Search found 127 matches

by johnny
Fri Feb 12, 2021 9:16 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Amazon Firestick vs. Roku
Replies: 72
Views: 4324

Re: Amazon Firestick vs. Roku

Purchased a Roku Ultra on Black Friday sale, but eventually returned it due to HDCP flakiness. Realized that I really wanted Dolby Vision, so I went in on a FireTV 4k. It works more reliably than the Roku at 4k rez on my TV, but does have the aforementioned bias toward Prime. I go straight to Netfli...
by johnny
Fri Feb 12, 2021 8:22 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Heat pump - Check twice per year or just once?
Replies: 8
Views: 946

Re: Heat pump - Check twice per year or just once?

Once is probably enough. There is a problem with inspecting when the outside temperature is too low, so make sure to inspect before winter.
by johnny
Fri Feb 12, 2021 8:07 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Laid off!!
Replies: 96
Views: 16105

Re: Laid off!!

My father told me a long time ago to never for a minute believe that an employer, even one that appears to be very nice, has any meaningful loyalty to its employees and that employees are only viewed as valuable to the extent that they are perceived to help the employer's bottom line. My experience...
by johnny
Wed Feb 03, 2021 2:12 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Whole life insurance
Replies: 15
Views: 880

Re: Whole life insurance

Hard to believe that current cash value is anything close to the premiums paid. However if you consider the future you might call the insurance company and compare current cash value against the face value of the policies. You may very well decide that continuing payments is a better return (to the ...
by johnny
Wed Feb 03, 2021 12:27 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: New Job vs Severance
Replies: 18
Views: 1351

Re: New Job vs Severance

I suggest you only move forward based on facts, not assumptions or predictions. In the two layoff situations that have affected me it was very obvious afterwards that there were financial advantages to sticking it out. In one case, if I had left early, I would have not been vested in retirement cont...
by johnny
Wed Feb 03, 2021 12:16 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Not eligible to contribute to a retirement plan at work, but W2 shows retirement plan box checked
Replies: 15
Views: 1891

Re: Not eligible to contribute to a retirement plan at work, but W2 shows retirement plan box checked

I'm in a similar situation with my wife as a substitute teacher. As I look into it, it seems she is eligible for participation in the state teachers plan, but not participating. Does anyone have a read on what the IRS means by "covered by a work plan"? Answered my own question... IRS is p...
by johnny
Tue Jan 26, 2021 8:17 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Not eligible to contribute to a retirement plan at work, but W2 shows retirement plan box checked
Replies: 15
Views: 1891

Re: Not eligible to contribute to a retirement plan at work, but W2 shows retirement plan box checked

I assume this might be common since they probably just auto check W2 box 13 (I assume W4 is a typo and not relevant here). Technically HR needs to correct W2. However, it is pretty rare that this box being checked would impact someone materially. Typically people that have the income to worry about...
by johnny
Tue Jan 26, 2021 7:59 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Not eligible to contribute to a retirement plan at work, but W2 shows retirement plan box checked
Replies: 15
Views: 1891

Re: Not eligible to contribute to a retirement plan at work, but W2 shows retirement plan box checked

I assume this might be common since they probably just auto check W2 box 13 (I assume W4 is a typo and not relevant here). Technically HR needs to correct W2. However, it is pretty rare that this box being checked would impact someone materially. Typically people that have the income to worry about...
by johnny
Fri Jan 22, 2021 10:39 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Who or what has helped the most in your financial journey?
Replies: 121
Views: 7279

Re: Who or what has helped the most in your financial journey?

Aside from the public figures already mentioned (Jack Bogle, Jonathan Clements...) I'm particularly thankful for a co-worker named John. One day John and I were talking and he casually mentioned that he planned to work until he was 60 and then he'd retire. We are the same age and it bugged me that h...
by johnny
Fri Jan 22, 2021 8:30 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Not eligible to contribute to a retirement plan at work, but W2 shows retirement plan box checked
Replies: 15
Views: 1891

Re: Not eligible to contribute to a retirement plan at work, but W2 shows retirement plan box checked

Typically people that have the income to worry about this are above the deductibility limit for IRA and a backdoor Roth can always be performed so not sure what it would restrict the average person from doing? People with this level of income are trying their best to stay within certain cutoff AGI ...
by johnny
Wed Jan 20, 2021 8:52 am
Forum: Personal Investments
Topic: Insight Needed on Rollover/Transfers after Career Change
Replies: 6
Views: 364

Re: Insight Needed on Rollover/Transfers after Career Change

If your friend doesn't see a path to returning to her former employer, a rollover would make sense.

Sounds like the two choices of investment providers are quite low expense-wise, so do whichever seems simpler to your friend.
by johnny
Wed Jan 20, 2021 8:43 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Amazon Firestick vs. Roku
Replies: 72
Views: 4324

Re: Amazon Firestick vs. Roku

I agree they are very close. I purchased a Roku ultra on black Friday deal. It never quite worked correctly at 4k resolution. I wanted Dolby vision to work, but was constantly tinkering to keep DV turned on. So I returned it. Purchased a 4k Fire TV at half the price. It's much more consistent with o...
by johnny
Tue Jan 19, 2021 9:22 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Pregnant - HDHP vs PPO decision
Replies: 34
Views: 2051

Re: Pregnant - HDHP vs PPO decision

Probably HDHP. Here's some sample math - I was calculating with one person running up charges, but it basically doubles everything if 2+ people are spending money. In short - at lower costs, the HDHP comes out ahead because the plan is cheaper (and its not offset by the higher deductible), at highe...
by johnny
Mon Jan 11, 2021 12:18 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: I was denied term life, being advised to consider whole life
Replies: 36
Views: 3330

Re: I was denied term life, being advised to consider whole life

I would apply using a term life agent rather than just the same insurance company you have. I think I used SelectQuote. They are a giant in the industry and may try to upsell you, so just say you only want term life. But my agent was easy to work with and I had a good experience. They will shop all...
by johnny
Wed Dec 23, 2020 8:57 am
Forum: Personal Investments
Topic: Unusual circumstances for a 59 yr old
Replies: 59
Views: 6577

Re: Unusual circumstances for a 59 yr old

This is what I love about Bogleheads -- when a conversation about boring finances can uncover simple change in approach that make a big difference. OP, reading through the post I get the impression that you need a financial planner, not a financial advisor. Sounds like yours is all about portfolio a...
by johnny
Fri Dec 18, 2020 8:49 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Parents choosing college options for their kids based on affordability
Replies: 60
Views: 3069

Re: Parents choosing college options for their kids based on affordability

Kids mostly don't have a concept of the money required for college. It's important to explain it in real terms. For my family that meant explaining the salary they can expect to make in their chosen career and how much will be going to loan repayments every month. I gave my son a choice about state ...
by johnny
Thu Dec 17, 2020 3:15 pm
Forum: Personal Investments
Topic: Looking for Advice on How to Best Get on Track
Replies: 19
Views: 1247

Re: Looking for Advice on How to Best Get on Track

I worked for a company once that had a tight limit on its 401k for highly compensated employees. Because of this, they offered a deferred comp plan, essentially allowing employees to spread their taxable income across multiple years -- even to retirement -- to take advantage of lower tax brackets. ...
by johnny
Wed Dec 16, 2020 4:34 pm
Forum: Personal Investments
Topic: Looking for Advice on How to Best Get on Track
Replies: 19
Views: 1247

Re: Looking for Advice on How to Best Get on Track

I worked for a company once that had a tight limit on its 401k for highly compensated employees. Because of this, they offered a deferred comp plan, essentially allowing employees to spread their taxable income across multiple years -- even to retirement -- to take advantage of lower tax brackets. I...
by johnny
Wed Dec 16, 2020 8:27 am
Forum: Personal Investments
Topic: Looking for Advice on How to Best Get on Track
Replies: 19
Views: 1247

Re: Looking for Advice on How to Best Get on Track

Good job putting aside a substantial portion of your paycheck every month! Now the question is where to put it. You would be best served in tax advantaged accounts, but am I right in thinking your employer does not offer 401k? So definitely max out your Roth. The deferred comp plan is a way for you ...
by johnny
Wed Dec 16, 2020 7:26 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: How do bogleheads optimize credit card rewards?
Replies: 70
Views: 5337

Re: How do bogleheads optimize credit card rewards?

It is amusing to see all of the complex card arrangements that people have. Wouldn't be workable for my wife and I. For a long time we had only one card with no bonuses that we tried not to use. Now we have a 2% card for medical and other large purchases and an Amex travel points card for groceries ...
by johnny
Wed Dec 16, 2020 7:02 am
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Taylor Sends His Best to Fellow Bogleheads
Replies: 334
Views: 26596

Re: Taylor Sends His Best to Fellow Bogleheads

Taylor,

Very glad to hear the news that your treatment has been successful and you are back home. Thank you for your vision and contributions to this community! I and my family have benefitted immensely in just a short time from the knowledge that is shared here. God bless!

Johnny
by johnny
Fri Dec 11, 2020 9:56 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: When are annual bonuses usually paid?
Replies: 42
Views: 2548

Re: When are annual bonuses usually paid?

TomatoTomahto wrote: Fri Dec 11, 2020 6:55 am We have, with various employers, gotten bonuses (cash and RSUs) paid/granted in January, February, and March.

OP, just ask HR. You’re entitled to plan your finances. Nothing weird about it.
+1

If you feel uncomfortable asking your manager about these details, get the info from the source.
by johnny
Wed Dec 09, 2020 7:24 am
Forum: Personal Investments
Topic: How many people here literally use the three-fund portfolio?
Replies: 102
Views: 7787

Re: How many people here literally use the three-fund portfolio?

3 fund portfolio, plus CDs for me. Occasionally I go through a phase of researching another asset class (e.g REIT). Then I re-read my IPS which says I will not overweight any sectors :)
by johnny
Sun Dec 06, 2020 1:00 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: How much do you spend on gifts for the holidays?
Replies: 73
Views: 4325

Re: How much do you spend on gifts for the holidays?

For our family

$500 for immediate family
$500 for extended
$100-200 for friends

We give to charities throughout the year. Some years this is more than others, but not like other families that seem to hold off on big purchases until the end of year and call it a Christmas present.
by johnny
Sun Nov 29, 2020 6:00 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Why Would All Four Tires Have Slow Air Leaks?
Replies: 84
Views: 7168

Re: Why Would All Four Tires Have Slow Air Leaks?

joeblow wrote: Sun Nov 29, 2020 5:09 pm My first thought would be valve stems. I'd start there with a reputable tire shop. If you really want to "diagnose the problem" yourself you could get out the soapy water and look for the leaks.
+1
by johnny
Tue Nov 24, 2020 8:26 am
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Humble Dollar Post Today - Whaaaa? ["Evasive Action", authored by John Lim]
Replies: 19
Views: 2630

Re: Humble Dollar Post Today - Whaaaa? ["Evasive Action", authored by John Lim]

I believe the key to the article is the first two words DEAR FAMILY. Bogleheads have already figured out their int'l weights and probably don't own tons of FAANG shares, but plenty of investors are chasing yield. So for a typical investor that is now overweight on SP500 and NASDAQ stocks, this makes...
by johnny
Tue Nov 17, 2020 7:00 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Retirement fund withdrawal help!!! and tax implication
Replies: 6
Views: 821

Re: Retirement fund withdrawal help!!! and tax implication

I don't have any knowledge of SC taxes, but it is common for pension lump sum withdrawals to withhold a flat rate for the IRS when they are not rolled over to a tax deferred account. Your final tax rate will be determined when you file your taxes, with payment or refund as appropriate. If you think ...
by johnny
Sat Nov 14, 2020 7:40 pm
Forum: Personal Investments
Topic: Thinking of Selling my Bonds
Replies: 29
Views: 2633

Re: Thinking of Selling my Bonds

Reasons I still hold VBTLX: 1) contains a variety of durations. I can't necessarily foresee my horizon, so variety is good. 2) better yield than short to mid term treasuries 3) Not too heavy on corporates so correlation with stock market is reduced 4) get to own all of the good bonds purchased by Va...
by johnny
Thu Nov 12, 2020 1:45 pm
Forum: Personal Investments
Topic: Rebalancing of Trad IRA
Replies: 8
Views: 560

Re: Rebalancing of Trad IRA

Total Bond Market -- VBTLX (mutual fund) or BND (ETF). Perfect addition to a traditional IRA. :)
by johnny
Fri Nov 06, 2020 6:17 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: If retired, what is the quotient of the market value of your home and your net worth?
Replies: 93
Views: 6079

Re: If retired, what is the quotient of the market value of your house and your net worth?

Not sure if I’m retired or not (I’m certainly not working), but: 10% or less. House is paid off. This made me laugh because I'm in the same boat. Underemployed is more accurate for me. To answer the question, 0% (renter), but when I do buy another house, which I believe will modestly reduce expense...
by johnny
Sun Nov 01, 2020 6:15 am
Forum: Personal Investments
Topic: Asking for advice due to restarting accumulation
Replies: 9
Views: 1363

Re: Asking for advice due to restarting accumulation

Welcome to the forum! Here's a post that you can refer to in order to lay out your situation for others to give you the best feedback: https://www.bogleheads.org/forum/viewtopic.php?f=1&t=6212 When I read your post I see 5% Total Stock market and 5% Total Bond. Did you mean 50/50? Thought there ...
by johnny
Sat Oct 31, 2020 11:19 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: What Numbers Really Matter in Choosing Health Insurance?
Replies: 21
Views: 1679

Re: What Numbers Really Matter in Choosing Health Insurance?

For those more spreadsheet inclined, there is a great tool on the "Tools and Calculators" page called the Personal Finance Toolbox. I really only use it for Healthcare plan analysis.

https://www.bogleheads.org/wiki/Tools_and_calculators
by johnny
Wed Oct 28, 2020 7:13 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Car loan or cash
Replies: 26
Views: 1795

Re: Car loan or cash

1) Estimate your cost per mile compared to a used car
2) compare depreciation loss in the first three years to your interest charges

Then you will know that the low loan rate doesn't matter too much
by johnny
Wed Oct 28, 2020 6:42 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Family finance courses or methods / convincing a spouse (long)
Replies: 84
Views: 5460

Re: Family finance courses or methods / convincing a spouse (long)

I agree with the comments about more communication on priorities and pay yourself first. My wife has very different thinking about money than I do and despite her disregard for financial planning, she pulls me in the direction of moderation. Earlier this year she planned a weekend getaway with our a...
by johnny
Wed Oct 28, 2020 6:23 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Amazon Prime Retention Rates
Replies: 69
Views: 6447

Re: Amazon Prime Retention Rates

I quit Prime six months ago but it remains to be seen whether I can continue. Since Amazon is so aggressive at pushing Prime, DW has a habit of rejoining any time she orders. For a while we had double-prime for our household 🙄
by johnny
Mon Oct 26, 2020 7:13 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Potential job loss at 62
Replies: 37
Views: 4275

Re: Potential job loss at 62

You might seriously consider selling your house to free up cash, rent for a while or buy a smaller house. It's a seller's market where I am. I sold last year before the recession and now rent. Lost my job in the spring, but monthly rent is appreciably less than my mortgage payment was and I have fle...
by johnny
Sat Oct 24, 2020 5:16 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Wireless keyboard and mouse
Replies: 22
Views: 1310

Re: Wireless keyboard and mouse

I purchased a Logitech mouse that connects thru unifying receiver. Had spotty connection from the start and was ready to replace. Then I read that Logitech's wireless dongle can experience interference from nearby USB 3.0 ports. I attached the dongle to a USB extension cord moving it away from the o...
by johnny
Fri Oct 23, 2020 5:48 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Change of Career HELP
Replies: 11
Views: 1633

Re: Change of Career HELP

I don't have a specific recommendation for you except that a book I'm reading currently may be helpful as you assess your direction forward. It's called "Designing Your Life" by Burnett and Evans. So far I'm finding it helpful as I tweak my own career direction. The design metaphor may als...
by johnny
Fri Oct 16, 2020 6:50 am
Forum: Personal Investments
Topic: Should I rollover my 401k to an IRA? Same fund choices in both.
Replies: 4
Views: 486

Re: Should I rollover my 401k to an IRA? Same fund choices in both.

If you're already retired then there is probably not much difference in the accounts. 401k does offer the potential to use the rule of 55 for withdrawal.

I rolled my 401k over to an existing tIRA just for simplicity.
by johnny
Fri Oct 16, 2020 6:40 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Replacement Wi-Fi 6 Router
Replies: 53
Views: 5117

Re: Replacement Wi-Fi 6 Router

+1 on comments to look into your ISP service. I did a wifi upgrade earlier this year because of zoom problems only to find that I needed a bandwidth upgrade instead.
by johnny
Mon Oct 12, 2020 1:47 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Is 3-4 Fund Portfolio still relevant?
Replies: 11
Views: 1006

Re: Is 3-4 Fund Portfolio still relevant?

I think that imaginary portfolio drawdowns are somewhat helpful for deciding your bond allocation, but I actually prefer the "time to recover" metric myself. The article below has a chart showing number of trading days needed to recover after a market downturn. Some people don't have the p...
by johnny
Fri Oct 02, 2020 11:34 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Trail sneakers
Replies: 59
Views: 3840

Re: Trail sneakers

Hi, I’m hiking 5 miles each day in the woods, the ground is getting slippery with leaves and such. Looking for a light pair of trail sneakers, not hiking boots, have those,, Thanks! Consider the sale brookes cascadia. (the $65 ones if they have your size) I bought an on sale pair a few versions ago...
by johnny
Thu Oct 01, 2020 7:21 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Unemployment/severance when to apply
Replies: 5
Views: 407

Re: Unemployment/severance when to apply

As a New Yorker, also on severance, I was advised that I could apply for unemployment benefits once my severance payments ran out. In my case severance is equivalent to full pay from my former employer for the severance period. This is different than the SUB package the other poster mentioned. With ...
by johnny
Sat Sep 26, 2020 7:36 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: At what networth is okay to splurge on a 200k car ? (Tesla roadster)
Replies: 159
Views: 10976

Re: At what networth is okay to splurge on a 200k car ? (Tesla roadster)

The title of this post reminded me of this story recounted in a NY Times article below. When one of his employees drives up in a new 90k car, Mitt Romney tells him that he wishes he could afford something like that. At the time Romney had an estimated net worth of $200M. https://www.nytimes.com/2011...
by johnny
Fri Sep 18, 2020 7:21 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Where to put emergency fund money?
Replies: 20
Views: 1996

Re: Where to put emergency fund money?

Lots of ideas on this in the wiki: https://www.bogleheads.org/wiki/Emergency_fund

I keep mine split between high yield savings account and no penalty CDs.
by johnny
Thu Sep 10, 2020 4:10 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: How to stop judging how other people spend/invest
Replies: 76
Views: 5083

Re: How to stop judging how other people spend/invest

A friend of mine is a personal financial advisor and one of the most frugal people I know. I was talking with him about his business and he told me about one client that shared their annual budget for wine was about $5k. I asked how could anybody spend that much on wine and he just shrugged it off. ...
by johnny
Wed Sep 09, 2020 2:57 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: [Marcus Savings Account - Interest rate is now 0.5%]
Replies: 230
Views: 30868

Re: [Marcus Savings Account - Interest rate is now 1.7%]

epicahab wrote: Wed Sep 09, 2020 2:27 pm I wonder when the Fed is going to change this trend.
Assuming the Fed does nothing to interest rates (target 0 - 0.25%), how low does Marcus savings rate go?
by johnny
Mon Sep 07, 2020 5:43 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Need some advice for buying my first flat screen TV.
Replies: 75
Views: 5015

Re: Need some advice for buying my first flat screen TV.

brad.clarkston wrote: Mon Sep 07, 2020 1:01 pm The TCL 5-Series (4K TV with HDR - about $400) or the or Vizio M-Series Quantum (the same) is good TV's to look at in your price range.
I'll vouch for the M series Vizio. Bought one a couple years ago, 50", great price. Note that it does not have a tuner (for those interested in OTA)
by johnny
Sat Aug 29, 2020 5:30 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: AAA dropping Renters insurance for NY residents
Replies: 21
Views: 1470

Re: AAA dropping Renters insurance for NY residents

Renter with USAA here. They seem to have good coverage. I'm insured up to $50,000.

I haven't submitted the claim yet, but my daughter submitted a claim to USAA a couple years ago. She got full reimbursement for her stolen camera.
by johnny
Mon Aug 24, 2020 2:58 pm
Forum: Personal Investments
Topic: What to do/read/follow if retiring in 8-10 years?
Replies: 20
Views: 2055

Re: What to do/read/follow if retiring in 8-10 years?

Jane Quinn Bryant's book: "How to Make your Money Last" is a good one. It covers many aspects - Social Security, Medicare, Estate Planning, etc. +1 This book more than others helped me understand the mechanics of living off of retirement savings, what options exist to manage expenses, and...