Search found 172 matches

by Uniballer
Sun Feb 17, 2019 5:28 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: I want a new Audi A6 2018 (50k) - Can I afford it? Or is this just a really dumb decision...
Replies: 123
Views: 6172

Re: I want a new Audi A6 2018 (50k) - Can I afford it? Or is this just a really dumb decision...

Nobody should have more than 1/3 of their net worth invested in a quickly depreciating asset like a car.

Sounds dumb to me.

I seriously looked at a used Porsche 911 when I was 23 (more than 30 years ago). Fortunately I did not pull the trigger.
by Uniballer
Sun Feb 17, 2019 4:26 am
Forum: Personal Investments
Topic: Changing from Roth to IRA
Replies: 14
Views: 883

Re: Changing from Roth to IRA

02nz wrote:
Sun Feb 17, 2019 12:14 am
At $120K of income they don't qualify for a deduction on a traditional IRA contribution, or at least they don't qualify for the full deduction.
That is the number for single filers, not MFJ.

For MFJ in 2018 the correct value is < $189K. MFJ in 2019 is < $193K.
by Uniballer
Mon Feb 11, 2019 6:02 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Cash-in investments to buy land?
Replies: 5
Views: 517

Re: Cash-in investments to buy land?

I would be concerned that the land you are buying will become unbuildable (due to changing environmental regulations/building codes). This could make it impossible to get your money back out if you change your mind. Buy land when you are ready to use it, or as a speculative investment using only a s...
by Uniballer
Fri Feb 08, 2019 11:13 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: When VUSXX is not better than VMMXX
Replies: 9
Views: 1151

Re: When VUSXX is not better than VMMXX

Assuming that VMMXX and VUSXX continue to keep their ratio of increases fairly equal, this should mean we, low and high income earners, get a tiny advantage of owning VUSXX.... right? This depends on the fact that you are holding this in a taxable account, and that your marginal state income tax ra...
by Uniballer
Thu Feb 07, 2019 3:59 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: When VUSXX is not better than VMMXX
Replies: 9
Views: 1151

Re: When VUSXX is not better than VMMXX

Prime = better yield? Or should I not use effective tax rate but instead marginal? It depends. If that income from Prime is already in the income that was used to calculate your effective state tax rate then it may be OK to leave your calculation as is. If this will be new income not previously tax...
by Uniballer
Fri Feb 01, 2019 6:46 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Would a heat pump or gas furnace help?
Replies: 19
Views: 1576

Re: Would a heat pump or gas furnace help?

One possibility is that you have a leak somewhere in the hydronic system, and that the anti-freeze treated water is gradually being replaced with fresh water by an automatic make-up valve (sometimes called a feeder valve, or a pressure-reducing valve).
by Uniballer
Fri Feb 01, 2019 9:35 am
Forum: Personal Investments
Topic: New Money - Can I get it tax-protected?
Replies: 31
Views: 1698

Re: New Money - Can I get it tax-protected?

You could buy an annuity, and defer the taxes until you take money out, but the overall consequences would probably be worse (likely high fees and paying on ordinary income instead of capital gains).

Maybe you can improve the tax efficiency of your taxable holdings.
by Uniballer
Thu Jan 31, 2019 7:30 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Marriage "Benefits"
Replies: 108
Views: 8934

Re: Marriage "Benefits"

You can inherit your spouse's retirement accounts and make them your own. Not possible with inheriting from a non-spouse.

My brother married his 1st wife in the local judge's chambers and followed up with a party at my Mom's house. Cheap.
by Uniballer
Thu Jan 31, 2019 6:45 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: How to include extra income on taxes
Replies: 6
Views: 540

Re: How to include extra income on taxes

I can't remember the exact details (and it might vary slightly from year to year), but there has always been a way to add additional 'wages salaries and tips' for which you have no W2 or 1099. If he wants to account for the expenses then he will probably have to consider this a business and file sch...
by Uniballer
Tue Jan 22, 2019 5:16 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Buy Land, then build house... or Construction to Permanent?
Replies: 23
Views: 1933

Re: Buy Land, then build house... or Construction to Permanent?

So, does this property you are planning to buy sit at/near sea level? Will any of it be above water in 30 years? NOAA Sea Level Rise Viewer I closed on 20+ acres (at 900' elevation) in December '97, started building in the fall of '98, and moved there in the spring of '99. The sales contract include...
by Uniballer
Mon Jan 21, 2019 10:02 am
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: xkcd Webcomic Weighs in on Technical Analysis
Replies: 15
Views: 1454

Re: xkcd Webcomic Weighs in on Technical Analysis

And the alternate text (hover over the image to see it) is: "I [suspect] that we are throwing more and more of our resources, including the cream of our youth, into financial activities remote from the production of goods and services, into activities that generate high private rewards disproportion...
by Uniballer
Sat Jan 19, 2019 9:15 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: What is a Boglehead funeral/burial?
Replies: 153
Views: 8149

Re: What is a Boglehead funeral/burial?

I told my wife and some friends that I would prefer if my body was left in the woods (on my property) for the scavengers to take care of.

One of my friends said, "Oh sure. That's great until the neighbors' dog comes home with your femur. That'll cause a ruckus."
by Uniballer
Thu Jan 17, 2019 10:06 am
Forum: Personal Investments
Topic: Feel like a mark, but probably will do it (403(b) Variable Annuity)
Replies: 10
Views: 736

Re: Feel like a mark, but probably will do it (403(b) Variable Annuity)

You haven't told us enough to allow us to make any comparative judgements about this plan. I suggest that you read everything up front (contract) and know what your exit strategy is going to be before you jump in. Plan for how to handle your spouse working at this job another 25 years, or for leavin...
by Uniballer
Sat Jan 12, 2019 9:59 am
Forum: Personal Investments
Topic: Rollover - why checks instead of wiring funds?
Replies: 42
Views: 2511

Re: Rollover - why checks instead of wiring funds?

Because they can. Who gets the float while funds are in transit?
by Uniballer
Sun Jan 06, 2019 5:31 am
Forum: Personal Investments
Topic: Am I being ripped off in my 401k? (Good Vanguard funds available but fees seem questionable)
Replies: 22
Views: 2003

Re: Am I being ripped off in my 401k? (Good Vanguard funds available but fees seem questionable)

You say the account is administered by Fidelity. I assume that equivalent Fidelity funds are available in your 401k. Would holding equivalent Fidelity funds be cheaper? Or are these basically fixed costs that look big because of the low balances?
by Uniballer
Sat Jan 05, 2019 4:21 pm
Forum: Personal Investments
Topic: how to get into a low tax bracket when retired, so as to convert from tIRA to Roth
Replies: 17
Views: 1960

Re: how to get into a low tax bracket when retired, so as to convert from tIRA to Roth

It can be advantageous to convert tax-deferred savings to Roth, in some situations. Especially if you have a lot of tax-deferred savings. Many people find that early retirement before collecting Social Security is a good time to plan for Roth conversions. Some people with pensions or other continuin...
by Uniballer
Wed Dec 19, 2018 9:01 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Gift Ideas for wife
Replies: 76
Views: 5570

Re: Gift Ideas for wife

I remember when I was a kid, for Mother's Day my mom received a nice tool set from my dad (because she told him once that she needed a screwdriver). You should have seen the beautiful China he got for Father's Day. Maybe my wife will be getting a Mig welder... I wonder what I will be getting :happy
by Uniballer
Tue Dec 11, 2018 4:00 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Electric bill with LED
Replies: 114
Views: 8951

Re: Electric bill with LED

I still have a few incandescent bulbs in areas that are not frequently used. I have eliminated all CFLs from my home and work spaces. This is because light from CFLs is terrible quality compared to incandescent and LED. My wife has had serious visual difficulties for some years, and is now legally b...
by Uniballer
Thu Nov 29, 2018 8:08 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Winter boot recommendation
Replies: 34
Views: 3353

Re: Winter boot recommendation

I wear Muck chore boots. A lot. They are very high quality and keep my feet dry and warm, and they breathe so are still OK in summer.

How about one of these styles?
by Uniballer
Thu Nov 22, 2018 6:28 am
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: A lot of us expected a US stock "pull back" is this it?
Replies: 61
Views: 8634

Re: A lot of us expected a US stock "pull back" is this it?

Not yet. It will happen, but nobody knows when.
by Uniballer
Thu Nov 22, 2018 5:56 am
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Better investments than the stock market?
Replies: 24
Views: 4025

Re: Better investments than the stock market?

It seems that some people believe that owning "politicians" has a great long-term rate of return. But unless you already have a lot of money, and plans to do something shady, you probably can't capitalize on this investment concept.
by Uniballer
Sun Nov 18, 2018 9:40 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Laptop security - Mac OS or Windows
Replies: 42
Views: 2841

Re: Laptop security - Mac OS or Windows

I hate Windows. Not just for security reasons. But the order processing application at work runs on Windows, so I make sure those machines run as well as possible. My wife runs Apple everything. I make sure her stuff is backed up, etc. No thrill there for me. I run a lot of stuff on Linux and FreeBS...
by Uniballer
Fri Nov 16, 2018 6:13 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: which snow blower ?
Replies: 58
Views: 3662

Re: which snow blower ?

I would guess that either the Ariens or Troy-Bilt would work great. I had a single stage Toro near Buffalo NY, and it was OK, but a bit underpowered for serious snow. It might be OK depending on how much snow you are likely to get. Now I have a 500 ft driveway that goes up a hill, so I use a 75" Met...
by Uniballer
Mon Nov 05, 2018 11:55 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Home Purchase Questions
Replies: 7
Views: 1015

Re: Home Purchase Questions

A lot of the down payment calculation has to do with the mortgage rate. A high mortgage rate would probably make a big down payment more palatable.

The mortgage on my first house was at 10.6%. I put down the biggest payment I could stomach, and then paid off the principle as fast as I could.
by Uniballer
Fri Nov 02, 2018 9:57 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: When to get a new toilet?
Replies: 52
Views: 3963

Re: When to get a new toilet?

If the water is hard enough then the rim jets and internal passages to them can eventually clog. This is difficult to fix. It would result in a toilet that would not flush well (e.g. if you pour a bucket of water in it will flush properly and the siphon will do its thing, but flushing with the handl...
by Uniballer
Fri Nov 02, 2018 9:14 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Thoughts on the New Macbook Air?
Replies: 70
Views: 4186

Re: Thoughts on the New Macbook Air?

Go to the Apple Store and play with it. If you don't think it is faster than any computer you have owned to date then don't buy it.
by Uniballer
Tue Oct 30, 2018 10:26 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: People with older car, share your unusual repairs
Replies: 84
Views: 5384

Re: People with older car, share your unusual repairs

Those all sound like pretty normal repairs to me. Stuff broke, and it was replaced with the right stuff. To me, unusual repairs are things like: Minivan rear windshield shattered on a cold night when 75 miles from home (never found out why, no stone or bullet, etc). I had 3 dogs in the back in crate...
by Uniballer
Sat Oct 27, 2018 10:55 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Fixed Price Option for natural gas
Replies: 6
Views: 795

Re: Fixed Price Option for natural gas

Remember that you are essentially competing with a professional trader, who is probably using your contracts to hedge his bets in the futures market. My Dad ran a year-round greenhouse complex for many years, and was talked into contracting for natural gas at fixed prices. After reviewing the number...
by Uniballer
Fri Oct 26, 2018 4:57 am
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Market irrationality
Replies: 35
Views: 4145

Re: Market irrationality

No one knows about the long-term trend. There is no law of economics saying that stock markets have to go up in the long term. There are counter examples out there of stock markets that went down and didn't recover even in the long term. If you are thinking Japan as a counter example that's still a...
by Uniballer
Wed Oct 17, 2018 8:24 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Kids not interested in money / allowance
Replies: 50
Views: 5118

Re: Kids not interested in money / allowance

At around 11, I remember my parents telling me that I had $X in "allowance credit", and did I want to use it on a better guitar or the new bike I had asked for, with the implication that I could not have both. I chose the bike. Then Mom surprised me with an Epiphone guitar a week before my birthday....
by Uniballer
Mon Oct 15, 2018 11:23 am
Forum: Personal Investments
Topic: Can't immediately exchange ETF for another? (Merrill Edge)
Replies: 10
Views: 565

Re: Can't immediately exchange ETF for another? (Merrill Edge)

There is no law as such that says that what you want is impossible. But if your brokerage won't do it, then you can't do it. I could sell an ETF and buy another using the proceeds the same day at Vanguard, but I would get the warning about it being a violation to sell the second ETF before the trans...
by Uniballer
Mon Oct 15, 2018 11:09 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: What the heck is growing in my yard?
Replies: 71
Views: 6065

Re: What the heck is growing in my yard?

cheese_breath wrote:
Mon Oct 15, 2018 10:18 am
MI_bogle wrote:
Mon Oct 15, 2018 10:01 am
...I eat stuff I find in my neighborhood all the time. Paw paws, apples, oyster mushrooms, hen of the woods, morels, plums, etc...
What about by the side of the road? :D
You mean, like, Road Kill Jerky?
by Uniballer
Sat Oct 13, 2018 11:12 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: My life saved by New subaru. Almost died.
Replies: 62
Views: 7479

Re: My life saved by New subaru. Almost died.

Am I too cynical? This sounds to me like a great social media product placement ad for Subaru.
by Uniballer
Tue Sep 11, 2018 2:27 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Two and a Half Years to Start Over
Replies: 11
Views: 2090

Re: Two and a Half Years to Start Over

It doesn't sound like you have a burning desire to do something specific (e.g. I want to be a lumberjack!). So if you are just looking for more freedom then think about it some more while you put in the rest of your time to reach FI.
by Uniballer
Thu Sep 06, 2018 1:31 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Trying to decide if a trust should be an IRA beneficiary - Is this case the Yes? or No?
Replies: 9
Views: 858

Re: Trying to decide if a trust should be an IRA beneficiary - Is this case the Yes? or No?

If his marginal tax rate is low then see if doing Roth conversions now (while he is alive and tax rates are lower) makes more sense.
by Uniballer
Thu Sep 06, 2018 1:06 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: eBay Leaving Negative Feedback
Replies: 27
Views: 2675

Re: eBay Leaving Negative Feedback

munemaker wrote:
Thu Sep 06, 2018 12:44 pm
Maybe they changed this feedback system. I hope so.
Sellers are no longer permitted to give negative feedback to buyers. That solves your problem, but does not address the situation of "buyers" who are trying to scam innocent sellers.
by Uniballer
Thu Sep 06, 2018 12:51 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Are the stock market movements really random?
Replies: 37
Views: 3069

Re: Are the stock market movements really random?

The folks who really examine the data say that the price movements are not random, not independent, and do not match a standard distribution. See, e.g. The (Mis)Behavior of Markets by Benoit Mandelbrot. I thought the talk he gave at Microsoft was pretty good (available on YouTube here).
by Uniballer
Thu Sep 06, 2018 12:18 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: eBay Leaving Negative Feedback
Replies: 27
Views: 2675

Re: eBay Leaving Negative Feedback

The purpose of negative feedback is to identify "bad actors" who do not want to provide the value that they seem to be promising. So if you buy something, and it arrives broken, and the return and a refund go through in the normal way, then I don't really think this deserves negative feedback. On th...
by Uniballer
Tue Aug 28, 2018 6:32 pm
Forum: Personal Investments
Topic: What do you know about LPL Financial?
Replies: 26
Views: 2647

Re: What do you know about LPL Financial?

My parents had a taxable account at LPL that I helped them move to Vanguard. As I recall, it was $40 to buy or sell a mutual fund, and $80 for an exchange. There was also a yearly fee if you didn't buy or sell anything. I couldn't tell from the statements they were receiving if there were any fees p...
by Uniballer
Mon Aug 27, 2018 4:02 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Help with basement issues
Replies: 16
Views: 1581

Re: Help with basement issues

The key is an accurate diagnosis. It would be very nice to know where the water table is; including where it is during a heavy rain. I can't imagine a basement without a sump pump: are some basements made without one? I have a house on a hill. There is a sump pit that the footer drains empty into, ...
by Uniballer
Sun Aug 26, 2018 4:05 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Best ultra thin pocket knife?
Replies: 54
Views: 3739

Re: Best ultra thin pocket knife?

I bought a Benchmade Mini Griptilian 556 online, and I really liked it, but as soon as I played with the AXIS lock I realized it was illegal in New York State (gravity knife), so I sold it on eBay the day after I received it.
by Uniballer
Fri Aug 24, 2018 10:53 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: I own 1,387 items!
Replies: 128
Views: 10745

Re: I own 1,387 items!

Jacob Lund Fisker from Early Retirement Extreme blog used to say that he always could move super easy since all his stuff could fit in one suitcase. Roger Welsch said that he had a friend who borrowed almost everything he needed from people that he knew. When the friend was ready to move, he called...
by Uniballer
Sun Aug 12, 2018 5:59 am
Forum: Personal Investments
Topic: Beating $55K annual 401K limit?
Replies: 15
Views: 3010

Re: Beating $55K annual 401K limit?

The employee (YOU) can only contribute 18.5K total to all plans in 2018. You might be able to increase your contributions by 6k if you are over 50 (catch-up contributions). To reach 55K you would need your employer(s) to kick in a lot of money.
by Uniballer
Sun Aug 05, 2018 9:21 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Best way to send flowers out of town
Replies: 21
Views: 1358

Re: Best way to send flowers out of town

I guess I don't' understand how using a local florist will ensure they are a good florist. It doesn't. But the "order collectors", e.g. FTD, Teleflora, 1-800-Flowers, and the newer internet services take a pretty big chunk of the money. Calling a local florist directly allows them to provide good v...
by Uniballer
Sun Jul 22, 2018 12:31 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: What have been your experiences in purchasing a plot of land to build a someday home?
Replies: 17
Views: 2011

Re: What have been your experiences in purchasing a plot of land to build a someday home?

I bought a multi-acre lot in '97 that had been divided into 4 narrow pieces by a previous owner going through bankruptcy. Once clear title could be conveyed by the bankruptcy court, and after closing, I had to "sell" the property back to myself to redeed it as one parcel to meet zoning requirements ...