Search found 615 matches

by TSR
Fri Jan 19, 2018 12:35 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Learning Swimming @ 40+
Replies: 37
Views: 1627

Re: Learning Swimming @ 40+

I swim a couple times a weak at my local YMCA. Very often I will see adult beginners taking swim lessons. I mention this for two reasons. First, the local YMCA is very used to such requests and is a great resource -- if they don't have the lessons you need, they will point you in the right direction...
by TSR
Thu Jan 18, 2018 4:03 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Take a 401k Loan?
Replies: 43
Views: 1971

Re: Take a 401k Loan?

• Borrowed funds are taxed twice. You earn and pay taxes on wages and use those after-tax funds to repay the loan. During retirement, you again pay taxes, this time on withdrawn funds. If you're in the 25% federal tax bracket, twice the tax is extremely expensive. This is a myth that has been debun...
by TSR
Thu Jan 18, 2018 3:54 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: I got a Roomba and think you should too
Replies: 41
Views: 3479

Re: I got a Roomba and think you should too

I received a (an?) Eufy 11 for Christmas. I was skeptical because I have one area of high-pile carpet and a lot fairly serious humps in doors between rooms. I've loved having it. It is VERY dumb, and it has problems with the randomness. But I run it on a program every day while I'm away, and if it d...
by TSR
Thu Jan 18, 2018 10:56 am
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: TSP's F Fund outperforms the G Fund, so why is the G Fund favored?
Replies: 34
Views: 2179

Re: TSP's F Fund outperforms the G Fund, so why is the G Fund favored?

Others have covered the reasons the G Fund is often favored (or not -- I just use the L funds and let them allocate the difference between the two), so I won't wade in too much. But if you have half a million dollars in the G Fund, it sounds like you've made a pretty deliberate choice about it. Is t...
by TSR
Wed Jan 17, 2018 11:15 am
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: 23 Years Old, Uncomfortable with Target Date Funds
Replies: 19
Views: 2067

Re: 23 Years Old, Uncomfortable with Target Date Funds

Just one more vote for keeping the target-date fund. You are underestimating the value of simplicity while overestimating your own investment temperament. Not that you're "bad" at this, just that at 23 you don't know how good you are at it (I'm 39 and don't really know). I have a target-date fund in...
by TSR
Fri Jan 12, 2018 1:04 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Almost a pathological fear of debt, to my detriment?
Replies: 79
Views: 4458

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

There's another phenomenon that I tend to have, which is not so much fear of debt as it is annoyance with the idea of having another payment in my life. For me, there is significant value in paying off a relatively low-priced obligation (your car note, for example) in order to get another monthly pa...
by TSR
Tue Jan 09, 2018 5:27 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Men's no iron dress shirt recommendations
Replies: 66
Views: 3976

Re: Men's no iron dress shirt recommendations

I want to make sure you're using the Jos. Banks Traveler line and not some of the other lines that they call "wrinkle free." The traveler shirts last me a LONG time and keep their "no iron" status. The other ones not so much. Best of luck though -- if you find something great I hope you'll tell us.
by TSR
Mon Jan 08, 2018 10:51 am
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Investing Inheritance
Replies: 6
Views: 549

Re: Investing Inheritance

Condolences on the loss. The most glaring thing in your whole post is that you only have 5% contributions to your 401ks. How close is that getting you both to maxing out? I'd earmark a good chunk of this money to curing that problem -- your return on not paying taxes on those dollars is too good to ...
by TSR
Wed Jan 03, 2018 5:48 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Two vastly different career considerations...Stability vs. Income
Replies: 64
Views: 4028

Re: Two vastly different career considerations...Stability vs. Income

As a fed employee, I vote Job A any day of the week and twice on Sunday. But that's a personality issue for me -- I don't like constant striving. I'd rather just be good at something and do it. There is also a major economy risk in a sales job, and the fact that your friend has been there only for y...
by TSR
Tue Dec 19, 2017 1:51 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Does a State job make it easier to get a FED job?
Replies: 10
Views: 1101

Re: Does a State job make it easier to get a FED job?

Sometimes. There is a lot of cross-over in skills in something like the Judiciary. If you're a legal secretary for a state DA, that would be highly relevant if you're applying for a similar position in a US Attorney's Office (same for court clerks or some attorneys). I'd imagine the same is true if ...
by TSR
Tue Dec 19, 2017 1:45 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: I bonds: Should I put money on I bonds rather than keep them in a savings account
Replies: 26
Views: 3330

Re: I bonds: Should I put money on I bonds rather than keep them in a savings account

I do not own I Bonds, in part because I understand that working through Treasury Direct is a total nightmare. You can do a quick search of this site to find dozens of threads on the subject. For relatively short term savings goals like yours (not what they are really made for), I would be real temp...
by TSR
Mon Dec 18, 2017 2:38 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: I bonds: Should I put money on I bonds rather than keep them in a savings account
Replies: 26
Views: 3330

Re: I bonds: Should I put money on I bonds rather than keep them in a savings account

I do not own I Bonds, in part because I understand that working through Treasury Direct is a total nightmare. You can do a quick search of this site to find dozens of threads on the subject. For relatively short term savings goals like yours (not what they are really made for), I would be real temp...
by TSR
Mon Dec 18, 2017 12:41 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: I bonds: Should I put money on I bonds rather than keep them in a savings account
Replies: 26
Views: 3330

Re: I bonds: Should I put money on I bonds rather than keep them in a savings account

I do not own I Bonds, in part because I understand that working through Treasury Direct is a total nightmare. You can do a quick search of this site to find dozens of threads on the subject. For relatively short term savings goals like yours (not what they are really made for), I would be real temp...
by TSR
Mon Dec 18, 2017 11:35 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Spending on myself, am I off base here?
Replies: 104
Views: 5657

Re: Spending on myself, am I off base here?

One way I justify purchases like these is that you are buying a fairly solid-state thing that has legitimate collector value and doesn't get too much wear and tear. In other words, unlike a really fancy suit or a highly depreciating car, you can sell this thing later and only lose transaction costs ...
by TSR
Mon Dec 18, 2017 11:30 am
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: I bonds: Should I put money on I bonds rather than keep them in a savings account
Replies: 26
Views: 3330

Re: I bonds: Should I put money on I bonds rather than keep them in a savings account

I do not own I Bonds, in part because I understand that working through Treasury Direct is a total nightmare. You can do a quick search of this site to find dozens of threads on the subject. For relatively short term savings goals like yours (not what they are really made for), I would be real tempt...
by TSR
Mon Dec 18, 2017 11:21 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Spending on myself, am I off base here?
Replies: 104
Views: 5657

Re: Spending on myself, am I off base here?

If this is the whole story, then she is being unreasonable, largely because of her hang-ups with money. You both make a lot of money and you rarely spend it. Now you would like to enjoy the fruits of your labor. On the other hand, she may see something in you that is a legitimate (or illegitimate) t...
by TSR
Fri Dec 15, 2017 6:10 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: No Silver Bullets: 8 Ideas for Financial Planning in a Low-Return Environment
Replies: 8
Views: 1640

Re: No Silver Bullets: 8 Ideas for Financial Planning in a Low-Return Environment

Did anyone else have the same feeling I had? Like the adolescent at the convenience store, "one loaf of bread, one quart of milk, one copy of Playboy ..." in this case, one reduced fees, one increased savings, one Weird Portfolio? No real response to your broader point other than to say that --- rh...
by TSR
Fri Dec 15, 2017 5:04 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Two commas, I'm calling it
Replies: 20
Views: 4678

Re: Two commas, I'm calling it

Congrats!
by TSR
Fri Dec 15, 2017 11:47 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Student Loans vs 401K
Replies: 11
Views: 725

Re: Student Loans vs 401K

I agree with everyone else that it's hard to beat a 39% tax return on the 401k, but I agree also that the emergency fund is very important in your case. What I don't understand is how you got to a place where you're a highly compensated employee but there's absolutely no wiggle room between your sav...
by TSR
Tue Dec 12, 2017 10:46 am
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: What to do after losing $117k in stock market?
Replies: 156
Views: 16806

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

Ten years ago, I lost $210K while still in school (student loans and credit cards). My suggestion would be to contribute to tax advantaged accounts up to the limit, then put the rest toward student loans. It is nice feeling to see declining loan balances. It provides a sense of accomplishment that ...
by TSR
Tue Nov 28, 2017 12:24 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: How Do You Stay Current With Music?
Replies: 111
Views: 5479

Re: How Do You Stay Current With Popular Music?

Paste. AV Club (avclub.com). Pitchfork.

I try to read up, then go to Spotify to listen. Very rewarding. Good luck!
by TSR
Tue Nov 28, 2017 12:23 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: New TSP Investing Strategy
Replies: 18
Views: 2042

Re: New TSP Investing Strategy

I think the difference in expense ratio here is between ~.038% and ~.05%. That would not be enough to make me try to make changes. Thanks for your reply, but could you explain what you mean? Apologies -- I misread. I thought by "price" you were referring to the expense ratios. (There is a tiny diff...
by TSR
Tue Nov 28, 2017 12:04 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: New TSP Investing Strategy
Replies: 18
Views: 2042

Re: New TSP Investing Strategy

I think the difference in expense ratio here is between ~.038% and ~.05%. That would not be enough to make me try to make changes.
by TSR
Fri Nov 17, 2017 3:12 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: My dad's army jacket
Replies: 76
Views: 6067

Re: My dad's army jacket

Not a service member. I think it's a very cute jacket and I think you should wear it and tell everyone who asks all about your dad. Others have given advice about the patches, and I'd respect their thoughts more than mine. I'd guess that 98% of jackets like these have ended up in the garbage. I thin...
by TSR
Thu Nov 09, 2017 12:52 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Strategy for repaying wife's law school loans
Replies: 23
Views: 2136

Re: Strategy for repaying wife's law school loans

The main reason why I'm hesitant to refinance is that she wouldn't be eligible for the repayment assistance from her school any more, as they only provide assistance for federal loans. I'm assuming that if we refinanced, she'd no longer be eligible. :annoyed I missed this part. Sorry. That is lousy...
by TSR
Thu Nov 09, 2017 11:59 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Strategy for repaying wife's law school loans
Replies: 23
Views: 2136

Re: Strategy for repaying wife's law school loans

First, don't get overwhelmed. You guys are doing fine financially right now. You're lucky to have what sound like good jobs, and she's lucky to be getting loan forgiveness from her law school (my school cut that off at like $40,000, which is terrible). A lot of people are so against debt that they s...
by TSR
Thu Nov 02, 2017 9:47 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Do you Mow your own Lawn?
Replies: 90
Views: 3400

Re: Do you Mow your own Lawn?

Yes. Relatively small, flat lawn with few trees in the way. I use a plug-in mower with a decently long extension cord and I love it over the alternatives.
by TSR
Wed Nov 01, 2017 2:46 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Federal Employees: BCBS Basic or GEHA HDHP Health Insurance?
Replies: 65
Views: 20707

Re: Federal Employees: BCBS Basic or GEHA HDHP Health Insurance?

My family of 5 consists of two 3 year old twins, 8 year old boy, wife, and myself. We've used BCBS for years, but they are no longer going to pay for my oldest sons asthma medication forcing us to use a generic which doesn't work as well. We could pay retail prices, but I wanted to check around. GE...
by TSR
Mon Oct 30, 2017 5:02 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Hit 2 comma milestone in portfolio thinking of increasing bonds drastically
Replies: 23
Views: 2801

Re: Hit 2 comma milestone in portfolio thinking of increasing bonds drastically

I tend to think that the scale goes something like this: Age in bonds -- conservative Age minus ten -- middle of the road What you've got -- aggressive (and more akin to what most target-date funds do today) Given your sense that you've more or less "won the game," I'd be real tempted to at least si...
by TSR
Tue Oct 24, 2017 11:08 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Student Loan: To Pay or Not to Pay: That is the Question
Replies: 32
Views: 3244

Re: Student Loan: To Pay or Not to Pay: That is the Question

Thanks for all the feedback. Couple of answers and comments. 1. ESPP is post-tax investment. Subject to capital gains taxes. 2. Unable to deduct the interest (I believe) at this point, b/c it is a private loan and I've been paying on it since 2007 (grad school loan). 3. The $160K represents a fair ...
by TSR
Fri Oct 06, 2017 3:03 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Student loan/investing advice
Replies: 5
Views: 460

Re: Student loan/investing advice

Hold onto your cash. With the kids, a large emergency fund is good. You're doing great right now. The interest benefit of paying everything off now vs. paying it off in a few months is essentially nothing. It'll feel good, but then you'll feel like you're in debt to yourself and need to build up cas...
by TSR
Fri Oct 06, 2017 10:10 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Student Debt Advice
Replies: 17
Views: 1378

Re: Student Debt Advice

It's easy to feel like this is all a terrible emergency, and in some ways it is. But you're going to be ok. You're ahead of the game for thinking and caring about this stuff. There is no prize for winning the race to pay this off sooner than everyone else. That won't show that you are financially sm...
by TSR
Fri Oct 06, 2017 9:58 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Sent to collections by a hospital we've never been to?
Replies: 40
Views: 3761

Re: Sent to collections by a hospital we've never been to?

I'm not sure how relevant this is, but I once received an EOB from my insurance company for a procedure I never had from a provider in a state I'd never visited. I called and they said there was just a digit transposed in the policy number. The thought that you could get so far down the billing road...
by TSR
Mon Oct 02, 2017 4:23 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: On the video games path - how to set it up with younger kids
Replies: 36
Views: 2267

Re: On the video games path - how to set it up with younger kids

2. Unless the game is a gift for xmas or a birthday, you buy it yourself. Excellent suggestion. My brother and I are both very frugal, Boglehead type people as adults. But just about every financial lesson we learned before the age of 18 was video-game related. So many dumb choices, and many very g...
by TSR
Mon Oct 02, 2017 2:15 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: On the video games path - how to set it up with younger kids
Replies: 36
Views: 2267

Re: On the video games path - how to set it up with younger kids

By way of background: I enjoy video games, but I don't have kids. My brother enjoys video games and his son (8) does too. His daughter (6) likes to watch her brother play. Several thoughts based on this experience: 1. Video games are like anything else: they can be positive immersive experiences, or...
by TSR
Wed Sep 27, 2017 9:05 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: What is your favorite reasonably priced bourbon?
Replies: 95
Views: 6825

Re: What is your favorite reasonably priced bourbon?

For context, let me say that if I had my choice, I'd go Four Roses Single Barrel (which around here runs about $40 for 750ml), but for much more than double the price of the Bulleit per ounce, I'm not drinking that every day. Bulleit is quite drinkable and decently priced for what it is. But there ...
by TSR
Wed Sep 27, 2017 9:03 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: What is your favorite reasonably priced bourbon?
Replies: 95
Views: 6825

Re: What is your favorite reasonably priced bourbon?

Disappointed by the lack of true frugal bourbon drinkers here. There is only one answer for the dollar-for-dollar best bourbon available, and that is Bulleit in the 1.75 liter bottle . It costs $40. Note that they also make rye for the same price, which I'd recommend for you cocktail drinkers. This...
by TSR
Tue Sep 26, 2017 10:28 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: What is your favorite reasonably priced bourbon?
Replies: 95
Views: 6825

Re: What is your favorite reasonably priced bourbon?

Disappointed by the lack of true frugal bourbon drinkers here. There is only one answer for the dollar-for-dollar best bourbon available, and that is Bulleit in the 1.75 liter bottle . It costs $40. Note that they also make rye for the same price, which I'd recommend for you cocktail drinkers. This ...
by TSR
Mon Sep 25, 2017 10:13 am
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Pay student loans versus invest
Replies: 14
Views: 1099

Re: Pay student loans versus invest

I am a consistent advocate of the "both" approach (i.e., invest AND pay off student loans) where two things are true: (1) you're investing in tax-advantaged accounts that are use-or-lose like a Roth or a 401k, and (2) you have a reasonable interest rate. I did that myself with my $100k or so of law-...
by TSR
Fri Sep 22, 2017 4:13 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Loans paid off!
Replies: 17
Views: 1207

Re: Loans paid off!

Congrats! Paid off my law school loans a few years ago. I'd like to say that I'm grateful every day, but the new normal does take over after a while. Go take your wife out to a nice dinner!
by TSR
Thu Sep 14, 2017 10:36 am
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: What is the largest percentage of your total portfolio value that you have exchanged to rebalance?
Replies: 58
Views: 4185

Re: What is the largest percentage of your total portfolio value that you have exchanged to rebalance?

Sorry for the odd response, but I have the majority of my portfolio in my TSP in a "lifecycle" fund, so it rebalances on its own. My Roth is in a three-fund configuration, and I just exchanged approximately 8% of the Roth to rebalance and slightly adjust my allocation (I just had a birthday). This o...
by TSR
Wed Sep 06, 2017 3:00 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Sonos fans: how to take advantage of promotion
Replies: 13
Views: 1902

Re: Sonos fans: how to take advantage of promotion

I have sonos throughout my home. I like it a lot. Didn't realize the technology was becoming obsolete. I think they still function and sound great. If it helps my previous research showed a concensus that two play ones is definitely a better option than a single play 3, and two play 3s are better t...
by TSR
Wed Sep 06, 2017 10:59 am
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Critique this TSP allocation
Replies: 28
Views: 2311

Re: Critique this TSP allocation

It's hard to critique because you're not really articulating a reason why you'd have no F fund or why you think the C fund is sub-par. In fact, both are excellent, low-cost funds that do exactly what they promise to do. Notably, the F fund way outperforms the G fund some years, and the G fund outper...
by TSR
Wed Sep 06, 2017 10:48 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Sonos fans: how to take advantage of promotion
Replies: 13
Views: 1902

Re: Sonos fans: how to take advantage of promotion

Excellent advice so far. Still leaning toward getting one or two extra 1s, unless I hear any other strong opinions.

Thank you!
by TSR
Tue Sep 05, 2017 5:02 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Sonos fans: how to take advantage of promotion
Replies: 13
Views: 1902

Re: Sonos fans: how to take advantage of promotion

I would abandon sonos. They are old tech, and you're paying for the name. Their sound quality isn't up to par for the price. The cheapest way for the sonos implementation these days is to buy as many Google Chromecast music devices as you need. Hook them up to any speaker system, old or new. You ca...
by TSR
Tue Sep 05, 2017 2:03 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Sonos fans: how to take advantage of promotion
Replies: 13
Views: 1902

Sonos fans: how to take advantage of promotion

Sonos just sent out a 15% off promotion. I have only recently owned their products, and I would love your thoughts on how to use that promo for a new acquisition or two. (I am not currently interested in OTHER brands, although I would consider them if they would "play nice" with my current set up.) ...
by TSR
Fri Sep 01, 2017 3:18 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Dropped envelope of money at bank... Any lawyers here?
Replies: 72
Views: 4696

Re: Dropped envelope of money at bank... Any lawyers here?

The bank is not free to ignore a court subpoena, assuming the police/prosecutors want to go in that direction. Your friend could also sue the unnamed defendant and the bank, and then issue a discovery request for the identity of the individual, which the bank would also not be free to ignore. This s...
by TSR
Thu Aug 24, 2017 2:52 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Miles Davis: Kind of Blue - Question for Jazz experts
Replies: 49
Views: 3630

Re: Miles Davis: Kind of Blue - Question for Jazz experts

This is a wonderful question. If you like vocal stuff, I think the vocal equivalent of KoB might be the album Chet Baker Sings, which is one of the truly great jazz albums of all time (IMO), and not too terribly sad per above comment. Another favorite is the album John Coltrane and Johnny Hartman. C...
by TSR
Tue Aug 22, 2017 10:00 am
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: $1000/month: Mortgage vs. Market vs. Other
Replies: 22
Views: 2008

Re: $1000/month: Mortgage vs. Market vs. Other

I would be interested to know how much emergency fund you have. I got some advice here a year or two back to increase mine to about $50k, and this year I have been really grateful for that advice.
by TSR
Fri Aug 18, 2017 4:39 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: DUI lawyer - need advice
Replies: 85
Views: 8091

Re: DUI lawyer - need advice

I am a lawyer and occasionally do DUI cases (although not on a "for profit" basis). I don't mean the following as legal advice so much as "meta" legal advice: advice about getting advice. In other words, take it all with a grain of salt, reevaluate based on state law and local norms, etc. Your goal ...