Search found 954 matches

by Iorek
Wed Oct 17, 2018 6:05 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: your favorite ereader?
Replies: 28
Views: 1184

Re: your favorite ereader?

New paperwhite coming in November that is waterproof (also some other improvements)
by Iorek
Mon Oct 15, 2018 10:22 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: $34k Volt vs $54k Model 3?--help me decide??
Replies: 77
Views: 7027

Re: $34k Volt vs $54k Model 3?--help me decide??

I would keep the current Volt and in a couple years there will be whole new host of longer range EVs from Hyundai/Kia all the way up through Audi and Jaguar.
by Iorek
Fri Oct 12, 2018 6:26 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: your favorite ereader?
Replies: 28
Views: 1184

Re: your favorite ereader?

Kindle paperwhite. One with ads is fine.
by Iorek
Mon Oct 08, 2018 9:44 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: FERS contribution
Replies: 1
Views: 290

Re: FERS contribution

Your FERS contribution is set by law, but Congress helpfully increased it substantially in the last 5 years or so. Note that FERS is your defined benefit pension. Your defined contribution retirement plan (like a 401(k)) is called TSP-- thrift savings plans. The max there is the usual $18k/ year, bu...
by Iorek
Mon Oct 08, 2018 9:41 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: LTHC Insurance ??
Replies: 10
Views: 787

Re: LTHC Insurance ??

I looked at this 5-10 years ago for a relative who has a small nest egg and small pension. She ended up buying a policy in her early 60s because she felt with smallish retirement savings she'd prefer to have some insurance. She has already had one or two big rates increases (she bought after the ini...
by Iorek
Mon Oct 08, 2018 8:54 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: LTHC Insurance ??
Replies: 10
Views: 787

Re: LTHC Insurance ??

There are lots and lots of threads on this. Try searching "LTC" or "LTCI" (or spelling it out).

In the meantime here is one thread from 2018--

viewtopic.php?t=242143
by Iorek
Mon Oct 01, 2018 12:13 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Airline shortened layover
Replies: 17
Views: 1340

Re: Airline shortened layover

My instinct is that KEF is a fairly small airport and if you are on Icelandair the whole way they will take care of you (possibly even hold the outgoing plane). That said I agree that you could ask the same question over on flyertalk's icelandair forum and probably get more informed feedback.
by Iorek
Fri Sep 28, 2018 10:30 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Good Modern Science Fiction
Replies: 321
Views: 45133

Re: Good Modern Science Fiction

For Stephenson fans, I definitely recommend Reamde -- to me it's much more akin to Cryptonomicon (which I read and liked) than Anathem (which I didn't). A friend said it was the first 1000 page book that she thought could easily have been longer. It is odd sometimes when you read those books years a...
by Iorek
Fri Sep 28, 2018 2:27 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Counterfeits benefit Amazon
Replies: 14
Views: 1426

Re: Counterfeits benefit Amazon

I think this is Amazon’s largest long-term risk at this point. A growing number of consumers (including myself) are growing wary of Amazon because we can’t trust what we are getting from them. I’ve heard the same concern echoed among friends and coworkers. That may be good for numbers in the short ...
by Iorek
Fri Sep 28, 2018 9:57 am
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Northwest FCU 3-year 3.04% Add-On CD
Replies: 361
Views: 38484

Re: Northwest FCU 3-year 3.04% Add-On CD

Not sure it warranted a new thread, but I noticed NWFCU has a 7 month CD at 2.5% if you deposit $100k.

Will also be interesting to see what 6 month treasuries go for after the Fed announcement.
by Iorek
Fri Sep 28, 2018 9:51 am
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Siegel: 'stocks are overvalued on a long-term basis, but bonds are enormously overvalued on a long-term basis'
Replies: 74
Views: 8008

Re: Siegel: 'stocks are overvalued on a long-term basis, but bonds are enormously overvalued on a long-term basis'

This article also seems to say small caps do not outperform. "...Siegel compared the situation to the 1990s, when small stocks were believed to outperform in the long term. After further investigation, he found that the small stock premiums from 1929 to the 1990s were mainly due to a 9-year period ...
by Iorek
Thu Sep 27, 2018 10:41 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: solar panels with payback of 8-10 years?
Replies: 24
Views: 2262

Re: solar panels with payback of 8-10 years?

I was reading one of the state guides to solar energy and they were pointing out that if you are installing panels in part because you want to increase use of solar and/or run your house on solar energy then you should consider keeping your RECs. Obviously the electricity is being generated and put...
by Iorek
Thu Sep 27, 2018 7:00 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: solar panels with payback of 8-10 years?
Replies: 24
Views: 2262

Re: solar panels with payback of 8-10 years?

I was reading one of the state guides to solar energy and they were pointing out that if you are installing panels in part because you want to increase use of solar and/or run your house on solar energy then you should consider keeping your RECs. Obviously the electricity is being generated and put ...
by Iorek
Wed Sep 26, 2018 10:21 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: solar panels with payback of 8-10 years?
Replies: 24
Views: 2262

Re: solar panels with payback of 8-10 years?

Thanks. We do have simple electric rates and a form of net metering, where you can get a full retail credit for the next month, and then any cumulative annual excess as of April is paid at the wholesale rate. My expectation is that we won't have a cumulative annual excess under that system (and I t...
by Iorek
Wed Sep 26, 2018 7:29 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: solar panels with payback of 8-10 years?
Replies: 24
Views: 2262

Re: solar panels with payback of 8-10 years?

Thanks. We do have simple electric rates and a form of net metering, where you can get a full retail credit for the next month, and then any cumulative annual excess as of April is paid at the wholesale rate. My expectation is that we won't have a cumulative annual excess under that system (and I tr...
by Iorek
Tue Sep 25, 2018 9:54 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: solar panels with payback of 8-10 years?
Replies: 24
Views: 2262

Re: solar panels with payback of 8-10 years?

Thanks. The Missoula calculator was helpful. There's also a Colorado State one that was ok, and then some others that weren't. Seems like it makes financial sense even when I try to be conservative about my assumptions.
by Iorek
Tue Sep 25, 2018 10:06 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: solar panels with payback of 8-10 years?
Replies: 24
Views: 2262

solar panels with payback of 8-10 years?

Hi, We are considering installation of solar panels on our house and it looks like the expected payback is about 8-10 years. I feel like that's the range where it's reasonable to go in either direction so I thought I'd get some perspective from others who maybe have thought about it or have advice f...
by Iorek
Mon Sep 24, 2018 9:40 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Siegel: 'stocks are overvalued on a long-term basis, but bonds are enormously overvalued on a long-term basis'
Replies: 74
Views: 8008

Re: Siegel: 'stocks are overvalued on a long-term basis, but bonds are enormously overvalued on a long-term basis'

Interesting article on Siegel and Shiller that I thought I’d share here: http://knowledge.wharton.upenn.edu/article/siegel-shiller-stock-market/ Siegel: - The CAPE ratio might be permanently higher due to indexing lowering costs for investors (an interesting argument that I had not heard of before)...
by Iorek
Mon Sep 24, 2018 6:43 am
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Siegel: 'stocks are overvalued on a long-term basis, but bonds are enormously overvalued on a long-term basis'
Replies: 74
Views: 8008

Re: Siegel: 'stocks are overvalued on a long-term basis, but bonds are enormously overvalued on a long-term basis'

- The CAPE ratio might be permanently higher due to indexing lowering costs for investors (an interesting argument that I had not heard of before) Does anybody have more information related to this point? I also have never heard of it before. I tried to search the web and found nothing. A counterpo...
by Iorek
Wed Sep 19, 2018 12:41 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: TSP to Increase Stock Holdings in L Funds
Replies: 49
Views: 2784

Re: TSP to Increase Stock Holdings in L Funds

In addition to what has been said above, I think fundamentally TSP needs to wrestle with the question of whether/how much they expect people to annuitize their accounts at retirement because I think will significantly affect the decision about appropriate glide paths. The amount of risk you want to ...
by Iorek
Tue Sep 18, 2018 9:38 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Northwest FCU 3-year 3.04% Add-On CD
Replies: 361
Views: 38484

Re: Northwest FCU 3-year 3.04% Add-On CD

I'm going to miss this account. What I liked best was the "add-on" feature. I didn't have as much as some in my CD but every random check I got was deposited by app to this account to earn 3% interest.
by Iorek
Tue Sep 18, 2018 6:44 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Revocable Living Trust vs. Will with Kids Trust
Replies: 5
Views: 572

Re: Revocable Living Trust vs. Will with Kids Trust

I think living trusts are a pain and overrated for most estate planning purposes.
by Iorek
Sun Sep 16, 2018 1:27 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: 38% pay cut for dream job?
Replies: 61
Views: 5333

Re: 38% pay cut for dream job?

What makes someone a "spy" is the fact that they are covert. Representing US interests publicly and networking among different groups is not what makes someone a spy.
by Iorek
Sat Sep 15, 2018 9:16 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: 38% pay cut for dream job?
Replies: 61
Views: 5333

Re: 38% pay cut for dream job?

This does seem like a no brainer to take the job-- it might be harder if the alternative was a stable job you liked less or your spouse wasn't up for it or something. I guess a couple things you could think about is if the job's reality will match your expectations-- you might see if you can find an...
by Iorek
Sat Sep 08, 2018 7:06 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Cell phone tip: block callers
Replies: 50
Views: 6879

Re: Cell phone tip: block callers

FYI, Tmobile will occassionally flag incoming calls as "likely spam" and then there is an option to block those calls.

I have fairly unusual exchange on my home and cell and I never answer a call using that exchange.
by Iorek
Fri Sep 07, 2018 5:23 am
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Mutual Fund Fee Wars Will Encourage Bad Behavior
Replies: 26
Views: 2653

Re: Mutual Fund Fee Wars Will Encourage Bad Behavior

"But fees on investment products can actually be good. Sometimes, such as with high commissions on stock trades, the sales loads ensure that investors are much less likely to churn their funds if they have to pay 200 to 500 basis points each time they want to get in or out." That's kind of like say...
by Iorek
Mon Sep 03, 2018 4:00 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Donor advised fund
Replies: 21
Views: 698

Re: Donor advised fund

Sure, fair point. I'm happy to dump it all in the DAF and save myself the bookkeeping, but there are plenty of reasons to do it the other way too. That reminds me that not having to track charitable contributions during the year is one of best things about it for me. Instead I just use the app to a...
by Iorek
Mon Sep 03, 2018 3:25 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Donor advised fund
Replies: 21
Views: 698

Re: Donor advised fund

Tax free growth isn't entirely trivial either - it shields you from taxable distributions, which is especially helpful for bond funds. But couldn't you just contribute those distributions and deduct them? I guess they'd be below the line which might matter to some people but in general I am not see...
by Iorek
Mon Sep 03, 2018 1:13 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Donor advised fund
Replies: 21
Views: 698

Re: Donor advised fund

I also like giving anonymously.

Note that DAF funds (at least at Schwab) can't be used if you are getting anything in return-- so for example, you can't buy a ticket to a local charity fundraiser, or make a pledge which is later funded by the DAF.
by Iorek
Mon Sep 03, 2018 12:55 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Donor advised fund
Replies: 21
Views: 698

Re: Donor advised fund

If you donate appreciated assets you usually get a tax deduction for the full value, even if you were not ever taxed on the appreciated value (and of course if you were taxed on the income you could also take it as a deduction) so I am not entirely sure the tax-free growth is that strong an argument...
by Iorek
Mon Sep 03, 2018 12:10 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Analysis Paralysis - Mortgage, Emergency Fund, etc.
Replies: 51
Views: 4359

Re: Analysis Paralysis - Mortgage, Emergency Fund, etc.

One thing I learned on BH is if you are suffering analysis paralysis then often a reasonable approach is to split the difference. We are fairly risk-averse in our investments (my user name is a fictional bear) and early on when we had extra money outside of retirement savings we put it in i-bonds. I...
by Iorek
Mon Sep 03, 2018 8:32 am
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Don't Look and Have A Doctor Waiting When You DO
Replies: 35
Views: 5797

Re: Don't Look and Have A Doctor Waiting When You DO

For what it's worth I only check balances once a year, and even then I am not really auditing the account but just checking if we are on track. I got into that habit partly to save time-- we used to have accounts at 4 or 5 different custodians-- and partly to save my sanity/avoid making mistakes, e...
by Iorek
Mon Sep 03, 2018 8:27 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: 1st time dad, OK to use willmaker software?
Replies: 37
Views: 3322

Re: 1st time dad, OK to use willmaker software?

I just want to reiterate that it's not an either/or situation. When our child was born we did a will using willmaker plus because that's all we had time/energy for. Fortunately it was not tested but I think it was a perfectly fine will (I later compared it to a simple will a friend got from a lawyer...
by Iorek
Sun Sep 02, 2018 9:57 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Don't Look and Have A Doctor Waiting When You DO
Replies: 35
Views: 5797

Re: Don't Look and Have A Doctor Waiting When You DO

For what it's worth I only check balances once a year, and even then I am not really auditing the account but just checking if we are on track. I got into that habit partly to save time-- we used to have accounts at 4 or 5 different custodians-- and partly to save my sanity/avoid making mistakes, es...
by Iorek
Fri Aug 24, 2018 12:55 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: $65K Fun Daily Driver
Replies: 112
Views: 8708

Re: $65K Fun Daily Driver

If you want fun and low-end torque have you considered an EV? The Jaguar i-pace is getting good reviews, or there's always Tesla.
by Iorek
Sun Aug 19, 2018 8:49 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: How to Treat "Negative" Basis in Nondeductible IRA
Replies: 52
Views: 2575

Re: How to Treat "Negative" Basis in Nondeductible IRA

If the IRS ever intended that a total distribution of a TIRA or Roth IRA for less than the account basis was addressed solely by the misc deduction, they never so indicated. Instead, for TIRAs they published a "Total Basis Chart" in the 8606 Inst. These instructions also do not mention that such ba...
by Iorek
Sat Aug 18, 2018 5:28 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Minimizing Capital Gains Tax When Transferring to Vanguard
Replies: 10
Views: 728

Re: Minimizing Capital Gains Tax When Transferring to Vanguard

You should separate out the question of which firm has custody of your assets and what those assets are. I would assume the first step is to transfer the assets over-- that should not incur any capital gains tax but would simply be a change in which firm is custodian of the assets. You can't transfe...
by Iorek
Sat Aug 18, 2018 11:06 am
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Advantages of I-Bonds vs CD ?
Replies: 34
Views: 4753

Re: Advantages of I-Bonds vs CD ?

I don't want to use my limited IRA space for many bonds, so I perceive I-bonds as being the easiest way to get some inflation protection and also as being a good second level emergency fund. Occasionally the purchase limit has been a constraint but usually it's not (it probably does constrain my dec...
by Iorek
Sat Aug 18, 2018 9:54 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: How to Treat "Negative" Basis in Nondeductible IRA
Replies: 52
Views: 2575

Re: How to Treat "Negative" Basis in Nondeductible IRA

Suppose you do backdoor Roths every year. One year you forget to convert right away and the $5,500 drops to $5,000. Your basis (non-deductible contribution) is still 5.500. If you convert the $5,000 to Roth, then you will have a negative basis remaining (5,000 conversion minus its basis of 5,500). ...
by Iorek
Thu Aug 16, 2018 1:55 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Best (cheapest) way to book a flight well in advance
Replies: 15
Views: 1679

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

Southwest flies to Costa Rica and does not show up on many search engines, so I'd check them separately. (Also if you see their cheapest fare available, that's probably going to be a good fare) I'd be careful about booking Spirit (things might go great but if they don't-- if your flight is canceled-...
by Iorek
Wed Aug 15, 2018 11:12 am
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Maturing Credit Union 3% CD's this year
Replies: 52
Views: 5872

Re: Maturing Credit Union 3% CD's this year

Bumping this topic because I have a NWFCU CD maturing this fall and they just sent an offer for a 2.75% apy 30 month CD. Seems competitive (if not the absolute best rate out there)?

Also interested to hear what else people are considering.
by Iorek
Wed Aug 01, 2018 11:53 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Should I buy new Nissan Leaf?
Replies: 35
Views: 2495

Re: Should I buy new Nissan Leaf?

I would do it-- only issue would be whether to wait for next year's model because it will have a range closer to 250 miles than 150 miles-- it will probably cost $5-6k more though.
by Iorek
Sat Jul 28, 2018 12:55 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: EMV Chip + Pin priority credit cards available in the USA?
Replies: 11
Views: 638

Re: EMV Chip + Pin priority credit cards available in the USA?

There is a lot of information over on the flyertalk boards. I think this might be the most recent thread/wiki

https://www.flyertalk.com/forum/credit- ... a-242.html
by Iorek
Wed Jul 25, 2018 9:25 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: How to Learn Italian (a little) Before Trip to Italy
Replies: 34
Views: 2180

Re: How to Learn Italian (a little) Before Trip to Italy

I've used mango through our local library and liked it. It's pretty good at teaching some basic conversational phrases, although you might have to stick with a few lessons to get a good range. Probably you don't "need" but I think it's at least polite, you never know when it will come it handy, and ...
by Iorek
Wed Jul 25, 2018 9:24 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: How to Learn Italian (a little) Before Trip to Italy
Replies: 34
Views: 2180

Re: How to Learn Italian (a little) Before Trip to Italy

I've used mango through our local library and liked it. It's pretty good at teaching some basic conversational phrases, although you might have to stick with a few lessons to get a good range. Probably you don't "need" but I think it's at least polite, you never know when it will come it handy, and ...
by Iorek
Mon Jul 23, 2018 6:52 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Anyone sell their car to Carmax or webuyanycar.com?
Replies: 34
Views: 3767

Re: Anyone sell their car to Carmax or webuyanycar.com?

crystalbank wrote:
Mon Jul 23, 2018 6:32 pm
You can also try Vroom.com and Carvana. They both compete with Carmax and usually have better appraisals.
I had a good experience with Vroom as mentioned in this thread--

viewtopic.php?f=11&t=203121
by Iorek
Sat Jul 21, 2018 12:08 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Federal Benefits Question - Annuity, TSP, FEHBP
Replies: 21
Views: 1534

Re: Federal Benefits Question - Annuity, TSP, FEHBP

Just noting the COLA is 1% less than CPI increase if the CPI increase is 3% or more.
by Iorek
Mon Jul 16, 2018 8:39 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Would you pay $120 for a 5 year dishwasher warranty?
Replies: 61
Views: 3117

Re: Would you pay $120 for a 5 year dishwasher warranty?

I did and am glad-- used it probably 4 times so far? Once it turned out the problem was a supply pipe freezing, but did not get charged for the service visit (which would have been $100). Once the control panel died (guy mumbled something about moisture not being good for electronics). Then the cont...
by Iorek
Wed Jul 11, 2018 7:23 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: looking for a new (online) savings account home
Replies: 23
Views: 2187

Re: looking for a new (online) savings account home

Thanks all. I don't feel the need to rate chase, but I am starting to take it a little personally that Emigrant Direct sees no need to even pretend to be competitive on rates, so maybe we'll switch to Ally.
by Iorek
Tue Jul 10, 2018 8:34 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: looking for a new (online) savings account home
Replies: 23
Views: 2187

looking for a new (online) savings account home

I like to keep some cash in an online savings account as a savings account for home repairs/car replacement/emergencies, etc. It fluctuates but it's generally in the $20-60k range. For a long time we've been used emigrant direct because 10+ years ago it had good rates, and while it hasn't had compet...