Search found 407 matches

by e5116
Sun Nov 18, 2018 8:59 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Help evaluating HSA vs. Standard PPO (Adult + children)
Replies: 2
Views: 249

Re: Help evaluating HSA vs. Standard PPO (Adult + children)

Office visits: HSA : "You pay coinsurance after deductible" Does that mean they cover NOTHING until deductible is met (minus preventative services)? That's how I read it. This is the way HDHPs are required to work. (You do still get the benefit of in-network negotiated rates; if a doctor charges $1...
by e5116
Sun Nov 18, 2018 2:31 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Help evaluating HSA vs. Standard PPO (Adult + children)
Replies: 2
Views: 249

Help evaluating HSA vs. Standard PPO (Adult + children)

Hey All! My wife's company offers an HSA as an option that uses the same BCBS PPO provider as her other options (based on my understanding) and uses BenefitWallet as the administrator. I honestly didn't realize she had the option before, but I am heavily considering telling her to go for it, but wan...
by e5116
Thu Nov 08, 2018 2:15 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Are We In A Real Estate Bubble?
Replies: 112
Views: 13030

Re: Are We In A Real Estate Bubble?

Yeah, in my area, prices for SFHs are currently about at 2004 levels (depending on size/price -- the largest/expensive homes haven't appreciated as much). They didn't rise all that quickly after the 2008 crash....So, I don't think they'll crash as much either if the "national bubble" bursts, but the...
by e5116
Thu Nov 01, 2018 2:31 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Tax refunds expected to be 26% more in 2019
Replies: 52
Views: 5690

Re: Tax refunds expected to be 26% more in 2019

I used the IRS calculator in July and shockingly it had me WAY under-withholding. I increased the withholding for both my wife and myself considerably. We'll see how accurate it is...I'd prefer not to overwithhold for the year, but the calculator frightened me so I tried to be reasonably accurate. P...
by e5116
Sat Sep 29, 2018 6:19 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Credit card charge- fraud or mistake?
Replies: 24
Views: 2394

Re: Credit card charge- fraud or mistake?

Yep agree on both accounts that sometimes the charge location doesn't make sense and that it could also have been an honest mistake and not fraud. I had a charge for a cheap one night stay in a hotel in Wisconsin once that I had never been to (and was living in Virginia at the time). Called the hote...
by e5116
Mon Sep 24, 2018 1:00 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Ripped off by a locksmith
Replies: 75
Views: 5775

Re: Ripped off by a locksmith

Wow, people really suggesting to go through a 7-step process to save $22.50?!? My time is much more valuable than that. I would personally just let it go. Maybe leave a (negative) review somewhere if it makes you feel better or contact the company itself and tell them what happened. This reminds me ...
by e5116
Wed Sep 12, 2018 8:17 am
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Fidelity, Schwab, or Vanguard
Replies: 61
Views: 4300

Re: Fidelity, Schwab, or Vanguard

I think any of the three are great and the differences are negligible. I have had accounts with all three and now use Schwab and Vanguard. I personally still like a few of Vanguard's functionalities that don't exist at Schwab that allow me to invest on "auto-pilot." That is probably largely a functi...
by e5116
Sun Sep 09, 2018 7:28 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: How much do bogleheads save in 529?
Replies: 79
Views: 4705

Re: How much do bogleheads save in 529?

Harvard could easily be free for everybody if they chose to be. They don't (and won't) because it is already AFFORDABLE for everybody. The "sticker price" is only what those with very high income/assets pay. So, I could see schools increasing their sticker price while reducing their students average...
by e5116
Sun Sep 02, 2018 2:02 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Grandchild’s account
Replies: 4
Views: 569

Re: Grandchild’s account

If you want small cap value in taxable at Vanguard, could also consider VIOV (or IJS). It's been pretty darn efficient for that asset class. It also is more focused on small caps than VBR. And it's not as if VBR has been THAT inefficient -- just not as much as VTI or VXUS and the like. Small cap val...
by e5116
Thu Aug 30, 2018 9:34 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Backdoor Roth question
Replies: 2
Views: 283

Re: Backdoor Roth question

Quite a while back, I had been advised to roll over a 401K fund into a traditional Rollover IRA(and have been max-contributing to this IRA yearly). However, I had read that doing this can "block the backdoor Roth option". Is this true? Can I still open a backdoor Roth (or mega backdoor Roth) and fu...
by e5116
Thu Aug 30, 2018 7:23 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Bright Start 529 investment choices
Replies: 6
Views: 574

Re: Bright Start 529 investment choices

Ah did not realize they added that as an option, cool. I believe the IL 529 restricts changing your investment to (twice?) a year. Still probably enough, but one reason a target fund might be preferable. Otherwise, if you're comfortable with 100% equities, I say go for it. The 0.02% expense ratios c...
by e5116
Wed Aug 29, 2018 9:08 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Decent compensation to move to Bay Area CA?
Replies: 290
Views: 22063

Re: Decent compensation to move to Bay Area CA?

Haven't read every post, but wanted to say to please do NOT use GreatSchools "score" as gospel to how good a school is.... They are garbage. Look at test scores, demographics, and other factors to determine if it's a good fit for your family. I realize they are prominently displayed on sites like Re...
by e5116
Mon Aug 27, 2018 6:08 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: IJS significantly beat DFSVX
Replies: 16
Views: 922

Re: IJS significantly beat DFSVX

On morningstar, if you start with IJS and compare it to DFSVX from inception, IJS kills it. If you start with DFSVX and compare, DFSVX actually beats IJS by a little. Is the first not including capital gains whereas in the second it does? I've noticed the same. The performance charts of mutual fund...
by e5116
Sun Aug 26, 2018 9:53 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: What non-Vanguard ETFs will you be looking to buy?
Replies: 62
Views: 6800

Re: What non-Vanguard ETFs will you be looking to buy?

For those of you debating IJS vs VIOV, why not SLYV? Its fees are 10 bp lower than IJS,5 bp lower than VIOV, and has higher trading volume than VIOV. Plus it returns 100% of securities lending unlike IJS. Why wouldn't it be the clear #1 choice among the three? Am I missing something? Something is n...
by e5116
Sat Aug 25, 2018 7:00 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: What non-Vanguard ETFs will you be looking to buy?
Replies: 62
Views: 6800

Re: What non-Vanguard ETFs will you be looking to buy?

If I were still at Vanguard I would be looking to buy iShares, Schwab, Wisdom tree index funds that were not offered by Vanguard or are suboptimal at Vanguard for whatever reason. Some tickers: IJS, DGS, FALN, FNDE, FNDF, IVLU. The list is very short. If you don't tilt away from the market portfoli...
by e5116
Fri Aug 24, 2018 5:35 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Home equity and timing of house purchase
Replies: 17
Views: 2532

Re: Too much home equity?

Assuming I'm happy with the current house, I'd stay put. If for some reason, a move is needed and you can financially afford either, I'd make the decision based on where I'd rather want to live rather than trying to predict future house appreciation (which is very hard to do accurately). In other wo...
by e5116
Tue Aug 21, 2018 9:35 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Is divorce a wise financial move?
Replies: 90
Views: 5115

Re: Is divorce a wise financial move?

You say four digits more in tax. Is this $9,999 or less? Seems like small potatoes to consider a divorce. It is very low 4 digits. I don't have the figure in front of me, but it might have been around 1.5k last year. Either way, it is enough for us to prefer having the money in our pockets. There i...
by e5116
Tue Aug 21, 2018 8:39 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Where to buy engagement ring?
Replies: 61
Views: 4722

Re: Where to buy engagement ring?

Get GIA or AGS certified. Other labs are not as strict. I'd say just the opposite as long as you aren't buying sight unseen. If the diamond is "eye clean" and looks good, you can save money with a lesser certification. Resale value will be poor no matter what. Well theoretically yes, but if you're ...
by e5116
Tue Aug 21, 2018 8:15 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Where to buy engagement ring?
Replies: 61
Views: 4722

Re: Where to buy engagement ring?

Get GIA or AGS certified. Other labs are not as strict. Blue Nile is good to search, but not always the best. Pricescope is a good site but the people on the forum there have extremely high diamond standards (particularly for cut), so you'll pay a bit more at their recommended vendors like Whiteflas...
by e5116
Sun Aug 19, 2018 10:00 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Where to put the first $5000
Replies: 24
Views: 1915

Re: Where to put the first $5000

just do VTI or VTSMX and keep reading about investing. Is VTI better than VTSMX better, in terms of the current U.S. market valuation? they are exactly the same thing. OK. I thought VTI is Vanguard total international. Ha, I could see how somebody new to the game sees "VTI" and thinks it's an acron...
by e5116
Sat Aug 18, 2018 10:46 am
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Automatic Investment in a Taxable Account
Replies: 20
Views: 1963

Re: Automatic Investment in a Taxable Account

I really wouldn't worry about the "tax inefficiency" of mutual funds. As long as you're sticking to total US/intl stock, they're pretty darn efficient. The convenience factor of automatic investing far outweighs it. As stated, at Vanguard, they're equally efficient too. I've had automatic investing ...
by e5116
Thu Aug 16, 2018 10:08 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Seattle- mandatory affordable housing units affect single family home values?
Replies: 47
Views: 3578

Re: Seattle- mandatory affordable housing units affect single family home values?

Ironically, I have a 54-unit five story building that overlooks my backyard and I like it. Admittedly, it was there before I purchased my home and is comprised of $200-$300k condos (which is probably "affordable housing" in Seattle!) And my city actually requires developers to have a certain percent...
by e5116
Thu Aug 16, 2018 9:42 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Teachers Who Have Net Worth of $1 million +
Replies: 105
Views: 13838

Re: Teachers Who Have Net Worth of $1 million +

It very much depends on where you live and teach. I know quite a few teachers. Most do not seem to be concerned so much about net worth. Their pensions are, or will be, 87.5% of salary after 35 years (plus SS in my state) and they are now well into middle age making in the $80K to $95K range. Newer...
by e5116
Thu Aug 16, 2018 5:07 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Almost 30 - Check In
Replies: 33
Views: 3990

Re: Almost 30 - Check In

I realize this is a financial forum, but basically anytime somebody brings up buying an engagement ring, people say it's too expensive and not worth it. The person I'd ask about that is your girlfriend. You know her better than anonymous people on the internet. Many women -- not all -- really want a...
by e5116
Wed Aug 15, 2018 12:43 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: 33 Male, how am I doing?
Replies: 28
Views: 2882

Re: 33 Male, how am I doing?

I think you're doing pretty well overall and should be pleased. One thing I don't understand is that you say you contribute to a Roth but you have only $12k at age 33? You must have just started a couple years ago on contributions to the Roth. Similarly, I'd expect more than $39k in taxable brokerag...
by e5116
Sun Aug 12, 2018 6:40 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Joint checking accounts.
Replies: 26
Views: 2173

Re: Joint checking accounts.

I think a lot of the philosophy on this stems from WHEN people get married. If you're both in your 40s and have had independent careers for a while, you're used to having your own account and may want to keep it that way for autonomy. If you get married young before careers and assets have been deve...
by e5116
Fri Aug 10, 2018 3:19 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Landlord advice needed with section 8
Replies: 38
Views: 3863

Re: Landlord advice needed with section 8

Maybe they are a nice family, but they are unable to pay the market rent. They need either a benevolent landlord who wants to accept below market rent, or they will have to move to a lower cost abode. Good behavior alone does not qualify them as good tenants if they cannot afford to pay the market ...
by e5116
Tue Aug 07, 2018 4:51 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: VIOV + VSIAX
Replies: 9
Views: 933

Re: VIOV + VSIAX

I've historically held VSIAX but recently moved to VIOV for more small cap value exposure in my tax deferred accounts. However, because of large unrealized gains in taxable, I still have a decent chunk of VSIAX. I think it's fine that I have both, but isn't a concerted strategy on my side. Although ...
by e5116
Tue Jul 31, 2018 10:28 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Index Funds - Schwab and Vanguard
Replies: 7
Views: 762

Re: Index Funds - Schwab and Vanguard

Schwab International Index is not the same as Vanguard's as it's only Developed Markets Large Cap (excludes small caps and emerging markets). So, you'd have to use Schwab ETFs to fill the void. I agree with others and wouldn't choose Schwab just because it's expense ratios are a tiny bit lower. It's...
by e5116
Mon Jul 23, 2018 11:48 am
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: New 401k, help with picking fund.
Replies: 9
Views: 672

Re: New 401k, help with picking fund.

Stick with Target date. The difference in fees is really negligible. Both are extremely cheap. Go with what is simple.
by e5116
Sun Jul 22, 2018 7:33 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: 529 strategy?
Replies: 17
Views: 1215

Re: 529 strategy?

Based on my experience, Lotus 123/post 6 offers great advice, "My kiddo is about 1. I signed up for her 529 earlier this year with Vanguard. I do live in a state with a state tax deduction and its own 529 (which is not Vanguard). However, my state's 529 plan has pretty high fees. I chose Vanguard d...
by e5116
Mon Jul 16, 2018 9:26 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Families - What's your total annual credit card spend?
Replies: 92
Views: 7434

Re: Families - What's your total annual credit card spend?

Well, when I have $40k+ in daycare costs (two children) that can be paid via credit card (starting in September), things add up quickly! :oops: And business expenses which fluctuate widely, easily over $100k in credit card spend. Probably $70k-ish in personal/family spend historically to increase th...
by e5116
Tue Jul 03, 2018 10:32 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Small Cap Premium Is 5th Biggest In History
Replies: 18
Views: 2316

Re: Small Cap Premium Is 5th Biggest In History

However, the outperformance is basically all because of small cap growth stocks. So, for those of us that skew to small cap value only, haven't seen that much premium this year yet. I do have some small blend funds though. According to Vanguard, YTD as of 7/3: Vanguard small cap value is up 3.53% To...
by e5116
Sat Jun 30, 2018 7:48 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Paying for private tuition
Replies: 14
Views: 1534

Re: Paying for private tuition

We did not pay for 1-12 tuition since public schools were superb. As for using a 529 plan for K-12 tuition, what tax benefit in your state would you get for that? Remember that gains in a 529 are not taxed at the Federal level and losses are not deductible either. If put money in the 529 plan and t...
by e5116
Fri Jun 29, 2018 8:10 am
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Help with Roth and new job
Replies: 9
Views: 494

Re: Help with Roth and new job

As retiredjg said, sounds like there would be no tax benefit to reap by contributing to Trad IRA. The deductibility is income dependent if you have a retirement account through work. AGI must be under $63k for a single filer to be fully deductible. See link: https://www.irs.gov/retirement-plans/plan...
by e5116
Tue Jun 26, 2018 8:20 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Schwab or Vanguard simple ETFs portfolio at Schwab
Replies: 11
Views: 913

Re: Schwab or Vanguard simple ETFs portfolio at Schwab

Agreed that Schwab ETFs are the way to go for a simple three fund portfolio (although would be four at Schwab since they don't have total international in a single fund -- need to hold SCHF Developed Markets and SCHE Emerging and possibly SCHC small too). Only time I might say Vanguard ETFs at Schwa...
by e5116
Sun Jun 24, 2018 7:00 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: When did you start flying business class?
Replies: 155
Views: 12886

Re: When did you start flying business class?

High 6-figures is more than $666,000 a year to me, so with only $12K monthly expenses, I'd say go for first class. I thought the same thing. If someone is making >$500,000 and complaining about $24,000 in airfare -- especially when they said they hate flying coach -- they need a bit of a reality-ch...
by e5116
Sat Jun 23, 2018 10:38 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: When did you start flying business class?
Replies: 155
Views: 12886

Re: When did you start flying business class?

For cross country domestic flights we purchase three seats for the two of us. This makes a big difference for reasonable (to me) cost. On one of our recent trips, two business/first class tickets were less expensive and included luggage. That was our first time and does make you want to repeat. My ...
by e5116
Tue Jun 19, 2018 2:35 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Article on hotel booking sites - no bargains
Replies: 38
Views: 4255

Re: Article on hotel booking sites - no bargains

I mostly use airbnb/vrbo now. Much nicer, quieter, cleaner, larger, less expensive with real reviews. Same here, outside of work travel, it is all AirBNB. Question for your AirBnB aficionados: how have you found the price for short stays compared to nearby hotels? I explore airbnb/vrbo options when...
by e5116
Tue Jun 19, 2018 1:04 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Best stroller+infant seat for gravel roads?
Replies: 18
Views: 1261

Re: Best stroller+infant seat for gravel roads?

My wife thought the BOB was too heavy for her to carry (25 lbs), so we went with the City Mini GT (~20 lbs). We've liked it. Perhaps not as meant for major jogging as the BOB (the wheels are a bit smaller but still large), but we've had no problems with it on tough terrain including gravel, rocks, e...
by e5116
Fri Jun 15, 2018 9:03 am
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: 24 years old starting my first rothIRA
Replies: 14
Views: 1264

Re: 24 years old starting my first rothIRA

I would recommend the Vanguard 2060 Target Retirement Fund for your Roth IRA. You can open it with a $1,000 initial contribution. It will be 90% stocks (domestic & international) & 10% bonds (domestic & international). It will move to 50%/50% in 2060, then 30%/70% in 2067. Once you get better educa...
by e5116
Fri Jun 15, 2018 8:18 am
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: 24 years old starting my first rothIRA
Replies: 14
Views: 1264

Re: 24 years old starting my first rothIRA

I would recommend the Vanguard 2060 Target Retirement Fund for your Roth IRA. You can open it with a $1,000 initial contribution. It will be 90% stocks (domestic & international) & 10% bonds (domestic & international). It will move to 50%/50% in 2060, then 30%/70% in 2067. Once you get better educa...
by e5116
Thu Jun 14, 2018 10:56 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Home Sellers - do you read Buyer inspection reports?
Replies: 25
Views: 2441

Re: Home Sellers - do you read Buyer inspection reports?

I've had two experiences as a buyer related to the inspection report. The first the report was terrible and full of items noted. It was so bad that we backed out of the deal, but it was in a multi-bid situation, so the seller didn't really care. The inspector told me to NOT send it to them because t...
by e5116
Tue Jun 12, 2018 9:52 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Forbes: Millennials Aren't Having Kids Heres Why That's a Problem for Baby Boomer Real Estate and Retirement
Replies: 74
Views: 7615

Re: Forbes: Millennials Aren't Having Kids Heres Why That's a Problem for Baby Boomer Real Estate and Retirement

OP, I wonder if your observation would be different if you weren't in Chicago or Illinois. This article came across my newsfeed not too long ago: http://www.chicagotribune.com/news/opinion/editorials/ct-edit-illinois-exodus-population-taxes-20180412-story.html I'm hardly an expert on the matter but...
by e5116
Tue Jun 12, 2018 8:59 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Forbes: Millennials Aren't Having Kids Heres Why That's a Problem for Baby Boomer Real Estate and Retirement
Replies: 74
Views: 7615

Re: Forbes: https://www.forbes.com/sites/josephcoughlin/2018/06/11/millennials-arent-having-kids-heres-why-thats-a-probl

Thanks for linking the article and interesting points RE: Chicago given that I also live in the Chicago area (purchased a home a few years ago in an inner-rung suburb that most would consider the most urban/walkable/diverse in Chicagoland). I have noticed the same thing with Boomers' homes that they...
by e5116
Tue Jun 12, 2018 7:00 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Another home thread: 2mil / 40K in taxes
Replies: 59
Views: 5955

Re: Another home thread: 2mil / 40K in taxes

I have no suggestion but when you quote this earning power at age 32, I would certainly like to know the industry and the job specific so that I can get my future grand-kids in those fields. It is too late for me or my kids to change the careers at this stage. I second that question for my college ...
by e5116
Wed Jun 06, 2018 3:27 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: 529 College Saving question
Replies: 15
Views: 1116

Re: 529 College Saving question

The Bright Start Plan that IL offers is great in that it offers very low cost index funds and you get "free money" from the IL tax deduction. Definitely worthwhile and looks good to me. Yes, you don't want to overfund it and most Bogleheads would say your retirement should come first, but I'm not on...
by e5116
Thu May 31, 2018 4:38 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: How to buy commodities (soybeans)
Replies: 16
Views: 2029

Re: How to buy commodities (soybeans)

To be honest, I've always had an urge to buy pork bellies after watching Coming to America starring Eddie Murphy. To this date, I've been limited to buying them at the supermarket one piece at a time. :D My favorite movie about commodities trading is Trading Places , also starring Eddie Murphy. I d...
by e5116
Thu May 31, 2018 11:42 am
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Renting vs Owning Your Home
Replies: 166
Views: 15055

Re: Renting vs Owning Your Home

ANNUAL COSTS (excluding utilities): RENTING $3,050 * 12 = $36,600 OWNING HOA: $623 *12 = $7476 property tax: $6,044 maintenance: $300 * 12 = $3,600 insurance: $500 inflation-adjusted appreciation: $0 (no appreciation beyond inflation) TOTAL: $17,620 Let's assume for now that these numbers are const...
by e5116
Wed May 30, 2018 8:21 am
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Bond diversification for high tax brackets?
Replies: 4
Views: 723

Re: Bond diversification for high tax brackets?

I personally wouldn't want munis to make up the majority of my bond holdings, but also wouldn't be overly worried about them being a sizable chunk. I also wouldn't go out of my way to hold international bonds, but having some US treasuries and corporate bonds in addition to the munis would be advisa...