Search found 1125 matches

by Big Dog
Tue Jun 18, 2019 5:01 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Where to Live? N. Orange County, CA or Vancouver, WA or Atlanta
Replies: 41
Views: 2657

Re: Where to Live? N. Orange County, CA or Vancouver, WA or Atlanta

left The OC four years ago? Good luck finding comparable housing to what you had. Not gonna happen unless you have a lot of cash stashed in the bank that you want to use for a downpayment. Check out current housing prices in your old stomping grounds on something like zillion or redfin or other onli...
by Big Dog
Mon Jun 17, 2019 6:51 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Bank won't give Medallion Signature Guarantee for anything related to savings bonds
Replies: 16
Views: 1390

Re: Bank won't give Medallion Signature Guarantee for anything related to savings bonds

1. Yes, it is common as more and more banks are refusing to sign a medallion. 2. The Treasury understands this, so I called them and they said to include a short letter to the effect, 'I tried to obtain a medallion signature but could not as the bank no longer performs them, so obtained a notary sig...
by Big Dog
Mon Jun 17, 2019 3:40 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Need advice - refinancing from 30 yr. to 10 yr. fixed mortgage
Replies: 39
Views: 2265

Re: Need advice - refinancing from 30 yr. to 10 yr. fixed mortgage

I would not move off a 3.5% 30 year. Just pay it off as a 10 year and save the 3k. Agreed. (Don't forget that there is no guarantee that you will still be in this house in 10 years.... Plans change. Health changes. Jobs/companies fold/move into other states.) Alternatively, check the rates for a no...
by Big Dog
Mon Jun 17, 2019 11:01 am
Forum: Personal Investments
Topic: What percentage of total portfolio in REIT's do you have? Why?
Replies: 118
Views: 5623

Re: What percentage of total portfolio in REIT's do you have? Why?

1. 0%, excluding whatever % is in Total Market.

2. I own a home in SoCal with plenty of equity, to that's enuf RE exposure for me.

2a. I prefer the two-fund portfolio.
by Big Dog
Sun Jun 16, 2019 3:09 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Low interest student loan - pay off?
Replies: 9
Views: 752

Re: Low interest student loan - pay off?

as such a small part of your NW, I'd pay them off just to get rid of them.
by Big Dog
Sat Jun 15, 2019 3:06 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Article on high deductible health plans - and the math
Replies: 118
Views: 7886

Re: Article on high deductible health plans - and the math

I agree with others about this being less about the math and more about behavior. That's fair, but I still argue that the article is incomplete. It should say, the person chose/has a HD plan that costs xx hundreds less per month than a LD plan. But like many of us, instead of putting that xx hundre...
by Big Dog
Fri Jun 14, 2019 3:09 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Dental/Vision Insurance for Baby
Replies: 33
Views: 1357

Re: Dental/Vision Insurance for Baby

for a baby, heck no.

Perhaps by age 3 for dental. (Paying for cleanings themselves is almost a waste since those teeth will fall out anyway.) But a good dentist can look at how the teeth are coming in to ensure that the child doesn't have any problems.

Eye exam by 1st grade.
by Big Dog
Fri Jun 14, 2019 3:06 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Article on high deductible health plans - and the math
Replies: 118
Views: 7886

Re: Article on high deductible health plans - and the math

actually, the article does not show the math. If it did, it would have inquired with Robyn Hogdon's husband's plan and found out how much she is saving on monthly premiums in comparison to a $500 or $750 deductible plan. OTOH, if that is the only plan that her husband's company offers, the proper co...
by Big Dog
Wed Jun 12, 2019 12:02 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Toyota Sienna tire replacement at 12k miles
Replies: 72
Views: 3844

Re: Toyota Sienna tire replacement at 12k miles

It’s too late now (you don’t have the tires anymore), but I never get tires from the dealership because pretty much every time I have had my car in for service they say I need new ones. I'm fine with dealers recommending new tires, but no way I'm buying from a dealer -- their markup is huge. For an...
by Big Dog
Sun Jun 09, 2019 10:19 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Is POD the best designation for Mom’s checking account?
Replies: 38
Views: 2665

Re: Is POD the best designation for Mom’s checking account?

Don't forget that under PoD/ToD, you won't receive the funds until after the death certificate is presented and that can be weeks. (Took ~6 weeks to recieve the death cert when my mom passed away in California.)

Suggest adding yourself as a signer to the checking account to pay final bills.
by Big Dog
Sun Jun 09, 2019 5:55 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: [Calculating future Social Security benefits: How do I adjust the discount rate?]
Replies: 44
Views: 2796

Re: [Calculating future Social Security benefits: How do I adjust the discount rate?]

Even if you use the option to reduce benefits as currently expected in the trustees report, you have not eliminated all of the risk in SS. Even then, you'd have to age your exceptions (pun intended) based on your estimates of whose ox gets gored, i.e., will the cuts apply across the board to everyo...
by Big Dog
Sun Jun 09, 2019 4:41 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Refinance immediately after new home purchase?
Replies: 24
Views: 1974

Re: Refinance immediately after new home purchase?

Might it make sense for us to refinance even though we just purchased a few months ago? What do I need to consider in order to evaluate this decision? only if you can do a no-cost refi. (But those usually have higher rates.) https://www.bankrate.com/finance/mortgages/is-no-closing-cost-mortgage-for...
by Big Dog
Sun Jun 09, 2019 4:37 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: [Calculating future Social Security benefits: How do I adjust the discount rate?]
Replies: 44
Views: 2796

Re: [Calculating future Social Security benefits: How do I adjust the discount rate?]

My mind finally cleared up (and my math became consistent) when I made sure to use a discount rate directly associated with the way $$ are invested when not spent (which, by the way, is exactly how companies assess strategic investments like M&A and the likes; Our megacorp did not do it that way. W...
by Big Dog
Sat Jun 08, 2019 12:53 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: ReFi home to get 3.5% interest rate?
Replies: 31
Views: 3053

Re: ReFi home to get 3.5% interest rate?

You have a VA loan, do you have 80% equity? How about other costs at closing? How much in points? Closing costs, another appraisal? Title ins? (you have to add closing costs back into your calculation of 'reduced' payments. I would only do the deal if it is a no cost transaction at closing. That way...
by Big Dog
Wed Jun 05, 2019 11:50 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Dental & Vision Coverage
Replies: 16
Views: 1320

Re: Dental & Vision Coverage

In my case I choose to pay out-of-pocket for both dental and vision needs. Just don't see a positive cost-to-benefit ratio for coverage of either need. Ditto. Before leaving employer-provided coverage, just make sure that you get any major work done (crowns, etc) so its pretax. Otherwise, the post-...
by Big Dog
Tue Jun 04, 2019 3:08 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Is it Wise to Remove Escrow if Bank Allows it?
Replies: 87
Views: 5438

Re: Is it Wise to Remove Escrow if Bank Allows it?

I refuse to use an escrow, and choose lenders accordingly. (Back in the dark ages, an escrow was just an interest-free loan to the lender, so I got into the habit of paying my own property taxes...)

And I did bunch tax payments on occasion to exceed the standard deduction.
by Big Dog
Sun Jun 02, 2019 5:55 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Recommend a small inexpensive laser printer?
Replies: 39
Views: 2437

Re: Recommend a small inexpensive laser printer?

also vote for Brother. Cartridges available on Amazon.
by Big Dog
Sun Jun 02, 2019 3:38 pm
Forum: Personal Investments
Topic: Just Got a Call From Fidelity
Replies: 55
Views: 7654

Re: Just Got a Call From Fidelity

Definitely a sales call. (he kept asking about the funds that I had at Vanguard and if I ever thought of consolidating....) I just told the guy in no uncertain terms to add a 'no call' note to my file as I was a strict index guy -- two fund portfolio -- and that there was absolutely nothing that the...
by Big Dog
Sat Jun 01, 2019 1:45 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: More Loans vs. IRA withdrawal for Grad School
Replies: 12
Views: 1163

Re: More Loans vs. IRA withdrawal for Grad School

I'd keep the 401k where it is until next calendar year when, presumably, you have no income. Then flip it to a Roth with Fidelity or Vanguard. do not cash it in to live on. Do not use your mom's advisor. Unload your stock. Also consider holding it until Jan 2 to sell, for zero income tax. Use gradpl...
by Big Dog
Fri May 31, 2019 9:42 pm
Forum: Personal Investments
Topic: Delay Social Security?
Replies: 35
Views: 3344

Re: Delay Social Security?

single guy with health issues should consider taking early.

And/or, you need to $ to eat.
by Big Dog
Wed May 29, 2019 11:12 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: New babies, NICU stay, post-partum complications & Insurance
Replies: 24
Views: 2234

Re: New babies, NICU stay, post-partum complications & Insurance

appreciate all the replies guys! im going to leave it alone until they are home. they are automatically on her policy for at least 30 days, If you do not already have family or child dependent coverage (I.e,, these are your first kids), you have 30 days from their birth to get the kids coverage. DO...
by Big Dog
Wed May 29, 2019 12:34 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Double ovens, please advise on these options, have gone through 2 ovens in under 10 years.!
Replies: 49
Views: 3103

Re: Double ovens, please advise on these options, have gone through 2 ovens in under 10 years.!

wow, we've only had two in 32 years. The first one was a KitchenAid, and now we have a GE Profile, which is about 10 years old. We replaced the motherboard on each once as they sit up top and get warm when the oven is on. Rarely use the self-cleaning feature.
by Big Dog
Tue May 28, 2019 12:33 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Can I open an HSA?
Replies: 7
Views: 426

Re: Can I open an HSA?

correct and correct. If you start a HD plan eligible for an HSA on October 1, you can open an account with Fidelity and make a contribution for 2019. The amount that you could contribute would be prorated (3/12ths) of the annual max + catchup if you and/or hubby are 55+. If you put in after-tax doll...
by Big Dog
Mon May 27, 2019 9:19 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Would you keep this rental? Bay Area
Replies: 28
Views: 2212

Re: Would you keep this rental? Bay Area

$200 per month for the hassle of renters? You’re one repair from wiping out your profit each year. Just basic maintenance will eat up that amount. Even tho current renters are "nice" doesn't mean that the place won't need a paint job when they move out. Hiring someone to paint (and clean carpets, r...
by Big Dog
Sun May 26, 2019 9:46 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: AC maintenance
Replies: 8
Views: 885

Re: AC maintenance

Also in SoCal. (Just replaced our 20 year old HVAC unit.) Just change the filters, every 6 months, assuming that you also have a gas furnace. (Or, depending on the filter, it might only have to be swapped out every 12 months.) Hose down the compressor coils to eliminate some dirt and leaves at the b...
by Big Dog
Fri May 24, 2019 3:39 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Does it make sense to buy Part D if you are subject to IRMAA?
Replies: 43
Views: 2438

Re: Does it make sense to buy Part D if you are subject to IRMAA?

don't forget that you will be subject to a late enrollment penalty if you do not sign up for Part D after initial enrollment period. Personally, I purchased the cheapest Rx plan available (as I take no meds). https://www.medicare.gov/drug-coverage-part-d/costs-for-medicare-drug-coverage/part-d-late-...
by Big Dog
Fri May 24, 2019 11:29 am
Forum: Personal Investments
Topic: I need HSA advice!
Replies: 14
Views: 1710

Re: I need HSA advice!

You’re correct on the pro-rating but OP is losing their HDHP plan and won’t be able to contribute any more. Yeah I get that. OP does not state what calendar year(s) that $3k balance represents. Contributions go both ways. The OP could be over-contributed for the calendar year (or under). If the lat...
by Big Dog
Fri May 24, 2019 11:11 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: [Proposed changes to 401(k) and IRAs]
Replies: 67
Views: 2794

House votes to change RMDs to 72

[Thread merged into here, see below. --admin LadyGeek] since it was a bipartisan vote, hopefully the Senate picks this up quickly. would encourage 401(k)-type plans to offer annuities, a type of insurance contract that guarantees a monthly income stream as long as a retiree lives. It also would rep...
by Big Dog
Thu May 23, 2019 10:02 pm
Forum: Personal Investments
Topic: I need HSA advice!
Replies: 14
Views: 1710

Re: I need HSA advice!

the max you can put into an HSA for 2019 is $3500 prorated for the months that you are actually in a HD plan, so if you start you new plan on say, July 1, you are limited to $1750 ($3500/12*6). If you are 55+, you could add an additional $500 ($1000/12*6). That is just for you. If your husband is al...
by Big Dog
Thu May 23, 2019 8:11 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Grad school financing - hard sciences
Replies: 31
Views: 2591

Re: Grad school financing - hard sciences

one should never pursue a PhD unless its fully funded. And fortunately, the STEM ones usually are.

OTOH, MA/MS programs are usually cash cows for the Uni. Sure, the student can apply for a TA position, but those can be competitive.

btw: assume 5+ years to complete the PhD.
by Big Dog
Thu May 23, 2019 4:45 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Is the housing market starting to collapse?
Replies: 122
Views: 12389

Re: Is the housing market starting to collapse?

some SoCal prices seemed to have rebounded in April. Of course, a one-month data point is not a trend. Single family home prices in Orange, Los Angeles and San Diego counties changed course, climbing up in April after falling year over year in March. https://www.dailynews.com/2019/05/17/sliding-home...
by Big Dog
Thu May 23, 2019 11:47 am
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: "A Set-It-and-Forget-It Target-Date Series From Vanguard"
Replies: 120
Views: 13527

Re: "A Set-It-and-Forget-It Target-Date Series From Vanguard"

I'm surprised by how aggressive these target-date funds are. For instance, at 10 years from retirement, they still allocate 70% in equities. I don't know, maybe it's just me who's unreasonably conservative... Obviously, whatever helps you sleep at night. (Personally, I was 100% equities 10 years be...
by Big Dog
Tue May 21, 2019 11:18 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Payable On Death Account to Complement Will
Replies: 66
Views: 3458

Re: Payable On Death Account to Compliment Will

If he owns a home he needs a will. While the OP has already responded that his friend does not own any RE, I'm just popping in to say, not necessarily. California now allows a ToD title transfer for real estate just by filing a simple form. In our case, the wife and I have two kids, which each get ...
by Big Dog
Tue May 21, 2019 2:56 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Delaying social security = harming nest egg?
Replies: 74
Views: 6240

Re: Delaying social security = harming nest egg?

run the models, such as OpenSocialSecurity, since they take all of those factors into account. (it took me a long time to buy into the 'spend my assets today so I can earn more SS later pv.')

check the Advanced box

https://opensocialsecurity.com
by Big Dog
Mon May 20, 2019 3:51 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Tired of gas grills rusting out...
Replies: 120
Views: 14459

Re: Tired of gas grills rusting out...

I've had two Webers in 30+ years. Only retired the first one bcos I won a new one at an office raffle. Used to cover them, but got too lazy so just let them bake in the SoCal sun.
by Big Dog
Mon May 20, 2019 2:36 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Should I pay off my student loans early?
Replies: 22
Views: 2082

Re: Should I pay off my student loans early?

sure, payoff the debt but first obtain concurrence from your partner if you are using "us" funds.
by Big Dog
Fri May 17, 2019 4:40 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Reporter doing story on new indexes
Replies: 13
Views: 1341

Re: Reporter doing story on new indexes

John Bogle: Buy the whole haystack. (not part of it.)
by Big Dog
Fri May 17, 2019 3:59 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Constructing Tax Efficient Withdrawal Strategies for Retirees
Replies: 13
Views: 2234

Re: Constructing Tax Efficient Withdrawal Strategies for Retirees

Are these BHs Larimore, Lindauer, Ferri, etc?
ok, I'll bite and have to go back and read the tome as to why....I expect that my marginal rate will be lower than my heirs, so not sure why leaving the TDAs instead of Roths is a good thing.
by Big Dog
Fri May 17, 2019 3:23 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Why do plumbers get paid so well?
Replies: 84
Views: 6224

Re: Why do plumbers get paid so well?

Two words: supply & demand.
by Big Dog
Tue May 14, 2019 12:33 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Medicare, HSA, Contributions for a married couple in the year they both turn 65
Replies: 4
Views: 250

Re: Medicare, HSA, Contributions for a married couple in the year they both turn 65

he gets 8/12ths for both regular and catchup

you get 9/12ths for both regular and catchup, but the delta has to be in your name. (my wife has her own HSA at Fidelity for this sole purpose.)

btw: assumes that neither birth day is the first of the month.
by Big Dog
Tue May 14, 2019 11:55 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Heating with propane?? Good idea?
Replies: 38
Views: 1949

Re: Heating with propane?? Good idea?

The problem is that the air ducts are located outside the house (in the attic or crawl space) and they leak. Since a heat pump takes longer to heat the air, it gives the ducts more time to leak humidity to the outside. Sounds like you need a quality HVAC firm to redo/replace your duct work. We had ...
by Big Dog
Mon May 13, 2019 10:30 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Home warranty - is it worth the money?
Replies: 23
Views: 1783

Re: Home warranty - is it worth the money?

instead of a warranty company, much better to establish a relationship with a good plumber and HVAC guy. The Warranty companies hire a lot of inexperienced rookies.....
by Big Dog
Mon May 13, 2019 10:11 pm
Forum: Personal Investments
Topic: Ira transfer to Vanguard
Replies: 13
Views: 1120

Re: Ira transfer to Vanguard

I don't know that they will pay any fees. That being said, I'm surprised that they were not helpful. Usually, they are pretty good about explaining how to do a transfer.
by Big Dog
Mon May 13, 2019 9:24 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: PSA: Do you have working carbon monoxide detectors?
Replies: 44
Views: 2352

Re: PSA: Do you have working carbon monoxide detectors?

we have one in an upstairs bedroom, whose door is always open. City code requires at least one.
by Big Dog
Sun May 12, 2019 5:51 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Anyone have experience with directors and officers and other insurance for a small non-profit?
Replies: 16
Views: 1052

Re: Anyone have experience with directors and officers and other insurance for a small non-profit?

was a former C-level exec of a nonprofit. We purchased D&O and EPL -- may need both? -- from a local SoCal broker. Check with others in your space. E-mail the Exec Director of a neighboring theater group and ask if they are happy with their insurance broker and if they might share the contact info. ...
by Big Dog
Sun May 12, 2019 1:49 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Retiree Portfolio Model
Replies: 744
Views: 217408

Re: Retiree Portfolio Model

For anyone working through the convert / not convert conundrum, here are a couple of real life scenarios to consider for your heirs. If you leave a $1M, $2M, $3M inheritance to your heirs, have you taken time to seriously consider and understand the tax consequences they face? You raise an excellen...
by Big Dog
Sat May 11, 2019 7:24 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: California tax question — state request for 2017 taxes, despite no CA earnings
Replies: 5
Views: 823

Re: California tax question — state request for 2017 taxes, despite no CA earnings

Tax year 2017 was full year Colorado resident with zero earnings in CA, not 'btw-part-time'; that was 2016. Sry, my bad, critical reading fail. OP: just call the state and tell them that your wife had a temporary assignment in CA in 2016 for which she filed a tax return. However, even though her li...
by Big Dog
Sat May 11, 2019 2:29 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: California tax question — state request for 2017 taxes, despite no CA earnings
Replies: 5
Views: 823

Re: California tax question — state request for 2017 taxes, despite no CA earnings

welcome to computer record matching. It may be dumb, but to make the computers happy, complete the zero return and put a $0.50 stamp on it. btw: she was a part-time resident for 3 months, not zero. If she earned any money during those three months, the state wants its piece of the action. This is no...