Search found 385 matches

by Atgard
Thu Oct 18, 2018 9:45 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Paying off the mortgage early - Isn't this the opposite of "putting more money into your house"?
Replies: 82
Views: 6411

Re: Paying off the mortgage early - Isn't this the opposite of "putting more money into your house"?

It is unknowable in advance whether paying off mortgage is better than investing the funds. To complicate things, the potential rate of investment return will, of course, depend on what those funds are invested into. Even those who locked in the record low fixed interest rate are unlikely to see ri...
by Atgard
Wed Oct 10, 2018 8:14 am
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Vanguard vs others
Replies: 27
Views: 1861

Re: Vanguard vs others

6. I like the fact that Vanguard's lower costs is a long standing philosophy not something to lure customers into the fold for possible other reasons or because they are really higher cost firms that are acting only out of the loss of customers or profit. This to me nails it. If you already have a ...
by Atgard
Mon Oct 08, 2018 9:01 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: 2-year CDs at Vanguard and Fidelity Today
Replies: 469
Views: 68301

Re: 2-year CDs at Vanguard and Fidelity Today

Very helpful Scott & Kevin -- thank you! That was an extremely helpful explanation of par value & being sold in blocks of $1,000. (I wish it was explained somewhere in the purchasing interface; if it was, I didn't see it.) I agree with you guys that 2 years seems to be the sweet spot. And, being new...
by Atgard
Mon Oct 08, 2018 5:35 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: 2-year CDs at Vanguard and Fidelity Today
Replies: 469
Views: 68301

Re: 2-year CDs at Vanguard and Fidelity Today

First, thank you Kevin and others who have contributed so much to my understanding in this (and other) threads. Sorry for the noob question, but when buying a new issue CD at Vanguard (I'm going for the 2-year 2.95% from WF -- good choice?), if you don't have enough in your settlement fund, will Van...
by Atgard
Mon Oct 08, 2018 11:24 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: What is your annual cost for health insurance?
Replies: 137
Views: 9580

Re: What is your annual cost for health insurance?

I thought I were one of the few unlucky that were being ripped off by Obama Care deal. Wow! There are so many unhappy people, yet the government is still running this scam. Yes, I say it is a scam. Here is why: I am 63, my wife 60 and my child is 20 (in college). Before Obama Care we used to pay ab...
by Atgard
Sat Oct 06, 2018 8:30 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: What is your annual cost for health insurance?
Replies: 137
Views: 9580

Re: What is your annual cost for health insurance?

Self-funded private insurance maintained since pre-ACA, nearly equivalent to what would be a silver-level plan, Total $6,300 family deductible. Healthy family of 56/44/18. Cost this year: $13,860 Cost next year: $15,096 Insurer (BCBS) can't guarantee this plan will be available after next year. We'...
by Atgard
Sat Oct 06, 2018 9:58 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: What is your annual cost for health insurance?
Replies: 137
Views: 9580

Re: What is your annual cost for health insurance?

I think it would be useful (for many reasons) to list both how much we pay out of pocket, and how much the employer pays for if you have one. This first makes the comparison apples-to-apples -- otherwise, people with employers who pick up more of the tab somehow think they have far less expensive he...
by Atgard
Thu Oct 04, 2018 9:56 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: HELOC to Pay off Mortgage
Replies: 36
Views: 3269

Re: HELOC to Pay off Mortgage

I have seen otherwise-smart people falling for high-pressure sales of these HELOCs that are supposed to magically let you pay off your mortgage earlier, or save interest because the mortgage interest is "amortized" (which most people just don't know what it means, they think they're somehow paying a...
by Atgard
Mon Oct 01, 2018 11:58 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Suze Orman - "I hate the FIRE movement."
Replies: 75
Views: 9118

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

Well, her point that unemployment, investment returns, SS proceeds, or health insurance expenses could all be worse (perhaps dramatically worse) than expected is true. That also needs to be counterbalanced with the fact that nothing can be guaranteed 100% and we shouldn't plan for the 0.00001% proba...
by Atgard
Sat Sep 29, 2018 7:43 am
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Vanguard: Transition to our new investment platform
Replies: 44
Views: 12701

Re: Vanguard: Transition to our new investment platform

I converted a while back. It wasn't really a big deal to me. I haven't seen any downsides. The upside is my accounts are more consolidated, as I recall each account used to have 2 sub-accounts (one regular and one "brokerage") if you had a mix of mutual funds and stocks or ETFs or whatever. Now at l...
by Atgard
Tue Sep 25, 2018 9:00 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Ripped off by a locksmith
Replies: 75
Views: 5722

Re: Ripped off by a locksmith

I have learned the hard way, if a company gives a range of prices, expect the highest end of the range, always. Just visited an urgent care center, cost was supposed to be $89-$129. Was in and out, 12 minutes total. Of course bill was for $129, says "new customer" (I'm not) "extended visit" (it wasn...
by Atgard
Mon Sep 17, 2018 12:47 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Is there such thing as saving TOO much?
Replies: 78
Views: 6925

Re: Is there such thing as saving TOO much?

I guess it's theoretically possible to save TOO much, like if you neglect your own health (or those of your kids, if you had any) or live a miserable existence (more miserable vs. having to work an extra couple of years to live in comfort, anyway). But, since you said "I get more joy right now out o...
by Atgard
Fri Sep 14, 2018 8:38 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: NASA FCU- 15 month CD 3.25%
Replies: 36
Views: 5300

Re: NASA FCU- 15 month CD 3.25%

Yes, the funny thing is I already uploaded a scan of my driver's license as part of the application ("to make processing faster"), but now they're asking for a physical, notarized copy. Nah, I'll find somewhere else to earn an extra 75bp. Kinda wanted the science magazine for my 5yo though... Wow! ...
by Atgard
Wed Sep 12, 2018 8:17 am
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Going off-track of asset allocation due to high savings rate
Replies: 47
Views: 2943

Re: Going off-track of asset allocation due to high savings rate

But when your savings are higher, to stick to your AA, you might only put $X into the most underperforming asset (like international) to bring it up to the proper AA amount, but then you have more savings left over, which "should" then be spread among other assets too (including even the over-perfo...
by Atgard
Tue Sep 11, 2018 2:10 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Going off-track of asset allocation due to high savings rate
Replies: 47
Views: 2943

Re: Going off-track of asset allocation due to high savings rate

I think I understand what you're saying... when you only have a relatively small amount of savings, you can plug it all into the most underperforming asset each year to balance things back out. But when your savings are higher, to stick to your AA, you might only put $X into the most underperforming...
by Atgard
Tue Sep 11, 2018 8:26 am
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: NASA FCU- 15 month CD 3.25%
Replies: 36
Views: 5300

Re: NASA FCU- 15 month CD 3.25%

Yes, the funny thing is I already uploaded a scan of my driver's license as part of the application ("to make processing faster"), but now they're asking for a physical, notarized copy. Nah, I'll find somewhere else to earn an extra 75bp.

Kinda wanted the science magazine for my 5yo though...
by Atgard
Mon Sep 10, 2018 9:45 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: NASA FCU- 15 month CD 3.25%
Replies: 36
Views: 5300

Re: NASA FCU- 15 month CD 3.25%

I tried applying, and they're asking for notarized copies of my driver's license, social security card, and proof of residence. I have all those things, but has anyone else had them require notarized copies? What does that even mean? Type up something that says "these 3 things are authentic" and ge...
by Atgard
Mon Sep 10, 2018 11:51 am
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: NASA FCU- 15 month CD 3.25%
Replies: 36
Views: 5300

Re: NASA FCU- 15 month CD 3.25%

I tried applying, and they're asking for notarized copies of my driver's license, social security card, and proof of residence. I have all those things, but has anyone else had them require notarized copies? What does that even mean? Type up something that says "these 3 things are authentic" and get...
by Atgard
Mon Sep 10, 2018 9:19 am
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: NASA FCU- 15 month CD 3.25%
Replies: 36
Views: 5300

Re: NASA FCU- 15 month CD 3.25%

Thanks for linking, very tempting.

I note that one way to join is they give you a 1-year free membership to the National Space Society. Since it's a 15-mo CD, I assume you'd need to renew it (costs between $25–$55) for at least one more year?
by Atgard
Wed Aug 22, 2018 12:34 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Suggestions for a Generous Grandparent?
Replies: 53
Views: 4384

Re: Suggestions for a Generous Grandparent?

I agree trying to guess & calculate inflation & expected return is pointless. I see 2 options: 1.) give 1/2 to you & 1/2 to your sister, which you can then split amongst your children (so your kids get 1/4 ea. and hers get 1/6 ea.) 2.) give 1/5 to each grandchild (so your family gets 2/5 and hers ge...
by Atgard
Tue Aug 21, 2018 7:56 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: I saved $3,200 on a $23,500 car with minimal stress.
Replies: 45
Views: 6128

Re: I saved $3,200 on a $23,500 car with minimal stress.

This is what I did and it worked out extremely well when I bought a Corvette. I went to the nation's largest volume dealer's website, waited to find the exact car/color/options I wanted on their website. There was an out the door price, and I bought it for that exact price (I paid them $379 to hand...
by Atgard
Tue Aug 21, 2018 10:11 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: PCP Wants Full Charge Up Front [Primary Care Physician]
Replies: 108
Views: 6646

Re: PCP Wants Full Charge Up Front [Primary Care Physician]

I would much rather know what the price is upfront and pay it at the counter (and possibly get something back from the insurer later as a pleasant surprise), than get some over-inflated bill 2 months later that you forgot about and it's much harder to contest. I have no problem paying when the servi...
by Atgard
Tue Aug 21, 2018 10:00 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: I saved $3,200 on a $23,500 car with minimal stress.
Replies: 45
Views: 6128

Re: I saved $3,200 on a $23,500 car with minimal stress.

This is probably about the best way to buy a car imo. Make it clear you are emailing several dealers (even nationwide) and you need their best price, no BS, no call me or come in etc. Be nice, but extremely firm. There's nothing I dislike more in life than talking to a car salesman. Do everything o...
by Atgard
Thu Aug 09, 2018 8:40 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Retirement accounts and physician SCorps and Tax Reform
Replies: 82
Views: 7262

Re: Retirement accounts and physician SCorps and Tax Reform

summary of new 199a irs guidance from Nitti who wrote some good articles before: https://www.forbes.com/sites/anthonynitti/2018/08/09/irs-provides-guidance-on-20-pass-through-deduction-but-questions-remain/#2c6498142ff8 Anyone have tips or experience converting from s-corp to sole prop? Thanks for ...
by Atgard
Sat Jul 21, 2018 9:01 am
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Should I Dump a Pile of Money on Young Son?
Replies: 157
Views: 13778

Re: Should I Dump a Pile of Money on Young Son?

It sure sounds like your kid is on the right track -- bravo! I would personally aim for more of a middle path. Not sure if dumping $1M (that's a lot of money for anyone, especially someone relatively young) all at once is a great idea. On the other hand, he's clearly not wasteful in spending so I wo...
by Atgard
Thu Jul 19, 2018 1:17 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: What is the most severe hyperbolic discounting you have ever acted on?
Replies: 30
Views: 2504

Re: What is the most severe hyperbolic discounting you have ever acted on?

Yeah, I don't think hyperbolic discounting means "buy a bunch of stuff when it's on sale" -- it's actually kinda the opposite. It's paying $8 each for a hot dog and beer at a ballgame instead of waiting until you get home and they're $1 each (or less). It's buying the new iPhone or gadget the day it...
by Atgard
Mon Jul 02, 2018 2:28 am
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Opening a 529 with Vanguard
Replies: 2
Views: 337

Re: Opening a 529 with Vanguard

You have a choice of (a) Age-Based Options or (b) Individual Portfolios. If you choose Age-Based Options , it is like a Target Retirement Fund: Vanguard will pick a mix of stocks & bonds (and short-term reserves) based on the age of your child, and this will automatically adjust to become more conse...
by Atgard
Sat Jun 30, 2018 8:31 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: replace old central AC unit?
Replies: 32
Views: 2596

Re: replace old central AC unit?

A newer unit might help, but generally just in being more energy efficient (SEER ratings of 16+). You should first check to see if your current unit is appropriately sized for the space/climate, and if it's working properly. A larger (higher-tonnage) A/C is not necessarily better here, you want one ...
by Atgard
Wed Jun 27, 2018 2:25 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: I-Bond Logistics
Replies: 14
Views: 1950

Re: I-Bond Logistics

I guess it depends how much time you spend tracking & verifying & calculating your I-Bond holdings. If you can automatically schedule a purchase each month, then leave them all there for 30 years, it shouldn't be a big hassle. If you like to meticulously track the current value and interest rates of...
by Atgard
Tue Jun 26, 2018 8:09 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: IRS publishes draft 2018 1040 - Huge changes made
Replies: 156
Views: 17482

Re: IRS publishes draft 2018 1040 - Huge changes made

"Put it on a postcard!"
"But, without actually simplifying the rules, that just means we take half the stuff off the old form and shunt it to a bunch of appendices. So, while some people may go from 2 pages to 1, others will go from 2 up to 7."
"PUT IT ON A POSTCARD!!!"
"Yes, sir."
by Atgard
Mon Jun 25, 2018 2:02 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: VTI -> VTSAX
Replies: 15
Views: 1784

Re: VTI -> VTSAX

I'm in a similar situation. I started buying VTI with another brokerage (when buying the mutual fund VTSAX was either not possible or had high fees). Now that I'm at Vanguard, buying the ETF (only once a year for me thankfully) is a minor hassle. I need to do it while markets are open, have to calcu...
by Atgard
Sun Jun 17, 2018 8:59 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: New Capital One 360 ACH limits
Replies: 63
Views: 14477

Re: New Capitol One 360 ACH limits

illini wrote:
Sun Jun 17, 2018 12:48 pm
Been doing the same. Their recent redesign has made simple tasks frustrating. I miss when it was ING.
Agree 100%. A "simple" interface makes tasks more complicated in this case.
by Atgard
Sun Jun 17, 2018 8:58 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: New Capital One 360 ACH limits
Replies: 63
Views: 14477

Re: New Capitol One 360 ACH limits

I have also had ING (now CapOne360) for about 14 years. It's been my go-to account, and I was very very pleased with ING. The interest didn't make me rich, but beat 95% of other banks and was usually very competitive (still isn't too bad in their money market account). The website was clean & simple...
by Atgard
Thu May 31, 2018 9:25 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Thoughts on Buying a "Flipped" House?
Replies: 27
Views: 3377

Re: Thoughts on Buying a "Flipped" House?

As others have said, a very thorough home inspection is a must. I'd let the inspector know your concerns and even offer to pay more for a more thorough inspection. (We're talking a rounding error of a couple hundred bucks extra on a $3M house.) As one minor point, engineered wood can actually be qui...
by Atgard
Tue May 29, 2018 8:24 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Am I crazy to pay off my 30-yr fixed 3.625 mortgage?
Replies: 139
Views: 17948

Re: Am I crazy to pay off my 30-yr fixed 3.625 mortgage?

All that said, I do get the psychological reasons for wanting to pay off the house and be done. Personally, it doesn't work for me since I still have so many other house-related costs I still have to pay -- which can easily be as much or more than the mortgage payment. It would be different if you ...
by Atgard
Tue May 29, 2018 1:18 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Am I crazy to pay off my 30-yr fixed 3.625 mortgage?
Replies: 139
Views: 17948

Re: Am I crazy to pay off my 30-yr fixed 3.625 mortgage?

I would pay off the mortgage, once you do that the house is yours and yours only, no one can take it away. What happens if you lose your job? On a related note, if I lost my job tomorrow, I would rather have $210K in the bank and a mortgage payment due every month, than $0 in the bank and a paid-of...
by Atgard
Thu May 24, 2018 1:21 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Am I crazy to pay off my 30-yr fixed 3.625 mortgage?
Replies: 139
Views: 17948

Re: Am I crazy to pay off my 30-yr fixed 3.625 mortgage?

I would pay off the mortgage, once you do that the house is yours and yours only, no one can take it away. What happens if you lose your job? I respectfully disagree. First, you certainly can lose your paid-off house if you don't make property tax payments, don't pay HOA fees (if any), can't afford...
by Atgard
Thu May 24, 2018 9:47 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Am I crazy to pay off my 30-yr fixed 3.625 mortgage?
Replies: 139
Views: 17948

Re: Am I crazy to pay off my 30-yr fixed 3.625 mortgage?

Lots of differing opinions with no universal right or wrong answer. My personal opinion is I would keep the mortgage, 3.625% is a great rate. I am in a similar situation with 3.75%. I think in the next 28 years there will come a time when you're happy to have someone loaning you money at 3.625% -- n...
by Atgard
Thu May 24, 2018 9:43 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Buying Crypto tokens in private sale prior to ICO
Replies: 21
Views: 1444

Re: Buying Crypto tokens in private sale prior to ICO

GKSD wrote:
Thu May 24, 2018 9:06 am
They have some pitch on their platform but it is way too complicated gibberish for me to understand.
I think you have answered your own question.
by Atgard
Tue May 22, 2018 9:55 am
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: How do you stop moving the goal posts.
Replies: 62
Views: 5420

Re: How do you stop moving the goal posts.

Much better shape, like with most investors the last 4 years have been fantastic. That is part of the problem, I have become accustomed to seeing my balances increase virtually every month and the year over year increases have exceeded all of my expectations. The standard of living I will have in r...
by Atgard
Wed May 16, 2018 11:56 am
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Fellow non-529ers
Replies: 43
Views: 3329

Re: Fellow non-529ers

I can understand not wanting to overfund, but there is a lot of room between "zero" and "overfunding." Isn't the answer to put in some portion up to an amount you think you'll almost certainly use? (Keep in mind there is flexibility among siblings, other relatives, K-12, undergrad, grad school, room...
by Atgard
Thu May 10, 2018 2:20 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: What's the view on dogs running free?
Replies: 110
Views: 6321

Re: What's the view on dogs running free?

It seems to me that if you want to stop animals or people from walking across your yard, you should put up a fence. You can say "I shouldn't have to do that," but I disagree. That's what fences are for. It's like saying you shouldn't have to pay for a front door or a lock. On the other hand, if most...
by Atgard
Mon May 07, 2018 1:33 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Switching Apple Mac Mini to Solid State Drive?
Replies: 15
Views: 1209

Re: Switching Apple Mac Mini to Solid State Drive?

I would also recommend an external SSD (preferably USB 3). The only problem is a computer that old only has USB 2, so the speed won't wow you. But then you can use it on a newer computer and/or laptop when you get it (and the speed will wow you). Apple charges about 2-3x too much for pre-installing ...
by Atgard
Tue May 01, 2018 8:41 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: I-bond fixed rate = 0.3%
Replies: 62
Views: 8638

Re: I-bond fixed rate = 0.3%

I just want to say I am unreasonably excited about this HUGE jump to 0.3% fixed, and already scheduled my order (to purchase near the end of the month, of course). Yes, I agonized over whether to buy in April or roll the dice. And now I own my highest fixed-rate iBonds. I know, small victories. OK, ...
by Atgard
Tue May 01, 2018 3:16 pm
Forum: Forum Issues and Administration
Topic: Making it easier to track posts from the OP
Replies: 29
Views: 3105

Re: Making it easier to track posts from the OP

Yes, some forums highlight the original poster's later replies or have a little "OP" mark next to his name. Helpful. Not sure if that's a feature that can be enabled through this forum software?
by Atgard
Tue May 01, 2018 8:49 am
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: How do you know when you have "won the game"?
Replies: 142
Views: 16469

Re: How do you know when you have "won the game"?

I see a disconnect. Many Bogleheads admire Warren Buffet who didn't quit when he "won the game". Not sure what everyone thinks of Trump, but he didn't quit either. T Boone Pickens, Rupert Murdoch, George Soros, etc. Most could have quit much younger than many of us, but didn't. How does one reconci...
by Atgard
Sun Apr 29, 2018 9:42 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: HSA family max contribution lowered to $6850 for 2018 [and changed to $6900 again]
Replies: 128
Views: 15276

Re: HSA family max contribution lowered to $6850 for 2018 [and changed to $6900 again]

YES! This was one instance where the "wait and see" approach paid dividends (I had put in the full $6,900 in January). I was hoping the IRS would do the right thing, what a hassle it was going to be for us, HSA administrators, and the IRS to haggle over that $50 and a bunch of $3 fines. Glad to have...
by Atgard
Wed Apr 11, 2018 3:18 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: I Bond’s Variable Rate Will Fall To 2.22% On May 1
Replies: 36
Views: 5089

Re: I Bond’s Variable Rate Will Fall To 2.22% On May 1

As to the topic of the thread, I was planning to hold off until May in the hopes of a higher fixed rate. But it seems unlikely they will do more than MAYBE go from 0.1% to 0.2%... and they could keep it the same or even go back to 0.0%. So I'm tempted to just buy now and lock in 0.1% fixed + 2.48% ...
by Atgard
Wed Apr 11, 2018 1:50 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: I Bond’s Variable Rate Will Fall To 2.22% On May 1
Replies: 36
Views: 5089

Re: I Bond’s Variable Rate Will Fall To 2.22% On May 1

As to the topic of the thread, I was planning to hold off until May in the hopes of a higher fixed rate. But it seems unlikely they will do more than MAYBE go from 0.1% to 0.2%... and they could keep it the same or even go back to 0.0%. So I'm tempted to just buy now and lock in 0.1% fixed + 2.48% f...
by Atgard
Wed Apr 11, 2018 1:47 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: I Bond’s Variable Rate Will Fall To 2.22% On May 1
Replies: 36
Views: 5089

Re: I Bond’s Variable Rate Will Fall To 2.22% On May 1

I've never had an issue with the Treasury Direct website. It's not super-slick, and it takes a little getting used to, but you can say the same about Vanguard. At the end of the day, they both work and are the most efficient way for me to buy the low-cost investments I want. Especially considering I...