Search found 1207 matches

by Mike Scott
Fri Apr 19, 2019 12:47 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: At what point would you hire someone vs. cut down a tree yourself?
Replies: 62
Views: 1886

Re: At what point would you hire someone vs. cut down a tree yourself?

Just let it stand as long as dead parts dropping out will not hit anything else. I would cut it myself unless it is leaning into a house or power line too much but I do regular chain saw work around the farm. FWIW, ladders and chain saws are a really dangerous combination!
by Mike Scott
Fri Apr 19, 2019 12:39 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Itemizarion of Non-Cash, Charitable Contributions
Replies: 8
Views: 385

Re: Itemizarion of Non-Cash, Charitable Contributions

Will you be taking the standard deduction or itemizing this year?
The IRS instructions for claiming itemized deductions, including non-cash items, are pretty straightforward.
by Mike Scott
Fri Apr 19, 2019 12:32 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: What frugal thing did you do today?
Replies: 781
Views: 76187

Re: What frugal thing did you do today?

I extended the battery life in my alarm clock by not setting it to go off this morning. However, that small savings may be offset by more wear on the bed caused by sleeping longer. :)
by Mike Scott
Fri Apr 19, 2019 11:18 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: New job offer, pension vs diy retirement
Replies: 12
Views: 509

Re: New job offer, pension vs diy retirement

20 years ago, I ended up on the "pension" side of your question without really understanding what I was doing at the time. It's working out OK so far but I would also have been OK if I had taken the other choice. I will be eligible for the full pension in a few short years and I will then be able to...
by Mike Scott
Fri Apr 19, 2019 10:26 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: New job offer, pension vs diy retirement
Replies: 12
Views: 509

Re: New job offer, pension vs diy retirement

If the long term financial benefits are similar, then which job do you prefer?
by Mike Scott
Thu Apr 18, 2019 1:29 pm
Forum: Personal Investments
Topic: The Final Definitive Thread on Best Brokerage
Replies: 17
Views: 1114

Re: The Final Definitive Thread on Best Brokerage

There are many discussions already, many reasons and many opinions. There is not a single right answer. Choose one or more that works for you. I happen to have accounts at multiples for various reasons that have little bearing on what you might choose. Do your homework and then send your $$$ where y...
by Mike Scott
Wed Apr 17, 2019 8:50 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: How to find an engineer to inspect a dam wall
Replies: 23
Views: 1358

Re: How to find an engineer to inspect a dam wall

In many rural areas there are no or few regulations. I have a similar structure in my front yard and no one knows or cares.... but there is not a house immediately downstream. That would be a concern whether there are regulations or not.
by Mike Scott
Wed Apr 17, 2019 3:05 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Best and cheapest way to finance a new car: dealership?
Replies: 23
Views: 1852

Re: Best and cheapest way to finance a new car: dealership?

Do you want easy or cheap? Cheap usually requires more work. Cash may have been the cheapest way to buy a car in the good old days but not anymore.
by Mike Scott
Wed Apr 17, 2019 2:51 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: After financial independence, do you play credit card bonus games?
Replies: 83
Views: 5242

Re: After financial independence, do you play credit card bonus games?

The "game" will almost certainly be different if/when I become FI but I will keep playing. It's a lucrative hobby or a tax free part time job with the greater benefit that it gives me something to do instead of messing with investments.
by Mike Scott
Mon Apr 15, 2019 9:37 am
Forum: Personal Investments
Topic: Shifting away from 100% stocks - how do you execute shift without timing?
Replies: 17
Views: 1143

Re: Shifting away from 100% stocks - how do you execute shift without timing?

Selling stocks on a up day is better than selling on a down day. This is not the same as selling to sit out for a while and needing to figure out how to get back in at the right time. There is a good chance that your regular contributions will be enough to keep you balanced after you get started. If...
by Mike Scott
Mon Apr 15, 2019 9:24 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: What defines "income" on a retiree's credit card application?
Replies: 102
Views: 5839

Re: What defines "income" on a retiree's credit card application?

Sometimes, but not often, there is an income verification request. If you don't have W2s or a paycheck, the next easiest is your most recent tax return.
by Mike Scott
Thu Apr 11, 2019 6:16 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Gardening 2019
Replies: 46
Views: 3228

Re: Gardening 2019

We did all the pots on the front porch last weekend and now need to buy a few more pots to finish up. The garden is still as muddy as can be and we have another 3 or 4 weeks of possible frost anyway so it's too early to put anything in the garden.
by Mike Scott
Wed Apr 10, 2019 8:41 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Add more value to undergrad application during high school
Replies: 42
Views: 2029

Re: Add more value to undergrad application during high school

Kids with maturity, self discipline, writing and communication skills along some math skills will be welcomed about anywhere they want to go. These kids will probably have good enough test scores to get scholarships. Actually, I would like to meet more college graduates and even college professors t...
by Mike Scott
Wed Apr 10, 2019 10:51 am
Forum: Personal Investments
Topic: Leave out the bond fund of the 3 fund portfolio??
Replies: 40
Views: 3459

Re: LEAVE OUT THE BOND FUND of the 3 fund portfolio??

Only if you want 100% stocks. There are many experienced advisors that would suggest this is probably not the best solution for most people.
by Mike Scott
Wed Apr 10, 2019 10:49 am
Forum: Personal Investments
Topic: Treating Home as Bonds?
Replies: 15
Views: 670

Re: Treating Home as Bonds?

There are a million discussions already. I don't. My house is where I live. It's not an investment or it's not a very good one. It is also not very liquid if I need to raise cash and still need a place to live. HELOC is debt I would rather not have and might not be able to even get when needed the m...
by Mike Scott
Wed Apr 10, 2019 10:43 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Bogleheads, why won't anyone hire me?
Replies: 194
Views: 17332

Re: Bogleheads, why wont anyone hire me?

Based on the ongoing discussion, it seems like there may be several possibilities. Your writing/interviewing skills may not be helping you. You can get coaching and mentoring for this. Your location may not be helping you. You may need to move to the jobs you want. Start your own business where you ...
by Mike Scott
Tue Apr 09, 2019 8:46 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Ceiling fan install (high ceiling)
Replies: 32
Views: 1808

Re: Ceiling fan install (high ceiling)

You can rent or buy tall ladders or even scaffold sections. Be safe.
by Mike Scott
Tue Apr 09, 2019 9:54 am
Forum: Personal Investments
Topic: Balanced fund in Taxable Account for Misc. Spending
Replies: 7
Views: 642

Re: Balanced fund in Taxable Account for Misc. Spending

Vanguard has a tax managed balanced fund at 50/50 if you want to stick with a single balanced fund rather than separating the stock and bond funds.
by Mike Scott
Fri Apr 05, 2019 11:51 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Married couples: can you have a team mentality with separate finances?
Replies: 183
Views: 8086

Re: Married couples: can you have a team mentality with separate finances?

There are obviously people who make it work and are OK with it. I think it requires some extra hoop jumping and planning to make it work out as a team effort for shared goals. I'm not sure how they do it but it has to be something reasonable people can deal with even if it requires counseling or a m...
by Mike Scott
Thu Apr 04, 2019 2:08 pm
Forum: Personal Investments
Topic: Investing 100k in the Market, any way to avoid taxable accounts?
Replies: 6
Views: 639

Re: Investing 100k in the Market, any way to avoid taxable accounts?

Is there a "self managed" option in your 401k? Can you do a money market, CDs or cash equivalent for fixed income in the 401k?
by Mike Scott
Thu Apr 04, 2019 1:02 pm
Forum: Personal Investments
Topic: Unexpected windfall
Replies: 14
Views: 2368

Re: Unexpected windfall

You should let it sit in a high interest savings for a while as you consider what to do so you get it right the first time. I would lean toward putting it all into VTSAX Vanguard Total Stock Market and let it operate as a completely passive tax efficient "business". You can reinvest the income into ...
by Mike Scott
Tue Apr 02, 2019 8:36 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Would like a review of my premium credit card usage portfolio
Replies: 47
Views: 2364

Re: Would like a review of my premium credit card usage portfolio

What is important is that it works for you. My set of cards is different but I have about the same number in rotation. You will get some who say you should stick with a single 2% card and skip the games. But again, what is important is that it works for you.
by Mike Scott
Fri Mar 29, 2019 5:05 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Mortgage refi: How to think about interest already paid?
Replies: 11
Views: 594

Re: Mortgage refi: How to think about interest already paid?

The interest already paid is gone. What matters is how much less interest you will pay with the refi.
by Mike Scott
Fri Mar 29, 2019 1:01 pm
Forum: Personal Investments
Topic: Mortgage as negative bond = YIKES! Should I panic?
Replies: 37
Views: 3105

Re: Mortgage as negative bond = YIKES! Should I panic?

If you think of your house as a place to live and your investments as investments... you can simply ignore it. Why panic over something that is irrelevant?
by Mike Scott
Fri Mar 29, 2019 11:30 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: To Escrow, or to NOT Escrow
Replies: 24
Views: 903

Re: To Escrow, or to NOT Escrow

I do a DIY escrow account for taxes and insurance into a high rate savings account. Not only do I get the interest on this account, I get to choose the method and timing of payment which usually involves a credit card bonus in the ballpark of 10% discount on the payment.
by Mike Scott
Fri Mar 29, 2019 11:24 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: How often do you check your net worth?
Replies: 257
Views: 13964

Re: How often do you check your net worth?

All financial accounts get updated and I check my AA in a spreadsheet a few times a year; usually just before making a contribution to one of the accounts. I don't know what I would do with a specific net worth number so I don't bother.
by Mike Scott
Fri Mar 22, 2019 11:57 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Do you treat inheritance as a singular or shared asset?
Replies: 113
Views: 5275

Re: Do you treat inheritance as a singular or shared asset?

Why would an inheritance be treated any differently than any other income? Either keep it separate or share it as you do with other money.
by Mike Scott
Sun Mar 17, 2019 7:56 pm
Forum: Personal Investments
Topic: Vanguard: "Your Account Needs to be Transitioned"
Replies: 27
Views: 4105

Re: Vanguard: "Your Account Needs to be Transitioned"

Vanguard has been asking people to transition to their new system for some time. You can probably still wait for a while longer but the new system is OK too. You might recheck your email about the mutual fund to etf conversion... this seems unlikely.
by Mike Scott
Sat Mar 16, 2019 1:54 pm
Forum: Personal Investments
Topic: Should I borrow from my emergency fund to max out my ROTH IRA
Replies: 22
Views: 893

Re: Should I borrow from my emergency fund to max out my ROTH IRA

Check the wiki on using the Roth as an Emergency Fund to see if that is something that works for you.
by Mike Scott
Thu Mar 14, 2019 2:28 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Fraction of insurance companies revenue goes to paying out claims?
Replies: 34
Views: 2310

Re: Fraction of insurance companies revenue goes to paying out claims?

Our group health insurance quotes are based on a 15% projected difference between premiums and claims. Last year they were -17% at the end of the year. I expect premiums will keep going up.
by Mike Scott
Mon Mar 11, 2019 4:31 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Where do you pay quarterly taxes?
Replies: 36
Views: 3849

Re: Where do you pay quarterly taxes?

A 2% or 2X card covers the fee and a 10% or so sign up bonus on a new card covers the fee and more.
by Mike Scott
Sun Mar 10, 2019 12:39 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Car Depreciation
Replies: 9
Views: 768

Re: Car Depreciation

My focus is on reliability and expected lifetime with minimum maintenance. I don't care about depreciation along the way because they will probably be ready for the salvage yard when I am done with them.
by Mike Scott
Sat Mar 09, 2019 5:03 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: What Movie Have You Recently Watched?
Replies: 4375
Views: 1143954

Re: What Movie Have You Recently Watched?

Watched "The Sahara" last night streaming from Amazon. It was much better than expected and it felt relativley fresh for a 2005 action/adventure movie. It also evoked a surprising amount of nostalgia since we had listened to the original novel on "Radio Reader" with Dick Estell (a long time ago). I ...
by Mike Scott
Sun Mar 03, 2019 10:06 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Convince aging parents to pay for snow removal
Replies: 64
Views: 3539

Re: Convince aging parents to pay for snow removal

How does this interaction/conflict impact your relationship with your parents? There is more going on here than snow removal.
by Mike Scott
Sun Mar 03, 2019 7:38 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Boglehead Beer
Replies: 909
Views: 164079

Re: Boglehead Beer

I guess the Mexican and German import beer in the fridge means that we are not true bogleheads.
by Mike Scott
Sun Mar 03, 2019 7:27 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: What frugal thing did you do today?
Replies: 781
Views: 76187

Re: What frugal thing did you do today?

The most expenive thing I enjoyed today was listening to the furnace run while watching the snow fall outside.
by Mike Scott
Sun Mar 03, 2019 7:07 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Why do you live where you live?
Replies: 134
Views: 8481

Re: Why do you live where you live?

Once upon a time, it could have been almost anywhere but the place we are now started with a particular job offer then it became home for us and our family. We are pretty deeply involved in our community and do not have plans to leave.
by Mike Scott
Sun Mar 03, 2019 11:39 am
Forum: Personal Investments
Topic: Roth IRA contribution - NOT FOR ME
Replies: 5
Views: 970

Re: Roth IRA contribution - NOT FOR ME

If they are already withdrawing from the Roth accounts, you could give them direct gifts of cash or could pay for some of their expenses and that would let them keep more of their own money in the Roth accounts for longer.
by Mike Scott
Sun Mar 03, 2019 9:49 am
Forum: Personal Investments
Topic: Saving Once in Retirement
Replies: 32
Views: 3165

Re: Saving Once in Retirement

Auto and house repairs sound like normal budget items. Call it what you want, but you should have some money for such things whether it is "savings" from "retirement income" or designated funds in your already saved "retirement stash".
by Mike Scott
Sat Mar 02, 2019 6:18 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Advice on Grand Pianos?
Replies: 57
Views: 3059

Re: Advice on Grand Pianos?

You might get lucky on a private seller 10K piano but otherwise you should probably be thinking double that price. Or just buy a decent upright.
by Mike Scott
Fri Mar 01, 2019 12:44 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Do houses grow tax free?
Replies: 98
Views: 4766

Re: Do houses grow tax free?

I find it hard to ignore that houses are poor investments, but yes, within the caps or limits, the growth in value is tax free. The tax free growth only matters if you sell the house.
by Mike Scott
Fri Mar 01, 2019 10:40 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: BH could you live off your SS benefit?
Replies: 141
Views: 7094

Re: BH could you live off your SS benefit?

Most of the older people I know live on SS because that is what they have. It's an extension of the old fashioned concept of making life fit within the resources available. Some have more resources than others.
by Mike Scott
Thu Feb 28, 2019 3:19 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Taxes on Large Bonus
Replies: 28
Views: 2074

Re: Taxes on Large Bonus

As long as you hit the safe harbor for the previous year, there will be no penalties on the additional tax owed. Your state may or may not do the same if you have state income taxes.
by Mike Scott
Mon Feb 25, 2019 10:11 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: How often do you and your friends change engine oil?
Replies: 167
Views: 7959

Re: How often do you and your friends change engine oil?

The only answer that matters is in the car owners manual.
by Mike Scott
Sun Feb 24, 2019 4:00 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Is Hyundai the value sweet spot?
Replies: 124
Views: 9600

Re: Is Hyundai the value sweet spot?

We have a couple bought over the last 3 years. They are not the absolute cheapest car nor the best in class size but they seem to be competing well with the other lower priced "imports" as reliable economy cars. Quality of finish is fine for the price. I don't like the front seats for long drives bu...
by Mike Scott
Sat Feb 23, 2019 10:55 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Can solar be worth it??
Replies: 77
Views: 6894

Re: Can solar be worth it??

I really tried to make the numbers work on solar but the combination of some of the cheapest electricity available and the lack of state and local incentives just don't work. I may do solar at some point in the future, but it will not be for financial reasons.
by Mike Scott
Sat Feb 23, 2019 10:26 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Definition of one more year (OMY).
Replies: 12
Views: 738

Re: Definition of one more year (OMY).

It seems to come up most often in discussions of postponing retirement dates whether it is moving the goal posts, a fear of risk, fear of change, not knowing how to actually cope with such a big life event... Everyone has their individual circumstances to consider and I don't see how hashing out a s...
by Mike Scott
Fri Feb 22, 2019 8:19 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Tax Software Programs -- Why Do They Round?
Replies: 9
Views: 848

Re: Tax Software Programs -- Why Do They Round?

The IRS recommends rounding numbers to the nearest dollar so....