Search found 336 matches

by wassabi
Thu Aug 17, 2017 4:35 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: ObamaCare 2018
Replies: 41
Views: 5205

Re: ObamaCare 2018

It's going to be a race to the bottom in most states this year. Which company can provide the worst network at a price that people still find halfway reasonable? Anthem BCBS just announced they're leaving VA, and Aetna and United Healthcare already did the same. Something like 80-90% of my clients ...
by wassabi
Sat Aug 12, 2017 5:00 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Backup of Sensitive Information
Replies: 32
Views: 1855

Re: Backup of Sensitive Information

Arq backs up my files every hour and retains old versions in case I delete or break something. This is a critical step. Without versioning, all one has is a mirror. Anything bad that happens on the original risks being done on the "backup" copy. That's an inefficient way to version, though, unless ...
by wassabi
Sat Aug 12, 2017 3:18 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Backup of Sensitive Information
Replies: 32
Views: 1855

Re: Backup of Sensitive Information

I use Arq backup software to encrypt my files locally and backup to OneDrive. I only use OneDrive because I have a fee terabyte through Office 365. Arq works with Amazon, google, and quite a few others. Arq is local software that backs up your files, encrypts them locally, and then sends them to the...
by wassabi
Tue Aug 08, 2017 6:57 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Climate Controlled Storage Units
Replies: 8
Views: 681

Re: Climate Controlled Storage Units

Definitely climate controlled in D.C. area. I had one last year and it worked very well. Concrete floors, clean, nice. Problem is, they tend to jack up the rates every year and if you need it three years you might be stuck.
by wassabi
Thu Jul 27, 2017 4:43 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Should I Quit my 6-figure job?
Replies: 84
Views: 8731

Re: Should I Quit my 6-figure job?

I left a 6 figure job when I was in my early 30's hated it. I tried a few others things that eventually convinced me that the grass wasn't greener somewhere else and happiness was within me. So I started a business. That was 21 years ago. Never looked back after that. This comment makes a lot of se...
by wassabi
Sat Jul 22, 2017 7:27 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: if spreadsheet with account balances goes to hackers?
Replies: 11
Views: 1073

Re: if spreadsheet with account balances goes to hackers?

I'm very cautious in my approach to managing technology and my identity, etc. However, I've used a google spreadsheet for my finances or the last ten years or so and don't plan on moving away from it. I keep the same information you describe - account names, values, ticker symbols but definitely no ...
by wassabi
Sun Jun 25, 2017 5:57 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Bitcoin in the event of owner death
Replies: 10
Views: 1276

Re: Bitcoin in the event of owner death

Why not store the private keys in password software such as lastpass or 1password? You said it's a "small amount" of bitcoin, so depending on how much it might not be worth taking too many measures to protect the keys. For example, you can print the private keys on a sheet of paper and sli...
by wassabi
Sun Jun 25, 2017 5:32 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Travel to Kazakhstan - Health Insurance
Replies: 12
Views: 1329

Re: Travel to Kazakhstan - Health Insurance

I always pick up a travel plan from world nomads or a AIG directly. The plan covers a lot of medical services that my insurance won't cover out of the country, including flying someone out to stay bedside if I am hospitalized and up to $1M to fly me home on a medical flight in an emergency. The pric...
by wassabi
Tue Jun 20, 2017 4:31 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: AAA Cost
Replies: 85
Views: 6775

Re: AAA Cost

How much does everyone pay for AAA? My understanding is that varies state by state. We just got a renewal invoice for $190 for my wife and I for the AAA Plus membership, which seems high. Even the basic membership would be $120 for the two of us. Is there any way to get a discounted membership? Doe...
by wassabi
Tue Jun 20, 2017 4:16 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Disability Insurance and (declining) Income
Replies: 5
Views: 683

Re: Disability Insurance and (declining) Income

I didn't know I could reduce the coverage amount after I had locked in coverage. Thanks for the replies!
by wassabi
Mon Jun 19, 2017 3:55 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Disability Insurance and (declining) Income
Replies: 5
Views: 683

Disability Insurance and (declining) Income

I'm considering disability insurance but my job situation is likely changing in the next six months. Right now I make around $130k but expect that my salary will drop significantly in my next job (possibly to $85k). There are several reasons but it primarily comes down to a quality of life change an...
by wassabi
Thu Jun 15, 2017 8:36 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Privacy vs $$$$
Replies: 31
Views: 4029

Re: Privacy vs $$$$

Use Tor as your browser and DuckDuckGo as your search engine. .... I have a family member who's very tech-savvy who says Tor is NOT private. Because it's used heavily by "drug dealers and pedophiles", about 1/3 of the nodes are FBI or other law-enforcement. From an end-user standpoint, I ...
by wassabi
Sat May 13, 2017 7:06 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Best cities for older tech workers?
Replies: 51
Views: 4737

Re: Best cities for older tech workers?

Northern VA is not bad for older tech workers. There are a lot of tech opportunities but not as much of the younger, entrepreneurial culture that you find in Silicon Valley. Federal contracts (and contractors) tend to pay less, utilize slower development cycles, and use older technologies. This can...
by wassabi
Sat May 13, 2017 7:47 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Best cities for older tech workers?
Replies: 51
Views: 4737

Re: Best cities for older tech workers?

Northern VA is not bad for older tech workers. There are a lot of tech opportunities but not as much of the younger, entrepreneurial culture that you find in Silicon Valley. Federal contracts (and contractors) tend to pay less, utilize slower development cycles, and use older technologies. This can ...
by wassabi
Sun Apr 30, 2017 5:22 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Renters Insurance
Replies: 3
Views: 570

Re: Renters Insurance

The minimum coverage for renter's insurance is often dictated by the landlord. I rent a condo that is probably worth about $330k and my insurance is through USAA. I don't have many valuables in my condo, so I got the minimum coverage. My annual premium for 2017-2018 is $55. My coverage includes: Per...
by wassabi
Sun Apr 30, 2017 3:05 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Vanguard Prime Money Market Fund (VMMXX)
Replies: 24
Views: 3884

Re: Vanguard Prime Money Market Fund (VMMXX)

I don't know about OP's tax rates but you may want to also consider VMSXX ( Vanguard Municipal Money Market Fund ) which has an SEC yield of 0.78%. A comparable taxable MM fund would have to have a yield of 1.08% ( at 28% Fed tax rate). I would choose VMSXX over VMMXX in that case. How does a munic...
by wassabi
Fri Apr 28, 2017 2:43 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Time to reach 1M and 2M milestones
Replies: 143
Views: 35907

Re: Time to reach 1M and 2M milestones

- At the end of 1989, at age 40, I had about $80k invested, 75% retirement funds. (This was after 7 years at a 'real' job and was 1.5x my salary.) - At the end of 1999, at age 50, I had a million invested. 78% retirement funds. - 2007, $1.6M (lost $700k by March 2009 but held firm) - At the end of ...
by wassabi
Wed Apr 26, 2017 6:55 am
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Investing $1M
Replies: 57
Views: 6938

Re: Investing $1M

I totally subscribe to buying and holding low-cost index funds and withdrawing for income. However, now just does not seem to be a good time to enter the market. I understand your view. I've been slowly increasing my stock position to get it where it needs to be but have been concerned because the ...
by wassabi
Sat Apr 22, 2017 6:50 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Moving... and U-haul trucks are expensive!
Replies: 25
Views: 2802

Re: Moving... and U-haul trucks are expensive!

I looked into this before when a queen mattress was the largest item I had and the vans from Enterprise rental were supposedly big enough. I never did rent the van, so I can't confirm with 100% certainty, but numerous Enterprise people told me the van fits a queen mattress.
by wassabi
Fri Apr 21, 2017 5:59 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Schwab Target Index Funds Investor Shares drop (.08%)
Replies: 21
Views: 2127

Re: Schwab Target Index Funds Investor Shares drop (.08%)

Schwab's new Total Bond Fund (SWAGX) and all the recent ER drops together with the excellent Investor Checking service make them extremely competitive with Vanguard. I have accounts at both but the majority of my assets with Vanguard. I'm not going to switch everything over the Schwab yet, but it's ...
by wassabi
Fri Apr 21, 2017 5:47 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: TV show recommendations?
Replies: 514
Views: 202629

Re: TV show recommendations?

stoptothink wrote:
wassabi wrote:I've been really enjoying Vikings. It can be a little violent, so not for the faint of heart.


It is my wife's favorite show. She named our son after the show. We just finished Goliath (Amazon Prime) and it was very good.



I'll add Goliath to my list!
by wassabi
Fri Apr 21, 2017 4:44 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Can Power of Attorney override POD designations?
Replies: 12
Views: 1641

Re: Can Power of Attorney override POD designations?

I'm power of attorney for someone and can absolutely change beneficiaries, POD, TOD, etc. Doing so would set me up for a lot of scrutiny by family members and potentially even a lawsuit, but I do have the power to make the change. A POA can be issued with narrow or more specific/limited powers, but ...
by wassabi
Fri Apr 21, 2017 4:35 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: TV show recommendations?
Replies: 514
Views: 202629

Re: TV show recommendations?

I've been really enjoying Vikings. It can be a little violent, so not for the faint of heart.

Also watching The Crown and very much enjoying it.
by wassabi
Mon Apr 17, 2017 8:19 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: All in with Balanced Index fund
Replies: 33
Views: 3789

Re: All in with Balanced Index fund

So I took the plunge and now have VBINX as my sole fund in my Roth. [I'm in the 15% tax-bracket and probably will be until retirement] I'm a newbie investor and if you read some of my prior threads, you'll see I've had a few "hiccups" to start my investing yrs. After much research and dec...
by wassabi
Thu Apr 13, 2017 1:18 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: million dollar condo?
Replies: 33
Views: 4165

Re: million dollar condo?

I'm probably in the minority here, but I say as a physician you have a very high earning potential. At your current rate, you can buy the condo, pay down your student loans, and continue saving substantial funds. As yourself this question: can you buy the condo and enjoy the quality of life increase...
by wassabi
Wed Apr 12, 2017 4:48 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Cheapest way to order contact lenses?
Replies: 27
Views: 3696

Re: Cheapest way to order contact lenses?

For those of you who order contacts online how do you go about getting your prescription? My eye appointment has become so routine that they do the check up and then order the contacts. However, I'm sick of paying $350+ for a one year supply. Do you simply tell your doctor to give you the prescripti...
by wassabi
Mon Apr 03, 2017 3:45 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Temp Commute/Pennsylvania to DC
Replies: 23
Views: 1980

Re: Temp Commute/Pennsylvania to DC

Two options come to mind: She can stay at your place, drive in to Vienna metro, park, jump on the metro and ride it to downtown. I have a colleague who makes this trip every day from Shenandoah area. Driving in all the way is not ideal because 66 is HOV in the morning. She'd have to jump off 66 and ...
by wassabi
Tue Mar 28, 2017 4:57 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Federal pension beats high salary and savings rate? (fed vs contractor for employment)
Replies: 47
Views: 4865

Re: Federal pension beats high salary and savings rate? (fed vs contractor for employment)

Another contrarian view here: The federal job is nice, but consider that you are taking a large salary cut by trying to pave your career for the next 20+ years. In reality, you have no idea what you'll want to do, or where you'll want to be in 20 years, let alone 5 years. Do whichever job makes you ...
by wassabi
Tue Mar 14, 2017 10:54 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Vanguard - Money Market Funds
Replies: 16
Views: 2750

Re: Vanguard - Money Market Funds

I recently started using the Vanguard Federal Money Market Fund (VMFXX), which is my settlement fund (and not be confused with Vanguard Prime Money Market Fund (VMMXX). VMFXX has a rate of .51% but an expense ratio of .11%. I don't recall if the ER is already factored into the .51% rate. At any rate...
by wassabi
Sun Mar 12, 2017 5:11 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: High End Wrist Watches (Gone Crazy)
Replies: 162
Views: 15734

Re: High End Wrist Watches (Gone Crazy)

The Casio GW5000 is a classic. I have the slightly cheaper 5610 version, but have my eye on the 5000.
by wassabi
Sat Mar 04, 2017 3:40 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Why can't I save enough to have decent vacation or restaurant meal
Replies: 125
Views: 12535

Re: Why can't I save enough to have decent vacation or restaurant meal

Credit Card , Utilities, Oil, Gas @ 2.5k/month ( I know this seems high but we have enrolled kids for activities all around the year + after school program + Summer clinics so have put the average per month) rest goes to federal /state Tax/ssn and medicaid taxes. Sometimes the year round after scho...
by wassabi
Sat Mar 04, 2017 6:42 am
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Navy Federal CU New Certificate Offering
Replies: 7
Views: 2164

Re: Navy Federal CU New Certificate Offering

Just checked and it's still there - 17 months @ 2% up to $50k. I'm thinking of grabbing one to convert some bonds to CDs. I've been thinking more lately about how CDs can help to reduce risk on the bond side of the portfolio while I take most of the risk on the equity side.
by wassabi
Tue Feb 28, 2017 7:58 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Store Important Documents Online?
Replies: 51
Views: 2948

Re: Store Important Documents Online?

Gasdoc, I have hard copies of all the documents you mentioned and more. I have scanned them all and stored to an external hard drive. As a Second backup they have all been stored on Google Drive since its inception. Spouse and adult son both have pins and passwords if they need them It works for me...
by wassabi
Tue Feb 28, 2017 5:02 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Store Important Documents Online?
Replies: 51
Views: 2948

Re: Store Important Documents Online?

Accustomed to keeping our important documents in a safe at home, we are concerned that in case of a fire, that safe may not be the perfect protection. We have been on a waiting list for a safe deposit box at our local credit union, and now have one available. But I was thinking, all we really need ...
by wassabi
Sat Feb 18, 2017 7:16 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: The russians are hacking me
Replies: 36
Views: 6258

Re: The russians are hacking me

Just because the IP address says it's from Georgia does not mean the attack originated from that location. In fact, unless it's a kid or amateur, I'd be surprised if the person was physically located in that country. I would expect the attacker to use TOR or at least a VPN of some sort to hide behin...
by wassabi
Tue Feb 14, 2017 5:37 am
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Vanguard 1099s available - Other companies just as good for sending 1099s???
Replies: 63
Views: 6348

Re: Vanguard 1099s available - Other companies just as good for sending 1099s???

Does the 1099 consolidated form from Vanguard include the information on the 1099-DIV forms that were released last month? Or are both forms still needed to prepare taxes?
by wassabi
Tue Feb 07, 2017 7:45 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Invest Emergency Fund in Bonds
Replies: 11
Views: 1377

Re: Invest Emergency Fund in Bonds

Thank you everyone for the great replies. This is what I am leaning more towards, at the current moment: $10k "high" interest savings (0.85%), in off case we need cash that credit cards cant cover $30k mix of ibonds, short (VWSTX), and int (VWITX) bonds $15k VTI $5k VXUS Given the VTI and...
by wassabi
Tue Feb 07, 2017 7:34 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Does anybody else out there still pay for an email address?
Replies: 73
Views: 7285

Re: Does anybody else out there still pay for an email address?

Add me to the list of those who use Fastmail. I love it. The service is nothing short of excellent. I rarely need to contact support, but the few times I've had questions or mild difficulties with my email I have loved having a direct support email and prompt response (within few hours). I pay such ...
by wassabi
Wed Jan 11, 2017 8:05 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Been renting for 10 years. Is it about time for me to get my own place?
Replies: 11
Views: 2004

Re: Been renting for 10 years. Is it about time for me to get my own place?

I can only tell you what I would do in your shoes, and I was a couple years ago. You never know when a potential mate will come along (could be tomorrow, or never), but if you are open to marriage and actively looking then I would not buy a house/condo yet. Marriage is a big life change, especially ...
by wassabi
Wed Jan 11, 2017 8:00 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Denied Checking Account by Citibank
Replies: 15
Views: 2525

Re: Denied Checking Account by Citibank

Do you have a credit freeze on your Equifax info? If so, I suggest a temporary lift of that freeze and reapply. Now that you mention it -- I do have a credit fraud alert on my account- -- but I opened an AMEX credit card even with that. it just required Amex to call me back when a credit request is...
by wassabi
Tue Jan 10, 2017 6:37 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Social Security Widow Benefits
Replies: 11
Views: 1283

Re: Social Security Widow Benefits

Ok, thank you all very much for the help. Social Security is a new topic for me (still a few decades off from filing). To make sure I understand, since her spouse earned significantly more than her and will almost certainly receive more in SS benefits, it makes sense for her to file early for her be...
by wassabi
Tue Jan 10, 2017 6:14 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Social Security Widow Benefits
Replies: 11
Views: 1283

Re: Social Security Widow Benefits

Thanks very much for the help so far. I do not believe he is correct. Survivors benefits are increased by delaying up to full retirement age for the survivor (66 for me). One's own social security is increased by delaying until age 70. One does not get a bump up unless this refers to applying on a d...
by wassabi
Tue Jan 10, 2017 12:58 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Social Security Widow Benefits
Replies: 11
Views: 1283

Social Security Widow Benefits

Bogleheads, my father in law passed away last year at 61. My mother in law turns 60 this year. Both have worked for decades but his wages were much more than hers. Her financial adviser told her she was eligible to apply for widow benefits starting this year at age 60, and then she will receive an i...
by wassabi
Mon Jan 09, 2017 10:46 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: How Bad was 2008, really?
Replies: 224
Views: 20230

Re: How Bad was 2008, really?

There was a lot of uncertainty at the time. Banks were collapsing and no one knew what would happen. Very few people could have predicted the market would come back the way it did. There was a lot of doom and gloom. Learn from the charts but never discount the fear factor. The fear was bad and we ha...
by wassabi
Mon Jan 09, 2017 5:40 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Laundry lifestyle creep
Replies: 84
Views: 14422

Re: Laundry lifestyle creep

As I've made more money and increased my net worth, I've also realized there are some things that are just not worth cutting corners. Laundry detergent is one of those items.
by wassabi
Sun Jan 08, 2017 8:33 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: USAA Dividend Distribution
Replies: 28
Views: 3215

Re: USAA Dividend Distribution

I've had USAA for car insurance, umbrella, and renters insurance for four years and never received a dividend. Just checked my proof of insurance card and it doesn't say anything about Subscriber's Account.
by wassabi
Tue Dec 27, 2016 8:44 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Tax loss harvest from short-term position
Replies: 7
Views: 696

Re: Tax loss harvest from short-term position

It does matter to me. Short-term losses are better for tax-loss harvesting than long-term losses. I never wait for sh-term losses to become long-term. I tax loss harvest. You should TLH these bond fund shares. But since equities are way up and bond funds are down, this means back in August you did ...
by wassabi
Tue Dec 27, 2016 7:56 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Tax loss harvest from short-term position
Replies: 7
Views: 696

Tax loss harvest from short-term position

I hold Vanguard Intermediate Term (VBILX) and Total Stock (VTSAX) in taxable. I acquired the majority of my bond fund stake back in August when a slew of 5-year CDs expired. I'm increasing my stock allocation (per my recently completed IPS) so I need to sell some of the bond fund to acquire more sha...
by wassabi
Tue Dec 27, 2016 8:19 am
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Managing my mother's portfolio
Replies: 16
Views: 2178

Re: Managing my mother's portfolio

You have power of attorney, so the decision is yours. POAs expire upon death. Serving as executor is a different situation. Mom has not passed away yet. But the OP is talking handling estate assets. There is no indication that the assets have transferred to the mother. The OP refers to the accounts...
by wassabi
Fri Dec 16, 2016 10:07 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Ellis: "Under 40 years old - 100% in Stocks"
Replies: 54
Views: 6291

Re: Ellis: "Under 40 years old - 100% in Stocks"

One downside to 100% stocks is the lack of liquidity to take advantage of major market pullbacks.