Search found 107 matches

by metrunt
Mon Feb 06, 2017 1:22 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Annual Vacation Budget
Replies: 320
Views: 23296

Re: Annual Vacation Budget

Depends on where you're going. In some urban travel destinations I am fine with 3 or 4 star. For some destinations a 5 star hotel makes a world of difference. For example, in Thailand a 3 star hotel is normally a room in a tower near a beach somewhere. Nice, but not different from Florida or someth...
by metrunt
Fri Jan 20, 2017 1:46 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Annual Vacation Budget
Replies: 320
Views: 23296

Re: Annual Vacation Budget

But posts have no value or they can easily be misleading without any type of explanation when they contain much more than face value. Without any further explanation how does one understand the costs and budgeting behind the initial post? I posted just my 'number' just like everyone else, yet you c...
by metrunt
Fri Jan 20, 2017 1:04 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Annual Vacation Budget
Replies: 320
Views: 23296

Re: Annual Vacation Budget

I assume you have a "base" budget for electric/water/utilities at your house. Since those are reduced when you are on vacation, do you apply this "everyday spending" as a credit to your vacation lodging, like you do for food & entertainment? Do you also subtract the gas you ...
by metrunt
Fri Jan 20, 2017 12:19 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Annual Vacation Budget
Replies: 320
Views: 23296

Re: Annual Vacation Budget

- My wife and I went to Canada for a couple of weeks a while back. ... We were able to purchase 6 epipens and antibiotics which were in our budget saving over $2,400. Can you buy oral antibiotics and EpiPens in Canada without a prescription? Or does a US prescription work in Canada? Is it different...
by metrunt
Thu Jan 19, 2017 4:03 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Annual Vacation Budget
Replies: 320
Views: 23296

Re: Annual Vacation Budget

smitcat & researcher,

If you think this thread actually a straight comparison of vacation budgets rather than a way to collectively explore our views of money and value as it relates to the concept of "vacations", then we disagree about something else as well.
by metrunt
Thu Jan 19, 2017 1:37 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Annual Vacation Budget
Replies: 320
Views: 23296

Re: Annual Vacation Budget

Miles / CC perks / Hotel credits all have a value that you can use as money. In most cases they cost you something to begin with and you have a choice where to spend the credits. If we 'trade' a pile of these we still know that the cost is without the perk. When we figure the true costs of a vacati...
by metrunt
Thu Jan 19, 2017 11:56 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Annual Vacation Budget
Replies: 320
Views: 23296

Re: Annual Vacation Budget

I spent a week this past summer with my brother-in-law and his family on a road trip with my family. There were 10 of us. We had plenty of meals that were in the $40 range for all of us. ... We did a lot of getting stuff at a grocery store and using the motel grill out on the patio in the evenings....
by metrunt
Thu Jan 19, 2017 11:50 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Annual Vacation Budget
Replies: 320
Views: 23296

Re: Annual Vacation Budget

On another note, I'm intrigued by the house/condo you mentioned in a "gated community with beach access and pool" for only $75/night, including all taxes/fees. That seems like quite a deal. Would you mind posting a link to this place, or one similar? Well...I don't want to give the exact ...
by metrunt
Thu Jan 19, 2017 11:49 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Annual Vacation Budget
Replies: 320
Views: 23296

Re: Annual Vacation Budget

There are some interesting replies...seeming to disagree with my budgeting methods. I'm curious now how other people in this thread came up with their budget. The past few posters believe everyone is on the same page. How do you know that? And this is a budge t, right? How much money you spend on so...
by metrunt
Wed Jan 18, 2017 12:40 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Annual Vacation Budget
Replies: 320
Views: 23296

Re: Annual Vacation Budget

2 adults, 3 children. 2 x 1 week driving trips. 1 x 3 week trip by air with rental car. $4,500 budget. 5% of gross income. I've included the rough expenses below...I do a lot of credit card/ mileage games with Southwest so my wife and I each have a Companion Pass, plus enough miles each year to fly...
by metrunt
Sun Jan 15, 2017 12:43 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Help with taxes
Replies: 27
Views: 1956

Re: Help with taxes

Deductible IRA is one possibility.

How do you pay for your health insurance? You may be able to deductible your premiums from you 1099 income.
by metrunt
Thu Jan 12, 2017 11:55 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Annual Vacation Budget
Replies: 320
Views: 23296

Re: Annual Vacation Budget

2 adults, 3 children. 2 x 1 week driving trips. 1 x 3 week trip by air with rental car.

$4,500 budget. 5% of gross income.
by metrunt
Thu Jan 12, 2017 1:21 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: reduce taxes on house sale
Replies: 4
Views: 775

Re: reduce taxes on house sale

Thanks for the reply. I don't remember the rules on personal use when we first did the 1031, are those relatively new? It's definitely been a investment property, but it hasn't rented well, people seem interested, but then back out, or want it for shorter terms. I think the agent isn't very good, bu...
by metrunt
Wed Jan 11, 2017 12:30 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: reduce taxes on house sale
Replies: 4
Views: 775

reduce taxes on house sale

In the 1970s, my mother received a piece of property from her mother in law, likely valued at $40K then. In 2005, she sold it and bought a condo to us as a rental using a 1031 exchange. The condo only rents 8 months of the year and has only rented 7 or so years of the past 11. It's used as a vacatio...
by metrunt
Mon Jan 09, 2017 11:47 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Roofing costs and options (flat v pitched ; solar panels)
Replies: 6
Views: 541

Re: Roofing costs and options (flat v pitched ; solar panels)

The structural issue isn't something I had thought of. Thanks for the reply. I will start looking at solar contractors. I've bought this house 10 years ago. I'm just guessing on the roof's age, but there are at least 3 problems I can see with my untrained eye. One is that a pitched addition was put ...
by metrunt
Mon Jan 09, 2017 11:13 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Roofing costs and options (flat v pitched ; solar panels)
Replies: 6
Views: 541

Roofing costs and options (flat v pitched ; solar panels)

I have a flat roofed home. It's a BRAI roof, at least 15 years old and it's leaking. Pretty bad. According to local building code, we to to tear it and and replace it. I'm thinking about replacing it with a pitched roof. Flat is very common in my area, but the maintenance is problem, and they're che...
by metrunt
Wed Dec 21, 2016 2:56 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Is it rude to dispose of unwanted gifts?
Replies: 60
Views: 5298

Re: Is it rude to dispose of unwanted gifts?

Why do you feel guilty giving your things away?

That's the only question that matters here. Figure that out and then either continue to give them away or keep them, or do something else as the answer informs you.
by metrunt
Thu Dec 08, 2016 5:20 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: considering selling rental home, any things to look out for
Replies: 11
Views: 625

Re: considering selling rental home, any things to look out for

You're looking at 20k - 40K of capital gains? That's 10K-20K each. If she's in the 15% income tax bracket, she may not owe any capital gains tax at all. You, you may owe 1,500 up to 3K. If you can tax loss harvest (have any bonds you want to sell?), you could even bring that down. Hope that puts it ...
by metrunt
Thu Dec 08, 2016 4:32 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Explain why Rebalancing isn't Market Timing?
Replies: 241
Views: 9149

Re: Explain why Rebalancing isn't Market Timing?

You can define something any way you want. A definition's value is in how useful it is. And we assign a judgement to that definition. It's useful to me to say it's "market timing market timing is bad" and I'll define 'market timing' as changing my investment strategy based on how I predict...
by metrunt
Thu Dec 08, 2016 1:31 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Explain why Rebalancing isn't Market Timing?
Replies: 241
Views: 9149

Re: Explain why Rebalancing isn't Market Timing?

He believes he needs to buy more stocks because they have gone down. How is this not market timing? He's not buying more stocks because he expects stocks to rise. He is following a plan (an asset allocation plan) regardless of what the market does. Arguing about definitions can sometimes be useful,...
by metrunt
Thu Dec 08, 2016 1:16 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Amazon Prime Getting Stingy?
Replies: 90
Views: 11141

Re: Amazon Prime Getting Stingy?

I think some of the complaints are people not reading the fine print when they order. Some items that have the "Prime" label are sold by Amazon, others sold by 3rd parties. Some of those 3rd parties will honor the "2 day shipping" thing, but *not ship the item for several days*. ...
by metrunt
Tue Dec 06, 2016 12:30 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Computer hacked. Next?
Replies: 15
Views: 1795

Re: Computer hacked. Next?

If the account did not have admin privileges, and assuming no root compromise, only the account may have been hacked, not the entire computer. ... As such, deleting the account and creating a new one should suffice. How does one know if there is a "root compromise"? I'm pretty confident t...
by metrunt
Tue Dec 06, 2016 10:50 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Computer hacked. Next?
Replies: 15
Views: 1795

Computer hacked. Next?

My mom is getting on in years and I help her with computer issues though I live across the country. She has a Mac Mini that I've set up a "Standard" account for her. I have an 'Admin' account for myself. A couple days ago she was having trouble with her Netflix. She has the DVD by mail ser...
by metrunt
Tue Dec 06, 2016 12:53 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Want my employees to take over my company
Replies: 20
Views: 3903

Re: Want my employees to take over my company

Why not hire someone to do your job and become an owner instead of an owner / operator?
by metrunt
Fri Dec 02, 2016 1:41 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: TurboTax available
Replies: 12
Views: 2452

Re: TurboTax available

redrocker, I did the exact same thing! I used my Mint user/pass (autofilling from my password manager) instead of my TurboTax and that kept booting me out, etc. I've got the ability to modify my wage (and investment) income a bit this month, so I get to estimate my 1040 and then play around with dif...
by metrunt
Fri Dec 02, 2016 1:38 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Pay off mortgage?
Replies: 107
Views: 7552

Re: Pay off mortgage?

Is there a rush? I'm 3 years into a 30 year at 3.8%. I owe $180K. I could pay it off, it'd be a stretch leaving me with almost no liquidity, but even if I had 2-3 the payoff amount laying around, I probably still wouldn't. A 3.8% mortgage is a historical anomaly. That rate has value. It's very proba...
by metrunt
Thu Dec 01, 2016 10:57 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: TurboTax available
Replies: 12
Views: 2452

Re: TurboTax available

I use the online version. I don't buy the software itself.

For the online version, you don't get billed until you submit your return. I suppose you could wait until a price drop, but I think it's "reduced price" now and goes "full price" a month or two before April 15.
by metrunt
Thu Dec 01, 2016 7:13 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: TurboTax available
Replies: 12
Views: 2452

TurboTax available

Effective today, December 1st, 2016, if you want to get a jumpstart on your taxes and you use TurboTax's online product, you can now work on your 2016 taxes!
by metrunt
Fri Nov 11, 2016 11:35 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: How much is business worth?
Replies: 49
Views: 4568

Re: How much is business worth?

You may get a lot of opinions on this, including one to consult a professional business appraiser. For a ballpark, I'd start at $300K and take $250K for the existing studio. I'd license the franchise rights for 10% of annual gross revenue. You'll want to get familiar with the accounting terms around...
by metrunt
Mon Nov 07, 2016 12:41 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Next Steps In Career And Financial Future
Replies: 4
Views: 1370

Re: Next Steps In Career And Financial Future

First, what is your total savings each year? It sounds like you have tax advantaged plus, plus your $100K non-tax advantaged? What does the tax-advantaged savings add up to? Also, what does your budget look like? Just based on the info you gave, with an income of $550K and no debt, your accumulated ...
by metrunt
Mon Oct 31, 2016 11:57 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Any reason to purchase on Exchange if don't qualify for subsidy
Replies: 13
Views: 1572

Re: Any reason to purchase on Exchange if don't qualify for subsidy

I have a health insurance broker. It's fantastic.
by metrunt
Mon Oct 31, 2016 11:55 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Advice for My Father -Inheritance Plan Options
Replies: 17
Views: 1758

Re: Advice for My Father -Inheritance Plan Options

He'll want to understand the laws of his particular state. "Community property" states will require a different tactic than others. Depending on the length of the marriage and how and when he acquired his current assets, it may be difficult to set up the inheritance the way he wants.
by metrunt
Sun Oct 30, 2016 8:37 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Grocery Stores Employing Customers
Replies: 59
Views: 4756

Re: Grocery Stores Employing Customers

You have to fetch your own groceries? Golly gee, back in my day, old man Carter at the General Store would take my list and load my grits and bolts of cloth into my saddlebags while I drank a sarsaparilla. or how about.. You go to grocery stores and walk around with a cart?? Today you can do all of ...
by metrunt
Wed Oct 26, 2016 4:34 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Need help. Drowning in debt and worried about the future and retirement
Replies: 243
Views: 23204

Re: Need help. Drowning in debt and worried about the future and retirement

Anxiety is distorting your perspective. Put the finances down, get back on your prescribed meds, and pick up your finances again in a month.
by metrunt
Thu Oct 13, 2016 10:10 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Southwest...getting the miles by year end
Replies: 30
Views: 2735

Re: Southwest...getting the miles by year end

Excellent ideas.

A couple other notes...My wife has 30K points on her SW account. I have a balance of 40K on my SW account. I also have 130K Amex points.
by metrunt
Thu Oct 13, 2016 9:03 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Why is college savings compared to retirement?
Replies: 62
Views: 4129

Re: Why is college savings compared to retirement?

I'm not sure I see the phenomenon as clearly as you do, but presuming it does exist, there are a few reasons... 1) Not everyone has kids. And of those that do, not everyone has kids that are young enough for college. 2) College isn't a necessity. Lots of successful people never went. Everyone who ex...
by metrunt
Thu Oct 13, 2016 8:57 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Southwest...getting the miles by year end
Replies: 30
Views: 2735

Southwest...getting the miles by year end

I'm getting so close to a Companion Pass! I have 90,200 miles and I need 110K by year end. My average spending is 3K a month on my Chase SW Black card. Two questions... 1) According to the FAQ: "When will I receive my points? Points earned on purchases appear in your Rapid Rewards account up to...
by metrunt
Thu Oct 13, 2016 8:45 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: S.S. Self/Employer Taxes Paid Differs
Replies: 5
Views: 343

Re: S.S. Self/Employer Taxes Paid Differs

In 2011 and 2012, the Feds reduced the employee's tax portion of SS contributions by 2 percentage points. The employer contribution was the same. Could that be it? Roughly, you'd have to have earned around $75K in 2011 and 2012 to get to $3,000.
by metrunt
Tue Oct 11, 2016 6:21 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Sales Commissions for RFPs
Replies: 18
Views: 1205

Re: Sales Commissions for RFPs

We had different expectations about responsibilities. He was expecting to be part of the transition team, and ongoing contacts. More in line with what he had been doing as an employee with his previous company. I really wanted an RFP writer. We settled on what I wanted at $150 an hour up to 60 hours...
by metrunt
Mon Oct 10, 2016 4:50 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Sales Commissions for RFPs
Replies: 18
Views: 1205

Re: Sales Commissions for RFPs

Thank you for the replies... A couple clarifications. -30% is the gross profit (after cost of goods, before operations, net profit, etc). Does that seem too high for gov't work? -the consultant is coming off a traditional sales employment where he worked on base + commission so I think he's trying t...
by metrunt
Mon Oct 10, 2016 11:44 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Sales Commissions for RFPs
Replies: 18
Views: 1205

Sales Commissions for RFPs

I own a small company (6 FTE employees, 25 sub contractors). We do a very niche business, not boutique (but not completely commoditized yet either). Just uncommon. One of more important categories of customers is government contracts. We do a lot of RFP work. Until now, it's me and an assistant that...
by metrunt
Thu Oct 06, 2016 12:43 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Advice on Selling Home to Parents
Replies: 9
Views: 1240

Re: Advice on Selling Home to Parents

boglephreak wrote:what is a starker?


It's another name for a 1031 exchange.
by metrunt
Tue Oct 04, 2016 4:14 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Advice on Selling Home to Parents
Replies: 9
Views: 1240

Re: Advice on Selling Home to Parents

Why do you feel obligated to give your parents a free home? Whatever is driving the original decision will help guide the current one. You have a few other options D. You could keep the house as a rental and keep the income and your parents are responsible for themselves. D1. You could keep the hous...
by metrunt
Tue Oct 04, 2016 3:57 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Help for setting up online store
Replies: 4
Views: 444

Re: Help for setting up online store

What's your goal? Are you looking to create a complete business or have fun doing a hobby? If it's a business, you should put together a business plan. If it's a hobby, have you looked into on-demand services like Zazzle?
by metrunt
Thu Sep 29, 2016 6:56 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Traditional PPO vs high-deductible PPO + HSA
Replies: 29
Views: 2265

Re: Traditional PPO vs high-deductible PPO + HSA

On the insurance side, maybe some actuary made a mistake? Or (it sounds like you're a high earner, presumably your whole company is) the insurance company thinks high earners are more price inelastic and will be willing to pay disproportionately more for a 'traditional-looking' plan? Hard to say. Em...
by metrunt
Thu Sep 29, 2016 5:32 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Traditional PPO vs high-deductible PPO + HSA
Replies: 29
Views: 2265

Re: Traditional PPO vs high-deductible PPO + HSA

I don't see a gotcha here but the numbers do seem pretty skewed towards the PPO. Are you sure you're comparing married vs. married? From the insurer's perspective...I don't understand. Even if you had deductibles/oop of $500/$500 compared to a $6000/$6000 you're still winning with the PPO. From the ...
by metrunt
Thu Sep 29, 2016 2:01 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: HSA when expecting baby?
Replies: 20
Views: 956

Re: HSA when expecting baby?

You've got a lot going on! At $400 a month rent, I'd be hard pressed to recommend buying a house for less than $100K that and if you have $100K houses in your area, you're far past the down payment stage. 20% will prevent you from paying PMI. And interest rates are so low, you might as well stick th...
by metrunt
Thu Sep 29, 2016 12:20 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: HSA when expecting baby?
Replies: 20
Views: 956

Re: HSA when expecting baby?

Looking closer at your budget, a couple thoughts jump out.. You don't mention what your retirement savings or other savings or an emergency fund. Do you have a positive net worth now? How old are you and your wife? You must be in a LCOL area. Your food budget is less than $3 a day per person and you...
by metrunt
Thu Sep 29, 2016 12:01 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: HSA when expecting baby?
Replies: 20
Views: 956

Re: HSA when expecting baby?

Max out the HSA before contributing to the no-match 401K.

HSA stays with you, not your employer. It can be used as a retirement vehicle with a couple advantages from a 401K (and some IMHO minor disadvantages).

Start here: viewtopic.php?t=151339
by metrunt
Wed Sep 28, 2016 4:04 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: I should probably have life insurance, right?
Replies: 19
Views: 1614

Re: I should probably have life insurance, right?

Sounds like a good story! Keep in mind, if you die, your wife's retirement savings doubles. Care to expand on both the initial comment and the final? 25K of income doesn't often lead to 600K of savings. There's likely to be an interesting story of how you amassed $600K of savings at 33 if y...

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