Search found 2887 matches

by MathWizard
Mon Aug 20, 2018 1:05 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: How do you pay for purchase of a vehicle in retirement?
Replies: 30
Views: 2554

Re: How do you pay for purchase of a vehicle in retirement?

My plan includes $5K/year aftertax (inflation adjusted) for vehicle replacement. That provides for a $25K (used) car every 5 years, so for 2 cars we will be replacing at 10 year mark. I plan on pulling from tax advantaged for this (or doing ROTH conversions) each year to avoid a $25K (or more due to...
by MathWizard
Mon Aug 20, 2018 11:12 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Your major and investing/finance?
Replies: 81
Views: 3454

Re: Your major and investing/finance?

Engineering and Math PhD plus working in computing. I was very capable in math and logic before starting either of these college majors. I'm not sure the major had anything to do with the investing. It could have even been detrimental, because although I understood that low cost indexing was a very ...
by MathWizard
Fri Aug 17, 2018 11:51 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Savings rate per month???
Replies: 63
Views: 4836

Re: Savings rate per month???

43% of gross for retirement, counts employer match in numerator and denominator

does not include pension payment for my spouse or short term savings
by MathWizard
Thu Aug 16, 2018 11:47 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Quote from Electrician
Replies: 46
Views: 2653

Re: Quote from Electrician

I would not consider $1000 out of line for this. The electrician is getting the permits, and probably has someone else with home for the install. He has to drive to your house and back, He has lots of overhead in running a business, and hopefully liability insurance for anyone who might get hurt. I ...
by MathWizard
Wed Aug 15, 2018 3:24 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Where to buy white, athletic fit dress shirt?
Replies: 49
Views: 2258

Re: Where to buy white, athletic fit dress shirt?

JC Penny's has athletic fit.

I also get Regents shirts from Brooks Brothers for work.

Having an 18 inch neck
by MathWizard
Tue Aug 14, 2018 8:34 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Best consumer products - made in USA
Replies: 62
Views: 3067

Re: Best consumer products - made in USA

Harleys

Schwinn
by MathWizard
Tue Aug 14, 2018 8:18 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: New Brake Pads
Replies: 83
Views: 7624

Re: New Brake Pads

The price is not unreasonable.

I have typically done my own auto work, but spending your time & talents specializing on other things makes perfect economic sense, comparative advantage and all.
by MathWizard
Sun Aug 12, 2018 3:04 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Advisor or no advisor?
Replies: 16
Views: 1369

Re: Advisor or no advisor?

I have an advisor assigned by me for my TIAA-CREF 403b. I have never used one. My thought has been that I have spent decades crafting my plan, and countless hours reading various books on the subject, and even writing my own programs for predictions. I do my own taxes (now with TurboTax). I run simu...
by MathWizard
Sat Aug 11, 2018 12:33 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Is your monthly expense really that stable or in reality, pretty volatile?
Replies: 46
Views: 3173

Re: Is your monthly expense really that stable or in reality, pretty volatile?

Sorry, yes $220 is the total cost - except for the oil change (around $70) which was what i intended to do, also ended up having a transmission fluid change which was close to $100 and an air filter change which was close to $40...after it's all said and done, i realized i probably got ripped off p...
by MathWizard
Fri Aug 10, 2018 8:51 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Average expenses in MCOL area for a family of 4
Replies: 50
Views: 2353

Re: Average expenses in MCOL area for a family of 4

Adjusted for inflation between 50 and 60 K.

Most of medical insurance was paid by my employer.

Paid off our student loans, 2 kids through college, mortgage paid off in 17 yrs, paid off all debts, major house improvements done by wife and I.
by MathWizard
Thu Aug 09, 2018 10:34 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Anyone familiar with attic fans?
Replies: 32
Views: 1958

Re: Anyone familiar with attic fans?

I have both. The attic ventilation fan runs only on the hottest days. We have large shade trees on the south of our house, which helps with keeping the attic at a reasonable temp. I use the whole house fan only a little bit. It is quite noisy. I used it more often in the past, but allergies have got...
by MathWizard
Thu Aug 09, 2018 10:34 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Anyone familiar with attic fans?
Replies: 32
Views: 1958

Re: Anyone familiar with attic fans?

I have both. The attic ventilation fan runs only on the hottest days. We have large shade trees on the south of our house, which helps with keeping the attic at a reasonable temp. I use the whole house fan only a little bit. It is quite noisy. I used it more often in the past, but allergies have got...
by MathWizard
Thu Aug 09, 2018 6:10 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: "Why are you leaving your current job?"
Replies: 24
Views: 2315

Re: "Why are you leaving your current job?"

Imagine you are on a first date with someone, and that person insists on complaining at great length about his or her previous partner. Is this something you want to hear? What if you find yourself sympathizing with the previous partner? This is not a question you can win; whatever you say, I would...
by MathWizard
Thu Aug 09, 2018 6:09 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: "Why are you leaving your current job?"
Replies: 24
Views: 2315

Re: "Why are you leaving your current job?"

Imagine you are on a first date with someone, and that person insists on complaining at great length about his or her previous partner. Is this something you want to hear? What if you find yourself sympathizing with the previous partner? This is not a question you can win; whatever you say, I would...
by MathWizard
Wed Aug 08, 2018 4:48 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: "Skin in the game"
Replies: 105
Views: 7002

Re: "Skin in the game"

We helped our kids as much as we could.

We have told them that we may need some (non-financial) help later in life.
I would hope that they not expect us to have to show that we have "skin in the game"
when we are old and need help.
by MathWizard
Wed Aug 08, 2018 4:36 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Selling old car with Airbag light on
Replies: 9
Views: 717

Re: Selling old car with Airbag light on

If it were me, I would just junk the car. If someone buys the car, and gets into an accident where the air bag does not deploy, how are you going to feel? Would an ambulance chaser come after you? I grew up in an era where cars either did not have seatbelts or they were pushed under the seat, there ...
by MathWizard
Wed Aug 08, 2018 2:57 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Saving Enough for Retirement vs Vacation Home
Replies: 36
Views: 3545

Re: Saving Enough for Retirement vs Vacation Home

I'm your age, and we are already discussing when we will be downsizing in retirement, and you want
to add a second house? Not for me.
by MathWizard
Wed Aug 08, 2018 2:55 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: If it were March, 2000, would you still allocate 50% to Stocks?
Replies: 94
Views: 4294

Re: If it were March, 2000, would you still allocate 50% to Stocks?

If I recall correctly, I was 70 to 80% stocks then, and rebalanced into stocks in
2001, 2003 and 2008/9.

I had a long time horizon, and bonds were not going to cut it in saving for retirement.
I didn't like the valuations, but did not see an alternative.
by MathWizard
Sun Aug 05, 2018 12:48 am
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: How much does it matter, considering scatter? Part 1 of many: Introduction
Replies: 38
Views: 4380

Re: How much does it matter, considering scatter? Part 1 of many: Introduction

I like the TSM better than just the SP 500 because it captures the whole market. With similar ER, it is more diversified.

It's not that it gives a better return, it is that it reduces risk.
by MathWizard
Sat Aug 04, 2018 3:11 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: "Safe" recommendations to store important documents?
Replies: 10
Views: 1075

Re: "Safe" recommendations to store important documents?

Bank safety deposit box.

Cheap and secure, and the bank will have a fire suppression system.

Only keep at home what are able to lose. In a fire, you get everybody out and don't worry about anything left behind, because you shouldn't have anything irreplaceable in the house other than your family.
by MathWizard
Sat Aug 04, 2018 3:05 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Few weeks into new job recieved significantly better offer elsewhere
Replies: 103
Views: 9819

Re: Few weeks into new job recieved significantly better offer elsewhere

I'd say go for the newer job if you can do the work. Like most of us, you probably live in an at will employment state. As such, the loyalty factor should not enter into this so much. If you are only a few weeks in, the company you are at will not have invested much in training on you. Yes it a hass...
by MathWizard
Fri Aug 03, 2018 3:22 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: 3 Levels of Wealth
Replies: 125
Views: 11466

Re: 3 Levels of Wealth

This one goes to 11: ... I'm at #7 but I hardly think I fall into the previous categories of "F-U Money". To me, those categories should be above #7 and not below it. I agree with InvestorNewb on F-U money being below #7 , perhaps like him I am at 7 working on getting to 8 then 9 in the next few ye...
by MathWizard
Fri Aug 03, 2018 10:04 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Is solar power for your home a worthwhile investment?
Replies: 55
Views: 4663

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

I wanted to do this as well, but I could never make the numbers work, I'd be tying up a large chunk of money, and I'd then be in the power generation and maintenance business. I'm buying into a community solar farm. I estimate payback in the 5-10 year frame (this does not take into account any oppor...
by MathWizard
Thu Aug 02, 2018 4:00 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Car price ratio to NW
Replies: 68
Views: 2734

Re: Car price ratio to NW

I consider cars to be a huge drain on the accumulation of net worth, so I am very careful what i spend on them. After grad school, the most I have ever spend on a car has been 20% of gross income. At the time that was under 10% of NW. The most I have ever spend on a car was last year, which amounted...
by MathWizard
Wed Aug 01, 2018 11:38 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Defined Benefit Annuity Suspended
Replies: 5
Views: 618

Re: Defined Benefit Annuity Suspended

Caveat: Not a lawyer or a benefits expert. I would turn the house upside-down looking for the letter stating that you were eligible for benefits. I think that having a copy of that letter bolsters your case immensely. If you find it, and the company asks for the letter, send them a copy, not the ori...
by MathWizard
Tue Jul 31, 2018 8:13 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Tips for staying active / injury-free into older age
Replies: 130
Views: 9354

Re: Tips for staying active / injury-free into older age

Stretching is most important to avoid injury at any age. I had to quit basketball after our boys were born, due to time constraints between work and family. I had to quit jogging due to joint injuries, but walking and biking are both fine. Rowing would be OK, but I don;lt have a rowing machine and ...
by MathWizard
Mon Jul 30, 2018 8:57 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Tips for staying active / injury-free into older age
Replies: 130
Views: 9354

Re: Tips for staying active / injury-free into older age

Stretching is most important to avoid injury at any age. I had to quit basketball after our boys were born, due to time constraints between work and family. I had to quit jogging due to joint injuries, but walking and biking are both fine. Rowing would be OK, but I don;lt have a rowing machine and d...
by MathWizard
Sun Jul 29, 2018 11:18 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: ACT test - got 34, try for 36?
Replies: 61
Views: 5247

Re: ACT test - got 34, try for 36?

When I took the ACT, you picked which schools saw your scores. I got 3 for free , that I had to pick at the time I registered, I believe. That is now 4. The rest you pay for. With a retake, he/she could just wait for the score, and report then by ordering one to be sent. That requires a small fee, ...
by MathWizard
Sun Jul 29, 2018 11:15 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Passive Index Investing, A Bubble Bound To Burst?
Replies: 114
Views: 11496

Re: Passive Index Investing, A Bubble Bound To Burst?

What do you expect from a site called seeking alpha and from a site called bogleheads? I came to the conclusion that low cost indexing was the best approach long before I joined bogleheads. This is really just based on the definition of average, and my belief that as a part time investor, I will lo...
by MathWizard
Sun Jul 29, 2018 6:52 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: I think it's time to cut the landline cord, how to do it?
Replies: 25
Views: 2889

Re: I think it's time to cut the landline cord, how to do it?

I went from Vonage to ObiTalk with Google Voice, and switched back within a month. We could call just fine, but people reported that the could not contact us. Many have gone completely without a landline, but that is not an option for us. Only a few tried our cell phones. My wife is the youngest and...
by MathWizard
Sun Jul 29, 2018 6:52 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: I think it's time to cut the landline cord, how to do it?
Replies: 25
Views: 2889

Re: I think it's time to cut the landline cord, how to do it?

I went from Vonage to ObiTalk with Google Voice, and switched back within a month. We could call just fine, but people reported that the could not contact us. Many have gone completely without a landline, but that is not an option for us. Only a few tried our cell phones. My wife is the youngest and...
by MathWizard
Sun Jul 29, 2018 6:31 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Passive Index Investing, A Bubble Bound To Burst?
Replies: 114
Views: 11496

Re: Passive Index Investing, A Bubble Bound To Burst?

What do you expect from a site called seeking alpha and from a site called bogleheads? I came to the conclusion that low cost indexing was the best approach long before I joined bogleheads. This is really just based on the definition of average, and my belief that as a part time investor, I will los...
by MathWizard
Sun Jul 29, 2018 6:14 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: ACT test - got 34, try for 36?
Replies: 61
Views: 5247

Re: ACT test - got 34, try for 36?

When I took the ACT, you picked which schools saw your scores. I got 3 for free , that I had to pick at the time I registered, I believe. That is now 4. The rest you pay for. With a retake, he/she could just wait for the score, and report then by ordering one to be sent. That requires a small fee, a...
by MathWizard
Sat Jul 21, 2018 4:08 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: I dont know how to spend money
Replies: 39
Views: 5130

Re: I dont know how to spend money

I think you are just fine the way you are. I assume that now that you have money, you are not washing your clothes in the sink anymore. Do you have any student loans left? You could get rid of those. I was 31 and was making more than you are (after adjusting for inflation) and did not feel like I ha...
by MathWizard
Fri Jul 20, 2018 5:56 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Does total stock market invest in dying companies like sears?
Replies: 7
Views: 1004

Re: Does total stock market invest in dying companies like sears?

In 1997, Apple was dying. Investors were talking about shorting the company.

Look how well that would have gone.

Better to hold the whole market than to think that you can pick the winners from the sidelines.
by MathWizard
Fri Jul 20, 2018 11:28 am
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Should I Dump a Pile of Money on Young Son?
Replies: 157
Views: 13342

Re: Should I Dump a Pile of Money on Young Son?

I would not. You would be giving money with conditions. If you want there to be conditions, keep the money, and give as needed. Your thinking seems to be that the tax situations makes it better to gift now than later. I suspect that it is in fact the other way around. The federal estate tax exemptio...
by MathWizard
Thu Jul 19, 2018 5:49 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Why Take Risk on Equity Side?
Replies: 78
Views: 5528

Re: Why Take Risk on Equity Side?

simplesimon wrote:
Thu Jul 19, 2018 7:58 am
Would you categorize your high-yield bond allocation under equity or bonds when looking at total stock and bond mix?
I count them like stocks. I do have some, but I don't expect them to act like investment grade bonds.

I'm old enough to remember when high yield bonds were called junk bonds.
by MathWizard
Thu Jul 19, 2018 1:38 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: I may have understood why it's so hard to save and invest
Replies: 75
Views: 11001

Re: I may have understood why it's so hard to save and invest

An easier trick is to save&invest half of any raises in a ROTH (or equivalent in tax deferred, but I don't know what your tax rate is,) You never saw the money, so it does not hurt so much. Salesmen/women want you to touch a car, or other object. The idea is that they want you to feel a loss when yo...
by MathWizard
Wed Jul 18, 2018 12:25 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Europe travel Qs [Questions]
Replies: 63
Views: 3574

Re: Europe travel Qs

Was in Paris in 2012. The museum pass saved lots of time in line. I don't know if I saved money with the pass, but getting to and staying in France was expensive, so time was money. Similarly with the Metro Pass. You'll encounter lots of pickpockets. The less time you are stuck in front of a ticket ...
by MathWizard
Tue Jul 17, 2018 9:37 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Anyone not have a Budget?
Replies: 115
Views: 7214

Re: Anyone not have a Budget?

No Budget, just pay yourself first. We are maxing out tax deferred through our employers. Our normal monthly spend goes into checking, the rest is put into savings. We pull from savings for big semi-annual, annual and infrequent items: prop. taxes, insurance, max ROTH contribution, big house repairs...
by MathWizard
Mon Jul 16, 2018 3:54 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Have you ever purchased a pricy musical instrument?
Replies: 82
Views: 4363

Re: Have you ever purchased a pricy musical instrument?

We bought a trumpet (relatively cheap) and a violin (about $1200) for our boys. We rented the French Horn (was quite expensive to buy if I recall, $4-5K minimum) Strangely, they quit the instrument we bought, and kept with the one we rented. Our younger son was in orchestra with violin, and when he ...
by MathWizard
Mon Jul 16, 2018 9:09 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Are Credit Cards Actually Convenient?
Replies: 91
Views: 6801

Re: Are Credit Cards Actually Convenient?

You must be triggering a fraud detection algorithm. I've only had a CC declined once. While traveling far from home, we stopped by a Whole foods store 3 times in one morning. Then the same card was declined at a gas station 100 miles away. Three smallish purchases on the same card at the same place ...
by MathWizard
Thu Jul 12, 2018 10:53 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: What rate of return are you using for retirement projections?
Replies: 99
Views: 9536

Re: What rate of return are you using for retirement projections?

I use the the real return projections from portfolio solutions:

Code: Select all

https://portfoliosolutions.com/latest-learnings/blog/30-year-risk-and-return-forecast
by MathWizard
Wed Jul 11, 2018 2:13 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Roth 403b rmd question
Replies: 14
Views: 769

Re: Roth 403b rmd question

You can roll over the ROTH 403b into a ROTH IRA, and avoid the RMD. There is a five year rule, but that applies to when you first opened the ROTH IRA. So if you have a ROTH 403b (or ROTH 401k) the open a ROTH IRA as soon as you can, even if it is only $100, so that you have somewhere to roll the 403...
by MathWizard
Wed Jul 11, 2018 2:01 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Bucket Portfolio article by Christine Benz
Replies: 85
Views: 6665

Re: Bucket Portfolio article by Christine Benz

One difference between a bucket scheme and a non bucket scheme is the withdrawal mechanism. Lets assume monthly withdrawals to replenish your checking account in retirement. Thats what I do. So if my target AA was 50% stocks, 45% bonds, and 5% cash, then each monthly withdrawal of $X000 would be do...
by MathWizard
Tue Jul 10, 2018 10:00 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Going solar?
Replies: 73
Views: 5958

Re: Going solar?

I think that the best advantage for solar is in places which have tiered and/or time of day pricing. I believe the SF bay area has these. In the past, your rates got cheaper the more elec. you consumed (the infrastructure cost was high for low consumption users) Now, in places which are having probl...
by MathWizard
Mon Jul 09, 2018 12:20 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Emergency Fund in Roth?
Replies: 7
Views: 604

Re: Emergency Fund in Roth?

I've had a 2nd tier EF in a ROTH since 2000. You can always withdraw contributions even before age 59 1/2 (but you can never put them back in). It's only earning that generate a penalty if you take them out early. See the BogleHead wiki entry https://www.bogleheads.org/wiki/Roth_IRA_as_an_emergency_...
by MathWizard
Mon Jul 09, 2018 9:12 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: $50+ gas bill for $4 in gas?
Replies: 16
Views: 3110

Re: $50+ gas bill for $4 in gas?

I noticed my natural gas bill (heat, hot water, cooking) has slowly crept up in the summer months where I use little gas. My bills used to be pretty low in the summer as it was almost all hot water (grill outside mostly and no heat in warm weather). My last bill was $50.23. The breakdown is: Custom...
by MathWizard
Mon Jul 09, 2018 8:50 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: How to tip
Replies: 87
Views: 5628

Re: How to tip

student wrote:
Fri Jul 06, 2018 3:05 pm
MathWizard wrote:
Fri Jul 06, 2018 1:17 pm
Since 18% of a $50 bill is the same as 50% of an $18 bill, that would be $9.
Cute. Interchanging the $ sign and the % sign. Your moniker is well-deserved.
Thanks!
by MathWizard
Fri Jul 06, 2018 1:17 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: How to tip
Replies: 87
Views: 5628

Re: How to tip

This what makes 10-15- 20 percent so popular. 10%: shift the decimal point of the tab one place to the left. Easy peasy. 20%: double that amount. Also not too hard. 15%: This where many people get lost. Divide the first number by two, and add it to the first number. 18%: forget about it! I think yo...