Search found 208 matches

by dandinsac
Mon Oct 15, 2018 8:19 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: New Snowbird- Tucson AZ
Replies: 21
Views: 3878

Re: New Snowbird- Tucson AZ

Some other trip, drive from Globe to Roosevelt Lake to its dam, then back to Apache Junction on the Apache Trail if you have a slender vehicle and no agoraphobia. Expect to wash the dust off of your car before you drive back to Tucson. I’ve driven this. It’s gorgeous and rugged. I would drive it fr...
by dandinsac
Tue Oct 09, 2018 3:45 pm
Forum: Personal Investments
Topic: How to get over paper loss?
Replies: 43
Views: 4198

Re: How to get over paper loss?

Buy 6-month treasuries. They pretty much go up in value (a little bit) or stay the same, every day. So, you’ll have a paper gain to offset the paper loss.
by dandinsac
Wed Sep 05, 2018 9:58 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: How to tell which vent is dryer vent?
Replies: 40
Views: 2001

Re: How to tell which vent is dryer vent?

Nearly A Moose wrote: Wed Sep 05, 2018 1:57 pm It's also possible this is vented to the roof; I haven't been up there, and it's a flat-roof rowhouse so I can't see the roof without buying a longer ladder and climbing up there.
You can now justfy buying a drone with a camera so that you can see what is on the top of your roof!
by dandinsac
Wed Sep 05, 2018 9:40 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Cost of car ownership: 6.5 years of data in the SF bay area
Replies: 44
Views: 5716

Re: Cost of car ownership: 6.5 years of data in the SF bay area

This thread got me thinking about keeping my older cars even longer and renting when I need to drive a ways. I recently rented a 2018 Nissan Sentra in Missouri and drove 399 miles over a three day weekend. My costs were $110.47 plus $28.50 in gas. (Cheap gas in Missouri and the Sentra sips fuel.) My...
by dandinsac
Sun Jul 29, 2018 12:39 pm
Forum: Personal Investments
Topic: Best place to park a large amount of cash for a year
Replies: 13
Views: 1893

Re: Best place to park a large amount of cash for a year

For such a short time, and to avoid the hassle of setting up another account, I would transfer to VG. Once it's there, you can buy a 6 month treasury bill at auction without a commission. Any rise in interest rates later this year would only affect the value of the bond if you need to sell it before...
by dandinsac
Sat Jul 28, 2018 4:05 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Home Addition Finance
Replies: 48
Views: 3241

Re: Home Addition Finance

Moving seems quite expensive - probably $50-60K by itself. It seems that if $200K is all it takes for the house to work for you, that seems like the better option. Here's an alternative approach as opposed to waiting: 2018 - Pay off student loan; open a $100K HELOC, hire an architect / kitchen desig...
by dandinsac
Sat Jul 28, 2018 3:16 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Home Theater vs. Soundbar
Replies: 67
Views: 7858

Re: Home Theater vs. Soundbar

If you already own speakers, consider the NAD 3020 amplifier. I use this with optical audio from the TV and a pair of small NHT superzero speakers. The sound is impressive for a small system. It’s easy to play bluetooth audio as well. @dandinsac - I am leaning towards this type of solution, at leas...
by dandinsac
Wed Jul 25, 2018 8:57 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Home Theater vs. Soundbar
Replies: 67
Views: 7858

Re: Home Theater vs. Soundbar

If you already own speakers, consider the NAD 3020 amplifier. I use this with optical audio from the TV and a pair of small NHT superzero speakers. The sound is impressive for a small system. It’s easy to play bluetooth audio as well.
by dandinsac
Sat Jul 21, 2018 10:50 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: IRA Distribution or HELOC for Home Improvement
Replies: 10
Views: 679

Re: IRA Distribution or HELOC for Home Improvement

One approach would be to start with the HELOC and use those funds to get the project started. I did this with a kitchen remodel and when I didn't have enough funds in my checking, I'd write checks from the HELOC as needed to pay my contractor. You shouldn't have to take out the loan in a lump sum. A...
by dandinsac
Fri Jul 20, 2018 9:28 am
Forum: Personal Investments
Topic: How do you handle the urge to DO something?
Replies: 128
Views: 11201

Re: How do you handle the urge to DO something?

I invest all my new contributions for my 401K, my Roth IRA, my wife's IRA, and taxable account into stocks. These are all made by scheduled, automated transactions each week. Each weekend, I calculate the percentage of stocks versus bonds and how much over or under the stock percentage is over my ta...
by dandinsac
Sun Jul 15, 2018 12:18 pm
Forum: Personal Investments
Topic: What to sell for Mom's RMD
Replies: 15
Views: 1380

Re: What to sell for Mom's RMD

In addition to this year’s withdrawal, you could take the opportunity to move the next three or four years of RMD’s to CDs or Treasuries. This would allow you to sell the high cost funds and establish a target stock/bond percentage. It also avoids having to address the same question each year.
by dandinsac
Sun Jul 08, 2018 7:38 pm
Forum: Personal Investments
Topic: 58 yr old divorced female, BH newbie, needs help consolidating retirement portfolio
Replies: 9
Views: 1579

Re: 58 yr old divorced female, BH newbie, needs help consolidating retirement portfolio

I suggest these as your first actions: 1. Move all of the investments in both 401K accounts into the stable value funds. 2. Initiate a transfer of the taxable account in kind to Vanguard or Fidelity. (They will walk you through this.) I think this puts you at about a 50/50 stock/safe ratio. Right no...
by dandinsac
Sun Jul 08, 2018 2:39 pm
Forum: Personal Investments
Topic: Help with move to HCOL area
Replies: 6
Views: 971

Re: Help with move to HCOL area

I live in Sacramento, which is higher cost than the midwestern cities I lived in before. The biggest thing for me was to find a house in an area that didn’t require driving much. My car costs are very low now, even though my house costs much more than anything I had in the past. Living in DC, doing ...
by dandinsac
Fri Jun 29, 2018 8:15 pm
Forum: Personal Investments
Topic: Anybody Investing with 'Betterment'?
Replies: 37
Views: 8681

Re: Anybody Investing with 'Betterment'?

I was with them for a couple of years. I started a taxable account and got a $250 bonus to open an account. Later, I rolled over a 401K and started a Roth as well. My performance over a 2 year period lagged the Vanguard 2030 fund which surprised me. (Both accounts were taxed defferred and had 70/30 ...
by dandinsac
Wed Jun 13, 2018 7:30 pm
Forum: Personal Investments
Topic: Better late than never
Replies: 7
Views: 1530

Re: Better late than never

Scott, Welcome to the forum! I don't know a lot about the social security offset program, but if you can get more by waiting, then that would be the best way to go. For example, for the next 4 years, you could save at least $26,000 in Roth IRAs, and you'll be 65. If at that point, you stop working, ...
by dandinsac
Mon Jun 04, 2018 12:10 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Travel advice for an engineer
Replies: 65
Views: 5474

Re: Travel advice for an engineer

Le Pont du Gard in southern France is very impressive. There is a museum on site that describes how it was built by the Romans.
https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Pont_du_Gard
by dandinsac
Tue May 22, 2018 9:25 am
Forum: Personal Investments
Topic: Retiring in early 2019.
Replies: 30
Views: 3372

Re: Retiring in early 2019.

I suggest you hire a CPA or another type of "per hour" financial advisor who has fiduciary responsibility to advise you relative to taxes. For your taxable funds, depending on your state, treasury bonds, i bonds, or a municipal bond fund may be a good approach as well. Filing as a single t...
by dandinsac
Sat May 12, 2018 12:49 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Need help with Excel Spreadsheet formula
Replies: 8
Views: 789

Re: Need help with Excel Spreadsheet formula

=AVERAGEIFS(B:B,A:A,”>=“&date(2018,1,1))

where the dates are in column A and the values are in column B.
by dandinsac
Wed May 09, 2018 9:28 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Family Vacation in Late Feb
Replies: 30
Views: 2187

Re: Family Vacation in Late Feb

Cuba. With a fluent Spanish speaker, that could be a great trip.
by dandinsac
Sat Apr 28, 2018 7:37 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Lake Tahoe
Replies: 28
Views: 3389

Re: Lake Tahoe

I agree with others that you have too much driving for both San Francisco and Yosemite. Until I moved here to Sacramento, I didn’t quite realize how big it is. From Tahoe, it will be 3 hours to Yosemite and 3 hours to Sacramento. San Francisco would add at least 4 hours of more driving if you don’t ...
by dandinsac
Wed Apr 25, 2018 9:12 am
Forum: Personal Investments
Topic: Allocation Debate - consider all accounts as one?
Replies: 22
Views: 2045

Re: Allocation Debate - consider all accounts as one?

Here is how I allocate between multiple accounts... Her IRA - 65% International Developed and 35% Emerging Market His Roth IRA - 100% US Extended (not S&P 500) His Rollover IRA - split between bonds (TIPS & treasury bonds) and S&P 500 His 401K - mix between S&P 500; US extended; Inte...
by dandinsac
Wed Apr 11, 2018 8:37 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Weekly Commuting
Replies: 22
Views: 2543

Re: Weekly Commuting

I fly from Sacramento to SoCal every few weeks. I have switched to JetBlue for price, leg room, and reserved seats. Southwest is typically $75-100 more expensive. Downside of JetBlue is that they have fewer flights. Transportation or airport parking is another cost you'll need to manage.
by dandinsac
Fri Apr 06, 2018 7:12 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: One week of family vacation in SE Asia. Thailand vs Malaysia?
Replies: 7
Views: 1052

Re: One week of family vacation in SE Asia. Thailand vs Malaysia?

I really enjoyed Taiwan when I visited there on business. I stayed mostly in Taipei, but took a tour to the Karoka gorge for a weekend. Food was delicious.
by dandinsac
Thu Apr 05, 2018 12:27 am
Forum: Personal Investments
Topic: Investing Very Small Amounts Daily
Replies: 22
Views: 4309

Re: Investing Very Small Amounts Daily

I have an automatic weekly investment for my Roth IRA into Vanguard Extended Market Index Fund. For Q1 2018, i averaged the closing values each day. Average price for all days - $86.14 Mondays - 86.31 Tuesdays - 86.05 Wednesday - 86.14 Thursdays - 85.94 Fridays - 86.32 If you had invested $1,000, yo...
by dandinsac
Fri Mar 30, 2018 9:25 am
Forum: Personal Investments
Topic: How many are using Automatic contributions?
Replies: 41
Views: 4180

Re: How many are using Automatic contributions?

I have automatic contributions weekly to my HSA, my 401K, my Roth IRA, and my wife’s IRA. All purchases are in stock funds - S&P 500, Extended Market, International Developed, and Emerging Market. Each month, if I am > $15,000 above my stock target, I sell $10,000 of my S&P 500 fund and buy ...
by dandinsac
Mon Mar 26, 2018 1:10 am
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: What are you up YTD? [Year To Date]
Replies: 3402
Views: 571310

Re: What are you up YTD? [Year To Date]

0.4% with a 50/50 allocation. My return includes mortgage principal payments and new investments. I'm glad to be buying stocks at a discount!
by dandinsac
Sat Mar 24, 2018 6:26 pm
Forum: Personal Investments
Topic: Yearly Checkup
Replies: 11
Views: 1965

Re: Yearly Checkup

Consider putting the maximum into your 401K, an IRA for your wife, and a Roth IRA for yourself. For the 100K, consider purchasing iBonds, at least $10K per year. Saving ~$40K/year while paying off the various mortgages will put you in a great financial position in 10-15 years. You could simply use o...
by dandinsac
Thu Mar 22, 2018 8:18 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Working till retirement is not a great plan
Replies: 175
Views: 17588

Re: Working till retirement is not a great plan

At age 53, this is very relevant to me. Here are the actions I would recommend: 1. Determine your risk of job disruption... and be honest! - Figure out if your industry growing or not. If there industry doesn't have investment and growth, sooner or later jobs go away. - Determine if your company suc...
by dandinsac
Thu Mar 08, 2018 10:15 am
Forum: Personal Investments
Topic: Do I, will I, ever need a bond fund?
Replies: 31
Views: 4599

Re: Do I, will I, ever need a bond fund?

You should evaluate delaying social security for a while. This will increase your payments as well as allow you to better manage withdrawals from tax deferred accounts. This may lower your taxes in the future when RMDs are required. My FIL passed away a couple of years ago and now my MIL is filing a...
by dandinsac
Thu Feb 15, 2018 3:26 pm
Forum: Personal Investments
Topic: Retirement income floor(s) with TIPS via layers
Replies: 4
Views: 785

Re: Retirement income floor(s) with TIPS via layers

I have a TIPS ladder with an even amount (my minimum essentials) that mature from 2040 - 2048. (I just bought the last one at the auction.) One you buy them, there is no maintenance. Buying is straightforward and with Vanguard there are no fees beyond the spread. My plan is to add one more year as t...
by dandinsac
Mon Jan 29, 2018 11:01 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Yet another "cash v. mortgage" question
Replies: 20
Views: 2643

Re: Yet another "cash v. mortgage" question

Don’t lose sight that the key thing financially is to buy the right house. It is expensive to be in a situation where you decide to sell it or have to do extensive remodeling. Make sure the location, commute, schools, etc. are great and you have an inspection to avoid surprises. If you find the righ...
by dandinsac
Wed Jan 17, 2018 1:22 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Finding Best USA-To-Europe FLIGHT When Dates Are Not Limiting Factor?
Replies: 28
Views: 2430

Re: Finding Best USA-To-Europe FLIGHT When Dates Are Not Limiting Factor?

A few weeks ago, I used Kayak, which on has a nice 7 day by 7 day matrix (+- 3 days) matrix of prices. This search method allows you to see the lowest prices fairly easily. You can also filter by stops and airlines, which helps throw out the 1-stop and 2-stop flights or airlines with the cheap ticke...
by dandinsac
Fri Jan 12, 2018 7:49 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Which Car To Keep
Replies: 25
Views: 2055

Re: Which Car To Keep

Since you decided to keep the truck... When my brother and I were young back in the 70’s, my father had a pickup (before there were extended cabs). He added a camper shell and my brother and I often rode in the back sleeping on camping cots. Hot in the summer and cold in the winter and probably a bi...
by dandinsac
Fri Dec 29, 2017 10:49 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Switch to Roth 401k? (33%->24% fed + 9.3% state)
Replies: 12
Views: 1528

Re: Switch to Roth 401k? (33%->24% fed + 9.3% state)

If I really like CA for retirement, I can keep my home in CA, and move out of state for 2 years to start my retirement life, convert 401K to Roth out of state, then come back to CA. From what I’ve read, that may be a lot trickier than simply moving if you don’t sell your house. CA is a “sticky” sta...
by dandinsac
Thu Dec 28, 2017 3:32 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Switch to Roth 401k? (33%->24% fed + 9.3% state)
Replies: 12
Views: 1528

Re: Switch to Roth 401k? (33%->24% fed + 9.3% state)

I will continue to maximize my tax deferred 401K/IRA for 2 key reasons: - I may move away from CA when I retire. - I plan to wait until 70 to start social security and hopefully retire at 63 or earlier. This gives me 7 years to manage withdrawals and taxes before RMDs could push me up to a higher br...
by dandinsac
Thu Nov 23, 2017 1:49 am
Forum: Personal Investments
Topic: Bonds v. Mortgage Payoff
Replies: 21
Views: 2910

Re: Bonds v. Mortgage Payoff

If you can contribute to a tax-deferred 401K or IRA, that would be a better investment if you will have the same or lower income taxes in the future. If those are fully maxed, then payimg off would be a good move.
by dandinsac
Wed Nov 22, 2017 9:04 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Best head set for listening and microphone
Replies: 15
Views: 1583

Re: Best head set for listening and microphone

If you have good video, with no dropouts or stutters, a new headset may be worthwhile. If your video is bad, it may be a slow connection. If you can’t understand the speaker, (not due to your lack of knowledge of the foreign languague), then it may be their connection. You could try to record an aud...
by dandinsac
Mon Nov 20, 2017 11:13 pm
Forum: Personal Investments
Topic: Overwhelmed and seeking advice for my mother
Replies: 16
Views: 2701

Re: Overwhelmed and seeking advice for my mother

If she is paying federal and state income taxes, she should start contributing to an tax deferred IRA. If she can save 6500 for each year she continues to work, this can be withdrawn at a lower tax rate in the future when her primary source of income is social security. If moving to a low tax state ...
by dandinsac
Sun Oct 29, 2017 6:34 pm
Forum: Personal Investments
Topic: Help Planning Mom's Finances after Dad Passed
Replies: 27
Views: 3167

Re: Help Planning Mom's Finances after Dad Passed

When my FIL passed away, we took care of the finances, investments, etc. That worked fine. The things that caused my MIL the most worry was home and car maintenance. She had no background in these areas. This was all new to her and in hindsight, the hardest for us to help her with as we live 800 mil...
by dandinsac
Fri Oct 13, 2017 8:16 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Car Buying, Time to grow up.
Replies: 59
Views: 6848

Re: Car Buying, Time to grow up.

Heck, I owned seven cars at the same time once, and I was older than 30 by a lot at the time. I just remembered why I’m not retiring at age 55... When I was ~33 years old, my wife and I owned 7 horses ! Now, a couple of these were actually lesson horses and some were “investments”. But, we had to f...
by dandinsac
Sat Sep 23, 2017 10:31 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: california homeowners - do you have earthquake insurance?
Replies: 97
Views: 12854

Re: california homeowners - do you have earthquake insurance?

I live in Sacramento and do not have earthquake insurance. I do have flood insurance, though.

temblor.net is quite interesting. While I heard about earthquakes in Oklahoma, this site really highlights it. Voltron, thanks for sharing
by dandinsac
Thu Aug 24, 2017 7:02 am
Forum: Personal Investments
Topic: Affording assisted living
Replies: 44
Views: 5697

Re: Affording assisted living

1. Yes, they should feel comfortable. With 12 years savings + fixed income, they hve more than enough. Plus, the odds that both would live for 12 years are small, providing more years for the survivor. 2. I would look at CDs or Treasuries for most of the investments. Figuring out how to minimize tax...
by dandinsac
Tue Aug 22, 2017 9:08 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Spend down plan for mom and dad - help needed
Replies: 8
Views: 2280

Re: Spend down plan for mom and dad - help needed

Having an elder law attorney develop a plan in case your father needs long term care is a good first step. The attorney may take some options off the table. I would definitely talk to the attorney before selling the house. Other near-term actions to consider: - Sell the truck as it's a depreciating ...
by dandinsac
Mon Aug 21, 2017 11:55 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Starting my career on the right foot
Replies: 20
Views: 3403

Re: Starting my career on the right foot

In my opinion, being a top performer and getting rewarded for it is much more important than optimally managing your after tax income. I would spend 90% of your improvement time becoming better at being an employee and maybe 10% managing money. An increase of 10-15% in salary will dwarf a slightly m...
by dandinsac
Tue Aug 15, 2017 11:24 pm
Forum: Personal Investments
Topic: please help...am I overextended - first home
Replies: 78
Views: 9677

Re: please help...am I overextended - first home

Make sure you are onsite as the inspector walks the property. This will help you guage the risk. But realize some problems will be unknown. My worst experience was when I didn't have the roof inspected and it leaked in three weeks. Having a nice place to live is important. I was on the don't buy sid...
by dandinsac
Sun Aug 13, 2017 11:50 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Soliciting personal recommendations for a Barcelona trip
Replies: 57
Views: 7342

Re: Soliciting personal recommendations for a European trip

We stayed in Luchon for a couple of nights. It was a fairly easy drive to Carcassone. Luchon is often a finish for stages in the Tour de France. It's a gorgeous drive up the valley, and Luchon is at the base of the mountains.

https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bagnères-de-Luchon
by dandinsac
Tue Aug 01, 2017 12:22 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: How much should I fix up my house before selling?
Replies: 10
Views: 2379

Re: How much should I fix up my house before selling?

i would recommend always replacing / fixing anything that is worn out, scewed up, or otherwise funky - no bright pink walls, holes in the wall, broken fixtures, stained carpet, etc. I would say your living room definitely falls in that category, especially if it is a first impression when you first ...
by dandinsac
Sat Jul 29, 2017 12:02 am
Forum: Personal Investments
Topic: Young Boglehead seeks Advice for Parents Approaching Retirement
Replies: 21
Views: 2477

Re: Young Boglehead seeks Advice for Parents Approaching Retirement

It's difficult to provide specific guidance without knowing the details. It's key to understand the potential for social security and/or pension income. And, knowing their ages would make sure their plans aren't unrealistic. In any case, here are a few things to look at: 1. With a 37% tax rate (fede...
by dandinsac
Wed Jul 26, 2017 11:41 pm
Forum: Personal Investments
Topic: Wife retiring- social security and pension decisions
Replies: 22
Views: 2016

Re: Wife retiring- social security and pension decisions

if the company is looking to cut back, it may be possible for your wife to negotiate a severance.
by dandinsac
Fri Jul 14, 2017 1:57 pm
Forum: Personal Investments
Topic: Please comment on the relative merits of these two portfolios.
Replies: 14
Views: 1689

Re: Please comment on the relative merits of these two portfolios.

You can also do a 4 fund allocation if you want a bit more ability to fine tune allocations... here is mine: Cash/Treasuries/Bonds - 30 % US S&P 500 - 33 % (47.1 % of stocks) US Small/Midcap - 11 % (15.7 % of stocks) International - 26 % (37.1 % of stocks) All of this is in 401Ks or IRAs, so it'...