Search found 1034 matches

by Iorek
Tue Jun 11, 2019 8:00 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: My bicycle ride from Florence, Italy to Bern, Switzerland [Pictures added]
Replies: 50
Views: 4037

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: 1738

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: 1505

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: 1471

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: 788

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: 788

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: 5499

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: 2522

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: 478

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: 2319

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: 2319

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: 77
Views: 5917

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: 149
Views: 11838

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: 1286

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: 149
Views: 11838

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: 149
Views: 11838

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: 4213

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: 903

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: 4213

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: 4921

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: 602

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: 3448

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: 254

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: 687

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: 8131

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: 687

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: 3556

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: 8131

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: 1098

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: 1098

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: 1098

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: 3176

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: 13363

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: 13363

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: 13363

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: 3392

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.
by Iorek
Mon Feb 11, 2019 11:50 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: What Is Your Favorite Bogle Quote?
Replies: 48
Views: 2762

Re: What Is Your Favorite Bogle Quote?

"In investing, you get what you don't pay for"
by Iorek
Sun Feb 10, 2019 5:21 pm
Forum: Personal Investments
Topic: Is the VPAS Service worth the 0.30%?
Replies: 32
Views: 2375

Re: Is the VPAS Service worth the 0.30%?

Under that assumption, calculate how much you would pay VPAS over the course of a lifetime. For many people, it will be in the hundreds of thousands of dollars. Maybe my math is off, but my calculation shows that to incur hundreds of thousands of dollars in fees, one would need to have a balance of...
by Iorek
Fri Feb 08, 2019 8:07 pm
Forum: Personal Investments
Topic: 8606 Form and being married
Replies: 6
Views: 324

Re: 8606 Form and being married

Marriage is a team and there’s no i in team, but there is one in IRA.
by Iorek
Mon Feb 04, 2019 11:05 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Crypto Exchange goes bankrupt after owner dies with only password
Replies: 90
Views: 10895

Re: Crypto Exchange goes bankrupt after owner dies with only password

I saw someone on twitter refer to cryptocurrency as dunning-krugerrands.
by Iorek
Mon Feb 04, 2019 9:19 am
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: converting minor's account at age 21 - what's your customer-service experience?
Replies: 12
Views: 894

Re: converting minor's account at age 21 - what's your customer-service experience?

I have a few shares of stock that are held UTMA because a relative bought them as a gift 40 years ago. I have tried on a couple of occasions to convert them but the paperwork they wanted defeated me. Both the dividends and the tax reporting come to me so I don't worry about it. Guess it'll be a good...
by Iorek
Fri Feb 01, 2019 10:54 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Is Long Term Care Insurance worth it?
Replies: 318
Views: 13363

Re: Is Long Term Care Insurance worth it?

adamthesmythe wrote:
Thu Jan 31, 2019 5:12 pm
> currently in my upper 30s

Too much can change. Wait 20 years or so and then revisit the question.

UNLESS you happen to work for the government and have a LTCI plan as a benefit...
?? The fed LTCI plan is IIRC worse than what people can get on their own
by Iorek
Thu Jan 31, 2019 11:14 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Is a Backdoor Roth IRA worth it?
Replies: 44
Views: 3094

Re: Is a Backdoor Roth IRA worth it?

Bacchus01 wrote:
Thu Jan 31, 2019 10:45 pm
If you are on a 0% LTCG bracket, why are you doing Backdoor ROTH?
+1

While I know it’s possible to get to a 0% ltcg cap gains bracket I am not counting on it. If I were I might not bother with a backdoor Roth.
by Iorek
Wed Jan 30, 2019 10:36 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Does MA tax federal bonds?
Replies: 8
Views: 339

Re: Does MA tax federal bonds?

US Savings Bond interest is subject to state income tax in most states (a few states do not). Treasury Bond interest is different. It is not taxed at the state level. EE Bonds are US Savings Bonds, not Treasury Bonds. I do not think this is accurate. As Treasury Direct states "The interest that you...
by Iorek
Sat Jan 26, 2019 10:46 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Maryland 529 College Investment Plans
Replies: 28
Views: 3878

Re: Maryland 529 College Investment Plans

I'm a Maryland resident and have one account per child for our three children. I contribute $5,000 per child ($2,500 per parent). You can change the beneficiary on the plan anytime you want as long the fund is for education expenses. If you are sure your 3 kids will be in college at the same time, ...
by Iorek
Fri Jan 25, 2019 11:49 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Maryland 529 College Investment Plans
Replies: 28
Views: 3878

Re: Maryland 529 College Investment Plans

My recollection is that when the MD 529 first started you did indeed need to open two accounts for a married couple to take the full $5k deduction but at some point (beginning in 2017?) the legislature realized that was a waste of everyone’s time and changed it so that a married couple can take up t...
by Iorek
Tue Jan 22, 2019 7:24 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Sicily over Italian cities?
Replies: 49
Views: 3377

Re: Sicily over Italian cities?

De gustibus.... There are plenty of people who enjoy Tuscany and the Amalfi Coast more than Rome or Venice. ETA: here is a quiz the Telegraph put together to find your perfect Italian region (I admit it came up Sicily for me ;) ) https://www.telegraph.co.uk/travel/destinations/europe/italy/articles/...
by Iorek
Mon Jan 21, 2019 9:40 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Rental Car Insurance Ireland & Scotland?
Replies: 21
Views: 825

Re: Rental Car Insurance Ireland & Scotland?

IME credit card insurance was accepted/sufficient in Scotland but not in Ireland but worth a call to your credit card company (and worst case a little extra insurance in those countries isn’t a bad thing). In the countryside we found many roads in Scotland were really just 1.5 lanes with frequent pu...
by Iorek
Sun Jan 20, 2019 12:53 pm
Forum: Personal Investments
Topic: REIT in tax deferral account?
Replies: 11
Views: 593

Re: REIT in tax deferral account?

What is the difference between a REIT paying a >10% dividend and a high-flying tech stock also gaining double digits annually? Dividends aren’t magic money. Not sure what you mean by "gaining double digits annually"-- if you mean that the stock increases in value by 10% then the difference is that ...
by Iorek
Sun Jan 20, 2019 12:49 pm
Forum: Personal Investments
Topic: For those with both Vanguard and Schwab
Replies: 43
Views: 2422

Re: For those with both Vanguard and Schwab

I thought the DAF terms were better at Schwab (so rather than try to transfer securities in kind to VG I just donated them at Schwab)