Search found 620 matches

by mariezzz
Wed May 15, 2019 8:59 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Do you reward yourself for achieving a financial goal?
Replies: 106
Views: 6040

Re: Do you reward yourself for achieving a financial goal?

For most BHs, the increased financial security will be its own reward.
by mariezzz
Tue May 14, 2019 5:24 pm
Forum: Personal Investments
Topic: Vanguard Target Retirement Funds - Investor vs Admiral Shares
Replies: 17
Views: 1683

Re: Vanguard Target Retirement Funds - Investor vs Admiral Shares

The real issue with Vanguard Target Retirement Funds is whether you agree with Vanguard on the amount and kinds of international they include. You're buying their AA if you go with these funds.
by mariezzz
Tue May 14, 2019 5:11 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: I really do not like using credit cards. Do any of you have a good credit score with no credit cards?
Replies: 58
Views: 3968

Re: I really do not like using credit cards. Do any of you have a good credit score with no credit cards?

If that's the way you feel: I'd suggest having a credit card but using it just for major purchases. The warranty extension that some credit cards provide can be a nice benefit. Cash back that comes with some CC is nice. You didn't say anything about debit cards, but I'll say the following. I would n...
by mariezzz
Tue May 14, 2019 4:42 pm
Forum: Personal Investments
Topic: Does your retirement plan work if stocks are flat or in decline for decades?
Replies: 180
Views: 10163

Re: Does your retirement plan work if stocks are flat or in decline for decades?

I'm guessing the market has gone down lately? I don't bother checking, but I can always get a good idea based on the most recent threads (for example, "100% stocks" threads when the market is doing really well). Anyway, which is the greater risk?: The risk that a 60 year old, entering retirement, e...
by mariezzz
Mon May 13, 2019 5:22 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: What non frugal things save money?
Replies: 80
Views: 9435

Re: What non frugal things save money?

I learned in my college years that buying cheaply made clothing simply meant they started looking ratty faster. So, I stopped shopping for clothes at places like Target and stepped up to dept stores and Eddie Bauer (which had a very different selection 15-20 years ago than it has today). These days,...
by mariezzz
Mon May 13, 2019 5:12 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: What non frugal things save money?
Replies: 80
Views: 9435

Re: What non frugal things save money?

A sonicare toothbrush. It was not a frugal purchase, especially when you can get free toothbrushes from the dentist and not have to pay for the replacement heads. However with daily use (and flossing) my hygienist visits have been great. I still take the free toothbrushes and put them in our guest ...
by mariezzz
Mon May 13, 2019 5:10 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: What non frugal things save money?
Replies: 80
Views: 9435

Re: What non frugal things save money?

As an added bonus the bank employee asked me which account I wanted to use. Apparently I had an account from 2006 with $5,000 that was dormant and I didn't even know existed! :shock: Something's wrong with that bank or their processes! Why didn't they warn you you earlier, then send the money to yo...
by mariezzz
Mon May 13, 2019 4:40 pm
Forum: Personal Investments
Topic: Does your retirement plan work if stocks are flat or in decline for decades?
Replies: 180
Views: 10163

Re: Does your retirement plan work if stocks are flat or in decline for decades?

"If one worries about the stock market returning sub 0 for decades then one should convert everything they own to a SPIA." Assuming a negative return in stocks for decades will likely affect all potential sources of income . YMMV Not if you get the fixed annuity. TravelforFun What makes you think a...
by mariezzz
Mon May 13, 2019 12:44 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Asset allocation-- "splitting" VTSAX and VTIAX?
Replies: 5
Views: 1084

Re: Asset allocation-- "splitting" VTSAX and VTIAX?

I like Bernstein's "If you can". However, there's one glaring misstatement on p 3: In your parents' day, the traditional pension plan took care of all the hard work and discipline of saving and investing, but in its absence, this responsibility falls on your shoulders. That statement is true for onl...
by mariezzz
Mon May 13, 2019 12:34 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Internet speed recommendation
Replies: 26
Views: 1528

Re: Internet speed recommendation

I did fine with 6 mbps download/1 mbps upload. Then my carrier boosted the minimum to 12 mbps down/2 mbps up with no fee increase. Still doing fine. If you upload huge files frequently, that might be a consideration. Technically 12/2 isn't even broadband, the FCC defines broadband as at least 25 mb...
by mariezzz
Mon May 13, 2019 12:12 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: 100% stocks with 3% SWR with 60 years retirement period
Replies: 40
Views: 3627

Re: 100% stocks with 3% SWR with 60 years retirement period

There have been threads on this forum and elsewhere which discuss the fact that for periods longer than 30 years retirement, the effect of one's allocation doesn't meaningfully change, compared to about a 30 year retirement.
by mariezzz
Mon May 13, 2019 12:08 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Internet speed recommendation
Replies: 26
Views: 1528

Re: Internet speed recommendation

I did fine with 6 mbps download/1 mbps upload. Then my carrier boosted the minimum to 12 mbps down/2 mbps up with no fee increase. Still doing fine.
If you upload huge files frequently, that might be a consideration.
by mariezzz
Mon May 13, 2019 12:04 pm
Forum: Personal Investments
Topic: Does your retirement plan work if stocks are flat or in decline for decades?
Replies: 180
Views: 10163

Re: Does your retirement plan work if stocks are flat or in decline for decades?

If stocks return nothing for decades , most likely the entire worldwide economic system has collapsed. So I'd have go with No. U.S. Stocks returned basically nothing for 16 years from 1966-1982. That's a pretty long time. So one should be prepared for it. So the litmus test for stock returns should...
by mariezzz
Mon May 13, 2019 11:39 am
Forum: Personal Investments
Topic: Does your retirement plan work if stocks are flat or in decline for decades?
Replies: 180
Views: 10163

Re: Does your retirement plan work if stocks are flat or in decline for decades?

When I saw the thread title, I asked: When have people investing using one of the (typically recommended)BH approach) - which advise a fixed income component - ever seen portfolios that are flat or in decline for decades ? As I noted above, there was a 20 year period where U.S. stocks' real return ...
by mariezzz
Mon May 13, 2019 11:34 am
Forum: Personal Investments
Topic: Does your retirement plan work if stocks are flat or in decline for decades?
Replies: 180
Views: 10163

Re: Does your retirement plan work if stocks are flat or in decline for decades?

Yes... I believe that if social security AND our pension plans fail, we have bigger problems than we can plan for or fix. Decades is a long time. We can't know the future. Maybe... Don't you love uncertainty? Personally, I more concerned about healthcare than any other thing that might or might not...
by mariezzz
Sat May 11, 2019 7:23 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: What non frugal things save money?
Replies: 80
Views: 9435

Re: What non frugal things save money?

I worked with someone who was limping around the office for about 2 weeks. I asked what happened. He said he got hand made leather shoes and you have to break them in through the painful process of wearing them. I just let him get on with it. For men, good dress shoes, made from high quality leather...
by mariezzz
Thu May 09, 2019 11:55 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Backpacking/study abroad for young folks
Replies: 31
Views: 2002

Re: Backpacking/study abroad for young folks

There is also still the option to work in some countries before age 26 - it's usually service industry, etc., but there are other options if you look. Visas for this are easier to get, although there are limitations on time spent and where you can work; varies by country.
by mariezzz
Thu May 09, 2019 11:42 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: How Is My Employer's Reimbursement of one-half HSA Deductible Treated for Tax Purposes?
Replies: 15
Views: 796

Re: How Is My Employer's Reimbursement of one-half HSA Deductible Treated for Tax Purposes?

Ahh ... I understand now! This is undoubtedly what they have done. Thank you. You'd still think there'd be someone at the employer who could explain this to employees. Glad it seems you got the answer, but I'd try to get it verified at the employer. I'd be uncomfortable submitting medical expense r...
by mariezzz
Thu May 09, 2019 12:48 am
Forum: Personal Investments
Topic: I Don't See Great Benefits to ROTH Conversion for Us. Help Me
Replies: 52
Views: 5646

Re: I Don't See Great Benefits to ROTH Conversion for Us. Help Me

This explains the 2 5- year rules pertaining to Roths. https://www.rothira.com/roth-ira-5-year-rule The first Roth IRA 5 year rule is used to determine if the earnings (interest) from your regular Roth IRA are tax-free. To be tax-free, the earnings must be withdrawn: [*]On or after the date on which...
by mariezzz
Thu May 09, 2019 12:42 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Winter Tires All Year?
Replies: 62
Views: 3510

Re: Winter Tires All Year?

I thought it was a violation of some sort of law if you didn't remove your snow tires by sometime in April. I thought you could get a ticket if you were caught driving around with them in the summer. Makes no sense at all. As a case in point, I DID switch to my summer tires in mid-April. Then had t...
by mariezzz
Thu May 09, 2019 12:05 am
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: point of maximal pessimism for international investing
Replies: 66
Views: 5325

Re: point of maximal pessimism for international investing

I'm for 100% USA. In fact, I refuse to hold index funds because I've recently learned that many US firms actually do business in non-USA countries, depressing returns. This shocking fact has led me to craft a pure "America First" portfolio. I only purchase USA based companies that refuse to do busi...
by mariezzz
Wed May 08, 2019 11:57 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: ants - aargh
Replies: 69
Views: 3878

Re: ants - aargh

Terro. Cheap and it works I save caps from milk jugs and use those to put small quantities of Terro ant bait in strategic places inside the house. Just a few drops. Outside I use the enclosed Terro bait traps. Keep in mind that some years, perhaps based on weather, ant infestations can spike. In th...
by mariezzz
Wed May 08, 2019 11:42 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: ants - aargh
Replies: 69
Views: 3878

Re: ants - aargh

The solution to ants depends on what kind of ants you're dealing with. I'd figure that out first. (For grease ants: https://hortnews.extension.iastate.edu/2001/7-27-2001/greaseants.html) As for the cat food: first, I'd change the way I feed the cat - not leaving food out all the time. Feed the cat 3...
by mariezzz
Wed May 08, 2019 11:09 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Backpacking/study abroad for young folks
Replies: 31
Views: 2002

Re: Backpacking/study abroad for young folks

I consider my time traveling some of the best experiences of my life. I think it's an important experience for everyone - it changes your view of the world. However, I also think some of the most valuable experiences occurred because I funded these experiences myself, even while in college; I had to...
by mariezzz
Tue May 07, 2019 6:59 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Public Service Loan Forgiveness-Has it worked for anyone?
Replies: 60
Views: 7398

Re: Public Service Loan Forgiveness-Has it worked for anyone?

Neurosphere, Yes, I agree: people need to know the rules, etc. But (1) the websites weren't as well-developed 5 years ago. (2) if the agency that is supposed to make these decisions tells you you are eligible, people SHOULD be able to trust that! The PSLF rules may seem very straightforward to you, ...
by mariezzz
Tue May 07, 2019 6:40 pm
Forum: Personal Investments
Topic: VMMXX as cash
Replies: 38
Views: 5285

Re: VMMXX as cash

Also VMMXX is a mutual fund which means when I sell some today I have to wait one more day for settlement so I can now by equities. Is there an ETF similar to VMMXX where I would not have to deal with the lost day for settlement? I have no problem exchanging VMMXX same day for some other mutual fun...
by mariezzz
Tue May 07, 2019 12:20 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Public Service Loan Forgiveness-Has it worked for anyone?
Replies: 60
Views: 7398

Re: Public Service Loan Forgiveness-Has it worked for anyone?

Neurosphere, there are plenty of people with qualifying loans, who have made the required payments, who have been told by FedLoan their employer qualified, and who have applied for forgiveness, and who have been denied (or received no answer). This is one reason why this has gotten a lot of media at...
by mariezzz
Tue May 07, 2019 11:43 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Winter Tires All Year?
Replies: 62
Views: 3510

Re: Winter Tires All Year?

I live in the Northeast and put winter tires on my Prius each year. I only drive less than 200 miles per month. Is it worth it for me to unmount my winter tires and remount my all-season tires? Or just keep my winter tires on year round since I drive so few miles? You're driving only 200 miles per ...
by mariezzz
Tue May 07, 2019 11:24 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: College Expenses
Replies: 232
Views: 10864

Re: College Expenses

No the private schools are not a scam. The "discounts" are for kids they really want. Based on MERIT, some schools will give large scholarships to top applicants, less to good but not top students, and nothing to borderline students. Comes down to whether your kid goes to the best school for this g...
by mariezzz
Tue May 07, 2019 11:07 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: College credit for HS courses or not?
Replies: 49
Views: 2107

Re: College credit for HS courses or not?

While a college degree is important, to me, the more important goal is to learn ... to have a broad foundation of knowledge that will serve one well, going forward. I say the same thing...now, that I am 7 years removed from finishing my education. I'd bet the percentage of current college students ...
by mariezzz
Tue May 07, 2019 10:39 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Public Service Loan Forgiveness-Has it worked for anyone?
Replies: 60
Views: 7398

Re: Public Service Loan Forgiveness-Has it worked for anyone?

My SIL received public student loan forgiveness 2-3 years ago. No issues there. BIL and a friend are in process and haven't reported any issues yet. ~Big Dutch There are other loan forgiveness programs which are different from PSLF. See http://freestudentloanadvice.org/forgiveness-programs/ PSLF is...
by mariezzz
Tue May 07, 2019 10:04 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Public Service Loan Forgiveness-Has it worked for anyone?
Replies: 60
Views: 7398

Re: Public Service Loan Forgiveness-Has it worked for anyone?

I've noticed several people mention married but filing single while making payments pursuant to PSLF. Does MFS have any impact on the ultimate decision to accept or deny the applicant's request for loan forgiveness? https://blog.ed.gov/2017/07/something-borrowed-how-marriage-impacts-your-student-lo...
by mariezzz
Tue May 07, 2019 10:00 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Public Service Loan Forgiveness-Has it worked for anyone?
Replies: 60
Views: 7398

Re: Public Service Loan Forgiveness-Has it worked for anyone?

My BIL should have been eligible in October, but he's getting stonewalled. My sister went thru every loan document, making absolutely sure he was eligible and followed rules to the letter. When they made to application for forgiveness, they were told, in essence, that they hadn't paid a high enough...
by mariezzz
Mon May 06, 2019 8:07 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: First Home Purchase - request for guidance
Replies: 19
Views: 1297

Re: First Home Purchase - request for guidance

The advice about taking lots of pictures is really important. Take some while looking at all houses. But when you narrow down on a given property, try to go back and take A LOT of pictures. (This assumes you're not in a super-hot seller's market where there isn't time to dilly dally on submitting an...
by mariezzz
Mon May 06, 2019 7:52 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: First Home Purchase - request for guidance
Replies: 19
Views: 1297

Re: First Home Purchase - request for guidance

In my experience, the online lenders have much lower rates (1% better) than local brick and mortar. Many even offer no closing costs. I would definitely check out a few online lenders. I've used Provident Lending in the past but there may be better options now. I would try to find one that offers a...
by mariezzz
Mon May 06, 2019 7:28 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: College/life prep for young kids
Replies: 75
Views: 5554

Re: College/life prep for young kids

Excellent list. So many parents fail to realize how much their kids mimic parents' behaviors. I've seen so many parents get frustrated with their kids, when all their kids are doing is what they've seen from their own parents. (In other words, the parent is communicating "Do as I say, not as I do".)...
by mariezzz
Mon May 06, 2019 6:47 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: College credit for HS courses or not?
Replies: 49
Views: 2107

Re: College credit for HS courses or not?

Just to give a different viewpoint, I'd say it depends. I went to a pretty hard Engineering school. I could have placed out of several classes (Math and Physics), but chose not to. I did it for several reasons: - If other classes (or school in general) were hard (or hard to adapt to coming from HS)...
by mariezzz
Mon May 06, 2019 5:28 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: What if I Never Buy a House?
Replies: 109
Views: 15656

Re: What if I Never Buy a House?

Most people in the US wouldn't be happy in an 800 ft2 apt with spouse and kids (especially the spouse who does more of the cleaning and caring for the kids), if they had the financial ability to obtain a larger living space. Giving in to your spouse's view may have been one of the smarter financial ...
by mariezzz
Mon May 06, 2019 2:58 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: What if I Never Buy a House?
Replies: 109
Views: 15656

Re: What if I Never Buy a House?

We ended up purchasing a small house, for ~$300k. This price point is very, very low for a town with reasonably good school district within a reasonable train-commute of Manhattan!! The fact that CT housing never really recovered from the 2007-2008 slump helped a lot! I purchased my house > $120k c...
by mariezzz
Sun May 05, 2019 11:07 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Removing coaxial cable from exterior of home
Replies: 7
Views: 1074

Re: Removing coaxial cable from exterior of home

You're not legally required to have coaxial cables running along your house or into your house, nor are you required to have a cable box attached to your house. The house is your property. You can remove them. Gather up the cable & cable box & leave it at the utility pole.
by mariezzz
Sun May 05, 2019 10:53 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Perspective [How much is left for spending in retirement?]
Replies: 47
Views: 3968

Re: Perspective [How much is left for spending in retirement?]

There are some strategies to organize assets to avoid some taxes (e.g., Roth conversions or back door Roth; TLH) , but keep in mind: You get certain benefits when you pay taxes. I plan to live in an area where there will be somewhat higher taxes on my retirement income (compared to other areas), in ...
by mariezzz
Sun May 05, 2019 10:35 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Crawl Space vs. Concrete Slab House Foundation
Replies: 19
Views: 2281

Re: Crawl Space vs. Concrete Slab House Foundation

I personally prefer a basement but live in an area where slabs and crawlspaces are fairly common, and have a crawlspace now. Some crawlspaces are more like basements with very low height, i.e., not open to the elements, whereas others are simply enclosed spaces under the house without a concrete flo...
by mariezzz
Sat May 04, 2019 8:44 pm
Forum: Personal Investments
Topic: How to decide on asset allocation? Overwhelmed by information online
Replies: 40
Views: 3689

Re: How to decide on asset allocation? Overwhelmed by information online

You said you have around 1 million (lower in the thread). You say no income, so you're not working, but you also said you would consider going back to work. You're thinking somewhere between 3-4% withdrawals. 3% certainly won't fail (read Michael Kitces on SWR). 4% is pretty safe, too. You can alway...
by mariezzz
Sat May 04, 2019 8:28 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Rarely used items that are worth having?
Replies: 112
Views: 10842

Re: Rarely used items that are worth having?

Many kitchen gadgets people have are rarely used. Same with many tools, garden tools, etc.You buy them for some specific purpose, use them 1-a few times a year, then store them most of the year. But they save time & money, so they're worthwhile. Jumper cables. When I was young and drove old cars I n...
by mariezzz
Sat May 04, 2019 7:12 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: balance transfer for student loan repayment
Replies: 5
Views: 336

Re: balance transfer for student loan repayment

I'd search on this site to see information about student loans. Your OP isn't really clear about what you are proposing. Are you proposing to pay the federal loan off by paying it with a credit card? I doubt that's possible, unless you go through some intermediary company that charges you a fee to c...
by mariezzz
Fri May 03, 2019 10:33 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Europe with teens - hotel options
Replies: 41
Views: 2351

Re: Europe with teens - hotel options

We spent 21 days in Europe last summer. 2 adults and 2 kids. We used Booking.com almost exclusively. The major pros: -Many apartments with kitchens. Can do some cooking which really brings travel cost down. -Generous cancellation policy. We always booked something early and then kept our eyes open ...
by mariezzz
Fri May 03, 2019 1:30 pm
Forum: Personal Investments
Topic: Buying a home w/cash vs taking a mortgage and investing
Replies: 39
Views: 4437

Re: Buying a home w/cash vs taking a mortgage and investing

I bought last year and thought I could do the invest + mortgage thing. When the stock market dropped late last year I felt awful that I may have effectively lost my means of paying off lots of my mortgage. Plus psychologically it bothers me a lot to have debt. After the market recovered most of the...
by mariezzz
Fri May 03, 2019 1:27 pm
Forum: Personal Investments
Topic: Buying a home w/cash vs taking a mortgage and investing
Replies: 39
Views: 4437

Re: Buying a home w/cash vs taking a mortgage and investing

If you're a cash buyer on a property, you may be preferred over other buyers, or able to get a small discount. You can always get a mortgage once the property is yours, if you feel that's a better financial option for you. If you can swing having 2 houses for some time, I'd do it. It eliminates havi...
by mariezzz
Fri May 03, 2019 1:16 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: PMI / Removing PMI question
Replies: 11
Views: 731

Re: PMI / Removing PMI question

The important detail in the information below is the use of the word "scheduled", i.e., you cannot prepay on principal to accelerate the point at which PMI must be forgiven automatically. Note: The rights in the Homeowners Protection Act apply to mortgages related to single-family principal residenc...