Search found 3303 matches

by mhc
Tue Apr 25, 2017 4:55 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: $300+ to remove a racoon. Really?
Replies: 70
Views: 3680

Re: $300+ to remove a racoon. Really?

You can get a trap on Amazon for less than $50. Ask your friends and co-workers, maybe someone will loan you one. You may also check if your local government will trap it for you. My retired father has turned urban trapping into a hobby. He traps an animal then calls the city's animal control to com...
by mhc
Thu Apr 13, 2017 12:10 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: million dollar condo?
Replies: 32
Views: 3342

Re: million dollar condo?

I live in the same modest house as when I was single. Been there 18 years. I'm married with 3 children now living in the same house. I do not regret not moving up to a bigger, nicer, more expensive house. I figure I will be able to retire at least 5 years earlier by living in this house. I really do...
by mhc
Thu Apr 06, 2017 9:52 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: What is your definition of 'Savings'?
Replies: 25
Views: 1491

Re: What is your definition of 'Savings'?

They are all savings.
by mhc
Thu Apr 06, 2017 9:17 am
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: can you safely view BND as equivalent to saving?
Replies: 13
Views: 1083

Re: can you safely view BND as equivalent to saving?

BND is not the same as a savings account, but so what? Is BND a safe place to hold money? Yes. It is all a matter of how exact you need to be. As others have pointed out, there are times when BND goes down. If you can live with that, then go for it. Obviously, your stock funds can and will go down a...
by mhc
Wed Apr 05, 2017 2:14 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: AA for 529
Replies: 10
Views: 481

Re: AA for 529

I do not include my 529s with my retirement portfolio. I maintain a separate AA for college funds. I think the AA for retirement or college follow the same guideline of setting the AA based and need and ability to take risk. My need and ability to take risk may be quite different from yours. Persona...
by mhc
Mon Apr 03, 2017 12:18 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Value of your social security tax contributions "account"
Replies: 15
Views: 1590

Re: Value of your social security tax contributions "account"

Please share your results. It will be interesting to see.

Keep in mind that SS includes old age, disability, and survivor insurance pieces. Do you plan on accounting for all three or just the one?
by mhc
Fri Mar 31, 2017 11:07 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Glacier National Park - where to stay
Replies: 11
Views: 863

Re: Glacier National Park - where to stay

We stayed at the Pine Lodge in Whitefish. It worked out really well. Whitefish is an enjoyable town with a really nice public beach on the lake. The drive is a bit long getting to the park each day. In the summer, leave for the park really early or expect long lines getting in. We also spent a few n...
by mhc
Fri Mar 31, 2017 10:40 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Saving 50% of salary; what does it really mean?
Replies: 142
Views: 10434

Re: Saving 50% of salary; what does it really mean?

The key is how much is paid in taxes. The remaining money is split between savings and spending. I believe most people pay less than 25% in taxes. Saving 50% of gross is easily explained. I know I have had years where my money is split 20% taxes, 40% savings, 40% spending. Regardless, there is no un...
by mhc
Thu Mar 30, 2017 3:51 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Radon mitigation credit at closing
Replies: 16
Views: 1225

Re: Radon mitigation credit at closing

See if they will give you a copy of the written estimate to determine if it is current and with a company you would want to use. If it is, you could call the company and see if they would still honor it after you purchase the house. Mitigation is usually pretty easy. What part of the country are you...
by mhc
Wed Mar 29, 2017 5:00 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: What do Bogleheads think about Aspiration?
Replies: 12
Views: 961

Re: What do Bogleheads think about Aspiration?

I do not think companies like Aspiration are sustainable, but go for it and let us know how it turns out. We will learn from your experiences.

As far as I know, there are no major indices that track your special interests.
by mhc
Wed Mar 29, 2017 1:49 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Backdoor Roth question
Replies: 3
Views: 263

Re: Backdoor Roth question

If you have a good 401k plan, then yes because you would then avoid the taxes which result from converting an IRA to a Roth.
by mhc
Wed Mar 29, 2017 11:42 am
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Backdoor Roth question
Replies: 3
Views: 263

Re: Backdoor Roth question

Welcome to the forum! Take a look at the wiki article on Backdoor Roth: https://www.bogleheads.org/wiki/Backdoor_Roth_IRA You may convert without penalty, but you may have to pay some taxes. If your 401k allows it, you could move your IRA to your 401k. The wiki article should have the information yo...
by mhc
Wed Mar 29, 2017 11:11 am
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Over last 6 years, has the Total Bond Market Index produced an overall slight loss?
Replies: 35
Views: 4667

Re: Over last 6 years, has the Total Bond Market Index really produced an overall loss?

Did you consider dividends? You should not only look at share price. For mutual funds you should consider total return. Try going to morningstar and looking at the chart for VBTLX. You will see that the fund has had a positive slope over the last 6 years. Make sure you look at total return charts. T...
by mhc
Wed Mar 29, 2017 8:49 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Another TurboTax 8606 Complaint.
Replies: 9
Views: 667

Re: Another TurboTax 8606 Complaint.

I would recommend contacting TT and have them walk you through the proper procedure for entering the information. I encountered a bug with their software this year, and they did a great job of resolving it. Give their customer service a chance to help you.
by mhc
Mon Mar 27, 2017 3:38 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Timing of contributions to taxable and retirement accounts (not market timing!)
Replies: 5
Views: 470

Re: Timing of contributions to taxable and retirement accounts (not market timing!)

It does not make much difference. The only difference I can think of is maxing 401k early delays paying income taxes. Since 401k contributions are pre-tax, the portion of your salary that has taxes withheld will be smaller at the beginning of the year and larger toward the end of the year. This is v...
by mhc
Tue Mar 07, 2017 4:52 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Using turbo tax online
Replies: 20
Views: 851

Re: Using turbo tax online

I paid for the online version and I still can't find a way to see my tax forms. Last year I could download a pdf. Once you pay, you are allowed to download the pdf with all the tax forms. There is a menu at the top called Tools or something like that. In there I think you select Print Center or som...
by mhc
Mon Mar 06, 2017 12:00 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Did you buy SNAP?
Replies: 85
Views: 6721

Re: Did you buy SNAP?

I don't understand what the benefit of snapchat is?

It seems like people like doing things that they could already do. It doesn't seem like it's worth the trouble to use; hence, I did not directly buy SNAP. I guess I'll buy it if it gets into one of my index funds.
by mhc
Fri Mar 03, 2017 10:08 am
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Great Portfolio Analzer
Replies: 16
Views: 1852

Re: Great Portfolio Analzer

I promise, this is NOT an ad. I've tried many, many asset allocation tools, but none has come close to the one that's free on Personal Capital. This tool 1. Imports your info from major brokerages (Very helpful if you have lots of individual holdings at different brokerages) It also updates it each...
by mhc
Wed Mar 01, 2017 5:01 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Tell me about Smart TVs and cutting cable
Replies: 101
Views: 7646

Re: Tell me about Smart TVs and cutting cable

Where I live, it is usually better to bundle the most basic cable tv package with internet to get the best pricing from Comcast. I know I can many ESPN broadcasts on many devices like Xbox and Firestick. ESPN is also available online. I would recommend getting your external device and give it a try ...
by mhc
Wed Mar 01, 2017 4:47 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Tell me about Smart TVs and cutting cable
Replies: 101
Views: 7646

Re: Tell me about Smart TVs and cutting cable

You don't have to have a smart TV, but a smart TV works. I have Amazon Prime and Netflix. I use an Amazon Firestick to access the Prime content and Netflix. I prefer having an external device provide the smarts. It is much cheaper to add an external device like a firestick, roku, chromecast, ... to ...
by mhc
Tue Feb 28, 2017 10:21 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Vanguard Money Market Question
Replies: 19
Views: 1816

Re: Vanguard Money Market Question

Tamales,

I have a plain old mutual fund account and it works that way. I don't know how a VBS account works. I don't know how ETF transactions work.
by mhc
Mon Feb 27, 2017 5:29 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Where to go when stocks, bonds overpriced
Replies: 53
Views: 5162

Re: Where to go when stocks, bonds overpriced

If you have 10 years to retirement and 30 years in retirement, then you are investing for the long term. Pick an AA that you can live with and stay the course.

Continue to educate yourself and tune out the noise/investing porn.
by mhc
Mon Feb 27, 2017 11:57 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Understanding an HSA - help
Replies: 7
Views: 660

Re: Understanding an HSA - help

Beaware that there is tax differences based on how you make contributions to an HSA. Payroll deductions usually avoid FICA taxes. If you contribute on your own, you will have to pay FICA on that money. I would compare your HSA providers to see who has the better options you are looking for. In gener...
by mhc
Mon Feb 27, 2017 11:46 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Vanguard Money Market Question
Replies: 19
Views: 1816

Re: Vanguary Money Market Question

The Vanguard MM has not been very competitive for quite a few years, as compared to a high interest savings account. It seems to be catching up. If you link your savings account to your Vanguard account, you should be able to eliminate most the delays in moving money around. You can purchase directl...
by mhc
Mon Feb 27, 2017 9:52 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Do you clear your inbox?
Replies: 49
Views: 3296

Re: Do you clear your inbox?

I treat my work and personal email the same. My inbox is my todo list. For example, if I receive an email that I need to act on, it stays in the inbox until I act on it. Emails I want to save, get filed into the appropriate folder. Other emails get deleted. A lot of emails from work do not pertain t...
by mhc
Mon Feb 27, 2017 9:39 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Outdoor grill: gas or electric?
Replies: 55
Views: 3211

Re: Outdoor grill: gas or electric?

A Weber Performa with gas assist is great. If you use lump charcoal, the clean up is easy. I just dump the ashes in my yard or flower bed. The clean up is really easy. The lighting is really easy. I believe it is much more versatile than my propane grill, and Weber figured out how to overcome the ha...
by mhc
Mon Feb 27, 2017 9:28 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Going to Tahiti and we're budget travelers
Replies: 41
Views: 3551

Re: Going to Tahiti and we're budget travelers

Didn't spend much time on Tahiti, so can't help there. On Moorea, we did a jeep tour and a boat tour that we really enjoyed. I would recommend both. I would guess they would have similar tours on Tahiti. We did not have a car on Moorea. We either walked, used a taxi or shuttle. On the other island w...
by mhc
Fri Feb 24, 2017 10:16 am
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Are there any good funds with <$1,000 minimum purchase requirement?
Replies: 6
Views: 433

Re: Are there any good funds with <$1,000 minimum purchase requirement?

When I started my HSA at Fidelity, I just let the cash accumulate until I had the $2500 to buy the Fidelity Spartan fund I wanted. If you are contributing the max for a family, it takes less than 6 months to get there.
by mhc
Thu Feb 23, 2017 12:54 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Honda: buy new or used?
Replies: 29
Views: 1514

Re: Honda: buy new or used?

Buy new. Hondas do not depreciate very quickly.

I think the advantage of buying used has been exploited to the point that there is no longer an advantage, at least with Hondas.
by mhc
Thu Feb 23, 2017 12:33 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Credit card limits
Replies: 16
Views: 1330

Re: Credit card limits

For a responsible person, I see no downside to a higher credit limit. The higher limit will drop the utilization rate, and subsequently increase your credit score. I shoot for a utilization rate of below 10%. The other consideration is to have a high enough credit limit to cover 2x max spend for a m...
by mhc
Thu Feb 23, 2017 8:55 am
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: VTIAX now has 0.11% ER [Vanguard Total Int'l Stock, Admiral Class]
Replies: 43
Views: 4910

Re: VTIAX now has 0.11% ER

Awesome!

I can now retire 10 minutes earlier. :twisted:
by mhc
Wed Feb 22, 2017 10:08 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Employee stock purchase plan and same day sale (tax treatment)
Replies: 5
Views: 463

Re: Employee stock purchase plan and same day sale (tax treatment)

Are any taxes withheld, or does your employer just add the difference between the sale price and purchase day price (presumably a positive gain) to your YTD income but no taxes taken out? The difference between the fair market value (FMV) and purchase price is added to your W-2. No taxes are withhe...
by mhc
Wed Feb 22, 2017 9:12 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Staying at Disneyworld
Replies: 30
Views: 3348

Re: Staying at Disneyworld

deleted response because I had read Disneyland not Disneyworld :shock:
by mhc
Tue Feb 21, 2017 10:59 am
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Where to deploy cash now ?
Replies: 11
Views: 653

Re: Where to deploy cash now ?

People have been saying stocks are too high and bonds are too dangerous. If you can tell the future, you can make a lot of money. I can't tell the future so I keep investing according to my AA when the money comes available. I just dropped in a large lump sum. If you don't like bonds, you could use ...
by mhc
Fri Feb 17, 2017 3:37 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Vanguard 529 changes - addition of international bonds
Replies: 4
Views: 458

Re: Vanguard 529 changes - addition of international bonds

I think 100% TSM.

When my children get closer to college, I may mix in TBM.
by mhc
Fri Feb 17, 2017 1:38 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Vanguard 529 changes - addition of international bonds
Replies: 4
Views: 458

Re: Vanguard 529 changes - addition of international bonds

Not surprising. That is the direction Vanguard has been moving.

This is one reason I do not use age based funds.
by mhc
Thu Feb 16, 2017 10:17 am
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Tax Deferred vs Taxable IRA's
Replies: 8
Views: 574

Re: Tax Deferred vs Taxable IRA's

I'm not familiar with a taxable IRA vs tax deferred IRA. It may help if you explain these further. All gains and deductible contributions to an IRA are taxed as income when they are distributed to the individual. Take a look at the wiki: https://www.bogleheads.org/wiki/Traditional_IRA There are link...
by mhc
Wed Feb 15, 2017 9:31 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Visiting Downtown Denver in late March without car.
Replies: 19
Views: 1186

Re: Visiting Downtown Denver in late March without car.

My family and I have stayed at the Hyatt by the convention center multiple times. Here are a list of close by activities: Easy walk 16th street mall: restaraunts, small Federal Reserve museum, free bus along mall area Capitol Art Museum Mint (need reservations in advance) Molly Brown House Byers-Eva...
by mhc
Tue Feb 14, 2017 10:15 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Windshield repair gone wrong....
Replies: 19
Views: 2324

Re: Windshield repair gone wrong....

Replacing windshields is trivial. Almost everyone in Colorado has their windshield replaced periodically, especially if you drive much on the interstates.
by mhc
Mon Feb 13, 2017 3:47 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: New car for wife and what to do with old car
Replies: 48
Views: 2585

Re: New car for wife and what to do with old car

I bought a CR-V for my wife for our first child. She had a Civic. The CR-V was great. Large cargo area for all the baby gear needed while traveling. The cargo area also doubled as a play pen at stops during day trips. The distance from front seat to rear seat was great, because the passenger could e...
by mhc
Mon Feb 13, 2017 1:56 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Does anyone have $0 in cash (except for bills), not even an emergency fund?
Replies: 45
Views: 2297

Re: Does anyone have $0 in cash (except for bills), not even an emergency fund?

I could go $0 cash, but I like having cash around. I think it makes life easier. I have 80/20 portfolio. I count my cash as part of the 20%. I keep 1.5% cash/18.5% bonds. I don't think I am losing out much by doing so. No dedicated emergency fund. I just make sure I have enough liquidity.
by mhc
Wed Feb 08, 2017 11:28 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Insurance philosophy
Replies: 8
Views: 591

Re: Insurance philosophy

Your thinking is correct. In general, a person will be better off if he can self-insure. Insurance is just one way to mitigate risk. Many people choose to self-insure instead of buying life insurance, collision/comprehensive for cars, long term care, disability, especially as their portfolios increa...
by mhc
Wed Feb 08, 2017 9:14 am
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Beginner Here...where to buy?
Replies: 7
Views: 810

Re: Beginner Here...where to buy?

Welcome to the forum.

Since I hold only Vanguard funds in my non-work related accounts, I prefer to deal directly with Vanguard. I have been very pleased with Vanguard.
by mhc
Tue Feb 07, 2017 10:45 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Help understanding W4 allowances
Replies: 14
Views: 1272

Re: Help understanding W4 allowances

If you don't want a refund, then increase to 3 or 4. Just be aware of the underwitholding rules and safe harbor rules.

Some people like refunds. One reason is some tax software will let you buy Amazon gift cards at a discount with your refund. I think some use the refunds to buy Ibonds.
by mhc
Mon Feb 06, 2017 2:43 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Upgrading a VBS Advantage account to new unified account
Replies: 1
Views: 218

Re: Upgrading a VBS Advantage account to new unified account

I would recommend asking your account rep these questions since Vanguard is pushing you in this direction.

You may also want to search this site because there have been numerous threads on this topic.

I am holding off on upgrading.
by mhc
Fri Feb 03, 2017 11:26 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: When to file income tax
Replies: 12
Views: 1614

Re: When to file income tax

I had to file an amended return a few years ago because I received a corrected 1099 in April. I'm in no hurry to file. I'll probably wait until March or so.
by mhc
Tue Jan 31, 2017 12:15 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Are you changing your AA based on current events?
Replies: 68
Views: 3480

Re: Are you changing your AA based on current events?

No.

Looking out my window at work, I only see a sunny blue sky. I don't see the sky falling. Things look pretty normal to me.

Try tuning out the noise.
by mhc
Mon Jan 30, 2017 9:29 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Donor Advised Fund options
Replies: 23
Views: 1535

Re: Doner Advised Fund options

I chose Vanguard Charitable because my taxable account is at Vanguard. I have been very pleased with VC. With just a few clicks I can donate from Vanguard to Vanguard Charitable.

The minimums are no problem for me, but it is something to consider.
by mhc
Mon Jan 30, 2017 9:27 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Claiming Exempt on W4 and filing estimated taxes?
Replies: 6
Views: 620

Re: Claiming Exempt on W4 and filing estimated taxes?

I learned my lesson about 15 years ago playing with withholdings. I am on an IRS blacklist for the rest of my life unless Congress changes the law. Not a big deal, but I have to jump through a few extra hoops to change my W-4.
by mhc
Fri Jan 27, 2017 11:31 am
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Asset Allocation - considering a change
Replies: 18
Views: 1578

Re: Asset Allocation - considering a change

If you change to 60/40, are you going to change again when you see another compelling article or video? I would just stay at 50/50 and stay there. I understand what you are saying. Our consideration of a change was not driven by that video. It was just one of many pieces of information we added to ...

Go to advanced search