Search found 325 matches

by crit
Fri Jul 21, 2017 12:10 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Humid basement
Replies: 39
Views: 2497

Re: Humid basement

An outside possibility: is there a leak in your unfinished portion, or crawl space, that you can't easily access? When we bought our house, it had a pretty humid basement. No obvious leaks on inspection. Some water in a crawl space reported by inspector who crawled back there, but it had poured the ...
by crit
Fri Jul 21, 2017 12:02 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Cryptocurrencies
Replies: 45
Views: 2942

Re: Cryptocurrencies

We acquired a position involuntarily that I'm not happy about, and it has gone down ~30% since that event. Yay.
by crit
Fri Jul 21, 2017 11:58 am
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Unwise to contribute to the same equity index fund in both taxable and IRA account? [Preparing for TLH]
Replies: 12
Views: 842

Re: Unwise to contribute to the same equity index fund in both taxable and IRA account? [Preparing for TLH]

You're -almost- there. What you need is a third fund, because in taxable you will TLH between two funds - selling whatever's down -into- other fund, and the positions of the two funds alternate. I have this type of thing going on in our portfolio. I didn't set out to do it -- it arose because of ava...
by crit
Sat Jul 01, 2017 8:17 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Negotiating a House Using Seller's Agent (opinions wanted)
Replies: 101
Views: 5088

Re: Negotiating a House Using Seller's Agent (opinions wanted)

If my realtor forwarded my email to the seller's realtor without my express permission, my next stop would be a lawyer.

Doubtlessly that realtor made you sign papers, and those papers said something about fiduciary responsibility. To you.
by crit
Tue Jun 27, 2017 2:58 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Which Dealer Cost/Invoice does one use?
Replies: 20
Views: 1698

Re: Which Dealer Cost/Invoice does one use?

I agree there's only one dealer invoice number. I do not agree; I strongly suspect that the terms "invoice" and "dealer cost" have become just different marketing terms, now that everyone knows or can find them. Most recently, I have read that deals are expressed in terms of % m...
by crit
Sat Jun 24, 2017 3:51 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Bogleheads: Please help me pick a new car
Replies: 81
Views: 6765

Re: Bogleheads: Please help me pick a new car

Same here - I really enjoyed that post. Thanks for writing it. Hope you enjoy your new car.
by crit
Sat Jun 24, 2017 3:41 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Mediator for ownership division of primary home
Replies: 46
Views: 1676

Re: Mediator for ownership division of primary home

It's an aside, but can you comment a bit more about how he was able to take a heloc without her knowing? I'm going to have trouble sleeping until I know that's a rare exception .... Actually, maybe it's less of an aside, really: he leveraged his access to that money, into his business. I would argue...
by crit
Mon Jun 19, 2017 1:03 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Negotiating a House Using Seller's Agent (opinions wanted)
Replies: 101
Views: 5088

Re: Negotiating a House Using Seller's Agent (opinions wanted)

If the seller's agent really, truly wants to get the deal done, he/she will offer part of their commission to reduce the price of the house, especially if he/she is playing dual agent. It doesn't seem like you're close enough, at least yet, but that could help you close the gap. I agree with the 'wa...
by crit
Mon Jun 19, 2017 12:54 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Bonus, in bitcoin
Replies: 21
Views: 2001

Re: Bonus, in bitcoin

Without going into detail, the company has very, very compelling reasons to stay on the legal and documented side of things, so we do not expect that this is shady.
by crit
Mon Jun 19, 2017 12:42 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Seeking 401k rollover advice
Replies: 5
Views: 341

Re: Seeking 401k rollover advice

Yes, your new 401k looks to be a very good choice with low-cost options, and rolling it into the new 401k (as opposed to a rollover IRA) leaves the backdoor Roth as an option for you.
by crit
Mon Jun 19, 2017 12:38 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Bonus, in bitcoin
Replies: 21
Views: 2001

Re: Bonus, in bitcoin

We speculate that the reasoning is to give spouse "skin in the game" of the company's product, which is related. Company is very up-and-up (and salary is in USD, properly reported, etc), we are not anticipating bad behaviour at all. I just want to make sure I'm asking the right questions t...
by crit
Mon Jun 19, 2017 12:32 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Please help with this portfolio
Replies: 10
Views: 569

Re: Please help with this portfolio

Fifth, find out what the capital gains are for each of the funds in the taxable account (I assume the "Joint Tenants" account is a taxable account). The good news is that the majority is in IRAs, and can be liquidated or exchanged for reasonable things like a target-date fund or a Wellesle...
by crit
Mon Jun 19, 2017 12:27 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Bonus, in bitcoin
Replies: 21
Views: 2001

Re: Bonus, in bitcoin

Thanks PVW, that IRS notice is helpful.

So Company will have to report it in USD on the W2.
I'll make sure to keep some record of the value of what we receive on the date we receive it, for gain/loss reporting when we sell it, and I expect I'll be manually entering the basis and gain/loss.
by crit
Mon Jun 19, 2017 11:13 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Bonus, in bitcoin
Replies: 21
Views: 2001

Re: Bonus, in bitcoin

I think the gain/loss comes if we sell (convert) it to USD at a different conversion rate than it was given to us. It's really not clear to me, though; from a bit of reading, it sounds like the IRS views these currencies as property, which is why I'd expect to have to report gain/loss. Bitcoin's FAQ...
by crit
Mon Jun 19, 2017 11:01 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Bonus, in bitcoin
Replies: 21
Views: 2001

Bonus, in bitcoin

Spouse is receiving a bonus paid in units of a cryptocurrency. Company "may" be paying the taxes on the bonus. What are the questions I need to get answered, as the finance person in the house? I am already asking: How are they reporting the bonus to IRS -- W2? In units of dollars (would h...
by crit
Sat Jun 17, 2017 7:50 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Bank of America foreclosure [help negotiating settlement]
Replies: 2
Views: 612

Re: Bank of America foreclosure [help negotiating settlement]

A line of credit is probably a good idea. You'll likely be asked to put bigger security deposits or pre-paid down on apartments in the future. Securing your access now to funds you may not need until later in general would be the idea. Speaking as a former landlord - do what you can to take care of ...
by crit
Mon Jun 12, 2017 8:45 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Can we afford a 800k house in HCOL area (Boston area) ?
Replies: 42
Views: 4379

Re: Can we afford a 800k house in HCOL area (Boston area) ?

We're within spitting distance of you in terms of income and portfolio, and one of our jobs is in tech so we consider that income as highly variable. We have lived in Cambridge. We live in a lower COL place now, where our mortgage + taxes is about $1700/mo. We've ended up saving (failing to spend, r...
by crit
Mon Jun 12, 2017 8:04 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Rental Property Repairs - Whose to Pay?
Replies: 32
Views: 2877

Re: Rental Property Repairs - Whose to Pay?

This is the cost of doing business. For me, the fuss of trying to recoup the few hundred bucks for carpet cleaning (as said above, the microwave is $0) would be nowhere near worth it. You might want to put a clause in the lease requiring that tenants have carpets cleaned themselves upon move-out. Bu...
by crit
Mon Jun 05, 2017 10:33 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Pimp my DW's ride.
Replies: 96
Views: 6651

Re: Pimp my DW's ride.

my hackles are raised even more by buying another Internal Combustion Vehicle. Can't give any input on the paint, but we just got an A3 e-tron to replace our TDI. It's a plug-in hybrid, with a 23-mile battery that you can use in EV mode to putter around town, hybrid mode, or use the ICE to save the...
by crit
Fri May 19, 2017 9:07 am
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: For those with $500k-$1m in investments...
Replies: 138
Views: 13230

Re: For those with $500k-$1m in investments...

Age 45/47 40% taxable, 60% tax-deferred. In our case, this split arose because we both only poked into higher tax brackets in the last ~5 years; I was a postdoc for too long before I got a faculty job, and spouse's earnings have fluctuated wildly as he works in software/startups. We've maximized con...
by crit
Thu May 18, 2017 1:57 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Tipping at All Inclusive Resort?
Replies: 67
Views: 5394

Re: Tipping at All Inclusive Resort?

I tip and quite well. .... All in cost < $200/week Benefits 1. Guess who never has to say "where the heck is that pool/beach server" 2. Guess who the bartender serves first if two hit the bar at the same time? 3. Guess who the waiter at breakfast sees first? 4. Guess who doesn't have to g...
by crit
Thu May 11, 2017 8:03 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Can you suggest a mortgage lender who does not resell
Replies: 67
Views: 4996

Re: Can you suggest a mortgage lender who does not resell

TD has not yet sold our mortgage, going on 4 years now. They were not great in terms of getting the deal done, but fine since.
by crit
Mon Apr 24, 2017 8:57 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Issue With Real Estate Agent (Seller)
Replies: 56
Views: 5474

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: 7
Views: 957

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 "Goodbye."
Replies: 336
Views: 39407

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: 17
Views: 1618

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: 1812

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: 1812

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: 1812

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: 5920

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: 806

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: 1550

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: 558

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: 1062

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: 4832

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: 744

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: 827

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: 17468

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: 1135

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: 612

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: 612

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: 2320

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: 2717

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: 58
Views: 5656

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: 8979

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: 2244

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: 2754

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: 4636

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: 607

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: 1634

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' ...

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