Search found 102 matches

by llama
Mon Nov 04, 2019 2:48 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Paying a contractor in cash
Replies: 48
Views: 1600

Re: Paying a contractor in cash

I recently had a contractor offer a discount for cash for a job of several thousand dollars. The discount was exactly the amount of the sales tax (can't have been a coincidence since the tax is a odd amount of x.1%). I asked if check qualified but was told, no, cash only. Check and credit card were ...
by llama
Thu Oct 03, 2019 6:24 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Do you know what your partner spends money on?
Replies: 80
Views: 6567

Re: Do you know what your partner spends money on?

I handle all bill payment/major purchases for the household and track every penny in YNAB. Spouse gets a large "allowance" (the word sounds condescending but I can't think of a better one) that is not part of the YNAB budget and is a black box to me. The system works. :happy
by llama
Tue Jul 30, 2019 2:14 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Childcare expenses as children get older
Replies: 14
Views: 1141

Re: Childcare expenses as children get older

Our monthly costs went roughly:
  • Infant care: $2500
  • Preschool: $2000
  • Kindergarten after school: $500
The Kindergarten was full-day so we only needed 2.5 hours/day vs.10 hours/day for the others.
by llama
Mon Jul 22, 2019 10:45 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: W9 backup withholding letter?
Replies: 1
Views: 320

Re: W9 backup withholding letter?

I just received one of these from USAA, where I've had accounts for over a decade.
by llama
Tue Jun 04, 2019 12:34 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Value of Zillow house price estimate
Replies: 44
Views: 6332

Re: Value of Zillow house price estimate

In my net worth spreadsheet, I use the Zestimate minus 10%. I take the value with a huge grain of salt, but it's been pretty close for the last two houses I've sold.
by llama
Fri May 17, 2019 2:52 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Anyone use Treasury Direct ?
Replies: 34
Views: 2206

Re: Anyone use Treasury Direct ?

I've only tried in Edge, but I've always been able to paste in my password by:
1 Right click on the password input box
2. "Inspect Element"
3. Remove the readonly="readonly" attribute from the input element.
4. Paste in my password from my password manager.
by llama
Thu May 16, 2019 3:17 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Move Money From Fidelity to Bank Account Instantly?
Replies: 25
Views: 1913

Re: Move Money From Fidelity to Bank Account Instantly?

HueyLD wrote:
Thu May 16, 2019 2:12 pm
Even if Fido doesn’t charge for outgoing wire transfers, banks almost always charge for receiving wire transfers.
My credit union doesn't charge for incoming wire transfers. I frequently wire money there from Fido for free.
by llama
Sat May 04, 2019 11:19 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Useful wedding gift you didn't expect
Replies: 26
Views: 3297

Re: Useful wedding gift you didn't expect

Someone gave us a bottle opener with a magnetic back to hang on the fridge. It's inscribed with our names and wedding date and it's by the far the gift we use most often.
by llama
Fri Apr 26, 2019 5:38 pm
Forum: Personal Investments
Topic: The "joy" of owning individual stocks
Replies: 25
Views: 3874

Re: The "joy" of owning individual stocks

I inherited a bunch of shares of GE but the process dragged on a couple years and the executor wouldn't sell, so I got to watch it decline from 30 to single digits.
by llama
Sun Mar 31, 2019 12:47 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Do any of you have a fear of changing jobs?
Replies: 73
Views: 5033

Re: Do any of you have a fear of changing jobs?

I've been in the same job close to 14 years. I have terrible social anxiety and don't come across well at all in job interviews and would hate to have to meet a bunch of new people all at once at a new company. I feel like my current job amounted to winning the lottery, and that once they boot me du...
by llama
Fri Mar 15, 2019 6:25 pm
Forum: Personal Investments
Topic: What role do bonds play in your portfolio?
Replies: 79
Views: 6564

Re: What role do bonds play in your portfolio?

Bonds are there in my portfolio to ensure that I can pay off my mortgage in case stocks crash and I lose my job.

Why don't I just pay off the mortgage? The bulk of my liquidity is stuck in tax-deferred space, so I don't want to withdraw it short of extended job loss.
by llama
Mon Jan 21, 2019 1:35 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Fidelity Rewards Visa Card
Replies: 78
Views: 12326

Re: Fidelity Rewards Visa Card

Can someone explain further how to get the 2% rebate out of Fidelity? The specific steps. Right now it goes to my wife's Roth IRA which is only complicating our portfolio management, that's the only reason that account is at Fidelity. Thanks! Can do! 1) Log in to fidelity. Avoid the temptation to g...
by llama
Fri Jan 04, 2019 12:42 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Does a PMI in lieu of 20% down ever make sense?
Replies: 48
Views: 3262

Re: Does a PMI in lieu of 20% down ever make sense?

The gamble worked out for us. We live in an area where housing costs have skyrocketed this decade. We decided to buy near the bottom of the market in 2011 with 10% down and then made enough extra principal payments to get rid of the PMI a couple years later. It was un-Boglehead of us, but it turned ...
by llama
Tue Jan 01, 2019 1:51 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: What are you up YTD? [Year To Date]
Replies: 2527
Views: 465435

Re: What are you up YTD? [Year To Date]

For 2018, I ended up -5.73%. Portfolio is 60/40 with a composition similar to Vanguard LifeStrategy Moderate Growth.

That fund was -4.91% for the year but I performed worse after putting in a giant lump sum (proceeds from house sale) on Sept. 15 (awesome timing).
by llama
Wed Dec 26, 2018 3:46 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Do I need to report my child's income ($1600)?
Replies: 31
Views: 3081

Re: Do I need to report my child's income ($1600)?

I've found this tool helpful with reporting requirements for my children:
https://www.irs.gov/help/ita/do-i-need- ... tax-return
by llama
Sun Nov 04, 2018 7:11 am
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: I Bond fixed rate = 0.5%
Replies: 90
Views: 10001

Re: I Bond fixed rate = 0.5%

The I Bond fixed rate is now at 0.5% (with the composite rate currently at 2.83%). Glad I only bought half my allocation earlier in the year I blew it and bought my whole allotment, but it looks like I'll be getting an extra large tax refund this year so I'll probably get the full $5k of paper bond...
by llama
Sun Nov 04, 2018 7:08 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Post FiRE job...teaching??
Replies: 33
Views: 4170

Re: Post FiRE job...teaching??

sailaway wrote:
Sat Nov 03, 2018 10:14 am
I have never heard of anyone at a cc having an assistant, so yes, grading.
+1 on this. I have a relative who's been teaching at the same CC for over 30 years and is the most senior faculty memory in the department, yet no grading assistant.
by llama
Thu Nov 01, 2018 9:13 am
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: I Bond fixed rate = 0.5%
Replies: 90
Views: 10001

I Bond fixed rate = 0.5%

The I Bond fixed rate is now at 0.5% (with the composite rate currently at 2.83%).
by llama
Sun Oct 21, 2018 11:52 am
Forum: Personal Investments
Topic: “The Worst Kind of Bear Market”
Replies: 23
Views: 4890

Re: “The Worst Kind of Bear Market”

If TIPS existed back then, the likely scenarios would have been that you got a boost in price but real yields fell to negative. When those existing TIPS matured, you could only buy TIPS with negative real yields. They would've helped only when you had the vision to hold long term TIPS (either direc...
by llama
Fri Oct 19, 2018 11:11 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: What time do you get up in the morning?
Replies: 160
Views: 13868

Re: What time do you get up in the morning?

I'm a night owl by nature. But I need to be up by 5:00 a.m. on weekdays to have any hope of getting in some exercise, work, housework, packing kids' lunches, etc. before the kids start waking up. And sadly, the exercise thing hasn't been happening lately due to my younger kid's poor sleeping.
by llama
Thu Oct 18, 2018 8:40 am
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: flat for the year
Replies: 27
Views: 2782

Re: flat for the year

-0.57% YTD
36/24/20/20 (US stock/Intl stock/TIPS/Nominals)
by llama
Thu Oct 18, 2018 8:34 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Kids inherited $8,000 each - 529 or regular brokerage?
Replies: 34
Views: 2487

Re: Kids inherited $8,000 each - 529 or regular brokerage?

I have just been using regular UTMA accounts for the kids' money and tax gain harvesting yearly. (Though I haven't yet fully digested how the new tax law has changed things.)
by llama
Mon Oct 08, 2018 9:00 am
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Investment grade bonds now made up of 50% BBB rated
Replies: 26
Views: 3074

Re: Total Bond Market fund not what it used to be

Something doesn't sound right to me. I use FSITX (Fidelity U.S. Bond Index) as my TBM fund, and the Fidelity site reports that it tracks the "Bloomberg Barclays U.S. Aggregate Bond Index" and shows this breakdown of credit quality: U.S. Government 70.34% AAA 4.07% AA 4.55% A 11.64% BBB 8.91% BB 0.09...
by llama
Sat Jul 28, 2018 10:53 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Regret Public School?
Replies: 75
Views: 6608

Re: Regret Public School?

I went to a public school that was decent, but not great. The quality of teaching varied widely: Some teachers were just babysitters and should have been fired. Others were amazing and would give me as much extra work as I asked for and spent extra time after school working with me. I ended up getti...
by llama
Sat May 26, 2018 7:30 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: 3 days in Boston with an 8 year old
Replies: 32
Views: 2920

Re: 3 days in Boston with an 8 year old

Museum of Science was always a favorite of mine as a kid, but I haven't been there in three decades. I've taken the T more recently and it's pretty easy to figure out, even though they've changed from tokens to those new-fangled CharlieCard thingies. EDIT: Oh yeah, I don't know how I could've forgot...
by llama
Wed May 02, 2018 9:30 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: What Android browser do you use?
Replies: 44
Views: 4080

Re: What Android browser do you use?

I use Edge on Android/Windows. My iPad has been moribund for eons so I never tried installing it there.
by llama
Tue May 01, 2018 9:04 am
Forum: Personal Investments
Topic: Series I Bonds in April/May 2018
Replies: 69
Views: 11752

Re: Series I Bonds in April/May 2018

The new I Bond fixed rate is 0.30%. (Composite rate is 2.52%)
by llama
Sat Apr 07, 2018 1:20 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: What is your AA, given your age? and, Why?
Replies: 246
Views: 29822

Re: What is your AA, given your age? and, Why?

60/40 in my late 30s. I work in an industry with rampant age discrimination so I'm not confident I can keep making my current salary for too many more years. I also received a large inheritance that reduces my need to take risk.
by llama
Sat Jan 13, 2018 2:30 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Consulting side gig while at mega corp
Replies: 25
Views: 2658

Re: Consulting side gig while at mega corp

My megacorp requires folks to submit some moonlighting paperwork if the consulting is in the same field as megacorp's business. From what I understand, these are rarely ever approved.
by llama
Wed Jan 03, 2018 7:55 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Can PMI be eliminated without refinancing?
Replies: 6
Views: 972

Re: Can PMI be eliminated without refinancing?

Yes. I got mine removed by writing a letter to the credit union when I paid the mortgage down to 80% LTV. They were nice and didn't require me to pay it down to 78% or even require an appraisal.
by llama
Sat Dec 23, 2017 1:34 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: cost basis of inherited home sold after 18 months
Replies: 7
Views: 1224

cost basis of inherited home sold after 18 months

[Numbers and dates here are fudged a bit for simplicity, but are in the ballpark.] I inherited a house contained in a parent's revocable living trust which I eventually got around to selling. Here was the timeline of events ( D denotes date of death): D +12 months : I had the house appraised. The a...
by llama
Wed Dec 20, 2017 2:06 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Estate liquidation company in Northern Virginia
Replies: 5
Views: 842

Re: Estate liquidation company in Northern Virginia

I agree with reconsidering use of Redfin in this situation. A traditional agent in a fast moving HCOL area will give you some help prepping the house for sale which seems to be something you are no longer able to do yourself. Agent will be motivated to move fast not maximize value. If you want to m...
by llama
Wed Dec 20, 2017 1:51 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Please Post Tax Bill Questions Here [was Tax Bill Omnibus Thread]
Replies: 886
Views: 71485

Re: Tax Bill Omnibus Thread

My locality explicitly forbids prepaying property taxes. It looks like my best move would be to open a Donor Advised Fund.
by llama
Sat Nov 04, 2017 1:45 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: My (general) contacts with Treasury Direct re loss & liability
Replies: 46
Views: 8948

Re: My (general) contacts with Treasury Direct re loss & liability

Thanks for sharing. This is pretty scary, especially since the TD site uses that stupid click-keyboard to log in and it's difficult to use a long, random password. I use a long, random password for TD and paste it in from my password manager software by using my browser to edit the page's HTML to r...
by llama
Thu Nov 02, 2017 10:45 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Regret of selling winning stocks early
Replies: 65
Views: 11132

Re: Regret of selling winning stocks early

My company's stock has been going crazy for years. I don't for a moment regret selling my RSU and ESPP shares as soon as they vest, despite all the glee I hear in the hallway from those who have held onto theirs. It allows me to sleep well at night, especially in an industry where ageism runs rampan...
by llama
Wed Oct 25, 2017 4:00 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Credit card companies forgiving debt after death?
Replies: 48
Views: 6802

Re: Credit card companies forgiving debt after death?

Handling the estate of a parent where there was a $1k balance on a Bank of America card, I called BoA to inform them of the death. They mailed me a form to fill out specifying contact information for the executor of the estate (me). The estate had plenty of money to cover the expense, but after duti...
by llama
Fri Oct 06, 2017 7:30 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Itinerary for Seattle (outdoors) mid October
Replies: 4
Views: 687

Re: Itinerary for Seattle (outdoors) mid October

slbnoob wrote:
Fri Oct 06, 2017 7:24 pm
However, Mount Rainier in mid October could be sketchy weather wise?
I did once get fogged in there in early October and spent an unplanned night at the lodge (which thankfully had room since people with reservations couldn't get up the mountain).
by llama
Thu Sep 28, 2017 8:05 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Estate liquidation company in Northern Virginia
Replies: 5
Views: 842

Re: Estate liquidation company in Northern Virginia

Try calling the local Elder Care office for the town. They may have suggestions. Thanks, I hadn't thought of that. I'll give them a try. Do you have a real estate agent? If so, they may well be able to help with this, too. I have a Redfin agent I've talked to, but he didn't have any recommendations...
by llama
Wed Sep 27, 2017 1:36 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Suggestions for a rowing machine
Replies: 26
Views: 1777

Re: Suggestions for a rowing machine

Just curious, as I have been considering buying a a Concept2 myself - I live in an apartment building. Is the noise or vibration likely to bother my neighbor below me? I know the fan makes a good bit of noise, but wasn't sure if it transmits through floors. Thanks! I don't think it would be a probl...
by llama
Tue Sep 26, 2017 3:52 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Windows 10 Question
Replies: 20
Views: 1149

Re: Windows 10 Question

Hit Windows+E twice.
by llama
Mon Sep 25, 2017 4:43 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Estate liquidation company in Northern Virginia
Replies: 5
Views: 842

Estate liquidation company in Northern Virginia

Can anyone recommend an estate sale liquidation/buyout firm in the Northern Virginia area (Arlington/Alexandria/Fairfax)? I've inherited a house and need to get rid of decades of stuff. I've already removed everything I care about from the house, but in the process, I've exhausted all my vacation da...
by llama
Fri Aug 04, 2017 1:27 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: How much do kids cost in a high COLA?
Replies: 60
Views: 6265

Re: How much do kids cost in a high COLA?

We live in another HCOL area. Our mortgage and day care costs are just a tad less than the DC numbers you cite. The only other significant kid expense I can think of aside from the crazy cost of day care is airfare to take the kids to see family on the other side of the country.
by llama
Fri Jul 21, 2017 3:08 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Commuters (that drive), what do you listen to?
Replies: 60
Views: 4715

Re: Commuters (that drive), what do you listen to?

I'll listen to baseball if there's a game on in the evening. Otherwise, NPR (if I'm coming home late enough, Marketplace is on). If NPR is boring I'll tune to the classical station.
by llama
Sun Jul 16, 2017 4:32 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Recommendation for things to do in Seattle area
Replies: 18
Views: 1623

Re: Recommendation for things to do in Seattle area

GKSD wrote:staying in Columbia City neighborhood
I've heard good things about Geraldine's Counter for breakfast/brunch, but have never tried it myself.
by llama
Thu Jul 06, 2017 4:57 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: $10k House (hypothetical) at 3.75% rate, you pay $6,672.16 in interest after 30 years?
Replies: 49
Views: 6735

Re: $10k House (hypothetical) at 3.75% rate, you pay $6,672.16 in interest after 30 years?

If you want to play around with numbers in Excel, you can use:

Code: Select all

=CUMIPMT(3.75%/12, 12*30, 10000, 1, 12*30, 0)
which gives me -6672.16.
by llama
Thu Jun 15, 2017 5:52 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: 30 yr TIPS auction 6/22: yield 1.0%?
Replies: 37
Views: 5826

Re: 30 yr TIPS auction 6/22: yield 1.0%?

I'm planning on buying. Already maxing my I Bonds, so kind of a barbell approach between that and the long TIPS. I was originally looking at buying LTPZ instead but was scared off by the thin trading volume and the expense ratio.
by llama
Thu Jun 15, 2017 9:19 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Have you canceled cable?
Replies: 90
Views: 10575

Re: Have you canceled cable?

I have never found a way to watch the local baseball team without cable, so dropping it is a non-starter for my spouse. I can watch my favorite team through mlb.tv (they have blackout restrictions that prevent watching the local team).
by llama
Tue Jun 06, 2017 6:15 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Small tax refund or owing taxes?
Replies: 35
Views: 3817

Re: Small tax refund or owing taxes?

This year I had a refund of many thousands of dollars (mostly in paper I Bonds) held up because the IRS thought I was the one filing a fraudulent return. I had to endure a long hold time followed by lengthy phone interview to get them to release the funds, and even then there was a delay of some wee...