Search found 41 matches

by mengo
Thu Aug 01, 2019 6:10 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: financial to-do checklist for federal employees?
Replies: 36
Views: 1461

Re: financial to-do checklist for federal employees?

Look at your payslip and understand each item. --- If you wear contacts or have glasses, the vision insurance is good -- we have had vision centers say it is the best. +1 on regularly reviewing paystubs and understanding all items. I've had to officially dispute some error to get money back. Re vis...
by mengo
Thu Aug 01, 2019 6:02 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: financial to-do checklist for federal employees?
Replies: 36
Views: 1461

Re: financial to-do checklist for federal employees?

Check out the health FSA (or an HSA if you opt for a high deductible health plan -HDHP). Also check out the Dependent Care FSA if you have kid. Personally, I think the Dependent Care FSA is very easy to spend the full amount, while the health FSA is a bit annoying because you can only carry over 500...
by mengo
Tue Oct 17, 2017 4:57 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: The overselling of international diversification
Replies: 56
Views: 7043

Re: The overselling of international diversification

I buy international, in part, because of currency risk. Living internationally and traveling a lot are important for us as options during retirement, and if international outperforms (especially emerging) i want to be able to travel, etc. Not sure if this makes sense, but it's how i think.
by mengo
Fri Sep 29, 2017 12:52 pm
Forum: Non-US Investing
Topic: Immigrant retiring in the US [Brazil]
Replies: 14
Views: 1370

Re: Immigrant retiring in the US [Brazil]

Bem vindo! I have minimal experience with the process of moving money from Brazil to US (especially at these higher amounts), so take my comments with a grain of salt. Your Brazilian bank will probably help you with this, but you might need to document any current year income that was not included o...
by mengo
Tue Jul 11, 2017 8:20 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Switch to federal job?
Replies: 80
Views: 10844

Re: Switch to federal job?

Life insurance and long-term care insurance could also be considered.
by mengo
Sat Dec 10, 2016 11:27 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Tax headache: 3rd party reimbursement of work-related travel
Replies: 1
Views: 292

Tax headache: 3rd party reimbursement of work-related travel

So my spouse's work-related travel was reimbursed by a 3rd party (not the employer...), and I'm trying to understand the tax implications and reporting requirements. My spouse works for a non-profit, and she received reimbursement ($3,650) from a drug company to attend an international conference an...
by mengo
Wed Nov 23, 2016 2:16 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Fly/Drive to Yellowstone
Replies: 21
Views: 3416

Re: Fly/Drive to Yellowstone

Flew into MT, drove in on the Beartooth Hghwy (snow still on the ground and wildflowers in july) and flew out from Jackson Hole.

I was able to find lodging in some of the park accommodations for 1 to 2 nights at a time, even booking just 8 months out in 2010.
by mengo
Mon Nov 21, 2016 11:05 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Anyone Have Experience With Filing Complaint With FDA?
Replies: 22
Views: 5037

Re: Anyone Have Experience With Filing Complaint With FDA?

So, do write to FDA please. Anyways, I'd consider reaching out to the brand name company and telling them what happened, etc. It's totally different, but I once accidentally bought a pirated DVD that wasn't playing correctly (from a chic mall in Latin America), and when I complained to the film dist...
by mengo
Wed Jun 08, 2016 12:59 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Whole House Fan; Brand? Considerations?
Replies: 53
Views: 8651

Re: Whole House Fan; Brand? Considerations?

leonard wrote:
Thanks. That is one old school, user unfriendly website.

Appreciate the information.
Sure, you're welcome. Thanks for the post.
I have to replace my fan, and this info helps.
by mengo
Wed Jun 08, 2016 12:51 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Whole House Fan; Brand? Considerations?
Replies: 53
Views: 8651

Re: Whole House Fan; Brand? Considerations?

leonard wrote: R-value on that?

EDIT: I don't see that product on batticdoor.com.
The website says it's R-8. It's listed as the 3rd or 4th product down on the right side of that website.
by mengo
Wed Jun 08, 2016 12:31 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Whole House Fan; Brand? Considerations?
Replies: 53
Views: 8651

Re: Whole House Fan; Brand? Considerations?

Re: insulation

We installed a piece of flexible insulation on the inside of the house, with velcro strips. Works well and looks discrete.
I think it's called the Battic Door - Whole House Attic Fan Ceiling Shutter Seal. Available from various vendors.
by mengo
Wed Jun 08, 2016 8:53 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Window replacement - any advice? Lessons learned?
Replies: 63
Views: 13184

Re: Window replacement - any advice? Lessons learned?

I live in the SE, and bought from a smaller regional company through a highly recommended reseller/installer. It was much cheaper than the big window companies, but everything is good quality, and the lifetime warranty is transferable one time. They were more expensive than big box stores, but... In...
by mengo
Fri May 27, 2016 10:05 am
Forum: Personal Investments
Topic: What to do with $500 a month
Replies: 27
Views: 5106

Re: What to do with $500 a month

Lots of good suggestions. Keep it simple. I second the suggestion to develop an investment policy statement. Since you use the taxable brokerage for investing, I'd also read up on both tax gain harvesting and tax loss harvesting (see the wiki). Maybe include criteria in your IPS for when and how to ...
by mengo
Thu May 26, 2016 1:02 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Real price for a new car
Replies: 64
Views: 7621

Re: Real price for a new car

Well, there's also the "true 5 year cost to own" which includes insurance, maintenance, and gas. I thought this thread was about that.
by mengo
Thu May 26, 2016 11:39 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: How did you educate your kids on finances
Replies: 32
Views: 3928

Re: How did you educate your kids on finances

I have a 4 yo and 2 yo, and as parents we discuss personal finance issues in front of the older one. 4 yo has a piggy bank and a Sesame Street dvd called "for me, for you, for later" (used for $15) which she has watched a couple of times...it's okay. I want to start an allowance in a year or two. I ...
by mengo
Wed May 25, 2016 9:09 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: How much do you spend on trips/vacations?
Replies: 74
Views: 8580

Re: How much do you spend on trips/vacations?

~7% this year w income ~90k. May go up to 8.5% if we do another 4 day trip to the beach by driving. This includes a yearly 3 week international trip where we stay with various family for 2 weeks and also spend one week in a cheap B&B on a beach or elsewhere touristy. Then we spend a week on Florida ...
by mengo
Sun May 22, 2016 7:15 am
Forum: Personal Investments
Topic: Help! Tax-efficiency mistake!
Replies: 13
Views: 1648

Re: Help! Tax-efficiency mistake!

Since you like me are in the 15% bracket, you could also learn about tax gain harvesting (see the wiki). I will jump tax brackets next year, and so i just did the tax gain harvesting this year. Also I did not sell the losses to keep them for possible tax loss harvesting next year in higher bracket. ...
by mengo
Wed May 18, 2016 12:40 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Seeking help with my mother's finances
Replies: 16
Views: 1553

Re: Seeking help with my mother's finances

LTC insurance probably would not have been a good bet even before her health deteriorated (based on assets and average length of stay around 6 months i think). I'd confirm that LTC insurance is not available due to current health status. If available which i doubt, I would only buy through a State P...
by mengo
Tue May 17, 2016 3:44 pm
Forum: Personal Investments
Topic: Kids investment
Replies: 26
Views: 2944

Re: Kids investment

I see the Roth IRA and IRS obligations as a good educational opportunity where kids can learn about (1) saving money and (2) taxes and the advantages of saving in tax advantaged vehicles. It could be viewed as two positives, if you just accept the small reporting burden. And they won't approach the ...
by mengo
Thu May 12, 2016 11:45 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Federal Employee looking for suggestions
Replies: 15
Views: 2483

Re: Federal Employee looking for suggestions

If you're close to an increase in step level, you could maybe delay relocation a bit.

And Texas doesn't have income tax compared to 4.6 percent in CO
by mengo
Mon May 09, 2016 9:10 am
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: public pension plan unfunded liabilities
Replies: 75
Views: 11413

Re: public pension plan unfunded liabilities

. And I would note that the 2014 report is outdated and it has gotten worse since then. Has it gotten worse, or is it just the update to GASB which introduced new accounting standards for pensions and was fully implemented recently (i think FY 15). I imagine the more recent increases in unfunded ac...
by mengo
Fri May 06, 2016 9:46 am
Forum: Personal Investments
Topic: 26 y/o with ~$175,000 inheritence
Replies: 40
Views: 8295

Re: 26 y/o with ~$175,000 inheritence

If you become married and file join taxes in the future, you're tax bracket could decrease so there could be more tax savings from using all your tax advantaged retirement space now. Also kids can bring additional tax credits. So again I'd maybe max out your 401k during the next couple of years and ...
by mengo
Thu May 05, 2016 10:53 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Considering buying my own modem
Replies: 43
Views: 4602

Re: Considering buying my own modem

Some modems come with the wireless router built-in, while others are just modems.
I bought separate devices.
by mengo
Tue May 03, 2016 6:21 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Medicare help!
Replies: 25
Views: 3601

Re: Medicare help!

Longtermcare.gov Medicare doesn't cover LTC. To qualify for Medicaid requires spending down assets, so LTC insurance may make sense for folks at modest asset levels. If considering, verify that this would increase your asset protection given by your state. Finally the Medicaid cutoffs vart across st...
by mengo
Tue May 03, 2016 5:34 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Medicare help!
Replies: 25
Views: 3601

Re: Medicare help!

If you don't buy Medigap coverage initially then the insurance providers can later deny you. Therefore it can be best to first try out traditional Medicare w Medigap and to only pick MCR Advantage later.
by mengo
Sun May 01, 2016 8:43 am
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Altering the glide path
Replies: 11
Views: 1757

Re: Altering the glide path

Is it purely by new contributions or exchange of funds or both? Thanks! I front-loaded the 529s and will continue contributing for the next couple of years at least (with kids at 4 and 2 years old). I'm not planning to change the AA for 5 years (currently 75/25, balanced "growth portfolio"). Then I...
by mengo
Sat Apr 30, 2016 6:22 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Altering the glide path
Replies: 11
Views: 1757

Re: Altering the glide path

I have a NY 529, and the glide path is more like two large steps. So I would be very tempted to do as you say (deviate from the plan and time the market) if there was a downturn just before one of the steps... So I planned to manually change the AA each year. If it was a more gradual slope (like my ...
by mengo
Fri Apr 29, 2016 9:42 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Inherited property and family issues
Replies: 39
Views: 4913

Re: Inherited property and family issues

Shoot, maybe setup a 529 for the kid with a portion of your proceeds to make up for a worse school district. Though definitely estimate your legal savings in doing this.
by mengo
Fri Apr 29, 2016 9:39 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Inherited property and family issues
Replies: 39
Views: 4913

Re: Inherited property and family issues

Unfortunately, i may also try to find more viable rental housing in a comparable school district, which may involve moving fairly far from this house and might not even be possible.. Your SO should talk to her sister ASAP to get them into a new school over the summer. I would not care very much abou...
by mengo
Fri Apr 29, 2016 9:00 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Term Life Insurance Situation
Replies: 9
Views: 1329

Re: Term Life Insurance Situation

Get the mole checked out before you fill out the health questionnaire etc. Otherwise if you withhold info, they can try to not pay your family. And your initial quotes for comparison will be more accurate. I had a family member who bought life insurance before getting diagnosed with a terminal illne...
by mengo
Fri Apr 29, 2016 8:37 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Atlanta in August -- worth it?
Replies: 51
Views: 4496

Re: Atlanta in August -- worth it?

Fernbank is not great compared to other science museums but Friday night has cocktails and imax which may be more interesting. The High museum also has Friday night events. Carlos museum on emory's campus is small but nice. We have some good music bars, but that's more hit or miss depending on the p...
by mengo
Mon Apr 25, 2016 12:38 pm
Forum: Personal Investments
Topic: Advice wanted - am I making the wrong choice by "doing nothing" with this money?
Replies: 14
Views: 2354

Re: Advice wanted - am I making the wrong choice by "doing nothing" with this money?

Long-term care insurance is probably a non-starter for somebody with existing health conditions. Maybe you can look into buying an annuity for her. I know it's a bit disturbing but you can use an online calculator to estimate someone's life-expectancy. I would use this life-expectancy information in...
by mengo
Mon Apr 25, 2016 8:49 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Reel Lawn Mower
Replies: 14
Views: 2038

Re: Reel Lawn Mower

I use a reel mower.
But I also have a battery operated trimmer that I use to cut the lawn if the grass grows too tall for me to still push the mower.
There are also cord operated electric mowers and even battery operated mowers nowadays, but I like my setup.
by mengo
Mon Apr 25, 2016 8:41 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: BH Way of Landscaping?
Replies: 42
Views: 5460

Re: BH Way of Landscaping?

If you want to do it yourself (and even if you don't, still) take soil samples to your local county extension office. They should provide instructions on how to gather samples, and they will recommend how much lime to apply and what types of fertilizers to use depending on what type of plants you in...
by mengo
Sat Apr 23, 2016 4:03 pm
Forum: Personal Investments
Topic: 23 year old - needs Boglehead Infrastructure Wisdom
Replies: 25
Views: 2767

Re: 23 year old - needs Boglehead Infrastructure Wisdom

Take home Income after 401K: $2,470 Expenses: $1,730 (Salary $42.5K/year) That comes out to about 70% on expenses, leaving about 30% or $740/month or ~$8,800 per year to build an emergency fund and direct to your savings. Maybe these numbers are wrong because the OP is talking about increasing the ...
by mengo
Sat Apr 23, 2016 3:06 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Do you think this is a bad time to enter the market? With the dow at 18,000
Replies: 89
Views: 11122

Re: Do you think this is a bad time to enter the market? With the dow at 18,000

OP: Ignore the 18,000 number. Find a chart that lays it out in percentage terms, and I bet you'll feel a bit better.

Obviously, 5% of 18,000 is a bigger number than 5% of 3,000, but it still comes out to 5% of whatever you put in.
by mengo
Fri Apr 22, 2016 12:22 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: IRA for 10 year old
Replies: 16
Views: 2541

Re: IRA for 10 year old

Apparently, there's no minimum contribution for a Roth IRA for Kids at Fidelity, but there's a $50 fee to close-out an account.

https://www.fidelity.com/retirement-ira/roth-ira-kids
by mengo
Fri Apr 22, 2016 11:43 am
Forum: Personal Investments
Topic: First time investor, nervous about dropping $150.000 into the market
Replies: 8
Views: 2661

Re: First time investor, nervous about dropping $150.000 into the market

As I said, as a foreign national I'm not sure if I will retire here. Employer match in 401k will offset the 10% penalty if I ever need to liquidate it. I'm not talking about the exit tax here - I hope that by the time I would be subject to it I'll make my mind about retiring more. If the OP became ...
by mengo
Thu Apr 14, 2016 2:27 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: My neighborhood is too quiet (and no kids)
Replies: 44
Views: 8091

Re: My neighborhood is too quiet (and no kids)

Maybe install a Little Library with 'adult' books. :twisted:
You can buy a pre-made one, including shipping costs, for like $300.
by mengo
Wed Apr 13, 2016 10:34 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Got a Question for Jack Bogle? Post it Here.
Replies: 88
Views: 16021

Re: Got a Question for Jack Bogle? Post it Here.

You're on record supporting a financial transactions tax. Are there any modifications to standard FTT proposals that you think are particularly innovative for addressing high-frequency trading, front-running, etc? Should tax-advantaged accounts be exempted from the tax, and if so, is a tax credit fo...
by mengo
Thu Mar 17, 2016 3:58 pm
Forum: Personal Investments
Topic: help! Oregon vs Nevada 529??
Replies: 8
Views: 1233

Re: help! Oregon vs Nevada 529??

I'm in a similar situation in GA, and decided to fund a GA 529 up to the state deduction amount ($2,000/child) and then put extra money out of state. Also, you might want to consider the different investment options between 529s. Oregon like Georgia has a "guaranteed option" of some sort (also backe...