Search found 66 matches

by UALflyer
Tue Jan 12, 2016 12:58 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: New air conditioner
Replies: 8
Views: 786

Re: New air conditioner

I would submit to you that before your submission in that thread, however, no one suggested single speed over variable speed due to reliability/issues. Sure, and if you create a thread on investing on an HVAC forum, you'll get similarly low quality responses. As I mentioned above, BH is a terrific ...
by UALflyer
Tue Jan 12, 2016 10:34 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: New air conditioner
Replies: 8
Views: 786

Re: New air conditioner

OP, please note that valuethinker's comments above primarily reflect his own thoughts as opposed to the "consensus." In fact, this board, although generally great, is not particularly well suited to a discussion of air conditioning issues, as the vast majority of the posters are just resta...
by UALflyer
Tue Jan 05, 2016 1:27 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Replacement air conditioner
Replies: 46
Views: 2105

Re: Replacement air conditioner

The reason the freon is costing you so much is because it's been phased out - you won't even be able to get it soon. It's a terrible thing to do to the environment, to knowingly be leaking freon into the ozone layer. This is one of the reasons freon was replaced in the first place - it was cheaper ...
by UALflyer
Tue Jan 05, 2016 1:02 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Replacement air conditioner
Replies: 46
Views: 2105

Re: Replacement air conditioner

For those of you having trouble locating the energystar.gov calculator on its website, google "seer savings calculator," which will be the third listing on that page. I can't figure out how to link directly to that page, as it requires you to download the Excel version of the calculator, b...
by UALflyer
Tue Jan 05, 2016 7:58 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Replacement air conditioner
Replies: 46
Views: 2105

Re: Replacement air conditioner

Unless you live in a very high AC area (a desert, say; or a humid swamp) then these calculations are no doubt correct. As I mentioned above, this publically accessible official government calculator takes into account the number of cooling hours associated with a particular city and state, so the c...
by UALflyer
Tue Jan 05, 2016 7:40 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Replacement air conditioner
Replies: 46
Views: 2105

Re: Replacement air conditioner

Fair points - living in DFW area in Texas I tend to forget most folks can get by with a single HVAC. The fact that we're discussing replacing a single a/c does not tell you how many a/c's each house has. In our case, we have 5 a/c's, but the calculations are always done on a per unit basis, as it i...
by UALflyer
Mon Jan 04, 2016 8:01 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Replacement air conditioner
Replies: 46
Views: 2105

Re: Replacement air conditioner

In Texas some of our neighbors with builder grade ac units have $ 700-800 electric bills in the summer, while ours is 200. This isn't possible. I just ran a comparison on energystar.gov's website (the official federal government website) and, in Texas even if you have a massive 5 ton 20 SEER unit, ...
by UALflyer
Mon Jan 04, 2016 6:54 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Replacement air conditioner
Replies: 46
Views: 2105

Re: Replacement air conditioner

In Texas some of our neighbors with builder grade ac units have $ 700-800 electric bills in the summer, while ours is 200. This isn't possible. I just ran a comparison on energystar.gov's website (the official federal government website) and, in Texas even if you have a massive 5 ton 20 SEER unit, ...
by UALflyer
Mon Jan 04, 2016 6:45 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Replacement air conditioner
Replies: 46
Views: 2105

Re: Replacement air conditioner

On SEER I'd "reach" for 15/16 if you can. You are only going to do this once, and electricity never gets any cheaper. Standards will only get tighter over time. This should not be a difficult reach if you get a new system with a two stage compressor. We put in a 4-ton heat pump with 2-sta...
by UALflyer
Mon Jan 04, 2016 6:31 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Replacement air conditioner
Replies: 46
Views: 2105

Re: Replacement air conditioner

Contrary to what a lot of posters above have advised, I would think long and hard about multi-stage variable speed units. It is absolutely true that they can increase your comfort by reducing humidity in the summer and minimizing temperature fluctuations, but there are also a number of downsides. Th...
by UALflyer
Thu Nov 05, 2015 10:44 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Math is Hard - HSA vs HRA/PPO
Replies: 18
Views: 1686

Re: Math is Hard - HSA vs HRA/PPO

There are people out there who, when presented with a question of "HDHP vs. PPO" do not realize that in that context "PPO" is referring to a non-HDHP PPO? What do they think it means? It's a genuine question on my part. What are some of the better terms that you've seen used that...
by UALflyer
Thu Nov 05, 2015 8:19 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Math is Hard - HSA vs HRA/PPO
Replies: 18
Views: 1686

Re: Math is Hard - HSA vs HRA/PPO

So, although an HDHP can certainly be a PPO type plan, the term "PPO" is typically used to distinguish between HDHP's and non-HDHP non-HMO plans. I know it gets used this way a lot, but it's obviously incorrect. If two objects are red, and one is square and one is round, it would be very ...
by UALflyer
Wed Nov 04, 2015 2:07 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Math is Hard - HSA vs HRA/PPO
Replies: 18
Views: 1686

Re: Math is Hard - HSA vs HRA/PPO

nit: I wish employers and employees would stop calling the plans HSAs, when they are actually HDHP. Another nit is the constant HSA vs PPO confusion. A HDHP (whether HSA qualified or not) can be a PPO (preferred provider organization) type plan. The term PPO doesn't tell you anything about a plan's...
by UALflyer
Tue Nov 03, 2015 5:59 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Math is Hard - HSA vs HRA/PPO
Replies: 18
Views: 1686

Re: Math is Hard - HSA vs HRA/PPO

Worst Case Scenario (met max OOP) PPO: 2847.52 + 4850 - 1100 = 6597.52 HSA: 2553.46 + 5000 - 700 = 6853.46 Best Case Scenario (didn't use insurance at all) PPO: 2847.52 put money in FSA didn't use is lost HSA: 2553.46 plus got 700 from company and all HSA money rolls over Personally, I'd go for the...
by UALflyer
Mon Nov 02, 2015 6:04 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Kitchen Remodel - Best decisions, biggest busts for appliances
Replies: 46
Views: 4639

Re: Kitchen remodel

Indeed, forget the fancy fridges they are problem prone and expensive to fix. Modern standalone fridges are generally built to last approximately 10 years. Modern built-in/integrated refrigerators are built to last 20 years, which accounts for some of the price differences. Additional features foun...
by UALflyer
Thu Feb 06, 2014 1:09 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Buying the most expensive house you can afford
Replies: 101
Views: 13876

Re: Buying the most expensive house you can afford

While the posters mentioning all the perils of overbuying are absolutely correct, there's also a flip side to this, where you are penny wise but pound foolish. There are substantial transaction costs that are associated with moving, and buying a house that you will be likely to outgrow in 3 years ca...
by UALflyer
Fri Jan 10, 2014 11:15 am
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: How to weather the upcoming bond crash in my 401k
Replies: 86
Views: 7782

Re: How to weather the upcoming bond crash in my 401k

Intellectually, they know that it's a terrible idea but knowing something intellectually and seeing their balances plummeting before their very eyes are two very different things and the vast majority of investors just do not have the stomach to withstand the volatility. I think it goes further tha...
by UALflyer
Fri Jan 10, 2014 10:37 am
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: How to weather the upcoming bond crash in my 401k
Replies: 86
Views: 7782

Re: How to weather the upcoming bond crash in my 401k

If you are not prone to this phenomenon, then mathematically, bonds do significantly and adversely affect your overall performance. Bonds adversely affect your return at the end of a good year for stocks. Bonds increase the return of your portfolio at the end of a bad year for stocks. So does liter...
by UALflyer
Thu Jan 09, 2014 5:46 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: How to weather the upcoming bond crash in my 401k
Replies: 86
Views: 7782

Re: How to weather the upcoming bond crash in my 401k

We're diverging a bit from the thread -- but I think no-one should be talking about absolute returns except as a numerator to be divided by risk. Again, given the possibility of cheap leverage or simply investing in the riskiest stocks it's a pretty meaningless concept. The OP's message didn't read...
by UALflyer
Thu Jan 09, 2014 5:38 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: How to weather the upcoming bond crash in my 401k
Replies: 86
Views: 7782

Re: How to weather the upcoming bond crash in my 401k

I have bonds for the same reason anyone else has bonds - to reduce volatility in an otherwise risky portfolio. That's just a very general answer, but in what specific way is volatility a problem in your particular situation? I am not trying to suggest an answer by asking this question. For instance...
by UALflyer
Thu Jan 09, 2014 5:17 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: How to weather the upcoming bond crash in my 401k
Replies: 86
Views: 7782

Re: How to weather the upcoming bond crash in my 401k

ogd wrote:If you do use risk-adjusted returns, bonds in a portfolio actually improve them.
That's exactly right, but we are talking about absolute returns here.
by UALflyer
Thu Jan 09, 2014 5:16 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: How to weather the upcoming bond crash in my 401k
Replies: 86
Views: 7782

Re: How to weather the upcoming bond crash in my 401k

... rest assured that trying to guess your way to wealth won't work. That's true, but you can also rest assured that blindly following some asset allocation formula that you saw somewhere without understanding the rationale behind it and ensuring its applicability to your specific situation won't w...
by UALflyer
Thu Jan 09, 2014 5:03 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: How to weather the upcoming bond crash in my 401k
Replies: 86
Views: 7782

Re: How to weather the upcoming bond crash in my 401k

At your age it's a good idea to have 20-30% of bonds in your portfolio. This is the threshold issue, isn't it? People keep bonds in their portfolios for quite a few reasons. Depending on those reasons, a person in the OP's situation may be well advised to shorten their duration or to move his money...
by UALflyer
Mon Oct 21, 2013 10:42 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: How many square feet is your home?
Replies: 162
Views: 11793

Re: How many square feet is your home?

We know quite a few couples with 1-3 kids who have 6,000 sq. ft. to 10,000 sq. ft. of living space (when you count finished basements) and are quite happy with it. You do realize how wealthy your friends must be. Anything above 6,000 sq. ft. puts your house in the top 0.5% percent of homes by size,...
by UALflyer
Thu Oct 17, 2013 11:26 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: How many square feet is your home?
Replies: 162
Views: 11793

Re: How many square feet is your home?

I think 2000 sq ft per person is about right. Anything less is crowded. I mean, how do you get away from your spouse and kids? Go to a bar? I can't tell if that's sarcastic or not...but if it's not...I think it's WAY off from what many out there would consider to be "enough space" without...
by UALflyer
Thu Oct 17, 2013 11:05 am
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Stock-heavy AA -- Does it matter?
Replies: 43
Views: 3481

Re: Stock-heavy AA -- Does it matter?

#1. When the (not if, but when) the market tanks 35% or 40% you will be using what exactly to load up the truck for the fire sale? So, you are suggesting that investors should sell their bonds during severe market downturns and load up on equities, thereby making their positions more aggressive? On...
by UALflyer
Wed May 29, 2013 2:19 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: California affordable care act rates for 2014 released
Replies: 143
Views: 15433

Re: California affordable care act rates for 2014 released

The most important part of any health insurance policy is the annual maximum expense... Please tell me that you aren't making these types of statements to your clients. If you have two hypothetical plans (for comparison purposes, let's assume that they are otherwise identical in their networks, mon...
by UALflyer
Wed May 29, 2013 12:29 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: California affordable care act rates for 2014 released
Replies: 143
Views: 15433

Re: California affordable care act rates for 2014 released

Okay, I get where you are coming from now. Note that I said "for equivalent coverage." It is you who are comparing apples to oranges. You are comparing cheap, crummy, low benefit, high deductible individual plans to the exchange plans. If you compare to an equivalent of the silver plan in...
by UALflyer
Mon May 13, 2013 10:43 am
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: 100% equities, anyone?
Replies: 149
Views: 10249

Re: 100% equities, anyone?

I do apologize. Given your resistance to my comments on 100% equities, I just assumed that you were advocating 100% equities. It was certainly a good opportunity to highlight some of the issues with such a strategy. I'm pretty comfortable with my understanding of the article, related mathematical c...
by UALflyer
Sat May 11, 2013 11:17 am
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: 100% equities, anyone?
Replies: 149
Views: 10249

Re: 100% equities, anyone?

Cults are certainly dangerous, but so are extreme financial positions. You may want to re-read the Vanguard study, my posts as well as those of many other people here. You are arguing against imaginary points that noone has made, all because you are failing to understand objective data that's been ...
by UALflyer
Sat May 11, 2013 11:12 am
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: 100% equities, anyone?
Replies: 149
Views: 10249

Re: 100% equities, anyone?

Market has a funny way of proving prople wrong when they are so sure something is going to happen. Like some of our friends here who are so sure that bonds are such a poor investment right now. It will be interesting to bookmark this page and revisit in a few months or years to see what Mr. Market ...
by UALflyer
Sat May 11, 2013 6:58 am
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: 100% equities, anyone?
Replies: 149
Views: 10249

Re: 100% equities, anyone?

UALflier, based on such an extreme view (100% equities), I thought it only appropriate to provide to you the previous link to the Bond Section of the Bogleheads Wiki, to demonstrate to you in simple terms that Boglehead inspired investing involves Bonds. Yes, and I just demonstrated in simple terms...
by UALflyer
Sat May 11, 2013 6:54 am
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: 100% equities, anyone?
Replies: 149
Views: 10249

Re: 100% equities, anyone?

I do not agree. This depends on how much better stocks perform than bonds, and for how long...which I think we all agree not one of us can know going forward. You start adding in annual rebalancing, looking at long term returns, use 3 or 4 different asset classes, the 100% stock AA looks less and l...
by UALflyer
Fri May 10, 2013 6:12 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: 100% equities, anyone?
Replies: 149
Views: 10249

Re: 100% equities, anyone?

Really! Vanguard disagrees, as do I. The following recent Vanguard article demonstrates that the ability of lower yielding bonds to cushion a 20% shock to the stock market remains substantial. The title of the article is "Reducing your bond allocation? Proceed with caution" https://person...
by UALflyer
Fri May 10, 2013 2:20 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: 100% equities, anyone?
Replies: 149
Views: 10249

Re: 100% equities, anyone?

Really! Vanguard disagrees, as do I. The following recent Vanguard article demonstrates that the ability of lower yielding bonds to cushion a 20% shock to the stock market remains substantial. The title of the article is "Reducing your bond allocation? Proceed with caution" https://person...
by UALflyer
Fri May 10, 2013 12:38 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: 100% equities, anyone?
Replies: 149
Views: 10249

Re: 100% equities, anyone?

5% fixed income or zero: the difference has to do with acknowledging the role of fixed income in a portfolio, even if you are young and starting out with mostly equities (e.g. starting a glide path on 5% income and ratcheting up as you get older). Going with 100% is just bad form to follow and bad ...
by UALflyer
Fri May 10, 2013 12:17 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: 100% equities, anyone?
Replies: 149
Views: 10249

Re: 100% equities, anyone?

Bonds don't look like a great investment at this time, but that will only hold true if there is no stock crash in the future. Actually, no. What will happen to the value of your bond holdings when interest rates go up? If there is a stock market decline of even -5%, then the 1% yield on bonds will ...
by UALflyer
Fri May 10, 2013 11:16 am
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Nongovernmental 457(b) and employer's creditors (legal)
Replies: 45
Views: 1754

Re: Nongovernmental 457(b) and employer's creditors (legal)

Our state's 529 does not have very good investment options and, in general, 529 plans offer very limited tax advantages but expose you to higher tuition risks. Now, given the fact that we are in the highest tax bracket, the latter is not a big concern, as we're unlikely to qualify for any breaks an...
by UALflyer
Fri May 10, 2013 10:46 am
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: 100% equities, anyone?
Replies: 149
Views: 10249

Re: 100% equities, anyone?

I have been around these forums for a long time, and these type of posts always comes up during a market run up, typically close towards a peak or in the middle of a very strong bull market. Not saying we are near a top or anything, I have no idea, and I stopped trying to guess. No one is ever aski...
by UALflyer
Fri May 10, 2013 8:21 am
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Nongovernmental 457(b) and employer's creditors (legal)
Replies: 45
Views: 1754

Re: Nongovernmental 457(b) and employer's creditors (legal)

This went unchallenged above, but you might reconsider your 529 options. They have protection from bankruptcy under federal law, and creditor protection varies state by state. They are excluded from your estate for estate tax purposes. They are increasingly low cost. Our state's 529 does not have v...
by UALflyer
Thu May 09, 2013 2:28 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Nongovernmental 457(b) and employer's creditors (legal)
Replies: 45
Views: 1754

Re: Nongovernmental 457(b) and employer's creditors

These are all fair points, letsgobobby (except that our umbrella is more expensive than that, but the difference is not material and doesn't affect the outcome of this discussion).
by UALflyer
Thu May 09, 2013 2:18 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Nongovernmental 457(b) and employer's creditors (legal)
Replies: 45
Views: 1754

Re: Nongovernmental 457(b) and employer's creditors

In either case, annuitization only becomes an option post retirement, so there's no protection while still working. And at retirement you can mark this account as the first to draw down (it probably can't be rolled to an IRA). That's a very good point. Technically, that way that it works with TIAA ...
by UALflyer
Thu May 09, 2013 1:53 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Nongovernmental 457(b) and employer's creditors (legal)
Replies: 45
Views: 1754

Re: Nongovernmental 457(b) and employer's creditors

I believe you're truly overstating things when you say that "most liability risks" still exist given the above protections. If you envision such severe liability exposure that several million dollars of umbrella and multimillion dollars of professional liability insurance are not adequate...
by UALflyer
Thu May 09, 2013 12:46 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Nongovernmental 457(b) and employer's creditors (legal)
Replies: 45
Views: 1754

Re: Nongovernmental 457(b) and employer's creditors

retiredjg, thanks. I am familiar with making nondeductible contributions to retirement accounts and then making in-service withdrawals to get them into Roth IRA's. Unfortunately, our respective plans do not allow it.
by UALflyer
Thu May 09, 2013 12:33 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Nongovernmental 457(b) and employer's creditors (legal)
Replies: 45
Views: 1754

Re: Nongovernmental 457(b) and employer's creditors (legal)

mah001 wrote:Try not calling it a 457(b), when you do research. You seem to be talking about a 457(f).
I don't understand. It is unquestionably a 457(b).
by UALflyer
Thu May 09, 2013 12:20 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Nongovernmental 457(b) and employer's creditors (legal)
Replies: 45
Views: 1754

Re: Nongovernmental 457(b) and employer's creditors

What if you could get that money into Roth status? Would that be more attractive to you? Yes, there might be a way, but it takes too long to explain right now. We are in the highest tax bracket, so a Roth is only attractive to us if our only other option is a taxable account. Having said that, is t...
by UALflyer
Thu May 09, 2013 12:16 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Nongovernmental 457(b) and employer's creditors (legal)
Replies: 45
Views: 1754

Re: Nongovernmental 457(b) and employer's creditors

large umbrella policies and outstanding professional insurance are relatively low in cost. Umbrella policies and professional liability policies are not even close to insulating you from every or even most liability risks. They are enormously helpful but there are quite a few liability risks that t...
by UALflyer
Thu May 09, 2013 12:09 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Nongovernmental 457(b) and employer's creditors (legal)
Replies: 45
Views: 1754

Re: Nongovernmental 457(b) and employer's creditors

1) I don't see how adding an annuity wrapper inside a non-governmental 457(b) plan would change the fact that the money in the plan is subject to the employer's creditors. But that is completely speculation on my part. Thanks for your thoughts. Conceptually, a suggestion that annuitizing the balanc...
by UALflyer
Thu May 09, 2013 11:52 am
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Nongovernmental 457(b) and employer's creditors (legal)
Replies: 45
Views: 1754

Re: Nongovernmental 457(b) and employer's creditors

the additional costs of those products (whatever they are) are likely to outweigh the benefits. There's a lot of study on standard 401ks that indicate that above a certain costs, despite the tax benefits, investors are better avoiding them and investing in a taxable account. I presume that would en...
by UALflyer
Thu May 09, 2013 11:41 am
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Nongovernmental 457(b) and employer's creditors (legal)
Replies: 45
Views: 1754

Re: Nongovernmental 457(b) and employer's creditors

not to mention I bonds, EE bonds, muni bonds. That risk to creditors' is one of those risks you don't have to take. Good rule of thumb: take no risk you don't have to take. Especially uncompensated risk. I bonds, EE bonds and muni bonds are all far too conservative for our appetite and all expose y...

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