Search found 220 matches

by bryanm
Wed Jan 23, 2019 1:49 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Internet service speed issue
Replies: 25
Views: 1327

Re: Internet service speed issue

1. What could explain the discrepancy in speed test results between the two speedtest websites? As noted above, speedtests really only measure point-to-point speed. The internet experiences "weather" that can slow down certain "pipes" between two points. Try a variety of speedtest sites to see what...
by bryanm
Wed Jan 23, 2019 12:48 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Headphones for a noisy/annoying office setting?
Replies: 16
Views: 1017

Re: Headphones for a noisy/annoying office setting?

If you really want to block noise, they make hearing protection for lawn mowing/shooting with a headphone jack to plug into your computer or smartphone. I am in the market for these as well as I am not a fan of active noise cancelling. https://www.amazon.com/Howard-Leight-Honeywell-Earmuff-1030110/...
by bryanm
Tue Jan 22, 2019 3:17 pm
Forum: Personal Investments
Topic: Lincoln Financial???
Replies: 8
Views: 733

Re: Lincoln Financial???

Why not roll it into the existing Roth? Taxes should be tiny and that way you don't have to deal with having a new account.

(Edit: apparently this does require a tIRA in the middle. Should have looked before I posted.)
by bryanm
Fri Jan 18, 2019 10:11 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Is the security check website "Have I Been Pwned?" legit?
Replies: 28
Views: 11462

Re: Is the security check website "Have I Been Pwned?" legit?

Seems legit to me. Even if his site is hacked itself, I guess I'm not really concerned if someone knows that my email address was checked for security breaches.
by bryanm
Thu Jan 17, 2019 11:40 am
Forum: Personal Investments
Topic: Feel like a mark, but probably will do it (403(b) Variable Annuity)
Replies: 10
Views: 803

Re: Feel like a mark, but probably will do it (403(b) Variable Annuity)

Are you 100% sure there is only one 403b option? I thought there was only one but it turned out I had 17 other options. Who is your third party administrator for the 403b? What state are you in? Some states have amazing 457 plans? +1. It's extremely unlikely there's only one option. Maybe only one ...
by bryanm
Mon Jan 14, 2019 2:32 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Anyone have TCL Series 4 65” TV?
Replies: 21
Views: 2108

Re: Anyone have TCL Series 4 65” TV?

Thanks! Are the differences between the series 4 and series 6 significant enough to justify the nearly $400.00 price difference? I just bought one for my parents. I did a lot of research beforehand, and it's widely regarded as one of the best picks for the money (along with the corresponding Vizio)...
by bryanm
Fri Jan 11, 2019 11:39 pm
Forum: Personal Investments
Topic: New to investing on my own. Robo investors?
Replies: 6
Views: 767

Re: New to investing on my own. Robo investors?

Those advocating that you self-manage are either encouraging you to take a more involved role in monitoring and adjusting your investments, or would have you believe that it's prudent to pay little further attention to whatever you invest in initially. I suspect at least minimal involvement is goin...
by bryanm
Fri Jan 11, 2019 6:35 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Can I make HSA contributions for 2018 (last year)?
Replies: 9
Views: 912

Re: Can I make HSA contributions for 2018 (last year)?

My understanding is HSA deductions through payroll will be exempt from both income & FICA tax. However, if you contribute on your own, you may only claim the deduction for income tax, but still have to pay FICA taxes on that amount? Am I confusing things? I believe this is correct. (There is an exc...
by bryanm
Fri Jan 11, 2019 4:32 pm
Forum: Personal Investments
Topic: New to investing on my own. Robo investors?
Replies: 6
Views: 767

Re: New to investing on my own. Robo investors?

An anecdote: a personal friend founded a robo-advisor (not the biggest, but a successful one). I mentioned to him recently that I had been browsing bogleheads. His advice was to avoid robo-advisors and follow what the site had to say. Robo-advisors may work for some, but if you're here, the likeliho...
by bryanm
Tue Jan 08, 2019 1:02 pm
Forum: Personal Investments
Topic: Equity-indexed annuity - Helping a Parent Who Bought In
Replies: 16
Views: 1053

Re: Equity-indexed annuity - Helping a Parent Who Bought In

In your original post, you mentioned there might be a 3% floor, and I was about to suggest she could keep some money in there. But this post says a 0% floor and a 3% cap. That’s absolutely HORRIBLE. I’d be out of that annuity pretty quickly. +1 Agree that a 3% cap is very bad so I suggest cashing i...
by bryanm
Tue Jan 08, 2019 11:33 am
Forum: Personal Investments
Topic: Equity-indexed annuity - Helping a Parent Who Bought In
Replies: 16
Views: 1053

Re: Equity-indexed annuity - Helping a Parent Who Bought In

Thanks BL. She did ask for my help. She was frustrated by her inability to access the funds. She wanted to pull 2% out over 2 years to fund a church trip, and was afraid to do it. She was surprised when I recommended she actually enjoy her retirement (responsibly). As mentioned, her pension covers >...
by bryanm
Mon Jan 07, 2019 3:57 pm
Forum: Personal Investments
Topic: Equity-indexed annuity - Helping a Parent Who Bought In
Replies: 16
Views: 1053

Re: Equity-indexed annuity - Helping a Parent Who Bought In

You'll have much better luck with the insurance company directly. I have an extremely hard time believing the surrender charges are only 1% unless the contract is pretty old. A lot of these are 15 year surrender schedules and are double digits for the % in the early years. I admire skepticism! The ...
by bryanm
Mon Jan 07, 2019 3:38 pm
Forum: Personal Investments
Topic: Equity-indexed annuity - Helping a Parent Who Bought In
Replies: 16
Views: 1053

Re: Equity-indexed annuity - Helping a Parent Who Bought In

All of her assets are currently in an equity-indexed annuity... You absolutely need to sever any relationship with this annuity salesperson. I cannot think of any situation where an individual should have "all of their assets" in an equity-indexed annuity. Thanks David. I should note that she has a...
by bryanm
Mon Jan 07, 2019 3:07 pm
Forum: Personal Investments
Topic: Equity-indexed annuity - Helping a Parent Who Bought In
Replies: 16
Views: 1053

Equity-indexed annuity - Helping a Parent Who Bought In

Hi All, I'm trying to assist my retired mother with her investments. All of her assets [edit: nearly all, excepting mainly a pension] are currently in an equity-indexed annuity with National Life Group. She apparently purchased this due to her risk aversion and the "floor" on interest earned. After ...
by bryanm
Fri Dec 21, 2018 1:30 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: "Step investing" vs. AA
Replies: 14
Views: 704

Re: "Step investing" vs. AA

Personally, I prefer to look at my portfolio as a whole. In the above description, I see a $1,000,000 80/20 stock/bond portfolio that would become a $600,000 65/35 stock/bond portfolio if stock lost 50% . (The $800,000 in stocks would shrink to $400,000 and the portfolio balance would become $600,0...
by bryanm
Fri Dec 21, 2018 11:42 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Lap top recommendation
Replies: 42
Views: 2324

Re: Lap top recommendation

My daughter is going to college next year. She is wanting Apple 13" laptop. If so can you tell me why there are worth the extra? This is probably another topic, but the bottom line is that you're buying your way into a well-curated ecosystem. Apple designs everything to work together, meaning you v...
by bryanm
Thu Dec 20, 2018 2:32 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Lap top recommendation
Replies: 42
Views: 2324

Re: Lap top recommendation

I would insist that a new laptop should have the option to use Ethernet to access the internet. Not knowing better I bought a $250 Dell laptop which only has Wifi and wanted to use it for access to financial sites, but then read that some criminals can learn Wifi passwords. Adding Ethernet to a lap...
by bryanm
Wed Dec 19, 2018 12:28 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: A case against buy and hold index investing
Replies: 39
Views: 4865

Re: A case against buy and hold index investing

As a beginning investor I am quite fascinated by how financial markets work and why the general consensus is that stock prices always rise in the long term. Are there any realistic scenarios in which the market could be lower in 20 years than they are now? Forgive me if this is a dumb question. I s...
by bryanm
Tue Dec 18, 2018 1:48 pm
Forum: Personal Investments
Topic: Backdoor Roth IRA - need an extra account?
Replies: 15
Views: 549

Re: Backdoor Roth IRA - need an extra account?

Hmm, yeah, we can explore rolling to 401k option. Actually I'm confused now with another possible scenario - I worked for employer A and still have associated 401k. If I'd roll it into tIRA I'd face the same problem - pre tax money sits in tIRA so putting extra after tax $5500 for Roth IRA rollover...
by bryanm
Tue Dec 18, 2018 12:36 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Another Desktop (Self Built) Updating Question
Replies: 17
Views: 928

Re: Another Desktop (Self Built) Updating Question

PS is slow on current setup (And I plan to take more pics. I have barely used my D7200 since 2016....only some 400 shutter counts). "If it ain't broke..." I totally agree May be a video card will be a motivation factor for me to take the camera out. And I have time to kill around this time of the y...
by bryanm
Tue Dec 18, 2018 12:06 pm
Forum: Personal Investments
Topic: Backdoor Roth IRA - need an extra account?
Replies: 15
Views: 549

Re: Backdoor Roth IRA - need an extra account?

She can do that and only owe tax on the original $5,500. Probably the easiest and fastest fix. Didn't really get it. She was eligible for before tax IRA contribution in 2015 so why does she need to pax taxes on it now? The pro-rata rule says that when you convert, you can't "pick" what dollars you ...
by bryanm
Tue Dec 18, 2018 11:57 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Another Desktop (Self Built) Updating Question
Replies: 17
Views: 928

Re: Another Desktop (Self Built) Updating Question

What's the problem with your current setup? If it ain't broke... If you're only concern is lack of support for Windows 7, upgrade to 10. I suspect your current machine would do just fine with it. An SSD is also an easy upgrade given their pricing and the performance improvement. A video card would h...
by bryanm
Sun Dec 16, 2018 10:50 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Is there a machine that can automatically heat up milk (not boil) and froth it?
Replies: 6
Views: 540

Re: Is there a machine that can automatically heat up milk (not boil) and froth it?

Absolutely. An electric milk frother. Here's one with a couple thousand good reviews: Secura Automatic Electric Milk Frother and Warmer (250ml) https://www.amazon.com/dp/B00JEPP64C
by bryanm
Fri Dec 14, 2018 11:36 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Wired router vs wifi router with radio turned off.
Replies: 9
Views: 955

Re: Wired router vs wifi router with radio turned off.

bryanm, as I posted to Ostentatious, it seems that is kind of what I want to do, except for a separate directional ap to another unit as client for an outbuilding 125 ft away. Then turn off the radio in my router. Just wondering if there was any real difference in the two routers Ethernet wise bett...
by bryanm
Fri Dec 14, 2018 12:08 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Wired router vs wifi router with radio turned off.
Replies: 9
Views: 955

Re: Wired router vs wifi router with radio turned off.

The radio costs money. More than just parts, they pay licenses for the tech. The best availability for wired routers these days is for commercial or prosumer stuff. There, you frequently don't want a radio, because you want the router stashed away somewhere without great signal. You buy the radio se...
by bryanm
Thu Dec 13, 2018 11:02 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Who else is doing home automation?
Replies: 64
Views: 4264

Re: Who else is doing home automation?

2015 wrote:
Thu Dec 13, 2018 9:25 pm
How do you isolate these devices from your computing environment?
Seperate VLANS. Requires some knowledge of networking to configure.
by bryanm
Thu Dec 13, 2018 5:49 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Investing in bonds while you still have a mortgage
Replies: 26
Views: 2771

Re: Investing in bonds while you still have a mortgage

The difference is liquidity. You can pull money from bonds in a pinch, but not your mortgage. In a recession, for example, you can pay the bills with bonds to avoid selling stocks when they are low. If the couple already has significant assets, I would pay off the mortgage. But if they already have ...
by bryanm
Thu Dec 13, 2018 2:13 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Who else is doing home automation?
Replies: 64
Views: 4264

Re: Who else is doing home automation?

For those concerned with security and wanting a non-cloud solution, Home Assistant is a great DIY alternative. (Warning: when I say DIY, I mean it. You need your own "server" (like a Pi) and to be comfortable with basic coding.)
by bryanm
Wed Dec 12, 2018 7:22 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Volkswagen Reliability
Replies: 102
Views: 6128

Re: Volkswagen Reliability

So obviously it's too early to know the 10 year reliability of 2010+ model cars. That said, we had 2 different 2013 TDI's, both sold back this year due to the scandal. Different engine than the GTIs, but otherwise many of the same components. Both performed great, no issues to speak of. Friends wit...
by bryanm
Wed Dec 12, 2018 6:22 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Volkswagen Reliability
Replies: 102
Views: 6128

Re: Volkswagen Reliability

So obviously it's too early to know the 10 year reliability of 2010+ model cars. That said, we had 2 different 2013 TDI's, both sold back this year due to the scandal. Different engine than the GTIs, but otherwise many of the same components. Both performed great, no issues to speak of. Friends with...
by bryanm
Tue Dec 11, 2018 5:16 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: dry eyes- optimal laptop screen resolution to reduce eye strain
Replies: 35
Views: 2791

Re: dry eyes- optimal laptop screen resolution to reduce eye strain

If anybody can tell me which would be easier on my eyes....lower resolution (1920 x 1080), or higher resolution (2560 x 1440) zoomed to result in similar size text as would be on the lower resolution display (or if it would make no difference), please let me know. I understand that higher resolutio...
by bryanm
Tue Dec 11, 2018 11:31 am
Forum: Personal Investments
Topic: Can one use a distribution of After-tax from 401k to do an indirect rollover?
Replies: 10
Views: 513

Re: Can one use a distribution of After-tax from 401k to do an indirect rollover?

I don't see why not. The IRS says that a distribution that is redeposited within 60 days is an indirect rollover. So it doesn't seem to matter that Fidelity considers this a distribution. Per the IRS : 60-day rollover – If a distribution from an IRA or a retirement plan is paid directly to you, you ...
by bryanm
Mon Dec 10, 2018 11:39 am
Forum: Personal Investments
Topic: HSA question
Replies: 7
Views: 805

Re: HSA question

Individual or family? What's the maximum yearly out of pocket, and what tax bracket are you in? What other relevant differences in coverage exist between the HDHP and the alternative? Do you have an emergency fund and the ability to cover a few thousand in unexpected costs? (Edit to add perhaps the ...
by bryanm
Fri Dec 07, 2018 2:40 pm
Forum: Personal Investments
Topic: A 403b, Drifting At Sea
Replies: 6
Views: 676

Re: A 403b, Drifting At Sea

Thank you bryanm and pkcrafter. The overwhelming majority of our retirement funds are through my TSP (401k) at work, so I'm thinking converting my wife's 403b into a Roth IRA would help in some measure to balance out our taxable and non-taxable funds when we start drawing from them, even though we ...
by bryanm
Fri Dec 07, 2018 11:50 am
Forum: Personal Investments
Topic: A 403b, Drifting At Sea
Replies: 6
Views: 676

Re: A 403b, Drifting At Sea

This should be possible. I would start by contacting the management company for the 403b. You would pay taxes if you roll pre-tax contributions of a 403b into a Roth IRA. Have you considered rolling it into a traditional IRA instead? Then there is no tax hit.
by bryanm
Fri Dec 07, 2018 11:39 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: New Corp Questions
Replies: 11
Views: 999

Re: New Corp Questions

S-Corp owner with operations in NY here. I second all the recommendations to hire a good CPA first, and possibly a good lawyer second. The initial fees can be intimidating, but once you have everything set up, running costs are pretty minimal. I have a very simple corporate operation, and my yearly ...
by bryanm
Tue Dec 04, 2018 12:44 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Can I ditch my work's HSA and fund a non-work (private) HSA?
Replies: 9
Views: 1133

Re: Can I ditch my work's HSA and fund a non-work (private) HSA?

IRS regulations prohibit pass-thru business owners from using a pre-tax health and welfare plan. @Spirit Rider, can you elaborate (including a citation)? I am learning more about pass-thru business in the context of sole proprietors and the QBI deduction. Are you saying a sole proprietor cannot hav...
by bryanm
Tue Dec 04, 2018 12:35 pm
Forum: Personal Investments
Topic: Help with Schwab 401k portfolio
Replies: 12
Views: 842

Re: Help with Schwab 401k portfolio

I would probably just split between SWPPX, VSMAX, and SWISX for the equities. I don't see what the others are really getting you for the higher cost. I don't know enough about bonds to comment (but at your age and risk tolerance, I recommend doing some searching on the board to see if 100% equities ...
by bryanm
Thu Nov 29, 2018 7:34 pm
Forum: Personal Investments
Topic: Question on S corp profit share funding of solo 401k
Replies: 11
Views: 516

Re: Question on S corp profit share funding of solo 401k

I was considering the same thing recently. I can't see any problem with it. I think the main issue is going to be accounting for the interest earned (but perhaps that just get taxed as income?).
by bryanm
Thu Nov 29, 2018 2:08 pm
Forum: Personal Investments
Topic: 401k contributions beyond $18,500 limit (how-to?)
Replies: 7
Views: 792

Re: 401k contributions beyond $18,500 limit (how-to?)

You'll want to confirm with your plan administrator, but in my practice, profit-sharing contributions are pre-tax. I fund them with post-tax earnings, but then get a deduction at tax time and get the tax back. Basically, I cut my firm a check for profit-sharing contributions, which they then deposit...
by bryanm
Thu Nov 29, 2018 1:00 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Need advice on finding a coder
Replies: 6
Views: 834

Re: Need advice on finding a coder

How unique and amazing is this idea? Is it something that you should cover with a patent? If that’s the case (which is unlikely), then by all means, get an intellectual property attorney involved, file a patent application before moving forward, then get someone you can more closely control to do t...
by bryanm
Thu Nov 29, 2018 11:57 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: How do you spend/kill time online?
Replies: 21
Views: 2828

Re: How do you spend/kill time online?

Case law on Google Scholar. And I'm not even a lawyer or a pretend one. Set it to "search all courts", type in a search term of some kind of interest, hobby, item, town, occupation, can lead to some interesting reading. For example, you can type in something like "Toyota Camry" and get everything f...
by bryanm
Thu Nov 29, 2018 11:34 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Need advice on finding a coder
Replies: 6
Views: 834

Re: Need advice on finding a coder

The quick answer here is yes, it's easier to enforce a contract against a party in the same country as you. However, enforcing contracts through the legal system is a costly thing anyway. If you don't have a few tens of thousands of dollars to spend enforcing the contract, you probably won't anyway,...
by bryanm
Tue Nov 27, 2018 2:08 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: LastPass Questions
Replies: 27
Views: 2049

Re: LastPass Questions

BogleMelon wrote:
Tue Nov 27, 2018 1:32 pm
jhfenton wrote:
Tue Nov 27, 2018 10:17 am
I use the LastPass iPhone and iPad apps to autofill passwords (with TouchID authentication on each one), and I am not a premium subscriber.
Exactly, I have a phone App (Android) and still free user!
This was previously a premium feature, but is now available on the free tier too.
by bryanm
Tue Nov 27, 2018 12:07 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: LastPass Questions
Replies: 27
Views: 2049

Re: LastPass Questions

The main reason for the password managers is for organization purposes to keep track of all your passwords. If you don't have a million passwords, these things are usually overkill. I disagree. A primary benefit of a password manager is password diversification. The more times you reuse a password,...
by bryanm
Wed Oct 17, 2018 3:47 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Isn't Paying off the mortgage early putting less money in your house (not more)?
Replies: 96
Views: 10105

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

Most people don't have enough cash to buy a home outright. Hence, a mortgage. Once you DO have enough to buy it outright (pay off your loan), then it's simply a question of where you want your money to go, and whether you feel you will be better off investing it or paying off the loan. But make no ...
by bryanm
Fri Oct 12, 2018 12:11 pm
Forum: Personal Investments
Topic: over 55k in 401k with profit-sharing...
Replies: 14
Views: 675

Re: over 55k in 401k with profit-sharing...

Just got off the phone with Schwab. They say extra contribs can be pulled out of plan, and monies returned to me via income from employer. Main issue I see is getting my max $18.5k deduction this year. I have only contributed $14k YTD. Rest is from employer. I don't think you'll be able to get the ...
by bryanm
Fri Oct 12, 2018 10:34 am
Forum: Personal Investments
Topic: over 55k in 401k with profit-sharing...
Replies: 14
Views: 675

Re: over 55k in 401k with profit-sharing...

The limit includes profit sharing: Total employee and employer contributions (including forfeitures) - the lesser of 100% of an employee’s compensation or $55,000 for 2018 ($54,000 for 2017 not including "catch-up" elective deferrals of $6,000 in 2015 - 2018 for employees age 50 or older) (IRC secti...
by bryanm
Mon Oct 08, 2018 3:01 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Talk me out of buying a Tesla Model 3
Replies: 578
Views: 53001

Re: Talk me out of buying a Tesla Model 3

I was recently in this position. I decided on the 2018 Leaf. It's not as nice as the Tesla, no doubt. But it ran me ~$30k after tax incentives, and I would say it's easily 50% of the car the Tesla is. So the decision comes down to whether the extra benefits of the Tesla are worth the $45k surcharge...
by bryanm
Mon Oct 08, 2018 1:20 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Talk me out of buying a Tesla Model 3
Replies: 578
Views: 53001

Re: Talk me out of buying a Tesla Model 3

I was recently in this position. I decided on the 2018 Leaf. It's not as nice as the Tesla, no doubt. But it ran me ~$30k after tax incentives, and I would say it's easily 50% of the car the Tesla is. So the decision comes down to whether the extra benefits of the Tesla are worth the $45k surcharge....