Search found 1082 matches

by ray.james
Fri May 17, 2019 5:29 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Instant Coffee?
Replies: 67
Views: 3924

Re: Instant Coffee?

Occasional weekends, friends for us/frappuccino drinks at home. We use tasters choice instant coffee.
by ray.james
Fri May 17, 2019 1:27 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: how do Tariffs impact your portfolio?
Replies: 25
Views: 1283

Re: how do Tariffs impact your portfolio?

Possibly zero, but as other mentioned, the concern is with animal spirits and rest of the market. Hold 60/40 steady.

Housing + daycare + car payment constitute 78% of my expenses. All these will not change quite much/quite soon if inflation is considered.
by ray.james
Wed May 08, 2019 12:47 pm
Forum: Personal Investments
Topic: Mega-Backdoor Roth (MBR) vs 529 for college
Replies: 13
Views: 883

Re: Mega-Backdoor Roth (MBR) vs 529 for college

I have been in same shoes and even had 2-3 threads on bogleheads. There are some interesting posts across the years. This is what I am doing and why: Assumptions: No state match for 529. Quick conclusions: 1) MBR(mega backdoor roth) beats all 2) If in doubt, front-load 1-2 years of 529 instead of MB...
by ray.james
Wed Apr 24, 2019 2:11 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Taxes: marginal rate now vs effective rate in retirement
Replies: 198
Views: 9435

Re: Taxes: marginal rate now vs effective rate in retirement

I remember a long discussion in 2016 of about f 9-13 pages on marginal vs effective discussion. I did not understand it then. I think I am finally seeing the light. Thanks for the great discussion. I think I have the same misunderstanding as gilgamesh. I also want too highlight greyfox point. This d...
by ray.james
Mon Apr 22, 2019 12:40 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: [2018 tax return - How does it compare to previous years?]
Replies: 441
Views: 30783

Re: How did you feel about your 2018 tax returns?

We are in sweet spot, kids now eligible for credits, no home in high tax state, long ramp of 24% bracket. I like the standard deduction aspect which expanded to more than 85% of population. As a policy standpoint, I would have loved for removal of mortgage deduction completely forcing only medical/e...
by ray.james
Fri Apr 19, 2019 11:23 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: The reality of borrowing from your 401k for home mortgage
Replies: 48
Views: 3200

Re: The reality of borrowing from your 401k for home mortgage

I was stuck between 401k(+loan) vs saving for down payment. I went with 401k. I am glad I did. My timeline of purchase changed from 2 years to 6 years and I still continue to rent. I have enough down payment now for 20%. In years 3-4 I chose to have 50K of 401k in bonds and the rest invested. I can...
by ray.james
Fri Apr 19, 2019 3:59 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: The reality of borrowing from your 401k for home mortgage
Replies: 48
Views: 3200

Re: The reality of borrowing from your 401k for home mortgage

I was stuck between 401k(+loan) vs saving for down payment. I went with 401k. I am glad I did. My timeline of purchase changed from 2 years to 6 years and I still continue to rent. I have enough down payment now for 20%. In years 3-4 I chose to have 50K of 401k in bonds and the rest invested. I can ...
by ray.james
Mon Apr 15, 2019 10:19 pm
Forum: Personal Investments
Topic: Buy a house or wait in bay area
Replies: 48
Views: 9726

Re: Buy a house or wait in bay area

we will max tax advantaged accounts. But there will be few years when future child will be in daycare(2 kids) with zero savings beyond 401k. Any thoughts? Since you mentioned day care cost, what about K-12 edu for both kids? I'd guess ~$1.3M budget won't buy you a townhouse in decent school distric...
by ray.james
Mon Apr 15, 2019 10:13 pm
Forum: Personal Investments
Topic: Buy a house or wait in bay area
Replies: 48
Views: 9726

Re: Buy a house or wait in bay area

4x ratio is quite do-able and normal for the bay area. You *could* do it. But I don't know if you really want to. Given your income growth, and savings rate, perhaps it makes sense to continue renting and/or save towards a SFH (single family home)? Among your list, I don't see school quality mentio...
by ray.james
Sun Apr 14, 2019 7:59 pm
Forum: Personal Investments
Topic: Buy a house or wait in bay area
Replies: 48
Views: 9726

Re: Buy a house or wait in bay area

We were in your position about 1.5 years ago with a similar family situation, income/house price ratio, and commute/neighborhood benefits as you - we pulled the trigger and are happy with that decision. Our house price has dropped a bit since we purchased but we don’t care much - we were happy with...
by ray.james
Sun Apr 14, 2019 1:27 am
Forum: Personal Investments
Topic: Buy a house or wait in bay area
Replies: 48
Views: 9726

Re: Buy a house or wait in bay area

The clock turned 2 years. A few things changed on our end and we are now again looking to buy. Home is for 1.25 to 1.35 millon range. Income increased quite a bit. When I made the original post, we wanted to buy in east bay but as time went by, we do not want to commute that much. Meantime our incom...
by ray.james
Wed Apr 10, 2019 12:14 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Rent vs buy calculator that accounts for 2019 tax changes?
Replies: 5
Views: 431

Re: Rent vs buy calculator that accounts for 2019 tax changes?

I manually use 10% tax rate in NY times calculator. I found that to be accurate for 33% marginal rat(state+fed). On a broad scale because of salt limitation and 750K mortgage limit most people will get 350-450 tax deduction per month. So if one has HOA/Hoa+ inusrance in that range one can enter zero...
by ray.james
Mon Apr 08, 2019 12:27 pm
Forum: Personal Investments
Topic: Ultimate Buy and Hold...thoughts?
Replies: 27
Views: 4009

Re: Ultimate Buy and Hold...thoughts?

My portfolio is close approximation of TrevH 4 fund.
by ray.james
Tue Apr 02, 2019 5:18 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: 529 tax hack if you plan to expatriate?
Replies: 24
Views: 2164

Re: 529 tax hack if you plan to expatriate?

Yes, your plan is sound but there are some gotchas to be aware. - The tax rules are different if you are a citizen or not. Foreign income exclusion, housing etc., - It allows to file as single and married filing separately when you are non resident. This is huge as you will not get married filing jo...
by ray.james
Mon Mar 25, 2019 6:37 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: A 23% increase from ATT Wireless
Replies: 84
Views: 6165

Re: A 23% increase from ATT Wireless

We switched to mint from T-mobile. 8GB per line is 20 bucks per month. T-mobile was pretty good but mint is serious savings. The tax rate is also low.
I remember ATT/T-mobile charging 15%+ in taxes.
by ray.james
Mon Mar 25, 2019 11:16 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Stretching? (Home purchase)
Replies: 20
Views: 2819

Re: Stretching? (Home purchase)

If you want to buy and burden your solvency near a housing market top good luck w/that. Again 1829 main st., Marshfield, Ma, 1 livable ranch, 5 acres! Marshfield hills, Ma. was 141k 5yrs back. Zillow it. 1.3M for a duplex, in ny? Good luck! The RE could go to 250k., BELIEVE IT. Good luck Funny. As ...
by ray.james
Mon Mar 18, 2019 12:40 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Average college costs Published vs net
Replies: 9
Views: 869

Re: Average college costs Published vs net

Another most discussed, is costs by state . I am adding the below chart that shows published costs by state. I could not find net costs by state but there some pointers over the report that can help deduce/better idea on it(eg: state share of cost, avg increase-decrease by year-state funding, etc., ...
by ray.james
Mon Mar 18, 2019 12:30 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Average college costs Published vs net
Replies: 9
Views: 869

Average college costs Published vs net

I found a good report released this year by collegeBoard on trends in college pricing. We often have discussions on how much the college costs and there have been several posts talking about net costs. This report really ties in well. The whole report is concise and informative. I am including a few...
by ray.james
Fri Mar 08, 2019 12:19 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Best Car Values
Replies: 155
Views: 10690

Re: Best Car Values

I find 2-3 year off lease lower brand premium like Hyundai, Kia, Ford, Nissan are better value.
I am open to taking a risk on reliability at 2-3 year age. Besides new features and safety are a plus. Usually these cars are more loaded then same trim Honda/Toyota.
by ray.james
Tue Mar 05, 2019 4:55 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Before and after the crash
Replies: 50
Views: 3110

Re: Before and after the crash

It looks like the above is a contemporary created historical fiction. It's an interesting project, but I'm not sure it's something to use when deciding how to act. I remember reading somewhere that there's a good book, a diary, from someone in that era. Does anyone know the name of that book? The g...
by ray.james
Wed Feb 27, 2019 12:45 pm
Forum: Personal Investments
Topic: Theory: NOW is the Best Time for Total World Stock
Replies: 139
Views: 15868

Re: Theory: NOW is the Best Time for Total World Stock

It's worth noting that about 44% of the sales from S&P 500 companies are international I imagine the % of revenue in the US from total international is much smaller. Does anyone know? If we assume is is 20% (that is just a guess), that would mean that by going 50/50 US and International in your inv...
by ray.james
Tue Feb 26, 2019 11:58 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Is Hyundai the value sweet spot?
Replies: 124
Views: 9709

Re: Is Hyundai the value sweet spot?

My 2019 elantra is going strong. Bought it at 1 year used for 10,000. Just did the belts, etc which is the major one in 10 years/120k miles. 2 new batteries, 1 new tire(prob upgrading soon), timing belt, 1 transmission fluid. Rest all are oil changes, filters, wipers once a year. Hoping for another...
by ray.james
Mon Feb 25, 2019 1:07 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Is Hyundai the value sweet spot?
Replies: 124
Views: 9709

Re: Is Hyundai the value sweet spot?

I would buy 1-2 year used Hyundai. The value is excellent than brand new ones. Even brand new ones often go at a steep discount. My 2009 elantra is going strong. Bought it at 1 year used for 10,000. Just did the belts, etc which is the major one in 10 years/120k miles. 2 new batteries, 1 new tire(pr...
by ray.james
Mon Feb 25, 2019 12:46 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: U.S. stocks continue to soar!
Replies: 902
Views: 86903

Re: U.S. stocks continue to soar!

Small caps are on a tear from the December lows. Good thing I only think of market timing and never do it :happy
by ray.james
Wed Feb 20, 2019 4:48 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: possible to have TOO MUCH in 401k account?
Replies: 104
Views: 18374

Re: possible to have TOO MUCH in 401k account?

Compounded tax free on untaxed amount leads to far larger net worth especially for prolific savers. However when we did the math it had to be over 1.8million per person when combined with social security etc to matter. So for a couple this is 3.5 million which is an extremely large number. Combine t...
by ray.james
Tue Feb 19, 2019 6:46 pm
Forum: US Chapters
Topic: How many bogleheads do you know in real life?
Replies: 130
Views: 8825

Re: How many bogleheads do you know in real life?

Actually quite a few and I have been surprised by a fair margin! However they are bogleheads in a complete different sense. Most bought homes with 10% down and seem to have paid off their heloc/10% second loan portion in 2 years. This is Bay area. So I have been extremely impressed. Few couples have...
by ray.james
Tue Feb 19, 2019 6:29 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Fast turnaround on Federal Tax
Replies: 40
Views: 3674

Re: Fast turnaround on Federal Tax

I filed on 2/8 and still waiting for fed refund. we bought a plug in towards year end. So far, it just says waiting for verification. My guess is someone needs to do a quick manual check due to refund size.
by ray.james
Thu Feb 14, 2019 1:37 pm
Forum: Personal Investments
Topic: Theory: NOW is the Best Time for Total World Stock
Replies: 139
Views: 15868

Re: Theory: NOW is the Best Time for Total World Stock

Total world is an excellent choice, but market time of it is pretty much dubious. My guess is , USA will continue out performance compared to rest of the world. However, the out performance might be muted due to dollar weakening with the expanding deficits. The interest payments are expected to hit ...
by ray.james
Mon Feb 11, 2019 3:33 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Any meal preppers? I need new dishes. [containers]
Replies: 22
Views: 1972

Re: Any meal preppers? I need new dishes.

Search the web for 'glass containers with snap lids'. You'll see a bunch of options. We use these types of containers for leftovers at home, and I'm sure they'd work well for taking lunch to work. I don't freeze in them (but I'm guessing you could), and I don't microwave the lids. This. Snapware gl...
by ray.james
Mon Feb 11, 2019 11:57 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: H&R Block 2018 Tax Software Deluxe $18.00 - Black Friday sale
Replies: 309
Views: 25798

Re: H&R Block 2018 Tax Software Deluxe $18.00 - Black Friday sale

State efiling is extra usually at $20-30. Five federal e-files are included.
by ray.james
Tue Feb 05, 2019 3:51 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: HEDGEFUNDIE's excellent adventure [risk parity strategy using 3x leveraged ETFs]
Replies: 1829
Views: 124652

Re: HEDGEFUNDIE's excellent adventure [3x leveraged ETF strategy]

Hedgefundie,

Best wishes. I hope you beat the S&P. I have read a bunch on these strategies. The only issue is with volatility determines the success and the extent of success. It does not even matter market is up or down in 10 years.
by ray.james
Tue Feb 05, 2019 12:27 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Unpleasant surprise 2018 Federal Tax - high level overview?
Replies: 114
Views: 16339

Re: Unpleasant surprise 2018 Federal Tax - high level overview?

Out taxes went down. We became eligible for child tax credit and lower tax brackets. The 24% bracket goes all the way to 315K+ inflation indexed.Add 2 401k, DFSA, FSA/HSA, Health insurance for another 50- 60K. 370K is the golden number where the marginal rate stays at 33% for fed+ CA. It hasn't been...
by ray.james
Mon Feb 04, 2019 2:27 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: CA homes and new SALT limits
Replies: 48
Views: 5756

Re: CA homes and new SALT limits

Ragnoth explained this better for housing. In regards to housing the deductible interest is on 750K. At 5% current highest rates, it is 25,000 worth of maximum interest deduction. Add 10K SALT cap, we are taking about 35K vs 24K worth of standard deduction. An addition 10K deduction is not ground br...
by ray.james
Thu Jan 31, 2019 5:08 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: iPhones with trade in
Replies: 22
Views: 1280

Re: IPhone Sale from APple

Ah I see, that answers my question regarding apple trade in. So the refurbished are always traded in? For a phone, this makes me rethink the battery capacity issues. I have been using $200 android phones now for some time. Usually these are ~400 when launched but their price falls to 200 in 4-5 mont...
by ray.james
Wed Jan 30, 2019 6:03 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Setting up Will, do we need trust?
Replies: 50
Views: 3634

Re: Setting up Will, do we need trust?

bsteiner, thank you for sharing your tips. These are complex topics and often not understood well.
by ray.james
Wed Jan 30, 2019 3:51 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Setting up Will, do we need trust?
Replies: 50
Views: 3634

Re: Setting up Will, do we need trust?

I am in the same boat and want to ask input from everyone. If one has very young kids, what are the options other than trust? Can a secondary beneficiary on ERISA/brokerage account/Home be minor? How does it work. <Between spouse and I we have each other as beneficiary and when possible use joint ac...
by ray.james
Thu Jan 17, 2019 3:31 am
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: John Bogle has died at age 89
Replies: 856
Views: 50872

Re: John Bogle has died at age 89

Rest in peace, Jack. Thank you for en-lighting the retail investors to indexing and lowering costs. You thoughts and the world you built is built enormous wealth for the little man.
by ray.james
Fri Jan 11, 2019 4:36 pm
Forum: US Chapters
Topic: Post your Financial Milestone Announcements Here
Replies: 730
Views: 93318

Re: Post your Financial Milestone Announcements Here

CyclingDuo wrote:
Fri Jan 11, 2019 12:29 pm
Milestone reached for us this week:
That is one of the greatest gift to a child! Congratulations.
by ray.james
Tue Jan 08, 2019 1:59 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Pacifica Hybrid? Alternative? Now or Later?
Replies: 6
Views: 661

Re: Pacifica Hybrid? Alternative? Now or Later?

we did consider pacifica hybrid but went with clarity. Pretty happy with out decision so far. We will still go minivan route once kids are active enough for skiing, bring friends home etc, which is not for another 3-5 years. We replaced our newer car with clarity. The old one will be becoming mini-v...
by ray.james
Wed Dec 26, 2018 11:49 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Wow, Behaviorial Finance is Real
Replies: 49
Views: 9181

Re: Wow, Behaviorial Finance is Real

If it helps, I follow Mr. Bogle rule he mentioned this year bogleheads conference.

Half the time I think about increasing stocks and the other half decreasing, so this tells me I am at right allocation.(I do not know what I will feel at 40% drop yet :D )
by ray.james
Fri Dec 21, 2018 1:14 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Bear Market - Mindset Expectations
Replies: 61
Views: 6332

Re: Bear Market - Mindset Expectations

This is how I mentally exercise to keep my risk tolerance and anxiety to a low. These days I am more nuanced in my feeling for stock market. Up/down. I am not a new investor anymore :) Yearly I keep 2 numbers in mind - 30% down and 50% down to realize the possible wealth growth. Early this year I al...
by ray.james
Thu Dec 20, 2018 6:14 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Who's buying today? where's all the "dry powder" folks at? :)
Replies: 255
Views: 23883

Re: Whose buying today? where's all the "dry powder" folks at? :)

I will probably do roth contributions early if it keeps 20%+ down in January. Other than that as usual.

I am at 40% bonds due to valuations. I can go down to 15% if valuations are very favorable.
by ray.james
Wed Dec 19, 2018 7:56 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Favorite Purchase of 2018?
Replies: 255
Views: 20246

Re: Favorite Purchase of 2018?

Instant pot, immersion blender and tortilla maker.

Improved out cooking times and comfort substantially! We eat 95% of meals at home; up from 75% and of much better quality.
by ray.james
Wed Dec 12, 2018 2:47 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: What Happened to you during the Financial crisis of 2007–2008
Replies: 249
Views: 21240

Re: What Happened to you during the Financial crisis of 2007–2008

In 2008 I was in college and traded leveraged ETF's and made some money. I then lost most of the profit. When I look back losing money in 2009 is probably because I was a fool and did not know what I was doing. In 2010 I got my first job. The job search for close to more than an year taught me some ...
by ray.james
Fri Dec 07, 2018 2:52 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Life Insurance Advice for 53 and 57 Year Olds
Replies: 6
Views: 721

Re: Life Insurance Advice for 53 and 57 Year Olds

I use the website https://www.term4sale.com/ to get some quotes. We recently added 25 year old policy as 30 year old couple. At their age and circumstances a good and independent agent can also help. They look through several companies and know limitations on weight, BP, cholesterol expectations wel...
by ray.james
Wed Nov 28, 2018 1:58 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Restaurant Budget
Replies: 113
Views: 6968

Re: Restaurant Budget

Been there - when I was single/DINK phase. Now I spend that much on total grocery + eating out. Two things that started me on the path: 1) Batch cook/Easy cook items: these are something you like - that you can either batch cook for 4 meals (or) you can cook for 20 minutes or less. For me these are ...
by ray.james
Mon Nov 26, 2018 4:07 pm
Forum: Personal Investments
Topic: I can't take this anymore=) I'm selling stocks and buying bonds!
Replies: 132
Views: 22350

Re: I can't take this anymore=) I'm selling stocks and buying bonds!

The more I read bogleheads over years, The more I realize patience or what we call as actual risk tolerance is the key for investor success. The AA is only part of the equation but if one is not patient with any investment - liquid like stocks or illiquid like real estate, most of the gains are lost...
by ray.james
Mon Nov 26, 2018 2:44 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: H&R Block 2018 Tax Software Deluxe $18.00 - Black Friday sale
Replies: 309
Views: 25798

Re: H&R Block 2018 Tax Software Deluxe $18.00 - Black Friday sale

Mine came in 36 hours later. So I guess there is a delay due to thanksgiving busy, but you will get it in a few days.