Search found 995 matches

by chw
Sat Apr 10, 2021 6:18 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Gardening 2021
Replies: 30
Views: 2488

Re: Gardening 2021

Zone 6 here (eastern MA)- started harvesting butternut and red leaf lettuce from a cold frame I built this spring. It’s working nicely with a solar opener to vent excess heat. The lettuce seems to love it so far. Adding a new 8x4 raised bed to the 2 built last year.
by chw
Tue Apr 06, 2021 8:26 pm
Forum: Personal Investments
Topic: Senior Collge Student Earned $600,000 Needs Guidance
Replies: 20
Views: 3326

Re: Senior Collge Student Earned $600,000 Needs Guidance

Good advice so far. Perhaps determine if estimated taxes are due since I believe this income was 1099 with no withholding. If I recall, if 80% of the tax bill isn’t paid during the year, there may be a penalty due.
by chw
Sun Apr 04, 2021 5:19 am
Forum: Personal Investments
Topic: Bonds vs Cash in a very low interest rate world
Replies: 51
Views: 6686

Re: Bonds vs Cash in a very low interest rate world

60% of my bond allocation is held in a stable value fund in my old 401k plan yielding 2.5-3%. This allocation is usually held in an IT bond fund- I will likely revert to that fund when I see the yield for the IT bond fund for 2 quarters rise above 2.5%. The remainder of my bond allocation is split e...
by chw
Wed Mar 31, 2021 7:43 am
Forum: Personal Investments
Topic: VWINX as a place to park emergency funds?
Replies: 19
Views: 2631

Re: VWINX as a place to park emergency funds?

I don’t think so. Emergencies usually show up when the market is in decline. This fund while conservative, can lose principal during market downturns.
by chw
Wed Mar 31, 2021 5:33 am
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Schwab Mutual Fund fees
Replies: 12
Views: 1645

Re: Schwab Mutual Fund fees

I left CS last year, but when I was with them, my assigned consultant had set up our accounts to waive the fees for purchasing Vanguard mutual finds. This may only be available if the assets held at CS are above a certain level, but it would be worth asking for a waiver. I had an assigned consultant...
by chw
Tue Mar 30, 2021 8:32 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Mulch from Costco or Lowes
Replies: 41
Views: 4166

Re: Mulch from Costco or Lowes

I get it from a local garden center. The purchases I made last year (bags) were about 3x more than traditional mulch, but it is way better for the plants I used it with, and does an excellent job with moisture retention in sunny locations. I had some trouble with some shrubs I had planted a few year...
by chw
Tue Mar 30, 2021 7:17 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Mulch from Costco or Lowes
Replies: 41
Views: 4166

Re: Mulch from Costco or Lowes

Neither. Organic based mulch (non-wood) is better for the soil and your plants. Cocoa shell husks work very well, though need to be replaced every year, but seasons to a nice dark brown. Wood based mulch sucks nitrogen from the plants, and can actually harm plants where it's used. Agway sells this t...
by chw
Sun Mar 28, 2021 6:56 pm
Forum: Personal Investments
Topic: I Bond Sell Strategy
Replies: 82
Views: 6984

Re: I Bond Sell Strategy

I own a significant holding in the 2001 vintage bonds which will mature the same year I start RMDs. I will review my projected tax situation about 3-5 years before age 72 to see if it’s worthwhile to start cashing in some of the bonds early to smooth my projected tax rate as I start RMDs at age 72. ...
by chw
Sat Mar 27, 2021 6:24 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Retire vs resign - Is there a difference?
Replies: 81
Views: 8144

Re: Retire vs resign - Is there a difference?

I “retired” from MC at age 58. For me, the only tangible difference was being able to vest my remaining RSUs over the following 3 years. If I had resigned, it would’ve been assumed I would be working with a competitor, and the RSUs would have evaporated. I strongly encourage you to look through your...
by chw
Fri Mar 26, 2021 9:54 am
Forum: Personal Investments
Topic: Why, just why?! (American Century proposal)
Replies: 32
Views: 3505

Re: Why, just why?! (American Century proposal)

American Century is just trying to make investing your money look complicated (it’s not) to discourage you from doing it yourself. I sat thru a Fidelity presentation by a Private Wealth manager who presented me with something very similar, but even more slices (28 funds!). It was a free review, so d...
by chw
Fri Mar 26, 2021 7:59 am
Forum: Personal Investments
Topic: Private Investing
Replies: 2
Views: 332

Re: Private Investing

Private lending is generally best done by experienced lenders. There are many facets to private lending to consider such as: compliance/disclosure requirements (which if not done properly could nullify the loan), proper underwriting of the loan risk, preparing documentation for the loan, and servici...
by chw
Fri Mar 26, 2021 4:38 am
Forum: Personal Investments
Topic: RSU's after separation: is it earned income?
Replies: 24
Views: 1697

Re: RSU's after separation: is it earned income?

The RSUs will become income when they vest. Until then, no taxes owed.
by chw
Mon Mar 22, 2021 8:50 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Overthinking my Lawnmower Purchase (Push vs. Riding)
Replies: 56
Views: 2918

Re: Overthinking my Lawnmower Purchase (Push vs. Riding)

Have you considered an electric self propelled? I picked one up last fall (80V Kobalt) at Lowe’s on an end of season sale for about $300- it was one of those purchases that exceeded expectations, Low noise level, no gas fumes, easy to handle, no gas or oil to deal with, and plenty of charge for my h...
by chw
Mon Mar 22, 2021 8:42 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Solar Cost Estimate
Replies: 19
Views: 1287

Re: Solar Cost Estimate

I paid about $3 kw before tax credits (MA) 2.5 years ago, with a break even in about 4.5 years. Your quote seems high. I obtained quotes thru EnergySage, which worked well for me. Others here seem to push Tesla, perhaps give them a shot if you feel they could work out.
by chw
Fri Mar 19, 2021 3:50 pm
Forum: Personal Investments
Topic: Roth Pro-Rata Question
Replies: 57
Views: 2632

Re: Roth Pro-Rata Question

If you have the ability to do a reverse rollover with your Trad IRA to your 401k, you can rollover everything but the non- deductible contributions to the 401k. You can then convert the non deductible contributions to your Roth tax free, as well as do a back door Roth contribution tax free. I did ex...
by chw
Thu Mar 18, 2021 9:18 pm
Forum: Personal Investments
Topic: Avoiding Pro Rata on Roth IRA Conversion
Replies: 13
Views: 1453

Re: Avoiding Pro Rata on Roth IRA Conversion

I believe you should be ok, but not sure about the reverse rollover to a self-employed 401k plan- it can be done with a private employer 401k plan. If the reverse rollover is allowable, you should be able to do a direct rollover from Vanguard to the Fidelity 401k. Just make sure you don’t rollover a...
by chw
Thu Mar 18, 2021 6:19 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Live on a lake in Florida?
Replies: 40
Views: 5391

Re: Live on a lake in Florida?

One Con, big gators,,, I’m not kidding either, my parents lived across the street from one of those ponds, and they could not walk outside at night for fear of running into the gators that walked around at night. They were also known to creep into garages that were left open.
by chw
Thu Mar 18, 2021 8:06 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Early retirement math/taxes - am I thinking about this correctly?
Replies: 35
Views: 4106

Re: Early retirement math/taxes - am I thinking about this correctly?

I don’t quite get how you will do the 37k back door Roth rollover after you rollover your 401k to your Trad IRA. Any amount non-deductible amount you are trying to rollover to the Roth will be subject to the pro-rata rule. A few additional thoughts: - if you have good 401K options, don’t be quick to...
by chw
Mon Mar 15, 2021 3:59 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Mortgage Servicing - MrCooper - Prepay full month to enroll in Biweekly Autopay
Replies: 13
Views: 535

Re: Mortgage Servicing - MrCooper - Prepay full month to enroll in Biweekly Autopay

Every servicer has their quirks- generally to get some feature (such as bi-weekly payments), there may be a 30 day implementation period to get it set up on the system. Auto-pay is another feature that almost always requires a borrower to make their first payment manually. I would follow their lead,...
by chw
Mon Mar 15, 2021 1:06 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Hitting your numbers. How to estimate when you have enough.
Replies: 175
Views: 20016

Re: Hitting your numbers. How to estimate when you have enough.

For me was 30x+ “base” living expenses, plus the added on amount we wanted available for enjoying our retirement. We expected is there was a severe economic downturn, we might curtail expenses a bit, but wouldn’t likely have to,
by chw
Sun Mar 14, 2021 2:11 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Re-cycling very old PC-s (not MACs) ..how about using Staples?
Replies: 37
Views: 2709

Re: Re-cycling very old PC-s (not MACs) ..how about using Staples?

Bring to Staples. They will even remove the hard drive for you to destroy at home.
by chw
Sat Mar 13, 2021 9:11 pm
Forum: Personal Investments
Topic: Is Emerging Markets worth it?
Replies: 75
Views: 6433

Re: Is Emerging Markets worth it?

I believe EM is worth holding within an AA to a Total International Fund. I used to be a slice and dicer, but find simplicity is easier to manage, with less volatility. Return difference is negligible over longer periods of time.
by chw
Wed Mar 10, 2021 5:48 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Solar Questions Problems to overcome
Replies: 37
Views: 2982

Re: Solar Questions Problems to overcome

Just a thought in addition to the posters- check with your utility to see if you have excess production from your second home, could that excess be applied to the bill on your primary home (if the same utility). I'm pretty certain that can be done in some jurisdictions, and may help with possibly a...
by chw
Tue Mar 09, 2021 7:13 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Solar Questions Problems to overcome
Replies: 37
Views: 2982

Re: Solar Questions Problems to overcome

Just a thought in addition to the posters- check with your utility to see if you have excess production from your second home, could that excess be applied to the bill on your primary home (if the same utility). I'm pretty certain that can be done in some jurisdictions, and may help with possibly ad...
by chw
Tue Mar 09, 2021 5:03 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: How quickly did you receive your 2020 tax refund?
Replies: 130
Views: 10879

Re: How quickly did you receive your 2020 tax refund?

8 days Federal
3 days State (MA)

efiled both returns with TT.
by chw
Tue Mar 09, 2021 4:54 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: *WHEN* did long-term care insurance prices spike?
Replies: 67
Views: 5307

Re: *WHEN* did long-term care insurance prices spike?

We've had LTC insurance for about 9 years (purchased at 54/56. I was able to purchase a plan through work that required no medical exam- I think purchasing through a large mega-bank employer helped defray premiums. We also thought about self-insuring, but decided to purchase a "middle of the ro...
by chw
Tue Mar 09, 2021 5:58 am
Forum: Personal Investments
Topic: Would you lump sum right now?
Replies: 57
Views: 4274

Re: Would you lump sum right now?

Studies have shown that lump sum works out better than DCA for most long term investors. If the current height of the market concerns you, you could perhaps lump sum 50% now, and pick a time period to DCA the remainder periodically.
by chw
Mon Mar 08, 2021 1:29 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: LTC insurance -- CNA proposes options to lower premium
Replies: 12
Views: 817

Re: LTC insurance -- CNA proposes options to lower premium

I’d be reluctant to reduce the lifetime benefit max- you don’t want to be in a situation where your Dad is using the insurance, is in AL, but his money and benefits are running low. My Mom is currently in AL using her LTC insurance at $8500 mo in a FL facility You say you don’t want a 30 day elimina...
by chw
Sun Mar 07, 2021 8:23 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Career in sales
Replies: 36
Views: 2345

Re: Career in sales

Her college major/minor seem appropriate. I would tell her to see if she can double major/minor in business if possible, or take applicable business related courses. Regarding internships, tell her to work with her advisor to seek out appropriate ones that are available to her, or perhaps tell her t...
by chw
Sun Mar 07, 2021 7:59 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Non-fungible tokens (NFTs): anyone investing in those?
Replies: 246
Views: 17284

Re: Non-fungible tokens (NFTs): anyone investing in those?

Nada. Sounds like a new way to lose money.
by chw
Sat Mar 06, 2021 2:56 pm
Forum: Personal Investments
Topic: Adding “ Value Funds”
Replies: 5
Views: 456

Re: Adding “ Value Funds”

BH philosophy discourages: 1) market timing, and 2) use of actively managed funds.

That being said, if are inclined to tilt towards value as part of your AA, use of the appropriate index fund (LC, SC, Int'l) would be indicated.
by chw
Sat Mar 06, 2021 2:23 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Can Subaru Outback cabin and air filters get really dirty in just 3500 miles?
Replies: 77
Views: 3848

Re: Can Subaru Outback cabin and air filters get really dirty in just 3500 miles?

I had something similar happen to me with my Outback a few years ago, except I had changed the cabin air filter myself the previous week. Fortunately they asked me for preauthorization to put new ones in, after saying they were really filthy. I haven’t gone back to the dealer since except for recall...
by chw
Sat Mar 06, 2021 7:07 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Ebay shipping to China - Any Issues about Fraud?
Replies: 15
Views: 892

Re: Ebay shipping to China - Any Issues about Fraud?

Personally, I would ONLY use eBay Global Shipping for transactions going to any place outside of the US, besides Canada. I sell a ton on eBay and I have only tried direct shipping a few times and there were issues in 80% of those. Of course, some people have much better luck. +1 on using Ebays glob...
by chw
Fri Mar 05, 2021 9:24 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: How to quit a job for retirement
Replies: 84
Views: 9088

Re: How to quit a job for retirement

Just call the boss and quit/give notice. Personally, I would give notice (I had to give 90 days for RSU vesting)- it wasn’t really that bad, and no negative vibe during that time. I rather enjoyed the transition during this time- it allowed me to ease my brain into being done with FT work, and also ...
by chw
Fri Mar 05, 2021 3:24 pm
Forum: Personal Investments
Topic: Buffett on Bonds bleak future
Replies: 28
Views: 4513

Re: Buffett on Bonds bleak future

i tend to agree with the Oracle, but with no where to hide in bonds, the options are CDs, HY MM, Ibonds, EE bonds, etc. Some here may have access to Stable Value Funds in a 401k, which my not have been used widely in the past, but I think are a good option for a large chuck of FI allocation if avail...
by chw
Fri Mar 05, 2021 11:17 am
Forum: Personal Investments
Topic: Stable Value Fund only ~1.5%
Replies: 13
Views: 1820

Re: Stable Value Fund only ~1.5%

I have a 60% slice of my FI in my SVF @ 2.5%-3%. My IPS says to review when BND yield rises to 2.5% for 2 consecutive quarters for reallocating back to the Core Bond Fund in my 401k. At this point, is seems there is greater risk of principal erosion than principal gain with holding a Core Bond fund ...
by chw
Mon Mar 01, 2021 12:57 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: How much leave to the charity in will
Replies: 27
Views: 1500

Re: How much leave to the charity in will

We are leaving a fixed % to a charity of our choice, with the remainder split to heirs.
by chw
Mon Mar 01, 2021 7:51 am
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: look for contemporary strategy, a new boglehead approach?
Replies: 36
Views: 2748

Re: look for contemporary strategy, a new boglehead approach?

I echo some of the responders that you should stick with the Boglehead philosophy. However, in the past year, I have introduced a tilt to ESG in my investments. This type of investing was not widely available years ago as a low cost or passive investment like it is today. I recognize ESG investing i...
by chw
Fri Feb 26, 2021 10:10 pm
Forum: Personal Investments
Topic: Fidelity tax forms
Replies: 11
Views: 1023

Re: Fidelity tax forms

I downloaded into TT no problem this afternoon. I did have trades during the year in addition to dividends.
by chw
Fri Feb 26, 2021 12:22 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Solar...what am I missing?
Replies: 109
Views: 8228

Re: Solar...what am I missing?

It is a no brained. I also live in MA, and did a solar install with an EnergySage installer 2.5 years ago, and everything went as planned. Make sure you get enrolled in the state SMART program which provides additional SREC like payments. I don’t know much about it, as I was enrolled in the SREC pro...
by chw
Wed Feb 24, 2021 9:34 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: wiFi extenders
Replies: 39
Views: 2182

Re: wiFi extenders

Just installed eero mesh last month. Was very easy to setup, and works miles better than our old range extender.
by chw
Tue Feb 23, 2021 6:23 am
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Bonds in free fall
Replies: 657
Views: 54338

Re: Bonds in free fall

I reblanced into a stable value fund this month when a band was triggered...
by chw
Mon Feb 22, 2021 10:42 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Feeding Birds:
Replies: 27
Views: 1802

Re: Feeding Birds:

This is a common problem, that I don't believe there is a solution to. I suspect you probably had rats at your prior home, but didn't see them... We stopped feeding the birds years ago, as it created a problem with mice in our home which was greatly reduced once we stopped attracting them to our yar...
by chw
Sat Feb 20, 2021 6:56 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Retiring to Vermont/New Hampshire area
Replies: 91
Views: 7103

Re: Retiring to Vermont/New Hampshire area

Perhaps the Portsmouth NH area. Not deeply familiar with the area, but it’s a great town to hang in, and not overrun with the ski crowd because it’s near the coast. A plus is that it’s relatively close to Boston for what that city may offer you as well.
by chw
Sat Feb 20, 2021 5:10 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Revealing net worth
Replies: 251
Views: 16536

Re: Revealing net worth

Don’t reveal your net worth to anyone but your spouse- not even your closest friend(s). Nothing good can come from doing so, and most likely unforeseen complications will develop, such as envy, requests for loans, etc...
by chw
Sat Feb 20, 2021 4:39 pm
Forum: Personal Investments
Topic: Very confused about choosing between traditional & roth 401k
Replies: 143
Views: 8386

Re: Very confused about choosing between traditional & roth 401k

OP, I didn't read the entire thread, just your original post... IMO, it's a relatively simple decision- I would split the contributions 50/50 Roth/Traditional 401k, and be done with it. You have many years to go before retiring, and no way to know how your tax brackets will play out. As a retiree my...
by chw
Tue Feb 16, 2021 10:12 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Assisted Living Expenses
Replies: 45
Views: 4440

Re: Assisted Living Expenses

"Assisted living" can mean lots of things, but generally it's nowhere near $9k a month. Generally, it refers to the kind of facilities that are like living in a hotel where they come clean your room periodically and provide a meal or two a day. My understanding of "assisted living&qu...
by chw
Mon Feb 15, 2021 9:06 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Busted water pipe, now what? Help a Texan out.
Replies: 187
Views: 14200

Re: Busted water pipe, now what? Help a Texan out.

If your indoors is still heated, you should be okay with indoor plumbing, unless some of your pipes are buried in exterior walls, in which case, you still may get additional frozen pipes. I'd get a plumber out ASAP to fix the burst pipe so you can get the water turned back on at the main. (Edit) Jus...