Search found 658 matches

by desiderium
Sat Apr 07, 2018 1:20 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Tequila and Magaritas
Replies: 59
Views: 4391

Re: Tequila and Magaritas

At his DC restaurant Oyamel, Jose Andres serves a "salt air" margarita. It involves a salty whipped foam that floats on top of a shaken margarita. Very nice way to serve to guests, but too much trouble for a big party. Put this on top of a carefully made shaken margarita recipe of your choice. https...
by desiderium
Mon Apr 02, 2018 8:17 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Cleaning up new house before move in—getting rid of “cat smell”
Replies: 42
Views: 3284

Re: Cleaning up new house before move in—getting rid of “cat smell”

Could cat urine be a contributor?
If there is carpeting, pull it up during the inspection (easy enough to put back down) and look for stains on the pad. Look for stains or concentrated areas of cat elsewhere. Getting rid of the cat smell could be a fairly large project
by desiderium
Wed Mar 14, 2018 8:57 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Can we slowdown and ease into part time retirement ?
Replies: 17
Views: 1859

Re: Can we slowdown and ease into part time retirement ?

Try it. You can plan this only so much.
If you don't like your new life or financial events push too much frugality you can get another job. If your investments perform well you can cut back on your part time work sooner.
by desiderium
Sun Mar 11, 2018 10:19 am
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: sell or keep home?
Replies: 7
Views: 723

Re: sell or keep home?

Defer the decision another year. Things may change.
by desiderium
Wed Mar 07, 2018 11:13 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Thinking of getting an Apple Watch
Replies: 73
Views: 6763

Re: Thinking of getting an Apple Watch

TravelforFun wrote:
Sat Mar 03, 2018 1:12 pm
I used to want to get a Rolex but my desire for it went away completely after I got my 42mm Apple watch.

TravelforFun
I have an unhealthy love for my beautiful mechanical friend. The features of the Apple watch intrigue me but I can't handle the look of the little box on my wrist.
by desiderium
Mon Mar 05, 2018 2:27 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: wild caught sockeye salmon
Replies: 27
Views: 2793

Re: wild caught sockeye salmon

The Alaska salmon fishery has enormous production spikes and in past times most of the fish was canned on shore. Alaska airlines helped create the fresh Alaska salmon market, and in the 1980's you could get the rich, red and oily fish from the Copper River in Southeast Alaska for $3.50/lb at peak se...
by desiderium
Wed Feb 28, 2018 10:16 am
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Inherrited trust - forced to use AUM advisor
Replies: 5
Views: 573

Re: Inherrited trust - forced to use AUM advisor

Trusts may have costs, including accounting, tax filings etc, and may include fees the trustee can charge to take care of this, independent of fees for investment management. I suggest you investigate all of the costs incurred by the trust.
by desiderium
Tue Feb 20, 2018 9:57 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: New Seattle travel suggestions request
Replies: 10
Views: 730

Re: New Seattle travel suggestions request

I have read previous posts related to summer travel to Seattle but am hoping for updated information. Wife and I are planning a 7-8 day August 2018 trip to the Seattle area to attend a wedding and do some sightseeing. We will fly to the Seattle airport from the east coast. Our initial thoughts are ...
by desiderium
Mon Feb 12, 2018 10:04 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: 529 distribution (1099Q) on parent or child's tax return?
Replies: 4
Views: 524

Re: 529 distribution (1099Q) on parent or child's tax return?

Any 1099-Q tax reporting is based on the destination of the funds. Only distributions to the owner are reported for the owner. Distributions to the beneficiary or direct payments to the school, off-campus housing, etc.. are reported for the beneficiary. Forms 1098-T and 1098-E are reported for the ...
by desiderium
Mon Feb 12, 2018 9:42 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: 529 distribution (1099Q) on parent or child's tax return?
Replies: 4
Views: 524

529 distribution (1099Q) on parent or child's tax return?

Please help with this scenario: 529 distribution to pay for college expenses in 2017. 529 owner was an educational trust in my daughter's name (set up by a relative), distributed directly to my daughter. Daughter is in college, financially dependent on me, but no tax deduction for me because of inco...
by desiderium
Fri Feb 09, 2018 4:29 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Seeking portfolio advice
Replies: 4
Views: 302

Re: Seeking portfolio advice

You are making this too complicated, IMO There is necessary complexity that comes out of having so many accounts. Also tax-inefficiency when you try to create an independent allocation in Taxable. You would benefit from thinking of it as one portfolio. Use index funds for the different asset classes...
by desiderium
Sun Feb 04, 2018 8:38 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Do you have a Japanese bath in your house?
Replies: 27
Views: 4059

Re: Do you have a Japanese bath in your house?

Yes, we have one
Don't use it very much
Would probably not use a regular tub much either, so unclear if it was an error.
by desiderium
Sat Feb 03, 2018 6:06 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Car Lease -- High Residual Value -- what am I missing?
Replies: 49
Views: 4630

Re: Car Lease -- High Residual Value -- what am I missing?

Thanks for the responses. A couple of folks have suggested renting a fancy car on the weekends -- not going to happen. I have a very busy and hectic job (usually work 6 or even 7 days a week) and do not have the time or patience to deal with car rentals. Moreover, we live in a very urban area and t...
by desiderium
Thu Feb 01, 2018 6:33 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: New HSA provider Lively offers investments for $30/yr fee
Replies: 237
Views: 30946

Re: New HSA provider Lively offers investments for $30/yr fee

Fifth-Third initially told Lively it could be 30-60 days, but then Fifth-Third cut the check the next business day after receiving the form from Lively and mailed it promptly. And the second time was just as fast. It entirely depends on your transferring custodian, though. Their back office could s...
by desiderium
Sun Jan 21, 2018 11:30 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Met with a CFP, not too impressed.
Replies: 54
Views: 9965

Re: Met with a CFP, not too impressed.

UPDATE: ... He also recommends that with the new tax law and being at the 12% bracket we should convert some of our investments into Roth at a rate that keeps us at or below the 12% tax rate. I think this is where financial advice can be valuable. Last year I looked into partnering with an advisor ...
by desiderium
Mon Jan 15, 2018 6:36 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Hydronic fireplace home heating
Replies: 6
Views: 696

Re: Hydronic fireplace home heating

Efficiency is high for both your pellet stove example and very high for modern natural gas boilers (energy captured/energy burned). The issue is fuel cost per unit of energy. There are several calculators online. Given how inexpensive natural gas is, my guess is that there are not great savings to b...
by desiderium
Wed Jan 03, 2018 11:14 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: A Case for Bonds in Taxable?
Replies: 24
Views: 2922

Re: A Case for Bonds in Taxable?

Conventional wisdom says to but bonds in tax deferred since bond dividends are taxed as ordinary income at your marginal rate. At the same time, put stocks in Roth in order to maximize the value of stock gains. I get that. But let's say I am planning to retire early and wait until 70 to claim Socia...
by desiderium
Sat Dec 23, 2017 11:57 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Will you donate less to Charity?
Replies: 109
Views: 8088

Re: Will you donate less to Charity?

No decrease, just rearranging the pieces. Will bunch 5 years worth of gainers to DAF this year, continue miscellaneous smaller donations throughout the year. Down the road, will again look to the most tax advantaged strategy for continuing our giving.
by desiderium
Fri Dec 22, 2017 9:38 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Prepay mortgage vs invest when itemizing in alternate years
Replies: 7
Views: 901

Re: Prepay mortgage vs invest when itemizing in alternate years

I have a 10 year fixed mortgage at 3%, due to be paid off in mid-2022. I am in a 44% marginal tax bracket (high tax state), and I have typically itemized, making an effective mortgage rate of 1.68% (3%*(1-0.56)). So far, I have not prepaid the loan. However, in 2018, I will take the 24k MFJ standar...
by desiderium
Fri Dec 15, 2017 12:47 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Bank of america preferred rewards program
Replies: 16
Views: 3165

Re: Bank of america preferred rewards program

This one has simplified my life a good deal and I have been satisfied. Set and forget 100k in VG ETFs. ME is a competent brokerage with good customer service to the limited extent I need it. Local bank branch for my infrequent needs (wire, notary, cashier's check etc) BofA customer service is fairly...
by desiderium
Wed Nov 29, 2017 9:44 am
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Portfolio questions
Replies: 9
Views: 1049

Re: Portfolio questions

OK, I'll re-evaluate the holdings in her 457, thanks. I'll aim for an overall 75/25 AA. Still wondering though, if I hold off on the backdoor Roth (which it sounds like would be recommended), where would be the best place to contribute? continue in the taxable? a non-deductable IRA? another option?...
by desiderium
Tue Nov 14, 2017 8:14 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: New HSA provider Lively offers investments for $30/yr fee
Replies: 237
Views: 30946

Re: New HSA provider Lively offers investments for $30/yr fee

I'm in the process of doing a transfer to Lively. They want a copy of my drivers license to verify my identity. I'm a bit uncomfortable with this. Has anyone else ran into a request like this? Did you freeze your credit information? No, my credit is unfrozen. The identification requirement comes fr...
by desiderium
Wed Oct 25, 2017 9:54 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Trip in May: Starting in Munich, Ending in Interlaken - Where to go in between?
Replies: 27
Views: 1844

Re: Trip in May: Starting in Munich, Ending in Interlaken - Where to go in between?

It is safe to skip Hallstatt. It is a beautiful little town that is completely over-run with busloads of tourists. You can enjoy it and get away on foot to some nice hiking, but is a bit out of the way not worth spending part of a short trip IMO. If you go to Salzburg, you could take a bus to nearby...
by desiderium
Thu Oct 19, 2017 10:09 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: For those near retirement and rebalanced to Bonds...
Replies: 34
Views: 4402

Re: For those near retirement and rebalanced to Bonds...

With the way the market has been performing I wondered about people in this scenario. As one approaches retirement the general rule is to migrate from stocks to bonds. In this scenario, with the way the market has been doing this past year or so, and lets say you have 50%- 75% or more of your portf...
by desiderium
Thu Oct 19, 2017 10:03 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: CFP vs DIY [Certified Financial Planner vs. Do It Yourself]
Replies: 5
Views: 706

Re: CFP vs DIY

I'm just a DIY investor with simple tax advantaged retirement accounts at the moment. I have learned many of the boglehead principles and have been applying them on my slow road to building a nest egg. I will read posts with windfalls and posters suggesting they get a fee only financial planner whe...
by desiderium
Thu Oct 05, 2017 7:42 am
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Pay off mortgage instead of bond investment
Replies: 28
Views: 2490

Re: Pay off mortgage instead of bond investment

I have a similar time horizon to retirement and would suggest considering this: You want to retire in 6 years. In reality, your plans are not all that reliable--maybe you will get antsy and decide not to wait that long, or maybe someone else will make the decision for you. Your projected retirement ...
by desiderium
Wed Sep 27, 2017 12:00 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: The Rolex and The Boglehead
Replies: 274
Views: 13512

Re: The Rolex and The Boglehead

The comforting paradox of being a boglehead is that it can enable you to make choices, including those that have no utiltarian rationale--like owning a rolex
by desiderium
Wed Sep 13, 2017 6:47 am
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Investment advice for 58 year old.
Replies: 23
Views: 2311

Re: Investment advice for 58 year old.

I think you would benefit from some professional financial planning, including -investment philosophy and vehicles -Tax strategy -Gifting to your heirs -Estate planning if you haven't addressed this. You could find an independent fee-only financial planner in your area. Allan Roth has been mentioned...
by desiderium
Mon Sep 11, 2017 9:38 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Paying 4 years tuition for college to get discount?
Replies: 22
Views: 2803

Re: Paying 4 years tuition for college to get discount?

A couple of key caveats. The money can't come from a 529 because only the expenses in the year of the payment will be qualified. I actually did this, and paid the lump sum with 529 money. 2 years later I got a letter from the IRS. My accountant sent a letter explaining the situation along with a co...
by desiderium
Mon Sep 11, 2017 9:35 am
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Late starters trying to reduce skew between taxable & tax deferred
Replies: 21
Views: 2929

Re: Late starters trying to reduce skew between taxable & tax deferred

HSA is your best option if you are eligible.
There are a number of threads about saving receipts etc., and some controversy over this. However, future spending is going to include health care dollars, so utilizing this as a tax deferred savings vehicle would make sense for you.
by desiderium
Thu Sep 07, 2017 9:18 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Paying 4 years tuition for college to get discount?
Replies: 22
Views: 2803

Re: Paying 4 years tuition for college to get discount?

A couple of key caveats. The money can't come from a 529 because only the expenses in the year of the payment will be qualified. I actually did this, and paid the lump sum with 529 money. 2 years later I got a letter from the IRS. My accountant sent a letter explaining the situation along with a co...
by desiderium
Mon Sep 04, 2017 7:07 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Best Retail banks - switching from Chase
Replies: 23
Views: 2805

Re: Best Retail banks - switching from Chase

I moved from my longtime credit union for BofA a few years ago because I need the infrequent services of a large wire transfer, international wire, cashiers check etc and they can handle this competently at a convenient local branch. I keep a bit over 100k in vanguard index ETF investments parked at...
by desiderium
Wed Aug 09, 2017 12:27 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Portfolio Review
Replies: 13
Views: 1482

Re: Portfolio Review

Wish I was investing and saving so intelligently at your age. Congrats and good luck.
by desiderium
Tue Aug 08, 2017 9:30 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Life at crossroads. What would you do ?
Replies: 198
Views: 20283

Re: Life at crossroads. What would you do ?

Look seriously outside your current area Seattle is great. Hot job market, your wife should be able to find something Schools are generally ok, with some districts fantastic Housing may not seem high to you Given your concerns about the viability of your current path this is a good time to make the ...
by desiderium
Tue Aug 08, 2017 6:02 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Personal Investment help - New user
Replies: 6
Views: 825

Re: Personal Investment help - New user

Thanks for the advice, I know 6 months is the recommendation by most for an emergency fund; the reason I only have three is because I have started to move my emergency fund contributions into my vanguard taxable account and investing it in bonds/securities for the better return then the 1.15% the b...
by desiderium
Mon Jul 31, 2017 11:33 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Simulate SS with TIPS for Early Retirement
Replies: 6
Views: 629

Re: Simulate SS with TIPS for Early Retirement

SCV Lawyer These calculations are perfectly reasonable but they have baked in assumptions about portfolio stability and health care costs that are really hard to rely on for such a long interval. I think the best way to mitigate these unknowns is to maintain some of your human capital. Are you an ac...
by desiderium
Tue Jul 25, 2017 8:01 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Montreal visit in September
Replies: 11
Views: 1375

Re: Montreal visit in September

Montreal has a good city bike program and an excellent system of bicycle lanes, often separated from traffic. They are very well used. It is a great way to explore neighborhoods beyond the usual guidebooks.
by desiderium
Tue Jul 11, 2017 11:11 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Slovenia, Croatia, Montenegro
Replies: 13
Views: 1547

Re: Slovenia, Croatia, Montenegro

Soca river valley
The small museum at Kobarid is remarkable and one can spend the afternoon walking the hills and old WWI trenches to get a remarkable on the ground feel for that chapter in history. Read Hemingway's "A Farewell to Arms" at the same time.
by desiderium
Tue Jul 11, 2017 11:03 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Self insuring LTC
Replies: 15
Views: 1654

Re: Self insuring LTC

This may be uncomfortable to think about, but one's personal actuarial calculations for LTC include (or imply by default) one's own choices about health care in the setting of mental or physical disability that precludes living with your family. Medical care has a substantial impact on the average l...
by desiderium
Thu Jun 15, 2017 7:23 am
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Just married - start a joint taxable account?
Replies: 18
Views: 1811

Re: Just married - start a joint taxable account?

Taxable investing is for retirement or other long term goals. Before you do this, what are your short or medium term goals? After all, you just got married. Are their kids or a home purchase or even a dream vacation in your future? If so, or if you are not sure, then maybe a joint savings account is...
by desiderium
Wed Jun 14, 2017 8:53 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: HSAs and "Saving Medical Receipts"
Replies: 96
Views: 10583

Re: HSAs and "Saving Medical Receipts"

What EOBs have you been unable to obtain? This cannot possibly be a serious question. It is absolutely a serious question. All of my medical expenses (Dr. visits, drugs, tests) are submitted to my insurance company. After they process them, they send the provider an EOB and also post it to my onlin...
by desiderium
Mon Jun 05, 2017 7:22 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Worth it to buy expensive clothes?
Replies: 91
Views: 11706

Re: Worth it to buy expensive clothes?

This is caring for your human capital. Dressing well, with good fit and attention to details shows respect for your professional role. People notice. Your clothes will last, particularly the shoes.
by desiderium
Fri Jun 02, 2017 7:57 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Carreer advice MD/PhD - private practice or academia
Replies: 4
Views: 858

Re: Carreer advice MD/PhD - private practice or academia

This is an important crossroad, and it is difficult to provide advice, as we are talking about what will make you happy in your future. Do you still love the hunt in the research world? Longer term, with your child, you will be worried about security. In the academic track, what does security look l...
by desiderium
Fri Jun 02, 2017 7:41 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Opticians: is there any difference in quality of Costco glasses?
Replies: 53
Views: 61380

Re: Opticians: is there any difference in quality of Costco glasses?

There is a significant difference in optical quality. I have a favorite optical shop. Lenses are Pentax, but now they use another high end lens of equivalent quality. The shop is very stylish and expensive but it is a major appearance and vision spend and an infrequent purchase. So I went to Costco...
by desiderium
Fri Jun 02, 2017 7:37 am
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Early Retirement Approaches (forced) - review my situation?
Replies: 42
Views: 7999

Re: Early Retirement Approaches (forced) - review my situation?

One of the best ways to mitigate portfolio risk given your age is to maintain your human capital. I assume with your IT background and long experience you could do some freelance/consulting. It will improve portfolio survival, and you could tune the intensity to financial and social needs. This may ...
by desiderium
Sat May 20, 2017 1:54 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Opticians: is there any difference in quality of Costco glasses?
Replies: 53
Views: 61380

Re: Opticians: is there any difference in quality of Costco glasses?

There is a significant difference in optical quality. I have a favorite optical shop. Lenses are Pentax, but now they use another high end lens of equivalent quality. The shop is very stylish and expensive but it is a major appearance and vision spend and an infrequent purchase. So I went to Costco ...
by desiderium
Mon May 01, 2017 7:59 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Cost of Estate Planning
Replies: 33
Views: 5080

Re: Cost of Estate Planning

I believe something missing here is the value of the long-term relationship with an estate planning attorney or firm. My initial encounter with my attorney was because we needed a will. 5 or 6 years later, our assets had changed and we went in for a review. We made a few adjustments and received a d...
by desiderium
Fri Apr 28, 2017 10:50 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: The Power of Habit
Replies: 15
Views: 4069

Re: The Power of Habit

Here is an attempt to reform the most difficult habits


https://pavlok.com
by desiderium
Mon Apr 24, 2017 8:26 am
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: [Should I get an advisor?]
Replies: 14
Views: 1604

Re: [Should I get an advisor?]

I am at a similar point in my career and have recently suffered a crisis of confidence in my amateur personal financial management, and I thought I might need an advisor. I think the value of an advisor for you is probably more in how to manage spending and taxes, rather than how to construct your p...