Search found 855 matches

by halfnine
Tue Dec 13, 2011 6:53 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Anyone vacationed to Peru and hiked Machu Picchu?
Replies: 28
Views: 3616

Re: Anyone vacationed to Peru and hiked Machu Picchu?

Some good advice already, I am just going to highlight a few of things that have already been said for Machu Pichu. You do have to go on an organized 2 or 4 day hike through a tour company. It used to be that you could show up and get a cheaper deal by arriving a few days before you wanted to go and...
by halfnine
Tue Dec 13, 2011 1:36 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Support your parents in retirements?
Replies: 18
Views: 2440

Re: Support your parents in retirements?

How much I support my parents in retirement will be a function of how much they supported their parents in their retirment and how much they are involved with my children.
by halfnine
Mon Oct 03, 2011 2:34 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Should you teach your kids Chinese?
Replies: 67
Views: 5800

From an economic and career view my opinion is that one should become proficient in reading/writing/speaking in their native tongue. After that one should become proficient in reading/writing/speaking English. Above and beyond that there is likely little to gain for most people in learning other lan...
by halfnine
Sun Oct 02, 2011 6:01 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Question for bogleheads with no kids
Replies: 225
Views: 18250

I have a bit of a different view on kids in that they have an opportunity cost. I don't intend on working longer now then I did prior to having one. Nor do I expect my net worth to be any different with or without them. What does change is what my wife and I do with our money and our time. Time and ...
by halfnine
Fri Sep 30, 2011 2:11 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: How much money do you need to retire at 40?
Replies: 90
Views: 17793

Sometimes, it is just not possible to have an experience without spending a relatively substantial sum. I agree. Sure there are plenty of experiences one can have on limited money but if you want to go to Bhutan, experience zero gravity, etc it's going to take some money. Of course, at the core of ...
by halfnine
Mon Sep 26, 2011 3:25 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: would you retire in your 40's?
Replies: 67
Views: 8130

We'd do whatever provided the wife and I happiness and the kids opportunities. And we'd probably spend a bit more time with our parents especially as they are not getting any younger.
by halfnine
Sat Sep 24, 2011 11:22 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Flying to Europe switching planes
Replies: 26
Views: 2898

Re: Flying to Europe switching planes

Hello all. I am flying from US to England. I have to switch planes in Amsterdam. Is a 1:15hr min layover enough time to switch planes in Amsterdam? I am unsure of the process. Thank you I've done that routing through Schiphol. If I remember correctly it took me about 40 minutes but the connection w...
by halfnine
Sat Aug 06, 2011 2:03 am
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Want to purchase Aussie Bonds through discount broker
Replies: 7
Views: 1314

Why not just open an Australian bank account which pay around 6%
by halfnine
Sat Aug 06, 2011 2:00 am
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Poll: What is Your Foreign Currency Exposure?
Replies: 19
Views: 2343

No more than 33% of net worth tied to any one currency. But I am also willing to live in many countries. This also prevents me from being a 50+ year old, Japanese boglehead who lived, worked, and owned property in Sendai.
by halfnine
Sat Aug 06, 2011 1:56 am
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Is US a high or low tax country?
Replies: 76
Views: 8073

Looking at taxes in isolation is no better a strategy than looking at investments in isolation. What one really needs to consider is what one would net in one country versus another for their individual circumstances inclusive of all expected costs (healthcare, insurance, etc.) versus what one could...
by halfnine
Sun Jul 24, 2011 12:53 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Moving out of country, what to do with health insurance?
Replies: 16
Views: 4054

All states view residency differently and some are easier to change then others. The most difficult states states require that one removes as many ties as possible (property ownership, employment, club associations, doctors, licenses, insurance, financial accounts, the wife/kids don't continue to li...
by halfnine
Sun Jul 24, 2011 12:09 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Who has retired early? What age and what amount did you have
Replies: 108
Views: 25349

Semi-retired in some sense. Wife and I just starting to enter our 40s. Over our adult life its been contract work for 3-4 years then take 1-2 years off. Play a bit, travel the world a bit, move to a new country, etc. Now taking a year off to enjoy the new kid.
by halfnine
Sat Jul 23, 2011 11:42 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Moving out of country, what to do with health insurance?
Replies: 16
Views: 4054

My answer would depend on how long you are going to be gone, whether you have any intention at all of returning to NY, whether you will continue to have income sourced in NY and whether you have or would continue to own property in NY. Definitely, if you are going to be gone for a few years and have...
by halfnine
Thu Jul 07, 2011 8:44 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Wanna Retire Early (with Healthcare....)
Replies: 52
Views: 9582

Spend enough time in the UK to get you spouse a visa, etc and onto the NHS. Then a high deductible plan in the USA for any ER visits. Return to the UK for any non-emergency treatment. Alternatively, split time between the UK and the USA and limit time in the USA to less than 6 months and get a Glob...
by halfnine
Tue Jul 05, 2011 8:43 am
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Investment options for an expat – taxes
Replies: 15
Views: 2892

My default recommendations: 1. Keep less than 10K in total in foreign bank accounts in your name. You can transfer somewhere in the 120K/year USD range to a foreign spouse without any IRS implications but you'd have to verify any limits on the Japanese side. 2. File as married separately. Once you f...
by halfnine
Tue Jul 05, 2011 5:24 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Wanna Retire Early (with Healthcare....)
Replies: 52
Views: 9582

Spend enough time in the UK to get you spouse a visa, etc and onto the NHS. Then a high deductible plan in the USA for any ER visits. Return to the UK for any non-emergency treatment. Alternatively, split time between the UK and the USA and limit time in the USA to less than 6 months and get a Globa...
by halfnine
Mon May 30, 2011 10:15 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Safe to Visit India without a Guide or Tour Group?
Replies: 50
Views: 6935

It doesn't have to be one or the other. You can take a tour and also travel independently both on the same trip. Mix and match based on your time, money and preferences.
by halfnine
Wed May 18, 2011 7:30 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Photo Buffs: Worth Upgrading to Nikon D5100 from D40?
Replies: 11
Views: 2365

Unless you are looking at shooting at 4 frames/second, need an LCD that swivels, or want to take movies with it, I am going to guess that it's probably a no. And, arguably, the last two that I mentioned might be best performed by complementing the DSLR with a point and shoot instead. I agree with th...
by halfnine
Wed May 18, 2011 12:53 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Move To South America?
Replies: 78
Views: 5979

My wife and I have lived and worked on four continents and have traveled to 80+ countries. The idea that in the current environment that the USA holds all the cards is ridiculous. But not everyone is cutout to make it abroad whether it is for personal reasons (away from family, etc) or cultural reas...
by halfnine
Tue May 17, 2011 2:53 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Alternatives to Tax Sheltered Accounts
Replies: 8
Views: 1117

Re: Alternatives to Tax Sheltered Accounts

I am an American citizen and resident, but earn all of my income in Europe, so therefore can't contribute to a Roth or other IRA. Any suggestions on some good investment vehicles to invest in? Right now, I invest mainly in Vanguard Index Funds in both my wife's Roth and our joint taxable account. I...
by halfnine
Tue May 17, 2011 9:01 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Financial Bloggers and Conflicts of Interest
Replies: 42
Views: 3939

My preference is for bloggers is full disclosure. That means disclosing both when there is financial benefit for them and also if there is none. If they don't disclose when there is no financial benefit I just assume there is and am likely to disregard their opinion.
by halfnine
Sat May 14, 2011 1:18 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Emergency cash when traveling to underdeveloped locations
Replies: 17
Views: 2039

Sewn into a backpack is more risky then wearing a money belt because its a lot easier to snatch a backpack then a money belt. You're only going to lose your money belt if you are mugged. And if you are getting mugged, well they are taking your backpack as well. Not to mention your passport. Secret p...
by halfnine
Fri May 13, 2011 1:58 am
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: re: advised by my computer security maven to leave Vanguard.
Replies: 166
Views: 19005

I use one password for all throw-away sites... I use a different password for all the sites I go to often I use a third much more complex password for my bank, Vanguard, 401k sites... and I only go to those sites at work, and at home... What I really should do is build a VM at home that I use for f...
by halfnine
Tue May 10, 2011 2:45 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: US Inheritance Taxes
Replies: 10
Views: 1408

HardKnocker wrote: No federal estate tax on estates < $5 million.
Provided the deceased is a US citizen or a resident for estate tax purpose. Otherwise it's 60K. Now, I am assuming that is probably the case but just crossing the i's and dotting the t's.
by halfnine
Mon May 09, 2011 10:52 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: International stocks and currency risks
Replies: 17
Views: 2202

Let's put a question this way: if you had to choose between 2 essentially same funds following the same index, but one of them offered currency hedging to your local currency via 1 month futures contracts, how much would this currency hedging be worth to you? How much of a higher ER % would you acc...
by halfnine
Mon May 09, 2011 5:12 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: What backup solution do you use?
Replies: 80
Views: 7372

We use an ethernet hard drive (500 gb) for the file storage. That keeps all the files in one place and all our computers are connected to and have access to the files on this drive. Then we have a portable hard drive that we incrementally back up to from the ethernet drive using SyncBackSE on a freq...
by halfnine
Mon May 09, 2011 4:56 am
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: International stocks and currency risks
Replies: 17
Views: 2202

I've another small question though. According to the above, currency risks evens itself out in the long run right? Largely, they do, but not always. For instance, over the last 100 years the GBP to USD had gone from about 4.8 to 1.6. So, I wouldn't necessarily say they even out over the long term. ...
by halfnine
Wed May 04, 2011 2:28 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Advice on a trip to Ireland?
Replies: 26
Views: 3614

I'd skip London and Wales as you will spend the first four days just traveling. Yes, you want a rental car when in Ireland. It is very unlikely you will be able to use a rental car from Britain (England, Scotland, Wales) but you cross between Ireland and Northern Ireland (part of the UK) for a small...
by halfnine
Wed May 04, 2011 2:15 am
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: How to Invest in a foreign current with the local currency
Replies: 7
Views: 1116

For investing in the market, the easiest and most tax friendly way is to invest in a country ETF from within the USA. If you want just the currency then you're better off opening a bank account in the country of choice. The US based currency ETFs pay an incredibly low interest rate in addition to th...
by halfnine
Wed May 04, 2011 2:07 am
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Wife came into 30,000 Euros. Leave in Germany, convert, or??
Replies: 16
Views: 2130

Re: Wife came into 30,000 Euros. Leave in Germany, convert,

leave in German bank If you want to diversify assets to outside the US as part of a multiple flag approach then this would be viable. Of course, once they realize your Americans they may decide to close the account anyway. invest in Germany probably less of a headache and likely cheaper to bring it...
by halfnine
Tue May 03, 2011 4:24 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Marriage when you own two houses in a bad housing market?
Replies: 137
Views: 12507

I am just going to make a couple general comments. If the only reason marriage is being discussed now and instead of in a few years is because she is 33 then that is a mistake. If you are not ready to get married then you are not ready to get married. Pushing it up to have kids is a big mistake. It'...
by halfnine
Tue May 03, 2011 12:56 am
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: re: advised by my computer security maven to leave Vanguard.
Replies: 166
Views: 19005

My biggest concern is a keylogger. I have a system to beat it (I hope) but if anyone can tell me if this works or not, I'd appreciate it. I save my password on a jump drive which I don't leave in my computer unless I'm logging on. I open the file its in and copy it then paste it to the website. Thi...
by halfnine
Tue Apr 26, 2011 2:36 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Have you ever tracked your spending for a year?
Replies: 105
Views: 16525

We track all of our spending but no so much for cost purposes. We additionally track how we paid (cash, credit card), whether it was a business deduction, tax deduction, reimburseable business expense, and also leave notes on how well the item worked, etc. That way we can use it to cross reference c...
by halfnine
Sat Apr 23, 2011 3:43 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Starting family when we're losing health insurance?
Replies: 48
Views: 7349

If you can afford the time, there is always the possibility of Thailand. Medical tourism is quite common these days, and from what I've heard having your baby at Bumrungrad Hospital would cost somewhere between maybe 1500-2500 USD depending on how complicated it is.
by halfnine
Fri Apr 22, 2011 3:11 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: New Digital SLR
Replies: 72
Views: 8315

If you are going to be doing a lot of low light shooting and can't use flash, then by all means, get a D7000. If not, I highly recommend getting a D200, an 18-200 VR, a 50mm 1.8, a SB-800 flash, and two or three 4 Gb memory cards. I have all of those, and have shot numerous weddings, bar Mitzvahs, ...
by halfnine
Fri Apr 22, 2011 1:36 am
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: keep the money in China or here?
Replies: 15
Views: 2344

What about moving it to a Renminbi account in Hong Kong? I don't know any specific details but am speculating that you could then eliminate most of the bank failure or exchange control risk and should still be able to access the account from the Mainland. It, of course, might be at a loss of the int...
by halfnine
Fri Apr 22, 2011 1:03 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: This is an amazing story - unguided couple drives the Congo
Replies: 21
Views: 3613

And for those interested a guy doing something similar by bicycle

http://www.thebigafricacycle.com/
by halfnine
Thu Apr 21, 2011 3:00 am
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Baby Boomers: Is it important to leave inheritance to kids?
Replies: 88
Views: 11007

My preference will be to leave money to my descendants that can only be used for major bills that would otherwise be out of their control like major health issues, child with disability, etc. I'd prefer this over leaving money to charity. The question then is how to setup an entity to make this happ...
by halfnine
Tue Apr 19, 2011 1:53 am
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Living Abroad and Creating an IRA Account
Replies: 11
Views: 2552

You could always use a personal address from a mail forwarding service residing in a state that has no income tax.
by halfnine
Sat Apr 09, 2011 1:26 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: 10-minute workout?
Replies: 32
Views: 4413

Re: 10-minute workout?

Anyone ever heard of an effective workout that is this short? I have a busy schedule, two toddlers, and am realistic. I think this is about all I can do consistently - and if I'm not going to do it consistently there seems to be no point in doing it at all. Am in a similar position. I do 15 minutes...
by halfnine
Wed Apr 06, 2011 2:58 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: did your childhood activities carry over to adulthood
Replies: 34
Views: 4440

I don't do any of the sports/activities that I did as a child. Turns out the ones that I was really interested in weren't the ones I was being directed towards. Can't really fault my parents, though, as they were doing the best they could with the resources that were readily available. And, most imp...
by halfnine
Tue Apr 05, 2011 2:39 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: US Index Funds Available to Non-US Investors?
Replies: 25
Views: 6958

Now, let´s say the decedent were a U.S. citizen married to a non-resident alien. If the U.S. citizen´s assets were on deposit in a U.S. bank, would these be subject to U.S. estate tax? I believe the NRA spouse would not get the unlimited spousal exclusion. However, they would still get the few mill...
by halfnine
Tue Apr 05, 2011 5:17 am
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Investing plan for an expat in Japan
Replies: 8
Views: 1972

Re: Investing plan for an expat in Japan

Looks fine to me, assuming you really are sure about eventually moving to the US. But, just want to make sure about something: Tax Filing Status: Although we're married, my wife doesn't have an ITIN yet, so until that happens I file as single in the States. You mean "Married filing separately," rig...
by halfnine
Fri Apr 01, 2011 12:04 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Could you buy and hold through the Great Depression (II)
Replies: 55
Views: 6262

In a fearful environment, I am more inclined to let my asset allocation drift for a bit until I see a country where both its market and its currency saw significant losses and then re-allocate stocks/bonds with a tilt toward that country.
by halfnine
Wed Mar 30, 2011 2:27 am
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: When people report astonishing prescience
Replies: 51
Views: 7788

Whenever anyone tells me about how they perfectly timed their investments, I ask them what they are currently investing in today and what the future holds as hearing predictions after the fact doesn't do me much good. That normally quiets most of the talkers down since they would actually have to no...
by halfnine
Wed Mar 30, 2011 2:13 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: At What Point Would You Walk Away From Your House?
Replies: 184
Views: 19253

As far as to what I would do, I'd honor whatever was in the contract. If there is a clause that stipulates the consequence of defaulting then I would have no problem defaulting as I am still honoring the terms of the contract as both parties have agreed to the proper recourse. Anything not stipulate...
by halfnine
Sat Mar 26, 2011 12:00 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Protecting Documents (on a computer, not paper)
Replies: 34
Views: 5898

Question...how does DropBox know when to backup your TrueCrypt file. Are they doing full backups at timed intervals with all the user data or are they just doing incrementals. If just incremental I don't believe it will backup the truecrypt file as the date does not change when the files inside it a...
by halfnine
Wed Mar 23, 2011 3:41 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Poll, House part of your retirement plan?
Replies: 27
Views: 2997

What part of my life did I plan for 20 years ago? What part of my plan came true? Since 1991, my life included the death of a spouse, a marriage, a purchase of a house, a move, a sale of a house, a purchase of another house, a swap of ownership interest, retirement, a sale of a house, a move, a sep...
by halfnine
Wed Mar 23, 2011 1:28 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Would you retire outside the US?
Replies: 61
Views: 9551

We've been living and working in other countries and I'm 100% with Valuethinker. Vacation is not a substitute for living an everyday life and facing the reality of other cultures, laws and governements. Far from telling you what you should do personally, I have some general counterarguments. 1. Vac...
by halfnine
Tue Mar 22, 2011 4:19 am
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: International Investing (I apologize in advance)
Replies: 24
Views: 3500

Y If you don't want to invest in international then one needs to understand the EXTRA risk one is taking. Yes I did say extra risk. There is less diversificaton in the equity allocation of your portfolio and you are taking on currency risk and geographical risk. I would actually say you are taking ...