Search found 364 matches

by TOJ
Sun Dec 18, 2016 12:12 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Branch from our tree fell on neighbor's house ??
Replies: 60
Views: 7932

Re: Branch from our tree fell on neighbor's house ??

The OP should pay 100% of all damage. I am amazed this is even in question.

Having a too-large tree or a tree too-near the neighbors is negligent. Trees should never be allowed to hang over neighbor's property nor be allowed to get so big they'd fall on any house.
by TOJ
Sun Dec 11, 2016 9:59 pm
Forum: Personal Investments
Topic: HSA - is keeping 40 years of medical records practical?
Replies: 157
Views: 21120

Re: HSA - is keeping 40 years of medical records practical?

1 cash back credit card
3 fund portfolio
Withdraw from HSA immediately after each qualified transaction

Boglehead zen
by TOJ
Sat Dec 10, 2016 11:06 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: My New Car Buying Tips
Replies: 529
Views: 137513

Re: New Car Buying Tips, Revisited

Thanks for this post. I have one question. I just looked at a few local dealers' websites, and it doesn't look as if they post the sales manager's email address. How do you find the email address? When you make an inquiry your response will eventually end up at the internet/fleet sales manager. In ...
by TOJ
Mon Dec 05, 2016 10:06 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Shoes for flat-footed over-pronators
Replies: 33
Views: 4662

Re: Shoes for flat-footed over-pronators

I am heavy with flat feet and wear the Asics GT series for exercising and other general tasks and wear Born for literally everything else. Excellent support.
by TOJ
Sat Nov 26, 2016 8:13 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Reducing federal withholding
Replies: 9
Views: 2015

Re: Reducing federal withholding

I set my allowances above 30 to ensure 0 federal tax is taken out of each paycheck. Then I request an additional amount withheld from each paycheck to come out to nearly 0 owed to the IRS. I check roughly quarterly to make sure I'm still on track in case of spot bonuses or other income oddities come...
by TOJ
Thu Nov 10, 2016 11:54 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Roth IRA Custodian Change - Withdraw Contributions
Replies: 5
Views: 648

Roth IRA Custodian Change - Withdraw Contributions

Hello, If I moved an existing Roth IRA from Vanguard to Fidelity, are there any unforeseen consequences with regard to withdrawing contributions? Fidelity doesn't know my contribution amounts. Vanguard does, buried in statements. What bases do I need to cover in this scenario? Does Fidelity send me ...
by TOJ
Sat Oct 29, 2016 10:28 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Too Many CC's? [Credit Cards]
Replies: 35
Views: 9361

Re: Too Many CC's?

Age of accounts matters. I don't think number of accounts matters. I'd stop opening new accounts and let those mature. They should up the credit limit with age and use.

Another option is to pay the cards off before the statement cuts. That could achieve a 0% utilization.
by TOJ
Sat Oct 29, 2016 9:45 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Instant oatmeal vs "regular" oatmeal
Replies: 88
Views: 20705

Re: Instant oatmeal vs "regular" oatmeal

I did the same thing as the OP. Definitely going back to the old fashioned once these are gone. Not as good.
by TOJ
Thu Oct 27, 2016 9:04 pm
Forum: Personal Investments
Topic: 15% tax bracket. Does Roth 401k make sense for our situation?
Replies: 33
Views: 6140

Re: 15% tax bracket. Does Roth 401k make sense for our situation?

They have 100k in earned income, do they not? How can they get the EITC?
by TOJ
Thu Oct 27, 2016 5:54 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Just released ratings steering me from Legacy to Camry
Replies: 35
Views: 4623

Re: Just released ratings steering me from Legacy to Camry

If I were wanting a higher trim Camry, I would absolutely jump to the Avalon. It is indeed a beautiful machine as the other poster put it.
by TOJ
Wed Oct 26, 2016 8:26 am
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: The riskiness of home ownership
Replies: 239
Views: 23954

Re: The riskiness of home ownership

Klangfool, the fallacy in your logic is that you are implying the mortgage payment is what is driving the inability to max out retirement. If someone can't afford to max out a 401k + pay mortgage, Then why would they be able to max out a 401k + pay rent? The name on the check (landlord vs bank) doe...
by TOJ
Tue Oct 25, 2016 10:32 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: The riskiness of home ownership
Replies: 239
Views: 23954

Re: The riskiness of home ownership

Regarding your note on the P+I = rent, I did not say that. But the fact is that $300k houses in good neighborhoods are not being rented for $1000 a month. Such neighborhoods would not stay 'good' for long, and your analysis gets even more disingenuous. Again, you are just wrong. There are plenty of...
by TOJ
Tue Oct 25, 2016 10:19 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: "Morningstar Names Best 529 College-Savings Plans for 2016"
Replies: 5
Views: 1540

Re: "Morningstar Names Best 529 College-Savings Plans for 2016"

Since I don't get a state tax break in my state, I went with NY for our two kids. I remember at the time they had some of the lowest fees around and good auto-glide plans based on index funds. I don't feel compelled to go through the hassle of moving them to the 'best' one. I seem to recall not choo...
by TOJ
Tue Oct 25, 2016 9:57 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: The riskiness of home ownership
Replies: 239
Views: 23954

Re: The riskiness of home ownership

No, your cost includes maintenance/repair as well as the opportunity cost of the capital held in the house. These are not costs unique to the ownership of the home. Renting an equivalent house in an equivalent neighborhood would have the same monthly payments but instead of buying equity they'd buy...
by TOJ
Tue Oct 25, 2016 9:27 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: The riskiness of home ownership
Replies: 239
Views: 23954

Re: The riskiness of home ownership

I wouldn't say I'm approaching it as investment. I'm simply looking at what the range of possible financial outcomes are for each option (rent vs buy), and comparing them. Usually the house wins (for the range I'm looking at), but sometimes it loses badly. Higher risk, higher return. That's all. I ...
by TOJ
Tue Oct 25, 2016 8:48 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: The riskiness of home ownership
Replies: 239
Views: 23954

Re: The riskiness of home ownership

If you are considering your home purchase decision as an investment, you are "going about this the wrong way". I wouldn't say I'm approaching it as investment. I'm simply looking at what the range of possible financial outcomes are for each option (rent vs buy), and comparing them. Usually the hous...
by TOJ
Tue Oct 25, 2016 8:26 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: The riskiness of home ownership
Replies: 239
Views: 23954

Re: The riskiness of home ownership

My personal spreadsheets confirm the idea that buying too much house is a major destroyer of long term wealth. As all of you know, it is not difficult to have a multimillion dollar portfolio by the time you retire assuming you start early enough. The information is all there: Dollar cost average, b...
by TOJ
Tue Oct 25, 2016 6:16 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Adding girlfriend under employer's health insurance plan
Replies: 26
Views: 17154

Re: Adding fiance under employer's health insurance plan

Hilarious user name! Life beckons but must wait 5 ish years.
by TOJ
Tue Oct 25, 2016 3:47 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: The riskiness of home ownership
Replies: 239
Views: 23954

Re: The riskiness of home ownership

I might have missed but don't think this distinction has been made: Investable assets vs. net worth. Your paid-off home is part of your net worth but is not an 'investable asset." Your heirs will be glad if it's worth a lot but - except for that imputed cost of what it saves you on rent - all it do...
by TOJ
Tue Oct 25, 2016 1:21 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Aldi doesn't accept phone calls
Replies: 36
Views: 11665

Re: Aldi doesn't accept phone calls

Truth be told, for many brick and mortar stores, not having a number to call is just as good as having one. I can't imagine calling my local Target or Walmart and posing the OP's problem to them. You'd have lost their interest by your second sentence.
by TOJ
Sun Oct 23, 2016 6:21 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Microsoft Office
Replies: 34
Views: 7139

Re: Microsoft Office

likegarden wrote:Everything works fine now, my Excel file I use as a map of my gardens looks wonderful on a 27 inch monitor.
Please elaborate!
by TOJ
Sun Oct 23, 2016 6:06 pm
Forum: Personal Investments
Topic: Regrets using ETFs
Replies: 65
Views: 8065

Re: Regrets using ETFs

I dabbled in ETFs before I had enough for minimums of mutual funds.

Not a fan of only being able to buy full shares. I like to be able to specify a dollar amount and have it all invested.
by TOJ
Thu Oct 20, 2016 9:08 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: How to transfer huge amount of data (>500 GB) to someone through the internet?
Replies: 88
Views: 10403

Re: How to transfer huge amount of data (>500 GB) to someone through the internet?

My MegaCorp mails hard drives all the time. Encrypted. The data worth a bunch of money. $100 hard drives are not high theft targets. And you can mitigate by insuring and requiring signature, etc.
by TOJ
Thu Oct 20, 2016 9:00 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Healthcare costs and self funding
Replies: 96
Views: 11645

Re: Healthcare costs and self funding

Your premiums do seem high but the risk for bankruptable costs are there. Especially since there are 4 of you. I would say that $5k per person is fair to avoid the risk of bankruptcy from events that can cruelly random. I think it would be irresponsible to forego health insurance. Have you asked the...
by TOJ
Thu Oct 20, 2016 8:51 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Healthcare costs and self funding
Replies: 96
Views: 11645

Re: Healthcare costs and self funding

There's a whole lot of poor folks out there who self insure. They sit in the self insure lines at the hospital while the insured get taken care of. Would be quite a sight to see someone seizing up trying to explain that he's good for any cost up to $100k and to please let him in.
by TOJ
Thu Oct 20, 2016 8:46 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Healthcare costs and self funding
Replies: 96
Views: 11645

Re: Healthcare costs and self funding

In my experience, the largest value in having medical insurance is the negotiated prices the insurance company can obtain. I have been keeping track of our medical claims in detail. The negotiated prices have reduced the claims by roughly 2/3 on average before any payment is made to the providers. ...
by TOJ
Thu Oct 20, 2016 8:16 pm
Forum: Personal Investments
Topic: DiscoveryBenefits HSA offers only Investor class Vanguard shares
Replies: 9
Views: 965

Re: DiscoveryBenefits HSA offers only Investor class Vanguard shares

Sounds like you're a few years from it even being an option for you. Things can change. Wait till you are actually being hindered to begin fretting.
by TOJ
Thu Oct 20, 2016 8:14 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Healthcare costs and self funding
Replies: 96
Views: 11645

Re: Healthcare costs and self funding

Pure insanity for a family with young kids.
by TOJ
Thu Oct 20, 2016 2:56 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: How to transfer huge amount of data (>500 GB) to someone through the internet?
Replies: 88
Views: 10403

Re: How to transfer huge amount of data (>500 GB) to someone through the internet?

It could take a week or more to upload all of that. I would definitely mail an external hard drive.
by TOJ
Wed Oct 19, 2016 12:27 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Refinancing After 1 Year
Replies: 39
Views: 4456

Re: Refinancing After 1 Year

I am thinking about refinancing my house. I've owned it for a one year and two months. Current 30-year mortgage: Original Loan Amount: $295,200 Current Principal Balance: $289,244 Interest Rate: 4.125% Monthly Payment: $1,431 Today, I spoke with the same mortgage company I had originally used, and ...
by TOJ
Wed Oct 19, 2016 10:44 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Apple purchase with Apple Financing?
Replies: 20
Views: 3123

Re: Apple purchase with Apple Financing?

Maybe he likes to buy the best one available every 8 years. That is reasonable.
by TOJ
Wed Oct 19, 2016 5:34 am
Forum: Personal Investments
Topic: marcellus mineral rights
Replies: 15
Views: 2031

Re: marcellus mineral rights

So he is already leased up and is producing?

Does he own the whole interest or is it split?

I'd get a copy of the lease from the county and take it to an oil and gas lawyer.
by TOJ
Tue Oct 18, 2016 12:37 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Work advice - managing an underfunded program
Replies: 28
Views: 2581

Re: Work advice - managing an underfunded program

Squeaky wheel approach:

Lots that get complained amount the most get mowed more frequently than lots that don't get complained about.
by TOJ
Tue Oct 18, 2016 8:33 am
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Another reason to look at International
Replies: 7
Views: 2017

Re: Another reason to look at International

This makes no sense to me at all. Every country benefits from global trade, not just US. If global trade shrinks that is bad for entire world and all stock markets. So it cannot be true that it's good for international and bad for US. And in fact the article then goes on to discuss that very point....
by TOJ
Mon Oct 17, 2016 9:29 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: What iPhone podcast application do you use?
Replies: 40
Views: 4465

Re: What iPhone podcast application do you use?

The stock app works great for me.
by TOJ
Mon Oct 17, 2016 9:10 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Quality Men's Dress Clothing
Replies: 51
Views: 11509

Re: Quality Men's Dress Clothing

If you're 'swimming' in slim fit shirts, you likely don't know how to tuck in dress shirts.
by TOJ
Mon Oct 17, 2016 9:08 pm
Forum: Personal Investments
Topic: Young Investor Needs Advice
Replies: 7
Views: 1071

Re: Young Investor Needs Advice

I concur. Too much commingling without being married.
by TOJ
Mon Oct 17, 2016 8:44 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: WSJ - The Dying Business of Picking Stocks
Replies: 38
Views: 7565

Re: WSJ - The Dying Business of Picking Stocks

I am fully indexed. It does concern me that it seems everyone is running the same direction now. That's usually the sign of a bubble. I don't understand this -- I thought a bubble meant that a market or sector was overpriced relative to its real value. How can indexes be overpriced? If the underlyi...
by TOJ
Mon Oct 17, 2016 7:55 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: WSJ - The Dying Business of Picking Stocks
Replies: 38
Views: 7565

Re: WSJ - The Dying Business of Picking Stocks

I am fully indexed. It does concern me that it seems everyone is running the same direction now. That's usually the sign of a bubble. I don't understand this -- I thought a bubble meant that a market or sector was overpriced relative to its real value. How can indexes be overpriced? If the underlyi...
by TOJ
Mon Oct 17, 2016 6:28 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: WSJ - The Dying Business of Picking Stocks
Replies: 38
Views: 7565

Re: WSJ - The Dying Business of Picking Stocks

I am fully indexed. It does concern me that it seems everyone is running the same direction now. That's usually the sign of a bubble.
by TOJ
Sun Oct 16, 2016 8:07 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Laid off at 40 - What to do?
Replies: 42
Views: 7989

Re: Laid off at 40 - What to do?

Franchises are buying a job until you have 3 or 4 of them. You don't have enough cash for that (and you might not have the skill set. ) and they are sure not 20 hour/week jobs. I guess I wonder why people buy franchises if it is indeed buying a "job"? I think the point is that it's not easy passive...
by TOJ
Sun Oct 16, 2016 8:03 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Costco Tires - No Odometer Reading
Replies: 4
Views: 1140

Re: Costco Tires - No Odometer Reading

You should call and see if they have the information captured digitally in their system.
by TOJ
Sun Oct 16, 2016 7:58 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Someone else's check got cleared from my Checking Account
Replies: 65
Views: 8817

Re: Someone else's check got cleared from my Checking Account

I check my credit card and checking account balances every day on Fidelity's site. Haven't used a register in 15 years. All spending goes on the credit card, except bills like mortgage and car payment, which are Bill Pay'd. We write maybe 5 checks a year.
by TOJ
Fri Oct 14, 2016 8:59 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: MegaCorp Payroll - Two Years Of FICA-Taxing HSA Contributions
Replies: 6
Views: 817

Re: MegaCorp Payroll - Two Years Of FICA-Taxing HSA Contributions

Spewin wrote:You could point out that, because HSA contributions are not taxed by FICA, the company should be getting their employer contribution back too.
I'm not sure it's feasible to claw back FICA contributions years after the overpayment happened.
by TOJ
Fri Oct 14, 2016 8:57 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: MegaCorp Payroll - Two Years Of FICA-Taxing HSA Contributions
Replies: 6
Views: 817

Re: MegaCorp Payroll - Two Years Of FICA-Taxing HSA Contributions

It is in everyone's interest (except perhaps payroll) to fix this. You should consider politely escalating the issue. Out of curiosity, does your company do its own payroll or use a service provider like ADP? I know we have payroll people, but we do get W2s from ADP. So I don't know. How would I es...
by TOJ
Thu Oct 13, 2016 11:08 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Auto Investing How often and when?
Replies: 23
Views: 2503

Re: Auto Investing How often and when?

Thank you for your email. Yes am maxing my 401k, backdoor Roth IRA and HSA. What about a certain day of the week (Mon-Fri) or a specific day a month that over the years has shown to be better to purchase stocks? Any research done on this topic? I auto invest every 3 months. Over the long term, ther...
by TOJ
Thu Oct 13, 2016 9:52 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: MegaCorp Payroll - Two Years Of FICA-Taxing HSA Contributions
Replies: 6
Views: 817

MegaCorp Payroll - Two Years Of FICA-Taxing HSA Contributions

By pure serendipity, I have discovered that my employer incorrectly taxed HSA contributions for all of 2014 and 2015. They fixed it for 2016. I made this discovery several months back and reluctantly brought it up to payroll. I was eventually put on ice and just given some generic "tax law change" e...