Search found 47 matches

by Exchme
Mon Nov 16, 2020 7:53 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: When is it time to start making gifts to minimize estate taxes?
Replies: 36
Views: 2348

When is it time to start making gifts to minimize estate taxes?

How do you judge when it's time to ramp up gifts to the kids to minimize estate taxes? We currently have a NW just less than the 2026 estate tax exemption limit. Hopefully our investments will grow, so given current law, we would face this "problem". I realize we are still years ahead of t...
by Exchme
Thu Nov 12, 2020 10:51 pm
Forum: Personal Investments
Topic: Should we buy bond funds if we have rental income for retirement
Replies: 4
Views: 497

Re: Should we buy bond funds if we have rental income for retirement

There are a lot of experts here on the forum (I'm not one!) but I think they need more to go on. What other assets you have, what your expenses are, what your goals are, for starters. Your rental income is way more than we would spend, so I wouldn't need any bonds, or stocks for that matter.
by Exchme
Thu Nov 12, 2020 6:30 pm
Forum: Personal Investments
Topic: Transferring assets to Vanguard account. Questions
Replies: 12
Views: 906

Re: Transferring assets to Vanguard account. Questions

When we got rid of our financial Adviser and transferred funds to Vanguard, the issue was the Advisor wouldn't allow the fund to be held outside their playpen. Not sure if that applies in your situation.
by Exchme
Mon Nov 09, 2020 10:17 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: "Quality" LED bulbs
Replies: 36
Views: 2195

Re: "Quality" LED bulbs

I made the switch about ten years ago and have struggled to find a consistent brand. I would think I had it figured out what brand was the best and then the second batch of bulbs of the same brand would be crap. I finally decided it wasn't the bulbs but the application. Most of my bulbs are in rece...
by Exchme
Mon Nov 09, 2020 6:29 pm
Forum: Personal Investments
Topic: What stress test do you run on your retirement portfolio?
Replies: 42
Views: 3404

Re: What stress test do you run on your retirement portfolio?

I tried online calculators, but found I wanted more customization so I built my own spreadsheet with historical yields and then added a 25% reduction in current assets, all of which said we are OK. But the idea I like best for a stress check is what I call the "no-no-no" test. No return on...
by Exchme
Sun Nov 08, 2020 10:12 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Where do you get advice as you move up to the top of your field? (Taking on larger new role)
Replies: 20
Views: 2441

Re: Where do you get advice as you move up to the top of your field? (Taking on larger new role)

Look for advice from people at the top of any field - that will be surprisingly relevant. You will need to go through the personnel the previous manager is leaving behind. You will be held to account for any issues, so you will need to make sure these are YOUR people, that they will do things the wa...
by Exchme
Thu Nov 05, 2020 11:00 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Changes to Vanguard
Replies: 78
Views: 6026

Re: Changes to Vanguard

Hm, wrote something that didn't post right away, hope this isn't a duplicate - I don't understand the reluctance of some folks to use the ETFs. I have both mutual funds and ETFs with Vanguard and both have some advantages over the other. I can get a broader reach of funds with ETFs and more current ...
by Exchme
Wed Nov 04, 2020 5:28 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Would a $1MM inheritance change your retirement plans?
Replies: 113
Views: 10056

Re: Would a $1MM inheritance change your retirement plans?

I'm in the "don't count your chickens" camp. My dad spent his time worrying about getting around the estate tax and then spent a decade in the Alzheimer's unit while his portfolio suffered through the 2000 and 2008 crashes and exorbitant fees of the trustee managing the money. The big port...
by Exchme
Wed Nov 04, 2020 12:24 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Overstretched and under contract for 1.3M house.. should I back out?
Replies: 79
Views: 10960

Re: Overstretched and under contract for 1.3M house.. should I back out?

OP, you are worrying too much. Getting a nice house in a nice area is what matters. The market is hot, so you can't buy for the prices available in the past, but interest rates are quite low so your house payment looks pretty manageable. Zillow, etc. are lagging indicators, so in a strongly rising m...
by Exchme
Thu Oct 29, 2020 5:18 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: My LenderFi refinance is going well
Replies: 1480
Views: 136199

Re: My LenderFi refinance is going well

Any secrets to getting their attention? My daughter has about a $100K mortgage that she wants to refinance but hasn't been able to get through to Lenderfi and she tried another company that stopped responding. Presumably the paperwork for a small mortgage is as much as for a big one, so they priori...
by Exchme
Wed Oct 28, 2020 7:41 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: My LenderFi refinance is going well
Replies: 1480
Views: 136199

Re: My LenderFi refinance is going well

Any secrets to getting their attention? My daughter has about a $100K mortgage that she wants to refinance but hasn't been able to get through to Lenderfi and she tried another company that stopped responding. Presumably the paperwork for a small mortgage is as much as for a big one, so they priorit...
by Exchme
Tue Oct 27, 2020 9:16 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Is it worth adding Whole House Air Purifier or UV Germicidal Lamp System to Heat Pump
Replies: 21
Views: 1591

Re: Is it worth adding Whole House Air Purifier or UV Germicidal Lamp System to Heat Pump

Our UV lamps in the A/C ducts went out over the last few months and we started growing mildew in the ducts. Both DW and I were stuffed up all the time to the point I struggled to breathe when I laid down to sleep, but didn't know why. We had a scrubber put in instead and I can breathe again. So it d...
by Exchme
Sun Oct 25, 2020 9:56 pm
Forum: Personal Investments
Topic: So many options. Too many options. Help
Replies: 13
Views: 1319

Re: So many options. Too many options. Help

For Option 5, I would wait and let my neighbors tell me all about how they saved money with their rig for several years and then watch carefully to see if their story changes as batteries wear out, panels get less efficient or break, it becomes hard to get parts as things age, etc. If the proponents...
by Exchme
Sun Oct 25, 2020 9:09 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Neighor is general contractor and building homes way less than the avg rate, should we do something?
Replies: 10
Views: 2541

Re: Neighor is general contractor and building homes way less than the avg rate, should we do something?

I wonder if the OP is confusing an all-in cost that includes the land vs. the contractor cost to build on your land. We live in a nice house in a nice area in the suburbs of a big Texas city and we bought 13 years ago at $90/ft2 and the house now appraises for a thrilling $102/ft2. New construction ...
by Exchme
Sun Oct 25, 2020 8:51 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Can my wife and I afford a $600K + house?
Replies: 134
Views: 14915

Re: Can my wife and I afford a $600K + house?

I think you will be fine as long as the house doesn't turn into a money pit, so take a good look and even hire an inspector (here in Texas, inspectors are mandatory, not sure about your area). Yes things will be a little tight, you are a young family so that's completely normal. Enjoy!
by Exchme
Sat Oct 24, 2020 7:55 pm
Forum: Personal Investments
Topic: When to take social security - tax considerations
Replies: 3
Views: 520

Re: When to take social security - tax considerations

This strategy seems really odd since the tax code is so progressive, you will get hammered in later years. If you really have 25% of assets in Roth and it lasts for 10 years, then there is a lot of money in IRA's that will get torched by the government once RMDs kick in. The strategy would only make...
by Exchme
Sat Oct 24, 2020 8:00 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: A bit embarrassing, but I was looking at SS wrong
Replies: 60
Views: 9090

Re: A bit embarrassing, but I was looking at SS wrong

The future is unknowable, so no model will ever be "right", but for any specific set of assumptions and circumstances, there is a mathematical "optimum" that is our best chance of peering into tomorrow. For my own case, the key variables are: -Expected longevity -Expected return ...
by Exchme
Fri Oct 23, 2020 1:47 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: If you have a sizable portfolio, you don't need an emergency fund
Replies: 260
Views: 25686

Re: If you have a sizable portfolio, you don't need an emergency fund

I tested my own portfolio with 149 years of historical data with the idea of 2 or 3 year savings that would be used for expenses and even rebalancing in "down" years and refilled in "up" years. Regardless of the algorithm for use and refilling, I kept finding that a 2-3 year EF h...
by Exchme
Fri Oct 23, 2020 1:36 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Best Home Blood-Pressure Monitor for Accuracy?
Replies: 33
Views: 3713

Re: Best Home Blood-Pressure Monitor for Accuracy?

We had a cheap one that the Doc just laughed at when my wife showed him her BP numbers. He recommended the OMRON as well, it does read a lot different than the cheap one.
by Exchme
Wed Oct 21, 2020 8:00 pm
Forum: Personal Investments
Topic: Living on investment
Replies: 19
Views: 2391

Re: Living on investment

Th OP sounds a little stuck, so sometimes what is needed is an easy first step. I recommend going to ssa.gov and looking up your benefit information if you don't already know it. If you have a different type of plan, then contact the plan administrator and see what the benefits are. Most investment ...
by Exchme
Tue Oct 20, 2020 7:28 am
Forum: Personal Investments
Topic: A hidden silver lining to low interest rates?
Replies: 6
Views: 1655

Re: A hidden silver lining to low interest rates?

I think Kitces is making a narrow and obvious point that to buy an annuity in a low interest rate environment would be expensive. But to try to draw an equivalence between a government program and an individual making a decision today to buy an annuity is weird. The money to buy that annuity was act...
by Exchme
Mon Oct 19, 2020 7:17 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Convince us to buy our first luxury car!
Replies: 193
Views: 10672

Re: Convince us to buy our first luxury car!

I vote for a mid priced car and a baby. That will be the same ownership cost as the luxury car and it takes a long time for the baby to depreciate.
by Exchme
Mon Oct 19, 2020 1:57 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Anybody here trying Coast FIRE?
Replies: 317
Views: 26821

Re: Anybody here trying Coast FIRE?

I'm doing the type of 'FIRE' where I just live off the income from the side hustle I got with all my free time... It's not bad at all, only about 40 hours a week, covers medical insurance and social security, and is a nice break from all the blogging involved with other types of FIRE. I don't mind ...
by Exchme
Tue Oct 13, 2020 8:50 pm
Forum: Personal Investments
Topic: How do I preserve what I have? Feeling jittery - please review portfolio?
Replies: 29
Views: 3584

Re: How do I preserve what I have? Feeling jittery - please review portfolio?

Assuming you work to 65, that is so far in the future that any events today, either with COVID or political, will be distant memories by the time you need the money. I'm not sure what you would change to to be "safe" - increasing inflation can never be ruled out, in which case bonds could ...
by Exchme
Mon Oct 12, 2020 8:04 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: What would your retirement number be if?
Replies: 30
Views: 6650

Re: What would your retirement number be if?

I would use some of the online calculators to test whether it's really smart for your wife to be claiming SS at age 62. My reading of the rules is that reduces both her benefit prior to your claiming and her spousal benefit until you die. Once you are gone, she will get your benefit, but in your ti...
by Exchme
Mon Oct 12, 2020 6:43 am
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Individual Stocks - 5-10% of Portfolio "Play Money" - YES or NO?
Replies: 91
Views: 5022

Re: Individual Stocks - 5-10% of Portfolio "Play Money" - YES or NO?

The problem is with this part: "in a risky basket of stocks, hoping to get a 10X multiplier" because you're never going to get 10x from the whole basket. If you're lucky, you get one or two winners. My dad does this. Yeah, he did really well investing in Amgen and Starbux in the late 90s ...
by Exchme
Sun Oct 11, 2020 9:27 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: What would your retirement number be if?
Replies: 30
Views: 6650

Re: What would your retirement number be if?

I would use some of the online calculators to test whether it's really smart for your wife to be claiming SS at age 62. My reading of the rules is that reduces both her benefit prior to your claiming and her spousal benefit until you die. Once you are gone, she will get your benefit, but in your tim...
by Exchme
Fri Oct 09, 2020 3:26 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Relocation - DFW considerations
Replies: 51
Views: 3776

Re: Relocation - DFW considerations

Denver has better recreation if you are into skiing, hiking in the mountains, etc. But don't kid yourself, most places that you might live are a long way from the mountains, we lived there for a couple years when our family was young and rarely went into the mountains, just too busy. The lack of a s...
by Exchme
Thu Oct 08, 2020 2:33 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Clean Energy ETFs
Replies: 22
Views: 1976

Re: Clean Energy ETFs

For a concentrated fund with 50%+ in its top ten holdings, I'd rather just buy my own index sampling the underlying individual stocks than pay 0.40%+ ER, though maybe not for foreign stocks. Anyway, I'd rather buy petroleum or nuclear stocks than solar, wind, or other "green" energy stock...
by Exchme
Thu Oct 08, 2020 12:28 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Would you rather be the richest or poorest person in town?
Replies: 109
Views: 8824

Re: Would you rather be the richest or poorest person in town?

I like this question. We raised our kids in Town A because we had to but we initially grew to love it and many of the people there. Just after they graduated from college we moved to Town B because we could and it was nicer in many ways. By the time we left we were probably wealthier than all of ou...
by Exchme
Wed Oct 07, 2020 4:09 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: How do YOU handle home security [alarm systems]
Replies: 89
Views: 6368

Re: How do YOU handle home security

I had some threats against me a few years ago because I had to lay people off from the group I managed. Nothing recently, but we still try to take security pretty seriously, so use Brinks security for the doors/windows. Cars parked only in the garage and both the garage and cars locked. Always keep ...
by Exchme
Mon Oct 05, 2020 7:58 pm
Forum: Personal Investments
Topic: DFA capitulation
Replies: 16
Views: 1940

Re: DFA capitulation

Uh oh, must be time for a big turnaround SCV will for sure zoom in the future as I bailed on these as well! My advisor sold SCV + international as the magic elixir to beat the market. After 4.5 years, the market went up 80% and his funds went up 20%. Meanwhile I paid nearly as much in fees as the ga...
by Exchme
Thu Oct 01, 2020 9:28 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: How well did you predict your income growth?
Replies: 52
Views: 4001

Re: How well did you predict your income growth?

The OP should have a flavor after seeing all these stories that the future is unknowable. I agree with the poster that suggested adding to your talent stack and not worry about predictions. Adding extra skills or increasing your expertise at your job makes you more valuable to any employer, even (or...
by Exchme
Thu Oct 01, 2020 12:18 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Help with replacing water heater
Replies: 49
Views: 3076

Re: Help with replacing water heater

We put in a tankless, natural gas fired one 5 years ago and are very happy, no problems. We had to go with that as the builder put the original water heater in too close to the roof line, so when it had to be replaced, the plumbers couldn't install it by code and it would have been super expensive t...
by Exchme
Wed Sep 30, 2020 8:45 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Social Security question
Replies: 15
Views: 1592

Re: Social Security question

Income prior to age 60 is adjusted based on the national average wage, so even low income in the early years gets adjusted up and may be some of the best years of the 35. After age 60, wages are adjusted upward for inflation only. Have him go to ssa.gov and get his estimated benefit. Retiring prior ...
by Exchme
Mon Sep 28, 2020 3:23 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: How much do you pay for healthcare (50-65 year olds)
Replies: 83
Views: 8881

Re: How much do you pay for healthcare (50-65 year olds)

You can check online without having to fill out any personally identifiable information. For us, the unsubsidized ACA plans are not only out of sight on price, but there were hardly any doctors that would take the only available plans. We live in the burbs of a major city and the closest hospital wo...
by Exchme
Sun Sep 27, 2020 6:47 am
Forum: Personal Investments
Topic: Just Found Out We Are Expecting First Child - Now What
Replies: 25
Views: 2366

Re: Just Found Out We Are Expecting First Child - Now What

First of all, Congratulations to you and your wife! Having a child is quite expensive, so you will need to prioritize. Fund the retirement accounts first, they have significant tax advantages. Since you expect your income to go up in a few years, I would wait on any 529 funding until that happens. O...
by Exchme
Sat Sep 26, 2020 1:24 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Treadmill recommendations
Replies: 43
Views: 2613

Re: Treadmill recommendations

Long ago, we bought one of those cheapie things from Sears and it was awful, squealing and incredibly loud as the bearings wore out quickly. So 13 years ago, I said no more and we bought the Landice L7. We bought the upgraded belt to be easier on the knees. I've been pretty good at doing 15-20 miles...
by Exchme
Fri Sep 25, 2020 8:08 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Clean Energy ETFs
Replies: 22
Views: 1976

Re: Clean Energy ETFs

For a concentrated fund with 50%+ in its top ten holdings, I'd rather just buy my own index sampling the underlying individual stocks than pay 0.40%+ ER, though maybe not for foreign stocks. Anyway, I'd rather buy petroleum or nuclear stocks than solar, wind, or other "green" energy stock...
by Exchme
Thu Sep 24, 2020 8:54 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: What Movie Have You Recently Watched?
Replies: 6013
Views: 1402720

Re: What Movie Have You Recently Watched?

What - nobody watches trash or is it that nobody admits to watching it?

I'll go first, I just finished the entire Fast & Furious series. I'll say it was for the stunts.
by Exchme
Sat Sep 19, 2020 2:11 pm
Forum: Personal Investments
Topic: Is retirement in 2 years possible?
Replies: 43
Views: 5793

Re: Is retirement in 2 years possible?

Really review your spending, maybe some of those savings are applicable now? The extra savings will help firm up your plan and you can test whether they are painless enough to continue. Our pre-retirement cuts have been painless so far: Life insurance - $2K (if I'm not working I'm just another mout...
by Exchme
Fri Sep 18, 2020 10:07 pm
Forum: Personal Investments
Topic: Is retirement in 2 years possible?
Replies: 43
Views: 5793

Re: Is retirement in 2 years possible?

Really review your spending, maybe some of those savings are applicable now? The extra savings will help firm up your plan and you can test whether they are painless enough to continue. Our pre-retirement cuts have been painless so far: Life insurance - $2K (if I'm not working I'm just another mouth...
by Exchme
Mon Sep 14, 2020 1:10 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Best Streaming Service
Replies: 24
Views: 2146

Re: Best Streaming Service

We are in the 2 week free introductory phase of YouTube TV and we like it very much. For college football, I see the Big 10 and SEC networks, plus ESPN, ESPNHD, broadcast networks, etc. We have had DirectTV for years but it's become very expensive as we have multiple recorders to grab all that colle...
by Exchme
Sun Sep 13, 2020 6:40 am
Forum: Personal Investments
Topic: I’ve got 50K to invest in an ultra aggressive portfolio—seeking growth to 1 Million
Replies: 76
Views: 7698

Re: I’ve got 50K to invest in an ultra aggressive portfolio—seeking growth to 1 Million

Forgive us for being flippant in our responses, but no one on earth can give you a recipe to do that. Over a lifetime of patient, low cost investing, that $50K is very likely to turn into $1M, but in a short term bout of greed, it will certainly turn to dust. You did not provide information about th...
by Exchme
Tue Sep 08, 2020 3:50 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: refining definition of a bull and bear market
Replies: 10
Views: 558

Re: refining definition of a bull and bear market

I think it is somewhat amusing to act as though this type of thing can be done with precision. Is there really and truly any difference between the market being down 20% and the market being down 19.4% as it was in 2011? Plus the wicked little swoon at the end of 2018 that was 18%. Market moves com...
by Exchme
Sun Sep 06, 2020 4:33 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Charles Schwab - account aggregation
Replies: 28
Views: 2240

Re: Charles Schwab - account aggregation

I don't have accounts with Schwab but as a large financial firm, I have to believe their security is going to be very good. Aggregators are really handy to assess whether you are too concentrated in one investment type or style and need to rebalance. Before getting rid of my money manager, I had acc...
by Exchme
Sun Sep 06, 2020 3:34 pm
Forum: Personal Investments
Topic: Do I really own anything if everything can require a Medallion signature which I can never get?
Replies: 71
Views: 7883

Re: Do I really own anything if everything can require a Medallion signature which I can never get?

We bank at Chase and they do the MSG when needed. We've had to get them several times in the last few years to roll IRAs over to Vanguard, in fact, my wife got two this week to roll her regular and Roth IRAs over. It didn't take her very long as there was little foot traffic in the bank due to COVID...