Search found 98 matches

by Dendritic Tree
Wed Jul 26, 2017 9:05 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Where to View Total Eclipse? - Kansas City / Nashville et al
Replies: 98
Views: 7362

Re: Where to View Total Eclipse? - Kansas City

A couple of thoughts regarding eclipse traffic: 1. Traffic is expected to be so bad it's being compared to the "zombie apocalypse". https://www.nbcnews.com/mach/science/solar-eclipse-day-could-resemble-zombie-apocalypse-ncna785411 2. Thinking you'll be able to get around the big jam using traffic ap...
by Dendritic Tree
Wed Jul 26, 2017 8:49 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: What Car Should I Buy My Daughter as a Graduation Present
Replies: 150
Views: 11537

Re: What Car Should I Buy My Daughter as a Graduation Present

I think everyone is losing sight of the fact that she picked the Fit as a car she'd like to drive, and it's a totally acceptable, safe, and reliable option. Small size is a giant advantage when driving in the city, and not a huge safety liability on modern cars like it might have once been. The heav...
by Dendritic Tree
Tue Jul 11, 2017 3:47 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Outside Pittsburgh short trip ideas
Replies: 36
Views: 2642

Re: Outside Pittsburgh short trip ideas

Agree with Falling Water and Ohiopyle
by Dendritic Tree
Fri Jul 07, 2017 8:38 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Better hurry if you want a gas-engine Volvo
Replies: 96
Views: 6189

Re: Better hurry if you want a gas-engine Volvo

I drove a hybrid for 10 years and almost 100k miles and only got rid of it when there was an issue with the gasoline engine - never had a single issue with battery or electric drivetrain. Now I drive an all-electric car. Granted, I am lucky enough to have a garage (pretty rare in my city), but charg...
by Dendritic Tree
Mon Jul 03, 2017 9:40 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Getting a new cooktop, gas vs electric?
Replies: 72
Views: 4948

Re: Getting a new cooktop, gas vs electric?

It may actually be cheaper to get an electrician to run a new circuit with higher gauge wire to your cooktop compared to plumbing a gas line, especially if your kitchen is somewhat near your circuit box. Can't hurt to get a quote.
by Dendritic Tree
Mon Jul 03, 2017 9:12 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Lease New Car?
Replies: 38
Views: 4633

Re: Lease New Car?

It's true that most electrical power still comes from coal in the US, but most EVs that drive on coal-generated electrons still at least break even in terms of carbon footprint due to their markedly increased efficiency compared to ICE vehicles. And the electric grid is rather dramatically moving aw...
by Dendritic Tree
Mon Jul 03, 2017 2:17 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Lease New Car?
Replies: 38
Views: 4633

Re: Lease New Car?

One small niche where leasing may make sense is in leasing electric cars (outside of Teslas). This market segment is improving so rapidly that owning one doesn't make much sense because you're guaranteed to be rapidly obsolete when new and improved battery technology comes out. A 5-year-old electric...
by Dendritic Tree
Sat Jul 01, 2017 5:50 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: New cars w/ no CD player -- what can I do with my CDs?
Replies: 47
Views: 10305

Re: New cars w/ no CD player -- what can I do with my CDs?

They still make CDs? I think I bought my last one in 2006.
by Dendritic Tree
Tue Jun 27, 2017 5:07 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Any Reason to Stay With USAA?
Replies: 21
Views: 2047

Re: Any Reason to Stay With USAA?

To be sure, NFS is only the clearing firm for USAA funds, but the bottom line is that this still allows you to buy Fidelity funds without a transaction fee. I'm not sure if staying at USAA is right for you, but it is possible to have a pretty Boglehead-ish portfolio with Fido funds at USAA. See this...
by Dendritic Tree
Sun Jun 25, 2017 7:42 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: [Sam's Club, Costco, BJ's, and other wholesaler clubs]
Replies: 274
Views: 17405

Re: Sam's Club vs. Costco

I've been a member at both. There's a reason the lines are longer at Costco. Quality is better all-around at Costco compared to Sam's, no contest. Plus I rarely wait more than 5 minutes even when it's a "zoo" - they typically have managers on the floor doing air traffic control and helping pre-scan ...
by Dendritic Tree
Thu Jun 22, 2017 9:38 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Bogleheads: Please help me pick a new car
Replies: 81
Views: 8614

Re: Bogleheads: Please help me pick a new car

We've got a 6-year old Lexus RX 450h hybrid that has never had a single problem and has performed flawlessly. I would imagine the slightly smaller NX (also available in a hybrid, FYI) would be just as reliable. I had a NX loaner once and it handled nicely.
by Dendritic Tree
Thu Jun 22, 2017 12:25 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Which High-Yield Online Savings Account Should I Open?
Replies: 72
Views: 10851

Re: Which High-Yield Online Savings Account Should I Open?

I've had online savings accounts with SFGI Direct, Synchrony, and now Ally. Strongly prefer Ally of the three because of their better online interface. The other two banks had difficulty synchronizing with my main financial hub (USAA), and that I cannot abide. I use my USAA page/app to keep track of...
by Dendritic Tree
Mon Jun 19, 2017 8:57 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Which motorcyle?
Replies: 26
Views: 1805

Re: Which motorcyle?

I would do the same thing if someone posted asking for a recommendation for cigarettes. My life's work is generally fighting against those two things more than anything else - motorcycles (they cause TBI) and cigarettes (they cause strokes).

Please don't ride a motorcycle! I beg you!
by Dendritic Tree
Mon Jun 19, 2017 8:30 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Which motorcyle?
Replies: 26
Views: 1805

Re: Which motorcyle?

I'm a neurointensivist who frequently cares for devastating brain and spine injuries due to motorcycle accidents. What strikes me is how random the accident can be - it can be a seasoned pro who rides all the time and all it takes is someone in a car not paying attention. There are at least a few pe...
by Dendritic Tree
Mon Jun 12, 2017 9:26 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Got a parking ticket - what to do?
Replies: 44
Views: 4154

Re: Got a parking ticket - what to do?

Another vote for ignoring it. Whether it was meant for you or not, it's not associated with you forevermore if the license plate isn't recorded correctly.
by Dendritic Tree
Thu Jun 08, 2017 3:43 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Does anyone feel they missed out on AMZN, NFLX,TSLA?
Replies: 103
Views: 9061

Re: Does anyone feel they missed out on AMZN, NFLX,TSLA?

TSLA is the only individual stock I've ever owned. I bought it about 4 years ago when the Model S came out and I took a test drive. I was convinced it was the future and bought some stock (not a Model S, sadly). This is before I was a Boglehead and I've never bought another individual stock since. I...
by Dendritic Tree
Mon Jun 05, 2017 1:29 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Black and white laser printers
Replies: 43
Views: 3234

Re: Black and white laser printers

Personal experience with Brother HL-5470DW: going strong for about 5 years. Laser printer with black-and-white only. It's a totally reliable workhorse, never had a single problem. All of our printing is done wirelessly from iPads or iPhones.
by Dendritic Tree
Sat May 06, 2017 5:50 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Student loan debt, PSLF, planning for future
Replies: 37
Views: 3333

Re: Student loan debt, PSLF, planning for future

Cautionary tale: my wife and I are both physicians who have massive combined student loan debt (over 600k) and have been paying by IBR while in training and early career (she's been out in the "real world" a few years longer because my residency/fellowship was so long). We have both worked for a 501...
by Dendritic Tree
Sun Apr 30, 2017 8:35 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Turned down for umbrella policy
Replies: 23
Views: 4087

Re: Turned down for umbrella policy

We were turned down by USAA due to a minor at-fault scratch (not even an accident) and another at-fault accident (someone slammed on brakes in front of me). Unfortunately both were in the last few months so we'll be stuck with them for the next 5 years. I guess I'll be looking for an umbrella policy...
by Dendritic Tree
Sat Apr 29, 2017 9:43 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: USAA 2.5% unlimited Cash back Card - Weird...
Replies: 34
Views: 5418

Re: USAA 2.5% unlimited Cash back Card - Weird...

I got a little excited when I saw this thread title come up because I've been waiting with bated breath for any news about new states being added to this card. Come on, NC!
by Dendritic Tree
Mon Apr 24, 2017 9:16 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: What online bank do you use?
Replies: 69
Views: 8762

Re: What online bank do you use?

Duplicate post
by Dendritic Tree
Mon Apr 10, 2017 8:28 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: What online bank do you use?
Replies: 69
Views: 8762

Re: What online bank do you use?

Ally Savings for emergency fund.

USAA for everything else - it's my online digital financial hub, with all other investment and loan accounts linked to my USAA web page.
by Dendritic Tree
Tue Apr 04, 2017 9:31 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Economics of Charging an Electric Car
Replies: 85
Views: 7677

Re: Economics of Charging an Electric Car

Unlike gasoline cars, electric cars are able to take advantage of free level 2 charging at various places around town. Usually this isn't enough to really bank on because you still do the majority of your charging in your garage, but it is a benefit. I happen to have multiple free public chargers wi...
by Dendritic Tree
Tue Mar 14, 2017 9:58 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: What Do You Keep In Your Bank Safe Deposit Box?
Replies: 66
Views: 9294

Re: What Do You Keep In Your Bank Safe Deposit Box?

Safety deposit boxes seem so twentieth-century. You can get new copies of all the most important documents, and digital redundancy is better achieved through local backups and multiple cloud backups. And keeping valuable investments out of the financial growth cycle seems very un-Bogleheadish. This ...
by Dendritic Tree
Fri Mar 10, 2017 7:46 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Where to go from here? Paid off Student Loan.
Replies: 5
Views: 883

Re: Where to go from here? Paid off Student Loan.

Congratulations! I'm incredibly jealous and hope to be in your position one of these years. When that day comes, I'm going to have a nice party and then start plowing all that extra money into VTSAX in taxable, just like you suggest. I'll have to start sharply adjusting the proportion of bond funds ...
by Dendritic Tree
Tue Mar 07, 2017 2:27 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Are Fiat Cars Junk?
Replies: 71
Views: 6603

Re: Are Fiat Cars Junk?

I second the comment about the Nissan Leaf. I don't own one but I know several people who do and they're all happy with it. Obviously it's not practical for road trips. The newer ones get about 100 miles a charge, but the batteries do slightly degrade over time so I would conservatively plan on no m...
by Dendritic Tree
Fri Mar 03, 2017 7:40 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Buy a house? But there's a student loan elephant in the room
Replies: 21
Views: 2038

Re: Buy a house? But there's a student loan elephant in the room

Well, I'm honored. Jim, your blog started me on the path of financial awakening and led me to Bogleheads while I was still in fellowship training. To answer a few other points: - DW does see a salary increase in the near future, though family medicine is just among the lower-compensated specialties,...
by Dendritic Tree
Fri Mar 03, 2017 4:41 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Buy a house? But there's a student loan elephant in the room
Replies: 21
Views: 2038

Buy a house? But there's a student loan elephant in the room

I've learned a lot from the Bogleheads over the last year or two since discovering the site (and waking up as an investor). My wife and I are both physicians who recently finished training (2 years ago for family doc DW; 6 months ago for neurologist me). As such, we have an unbelievable mountain of ...
by Dendritic Tree
Fri Mar 03, 2017 4:22 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Ever dip your feet into individual stocks?
Replies: 63
Views: 4725

Re: Ever dip your feet into individual stocks?

I bought 10 shares of TSLA in June 2013. I think it was around $100/share at the time. This before I knew the ways of Bogle. It still remains the only single stock I've ever owned. My position is now worth just over $2500. At this point it's just a curiosity more than anything else. We'll see where ...
by Dendritic Tree
Tue Feb 28, 2017 10:28 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Don't pay full price for cable TV
Replies: 76
Views: 6288

Re: Don't pay full price for cable TV

OTA Antenna here (only get NBC), and neighbors open wifi network... it's been a great savings since I moved here a few months ago :greedy Be careful with the neighbors open wifi network. That means that anyone can see your internet traffic (not just the neighbors, but more importantly other people ...
by Dendritic Tree
Sat Feb 11, 2017 7:41 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Withdraw non-deductible Traditional IRA
Replies: 3
Views: 418

Re: Withdraw non-deductible Traditional IRA

If your wife wound up making more than expected, it's possible that you can't recharacterize it to a Roth contribution directly, but you may be able to do a Roth conversion via the Backdoor Roth: https://www.bogleheads.org/wiki/Backdoor_Roth_IRA . Either way I agree the money should just go into a R...
by Dendritic Tree
Tue Feb 07, 2017 8:37 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Keep a Local Bank?
Replies: 76
Views: 6126

Re: Keep a Local Bank?

Also, I have to say, I've never understood why someone would willingly give banks rent money for a physical safe deposit box. Got important certificates or documents? They're probably better off in a fire-rated home safe, for your money. Worried about them getting stolen? Pretty much all vital recor...
by Dendritic Tree
Tue Feb 07, 2017 8:19 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Keep a Local Bank?
Replies: 76
Views: 6126

Re: Keep a Local Bank?

I've used a dial-up modem before, does that count?
by Dendritic Tree
Tue Feb 07, 2017 8:43 am
Forum: Local Chapters and Bogleheads Community
Topic: How Did You Become A Boglehead? What Led You Here?
Replies: 168
Views: 17810

Re: How Did You Become A Boglehead? What Led You Here?

I'm surprised no one has yet attributed their Bogleheadedness to the White Coat Investor! His blog pointed me here directly, about a year and a half ago. Physicians have some of the higher incomes but generally lowest financial intelligences out there, and WCI has really been a force for good in thi...
by Dendritic Tree
Mon Feb 06, 2017 11:20 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: get rid of landline but keep access to 911
Replies: 38
Views: 4396

Re: get rid of landline but keep access to 911

Gosh, $15/month sounds pretty expensive for "land line insurance" for an extremely rare event (widespread overloading of cell phone towers). I've had to call 911 several times on cell phones, including once during a natural disaster with power out, and never had a problem. I've never had a landline,...
by Dendritic Tree
Mon Feb 06, 2017 11:06 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Car Replacement Strategy
Replies: 8
Views: 1590

Re: Car Replacement Strategy

Just a point of information, since you're interested in an electric car: a used Nissan LEAF can easily be had for $10k.
by Dendritic Tree
Sun Feb 05, 2017 9:18 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Keep a Local Bank?
Replies: 76
Views: 6126

Re: Keep a Local Bank?

USAA has a service for that. How does that work? USAA contracts with UPS stores to handle instant deposits of cashier's checks. For personal checks you can use your mobile device for instant deposit up to 10,000. Above that, you have to go to UPS just like with cashier's checks. So I'll concede tha...
by Dendritic Tree
Sun Feb 05, 2017 5:18 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Keep a Local Bank?
Replies: 76
Views: 6126

Re: Keep a Local Bank?

Already had that situation, with a private sale of my car. USAA has a service for that. It worked out fine. I still maintain that physical branches will become increasingly rare and superfluous before the end of my life.
by Dendritic Tree
Sun Feb 05, 2017 4:20 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Keep a Local Bank?
Replies: 76
Views: 6126

Re: Keep a Local Bank?

This will sound weird. I've never actually been inside a physical bank building, except for accompanying my parents when I was a small child. I've never personally had a "local bank" in my entire life. I've banked with USAA for 24 years (since high school), and recently also with Synchrony. At this ...
by Dendritic Tree
Sun Jan 22, 2017 9:36 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Backdoor Roth: How Long To Wait For Conversion?
Replies: 58
Views: 12026

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

ASAP. Keeps it simple. Show me one instance of the "step doctrine" ever coming back to bite someone after a backdoor Roth conversion and I'll let the money simmer in my tIRA a little longer. But there's no real (codified in law) legal difference between waiting one day and one month.
by Dendritic Tree
Fri Jan 20, 2017 12:09 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: USAA 2.5% Cash Back Credit Card
Replies: 276
Views: 47912

Re: USAA 2.5% Cash Back Credit Card

Not in my state yet, either. I was told that it will continue rolling out to additional states next week, though they couldn't tell me if my state would be included. I wonder why the limitations based on state and not some other factor like years of membership, credit, total assets at USAA, etc. Eas...
by Dendritic Tree
Sat Jan 14, 2017 10:04 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Can you check my HSA math?
Replies: 12
Views: 793

Re: Can you check my HSA math?

You must have just recently learned you were going to be a father. Congratulations!
by Dendritic Tree
Sat Jan 14, 2017 7:38 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Where do you keep your emergency fund?
Replies: 80
Views: 8074

Re: Where do you keep your emergency fund?

I keep 3 months full expenses in an online savings account at Synchrony, which pays 1.05%. But I'm thinking about switching to Ally because Synchrony's servers don't play well with USAA, so I can't add my Synchrony account to my USAA dashboard for one-stop monitoring of all my accounts (which is one...
by Dendritic Tree
Sun Jan 08, 2017 3:48 am
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: "Why 97% of People Don't Use 529 College Savings Plans."
Replies: 153
Views: 34735

Re: "Why 97% of People Don't Use 529 College Savings Plans."

One minor side benefit of 529 plans is that it's very easy to get gift contributions from family through the Ugift website, which many 529 plans participate in. We typically ask for Ugift contributions from family members for our kids' 529 accounts for their birthdays and Christmas, and it's an extr...
by Dendritic Tree
Tue Nov 22, 2016 11:16 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: How many of you have cut cord?
Replies: 172
Views: 17527

Re: How many of you have cut cord?

We cancelled our cable almost 3 years ago. Initially this was because our first child was young and we were trying to limit "screen time" so we just never had the TV on, and it became an extremely superfluous expense. We reaped major benefits of increased family time together and more reading. We di...
by Dendritic Tree
Tue Nov 22, 2016 10:44 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Roth IRA Question
Replies: 4
Views: 570

Re: Roth IRA Question

You can manipulate those funds in any way you like within the confines of the Roth IRA account, as long as you're not making new contributions. Sell some funds within the account if you like, leaving you with a cash position which you can use to buy shares of other funds, if you feel like it would b...
by Dendritic Tree
Wed Jun 22, 2016 8:04 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Costco Visa Online Access
Replies: 30
Views: 3110

Re: Costo Visa Online Access

I registered for the website and app and am able to logon okay, but it refuses to update with any new transactions after my very first one on Monday, 6/20 - despite successfully using the card at all sorts of places by now. Also, my USAA website won't pull in the Citi Visa data onto my accounts dash...