Search found 419 matches

by Atgard
Tue Feb 20, 2018 2:02 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: I'm Cancelling My Home Insurance
Replies: 156
Views: 14178

Re: I'm Cancelling My Home Insurance

This really varies a lot in different parts of the country. I know people paying 2%+ of the value of their home per year in South Florida where hurricane (windstorm) coverage is very pricey, it's not a minor expense. I can see some people saying they will roll the dice and save those premiums instead.
by Atgard
Tue Feb 13, 2018 1:39 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: I-Bonds?
Replies: 80
Views: 18400

Re: I-Bonds?

Does it make sense to delay filing my tax return in order to find out what the fixed rate will be in May (for paper I bonds)? Yeah, I like to overthink this too, but there's about a 33% chance it will be 0.0%, 33% chance it will stay at 0.1%, and 33% chance it will be 0.2%. Either way, a rounding e...
by Atgard
Mon Feb 12, 2018 8:54 pm
Forum: Personal Investments
Topic: Opinions of the Money for the Rest of Us Model Portfolio
Replies: 13
Views: 1678

Re: Opinions of the Money for the Rest of Us Model Portfolio

Am I missing something, or is the entire stock portion either global or explicitly not U.S. stocks? Of course some people advocate for example a 50/50 split of U.S. & international stocks, but I don't think I've seen anyone advocate having no U.S. stocks (beyond what's in the total world index, mea...
by Atgard
Sun Feb 11, 2018 6:10 pm
Forum: Personal Investments
Topic: Opinions of the Money for the Rest of Us Model Portfolio
Replies: 13
Views: 1678

Re: Opinions of the Money for the Rest of Us Model Portfolio

Am I missing something, or is the entire stock portion either global or explicitly not U.S. stocks? Of course some people advocate for example a 50/50 split of U.S. & international stocks, but I don't think I've seen anyone advocate having no U.S. stocks (beyond what's in the total world index, mean...
by Atgard
Sun Feb 11, 2018 6:00 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Family expecting “comps”
Replies: 38
Views: 5840

Re: Family expecting “comps”

You say an "immediate family member." I know if I owned a restaurant, I would never charge my mother or father or siblings. (Can you imagine how many meals my parents gave me over the years?) I am an attorney and I would also not charge an immediate family member. Of course, when you get to cousins ...
by Atgard
Sat Feb 10, 2018 11:11 am
Forum: Personal Investments
Topic: CD Ladder or Treasuries ?
Replies: 17
Views: 3560

Re: CD Ladder or Treasuries ?

I don't really consider treasuries or other bonds more "liquid" than CDs. You can sell either early if you want. If you sell a bond early, you get the current market price, which could be anything (I mean, it's probably not going to be 10% of the face value, but it could fluctuate a fair bit dependi...
by Atgard
Sat Feb 10, 2018 9:49 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Tenants want to break lease early and is pregnant
Replies: 105
Views: 11844

Re: Tenants want to break lease early and is pregnant

While I think people here are trying to help you, be aware nobody else has seen the lease and many people may not know landlord-tenant law. This is not legal advice, but in at least some states it is not legal to charge them rent even after they move out and you also re-rent it to someone else. In o...
by Atgard
Thu Feb 08, 2018 10:52 am
Forum: Personal Investments
Topic: Best way to sell gold krugerrands?
Replies: 12
Views: 7897

Re: Best way to sell gold krugerrands?

As others have said, the key is to deal with a gold/bullion dealer and not a pawn shop or jewelry store. For Krugerrands (in any condition) you should be able to get roughly 98-99% of spot gold price (check on kitco.com). Just know their value and walk right out if the offer is not very close to the...
by Atgard
Thu Feb 08, 2018 10:43 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Leaving HCOL state for financial reasons
Replies: 48
Views: 6117

Re: Leaving HCOL state for financial reasons

Working in a HCOL city like SF or NYC is great for a first job, but it isn't compatible with the life I'd want with a family. At least, not at a price point that I could afford. An ideal life for me, age 35-55 let's say, is working 30-40 hours per week, having six weeks vacation, walking to work, a...
by Atgard
Wed Feb 07, 2018 10:55 am
Forum: Personal Investments
Topic: Am I creating an issue? [tax lots with many periodic contributions]
Replies: 21
Views: 1928

Re: Am I creating an issue?

Yes, I would definitely only buy once per month or at the most once per pay period. When people talk about DCA, they usually mean when they have a large lump sum to invest, and are scared to invest $50K or $500K all at once, so they spread it out maybe once a month over a year. So even doing once a ...
by Atgard
Tue Feb 06, 2018 4:21 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Leaving HCOL state for financial reasons
Replies: 48
Views: 6117

Re: Leaving HCOL state for financial reasons

I had a fairly similar decision about 10 years back (associate at big law firm in Los Angeles), home prices there were in the midst of a crazy bubble (which I did think "if lawyers can't afford these houses, who is buying them?"), and I generally hated the traffic & commute. One thing people may not...
by Atgard
Tue Feb 06, 2018 10:59 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Comcast Modem Rental
Replies: 41
Views: 4224

Re: Comcast Modem Rental

Comcast is charging $11/mo. for modem rental. Any thoughts on buying a modem to eliminate the rental fee? Are there any problems with doing this? I have this. https://www.amazon.com/ARRIS-SURFboard-SB6141-DOCSIS-Cable/dp/B00AJHDZSI Not sure what advantages there could be renting from Comcast. Just ...
by Atgard
Tue Feb 06, 2018 10:51 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Want a Safe Car, Feel Guilty
Replies: 72
Views: 6967

Re: Want a Safe Car, Feel Guilty

There is a lot of "don't buy that expensive new car!" advice around here, which is often good advice because many many people buy more car than they can afford, lease or buy new every few years, and are on a never-ending treadmill paying car payments & interest, which interferes with retirement savi...
by Atgard
Fri Feb 02, 2018 11:42 am
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Are we in an index fund bubble? Bill Ackman thinks we are.
Replies: 45
Views: 6123

Re: Are we in an index fund bubble? Bill Ackman thinks we are.

+1 for Total Stock Market index vs. S&P 500 index. Doesn't tell me indexing is in a bubble. It MAY mean that the largest 500 companies' prices have been bid up higher. But, if they didn't index, would index investors generally be pumping much of that money into micro-cap penny stocks instead? Or jus...
by Atgard
Fri Feb 02, 2018 11:34 am
Forum: Personal Investments
Topic: Factors that Mitigate the Need for Emergency Fund
Replies: 17
Views: 1664

Re: Factors that Mitigate the Need for Emergency Fund

It's definitely a case-by-case decision. Many factors can impact how much of an emergency fund you need, including: - Stability of income: someone with a very steady gov't job or other income stream unlikely to shrink or disappear may not need as much; a consultant or small business owner or working...
by Atgard
Thu Feb 01, 2018 10:03 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: SUV vs Minivan: which is safer?
Replies: 24
Views: 7238

Re: SUV vs Minivan: which is safer?

In general, vehicles on truck frames (many SUVs, especially larger ones) are heavier and have a higher center of gravity. While a heavier vehicle MAY offer some benefits in a crash (at the expense of the people in the other car), they take longer to stop, can't change direction or avoid accidents as...
by Atgard
Wed Jan 31, 2018 1:39 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: How to think about your house from a financial perspective
Replies: 89
Views: 9024

Re: How to think about your house from a financial perspective

Houses have formed a forced savings plan for probably the majority of Americans, as we know the "average" person doesn't save or invest, has less than $500 in savings for an emergency, etc. So for people like that, being forced to pay towards principal and eventually owning a valuable asset after 30...
by Atgard
Tue Jan 30, 2018 2:41 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: How to think about your house from a financial perspective
Replies: 89
Views: 9024

Re: How to think about your house from a financial perspective

2. You "win the game" if the real return on the sale of a house (purchase + cap improvements) is positive. Of course, but lets say you purchase a home for 100K, make 10k worth of improvements and repairs and sell it 3 years later for 105k. Did you still win the game? Assuming that it was a nice hou...
by Atgard
Tue Jan 30, 2018 2:20 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Chapter S Corp
Replies: 4
Views: 468

Re: Chapter S Corp

Spirit Rider has given good advice, and especially with the latest tax changes and uncertainty (the 20% pass-through QBI deduction probably does not apply to W-2 wages you pay yourself, whereas it would apply to all pass-through business income on a Schedule C), I would probably hold off. That said,...
by Atgard
Mon Jan 29, 2018 11:06 pm
Forum: Personal Investments
Topic: Why would I buy Bonds now?
Replies: 33
Views: 9841

Re: Why would I buy Bonds now?

I had the same concerns but it makes perfect sense once you understand the logic of how it works. The term is 6 years (in the example of VBTLX for instance) and if you hold for that long you will at least get the promised yearly yield at the time you invested in which is at the moment almost twice ...
by Atgard
Mon Jan 29, 2018 9:47 pm
Forum: Personal Investments
Topic: Why would I buy Bonds now?
Replies: 33
Views: 9841

Re: Why would I buy Bonds now?

I'm not trying to sound anti-bond or trying to time the market, but nisiprius (who consistently gives great bond info) said: "We don't know that we're in "a rising rate environment," any more than we know that we are in a rising stock environment." Now I know rates have risen a bit, but last year wh...
by Atgard
Mon Jan 29, 2018 3:35 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: high deductible health plan but not HSA eligible
Replies: 7
Views: 623

Re: high deductible health plan but not HSA eligible

To be HSA-eligible, plans must meet certain specific criteria that the deductible must be above a certain amount and the out-of-pocket maximum must be under a certain amount. The first year they had them, this OOP maximum was the same as the law under the ACA that all health plans must meet. But the...
by Atgard
Mon Jan 29, 2018 3:29 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Exterminator Accidently Sprayed our Home
Replies: 55
Views: 6483

Re: Exterminator Accidently Sprayed our Home

Insects' bodies work much differently than ours do. For example, they breathe through holes in their skin, they don't have lungs. So a chemical that stopped those holes (spiracles) from opening & closing would kill an insect but do nothing to us because we don't have spiracles for it to work on. Sim...
by Atgard
Sun Jan 28, 2018 9:52 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: How much have kids added to your personal finance/expenses?
Replies: 111
Views: 11299

Re: How much have kids added to your personal finance/expenses?

At first I thought the extra cost was cribs, carseats, strollers, clothes, food, toys, etc. Nah. Those are relatively small potatoes (but not zero) and easy to get second-hand or good deals on. The biggest 3 for me are: 1.) Housing cost. We had a 2-bedroom apartment and moved into a 4-bedroom house ...
by Atgard
Sat Jan 27, 2018 9:58 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: When did the bad news start in 2008?
Replies: 135
Views: 15696

Re: When did the bad news start in 2008?

It's not just data, it's math -- it's literally how the market works. When a stock price goes up, it's because more people are buying than selling. When it's at its peak, that is when the most people want to buy and the fewest are selling. (And vice versa for the bottom.) While it's easy to say we ...
by Atgard
Sat Jan 27, 2018 9:38 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Does it make sense to get a business credit card?
Replies: 25
Views: 2137

Re: Does it make sense to get a business credit card?

I use a no-fee business credit card that gives 1% cash back (+2-3% on various categories). I find it much easier for record-keeping and taxes. It's so much easier to just pull out the business credit card (or have it on file for FedEx or Office Depot or whatever) than to try to go through all your C...
by Atgard
Sat Jan 27, 2018 9:31 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Exterminator Accidently Sprayed our Home
Replies: 55
Views: 6483

Re: Exterminator Accidently Sprayed our Home

Of course everyone has the right to decide what gets sprayed on their house. It's too bad they made a mistake, it sounds like he apologized and wiped it off, which sounds reasonable to me. Keep in mind that some of us pay money to have this done every 2 months. It is safe. Yes, for the stuff they sp...
by Atgard
Sat Jan 27, 2018 9:15 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: When did the bad news start in 2008?
Replies: 135
Views: 15696

Re: When did the bad news start in 2008?

If you knew you were headed into a recession, you would need to do more than just sell at the right time. Suppose you sold into cash just when things turned downward. Ok - great. You're not done. Next, you need to call the bottom - because you don't want to miss the upswing. If you wait too long, y...
by Atgard
Sat Jan 27, 2018 6:38 pm
Forum: Personal Investments
Topic: Looking for something with slightly higher yield/risk than online savings
Replies: 17
Views: 1783

Re: Looking for something with slightly higher yield/risk than online savings

Yeah, if you're OK with 1.9% yield (with some level of risk with corporate bonds), there are many 1-5 year CDs paying 2.0–2.5%. There are longer term or less safe bonds paying above that, which would probably be the next level on the risk/reward scale. So I would think 10 or 20 year bonds, or corpor...
by Atgard
Fri Jan 26, 2018 5:58 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Bond Portfolio for High Net Worth Individuals - Different Rules?
Replies: 67
Views: 10088

Re: Bond Portfolio for High Net Worth Individuals - Different Rules?

Thanks, Klang, I guess I do somewhat think about it that way (certainly in terms of emergency fund and safety net for if my job/business goes poof). It's just I almost never see it talked about on here as "X years of expenses in bonds, rest in stocks," almost always as percentages, i.e. 60/40. What ...
by Atgard
Fri Jan 26, 2018 11:12 am
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Bond Portfolio for High Net Worth Individuals - Different Rules?
Replies: 67
Views: 10088

Re: Bond Portfolio for High Net Worth Individuals - Different Rules?

I've been struggling with percentage-based allocations as well across various levels of wealth. For example, it's fine to say someone should be 60/40 stocks/bonds. But someone with $10,000 net worth needs to have 100% of that in a liquid emergency fund (probably savings accounts, not even bonds). Fo...
by Atgard
Fri Jan 26, 2018 10:55 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Pizza delivery asked for security code on my credit card with order
Replies: 50
Views: 11719

Re: Pizza delivery asked for security code on my credit card with order

I was going to say exactly this. If you've ever paid by credit card at a restaurant, you've exposed your CC number, expiration date, CCV code on the back, etc. to some under-minimum-wage employee (who may be "about to quit and has decided to collect a bunch of data on their last few days of work")....
by Atgard
Thu Jan 25, 2018 2:19 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Pizza delivery asked for security code on my credit card with order
Replies: 50
Views: 11719

Re: Pizza delivery asked for security code on my credit card with order

Don't you have to provide security code when you order stuff online sometimes? What's the difference? There are bad employees everywhere. TravelforFun The difference for me is that when I order online, I do not expect the code to be seen by any human being. It may even be verified by a separate ent...
by Atgard
Tue Jan 23, 2018 11:42 am
Forum: Personal Investments
Topic: VNQ ETF -- Taxable? How is it any different than other ETFs?
Replies: 10
Views: 4803

Re: VNQ ETF -- Taxable? How is it any different than other ETFs?

REITs (whether mutual fund or the ETF like VNQ) pay out a fair amount (about 4%) in non-qualified dividends. What that means is that these dividends are taxed at ordinary income rates (your marginal rate, like 25% or so, the same as interest income from bonds or savings accounts). On the other hand,...
by Atgard
Tue Jan 23, 2018 10:46 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Lawn service etiquette
Replies: 36
Views: 4538

Re: Lawn service etiquette

I would definitely not expect a $700 service to just be done with no notification of price or negotiation or even asking if or when you want it done. (Maybe it was necessary, maybe not, maybe it could have been put off for a while, maybe there was a cheaper option, etc.) You do say they seem nice an...
by Atgard
Mon Jan 22, 2018 2:43 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Xfinity broadband: should I try to negotiate a better deal?
Replies: 41
Views: 3970

Re: Xfinity broadband: should I try to negotiate a better deal?

Ah yes, the fun yearly ritual where I call Comcast and try asking nicely, begging, feigning confusion over the higher bill, threatening to leave or explore other options, etc. until I find someone who will cut my bill in half for another 12 months. This last time was the easiest one yet (I just got ...
by Atgard
Sat Jan 13, 2018 3:07 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Why Buy Bonds If You Have A Mortgage?
Replies: 187
Views: 22669

Re: Why Buy Bonds If You Have A Mortgage?

It's interesting how rare it is to hear of anyone financing a new car purchase at a promo 0-2% rate in order to invest the money instead. Or using promotional credit card checks with a 3% fee and 0% interest for 12-18 months to invest. The specifics are obviously different (e.g. the interest, if an...
by Atgard
Thu Jan 11, 2018 12:11 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Is it time for me to "call in rich"?
Replies: 75
Views: 13883

Re: Is it time for me to "call in rich"?

As you said, your numbers are solid. You can do it tomorrow and be more than fine. But, like you said, psychologically it's hard to go from work-save-invest, work-save-invest, work-save-invest to starting to run those wheels in reverse and spend down your hard-earned savings. If you said you still l...
by Atgard
Wed Jan 10, 2018 2:15 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Sell Sports Car and Invest or Keep for Fun Factor
Replies: 25
Views: 1844

Re: Sell Sports Car and Invest or Keep for Fun Factor

We can't give a great answer without knowing your overall financial picture. For example, if you are well on track to meeting your retirement goals, earn $200K and spend $50K per year, max out retirement plans, etc., then keep it and enjoy it, look for excuses to drive it more! (I personally think f...
by Atgard
Wed Jan 10, 2018 2:08 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Why Buy Bonds If You Have A Mortgage?
Replies: 187
Views: 22669

Re: Why Buy Bonds If You Have A Mortgage?

I know many are against mortgages psychologically, and I don't intend to touch on that -- if you sleep better at night paying it off, do it. Mortgages used to have a very nice tax benefit / subsidy to them, but that has gone away now for many people, so it may change the calculations a bit. But mort...
by Atgard
Mon Jan 08, 2018 11:31 am
Forum: Forum Issues and Administration
Topic: Help me understand question-less financial status (e.g. "2 comma club") threads.
Replies: 175
Views: 19156

Re: Help me understand question-less financial status (e.g. "2 comma club") threads.

In short, they don't bother me at all and I think they do some good for both the poster (as many have mentioned, people need a place to celebrate their long-time hard work & dedication, and it is safer to do so here), and possibly for others as inspiration, especially if the person tells a bit of th...
by Atgard
Sat Jan 06, 2018 1:15 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: "Can I Really Retire at 40?" What to Tell Clients
Replies: 53
Views: 9040

Re: "Can I Really Retire at 40?" What to Tell Clients

I wonder mostly about how much flexibility one has in their future budget. I'd worry more about someone who sets a retirement budget of $40,000 with minimal discretionary income vs. someone with say a budget of $100,000 with $40,000 of discretionary income within that budget. It could be hard to "t...
by Atgard
Sat Jan 06, 2018 12:56 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Backdoor Roth: How Long To Wait For Conversion?
Replies: 58
Views: 26392

Re: Backdoor Roth: How Long To Wait For Conversion?

I just can not imagine with probably 1 million + people doing back-door Roths, it being allowed on all trading platforms that I know of, thousands of posts and articles about it, etc., that the IRS would one day just start auditing people and dis-allowing them retroactively. IF they want to stop the...
by Atgard
Thu Jan 04, 2018 10:09 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Boglehead View on Entrepreneurship?
Replies: 13
Views: 1640

Re: Boglehead View on Enterprenureship?

This site is literally named after a great entrepreneur. I don't think 99% of Bogleheads believe what you're ascribing to them.
by Atgard
Thu Jan 04, 2018 12:09 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Vanguard takes 2 days to settle tIRA funding?
Replies: 22
Views: 1882

Re: Vanguard takes 2 days to settle tIRA funding?

They are certainly very slow to make funds available in other contexts too. I just bank transferred in money to fund my Roth. Vanguard shows transfer in on 1/2, date available for the funds on 1/9. This is for a transfer from a linked bank account, feels unnecessarily slow to me... Not going to kil...
by Atgard
Wed Jan 03, 2018 8:15 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: [How to determine budget for toys/luxuries?]
Replies: 41
Views: 3428

Re: How much to spend on toys?

It would be very hard to give a simple exact answer beyond "whatever you want once your spending & retirement needs are met." You can't base it solely on income, as I disagree that someone making $250K who has managed to save zero dollars can "afford" an expensive watch. They probably got to their s...
by Atgard
Wed Jan 03, 2018 6:31 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: E-reader for ebooks - Pros and Cons
Replies: 74
Views: 5077

Re: E-reader for ebooks - Pros and Cons

I love my e-reader (still have a Kindle 3 from several years ago, but still works as good as new), sadly I just don't have as much time for reading these days (kids!). The black & white e-Ink screens are great for reading: easier on the eyes than backlit LCD screens, can be read even outdoors in sun...
by Atgard
Wed Jan 03, 2018 11:49 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Retirement accounts and physician SCorps and Tax Reform
Replies: 90
Views: 8507

Re: Retirement accounts and physician SCorps and Tax Reform

Sorry if this is a dumb question, but why would the salary be $275,000 to max out retirement savings? Is it just a physician thing? For an S-Corp Solo 401K, which can use 25% of W-2 salary, it requires $146,000 of W-2 compensation (salary + benefits) to max out $18,500 in employee deferral + $36,500...
by Atgard
Wed Jan 03, 2018 10:58 am
Forum: Personal Investments
Topic: CD ladder in cash bucket
Replies: 6
Views: 957

Re: CD ladder in cash bucket

Assuming a 6-month early withdrawal penalty, the 5-year CD seems to be superior. You can check it out here: https://www.depositaccounts.com/tools/ewp-calculator.aspx?ids=305289,0&names=??,???&apys=2.65,2.35&terms=60,48&penalties=6,6 Effective Rate if Broken after...: 1 Year 1.34% 1.19% 2 Years 2.01%...
by Atgard
Wed Jan 03, 2018 12:37 am
Forum: Personal Investments
Topic: CD ladder in cash bucket
Replies: 6
Views: 957

Re: CD ladder in cash bucket

I don't think an extra 0.25% is worth doubling the duration from 2 to 4 years (unless it has a really small early withdrawal penalty). I think 5 year CDs may pay a little more, so if you can get a decent 5-year ladder that may be the way to go. Recently when I priced CDs, 5-year CDs beat out 2- or 3...