Search found 512 matches

by Nearly A Moose
Tue Apr 11, 2017 1:14 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Prewiring house for tv and internet. Worth it?
Replies: 65
Views: 5127

Re: Prewiring house for tv and internet. Worth it?

I'd just say based on my own experience with a "wireless" house that having at least a few hardwired points is helpful and gives you options. So I'd at least do a few key areas (eg office, basement, living room). But from what others are saying, this is cheap relative to the costs of a fu...
by Nearly A Moose
Tue Apr 11, 2017 1:11 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Cordless Vacuum Cleaners
Replies: 28
Views: 2441

Re: Cordless Vacuum Cleaners

I had to go check, but I bought a Dyson DC35 refurbished in April 2014. It's worked just fine. I use it for light touch-up cleaning. I've never had issues with suction or batter, and I can usually get at least 20 minutes of runtime out of it. It's hardly ever run out before I was done with it. A nic...
by Nearly A Moose
Tue Apr 11, 2017 1:05 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Prewiring house for tv and internet. Worth it?
Replies: 65
Views: 5127

Re: Prewiring house for tv and internet. Worth it?

The latest greatest DirecTV boxes are wireless. Roku, Amazon Fire TV, Apple TV...all wireless. The new wireless routers can extend to the whole home and service dozens of devices. Land lines..disappearing. I would not spend the extra money to run cable, phone, Ethernet to every possible room. I'd j...
by Nearly A Moose
Tue Apr 11, 2017 1:04 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Prewiring house for tv and internet. Worth it?
Replies: 65
Views: 5127

Re: Prewiring house for tv and internet. Worth it?

Haven't been in your shoes yet (although I've seen my parents and a close friend both build houses and watched the thought process that went into it), but I'd suggest doing that, especially if you'll be living in the house. I understand it's a lot cheaper to do that wiring in advance while the walls...
by Nearly A Moose
Sun Apr 09, 2017 12:19 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Cordless Vacuum Cleaners
Replies: 28
Views: 2441

Re: Cordless Vacuum Cleaners

Seems like it might be more connvenient if battery just stayed in vacuum and was plugged in all the time. Then it would be instantly ready any time - all you would have to do is lift it off the charger and go. Just to be clear....the Dyson electrical cord plugs into the battery like a phone. You ca...
by Nearly A Moose
Sun Apr 09, 2017 8:39 am
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: 27yr curious about my investment personel and strategy
Replies: 61
Views: 6907

Re: 27yr curious about my investment personel and strategy

From personal experience, don't expect this to be a constructive, pleasant, or satisfying conversation. One way to frame it might be to turn this into a request for a proposal: "I've decided I'd like to pursue a passive investing, index-based, low-cost, low-turnover, tax-efficient approach to i...
by Nearly A Moose
Sat Apr 08, 2017 10:52 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: High Income earners, whats your Tax Strategy?
Replies: 113
Views: 12684

Re: High Income earners, whats your Tax Strategy?

Usual stuff: - max my 401k - wife contributes 100% to her 403B - backdoor Roth for both - HSA max - 529 for each of 3 kids plus wife and I What's the strategy in having 529s with you and your wife as beneficiaries? Are you actually planning to go back to school, or do you have a different use? We c...
by Nearly A Moose
Sat Apr 08, 2017 8:12 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Choosing to put less than 20% down...why is this wrong?
Replies: 51
Views: 5460

Re: Choosing to put less than 20% down...why is this wrong?

With an 800 credit score, you may qualify for a HELOC after purchase with 20% down. You can likely open it at no cost, and then not use it except in an emergency. This makes some of your down payment available without actually holding it as cash and paying a higher interest rate plus PMI on a large...
by Nearly A Moose
Sat Apr 08, 2017 3:10 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: High Income earners, whats your Tax Strategy?
Replies: 113
Views: 12684

Re: High Income earners, whats your Tax Strategy?

Bacchus01 wrote:Usual stuff:

- max my 401k
- wife contributes 100% to her 403B
- backdoor Roth for both
- HSA max
- 529 for each of 3 kids plus wife and I



What's the strategy in having 529s with you and your wife as beneficiaries? Are you actually planning to go back to school, or do you have a different use?
by Nearly A Moose
Thu Apr 06, 2017 10:56 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Good way to value a wedding dress for taxes?
Replies: 13
Views: 1386

Re: Good way to value a wedding dress for taxes?

The fact that you got rid of it tells me that it is probably worth less than $20. Thanks for reading and posting. Since yours is the most recent post raising this point, I'm responding here but don't necessarily mean to single you out, but I'm confused by the several comments to this effect. If I d...
by Nearly A Moose
Thu Apr 06, 2017 10:45 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Good way to value a wedding dress for taxes?
Replies: 13
Views: 1386

Re: Good way to value a wedding dress for taxes?

I looked up what I could probably have sold it for on ebay (what similar dresses in that brand were going for) and used that value. I paid $1650 for the dress originally (plus tax, plus rush fee, plus alterations which put the final price over $2000). I think I deducted around $400 for it. I waited...
by Nearly A Moose
Thu Apr 06, 2017 10:42 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Good way to value a wedding dress for taxes?
Replies: 13
Views: 1386

Re: Good way to value a wedding dress for taxes?

Silk McCue wrote:This website might be able to help you come up with a defensible value for the dress.

https://www.preownedweddingdresses.com/ ... calculator


Thanks, I'll check this out.
by Nearly A Moose
Wed Apr 05, 2017 9:38 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Good way to value a wedding dress for taxes?
Replies: 13
Views: 1386

Good way to value a wedding dress for taxes?

I was about to file when I realized that I still need to value the wedding dress my wife finally donated to charity this year. The "ItsDeduxtible" program built into Turbo Tax values wedding dresses at $21, which I think is a tad low given what we paid for this. I'd like to identify some o...
by Nearly A Moose
Wed Apr 05, 2017 12:29 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Variable Universal Life - how long to stay?
Replies: 24
Views: 2882

Re: Variable Universal Life - how long to stay?

I believe, based on my reading of WCI and others, that you could also do the 1035 exchange into an annuity and immediately cash out the annuity, taking the difference between your cost basis and the cash out value as a general loss on your tax returns (the reason you'd do the 1035 exchange is that y...
by Nearly A Moose
Tue Apr 04, 2017 10:38 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Help with college choice
Replies: 125
Views: 6717

Re: Help with college choice

I'll confess to not having read the full thread, as it's late, but the topic and dilemma speak to me. Objectively, these are all great schools. Yes, some are better than others. But to a large degree, especially as an undergrad, the best students will rise to the top of their institutions, and if th...
by Nearly A Moose
Mon Apr 03, 2017 12:35 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Synology and IP Camera Setup
Replies: 13
Views: 1522

Re: Synology and IP Camera Setup

I'm much less up on tech issues than I was 10 years ago, but still know enough to be dangerous, and I'm quite happy with my Synology NAS. Incredibly easy to setup (did it in one pass during my kids' naptime). Software is very easy to use. I know I'm not really getting everything out of it that I cou...
by Nearly A Moose
Mon Apr 03, 2017 10:36 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Young-ish bogleheads: How much (if any) social security do you expect in retirement?
Replies: 88
Views: 5426

Re: Young-ish bogleheads: How much (if any) social security do you expect in retirement?

Politics aside, I'm planning on none but hoping for something reasonably like what we have now. My rationale is that by assuming none, I'm being very conservative in adding some "padding" to my safe withdrawal rate, and it helps push me toward saving more aggressively. Given that it is a g...
by Nearly A Moose
Sat Apr 01, 2017 9:31 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: How to access new DC 529 Plan Page
Replies: 0
Views: 343

How to access new DC 529 Plan Page

Just a PSA, as this caught me by surprise. The plan administrator (or whatever you call the company that runs the plan) for the Washington DC 529 plan recently changed from Calvert to Ascensus. I've known this and that it was happening around now, but I never received any communication (email or sna...
by Nearly A Moose
Fri Mar 31, 2017 3:10 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: High Earners - What's Your Profession?
Replies: 613
Views: 92552

Re: High Earners - What's Your Profession?

Writer/digital publisher. Income varies but generally between 110-200K, starting in 2011. The Kindle boom has been generous but I don't expect it to last past 2020 or so, which is why I am saving and investing very aggressively. Interesting revival to an old thread. I'm not at all in your field but...
by Nearly A Moose
Thu Mar 30, 2017 3:29 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Short term munis vs. CDs for extra cash on hand?
Replies: 7
Views: 1119

Re: Short term munis vs. CDs for extra cash on hand?

If you know you need the cash in 2-3 years (and likely not sooner), that lines up reasonably well with some popular CD timeframes, making it more practical to buy CDs with liquidity when you need it without having to do a bunch of laddering. You're not talking about returns that much more than a sav...
by Nearly A Moose
Mon Mar 27, 2017 10:41 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: thoughts on in-ceiling speakers?
Replies: 48
Views: 4495

Re: thoughts on in-ceiling speakers?

My experience with in-wall speakers has been with my parents' houses (built 2000 and ~2012). Let's say I've been less than impressed by both the functionality and the sound quality. I'm not an audiophile. I have a 5.1 surround in my living room with a set of $600 small scale speakers (bought 2010) t...
by Nearly A Moose
Wed Mar 22, 2017 9:23 am
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: What safe investment vehicle has the highest yield right now?
Replies: 22
Views: 3395

Re: What safe investment vehicle has the highest yield right now?

Since you're already with Ally, check out their CDs. Their 2 and 4 year CDs are doing slightly better than the online savings account (~1.3-1.6%). There is an early withdrawal penalty, but you can do the math to figure out how long you'd need to hold the CDs at a minimum to beat the savings account....
by Nearly A Moose
Sat Mar 18, 2017 9:22 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Consultant, LLC, pricing?
Replies: 8
Views: 779

Re: Consultant, LLC, pricing?

I'll add only that consulting should cost more per hour than a full time employee. That $250 number sounds reasonable.
by Nearly A Moose
Sat Mar 11, 2017 9:04 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Nearly paid off house; Should I sell, go back to renting and invest the equity?
Replies: 14
Views: 1631

Re: Nearly paid off house; Should I sell, go back to renting and invest the equity?

Don't forget, the gains from the sale are taxed if you don't buy a new primary residence within a certain period of time. If there's a very real chance you might move in 3 years--whether because of job change, new spouse, getting sick of it--I would be reluctant to pay down the mortgage any more qui...
by Nearly A Moose
Thu Mar 09, 2017 3:40 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: 27yr curious about my investment personel and strategy
Replies: 61
Views: 6907

Re: 27yr curious about my investment personel and strategy

When you update, you might explain whether there are any special circumstances that would make you think you are in particular need of such an elaborate financial services team (or that would make you a "Good target" for that type of sales pitch). High income? A profession associated with...
by Nearly A Moose
Thu Mar 09, 2017 9:51 am
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: 27yr curious about my investment personel and strategy
Replies: 61
Views: 6907

Re: 27yr curious about my investment personel and strategy

When you update, you might explain whether there are any special circumstances that would make you think you are in particular need of such an elaborate financial services team (or that would make you a "Good target" for that type of sales pitch). High income? A profession associated with ...
by Nearly A Moose
Wed Mar 08, 2017 11:55 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Wedding cash gift
Replies: 68
Views: 4941

Re: Wedding cash gift

We spent about $65k on our wedding a few years ago in a major east coast city (total, everything but the engagement ring). I wouldn't say I regret it, but in hindsight I wish I had done something different and saved maybe half that money. The interesting thing about weddings is that they're the bigg...
by Nearly A Moose
Wed Mar 08, 2017 5:56 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Windfall - How To Make The Money Work For Us
Replies: 11
Views: 2401

Re: Windfall - How To Make The Money Work For Us

With the idea of the "lost decade" of investing, we thought it may be best to pay off the 4.75% mortgage and dollar cost average the retirement money over the next 3-4 years. I agree with this idea. You probably aren't getting anywhere near full value from the mortgage interest deduction ...
by Nearly A Moose
Tue Mar 07, 2017 10:18 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Windfall - How To Make The Money Work For Us
Replies: 11
Views: 2401

Re: Windfall - How To Make The Money Work For Us

I am not an expert on this and don't own my own business, but you may be able to get more of this inheritance into tax-sheltered retirement accounts beyond the Roth IRAs while possibly lowering taxes on your husband's (and soon to be your) business earnings. For example, figure out if you can set up...
by Nearly A Moose
Tue Mar 07, 2017 1:53 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Need help picking term life policy (updated 04/10)
Replies: 33
Views: 2366

Re: Need help picking term life policy

When projecting the amount, remember that inflation eats at the real value of the benefit the further out you live. So, to some extent, the policy is naturally designed to taper off in coverage as you age. In other words, if you buy a $500k 30-yr policy, that $500k won't be worth nearly as much in y...
by Nearly A Moose
Tue Mar 07, 2017 1:44 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: How much do you spend on food in a year?
Replies: 155
Views: 9295

Re: How much do you spend on food in a year?

$30,000. Two parents, a toddler, a baby. Includes grocery store, restaurants, alcohol, infant formula, toddler food packets, dinnner parties we host, and non-food incidentals purchased at the grocery store. Edit: also probably includes a few thousand in reimbursed meals due to work travel or client ...
by Nearly A Moose
Fri Mar 03, 2017 4:15 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Arlo Pro Security System (wireless/WiFi)
Replies: 16
Views: 1675

Re: Arlo Pro Security System (wireless/WiFi)

Yes, you can monitor them remotely. You don't have to be on the same wifi network. It's unlike Nest (I have one of those too) in that it records only in short bursts when triggered. You can go back and view those, but it's not like Nest where you could scroll through a replay of the full day uninter...
by Nearly A Moose
Thu Mar 02, 2017 2:07 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Family Hounding me to Purchase SUV or Minivan
Replies: 61
Views: 4946

Re: Family Hounding me to Purchase SUV or Minivan

Your family has a strange sense of how to spend their free time. Just ignore it, it's nonsense. If what you're doing works, then keep it up.
by Nearly A Moose
Wed Mar 01, 2017 10:32 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Arlo Pro Security System (wireless/WiFi)
Replies: 16
Views: 1675

Re: Arlo Pro Security System (wireless/WiFi)

I'm generally happy with mine. The biggest problem is that there is a 5-10 second lag between when the subject first enters the motion detector range and when the camera starts recording. Depending on the positioning, this could mean a fair number of misses / blank videos. It's also not possible at ...
by Nearly A Moose
Tue Feb 28, 2017 11:10 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Second home or not ready
Replies: 56
Views: 5234

Re: Second home or not ready

I'd strongly consider just renting a house whenever you want to visit. Owning a second house is a lot of hassle and cost, and it effectively ties you to vacationing in the same area again and again (or at least it increases the opportunity cost of going elsewhere). Consider this: add up all the mone...
by Nearly A Moose
Thu Feb 23, 2017 8:45 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Macbook Pro 2016: Monitor Options
Replies: 8
Views: 1439

Re: Macbook Pro 2016: Monitor Options

If it is physically possible to make an adapter, monoprice.com will sell a house version of it, and it will work great. I have an older MacBook Pro retina and love my monoprice brand 4K monitor (30 or 34 inch, I forget). Only cost $400 a year ago. Perfectly plug and play with my Mac, and folks who h...
by Nearly A Moose
Thu Feb 23, 2017 8:32 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: What to do with our extra money?
Replies: 6
Views: 1386

Re: What to do with our extra money?

The utma is for our oldest since he had medical issues and we weren't/aren't sure if he will go to college. The other two just have money in a regular account. I guess I need to compare between a 529 and an esa for the younger 2. Ah, I hadn't gathered that from the post. I'll just say I don't know ...
by Nearly A Moose
Thu Feb 23, 2017 5:04 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: TSP Participant Account Balances
Replies: 43
Views: 9427

Re: TSP Participant Account Balances

In DC at least, there's a lot of rotation between public and private sector. Could be that people work for five years in gov, go to private sector, and keep the TSP. That could affect balances. Or come to government service as a second career. Wife has over $1M in retirement assets, but not all wit...
by Nearly A Moose
Thu Feb 23, 2017 1:42 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: What to do with our extra money?
Replies: 6
Views: 1386

Re: What to do with our extra money?

Thanks for the help. We do have about 10k in EF and plan on getting that to 20-30k. Our expenses are less than her income, that just gives us fun money since we don't like to budget very well! I like the idea of putting some towards the mortgage and also some towards a taxable account, so I don't w...
by Nearly A Moose
Thu Feb 23, 2017 1:30 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Life Changes - What Should My Next Monetary Goals/Objectives Be?
Replies: 17
Views: 2078

Re: Life Changes - What Should My Next Monetary Goals/Objectives Be?

Your mortgage interest rate is really low. I wouldn't be in a hurry to pay it off, but I'm by nature okay with "smart" debt. To your point, though, if you want to have that money available for a down payment for your next house, just invest it conservatively in a taxable account. Say 50/50...
by Nearly A Moose
Thu Feb 23, 2017 12:01 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: TSP Participant Account Balances
Replies: 43
Views: 9427

Re: TSP Participant Account Balances

In DC at least, there's a lot of rotation between public and private sector. Could be that people work for five years in gov, go to private sector, and keep the TSP. That could affect balances.
by Nearly A Moose
Thu Feb 23, 2017 12:06 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Money for down payment in one year
Replies: 6
Views: 1178

Re: Money for down payment in one year

Building on Pasadena's comment about the new car: if you're financing it, don't do it right before getting approved for the mortgage, just in case it affects your credit score. If you're going to be hit with a higher rate, you'd probably rather have it for your car loan, not your mortgage.
by Nearly A Moose
Thu Feb 23, 2017 12:03 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Money for down payment in one year
Replies: 6
Views: 1178

Re: Money for down payment in one year

I'm on the two-year version of your plan (currently own but will likely have to move) and am keeping my funds in Vanguard Linited Term Tax Exempt bond fund (due to a high marginal tax rate). I'm accepting some small risk to principal but am comfortable with that as a few grand lost won't break me, a...
by Nearly A Moose
Wed Feb 22, 2017 11:14 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Malta
Replies: 14
Views: 2114

Re: Malta

We had an amazing time there in 2015! (We did Malta and Istanbul, which if you know the history of Malta, made for a very interesting shift in perspective). You need to decide whether you want a relaxed country experience or a coastal resort. We wanted the former, so we stayed in Mdina and rented a ...
by Nearly A Moose
Wed Feb 22, 2017 10:53 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Sofi
Replies: 12
Views: 1250

Re: Sofi

I've never found their generally advertised rates to be especially competitive. But I'm lucky to have access to cheap credit.
by Nearly A Moose
Wed Feb 22, 2017 10:50 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: home improvementl strategy
Replies: 19
Views: 2483

Re: home improvementl strategy

4% does seem a touch high, but it's not awful, especially if you won't have the loan outstanding for long. It sounds like you're saving like crazy if you paid down the student loans that quickly. Good job. Looks like you're getting split views: the "only pay cash for things" crowd and the ...
by Nearly A Moose
Tue Feb 21, 2017 5:58 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Best way to get rid of lot of land?
Replies: 26
Views: 4844

Re: Best way to get rid of lot of land?

You may have some personal liability associated with the land. Someone's kid goes to play on it, steps in a hole and breaks his leg, and you're hit with a lawsuit. This is a state by state issue, and it's been a long time since I took torts or property. I'd second the suggestions to look for charita...
by Nearly A Moose
Mon Feb 20, 2017 9:37 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Advice for my Age - 28
Replies: 21
Views: 2532

Re: Advice for my Age - 28

Max TSP. Just mail the stupid form in. It's annoying you can't do it online, but it took me longer to find a stamp than to fill out the form last time we changed it. Just make sure to set it up so that you max it out on your very last paycheck to make sure you get all agency matching funds (i.e. spe...
by Nearly A Moose
Sun Feb 19, 2017 9:55 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: What Do You Keep In Your Bank Safe Deposit Box?
Replies: 66
Views: 8735

Re: What Do You Keep In Your Bank Safe Deposit Box?

(1) backup hard drives - I use crashplan to create a complete backup in the cloud in real time. As I understand it, the encryption is very good, and no one is going to randomly guess my 64 character randomly generated password. I just don't see the value in bothering with a physical offsite backup ...
by Nearly A Moose
Sat Feb 18, 2017 4:34 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Need advice on girlfriend debt/finances
Replies: 82
Views: 8530

Re: Need advice on girlfriend debt/finances

Don't pay down her debts. If you already were putting money toward them, then paying down the stupid high interest ones would be in your best self interest, but if you're not already, don't start. This is also raising all sorts of alarms for me. It's really important to be reasonably close to the sa...