Search found 151 matches

by Artful Dodger
Wed Dec 13, 2017 4:43 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Concert Decision and Advice
Replies: 41
Views: 2246

Re: Concert Decision and Advice

I love concerts. We go all the time, to all type of shows: rock, jazz, classical, folk-acoustic, etc. Went to a jazz show two weeks ago ($40 per tic). The week before, saw Lady Gaga (Stubhub tics $250 per). A few years ago went to Nashville for Paul McCartney, later to Las Vegas for two Dead & Co sh...
by Artful Dodger
Wed Dec 13, 2017 3:56 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Dad Needs Help Buying Wedding Liquor
Replies: 69
Views: 6240

Re: Dad Needs Help Buying Wedding Liquor

I was employed by a liquor/beer/ wine retail chain until retirement in 2014. I've done these calculations thousands of times. Vodka--Smirnoff Gin-Bombay Rum-Bacardi Bourbon-Jack Daniel Black Scotch-Johnny Walker Red Whiskey- Don't need this Dry Vermouth- Martini & Rossi Sweet Vermouth-Martini & Ros...
by Artful Dodger
Tue Dec 12, 2017 3:05 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: When & how much to donate?
Replies: 108
Views: 8417

Re: When & how much to donate?

I had the good example of parents who were involved in the community, which I observed from an early age. I can remember when I was 6 or 7 traipsing with my mother through the neighborhood making calls for the Community Chest (now United Way). My father always gave time to charitable causes and was ...
by Artful Dodger
Thu Dec 07, 2017 6:01 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: What do Bogleheads say when they don't want to spend money?
Replies: 103
Views: 5462

Re: What do Bogleheads say when they don't want to spend money?

I think you are reading way way too much into this. No sane person should need to nor expect someone to say "I can not afford $9.99 a month" likewise no normal person should say I do not feel that the opportunity cost of Netflix is favorable to the potential growth I expect to experience by investi...
by Artful Dodger
Wed Dec 06, 2017 6:15 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Do people still use AAA?
Replies: 181
Views: 10811

Re: Do people still use AAA?

I keep it. It is more flexible then the insurance coverage we have on the full coverage car, and the liability only cars don't come with roadside service. The extra miles is a big plus. I see AAA branded vehicles in our area, and the last time I used them, that's who came to us. The travel discounts...
by Artful Dodger
Mon Dec 04, 2017 2:56 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Philanthropy and related issues
Replies: 50
Views: 3322

Re: Philanthropy and related issues

I try to do a little of both. We donate $ to our church, Rotary international, and a number of community based charities. I also volunteer my time with Rotary, raising $ for my local club to give to charity. I also help other clubs with planning and setting goals, so they can grow and do more local ...
by Artful Dodger
Tue Nov 28, 2017 2:05 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: 401 K Loan or Line of Credit with higher interest ?
Replies: 5
Views: 446

Re: 401 K Loan or Line of Credit with higher interest ?

Have you checked with your credit card company(ies). I'm always getting these 0% interest offers, usually with a one time 4% (sometimes as low as 2%) charge, good for 12-18 months. That would be a better deal. If you hold a cash position in your 401k, then whatever interest rate you pay will be a be...
by Artful Dodger
Mon Nov 27, 2017 11:45 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: overseas vacation questions
Replies: 22
Views: 1420

Re: overseas vacation questions

If you turn off your water (and you should) make sure you also turn off your water heater especially a tank model. I've seen many people burn up their water heaters while on vacation because something used up the water in the pipes. Many people have burned up their water heaters :!: OTOH in many ar...
by Artful Dodger
Sun Nov 26, 2017 8:46 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Donor Advised Fund for 2018 Planned Donations?
Replies: 29
Views: 2386

Re: Donor Advised Fund for 2018 Planned Donations?

I did thus as well, as I expect my standard deduction to exceed our allowable itemized deductions if tax bill is passed. I'm sending in enough to cover the next 3 to 4 years expected charitable contributions. Will look into prepaying some taxes based on reading this post. I would think I could over ...
by Artful Dodger
Fri Nov 24, 2017 11:38 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Job Downsizing Question, HELP!
Replies: 18
Views: 1481

Re: Job Downsizing Question, HELP!

First, you need to speak to your HR representative - reducing you to a pre-hire salary is a red flag. Are there additional responsibilities you can take on that will allow you to maintain the Director level position (and a higher salary)? Ask HR about the possibility of receiving the separation pac...
by Artful Dodger
Tue Nov 21, 2017 9:15 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: What brand of used car - Hyundai vs Nissan?
Replies: 27
Views: 1682

Re: What brand of used car - Hyundai vs Nissan?

Have owned two Hyundai vehicles. The first was 2007 Hyundai Tucson. I bought used about five years ago. I'd never really considered buying a Hyundai, but was test driving a number of entry level SUVs and the Tucson stood out, had 60k miles and drove like a brand new car. Very few mechanical issues s...
by Artful Dodger
Mon Nov 20, 2017 5:12 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Do I have to report a thank-you dinner as income to the IRS?
Replies: 15
Views: 2392

Re: Do I have to report a thank-you dinner as income to the IRS?

As you state it, a goodwill gesture between friends or neighbors does not constitute income. That's how I read your query. A neighbor comes over with his chain saw and helps you clear your lot. If you paid for this, it might be $200-$400. But, when a friend helps you do the same thing, it isn't a bu...
by Artful Dodger
Mon Nov 20, 2017 4:53 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Uber for someone who knows only taxis
Replies: 93
Views: 5819

Re: Uber for someone who knows only taxis

I have some questions: Does PayPal charge a fee for filling your account via credit card. I thought they did. Any reason not to use my credit card with Uber or Lyft (use PayPal instead)? Silly question, but if you were to be both a driver and customer, do you use the same app? Or are there separate...
by Artful Dodger
Mon Nov 20, 2017 1:10 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Uber for someone who knows only taxis
Replies: 93
Views: 5819

Re: Uber for someone who knows only taxis

I think someone above said only do UberX. I've done the pool cars several times with no problems, and sometimes with a significant savings. Most of the time, you are the only fare. Other than that, I echo the other positive remarks. I've used in many major USA cities plus Paris and London, just rece...
by Artful Dodger
Sun Nov 19, 2017 2:59 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: How much do you budget for vacation?
Replies: 94
Views: 5806

Re: How much do you budget for vacation?

I remembered answering this just recently. It was in the "How Much Do You Spend On Entertainment?" thread. Here's what I posted re vacations this past year... Vacations - Are these entertainment? Just did 12 days London and Paris - $7500; last winter - Singapore / Bali / Viet Nam - $10,000. We did s...
by Artful Dodger
Tue Nov 14, 2017 11:56 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Upgrading a flight - what are your rules?
Replies: 40
Views: 3741

Re: Upgrading a flight - what are your rules?

I'm not sure rules is the right word. You'll get a lot of varied opinions; personal preference, how you value the spending of your dollars, how often you travel, and how long the trip will impact the choices. Some folks will spend thousands more for business if the trip is six hours or more. Livesof...
by Artful Dodger
Mon Nov 13, 2017 12:32 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Do you meditate?
Replies: 117
Views: 7864

Re: Do you meditate?

Yes, but not as often as I should. My wife teaches yoga, and I've done yoga for 20 years. Now, I mostly do a 30 minute daily stretching routine mixed with some yoga poses. When doing this, I'll often listen to a dharma talk from Gil Fronsdal (Insight Meditation Center). He has a lot of free talks on...
by Artful Dodger
Sun Nov 12, 2017 4:35 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Use or Lose $850 from Limited Expense FSA
Replies: 36
Views: 1775

Re: Use or Lose $850 from Limited Expense FSA

A number of limited expense plans (as well as traditional FSAs) have been liberalized to allow a certain amount to be carried over to the next year. I believe the federal employees program allows a $500 carryover. You may have already checked into this, but thought I would throw the idea out.
by Artful Dodger
Sun Nov 12, 2017 4:26 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Flying first class, business, versus economy.
Replies: 184
Views: 16866

Re: Flying first class, business, versus economy.

Curious about how many of the people that are willing to spend thousands more on a seat would be willing to buy a 5k watch? :) Choosing to fly anything other than economy is going to show the split in bogleheads between the high earners for whom spending a couple thousand bucks is reasonable and th...
by Artful Dodger
Thu Nov 09, 2017 2:15 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Liability insurance for college students in dorms ?
Replies: 13
Views: 1085

Re: Liability insurance for college students in dorms ?

Just curious. What potential liability are you insuring?
by Artful Dodger
Thu Nov 09, 2017 2:12 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: What is the difference between retiring and resigning from a job?
Replies: 42
Views: 4521

Re: What is the difference between retiring and resigning from a job?

If you retire, they invite you to the annual Christmas lunch.
by Artful Dodger
Thu Nov 09, 2017 12:13 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Extended Warranty on Used Car
Replies: 15
Views: 840

Re: Extended Warranty on Used Car

Agreed. Would do it if you get an Audi. I did it for mine, and it paid for itself in the end. Thanks! Did you get the extended warranty from an Audi dealership or a 3rd party? May I ask the cost involved? I got my warranty from the Audi dealer when I bought the car off the lease. It was for 4 years...
by Artful Dodger
Wed Nov 08, 2017 9:20 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Extended Warranty on Used Car
Replies: 15
Views: 840

Re: Extended Warranty on Used Car

I would get for the Audi if you are comfortable with the price and vendor. Probably BMW too. Speaking from experience :?
by Artful Dodger
Mon Nov 06, 2017 2:33 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Climate controlled cars - Useful or Useless?
Replies: 49
Views: 2204

Re: Climate controlled cars - Useful or Useless?

Every car I've had for the past 20 years has had auto climate control. My last two had separate settings for driver and passenger, which considering the size of the space does seem unnecessary. I just leave it set at 71, and for the most part never touch it. If on some days, that feels too cool, I'l...
by Artful Dodger
Thu Nov 02, 2017 12:23 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Warning Buffet Indicator?!?
Replies: 31
Views: 2564

Re: Warning Buffet Indicator?!?

The only buffet like places I regularly patronize are grocery stores, mostly for their lunch salad. Occasionally will eat at Whole Foods hot and cold bars. Our rotary club occasionally has a soup and salad buffet. I have never ever gotten sick from eating at a buffet. I have got food poisoning i thi...
by Artful Dodger
Thu Nov 02, 2017 11:52 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Do you Mow your own Lawn?
Replies: 90
Views: 3041

Re: Do you Mow your own Lawn?

Yes. Fairly big yard 12-13,000 sq ft. I like doing it, plus other yard type tasks - landscaping, gardening, just built a brick walkway. We have a lawn service for fertilizing. I do my Fall over seeding. I hired a mole guy this summer for $150 - he got two. My wife hires high school kids to help with...
by Artful Dodger
Tue Oct 31, 2017 8:34 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Help me pick from these 3 health options at my employer!
Replies: 5
Views: 498

Re: Help me pick from these 3 health options at my employer!

There isn't enough savings from the silver or bronze plans to justify the additional risk. Go for the gold.
by Artful Dodger
Fri Oct 27, 2017 2:56 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Annual enrollment time, trying to decide on Dependent Care FSA
Replies: 9
Views: 398

Re: Annual enrollment time, trying to decide on Dependent Care FSA

If you move, and your wife has a change in job status, that would normally be considered a qualifying event, and allow you to change or discontinue your contribution. For sure check with your HR department or area who handles the plan to confirm they will accept her change in status as a qualifying ...
by Artful Dodger
Thu Oct 26, 2017 2:15 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Do you include the capitalized value of Social Security in your asset allocation?
Replies: 32
Views: 2050

Re: Do you include the capitalized value of Social Security in your asset allocation?

I don't include in my asset allocation.

I include SS projected payments in my retirement planning forecast (Fidelity software). I do take into account that SS and wife's pension will cover most necessary expenses, and this has a slight impact on the asset allocation of my retirement savings.
by Artful Dodger
Mon Oct 23, 2017 11:00 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Pant Recommendations (Business Casual)
Replies: 42
Views: 2871

Re: Pant Recommendations (Business Casual)

Brands have different fits now, but you seem to be concerned about the waist only. If the pants are too tight around the waist, they don't fit properly. Different brands can vary for the same nominal waist size, but even then the different models within the brand can vary, so you have to try them o...
by Artful Dodger
Mon Oct 09, 2017 7:03 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Is there boglehead consensus on buying a car?
Replies: 73
Views: 5345

Re: Is there boglehead consensus on buying a car?

My opinion: if you're buying something like civic, buy it new (or really old if you like a beater). I doesn't pay to buy a 2 year old civic or Accord because they hold a lot of their value. You don't know how the previous owner treated the car and to save a couple of thousand on a 20k plus car does...
by Artful Dodger
Mon Oct 09, 2017 4:16 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Asking for discounts
Replies: 59
Views: 6816

Re: Asking for discounts

The one that surprised me the most was for auto repair. I had a 2003 Audi and had purchased the extended warranty for 50K to 100K. Whenever I took it in for services, they would give me the bill which would show something like $2200 for the services, show the warranty company had paid $1650, and I o...
by Artful Dodger
Sat Oct 07, 2017 7:17 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Specific Question About Fidelity 401k Tax Withholding
Replies: 8
Views: 559

Re: Specific Question About Fidelity 401k Tax Withholding

I would say yes to both. But call to confirm. They're easy to work with. I've made several distributions with 50% going toward taxes, but usually just federal. I have several options set up under transfers, and State tax withholding comes up in the drop box when I'm doing the transfer online.
by Artful Dodger
Fri Oct 06, 2017 2:43 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Starting a Business While Working
Replies: 5
Views: 828

Re: Starting a Business While Working

If I understand you, you will continue to buy product from your current company, and sell to the end consumer. The problem as I see it, and you have identified, is you will be competing with your customers. Whether you share confidential info or not, you will be seen as ethically compromised. If you...
by Artful Dodger
Fri Oct 06, 2017 11:23 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Question About Long Term Care
Replies: 75
Views: 6389

Re: Question About Long Term Care

As of my next anniversary, I and my wife with have a $199 daily benefit each for 5 years. We have a spousal rider, so if one of us would go on claim, and exhaust our 5 years of benefits, we can access our spouses' 5 years of benefits, up to the policy's 10 year max (thereby decreasing the other's p...
by Artful Dodger
Thu Oct 05, 2017 4:54 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Question About Long Term Care
Replies: 75
Views: 6389

Re: Question About Long Term Care

As of my next anniversary, I and my wife with have a $199 daily benefit each for 5 years. We have a spousal rider, so if one of us would go on claim, and exhaust our 5 years of benefits, we can access our spouses' 5 years of benefits, up to the policy's 10 year max (thereby decreasing the other's po...
by Artful Dodger
Wed Oct 04, 2017 4:39 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Dental/Vision Insurance for Newborn
Replies: 20
Views: 1286

Re: Dental/Vision Insurance for Newborn

Read your regular health insurance policy carefully. I'm pretty sure the ACA mandates vision coverage for children under age 19. In other words, your health insurance should cover anything that comes up. As for dental, I'd probably wait and add your kid during open enrollment next year. Most folks ...
by Artful Dodger
Wed Oct 04, 2017 4:10 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Is this housing budget reasonable?
Replies: 28
Views: 1453

Re: Is this housing budget reasonable?

To your original question, I think the house payment is affordable based on your income. One thing you might consider is backing off the down payment some, and leaving that money in your emergency fund, maybe an additional $25000. Based on your estimate, that should still leave the payment in the $1...
by Artful Dodger
Tue Oct 03, 2017 8:49 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Visiting Paris - should we buy tickets in advance?
Replies: 37
Views: 1815

Re: Visiting Paris - should we buy tickets in advance?

We just returned. I think crowds would be less in November. We pre booked Lourve tour, Versailles, and Giverny. The Versailles and Giverny tour was a small group tour that took a whole day. The Lourve tour we got through Viator. It was 3 hrs with a great guide who really made the tour worthwhile. It...
by Artful Dodger
Mon Oct 02, 2017 3:15 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: VWEHX High-Yield Corporate bond
Replies: 26
Views: 1733

Re: VWEHX High-Yield Corporate bond

Hi, I've owned the fund for probably 20+ years in a variety of accounts. If we go into a recession that would likely cause a drop in the underlying bond prices, and likely a 5-10% drop in the fund. As noted earlier, it dropped 21% in 2008. However, assuming there is a recovery, the fund will recover...
by Artful Dodger
Sat Sep 30, 2017 1:43 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Question About Long Term Care
Replies: 75
Views: 6389

Re: Question About Long Term Care

Learning_head, A I said initially, I recommend the purchase if you have the assets to protect and income to support the premium. Even with the increase, what I will be paying is for me a reasonable cost to transfer the risk of paying long term care from me to a third party. Insurance companies did u...
by Artful Dodger
Fri Sep 29, 2017 3:12 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Question About Long Term Care
Replies: 75
Views: 6389

Re: Question About Long Term Care

Check on some policy costs and options available. I will always say it makes sense to buy the policy if you have the assets or income to afford it. We pay now about $2600 annual, with the cost going up 50% next year. We've had the plan 6 or 7 years, and this is the first increase. So, when retired, ...
by Artful Dodger
Thu Sep 28, 2017 5:42 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Insurance question - family deductibles
Replies: 12
Views: 833

Re: Insurance question - family deductibles

Yes, for your wife. In your $5000 example, you pay the $1300 deductible, then 20% of the $3700 balance or $740, so $2140 total. Under the new HC laws, all copays also count toward out of pocket. This all assumes you have a traditional type (embedded deductible) plan. High deductible (HSA compatible ...
by Artful Dodger
Wed Sep 27, 2017 2:38 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: United Healthcare Preventive Health plan
Replies: 4
Views: 520

Re: United Healthcare Preventive Health plan

This is what is called a MEC plan. MEC being minimum essential coverage. MEC plans offer full preventive care but limited other benefits, and often don't provide any hospitalization coverage. Under the PPACA law, employers with more than 50 full time employees have to offer health coverage to their ...
by Artful Dodger
Wed Sep 27, 2017 10:49 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: The Rolex and The Boglehead
Replies: 274
Views: 12014

Re: The Rolex and The Boglehead

Who said Rolex's don't hold their value? https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=olawVhNhJqw That man was beside himself in shock. Great video, thanks for sharing. Definitely a cool video! Finding $80,000 under your mattress would be pretty nice! (Of course, since this is Bogleheads....if he had invested t...
by Artful Dodger
Mon Sep 25, 2017 11:23 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Invest, or Buy a $25,000 Screened-in Deck?
Replies: 24
Views: 2377

Re: Invest, or Buy a $25,000 Screened-in Deck?

If it makes you feel any better, $25,000 invested with a 5% return for 10 years, will only grow to $40,722. I say go for it! :D I think a deck would really increase our quality of life, but I can't help but think of the opportunity cost --- e.g., investing that $25,000 and getting a 5% return over 1...
by Artful Dodger
Mon Sep 25, 2017 11:09 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Wife's Business Losing Money - Can She Deduct A Salary?
Replies: 14
Views: 2732

Re: Wife's Business Losing Money - Can She Deduct A Salary?

No, you don't want to compensate her for her time. That would involve paying both employer and employee portion of social security tax, unemployment comp, and possibly worker's comp. As others have noted, if you are filing now as a sole proprietor, and you are in start up mode losing money, then you...
by Artful Dodger
Thu Sep 21, 2017 3:20 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Help me calculate returns on Whole Life Policy - Keep it or cancel it?
Replies: 19
Views: 1683

Re: Help me calculate returns on Whole Life Policy - Keep it or cancel it?

Hi Yowzer, I have some similar policies from NWM. I'll look at mine in more detail, and let you know what I think. I can tell you I elected to keep mine based on the increase in cash value I was getting, and have always looked at them as a bond equivalent and included as such in my AA. That 2nd one ...
by Artful Dodger
Wed Sep 20, 2017 1:53 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Any "average Joe" here actually make out well with individual stocks?
Replies: 108
Views: 13170

Re: Any "average Joe" here actually make out well with individual stocks?

I used to buy a lot of individual stocks in the 90s and early part of the 2000s. I was beating the S&P, but I got clobbered pretty bad on two bank stocks when the 2008 crash came. My other stuff went down, but so did most funds so I wouldn't have been any different, but for my shares of Countrywide ...
by Artful Dodger
Tue Sep 19, 2017 11:19 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: How much do you spend on "entertainment"?
Replies: 50
Views: 3622

Re: How much do you spend on "entertainment"?

Anyways, that brings me to the question posed in the title of this post. I am cognizant that this forum hosts a variety of age groups, but I'd be curious to know what others spend each month on "entertainment"....., just genuinely want to know where others stand. Older than you, kids out of house. ...