Search found 978 matches

by Tamarind
Sat Jun 23, 2018 6:37 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Household budgeting and personal finance for teens?
Replies: 5
Views: 378

Re: Household budgeting and personal finance for teens?

I agree this is best started really early and here's why: To learn how to manage money you have to have the autonomy to spend some. And you are inevitably going to spend some frivolously at first. Ideally this is a little kid blowing the allowance money they intended to save for a desired purchase, ...
by Tamarind
Fri Jun 22, 2018 5:51 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Is it normal for federal and state taxable income to be wildly different?
Replies: 10
Views: 652

Re: Is it normal for federal and state taxable income to be wildly different?

NC disallows or restricts some common Federal deductions and has a smaller standard deduction+personal exemption than you got on your Federal taxes. The gap may be especially pronounced if you paid a lot of mortgage interest or property tax, or moved from a high tax state, or if you have several ch...
by Tamarind
Fri Jun 22, 2018 2:26 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Is it normal for federal and state taxable income to be wildly different?
Replies: 10
Views: 652

Re: Is it normal for federal and state taxable income to be wildly different?

NC disallows or restricts some common Federal deductions and has a smaller standard deduction+personal exemption than you got on your Federal taxes. The gap may be especially pronounced if you paid a lot of mortgage interest or property tax, or moved from a high tax state, or if you have several chi...
by Tamarind
Wed Jun 20, 2018 1:07 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Storing Sustenance for Disasters
Replies: 28
Views: 1910

Re: Storing Sustenance for Disasters

I keep on hand of the kinds of food we like to take camping: nutritional bars, packaged oatmeal, instant rice, and dehydrated or shelf stable package meals. A particular favorite are "heat-and-eat" Indian entrees: last up to 2 years at room temp, don't require rehydration, have interesting flavor. F...
by Tamarind
Wed Jun 20, 2018 9:55 am
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: 26yrs old and need startup advice
Replies: 14
Views: 1182

Re: 26yrs old and need startup advice

Any regards to robo advisors even if I just throw $2000 to play around. You don't need a roboadvisor. At all. Agreed. You will not learn anything from a roboadvisor that you won't learn from following the excellent step-by-step advice above. You are just getting started. "Playing around" comes late...
by Tamarind
Wed Jun 20, 2018 6:48 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Career advice (take the promotion or not)
Replies: 29
Views: 3496

Re: Career advice (take the promotion or not)

This is taking an odd turn. I live in NC and even know process engineers here, though I'm in IT. I would be very surprised if you couldn't get a better paying job in the field right here in NC. Are you out in a rural area of the state? It really needn't be such a big deal to change jobs. Engage with...
by Tamarind
Wed Jun 20, 2018 6:18 am
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Calculating safe withdrawal rate (dialing it back)
Replies: 8
Views: 1240

Re: Calculating safe withdrawal rate (dialing it back)

Tamarind - to answer your questions: 1) wife is encouraging me to consider dialing it back a bit; she is reentering the workforce after ~ 10 years at home and could use someone around a bit more 2) the 300k/spend estimate is high; realistically it is somewhere $200-250k - but I wanted to highside i...
by Tamarind
Tue Jun 19, 2018 6:28 am
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Calculating safe withdrawal rate (dialing it back)
Replies: 8
Views: 1240

Re: Calculating safe withdrawal rate (dialing it back)

In prior posts you suggested annual expenses of $300k. Looks ok to me but you might need to make some changes depending on the fine details. TL;DR - Of course you can retire, but you might have to reduce your standard of living very slightly in order to do so now. --------- Let's do some back of env...
by Tamarind
Tue Jun 19, 2018 5:51 am
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: rsu & iso [Restricted Stock Unit & Incentive Stock Option]
Replies: 12
Views: 721

Re: rsu & iso [Restricted Stock Unit & Incentive Stock Option]

I would probably suggest that people with ISOs also sell immediately upon exercise if the amount exceeds their tolerance for single-company stock. Yes, the whole preference amount is then taxed at ordinary income rates. The benefit of early exercise to reduce tax is more than offset (for me) by the ...
by Tamarind
Tue Jun 19, 2018 5:39 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: One handed Android phone?
Replies: 38
Views: 1621

Re: One handed Android phone?

+1 for the Sony Xperia Compact line. My wife also needs a smaller phone and loves her Z3. They have some hits and misses in that series but usually solid Android devices with good to very good cameras.
by Tamarind
Mon Jun 18, 2018 2:32 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Diversify within Roth account?
Replies: 14
Views: 936

Re: Diversify within Roth account?

I think you are overthinking it a little. I do keep more than one fund in all accounts that are taking in new contributions, but that is to enable easier rebalancing in the event that one part of my AA over- or underperforms so much that new contributions aren't large enough to rebalance. While this...
by Tamarind
Fri Jun 15, 2018 6:19 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Career advice (take the promotion or not)
Replies: 29
Views: 3496

Re: Career advice (take the promotion or not)

I find it hilarious when established high-growth companies with Megacorp-style frills like "pay grades" pretend to still be startups so that they can blame all their cultural and process failings on being a startup. In my experience, actual startups are much more chaotic, but also much more flexible...
by Tamarind
Thu Jun 14, 2018 9:07 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Boring Job
Replies: 64
Views: 7031

Re: Boring Job

Absolutely have quit a job from boredom. You are pretty much guaranteed that your first job will not be awesome or even a good fit. But not without having a next job lined up. You have two ways to go from here: 1) Find something to do with your extra time that contributes to the success of the compa...
by Tamarind
Sat Jun 09, 2018 6:12 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Rowing machine motivation
Replies: 82
Views: 5090

Re: Rowing machine motivation

Two suggestions, either of which might help: 1) Focus on HIIT as you're developing the habit. This doesn't require you to spend a lot of time on the machine but it will still help you get better. 2) Consider a story-driven podcast or app designed for running. Personally I like Zombies, Run!, which i...
by Tamarind
Sat Jun 02, 2018 5:39 am
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: HSA as retirement vehicle
Replies: 33
Views: 3093

Re: HSA as retirement vehicle

I treat it as an investment account and just moved it to a custodian that would allow me to invest every dollar. I would just have it be part of my AA, but different people approach their asset location choices differently. Some want to tax optimize by putting the likely fastest growing assets in th...
by Tamarind
Fri Jun 01, 2018 6:22 am
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: M1 Finance: What’s the Catch?
Replies: 10
Views: 1455

Re: M1 Finance: What’s the Catch?

Why does Vanguard need to charge a 0.3%(!) AUM is the real question.... To pay someone to be by the phone when customers call for advice and guidance, probably. It's surely not for the mechanical aspects of managing the portfolio. But I know plenty of people for whom having someone to say "no you d...
by Tamarind
Fri Jun 01, 2018 5:58 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: is Having more and needing less normal?
Replies: 113
Views: 8597

Re: is Having more and needing less normal?

TheTimeLord wrote:
Thu May 31, 2018 10:42 pm
I guess I will never quite get the BH hatred of gyms, yoga studios and trainers. But I am neither a big time DIYer or minimalist so different strokes.
Probably stems from how seldom the average person uses it. But if you use it and it helps keep you healthy, then it's certainly worth it.
by Tamarind
Thu May 31, 2018 2:20 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Do average kids from upper middle class families get any free college money (Scholarships / non-repayable grants etc)
Replies: 266
Views: 17566

Re: Do average kids from upper middle class families get any free college money (Scholarships / non-repayable grants etc

You won't get any need based aid. You probably won't get any merit said if they are truly an average student (mostly Bs & C's). However there are a lot of small "character" and "affiliation" scholarships to be had if your kids are motivated to write a very large number of short essays about the valu...
by Tamarind
Thu May 31, 2018 10:44 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Roommate in a house?
Replies: 32
Views: 2931

Re: Roommate in a house?

Agreed with most of the advice above. It's likely not worth it to her to claim rental depreciation. Do you earn equal incomes? If not, why split the bills 50/50? It's up to y'all too decide what works for you, but I think it avoids fights about "fair share" to split according to income. Plus then yo...
by Tamarind
Thu May 31, 2018 10:40 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: obtainable credit card for teen?
Replies: 8
Views: 510

Re: obtainable credit card for teen?

Discover, as well as many credit unions, offer secured cards intended to build credit history. You provide a deposit that equals the credit limit (can be just a couple hundred bucks) then use the card. My wife was credit averse before we met and had no score. She graduated from a secured card to a D...
by Tamarind
Thu May 31, 2018 6:16 am
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Relationship between Living Off of Dividends and Maximizing Yield
Replies: 13
Views: 976

Re: Relationship between Living Off of Dividends and Maximizing Yield

Yes, that is your underlying assumption. But I don't think it's a good one. Why would you let the funds determine where your income is coming from rather than choosing it yourself? I would think when tailoring retirement income I'd want to control: 1) whether it came from a taxable, tax-deferred, or...
by Tamarind
Thu May 31, 2018 6:06 am
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Exercise ISOs or walk away?
Replies: 20
Views: 1804

Re: Exercise ISOs or walk away?

Just wanted to come back and provide an update. I did finally manage to get financial disclosures from the CFO, which indicated healthy past revenue growth, cash in the bank, current 409a valuation at 3x my strike price etc. Turns out I own 0.03% of the company based on the fully diluted share count...
by Tamarind
Thu May 31, 2018 5:34 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Company going public - exercise ISOs?
Replies: 5
Views: 686

Re: Company going public - exercise ISOs?

Two parts to this decision: risk management and tax planning. If you are MFJ and your normal taxable income as a couple is around $50k per your post above, then you can take some long term capital gains at 0%. Your short term gains will be at 12%. Both of these rates apply until around $77k of taxab...
by Tamarind
Mon May 28, 2018 8:04 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Buying house from parents below market value, gift?
Replies: 16
Views: 1386

Re: Buying house from parents below market value, gift?

Thank you for the input so far. I'll have to do further research on the bargain sale. Here are a couple different questions then. How do you determine the market value for IRS purposes? Lets say they house is worth $1 Million and I buy it for $750k? I'm already gifted the maximum amount per year, e...
by Tamarind
Sat May 26, 2018 5:33 am
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: The "4% withdrawal rate"- would it apply to someone "retiring" in their 70s?
Replies: 54
Views: 4506

Re: The "4% withdrawl rate" - would it apply to someone "retiring" in their 70s?

This is a case where I would explore buying a single premium immediate annuity for a large portion of the portfolio (perhaps up to half, with the remainder in equities). You can get quotes at immediateannuities.com. Seconded. Look into COLAd annuities as an option. It may be a lot for someone who d...
by Tamarind
Thu May 24, 2018 6:46 am
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: About to retire and at an almost total loss.
Replies: 15
Views: 5028

Re: About to retire and at an almost total loss.

Just doing a little math to help others weigh in. AA: 100/0, with massive tilt toward dividends Assets: $198k in 3 individual dividend stocks $60k taxable brokerage $35k Roth IRA $40k SEP IRA $45k Checking account Home value $330k EF ~2x annual expenses Income streams: Business income stream $12k-$2...
by Tamarind
Thu May 24, 2018 5:59 am
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Buying Employer Shares
Replies: 18
Views: 1524

Re: Buying Employer Shares

Does anyone know if an employer has visibility into the number of your vested shares held in an ESPP or RSU plan? I've heard comments on this forum like "some employers frown upon employees immediate selling or not holding a significant amount" but I don't know if they truly have access to my accou...
by Tamarind
Thu May 24, 2018 5:52 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: I've never budgeted sucessfully
Replies: 59
Views: 4944

Re: I've never budgeted sucessfully

The attraction of a program like Mint is precisely that it resolves what seems to be the core of your problem - aggregating income and expenses across many accounts, categorizing, and comparing them to budgeted amounts. Ie the "measuring" part of the budget. Yes, your credentials are potentially at ...
by Tamarind
Tue May 22, 2018 6:05 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Home Loan from Parents
Replies: 24
Views: 2304

Re: Home Loan from Parents

Make sure you draw up proper documentation of the loan with an interest rate that meets the IRS requirements for intra-family loans, and clear rules for the term and payment frequency. Think about what collateral, if any, you should have for the loan. I strongly advise against putting a parent on th...
by Tamarind
Mon May 21, 2018 9:14 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: private company option exercise - tax question
Replies: 11
Views: 640

Re: private company option exercise - tax question

ETA: Deleted comments on AMT as I missed that these are NQOs on first reading. I don't know of anything that would give you extra protection from having paid tax on shares that later become worthless, beyond capital loss provisions. This is one reason why one is generally advised not to exercise opt...
by Tamarind
Thu May 17, 2018 4:38 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Hot food flavoring (sauces, spices and peppers)
Replies: 51
Views: 3087

Re: Hot food flavoring (sauces, spices and peppers)

Another vote for (carefully) making your own hot sauces and hot pepper vinegars. You can control sodium content and get the right blend of heat and flavor for your tastes. So easy to do.

Make very small batches to start, as without reduced sodium content comes a reduced shelf life.
by Tamarind
Thu May 10, 2018 11:29 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Custom suit needed for a wedding. Help me shop around!!
Replies: 30
Views: 2228

Re: Custom suit needed for a wedding. Help me shop around!!

There are also new entrants in the low-end bespoke suit market like Alton Lane that may be worth a look if they have a location near you.

Expect to spend $2k, but get a suit you can wear for a long time.
by Tamarind
Sat May 05, 2018 5:24 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Growing Fruit Trees and Shrubs
Replies: 30
Views: 2523

Re: Growing Fruit Trees and Shrubs

Another vote for figs, which will grow nearly anywhere with minimal care and no sprays. I grow a variety called "Hardy Chicago", which will indeed grow and fruit in Chicago if planted against a south facing wall. In my milder clime it forms a tree which last year produced 11 pounds of figs.... It's ...
by Tamarind
Thu May 03, 2018 5:55 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Pay $2500 in rent or continue living at home
Replies: 91
Views: 6457

Re: Pay $2500 in rent or continue living at home

In most cultures and most times, what you've done the last few years would be the norm, so you don't need to feel weird about living at home. But it sounds like you're ready for a change. Living at home will always be the most frugal option, but money is just a tool to get the life you want. I'd sug...
by Tamarind
Thu May 03, 2018 5:47 am
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Medically Retired at Age 30 [Saving for Retirement - 100% Disabled Vet]
Replies: 20
Views: 3393

Re: Saving for Retirement - 100% Disabled Vet

How safe is the stream of funds from the VA? How long do you expect it to continue? Are there checkpoints where that amount might be changed or stopped? Does it adjust for inflation? At the moment you're essentially retired with a pension, just earlier than you expected. So make sure you understand ...
by Tamarind
Wed May 02, 2018 7:07 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Have you quit eating sugar? Tell me how!
Replies: 129
Views: 10547

Re: Have you quit eating sugar? Tell me how!

Moderation in all things, including moderation. :twisted:
by Tamarind
Wed May 02, 2018 5:36 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Tax risks of exercising ISO options after 409a expires?
Replies: 2
Views: 312

Re: Tax risks of exercising ISO options after 409a expires?

Have you exercised ISOs for this company in the past? Is the company public (sounds like not)? Are your options expiring? I would probably not suggest you exercise options prior to a liquidity event just to avoid AMT-preference gains. But this is an area where a CPA with lots of experience working w...
by Tamarind
Wed May 02, 2018 5:27 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Nontraditional Cruising
Replies: 21
Views: 2402

Re: Nontraditional Cruising

I feel the same way about "floating city" cruises. Both my suggestions use different ships that change the experience: Windjammer (in the Caribbean) or similar operations elsewhere use tallships. While the ships have engines, whenever possible they sail. Much smaller ships mean a limited number of p...
by Tamarind
Tue May 01, 2018 7:00 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Non-recourse loan to exercise options? What are the downsides?
Replies: 9
Views: 798

Re: Non-recourse loan to exercise options? What are the downsides?

If I don't exercise them they will expire. Cashless exercise is not an option or I'd have chosen that. If the option is take this loan where you never owe a penny unless you make money, or just let it expire, is there even a question? Maybe have a lawyer look over the contract to make sure there ar...
by Tamarind
Tue May 01, 2018 5:41 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Non-recourse loan to exercise options? What are the downsides?
Replies: 9
Views: 798

Re: Non-recourse loan to exercise options? What are the downsides?

[...]I wasn't aware there were commonly-available notes of the kind you describe. If the contract says explicitly that you have no obligation or promise to repay under those conditions, I see no moral hazard. I would read the contract carefully, though (and not just the salesman's summary of it). I...
by Tamarind
Tue May 01, 2018 3:08 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Help me get on top of some debt before college expenses arrive...
Replies: 50
Views: 2870

Re: Help me get on top of some debt before college expenses arrive...

The arbitrage game is costing you far more then the math suggests. This is a very easy problem to solve: Make your taxable investment account be 179k (500-321). Make your consumer debt zero. Use future income to rebuild your taxable account. This. You've got $30k+ per year going out in consumer deb...
by Tamarind
Tue May 01, 2018 6:15 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: New HSA provider Lively offers investments for $30/yr fee
Replies: 261
Views: 36521

Re: New HSA provider Lively offers investments for $30/yr fee

I'm about to sign up and try a trustee-to-trustee transfer from HealthEquity. I'm no longer eligible for HSA contributions since my new employer doesn't offer an HDHP, but at least I can get out from under HE's fees and let the balance accumulate. I LOVE that Lively lets you connect a bank account ...
by Tamarind
Mon Apr 30, 2018 5:26 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Non-recourse loan to exercise options? What are the downsides?
Replies: 9
Views: 798

Re: Non-recourse loan to exercise options? What are the downsides?

Nonrecourse loans are also treated differently under our tax laws. [...] Whether this is a good idea boils down to whether the surrendered upside has less value to you than the downside protection. Thanks for weighing in. I would not make this investment if I couldn't find an investor willing to ma...
by Tamarind
Mon Apr 30, 2018 4:40 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Non-recourse loan to exercise options? What are the downsides?
Replies: 9
Views: 798

Re: Non-recourse loan to exercise options? What are the downsides?

A non-recourse loan still includes a promise to repay it. If you don't repay it, (a) you are acting in poor faith, violating your word (your promise to repay it), and (b) your credit report will show the loan as defaulted, which presumably has severe credit consequences. Non-recourse means "we can'...
by Tamarind
Mon Apr 30, 2018 2:59 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Non-recourse loan to exercise options? What are the downsides?
Replies: 9
Views: 798

Non-recourse loan to exercise options? What are the downsides?

Hello, I've posted before about deciding whether or not to exercise vested options in a private company. Very risky, illiquid, not much info to go on. I concluded I would not risk my own money to exercise. But there may be another option. I'm looking at a company that offers non-recourse loans secur...
by Tamarind
Mon Apr 30, 2018 9:37 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Daughter and Girlfriend, age 19, taking cross country road trip. Advice?
Replies: 187
Views: 8973

Re: Daughter and Girlfriend, age 19, taking cross country road trip. Advice?

Advise them to enjoy at least one desert sunrise. Sounds like a great trip.

As college students, I guarantee they already know to watch each other's drinks.
by Tamarind
Mon Apr 30, 2018 6:10 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Money vs. Work-life balance
Replies: 68
Views: 7622

Re: Money vs. Work-life balance

I'd stay put. Work life balance is important, a great boss is a rare thing, and your current job is well over my definition of "enough" money. What would you plan to do with the extra if you took a new job? Extra money: save, but definitely not all. Expenses would go to 1) house maintenance 2) hous...
by Tamarind
Sat Apr 28, 2018 11:53 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Money vs. Work-life balance
Replies: 68
Views: 7622

Re: Money vs. Work-life balance

I'd stay put. Work life balance is important, a great boss is a rare thing, and your current job is well over my definition of "enough" money.

What would you plan to do with the extra if you took a new job?
by Tamarind
Sat Apr 28, 2018 11:48 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: HSA Charging Monthly Fee - How to Avoid it?
Replies: 6
Views: 636

Re: HSA Charging Monthly Fee - How to Avoid it?

Change HSA custodians. Almost all will charge you something, especially to invest the money. A couple will not charge you to hold cash.

What is your goal for the money? Are you keeping it in cash and using for medical expenses? Or using for investment?
by Tamarind
Sat Apr 28, 2018 8:30 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Received late earnings check from Roth 401k rollover
Replies: 3
Views: 308

Re: Received late earnings check from Roth 401k rollover

Earl Lemongrab wrote:
Sat Apr 28, 2018 11:45 am
There are two options. Indirect rollover or keep the money. Which is better for you?
Keeping the money will save me $0.50 in postage.