Search found 99 matches

by Uniballer
Fri Jan 05, 2018 1:02 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: How much life insurance?
Replies: 8
Views: 494

Re: How much life insurance?

Worst case scenario? One or both of you dead or disabled and Little Badger needs to get through childhood, college, etc. How much money would that take?
by Uniballer
Mon Jan 01, 2018 7:42 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Outbuilding Height For Resale - 10ft or 14ft
Replies: 11
Views: 1010

Re: Outbuilding Height For Resale - 10ft or 14ft

Depending on use, maybe he doesn't have to heat the whole building to a high temperature all the time. E.g. a typical large auto shop typically has an office and bathrooms that are heated conventionally, and the service area is generally taken care of with radiant heating equipment, mainly when peop...
by Uniballer
Sun Dec 31, 2017 9:24 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Placing an order to buy VTSAX, at what price will the transaction be executed?
Replies: 21
Views: 1287

Re: Placing an order to buy VTSAX, at what price will the transaction be executed?

In my experience, ff you cancel the order early in the trading day, it should be cancelled. If you wait too long (some unspecified time, probably in the afternoon) you will not be able to cancel. I assume this is because Vanguard starts buying/selling shares before market close for orders that it kn...
by Uniballer
Sun Dec 31, 2017 1:25 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: What to do with wife's 403b
Replies: 8
Views: 385

Re: What to do with wife's 403b

Have you managed to figure out how things will change with the new tax law? I wouldn't roll the 403b over until you know how you will make out with the Roth limit in 2018 and beyond.
by Uniballer
Sun Dec 31, 2017 9:20 am
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Individual Stocks That Went Bust
Replies: 90
Views: 5282

Re: Individual Stocks That Went Bust

I guarantee that the list of individual stocks that haven't gone bust is shorter.
by Uniballer
Thu Dec 28, 2017 7:59 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: 401k how to reduce or eliminate fees
Replies: 12
Views: 780

Re: 401k how to reduce or eliminate fees

Don't forget that having a big traditional IRA (e.g. from rolling over an old 401K) can be a big impediment to the back-door Roth maneuver.
by Uniballer
Thu Dec 28, 2017 2:55 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Think Home might have Asbestos (what to do?)
Replies: 20
Views: 1148

Re: Think Home might have Asbestos (what to do?)

If the material is falling apart, flaking, etc. then you will need professional help removing it. But, depending on state and local laws, you might be able to cheaply remove it yourself as the owner if the material is not friable.
by Uniballer
Mon Dec 25, 2017 3:35 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Basic questions about having your own website
Replies: 12
Views: 1265

Re: Basic questions about having your own website

Remember when domain names were run by SRI for free (as the NIC)? Then Network Solutions, Inc took it over (and the name became InterNIC ). Now ICANN has the responsibility, but everybody finds and pays their own registrars... I have been using NameCheap.com for DNS for the last few years. Just a cu...
by Uniballer
Mon Dec 25, 2017 9:16 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Large insurance settlement
Replies: 4
Views: 948

Re: Large insurance settlement

They will probably be offered a tax-free annuity, as well as a lump sum offer, and perhaps even a hybrid. The annuity is cheaper than the lump sum for the insurance company.
by Uniballer
Sun Dec 24, 2017 7:20 am
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Intentionally realize gains to offset large loss carryforward?
Replies: 8
Views: 762

Re: Intentionally realize gains to offset large loss carryforward?

How big is the loss your in-laws are carrying forward? Can they reasonably expect to offset all of it with income at $3K per year? If not, some tax gain harvesting may be in order. If the market continues to go up before the securities are sold then this will reduce the capital gains. If the market ...
by Uniballer
Wed Dec 20, 2017 3:16 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: solar power generation
Replies: 9
Views: 1082

Re: solar power generation

Make sure you get realistic up-to-date quotes for what it would cost to connect to the grid. The costs of generating and storing your own power are coming down, but long-term maintenance costs (e.g. eventual panel and battery replacement) should be factored in before you compare to the costs of conn...
by Uniballer
Wed Dec 20, 2017 2:51 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Taking out a 401k loan to pay down debt
Replies: 12
Views: 1439

Re: Taking out a 401k loan to pay down debt

Hidden Costs of 401K Loans
vs
Sometimes It Pays To Borrow From Your 401K

What are the interest rates of the CC debt and 401K loan? Does it really cash flow that much better? Show us your analysis.
by Uniballer
Wed Dec 20, 2017 2:39 am
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: I read on a different forum that for Vanguard if you have over 10k in an account you can make them admiral shares
Replies: 9
Views: 1684

Re: I read on a different forum that for Vanguard if you have over 10k in an account you can make them admiral shares

Don't you think that it is a bit disingenuous to suggest that VBIAX (Vanguard Balanced Index Fund) is an equivalent investment to VASGX (Vanguard Life Strategy Growth)? Yes, the ER is lower, but VBIAX is 60/40 US stocks/bonds and VASGX is 80/20 (48.6/31.7/13.9/5.8 US/International stock/US/Internati...
by Uniballer
Sun Dec 17, 2017 1:20 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Diversification: Is there any way to produce the same returns with less risk?
Replies: 52
Views: 5131

Re: Diversification: Is there any way to produce the same returns with less risk?

Maybe. See Larry Swedroe's book, "Reducing the Risk of Black Swans: Using the Science of Investing to Capture Returns With Less Volatility" for one way to approach this. The book is pretty convincing for the time period on which it backtests the strategy. Nobody can say if this will really work over...
by Uniballer
Sat Dec 16, 2017 9:22 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Buy home with structural issues
Replies: 51
Views: 3700

Re: Buy home with structural issues

Does your purchase contract say anything about a "substantial change in condition" of the property (or something like that)? Have you discussed this matter with your lawyer?
by Uniballer
Sun Dec 03, 2017 9:14 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: How do QCDs relate to RMDs?
Replies: 22
Views: 1386

Re: How do QCDs relate to RMDs?

Advantages to taking QCD over a donation from a taxable account: - I may not have enough itemized deductions to get a tax break from the donation - Medicare premiums (IRMAA) are based on AGI (actually on MAGI), not on taxable income - FAFSA (student aid applications) are based on AGI - others? Yeah...
by Uniballer
Sun Dec 03, 2017 8:23 am
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Index Funds in Taxable?
Replies: 10
Views: 765

Re: Index Funds in Taxable?

So just to make sure I understand most of the sentiment so far, the Schwab Total Market is okay, but the LS fund is where the issue is? Yes, because the taxable bonds in the LS fund throw off dividends that are taxed at the ordinary income rate. So it is less tax efficient than non-taxable bonds or...
by Uniballer
Sun Dec 03, 2017 7:44 am
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: cash out pension or no?
Replies: 9
Views: 1198

Re: cash out pension or no?

Will the pension get adjusted for cost of living increases (COLA)? If you take the lump sum at 60 and live for 30 more years, and there is no COLA, then the simulation I ran says you have about an 83% chance of doing as well or better with the lump sum than with the pension (I ran a Monte Carlo simu...
by Uniballer
Sun Nov 26, 2017 2:02 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Gold?
Replies: 64
Views: 4169

Re: Gold?

livesoft wrote:
Sun Nov 26, 2017 1:25 pm
There are probably saner things to have around than gold for when bad things happen.
You can mold gold into bullets, assuming you have powder, casings, primers and a reloading setup. Just saying.
by Uniballer
Sat Nov 25, 2017 12:25 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Too much house, right?
Replies: 88
Views: 8334

Re: Too much house, right?

Why is the lot vacant if these are in such great demand? Is there something wrong with it (floods seasonally, bad roads leading to it, hazardous waste, Indian burial ground :) , etc.)? What utilities are available at the road? E.g. electric, natural gas, water, sewer, broadband cable/fiber Internet....
by Uniballer
Sat Nov 25, 2017 6:46 am
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Break up target date fund for more control?
Replies: 10
Views: 797

Re: Break up target date fund for more control?

If your Target Date 2055 has a reasonable asset allocation then there is very little reason to change. Whose fund is it, or what does it invest in? In my opinion, when you start having taxable investments and want to organize them for best tax efficiency is the time when you will really benefit from...
by Uniballer
Fri Nov 24, 2017 6:01 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Public or Montessori Private School
Replies: 60
Views: 4348

Re: Public or Montessori Private School

I know this doesn't directly answer the OP's question, but this is an attempt to inject actual data into the discussion. I am married to a public school teacher (28 years in the 4th grade). She says that, to date, despite the fads that mandate changes in educational techniques every few years, there...
by Uniballer
Mon Nov 20, 2017 11:07 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Temperature setting for radiant floor heat
Replies: 13
Views: 1245

Re: Temperature setting for radiant floor heat

So you're pumping a lot of heat into the tubing under your kitchen floor, but it isn't making your kitchen very warm. What is under the kitchen floor (e.g. basement or crawlspace)? Did you install insulation below the tubing to make sure the heat goes up into the kitchen?
by Uniballer
Sun Nov 12, 2017 6:54 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Borrowing against portfolio for home down payment
Replies: 11
Views: 1350

Re: Borrowing against portfolio for home down payment

I was under the impression that part of the reason for PMI below 20% down payment is that you have no "skin in the game", and are more likely to walk away (AKA default). I can't imagine a mortgage lender looking at you with a loan for the down payment as equivalent to somebody who had it in cash. Su...
by Uniballer
Fri Nov 10, 2017 5:37 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Home backup generator experiences
Replies: 51
Views: 3067

Re: Home backup generator experiences

A plus for running propane over NG is that you will get the full 20KW out of the genset rather than a 20% reduction (e.g. 18KW) using NG. I think that is one of the reasons why Generac came out with the 22KW unit, even though it uses the same two cylinder engine in order to pump up the NG output. W...
by Uniballer
Fri Nov 10, 2017 12:49 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Septic tank - deal killer?
Replies: 47
Views: 4320

Re: Septic tank - deal killer?

I have a 4 bedroom house built around 20 years ago with a 1750 gallon septic tank. The county health department says I should pump the tank out every two years, but the guys who pump it say that every 5 years is fine with only two people living in the house. I think I paid around $250 to have the ta...
by Uniballer
Fri Nov 10, 2017 11:44 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Tankless Water Heaters
Replies: 10
Views: 1015

Re: Tankless Water Heaters

I've seen those installed too. It requires a whole separate water pipe though which would be hard to run in many homes. Actually, if you watch that video I linked to the end you will see that it is possible to run a point-of-use recirculation pump using the existing hot and cold water lines. So the...
by Uniballer
Fri Nov 10, 2017 11:17 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Tankless Water Heaters
Replies: 10
Views: 1015

Re: Tankless Water Heaters

I have a friend who has a whole-house gas-fired tankless water heater. She likes it, except that it is a long way from her kitchen, and might not come on if she only wants a trickle of hot water (tankless units need a minimum flow rate to start heating). So she had a mini-tank electric water heater ...
by Uniballer
Fri Nov 10, 2017 9:01 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Home backup generator experiences
Replies: 51
Views: 3067

Re: Home backup generator experiences

When we were building a house in a rural area we talked about this stuff. The electric feed to our house is underground, so if there is power at the road then we are OK. We have a 30k BTU natural gas fireplace with a pilot light (aka backup heat). Gas range (can cook on the stove top without electri...
by Uniballer
Thu Nov 02, 2017 4:23 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: taxable account investment ideas
Replies: 5
Views: 740

Re: taxable account investment ideas

My favored option would be to sell stock funds in your tax-deferred account and buy them the same day in your taxable account. Then buy bonds in your tax-deferred account. This has several advantages over holding municipal bonds in your tax-deferred account. 1. Gains in your taxable account will (ev...
by Uniballer
Fri Oct 27, 2017 7:30 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: water pressure gauge
Replies: 30
Views: 1721

Re: water pressure gauge

Does anyone know how to look up elevation and the max HGL and what delta elevation means? A good topographic map will give you elevation within a small margin of error. Delta elevation means the difference in elevation between a measured point and your hose bib (or wherever you care about pressure)...
by Uniballer
Fri Oct 27, 2017 7:14 am
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: RMD distribution timing
Replies: 32
Views: 2791

Re: RMD distribution timing

I am too young for RMDs, but I have convinced my parents to make their charitable contributions via QCDs, and then take any remaining RMD near the end of the year. The QCDs do not count as income, so it helps them to stay in the 15% tax bracket.
by Uniballer
Sat Oct 21, 2017 9:13 am
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Destination funds
Replies: 4
Views: 414

Re: Destination funds

Vanguard Target Retirement funds are considered a pretty good and very simple way to invest in tax-advantaged retirement accounts (e.g. 401K, tIRA, Roth...). You will probably need to break your portfolio down into separate equity and fixed income funds once you start needing taxable investment acco...
by Uniballer
Wed Oct 18, 2017 5:21 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: WPA2 protocol used by vast majority of wifi connections has been broken
Replies: 112
Views: 11730

Re: WPA2 protocol used by vast majority of wifi connections has been broken

One of my friend's is "Aditum Punctum LXIX" (latin for "access point 69")
by Uniballer
Mon Oct 09, 2017 8:06 am
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: 2018 IRA Limits Question
Replies: 3
Views: 448

Re: 2018 IRA Limits Question

The notice for 2017 was announced on October 27, 2016 (IR-2016-141).
by Uniballer
Thu Oct 05, 2017 7:34 am
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Help with In-Laws Request to Review their Portfolio from LPL Advisor
Replies: 8
Views: 912

Re: Help with In-Laws Request to Review their Portfolio from LPL Advisor

My parents used to have a taxable account (only) at LPL. They were invested all in load funds and with no concept of tax efficiency. There were no AUM fees on that account as a whole (I think $40 per trade or $30/yr if you didn't make any trades), but the funds they were sold sucked (front loads, hi...
by Uniballer
Tue Oct 03, 2017 2:56 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: ROTH Question
Replies: 4
Views: 687

Re: ROTH Question

Assuming that you are married filing jointly, then yes. Limits, as always, apply.
by Uniballer
Tue Oct 03, 2017 9:14 am
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Is a Roth conversion a good idea if you are in the 15% tax bracket?
Replies: 39
Views: 4218

Re: Is a Roth conversion a good idea if you are in the 15% tax bracket?

IMO Roth money is simply more valuable than taxable: no capital gains on growth. Ever. And it costs the same to convert tIRA money to Roth as it does to put it in taxable. There's just that pesky 5 year waiting period. Granted, if you knew that you would need the money right away then putting it in ...
by Uniballer
Tue Oct 03, 2017 8:21 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Cash on hand for emergencies
Replies: 42
Views: 3586

Re: Cash on hand for emergencies

"The Northeast blackout of 2003 was a widespread power outage that occurred throughout parts of the Northeastern and Midwestern United States and the Canadian province of Ontario on Thursday, August 14, 2003, just after 4:10 p.m. EDT. ... A New Yorker who lived through this told me about how people...
by Uniballer
Sat Sep 30, 2017 5:19 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: How Safe are Stable Value Funds
Replies: 24
Views: 2288

Re: How Safe are Stable Value Funds

At one time I had a lot of 401k money in Prudential's Guaranteed Interest Account. It was paying around 10% when I first used it, and they "guaranteed" that it would never pay less than 3%. It was impossible to get any reasonable discussion of risks concerning this fund, and Prudential could prevent...
by Uniballer
Sat Sep 30, 2017 1:28 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Is it a waste of money having your furnace checked every year?
Replies: 58
Views: 6629

Re: Is it a waste of money having your furnace checked every year?

Do you understand your furnace well enough to repair it if there is a problem (and you had the parts)? If so, evaluate it looking for potential problems. If you look inside and see a pile of rust where the heat exchanger is supposed to be, or a motor capacitor that is swollen or leaking, then you sh...
by Uniballer
Wed Sep 27, 2017 11:51 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Qualified Charitable [Distributions] from Vanguard
Replies: 12
Views: 1081

Re: Qualified Charitable Deductions from Vanguard

tj wrote:
Wed Sep 27, 2017 11:46 am
Why would they withhold tax on a qcd?
They are not investigating to see if the recipient is a qualified charity.
by Uniballer
Wed Sep 27, 2017 11:08 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Meaningful wedding gift?
Replies: 20
Views: 1737

Re: Meaningful wedding gift?

When Mrs. Uniballer and I got married we received all the usual food processors, electric knives and other kitchen gadgets. None of that stuff ever got used much (she doesn't cook, and I prefer a sharp knife). But she used the shower radio we received from one of my friends for years until it died. ...
by Uniballer
Wed Sep 27, 2017 10:50 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: I have an idea I want to bring to market
Replies: 30
Views: 1944

Re: I have an idea I want to bring to market

Start by talking to an attorney who knows something about intellectual property. Plan to spend some money to protect your idea in case it turns out to be innovative, marketable, and realizable. Your protection might include a patent, or maybe just non-disclosure and other agreements.
by Uniballer
Sun Sep 24, 2017 1:07 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: The right offer on a home
Replies: 10
Views: 1242

Re: The right offer on a home

mcfroggin wrote:
Sun Sep 24, 2017 8:20 am
Impossible to say. Get a realtor
A realtor has a conflict of interest in that they will get a bigger commission if you pay more for the property.
by Uniballer
Thu Sep 21, 2017 2:05 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Flooded out subdivision
Replies: 17
Views: 1819

Re: Flooded out subdivision

Will the National Flood Insurance Program continue to pay out ? I have heard claims that the program is over $25 billion in debt. If the man-made climate-change proponents are right then this is only going to get worse. I would be seeking to get as much value out of these properties as possible and ...
by Uniballer
Sun Sep 17, 2017 8:54 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Should I contact a lawyer?
Replies: 69
Views: 4048

Re: Should I contact a lawyer?

IANAL. The general concept of " work for hire " seems to apply to a teacher creating instructional materials for use in the classroom. You should not expect your digital and paper copies stored on their premises to be private. If the district is actually able to assert their claimed IP rights then t...
by Uniballer
Sun Sep 17, 2017 8:20 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Should I contact a lawyer?
Replies: 69
Views: 4048

Re: Should I contact a lawyer?

The outcomes of disputes of this nature may vary considerably by jurisdiction. The public school at which my wife teaches claims that all materials produced by the teacher for use in class are the intellectual property of the school district, regardless of whose resources were used to produce the ma...
by Uniballer
Sun Sep 17, 2017 6:44 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: After Irma in need of............
Replies: 25
Views: 2494

Re: After Irma in need of............

If you are thinking emergency radio, how about the Eton FRX5? AM/FM/weather, NOAA alerts, crank, solar and battery powered and can charge a cell phone.