Search found 419 matches

by mac808
Tue Dec 12, 2017 12:58 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: So bought Litecoin@ $150...
Replies: 14
Views: 2626

Re: So bought Litecoin@ $150...

My sister who is a total techno-phobe called to chit chat about litecoin last weekend. Feels like the dot-com bubble all over again. Could be 1997 or 1999 I guess we'll find out in hindsight.
by mac808
Sat Nov 25, 2017 9:04 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Bonds: Why?
Replies: 29
Views: 2300

Re: Bonds: Why?

As 5 year CD rates creep up closer to 3% (with 6 month EWPs) I'm also wondering whether they are a good substitute for some or all of my bond allocation.
by mac808
Fri Nov 24, 2017 1:13 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Regrets for taking SS at 62 or waiting?
Replies: 100
Views: 9235

Re: Regrets for taking SS at 62 or waiting?

Wow, so far no one has any regrets either way, how can this be :confused Because the people who died while waiting to take it later are unable to respond. Similarly, those who took it early but have since advanced beyond the actuarial break-even point might be less prone to post simply due to old a...
by mac808
Mon Nov 20, 2017 12:39 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: HelloFresh meal boxes - disputing credit card charge
Replies: 19
Views: 1615

Re: HelloFresh meal boxes - disputing credit card charge

I dealt with a similar situation recently and did a lot of research into this. File a chargeback. There is a 95%+ probability you will prevail. Usually if you mention the word "chargeback" on the phone these companies will refund you as the mere filing of one has some negative consequences for them....
by mac808
Sat Nov 18, 2017 4:48 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: 55+ Early retirement offer.
Replies: 65
Views: 9152

Re: 55+ Early retirement offer.

2018 may still be a big income year due to severance. Correct, but that will work to your advantage in 2019 and beyond. ACA does not look at your assets at all, just your estimated income for the upcoming year. So if you keep the severance in cash, plus if you have any taxable accounts with potenti...
by mac808
Wed Nov 08, 2017 9:22 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: How old are you and how much do you save for retirement a year
Replies: 150
Views: 13196

Re: How old are you and how much do you save for retirement a year

Late 30s. In 2016 I saved about 85% of after-tax income (mid six figures), trying to hit 90% this year.
by mac808
Mon Oct 30, 2017 12:39 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Sunscreen: use it all the time? (And what's a good one w/o sting?)
Replies: 58
Views: 3576

Re: Sunscreen: use it all the time? (And what's a good one w/o sting?)

If one is a stay at home parent to a young infant & knows they will be remaining indoors 100% of the day, is a daily application of sunscreen still recommended?
by mac808
Sat Oct 28, 2017 12:51 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Should Young Adults Create Social Security Accounts?
Replies: 1
Views: 307

Re: Should Young Adults Create Social Security Accounts?

With all the breaches, would it be smart to have your young adult children create social security accounts as early as possible? Yes, I think it's smart for two reasons. First, as you noted, they reduce the likelihood of an identity thief creating an account for them and using it for mischief. Seco...
by mac808
Sat Oct 28, 2017 11:31 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Can I retire today?
Replies: 132
Views: 7863

Re: Can I retire today?

Unlike municipalities, states cannot go bankrupt. Thus, there are protections against cuts in state pension benefits once the benefits have accrued, and especially once payouts have begun. At least one state has tried to trim COLAs for current retirees, but I don't think it was ultimately successfu...
by mac808
Sat Oct 28, 2017 12:54 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Can I retire today?
Replies: 132
Views: 7863

Re: Can I retire today?

Teague, I would just advise you to pay attention to pension happenings in your state. You're with CalPERS, right? They, and many other pension funds across the country, have very large unfunded liabilities. You have enough assets that you'll probably be OK, but be prepared to cut back if need be. I...
by mac808
Tue Oct 24, 2017 12:51 am
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Building very high net worth
Replies: 81
Views: 8498

Re: Building very high net worth

My septuagenarian observations. Most SBO are neither very clever nor highly disciplined. Those who are quickly outrun the masses, and I have observed a handful of them who have made it to 9 and 10 figures from zilch when we were all in our 20s and 30s. They took major risks, e.g. left promising car...
by mac808
Wed Oct 18, 2017 7:09 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Is a doctor's practice one of the safest and most profitable businesses?
Replies: 58
Views: 3917

Re: Is a doctor's practice one of the safest and most profitable businesses?

Business is based on supply and demand. There's effectively unlimited demand, from insured patients, for the majority of medical services. Now if your unit economics are terrible, unlimited demand doesn't help you; you'll still go broke. But if you can get the unit economics right, then you can make...
by mac808
Sun Oct 15, 2017 4:08 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: 2018 ACA costs arrived
Replies: 88
Views: 10850

Re: 2018 ACA costs arrived

My understanding is that for about $500/person/year you can sign up for one of the medi-share companies which totally exempts you from any ACA penalties. It might be worth $500 to certain people to have that peace of mind that they did it totally by the book.
by mac808
Sat Oct 14, 2017 11:15 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Antivirus Software Recommendations
Replies: 44
Views: 3712

Re: Antivirus Software Recommendations

Don't trust Kaspersky or 360 because of the (Russian and Chinese) Government connections. I don't like Defender because I want separate providers for the OS (Microsoft) and the anti-virus software. I've used AVG for years and haven't run into any problems yet.
by mac808
Sat Oct 14, 2017 11:25 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: 2018 ACA costs arrived
Replies: 88
Views: 10850

Re: 2018 ACA costs arrived

It's not going to have an affect on people who receive subsidies. You are limited in the amount they can charge you, say 10% of your income for example. The people who are going to feel the pain on this one are the ones who don't receive subsidies and therefore are not limited to a percentage of th...
by mac808
Tue Oct 10, 2017 11:30 am
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Anesthesiologist Advise [how to save money]
Replies: 45
Views: 5921

Re: Anesthesiologist Advise [how to save money]

A debt free doctor in their early 30s who grosses 300k a year and has expenses between $40k and $66k a year is being told they shouldn't live in their current location for financial reasons... Wow :shock: :shock: OP, Just do some reading, Find out how your income works. Find out how taxes work. Fin...
by mac808
Mon Oct 09, 2017 12:27 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Why is inflation so low? Moore's law?
Replies: 33
Views: 4565

Re: Why is inflation so low? Moore's law?

Technology seems to be broadly deflationary these days. Netflix has replaced going out to movie theaters, Uber has allowed some families on the margin to reduce the # of cars needed, etc. In the 90s there was a lot of talk about the "Walmart effect" where Walmart would open a superstore in a town wi...
by mac808
Tue Sep 26, 2017 11:27 am
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: How safe is cash in today's economy?
Replies: 37
Views: 4113

Re: How safe is cash in today's economy?

3.5 million people in Puerto Rico are operating on a physical cash-only basis right now. A good reminder to stash a few bills somewhere handy in case of emergencies.
by mac808
Fri Sep 22, 2017 6:25 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: $3.6 million at age 25 - need investment advice
Replies: 44
Views: 5648

Re: $3.6 million at age 25 - need investment advice

Echoing what others have said: pay your taxes and get the accounting done right. My understanding is that transfers from one digital currency to another are considered a taxable event, so if you traded Bitcoin for Litecoin, for example, you'd need to record that as a sale of Bitcoin and a purchase o...
by mac808
Tue Sep 19, 2017 11:58 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: New BOA Premium Rewards Card
Replies: 29
Views: 1855

Re: New BOA Premium Rewards Card

75% bonus from your offer once you plop $100k in Merrill Edge and achieve "platinum honors" status. https://www.bankofamerica.com/credit-cards/products/cash-back-credit-card/#headlineCcalcModule https://info.bankofamerica.com/preferred-rewards/#benefits I don't see anything that suggests that the p...
by mac808
Mon Sep 18, 2017 2:19 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: How much do you spend on "entertainment"?
Replies: 50
Views: 3622

Re: How much do you spend on "entertainment"?

Not much. I've noticed persistent deflation in "entertainment" categories and I spend half or less now, than what I used to spend, and I feel like it's higher quality and more enjoyable entertainment. Netflix and Amazon Video is a good anecdotal example - I used to frequent the movie theater, but ha...
by mac808
Tue Sep 05, 2017 9:25 am
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Put These Charts On Your Wall
Replies: 11
Views: 3329

Re: Put These Charts On Your Wall

Greece was an important lesson for me. I would have bet a huge amount on them defaulting eventually, due to the laws of mathematics. I didn't foresee such aggressive ECB action or the Greek appetite for austerity. I also keep an eye on things like the Japanese monetizing their domestic bond market a...
by mac808
Mon Sep 04, 2017 12:21 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: [Bitcoin] question
Replies: 131
Views: 11279

Re: [Bitcoin] question

CodeMaster, you've gone from someone who apparently knows absolutely nothing about bitcoin to a full-fledged advocate where nothing shakes your confidence about bitcoin. All in less than a week. Can you explain any of the negatives of bitcoin? Or is it your opinion that there are only positives? I'...
by mac808
Mon Sep 04, 2017 10:57 am
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: [Bitcoin] question
Replies: 131
Views: 11279

Re: [Bitcoin] question

CodeMaster, you've gone from someone who apparently knows absolutely nothing about bitcoin to a full-fledged advocate where nothing shakes your confidence about bitcoin. All in less than a week. Can you explain any of the negatives of bitcoin? Or is it your opinion that there are only positives? I'...
by mac808
Thu Aug 31, 2017 5:33 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: How much sooner could you retire with NO property taxes?
Replies: 116
Views: 7874

Re: How much sooner could you retire with NO property taxes?

Keep in mind that high property tax % acts as an anchor holding down home prices. So if you are new to an area with a high % rate it may actually be working in your favor, since otherwise you may have paid 2-3x more for the house.
by mac808
Tue Aug 22, 2017 7:08 am
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: 33 years old, how am I doing ?
Replies: 54
Views: 8570

Re: 33 years old, how am I doing ?

EM, anesthesia, hospitalist...?
by mac808
Thu Aug 17, 2017 12:39 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Is it worth it? [demanding jobs vs time with family]
Replies: 182
Views: 13065

Re: Is it worth it? [demanding jobs vs time with family]

What could they be teaching a toddler that would possibly be "far outside" an adult's knowledge base. Examples of topics that have been taught that are outside of my knowledge base include sign language, Chinese, French, karate, violin, and yoga. Pre-K kids are of course not going to master (or eve...
by mac808
Thu Aug 17, 2017 10:21 am
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Bitcoin
Replies: 131
Views: 11130

Re: Bitcoin

When bitcoin is no longer mine-able, obviously, miners can't profit from mining. Not to nitpick but it's worth restating: miners can heavily influence how Bitcoin functions, and miners and exchanges together (and there seems to be much overlapping ownership) can almost totally control how Bitcoin f...
by mac808
Thu Aug 17, 2017 10:18 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Is it worth it? [demanding jobs vs time with family]
Replies: 182
Views: 13065

Re: Is it worth it? [demanding jobs vs time with family]

Life is utterly impossible without judgment, in spite of all cant to the contrary. Every minute of the day involves multiple acts of judgment, including moral judgment. When someone posts something entitled "Is it worth it? [demanding jobs vs time with family]" this especially invites judgment, par...
by mac808
Thu Aug 17, 2017 10:14 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Is it worth it? [demanding jobs vs time with family]
Replies: 182
Views: 13065

Re: Is it worth it? [demanding jobs vs time with family]

The curriculum at daycare is fantastic and our daughter is learning about things that are far outside of her parents' knowledge base. She is also getting tons of socialization with other children. What could they be teaching a toddler that would possibly be "far outside" an adult's knowledge base? ...
by mac808
Thu Aug 17, 2017 10:11 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Is it worth it? [demanding jobs vs time with family]
Replies: 182
Views: 13065

Re: Is it worth it? [demanding jobs vs time with family]

Doesn't this usually come down to how much momentum your career loses by taking a few years off? If you can hit "pause" for 3 years and then pick up right where you left off once the kids are in school full time, why not take time off? If by taking time off you close the door forever on certain care...
by mac808
Thu Aug 17, 2017 6:42 am
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Bitcoin
Replies: 131
Views: 11130

Re: Bitcoin

Merchants may prefer it over credit cards because there are no fees or chargebacks. Remember, the transaction time for bitcoin may be slow compared to credit cards, but the settlement time for credit cards is around 1 month (the time after which you cannot do chargebacks). Look at some of the large...
by mac808
Wed Aug 16, 2017 6:32 am
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: California - clarification on taxes
Replies: 36
Views: 2845

Re: California - clarification on taxes

Thanks guys. I'm only talking about the very last dollar, so effective rate and itemizing is irrelevant right? Effective rate wouldn't be relevant, but itemizing would lower the marginal rate by 2.6% (.28 [marginal fed rate] * .093 [marginal state rate] = ~ .026). Marginal rate meaning the % tax pa...
by mac808
Wed Aug 16, 2017 5:58 am
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: California - clarification on taxes
Replies: 36
Views: 2845

Re: California - clarification on taxes

Yes, but with some caveats: - The 6.2% social security tax only applies on the first $127,200 of earnings (2017). The 28% Federal bracket goes up to $191,650 (2017). So to the extent your taxable income falls between those two numbers, your marginal tax rate would decrease for dollars beyond $127,20...
by mac808
Tue Aug 15, 2017 10:05 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Bitcoin
Replies: 131
Views: 11130

Re: Bitcoin

None of these arguments for bitcoin address the fundamental problem. What is the value of bitcoin? Everyone buying it thinks it will be worth more in the future. Okay, so how high? At what market cap will it be fairly valued? Nobody ever has an answer for this. Currently the market cap is around 70...
by mac808
Mon Aug 14, 2017 3:48 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: What a Low Return Outlook Means for Your Retirement?
Replies: 42
Views: 5651

Re: What a Low Return Outlook Means for Your Retirement?

All of these discussions seem to lead to the same idea, that we should be thinking about SWR as the sum of two components: spending required to maintain absolute minimum desired standard of living, and then additional spending to cover luxuries and other non-necessities. Perhaps it's 3% + 1% = 4%. T...
by mac808
Mon Aug 07, 2017 9:09 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: kids think lazy if retire?
Replies: 70
Views: 8544

Re: kids think lazy if retire?

I suppose that all kids and circumstances are different, but I'll risk going against the crowd here and say that I think it can be challenging to parent effectively, especially as a father, if you are doing nothing. Kids seem to pay attention to actions, not words. You're a 24/7 role model. If you ...
by mac808
Mon Aug 07, 2017 7:40 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: kids think lazy if retire?
Replies: 70
Views: 8544

Re: kids think lazy if retire?

I suppose that all kids and circumstances are different, but I'll risk going against the crowd here and say that I think it can be challenging to parent effectively, especially as a father, if you are doing nothing. Kids seem to pay attention to actions, not words. You're a 24/7 role model. If you a...
by mac808
Wed Jul 19, 2017 1:42 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Those Of You In a HCOLA - What's Your Financial Plan
Replies: 68
Views: 7616

Re: Those Of You In a HCOLA - What's Your Financial Plan

Those seem like low/starter salaries for a HCOL area and you said you were mid 20s so indeed you are just starting out. You can only cut expenses so much. I would focus on getting income up through any opportunities available to you (more training, job hopping, side hustles). Those opportunities are...
by mac808
Fri Jun 30, 2017 1:59 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: just in case you want to move to florida.
Replies: 4
Views: 1461

Re: just in case you want to move to florida.

What about Tampa and Orlando?
by mac808
Fri Jun 30, 2017 1:57 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Robocalls! -- current best call blocker?
Replies: 58
Views: 6715

Re: Robocalls! -- current best call blocker?

Supposedly if you pick up the call, wait 3 seconds in silence, and then hang up, it charges them a little bit of $ and eventually they will add you into their systems and quit calling. I just started trying this with any unknown numbers so I'll report back if it works.
by mac808
Fri Jun 30, 2017 1:52 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Stress Testing Plans: How much stress?
Replies: 34
Views: 2842

Re: Stress Testing Plans: How much stress?

In Detroit's bk restructuring the pensions were reduced 5-10% and COLA was eliminated. I think that's a decent stress test for anyone on a local (most at risk), state (intermediate), or federal (least at risk) pension. Healthcare costs also went up significantly, so perhaps just assume that you'll b...
by mac808
Thu Jun 29, 2017 3:31 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: How did you handle the costs of your child's wedding?
Replies: 170
Views: 14761

Re: How did you handle the costs of your child's wedding?

We have three sons, two of whom got married this year. Eldest and his wife are bay area engineers and footing the bill for their several geographically dispersed celebrations. Youngest one's wife's family picked up what, to us, seemed to be a pricey, small wedding. (We did buy dinner for the six of...
by mac808
Sun Jun 25, 2017 5:25 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: irrevocable trust for children receiving an inheritance
Replies: 54
Views: 4744

Re: irrevocable trust for children receiving an inheritance

I believe that if all parties agree, you can change the terms of the trust and might be able to avoid creating a new trust.
by mac808
Sun Jun 25, 2017 10:46 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Mediator for ownership division of primary home
Replies: 46
Views: 2070

Re: Mediator for ownership division of primary home

OP I've been in a very similar situation. You need to go with your mom and find out what exactly the legal position on ownership is. Per one of your earlier posts, she believes the law would back her up regarding 80/20 ownership. Well, find out for sure. If the law backs up 80/20, then your mom has ...
by mac808
Sat Jun 24, 2017 7:35 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Can we/should we afford a $2M house?
Replies: 96
Views: 15696

Re: Can we/should we afford a $2M house?

My opinion is that these cases come down to stability of jobs and income. Are you a vascular surgeon, or a biglaw attorney, or a senior engineer at a tech company with generous RSUs? Ditto for your wife - assume she will want to quit working when kids are little - how easily can she take 5-8 years o...
by mac808
Fri Jun 23, 2017 9:35 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Bitcoin in the event of owner death
Replies: 10
Views: 1441

Re: Bitcoin in the event of owner death

There is no good solution to this problem. Anyone to whom you entrust the key could take the money. You can use a safe deposit box or similar to increase the security of a printed key but it's not perfect. If you use an online service, all an attacker needs to compromise is your first and second fac...
by mac808
Thu Jun 15, 2017 2:19 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Curious to odd estate question
Replies: 88
Views: 6792

Re: Curious to odd estate question

Despite all the Bitcoin hype lately this seems to be an effective use case for it. You can use a Bitcoin account to store all value while you're alive (and save/spend as needed). If you keep your password in your head and never write it down, then the moment you die, it's gone forever.
by mac808
Tue Jun 13, 2017 1:59 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Who takes financial chances and why is this forum so financially conservative?
Replies: 139
Views: 14801

Re: Who takes financial chances and why is this forum so financially conservative?

To me, if you have a "fear of missing out," you just don't get it. Adjust your lifestyle and expectations, be happy with what you have and keep everything in balance. Once you reach a certain point, you don't have to spend a lot of additional money to life a satisfying and fulfilling life. Is havin...
by mac808
Sun Jun 11, 2017 12:06 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Bitcoin: The worst investment in 2014
Replies: 93
Views: 15183

Re: Bitcoin: The worst investment in 2014

I had a debate about this with my sister (recent bandwagon joiner) last night. I pointed out that there were important reasons that modern society moved away from bearer assets (not just anti-money laundering). I suspect some Bitcoin investors will re-learn those painful lessons.