Search found 308 matches

by lwfitzge
Thu Apr 11, 2013 2:13 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Check for abandoned property -- worked twice for me
Replies: 34
Views: 4448

Re: Check for abandoned property -- worked twice for me

my wife found stuff for several family members, the last was about $100 for my step-dad...some account abandoned by his dad years ago
by lwfitzge
Thu Apr 11, 2013 1:30 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: TV recommendation
Replies: 34
Views: 2362

Re: TV recommendation

My favorites are by Samsung.... I own three, 32", and two 40". Great TV's at good price.
by lwfitzge
Thu Apr 11, 2013 9:08 am
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Investing math problem
Replies: 4
Views: 619

Re: Investing math problem

Math problem: If I want to withdraw $1,500 a month ($18,000 a year) from my portfolio and have a 3 percent withdrawal rate, I need to have a $540,000 portfolio if I expect my money to last 30 years (assume no further growth in portfolio). However, what if I want to increase my withdrawal rate by 2 ...
by lwfitzge
Thu Apr 11, 2013 8:49 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Permanent email address
Replies: 45
Views: 4985

Re: Permanent email address

One caveat about gmail...your mail and all related info comes up automatically on your iphone and is not password-protected..... If your phone is not locked, or if it is lost or stolen when on and active, anybody has full and instant access to anything you ever wrote or received. No privacy setting...
by lwfitzge
Wed Apr 10, 2013 5:44 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: home appraisal question
Replies: 17
Views: 1553

Re: home appraisal question

The banks does the appraisal usually, correct?[/quote]


Bank orders an appraisal from a local company, one that preferably knows your area. You pay for the appraisal as part of lending process, unless you are credited by bank.
by lwfitzge
Wed Apr 10, 2013 2:29 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: One night hotel stay in D.C.
Replies: 42
Views: 3917

Re: One night hotel stay in D.C.

After looking into this a bit, it seems as though the nicest hotels will run a pretty steep rate. I've looked at most of the suggestions here as well as some others that were rated high on tripadvisor such as the Sofitel, which looks like a cool place in a good location. We also looked at nicer roo...
by lwfitzge
Wed Apr 10, 2013 1:43 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Should my wife keep working or become a stay-at-home mom?
Replies: 112
Views: 11551

Re: Should my wife keep working or become a stay-at-home mom

This idea that one parent staying home is best for the kids is nonsense. My siblings and I as well as all of my cousins had 2 working parents, we all turned out fine and are quite successful. What matters is raising the kids in a loving household, taking an interest in their life, and setting high ...
by lwfitzge
Wed Apr 10, 2013 10:01 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Those of you with alot of money, how did you do it?
Replies: 81
Views: 11467

Re: Those of you with alot of money, how did you do it?

you could do like this guy, PB&J's, no car, no kids, no income tax state... http://lifeinc.today.com/_news/2013/04/10/17685840-retiring-at-40-one-peanut-butter-and-jelly-sandwich-at-a-time?lite lol..I want his life....of rather limited life (from my perspective, of course). PBJ everyday could drive...
by lwfitzge
Wed Apr 10, 2013 8:24 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: home appraisal question
Replies: 17
Views: 1553

Re: home appraisal question

First time home-buyer .... so bear with simple questions. :D When one has a home appraised, does the appraisal value represent what the home is worth right now in the current market conditions (i.e. taking into account whether or not it is a buyers or sellers market etc)....or does the appraisal re...
by lwfitzge
Wed Apr 10, 2013 8:00 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: [Physicians: Are cash Medicare rates acceptable to you?]
Replies: 37
Views: 5531

Re: [Physicians: Are cash Medicare rates acceptable to you?]

Non physician but in healthcare industry. Rates seem reasonable to me although a bit on light side. What is disgusting is the markup prices on the master lists from these so called nonprofit medical centers.... if you want to get disgusted read the recent article in Time magazine, the Bitter Pill.
by lwfitzge
Wed Apr 10, 2013 6:14 am
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Collapsing multiple 529 funds to reduce costs
Replies: 8
Views: 809

Re: Collapsing multiple 529 funds to reduce costs

aside from the gift rule limitations (13k for you + 13k for a spouse = 26k/year), your state sets a total maximum value to be held in 529 and its usually 200-300k...if you have 4 kids to provide for college that would not even cover 4 yrs of state university.
by lwfitzge
Wed Apr 10, 2013 5:57 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: buying a home from family/SIRVA? 3pm deadline. Help
Replies: 26
Views: 3317

Re: buying a home from family/SIRVA? 3pm deadline. Help

I don't know SIRVA specifically but I've done 3 corporate moves (e.g., with Prudential Relocation Services) for global companies where each time the company buys the home after a short period (e.g., 8-12 wks) in which they allow you to try to sell and get the return you think it's worth. During this...
by lwfitzge
Wed Apr 10, 2013 5:30 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Permanent email address
Replies: 45
Views: 4985

Re: Permanenr email address

I like Google gmail a lot. I have a personal account as well as a business account which uses my company's domain (w/o gmail in address) for a nominal charge. I also have an alumni email address but find that I rarely use it and I have any receiving mail from that address to dump into gmail.
by lwfitzge
Tue Apr 09, 2013 9:06 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Those of you with alot of money, how did you do it?
Replies: 81
Views: 11467

Re: Those of you with alot of money, how did you do it?

Went to a college I could afford, worked thorough college w a reasonably good paying job, paid tuition myself, minimal loans Graduated pre-med with a Science degree Went to grad school, got MS/PhD in career path w good prospects, good education plus tuition was full paid by school + stipend for livi...
by lwfitzge
Tue Apr 09, 2013 5:18 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Advice on paying for a part-time MBA while working
Replies: 9
Views: 1106

Re: Advice on paying for a part-time MBA while working

MBA will only be worth it if you are planning and willing to switch companies after it's over and can navigate yourself to a dramatically different position/role than currently. I would balance both cash and loans based on your description and evaluate how this affects your plans for children given...
by lwfitzge
Tue Apr 09, 2013 3:06 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Scientist Predicts 60% Market Collapse
Replies: 28
Views: 4622

Re: Scientist Predicts 60% Market Collapse

livesoft wrote:This thread was better when it was about basketball.

Let's debate, was Burke's block of Siva a clean block or not?
Multiple viewpoints: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4CqURNU8tjo

Clean....Basketball is preferable to the OP however I'm still licking my wounds as a Michigan alum... :(
by lwfitzge
Tue Apr 09, 2013 10:09 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Should my wife keep working or become a stay-at-home mom?
Replies: 112
Views: 11551

Re: Should my wife keep working or become a stay-at-home mom

To the OP(s) - ask yourselves if you are more likely to be on your deathbed some day saying, "I wish I'd spent more time working", or, "I wish I'd spent more time with our kids"? that will probably be an easy answer if career is just work (although how many of us want to spend time w kids 24/7, lol...
by lwfitzge
Mon Apr 08, 2013 9:11 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: investigating place to retire
Replies: 28
Views: 3063

Re: investigating place to retire

For my goal of being able to retire at 55, I most likely will have to move to eastern Pennsylvania or northern Delaware. How does someone go about learning more about an area before moving there? I am not keen about moving to an apartment first before buying this "retirement" house. vacations, incl...
by lwfitzge
Sun Apr 07, 2013 9:56 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: investigating place to retire
Replies: 28
Views: 3063

Re: investigating place to retire

For my goal of being able to retire at 55, I most likely will have to move to eastern Pennsylvania or northern Delaware. How does someone go about learning more about an area before moving there? I am not keen about moving to an apartment first before buying this "retirement" house. vacations, incl...
by lwfitzge
Sun Apr 07, 2013 6:05 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Anyone use iPad or iPhone for auto navigation system?
Replies: 77
Views: 7807

Re: Anyone use iPad or iPhone for auto navigation system?

Garmins are great, and you can get a really good one online with all the features you want for under $100 that you can mount on your dashboard. For that small an investment I don't know why anybody would want to use their tiny little phone or their big cumbersome iPad. I have a Garmin that I like w...
by lwfitzge
Sun Apr 07, 2013 5:26 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Anyone use iPad or iPhone for auto navigation system?
Replies: 77
Views: 7807

Re: Anyone use iPad or iPhone for auto navigation system?

Drivers who use mapping software on their phones to find out where they're going may not be paying enough heed to where they're going. At least that's one way of characterizing a recent ruling by a California court. Issued late last month and made more widely known by a tweet today from law profess...
by lwfitzge
Sun Apr 07, 2013 4:55 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: When to drop full insurance coverage on a car?
Replies: 12
Views: 2038

Re: When to drop full insurance coverage on a car?

national stats on average is that each of us carry 30% chance of getting into a serious accident in our lifetime. Assuming serious crash equally replacement cost of car - minus return for scrap, do the math and assess your comfort level on potential loss. 0.3 X $50k, 0.3 X 40K? ......versus paying t...
by lwfitzge
Sun Apr 07, 2013 11:38 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Should my wife keep working or become a stay-at-home mom?
Replies: 112
Views: 11551

Re: Should my wife keep working or become a stay-at-home mom

I'd consider both working until the kids are closer to 5, when they start getting into sports &music. All the working couples I know report it being more difficult when the kids get into elementary school vs when they are really young. +1... my kids did very well in daycare since infancy but by the...
by lwfitzge
Sat Apr 06, 2013 7:24 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Should my wife keep working or become a stay-at-home mom?
Replies: 112
Views: 11551

Re: Should my wife keep working or become a stay-at-home mom

not to be a bummer but something to consider, especially her, is the strength and faith in the longevity of marriage. Number of marriages that end in divorce is coin flip and the potentially disproportionate, negative financial effects on women. At least in our earlier scientific careers, if my wife...
by lwfitzge
Sat Apr 06, 2013 6:13 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Bogleheads' accomplishments
Replies: 72
Views: 7480

Re: Bogleheads' accomplishments

Never (or almost never) too late. I had a MS/PhD at 30 but got my MBA at 46. My wife had MS/PhD at 30 and did a career change and got a MSN at 48. Keep living, keep growing, keep learning until the end.
by lwfitzge
Sat Apr 06, 2013 4:56 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Should my wife keep working or become a stay-at-home mom?
Replies: 112
Views: 11551

Re: Should my wife keep working or become a stay-at-home mom

My wife and I are PhDs scientists. We also could have managed on my salary. I was a industry scientist that rose to be a pharma executive then an entrepreneur and now part-time consultant. I can retire fully at 48 but choose not to as I need some stimulation with work. My wife went back to school a ...
by lwfitzge
Sat Apr 06, 2013 4:05 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: What level of detail do you budget to?
Replies: 66
Views: 6353

Re: What level of detail do you budget to?

My budget is pretty detailed and fully enabled with Mint.com budgeting feature. For monthly tracking, it's revenue minus mortgage, health insurance, gasoline, internet bill, heating oil, electric, phones, TV, groceries, hair cuts, 529 education, dry cleaner, kids activities, business services, food ...
by lwfitzge
Fri Apr 05, 2013 8:01 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: 529 Plan - how best to fund w/o gift tax issues
Replies: 8
Views: 947

Re: 529 Plan - how best to fund w/o gift tax issues

The source (bank account) does not matter, e.g., what you give matters not where you gave from. IRS just expects you and spouse not exceed the gift limits of $26,000 for a married couple giving to one person in a tax year. Beyond those limits or when "gift splitting", IRS requires a gift tax return ...
by lwfitzge
Fri Apr 05, 2013 2:38 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: cleaning a vacation rental
Replies: 21
Views: 5968

Re: cleaning a vacation rental

I have rented several places, mostly VRBO. In my narrow experience, it's the expectation that you leave it fairly close to the condition you found it. And by fairly I mean that , I did not scrub the showers of anything like that but vacuuming, dishes cleaned and put away, removing garbage thoroughou...
by lwfitzge
Fri Apr 05, 2013 8:25 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Rick ferri portfolio solutions
Replies: 33
Views: 5128

Re: Rick ferri portfolio solutions

I'm new at this so please excuse me if I ask a question that may seem novice. I was wondering if Rick ferri from portfolio solutions is the real deal. I know he talks the talk, but does he walk the walk? I adopt a lot of his investing and asset allocation philosophies. In fact, my will/estate plann...
by lwfitzge
Fri Apr 05, 2013 6:47 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Do I really need a Smartphone?
Replies: 433
Views: 41612

Re: Do I really need a Smartphone?

Go ahead and scream at everyone with a smartphone because you think they all drive dangerously and use their smartphones irresponsibly, Luddite. There is difference between Luddites and skeptical consumers. Luddites ... violently protested against the machinery introduced during the Industrial Revo...
by lwfitzge
Wed Apr 03, 2013 4:36 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Scam letter [Received scam letter, what to do?]
Replies: 4
Views: 877

Re: Scam letter [Received scam letter, what to do?]

Sure, if you are inclined to make the effort... I would direct it to your state's Attorney General's office. In my State, they keep track of and investigate these things and often inform media outlets to warn the public if its a common and mass mailed item.
by lwfitzge
Wed Apr 03, 2013 4:30 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Wait Time For Tax Preparer
Replies: 12
Views: 1246

Re: Wait Time For Tax Preparer

My tax preparer is perfectly satisfactory; however I almost never get my return back from him before April 14 or 15. This year, this has resulted in my having to postpone an out-of-town trip I need to make. I make it a point to get my materials to him by February 15. I know he's busy and I hate to ...
by lwfitzge
Wed Apr 03, 2013 3:15 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Umbrella insurance with negative net worth
Replies: 6
Views: 945

Re: Umbrella insurance with negative net worth

DrPeppaPig wrote:I'd definitely do it. A $1MM umbrella shouldn't cost more than $150-$250. You'll likely have to increase your auto liability though.
+1, will have raise auto liability to perhaps $200-300k and if you had a home that insurance might have been raised as well.
by lwfitzge
Wed Apr 03, 2013 12:56 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: One night hotel stay in D.C.
Replies: 42
Views: 3917

Re: One night hotel stay in D.C.

for hotels:

1) Park Hyatt - near M street, w lots of dining options
2) Kimpton Hotels - I think there are several of them in the city and 2-3 are top 10 in TripAdvisor. I stayed in two of them and they are excellent.

http://www.kimptonhotels.com/hotels/hot ... tondc.aspx
by lwfitzge
Wed Apr 03, 2013 9:15 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: appropriately designating beneficiaries for term life ins
Replies: 13
Views: 966

Re: appropriately designating beneficiaries for term life in

I'm deciding how to designate beneficiaries on my term life policy. I would like my wife to be 1st to get 100%, but I also want to add my kids in case they are next in line. The agent told me not to list kids under 18yo because the payout will go to the state and the state will give out this money ...
by lwfitzge
Wed Apr 03, 2013 8:06 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Childrens' Allowance
Replies: 71
Views: 9361

Re: Childrens' Allowance

[quote="RenoJay"]Questions for Bogleheads with kids in the house: 1. At what age do you think it's appropriate to start an allowance? I started w my two boys around age 8 2. How much should it be? generally $5/week 3. Should the allowance be based on chores, housework, attitude, etc. or is it a unco...
by lwfitzge
Wed Apr 03, 2013 6:52 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Do I really need a Smartphone?
Replies: 433
Views: 41612

Re: Do I really need a Smartphone?

I think is a funny debate that will become moot once the value/cost equation is right for everyone (or most people), or the old technology disappears entirely... why do I need color TV when I got this nice Black and white one, I don't need a TV...I've happy and successful w my nice radio... THese de...
by lwfitzge
Wed Apr 03, 2013 6:43 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Did Vanguard really limit portfolio history to only 5 yrs?!?
Replies: 12
Views: 2359

Re: Did Vanguard really limit portfolio history to only 5 yr

It seems Vanguard only goes back to 2008 now? Someone please tell me there is a somewhat legitimate excuse for this? :annoyed And it isn't just to make your portfolio look better. I just logged on my account. Using custom, I was able to get all of my transaction history going back to when I first o...
by lwfitzge
Wed Apr 03, 2013 6:32 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Personal Record Keeping
Replies: 16
Views: 2347

Re: Personal Record Keeping

I am seriously considering going paperless as well. I have been looking into scanners for a while now...wondering if there are any disadvantages. I suppose hard drives are still prone to fire or data loss. My stuff is all in "the cloud" whether at a third party website/server (Vanguard, local bank)...
by lwfitzge
Wed Apr 03, 2013 6:10 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Bogleheads' accomplishments
Replies: 72
Views: 7480

Re: Bogleheads' accomplishments

Reached my number. Left the rat race and now self-employed, part-time at 48 yr-old. My expectations were that I'd reach that financial milestone by 59.
by lwfitzge
Tue Apr 02, 2013 7:14 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Buying a car for my daughter
Replies: 70
Views: 5816

Re: Buying a car for my daughter

This may not be the answer your daughter wants to hear, BUT: I think many parents "lose control" when the give a 16 year old their own car. I have seen a lot of behavior issues surface when the teenager thinks they have complete freedom when they are given a car. How about another option: 1. Let th...
by lwfitzge
Tue Apr 02, 2013 7:01 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Converting to gas heat
Replies: 29
Views: 2673

Re: Converting to gas heat

Have you considered asking a few local real estate agents? They probably have a good idea of how the choice affects the value and marketability of houses in your area. You have to take what they say with a pinch of salt, but some of them will give reasons and data that you can consider. I'd also as...
by lwfitzge
Tue Apr 02, 2013 5:53 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Personal Record Keeping
Replies: 16
Views: 2347

Re: Personal Record Keeping

The only receipts I keep hardcopy are the few items for federal/state tax preparation, e.g., deductions - mortgage interest, charity, taxes etc. House-hold services/vendors are either automatic bank transfer or CC charges. CC receipts/records for my business deductions are electronic, and/or I captu...
by lwfitzge
Mon Apr 01, 2013 10:12 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: College Admissions - Affecting Your Planning?
Replies: 59
Views: 4164

Re: College Admissions - Affecting Your Planning?

Not relevant to my planning. My kids are bright and very good students but they are not going to compete for Ivy. My state flagship is a top 40 public university where the incoming class has a median GPA of 3.7. It's a very good value proposition so I'm not inspired to go 2nd or 3rd tier private at ...
by lwfitzge
Sat Mar 30, 2013 2:32 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Mom and Pop Trampled by the Bulls
Replies: 76
Views: 9076

Re: Mom and Pop Trampled by the Bulls

It is a very sad reflection of the mass of investors. I try to take comfort in educating at least 1-2 friends a year, re: basic financial principles and reworking their nightmarish high-fee portfolios to something a BH would approve.
by lwfitzge
Sat Mar 30, 2013 10:02 am
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Is a 90% drop in the market realistic?
Replies: 40
Views: 4233

Re: Is a 90% drop in the market realistic?

Of course possible, but It's a non story propagated by the bottom-feeding financial pornsters. For me it's a personal waste of time to worry about black swans...there is a boat load of everyday risks (ones I don't even think about) that I'll concern myself with well before I worry about this one.
by lwfitzge
Sat Mar 30, 2013 8:07 am
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: change W4 to have less taxes withheld?
Replies: 11
Views: 1566

Re: change W4 to have less taxes withheld?

I've never done this (and not a qualified tax expert) but apparently IRS allows you to basically convert tax credits to allowances to reduce withholding. These are special circumstances that may not be relevant to you but see IRS pub 919. The ones below are from 2011 so I'd check the very latest. Ad...
by lwfitzge
Fri Mar 29, 2013 11:03 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Best/Favorite ipad Apps
Replies: 34
Views: 4986

Re: Best/Favorite ipad Apps

google maps
GPS Drive
ScanBizCards
mint.com
dropbox
uberconference (teleconferencing)
freshbooks (cloud accounting)
yelp
evernote
brewster (aggregates all of your social media and contacts in one place, gmail,FB, linkedin, twitter etc)
by lwfitzge
Fri Mar 29, 2013 7:40 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: American Express Blue Cash Everyday card
Replies: 26
Views: 15212

Re: American Express Blue Cash Everyday card

I love the Amex Blue Preferred as well. With a larger family, 3 cars to fuel, and teenagers that consume groceries like locust, my benefits overwhelm the $75 fee.