Search found 366 matches

by Tortoise
Sat Apr 04, 2015 7:07 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Purchase vs lease solar panels?
Replies: 34
Views: 4818

Re: Purchase vs lease solar panels?

I suppose the corollary is that if we had PV panels installed, an electric automobile could become a much more attractive financial option than it is currently. We do not have an electric vehicle (EV), but our next door neighbor owns a fairly new Chevy Volt. They have a 3.4 kW (AC) PV system that t...
by Tortoise
Thu Mar 19, 2015 4:35 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: transferring UTMA money to ESA - ethical question
Replies: 5
Views: 1099

Re: transferring UTMA money to ESA - ethical question

I could possibly try to do the same thing with a 529 plan - moving UTMA $ to the 529 owned by the child. I did exactly that for our son many years ago. I moved his UGMA money to a Utah 529 account. The representative that I talked to easily handled that. As with the UGMA, I am the custodian of the ...
by Tortoise
Wed Feb 18, 2015 11:06 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: To all: How have you used your emergency fund?
Replies: 40
Views: 5989

Re: To all: How have you used your emergency fund?

We never had a loss of job type of emergency. So far, we have been able to cash flow all other unforeseen expenses.
by Tortoise
Sat Feb 07, 2015 5:59 pm
Forum: Personal Investments
Topic: best taxable fund for out of tax-sheltered investing?
Replies: 4
Views: 695

Re: best taxable fund for out of tax-sheltered investing?

My wife and I have most of our taxable investments in Vanguard's Total Stock Market, Admiral shares. You probably already know that you need an initial minimum investment of $10k to get the Admiral shares. The expense ratio for this fund is 0.05% compared to 0.17% for Vanguard's Total Stock Market I...
by Tortoise
Mon Feb 02, 2015 10:02 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Do retired Bogleheads have rising net assets?
Replies: 42
Views: 6812

Re: Do retired Bogleheads have rising net assets?

littlebird wrote:... spouse has now hit the wall of old age/very high non-insured medical/maintenance costs. :(
Sorry to hear that.
by Tortoise
Fri Jan 16, 2015 2:15 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Biking in So. California
Replies: 9
Views: 1087

Re: Biking in So. California

If you are in the Santa Barbara area, there are paved bike trails along Atascadero Creek as well as along the main beach at Stearns Wharf. An awesome mountain ride with hardly any traffic is up Old San Marcos Rd, also labeled as N. San Marcos Rd on some maps. The view of the coast is spectacular as ...
by Tortoise
Fri Jan 02, 2015 5:25 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: What will be the biggest investment surprises of 2015?
Replies: 84
Views: 12506

Re: What will be the biggest investment surprises of 2015?

Bogleheads will stop looking for ways to beat the market. They will settle down with a simple, inexpensive, diversified asset allocation that has risk they can tolerate, stay the course, be happy with their returns, and do something unrelated to investing. :wink:
by Tortoise
Mon Dec 29, 2014 8:30 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: What did you enjoy spending money on this year?
Replies: 92
Views: 10660

Re: What did you enjoy spending money on this year?

A Samsung Galaxy Tab S 10.5 for my wife on her birthday.
by Tortoise
Mon Dec 15, 2014 1:38 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: How do you figure out the best location to buy a house?
Replies: 40
Views: 4730

Re: How do you figure out the best location to buy a house?

I bought our home because it was equidistant between work and the college where my wife and I earned our Master's degrees. I told our realtor what area I was interested in and added that the house could not be located on a street with yellow lines (i.e., not a lot of traffic). I wasn't married yet, ...
by Tortoise
Sat Dec 06, 2014 12:58 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: What do you do with Fidelity Rewards?
Replies: 47
Views: 5521

Re: What do you do with Fidelity Rewards?

What do you do with the money from your Fidelity Rewards Credit Card(s)? I decided to buy Fidelity's Total Market mutual fund shares with the money and give the shares to my nephews when they are older. Unless my financial plan is a disaster than sorry kids but your uncle has to eat. Yup, our Fidel...
by Tortoise
Sun Nov 30, 2014 2:42 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Bah Humbug [managing Christmas spending]
Replies: 52
Views: 7299

Re: Bah Humbug [managing Christmas spending]

We give to several of our favorite charities at this time of year, but never to charity cold calls. To help everyone in our extended family with their Christmas budgets, and to keep from going crazy, we made an agreement with everyone to not buy any Christmas presents for any other adults in the fam...
by Tortoise
Thu Nov 13, 2014 12:40 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: More money equates to feeling poor?
Replies: 50
Views: 7955

Re: More money equates to feeling poor?

I keep having to pull back on lifestyle creep. After I got cancer and could no longer work in the yard, my wife kept the yard in decent shape for a couple years, but eventually we hired gardeners. My wife also talks about hiring a housemaid, but I have been able to clean, dust, and run the vacuum ev...
by Tortoise
Sun Nov 02, 2014 3:09 pm
Forum: Personal Investments
Topic: Children's IRA
Replies: 13
Views: 1486

Re: Children's IRA

Even though your kids' total annual earned income would likely fall below the standard deduction, so they wouldn't have to pay income tax, the total FICA tax of 15.3% will still have to be withheld and paid to Uncle Sam. Is it really worth the extra cost and bother to get them an early IRA start? We...
by Tortoise
Tue Sep 16, 2014 10:52 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: New Laptop, need help
Replies: 33
Views: 3343

Re: New Laptop, need help

I am using a ThinkPad running Windows 7 right now. I wanted a new laptop to use for development work with Windows 8.1. I looked on both Lenovo's and Dell's refurb websites for something powerful and affordable. I also wanted one with a 4th generation Haswell CPU from Intel. I didn't find what I want...
by Tortoise
Tue Sep 16, 2014 10:18 am
Forum: Personal Investments
Topic: How often do YOU rebalance and when?
Replies: 39
Views: 3445

Re: How often do YOU rebalance and when?

Like many others, I use new contributions to help stay in balance. I rebalance on my birthday if my asset allocation gets away from my target by more than 10%.
by Tortoise
Thu Aug 28, 2014 10:39 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: If you had an extra $100,000
Replies: 68
Views: 9761

Re: If you had an extra $100,000

pacodelostigres wrote:I'd buy 30k in VWLUX, 49k in VTSAX, and 21k in VTIAX. After that I guess I'd finish breakfast and get on with my day. Not interested in anything else on that list.
I'd do the same thing, although my percentages would be a little different: 50% VWLUX, 41% VTSAX, 9% VTIAX.
by Tortoise
Wed Aug 20, 2014 11:58 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Kaiser vs Blue Shield
Replies: 83
Views: 25409

Re: Kaiser vs Blue Shield

I find it interesting that none of the Kaiser-favorable responders have reported on long-term disease management problems. I have Multiple Myeloma, which is a cancer of the blood plasma. I have lived with it for 5 years. There is no cure, and I will likely die from complications due to the cancer. ...
by Tortoise
Tue Aug 19, 2014 6:44 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Kaiser vs Blue Shield
Replies: 83
Views: 25409

Re: Kaiser vs Blue Shield

My family uses Kaiser. Our plan, provided through our work, does not have a deductible. Our co-pays are $15 per doctor visit, although my co-pays are often waived. We have to pay a little for drugs, but it is typically on the order of $10 for a bottle of prescription meds. We like the integration of...
by Tortoise
Sat Aug 16, 2014 3:44 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: The Funniest Movie Ever
Replies: 227
Views: 24508

Re: The Funniest Movie Ever

I know I'm a bit late to the party, but what about movies by Stan Laurel and Oliver Hardy? Way Out West Block-Heads The Flying Deuces are some of my favorite Laurel and Hardy feature films. There were also lots of great Laurel and Hardy shorts produced at Hal Roach Studios, such as The Music Box, wh...
by Tortoise
Tue Jun 24, 2014 5:24 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: HSA Account
Replies: 3
Views: 515

Re: HSA Account

I have an HSA and I don't have an HDHP. How is that possible? OK, I'm trying to be tricky, but those IRS publications don't always tell the whole story. :) In my case, I have an HSA left over from when I had an HDHP. I don't have that anymore, but still use the HSA funds to pay medical costs under ...
by Tortoise
Sun Jun 01, 2014 8:51 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: A great short documentary on Passive Investing
Replies: 10
Views: 1722

Re: A great short documentary on Passive Investing

I watched it when it came out more than a year ago. It's very entertaining.
by Tortoise
Wed May 28, 2014 10:02 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: New car for commuting, suggestions?
Replies: 14
Views: 1978

Re: New car for commuting, suggestions?

My Dodge truck has front seats with lumbar support. I hate them. My wife loves them. The seat is best for me when tilted back. Her Prius seats have more of a straight back. I like them. She has added a mesh back support to the driver's seat that is uncomfortable for me. To each his/her own. I would ...
by Tortoise
Wed Apr 30, 2014 8:44 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Does everyone have an Emergency Fund
Replies: 51
Views: 6270

Re: Does everyone have an Emergency Fund

We have an emergency fund in the form of 12 5-year CDs that are paying roughly 2%. They were bought from Ally bank back when their early withdrawal penalty was only 60 day's of interest. The CDs would cover our expenses over the course of one year. If need be, we could also tap into our i-bonds.
by Tortoise
Wed Apr 30, 2014 8:38 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Did you tell anyone you paid off your mortgage?
Replies: 338
Views: 53838

Re: Did you tell anyone you paid off your mortgage?

I don't mind telling people if asked. I also tell them that we are now putting the equivalent of our monthly mortgage payment, and then some, into savings and investments. Anyone I tell that to generally answers, "That's great." And that's the end of it.
by Tortoise
Wed Apr 30, 2014 8:32 pm
Forum: Personal Investments
Topic: Are I Bonds a part of your portfolio?
Replies: 53
Views: 6497

Re: Are I Bonds a part of your portfolio?

I continue to buy the maximum allowed each year for myself and my wife. They are part of the fixed income portion of our portfolio. In addition to being tax deferred, earnings are state tax free, which is pretty high in California. They can also be used for allowable college expenses and be withdraw...
by Tortoise
Mon Mar 31, 2014 5:55 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Death of co-worker
Replies: 94
Views: 12927

Re: Death of co-worker

OP, Sorry for the loss of your co-worker. Our lab manager died a few months ago while at a customer's site. He was in his mid-fifties, married, with kids. It's always sad and sobering when someone you know dies. I am closer than many to death because I have an incurable cancer (multiple myeloma, sta...
by Tortoise
Mon Mar 24, 2014 11:58 am
Forum: Personal Investments
Topic: $3000 to invest for 3 years
Replies: 18
Views: 1887

Re: $3000 to invest for 3 years

I know in theory let your investments simmer slowly but I have $3000 to invest initially with $100 monthly contributions. I need the money in 3 years. My risk assessment would be moderate to high for this money. I am considering some indexed funds. Any suggestions or recomedations on which way I sh...
by Tortoise
Sun Mar 23, 2014 7:40 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: how to best support cancer research?
Replies: 9
Views: 1244

Re: how to best support cancer research?

I have multiple myeloma, which is cancer of my blood plasma. There currently is no cure. Various chemo drugs, taken weekly, keep the cancer under control. Some chemo drugs have bad side effects, though, such as increasing peripheral neuropathy (numbness of feet and hands) with use. We sort of selfis...
by Tortoise
Thu Mar 20, 2014 1:50 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Monthly non retirement savings (Poll)
Replies: 12
Views: 1626

Re: Monthly non retirement savings (Poll)

After maxing 401(k)s and Roth IRAs, we shovel approximately $3,400 into taxable investments each month.
by Tortoise
Wed Mar 19, 2014 5:00 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: advice requested from engineers
Replies: 85
Views: 7289

Re: advice requested from engineers

I am a mechanical engineer with BSME & MSME. My company looks for new engineers that have some experience, even if it was just their senior project, that might be germane to the position we are looking to fill. It doesn't really mater what school they attended, as long as it was accredited. Reco...
by Tortoise
Tue Mar 18, 2014 2:37 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: How much do you make a year in Dividends?
Replies: 72
Views: 10412

Re: How much do you make a year in Dividends?

Stock dividends were about 15,600 last year. Dividends were taken as cash and then got reinvested each quarter into asset class that was underfunded.
by Tortoise
Mon Mar 17, 2014 4:33 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Online Wills
Replies: 27
Views: 3848

Re: Online Wills

Last September, I wrote about obtaining state-specific wills and advanced health care directives for free on my blog. These are perfectly adequate for most people who do not have complicated estates.

Create a Will at No Cost

Create a Living Will (aka, Advanced Health Care Directive) at No Cost
by Tortoise
Sun Mar 16, 2014 11:55 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Do you love your job? What do you do?
Replies: 134
Views: 16345

Re: Do you love your job? What do you do?

I have passed up promotion to Associate Principal Engineer several times. Isn't Associate Principal Engineer still an engineer and not a manager? I'm a software programmer and I enjoy my work. I don't see myself retiring early to quit my job. When I retire, I probably will still do something comput...
by Tortoise
Sun Mar 16, 2014 12:36 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Do you love your job? What do you do?
Replies: 134
Views: 16345

Re: Do you love your job? What do you do?

I am a senior mechanical engineer who works mostly on aerospace and on-orbit projects. I have designed and overseen construction of isolators on launch vehicles that protect satellites from damaging vibration during launch; adapters for multiple spacecraft to be carried by a single launch vehicle, d...
by Tortoise
Wed Mar 12, 2014 6:06 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Why is index investing better considering these funds
Replies: 23
Views: 3600

Re: Why is index investing better considering these funds

Do not make the mistake of using the Morningstar Star ratings for comparison. Most all index funds will carry a star rating of 3 stars because they return the index, which is the average return. Active funds that have a 4 or 5 star rating may or may not keep that rating in the future. The stars are ...
by Tortoise
Wed Mar 05, 2014 6:41 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: The 4% rule is in trouble but rescue is on the way!
Replies: 14
Views: 2300

Re: The 4% rule is in trouble but rescue is on the way!

So far, the 4% rule has not failed. Anyone who retired in 2007 has done just fine withdrawing 4% a year. We have had plenty of posts about the "new 3% rule" in 2011, 2012, 2013... Anyone who retired in those years is doing just fine, even if they pulled out 4% (or probably even if they pu...
by Tortoise
Wed Mar 05, 2014 6:29 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: 25x expenses and taxes?
Replies: 9
Views: 1496

Re: 25x expenses and taxes?

I take it as 25x all expenses, in which taxes are part of the expense. You do know that the 25x expenses is using a 4% withdrawal rate, right? There has been a lot of recent talk and articles that this is too high for some people, just right for others, and too low for others. My wife and I are expe...
by Tortoise
Wed Mar 05, 2014 6:14 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: California getaway
Replies: 42
Views: 3339

Re: California getaway

I lived for a year in Monterey and for four years in Santa Barbara. I am within a half-hour's drive of Santa Cruz, so we go there often. We also visit San Francisco and points north every now and then. One of those northern points included canoeing on the Russian River and then hanging out in the wi...
by Tortoise
Sun Mar 02, 2014 10:42 pm
Forum: Forum Issues and Administration
Topic: Format of webpage
Replies: 10
Views: 1995

Re: Format of webpage

The column that was on the left is now on the right. Don't ask me why. Change for change's sake I suppose.
by Tortoise
Sun Mar 02, 2014 7:12 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Time for a new car?
Replies: 26
Views: 1906

Re: Time for a new car?

My wife loves her Prius. She had a 1996 Corolla prior to that. We bought the Prius new to make sure the battery pack would last a long time. My wife almost always gets 50+ mpg, and she's a bit of a lead foot. I think we paid $24k.
by Tortoise
Thu Feb 27, 2014 8:10 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Send text messages from PC to cellphone?
Replies: 6
Views: 793

Re: Send text messages from PC to cellphone?

If you have a Google account, gmail, google calendar, docs, etc., you can use google voice

https://www.google.com/voice
by Tortoise
Mon Feb 24, 2014 7:06 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: How to Convert Someone That Doesn't Want to Be Converted
Replies: 50
Views: 5272

Re: How to Convert Someone That Doesn't Want to Be Converted

Send him this link.... http://vanguardblog.com/2011/10/28/stopping-the-silent-killer-of-returns/ It explains that a 2% fee over 40 years will likely wipe out more than 50% of the value of the investments. Does he want to have 50% less money? Between the link, above, and perhaps buying and highlight...
by Tortoise
Tue Jan 21, 2014 8:59 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Bogleheads favorite Personal Finance/Investing Blog?
Replies: 25
Views: 6028

Re: Bogleheads favorite Personal Finance/Investing Blog?

The Bogle eBlog (Jack Bogle) Oblivious Investor (Mike Piper) Allan Roth on MoneyWatch (Allan Roth) Wade Pfau’s Retirement Researcher Blog (Wade Pfau) Barbara Friedberg Personal Finance (Barbara Friedberg) Save and Conquer (my own personal finance blog) bogleheads.org early-retirement.org Vanguard's ...
by Tortoise
Tue Jan 14, 2014 10:54 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: How do you "Stay the Course"?
Replies: 78
Views: 11228

Re: How do you "Stay the Course"?

Before I retired in '98, I was always panicing. Can you say 1987? Then the Vanguard Diehards site (the predecessor to the Bogleheads) was founded in '98. Good timing for me. Taylor and others led me to the path of "keep cool, man". By the 2000-02 tech crash, I was cool. By golly, it worke...
by Tortoise
Sat Jan 04, 2014 9:32 pm
Forum: Personal Investments
Topic: Rethinking my asset allocation
Replies: 24
Views: 3273

Re: Rethinking my asset allocation

OP is a year older. That's one less year of future expenses that need to be paid. I believe one's asset allocation should get more equity heavy as one moves away along the downhill side of retirement. In some sense, the money will go to heirs or charity. Let it go. Along the lines of livesoft's quo...
by Tortoise
Sat Dec 28, 2013 4:48 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Cash in Your Wallet
Replies: 93
Views: 6368

Re: Cash in Your Wallet

$20 currently in the wallet, but I rarely use cash anymore.
by Tortoise
Mon Dec 23, 2013 11:01 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Did not withdraw enough taxes for 2013
Replies: 35
Views: 3542

Re: Did not withdraw enough taxes for 2013

Grab the 1040-ES PDF from http://www.irs.gov/pub/irs-pdf/f1040es.pdf

Estimated tax payment #4 for 2013 is due Jan 15, 2014.
by Tortoise
Fri Dec 20, 2013 3:47 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Target Credit/Debit Card Hacks - what to do?
Replies: 94
Views: 11549

Re: Target Credit/Debit Card Hacks - what to do?

I called the CC company yesterday, told them I had used my CC at Target during the time in question, and wanted new cards and new numbers. They said, "No problem." Two minutes later, I was advised that new cards were on urgent 2 day delivery. Around 3pm today they showed up, about 30 hour...
by Tortoise
Thu Dec 12, 2013 1:27 pm
Forum: Personal Investments
Topic: What percentage of your income are you saving?
Replies: 208
Views: 23874

Re: What percentage of your income are you saving?

57 years old saving 40% toward retirement. we were saving 50% for past 25 years, but encountered reduction in pay which tapered savings a bit. We also have $200k saved for son's college and have paid off mortgage.