whisky_in_your_water t1_jealw8s wrote

> Meanwhile, the minimum wage here is still $7.25

I don't know about your area, but mine (Utah) has a similar (same?) minimum wage and pretty much nobody actually makes that wage, almost everyone is >$10/hr at "minimum" wage jobs. Places are still understaffed and having to raise prices so they can afford to pay higher wages because the labor supply just isn't there.

It's still bad, looking at minimum wage isn't particularly helpful.


whisky_in_your_water t1_jeacjev wrote

You mentioned you're in Canada, so you can use this calculator to estimate your tax due, which might help you figure out where the discrepancy is. I don't know how Canadian taxes work, so I'm not sure if that sum includes provincial tax or not.

You may have better luck on /r/PersonalFinanceCanada/ since this is a very Canada-specific question.


whisky_in_your_water t1_jad0k2u wrote

Hope it helped!

The main takeaway is that more funds doesn't necessarily mean you're more diversified. I have VTIAX and VFWAX, but they're pretty much the same thing. Likewise with VOO and VTI.

The important thing is to decide what allocation you want, and then buy funds that provide that. Unfortunately, there are as many fund allocation strategies as funds, so it can be complicated.

Good luck! I'm happy to answer any questions.


whisky_in_your_water t1_jacyjkb wrote

Health Equity kinda sucks, but as others have mentioned, you can do a trustee to trustee transfer at any point.

If they charge a fee, you can instead do a yearly (rolling 365-day period, not calendar year) indirect rollover where you withdraw money like you would if you're reimbursing yourself, and then deposit into your new HSA. If they give you checks, just send a check with a form to Fidelity . Either way, make sure to tick the rollover checkbox so it doesn't get coded as a contribution. You need to complete the transfer within 60 days or it'll be considered a withdrawal instead.

I now have Optum Bank which sucks in many similar ways, and I do regular transfers and haven't had any issues for ~2 years now, so it should work fine for pretty much any HSA. Just pay attention to fees in case your HSA assesses one.

Another less likely option is to ask your payroll department if you can just have your contributions to straight to your new HSA. Some employers allow it, some don't.


whisky_in_your_water t1_jacxb8f wrote

But why buy three if one do trick?

You could buy:

  • ~85% VOO (large cap)
  • ~10% IVOO (mid cap)
  • ~5% VTWO (small cap)

And then you'd just get something very close to VTI/VTSAX performance, but a lot more complicated.

Alternatively, you could buy an international fund to further diversify, but then you could just switch to VT/VTWAX, assuming you're looking for a global market cap weighted strategy.

In other words: don't buy funds to have more funds. But the funds you need to match your strategy.

I try to buy as few funds as I can to get my desired asset allocation, currently, that's something like 7 because of fund options are various institutions (e.g. S&P 500 + small cap in 401k, FXROX and FZILX in my Fidelity HSA, both VTIAX and VFWAX in my taxable brokerage for TLH, and VTSAX in my IRA).


whisky_in_your_water t1_jacuacd wrote

VTSAX isn't an ETF, it's a mutual fund. The ETF class for that fund is VTI.

Otherwise you're correct. VTSAX owns a piece of pretty much every publicly traded company in the US, in amounts consistent with each company's valuation (i.e. it buys much more Apple stock than, say, AMC).


whisky_in_your_water t1_jactbhw wrote

Another option is a bond tent. Basically, shift your portfolio to 40% bonds as you get closer to retirement (say, over 5-10 years), and then glide back down to 100% stocks over 10 years or so. This is more useful for early retirees expecting a long retirement, but it can certainly work for anyone retiring at any age.

The intuition is that the biggest risk is sequence of returns risk, i.e. taking a big hit (your 30%) in the first few years of retirement, so the plan is to just protect the first 10 years or so of retirement. Invested money approximately doubles every 10 years, so your 60% stocks should be 120% of their original value after 10 years, which is enough buffer to ride out another hit without needing bonds.

This strategy obviously takes some effort, so it's only really valuable if you expect to have a long time horizon.


whisky_in_your_water t1_j9ot1sc wrote


whisky_in_your_water t1_j8cck05 wrote

  1. Read the summary
  2. Read a few Goodreads reviews
  3. Maybe skim a few pages to see if the style is my thing

That's really it. I don't care much about cover art, I mostly care about character development and good enough writing to not be distracting. The reviews largely give me the first, and skimming the book a bit gives me the second.


whisky_in_your_water t1_j6rnq5c wrote

In my corner of the US, you can have the city arborist classify a tree as a "heritage tree," which protects it from removal. It needs to meet certain requirements, like being old, iconic, and/or rare, but it's an option if you really feel passionate about it.

It's not nearly the same as the German policy, but it's probably fairly common throughout the US.


whisky_in_your_water t1_j6mv6cu wrote

TL;DR - If it's for an IRA, Fidelity, Schwab, and Vanguard are all great. If it's for a taxable account, they're still all great, but there are some important differences.

As others have said, consider Vanguard as well. Honestly, all three of them are solid and for a pure individual investment account, I can't really say which is best because they're all great. Some things that might push you toward one over the others:

  • if it's for a taxable brokerage account - Vanguard mutual funds can be converted to ETFs without a taxable event
  • Schwab's debit card is great (no foreign transaction fees, no ATM withdrawal fees worldwide)
  • Fidelity's debit card is great (largely same as Schwab, but has a 1% foreign transaction fee)
  • Fidelity has a 2% cash back credit card and a rewards debit card (Bloom; no international ATM fee rebate and higher foreign transaction fee; can have both Bloom and Fidelity debit cards)

If it's just for an IRA, none of the above matters and it all comes down to fund selection, and both are very good. If you're going to buy ETFs, it matters even less.


whisky_in_your_water t1_j2es2lg wrote

I recommend opening a Roth IRA at one of the big firms, meaning Vanguard, Schwab, or Fidelity. Here's what I recommend buying at each:

  • Vanguard - VT - spreads your money around to pretty much every public company in the world; when you get up to $3k invested, you can change to VTWAX and set up automatic investments
  • Schwab - SWTSX (US stocks) and SWISX (international stocks) - do 60% SWTSX, 40% SWISX
  • Fidelity - FZROX (US stocks) and FZILX (international stocks) - do 60% FZROX and 40% SWISX

Do that until you have a better idea of what you want.


whisky_in_your_water t1_j2c8d3g wrote

I don't really do much since I keep things updated throughout the year. My regular monthly or bimonthly "maintenance" is:

  • update share totals in my spreadsheet for all investments - I have it fetch quotes, so it stays pretty accurate even if I forget to update share totals
  • double check to make sure bills are being paid on time
  • check FICO score and report (I use Experian app)
  • review and categorize transactions in my PF app
  • transfer HSA funds into my Fidelity HSA (I do this about 4x/year)

But there are a few things I do approximately yearly:

  • checking all of my credit cards to make sure I have spent something on them - I don't want them getting closed from inactivity, and I have a bunch
  • review yearly average spending across categories (I do this once or twice in the middle of the year too), and set goals for next year
  • look at auto and home insurance premiums to decide if I should shop around - I'll be looking for both before April
  • change password on important accounts
  • gather estimates from my wife for taxes so I have a feel for what that should look like (I model taxes in my spreadsheet)

whisky_in_your_water t1_j27scq8 wrote

> major market shift

That really is the main unknown here. The used car market was pretty good prior to COVID, but disruptions in supply chain for new cars saw drastically reduced supply. So it's not that analysts were wrong, it's just that analysts didn't foresee the COVID pandemic and the global economic response that ensued.

As rates rise, parts become more available, and employment outlook gets more uncertain, people will buy fewer cars. That's just how demand works. So dealerships are going to be forced to either cut prices or sit on inventory.

> Hertz

With a rising market, there's a lot of demand to soak up that supply. When there isn't enough new stock coming in, people will buy what's available.

We're in a falling market, so if Carvana dumps a bunch of supply, it's absolutely going to shake things up. Dealerships would be able to buy cars at a steep discount, so they can afford to take losses on some of their inventory if they make profit from those liquidated cars. If your basis is 10% more than market value and you can buy cars at 20% under market value, you'll still make a profit if you sell at a 1:1 ratio, or break even if you sell 2:1 old vs new stock.

I'm only worried about dealerships if demand dries up before they can get through the old stock (e.g. unemployment jumps). As long as we continue this measured market correction where unemployment remains low, I think they'll be fine, they'll just make their money more from financing than sales price.


whisky_in_your_water t1_j27hf6l wrote

They're unlikely to drop relative to pre-2020 levels, but they should get pretty close.

I'm talking specifically about used cars here, and you can see in the Manheim wholesale used car index that the wholesale market has already dropped considerably over the last few months, and it's likely to continue dropping. The used market hasn't dropped much, but that's likely to happen as inventory builds up and dealerships need to liquidate their inventory. If Carvana and similar companies go under, that's another flood of used cars hitting the market.

The situation for new cars has gotten better as well, with production numbers improving and prices coming back down to MSRP. Supply is starting to match demand, but it'll probably take longer for the new car market than the used car market simply because new cars didn't experience nearly as much price inflation as used cars, they just had limited availability (i.e. you'd get on a wait-list for months).

Both are improving, and time will tell if that continues or if we have another supply chain disruption.


whisky_in_your_water t1_j25lnzi wrote

> I fear my social life will tank bc I cannot easily see my friends or do things

How often do you go out? An Uber/Lyft is usually $15-20, so do you go out more than 20 times/month? Because that's how many Uber/Lfyt rides you could get for $800/month.

I'm guessing you go out like once/week, so you're looking at <$200/month with Uber/Lyft intead of the car, assuming you go to destinations nearby (restaurants, friends' houses, etc).

> Mobile Phone: 151

That's really expensive. I don't know what coverage looks like in Philidelphia, but you can get unlimited data w/ Mint Mobile (T-mobile service) for $30/month. $151/month is $1800/year, $30/month is $360/year. If you switched to Mint, you could buy a new flagship phone every year. If this is for both of you, you could buy a flagship phone every other year.

I personally spend a lot less ($10 for Tello w/ 1GB data; $200 phone every 2-3 years) because I don't need unlimited or the latest phone. Everyone is different, but definitely reevaluate this.

> Internet: 123

That's horrendous, what are you getting for that?

$125 is gigabit in my area, and we don't get that because we don't need it, despite me working at home. We instead spend $55 for 50/10 internet, which is plenty for us (we stream, work, play games, etc).

Reevaluate this as well, you can probably save 50% or so.

> groceries: 200 Eating Out: 200

This seems really low, so good job. The USDA puts a couple at ~$600/month for food on the thrifty plan.

> NOTE: My partner and I are trying to make a move out of the country by June 2023 so my main directive is to save as much as we can for that hopeful move

Then absolutely get rid of the car. The used car market is dropping and will continue to drop over the next year, so you're going to get less and less for it the longer you wait.

If you can get rid of the car and make adjustments as per above, you can probably save ~$1k/month:

  • car - $800 - (550+103+120+25)
  • phone - $100 - get Mint for you and your partner; I doubt you'll need unlimited, so consider the 4GB plan @$15/month; there's no contract, so cancel when you move
  • internet - $50 - call to ask for promos or switch to a lower tier internet

Then subtract whatever you expect to pay for Uber.