap accessible apartment which would have all necessary services provided. I do almost all standard work and ...
by MathWizard
Tue Dec 08, 2015 11:03 am
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Wife uncomfortable investing in taxable account
Replies: 41
Views: 2222

Re: Wife uncomfortable investing in taxable account

This is similar for me. The tax breaks of tax advantaged accounts seems to weigh heavily for my wife. I assume you are maxing retirement accounts before investing in taxable. My wife would rather pay off the house than invest in taxable. I like having the money to pay off the house, but would like t...
by MathWizard
Tue Dec 08, 2015 10:53 am
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: 529 plan actual experience
Replies: 11
Views: 1114

Re: 529 plan actual experience

529 plans are easy to use. You are responsible for whether expenses are for qualified expenses or not. You can't get Education tax credits and use 529 money for the same qualified expenses. However, housing is/was a qualified credit for 529's while not for tuition, so you can use 529 plans for the h...
by MathWizard
Tue Dec 08, 2015 1:34 am
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Childrens' Student Loans Delaying Retirement
Replies: 153
Views: 10083

Re: Childrens' Student Loans Delaying Retirement

.... Oh boy, where do I begin! This will be the longest post ever, but hopefully helpful to you and maybe other parents out there. This is strictly my experience, not a suggestion on how to raise your kids. Snowman, excellent post. It sounds like your kids are doing well, and that says a lot about ...
by MathWizard
Tue Dec 08, 2015 12:11 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: use cash only? sick of debit card
Replies: 36
Views: 2438

Re: use cash only? sick of debit card

I would love to just use cash all the time, and may try to do this. Does anybody here use cash , and not carry any debit cards? It sure seems safer, and I like the anonymity of it, my name is never known or seen with cash no matter where I am (for somebody to commit possible fraud). To answer your ...
by MathWizard
Mon Dec 07, 2015 7:23 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Does my stepmom have to file a will?
Replies: 20
Views: 1481

Re: Does my stepmom have to file a will?

You should probably check with a lawyer. Much depends on the state For info from the internet, try http://www.nolo.com/legal-encyclopedia/intestate-succession If a will has not been produced, intestate succession would be followed. If nolo.com is correct, then if all assets in the estate were held j...
by MathWizard
Mon Dec 07, 2015 4:05 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: When to sell an old car
Replies: 29
Views: 2930

Re: When to sell an old car

When I would be hesitant to take the car on a 1500 mile trip, it is gone. I drive 1000 miles (round trip) multiple times a year and usually drive two 2 to 3K (round trip) usually least once a year. I expect to be able to jump in the car and drive it with no hassle. Once I can no longer trust it long...
by MathWizard
Fri Dec 04, 2015 12:07 am
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Childrens' Student Loans Delaying Retirement
Replies: 153
Views: 10083

Re: Childrens' Student Loans Delaying Retirement

[ ... particularly annoying for me was the stupid origination fee Citibank charged me - for a federally backed loan that had "zero" risk even in the event of a default. ... I'm glad to hear I'm not the only one who was annoyed at the "loan origination fee" for a zero risk loan (...
by MathWizard
Thu Dec 03, 2015 11:40 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Childrens' Student Loans Delaying Retirement
Replies: 153
Views: 10083

Re: Childrens' Student Loans Delaying Retirement

[ ... particularly annoying for me was the stupid origination fee Citibank charged me - for a federally backed loan that had "zero" risk even in the event of a default. ... I'm glad to hear I'm not the only one who was annoyed at the "loan origination fee" for a zero risk loan (...
by MathWizard
Thu Dec 03, 2015 11:34 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Home office deduction = one-way ticket to being audited?
Replies: 44
Views: 5921

Re: Home office deduction = one-way ticket to being audited?

My wife ran a daycare from our house for several years when our kids were young. There are special rules, and she got a book that explained these. For the daycare, a percentage of utilities (heat, elec.) was allowed based on the use% of the house. Trips to drop off/pick up kids from preschool were a...
by MathWizard
Thu Dec 03, 2015 2:28 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Childrens' Student Loans Delaying Retirement
Replies: 153
Views: 10083

Re: Childrens' Student Loans Delaying Retirement

[ ... particularly annoying for me was the stupid origination fee Citibank charged me - for a federally backed loan that had "zero" risk even in the event of a default. ... I'm glad to hear I'm not the only one who was annoyed at the "loan origination fee" for a zero risk loan (...
by MathWizard
Thu Dec 03, 2015 1:11 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Childrens' Student Loans Delaying Retirement
Replies: 153
Views: 10083

Re: Childrens' Student Loans Delaying Retirement

No, I did not. If I were in the case where they could not get grants/scholarship, and I could still not have paid for college, I would have had them borrow and live at home & commute. No way paying for expensive schools by borrowing. I was responsible for my own college, and could help out my ki...
by MathWizard
Tue Dec 01, 2015 6:14 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Boglehead cell phone strategy
Replies: 143
Views: 14236

Re: Boglehead cell phone strategy

I use a tracfone with an android phone on a pay as you go plan. Quite cheap for low use, and mainly use wifi for data. The phone (LG Optimus Dynamic II) is $50 to $129 depending on where you get it. $100 per year minimum for service. Google's Project Fi may be worth a look. Again Android, and google...
by MathWizard
Tue Dec 01, 2015 10:49 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: iRobot Roomba--do you like it? Would you recommend?
Replies: 21
Views: 2636

Re: iRobot Roomba--do you like it? Would you recommend?

Definitely recommend, especially a pet model if you have pets (larger bins for fur that has been shed.) Ours sometimes gets hung up on the edge of an area rug, or on the top edge of stairs. It won't fall off because of the cliff sensors, but sometimes on our model the program cannot proceed when tha...
by MathWizard
Mon Nov 30, 2015 9:09 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Term life for stay at home mom
Replies: 22
Views: 1488

Re: Term life for stay at home mom

How do you calculate how much insurance to cover for a stay at home mom? I know many people recommend 10-15x your yearly income in life insurance, but in the case of my wife who stays home to raise the two kids I'm not sure what would be a good amount or length to carry life insurance on her in the...
by MathWizard
Sat Nov 28, 2015 9:35 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Final college payment
Replies: 3
Views: 797

Re: Final college payment

I interpreted the IRS regs as saying I could not take the LLC if my son was not my dependent (He got job after graduation, earning more than half his total income for the year so he was not my dependent. I had 529 money left for the last semester after the AOC was exhausted. (Ee get a state income t...
by MathWizard
Fri Nov 27, 2015 3:10 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Getting a bonus this year?
Replies: 74
Views: 7950

Re: Getting a bonus this year?

Company A pays you $3K per month for an annual pay of $48K. Company B pays you $2K per month, and gives you a bonus of $12K at the end of the year for a total compensation of $48K. Who assigns the usernames around here? Post of the year imo +48000. EddyB, you've set the bar pretty high, but I expec...
by MathWizard
Wed Nov 25, 2015 11:02 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: I feel dumb
Replies: 14
Views: 2841

Re: I feel dumb

Don't feel dumb. It is only dumb to have a question and not ask it for fear of someone else's opinion (especially on an anonymous
internet forum :D ).
by MathWizard
Wed Nov 25, 2015 10:59 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Aligning Cash and Emergency Fund with years of Living Expenses
Replies: 7
Views: 811

Re: Aligning Cash and Emergency Fund with years of Living Expenses

The 5 year CD is a fine idea assuming you get a better interest rate. I'd keep some cash for what you expect as likely short term expenses, but use CDs for those expenses that are not terribly likely. One thing that I did was to buy multiple CDs in varying sizes so that if I needed $2K I didn't need...
by MathWizard
Wed Nov 25, 2015 10:45 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Getting a bonus this year?
Replies: 74
Views: 7950

Re: Getting a bonus this year?

A bonus has never been part of compensation at any job I've been at. I just look at the total compensation, and never have to consider part of my compensation money which may or not be there at the end of the year. Bonuses would complicate my financial planning for the year. Not to sound rude, but ...
by MathWizard
Wed Nov 25, 2015 10:09 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Young Couple - Debt Paid Off, Emergency Fund done, Now what?
Replies: 12
Views: 1865

Re: Young Couple - Debt Paid Off, Emergency Fund done, Now what?

Yes, the next steps are putting money into tax advantaged accounts as much as possible, your money will go much further that way, but I want to say that it sounds like you have accomplished a lot so far. You had a lot of CC debt which you got rid of, you got into a house at a young age, you've estab...
by MathWizard
Wed Nov 25, 2015 5:01 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Push child to avoid expensive college?
Replies: 207
Views: 13558

Re: Push child to avoid expensive college?

She's a great kid and I can afford a more expensive college, but why spend $300,000 for 4 years to become a high school teacher? She will probably be a wife and mother as well as a high school teacher (or other profession of her choice -- be glad she is not set on med school). Do you want her pool ...
by MathWizard
Wed Nov 25, 2015 4:54 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Getting a bonus this year?
Replies: 74
Views: 7950

Re: Getting a bonus this year?

A bonus has never been part of compensation at any job I've been at.

I just look at the total compensation, and never have to consider part of my compensation money which may or
not be there at the end of the year.

Bonuses would complicate my financial planning for the year.
by MathWizard
Tue Nov 24, 2015 11:25 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Any Bogleheads Not Staying the Course
Replies: 98
Views: 9873

Re: Any Bogleheads Not Staying the Course

I am sticking with my plan.
As previously said that does not necessarily mean a fixed AA.
by MathWizard
Tue Nov 24, 2015 5:23 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Push child to avoid expensive college?
Replies: 207
Views: 13558

Re: Push child to avoid expensive college?

For my kids, one just out, one in his third year, I encouraged them to apply to the best schools, but also to the top in-state eng. school (they both were going into eng.) The in-state school was a tier 1 research Univ. I also told them that I would not recommend anything out-of-state unless it was ...
by MathWizard
Mon Nov 23, 2015 10:58 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Best TV to buy
Replies: 96
Views: 9077

Re: Best TV to buy

To check, I got an old piece of cardboard and cut it to the size of the TV I wanted to buy. I held it up towhere I wanted to place to to get a judge of whether it would work or not, I just nought a 55 inch 4K samsung smartTV for $800 from best buy. A 50 inch was the same price, and a 1080p (non-4K) ...
by MathWizard
Mon Nov 23, 2015 3:52 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Most important financial metric/calculation?
Replies: 39
Views: 3549

Re: Most important financial metric/calculation?

One other metric that is important is ER. I'm surprised that did not surface yet.
by MathWizard
Sun Nov 22, 2015 12:15 am
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: What would you estimate for return?
Replies: 28
Views: 2736

Re: What would you estimate for return?

The last 5 years, ROI was about 12% nominal, but I don't expect that going forward.

5 years is too short, I am planning on about 4% real long term (15-30 years)

This is not far from Rick Ferri's company's 30 year forecast.
by MathWizard
Fri Nov 20, 2015 10:01 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Most important financial metric/calculation?
Replies: 39
Views: 3549

Re: Most important financial metric/calculation?

If you project income (including salary, Social Security, pensions, annuities, interest/dividends, and capital gains) and expenses (including medical expenses and taxes) forward, starting with current account balances and adding income each year and subtracting expenses each year, ... And then pick...
by MathWizard
Thu Nov 19, 2015 5:11 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Are individual stocks really a bad idea?
Replies: 55
Views: 6664

Re: Are individual stocks really a bad idea?

I don't have the time to be aware of all the
issues an infividual company may have.

I know a sector will stay around, but can't pick
which company will ascend/descend.
by MathWizard
Thu Nov 19, 2015 5:02 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Parents - your favorite and most challenging years
Replies: 66
Views: 5797

Re: Parents - your favorite and most challenging years

2-5 yrs

Especially at bedtime, each night bath
then my favorite, reading to them on my lap.
by MathWizard
Thu Nov 19, 2015 4:46 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Has anyone gone from 0 to 100?
Replies: 55
Views: 6179

Re: Has anyone gone from 0 to 100?

I had to finance my college myself, I had to borrow to buy the engagement ring when I proposed, and our honeymoon was two nights in a hotel and two nights out for dinner/dancing. 30 years later my wife and I were standing under the Eiffel tower , on a 3 week tour of France with our oldest in college...
by MathWizard
Tue Nov 17, 2015 1:53 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: What was your eureka! Boglehead moment?
Replies: 86
Views: 7023

Re: What was your eureka! Boglehead moment?

Knew I had to take care of financing college on my own. Aha moment might have been when I was looking to invest on my own really part-time and that transaction costs would kill me if I was diversified and that I would have to beat professionals working fulltime who had quicker access to data. Might ...
by MathWizard
Tue Nov 17, 2015 10:20 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: What steps are you taking to prepare your spouse?
Replies: 32
Views: 3814

Re: What steps are you taking to prepare your spouse?

Both my wife and I have 'Open after my death' letters in tje safety dep box. If we go together somebody will meef both. With us being nearly empty nesters and parents gone we are focusing attention together on retirement. No qualms about either of us taking over finances. Wife is former bookeeper ac...
by MathWizard
Tue Nov 17, 2015 10:11 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: College expenses, 529 accounts and college loans
Replies: 18
Views: 1002

Re: College expenses, 529 accounts and college loans

Use ROTH contributions nstead of 529 if you are
not utilizing all ITA space, or just use taxable investments.
by MathWizard
Sat Nov 14, 2015 7:49 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Help! Inherited money I planned to use for retirement but it disqualifies my kids from scholarships.
Replies: 147
Views: 6505

Re: Help! Inherited money I planned to use for retirement but it disqualifies my kids from scholarships.

You haven't said, but presumably your kids are already in college. The FAFSA is usually for grants, not scholarship. Some scholarships tale need into account, so do not. Most financial aid is in the form of loans, usually subsidized, not not always. Since you husband teaches at a CC, maybe your kids...
by MathWizard
Fri Nov 13, 2015 8:58 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: First smartphone recommendations
Replies: 28
Views: 3054

Re: First smartphone recommendations

Google's project FI looks nice. I have a friend and a sister in law on it. You need a google nexus or something like it. I think it is $20/month, an the refund what you don't use it. it switches to wifi whenever possible, and switches between sprint and Tmobile. Not as good a coverage as Verizon. I ...
by MathWizard
Fri Nov 13, 2015 7:24 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: High Earner Careers?
Replies: 254
Views: 26622

Re: High Earner Careers?

Don't worry so much about those people who state they have a $300K job. I'll only go above $100K for the first time this year, 25 years in and with a PhD working in a technical field. If you are not in a HCOL area, $100K is a reasonably high salary. $100K puts you just about in the top 20% of househ...
by MathWizard
Fri Nov 13, 2015 7:11 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: "Vacation Buy" from employer - is it worth it?
Replies: 30
Views: 2138

Re: "Vacation Buy" from employer - is it worth it?

Certainly not worth it if you don't use all your vacation, or if you are already working on days off or on
vacation. This happens to me all the time.
by MathWizard
Fri Nov 13, 2015 8:37 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Grandpa, Father, Son Trip
Replies: 17
Views: 1167

Re: Grandpa, Father, Son Trip

Trip to historic sites: Gettysburg ?
by MathWizard
Fri Nov 13, 2015 8:30 am
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Saver's Tax Credit
Replies: 7
Views: 911

Re: Saver's Tax Credit

Nope :/ no 401K or match. Actually there AGI may be lower than 64K. I was looking at the my social security website to see the amount I think that may be gross income right? I will have to call them and see what like 38 of their 1040 was for last year. That may qualify them for a Roth after the sta...
by MathWizard
Thu Nov 12, 2015 5:16 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: how to gift money to married son so that it is his if marriage ends
Replies: 44
Views: 7004

Re: how to gift money to married son so that it is his if marriage ends

Don't think that there is a way. Lenders usually want borrowers to have skin in the game, and want to know if substantial gift have been made (like a downpayment sized gift). (They did when I bought.) I suspect that this will do more harm than good. Did your parents do this for you? (Mine did not, a...
by MathWizard
Wed Nov 11, 2015 3:15 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: If SS did not top out at 70, what age would you start collecting?
Replies: 9
Views: 853

Re: If SS did not top out at 70, what age would you start collecting?

Interesting questions, so I had to go calculate this out. It took a while, for me to calculate (for my situation). I calculated what I could reasonably expect to withdraw every year of my retirement, with assumptions to make the comparison fair (same ending balance both ways.) For stopping work befo...

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