Search found 572 matches

by Big Dog
Thu Dec 07, 2017 11:18 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Do people still use AAA?
Replies: 140
Views: 7277

Re: Do people still use AAA?

in addition to towing service, AAA also jumps a battery so I can get it in for replacement. (Older car and alternator brushes are getting weak, so I was swapping out the battery every 18 months or so.)

Service time has always been within 30 minutes of call-in.
by Big Dog
Tue Dec 05, 2017 11:15 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Why not take Social Security at 62
Replies: 334
Views: 25741

Re: Why not take Social Security at 62

so how would you know expectancy at 62? I'd say, it's still the same at birth. Oh heck no. Life expectancy at birth includes childhood diseases, teenage death by auto accidents and all kinds of other reasons. But, by definition, once you hit the 20's, you are 100% guaranteed to not die of a childho...
by Big Dog
Sun Dec 03, 2017 8:56 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: The 4% rule, Firecalc and Human Nature
Replies: 86
Views: 5756

Re: The 4% rule, Firecalc and Human Nature

I am reminded of the new-ish BH member who posted last week that he felt he could come up with a perfect portfolio if he just had an unlimited amount of time to study up on investing... I'd rather spend my time figuring out how I can get to South Florida to go sailing with Taylor. :sharebeer :share...
by Big Dog
Wed Nov 29, 2017 6:33 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Estate planning question (should we add beneficiaries to savings account?)
Replies: 33
Views: 1907

Re: Estate planning question (should we add beneficiaries to savings account?)

Alan S nailed it on the IRAs! I would recommend putting beneficiaries (aka Transfer on Death or Pay on Death) on that savings account, Bingo. The IRA custodian will ask each sister how they want their money: setup a new, IRA in their name or cash out now (and its all taxable). Assuming that the sis...
by Big Dog
Fri Nov 24, 2017 12:09 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: HSA: "Pay out of pocket" vs Withdraw math problem
Replies: 48
Views: 3273

Re: HSA: "Pay out of pocket" vs Withdraw math problem

just started an HSA this year but thinking it really doesn't work for me since I'm two years from retirement. - Put $7500 in, but also had that much in expenses this year. Paid expenses out general after-tax cash flow at first, but then considered what will happen in two years when I retire, and sti...
by Big Dog
Thu Nov 23, 2017 7:45 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Taylor's New Book: The Bogleheads' Guide to The Three-Fund Portfolio
Replies: 91
Views: 13193

Re: Taylor's New Book: The Bogleheads' Guide to The Three-Fund Portfolio

placed my preorder today. Can't wait. (I'd really love an autographed version, but then I'm not worthy since my simple mind is stuck on a 2-fund portfolio. Yeah, I know heresy in parts of South Florida!.)

Thank you, Taylor and Mel.
by Big Dog
Wed Nov 22, 2017 10:07 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Why not take Social Security at 62
Replies: 334
Views: 25741

Re: Why not take Social Security at 62

That is, the rough general idea is that the government calculates Social Security payments in such a way that it is not supposed to matter much to the government when you take Social Security. While perhaps true for 300 million Americans, the numbers for you or the OP can be very different. Those 3...
by Big Dog
Wed Nov 22, 2017 9:48 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Replace TVs with Smart Tvs or not?
Replies: 57
Views: 4411

Re: Replace TVs with Smart Tvs or not?

agree with the others. Get a streaming received and plug it in. One thing that I noticed with the smart tv that we purchased ~4 years ago is that the built-in wireless receiver is just not very strong. Very difficult to pick up streaming directly into the TV, at least based on where our router is i ...
by Big Dog
Tue Nov 21, 2017 9:58 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Help DW gets fired, but then next day her boss offers her job back
Replies: 156
Views: 11996

Re: Help DW gets fired, but then next day her boss offers her job back

I'd ask for a contract, which stipulates if it happens again, they pay her a minimum of xx weeks in severance at the then going pay rate but not less than 75% of prelayoff.
by Big Dog
Sat Nov 18, 2017 11:05 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: My fafsa has made me an "independent" because I was born before Jan. 1 1995. But im not independent...
Replies: 19
Views: 1529

Re: My fafsa has made me an "independent" because I was born before Jan. 1 1995. But im not independent...

But last year i had the option to "skip" the section about my assets. Herein lies the issue. "your" assets are your assets and should've been reported as such. Regardless, yes, the rules are that you have aged out and are now considered "independent" for fafsa. So you can check the box, skip parent...
by Big Dog
Mon Nov 06, 2017 12:06 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Employer not offereing HSA. Legal?
Replies: 5
Views: 600

Re: Employer not offereing HSA. Legal?

No, an employer is not obligated to offer anything more than a medical plan approved by ACA (if over 50 employees).
by Big Dog
Sun Nov 05, 2017 7:05 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Picking College and College Scholarships
Replies: 492
Views: 46389

Re: Picking College and College Scholarships

Mudd is a unique experience: top notch math, physical sciences & engineering in a tiny school. But since they are LAC-like, Mudd is also strong in lit/hume courses.
by Big Dog
Sat Nov 04, 2017 8:27 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: How Best to Clean Inside of Windshield
Replies: 11
Views: 1636

Re: How Best to Clean Inside of Windshield

I use windex and a microfiber towel.

(never understood the newspaper thingy....every time I read a paper my fingers get black with ink. How is it that wetting the newspaper -- even with glass cleaner -- just doesn't spread that wet ink on the glass?)
by Big Dog
Sat Nov 04, 2017 12:21 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: College student... Financial mess... Need advice...
Replies: 58
Views: 5833

Re: College student... Financial mess... Need advice...

if you are paying for it, might as well move back in -- or threaten to.
by Big Dog
Sat Nov 04, 2017 12:17 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: At-fault insurance's estimate different from bodyshop's
Replies: 21
Views: 1161

Re: At-fault insurance's estimate different from bodyshop's

Yes, I informed my insurance first right after the accident, and I chose to claim with the other side's insurance. Fortunately, its been awhile since I had an accident -- really, it was wife, but our insurance handled everything even tho the other person was clearly at fault and was ticketed for an...
by Big Dog
Fri Nov 03, 2017 9:58 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Got an iPhoneX
Replies: 157
Views: 11412

Re: Got an iPhoneX

review in today's WSJ -- tech author liked it.
by Big Dog
Fri Nov 03, 2017 9:56 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: At-fault insurance's estimate different from bodyshop's
Replies: 21
Views: 1161

Re: At-fault insurance's estimate different from bodyshop's

what does your insurance company say? I'd call them -- that's what you pay them for.
by Big Dog
Wed Nov 01, 2017 6:23 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: To take or not to take delivery of Tesla 3
Replies: 308
Views: 22239

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

I guess I am,but then again there is no 35,000 Tesla... Fair enough. And I just listened into the earnings call, and production bottlenecks have slowed the ramp by at least 12 weeks. (But probably longer in Elon time.) But, as I stated up thread, my daily driver is an full deprecated '89 Volvo, so ...
by Big Dog
Wed Nov 01, 2017 9:51 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: To take or not to take delivery of Tesla 3
Replies: 308
Views: 22239

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

18,000 for new 2015 Prius,35,000 for new i3 with some upgrades after tax credit... Great cars, but aren't you mixing prices? For example, the base M3 is $35k before tax credit. Getting back to the original question, at 49K, I suspect I have other options which will make me happier. No doubt that $5...
by Big Dog
Tue Oct 31, 2017 11:16 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: To take or not to take delivery of Tesla 3
Replies: 308
Views: 22239

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

Oh....so only 15,000 more than advertised. The $35k model "should" be along a few months after the long-range model hits the streets. But yes, it ain't available now as is the i3. (But isn't the msrp $42k?) Your i3 won't get me to the airport and back (without stopping to charge) to pickup my kids ...
by Big Dog
Tue Oct 31, 2017 9:08 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: To take or not to take delivery of Tesla 3
Replies: 308
Views: 22239

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

I don't know why anyone would do this for any reason other than being an early adopter or maybe it is a prestige/show off thing in your circle of friends and acquaintances. It makes absolutely no sense from a perspective of economics and practicality. I fashion myself as a Boglehead -- my '89 Volvo...
by Big Dog
Tue Oct 31, 2017 5:57 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Parked Car Hit and Need Advice
Replies: 16
Views: 2132

Re: Parked Car Hit and Need Advice

I'd obtain a couple of quotes from local body shops to repaint. Let them know that you'll be paying cash (or credit card), and this is not an insurance claim. Then you can decide whether fixing the 'scar' is worth the $.
by Big Dog
Sun Oct 29, 2017 10:01 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: How fast can tax reform be rolled out (in general)?
Replies: 10
Views: 2045

Re: How fast can tax reform be rolled out (in general)?

IFF they pass any bill quickly, they can easily make it retro to Jan 1-17. Or, they could phase in provisions....for example, lower tax tables immediately, but phase out deductions over time, or vice versa.
by Big Dog
Tue Oct 24, 2017 9:27 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Student Loan: To Pay or Not to Pay: That is the Question
Replies: 32
Views: 3024

Re: Student Loan: To Pay or Not to Pay: That is the Question

is your ESSP pretax? Would you be subject to income taxes if you cash it out now?

Personally, since you are between jobs, I'd keep the loan balance until you find something. It make take 6 weeks or 6 months. I'd conserve cash now.
by Big Dog
Mon Oct 23, 2017 12:15 am
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Wade Pfau’s new book: How Much Can I Spend in Retirement?
Replies: 51
Views: 12379

Re: Wade Pfau’s new book: How Much Can I Spend in Retirement?

read the first two chapters, and so far outstanding.

wrt: hardcopy...I guess I'm a luddite as I still prefer the print copy. :wink:
by Big Dog
Sat Oct 21, 2017 7:07 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Why do I need bonds? (I'm 30)
Replies: 70
Views: 6575

Re: Why do I need bonds? (I'm 30)

never had any bonds until I hit early 60's....slept well at night thru the '87 crash and every one since. Of course, what I missed out on was the opportunity to rebalance and tax loss harvest during the downturns. Net worth in relation to house value has nothing to do with being house poor. Agreed. ...
by Big Dog
Sat Oct 21, 2017 5:16 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: How does/can Walmart offer such inexpensive prescriptions?
Replies: 107
Views: 7244

Re: How does/can Walmart offer such inexpensive prescriptions?

If you web search, you will find that year after year the generic manufacturers of this have recall after recall for screwing up the dosages. Small nit, but the one recall I found was not the dosage of acitve ingredient, but the time release aspect of it. Yes, I get that for a user, that's a distin...
by Big Dog
Sat Oct 21, 2017 3:54 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: How does/can Walmart offer such inexpensive prescriptions?
Replies: 107
Views: 7244

Re: How does/can Walmart offer such inexpensive prescriptions?

OK. I do agree that for true "generics" - it should not make any difference. Not sure your use of quotes is fair. Every generic approved to be sold in the US is a "true generic." That being said, you are exactly correct in that all generics do not react exactly the same in the body as the branded R...
by Big Dog
Sat Oct 21, 2017 3:20 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Should I apply for financial aid if my company reimburses tuition?
Replies: 10
Views: 828

Re: Should I apply for financial aid if my company reimburses tuition?

Don't forget to factor in the cost of the loan points, as prepaid interest.
by Big Dog
Sat Oct 21, 2017 3:09 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: How does/can Walmart offer such inexpensive prescriptions?
Replies: 107
Views: 7244

Re: How does/can Walmart offer such inexpensive prescriptions?

Do they still have those $4 prescriptions? I think it is a loss leader. Exactly. Individual items maybe sold below cost, but on average the Rx dept is a big money maker per sq.ft. of floor space. Remember, the margins on groceries and other items is <5%, so even a 10% margin on Rx is huge to the bo...
by Big Dog
Sat Oct 21, 2017 12:46 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Questions for Landlords - How clean is clean?
Replies: 37
Views: 2273

Re: Questions for Landlords - How clean is clean?

her house, her rules. If you wanted legal, you should not have skirted the legalities to save money. (My daughter was renting a room in Palo Alto, and the situation was similar. For example, she had to plump the couch pillows after each use. Many similar OCD issues with the owner, but the price was ...
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: 2962

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: 1667

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: 5184

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: 5184

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: 2303

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: 492
Views: 46389

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: 6168

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: 1219

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: 108
Views: 7695

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: 2558

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: 1273

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: 492
Views: 46389

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: 492
Views: 46389

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: 492
Views: 46389

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: 2770

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: 4113

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.