Search found 131 matches

by Dakotah
Sun Feb 21, 2021 11:02 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Best Combination of Travel Cards?
Replies: 87
Views: 4792

Re: Best Combination of Travel Cards?

I just finished acquiring the Amex "Trifecta" (Platinum/Gold/Blue Business Plus). I expect I should be able to generate ~150k in points per year with my typical spend. I intend to pile-up Amex points for aspiration overseas travel that I wouldn't pay cash for. I'm hoping to fly my family o...
by Dakotah
Wed Feb 03, 2021 11:10 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Vanguard security codes via Google Voice
Replies: 69
Views: 4396

Re: Vanguard security codes via Google Voice

I've been having several issues with receiving SMS messages via Google Voice the last couple of weeks...particularly when using it through Hangouts. I've found that texts are not reliably being forwarded from GV to Hangouts. If you think you are not receiving texts because it's not showing in Hangou...
by Dakotah
Sun Dec 20, 2020 1:53 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Are Strong Passwords Really Necessary?
Replies: 313
Views: 15435

Re: Are Strong Passwords Really Necessary?

Strong passwords are necessary...and Password Managers make it easy to create them. The real benefit of the Password Managers, however, is that it makes it easy to have completely DIFFERENT passwords for each site. If you use the same strong password on multiple sites, your security is now the least...
by Dakotah
Wed Nov 18, 2020 12:03 am
Forum: Personal Investments
Topic: Course Check: One year since military retirement...
Replies: 6
Views: 792

Re: Course Check: One year since military retirement...

With VA and military retirement you have a large cash flow already. Bonds are for potential greater liquidity but you are paying more in mortgage than you can get on bond fund. So I would pay down mortgage before considering bonds. It is not a bad thing to have increased variance in stocks given yo...
by Dakotah
Tue Nov 17, 2020 11:47 pm
Forum: Personal Investments
Topic: Course Check: One year since military retirement...
Replies: 6
Views: 792

Course Check: One year since military retirement...

Today is the one-year anniversary of my military retirement ceremony...and it's been about 13 months since I posted about my last portfolio review: https://www.bogleheads.org/forum/viewtopic.php?f=1&t=293195&p=4804733#p4804733 Short re-cap: retired from military into a job with a household-n...
by Dakotah
Fri Nov 13, 2020 3:50 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: New Traeger Pellet Grill - Super Excited!
Replies: 38
Views: 3137

Re: New Traeger Pellet Grill - Super Excited!

Congrats! I've had my Pro 575 for about 6 months now and love it. The mobile app has lots of good recipes that you sort through and mark as favorites. My favorites are the Midnight Brisket, the 3-2-1 Baby Back Ribs, and the Beer Can Chicken. A few things that I've learned over the last few months: 1...
by Dakotah
Tue Nov 10, 2020 6:46 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: New Car Scratch: Fix Completely or Partially?
Replies: 32
Views: 1791

Re: New Car Scratch: Fix Completely or Partially?

If you had 1 year old $30,000 car with a deeper key scratch, and you keep your cars for > 10 years, would you: - Have a body shop completely fix the scratch (sanding, priming, painting) for $500 - Have a detail shop make it 70% less visible for $80 Since you know your car will inevitably accumulate...
by Dakotah
Sat Oct 31, 2020 10:19 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: removed
Replies: 136
Views: 8466

Re: Heat - What do you set your temps to in Winter?

71 (Day), 69 (night). Heatpump w/electric resistance strip aux in Maryland. I'd be willing to set the temp lower at night, but doing so increases the likelihood of the resistance strips aux being used in the morning ($$). Heatpump usage in the winter can be a bit counter-intuitive: lowering the tem...
by Dakotah
Sat Oct 31, 2020 9:41 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: removed
Replies: 136
Views: 8466

Re: Heat - What do you set your temps to in Winter?

71 (Day), 69 (night). Heatpump w/electric resistance strip aux in Maryland. I'd be willing to set the temp lower at night, but doing so increases the likelihood of the resistance strips aux being used in the morning ($$). Heatpump usage in the winter can be a bit counter-intuitive: lowering the temp...
by Dakotah
Tue Oct 27, 2020 4:43 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Books, Sources on Critical Thinking, Adulting
Replies: 20
Views: 1512

Re: Books, Sources on Critical Thinking, Adulting

How Doctors Think by Jerome Groopman.
by Dakotah
Thu Oct 08, 2020 8:22 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Solar PV / Thermal vs merely reducing energy use (Budget RV-style but at home?)
Replies: 17
Views: 1009

Re: Solar PV / Thermal vs merely reducing energy use (Luxury RV-style but at home?)

* Keep the AC to ~78 degrees or higher with a dehumidifier running when I'm not around. As AC / Hot Water Heating / and Fridge, I believe they told me, where the main consumers of energy in a home. Gee, thanks for the Free Tip! :D Then purchase a nice $600 dual-hose 16K BTU? Not sure. Something I s...
by Dakotah
Tue Oct 06, 2020 6:23 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Attic and air sealing
Replies: 9
Views: 959

Re: Attic and air sealing

I air-sealed my attic and added additional blow-in insulation about 4 years ago. It yielded really significant energy savings. I estimate my AC/Heatpump run-times were reduced ~30%. It has paid for itself several times over. Like you, I had to move the few-inches of insulation to the side and dig ar...
by Dakotah
Mon Oct 05, 2020 6:07 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: How do YOU handle network security?
Replies: 105
Views: 6522

Re: How do YOU handle network security?

I used to run a Unified Threat Management system as the gateway to my network. Real-time Antivirus scanning, customized firewall rules for each device on my network, DNS filtering, Intrusion Protection system, etc. It used a repurposed desktop computer with additional network interface card. I learn...
by Dakotah
Sun Sep 13, 2020 7:58 pm
Forum: Personal Investments
Topic: Starting Late
Replies: 27
Views: 4103

Re: Starting Late

This may be overly forward, but...you have $+160k of non-mortgage debt and a very high mortgage rate. Worrying about an investment portfolio right now is putting the cart before the horse. You need to dedicate your financial energy towards reducing your debt burden. Investments will come...but you h...
by Dakotah
Sun Aug 30, 2020 5:26 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Share your net worth progression
Replies: 2475
Views: 563860

Re: Share your net worth progression

Did your job in the mil lead to the job offer in January or is it in an unrelated field? Glad things worked out so well for you. I can retire in 6 years, or if I'm still enjoying myself will go beyond 20. I still have some work to do on figuring out what I want to do after retiring, as well as wher...
by Dakotah
Sun Aug 30, 2020 12:17 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Share your net worth progression
Replies: 2475
Views: 563860

Re: Share your net worth progression

I feel compelled to share...partially because my path is so unusual...and partially to hold myself accountable for the next few years. 2000: -$12,000 ("dropped" out of college and joined the military with car debt and student loans. Income ~$13k + benefits) 2001: -$10,000 (nibbling away at...
by Dakotah
Tue Jul 21, 2020 6:38 pm
Forum: Personal Investments
Topic: Quick question on TLH in an account with weekly deposits
Replies: 3
Views: 201

Re: Quick question on TLH in an account with weekly deposits

C. Something else. You have to stop all contributions (purchases of a substantially identical investment0 that will happen in the next 30 days AND You must sell all shares purchased in the previous 30 days. (I'm not counting the day you sell for loss, but if you do, then count 31 days). But it is n...
by Dakotah
Tue Jul 21, 2020 6:32 pm
Forum: Personal Investments
Topic: Quick question on TLH in an account with weekly deposits
Replies: 3
Views: 201

Quick question on TLH in an account with weekly deposits

I've managed to pay off all of my non-mortgage debt this year, expanded my emergency fund, and am maxing-out all available tax-advantaged accounts. I'm now moving on to investing in a taxable three-fund portfolio. I've been getting up to speed on TLH in taxable...but am still unclear about wash-sale...
by Dakotah
Mon Jul 13, 2020 4:17 pm
Forum: Personal Investments
Topic: How to incorporate pension as a "bond-like component" in retirement portfolio?
Replies: 5
Views: 378

Re: How to incorporate pension as a "bond-like component" in retirement portfolio?

This has been suggested but I do believe the majority of bogleheads recommend this. It leads to a very high stock allocation which many find uncomfortable. https://obliviousinvestor.com/how-pensions-and-social-security-affect-asset-allocation/ Makes sense. I was not considering a super-high allocat...
by Dakotah
Mon Jul 13, 2020 4:09 pm
Forum: Personal Investments
Topic: How to incorporate pension as a "bond-like component" in retirement portfolio?
Replies: 5
Views: 378

How to incorporate pension as a "bond-like component" in retirement portfolio?

I was perusing the "Bogleheads Investment Philosophy" portion of the wiki and came this passage from Bogle regarding pensions... Bogle also suggests that, during the retirement distribution phase, you include as a bond-like component of your wealth and asset allocation the value of any fut...
by Dakotah
Thu Apr 23, 2020 4:16 pm
Forum: Personal Investments
Topic: Struggling to settle on a taxable portfolio
Replies: 8
Views: 823

Re: Struggling to settle on a taxable portfolio

For the sake of tax efficiency it would make more sense to hold bonds in your 401k and all equities in your taxable account. You would have to run the tax numbers, but it may make sense to just hold US equities (e.g. VTSAX/VTI) in your taxable account only (foreign equities have lower qualified div...
by Dakotah
Thu Apr 23, 2020 4:02 pm
Forum: Personal Investments
Topic: Struggling to settle on a taxable portfolio
Replies: 8
Views: 823

Struggling to settle on a taxable portfolio

I had posted last fall about my situation...Bottom-line: Retired Military, suddenly making a high income. https://www.bogleheads.org/forum/viewtopic.php?f=1&t=293195&p=4804733#p4804733 Some updates since then: -My VA determination came in well above expectations and I seem to have developed ...
by Dakotah
Wed Apr 22, 2020 8:21 pm
Forum: Personal Investments
Topic: Indexed Universal Life Insurance
Replies: 15
Views: 630

Re: Indexed Universal Life Insurance is it worth it in my situation?

My advice is almost always to go with a term policy and invest the difference. I don't see any major reason why this situation is any different. Sure, your company is paying for part of it...but what happens when you leave the company? Do you end up having to pick up the entire premium? I would assu...
by Dakotah
Thu Feb 06, 2020 8:29 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Netflix - New Way Of Throttling [DVDs]?
Replies: 94
Views: 16158

Re: Netflix - New Way Of Throttling [DVDs]?

Here in MD, I haven't had next next day shipping in several years...and the wait time for new arrivals has grown exponentially. The service has been slowly losing its value proposition.
by Dakotah
Tue Feb 04, 2020 7:58 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Cybersecurity and passwords
Replies: 167
Views: 12863

Re: Cybersecurity and passwords

I've been following this thread with some interest. Long ago I started using passwords that were as complex as the site would accept. I started using a password generator to create them (I sometimes even use the same means to create user names). As the number of accounts proliferated over time (and...
by Dakotah
Sat Feb 01, 2020 7:20 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Cybersecurity and passwords
Replies: 167
Views: 12863

Re: Cybersecurity and passwords

So I have been trying to enhance my internet security recently and have taken the following steps; Using a dedicated device (laptop) connected directly to cable modem (no Wi-Fi). The device is only used for logging into my financial accounts on the web, Quicken and tax preparation program. I also h...
by Dakotah
Wed Jan 29, 2020 4:52 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Cybersecurity and passwords
Replies: 167
Views: 12863

Re: Cybersecurity and passwords

CFM300 wrote: Wed Jan 29, 2020 3:39 pm
MidwestMike wrote: Sun Jan 26, 2020 11:02 am Use nonsensical answers for any security questions.

Mother’s maiden name?

Miami23horse
I think you meant: correct horse staple battery :D
I hate the fact that I immediately know this reference. :D
by Dakotah
Wed Jan 29, 2020 11:58 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Cybersecurity and passwords
Replies: 167
Views: 12863

Re: Cybersecurity and passwords

Another favorite tip of mine, though more advanced, is to use KeePass with a keyfile and password. Set the keyfile in Windows to only be accessible to administrators (i.e. not your typically unprivileged user account), and then set the KeePass.exe to always run as admin. This will prompt you every ...
by Dakotah
Sun Jan 26, 2020 8:49 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Cybersecurity and passwords
Replies: 167
Views: 12863

Re: Cybersecurity and passwords

I'll echo what some others have mentioned: you shouldn't connect your computer directly to your cable modem. The firewall and Network Address Translation (NAT) abilities that are standard in essentially all consumer routers serves as an indispensable front-line defense for your computer. Will the Wi...
by Dakotah
Mon Jan 20, 2020 5:38 pm
Forum: Personal Investments
Topic: AA for Retirement Safe Withdrawl
Replies: 21
Views: 1836

Re: AA for Retirement Safe Withdrawl

The "worst case scenario" for stocks is not the same as the worst case scenario for a portfolio that is 80% treasuries. Your recent worst-case (2000-2010) was actually a very good time for your portfolio do to the reduction in interest rates. Take a look at what happened to that same portf...
by Dakotah
Sun Jan 12, 2020 2:17 pm
Forum: Personal Investments
Topic: Employer changed 401k custodian from VG to Fido
Replies: 6
Views: 423

Re: Employer changed 401k custodian from VG to Fido

My employer is in the middle of the exact same change. You may be an employee of the same (very large) employer...maybe not. While the provider of your 401k may be changing, that doesn't guarantee that the available funds are changing. My funds are remaining identical (mostly Vanguard funds) despite...
by Dakotah
Sun Jan 12, 2020 8:43 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Heat Pump Water Heater
Replies: 9
Views: 1245

Re: Heat Pump Water Heater

I've had a Kenmore Elite HPWH for just over 3 years now. I've been very happy with it. I suspect it has already paid for itself...because not only does it save money on the heating of the water, but it also enabled me to permanently retire a dehumidifier in my basement (which was a huge power suck)....
by Dakotah
Sat Jan 11, 2020 9:02 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Switching from AT&T to Mint Mobile, any drawbacks?
Replies: 42
Views: 5969

Re: Switching from AT&T to Mint Mobile, any drawbacks?

Compared to the normal TMobile users, the data used by Mint devices are of a lower-priority. When the network gets congested, you'll be among the first to notice the effects. Your overall speed may also be slower, even during the best times. This is the case with most MVNOs that piggy-back off of th...
by Dakotah
Thu Jan 09, 2020 6:26 pm
Forum: Personal Investments
Topic: Evaluating Active Mutual Funds
Replies: 18
Views: 937

Re: Evaluating Active Mutual Funds

How long has the current manager been with the fund? Any performance history from before their tenure is of questionable value at best.
by Dakotah
Wed Jan 01, 2020 8:38 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Home security monitoring company recommendations.
Replies: 15
Views: 1485

Re: Home security monitoring company recommendations.

I've been very happy with Simplisafe for about 6 years now.
by Dakotah
Sat Dec 28, 2019 10:45 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Adding a Heat Pump to Oil Heat
Replies: 8
Views: 440

Re: Adding a Heat Pump to Oil Heat

I need to upgrade an old heat pump soon too. Question on the smart thermostats ... I suppose they must have an outside sensor for the outside temp to determine if to use the heat strips or not? Where is this typically located? My old heatpump thermostat just has a manual switch to select heat strip...
by Dakotah
Mon Dec 09, 2019 8:34 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Recommend Laptop
Replies: 79
Views: 5989

Re: Recommend Laptop

My Apple MacBook Pro is the best laptop I have ever used. I just bought a Macbook Pro and love it. It should last me quite a while - maybe to the point I no longer want a laptop and just go with a tablet. And 3x-10x the OP's budget. But it will also continue to work VERY well, 3x longer than any PC...
by Dakotah
Sun Dec 01, 2019 7:58 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Cloud storage or local SSD hard drive: cost factors
Replies: 16
Views: 1174

Re: Cloud storage or local SSD hard drive: cost factors

A cloud service will be inherently safer from data-loss. If you value your data, it's the way to go. If you insist on local storage...i would not recommend an external SSD. SSDs need to be powered-on periodically to prevent loss of data. Regular HDD's don't have that limitation (and are cheaper, to...
by Dakotah
Sun Dec 01, 2019 5:55 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Cloud storage or local SSD hard drive: cost factors
Replies: 16
Views: 1174

Re: Cloud storage or local SSD hard drive: cost factors

A cloud service will be inherently safer from data-loss. If you value your data, it's the way to go. If you insist on local storage...i would not recommend an external SSD. SSDs need to be powered-on periodically to prevent loss of data. Regular HDD's don't have that limitation (and are cheaper, to ...
by Dakotah
Sun Dec 01, 2019 4:52 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Gizmodo Ring Doorbell Article - Is Nest (Google) any better or is this the world we live in?
Replies: 19
Views: 1285

Re: Gizmodo Ring Doorbell Article - Is Nest (Google) any better or is this the world we live in?

These doorbell cameras fascinate me. Mainly because they sell so many of them these days, and I don't know why. None of the criminals in my area ever seem to use the front door. They use side doors, windows, garage doors, back doors, doggy doors, sliding doors, really anything and everything except...
by Dakotah
Sun Nov 24, 2019 10:24 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Garage Door Insulation
Replies: 13
Views: 1654

Re: Garage Door Insulation

What's the insulation situation for the top/ceiling of the garage? Is there living space above it? Uninsulated attic space? My garage doors are insulated panels...but it was still unbearable until I added some insulation to the attic area above the garage. That made an enormous difference.
by Dakotah
Mon Nov 04, 2019 10:17 am
Forum: Personal Investments
Topic: Holding bonds vs 100% equities
Replies: 367
Views: 26588

Re: Holding bonds vs 100% equities

It's never made sense to me to make your portfolio decisions based on such a long time period (30 years, for example). Sure, 100% stocks would seem to be the best mathematical choice...but this isn't an instantaneous process. You have decades to watch your end-date (retirement, for example) approach...
by Dakotah
Thu Oct 24, 2019 5:54 pm
Forum: Personal Investments
Topic: Big changes coming...how to efficiently shoot for "early retirement"?
Replies: 18
Views: 3312

Re: Big changes coming...how to efficiently shoot for "early retirement"?

All...thanks for the inputs. I greatly appreciate it. To answer a couple of questions/comments: -Total expenses right now are ~$7k/mo. We are remaining in our same house and don't have any plans for major purchases after the income changes. The car payment is my wife's new vehicle...and I plan to dr...
by Dakotah
Tue Oct 22, 2019 6:31 pm
Forum: Personal Investments
Topic: Big changes coming...how to efficiently shoot for "early retirement"?
Replies: 18
Views: 3312

Re: Big changes coming...how to efficiently shoot for "early retirement"?

What about your spouse's TSP account? Can that be rolled out of TSP (and convert to Roth IRA), or even that's not allowed while you are employed there? Sorry I am not a Fed employee so unfamiliar with all the intricacies. Just throwing out the possibilities ... Hmmm...I hadn't even thought of that....
by Dakotah
Tue Oct 22, 2019 6:14 pm
Forum: Personal Investments
Topic: Big changes coming...how to efficiently shoot for "early retirement"?
Replies: 18
Views: 3312

Re: Big changes coming...how to efficiently shoot for "early retirement"?

Does TSP allow in-plan Roth conversion? See if you can do that before your income spikes in 2020. Yours is a classic example where Roth conversion is warranted (low income / low tax rate now, expecting high income/higher tax rate later). As much as you can .. Regarding paying off the mortgage -- it...
by Dakotah
Tue Oct 22, 2019 4:55 pm
Forum: Personal Investments
Topic: Big changes coming...how to efficiently shoot for "early retirement"?
Replies: 18
Views: 3312

Big changes coming...how to efficiently shoot for "early retirement"?

My wife and I have major changes coming over the next few months as far as income and career trajectories. I will be retiring from the military and have accepted a job with a major tech company. Almost simultaneously, my wife will be re-entering the workforce after 9 years as a SAHM/military-spouse....
by Dakotah
Sun Sep 08, 2019 8:15 am
Forum: Personal Investments
Topic: 401k -> TSP Rollovers?
Replies: 1
Views: 281

401k -> TSP Rollovers?

My wife just accepted a job after having been a SAHM for the past 10 years. Her new employer has a decent 401k match...but the fund options are atrociously expensive. She still has her TSP from her time in the military, and from my understanding, rolling a 401k into her TSP is an option. I have a co...
by Dakotah
Tue Aug 06, 2019 7:20 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Increase in Income...do I need a "tax guy"?
Replies: 12
Views: 1353

Increase in Income...do I need a "tax guy"?

After a 20 year career, I'm retiring from the military on 1 January. I've positioned myself well for post-military employment and expect a pretty significant increase in income. Additionally, my wife is returning to the workforce after 10 years as a stay-at-home-mom. Due to the very favorable tax-tr...
by Dakotah
Sat Apr 27, 2019 8:44 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Router with VPN
Replies: 20
Views: 2748

Re: Router with VPN

A VPN can be useful when you don't trust the network you are connected to, such as when using hotel or public WIFI networks, but honestly, I'd just avoid doing anything sensitive while on those networks anyway. There's no security reason to use one on your own private network.(It can still be used ...
by Dakotah
Sat Jan 05, 2019 1:29 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: USAA apology letter?
Replies: 42
Views: 7521

Re: USAA apology letter?

[quote=maxq post_id=4302245 time=1546705002 user_id=56847] Well, I guess we now know at least one reason why USAA issued the odd apology letter: https://www.militarytimes.com/pay-benefits/2019/01/03/usaa-customers-to-receive-more-than-12-million-for-alleged-violations-in-handling-accounts-errors/ As...