Search found 174 matches

by DarkHelmetII
Sun Jan 20, 2019 2:13 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Evaluating Job Offer - Longer Commute
Replies: 40
Views: 1768

Re: Evaluating Job Offer - Longer Commute

My gut is that the commute, even without kids, is too much of a downside. I have no idea where you are in the negotiations, but one may consider giving a no-brainer # like $200+k that you'd definitely take (if they were to offer that). Or convert that bonus into base. Or a combination of both. Work ...
by DarkHelmetII
Sun Jan 20, 2019 11:06 am
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Bonus and 401K Stable income fund option
Replies: 7
Views: 464

Re: Bonus and 401K Stable income fund option

either lump sum your bonus contribution toward 401k into equities (or whatever is in-line with your target asset allocation) OR setup an automatic 1-year dollar cost averaging of those funds into more aggressive funds. I do not know your specific behaviors / psychology / discipline etc... however ba...
by DarkHelmetII
Fri Jan 18, 2019 9:49 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Umbrella Coverage for Hired Subcontractors
Replies: 7
Views: 550

Re: Umbrella Coverage for Hired Subcontractors

Generally the principle for Umbrella is that the policy expands the dollar amount of liability coverage on top of other policies (e.g. homeowners / renters and auto) but does not expand the types of covered events. So I would argue the first question is does your homeowners / renters policy have thi...
by DarkHelmetII
Sat Jan 12, 2019 12:43 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: SmartPhone: Does One Exist With these Parameters
Replies: 9
Views: 871

Re: SmartPhone: Does One Exist With these Parameters

Thanks for the replies, very helpful. Still a few follow-ups per the below (I realize these are kind of technical for a finance-anchored forum, just struggling to get good answers elsewhere): 1) Any success with the hotspot working on these Amazon phones? Have had issues with hotspot not working on ...
by DarkHelmetII
Fri Jan 11, 2019 4:56 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: SmartPhone: Does One Exist With these Parameters
Replies: 9
Views: 871

SmartPhone: Does One Exist With these Parameters

Relatively behind the technology curve on smartphones but in recent search getting a better handle on what's available. Open to alternatives but here is what I am looking for though can't quite find: <= $200 factory in sealed box Android Operating System Unlocked / unbranded phone, e.g. not purchase...
by DarkHelmetII
Thu Jan 03, 2019 2:00 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Engagement Ring (Affordable)
Replies: 138
Views: 7346

Re: Engagement Ring (Affordable)

I bought my wife a diamond from Gemesis which is now https://www.puregrowndiamonds.com/. Basically the diamond was grown in a lab - otherwise has supposedly has the same chemical and physical properties as a natural diamond; it doesn't have any of the stimulant or cubic zirconia. For us it was a per...
by DarkHelmetII
Thu Jan 03, 2019 10:11 am
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Employer 401k Help
Replies: 2
Views: 175

Re: Employer 401k Help

Based on a cursory search appears these Class R expense ratios are high (> 1%). If that is the case, look for a lower cost options, specifically a) Total Stock Market equity, b) Large cap equity blend, and c) Total bond market. If you are in absolute analysis paralysis, for now select 50% equities a...
by DarkHelmetII
Fri Dec 28, 2018 9:12 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Mega Back Door Mechanics With Fidelity
Replies: 4
Views: 358

Mega Back Door Mechanics With Fidelity

The "facts": 1) My employer allows post-tax contributions to our 401k 2) The 401k allows me to move post-tax money into a Roth IRA but not into the 401k's Roth sub-account 3) Fidelity is through 401k (I log into fidelity to see my funds) My questions: 3) On "fact" #2, what is the appropriate termino...
by DarkHelmetII
Sat Dec 15, 2018 1:08 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: How much do you pay for internet only?
Replies: 79
Views: 5194

Re: How much do you pay for internet only?

$37 including modem rental
by DarkHelmetII
Thu Dec 13, 2018 7:59 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: How to evaluate quality of health insurance options
Replies: 12
Views: 711

Re: How to evaluate quality of health insurance options

I do not know of any silver bullet (personally think there is a possible market to help answer questions like this though that is a separate topic) ... but one idea is for you to: 1) Find some "household" names in the area or state such as Aetna or BCBS 2) Find their least restrictive (e.g. PPO, not...
by DarkHelmetII
Thu Dec 13, 2018 4:07 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Can I contribute to different HSA account?
Replies: 13
Views: 765

Re: Can I contribute to different HSA account?

My understanding is that you simply have to stay within IRS $$ limits regardless of the number of financial institutions. You can exclusively use your employer's HSA custodian. Or only your employer's HSA custodian up to the firm match and put the residual somewhere. Or to an extreme you could have ...
by DarkHelmetII
Tue Dec 11, 2018 1:10 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: hotel booking
Replies: 14
Views: 967

Re: hotel booking

I have not ever used it but several of my credit cards include travel insurance so you might be able to use that if you need to cancel for some sort of health related reason or if you miss a flight. For a big trip you might be buying travel insurance anyway. On any insurance also make sure you unde...
by DarkHelmetII
Mon Dec 03, 2018 12:22 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Does new Fidelity Individual HSA charge a monthly account fee?
Replies: 33
Views: 3571

Re: Does new Fidelity Individual HSA charge a monthly account fee?

Is there a minimum which must be held in cash in order to invest?
by DarkHelmetII
Sat Dec 01, 2018 1:22 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Considering residential real estate investment
Replies: 74
Views: 5352

Re: Considering residential real estate investment

My gut is: reasonable - yes. But factoring in a) pain in the *** factor and b) concentration risk, I would personally just throw $200k into equities or some sort of tax efficient balanced fund.
by DarkHelmetII
Mon Nov 26, 2018 1:28 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Domain name: negotiating a "premium" purchase
Replies: 1
Views: 310

Domain name: negotiating a "premium" purchase

There is a "premium" domain name I am interested in that costs ~$500 according to godaddy.com and 1and1.com. My questions are: 1) In general, how does one negotiate the price, and if so, is there any typical range of discount? 2) Am I better off going direct to the seller (e.g. contact form on the "...
by DarkHelmetII
Tue Nov 20, 2018 10:47 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: What's the difference between these two Vanguard treasury mutual funds?
Replies: 3
Views: 583

Re: What's the difference between these two Vanguard treasury mutual funds?

VSBSX 99.7% US Government Average duration 1.8 years SEC Yield 2.82% VFIRX 95.3% US Government Average duration 2.3 years SEC Yield 2.75% Above are the "facts" (assuming I have pulled this correctly from vanguard.com). While magnitude-wise these are very similar, directionally what I don't understan...
by DarkHelmetII
Sat Nov 17, 2018 8:54 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Buy a 2-family/rental property or REIT
Replies: 8
Views: 1068

Re: Buy a 2-family/rental property or REIT

There are some unique advantages to owning physical real estate. Number one, it's possible to swoop up properties at below market. Number two, there are some compelling tax benefits (e.g. "best of both" whereby gains are taxed at capital gains rates but capital loss deducted at ordinary rate). Said ...
by DarkHelmetII
Thu Nov 15, 2018 8:47 am
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Moving to company that allows Mega Backdoor Roth Conversion - Any prep needed?
Replies: 26
Views: 2132

Re: Moving to company that allows Mega Backdoor Roth Conversion - Any prep needed?

If a 401k plan fails the ACP test, the correction method usually used returns excess contributions and earning by 3/15 to the 401k plan. This gets real messy if you have already rolled them both over to a Roth IRA or individually to a (Roth IRA and traditional IRA). Thank you, very helpful. So if I...
by DarkHelmetII
Thu Nov 15, 2018 6:51 am
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Moving to company that allows Mega Backdoor Roth Conversion - Any prep needed?
Replies: 26
Views: 2132

Re: Moving to company that allows Mega Backdoor Roth Conversion - Any prep needed?

megabad wrote:
Tue Oct 16, 2018 7:02 pm
5) If you are an HCE, clawbacks can make things very...interesting.
Could you elaborate on clawbacks?
by DarkHelmetII
Wed Nov 14, 2018 2:42 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Northwestern Mutual nightmare - help needed
Replies: 55
Views: 5188

Re: Northwestern Mutual nightmare - help needed

On an annuity, there are two downsides relative to a vanilla taxable account: 1) insurance company imposed fees, and 2) less favorable tax treatment on equity gains. My point is that while transferring to a lower cost annuity platform may address #1, #2 will remain as a reality of Federal and State ...
by DarkHelmetII
Tue Nov 13, 2018 8:53 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: New phone suggestions? My LG V20 phone is kicking the bucket.
Replies: 22
Views: 1395

Re: New phone suggestions? My LG V20 phone is kicking the bucket.

I have an older version of this Moto 6g (think I have a 4g): https://www.amazon.com/Moto-G6-Unlocked-T-Mobile-Exclusive/dp/B079Z3DX1W for $240. Solid battery life. Camera is moderate, would suspect this newer version camera would be better. Have dropped it a few times even on cement / hardwood and i...
by DarkHelmetII
Tue Nov 13, 2018 9:20 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: HSA option only has in-network benefits, open enrollment dilemma
Replies: 7
Views: 886

Re: HSA option only has in-network benefits, open enrollment dilemma

Hi, wondering if people sacrifice the actual quality/offerings of health insurance plan for the option of the HSA account? Normally I would take the health plan with in and out of network benefits, but at my job that only comes with FSA feature. Since becoming active on this board, I’ve been wateri...
by DarkHelmetII
Tue Nov 13, 2018 8:31 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Applied for biz credit card -- but fine print says only biz transactions allowed?
Replies: 3
Views: 360

Re: Applied for biz credit card -- but fine print says only biz transactions allowed?

1) Doing something in conflict with the fine print does not necessarily equate to illegal - I can't guarantee this is not illegal, I would just disagree it is necessarily illegal until otherwise proven. Just like you can violate an airline's contract of carriage, but not necessarily do something ill...
by DarkHelmetII
Tue Nov 13, 2018 4:20 am
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Small business (5 employees) 401k - cheapest options
Replies: 14
Views: 1030

Re: Small business (5 employees) 401k - cheapest options

Thanks for the inputs. Asking on behalf of family member so I don't know who does the payroll. Noted on Guideline and Gusto.
by DarkHelmetII
Mon Nov 12, 2018 4:03 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Small business (5 employees) 401k - cheapest options
Replies: 14
Views: 1030

Small business (5 employees) 401k - cheapest options

Any specific recommendations on ways to offer a cost-effective 401k for a small family-owned business of 5 employees? 1) I am reasonably familiar with SEP-IRA and SIMPLE-IRA options. Certainly have their advantages / simplicity / low cost but still lose some flexibility relative to a 401k. 2) Seems ...
by DarkHelmetII
Mon Nov 12, 2018 1:30 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Permanent Portfolio - Interested in Bogleheads thoughts
Replies: 13
Views: 1728

Re: Permanent Portfolio - Interested in Bogleheads thoughts

PP is an an excellent portfolio and likely to do fine going forward to protect one's wealth that you can't afford to lose (the primary concern) This summarizes well my conclusion of the permanent portfolio. Imagine a hypothetical 65 year-old widow with no social security. All she has is $500,000. P...
by DarkHelmetII
Mon Nov 12, 2018 6:51 am
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Permanent Portfolio - Interested in Bogleheads thoughts
Replies: 13
Views: 1728

Re: Permanent Portfolio - Interested in Bogleheads thoughts

I read two of the PP books (original Harry Browne circa 1987 and an updated version around 2012) plus have done some additional poking around on various other web forums. My own personal conclusions: 1) Previous point about cash + long-term bonds roughly averaging out to intermediate term generally ...
by DarkHelmetII
Sun Nov 11, 2018 9:41 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Yearly Sanity Check
Replies: 7
Views: 1193

Re: Yearly Sanity Check

My 2 cents only ... please don't make any decisions on my input alone! 1) I share similar sentiment on target date funds, both respect to losing control on your own desired glidepath as well as holdings (e.g. I don't necessarily want to hold international bonds). For somebody oblivious you can do wo...
by DarkHelmetII
Sun Nov 11, 2018 7:27 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Cash Drag: Count Toward Bond Allocation?
Replies: 7
Views: 533

Re: Cash Drag: Count Toward Bond Allocation?

Suppose that a stock index is at $2000. A fund could hold $2000 in stock, or it could hold $1000 in cash and an option to buy the index at $1000. Either way, the fund will track the index. If the market rises by 10%, the value of the stock will rise to $2200, and the value of the option will rise f...
by DarkHelmetII
Sun Nov 11, 2018 3:48 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Cash Drag: Count Toward Bond Allocation?
Replies: 7
Views: 533

Re: Cash Drag: Count Toward Bond Allocation?

I hold only index funds, which have no cash drag; any cash they hold is offset by futures or options so that they can track the index. However, I do count cash in my money-market fund as part of my asset allocation. (Cash gets there from dividends which have not yet been reinvested, usually because...
by DarkHelmetII
Sun Nov 11, 2018 3:45 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Cash Drag: Count Toward Bond Allocation?
Replies: 7
Views: 533

Re: Cash Drag: Count Toward Bond Allocation?

What would you do differently or change if you did this? Target allocation: 75% equities, 25% bonds. Actual allocation: 3% cash, 25% bonds, 72% equities Difference is small certainly, but do I target a) 22% bonds + 3% cash + 75% equities or b) split the difference and target 23.5% bonds and 73.5% w...
by DarkHelmetII
Sun Nov 11, 2018 3:30 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Cash Drag: Count Toward Bond Allocation?
Replies: 7
Views: 533

Cash Drag: Count Toward Bond Allocation?

Looking at our retirement and 529 portfolios. Cash drag is 2 - 3% for each. Do I count the cash toward my bond allocation? Won't have a huge impact but nonetheless curious about thoughts on this forum.

Thank you,

DarkHelmetII
by DarkHelmetII
Sat Nov 10, 2018 3:24 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Relative Credit Risk: US Treasuries, FDIC-Insured Money Market, TIAA-CREF General Account
Replies: 5
Views: 308

Re: Relative Credit Risk: US Treasuries, FDIC-Insured Money Market, TIAA-CREF General Account

I don't understand this product. Is it fully liquid, able to pull money out and pay for emergencies any time, no penalty? You would either surrender the policy, withdraw, or loan against it (each have different permutations / ramifications). Correct, no penalty. There are no surrender fees (many pe...
by DarkHelmetII
Sat Nov 10, 2018 3:08 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Relative Credit Risk: US Treasuries, FDIC-Insured Money Market, TIAA-CREF General Account
Replies: 5
Views: 308

Re: Relative Credit Risk: US Treasuries, FDIC-Insured Money Market, TIAA-CREF General Account

Does "TIAA-CREF General Account" mean "TIAA Traditional"? I don't think so, not necessarily, although maybe they are in essence the same thing as I am unclear on what exactly is "TIAA Traditional". Point one: I am just somebody "off the street" who bought a VUL policy from TIAA-CREF, this is not in...
by DarkHelmetII
Sat Nov 10, 2018 2:31 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Relative Credit Risk: US Treasuries, FDIC-Insured Money Market, TIAA-CREF General Account
Replies: 5
Views: 308

Relative Credit Risk: US Treasuries, FDIC-Insured Money Market, TIAA-CREF General Account

My emergency fund is currently a mix of FDIC-Insured Money Market funds and TIAA-CREF General Account (non-MEC VUL policy with fixed account crediting @ 3.75% and life insurance charges of 0.20% for a net return of 3.55%). TIAA-CREF, while one may consider to be "safe" or "strong" is probably less s...
by DarkHelmetII
Fri Nov 09, 2018 8:01 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Planning first international trip - London/Paris
Replies: 74
Views: 4308

Re: Planning first international trip - London/Paris

On jet lag, consider: 1) Melatonin - I have found this to be helpful to sleep on flights. And to adjust once at destination and / or returning home. 2) Book hotel night before (not sure when your plane lands). Much better to nap late morning (e.g. 10 am - 12 noon) rather than try to power through on...
by DarkHelmetII
Fri Nov 09, 2018 8:00 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Planning first international trip - London/Paris
Replies: 74
Views: 4308

Re: Planning first international trip - London/Paris

On jet lag, consider: 1) Melatonin - I have found this to be helpful to sleep on flights. And to adjust once at destination and / or returning home. 2) Book hotel night before (not sure when your plane lands). Much better to nap late morning (e.g. 10 am - 12 noon) rather than try to power through on...
by DarkHelmetII
Fri Nov 09, 2018 2:47 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Garden SFCU 4% 4-year CD, 6 month EWP
Replies: 35
Views: 2557

Re: Garden SFCU 4% 4-year CD, 6 month EWP

lakpr wrote:
Tue Nov 06, 2018 11:06 pm
Here's another perspective from DepositAccounts, which gives this credit union a B+ grade:

https://www.depositaccounts.com/banks/g ... tml#health
Is B+ good or bad?
by DarkHelmetII
Fri Nov 09, 2018 10:43 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: HSA/HDHP vs PPO - advantages if you know you will have high costs?
Replies: 5
Views: 302

Re: HSA/HDHP vs PPO - advantages if you know you will have high costs?

Max out of pockets are equal. HSA/HDHP option has incremental the benefits of a) lower premiums, b) $1500 from employer that you keep (HSA is NOT use it or lose it like FSA), and c) tax break on any additional contributions you make to HSA (up to IRS limit). Key question: is the network strength the...
by DarkHelmetII
Wed Nov 07, 2018 12:41 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: HSA Question(s)
Replies: 6
Views: 624

Re: HSA Question(s)

nycguy83 wrote:
Wed Nov 07, 2018 9:02 am
She uses a lot more out of network medical expenses than me.
One thing to understand about your plan (if you don't already have the answer) is if the in-network and out-of-network deductibles cross-apply.
by DarkHelmetII
Tue Nov 06, 2018 10:38 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Car rentals, what is the catch?
Replies: 46
Views: 5485

Re: Car rentals, what is the catch?

1) Further distance from airport terminal 2) Rental car bus comes less frequently (if at airport) 3) Up-sell / cross-sell on things like insurance and navigation 4) Fewer people at check-in counter 5) Trying to scam you with fake / embellished damage charges I'd say #1 is really the only dependable ...
by DarkHelmetII
Tue Nov 06, 2018 6:46 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: High Earners - What's Your Profession?
Replies: 712
Views: 116741

Re: High Earners - What's Your Profession?

professional services / consulting doing data & analytics
by DarkHelmetII
Mon Nov 05, 2018 9:20 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: What Movie Have You Recently Watched?
Replies: 4056
Views: 1102857

Re: What Movie Have You Recently Watched?

1996 HBO version of Gotti ... of the few minutes I watched of the recent Travolta version plus others comments, overwhelming sentiment is that the HBO version is far superior
by DarkHelmetII
Mon Nov 05, 2018 9:17 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: high deductible vs. PPO calculation--high deductible always wins?
Replies: 36
Views: 3421

Re: high deductible vs. PPO calculation--high deductible always wins?

Some other anecdotal data points favoring HSA / HDHP: 1) I once had an employer plan where co-pay (on non-HDHP) was $40 for a specialist. I have been to some specialists (e.g. dermatologist) where I paid around $100 out-of-pocket whereas $40 would have been a pretty steep percentage of that amount i...
by DarkHelmetII
Sat Nov 03, 2018 4:26 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: high deductible vs. PPO calculation--high deductible always wins?
Replies: 36
Views: 3421

Re: high deductible vs. PPO calculation--high deductible always wins?

I have calculated several different scenarios and find that HDHP often wins, particularly when considering HSA tax benefit. Usually where it's possible to lose is a relatively narrow "window" of moderate medical care consumption over a year. If perfectly healthy, no brainer that HDHP wins. If catast...
by DarkHelmetII
Thu Oct 25, 2018 8:00 am
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: fee only adviser
Replies: 3
Views: 513

Re: fee only adviser

If you happen to live in the Washington, DC area private message me. Am happy to share an adviser my wife and I used. Fixed price and fiduciary.
by DarkHelmetII
Mon Oct 22, 2018 3:54 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Best broker for buying US Treasures
Replies: 10
Views: 1035

Re: Best broker for buying US Treasures

Bambuk wrote:
Mon Oct 22, 2018 3:49 pm
From what I read, my options are: Fidelity, Vanguard, Schwab and Treasuresdirect.com.
Do you mean https://www.treasurydirect.gov/?
by DarkHelmetII
Tue Oct 16, 2018 3:53 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Adding significant contribution to grandson's Utah 529
Replies: 8
Views: 1075

Re: Adding significant contribution to grandson's Utah 529

Personally, I'd keep it simple. X% total stock index. Y% total bond index. See https://investor.vanguard.com/529-plan/age-based-options. Vanguard recommends the mix by age and how aggressive you want to be. At age 6: Conservative: 40% stock / 60% bonds Moderate: 70 / 30 Aggressive: 90 / 10 Perhaps e...
by DarkHelmetII
Tue Oct 16, 2018 1:52 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Carefirst PPO, POS, and HMO -- best choice for healthy?
Replies: 3
Views: 292

Re: Carefirst PPO, POS, and HMO -- best choice for healthy?

You can calculate it out. You may save $100+ a month on premiums (even with exchange plan). Plus a tax break on HSA contributions - federal + state (looks like you live in DC). Note however premiums are paid pre-tax so that's a slight favor toward low deductible plan. But still if you have say $500 ...
by DarkHelmetII
Tue Oct 16, 2018 12:19 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Carefirst PPO, POS, and HMO -- best choice for healthy?
Replies: 3
Views: 292

Re: Carefirst PPO, POS, and HMO -- best choice for healthy?

I can offer a guiding principle, which is to consider two types of characteristics to any health plan: 1) network, and 2) the financials (e.g. premiums, deductibles etc...). For someone healthy, on point #2 very well might make sense to go bare-bones e.g. high deductible. But you don't necessarily w...