Search found 607 matches

by German Expat
Fri Jan 18, 2019 8:36 am
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Vanguard will use blockchain to share index data
Replies: 69
Views: 8440

Re: Vanguard will use blockchain to share index data

Saw this recently :D : Welcome to 2019, traveler from 2009. The brief: -sysadmins are now "ops" -servers are all just "cloud" something -algorithms are "AI" -DBs are "blockchains" -Everything that spies on people is "smart" Good luck. And update your CV with the above words. There are things for whi...
by German Expat
Fri Jan 18, 2019 8:18 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: How do I get a hotel room upgrade ?
Replies: 9
Views: 751

Re: How do I get a hotel room upgrade ?

Don't be disappointed when you won't get an upgrade. Hotels are getting much stingier with 'free' upgrades. The 20$ trick is more a Vegas thing (prices are going up though so 20$ might not get you very far anymore :happy ). Recently when asking for upgrades available I saw more often (assuming they ...
by German Expat
Thu Jan 17, 2019 3:48 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Social Security work only 1 quarter in a year
Replies: 5
Views: 441

Re: Social Security work only 1 quarter in a year

Thank you very much for your replies. So I will go with the short version of Yes (I do have above 40 credits). I also need to look into the book David recommended and the bend points. I am a bit a not standard case with 15 years of high US income (above the social security tax limit in each year) an...
by German Expat
Thu Jan 17, 2019 3:08 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Social Security work only 1 quarter in a year
Replies: 5
Views: 441

Social Security work only 1 quarter in a year

Short version: This year I will only have income in the 1st quarter. Now my question is for social security calculations is this still considered a full year income for my best earning 30 years (I won't get 30 full years, worked many years in Germany first and now abroad as well)? Long version: I am...
by German Expat
Sat Jan 12, 2019 1:25 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Elliptical recommendation under 2k
Replies: 13
Views: 746

Re: Elliptical recommendation under 2k

We have a lifefitness x1 and are quite happy with it. Using it about 2-3 x per week and 4 years old now.
by German Expat
Tue Dec 18, 2018 2:01 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Any Credit score experts in here?
Replies: 8
Views: 865

Re: Any Credit score experts in here?

Yes, you can pay part or all of your card before the statement closes. This will lower your utilization rate and I would just pay it down to close to 0% and you will see your credit score go back up right away. Also don't close your oldest cards, this will lower the average age of your credit histor...
by German Expat
Fri Dec 14, 2018 8:00 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Anything to prevent switching iPhones?
Replies: 10
Views: 979

Re: Anything to prevent switching iPhones?

My wife just got a new Xs from work and I got the battery on her old 7 Plus replaced (you still get the low pricing for it until year and and now it works almost like new again). I can't see a huge improvement (the screen in fairness is much better though) and being a boglehead would not have a boug...
by German Expat
Sat Dec 01, 2018 1:49 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Maximizing Tax Advantage of UTMA
Replies: 22
Views: 2468

Re: Maximizing Tax Advantage of UTMA

Looking at the form it does not state anything about if you have only LTCG/QDIV. Is the understanding still that it will be 2100 + 2600 being tax free? I don't do my taxes anymore the last couple of years and therefore not so familiar with it. But reading the section it seems to be only 2100 is tax ...
by German Expat
Wed Nov 07, 2018 10:24 am
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: This man can predict when bubbles burst: time to time the market?
Replies: 145
Views: 10830

Re: This man can predict when bubbles burst: time to time the market?

It seems like you are a bit infatuated with one researcher based on your daughter studying at ETH and not sure what good skiing skills have to do with bubble prediction. If there is a correlation maybe we should ask Lindsay Vonn or Ingemar Stenmark :happy . Economics is a lot more messy then physics...
by German Expat
Mon Oct 29, 2018 11:08 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Should I co-sign for relative?
Replies: 103
Views: 5044

Re: Should I co-sign for relative?

I would not cosign. If money is an issue I would rather borrow money (under the assumption I would not get it back), at least then your credit isn't trashed if something happens. Also not established credit? What is the reason for it?

And 900 USD for a lease is beyond expensive, what car is that?
by German Expat
Thu Aug 30, 2018 9:19 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Nespresso?
Replies: 103
Views: 8783

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: 8674

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: 22
Views: 2468

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: 4336

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: 4336

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: 2653

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: 5128

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: 5128

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: 5128

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: 6147

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: 1270

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: 19302

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: 2791

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: 1773

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: 12338

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: 2367

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: 2367

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: 1780

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: 1671

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: 3909

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: 3909

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: 1477

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: 1778

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: 3310

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: 795

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: 3310

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: 21895

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: 3776

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: 4232

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: 3776

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: 3428

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: 2807

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: 1479

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: 30237

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: 54
Views: 8042

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: 30237

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: 1833

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: 1860

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: 5703

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-...