Search found 917 matches

by Mike Scott
Sun Sep 16, 2018 8:54 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Timing of leaving target retirement to underlying funds
Replies: 2
Views: 267

Re: Timing of leaving target retirement to underlying funds

It should not make any difference if you are switching to the same proportions of the same underlying funds.
by Mike Scott
Sun Sep 16, 2018 8:00 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Does cash at Ally count in my asset allocation?
Replies: 22
Views: 1829

Re: Does cash at Ally count in my asset allocation?

It's up to you how to count it. What is the purpose of keeping the cash? Is it part of your investments or is it for something else?
by Mike Scott
Tue Sep 11, 2018 1:38 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Quick Qs: Does your DAF sync with personal capital?
Replies: 10
Views: 590

Re: Quick Qs: Does your DAF sync with personal capital?

The funds in the DAF are not yours so they have no relationship to the management of your personal funds or rebalancing. As the director of the DAF, you direct the the management as you think best for the DAF. I am finding the question of risk taking in the DAF vs my personal funds to present some i...
by Mike Scott
Tue Sep 11, 2018 11:13 am
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Barron's--Vanguard Is Losing Battles on Two Fronts in Fee Wars
Replies: 53
Views: 4517

Re: Barron's--Vanguard Is Losing Battles on Two Fronts in Fee Wars

Vanguard also has several funds with 1K minimum entry levels. It does not seem that Vanguard needs a lot of advertising but having a few funds at the $1 entry level may make more sense than playing with loss leader expense ratios. There might even be a place for an entry level "robot" advisor for co...
by Mike Scott
Tue Sep 11, 2018 10:51 am
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Is there a point where you should stop or hold off rebalancing?
Replies: 15
Views: 1053

Re: Is there a point where you should stop or hold off rebalancing?

What does your IPS say and what is the rationale? Some do it on specific dates. Some do it with % bands. Some a combination.
by Mike Scott
Mon Sep 10, 2018 9:08 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Amazon Prime - Value?
Replies: 70
Views: 5109

Re: Amazon Prime - Value?

YMMV. It depends on what value you want from it and what value you get. I question it some days, but it keeps being worthwhile for me.
by Mike Scott
Sun Sep 09, 2018 5:20 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: $250,000 family loan to parents?
Replies: 50
Views: 4477

Re: $250,000 family loan to parents?

What if you just bought the house? They get the money. Your gift to them is not having to deal with fixing it up etc for resale and then you can do whatever with the property.
by Mike Scott
Sun Sep 09, 2018 9:44 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: What performance to expect from central AC?
Replies: 35
Views: 2343

Re: What performance to expect from central AC?

As mentioned, a properly functioning central AC should give you about a 20 degree temperature drop. Something is wrong if it won't do that.
by Mike Scott
Sun Sep 09, 2018 9:33 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: eBay Leaving Negative Feedback
Replies: 27
Views: 2444

Re: eBay Leaving Negative Feedback

I also agree that a purchase made "whole" if there are problems is a positive (but frustrating) experience. Fraud, canceling completed sales etc is not a positive experience. I used to sell a bit of stuff on ebay but no more due to the potential of buyer fraud and I don't buy very much there either.
by Mike Scott
Sun Sep 09, 2018 9:22 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Older Toyota/Honda/Similar owners: How often do you clean your car?
Replies: 36
Views: 2102

Re: Older Toyota/Honda/Similar owners: How often do you clean your car?

I think my 2010 Honda got washed once on a service visit. I have never and there is no point with daily driving on a dirt road. I clean the interior if I someone is riding with me which is almost never so it usually needs it by then.
by Mike Scott
Sun Sep 09, 2018 9:16 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: car purchase feedback experience
Replies: 20
Views: 1170

Re: car purchase feedback experience

I think I would find someone to report what I would consider harassment from the salesperson. Personal followup with pressure to change a review is way over the line. I had an interesting experience a few years ago with an apparently newly trained young car salesman in the standard high pressure sal...
by Mike Scott
Thu Sep 06, 2018 10:06 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: DAF > Roth IRA? 12% tax bracket, no taxable
Replies: 46
Views: 3522

Re: DAF strategy? 12% tax bracket, no taxable

While investing in a taxable account to create the DAF, there may be growth for additional giving or there may be tax loss harvesting opportunities. I am probably looking at more than two years saving up to create a DAF. Some of the tradeoffs then include certain charities waiting for a future donat...
by Mike Scott
Wed Sep 05, 2018 7:58 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Pay taxes on retirement saving now or later
Replies: 13
Views: 1742

Re: Pay taxes on retirement saving now or later

You will need more specific information to make that decision. I would start by checking the wiki on the question of roth vs traditional and how to decide which one.
by Mike Scott
Tue Sep 04, 2018 12:17 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: "Safeguarding Your Wealth From The Effects Of Cognitive Decline"
Replies: 52
Views: 4862

Re: "Safeguarding Your Wealth From The Effects Of Cognitive Decline"

Finding someone to trust is not only a problem for the elderly. If there is not a trusted person available to help, is converting everything into income or annuity streams the ultimate in simplicity? I believe it would be easy to make a case for simplicity over efficiency in some circumstances. You ...
by Mike Scott
Mon Sep 03, 2018 8:17 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: DIY: Three versus One! Are the Advantages Worth it?
Replies: 47
Views: 3730

Re: DIY: Three versus One! Are the Advantages Worth it?

The DIY fund approach is a bit cheaper but you can pick your own fund choices and decide what to keep in what account. It takes a little more knowldege but not a lot of time. The single fund approach handles all of this for you once you pick the fund but it forces you into a cookie cutter plan and c...
by Mike Scott
Mon Sep 03, 2018 1:28 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: The future of my journals and logs
Replies: 45
Views: 4123

Re: The future of my journals and logs

There are many pretty dull life stories published as books. Why should yours be any different? :) Or put them on the internet where your fan base / personal cult can argue about them and you for generations to come.
by Mike Scott
Sun Sep 02, 2018 5:24 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: how much is term life insurance worth? (mortality table)
Replies: 11
Views: 1261

Re: how much is term life insurance worth? (mortality table)

Term life insurance has no value to you until you die. You will probably never know what it is worth to the insurance company except to be fairly certain that they are still making money where ever their rate is set. My employers term life insurance is relatively cheap up to 50 years old at which po...
by Mike Scott
Sun Sep 02, 2018 5:11 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Does leasing car leave me more freedom to invest?
Replies: 39
Views: 2967

Re: Does leasing car leave me more freedom to invest?

Cars are expensive any way you do it. Long term, continuously leasing cars will cost more than buying them and keeping them for a while longer. Do you want to spend more money on cars or investing? Do you have enough money to do both?
by Mike Scott
Sun Sep 02, 2018 4:56 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Retired at 68 with 500K; leave in 401k or move to IRA?
Replies: 11
Views: 3125

Re: Retired at 68 with 500K; leave in 401k or move to IRA?

If the cost of expenses in the 401k is larger than in an IRA, I would move it asap and put it into whatever new fund(s) suits you. As mentioned, Vanguard will manage it for you for a modest fee if you don't want to do it yourself. You can also choose a Life Strategy or Target Date balanced fund that...
by Mike Scott
Sun Sep 02, 2018 10:12 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Using your home as old age care self-insurance?
Replies: 74
Views: 5642

Re: Using your home as old age care self-insurance?

It's not the plan but the future is unknown and the house would be the last thing to go in a sequence of liquidating resources in a worst case scenario.
by Mike Scott
Sun Sep 02, 2018 10:03 am
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: What are your goals when you change your bond funds?
Replies: 36
Views: 2280

Re: What are your goals when you change your bond funds?

My fixed income funds have been shifted towards "safer" forms as interest rates have risen.
by Mike Scott
Sun Sep 02, 2018 9:46 am
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Job woes and retirement - Should I adjust my allocation?
Replies: 20
Views: 2002

Re: Job woes and retirement - Should I adjust my allocation?

My personal opinion would be to move towards 50:50 but hang onto the job as long as you can stand it while preparing your financial life to retire early. Knowing that any given day could be your last day by your own choice may shift your perceptons and there might be a much more enjoyable job out th...
by Mike Scott
Sun Sep 02, 2018 9:06 am
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Reducing expense ratios and simplifying... perhaps with a single fund.
Replies: 11
Views: 1003

Re: Reducing expense ratios and simplifying... perhaps with a single fund.

You could move to a single balanced fund like the Vanguard Life Strategy Growth Fund which has some diversitifcation and a lower expense ration than you have now. Also if you are looking at holding only Vanguard Total Stock Market fund, there does not seem to be much difference in holding etf or mut...
by Mike Scott
Sat Sep 01, 2018 12:21 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Should I go ahead and replace noisy washing machine now or wait?
Replies: 11
Views: 500

Re: Should I go ahead and replace noisy washing machine now or wait?

Sounds like the drum bearing is going out I've replaced a couple over the years. It's not too complicated but you have to take the entire thing apart to get to the bearing. Our current one started doing this a couple of years ago. I orderd a replacement bearing for a few dollars and sprayed a bit of...
by Mike Scott
Sat Sep 01, 2018 12:17 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Daily Driver (Car) Over 100K Miles?
Replies: 96
Views: 6827

Re: Daily Driver (Car) Over 100K Miles?

My goal is 10 years and 200,000 miles before considering doing anything. It has worked for most things except for a couple with unexpected and expensive failures although both were near the goals before having transmission failures.
by Mike Scott
Fri Aug 31, 2018 6:19 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Gardening 2018
Replies: 68
Views: 6569

Re: Gardening 2018

Another summer of unpredictable weather. Lot's of good grapes but the rest of the fruit was a complete bust. Tomatos, peppers and beans are doing great. If the volume of sweet potato vines means anything we are going to need a dump truck to haul them. Normally, we don't have to mow much during Augus...
by Mike Scott
Fri Aug 31, 2018 6:10 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: loan payoff question - take 25% discount or keep paying 0%
Replies: 12
Views: 865

Re: loan payoff question - take 25% discount or keep paying 0%

If you have enough liquidity, paying it off at a discount has a couple of advantages as long as all the other agreements stay in place. The fine print tied to the offer may be critical.
by Mike Scott
Wed Aug 29, 2018 10:31 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: How to Sell Antiques?
Replies: 15
Views: 1632

Re: How to Sell Antiques?

If they really are museum quality pieces, you want an auction house that appraises and sells similar quality level stuff. They will know what it is and have an existing customer base. You will pay for their services but they will find you buyers at market prices.
by Mike Scott
Wed Aug 29, 2018 9:46 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: How do you save money on groceries?
Replies: 155
Views: 9600

Re: How do you save money on groceries?

The "extra" is probably sitting in your pantry. After the initial investment, your ongoing budget should return to normal if you are still following your usual shopping pattern.
by Mike Scott
Tue Aug 28, 2018 11:32 am
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Thoughts on paying off debt vs investing
Replies: 32
Views: 2217

Re: Thoughts on paying off debt vs investing

Paying off the 6.8% loan looks like a high priority to me and then the 4.5% is more in the personal decision range. The mortgage and car not so much if you are OK carrying them. Some people are debt averse at any % including 0% and they may suggest a higher priority in paying off all debt.
by Mike Scott
Mon Aug 27, 2018 11:35 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Car Depreciation Curve, Lifespan, Repairs, & Sweet Spot of Ownership
Replies: 35
Views: 3245

Re: Car Depreciation Curve, Lifespan, Repairs, & Sweet Spot of Ownership

We used to buy older used cars and keep them as long as I could keep them running because I had more time than money. We have been doing a similar thing but starting with new cars in the last 20 years or so. Meanwhile, in the real world, unexpected things happen to individual cars that disrupt the g...
by Mike Scott
Sun Aug 26, 2018 4:00 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Best ultra thin pocket knife?
Replies: 54
Views: 3426

Re: Best ultra thin pocket knife?

Cutting things. :) String, packing tape, envelopes, blister packs, weeds, vines, small limbs & all sorts of stuff. I worked in an office for 40 years and was the only person who never said, "Let me go get the scissors from my desk." I'm 67 and started carrying a pocket knife before I joined the Cub...
by Mike Scott
Sun Aug 26, 2018 3:14 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Best ultra thin pocket knife?
Replies: 54
Views: 3426

Re: Best ultra thin pocket knife?

I would go to a couple of big sporting goods stores and have the opportunity to see what fits best in the pocket of whatever clothes style you wear. There are many smallish, slim, decent pocket knives. I have the luxury of being able to carry whatever I want so I do but it would not count as a slim ...
by Mike Scott
Sun Aug 26, 2018 2:48 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: What is your stealth way to save monthly?
Replies: 87
Views: 9484

Re: What is your stealth way to save monthly?

I think I don't understand the question. Why would you hide money from yourself? I have most things set on auto pay but I prefer to know where it is going.
by Mike Scott
Sun Aug 26, 2018 10:12 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Driving as a side gig, not Uber/Lyft/taxi, in my spare time
Replies: 18
Views: 1504

Re: Driving as a side gig, not Uber/Lyft/taxi, in my spare time

Local and / or long distance car transport service for rental companies or snowbirds?
by Mike Scott
Sun Aug 26, 2018 10:06 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: How do you calculate net worth with pensions?
Replies: 105
Views: 6554

Re: How do you calculate net worth with pensions?

I don't see much value in even figuring net worth; especially if it includes things like SS and future pensions. Knowing about them and their estimated future income absolutely matters. I estimate that projected pension and SS income will cover our basic expenses in retirement and that is extremely ...
by Mike Scott
Sat Aug 25, 2018 11:49 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Tips paying down mortgage - anybody use equity line ?
Replies: 16
Views: 1156

Re: Tips paying down mortgage - anybody use equity line ?

We refinanced to 15 years and paid a lump sum to reduce principal to get us to our target monthly payment. This will now ride to the end of the loan term and I concentrate on other things. Isn't the equity line a loan secured by the property value? How is that different or cheaper than the mortgage?
by Mike Scott
Sat Aug 25, 2018 11:17 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Rant - Why is everything so poorly made today
Replies: 12
Views: 1062

Re: Rant - Why is everything so poorly made today

The products of mass consumerism seem to be in a race to the bottom and there are few alternatives unless you have every single thing you want custom made by artisans or make it yourself. Paying 50% more is not enough premium for quality. 500% might get closer and how many people can/will pay that? ...
by Mike Scott
Sat Aug 25, 2018 9:54 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Any advice if I should buy this Used Minivan?
Replies: 21
Views: 1413

Re: Any advice if I should buy this Used Minivan?

The only way to get more meaningful information on this one is to take it to an independent auto shop and pay for an inspection / evalaution and they will give you no guarantees. You are buying a repaired, previously damaged used vehicle. A good inspection should give you better information as to wh...
by Mike Scott
Wed Aug 22, 2018 8:56 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Help Me Understand income Taxes
Replies: 9
Views: 1438

Re: Help Me Understand income Taxes

You can run taxcaster
https://turbotax.intuit.com/tax-tools/

A little time reading up on tax policy may be worth your time in future tax savings.
by Mike Scott
Wed Aug 22, 2018 3:24 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: I own 1,387 items!
Replies: 128
Views: 10307

Re: I own 1,387 items!

Decluttering... yes. Counting... not a chance.
by Mike Scott
Wed Aug 22, 2018 3:20 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Do Universities "Bait and Switch" Financial Aid?
Replies: 16
Views: 1417

Re: Do Universities "Bait and Switch" Financial Aid?

Like all agreements, read the fine print.
by Mike Scott
Sat Aug 18, 2018 11:12 am
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Remind me (again) how real estate isn't a GREAT investment?
Replies: 158
Views: 13604

Re: Remind me (again) how real estate isn't a GREAT investment?

I want to believe that real estate is a great investment. However, in the real world, I don't have time to take care of where we live much less the random stuff that breaks in another house somewhere else. Also in the real world, our property is worth a bit less than we paid for it 10 years ago and ...
by Mike Scott
Wed Aug 15, 2018 8:35 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Discarding dead cell phone without purging my data
Replies: 33
Views: 2928

Re: Discarding dead cell phone without purging my data

I am a fan of the 8lb sledge hammer / anvil technique for "purging" small digital devices. It works and I enjoy it. Dropping it into a shredder is effective but much less satisfying.
by Mike Scott
Sat Aug 11, 2018 11:26 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Sucking up to make more money?
Replies: 46
Views: 2132

Re: Sucking up to make more money?

Sucking up to make more more is a time honored path. It's up to you to decide if it is worth it or not.
by Mike Scott
Sat Aug 11, 2018 9:55 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: PMI at 80% question
Replies: 7
Views: 673

Re: PMI at 80% question

You need to read your loan documents and ask your lender about your specific loan terms. I would be surprised to get a refund of a prepaid fee but that information will all be in the loan documents.
by Mike Scott
Fri Aug 10, 2018 11:46 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Paper checks yes or no?
Replies: 116
Views: 6752

Re: Paper checks yes or no?

I still use checks for a variety of reasons including a few places that provide discounts for payment by cash/check otherwise everything goes on a card.
by Mike Scott
Fri Aug 10, 2018 10:25 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Should I accept a large cash gift from my mother?
Replies: 44
Views: 5795

Re: Should I accept a large cash gift from my mother?

She should keep it. But if she insists on giving it to you, say thank you and then keep track of it so that you can use it for any future needs that may come up when she needs money. Sometimes there is not a gracious way to refuse a gift from a determined giver.
by Mike Scott
Thu Aug 09, 2018 6:48 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Advice needed on final house negotiations
Replies: 37
Views: 2489

Re: Advice needed on final house negotiations

You don't like the deal. Get out while you can.
by Mike Scott
Thu Aug 09, 2018 2:08 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: financial planning and the unknowability of the future
Replies: 15
Views: 1471

Re: financial planning and the unknowability of the future

You should be aware and plan based on what you know and even calculate some of those long term future numbers. Just remember that you are still guessing about an unknowable future no matter how precise some of those future numbers seem to be. I think that diversification including tax diversificatio...