Search found 55 matches

by a5ehren
Fri May 11, 2018 11:15 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Reccommended Minivans
Replies: 31
Views: 1828

Re: Reccommended Minivans

Came at the same question and basically settled on the 2018 Sienna XLE. Just sitting around and waiting for 0% APR at this point since sales are down 30% from last year.
by a5ehren
Sat Apr 28, 2018 12:05 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Comfortable Commuter Cars under $50K
Replies: 81
Views: 5760

Re: Comfortable Commuter Cars under $50K

Maybe a MB C-class with decent options.

I also really like the Audi A5/S5 Sportback (aka the A7 Lite).
by a5ehren
Sat Apr 28, 2018 11:59 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Money vs. Work-life balance
Replies: 68
Views: 7451

Re: Money vs. Work-life balance

My gross is half of yours and I wouldn't make that trade for a 20% bump. 40% (in your case that'd put you around 325) would be a much harder choice.
by a5ehren
Tue Mar 27, 2018 1:00 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Computer Security
Replies: 55
Views: 3583

Re: Computer Security

The security of using a chromebook may be enhanced by configuring your home router so that the chromebook is isolated on its own virtual network, and still further by using an ethernet wire instead of wifi for it. This is a level of paranoia not warranted for home users. All modern routers only use...
by a5ehren
Mon Mar 26, 2018 3:38 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Gifting Appreciated Stocks to Grandparent to pay Child's Private School Tuition
Replies: 121
Views: 6907

Re: Gifting Appreciated Stocks to Grandparent to pay Child's Private School Tuition

My ethical intuition is ringing loudly: This idea is unethical and the OP should not consider implementing it. Sure, it ispleasant to avoid paying taxes, but to me idea reads feels like tax cheating. Tax evasion is illegal, but tax avoidance is perfectly legal. Contrary to what some are asserting, ...
by a5ehren
Mon Mar 26, 2018 2:29 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Gifting Appreciated Stocks to Grandparent to pay Child's Private School Tuition
Replies: 121
Views: 6907

Re: Gifting Appreciated Stocks to Grandparent to pay Child's Private School Tuition

Let's put it this way - is the $40k you'd save on taxes enough to pay for the lawyers you'd have to hire to maybe convince the IRS that this isn't what you're doing? I'm guessing not.
by a5ehren
Mon Mar 26, 2018 2:14 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Computer Security
Replies: 55
Views: 3583

Re: Computer Security

Your Macbook Air is probably OK, as long as you have the latest OS updates. Your Windows 10 desktop is probably OK, as long as you have the latest OS updates. MS Defender (free with the OS) is good enough these days to where I can't honestly recommend any other free AV product. For both of these pla...
by a5ehren
Thu Mar 15, 2018 9:53 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Should a recent college grad look for a job in the Bay Area or Texas?
Replies: 39
Views: 2777

Re: Should a recent college grad look for a job in the Bay Area or Texas?

Yeah...I can't think of any "good" medical jobs that a 4-year BS would qualify one for that would look good on a Med School application. She can go do lab-tech grunt work, I guess?

But that probably won't mean as much as a good MCAT score and her college GPA.
by a5ehren
Fri Feb 16, 2018 4:06 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Are we TOO diversified? Time to hire a professional? Who has?
Replies: 14
Views: 1960

Re: Are we TOO diversified? Time to hire a professional? Who has?

USAA mutual funds tend to be expensive. I'd move those to Vanguard or Fidelity, assuming you won't take a big tax hit or whatever to do so.
by a5ehren
Fri Feb 16, 2018 4:00 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: cybertheft from brokerage and retirement accounts after Equifax identity theft
Replies: 23
Views: 3061

Re: cybertheft from brokerage and retirement accounts after Equifax identity theft

Set a strong password and use 2FA if you can. If Vanguard gets breached on the back-end by criminals and a widespread account drain occurs, most likely the government will step in to return some portion of the cash. But there's also absolutely nothing you can do about that scenario, and anyone tryin...
by a5ehren
Fri Feb 16, 2018 3:38 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: USAA 41% More For Car Insurance
Replies: 43
Views: 2780

Re: USAA 41% More For Car Insurance

This thread prompted me to go get a quote from GEICO. Once I adjusted the coverage to match what I have now, the rates were basically identical. It did get me to go reduce my coverage on USAA to save $400/year though. I bumped up my Comprehensive deductible and dropped non-accident collision coverag...
by a5ehren
Mon Feb 12, 2018 3:21 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: I bought a stock today - Redfin (RDFN)
Replies: 288
Views: 21312

Re: I bought a stock today - Redfin (RDFN)

That makes no sense. As a seller, I'm looking for a sales strategy not a cut-rate broker no matter how "cool" their website is. As a buyer, I'm looking for choices, which in my market anyway Redfin has less than 1/4 the listings as Zillow or Realtor. So tell me again, what the value-add is and/or t...
by a5ehren
Fri Feb 09, 2018 11:50 am
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Help Sell FIRE to spouse
Replies: 31
Views: 3714

Re: Help Sell FIRE to spouse

If she's not comfortable trying to bridge to a $77k/yr pension for 7-8 years with $1.6M in the bank, there probably isn't much we can say to change her mind. Barring complete disaster (see above post), you'll be more than fine.
by a5ehren
Tue Jan 23, 2018 4:18 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Stock Pick and Best Stock Trading Forum Advice
Replies: 10
Views: 884

Re: Stock Pick and Best Stock Trading Forum Advice

Adding individual stocks to your MF holdings is not "diversification", it is just going overweight because you think you have special knowledge that Goldman Sachs doesn't. If you want a dividend tilt, then VG has funds that focus on that that don't require you to go to forums full of pump-and-dump p...
by a5ehren
Fri Jan 19, 2018 3:04 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Is the crypto market efficient?
Replies: 23
Views: 1546

Re: Is the crypto market efficient?

The short answer is "no, not at all". I think it was last week where exchanges in SK were showing a 20% spread on certain coins against other exchanges for no discernable reason. Also, questionable (and unaudited) capitalization of exchanges is a serious issue along with ICOs with huge pre-mined all...
by a5ehren
Fri Jan 19, 2018 11:46 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Ever Downgrade Home To Create Savings Fund
Replies: 3
Views: 458

Re: Ever Downgrade Home To Create Savings Fund

I'd say this is fairly common, though I haven't done it myself.

I'd also say the odds are low that you will find a larger residence for less money in a HCOL market like Boston without significant trade-offs.
by a5ehren
Fri Jan 19, 2018 11:42 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Financial Cohabitation Strategies with New Tax Law
Replies: 6
Views: 1500

Re: Financial Cohabitation Strategies with New Tax Law

I'd consult with a tax attorney or a good CPA who has studied the whole tax law. I doubt many on BH are going to have advice for your specific situation, and you clearly have the money to afford good advice. There are other legal benefits to marriage (implied POA in cases of incapacity, simplified i...
by a5ehren
Fri Jan 19, 2018 10:46 am
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Fidelity Freedom 2020 vs Vanguard Index Funds?
Replies: 16
Views: 1613

Re: Fidelity Freedom 2020 vs Vanguard Index Funds?

The Freedom funds have much higher expense ratios than even the equivalent Vanguard Target Retirement funds. If you want to stick with a single fund-of-funds, I'd roll it over to a VG IRA holding TR 2020. You'll save a decent amount of money (0.62 ER vs 0.14 ER). If you want to drive it even lower, ...
by a5ehren
Thu Jan 11, 2018 4:46 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Keeping sensitive documents in the cloud -- bad idea?
Replies: 46
Views: 3023

Re: Keeping sensitive documents in the cloud -- bad idea?

The primary things are to have a long, strong password on your account and two-factor authentication enabled (https://www.dropbox.com/help/security/enable-two-step-verification). The odds of you needing all of those old bank statements is pretty low, though. I've personally switched everything to el...
by a5ehren
Fri Jan 05, 2018 4:19 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Chip architecture vulnerability in pretty much everthing
Replies: 106
Views: 7185

Re: Chip architecture vulnerability in pretty much everthing

No it's not a software issue. The problem is that software (malware) can read data that is not in the processes memory map. Is there a URL that describes that in detail? If the hardware is allowing a process to access memory outside of the address space of the process, then the problem does not dep...
by a5ehren
Thu Jan 04, 2018 4:41 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Chip architecture vulnerability in pretty much everthing
Replies: 106
Views: 7185

Re: Chip architecture vulnerability in pretty much everthing

From what I've read, it's limited to 64-bit processors. It continues to be an advantage to hang onto old computers. :) This is true on ARM, but not x86. ARM was not vulnerable until the Cortex-A57 because their older chips did not have that sophisticated of a branch predictor. The Intel-specific vu...
by a5ehren
Thu Jan 04, 2018 4:34 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Do you have a antivirus for you Android phone?
Replies: 20
Views: 1576

Re: Do you have a antivirus for you Android phone?

Because of how mobile OSes are structured, AV programs on phones are not particularly effective at stopping malicious software. I wouldn't (and don't) bother. If you're worried, make sure you don't have the "install 3rd party software" option checked under settings and only buy phones from Android m...
by a5ehren
Thu Jan 04, 2018 3:59 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Intel might take a hit
Replies: 38
Views: 4193

Re: Intel might take a hit

The 30% performance hit squalling yesterday was overblown. It shows up in certain synthetic benchmarks as a worst-case scenario, but the real-world impact is not anywhere close to that (1-2% outside of certain disk scenarios in userland software in Windows). Some workloads for VM/Cloud providers may...
by a5ehren
Thu Jan 04, 2018 3:22 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Cryptocurrency Exit Strategy
Replies: 52
Views: 5043

Re: Cryptocurrency Exit Strategy

Sell it all right now and hope your exchange of choice doesn't disappear into the night before you are able to get your money out.
by a5ehren
Wed Jan 03, 2018 4:41 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Iphone SE : If i buy now..how long will Apple support
Replies: 6
Views: 1357

Re: Iphone SE : If i buy now..how long will Apple support

The SE and 6S are Late-2015 hardware, so given Apple's history I would expect them to receive software updates until whatever the last release of iOS 13 is in 2020. After that you're probably good for a year or so barring any severe security flaws.
by a5ehren
Wed Jan 03, 2018 4:23 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Taxes [Do it yourself or use tax software?]
Replies: 39
Views: 3103

Re: Taxes [Do it yourself or use tax software?]

The H&R Block Fed+State software was $15 a few weeks ago.

I can't imagine paying for a professional unless you have a really complicated situation or a serious stack of assets.
by a5ehren
Thu Dec 14, 2017 10:59 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: ESPP - Would you participate and what's your strategy
Replies: 24
Views: 2055

Re: ESPP - Would you participate and what's your strategy

My company is 15% with a look back. I sell immediately because my company is in a lagging sector and, while stable, does not have enough upside to justify the risk. But I take the free money and put it in savings.
by a5ehren
Fri Nov 03, 2017 3:51 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Regret of selling winning stocks early
Replies: 64
Views: 9389

Re: Regret of selling winning stocks early

My company stock has traded between 17 and 25 the whole time I've been here. I take my ~10% real return via ESPP and cash out immediately.

No regrets, though I would probably feel differently at a FAANG.
by a5ehren
Fri Nov 03, 2017 3:27 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Lease New Car?
Replies: 38
Views: 5078

Re: Lease New Car?

I don't think the Buy vs. Sell argument is really about 3 year cycles.

If you're going to have a new car every 3 years no matter what, then you should probably lease unless you go way over on mileage.

The upside in buying is when you can hold the car for a decade+ and come out 50% ahead.
by a5ehren
Fri Nov 03, 2017 3:02 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Should I decline Grand Prize trip because of taxes on winnings?
Replies: 107
Views: 13402

Re: Should I decline Grand Prize trip because of taxes on winnings?

I won a similar (though lower Retail Value) prize several years back through MasterCard and it was a phenomenal trip for anyone with even a marginal interest in golf with access to some really cool stuff that doesn't have a cash value. I know this board is all about Stealth Wealth, but at some point...
by a5ehren
Fri Nov 03, 2017 2:30 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Vanguard or Merrill Lynch
Replies: 20
Views: 3180

Re: Vanguard or Merrill Lynch

Your proposed allocation is fine for your age, and you've made solid choices. There is no reason to pay ML 0.5% for your portfolio.

If you really want some guidance from VG, you can pay them 0.3% the first year (then discontinue) to have them tell a computer to manage it for you.
by a5ehren
Fri Nov 03, 2017 2:29 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Vanguard or Merrill Lynch
Replies: 20
Views: 3180

Re: Vanguard or Merrill Lynch

edit: double post
by a5ehren
Mon Oct 09, 2017 1:46 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: How big a portfolio should I have before retiring?
Replies: 60
Views: 9229

Re: How big a portfolio should I have before retiring?

If you're in a position now where you can comfortably put away 90k/yr, you'll be more than fine by whatever point you don't want to be working, especially if your wife works until she is fully vested in her pension plan.
by a5ehren
Fri Aug 18, 2017 7:41 am
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: "Vanguard fund shareholders encouraged to vote as proxy campaign gets under way."
Replies: 89
Views: 26352

Re: "Vanguard fund shareholders encouraged to vote as proxy campaign gets under way."

Here's the actual proxy statement: http://www.proxy-direct.com/Vanguard/Materials/Vanguard%20Complete%20Definitive%20Proxy%20Statement%202017.pdf You can access the voting online through your VG message center. The proposal in question was not proposed by the VG board, so it will almost certainly fa...
by a5ehren
Thu Aug 10, 2017 3:55 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Struggling with Justifying an Expensive Car Purchase
Replies: 120
Views: 8280

Re: Struggling with Justifying an Expensive Car Purchase

1) Running a 60% savings rate with no intention of an early retirement is odd to me. I would say "take more vacations", but you have an 18-month old so that isn't really happening any time soon :P 2) Childcare is really dang expensive. This will probably take care of #1 by itself :!: 3) Buy the chea...
by a5ehren
Thu Aug 10, 2017 3:28 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Aug. 2017 US total eclipse hotel reservations.
Replies: 83
Views: 9493

Re: Aug. 2017 US total eclipse hotel reservations.

I will believe these traffic issues when I see them. I don't know anyone else who is planning to drive to see the eclipse, most people haven't even heard of it and those that have typically say that they will just watch it from home, not realizing there is a big difference between being in the zone...
by a5ehren
Thu Aug 10, 2017 3:02 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Aug. 2017 US total eclipse hotel reservations.
Replies: 83
Views: 9493

Re: Aug. 2017 US total eclipse hotel reservations.

Oregon is expecting an 8x increase in travel times between Salem and Portland, apparently.

General advice is to get in the zone the day before and leave the day after if you can. That's what I'm doing in Georgia - nice little vacation, too.
by a5ehren
Thu Aug 10, 2017 2:45 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Personal Capital without giving them my passwords: worth it?
Replies: 27
Views: 2949

Re: Personal Capital without giving them my passwords: worth it?

LOL LOL Really? People think this is okay? What do you tell your brokerage when your account has been drained and they ask if you have ever shared your password?! And this is all so that somebody else can help you to manage your money? :oops: Storing text strings securely is a solved problem if you...
by a5ehren
Thu Jul 27, 2017 2:41 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Post Nuptial agreement guaranteeing alimony?
Replies: 113
Views: 8207

Re: Post Nuptial agreement guaranteeing alimony?

1) If you're working in an industry that is lucrative enough to get away with being this restrictive, none of this will matter in the long term. Up to you if having this awkward conversation is worth a potentially marginal amount of future money. 2) If your husband's company is not willing to compen...
by a5ehren
Fri Jun 30, 2017 3:20 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Looking into selling a structured settlement and need some advice
Replies: 66
Views: 5367

Re: Looking into selling a structured settlement and need some advice

Thanks for the feedback and responses everyone. That is why I came here in the first place. To give everyone an update... I am not going to be selling it. Over the past week, the offer went up to 1,250,000. It bottomed out there as a takeout or leave it. I am leaving it. To play devil's advocate an...
by a5ehren
Fri Jun 30, 2017 3:13 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: 529 Plan age based options
Replies: 7
Views: 781

Re: 529 Plan age based options

What's the ratio of domestic to international on that option?

Given a ~16 year time horizon and trying to pay for 2 kids, the aggressive plans are really the only reasonable option unless you're making fairly large contributions.
by a5ehren
Mon Jun 19, 2017 3:45 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Poll: Do Bogleheads own Stocks?
Replies: 77
Views: 10206

Re: Poll: Do Bogleheads own Stocks?

I hold company stock for about 10 minutes twice a year from ESPP. Company has returned a total of 4% over the last 5 years while being pretty volatile, so there's no reason to hold it in a decent portfolio. Worst case scenario (after discount and tax) is ~10% return over 6 months, but it is usually ...
by a5ehren
Fri Jun 02, 2017 7:32 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: What's Your Credit Card Rewards Strategy?
Replies: 2619
Views: 498459

Re: What's Your Credit Card Rewards Strategy?

I only have one credit card that use for everything, American Express Blue Cash Preferred. I've tried chasing bonuses and it's too much hassle in my opinion. Simplicity is valuable. Yeah, I have the new USAA card that does 2.5% for everything. It is extremely nice, and I don't have to spend my time...
by a5ehren
Thu Jun 01, 2017 11:29 am
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Need to rebalance out of an expensive target date fund
Replies: 20
Views: 1673

Re: Need to rebalance out of an expensive target date fund

That's true. Maybe I'll send that to the kid's 529 :D It's commonly advised to max out your retirement accounts before funding college accounts, since the latter are more restrictive and you can't easily get a loan to pay for retirement. I'm only putting enough in now to get the state tax deduction...
by a5ehren
Thu Jun 01, 2017 11:21 am
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Need to rebalance out of an expensive target date fund
Replies: 20
Views: 1673

Re: Need to rebalance out of an expensive target date fund

Yep. With the way the %ages lie once you remove the Roths it actually makes the math read a lot easier, too. His 401k at Schwab - 65% total 30% 500 Institutional - 0.04% 15% Extended Mkt Inst - 0.06% 15% Total Intl Stock - 0.09% 5% Total Bond - 0.04% Her 403b at Fidelity - 35% 15% Fidelity 500 Inde...
by a5ehren
Thu Jun 01, 2017 11:14 am
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Need to rebalance out of an expensive target date fund
Replies: 20
Views: 1673

Re: Need to rebalance out of an expensive target date fund

That's true. Maybe I'll send that to the kid's 529 :D It's commonly advised to max out your retirement accounts before funding college accounts, since the latter are more restrictive and you can't easily get a loan to pay for retirement. I'm only putting enough in now to get the state tax deduction...
by a5ehren
Thu Jun 01, 2017 10:57 am
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Need to rebalance out of an expensive target date fund
Replies: 20
Views: 1673

Re: Need to rebalance out of an expensive target date fund

New contributions: ~14000 His 401k (with an eye to ramping to ~20k after employer match over the next few years) Split 40/20/20/10 among the funds ~13000 Her 403b (with no ramp until above is done) Split 40/20/20/10 among the funds You'll be able to put a bit more in these accounts, because moving ...
by a5ehren
Thu Jun 01, 2017 10:56 am
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Need to rebalance out of an expensive target date fund
Replies: 20
Views: 1673

Re: Need to rebalance out of an expensive target date fund

Yep. With the way the %ages lie once you remove the Roths it actually makes the math read a lot easier, too. His 401k at Schwab - 65% total 30% 500 Institutional - 0.04% 15% Extended Mkt Inst - 0.06% 15% Total Intl Stock - 0.09% 5% Total Bond - 0.04% Her 403b at Fidelity - 35% 15% Fidelity 500 Index...
by a5ehren
Thu Jun 01, 2017 10:35 am
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Need to rebalance out of an expensive target date fund
Replies: 20
Views: 1673

Re: Need to rebalance out of an expensive target date fund

Thanks for the idea. Right now I'm weighing a plan where I would stop the IRA contributions in favor of ramping up the pre-tax accounts. In that scenario I'd probably convert both Roth accounts to Target 2050 and make aggressive 4-fund AAs in the main accounts. Something like this?: His 401k at Schw...
by a5ehren
Thu Jun 01, 2017 9:55 am
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Need to rebalance out of an expensive target date fund
Replies: 20
Views: 1673

Re: Need to rebalance out of an expensive target date fund

That's a good point that I hadn't thought about. I created the Roth accounts under the assumption that taxes would have to go up at some point in the next 30 years, but that may not be true.

I don't expect to need to withdraw more than the 2045-equivalent of $75k/yr in retirement.