Search found 48 matches

by chrismj
Fri Aug 16, 2019 8:10 pm
Forum: Personal Investments
Topic: Review - 34 yr old
Replies: 18
Views: 3402

Re: Review - 34 yr old

If the OP stays federal and retires under FERS at minimum age (57) then he'll have full access to the TSP. If he's planning on retiring at 30 years then a higher proportion of Roth in the TSP might make sense. It makes more sense to me to max TSP traditional and save $12k per year in Roth IRAs. Hmm...
by chrismj
Thu Aug 15, 2019 8:43 pm
Forum: Personal Investments
Topic: Review - 34 yr old
Replies: 18
Views: 3402

Re: Review - 34 yr old

Am I using the Roth accounts in an efficient way? Does it matter tax-wise for someone like us who will likely have high retirement earnings with TSP+pensions+SocSec? What are your federal and state tax brackets? Federal in 2019 will be 24%, State will be 6.27% I did not see any mention of retiremen...
by chrismj
Thu Aug 15, 2019 8:38 pm
Forum: Personal Investments
Topic: Review - 34 yr old
Replies: 18
Views: 3402

Re: Review - 34 yr old

...but I'm trying to keep options open, e.g. I would like to have the freedom for an early "retirement" career change if I want it. In that case, traditional instead of Roth may be best, due to lower income and thus lower tax rates when you withdraw. Is a 75/25 split between TSP Traditional/Roth re...
by chrismj
Thu Aug 15, 2019 2:19 pm
Forum: Personal Investments
Topic: Review - 34 yr old
Replies: 18
Views: 3402

Review - 34 yr old

Any suggestions/critiques? Me: 34 yr old - Federal Employee (11 yrs) - $140k salary Spouse: 33 yr old - teacher - $45k salary (was $100k+ after 10 years when we lived in DC but recently moved to WI) One child+: 2 yr old (and another due any day now, so pretty much two kids) TSP traditional: C-fund $...
by chrismj
Wed Jun 19, 2019 1:34 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Good times: 2008 vs Now
Replies: 145
Views: 15995

Re: Good times: 2008 vs Now

Consulted my Magic 8 Ball. It said "Reply hazy, try again." So I tried again. It said "Cannot predict now." That's the best I can do. ;) Want to nip this in the bud before this post goes off the rails. I'm not asking for predictions, just what people who are older than, say, 40 think of the economy...
by chrismj
Wed Jun 19, 2019 1:15 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Good times: 2008 vs Now
Replies: 145
Views: 15995

Good times: 2008 vs Now

This is not a market timing kind of post, I'm not trying to read the tea leaves or anything. I'm just curious what folks think of the general state of the economy in a day-to-day sense. I turned 23 in 2008 and graduated and found a good job that summer before things went downhill in September. I was...
by chrismj
Tue May 07, 2019 9:42 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: How much do you donate?
Replies: 100
Views: 8199

Re: How much do you donate?

3% of gross income but 50% of the unearned gain on our condo sold in DC. Bought for $330k in 2012 and sold for $485k in 2018. We maybe put $15k in to upgrades. We moved back to the midwest but are donating $10-20k a year to DC charities for the next few years. I feel like I should donate all of the ...
by chrismj
Wed Apr 10, 2019 9:48 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Should you use a real estate agent when buying a house? What are your experiences?
Replies: 72
Views: 4457

Re: Should you use a real estate agent when buying a house? What are your experiences?

I would use one based on the experiences we've had, both buying and dealing with buyers. We probably could have gone without for our first purchase though. But that's only because we were buying a condo from a condo sales office, so not from an owner who lived in it. That was a very simple transacti...
by chrismj
Wed Jul 04, 2018 9:54 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Refinish hardwood floors after vinyl tiles
Replies: 2
Views: 368

Refinish hardwood floors after vinyl tiles

I'm about to refinish some hardwood floors and one of the rooms previously had vinyl floor tiles. We ripped the tiles up but the wood still has a sticky layer of adhesive on it. Has anyone dealt with this before? I can scrape by hand the thick stuff off but there is still a residual sticky layer lef...
by chrismj
Sat Feb 03, 2018 9:41 pm
Forum: Personal Investments
Topic: What advice would you give yourself if you were 27 again?
Replies: 120
Views: 10272

Re: What advice would you give yourself if you were 27 again?

1) Max out your TSP - $18,500 this year. 2) MAX OUT YOUR TSP. (I'm a fed, too.) 3) Forget individual stocks. You already own a lot of Apple Facebook Amazon Google etc in your index/mutual funds. Plus, you are just speculating. Have you performed any analysis on their DCF's or have any idea what the ...
by chrismj
Sat Feb 03, 2018 8:53 pm
Forum: Personal Investments
Topic: Bonds - Am I missing something
Replies: 89
Views: 11621

Re: Bonds - Am I missing something

It seems to me that this post might be getting hung up on semantics. I don't know what posters' annual expenses are but keeping 1-2 years in cash is hardly "100% equity", especially if this money is available to be invested during a downturn. IMO, that would be more conservative than holding some %...
by chrismj
Mon Jan 22, 2018 10:46 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Chevrolet Suburban - 1500 or 2500?
Replies: 26
Views: 4697

Re: Chevrolet Suburban - 1500 or 2500?

Killjoy2012 - when it comes to the Z indication is it Z71 instead of Z55 (autoride) or can a Z71 package also have a Z55 option? The former makes my search much easier to do. And the big reason I look at the 2500 is I haven't heard one person say they had to replace the 4L80 transmission (or wheel b...
by chrismj
Mon Jan 22, 2018 8:46 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Chevrolet Suburban - 1500 or 2500?
Replies: 26
Views: 4697

Re: Chevrolet Suburban - 1500 or 2500?

I have a 2003 Yukon XL 2500 6.0L with Quadrasteer. (with the 2500 tow mirrors retrofit) Quadrasteer is the best. http://i64.tinypic.com/wkpg6u.jpg its the best vehicle ever made. get a 2500. COME ON, MAN! This happens every time. I get a bunch of reasonable advice about getting the 1500 that I tota...
by chrismj
Mon Jan 22, 2018 8:38 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Chevrolet Suburban - 1500 or 2500?
Replies: 26
Views: 4697

Re: Chevrolet Suburban - 1500 or 2500?

If you could get a few years newer, I think 2009?, they came out with the 6 speed transmission which was a major upgrade over the 4 speed in almost every way. Yeah, the six speed would be sweet, but I just don't know if I want to pay that much for a vehicle I don't plan on driving that much. See my...
by chrismj
Mon Jan 22, 2018 8:34 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Chevrolet Suburban - 1500 or 2500?
Replies: 26
Views: 4697

Re: Chevrolet Suburban - 1500 or 2500?

The 4L80E transmission in the 2500 is a stout transmission for sure, much stronger than the 4L60E used in the 1/2 tons. That said, GM successfully used the 4L60E for over 15 years, with good service life, in most cases, in millions of trucks. The basic transmission itself has been around since 1980...
by chrismj
Mon Jan 22, 2018 8:29 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Chevrolet Suburban - 1500 or 2500?
Replies: 26
Views: 4697

Re: Chevrolet Suburban - 1500 or 2500?

You should worry about rust. You should worry about cars that have been flooded. People conceal that, sometimes even manage to doctor titles so you have no clue they were ever in flood-prone states. You should worry about the transmission blowing out. You're buying a 13 year old car. What's going t...
by chrismj
Mon Jan 22, 2018 8:19 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Chevrolet Suburban - 1500 or 2500?
Replies: 26
Views: 4697

Re: Chevrolet Suburban - 1500 or 2500?

Isn't the autoride an option - i.e. you should be able to find one without it. Is there that much of a cost difference to push up into the 2007+ generation? Might be able to find lower miles and fewer issues. This is one thing I'm trying to figure out, as well. I googled and combed through some for...
by chrismj
Mon Jan 22, 2018 2:53 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Chevrolet Suburban - 1500 or 2500?
Replies: 26
Views: 4697

Chevrolet Suburban - 1500 or 2500?

I posted this on a truck forum but also thought I'd check out what bogleheads think. I'm looking at picking up a 2005 or 2006 Suburban and trying to decide between the 1/2 or 3/4 ton. More specifically, a 5.3L 1500 or a 6.0L 2500. The 1500 is exactly what I need but I don't want to deal with the Aut...
by chrismj
Mon Jan 15, 2018 1:07 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Hydronic fireplace home heating
Replies: 6
Views: 908

Re: Hydronic fireplace home heating

Thanks for the replies. I'll get some reading in but it looks like an energy audit to find structural upgrades will be the first step, and some minor addition to the fireplace to improve convection when in use. I remember my uncle having one of these wood-fired boilers and heating his place very che...
by chrismj
Mon Jan 15, 2018 12:07 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Tahoe/Silverado Hybrids
Replies: 3
Views: 547

Re: Tahoe/Silverado Hybrids

Here’s the reason. https://www.autotrader.com/car-news/chevrolet-tahoe-hybrid-and-siblings-to-be-cancelled-207769 Generally people don’t see any financial benefits in getting a hybrid since you pay for it one way or the other. I'm aware of the financial aspect. I'm more interested in people's exper...
by chrismj
Mon Jan 15, 2018 10:02 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Tahoe/Silverado Hybrids
Replies: 3
Views: 547

Tahoe/Silverado Hybrids

Anybody have experience with the Chevy truck hybrids? 2008 and 2009 had Silverado and Tahoe hybrids with the 6.0L engine. I read one of the reasons they didn't sell well was more about being released at the start of the recession. Trying to decide if I want to pay more for one of these compared to a...
by chrismj
Sun Jan 14, 2018 8:19 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Hydronic fireplace home heating
Replies: 6
Views: 908

Hydronic fireplace home heating

We are buying a house with hydronic heating, I.e. radiator heating. It also has a wood burning fireplace. I'm thinking of buying a pellet or wood burning insert that will heat water within the existing boiler-radiator system. Here's an (expensive) example: http://www.mcz.it/en/products/pellet-firepl...
by chrismj
Tue Oct 10, 2017 8:05 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: [Boglehead vs Mr Money Mustache philosophies]
Replies: 203
Views: 22555

Re: [Boglehead vs Mr Money Mustache philosophies]

I find the MMM idea to be helpful, and is a great complement to the Boglehead approach, but what keeps me from buying into MMM himself is I feel like he's a false prophet of sorts. Or while his overall message is positive and helpful, I find his actual keys to success are overlooked, and apply to a ...
by chrismj
Wed Apr 05, 2017 9:18 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: EE bonds vs F or G Fund vs Total Bond
Replies: 57
Views: 5183

Re: EE bonds vs F or G Fund vs Total Bond

That's all folks. The responses are starting to get a little circular now. I'm ok with a very small portion of my portfolio being guaranteed to double in 20 years.
by chrismj
Wed Apr 05, 2017 8:59 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: EE bonds vs F or G Fund vs Total Bond
Replies: 57
Views: 5183

Re: EE bonds vs F or G Fund vs Total Bond

aristotelian wrote:You keep saying they are zero risk but that is not the case. They are zero credit risk, but they are subject to other risks.
Agreed, zero credit risks. Saying zero risk was being too loose with words.
by chrismj
Wed Apr 05, 2017 11:26 am
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: EE bonds vs F or G Fund vs Total Bond
Replies: 57
Views: 5183

Re: EE bonds vs F or G Fund vs Total Bond

I think we are extrapolating too much on a snapshot of a dynamic portfolio. The 80/20 is just a starting point of a decades long investment plan. I kind of let it be assumed that it would constantly reduce its risk as time went on. But why that particular schedule? You could rationally go 100% stoc...
by chrismj
Wed Apr 05, 2017 10:15 am
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: EE bonds vs F or G Fund vs Total Bond
Replies: 57
Views: 5183

Re: EE bonds vs F or G Fund vs Total Bond

And there seems to be a mindset that buying EE bonds is more speculative than not buying them. I don't agree. Who knows where rates will be at in the future. (Japan has been near zero for decades and the ECB for almost 10 years.) I feel like even if you take the speculation out of the equation, EE's...
by chrismj
Wed Apr 05, 2017 10:15 am
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: EE bonds vs F or G Fund vs Total Bond
Replies: 57
Views: 5183

Re: EE bonds vs F or G Fund vs Total Bond

I think we are extrapolating too much on a snapshot of a dynamic portfolio. The 80/20 is just a starting point of a decades long investment plan. I kind of let it be assumed that it would constantly reduce its risk as time went on. Meaning in 10 years it will be closer to a 70/30 split and so on. Wh...
by chrismj
Fri Mar 31, 2017 4:34 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: EE bonds vs F or G Fund vs Total Bond
Replies: 57
Views: 5183

Re: EE bonds vs F or G Fund vs Total Bond

Two hypothetical portfolios (obviously the EE portion is limited by the $10k per year purchase): 1: 80/20 in stock/G-fund 2: 80/10/10 in stock/G-fund/EE bonds The risk is the same across both, right? Neither of the bond options will lose money. There is risk I won't be able to reallocate properly b...
by chrismj
Fri Mar 31, 2017 11:46 am
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: EE bonds vs F or G Fund vs Total Bond
Replies: 57
Views: 5183

Re: EE bonds vs F or G Fund vs Total Bond

This all sounds fine to me. I do think you overestimate your ability to predict interest rates, based on your previous posts in the thread. This site seems to have historical G Fund rates since inception, and its interest rate looks like it was always above 3.5% until 2008. I appreciate all the res...
by chrismj
Fri Mar 31, 2017 10:36 am
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: EE bonds vs F or G Fund vs Total Bond
Replies: 57
Views: 5183

Re: EE bonds vs F or G Fund vs Total Bond

I make no assumptions about the path of interest rates. The G Fund performs better than other fixed income investments of zero duration because it uses special non-marketable securities, giving a free lunch. Mixed in a portfolio, it reduces risk better than fixed income investments of similar credi...
by chrismj
Fri Mar 31, 2017 9:30 am
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: EE bonds vs F or G Fund vs Total Bond
Replies: 57
Views: 5183

Re: EE bonds vs F or G Fund vs Total Bond

Asset allocation is for controlling risk. You chose an 80/20 portfolio, but I don't think you understand why you did it. It's more like 78/22. It started as 80/20 and reallocated down. I'm young and make a lot of money now and save a lot of it with minimal expenses. I guess I could do the 68/32 for...
by chrismj
Fri Mar 31, 2017 9:25 am
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: EE bonds vs F or G Fund vs Total Bond
Replies: 57
Views: 5183

Re: EE bonds vs F or G Fund vs Total Bond

Regarding locking up your funds for 20 years, that is a completely illogical way to look at this question. By that logic, every fixed income investment in a 401k should be considered to have a duration equal to the time frame before you start withdrawing funds. Why wouldn't you simply pick the one ...
by chrismj
Fri Mar 31, 2017 9:06 am
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: EE bonds vs F or G Fund vs Total Bond
Replies: 57
Views: 5183

Re: EE bonds vs F or G Fund vs Total Bond

One more consideration. If you ever need to rebalance between stocks and bonds, tying up most of your bond allocation in EE bonds is going to prevent that. Let's say the stock market drops. Now your allocation will be all out of whack. Let's say you are $90K/$10K with stock and G fund in your TSP, ...
by chrismj
Fri Mar 31, 2017 9:05 am
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: EE bonds vs F or G Fund vs Total Bond
Replies: 57
Views: 5183

Re: EE bonds vs F or G Fund vs Total Bond

Consistent with my last post, I might well agree if you are not planning to touch your TSP account for 30 years, you might not use the G Fund . . . yet. Again, that could make sense if you don't care about short-term volatility for now, which is a reasonable position (but others reasonably also do ...
by chrismj
Fri Mar 31, 2017 8:18 am
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: EE bonds vs F or G Fund vs Total Bond
Replies: 57
Views: 5183

Re: EE bonds vs F or G Fund vs Total Bond

Thank you, NiceUnparticularMan, that was helpful.
by chrismj
Fri Mar 31, 2017 8:14 am
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: EE bonds vs F or G Fund vs Total Bond
Replies: 57
Views: 5183

Re: EE bonds vs F or G Fund vs Total Bond

In my opinion, you have to really love savings bonds to stick with them. I had a treasury direct account years ago and it just couldn't keep up with my other accounts (TSP etc.) and became a smaller and smaller percentage of my overall portfolio. When my savings bonds holding became less than 3% of...
by chrismj
Fri Mar 31, 2017 8:07 am
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: EE bonds vs F or G Fund vs Total Bond
Replies: 57
Views: 5183

Re: EE bonds vs F or G Fund vs Total Bond

The G Fund interest rate is currently 2.375%. It's typically around the yield of 8 year Treasuries, with zero credit risk and zero duration. EE bonds yield 3.524% after 20 years. But regardless, I don't think it's worth it to lock yourself into an investment for 20 years when you could earn 115 bp ...
by chrismj
Thu Mar 30, 2017 10:01 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: EE bonds vs F or G Fund vs Total Bond
Replies: 57
Views: 5183

Re: EE bonds vs F or G Fund vs Total Bond

Isn't the G fund sort of a free lunch? The yield of long-duration treasuries with the interest-rate sensitivity of short-duration bonds? Yes. Or, if you prefer, the availability of that "free lunch" is actually part of your compensation as a federal employee. Either way, it makes sense to me to thi...
by chrismj
Thu Mar 30, 2017 9:52 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: EE bonds vs F or G Fund vs Total Bond
Replies: 57
Views: 5183

Re: EE bonds vs F or G Fund vs Total Bond

Thanks, Mel. I've read most of your articles and found them helpful. The only real concern for EEs I've read about on these forums are the potential "missed opportunity" of being locked in for 20years. And if that isn't a concern of mine, I'm double and triple checking there aren't any other consequ...
by chrismj
Thu Mar 30, 2017 3:38 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: EE bonds vs F or G Fund vs Total Bond
Replies: 57
Views: 5183

Re: EE bonds vs F or G Fund vs Total Bond

Thanks for the feedback bligh and Dorchesterma. It sounds like we are on the same page. The benefits are pretty clear, and it seems the biggest downside for most people is 1) the long term lockup and 2) the fear of significantly rising rates. Is there anything else to evaluate? If I'm fine with the ...
by chrismj
Thu Mar 30, 2017 2:12 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: What was your costliest investment mistake?
Replies: 162
Views: 35755

Re: What was your costliest investment mistake?

Reading anything from the zerohedge website in my late 20's. It's "scary" stuff!
by chrismj
Thu Mar 30, 2017 11:24 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: House buying- How to think about property taxes?
Replies: 39
Views: 4878

Re: House buying- How to think about property taxes?

People confuse the difference between house value and home (house+location) value. Your house is a depreciating asset: the paint chips, roofs leak, decor goes out of style. There's a reason why the old saying is "location, location, location." Property taxes are payment for the location. Garbage pic...
by chrismj
Thu Mar 30, 2017 7:58 am
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: EE bonds vs F or G Fund vs Total Bond
Replies: 57
Views: 5183

EE bonds vs F or G Fund vs Total Bond

I put this EE bond post https://www.bogleheads.org/forum/viewtopic.php?f=1&t=215081&newpost=3304601 in the Personal Investment board and didn't get too much feedback. Just some background: I'm 32, married, 200k portfolio with basically an 80/20 stock+bond mix, high income, high saving. ................
by chrismj
Thu Mar 30, 2017 7:06 am
Forum: Personal Investments
Topic: Efficiency: TSP+Brokerage+IRA+EE bonds?
Replies: 6
Views: 912

Re: Efficiency: TSP+Brokerage+IRA+EE bonds?

Thanks for the helpful responses. My follow up questions about the rebalancing are: Should I hold my Vanguard brokerage investments for 12 months to avoid short term taxes? I know why the answer should be 'yes' but it's not like I have outsized gains on the $40k I put in over the last 8 months. Taki...
by chrismj
Wed Mar 29, 2017 8:52 pm
Forum: Personal Investments
Topic: Efficiency: TSP+Brokerage+IRA+EE bonds?
Replies: 6
Views: 912

Re: Efficiency: TSP+Brokerage+IRA+EE bonds?

I looked this over and it was pretty helpful. Would still like some other opinions though. Especially, on the EE bonds in my particular situation.

https://www.bogleheads.org/wiki/Tax-eff ... t_accounts
by chrismj
Wed Mar 29, 2017 10:49 am
Forum: Personal Investments
Topic: Efficiency: TSP+Brokerage+IRA+EE bonds?
Replies: 6
Views: 912

Efficiency: TSP+Brokerage+IRA+EE bonds?

I'm turning 32 this year (married, homeowner, kid on the way) and trying to reconfigure/rebalance my investments to make everything as efficient as possible going forward. I feel like I'm in pretty good shape and, at some point, will just be splitting hairs, but I like reading about this stuff and w...
by chrismj
Thu Feb 09, 2017 2:30 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: New mattress
Replies: 10
Views: 2275

New mattress

Has anyone purchased a new mattress lately? We purchased a traditional spring mattress from a mattress store about 8 years ago for like $900. Coming out of college it was a pretty nice step up. But now I see you can get a queen mattress on Amazon with decent reviews for $200. And these new mattress-...