Search found 633 matches

by Zabar
Sat Dec 26, 2015 6:41 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: [What will you do differently in] 2016
Replies: 62
Views: 9599

Re: [What will you do differently in] 2016

1. Going back to working for myself. I spent the past year back in academia, and hated it. I have to remind myself that transferring funds from a bank account to fund my business is simply another form of investment, not a wasteful expense. 2. Spending money on a sailing vacation off Tahiti this spr...
by Zabar
Thu Dec 24, 2015 7:57 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: [Debt free!]
Replies: 24
Views: 4100

Re: Do you have tons of debt?

Congrats! I love the image of the paper chain. It makes the numbers and the concept so tangible.
by Zabar
Thu Dec 24, 2015 7:55 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: What to do with cash gifts for little one?
Replies: 20
Views: 2452

Re: What to do with cash gifts for little one?

529 plan. Take a photo of your child wearing an academic mortarboard (graduation cap) to send as a thank you.
by Zabar
Tue Dec 15, 2015 4:58 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: My credit score is 808
Replies: 37
Views: 12106

Re: My credit score is 808

Recently checked my FICO score through AmEx. High 700s. They offered me two pieces of advice to improve it. I'm paraphrasing here: 1. Don't get another credit card since doing so will (temporarily) lower your score. 2. You should get another credit card since you don't have many and this will demons...
by Zabar
Tue Dec 15, 2015 1:00 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Support a small business?
Replies: 8
Views: 954

Re: Support a small business?

Is the local game store providing any other services to the community, e.g., game nights, instruction sessions, that make them something other than a reseller of products? That would influence my decision.
by Zabar
Wed Nov 25, 2015 3:49 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: College abroad
Replies: 9
Views: 1856

Re: College abroad

My son, now 26, spent a semester at the University of Edinburgh in Scotland while an undergraduate. He loved it, and has gone back to get a Masters in Public Policy there. My sense is that, in that field at least, it's an advantage when coming back to the US. Note that in Europe, many schools have q...
by Zabar
Sun Sep 13, 2015 1:41 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Am I being too stingy for a high-income household?
Replies: 223
Views: 25012

Re: Am I being too stingy for a high-income household?

We can easily afford it but neither one would make *me* significantly happier over the long-term. I feel that long-term happiness comes from more experiences (e.g. travel) w/ loved ones. Living with your wife is one of those "experiences w/loved ones." The new car, like airfare for a trip, is simpl...
by Zabar
Sat Sep 12, 2015 7:28 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Life lessons: Making loans to friends. Insights? Revelations?
Replies: 191
Views: 25445

Re: Life lessons: Making loans to friends. Insights? Revelations?

I've been on both sides of this (borrower and lender) and have also given money to friends who were in tight situations. As a borrower (from an older, wealthy relative), he's told me that I'm the only person who's always paid him back and the only one who's also paid him interest. I did this twice w...
by Zabar
Tue Sep 08, 2015 11:55 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Question for the Bogleheads Millionaires
Replies: 372
Views: 72459

Re: Question for the Bogleheads Millionaires

Getting back to the original question...

As a complement to the first (and most important) piece of advice: live below your means, I suggest: Don't buy things to impress others.
by Zabar
Fri Sep 04, 2015 11:28 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: ATM payment wrong?
Replies: 13
Views: 1352

Re: ATM payment wrong?

I was shorted $20 once, about 20 years ago. The bank credited my account with it immediately. No problem. Apparently, it was common enough back then.
by Zabar
Sun Aug 23, 2015 3:09 pm
Forum: Personal Investments
Topic: investment for infant
Replies: 29
Views: 2925

Re: investment for infant

Remember that the perfect is the enemy of the good. If you want to retain flexibility and control, why not just keep the investments in your name and mentally allocate them to your child. There's no need to decide right now. You'll have more information about your child's needs and wants as he/she g...
by Zabar
Fri Aug 21, 2015 1:25 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Starting Mid-Year and Matching 401K Question.
Replies: 7
Views: 4247

Re: Starting Mid-Year and Matching 401K Question.

My experience is that it's calculated for each paycheck.

Also, many companies will "true up" their matches at the end of the calendar year in case you didn't contribute an even percentage of each paycheck.
by Zabar
Thu Aug 20, 2015 10:38 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: I got a raise! Now what?
Replies: 18
Views: 3765

Re: I got a raise! Now what?

Thanks again for all the help. I am leaning towards breaking up the $1500 raise this way: $750 - 529 (split between 2 kids) $500 - Emergency/Remodel Fund $250 - Student loan debt If anyone sees a smarter way to allocate our newly earned $1500/month please don't hesitate to offer suggestions. What a...
by Zabar
Mon Aug 17, 2015 12:02 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Your First Job
Replies: 113
Views: 11157

Re: Your First Job

I was 14 or 15, and was a teaching assistant for a set of younger kids' woodworking classes on Saturday mornings. I was paid $1.67/hr, which worked out to $5.00 per Saturday. I thought it was really cool to receive a check each month.
by Zabar
Sat Jul 18, 2015 3:29 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: New Job - Simple IRA rollover and matching question
Replies: 7
Views: 1298

Re: New Job - Simple IRA rollover and matching question

I agree with Whaleknives. Also, when I started at a new job a few years ago, it caused me to miss out on some retirement-related benefits (matches) that I would have received in my old job. I negotiated a bonus from the new employer to be given at the end of the calendar year that made me whole by g...
by Zabar
Sat Jul 18, 2015 3:24 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Cashing a check on a business with no bank account
Replies: 18
Views: 19444

Re: Cashing a check on a business with no bank account

My wife recently had something similar happen. She used to have a Sub-S corporation (HerName, Inc.) that she used for writing income. She and I were the only shareholders. We let it lapse a year ago when we moved to California and opened HerName, LLC that serves the same purpose. A month ago she rec...
by Zabar
Sat Jul 18, 2015 3:08 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Concierge Care
Replies: 36
Views: 7765

Re: Concierge Care

Are there additional charges throughout the year? Would you comment on how it works with insurance? I now understand that the concierge "membership" fee is generally not covered by insurance. Medicare is explicit that the fee is not covered. Do you get a bill for each visit, some visits, never? Con...
by Zabar
Sat Jul 18, 2015 2:40 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Advice on medical bills
Replies: 12
Views: 2141

Re: Advice on medical bills

Sorry to hear about your situation. Generally, it's a bad idea to withdraw funds early from an IRA. In addition to income taxes, you're stuck with a 10% penalty unless your unreimbursed medical bills are more than 10% of your adjusted gross income. See the IRS information on this. The interest-free ...
by Zabar
Sat Jul 18, 2015 2:31 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Advisors
Replies: 12
Views: 1732

Re: Advisors

CPA for tax planning and filing. Also for general advice on major financial issues, e.g., home purchase, business establishment. CFP for advice on investments (slice-and-dice around a core of index funds) and major financial issues/planning. Estate attorney for wills and trusts. Specialized attorney...
by Zabar
Sat Jul 18, 2015 2:25 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Concierge Care
Replies: 36
Views: 7765

Re: Concierge Care

I switched to concierge care about three years ago, and haven't regretted it at all. My first PCP was with MDVIP, but switched over to another group about a year after I started with him. I then moved cross-country and am with an independent PCP who offers concierge care. In exchange for the fee, yo...
by Zabar
Mon Jul 06, 2015 12:00 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Best place to order business cards
Replies: 12
Views: 5111

Re: Best place to order business cards

tc101 wrote:Where do order business cards online. I have used Vista Print in the past and they are OK, but I wonder if there are places better or cheaper.
I've used moo.com several times. Their designs are unusual and the print quality and card stock are excellent.

They're better, but not cheaper.
by Zabar
Sun Jul 05, 2015 11:33 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Borrowing money from my 401k
Replies: 26
Views: 8703

Re: Borrowing money from my 401k

You should only borrow from a 401k in an emergency, and if you are able to put 1000 towards debt you are doing well. I would consider selling the car and getting a beater before taking out a 401k loan. Mike Exactly! This isn't an emergency. Also, by taking out a 401(k) loan, you're not paying off a...
by Zabar
Mon Jun 15, 2015 11:24 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Nice Milestone Reached Last Week
Replies: 41
Views: 9370

Re: Nice Milestone Reached Last Week

Wonderful! :sharebeer

The first $100K is by far the most difficult. Keep it up.
by Zabar
Mon Jun 15, 2015 11:18 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Travel insurance - worth it?
Replies: 96
Views: 21697

Re: Travel insurance - worth it?

Probably not worth it. Remember, the figures listed are the maximum payouts per person, not the guaranteed payouts. How many opportunities during the trip will there be to miss a cruise connection? Also, medical evacuation coverage might be worthwhile if they're visiting Damascus or Sanaa, but not i...
by Zabar
Mon Jun 15, 2015 1:25 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Unwise to keep funds at one bank?
Replies: 32
Views: 5752

Re: Unwise to keep funds at one bank?

Once I had a checking account at Bank of America. They locked me out of that account for 3 weeks because of a 6-figure mistake they made. Luckily I could live off of credit cards for those 3 weeks. I suggest that you do not have a single point of incompetence ruin your financial life. I had a simil...
by Zabar
Fri Jun 05, 2015 10:47 pm
Forum: Personal Investments
Topic: Big life changes and large lump sums about to appear
Replies: 16
Views: 2821

Re: Big life changes and large lump sums about to appear

Additionally my wife is expecting an inheritance of about $70,000 from her mother's estate. I am also expecting an inheritance. Not sure of the amount but expect it to be somewhere between $200,000 to $300,000. This type of phrasing always makes me a bit concerned. Have the parties involved already...
by Zabar
Thu May 21, 2015 8:57 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Career Advice: Follow "Passion" or Follow the Money?
Replies: 74
Views: 8923

Re: Career Advice: Follow "Passion" or Follow the Money?

More money does not automatically lead to greater satisfaction. It's not surprising that after spending all of those years in school while earning a pittance as a graduate student, that you have a low net worth. Lots of people in your situation have a significant negative net worth! It's truly impre...
by Zabar
Thu May 21, 2015 8:40 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Friends/Family that don't invest!
Replies: 112
Views: 20679

Re: Friends/Family that don't invest!

aj44 wrote:...that was not the answer they wanted to hear.
That says it all!
by Zabar
Sat May 09, 2015 6:27 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Buying new car
Replies: 21
Views: 4871

Re: Buying new car

Leasing is simply another way of having a car. For most of the people most of the time it will cost you more in the longer run. With a lease you start with a capitalized cost which can be negotiated as above. That cost is then paid down to a residual value during the term of the lease. The residual...
by Zabar
Sun Apr 26, 2015 3:15 pm
Forum: Personal Investments
Topic: Roth IRA contributions for a newbie
Replies: 7
Views: 957

Re: Roth IRA contributions for a newbie

Since your tax rate on $5,000 annual income would be trivial, I'd put as much as I could into a Roth while you're so young. Since the babysitting is a cash business, I don't think that the IRS would dispute you if you added that amount to your reported income without producing W2s or 1099s. (Remembe...
by Zabar
Sun Apr 26, 2015 3:07 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: How hard is it to set up a solo 401k?
Replies: 15
Views: 5202

Re: How hard is it to set up a solo 401k?

I set up two last year--my wife's LLC and my LLC--with Vanguard. I think it took me about 10 minutes for both. Not a big deal at all.
by Zabar
Sat Apr 25, 2015 6:36 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Ethical [Compensation based on sales]
Replies: 67
Views: 7206

Re: Ethical

The two salespeople are colluding to defraud their employer.
by Zabar
Sun Jan 04, 2015 6:05 pm
Forum: Personal Investments
Topic: My First Taxable Account
Replies: 3
Views: 930

Re: My First Taxable Account

Congrats on getting out of grad school soon. As for investing outside of retirement accounts, I'd begin by reading this . Health Care Fund Investor Shares (VGHCX) is an actively managed, undiversified (sector) fund. As such, for someone in your position it's more of a gamble than an investment. Prim...
by Zabar
Sun Jan 04, 2015 5:28 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Organizing family accounts/info for emergency use
Replies: 13
Views: 2690

Re: Organizing family accounts/info for emergency use

I use a simple, written list similar to this, which I keep in a fireproof safe in our home. I wouldn't put it in a bank safe deposit box since that may be sealed upon my death.
by Zabar
Sun Dec 28, 2014 1:26 pm
Forum: Personal Investments
Topic: Maxing out 401k and compensating from savings
Replies: 11
Views: 1631

Re: Maxing out 401k and compensating from savings

There are several issues in tax-advantaged vs. non-advantaged investing, not all of which apply to you. For some people, having automatic withdrawals from their paychecks that go into a retirement account is that only way they can save any money. In your case, you already have the $1-MM from the inh...
by Zabar
Sun Dec 28, 2014 4:22 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Comparing total tax impact of residence locations
Replies: 8
Views: 1182

Re: Comparing total tax impact of residence locations

Areavibes gives information on mundane expenses. Total Tax Insights has a tax calculator.

Good luck.
by Zabar
Sun Dec 28, 2014 4:09 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Just did my first ROTH conversion
Replies: 5
Views: 1284

Re: Just did my first ROTH conversion

I was hesitant to contribute post tax money to a retirement account, but finally decided to max out ROTH conversion every year going forward and consider it as a part of my emergency fund as I can withdraw my contributions anytime This may sound picky, but I believe that it's important since you ma...
by Zabar
Fri Dec 26, 2014 4:03 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: How Have You Increased Your Savings Rate?
Replies: 50
Views: 7665

Re: How Have You Increased Your Savings Rate?

• I stopped comparing myself to others. It's easier not to spend if you don't feel social pressure to "keep up with the Jonses." • I learned to find more joy in investing than in purchasing most goods and services. Too many people think of saving in terms of deprivation and suffering. • I gained a f...
by Zabar
Fri Dec 26, 2014 3:53 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Buy House? Pay Off Student Loans? A little bit of both?
Replies: 11
Views: 2017

Re: Buy House? Pay Off Student Loans? A little bit of both?

Definitely pay off the student loans, but not just because of the high interest rates. Paying the loans carries very little risk and has a well-defined, high benefit. Student loans cannot be discharged in bankruptcy, should something terrible happen. Houses come with additional expenses well beyond ...
by Zabar
Fri Dec 26, 2014 3:46 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Who directs your financial advice?
Replies: 13
Views: 1393

Re: Who directs your financial advice?

I use a CPA for tax-related advice and as a general sounding board on financial issues (not investments). Our income has come from variety of sources including employment, LLCs, Sub-S corporations, royalties, etc., so it can get complex. I use a CFP who shares my approach to investing--basically Bog...
by Zabar
Thu Dec 25, 2014 1:18 am
Forum: Personal Investments
Topic: Advice on 401k / Debt
Replies: 12
Views: 1629

Re: Advice on 401k / Debt

I would prioritize: 1. 401k contributions to receive the full match 2. Sell the employee stock immediately and invest in the Target Retirement fund 3. Building up your emergency fund to get ready for upcoming baby expenses (trust me, your costs will go up) 4. Avoiding taking on additional debt with...
by Zabar
Wed Dec 24, 2014 2:47 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Physician doing consulting on side - individual 401k?
Replies: 33
Views: 4621

Re: Physician doing consulting on side - individual 401k?

Everything I've read states 457 contributions do not count toward the 401k deferral. This is correct. The $17,500 elective deferral limit for a 401k also includes a person's other 401ks, 403bs, and I think SEP and SIMPLE IRAs. The limit for the 457b is separate and you can double contribute. I'm su...
by Zabar
Tue Dec 23, 2014 11:55 pm
Forum: Personal Investments
Topic: Am I on the right track?
Replies: 10
Views: 1513

Re: Am I on the right track?

I'd like to retire at about 62, but hold off on SS until at least 65, but it may be hard to do with us starting to save so late. Given your situation, that may not be a good idea. Assuming you're healthy, it's usually smart to delay Social Security as long as possible--ideally until age 70. (If you...
by Zabar
Tue Dec 23, 2014 3:59 am
Forum: Personal Investments
Topic: How would 84 year old lady manage $400,000 from house sold
Replies: 42
Views: 5842

Re: How would 84 year old lady manage $400,000 from house so

Given her beliefs and her professional background, she might also look into establishing a charitable remainder trust . While that's usually promoted on the basis of its tax advantages--something that seems to be irrelevant to her situation--it's a way of guaranteeing a lifetime stream of income whi...
by Zabar
Mon Dec 22, 2014 11:07 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: (Poll) Did you tap into emergency fund in the past 10 years?
Replies: 64
Views: 8167

Re: (Poll) Did you tap into emergency fund in the past 10 ye

I'm fascinated that the poll (as of this posting) shows that 10% of responders used 7+ months of emergency fund reserves. One person mentioned it was due to Hurricane Sandy, without many people people mentioning why. I'm curious why did people have to use > 6 months of reserves and how to protect/i...
by Zabar
Sun Nov 30, 2014 9:08 pm
Forum: Personal Investments
Topic: Need Feedback for 20K Investment Decision
Replies: 7
Views: 1220

Re: Need Feedback for 20K Investment Decision

You are really going down the wrong path by focusing on stars, recommendations, etc. +1. It sounds more like you're talking about gambling, a.k.a. "playing the market" or "trading." That's quite different from Boglehead-style investing. I'm reminded of the story of the "gambler with a foolproof sys...
by Zabar
Sun Nov 30, 2014 9:01 pm
Forum: Personal Investments
Topic: new investor: stock market v real estate
Replies: 11
Views: 1182

Re: new investor: stock market v real estate

At age 38 with 80K in tax-advantaged retirement accounts, I'd be reluctant to focus on real estate with that additional $100K. You would benefit from the diversification inherent in index and index-like mutual funds. If you had, say, $800K in retirement at your age, it would be a different matter. I...
by Zabar
Sun Nov 30, 2014 8:53 pm
Forum: Personal Investments
Topic: Help with Setting up Portfolio
Replies: 8
Views: 1831

Re: Help with Setting up Portfolio

The key thing to remember in your situation--being new investors without much already in the market--is that in the beginning, the amount you invest is MUCH more important than your precise asset allocation. It may take a few years before the AA takes precedence. For the sake of simplicity and minim...
by Zabar
Sun Nov 30, 2014 2:34 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Bah Humbug [managing Christmas spending]
Replies: 52
Views: 7184

Re: Bah Humbug [managing Christmas spending]

For the past decade or so, my wife and I have agreed that we would indulge in one "big" (several hundred dollar) gift from ourselves to ourselves for the holidays, plus a couple of small indulgences (e.g., books, music) that we each buy for the other. This year we purchased a restored manual typewri...
by Zabar
Sun Nov 30, 2014 2:24 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Simplifying your finances: Practical tips
Replies: 28
Views: 5775

Re: Simplifying your finances: Practical tips

I just simplified our bank accounts following a cross-country move. We used to have a personal joint checking account at an out-of-town brick-and-mortar bank, a high-interest (ha!) savings account at an online bank, a backup checking account at a local credit union and a couple of targeted savings a...