Search found 2652 matches

by MathWizard
Wed Jan 17, 2018 6:33 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: London/Paris Trip Questions
Replies: 38
Views: 1225

Re: London/Paris Trip Questions

The Paris metro is easy to get pick-pocketed. This happened to my wife. More than the $500 was the impact on my wife, who didn't feel safe the rest of the time on Paris. We got caught when we arrived on a train from Versailles with lots of luggage. We took them metro from the train station, and shou...
by MathWizard
Wed Jan 17, 2018 5:18 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Will/Estate question first child
Replies: 10
Views: 649

Re: Will/Estate question first child

My wife and I had a negative net worth (school loans) when we had our first child. We still paid for a lawyer to draw up the will. He provide the correct language for our state, and language to use to for the secondary beneficiary to have funds go to a trust. The language also accounted for potentia...
by MathWizard
Sat Jan 13, 2018 12:09 am
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: what investments are only for accredited investors?
Replies: 3
Views: 535

Re: what investments are only for accredited investors?

Generally speaking, those investments are those that have not met the SEC regulations for sale to the general public, such as disclosures and IPOs. So it is not that the investment is risk, per se, it is that the offering to investors has not met specific criteria from the SEC. The same investment c...
by MathWizard
Fri Jan 12, 2018 4:05 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Almost a pathological fear of debt, to my detriment?
Replies: 79
Views: 4344

Re: Almost a pathological fear of debt, to my detriment?

If your worst problem is fear of debt, I'd say you are doing well.

I'd also say that you are almost assuredly better off than someone who loves debt.
by MathWizard
Thu Jan 11, 2018 6:51 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Dual purpose Roth IRA(retirement/college) allocation question.
Replies: 16
Views: 526

Re: Dual purpose Roth IRA(retirement/college) allocation question.

If you are not filling up your ROTH space, you should, whether you plan to use that money for college or not. I chose 100% equities for growth because at least my youngest was more than 10 yrs away from college, and there was a good chance that I would not use it fircollege. I found that I did not n...
by MathWizard
Wed Jan 10, 2018 5:08 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Forgot to make my $5500 contribution for 2018
Replies: 36
Views: 4647

Re: Forgot to make my $5500 contribution for 2018

Don't worry about it.

I won't make my 2017 IRA contribution until March, when I have finished my 2017 taxes.
by MathWizard
Tue Jan 09, 2018 10:23 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Two-Factor Authentication (2FA) and Google Authenticator
Replies: 7
Views: 597

Re: Two-Factor Authentication (2FA) and Google Authenticator

In explaining this, I use the example of the password of the day, for a military camp (maybe just movie thing) that changed every day at midnight.


Now just changed every day to every 30 seconds.
by MathWizard
Tue Jan 09, 2018 10:13 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: I'm Simply Not on the Same Plane As You
Replies: 25
Views: 4515

Re: I'm Simply Not on the Same Plane As You

You mention Enron, so is the stock allocation made up of individual stocks, or is it from a market index? I'm not moving much younger than you, and would never have only 20% in a stock index, but having in just one or a fee stocks would seem very risky to me. A stock can go to zero as you well know,...
by MathWizard
Mon Jan 08, 2018 6:16 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Are Password Managers Really Necessary?
Replies: 94
Views: 3932

Re: Are Password Managers Really Necessary?

For me any my team, yes, they are necessary. I work in IT. We added several passwords, and they change frequently, so I finally gave in and got a distributed password manager for my group. I remember the most commonly used ones, but there are many that I use infrequently, and it is hard to keep them...
by MathWizard
Mon Jan 08, 2018 6:07 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Recommendations for 72 hours in Dublin, Ireland
Replies: 27
Views: 1219

Re: Recommendations for 72 hours in Dublin, Ireland

We visited in July. The Kilmainham Gaol was interesting to us (we like history). This was on the hop-on hop-off. If you want to go there, I'd recommend getting tickets in advance. We were the last to get tickets for the full tour. (The couple behind us were turned away.) We also visited the Cliffs o...
by MathWizard
Mon Jan 08, 2018 5:10 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Best Phone Plan for 1 person
Replies: 86
Views: 3662

Re: Best Phone Plan for 1 person

Try Google's project Fi... Especially if you are interested in a Pixel 2. Especially if you have foreign travel in your plans. You only pay for the data you use, international roaming is great, international calling rates are among the lowest and you don't pay extra for it. Coverage is not quite as...
by MathWizard
Tue Jan 02, 2018 5:46 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Personal hotspot for light internet surfing plus light tv streaming on Hulu/sling
Replies: 5
Views: 594

Re: Personal hotspot for light internet surfing plus light tv streaming on Hulu/sling

I use a Fi Phone (A Nexus 5x when you could get them for $200-250.) The $10 per GB of (4G) data is only based on what you use. I pay $20/month, about $23 after fees for unlimited talk/text + whatever data I use at $10/GB. I can even get extra data-only SIMs for free and they just add onto my phone's...
by MathWizard
Mon Jan 01, 2018 12:19 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Who should we appoint as executor?
Replies: 33
Views: 2672

Re: Who should we appoint as executor?

If I were in your situation, I would choose the attorney.

If they are not getting along, having either one or both as executor could cause
an even greater rift.
by MathWizard
Mon Jan 01, 2018 12:07 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Personal hotspot for light internet surfing plus light tv streaming on Hulu/sling
Replies: 5
Views: 594

Re: Personal hotspot for light internet surfing plus light tv streaming on Hulu/sling

Streaming videos will be quite expensive using cell. https://www.t-mobile.com/Tools/HotSpot-calc.htm can give you an estimate of how much data you will use. I spend $10/GB with my phone's hotspot. You may be able to get as low as $5/GB, but likely not less. At $57/month, that would only be 11.4GB/mo...
by MathWizard
Sun Dec 31, 2017 6:22 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: What is your threshold for paying down debt?
Replies: 89
Views: 5739

Re: What is your threshold for paying down debt?

Unfortunately for us, interest rates were huge when we needed loans, but are extremely low now that we have excess cash to save. But those low interest rates have benefited you by pushing asset (your house and stocks) prices higher than they would be in a 7% mortgage rate enviroment. I'll agree on ...
by MathWizard
Sat Dec 30, 2017 5:26 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: What is your threshold for paying down debt?
Replies: 89
Views: 5739

Re: What is your threshold for paying down debt?

Don't paint everyone with the same brush. I used loans when it was in my best interest. Today's low interest rate was not around when I was in grad school and first married. I had 9% student loans and paid 16 and 18% interest on housing and auto loans, because I needed both and had no money, but was...
by MathWizard
Fri Dec 29, 2017 11:53 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Absolute vs percentage saving
Replies: 13
Views: 1135

Re: Absolute vs percentage saving

Everyone has given me a lot to think about, thank you. randomguy: you are correct. $120k at 34 and 35 years old is a bit low but we are both physicians and not that long out of training. I've been convinced that I do need to save more and hope to reach the 20% of gross savings rate mark and then in...
by MathWizard
Thu Dec 28, 2017 12:38 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: What would you do in our situation: Roth 403b or Traditional 403b?
Replies: 57
Views: 1847

Re: What would you do in our situation: Roth 403b or Traditional 403b?

I'm going to go against the grain here and advocate for using a ROTH 403b up to the top of the 22% tax bracket. Your case is unusual in that you have so much in taxable vs. tax advantaged (either ROTH or traditional 403b). You have a pension coming and 1.9 Million now. In 5-10 years what do you expe...
by MathWizard
Thu Dec 28, 2017 12:12 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Would you sign a non-compete for a side-gig consulting agreement?
Replies: 44
Views: 2140

Re: Would you sign a non-compete for a side-gig consulting agreement?

You are asking me, so I would say that it would take a LARGE amount of money, unless the arrangement applied only for a short time. If you want to proceed: Tell them that this is an uncompensated risk. If they do not consider it a risk to you, they should take it out. If it is a risk to you, you sho...
by MathWizard
Tue Dec 26, 2017 9:52 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Do you have trouble standing firm on your asset allocation?
Replies: 45
Views: 3712

Re: Do you have trouble standing firm on your asset allocation?

I've changed my AA 4 times in 28 years. I'm not sure amount would be called tinkering. Some might call them market timing, but going 100% stocks in March 2009 seemed like a no-brainer, as stocks were on sale. I've recently gone to a 50/50 AA, with part of the equities in international, partly due to...
by MathWizard
Mon Dec 25, 2017 11:51 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Roth IRAs - Can they pull a switch-a-roo?
Replies: 34
Views: 3212

Re: Roth IRAs - Can they pull a switch-a-roo?

Clearly changes can be made that would make Roths less attractive, but other changes can make them a better deal than alternatives. If you are looking at rate change risk, there is more room for tax rates to rise than there is for them to fall. ( Not a political statement, just a mathematical one.) ...
by MathWizard
Mon Dec 25, 2017 6:54 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Will you donate less to Charity?
Replies: 107
Views: 6875

Re: Will you donate less to Charity?

No. My reasons for giving have nothing to do with taxes.

I just won't be able to bunch anymore. I haven't figured out whether a DAF would be
worth the trouble, and have very little time to set one up.
by MathWizard
Fri Dec 22, 2017 3:10 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Personal Allowances with MFJ $24K Standard Deduction
Replies: 5
Views: 762

Re: Personal Allowances with MFJ $24K Standard Deduction

OK, makes sense. I guess that's where I was going with my question. Now that you don't have personal exemptions for kids, but get the child tax credit and higher standard deduction, it almost seems like I (relative to person of course) might pay more per paycheck than what I do now, but would get a...
by MathWizard
Fri Dec 22, 2017 3:03 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Do you see a meaningful change in your income with new Tax Bill?
Replies: 260
Views: 19942

Re: Do you see a meaningful change in your income with new Tax Bill?

The older I get, the more risk averse I find myself. I personally consider our national economy mature, certainly not one in the early stages of development. I've also enjoyed so much of the logic of this forum, focusing upon sustainability of personal investment, liability matching, and retiring d...
by MathWizard
Fri Dec 22, 2017 2:48 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Do you see a meaningful change in your income with new Tax Bill?
Replies: 260
Views: 19942

Re: Do you see a meaningful change in your income with new Tax Bill?

Comparing to if we used the SD in either case, Due to the changes in SD and Personal Exemptions, ($11,000 more in SD, 8,300 less in PEs) we will have slightly $2,700 less taxable income next year, this will put us at the top of the 12%, where under the old law, we were a thousand into the 25% bracke...
by MathWizard
Wed Dec 20, 2017 5:14 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Quite a few people I know in real life that normally don't mess with finances have brought up investing in bitcoin
Replies: 74
Views: 6874

Re: Quite a few people I know in real life that normally don't mess with finances have brought up investing in bitcoin

Ever heard one of the variants of the Kennedy shoeshine story? For example : Let us take a brief step back in time to the 1920s, when there was no regulation on Wall Street and stocks soared on wild speculation. Days before the crash of 1929, Joe Kennedy sold his entire portfolio. How did Joe Kenne...
by MathWizard
Wed Dec 20, 2017 12:05 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Hotel $50-500/night Expectations
Replies: 44
Views: 3007

Re: Hotel $50-500/night Expectations

Under $100 is nearly gone.

We normally stay in places at about the $100/night rate.
Best Western,

Strangely enough, you get breakfast at those hotels too.

At the $350/night hotels, I end up paying nearly $20 for a breakfast buffet.
by MathWizard
Wed Dec 20, 2017 9:41 am
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: 100% equity folks- holding any cash/bonds now?
Replies: 38
Views: 2700

Re: 100% equity folks- holding any cash/bonds now?

I was nearly 100% equity for years.

I am now 75/25 as I near retirement. This is still more agressive than even 120-age in equities.

I will rebalance if/when a drop comes.

My wife is still 100% but is also looking to reduce equity exposure.
by MathWizard
Tue Dec 19, 2017 1:03 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: "Breaking the seal" on more expensive travel
Replies: 38
Views: 4232

Re: "Breaking the seal" on more expensive travel

The first time was this summer for us. 35th anniversary. This summer we flew business class and a non-stop flight from St Paul Minn to London. This was the first time other than economy. We also checked luggage. Before we had long layovers and backpacks on legs and small rollerboard luggage overhead...
by MathWizard
Tue Dec 19, 2017 12:34 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Trad IRA, Roth IRA, or Both?
Replies: 5
Views: 639

Re: Trad IRA, Roth IRA, or Both?

I would (and have) put money into ROTH instead. You can get more money into tax advantaged that way (11,000 in a tIRA if you withdraw in the 15% tax bracket, Uncle Sam owns 15% of that IRA, while in a ROTH it is all yours) You will have plenty of tax deferred in your 401K that you can use for conver...
by MathWizard
Mon Dec 18, 2017 1:46 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: What is a Reasonable Retirement Cost of Living?
Replies: 47
Views: 5572

Re: What is a Reasonable Retirement Cost of Living?

I'm figuring $57K base in a medium Cost of Living location. This is based on spending over the last year, not counting vacations, mortgage, house updates, term life, and college tuition, the latter will be gone when I retire, except basic maintenance. We don't have to take expensive vacations, but i...
by MathWizard
Fri Dec 15, 2017 4:02 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: For those in retirement, how close is your post retirement spending to your pre-retirement estimate?
Replies: 26
Views: 2555

Re: For those in retirement, how close is your post retirement spending to your pre-retirement estimate?

...At the end of the day, it is so very important to track your own expenses as a basis for the future... Well, yes and no. It's quite possible to do a one-minute ballpark to figure expenses and go with that. Example: gross salary is $100k and you're putting $30k into 401(k) and Roth IRA. Therefore...
by MathWizard
Thu Dec 14, 2017 3:24 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Roofing Question Ice Build Up
Replies: 22
Views: 1407

Re: Roofing Question Ice Build Up

Ice dams can be nasty. Deal with them promptly. 2 possible fixes. Fill up a pantyhose with deicing salt and throw them up onto the roof. Or string up deicing cables on your roof. Short term fixes obviously. Basically, plug them in and they get warm, melting the snow. Plug them in while it is snowin...
by MathWizard
Thu Dec 14, 2017 2:43 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: How much did you contribute to your 401k in 2017?
Replies: 155
Views: 10494

Re: How much did you contribute to your 401k in 2017?

I maxed it out plus the catch ups this year and the previous year. The first time that I ever could.
Also maxed our ROTH IRAs.

Kids out of college, house paid off, so I can push more into the retirement fund.

Age=59.
by MathWizard
Wed Dec 13, 2017 3:57 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: ROTH IRA Holders: How Many Of You Max Your Contribution On January 1st?
Replies: 41
Views: 3066

Re: ROTH IRA Holders: How Many Of You Max Your Contribution On January 1st?

Besides the Jan 1 is a trick questions, I assume that you mean contribute in January,

I don't, I contribute for the previous year when I do my taxes. Then I know
whether I can deduct a contribution to a Traditional IRA or not.
by MathWizard
Tue Dec 12, 2017 9:15 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Investing in Vanguard through TIAA-CREF
Replies: 41
Views: 2423

Re: Investing in Vanguard through TIAA-CREF

We just finished moving our IRAs from TIAA-CREF. The ER's are high for individual retirement accounts.

My 403b is still there.
by MathWizard
Tue Dec 12, 2017 8:55 am
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: What to do after losing $117k in stock market?
Replies: 156
Views: 16788

Re: What to do after losing $117k in stock market?

Recognize that you probably did not lose $117K, as most of that was likely a paper loss on volatile stocks. Only count as a loss the money that you put in. Likely that was much less than $177K. If you still have student loans then you are young, so there is time to recover. Think of the money you lo...
by MathWizard
Mon Dec 11, 2017 10:48 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Year end review with less nerdy spouse
Replies: 72
Views: 8109

Re: Year end review with less nerdy spouse

I just put together 3 things. Last quarter retirement savings totaled up. Tax planning for next year. We discuss any strategies in Dec. Estimate of what we could spend each year after health insurance and taxes if we both had to retire today. Each year I print out a spreadsheet of withdrawals each y...
by MathWizard
Mon Dec 11, 2017 4:10 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: What to do when emergency fund runs out? (IPS)
Replies: 8
Views: 1125

Re: What to do when emergency fund runs out? (IPS)

Assuming that I was still working or would be able to work again (layoff) Before 59 1/2: sell taxable withdraw ROTH contributions sell according to AA; maybe exercising 72t rules to avoid 10% penalty for early withdrawal. After 59 1/2: sell taxable sell according to AA, but stay with 15% tax bracket...
by MathWizard
Fri Dec 08, 2017 5:31 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: 840 credit score Million dollar farm.. low income cannot get Heloc?
Replies: 64
Views: 4690

Re: 840 credit score Million dollar farm.. low income cannot get Heloc?

This is just another version of being house poor. He has large amounts of assets that are not income producing. That is not a farm, it is an acreage, and one that he cannot afford. If the million dollar farm is not generating at least $40 K/yr , and he does not have much else in income, he should se...
by MathWizard
Fri Dec 08, 2017 4:05 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Mortgage as percentage of take-home pay
Replies: 79
Views: 5985

Re: Mortgage as percentage of take-home pay

I did not go higher than 20% of take-home of the higher earner's salary on a 30 year mortgage. I wanted it to be on a single person's salary. My wife has had to look for another job twice since we bought the house, so it was comforting not to have to depend on her salary for fear of losing our home....
by MathWizard
Fri Dec 08, 2017 1:01 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: At what age your investments start making more money than you?
Replies: 107
Views: 7673

Re: At what age your investments start making more money than you?

It may have happened this year, For VTSAX: YTD return 19.96% but these kinds of gains are unsustainable. If they were sustainable, I'd could easily quit. It will never happen if I only assume a 4% return, or even a 7% return (nominal). I earn more than I spend, so I will be able to meet expenses, bu...
by MathWizard
Sun Dec 03, 2017 10:30 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: 208 Volt 3 phase
Replies: 13
Views: 1307

Re: 208 Volt 3 phase

It’s is very common to split 208 three phase into 120 V or 220V

PDU strips from APC or Triplite go into the back of racks.
by MathWizard
Sun Dec 03, 2017 4:12 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Growing Number of Electric Vehicles
Replies: 112
Views: 8662

Re: Growing Number of Electric Vehicles

Load will end up being distributed over time. We already have refueling stations for cars, they are called gas stations. Gas Stations will convert into charging stations, just like they added diesel for cars, E10, E15, E40, E85, and natural gas. Gas stations will continuously be charging into some s...
by MathWizard
Sun Dec 03, 2017 12:02 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Which crash have you seen it before it is coming?
Replies: 134
Views: 10006

Re: Which crash have you seen it before it is coming?

I completely saw the 2008 housing crash coming, but had no idea when it would happen or how to profit off my knowledge. I also felt it wouldn't really affect me, since I already owned a house. Boy was I wrong about that! +1 My wife and I had EXACTLY the same thoughts. We knew a day of reckoning was...
by MathWizard
Wed Nov 29, 2017 1:04 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Why should I donate to my alma mater?
Replies: 133
Views: 9649

Re: Why should I donate to my alma matter?

Imagine that you have a degree from a private college that went bankrupt. (I know 4 people for which that is true.) Now it probably does not matter, as they are late in their careers, but it seems strange to list a now non-existent school as your alma mater. Do you feel the same way about listing a...
by MathWizard
Wed Nov 29, 2017 12:31 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Why should I donate to my alma mater?
Replies: 133
Views: 9649

Re: Why should I donate to my alma matter?

My reasons: I direct my gift to the departments which I was in which were underfunded, I leave it to their discretion how to spend that money. I also direct funds to a scholarship fund for students. I would not have been able to attend without the scholarship I had, and I want to extend that generos...
by MathWizard
Sun Nov 26, 2017 9:29 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Regrets for taking SS at 62 or waiting?
Replies: 100
Views: 9460

Re: Regrets for taking SS at 62 or waiting?

I just checked my SS benefit and here are the numbers: At full retirement age (67): $2,681 a month At age 70: $3,482 a month At early retirement age (62): $1,739 a month 1739/2681=64.86%. Why I have 35% reduction at age 62, instead of 30% reduction. Eric Because retirement at 62 assumes that you ke...
by MathWizard
Sat Nov 25, 2017 10:14 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Tax Software and handling of Schedule D
Replies: 15
Views: 1417

Re: Tax Software and handling of Schedule D

I know lots of people who go to a CPA. Turbo Tax at $59 seems quite cheap to me. I used to fill out the forms by hand, but over the years with Schedule C's, Royalties, Schedule D, Education Credits or deductions, dependents, depreciation, and now K1s, having the ability to try options, itemized vs s...
by MathWizard
Sat Nov 25, 2017 10:42 am
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Anyone tired of the stock market going up?
Replies: 290
Views: 25812

Re: Anyone tired of the stock market going up?

I am not tired of it, but am puzzled/concerned by it. Other than the tech crash, the Schiller PE is at an all-time high and rising. The market is going up, but earnings appear to be going up just enough to pay the dividends. I believe that stock gains in an index ultimately come from the earnings. T...