Search found 832 matches

by illumination
Tue Sep 29, 2020 12:58 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Purchasing a lake house with my parents
Replies: 31
Views: 2462

Re: Purchasing a lake house with my parents

Could you have their ownership set aside as "your" portion of the inheritance so it could then get a stepped up basis? With say your siblings getting something else? For the record, I think sharing a family rental is a terrible idea. I can see all of your siblings with their families using "mom and ...
by illumination
Tue Sep 29, 2020 11:12 am
Forum: Personal Investments
Topic: Contribute to HSA and invest - but with high fees?
Replies: 13
Views: 541

Re: Contribute to HSA and invest - but with high fees?

It's an easy call to make, do it. Just the dividends from a total market fund will pay for it. $2,200 x 1.8% dividend = $39.60 As that balance grows, the earnings will far outpace this fee. Just remember, it was only like a year ago discount brokers were charging like $3-$5 for a single trade. $2.95...
by illumination
Sun Sep 27, 2020 2:32 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Joe Montana vs S&P since 1981 $1 invested
Replies: 27
Views: 4745

Re: Joe Montana vs S&P since 1981 $1 invested

I know this is tongue-in-cheek, but I just couldn't believe that was really worth that much. When I went on Ebay, that same card has only averaged like a few hundred dollars in actual completed sales. Reminds me of the supposed million dollar beanie baby because some body one time asked that for it....
by illumination
Sun Sep 27, 2020 10:21 am
Forum: Personal Investments
Topic: Scholarship and 529 - withdraw or let it ride?
Replies: 22
Views: 1593

Re: Scholarship and 529 - withdraw or let it ride?

I don't think it makes sense to continue to fund these at $10k a year. What is the actual dollar reduction in state taxes you get from putting $10,000 every year in these? Like $100? I would wait to see if one of the kids goes to graduate school before removing. You also may want to keep the funds i...
by illumination
Sat Sep 26, 2020 12:26 pm
Forum: Personal Investments
Topic: Is a Trust really needed today?
Replies: 18
Views: 1896

Re: Is a Trust really needed today?

I think trusts are heavily oversold, but that doesn't mean they have no use. No offense to our wonderful estate lawyers here that give helpful advice and guidance, but my guess is if you go into most law firms and ask if you need a trust, the answer 99% of the time is going to be yes. Sort of like i...
by illumination
Thu Sep 24, 2020 4:26 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Annual oil changes a must? Car maintenance during these times
Replies: 80
Views: 5570

Re: Annual oil changes a must? Car maintenance during these times

If it's synthetic oil, it's fine. Is it "ideal"? No, but your car is not going to last any longer if you kick it out several more months if you're only putting 1,000 miles a year. The best thing you can do is when you do run it, make sure it gets up to full operating temp to burn off any moisture th...
by illumination
Wed Sep 23, 2020 7:35 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: bare-bones phone and cheapest prepaid plan for a kid
Replies: 53
Views: 3273

Re: bare-bones phone and cheapest prepaid plan for a kid

I used an old iPhone 6 we had with a prepaid Tracfone plan. One year was like $100. I got the sim card at BestBuy for like $1, just take the old one out. Comes with instructions. It gives you like a 1000 minutes of talk and a thousand texts. But since the iPhone goes through iMessage, it doesn't "co...
by illumination
Wed Sep 23, 2020 4:46 pm
Forum: Personal Investments
Topic: How Many Brokerage Companies Are Too Many?
Replies: 45
Views: 2802

Re: How Many Brokerage Companies Are Too Many?

I think having multiple brokerages purely for the purpose of "what if brokerage X is all a big scam" is silly and just extra paperwork and time on your taxes every year. Everything I've read on this subject there's plenty of safety and regulation provided. Multiple brokerages I think offer less safe...
by illumination
Wed Sep 23, 2020 2:54 pm
Forum: Personal Investments
Topic: Examples of High Yielding Stocks that did not cut dividend
Replies: 8
Views: 955

Re: Examples of High Yielding Stocks that did not cut dividend

I believe Kinder Morgan fits that criteria of a high yielder, and the CEO promised not to cut it, but then did anyway. I'm no expert, but my two cents is I feel like EPD is probably the "safest" of all the MLP pipeline companies with the most conservative management. I'm glad I left my "speculative"...
by illumination
Wed Sep 23, 2020 2:42 pm
Forum: Personal Investments
Topic: MYGA: State Insurance Coverage
Replies: 34
Views: 1659

Re: MYGA: State Insurance Coverage

I don't want to thread jack here, but if there are state guarantees, why are people so obsessed with the letter grade of the insurance company? Like I will see people take less interest for an "A" rated company versus a B-. If you are under the state limits (so you'll be made whole, and it's unlikel...
by illumination
Mon Sep 21, 2020 10:36 am
Forum: Personal Investments
Topic: Could a downturn be a good thing for inherited IRAs?
Replies: 15
Views: 1363

Re: Could a downturn be a good thing for inherited IRAs?

One thing would be your age and if you are possibly not drawing a salary in 10 years time because you may be retired, you'd likely be in a lower tax bracket. So it might make sense in that scenario to wait. But if you feel pretty confident you will be in the same bracket or higher within those 10 ye...
by illumination
Sun Sep 20, 2020 5:50 pm
Forum: Personal Investments
Topic: Are there any limits on transfer fees?
Replies: 9
Views: 602

Re: Are there any limits on transfer fees?

There's likely a patchwork of state and federal consumer laws that would open up an institution to all sorts of expensive fines and lawsuits if they went really over the top with closing fees like the $10,000 example. Not to mention it would probably be such a PR nightmare that they would almost cer...
by illumination
Sat Sep 19, 2020 7:01 pm
Forum: Personal Investments
Topic: Need direction_understanding MYGA(multi-year guaranteed annuity
Replies: 33
Views: 2024

Re: Need direction_understanding MYGA(multi-year guaranteed annuity

I've been more curious about these also, they almost seem too good to be true. When I hear the word "annuity" I usually run in the other direction. I also have a few basic questions: Can they be owned inside a trust? So if the state guarantee were say $250k, could a husband and wife each have one in...
by illumination
Sat Sep 19, 2020 4:38 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Elder abuse? Elderly woman sold home for far less than market value
Replies: 50
Views: 4807

Re: Elder abuse? Elderly woman sold home for far less than market value

I'm sure there's a million different scenarios, but I would be inclined to at least raise the issue with the appropriate authorities. If something is "sold" $300k below market value, at the very least, that's a transaction the IRS would like to know about as it's clearly a gift and way beyond the an...
by illumination
Sat Sep 19, 2020 4:25 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Safest/Best way to sell an Iphone 7
Replies: 25
Views: 1147

Re: Safest/Best way to sell an Iphone 7

Cash locally on Craigslist or OfferUp. My biggest issue with Ebay is it's now "seller beware" as the buyer can pretty much void the sale for any reason. And smart phones are a big source of fraud on Ebay where you can get into a "he said/she said". Plus all the seller and Paypal fees. But I still do...
by illumination
Sat Sep 19, 2020 12:56 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: HVAC Service Contracts & Annual Service
Replies: 56
Views: 3266

Re: HVAC Service Contracts & Annual Service

I'm not a fan of these aftermarket "warranty" type services because there's always fine print that seems to screw the consumer. You've come close to buying a new unit when you've paid that warranty over the entire lifespan. And YMMV, but the manufacturer usually has a pretty strong warranty on the m...
by illumination
Sat Sep 19, 2020 10:52 am
Forum: Personal Investments
Topic: My sister — should some of her money be invested?
Replies: 19
Views: 1939

Re: My sister — should some of her money be invested?

Someone that's never really invested their entire life is going to be freaking out the next bear market...and blame you for it. Even if the stock market does "decent" over the next few years, the amount invested at this point for her is going to be pretty trivial in terms of growth. Say you invested...
by illumination
Thu Sep 17, 2020 5:20 pm
Forum: Personal Investments
Topic: How to deal with long distance rental property?
Replies: 13
Views: 764

Re: How to deal with long distance rental property?

I'd also vote to sell it, especially since you clearly don't like being a landlord. Keeping it longer with a property manager will likely mean just a bigger capital tax gain and make an even bigger tax. It really seems like to me the most miserable owners of rental properties are the ones that own l...
by illumination
Thu Sep 17, 2020 10:21 am
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Questions to ask a prospective financial advisor
Replies: 112
Views: 4891

Re: Questions to ask a prospective financial advisor

For people "wired" to want an advisor, the PAS service at Vanguard sounds like the least bad option. A relatively low management fee but you still feel like your hand is being held, they will put you in Vanguard funds, and they won't sell you garbage. That being said, my experience at Vanguard for t...
by illumination
Thu Sep 17, 2020 10:14 am
Forum: Personal Investments
Topic: Please comment on AmericanExpress online savings
Replies: 43
Views: 3025

Re: Please comment on AmericanExpress online savings

I used AmericanExpress for savings for a while, no issues, everything worked like it should. Was happy with the experience.

I transferred to Synchrony a while back for the higher rates, I had an amazing amount of problems, ended up closing it. So not always worth chasing the last nickel.
by illumination
Wed Sep 16, 2020 7:30 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Is it worth to relocate for retirement?
Replies: 140
Views: 13286

Re: Is it worth to relocate for retirement?

I would disagree, "Taxachusetts" has some pretty harsh taxes for certain people. The Estate Tax is especially burdensome, up to 16%, and the ENTIRE estate starts getting taxed if you're only $1 over $1 million. So if your estate is $1,000,001, the entire estate is then subject to the first estate t...
by illumination
Wed Sep 16, 2020 7:14 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Is it worth to relocate for retirement?
Replies: 140
Views: 13286

Re: Is it worth to relocate for retirement?

You need to figure out what your retirement will look like in terms of income, but I don't really buy into the "it all evens out" arguments regarding certain states and how they tax people. There's an ENORMOUS difference between what you will pay in taxes to live in somewhere like CA or MA versus T...
by illumination
Wed Sep 16, 2020 2:31 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Is this guy trying to scam me on a car I'm selling?
Replies: 172
Views: 13744

Re: Is this guy trying to scam me on a car I'm selling?

As soon as I see the opening word "sir" I know it's a scam. That being said, most scams never involve the "goods" themselves being stolen from a seller, it's money. So my guess is it will evolve into paying you over your asking price and them trying to get a "refund" wired back. Most people aren't g...
by illumination
Wed Sep 16, 2020 2:25 pm
Forum: Personal Investments
Topic: Opinions on 100% into VGT and QQQ
Replies: 33
Views: 2542

Re: Opinions on 100% into VGT and QQQ

It's not a good idea to go "all in" on one sector, especially when your job is in that same sector. Technology and innovation has always been important to the economy, but that doesn't mean they never can do poorly. I don't think the dot com comparisons are really "fair" either, but that doesn't mea...
by illumination
Wed Sep 16, 2020 2:16 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Is it worth to relocate for retirement?
Replies: 140
Views: 13286

Re: Is it worth to relocate for retirement?

You need to figure out what your retirement will look like in terms of income, but I don't really buy into the "it all evens out" arguments regarding certain states and how they tax people. There's an ENORMOUS difference between what you will pay in taxes to live in somewhere like CA or MA versus T...
by illumination
Tue Sep 15, 2020 6:26 pm
Forum: Personal Investments
Topic: Struggling Over whether to Sell my Tesla Stock
Replies: 42
Views: 2986

Re: Struggling Over whether to Sell my Tesla Stock

My vote would be sell a large part, or at the least put a trailing stop loss in. Even if you want to make the case the company is currently priced at a reasonable valuation, is there really much potential upside left? Right now the market cap is $419 Billion. Ford is $27 billion, GM is $45 billion, ...
by illumination
Mon Sep 14, 2020 10:56 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: How old is a car that can still be traded in?
Replies: 52
Views: 4169

Re: How old is a car that can still be traded in?

They'll accept almost any car, but where you really get a terrible trade in value is when the dealer knows it's something they can's sell on their own lot and will have to take to a wholesale auction. A 20 year old car should be sold yourself, almost no new car dealership will retail it on their own...
by illumination
Sun Sep 13, 2020 6:36 pm
Forum: Personal Investments
Topic: Anyone successfully living off dividends & interest?
Replies: 204
Views: 19761

Re: Anyone successfully living off dividends & interest?

Most people are just going to have to get used to spending down principal. The people with high net values that could conceivably live off interest and dividends alone are likely also going to have a high standard of living they've become accustomed to and/or maybe live in a HCOL area every year won...
by illumination
Sun Sep 13, 2020 5:41 pm
Forum: Personal Investments
Topic: Sell individual stocks to buy index funds?
Replies: 76
Views: 8458

Re: Sell individual stocks to buy index funds?

I'd probably hold on to them and use the dividends for index fund purchase. I would say take the tax hit if they were real high fliers (like say Tesla) and/or it represented a huge part of your total net worth and it would be financially devastating for you if they fell apart. Maybe do some strategi...
by illumination
Sun Sep 13, 2020 12:45 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Another "They're raising my LTC premium" posts
Replies: 14
Views: 1731

Re: Another "They're raising my LTC premium" posts

I would probably also choose the "decrease the inflation rate" of those options for a lower premium and just use the difference to invest and insure yourself. It's just a personal anecdote and single data point, but when I was helping a family member go through their estate when her husband passed,...
by illumination
Sun Sep 13, 2020 11:25 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Another "They're raising my LTC premium" posts
Replies: 14
Views: 1731

Re: Another "They're raising my LTC premium" posts

I would probably also choose the "decrease the inflation rate" of those options for a lower premium and just use the difference to invest and insure yourself. It's just a personal anecdote and single data point, but when I was helping a family member go through their estate when her husband passed, ...
by illumination
Sun Sep 13, 2020 10:54 am
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Irrational Exuberance- Is completely ignoring all external signals (p/e) and auto-investing monthly ever a bad idea?
Replies: 54
Views: 3950

Re: Irrational Exuberance- Is completely ignoring all external signals (p/e) and auto-investing monthly ever a bad idea?

If we're going to say the stock market has to normalize to a lower PE ratio because that's what it used to be for so long, don't we also have to say that interest rates "normalize" to much higher rates? What would that do to returns if you invested in intermediate or long term bond funds because you...
by illumination
Sat Sep 12, 2020 8:27 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Munis vs. other "safe" investments?
Replies: 35
Views: 2561

Re: Munis vs. other "safe" investments?

I don't think munis are priced appropriately for their risk level, but some here disagree. I wouldn't put all my eggs in one state basket, even if it was a state that I thought was making all the right moves in terms of fiscal management (and CA definitely does not make that list for me). And when s...
by illumination
Sat Sep 12, 2020 10:42 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Financial advisor
Replies: 45
Views: 4825

Re: Would you fire your financial advisor for this error?

I don't think someone should be fired over a simple mistake like this, but I have to question what this person really gets paid to do. They just answered that there was a balance in the account higher than what the condo cost. And then remembered later taxes were also owed on the gains when you sell...
by illumination
Thu Sep 10, 2020 4:37 pm
Forum: Personal Investments
Topic: What to do, if anything, about a single stock (XOM)
Replies: 15
Views: 1443

Re: What to do, if anything, about a single stock (XOM)

Some of the best investment advice I've gotten is "would you buy this today"? If the answer is no, you probably should sell it. That being said, I do believe energy stocks are oversold and near a bottom, but I've thought that before and they went lower. Just not something I want to speculate on and ...
by illumination
Wed Sep 09, 2020 11:49 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Very slow shower drain, plumber couldn't fix, ideas? - Update
Replies: 77
Views: 6184

Re: Very slow shower drain, plumber couldn't fix, ideas?

A decent plumber should not have just "left" shaking their shoulders at water not draining from a shower like that. These are usually a pretty basic problem to overcome, to say you should use a low flow shower head sounds like a really lazy plumber that doesn't know what they are doing to me. Drain ...
by illumination
Tue Sep 08, 2020 4:21 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: What do you guys think of oil extractors?
Replies: 67
Views: 2979

Re: What do you guys think of oil extractors?

I had the "Topsider" model and didn't care for it at all. Just found it to be more work and didn't have enough vacuum to get it all out. A bottom drain really is best, but more and more models seem to be moving to this way of doing it. If you are really set on this type, I would find one that could ...
by illumination
Mon Sep 07, 2020 8:11 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: House sale quandary - under contract!
Replies: 66
Views: 8612

Re: House sale quandary - got offer from neighbor before agent listed house

For me it would completely come down to the offer the neighbor made and whether it's reasonable, I would think you had a number in your mind already. If it hit that number, I would take the neighbor's offer and hire an attorney to draft the deal. A quick check on Zillow for nearby sales should easil...
by illumination
Mon Sep 07, 2020 2:06 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Why do people end up with 10-15 funds in their 401k?
Replies: 59
Views: 4364

Re: Why do people end up with 10-15 funds in their 401k?

It's hard to justify to a client that your services are worthwhile if you put them in a 3 fund portfolio. But if if you have dozens of funds and securities and it's constantly being moved around, a person thinks they couldn't possibly do it themselves. I was helping a family member with their portfo...
by illumination
Sat Sep 05, 2020 11:14 am
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Did bonds really beat stocks over the last 20 years?
Replies: 34
Views: 3677

Re: Did bonds really beat stocks over the last 20 years?

Comparisons like this are so cherry picked, why not just also choose the best performing stocks over the same period since you are doing that with bonds locking in on long term treasuries? And to add to the cherry picking , they also start at 2000, and that's also no accident. Almost like they have ...
by illumination
Thu Sep 03, 2020 6:45 pm
Forum: Personal Investments
Topic: Convincing teenager to invest in Roth
Replies: 109
Views: 5798

Re: Convincing teenager to invest in Roth

To me the Roth IRA is such a gift in the tax code, and one that you "lose" an opportunity with every year, that I think I would put money in there even if my kid wasn't mature enough to see the merit in it now (assuming this wasn't a financial hardship for the family to contribute) Not much differen...
by illumination
Thu Sep 03, 2020 4:17 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Does dishwasher need to be replaced?
Replies: 16
Views: 1169

Re: Does dishwasher need to be replaced?

We had a dishwasher smoke because a plastic utensil fell on the heating element. This was my first thought as well, it's happened to me several times. If the dishwasher is over 10 years old, and it's not something really high end, I'd just replace it if it truly was "smoking" from something electri...
by illumination
Thu Sep 03, 2020 11:38 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Skipping a Buyer's Real Estate Agent
Replies: 53
Views: 3029

Re: Skipping a Buyer's Real Estate Agent

It's a good plan, except many of the contracts the seller signs with an agent specifies the selling agent gets either 5% (slight discount) or the whole 6% if the buyer has no agent. At least the ones I have seen have that language in there. Maybe have a discount agent that will kick the funds back ...
by illumination
Wed Sep 02, 2020 8:45 pm
Forum: Personal Investments
Topic: When to stop 529 plan...
Replies: 11
Views: 1120

Re: When to stop 529 plan...

I would be careful not to overfund it, I'm sort of in that position now. I really think as long as you're not the type that lacks fiscal discipline, such as if you don't "lock it away" you'll make poor spending decisions, it's better to be a bit under funded than over funded on a 529. The same money...
by illumination
Wed Sep 02, 2020 7:31 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Roku vs Amazon Firestick Content
Replies: 23
Views: 1717

Re: Roku vs Amazon Firestick Content

I just find Roku to be a much more intuitive operating system and just a better user experience. I have owned the major ones Apple TV, Firestick, Roku, and I greatly preferred Roku. The content though for any of the major streaming services is identical, but just know Amazon created the Fire for its...
by illumination
Wed Sep 02, 2020 11:12 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: HVAC Communicating vs. non-communicating and Mini-split
Replies: 19
Views: 1190

Re: HVAC Communicating vs. non-communicating and Mini-split

OK. It has been yet another learning experience. Ever since we moved in from July, we've had 4 different contractors came in. The latest 2 are rather revealing. The next several points relating to an individual HVAC service guy. 1. Of the first 3, including my service guy from previous home, nobody...
by illumination
Tue Sep 01, 2020 10:39 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Skipping a Buyer's Real Estate Agent
Replies: 53
Views: 3029

Re: Skipping a Buyer's Real Estate Agent

It's a good plan, except many of the contracts the seller signs with an agent specifies the selling agent gets either 5% (slight discount) or the whole 6% if the buyer has no agent. At least the ones I have seen have that language in there. Maybe have a discount agent that will kick the funds back t...
by illumination
Tue Sep 01, 2020 12:31 pm
Forum: Personal Investments
Topic: Convincing teenager to invest in Roth
Replies: 109
Views: 5798

Re: Convincing teenager to invest in Roth

It's a hard sale, I know I wasn't thinking about my retirement at 17. And considering most of his real needs are being paid by you, a job at that age is usually just "mad money" to blow on stupid things. He probably doesn't really "need" a job, so in his mind he's working now for something he won't ...
by illumination
Tue Sep 01, 2020 10:52 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Should I get extended car warranty for a 2017 CPO Mazda?
Replies: 19
Views: 1135

Re: Should I get extended car warranty for a 2017 CPO Mazda?

3rd party warranties on cars are almost always a hard "no". They will find all sorts of reason to delay your repair, reject your repair, or not pay the full rate the shop asks for to repair it. There's all sorts of fine print they will exploit. Factory extended warranties aren't usually a great deal...
by illumination
Tue Sep 01, 2020 10:23 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: What are the drawbacks to an Immediate Annuity (SPIA)?
Replies: 47
Views: 2983

Re: What are the drawbacks to an Immediate Annuity (SPIA)?

Suppose I have the following two choices: a) Put $100K in a a mix of bond funds at various maturities b) Purchase an SPIA for $100K (and let the insurance company invest in bonds at various maturities). What is the real cost of the insurance element provided by an SPIA? I wonder if anyone has done ...