Search found 597 matches

by German Expat
Thu Aug 30, 2018 9:19 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Nespresso?
Replies: 87
Views: 6457

Re: Nespresso?

I was surprised to find the local Target store has capsules compatible with the original machines. They had several blends available from both the Target brand capsules ($5 for 10 capsules) and also 4 or 5 blends from Peets ($8 for 10). I have to get used to US pricing for Nespresso after we return...
by German Expat
Tue Aug 28, 2018 2:05 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Mega Downsize....
Replies: 91
Views: 8499

Re: Mega Downsize....

We were not on your level but moved to Europe to a smaller place from a 5300 sqft house in the US. We had only limited time and I do not like to deal with selling stuff. So what we did was - asked some friends and if they were interested they had to pick up the stuff themselves (only larger stuff li...
by German Expat
Wed Aug 22, 2018 8:46 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Maximizing Tax Advantage of UTMA
Replies: 18
Views: 1841

Re: Maximizing Tax Advantage of UTMA

We just stated a UTMA for our son and transferred some VTSAX with larger capital gains (approx. 6k). It looks like VTSAX is mainly (but not completely) qualifying dividends. For the sake of an example I am using round numbers. Assuming 100 USD dividends with 95% qualifying (we should know by about D...
by German Expat
Wed Aug 15, 2018 10:42 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Anyone have experience with au pairs?
Replies: 21
Views: 4211

Re: Anyone have experience with au pairs?

This depends a lot on the Au Pair but in general the program is meant for 'cultural exchange' and not for lower cost child care or replacing US jobs :-). Thanks for the feedback. It sounds like Au Pair may not be for us. Although I feel there must be many Au Pairs who just want to come to US and ex...
by German Expat
Wed Aug 15, 2018 10:02 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Anyone have experience with au pairs?
Replies: 21
Views: 4211

Re: Anyone have experience with au pairs?

Is the whole "treat like a family member" a requirement or suggestion? I would feel awkward taking them to our family outings and dinners. I would think they would rather use the free time to be on their own, no? This depends a lot on the Au Pair but in general the program is meant for 'cultural ex...
by German Expat
Sun Jul 15, 2018 9:39 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Travel to Mainland China - Cyber Security
Replies: 27
Views: 2568

Re: Travel to Mainland China - Cyber Security

I am currently in China (usually travel there once or twice a year). If you mobile phone is on a foreign carrier then the google tools will work (gmail, maps, youtube etc.). This assumes you have a data roaming contract that is not excessive expensive (Project FI etc). Very useful with maps and publ...
by German Expat
Wed Apr 18, 2018 1:03 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: EXPAT: Strategy when invested in USA and spending in EUROS
Replies: 64
Views: 4567

Re: EXPAT: Strategy when invested in USA and spending in EUROS

1% is pretty good given where Eurozone govt bond yields are (some German bunds are yielding negative nominal yields). Good news. CHF rises, your holidays and anything imported gets cheaper - gasoline etc. Bad news- housing and health insurance and any other big bills get more expensive (relative to...
by German Expat
Tue Apr 17, 2018 10:55 am
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: EXPAT: Strategy when invested in USA and spending in EUROS
Replies: 64
Views: 4567

Re: EXPAT: Strategy when invested in USA and spending in EUROS

Euro (government) bonds have currently a very low return, and do carry risk related to some countries. De to this, Euro investors are often advised on guys forum to invest in global bonds hedged to the Euro (addicts affect through diversification) or in government insured savings accounts (this add...
by German Expat
Tue Apr 17, 2018 6:00 am
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: EXPAT: Strategy when invested in USA and spending in EUROS
Replies: 64
Views: 4567

Re: EXPAT: Strategy when invested in USA and spending in EUROS

I am also a bit curious what others are doing. We are in Switzerland but keep holding all our savings in the US (1/3 in bonds). The assumption is that we probably will return to the US when we retire (who knows though) and therefore do not mind currency fluctuations too much. Also in the US the retu...
by German Expat
Tue Apr 03, 2018 3:21 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Microsoft tech support scam - how to recover?
Replies: 39
Views: 5841

Re: Microsoft tech support scam - how to recover?

To stay on the safe side I would 1. disconnect the computer from the Internet (cable, wifi button or whatever type of computer it is) 2. load all data files that are needed (e.g. documents, pictures etc.) to a USB memory stick, make sure it is only documents 3. get a new install of windows from the ...
by German Expat
Thu Mar 22, 2018 11:25 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Breaking a car lease - can they charge for miles?
Replies: 10
Views: 1231

Re: Breaking a car lease - can they charge for miles?

Any family close by that would allow her to park the car a couple month until the miles wash out and then return it for her to the dealership?
by German Expat
Sat Mar 17, 2018 2:19 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Bought house six months ago - now feeling like we're treading water and can't save money
Replies: 189
Views: 18738

Re: Bought house six months ago - now feeling like we're treading water and can't save money

You are still saving approx. 1400$ per month direct and you are paying down your house to the tune of 474$ per month as well . This is a very respectable savings rate. It looks like you are a frugal. With home ownership and a baby your expenses went up quite a lot and it is normal to have less savin...
by German Expat
Wed Mar 14, 2018 10:55 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Pay cash or go crazy (and take 2.5% loan and invest
Replies: 30
Views: 2755

Re: Pay cash or go crazy (and take 2.5% loan and invest

I am in the pay for it now camp. But I don't like monthly payments except a mortgage. If I can't pay for it now from savings I don't need it (yet). It is not fully optimal from a returns perspective but worked well especially in my younger years (saw plenty of friends with life style creep leasing r...
by German Expat
Mon Mar 12, 2018 3:21 am
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: My portfolio review (Europe/Switzerland)
Replies: 16
Views: 1660

Re: My portfolio review (Europe/Switzerland)

I am an American living in Switzerland (I rather don't comment on the tax issues especially around retirement assets). You will have a large portion of your savings in the 2nd pillar and as you already mentioned you have no influence how it is invested but I would consider it for my total asset allo...
by German Expat
Fri Mar 09, 2018 5:54 am
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Ok fellow bogleheads, was the correction scary or nothing?
Replies: 147
Views: 12031

Re: Ok fellow bogleheads, was the correction scary or nothing?

It didn't even hit my re balancing bands. So not scary but also with the huge run up before it didn't go far enough back to be really scary. I just compared it to 1 year ago and was still way up. The only thing good to know was that I did not change anything and kept the course while it was not so c...
by German Expat
Thu Feb 15, 2018 11:44 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Tax doubts for retirement and moving to the US from Brazil
Replies: 28
Views: 2319

Re: Tax doubts for retirement and moving to the US from Brazil

I don't read the early retirement blogs much anymore (different lifestyle to mine and we both do like our jobs) but used them for a while to see what expenses are wants vs needs. Here are some more examples listed: https://studentloanhero.com/featured/early-retirement-blog-list-save-more/ From your ...
by German Expat
Thu Feb 15, 2018 12:44 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Tax doubts for retirement and moving to the US from Brazil
Replies: 28
Views: 2319

Re: Tax doubts for retirement and moving to the US

Rio Grande do Sul has some great áreas, for sure. The visa would be the investor visa eb5. In a scenario of 20k per year of health care for a family of 4, how much is the out of pocket money maximum that a plan would require to be paid? (Top tier) education costs are also "high" around here, when t...
by German Expat
Fri Feb 09, 2018 3:03 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Residential Address for Vanguard [personal mail forwarding service]
Replies: 19
Views: 1671

Re: Residential Address for Vanguard [personal mail forwarding service]

This thread made me thing about We are living abroad and my drivers license will expire soon (TN). Still paying my federal US taxes every year and US passport.

So would this be an option for expats? Anybody with experience if this makes sense.
by German Expat
Sun Feb 04, 2018 11:14 am
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Soon To be Expat Seeks Advice TIA!
Replies: 23
Views: 1569

Re: Soon To be Expat Seeks Advice TIA!

Agree with txranger, keep an US address (any friends?) and keep a low profile and they will leave you alone. I have a Vanguard, Fidelity and Schwab Account, most investments in Vanguard. I do have a US google voice phone number so they can leave a message. The main reason for me to keep a US address...
by German Expat
Sat Feb 03, 2018 2:18 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: shall I buy Toyota prepaid maintenance service for 2018 Camry
Replies: 37
Views: 3634

Re: shall I buy Toyota prepaid maintenance service for 2018 Camry

"any" is a strong word. While it is generally true that wear items are not included under maintenance plans, there are some plans that do. I've gotten a full set of brake pads and multiple sets of wiper blades out of the 4/50 maintenance included with both of my BMWs. Fair enough... I honestly do n...
by German Expat
Thu Feb 01, 2018 2:12 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: shall I buy Toyota prepaid maintenance service for 2018 Camry
Replies: 37
Views: 3634

Re: shall I buy Toyota prepaid maintenance service for 2018 Camry

Cancel as fast as you can. I made the same mistake years ago falling to a high pressure sales pitch (wasn't used to deal with US sales tactics yet). Figured it out same night at home and canceled next day. Got my money back reasonable quick. It was a Honda CRV and the maintenance probably cost me 20...
by German Expat
Wed Jan 31, 2018 10:42 am
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Cost basis and long/short cap gains
Replies: 26
Views: 1386

Re: Cost basis and long/short cap gains

You should really set it to spec id and then you are the most flexible. It is really not hard to pick which ones to sell. In the cost basis tab on the Vanguard web site it will show you something like this (under show details for each fund) with some made up sample data (lets assume current market p...
by German Expat
Mon Jan 29, 2018 5:11 am
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Really hard to sell when the market is doing well!
Replies: 7
Views: 1757

Re: Really hard to sell when the market is doing well!

Yes, I also find it hard to sell when things are going well. It does help though to have a policy you can follow. Emerging Market is now extremely close to my re balancing band and after a couple recent years of under performance (and buying more) I have a hard time selling it. Single Stocks is not ...
by German Expat
Tue Jan 23, 2018 3:41 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Those who retired and moved to another country, where did you go?
Replies: 12
Views: 3239

Re: Those who retired and moved to another country, where did you go?

And consider medical care, both the quality and the expense. We are currently in Switzerland and basic medical insurance is less then 250 per month (I am 53 years old, basic is mandatory and has no difference for preexisting conditions). Deductible is relative high, first 2500 out of pocket (you ca...
by German Expat
Tue Jan 23, 2018 5:17 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Currency Exchange - Living Internationally Off A US Dollar Portfolio
Replies: 14
Views: 761

Re: Currency Exchange - Living Internationally Off A US Dollar Portfolio

I am living abroad and had to get money a couple of times (mainly at the beginning) from the US account to Switzerland (now the opposite problem). I did use wire transfer (for large amount to get started) and also did use transferwise for smaller amounts (not too attractive for larger amounts with t...
by German Expat
Tue Jan 23, 2018 2:29 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Those who retired and moved to another country, where did you go?
Replies: 12
Views: 3239

Re: Those who retired and moved to another country, where did you go?

I am not retired yet but you can and will get social security payments outside the US (with some country exceptions, e.g. North Korea :D ).

https://www.ssa.gov/pubs/EN-05-10137.pdf

Healthcare is a bit trickier issue.
by German Expat
Tue Jan 16, 2018 3:29 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: GE and the myth of "safe blue-chip stocks"
Replies: 140
Views: 21475

Re: GE and the myth of "safe blue-chip stocks"

Is this correct?? Vanguards Total Stock Market Index Fund (VTSAX) has only market risk. GE (or any individual stock) has both market risk and Individual company risk (or unsystematic risk, or idiosyncratic risk). 1210 I don't think that's correct. VTSAX has the individual companies in it - so, it h...
by German Expat
Tue Jan 16, 2018 9:35 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: PTO policy after international business travel
Replies: 53
Views: 3711

Re: PTO policy after international business travel

Anyone I know who “travels” for work hates it Because it’s work, not a vacation, with time zone / sleep disturbance and the expectation that they return to “normal work” the day after they return - generally exhausted and feeling like they need an actual vacation I disagree but maybe you didn't mee...
by German Expat
Tue Jan 16, 2018 8:19 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Considering PhD...but so much to consider...
Replies: 51
Views: 4149

Re: Considering PhD...but so much to consider...

My wife did her PhD many years ago and is now a tenured professor (at a business school). I am not too familiar with your field and can only compare it to people working in her field. For her field a PhD when you do not stay in academia is usually not worth it. She likes her job but by no means does...
by German Expat
Mon Jan 15, 2018 1:42 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: PTO policy after international business travel
Replies: 53
Views: 3711

Re: PTO policy after international business travel

I still travel a lot (around 5-8 intercontinental flights) and used to do 12-15 (mainly Europe but also China, India etc.). Some of them with 12 hour time change. Best is what a lot of others already stated, try to change your sleep a bit ahead of time and when you come back home try to sleep at the...
by German Expat
Mon Jan 15, 2018 10:57 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Recommend an A.C. powered auto tire inflator
Replies: 43
Views: 3213

Re: Recommend an A.C. powered auto tire inflator

I had a portable jump starter with air compressor built in. Worked well with the 3 cars we had and it did have a digital display with a maximum setting. The compressor is loud and not very powerful but does its job. Even when changing to snow tires on all 3 cars the battery was big enough to do all ...
by German Expat
Mon Jan 08, 2018 10:08 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: any success buying a car at lease end?
Replies: 25
Views: 2677

Re: any success buying a car at lease end?

There should be a price visible if you want to buy the car at the end of the lease (also possible even during the lease). Just call them and ask what the price is. When we moved to Europe we had a lease on a BMW with 2 years left (longer story, not the smartest decision but who knew we would move) s...
by German Expat
Fri Jan 05, 2018 8:23 am
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: 86 year old mother wants to break away from financial adviser..
Replies: 8
Views: 1445

Re: 86 year old mother wants to break away from financial adviser..

I would be very reluctant to get involved. It looks like she likes her stock market and looks at data and information. What if you would have recommended her a 50/50 portfolio 5 years ago and then she compared her results to the last 5 years stock market returns? Would she blame you then instead of ...
by German Expat
Thu Jan 04, 2018 5:11 am
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Hitting The Sell Button
Replies: 226
Views: 29633

Re: Hitting The Sell Button

It's really interesting how the grass is always greener on the other side! Early 30's here. And guess what? Although I do not really want to be older. I can not help but envying these older investors who got a great bull market during their more critical years of investing. Yes, my 90/10 AA has pro...
by German Expat
Thu Jan 04, 2018 2:41 am
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Can no longer invest in Vanguard admiral funds in Chase account. Suggestions?
Replies: 53
Views: 6978

Re: Can no longer invest in Vanguard admiral funds in Chase account. Suggestions?

Just keep the existing funds at Chase and open a Vanguard account as well to invest there into Admiral shares (assuming you can invest the minimums).
by German Expat
Thu Jan 04, 2018 2:01 am
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Hitting The Sell Button
Replies: 226
Views: 29633

Re: Hitting The Sell Button

I feel your pain. All our dividends and new money go into bonds and it is barely enough to keep our planned 33% bond allocation inside the re balancing bands. More or less all our funds have capital gains. A luxury problem to have and I enjoy it while we can.
by German Expat
Wed Jan 03, 2018 11:56 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Recommend me a backpack for business use
Replies: 21
Views: 1749

Re: Recommend me a backpack for business use

I am travelling a lot for business and like backpacks. I am using Tumi for years and currently use the following: https://www.tumi.com/p/tumi-t-pass%C2%AE-business-class-brief-pack%C2%AE-026578D2 I bought it after the TSA allowed to leave your laptop in if it is a T-Pass backpack (unfortunately neve...
by German Expat
Thu Dec 14, 2017 2:47 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: How to find a good realtor that negotiates well
Replies: 21
Views: 1801

Re: How to find a good realtor that negotiates well

My experience up to now was that it is best if you negotiate yourself. The realtor is interested to make a sell, for him a sure and fast sell is much better then holding out for some more money or negotiating on your behalf. This is true on the buyer and seller end. One house we bought the realtor t...
by German Expat
Thu Dec 07, 2017 1:51 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: When Bitcoin blows-up
Replies: 55
Views: 5492

Re: When Bitcoin blows-up

I would not be so sure if there won't be any meaningful impact at least in some countries. And with the world economy being quite connected there could be some (probably not huge) spill over effects. e.g. read here about South Korea: https://www.bloomberg.com/news/articles/2017-12-06/bitcoin-frenzy-...
by German Expat
Tue Dec 05, 2017 6:42 am
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: The "petro," a Venezuelan oil-backed cryptocurrency
Replies: 32
Views: 2730

Re: The "petro," a Venezuelan oil-backed cryptocurrency

I would be way too worried about a 51% attack if some nation state (especially a state like Venezuela) controls the majority of the mining power. I can't imagine anybody else mining for them on a larger scale.

https://learncryptography.com/cryptocurrency/51-attack
by German Expat
Fri Dec 01, 2017 3:35 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Should I consider a travel Credit Card?
Replies: 44
Views: 7129

Re: Should I consider a travel Credit Card?

I would take most (all?) travel bloggers recommendations with a grain of salt. E.g. Brian Kelly sold The Points Guy (TPG) to bankrate a couple years ago already and they are not always showing the best offers for credit cards. I would trust Flyertalk posts a bit more (Flyertalk though was also sold ...
by German Expat
Fri Dec 01, 2017 5:30 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Should I consider a travel Credit Card?
Replies: 44
Views: 7129

Re: Should I consider a travel Credit Card?

If you want to use miles to get 'free' tickets (would not call them exactly free though) with the amount you are spending it will not be worth it. The main trick is to churn cards or spending to get enough miles. As an example flying with United from the US to Europe (assuming you can not fly on Uni...
by German Expat
Tue Nov 28, 2017 4:59 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Tesla truck unveil
Replies: 142
Views: 10910

Re: Tesla truck unveil

For us as a consumer wanting to buy good electric cars Tesla is great. Without Tesla you would not see the speed of development you do now with all other brands around electric cars. They also push self driving forward (even if Tesla does not deliver themselves yet). If it will be great for investor...
by German Expat
Fri Nov 17, 2017 6:31 am
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: The World's Negative Interest Rate Experiment
Replies: 34
Views: 3885

Re: The World's Negative Interest Rate Experiment

I'm curious if retail clients and the average person on the street ever saw negative interest rates on their deposits? Or is this the negative rate primarily between the central bank and other lending institutions? Not the average person but my bank in Switzerland has a negative interest rate on ac...
by German Expat
Thu Nov 16, 2017 2:57 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Basement heating
Replies: 12
Views: 959

Re: Basement heating

Try to run the fan on your HVAC full time for a couple hours and see if this balances the temperature. Also do you have a return in your basement? We added a return to our basement and both things together worked well. We programmed it then only for the weekends when we used our basement a bit more....
by German Expat
Sun Nov 12, 2017 1:34 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Buying bitcoin / Cryptocurrency to market cap (.3%)
Replies: 42
Views: 5235

Re: Buying bitcoin / Cryptocurrency to market cap (.3%)

Here is an article on power usage to mine 1 bitcoin. From an environmental perspective this is getting a bit debatable.

https://grisha.org/blog/2017/09/28/elec ... 1-bitcoin/
by German Expat
Sun Nov 12, 2017 6:40 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Unnecessary Corporate Meetings
Replies: 25
Views: 2566

Re: Unnecessary Corporate Meetings

“A meeting moves at the speed of the slowest mind in the room. In other words, all but one participant will be bored, all but one mind underused.” – Dale Dauten http://theworkzine.com/?p=184174 This is one of the problems and not easy to solve. A lot of meetings are either to pretend there is progre...
by German Expat
Thu Oct 26, 2017 7:46 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Amazon kindle paperwhite
Replies: 69
Views: 5071

Re: Amazon kindle paperwhite

Although I am not prime member, my kindle is arriving this weekend itself :D . Our local library here does not have much of kindle collection. Please let me know what are any good online resources or free libraries for kindle books. I want to be ready to read my first kindle book :D If you like cla...
by German Expat
Wed Oct 25, 2017 2:11 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Amazon kindle paperwhite
Replies: 69
Views: 5071

Re: Amazon kindle paperwhite

We have 2 kindle paperwhites and like them. I use mine to read in bed (without the light on) and it is easier on the eyes. Also easier to read at the pool. Additional bonus is that you will not get sidetracked checking other stuff like you might do on the Ipad (starting to check our emails in betwee...