Search found 434 matches

by ramsfan
Fri Aug 10, 2018 11:08 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Thinking about moving to Madison, WI or Minneapolis, MN..Any advice?
Replies: 96
Views: 8687

Re: Thinking about moving to Madison, WI or Minneapolis, MN..Any advice?

Not sure if this is a factor for you, but Minneapolis Police are very problematic. I witnessed some egregious behavior, and since then I have done research that has lead me to the conclusion I won't travel there again, and I certainly will not live there. The suburbs - fine, but not Minneapolis. You...
by ramsfan
Sun Jul 29, 2018 9:02 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: ACT test - got 34, try for 36?
Replies: 61
Views: 5231

Re: ACT test - got 34, try for 36?

If your kid wants to retake it, my only concern (and I have two kids who recently went through something similar) is that say they get a 31 or even worse the next time. It CAN hurt their confidence. You know your kid better than us, so if you think they can handle that, then there is no logical reas...
by ramsfan
Thu Jul 19, 2018 12:59 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: I'm about to inherit a single stock with a worth of just over 7 figures....
Replies: 103
Views: 8768

Re: I'm about to inherit a single stock with a worth of just over 7 figures....

I would recommend selling all of it and diversifying. However, I do understand the emotional part of wanting to keep it in the family to hand down. It creates a story that can be passed down, learn from, etc... One idea would be to sell 90% of your holding, and retain 10% long term. To pass down. Ju...
by ramsfan
Sun Jul 08, 2018 8:24 am
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Diversifying Employee Stock Options when options > 4x portfolio
Replies: 8
Views: 625

Re: Diversifying Employee Stock Options when options > 4x portfolio

I was early in career during the dot.com error, I had some good options, but many peers of mine had 7-figures worth of in the money options. Of the 20-25 people I knew about, only one person sold (diversified) his in the money options every chance he could. He is the only person who came out of the ...
by ramsfan
Tue May 01, 2018 8:31 am
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: $750,000 in Cash at 30
Replies: 14
Views: 4288

Re: $750,000 in Cash at 30

Hi there, I am going to share some advice I have for you, based on things I experienced while a similar situation as you. Basically, when I was in my 30's, I started doing very well earnings wise, and was still living my normal frugal lifestyle. The mistake I made is that I took all this money I was...
by ramsfan
Thu Apr 19, 2018 4:58 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Good Dad, Bad Dad [pay for son's driving expenses (or not)]
Replies: 49
Views: 3929

Re: Good Dad, Bad Dad

Not sure if this has been considered, but not many kids have cars at college as Freshmen, and so what can happen is those that do end up giving rides to lots of others. Even if your child is a responsible person, they can get pressured into some crappy situations... something to consider.
by ramsfan
Wed Apr 18, 2018 5:49 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Easiest way for minor child to file taxes
Replies: 16
Views: 1102

Re: Easiest way for minor child to file taxes

Hi all, thanks for all the great feedback. We ended up using freefillableforms for Federal, and a handwritten form for state. As someone else mentioned, I feel good have all the documentation for any future issues that may arise.

Thanks again for all the help!
by ramsfan
Mon Apr 16, 2018 7:45 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Easiest way for minor child to file taxes
Replies: 16
Views: 1102

Re: Easiest way for minor child to file taxes

I used to use HR Block online free file, and they kept me as a customer for several years because they made it easy to import last year's data as my return grew. I now use freefilefillable forms because I enjoy the challenge of filing myself. :beer Here are some free file software companies endorse...
by ramsfan
Mon Apr 16, 2018 7:43 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Easiest way for minor child to file taxes
Replies: 16
Views: 1102

Re: Easiest way for minor child to file taxes

golfCaddy wrote:
Mon Apr 16, 2018 7:25 pm
I always fill out the fillable forms. I can't imagine there's anything complicated enough about a minor child's taxes to where it couldn't be done by hand.
Hi there golf caddy, can you let me know where to go to do this?
by ramsfan
Mon Apr 16, 2018 7:37 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Easiest way for minor child to file taxes
Replies: 16
Views: 1102

Re: Easiest way for minor child to file taxes

neilpilot wrote:
Mon Apr 16, 2018 7:31 pm
Will she also be under the cutoff, or be subject to self employment tax if she files?
She earned $5,250 last year, I think that is under the cutoff.
by ramsfan
Mon Apr 16, 2018 7:17 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Easiest way for minor child to file taxes
Replies: 16
Views: 1102

Easiest way for minor child to file taxes

Hi All, very sorry for last minute question. I just filed my taxes today, and from what I know, my minor daughter should file (but does not have to).She was 17 in 2017, and made some good cash babysitting, tutoring, etc... she is under the $6,350 limit, she has no unearned income, and she chose to c...
by ramsfan
Tue Apr 10, 2018 6:37 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Cash flow problems - best way to handle?
Replies: 151
Views: 11054

Re: Cash flow problems - best way to handle?

Anyone that is suggesting loans here is missing the forest for the trees. This is not a short term cash flow issue but a fundamental cash flow issue. There is a reason that lenders will not lend to you if Requires half of your take home pay going to housing. They have teams of statistical data sayi...
by ramsfan
Tue Apr 10, 2018 6:36 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Cash flow problems - best way to handle?
Replies: 151
Views: 11054

Re: Cash flow problems - best way to handle?

You are getting great advice here on reducing spending. That is the right answer. However, if you just are not willing to do that to meet any cash needs this summer, I have one other suggestion. That is seek out a HELOC with no closing costs. I recently arranged a HELOC with Bank of America, with no...
by ramsfan
Fri Apr 06, 2018 7:29 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Tequila and Magaritas
Replies: 75
Views: 7037

Re: Tequila and Magaritas

I collect tequila and have visited many tequila distilleries in Mexico. I also love a good margarita. My suggestions: 1) Buy only 100% agave tequila. This is the most important thing. If it doesn't say 100% agave on the bottle, don't buy it. 2) There are four common types to look for: blanco/silver...
by ramsfan
Fri Apr 06, 2018 7:15 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Undecided students and STEM majors
Replies: 51
Views: 4561

Re: Undecided students and STEM majors

Not an expert at all, but I agree with you it seems odd for a 16-18 year old to need to declare a specific major in their application. However, our experience at large public universities is that my daughter put down Mechanical Engineering, but once accepted to the School of Engineering, she has bee...
by ramsfan
Thu Apr 05, 2018 10:27 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: What's Your Credit Card Rewards Strategy?
Replies: 2721
Views: 540226

Re: What's Your Credit Card Rewards Strategy?

Freefun wrote:
Thu Apr 05, 2018 9:31 am
Chase sapphire (either one) is a good overall card.

When redeeming Marriott points , take a look at their flights and hotel packages - best value in their program IMO.
http://www.marriott.com/rewards/usepoints/morepack.mi

Good luck!
Excellent advice, thank you!
by ramsfan
Thu Apr 05, 2018 9:18 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: What's Your Credit Card Rewards Strategy?
Replies: 2721
Views: 540226

Re: What's Your Credit Card Rewards Strategy?

madbrain and others, I would like to describe what I am currently doing with my credit card rewards. I do try and live as simply as possible, so my objective was to get really good rewards balanced with really low effort. I am OK not maxing out my rewards to keep the effort low. For a long time, the...
by ramsfan
Tue Apr 03, 2018 11:09 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Should I bother with bonds or stick to CDs? Would love YOUR advice
Replies: 11
Views: 1702

Re: Should I bother with bonds or stick to CDs? Would love YOUR advice

sport wrote:
Tue Apr 03, 2018 10:10 pm
golfCaddy wrote:
Tue Apr 03, 2018 10:05 pm
You can get a 5 year CD with a 2.65% APY.
You can get a 3 year CD with a 2.8% rate.
Where can you get a 3 year CD at 2.8%? Thanks in advance!!!
by ramsfan
Mon Apr 02, 2018 12:58 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Harvest losses of Muni funds in taxable..are these similar?
Replies: 11
Views: 530

Re: Harvest losses of Muni funds in taxable..are these similar?

I am not a tax expert but I believe that from a tax standpoint a "swap" would violate the "Wash Sale Rule" https://www.investopedia.com/terms/w/washsalerule.asp. You can do a sale, wait 30+ days and rebuy the same asset, but you would miss any "benefit" of the investment during that window of time. ...
by ramsfan
Thu Mar 29, 2018 7:45 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: help with support for shoes
Replies: 6
Views: 526

Re: help with support for shoes

Is it the extra cushioning of the Hoka that help your feet or is it the lower incline between your heels and toes? You might be able to replicate the cushioning with insoles, but the incline is inherent to the design of the shoe. I think the HOKA incline (from toe to heel) is 4mm. All of the other ...
by ramsfan
Thu Mar 29, 2018 1:47 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: help with support for shoes
Replies: 6
Views: 526

help with support for shoes

Hi All, I have had moderately sore feet for what seems like forever. After switching to Hoka running shoes, and then also wearing hoka recovery slides and flops around the house, my soreness has greatly diminished. I am looking for a recommendation. I wear Sperry type shoes for work frequently, and ...
by ramsfan
Fri Mar 02, 2018 5:21 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Walking shoes for plantar faciatis?
Replies: 61
Views: 5209

Re: Walking shoes for plantar faciatis?

I had this condition 10 years ago. I drove to a family owned running shoe store a few towns away. The owner spent 45 minutes with me, he suggest a pair of Hoka running shoes. They weren't cheap $145, but it did over time completely cure me. My wife has this every few years and wears shoe inserts, b...
by ramsfan
Wed Feb 28, 2018 8:31 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Open a HELOC? With whom?
Replies: 29
Views: 3226

Re: Open a HELOC? With whom?

I did apply the HELOC draw to pay down principal on the mortgage. I did pay more per month, but it was manageable, and saved considerable interest charges. I think the HELOC had an option to pay interest only, so although it was an additional monthly payment on top of my mortgage, the tradeoff was w...
by ramsfan
Tue Feb 27, 2018 9:56 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Open a HELOC? With whom?
Replies: 29
Views: 3226

Re: Open a HELOC? With whom?

I am on my second HELOC with Bank of America. We do all our checking and bill pay with them. My first HELOC expired after 10 years, and I just opened a new one recently. I did not pay fees of any kind to open either credit line. I have used it a few times to have easy access to large cash sums to ma...
by ramsfan
Sat Feb 17, 2018 10:27 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: How to get child's skin in the game for college?
Replies: 135
Views: 7706

Re: How to get child's skin in the game for college?

After reading this very interesting thread, and contemplating my own college experience, I am warming up to one idea that came up from a few posters. That is if parents can afford it, they pay for non-tuition costs, the student is responsible for tuition. If a kid has a good scholarship at a state s...
by ramsfan
Sat Feb 17, 2018 8:07 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Best plants to grow to save money for food costs
Replies: 93
Views: 5845

Re: Best plants to grow to save money for food costs

Whether this is cost effective or not, I love it when my wife grows herbs. She does well with Cilantro, basil, rosemary, etc... I HATE paying 3-4 bucks for those small packs of fresh herbs, so when we can go clip off exactly what is needed, it is awesome. Plus, fresh herbs taste better than dried, a...
by ramsfan
Fri Feb 16, 2018 8:29 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: How to get child's skin in the game for college?
Replies: 135
Views: 7706

Re: How to get child's skin in the game for college?

Not sure I have any actionable advice, but I think there's some lessons to be learned from my experiences as the kid going through college. Approach my parents took was that if I'd contribute my scholarships and what I earned from working towards school, and room and board expenses. They'd cover wh...
by ramsfan
Wed Jan 17, 2018 8:39 am
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Family death, house for sale, under-valued.
Replies: 19
Views: 2687

Re: Family death, house for sale, under-valued.

A good friend of mine has four siblings. All five of the children worked for their father's business. As their father aged, he wanted to retire and sell the business to his five children at a very fair price. Three of the children accepted the offer, two declined. Thus, three children owned the busi...
by ramsfan
Sun Jan 14, 2018 9:33 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: What frugal thing did you do today?
Replies: 483
Views: 44360

Re: What frugal thing did you do today?

We are doing a nice family trip in March (not so frugal, but worth it to us). The travel insurance is something I was contemplating, as we have some risks related to the trip, due to health issues of family. The insurance was about $110 a person. I wanted to have this trip insured, and took the time...
by ramsfan
Thu Dec 07, 2017 1:51 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Question about Medicare Part D selection for my Mother in Law
Replies: 23
Views: 1754

Re: Question about Medicare Part D selection for my Mother in Law

You are doing fine and the good thing is that one can change drig plans every year during open enrollment. Basing it on current drugs and the local pharmacies being preferred is the way to go. I just enrolled for January for the 1st time. I want to applaud you for getting her out of Medicare Advant...
by ramsfan
Thu Dec 07, 2017 8:38 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: I received a speeding ticket via mail from IA - should I pay it?
Replies: 72
Views: 6216

Re: I received a speeding ticket via mail from IA - should I pay it?

As a resident of Iowa, first let me apologize for local municipalities in our state that I believe are utilizing this technology as a means to simply raise revenue. Attached are two recent Iowa newspaper articles discussing this topic. A Google search will uncover many more from our state as well. ...
by ramsfan
Wed Dec 06, 2017 8:20 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Question about Medicare Part D selection for my Mother in Law
Replies: 23
Views: 1754

Re: Question about Medicare Part D selection for my Mother in Law

You are doing fine and the good thing is that one can change drig plans every year during open enrollment. Basing it on current drugs and the local pharmacies being preferred is the way to go. I just enrolled for January for the 1st time. I want to applaud you for getting her out of Medicare Advant...
by ramsfan
Wed Dec 06, 2017 9:25 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Question about Medicare Part D selection for my Mother in Law
Replies: 23
Views: 1754

Re: Question about Medicare Part D selection for my Mother in Law

This info is all incredibly helpful.

I just glad all this medicare stuff is not very complicated (sarcasm).

Thank you all!
by ramsfan
Tue Dec 05, 2017 11:41 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Question about Medicare Part D selection for my Mother in Law
Replies: 23
Views: 1754

Re: Question about Medicare Part D selection for my Mother in Law

Thank you Harmony! I selected two retail pharmacies that are right near her home. one is a CVS and the other is a Walgreens. The estimated cost for her currents drugs for the Express Scripts plan was cheapest for mail order, but not much more for Walgreens. It was a fair amount higher for her CVS, s...
by ramsfan
Tue Dec 05, 2017 9:24 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Question about Medicare Part D selection for my Mother in Law
Replies: 23
Views: 1754

Question about Medicare Part D selection for my Mother in Law

Hello, I am helping my Mother in Law with her Medicare elections. She is 83 years old. Previously, she was on a Medicare Advantage plan which included prescription drug coverage. We feel good that she has been accepted to a Medigap Plan G. So, she now retains her Medicare coverage, and has a Plan G ...
by ramsfan
Thu Nov 02, 2017 4:09 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: 18 year old wanting to establish investment accounts, yeah!!
Replies: 10
Views: 1115

18 year old wanting to establish investment accounts, yeah!!

Hello, I have an 18 year old who wants to establish their own investment accounts. They have about $5,000 to invest, saved up from gifts, and occasional snow shoveling and babysitting. I have been education them for a long time, so this is a good development! Right now, all their money is in a low i...
by ramsfan
Thu Nov 02, 2017 3:45 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: stopped check / holder in due course
Replies: 16
Views: 2021

Re: stopped check / holder in due course

random walker - can we get an update on your situation?
by ramsfan
Mon Oct 23, 2017 8:18 am
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Larry Swedroe: Why Do Hedge Funds Exist?
Replies: 10
Views: 1611

Re: Larry Swedroe: Why Do Hedge Funds Exist?

I am not an expert on hedge funds, but a former work colleague was very excited to tell me about the hedge fund he was going to invest in. $250k minimum. I think it appealed to his ego that he could invest with the big dawgs. He asked me what I thought, so I asked him to send me the information. The...
by ramsfan
Fri Aug 25, 2017 9:17 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: stopped check / holder in due course
Replies: 16
Views: 2021

Re: stopped check / holder in due course

Hold on a sec here, I am not a lawyer, but how in the world are you obligated to pay fees to a check cashing company??? Personally, I would tell the check cashing company that I am not paying. That was their decision to cash that check before making sure it cleared the bank it was written against. I...
by ramsfan
Tue Apr 25, 2017 10:19 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Question about new 401k
Replies: 4
Views: 618

Re: Question about new 401k

Thank you all, this helped clarify my options. I am going with Option 1 or 2, after just a bit more research. I want to evaluate the fund I use in Fidelity versus the comparable fund in Vanguard, and also make sure I understand if I have to pay any type of admin fee to stay with Fidelity if I choose...
by ramsfan
Mon Apr 24, 2017 1:54 am
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Question about new 401k
Replies: 4
Views: 618

Question about new 401k

Hi All, I just started a new job, and thus I have some decisions to make around my new 401k. Here is the situation, and I want to make sure I am thinking about it right. I have an old (recently left employer in the last 30 days) 401k at Fidelity. My new employer has a Vanguard 401k. I am signed up f...
by ramsfan
Sat Feb 11, 2017 6:49 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Lost Stock Certificate - EMC
Replies: 6
Views: 1185

Re: Lost Stock Certificate - EMC

It might be a good idea to talk to the 16 year-old's mom to clarify the status of the gift. In 10 years there could have been a lot of family changes. It's also possible that the "no clue" situation comes from mom not thinking the 16 year-old is mature enough to handle the funds. Maybe the child wa...
by ramsfan
Wed Jan 18, 2017 11:18 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Spring Break Family trip advise
Replies: 6
Views: 809

Spring Break Family trip advise

We always seem to mess this trip up. We cannot book until around now because of my kid's school and activity schedules, but looking for some advice. We want to get some place warm, southern florida, or reasonably close caribbean, and it must be considered safe. I have a good amount of Marriott point...
by ramsfan
Mon Jan 16, 2017 10:25 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Does it sound like my employer trying to push me out?
Replies: 61
Views: 7732

Re: Does it sound like my employer trying to push me out?

My two cents... First, good of you to post this personal situation here, there are many experienced folks who can help, but some of the feedback might "sting" at first, don't dismiss it. The medicine might not taste good, but it will help you get better! I don't read anything from your description o...
by ramsfan
Thu Oct 27, 2016 7:04 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Dream house sold yesterday :(
Replies: 41
Views: 8268

Re: Dream house sold yesterday :(

Thanks for chiming in everyone. I feel like I'm gaining valuable experience just by reading the stories in this thread. My realtor did encourage me to get a pre-approval letter from the beginning and I've been sifting through lenders and then getting specific with my chosen lender since then. It's ...
by ramsfan
Fri Sep 23, 2016 6:37 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Buy a new house with cash? Please advise
Replies: 26
Views: 3884

Re: Buy a new house with cash? Please advise

So, I have a couple of opinions to share. Please PM me if you want any more info as I don't check the boards often. First, some questions to consider. what interest rate would you expect to get on your home loan Second what are the tax implication of selling your ETF's Third, would you have a strong...
by ramsfan
Fri Sep 02, 2016 7:16 am
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Bond Market Bubble
Replies: 47
Views: 6491

Re: Bond Market Bubble

Your portfolio looks a lot like mine did when I was your age. It is very risky..... and I suffered a tremendous drop in my net worth, one that I hope you don't face. I know this is hard, but you are worried about a bond bubble, when the fact that you are almost 100% invested in stocks is a far great...
by ramsfan
Mon Mar 21, 2016 7:42 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Bad service - Dispute transaction with credit card company?
Replies: 14
Views: 10822

Re: Bad service - Dispute transaction with credit card company?

Serious question, do people really pay in advance for hair salon services? This doesn't sound right to me...
by ramsfan
Thu Dec 31, 2015 6:29 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: 2015 BOGLEHEAD CONTEST LEADERS
Replies: 53
Views: 6005

Re: 2015 BOGLEHEAD CONTEST LEADERS

Congrats Victoria!

Quick question to see if I am interpreting the data correctly, is it accurate that Victoria won the contest, but pretty much everyone missed by 160 points or more? Very interesting outcome if so.
by ramsfan
Thu Dec 31, 2015 9:59 am
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Munis no longer as good of a deal
Replies: 46
Views: 5595

Re: Munis no longer as good of a deal

Larry - interesting about the 9 states your firm is avoiding, and other criteria for bond selection. For those of us working very hard to keep things really simple (set allocation, annual review, etc...).... do you have opinions on the Vanguard Tax Exempt funds? Specifically, limited term, intermedi...