Search found 54 matches

by Normchad
Fri Nov 22, 2019 6:49 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: What's your FIRECALC number?
Replies: 58
Views: 7810

Re: What's your FIRECALC number?

For me, I look for 95%
by Normchad
Tue Nov 12, 2019 9:06 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: How to Calculate Qualified Expense (for 529 Plan) for College Student Living at Home
Replies: 19
Views: 1369

Re: How to Calculate Qualified Expense (for 529 Plan) for College Student Living at Home

Our daughter is living off campus at school now for the third year. We also just use the COA for room and board from the school for her. Tracking these expenses would be tough. For example, she has a twelve month lease, although in,y goes to school eight months if the year. And the food would be a c...
by Normchad
Sun Oct 27, 2019 8:18 pm
Forum: Personal Investments
Topic: Do You Pay For Financial Advice?
Replies: 76
Views: 4478

Re: Do You Pay For Financial Advice?

Nope, I do it all myself.

I’m open to the idea of laying for good service, but I don’t honestly know how to find that.

My spouse is not interested in any of this. I need to come up with a plan in case I predecease her. I’m certain it would involve paying somebody.
by Normchad
Sun Oct 27, 2019 1:30 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: How much does a "good school district" matter?
Replies: 76
Views: 6714

Re: How much does a "good school district" matter?

Getting a good education is important, no doubt. There is a big difference though between a mediocre school district and a bad one. I think you can get a really good education in a mediocre school district or school if you’re involved and work the system. The gifted and talented programs aren’t for ...
by Normchad
Sun Oct 20, 2019 9:15 pm
Forum: Personal Investments
Topic: How do you cope with regret over selling too soon?
Replies: 72
Views: 8760

Re: How do you cope with regret over selling too soon?

Selling too soon was one of the best things that ever happened to me. I was working at IBM and we could buy the company stock at a discount via payroll deductions. IBM was having a tough time, and it kept going down, and I kept buying it. Eventually it started going back up, and when I finally sold ...
by Normchad
Sun Sep 08, 2019 3:45 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Wade Pfau: Does The 4% Rule Work In Today’s Markets?
Replies: 149
Views: 12215

Re: Wade Pfau: Does The 4% Rule Work In Today’s Markets?

To me it’s interesting that the community at large seems to have nearly unshakable confidence in the following things: 1) nobody knows nothing, the future and the market are unpredictable, and 2) the 4% SWR that has historically worked in every rolling 30 year period in history, is no longer safe. N...
by Normchad
Sat Sep 07, 2019 5:46 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Mensa membership
Replies: 90
Views: 7455

Re: Mensa membership

I don’t think there is anything special about the members of Mensa. Although I’m sure some of them are brilliant and wonderful. The test is absolutely stupid. You don’t have to be a genius to pass it. And, you can easily pass it with only an eighth grade education. There is no reason to assume that ...
by Normchad
Fri Sep 06, 2019 7:17 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Mensa membership
Replies: 90
Views: 7455

Re: Mensa membership

The folks that run Mensa are geniuses. This mostly applies to their ability to find people who send them $70/year for basically nothing in return. They’re clearly in it for the money. It has an air of exclusivity; but they’ll actually let just about anybody in I’m sure. Otherwise they can’t get the ...
by Normchad
Tue Sep 03, 2019 5:16 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: What's your "philosophy" on youth sports?
Replies: 47
Views: 2745

Re: What's your "philosophy" on youth sports?

My philosophy is that most youth sports are out of control, and in a lot of cases parents are trying to relive their lives through their children. They’re activities, that are meant to be fun. I think kids should be exposed to them, but also exposed to art, music, community service, and self directe...
by Normchad
Tue Aug 27, 2019 9:17 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Best of Bogleheads - your #1 takeaway
Replies: 151
Views: 15440

Re: Best of Bogleheads - your #1 takeaway

I knew quite a bit before I found this site. Some of the biggest most important stuff here, I already knew. But, given all that, I've still learned so much good stuff. The number 1 actionable thing I got here was the Backdoor Roth IRA. I wasn't doing that before, and now I am. Maybe the most importa...
by Normchad
Sun Aug 11, 2019 9:52 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: No pay increase but increase in responsibility
Replies: 110
Views: 8770

Re: No pay increase but increase in responsibility

I personally recommend taking advantage of every opportunity you have. I'm 100% on board with Sandtrap on this. I'm a manager of a lot of people. When we're doling out bonuses, or promoting people and giving raises, they go to the folks who go the extra mile. Taking advantage of opportunities signal...
by Normchad
Sat Aug 03, 2019 7:31 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Talk me out of buying a Tesla Model 3
Replies: 578
Views: 53063

Re: Talk me out of buying a Tesla Model 3

Gotta be honest, convenience matters to me. I buy a ton of stuff from Amazon. And the main reason is because it’s easier. I don’t even check the prices anymore. I’m sure Walmart is cheaper for some things, or Costco. But amazon makes it so easy, it’s my default choice. And last time I bought a new c...
by Normchad
Sat Aug 03, 2019 6:51 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Talk me out of buying a Tesla Model 3
Replies: 578
Views: 53063

Re: Talk me out of buying a Tesla Model 3

I can’t take it anymore. I just ordered one from the comfort of my couch using only my phone. It’s probably not worth it. I can’t possibly save enough on gas to justify the price. But it’s $50K, and you can get a lot worse for $50K. It’s just really cool, really fast, and comfy. I’d previously had m...
by Normchad
Mon Jul 01, 2019 10:02 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Do you share your net worth with family members?
Replies: 252
Views: 22762

Re: Do you share your net worth with family members?

I don’t. My spouse isn’t interested at all, so I don’t even share with her. Money and the discussion of it is the last taboo in America I think. OTOH, a lot of people in this site see no purpose to even knowing or keeping track of net worth. So if it’s not of interest to them, how interesting could ...
by Normchad
Wed May 29, 2019 9:35 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Cordless Drill: Bosch PS32-02 vs Makita FD07R1?
Replies: 31
Views: 2218

Re: Cordless Drill: Bosch PS32-02 vs Makita FD07R1?

I’ve had a similar Makita for over ten years. It’s been amazing. I can not say enough good things about it.

The impact-drive action is huge, and ensures you can drive very large screws easily, without stripping out the heads. Would recommend it to anybody.
by Normchad
Wed May 29, 2019 6:16 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: "Soft" question on student loans
Replies: 72
Views: 3327

Re: "Soft" question on student loans

Another thing to bear in mind, the financial math regarding college has changed dramatically since we were undergrads as well. When I did this in the late 80s, my total cost for everything, for 4 years was around $24K. I could pay a big part of that bill with summer work and a. coop job, even at $8/...
by Normchad
Wed May 29, 2019 5:38 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: "Soft" question on student loans
Replies: 72
Views: 3327

Re: "Soft" question on student loans

There is a lot to unravel here..... We saved diligently for college while our child was growing up. We felt that it was our responsibility to raise them and get them to a point where they’d be a contributing member of society. For us, that included a college education. There are other ways to do it,...
by Normchad
Wed Feb 13, 2019 8:06 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: [2018 tax return - How does it compare to previous years?]
Replies: 441
Views: 35337

Re: [2018 tax return - How does it compare to previous years?]

The tax changes were very good for us. In 2017, we paid AMT, now that’s gone. The standard deduction is quite big now,so that helps. And the lower rates. So we definitely paid less. I expect most people who itemize, won’t do that now. Partly due to the larger standard deduction and partly due to the...
by Normchad
Mon Feb 11, 2019 5:37 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: When is transfer of ownership of 529 plan a taxable event?
Replies: 18
Views: 12940

Re: When is transfer of ownership of 529 plan a taxable event?

Thank you Spirit Rider! This had not occurred to me, but sounds like the best answer. I’ll investigate, and if there aren’t any show stoppers, I’ll do it as you suggested.
by Normchad
Sun Feb 10, 2019 9:38 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: When is transfer of ownership of 529 plan a taxable event?
Replies: 18
Views: 12940

Re: When is transfer of ownership of 529 plan a taxable event?

I have a similar question, but for a different reason, and am hoping for help or clarification. We have a well funded 529 plan setup for our one and only child. With scholarships, we won’t need this money for her education. I’ve started taking non qualified distributions this year, and owe tax on th...
by Normchad
Fri Feb 01, 2019 7:33 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Cost of college and 529
Replies: 642
Views: 27432

Re: Cost of college and 529

I agree with livesoft that there is virtually no reason to ever go out of state. Ie, don’t pay more for an education that is equivalent to what you can get in-state. Ours is in college now. We saved enough in the 529 to pay full freight at a good,instate school. During high school, we talked about c...
by Normchad
Sat Sep 29, 2018 1:08 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: College Student Performance Issues
Replies: 83
Views: 4895

Re: College Student Performance Issues

We’ve got an only child daughter in college as well, this is her third year. I’ve seen a lot of her friends have struggles. Even the ones that were very high achievers in high school. In reddit threads asking seniors what advice they would give to freshman, the number one answer and regret is always...
by Normchad
Tue Sep 25, 2018 7:29 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Someone stole my check from the mail, changed the amount, and deposited it
Replies: 61
Views: 8942

Re: Someone stole my check from the mail, changed the amount, and deposited it

This happened to me, and I found the entire process fascinating and educational. My check was stolen from my homes mailbox in front of my house, changed, and cashed the same day. They took the check to my bank branch in the next county over. Since it was drawn on that bank, they were able to cash th...
by Normchad
Sun Sep 23, 2018 8:02 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: HVAC Options -- Any advice?
Replies: 29
Views: 2296

Re: HVAC Options -- Any advice?

I just went through this last year, also 30 miles outside of DC. My advice is contrary to a lot here, so take it with a grain of salt. 1) I don't think any companies in this area will do a Manual J calculation; certainly none that I could find. 2) The humidifier is money well spent. And yes, it's fo...
by Normchad
Mon Mar 26, 2018 9:21 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Should I proactively replace my central AC unit?
Replies: 33
Views: 4159

Re: Should I proactively replace my central AC unit?

I actually just did this last fall with my 2 systems. My units were 17 years old. My thinking was: 1. They still work, and probably will for a while. No repairs needed in the last 7 years. 2. I’ll move out in 6 years, and the new buyers are sure to hold the old units against me, 3. I might as well p...
by Normchad
Thu Mar 22, 2018 8:47 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Working till retirement is not a great plan
Replies: 175
Views: 17123

Re: Working till retirement is not a great plan

Sorry if this shows up twice. KlangFool is one of my favorite posters, and he quoted me. I consider this an honor. And I thank KF for his great posts. Where I work, we have no reason to consider age in hiring or firing decisions. There is no pension. Everybody with more than 10 years experience gets...
by Normchad
Thu Mar 22, 2018 7:13 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Working till retirement is not a great plan
Replies: 175
Views: 17123

Re: Working till retirement is not a great plan

I agree while heatedly with the above. In today’s world, I think age discrimination is largely a misnomer. Unless there is a pension at play, what motivation does an employer have to get rid of you due to age? Other than your salary, what do they save from letting you go. We don’t like to talk about...
by Normchad
Wed Nov 22, 2017 3:47 pm
Forum: Personal Investments
Topic: Did you end up overfunding a 529?
Replies: 13
Views: 1892

Re: Did you end up overfunding a 529?

We have inadvertently over funded the 529plan, by a lot. We only have 1 child, and saved enough to cover 4 years at one of our in state universities. She received a full academic scholarship to an out of state school she absolutely loves. So we are on the hook for just room, board, and food. And the...
by Normchad
Mon Jul 27, 2015 9:40 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Would you look down on a co-worker for driving a beater?
Replies: 198
Views: 25203

Re: Would you look down on a co-worker for driving a beater?

it really depends. People certainly do judge. I admire the new college hires who drive beaters and live with their parents while paying off bills. But if a guy in his 40s is driving a beater, it says something else. It's no badge of honor to drive a piece of crap at that point in your life. It's the...
by Normchad
Mon Dec 08, 2014 7:51 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Question about Rollover IRA conversion and backdoor Roth IRA
Replies: 3
Views: 374

Re: Question about Rollover IRA conversion and backdoor Roth

Thanks Duckie. That's a perfect answer, and your confirmation is really appreciated.
by Normchad
Mon Dec 08, 2014 7:39 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Question about Rollover IRA conversion and backdoor Roth IRA
Replies: 3
Views: 374

Question about Rollover IRA conversion and backdoor Roth IRA

I'm looking for confirmation that I'm not making an unforeseen error somewhere. I'd like to start making Backdoor Roth IRA contributions for myself and my wife for 2014. Until last week, we each had a rollover IRA from previous employers retirement plans. Hers was about $6k while mine was about $150...
by Normchad
Sat Sep 27, 2014 8:44 am
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Let's hear your Dave Ramsey success stories
Replies: 79
Views: 33688

Re: Let's hear your Dave Ramsey success stories

I really don't understand all the anti Dave criticism on the bogelheads forums. He's not every bodies cup of tea, but nobody is. Lots of folks here don't need his advice, and that's okay too. A lot of people here don't agree with Jack Bogels principals 100% either. By and large though, his message i...
by Normchad
Tue Sep 23, 2014 6:15 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: How to achieve a balance between "saving" and "living"?!
Replies: 64
Views: 8597

Re: How to achieve a balance between "saving" and "living"?!

That's why it's a curious thing. That level of security is great, I love having it. I wouldn't have done things differently. Oddly though, I worry more now than I ever did before. Put another way, when I see a woman filled with utter and complete joy after buying a pair of shoes, I think "you're sil...
by Normchad
Tue Sep 23, 2014 4:48 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: How to achieve a balance between "saving" and "living"?!
Replies: 64
Views: 8597

Re: How to achieve a balance between "saving" and "living"?!

It's a very curious thing. I remember being young and desperately wanting all kinds of things that I couldn't afford. Yearning for them, and occasionally buying them made me happy. I've gotten much smarter about money since that time. I know so much about it, and investing, and math, that it's frigh...
by Normchad
Sun Mar 30, 2014 9:21 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: New Friends are the Anti-Bogleheads, what to do?
Replies: 93
Views: 11568

Re: New Friends are the Anti-Bogleheads, what to do?

There is sometimes an assumption here that the "boglehead way" is also the "right way." It's not - it's just one reasonable path of many. Another reasonable path for a couple making $400k is to buy two cars, a boat, and try some expensive hobbies. This is something I think about quite a bit. The BH...
by Normchad
Wed Mar 19, 2014 8:52 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Are Rheem gas water heaters good quality?
Replies: 16
Views: 61796

Re: Are Rheem gas water heaters good quality?

Wow, I feel like I got a great deal on mine. Got a 75 gallon gas Bradford White installed for $1,650. Included adding an expansion tank, drain pan, etc. Those are new code requirements here. I'm guessing any new hot water heater will give great service for a long time with no effort. If I had to rep...
by Normchad
Wed Mar 19, 2014 8:33 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: HOA lawyer sends threatening letter, need advice
Replies: 46
Views: 7259

Re: HOA lawyer sends threatening letter, need advice

If it was me, I'd just pay. I used to be the president of my HOA. The HOA always wins in court, and the resident ends up paying the HOA attorney's fees. It happens every single time. And yes, they will put a lien on your house. That's why the fines are for; once you don't pay them , they can put the...
by Normchad
Sun Dec 01, 2013 8:05 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Should you reveal your salary to your coworkers?
Replies: 107
Views: 10685

Re: Should you reveal your salary to your coworkers?

I'm not trying to limit their rights, they're free to do what they want. I'm just urging them to think of potential consequences. A safer route would be to discuss these thing with friends who work at different companies. As an aside, the legal thing. I wouldn't fire somebody for discussing salary a...
by Normchad
Sun Dec 01, 2013 7:27 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Should you reveal your salary to your coworkers?
Replies: 107
Views: 10685

Re: Should you reveal your salary to your coworkers?

I strongly recommend against discussing salary with co workers. Here are a couple points to consider. 1) it will stifle your career progression. For one thing, it looks unprofessional to your bosses. They're less likely to promote someone who acts unprofessionally, or who looks like a "future headac...
by Normchad
Sun Mar 17, 2013 8:30 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: The Fine line between responsible and selfish/material
Replies: 104
Views: 10956

Re: The Fine line between responsible and selfish/material

We are not frugal by nature. The way I make it work is to save 20% of gross income from every paycheck. I don't care what happens to the rest. If we want a bigger house, we buy it. If we want to live in a hovel and buy shoes like Imelda Marcos, we'd do it. I don't ever sweat spending the money as lo...
by Normchad
Sun Mar 17, 2013 4:21 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: 39 y.o. and 18 years of Vanguarding
Replies: 45
Views: 10327

Re: 39 y.o. and 18 years of Vanguarding

Wow! You are telling my exact story. I'm a 43 year old engineer with a great wife who is better with money than I am. Through my life, I've also been motivated more by "what I didn't want", than anything else. I worked some tough jobs at a forklift dealer, and yes, industrial scale dish washer. I al...
by Normchad
Mon Feb 04, 2013 6:54 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Do I need a realtor??
Replies: 19
Views: 2720

Re: Do I need a realtor??

As others have said, you can do it all on your own. I don't recommend that though. We used a terrific realtor when we sold our last home and bought the current one. On the selling side, she did a great job staging and marketing the house. I have no doubt we made an extra 10-20k on that transaction a...
by Normchad
Tue Nov 13, 2012 8:15 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Fiscal Cliff: Anyone taking defensive measures?
Replies: 63
Views: 5583

Re: Fiscal Cliff: Anyone taking defensive measures?

I don't plan on changing anything. Without getting political, I'm actually in favor of going over the cliff. I think adjusting taxation and spending are both good ideas. Even if it tempers growth for a while, it seems like a good idea to me. Most of these things I advocate are not in my personal bes...
by Normchad
Mon Aug 13, 2012 6:15 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Concrete Paint - Latex or Epoxy?
Replies: 8
Views: 11650

Re: Concrete Paint - Latex or Epoxy?

I have used epoxy on garage floors in the past with great success. I used the stuff from home depot, two boxes of it. It's easy to do, and I'm sure it will last forever. Oil spills wipe up with no problem. After clearing out the floor, it took less than e 2 hours to o the job. You can add grit or de...
by Normchad
Wed Aug 01, 2012 5:15 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Customer loyalty punished by auto-insurance companies?
Replies: 27
Views: 3610

Re: Customer loyalty punished by auto-insurance companies?

Yes, this happens all the time. I'll name names. I was with Nationwide for the last 7 years. The premiums went up every six months by small amounts, but it adds up. I live in northern Virginia and my last premium was for $2400/yr for 3 nice cars. I got an online quote for identical coverage from ano...
by Normchad
Thu Jul 12, 2012 7:50 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Is elementary private school education worth the price?
Replies: 104
Views: 10122

Re: Elementary private school education a scam??

According to freaksonomics, the greatest predictor of childhood success is parental income. So no worries for bogelheads :) We care deeply about education and did tons of research when our kid was young. We settled on an expensive private k-8 school. It was a great school, with small classes, caring...
by Normchad
Wed Apr 18, 2012 7:58 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: New Permanent Portfolio Book Available for pre-order.
Replies: 17
Views: 2608

Re: New Permanent Portfolio Book Available for pre-order.

Thanks for taking the time to write this book. I don't know if the PP is right for me or not, but I like reading all kinds of things. I'm ordering it now. I'm sure I'll learn something from it. And thanks to everybody on this site who make it great! I think it's the most educational and civilized pl...
by Normchad
Wed Apr 18, 2012 7:27 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Coming Out Ahead by Walking Away from Mortgage?
Replies: 48
Views: 4459

Re: Coming Out Ahead by Walking Away from Mortgage?

A bit off topic, but here's something i have always wondered about. Why do people care so darn much about their credit scores? I know all the things it affects, but so what. If I could trade my credit score today for $80k, I would do it. Truthfully for the people really struggling to hold on to thei...
by Normchad
Sat Apr 02, 2011 11:49 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Dishwashers
Replies: 32
Views: 4029

Buy a Bosch. Very quiet. Very dependable. Heads and shoulders above everything else. You can usually find them at Lowes and Sears.
by Normchad
Mon Mar 28, 2011 4:20 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Is College Worth It?
Replies: 82
Views: 8605

Yes it is worth it. Granted, some will succeed without it, but they are in th minority. And degrees do not guarantee success. The companies I work for won't even give you an interview without the degree. Some get IT jobs without it, but the vast majority will not make nearly the income the ones with...