Search found 622 matches

by keystone
Wed Nov 25, 2020 9:16 am
Forum: Personal Investments
Topic: Tips on "Don't Just Do Something, Stand There!"
Replies: 26
Views: 1644

Re: Tips on "Don't Just Do Something, Stand There!"

I don't normally struggle with this, but if I did I would probably switch to all in one funds that automatically rebalance, e.g. Vanguard LifeStrategy, Balanced Index Fund, Target Retirement, etc.
by keystone
Mon Nov 23, 2020 11:28 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Any Car Tire Enthusiasts Out There?
Replies: 21
Views: 1706

Re: Any Car Tire Enthusiasts Out There?

We just recently replaced my wifes tires on her SUV. Went to Tirerack to do the research and then found those tires at discount tire. Scheduled an appointment and they were like a Nascar crew. I got out of my car and within 30 minutes everything was complete. We went with Continental CROSS CONTACT ...
by keystone
Wed Nov 18, 2020 9:12 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: early "retiree" maintaning professional license of inactive status
Replies: 20
Views: 1365

Re: early "retiree" maintaning professional license of inactive status

I'm a CPA and plan to retire within the next couple of years. I'm pretty sure I will let my license lapse because of the cost and my lack of desire to maintain 40 CPE credits a year. Furthermore, if I wanted to return to work as an accountant, a CPA would not be a requirement for the type of work th...
by keystone
Tue Nov 17, 2020 10:31 am
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Retirement number and... taxes?
Replies: 25
Views: 3036

Re: Retirement number and... taxes?

OP, Please check out this thread. https://www.bogleheads.org/forum/viewtopic.php?t=87471 <<How to pay ZERO taxes in retirement with 6-figure expenses>> KlangFool +1. While this situation won't apply to everyone, it does demonstrate how taxes in retirement can be an insignificant or even nonexistent...
by keystone
Fri Nov 13, 2020 9:44 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Google Photos
Replies: 56
Views: 3997

Re: Google Photos

If you have a Pixel: "High-quality uploads from your Pixel device will continue to be free and unlimited. This exemption only applies to uploads made from your Pixel device, not uploads from other devices or via photos.google.com." WRT Amazon photo storage, we select certain photos for a ...
by keystone
Thu Nov 12, 2020 5:57 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Google Photos
Replies: 56
Views: 3997

Re: Google Photos

I received a follow-up email today indicating that this change does not apply to Pixel owners, meaning if you make high-quality uploads from a Pixel device, they will continue to be free and unlimited.

This is definitely a nice perk for having a Pixel.
by keystone
Wed Nov 11, 2020 9:34 am
Forum: Personal Investments
Topic: Anyone using Vanguard Individual Solo 401K?
Replies: 20
Views: 1527

Re: Anyone using Vanguard Individual Solo 401K?

I have a Vanguard Solo 401K and it works for me as a sole proprietor. I keep it simple, investing 100% in Vanguard Lifestrategy Moderate Growth. No issues or complaints from my perspective, it's low cost and since I'm already mostly invested at Vanguard, it was a logical choice for me.
by keystone
Tue Nov 10, 2020 9:49 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Found hidden safe, should we crack?
Replies: 353
Views: 97900

Re: Found hidden safe, should we crack?

The house I bought had a safe in the basement. We let it be for a few years but curiosity got the best of me. I had visions of it being stacked with gold bars. With the help of some family members, we were able to get it open using the "brute force" method. Unfortunately the only thing in ...
by keystone
Wed Nov 04, 2020 11:17 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Is there a better meta-review site than Wirecutter?
Replies: 30
Views: 3273

Re: Is there a better meta-review site than Wirecutter?

TallBoy29er wrote: Tue Nov 03, 2020 2:12 pm I use CNET editor reviews as well for electronics. I think they do a decent job of taking an objective approach.
I'm a big fan of the CNET smartphone reviews, particularly the one's done by Lynn La. They're thorough and have been consistent with my personal experiences.
by keystone
Thu Oct 29, 2020 8:47 am
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Vanguard Energy & Oil
Replies: 88
Views: 5928

Re: Vanguard Energy & Oil

Just bought VDE @ 36.77. This will be a short term bet for me (0-12 months). I will add more if it gets below 35.
by keystone
Wed Oct 28, 2020 9:55 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: All Season Tires wearing out too fast.
Replies: 65
Views: 3629

Re: All Season Tires wearing out too fast.

The following article is old, but explains the difference between OEM and replacement tires and why OEM do not last as long. It's highlighted in the paragraphs that mention "chemical compounds": https://www.washingtonpost.com/archive/business/2000/10/22/its-tougher-for-tiremakers-to-make-a...
by keystone
Tue Oct 27, 2020 10:44 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Car Batteries
Replies: 127
Views: 5867

Re: Car Batteries

I think you are mostly going to get useless anecdotal stories. For example, my Walmart "Maxx" battery lasted only about 30mo; it was replaced for free. It was my second free replacement of the same model, so the first must have also lasted less than 36mo. The identical brand/model that re...
by keystone
Tue Oct 27, 2020 8:35 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: New smoker recommendation?
Replies: 103
Views: 6909

Re: New smoker recommendation?

I've also been looking at the Pitmaker Short Sniper, but I'm not sure I would use it enough to justify the price. http://pitmaker.com/product/vin/?vin=34409731 I felt the same way before buying my Pitmaker Safe over ten years ago. Once I received, and learned to use it I have never looked back. The...
by keystone
Tue Oct 27, 2020 8:26 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: All Season Tires wearing out too fast.
Replies: 65
Views: 3629

Re: All Season Tires wearing out too fast.

I recently replaced the original set of tires on my 2017 Highlander which we purchased in April 2017. We only had 24,000 miles on them. I just chalked this up to the inferior quality of OEM tires. I was planning to replace them with a set of Michelins, then I discovered the highly rated Continental ...
by keystone
Mon Oct 26, 2020 8:21 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: New smoker recommendation?
Replies: 103
Views: 6909

Re: New smoker recommendation?

Weber Summit Charcoal. Holds temps overnight with 20 hours of charcoal capacity. Fuel efficient. Versatile. https://www.weber.com/US/en/grills/charcoal-grills/summit-charcoal-grill-series/18501001.html?cgid=226#start=1 Do your research but this is Weber's answer to the Big Green Egg ceramic style o...
by keystone
Wed Oct 21, 2020 8:24 am
Forum: Personal Investments
Topic: How much do you allocate to international equity?
Replies: 73
Views: 4684

Re: How much do you allocate to international equity?

Between 30 and 35% of my equities are in international. For many years I was at 20%, but I've increased my international allocation over the years. There is a popular thread advocating for putting all of one's stock allocation in the Vanguard Total World Stock Index and I think the OP made some very...
by keystone
Tue Oct 20, 2020 9:45 am
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Vanguard Energy & Oil
Replies: 88
Views: 5928

Re: Vanguard Energy & Oil

Timely thread as I have had my eye on VDE for quite some time.

So far I have refrained, but if there is another dip into the mid 30's I think I will jump on it.
by keystone
Mon Oct 19, 2020 10:26 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Items that are worth the money for the quality
Replies: 480
Views: 37974

Re: Items that are worth the money for the quality

Toyota/Lexus vehicles. +1 Interesting that they don’t really cost any more than “comparable” vehicles. I'm not sure about every model, but I know that when I was shopping for our Highlander, it was a few grand more than the equivalent Hyundai or Kia. It was well worth the difference to me and perha...
by keystone
Mon Oct 19, 2020 8:27 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Items that are worth the money for the quality
Replies: 480
Views: 37974

Re: Items that are worth the money for the quality

Ready3Retire wrote: Sat Oct 17, 2020 6:22 pm Thermapen thermometer. Great for grilling, baking, brewing beer, etc. Well worth the $90 or so.
Definitely! I learned the hard way that there is no comparison between a $10-$20 digital thermometer (e.g. Weber) vs. a Thermapen. It's worth every penny.
by keystone
Fri Oct 16, 2020 12:35 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: MVNO on Verizon network...moving away from Ting
Replies: 33
Views: 2116

Re: MVNO on Verizon network...moving away from Ting

Visible is probably the best Verizon MVNO for a heavy user. Actually it's not a true MVNO as Verizon owns it. Otherwise there are several options, like Page Plus, Tracfone and Red Pocket. Actually, last month it was announced that Verizon will be acquiring Tracfone which includes Net10, Straight Ta...
by keystone
Thu Oct 15, 2020 1:03 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Visible wireless. Any experience?
Replies: 30
Views: 3989

Re: Visible wireless. Any experience?

I tried Visible for a few months but finally gave up on it this past week and switched to Total Wireless. Although I found the cellular service and call quality was good and data speeds were good enough, I was experiencing a few too many glitches. One issue had to do with delayed voicemail notificat...
by keystone
Thu Oct 15, 2020 9:51 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Total Wireless customers - wifi calling?
Replies: 0
Views: 233

Total Wireless customers - wifi calling?

I recently switched from Visible Wireless to Total Wireless and have been unsuccessful trying to activate wifi calling on my phone (Pixel 4a). When I attempt to turn it on, it just times out and says unable to activate. Just wondering if any Total Wireless customers have been able to successfully ma...
by keystone
Thu Oct 15, 2020 9:21 am
Forum: Personal Investments
Topic: Saving money for a yearly vacations
Replies: 14
Views: 1766

Re: Saving money for a yearly vacations

I think it depends on your financial situation. I think many of us would simply withdraw from the portfolio in a tax friendly manner when it's time to pay for a vacation and don't have a separate "____ fund."
by keystone
Wed Oct 14, 2020 12:15 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Refinance Mega Thread
Replies: 7984
Views: 556823

Re: Refinance Mega Thread

We did have a closing snafu - had it scheduled for 9/22 and the notary didn't show up so I called the notary who was told closing was cancelled, despite the fact that I (and apparently my loan officer) was not told. They did quickly reschedule and we closed 9/24 and funded 9/29. Yes, there is clear...
by keystone
Wed Oct 14, 2020 8:06 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Refinance Mega Thread
Replies: 7984
Views: 556823

Re: Refinance Mega Thread

Anyone else having trouble closing with Watermark? I'm at almost 11 weeks since I initiated the loan (no cost, 2.25%, 15 years) and am way past the lock period. I've always gotten them any document they requested in less than 24 hours, and usually within a couple of hours. The loan is in the "...
by keystone
Tue Oct 06, 2020 9:33 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Refinance Mega Thread
Replies: 7984
Views: 556823

Re: Refinance Mega Thread

I completed my closing with Watermark yesterday. From my experience, they are extremely slow. I locked in late July, so the process took over 2 months. Other than their slowness it was ok for the most part, perhaps a bit disorganized at times with long periods of silence. I know there were others he...
by keystone
Thu Oct 01, 2020 10:51 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Visible Wireless vs Total Wireless
Replies: 17
Views: 1592

Re: Visible Wireless vs Total Wireless

Deleted
by keystone
Wed Sep 23, 2020 11:04 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Smoker next door
Replies: 79
Views: 4496

Re: Smoker next door

Well their life expediencies will be much shorter than yours so it might just be a waiting game. Not necessarily, its common for smokers to live into their 70s and 80s, OP might not want to wait that long I used to live in a townhouse next to a chain smoker where the smoke would seep through our wa...
by keystone
Sun Sep 13, 2020 9:24 am
Forum: Personal Investments
Topic: How much are your 529 Contributions
Replies: 133
Views: 7631

Re: How much are your 529 Contributions

My goal has been to have enough saved in the 529 plan to fund the equivalent of 2 years worth of tuition plus room and board for my state's public university. My son is currently 6 and I have enough for about 1.5 years, so I'm almost there. I'm only adding about $1-2K per year at this point. For rea...
by keystone
Fri Sep 11, 2020 11:48 am
Forum: Personal Investments
Topic: Roth IRA Contribution - At Once or Over Year
Replies: 13
Views: 1035

Re: Roth IRA Contribution - At Once or Over Year

I've always used uneven cash flows during the year to fund our Roth accounts despite having enough in our taxable account to fund the entire amount in full in early January. I have no reason other than I don't like making withdrawals from our already invested taxable account. I might have come out a...
by keystone
Fri Sep 04, 2020 8:31 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: BCBS or GEHA?
Replies: 78
Views: 4438

Re: BCBS or GEHA?

I can't speak about the GEHA plan with no deductible, but I have been on the GEHA HDHP plan for several years and have had no issues, with billing or anything else. Another vote for running the math on the HDHP plan. It's most likely a better deal when you factor in the lower premiums, HSA tax savin...
by keystone
Tue Sep 01, 2020 8:57 am
Forum: Personal Investments
Topic: Family member has one million in one stock , doesn't want to cash out
Replies: 261
Views: 28435

Re: My dad has 1 million in Tesla, I told him to cash out, he doesn't want too

Although I'm in the "stay out of it camp" I can't help but wonder how different the majority of responses would be if the OP said that his dad has $1 million invested at Edward Jones. Same response: you said your piece, let it go. My parents bought an annuity at retirement and keep their ...
by keystone
Tue Sep 01, 2020 8:25 am
Forum: Personal Investments
Topic: Family member has one million in one stock , doesn't want to cash out
Replies: 261
Views: 28435

Re: My dad has 1 million in Tesla, I told him to cash out, he doesn't want too

Although I'm in the "stay out of it camp" I can't help but wonder how different the majority of responses would be if the OP said that his dad has $1 million invested at Edward Jones.
by keystone
Wed Aug 26, 2020 8:42 am
Forum: Personal Investments
Topic: Suggestions for 100x moonshots
Replies: 87
Views: 12554

Re: Suggestions for 100x moonshots

100x potential in small, early stage pharma. (Don't know anything about the science) but drug research has built in optionality. Yep, this is what I invest my play money in. I've seen some rocket 100x before. It's very difficult to find a winner, there are many to choose from and most will not ever...
by keystone
Tue Aug 25, 2020 2:57 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: A Beater Truck and a FAT 401k...
Replies: 104
Views: 10446

Re: A Beater Truck and a FAT 401k...

For most people, it is definitely easier to max the retirement accounts first and then figure out how much house and car you can afford then doing it the other way around. I've seen this firsthand at the office with younger co-workers in particular. They want to save more for retirement, but their f...
by keystone
Tue Aug 25, 2020 1:35 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Refinance Mega Thread
Replies: 7984
Views: 556823

Re: Refinance Mega Thread

For those following Watermark, a friend of mine initiated the process a couple of days after me in late July and is now scheduled for closing on August 28th. So they appear to be moving forward with the applications that were locked prior to the adverse market fee.
by keystone
Fri Aug 21, 2020 2:53 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: One spouse retiring, lower tax bracket - best mix of Roth/Traditional/Roth conversion
Replies: 9
Views: 811

Re: One spouse retiring, lower tax bracket - best mix of Roth/Traditional/Roth conversion

[Assume she wants to work longer to get full pension and health benefits? Thanks all for the feedback! To answer one of the questions, my wife will continue working for the pension and health benefits. Given that she'll have about 20-25 years of service upon retirement, the pension should not be mu...
by keystone
Thu Aug 20, 2020 12:43 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Percent of Net Worth in Home too Much?
Replies: 27
Views: 2338

Re: Percent of Net Worth in Home too Much?

You're doing great financially and I don't see any reason to change anything.

Most of us here do not consider owning a home as an investment, rather it is a cost of living like owning a car. Most people do not sell their car so that they can invest additional funds.
by keystone
Thu Aug 20, 2020 10:47 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Are emergency funds for suckers?
Replies: 202
Views: 16041

Re: Are emergency funds for suckers?

I look at it as somewhat similar to the pay down mortgage vs. invest issue. Many people gain a psychological benefit from paying off their mortgage (which should not be understated), but that is often not the optimal move from a strictly financial perspective. Same thing with emergency funds. For an...
by keystone
Thu Aug 20, 2020 8:46 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: One spouse retiring, lower tax bracket - best mix of Roth/Traditional/Roth conversion
Replies: 9
Views: 811

One spouse retiring, lower tax bracket - best mix of Roth/Traditional/Roth conversion

Sometime between now and the next 2.5 years, I plan to retire and my wife will continue to work for approximately 10 more years, at least that's the plan right now. This will likely push us into the 12% tax bracket which is new territory for us and I'm trying to explore what options make the most se...
by keystone
Wed Aug 19, 2020 6:36 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Refinance Mega Thread
Replies: 7984
Views: 556823

Re: Refinance Mega Thread

In case anyone is still waiting on their Watermark application, I thought I'd provide a quick update. It looks like things are still moving along, I received a request from the loan processor for some additional routine items and my existing mortgage servicer was contacted today for a payoff stateme...
by keystone
Tue Aug 18, 2020 9:43 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Refinance Mega Thread
Replies: 7984
Views: 556823

Re: Refinance Mega Thread

I talked to both WM and LF yesterday. Both of them stated that the 0.5 fee is already added in the closing fees. I asked them to clarify what that exactly means. WM said that even if I locked last month. They’re 45 days out from closing. They have been calling 100s of applications that’s in process...
by keystone
Mon Aug 17, 2020 11:27 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Refinance Mega Thread
Replies: 7984
Views: 556823

Re: Refinance Mega Thread

Anyone have any new data points regarding being rate locked prior to the .5% adverse market fee? I locked with Watermark on 8/6/2020. A friend received an email from WaterMark same day that the .5% notice was announced and they stated that 80% of locked pipeline will take a 50 basis point price hit...
by keystone
Sat Aug 15, 2020 10:03 am
Forum: Personal Investments
Topic: $20,000 windfall- Help!
Replies: 71
Views: 5318

Re: $20,000 windfall- Help!

Not entirely. It gives us the option to take our dream vacation. Or put a DP on an investment property we’ve had our eye on. Or go to taxable and accelerate semi early retirement. Thanks I would think with your net worth, you could have already taken your dream vacation or found a way to purchase a...
by keystone
Sat Aug 15, 2020 9:05 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Refinance Mega Thread
Replies: 7984
Views: 556823

Re: Refinance Mega Thread

I just spoke with someone at Watermark. They asked me where I heard about them and when I said Bogleheads, they told me that they've been having a lot of problems with people from the Bogleheads forum, who start loans, go through the process, and then bail at the last minute, wasting their time. So...
by keystone
Fri Aug 14, 2020 3:56 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Federal employee service computation date (SCD) question
Replies: 20
Views: 816

Re: Federal employee service computation date (SCD) question

Are you talking about the GRB Platform? If so, there are 4 icons at the top left. One is called Requests. You can put in a request for a Retirement Estimate in there and explain the situation. I did this a year ago and was given instructions on how to make a payment to get some federal time added t...
by keystone
Fri Aug 14, 2020 10:00 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Federal employee service computation date (SCD) question
Replies: 20
Views: 816

Re: Federal employee service computation date (SCD) question

fedpharmer wrote: Fri Aug 14, 2020 9:47 am Do you have any of her old Leave and Earnings Statements (paystubs) from that time? You would be able to see if there were deductions for FERS on there.
That was my first thought, she thinks it's unlikely but she's going to look through some old boxes.
by keystone
Fri Aug 14, 2020 9:43 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Federal employee service computation date (SCD) question
Replies: 20
Views: 816

Re: Federal employee service computation date (SCD) question

Thanks all for the feedback! Her first stint was a fairly entry level position (GS-04). I was able to dig up her old SF-50s and cannot find any indication that it was a FERS eligible position. Under section 30 for Retirement Plan it just says FICA. So that may be why there is a disparity between the...
by keystone
Fri Aug 14, 2020 8:34 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Federal employee service computation date (SCD) question
Replies: 20
Views: 816

Federal employee service computation date (SCD) question

My wife is a non-military federal employee and began her current position in 2013. She had a 3 year stint with the same agency 15 years prior to this. When she took the position in 2013, she was able to get credit for her past service and as a result her leave service computation date (SCD) was adju...
by keystone
Thu Aug 13, 2020 8:55 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Refinance Mega Thread
Replies: 7984
Views: 556823

Re: Refinance Mega Thread

Did anyone close with Watermark? I have a refi going with someone else at 2.75% I got a LE from watermark for 2.5% and tried to match but it didn’t work. I’ve heard not so good things about Watermark and I don’t know if this 2.5% will actually close. Unfortunately the company with 2.75% is a couple...