Search found 668 matches

by FireProof
Mon Jun 17, 2019 3:17 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Job opportunity - KSA/Bahrain
Replies: 66
Views: 5065

Re: Job opportunity - KSA/Bahrain

The US is far from the frest country in the world, but compared to Saudi Arabia or Bahrain, it may as well be. And for people saying Bahrain is so much better, when did you last live there? Since the Arab Spring, it has completely cracked down on any kind of civil liberties. Of course, as people hav...
by FireProof
Mon Jun 17, 2019 2:31 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Variable (0.96%) or fixed (2.29%) mortgage for 30 years?
Replies: 0
Views: 210

Variable (0.96%) or fixed (2.29%) mortgage for 30 years?

I have two options for a mortgage for the apartment I'm buying. The variable rate is based on the Euribor, which is at -0,176% right now, so the effective APR is below 1%. However, 30 years is a long time for interest rates to change, of course. It IS possible to pay the loan off early with minimal ...
by FireProof
Wed Jun 12, 2019 6:46 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Recommend an American medium size car
Replies: 32
Views: 2258

Re: Recommend an American medium size car

Maybe he wants a used American car because of their high depreciation, not out of nationalism?
by FireProof
Mon Jun 10, 2019 6:28 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Efficiently giving to an individual
Replies: 32
Views: 2488

Re: Efficiently giving to an individual

You can give up to 11.4 million tax free. Not in every state in the US. OK, you can give up 11.4 million tax free in 49 states. In Connecticut, you can give up $3.6 million tax free. Not close to what we have seen.... https://taxfoundation.org/state-estate-tax-inheritance-tax-2018/ A gift tax is no...
by FireProof
Mon Jun 10, 2019 12:13 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: US stocks still look better than anywhere else
Replies: 100
Views: 7533

Re: US stocks still look better than anywhere else

heyyou wrote:
Wed Jun 05, 2019 7:09 pm
What is the "use by" date on the thread title?
A few years ago...
by FireProof
Mon Jun 10, 2019 9:16 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Efficiently giving to an individual
Replies: 32
Views: 2488

Re: Efficiently giving to an individual

TomatoTomahto wrote:
Mon Jun 10, 2019 8:55 am
FireProof wrote:
Mon Jun 10, 2019 7:51 am
You can give up to 11.4 million tax free.
Not in every state in the US.
OK, you can give up 11.4 million tax free in 49 states. In Connecticut, you can give up $3.6 million tax free.
by FireProof
Mon Jun 10, 2019 7:51 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Efficiently giving to an individual
Replies: 32
Views: 2488

Re: Efficiently giving to an individual

You can give up to 11.4 million tax free.
by FireProof
Sun Jun 09, 2019 8:19 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Paying for rent is throwing away money...myth?
Replies: 302
Views: 18208

Re: Paying for rent is throwing away money...myth?

Yes. Simple as that. In many or most circumstances in the US, buying may indeed be cheaper, but the reason for the myth is something else - a fundamental misunderstanding of the time value of money. People who believe the myth don't realize that purchasing something creates implied rent (investment ...
by FireProof
Wed Jun 05, 2019 5:36 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: What flagship (even used) item is better than a budget new item?
Replies: 131
Views: 7667

Re: What flagship (even used) item is better than a budget new item?

I get manufacturer-refurbished ($2000-new) business laptops for $300. Even 3 years older, they are much quicker overall than a new budget ($400-500) computer (quad core i7s, dedicated graphics, SSD), they have an HD screen, and of course they are built like tanks, rather than out of flimsy plastic.
by FireProof
Wed Jun 05, 2019 4:11 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Walking Cities, potential for retirees
Replies: 91
Views: 6981

Re: Walking Cities, potential for retirees

This website has information on the walkability of larger cities, by city and neighborhood:
https://www.walkscore.com/cities-and-neighborhoods/
Can' attest to how good it is, but probably no worse than random anecdotes.
by FireProof
Wed Jun 05, 2019 3:54 am
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Swedroe is far from a passive investor and I am beginning to agree
Replies: 62
Views: 5802

Re: Swedroe is far from a passive investor and I am beginning to agree

I know that most of you will say that this can easily be solved by the proper allocation, and to that I mention the following from a "The Philosophical Economics blog", which suggests looking at market timing in much the same way that we consider asset allocation. An investor with a long-term 40/60...
by FireProof
Tue Jun 04, 2019 12:17 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Value of Zillow house price estimate
Replies: 44
Views: 5988

Re: Value of Zillow house price estimate

They seem a bit volatile. Mine has gone down $800,000 in 9 months. In the same period, Redfin went down about $100,000. Zillow is still higher...
by FireProof
Tue Jun 04, 2019 7:57 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Does money/lack of money preoccupy you?
Replies: 79
Views: 6092

Re: Does money/lack of money preoccupy you?

No, honestly less and less. I think the relatively flat market has been good for me. I used to look at how the market was doing every day, check my portfolio every few days, track spending, perform simulations etc. Now with not a lot of movement in the last year and a half or so | haven't been eager...
by FireProof
Tue Jun 04, 2019 7:38 am
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Diversification Regret Index
Replies: 131
Views: 16586

Re: Diversification Regret Index

People who would have diversification regret would always regret something even if they held only large cap US... that they didn't invest in international when it did better, or that they didn't invest in Tesla or crypto, or whatever. Regret is impossible to avoid if you are a backward-looking inves...
by FireProof
Tue Jun 04, 2019 4:27 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Should All Grandkids Be Treated as Equal Members of Same Class?
Replies: 104
Views: 7990

Re: Should All Grandkids Be Treated as Equal Members of Same Class?

I start with an equal share each kid's family. For every grandkid that comes, that side of the family gets a reduction in their share. The earth is overpopulated, so I try to disincentivize excessive breeding.
by FireProof
Fri May 31, 2019 11:29 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: “Upsizing” are we foolish?
Replies: 62
Views: 7207

Re: “Upsizing” are we foolish?

hope to retire in 5 - 6 years. One thing that has not been mentioned is that you could just rent a larger place until your kid graduates high school and you are ready to retire. If you wanted to you could even keep your current place and rent it out until you are empty nesters then move back into i...
by FireProof
Thu May 30, 2019 9:25 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: $3k for teen club soccer
Replies: 104
Views: 7114

Re: $3k for teen club soccer

Man, and they say tennis is a posh sport. I paid like $100/year for my high school team and the occasional $25 tournament entry fee, and managed to get recruited for colleges. Of course, none of the colleges that recruited me were the schools I wanted to go to (which I would imagine is true in most ...
by FireProof
Wed May 22, 2019 8:49 am
Forum: Personal Investments
Topic: $400,000 gift to stepdaughter
Replies: 76
Views: 8685

Re: $400,000 gift to stepdaughter

15K per year (tax-free!) is a VERY life-changing amount of money. First, the average full-time salary of a women who is only a "high school graduate" is around $30,000 per year, so that's a boost of more than HALF (remember, even low salaries pay payroll taxes). But it's MUCH more important as a flo...
by FireProof
Sun May 19, 2019 3:44 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: FIRE - What am I missing in the News Stories
Replies: 223
Views: 14325

Re: FIRE - What am I missing in the News Stories

Well, first, it doesn't involve bagging groceries, that's a strange perception. And secondly, spending may or may not be lower, but with an extra 40+ hours per week (commuting, etc.), total utility can't help but be higher
by FireProof
Thu May 16, 2019 6:54 am
Forum: Personal Investments
Topic: If you are already wealthy, what keeps you motivated?
Replies: 95
Views: 9628

Re: If you are already wealthy, what keeps you motivated?

Well, wealthy is a matter of perception. For most people, it's the next level above whatever they have, and they'll never feel secure. So the issue doesn't arise.
by FireProof
Wed May 15, 2019 9:00 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Do you reward yourself for achieving a financial goal?
Replies: 107
Views: 6562

Re: Do you reward yourself for achieving a financial goal?

Yup, every time. I've already got 10 Rolexes, but for some reason I never reach that BMW.
by FireProof
Wed May 15, 2019 3:48 am
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Larry Swedroe: Trend Following As Insurance
Replies: 110
Views: 5517

Re: Larry Swedroe: Trend Following As Insurance

Pure technical trading, now? Buying high, selling low? At least a value tilt has a fairly plausible explanation. I look forward to Larry's day trading seminar on death crosses in the crypto market.
by FireProof
Tue May 14, 2019 12:22 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Imperfect market timing still works -- if you stick with it
Replies: 149
Views: 10928

Re: Imperfect market timing still works -- if you stick with it

This thread illustrates perfectly why the average investor gets like 5% below the market return. I'm not sure why you think this thread is representative of the average investor, who is constantly trying to predict what direction the market is going next. Contrary to what many believe, rules-based ...
by FireProof
Tue May 14, 2019 12:18 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Driving in Lisbon Portugal?
Replies: 25
Views: 1308

Re: Driving in Lisbon Portugal?

I have not been to Portugal but I have driven in many countries. One of my personal rules is that I strongly prefer to observe and experience traffic in a country for at least a short time before I actually drive. If I am going to cold to a new country, I would be nervous about renting at the airpo...
by FireProof
Tue May 14, 2019 7:06 am
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Imperfect market timing still works -- if you stick with it
Replies: 149
Views: 10928

Re: Imperfect market timing still works -- if you stick with it

This thread illustrates perfectly why the average investor gets like 5% below the market return.
by FireProof
Mon May 06, 2019 9:27 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: College credit for HS courses or not?
Replies: 49
Views: 2258

Re: College credit for HS courses or not?

AP courses are pretty low-level for someone planning to actually major in math - 53/57 of the kids in BC Calc at our high school got 5 on the AP Test, and plenty of those 53 did lousy in the class and didn't really know much, including me (squeaked out a B-minus, but failed multiple tests), so I wou...
by FireProof
Sat May 04, 2019 10:42 am
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Wouldn't this make Traditional IRA far superior to Roth?
Replies: 82
Views: 7831

Re: Wouldn't this make Traditional IRA far superior to Roth?

You have it exactly backwards. A Roth IRA allows you to effectively tax-shield more money (5500 post-tax rather than pre-tax), so they are better, everything else being equal. You're not explaining how that makes it better. If you're in a lower bracket at withdrawal it was worth more to you to take...
by FireProof
Sat May 04, 2019 10:23 am
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Wouldn't this make Traditional IRA far superior to Roth?
Replies: 82
Views: 7831

Re: Wouldn't this make Traditional IRA far superior to Roth?

You have it exactly backwards. A Roth IRA allows you to effectively tax-shield more money (5500 post-tax rather than pre-tax), so they are better, everything else being equal.

An excusable error, as you admit to your inexperience, but amazing how many of the people replying are equally clueless.
by FireProof
Mon Apr 29, 2019 6:17 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: 20 countries where 200K in retirement savings will last you decades
Replies: 232
Views: 28186

Re: 20 countries where 200K in retirement savings will last you decades

Almost all 3'rd world countries have a "local" rate and a "foreigner" rate.. Sure the local rate is cheap, but foreigners will be charged a lot more for everything. Even if you vacation to a third world country, everything will cost just as much or more than the US.. I would imagine that's more a d...
by FireProof
Fri Apr 26, 2019 10:21 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: 20 countries where 200K in retirement savings will last you decades
Replies: 232
Views: 28186

Re: 20 countries where 200K in retirement savings will last you decades

$24k/year don't sound like a very comfortable life. I mean, it's kind of the point of the (not very good) article that your statement is way too general. 24k/year in Malaysia means living in a 2000 sq ft luxury condo on the beach with tennis courts, pools, gym, sauna, etc., having domestic help, ea...
by FireProof
Fri Apr 26, 2019 9:36 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: 20 countries where 200K in retirement savings will last you decades
Replies: 232
Views: 28186

Re: 20 countries where 200K in retirement savings will last you decades

Modest goal, once the SS payments are thrown in, since one can also easily retire in many parts of the US on that budget. A lot of focus on Latin America, including some pretty questionable choices, presumably because of weather (but then they throw in Ukraine). Doesn't seem like a whole lot of reas...
by FireProof
Wed Apr 24, 2019 8:34 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Nonfinancial value of state university vs private college (USC)?
Replies: 64
Views: 3024

Re: Nonfinancial value of state university vs private college (USC)?

A bit of a caricatured vision of USC in this thread. Maybe at some time it was like a Trinity College, a backstop for private school kids too dumb (and stingy) to get into a respected school, but it has certainly grown beyond that. It is a large urban university, approximating large public schools i...
by FireProof
Wed Apr 24, 2019 7:58 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: What, if anything, do I owe this guy?
Replies: 82
Views: 8176

Re: What, if anything, do I owe this guy?

I''d have fun stringing him along a bit - any time wasted on you is not spent fleecing innocent people. A classic trophy is to get him to send you a picture with a fish on his head: https://www.google.com/search?client=firefox-b-d&biw=1536&bih=767&tbm=isch&sa=1&ei=NF3AXNTpIeWclwSZs6XACw&q=+scammer+f...
by FireProof
Wed Apr 24, 2019 7:50 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Nonfinancial value of state university vs private college (USC)?
Replies: 64
Views: 3024

Re: Nonfinancial value of state university vs private college (USC)?

I'd be hesitant about sending my child to school at USC ... because of the terrible neighborhood that's it's in. I don't know how Americans "price" (weight) this? U Chicago is in a horrible part of Chicago by all accounts, but the Hyde Park neighbourhood is very nice? It's own insulated world. John...
by FireProof
Tue Apr 23, 2019 8:39 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: At what age did you buy your first first class airplane ticket?
Replies: 112
Views: 4540

Re: At what age did you buy your first first class airplane ticket?

Nobody actually does - the sticker price is just there so the upgrades and miles seem more valuable.
by FireProof
Mon Apr 22, 2019 11:48 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Living Overseas for 4 Months/Year for Regional Travel (Retirement)
Replies: 75
Views: 5201

Re: Living Overseas for 4 Months/Year for Regional Travel (Retirement)

I'd say you're on the right track - the key to actually enjoying travel is slow down, slow down, slow down. It still could be pretty stressful in practice, but the one way to find out if you enjoy it is to try it out... the good thing is that the risk is pretty low. My wife and I have generally trav...
by FireProof
Wed Apr 17, 2019 2:48 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: seriously thinking about leaving S. CA but where to?
Replies: 177
Views: 10175

Re: seriously thinking about leaving S. CA but where to?

Coast of Spain. Very low crime, very low COL, great weather, great health care, no natural disasters. And it's not part of the US, but its practically part of the UK - there are English-speaking towns, English newspaper, English radio. Plus, Barcelona has two low-cost airlines with direct flights to...
by FireProof
Sun Apr 14, 2019 10:13 am
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Does international small cap matter?
Replies: 14
Views: 1776

Re: Does international small cap matter?

They might provide a valuable tilt, because they are the one thing that is still a little less correlated. But as market weight, no, it's just too little to matter.
by FireProof
Fri Apr 12, 2019 9:30 am
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Crypto bulls are back. Are you getting in?
Replies: 147
Views: 11675

Re: Crypto bulls are back. Are you getting in?

...the only crypto I would invest in is bitcoin. It is the only one I regularly see accepted online or in stores, plus it is finite... I'm very curious about this. Have you ever seen bitcoin accepted in a brick and mortar store? If so, what store? In Bergmannkiez (a neighborhood in Kreuzberg), a lo...
by FireProof
Fri Apr 12, 2019 9:17 am
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Indexing on leverage?
Replies: 31
Views: 1815

Re: Indexing on leverage?

Funny no one talked about this when LIBOR was near 0 and market was low, from 2009 to 2015 (although I was leveraged around 1.5 to 1.8 from 2011 through 2013, for time diversification purposes at the beginning of my career). Now that market has reached astronomical heights and borrowing costs have b...
by FireProof
Wed Apr 10, 2019 5:21 am
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Crypto bulls are back. Are you getting in?
Replies: 147
Views: 11675

Re: Crypto bulls are back. Are you getting in?

Once I can find a buyer for my beanie babies, all the proceeds are going into crypto.
by FireProof
Sat Apr 06, 2019 2:39 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Follow-up on college engineering thread (computational v CS v Berkeley IEOR)
Replies: 77
Views: 3929

Re: Follow-up on college engineering thread (computational v CS v Berkeley IEOR)

Note that Berkeley has a computer science degree in Letters and Science (which I would think might be easier to get into if you think switching into EECS would be difficult). Certainly for programming jobs, that's equivalent to EECS (and grad school destinations look good too). https://career.berkel...
by FireProof
Sat Apr 06, 2019 8:31 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Daughter going to college in Glasgow
Replies: 14
Views: 1298

Re: Daughter going to college in Glasgow

N26 is a good free bank account that can be set up in minutes, with TransferWise integrated and (a limited number of) free ATM withdrawals. Fintech is pretty advanced in the UK, so there are other options, too, though not sure how they compare. Charles Schwab should be adequate, too - I've managed t...
by FireProof
Mon Apr 01, 2019 6:13 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Summer Europe trip - overwhelming to plan!
Replies: 29
Views: 2167

Re: Summer Europe trip - overwhelming to plan!

Flying is usually the cheapest way to get around Europe, except for short distances between cities in the same country.
by FireProof
Sun Mar 17, 2019 1:19 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Am I being cheap? Wife wants a minivan, but I want to hold off
Replies: 170
Views: 7815

Re: Am I being cheap? Wife wants a minivan, but I want to hold off

Kenkat wrote:
Sun Mar 17, 2019 11:17 am
You can’t get 4x8 sheets of plywood or drywall in a CRV. You can’t get 40 bags of mulch in a CRV. You may or may not get a 60in TV in a CRV, but it’s a no brainer n a minivan.
Sounds like a you need a pickup truck, not a minivan.
by FireProof
Wed Mar 13, 2019 5:47 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Bright daughter wants to work for nonprofit
Replies: 103
Views: 7892

Re: Bright daughter wants to work for nonprofit

First of all, where are the posters with dumb sons and dumb daughters? Everyone seems to have smarter than average children, but I rarely run into parents with stupider than average children. Helicopter parenting and a good network does wonders (as do bribes to schools apparently)! And a lot of the...
by FireProof
Mon Mar 11, 2019 6:08 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Are academic enrichment courses for school age kids worth it
Replies: 61
Views: 3187

Re: Are academic enrichment courses for school age kids worth it

Consider that elementary school grades will literally never be looked at again - they serve only to measure learning, and it sounds like they are learning fine, if they make only a few careless errors.
by FireProof
Sun Mar 10, 2019 12:46 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Recaptcha strategies and tactics
Replies: 20
Views: 1461

Re: Recaptcha strategies and tactics

At least I'm not alone. "Click all images with a storefront." Fine, but sometimes the signs on the buildings are in Chinese or something. I don't read Chinese. Is it a storefront, a subway entrance, a police station, or a public restroom? Only the algorithm knows. Reminds of a place I used to work....
by FireProof
Sat Mar 09, 2019 3:36 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: How much does owning vehicles (cost/month)
Replies: 53
Views: 3927

Re: How much does owning vehicles (cost/month)

quantAndHold wrote:
Sat Mar 09, 2019 3:20 pm
Of course, if we got rid of both cars, we would save $400/month on the cars, and could rent out the 2 car detached garage for $3-400. A lot of Lyft can be purchased for $700/month.
Eh, sadly not a whole lot of Lyfts. Taxi prices are insane!
by FireProof
Fri Mar 08, 2019 5:37 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Medical and Living in Germany
Replies: 32
Views: 2492

Re: Medical and Living in Germany

For those that have done a similar thing, did any of you have medical events that were serious while living & working in Germany ? Sure, I've lived a long time in Germany and had lots of medical issues, one of which had me in the hospital. Medical care is fine there (better than the U.S. in many wa...