Search found 543 matches

by sesq
Tue Aug 15, 2017 6:58 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Big family, small house dilemma -- kid bedrooms in basement?
Replies: 23
Views: 2870

Re: Big family, small house dilemma -- kid bedrooms in basement?

Perhaps you move a couple kids down and then soundproof the bedrooms a bit. Could be as easy as adding a second layer of drywall to the walls and ceilings. Adding insulation to the voids could help too. AVSforum (home theater) has a lot of resources on this topic in their dedicated theater forum. I ...
by sesq
Tue Aug 15, 2017 6:42 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Your Movie Collection?
Replies: 43
Views: 3761

Re: Your Movie Collection?

I was going to say it hasn't been added to in years but then I remembered we get the kids new movies at christmas. We take long car trips to visit family and have dvd players in the car for them. We make them agree on a movie which can sometimes take a long time. They are starting to watch some of m...
by sesq
Tue Aug 15, 2017 6:34 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: PSA - Mute button for Gas Station TV!
Replies: 22
Views: 2970

Re: PSA - Mute button for Gas Station TV!

So far I have a mental list of gas stations around me that don't have those things. Next time I get stuck I will look for your button. Hope I find it!
by sesq
Sun Jul 30, 2017 4:30 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Should I purchase Lake House for Primary
Replies: 26
Views: 3216

Re: Should I purchase Lake House for Primary

My parents liked lake houses and we lived in one until I was 8. There was a chain link fence between the house and the lake to cut down on the drowning risk. The beach would somehow accumulate rocks (or the sand would erode away) so a standard punishment in our family was to go pick 100 rocks off th...
by sesq
Sun Jul 30, 2017 10:14 am
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Advice on taxable account - yearly additions.
Replies: 7
Views: 1179

Re: Advice on taxable account - yearly additions.

I only recently exceeded my tax preference opportunities and started taxable. I keep a spreadsheet in part so that I can calculate my deferred taxes on appreciated (or depreciated) shares. I have an IF/Then formula that adjusts the rate based on whether the tax lot would be at short term or long ter...
by sesq
Sun Jul 30, 2017 9:59 am
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Investing/ Finance podcasts
Replies: 16
Views: 1566

Re: Investing/ Finance podcasts

My list (some business ones): Money for the rest of us Grants Interest Rate observer Planet Money Marketplace Financial Advisor Success + XYPN Radio (both Michael Kitces affiliated who I admire) White Coat Investor WSJ - Your Money Matters (short like 6/7 minutes) HBR (Harvard Business Review - I am...
by sesq
Tue Jul 25, 2017 9:00 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Garage Remodeling
Replies: 14
Views: 1899

Re: Garage Remodeling

In my last house I did the DIY epoxy from HD/Lowes when we first moved in. I took extra precautions when I did adding a polyurethene clear coat on top that I got off the internet. I still had "hot tire pickup" where part of the epoxy is ripped off. That part wasn't so attractive but did not material...
by sesq
Tue May 23, 2017 12:14 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Net worth is overrated
Replies: 76
Views: 10539

Re: Net worth is overrated

A lot of items in the OP's post can be estimated pretty reasonably and I think there are a number of posters who fear the estimate. For example if you have a pension that can be either quantified as a NPV or used to reduce future income needs when trying to determine when you hit enough. Similar, it...
by sesq
Thu Apr 27, 2017 12:34 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: TV show recommendations?
Replies: 554
Views: 211696

Re: TV show recommendations?

I had read that Bloodlines was not renewed for a 4th season. So when the third is out, that is it. I really enjoyed the first two. I have gotten spoiled and prefer the binge watch option so I have The Americans, Saul and Fargo building up on my Tivo. Some shows I can't resist and watch "current" - G...
by sesq
Sat Apr 15, 2017 8:19 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: What questions do you ask and what information do you gather to discuss finances with your spouse?
Replies: 10
Views: 1282

Re: What questions do you ask and what information do you gather to discuss finances with your spouse?

I generally give periodic updates. I like to talk finance so I have probably educated her enough to take over in my absence. She ran her life and checkbook well before I came along. She didn't have the future planned as much as I do for us now, but our current net worth and my life insurance would c...
by sesq
Fri Apr 14, 2017 10:49 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Basic Homestead Exemption Question (Texas)
Replies: 2
Views: 344

Re: Basic Homestead Exemption Question (Texas)

Don't know the answer to your question, but the deadline is coming up. April 30. I just moved to the Houston area and need to get my paperwork in.
by sesq
Fri Apr 14, 2017 11:11 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Secretly entered two comma club
Replies: 44
Views: 7510

Re: Secretly entered two comma club

Congrats.

Some one teach him the secret handshake.
by sesq
Sat Mar 25, 2017 5:48 am
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Utah 529 Fees
Replies: 15
Views: 1887

Re: Utah 529 Fees

The extra fee was higher in the past so the trend is good. But it does annoy me a bit that my kids accounts have ER's in the 20 basis point range and the rest of my portfolio averages 6 basis points. I am hoping they can get the surcharge down to 10 or so at some point.
by sesq
Sat Mar 25, 2017 5:39 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Best HSA (2017)
Replies: 163
Views: 29730

Re: Best HSA (2017)

My old employer seems to have had a bad deal with HSA bank as when I left I got a letter saying it would be something like $4.50 a month to stay. I was going to leave it, but since I have to pay $3 a month to use the broker at my new employers HSA I decided to close and move it. The new employer use...
by sesq
Sat Mar 18, 2017 6:36 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: How do Bogleheads handle allowance?
Replies: 38
Views: 3460

Re: How do Bogleheads handle allowance?

We pay an allowance not linked to chores. Its 50 cents per year (or $4 for the 8 year old). We then chop it up into available cash, long term savings and charity. The charity piece is absorbed in my wife's church contributions and is modest. The cash and long term savings are automatically transferr...
by sesq
Sun Mar 05, 2017 10:00 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Can I avoid HSA Bank closure fee?
Replies: 4
Views: 830

Re: Can I avoid HSA Bank closure fee?

I was quoted the same monthly fee. I am in the process of moving the money out of TD and getting ready to roll it over. I didn't notice the closure fee.
by sesq
Tue Feb 21, 2017 11:44 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Do companies match after-tax 401k contributions?
Replies: 32
Views: 2657

Re: Do companies match after-tax 401k contributions?

My employer does not match after tax. It does for traditional or roth.
by sesq
Sat Jan 28, 2017 12:15 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Any Backyard Chefs out there? Do you have any specialties?
Replies: 54
Views: 4089

Re: Any Backyard Chefs out there? Do you have any specialties?

A family stable for us is beer can chicken. Whenever I make the rub I make enough for 6 chickens and store it for future birds.

http://www.weber.com/recipes/poultry/beer-can-chicken

This is a go to when we have guests in from out of town:

http://www.weber.com/recipes/red-meat/s ... sandwiches

And I like Alton Brown's pulled pork, although the 12 hour slow and low is kind of a production.

http://www.epicurious.com/recipes/membe ... k-50127796
by sesq
Fri Jan 27, 2017 11:46 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Anyone moved to another state for lower cost of living?
Replies: 72
Views: 11198

Re: Anyone moved to another state for lower cost of living?

I have moved a lot for jobs. Just recently came to Houston, so far so good but the test will come in the summer. I found I liked the mid-sized metro best, except the job opportunities. I have been in Dallas, Portland Maine, DC, Boston, Harrisburg PA, now Houston. I am hoping to stay put here to get ...
by sesq
Wed Jan 18, 2017 9:45 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Do you recommend using credit karma's tax product?
Replies: 52
Views: 6776

Re: Do you recommend using credit karma's tax product?

Price is right. I signed up to use it this year. Won't find out how well it works until April as I owe money this year. I was a loyal turbo tax person for years until their bait & switch on Schedule D a few years ago. Then went over to Tax Act for a while but their prices went up. I can do it my...
by sesq
Mon Jan 16, 2017 12:44 am
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Safe cutoff of after tax contributions
Replies: 7
Views: 908

Re: Safe cutoff of after tax contributions

I have two bonuses per year and a 5% match. My after-tax contributions are not subject to match. I am trying to figure out how I get every dollar put into the 401(k) without giving up the match. I can only put 10% into after tax so I can't ratchet that up for the last few checks to close a year out....
by sesq
Wed Oct 05, 2016 5:01 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Concurrently buy/sell house
Replies: 21
Views: 2417

Re: Concurrently buy/sell house

I am about to relocate across the country. My current paid off home has an unused HELOC of $150k available (its on a 2% teaser rate till January that came as a promo, I have had the line for two years) and I have about $75K sitting in my emergency fund. My plan is to use these as my down payment on ...
by sesq
Tue Oct 04, 2016 4:39 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: My "Corolla Investment" has ended...410,000 [miles]
Replies: 56
Views: 8111

Re: My "Corolla Investment" has ended...410,000 [miles]

My best friend has a 1993 Corolla with over 350K on it. Might be at 400K now. The 1993 or 1994 Corolla may be the relative highwater mark for toyota's reliability after that they bought some 1995 Dodge Neons and reverse engineered them to strip cost out of the product. I read a WSJ about it (or a ca...
by sesq
Fri Sep 30, 2016 4:51 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: What you guys do with the bonus
Replies: 59
Views: 6221

Re: What you guys do with the bonus

A lot of my pay comes as incentive comp. My paycheck doesn't always cover everything so I have dipped into incentive comp from time to time. Over the past 8 years I have divided my equity and bonus payments as follows: Pay off mortgage - 31.6% (done, well until I move, should still be done) Cover ta...
by sesq
Wed Sep 14, 2016 3:55 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Should I pay off my mortgage?
Replies: 45
Views: 5110

Re: Should I pay off my mortgage?

Around me I see billboards for low rate HELOC's (like below 2% for 12 months). If you plan to substantially pay it off within the teaser period you might be able to arbitrage 5.65% to 2% or so and be at most out the appraisal cost ($3-400). After the teaser period the loan goes to prime +/- 25-50 ba...
by sesq
Tue Sep 13, 2016 2:22 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: First Child - Financial Decisions / Impacts?
Replies: 14
Views: 1752

Re: First Child - Financial Decisions / Impacts?

The advice I always give to new parents is the importance of securing appropriate levels of term life insurance on both mother and father. The insurance should not be tied to an employer to avoid the obvious risk of one's health declining to the point of being uninsurable around the time of losing/c...
by sesq
Tue Sep 13, 2016 9:53 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Christmas gift expectations
Replies: 61
Views: 5396

Re: Christmas gift expectations

Both sides of our families do secret santa. My side - ~$25 price target, everyone buys stuff for the kids who aren't done with college, everyone exchanges gifts with my parents (they don't do secret santa and want to get people gifts, so we reciprocate). My wife's side - $100 price target siblings a...
by sesq
Thu Sep 08, 2016 4:56 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Stopped at the Crossroads
Replies: 21
Views: 3564

Re: Stopped at the Crossroads

Are you also paying into social security or is the state pension in place of SS? If you have a pension and SS I would suggest that you may want to allocate your $300/mo towards building up a down payment. If you stay in state government you may not see astronomic income gains. Perhaps when you are r...
by sesq
Mon Aug 29, 2016 12:25 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Car leases: not that expensive, after all, if you can't do maintenance yourself?
Replies: 32
Views: 4104

Re: Car leases: not that expensive, after all, if you can't do maintenance yourself?

OTH, I am an older guy and may start leasing as I may not want to be driving 10+ years from now. My neighbor's mother died a year ago and had very negative things to say about dealing with a leased vehicle as the executor. Very difficult and expensive to terminate the lease early. On the main topic...
by sesq
Fri Aug 19, 2016 10:50 am
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: new chapter of life started - want to save and grow money
Replies: 84
Views: 9298

Re: new chapter of life started - want to save and grow money

It may be worth checking the terms of those furniture loans. I listen to Clark Howard (podcast) and he has mentioned that some of the "no-no-no" loans (no interest, no downpayment, no payments til) have dirty tricks in them like stating that your payments aren't due til say October 2018, b...
by sesq
Fri Aug 19, 2016 10:23 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Self-made Millionaires: how did hitting 7 figures change you?
Replies: 304
Views: 49564

Re: Self-made Millionaires: how did hitting 7 figures change you?

I know several people who have "enough" to retire (high 7 figures, some with low 8), and I asked them why they keep working. They were not spending their savings nor living extravagantly. They were honest in saying that legacy was their motivation. Their children were not on a trajectory ...
by sesq
Tue Aug 16, 2016 2:18 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Someone wants to pay me to manage their finances
Replies: 46
Views: 5601

Re: Someone wants to pay me to manage their finances

From time to time I suggest or even help people get their assets into a target date retirement fund.
by sesq
Mon Aug 15, 2016 10:15 am
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: 529 & Multiple Children
Replies: 26
Views: 2556

Re: 529 & Multiple Children

I have a 5th grader and a 2nd grader. I have a bit more money in the 5th graders account but project the 2nd grader will have more when he matriculates. I am planning to overfund the amount needed for 4 years at a public university, but probably only fund 75% of a private school. A part of me wants ...
by sesq
Fri Aug 12, 2016 2:38 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Undergrad business UMass Amherst Isenberg or Bentley
Replies: 15
Views: 1685

Re: Undergrad business Isenberg or Bentley

I have never heard of Isenberg, but I can see its UMass. I have two degrees from Bentley and have worked outside of New England most of my 20 year career. Until fairly recently outside of the accounting industry no one really had heard of Bentley in the rest of the country. They would have heard of ...
by sesq
Sun Aug 07, 2016 11:39 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Points/Miles Schemes - Waste of time or worth it?
Replies: 76
Views: 7025

Re: Points/Miles Schemes - Waste of time or worth it?

Considering it as a hobby is fine. Otherwise I would spend the time and efforts to get a better-paying job or to study for a better-paying degree. I don't know... MS was better than our regular job. Very sad that it's ended +1. I still have about 2.1M points and miles in the kitty to burn off. Just...
by sesq
Sun Aug 07, 2016 9:53 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: New Job: Take Paycut by leaving Big 4?
Replies: 32
Views: 5121

Re: New Job: Take Paycut by leaving Big 4?

I am in tax and did 8 years in public and now 13 years in industry. When I was ready to leave public it was due to the fact that you don't control your schedule - yes, you work hard but the unpredictability stunk. If the client calls on Thursday your weekend was shot to pieces. In industry you can s...
by sesq
Fri Jul 29, 2016 3:25 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Theory only... when to stop 401k contribution
Replies: 46
Views: 5125

Re: Theory only... when to stop 401k contribution

... Doesn't help with RMD's (may complicate them a bit since there will be multiple accounts which may require separate withdrawals if he hasn't married them up by age 70.5). ... He has another option. He has to compute RMDs for all accounts, but can withdraw RMD total from a single account. As the...
by sesq
Fri Jul 29, 2016 12:31 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: External auditors: Vanguard & Fidelity
Replies: 9
Views: 1811

Re: External auditors: Vanguard & Fidelity

I am almost positive that Coopers & Lybrand audited Fidelity when I worked in their Portland Maine Office in 1997. C&L merged with PW in 1998 to become PwC (famously spending $1M to a brand company that came up with PricewaterhouseCoopers as a name). I think Coopers was their auditor in 1990...
by sesq
Fri Jul 29, 2016 10:03 am
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Anyone ever "churn" investment/retirement accounts for deposit bonuses?
Replies: 11
Views: 1727

Re: Anyone ever "churn" investment/retirement accounts for deposit bonuses?

I moved $$ from Fidelity to Merrill Edge to get a bonus, but the preferred reward program has stopped me from moving it again. If I can get my wife's IRA over $100K then that will be an option to move around. When I exit my employer after my mega-merger I plan to shop for bonuses. There is a decent ...
by sesq
Fri Jul 29, 2016 9:37 am
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Theory only... when to stop 401k contribution
Replies: 46
Views: 5125

Re: Theory only... when to stop 401k contribution

I'm just not sure if converting taxable accounts to Roth is useful, if the traditional balance remains the same (future RMDs). Doesn't help with RMD's (may complicate them a bit since there will be multiple accounts which may require separate withdrawals if he hasn't married them up by age 70.5). J...
by sesq
Thu Jul 28, 2016 1:04 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Theory only... when to stop 401k contribution
Replies: 46
Views: 5125

Re: Theory only... when to stop 401k contribution

Has already happened: Due to downsizing from very lucrative (hit the second SS bend point in 2007) tech positions (and changing technology - I'm now like a IT paleontologist), I'm at a job at a Charitable organization, single, in the 15% tax bracket, taking home just enough to pay the bills. If I w...
by sesq
Thu Jul 28, 2016 12:53 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: How many folks choose to give inheritance to their children in unequal portions?
Replies: 193
Views: 20028

Re: How many folks choose to give inheritance to their children in unequal portions?

Don't you have to have your wife's consent to put your assets into a trust? (BTW, I was almost broke when I married my wife 12 years ago. So all the money we have saved, we have saved together and my kids have no legitimate complaint about her marrying me for my money). Its a state law thing (not a...
by sesq
Wed Jul 27, 2016 2:44 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: How many folks choose to give inheritance to their children in unequal portions?
Replies: 193
Views: 20028

Re: How many folks choose to give inheritance to their children in unequal portions?

Might be a moot point because my wife is a lot younger than I am (17 years) and unless something unexpected happens she should outlive me by quite a few years, in which case she legally gets it all any way and will be the one to divide it up. You may want to consider a specific bequest to your chil...
by sesq
Mon Jul 25, 2016 1:40 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: After death, is an HSA still an HSA?
Replies: 22
Views: 4873

Re: After death, is an HSA still an HSA?

I am using the HSA as a "stealth" IRA. However, due to the short circuit caused by a non-spousal inheritance I am planning to use it as the first account to draw against. I am an amputee and incur substantial out of pocket expenses. I log/save receipts and expect even with growth I should ...
by sesq
Mon Jun 20, 2016 1:09 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Changing life path (giving up the dream) to FIRE
Replies: 26
Views: 4243

Re: Changing life path (giving up the dream) to FIRE

I am wearing the opposite shoe. I am losing my gig in a LCOL (maybe MCOL) area and most of my prospects are in HCOL areas. My kids are in elementary school and I need the next location to be stable for ten years to get them through high school. At that point, assuming full employment I should be FI ...
by sesq
Tue Jun 14, 2016 2:14 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: HSA- how much do you actually invest?
Replies: 42
Views: 4560

Re: HSA- how much do you actually invest?

My HSA requires something like $5k in savings to avoid fees. I let it build up for a bit more than two years (my employer drops $1,500 in January), then this past February I moved everything in excess of $5K into VTI. I am letting all of this year's contributions build up in savings and I expect to ...
by sesq
Wed Jun 01, 2016 1:37 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: "starter" vs "regular" home
Replies: 47
Views: 4580

Re: "starter" vs "regular" home

If your "starter" home has land and is well located (commute/schools/life) then you may have the option of making an addition. Then again in some areas zoning or historic restrictions may be a limitation. I move for my job. We buy the house that matches where we are right now. I hope I can...
by sesq
Tue May 31, 2016 2:04 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: HSA for early retirement income?
Replies: 11
Views: 1432

Re: HSA for early retirement income?

I keep a spreadsheet and scan copies of my bills into my google drive. For the last 3 years my expenses have nearly matched my contributions (we have had a few procedures). There is a counter argument (bird in the hand?) which says if you put say $6K and had $500 of expenses you may as well reimburs...
by sesq
Mon May 23, 2016 4:30 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Bikes
Replies: 70
Views: 5008

Re: Bikes

Funny, when I was bike commuting I used my cheap, hand me down, beat up ugly hybrid, never the expensive (to me) road bike. But I had to lock my bike in a semi-public place and I didn't want it to look interesting at all.

I would go used if $200 was my budget.
by sesq
Thu May 19, 2016 10:44 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Best moving option
Replies: 15
Views: 1962

Re: Best moving option

You may want to look at the Pod's competitor ABF U-Pack. Perhaps they would be more flexible in reaching a solution.

http://www.upack.com/about/compare-portable-storage.asp