Search found 336 matches

by mac808
Sat Jan 21, 2017 1:48 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: When/If a degree is useful for software developers?
Replies: 42
Views: 2108

Re: When/If a degree is useful for software developers?

Consider this -- No one on this forum would even think about going to a 'doctor' that never went to med school or graduated with a MD or DO degree. But hiring your local Starbucks barista who dropped out of high school to be your lead software developer at your company is somehow perfectly acceptab...
by mac808
Fri Jan 20, 2017 9:41 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Medical Billing Disagreement - Stark Law
Replies: 95
Views: 4874

Re: Medical Billing Disagreement - Stark Law

Derm offices are very sensitive to feedback on public review sites like Realself, Yelp, and Google. If you really felt you had a bad experience then write out a well reasoned, polite but detailed 1 or 2 star review on a few of those sites. If the practice has any meaningful cosmetic volume it will e...
by mac808
Fri Jan 20, 2017 8:19 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: When/If a degree is useful for software developers?
Replies: 42
Views: 2108

Re: When/If a degree is useful for software developers?

I've hired close to a hundred software developers over the last ten years. A degree from a top school (MIT, Stanford, or close equivalent) will get you interviews at the top companies and is likely worth the $ and time spent, but other than that, CS degrees aren't worth much for routine web/software...
by mac808
Thu Jan 19, 2017 2:52 am
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Mother handing over investments to me, not sure which route to go
Replies: 12
Views: 1431

Re: Mother handing over investments to me, not sure which route to go

What's her/your basis in the farmland? Seems like this is a situation to optimize for taxes more so than anything else. As far as AA once the farmland is liquidated, I'd personally go something like 1/3 stocks, 1/3 bonds, and 1/3 CDs.
by mac808
Wed Jan 18, 2017 5:40 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Rental car--new windshield crack
Replies: 14
Views: 1481

Re: Rental car--new windshield crack

What credit card did you use to pay for the reservation? You'd be surprised how many include coverage for rental car damage in their fine-print benefits.
by mac808
Tue Jan 17, 2017 6:06 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Junior and Senior Financial Independence
Replies: 35
Views: 1775

Re: Junior and Senior Financial Independence

In other words - a 5% and 2% SWR.
by mac808
Mon Jan 16, 2017 12:27 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: "Millennials may need to double how much they save for retirement"
Replies: 167
Views: 14955

Re: "Millennials may need to double how much they save for retirement"

From over here in Europe, it's really interesting to see the developments over there in the US. Once upon a time, Europe was the class-based society and America was the rags-to-riches country. Nowadays it's incredibly important in the US who your parents are; much more so than in Europe. And the tr...
by mac808
Sun Jan 15, 2017 2:55 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: "Millennials may need to double how much they save for retirement"
Replies: 167
Views: 14955

Re: "Millennials may need to double how much they save for retirement"

It's hard to imagine an equivalent generational market trend that would distribute as much wealth into the pockets of millennials, but I admit it's possible. Maybe millennials will inherit more from their parents than the previous generation? Yes, I think they will, and I think it will become an in...
by mac808
Sun Jan 15, 2017 2:46 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: "Millennials may need to double how much they save for retirement"
Replies: 167
Views: 14955

Re: "Millennials may need to double how much they save for retirement"

I would ilke to see a report from millennials on their parents who are retired or retiring now. I'd like to see millennials ask their parents how much they saved and invested every year so that they could reach this stage of their lives "retired" or "retiring now." I will bet th...
by mac808
Fri Jan 13, 2017 5:28 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Options for parents' Social Security
Replies: 21
Views: 1620

Re: Options for parents' Social Security

Thanks so much for the info guys. Much appreciated.
by mac808
Fri Jan 13, 2017 12:39 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Chase Sapphire Reserve
Replies: 191
Views: 22804

Re: Chase Sapphire Reserve

I was told by a friend who manages a Chase branch that the offer will remain @ 100k points for another month or so for those who apply in branch. Not sure if a Chase account is needed or not. YMMV.
by mac808
Thu Jan 12, 2017 11:27 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Options for parents' Social Security
Replies: 21
Views: 1620

Re: Options for parents' Social Security

Mac, I believe your understanding is correct, however, the approximate multiplier for your dad's delayed retirement credit (waiting to 70) is 1.32 ( +8% per year). You should be able to get these numbers from the annual report social security sends out to everyone, or establish accounts at the my s...
by mac808
Thu Jan 12, 2017 7:41 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Options for parents' Social Security
Replies: 21
Views: 1620

Re: Options for parents' Social Security

I just want to make sure I understand this. I'm sure other forum members might be in similar situations themselves or with relatives. Mom and Dad both born in 1951, both hit FRA upon turning 66 in 2017. Assume for simple math that Mom's FRA benefit is $800 and Dad's is $2,000. The day after her 66th...
by mac808
Wed Jan 11, 2017 6:21 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Options for parents' Social Security
Replies: 21
Views: 1620

Re: Options for parents' Social Security

Since your dad was at least 62 by Dec 2015, he can file a restricted application as your moms spouse, and collect a spousal benefit, which would be 1/2 of your moms FRA benefit. He can collect this until he files for his own at age 70 or whatever age he decides to start collecting. As has been said...
by mac808
Wed Jan 11, 2017 4:26 am
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: $600,000. Now what?
Replies: 55
Views: 9959

Re: $600,000. Now what?

Do you have a day job/reliable W-2 income stream or did you just YOLO your allowance on some micro caps and hit the jackpot?
by mac808
Wed Jan 11, 2017 2:18 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: France or Switzerland
Replies: 50
Views: 4525

Re: France or Switzerland

I've visited Paris 1-2 times a year (usually for business) for the past decade. The most recent visit was the first time I've ever felt uncomfortable / unsafe (and I'm a big dude). Not in all areas, but definitely some that see a lot of tourists. The migrant situation is causing them a lot of proble...
by mac808
Mon Jan 09, 2017 11:05 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Turned 30! Women's advice for skin care??
Replies: 60
Views: 2828

Re: Turned 30! Women's advice for skin care??

Avoid the sun, don't smoke, and drink lots of water. Nothing else will compare to these three steps (in that order). Besides that, check out Retin A; it's a miracle drug. My dermatologist treats a fair number of A list models and movie stars and says that many of them are on oral accutane around awa...
by mac808
Sun Jan 08, 2017 4:34 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Doctors and retirement
Replies: 67
Views: 7024

Re: Doctors and retirement

From what I've seen in my own family the main advantage doctors seem to have is job/income security in that they are rarely unemployable, which allows the fiscally prudent ones to chug along for 30 years, through market disruptions, recessions, depressions, and other macroeconomic ups and downs, and...
by mac808
Sun Jan 08, 2017 3:17 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Reverting to a Wood Burning Fireplace from Gas
Replies: 37
Views: 1865

Re: Reverting to a Wood Burning Fireplace from Gas

I love wood burning fireplaces but someone mentioned to me that burning wood kicks off all kinds of pollutants in the air not all of which would go up the exhaust. Not sure how much of an impact that has.
by mac808
Thu Dec 29, 2016 7:19 am
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Expected returns 2017-2047
Replies: 30
Views: 2882

Re: Expected returns 2017-2047

Keep in mind that if we have 10 years of 3% real returns then the majority of pension funds are insolvent (without substantial benefit cuts), with serious implications for millions of our peers and the economy. By low fee disciplined investing you should be in a relatively stronger position than mos...
by mac808
Tue Dec 27, 2016 12:24 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Remember what it was like before the recession?
Replies: 81
Views: 8122

Re: Remember what it was like before the recession?

I was working in real estate at the time. From early 2006 on I remember that prices felt way, way too high. But somehow even very smart people were drinking the koolaid and feeling the pressure to buy quickly or be forever priced out, even at the very end. It's not enough to identify the bubble (whi...
by mac808
Fri Dec 23, 2016 11:59 am
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Where can I get some yield on my cash?
Replies: 16
Views: 1031

Re: Where can I get some yield on my cash?

I just transferred $ from Ally checking into the new 1.25% 11-month no EWP Ally CD. It took about 45 seconds. Painless.
by mac808
Wed Dec 21, 2016 1:53 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Priority Pass airport lounge access - Chase Sapphire Reserve perk (and possibly other cards)
Replies: 6
Views: 1353

Re: Priority Pass airport lounge access - Chase Sapphire Reserve perk (and possibly other cards)

If lounge access is important to you it's worth checking out an app called LoungeBuddy as well. They let you purchase discounted access to certain lounges at certain times. They saved my sanity recently on an extended intl layover.
by mac808
Sat Dec 17, 2016 11:23 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Ally Bank 1.25% 11 month with no EWP
Replies: 76
Views: 8508

Re: Ally Bank 1.25% 11 month with no EWP

Is the CD interest paid monthly similar to their checking accounts?
by mac808
Wed Dec 14, 2016 6:41 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Good News For Bonds!
Replies: 98
Views: 11491

Re: Good News For Bonds!

How soon will Internet banks like Ally and Synchrony be raising their checking account rates?
by mac808
Tue Dec 13, 2016 12:49 am
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: DOW [Will the DOW hit 20,000 before the end of the year?]
Replies: 25
Views: 2761

Re: DOW

I predict it will, which based on past performance means there's a slightly better than 50% chance it won't. The smartest hedge fund managers I know all dove into broad market puts about six months ago. If we're still at this level or higher by the end of Jan it will prove to me once and for all (fo...
by mac808
Mon Dec 12, 2016 11:26 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Well, just got first pair of golden handcuffs
Replies: 58
Views: 8743

Re: Well, just got first pair of golden handcuffs

Sell half, keep half. I've been on both sides (sold too soon vs. didn't sell soon enough). Sell half to realize some gains and diversify. Keep half as sucker insurance in case things take off like a rocket (more applicable at smaller/private companies).
by mac808
Mon Dec 12, 2016 11:17 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Friend Inherited 600k
Replies: 10
Views: 2044

Re: Friend Inherited 600k

Find a list of banks paying the highest rates and go down the list opening accounts @ $250k a pop until you run out of money. The top 3 I would recommend are Ally, Synchrony, and GSBank (Goldman Sachs), in that order. I also keep a lot of cash on hand at Fidelity, which they sweep into their money m...
by mac808
Mon Dec 12, 2016 10:51 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: JP Morgan Reserve Credit Card
Replies: 22
Views: 2115

Re: JP Morgan Reserve Credit Card

I was offered this card (for far far far less than $10m AUM) but turned it down. I doubt 99.99% of people even know what it is. I had an Amex Centurion for many years. It was a little more recognizable because rap artists kept mentioning ''black cards'' in their songs. I grew to hate it. It marked m...
by mac808
Sat Dec 03, 2016 4:46 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: P2P Lending Dead
Replies: 51
Views: 5568

Re: P2P Lending Dead

I've averaged >7% return for years at LendingClub with >$100k invested among thousands of notes. I have another $50k in a real estate focused hard money P2P marketplace created by a few friends who are tremendous operators (and just raised a Series A from great Silicon Valley funds) that has been yi...
by mac808
Fri Dec 02, 2016 2:22 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Is This Insane?
Replies: 28
Views: 3633

Re: Is This Insane?

I worry that the future performance of US small caps might not match the past as the trend is now for the hottest companies (Facebook, Uber, Pinterest, Airbnb, etc) who push up the averages to remain private much longer. Microsoft, Oracle, etc for example, if started today, would have likely remaine...
by mac808
Wed Nov 30, 2016 4:27 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Feeling like you've "made it"
Replies: 107
Views: 10602

Re: Feeling like you've "made it"

I think it's a personality trait of ambitious people and thus never goes away completely. It mellows with age. I found that keeping a high savings rate (and low spending rate/avoiding the hedonistic treadmill) was the source of great peace of mind for me as time went on, because I knew that no matte...
by mac808
Wed Nov 30, 2016 6:09 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Trust with a spendthrift heir
Replies: 18
Views: 2475

Re: Trust with a spendthrift heir

Why not just have the trust dividend out 4% annually for as long as it lasts? No need to burden the siblings with allowance oversight when you can encode a safe withdrawal rate into the trust document itself.
by mac808
Sun Nov 27, 2016 8:23 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Why do reviewers love the Dell XPS 13 but users don't?
Replies: 57
Views: 5567

Re: Why do reviewers love the Dell XPS 13 but users don't?

I bought a Dell XPS 13. Loved it at first. As others have mentioned, Dell reliability and customer service (when problems need to be fixed) have gone way, way down. I had such a bad experience that I will not buy from Dell again.
by mac808
Fri Nov 25, 2016 9:05 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Here We Go Again: SWR 2.5% or 5.5%?
Replies: 111
Views: 11409

Re: Here We Go Again: SWR 2.5% or 5.5%?

I feel sorry for those who insist on calculating a SWR of 3% or less. You're going to die with a load of unspent money you worked a lifetime to earn. Also, no one spends the same amount at 87 as the do at 63, so the whole "everything must be perfect engineered and I will withdrawal exactly 2.7...
by mac808
Mon Nov 21, 2016 6:35 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Double Check Figures: Affording $1M Home
Replies: 81
Views: 7053

Re: Double Check Figures: Affording $1M Home

I would stay put and save money like possessed demons. Now's the time to do it, before kids arrive and challenge a lot of assumptions you had about your future lifestyle.
by mac808
Mon Nov 21, 2016 3:47 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Tax brkts for 2017 from Oblivious Investor
Replies: 2
Views: 881

Re: Tax brkts for 2017 from Oblivious Investor

Anything is possible but due to political changes I'm anticipating that the top Federal tax bracket will be lower in 2017 than it is in 2016, and making some end of year changes accordingly.
by mac808
Sun Nov 20, 2016 7:42 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Wealth advisory services
Replies: 68
Views: 4590

Re: Wealth advisory services

I was in a similar boat at one point in my life, a little younger than you. I told my SO that we could spend 2.5% of what we have saved (our calculated SWR resulting in no capital depletion). It was around $250k pre tax. Life was great and keeps getting better. I pay for housing and common expenses...
by mac808
Sun Nov 20, 2016 7:12 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Wealth advisory services
Replies: 68
Views: 4590

Re: Wealth advisory services

I was in a similar boat at one point in my life, a little younger than you. I told my SO that we could spend 2.5% of what we have saved (our calculated SWR resulting in no capital depletion). It was around $250k pre tax. Life was great and keeps getting better. I pay for housing and common expenses ...
by mac808
Sat Nov 12, 2016 10:05 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Will new social security policies change choices?
Replies: 4
Views: 847

Re: Will new social security policies change choices?

It's unlikely that any eventual changes would impact those within 10 (or more) years of retirement.
by mac808
Sat Nov 12, 2016 2:02 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: "Stealth Wealth: I’m Just an Ordinary Average Guy"
Replies: 318
Views: 48930

Re: "Stealth Wealth: I’m Just an Ordinary Average Guy"

Among my dozen or so close friends I've noticed a trend that those with a lot of insecurity (usually due to rough childhoods) tend to gravitate more towards conspicuous consumption, an extreme amount of expensive designer brands, and so forth, whereas those without that level of insecurity don't car...
by mac808
Sat Nov 12, 2016 1:31 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Wealthy aunt is willing to allow me borrow $$ for medical school. How to best approach this?
Replies: 70
Views: 7546

Re: Wealthy aunt is willing to allow me borrow $$ for medical school. How to best approach this?

As others have mentioned, read up on PSLF. It's an amazing deal for MDs. Especially if you go to an expensive private med school & then don't match into a high paying specialty.
by mac808
Wed Nov 09, 2016 11:13 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Medical practice partnership - schedule issues - advice needed
Replies: 41
Views: 2612

Re: Medical practice partnership - schedule issues - advice needed

How long until one of the older partners retires? Can you ''wait it out'' or is the time horizon too far out?
by mac808
Mon Nov 07, 2016 4:27 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Safe Deposit Box Fee (Bank of America)
Replies: 19
Views: 1875

Re: Safe Deposit Box Fee (Bank of America)

I keep $100k in a ML brokerage account in order to qualify for their highest loyalty tier (primarily for the credit card benefits) and they waived the fee on the smallest type of safety deposit box for me.
by mac808
Sat Nov 05, 2016 8:47 am
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Another "helping my in-laws with their investment"...
Replies: 4
Views: 901

Re: Another "helping my in-laws with their investment"...

Early 80s female is tough call to make. I manage finances for a relative who is in her early 90s (and good health) and I just went with the CD ladder as she has enough cash to cover about fifteen years worth of expenses. I didn't see the risk (market crash) balancing out the reward (heirs inherit mo...
by mac808
Thu Nov 03, 2016 5:08 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: How much to leave young kids? And Trust legal questions
Replies: 25
Views: 3535

Re: How much to leave young kids? And Trust legal questions

I would leave kids as much as possible. It's likely there are at least a few decades of extreme economic uncertainty ahead of us, due to automation, AI, and related structural issues. I'd like to give my kids as much of a safety net as possible to weather the storm.
by mac808
Mon Oct 31, 2016 1:35 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Selling practice for a lump sum
Replies: 39
Views: 3630

Re: Selling practice for a lump sum

I don't think you have said what type of medical practice/specialty this is? Might affect my thinking. Also, what happens after 5 years? I assume at that time you will have "earned" your entire buyout. If so, what are the rules on leaving. Is there a local non-compete? I would expect you ...
by mac808
Wed Oct 26, 2016 1:47 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Dream house sold yesterday :(
Replies: 41
Views: 6985

Re: Dream house sold yesterday :(

You'd be amazed how many properties fall out of escrow. Let the agent know you want to put in a backup offer (some will accept it, others wont; but either way your interest has been noted) and see what happens. I wouldn't count on anything but you never know.
by mac808
Tue Oct 25, 2016 12:23 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: 2017 ACA plan previews
Replies: 172
Views: 11649

Re: 2017 ACA plan previews

Data point: 30 year old male, single, no tobacco use or children. The cheapest bronze plan available with an HSA eligible account has a monthly deductible of $246.64, a deductible of $5500, and an out of pocket max of $6550. So nothing is really covered for the first $9510. That doesn't seem like h...
by mac808
Mon Oct 24, 2016 3:30 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: 2017 ACA plan previews
Replies: 172
Views: 11649

Re: 2017 ACA plan previews

Thanks for the update. Anyone know if there are options outside of the ACA plans that meet the requirement for having insurance? Just one provider in my area and I don't like the options I'm being given and my income is too high for any subsidies. Maybe the wife needs to go back to work to get empl...

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