Search found 169 matches

by Lars_2013
Mon Apr 09, 2018 8:40 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Anyone tried a sunrise alarm clock?
Replies: 42
Views: 3585

Re: Anyone tried a sunrise alarm clock?

I've had the Philips HF 3520 for 5 years. I don't like using it as a bedside light in the evening, but it does a great job in the morning. The light itself sometimes isn't quite enough to get me up, but when the bird chirping starts I'm not startled awake like with a regular alarm - so I think the ...
by Lars_2013
Sun Mar 25, 2018 5:01 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: SE Washington DC job - where to live?
Replies: 55
Views: 3670

Re: SE Washington DC job - where to live?

Falls Church City, speaking as a resident, is low crime, walkable, family friendly, excellent schools, and very civic minded. A modern version of Mayberry. Yes, Falls Church is one of the highest-income localities in the country and has excellent schools. But it's not where I'd recommend a 20-somet...
by Lars_2013
Sun Mar 25, 2018 4:59 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: SE Washington DC job - where to live?
Replies: 55
Views: 3670

Re: SE Washington DC job - where to live?

Unless she really wants to live by herself, I suggest she reach out to her new employer to see if they have a network for connecting staff to housemates and maybe rooms for rent in homes of other staff. I don't know any young adults in the DC area who live by themselves because it's simply too expe...
by Lars_2013
Wed Mar 21, 2018 9:02 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: SE Washington DC job - where to live?
Replies: 55
Views: 3670

Re: SE Washington DC job - where to live?

Unless she really wants to live by herself, I suggest she reach out to her new employer to see if they have a network for connecting staff to housemates and maybe rooms for rent in homes of other staff. I don't know any young adults in the DC area who live by themselves because it's simply too expen...
by Lars_2013
Fri Feb 16, 2018 9:00 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Summer Camps in Maine
Replies: 6
Views: 719

Re: Summer Camps in Maine

I'm not sure what experience your kids are going for in wanting a Maine camp, since as others noted there's a lot of variety. The New England camp about which I've heard the consistently best reviews (from friends who were campers, counselors, and parents) is Farm & Wilderness, but that might be sel...
by Lars_2013
Thu Jan 25, 2018 11:54 am
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: The Power of Working Longer
Replies: 185
Views: 19044

Re: The Power of Working Longer

This is just bad math. The people who created it should be ashamed that they would publish such blatant lies. They claim 6months = 1% savings? They are saying that retiring 5 years later will allow you to save 10% less of your salary per year. That is just fiction. I can assure you that if you can ...
by Lars_2013
Wed Jan 24, 2018 7:49 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Impact of "name change" on financial accounts?
Replies: 13
Views: 957

Re: Impact of "name change" on financial accounts?

An immigration lawyer is probably who you need to talk to. That said, I would guess that if she's living/working in the U.S. with a foreign passport and a green card that have MiddleName Firstname Lastname, it's going to be a lot of work / money to get that changed and it will be easiest to get othe...
by Lars_2013
Sun Jan 14, 2018 10:22 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Uber experience as worker?
Replies: 16
Views: 1873

Re: Uber experience as worker?

MMM wrote a pretty detailed review of his experiment driving for Uber: http://www.mrmoneymustache.com/2017/11/22/mr-money-mustache-uber-driver/ FWIW, most drivers in my town drive for both Uber and Lyft and most report that they like Lyft better. They say Lyft treats their drivers in a more upfront ...
by Lars_2013
Sun Jan 14, 2018 10:09 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Looking for a reasonably priced, safe international destination
Replies: 107
Views: 7392

Re: Looking for a reasonably priced, safe international destination

I was thinking Iceland. Any other destinations that fit this bill? With little kids, I'm not sure I'd classify Iceland as a safe destination. It's rough terrain and tourists sometimes die there (arguably from doing stupid things, but little kids don't have a lot of common sense). It's one place whe...
by Lars_2013
Thu Jan 04, 2018 10:15 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Timing tax-deferred contributions when also bunching deductible expenses
Replies: 8
Views: 582

Re: Timing tax-deferred contributions when also bunching deductible expenses

I have a similar situation near 12%/22% bracket line, except I'll probably only itemizing every 4-5 years. My goal is to almost completely fill the 12% ordinary income tax (0% qualified dividends/capital gains) bracket while not exceeding it each year. In order to stay in the 12% ordinary income tax...
by Lars_2013
Wed Dec 27, 2017 10:30 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Diamonds are forever.
Replies: 59
Views: 5405

Re: Diamonds are forever.

Also not sure about how best to "upgrade" with DW being somewhat superstitious about just wearing a new ring. Does DW actually want this "upgrade" or is she happy with her existing ring? A big bling-y ring will cause people to make all sorts of assumptions about her, which she might or might not wa...
by Lars_2013
Wed Dec 27, 2017 9:20 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: TurboTax Prices
Replies: 186
Views: 25917

Re: TurboTax Prices

TurboTax Premier (fed + efile + state) is currently $55 on Amazon. Last year I think that was the lowest it got.
by Lars_2013
Wed Dec 27, 2017 9:14 am
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Can I afford a $600-650k house?
Replies: 60
Views: 7845

Re: Can I afford a $600-650k house?

DC area, house prices continue to increase and were not hit too hard in the last recession. This is in large part because the big stimulus bill in 2009 (ARRA) helped prop up employment in the DC area, which in turn helped drive population growth in the area during the recession, buoying home prices...
by Lars_2013
Tue Dec 26, 2017 9:18 am
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Problem donating VTSAX shares to Schwab Charitable
Replies: 19
Views: 1157

Re: Problem donating VTSAX shares to Schwab Charitable

I just got off the phone with Vanguard and they said the reason they sold the shares and cut a check was because the delivery instructions they received from Schwab didn't include the DAF number and "usually" when it doesn't include a DAF number that means a check is supposed to be sent. In looking ...
by Lars_2013
Sat Dec 23, 2017 11:12 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Will you donate less to Charity?
Replies: 109
Views: 8620

Re: Will you donate less to Charity?

I'm among the many folks who will no longer benefit from itemizing in 2018 and the following several years, at least. I've set up and am pre-funding a DAF with 4-5 years worth of charitable donations precisely because I don't want to give less to charity in future years and know that many of the sma...
by Lars_2013
Sat Dec 23, 2017 10:05 am
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Problem donating VTSAX shares to Schwab Charitable
Replies: 19
Views: 1157

Re: Problem donating VTSAX shares to Schwab Charitable

...when I want to contribute some my appreciated shares of Vanguard Admiral funds held in my Schwab taxable account to my Schwab DAF, it is smooth as silk to contribute the shares I want to contribute, because it is all within Schwab at that point. Yeah, through this process I'm definitely getting ...
by Lars_2013
Sat Dec 23, 2017 10:03 am
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Problem donating VTSAX shares to Schwab Charitable
Replies: 19
Views: 1157

Re: Problem donating VTSAX shares to Schwab Charitable

In the future initiate the transfer at Vanguard not Schwab Charitable. Use Vanguard's form for charitable contribution of securities and put the transfer data provided by Schwab Charitable onto Vanguard's form. Call Vanguard immediately (probably Tuesday). I don't know if they can reverse and corre...
by Lars_2013
Sat Dec 23, 2017 9:33 am
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Problem donating VTSAX shares to Schwab Charitable
Replies: 19
Views: 1157

Problem donating VTSAX shares to Schwab Charitable

In November I set up a DAF at Schwab Charitable and completed their Transfer of Assets form to ask them to transfer a certain number of shares of Vanguard Total Stock Market admiral shares (held at Vanguard) from a certain lot (which had my lowest cost basis) to my new DAF at Schwab (using section 3...
by Lars_2013
Sat Dec 09, 2017 3:53 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Taxes and Rental Income from Live-In Significant Other
Replies: 8
Views: 1067

Re: Taxes and Rental Income from Live-In Significant Other

I agree with others that you can safely not report this on your tax returns. If for some reason you want to do so, it would probably be considered "Renting Part of Property" and would be reported on Schedule E per the instructions in Pub. 527. https://www.irs.gov/publications/p527 A part of your hou...
by Lars_2013
Mon Dec 04, 2017 3:00 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Is This How the ACA Can Help Me?
Replies: 10
Views: 1241

Re: Is This How the ACA Can Help Me?

Will the government need to see my 2017 return? (which shows much higher income because of the IRA distribution) The income and other numbers you enter on the form when signing up for a 2018 healthcare plan are used to estimate the size of tax credit you will qualify for in 2018. This is then provi...
by Lars_2013
Thu Nov 23, 2017 10:10 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Passing the second SSA Bend Point - Reversible?
Replies: 53
Views: 4787

Re: Passing the second SSA Bend Point - Reversible?

This means that your total earnings are all that really matters. So if you have enough total earnings to pass the 2nd bend point, then you've passed in forever even if you have a bunch of $0 income years counted in your highest 35 earning years. Based on the bend points posted here once you have pa...
by Lars_2013
Sat Nov 18, 2017 6:36 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Has used furniture dropped in value dramatically?
Replies: 119
Views: 12719

Re: Has used furniture dropped in value dramatically?

As a member of the generation after "The Greatest Generation" I think we are referred to as "The Silent Generation" at age 81. I think many of us might have safety concerns when listing "stuff" for sale somewhere and having people come to and into our homes to view and possibly purchase items. Is t...
by Lars_2013
Thu Nov 02, 2017 5:37 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: A tax planning question about the proposed GOP tax plan
Replies: 7
Views: 1263

Re: A tax planning question about the proposed GOP tax plan

According to the current version of the House bill, yes, that provision goes into effect for taxable years beginning after December 31, 2017. https://waysandmeansforms.house.gov/uploadedfiles/bill_text.pdf I will refrain from commenting on the likelihood of that provision remaining in the bill, sinc...
by Lars_2013
Sun Oct 29, 2017 1:14 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Megabus from New York City to Washington DC
Replies: 23
Views: 2068

Re: Megabus from New York City to Washington DC

I ride megabus a fair amount. It's a bus, with all the annoyances that entails (don't plan to use the bathroom on the bus), but is generally a less chaotic experience than chinatown buses (which I also ride). The farther in advance you buy a megabus ticket, the cheaper the seat is likely to be. I al...
by Lars_2013
Fri Oct 27, 2017 5:46 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Can I retire today?
Replies: 132
Views: 9645

Re: Can I retire today?

Others have said it--you have enough money to retire. The only think I'll add is to make sure you provide whatever notice is required for the pension :) .
by Lars_2013
Mon Oct 09, 2017 2:12 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Please look at my financial situation and give me your insights
Replies: 21
Views: 2748

Re: Please look at my financial situation and give me your insights

You probably don't have enough money for your wife to retire yet. There's a three-year gap until you claim SS and seven years for her. That gap will eat up a lot of your portfolio, and even after you are both receiving SS you'll need portfolio withdrawals of about $44k/year. That results in a much h...
by Lars_2013
Wed Sep 20, 2017 5:34 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Getting (young) kids interested in coding
Replies: 81
Views: 6503

Re: Getting (young) kids interested in coding

I have no idea what is available/useful these days. Here's some comparatively ancient history. My older brother taught himself to read at age 3 in part by copying simple programs into our TI-99/4A to do things like make the screen change colors, etc. Later we both learned and used basic for simple t...
by Lars_2013
Sun Sep 03, 2017 10:20 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Couple in early 30s, any changes?
Replies: 28
Views: 4462

Re: Couple in early 30s, any changes?

Without knowing your goals, desired asset allocation, etc, it's hard to provide feedback on your asset allocation. Also, when you say "stocks" in your 401k, that's not very specific. Is that in a fund that tracks the S&P500 index? Total US stock market? Something else? At a glance, your internationa...
by Lars_2013
Sun Sep 03, 2017 5:36 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: How old were you when you got your first credit card?
Replies: 46
Views: 3279

Re: How old were you when you got your first credit card?

I was made an authorized user on one of my father's cards at age 16 when I got my license (in the late 1990s) so I could use pay-at-the-pump. I also got a debit card off my checking/savings account for similar purposes. I think I got my first rewards credit card (for the points) after college, but I...
by Lars_2013
Sun Aug 27, 2017 4:46 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Demographic Headwinds for Stocks and Bonds?
Replies: 47
Views: 5978

Re: Demographic Headwinds for Stocks and Bonds?

The population trends look a bit less dire if you look at the world as a whole, rather than this selection of (high population, economically important) countries. World working-age is projected by the U.N. to continue increasing through 2100, driven by high growth in sub-Saharan Africa. Whether that...
by Lars_2013
Sun Aug 27, 2017 3:59 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Should I be doing more
Replies: 8
Views: 1445

Re: Should I be doing more

Your current asset allocation is a lot more aggressive than your stated desired asset allocation. In terms of whether you have enough, I don't think we can know that with the information you provide. Without knowing your current (or projected retirement) expenses, it's hard to project whether your c...
by Lars_2013
Sat Aug 26, 2017 8:09 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: What should the savings be for an average professional
Replies: 168
Views: 21294

Re: What should the savings be for an average professional

The Fidelity factors are a general guideline and not applicable to everyone. Personally I wouldn't feel comfortable with that guideline for my situation. I also think most Bogleheads aim for more than 10x salary at age 65. If you make a $100k and have $1M at 65, I think you weren't a big saver and/...
by Lars_2013
Sat Aug 26, 2017 5:35 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: What should the savings be for an average professional
Replies: 168
Views: 21294

Re: What should the savings be for an average professional

Assuming a 4% SWR and no pension, shouldn't you really have 25x at 65? I realize you can spend less in retirement and you will get social security, but 10x seems low without a pension. Example: Income 100k. 10x100k= $1M. 4% SWR = $40k. That leaves a $60k shortfall (from your working income) for SS ...
by Lars_2013
Thu Aug 24, 2017 7:30 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: I've fallen and I can't get up -- recommendations?
Replies: 43
Views: 7160

Re: I've fallen and I can't get up -- recommendations?

When they were in their 90s, my grandparents moved into a retirement community. The apartment was rigged with emergency pull cords in every room, within reach of the floor. (The retirement community staff would also would do a "welfare check" if you didn't show up for dinner without notifying them i...
by Lars_2013
Tue Aug 22, 2017 9:50 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Safe car for wife and baby
Replies: 97
Views: 8158

Re: Safe car for wife and baby

I should note that neither my wife or I really WANT a new car - we're both very happy with her driving the Civic. Literally the ONLY reason we're even thinking about this is safety. And she's not even concerned, it's all me and my constant worrying. She says she feels safe in and loves driving the ...
by Lars_2013
Mon Aug 21, 2017 10:08 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: School Redistricting - What should we do?
Replies: 96
Views: 9180

Re: School Redistricting - What should we do?

I'm going to wager you're in the DC metro region based on both being federal employees. In both MD and VA (I'm going to guess you're not living in DC), there are various magnet programs at the HS level. If you don't want your child attending their district school, you can very likely get them into a...
by Lars_2013
Sun Aug 20, 2017 7:58 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Safe car for wife and baby
Replies: 97
Views: 8158

Re: Safe car for wife and baby

http://www.iihs.org/iihs/news/desktopnews/on-the-road-again-higher-driver-death-rate-is-a-downside-of-economic-recovery I'd get a Mazda CX-9 or a VW Tiguan for a non-luxury option. These are interesting, and need to be considered alongside the question of driver behavior. The Dodge Challenger (not ...
by Lars_2013
Sun Aug 20, 2017 7:22 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Where to park emergency fund to beat inflation?
Replies: 25
Views: 4310

Re: Where to park emergency fund to beat inflation?

[Response to OT comment removed by admin LadyGeek] Also, I already have a roth IRA with about 2K in it. my previous job (juinor to senior year) was working at mcdonalds. I took all the money I earned that summer (that puny 2K) and put that in a roth IRA over at fildelity. My dad actually manages it...
by Lars_2013
Sun Aug 20, 2017 5:20 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Where to park emergency fund to beat inflation?
Replies: 25
Views: 4310

Re: Where to park emergency fund to beat inflation?

Depending on what summer job you get, you might need the money to buy a (used) car so you can get to/from work (unless your parents will provide transportation or you'll be living in a non-car-dependent city). Assuming you'll be making money each summer (that seems likely based on your track record)...
by Lars_2013
Sun Aug 20, 2017 2:56 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Should we sell our Home to Mother-in-law?
Replies: 22
Views: 1983

Re: Should we sell our Home to Mother-in-law?

The presence of the SIL is another thing that should be considered. Is your MIL supporting her or is she paying rent and other expenses? If you sell at the reduced price, are you effectively subsidizing SIL? Yeah, I had some questions about this part as well. Is SIL an adult? Is the expectation tha...
by Lars_2013
Sun Aug 20, 2017 2:35 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Should we sell our Home to Mother-in-law?
Replies: 22
Views: 1983

Re: Should we sell our Home to Mother-in-law?

So, in this scenario your family (MIL and you/spouse) would end up owning more than $1 million in real estate within a relatively small area (15 minutes apart), assuming your family's new home is more expensive than your current $500k home. You're taking on a lot of risk that house prices will remai...
by Lars_2013
Sun Aug 20, 2017 8:32 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Should we sell our Home to Mother-in-law?
Replies: 22
Views: 1983

Re: Should we sell our Home to Mother-in-law?

Does MIL really want to go into the landlord business, with all that entails, while also "helping out" more with your children? Or will you and/or your wife manage the rental house for her? And is the house you currently reside in really the best housing option (size, layout, etc) for your MIL? Unle...
by Lars_2013
Sat Aug 19, 2017 10:22 am
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: IBonds: My worst bond investment over the last 5 years
Replies: 74
Views: 10994

Re: IBonds: My worst bond investment over the last 5 years

From the TD website: May 1, 2017 0.98% November 1, 2016 1.38% May 1, 2016 0.08% November 1, 2015 0.77% May 1, 2015 -0.80% November 1, 2014 0.74% May 1, 2014 0.92% November 1, 2013 0.59% May 1, 2013 0.59% November 1, 2012 0.88% Assuming a 0% on the fixed part: I did (.98+1.38)/2 + (.08+.77)/2 + (0+....
by Lars_2013
Mon Aug 07, 2017 6:53 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: kids think lazy if retire?
Replies: 70
Views: 9483

Re: kids think lazy if retire?

It's a little hard for me to comment without knowing why your children are making snarky comments about your staying at home occasional days during the week (other then their being teenagers, which may be reason enough). What did immediately pop into my mind is if they perceive there to be some imba...
by Lars_2013
Sat Aug 05, 2017 5:47 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Dad as Investment Advisor for Kids
Replies: 51
Views: 4905

Re: Dad as Investment Advisor for Kids

There's certainly a danger that (1) in a crash they could unfairly blame you for losses or (2) if your health declines they could be left unable to manage their own finances. I think telling them that it's time for them to begin managing their finances (with the option of calling you for advice) bec...
by Lars_2013
Fri Aug 04, 2017 8:47 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Tax Gain Harvesting - which shares to sell?
Replies: 5
Views: 755

Re: Tax Gain Harvesting - which shares to sell?

say I have 100 shares purchased at $10 each, plus an additional 200 shares purchased at $15 each, all with a current value of $20 per share. I could sell either lot for a long-term gain of $1000. Selling just the first set and then repurchasing at current prices, I'd end up with 100 shares at a $20...
by Lars_2013
Thu Aug 03, 2017 5:28 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: What happens to those who don't save?
Replies: 13
Views: 2288

Re: What happens to those who don't save?

Maybe this isn't who you're talking about (which may be higher-income folks), but social security plus a paid off house is plenty for many folks. My ~75 year old parents have savings/investments, but so far find that social security plus two small pensions more than pay their expenses, including cha...
by Lars_2013
Mon Jul 24, 2017 3:05 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: 2014 Prius C
Replies: 9
Views: 1094

Re: 2014 Prius C

We have a 2013 Prius C with just over 50k miles. We're very happy with it. The 20 inches of less length compared to the regular Prius makes a big difference in our city in terms of being able to fit into free street parking places that other folks can't fit into. And since we work and mostly hang ou...
by Lars_2013
Mon Jul 17, 2017 7:05 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Are stock market returns doomed by the Baby Boomers?
Replies: 27
Views: 3799

Re: Are stock market returns doomed by the Baby Boomers?

The stock/wealth concentration argument seems very compelling to me. If most stock (and other wealth) ownership among baby boomers (and other generations) is concentrated among a small share of the population who are very likely to wish to increase/preserve that capital for their heirs, it seems unl...
by Lars_2013
Sun Jul 16, 2017 9:01 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Purchasing Home + Renting out rooms
Replies: 20
Views: 2341

Re: Purchasing Home + Renting out rooms

When I was in my 20s and buying a home, I looked at some that I could technically afford on my salary alone (list price was 3.5x salary) but that I wouldn't be financially comfortable living in by myself. I decided to buy a cheaper house (the one I was already living in as a room renter) that I coul...