Search found 303 matches

by crit
Mon Apr 24, 2017 8:57 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Issue With Real Estate Agent (Seller)
Replies: 47
Views: 2910

Re: Issue With Real Estate Agent (Seller)

You mentioned clutter a few times. In my albeit limited experience as a landlord and a seller, humans are just incredibly bad at imaging or seeing past anything directly in front of them. Empty is best, and next best is looking like things are missing. Blank spots on walls, where a painting should b...
by crit
Mon Apr 24, 2017 8:41 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Portfolio checkup
Replies: 2
Views: 262

Re: Portfolio checkup

You say you want to be at 20% bonds/cds, but I only see 4% listed?
by crit
Fri Apr 21, 2017 10:26 am
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Larry Swedroe says "Goodby."
Replies: 311
Views: 28692

Re: Larry Swedroe says "Goodby."

Unfortunately as I told Taylor a few can spoil the good for the many. But that's the nature of the internet and sadly I'm afraid a sign of times in our society where college students shout down anyone who doesn't happen to agree with their views. That never used to happen. Hi Larry, I'm going to be...
by crit
Thu Apr 20, 2017 7:52 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Real newb. Help with a check up.
Replies: 15
Views: 1285

Re: Real newb. Help with a check up.

It sounds like you need to open a Roth first, and then you'll be able to convert. Don't sell or exchange from your tIRA, that isn't how you move it. You'll eventually have to pay tax on any (usually small) amount that is earned in the tIRA before you convert it. That's why money market is easiest - ...
by crit
Thu Apr 20, 2017 2:20 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Evaluating my lack of jitters
Replies: 26
Views: 1624

Re: Evaluating my lack of jitters

Going from $50k to $25k is quite manageable. Going from $1,500,000 to $800k is another story. Keep things in perspective. Interesting; I would probably argue the other way, that 50 -> 25 is a big change and may well impact immediate life (what if that was the EF, and it was all you had, and then yo...
by crit
Thu Apr 20, 2017 1:37 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Evaluating my lack of jitters
Replies: 26
Views: 1624

Re: Evaluating my lack of jitters

Need: I could worm into saying we have need, as we didn't really start accumulating until our 40s, but I still feel we are fortunate overall, and can't justify calling it need. Spouse may not book the 40 social security quarters, but I already have. Ability: I think so. We do not and will not have c...
by crit
Thu Apr 20, 2017 12:04 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Evaluating my lack of jitters
Replies: 26
Views: 1624

Evaluating my lack of jitters

Backstory: I am 43, spouse 45. We've only needed to come up with an IPS and/or AA in the last few years. I feel like I'm over on the un-jittery side. Is this true? When I was ~23, a relative gifted my siblings and I with ~$30k of investments in a taxable account, along with making a first IRA contri...
by crit
Fri Apr 07, 2017 9:05 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: How many financial secrets?
Replies: 58
Views: 5440

Re: How many financial secrets?

The most 'secret' thing I do is TLHing. And hold more bonds (17%, both of us are mid-40s) than spouse would alone (0%). We got married two years ago, and had joint accounts (and a mortgage) before that, so no surprises. Spouse agrees with the basic low-cost indexing ideas, but surprisingly had not i...
by crit
Wed Mar 29, 2017 9:16 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Another TurboTax 8606 Complaint.
Replies: 9
Views: 663

Re: Another TurboTax 8606 Complaint.

Did you also contribute this year? I had trouble with TT this year, after I did both a recharacterization and a conversion (so 2 1099 forms), and used TT in its order by entering the 1099s first, and the contribution later. No matter what I did (and I was answering the qs correctly) it filled in for...
by crit
Wed Mar 22, 2017 12:06 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Moving TIAA CREF out of money market
Replies: 16
Views: 1211

Re: Moving TIAA CREF out of money market

Yes, you should post up your whole list of possible investments. As long as this is long-term money, you really want to get your money into stock and/or bond funds. A money-market fund is like cash -- it's not invested, and it will lose value to inflation over the long term. You probably have access...
by crit
Fri Mar 17, 2017 12:32 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: TIAA 403b bond choice.
Replies: 7
Views: 445

Re: TIAA 403b bond choice.

Do you have any flavors of TIAA traditional open to you?
by crit
Thu Mar 16, 2017 10:16 am
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Backdoor Roth: Those few cents that accumulate in your MM settlement funds
Replies: 9
Views: 934

Re: Backdoor Roth: Those few cents that accumulate in your MM settlement funds

I have the few cents in my Roth MM, after conversion. I converted the full $5500.07 tIRA to Roth, invested it into VFIAX less than a day later, and now there is $0.37 in the money market settlement fund.
by crit
Tue Mar 14, 2017 1:41 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Did I Buy Too Much Home?!?!?!
Replies: 42
Views: 4507

Re: Did I Buy Too Much Home?!?!?!

Aside from insurance to replace an income in an unlikely event, you should consider a more-likely event: that one of the income earners stays home with young children for a period of year(s), out of want or out of need. It doesn't sound like you can afford that?
by crit
Tue Mar 14, 2017 1:35 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Turbo Tax: Roth Recharacterization & Backdoor Contribution
Replies: 3
Views: 647

Re: Turbo Tax: Roth Recharacterization & Backdoor Contribution

I had about the same situation last year, and had trouble with TurboTax. I'll outline what happened and what worked to solve it, so that someone in the future may find my solution: March 2016 contributed $5500 to Roth Oct 2016 recharacterized $5880 to tIRA Nov 2016 converted entire $5950 tIRA to Rot...
by crit
Fri Mar 10, 2017 5:30 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Should my wife stay in cash or invest in her 403b?
Replies: 8
Views: 727

Re: Should my wife stay in cash or invest in her 403b?

I just learned this last week. For the TIAA traditional, read carefully for: In many plans I've read about here (and my own), the employer contribution goes to an RA (or RC, or GRC, or ...) contract, in which your ability to withdraw funds before retirement/separation is quite limited. For instance,...
by crit
Sat Mar 04, 2017 8:47 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Possibly Financially Independent and Feeling Miserable
Replies: 153
Views: 16227

Re: Possibly Financially Independent and Feeling Miserable

I don't feel miserable, but - it almost seems like the more we have, the less safe I feel, paradoxically. Maybe it's that I'm more aware of what it really takes to be safe; and more aware of how lucky and privileged I have been, previously. The many, many ways it could all evaporate. But my thoughts...
by crit
Sat Mar 04, 2017 8:40 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Please poke holes in my Tax Loss Harvesting plan
Replies: 12
Views: 1005

Re: Please poke holes in my Tax Loss Harvesting plan

My strategy: I keep vtsax and vtiax (and vlcax, and the ftse ex-us) funds in our taxable, and harvest losses when I can. Turn off reinvesting, period. I keep vfiax in our IRAs, so it will not interfere with the taxable. Combine a 4:1 ratio of a 500 fund with an extended market fund (I have vieix in ...
by crit
Fri Mar 03, 2017 2:44 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Vanguard Total Bond vs. TIAA Traditional? I should switch, right?
Replies: 7
Views: 517

Re: Vanguard Total Bond vs. TIAA Traditional? I should switch, right?

My options are actually changing (that's what nudged me into addressing this issue). For the next month, I can still put it into an RA contract in the employer-contribution account; lump-sum withdrawals are not allowed, only 10 annual equal increments. After April, it becomes an RC contract, where i...
by crit
Fri Mar 03, 2017 2:01 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Vanguard Total Bond vs. TIAA Traditional? I should switch, right?
Replies: 7
Views: 517

Vanguard Total Bond vs. TIAA Traditional? I should switch, right?

When I originally Bogle-ified, I set up a pretty vanilla 3-fund portfolio, using the Vanguard products available in my 403b at TIAA, our IRAs at Vanguard, and the least-bad 500-index option in my spouses's 401k. After some reading older threads around these parts, it's come to my attention that my T...
by crit
Sun Feb 26, 2017 10:41 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Sellers disclosure form has sections not marked
Replies: 26
Views: 2087

Re: Sellers disclosure form has sections not marked

Absolutely a red flag. I'd give them 12 hours to fully rectify, or I walk. Even then I would require extra verification and inspections. If you do get around to inspections, be stone cold sure not to use one that any realtor involved in this sale recommends to you. The fact that these are related by...
by crit
Mon Feb 13, 2017 1:10 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Need quick advice: Pay full year's rent or large security deposit?
Replies: 47
Views: 2535

Re: Need quick advice: Pay full year's rent or large security deposit?

My vote is for B, with the stipulation that it is applied to rent starting in month 8. One thing to consider is that for A, she wouldn't be paying rent monthly, and that may make life (and the apartment) feel more affordable than it really is. If she is trying to feel out whether she needs a roommat...
by crit
Wed Feb 08, 2017 9:24 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Robocalls! -- current best call blocker?
Replies: 46
Views: 3828

Re: Robocalls! -- current best call blocker?

Based on this thread, I installed Hiya (one of the suggestions here led me to it) and I'm pretty happy with it so far. Spam calls either don't ring or half-ring, and there is a log where I can check whether I missed anything real. Android 5.0, Samsung galaxy 5.
by crit
Thu Feb 02, 2017 7:24 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: How do you guys ignore this stuff?
Replies: 80
Views: 8480

Re: How do you guys ignore this stuff?

My question is, how could you possibly pay attention to that stuff? It's called clickbait for a reason. It's never, ever thoughtful or reasoned analysis, and even if it was, it's still not a crystal ball. It's just a headline designed to make you click, to sell eyeball time. My time and attention is...
by crit
Tue Jan 31, 2017 3:49 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Recent divorce, would like help looking at my financial/tax picture
Replies: 16
Views: 2091

Re: Recent divorce, would like help looking at my financial/tax picture

Very sorry for your troubles. It sounds like you have a good grasp on things. I'd be a bit worried about your overall debt picture, but your income should make up for it. Obviously, you want to kill that 9% debt yesterday, and it sounds like you should be able to do that within a few months. Two oth...
by crit
Tue Jan 31, 2017 11:25 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: what do you do to avoid the advertising noise?
Replies: 45
Views: 2571

Re: what do you do to avoid the advertising noise?

You have two questions here: how to avoid advertising that is targeted at you based on your use history; and how to avoid the noise that is flashy advertising on the internet. The latter is quite worthwhile to do. Use an ad blocker (ublock origin, or Adblock), a flash blocker (FlashBlock), limit scr...
by crit
Fri Jan 27, 2017 11:40 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Verizon to Cricket or StraightTalk
Replies: 63
Views: 4154

Re: Verizon to Cricket or StraightTalk

I have the $30 page plus 1gb at 4G plan, and it's been fine. Setup was a bit painful, but I got through it. That said, I have my browser set up to not load ads or play videos ( the internet the way it should be), and I'm on wifi at home and work, but I rarely come close to that 1gb even when I travel.
by crit
Fri Jan 27, 2017 11:34 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Are 401k matches negotiable?
Replies: 3
Views: 555

Are 401k matches negotiable?

My spouse does not get a match in 401k contributions. Raises at his company were just announced, and his was big, double digits (I'm very proud), and a bonus. It's great, but what I'd really like is to get that into tax protected space. He didn't negotiate much when he took the job 2 years ago, so I...
by crit
Fri Jan 27, 2017 5:51 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Rental Issue - Advice needed
Replies: 17
Views: 1486

Re: Rental Issue - Advice needed

What does your lease say, with respect to maintenance, repairs, and normal upkeep? Sounds like it will hinge on whether flushing aquarium stones is 'normal use' or whether the tenant should have known better. Maybe pop by an aquarium or big box store to see whether stones are labeled 'do not flush' ...
by crit
Wed Jan 25, 2017 9:01 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Can I afford to stop working overtime?
Replies: 56
Views: 4616

Re: Can I afford to stop working overtime?

Reading between the lines, you must have multiple very young children to require $3k/mo in daycare. Yes, you are needed at home. Your wife should absolutely not be a sole caretaker of multiple very young children. This is a hard time for everyone who goes through it, even with both spouses at home. ...
by crit
Sun Jan 22, 2017 3:03 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Do you check your credit reports annually?
Replies: 48
Views: 2978

Re: Do you check your credit reports annually?

I found - not a mistake or fraud, but a $70 city property tax on rental use had not been included in closing when I sold my condo. I never received a bill or any other contact, and it went to collections. Fortunately, the city recognized that its mail to me had come back to them, and they rescinded ...
by crit
Tue Jan 10, 2017 11:56 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Looking to hear from interest rate prognosticators...what to do with my ARM
Replies: 11
Views: 602

Re: Looking to hear from interest rate prognosticators...what to do with my ARM

I think your only mistake was in year four, where you didn't pay down extra principal for external reasons. You got the low rate ARM so you could take advantage of it in its early years. Continue to do that, because it sounds like you're set up very well, and you got lucky with rates and timing. You...
by crit
Tue Jan 10, 2017 11:31 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: How much is your cell phone bill?
Replies: 263
Views: 25232

Re: How much is your cell phone bill?

$30.73 I have a Page Plus monthly plan (which autorenews) for 1GB of 4G Verizon service for my single line. I have only once come close to using 1GB (but I rarely, rarely ever watch videos, as a rule). We have WiFi at home. I cannot remember whether texts are unlimited, because I'd implode if I ever...
by crit
Mon Jan 09, 2017 12:22 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: What should be our third exercise machine?
Replies: 42
Views: 2536

Re: What should be our third exercise machine?

Do you have a bicycle of your own, that fits you well? You said you were no longer riding outside, but if you have a bike you like (especially with a seat you like), then a good magnetic trainer for it would be far more worthwhile than any "bike"-type machine. Any good bike shop should be ...
by crit
Thu Jan 05, 2017 4:33 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: 500K milestone celebration
Replies: 74
Views: 7411

Re: 500K milestone celebration

congrats! We are just a few bucks short, but basically at this milestone. I can't pinpoint a starting point, but when we got married ~18 months ago and I started getting serious about A Portfolio, I had maybe $90k? and spouse had $40k. Our gains came from spouse's job .... we plan to live and save o...
by crit
Thu Jan 05, 2017 12:00 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Getting Subaru Legacy(4Cyl 2.5L or V6 3.6R?)
Replies: 56
Views: 4678

Re: Getting Subaru Legacy(4Cyl 2.5L or V6 3.6R?)

The 2.5L Subaru engine is notorious for head gasket failure (google it). This has bitten many, many of my friends who lovelovelove their Subaru, until it's painful. Do NOT buy the 2.5L.
by crit
Thu Jan 05, 2017 9:43 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Any Audi Wagon owners?
Replies: 29
Views: 2206

Re: Any Audi Wagon owners?

I have an a3 that's given me no trouble, and we'll be sad to let vw buy it back this spring (it's the diesel). We may well look at cpo a4s. I have an instrumented spine, so comfort is very high on my list. Subaru seats do not work for me. And I've had many, many friends get screwed by the 2.5L head ...
by crit
Sun Jan 01, 2017 10:02 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: What are your portfolio/investments?
Replies: 38
Views: 2691

Re: What are your portfolio/investments?

Age: 44/46 Mortgage: $230k at 3.4%, 26 years remaining. Federal: 28% E fund: 10+ months. Portfolio: 85/15 overall; 20% international; 5% of bonds is tiaa real estate, otherwise a standard mix of vanguard total market and similar, depending on availability within accounts. Contributions: max to 401k/...
by crit
Mon Dec 19, 2016 9:05 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: First Time tIRA contribution (and then conversion) Questions
Replies: 13
Views: 963

Re: First Time tIRA contribution (and then conversion) Questions

For your first question, there will be a question on the site when you make the contribution, specifying the tax year of the contribution. If you think you could end up recharacterizing (there are situations where this happens - if the market goes down) it may be simpler to have separate Roth accoun...
by crit
Mon Dec 19, 2016 9:00 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Should we get LTC Insurance?
Replies: 22
Views: 2770

Re: Should we get LTC Insurance?

There are several threads here if you search "LTC insurance" in the upper right. You can generate a commercially available premium number there, but your question is more basic. Do you buy insurance now or not. Its a very personal decision. I've read a bunch of threads and basic info site...
by crit
Mon Dec 19, 2016 5:07 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Should we get LTC Insurance?
Replies: 22
Views: 2770

Should we get LTC Insurance?

I thought I understood this, but it seems I don't. What situation does LTCi protect against? I have access to a LTC policy through my workplace, with little underwriting, for $30-80 / mo, depending on plan choices for coverage, inflation protection, etc. This little-underwriting window ends this wee...
by crit
Mon Nov 28, 2016 2:45 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Nearing Roth Contribution Limit - Check My Math?
Replies: 6
Views: 841

Re: Nearing Roth Contribution Limit - Check My Math?

If you need to, you could spend some on the rental (can you pay taxes or hoa fees early?), and create some kind of loss by year end.
by crit
Mon Nov 28, 2016 2:38 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Rebalancing / Tax Loss Harvesting Assistance
Replies: 16
Views: 1490

Re: Rebalancing / Tax Loss Harvesting Assistance

Correct. You want full control of when transactions happen, in order to avoid "accidental" wash sales.
by crit
Fri Nov 04, 2016 10:16 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Financial Health - Not Sure What to Do Next
Replies: 9
Views: 2400

Re: Financial Health - Not Sure What to Do Next

Overall you look like you're in a comfortable position.
Definitely take advantage of backdoor Roth, and offload the HELOC.

But you don't specify what your asset allocation is (desired or actual)? If, for instance, all of your savings is 100% cash, we might have different advice for you!
by crit
Thu Oct 13, 2016 12:42 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Should I backdoor Roth this year?
Replies: 4
Views: 677

Re: Should I backdoor Roth this year?

Yes, your traditional IRA contributions are non-deductible. Are you married, or filing single? What are your other deductions? Assuming you are single and have no other big deductions, it appears you won't be eligible to make a direct Roth IRA contribution (see here: http://www.rothira.com/roth-ira-...
by crit
Thu Sep 15, 2016 1:30 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Yet Another Newbie Looking for Input
Replies: 13
Views: 1181

Re: Yet Another Newbie Looking for Input

Question: I'm a little reluctant to go with a tIRA because of contribution maximums. Wouldn't I be better putting away 47K in Roths rather than 47K in tIRAs? If I make less money and can't max them out but am still in a high tax bracket I completely understand going tIRA but 47K post tax is worth m...
by crit
Fri Sep 09, 2016 7:21 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Why are Treasury prices AND Stock prices both down today?
Replies: 45
Views: 4829

Re: Why are Treasury prices AND Stock prices both down today?

Wow. Vanguard Target Retirement Income is down 1% today!!! Having VTINX be down that much in one day is scary. This is the most of I have down in one day in quite a long time. I relied on the bond portion to be a stabilizer for my portfolio. If I can't rely on bonds for stability, I may have to rec...
by crit
Sun Sep 04, 2016 1:25 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Yearly Checkup, middle aged couple
Replies: 4
Views: 937

Yearly Checkup, middle aged couple

We've come a long way since I first posted about a year ago, much thanks to the expertise on this board. I hope we're in good shape ... please comment! Emergency funds: ~12 months. Debt: mortgage, $230k at 3.4% 30-year fixed Tax Filing Status: Married filing joint, no children. Tax Rate: 33% Federal...
by crit
Mon Aug 22, 2016 11:36 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Please, please advise...Health insurance terminated by insurance company
Replies: 45
Views: 3936

Re: Please, please advise...Health insurance terminated by insurance company

Contact your State Insurance Commissioner, stat, and your congresspeople. Your first priority needs to be ensuring ongoing coverage. The rest can wait.

http://www.patientadvocate.org/index.php?p=178
http://www.naic.org/state_web_map.htm
by crit
Sat Aug 13, 2016 4:23 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Any lawyers out there. Bike hits car, minor and parents have no insurance
Replies: 91
Views: 7881

Re: Any lawyers out there. Bike hits car, minor and parents have no insurance

mother rents without insurance and has no money according to her. I would absolutely not take this person to collections over $500. Be kind. Do unto others. Etc. And as said above, don't judge an iphone, that mother may well be struggling to give her child the appearance of normal to her peers. It ...
by crit
Thu Aug 11, 2016 5:55 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: How to address a college professor with a PhD (Dr. or Prof.)
Replies: 60
Views: 3413

Re: How to address a college professor with a PhD (Dr. or Prof.)

Dr. or Professor are both fine, and if in doubt about terminal degree, just go with Professor. But do -not- start out with Ms. or Mr.. That indicates up front that you do not think they (specifically that person, or more broadly all professors) are not worthy of the usual & customary amount of r...

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