Search found 12130 matches

by Watty
Fri Jan 21, 2011 9:29 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Buying a car through Costco
Replies: 34
Views: 12007

soaring wrote:Compare prices with this link.

http://amexnetwork.zag.com/main.html



Here is a link to another web site about my buying a car through them last spring.

http://boards.fool.com/online-new-car-b ... 14680.aspx

Greg
by Watty
Fri Jan 21, 2011 5:34 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Skimpy company match - worth pursuing?
Replies: 14
Views: 1667

I did a quick spreadsheet of the growth of 1000 at 10% verses 1100 at 9% and the lower expenses don't make up for the 10% match until the end of year 10. year 10% 9% Difference - 1,000 1,100 100 1 1,100 1,199 99 2 1,210 1,307 97 3 1,331 1,425 94 4 1,464 1,553 89 5 1,611 1,692 82 6 1,772 1,845 73 7 1...
by Watty
Fri Jan 21, 2011 4:57 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Skimpy company match - worth pursuing?
Replies: 14
Views: 1667

The likely alternative is contributing to an IRA with no match which lot of people do. I agree that it really depends on what investment options she has in the 401k. Even if there are only dogs with expense ratios 1% higher than they should be, then it would take around ten years to eat up the 10% m...
by Watty
Fri Jan 21, 2011 4:04 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Buying a house - need some advice
Replies: 18
Views: 2957

I would only be using funds from money market accounts and savings accounts so nothing is tax-protected. I am maxing out my Thrift Savings Plan and Roth IRA (actually already made my contribution this year which could have helped for the cash purchase - oops). With very few limitations you can with...
by Watty
Thu Jan 20, 2011 5:06 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Large Inheritance. What do I do with it?
Replies: 60
Views: 8662

Putting the money into bonds or bonds funds have been mentioned several times. The problem with this is that longer term bonds can lose a lot of value if interest rates rise. For the next year I would not put the money into anything that involves bonds longer than about 3 to five years if even that ...
by Watty
Wed Jan 19, 2011 2:01 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: HERESY: Help Me Raid My 401k
Replies: 50
Views: 6504

So far the real numbers have been pretty vague but if the OP is an area where a condo is reasonably priced, like maybe $150K, then there may be other options for raising the money need to be able to refinance. For example if they have a paid off car or two then they could get car loans from a regula...
by Watty
Wed Jan 19, 2011 10:06 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: make sense to max-out 401K when semi-retired ?
Replies: 15
Views: 1907

When you look at the OP's whole strategy, he might actually be reducing his Traditional balances if he is converting to Roth more than he contributes to the 401(k) - that in effect reduces his future RMDs and gives him more tax flexibility, assuming that his Roth balances are significantly lower no...
by Watty
Tue Jan 18, 2011 6:14 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Timing the housing market?
Replies: 42
Views: 4430

Rent out current place. wait until prices go up (5 - 15 yrs?) sell current house at a relative profit. If it is really likely to happen, why not buy a neighbor's house as a rental to make the same money. It sounds a lot riskier that way doesn't it? If you wouldn't buy a house in your current neighb...
by Watty
Tue Jan 18, 2011 5:47 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Kiplinger's Retirement Report
Replies: 12
Views: 4960

We just an offer for Forbes magazine for $8 a year, senior rate. We're not seniors (almost) but I figure for $8 we'll bite and just cancel next year. I've gotten some of those offers for magizines at a 'select" or "profesional" rate. They can be a good deal but you need to read the f...
by Watty
Tue Jan 18, 2011 5:40 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Savings bond?
Replies: 9
Views: 1675

I believe that if she cashes in the EE bonds when shes older for education,their are no taxes on them. That applies to both I and EE Bonds. However, in order to qualify for the tax-free educational benefit, the bond(s) much be titled in the name of one or both parents. The child CANNOT be named as ...
by Watty
Tue Jan 18, 2011 5:29 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: make sense to max-out 401K when semi-retired ?
Replies: 15
Views: 1907

Putting enough in to get any employer match is a no-brainer. Converting the IRA to Roth up to the top of the 15% tax bracket is almost a no brainer. Putting more money in the 401K in is not quite a no-brainer compared to putting more money in a taxable account. Here are a few things to look into to ...
by Watty
Mon Jan 17, 2011 5:50 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Astronomical cost of college --> looking for ideas
Replies: 80
Views: 7041

..... should I be thinking of anything else? 1) The normal college costs are only the beginning. At some schools there can be a lot of social pressure to keep up with the more affluent students. 2) When my son was selecting a college one of the things that I had to learn to deal with is that the co...
by Watty
Mon Jan 17, 2011 11:47 am
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: What to do when there aren't many index funds
Replies: 11
Views: 2573

25% in bonds seems a bit high for someone who is 23.

What was the reasoning in not using the targeted retirment fund instead?


Greg
by Watty
Mon Jan 17, 2011 1:08 am
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: What to do when there aren't many index funds
Replies: 11
Views: 2573

You should really take the time to check the expense ratios for the Fidelity and Vanguard funds as well as the 2045 fund. They could be viable options. It might also be a good idea to have her post her own question here so that she learns the basics, with your help, instead of having you do it for h...
by Watty
Sun Jan 16, 2011 3:34 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Sell taxable Small Cap to reduce mortgage?
Replies: 26
Views: 1903

You mentioned a 15% capital gains tax rate. Are you sure that this includes any state taxes too? There are two questions that you are asking that are totally separate. 1) Should you rebalance? Yes, but you might be able to move some of your retirement account investments around or direct future cont...
by Watty
Sun Jan 16, 2011 3:04 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Buy another house or not ?? Your Opinion please
Replies: 21
Views: 3131

Watty wrote - " Be sure to let the real estate agent know that you are looking at that house so there is no question of having to pay him or her a comission if you buy it " I am sorry I did not understand the above, can you please elaborate on this. Thanks, warm regards I may not have all...
by Watty
Sun Jan 16, 2011 1:32 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Buy another house or not ?? Your Opinion please
Replies: 21
Views: 3131

Watty - although we have not seen many houses in the market today, the few we saw randomly some time back were not a better value, comparing the better kind of the houses, the man gated safety, etc.. of the present subdivision. This is the lowest priced house in this section of larger houses. Yes, ...
by Watty
Sat Jan 15, 2011 2:46 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Buy another house or not ?? Your Opinion please
Replies: 21
Views: 3131

I had few more thoughts. Renting your current large house for a few years is not a very viable option. The problem is that if you rent it for more than a few years then you will lose the homeowners capital gains tax exemption and might have to pay capital gains tax on the $300K in profit. Trying to ...
by Watty
Fri Jan 14, 2011 11:51 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Stupid Question: How do I calculate 59 1/2?
Replies: 25
Views: 15914

Whose idea was it to tack the 1/2 onto the end, anyway? Could anything possibly be less-intuitive? How about; For some tax rules dosn't January 1st sometimes count as being in the prior year? Trying to calcilate a half non-leap year is 365/2=182.5 days. Does that extra half a day mean that it matte...
by Watty
Fri Jan 14, 2011 11:05 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Buy another house or not ?? Your Opinion please
Replies: 21
Views: 3131

Downsizing sounds like a good idea but out of the hundreds or thousands of houses for sale in your area, the odds that the best house for you is across the street is pretty small. I would start by going out and seeing a number of comparable houses. You will likely find that there are several better ...
by Watty
Fri Jan 14, 2011 3:58 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Help with 4C's for engagment ring
Replies: 70
Views: 8776

An additional factor was that she would occasionally have an errand that would take her parts of town where she would normally have felt OK but alert, but having a ring worth X dollars on her had made her feel uncomfortable. I meant to add that I have heard it recommended, usually tongue in cheek, ...
by Watty
Fri Jan 14, 2011 3:50 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Help with 4C's for engagment ring
Replies: 70
Views: 8776

You might also check out eBay, but stick with a highely rated seller and read the fine print carefully. One more comment on Carat. Obviously it totally depends on your partner's tastes, but I have anecdotal evidence that some people regret having large diamonds, especially in solitaire settings. Amo...
by Watty
Fri Jan 14, 2011 3:02 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Best new and certified pre-owned cars under $20,000?
Replies: 15
Views: 2583

Honda Fit. Surprisingly large interior for the size of the exterior. Fuel efficient, safe, Honda. I'd actually like to own one. Maybe one day. I have one and I would second the recommendation for economy and reliabiliyt ratings. I have be consistently getting 29+ miles per gallon in suburban drivin...
by Watty
Fri Jan 14, 2011 2:31 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Renting For Life?
Replies: 94
Views: 11558

If you are renting for the long term then you may want to consider changing your asset allocation some to include more REITs to offset not being exposed to real estate through owning a house. It is often recommended that you own these within a retirement account because of the taxes they can generat...
by Watty
Fri Jan 14, 2011 12:19 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Seeking US Location Suggestions
Replies: 43
Views: 4202

In looking where to retire there is a lot to be said for college towns. There is a long list of them here;

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/College_town


I used to live in Portland Oregon and that has a lot going for it, and you could live just across the river in Vancouver Washington and not have to pay income taxes.



Greg
by Watty
Thu Jan 13, 2011 4:47 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: How much is too much?
Replies: 86
Views: 9552

I make ~130k a year....... So 16500+8250+5000 = 29750 I make ~130k a year....... So 16500+8250+5000 = 29750 It is all about balance. Saving up for retirement is great but there is a chance that you will get hit by the preverbal Mack truck and not live to a ripe old retirement age so you need to enj...
by Watty
Thu Jan 13, 2011 1:15 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Career decision and salary help
Replies: 11
Views: 1902

<I>....I can either stay in a role that I'm happy in for as long as possible...</I> Being in a comfy role for a long time really doesn't match up with being a contractor. Some companies have limits in how long they will use a contractor and will automatically rotate the work out to another contracto...
by Watty
Wed Jan 12, 2011 4:02 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: relocating to Denver/buying a house
Replies: 10
Views: 1480

I have done a cross country job relocation and was able to buy a house in two weekend house hunting trips when I did not know the new city. It would have been better to have rented and taken our time but we didn't want my son to have to change schools another time. Our house is OK and was mainly cho...
by Watty
Wed Jan 12, 2011 2:15 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: 75 year old physician seeks help with portfolio mess
Replies: 70
Views: 11300

In you google "Morningstar x-ray tool" you will find a web site where you can enter your portfolio and it will slice and dice it to tell you your overall asset allocation to get a better picture of what you have. Selling the losers makes sense as previously mentioned by others. Rolling the...
by Watty
Tue Jan 11, 2011 12:41 am
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Buying a new home prior to selling the old one: options?
Replies: 9
Views: 1660

An additional consideration would be if you can actually qualify for two mortgages at the same time, assuming that your first house is not paid off by then. My guess would be that mortgage rates will be higher then which will make qualifying for another mortgage harder. Realistically if your income ...
by Watty
Mon Jan 10, 2011 10:33 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: BIG problem:
Replies: 50
Views: 9364

Re: BIG problem:

......I think we should not sell yet but he wants to ..... My condolences on your situation. I agree that selling the house looks necessary, in addition to it being expensive each month there will occasionally be expenses like new roofs or furnaces that will cost a lot to replace. You were almost c...
by Watty
Sun Jan 09, 2011 10:37 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Magnifying Glass
Replies: 9
Views: 1367

I got my wife some inexpensive on ebay a few years ago and there was a huge selection.

I have not bought from them for years, but Edmunds Scientifics would be another good place to check;

http://www.scientificsonline.com/optics/magnifiers.html

Greg
by Watty
Sun Jan 09, 2011 12:18 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: "New" Car for New Twin Babies
Replies: 91
Views: 11729

I've known people who wouldn't decorate their babies rooms until the baby was home form the hospital because of the fear that if the pregnancy didn't turn out well that the room would be a constant reminder. It sounds like you might be able to get by Ok in your current cars for a few months after th...
by Watty
Sun Jan 09, 2011 1:52 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Mortgage payoff advice for 61 year old boomers
Replies: 24
Views: 3870

There are lots of pros and cons, but if you can't see a clear choice to pay it off on not, then there is another option which would be to wait a year or two do decide, there may be a clearer choice by then.


Greg
by Watty
Sun Jan 09, 2011 1:46 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Lessons learned over your investing lifetime?
Replies: 17
Views: 2966

A few things; 1) Saving for retirement is necessary and great to do, but a surprising number of people will not live to retire or will have major life limiting health problems by then. Be sure to balance out the "living" part of "living below your means". Find an online life expe...
by Watty
Sat Jan 08, 2011 12:33 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Moab: rent an SUV or just a car?
Replies: 35
Views: 5007

Check with the rental agencies, many rental agreements limit you to paved roads. If you damage the car off a paved road, not only will the rental company charge you big time, but you personal car or credit card insurance might not cover you either because you were violating the rental agreement. If ...
by Watty
Sat Jan 08, 2011 12:02 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Fuel Efficient Cars - Hybrid, Electric, Diesel, etc.
Replies: 39
Views: 5073

I have a Honda Fit and I am getting around 29 MPG around town and it is rated very high for reliably. For a family of four it would work OK for around town and the back seats are large enough for two teenagers to fit in comfortably. It is small but surprisingly well laid out and spacey inside. If yo...
by Watty
Wed Jan 05, 2011 11:15 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: 2011 BOGLEHEAD CONTEST REGISTRATION
Replies: 374
Views: 35808

1381.77
by Watty
Tue Jan 04, 2011 11:28 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: How would you invest $1 million short term?
Replies: 13
Views: 2081

One of your risks would be that in three years that million dollar house you have your eye on might cost a couple of hundred thousand more and you might be priced out to the market. Other then knowing they exist, I know next to nothing about them but there are options available that are basically be...
by Watty
Tue Jan 04, 2011 11:07 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Pay off mortgage early??
Replies: 85
Views: 13118

You mentioned that are investing enough to be able to pay off $58k in two years so I would assume that you are doing ok financially otherwise. I would go ahead and pay it off. If you had a paid off house you would not go out and get a new mortgage to put the money into bonds. This is really the same...
by Watty
Mon Jan 03, 2011 5:38 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Investment advice, retiring with decent nest egg
Replies: 15
Views: 2088

Whoops, forgot one issue: * Almost all in regular taxable accounts. My 401k/IRA are less than 5% of my portfolio. Doing a major rebalancing in the taxable account would likely generate significant capital gains taxes so some of the money might be better left where it is even if it is not your ideal...
by Watty
Thu Dec 30, 2010 4:02 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Greece Tour Packages?
Replies: 8
Views: 2372

My wife and I did the Greek islands for about 16 days by ferry in late September of 2009. I agree with the comments about not spending too much time in Athens. Once you have seen the new museum and the area around the Parthenon, there are better areas to spend your time. A lot what you do depends on...
by Watty
Thu Dec 30, 2010 1:46 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Front load or dollar cost average?
Replies: 10
Views: 1444

I have the money to fully fund my Roth now. I would assume that is $5,000. If so you should just fund it all at once since statistically investing it all as a lump sum it will do better most of the time. If you had suddenly come into hundreds of thousands of dollars then dollar cost averaging might...
by Watty
Thu Dec 30, 2010 1:37 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: When is a Bubble Not a Bubble?
Replies: 32
Views: 3489

<I>... What I'm wondering is: when and where has this happened? Paradigms shift and revolutions occur ... so are there some key historic examples where reversion to the mean simply failed to take place?....</I> Some big shifts going on right now are or have happened in the recent past are; 1) The sh...
by Watty
Wed Dec 29, 2010 11:55 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: setting up sequestered fund to send out checks
Replies: 9
Views: 1284

Why write paper checks?

My checking account comes with an online bill pay option and it would be easy to set up an automatic funds transfer each month. I would assume that most are like this.

Greg
by Watty
Wed Dec 29, 2010 11:35 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Last minute help with RMD for Inherited IRA!
Replies: 19
Views: 1871

sigs, You indicate that she was age 71 in 2008 which was the year of death. This raises a potentially important question: did she turn 70 1/2 in 2008 or the previous year 2007? There are 2 reasons this may be significant: 1. If she turned 70 1/2 and 71 in 2008 she would have been required to take h...
by Watty
Wed Dec 29, 2010 5:12 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Last minute help with RMD for Inherited IRA!
Replies: 19
Views: 1871

Duckie wrote:Given the circumstances that you only have two days left,



Depending on who the account is with they may or may not be open on Friday.


Greg
by Watty
Wed Dec 29, 2010 4:47 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Last minute help with RMD for Inherited IRA!
Replies: 19
Views: 1871

Have you called the company that services the inherited IRA(like Vanguard, Fidelity, etc) to see if they can tell you what the required minimum distribution is? When the account was opened and transferred to them they may have gotten all the information that is needed to calculate the RMD correctly....
by Watty
Wed Dec 29, 2010 10:34 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Put off retirement savings for 4 years?
Replies: 53
Views: 6237

1) You can typically only borrow 50% of the money in the 401K account. For clarification, you would get the employer match and the tax savings of the 401K contributions so you you have much more than 50% of the funds available compared to if you did not make the 401k contribution. For example if yo...
by Watty
Wed Dec 29, 2010 10:24 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Put off retirement savings for 4 years?
Replies: 53
Views: 6237

A better choice would be buying the house now with a 3 or 5 year ARM an paying it off in a few years. In many areas this is a great buyers market with lots of foreclosures. This may allow you to get a great house now with a lowball offer. You may be able to find a mortgage with zero or very low fees...