Search found 2466 matches

by Big Dog
Tue Apr 20, 2021 8:17 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Drive by Appraisal?
Replies: 4
Views: 549

Re: Drive by Appraisal?

Was just told a drive by appraisal was done for the sale of our house. I had never heard of this. But with our house selling for well over asking (but in my opinion still in line with comps in In our town) I’m nervous about it not appraising Though the idea of a drive by appraisal makes it sound li...
by Big Dog
Tue Apr 20, 2021 7:47 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Did a cash out refi for college funds, but now need some direction
Replies: 14
Views: 911

Re: Did a cash out refi for college funds, but now need some direction

are you in a state that provides a tax deduction for contributions to a 529? If so, I'd go that route. As for colleges, not a particular fan of paying OOS fees for a public, but with her stats, she should be eligible for merit aid at some publics, but a lot of privates mostly lower down the food cha...
by Big Dog
Tue Apr 20, 2021 7:26 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Social Security decsion
Replies: 21
Views: 2245

Re: Social Security decsion

Their conclusion is puzzling. And the explanation isn't clear. Does ORP deal with a married couple somewhere in their analysis? Does ORP consider how long this single 60 year old millionaire will live? So if you haven't taken a look at the ORP calculator - you should ( you can find it here https://...
by Big Dog
Tue Apr 20, 2021 4:50 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Any Reason to NOT max out I Bonds and EE Bonds
Replies: 57
Views: 4794

Re: Any Reason to NOT max out I Bonds and EE Bonds

BogleMelon wrote: Mon Apr 19, 2021 11:44 pm 1 reason: simplicity. I wish I could buy i bonds in my brokerage account
In addition to 1, #2 is no way to add beneficiaries to a joint account. Just too much of a hassle for this investor.
by Big Dog
Mon Apr 19, 2021 8:03 pm
Forum: Personal Investments
Topic: Dad Dying, Son POA to become Executor, Bond Fund to Cash Now?
Replies: 21
Views: 2631

Re: Dad Dying, Son POA to become Executor, Bond Fund to Cash Now?

If you can, why not have Dad put the three sibs as beneficiaries of his Vanguard account, payable upon death? That way Vanguard will readily split the account 3 ways, apportion the balances for each beneficiary, and transfer their prorate share into an account under their name (should they chose to ...
by Big Dog
Mon Apr 19, 2021 7:12 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Choosing a university/college for my son a future Computer Science Major
Replies: 183
Views: 14905

Re: Choosing a university/college for my son a future Computer Science Major

UC-Irvine has an excellent reputation for software engineering. I don't know anything about the CS program at Davis -- they have a good school for pharmacy and a veterinarian school. Maybe look at U Maryland and CMU for cybersecurity Actually, Davis is higher ranked in Engineering than Irvine. That...
by Big Dog
Mon Apr 19, 2021 7:07 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Choosing a university/college for my son a future Computer Science Major
Replies: 183
Views: 14905

Re: Choosing a university/college for my son a future Computer Science Major

Any chance of an update on this thread from the OP? Thanks in advance if you elect to take the time to do so ualdriver... Yes, I can update. I didn't simply because I wasn't sure if anyone would be interested : ) My son applied to 9 schools. He got shot down at his first and second choices- U of I ...
by Big Dog
Sun Apr 18, 2021 5:57 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Don't fuss about 529 accounts. Have your child skip the first two years of college instead!
Replies: 175
Views: 12513

Re: Don't fuss about 529 accounts. Have your child skip the first two years of college instead!

No, there isn't any problem with my post at all. Costs matter. I am telling parents on here to NOT resign themselves into spending tens of thousands of dollars for college if there are alternative routes available, of which they might not know. Even for a business major, it's possible to get a coll...
by Big Dog
Sun Apr 18, 2021 5:50 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Earthquake Insurance
Replies: 17
Views: 1441

Re: Earthquake Insurance

We live in the Seattle area. Our EQ cover is a little over $3,500/year with a $425K+ deductible. We have an expensive house with no mortgage, so the house is a material part of our net worth. I think about dropping EQ cover every year, but a total loss of the house would be painful--painful enough ...
by Big Dog
Sun Apr 18, 2021 5:09 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Don't fuss about 529 accounts. Have your child skip the first two years of college instead!
Replies: 175
Views: 12513

Re: Don't fuss about 529 accounts. Have your child skip the first two years of college instead!

Can't speak to non-STEM majors here. What you talk about might make sense for a kid majoring in business at Harvard for the connections. And this in a nutshell is the problem with your post. Not everyone wants to be an engineer or doctor. A small minority in fact. No, there isn't any problem with m...
by Big Dog
Sun Apr 18, 2021 10:22 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Should we buy a new build home without involving our realtor?
Replies: 27
Views: 2411

Re: Should we buy a new build home without involving our realtor?

New developments usually won’t deal with a buy-side realtor anyhow. They aren’t going to pay them. Depends on the stage. Towards the end of the lifecycle of the development, builders out here are happy to pay a commission to unload the last xx properties. OP: if you don't like the realtor that you ...
by Big Dog
Sat Apr 17, 2021 8:52 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Temp change in remote location - tell employer?
Replies: 35
Views: 2862

Re: Temp change in remote location - tell employer?

If City B is on Maui, you'd have a lot of 'essplainin to do. :mrgreen:
by Big Dog
Sat Apr 17, 2021 3:15 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Accessing College Financial Aid for Higher Income Households
Replies: 18
Views: 945

Re: Accessing College Financial Aid for Higher Income Households

I'm not really looking to retire early, and I'm cheap so I really rather not pay any more than I have to. I max out every year on the standard tax advantaged account plays. I was curious if there were any more "outside the box" strategies out there. For example, my in laws live near me an...
by Big Dog
Sat Apr 17, 2021 12:33 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Don't fuss about 529 accounts. Have your child skip the first two years of college instead!
Replies: 175
Views: 12513

Re: Don't fuss about 529 accounts. Have your child skip the first two years of college instead!

Consider this as an alternative to spending lots of money on 529 accounts, especially if you have a gifted or motivated child.
Personally, I think this is a terrible idea particularly for a gifted child. But as my mom used to say, 'to each their own'.
by Big Dog
Sat Apr 17, 2021 12:27 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Another Tire Question
Replies: 13
Views: 822

Re: Another Tire Question

suggest that you compare specs on Tire Rack.
by Big Dog
Sat Apr 17, 2021 12:19 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Better air conditioning for upstairs: minisplit or just upgrade main hvac to variable speed?
Replies: 14
Views: 1356

Re: Better air conditioning for upstairs: minisplit or just upgrade main hvac to variable speed?

My thoughts: First, I'd get an insulation contractor to measure the insulation of the upstairs, and upgrade to recommended R-value for your region as necessary. Second, I'd get an HVAC contractor that specializes in duct work to measure the ducts and air flow and heating/cooling demands in the house...
by Big Dog
Sat Apr 17, 2021 12:01 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Earthquake Insurance
Replies: 17
Views: 1441

Re: Earthquake Insurance

Live in SoCal and have chosen not to purchase EQ insurance, but every home is different. We are also in a low liquefaction area, with wood frame house bolted to the slab. Most likely scenario is that the chimneys collapse and take part of the wall/roof with them. But I can't forsee how that approach...
by Big Dog
Sat Apr 17, 2021 11:50 am
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: "Mortgage is a negative bond" - please help me understand
Replies: 260
Views: 13437

Re: "Mortgage is a negative bond" - please help me understand

KlangFool has already chosen their risk level, so I am presuming they are comfortable with it. The thing they are overlooking is that they're taking on more risk by using a mortgage to leverage up their market portfolio, not less. That is not how it works if having a lower risk is a normal good for...
by Big Dog
Sat Apr 17, 2021 10:27 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Selling a new house with a defective roof - how to proceed?
Replies: 16
Views: 1170

Re: Selling a new house with a defective roof - how to proceed?

On one hand, I have a professional home inspector who has told me the roof has hail damage. On the other, I have a roofer who says he thinks it's a defective product. Neither explanation makes full sense to me. It sounds like blistering, which can look like hail damage but is actually manufacturer'...
by Big Dog
Fri Apr 16, 2021 8:33 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: The primary factor for picking a College/University is out of pocket cost
Replies: 238
Views: 12024

Re: The primary factor for picking a College/University is out of pocket cost

This is really easy to say when money isn't an issue. Tell that to the "average" U.S. family. The average US family will pay none to attend the top privates in the US if their children is accepted. If a family has an income below $80k, Harvard is going to be nearly as cheap as their local...
by Big Dog
Thu Apr 15, 2021 7:01 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: The primary factor for picking a College/University is out of pocket cost
Replies: 238
Views: 12024

Re: The primary factor for picking a College/University is out of pocket cost

You mean to tell me there's only a negligible difference between 2 candidates with identical LSATs and extracurriculars, but one has a 3.7 from Elite University and the other has a 3.7 from Northwest Podunk State? I realize schools are sensitive to their 25/75% scores , but I think you're substanti...
by Big Dog
Thu Apr 15, 2021 3:36 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Medicare Advantage - What's the Deal?
Replies: 128
Views: 8225

Re: Medicare Advantage - What's the Deal?

Joe Namath is advertising an insurance broker that specializes in Medicare.

But yes, Medicare is confusing and many people appreciate the help. The reasons that the ads run all year is that everyday thousands of Boomers are turning 65.
by Big Dog
Thu Apr 15, 2021 10:27 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Template for financial life for spouse if I’m dead?
Replies: 36
Views: 2309

Re: Template for financial life for spouse if I’m dead?

In addition to the recommendations above, also have your spouse start getting involved in day-to-day bill paying. There's no substitute for experience "doing" vs. reading about it when stressed & bereaved. And have your spouse logon to financial accounts at least once a quarter to loo...
by Big Dog
Thu Apr 15, 2021 10:04 am
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: What’s the problem with dividends?
Replies: 295
Views: 16134

Re: What’s the problem with dividends?

Kenneth French has studied the dividend phenomenon and has documented that, historically, dividend paying stocks have provided higher total returns, with lower standard deviation of those returns, compared to non-dividend paying stocks. This may be a case of investors being willing to pay a higher ...
by Big Dog
Wed Apr 14, 2021 7:24 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: When to take Social Security
Replies: 13
Views: 1321

Re: When to take Social Security

Check out OpenSocialSecurity.

https://opensocialsecurity.com
by Big Dog
Wed Apr 14, 2021 7:19 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Power of a personal real estate offer letter
Replies: 77
Views: 4799

Re: Power of a personal real estate offer letter

Is there a law or settle cases that says one has no choice as to whom one sells their property? Last time I looked, sellers are free to sell to whomever they please. If I don't like you, I won't sell to you. An additional problem with these is that they will often reveal that potential buyer is a p...
by Big Dog
Wed Apr 14, 2021 6:19 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Power of a personal real estate offer letter
Replies: 77
Views: 4799

Re: Power of a personal real estate offer letter

CA Real Estate professional assoc starting to look askance at such a practice to avoid the appearance of discrimination: https://www.car.org/-/media/CAR/Documents/Transaction-Center/PDF/QUICK-GUIDES/Quick-Guide---Buyer-Interest-Letters-Accompanying-Offers.pdf?la=en&hash=3809E044C24862F303F731EB0...
by Big Dog
Wed Apr 14, 2021 3:36 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: How foolish is this? [Buying waterfront apartment in Florida]
Replies: 97
Views: 9047

Re: How foolish is this? [Buying waterfront apartment in Florida]

Sounds like a good fit. That said, I'd wait for 6-9 months as I expect that the feeding frenzy will decline as more and more folks are vaccinated adn real estate gets back towards normal. Since it's a high rise, other places will come on the market over the next months, so waiting shouldn't cost you...
by Big Dog
Wed Apr 14, 2021 2:10 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: are inflation fears driving the housing market
Replies: 27
Views: 3005

Re: are inflation fears driving the housing market

Agreed that its the shortage of houses for sale. Due to COVID, folks are hunkering down and staying put.
by Big Dog
Wed Apr 14, 2021 12:30 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: "Nobody's ever regretted paying off the mortgage."
Replies: 480
Views: 30732

Re: "Nobody's ever regretted paying off the mortgage."

I see this argument a lot when people favor paying down their mortgage in place of taxable investing. I also see the argument that you wouldn't take a mortgage on a paid off house to invest. At least, most people wouldn't. So why would you invest rather than pay down the mortgage? This, to me, is a...
by Big Dog
Wed Apr 14, 2021 12:09 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: "Nobody's ever regretted paying off the mortgage."
Replies: 480
Views: 30732

Re: "Nobody's ever regretted paying off the mortgage."

I see this argument a lot when people favor paying down their mortgage in place of taxable investing. I also see the argument that you wouldn't take a mortgage on a paid off house to invest. At least, most people wouldn't. So why would you invest rather than pay down the mortgage? This, to me, is a...
by Big Dog
Tue Apr 13, 2021 7:50 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Proof of Funds when House Hunting
Replies: 28
Views: 2717

Re: Proof of Funds when House Hunting

when I sold my parents house in Jan (both had passed), the offer was made late Friday afternoon and the buyer's broker provided us with a copy of a lender pre-approval for a loan needed AND a current copy of their bank (BofA) statement -- some redaction for security-- showing enough cash available t...
by Big Dog
Tue Apr 13, 2021 7:40 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Former employer won't change my employment status with 401k provider
Replies: 13
Views: 1081

Re: Former employer won't change my employment status with 401k provider

1. No
2. It is in their interest to get you out of the plan as they are paying Admin fees to keep you in. Try moving up the contact food chain. Do you remember the name of your former payroll person?
by Big Dog
Tue Apr 13, 2021 7:32 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: How would you handle this? -- big utility company problem!
Replies: 68
Views: 4824

Re: How would you handle this? -- big utility company problem!

forget about recovering the money for the insulation -- that ain't happening. Since you have correct copies of the bills, what is the amount that you were actually overcharged? If you will be able to recover the overpayment in full in ~24 months, I'd do that deal. Otherwise, send me a check. Don't f...
by Big Dog
Tue Apr 13, 2021 10:44 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Any happy lawyers out there?
Replies: 138
Views: 12726

Re: Any happy lawyers out there?

If you can get accepted to "one of the vaunted" law schools, you should be able to score a bunch of merit money from schools a few spots down the food chain. Do NOT pay sticker.
by Big Dog
Mon Apr 12, 2021 7:42 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Strategy for passing your Digital Assets upon your death?
Replies: 30
Views: 1819

Re: Strategy for passing your Digital Assets upon your death?

What is a digital asset? Digital Assets is content that resides in your digital devices like Cellphone Tablets Computers Cloud accounts like email, social media, memberships etc. Digital Heir / Digital Legacy is how you pass access and ownership of the digital assets I must be dense, but: A) why do...
by Big Dog
Mon Apr 12, 2021 4:33 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Strategy for passing your Digital Assets upon your death?
Replies: 30
Views: 1819

Re: Strategy for passing your Digital Assets upon your death?

What is a digital asset? Digital Assets is content that resides in your digital devices like Cellphone Tablets Computers Cloud accounts like email, social media, memberships etc. Digital Heir / Digital Legacy is how you pass access and ownership of the digital assets Can't apple conduct a complete ...
by Big Dog
Mon Apr 12, 2021 10:36 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: The primary factor for picking a College/University is out of pocket cost
Replies: 238
Views: 12024

Re: The primary factor for picking a College/University is out of pocket cost

For example, if you go to an elite law school your undergrad is a lot less important. Of course, your undergrad school reputation is a significant factor in getting admitted into an elite law school. I am not necessarily disagreeing with the thesis of this thread, but attending a higher-ranked unde...
by Big Dog
Sun Apr 11, 2021 7:09 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: The primary factor for picking a College/University is out of pocket cost
Replies: 238
Views: 12024

Re: The primary factor for picking a College/University is out of pocket cost

I do agree (and stated as much earlier) that few schools are worth what they charge. I wouldn't pay $300K for USC. Your spreadsheet is very interesting for a number of things, but it’s hard to imagine the meeting where $4,000 merit aid was decided (unless it was formulaic and deterministic). Tuft’s...
by Big Dog
Sun Apr 11, 2021 6:54 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Medicare Claims Processing Question
Replies: 22
Views: 1414

Re: Medicare Claims Processing Question

^^ got it, thanks. Follow Kenkat's recommendation above.
by Big Dog
Sun Apr 11, 2021 6:53 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Medicare Claims Processing Question
Replies: 22
Views: 1414

Re: Medicare Claims Processing Question

^^ dupe, sorry.
by Big Dog
Sun Apr 11, 2021 6:51 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Ed Slott's new book NEW RETIREMENT SAVINGS TIME BOMB
Replies: 154
Views: 11239

Re: Ed Slott's new book NEW RETIREMENT SAVINGS TIME BOMB

California doesn't tax SS benefits. By the way, I keep seeing the term Cali to refer to the State of California. Generally, those of us in California simply use CA (or So Cal to refer to the sprawling LA basin). "Cali" must be a Midwest or East Coast term! Or just a generational thing. 8-...
by Big Dog
Sun Apr 11, 2021 6:05 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Medicare Claims Processing Question
Replies: 22
Views: 1414

Re: Medicare Claims Processing Question

His Medicare plans don't start until March, so any claim from a date of service prior to March gets covered by his previous plan. If he did not have enough hours for coverage by BC/Publix, he'll have to pay out of pocket, (or somehow get retro COBRA coverage?). For any medical expenses in March and...
by Big Dog
Sun Apr 11, 2021 4:51 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Medicare Claims Processing Question
Replies: 22
Views: 1414

Re: Medicare Claims Processing Question

His Medicare plans don't start until March, so any claim from a date of service prior to March gets covered by his previous plan. If he did not have enough hours for coverage by BC/Publix, he'll have to pay out of pocket, (or somehow get retro COBRA coverage?). For any medical expenses in March and ...
by Big Dog
Sun Apr 11, 2021 3:11 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Ed Slott's new book NEW RETIREMENT SAVINGS TIME BOMB
Replies: 154
Views: 11239

Re: Ed Slott's new book NEW RETIREMENT SAVINGS TIME BOMB

So if one is making $40K from SS benefits, "tens of thousands" would be at least $20K of taxes on it. OK. Don’t forget about state taxes. Many will be living in other states like Cali. Want it or not California doesn't tax SS benefits. By the way, I keep seeing the term Cali to refer to t...
by Big Dog
Sun Apr 11, 2021 2:17 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: The primary factor for picking a College/University is out of pocket cost
Replies: 238
Views: 12024

Re: The primary factor for picking a College/University is out of pocket cost

to our family, the primary factor in choosing a college was "value" (as are most of my purchase decisions). It all comes down to that fact that our instate flagship is $35k per year, so how much more value does a private offer for the increased price? My kids took classes at the junior col...
by Big Dog
Sat Apr 10, 2021 7:51 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Theory: The Only Four Situations Justifying Debt
Replies: 103
Views: 7044

Re: Theory: The Only Four Situations Justifying Debt

1. Yes.
2. Yes, but not more undergrad debt than the federal limits. And do not attend a PhD program unless its fully-funded.
3. No way.
4. Sure. (But one man's emergency is another man's morning cappuccino. :twisted: )
5. Yes to car loans.
by Big Dog
Sat Apr 10, 2021 7:44 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Help analyze my HVAC decision
Replies: 19
Views: 1628

Re: Help analyze my HVAC decision

In TN, I'd definitely go with 2-speed over 1-speed. The increased comfort is woth it, IMO. (I'd also probably upgrade the compressor since you are in the South, and presumably run AC quite a bit. Electricity rates only have one way to go: Up!)