Search found 352 matches

by keystone
Fri Apr 21, 2017 6:02 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: How to reduce my income tax
Replies: 31
Views: 2968

Re: How to reduce my income tax

Look into getting a dependent care FSA if it's available through your employer. The tax benefit will be superior to deducting 3K for the dependent care credit. Edit - I see that you list 5k for child's FSA. Assuming that is for dependent care, then you would be ineligible for the 3k child care credit.
by keystone
Wed Apr 19, 2017 1:25 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Financial Advisor's Calculations Accurate re: VFINX v their Fund?
Replies: 13
Views: 1023

Re: Financial Advisor's Calculations Accurate re: VFINX v their Fund?

I get the sense this is going to be an entertaining thread.

Without knowing what the investment is, it's hard to say but most likely it involved a lot of risk (assuming the FA was being honest in the first place) and the time period was cherry picked.
by keystone
Wed Apr 19, 2017 1:18 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Should I bother with a 401k at present?
Replies: 25
Views: 1903

Re: Should I bother with a 401k at present?

Assuming the debt interest rate isn't so high, I would focus all of my extra funds on the 401K and/or an IRA. At 31 you have time on your side and now is the time to be putting money away in tax advantaged accounts to build for your future. You can only save so much each year in tax advantaged accou...
by keystone
Wed Apr 19, 2017 12:25 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Considering buying a new cell phone- ideas?
Replies: 14
Views: 1509

Re: Considering buying a new cell phone- ideas?

I have the Moto G5 Plus (64gb version) and love it. The G4 Plus is also a very good phone for the money, but if I needed to buy a new phone I would definitely go with the G5 because of the smaller size, better camera and slightly better battery life. I just noticed the CNET review of the G5 Plus is ...
by keystone
Fri Apr 14, 2017 8:25 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: HSA as Part of Emergency Fund
Replies: 20
Views: 1462

Re: HSA as Part of Emergency Fund

Do you generally consider your HSA as part of your 3-6 month emergency fund? Or should the emergency fund be considered completely separate from the HSA? You'll probably get answers that are all over the place, but I see nothing wrong with treating your HSA as part of your emergency fund assuming y...
by keystone
Fri Apr 14, 2017 7:50 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Affordable cellphone with the best camera possible
Replies: 16
Views: 1141

Re: Affordable cellphone with the best camera possible

The new Moto G5 Plus has not yet been rated by DXO Mark, but Ars Technica thought the G5 Plus camera was a step down: https://arstechnica.com/gadgets/2017/03/moto-g5-plus-review-still-good-and-cheap-but-not-the-bargain-it-once-was/ My wife and I both had the Moto G4 Plus and thought it was a great ...
by keystone
Wed Apr 12, 2017 3:47 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: HSA (Spouse + Me) and FSA (Spouse)?
Replies: 19
Views: 1161

Re: HSA (Spouse + Me) and FSA (Spouse)?

There really should be explicit language in the FSA enrollment process for a married individual. You should almost have to sign an acknowledgement that you understand the interaction or an electronic signature if you enroll online. When I was enrolling my wife in her HSA, I remember seeing some typ...
by keystone
Mon Apr 10, 2017 10:16 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: HSA and FSA big mistake
Replies: 3
Views: 821

Re: HSA and FSA big mistake

I have an active FSA through my employer and an HSA through my wife's employer. Our plans are on different cycles and I was unable to terminate my FSA prior to the start of her HSA plan year. However, I was able to request that my employer modify my FSA from healthcare to a limited purpose FSA which...
by keystone
Fri Mar 31, 2017 11:13 am
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Sleep well or not ? [Vanguard Intermediate-Term Tax-Exempt]
Replies: 20
Views: 2343

Re: Sleep well or not ? [Vanguard Intermediate-Term Tax-Exempt]

I keep my "emergency" fund in this fund and I don't care about changes in NAV. I'm in it for the long haul and if rates start to go up, I'll start to earn more interest. This fund has an acceptable level of risk for me.
by keystone
Wed Mar 29, 2017 7:58 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Not opting for 529... anyone else?
Replies: 175
Views: 9793

Re: Not opting for 529... anyone else?

Each family's situation needs to be looked at individually, but I tend to agree with the sentiment that a 529 does not make sense for a family not already maxing out all other available tax advantaged accounts. Since my family is maxing out both 401Ks, Roth IRAs and HSA, we then contribute whatever ...
by keystone
Tue Mar 28, 2017 2:56 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Buying a home in a seller's market - how to decide how much to pay
Replies: 8
Views: 798

Re: Buying a home in a seller's market - how to decide how much to pay

In a seller's market, you just straight up need to know ahead of time how much you are willing to compromise and have to walk away whenever your bottom line is no longer satisfied. This means not only bottom line on price, but also on terms within the contract. +1. We bought into a HCOL area 5 year...
by keystone
Mon Mar 27, 2017 12:50 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Toyota vs. Honda
Replies: 58
Views: 4347

Re: Toyota vs. Honda?

Taylor Larimore wrote:
The April 2017 Car edition of Consumer Reports will answer your question (available at most libraries).

Best wishes
Taylor


+1. Scan the 5 year reliability history of each of the models within each brand. The results are pretty clear cut.
by keystone
Wed Mar 22, 2017 8:08 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: How did graduating out of daycare impact your finances?
Replies: 80
Views: 6601

Re: How did graduating out of daycare impact your finances?

I'm in a similar boat. I pay about $1750 per month for preschool for my one child and have another two and half years to go. I looked at the cost of before and after school care and it appears to be about a third of this, so I'm hoping to see some savings once kindergarten starts. However, as anothe...
by keystone
Mon Mar 20, 2017 9:14 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Do you purposely spend with companies in your investment portfolio?
Replies: 42
Views: 2255

Re: Do you purposely spend with companies in your investment portfolio?

No. Most of the companies you mention are so large that even if I were to donate my entire net worth to one of them, the stock would not even budge a penny. And even if it did, it wouldn't make sense to do it.
by keystone
Sat Mar 18, 2017 6:44 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: When does a new computer make sense...
Replies: 27
Views: 1782

Re: When does a new computer make sense...

I think it makes sense when the performance of your existing computer is annoying you. I just replaced my 9 year old Gateway. It was still working, but my wife was complaining about sluggish performance and it was starting to annoy me too. I also figured that 9 years was long enough, it has exceeded...
by keystone
Fri Mar 17, 2017 7:21 am
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Anyone else taking less risk
Replies: 115
Views: 9772

Re: Anyone else taking less risk

I've been at 60/40 the last few years, but want to slowly drift closer to 50/50 over the next decade. Very recently I decided to direct all new money to bonds.
by keystone
Fri Mar 10, 2017 12:40 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: 2017 Honda Civic not recommended by Consumer reports
Replies: 44
Views: 5535

Re: 2017 Honda Civic not recommended by Consumer reports

Instead of looking at reliability of a single year / model of car which is unreliable look at the long term reliability of the brand as a whole. Dodge /Chrysler / Jeep are horrible, Ford & Chevy are decent, Honda / Toyota are well above average and Audi then Lexus are generally at the top. I wo...
by keystone
Thu Mar 09, 2017 2:41 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: 59 1/2 today......suggestions?
Replies: 15
Views: 1072

Re: 59 1/2 today......suggestions?

In particular, maybe you don't realize you can convert $1,000,000 from tIRA to Roth IRA in one shot and simultaneously contribute to the same Roth IRA. (Not saying that you should, just that it's allowed.) If this happened in the same tax year, wouldn't the $1 million conversion from tIRA to Roth I...
by keystone
Thu Mar 09, 2017 9:09 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: 2017 Honda Civic not recommended by Consumer reports
Replies: 44
Views: 5535

Re: 2017 Honda Civic not recommended by Consumer reports

I'm not sure how credible consumer reports is...I bought a 14' Honda Civic over 3 years ago and recently crossed 70k miles. Have not encountered any issues with the vehicle so far. Only oil changes, new tires, filter replacements...normal wear and tear. If I recall correctly they (CR) slaughtered t...
by keystone
Wed Mar 08, 2017 6:00 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: 2017 Honda Civic not recommended by Consumer reports
Replies: 44
Views: 5535

Re: 2017 Honda Civic not recommended by Consumer reports

I suspect it's related to issues with the redesign, but I've seen a pattern where Toyota or Hondas may appear to get dinged on reliability in the first year, but then five years later I look back at the long term reliability for that same year and its excellent. If it were me I'd probably wait anoth...
by keystone
Wed Mar 08, 2017 3:18 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Obtaining Bachelors in Accounting @ 30
Replies: 32
Views: 1752

Re: Obtaining Bachelors in Accounting @ 30

I have met folks that had a music degree for bachelors Yes! I knew someone in NY City who was a graduate of Julliard (some orchestral instrument), but then became a CPA (and opened his own accounting service company) because he saw the career/income future much better as a successful businessman vs...
by keystone
Mon Mar 06, 2017 3:03 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Net Worth Calculation (Question/Opinion)
Replies: 26
Views: 1662

Re: Net Worth Calculation (Question/Opinion)

Yes, I back out 5% in agent selling costs, plus an estimate for transfer & recording taxes which are pretty high in my area. This might be overkill, but I also back out an amount to spruce up my house to get it ready for selling (e.g. landscaping, painting, etc.)
by keystone
Mon Mar 06, 2017 1:07 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Can We Retire Now? Should I Max AT 401K in the Last Year
Replies: 24
Views: 3076

Re: Can We Retire Now? Should I Max AT 401K in the Last Year

"SS (assume no earning after this year): His at 70: $36k/yr at 2017 dollars Her at 70: 36k/yr at 2017 dollars" These numbers seem really unlikely given that your paid in SS years are each well under the 35 years needed for maximum benefits. Please check these with your actual numbers thro...
by keystone
Mon Mar 06, 2017 8:54 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Camry Redesign
Replies: 61
Views: 6056

Re: Camry Redesign

While the 2012 Honda Civic was a failure in terms of design, it was not a failure in terms of reliability. I just looked at the Consumer Reports long term reliability rating for the '12 Civic and it is excellent overall and at least better than average in every single category.
by keystone
Fri Mar 03, 2017 9:36 am
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Ever dip your feet into individual stocks?
Replies: 63
Views: 3642

Re: Ever dip your feet into individual stocks?

I do. Actually, I did it a lot back in the 90's and early 2000's and was pretty bad at it like most people. I never had any intentions of getting back into it, but somehow I was drawn to this thread https://www.bogleheads.org/forum/viewtopic.php?t=196386 and it rekindled my interest in it. In fact, ...
by keystone
Fri Mar 03, 2017 7:55 am
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: 3 Funds vs 1 Fund investing
Replies: 10
Views: 1088

Re: 3 Funds vs 1 Fund investing

You sound like a perfect candidate for the Vanguard Tax Managed Balanced Fund.
by keystone
Tue Feb 28, 2017 3:39 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Don't pay full price for cable TV
Replies: 76
Views: 5274

Re: Don't pay full price for cable TV

I suspect you're in an area that does not include ABC, CBS, NBC, Fox & Telemundo LIVE with PS Vue. I named the 7 metro areas with live majors above so repeating myself - they are New York, Los Angeles, Chicago, Philadelphia, Dallas, San Francisco and Miami that I know of, and PS Vue is $39.99/m...
by keystone
Tue Feb 28, 2017 12:47 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Don't pay full price for cable TV
Replies: 76
Views: 5274

Re: Don't pay full price for cable TV

The base $40/mo PlayStation Vue package includes ESPN, ESPN2, NBCSN, FS1 and FS2, and I believe you can cloud DVR any programming at no extra charge. I am on the base PlayStation Vue package and I only pay $29.99 per month. Not sure if it varies by location, but I am in a major metro area and have ...
by keystone
Tue Feb 28, 2017 10:20 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Don't pay full price for cable TV
Replies: 76
Views: 5274

Re: Don't pay full price for cable TV

This tactic no longer worked for me when I called Verizon about my expired tv & internet deal a few months ago. I was indifferent about staying with Verizon but would have probably stayed with them if they could renew my deal for another year at the same price. After several rounds back and fort...
by keystone
Mon Feb 27, 2017 1:42 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Why not to do ROTH Conversion
Replies: 29
Views: 3002

Re: Why not to do ROTH Conversion

Another important piece of the math puzzle is state taxes. My husband and I would love to start converting some of our tIRA $ into Roth $, even though we are in the 25% federal bracket (we wouldn't convert enough to go a bracket higher than that). What stops us is the >9% state bracket we're in. I ...
by keystone
Fri Feb 24, 2017 12:39 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Market Run Ups - Now vs. Then
Replies: 88
Views: 6179

Re: Market Run Ups - Now vs. Then

Of course we will be blindsided... because of course one cannot know for certain what the future holds. That's the definition of a crash. Otherwise it's just a bear market. I think what you're reading is that in retrospect the signs were obvious, except for a very few individuals who shorted the ma...
by keystone
Thu Feb 23, 2017 11:38 am
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: HSA Account or Taxable Account?
Replies: 10
Views: 367

Re: HSA Account or Taxable Account?

Well if you are afraid that it will be more money than you can ever use for medical expenses, maybe you should think of your HSA as a traditional IRA that you can withdraw at age 65 for any purpose.
by keystone
Thu Feb 23, 2017 10:18 am
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Market Run Ups - Now vs. Then
Replies: 88
Views: 6179

Re: Market Run Ups - Now vs. Then

Back in 2000, there were all the insane dot-com IPOs and valuations. In 2007, everyone was leveraging real estate and just assuming ridiculous returns. The current run-up doesn't feel the same to me, because there's an absence of anything that feels crazy. Doesn't mean it won't come crashing down, ...
by keystone
Wed Feb 22, 2017 8:55 am
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Is 60/40 too conservative for 31 year old?
Replies: 56
Views: 4857

Re: Is 60/40 too conservative for 31 year old?

Tamales wrote:One point that no one has made is that saving $70k a year is only good if your annual living expenses are well below that.


I think one can save less than their annual living expenses each year and still secure a very good retirement.
by keystone
Tue Feb 21, 2017 4:42 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Is 60/40 too conservative for 31 year old?
Replies: 56
Views: 4857

Re: Is 60/40 too conservative for 31 year old?

I'm 42 and have maintained a fixed allocation of 60/40 for a few years. My rationale is similar to yours, I have saved a lot of money and don't feel the need to take as much risk as most people. I was in my mid-30's during the big market downturn of 2008/2009 and had an allocation of roughly 80/20 a...
by keystone
Fri Feb 17, 2017 9:31 am
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: 529 Asset Allocation - is this valid thinking?
Replies: 54
Views: 2451

Re: 529 Asset Allocation - is this valid thinking?

The approach that I take with my 3 year old's 529 plan is that I will follow a 60/40 allocation for the first 10 years at which point I will sharply reduce the stock allocation around age 10 (maybe to 40/60) and continue to downshift the stocks until I'm around 0/100 by high school graduation. I thi...
by keystone
Thu Feb 16, 2017 10:30 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Convince Wife for Honda Odyssey
Replies: 48
Views: 2840

Re: Convince Wife for Honda Odyssey

Dear Wife is against getting minivan as a replacement for her aging car. She prefers a SUV in the likes of chevy Tahoe or acura mdx. We have a 3mo old, and I think minivan would better serve our purpose, also since it will be easy on aging parents to get in/out. Would like to hear thoughts/advice. ...
by keystone
Fri Feb 10, 2017 9:31 am
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Child on the Way - What to do for College Financing?
Replies: 116
Views: 6555

Re: Child on the Way - What to do for College Financing?

Agreed - this "Even Bill Gates' children" is one of the silliest statements I've ever read here on bogleheads. The conference speaker was apparently a quack. Some of the schools my children applied to said we should fill at FAFSA - it turned out to be a waste of time every time I did it (...
by keystone
Tue Feb 07, 2017 3:50 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: How Much House Can I Afford?
Replies: 19
Views: 1792

Re: How Much House Can I Afford?

This is a post I made in a similar thread: 1) Down payment greater than or equal to 20% of the sales price and 2) Mortgage less than or equal to 2.5 times gross earnings I've managed to pull this off in a HCOL area, but if I were young and in a VHCOL area and expected my earnings to increase, I woul...
by keystone
Thu Feb 02, 2017 4:42 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: 401k w no match vs Roth, which to fund?
Replies: 12
Views: 854

Re: 401k w no match vs Roth, which to fund?

Looks to me like you may barely scrape the 25% bracket. I'd do at least enough in the traditional 401K to get you down to the 15% bracket and after that it would be a toss up between the traditional 401K and Roth in my opinion. I'd probably stick with the traditional 401K provided that the fees are ...
by keystone
Thu Feb 02, 2017 11:26 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Please help buying new Avalon limited!
Replies: 51
Views: 3739

Re: Please help buying new Avalon limited!

Then they've shrunk it dramatically (which I don't believe is true). The '00 Avalon my mom used to have was substantially larger and more comfortable than a Camry of its day, or a 2011 or 2012 I rented a few years back. I've sat in a 2001 Avalon and it was most definitely a lot roomier than the equ...
by keystone
Thu Feb 02, 2017 11:22 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Are Defined Benefit Plans a rip off?
Replies: 49
Views: 4213

Re: Are Defined Benefit Plans a rip off?

As others have said, a defined benefit plan is usually a pension plan through an employer. This sounds like something different, most likely an annuity with likely high fees and something that you don't need at this stage in your life. Proceed with caution! I'd also drop the advisor for now until yo...
by keystone
Thu Feb 02, 2017 10:09 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Please help buying new Avalon limited!
Replies: 51
Views: 3739

Re: Please help buying new Avalon limited!

sport wrote:Is the Avalon that much better than a Camry? It seems to cost twice as much.


FWIW, per Consumer Reports, one of the cons listed for the Avalon is "Not much roomier or more luxurious than Camry XLE V6."
by keystone
Wed Feb 01, 2017 8:44 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Cutting the Cord - Playstation Vue
Replies: 21
Views: 2081

Re: Cutting the Cord - Playstation Vue

I've been using it for a few months and really like it. I have it hooked up through Amazon Fire TV and it works well. I love the cloud DVR feature with unlimited storage (holding shows for 30 days). Previously with Verizon, my wife and I were constantly deleting programs in order to make space for n...
by keystone
Tue Jan 31, 2017 5:18 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Search 1099's claimed against you?
Replies: 17
Views: 1110

Re: Search 1099's claimed against you?

The filing deadline this year for 1099-MISC is 1/31/17 to the IRS and the recipient. This is a change from prior years. Not sure about other forms of 1099s. Yep, I e-filed all of my company's 1099-MISC forms today. I believe the new January 31 deadline only applies to non-employee compensation repo...
by keystone
Tue Jan 31, 2017 11:16 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: what do you do to avoid the advertising noise?
Replies: 45
Views: 2564

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

Maybe I'm in the minority, but I'd much rather have ads targeted at me, based on my known likes and dislikes than completely random ads that I have zero interest in.
by keystone
Mon Jan 30, 2017 4:38 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Suze Orman - Let the Buyer Beware
Replies: 26
Views: 6097

Re: Suze Orman - Let the Buyer Beware

I ignore Suze Orman. I saw one of her infomercials with a studio audience on PBS the other night and it wasn't too bad, a lot of points that we here would agree with... I used to watch her show. Mainly because I was so happy that I wasn't on the show with overwhelming debt and that I was trying to ...
by keystone
Thu Jan 26, 2017 9:25 am
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Year 4 as a Boglehead: Stay the Course
Replies: 8
Views: 1791

Re: Year 4 as a Boglehead: Stay the Course

Great job! I enjoy these types of posts.

Quick question - any particular reason why you are not planning to make the HSA family contribution of $6,750? Is it because your wife currently has separate insurance (non HDHP) through her employer?
by keystone
Thu Jan 19, 2017 8:52 am
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Spending HSA money versus other
Replies: 21
Views: 2174

Re: Spending HSA money versus other

I don't want to hold onto receipts for 30 years so I paid a few $500 bills out of my HSA now instead of doing this. I should start a post in the personal finance tips forum titled "How to securely hold onto receipts for 30 years" :mrgreen: My plan is to scan every receipt greater than $10...
by keystone
Wed Jan 18, 2017 10:44 am
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: So, I'm going to gamble (for fun) and buy some individual stocks. Best way?
Replies: 65
Views: 4119

Re: So, I'm going to gamble (for fun) and buy some individual stocks. Best way?

OP - I get where you're coming from. I actually have the same mentality. 99% of my portfolio (actually 99.75% to be exact) is in broadly diversified index funds, however I have set a bit aside for fun and very risky investments/gambles. My suggestion is to stay away from established companies with l...

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