Search found 168 matches

by birdog
Sat Nov 10, 2018 10:15 am
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Do people calculate savings rate on gross income?
Replies: 118
Views: 7345

Re: Do people calculate savings rate on gross income?

I use take home pay, not gross income. I can't save a percentage of money that I'm never given (tax withheld).

Some articles on this topic:

https://www.choosefi.com/how-to-calcula ... ings-rate/

https://www.mrmoneymustache.com/2012/01 ... etirement/
by birdog
Mon Nov 05, 2018 4:31 am
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Jack Bogle - Two Fund Portfolio
Replies: 92
Views: 19251

Re: Jack Bogle - Two Fund Portfolio

I have recently moved to VTI (total stock market) and BIV (inter bond index) with some VTEB (tax-free bond index) in taxable due to my tax bracket.
by birdog
Sat Nov 03, 2018 8:49 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: If you have credit monitoring do you need to freeze credit?
Replies: 26
Views: 1232

Re: If you have credit monitoring do you need to freeze credit?

I frequently apply for credit as well. I do not find it inconvenient to temporarily thaw my credit freeze.
by birdog
Fri Oct 26, 2018 6:15 am
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: E-Mini futures to replace Equity ETF in portfolio
Replies: 12
Views: 631

Re: E-Mini futures to replace Equity ETF in portfolio

I recommend against the e-mini as an investment. It must be rolled every three months to the next contract. These are leveraged and designed for trading, not a good investment vehicle.
by birdog
Thu Oct 25, 2018 8:47 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Insurance to cover catastrophe health situation?
Replies: 26
Views: 1602

Re: Insurance to cover catastrophe health situation?

Medishare is another health sharing plan and they have no lifetime maximum. I think you will learn a lot from this article from Kitces.com.

https://www.kitces.com/blog/healthcare- ... are-plans/
by birdog
Thu Oct 25, 2018 3:40 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: What's Your Fixed Income Strategy?
Replies: 89
Views: 8591

Re: What's Your Fixed Income Strategy?

Years to retirement or already in retirement? Will early retire in 1 to 4 years in late 40's. Fixed income allocation as part of total allocation: 90-10 stocks to bonds with >4 years of living expenses in bonds. Allocation within the fixed income allocation (Bond funds, CDs, Money Market, etc..) 50%...
by birdog
Thu Oct 25, 2018 10:36 am
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: BND (Total Bond) vs BIV (Intermediate Term Bond)
Replies: 5
Views: 415

Re: BND (Total Bond) vs BIV (Intermediate Term Bond)

I appreciate your humble suggestion. This is not a worry, however. I'm simply trying to understand the difference in these two bond funds that share the exact same duration but have one year returns of: BIV -2.19% and BND -1.34%. I'm sure it's a simple answer that I'm just ignorant of. It's OK to sa...
by birdog
Thu Oct 25, 2018 10:20 am
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: BND (Total Bond) vs BIV (Intermediate Term Bond)
Replies: 5
Views: 415

BND (Total Bond) vs BIV (Intermediate Term Bond)

Why is BIV (Vanguard Intermediate Term Bond) down so much more over the past year than BND (Vanguard Total Bond) when according to Vanguard they both currently share the same average duration of 6.2 years? BIV is more of a split between government and corporate bonds while BND splits among governmen...
by birdog
Thu Oct 25, 2018 7:56 am
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Why I'm 100% stocks
Replies: 149
Views: 17204

Re: Why I'm 100% stocks

I see nothing wrong with 100% stocks if you can resist from selling in a downturn. I am 90-10. I also think the difference between 100% stocks and more than 100% stocks is pretty obvious, which you demonstrated in your explanation.
by birdog
Mon Oct 22, 2018 9:20 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: How to open a sealed up fireplace?
Replies: 13
Views: 1211

Re: How to open a sealed up fireplace?

There appears to be an outer trim piece around the main board. Can those be pried away from the main board? Perhaps those are hiding nails or screws that are securing the main board to the fireplace?
by birdog
Mon Oct 22, 2018 3:07 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: How to open a sealed up fireplace?
Replies: 13
Views: 1211

Re: How to open a sealed up fireplace?

Cut the caulk with a knife, simple as that.
by birdog
Mon Oct 22, 2018 3:03 am
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Card/Account churning to prevent investment tinkering?
Replies: 15
Views: 1747

Re: Card/Account churning to prevent investment tinkering?

I was slow to adopt travel rewards but below is the article that spurred me to action. I’ve enjoyed thousands in bonuses in less than a year of credit card churning and my credit score has actually increased. I agree that it provides an outlet for tinkering while allowing your core portfolio to rema...
by birdog
Mon Oct 22, 2018 2:52 am
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Do you use mobile apps to assist with your investments?
Replies: 27
Views: 2348

Re: Do you use mobile apps to assist with your investments?

I actually just deleted the mobile app from my phone. My home computer provides more than enough access for me.
by birdog
Wed Oct 17, 2018 6:33 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Thinking of buying a brand new Toyota 4Runner TRD
Replies: 14
Views: 1663

Re: Thinking of buying a brand new Toyota 4Runner TRD

Have you considered buying from an American company?
by birdog
Tue Oct 09, 2018 2:19 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: What tools do you use to track your finances?
Replies: 50
Views: 3918

Re: What tools do you use to track your finances?

Personal Capital for net worth and account consolidation as well as tracking spending. I then copy monthly bottom line results to an excel file.
by birdog
Tue Oct 09, 2018 9:15 am
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: How to get over paper loss?
Replies: 43
Views: 3930

Re: How to get over paper loss?

mhc wrote:
Tue Oct 09, 2018 9:10 am
One way to help get over paper losses is to learn how to Tax Loss Harvest. This can help turn a paper loss into a real benefit.
I agree. The option to tax loss harvest if my new purchase drops has helped me get over trying to time my purchases and just invest when I have money to invest.
by birdog
Sat Sep 29, 2018 9:00 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Playing with FIRE(Financial Independence) documentary trailer.
Replies: 35
Views: 5407

Re: Playing with FIRE(Financial Independence) documentary trailer.

SquawkIdent wrote:
Sat Sep 29, 2018 7:54 am
I would absolutely watch this. IMHO, this information needs to get out because lots of folks have no idea how bad their situation actually is because of the lifestyles they lead.
Totally agree.
by birdog
Mon Sep 10, 2018 8:31 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Bored
Replies: 56
Views: 9616

Re: Bored

Track your expenses (via Personal Capital or Mint) and visit MrMoneyMustache for some ideas on how to help you boost your savings rate way above the 20% you are currently at. It can be a fun (and profitable) game.
by birdog
Fri Aug 17, 2018 9:33 am
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Who uses the 3 fund portfolio ?
Replies: 112
Views: 20310

Re: Who uses the 3 fund portfolio ?

I don't, but within our portfolio a 2 fund approach is the core (State Street S&P Index Fund in 403(b), Vanguard Total International Stock Market in our Vanguard accounts). Those 2 account for about half of our portfolio. Once we hit age 50, we'll move toward a 3 fund approach and start moving heav...
by birdog
Wed Aug 15, 2018 10:44 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Take auto loan 0.9% if I can afford cash?
Replies: 162
Views: 10811

Re: Take auto loan 0.9% if I can afford cash?

I'm debt averse. It keeps me up at night. I also have a goal of lowering monthly recurring expenses. I would pay cash. That's just me.
by birdog
Sat Jun 23, 2018 12:05 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Thinking about adding international
Replies: 8
Views: 777

Re: Thinking about adding international

I thought international had to be in your taxable account (not IRA) in in order to claim the foreign tax credit on your income taxes. I don't believe international should go in a Roth. JL Collins would tell you that you don't need international in any account. http://jlcollinsnh.com/2012/09/26/stock...
by birdog
Mon Jun 04, 2018 1:53 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Is it fine to have 100% of portfolio in VTSAX
Replies: 33
Views: 4093

Re: Is it fine to have 100% of portfolio in VTSAX

I think it is fine and so does JL Collins. (It would also be fine, in my opinion, to allocate 90-10 stocks to bonds.) If I had it to do all over again I would follow Collins advice and go all VTSAX. I would have much more money today if I had.
by birdog
Tue May 22, 2018 9:00 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: When should we stop contributing to our 529?
Replies: 18
Views: 2174

Re: When should we stop contributing to our 529?

Bacchus01 wrote:
Mon May 21, 2018 9:13 pm
Based on your criteria, I would halt and let it ride.
+1
by birdog
Wed May 09, 2018 8:23 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Experian will not lift security freeze with PIN
Replies: 16
Views: 3757

Re: Experian will not lift security freeze with PIN

They have an automated phone system that allows you to lift the freeze with a phone call. Telephone number listed on their website.
by birdog
Fri Apr 06, 2018 8:12 am
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Who uses the 3 fund portfolio ?
Replies: 112
Views: 20310

Re: Who uses the 3 fund portfolio ?

Everything is in the three-fund portfolio via ETFs with two items of note. First, BIV made more sense to me than BND. Second, due to my income tax bracket I have about a third of the bond allocation in VTEB. So technically the portfolio is VTI, VEU, BIV & VTEB. Utilizing four funds to achieve a more...
by birdog
Thu Apr 05, 2018 3:22 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Credit Card Recommendations
Replies: 43
Views: 7743

Re: Credit Card Recommendations

We like USAA as our primary CC. It has no annual fee and 2% cash back if you have monthly direct deposit of at least $1000 into checking acct (we do a transfer from another checking acct). The USAA visa card that I have that requires the $1000 monthly direct deposit (USAA Limitless Cashback Rewards...
by birdog
Thu Apr 05, 2018 12:00 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Credit Card Recommendations
Replies: 43
Views: 7743

Re: Credit Card Recommendations

http://madfientist.cardratings.com/

The Mad Fientist has a nice custom credit card search tool (above) and an article (below) on card usage in regards to cash back and travel hacking.

https://www.madfientist.com/other-portfolio/
by birdog
Tue Apr 03, 2018 9:33 am
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Backdoor Roth IRA conversion issue
Replies: 12
Views: 1732

Re: Backdoor Roth IRA conversion issue

I believe you can do another conversion for the remainder (interest?) left in the tIRA. What I think happened is that when you did the conversion you requested that $5500 be converted. Next time request that the full account be converted. If you do that, even if some interest or a dividend arrives i...
by birdog
Fri Mar 02, 2018 2:30 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Back-door Roth or Taxable?
Replies: 2
Views: 347

Back-door Roth or Taxable?

I'm self-employed, married and in the highest tax bracket. I max my SEP-IRA every year and enjoy the tax break. When I retire early (at age 50 in 5 years) I will start a roth conversion ladder to get most of my SEP to my roth prior to RMD age at no tax or a very low tax rate. I expect to spend under...
by birdog
Mon Feb 26, 2018 7:27 am
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Help - what's your Favorite muni fund and why?
Replies: 20
Views: 2879

Re: Help - what's your Favorite muni fund and why?

stlutz wrote:
Sun Feb 25, 2018 1:03 am
My general suggestion is to you VWIUX if your funds are held at Vanguard or use VTEB if you are at another broker like Schwab or Fidelity.
This is my thought as well. I’m currently at TD Ameritrade and use VTEB. If I ever move to Vanguard I’ll switch to VWIUX.
by birdog
Tue Feb 13, 2018 7:22 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Number at which to stop worrying
Replies: 169
Views: 20275

Re: Number at which to stop worrying

A long time ago I thought that if I had $100k I could quit worrying. When I reached that goal, I discovered that I continued to worry just as much as when I had nothing. So I set out to get a million, but the result was the same. I now have several million dollars and I have finally discovered ther...
by birdog
Tue Jan 30, 2018 9:20 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Another Cancel Life Insurance Question
Replies: 7
Views: 808

Re: Another Cancel Life Insurance Question

I just cancelled three term life policies. It was easy for me as I hate to pay for insurance that I no longer need. Sounds like you no longer need these policies.
by birdog
Mon Jan 29, 2018 4:23 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: What frugal thing did you do today?
Replies: 483
Views: 47601

Re: What frugal thing did you do today?

1210sda wrote:
Mon Jan 29, 2018 11:52 am
I don't mind looking maybe not "poor", but at least "not rich".

It's part of my backup Umbrella Liability Policy. :D

1210
Exactly. Be the gray man. Helps in several areas of life.
by birdog
Sat Jan 27, 2018 4:24 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Pulling the plug on Scottrade
Replies: 22
Views: 2849

Re: Pulling the plug on Scottrade

Does Merrill Edge cover the investment side for the any HSAs out there?
by birdog
Sat Jan 27, 2018 6:33 am
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Retreat to cash
Replies: 335
Views: 66076

Re: Retreat to cash

Well, let's see what happens. Unconvinced by the feedback here, I've decided to get out of the market for a while. .... For those of you that want the opportunity to say “I told you so.”, today’s market indexes at the time I placed the orders: Dow: 19,900 S&P: 2260 NAS: 5441 VTI: 116.34 I'm going t...
by birdog
Wed Jan 24, 2018 1:07 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: TD Ameritrade & Tax Lot ID Method
Replies: 4
Views: 802

Re: TD Ameritrade & Tax Lot ID Method

I think at TDAmeritrade (and other brokers) that one can edit the tax lot allocation on a per-sale basis at any time between sale date and settlement day. I know this to be the case at WellsTrade. One shouldn't have to make a phone call unless (a) one cannot figure out the online interface to chang...
by birdog
Wed Jan 24, 2018 8:31 am
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: TD Ameritrade & Tax Lot ID Method
Replies: 4
Views: 802

TD Ameritrade & Tax Lot ID Method

1. TD Ameritrade gives me different options for tax lot ID methods in my tax-advantaged accounts but I can actually leave that to FIFO (First-in, First-out) if I wanted because aren't the tax lot ID methods irrelevant in IRAs? 2. In my taxable account at TDA my options for tax lot ID method are Firs...
by birdog
Tue Jan 23, 2018 7:14 am
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Ready to give up on bond fund, Lost 2.25% past 6 months
Replies: 85
Views: 12373

Re: Ready to give up on bond fund, Lost 2.25% past 6 months

The problem with bond funds are that their value will decrease as interest rates rise. To mitigate this, you'll be better off buying individual bonds, which you can hold to maturity. My 2 cents, altho I could be wrong. The basic problem with owning individual bonds is that you lose the simple diver...
by birdog
Sun Jan 21, 2018 7:24 am
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: No more TDA Apex?
Replies: 19
Views: 5024

Re: No more TDA Apex?

Poor communication on the part of TD is a good portion of why I left TD. They never seemed to be able to get their story straight. Where did you move to and are you happy with the new place? I’ve been considering leaving TDA as well (due to their comm-free ETF changes). Considering Vanguard, Fideli...
by birdog
Sat Jan 20, 2018 12:14 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Should I stop 529 Contributions
Replies: 14
Views: 2124

Re: Should I stop 529 Contributions

I don’t like the dollars being so restricted (can only be used for education). 529 dollars can be used for anything, at any time. Or they can be used for nothing, forever, and continue to grow tax deferred or tax free. The question is what will the tax treatment of earnings be when a distribution i...
by birdog
Sat Jan 20, 2018 7:04 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Should I stop 529 Contributions
Replies: 14
Views: 2124

Re: Should I stop 529 Contributions

I am of the opinion it is better to underfund than overfund a 529k. I love the one thousand dollar state tax credit I get every year and I started early as well to let compounding do it’s thing but I plan to err on the low side because I don’t like the dollars being so restricted (can only be used f...
by birdog
Fri Jan 19, 2018 7:36 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Mint vs Personal Capital
Replies: 19
Views: 3876

Re: Mint vs Personal Capital

I use personal capital only. I like that I can track my total portfolio, monitor net worth, track spending, evaluate asset allocation and plan retirement spending and cash flow all at one place.
by birdog
Wed Jan 17, 2018 6:57 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Car accident - was directed to sign release
Replies: 71
Views: 6137

Re: Car accident - was directed to sign release

Simple.....I googled the topic but failed to read the entire article. After more discussion, I did much more reading and PMed the OP with some of the original NHTSA proposals before their final recommendation. Seems that the definition of a minor crash was revised after a lobbing effort of the chil...
by birdog
Tue Jan 16, 2018 1:47 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Best High Interest Banking Accounts (With Bill Pay): (Checking/Savings/MMA?)
Replies: 8
Views: 1188

Re: Best High Interest Banking Accounts (With Bill Pay): (Checking/Savings/MMA?)

+1 for Alliant. I researched all available options last spring and chose Alliant.
by birdog
Tue Jan 16, 2018 10:05 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Self pay vs insurance
Replies: 10
Views: 1114

Re: Self pay vs insurance

I ask the provider what their self-pay price is. It is often lower than the insurance contracted price. If it is, I simply tell them I want to self-pay. I have a very high deductible that we have only met one year. Providers that I have dealt with like self-pay because they don't have to file with i...
by birdog
Fri Jan 12, 2018 8:51 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Insurance: Who do you use? (Auto/Home)
Replies: 32
Views: 2642

Re: Insurance: Who do you use? (Auto/Home)

USAA for home, auto and term life.
by birdog
Thu Jan 11, 2018 9:20 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Buffett on bonds
Replies: 34
Views: 5734

Re: Buffett on bonds

I think the story of Warren Buffett is amazing. That said, his advice is very general to the ordinary investor. I find myself following Jack Bogle's advice more. That said I would not sleep well with no bonds with 90% in stocks and 10% in cash. Best. I thought Buffett advocated 90% stocks and 10% g...
by birdog
Tue Jan 09, 2018 7:32 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Early Retirement Math - What I am not thinking of?
Replies: 26
Views: 4676

Re: Early Retirement Math - What I am not thinking of?

https://www.madfientist.com/first-year-of-freedom/ Congratulations on your financial independence! At the same time, I understand your hesitation/thoughtfulness surrounding extreme early retirement. You might check out the above link from the Mad Fientist detailing his first year of extreme early re...
by birdog
Mon Jan 08, 2018 11:41 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: How much are you putting in a 529?
Replies: 111
Views: 10991

Re: How much are you putting in a 529?

Two kids. My state offers a tax incentive up to 5K so that is the what I contribute each year. Only have one account for the sake of simplicity. I plan to stop contributing at some point because I would rather under-fund than over-fund an account with use restrictions like this one.