Search found 2728 matches

by psteinx
Tue Apr 24, 2018 5:42 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: How long does a will last? [Time to settle the estate]
Replies: 43
Views: 3701

Re: How long does a will last? [Time to settle the estate]

Oops - thought I had read that, but read wrong or remembered wrong or who knows what...
by psteinx
Tue Apr 24, 2018 3:21 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: How long does a will last? [Time to settle the estate]
Replies: 43
Views: 3701

Re: How long does a will last? [Time to settle the estate]

OP, you're 18, and the person you're concerned about is your GF, not your spouse. While it's nice to be helpful and supportive, this really isn't your battle to fight (if it should even be fought at all).
by psteinx
Tue Apr 24, 2018 3:02 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Used car dealer-Freight charge
Replies: 21
Views: 1264

Re: Used car dealer-Freight charge

Not an expert in this, and haven't bought any former rentals (AFAIK), but have looked at them a bit. My sense is that they're priced in a somewhat commodified manner. i.e. Toyota Camry, 2.4 years old, 22K, punch the stats into a computer that has market data, and boom, you've got a price. Yeah, this...
by psteinx
Mon Apr 23, 2018 7:29 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Family trip, Southwest USA
Replies: 24
Views: 1624

Re: Family trip, Southwest USA

Thanks for the responses so far. 1) The kids are somewhat on the older side (oldest two are 18 and 17) - I think they'd have at least some tolerance for sightseeing, though perhaps less than their parents. 2) We've seen a few things on the more central/southern side of AZ/NM. Seen Scottsdale, Phoeni...
by psteinx
Mon Apr 23, 2018 4:56 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Family trip, Southwest USA
Replies: 24
Views: 1624

Family trip, Southwest USA

Contemplating a summer family trip in the US Southwest (with main stops being something like Santa Fe->Grand Canyon->Hoover Dam->Las Vegas). Family of 5 - parents + 3 kids (ages 12-18). The kids have not seen any of the likely main stops, though they've been to Scottsdale, AZ and environs as well as...
by psteinx
Thu Apr 19, 2018 2:40 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Another discussion about private vs public schools?
Replies: 79
Views: 4164

Re: Another discussion about private vs public schools?

To (attempt to) be a bit more pro-active for OP: Yes, looking at outputs without full consideration of inputs (in terms of the parents and the students) is not very informative. Best case would be some fabulous analysis that DID normalize for all the differences in parents, students, etc. OP is high...
by psteinx
Thu Apr 19, 2018 10:11 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Another discussion about private vs public schools?
Replies: 79
Views: 4164

Re: Another discussion about private vs public schools?

The problem in evaluating school quality is that there is lots of data about outputs, but not as much data about inputs and value-added. i.e. In my state (Missouri, though I assume others are mostly similar), there's a state website that lets you look at all kinds of school data. The obvious thing t...
by psteinx
Thu Apr 19, 2018 12:10 am
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: What to do with gifted individual losers and gainers?
Replies: 14
Views: 839

Re: What to do with gifted individual losers and gainers?

Also - tax impacts may be complicated. There may be direct impacts at a given federal income level, impacts on brackets and/or phaseouts, and/or state taxes or perhaps other tax considerations. Lots to think about/research, if you want to nail the impacts down...
by psteinx
Tue Apr 17, 2018 1:27 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Then and Now: 1980 vs 2018
Replies: 12
Views: 1620

Re: Then and Now: 1980 vs 2018

Even comparing just NEW home prices is likely far from apples to apples. I would guess square footage on a median new house is now substantially larger. And I would guess the median new house is better featured as well. (Some largely cosmetic stuff like granite countertops, but some truly valuable f...
by psteinx
Tue Apr 17, 2018 11:08 am
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Help with my mom's investments, please.
Replies: 27
Views: 2036

Re: Help with my mom's investments, please.

OP, it appears your mother is, financially: 1) unsophisticated 2) easily persuaded (I could be wrong, but...) I think having her get her taxes done at a place that also sells investments (annuities) with a general reputation for high commissions is a recipe for bad outcomes. Strongly consider changi...
by psteinx
Tue Apr 17, 2018 10:57 am
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Structured Settlement versus cash
Replies: 10
Views: 951

Re: Structured Settlement versus cash

This is an enormous amount of money, and your post suggests you've got little experience dealing with such sums. Moreover, you'll likely be guiding a daughter also receiving a large sum, with even less experience than you, presumably. I realize that this may be a difficult, emotional time for you. B...
by psteinx
Tue Apr 17, 2018 10:44 am
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: What to do with gifted individual losers and gainers?
Replies: 14
Views: 839

Re: What to do with gifted individual losers and gainers?

1) Hopefully you got accurate basis information as part of the gift. This may have come through automatically in the transfer, or you may want/need to track this down. As another said, there isn't a step up (or down) in basis with a gift. 2) Gifts often have an element of sentimentality to them, for...
by psteinx
Wed Apr 11, 2018 10:20 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Owners Title Insurance - Super Heavy Handed Pitch
Replies: 101
Views: 5769

Re: Owners Title Insurance - Super Heavy Handed Pitch

I am sympathetic to the OP's reluctance to pay for a policy that is apparently, on an actuarial basis, stunningly overpriced. We all face many risks in life - some we can insure against, but many that we cannot or do not. Fully enumerated, the latter would likely vastly outnumber the former. Yes, ma...
by psteinx
Tue Apr 10, 2018 10:13 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Persian Rug Passed Down From Grandmother
Replies: 28
Views: 2068

Re: Persian Rug Passed Down From Grandmother

If you are relatively close to a rug dealer or two, and have a big enough vehicle that you can toss it in the back fairly easily, then maybe make a couple hours' project out of showing it to the dealer(s) and seeing what they might pay for it. This wouldn't necessarily get the top dollar price versu...
by psteinx
Mon Apr 02, 2018 12:36 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Max-funding an Index Universal Life policy to the IRS limit??
Replies: 107
Views: 5319

Re: Max-funding an Index Universal Life policy to the IRS limit??

I skimmed the article. Again, I'm not an expert on this stuff, but some quick thoughts: 1) This is written by an IUL salesman, it seems. That doesn't mean it's inherently wrong, but read it in that context. 2) There's no real detailed quantitative analysis. Some counts of various kinds of up years v...
by psteinx
Thu Mar 29, 2018 11:14 am
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Vanguard in the WSJ today
Replies: 57
Views: 7623

Re: Vanguard in the WSJ today

Was this the Thursday WSJ? What section and page? I scoured the paper for the article but couldn't find it. I wonder if I get a truncated version of the WSJ or if it ran Wednesday here or something. I'm in St. Louis (County), and it is a 4 star edition...
by psteinx
Wed Mar 28, 2018 11:19 am
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: What would you do if you were in charge of a State Pension Fund?
Replies: 36
Views: 2037

Re: What would you do if you were in charge of a State Pension Fund?

A lot of posturing and unrealistic blather here. Some general points: 1) One drawback of a more active approach is tax consequences. These are, to my understanding, moot for something like CalSTRS. 2) Another drawback is management expenses (expense ratio for the common investor). These aren't moot ...
by psteinx
Tue Mar 27, 2018 2:51 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Max-funding an Index Universal Life policy to the IRS limit??
Replies: 107
Views: 5319

Re: Max-funding an Index Universal Life policy to the IRS limit??

Elmo (OP): I'm not an expert on this particular topic (IUL, or whole life in general). But perhaps I can help you navigate the strong reaction you got from other posters. I understand that you don't just want "X is bad", but rather "Here's *why* X is bad". Then you can think things through on your o...
by psteinx
Thu Mar 22, 2018 1:37 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Bloomberg commodities index still in contango
Replies: 53
Views: 4108

Re: Bloomberg commodities index still in contango

right that is definitely a possibility. I would agree that for spot prices the long term expected real return is zero. One could even make an argument i suppose that for spot prices the expected real return is negative due to technological improvements etc (easier to grow corn, etc.) I would say th...
by psteinx
Tue Mar 20, 2018 5:53 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Cash Advance on Credit Card for $3K Car
Replies: 43
Views: 2502

Re: Cash Advance on Credit Car for $3K Car

Also: friends and family: No family. I don't have any family to rely on. A couple close friends So you're young, not college educated, and have minimal if any family support. I'm going to guess that such family members as you do have or had were not great financial role models. Troubled family perha...
by psteinx
Tue Mar 20, 2018 5:45 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Cash Advance on Credit Card for $3K Car
Replies: 43
Views: 2502

Re: Cash Advance on Credit Card for $3K Car

1) Stop posting from/during work (assuming that's true) - bad habit. 2) Eyeballing the Dave Ramsey chart, it appears he's using his 12% growth assumption. I think posters on this forum (including myself) generally feel that's a bad assumption. You say "Math doesn't lie". Fair 'nuff. But math such as...
by psteinx
Tue Mar 20, 2018 3:24 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Cash Advance on Credit Card for $3K Car
Replies: 43
Views: 2502

Re: Cash Advance on Credit Car for $3K Car

education: not college educated job: administrator area: new england, city friends and family: No family. I don't have any family to rely on. A couple close friends living situation: share a 4 br apartment with 1 bathroom. Rent is $600/month savings: $1200 in savings debts: $10K credit card debt in...
by psteinx
Tue Mar 20, 2018 2:45 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Cash Advance on Credit Card for $3K Car
Replies: 43
Views: 2502

Re: Cash Advance on Credit Car for $3K Car

Following my previous post... Obviously, keep as much of the information semi-anonymous as you see fit. Presumably, you don't want to post that you work at Acme Baking Company in Sunnyvale, CA. But advice tends to be better if you're at least somewhat specific. You could say, for instance, that you'...
by psteinx
Tue Mar 20, 2018 2:42 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Cash Advance on Credit Card for $3K Car
Replies: 43
Views: 2502

Re: Cash Advance on Credit Car for $3K Car

learner: While I have not studied every post in the two threads in detail, nor read for the latest edits you (or others) may have done, you seem unusually focused on the tone of others' responses and are perhaps letting it distract you from drawing useful financial and perhaps life advice. I think y...
by psteinx
Mon Mar 19, 2018 6:11 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Bogleheads car buying strategies with new safety technologies
Replies: 71
Views: 4766

Re: Bogleheads car buying strategies with new safety technologies

The thing about drunk drivers and others under the influence is that they only hit other drunk/drugged drivers.

Oh, wait...
by psteinx
Mon Mar 19, 2018 4:35 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Bogleheads car buying strategies with new safety technologies
Replies: 71
Views: 4766

Re: Bogleheads car buying strategies with new safety technologies

Some back-of-the-envelope analysis... Source: IIHS (via news article ) Via this reputable (IMO) source, universal auto-braking, at the level of a collection of vehicles from a little over 2 years ago, would have averted 700,000 crashes in 2013 (I think this is only crashes that rise to the level of ...
by psteinx
Mon Mar 19, 2018 3:40 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: 9th grade earth science honors or biology honors
Replies: 28
Views: 1615

Re: 9th grade earth science honors or biology honors

It makes sense, IMO, to take a tour of all the main areas of HS level science in that time frame. i.e. Geology/Earth Science, Bio, Chem, Physics. What did she take in 6/7/8th grade? If she's already had a strong taste of Earth Science (a semester or more, roughly), then she's been reasonably exposed...
by psteinx
Mon Mar 19, 2018 2:02 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Bought house six months ago - now feeling like we're treading water and can't save money
Replies: 189
Views: 16507

Re: Bought house six months ago - now feeling like we're treading water and can't save money

Lots of comments already - many issues hashed over. I'll emphasize just a few: OP is saving a LOT right now, even though he doesn't feel that way... Gross 5291 (but OP feels obligated to donate ~$400/mo, so real income for THEIR usage is more like 4891) Taxes 911 but per other posters this is likely...
by psteinx
Wed Mar 07, 2018 4:47 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Compare the following note with index fund
Replies: 18
Views: 1248

Re: Compare the following note with index fund

The financial advisor who sell this note said that Even the money manger or the trader in wall street were willing to buy this note with deep downside protection since they calculated the odds of market down 40%, and they felt it wise to get an average 8% return/year or have the money back. BWAHAHA...
by psteinx
Wed Mar 07, 2018 3:22 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Car Subscriptions
Replies: 22
Views: 2311

Re: Car Subscriptions

There's a bit of a potential niche between typical rentals (for a few days or weeks) and typical leases (for a few years) or even buy and then sell (not generally cost effective if you're not gonna keep the car for a couple years or so). There are times when you want a car for 2-4 months but that's ...
by psteinx
Wed Mar 07, 2018 12:58 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Compare the following note with index fund
Replies: 18
Views: 1248

Re: Compare the following note with index fund

I doubt many here on BH (including myself) could readily evaluate this with the information provided - jargon, abbreviated summary, etc. But more generally, it sounds like you bought an engineered product, presumably off of a sophisticated financial counterparty. My guess is that THEY have modeled t...
by psteinx
Tue Mar 06, 2018 12:27 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Donations to your enrolled public school
Replies: 106
Views: 5842

Re: Donations to your enrolled public school

1) I suspect this is to a large extent a regional issue. In Missouri, I'm not aware of these kinds of heavy, socially reinforced donations. Perhaps at the richest districts. 2) While there are, occasionally, schools that cut back heavily on the arts, or math, or whatever, I rather doubt that most of...
by psteinx
Tue Mar 06, 2018 12:18 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Re-touching dark plastics inside car
Replies: 8
Views: 765

Re: Re-touching dark plastics inside car

Although it's old, it's low mileage (fifty something thousand miles) and in reasonable cosmetic shape, this plastics issue aside...
by psteinx
Tue Mar 06, 2018 12:07 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Re-touching dark plastics inside car
Replies: 8
Views: 765

Re-touching dark plastics inside car

I've got a 2004 Saab. Many of the interior surfaces are a near-black plastic finish. The problem is that this near-black (or perhaps dark gray) is applied over an underlying white plastic - i.e. it's not solid throughout. Over time, the covering has worn/peeled in many places. The best solution I've...
by psteinx
Mon Mar 05, 2018 9:26 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Trust advice for HNW couple with special needs child
Replies: 7
Views: 1074

Re: Trust advice for HNW couple with special needs child

There's an lawyer who posts in threads like this (bsteiner - sp?) who hopefully will respond. IIRC, the estate tax exemption is now ~$11M per person. So you're saying your estate will likely be >~$22M, and you want to go with the freebie legal service your company throws in? That might (conceivably)...
by psteinx
Tue Feb 27, 2018 2:27 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Duke University TIP Program Questions
Replies: 15
Views: 1324

Re: Duke University TIP Program Questions

It's one class, basically full time for ~3 weeks. So, ~15 days of instruction (not sure about Saturdays), with a reasonably full load for a day. A "normal" college class may be ~15 weeks of once a week 2.5-3 hour lecture or twice a week 60-90 minute lecture, plus reading/assignments research. So it'...
by psteinx
Tue Feb 27, 2018 12:36 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Duke University TIP Program Questions
Replies: 15
Views: 1324

Re: Duke University TIP Program Questions

I should add that some of my enthusiasm for TIP and willingness to pay for it, etc, is based on the fact that my kids attend public schools. We made a conscious decision not to send them private, especially the middle who may have gained from a more rigorous private curriculum. But in sending them p...
by psteinx
Tue Feb 27, 2018 11:33 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Duke University TIP Program Questions
Replies: 15
Views: 1324

Re: Duke University TIP Program Questions

We've had a rather substantial involvement with the TIP programs. Our experiences have been positive. We have 3 kids, currently ages 12-18. All 3 tested for TIP and qualified. The middle child (who is only a grade behind the oldest), was the first to attend one of the ~3 week camps, and ultimately w...
by psteinx
Wed Feb 21, 2018 3:16 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Lawn care, especially bare, shaded spots
Replies: 14
Views: 767

Re: Lawn care, especially bare, shaded spots

Re: hardscaping Yes, adding more pavers and assorted hardscaping is a possibility, though wouldn't really work in some areas (would look rather out of place). I may have more extensive landscaping projects this year. We've also got a fairly large, relatively flat area that had been a playset area. T...
by psteinx
Wed Feb 21, 2018 3:13 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Lawn care, especially bare, shaded spots
Replies: 14
Views: 767

Re: Lawn care, especially bare, shaded spots

Re: ground cover. Two of the muddy spots are on either side of a couple of gates in the fence that allow access from the backyard to the front (on either side of the house). Ground cover plants would be awkward, as it's common to walk through these areas, and the gates themselves need to swing open.
by psteinx
Wed Feb 21, 2018 2:39 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Lawn care, especially bare, shaded spots
Replies: 14
Views: 767

Lawn care, especially bare, shaded spots

Preface: I'm looking for solutions that are approximately an intersection of low-ish cost, low hassle (minimal time), and decent end result (attractive, full lawn). I'm also not looking to get a PhD in lawn care, nor spend hours reading specialist forums. I'm saying this in part because specialty to...
by psteinx
Wed Feb 14, 2018 6:47 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Planning Using Nominal or Real Return
Replies: 13
Views: 722

Re: Planning Using Nominal or Real Return

1) You should generally use real returns. 2) I would assume that whoever said to assume 7% returns as fairly conservative and "safe" was talking about nominal returns 3) I would not personally assume that 7% nominal returns are particularly conservative, and especially not assume that they are safe....
by psteinx
Tue Feb 13, 2018 3:15 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Help me help my niece (College costs, financial aid, etc)
Replies: 41
Views: 2721

Re: Help me help my niece (College costs, financial aid, etc)

My oldest daughter had a major passion for art. Was supposedly considered by her art teachers as the best they'd seen, etc., "must go into art". This is/was at a decent sized, good quality suburban middle and high school, for what it's worth. She took AP Art in her junior year in HS, and the student...
by psteinx
Tue Feb 13, 2018 1:12 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Co-investment with parents and sibling jealosy [Home construction]
Replies: 22
Views: 2334

Re: Co-investment with parents and sibling jealosy

My wife and I live in a HCOL area in the United States. Her parents own a shoddy house nearby on a very nice lot and we have all been discussing tearing their house down and building a large multi-generational house (effectively two units) on their lot where all of us could live. In principle, if t...
by psteinx
Thu Feb 08, 2018 3:31 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Rental Sell or Keep Decision help
Replies: 9
Views: 632

Re: Rental Sell or Keep Decision help

You will have a basis in the condo. Determining what that basis actually is is a bit tricky. I can't remember the details - you'll probably want to research on your own. I'm not sure if the starting point is what you paid, or what its value was at the time you converted from personal use to rental. ...
by psteinx
Thu Feb 08, 2018 2:45 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Rental Sell or Keep Decision help
Replies: 9
Views: 632

Re: Rental Sell or Keep Decision help

Quick analysis: Value: 220K But, what you'd really realize, after fees, commissions, repairs, etc, is probably closer to 200K. You've been conservative and said 175K, but I think that may be too conservative. Net Income: ~$9600/year Is it fair to assume that your cost estimates (and thus net income ...
by psteinx
Mon Feb 05, 2018 8:32 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Can I extend a lease?
Replies: 7
Views: 712

Re: Can I extend a lease?

$139/month seems pretty cheap to me. Depends on the car of course, but possibly the OP paid a fair amount up front to get such a leasing deal or possibly the OP just got a really good deal or who knows? Seems reasonable for OP to contact the finance company if he/she is otherwise satisfied with the ...
by psteinx
Thu Feb 01, 2018 3:03 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: State (MO) tax deadline (for amended return) different from Fed?
Replies: 2
Views: 222

Re: State (MO) tax deadline (for amended return) different from Fed?

Thank you Mark. I will look this up and hopefully follow through successfully. The amount in question is a little over $900. Worth some effort but not a ton...
by psteinx
Wed Jan 31, 2018 6:51 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Finding a preparer for complex tax returns and consultation
Replies: 7
Views: 729

Re: Finding a preparer for complex tax returns and consultation

Bumping this thread... Was thinking about this more today. I'd love to find a preparer who would know the answer to 70%+ of my tricky questions without having to research, and who could and would do a solid job researching the remainder, for a reasonable price (say, that of a low to mid-end lawyer)....
by psteinx
Wed Jan 31, 2018 12:39 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: State (MO) tax deadline (for amended return) different from Fed?
Replies: 2
Views: 222

State (MO) tax deadline (for amended return) different from Fed?

So I/we filed a couple of amended state (Missouri) returns this past fall (for issues only on the state side - not in conjunction with Fed amended return filings) for relatively modest refunds (hundreds of dollars in each case). One was for tax year 2013, the other for tax year 2015. In both years, ...