Search found 74 matches

by Michael Patrick
Tue Oct 15, 2019 10:53 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: What frugal thing did you do today?
Replies: 1041
Views: 111449

Re: What frugal thing did you do today?

I needed a couple of new speakers for one of my guitar amp cabinets. I found the lowest price online, and then I was able to use a 15% off coupon on top of that. I paid with PayPal, using one of my credit cards that is currently giving 5% cash back for PayPal payments. Oh, and free shipping. My tota...
by Michael Patrick
Fri Oct 04, 2019 3:53 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: ABLE account for adult
Replies: 4
Views: 445

Re: ABLE account for adult

One of the eligibility requirements for an ABLE account is that the onset of the disability occurred before turning 26. You said you only first saw a doctor for it in the last few years. I guess you would need to be able to document the onset.
by Michael Patrick
Fri Aug 30, 2019 12:44 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Your best deal from Craigslist
Replies: 34
Views: 2376

Re: Your best deal from Craigslist

One evening my daughter threw up all over herself and our couch. My wife was out running an errand. I had a choice to clean either my daughter or the couch, I chose to give my daughter a bath. By the time I got to cleaning the couch, it had been soaking in for 15 minutes. In other words, it was beyo...
by Michael Patrick
Fri Jul 26, 2019 5:52 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: What's Your Credit Card Rewards Strategy?
Replies: 4104
Views: 775201

Re: What's Your Credit Card Rewards Strategy?

I don't have any use for miles or any other reward other than cash. I have a Capital One card that pays 1.5% cash back on everything. This is my main card. I also have a Chase card that pays 1% on every purchase plus 5% cash back on revolving categories. I use this only for any purchases in the 5% c...
by Michael Patrick
Mon Jul 22, 2019 12:11 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Is solar power for your home a worthwhile investment?
Replies: 145
Views: 13726

Re: Is solar power for your home a worthwhile investment?

I wanted to get a solar system, but I don't have enough south-facing roof space to make it worthwhile, and what space I do have is shaded by my neighbors big maple tree for a good chunk of the year.
by Michael Patrick
Thu Jul 18, 2019 1:29 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: SNT (special needs trust) vs. Periodically funding ABLE with another source (regular trust? 529?)
Replies: 17
Views: 862

Re: SNT (special needs trust) vs. Periodically funding ABLE with another source (regular trust? 529?)

Youndo wrote:
Thu Jul 18, 2019 12:42 pm
As a side note, you may also want to look at conservatorship for your younger child, if you haven’t already.
Argh, yet one more thing to think about... Based on the info in this publication from the WI Dept. of Health Services, it looks like guardianship would be more appropriate in our case.
by Michael Patrick
Thu Jul 18, 2019 12:41 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: SNT (special needs trust) vs. Periodically funding ABLE with another source (regular trust? 529?)
Replies: 17
Views: 862

Re: SNT (special needs trust) vs. Periodically funding ABLE with another source (regular trust? 529?)

Perhaps you can direct the Roth IRAs to the SSNT, and send the non-Roth portion to the older daughter? If you don't have enough in Roth, it may be a good idea to do a Roth rollover before putting it on to the SSNT. You probably don't want a normal IRA/401k to go to a trust. They will need to pay ve...
by Michael Patrick
Thu Jul 18, 2019 12:16 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: SNT (special needs trust) vs. Periodically funding ABLE with another source (regular trust? 529?)
Replies: 17
Views: 862

Re: SNT (special needs trust) vs. Periodically funding ABLE with another source (regular trust? 529?)

Just when I thought I had it all figured out... but I guess it is better to know now. My younger daughter has autism. We were planning on splitting our estate 50/50 between my two daughters, with younger daughter's share going into a special needs trust. But presumably at least some of the inheritan...
by Michael Patrick
Thu Jul 18, 2019 8:58 am
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Sustainability of State and Local Government Pensions
Replies: 9
Views: 1453

Re: Sustainability of State and Local Government Pensions

I thank my lucky stars that I wound up working for the state in WI rather than my home state of IL. According to data from Pew, Wisconsin had the best-funded pension plan in the country. That can largely be chalked up to a) design of the plan, and b) the resolve to keep making contributions even thr...
by Michael Patrick
Wed Jul 17, 2019 10:33 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Do you care about your home appreciating?
Replies: 91
Views: 5315

Re: Do you care about your home appreciating?

On the one hand, my house is an asset and I want assets to increase in value. On the other hand, I had multiple reasons beyond its value as an investment for buying a house. A place to call my own, space for a garden to grow some of my own food, space for my kids to play, a space where I can crank u...
by Michael Patrick
Thu Jul 11, 2019 2:42 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Who cuts your hair? And for how much?
Replies: 153
Views: 9552

Re: Who cuts your hair? And for how much?

I have a lot less hair than I used to, but they still charge me full price.

Cost Cutters, $16.95 + $4 tip.
by Michael Patrick
Mon Jul 08, 2019 10:18 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: How warm to set thermostat while away
Replies: 62
Views: 4982

Re: How warm to set thermostat while away

I have a HVAC engineer friend who has explained once you let the house get a lot warmer, it will take a very long time to cool because everything in the house has gotten warmer, including the walls, ceilings, etc. That fact might diminish the economics of turning up the thermostat, at least for sho...
by Michael Patrick
Fri Jul 05, 2019 12:58 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Do you share your net worth with family members?
Replies: 252
Views: 21563

Re: Do you share your net worth with family members?

I don't tend to talk money with my sisters, but I have discussed finances with my brothers. I have discussed our finances with my older daughter. Our younger daughter has autism, and older daughter will be her only family when we are gone. Out of necessity, I've discussed the preparations we've made...
by Michael Patrick
Sun Jun 16, 2019 9:12 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Radon levels in home
Replies: 50
Views: 4702

Re: Radon levels in home

I spend a good amount of time down in my basement. My office is down here as is all of my musical gear. I don't remember exactly what the reading was when I had it tested, but it was over the limit. I had a remediation system installed. They installed an exhaust fan that draws the air up through my ...
by Michael Patrick
Wed Jun 05, 2019 10:37 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Is it Wise to Remove Escrow if Bank Allows it?
Replies: 87
Views: 6049

Re: Is it Wise to Remove Escrow if Bank Allows it?

I'm perfectly capable of keeping track of what my property taxes will be and setting aside the necessary funds.
by Michael Patrick
Tue Jun 04, 2019 11:40 am
Forum: Personal Investments
Topic: Really Bad 403(b) Options
Replies: 25
Views: 1403

Re: Really Bad 403(b) Options

403(b)Wise is a good place to get general information on 403(b)s. It should help you make a wise decision based on the options available to you.
by Michael Patrick
Sun Jun 02, 2019 8:48 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Cutting The Cord
Replies: 24
Views: 2303

Re: Cutting The Cord

We went with PlayStation Vue. I'm mostly a football and baseball fan, and they have ESPN, Fox Sports, MLB Network, and NFL Network. The package we have costs $49.99/month.

We still get Internet and our landline through Spectrum, but losing the TV knocked $110/month off of our bill.
by Michael Patrick
Sun Jun 02, 2019 8:44 am
Forum: US Chapters
Topic: Too much Bogleheads.org?
Replies: 96
Views: 22515

Re: Too much Bogleheads.org?

There is a lot of knowledge here, and one can certainly find themselves down the proverbial rabbit hole. I try to keep it simple. I invest regularly in a few low-cost mutual funds, ignoring the day-today fluctuations in the market and staying focused on long-term goals. I don't spend more than I hav...
by Michael Patrick
Fri May 17, 2019 10:45 am
Forum: Personal Investments
Topic: Help my broker is trying to freak me out
Replies: 94
Views: 14880

Re: Help my broker is trying to freak me out

Also I just did a calculation using nerd wallet if I leave $600k at 1% AUM fee, not including fund fees, over 15 years the total cost is $208k. WOW is that correct. If so why do most people not mange their own funds. Which is the question my partner keeps asking and I don’t know how to answer They ...
by Michael Patrick
Thu May 16, 2019 7:49 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: My 2017 CRV is a victim of the dreaded oil gas-dilution issue
Replies: 1125
Views: 168056

Re: My 2017 CRV is a victim of the dreaded oil gas-dilution issue

The other thing that makes it a tricky decision is that it appears that not all CRVs with the turbo engine have the oil dilution problem. I was talking to my Honda service rep the other night (our daughters are in high school band together...), and he said there are some that are fine and others tha...
by Michael Patrick
Wed May 15, 2019 11:59 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Dealer or Local Mechanic?
Replies: 41
Views: 2071

Re: Dealer or Local Mechanic?

I've been taking my cars to the same dealer I've been buying them from for the last 20 years. And I've been working with the same service rep for that whole time. I've gotten to know him well enough over the years that he called me with tax questions when he was the executor on his Dad's estate. I d...
by Michael Patrick
Fri May 10, 2019 1:53 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Self-Propelled Lawn Mower
Replies: 19
Views: 1103

Re: Self-Propelled Lawn Mower

My Honda lawnmower has never failed to start on the first pull. I mowed my lawn for the first time this season last weekend, and even after sitting all winter it started on the first pull.

Mine is a rear-wheel powered model, and it helps on my lot which slopes at a pretty good angle.
by Michael Patrick
Tue May 07, 2019 12:18 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: How do YOU make coffee?
Replies: 201
Views: 9897

Re: How do YOU make coffee?

During the week, it's a $30 Mister Coffee with coffee ground from whatever beans are the cheapest at the grocery store.

On the weekends we will make at least one round each day in a French press using the same beans.
by Michael Patrick
Tue May 07, 2019 7:51 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Which US city would you move to?
Replies: 74
Views: 7802

Re: Which US city would you move to?

We can bike to the University or the Capitol Sorry this made me laugh. Why would you ever want to bike to the capitol? Do you work there? Have you ever been to Madison? There's actually lots of reasons why someone would want to bike to the Capitol. First off, my wife's office is directly across the...
by Michael Patrick
Tue May 07, 2019 7:29 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Which US city would you move to?
Replies: 74
Views: 7802

Re: Which US city would you move to?

Maybe I'm not much of a dreamer, but I don't have any urge to move from where we are now. We have a nice house, with a big backyard and a decent vegetable garden. We can bike to the University or the Capitol, and we're half a block from a bus stop that can take us there if it's not biking weather. T...
by Michael Patrick
Mon May 06, 2019 9:38 am
Forum: Personal Investments
Topic: Boglehead investing through a major downturn
Replies: 36
Views: 4092

Re: Boglehead investing through a major downturn

I just kept telling myself that the shares I was buying at (what was hopefully) the bottom of the trough were the ones that were going to make me the most money when things turned around. It wasn't easy. My take-home pay took a number of hits, first through unpaid furloughs and then in some pretty ...
by Michael Patrick
Mon May 06, 2019 7:46 am
Forum: Personal Investments
Topic: Boglehead investing through a major downturn
Replies: 36
Views: 4092

Re: Boglehead investing through a major downturn

I just kept telling myself that the shares I was buying at (what was hopefully) the bottom of the trough were the ones that were going to make me the most money when things turned around. It wasn't easy. My take-home pay took a number of hits, first through unpaid furloughs and then in some pretty s...
by Michael Patrick
Sun May 05, 2019 8:44 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: College Expenses
Replies: 232
Views: 13620

Re: College Expenses

Are the funds you've saved in a 529?
by Michael Patrick
Fri Apr 26, 2019 7:22 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Spending down 529 Money
Replies: 22
Views: 2511

Re: Spending down 529 Money

We're at a point where we have enough in a 529 for our daughter to fully pay for her undergrad, with a small amount left over for if/when she chooses to go back for a masters. She's heading for a teaching degree, and for a teacher a masters can increase her pay. Once it became clear that we had enou...
by Michael Patrick
Fri Apr 19, 2019 12:45 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: At what point would you hire someone vs. cut down a tree yourself?
Replies: 88
Views: 3786

Re: At what point would you hire someone vs. cut down a tree yourself?

Do you own a chainsaw? Do you have experience taking down trees? Are there any obstacles (power lines, structures)? I own a chainsaw and have taken down lots of trees over the years, both in my yard and up at my cabin in the Northwoods. I just took down a large tree in my yard a couple of weeks ago,...
by Michael Patrick
Fri Apr 19, 2019 8:33 am
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: American Funds vs Vanguard
Replies: 80
Views: 7012

Re: American Funds vs Vanguard

My wife's employer's SIMPLE is American Funds through a local broker. The sales loads are nuts. The only available fund without a load is a money market. She's maxed out on her VG Roth IRA, so we deposit enough into the money market to get her up to 12% of gross (also counting what goes into the VG...
by Michael Patrick
Fri Apr 19, 2019 7:47 am
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: American Funds vs Vanguard
Replies: 80
Views: 7012

Re: American Funds vs Vanguard

My wife's employer's SIMPLE is American Funds through a local broker. The sales loads are nuts. The only available fund without a load is a money market. She's maxed out on her VG Roth IRA, so we deposit enough into the money market to get her up to 12% of gross (also counting what goes into the VG...
by Michael Patrick
Thu Apr 18, 2019 7:56 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: American Funds vs Vanguard
Replies: 80
Views: 7012

Re: American Funds vs Vanguard

My wife's employer's SIMPLE is American Funds through a local broker. The sales loads are nuts. The only available fund without a load is a money market. She's maxed out on her VG Roth IRA, so we deposit enough into the money market to get her up to 12% of gross (also counting what goes into the VG ...
by Michael Patrick
Thu Apr 18, 2019 7:05 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Gardening 2019
Replies: 113
Views: 10536

Re: Gardening 2019

I'm in Zone 5a. I'll be planting the first of the early stuff this weekend. Not out of the woods for frost yet.
by Michael Patrick
Wed Apr 17, 2019 9:31 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: What is your hobby and how did it come to be your hobby?
Replies: 146
Views: 15553

Re: What is your hobby and how did it come to be your hobby?

I play guitar, and in addition to playing I enjoy buying guitars and amps and other gizmos. I got into it to meet girls. I wasn't athletic or tall and handsome... I got my first guitar for Christmas when I was a sophomore in high school. By the first warm day of spring I had learned a handful of son...
by Michael Patrick
Tue Apr 16, 2019 12:14 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: What Are Your Simple Pleasures?
Replies: 145
Views: 13035

Re: What Are Your Simple Pleasures?

Solitude and quiet in nature is nice and all, but give me a Gibson guitar and a vintage tube amp, preferably a Marshall, cranking loud enough for the neighbors to be able to enjoy it.
by Michael Patrick
Thu Apr 04, 2019 6:11 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Larry Swedroe: Performance Of State Pension Plans
Replies: 46
Views: 5188

Re: Larry Swedroe: Performance Of State Pension Plans

I'm a Chicago native who wound up working for the state in WI. I'm glad I didn't move back home for a job, but stayed in WI after grad school at UW.
by Michael Patrick
Wed Mar 20, 2019 12:25 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: My 2017 CRV is a victim of the dreaded oil gas-dilution issue
Replies: 1125
Views: 168056

Re: My 2017 CRV is a victim of the dreaded oil gas-dilution issue

Motor Trend just named the CR-V #1 compact SUV again (the newly redesigned 2019 RAV4 came in fourth out of eight). I bought my 2018 CR-V new last year and have been following this thread trying to decide what I should do. My oil reads about a half quart high every 5000 miles or so. No other symptom...
by Michael Patrick
Wed Mar 20, 2019 8:43 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: My 2017 CRV is a victim of the dreaded oil gas-dilution issue
Replies: 1125
Views: 168056

Re: My 2017 CRV is a victim of the dreaded oil gas-dilution issue

Motor Trend just named the CR-V #1 compact SUV again (the newly redesigned 2019 RAV4 came in fourth out of eight). I bought my 2018 CR-V new last year and have been following this thread trying to decide what I should do. My oil reads about a half quart high every 5000 miles or so. No other symptom...
by Michael Patrick
Sun Mar 17, 2019 3:07 pm
Forum: Personal Investments
Topic: Mourning the loss of savings rate
Replies: 38
Views: 4552

Re: Mourning the loss of savings rate

The value of her being home with the kids when they were young, and being there when they got home from school, can't be measured by an Excel spreadsheet or calculator. We gave up hundreds of thousands of dollars in compensation. Money isn't everything. This. My wife was able to find a job that was...
by Michael Patrick
Tue Mar 12, 2019 7:09 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Massachusetts Estate Planning
Replies: 48
Views: 3000

Re: Estate Planning

Maybe statistically you have a certain life expectancy. But people die early with no warning, they have strokes or aneurysms, or they get hit by a bus.

Aren't I a ray of sunshine...
by Michael Patrick
Thu Mar 07, 2019 4:48 pm
Forum: Personal Investments
Topic: WRS Additional Contributions
Replies: 27
Views: 1057

Re: WRS Additional Contributions

I've been reading through the brochure, and I'm a bit confused (which isn't that unusual...). Would you get a separate check from the regular pension? It sounded like you can choose to start receiving the payment from the additional contributions at a different time than the regular pension. Is that...
by Michael Patrick
Thu Mar 07, 2019 1:22 pm
Forum: Personal Investments
Topic: WRS Additional Contributions
Replies: 27
Views: 1057

Re: WRS Additional Contributions

Yeah, that's a good point about the interest being taxable vs. growth in the Roth 457.
by Michael Patrick
Thu Mar 07, 2019 1:00 pm
Forum: Personal Investments
Topic: WRS Additional Contributions
Replies: 27
Views: 1057

Re: WRS Additional Contributions

I'm a Chicago native, and could easily have wound up working for the state in IL rather than WI. I'm glad to be in WRS, rather than the IL system
by Michael Patrick
Thu Mar 07, 2019 12:57 pm
Forum: Personal Investments
Topic: WRS Additional Contributions
Replies: 27
Views: 1057

Re: WRS Additional Contributions

Another WRS member here. I knew about the option, but I've never seriously considered it before. I may have to take another gander at it.

I'm maxed out on my VG Roth IRA, but not my Roth 457.
by Michael Patrick
Sat Feb 23, 2019 8:15 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Return rejected by IRS (anyone seen "processing issues" from HR Block?)
Replies: 22
Views: 3365

Re: Return rejected by IRS (anyone seen "processing issues" from HR Block?)

If it was an identity theft issue, it would tell you that.

Don't ask me how I know... :oops:
by Michael Patrick
Sun Feb 10, 2019 6:12 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Cost of college and 529
Replies: 642
Views: 26872

Re: Cost of college and 529

A half hour of Google and I still haven't found the answer to this question... Will a 529A ABLE account for a sibling count as an asset on the FAFSA? I'm guessing no, because the sibling is listed as the owner of the ABLE Account. My younger daughter has autism, and we have a small amount (less than...
by Michael Patrick
Fri Feb 08, 2019 8:28 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Cost of college and 529
Replies: 642
Views: 26872

Re: Cost of college and 529

Vulcan wrote:
Fri Feb 08, 2019 8:02 pm
Uhm... don't you mean "the other 33k"? ;)
Doh... :oops:

I fixed it.