Search found 186 matches

by b42
Tue Sep 26, 2017 12:23 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Help with investment choices
Replies: 4
Views: 421

Re: Help with investment choices

Welcome to the forums! Since there is a lot in the original post, I have just a few comments below concerning the asset allocation: You mention your income exceeds Roth IRA contributions. Have you considered a Backdoor Roth IRA? (Note this may affect your normal IRAs the first time you do this): htt...
by b42
Mon Sep 25, 2017 12:14 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Novice doing some tax planning for 2018
Replies: 21
Views: 1832

Re: Novice doing some tax planning for 2018

I would search online for a tax calculator where you can estimate your deduction if you itemize, which in your case with property taxes and mortgage interest will most likely be higher than the standard deduction. That will affect all your following calculations. Also, you should go through your 201...
by b42
Mon Sep 25, 2017 11:57 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Novice doing some tax planning for 2018
Replies: 21
Views: 1832

Re: Novice doing some tax planning for 2018

Looking at your net salary calculation, are you double counting the standard deduction and mortgage interest? I would think you'd either take the standard deduction, or itemize with the inclusion of the mortgage interest. For your flex spending account, what specific type is it? What type of health ...
by b42
Fri Sep 22, 2017 5:16 am
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Needing a little guidance!
Replies: 16
Views: 1430

Re: Needing a little guidance!

Welcome to the forums! One of the great things about these forums is that none of us have a financial interest in what decisions you make, so the "advice" given has no ulterior motives. You mentioned that you still don't feel ready to make any financial decisions, which is completely ok since you sh...
by b42
Mon Sep 11, 2017 9:01 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: UPS plug problem
Replies: 8
Views: 862

Re: UPS plug problem

I have the same problem with my UPS where I can't use 1-2 plugs due to the odd shaped transformers. I'm not sure about using an extension cord with a UPS, but I do plan to make sure my next UPS model has adequate space between each plug.
by b42
Fri Sep 01, 2017 1:54 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Newbie help!
Replies: 9
Views: 728

Re: Newbie help!

Welcome to the forums! Concerning your two questions, it would be very helpful if you can outline all of your current non-mortgage debts (with amount due, interest rate, and payments left if applicable). That information will give a better indication on the specific types of debt you have and which ...
by b42
Thu Aug 24, 2017 11:29 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: "Bargain" house in HCOL area
Replies: 34
Views: 3772

Re: "Bargain" house in HCOL area

From the description of the property, it's probably not a good idea to buy. There appears to be some upside with buying an under priced property, but the downside could be a nightmare scenario where you buy for $1.5 million, renovate for $500k, and find out there are still problems with the property...
by b42
Thu Aug 03, 2017 6:15 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: LED light bulbs
Replies: 97
Views: 8647

Re: LED light bulbs

I switched all my bulbs to Cree a few years ago. Reliability-wise, I had about 7 fail from around 20 total. But I was able to get replacements due to their 10 year warranty. So other than that headache, they have worked out well since my electricity bills went down. I bet never versions would be mor...
by b42
Thu Jul 27, 2017 5:41 am
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Vanguard Taxable Account - Margin? Thoughts.
Replies: 5
Views: 685

Re: Vanguard Taxable Account - Margin? Thoughts.

It appears that for your example, the return is 18.47%. Is this accurate? I see on morningstar that the 2016 return for VTSAX is 12.66%, which is 5.81% lower. A 6% margin interest rate seems awfully high, and means you would have to ensure at least a 3% return just to cover the interest expenses. An...
by b42
Wed Jul 26, 2017 7:54 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: WiFi Thermostat?
Replies: 59
Views: 3970

Re: WiFi Thermostat?

I have used a Nest thermostat for the past two years, and it's great. It's a bit pricey for what it does ($250 when I bought it), but I do feel it helps lower my overall electricity bill, and eventually it will pay for itself. But the value to me of being able to change the temperature or turn the e...
by b42
Sat Jul 22, 2017 6:33 am
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: 50K USD: Investing via Vanguard Personal Advisor vs DIY
Replies: 12
Views: 1208

Re: 50K USD: Investing via Vanguard Personal Advisor vs DIY

Welcome to the forums! In order to get a better picture of your finances, it may be useful to update your original post with some more information. There is a post at the top of the forum that has some standard formatting: https://www.bogleheads.org/forum/viewtopic.php?f=1&t=6212 A good first step i...
by b42
Wed Jul 19, 2017 8:49 am
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Options for College Savings
Replies: 17
Views: 923

Re: Options for College Savings

My first thought (and most likely this is already taken care of), but do you have your other fiances in order? Meaning mortgage, retirement savings, emergency fund, etc. If those are in order, then the 529 plan seems to make the most sense for saving for college expenses. There is an excellent Bogle...
by b42
Tue Jul 18, 2017 1:05 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: 403(b) help
Replies: 13
Views: 801

Re: 403(b) help

Have you looked into the possibility of doing a backdoor Roth IRA?
https://www.bogleheads.org/wiki/Backdoor_Roth_IRA

If that works, you could eventually roll over the 403(b) if there are no good options.
by b42
Sun Jul 16, 2017 12:08 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Need Advice on What to do
Replies: 6
Views: 942

Re: Need Advice on What to do

Welcome to the forums! From the information you have listed, you appear to be in a good financial position (no huge amounts of debt, retirement accounts already created). Something that may be useful is to first come up with an Investing Policy Statement (link to a wiki article below): https://www.b...
by b42
Sun Jul 16, 2017 11:59 am
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: $100K+ increase in salary- Need help with investments
Replies: 16
Views: 3365

Re: $100K+ increase in salary- Need help with investments

Welcome to the forums! I'm betting you have already seen this, but there is a great wiki article on the 3-fund portfolio here: https://www.bogleheads.org/wiki/Three-fund_portfolio To get more responses, you may want to reformat your fund holdings since there are many, and most do not know fund names...
by b42
Fri Jul 14, 2017 8:11 am
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: New funds available in company 401k
Replies: 5
Views: 493

Re: New funds available in company 401k

The potential allocation you have listed looks good, but it may be complicated to rebalance over multiple accounts, and you could argue the sub-10% positions may not make much of a difference in the long run. What may make sense is to simplify things now, and then slice and dice as you see fit in th...
by b42
Fri Jul 14, 2017 8:00 am
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Investments for HSA - need input please
Replies: 8
Views: 771

Re: Investments for HSA - need input please

These fund listings look very similar to my HSA offerings, so I'm guessing you are signed up with MyBenefitWallet :D I could potentially move the funds to another provider, but I leave it as-is because this may cause contribution problems with my employer. I actually went through that entire list ab...
by b42
Mon Jul 10, 2017 11:14 am
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Utah 529 Best Investment Option
Replies: 7
Views: 655

Re: Utah 529 Best Investment Option

Welcome to the forums! If you haven't seen it yet, there is an excellent (and thorough) wiki article on 529 plans: https://www.bogleheads.org/wiki/529_plan Since we have little information to work off of, it may make sense to expand your original post with some additional information. There is a sti...
by b42
Wed Jun 28, 2017 8:01 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Lease New Car?
Replies: 28
Views: 3117

Re: Lease New Car?

A great resource is leasehackr.com. There is a calculator there where you can estimate roughly how "good" a lease is compared to buying. If you get the right rebates and lease at the right time, it can be cheaper to lease rather than to own, but you have to do your homework. You may want to post how...
by b42
Mon Jun 26, 2017 12:56 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Anyone else getting priced out of Volvo market?
Replies: 19
Views: 2060

Re: Anyone else getting priced out of Volvo market?

I had a 2004 S40 (was originally a dealer car) that finally need too many repairs, but unfortunately the new S40 won't be around for at least another year or so. The S60 is very nice, but similar to you the price was a little too high (and adding on options takes it even higher). I ended up going wi...
by b42
Fri Jun 23, 2017 8:55 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Actuary Career - Thoughts Please
Replies: 20
Views: 2936

Re: Actuary Career - Thoughts Please

In terms of what I actually do, I work at a mid-sized actuarial firm that specializes in employee benefit consulting. Our actuaries and analysts work primarily on pensions , defined benefit and contribution plans, healthcare consulting, valuations of all sorts, and an investments branch. I spend a ...
by b42
Thu Jun 22, 2017 7:03 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Actuary Career - Thoughts Please
Replies: 20
Views: 2936

Re: Actuary Career - Thoughts Please

I went to college to get a degree in Actuarial Science, and I threw in Economics after I found out it was only 5 extra classes (still haven't used that part yet!). Some colleges/universities offer a degree in Actuarial Science and others do something more like a Mathematics degree with a concentrati...
by b42
Fri Jun 16, 2017 8:30 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: In-network only health insurance
Replies: 17
Views: 1760

Re: In-network only health insurance

Some follow up questions: 1. Will you be joining on as a spouse on her plan? 2. Do you have any children who will be joining on her plan? What I would do is register with the carrier's online portal and there should be an option to research in-network doctors and facilities. Make sure the places and...
by b42
Thu May 11, 2017 2:27 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Helping Relatives with Inheritance for Minors
Replies: 11
Views: 1374

Re: Helping Relatives with Inheritance for Minors

OP, just to bump this, are you clear on the fact that there are no minors (known legally as infants) who have inherited anything and the executor is required to distribute to the named beneficiaries? Gill I apologize for the delay in answering, but I do have an update that just happened yesterday. ...
by b42
Thu May 04, 2017 9:45 am
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Helping Relatives with Inheritance for Minors
Replies: 11
Views: 1374

Helping Relatives with Inheritance for Minors

I'm helping my aunt and uncle with an inheritance situation, and I'd like to get some input on what we plan to do, if it is even possible. My uncle's father passed away a few years ago. The process of sorting through and selling off his assets took some time, but is now complete. My uncle is the exe...
by b42
Wed May 03, 2017 3:01 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Buying a "share" of a house
Replies: 47
Views: 3644

Re: Buying a "share" of a house

Initial thoughts are that this process seems very complicated, and there appear to be plenty of issues along the way that may cause problems. Even buying "shares" of the house may cause infighting if there is an estate left to distribute in the future. Can your parent's get a home equity l...
by b42
Tue May 02, 2017 2:25 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Buying first home with old hvac
Replies: 92
Views: 5465

Re: Buying first home with old hvac

I was in a similar situation. I bought a 19 year-old condo in July 2015, with a 19 year-old heat pump and air exchanger. The outside unit failed in April 2016 and I had the option to get a $1,000 part that may not have fixed the problem, or replace both the inside and outside units. I ended up repla...
by b42
Thu Apr 27, 2017 7:32 am
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Please help with portfolio advice - from -$90k debt to $250 networth in 3 years.
Replies: 2
Views: 590

Re: Please help with portfolio advice - from -$90k debt to $250 networth in 3 years.

Glad to hear that things are turning around for the better! To answer your questions: 1. If you are comfortable with Fidelity/TDAmeritrade and they offer funds you want, I don't see any pressing need to switch. I currently only hold mutual funds, so if I was for some reason forced to switch to Fidel...
by b42
Tue Apr 18, 2017 6:42 am
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Unwinding all positions and buy back after French Elections
Replies: 55
Views: 6286

Re: Unwinding all positions and buy back after French Elections

Remember if you are market timing, you have to be right twice , getting out of the market and back into the market. Say you sell and the market does go down? How would you determine when to buy back, and what if you buy back and the downturn turns into a prolonged recession? Most on the forums will ...
by b42
Thu Apr 13, 2017 1:35 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Please recommend-A new TV with good sound system
Replies: 15
Views: 1260

Re: Please recommend-A new TV with good sound system

I'd check The Wirecutter for some reviews on both. They have recommendations for all types of price points, and it should give some good guidance on how much to allocate between the screen and sound system.
by b42
Mon Apr 10, 2017 8:45 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Early Retirement Calculus
Replies: 31
Views: 7650

Re: Early Retirement Calculus

Welcome to the forums! I like the idea of increasing the cash reserves to 12-24 months. That will be useful if we experience another prolonged downturn. And if you don't like having that much cash on hand, you could keep a year's worth in checking/savings, and do a CD ladder with the other 12 months...
by b42
Sun Apr 09, 2017 2:24 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Setting up home office/network question
Replies: 18
Views: 1247

Re: Setting up home office/network question

Is the router wireless? You could buy a $10-$20 wireless USB adapter for the desktop and see if the speed will be good enough for your use (placement of the router in the house along with the building materials may affect connection quality).
by b42
Sat Apr 08, 2017 3:43 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Looking to open a Roth IRA - need some expert advice
Replies: 8
Views: 987

Re: Looking to open a Roth IRA - need some expert advice

Welcome to the forums! I did something similar to what you are doing when I opened my Roth IRA. I initially bought $3k of the US Stock Market Index, then added $3k into the Total International Stock Index a few years later, then $3k to the total US Bond market a few years after that. After the funds...
by b42
Sat Apr 08, 2017 3:33 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: advice
Replies: 10
Views: 1092

Re: advice

Welcome to the forums!

Do you currently have an IRA (Traditional or Roth) for yourself or your spouse? Even with your high income, you could use a Backdoor Roth to get some more funds in a tax-advantaged account:

https://www.bogleheads.org/wiki/Backdoor_Roth_IRA
by b42
Sat Apr 08, 2017 3:26 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: 36yo looking for feedback
Replies: 25
Views: 3828

Re: 36yo looking for feedback

Welcome to the forums! I count $506,420 in your portfolio. Broken down: About 91.9% is in stocks (13.7% US Stock Index, 3.4% Intl Stock Index, 59.3% C Fund, 15.5% S Fund) About 8.0% in bonds (1.2% Total US Bond, 6.8% G Fund) So overall the portfolio is equities-heavy. If you want, you could slowly a...
by b42
Wed Apr 05, 2017 7:25 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Leave money in VTSMX or move to VMMXX for when things go bad?
Replies: 10
Views: 963

Re: Leave money in VTSMX or move to VMMXX for when things go bad?

This thinking is similar to market timing. Remember you have to be right twice, when selling and when buying back.

A better strategy is to find an asset allocation that is good you you and stick to it, and rebalance during downturns.
by b42
Fri Mar 31, 2017 7:18 am
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Personal Portfolio - redundancy
Replies: 4
Views: 560

Re: Personal Portfolio - redundancy

Welcome to the forums! There is opportunity to consolidate some of your holdings to simplify administration and rebalancing in the future. Do you have a target asset allocation (stocks/bonds)? Do you want international stocks to be a percentage of stocks? What are your fund options for the Schwab 40...
by b42
Thu Mar 30, 2017 11:35 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Whole Life Policy
Replies: 5
Views: 679

Re: Whole Life Policy

Does your father have a specific need for whole (or any) life insurance, or are there potential estate-tax issues in the future? Does your father have any health-related issues that would make life insurance more valuable? The easiest answer would be to cash out the policy now and take the 196k and ...
by b42
Thu Mar 23, 2017 6:15 am
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Maxing tax-advantaged accounts -- am I getting this right?
Replies: 19
Views: 1615

Re: Maxing tax-advantaged accounts -- am I getting this right?

Do you live in a state that has income tax, and/or local tax?

Do you have health insurance through your employer where you get pre-tax benefits on the premiums?
by b42
Fri Mar 17, 2017 8:31 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Paralysis by Analysis
Replies: 12
Views: 1307

Re: Paralysis by Analysis

What is the interest rate on the 401k loan? The auto loan interest rate seems to be relatively low. I would keep the emergency fund as-is, since it's primary function is to pay for unanticipated expenses. It wouldn't be ideal to use the emergency funds to pay off the debt, something happens, and the...
by b42
Mon Mar 13, 2017 10:38 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Getting Term Life Insurance - Plus or Basic? (Ohio National)
Replies: 15
Views: 1011

Re: Getting Term Life Insurance - Plus or Basic? (Ohio National)

The aggregate difference between the two combined plans if kept over the entire 20 year period is $727.20.

I think the main question is would you even want/need permanent insurance at age 56-57?

I would go with the basic plan.
by b42
Wed Mar 08, 2017 3:41 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: 18 yr old looking to invest in Roth IRA
Replies: 4
Views: 484

Re: 18 yr old looking to invest in Roth IRA

Welcome to the forums! When I opened my Roth IRA account at 19, I put my entire $3,000 contribution into the Vanguard Total Stock Market Index. I got a return of about 30% my first year (hey, this is easy!...The benefits of starting to invest at the bottom of a recession ). Wasn't market timing, but...
by b42
Thu Feb 23, 2017 10:26 am
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: 5 Year Investment Advice
Replies: 4
Views: 445

Re: 5 Year Investment Advice

If the money is going to be used for a down payment in less than five years, I'd probably stick to cash/CDs/short term bond funds. Since the time horizon is short, stocks would be risky, especially if there's a moderate size dip right as you want to withdraw. Do you plan on selling your current hous...
by b42
Mon Feb 20, 2017 1:48 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Help with recent inheritance and investments
Replies: 29
Views: 1578

Re: Help with recent inheritance and investments

Welcome to the forums! What I would do in this situation is either pay off the student loans, or make a large payment so you can get the total amount low enough to refinance. You can "lock in" a 6.55% return by paying off the loans now rather than later, and it will be very hard to find so...
by b42
Thu Feb 16, 2017 3:54 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Beginner investor: start investing now or wait for a correction? [4-5 year timeframe]
Replies: 18
Views: 3692

Re: Beginner investor: start investing now or wait for a correction? [4-5 year timeframe]

Welcome to the forums! I'd start here: https://www.bogleheads.org/wiki/Getting_started Check this post out as well: https://www.bogleheads.org/forum/viewtopic.php?f=1&t=6212 If you can, take the time to edit your post with more information. You'll get more responses if we have a better picture o...
by b42
Mon Feb 13, 2017 9:52 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Permanent Life Insurance
Replies: 16
Views: 1946

Re: Permanent Life Insurance

To compare, I'd do the following: Go to term4sale.com and get some general quotes for 20/30 year term life policies for the same death benefit for both husband and wife. Figure out how much those policies would cost in total. Compare to the $1600 a month they currently pay now. My guess is the term ...
by b42
Thu Feb 09, 2017 11:37 am
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Newbie - Investing idea on portfolio mix - Good idea or Pending Disaster?
Replies: 3
Views: 388

Re: Newbie - Investing idea on portfolio mix - Good idea or Pending Disaster?

Welcome to the forums! I'd first like to say that even with the best back testing, past performance does not guarantee future results. And I would be curious, over the long term how many points does your simulated portfolio beat the other two mentioned? Were taxes and fees (if present) accounted for...
by b42
Thu Feb 09, 2017 8:29 am
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Life insurance policy question
Replies: 23
Views: 1549

Re: Life insurance policy question

Thank you for listing the policy details. So you are paying roughly $100 a month, or $1200 a year, for a $150,000 policy. As an example I headed over to term4sale.com, which is a great starting point to shop for term life insurance, and plugged in a "healthy" 34 year old male non smoker. T...
by b42
Wed Feb 08, 2017 10:00 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Life insurance policy question
Replies: 23
Views: 1549

Re: Life insurance policy question

Normally whole life insurance tends to not be very good insurance or an "investment". It's almost always better to split the two. And I would not include the insurance as a part of your portfolio. Could you post some more information about the policy, such as the death benefit (I know you ...
by b42
Wed Feb 08, 2017 9:54 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Newbie - financial / investment advisor question
Replies: 5
Views: 543

Re: Newbie - financial / investment advisor question

Welcome to the forums! There's a lot here to discuss, so I'll only point out a few things. First, it may be helpful to read this "Asking Portfolio Questions" thread. Any additional information you can provide would be very useful, since it's hard to make big decisions without knowing more ...