Search found 1003 matches

by chw
Wed Apr 21, 2021 3:37 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: House appraisal in insane market
Replies: 30
Views: 3325

Re: House appraisal in insane market

Appraisers are trained professionals, and generally will provide a value that is accurate to within 5% to a properties true value. On a purchase transaction, if the appraiser feels the sale price of the home falls within that 5%, he will usually support the sale price on the appraisal. The fact tha...
by chw
Wed Apr 21, 2021 4:50 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: House appraisal in insane market
Replies: 30
Views: 3325

Re: House appraisal in insane market

You are going to be hard pressed to challenge that. This is what happens in markets like this. What is your realtor doing RE: this? A few solutions: 1) Seller drops price 2) You pony up a higher down payment to cover the gap 3) You and seller meet in the middle In our current house, bought 8-years ...
by chw
Tue Apr 20, 2021 5:47 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Raised Garden Beds - Building Material
Replies: 62
Views: 4095

Re: Raised Garden Beds - Building Material

2x10 or 2x12 Douglas Fir boards should work nicely. Avoid PT though some say it is safe. Also consider building a 2’ high fence framed with 2”x2” spruce, and hardware cloth that sit on top of the raised bed frame. We have serious critters in our yard, and without them, anything in the raised beds wo...
by chw
Mon Apr 19, 2021 6:03 pm
Forum: Personal Investments
Topic: $1,000,000 In An Ally Savings Account?
Replies: 51
Views: 6616

Re: $1,000,000 In An Ally Savings Account?

Interesting, so it looks like the FDIC actually insures you more if your account beneficiary is your revocable trust: https://www.fdic.gov/deposit/covered/trust.html I have a revocable trust listed as my beneficiary at Ally and I have 4 beneficiaries within that trust. Does that mean I have $1,000,...
by chw
Mon Apr 19, 2021 5:55 pm
Forum: Personal Investments
Topic: $1,000,000 In An Ally Savings Account?
Replies: 51
Views: 6616

Re: $1,000,000 In An Ally Savings Account?

I would not, unless I had full FDIC for the money held there (250k limit pp). Last time I looked at the financials of the bank, I believe their financials were mediocre. I would find 3 other HY savings accounts to split the cash. Fortunately this can be accomplished relatively quickly only.
by chw
Mon Apr 19, 2021 5:47 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Did you move for better weather? Did you regret it?
Replies: 188
Views: 19316

Re: Did you move for better weather? Did you regret it?

Hawaii > Northern Arizona HCOL vs> LCOL ++++ City vs> Country +++++ Congestion, Traffic, Noise, Stress vs > Quiet > More free range cattle than people ++++ Golf Weather Year Round vs> 4 seasons -- + -- -- -- + White sand beaches vs> Mountains and open range land - - - - - - International / Hawaiian...
by chw
Sun Apr 18, 2021 6:05 am
Forum: Personal Investments
Topic: Dividend stocks or index in Roth IRA?
Replies: 12
Views: 1397

Re: Dividend stocks or index in Roth IRA?

With the information known: 1) Roth IRA- since all earnings and growth are tax free, you would invest in equities expected to have maximum growth. Generally a Total Market index fund like VTI would work nicely. 2) Taxable brokerage account- same idea as Roth, though dividends and capital gains may b...
by chw
Thu Apr 15, 2021 2:47 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: How close to retirement age would you start to coast instead of grinding it out?
Replies: 125
Views: 12217

Re: How close to retirement age would you start to coast instead of grinding it out?

I think this question depends on the type of job/career you work in. I was unable to "coast" into retirement, though if I had the opportunity (and I did mull over if it was possible in some way), I would have considered it. As it worked out, not being able to "coast" likely let m...
by chw
Sat Apr 10, 2021 6:18 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Gardening 2021
Replies: 37
Views: 3054

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: 3346

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: 6753

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: 20
Views: 2948

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: 1661

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: 4176

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: 4176

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: 7052

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: 8151

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: 3523

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: 335

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: 1710

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: 2936

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: 1288

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: 2648

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: 1457

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: 5408

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: 4109

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: 541

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: 20045

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: 2710

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: 6487

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: 3044

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: 3044

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: 145
Views: 12249

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: 5311

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: 4290

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: 2348

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: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Non-fungible tokens (NFTs): anyone investing in those?
Replies: 246
Views: 17436

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: 461

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: 3851

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: 893

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: 9091

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: 4523

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: 1829

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: 1501

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: 1027

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: 8239

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...