Search found 126 matches

by bagelhead
Tue Sep 06, 2016 12:30 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Contact Lens Brands
Replies: 1
Views: 203

Contact Lens Brands

Does anyone have any comments on various contact lens brands in terms of technology, comfort, cost, etc.? Sort of like a Consumer Reports analysis of the different brands (Acuvue, Bausch Lomb, etc.).
by bagelhead
Sat Sep 03, 2016 3:21 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Forgot a Tax Loss Harvest on last year's taxes
Replies: 2
Views: 343

Forgot a Tax Loss Harvest on last year's taxes

I forgot to include a Tax Loss Harvest on Form 8949 of my 2015 taxes. This amount would have been rolled over to 2016, as I already deducted the $3000 annual limit. Do I need to submit an amendment of my 2015 taxes to the IRS? I made the edits in TurboTax and printed the 1040X form. TurboTax says it...
by bagelhead
Wed Aug 24, 2016 8:50 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Greater than 20% Downpayment
Replies: 8
Views: 1046

Greater than 20% Downpayment

It is known buying a house with cash (paid in full without a mortgage) saves money on closing costs. Are there any savings if one buy's a house with a larger than 20% downpayment but not 100%? For example, are there any fees that are proportionate to the loan size? (e.g., 1% fee on a $200,000 loan =...
by bagelhead
Wed Aug 17, 2016 9:33 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Anyone have A/C fail on an older Honda CRV?
Replies: 50
Views: 7997

Re: Anyone have A/C fail on an older Honda CRV?

Based on all of the problems described above and documented on the internet, what do you would if you currently have a 9 year old, 90,000 mile CR-V with no problems including the A/C? Is the probability of A/C failure in the next 5 years < 20%, 20-80%, > 80%? Assuming the A/C repair is between $700-...
by bagelhead
Sun Jun 12, 2016 9:34 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: 457 plan: How valuable?
Replies: 4
Views: 385

Re: 457 plan: How valuable?

It is a 10 year distribution plan. I understand the tax benefit if one withdraws at a lower tax bracket (as PoF suggests). But other than dividends (which a prior thread suggests is a minimal penalty of ~0.3%), are there any other advantages (another thread suggested asset protection) assuming equal...
by bagelhead
Sun Jun 12, 2016 8:57 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: 457 plan: How valuable?
Replies: 4
Views: 385

457 plan: How valuable?

Hi, A particular 457 plan essentially forces one to take distributions when separating from the employer. Assuming that separation prior to retirement is inevitable and the tax bracket is the same before and after separation, how valuable is this 457 plan (vs. not using it)? What would be the advant...
by bagelhead
Wed Jun 01, 2016 7:06 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: 3-Day Weekend: Monday vs. Friday?
Replies: 47
Views: 3392

3-Day Weekend: Monday vs. Friday?

If you could choose to take either Monday or Friday off to make a 3-day weekend, which day would you prefer and why?
by bagelhead
Sat May 28, 2016 10:46 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Newborn Delivery on Dec 31 -- which year for deductible/HSA/FSA?
Replies: 14
Views: 1168

Re: Newborn Delivery on Dec 31 -- which year for deductible/HSA/FSA?

You are putting the cart before the horse. If you have an FSA in 2016 that allows you to carryover into a grace period reimbursing expenses incurred in early 2017, then you are not eligible to contribute to an HSA in 2017. (This is true even if you do not use the carryover provision. See https://ww...
by bagelhead
Fri May 27, 2016 11:18 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Exclusivity and Real Estate Agents. Agree or Disagree?
Replies: 58
Views: 3866

Re: Exclusivity and Real Estate Agents. Agree or Disagree?

When I called, I told her (the listing agent) that we didn't have a buying agent and weren't intending to hire one. I offered her dual representation with the understanding that I'd already run the comps and knew what market value was to us, and if she'd offer us a commission rebate, we'd offer tha...
by bagelhead
Fri May 27, 2016 11:15 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Exclusivity and Real Estate Agents. Agree or Disagree?
Replies: 58
Views: 3866

Re: Exclusivity and Real Estate Agents. Agree or Disagree?

I would only use the seller's agent as my buyer's agent if they offered to rebate me most of their buyer's side of the commission. Having the same person represent the seller and buyer is a conflict of interest. That being said, if Redfin.com operates in your area, they rebate their commissions to ...
by bagelhead
Fri May 27, 2016 11:10 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Newborn Delivery on Dec 31 -- which year for deductible/HSA/FSA?
Replies: 14
Views: 1168

Re: Newborn Delivery on Dec 31 -- which year for deductible/HSA/FSA?

How about this scenario:

An FSA was funded in 2016 and has a 2.5 month grace period into 2017.
The 2017 health plan is an HSA.
If the newborn is delivered on Jan 1, 2017, can the 2016 FSA be used for these expenses and also do the expenses apply towards the 2017 HSA deductible?

Thanks!
by bagelhead
Fri May 27, 2016 9:41 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Newborn Delivery on Dec 31 -- which year for deductible/HSA/FSA?
Replies: 14
Views: 1168

Newborn Delivery on Dec 31 -- which year for deductible/HSA/FSA?

Assume a newborn is delivered on Dec 31 (or Dec 28 if you want to include the full hospital stay). The bill for this hospital stay will not arrive until Jan-Feb of the following year.

Which year does the bill get applied against for a health plan's deductible, HSA, and/or FSA?
by bagelhead
Thu May 26, 2016 10:49 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: HSA better than PPO in all scenarios
Replies: 14
Views: 1874

Re: HSA better than PPO in all scenarios

I agree with all of the above. I wonder why the company has favored the HSA in this opaque way. The company probably saves money using the HSA but what is unusual is that they are not advertising this mathematical advantage of the HSA. I imagine most people are not doing these detailed calculations ...
by bagelhead
Thu May 26, 2016 9:16 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: HSA better than PPO in all scenarios
Replies: 14
Views: 1874

HSA better than PPO in all scenarios

One company is offering 3 plans: HRA (which is like an HSA but funds expire at the end of the year), HSA, and PPO. Conventional wisdom says that the PPO would be better for people who utilize a lot of healthcare, whereas an HRA/HSA would be better for people who are healthy. However, if my calculati...
by bagelhead
Thu May 26, 2016 3:10 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Exclusivity and Real Estate Agents. Agree or Disagree?
Replies: 58
Views: 3866

Re: Exclusivity and Real Estate Agents. Agree or Disagree?

Excellent discussion re: co-opting the listing agent with a 3.5% commission. Regardless of whether you feel this is a 0.5% bonus or a 2.5% reduction to the listing agent, what are some specific strategies on how to "ask" for this type of deal? Call the listing agent and, during this phone ...
by bagelhead
Thu May 26, 2016 1:44 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: My dilemma ... 1099 or W2. Client assures me no difference.
Replies: 29
Views: 2075

Re: My dilemma ... 1099 or W2. Client assures me no difference.

Could someone explain these related scenarios a little better: 1) If an employee already has a job that pays > $150k via W2 and gets a 2nd job/gig that pays via 1099: - The 2nd employer saves ~7% FICA. - The employee pays 0% FICA, because he already paid the employee tax with his first job. - This s...
by bagelhead
Tue Apr 12, 2016 9:35 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Dual Language Elementary School
Replies: 16
Views: 1434

Dual Language Elementary School

What are the Boglehead's general thoughts on Spanish Dual Language Immersion Programs for grades K-5? One specific program would be: - 90% of the class at K would be taught in Spanish, reducing to less than 50% by grade 5. - for every 1 native English speaker, there is 1 native Spanish speaker. - so...
by bagelhead
Tue Mar 29, 2016 12:49 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Competing Offers when Selling Home
Replies: 20
Views: 1476

Re: Competing Offers when Selling Home

One, do you know the minimum you are prepared to accept....Is there a bottom-line number that must be met (the net after commissions and fees)? Two, are you in a hurry to sell? [If not, then tell the bidders to submit BAFO 1-2 days before the open house] Three, the Realtor works for you. Tell him/h...
by bagelhead
Tue Mar 29, 2016 12:15 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Competing Offers when Selling Home
Replies: 20
Views: 1476

Competing Offers when Selling Home

Would like to hear the Bogleheads thoughts on handling a competing offer situation when selling one's home. Let's say one's home is currently listed at $400k, and notably a few other realtors previously recommended listing the home for $425k. (The house was listed lower than $425k to expedite the sa...
by bagelhead
Tue Mar 22, 2016 11:53 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: 1 Hotel Stay Every Week: How to get the best discounts?
Replies: 8
Views: 1144

1 Hotel Stay Every Week: How to get the best discounts?

If one is going to be staying in any hotel in a particular city one weekday per week for most of the year for work reasons (tax deductible via independent contractor), what are the best strategies to save the most? ... hotel rewards programs, negotiating with hotel directly, using cheapest online ra...
by bagelhead
Tue Feb 23, 2016 2:05 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Strategy to Rent a Single Family House?
Replies: 6
Views: 1025

Strategy to Rent a Single Family House?

Do the Bogleheads have any recommend tips on the best way of finding and getting a good deal on a single family house rental?
by bagelhead
Sat Oct 03, 2015 12:23 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Removing Bathroom Metal Corrosion
Replies: 3
Views: 392

Removing Bathroom Metal Corrosion

Is there any way to get rid of metal corrosion from hard water? I tried using a Rust Stain Remover spray (http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B002MPPYO8) and also tried sanding the metal down, but neither did much. Is the only option full replacement? Thanks. http://s24.postimg.org/4vq3wba81/2015_10_03...
by bagelhead
Fri Sep 25, 2015 12:28 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Water leak
Replies: 11
Views: 1143

Water leak

Hi, A friend is having a water leak of unknown etiology at their house, which started about a month ago per water rate records. The leak is +/- 10 gallons/hour at all times of the day. To try to fix this, they had an old irrigation-side valve changed (thinking the leak might be related to landscapin...
by bagelhead
Fri Aug 28, 2015 2:57 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: .
Replies: 9
Views: 929

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by bagelhead
Thu Jul 16, 2015 2:11 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Hardwood Flooring: Floating vs. Glue
Replies: 35
Views: 11858

Hardwood Flooring: Floating vs. Glue

Engineered hardwood flooring comes in two styles, "click-and-lock" floating floor vs. glue down. Click-and-lock installation costs about 50% less than the price of glue down, which is about 25% less than the total combined material/installation cost. Also, some click-and-lock systems use p...
by bagelhead
Sun Jul 12, 2015 10:03 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: House Layout: Where to put Dining Table?
Replies: 23
Views: 2297

Re: House Layout: Where to put Dining Table?

Thank you for the thoughtful replies. Our layout is similar to the picture but different in size. The family room is about 15x13 (smaller), dining room 13x12 (larger), and living room 18x15 (larger). The breakfast area is smaller and only able to accommodate a 4-person table (we need a 6-person tabl...
by bagelhead
Sat Jul 11, 2015 9:31 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: House Layout: Where to put Dining Table?
Replies: 23
Views: 2297

House Layout: Where to put Dining Table?

Hi, Our house layout has two separate areas -- a living room that is open to the dining room and a kitchen/breakfast area that is open to the family room. It looks similar to below, but the living room is bigger and the family room is smaller. The fireplace is in the living room, and a built-in desk...
by bagelhead
Sun May 31, 2015 4:47 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Kitchen and Living/Family Room Flooring
Replies: 18
Views: 2437

Re: Kitchen and Living/Family Room Flooring

I just got back from Home Depot and had a conversation with the customer service guy, who basically mirrored a lot of what was said here, except he was more positive about using the vinyl. Would the analysis above, especially the apparent stigma re: vinyl, change if one substitutes a high quality Wo...
by bagelhead
Sun May 31, 2015 7:34 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Kitchen and Living/Family Room Flooring
Replies: 18
Views: 2437

Re: Kitchen and Living/Family Room Flooring

Thank you for the insights. I have a lot of stereotypes to learn. What if we change a few assumptions and forget upscale: say the house is a medium-end house (average in a nice neighborhood, not type of the line furnishings but above average) and also the owners plan to stay 4-8 years? Does the luxu...
by bagelhead
Sat May 30, 2015 1:36 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Kitchen and Living/Family Room Flooring
Replies: 18
Views: 2437

Kitchen and Living/Family Room Flooring

A lot of threads on Flooring seem to recommend Home Depot's Allure Vinyl Plank wood-like flooring... for "rentals". http://www.homedepot.com/p/TrafficMASTER-Allure-6-in-x-36-in-Cherry-Resilient-Vinyl-Plank-Flooring-24-sq-ft-case-12012/100593151 Is this specific item also good for an upscal...
by bagelhead
Sat May 30, 2015 10:41 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: .
Replies: 5
Views: 852

.

.....
by bagelhead
Sat May 30, 2015 8:57 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Optimal timing for Rental Move Out vs. Buying Closing Date
Replies: 1
Views: 326

Optimal timing for Rental Move Out vs. Buying Closing Date

Do the Bogleheads have a recommendation on how to best time moving out from a rental house and setting the closing date for a house buying offer? Both of these dates need to be set well in advance, but there is an element of uncertainty for the closing date. If the closing date is set too close to t...
by bagelhead
Sun May 03, 2015 3:42 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Closing Account: Schwab Intelligent Portfolio (or Betterment)
Replies: 1
Views: 855

Closing Account: Schwab Intelligent Portfolio (or Betterment)

Hi, What happens when one closes their SIP/Betterment account? Do all of the multiple different ETF's get transferred to one's new institution of choice? Does Schwab/Betterment provide the basis information for all the different lots? Is this a nightmare? Could one fee-saving strategy be to use SIP/...
by bagelhead
Tue Apr 21, 2015 1:22 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Broken Oxygen Sensor on Car
Replies: 43
Views: 4183

Broken Oxygen Sensor on Car

Hi, The dealer said we have a broken oxygen sensor on our newer car and would need to be replaced for $500 including labor (not covered by warranty due to physical damage). Based on googling, it seems that oxygen sensors are cheap and replacement/repair is common. Is it worth it to get a second quot...
by bagelhead
Mon Apr 20, 2015 9:36 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Betterment/Schwab (SIP): Which ETFs to avoid for wash sale?
Replies: 1
Views: 421

Betterment/Schwab (SIP): Which ETFs to avoid for wash sale?

For both Betterment and Schwab Intelligent Portfolios, which specific common ETFs need to be avoided in other retirement/brokerage accounts to avoid wash sale conflicts? (and what are good replacement ETFs for these 2 specific companies) For instance, for Betterment, I understand one should sell the...
by bagelhead
Tue Apr 07, 2015 9:12 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Buying TurboTax after tax season is over
Replies: 2
Views: 406

Buying TurboTax after tax season is over

Hi, I have already submitted my taxes via an accountant but want to simulate various tax scenarios (increasing/decreasing income, adding/removing deductions, etc.) to plan for 2015 and beyond. Is it possible to buy TurboTax after the tax season is over, input the big details of one's current taxes, ...
by bagelhead
Sat Mar 21, 2015 9:39 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Buying a house that had a Dog
Replies: 18
Views: 3073

Buying a house that had a Dog

Hi,

Do the Bogleheads have any thoughts on buying a house that had a dog living in it?

Thanks.
by bagelhead
Sun Mar 15, 2015 5:33 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Buying Semi-new House Near New Street with New Constructions
Replies: 3
Views: 449

Buying Semi-new House Near New Street with New Constructions

Hi,

Are there any thoughts (in terms of purchase price and eventual resale value) on buying a fairly new house (5-10 years old) that is located next to a brand new street full of partially completed new houses?

Thanks!
by bagelhead
Sun Mar 15, 2015 12:42 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Golf course lot value
Replies: 5
Views: 888

Golf course lot value

Hi, Aside from practical issues (such as privacy, aesthetics, etc.), what is the Bogleheads opinion on the economic value of having a backyard open onto a golf course? Let's assume the golf course lot is a good one (not on the 150 yard slice area, somewhat away from greens/tee boxes). If there are t...
by bagelhead
Sat Mar 14, 2015 8:45 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Rental offer on house for sale
Replies: 8
Views: 1216

Rental offer on house for sale

Hi,

If a house is on sale to buy for $400,000, what would be the range of monthly rents that would be a fair deal?

What if the house has been on the market for 2 years without any significant price cuts and possibly worth $360,000-$370,000?

Thank you.
by bagelhead
Wed Nov 26, 2014 9:20 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Frontloading IRA/401k
Replies: 1
Views: 608

Frontloading IRA/401k

Assuming one owns a personal business, can he deposit the $53,000 annual limit for a SEP-IRA on January 1, with the expectation that his annual income will exceed required $212,000?

If for whatever reason he doesn't reach the $212,000 income, how easy is it to correct the overdeposit?

Thanks.
by bagelhead
Mon Oct 27, 2014 7:59 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: SEP IRA: Repeated rollovers forever
Replies: 1
Views: 427

SEP IRA: Repeated rollovers forever

Compared to opening a new 401k plan for a business, is there any disadvantage to rolling over the full amount of one's SEP IRA every year (after maxing out the $52,000 annually) into an old 401k? (i.e., any difference between "deposit into SEP, rollover in old 401k, repeat every year" vs. ...
by bagelhead
Fri Oct 24, 2014 8:12 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Marginal Tax Rate on Dual Income Couple
Replies: 13
Views: 1606

Re: Marginal Tax Rate on Dual Income Couple

Thank you to all for the thoughtful comments.
by bagelhead
Fri Oct 24, 2014 7:54 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Marginal Tax Rate on Dual Income Couple
Replies: 13
Views: 1606

Re: Marginal Tax Rate on Dual Income Couple

Otherwise, you are engaging in the same erroneous thinking that causes people to say things like "well, there's no point in her working when all of her income just goes to pay for childcare". When I said "Seems like a bad deal when one's entire income is taxed at 50%", I was ref...
by bagelhead
Thu Oct 23, 2014 9:19 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Marginal Tax Rate on Dual Income Couple
Replies: 13
Views: 1606

Marginal Tax Rate on Dual Income Couple

I remember seeing a useful web site a while ago that had a graph showing the dynamic marginal tax rate as one's income increased (which was very complex and non-intuitive, showing higher marginal tax rates for the mid-income levels than higher income for various reasons -- losing tax credits, AMT, e...
by bagelhead
Tue Oct 14, 2014 11:32 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Long term gains tax rebalancing vs. Tax efficient placement
Replies: 3
Views: 623

Re: Long term gains tax rebalancing vs. Tax efficient placem

I was wondering if there was a mathematically optimal percentage for tax-advantaged vs. taxable. Would 20% in tax-advantaged be enough? All I could find in that wiki was: Step 5: Place tax efficient funds last Tax-efficient funds are fine in any account. Regular rebalancing of your stock/bond ratio ...
by bagelhead
Tue Oct 14, 2014 3:16 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Long term gains tax rebalancing vs. Tax efficient placement
Replies: 3
Views: 623

Long term gains tax rebalancing vs. Tax efficient placement

Hi, Conventional wisdom recommends placing tax efficient funds in taxable accounts. Such as VTI in a brokerage account. If VTI goes down, one simply buys more VTI in the taxable account. However, if VTI goes up (and there are no easier ways to rebalance, such as buying the other declining funds), on...
by bagelhead
Sun Sep 21, 2014 3:13 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Pre-Retirement Tax reduction strategy
Replies: 3
Views: 835

Pre-Retirement Tax reduction strategy

Assumptions: A couple earns $160k during a pre-full retirement phase and needs roughly $120k for living expenses (matching post-tax income). They already has a moderate sized mix of taxable and tax deferred savings. They have 6 exemptions and $15k of itemized deductions. Would it save taxes to: Max...
by bagelhead
Sat Sep 20, 2014 5:29 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: 4% SWR: Any difference for high income vs. low income?
Replies: 4
Views: 748

Re: 4% SWR: Any difference for high income vs. low income?

Solid points. That is, higher income people (implying higher expenses) can have more confidence in a 4% SWR, because they have more ability to adjust their discretionary expenses lower.

What about with respect to taxes? That is, lower income people have much lower marginal tax rates...
by bagelhead
Sat Sep 20, 2014 4:30 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: 4% SWR: Any difference for high income vs. low income?
Replies: 4
Views: 748

4% SWR: Any difference for high income vs. low income?

Assuming all else equal (same distribution of tax deferred and taxable accounts), should there be any theoretical difference in using the 4% safe withdrawal rate for people who will be withdrawing a higher amount ($150k) vs. a lower amount ($30k)? I.e., should higher income people use a lower or hig...

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