Search found 264 matches

by Userdc
Wed Nov 13, 2019 8:25 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Tech guys need help with Mesh wifi booster...
Replies: 48
Views: 2330

Re: Tech guys need help with Mesh wifi booster...

I messed around with extenders, different router placement, and just dealing with bad WiFi for years.

Then I bought a google WiFi and I have had zero issues since then. I had planned to set up a MoCA backhaul, but didn’t need it, I’m able to stream seamlessly anywhere in the house.
by Userdc
Thu Aug 15, 2019 3:32 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Anyone in Westchester County, NY here?
Replies: 11
Views: 1202

Re: Anyone in Westchester County, NY here?

Are you looking to rent or buy? There are some older co-op buildings in many Westchester towns that are walkable. Have you looked at the newer riverfront condos/townhouses in Tarrytown/Ossining? Long Island City is going to have 100 times more walkability, food options, and access to the city than a...
by Userdc
Thu Jul 25, 2019 9:24 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: First Home Purchase - Disagreement on Appraisal Contingency
Replies: 81
Views: 3835

Re: First Home Purchase - Disagreement on Appraisal Contingency

Next time don’t let on that you are putting more than 20% down! Would the offer sheet simply say, 'I'd like to buy your house'? :happy That's kind of an important chip to play in a seller's market with competing bids. Not something to easily hide. Most purchase agreements have it required to state ...
by Userdc
Thu Jul 25, 2019 8:36 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: First Home Purchase - Disagreement on Appraisal Contingency
Replies: 81
Views: 3835

Re: First Home Purchase - Disagreement on Appraisal Contingency

This seems like a reasonable ask from the seller. You’ve agreed on the price and they don’t want to give you a free option to get cold feet and force them to find another buyer or try to renegotiate if the appraisal comes in slightly low. Appraisals are a wild card and can come in all over the place...
by Userdc
Wed Jul 24, 2019 9:20 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Is solar power for your home a worthwhile investment?
Replies: 145
Views: 14492

Re: Is solar power for your home a worthwhile investment?

Solar is entirely dependent on subsidies. Sounds like somebody has an axe to grind. This is far from true. https://www.forbes.com/sites/dominicdudley/2018/01/13/renewable-energy-cost-effective-fossil-fuels-2020/#433ea7054ff2 This thread is about putting solar on your home. Prove that it is economic...
by Userdc
Wed Jul 24, 2019 8:56 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Thank you notes,,, out of favor these days?
Replies: 107
Views: 6430

Re: Thank you notes,,, out of favor these days?

I guess I’m in the minority here, but I don’t like thank you notes and I certainly hope they are going away. We all have enough on our plates in life without collectively burdening ourselves with another chore. I also find them disingenuous. It’s odd that every gift I’ve received a thank you note fo...
by Userdc
Wed Jun 05, 2019 7:16 am
Forum: Personal Investments
Topic: Should I bring bonds into my Roth IRA?
Replies: 21
Views: 1176

Re: Should I bring bonds into my Roth IRA?

As long as you tax-adjust your different account types, I don’t think it matters if you own bonds in tax-deferred or Roth accounts. 1. Figure out your total asset allocation bonds v stocks 2. Multiply your taxable and tax-deferred by a percentage equal to the percentage of those accounts you expect ...
by Userdc
Thu Feb 14, 2019 8:18 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: 2019 Tax Question with respect to 2018 SALT deduction limit
Replies: 18
Views: 1240

Re: 2019 Tax Question with respect to 2018 SALT deduction limit

I’m way above the SALT limit, so I’m assuming state tax refunds will no longer be included in income starting with my 2019 return.
by Userdc
Thu Feb 14, 2019 8:11 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: [2018 tax return - How does it compare to previous years?]
Replies: 441
Views: 35346

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

I model my taxes in Excel throughout the year to dial in my withholding, so I was able to run my 2018 taxes under the new law and the old laws. I can’t be 100% sure I did the old tax laws right, but my Excel calculation for the new laws matched my TurboTax numbers. I was significantly impacted by th...
by Userdc
Fri Feb 17, 2017 11:12 am
Forum: Personal Investments
Topic: 529 Asset Allocation - is this valid thinking?
Replies: 54
Views: 6556

Re: 529 Asset Allocation - is this valid thinking?

Just speaking for myself, I have 529 accounts for my young children and have 100% in bonds. I consider it part of overall asset allocation, so I don't think it's too important what my the allocation is in the 529 as long as I offset it elsewhere but I ended up 100% bonds for two reasons: 1. Quality ...
by Userdc
Fri Jun 17, 2016 11:11 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Medical Billing Error - a success story!
Replies: 16
Views: 3792

Re: Medical Billing Error - a success story!

I am also convinced that many of these "errors" are fraudulent attempts by doctors and hospitals to get overpaid by forgetful or busy patients who don't check their math. And I bet their success rate is pretty high. We recently went through this on an HSA plan, where we received a flood of bills in ...
by Userdc
Wed Feb 03, 2016 10:17 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: What do you pay per year for daycare?
Replies: 33
Views: 3012

Re: What do you pay per year for daycare?

We have 12 hours/day of in-home care for two toddlers, plus preschool for both in NY Metro.

Nanny Salary + health care + (a lot of) taxes + payroll service + preschool tuition is north of $70K/year.
by Userdc
Tue Dec 08, 2015 5:56 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Quadcopter (drone) experience/recommendation
Replies: 26
Views: 2338

Re: Quadcopter (drone) experience/recommendation

I'd start with a super cheapo like the $50 syma X-5c before sinking any money into an intermediate or advanced model.
by Userdc
Mon Oct 12, 2015 9:08 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Hard to live well and save on $1mm in NYC Metro
Replies: 37
Views: 3539

Re: Hard to live well and save on $1mm in NYC Metro

Why are you paying NYC income taxes? A $1.5-2M home is quite nice in the NYC suburbs and on your 15Y mortgage you are "saving" quite a bit every month in principal payments. I won't go line by line on the rest, but this is a very comfortable upper middle class lifestyle and you are still saving well...
by Userdc
Fri Apr 10, 2015 12:16 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Should I renege [on a] job offer?
Replies: 48
Views: 7606

Re: Should I renege [on a] job offer?

You'll need to originate some serious deal flow to pull in 2MM in comp as a MD haha. Even then, I'd be surprised your not out in PE if your in it for the money. A MD at BX/TPG/KKR can make SO much more than any BB/Elite MM. I feel like consulting comp is still pretty good. At the shop I signed at, ...
by Userdc
Tue Mar 24, 2015 7:00 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Do we need irrevocable life insurance trust (ILIT)?
Replies: 27
Views: 3660

Re: Do we need irrevocable life insurance trust (ILIT)?

a carefully planned death Don't give your wife any ideas. I don't know anything about ILITs, but I will echo the others who think $10M is way too much for your situation. Focus on replacing needs, not income. And don't forget about social security death benefit for the kids. At the very least, cons...
by Userdc
Sun Mar 22, 2015 10:10 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Laptop: Windows based vs. Apple
Replies: 87
Views: 16114

Re: Laptop: Windows based vs. Apple

I have always used windows-based PCs, at home, at school, at work. I have no desire to learn another operating system, so I find macs and tremendously frustrating to use when I am forced to use my wife's macbook. I have nothing against Apple - I've owned many of their products, including many variet...
by Userdc
Tue Mar 17, 2015 3:24 pm
Forum: Personal Investments
Topic: how often do you check performance?
Replies: 70
Views: 8161

Re: how often do you check performance?

I check balances daily and performance relative to benchmarks, never.
by Userdc
Mon Mar 02, 2015 2:46 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: First Home Purchase - Property Tax vs Commuting Costs
Replies: 17
Views: 1597

Re: First Home Purchase - Property Tax vs Commuting Costs

Living in a closer suburb vs a further suburb is not a math problem. There are major differences between these two lifestyles that will have a much larger impact on your life than a miniscule difference in commuting costs. Personally, I live in an option 1 town because I like a shorter commute, a de...
by Userdc
Sat Feb 28, 2015 7:03 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: iPhone upgrade
Replies: 30
Views: 4478

Re: iPhone upgrade

I don't think that's gouging, iPhones are expensive. It sounds like you have a plan that doesn't bundle in "free" upgrades every two years paid for by a higher monthly bill. As these plans have become less popular, I've seen multiple people be surprised by how expensive smartphones are. The best way...
by Userdc
Thu Feb 26, 2015 7:51 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: 3 Kids and 2 Dogs - Next Vehicle
Replies: 31
Views: 7088

Re: 3 Kids and 2 Dogs - Next Vehicle

Honda Odyssey is a nice van but is pretty bad in the snow. Toyota sienna is also nice but has run flat tires (no spare) which was a deal breaker for us. We put snow tires on our Odyssey in the winter and we haven't had any traction issues. But we do live in an urban area that is quickly plowed, so ...
by Userdc
Sun Feb 22, 2015 8:36 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: School ratings, differing opinions on potential home local
Replies: 11
Views: 1357

Re: School ratings, differing opinions on potential home loc

Personally, I think the vast majority of the difference you see in school system performance has nothing to do with the schools or teachers or "quality" of the school system. Again, just my opinion, but good kids with good parents will do just as well in the 40th percentile school as the 95th percen...
by Userdc
Sat Feb 21, 2015 4:45 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: CarsDirect didn't lead to dealers responding with prices
Replies: 63
Views: 8619

Re: CarsDirect didn't lead to dealers responding with prices

I'm confused as to why trying to pay what others are paying is such a good deal - don't most people overpay for cars because they are even less savvy than someone going off invoice? I really think your average car buyer is an easy mark. I think I'd still prefer knowing invoice, dealer holdback, and...
by Userdc
Sat Feb 21, 2015 12:14 pm
Forum: Personal Investments
Topic: How to handle temporary blip in asset allocation?
Replies: 1
Views: 311

How to handle temporary blip in asset allocation?

My current asset allocation is 60/40. One third of the stock allocation is vested but not delivered company stock (I don't include unvested stock in my AA). When this vested stock is delivered shortly, it will be delivered as stock to a brokerage account and sold on my behalf over a series of days, ...
by Userdc
Sat Feb 21, 2015 11:12 am
Forum: Personal Investments
Topic: HSA with Significant Known Medical Expenses
Replies: 5
Views: 700

Re: HSA with Significant Known Medical Expenses

Can you do an FSA with option 3?

If you have predictable medical expenses, a traditional plan with an FSA can be just as tax-efficient as an HDHP with HSA.
by Userdc
Sat Feb 21, 2015 9:33 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: CarsDirect didn't lead to dealers responding with prices
Replies: 63
Views: 8619

Re: CarsDirect didn't lead to dealers responding with prices

I tried the email game the last time I bought a car, and it was mostly a waste of time. Here's what I recommend: 1) pick out the car you want, know exactly what trim/options/color you want. 2) use truecar, edmunds, and any online resources you can find (car specific forums, etc) to figure out what p...
by Userdc
Thu Feb 12, 2015 3:30 pm
Forum: Personal Investments
Topic: Quick question on tax-advantaged space
Replies: 26
Views: 2210

Re: Quick question on tax-advantaged space

I currently don't have a Plan C. Why take out a car loan if less than 3%? Assuming a five-year loan, where am I going to get a guaranteed 3% or thereabout? Many car loans are cheaper than 3%. Penfed has a 60 month new car loan at 2.25%. Just borrow the $12K instead of using your roth, and invest th...
by Userdc
Thu Feb 12, 2015 8:03 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Where to buy nice men's dress shirts?
Replies: 94
Views: 26251

Re: Where to buy nice men's dress shirts?

I've tried everything but I keep coming back to the BB non-iron slim fits.

I wish they were a little cheaper and the elbows didn't tear so easily, but I haven't found any off-the-rack shirts that match up in terms of fit, look, and comfort.

I just stock up a couple of times a year during the sales.
by Userdc
Wed Feb 11, 2015 1:50 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Should I Get an HDHP Just to Use an HSA?
Replies: 20
Views: 2623

Re: Should I Get an HDHP Just to Use an HSA?

I still don't think those numbers are right. Here's the parameters: HDHP: 2,000 deductible, 4,500 OOP Max Standard: 300 deductible, 2,500 OOP Max So if we assume the HSA benefit is a round $1,000 dollars, then I show the breakeven at $1,550: HDHP: $1,550 - $1,000 = $550 Standard: $300 + 20% * ($1,25...
by Userdc
Sun Feb 08, 2015 10:27 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: How much was your Tax Refund (or amount DUE)
Replies: 110
Views: 12761

Re: How much was your Tax Refund (or amount DUE)

I will owe >$10K to the Feds and will get about the same amount back from my state.
by Userdc
Sat Feb 07, 2015 9:47 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Determining your "number" when you want to leave nothing
Replies: 21
Views: 3045

Re: Determining your "number" when you want to leave nothing

Get a SPIA quote.

If you put zero value on a bequest, it's hard to beat the safe withdrawal rate of a SPIA.
by Userdc
Sat Feb 07, 2015 4:53 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Should I Get an HDHP Just to Use an HSA?
Replies: 20
Views: 2623

Re: Should I Get an HDHP Just to Use an HSA?

The only way I could see an advantage here is if you are in a very high tax bracket and already max out your tax advantaged space.

In that situation, it might be worth it to "pay" for additional tax-deferred space by taking a worse plan.
by Userdc
Thu Feb 05, 2015 8:55 am
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: [Janitor in Vermont leaves millions] A true Boglehead!
Replies: 55
Views: 5756

Re: A true Boglehead!

I don't think you need to own index funds to be a boglehead.

Before index funds existed, you could get practically the same result by accumulating a diversified stock buy-and-hold portfolio, while also investing in savings bonds and CDs.

And you could still do the same thing today.
by Userdc
Tue Feb 03, 2015 3:39 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Are car loans really that bad?
Replies: 86
Views: 18699

Re: Are car loans really that bad?

A 4-year-old model with 40-50k miles would have saved me ~25% But percentage of purchase price is not the appropriate way to measure the savings. That's a very low depreciation rate for a car. But if it really only depreciates 25% in 4 years, it's potentially cheaper to own the new car. Let's say t...
by Userdc
Mon Feb 02, 2015 9:23 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Poll: Do you contribute max to tax-advantaged before 529?
Replies: 50
Views: 6182

Re: Poll: Do you contribute max to tax-advantaged before 529

In other words, a 529 plan is not the only game in town. Those education tax credits are quite helpful, especially since we never did double our money in 529 plan investments. So something to think about is whether your family will be able to take advantage of those tax credits. I have no idea if I...
by Userdc
Sun Feb 01, 2015 7:50 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Need advice on financing RV
Replies: 7
Views: 1470

Re: Need advice on financing RV

Have you looked into a HELOC? Might be a lower rate than the RV loan.
by Userdc
Thu Jan 29, 2015 1:22 pm
Forum: Personal Investments
Topic: HSA... any receipt savers?
Replies: 218
Views: 32586

Re: HSA... any receipt savers?

letsgobobby wrote: Just like with a "get out of jail free" card in Monopoly, I suspect most of us would save it until we actually needed it.
I suspect you are right, but most people would pay less taxes and end up with more money if they used the voucher ASAP.
by Userdc
Thu Jan 29, 2015 1:14 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Placement of stock/bonds - tax-deferred vs. tax-free
Replies: 4
Views: 597

Re: Placement of stock/bonds - tax-deferred vs. tax-free

I would recommend using a tax-adjusted asset allocation. Userdc - thanks for the response. Even with the tax-adjusted allocation in that hypothetical, I'm going to end up with less of an after-tax benefit if stocks outperform bonds than if I had put 100% stocks in the Roth. So if I'm willing to bet...
by Userdc
Thu Jan 29, 2015 12:44 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Placement of stock/bonds - tax-deferred vs. tax-free
Replies: 4
Views: 597

Re: Placement of stock/bonds - tax-deferred vs. tax-free

I would recommend using a tax-adjusted asset allocation. So if you expect your tax rate in retirement to be 20% (to make the math easy), you effectively own 80% of that account and the government owns 20%. So your tax-adjusted account values are $5k for the Roth and $4K for the trad IRA. Using those...
by Userdc
Thu Jan 29, 2015 12:29 pm
Forum: Personal Investments
Topic: HSA... any receipt savers?
Replies: 218
Views: 32586

Re: HSA... any receipt savers?

This discussion has been very helpful for me as well. To me, the two key assumptions for knpstr's analysis are: 1) you expect your lifetime HSA contributions/earnings to comfortably exceed your lifetime medical expenses. Essentially, you are putting extra money in the HSA with the intent of using so...
by Userdc
Thu Jan 29, 2015 10:24 am
Forum: Personal Investments
Topic: Just purchased 2015 maximum EE Series Bonds
Replies: 67
Views: 6970

Re: Just purchased 2015 maximum EE Series Bonds

How does one account for that drawback in determining whether EE or I bonds are more attractive? I have accounted for that by buying I Bonds and not buying EE Bonds. That continues to be one of the key reasons I struggle with EEs. But I'm running out of tax-deferred space for bonds, and I'm startin...
by Userdc
Thu Jan 29, 2015 9:51 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Poll: Do you contribute max to tax-advantaged before 529?
Replies: 50
Views: 6182

Re: Poll: Do you contribute max to tax-advantaged before 529

I contribute max to all tax advantaged accounts except for 529.

For 529 I contribute up to the maximum state income tax break, and no more.
by Userdc
Thu Jan 29, 2015 9:26 am
Forum: Personal Investments
Topic: HSA... any receipt savers?
Replies: 218
Views: 32586

Re: HSA... any receipt savers?

I think it's good for everyone to run the numbers, and there are certainly scenarios where a taxable account beats a non-deduticble IRA (which I think is the appropriate comparison when we talk about whether we should spend 1,000 already in an HSA vs 1,000 in taxable). In many cases, this same analy...
by Userdc
Tue Jan 27, 2015 8:07 pm
Forum: Personal Investments
Topic: Just purchased 2015 maximum EE Series Bonds
Replies: 67
Views: 6970

Re: Just purchased 2015 maximum EE Series Bonds

remember that government can change the rules at any time, like change doubling time from 20 to 30 years... this would be a disaster, and I would be out... so if you are planning on it, grab the opportunity while it still exists, don't procrastinate, I've learned my lesson with Tobyhanna CDs, first...
by Userdc
Tue Jan 27, 2015 7:36 pm
Forum: Personal Investments
Topic: Just purchased 2015 maximum EE Series Bonds
Replies: 67
Views: 6970

Re: Just purchased 2015 maximum EE Series Bonds

This might be the year I finally pull the trigger on EE bonds. My long term tax exempt munis have performed well the last year, but that means the SEC yield has dropped to 2.16%. So, right now EE bonds look attractive even if I remain in a high tax bracket 20 years from now. I still have trouble wit...
by Userdc
Sun Jan 25, 2015 7:13 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Salary to Home Value/Mortgage Ratio?
Replies: 50
Views: 20065

Re: Salary to Home Value/Mortgage Ratio?

i don't know if there's a good rule of thumb for this, it depends on so many factors, and gross salary is only one of them. To me, as long as you 1) can afford the PITI and still hit your savings goals AND 2) the cost to buy isn't way out of whack with the cost to rent AND 3) you plan to stay long e...
by Userdc
Sat Jan 24, 2015 4:22 pm
Forum: Personal Investments
Topic: Bad 401K or Taxable or Mortgage or Car Loan?
Replies: 19
Views: 1384

Re: Bad 401K or Taxable or Mortgage or Car Loan?

I'm definitely glad I did it but refinancing again at $99K and incurring a couple thousand in closing costs and extending the loan out 4 more years....I dunno. I might take a look at 10-year deals though. You aren't really extending the loan, you are giving yourself the option to extend the loan. I...
by Userdc
Sat Jan 24, 2015 1:00 pm
Forum: Personal Investments
Topic: Bad 401K or Taxable or Mortgage or Car Loan?
Replies: 19
Views: 1384

Re: Bad 401K or Taxable or Mortgage or Car Loan?

I think paying off the car loan probably makes the most sense, but a couple questions:

Do you have a Roth 401k option? Do you itemize or take standard deduction?
by Userdc
Sat Jan 24, 2015 9:21 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Is my term life policy quote too high?
Replies: 39
Views: 4500

Re: Is my term life policy quote too high?

I have no idea if that is a good rate, but I would shop around.

I had similar stats when I got my $2 million 20 yr policy, and i pay under a hundred a month.
by Userdc
Fri Jan 23, 2015 9:20 pm
Forum: Personal Investments
Topic: Grandfather wanting to transfer portfolio to kids. Question
Replies: 67
Views: 5137

Re: Grandfather wanting to transfer portfolio to kids. Ques

I'm 80, and I have all my money in a simple 3-fund Vanguard portfolio... I want to give my money to my kid now, and I tried to explain why the 3-fund portfolio was simple, easy to manage, generates a decent return, and is less volatile. My daughter (and her son-in-law) told me that they have no int...