Search found 13443 matches

by Watty
Sun Aug 19, 2018 3:22 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Mortgage Tradeoffs - What Would you do?
Replies: 16
Views: 755

Re: Mortgage Tradeoffs - What Would you do?

Pros of paying it off:........ A couple of others that made paying off my mortgage a good choice for me even though my situation is different. 1) Not having a mortage allows me to keep my taxable income lower which means; a) I can qualify for a ACA healthcare subsidy until I get Medicare. b) Less o...
by Watty
Sun Aug 19, 2018 12:09 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: New Zealand
Replies: 14
Views: 1109

Re: New Zealand

There have been a number of threads on New Zealand that you can search on to get more specific questions to ask. Three weeks is about the minimum to make going to New Zealand worthwhile, try to add on as many days as possible since between the travel time and being jet-lagged the first day or two th...
by Watty
Sun Aug 19, 2018 12:57 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: What kind of medical events that may ruin your retirement?
Replies: 64
Views: 3483

Re: What kind of medical events that may ruin your retirement?

Just FYI, for extended travel you may need visas and you may be required to have medical insurance to get a visa. You can buy "anywhere but the US" global medical insurance for $2,000 or so for a couple your age. Be sure to read all the fine print on those, some of them apparently exclude things lik...
by Watty
Sun Aug 19, 2018 12:22 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Apartment Decision After Divorce- Please evaluate my thinking
Replies: 30
Views: 2549

Re: Apartment Decision After Divorce- Please evaluate my thinking

Gardener wrote:
Sat Aug 18, 2018 3:31 pm
I value any input/guidance/suggestions.
You may be over analyzing this.

In all likelihood in a year when your lease is up you will want to move no matter what apartment you get and delaying the move will just delay getting on with your life.
by Watty
Sat Aug 18, 2018 11:23 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Info on Al-Farabi Kazakh National University
Replies: 28
Views: 2206

Re: Info on Al-Farabi Kazakh National University

I have a cousin that I have not talked to in decades that is an associate math professor at a different university in Kazakhstan but I don't know much about his experience there. A few things though; 1) He tried for years to find a permanent position in at a US university after he got his Phd. but w...
by Watty
Sat Aug 18, 2018 9:43 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Fitness band with excellent Android syncing?
Replies: 17
Views: 607

Re: Fitness band with excellent Android syncing?

Be sure to also look at the expected battery life. In many(most ?) of them the batteries are not replaceable so once the battery fails it cannot be repaired. It varies greatly but it is not uncommon for the battery to fail in less that two years.
by Watty
Sat Aug 18, 2018 9:24 am
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Move Rollover IRA to 401k or vice versa
Replies: 4
Views: 176

Re: Move Rollover IRA to 401k or vice versa

One risk with the 401k is that the employer can change the 401k administration company, costs, and the expenses charged at anytime. I worked at a company where they did this and it went from having some great choices to be with a 401k company that was a lot worse. Unless you have a compelling reason...
by Watty
Fri Aug 17, 2018 10:17 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Continue flood insurance after mortgage paid off?
Replies: 15
Views: 971

Re: Continue flood insurance after mortgage paid off?

In my particular situation, my damage was not severe; I got about 6" in the house, enough to make a decent claim. The insurance company paid off very well, but instead of doing repairs, I used the flood insurance money to pay off my mortgage. One thing to consider is that if you are flooded again a...
by Watty
Fri Aug 17, 2018 9:54 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Cost of Living between NYC and U.K.?
Replies: 16
Views: 1410

Re: Cost of Living between NYC and U.K.?

One thing to look at is how living in the UK would affect your ability to make retirement account contributions and if there is a 401k match on your income that you might be missing out on. I would assume that you would also not be working under Social Security and Medicare so you could have reduced...
by Watty
Fri Aug 17, 2018 8:53 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Best (cheapest) way to book a flight well in advance
Replies: 15
Views: 1492

Re: Best (cheapest) way to book a flight well in advance

It'll be a large family event with everyone flying down (parents, 4 siblings, 3 little ones), .... I have never done it but as I recall most airlines have a group sales department for 10(?)+ people. It would be worth calling to find out if that would work for you. Getting that airlines credit card ...
by Watty
Fri Aug 17, 2018 8:17 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Today I retired [should I invest in rental properties?]
Replies: 25
Views: 2603

Re: Today I retired [should I invest in rental properties?]

One thing to ask yourself is how that will work when you are older and less capable or if one of you survives the other and has to manage rental property alone when they are elderly. I can't picture myself or my wife managing rental property when we are 80. Even with a property manager you will need...
by Watty
Fri Aug 17, 2018 3:03 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: physics/math major looking for programmer/analyst job?
Replies: 75
Views: 3257

Re: physics/math major looking for programmer/analyst job?

I don't know many of the details but I know someone that wanted to do a mid-career job change so I took courses to get SAS(statistical software) certification and he seems to be doing well and he did not have any trouble finding his first job.
by Watty
Fri Aug 17, 2018 8:38 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Continue flood insurance after mortgage paid off?
Replies: 15
Views: 971

Re: Continue flood insurance after mortgage paid off?

My plan is to live in the place for 3-5 more years (about the time I expect to retire), w/o a mortgage payment, and sell it as a tear-down. Comparable tear-down’s/lots in my neighborhood are selling for $300K+. Why not sell the place now and move into an apartment for 3-5 years? +1, or rent a house...
by Watty
Thu Aug 16, 2018 11:30 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Marriage Name Change Logistics
Replies: 14
Views: 1405

Re: Marriage Name Change Logistics

Anything else to be aware of? Be real consistent with how she used the name. My wife sometimes uses her maiden name as a middle name on a form, and sometimes she has forgotten and used her original middle name. That is easy to do. Be sure that the passport and drivers licence match exactly when she...
by Watty
Thu Aug 16, 2018 11:12 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Elderly Relative Short on Money
Replies: 91
Views: 6818

Re: Elderly Relative Short on Money

We are looking at a subsidized elderly housing unit that costs $1250 a month in rent. After utilities, it will probably be closer to $1400. That is a very expensive area. She might want to consider moving to a less expensive area. If she wants to stay in the same city then moving some place that is...
by Watty
Thu Aug 16, 2018 11:00 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Pop up tent camper
Replies: 23
Views: 2452

Re: Pop up tent camper

Just for brainstorming I know someone that has a small box trailer, not unlike a u-haul trailer, that they use for tent camping. They keep their camping stuff in there so it is ready to go and they can quickly set it their campsite and some things they can leave in the trailer until it is needed.
by Watty
Thu Aug 16, 2018 10:38 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Non-owner contributing to home renovations: what's fair?
Replies: 39
Views: 2304

Re: Non-owner contributing to home renovations: what's fair?

It is not ideal but one option would be to get a loan from a bank to pay for the improvements and then have your partner pay part of the monthly loan payment. For example if you get a loan of $XX,XXX to put in swimming pool then your partner could pay part of the monthly payment. If you split up nex...
by Watty
Thu Aug 16, 2018 10:28 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Seattle- mandatory affordable housing units affect single family home values?
Replies: 45
Views: 2746

Re: Seattle- mandatory affordable housing units affect single family home values?

A couple of things that I have not seen mentioned; 1) The new development, and others in the area, may overload the the schools with kids that move into the new housing. 2) In a hot housing market houses with "issues" may not be greatly impacted since potential buyers are scrambling to buy any house...
by Watty
Thu Aug 16, 2018 7:30 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Helping elderly mother with her finances - 2 issues
Replies: 17
Views: 1631

Re: Helping elderly mother with her finances - 2 issues

Details: $330k mortgage against a home worth about $450k. Remaining balance currently $207k. She has about $243K in home equity. A reverse mortgage on the house would be an option if she needs more money. There are lots of considerations and costs but they revised the rules on them about ten(?) yea...
by Watty
Thu Aug 16, 2018 7:20 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Celebrating the day you retired
Replies: 46
Views: 2834

Re: Celebrating the day you retired

I retired on a Thursday. Someone asked me why I choose Thursday and I told them I wanted to start out my retirement with a three day weekend. :D
by Watty
Wed Aug 15, 2018 7:29 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Convert TSP to roth on retirement?
Replies: 7
Views: 510

Re: Convert TSP to roth on retirement?

The TSP also has some "quirks" with different inheritance rules than an IRA or 401k. https://www.bogleheads.org/wiki/TSP_estate_planning There was a poster a while back that had run into this situation. 1) Dad had large TSP account, he dies and leave it to his wife. 2) Wife left the money in the TSP...
by Watty
Wed Aug 15, 2018 2:58 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Cash or mortgage for house entering retirement?
Replies: 10
Views: 752

Re: How to save for house between now and retirement?

Could you work six months or a year after you are 55 if you needed to, or is that a firm date? Could you retire in some area where houses cost less than a half a million if you needed to? Even in an expensive part of the country a house that is 30 minutes farther out will often cost a lot less. If ...
by Watty
Wed Aug 15, 2018 10:02 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Cash or mortgage for house entering retirement?
Replies: 10
Views: 752

Re: How to save for house between now and retirement?

Your numbers may be a lot different but for me having a paid off house in retirement works well because I can keep my income low enough to qualify for an ACA healthcare subsidy until I can get on Medicare. Not having the the taxable income that I would need for a mortgage payment will also save me a...
by Watty
Wed Aug 15, 2018 9:35 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Take auto loan 0.9% if I can afford cash?
Replies: 121
Views: 6358

Re: Take auto loan 0.9% if I can afford cash?

Without a car loan you can usually have a higher deductible on your car insurance so be sure to consider if that will save you some money. Sure and put the cash in a money market at CIT bank earning 1.85% But that is taxable so your after tax return might be more like 1.5%. Compared to a 0.9% loan t...
by Watty
Wed Aug 15, 2018 9:20 am
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Early thirties, windfall increasing my retirement savings from 4 digits to 6
Replies: 4
Views: 666

Re: Early thirties, windfall increasing my retirement savings from 4 digits to 6

manitoid wrote:
Tue Aug 14, 2018 11:39 pm
my 6k balance is currently in the Principal R4 funds and JGRTX, tiny bit in NEFZX and RNGCX
A three fund portfolio would be a better choice.

https://www.bogleheads.org/wiki/Three-fund_portfolio
by Watty
Wed Aug 15, 2018 9:13 am
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Early thirties, windfall increasing my retirement savings from 4 digits to 6
Replies: 4
Views: 666

Re: Early thirties, windfall increasing my retirement savings from 4 digits to 6

1. Given current market conditions would you recommend DCA or a more conservative allocation of that $400,000, or still just stick ~70% into equities? I don't want to try to time the market, but there's a lot of things about this market that makes me think investing a large sum is not the best idea...
by Watty
Tue Aug 14, 2018 11:04 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Civil service: Long Shot Interview.. Would you go?
Replies: 31
Views: 2929

Re: Civil service: Long Shot Interview.. Would you go?

The job market is very hot right now, and candidates are seeking glamorous jobs, not civil service. As a result, many agencies are opening up to external candidates, where in less tight job markets, preference was given to internal candidates. Go. You might surprise yourself. +1 Your local job mark...
by Watty
Tue Aug 14, 2018 9:32 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Travel over thanksgiving holiday, drive or fly?
Replies: 50
Views: 2177

Re: Travel over thanksgiving holiday, drive or fly?

You also have the possibility of bad weather which could turn either option into nightmare. If a flight is cancelled trying to rebook four seats on the packed flights will be very difficult. Could you leave the kids at home and travel solo to the wedding? Even if you had to have someone help watch t...
by Watty
Tue Aug 14, 2018 9:24 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Retire in Florida or Alabama?
Replies: 107
Views: 7199

Re: Retire in Florida or Alabama?

In any of the areas that have been mentioned monthly condo rentals are common. It would be good for them to try renting for a month or more at different times of the year in several different locations to see what they like the best. It is also not uncommon for people to rent a condo for several mon...
by Watty
Mon Aug 13, 2018 10:11 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Buying used car - advice requested
Replies: 36
Views: 2370

Re: Buying used car - advice requested

I agree with checking deals on new vehicles. I was looking for a used car, 2015-2016 with around 30,000 miles, but ended up buying a new 2018 Mazda3 Sport for $16,800 after dealer cash-back, etc. Not much more than a used vehicle would have been. +1 I ended up buying a new Corolla in January for ab...
by Watty
Mon Aug 13, 2018 9:56 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Marriage [How should finances be handled?]
Replies: 58
Views: 4599

Re: Marriage [How should finances be handled?]

How will taxes effect us? You can use tax software to do a dummy tax return to see what your taxes will be. I would highly suggest doing this so that you make sure that there are not any surprizes when you file your first joint tax return next next April 15th. Be sure to also look at your state tax...
by Watty
Mon Aug 13, 2018 9:38 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Asked my advisor about fees and here's their reply
Replies: 40
Views: 5201

Re: Asked my advisor about fees and here's their reply

So.....any thoughts on how this compares to other financial planning companies? Did I just get absolutely fleeced for the last decade? If I move to Vanguard I'm looking at dropping from 1.45% to below .3% right? I'm super uneducated financially but if I'm doing it right the 350K I have with them ha...
by Watty
Mon Aug 13, 2018 7:20 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Retire in Florida or Alabama?
Replies: 107
Views: 7199

Re: Retire in Florida or Alabama?

buying a house to live part of the year by the beach in either Florida or Alabama. Be sure to price what home insurance will cost with hurricanes in Florida or coastal Alabama, as well as flood insurance in either state. There is no family out there, they just are looking for a tax friendly, or fin...
by Watty
Mon Aug 13, 2018 7:08 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: "Open Social Security" calculator: feature requests, bug reports, etc
Replies: 180
Views: 15379

Re: "Open Social Security" calculator: feature requests, bug reports, etc

On the question of when to update the numbers one thing I would keep in mind is that people will likely print off the results and show it to someone else so that the context of what has been changed will be lost. It the would be confusing to not update or blank-out the second sets of results when th...
by Watty
Mon Aug 13, 2018 7:04 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: "Open Social Security" calculator: feature requests, bug reports, etc
Replies: 180
Views: 15379

Re: "Open Social Security" calculator: feature requests, bug reports, etc

This is indeed quite a surprise. I am so far unable to replicate such behavior. Could you perhaps provide the inputs you used? Here it is. Windows 10, I just did updates yesterday. Chrome version, Version 68.0.3440.106 (up to date). Input, only the things that were not defaults. Married Male DOB: 9...
by Watty
Mon Aug 13, 2018 8:29 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: "Open Social Security" calculator: feature requests, bug reports, etc
Replies: 180
Views: 15379

Re: "Open Social Security" calculator: feature requests, bug reports, etc

Yes. For the proposed solution to be updated, you have to click the first "submit" button rather than the second one. The first button is the one that runs all the various possible options, whereas the second just runs one single PV calc with the dates you selected. It was the first button that I p...
by Watty
Mon Aug 13, 2018 7:52 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: "Open Social Security" calculator: feature requests, bug reports, etc
Replies: 180
Views: 15379

Re: "Open Social Security" calculator: feature requests, bug reports, etc

Yes. For the proposed solution to be updated, you have to click the first "submit" button rather than the second one. The first button is the one that runs all the various possible options, whereas the second just runs one single PV calc with the dates you selected. It was the first button that I p...
by Watty
Mon Aug 13, 2018 7:35 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: "Open Social Security" calculator: feature requests, bug reports, etc
Replies: 180
Views: 15379

Re: "Open Social Security" calculator: feature requests, bug reports, etc

A minor suggestion. In the drop down boxes where you select the month you list 1,2,3, etc. If they were listed as 1-Jan. , 2-Feb. 3-March, etc. That would make data entry mistakes less likely. After seeing the first Recommended Strategy, and an alternative, I tried changing the discount rate and whe...
by Watty
Sun Aug 12, 2018 4:01 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Please comment on our retirement allocation
Replies: 9
Views: 1017

Re: Please comment on our retirement allocation

When looking at asset allocation I like looking at a comparable target date fund to see what asset allocation they use. Here is the Vanguard Target date income fund. https://investor.vanguard.com/mutual-funds/profile/portfolio/vtinx I did not try to crunch the numbers but when you add in your emerge...
by Watty
Sun Aug 12, 2018 3:41 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: $1M in cash - invest or pay down mortgage
Replies: 21
Views: 3664

Re: $1M in cash - invest or pay down mortgage

One thing that is not clear is the tax implications of selling the additional property. If they will be paying a lot of capital gains tax on the sale and they are older(80s+ ???) it could make sense to keep it as a rental then have the property eventually go to their estate at a stepped up cost basi...
by Watty
Sun Aug 12, 2018 3:16 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Looking to buy 1st home - How much to spend and which type of house to buy
Replies: 2
Views: 567

Re: Looking to buy 1st home - How much to spend and which type of house to buy

However, we both are on H1-B work visa with I-140 applications approved..... What is your credit score? Depending on how long you have been in the US you might not have a lot of US credit history and getting a mortage while you have a H1-B visa could complicate getting a loan. It would be good to t...
by Watty
Sun Aug 12, 2018 3:01 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Housing affordability - what is your take?
Replies: 73
Views: 6689

Re: Housing affordability - what is your take?

Here is a "rent vs buy" calculator that might help. https://www.nytimes.com/interactive/2014/upshot/buy-rent-calculator.html It was a long time ago but I was living in the Bay Area, which has always been expensive, when I was ready to buy my first house. I ended up moving to an area with better qual...
by Watty
Sun Aug 12, 2018 2:45 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: how much car can we afford?
Replies: 128
Views: 5643

Re: how much car can we afford?

If you are married then you should more or less double your car purchase numbers since your spouse will likely end up with a car that costs a similar amount. A lot of decisions like this is really about the "opportunity cost" (Google this) on what you spend of the car. If you bought something like a...
by Watty
Sun Aug 12, 2018 2:30 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Understanding Medicare Options?
Replies: 39
Views: 1480

Re: Understanding Medicare Options?

I would highly recommend the book "Medicare for Dummies" despite the title. It was very good. Be sure you get the most current editions since there are lots of changes.
by Watty
Sun Aug 12, 2018 2:28 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Unlocked iPhone on eBay or Amazon?
Replies: 22
Views: 1320

Re: Unlocked iPhone on eBay or Amazon?

I went through this a few months ago with getting an iPhone for my wife since she was getting new hearing aids that worked better with an iPhone than her current Android phone. I ended up buying a new iPhone 6s after looking at used. The reasons were; 1) A lot of used iPhones have problems, I would ...
by Watty
Tue Jun 05, 2018 9:51 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Expensive house in HCOL area
Replies: 70
Views: 6699

Re: Expensive house in HCOL area

My nephew works for Google and his wife works for Cisco. They just bought a house in mountain view for 2.3M. They are both 30 and make a little more than you guys. But the property will appreciate and the incomes will go up. Buy the house and enjoy! Your stock options will build up to a nice retire...
by Watty
Tue Jun 05, 2018 5:21 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: California condo - what happens after earthquake?
Replies: 6
Views: 1081

Re: California condo - what happens after earthquake?

A bit different situation but I know someone that had a beachfront condo on the gulf coast that was destroyed by Hurricane Ivan not long after they bought it. It is a bit of a convoluted soap opera but it turned out that the condo association did not have adequate insurance so the place is still jus...
by Watty
Tue Jun 05, 2018 5:07 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Driving through Venice - Stay in Venice or Mestre??
Replies: 9
Views: 927

Re: Driving through Venice - Stay in Venice or Mestre??

If it is a rental car you could drop it off then pick up another one when you are ready to leave.
by Watty
Mon Jun 04, 2018 10:15 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Thoughts on changing job to lower title for the experience?
Replies: 22
Views: 872

Re: Thoughts on changing job to lower title for the experience?

In an odd sort of way having the lower job title could work out to be to your advantage since if you get promoted in a few years to full VP then you would likely get a nice bump in pay.
by Watty
Mon Jun 04, 2018 10:11 am
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: TSP Advice - Retiring Soon
Replies: 18
Views: 1710

Re: TSP Advice - Retiring Soon

There seems to be much dis-information out there pertaining to "Non-Spousal TSP beneficiary payment"... If I were the OP, I would carefully look into this, however, suffice it to say that I Firmly believe it can be rolled over into an "Inherited IRA" See Sec. II "Method of payment " pertaining to a...