Search found 745 matches

by sls239
Thu Feb 04, 2016 11:34 am
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: New Principal Financial Group 401k
Replies: 15
Views: 990

Re: New Principal Financial Group 401k

If you are over-thinking it, so did I. DHs new employer (since October) has Principal for their 401k administrator. I saw the same disclosure about separate accounts and market turmoil and fees. But our plan documents don't show any separate account fee as being passed through to the participants, s...
by sls239
Thu Feb 04, 2016 10:06 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: The Coming Boglehead Zombie Apocalypse (LED bulbs)
Replies: 64
Views: 4679

Re: The Coming Boglehead Zombie Apocalypse (LED bulbs)

Buy your wife a nice make-up mirror that is lit all the way around.
by sls239
Tue Feb 02, 2016 8:33 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Giving to vs. saving for charity
Replies: 39
Views: 1927

Re: Giving to vs. saving for charity

If you save / invest the money, you are only going to get the stock market return on that investment.

Most worthy charities get a much better ROI than the stock market.

So my opinion is you should give as soon as you feel you can part with the money.
by sls239
Tue Feb 02, 2016 3:29 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Unwinding day old terrible car deal for mother-in-law
Replies: 186
Views: 15629

Re: Unwinding day old terrible car deal for mother-in-law

I think you should consider you buying the Civic (without the add-ons), having the title put in your name, putting it on your insurance policy, the whole works. This would have a few advantages - 1) You would know that MIL has reliable transportation 2) You know how much that reliable transportation...
by sls239
Fri Jan 29, 2016 2:53 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Web filter for children
Replies: 7
Views: 700

Re: Web filter for children

I use the Windows Family controls. It allows a white list for web sites and for apps and allows you to set access times and reports activity.
by sls239
Fri Jan 29, 2016 2:03 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Is divorced spouse entitled to spouses Social securtity?
Replies: 21
Views: 2101

Re: Is divorced spouse entitled to spouses Social securtity?

She will be entitled to the greater of: 1) The benefit she is already getting 2) A benefit calculated based on his earnings - it will be less than half of his FRA benefit because she filed early. 3) $733 / month #2 and #3 are only applicable if she doesn't remarry. None of this will affect what he i...
by sls239
Mon Jan 25, 2016 11:05 am
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Think my future father in law is giving the wrong advice to my fiance..what should i do?
Replies: 111
Views: 9095

Re: Think my future father in law is giving the wrong advice to my fiance..what should i do?

So first things first - We have a rule in our marriage. When there is a problem with a family of origin, it is the person in that family, not the IL that handles the communication. We make the decisions together, but I deal with my family, spouse deals with spouse's family. Secondly, I don't think y...
by sls239
Mon Jan 25, 2016 10:01 am
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Best article/study describing why and by how much retail investors under-perform?
Replies: 41
Views: 2382

Re: Best article/study describing why and by how much retail investors under-perform?

I wonder how much of the supposed "bad behavior" of the individual investor is simple economics.

It isn't like people who lose their jobs can funnel a bunch of money into the stock market.
by sls239
Fri Jan 22, 2016 1:28 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Do you use the service of a CPA or you do your tax yourself?
Replies: 82
Views: 4824

Re: Do you use the service of a CPA or you do your tax yourself?

I do them myself. IMO that is the only way to really understand how they work. Our taxes are simple except for when we have to file two state returns because of a move. Even then, it is really just following instructions and checking for errors. I generally make a spreadsheet with all the pertinent ...
by sls239
Fri Jan 22, 2016 1:29 am
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Market down - lost alot of $ - nervous..
Replies: 60
Views: 6838

Re: Market down - lost alot of $ - nervous..

Well not everyone gets the opportunity to lose $30K in the stock market.
by sls239
Wed Jan 20, 2016 2:19 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Edward Jones or Vanguard?
Replies: 53
Views: 4575

Re: Edward Jones or Vanguard?

I would be worried that the reason she needs the hand holding is because EJ has her taking more risk than she needs to / should take. In addition to that, we've seen many examples of advisers making needlessly complex portfolios that practically guarantee that some holding or another will be doing p...
by sls239
Thu Jan 14, 2016 9:43 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: dilemma over house division during legal separation
Replies: 98
Views: 8355

Re: dilemma over house division during legal separation

You say she is a good mother, but consider this - She has, for years apparently, been completely dependent on an alcoholic (no offense) to provide the basic needs of her and her children. And while that was within the legal protection of marriage, is she now considering continuing that dependency ou...
by sls239
Wed Jan 06, 2016 4:54 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Large Energy stocks - why not?
Replies: 155
Views: 9566

Re: Large Energy stocks - why not?

The fact is that OP is not suggesting investing in the future price of oil. He is suggesting investing in real companies. Whose future profits may or may not reflect the global price of oil. These companies are almost all American and they have a past, and that past creates real and potential liabil...
by sls239
Wed Jan 06, 2016 2:02 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Comparison of House investment vs. S&P 500
Replies: 13
Views: 1459

Re: Comparison of House investment vs. S&P 500

Well I'm going to assume you haven't rented in 27 years, so you don't remember how much "trouble" that can be.

But no, getting the best return on your investment isn't a valid reason for buying a house.
by sls239
Wed Jan 06, 2016 10:10 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: How to maximize taxes owed
Replies: 13
Views: 1269

Re: How to maximize taxes owed

"Non-refundable" means that if your tax liability is zero, the credit will not be paid.

The amount withheld on your paycheck does not affect your tax liability.
by sls239
Tue Jan 05, 2016 10:30 am
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Readjust from Target Fund 2050 to 3 Vanguard Fund Portfolio?
Replies: 11
Views: 1250

Re: Readjust from Target Fund 2050 to 3 Vanguard Fund Portfolio?

So what is your plan for the money that is in taxable? Is it for retirement or do you think you will use it for something else? Do you see yourself adding to it? In general, my perspective is if it isn't broke, don't "fix" it. And as long as 2050 lines up with your risk tolerance pretty we...
by sls239
Sun Jan 03, 2016 3:08 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Yet another topic about finances and marriage - premarital assets
Replies: 20
Views: 1053

Re: Yet another topic about finances and marriage - premarital assets

You say you've already been together 5 years. So are you saying that she has not, over that 5 years, not made any financial sacrifices - direct or indirect - for the sake of the relationship? I'm not saying co-mingle everything the day you get married, but don't assume that keeping it all separate i...
by sls239
Sat Jan 02, 2016 10:51 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Mortgage interest question
Replies: 10
Views: 1157

Re: Mortgage interest question

I don't think it is appropriate to allocate all the savings on schedule A to just the mortgage. I would say that all of your itemized deductions saved you $2,072 [(19.8K-12.4K)*.28] over the standard deduction. Your mortgage interest made up $7K of your $19.8K list of deductions, representing 35% of...
by sls239
Fri Dec 25, 2015 10:57 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Pay cash for home, get mortgage later?
Replies: 16
Views: 1697

Re: Pay cash for home, get mortgage later?

Well you could make your offer without a financing contingency. That doesn't mean you must pay cash, but it means that you would if necessary. You'd need to make sure your closing date had enough time to procure the mortgage though.
by sls239
Fri Dec 25, 2015 10:04 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Buying a house: Am I making a bad decision?
Replies: 45
Views: 4566

Re: Buying a house: Am I making a bad decision?

So they are loaning you 165K at 0% in exchange for 75% of the appreciation on a $570K home? 4% of 165K is $6600. $6600 is approximately 1.1% of $570K. So they make more money if the home appreciates more than 1.6% than they would by just lending you the 165K at 4%. This does not sound like the actio...
by sls239
Wed Dec 23, 2015 7:24 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Need advice investing a large sum in this erratic market?
Replies: 11
Views: 1451

Re: Need advice investing a large sum in this erratic market?

Since I don't know how long this volatility will last,


I think you do know how long the volatility will last.

Approximately forever.

Make your choice accordingly.
by sls239
Tue Dec 22, 2015 9:41 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: DCA vs Extra Mortgage Payments
Replies: 38
Views: 2774

Re: DCA vs Extra Mortgage Payments

I never thought I'd get an ARM, but this last time, it really was the best decision for us. The thing is, the balance is at its highest right now. So a lower interest rate now saves us more money than a lower interest rate 7 years from now (it is a 7/1). It is reasonably easy to calculate how much y...
by sls239
Tue Dec 22, 2015 7:41 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Beef roast
Replies: 123
Views: 7525

Re: Beef roast

A rib roast, you would actually roast, but for a bottom round roast, I suggest a braise.
by sls239
Sun Dec 20, 2015 9:51 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Emergency Funds Are Bad! [Investopedia article]
Replies: 25
Views: 2632

Re: Emergency Funds Are Bad!

Twice we have used our emergency funds to generate a 20% down payment on a new house before the sale of the old house closed. This has allowed us to avoid paying PMI, and to avoid renting in an area that is particularly bad for renting (for example renting would require changing schools twice instea...
by sls239
Mon Dec 14, 2015 9:02 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Christmas Time : How to not appear rude
Replies: 67
Views: 7219

Re: Christmas Time : How to not appear rude

Gifting is a complex social behavior. Just ask the State Department! There's a whole lot of hidden messages in it. It is often related not simply to generosity, but also to power. This is especially true if as you say, you are in a better financial position. So your desire for the gift-giving to be ...
by sls239
Sun Dec 13, 2015 8:41 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Relocation packages-Home assistance experience
Replies: 12
Views: 876

Re: Relocation packages-Home assistance experience

We just sold our house through a 3rd party relocation company and I personally think it was a horrible experience. But you are obviously in a larger city, so I think your experience could be very different. I feel the need to add that we could have sold the house on our own. But the only way to get ...
by sls239
Fri Dec 11, 2015 5:43 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Buying a house in 3-6 months: Can we get current interest rates locked for 6months?
Replies: 10
Views: 1000

Re: Buying a house in 3-6 months: Can we get current interest rates locked for 6months?

We just bought a house, and I did a quick check. It looks like mortgage rates already went up from when we closed.
by sls239
Fri Dec 11, 2015 4:22 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: child d(x) potentially exclude from life ins
Replies: 29
Views: 2638

Re: child d(x) potentially exclude from life ins

I think that not all the medical conditions that excluded someone from life insurance coverage when I was very young are still in that category now that I am an adult. Medical treatments improved, more data was collected, more insurance products were designed. Also, knowing that you don't have acces...
by sls239
Fri Dec 11, 2015 3:19 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Fear of Bonds...what to do?
Replies: 56
Views: 5806

Re: Fear of Bonds...what to do?

I will freely admit to being afraid of all of it. It is all risky because what I really want is a guarantee we are not going to end up impoverished, and for most people in their 20s and 30s there just isn't anything we can do with the money we have right now that could come close to a guarantee. But...
by sls239
Fri Dec 11, 2015 1:39 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: San Antonio vs. Morgantown, WV for 2 docs
Replies: 99
Views: 5806

Re: San Antonio vs. Morgantown, WV for 2 docs

I've lived in Austin, TX and in Owensboro, KY, and in a college town. So not exactly the two places you are looking at, but reasonably analogous. Honestly they are so very different that I have a hard time imagining it being difficult to choose between them. Also, I'm not in medicine, but have worke...
by sls239
Tue Dec 08, 2015 1:53 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: When to sell an old car
Replies: 29
Views: 2919

Re: When to sell an old car

We don't base it on the old car alone. We also look at what we can buy, and if our vehicle needs have changed.

Still have my fingers crossed for a $40K Tesla around 2019.
by sls239
Tue Dec 08, 2015 1:43 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Should I get my house reassessed?
Replies: 10
Views: 547

Re: Should I get my house reassessed?

This depends on the jurisdiction and how taxes are assessed. In Texas, they are very careful to say that the assessed value is not the same thing as current market value and other jurisdictions have a specific year that the assessment is based on, so changes in value in the years between assessment ...
by sls239
Sat Dec 05, 2015 10:52 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Before I sign...realtor contract
Replies: 40
Views: 2253

Re: Before I sign...realtor contract

As for the assessment - it depends on how it is assessed. There are places where whomever owns the property on a particular date are responsible for the full amount of the assessment/tax and liability cannot be transferred. Then there are other taxes / assessments where pro-rating the expense is com...
by sls239
Fri Dec 04, 2015 4:39 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: 16 y/o daughter with gifted 4K
Replies: 13
Views: 1102

Re: 16 y/o daughter with gifted 4K

I would just check around for high yield savings accounts, maybe CDs, maybe US Savings bonds. I would never consider doing anything else with money that clearly has strings attached. And perhaps you should discuss with your daughter what it means to be gifted money with strings attached so that she ...
by sls239
Thu Dec 03, 2015 2:35 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Teaching investment theory to a child
Replies: 30
Views: 1257

Re: Teaching investment theory to a child

I guess I would just ask if there is a reason you are letting him run his experiment with real money? IMO, because there will plenty of inadvertent lessons learned with real money, you should grab the opportunity to use fake money (by tracking the performance of these stocks over time, say) every ti...
by sls239
Thu Dec 03, 2015 12:17 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: How to Print mailing labels?
Replies: 20
Views: 1016

Re: How to Print mailing labels?

I'd say if it is a standard letter that you could use the USPS online system.

Otherwise, print two sets of labels, one to go on the item you are sending and one to go on the certified mail form.
by sls239
Wed Dec 02, 2015 9:14 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: What am I missing ? ... Smart Phones $100 vs. $600
Replies: 65
Views: 5731

Re: What am I missing ? ... Smart Phones $100 vs. $600

Phones are a lot more like a computer than a car, except mostly without the option of upgrading particular components to suit individual needs. I suspect that a lot of what you are paying for is over-engineering in a lot of areas, plus that one little bit that actually improves your experience. Rath...
by sls239
Mon Nov 30, 2015 10:52 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Club Youth Sports (Baseball)
Replies: 32
Views: 2842

Re: Club Youth Sports (Baseball)

My experience with baseball has been that it is really different games at different ages. The skills that seem to win games at age 10 are not the same skills that win games at age 12. The son of a minor league player was on my son's recreational team. They were quite frank that the games were just f...
by sls239
Sun Nov 29, 2015 8:01 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Nice house vs traveling
Replies: 78
Views: 5922

Re: Nice house vs traveling

I don't know of any culture that says spend all your money and don't save for a rainy day.
by sls239
Tue Nov 24, 2015 4:36 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Push child to avoid expensive college?
Replies: 207
Views: 13469

Re: Push child to avoid expensive college?

I'm not sure push is the word I would use. Why not just have a discussion without the predetermined conclusion? It is possible that a particular more expensive school has something in particular that makes it worth it for this particular person. Of course it is also possible that money not spent on ...
by sls239
Tue Nov 24, 2015 11:22 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: DIY Legal help on sale
Replies: 3
Views: 334

Re: DIY Legal help on sale

I'm willing to bet that most people that get into legal self-help trouble didn't bother to actually read the books NOLO puts out. Reading the books actually helps you understand if your situation is standard or complicated. It helps you evaluate between legal options that would be cheap or more expe...
by sls239
Tue Nov 24, 2015 10:07 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Trying to get out of house
Replies: 24
Views: 3093

Re: Trying to get out of house

Get the repair done first, but only have done what is necessary for the roof to function properly. At your price point, your buyers are likely to have minimal down payment and simply won't have the cash to repair the roof. Also, any issue involving a roof will scare away first time buyers. And it is...
by sls239
Tue Nov 24, 2015 9:57 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Need New Carpet to Sell Home
Replies: 38
Views: 2657

Re: Need New Carpet to Sell Home

I would say it would depend on what you are competing against. Location is what is going to be the major determinant and if you are the only house for sale on your block or so, then I don't think carpet is going to matter as long as it is clean. If there are two other similar houses near you for sal...
by sls239
Mon Nov 16, 2015 10:49 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Anyone have advice for renting a single family home?
Replies: 40
Views: 2467

Re: Anyone have advice for renting a single family home?

It is a fair amount of work because nobody else is going to be looking after your best interest. For example, tenants don't always notice and report damage (like wood rot) or needed maintenance and it can fester instead. With SFH, lawn maintenance also seems to be a common issue. I think this is bec...
by sls239
Sat Nov 14, 2015 4:32 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: At what level does the cost of something matter to you?
Replies: 64
Views: 6205

Re: At what level does the cost of something matter to you?

It isn't just a single comparison, I consider how many times I'll be making that same purchase at that same place.

So saving $1 on something I buy every week will save me $50 / year. Saving $10 on a one time $60 purchase... not so much.
by sls239
Wed Nov 11, 2015 7:52 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Custodian for Coverdell ESA, already have 529, also confirm to me why I should set up ESA as well
Replies: 4
Views: 341

Re: Custodian for Coverdell ESA, already have 529, also confirm to me why I should set up ESA as well

We got grandfathered into to Vanguard's ESA so I can't comment on where to set it up. But I will say that it is useful for more than just private school. It can be used to pay for tutoring, for college classes undertaken while in high school, or enrollment in online courses that go beyond what is of...
by sls239
Tue Nov 10, 2015 6:06 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: What I decided regarding my kids' college fund portfolio and why
Replies: 28
Views: 2379

Re: What I decided regarding my kids' college fund portfolio and why

I don't think a shortfall is so easily made up. If there is a downturn in the economy, the college student may have difficulty finding employment to make up the difference. Institutional aid may drop if the endowment has taken a hit. Tuition and other costs may increase due to an influx of students....
by sls239
Tue Nov 10, 2015 5:46 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Filing Claim on Title Insurance
Replies: 7
Views: 747

Re: Filing Claim on Title Insurance

When I search the county records, everything looks OK. It looks like the heirs were added to the deed before the owner died, and it lists a death certificate filed with the county.

I guess that is no guarantee, but it doesn't scream complete sham either.

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