Search found 676 matches

by arsenalfan
Mon Feb 11, 2019 5:10 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: [2018 tax return - How does it compare to previous years?]
Replies: 193
Views: 10653

Re: Smaller tax refunds this year? Clear explanation please

I usually owe around $10k come April 15. This year I owe $30k. Made the same amount. I am paying the same tax overall - I just had $20k less withheld last year. All unintentional - the withholding tables were adjusted for the new tax law. I knew something was up as the surplus kept piling up through...
by arsenalfan
Sat Jan 26, 2019 7:36 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Fridge replacement
Replies: 8
Views: 851

Re: Fridge replacement

Consider getting a repair quote on the Viking
by arsenalfan
Fri Jan 25, 2019 8:04 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: What lifestyle creep made you happier?
Replies: 291
Views: 24897

Re: What lifestyle creep made you happier?

Totally subjective and YMMV

Housecleaner
Going part-time
Increasing exercise budget (lux gym with better classes/facilities, personal trainer, massage, sports equipment)
Music lessons
Increasing charitable giving
by arsenalfan
Thu Jan 17, 2019 2:17 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: How to avoid temptation to buy hot stocks or bitcoin?
Replies: 63
Views: 4370

Re: How to avoid temptation to buy hot stocks or bitcoin?

I had a fun money acount for this of about 0.3% of my net worth. Wow did it cure the temptation/Fear of Missing Out. The losers have FAR outweighed the winners. I bought VW after dieselgate and sold it at an ok profit. Same with Ford at the government buyout. But the bigger losers have been a biopha...
by arsenalfan
Thu Jan 17, 2019 1:51 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: When would you stop being a Boglehead?
Replies: 95
Views: 7536

Re: When would you stop being a Boglehead?

Within set fiscal limits. E.g.
1. Play money account
2. Vegas
by arsenalfan
Thu Jan 17, 2019 11:39 am
Forum: Personal Investments
Topic: Why are you NOT buying rental properties?
Replies: 221
Views: 16765

Re: Why are you NOT buying rental properties?

Liquidity. We have a portfolio of properties that cashflow and we are accelerating their payoff period to 6 years - we plan to keep those for cashflow until death or disaster. Selling one would take about 3-6 months, even in a "hot" HCOL market. We also are in numerous syndicated deals, which pay a ...
by arsenalfan
Wed Jan 09, 2019 3:35 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: What are my options with the current mortgage?
Replies: 35
Views: 2039

Re: What are my options with the current mortgage?

This calculator also is pretty good - it lets you see the amount of time you shave off if you pay extra towards principal. http://www.decisionaide.com/mpcalculators/extrapaymentscalculator/extrapayments1.asp You may want to play around and adjust numbers to set a payoff date for yourself. This forum...
by arsenalfan
Mon Dec 24, 2018 4:42 pm
Forum: Personal Investments
Topic: What do you do with your down payment money?
Replies: 36
Views: 2653

Re: What do you do with your down payment money?

I just kept it in savings account for 2 years, same as what you decided.
by arsenalfan
Thu Dec 13, 2018 8:26 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Volkswagen Reliability
Replies: 102
Views: 5435

Re: Volkswagen Reliability

Another anecdote: born in Mexico GTI 2008, 5k per year now 52k miles. Did the timing chain tensioner repair prophylactically and paid $1600 out of pocket - there is a VW settlement now and waiting to see what funds come back. Apparently a known defect that if not fixed = catastrophic engine failure....
by arsenalfan
Wed Dec 05, 2018 9:32 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Recommend dish drainer (rack)
Replies: 41
Views: 2308

Re: Recommend dish drainer (rack)

https://www.amazon.com/simplehuman-Kitc ... B005Q3VXDY

5 years and going strong. The innards are rusting a little at year 5, but it is great/no impact on function.
by arsenalfan
Tue Dec 04, 2018 9:58 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Best new Mac/features for 2000-3000
Replies: 60
Views: 4082

Re: Best new Mac/features for 2000-3000

I went to a local MacExperience store - they sell refurb older macs. Son and Dad store, fantastic service. I got an older 15" mac book pro, and 2 27" monitors with a desk mount, a mac wired keyboard and a wireless trackpad. Out the door for about $1300 Laptop for those rare occasions I travel. 2 27"...
by arsenalfan
Thu Nov 29, 2018 10:55 am
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Rumor mill - Fidelity starting individual HSA's Nov. 15th
Replies: 906
Views: 72057

Re: Rumor mill - Fidelity starting individual HSA's Nov. 15th

Ok I found this very helpful, especially the chart below comparing costs of various HSAs. Sorry if everyone already knows about the HSA report card. Fidelity HSA review https://thehsareportcard.com/new-page-1 Further HSA review (inclduing because this is my current HSA and on work autopilot/no hassl...
by arsenalfan
Thu Nov 29, 2018 10:00 am
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Rumor mill - Fidelity starting individual HSA's Nov. 15th
Replies: 906
Views: 72057

Re: Rumor mill - Fidelity starting individual HSA's Nov. 15th

Thanks bOB.
It's kind of a meh tossup for me now that you point out it's $20 lower!
I will have to look at the ER of Further VTSMX vs Fido.
by arsenalfan
Thu Nov 29, 2018 9:31 am
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Rumor mill - Fidelity starting individual HSA's Nov. 15th
Replies: 906
Views: 72057

Re: Rumor mill - Fidelity starting individual HSA's Nov. 15th

Further is the preferred vendor for our BCBS plan, and they cannot direct deposit to Fido HSA. I lump sum from my first paycheck each year. Weighing if its worth the hassle to transfer that $7k ASAP to the Fido account, every year. Leaning towards it, since Further charges $50 a year and you have to...
by arsenalfan
Mon Nov 19, 2018 8:20 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: New car - aftermarket upgrades vs higher trim
Replies: 28
Views: 1933

Re: New car - aftermarket upgrades vs higher trim

Another vote for all OEM. Odyssey EXL would be my vote. If you really are going to keep it 10+ years, the leather will hold up to kids and dogs just fine. Wife's car has aftermarket leather, and it really has not held up well. Thinner leather, peeling, not as durable. And kids aren't in that car tha...
by arsenalfan
Mon Nov 19, 2018 8:06 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: sell rental condo 6 miles from Crystal City, VA Amazon location?
Replies: 36
Views: 3853

Re: sell rental condo 6 miles from Crystal City, VA Amazon location?

Depends on how you're feeling about being a landlord. If it's ok by you, it is a 7.5% return as RandomGuy points out. That amount being paid towards your mortgage principle is profit (albeit requires the property to hold the value until you sell and realize that profit). If you're not enjoying the l...
by arsenalfan
Sun Nov 18, 2018 6:11 pm
Forum: Personal Investments
Topic: Do you angel invest? If so, how many investments do you typically do?
Replies: 5
Views: 714

Re: Do you angel invest? If so, how many investments do you typically do?

I did one. Very closely monitored/good friends.
Lucky to make it out with my money, and a moderate return, IRR 30%.
I think I would've had more fun spending it on a family vacation TBH.
In the future, I'll probably buy the Tesla rather than angel invest.
YMMV.
by arsenalfan
Sun Oct 28, 2018 1:31 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Unplugging from Tech Tips
Replies: 38
Views: 3076

Re: Unplugging from Tech Tips

Thread makes me feel better. Thanks for all the interesting perspectives and reading tips. I use FB because kids' school parent groups use it for a forum; no one I know uses it much anymore. Instagram I have my family and real friends - we mostly share photos to keep up with each other. Check that o...
by arsenalfan
Sat Oct 27, 2018 12:05 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Unplugging from Tech Tips
Replies: 38
Views: 3076

Re: Unplugging from Tech Tips

I can't think of any unique tips or tricks to reducing screen time other then removing the tech completely from your life. I've found that to be absolutely true. In particular, I found portability and the always-available aspect to be the problem. My solution was to eliminate the smartphone. I stil...
by arsenalfan
Sat Oct 27, 2018 12:02 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Unplugging from Tech Tips
Replies: 38
Views: 3076

Re: Unplugging from Tech Tips

It helped that I found a new hobby in gardening. I am one that can spend hours on the computer going down all sorts of rabbit holes and learning about many things. However, I recently listened to a Seth Godin podcast about active learning and passive learning. I can research and learn by joining a ...
by arsenalfan
Sat Oct 27, 2018 12:00 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Unplugging from Tech Tips
Replies: 38
Views: 3076

Re: Unplugging from Tech Tips

Thanks all for the replies. The iPhone report of screen use really is sobering. You read how they design them to be addicting, and the features/apps with the most distraction/pickups/time spent on screen wins the design = more use = more clicks/likes/$$$. Totally different from the basic cel phone o...
by arsenalfan
Fri Oct 26, 2018 6:17 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: How many of you have cut the cord?
Replies: 244
Views: 28834

Re: How many of you have cut the cord?

We canceled Verizon triple play two months ago. We get Verizon FIOS 75/75 for $40 per month and now use Youtube TV which we love. Mainly for watching sports (NHL, NFL, MLB) and the kids watch a few network TV shows. It was a wonderful feeling walking into the local Verizon store and dropping off al...
by arsenalfan
Thu Oct 25, 2018 9:20 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: USAA homeowner's insurance question
Replies: 12
Views: 930

Re: USAA homeowner's insurance question

Glad it worked out and good question!
by arsenalfan
Thu Oct 25, 2018 9:19 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Unplugging from Tech Tips
Replies: 38
Views: 3076

Re: Unplugging from Tech Tips

Thanks MrSpock.
by arsenalfan
Thu Oct 25, 2018 8:35 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Unplugging from Tech Tips
Replies: 38
Views: 3076

Unplugging from Tech Tips

I read so much about how overly connected we are and how it's giving us all ADHD/shorter attention spans/screenager screen addicted kids, etc etc. The new iphone OS update that shows your screen time is really eye-opening (tracks number of pick-ups, total hours per day/weekly average). Inspired by a...
by arsenalfan
Thu Oct 25, 2018 8:28 pm
Forum: Personal Investments
Topic: Reaction to Market
Replies: 71
Views: 7824

Re: Reaction to Market

I deleted Stocks and Personal Capital app from my phone. I was a lot happier in 2015 before I had both on my phone, and checked accounts every 6 months or so to rebalance. Keep in mind I did not act on anything in the past 3 years while I checked my NW and assets climbing...so to avoid malaise and t...
by arsenalfan
Thu Oct 25, 2018 6:13 pm
Forum: US Chapters
Topic: Who/what made the helpful culture of Bogleheads?
Replies: 29
Views: 2056

Re: Who/what made the helpful culture of Bogleheads?

Moderators. Huge thank you, they quietly enforce decorum, policing the site and ajudicating "flagged" posts. A lot of the personal finance is personal decisions, which can get quite heated - I come back to BH because it's enforced civility makes it much easier to keep an open mind to new ideas and p...
by arsenalfan
Tue Oct 23, 2018 6:42 am
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: U.S. stocks in free fall
Replies: 10254
Views: 1805936

Re: U.S. stocks in freefall

Some light reading on Tactical Asset Allocation by our friends @ Vanguard https://personal.vanguard.com/pdf/flgtaa.pdf "Tactical asset allocation (TAA) is a dynamic strategy that actively adjusts a portfolio’s strategic asset allocation (SAA) based on short-term market forecasts.Its objective is to ...
by arsenalfan
Sun Oct 21, 2018 5:34 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Why Purchase an Automobile using Premium Gasoline?
Replies: 68
Views: 3207

Re: Why Purchase an Automobile using Premium Gasoline?

Not I.
Bought 3 cars that "required" 93 octane+ for best performance.
Have used regular unleaded, just fine, x 10-13 years.
Shhh...don't tell anyone.
by arsenalfan
Sun Oct 21, 2018 5:32 pm
Forum: Personal Investments
Topic: What ETF to keep in a Merrill Edge account for Platinum Honors
Replies: 10
Views: 1013

Re: What ETF to keep in a Merrill Edge account for Platinum Honors

Sounds good to me.
BoA is my primary checking. I keep my "emergency fund" in my state muni bond fund, as well as a state muni bond ladder.
Takes about 2 business days to sell bond fund and put into BoA checking.
by arsenalfan
Sun Oct 21, 2018 5:27 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: USAA homeowner's insurance question
Replies: 12
Views: 930

Re: USAA homeowner's insurance question

Super helpful DIFAR31.
I never thought to add the other, non-USAA partners, to the Umbrella.
Can you let me know if it costs more to add your other partners? Thanks!
by arsenalfan
Sun Oct 21, 2018 5:21 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: USAA homeowner's insurance question
Replies: 12
Views: 930

Re: USAA homeowner's insurance question

Please ask the USAA Rep and let us know what s/he says.
Also, more info: residential/commercial rental, operating as LLC?
My understanding is that LLC insurance, then umbrella for you, covers it. And all partners should list on their umbrella policies.

PS We all are non-military.
by arsenalfan
Sun Oct 21, 2018 5:13 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: USAA homeowner's insurance question
Replies: 12
Views: 930

Re: USAA homeowner's insurance question

I have USAA umbrella & "walls-in" H-06 policy that includes my 24 rental condos, all via LLC and mulitple different partners.
The LLC is named as am I on the exact address; they never asked for partners' info.
by arsenalfan
Sun Oct 21, 2018 9:36 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Pull kids from school for vacations?
Replies: 136
Views: 6176

Re: Pull kids from school for vacations?

I can assure all that neither my son nor I will regret the time we spent traveling together. Life is short and so is childhood. They leave home so fast. And trust me, plenty of time is wasted in school — it’s not wall-to-wall learning. He spent two hours planning a class pickle festival the other d...
by arsenalfan
Sat Oct 20, 2018 3:06 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Should we move to San Diego from east coast?
Replies: 138
Views: 11178

Re: Should we move to San Diego from east coast?

Yes.
You can watch the Red Sox win the World Series, and go to bed at 9pm.
by arsenalfan
Sat Oct 20, 2018 2:59 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Pull kids from school for vacations?
Replies: 136
Views: 6176

Re: Pull kids from school for vacations?

Not directed any any particular poster, but why are so many people mentioning their kids' grades? Does the answer to the OP depend upon the kids' IQs, grades, popularity, something else? Or does the answer to the OP cause the good grades? I think it's to clarify that they aren't sacrificing academi...
by arsenalfan
Sat Oct 20, 2018 2:57 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Pull kids from school for vacations?
Replies: 136
Views: 6176

Re: Pull kids from school for vacations?

OP I would meet with teacher and/or principle and try to get the blessing for such a trip.
And if it's a hard no, then find out the consequences.
Be curious to hear the answers to those questions, and also their rationale.
by arsenalfan
Sat Oct 20, 2018 1:16 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Pull kids from school for vacations?
Replies: 136
Views: 6176

Re: Pull kids from school for vacations?

We have pulled our elementary kids for about 9 extra days per school year. 3-4 are extra days from a holiday weekend, making it a 4 day weekend. The others are on the front end of holidays (XMas, Spring Break, etc) - in our system, nothing is learned the last 2 days prior to vacations. Both kids got...
by arsenalfan
Wed Oct 17, 2018 8:05 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Did you retire because you hit your number?
Replies: 71
Views: 6728

Re: Did you retire because you hit your number?

No.
I enjoy my work and scaled back the parts I did not like.
"If it's not fun, why do it?" has become my mantra at work.
It is more of a hobby now, stimulating but with hours that are conducive to my lifestyle.
Once the kids leave the nest in a decade, I will reevaluate.
by arsenalfan
Fri Oct 12, 2018 7:47 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Should we rent a car or take our low mileage 2006 Volvo on a family trip?
Replies: 49
Views: 3288

Re: Should we rent a car or take our low mileage 2006 Volvo on a family trip?

I would tune up the Volvo, if you are planning on keeping it another 5 years.

3 years ago we had the same situation but with a 2005 minivan & 120k miles.
We spent $2k on it (tires, fluids, AC, bushings, timing belt, misc stuff). 3 long road trips later, it is at 160k and doing great.
by arsenalfan
Sat Oct 06, 2018 6:44 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: pre med then med school factors
Replies: 18
Views: 929

Re: pre med then med school factors

How people feel about their careers is hugely anecdotal. I know professionals, in and outside of medicine, who say they couldn't have done anything else. Conversely, I know professionals who say they wish they'd done anything else. If it is OP's perspective going in as a college kid, then do somethi...
by arsenalfan
Sat Oct 06, 2018 5:00 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: pre med then med school factors
Replies: 18
Views: 929

Re: pre med then med school factors

I empathize. Endocrinology can suck. Presented as a bunch of tightly regulated feedback loops...then the real world of non compliant diabetics/vasculopaths enters, complete with all the individual, social, and economic failures contributing to the problem. But it sounds like her system is suboptimal...
by arsenalfan
Sat Oct 06, 2018 4:38 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: pre med then med school factors
Replies: 18
Views: 929

Re: pre med then med school factors

Which one is worse, having realistic expectations upfront, or starting down the MD path purely out of passion and then burning out from the issues mentioned by the OP? Both are no-win. If those are the OP's expectations, would you want that person being you eventual doctor? Med student/intern/resid...
by arsenalfan
Sat Oct 06, 2018 4:18 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: pre med then med school factors
Replies: 18
Views: 929

Re: pre med then med school factors

If that's the young person's perspective going in, then no. That's pretty cynical and jaded thinking already, and they won't enjoy "giving up their 20s" for medicine, and probably be a lousy doctor if they're already thinking this way already. The best physician colleagues I have enjoy going to work...
by arsenalfan
Wed Oct 03, 2018 3:58 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Sold Home - 2 days after buyer claims they found an issue with A/C
Replies: 119
Views: 12188

Re: Sold Home - 2 days after buyer claims they found an issue with A/C

caveat emptor.
Have your realtor tell their realtor no.
by arsenalfan
Mon Oct 01, 2018 1:54 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Suze Orman - "I hate the FIRE movement."
Replies: 75
Views: 9903

Re: Suze Orman - "I hate the FIRE movement."

She's a firebrand spitfire and a bit "sensational" - easy to see why she was such a magnetic personality and prolific hit. A bit too ranting for my style, but I digress... I listened to her on Stacking Benjamins last week, and she basically profiles her rapid ascent to multimedia financial guru. The...
by arsenalfan
Thu Sep 27, 2018 7:43 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: solar panels with payback of 8-10 years?
Replies: 24
Views: 2349

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

I'd place SREC value at $0 in your ROI equation. Sure NJ is $200, but look at MD - it once was in the $100 range, now it is $5. We did it. 12kw system, total cost after rebate/tax break was $20k, ROI is 11 years. As we plan on being in home 20 years, pretty straightforward. Year 3 currently. Fun to ...
by arsenalfan
Mon Sep 24, 2018 9:41 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Minimalist Lifestyle
Replies: 92
Views: 11872

Re: Minimalist Lifestyle

How do we avoid hoarding: 1. Wait 72 hours before buying something you don't NEED. 2. After 72 hours, discuss with partner any extraneous purchase you're still wondering about/anything >$XXX. 3. Greendrop/Amvets donations: they come to your house. Family has younger kids. If worth your time, ebay or...
by arsenalfan
Thu Sep 20, 2018 8:29 am
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Are We Headed For A Passive Index Meltdown?
Replies: 60
Views: 9494

Re: Are We Headed For A Passive Index Meltdown?

Author is CEO of Mutual Fund Company with ER in 1-3% range.
USGDX their US Government Ultra Short Term Bond Fund has ER 1.03%
Vanguard VUBFX Ultra Short Term Bond Fund ER is 0.2% (and 0.1% Admiral).