Search found 913 matches

by vitaflo
Tue Jul 17, 2018 11:09 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Have you ever purchased a pricy musical instrument?
Replies: 64
Views: 2699

Re: Have you ever purchased a pricy musical instrument?

The snare drum in my avatar is a $1,000 snare drum, so you can imagine how much the rest of my drum set costs. Is it worth it? I think this is highly personal. I get a smile on my face every time I play my kit, so there's that. I also know I could sell it at any time and get most of my investment ba...
by vitaflo
Sun Jul 15, 2018 5:00 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: TripAdvisor "Points" & "Levels" ?
Replies: 8
Views: 582

Re: TripAdvisor "Points" & "Levels" ?

They are gamifying the site to increase return traffic (as well as get more free content from people like yourself) and thus increase their revenue. The points mean nothing and are simply a psychological trick to get users hooked into the site. If you want to learn more read up on Skinner Boxes. I w...
by vitaflo
Sun Jul 15, 2018 4:38 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Has the range of expected stock market returns ever been larger than today?
Replies: 15
Views: 1381

Re: Has the range of expected stock market returns ever been larger than today?

In future plannng, expected stock market returns are a huge variable, though they are also the one variable we have zero control over. ... Some perspective on future returns out to 20 or 30 years might help those of us who are still 20+ years from retirement. You had the right idea from the beginni...
by vitaflo
Sat Jul 14, 2018 8:43 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: What rate of return are you using for retirement projections?
Replies: 99
Views: 8859

Re: What rate of return are you using for retirement projections?

4% real, but that doesn't mean much because we are so far ahead of our savings goals that we could get -1% real and still retire early.
by vitaflo
Thu Jul 05, 2018 9:23 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: seasonal LLC taking Payroll
Replies: 4
Views: 349

Re: seasonal LLC taking Payroll

I ran a seasonal S-Corp for several years where we only took payroll once per year in a lump sum (in Nov). There is no problem with this, but be aware that you are still required to fill out all state and fed quarterly payroll forms. Your forms for 3 of the 4 quarters will be zero but still should b...
by vitaflo
Tue Jul 03, 2018 7:36 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Thinking about moving to Madison, WI or Minneapolis, MN..Any advice?
Replies: 62
Views: 4876

Re: Thinking about moving to Madison, WI or Minneapolis, MN..Any advice?

Another concern would be the whole 'Minnesota Nice' stereotype is leaving me a bit uneasy as I don't know many people there. I moved from WI to Mpls and this is a real concern. It takes a very long time to make friends here and you really have to work at it. The culture here is quite insular compar...
by vitaflo
Tue Jul 03, 2018 10:52 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Fed survey: 40% of adults cannot cover a $400 emergency expense
Replies: 48
Views: 4993

Re: Fed survey: 40% of adults cannot cover a $400 emergency expense

I cannot speak about the survey. I can only talk about my peers and my neighbors. If you can only speak to neighbors and peers then you can't in the same breath also say it's never about income. There's a base cost to simply existing and many people have problems just meeting that requirement throu...
by vitaflo
Sun Jul 01, 2018 10:19 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: What is/ was your career and would you recommend it now?
Replies: 345
Views: 32146

Re: What is/ was your career and would you recommend it now?

UX Designer of 20 years designing web sites and mobile apps. Yes I would still recommend it, pay is great, demand is high, and people don't tend to outsource creative fields. I will say it's gotten enormously complex over the years, there's just so many screens and devices to design cohesive experie...
by vitaflo
Sun Jul 01, 2018 7:30 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: What % of your equity is int’l?
Replies: 141
Views: 7695

Re: What % of your equity is int’l?

40.7%

Moving to 47% via contributions to match Total World (cap weight).
by vitaflo
Sun Jul 01, 2018 7:25 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Feel like I'm sinking money into international
Replies: 100
Views: 10769

Re: Feel like I'm sinking money into international

FWIW, one of my favorite Bogle quotes reinforces the tilt away from Int'l --- "What are you buying in non-US-stocks?" said Mr. Bogle. "The largest country in EAFE is Britain; the second-highest, Japan; and the third is that soul of hard work, France. I can't see that I'd make more money in Britain,...
by vitaflo
Sun Jul 01, 2018 7:06 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: What are you up YTD? [Year To Date]
Replies: 1934
Views: 349713

Re: What are you up YTD? [Year To Date]

I did my mid-year portfolio review today. Results:

Stock: 70% (60/40, US/Int)
Bonds: 30%

Return: +0.28%
by vitaflo
Wed Jun 27, 2018 3:25 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Are we just way over complicating this?
Replies: 113
Views: 7163

Re: Are we just way over complicating this?

In fact, it seems to me the wisest person in the kingdom might be someone who just opens a Vanguard account with one fund the Balanced Index fund then contributes to it monthly and never looks back but just gets on with their life? Thoughts? My wife does this. She has auto-investment turned on. She...
by vitaflo
Wed Jun 27, 2018 10:54 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Did you celebrate when you finally hit $1m?
Replies: 161
Views: 14711

Re: Did you celebrate when you finally hit $1m?

My wife and I were sitting on the porch and I checked my portfolio on my phone. Noticed the value and then showed my wife. She gave me a fist bump and then we both went back to playing on our phones.
by vitaflo
Tue Jun 26, 2018 11:33 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: car for long-distance driving
Replies: 80
Views: 5124

Re: car for long-distance driving

Snow tires + FWD is just as good if not better than AWD and all-season tires. Snow tires + FWD is insanely better than AWD in all-seasons. All-seasons are just summer tires that can handle wet roads. They're not made for driving when the temp is below 45 (rubber gets too hard and they become ineffe...
by vitaflo
Tue Jun 26, 2018 11:18 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: IRS publishes draft 2018 1040 - Huge changes made
Replies: 156
Views: 16478

Re: IRS publishes draft 2018 1040 - Huge changes made

I have to assume this is still a WIP as the way Schedule 1 works with the new 1040 could cause confusion. On the 1040 it says to add the amount from Schedule 1 line 22 to line 6 of the 1040. However, Schedule 1 says if you have adjustments to complete the form and use line 37 of schedule 1 on line 6...
by vitaflo
Tue Jun 26, 2018 10:58 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: IRS publishes draft 2018 1040 - Huge changes made
Replies: 156
Views: 16478

Re: IRS publishes draft 2018 1040 - Huge changes made

As other people have stated, the IRS has just re-arranged the deck chairs. However, it does look like they have used the same line numbers as were on the 1040. The schedules line numbers do not begin with 1. Yup, noticed that too. The entire old 1040 is now spread across 6 forms, the new 1040 and 5...
by vitaflo
Tue Jun 26, 2018 10:28 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Family dynamics/in laws/am I being petty?
Replies: 143
Views: 7103

Re: Family dynamics/in laws/am I being petty?

Just ask for separate checks and then split the one they give to your parents. I'm not sure why this is so complicated? :confused
by vitaflo
Sun Jun 17, 2018 12:06 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Standard buyer's remorse or poorly timed enlightenment?
Replies: 40
Views: 3637

Re: Standard buyer's remorse or poorly timed enlightenment?

My biggest issue with your post is your long-term timing and priorities. You want to semi-retire in your early 50's, and given your age, that means when the kids are finally out of the house. You are considering re-tightening the belt now in order to have more freedom when the kids are gone. But you...
by vitaflo
Sat Jun 16, 2018 11:34 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Bogleheads, tell me about your 40's?
Replies: 179
Views: 37586

Re: Bogleheads, tell me about your 40's?

To the youngin's...there's a reason people in this thread keep talking about the physical stuff that happens in your 40's. This started for my wife and I as soon as we hit 40, and it's really a bummer. It takes time to accept the fact that you won't be the same as you used to be and will have variou...
by vitaflo
Tue May 22, 2018 9:34 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Best used SUV, Wagon, Hatch, Pickup under $10k
Replies: 34
Views: 3062

Re: Best used SUV, Wagon, Hatch, Pickup under $10k

I have a 2008 Mazda 3 hatchback, manual trans, with 140k miles that I bought new back in 2008. I've done nothing to it but the regular maintenance as outlined in the manual. Zero problems. It still runs so well I'm wondering if I'll ever have anything go bad on it. And I live in an environment with ...
by vitaflo
Tue May 22, 2018 9:12 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: How do you stop moving the goal posts.
Replies: 62
Views: 5057

Re: How do you stop moving the goal posts.

Not sure if this helps, but this year I've sold stocks a few times. Twice to pay down, then off, the mortgage, and a third time to get some cash out to purchase a new car. (note, I'm about 10 years from retirement) At first I didn't like seeing my balance go down, but it was a good thing because it ...
by vitaflo
Tue May 22, 2018 8:11 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: How have you upgraded your wardrobe?
Replies: 104
Views: 6209

Re: How have you upgraded your wardrobe?

Where are all these jobs that let you wear jeans? :confused I would love to wear my Wal-Mart Wranglers all day everyday. (I even sleep in them occasionally.) Apparently I missed the Life mini-lotto... I've never worn anything other than jeans for my entire 20 year career. I also would never take a ...
by vitaflo
Fri May 18, 2018 10:49 am
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Are you including annual increases in contributions in your projections?
Replies: 36
Views: 1781

Re: Are you including annual increases in contributions in your projections?

By modeling contributions increasing at the rate of inflation and using a projected real return, then the end result will be in real (today's) dollars. If I'm reading this correctly, no it won't. If inflation is 100% every year (or something extreme to prove a point) the end result will be an astro...
by vitaflo
Thu May 17, 2018 7:46 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Are you including annual increases in contributions in your projections?
Replies: 36
Views: 1781

Re: Are you including annual increases in contributions in your projections?

By modeling contributions increasing at the rate of inflation and using a projected real return, then the end result will be in real (today's) dollars. If I'm reading this correctly, no it won't. If inflation is 100% every year (or something extreme to prove a point) the end result will be an astro...
by vitaflo
Thu May 17, 2018 6:00 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Are you including annual increases in contributions in your projections?
Replies: 36
Views: 1781

Re: Are you including annual increases in contributions in your projections?

This is why I only do projections in real terms not nominal. Then you don’t need to worry about stuff like this. How does doing projections in real terms affect this? I agree that using projected real instead of nominal returns (e.g. 5% instead of 8%) makes sense for returns, but increasing contrib...
by vitaflo
Thu May 17, 2018 5:34 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Are you including annual increases in contributions in your projections?
Replies: 36
Views: 1781

Re: Are you including annual increases in contributions in your projections?

This is why I only do projections in real terms not nominal. Then you don’t need to worry about stuff like this. Since modeling increasing contributions over time will lead to a higher projected ending balance, this might lead some to think that they don't need to invest as much to achieve their des...
by vitaflo
Wed May 16, 2018 11:27 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Must See in South Dakota
Replies: 58
Views: 4339

Re: Must See in South Dakota

I think most people have hit on the best spots. My fav was Needles Highway and Custer. Strangely I found Mt Rushmore to be pretty boring. Just way too touristy for my taste, and this is from someone who loved Wall Drug.
by vitaflo
Sat May 12, 2018 10:48 am
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: How close do you cut your monthly surplus?
Replies: 22
Views: 3148

Re: How close do you cut your monthly surplus?

It's not really an emergency fund thing. We are pretty happy with that. Our checking/saving account and our emergency fund are the same place. Basically seeing that go down or stay the same month after month is a harder thing to accept. As I said before I'm sure it's mainly mental. Might be a good ...
by vitaflo
Wed May 09, 2018 11:53 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: 2nd/Part-time job - W2 or 1099?
Replies: 6
Views: 662

Re: 2nd/Part-time job - W2 or 1099?

The tax law changes strongly favor 1099 because of the extra 20% biz deduction. With no benefits for the W2 option, this also strongly favors 1099 because of Solo401k/SEP-IRA. Unless biz taxes/fees in your state are outrageous, I'd take the 1099 option.
by vitaflo
Mon May 07, 2018 5:45 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: When did you start drawing profits from taxable?
Replies: 48
Views: 3539

Re: When did you start drawing profits from taxable?

When my taxable dividends got to >$5000 per year I started sweeping them into munis. I use this muni fund to pay for new cars. Yes I could just save up for a car over time the same way but for me it just seemed easier to use the dividends. Then I can just keep my contributions on auto pilot and not ...
by vitaflo
Sat May 05, 2018 7:50 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Need advice on $5M property sale
Replies: 39
Views: 4167

Re: Need advice on $5M property sale

Be careful. You're using phrases like "probably worth $5m" and "I feel...". What you think it might be worth and what it actually is are two different things. I had a friend sell farmland for development and he had an idea in his head about what it was worth because it was an up and coming, quickly ...
by vitaflo
Sat May 05, 2018 6:17 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Open-ended question about vacationing in Yosemite or a different national park
Replies: 49
Views: 3192

Re: Open-ended question about vacationing in Yosemite or a different national park

I would strongly consider September for almost any NP not in Alaska, simply because of crowd size and temperature. As an added bonus the crowds in September are a high percentage of retirees, making hiking even less busy (most people stick to the road). As far as "which is best", that's highly perso...
by vitaflo
Sat May 05, 2018 1:14 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Paying down your mortgage as a way to balance your portfolio?
Replies: 72
Views: 4169

Re: Paying down your mortgage as a way to balance your portfolio?

Have an emergency fund large enough to handle unemployment. Max out your tax advantaged accounts. Throw any remainder on the mortgage. It should be as simple as that.
by vitaflo
Mon Apr 30, 2018 11:03 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Daughter and Girlfriend, age 19, taking cross country road trip. Advice?
Replies: 187
Views: 9279

Re: Daughter and Girlfriend, age 19, taking cross country road trip. Advice?

That sucking sound you hear is all the fun being drained out of what was supposed to be a fun cross-country road trip. :oops: Yup. They're adults. Just let them be on their way and have fun. People worry way too much about every little thing. It's obnoxious. My wife did a trip like this when she wa...
by vitaflo
Fri Apr 27, 2018 3:25 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Learning to drive a stick [car with manual transmission]
Replies: 126
Views: 6521

Re: Learning to drive stick

There is no reason to use the parking brake to start on a hill. :confused Using the parking brake is how you avoid unnecessary clutch slippage. Otherwise, as soon as you come off the brake, the car starts rolling backwards, and you have to slip the clutch to overcome the backwards momentum without ...
by vitaflo
Wed Apr 25, 2018 5:55 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Cost of ownership for midsize SUV/wagon
Replies: 27
Views: 2051

Re: Cost of ownership for midsize SUV/wagon

If you want something that drives like a sedan you need to get a wagon. SUV's (even "crossovers") do not drive anything like sedans (probably why most car enthusiasts love wagons and hate SUVs). Most of your requirements are met by any of the Euro wagons out there. The Outback will be too slow. I ne...
by vitaflo
Sun Apr 22, 2018 10:21 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Prepping My Snowblower for Off-Season
Replies: 11
Views: 1157

Re: Prepping My Snowblower for Off-Season

I always use ethanol-free fuel in my small engines. I add some Sta-bil to the gas can every time I fill up, and never have to worry about it. No running the engine out of gas at the end of the season, just store the blower/mower with a full tank, and next year it always starts up on first pull. I te...
by vitaflo
Tue Apr 17, 2018 11:52 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: 2.5% Withdrawal for 50 Years With 50/50 Portfolio?
Replies: 121
Views: 9488

Re: 2.5% Withdrawal for 50 Years With 50/50 Portfolio?

Instead, I'm asking if you personally would feel secure in taking $75K a year, for at least 50 years, from a portfolio whose initial balance is $3.0M and whose composition is as set forth above. Given your composition I would be comfortable taking $90k out for 50 years. But I'm a firm believer that...
by vitaflo
Tue Apr 17, 2018 10:48 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Yellowstone time needed
Replies: 22
Views: 2455

Re: Yellowstone time needed

You will basically have enough time to drive thru the park, stop every once and a while for 15 mins to see some feature, and then continue driving. And you'll still not be able to hit half the main roads in the park. We did this once. We saw a lot of things for a little amount of time each. Loved th...
by vitaflo
Tue Apr 10, 2018 2:43 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Should I prewire my home network myself?
Replies: 40
Views: 2532

Re: Should I prewire my home network myself?

I haven't priced the cable itself in quite a while, but don't pay a significant premium for Cat6 vs. Cat5e. It is next to impossible for a non-professional installer to terminate Cat6 within spec, due to the extremely tight 0.5" maximum untwist requirement. If it's not terminated to spec, then it's...
by vitaflo
Sun Apr 08, 2018 10:01 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Should I invest in an HSA even though I don't go to the hospital much?
Replies: 18
Views: 1912

Re: Should I invest in an HSA even though I don't go to the hospital much?

I wouldn't think of an HSA as a health savings account, I would instead think of it as a "special IRA". Here's why: - Like a regular IRA (in this case after age 65) you can use the funds for *anything*. It doesn't have to be used for health care. Of course you pay taxes on those withdraws, just like...
by vitaflo
Thu Apr 05, 2018 4:46 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: How Do You Value Your Home for Net Worth Purposes?
Replies: 150
Views: 10282

Re: How Do You Value Your Home for Net Worth Purposes?

I use the assessed value the county uses to figure out my property tax. So far it's been "close enough". Which is about all I'm looking for when figuring out NW.
by vitaflo
Sun Apr 01, 2018 7:01 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: What’s the magic savings rate???
Replies: 61
Views: 9670

Re: What’s the magic savings rate???

I am wondering if anyone has a rule of thumb that is relative to the starting age of saving! All authors and rules presume that their audience are in their twenties, while the truth is fast majority of people start in their thirties or even later in life.. I would like to see something like that: I...
by vitaflo
Fri Mar 09, 2018 5:43 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: 8 mil loss on 1099...
Replies: 35
Views: 5996

Re: 8 mil loss on 1099...

Aren't there supposed to be penalties for submitting incorrect or late 1099s? Do WF et. al. just pony up the maximum fine of $3m as a cost of doing business and not bother even trying to get them right? There are, but the IRS rarely checks into these. That said any legit business will issue a corre...
by vitaflo
Sun Mar 04, 2018 10:42 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Road trip to National Parks in Pacific/Mountain States.
Replies: 15
Views: 2183

Re: Road trip to National Parks in Pacific/Mountain States.

I agree with Alexa9 and mostly because you only have 1 month. Yes you could drive through a bunch of parks on the loop you're thinking of taking but it will mainly be just that, a drive through. I've done the "drive through a NP on a road trip" before and in hindsight, it doesn't become a memorable ...
by vitaflo
Thu Mar 01, 2018 3:53 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: How to find someone to build a web application/website
Replies: 7
Views: 631

Re: How to find someone to build a web application/website

It sounds like you're self-funding which in this industry can be pretty hard. Most of the people or companies who are good at this stuff will be far outside the price range of the typical "I've got a good idea" entrepreneur. I have had to turn down many clients because they had champagne dreams on a...
by vitaflo
Sun Feb 18, 2018 12:41 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: What has been your most important skill in achieving financial independence?
Replies: 164
Views: 12125

Re: What has been your most important skill in achieving financial independence?

I'm 22 years old, beginning my career and I'm curious to hear from other people closer to financial independence what have been some of the most important "non-financial" skills they attribute to their FI. For me it was understanding the importance of "sweat equity". At your age I was told by someo...
by vitaflo
Sun Feb 18, 2018 12:20 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Working for a MegaCorp vs a Small Business
Replies: 19
Views: 1507

Re: Working for a MegaCorp vs a Small Business

Anyway, I’d like to hear why folks don’t like working for MegaCorps. Why isn’t having a window office of the 50th floor of a S&P 500 company the way to go? Because you can't affect change. Do you really think an S&P 500 company really needs you? You're a drop in the bucket to them, whether you're t...
by vitaflo
Mon Feb 12, 2018 11:17 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Birding binoculars under $500?
Replies: 21
Views: 1250

Re: Birding binoculars under $500?

The best pair of binos is one that you have on hand when you want them. And that you don't need to share because you bought two pairs. This. I got the Vortex Diamondback for this reason. Nice binoculars for only $200. I don't need to worry about them. I thought about the Viper HD which are very nic...
by vitaflo
Sat Feb 10, 2018 1:48 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Getting Rid of Ants in the House?
Replies: 46
Views: 3057

Re: Getting Rid of Ants in the House?

I use this stuff - advion https://www.amazon.com/Advion-Ant-Gel-Insecticide-Plungers/dp/B014EIAAPS You put it in their path, they bring to the colony and poof no more ants. Works wonders. I've tried many of the other suggestions and at my house this is what does the trick. Yup, I tried lots of thin...