Search found 2455 matches

by Big Dog
Sat Apr 17, 2021 8:52 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Temp change in remote location - tell employer?
Replies: 31
Views: 2037

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: 885

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: 88
Views: 5926

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: 10
Views: 539

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: 1303

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: 4
Views: 285

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: "Mortage is a negative bond" - please help me understand
Replies: 160
Views: 8176

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: 1107

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: 208
Views: 10169

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: 208
Views: 10169

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: 101
Views: 5696

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: 2284

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: 213
Views: 11042

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: 1308

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: 4774

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: 4774

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: 92
Views: 8177

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: 25
Views: 2565

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: 306
Views: 19811

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: 306
Views: 19811

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: 2704

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: 1072

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: 4760

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: 112
Views: 9932

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: 1785

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: 1785

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: 208
Views: 10169

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: 208
Views: 10169

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: 1402

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: 1402

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: 11182

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: 1402

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: 1402

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: 11182

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: 208
Views: 10169

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: 7032

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: 1624

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!)
by Big Dog
Sat Apr 10, 2021 6:38 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Best Cell Carrier to Use in the US Temporary?
Replies: 14
Views: 894

Re: Best Cell Carrier to Use in the US Temporary?

you really should narrow down the location in teh US where you mostly stay. In my neighborhood, Verizon has excellent reception, but AT&T does not; many dropped calls and the best reception is outside in the back yard. OTOH, when I visited my hometown, Verizon was terrible. My sis said T-Mobile ...
by Big Dog
Thu Apr 08, 2021 9:52 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Vanguard Portfolio Watch has a new look
Replies: 101
Views: 8156

Re: Vanguard Portfolio Watch has a new look

Strange -- 21% of my portfolio is marked 'Uncategorized', even tho they are all Vanguard Mutual funds held in Vanguard brokerage accounts (IRA's).
by Big Dog
Thu Apr 08, 2021 6:49 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Amending medical record...best financial decision?
Replies: 27
Views: 2771

Re: Amending medical record...best financial decision?

The OP is asking about a financial aspect. Please, let’s keep away from discussions of treatments for the son’s condition. With all due respect, I took Big Dogs suggestion as a way to provide another input to the insurance company rating son's alleged condition. Such a hospital etc might carry more...
by Big Dog
Thu Apr 08, 2021 4:15 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Amending medical record...best financial decision?
Replies: 27
Views: 2771

Re: Amending medical record...best financial decision?

do you have a med school/research hospital that has a practice for JIA nearby? Instead of going back to your rheumatologist, why not a second opinion from experts in the field?
by Big Dog
Thu Apr 08, 2021 3:37 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: when to claim social security: self and spouse
Replies: 8
Views: 703

Re: when to claim social security: self and spouse

highly suggest running your numbers on OpenSocialSecurity. (click on the Additional Input tab)

https://opensocialsecurity.com
by Big Dog
Thu Apr 08, 2021 10:12 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: What EV to buy for 20k-25k?
Replies: 63
Views: 5497

Re: What EV to buy for 20k-25k?

Commute will be roughly 40 miles, but I will need it to do longer trips like to the city, airport, medium length weekend trips How far is the airport? Might be renting a condo for a couple years with garage, and am thinking I can survive just plugging into a regular outlet which will give me 40-50 ...
by Big Dog
Wed Apr 07, 2021 5:12 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: how to avoid probate
Replies: 9
Views: 982

Re: how to avoid probate

Do you know what's required for the transfer if using the POD option? I'd like to hear if somebody has been a beneficiary using POD and how the transaction went, if there's any lawyer involvement or if you can just do it through the institution. PoD/ToD is extremely easy for simple estates. The ban...
by Big Dog
Sun Apr 04, 2021 10:54 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: If I go part time, my wife is kicked off of the health insurance plan.
Replies: 23
Views: 2333

Re: If I go part time, my wife is kicked off of the health insurance plan.

What did HR say about federal COBRA, or Cal-COBRA (for small employers)?
by Big Dog
Sun Apr 04, 2021 10:45 am
Forum: Personal Investments
Topic: Help transferring Funds from Vanguard to Fidelity in a Roth IRA
Replies: 16
Views: 978

Re: Help transferring Funds from Fidelity to Vanguard in a Roth IRA

you might edit your post to clarify which direction you are going with the transfer as your headline says one way the body says the other. But I have transferred both Roths and tIRA's from Fidelity to Vanguard and it just took a few days, but was not of the market any day. Did one by phone and one o...
by Big Dog
Fri Apr 02, 2021 12:54 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: National Reputation of Worcester Polytechnic Institute (WPI)? other input welcome too
Replies: 211
Views: 12314

Re: National Reputation of Worcester Polytechnic Institute (WPI)? other input welcome too

The let-the-kid-decide crowd is not being realistic since no teenager has one iota of knowledge of what heavy debt does to life choices. The kid would be making the decision with zero information. Not a way to enter a contract. IMO, if your children reach high school graduation without at least a f...
by Big Dog
Thu Apr 01, 2021 10:38 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: National Reputation of Worcester Polytechnic Institute (WPI)? other input welcome too
Replies: 211
Views: 12314

Re: National Reputation of Worcester Polytechnic Institute (WPI)? other input welcome too

The let-the-kid-decide crowd is not being realistic since no teenager has one iota of knowledge of what heavy debt does to life choices. The kid would be making the decision with zero information. Not a way to enter a contract. IMO, if your children reach high school graduation without at least a f...