Search found 410 matches

by Smorgasbord
Mon Mar 04, 2019 11:42 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Claim 529 deduction in 2 states? Tax question
Replies: 6
Views: 363

Re: Claim 529 deduction in 2 states? Tax question

The deductions vary state to state, so it probably depends on the law of the non-resident state.
by Smorgasbord
Fri Mar 01, 2019 3:10 pm
Forum: Personal Investments
Topic: State Street / GE
Replies: 7
Views: 920

Re: State Street / GE

What amount was the check for? Anything over about $15,000 and my bank puts a five-day hold on the check to make sure it clears.
by Smorgasbord
Tue Feb 19, 2019 9:16 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: My Mortgage = Is it a problem?
Replies: 49
Views: 3928

Re: My Mortage = Is it a problem?

Not sure If I take that $500 a month and invest it or pay off mortgage. I know I will get better returns by investing but I am already putting away 17% into retirement now and If I pay home off early I can retire earlier. Am I stupid to be paying off some of my house debt vs. investing? Basically, ...
by Smorgasbord
Fri Feb 15, 2019 10:54 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Advice Needed - Options for Commuting to Work
Replies: 37
Views: 1641

Re: Advice Needed - Options for Commuting to Work

I had a 2.5 hour (round trip) driving commute at an old job of mine. I lasted 18 months in that nightmare.
by Smorgasbord
Wed Feb 13, 2019 11:14 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: separate computers for specific purposes--how many and for what?
Replies: 35
Views: 2849

Re: separate computers for specific purposes--how many and for what?

I have three computers, a home desktop, an office desktop, and a laptop. No financial stuff is done on the laptop.
by Smorgasbord
Tue Feb 12, 2019 8:11 am
Forum: Personal Investments
Topic: why does this bond fund exist?
Replies: 2
Views: 682

Re: why does this bond fund exist?

Leaving out most of the context of how this came up, I'm just trying to figure out -- why would anyone hold this bond fund? Is there anything unusual about it (in a good way)? Money market funds earn more right now and are lower risk. Meanwhile, there are many better bond funds with comparable hold...
by Smorgasbord
Mon Feb 11, 2019 6:35 am
Forum: Personal Investments
Topic: Does this rental have good numbers?
Replies: 15
Views: 1787

Re: Does this rental have good numbers?

Is this actually a good looking return? It could be sold for about $525,000. RENT 29880 (net 2266/mo after Mgmt fee) minus 9% MGMT FEE 224.10 -2689 minus MAINT COSTS 10% ?? -2988 minus TAXES -5885 minus INSURANCE 905 TOTAL EXPENSE -12467 NET INCOME 17413 At slightly more than 0.5% of value of house...
by Smorgasbord
Sun Feb 10, 2019 7:35 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Is $53 too much for life insurance for me and my wife?
Replies: 36
Views: 2775

Re: Is $53 too much for life insurance for me and my wife?

I think the point that I am trying to make is that $100k would not nearly cover the cost of outsourcing the roles that a SAHM would perform raising kids until 18. Kids take a ton of time and it would cost a cost. I am also saying that putting $500k on yourself and $100k on your spouse is sure backp...
by Smorgasbord
Sat Feb 09, 2019 10:18 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Is $53 too much for life insurance for me and my wife?
Replies: 36
Views: 2775

Re: Is $53 too much for life insurance for me and my wife?

$100k is not nearly enough to cover the cost of outsourcing services that a SAHM provides. Daycare along is $18k per year per kid. Don't forget that the $100k may be in addition to social security insurance. As an example, based on the SSI calculator , if his wife made $40,000 from 2007 to 2010, th...
by Smorgasbord
Sat Feb 09, 2019 4:47 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Would you eat lab grown meat?
Replies: 64
Views: 1988

Re: Would you eat lab grown meat?

Lab grown meat would be awesome. Lab grown lobster and veal meat for the same price as lab grown chicken...sign me up.
by Smorgasbord
Sat Feb 09, 2019 10:09 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Is $53 too much for life insurance for me and my wife?
Replies: 36
Views: 2775

Re: Is $53 too much for life insurance for me and my wife?

Those might be great rates, or they might be bad. If you are a morbidly obese smoker who likes to cave dive and has a family history of heart disease, then those are amazingly good rates.
by Smorgasbord
Sun Feb 03, 2019 10:35 pm
Forum: Personal Investments
Topic: No 401k coverage
Replies: 4
Views: 528

Re: No 401k coverage

surgerix wrote:
Sun Feb 03, 2019 4:51 pm
Indiana
....
triplets for kids (young, very)
It's not what you're asking about, but Indiana has one of the best - if not the best - tax breaks for 529 contributions of up to $5k per year.
by Smorgasbord
Fri Feb 01, 2019 9:04 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: How much do you keep in checking?
Replies: 135
Views: 11632

Re: How much do you keep in checking?

Over the past few months, my checking balances have ranged from $2,500 to $20,000. A lot has to do with business expenses, and getting reimbursed for those expenses.
by Smorgasbord
Mon Jan 28, 2019 11:18 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: How long does lunch meat last?
Replies: 44
Views: 3939

Re: How long does lunch meat last?

Straight from the refrigerator, I'd say about a week. After a week, I'd eat it if there was some cooking involved (i.e., heat it up a microwave to melt some Swiss cheese on it followed by some time in a toaster oven to make the bread nicely toasted).
by Smorgasbord
Sun Jan 27, 2019 12:55 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: House Transfer in a Down Market to Reduce Property Tax
Replies: 7
Views: 396

Re: House Transfer in a Down Market to Reduce Property Tax

If we sold the home to each other at 10-15% of the market value at the time, I think collectively we would be saving at least $5k per year in property taxes. Is this a feasible strategy? What am I missing? Gill is right that it needs to be an arms length transaction, and that sales between relative...
by Smorgasbord
Fri Jan 25, 2019 12:30 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: New Home Computer of Some Kind
Replies: 40
Views: 2369

Re: New Home Computer of Some Kind

I'm a big fan of used Craigslist computers that were custom builds. Looking at the computers in Northern Virginia, I'd probably get this one:
https://washingtondc.craigslist.org/nva ... 34436.html
by Smorgasbord
Thu Jan 24, 2019 9:12 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Home insurance going up every year...
Replies: 58
Views: 3739

Re: Home insurance going up every year...

Indeed, insurance companies are becoming like the cable companies where costumers are incentivized to change providers every few years. I should really set aside one Saturday every two years specifically for switching various service providers.
by Smorgasbord
Wed Jan 23, 2019 11:25 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Worth it for lease to go into month-to-month by default?
Replies: 3
Views: 531

Re: Worth it for lease to go into month-to-month by default?

In the event your tenancy converts to a month to month lease, we may increase your rent to the market rate, provided we give at least thirty days notice of such increase. As it's only two more weeks before the last day of the current lease, it would appear that they can't increase the rent to marke...
by Smorgasbord
Mon Jan 21, 2019 10:57 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Have you searched for your unclaimed property?
Replies: 59
Views: 5370

Re: Have you searched for your unclaimed property?

Last year I received a letter from a company that scours the unclaimed property databases, notifies people that they have unclaimed property, and tries to get people have the company act as their agent (for a 20% fee). 25 years ago I probably would have paid the fee, but 20 seconds of Google searchi...
by Smorgasbord
Sun Jan 20, 2019 3:07 am
Forum: Personal Investments
Topic: No 529. son in high school
Replies: 19
Views: 2086

Re: No 529. son in high school

Based on ellink's previous posts, I'd guess they are in California. Assuming that's the case, I'd pass on the 529. Why? At worst they could invest in a money market fund inside the 529 and not pay tax on the interest. It seems like free money. I think the "at worst" situation is that someone pays t...
by Smorgasbord
Sun Jan 20, 2019 12:36 am
Forum: Personal Investments
Topic: No 529. son in high school
Replies: 19
Views: 2086

Re: No 529. son in high school

Based on ellink's previous posts, I'd guess they are in California. Assuming that's the case, I'd pass on the 529.
by Smorgasbord
Sat Jan 19, 2019 8:06 pm
Forum: Personal Investments
Topic: Good plan for a young man?
Replies: 18
Views: 1487

Re: Good plan for a young man?

Seems reasonable to me.
by Smorgasbord
Fri Jan 18, 2019 5:26 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Price-to-rent
Replies: 11
Views: 1176

Re: Price-to-rent

I will consider buying if the PITI with 20% down payment and 30 years mortgage is 20% to 30% lower than renting. The rent is $1,900 per month. So, the PITI has to be lower than $1,520 or $1,260. The house is 350K. The PITI is $1,400 . So, it might be worthwhile to buy. KlangFool What numbers are yo...
by Smorgasbord
Fri Jan 18, 2019 5:13 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Price-to-rent
Replies: 11
Views: 1176

Re: Price-to-rent

4nursebee wrote:
Fri Jan 18, 2019 5:06 pm
That rent is cheap. I would not rent that house to you for less than $3,500 per month.
That's what I was thinking too. If the owner was here we'd be telling him to list it this evening. :D The differences in perspective certainly are interesting.
by Smorgasbord
Thu Jan 17, 2019 11:40 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Why are you NOT buying rental properties?
Replies: 690
Views: 69610

Re: Why are you NOT buying rental properties?

I've had one rental property for two and a half years, and the reason I'm not buying more right now is that: A) I want more experience under my belt before taking on a second rental, B) these last 7 or so years have been quite good so there are few good properties available nearby, and C) I'm busy w...
by Smorgasbord
Thu Jan 10, 2019 10:11 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Best way to match paint?
Replies: 22
Views: 1511

Re: Best way to match paint?

Even if the color match is nearly perfect the sheen may be a bit off. This is so true. At my new house the walls in the living room had a few places that needed to be patched, and after two trips the home improvement store I got the color spot on, but the gloss level was off. By mixing two paints w...
by Smorgasbord
Thu Jan 10, 2019 10:03 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: MMORPG games
Replies: 63
Views: 6038

Re: MMORPG games

I played Last Kingdom , Faldon , Kingdom of Loathing , and I believe one other whose name I can't recall. I had to give it up because I was spending far too much time on these games. EDIT: For Kingdom of Loathing I stopped playing and became a currency broker for a while. At first, it was kind of sh...
by Smorgasbord
Sat Jan 05, 2019 10:12 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: washer dryer rec
Replies: 22
Views: 1644

Re: washer dryer rec

Not a recommendation for a washer and dryer, but the house I moved into two years ago had two washer/dryer hookups, and I still love being able start two loads at the same time. If you're building right now, I'm guessing the cost of adding a second set of hookups/vents would be minuscule.
by Smorgasbord
Fri Jan 04, 2019 3:21 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Does a PMI in lieu of 20% down ever make sense?
Replies: 48
Views: 3254

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

For my first house, I put down 20% and I can say with near certainty that I would have been better off had I just put 5% down and paid PMI (for at least a little while). The big catch is that I bought my house in the summer of 2009, and that extra 15% would have been better off staying in the stock ...
by Smorgasbord
Tue Jan 01, 2019 10:22 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Dry January 2019
Replies: 8
Views: 1361

Re: Dry January 2019

I did a (mostly) dry January through June last year due to my wife being pregnant (and being the one who buys the wine). With no other changes in behavior, I ended up losing about 10 pounds. :D
by Smorgasbord
Sun Dec 30, 2018 12:42 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Home buying advice
Replies: 21
Views: 1914

Re: Home buying advice

We are planning to buy a new SFH for 400k in Dallas suburbs before our eldest goes to school. PITI is $2600 on a 30 year with 20% down.I can rent a similar place for about $2100-2200. ... Can we afford this ? Even if you can afford it, renting seems like a pretty good option especially when you add...
by Smorgasbord
Sun Dec 30, 2018 10:09 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Tips on preventative home maintenance?
Replies: 43
Views: 5244

Re: Tips on preventative home maintenance?

TheHouse7 wrote:
Thu Dec 27, 2018 11:47 pm
Clean your dryer vent out every 6 months. :beer
Following up on that, I'd also suggest spending a few bucks and replace any flexiduct tubing with smooth aluminum ducting.
by Smorgasbord
Sun Dec 30, 2018 10:05 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Tips on preventative home maintenance?
Replies: 43
Views: 5244

Re: Tips on preventative home maintenance?

• Refrig. coils vacuumed I used to do this periodically with our last refrigerator but we recently got a new G.E. one and I didn't see any easy access to the coils. I called G.E. about this and they said there is no need to do it. Does that sound right? When I cleaned my coils a few months ago, the...
by Smorgasbord
Thu Dec 27, 2018 12:35 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: What common everyday inconvenience have you intentionally suffered for frugality?
Replies: 152
Views: 10167

Re: What common everyday inconvenience have you intentionally suffered for frugality?

I had a roommate for many years even though I could afford to live by myself. My roommates were great, but if it weren't for the several hundred dollars a month savings I would have been living alone.
by Smorgasbord
Mon Dec 24, 2018 11:11 am
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: What was your best investment in 2018?
Replies: 127
Views: 8196

Re: What was your best investment in 2018?

My best monetary investment for 2018 was installing a basement egress window to change my rental house from a 3 bedroom to a 4 bedroom. The increase in rent equates to a 20% annual return on the cost of putting in the window.
by Smorgasbord
Fri Dec 21, 2018 4:45 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Pesticides for residence
Replies: 26
Views: 1828

Re: Pesticides for residence

I currently have a company spray my home exterior (interior too if needed but it's very rare I request that) regularly. I think this is something I could do myself and save on this expense, but I'm wondering if end users have access to chemicals that are as effective. For five years I had a Restric...
by Smorgasbord
Thu Dec 20, 2018 1:42 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Mr. Money Mustache, SWR, and equity allocation
Replies: 524
Views: 42847

Re: Mr. Money Mustache, SWR, and equity allocation

I disagree. If someone is saving 10% for retirement, they're likely going to be retiring closer to traditional retirement age, and the availability of Social Security. They won't have as much of a gap to cover, may be able to use SS to reduce or eliminate the need to withdraw during bad market year...
by Smorgasbord
Thu Dec 20, 2018 1:09 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Mr. Money Mustache, SWR, and equity allocation
Replies: 524
Views: 42847

Re: Mr. Money Mustache, SWR, and equity allocation

The problem with the calculation is that someone who plans to retire off their investments (as opposed to retiring at a set age) is overwhelmingly more likely to do it when the markets are high, rather than when the markets are low, because the withdrawal rate is tied to net worth, and most of that...
by Smorgasbord
Thu Dec 20, 2018 10:26 am
Forum: Personal Investments
Topic: Will you contribute all $6,000 to IRA in Jan or DCA?
Replies: 32
Views: 2162

Re: Will you contribute all $6,000 to IRA in Jan or DCA?

I do both. Over the past decade or so, I've dollar cost averaged into my IRA by putting in contributions every January.
by Smorgasbord
Fri Dec 14, 2018 12:28 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: [Robinhood to offer 3% cash management program, not a bank account]
Replies: 160
Views: 11857

Re: [Robinhood to launch 3% interest bearing accounts, but is not a bank]

While I probably won't be an early adopter of Robinhood's checking account, it is interesting that we are now discussing [potentially] federally insured saving products with rates that are within striking distance of the mortgages many of us have. The "should I pay off my mortgage?" threads in the n...
by Smorgasbord
Thu Dec 13, 2018 12:55 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: MLP's [Master Limited Partnership]
Replies: 26
Views: 1821

Re: MLP's

a (six-fingered) maniple of MLPs: match list position midluteal phase multiple lymphomatous polyposis multilayer perception my little pony master limited partnership Echoing other posters, the one MLP I had turned out to be a hassle. Perhaps if it was a significant portion of my portfolio it would ...
by Smorgasbord
Wed Dec 12, 2018 11:05 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Desktop Computer. All in one or separate? And which one?
Replies: 34
Views: 2172

Re: Desktop Computer. All in one or separate? And which one?

I'm a big fan of buying 2-3 year old gaming computers. In my area, if you keep an eye on Craigslist you can usually pick a computer that is ridiculously overpowered for everything but the most modern games for $300 to $500.
by Smorgasbord
Tue Dec 11, 2018 9:27 am
Forum: Personal Investments
Topic: Made an unwise investment, help solicited
Replies: 41
Views: 3743

Re: Made an unwise investment, help solicited

So I probably should have cost averaged into this account instead of all at once. Mistake one. Mathematically this wasn't a mistake. Only in hindsight it was. It is generally better from a return standpoint to be in the market as soon as possible. Stocks go up more often than they go down. So while...
by Smorgasbord
Thu Dec 06, 2018 6:13 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Who else is getting excited? [about the market]
Replies: 145
Views: 13943

Re: Who else is getting excited?

I'm just happy that the drop happened in December instead of January after I had made my Roth IRA and 529 contributions for the year.
by Smorgasbord
Thu Dec 06, 2018 11:35 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Should we sell farmland to coal company?
Replies: 33
Views: 2176

Re: Should we sell farmland to coal company?

How does your estimation of the land value compare with Purdue's recent state survey?
https://ag.purdue.edu/agecon/Documents/ ... _final.pdf
by Smorgasbord
Wed Dec 05, 2018 11:45 am
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Why buying homes with mortgages is good but buying stocks on margin is bad
Replies: 36
Views: 3131

Re: Why buying homes with mortgages is good but buying stocks on margin is bad

I'm all for buying stocks on margin so long as it is with a non-callable 30-year fixed-rate term. Good luck finding that.
by Smorgasbord
Sun Dec 02, 2018 9:37 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: 529 Plan Worth It?
Replies: 16
Views: 1346

Re: 529 Plan Worth It?

What state are you in? The tax deduction/credit in some states can make an otherwise so-so 529 plan downright fantastic.
by Smorgasbord
Thu Nov 29, 2018 11:16 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Guy's Western US Ski Trip - suggestions?
Replies: 44
Views: 2801

Re: Guy's Western US Ski Trip - suggestions?

My vote would be for either Tahoe or Breckenridge.

I'd avoid Whistler for a trip planned far in advance. While the conditions can be amazing, they can also be downright crummy, and my experience has been that the crummy days tend to outnumber the amazing days by about 5 to 1.
by Smorgasbord
Tue Nov 27, 2018 2:50 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: How do value the cost of commuting?
Replies: 54
Views: 3692

Re: How do value the cost of commuting?

So your reward for commuting almost three hours a day would be a measly 3-5% increase in household income. Yeah, that's a terrible idea.
by Smorgasbord
Fri Nov 23, 2018 7:19 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Renting car in Chicago - Christmas - what to expect?
Replies: 14
Views: 1392

Re: Renting car in Chicago - Christmas - what to expect?

The snow isn't so much the issue as ice and black ice. Just go slow and you'll be fine unless you know you have to travel long distances. If you're not worried about the snow, then don't even worry about it. The lake effect snow is annoying, but not a big deal. I would add that unless your are plan...