Search found 3352 matches

by MathWizard
Mon Jun 17, 2019 10:17 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: My Cost of Progressive Lenses/glasses - did I pay too much?
Replies: 56
Views: 2558

Re: My Cost of Progressive Lenses/glasses - did I pay too much?

To the Op, I've paid about the same. Progressive +polarized, plus high index. I am incredibly near sighted and have astigmatism. I replace glasses every 2 to 3 years. I use flex benefits, so I use pretax dollars which helps a lot. I have worked on a computer daily for over 35 years. I am cheap on so...
by MathWizard
Mon Jun 17, 2019 1:11 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Restore Corrupted External Hard Drive
Replies: 20
Views: 1177

Re: Restore Corrupted External Hard Drive

If you can pull the drive, you can use this USB sata dock. https://www.amazon.com/dp/B07Q8JG4G2/ref=sspa_dk_detail_6?psc=1&pd_rd_i=B07Q8JG4G2&pd_rd_w=Bs6Cr&pf_rd_p=8a8f3917-7900-4ce8-ad90-adf0d53c0985&pd_rd_wg=JQkjf&pf_rd_r=EZREFMP0RRR7QMJMDGNZ&pd_rd_r=eba28030-912a-11e9-957e-f3613e17fd6a Then you c...
by MathWizard
Thu Jun 13, 2019 4:48 pm
Forum: Personal Investments
Topic: Social Security Retirement Age
Replies: 20
Views: 3344

Re: Social Security Retirement Age

My official SS statement says this At full retirement age (66 and 10 months) $3,000 month At age 70 $3,785 month At early retirement age (62) $2,108 month For planning purposes can I interpolate between these ages if say I retire at 63, or 67 ? Is that how it works? The statement assumes that you w...
by MathWizard
Thu Jun 13, 2019 4:40 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Do you repair your own appliances?
Replies: 65
Views: 3269

Re: Do you repair your own appliances?

I've repaired lots of things, some appliances, lots on the car and house. I've saved tens of thousands over the years on the car and house. Not so much on appliances though. They are pretty cheap by comparison. I usually have a repairman out or just replace with appliances. I fixed a dryer multiple ...
by MathWizard
Tue Jun 11, 2019 10:18 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Anything you wish you had spent money on when you were younger?
Replies: 71
Views: 6456

Re: Anything you wish you had spent money on when you were younger?

I don't regret not spending more money .

Regrets are more about relationships than money.
by MathWizard
Tue Jun 11, 2019 3:07 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: How to donate to a non profit organization anonymously?
Replies: 22
Views: 1705

Re: How to donate to a non profit organization anonymously?

My workplace allows us to pool money for United Way, and does not pass along individual names. My church is associated with some organizations like a homeless shelter. They allow members to direct extra funds to those organizations. I give to my alma mater, and get just a few solicitations a year. I...
by MathWizard
Tue Jun 11, 2019 2:50 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: College Credits to stay on Parents Health Insurance
Replies: 17
Views: 1343

Re: College Credits to stay on Parents Health Insurance

Before the ACA, some states provided under 26 coverage on their own, but @beyou is not correct now. The ACA is superceding federal law in all states regarding coverage regardless if it is a Marketplace policy. This is just like individual health insurance benefits. Before the ACA, some states manda...
by MathWizard
Tue Jun 11, 2019 12:47 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Vanguard Report - How America Saves 2019
Replies: 7
Views: 1148

Re: Vanguard Report - How America Saves 2019

Am I the only one for whom "5 million" is surprisingly low? I've been in corporate world for 35+ years. I've only had mediocre plans at best. I can never figure out why plan administrators don't pick Vanguard. I believe that the plan administrators can push all the customer service onto the provide...
by MathWizard
Thu Jun 06, 2019 3:42 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Suggestions for an "Off-topic" forum [other than Bogleheads]
Replies: 6
Views: 775

Re: Suggestions for an "Off-topic" forum

This forum is well focused.

What would be the benefit of cluttering it up like Reddit or Quora?

Actually, this is not a Personal Consumer issue, this question should be moved to

Forum Issues and Administration
by MathWizard
Wed Jun 05, 2019 12:04 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Is it Wise to Remove Escrow if Bank Allows it?
Replies: 87
Views: 5429

Re: Is it Wise to Remove Escrow if Bank Allows it?

I got rid of it as soon as I could.

Once you pay of your house you won't have escrow anymore anyway.
I'm old school and cut the checks, but I'm sure you could automate this
payments anyway rather than giving the escrow company an interest free loan.
by MathWizard
Mon Jun 03, 2019 9:51 pm
Forum: Personal Investments
Topic: Is Investing in Roth IRA worth it?
Replies: 21
Views: 2200

Re: Is Investing in Roth IRA worth it?

I like my ROTH IRA just fine. As of 2019, the limit is $6K not $5500, and after 50, you can contribute $1K more. For a married couple, yo both can contribute. My wife and I started when the limit was $2K/person, and did not contribute for 6 of the years when our kids were in college, and after 20 ye...
by MathWizard
Mon Jun 03, 2019 9:25 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: You May Never See Your Grandchildren Again
Replies: 83
Views: 13836

Re: You May Never See Your Grandchildren Again

On an even more depressing note, most of the invitations for free dinners I've been getting lately are being offered for long term care facilities, hearing aids, and burial plots. All I can say is that I'm only turning 70 this week and the rumors of my pending demise are greatly exaggerated. I've b...
by MathWizard
Mon Jun 03, 2019 8:17 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: What do business pros wear on redeye Business Class flights
Replies: 50
Views: 6448

Re: What do business pros wear on redeye Business Class flights

Make sure your carry-on has a suit in it. If the airline loses your luggage , you don't want to have to present yourself in jeans. Also include your dress shoes if your appearance is critical. I never worked at a job where I wore a suit but I remember one business trip where one of the accountants ...
by MathWizard
Sun Jun 02, 2019 9:57 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: What do business pros wear on redeye Business Class flights
Replies: 50
Views: 6448

Re: What do business pros wear on redeye Business Class flights

I wear jeans and a t-shirt. With a zip-up that I wear backwards while seated to avoid back sweat. Sneakers. I have a roller bag and a backpack. I’ve flown a lot (exec platinum on AA multiple years). It’s way more relaxing and less tiring to wear casual stuff while on the plane. Easier to sleep also...
by MathWizard
Sun Jun 02, 2019 10:11 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Recommend a small inexpensive laser printer?
Replies: 39
Views: 2437

Re: Recommend a small inexpensive laser printer?

Brother is a good option. I've had one for 3 years. I've only had to change toner once.

Mine is wireless, which I like, but I have had to put it back on the network twice, each time this was a pain.

If it is directly connected, this would not be an issue.
by MathWizard
Sun Jun 02, 2019 10:02 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: How long have you been unemployed?
Replies: 97
Views: 10872

Re: How long have you been unemployed?

Since 22: Unemployed 0 years
Employed year round 39 years

Since 16, if you only count summers, then 45 years employed.
by MathWizard
Wed May 29, 2019 11:52 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Can we afford to pay for our kid's college (at all)?
Replies: 234
Views: 14578

Re: Can we afford to pay for our kid's college (at all)?

OP, I would encourage you to fill out a FAFSA to find out what the EFC would be, especially the parent's portion, and put at least that (or the total cost whichever is lower, which may be the case here.) The financial aid office of the school will take the cost of attendance and subtract EFC to obta...
by MathWizard
Tue May 28, 2019 7:23 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: "Soft" question on student loans
Replies: 72
Views: 3041

Re: "Soft" question on student loans

I did the math - we were better off putting as much as possible into retirement accounts while the kids are filing FAFSA. Reducing our AGI allowed us to be eligible to skip the asset tests (until this year), reducing our EFC, and sometimes were eligible for auto EFC = $0 (until the target AGI was r...
by MathWizard
Tue May 28, 2019 7:18 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: "Soft" question on student loans
Replies: 72
Views: 3041

Re: "Soft" question on student loans

I guess that you could ask them why they do it. Maybe they expect the kids to help them out when they are old. That is commonplace many places in the world and wa Is true in the US until recently. If so, then increasing their kid's human capital is in their best interest. Getting through college qui...
by MathWizard
Wed May 22, 2019 7:14 am
Forum: Personal Investments
Topic: Taxable account even though cant max out 401k yet?
Replies: 18
Views: 1537

Re: Taxable account even though cant max out 401k yet?

Default advice seems to be: - emergency fund - carry no running credit card debt - 401k/IRA etc - house paid off - taxable accounts Done all these except for the last. Are there any particular reasons to have a taxable account *before* I get to the point of being able to max out my 401k? Being able...
by MathWizard
Mon May 20, 2019 2:31 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Should I encourage my kids to work in high school/college?
Replies: 204
Views: 11305

Re: Should I encourage my kids to work in high school/college?

Summer jobs are good enough if they have transportation. Otherwise their job right now is to be a kid and do well in school. If that doesn’t fit their personalities then maybe they can start working now. +1 Increase human capital, especially in High School. I took as many classes as I could the fir...
by MathWizard
Mon May 20, 2019 7:00 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: At what NW do I have disposable income?
Replies: 85
Views: 5966

Re: At what NW do I have disposable income?

Hi all, I am wrestling with the question, at what NW do my wife and I have disposable income? My only reply in this moment, is that I don't "really" have disposable income until I have at-least saved enough that my future retired selves at age 65 have a 4% withdrawal rate that could sustain the fed...
by MathWizard
Sun May 19, 2019 8:58 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: FIRE - What am I missing in the News Stories
Replies: 223
Views: 14337

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

Seems like there are constant news stories on the FIRE movement. They all seem to say John and Jane saved 70% of their income and maxed out their 401K and now at 35 they have 1.2 million dollars and are retired. First off - how are they figuring on getting the401K money out until they are 59.5?? Se...
by MathWizard
Sun May 19, 2019 10:35 am
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Actual Experience as true measure of risk tolerance
Replies: 82
Views: 6263

Re: Actual Experience as true measure of risk tolerance

How to go about this? I would suggest figuring your risk tolerance, both behavioral and job stability, then backing off the equity portion a bit. If you think you can handle 100% stocks, try 70 or 80% stocks for a while through a cycle. If you think you can handle 80%, maybe go to 60/40 or 50/50 If ...
by MathWizard
Fri May 17, 2019 10:57 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Selling home- Demanding Buyer (Repairs)
Replies: 315
Views: 21574

Re: Selling home- Demanding Buyer (Repairs)

Once you get the inspection and a (reasonable) estimate of $X on that repair, I would respond with something like : "Seller agrees septic system will be brought up to county standards, or the buyer's agreed purchase price will be lowered by $X dollars and buyer will be responsible for the repair aft...
by MathWizard
Thu May 16, 2019 10:34 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Probate costs?--I am the sole heir and the executor
Replies: 65
Views: 5805

Re: Probate costs?--I am the sole heir and the executor

I think that you need an attorney. A court has to certify that the will is genuine, and to recognize you as the personal representative (executor) based upon what you have said is specified in the will. The sisters could claim in court that you had undue influence and that the will should be invalid...
by MathWizard
Thu May 16, 2019 1:18 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Do you reward yourself for achieving a financial goal?
Replies: 107
Views: 6569

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

I don't. The money is just a means to an end, not the goal itself. Causes for celebration are life changing milestones, birth of a child, graduations, weddings, anniversaries. By having the money, we were able to take some nice vacations, which we could not have when we did not have as much. Paying ...
by MathWizard
Thu May 16, 2019 11:38 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Which car has the best or most comfortable cabin under 35K
Replies: 74
Views: 6012

Re: Which car has the best or most comfortable cabin under 35K

I'd like to know too, and comfortable includes quiet in my book. I'd guess you'd have to ask, what's more comfortable than a new Camry XLE or an off lease 2017 Lexus ES. You should be able to get either of those right under your target. I'd look into Buick LaCrosse? as well, but not too familiar wi...
by MathWizard
Wed May 15, 2019 6:15 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Using my Cell Phone in England
Replies: 47
Views: 2196

Re: Using my Cell Phone in England

You could change your service to Google Fi here in the US and then just smile when you land in the UK and it connects automatically to a local cell provider. I'll be doing this in a few months... Yes. I did smile when I landed in the UK in 2017 with my Fi phone, and it just worked, both phone and d...
by MathWizard
Tue May 14, 2019 5:17 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Using my Cell Phone in England
Replies: 47
Views: 2196

Re: Using my Cell Phone in England

You could change your service to Google Fi here in the US and then just smile when you land in the UK and it connects automatically to a local cell provider. I'll be doing this in a few months... Yes. I did smile when I landed in the UK in 2017 with my Fi phone, and it just worked, both phone and d...
by MathWizard
Tue May 14, 2019 2:27 pm
Forum: Personal Investments
Topic: How to calculate exactly how much money you'll have by retirement?
Replies: 75
Views: 7763

Re: How to calculate exactly how much money you'll have by retirement?

I use 4% real, and do all calculations in real (inflation adjusted) dollars.
I used to use 6%, but scaled back since 2000.

Exactly is not possible, but I believe 4% real is conservative enough. Being a little low on the rate of return
is safer than too high.
by MathWizard
Sat May 11, 2019 8:54 pm
Forum: Personal Investments
Topic: Lower risk is in my plan but I just can't!
Replies: 52
Views: 4198

Re: Lower risk is in my plan but I just can't!

Forget the smooth path. Rip the band-aid off. Unless automated, it's a steady hard changeover. I rebalanced into stocks and even went 100% stocks in 2008/9. I just pulled back 2 years ago, to 50/50. I expect a 30% + drop in the next few years. The PE10 is over 30. To get forward PE down in the 20 o...
by MathWizard
Fri May 10, 2019 10:28 pm
Forum: Personal Investments
Topic: Lower risk is in my plan but I just can't!
Replies: 52
Views: 4198

Re: Lower risk is in my plan but I just can't!

Forget the smooth path. Rip the band-aid off. Unless automated, it's a steady hard changeover. I rebalanced into stocks and even went 100% stocks in 2008/9. I just pulled back 2 years ago, to 50/50. I expect a 30% + drop in the next few years. The PE10 is over 30. To get forward PE down in the 20 or...
by MathWizard
Thu May 09, 2019 5:20 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Replacement Window shopping advice
Replies: 20
Views: 1477

Re: Replacement Window shopping advice

I would rather have cheap windows that have been properly installed than expensive windows not installed correctly. -- square to frame, level, properly caulked, spray foam/insulation at sill and trim area. Many drafts occur not from the window or even the install, but that gap at the frame to the f...
by MathWizard
Wed May 08, 2019 12:49 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Average 401k balance$
Replies: 33
Views: 25148

Re: Average 401k balance$

Resurrecting a really old thread. https://www.investopedia.com/articles/personal-finance/010616/whats-average-401k-balance-age.asp A 2018 Government Accountability Office study found that nearly one-third of Americans age 55 and older don’t have any retirement nest egg or even a traditional pension...
by MathWizard
Wed May 08, 2019 12:30 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Imperfect market timing still works -- if you stick with it
Replies: 149
Views: 10931

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

They are comparing to Buy and Hold. However, this ignores rebalancing, which does buy more equities when they are cheap relative to bonds, and sells equities when they are expensive relative to bonds. While rebalancing is a risk management strategy, it does produce different results than buy and hol...
by MathWizard
Wed May 08, 2019 9:19 am
Forum: Personal Investments
Topic: Am I paying too much for my ORP?
Replies: 10
Views: 901

Re: Am I paying too much for my ORP?

Hello all, I have ORP through work which i currently have at VALIC. They charge 0.5% per year(charged quarterly) as account management fees. Is that reasonable or too expensive? Should i contact my HR requesting to change vendors or to negotiate better rates. Thanks in advance NN Are you talking ab...
by MathWizard
Mon May 06, 2019 12:01 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: College credit for HS courses or not?
Replies: 49
Views: 2259

Re: College credit for HS courses or not?

I have never seen anyone get college credit for a course taken as a HS course. My younger son did take a course at the Univ. while in HS, which of course did count, since it was taken at the Univ from a Univ Professor. You can take an AP course, which should prepare you for an AP exam. You will not ...
by MathWizard
Mon May 06, 2019 9:21 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: What do you do with variable bonus?
Replies: 24
Views: 1747

Re: What do you do with variable bonus?

I don't let money that I did not expect, and may not get in the future to derail my plans. I would put it into savings if your are already maxing out tax advantaged first. If you are not already maxing tax advantaged: I'm a believer in maxing ROTH after getting the 401K match, then going back to the...
by MathWizard
Sun May 05, 2019 3:04 pm
Forum: Personal Investments
Topic: Boglehead investing through a major downturn
Replies: 36
Views: 3761

Re: Boglehead investing through a major downturn

I was your age in 2008. I rebalanced into stocks and all new contributions were 100% stocks. I buy on sale. My wife didn't want to even look at the statements between Oct 2008 and April 2009, when every month the balance went down by more than what we contributed. I looked almost everyday, but didn'...
by MathWizard
Sat May 04, 2019 4:29 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Can anyone give me a ball park estimate on this roof repair?
Replies: 19
Views: 2200

Re: Can anyone give me a ball park estimate on this roof repair (pictures included)?

I just had some work done, several small repairs, about half of it roof repair. 2 day job with 3 man crew. Very little in the way of materials
Total bill $10K

I do most work myself, but these were some things I did not have time to do.
by MathWizard
Sat Apr 27, 2019 2:20 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Water heaters/ energy consumption, high electric bill
Replies: 34
Views: 1776

Re: Water heaters/ energy consumption, high electric bill

If the space heatersare portable 110V 13 amp style (Sometime sold as 5000 BTU/hr electric heaters), then you could get a Kill A Watt meter rated for 15 amps and plug tgeheater into that to find how much electricity one of these heaters uses in a day. My guess is that you will find that almost all of...
by MathWizard
Sat Apr 27, 2019 10:03 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Water heaters/ energy consumption, high electric bill
Replies: 34
Views: 1776

Re: Water heaters/ energy consumption, high electric bill

Space heaters would be costing you lots of money. I would think that would be much more than for your electric water heater. Do you have AC? That could also cost you lots of electricity, so I would look into replacing heat and A/C before worrying about the water heater. A hybrid water heater is an ...
by MathWizard
Sat Apr 27, 2019 9:53 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Colleague salary comparison
Replies: 54
Views: 6176

Re: Colleague salary comparison

Information is public.

Of course I look. Information is useful when you are negotiating salary.
by MathWizard
Fri Apr 26, 2019 9:43 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Water heaters/ energy consumption, high electric bill
Replies: 34
Views: 1776

Re: Water heaters/ energy consumption, high electric bill

Space heaters would be costing you lots of money. I would think that would be much more than for your electric water heater. Do you have AC? That could also cost you lots of electricity, so I would look into replacing heat and A/C before worrying about the water heater. A hybrid water heater is an a...
by MathWizard
Fri Apr 26, 2019 11:53 am
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Larry Swedroe: Does Money Buy Happiness?
Replies: 37
Views: 2242

Re: Larry Swedroe: Does Money Buy Happiness?

From a Mathematician:

Money is necessary but not sufficient for happiness.
by MathWizard
Thu Apr 25, 2019 3:57 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Inflation assumption for planning
Replies: 24
Views: 1293

Re: Inflation assumption for planning

I do all planning in real dollars.

The only place where I need to estimate inflation is for a small pension my wife has which
is not indexed for inflation. I assume 2.4% for that, which means that its value in real dollars
will be cut in half in 30 years.
by MathWizard
Thu Apr 25, 2019 3:53 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Advising financially unsavvy family on windfall
Replies: 77
Views: 5730

Re: Advising financially unsavvy family on windfall

I give advice to my kids. Kids expect (or at least tolerate) advice from parents, whether they act on
it or not is another matter.

This who are not financially savvy, do not take the advice well.
by MathWizard
Thu Apr 25, 2019 3:42 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Lifestyle creep
Replies: 73
Views: 7587

Re: Lifestyle creep

$33K/yr. does not strike me as an extravagant lifestyle.
by MathWizard
Mon Apr 22, 2019 11:41 am
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: When to prioritize funding 529?
Replies: 31
Views: 2381

Re: When to prioritize funding 529?

Most people do not have enough savings to fund everything. It appears that you do, so the 529 is likely advantageous to you over taxable. I would put it last of the tax advantaged funds, as you do, so most would never get to the 529. I did put some in because I got a state deduction for it, otherwis...