Search found 538 matches

by Big Dog
Thu Oct 19, 2017 1:39 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Finally a win for teachers!! [403(b) modified to add funds]
Replies: 33
Views: 2672

Re: Finally a win for teachers!!

Awesome. Great win for public employees everywhere.
by Big Dog
Thu Oct 19, 2017 12:00 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Office wants to pay dentist as contractor (sub-s). Any issues?
Replies: 25
Views: 1489

Re: Office wants to pay dentist as contractor (sub-s). Any issues?

if she is working full time at the dental office and does not have her own patients (i.e., really just renting a chair), there is no question that she is a W2 employee. But given the option we might chose 1099 only because we can shelter a lot of cash via retirement options which a w-2 arrangement w...
by Big Dog
Wed Oct 18, 2017 4:17 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: The overselling of international diversification
Replies: 56
Views: 4622

Re: The overselling of international diversification

^^Touche! (Make Europe Great Again??) :mrgreen:
by Big Dog
Tue Oct 17, 2017 3:22 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: The overselling of international diversification
Replies: 56
Views: 4622

Re: The overselling of international diversification

gotta get me some popcorn to watch the carnage develop on this thread. :beer
by Big Dog
Sun Oct 15, 2017 9:19 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Calculating max electrical load of your home
Replies: 34
Views: 2033

Re: Calculating max electrical load of your home

Most residences, except for McMansions, etc, have a 200 amp "service". Maybe most built in the last xx years or so, but our tract home build in '77, definitely does not have 200 amp service. (The only reason that i know is that I've just started the research to see what I need to do to add a 50 amp...
by Big Dog
Sun Oct 15, 2017 3:31 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Picking College and College Scholarships
Replies: 463
Views: 41892

Re: Picking College and College Scholarships

Best of luck to your son, Timmy.
by Big Dog
Fri Oct 13, 2017 9:29 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Help me understand what happens with the new law and ACA subsidies
Replies: 80
Views: 5554

Re: Help me understand what happen with the new law and ACA subsidies

Same thing goes for car insurance.
Not sure it is the same:
1) Per the LA Times, approx. one-third of drivers in SoCal do not carry auto insurance despite the law.
2) Auto insurance allows you to purchase the bare minimum liability (for your state), or $300k or $500k or even more.
by Big Dog
Fri Oct 13, 2017 9:01 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Father passed away - what to do with fund accounts
Replies: 7
Views: 1120

Re: Father passed away - what to do with fund accounts

More data needed! Sorry to hear about your loss. State of residence? Community property state? Do all assets go to your mom? If so, and it titled in a Community Property account (as opposed to Joint Tenants) assets could receive stepped-up basis, so she could sell those in the taxable accounts with...
by Big Dog
Fri Oct 13, 2017 8:54 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: How many miles/years do you keep your car?
Replies: 102
Views: 6076

Re: How many miles/years do you keep your car?

'87 Saab kept 28 years, 225k miles until tranny died.

'89 Volvo 199k miles, still my daily driver.

Both bought new.
by Big Dog
Sun Oct 08, 2017 7:13 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: New Fiduciary Rule seems to be a big disappointment
Replies: 18
Views: 2304

Re: New Fiduciary Rule seems to be a big disappointment

I recently learned from my current brokerage house (Raymond James) that I can no longer buy no-load mutual funds in my IRA.
Sounds like the rules are working. (dump high cost RJ) :mrgreen:
by Big Dog
Tue Oct 03, 2017 5:28 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Dental/Vision Insurance for Newborn
Replies: 20
Views: 1157

Re: Dental/Vision Insurance for Newborn

not necessary for a newborn. Just add later during open enrollment. I believe the pros recommend a first dental visit when the first tooth erupts, or ~1st bd.
by Big Dog
Mon Oct 02, 2017 5:49 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Picking College and College Scholarships
Replies: 463
Views: 41892

Re: Picking College and College Scholarships

SAT manages to send multiple test dates for one fee Right, but then nearly every college superscores the SAT. Only a few superscore the ACT (bcos it is in their best interest to do so). I’ve become jaded and cynical about the college admissions industry... I'm one of the most cynical out there, so ...
by Big Dog
Mon Oct 02, 2017 4:14 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Picking College and College Scholarships
Replies: 463
Views: 41892

Re: Picking College and College Scholarships

It is a racket. For example, ACT costs per test date, per school. A money-maker, to be sure, but only a few colleges superscore the ACT, so only one report date needs to be sent. (yes, the highly selective colleges do want to see all reports, but that is only a recent change.) Remember, the vast ma...
by Big Dog
Sun Oct 01, 2017 4:52 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Picking College and College Scholarships
Replies: 463
Views: 41892

Re: Picking College and College Scholarships

With everything online, you'd think sending ACT score and grades would be quick and easy. No! Test scores do go pretty quick, once they are available. The Common App usually goes within a couple of days from the time your kid pushes send and you pay the fee. Of course, nearly everything is batch pr...
by Big Dog
Sun Oct 01, 2017 2:50 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Buffett's idea of risk vs risk as in the formula: 'willingness, ability and need'
Replies: 50
Views: 2587

Re: Buffett's idea of risk vs risk as in the formula: 'willingness, ability and need'

Having said that, let's say you have $500K in your 401K at 55 all in equities and the market drops 50%. Can you bear to see that $500K turn into $250K? Even though it may be a temporary drop, would you be able to handle it? As I have learned on BH, the best answer is what helps you sleep at night. ...
by Big Dog
Sun Oct 01, 2017 10:00 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: For buying house: how do you know which schools are "good"?
Replies: 56
Views: 3733

Re: For buying house: how do you know which schools are "good"?

In my experience as an SAT tutor, students can get perfect or near-perfect SAT scores if (1) they have at least an average IQ
I strongly disagree (and so do the stats). There is no way an ~100 IQ is gonna score 750+ on a nationally-normed, timed test. Just impossible.
by Big Dog
Sat Sep 30, 2017 9:37 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Waxing my car!
Replies: 48
Views: 4216

Re: Waxing my car!

For years, I was old school, and would use nothing but fine carnuaba wax. But I've recently been using Meguiar's Ulimate, which is easier to put on an wipe off. Moreover, it doesn't turn white if it gets onto black trim. Highly recommended. https://www.amazon.com/Meguiars-G18216-Ultimate-Liquid-Wax/...
by Big Dog
Sat Sep 30, 2017 9:32 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: For buying house: how do you know which schools are "good"?
Replies: 56
Views: 3733

Re: For buying house: how do you know which schools are "good"?

And if kids from middle class families can get excellent scores on SATs, and that is more from what they learned in school rather than all the privilege of the home they grew up in, Sorry, but this doesn't make any sense to me. To score high on the SAT/ACT, a kid has to be blessed with a high IQ, a...
by Big Dog
Sat Sep 30, 2017 6:56 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: For buying house: how do you know which schools are "good"?
Replies: 56
Views: 3733

Re: For buying house: how do you know which schools are "good"?

Depends on what you mean by good. If your kid desires a theater program, then the top STEM school in your town is probably of no interest. Otherwise, its all about the high schools, and nationally-normed test scores are the easiest to compare. Attached is a start. https://www.usnews.com/education/be...
by Big Dog
Sat Sep 30, 2017 12:10 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Which bogleheads have a "high need to take risk"?
Replies: 51
Views: 4476

Re: Which bogleheads have a "high need to take risk"?

Dunno if I ever had a "need" but I was 100% equities until I turned 60. It wasn't the risk factor; rather, the low bond yields that were not attractive. (I first started investing in MMF which paid 18%.) Of course, as interest rates continued towards zero, the bond returns have been great for the pa...
by Big Dog
Fri Sep 29, 2017 7:20 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Better chance to be accepted to state medical school if also attend undergraduate in the state?
Replies: 18
Views: 1349

Re: Better chance to be accepted to state medical school if also attend undergraduate in the state?

many/most instate public med schools favor their own residents. AAMCS publishes admission stats showing instate/oos admissions. Attending undergrad out of state will not matter as long as the undergrad maintains residency in this case, Texas.
by Big Dog
Wed Sep 27, 2017 1:09 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: $700 to install a dishwasher seem by a plumber?!
Replies: 65
Views: 4471

Re: $700 to install a dishwasher seem by a plumber?!

yes, that price is outrageous, but then plumbers make bank. Travel time to your apt, install time, travel time home.

fwiw: our dishwasher is not an easy install since we added a hardwood floor and its a tight fit under the kitchen counter.
by Big Dog
Tue Sep 26, 2017 11:41 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Should I keep a term life policy I don't need if it has a positive expected value?
Replies: 34
Views: 2556

Re: Should I keep a term life policy I don't need if it has a positive expected value?

I'd invest the money. $60k won't make a dent in your spouse's lifestyle should you pass.

Moreover, if its a group life policy, if you are healthy, you can almost always do better (higher value, lower premium) by checking online insurance vendors. Plus, that makes the ins portable.
by Big Dog
Tue Sep 26, 2017 11:39 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Should I keep a term life policy I don't need if it has a positive expected value?
Replies: 34
Views: 2556

Re: Should I keep a term life policy I don't need if it has a positive expected value?

I'd invest the money. $60k won't make a dent in your spouse's lifestyle should you pass.
by Big Dog
Tue Sep 26, 2017 9:36 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Phone Techies .....
Replies: 32
Views: 2421

Re: Phone Techies .....

I have had the 6 (regular) since it first sold, and don't plan to upgrade anytime soon. But then, I only use it as a phone, and for e-mails and the like. Rarely use the camera, and wireless charging is not of interest. Plus, I carry my phone in my back pocket and sit on it all day, so not sure about...
by Big Dog
Mon Sep 25, 2017 10:41 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: california homeowners - do you have earthquake insurance?
Replies: 79
Views: 6297

Re: california homeowners - do you have earthquake insurance?

We are CA natives, and do not have it. Our reasoning: - 90% of the Loma Prieta claims in the Bay Area (1989) were under the deductible amount (i.e., no insurance payout was made). - Our home is of relatively recent construction, and has a bolted foundation, double shearwall construction, etc. - The...
by Big Dog
Thu Sep 21, 2017 10:17 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Life Insurance Policy to "shelter" money from Financial Aid calculations
Replies: 23
Views: 1271

Re: Life Insurance Policy to "shelter" money from Financial Aid calculations

FAFSA does not consider equity in their calculations, nor does CSS Profile, The latter is essentially incorrect. All profile schools count home equity as an asset. (Some FAFSA schools do too, but that is a different issue.) The thing about home equity is that the tippy-top will cap the amount used ...
by Big Dog
Tue Sep 19, 2017 9:56 am
Forum: Local Chapters and Bogleheads Community
Topic: Bogleheads you would most like to meet and why?
Replies: 134
Views: 8990

Re: Bogleheads you would most like to meet and why?

you mean besides the original Boglehead, (aka Jack)?

Taylor would be my choice -- I'd love to sit on a sail boat for a few hours and just visit and learn from his experiences.
by Big Dog
Mon Sep 18, 2017 4:48 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Larry Swedroe: Vanguard Debunks Dividend Myth
Replies: 112
Views: 11883

Re: Larry Swedroe: Vanguard Debunks Dividend Myth

I just don't think I'm the only investor who likes income investing. Of course not. Millions have been participating for years. Now, I do think their are differences of opinion. Who is right? Only time will tell. There is no right (or wrong) here. If dividend paying stocks helps you sleep at night,...
by Big Dog
Mon Sep 18, 2017 1:51 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Larry Swedroe: Vanguard Debunks Dividend Myth
Replies: 112
Views: 11883

Re: Larry Swedroe: Vanguard Debunks Dividend Myth

I' am not surprised that Larry Swedroe thinks this way.
Not sure I understand your point, snarly. Larry is just repeating what everyone learns in Finance 101 in B-school:

https://www2.bc.edu/thomas-chemmanur/ph ... vidend.pdf
by Big Dog
Wed Sep 13, 2017 12:24 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: The 10 year car ownership "rule"
Replies: 95
Views: 10682

Re: The 10 year car ownership "rule"

never heard of such a rule. But then I drive cars until the wheels fall off.

My daily driver is a '89 Volvo.
by Big Dog
Thu Sep 07, 2017 9:01 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Flaunt Your High-Mileage Car
Replies: 350
Views: 39511

Re: Flaunt Your High-Mileage Car

'89 Volvo turbo. 198k
by Big Dog
Wed Sep 06, 2017 12:07 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: To take or not to take delivery of Tesla 3
Replies: 78
Views: 7229

Re: To take or not to take delivery of Tesla 3

will take delivery of the LR battery option, and change paint color ($50k). Would prefer the 18" wheels (for range, ride/handling, and replacement tire cost), but will withhold judgement until I see them with the covers off. Will not add the autopilot since it doesn't offer that much value to me. Mr...
by Big Dog
Mon Sep 04, 2017 10:21 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Picking College and College Scholarships
Replies: 463
Views: 41892

Re: Picking College and College Scholarships

^^with all due respect, 4 of the 8 Ivies have top 20 engineering programs: Columbia, Cornell, Princeton, & Penn. The first two are tied at 13th. Harvard is #23, but has millions to pump into their program to upgrade it. https://www.nytimes.com/2015/06/04/education/john-paulson-gives-400-million-to-h...
by Big Dog
Sun Sep 03, 2017 7:46 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Window Blinds - Bali, Levolor, Hunter Douglas
Replies: 31
Views: 66760

Re: Window Blinds - Bali, Levolor, Hunter Douglas

anyone have any experience with Graber blinds.
by Big Dog
Sun Sep 03, 2017 5:20 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Do I really need a trust?
Replies: 55
Views: 5794

Re: Do I really need a trust?

Most people leave their retirement benefits to their spouse outright. That lets the spouse roll them over into his/her own IRA, name new beneficiaries, possibly do Roth conversions, and get a longer stretch. While there's sometimes a compelling reason to leave the retirement benefits in trust for t...
by Big Dog
Sun Sep 03, 2017 5:08 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Do I really need a trust?
Replies: 55
Views: 5794

Re: Do I really need a trust?

It does not sound like the DIY approach is appropriate for the OP. Why do you think not, if everything is ToD/PoD? I'm in a similar sitch as the OP (California house, community property, wife is first beneficiary, and kids are contingent for all investments) and I have yet to see a need for a trust...
by Big Dog
Sun Sep 03, 2017 5:03 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Do I really need a trust?
Replies: 55
Views: 5794

Re: Do I really need a trust?

Some food for thought:

- you die, your wife owns the house. Then she dies. Probate? So you do need a trust.
Not necessarily.

California has a nifty law that allows ToD/PoD for the house under community property. Simple form to file with the County Registrar. Info can be found at Nolo.
by Big Dog
Sun Sep 03, 2017 11:11 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Picking College and College Scholarships
Replies: 463
Views: 41892

Re: Picking College and College Scholarships

I believe the statement was meant to be hypothetical for decision making. Point was ... we are going through a process. Understand, but my way of thinking about college for my kids was value vs. price. A top private (like need-only MIT) is a little less than 2x the cost of Urbana-Champaign. The que...
by Big Dog
Sat Sep 02, 2017 9:51 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Picking College and College Scholarships
Replies: 463
Views: 41892

Re: Picking College and College Scholarships

If we find ourselves in the rare situation of U of IL at $30K/ year vs. MIT at $50K/ year (best I can tell what each school would cost ...
fwiw: IL is more like $35k instate and MIT is $67k.
by Big Dog
Sat Aug 26, 2017 11:03 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Bosch dishwasher?
Replies: 90
Views: 6771

Re: Bosch dishwasher?

we;ve had two Bosch's for 30 years in the house. Current one is 10 years old, and does have a drying element. But we use econo and just open the door so the dishes air dry. We went with Bosch since our H20 heater is a long way from the kitchen, and the bosch will heat the water. Old Whirlpool that w...
by Big Dog
Tue Aug 22, 2017 11:15 am
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Mike Piper and CDs
Replies: 54
Views: 6064

Re: Mike Piper and CDs

I'm a big fan of Mike, but I thought his recent blog was mixing apples and oranges, or in our case, US and international: ...And Vanguard Total International Bond Index Fund has a yield of 0.77%....So, given the US/ international breakdown of the bond holdings in a LifeStrategy fund, the current wei...
by Big Dog
Tue Aug 22, 2017 10:59 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Beneficiaries/TOD for Vanguard Joint Account
Replies: 29
Views: 2753

Re: Beneficiaries/TOD for Vanguard Joint Account

Our clients generally provide for their children in trust rather than outright, and TOD designations to the children defeat the protection of providing for them in trust rather than outright. Just out of curiosity, what "protection" does a trust have for kids over TOD/PoD (which is instant ownershi...
by Big Dog
Mon Aug 21, 2017 9:05 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: How to Pay Grad School Loans
Replies: 8
Views: 865

Re: How to Pay Grad School Loans

GradPlus loans come with an upfront fee, i.e., points, so if you don't need the $$ thru the quarter, send the cash back and the school will refund the 4.2%.

Personally, I don't see incurring loan fees to fund a Roth, but others may disagree.

https://studentaid.ed.gov/sa/types/loans/interest-rates
by Big Dog
Sun Aug 20, 2017 8:23 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: MUST my employer ensure I do not over-contribute to my 401k?
Replies: 10
Views: 1643

Re: MUST my employer ensure I do not over-contribute to my 401k?

LG: just ask your payroll person -- they'll know immediately what system they use and how it keeps track of such items.

OTOH, if you know that your company uses one of the national services such as ADP or Paychex, you can rest assured that they will stop the deductions when the max is hit.
by Big Dog
Sun Aug 20, 2017 8:09 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: I own no international stocks. Can you guess why?
Replies: 167
Views: 13598

Re: I own no international stocks. Can you guess why?

you bought a mattress factory, and figured that cash under them is the new one fund portfolio. :twisted:
by Big Dog
Sun Aug 20, 2017 6:57 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: MUST my employer ensure I do not over-contribute to my 401k?
Replies: 10
Views: 1643

Re: MUST my employer ensure I do not over-contribute to my 401k?

The part about preventing excess contributions OR correcting them is important. It means that an employer might not necessarily have strict processes in place to prevent the over contributions, Most basic payroll systems automatically cap the contributions to the penny. If over 55, you can continue...
by Big Dog
Tue Aug 15, 2017 12:44 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Vanguard Short-Term Bond Index For Emergency Fund?
Replies: 11
Views: 1918

Re: Vanguard Short-Term Bond Index For Emergency Fund?

for taxable, I use the Vanguard California tax-exempt bond fund.
by Big Dog
Sat Aug 12, 2017 3:04 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Can a salaried employee be docked pay...
Replies: 33
Views: 3437

Re: Can a salaried employee be docked pay...

There are virtually no employers that allow "as needed" sick leave, so while I don't doubt you had that, almost nobody else does. Off topic, but there are a bunch of employers that allow unlimited time off, i.e., for any reason, sick or just vacation, whether "needed" or not. Professional services ...