Search found 1178 matches

by serbeer
Thu Feb 14, 2019 6:46 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Being content with your finances
Replies: 85
Views: 5949

Re: Being content with your finances

Jack FFR1846 wrote:
Tue Feb 12, 2019 9:26 am
Spend less. Simple as that. If you cut your spending in half, it's like doubling your income.
No, thanks to taxes it is like increasing it by 150-200%. Two pennies saved is 3 pennies earned :)
by serbeer
Wed Feb 13, 2019 12:47 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: [2018 tax return - How does it compare to previous years?]
Replies: 188
Views: 9954

Re: [2018 tax return - How does it compare to previous years?]

CA resident so predictably I paid more taxes. I no longer get to itemize which saves a few minutes but adds to my tax bill. I also had a side business and went the lazy way as a sole proprietor. Big mistake as I didn’t qualify for the 20% rate and got destroyed on high tax rates plus self employmen...
by serbeer
Tue Feb 12, 2019 5:15 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: 7M Americans 3 months behind on their car payments.
Replies: 9
Views: 2235

Re: 7M Americans 3 months behind on their car payments.

To make it actionable, do people on this board expect it to seriously impact markets and, consequently, their investments?
by serbeer
Tue Feb 05, 2019 3:08 pm
Forum: Personal Investments
Topic: Don't File Too Early
Replies: 47
Views: 6094

Re: Don't File Too Early

The question is really: “When is it too early?” Never too early. The inconvenience of possibly amending is better than risking someone filing under your name before you do. If someone files under my name does that mean they have to pay my bill? I might be OK with that :sharebeer Imagine that: an id...
by serbeer
Fri Feb 01, 2019 3:44 pm
Forum: Personal Investments
Topic: Fidelity solo 401k question
Replies: 15
Views: 596

Re: Fidelity solo 401k question

We make our Solo 401k contributions each year with a phone call to Fidelity and the funds are transferred from one of our brokerage accounts into the designated solo 401k. In the phone call I designate the applicable year, the employer amount,and the employee amount. As for depositing checks (into ...
by serbeer
Fri Feb 01, 2019 3:39 pm
Forum: Personal Investments
Topic: Fidelity solo 401k question
Replies: 15
Views: 596

Re: Fidelity solo 401k question

Unfortunately, you must mail in the checks with the instruction sheet signed. Fidelity does not allow contributions to be delivered online. I am guessing, but their interpretation of IRS regs may be that a live signature from both Admin and Employee is required (which in a Solo 401K is usually the ...
by serbeer
Mon Jan 28, 2019 3:30 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: What is the best all-inclusive resort you have ever visited?
Replies: 79
Views: 12813

Re: What is the best all-inclusive resort you have ever visi

dsmclone wrote:
Mon Jan 28, 2019 2:17 pm
rholt wrote:
Wed May 07, 2014 9:44 am
My experience is that getting really top quality food at all-inclusives can be a challenge.
Same here. I'm fine with the food but my wife doesn't love it.
If you want top quality food at all times, you should try Iberostar Grand Paraiso in Riviera Maya.
by serbeer
Fri Jan 25, 2019 5:53 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: No Children, what will your legacy be?
Replies: 118
Views: 8731

Re: No Children, what will your legacy be?

sailaway wrote:
Fri Jan 25, 2019 12:37 pm
We currently have our respective mothers listed as secondary beneficiaries on all accounts.

I don't really want to outlive my mother, though, so eventually we will come up with something else.
You don't want to, really???
by serbeer
Fri Jan 25, 2019 3:22 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Negotiating DayCare Fees
Replies: 70
Views: 3644

Re: Negotiating DayCare Fees

Without reading much of the thread, when my kids used daycare 3-4 years ago, I was getting 10% discount for having both siblings there. 10% of total for two, not just for 2nd kid. Just FYI. On the other hand, there are several daycares in our area that had waiting list. Would not expect much discoun...
by serbeer
Tue Jan 22, 2019 12:38 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Dentist fees
Replies: 69
Views: 4163

Re: Dentist fees

... If the doctor simply collected the 80% from the insurance company and didn't require the 20% co-payment that is called co-pay forgiveness and that is a no-no. What does "no-no" really means here? Something insurance company frowns upon? And in this case, is it still a problem if out of network ...
by serbeer
Fri Jan 18, 2019 5:50 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Ever heard of "Floating island" strategy?
Replies: 19
Views: 2661

Re: Ever heard of "Floating island" strategy?

Thank you MarkRoulo, the link answered both of my questions.
by serbeer
Fri Jan 18, 2019 3:50 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Ever heard of "Floating island" strategy?
Replies: 19
Views: 2661

Re: Ever heard of "Floating island" strategy?

I found another mentioning of it on the web, together with another term I do not know: "But before you begin dreaming of floating islands and equity stripping — two highly complex asset protection techniques typically reserved for the ultra-wealthy — start building your plan with a simple list of th...
by serbeer
Fri Jan 18, 2019 2:11 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Ever heard of "Floating island" strategy?
Replies: 19
Views: 2661

Ever heard of "Floating island" strategy?

While reading financial advisor magazine the other day glanced over an article talking about financial advisors earning the trust of billioner investors. One particular term picked my interest: "Communicating your proficiency at asset protection planning only the super-rich can use, such as the “flo...
by serbeer
Thu Jan 17, 2019 1:51 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: John Bogle has died at age 89
Replies: 856
Views: 49178

Re: John Bogle has died at age 89

RIP
One of the few that actually personally changed the world for the better.
by serbeer
Wed Jan 16, 2019 4:48 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Question about co-signing mortgage beyond just mortgage liability
Replies: 13
Views: 960

Re: Question about co-signing mortgage beyond just mortgage liability

An outdoor oil tank leaks and contaminates the soil for years (or already has been). The feds come in and clean up the site. It cost $3M. Your mom will get the bill. Why would mom get the bill if she is not a co-owner of the property, not on the deed-- but simply co-signer for the mortgage? She is ...
by serbeer
Wed Jan 16, 2019 2:16 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Question about co-signing mortgage beyond just mortgage liability
Replies: 13
Views: 960

Re: Question about co-signing mortgage beyond just mortgage liability

An outdoor oil tank leaks and contaminates the soil for years (or already has been). The feds come in and clean up the site. It cost $3M. Your mom will get the bill. Why would mom get the bill if she is not a co-owner of the property, not on the deed-- but simply co-signer for the mortgage? She is ...
by serbeer
Wed Jan 09, 2019 5:50 pm
Forum: Personal Investments
Topic: Should I bother with 529s?
Replies: 36
Views: 2729

Re: Should I bother with 529s?

Even if not trully investing into 529, if contributions are state tax-exempt as in many states with income tax, you are better off using 529 as at least conduits for college payments, even if the same year payments, as you get to save the state tax on the amount paid...
by serbeer
Thu Dec 20, 2018 12:13 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Favorite Purchase of 2018?
Replies: 255
Views: 19718

Re: Favorite Purchase of 2018?

New house. After 8 years (!) looking--since both DW and I had to agree on one-- and 4.5 month negotiations with oversea owners in the best bogleheads traditions it certainly qualifies as my favorite purchase of the whole last decade. And it is gift that keeps on giving: I spent every waking minute o...
by serbeer
Wed Dec 19, 2018 11:26 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Fidelity solo 401k profit sharing contributions
Replies: 33
Views: 2967

Re: Fidelity solo 401k profit sharing contributions

Got it, thank you Spirit Rider for the detailed explanation!
by serbeer
Wed Dec 19, 2018 7:35 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Fidelity solo 401k profit sharing contributions
Replies: 33
Views: 2967

Re: Fidelity solo 401k profit sharing contributions

Spirit Rider, could you please elaborate on one of your previous comments I just noticed: ... Profit Sharing AKA non-elective employer contribution: ... Could be made to prototype SEP IRA (Schwab) and immediately converted to Roth IRA. Effectively allowing psuedo "Roth" contributions whenever the on...
by serbeer
Tue Dec 18, 2018 2:47 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: How much do you pay for cable/internet/cellphone
Replies: 95
Views: 5805

Re: How much do you pay for cable/internet/cellphone

Cable: $0 (Amazon Prime we signed up for free shipping and grocery deliveries anyway and free Youtube is all my wife needs, while I don't watch anything on TV ever, and Pluto TV app built into our smart tv gives news channels to inlaws when they are over) Internet: $49 for Comcast Blast -- that rea...
by serbeer
Sat Dec 15, 2018 11:59 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Amica Auto Insurance Increase In CA
Replies: 4
Views: 456

Re: Amica Auto Insurance Increase In CA

I just had my homeowners renewal from Amica here in IL, and despite no claim it is up exactly 20%. I called customer service and was told this is due to losses across the country in the previous year. I I had claims, my insurance would supposedly go up more they said...
by serbeer
Wed Dec 05, 2018 5:48 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Question: When Bubbles Burst, Do Asset Prices Go Below Instrinsic Value?
Replies: 14
Views: 1550

Re: Question: When Bubbles Burst, Do Asset Prices Go Below Instrinsic Value?

With real estate the price of a building can drop below what it would cost to build the building. That does not mean that it is necessarily a good deal since the housing market in an area like Detroit may not recover anytime soon. Oh yes, as I discovered after purchasing new home, conventional sale...
by serbeer
Wed Dec 05, 2018 5:38 pm
Forum: Personal Investments
Topic: In a Bear Market, What Are Some Best Practices
Replies: 53
Views: 7169

Re: In a Bear Market, What Are Some Best Practices

Best practice in a bear market? 1. Don't get fired. 2. If you can't control no. 1 then have a good EF (1 year) and keep it liquid and principle stable. 3. Get a good hobby that doesn't involve watching the financial news because every day will be about the world collapsing unless you do x, y, or z....
by serbeer
Wed Dec 05, 2018 4:54 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Why buying homes with mortgages is good but buying stocks on margin is bad
Replies: 36
Views: 3007

Re: Why buying homes with mortgages is good but buying stocks on margin is bad

Also, for individual stocks, the value can drop all the way to 0. House can lose quite a bit of value, but dropping to 0 is much less likely, even if it total loss while uninsured :oops: , the land is worth something.
by serbeer
Wed Nov 28, 2018 3:58 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Restaurant Budget
Replies: 113
Views: 6774

Re: Restaurant Budget

We rarely go out to eat more than twice a month. That has not changed in the last 15 years as we moved from younger to middle ages and our income more than doubled. What changed is that it was unusual to spend more than $50 per meal before, and in the last 2-3 years it is around $75-$80 per meal. St...
by serbeer
Wed Nov 28, 2018 2:49 pm
Forum: Personal Investments
Topic: Should I Quit Bothering with Backdoor Roth and/or IRA?
Replies: 20
Views: 2603

Re: Should I Quit Bothering with Backdoor Roth and/or IRA?

What hassle? I spend virtually no time to contribute max annual amount to Ameritrade TIRA for myself and my wife in the beginning of January: from our joint bank account through ACH, and I would anyway, whether to TIRA or to RIRA. Then the "hassle" starts I guess: I have Ameritrades's standard PDF f...
by serbeer
Tue Nov 27, 2018 11:59 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Home security system and outside cameras
Replies: 23
Views: 3824

Re: Home security system and outside cameras

I have a 1200sq ft house in the suburbs and bought the 5 camera pack Netgear Arlo 2 from Costco ($850). These always go on sale. I've been very happy with them. They are all wireless and the battery life with exception of the one on my garage watching driveway and street seems to be 6-8 weeks. They...
by serbeer
Mon Nov 19, 2018 3:59 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Home security system and outside cameras
Replies: 23
Views: 3824

Re: Home security system and outside cameras

Thank you folks, as mentioned in my OP, I would rather not do wired system, whether POE or anything else due to brick walls. Yes, I would much prefer wired system if already had it, but don't want to go through install... Hence my looking for testimonials from folks who tried wireless cameras with s...
by serbeer
Sat Nov 17, 2018 5:24 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Incompetent home inspector - what to do?
Replies: 52
Views: 5263

Re: Incompetent home inspector - what to do?

Around here seller's agents and sellers will not look at an inspection report. They will refuse delivery if you send them one. The reason is that any known defects must be disclosed to any other buyer. What they don't know, they can't disclose. The "plastic pipes" may have been drain pipes. These s...
by serbeer
Fri Nov 16, 2018 5:33 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: which snow blower ?
Replies: 58
Views: 3658

Re: which snow blower ?

And buy spare shear pins. In case you run into a stick or newspaper or something else under the snow. Or buy one of Toro PowerMax HD that is the only kind that does not use shear pins. It's commercial-quality gear box is strong enough to handle an object, it just stops the engine. HD 928 28'' is $1...
by serbeer
Fri Nov 16, 2018 4:45 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Incompetent home inspector - what to do?
Replies: 52
Views: 5263

Re: Incompetent home inspector - what to do?

Yes, you don't know what is really going on. They may have changed their mind, found a better house in the meantime, etc. Inspection is just a legal clause to be able to cancel. Another two are lawyer approval and mortgage contingency. So don't be so sure that it was inspection that soured the deal,...
by serbeer
Fri Nov 16, 2018 2:15 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Home security system and outside cameras
Replies: 23
Views: 3824

Re: Home security system and outside cameras

Thank you for the feedback folks. Yes, I also do not have anything irreplaceable in the house, even though can see how burglars could do away with a few thousands in computer/camera electronics and jewelery. Which reminds me that I should do photo inventory for insurance purposes, have not done that...
by serbeer
Thu Nov 15, 2018 5:34 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Home security system and outside cameras
Replies: 23
Views: 3824

Home security system and outside cameras

I was hoping to get an advice regarding choice of home security system and cameras, if you have a setup that you are really happy with, could you please briefly describe it ? The house I recently bought has wired ADT system installed and I was hoping to retrofit their wiring and sensors for use with...
by serbeer
Wed Nov 14, 2018 5:13 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: fuel for snowblower
Replies: 97
Views: 5546

Re: fuel for snowblower

Thank you for all the feedback folks!
by serbeer
Tue Nov 13, 2018 7:46 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: fuel for snowblower
Replies: 97
Views: 5546

Re: fuel for snowblower

Northwest suburbs of Chicago, 30+ mins drive to any of the towns listed, I am pretty sure -- since I would recognize any name in this radius
by serbeer
Tue Nov 13, 2018 7:11 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: fuel for snowblower
Replies: 97
Views: 5546

Re: fuel for snowblower

Hm, thanks folks, looks like I can as well save myself some money and buy grade 87 if it is E10 across the board. As far as availability in IL, I went to https://www.pure-gas.org/index.jsp?stateprov=IL and see no towns with names I recognize, which is the same as to say that there is nothing nearby,...
by serbeer
Tue Nov 13, 2018 6:41 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: fuel for snowblower
Replies: 97
Views: 5546

fuel for snowblower

I purchased new Toro HD 1028 snowblower this season, and while I know that it is gold standard to use ethanol-free fuel, I don't have easy access to it and think it may be an overkill anyway. I always drain/burn fuel after the season is over, and I purchased Toro fuel treatment to add to the fuel du...
by serbeer
Fri Nov 02, 2018 9:58 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: House selling costs
Replies: 23
Views: 2209

Re: Typical house selling costs

Figure on 8% for a new house. No one smart pays 6% commission anymore I paid only 3.5% comissions, but my total money spent on transaction were 9%. All the fees--state and local, then prepayment of real estate tax at 105%, etc. It all adds up, in my case in IL to 5+% in addition to agent comissions.
by serbeer
Thu Nov 01, 2018 5:48 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: FSA and HSA
Replies: 4
Views: 627

Re: FSA and HSA

You both can sign up for dependent care FSA, but total annual contribution cannot be over $5K: https://finance.zacks.com/can-husband-wife-claim-flexible-dependent-care-benefits-9058.html So if you husband is already signed up, you can only sign up for $5K minus his amount. If he was HCE last year an...
by serbeer
Wed Oct 31, 2018 4:46 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Am I Risking My Life to Sell My Car?
Replies: 37
Views: 4763

Re: Am I Risking My Life to Sell My Car?

The tire will probably not blow up on 30 mi drive, and if it does, it will not be an explosion, the car will simply start leaning to one side and you'll just pull over and call towing. The risk is very small IMO, I would not hesitate to drive.
by serbeer
Wed Oct 31, 2018 1:21 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: The most you ever paid for a prescription
Replies: 80
Views: 3696

Re: The most you ever paid for a prescription

$50 -- the highest copay of my HMO, applied to brand-name and specialty-pharmacy drugs. Usually it is $15 regular copay.

How high can it go if not covered? Hepatatis C treatment recently made news with $100K price tag
by serbeer
Fri Oct 26, 2018 1:17 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: House selling costs
Replies: 23
Views: 2209

Re: House selling costs

I'd say 9% is about right if selling through agent that takes reasonable comissions (closer to 4% than to 6%). If selling on your own, you could get to keep 4-5% of that. But most likely, even in this case, you'd still have to pay 2% for buyer agents to bring people to see the place, plus some expen...
by serbeer
Wed Oct 24, 2018 2:13 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Black Friday is coming.. what's on your list?
Replies: 82
Views: 8253

Re: Black Friday is coming.. what's on your list?

- Laptop with large (512Gb) SSD for my wife (cannot be Lenovo though their prices are the best since they do not support 2 external monitor, learned the hard way--already had to return one after upgrading and configuring it...) - Iphone Xs for my wife - Security system for the house. Probably Simpli...
by serbeer
Fri Oct 19, 2018 4:21 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Too Much Apple [AAPL] Stock
Replies: 63
Views: 7597

Re: Too Much APPL Stock

I no longer own individual companies stock at all, but even when I did I made sure to keep no more than 5% of my portfolio in any single company, and I suggest you do the same.
by serbeer
Thu Oct 18, 2018 6:28 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Tip Furniture Delivery?
Replies: 12
Views: 1183

Re: Tip Furniture Delivery?

I do if furniture was heavy and required assembly. Usually $10 per person. If does not require assembly, $5, like when snowblower was delivered and guy put the crate into garage. But recently, we ordered sectional, and when it was unpacked and assembled, we did not like how it looked on the floor. S...
by serbeer
Wed Oct 17, 2018 5:53 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Where would you go for financial guidance if you win the Megamillions?
Replies: 188
Views: 17179

Re: Where would you go for financial guidance if you win the Megamillions?

I'd see if I could find a way to claim the money and not let my identity be disclosed. So, once I found I had the winning ticket, I'd be looking for legal advice. I would not sign the back of the ticket. I'd see if I could set up some kind of legal loophole that would let me stay anonymous. I assum...
by serbeer
Tue Oct 16, 2018 1:50 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Sell & Buy New Home Now vs. Next Spring
Replies: 25
Views: 1154

Re: Sell & Buy New Home Now vs. Next Spring

Hm, if you know you have to change houses, why wait till spring? I gave offer on our new home in early October a year ago, actually took the whole winter and most of the spring to negotiate (seller was in another country) and get the house ready for moving in, so only purchased in mid-February this ...
by serbeer
Mon Oct 15, 2018 8:16 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: DIY Home Security: SimpliSafe vs Ooma vs Nest vs Ring vs Other?
Replies: 66
Views: 8655

Re: DIY Home Security: SimpliSafe vs Ooma vs Nest vs Ring vs Other?

We have arlo, nest and canary. Nest IQ cameras have been the best so far. $50 first camera, $30 for any additional. That’s what I’d go for if I was you. I am sorry, but how do you get Next IQ for $50????? I see it goes for $300 indoor / $350 outdoor each. Or is it monitoring price on top of equipme...
by serbeer
Sun Oct 14, 2018 11:35 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: DIY Home Security: SimpliSafe vs Ooma vs Nest vs Ring vs Other?
Replies: 66
Views: 8655

Re: DIY Home Security: SimpliSafe vs Ooma vs Nest vs Ring vs Other?

Were your false alarms from entry sensors? No false alarm with the motion sensors. However, on occasion when arming the system, it reports that a motion sensor is not ready. Then I remove and reinstall the batteries. That seems to work. This is alarming. Is your Simplysafe system's hardware the new...