Search found 10091 matches

by Watty
Sat Mar 25, 2017 9:16 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Travel insurance
Replies: 7
Views: 426

Re: Travel insurance

Based on prior threads I used TripInsuranceStore.com to search for and buy a policy and they seemed efficient and had good prices. You can talk to them on the phone about your needs. I have not needed to make a claim so I cannot judge how good the policy was. If this was bought through some sort of ...
by Watty
Sat Mar 25, 2017 7:24 am
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Buy a house or wait in bay area
Replies: 28
Views: 1900

Re: Buy a house or wait in bay area for our circumstances

The problem is that when people say "40 minute commute" they really mean that is it 40 minutes on a good day, will about an hour a couple of times a week, and closer to two hours every month or so and the commute from hell once or twice a year. Is this Bay-area specific? I've been commuti...
by Watty
Sat Mar 25, 2017 12:12 am
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: 401k access at 55 vs 59.5
Replies: 12
Views: 1081

Re: 401k access at 55 vs 59.5

Here is the wiki on one way of accessing the IRA retirement money early.

https://www.bogleheads.org/wiki/Substan ... c_payments

I'm not a tax pro but I would assume that you could roll the money out to an IRA and do that, but you would want to double check on that.
by Watty
Fri Mar 24, 2017 10:44 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Splurge Budget
Replies: 10
Views: 1139

Re: Splurge Budget

When I was younger I had a hard time spending money on things like travel. I set up a separate bank account and had a couple of hundred dollars from each paycheck automatically into for my splurge money.
by Watty
Fri Mar 24, 2017 8:56 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Buy a house or wait in bay area
Replies: 28
Views: 1900

Re: Buy a house or wait in bay area

I do not see that happening for another 7 years. If you think that it is likely that you will move in 7 years then that is likely too short a time to buy, especially in a crazy market like the Bay Area. So in that it is 40 min upper bound rather than other way. Leaving early in the morning to go to...
by Watty
Fri Mar 24, 2017 7:05 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Pension Options
Replies: 15
Views: 844

Re: Pension Options

A big question is if you pension is covered by the pension benefit guaranty corporation, PBGC, if so then there is little risk. One thing to consider is if you will be able to delay the higher earner's social Security until they are 70 to get a larger Social Security check then. If not then it might...
by Watty
Fri Mar 24, 2017 5:28 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Buy a house or wait in bay area
Replies: 28
Views: 1900

Re: Buy a house or wait in bay area for our circumstances

40 minute commute. Not bad though for bay area. This is in traffic.(25 mins weekend) Is that one way? The problem is that when people say "40 minute commute" they really mean that is it 40 minutes on a good day, will about an hour a couple of times a week, and closer to two hours every mo...
by Watty
Fri Mar 24, 2017 5:08 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: The Sweet Spot for Yearly Car Costs
Replies: 37
Views: 2244

Re: The Sweet Spot for Yearly Car Costs

Don't forget sales tax and what the complications will be if the car is in an accident or totaled while you are leasing it. You will also have to go through the hassle of leasing a new car every three years which takes a significant amount of time. The powertrain warranty typically lasts five years ...
by Watty
Fri Mar 24, 2017 2:55 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: So someone drained $13k from my checking account...
Replies: 92
Views: 8404

Re: So someone drained $13k from my checking account...

What's more alarming is the the fraudster knows how much you have in your account. They didn't request transfer of a large sum that would get rejected. They requested transfer of an amount that just depleted your account. I don't think anyone just happened to know your bank account number be able t...
by Watty
Fri Mar 24, 2017 8:36 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Honda Transmission Service
Replies: 41
Views: 1964

Re: Honda Transmission Service

smitcat wrote:Use the correct Honda fluid no mater what you do.


+1

I am not a mechanic but I have heard stories of other "compatible" brands causing problems. This is especially important if the car is still under the powertrain warranty since you don't want to void the warranty.
by Watty
Fri Mar 24, 2017 8:22 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Moving to the US, which CCs to get?
Replies: 16
Views: 591

Re: Moving to the US, which CCs to get?

2. We would like to travel to visit family in MO and IL once a mth or so, Southwest Premium or Barclaycard Arrival Plus World Elite was suggested. Thoughts? Southwest often has a good signup bonus. Sign up for their frequent flyer account and then watch the emails and check the internet periodicall...
by Watty
Thu Mar 23, 2017 6:04 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Firefighter looking for retirement investing help
Replies: 3
Views: 391

Re: Firefighter looking for retirement investing help

Questions: 1. Should I start a Vanguard Roth IRA before the April deadline? If you are sure that you will not need this until you retire then you could contribute it to your 457 and get about a 30% tax break. You can't directly put it it in the 457 but you could increase your 457 payroll withholdin...
by Watty
Thu Mar 23, 2017 5:46 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: How did you do your income taxes?
Replies: 85
Views: 2820

Re: How did you do your income taxes?

I have used the H&R block software for several years now with no problems but my return is pretty simple. There is usually a one or two day special at Amazon late in December for around $20 or less and you can get a 10% bonus on your refund if you take it as an Amazon gift card. I got over a hun...
by Watty
Thu Mar 23, 2017 5:28 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Need help with info about Portland
Replies: 14
Views: 913

Re: Need help with info about Portland

Unless you need to stay in town for the entire week for the wedding I would split your time between several places like the Oregon Coast or Hood River if you wanted to try windsurfing. Better not be around August 21. I had to look that up, that is where there is a total eclipse that is near but not ...
by Watty
Thu Mar 23, 2017 2:36 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Stay & remodel vs. Move - North Dallas
Replies: 25
Views: 875

Re: Stay & remodel vs. Move - North Dallas

Houses that feed into this school district are typically 50% higher than the same house that goes to.... How much difference is there in the property taxes? It could be that the property tax savings alone would pay for the remodel if you stay where you are now. I have three (3) young daughters (4.5...
by Watty
Thu Mar 23, 2017 2:22 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Help with my father's windfall
Replies: 25
Views: 2452

Re: Help with my father's windfall

Sorry for your loss. I'd probably pay off the credit card debt right away under the assumption it's at a fairly high rate. Ditto for the home equity loan. Paying both of those off is a no-brainer. As for the mortgage itself and the student loans, I'd advise you to wait a few months to let the emoti...
by Watty
Thu Mar 23, 2017 12:06 am
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Advice for new situation
Replies: 9
Views: 732

Re: Advice for new situation

You would need to crunch the numbers but compared to your old jobs $5,000 a year 401k match the value of the pension plan is likely not dramatically different. For example if you saved and invested $5,000 a year for 25 years then you might have enough to buy a similar immediate annuity. I would keep...
by Watty
Wed Mar 22, 2017 11:03 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Administration of relative's estate
Replies: 32
Views: 2004

Re: Administration of relative's estate

You might be able to get some information about what happened from the county corner and they might be able to tell you who arranged for the funeral. You can also try calling that person's phone number. There is a remote possibility that the letter was returned by mistake. If someone is handling the...
by Watty
Wed Mar 22, 2017 10:47 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Best way and pace to shift AA?
Replies: 14
Views: 649

Re: Best way and pace to shift AA?

I should have done this gradually a few years ago – but illness, death of both my parents, then his, - basically life was overwhelming. The best I could do was to just keep saving/investing on auto-pilot until head was clearer. And now here I am... feeling a heightened sense of urgency to get this ...
by Watty
Wed Mar 22, 2017 10:44 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Best way and pace to shift AA?
Replies: 14
Views: 649

Re: Best way and pace to shift AA?

It is a relatively small step but one thing to do would be to change any stock mutual funds in your taxable account to not automatically reinvest dividends and capital gains distributions. When looking at the capital gains taxes for selling the stocks it is important to figure out if not selling som...
by Watty
Wed Mar 22, 2017 10:22 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Roth vs. TIRA, am I missing something obvious?
Replies: 23
Views: 1115

Re: Roth vs. TIRA, am I missing something obvious?

There are so many unknowns and variables I don't think it is possible to model the future with any accuracy.
by Watty
Wed Mar 22, 2017 8:25 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Roth vs. TIRA, am I missing something obvious?
Replies: 23
Views: 1115

Re: Roth vs. TIRA, am I missing something obvious?

There is a wiki on this choice in case you have not seen it. https://www.bogleheads.org/wiki/Traditional_versus_Roth It would be good to dummy tax return to see what the exact difference is between the Roth and traditional. There can be things like the income based phase out of the child tax credit ...
by Watty
Wed Mar 22, 2017 12:05 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: How did graduating out of daycare impact your finances?
Replies: 77
Views: 5451

Re: How did graduating out of daycare impact your finances?

My wife did not have a real high paying job and wanted to be a stay at home parent anyway so when my son was small she did day care for one or two kids in our home in addition to taking care of our son. The kids were always about the same age as my son so that also gave him someone to play with. One...
by Watty
Wed Mar 22, 2017 10:55 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Friend will be laid off in a month - what should he do first?
Replies: 8
Views: 1246

Re: Friend will be laid off in a month - what should he do first?

If he has a healthcare flexible spending account then he should look at what the rules are for those when his job ends. In some situations he could lose some of that money. He might also be able to use an entire years worth of flexible spending money and not have to repay the extra back so it could ...
by Watty
Wed Mar 22, 2017 9:14 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Car Vandalism During Cross-Country Drive
Replies: 41
Views: 3253

Re: Car Vandalism During Cross-Country Drive

The simple solution is to buy a car alarm. :oops: Ot at least the dummy flashing led light and sticker that says there is a car alarm. It sounds like with your concerns that would let you sleep better at night even if there is not a huge risk. You can also set your car up to make it look like it is ...
by Watty
Tue Mar 21, 2017 8:24 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Contribute only up to employer max or should we contribute more?
Replies: 6
Views: 690

Re: Contribute only up to employer max or should we contribute more?

It wasn't clear how much of your net worth the annuity is. If it is a high percentage of your net worth then just for diversification putting money in other types of investments would be good so that you don't have all your eggs in one basket. I didn't really understand the tax situation so that cou...
by Watty
Tue Mar 21, 2017 8:13 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: What building year I should seek when shopping for a house?
Replies: 32
Views: 2102

Re: What building year I should seek when shopping for a house?

I don't think that targeting a particular age home is a good way to search for a house unless you really have a strong preference for a new home or a historic home. I would focus more on learning the different areas and schools if you have kids. Each different age home has a few pros and cons that y...
by Watty
Tue Mar 21, 2017 5:34 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Safe Withdrawal Rate Timing Problem
Replies: 20
Views: 1597

Re: Safe Withdrawal Rate Timing Problem

The "4% rule" is more of a guideline than a firm rule.

In looking at it as a firm rule you also have to consider people that retire a year apart but in that year their portfolios go up or down by 10%. It it was a hard rule then one person would get to spend 10% more than the other
by Watty
Tue Mar 21, 2017 5:27 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Do I need new tires?
Replies: 25
Views: 1017

Re: Do I need new tires?

Resale value is around $4,500. Not to pile on but that resale value would likely be based on the car and tire being in good condition. Your tires are not. You also have an additional factor to consider. If you are in an accident and someone is hurt or killed then having been told by your mechanic t...
by Watty
Mon Mar 20, 2017 9:45 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: How can my parents in India invest in U.S
Replies: 12
Views: 915

Re: How can my parents in India invest in U.S

Among many other problems sending a large amount of money to the US could cause major problems when they die because there is an onerous "non resident alien estate tax"(Google this) and their estate might need to go through a US court too. If they want to invest in US stocks then I would t...
by Watty
Mon Mar 20, 2017 6:02 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Inheritance Investing Advice
Replies: 8
Views: 810

Re: Inheritance Investing Advice

One issue with having worked overseas is that you may have very small Social Security benefit and it takes about ten years of working and paying into Medicare in order to get Medicare when you are 65 so it would be good to research that to see who you stand with Social Security and Medicare. You wil...
by Watty
Mon Mar 20, 2017 5:01 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: What would it take to buy a house in our neighborhood?
Replies: 20
Views: 1361

Re: What would it take to buy a house in our neighborhood?

Something I have not seen mentioned is the option of renting a more desirable place in that same neighborhood. That might cure your itch to buy something and be a better financial choice. I'm not sure how the numbers would work but you can check them here. https://www.nytimes.com/interactive/2014/up...
by Watty
Mon Mar 20, 2017 4:10 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Advice: Overextending by buying? How much house to buy?
Replies: 54
Views: 4038

Re: Advice: Overextending by buying? How much house to buy?

One thing to remember is that within a school district they will occasionally change the map of which areas feed into which school high school. This is especially true when they open a new high school.
by Watty
Mon Mar 20, 2017 10:46 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Any downside in buying a brand new house ?
Replies: 71
Views: 4513

Re: Any downside in buying a brand new house ?

New houses can have problems too either from poor quality materials, poor workmanship or building site issues. Require a home warranty from the builder, make frequent visits to the site as the house is being constructed, and do a through inspection before accepting the completed house. For big tick...
by Watty
Mon Mar 20, 2017 10:33 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Any downside in buying a brand new house ?
Replies: 71
Views: 4513

Re: Any downside in buying a brand new house ?

Having problems with water drainage will sometimes not show up for a few years when there is an unusually wet year. The new homes will likely have minimal landscaping and it will take at least ten years for the trees to grow to a decent size. The subdivision may not be completed as expected. During ...
by Watty
Mon Mar 20, 2017 10:04 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Best way to expand my vocabulary?
Replies: 79
Views: 3202

Re: Best way to expand my vocabulary?

shmidds wrote:Read books on a kindle and look up words you don't know as you read.


+1

That is what I was going to say.

At least on my version of the Kindle if you move the cursor down to the word on a page the definition of it will be displayed.
by Watty
Mon Mar 20, 2017 9:55 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: My son wants to move to Hong Kong
Replies: 35
Views: 4468

Re: My son wants to move to Hong Kong

I don't know anything about Hong Kong but you can easily Google "Hong Kong Visa" and find lots of information. Even if he can get a Visa to go there for an extended period of time the Visa it will not allow him to work there unless it is a special work visa. He may need to be able to show ...
by Watty
Mon Mar 20, 2017 8:34 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Creating a Will
Replies: 33
Views: 2143

Re: Creating a Will

I found Legal Zoom to be a good source for our last wills and other necessary power of attorney documents. We had used an attorney previously, and I liked the online process better. The online companies are fine if your estate and plans are uncomplicated. We keep copies of the will, etc., in a home...
by Watty
Mon Mar 20, 2017 8:07 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: House buying guidance with current finances
Replies: 30
Views: 2765

Re: House buying guidance with current finances

Get the new life insurance ASAP. With changing jobs your old employer life insurance will likely end on your last day of work and any new employer provided life insurance may not start for 60 or 90 days. There were be a time soon when you will have a gap and will have no life insurance. Want to upgr...
by Watty
Sun Mar 19, 2017 11:40 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: New Boglehead, Kids's College, & Emergency Fund Transfer
Replies: 25
Views: 1059

Re: New Boglehead, Kids's College, & Emergency Fund Transfer

One thing to be sure to look at is to see if you can get a Retirement Savings Contributions Credit by making retirement account contributions for you and your wife. This can be an IRA, Roth, 401k, etc. https://www.irs.gov/retirement-plans/plan-participant-employee/retirement-savings-contributions-sa...
by Watty
Sun Mar 19, 2017 11:14 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Advice on renting versus selling, in light of student loans
Replies: 5
Views: 343

Re: Advice on renting versus selling, in light of student loans

It is likely that you have capital gains in the condo and will qualify for the homeowners capital gains exclusion if you don't rent it out for more than a few years. That would allow you to sell it when you move and not pay any capital gains taxes. That alone could make selling it an easy choice. We...
by Watty
Sun Mar 19, 2017 4:11 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Anyone taken a mid-career sabbatical?
Replies: 16
Views: 2124

Re: Anyone taken a mid-career sabbatical?

You need to define what you mean by sabbatical. Taking a six week leave of absence from your job with your employer's approval then returning to the same job is a lot different than quitting your job and traveling for a year. If you can schedule the six week sabbatical then I would encourage your to...
by Watty
Sun Mar 19, 2017 3:53 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: It's worth remembering that bull markets don't last forever
Replies: 95
Views: 6514

Re: It's worth remembering that bull markets don't last forever

The lesson is that you can't really know how to call it. So the best bet is to decide how much exposure you need and want and manage (re-balance) as necessary to deal with it. I have been re-balancing periodically back to my 40% target on the way up. I do the same on the way down again. I may go cr...
by Watty
Sun Mar 19, 2017 10:48 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: What is ideal master bedroom size?
Replies: 30
Views: 2226

Re: What is ideal master bedroom size?

It would be good to make sure that the dimensions and bathroom are wheelchair friendly since you might need that some day. Even if you don't make it fully accessible a few things like wider doors and grab rails in the shower are easy to add now but could save you a lot of trouble later. I know someo...
by Watty
Sun Mar 19, 2017 10:33 am
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Out of the norm all-equity portfolio to compliment pensions
Replies: 13
Views: 480

Re: Out of the norm all-equity portfolio to compliment pensions

on so I feel like this is money I can afford to be riskier with. The problem with that is that the extra risk really doesn't get you much if any extra return but it makes your portfolio a lot more volatile. You can research "Modern portfolio theory" and "efficient frontier". The...
by Watty
Sun Mar 19, 2017 7:43 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Advice: Overextending by buying? How much house to buy?
Replies: 54
Views: 4038

Re: Advice: Overextending by buying? How much house to buy?

I would question the assumption that the quality of life is fantastic there. You are not talking about living in downtown San Francisco, on the coast, Marin County, on a houseboat in Sausalito, a funky area in Berkeley, etc. You are talking about the south bay which is mostly suburban sprawl. About ...
by Watty
Sat Mar 18, 2017 8:45 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Strategy for investing inherited IRA with RMDs
Replies: 20
Views: 984

Re: Strategy for investing inherited IRA with RMDs

One wrinkle -- I am concerned about investment volatility in the inherited account. Because each year RMDs are calculated on December 31 of the previous year, a year of high growth (when the snapshot is taken) followed by a year of a large decline (when the RMD based on the previous year's snapshot...
by Watty
Sat Mar 18, 2017 6:51 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Investing in - WATER - thoughts
Replies: 57
Views: 3529

Re: Investing in - WATER - thoughts

One that that can't be denied is that if you invest in water you would have a liquid asset. :mrgreen:
by Watty
Sat Mar 18, 2017 6:13 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Advice: Overextending by buying? How much house to buy?
Replies: 54
Views: 4038

Re: Advice: Overextending by buying? How much house to buy?

Financial situation: Dual physician couple, combined income of 260K going to 570K. It would be good to spend the thirty bucks to buy tax software including California taxes and to do dummy tax returns as if you were living there. After Federal, State, and property taxes I would think that you would...
by Watty
Sat Mar 18, 2017 5:35 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Early Retirement - what to do about healthcare?
Replies: 101
Views: 9511

Re: Early Retirement - what to do about healthcare?

I'm stumped at how anyone retires early unless they have 3 or 4 million in the bank. It would be unlikely that you need the full $28,000 each and every year. If you did, get a plan with a lower deductible. My wife and I have a combined premium expense of $665/mo with bronze plans, so about $8,000 p...

Go to advanced search