Search found 109 matches

by Frank Grimes
Thu Sep 20, 2018 9:19 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: What's Your Credit Card Rewards Strategy?
Replies: 2924
Views: 577043

Re: What's Your Credit Card Rewards Strategy?

Primary cards are: Chase Freedom: No fee, rotating 5% categories Discover: No fee, rotating 5% categories We barely give too much thought to these other than trying to remember to use the right card for the right category. Our current plan is having third cards to boost our travel miles, specificall...
by Frank Grimes
Thu Sep 20, 2018 8:46 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Should we temporarily reduce our retirement contributions in order to pay off our $400k mortgage in 7 years?
Replies: 83
Views: 7512

Re: Should we temporarily reduce our retirement contributions in order to pay off our $400k mortgage in 7 years?

You could always keep the contributions where they're at and then also scrimp and save to make an extra payment or two per year if you feel like it. That won't kill it in 7 years but should chop a good bit of mortgage time while preserving that tax advantaged growth.
by Frank Grimes
Fri Sep 14, 2018 8:30 am
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Do you rollover all of your previous 401ks?
Replies: 33
Views: 2290

Re: Do you rollover all of your previous 401ks?

My old 401k has great investment options and is all pre-tax contributions (as opposed to my current plan where I've made both pre and after tax contributions). So I just use that to hold Total Bond Market in accordance with my AA. Never considered rolling over to an IRA in order to preserve backdoor...
by Frank Grimes
Wed Aug 29, 2018 2:38 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Bone in my food
Replies: 107
Views: 4255

Re: Bone in my food

There is no option that I know of to get a meatless bowl of food, unless I get tofu, which is weird. You are simply being silly now. It makes me doubt your whole story. Even a child knows you could get your bowl/burrito/taco with no meat and just veggies. I would bring in the bone to the manager to...
by Frank Grimes
Tue Aug 28, 2018 9:19 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Best ultra thin pocket knife?
Replies: 54
Views: 3561

Re: Best ultra thin pocket knife?

I have a couple Leeks as well, but I tend to have on in my pocket only on the weekends. What I really use every day is a Victorinox swiss army knife classic. For all the reasons Silver Bullet mentioned. Sure you can't subsist in the wilderness with it but it has all I need for an office environment....
by Frank Grimes
Fri Aug 24, 2018 1:42 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: I still use cash not credit cards should I reconsider?
Replies: 102
Views: 7870

Re: I still use cash not credit cards should I reconsider?

I'm in my mid 50s. I work make a decent living. Same with DW. Every 7-10 days or so I grab $3-$400 from the atm. That's how I spend money. I have credit cards and only use them if for travel or if I'm in a pinch. DW uses her credit card for everyday items. Perhaps it's a phobia of sorts but I feel ...
by Frank Grimes
Thu Aug 16, 2018 10:03 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Where to buy white, athletic fit dress shirt?
Replies: 52
Views: 3194

Re: Where to buy white, athletic fit dress shirt?

I own slim fit shirts from Jos A Bank and Charles Tyrwhitt. The CT extra slim fit seem to fit the best although they're a little tight in the armpit/shoulder. So as long as you don't ask me to reach way above my head too often they look great. Jos A Bank slim fit shirts are a bit more relaxed all ar...
by Frank Grimes
Wed Aug 08, 2018 11:42 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Minivan Vs SUV Experience
Replies: 111
Views: 7523

Re: Minivan Vs SUV Experience

We have two small SUVs right now. For now, this setup works for us with having two small kids under 4 as we can handle packing in one of them for most trips (with a roof carrier). The day will come when that will either 1. not be large enough for their stuff; or 2. we have a 3rd kid. I'm going to be...
by Frank Grimes
Fri Jul 27, 2018 10:00 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Using Recruiters/Headhunters to find a new job?
Replies: 27
Views: 1021

Re: Using Recruiters/Headhunters to find a new job?

I used a recruiter to get my current job at a megacorp. It wasn't my only source for job hunting at the time, but it helped having someone send me postings when I was already dying working like 70 hour weeks at the time. I actually reached out to this recruiter because I knew a friend of mine had a ...
by Frank Grimes
Fri Jul 20, 2018 3:56 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Opinions on my Investment portfolio allocations
Replies: 6
Views: 361

Re: Opinions on my Investment portfolio allocations

Are these all held in taxable accounts, traditional IRA, Roth IRA, etc?

There are other components to that standard portfolio advice template that will be helpful to add to your original post.

viewtopic.php?f=1&t=6212
by Frank Grimes
Fri Jul 20, 2018 3:39 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Opinions on my Investment portfolio allocations
Replies: 6
Views: 361

Re: Opinions on my Investment portfolio allocations

Are you asking for advice on changing it? If so you should probably post everything in the standard format for that type of advice. It's in the Asking Portfolio Questions topic tagged to the top of the forum.
by Frank Grimes
Tue Jul 17, 2018 12:21 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Big 4 Who Jumped to Industry - Compensation
Replies: 35
Views: 5734

Re: Big 4 Who Jumped to Industry - Compensation

I left as an audit manager for a 15-20% bump in total comp but left primarily for work life balance as we were starting a family and the increasingly year round busy season hours were driving me crazy. I also felt like staying much longer to be a senior manager, director etc would pigeonhole me into...
by Frank Grimes
Mon Jul 16, 2018 9:09 am
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Advice for young colleague please
Replies: 28
Views: 2531

Re: Advice for young colleague please

I would pay off the credit cards as soon as she gets her next paycheck. Then invest in 401k up to max $18,500/yr, then I would max a traditional IRA, then I would work on the student loans/car loan whichever has the higher interest rate. If she wants a few bucks to feel comfortable, she can save a ...
by Frank Grimes
Thu Jul 12, 2018 12:51 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: How/where to allocate new money?
Replies: 10
Views: 894

Re: How/where to allocate new money?

When I figure out portfolio rebalancing a couple times a year, I take into consideration what my auto contributions already are to 401k and then ballpark what future contributions to taxable will need to be in order to stay roughly on track. So for example if I knew I'd be making $20k in contributio...
by Frank Grimes
Thu Jul 12, 2018 9:45 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Is expensive olive oil worth it?
Replies: 59
Views: 5918

Re: Is expensive olive oil worth it?

Olive oil has a pretty low smoke point, so high-heat cooking probably robs it of the flavors, etc that presumably one would be using it for. That's mostly the type of cooking I do lately, a lot of one-pot stir fry type dishes, so I use stuff like coconut or canola which holds up better to that heat....
by Frank Grimes
Fri Jun 22, 2018 9:57 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Did you celebrate when you finally hit $1m?
Replies: 209
Views: 22308

Re: Did you celebrate when you finally hit $1m?

Same, I think we got there earlier at some point this year and have probably hovered around that area since then. So haven't really noted it, let alone celebrate it.

We have a long way to go in dollars and years to hit our retirement number.
by Frank Grimes
Tue Jun 19, 2018 2:12 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: gray hair
Replies: 130
Views: 9153

Re: gray hair

I’m half gray in my early 30s and it’s moving to my beard as well. Never used any dye in my life. I look great though, so that helps.
by Frank Grimes
Sun Jun 17, 2018 6:15 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Which Supermarket are you?
Replies: 155
Views: 9409

Re: Which Supermarket are you?

Harris Teeter (regional Kroger subsidiary). I know where everything that I need is located in the store and get in and out fairly quickly while juggling a toddler. Plus I buy a lot of their sale items pretty regularly so the cost is fine.
by Frank Grimes
Tue Jun 12, 2018 9:28 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Top Shelf Liquor Overrated?
Replies: 191
Views: 18495

Re: Top Shelf Liquor Overrated?

Frank: "Tasting better" is a personal preference, as various food preferences internationally indicate. What is a preferred taste for someone is not for another. That is a primary reason why there are so many different alcohol choices. We all, I suspect, look for food items that "taste better" to u...
by Frank Grimes
Fri Jun 08, 2018 9:09 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: How much to spend on daycare?
Replies: 46
Views: 3882

Re: How much to spend on daycare?

The cost is highly dependent on area. I'm paying like $300 a week each for my two kids, 3 and 1. That's more than my mortgage. Probably not the tip top finest in terms of facilities but the teachers are great people and like others have mentioned, they love the kids and the kids love them which is t...
by Frank Grimes
Wed Jun 06, 2018 9:12 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Top Shelf Liquor Overrated?
Replies: 191
Views: 18495

Re: Top Shelf Liquor Overrated?

Definitely over rated, as are many items positioned as luxury items, such as watches, automobiles, homes, etc. They are not functionally superior than less expensive items in most cases. However, function often takes second place to perception, and the psychological response to similar items may re...
by Frank Grimes
Tue Jun 05, 2018 1:35 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Advice Needed - Firing Advisor and Rolling Over 401K
Replies: 7
Views: 861

Re: Advice Needed - Firing Advisor and Rolling Over 401K

I didn’t realize this would affect my ability to contribute to a Backdoor Roth. Is this just for this year or indefinitely? Does it just make it more complicated, or does it completely prevent me from the backdoor option. I could still keep contributing 5.5k to a traditional IRA, right? I am still ...
by Frank Grimes
Tue Jun 05, 2018 12:40 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Top Shelf Liquor Overrated?
Replies: 191
Views: 18495

Re: Top Shelf Liquor Overrated?

IMO, yes. I won big at the craps table one night and decided to treat my friends to a bottle of Bookers Small Batch - comes in a wood case - for around $75. All agreed it was like swallowing a furnace and also agreed that less expensive bourbons tasted much, much smoother. I used the remainder of t...
by Frank Grimes
Mon Jun 04, 2018 4:26 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Top Shelf Liquor Overrated?
Replies: 191
Views: 18495

Re: Top Shelf Liquor Overrated?

FireProof wrote:
Mon Jun 04, 2018 4:22 pm
In blind tests, even noted experts have proven time and time again not to be able to tell the difference.
The difference between good stuff and bottom shelf rotgut? I can believe that with something like vodka but no way with bourbon or scotch.
by Frank Grimes
Mon Jun 04, 2018 11:46 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: What is your Take Home Pay / Gross Pay ratio?
Replies: 89
Views: 8169

Re: What is your Take Home Pay / Gross Pay ratio?

On my last paycheck, 48%.

I am maxing 401k, maxing HSA, putting $5k/yr in a dependent care FSA, paying for parking pretax and covering family health insurance. Not to mention the taxes. By the time the poor guy makes it to my checking account he's been broken beaten and scarred!
by Frank Grimes
Mon Jun 04, 2018 9:33 am
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: HSA as retirement vehicle
Replies: 33
Views: 3418

Re: HSA as retirement vehicle

I am sort of wondering why so many people refer to keeping the receipts on every medical expense when they describe how this HSA as retirement fund can work. I understand that you need these past receipts if you want the tax-free withdraw on some portion of that account, but is there really any dan...
by Frank Grimes
Thu May 31, 2018 4:27 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: TLH muni bond fund with loses - any advice?
Replies: 4
Views: 547

Re: TLH muni bond fund with loses - any advice?

I posted a similar question recently.

Is it the ETF version VTEB?. There's a page in the wiki regarding TLH that mentions you need to hold that for 6 months in order to harvest the loss based on the way the fund declares dividends.

https://www.bogleheads.org/wiki/Tax_loss_harvesting
by Frank Grimes
Thu May 31, 2018 4:21 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Top Shelf Liquor Overrated?
Replies: 191
Views: 18495

Re: Top Shelf Liquor Overrated?

I once took a bourbon tasting class and my one take away from the instructor was to never pay more than ~$50 for a bottle of bourbon. Up to $50 can be justified in taste and quality, however anything above that is paying for marketing. That's a bit low. A bottle of barrel proof Four Roses, for exam...
by Frank Grimes
Thu May 31, 2018 12:11 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Employer Forcing Transfer of 529
Replies: 15
Views: 2057

Re: Employer Forcing Transfer of 529

I have no advice, but as a big 4 alum I empathize with the situation. The higher you get, the more restrictive the independence rules get.
by Frank Grimes
Tue May 29, 2018 10:23 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Please help with grocery budget
Replies: 51
Views: 4672

Re: Please help with grocery budget

I think we are pretty good about our grocery spending, usually in the range of $100-$140 per week which covers all breakfasts, 5-6 lunches and 5-6 dinners for a family of 4 (including a toddler and three year old), and diapers too. Kid breakfast and lunch 5 days a week is included in daycare, but th...
by Frank Grimes
Fri May 25, 2018 12:27 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Other Tax deferred options?
Replies: 6
Views: 600

Re: Other Tax deferred options?

Do you have kids? If so, does your company offer a dependent care FSA?
by Frank Grimes
Fri May 25, 2018 9:25 am
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: low fee index fund suggestions
Replies: 15
Views: 1299

Re: low fee index fund suggestions

I'm actually surprised the bank person (a financial advisor, presumably) suggested IVV. Nothing wrong with that fund. You will get the return of the S&P 500 minus the very small expense ratio (someone said it's 0.04). Don't worry about beating the market substantially, that's incongruent with the de...
by Frank Grimes
Fri May 25, 2018 9:03 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: When did this start?? [Restaurant tipping on total bill]
Replies: 58
Views: 4283

Re: When did this start??

My general routine is look at the final total, times 0.1 and double it in my head. Takes 5 seconds, or maybe 10 if I'm feeling dumb.
by Frank Grimes
Fri May 25, 2018 9:00 am
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Should I open a traditional IRA for bond allocation?
Replies: 14
Views: 725

Re: Should I open a traditional IRA for bond allocation?

Given all that, if I was you I would just park a bond allocation, if any in the Roth IRA for now. You can always sell it tax free if you decide to move the bond allocation elsewhere, or eventually have access to a 401k. But definitely look into getting an HSA as another option for a tax deferred (or...
by Frank Grimes
Fri May 25, 2018 8:14 am
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Exiting a variable annuity
Replies: 12
Views: 1257

Re: Exiting a variable annuity

It did - it was tied to the MSCI EAFE international index which fortunately had like a 25% return over that period. So I'll clear a couple K even after the surrender fee. Which is way worse than if I just invested in VXUS from the outset, but hey that's life.
by Frank Grimes
Thu May 24, 2018 2:28 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Exiting a variable annuity
Replies: 12
Views: 1257

Re: Exiting a variable annuity

Bullet bitten - I have sent in my paperwork to do the transfer of my annuity. At least I'm getting out more than I put in a year and a half ago, so I didn't lose money.
by Frank Grimes
Thu May 24, 2018 11:11 am
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Exiting a variable annuity
Replies: 12
Views: 1257

Re: Exiting a variable annuity

Probably not going to go that route - aside from whether such a claim is valid or not and opening that can of worms, I think we'd spend more on an attorney than we stand to lose in the surrender fee. I'm sure they'd be able to point to items in investment questionnaires we filled out in order to arg...
by Frank Grimes
Thu May 24, 2018 9:59 am
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Exiting a variable annuity
Replies: 12
Views: 1257

Re: Exiting a variable annuity

Thanks for the response. Yeah I'll flip the cash value into either VTI or VXUS (Vanguard total US stock market ETF or international stock market ETF) in those Roth IRA accounts, in accordance with our allocation targets.
by Frank Grimes
Thu May 24, 2018 9:10 am
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Exiting a variable annuity
Replies: 12
Views: 1257

Exiting a variable annuity

A year and a half ago (unfortunately a few months before I found this site), my spouse and I were sold variable annuities in our Roth accounts. They’re not substantial parts of our overall portfolio size (a bit less than 10%) but it irritates me that we bought into this kind of thing. We are in a 5%...
by Frank Grimes
Wed May 23, 2018 10:13 am
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Taxable Account Near Retirement
Replies: 16
Views: 1844

Re: Taxable Account Near Retirement

Why is your concern about risk specific only to your taxable account, as opposed to the 401k and IRA? Seems like at 27, you're a ways off from retirement so I'd do what you're currently doing with 85/15 with the funds you're in now. I'd probably put all stock funds in taxable though, and the bond al...
by Frank Grimes
Wed May 23, 2018 9:54 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Buying a Woman's Tag Heuer On-line
Replies: 41
Views: 2693

Re: Buying a Woman's Tag Heuer On-line

The term "gray market" implies sketchiness, but gray market just means they're not an authorized retailer for the brand. So that means you would not get the manufacturer's warranty for the item. Costco probably has their own warranty and return policy though.
by Frank Grimes
Wed May 23, 2018 9:46 am
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Parents with pre-K kids and 529 target
Replies: 50
Views: 3366

Re: Parents with pre-K kids and 529 target

My kids are 3 and 1 so it's a ways off for me as well.

I use Vanguard's tool to try to ballpark where we'll be 15 years from now but it's pretty far away and there are a lot of variables to change between now and then. But it gives a good ballpark I guess.

https://vanguard.wealthmsi.com/csp.php
by Frank Grimes
Mon May 21, 2018 9:51 am
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: need advice on books for teenagers
Replies: 8
Views: 932

Re: need advice on books for teenagers

My grandfather gave me The Millionaire Next Door when I was 15-16 or so. I haven't really revisited it since then and I understand there have been a lot of criticisms of it, but I think the overall message is pretty good for an impressionable kid of that age.
by Frank Grimes
Fri May 18, 2018 11:03 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Surgeon salary vs owning a business salary/profit?
Replies: 47
Views: 4657

Re: Surgeon salary vs owning a business salary/profit?

If you're making that much as a CPA, you're probably a Big 4 partner. Aside from high stress in that position, you will have suffered through a career of high stress to even get to that point. Or maybe you could get to that salary level after hanging a shingle and building a business over decades. B...
by Frank Grimes
Thu May 17, 2018 4:10 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Hot food flavoring (sauces, spices and peppers)
Replies: 51
Views: 3679

Re: Hot food flavoring (sauces, spices and peppers)

For Mexican, I've been using a lot of Valentina Salsa Picante lately. That's lower on the heat side but lots of flavor. Also a fan of Cholula and the green jalapeno version of Tabasco. For fried chicken, Texas Pete. For Thai and Indian food, the Huy Fong chili paste mentioned by a previous poster. N...
by Frank Grimes
Wed May 16, 2018 11:44 am
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Fellow non-529ers
Replies: 43
Views: 3340

Re: Fellow non-529ers

Regarding getting "slaughtered on taxes" when trying to withdraw excess funds - is it really that much worse than the taxes you'd pay in a taxable account? IIRC there is an additional 10% tax on capital gains when you withdraw for reasons other than school expenses, but there's also been years of t...
by Frank Grimes
Wed May 16, 2018 11:37 am
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Fellow non-529ers
Replies: 43
Views: 3340

Re: Fellow non-529ers

Regarding getting "slaughtered on taxes" when trying to withdraw excess funds - is it really that much worse than the taxes you'd pay in a taxable account? IIRC there is an additional 10% tax on capital gains when you withdraw for reasons other than school expenses, but there's also been years of ta...
by Frank Grimes
Wed May 16, 2018 11:23 am
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Friend says "Stock market will crash, invest in silver" - thoughts?
Replies: 127
Views: 9367

Re: Friend says "Stock market will crash, invest in silver" - thoughts?

Reminds me of a bit from Family Guy, "According to my uncle, who's a real whiz with volcanoes, A VOLCANO IS HEADED THIS WAY!" which was used by a huckster to sell worthless volcano insurance.
by Frank Grimes
Fri May 11, 2018 1:34 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Beyond 401k, IRA, 529, mortgage
Replies: 22
Views: 1568

Re: Beyond 401k, IRA, 529, mortgage

Are you eligible to contribute to an HSA? Yes, good point. I do have an HSA account and I was not paying much attention to it so far. But as you implied, I am thinking of using that to invest into a S&P index fund or something like that. What are your thoughts on that ? That's what I'd do, and am a...