Search found 96 matches

by ddj
Mon Dec 11, 2017 9:46 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Snow Tires? Worth it?
Replies: 147
Views: 9928

Re: Snow Tires? Worth it?

Yep, worth it. My dad gave me Nitto SN2 snow tires a few years ago. They're mounted on steel rims...not the handsomest...but i can take them on and off without too much effort. My front-wheel drive hatchback feels like it's driving on rails here in the upper midwest. We also drive a van with all-sea...
by ddj
Mon May 01, 2017 9:37 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Selling house, buying house: ramp down retirement?
Replies: 3
Views: 879

Re: Selling house, buying house: ramp down retirement?

Yep, goal will be to have 20% down on house plus 6 months emerg fund.
by ddj
Mon May 01, 2017 1:23 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Selling house, buying house: ramp down retirement?
Replies: 3
Views: 879

Selling house, buying house: ramp down retirement?

DW and I own a house that our family is outgrowing. We plan to list in the next year and would like to buy when the right house comes along. I'm toying with the idea of ramping down retirement savings to save for 20% down. Upon selling the old house, proceeds would be used to catch up retirement sav...
by ddj
Thu Dec 22, 2016 12:28 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Water Heater Install $1,800!
Replies: 110
Views: 30076

Re: Water Heater Install $1,800!

+1 to DIY if electric, if you're somewhat handy, meaning know how to use quick-connect (i.e. sharkbite) plumbing, know how to check that electricity is off. I replaced 50 gal electric a month ago after a slow ooze of rust pooled around the base of the old. I have a small/lightweight hand truck that ...
by ddj
Mon May 02, 2016 9:30 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: How Much House
Replies: 64
Views: 10066

Re: How Much House

House purchased for 2.5x gross income.
Put 20% down. Pay equivalent of 1 extra payment/year. 30 year mortgage.
by ddj
Sat Jan 23, 2016 2:42 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: What 55" TV to Buy
Replies: 51
Views: 6375

Re: What 55" TV to Buy

I have a 55" Vizio Smart TV that I like a lot.
+1

Spent <$600 and have a TV we like a lot. Like others say, decide on your budget, go to the store and/or read some CNET reviews...
by ddj
Fri Jan 22, 2016 10:20 pm
Forum: Personal Investments
Topic: portfolio and financial checkup: how are we doing?
Replies: 5
Views: 1118

Re: portfolio and financial checkup: how are we doing?

Thanks Watty and in_reality.

We have a small 529.

Huh. I'll need to consider toning the Roth contributions down.

Can boost the mortgage payment without too much pain to bring payoff down to child's 18th birthday.

I review my IPS soon. This is food for thought.
by ddj
Wed Jan 20, 2016 7:49 pm
Forum: Personal Investments
Topic: portfolio and financial checkup: how are we doing?
Replies: 5
Views: 1118

Re: portfolio and financial checkup: how are we doing?

Bump. Just seeing if I can garner more response.
by ddj
Tue Jan 19, 2016 8:41 pm
Forum: Personal Investments
Topic: portfolio and financial checkup: how are we doing?
Replies: 5
Views: 1118

Re: portfolio and financial checkup: how are we doing?

Yeah, the total market funds are remnants of smaller portfolio size. Time, probably to go with Vanguard Small Index in DW's 401k. Never do mind the cold...took awhile to arrive this year...I have a nice coat.

Small and mid cap with Inst index: am trying to match mimic total US.
by ddj
Mon Jan 18, 2016 10:02 pm
Forum: Personal Investments
Topic: portfolio and financial checkup: how are we doing?
Replies: 5
Views: 1118

portfolio and financial checkup: how are we doing?

Emergency Funds: 5 months, plus 1 yr out of pocket max in HSA Debt: Mortgage $150k owed (30yr fixed @ 4.125%) PITI $987 Student Loan $19,500 @ 2.3%, payment $215 Filing Status: Married filing jointly Tax Rate: Fed 15%, 9.3% Effective. MN 7.05%, 4.3% Effective Resident State: MN Age: Both 36 Desired ...
by ddj
Wed Dec 09, 2015 9:27 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Flaunt Your High-Mileage Car
Replies: 630
Views: 89213

Re: Flaunt Your High-Mileage Car

'04 Pontiac Vibe with 130k. Bought in '11 with 65k...that after an '02 Pontiac Grand Prix bought new was totaled in '11 with 130k.

Dunno which brand to switch to next time...in 5 or 8 or 3 years.
by ddj
Mon Mar 09, 2015 2:06 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: How do you watch TV differently after "cutting the cable"?
Replies: 23
Views: 3682

Re: How do you watch TV differently after "cutting the cable

Wife and I haven't had cable for 4 years. We pay for netflix and get by with free Hulu too. We are currently trialing SlingTV for 3 months. $20/mo, no contract, 12-14 channels. Feels like having basic cable...we primarily watch hgtv, amc, espn.
by ddj
Thu Feb 12, 2015 12:18 am
Forum: Personal Investments
Topic: Medium term saving: do you do it?
Replies: 12
Views: 1920

Re: Medium term saving: do you do it?

OP here. We currently save 10% of gross income for medium term stuff: the buckets are car, major house repair/updates, vacation, and thatwhichwedonotforeseebutmaybecomeseen. My house down payment money fund is some combination of my savings account at Ally, my taxable-space bond fund, and my taxable...
by ddj
Wed Feb 11, 2015 10:25 pm
Forum: Personal Investments
Topic: Medium term saving: do you do it?
Replies: 12
Views: 1920

Medium term saving: do you do it?

Do you or have you considered not saving for medium-term expenses (car, new roof, big/infrequent vacation) and instead save that money for retirement? Does a person get ahead doing this or does it needlessly complicate things? In the event of a large expense, one would have to dedicate cash flow (pe...
by ddj
Mon Feb 02, 2015 4:28 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: New laptop v. Refurbished, Apple v. Other
Replies: 14
Views: 2701

New laptop v. Refurbished, Apple v. Other

Well, my Macbook and I have had a good run...since circa 2007. Now, however, it's giving me the white startup screen of death. I've done what I can (disk utility repair, restore hard drive, holding down various key combinations at startup) and cannot fix it. I may bring it to the repair shop. But, i...
by ddj
Wed Jan 28, 2015 11:10 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Moving up a tax bracket - when to avoid, when to give up
Replies: 26
Views: 3708

Re: Moving up a tax bracket - when to avoid, when to give up

If you've got any long term cap gains in taxable and you'd like to realize them at that attractive tax rate of 0% and it's not impossible/too much effort to remain in 15% tax bracket to do so: makes sense. The problem with this is that if you're otherwise in the 25% bracket it's likely going to be ...
by ddj
Wed Jan 28, 2015 2:34 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Moving up a tax bracket - when to avoid, when to give up
Replies: 26
Views: 3708

Re: Moving up a tax bracket - when to avoid, when to give up

If you've got any long term cap gains in taxable and you'd like to realize them at that attractive tax rate of 0% and it's not impossible/too much effort to remain in 15% tax bracket to do so: makes sense.
by ddj
Wed Jan 28, 2015 2:04 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Which tax product for my (relatively) simple return
Replies: 3
Views: 464

Re: Which tax product for my (relatively) simple return

HRBlock Deluxe product, including 1 state is ~$33. Was $22 a few weeks ago. Prices jump around. Here's a recent thread and link: https://www.bogleheads.org/forum/viewtopic.php?f=2&t=154495 http://www.amazon.com/Block-Software-Deluxe-State-Download/dp/B00PG8FOSY/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1420214820&sr=8...
by ddj
Thu Jan 22, 2015 1:22 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Establishing Priorities - Work vs Life Balance
Replies: 22
Views: 3455

Re: Establishing Priorities - Work vs Life Balance

I can't tell you how to prioritize. Just want to share a snapshot of our priorities. Dear wife and I are expecting our first child in a couple months. Our collective household FTE after birth goes from 1.8 to 1.6 plus I anticipate picking up fewer shifts this year, translating to estimated 15% loss ...
by ddj
Thu Jan 22, 2015 12:56 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Keurig-cup coffee makers - why?
Replies: 139
Views: 30765

Re: Keurig-cup coffee makers - why?

fandango wrote:
cheese_breath wrote:
surfstar wrote:
fandango wrote:
No waste, no mess.
How many k-cup users separate the top of the cup, toss it and recycle the bottom plastic?

My drip grounds/French press grounds go to compost...after I've had a tasty couple cups.
by ddj
Thu Jan 22, 2015 12:49 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: What is your commodities stocks/indexes allocation?
Replies: 20
Views: 2024

Re: What is your commodities stocks/indexes allocation?

0%. I didn't count my handful of silver dollars and half dollars.
by ddj
Thu Jan 22, 2015 12:38 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Stocks with very low cost basis in portfolio
Replies: 10
Views: 1253

Re: Stocks with very low cost basis in portfolio

How far into 25% tax bracket are you? Is there any way you could step down to 15% and then step out of the stock? This stock constitutes a 6% equity chunk: do you feel like you're diversified enough? (clarify: this chunk constitutes 6% of equity in all of portfolio or 6% of taxable's equity?..I assu...
by ddj
Thu Jan 08, 2015 2:54 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Fidelity Customers, What Do You Hold at FIDO?
Replies: 43
Views: 7438

Re: Fidelity Customers, What Do You Hold at FIDO?

Similar to many others: Primarily Spartan funds: FSGDX (global ex US) FSTVX (total US) Spartan REIT Spartan TIP and a NTF iShares fund: AGG (total bond) Also, just opened a 529 for baby-on-the-way. Will be age-based, index, moderate. Expense seemed to be on the low side and opted to open it with Fid...
by ddj
Wed Jan 07, 2015 3:10 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: What do you drive, and why?
Replies: 255
Views: 39707

Re: What do you drive, and why?

We have 3 vehicles:

Me: 2004 Pontiac Vibe. 110k miles. Dad sold Pontiac/Olds for many years; $ made sense; reliable.
Wife: 2008 Jeep Libery. 80k miles. She has a Jeep thing.
Us: 1989 Ford f150 plow truck with Boss Sport Duty plow. Our driveway is 1/4 mile long and sometimes it snows.
by ddj
Tue Jan 06, 2015 1:47 pm
Forum: Personal Investments
Topic: [BOA HSA -- No fees but can't invest the first $1,000]
Replies: 7
Views: 2012

Re: BOA HSA -- No fees but can't invest the first $1,000

My HSA requires 2k be kept in cash. I consider it part of my emergency fund.
by ddj
Fri Dec 19, 2014 11:32 pm
Forum: Personal Investments
Topic: Pay off 28k student debt now or 2015?
Replies: 3
Views: 947

Re: Pay off 28k student debt now or 2015?

Laura wrote: if the idea is to wait until Jan 1 and you will only accrue a few more days then yes, that could make sense.

Laura
That's what we're considering. 15% fed tax bracket, so that'd be $375 less in taxes for 2015, if our thinking is correct.
by ddj
Fri Dec 19, 2014 10:32 pm
Forum: Personal Investments
Topic: Pay off 28k student debt now or 2015?
Replies: 3
Views: 947

Pay off 28k student debt now or 2015?

DW and I are paying off a 28k @ 6.875 student loan in one fell swoop. There is unfortunately $5k accrued interest in this loan. Our MAGI qualifies us for $2500 student loan interest deduction in 2014 and in 2015. As it is, we already paid ~$2400 interest in 2014. I was about to push "submit" on the ...
by ddj
Wed Dec 17, 2014 12:59 pm
Forum: Personal Investments
Topic: Taking advantage of 15% tax bracket
Replies: 6
Views: 1457

Re: Taking advantage of 15% tax bracket

I'm assuming you've got your tax advantaged space all used up (IRA, Roth, 401k, HSA)? If not, now'd be a great time to shift the taxable money there, if that fits your purposes. As for the "TSM or other fund" question: what is your asset allocation goal? No reason not to repurchase TSM, unless you w...
by ddj
Fri Oct 31, 2014 1:48 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: That stress-relieving thing you do at work
Replies: 45
Views: 4643

Re: That stress-relieving thing you do at work

OP here: no office door to close. Having a glorious break today.
by ddj
Fri Oct 31, 2014 6:31 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: That stress-relieving thing you do at work
Replies: 45
Views: 4643

Re: That stress-relieving thing you do at work

Thanks for your replies. There are some things I can try. I do have supportive people in my life. That doesn't keep me from asking this forum how all of you crack the code. One of the things that's clear to me (I knew this, but had uncharacteristically minimized its effect), is the need to take brea...
by ddj
Thu Oct 30, 2014 12:03 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: That stress-relieving thing you do at work
Replies: 45
Views: 4643

That stress-relieving thing you do at work

I'm going through a particularly stressful patch at work for the last few months. Seems as though the number of stressors getting to me are more than usual. My ability to cope with those stressors is less than my average. I think much of this is part of a natural ebb and flow of stress and stress ma...
by ddj
Thu Oct 30, 2014 11:22 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: What savings vehicle should I use for my car?
Replies: 35
Views: 3128

Re: What savings vehicle should I use for my car?

Toons wrote:
Iorek wrote:I'm doing an automatic deduction from my regular account into the internet savings account that I keep as a general cash reserve.
+1 That is exactly what I would do :happy
+2 Me too. Mine's currently in the 0.8-0.9% interest range.
by ddj
Wed Oct 29, 2014 12:45 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Trade in a 2012 Cruze w/ 58k miles for an 05 Z71 Tahoe 182k
Replies: 16
Views: 1562

Re: Trade in a 2012 Cruze w/ 58k miles for an 05 Z71 Tahoe 1

Get snow tires for the Cruze. Snow tires make a world of difference.
by ddj
Sun Oct 26, 2014 12:07 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: $50,000 in Private Loans for Nursing Degree
Replies: 34
Views: 6933

Re: $50,000 in Private Loans for Nursing Degree

Check with the school of nursing to see if any scholarships are offered--the second degree accelerated BSN I attended had some. A pretty common one is $10k from Robert Wood Johnson Foundation's New Careers in Nursing. See if your school participates: http://www.newcareersinnursing.org/current-progra...
by ddj
Mon Sep 15, 2014 1:21 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: New Laptop, need help
Replies: 33
Views: 3320

Re: New Laptop, need help

FWIW, if you can isolate the computer issues, you can cobble solutions. I have replaced screen, hard drive and battery (total $200) over the years on my 2007 Macbook and it's going mostly strong. The screen I bought on ebay from an aftermarket supplier...it was perhaps a risky purchase but it was th...
by ddj
Tue Sep 09, 2014 2:33 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: How much do investors care about social impact?
Replies: 32
Views: 2490

Re: How much do investors care about social impact?

OP, you're asking many questions here. I might care personally about social impact. In investing, how diversified can I be with RSF Social Finance and Mosaic? Or, perhaps we could think more broadly. Quantify for me social impact of Home Depot selling LED light bulbs and my local utility converting ...
by ddj
Thu Sep 04, 2014 6:37 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Pay off Debt, by cashing in Retirement account?
Replies: 25
Views: 2946

Re: Pay off Debt, by cashing in Retirement account?

Interesting responses. I recently asked a similar question: Do we plunder our retirement to pay off student debt. http://www.bogleheads.org/forum/viewtopic.php?f=1&t=145196&newpost=2161661 I received a very different range of responses, many going so far as to suggest taking out a 401k loan. One key...
by ddj
Tue Sep 02, 2014 2:05 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: What Movie Have You Recently Watched?
Replies: 5241
Views: 1331298

Re: What Movie Have You [Recently] Watched?

bertie wooster wrote: We also recently watched Jiro Dreams of Sushi. A documentary about a sushi chef totally obsessed with making good sushi. Excellent (and my wife doesn't even like sushi!). Also on Netflix.
+1.
by ddj
Tue Sep 02, 2014 2:03 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: What Movie Have You Recently Watched?
Replies: 5241
Views: 1331298

Re: What Movie Have You [Recently] Watched?

Francis Ha.
Streams free on Netflix. It had been in the queue for awhile, DW put it on. It'd thought I'd call it a night, but the movie held me. We found it quirky, enjoyable.
by ddj
Thu Aug 21, 2014 1:21 am
Forum: Personal Investments
Topic: Do we plunder our retirement to pay off student debt?
Replies: 30
Views: 3778

Re: Do we plunder our retirement to pay off student debt?

Be a financial hero and your spouses knight in shining financial armor, in addition to making a sound decision. 8-) Don't think of it as "plundering". Though I'm OP, I basically agree. I agree with you (and others') point that we will make a more financially sound future by paying off this debt soo...
by ddj
Wed Aug 20, 2014 11:28 am
Forum: Personal Investments
Topic: Do we plunder our retirement to pay off student debt?
Replies: 30
Views: 3778

Re: Do we plunder our retirement to pay off student debt?

Based on the responses thus far (and my gut response to those responses), I can tell I've been equivocating a bit much about paying off these loans. There is a marriage component here: we were married in Feb and have merged some of our finances and are merging some more. DW does not want me to be st...
by ddj
Wed Aug 20, 2014 9:51 am
Forum: Personal Investments
Topic: Do we plunder our retirement to pay off student debt?
Replies: 30
Views: 3778

Do we plunder our retirement to pay off student debt?

I’m wondering if DW and I should plunder the taxable portion ($23k) of our retirement savings to do away with some student debt. Emergency funds: six months Debt: school loans: 30k at 6.8%, 9k at 5.9% mortgage: 160k at 4.125% No other debt Tax Filing Status: Married Filing Jointly Tax Rate: 15% Fede...
by ddj
Tue Jun 24, 2014 1:16 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: "William Sharpe: An unsung hero of passive investing"
Replies: 9
Views: 2341

Re: "William Sharpe: An unsung hero of passive investing"

richard wrote:Very nice interview. Short, to the point and well worth reading.

Thanks Taylor.
Agreed.
by ddj
Thu Jun 19, 2014 12:13 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Another water heater query - hybrid water heaters
Replies: 36
Views: 5988

Re: Another water heater query - hybrid water heaters

I've recently wondered if I'm irrational to not purchase a hybrid water heater: 50 gal electric costs $520/year, 50 gal hybrid ~$250. Payoff (incl install) in much less time (5 years) than expected life (10-15). Coolant/compressor breakdown, however, sounds miserable. I've heard these units are quit...
by ddj
Tue May 13, 2014 2:01 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Visiting Minnesota Suggestions?
Replies: 36
Views: 3607

Re: Visiting Minnesota Suggestions?

+1 Duluth and North Shore suggestions.

Two Duluth restaurant favorites: Duluth Grill (recommend esp for breakfast or lunch)
Fitgers: great burgers, great beers brewed on site.
by ddj
Sat Apr 12, 2014 11:45 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Costa Rica?
Replies: 14
Views: 2314

Re: Costa Rica?

Wife and I were on the Pacific coast of Costa Rica for two weeks in February. Started slightly north and ventured south. First were in Montezuma: bohemian village with a few fantastic restaurants and a nice resort. Traveled south down the coast, stayed in Manuel Antonio for a few days. It was busy, ...
by ddj
Sat Apr 05, 2014 3:35 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Home Search: how flexible should we be? 2x-2.5x
Replies: 10
Views: 2044

Re: Home Search: how flexible should we be? 2x-2.5x

Thank you all for your input. My general sense from your (plural) input validates my hope and leaning: that it isn't necessarily irresponsible to go with the more expensive house, which we have/had valued more. That 2.5x should be calculated from one person's income is well taken. There is the reali...
by ddj
Thu Apr 03, 2014 8:31 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Home Search: how flexible should we be? 2x-2.5x
Replies: 10
Views: 2044

Re: Home Search: how flexible should we be? 2x-2.5x

livesoft, The seller thought experiment is useful: home has been on the market since Nov, no price changes. As for to lowball or not to lowball...our realtor has not ruled that out as a bad idea. cherijoh, It's difficult to normalize between the two. Dream home is on three private, wooded acres v. 1...
by ddj
Thu Apr 03, 2014 7:28 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Home Search: how flexible should we be? 2x-2.5x
Replies: 10
Views: 2044

Home Search: how flexible should we be? 2x-2.5x

DW and I are ramping up our home search. The rental we live in is needed on June 1 and while we may end up renting (finding a rental may be its own ordeal), we are making a concerted effort to buy. We live in a low cost of living rural area (read: small housing inventory, of rental or real estate). ...