Search found 3084 matches

by mhc
Wed May 25, 2016 4:24 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Zenni Optical
Replies: 15
Views: 800

Re: Zenni Optical

I have purchased numerous pais from Zenni. I am conflicted on if I will ever do it again. I purchased my glasses from a local store the last time I purchased glasses. Zenni Pro: low cost easy to order because of low cost, I purchased 3 pairs of sunglasses (yardwork, swimming, the car) Zenni Con: may...
by mhc
Tue May 24, 2016 11:58 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: How much do you spend on trips/vacations?
Replies: 65
Views: 3751

Re: How much do you spend on trips/vacations?

Family of 5 20% of annual spend is on vacations. 1 week spring break 2 week summer vacation multiple weekend get aways We usually drive and try to have multi-room hotel rooms. To break out average daily costs: transportation $50 food $100 lodging $200 activities $150 The costs vary greatly depending...
by mhc
Tue May 24, 2016 9:15 am
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: All weather portfolio vs 3 fund portfolio
Replies: 5
Views: 861

Re: All weather portfolio vs 3 fund portfolio

Welcome to the forum!

I favor the 3 fund portfolio. It can be had for low cost. It is easy to understand. Can be very tax efficient. Well diversified. It's better than most approaches.

Gold is a commodity, so over the long haul, it should track inflation. No real return.
by mhc
Mon May 23, 2016 9:13 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Still double checking bank checkbook math?
Replies: 46
Views: 2328

Re: Still double checking bank checkbook math?

After balancing a check book for 20 years and never finding a bank mistake, I stopped. I look at the transactions online, but I no longer check the bank's math. Computers are really good at adding and subtracting.
by mhc
Mon May 23, 2016 9:05 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Buying land in West
Replies: 30
Views: 2747

Re: Buying land in West

Thanks for all the replies. I did not realize the water issue. I kind of thought of trying to buy ~ 80 acres and the putting something "simple" on it. I would view it as kind of "play" money (as one poster put it). My current position allows me to work pretty much anywhere (with...
by mhc
Mon May 23, 2016 8:48 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Painting House Interior - How easy to do it yourself?
Replies: 68
Views: 3186

Re: Painting House Interior - How easy to do it yourself?

Anyone should be able to paint. If you do it, do a little reading and watching youtube videos to pick up the tricks of the trade. If you do one room at a time, it's not a big deal. In a year or two, you'll have the whole house done. Some areas can be more difficult (stairwells, two story living room...
by mhc
Fri May 20, 2016 10:12 am
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Any reason to transfer from former company 401(k)
Replies: 5
Views: 461

Re: Any reason to transfer from former company 401(k)

401k's usually provide more protection against creditors (lawsuits, bankruptcy).

If you want to do a backdoor roth, the ira will get in the way.
by mhc
Fri May 20, 2016 9:18 am
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Financial Engines 401k management
Replies: 26
Views: 1678

Re: Financial Engines 401k management

Stay were you are at. Do not follow Financial Engines. The Financial Engines algorithm will have you chaning your portfolio every few months. You can test this out for yourself. Document their recommendations today. Every two months re-run the tool and document their recommendations. When I did this...
by mhc
Fri May 20, 2016 9:12 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: IRS wants taxes for a backdoor Roth
Replies: 14
Views: 2496

Re: IRS wants taxes for a backdoor Roth

I recommend that you go to the site below and study up on the backdoor roth:

http://thefinancebuff.com/the-backdoor- ... ow-to.html
by mhc
Thu May 19, 2016 2:23 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Work or stay at home mom or change careers
Replies: 41
Views: 2491

Re: Work or stay at home mom or change careers

My DW is a stay at home wife and loves it. All the couples in my circle have stay at home mom's. They love it. I am very grateful for my DW not working. She does so much to care for our children and managing the house. I think it is a very valuable thing for a mother to spend that kind of time with ...
by mhc
Wed May 18, 2016 1:53 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: A very large sum and a unique situation
Replies: 24
Views: 2462

Re: A very large sum and a unique situation

Welcome to the forum!

If I was the son, I would learn how to manage the money before pursuing a college degree. The return on wisely managing the portfolio could dwarf the money earned from a college degree.
by mhc
Wed May 18, 2016 11:48 am
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: If you keep exchanging your funds around in your AA, will you pay more in fees?
Replies: 8
Views: 672

Re: If you keep exchanging your funds around in your AA, will you pay more in fees?

Possibly. There can be front end loads, backend loads, short term redemption fees, fees for buying funds. Some of these even occur at Fidelity and Vanguard. There are lots of funds that merely have the expense ratio with no fees. If you stick to these, then there are no fees. It doesn't matter how m...
by mhc
Wed May 18, 2016 10:14 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: garden hose
Replies: 29
Views: 1761

Re: garden hose

I like the RV/Marine Never Kink hose. Most hoses are not safe to drink from. I like to drink from the hose. I have had these hoses for about 10 years and still going strong. I leave it out year around on a hose reel with no problems.
by mhc
Tue May 17, 2016 2:41 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: What to do with old mutual funds?
Replies: 7
Views: 497

Re: What to do with old mutual funds?

Move the IRA and Roth to Schwab. Schwab should be able to help you. Sell the funds in those accounts and buy what you want. There are no tax implications for those accounts. For the taxable account, turn off dividend reinvestment immediately. No need to continue to buy more of what you don't want. L...
by mhc
Tue May 17, 2016 9:00 am
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: For those of you in the Accumulation Phase - How often do you check?
Replies: 62
Views: 4739

Re: For those of you in the Accumulation Phase - How often do you check?

I look every 1-2 weeks just to make sure everything is in order. If the market is dropping and there are a lot of TLH threads, I may look more often to manage my TLH opportunities. I do look at the ETF prices throughout the day to see what the market is doing. It is just too easy to glance at them o...
by mhc
Tue May 17, 2016 8:53 am
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Does this simple TLH strategy make sense?
Replies: 5
Views: 523

Re: Does this simple TLH strategy make sense?

Your plan to either hold cash or bonds is fine. The enemy of a good plan is a great plan. My preference is to sell the equity fund and pick up an alternative fund that is not substantially identical but similar. Vanguard has a lot of good options for TLH. This is less juggling and nothing has to be ...
by mhc
Mon May 16, 2016 10:26 am
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Is the Vanguard FTSE Developed Markets ETF (VEA) enough for international exposure?
Replies: 8
Views: 465

Re: Is the Vanguard FTSE Developed Markets ETF (VEA) enough for international exposure?

I think you are over thinking it and should go with VXUS, but VEA is fine. Who knows which will do better over the next 10, 20, 30 years?

I prefer VXUS because it is more diversified.
by mhc
Fri May 13, 2016 2:50 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Fidelity Savings Check up
Replies: 4
Views: 390

Re: Fidelity Savings Check up

The tool is too simple to be of much use.
by mhc
Fri May 13, 2016 9:24 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: When do you use cash, when a credit card?
Replies: 49
Views: 4009

Re: When do you use cash, when a credit card?

Credit card is always faster and better. I use it everywhere that takes it. Not true. The chip readers for the new cards are slow. Also, I bet I can pay cash faster than you can use a credit card at a sit down restaurant. I can also give a $20 bill to pay for a haircut faster than you can swipe a c...
by mhc
Fri May 13, 2016 9:14 am
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: How do Bogleheads invest their 529s?
Replies: 28
Views: 1852

Re: How do Bogleheads invest their 529s?

I have stayed 100% TSM for all my kids. I probably have enough to cover 1/3 of their in-state college expenses. They are still 6-10 years out from college. I will probably just leave it at 100% TSM for the duration. Assuming I still am working when they attend college, I should be able to cash flow ...
by mhc
Fri May 13, 2016 8:49 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: How much do you give your church for your membership?
Replies: 57
Views: 2230

Re: How much do you give your church for your membership?

$0 Although part of membership to the church is to support it financially as you are led. That makes sense to me because the members own the property, and the pastors are full time. They need to earn a salary. Donations to the church are also used for charitable work in the community and around the ...
by mhc
Thu May 12, 2016 11:30 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Career path and cost of living.
Replies: 28
Views: 2596

Re: Career path and cost of living.

There are other concentrations of tech:

Portland
Research Triangle
Colorado Springs
Fort Collins
Boston
Phoenix
Tucson

If I thought hard enough, I probably could come up with some more. A lot of these have an average COL.
by mhc
Wed May 11, 2016 4:23 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: When do you use cash, when a credit card?
Replies: 49
Views: 4009

Re: When do you use cash, when a credit card?

Credit card for everything unless I have a particular reason to use cash (in a hurry, person/place doesn't take CC, cheaper to use cash, don't trust the person/place with my CC).

Swiping a credit card is fast and convenient. Unfortunately, the new chip readers are very slow compared to swiping.
by mhc
Wed May 11, 2016 10:51 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: When is cash better than plastic?
Replies: 74
Views: 6588

Re: When is cash better than plastic?

In a hurry at a restaurant. Slap down cash and dash.

Cash discount from some merchants (gas, gun shops, furniture)
by mhc
Wed May 11, 2016 9:39 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: One Week "Sabbatical"
Replies: 43
Views: 4331

Re: One Week "Sabbatical"

Fort Collins, Colorado Huge beer seen. Close to fly fishing, hiking, camping. Poudre Canyon (Hwy 14) has lots of options with few people. You can easily go hiking for the day and see no one. Lot's of mountain lakes to fish. You may need to acclimate to the altitude. 2 hours NW of Fort Collins is Sar...
by mhc
Wed May 11, 2016 9:33 am
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Collective Trusts Good In 401(K)?
Replies: 10
Views: 1264

Re: Collective Trusts Good In 401(K)?

I have Blackrock and Northern Trust CITs in my Fidelity administered 401k. I am very pleased overall with them. Here are some differences that you may notice: 1. Mutual Fund: 100 page prospectus, CIT: 2 page fact sheet 2. Mutual Fund: ticker symbol that can be tracked from anywhere, CIT: no ticker, ...
by mhc
Tue May 10, 2016 11:49 am
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Beyond Retirement. Where to put extra cash?
Replies: 6
Views: 1501

Re: Beyond Retirement. Where to put extra cash?

That S&P 500 fund in your 401k is not bad. I would use that. A lot of people would die to have that ER.

Without seeing your whole picture, it is hard to give great advice, but putting the money in your 401k is probably quite reasonable to do.
by mhc
Fri May 06, 2016 3:12 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: how much cash do you carry in your wallet?
Replies: 152
Views: 13822

Re: how much cash do you carry in your wallet?

$60-$500 I try to use a credit card when I can, but there are plenty of places in my part of the country that only take cash (some restaurants, state forest, remote stores). It is also useful to pay in a hurry at a restaurant. I only pay my kids' allowances in cash. If I catch someone aerating a nei...
by mhc
Thu May 05, 2016 10:07 am
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: How do you maintain/grow your bond allocation?
Replies: 2
Views: 417

Re: How do you maintain/grow your bond allocation?

There is nothing wrong with directing all new contributions in your 401k to bonds. These seems like less work than what you propose.

Don't over think it. Keep it simple.
by mhc
Wed May 04, 2016 9:04 am
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: How many funds in your portfolio?
Replies: 99
Views: 6433

Re: How many funds in your portfolio?

401k - Large Cap, Small Cap, Bonds (Fidelity) HSA - Intl small, TSM (Fidelity) Taxable - TSM, S&P500, TISM, Developed Intl (Vanguard) Roth's - TSM, TISM (Vanguard) With different accounts at different brokerages, it's easy to get many different funds. Also, TLH can leave multiple funds. Left ove...
by mhc
Mon May 02, 2016 3:49 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: How Much House
Replies: 64
Views: 6269

Re: How Much House

Purchased 16 years ago before kids
2x salary
financed but paid off in 7 years
7.5 miles to work (initially 12 minute commute, now 14-20 minutes)
I little small after having kids
by mhc
Mon May 02, 2016 2:53 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Should I pay back my parents back for paying for some my college costs
Replies: 59
Views: 7329

Re: Should I pay back my parents back for paying for some my college costs

With my personality, I would pay them back. I do not like anyone to hold anything over me. With that said, be prepared for them to hold something else over you if you pay them back (not that you owe them). Rubbing your nose in it is bad behavior. I would not expect paying them back to correct their ...
by mhc
Fri Apr 29, 2016 3:02 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Fixed AA for life
Replies: 10
Views: 1182

Re: Fixed AA for life

It's not what I would do, but you could do a lot worse.

I'm not a REIT or international bond fan. I would be closer to the following if I had to choose an AA for life:

40% TSM
20% TISM
40% TBM

The 50/50 is fine.
by mhc
Fri Apr 29, 2016 9:24 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: SS tax question on paycheck
Replies: 8
Views: 417

Re: SS tax question on paycheck

Take a look at this article. I think it will cover what you are looking for.

http://finance.zacks.com/calculate-ss-taxes-after-pretax-deductions-1636.html
by mhc
Fri Apr 29, 2016 9:11 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: SS tax question on paycheck
Replies: 8
Views: 417

Re: SS tax question on paycheck

SS withholding is not pre-tax like HSA and 401k contributions.
by mhc
Thu Apr 28, 2016 3:56 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Almost bought an individual stock today...
Replies: 44
Views: 3985

Re: Almost bought an individual stock today...

I have no stomach for individual stocks. I have seen them soar and then sink to new lows. It is similar to when my DW was pregnant with our first child. Every time I made breakfast sausage, she would vomit. Because of those experiences, she no longer eats breakfast sausage. Those experiences scarred...
by mhc
Wed Apr 27, 2016 3:46 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Options for Two Months of Cash Flow?
Replies: 6
Views: 562

Re: Options for Two Months of Cash Flow?

Exactly how much money do you need for the essentials? Could you live with family or friends for two months to cut down on expenses? I would try to avoid touching retirement funds. I would just live a bare bones lifestyle for two months. There seems to be lots of car offers with very low interest ra...
by mhc
Wed Apr 27, 2016 3:23 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Should I accept this offer on my house?
Replies: 52
Views: 3641

Re: Should I accept this offer on my house?

I would counter their offer. Think about what your bottom line is. You could consider $440k + $5k/$10k cash at closing. Some people need the extra cash at closing.
by mhc
Wed Apr 27, 2016 10:12 am
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Tax-efficiency vs. incurred capital gains
Replies: 12
Views: 910

Re: Tax-efficiency vs. incurred capital gains

Welcome to the forum! I would not take the tax hit. I would stop reinvesting dividends into it and stop buying more shares of it in your taxable account. If you donate to charity regularly, you could start donating shares of it directly or through a DAF. Bonds aren't producing much right now, so the...
by mhc
Wed Apr 27, 2016 10:09 am
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Help me convince my spouse
Replies: 34
Views: 3390

Re: Help me convince my spouse

I think most people on this forum have made bad financial decisions. This does not mean you have to or will continue to make bad financial decisions. Try to learn from your mistakes. This forum follows a philosophy that is easy to implement and does well. There are real facts behind this philosophy....
by mhc
Wed Apr 27, 2016 8:28 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: fairly new router keeps checking out, get a new one?
Replies: 22
Views: 1549

Re: fairly new router keeps checking out, get a new one?

You need to figure out your user name and password, or you should be able to reset the router to factory settings. Make sure the firmware is up to date. When you restart the router, make sure you physically unplug all power from it and wait a little bit before reconnecting the power. What does Googl...
by mhc
Tue Apr 26, 2016 11:48 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: What to tell your child about Bill for tax preparation
Replies: 53
Views: 5343

Re: What to tell your child about Bill for tax preparation

I would tell him that it is reasonable for full service. I would go on to explain that there are less expensive options. Only your child can determine if it is a good value or not.
by mhc
Tue Apr 26, 2016 10:50 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Teens cutting lawns and liability
Replies: 9
Views: 1581

Re: Teens cutting lawns and liability

I started working for neighbors when I was 5. In high school I mowed full time. Never got injured. Never knew anyone who got injured. Never thought about lawsuits or insurance. I guess times were different. People would offer us a beer after a job (we were only 16 years old, drinking age 18). One wi...
by mhc
Mon Apr 25, 2016 2:39 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: How to find a good financial planner?
Replies: 7
Views: 741

Re: How to find a good financial planner?

There are a couple of sources at the bottom of the wiki page: https://www.bogleheads.org/wiki/Financial_planner From you past posts, you seem new to this. I would recommend being patient and spending a little more time learning. Then post your portfolio and plan for review. You may just find you don...
by mhc
Mon Apr 25, 2016 2:32 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Want a new vehicle, but can't "justify" spending?
Replies: 36
Views: 3890

Re: Want a new vehicle, but can't "justify" spending?

Sounds like you can afford the truck, so sell the car and buy the truck. You work to pay for the lifestyle you want. The truck sounds like a better fit for your lifestyle. You have have to decide if the improvement in current lifestyle is worth the cost of working a little longer before you can reti...
by mhc
Fri Apr 22, 2016 11:55 am
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: What's the deal with long term gov bonds?
Replies: 26
Views: 2032

Re: What's the deal with long term gov bonds?

I can't use google.docs right now because I am at work. The intermediate Fidelity bond fund that most would recommend is Spartan US Bond Index which tracks the Barclay's US Aggregate Bond Index. It holds a mix of government and corporate bonds. The one you are referencing is government only.
by mhc
Fri Apr 22, 2016 11:37 am
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: What's the deal with long term gov bonds?
Replies: 26
Views: 2032

Re: What's the deal with long term gov bonds?

Most go with an intermediate bond index. That is what is in target retirement funds.
by mhc
Thu Apr 21, 2016 4:28 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: What's the deal with long term gov bonds?
Replies: 26
Views: 2032

Re: What's the deal with long term gov bonds?

One of the main purposes of bonds is to reduce the risk of your portfolio. LT bonds introduce some of their own risks. Most people around here would recommend a total bond index. Look at the Target Retirement Funds. That is what they tend to use. Don't over think your portfolio. Read about the 3 fun...
by mhc
Thu Apr 21, 2016 3:24 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: SOS: How to reallocate in DFA 401k without access to unrealized gain/loss?
Replies: 6
Views: 290

Re: SOS: How to reallocate in DFA 401k without access to unrealized gain/loss?

You should be able to log into your accounts at any time and see their current value. That is the value. If you sell it, that is what you get. You may be falling into the sunken cost behavioral error. The Fair Market Value of your funds are what they are worth. It doesn't matter how much you paid fo...
by mhc
Thu Apr 21, 2016 2:34 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: SOS: How to reallocate in DFA 401k without access to unrealized gain/loss?
Replies: 6
Views: 290

Re: SOS: How to reallocate in DFA 401k without access to unrealized gain/loss?

In a 401k you don't track unrealized gains/losses. You can move money between funds without any tax consequences. If you are getting your portfolio to where you want it, there is no need to look at gains/losses in tax advantaged accounts. Just move to the fund you want.

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