Search found 1048 matches

by Iorek
Wed Oct 09, 2019 9:06 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: highly compensated employee (HCE) Time bomb?
Replies: 83
Views: 7059

Re: highly compensated employee (HCE) Time bomb?

Aren't there safe harbors that are relatively easy to satisfy for a company willing to offer a match? I did get dinged by this one year, but it's not by any means inevitable at every company.
by Iorek
Wed Oct 09, 2019 8:19 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Pest Exterminator DIY
Replies: 26
Views: 1729

Re: Pest Exterminator DIY

My impression was always that it was illegal to use the serious pesticides/termiticides, like Bifen IT, Taurus SC and Dominion 2L unless you are actually licensed by the state. Is that not the case? Different states different rules. On the site it has where the products are legal and where they can...
by Iorek
Tue Oct 08, 2019 11:11 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Pest Exterminator DIY
Replies: 26
Views: 1729

Re: Pest Exterminator DIY

My impression was always that it was illegal to use the serious pesticides/termiticides, like Bifen IT, Taurus SC and Dominion 2L unless you are actually licensed by the state.

Is that not the case?
by Iorek
Wed Sep 18, 2019 6:55 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: T-mobile vs Google Fi for Internatioanal?
Replies: 31
Views: 1924

Re: T-mobile vs Google Fi for Internatioanal?

get_g0ing wrote:
Tue Sep 17, 2019 5:20 pm
The main takeaway I see is:
Google Fi is cheaper
Google Fi does high speed international data (T-mobile only does 2G international by default)
TMo says it only does 2G by default but IME the speeds are faster
by Iorek
Sun Sep 15, 2019 10:34 am
Forum: Personal Investments
Topic: What’s the best way to respond?
Replies: 14
Views: 1663

Re: What’s the best way to respond?

Plus you can always decide later to buy an annuity with funds in your IRA (but you can’t reverse the purchase of an annuity you regret buying, as many people has found out the hard way)
by Iorek
Sat Sep 14, 2019 4:10 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: DIY nanny payroll
Replies: 11
Views: 1046

Re: DIY nanny payroll

Have you registered for state unemployment insurance? That was an online quarterly payment for us. Also have you upped your income tax withholding to cover the amounts you will owe on schedule H? Have you looked into workers comp insurance— I think we ended up with a small policy from our homeowners...
by Iorek
Tue Aug 13, 2019 7:51 am
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: this time it's different
Replies: 92
Views: 10357

Re: this time it's different

I am not confident we will see long term equities returns at the levels frequently quoted for historic rates, but I am even more sceptical any time someone says "this time it's different"
by Iorek
Sat Aug 10, 2019 9:24 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Experience with “change airport” itinerary(LGA to JFK)?
Replies: 33
Views: 2005

Re: Experience with “change airport” itinerary(LGA to JFK)?

While a bit of a pain, if the savings are significant, go for it. Don’t let the worry warts scare you away. 4.5 hours is an eternity. What’s the worst case scenario for travel between the 2 airports? 1.5 hours? So if you’d accept a 3 hour layover at a single airport, 4.5 for both will be fine. You ...
by Iorek
Sat Aug 10, 2019 6:22 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Experience with “change airport” itinerary(LGA to JFK)?
Replies: 33
Views: 2005

Re: Experience with “change airport” itinerary?

I would not expect it to be 30 mins to transfer between them even though that might seem reasonable on paper. I suggest more like 1.5-2 hrs. Figure maybe an hour to deplane, collect luggage and clear immigration/customs and you are arriving 1.5 hrs or so ahead of your next flight. Not bad but not to...
by Iorek
Sat Jul 27, 2019 6:17 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Help understanding TSP match.
Replies: 9
Views: 606

Re: Help understanding TSP match.

Also, if you choose TSP Roth, you still get the match but the match will go into a TSP traditional account (at least that's my understanding-- I don't do TSP Roth myself)
by Iorek
Fri Jul 26, 2019 1:11 pm
Forum: Personal Investments
Topic: Should I pay off my mortgage?
Replies: 34
Views: 2438

Re: Should I pay off my mortgage?

Seeing if your current lender will reset the rate is a good idea, but if they won't I'd consider the $2,500 against whatever you saved by having a 5/1 ARM. Draining all your liquid assets so you don't have to pay $2,500 for a refi seems ill-advised.
by Iorek
Fri Jul 12, 2019 12:36 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: What would you charge if you were a FA?
Replies: 29
Views: 2181

Re: What would you charge if you were a FA?

How about 200 per hour for the actual hours spent on each account. It would be a bargain for most people with AUM of 1%. Agree with this. I actually hired someone like this-- I think he's a retired money manager and he now has a blog encouraging people to take charge of their investments by putting...
by Iorek
Sun Jul 07, 2019 1:49 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Would You Refinance Now?
Replies: 11
Views: 1170

Re: Would You Refinance Now?

I would do it, but I would also shop around to see if there are better deals. You don't need new title insurance and while the lender probably does, they ought to be able to get a reissue rate.
by Iorek
Sat Jun 29, 2019 11:55 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: New Landlord Here! Your Top Tips to include in a Lease?
Replies: 52
Views: 4296

Re: New Landlord Here! Your Top Tips to include in a Lease?

In some jurisdictions a clause that says repairs under $100 are the responsibility of the tenant would be illegal, and I think in most jurisdictions it would be a bad idea.

I would learn your landlord tenant law both to know what you can include and what you can't.
by Iorek
Tue Jun 11, 2019 8:00 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: My bicycle ride from Florence, Italy to Bern, Switzerland [journal added]
Replies: 52
Views: 4768

Re: My bicycle ride from Florence, Italy to Bern, Switzerland

Thanks for all these posts— great reading and they expand my view of the world.

Do you find these hosts on bike-specific forums, or is it just the case that people who support couchsurfing are more lilely to be avid cyclists, or maybe it’s just everyone in Europe likes to bike?
by Iorek
Fri Jun 07, 2019 4:51 pm
Forum: Personal Investments
Topic: I Bonds & Revocable Living Trust
Replies: 11
Views: 1902

Re: I Bonds & Revocable Living Trust

But what is the purpose of having a trust if you are purchasing $10,000 per SS outside of the trust? I thought the point of the trust was to increase the purchase limit? I would have thought beneficiary designations are as effective as a revocable trust for avoiding probate, and that they wouldn’t ...
by Iorek
Sun Jun 02, 2019 8:47 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Dual coffee maker suggestion
Replies: 24
Views: 1642

Re: Dual coffee maker suggestion

Or maybe do two pourovers so you boil water for both of you and each gets their own cup?
by Iorek
Thu May 30, 2019 11:22 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Best Bank/Lender for 15 year fixed mortgage?
Replies: 15
Views: 1585

Re: Best Bank/Lender for 15 year fixed mortgage?

I would check out Amerisave, esp. if the loan/income documentation will be straightforward and you are ok moving quickly/without a lot of handholding. They have good products with credits against closing costs too (no cost refi), and they post current rates on their website (but note even 760 credit...
by Iorek
Thu May 23, 2019 10:33 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Help with DIY strategy to eliminate termites (outside)
Replies: 12
Views: 818

Re: Help with DIY strategy to eliminate termites (outside)

For termites, a perimeter soil drench is the proper approach... This uses a LOT of chemicals and I would strongly advise hiring it out. Its not that expensive, and you avoid exposure and should get a 7 year warranty on the treatment. For minor issues like ants in the house, pest control usually do ...
by Iorek
Wed May 22, 2019 10:14 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Help with DIY strategy to eliminate termites (outside)
Replies: 12
Views: 818

Re: Help with DIY strategy to eliminate termites (outside)

I think DIY is not advisable at all because doing a liquid treatment poorly is worse than a waste of time. More importantly, DIY is almost certainly illegal. Look at the label of the termiticide they are selling— it is a violation of federal law to use a pesticide in a manner inconsistent with the l...
by Iorek
Sun May 19, 2019 7:08 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Guidance on choosing between UMich and Brown
Replies: 102
Views: 5851

Re: Guidance on choosing between UMich and Brown

I would also look at non-major requirements (thinks like foreign language or other requirements that make your choices less flexible. Brown doesn’t actually have non-major requirements (although each major has its own requirements)— they trust the students to take responsibility for their own educa...
by Iorek
Fri May 17, 2019 8:07 am
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Argument against Target Fund
Replies: 32
Views: 2632

Re: Argument against Target Fund

To me that's an argument for Target Date funds, because the point of target date funds is to automate asset allocation changes in advance, without the emotions of what's happening in the market at the moment. if we hypothesize that stocks were doing pretty well in the 2030s up to that point, many pe...
by Iorek
Sun May 12, 2019 5:59 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: 4 nights in Lisbon stopover. Ideas?
Replies: 4
Views: 499

Re: 4 nights in Lisbon stopover. Ideas?

I don’t think you need to overnight in Sintra— it’s a very easy day trip by train (and if you do you might consider one night not two). I would figure one day for Sintra, one day for Belem (the monastery, the tower, probably one or more of the museums and of course the pasteis de nata ), one day for...
by Iorek
Thu May 09, 2019 12:54 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Going solar
Replies: 29
Views: 2450

Re: Going solar

I was wondering the same, if it's worth it? All my construction friends say no way, the payback period is too long. Would this system make sense for someone living in Oregon, cloudy most of the time? Also, I noticed that IRS had not extended the Fed tax credit for someone who installs the system th...
by Iorek
Wed May 08, 2019 3:22 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Going solar
Replies: 29
Views: 2450

Re: Going solar

I've spent a fair bit of time on this question, and wrote up this guide . It's specific to the state of Montana, but the principles are the same. There's no one answer to the payback, but the major variables are the system size, the cost, the annual production, and the specifics of your electric ra...
by Iorek
Sun May 05, 2019 12:45 pm
Forum: Non-US Investing
Topic: Downshift ("Barista FI") while consulting and raising kids? [Switzerland]
Replies: 82
Views: 7986

Re: Downshift ("Barista FI") while consulting and raising kids? [Switzerland]

My only concern with this plan is that I think I would hesitate to assume that you can downshift and then upshift your income in 15 years (so I would not build a plan that depends on the ability to upshift). I think the "upshift" may be hard, partly because of things like ageism, but also because I ...
by Iorek
Sun Apr 07, 2019 7:23 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Just Bought an Annuity
Replies: 171
Views: 16568

Re: Just Bought an Annuity

...Single Premium Immediate Annuity (SPIA), Joint Life with Cash Refund and 2% COLA. That means if I die first, my wife would continue to receive the monthly payments until she dies (Joint Life). If we both die before the sum of our annuity payments reaches $250K, our beneficiaries would receive th...
by Iorek
Sat Apr 06, 2019 1:17 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Definite roof leak - roof inspector or roofing company?
Replies: 16
Views: 1379

Re: Definite roof leak - roof inspector or roofing company?

I think the main thing is to get a number of roofing estimates from well-established/recommended firms (start with three and you if don't really trust what they are saying or they all have different ideas of whats going on and what's needed consider another).
by Iorek
Sat Apr 06, 2019 1:11 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Just Bought an Annuity
Replies: 171
Views: 16568

Re: Just Bought an Annuity

Thanks for the interesting thread OP, and all. Does a 2% COLA mean your payout increases 2% each year, or by the lesser of 2% or the actual CPI increase for that year? I get a fxed 2% increase every year regardless of CPI. TravelforFun Thanks for clarifying. Do you mind explaining if you purchased ...
by Iorek
Sat Apr 06, 2019 9:25 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Just Bought an Annuity
Replies: 171
Views: 16568

Re: Just Bought an Annuity

Thanks for the interesting thread OP, and all.

Does a 2% COLA mean your payout increases 2% each year, or by the lesser of 2% or the actual CPI increase for that year?
by Iorek
Tue Apr 02, 2019 9:25 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: At a crossroad - Expensive House or Private School Tuition?
Replies: 68
Views: 4482

Re: At a crossroad - Expensive House or Private School Tuition?

IME a house built in the 20s will often be of better quality thana house built in the last 20 years (as long as you avoid something like knob and tube wiring, which an inspection would reveal).
by Iorek
Mon Apr 01, 2019 4:03 pm
Forum: Personal Investments
Topic: quirky Backdoor Roth question
Replies: 18
Views: 959

Re: quirky Backdoor Roth question

My understanding is that the IRS instructions have always suggested the basis remains but some people have felt that broader principles of tax law suggested that result only worked if one left $1 in the account, and that if one converted the entire account one realized a loss, but the loss could onl...
by Iorek
Mon Apr 01, 2019 2:44 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: At a crossroad - Expensive House or Private School Tuition?
Replies: 68
Views: 4482

Re: At a crossroad - Expensive House or Private School Tuition?

I would do the more expensive house in a heartbeat, but then I don't consider a 700k* mortgage for people who earn 350k to be a lot of debt. I also think the advantages of new homes over older homes are usually overstated (new homes can have problems that just haven't manifested themselves). To me i...
by Iorek
Mon Apr 01, 2019 11:35 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Family flying - picking seats at booking
Replies: 75
Views: 5309

Re: Family flying - picking seats at booking

Fly Southwest-- families with small children get to board at a time (after A group?) when it's not hard to find seats together. Otherwise I would adjust your expectations-- the airlines are increasing fares for people who need to check bags or sit together and flying with 5 people is not going to be...
by Iorek
Sun Mar 24, 2019 8:19 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: life span of a retainer
Replies: 4
Views: 637

Re: life span of a retainer

My kid just swapped after a year— impetus was that grinding wore away through the retainer but it took a few days before the retainer was not uncomfortable so that suggests it was a good time to switch anyway.
by Iorek
Sun Mar 24, 2019 8:15 am
Forum: Personal Investments
Topic: Surprised on tax benefit after first year as landlord!
Replies: 20
Views: 3627

Re: Surprised on tax benefit after first year as landlord!

Unless the rules recently changed, depreciation recapture and capital gains taxes apply apportioned based on number of years as rental vs number of years as a primary residence. The only exclusion is if you had lived in the house for a couple years and sell it before you hit 3yrs of it being a rent...
by Iorek
Sun Mar 03, 2019 10:18 am
Forum: Personal Investments
Topic: rolling over i-bonds for a minor
Replies: 5
Views: 280

rolling over i-bonds for a minor

Spouse's family still has a tradition of giving saving bonds to newborns, so my kid has some ibonds in his name. I just realized that they are 0% fixed rate bonds and I could exchange them for .5% fixed rate bonds. Since the accrued interest to date is less than $1,000, I don't think there would be ...
by Iorek
Sat Feb 23, 2019 2:09 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: State and Property tax deduction - how to get
Replies: 13
Views: 746

Re: State and Property tax deduction - how to get

Assuming your mortgage interest is eligible for deduction, you have 27k itemized, which is more than the 12k standard (or 24k standard for married filing joint) so you should itemize. If you are not using tax software, I strongly suggest you try using it (turbotax may well be free for you), and then...
by Iorek
Sat Feb 23, 2019 2:05 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Target Date funds are hazardous to your wealth
Replies: 59
Views: 8688

Re: Target Date funds are hazardous to your wealth

To add insult to injury, TD funds actually exacerbate stock losses because - instead of rebalancing - they do the opposite and sell stocks to keep reducing your equity allocation even more, mitigating the opportunity to regain some of those losses when the market recovers. I am not sure I follow? I...
by Iorek
Sat Feb 23, 2019 1:54 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: State and Property tax deduction - how to get
Replies: 13
Views: 746

Re: State and Property tax deduction - how to get

Apologize.. I double checked in Turbo tax and the credit I am getting for 5000 is for Child Tax Credit. So does it mean that Property Tax for 5K will not be considered as deduction when I do standard? I understand Mortgage interest will be ignored if I do Standard...but Turbo tax will ignore proper...
by Iorek
Sat Feb 23, 2019 1:46 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Best way to ensure USPS mailed tax return makes it to IRS
Replies: 52
Views: 4063

Re: Best way to ensure USPS mailed tax return makes it to IRS

chessknt wrote:
Sat Feb 23, 2019 1:35 pm
Priority mail flat rate is probably the best blend of proof, tracking, and security. For an absolute guarantee you would want certified.
I agree with this. I used to do proof of mailing, but now it's just easier to do priority mail (which includes tracking).
by Iorek
Fri Feb 22, 2019 10:52 am
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Target Date funds are hazardous to your wealth
Replies: 59
Views: 8688

Re: Target Date funds are hazardous to your wealth

Most people who invest in target date funds actually have no idea what the riskiness of their portfolio is over the entire timeframe of their investment period. The human brain just can't wrap around compounded dollar-weighted returns. The idea that systematically reducing stock allocation results ...
by Iorek
Thu Feb 21, 2019 10:18 am
Forum: Personal Investments
Topic: Does Anyone with 3-Fund Portfolio & Government TSP Tax-Loss Harvest?
Replies: 18
Views: 1172

Re: Does Anyone with 3-Fund Portfolio & Government TSP Tax-Loss Harvest?

Personally I don't do it because it hasn't seemed worthwhile (esp because you should find alternative funds you are comfortable holding for long periods of time and the added complexity has not seemed worth it). I have the impression that many Bogleheads TLH but there are others who do not-- it's ha...
by Iorek
Mon Feb 18, 2019 9:11 pm
Forum: Personal Investments
Topic: Does Anyone with 3-Fund Portfolio & Government TSP Tax-Loss Harvest?
Replies: 18
Views: 1172

Re: Does Anyone with 3-Fund Portfolio & Government TSP Tax-Loss Harvest?

Fair enough but I guess the question is why do think 401k transactions cannot trigger wash sales?

Is it simply because the IRS has not specifically said they could, or do you see a relevant difference between IRA transactions and 401k transactions?
by Iorek
Mon Feb 18, 2019 7:27 pm
Forum: Personal Investments
Topic: Does Anyone with 3-Fund Portfolio & Government TSP Tax-Loss Harvest?
Replies: 18
Views: 1172

Re: Does Anyone with 3-Fund Portfolio & Government TSP Tax-Loss Harvest?

Note: many people do not even consider it possible to have a wash sale with a TSP, or 401k or 403b type account - because the IRS has never included those types of accounts in the wash sale rule. Betterment and the other robos are taking a very cautious position by suggesting you watch these types ...
by Iorek
Mon Feb 18, 2019 7:06 pm
Forum: Personal Investments
Topic: Where to Park Emergency Money/Equivalent Yield Question
Replies: 26
Views: 3304

Re: Where to Park Emergency Money/Equivalent Yield Question

For what it’s worth, i-bonds are yielding 2.83% right now tax-deferred and also state tax exempt (but subject to purchase limits and some redemption restrictions)
by Iorek
Sun Feb 17, 2019 8:02 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Is Long Term Care Insurance worth it?
Replies: 318
Views: 13877

Re: Is Long Term Care Insurance worth it?

All types of insurance have rate increases. It would be nice if all our insurance was guaranteed to never increase but that is a fairy tale. Level term life insurance never has increases even though it's sold for 20 or 30 years. You can choose to pay more upfront for level term, or you can take ren...
by Iorek
Sun Feb 17, 2019 1:50 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Is Long Term Care Insurance worth it?
Replies: 318
Views: 13877

Re: Is Long Term Care Insurance worth it?

I have one relative with LTCI and I know that insurance company was approved for a very substantial rate hike on a 2009 policy, a time when we thought the premium was high but should reflect the realities of the market. I also looked at the Scott Olson website for MD, where I live, and the date he ...
by Iorek
Fri Feb 15, 2019 11:16 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Is Long Term Care Insurance worth it?
Replies: 318
Views: 13877

Re: Is Long Term Care Insurance worth it?

I have one relative with LTCI and I know that insurance company was approved for a very substantial rate hike on a 2009 policy, a time when we thought the premium was high but should reflect the realities of the market. I also looked at the Scott Olson website for MD, where I live, and the date he c...
by Iorek
Tue Feb 12, 2019 3:00 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Need help with frequent week-long stays in Boston over next 18 mos
Replies: 68
Views: 3516

Re: Need help with frequent week-long stays in Boston over next 18 mos

I would look at Oakwood as a possibility for an extended stay hotel/short term apt. Their main market is corporate housing for people who need short stays/furnished accommodations (although I don't know how short they get). Might be a compromise between air bnb and a hotel.