Search found 165 matches

by A-Commoner
Thu Dec 13, 2018 11:04 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Is a New Car Okay if Driven 15+ Years?
Replies: 66
Views: 4811

Re: Is a New Car Okay if Driven 15+ Years?

I bought a brand new TOYOTA 4 runner 14 years ago, and it’s still running strong at 100k miles. Can’t get myself to replace it. It’s paid off, low maintenance, and highly reliable, especially when the weather and roads turn nasty during winter, as when we had lived in Illinois.
by A-Commoner
Sun Nov 25, 2018 2:34 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: 401k catch up contributions paid as lump sum
Replies: 5
Views: 435

401k catch up contributions paid as lump sum

Can the entire $6000 catch up contribution (for those 50 and older) be paid as lump sum in one pay period? Let’s say for the first paycheck of January 2019, you designate $6000 as catch up. If stocks are still down in January, it might be an opportune time to do lump sum is why I’m considering it. J...
by A-Commoner
Tue Nov 13, 2018 10:30 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Can you suggest where to live if work at UCLA
Replies: 40
Views: 3192

Re: Can you suggest where to live if work at UCLA

My niece and her husband live in Encino, which is 10 miles northwest of UCLA. They live in a nice 2 BR, 2 bath apartment for $2400 a month. Encino is an affluent area, and you can get to UCLA in about 30 minutes. There are other spots in the southern San Fernando valley - like Sherman Oaks - that yo...
by A-Commoner
Sun Nov 04, 2018 9:03 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Medical Career License/Certification suggestions please
Replies: 11
Views: 1042

Re: Medical Career License/Certification suggestions please

Clinical Lab scientists (CLS) with ASCP certification are in high demand everywhere, and the pay is very good. Many employers like Quest Diagnostics are offering signing bonuses of $10-15K because CLS are in shortage. In CA, a CLS can easily make upwards of $100k for work that is less physically gru...
by A-Commoner
Sun Nov 04, 2018 1:02 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Is it more advantageous to live in HCOL or LCOL area in terms of financial independence?
Replies: 180
Views: 11176

Re: Is it more advantageous to live in HCOL or LCOL area in terms of financial independence?

Coastal cities are HCOL partly because the coast poses a limit to expansion; you can’t build homes on the ocean. The lack of buildable land beyond the coastline makes real estate expensive in these places. But another reason coastal cities are HCOL is that the coasts are where ports are located - ma...
by A-Commoner
Sun Nov 04, 2018 12:29 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: What Movie Have You Recently Watched?
Replies: 3891
Views: 1087518

Re: What Movie Have You Recently Watched?

Just came back from seeing Bohemian Rhapsody. Screw the critics, this is a superb movie. It’s a funny and sad creation story (officially sanctioned by the surviving band members) of Queen - a nostalgic look into 70s and 80s pop culture that produced the band and which it would influence in return. C...
by A-Commoner
Sat Nov 03, 2018 11:08 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Is it more advantageous to live in HCOL or LCOL area in terms of financial independence?
Replies: 180
Views: 11176

Re: Is it more advantageous to live in HCOL or LCOL area in terms of financial independence?

Having lived in a LCOL area for 20 years and now in a HCOL area, I must say that the critical difference between the two isn't really the lack of stadiums, museums, restaurants, and other entertainment venues etc in the former. These amenities aren't really all that important. The amenities that ma...
by A-Commoner
Sat Nov 03, 2018 12:14 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Is it more advantageous to live in HCOL or LCOL area in terms of financial independence?
Replies: 180
Views: 11176

Re: Is it more advantageous to live in HCOL or LCOL area in terms of financial independence?

Having lived in a LCOL area for 20 years and now in a HCOL area, I must say that the critical difference between the two isn't really the lack of stadiums, museums, restaurants, and other entertainment venues etc in the former. These amenities aren't really all that important. The amenities that mat...
by A-Commoner
Fri Nov 02, 2018 9:26 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: What Movie Have You Recently Watched?
Replies: 3891
Views: 1087518

Re: What Movie Have You Recently Watched?

Looking forward to watching Bohemian Rhapsody. I was in college in the 80s, so yeah, I get Queen’s music and can connect to the era.
by A-Commoner
Thu Nov 01, 2018 2:02 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Is it more advantageous to live in HCOL or LCOL area in terms of financial independence?
Replies: 180
Views: 11176

Re: Is it more advantageous to live in HCOL or LCOL area in terms of financial independence?

We lived for 20 years in a LCOL. My wife and I are physicians. We did residency training in Chicago, after which we moved to a small college town in the Midwest where we practiced for 20 years. Our incomes in this LCOL area were actually at par or higher than physician incomes in HCOL areas. Fewer ...
by A-Commoner
Thu Nov 01, 2018 9:52 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Is it more advantageous to live in HCOL or LCOL area in terms of financial independence?
Replies: 180
Views: 11176

Re: Is it more advantageous to live in HCOL or LCOL area in terms of financial independence?

We lived for 20 years in a LCOL. My wife and I are physicians. We did residency training in Chicago, after which we moved to a small college town in the Midwest where we practiced for 20 years. Our incomes in this LCOL area were actually at par or higher than physician incomes in HCOL areas. Fewer p...
by A-Commoner
Sat Oct 20, 2018 7:56 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Should we move to San Diego from east coast?
Replies: 138
Views: 10961

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

We moved to Los Angeles last year from low cost Midwest. LA is not quite San Diego, but the calculations we made with respect to trade offs in cost of living are likely similar to someone moving to San Diego from elsewhere. We are a dual physician household. We also have been in practice for a while...
by A-Commoner
Tue Oct 09, 2018 7:10 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: can i start a private investment firm?
Replies: 70
Views: 5293

Re: can i start a private investment firm?

The Beardstown ladies counted their contributions as part of their returns, thereby inflating the latter.
by A-Commoner
Thu Jul 12, 2018 3:00 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Building a Pool
Replies: 64
Views: 7865

Re: Building a Pool

We have a pool, it was a feature we were looking for when we bought our house last year, and we made the right choice. We live in SoCal so the pool is totally worth it.
by A-Commoner
Thu Jul 05, 2018 7:19 am
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Expected returns for 80/20 stock bond for next 10 years.
Replies: 169
Views: 13696

Re: Expected returns for 80/20 stock bond for next 10 years.

I remember the lost decade of 2000-2010. My asset allocation the whole time was set at 70:30 (stock:bond). My net worth at the top of the dot com bubble was $100k. Then we had the popping of the bubble, recession, the terrorist attacks of 911, the Iraq war, the real estate bubble, the global financi...
by A-Commoner
Sat Jun 23, 2018 10:04 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Did you celebrate when you finally hit $1m?
Replies: 209
Views: 22451

Re: Did you celebrate when you finally hit $1m?

It's just a number. While it may be a goal worth noting, it's a bit like driving across the border from Ohio to Indiana...the landscape will not have changed much--financially or otherwise. You really aren't much better off than you were at $990,000. I agree, and I have never driven between Ohio an...
by A-Commoner
Fri Jun 08, 2018 10:56 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Do average kids from upper middle class families get any free college money (Scholarships / non-repayable grants etc)
Replies: 266
Views: 19416

Re: Do average kids from upper middle class families get any free college money (Scholarships / non-repayable grants etc

Having an education is not a disadvantage in pursuing entrepreneurship. Neither is an English degree a disadvantage when writing a book.
by A-Commoner
Fri Jun 08, 2018 10:12 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Do average kids from upper middle class families get any free college money (Scholarships / non-repayable grants etc)
Replies: 266
Views: 19416

Re: Do average kids from upper middle class families get any free college money (Scholarships / non-repayable grants etc

Getting a W2 job isn’t the only desirable utilitarian outcome of an education. Self-employment/entrepreneurship is another utilitarian outcome. An English degree doesn’t stop anyone from pursuing self-employment. Writing books is one such avenue.
by A-Commoner
Thu Jun 07, 2018 10:18 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Do average kids from upper middle class families get any free college money (Scholarships / non-repayable grants etc)
Replies: 266
Views: 19416

Re: Do average kids from upper middle class families get any free college money (Scholarships / non-repayable grants etc

Someone with an English degree from an Ivy and an MA from Oxford could potentially use those degrees to write and sell books. Novels, non fiction, whatever her area of interest and competence may be......if the person is a half decent writer with something unique and important to say, that education...
by A-Commoner
Wed Jun 06, 2018 3:45 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Do average kids from upper middle class families get any free college money (Scholarships / non-repayable grants etc)
Replies: 266
Views: 19416

Re: Do average kids from upper middle class families get any free college money (Scholarships / non-repayable grants etc

Since no one is stopping smart kids from attending so called non-elite schools (or even community colleges), then there really is no problem.
by A-Commoner
Mon Jun 04, 2018 3:22 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Do average kids from upper middle class families get any free college money (Scholarships / non-repayable grants etc)
Replies: 266
Views: 19416

Re: Do average kids from upper middle class families get any free college money (Scholarships / non-repayable grants etc

So you mean my sister with an IVY undergrad and graduate degrees from Oxford and NYU, who makes less than all her siblings (including the two who didn't graduate high school), didn't get a good ROI even though apparently she was taught by a far better faculty? I think you may have misunderstood my ...
by A-Commoner
Sun Jun 03, 2018 3:49 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Can a physician work in tech while practicing as well?
Replies: 57
Views: 4330

Re: Can a physician work in tech while practicing as well?

As a physician myself, I think the area in medicine where tech can potentially make a positive impact is in automation/robotics. Perhaps this is the field you should look into. Medical informatics is already somewhat mature, with the industry consolidating into a few big players (Epic, Cerner). Once...
by A-Commoner
Sun Jun 03, 2018 10:26 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Do average kids from upper middle class families get any free college money (Scholarships / non-repayable grants etc)
Replies: 266
Views: 19416

Re: Do average kids from upper middle class families get any free college money (Scholarships / non-repayable grants etc

What is an average student? The average ACT score in the nation is 20. Is this the type of student the OP is talking about? Does someone with an ACT of 20 get merit scholarships? My understanding of a merit scholarship is it is based on merit. Hence you must be above average. The premise of the OPs ...
by A-Commoner
Sat May 26, 2018 5:00 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Near commercial level treadmill
Replies: 36
Views: 3246

Re: Near commercial level treadmill

Life Fitness, Precor. I have a Life Fitness, bought new 6 years ago for 2000 dollars since it was a floor display model (original price around 3500). Has a 10 year warranty. This thing is built like a tank. It just won’t break. I use It 4 days a week, my wife uses it about the same amount. Not a par...
by A-Commoner
Sun May 20, 2018 6:59 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Coachella concert
Replies: 8
Views: 1076

Re: Coachella concert

Really? Have you attended one before? What did you like about it that you think has been missing lately? BTW, Coachella 2018 had good reviews.
by A-Commoner
Sun May 20, 2018 6:49 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Coachella concert
Replies: 8
Views: 1076

Coachella concert

We missed this year’s concert but will try to go next year. Would like to hear input from those of you who have attended this. When is the best time to buy tickets; where did you stay; how many days were you there for etc. basically, your observations on your experience, what to do and not do. Music...
by A-Commoner
Sun May 20, 2018 5:27 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Curiosity - Kaiser docs compensation
Replies: 19
Views: 3047

Re: Curiosity - Kaiser docs compensation

The best way to know how much Kaiser pays is to ask Kaiser.
Ask Kaiser how much it will pay you.
by A-Commoner
Wed May 16, 2018 11:36 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: New(ish) attending physicians in the Bay Area: Housing
Replies: 150
Views: 13820

Re: New(ish) attending physicians in the Bay Area: Housing

Another angle to consider is the possibility of financing your lifestyle on one income rather than 2. Can you still afford this house if only one of you worked? While physicians have stable jobs, losing the ability to work because you have been disciplined by the medical board and stripped of your l...
by A-Commoner
Sun May 13, 2018 2:44 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: New(ish) attending physicians in the Bay Area: Housing
Replies: 150
Views: 13820

Re: New(ish) attending physicians in the Bay Area: Housing

OP, do you already have jobs in the Bay Area? You said you wanted to be close to your parents which is fine. Have you considered living and practicing in Sacramento? Sacramento is 81 miles from the Bay Area - not that close, but not that far. Just about right IMO. We almost relocated to Sacramento. ...
by A-Commoner
Wed May 09, 2018 4:45 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Comparing 2 physician jobs
Replies: 69
Views: 6940

Re: Comparing 2 physician jobs

If I were the OP, I would do option 2 (go to CA) instead of option 1 (rural area). The reason is that OP already has a positive net worth of $520k. With compounding and additional savings, OP could realistically hit $1million in 3 years. So even if he is denied partnership after working 3 years in t...
by A-Commoner
Wed May 09, 2018 4:19 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Comparing 2 physician jobs
Replies: 69
Views: 6940

Re: Comparing 2 physician jobs

The choice depends on how much money you already have saved. If you have a lot of student debt and a negative net worth coming out of training, you may have to bite the bullet and go with the higher paying rural practice. You don’t have to stay there forever. A 1-2 year stint may be enough to improv...
by A-Commoner
Mon May 07, 2018 11:17 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Comparing 2 physician jobs
Replies: 69
Views: 6940

Re: Comparing 2 physician jobs

I did option 1 for 20 years (high income in a rural area). Made partner, then sold our practice to the hospital for a tidy sum. Worked as hospital employee for several years. Then finally got sick of snow, am now doing option 2 in sunny Los Angeles. Both options have their pros and cons. The money w...
by A-Commoner
Sat May 05, 2018 5:27 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Is Los Angeles a good place long term to live financially?
Replies: 198
Views: 18542

Re: Is Los Angeles a good place long term to live financially?

https://www.cnbc.com/2018/05/04/califor ... onomy.html

Just when people talk about fleeing CA, it becomes the 5th largest economy in the world, surpassing the U.K.
by A-Commoner
Thu Apr 26, 2018 8:44 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Is Los Angeles a good place long term to live financially?
Replies: 198
Views: 18542

Re: Is Los Angeles a good place long term to live financially?

OP, We moved from Chicagoland to LA last year with the intention of living the rest of our lives here. LA is definitely more expensive than Chicagolandia, but we are a 2-physician household and have already been saving for a while. So we came to LA with a lot of "ammo" in our arsenal, so to speak. ...
by A-Commoner
Wed Apr 25, 2018 11:11 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Is Los Angeles a good place long term to live financially?
Replies: 198
Views: 18542

Re: Is Los Angeles a good place long term to live financially?

OP, We moved from Chicagoland to LA last year with the intention of living the rest of our lives here. LA is definitely more expensive than Chicagolandia, but we are a 2-physician household and have already been saving for a while. So we came to LA with a lot of "ammo" in our arsenal, so to speak. ...
by A-Commoner
Sun Apr 22, 2018 2:32 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Is Los Angeles a good place long term to live financially?
Replies: 198
Views: 18542

Re: Is Los Angeles a good place long term to live financially?

https://www.google.com/amp/s/www.brookings.edu/blog/the-avenue/2015/07/01/the-top-10-metropolitan-port-complexes-in-the-u-s/amp/ The article above from Brookings may (or may not) answer the OP’s question about the long term financial viability of living in LA. Not knowing more about the OP’s financi...
by A-Commoner
Sun Apr 22, 2018 1:22 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Is Los Angeles a good place long term to live financially?
Replies: 198
Views: 18542

Re: Is Los Angeles a good place long term to live financially?

My stock portfolio is a legacy of funds from before I adopted indexing. It is now mostly weighted according to the total world index but I have some active funds that I can’t sell due to being long term winners that have huge cap gains (eg VHCOX). So no it is not overweight or underweight Asia.
by A-Commoner
Sun Apr 22, 2018 1:05 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Is Los Angeles a good place long term to live financially?
Replies: 198
Views: 18542

Re: Is Los Angeles a good place long term to live financially?

OP, We moved from Chicagoland to LA last year with the intention of living the rest of our lives here. LA is definitely more expensive than Chicagolandia, but we are a 2-physician household and have already been saving for a while. So we came to LA with a lot of "ammo" in our arsenal, so to speak. W...
by A-Commoner
Sun Apr 15, 2018 1:43 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: How to Invest College/Med School Fund?
Replies: 7
Views: 502

Re: How to Invest College/Med School Fund?

Thanks for the input. My inclination is to go conservative as well and in fact, that’s what half of the money is in. Half of the 650k (roughly 300k) is in a 529 age based portfolio which at this stage has the money mostly in cash. The other 350k is in various taxable stock and bond funds. My concern...
by A-Commoner
Sun Apr 15, 2018 12:31 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: How to Invest College/Med School Fund?
Replies: 7
Views: 502

How to Invest College/Med School Fund?

How would you invest a college/med school fund of about $650k today when the student is only a freshman in college? From what I’ve seen, $650k should be enough to pay for the next 7 years of undergrad and med school, even at full pay private school rates. The assumption here is that the student will...
by A-Commoner
Sat Mar 31, 2018 12:44 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Picking College and College Scholarships
Replies: 645
Views: 77539

Re: Picking College and College Scholarships

Princeton doesn’t have a med school.
by A-Commoner
Sat Mar 31, 2018 11:14 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Picking College and College Scholarships
Replies: 645
Views: 77539

Re: Picking College and College Scholarships

My friend’s daughter got word today of being accepted at Stanford...after having been rejected by USC, Pomona, Grinnell. Her only other acceptance was UIUC which she was resigned to attending. Then Stanford came calling. What a day. Yes, the process is interesting, if only for it's real or perceive...
by A-Commoner
Sat Mar 31, 2018 1:44 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Picking College and College Scholarships
Replies: 645
Views: 77539

Re: Picking College and College Scholarships

My friend’s daughter got word today of being accepted at Stanford...after having been rejected by USC, Pomona, Grinnell. Her only other acceptance was UIUC which she was resigned to attending. Then Stanford came calling. What a day.
by A-Commoner
Tue Mar 27, 2018 9:26 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Question for physicians-- is my taking call worth it?
Replies: 61
Views: 7569

Re: Question for physicians-- is my taking call worth it?

This depends on how much money you already have saved. If I was starting out of training with lots of student loans to pay off, I would say grin and bear it. If you are beyond that stage and have already built up a sizable investment portfolio, I would say it's not worth it. Last year, our portfolio...
by A-Commoner
Sat Mar 24, 2018 9:14 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Anyone Deleting Facebook?
Replies: 338
Views: 28600

Re: Anyone Deleting Facebook?

One reason I bought FB shares years ago (the only individual stock I own, the rest are index funds in a BH portfolio) is because I thought that if I was putting my personal information on it, I may as well benefit from the stock appreciation of FB in exchange for my personal info exposure. Don’t kno...
by A-Commoner
Sat Mar 17, 2018 9:54 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Picking College and College Scholarships
Replies: 645
Views: 77539

Re: Picking College and College Scholarships

Would applying early decision to MIT have made a difference? Based on some elite schools’ admissions stats that have been released so far, it looks like going ED would have improved your son’s odds of acceptance. Well, maybe not for MIT, but Northwestern for instance had an RD acceptance rate of 10...
by A-Commoner
Sat Mar 17, 2018 6:28 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Picking College and College Scholarships
Replies: 645
Views: 77539

Re: Picking College and College Scholarships

Would applying early decision to MIT have made a difference? Based on some elite schools’ admissions stats that have been released so far, it looks like going ED would have improved your son’s odds of acceptance. Well, maybe not for MIT, but Northwestern for instance had an RD acceptance rate of 10%...
by A-Commoner
Sat Feb 24, 2018 5:54 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Just had our offer accepted on a $1.4 Million House
Replies: 90
Views: 10324

Re: Just had our offer accepted on a $1.4 Million House

Anecdote: my parents house in Los Angeles has appreciated about 5% annualized over a 24 year period. This is a sample size of 1. Since there was a mortgage on that house, the returns have been higher.
by A-Commoner
Sat Feb 24, 2018 4:40 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Just had our offer accepted on a $1.4 Million House
Replies: 90
Views: 10324

Re: Just had our offer accepted on a $1.4 Million House

We got a doctor loan from BoA for a 30 yr fixed 5 months ago. The house, which we got for $1 million, is in a Los Angeles suburb as well. We put 20% down. The rate was 3.6% with no points. Looking back, I feel vindicated for getting the mortgage at such an attractive rate instead of paying outright ...