Search found 3011 matches

by prudent
Tue Nov 22, 2011 7:30 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Brokerage Window used to bypass high cost 401k choices
Replies: 12
Views: 1062

Re: Brokerage Window used to bypass high cost 401k choices

Our plan allows it but it has a $100 annual fee and $39 commissions per trade.
by prudent
Tue Nov 22, 2011 10:58 am
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: getting out of a managed account
Replies: 25
Views: 1823

Re: getting out of a managed account

My fantasy is to move quickly, transferring all funds at once on one day. That may be a bad idea and maybe we should dollar cost average some set amount from two cash accounts into the aforementioned funds, and maybe Vanguard can make this easier for us. Would your advice then be to call and reques...
by prudent
Tue Nov 22, 2011 8:05 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Favorite comic strips
Replies: 50
Views: 4079

Re: Favorite comic strips

Calvin & Hobbes was the best comic strip ever IMHO, with all due respect to Peanuts which is also great. I read probably 95% of the comic strips in the two dailies we get, even though most are meh. I even read Mary Worth and Rex Morgan MD! (BTW, Rex Morgan appears to be headed into a teen date r...
by prudent
Mon Nov 21, 2011 1:56 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Shopping for insurance policy carriers
Replies: 8
Views: 553

Re: Shopping for insurance policy carriers

I'm in the middle of this issue right now. Our homeowners policy is with a big company and our premium renewal came in at $747/year, about 2% more than last year. On a whim I tried two brokers. Both brokers came back with quotes in the $350 range. I asked if it was for an HO-5 type policy like I hav...
by prudent
Mon Nov 21, 2011 11:05 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Close down business now or drag it out?
Replies: 16
Views: 1749

Re: Close down business now or drag it out?

My neighbor works for a similar firm and he has been working only 3 days/week for almost 3 years now due to lack of contracts. It's been painful for him but with his wife also working part-time they have been able to survive. No question he is glad to have a reduced level of work rather than no work...
by prudent
Mon Nov 21, 2011 8:50 am
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Keeping cash on person
Replies: 48
Views: 4247

Re: Keeping cash on person

Not that I am expecting any apocalypse, but I like to be somewhat prepared in the event of a week-long area-wide electricity outage. Have some currency and some silver coins buried within walking distance of our home. I try to keep the gas tank no less than half full. I really should have a bigger f...
by prudent
Fri Nov 18, 2011 10:08 am
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Help understanding loans against annuities
Replies: 1
Views: 721

Help understanding loans against annuities

My 85-year-old uncle has some Allianz annuities. He's not knowledgable about finances but trusts the sales guy completely. My uncle has asked me to look over his finances and while I'm comfortable doing that, when it came to the annuities I am clueless. Can you help me decipher what it means to have...
by prudent
Tue Nov 15, 2011 11:32 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Engagement Rings
Replies: 93
Views: 7065

Re: Engagement Rings

One caveat - I have read a number of stories over the years of people who had to file claims for loss of an engagement ring. It turns out that "appraised value" has almost no correlation to replacement cost. Many people believe that if they lose a ring appraised at $10,000 and it is fully ...
by prudent
Tue Nov 15, 2011 7:16 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Engagement Rings
Replies: 93
Views: 7065

Re: Engagement Rings

This is one of those situations that no guideline can address - it has to be the couple's decision. My wife did not want a ring and wanted to use the money towards a down payment for a house, so that's what we did. While she doesn't really have any interest in managing money, she's more frugal than ...
by prudent
Mon Nov 14, 2011 10:23 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: appliance buyers - time to buy?
Replies: 11
Views: 1117

Re: appliance buyers - time to buy?

I would only do that if, as you said, I knew I had to get new ones. Frankly, many appliances seem to be inferior to ones that were made even 10 years ago. I have heard this as a common theme from friends who have bought new appliances over the past few years. It's cheaper to use electronics to run a...
by prudent
Mon Nov 14, 2011 10:11 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: What percentage of your gross annual income do you save?
Replies: 59
Views: 8173

Re: What percentage of your gross annual income do you save?

About 25% counting 401k matching contributions. We also give about 20% to charity. We have no debt and no real desire to acquire more material things. My wife does not work so I feel the need to save aggressively in case I go first, so she has adequate resources to get by on her own. We worked with ...
by prudent
Thu Nov 10, 2011 12:15 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: how many hours would you bank?
Replies: 13
Views: 1507

Re: how many hours would you bank?

Everyone has different circumstances, but I will share how I came to my own answer. We have short-term disability and long-term disability plans at work. Due to my years of service, short-term will cover me at 100% salary + benefits for 6 months. After 6 months we have coverage for long-term disabil...
by prudent
Wed Nov 09, 2011 9:13 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Huge windfall, should I pay off house?
Replies: 33
Views: 4198

Re: Huge windfall, should I pay off house?

As long as you feel you will have more-than-adequate funds available after paying off the house, I think that's a good move.
by prudent
Wed Nov 09, 2011 9:11 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Using vacation hours as my Emergency Fund?
Replies: 13
Views: 1334

Re: Using vacation hours as my Emergency Fund?

I would not leave any more accumulated hours in the pool than I plan on using as actual vacation time. Cashing out guarantees that I can't lose that money even if the company changes their policy, I get a new boss who sees things differently, gets bought out (and institutes new policies) or goes und...
by prudent
Mon Nov 07, 2011 2:31 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Cold Calls
Replies: 112
Views: 6653

Re: Cold Calls

Interesting to see this topic today. On Saturday I got a call from a new Northwestern Mutual salesman who used our common fraternity connection as a foot-in-the-door to contact me. What astounded me is that I have been out of school for over 20 years and given the recordkeeping skills of the average...
by prudent
Fri Nov 04, 2011 11:49 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Alternatives to Quicken
Replies: 15
Views: 5334

Re: Alternatives to Quicken

I have data in Quicken going back 18 years, so I know how frustrating it can be when it doesn't work right. I would try asking on the Quicken Community (qlc.intuit.com). I have gotten good help there in the past from experienced users. It sounds like a fixable problem given that NOTHING is downloadi...
by prudent
Thu Nov 03, 2011 9:50 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: New Penfed website security procedure
Replies: 5
Views: 589

Re: New Penfed website security procedure

It is worded vaguely, but it says this would be needed for "certain" transactions. I interpret that to mean it won't be required for every web session. To me it's a mild annoyance because they give the option of receiving the code by voice call. I would be highly vexed if they required you...
by prudent
Thu Nov 03, 2011 6:03 am
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Anyone ever convinced their company to change 401k Providers
Replies: 25
Views: 2880

Re: Anyone ever convinced their company to change 401k Provi

A small group was able to get the company to change a few years ago. What started it wasn't the ERs, it was the lack of full disclosure on the statements. There were fees being deducted and people wanted to have them itemized on the statements and the provider would not do it. It wasn't so much a &q...
by prudent
Wed Nov 02, 2011 11:15 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Any win to Credit Card "concierge" services??
Replies: 6
Views: 907

Re: Any win to Credit Card "concierge" services??

Most reports I've seen say it's useful for getting restaurant reservations for Friday at 8 when the restaurant told you they were booked solid. They can get you tickets for anything as long as you're not fussy about price. They can help with travel issues ("Do I need a visa to visit Kenya?"...
by prudent
Thu Oct 27, 2011 9:20 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: How much % of yearly net income do you spend on vacation?
Replies: 54
Views: 6626

Re: How much % of yearly net income do you spend on vacation

We have done a couple vacations over the years that were at the 10% level but now we find lengthy travel to be stressful and exhausting. We don't want to do group trips and neither of us desires to travel outside the US again so we'll probably be at the 1%-5% level from now on.
by prudent
Mon Oct 24, 2011 11:49 am
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: GroupOn IPO
Replies: 42
Views: 4086

Re: GroupOn IPO

I have a guy who owns a small business right across the street from me, and he recently ventured into doing a groupon (talked into it by his wife). He wishes he did not do it. He bought more product to be ready for a rush, but no one started using their groupons til a few weeks later. He had to lim...
by prudent
Thu Oct 20, 2011 12:32 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Income/ Job is THE most important. If not, BRAG!
Replies: 51
Views: 6904

Re: Income/ Job is THE most important. If not, BRAG!

The goal is to be able to retire on 80% of your salary, and I believe that is a challenge for everybody. Agreed it is a challenge for all, but I can't agree that saving 20% of income is equally difficult for a $400K income and a $40K income. There is a certain amount of income required to cover nec...
by prudent
Thu Oct 20, 2011 11:46 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Income/ Job is THE most important. If not, BRAG!
Replies: 51
Views: 6904

Re: Income/ Job is THE most important. If not, BRAG!

To the degree I have financial security, I would say it's 50% due to income, 25% due to spending habits, and 25% due to starting early. Having grown up poor, I was determined to do whatever was necessary to have a modicum of financial security (the goal was not to become rich, just to be able to wea...
by prudent
Fri Oct 07, 2011 12:05 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Do you buy used cars like a Boglehead actually should?
Replies: 168
Views: 25461

Here's a related question: Assuming that it's actually true that right now, the gap between a lightly used car and a new car has grown much smaller, wouldn't the penalty for buying cars every 3-5 years also shrink a lot? I am aware that there is always a 'new car tax', but for some, if that penalty...
by prudent
Thu Oct 06, 2011 6:01 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Do you buy used cars like a Boglehead actually should?
Replies: 168
Views: 25461

In today's market, used cars are priced very high compared to new. It wasn't always like that. It certainly makes one lean towards buying new. My last car purchase was 5 years ago. I bought a year-old large sedan with 18K miles, "certified", for 30% less than new. From what I see being adv...
by prudent
Tue Oct 04, 2011 6:10 am
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Why do these silver bars sell for different prices?
Replies: 4
Views: 924

If I was a buyer, I would not pay a 9% premium (on the linked site, that's the price difference between the Englehard and the Credit Suisse) for one bar over an other given that they are all reputable and recognized brand names. At the coin dealers I am familiar with, they sell all bars at the same ...
by prudent
Tue Oct 04, 2011 6:04 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Going Paperless with Credit Card and Active Accounts?
Replies: 32
Views: 2890

I still get paper statements because for me it's a better fit. I know that it would take me longer to read/archive e-statements on the computer than it does to look over the paper statement but I realize for more skilled computer users it's just the opposite. When I tried e-statements for a while I ...
by prudent
Wed Sep 28, 2011 8:49 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Social Security benfits
Replies: 12
Views: 2463

Couple of things to remember. The amount shown on your estimate assumes your taxable income will remain at current levels until you are 65. The good news is the estimated value is in today's dollars and will grow with inflation over the next 18 years. EO The unsettling part is that it's really &quo...
by prudent
Mon Sep 26, 2011 12:46 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: A Case for "Online Banking Only"
Replies: 58
Views: 7362

And to me the ubiquity of branches across the country has been convenient. Last year while out of town I needed $1000 cash. I walked into a branch and withdrew it no problem. If I had been with a small local bank or credit union this would not have been an option. This is why I love my credit union...
by prudent
Mon Sep 26, 2011 11:37 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: A Case for "Online Banking Only"
Replies: 58
Views: 7362

I find it useful to pop into the branch once in a while to make sure someone there recognizes me and remembers me. It gets me free notary service, free Medallion signature guarantee service, don't have to wait in line to access my safe deposit box. If I have a banking issue, I can go in and get it r...
by prudent
Mon Sep 26, 2011 11:03 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Wife inherited coin collection -- what to do.
Replies: 26
Views: 4630

Re: 1943 Pennies

Are "wheat pennies" of any more value? I recently found a whole bag of them (dates unknown right now) that my in-laws had saved. Minimum 2 to 3 cents each, more for the earlier (pre-1940) ones. I have about 325 of those 1943 "war" pennies that I have been saving. These are prone...
by prudent
Mon Sep 26, 2011 6:21 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Wife inherited coin collection -- what to do.
Replies: 26
Views: 4630

Having been involved with coins for 30 years but not as a dealer, I'd like to think I can offer some insight. What makes this tough is that a "collection" can mean just about anything. I have worked with people who said they inherited a huge collection and it was from a "serious colle...
by prudent
Thu Sep 22, 2011 7:34 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: What do you do to prevent scammers?
Replies: 6
Views: 1360

Although I don't do these things exclusively for security reasons, I take the following steps: - Accounts at multiple credit unions - Don't own a debit card (just an ATM card) - Use only the same two ATMs so I know what they look like and I would notice a skimmer - Use antivirus software that scans ...
by prudent
Tue Sep 13, 2011 7:03 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Need new cash back credit card
Replies: 37
Views: 7291

Fidelity has a 2% Amex. You get 2% if you have the cashback put into your Fidelity account - otherwise you get less than 2%.

It's the Fidelity Investment Rewards card.
by prudent
Tue Sep 13, 2011 6:48 am
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Fidelity FullView vs. Mint.com vs. Quicken
Replies: 8
Views: 7062

I am still using Quicken. It is more powerful than Mint, and FullView will not pull data from my 401k custodian even though Vanguard can (I have one of the grandfathered accounts) and Quicken can also. Support cannot figure out why, but they aren't going to do anything about it.
by prudent
Wed Sep 07, 2011 6:19 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Help with gloating relative
Replies: 70
Views: 8906

To the specific question "I welcome any and all suggestions on how to respond to him the next time he tries to convince me to abandon the market and go all in with real estate." I would respond, "Dad, I'm very happy for you that you have been so successful. I do not have a head for re...
by prudent
Tue Sep 06, 2011 1:15 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Besides your mortgage, Do you finance anything?
Replies: 59
Views: 6410

I financed cars up until I was able to pay cash. I do not borrow for anything since we paid our house off (but it's always a possibility that a day may come when I have no choice). I don't buy new cars so 0% isn't an option for me. I do not want to be in debt for anything, although I understand that...
by prudent
Wed Aug 31, 2011 2:41 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Claiming Wife as Employee / Joint Venture
Replies: 6
Views: 1145

Structure it as a company, hire your wife as an employee. Your "company" chooses to provide family health care coverage to all employees. She now can cover you on her policy, and the insurance cost is deductible to the company. Ordinarily, business owners cannot deduct their own personal h...
by prudent
Wed Aug 31, 2011 6:03 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Any PMP's Here? (Project/Program Managers)
Replies: 11
Views: 2480

I got the PMP last month. The test is tough, and is designed to fail people who only have actual experience and have not studied the PMBOK. Things people do in real life can be wrong answers on the PMP exam. I took a prep class (35 hours), bought exam simulation software ($200) and studied many hour...
by prudent
Mon Aug 29, 2011 2:22 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Your craziest financial move during the Financial Crisis?
Replies: 25
Views: 4018

I just kept my 401k contributions going, so essentially I didn't do anything I wasn't already doing. I resisted the urge to buy individual stocks even though I had convinced myself there were sure winners out there. I know I don't do well when playing the buy/sell game, buy/hold/rebalance is the onl...
by prudent
Sun Aug 28, 2011 8:21 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Random cleaners question for the guys
Replies: 7
Views: 1302

I used to leave them in, but when they came back from being cleaned and pressed they would be warped from being slightly melted. The cleaners obviously never took them out.

I'm going to buy metal stays.
by prudent
Sun Aug 28, 2011 4:22 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Inheritance, Gift, Estate Tax questions
Replies: 8
Views: 1220

It's not clear what he inherited.
by prudent
Wed Aug 24, 2011 7:53 am
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Boomers May Stall Stocks for Decades: Fed
Replies: 20
Views: 4834

I tend to look at things simplistically. Even if boomers sell massive amounts of stock, it's not like that money vanishes. It re-enters the economy one way or another. It may bolster the finances of many people who then need a place to invest their savings. People have to do something with their sav...
by prudent
Mon Aug 22, 2011 8:20 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Moving Out of the Fast Lane - Second Life Career
Replies: 35
Views: 5109

Or you have a sudden accident, almost in front of the police station, you are 100% without fault, but you wake up in hospital 12 hours later with *no memory* of the events, and in the meantime they've run an MRI scan on you for a suspected broken neck and you have an impressive hole in the side of ...
by prudent
Sun Aug 21, 2011 6:46 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Long-term disability
Replies: 8
Views: 989

A company I'm familiar with pays about $350 a year per employee for LTD coverage of 60% of salary with a max benefit per employee of $10K/month. It has a 6-month waiting period (during which short-term disability coverage is in effect).
by prudent
Sat Aug 20, 2011 12:12 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: What would it take to make the penny disappear?
Replies: 86
Views: 8177

I wonder how many businesses would "game" the system so that final prices caused rounding in their favor? Can't be done. The rounding doesn't come into play until the entire purchase is rung up, and there is no way for the merchant to predict if your total order will end in .01 or .02 (wh...
by prudent
Thu Aug 18, 2011 6:05 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Finding an Old Newspaper
Replies: 5
Views: 861

You can call the paper directly - they typically have recent back issues available for sale.
by prudent
Mon Aug 15, 2011 5:47 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: IEEE Accidental Death and Dismemberment Insurance
Replies: 10
Views: 1767

Just my opinion, but these policies don't seem to be a wise choice. The Accidental Death coverage would only add to the life insurance coverage you already have, and you already have adequate coverage there. The Dismemberment coverage wouldn't be as thorough as a more general disability policy. I ju...
by prudent
Sat Aug 13, 2011 6:51 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Considering buying 1st home, a manufacturered home, age 25..
Replies: 26
Views: 3118

My parents bought a manufactured home (the type that looks stick-built). It's been 7 years and they are very pleased with it. No issues whatsoever other than an initial fight with the HOA that lied to them and said they could not put a manufactured home on their site.