Search found 33 matches

by dollarbillz
Wed Oct 23, 2019 6:33 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Why so many iPhones??? Why did you pick it? Why do you upgrade it?
Replies: 156
Views: 10057

Re: Why so many iPhones??? Why did you pick it? Why do you upgrade it?

I suppose at the end of the day it is a matter of security/privacy versus convenience. Apple is one of the most transparent and consumer friendly tech companies when it comes to privacy and security (anti-tracking built into safari; Sign In with Apple; fine tuning per app and per site permissions; ...
by dollarbillz
Mon Oct 21, 2019 6:57 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Using 40MM bands in 38MM watch
Replies: 2
Views: 379

Re: Using 40MM bands in 38MM watch

38/40mm use the same band.

42/44mm use the same band.

As previous poster mentioned, knock off sport bands on amazon are virtually identical to the real thing for a fraction of the price.
by dollarbillz
Sat Oct 19, 2019 9:38 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: SAT/ACT prep courses worth the money?
Replies: 47
Views: 3126

Re: SAT/ACT prep courses worth the money?

Different perspective here: I worked at Kaplan while I was in college (2001-2005). Started as an ACT and SAT instructor. Taught all sections. Became the lead ACT/SAT instructor at our center. Took the MCAT, did well, went on to teach MCAT during my last year of college (all sections) and ultimately ...
by dollarbillz
Sat Oct 19, 2019 7:52 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Why so many iPhones??? Why did you pick it? Why do you upgrade it?
Replies: 156
Views: 10057

Re: Why so many iPhones??? Why did you pick it? Why do you upgrade it?

I am now deeply entrenched in the Apple ecosystem, along with my entire family, and I am extremely happy with the features and overall experience. Can you (or anyone) delve deeper into what it means by being in the "Apple ecosystem"? Are you talking about iCloud? iTunes? Having your iPhone, iPad an...
by dollarbillz
Sat Oct 19, 2019 5:04 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Why so many iPhones??? Why did you pick it? Why do you upgrade it?
Replies: 156
Views: 10057

Re: Why so many iPhones??? Why did you pick it? Why do you upgrade it?

I’m late to the party here, but just here to say: Apple wins for one major reason with me - privacy and security. I used to be an Android user. A very dedicated one. But in 2019 I can not even fathom having an always-on, data harvesting Android (Google) device, sending every detail about me back to ...
by dollarbillz
Sat Jun 15, 2019 4:48 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: IPhone 6 - showing some age
Replies: 98
Views: 9869

Re: IPhone 6 - showing some age

Not directly answering your question but may affect your decision making moving forward:

iPhone 6 and 6 plus will not be getting updated to iOS 13 this fall. If this matters to you, it may be wise to consider an upgrade as opposed to spending money on fixing your existing device.

Good luck.
by dollarbillz
Mon Jun 03, 2019 7:36 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Now that we know we're just digital prey, tell me about ad blockers and other apps and which ones are best
Replies: 35
Views: 4045

Re: Now that we know we're just digital prey, tell me about ad blockers and other apps and which ones are best

Avoid Google like the plague. Not just the search engine either. ... Hardest part for me is completely avoiding google as they/their services are ubiquitous and often unavoidable, but do my best. Do you block googleapis.com? fonts.googleapis.com? fonts.gstatic.com? googletagmanager.com? googletagse...
by dollarbillz
Mon Jun 03, 2019 6:57 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Now that we know we're just digital prey, tell me about ad blockers and other apps and which ones are best
Replies: 35
Views: 4045

Re: Now that we know we're just digital prey, tell me about ad blockers and other apps and which ones are best

My personal best practices: - Avoid Google like the plague. Not just the search engine either. The mobile os (Android), the browser (chrome), the web services (this is the hardest: gmail, maps, calendar, YouTube, Waze, etc), and chrome os. Google has only one interest and that is to build a ridiculo...
by dollarbillz
Sun Jun 02, 2019 8:44 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Cutting The Cord
Replies: 24
Views: 2377

Re: Cutting The Cord

I personally also use yttv though a recent price increase is kind of a drag. It’s has a great channel lineup, particularly for sports, and unlimited dvr. Here’s a comparison spreadsheet that’s maintained by CNET: https://docs.google.com/spreadsheets/d/1t0ZW8qC9ggVw5UZUiPmfGZdxndtcKjojSi_FYn0Fzw0/htm...
by dollarbillz
Sat Apr 06, 2019 11:24 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Thinking of selling my financed iPhone XS Max and going back to Android...
Replies: 40
Views: 2874

Re: Thinking of selling my financed iPhone XS Max and going back to Android...

Few things to mention/reiterate: - iOS support cycle is better than Android. And it’s not even close. Historically, you can expect 5 major iOS version updates for a phone (ie, 5 years of up to date software), though Apple has been pushing this out even longer (iPhone 5S getting iOS 12, it’s sixth ma...
by dollarbillz
Mon Feb 18, 2019 2:40 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Best PAID music streaming service?
Replies: 69
Views: 4874

Re: Best PAID music streaming service?

I have been a subscriber of Spotify, Tidal, Google Play Music, and most recently, Apple Music. Each has its own merits and drawbacks. I’ll preface this all by saying I’d personally only consider a service that has a family pricing model. From a quality perspective Tidal with lossless streaming is th...
by dollarbillz
Fri Feb 08, 2019 5:23 pm
Forum: Personal Investments
Topic: Help us "fix" our portfolio
Replies: 14
Views: 1611

Re: Help us "fix" our portfolio

Is there a role for REIT anywhere in the portfolio, and if so where and at what proportion? REITs are already in Total Stock Market at the market weight so a separate fund overweighting them is not necessary. However, if you want them they belong in a tax-sheltered account. They are suitable for pr...
by dollarbillz
Thu Feb 07, 2019 9:39 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Upgrade from Bose 301
Replies: 44
Views: 2829

Re: Upgrade from Bose 301

I own and am partial to B&W. Currently have CM series (recently upgraded and rebadged 700 series), but in retrospect may have have gone with 600 series for similar sound/performance and better price. I helped a buddy set up a system with def techs and would also consider them as a cost-conscious, bu...
by dollarbillz
Wed Feb 06, 2019 9:36 am
Forum: Personal Investments
Topic: Help us "fix" our portfolio
Replies: 14
Views: 1611

Re: Help us "fix" our portfolio

dollarbillz wrote:
Wed Feb 06, 2019 9:26 am
I will revise the OP with correct percentages after taking the 529 and cash out of the equation; I'll also remove the home equity.
Done. Percentages now ignore cash and 529s. Home equity also removed.
by dollarbillz
Wed Feb 06, 2019 9:26 am
Forum: Personal Investments
Topic: Help us "fix" our portfolio
Replies: 14
Views: 1611

Re: Help us "fix" our portfolio

The best options are: Your entire post was extremely helpful, particularly with the ML investment options. Thank you so much. Sell VGSLX. REITs don't belong in taxable. And it has a minimal gain. Is there a role for REIT anywhere in the portfolio, and if so where and at what proportion? Make sure n...
by dollarbillz
Tue Feb 05, 2019 6:18 pm
Forum: Personal Investments
Topic: Help us "fix" our portfolio
Replies: 14
Views: 1611

Re: Help us "fix" our portfolio

I think a big decision driver will be the purchase date of the funds and whether you will incur short term / long term gains or losses. If long term, I would think just sell them and pay long term capital gains taxes. Then invest according to your target AA: https://www.bogleheads.org/wiki/Boglehea...
by dollarbillz
Tue Feb 05, 2019 11:02 am
Forum: Personal Investments
Topic: Help us "fix" our portfolio
Replies: 14
Views: 1611

Re: Help us "fix" our portfolio

The very first thing to do is determine the cost basis of each of your taxable holdings. The need to “tax manage” those holding will drive a lot of your decisions in terms of what and when to sell. You are on the right track with wanting to reduce the number of funds and hold your stocks in taxable...
by dollarbillz
Tue Feb 05, 2019 10:17 am
Forum: Personal Investments
Topic: Help us "fix" our portfolio
Replies: 14
Views: 1611

Help us "fix" our portfolio

2019.02.05 - EDIT 1: to add cost basis and current value for taxable 2019.02.05 - EDIT 2: to add available funds in non Vanguard accounts 2019.02.06 - EDIT 3: to remove cash, home equity, and 529s from the picture I've asked a few specific questions since joining this great forum, but thought it mi...
by dollarbillz
Sun Feb 03, 2019 8:17 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Subwoofer for music recommendations
Replies: 17
Views: 1189

Re: Subwoofer for music recommendations

It is at the top of your budget, but you may like to check out the SVS (svsound.com) SB-1000. I have the SB-2000 and it is wonderful, as is the company. Also, will it be used for home theater as well, or music only? Given your taste in music, and depending on your speakers, they may not need much he...
by dollarbillz
Sat Jan 26, 2019 11:26 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: What type of account to open first for a newborn?
Replies: 16
Views: 1387

Re: What type of account to open first for a newborn?

Congratulations! I opened and started funding a 529 immediately upon the birth of our first daughter. Tax free growth; also check to see if contributions to your state plan are eligible for a state income tax deduction for an additional benefit. As for the “what if she doesn’t go to college?” I thou...
by dollarbillz
Sat Jan 26, 2019 9:20 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Backdoor Roth for 2018 and 2019 now? And other questions
Replies: 8
Views: 706

Re: Backdoor Roth for 2018 and 2019 now? And other questions

Thank you so much for the clarifications.

We are 39 and 35. We MFJ and 37% marginal tax bracket.
by dollarbillz
Sat Jan 26, 2019 8:46 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Backdoor Roth for 2018 and 2019 now? And other questions
Replies: 8
Views: 706

Re: Backdoor Roth for 2018 and 2019 now? And other questions

I’m a bit confused by your second question. You don’t have a rollover IRA, do you? That will cause a problem with the Backdoor Roth — the pro rata rule. In essence, you don’t only convert the after tax dollars as you’d like, you convert a proportional amount of all traditional IRA assets (both pre ...
by dollarbillz
Fri Jan 25, 2019 9:20 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Backdoor Roth for 2018 and 2019 now? And other questions
Replies: 8
Views: 706

Backdoor Roth for 2018 and 2019 now? And other questions

Wife and I (mid-late 30s) are phased out of Roth eligibility due to income. Neither of us has an IRA. Both have 401k, 403b, and/or profit sharing accounts only. Want to start doing a Backdoor Roth annually. This will be our first year doing this. I have done a fair amount of reading, but have some q...
by dollarbillz
Thu Jan 17, 2019 9:46 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Accountant or do it myself?
Replies: 9
Views: 1475

Re: Accountant or do it myself?

Thank you all, especially those of you who have had a similar experience. To be honest, I WANT to do this myself. I am the type to be very hands on, and I want to know every detail of our finances. That being said, I really don't think I have time to take this on now. I think I will try to find a ne...
by dollarbillz
Wed Jan 16, 2019 10:38 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Accountant or do it myself?
Replies: 9
Views: 1475

Re: Accountant or do it myself?

What about the accounting for the business? To be honest, I have a background in accounting and I would probably do it myself, but it seems like a lot to take on for someone if they haven't done all (or at least some) of this before. You've got personal and business tax returns, the accounting for ...
by dollarbillz
Wed Jan 16, 2019 8:30 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Accountant or do it myself?
Replies: 9
Views: 1475

Accountant or do it myself?

Once again seeking advice from the community. Trying to decide if I can/should take on the following accounting tasks, or outsource to a CPA. If you believe I should do it myself, then please point me in the direction of resources, software, etc that I'd need. I'm a bit overwhelmed and worry that th...
by dollarbillz
Wed Jan 16, 2019 2:10 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Any admission pointers from pre- med/ med students?
Replies: 58
Views: 3573

Re: Any admission pointers from pre- med/ med students?

Agree with all of the above. I’d add: Though getting in seems like the biggest obstacle RIGHT NOW, understand that getting into medical school does not guarantee specialty of choice; does not guarantee a good residency spot; does not guarantee a desirable job. Once in, I can not overstate the import...
by dollarbillz
Mon Jan 14, 2019 8:05 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Another Home Affordability Thread
Replies: 31
Views: 3918

Re: Another Home Affordability Thread

Thanks, to all of you. We appreciate all this information, and will consider it as we work towards a decision.

Will update this post as needed. Feel free to continue to chime in.
by dollarbillz
Sun Jan 13, 2019 10:16 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Another Home Affordability Thread
Replies: 31
Views: 3918

Re: Another Home Affordability Thread

First of all, thank you all for chiming in. Reading your insights and past experiences is very helpful. Some direct responses: Obviously, you both have done well, only in your upper 30s to have saved this much already is a awesome job. Thank you. Can't emphasize enough the importance of marrying som...
by dollarbillz
Sat Jan 12, 2019 11:35 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Another Home Affordability Thread
Replies: 31
Views: 3918

Re: Another Home Affordability Thread

Sorry to resurrect a month old thread. Some revisions to the original data: Turns out, 2018 was a relatively strong financial year for us. Gross Income Me: $465k Wife: $220k We expect similar to steadily increasing income moving forward, but low years should be no lower than $425/$150. Savings and n...
by dollarbillz
Wed Dec 05, 2018 8:08 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Another Home Affordability Thread
Replies: 31
Views: 3918

Re: Another Home Affordability Thread

Selling it is a no-brainer since you would almost certainly qualify for the homeowners capital gains exclusion of the federal capital gains tax. If you rent it for more than a few years you would lose that exemption. This is a great point, and not something I had considered. I am not dying to landl...
by dollarbillz
Tue Dec 04, 2018 7:05 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Another Home Affordability Thread
Replies: 31
Views: 3918

Re: Another Home Affordability Thread

Thank you to you both. I have an unavoidable commute. Our "ideal" location would minimize it. Inventory in the areas we are looking is tight. Rental inventory is even worse. From a quick perusal, a rental close to what we're looking for would be anywhere from $6-10k/m and look not to be as nice as s...
by dollarbillz
Tue Dec 04, 2018 5:28 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Another Home Affordability Thread
Replies: 31
Views: 3918

Another Home Affordability Thread

All, Long time lurker here, first time posting. Background data: Late 30s couple, married, three children (not yet in school). Live in a condo that we've FAR outgrown. We have managed, for 10 years of marriage to live well below our means. Cars paid. Student loans paid. No CC debt. Now have gotten t...