Search found 2850 matches

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: 39
Views: 3495

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
Replies: 54
Views: 2245

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: 114
Views: 6258

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: 66
Views: 2861

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: 65
Views: 3664

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: 8872

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: 702

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: 6296

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: 5457

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: 573

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: 3027

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: 5310

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: 5310

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...
by MathWizard
Fri Jul 06, 2018 1:11 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: 401k fees...what's "too high?"
Replies: 50
Views: 3167

Re: 401k fees...what's "too high?"

I'd put in money even if the ER was 1% for the match. The match is free money. I'd probably crunch some numbers beyond 1%. If there was no match --- If the company just deposited a fixed percentage multiple of your income regardless of what you did, what would you do? I'd analyze it based on saving...
by MathWizard
Thu Jul 05, 2018 4:37 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: 401k fees...what's "too high?"
Replies: 50
Views: 3167

Re: 401k fees...what's "too high?"

I'd put in money even if the ER was 1% for the match. The match is free money. I'd probably crunch some numbers beyond 1%. I'm paying 0.39% in a 403b for funds up to the match, then 0.04% for anything more. I guess they know they are competing with IRAs from other companies at that point. By contrib...
by MathWizard
Thu Jul 05, 2018 4:25 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: How to title a car for a teen
Replies: 9
Views: 1277

Re: How to title a car for a teen

We just titled it in our names , the retitled when we took our oldest
our oldest off our insurance a few months into his first job.

Looking to do the same with our youngest.

Of course, there were no grandparents involved, we bought the cars.
by MathWizard
Tue Jul 03, 2018 5:18 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: How do I fix my heating bill?
Replies: 73
Views: 3296

Re: How do I fix my heating bill?

Suggestion: Turn the baseboard heat off, and turn your thermostat up to 70 or 72. Then see if the bills come down. My guess is that your baseboard heat is coming on first, so you effectively have resistance baseboard heat as the main hear source running 24x7 with the heat pump as backup. You want th...
by MathWizard
Tue Jul 03, 2018 4:17 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Fed survey: 40% of adults cannot cover a $400 emergency expense
Replies: 48
Views: 4994

Re: Fed survey: 40% of adults cannot cover a $400 emergency expense

... Why doesn't anyone say it is a bad idea to purchase an education if the total cost is 3-5x your household income? ... Using your inheritance to pay for Stanford? While I agree with you in principle, I'm not sure I agree with this one. I consider an education which increases your human capital i...
by MathWizard
Sun Jul 01, 2018 10:30 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Debt to asset ratios
Replies: 14
Views: 853

Re: Debt to asset ratios

This is highly dependent upon age. I grew up poor, and I invested in education through a PhD. By the end, my wife and I had a debt to asset ratio was between 200 to 300%, that is a negative net worth. Ten years later, we took on house debt, and were at about 40%. 17 years later after that we were de...
by MathWizard
Sun Jul 01, 2018 10:08 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: What are your property taxes?
Replies: 212
Views: 12852

Re: What are your property taxes?

County property taxes at 1.5% of assessed value.

Half goes to schools in the county.
by MathWizard
Sat Jun 30, 2018 7:08 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: What’s your plan for a market downturn?
Replies: 114
Views: 9503

Re: What’s your plan for a market downturn?

If you rebalance during a downturn, though, when everything is going down, (so you’re actually selling funds to buy other funds), doesn’t that just mean your locking in your losses? If you mean rebalancing by adding new money though, then I see the benefit in that No, you are likely buying stocks o...
by MathWizard
Wed Jun 27, 2018 4:52 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Lost out on promotion
Replies: 104
Views: 10359

Re: Lost out on promotion

Man, after reading these posts, I'm glad that I'm retired and no longer have to deal with office politics. My strategy was simple: Become a subject matter expert. Solve problems. Build a reputation as the guy who solves problems. Get compensated as the expert who solves problems. Yes, I was that ex...
by MathWizard
Wed Jun 27, 2018 1:43 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Are we just way over complicating this?
Replies: 113
Views: 7164

Re: Are we just way over complicating this?

The financial services industry over-complicates things.

This forum is a refuge of sanity among bitcoin miners, the house flippers,
and the high leverage investors ...
by MathWizard
Tue Jun 26, 2018 10:07 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: CNBC: Social Security buying power has slipped by a third for retirees
Replies: 95
Views: 6969

Re: CNBC: Social Security buying power has slipped by a third for retirees

There is only one reason to take SS early or not delay taking it until age 70 -- you have to. There might be a second reason -- you can't do math. Taking SS early will on average result in you having more money. The returns from investing say 60%/40 far exceed SS. That is simple math. But to get th...
by MathWizard
Tue Jun 26, 2018 9:54 am
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: S&P P/E Ratio
Replies: 50
Views: 3254

Re: S&P P/E Ratio

Op, If the high PE is making you nervous, the perhaps your Asset Allocation has too high a weight in equities. Are you 100% stock? If so, perhaps consider 80/20. When the SP500 drops far enough you can rebalance. When I estimate whether I can retire, I always account for a high PE by multiplying the...
by MathWizard
Sun Jun 24, 2018 7:14 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Buy year end 2018 van vs. 2019 model
Replies: 7
Views: 792

Re: Buy year end 2018 van vs. 2019 model

I would have suggested going with the 2018, but given your reasoning for waiting for the 2019, you
should have bought a 2017 when the 2018 came out.

For marital accord, I would go with the 2019.
by MathWizard
Fri Jun 22, 2018 10:26 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Heat strips in heat pump miswired and on all the time - how much extra electricity cost?
Replies: 14
Views: 1099

Re: Heat strips in heat pump miswired and on all the time - how much extra electricity cost?

I'm surprised it only quadupled the cost.
If the strips we're always on, the A/C would have needed to be on always to counter the heating.

I'd think that it could have quadrupled if the heat strips just came on when the A/C cycyled on. They are fighting each other after all.
by MathWizard
Fri Jun 22, 2018 10:18 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Did you celebrate when you finally hit $1m?
Replies: 161
Views: 14716

Re: Did you celebrate when you finally hit $1m?

No.
I was hoping to post 'joined the two comma club' to bogleheads, but somebody decided those should go in one long post, so I didn't bother.



Add to that is that I think of one million as $40K per year inflation adjusted, which does not seem nearly as impressive.
by MathWizard
Thu Jun 21, 2018 9:05 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Best books for teens about money/debt/credit cards/power of compounding interest, etc.?
Replies: 9
Views: 862

Re: Best books for teens about money/debt/credit cards/power of compounding interest, etc.?

I gave both my boys

the Suze Orman book "Young Broke and Fabulous"

Neither of the boys have any debt.
by MathWizard
Tue Jun 19, 2018 12:42 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Partial Owner of Inherited Family Farm/Land
Replies: 16
Views: 2206

Re: Partial Owner of Inherited Family Farm/Land

Was an IRS form 706 filed? This is not required, but if it was, it should have a land value a the time of death to show that the estate did not need to pay any federal estate tax. People file these even when they are not required, because this establishes a value to use for the step up basis on the ...
by MathWizard
Sun Jun 17, 2018 7:59 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Using deceased mother’s jewelry to create new wedding ring
Replies: 9
Views: 1131

Re: Using deceased mother’s jewelry to create new wedding ring

A few weeks ago I fell down the stairs and had to have my wedding and engagement ring cut off. Since then, I am considering using the stones from my mom’s wedding/engagement ring and another ring of hers to create a new wedding ring for myself. Obviously I can’t wear all the rings at once. I usuall...
by MathWizard
Sun Jun 17, 2018 7:42 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: What do you sell after the emergency fund?
Replies: 25
Views: 1599

Re: What do you sell after the emergency fund?

^ During an equity market swoon, I'd hope that a reasonable investor would not have to sell equities. However, I remember during the 2008-2009 meltdown, there were posters here who were too heavily invested in equities AND were forced to sell because they had literally nowhere else to get their liv...
by MathWizard
Fri Jun 15, 2018 12:10 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Which boglehead rule do you break--and are ok with
Replies: 152
Views: 11896

Re: Which boglehead rule do you break--and are ok with

The only "rule" that I know of is to chose a diversified market index and keep fees low, that I do. Some have said that I was wrong to be 100% equities for a long time, (Rule something like age in bonds, or a variant thereof), so I may have "broken" that one. I prefer invest according to your need a...
by MathWizard
Fri Jun 15, 2018 12:04 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Upping federal withholding allowances didn't work?
Replies: 15
Views: 1256

Re: Upping federal withholding allowances didn't work?

Under the new tax law, there are no longer any personal exemptions, just a larger standard deduction, so changing the number of dependents should have no effect on withholding. You can no longer claim a deduction for exemptions when filing. You can still enter a figure for withholding allowances on...
by MathWizard
Fri Jun 15, 2018 11:54 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Question for those who used 529 plans
Replies: 48
Views: 2951

Re: Question for those who used 529 plans

I just used them for the state tax deduction. Mostly I paid from college from a combination of a small amount of 529 some taxable from an earlier time, cash flow after suspending ROTH contributions. The Hope and AOC tax credits helped a lot, the AOC gave us $2,500 per year over 4 years. Scholarships...
by MathWizard
Thu Jun 14, 2018 1:10 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: When did you start teaching your kids about investing ?
Replies: 6
Views: 668

Re: When did you start teaching your kids about investing ?

Probably about age 10. They started mowing lawns, and I showed them how CDs had a minimum amount, and bigger amount and longer length of term gave better return. I opened the bank of mom and dad, and allowed them buy into a 3 year CD, and I let them know by how much their balance increased every mon...
by MathWizard
Thu Jun 14, 2018 1:01 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Upping federal withholding allowances didn't work?
Replies: 15
Views: 1256

Re: Upping federal withholding allowances didn't work?

Under the new tax law, there are no longer any personal exemptions, just a larger
standard deduction, so changing the number of dependents should have no effect
on withholding.
by MathWizard
Thu Jun 14, 2018 12:53 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Non-alcoholic drinks for wedding
Replies: 79
Views: 3845

Re: Non-alcoholic drinks for wedding

We had a dry wedding. My mother never drank, and my In-laws were very anti-booze at weddings. For the toast, you can get sparkling white grape juice, then the kids can participate as well. This comes in bottles that look like champagne bottles, and it has bubbles like champagne. We served it in Flut...
by MathWizard
Thu Jun 14, 2018 11:27 am
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Living on Your Investments? What Happens When a Bear Market Hits?
Replies: 53
Views: 7614

Re: Living on Your Investments? What Happens When a Bear Market Hits?

The article assumes the investor was 100% equities in retirement.

I have been 100% in equities, but have scaled back as I approach retirement,
and never planned to be 100% equities in retirement.

Not very many people would ever advise that.
by MathWizard
Tue Jun 12, 2018 9:07 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Anyone with a paid off house drop homeowners insurance
Replies: 79
Views: 5931

Re: Anyone with a paid off house drop homeowners insurance

Paid off house.

Did not drop insurance.
by MathWizard
Sun Jun 10, 2018 8:25 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Why do we work?
Replies: 121
Views: 10553

Re: Why do we work?

Certainly to provide for my family, and to continue to do so in retirement. I once had a college class where the instructor said "Suppose I offered to guarantee you a B in the class with the provision that you no longer attend. How many would take me up on the offer? Quite a few hands went up. (not...
by MathWizard
Sun Jun 10, 2018 7:17 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Why do we work?
Replies: 121
Views: 10553

Re: Why do we work?

Certainly to provide for my family, and to continue to do so in retirement. I once had a college class where the instructor said "Suppose I offered to guarantee you a B in the class with the provision that you no longer attend. How many would take me up on the offer? Quite a few hands went up. (not ...
by MathWizard
Sun Jun 10, 2018 12:11 am
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Do you change your AA in discrete chunks or gradually?
Replies: 20
Views: 1422

Re: Do you change your AA in discrete chunks or gradually?

Discrete chunks.
I prefer not to tinker so much.

The fee smoother AA changes that I've made, I've changed the AA of new money to slowly bring the overall AA back to where I want it, but that usually takes longer than I want to wait.
by MathWizard
Sat Jun 09, 2018 11:59 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Bogleheads' College Philosophy question
Replies: 68
Views: 3813

Re: Bogleheads' College Philosophy question

If you need to borrow, try to stay within subsided direct loans in the student's name. You need to fill out a FAFSA and have cost of attendance exceed expected family contribution. Private unsubsidized school loans are terrible. You pay interest from day one, often have an origination fee of up to 5...
by MathWizard
Wed Jun 06, 2018 10:47 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Why Edward Jones?
Replies: 76
Views: 12552

Re: Why Edward Jones?

I think too often the assumption by folks on this forum is something like: 1) Ed Jones. Save 10-20% of paycheck, invest in maybe a 70/30 portfolio. or 2) Direct investing with Vanguard at around 0.10%. For the really extravagant, use PAS. Same savings rate and portfolio as above (albeit with cheape...
by MathWizard
Tue Jun 05, 2018 5:34 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: How much money do you want to retire?
Replies: 433
Views: 51891

Re: How much money do you want to retire?

1.2 can retire,
1.5 million will retire.
by MathWizard
Tue Jun 05, 2018 11:10 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Employer-subsidized retiree health insurance questions
Replies: 19
Views: 1226

Re: Employer-subsidized retiree health insurance questions

Pretty rare in any situation. I feel very lucky that my employer will allow me to stay in the group insurance if I pay full cost + 5% administrative fee. This is the same as COBRA , but it does not go away after 18 months. Pre ACA, pre-existing conditions was always a concern in retirement. I'm glad...
by MathWizard
Mon Jun 04, 2018 1:56 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: What is your Take Home Pay / Gross Pay ratio?
Replies: 81
Views: 6206

Re: What is your Take Home Pay / Gross Pay ratio?

Me: 55%
Spouse : 18% (yes 82% goes into taxes and 403b)

Maxing 403b's
Still had to pay in $1500 in taxes beyond our withholding.

We also fully fund ROTHs.
by MathWizard
Mon Jun 04, 2018 11:34 am
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Annuity with survivor or not
Replies: 13
Views: 1174

Re: Annuity with survivor or not

I will be doing 100% to survivor. My back of the envelope analysis suggests that 1 person needs about 3/4 as much to live as two people. This surprised me, I thought it might be 2/3. Social security will drop to 2/3 when one of us dies. Our plan is to annuitize enough so that combined with SS we ha...
by MathWizard
Mon Jun 04, 2018 11:28 am
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Dilemma: what if companies stopped going public?
Replies: 27
Views: 2791

Re: Dilemma: what if companies stopped going public?

Ultimately, the value of a company is a combination of 1) the discounted value of the dividends it distributes 2) any additional value you can get by selling your shares to someone else. Even if 2) goes to zero, you still have 1). This means you now have an illiquid investment that provides a divide...