Search found 987 matches

by curmudgeon
Sun Jan 22, 2017 4:51 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Reflecting the value of pre-IPO shares in Net Worth
Replies: 20
Views: 1052

Re: Reflecting the value of pre-IPO shares in Net Worth

You do realize that just because you own real shares in this negative profit company does not mean anything. Start ups have huge debts and lots of "owners" that have various positions for their stock and debt. Think about the control the Venture capital people have to change things after ...
by curmudgeon
Sun Jan 22, 2017 4:35 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Anyone file "decline in value" for property taxes? Advice?
Replies: 25
Views: 1515

Re: Anyone file "decline in value" for property taxes? Advice?

Given you are Prop 13 with a greatly reduced tax base is this even worth your time or am I missing something? I agree. Aren't we really talking peanuts? Gill Prop 13 doesn't work that way. If you are a recent purchaser, you are paying full base rate. Prop 13 only limits future increases. My county ...
by curmudgeon
Sun Jan 22, 2017 4:19 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Extensive Travel & Mobile Lifestyle in Retirement
Replies: 8
Views: 1015

Re: Extensive Travel & Mobile Lifestyle in Retirement

Full-time RV travelers often choose South Dakota as a state of residence. No state income tax, but also pretty flexible on other stuff and doesn't have high registration/tax for an expensive RV. There is a mini-industry of places that will maintain a mailing address and residency for you there. If y...
by curmudgeon
Sun Jan 22, 2017 3:29 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Retiring soon - health insurance planning Cal-COBRA
Replies: 9
Views: 893

Re: Retiring soon - health insurance planning Cal-COBRA

Some useful thoughts in the responses, thanks. In the past 10 years, we haven't come close to meeting an ordinary plan deductible, much less an HDHP one, so I'm not too worried about starting over on deductible, but that is definitely a consideration to keep in mind for some folks. One advantage to ...
by curmudgeon
Sun Jan 22, 2017 2:09 am
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Schwab brokerage incentive $2,500 - - - thoughts?
Replies: 32
Views: 3493

Re: Schwab brokerage incentive $2,500 - - - thoughts?

I don't generally chase too many bank/brokerage bonuses, but I have been transferring $100K worth of index funds to fidelity every year to collect the 50,000 airline mile bonus. Can't use IRA for that one, but I can do it all online for little hassle.
by curmudgeon
Thu Jan 19, 2017 9:25 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Retiring soon - health insurance planning Cal-COBRA
Replies: 9
Views: 893

Re: Retiring soon - health insurance planning Cal-COBRA

People I have worked with have said that COBRA and Cal-COBRA rates work out about the same but they were less then half of what the street rates were for ACA/Obamacare. They would depend on the size of the employer and how the employer negoitiated with their insurance carrier(s). I think that one p...
by curmudgeon
Thu Jan 19, 2017 1:36 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Retiring soon - health insurance planning Cal-COBRA
Replies: 9
Views: 893

Retiring soon - health insurance planning Cal-COBRA

It will be hard to have this discussion without going off into politics. Please keep in mind forum rules prohibiting political discussion and proposed legislation. I am looking to retire in the next few months. My megacorp is one that does nothing for retirees beyond a minimal 401K match, so we will...
by curmudgeon
Wed Jan 18, 2017 7:17 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Anyone using i-orp as a guide for withdrawals?
Replies: 19
Views: 1653

Re: Anyone using i-orp as a guide for withdrawals?

I personally wouldn't use i-orp as a primary guide for withdrawal. I might use it as a secondary piece of input, along with the 4% rule and some of the other tools like cfiresim. My biggest concern is that it uses a uniform investment growth, and the real world is not so nicely behaved. I might use,...
by curmudgeon
Tue Jan 17, 2017 8:32 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Wellesley bond holdings?
Replies: 3
Views: 1019

Re: Wellesley bond holdings?

I don't follow them directly, though they become more interesting if I retire this year. I personally think there is some significant advantage (though also some risk) to W & W having more flexibility in their bond holdings than a bond index fund. I will be interested in other comments.
by curmudgeon
Tue Jan 17, 2017 7:48 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Reflectors to reflect only tail lights (or battery LED motion strip)
Replies: 26
Views: 1368

Re: Reflectors to reflect only tail lights

Actual reflectors (with the plastic prisms) tend to do somewhat better than most reflective tape. You can get them on a stick to poke into the ground so you can place and align as you like. Still not going to be really visible with backup lights only. A large orange plastic pylon might be an option,...
by curmudgeon
Mon Jan 16, 2017 2:06 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: If I decide to overpay on mortgage payment
Replies: 45
Views: 4304

Re: If I decide to overpay on mortgage payment

As others have noted, assuming a traditional mortgage, your extra payment amount should go to principal, which will reduce your interest over the long term. Be careful to specify that the additional money is to go to principal. Some loan service places will treat your additional money as a "par...
by curmudgeon
Mon Jan 16, 2017 1:53 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: is a 401k loan always terrible?
Replies: 51
Views: 3130

Re: is a 401k loan always terrible?

I'm not sure i would worry that much about the specific source of the money given your cash flows. You are talking a few hundred dollars either way. Personally, I'd probably delay paying off the last student loan, and pay for the renovation from a combination of cash flow and emergency fund (I would...
by curmudgeon
Sun Jan 15, 2017 5:47 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: locum work for docs, physician recruiters and so on - advice?
Replies: 16
Views: 1196

Re: locum work for docs, physician recruiters and so on - advice?

I would think that one challenge in moving from salaried government work to locums or similar would be managing the malpractice risk/tail coverage. It's not something I have knowledge of, but it seems to weigh pretty heavily on decision-making for a lot of docs.
by curmudgeon
Sat Jan 14, 2017 1:09 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: cruise around the world
Replies: 16
Views: 1499

Re: cruise around the world

Some relatives have done this several times, though on high-end, more expensive ships. Spending the fruits of a stock-picking, 100% equity portfolio in retirement :twisted: They enjoy it, but I think part of the draw is the very high level of service you get on some of those smaller ships, along wit...
by curmudgeon
Fri Jan 13, 2017 10:46 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Sudden alternator corrosion... And Prevention/Protection?
Replies: 6
Views: 555

Re: Sudden alternator corrosion... And Prevention/Protection?

Dilute battery acid from handling the battery case might have ended up on the alternator terminal when you swapped this stuff before. A bit of clean grease coating after tightening down the connection should help avoid further corrosion.
by curmudgeon
Fri Jan 13, 2017 7:24 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Stay in paid-off starter house vs. dream house+work a few more years
Replies: 51
Views: 3097

Re: Stay in paid-off starter house vs. dream house+work a few more years

In your situation I would probably buy it. Money is to use (sensibly), not just pile up and hoard. I'm presuming that your student loans aren't a huge sum, and are retained mostly because of an advantageous interest rate. We did a significant upsize about 15 years ago with a smaller (single) income....
by curmudgeon
Fri Jan 13, 2017 1:56 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Retiring this May, please advise
Replies: 24
Views: 2854

Re: Retiring this May, please advise

I'm looking at a similar scenario, though married and a bit older. Health insurance is certainly one of the biggest unknowns. Here in CA, there is an 18 month COBRA extension on top of the federal one, so I could stay on Cobra for 3 years. Alternately, I could shift over to a Kaiser individual plan,...
by curmudgeon
Fri Jan 13, 2017 12:56 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: reduce taxes on house sale
Replies: 4
Views: 736

Re: reduce taxes on house sale

When you take out "boot" in a 1031 exchange, the total amount taken out is taxable (unless it exceeds the gain, but then there wouldn't be any point to the exchange). Taxability is a "worst first" model, so the first part of the boot would be recapture of depreciation, then long-...
by curmudgeon
Thu Jan 12, 2017 5:25 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: ROTH conversion calculator to minimize RMDs?
Replies: 18
Views: 1562

Re: ROTH conversion calculator to minimize RMDs?

i-orp is the best I've found, but it can be challenging to fully understand and make use of it. I think the conversion feature caused enough confusion that it is turned off in the default page now. I would absolutely cross-check any conversion plans that you make based on the output. A few notes: 1)...
by curmudgeon
Wed Jan 11, 2017 8:31 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Trip to Kona, Hawaii - Suggestions
Replies: 44
Views: 2607

Re: Trip to Kona, Hawaii - Suggestions

Hiking out to the flowing (oozing) active lava, getting so close you can "poke it with a stick", was an absolute highlight to me. Doing it at night and during daytime were both worthwhile, and different experiences. Sometimes the lava is completely inaccessible, but in recent months the ac...
by curmudgeon
Wed Jan 11, 2017 1:50 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Thinking of getting tires from Costco
Replies: 68
Views: 4769

Re: Thinking of getting tires from Costco

I've used Costco for times for quite a few years, but in our area they have become too popular. There is just no way to get in and out in a reasonable time frame for rotations or install. I've got a new set of tires to buy in the next several months, and there is a fair chance I'll go elsewhere for ...
by curmudgeon
Mon Jan 09, 2017 5:04 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Ways to charge money on Credit Card
Replies: 21
Views: 1991

Re: Ways to charge money on Credit Card

I try to use the following order when meeting an initial spending requirement for a bonus: 1) ordinary day-to-day spending like food, gas, groceries etc. For some folks this will add up to enough, but not usually for us (especially with cards/payments split between my wife and I). 2) Bill payments w...
by curmudgeon
Sun Jan 08, 2017 4:49 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: multi-year partial 1031 exchange
Replies: 0
Views: 95

multi-year partial 1031 exchange

I have a rental house (in CA) that I am planning to sell this year. If I just sell it directly, it will likely have around $400K in depreciation recapture and long-term capital gains. I've been holding off on selling until I retire to avoid getting hit so hard on taxes, but even if I keep my other i...
by curmudgeon
Sat Jan 07, 2017 10:39 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Gas Water Heater vs Electric Tankless
Replies: 26
Views: 1778

Re: Gas Water Heater vs Electric Tankless

This is an interesting question to me, though in a slightly different context. As a rule, gas will be substantially more cost effective for heating water, and the heat loss for tank heaters is not all that much these days. But if you can mount your tankless closer to the points of use, you might gai...
by curmudgeon
Sat Jan 07, 2017 6:52 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Alaska cruise - Help me convince my family
Replies: 58
Views: 3791

Re: Alaska cruise - Help me convince my family

One thing to keep in mind is that there are significant differences between the cruises that round-trip out of Seattle and the ones that do one-way for the week. Fitting a round-trip into a week requires some less desirable routing and scheduling. If you have a few days to spend on land at the Alask...
by curmudgeon
Fri Jan 06, 2017 4:55 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Annual Vacation Budget
Replies: 261
Views: 16195

Re: Annual Vacation Budget

We never really had vacation budgets. With three kids and a single primary income, we tended to default to camping trips or family visits in the early years. We were on our third house before we made our first overseas trip. We had a base mode of 401K saving(but not always maxed), paying extra on th...
by curmudgeon
Thu Jan 05, 2017 12:23 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Chase Sapphire ending its Reserve 100,000 bonus point offer
Replies: 30
Views: 3311

Re: Chase Sapphire ending its Reserve 100,000 bonus point offer

thanks for the helpful reminder. I got one last fall, but my wife may try to get one while the big bonus is still out there. Added to the todo list for this weekend.
by curmudgeon
Tue Jan 03, 2017 10:13 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Whats your number to walk away?
Replies: 245
Views: 27116

Re: Whats your number to walk away?

To me the relevant number is not the number that would TRIGGER me walking away it's the number that ENABLES me to walk away if need be. My current formula for that is spending needs x years to age 70 + residual spending above SS starting at 70 x 20. I am very lucky to be above that "F-U Money&...
by curmudgeon
Sat Dec 24, 2016 5:39 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: HSA contributions disqualify preventative care incentive rewards?
Replies: 5
Views: 392

Re: HSA contributions disqualify preventative care incentive rewards?

Hmmm, sounds like this is one that my Megacorp actually got right. In our case, they make the health incentive award directly to your HSA in addition to the baseline contribution they make (if you have HDHP) or to a FSA (otherwise).
by curmudgeon
Fri Dec 23, 2016 3:08 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Financial Independence is not the Holy Grail
Replies: 85
Views: 9009

Re: Financial Independence is not the Holy Grail

I considered financial independence to be a goal, but not the primary goal. LBYM was a key goal, as a way to avoid financial stress. Early FI is just something that tends to fall out from LBYM if things go well. We made several choices over the years that significantly delayed FI, but they were cons...
by curmudgeon
Thu Dec 22, 2016 1:19 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Which car paint option Maaco
Replies: 40
Views: 3294

Re: Which car paint option Maaco

You clearly don't drive lots of miles per year. As far as the oil goes, I'd switch to a heavyweight oil (20w-50), and watch how it does for a while to see how much you are really using. The super lightweight oil spec'd for a lot of modern cars is all about getting an extra .1 mpg in the EPA ratings,...
by curmudgeon
Mon Dec 19, 2016 8:20 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Job switch dilemma
Replies: 40
Views: 3260

Re: Job switch dilemma

I may weigh in with a bit more detail later, but I will give a little feedback now... We made a move across the country at one point to try something new (though it was moving up the career ladder); a combination of disappointment in the job and a realization that we preferred to be closer to famil...
by curmudgeon
Mon Dec 19, 2016 12:43 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Job switch dilemma
Replies: 40
Views: 3260

Re: Job switch dilemma

I may weigh in with a bit more detail later, but I will give a little feedback now... I view the point of money as giving me life options. Some folks make a big salary and inflate their lifestyle to match, which leaves them locked into the job. It doesn't sound like that applies to you. So then it b...
by curmudgeon
Sun Dec 18, 2016 11:48 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Which car paint option Maaco
Replies: 40
Views: 3294

Re: Which car paint option Maaco

To my mind, the weakest points of a Maaco type paint job is in the detail work, both in prep and edge trimming. If the old surface isn't rusted, then the real basic sanding they do may be OK. They probably won't be removing much of the trim, or painting inside the door edges or trunk/hood. You are b...
by curmudgeon
Sun Dec 18, 2016 4:13 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Flying with Norwegian
Replies: 24
Views: 2267

Re: Flying with Norwegian

I will be interested to see your review when you get back... I haven't used them yet, but consider them an option (including possibly their business class for more legroom and wider seats). If you pay the upcharges for baggage, reserved seats, meals, and drinks they aren't quite a cheap as they look...
by curmudgeon
Sun Dec 18, 2016 4:03 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Omaha Steaks....Who else for mail-order steaks?
Replies: 26
Views: 2592

Re: Omaha Steaks....Who else for mail-order steaks?

We have received Omaha and Allen Bro steaks. They were OK, but nothing special. I feel like I can get better from the local meat market (or the prime beef section at Costco). An alternative which we have enjoyed receiving was a monthly "fruit and cheese" club from Harry and David. A bit ov...
by curmudgeon
Sat Dec 17, 2016 11:03 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Earthquake insurance
Replies: 12
Views: 1282

Re: Earthquake insurance

No simple answer on this. I don't follow it closely even though I live in an earthquake prone area. Forty years ago, EQ insurance was probably underpriced. Then some high claims years pushed it the other way. When deductibles were low, an earthquake could be a good excuse to redecorate on the insura...
by curmudgeon
Sat Dec 17, 2016 1:15 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Charles Schwab Experiences?
Replies: 43
Views: 3805

Re: Charles Schwab Experiences?

Schwab invites me to a lot of events, and my rep calls or emails a couple of times per year inviting me in for consultations. Your mom will get invited to special events for women investors. I agree Schwab has some great products and customer service, but they have sales pressures, too. I have been...
by curmudgeon
Thu Dec 15, 2016 2:13 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: splitting target of a 1031 exchange
Replies: 1
Views: 180

Re: splitting target of a 1031 exchange

Any thoughts on the 1031 exchange itself? Are there special gotchas to watch out for with a "reverse exchange" where you buy the target property first? I know the fees associater are significantly higher, but I'm not sure how this would work out with multiple properties and two states.
by curmudgeon
Tue Dec 13, 2016 10:43 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: splitting target of a 1031 exchange
Replies: 1
Views: 180

splitting target of a 1031 exchange

I have been chewing over my options in disposing of a rental property that we've owned for the past few years. The current property has appreciated nicely to around $900K value, but would have about $400K of depreciation recapture and cap gains, which will make for a big tax bill (especially in CA)....
by curmudgeon
Tue Dec 13, 2016 5:35 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: gas cooktop power and ignition
Replies: 7
Views: 566

Re: gas cooktop power and ignition

You will have plenty of heat output for canning with those burners. Your old cooktop burners were probably about 7000 BTU. Pay more attention to the convenience of controls and such.
by curmudgeon
Tue Dec 13, 2016 3:48 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: gas cooktop power and ignition
Replies: 7
Views: 566

Re: gas cooktop power and ignition

Having different power burners is a desirable trait to most folks. A big burner will bring a large pot of water to boil significantly faster. A small burner will let you turn things down to simmer a pot of soup all day without having to watch it. There are also some other uses which may not fit your...
by curmudgeon
Mon Dec 12, 2016 11:32 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: "New" or Refurb Rechargeables for Old Tools
Replies: 36
Views: 1849

Re: "New" or Refurb Rechargeables for Old Tools

I have learned just to treat some of these things as semi-disposable rather than as "lifetime" tools. I can't quite cross that bridge yet. Want to try to get these old batteries rebuilt. It also irks me a bit that (I believe) this is intentional, planned obsolescence on the part of the to...
by curmudgeon
Sun Dec 11, 2016 4:24 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: gas cooktop question
Replies: 12
Views: 1139

Re: gas cooktop question

Makes me think the burner you were using might have a slight clog in the gas/air mix point (maybe some rust or spills), which is interfering with the proper mixture, and pushing some of the gas under the surface of the cooktop to the other burner. I might try carefully cleaning and inspecting the bu...
by curmudgeon
Sat Dec 10, 2016 8:48 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Buying a home!
Replies: 35
Views: 3358

Re: Buying a home!

Offer $805,000 (I think it's actually worth only $790,000) Then why are you offering $805K? I can't imagine that anyone would accept a price that is more than $100K below the asking price. If they were willing to accept a much lower price then after 60 days they would drop their price maybe $20K at...
by curmudgeon
Sat Dec 10, 2016 8:21 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: "New" or Refurb Rechargeables for Old Tools
Replies: 36
Views: 1849

Re: "New" or Refurb Rechargeables for Old Tools

I stuck to more "name brand" tools to deal with this issue. I bought a set of Craftsman cordless tools 15 years ago, and have gotten new batteries a couple of times since, either separately or with another tool. The original battery packs were recycled long ago, and the second set are in t...
by curmudgeon
Sat Dec 10, 2016 3:40 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Calculating Capital Gains on Sale of Investment Property (California)
Replies: 5
Views: 357

Re: Calculating Capital Gains on Sale of Investment Property (California)

The "withholding at closing" stuff may not apply to you; I think that is mostly aimed at out-of-state or foreign sellers, but check the details for yourself. In general terms, you would just pay the extra taxes in April 2018, when you file (or file for extension). I've written some pretty ...
by curmudgeon
Fri Dec 09, 2016 8:36 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: In a tough situation with a leased vehicle
Replies: 23
Views: 2689

Re: In a tough situation with a leased vehicle

I'm not sure why the stress. It would be different if you were leasing an F350 pickup, or a Corvette, or something like that. You are driving a reasonably economical vehicle, and with as much driving as you are doing for work, you *should* have a fairly modern, reliable car. It's just a cost of doin...
by curmudgeon
Thu Dec 08, 2016 5:52 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Question about Chase Sapphire Reserve Card
Replies: 19
Views: 2088

Re: Question about Chase Sapphire Reserve Card

Don't be so sure. I got the +$300 and the +$100 refund and the -$450 charge all this month even though my first statement won't be issued until mid Jan Pretty sure that the $300 back is by calendar year that the statement cuts, so the first one if you applied now would be January 2017. You get the ...
by curmudgeon
Thu Dec 08, 2016 2:55 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: What is my Cost Basis on Gifted Real Estate?
Replies: 39
Views: 1864

Re: What is my Cost Basis on Gifted Real Estate?

Interesting question, and I am not an expert in this area but want to follow the thread for reference. My understanding of this is that it is sort of the corolary of donating appreciated stock to charity. That is, the gift for estate tax or gift tax purposes is based on current value, but the cost b...

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