Search found 2632 matches

by neurosphere
Mon Aug 22, 2011 7:34 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: advice for new investor/young physician
Replies: 24
Views: 3381

One of our own, EmergDoc, has a blog for folks like you (folks like us!!!). I'll post the link so he won't have to!!! http://whitecoatinvestor.com/ AACK!! While EmergDoc is entirely on the up and up, and the site is very helpful There is a BIG advertisement for Gold, complete with 'celebrity' spoke...
by neurosphere
Tue Aug 09, 2011 7:00 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Destroying diskettes and QIC cartridges
Replies: 14
Views: 2139

If you really want to be thorough, use sandpaper to scuff the surface of the CD prior to cutting. Then the only way to be able to read it would be to glue it back together and buff the surface smooth again. Or cut it in half and physically separate the halves when throwing them out. And I think I've...
by neurosphere
Wed Aug 03, 2011 5:50 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: How much umbrella insurance is enough?
Replies: 86
Views: 27766

Alan S, can you define "protected" net worth? 401k (403b, 401a)? IRA? Cash value of whole life insurance? Primary home? The rules must vary from state to state. Every time I read one of these threads, and especially the linked articles, I feel I should buy more insurance. We currently have $2m. Her...
by neurosphere
Wed Aug 03, 2011 12:14 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Dan Neil in WSJ: Chevy Volt a success
Replies: 334
Views: 34214

Sidney wrote:Let us know when they get to 220 volts.
Ha! I got it.
by neurosphere
Sat Jul 23, 2011 7:55 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: US Mint stops credit card abusers - no more CC purchases
Replies: 56
Views: 6964

I actually love using the dollar coins, and used to request them from my bank before ordering them from the mint, and now will go back to getting them from my bank. Reasons I like the coins: 1) Once or twice a week I hit a vending machine for a $3 item in the hospital (snack or a way overpriced coff...
by neurosphere
Tue Jun 21, 2011 11:09 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Does this count as having 'left' my employer?
Replies: 8
Views: 1565

On hold now, waiting for graduate medical education 'supervisor'. But I am finishing residency (not internship) and have been with this employer maxing out contributions for 5 years. And I already have an IRA with Vanguard, so it would end up being the same number of accounts. The funds in the 401 a...
by neurosphere
Tue Jun 21, 2011 10:51 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Does this count as having 'left' my employer?
Replies: 8
Views: 1565

Does this count as having 'left' my employer?

Random question that just came to me, about a possible opportunity to do a 401k rollover from my employer to Vanguard. Situation: I finished residency today, my employer is my hospital. In 2 weeks I start a fellowship at the same hospital. Between now and July 1st I am NOT getting paid. Question: Do...
by neurosphere
Tue Jun 07, 2011 8:34 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: PC Speed Increase from 8 GB RAM + 10,000 RPM Drive?
Replies: 41
Views: 3727

arthurb999 wrote:Neurosphere, buy a new machine... that one is about 6 years old if not more...
Ha! March 2003. :D

I know, I'm just being stubborn I guess.
by neurosphere
Tue Jun 07, 2011 7:36 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: PC Speed Increase from 8 GB RAM + 10,000 RPM Drive?
Replies: 41
Views: 3727

Interesting. Your PC only has PATA ports. It could be outdated in other ways too. It could have an AGP slot for graphics instead of a PCI express x16 slot. It could be a pretty old / slower CPU (Athlon XP, Pentium 4, etc). It may not be worth sinking money into upgrading one interface when many int...
by neurosphere
Mon Jun 06, 2011 7:41 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: PC Speed Increase from 8 GB RAM + 10,000 RPM Drive?
Replies: 41
Views: 3727

Sadly, my desktop uses an ultra ata interface (that's the same as 'PATA', right, parallel ATA?). There are few if any SSD cards made which use that interface, and they seem to be much more expensive since they are designed for a niche market of those that want to upgrade old as dirt machines. If th...
by neurosphere
Mon Jun 06, 2011 6:46 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: PC Speed Increase from 8 GB RAM + 10,000 RPM Drive?
Replies: 41
Views: 3727

Sadly, my desktop uses an ultra ata interface (that's the same as 'PATA', right, parallel ATA?). There are few if any SSD cards made which use that interface, and they seem to be much more expensive since they are designed for a niche market of those that want to upgrade old as dirt machines. If the...
by neurosphere
Sun Jun 05, 2011 8:32 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: PC Speed Increase from 8 GB RAM + 10,000 RPM Drive?
Replies: 41
Views: 3727

Do you do any video or high-end graphics? No one has mentioned the GPU (graphics card). Preserving your data should come first. Whatever you do, be sure you know how to restore what you back up. That doesn't mean reading the manual. That means deleting a file that you care about and seeing if you c...
by neurosphere
Sun Jun 05, 2011 8:24 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: PC Speed Increase from 8 GB RAM + 10,000 RPM Drive?
Replies: 41
Views: 3727

The NAS idea is good. Here's something if you really want to get deep into the voodoo. Instead of reinstalling your OS/apps onto a new hard drive, first install a OS that has virtual machine support. Then reinstall and customize inside a VM. Every night, backup your VM image to the NAS. Google up V...
by neurosphere
Sun Jun 05, 2011 7:02 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: PC Speed Increase from 8 GB RAM + 10,000 RPM Drive?
Replies: 41
Views: 3727

thanks Jim. This is my router: http://reviews.cnet.com/routers/smc-smcwgbr14-n-barricade/4505-3319_7-32590920.html#reviewPage1 The review lists these specs: Features: Four Gigabit LAN ports; one Gigabit WAN port; Wi-Fi Protected Setup (WPS); DHCP support; NAT firewall with Stateful Packet Inspection...
by neurosphere
Sun Jun 05, 2011 4:09 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: PC Speed Increase from 8 GB RAM + 10,000 RPM Drive?
Replies: 41
Views: 3727

I have a different suggestion. Your main concern seems to be data loss. I'd recommend first buying a NAS device and a gig-e switch and cable. Move your My Documents folder and all your data to the NAS drive. Use a backup program to automatically back up non-user system data. If you do this first, y...
by neurosphere
Sun Jun 05, 2011 10:01 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: PC Speed Increase from 8 GB RAM + 10,000 RPM Drive?
Replies: 41
Views: 3727

From my experience, it is much more efficient to spend $800-$900 on a new computer every 3-4 years (that about what I spend, but I build from parts) than $2300 every 8. By Moore's law computer performance doubles every 18-24 months (depending on the variation of the law that you'd use), so you'd ge...
by neurosphere
Sun Jun 05, 2011 9:24 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: PC Speed Increase from 8 GB RAM + 10,000 RPM Drive?
Replies: 41
Views: 3727

There is no difference in usage between SSD and other HD types. All h/w differences are hidden by s/w interfaces. Well, I should clarify that I have never had to migrate data from one HD to another, especially a boot partition. I've either added an additional HD, or adjusted sizes of existing parti...
by neurosphere
Sun Jun 05, 2011 9:05 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: PC Speed Increase from 8 GB RAM + 10,000 RPM Drive?
Replies: 41
Views: 3727

How hard is it to install an SSD on an existing computer? Not physically, but once it's in the system, how hard is it to transfer what was on the original hard drive over to the SSD, making it the main boot drive? This is the step that prevents me from trying out this upgrade. I'm afraid it won't be...
by neurosphere
Thu May 19, 2011 9:01 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: People Plan to Work Into Their 70s or Later
Replies: 44
Views: 4479

We need to change the definition of retirement. I tell people that retirement does NOT start when you STOP work, but starts when you COULD stop work. Whether you choose to work or not after that point, is simply a matter of what you want to DO with your "retirement". Some travel the world, some play...
by neurosphere
Mon Mar 14, 2011 8:41 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Student loan - would you ever pay this one off early???
Replies: 31
Views: 4027

musbane wrote:
Except...except that would be a reason to pay it off.
:oops:

I forgot to add the "although...." prior to the 'a wise man'.

So perhaps paying the loan off ensures those closest to you want to keep you around to 'earn back' the cash you just spent to pay off the loan. :D
by neurosphere
Mon Mar 14, 2011 8:28 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Student loan - would you ever pay this one off early???
Replies: 31
Views: 4027

I would not even consider paying this off. Not because of the interest rate, but because of the death clause. If you pay off the loan today, and die tomorrow (not that you will, but just sayin'...), your heirs are out $160,000. A wise man once told me, make sure you are worth more ALIVE than dead. :...
by neurosphere
Fri Mar 04, 2011 4:51 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: My non-owners auto and umbrella insurance experience
Replies: 12
Views: 9259

Re: My non-owners auto and umbrella insurance experience

Short Version: I called Geico yesterday simply to get quotes on an umbrella policy and non-owner's auto policy. In 20 minutes I had paid for both, $360/yr for the auto, and $350/yr for 2MM in umbrella. Very easy. fyi, I just got a message from Gieco, saying that there was a mistake in my quote and ...
by neurosphere
Thu Mar 03, 2011 10:54 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: How much liability insurance is enough
Replies: 48
Views: 7408

In retrospect, it is surprising that my current insurer approved my request for an increase in coverage (from $1m to $2m) with no underwriting whatsoever. It appears to me that Geico is much more careful about whom it insures (i.e., it is a more carefully run company). Geico told me they can approv...
by neurosphere
Thu Mar 03, 2011 5:27 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: My non-owners auto and umbrella insurance experience
Replies: 12
Views: 9259

Re: My non-owners auto and umbrella insurance experience

I understand umbrella insurance, but I don't understand non-owner's auto insurance. Wouldn't any car you drive, normally be covered by the owner's policy? Perhaps someone could elaborate on such coverage. It would, but only if you HAVE an owner's policy. And since I don't own a car, I cannot get an...
by neurosphere
Thu Mar 03, 2011 3:25 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: My non-owners auto and umbrella insurance experience
Replies: 12
Views: 9259

My non-owners auto and umbrella insurance experience

Short Version: I called Geico yesterday simply to get quotes on an umbrella policy and non-owner's auto policy. In 20 minutes I had paid for both, $360/yr for the auto, and $350/yr for 2MM in umbrella. Very easy. Longer version: I have been wanting to get an umbrella policy for many years, and I hav...
by neurosphere
Tue Feb 01, 2011 7:21 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Disability Insurance?
Replies: 99
Views: 16596

I am in the market for DI, and the more I read the more I realize I should have bought when I started working 3 years ago. This thread has wonderful information. But I have a couple of questions I didn't see answered and Google was not helpful, regarding medical records, history, etc. How far back w...
by neurosphere
Sun Jan 30, 2011 9:51 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Help me protect a friend from an advisor/salesman
Replies: 51
Views: 6508

I have some more details, all the information I know is below in some form, and I am not likely to get and/or press for additional info unless she wants volunteers it. 62 yo woman, widow. 2 husbands, married to first for 8 years, second for 2 years before he died. Two grown and independent daughters...
by neurosphere
Wed Jan 26, 2011 4:55 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Help me protect a friend from an advisor/salesman
Replies: 51
Views: 6508

I'm not saying that at all. I'm saying that guarantees influence behavior and that shouldn't be ignored. I don't know why the advisor is recommending the annuity. What I do know is that it is not commission driven. [Neurosphere's bolding] Let's assume that we are talking about $100,000. Let's assum...
by neurosphere
Wed Jan 26, 2011 12:02 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Help me protect a friend from an advisor/salesman
Replies: 51
Views: 6508

I answered your question, but in case you missed it: Thanks, saw that, and will hopefully find out if it's qualified or unqualified. Also, trying to get more information about her motives/goals/plans. She is risk averse on the one hand, but at the same time her goals are quick capital appreciation....
by neurosphere
Wed Jan 26, 2011 11:34 am
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Help me protect a friend from an advisor/salesman
Replies: 51
Views: 6508

Re: Help me protect a friend from an advisor/salesman

Yes, I admit, I am nearly 100% (but NOT 100%) sure that most of these recommendations are not good . (snip) My biggest "pre-conception" is that I cannot imagine a situation where a variable annuity is a good idea for a person currently in the 15% bracket for state+federal, and not likely to increas...
by neurosphere
Wed Jan 26, 2011 11:27 am
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Help me protect a friend from an advisor/salesman
Replies: 51
Views: 6508

Re: Help me protect a friend from an advisor/salesman

The fact that you do not have all the details prevents you from being nearly 100% certain that these recommondations are good or bad. The fact that you admit you came with preconceptions to a message board that is full of low cost, do it yourself posters means its unlikly they will get challanged. ...
by neurosphere
Tue Jan 25, 2011 10:17 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Another "When to take SS benefits" question
Replies: 21
Views: 2812

She isn't applying for retirement benefits as I understand it. I'm confused. She is turning 62. She is married to a man who is 70 and has been collecting SS for 5 years. She intends to file for "spousal" benefits. Is this different than "retirement" benefits? With SS, what else can you apply for? I...
by neurosphere
Tue Jan 25, 2011 10:12 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Another "When to take SS benefits" question
Replies: 21
Views: 2812

Note that only retirement (old-age) and survivor benefits can be applied for 4 months in advance. Since she is not eligible for her own retirement benefits (if I understand you correctly), she can't apply four months early. P.S. Is there a reason she isn't doing this herself? Why is your father try...
by neurosphere
Tue Jan 25, 2011 8:44 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Another "When to take SS benefits" question
Replies: 21
Views: 2812

Re: Another "When to take SS benefits" question

So you can apply if you are 61 years and 9 months. You should try again. You can apply on the internet if you wish. That's what I thought, so I'm baffled why they told my dad to come back in April. Despite his computer illiteracy (see below) he quite smart and articulate and has his full mental fac...
by neurosphere
Tue Jan 25, 2011 7:23 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Another "When to take SS benefits" question
Replies: 21
Views: 2812

Re: Another "When to take SS benefits" question

That is correct. At exactly 62 (if she was born on the 1st or 2nd of the month), she will get 70% of 50% of his PIA (the amount he would have received if he started old-age benefits in the month he reached full retirement age), i.e., the 35% you mentioned. My mother turns 62 on April 22nd. My fathe...
by neurosphere
Tue Jan 25, 2011 6:23 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Help me protect a friend from an advisor/salesman
Replies: 51
Views: 6508

Re: Help me protect a friend from an advisor/salesman

First off, many thanks for all the responses so far! Don't have time to reply individually to them all, but have been helpful. You misunderstood my statement. I asked the OP to open her mind to this course of action is possibly the best. The OP came here to confirm her preconceived ideas where right...
by neurosphere
Tue Jan 25, 2011 11:55 am
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Help me protect a friend from an advisor/salesman
Replies: 51
Views: 6508

Help me protect a friend from an advisor/salesman

My dear friend's mother has been meeting with an advisor who put together a list of recommendations. Needless to say, I think she should run not walk away, but wanted to get some more cannon fodder for a potential discussion with her. Her basic situation is 62, recently widowed with modest income on...
by neurosphere
Tue Jan 25, 2011 9:41 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Pay Down Student Loan vs. Invest in Taxable?
Replies: 23
Views: 3566

neurosphere, if you're a medical resident in NYC with a working wife, aren't you in a monster tax bracket, over 40%? To beat paying off the loan, you'd need a low risk fixed income investment that pays more than 5.5% in taxable. I doubt you need the liquidity given your income and solid EF, and I w...
by neurosphere
Tue Jan 25, 2011 9:29 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Pay Down Student Loan vs. Invest in Taxable?
Replies: 23
Views: 3566

While in deferment (up to 18 years for the first loan!) I was able to consolidate to this low rate, and only began making payments last year. How did you manage to defer for so long? 5(?) years college + 9(?) years MD/PhD + 4 years residency? You got it. 4 years of college, but wasn't premed, so di...
by neurosphere
Mon Jan 24, 2011 6:48 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Pay Down Student Loan vs. Invest in Taxable?
Replies: 23
Views: 3566

Thanks all for the suggestions. As I anticipated, a range of answers, but plenty of food for thought. First off, I can't imagine a scenario in the next 10 years where we would buy either a house or cars. Not impossible, but... I would never borrow at 3% to invest, yet at the same time I feel that in...
by neurosphere
Mon Jan 24, 2011 8:51 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Pay Down Student Loan vs. Invest in Taxable?
Replies: 23
Views: 3566

Pay Down Student Loan vs. Invest in Taxable?

I have a student loan at 3.25% fixed. This year I expect to lose the student loan interest deduction. We max out our 401k x 2 and Roth x2. All investments currently are in tax-advantaged accounts. We have 6 months living expenses in CD ladder, savings account, and if you include savings bonds have a...
by neurosphere
Fri Jan 21, 2011 5:35 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Best Online Bank to buy CDs from
Replies: 35
Views: 4889

I'm happy with discover bank for my bond ladder. Although I wish I would have started my bond ladder 5 years ago instead of this year. :cry:
by neurosphere
Tue Jan 18, 2011 11:00 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Medical Costs in Retirement - Anyone plans for it?
Replies: 44
Views: 6771

The way I deal with health care is assume that all my SS payments will likely (hopefully) cover insurance/medicare/overages. One of the (many) current issues with Social Security/Medicare funding is that Social Security COLAs will be insufficient to keep up with necessary Medicare premium increases...
by neurosphere
Tue Jan 18, 2011 10:35 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Medical Costs in Retirement - Anyone plans for it?
Replies: 44
Views: 6771

I am 25 years away from retirement. The way I deal with health care is assume that all my SS payments will likely (hopefully) cover insurance/medicare/overages. Thus, my current spending/saving projections for retirement do not factor in any medical care. That's one way I have found for me head not ...
by neurosphere
Mon Jan 17, 2011 9:24 am
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: 280% Stocks or 0% Stocks? I'm confused.
Replies: 60
Views: 6571

Re: 280% Stocks or 0% Stocks? I'm confused.

Are you a stock or a bond Our 'income allocation' matches our asset allocation at 70% stocks and 30% bonds. That is, my wife is a 'stock' and brings home 70% of the income, while I am a 'bond' yet bring home only 30% of the income. She's been laid off 3 times in 7 years of marriage. While I couldn'...
by neurosphere
Sat Jan 15, 2011 11:53 am
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Muni Bond Risk Brouhaha
Replies: 35
Views: 5107

My father has a substantial percentage of his money in the Lord Abbot High Yield Muni fund (Class C...ug) that his broker bought for his 'safe/bond' portfolio after he had some individual bonds mature. This was just before the big muni dip in late 2008. He lost almost 20% of NAV, which he then parti...
by neurosphere
Fri Jan 14, 2011 5:57 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Trad 401K or Roth 401K for us?
Replies: 16
Views: 1731

Do I think my wife's and my taxable income will be higher (+-) $100,000/year? I'm hard pressed to think we will ever accumulate enough assets to draw that amount down per year. So, I guess I'm forecasting that we would not be in a higher tax bracket. Is this the correct way I should be looking at t...
by neurosphere
Fri Jan 14, 2011 2:33 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Renting For Life?
Replies: 94
Views: 11603

Previously owned for 12 years. Have now rented for 5. I never want to own a home again. I did not have any big problems with the home, I sold at the top of the market, so had a good overall financial experience, and I really enjoyed renovating, remodeling, working on it. BUT, I no longer want to dea...
by neurosphere
Thu Jan 13, 2011 12:40 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Extra $32,500 in Roth IRA - too good to be true?
Replies: 159
Views: 44210

One risk that comes to mind is trapped cash. For example, maxing out one's contributions at $49,000, and rolling over $32.5K to a Roth IRA, could consume someone's entire expected savings. The cash would then be "trapped" in the Roth IRA account, and could not be withdrawn without some steep penalt...
by neurosphere
Thu Jan 13, 2011 9:10 am
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: 2011 tIRA to roth IRA process--seems weird
Replies: 12
Views: 1540

Re: 2011 tIRA to roth IRA process--seems weird

So thats basically the steps right? I mean, the traditional IRA will exist maybe a day or so, will just have cash in it, then cease to exist with the rollever to the existing Roth. Although, depending on the company holding the IRA, the tIRA may not "cease to exist", but rather sit there with a zer...