Search found 134 matches

by dandinsac
Sun Nov 10, 2019 12:05 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: How bad business travel is?
Replies: 61
Views: 4643

Re: How bad business travel is?

Another factor is if the travel is to the same location, or would be different each time. Traveling 1-2 times per month to the same location allows for a routin: same hotel(s), rental car and airport. This takes a lot of the stress out of travel. I find that I know the area and can navigate easily. ...
by dandinsac
Sun Nov 10, 2019 12:00 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: How bad business travel is?
Replies: 61
Views: 4643

Re: How bad business travel is?

The things that can make or break business travel are the travel policies of the company. Do you always have to take the least cost flights even if you are routed 1000 miles out of the way? Do you have to stay in cheap motels 50 miles away when there are moderate priced ones at your destination? Do...
by dandinsac
Sat Nov 02, 2019 8:49 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Workplace PIP - Next Steps?
Replies: 20
Views: 1890

Re: Workplace PIP - Next Steps?

I would advise her to explain the situation to an attorney who specializes in sexual discrimination. If these are valid... “large company”, “never appraised” and “no warning”, then she should have an attorney make the case for her. In my opinion, having a lawyer would result in the best outcome for ...
by dandinsac
Mon Oct 28, 2019 7:44 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Is this new to engineering job hunting?
Replies: 33
Views: 4236

Re: Is this new to engineering job hunting?

In my opinion, the key to finding good, interesting work is first being really good at engineering and a reliable employee. Another requirement is knowing people who know of interesting work where engineers are needed. - Does your son have a profile on LinkedIn? Is it well done? - Can recruiters eas...
by dandinsac
Wed Oct 09, 2019 10:49 pm
Forum: Personal Investments
Topic: Pension vs Lump Sum Payment
Replies: 19
Views: 1144

Re: Pension vs Lump Sum Payment

Taking the lump sum is probably a better financial move as long as things go to plan. The lump sum give you more flexibility and earning potential comes with some risk Taking the annuity is a guarantee for life for both of you. But, once you both pass, the money stops. If you take the lump sum, and ...
by dandinsac
Wed Oct 09, 2019 6:50 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Do you carry your passport with you during international travel?
Replies: 110
Views: 9447

Re: Do you carry your passport with you during international travel?

I used to carry mine until I lost it (or had it pickpocketed) in Paris. I found that it was fairly easy to get replaced at the US Embassy, but it took several hours to first get photos taken, do the interview, and then wait to get the replacement. Now, I just carry a photocopy. If you’re traveling f...
by dandinsac
Wed Oct 09, 2019 6:45 pm
Forum: Personal Investments
Topic: Investment help- do we sell to pay down a mortage?
Replies: 12
Views: 1258

Re: Investment help- do we sell to pay down a mortage?

I’d recommend taking $80-90K from your $120K investment account to pay down your current mortgage; then refinance to get a lower rate without PMI. You may have to be careful with capital gains on this withdrawal. If there are a lot of taxes to pay, then do some in 2019 and some more in 2020. The nex...
by dandinsac
Wed Oct 09, 2019 2:49 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Tax Savings ideas - retired with large separation payment
Replies: 9
Views: 943

Re: Tax Savings ideas - retired with large separation payment

Contribute to a tax deductible IRA for your spouse if you haven’t already done so.
by dandinsac
Sat Sep 21, 2019 7:30 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Save? Invest? Pay off Mortgage?
Replies: 12
Views: 1700

Re: Save? Invest? Pay off Mortgage?

If you have $300,000 in Roth + Ally, then you should pay off the mortgage. Otherwise, save more, either in Ally or a taxable brokerage account.
by dandinsac
Sat Sep 21, 2019 10:17 am
Forum: Personal Investments
Topic: Is this a good portfolio mix for a retiree?
Replies: 22
Views: 2817

Re: Is this a good portfolio mix for a retiree?

If simple is the primary goal, consider these funds, which have about 50% invested in stocks:

Vanguard Tax-Managed Balanced Fund Admiral Shares (VTMFX)
Vanguard Managed Payout Fund (VPGDX)
by dandinsac
Sat Sep 21, 2019 9:51 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Life insurance policy from the '80s
Replies: 9
Views: 983

Re: Life insurance policy from the '80s

I would keep it as long as the premiums are manageable. You may want to ask Jackson for the schedule of premium increases as I’m guessing that these would increase over time. At some point, the policy will pay out, either in a lump sum death benefit or your parents will need the cash value. In the m...
by dandinsac
Sat Sep 07, 2019 3:21 pm
Forum: Personal Investments
Topic: Quick sprint to pay off mortgage make sense?
Replies: 11
Views: 976

Re: Quick sprint to pay off mortgage make sense?

Can you live off of the $86K salary including making the normal house payment? If so, then you could divert ALL of the $132K salary to invest for 401K matching and extra principal payments. Then, in case his job goes away or he can’t work, you have a budget that allows you to still pay the bills.
by dandinsac
Fri Sep 06, 2019 7:33 pm
Forum: Personal Investments
Topic: How much did changing my portfolio cost me?
Replies: 17
Views: 1704

Re: How much did not staying the course cost me?

$20,000,000,000 give or take a few zeros...
by dandinsac
Mon Sep 02, 2019 3:24 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: semi-DIY solar panels
Replies: 39
Views: 3260

Re: semi-DIY solar panels

Just to get some idea of how to size your system, here's a pretty good calculator: https://pvwatts.nrel.gov/pvwatts.php It isn't a full design software package, but gives you a good idea of production you can expect. I agree, pvwatts is a good one to start with. Some utilities also have calculators...
by dandinsac
Sun Sep 01, 2019 8:46 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: semi-DIY solar panels
Replies: 39
Views: 3260

Re: semi-DIY solar panels

Your brother-in-law could have someone in his company become NABCEP certified. https://www.nabcep.org/certifications/ There may also be additional state contractor licensing requirements to meet for solar installations. For your specific installation, your brother-in-law will want to start the inter...
by dandinsac
Sun Aug 11, 2019 11:06 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: How to spend a bonus
Replies: 30
Views: 2251

Re: How to spend a bonus

I suggest paying off the car, HELOC, and 23K student loan first. (Total = $57.5K). Instead of making a charitable donation in cash, donate a comparable amount of stock to your charity. Use the $3-4K/monthly cash to first pay off the $6K loan and then pay down the $132K loan. Continue donating stock ...
by dandinsac
Fri Jun 07, 2019 6:14 pm
Forum: Personal Investments
Topic: FIRST POST - Portfolio Review - Please
Replies: 37
Views: 4151

Re: FIRST POST - Portfolio Review - Please

Welcome! Since you already have an account with Vanguard, I would transfer the two IRAs to Vanguard first. Then, something like this would be fairly easy to work with. The goal would be to have single funds in all accounts except one of the large tax deferred funds. Then you can rebalance without ta...
by dandinsac
Tue May 28, 2019 8:05 am
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Paying back loan to 401(k): Let it happen from payroll deductions or use a HELOC to pay it back now?
Replies: 39
Views: 2206

Re: Paying back loan to 401(k): Let it happen from payroll deductions or use a HELOC to pay it back now?

I don’t believe it matters too much. Using some made up numbers for a $20,000 loan and paying back at the end of 1 year: From the perspective of the cash from checking account, there is no difference: - Borrow from 401K @5%; Add $20,000 at start of loan; pay back $20,000 + $1,000 interest = $21,000 ...
by dandinsac
Thu May 09, 2019 9:19 pm
Forum: Personal Investments
Topic: Investing life insurance payout as 8 year salary replacement
Replies: 15
Views: 2030

Re: Investing life insurance payout as 8 year salary replacement

You may consider looking at these alternatives from a financial perspective: 1. Retire now: Sell the house, start your social security right away and change to the widow benefit at FRA. 2. Retire now: Sell the house, start the widow benefit now and switch to your benefit at age 70. 3. Sell the house...
by dandinsac
Sun Mar 31, 2019 9:14 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Best enhancement for folks who work from home
Replies: 42
Views: 4483

Re: Best enhancement for folks who work from home

These have been worth it for me: - replaced ceiling light with a lighted ceiling fan with remote control. - Husky adjustable workbench with wheels as my desk - installed 4U rack that mounts under the workbench. Installed 1U power strip with outlets in back and front; 2U drawer that holds 5 port USB ...
by dandinsac
Fri Mar 29, 2019 10:54 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Have you searched for your unclaimed property?
Replies: 59
Views: 5374

Re: Have you searched for your unclaimed property?

$290 total from Wisconsin and Missouri. Woohoo! Thanks for the thread.

I can’t justify going after the $0.16 that is in California. (Had a savings account with Capital One and they sent me letters for a year telling me I had this in the account.)
by dandinsac
Sat Mar 02, 2019 8:29 pm
Forum: Personal Investments
Topic: Portfolio Advice - 2 year followup + back for more!
Replies: 7
Views: 639

Re: Portfolio Advice - 2 year followup + back for more!

Living in California as well, put everything possible in tax deferred before taxable. For me, for a taxable account, the least taxed investments are ibonds or treasuries. For you, long term capital gains could be a better investment. I played around a bit with TurboTax this year and found the follow...
by dandinsac
Thu Feb 21, 2019 6:36 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Job Offer - 24 Hours to Decide?
Replies: 100
Views: 7615

Re: Job Offer - 24 Hours to Decide?

One concern that your new company may have is that you will go back to your existing employer and negotiate a better deal and leave them hanging. Since it’s almost a weekend, you could tell them something like, “Thank you for your offer. This is an important decision in my career and would like the ...
by dandinsac
Fri Feb 01, 2019 12:51 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: How much do you keep in checking?
Replies: 135
Views: 11634

Re: How much do you keep in checking?

$10K above my credit card balance. I look at it once a month or so and most times move funds into my brokerage account. It has simplified my life not to worry about it.
by dandinsac
Wed Dec 19, 2018 4:27 am
Forum: Personal Investments
Topic: Gradual rebalancing methods
Replies: 3
Views: 384

Re: Gradual rebalancing methods

We're thinking of retiring in the next few years and want to gradually reduce our stock allocation from high 60's to low 60's. Would it be reasonable to accomplish this by discontinuing the automatic dividend re-investments for the stocks and stock funds in our 401Ks and IRAs and invest those divid...
by dandinsac
Wed Oct 24, 2018 4:28 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: CA property tax > $10K, any options to deduct all?
Replies: 45
Views: 6310

Re: CA property tax > $10K, any options to deduct all?

Thanks for starting the thread as it resulted in my figuring out exactly what I would pay. It doesn’t help getting more property tax writeoffs, but it does illustrate that the tax law is fairly neutral for some of us in California. Here’s how it plays out for me as a California resident... 2016 - AG...
by dandinsac
Mon Oct 15, 2018 8:19 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: New Snowbird- Tucson AZ
Replies: 21
Views: 3647

Re: New Snowbird- Tucson AZ

Some other trip, drive from Globe to Roosevelt Lake to its dam, then back to Apache Junction on the Apache Trail if you have a slender vehicle and no agoraphobia. Expect to wash the dust off of your car before you drive back to Tucson. I’ve driven this. It’s gorgeous and rugged. I would drive it fr...
by dandinsac
Tue Oct 09, 2018 3:45 pm
Forum: Personal Investments
Topic: How to get over paper loss?
Replies: 43
Views: 4104

Re: How to get over paper loss?

Buy 6-month treasuries. They pretty much go up in value (a little bit) or stay the same, every day. So, you’ll have a paper gain to offset the paper loss.
by dandinsac
Wed Sep 05, 2018 9:58 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: How to tell which vent is dryer vent?
Replies: 40
Views: 1915

Re: How to tell which vent is dryer vent?

Nearly A Moose wrote:
Wed Sep 05, 2018 1:57 pm
It's also possible this is vented to the roof; I haven't been up there, and it's a flat-roof rowhouse so I can't see the roof without buying a longer ladder and climbing up there.
You can now justfy buying a drone with a camera so that you can see what is on the top of your roof!
by dandinsac
Wed Sep 05, 2018 9:40 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Cost of car ownership: 6.5 years of data in the SF bay area
Replies: 44
Views: 5512

Re: Cost of car ownership: 6.5 years of data in the SF bay area

This thread got me thinking about keeping my older cars even longer and renting when I need to drive a ways. I recently rented a 2018 Nissan Sentra in Missouri and drove 399 miles over a three day weekend. My costs were $110.47 plus $28.50 in gas. (Cheap gas in Missouri and the Sentra sips fuel.) My...
by dandinsac
Sun Jul 29, 2018 12:39 pm
Forum: Personal Investments
Topic: Best place to park a large amount of cash for a year
Replies: 13
Views: 1832

Re: Best place to park a large amount of cash for a year

For such a short time, and to avoid the hassle of setting up another account, I would transfer to VG. Once it's there, you can buy a 6 month treasury bill at auction without a commission. Any rise in interest rates later this year would only affect the value of the bond if you need to sell it before...
by dandinsac
Sat Jul 28, 2018 4:05 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Home Addition Finance
Replies: 48
Views: 3090

Re: Home Addition Finance

Moving seems quite expensive - probably $50-60K by itself. It seems that if $200K is all it takes for the house to work for you, that seems like the better option. Here's an alternative approach as opposed to waiting: 2018 - Pay off student loan; open a $100K HELOC, hire an architect / kitchen desig...
by dandinsac
Sat Jul 28, 2018 3:16 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Home Theater vs. Soundbar
Replies: 67
Views: 7294

Re: Home Theater vs. Soundbar

If you already own speakers, consider the NAD 3020 amplifier. I use this with optical audio from the TV and a pair of small NHT superzero speakers. The sound is impressive for a small system. It’s easy to play bluetooth audio as well. @dandinsac - I am leaning towards this type of solution, at leas...
by dandinsac
Wed Jul 25, 2018 8:57 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Home Theater vs. Soundbar
Replies: 67
Views: 7294

Re: Home Theater vs. Soundbar

If you already own speakers, consider the NAD 3020 amplifier. I use this with optical audio from the TV and a pair of small NHT superzero speakers. The sound is impressive for a small system. It’s easy to play bluetooth audio as well.
by dandinsac
Sat Jul 21, 2018 10:50 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: IRA Distribution or HELOC for Home Improvement
Replies: 10
Views: 606

Re: IRA Distribution or HELOC for Home Improvement

One approach would be to start with the HELOC and use those funds to get the project started. I did this with a kitchen remodel and when I didn't have enough funds in my checking, I'd write checks from the HELOC as needed to pay my contractor. You shouldn't have to take out the loan in a lump sum. A...
by dandinsac
Fri Jul 20, 2018 9:28 am
Forum: Personal Investments
Topic: How do you handle the urge to DO something?
Replies: 102
Views: 8299

Re: How do you handle the urge to DO something?

I invest all my new contributions for my 401K, my Roth IRA, my wife's IRA, and taxable account into stocks. These are all made by scheduled, automated transactions each week. Each weekend, I calculate the percentage of stocks versus bonds and how much over or under the stock percentage is over my ta...
by dandinsac
Sun Jul 15, 2018 12:18 pm
Forum: Personal Investments
Topic: What to sell for Mom's RMD
Replies: 15
Views: 1335

Re: What to sell for Mom's RMD

In addition to this year’s withdrawal, you could take the opportunity to move the next three or four years of RMD’s to CDs or Treasuries. This would allow you to sell the high cost funds and establish a target stock/bond percentage. It also avoids having to address the same question each year.
by dandinsac
Sun Jul 08, 2018 7:38 pm
Forum: Personal Investments
Topic: 58 yr old divorced female, BH newbie, needs help consolidating retirement portfolio
Replies: 9
Views: 1518

Re: 58 yr old divorced female, BH newbie, needs help consolidating retirement portfolio

I suggest these as your first actions: 1. Move all of the investments in both 401K accounts into the stable value funds. 2. Initiate a transfer of the taxable account in kind to Vanguard or Fidelity. (They will walk you through this.) I think this puts you at about a 50/50 stock/safe ratio. Right no...
by dandinsac
Sun Jul 08, 2018 2:39 pm
Forum: Personal Investments
Topic: Help with move to HCOL area
Replies: 6
Views: 949

Re: Help with move to HCOL area

I live in Sacramento, which is higher cost than the midwestern cities I lived in before. The biggest thing for me was to find a house in an area that didn’t require driving much. My car costs are very low now, even though my house costs much more than anything I had in the past. Living in DC, doing ...
by dandinsac
Fri Jun 29, 2018 8:15 pm
Forum: Personal Investments
Topic: Anybody Investing with 'Betterment'?
Replies: 37
Views: 7917

Re: Anybody Investing with 'Betterment'?

I was with them for a couple of years. I started a taxable account and got a $250 bonus to open an account. Later, I rolled over a 401K and started a Roth as well. My performance over a 2 year period lagged the Vanguard 2030 fund which surprised me. (Both accounts were taxed defferred and had 70/30 ...
by dandinsac
Wed Jun 13, 2018 7:30 pm
Forum: Personal Investments
Topic: Better late than never
Replies: 7
Views: 1469

Re: Better late than never

Scott, Welcome to the forum! I don't know a lot about the social security offset program, but if you can get more by waiting, then that would be the best way to go. For example, for the next 4 years, you could save at least $26,000 in Roth IRAs, and you'll be 65. If at that point, you stop working, ...
by dandinsac
Mon Jun 04, 2018 12:10 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Travel advice for an engineer
Replies: 65
Views: 5335

Re: Travel advice for an engineer

Le Pont du Gard in southern France is very impressive. There is a museum on site that describes how it was built by the Romans.
https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Pont_du_Gard
by dandinsac
Tue May 22, 2018 9:25 am
Forum: Personal Investments
Topic: Retiring in early 2019.
Replies: 30
Views: 3262

Re: Retiring in early 2019.

I suggest you hire a CPA or another type of "per hour" financial advisor who has fiduciary responsibility to advise you relative to taxes. For your taxable funds, depending on your state, treasury bonds, i bonds, or a municipal bond fund may be a good approach as well. Filing as a single taxpayer ma...
by dandinsac
Sat May 12, 2018 12:49 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Need help with Excel Spreadsheet formula
Replies: 8
Views: 761

Re: Need help with Excel Spreadsheet formula

=AVERAGEIFS(B:B,A:A,”>=“&date(2018,1,1))

where the dates are in column A and the values are in column B.
by dandinsac
Wed May 09, 2018 9:28 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Family Vacation in Late Feb
Replies: 30
Views: 2066

Re: Family Vacation in Late Feb

Cuba. With a fluent Spanish speaker, that could be a great trip.
by dandinsac
Sat Apr 28, 2018 7:37 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Lake Tahoe
Replies: 28
Views: 3199

Re: Lake Tahoe

I agree with others that you have too much driving for both San Francisco and Yosemite. Until I moved here to Sacramento, I didn’t quite realize how big it is. From Tahoe, it will be 3 hours to Yosemite and 3 hours to Sacramento. San Francisco would add at least 4 hours of more driving if you don’t ...
by dandinsac
Wed Apr 25, 2018 9:12 am
Forum: Personal Investments
Topic: Allocation Debate - consider all accounts as one?
Replies: 22
Views: 1927

Re: Allocation Debate - consider all accounts as one?

Here is how I allocate between multiple accounts... Her IRA - 65% International Developed and 35% Emerging Market His Roth IRA - 100% US Extended (not S&P 500) His Rollover IRA - split between bonds (TIPS & treasury bonds) and S&P 500 His 401K - mix between S&P 500; US extended; International develo...
by dandinsac
Wed Apr 11, 2018 8:37 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Weekly Commuting
Replies: 22
Views: 2466

Re: Weekly Commuting

I fly from Sacramento to SoCal every few weeks. I have switched to JetBlue for price, leg room, and reserved seats. Southwest is typically $75-100 more expensive. Downside of JetBlue is that they have fewer flights. Transportation or airport parking is another cost you'll need to manage.
by dandinsac
Fri Apr 06, 2018 7:12 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: One week of family vacation in SE Asia. Thailand vs Malaysia?
Replies: 7
Views: 993

Re: One week of family vacation in SE Asia. Thailand vs Malaysia?

I really enjoyed Taiwan when I visited there on business. I stayed mostly in Taipei, but took a tour to the Karoka gorge for a weekend. Food was delicious.
by dandinsac
Thu Apr 05, 2018 12:27 am
Forum: Personal Investments
Topic: Investing Very Small Amounts Daily
Replies: 22
Views: 4029

Re: Investing Very Small Amounts Daily

I have an automatic weekly investment for my Roth IRA into Vanguard Extended Market Index Fund. For Q1 2018, i averaged the closing values each day. Average price for all days - $86.14 Mondays - 86.31 Tuesdays - 86.05 Wednesday - 86.14 Thursdays - 85.94 Fridays - 86.32 If you had invested $1,000, yo...