Search found 469 matches

by sesq
Wed Feb 10, 2016 9:46 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: New Washer - Frontload or HE Top Load
Replies: 9
Views: 180

Re: New Washer - Frontload or HE Top Load

Avoid the mold - top loader all the way. They come in two versions - basic and effective or fancy and giant. We bought the fancy and giant one to replace a moldy front loader.

We didn't buy the pedestals.
by sesq
Mon Feb 08, 2016 11:30 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: $50 Amazon tablet
Replies: 16
Views: 1247

Re: $50 Amazon tablet

I have debated a dedicated chromebook for finances. But I hate tablets (keyboard purist, not big on touchscreen interfaces).
by sesq
Mon Feb 08, 2016 10:52 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Chicken rub
Replies: 34
Views: 2200

Re: Chicken rub

I am also lazy, so I take this recipe and multiply it by 6 and store the excess. This is from Weber's beer can chicken recipe which has been a family staple for 13 years. For the rub: 1 teaspoon dry mustard 1 teaspoon granulated onion 1 teaspoon paprika 1 teaspoon kosher salt ½ teaspoon granulated g...
by sesq
Fri Jan 29, 2016 11:29 am
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Eating money eating out! Going on a 401k diet. Help!
Replies: 27
Views: 2884

Re: Eating money eating out! Going on a 401k diet. Help!

I spend a fair bit on eating out. One thing that hit a tone with my inner cheapskate was watching the restaurant shows on CNBC. To make the metrics work these places must keep food cost below 30%. So, when you eat out you are paying triple what the actual food costs (plus tips!). Obviously the value...
by sesq
Tue Jan 26, 2016 11:58 am
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Inheritance Asset Allocation
Replies: 15
Views: 1123

Re: Inheritance Asset Allocation

Don't forget that you have till April 15th to make a 2015 Roth contribution.
by sesq
Sun Jan 24, 2016 3:01 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Stats on Americans 'cutting the cable' ?
Replies: 42
Views: 3582

Re: Stats on Americans 'cutting the cable' ?

I would consider cutting the cord but Verizon repriced me to a reasonable ($88 including taxes) number for a triple play bundle including most of the extended channels I'd want (no BBC). I estimate I'd be at least $55 for just cable, then $5-ish for an Ooma type landline with e-911 (we have kids, I'...
by sesq
Sun Jan 24, 2016 2:12 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: I Bonds
Replies: 27
Views: 2904

Re: I Bonds

Assuming you meet the income requirements, depositing the proceeds of your ibonds into a 529 plan of which YOU or YOUR SPOUSE are beneficiaries does count as a "qualified educational expense" to make the interest tax free. If you subsequently change the beneficiary of the 529 plan to anot...
by sesq
Sat Jan 23, 2016 2:56 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Most anticipated retirement purchase
Replies: 107
Views: 7013

Re: Most anticipated retirement purchase

I am hoping to be a little nomadic when I retire. I want to go to Spain (or someplace spanish speaking) and rent a place for six months or so. I used to be fluent in spanish (8 years of training + a semester abroad) but have forgotten most of it. It comes back a bit on a trip, but then I go home. I ...
by sesq
Sat Jan 23, 2016 2:09 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: New Amazon Prime Member w/streaming - need recs
Replies: 26
Views: 1869

Re: New Amazon Prime Member w/streaming - need recs

Downton Abbey
The Americans
Orphan Black
+1 to Justified
+1 to early HBO (especially The Wire)

May not float your boat, but I really enjoyed the campy T&A action buddy show Strike Back which they have I think three seasons of. Its a cinemax show, so, there is that.
by sesq
Fri Jan 22, 2016 2:55 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Dave Ramsey recommends Active funds?
Replies: 35
Views: 2784

Re: Dave Ramsey recommends Active funds?

I gave up on his podcast not just because of the bad investment advice, but the bad tax advice, and worst of all is his growing cadre of niche "gurus" whose books are constantly pimped.

Clark Howard is a much better podcast. As a bonus he refuses to endorse anything!
by sesq
Fri Jan 22, 2016 2:13 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Best Credit Card For Monster Hotel Bill
Replies: 23
Views: 2420

Re: Best Credit Card For Monster Hotel Bill

You can get 3% all day - AARP or Amex Simply Cash. You used to be able to use Simply Cash to get 8% at Hyatt (3% + 5% OPEN savings) but Hyatt dropped out of the OPEN program just recently. If they will take them some hotel gift cards can be purchased at a discount either on the second hand market - ...
by sesq
Fri Jan 22, 2016 2:02 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: have large sum of money and age 38 with W2 income
Replies: 24
Views: 2617

Re: have large sum of money and age 38 with W2 income

do you guys think paying off the investment property mortgage better or paying off the primary home mortgage better given same interest rate? Whichever has the higher interest rate? Or, if you are cashflow oriented, whichever has the lowest balance, assuming the payoff would take out the entire loa...
by sesq
Wed Jan 20, 2016 6:11 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: I have no more money to invest
Replies: 76
Views: 6293

Re: I have no more money to invest

I get paid my bonus in April and was planning to make 2015 and 2016 backdoor roth contributions for both me and my wife (so $22,000 total). I am a little tempted to draw the $22,000 from the HELOC and push it into the market. It would cost me about $200 in interest, or $135 net of taxes. The bonus h...
by sesq
Wed Jan 20, 2016 5:43 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: 401k withdrawl prior to divorce
Replies: 8
Views: 1171

Re: 401k withdrawl prior to divorce

I would also caution you to be wary of timetables when it comes to divorce. I give financial advice to a few friends who are going through acrimonious divorces and nothing takes mere months - its years. Consider if you can handle the monthly payment until the house sale happens or what happens if th...
by sesq
Tue Jan 19, 2016 3:36 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: have large sum of money and age 38 with W2 income
Replies: 24
Views: 2617

Re: have large sum of money and age 38 with W2 income

I would fund IRA's for you and your wife either Roth IRA's or Backdoor Roths. If your wife has access to a 401(k) plan I would have her max it. I would pay off the 350K 3% mortgage rather than collect 0% in the checking account. If I wanted to hold cash for a possible house purchase or downpayment I...
by sesq
Thu Jan 14, 2016 10:59 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Powerball math: annuity is better?
Replies: 56
Views: 4984

Re: Powerball math: annuity is better?

Comic thought: Schrödinger's ticket - it could be a winner - I haven't checked the number, & nobody has (as yet) claimed the prize... Bravo. I buy a single ticket somewhat often. I usually don't check my tickets for a couple months unless there is a press report that says a winning ticket was s...
by sesq
Tue Jan 12, 2016 12:02 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Share your networth progression
Replies: 306
Views: 66151

Re: Share your networth progression

New year, any updates folks? :) I edited my post on the first page, but I was up about 8%, almost entirely driven by savings since the market wasn't great. My one winner was company stock, which I am incentivized to hold after vesting (yay for luck). The prior 3 years had increases in the 30% range...
by sesq
Tue Jan 12, 2016 11:51 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Best DNA genealogy testing kits
Replies: 22
Views: 1906

Re: Best DNA genealogy testing kits

My wife and I did 23 and me a couple years ago. She actually corresponded a bit with a few second/third cousins and was able to figure out how they fit into the family trees. For me, although my paternal grandfather is a bit of a mystery most of my relatives were distant. We actually did it because ...
by sesq
Mon Jan 11, 2016 10:47 am
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Possible windfall
Replies: 7
Views: 1210

Re: Possible windfall

I think your plan is sound. Without knowing the specifics I would mentally prepare that it may take a long time, and don't get married any dollar figures. I had my leg cut off by a weedwacker with a blade attachment. My product liability lawsuit took over 7 years, almost 8 and we settled at the pre-...
by sesq
Fri Jan 08, 2016 6:32 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Include 529 in net worth?
Replies: 32
Views: 2376

Re: Include 529 in net worth?

I include them and don't book a liability for the future college expenses since I am not legally obliged to pay it. There are lots of scenarios good and bad where the money could be spent by me on something other than my kid's college. I have said elsewhere that if I got divorced and there was a cou...
by sesq
Thu Jan 07, 2016 6:06 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Netflix, Your Current Favorite Show
Replies: 95
Views: 6208

Re: Netflix, Your Current Favorite Show

Thanks for the Black Mirror recommendation. I watched two episodes last night. Love it! I (so far) agree with the updated Twilight Zone characterization (minus the iconic narration).
by sesq
Thu Jan 07, 2016 2:45 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Our company just added a Roth 401(k) option, but....
Replies: 6
Views: 672

Re: Our company just added a Roth 401(k) option, but....

My plan (Fidelity) will let me set up a separate bucket for amounts rolled in, but won't let me tweak the ongoing contribution from the match (always tax deferred) or my Roth contributions. I have about $20k from a frozen pension plan that was converted and rolled it wasn't worth the effort. Left to...
by sesq
Thu Jan 07, 2016 2:23 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Waste of money? [High-end home theater]
Replies: 140
Views: 7612

Re: Waste of money? [High-end home theater]

blackjack4808 wrote:Monitor Audio speakers and rythmik are suppose to be very high quality at a decent price...


Ebay and audiogon helped too. Patience paid off.
by sesq
Thu Jan 07, 2016 2:18 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: [Fidelity drops AmEx, Bank of America credit cards]
Replies: 116
Views: 10637

Re: [Fidelity drops AmEx, Bank of America credit cards]

For Amex Serve users - what's a good alternative card once this goes away? Curious what others have to say about this. I was just going to close my Serve account. :annoyed There is a Flexperk's Amex. Kind of a wonky currency (tiered redemptions), but handy for domestic economy flights. I use an old...
by sesq
Wed Jan 06, 2016 4:52 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Waste of money? [High-end home theater]
Replies: 140
Views: 7612

Re: Waste of money? [High-end home theater]

I think you said you were having a kid. You should think through how much you will be able to use it without waking the baby. In my old house, at a similar income level, I built a dedicated home theater as part of a basement remodel. My equipment was cheap, sub $3k, but I wouldn't be surprised if th...
by sesq
Wed Jan 06, 2016 10:10 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Incorporating your home into networth calculation
Replies: 100
Views: 4217

Re: Incorporating your home into networth calculation

The larger question is this: how much the house value should be in relationship to the overall portfolio? My home has fluctuated as a percent of my net worth (calc'd the old fashion way) as I have moved, borrowed, remodeled or suffered losses. It hasn't really changed my behavior other than feeling...
by sesq
Tue Jan 05, 2016 11:07 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Incorporating your home into networth calculation
Replies: 100
Views: 4217

Re: Incorporating your home into networth calculation

I include it. I am in the words have meaning camp and net worth is all assets less all liabilities (including deferred taxes). I also track personal financial assets (NW-home equity, cars and 529 plans) and do my asset allocations based on that. You asked how - I just use zillow. My house has had a ...
by sesq
Mon Jan 04, 2016 6:46 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: [What will you do differently in] 2016
Replies: 62
Views: 6421

Re: [What will you do differently in] 2016

This is the year I will pay off the mortgage. 12 years into the home owning experience. Wanted to do it in ten, but priorities shifted. With luck I will not have to move due to the merger at my mega-corp and can enjoy having a paid off home and not be moved to a higher cost area and be thrown back o...
by sesq
Mon Jan 04, 2016 6:06 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Should I Tell My Children About My Inheritance Plan?
Replies: 57
Views: 4402

Re: Should I Tell My Children About My Inheritance Plan?

My father is an estate planning attorney (now 80, still working, by choice, I think) and shares nothing with his four kids. Its not a big deal since we all know the jist is whatever is left to the kids will be split more or less evenly. It would be helpful to receive assurances that they don't and w...
by sesq
Wed Dec 23, 2015 11:40 am
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Talking to your wife about finances
Replies: 31
Views: 2478

Re: Talking to your wife about finances

Are you paying PMI? If so, how close are you to not? Is your loan one that would let you out when you pay down or are you stuck with it for five years absent a refi? I only ask to the extent that the PMI makes your mortgage more expensive than the higher rate student loans. Otherwise I join chorus o...
by sesq
Wed Dec 23, 2015 11:19 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Pay down mortgage, or invest?
Replies: 61
Views: 3572

Re: Pay down mortgage, or invest?

You can deduct up to 100K of a HEL or HELOC in addition to the $1M cap on mortgages. So you may be able to borrow as a HELOC, pay down the mortgage and shift an additional $100K into the "deductible" category. It would depend on how the HELOC rates compare to the 3.75% mortgage and whether...
by sesq
Tue Dec 22, 2015 10:11 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Biggest lucky break in your personal finances?
Replies: 160
Views: 12128

Re: Biggest lucky break in your personal finances?

I put a market order in after hours to buy Tyco. In the overnight the fraud speculation came out and the share price went from like $40 to an open at $25, which is what I had bought at. By mid-day it had bounced back to $30. I was a lucky "genius". This luck reversed (and more) when I trie...
by sesq
Mon Dec 21, 2015 2:01 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: real estate investor reaching end game
Replies: 12
Views: 1671

Re: real estate investor reaching end game

If you want to stay at $4 a month I imagine the website can be programmed to make purchases every 60 days, then alternate the stock month and the bond month.
by sesq
Fri Dec 18, 2015 11:18 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Continue to work or stay at home?
Replies: 28
Views: 1884

Re: Continue to work or stay at home?

How difficult is for you to re-enter your field? What are daycare costs when your infant is no longer an infant? When does that happen? I think in the here and now your salary is optional. But if you forego it you are losing some of the resilliance from drawing two checks (if the spouse lost their g...
by sesq
Thu Dec 10, 2015 11:59 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Single & Frugal or Coupled & (Financially) Incompatible?
Replies: 104
Views: 10418

Re: Single & Frugal or Coupled & (Financially) Incompatible?

Ultimately, we want the same big-picture life things and I'm madly in love with her. Unfortunately, we don't always see eye to eye on finances. ..... At one point her Dad told me that her finances "weren't my business" unless I was married to her. I backed off at that point. Well, if you ...
by sesq
Thu Dec 10, 2015 11:13 am
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Is anyone else freaked out about the whistleblower cases against Vanguard?
Replies: 11
Views: 1840

Re: Is anyone else freaked out about the whistleblower cases against Vanguard?

Not freaked out. I don't think it was a good idea to lock the other thread either, not that anyone asked me. This case is going to stay in the news cycle and folks are going to continue to analyze it. If the situation becomes adverse it would remain actionable in that investors may look to exit and ...
by sesq
Tue Dec 08, 2015 6:18 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Should I take the job?
Replies: 55
Views: 4074

Re: Should I take the job?

If you move you should be as sure as you can be that the new gig is a fit for at least five years. I would find the job hopping to be a significant turn off if I was your hiring manager.
by sesq
Tue Dec 08, 2015 9:50 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Outdoor gas grill recommendation
Replies: 58
Views: 2657

Re: Outdoor gas grill recommendation

I have a 12 year old Weber with the side burner (and a Big Green Egg). I will go against the grain and endorse the sideburner. I don't use mine all that much but since weber grills last so long you will have ample opportunities for it to come in handy. I have used mine to deep fry a turkey (we got a...
by sesq
Fri Dec 04, 2015 11:13 am
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Vanguard sued for [failing to charge market rates to and then paying taxes on services to its mutual funds]
Replies: 776
Views: 108118

Re: Might Vanguard owe $35 BILLION in back taxes?

[merged to existing thread - admin alex] Also: "One of the most widely read tax scholars in America, professor Reuven Avi-Yonah of the University of Michigan Law School, says the case against Vanguard is clear-cut. “The IRS will win in court if it challenges Vanguard’s” policy of not earning p...
by sesq
Thu Dec 03, 2015 12:32 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Commodities & Precious Metals
Replies: 15
Views: 1485

Re: Commodities & Precious Metals

I always think of Charlie Brown - "I got a rock". It makes no sense to me.

On the opposite end of the spectrum Bitcoin makes no sense to me either.

I have a few coins (dimes, quarters, silver dollars) that came to me in commerce that I like to keep because they are old and neat.
by sesq
Thu Dec 03, 2015 12:21 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: My estranged brother is dead, and I am next of kin
Replies: 72
Views: 14286

Re: My estranged brother is dead, and I am next of kin

I don't know about the legal concerns although if the estate has little or nothing of value I doubt there is much risk absent signing something stupid. My neighbor did have some issues getting rid of verizon and a car lease when her mother passed away, but I think there were assets in the estate to ...
by sesq
Wed Dec 02, 2015 5:21 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: 401k loan
Replies: 15
Views: 1669

Re: 401k loan

You may want to look at the terms of the loan itself. I know there are some plans where one could continue to repay the loan based on the original terms even if they were terminated. Only in that instance the borrower needed to make payments versus the payroll reduction repayment.
by sesq
Wed Dec 02, 2015 5:13 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Term life for stay at home mom
Replies: 22
Views: 1488

Re: Term life for stay at home mom

When my eldest was born 10 years ago we got 20 level term policies on me (breadwinner) and my wife (SAHM) of $1M and $500k respectively. I always viewed the insurance on her as opening up possibilities if I chose to take a break from the workforce or whatever. It was cheap enough that I probably sho...
by sesq
Fri Nov 20, 2015 5:23 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: How do you explain investing to friends?
Replies: 30
Views: 2433

Re: How do you explain investing to friends?

I agree your descriptions are good but may not make it past the glossy eyes of disinterest. This is the modern era and your peers are young(er). You could text them a jpg of a compound interest chart and say the sooner you start the better. And then suggest a target date retirement index fund if the...
by sesq
Fri Nov 20, 2015 1:29 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: I have 15% in my 401(k). Coworker in Retirement Planning said that's 10% too much.
Replies: 59
Views: 9119

Re: I have 15% in my 401(k). Coworker in Retirement Planning said that's 10% too much.

- yes, 15% of my paycheck goes into the 401(k) straight into S&P500 = already diversified - yes, company matches 80% to 5% - it offers the standard indexes, and then customizable target retirement dates (I'm 31), and almost all are .2 or less expense ratio. No outside company funds You are righ...
by sesq
Fri Nov 20, 2015 11:19 am
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Most important financial metric/calculation?
Replies: 39
Views: 3549

Re: Most important financial metric/calculation?

I agree with Dave Ramsey that Savings rate is the most important one. If only because it means you are saving something and income>expenses. Beyond that I am fond of net worth as my key indicator of progress. Rate of return is tremendously important, but on a year over year basis its mostly an "...
by sesq
Thu Nov 19, 2015 5:56 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Changes to Social Security
Replies: 449
Views: 34749

Re: Changes to Social Security

I think anyone can do that, once you are both FRA. But, as I said, there is plenty of advice available for $200 or so, which is well spent on a decision that is worth tens of thousands of dollars to you. In your case, where your wife's benefit is smaller than her spousal benefit, she should maybe j...
by sesq
Thu Nov 19, 2015 4:35 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Changes to Social Security
Replies: 449
Views: 34749

Re: Changes to Social Security

My wife is 2y3m younger than me. Her benefit is less than, but more than half of mine. Our tentative plan is now for me to delay until 70, and for her to claim when she reaches FRA, at which time I will also claim spousal benefits on her account. Can we still do that (for the under 62 crowd)? I am ...
by sesq
Thu Nov 19, 2015 4:29 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Parents - your favorite and most challenging years
Replies: 66
Views: 5788

Re: Parents - your favorite and most challenging years

Mine are 10 & 7, so we are mid-stream. My brother's 4 kids are off to college. He advocated that 4 was your reward for 3. I more or less agree with him, although I found the horrible 3's didn't start until part of the way into the year, and my kids didn't shake it exactly at 4. The terrible two'...
by sesq
Wed Nov 18, 2015 5:41 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: What was your eureka! Boglehead moment?
Replies: 86
Views: 7017

Re: What was your eureka! Boglehead moment?

No eureka for me, an evolution. I grew up listening to Bob Brinker when I rode around in the car with my father, so along the way I learned some basics like compound interest and the difference between stocks and bonds. I was appalled at the time by funds that had a load or a 12b-1 fees, so I was a ...

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