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Re: Wash D.C. speed camera - how accurate?

A couple years ago, Washington sent me a ticket for going 9 miles over the speed limit near the intersection of New York and Florida. The mailing included pictures of the white marks on the pavement that they used to measure my speed. I paid the ticket and started slowing down when I see these whit...
by Cash
Tue Aug 19, 2014 9:53 pm
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Wash D.C. speed camera - how accurate?
Replies: 26
Views: 1253

Re: average American eats out 203 times per year

This explains why, when house-hunting, I see so many homes with tiny (useless) kitchens! Apparently, not a turnoff for many of you... lol yeah we use our stove maybe a few times a month (except for my wife's daily tea). The oven maybe a few times a year. A nice microwave and toaster oven are useful.
by Cash
Wed Aug 06, 2014 8:03 am
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: average American eats out 203 times per year
Replies: 105
Views: 6352

Re: average American eats out 203 times per year

We're over that amount. Eating out is one of our favorite pastimes :beer. Of course, if one cannot afford to eat out, one should eat at home.
by Cash
Tue Aug 05, 2014 7:31 pm
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: average American eats out 203 times per year
Replies: 105
Views: 6352

Re: Can we afford a home (little more than $500K)

Thanks everyone for your reply. another question on same line is, currently we plan to put close to $110K as down payment. We have potential to make it $200K. Does it make sense to put $200K ( to put $200K , i would be selling equity which is in taxable account) or just put $110K and continue with ...
by Cash
Tue Aug 05, 2014 7:25 pm
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Can we afford a home (little more than $500K)
Replies: 28
Views: 4314

Re: Eating while travelling

I try to find deals on airfare and (nice) hotels when traveling. I find that is a better use of my time than nickel and diming meals, so we eat wherever looks good. Of course, we love to eat out on a normal basis, so that wouldn't change on vacation.
by Cash
Tue Aug 05, 2014 7:20 pm
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Eating while travelling [Food Budget]
Replies: 26
Views: 2055

Re: Advice for investing $2922/6mo in subsidized student loa

Too bad you didn't have these in the days of 6+% interest rates on FDIC-insured deposits. Now the only way to make enough money to be worth the hassle is through the stock market, which I think is too risky. The yields on CDs, I bonds, etc. aren't high enough to bother with, IMHO. So I would just se...
by Cash
Tue Aug 05, 2014 6:30 am
 
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Advice for investing $2922/6mo in subsidized student loans?
Replies: 10
Views: 558

Re: Arthur Murray Dance Lessons

We also used AM for dance lessons for our wedding. They successfully helped us choreograph our first dance, and we learned some other basics. They do try very hard to upsell, but we resisted. In theory, it would be nice, but we just didn't have the time to commit to it.
by Cash
Sat Aug 02, 2014 11:17 am
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Arthur Murray Dance Lessons
Replies: 18
Views: 906

Re: Uber App in NYC

I've used uber in NYC. It's very reliable and I prefer it to hailing cabs on the street. One thing to note, however, is that if you choose to use uber for a taxi, you will need to pay the driver directly (either cash or using the credit card machine) rather than through the app. This is different fr...
by Cash
Sat Aug 02, 2014 9:02 am
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Uber App in NYC
Replies: 2
Views: 272

Re: Prepayment on mortgage for a not-forever home?

This is a timely thread for me. My wife and I have been thinking through similar issues for a condo that we just bought (except we used a 5/5 ARM and live in a state with no income tax). My initial inclination was to prepay the mortgage, but my wife does not like the idea of having so much money tie...
by Cash
Sat Aug 02, 2014 8:58 am
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Prepayment on mortgage for a not-forever home?
Replies: 33
Views: 2281

Re: Assistance Requested! First Time to US + NYC/DC

dolphinsaremammals wrote:A lot of DC is very much unsafe.


I assume you haven't been to DC in this millennium? The only places to avoid are those that would have nothing for a tourist to see.
by Cash
Fri Aug 01, 2014 6:40 pm
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Assistance Requested! First Time to US + NYC/DC
Replies: 15
Views: 929

Re: Will not using my dishwasher cause problems?

I'm fascinated by the number of people here who have dishwashers but don't use them. My wife and I eat out a lot, so we run ours only once or twice a week. Still, I cannot fathom preferring to wash all of our dishes by hand. It's annoying enough to do it for the wine and whiskey glasses and other su...
by Cash
Fri Aug 01, 2014 6:36 pm
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Will not using my dishwasher cause problems?
Replies: 51
Views: 3076

Re: Paycheck division/saving for yearly expenses & contribut

My bank (Alliant Credit Union) allows multiple supplemental savings accounts. You can set them up online and title them as you wish (e.g., "House Purchase"). With Alliant, I would have everything deposited into my checking account and then set up automatic, recurring transfers into the sav...
by Cash
Sat Jul 26, 2014 6:02 pm
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Paycheck division/saving for yearly expenses & contributions
Replies: 10
Views: 1243

Re: Reducing picture file size in kb

Just tried it with MS Office Picture Mgr. Reduced a 34.7 Kb jpeg to 5.7 Kb (picked email) This is what I typically use as well. Much easier than Paint. I usually access it by right clicking on the photo, going to "Open With", and then clicking on "Microsoft Office Picture Manager&quo...
by Cash
Sat Jul 26, 2014 5:57 pm
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Reducing picture file size in kb
Replies: 14
Views: 633

Re: how often do you look at your account

I guess I'm the opposite. If things are doing well, no need to look. But if the market has a really bad day, I need to look in order to decide where to get money to buy something. +1 Moreover, most of our investments are on automatic, and I use Google Finance and a spreadsheet to track our holdings...
by Cash
Sun Jul 20, 2014 10:15 pm
 
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: how often do you look at your account
Replies: 70
Views: 3653

Re: What to look for in HOA resale package

I agree with sscritic's list, but I would also add the financials in addition to the reserve study. The reserve study will tell how much the HOA should be saving in the reserves; the financials will tell you whether they're actually doing it; the minutes will tell you whether the HOA anticipates any...
by Cash
Sun Jul 20, 2014 12:33 pm
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: What to look for in HOA resale package
Replies: 9
Views: 934

Re: What to look for in HOA resale package

I had to get a resale package when we sold our DC condo. My package included all of the latest HOA documents, including the rules and regulations, the insurance policy, and the YTD budget numbers. I'd find those three documents to be more interesting than whether they calculated my fee correctly.
by Cash
Sun Jul 20, 2014 8:26 am
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: What to look for in HOA resale package
Replies: 9
Views: 934

Re: Millennials (with jobs) are super-saving their retiremen

From what I read, very few people are in the US are saving 15%, let alone 10%. I suppose anyone at 15% that would make those who do "super savers", at least relative to everyone else. Meh, it really depends on your income. If you're making $20k and saving 15%, that's excellent. If you're ...
by Cash
Sun Jul 20, 2014 7:51 am
 
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Millennials (with jobs) are super-saving their retirement
Replies: 65
Views: 9534

Re: Just purchased a condo. Insurance question

Yeah it really depends on the HOA's master insurance policy. Somehow both of the condos we've bought have been in buildings whose insurance policies covered not only the common elements but also the appliances in each unit. We really needed only to insure our furniture and such (plus coverage for sl...
by Cash
Sat Jul 19, 2014 8:18 am
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Just purchased a condo. Insurance question
Replies: 10
Views: 961

Re: Moving from Midwest to Coastal Cities: COL Adjustment?

Housing is going to be far and away the biggest difference. But as for others you mentioned: where I live a nice restaurant is $15 max including tips. That's the about cost of a sandwich in larger cities. May or may not include chips. At your average restaurant, entrees are in the $20-30 range. Drin...
by Cash
Sun Jul 13, 2014 9:02 am
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Moving from Midwest to Coastal Cities: COL Adjustment?
Replies: 25
Views: 2588

Re: Made a Mistake by Maxing out 401k - Need Advice

I also ran into this issue this year. I contacted my old employer about withdrawing excess contributions, but the administrator seemed to have no idea what I was talking about. In the end, I decided that it wasn't worth the hassle and took it as a lesson to structure one's 401(k) contributions over ...
by Cash
Sat Jul 12, 2014 9:08 pm
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Made a Mistake by Maxing out 401k - Need Advice
Replies: 16
Views: 3775

Re: [Housing] Are we in a position to buy DC-area real estat

We recently sold our beloved condo in DC to move to another state (where, of course, we purchased a condo 50% bigger for half the price). I think others have raised the most relevant considerations for you. You can afford the house; a metric like 2x salary that might work in certain LCOL areas of th...
by Cash
Sat Jul 05, 2014 7:53 am
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: [Housing] Are we in a position to buy DC-area real estate?
Replies: 9
Views: 806

Re: Does Vanguard offer money wire option toward a title com

When I was investigating this about a month ago, I concluded that it wasn't worth the hassle. You have to download the one-time wire transfer form, get a medallion signature guarantee (a PITA), then mail the form to Vanguard. Instead, I sold the funds, did an ACH transfer to my credit union, then wi...
by Cash
Thu Jun 26, 2014 7:27 am
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Does Vanguard offer money wire option toward a title company
Replies: 17
Views: 923

Re: Considering Paying off Home

stan1 wrote:if you are saving more like $50K+/year I'd get it done and over.


If he's saving that much per year, might be better to make extra payments rather than take the tax hit of cashing out the taxable account.
by Cash
Sun Jun 22, 2014 8:03 am
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Considering Paying off Home
Replies: 17
Views: 1179

Re: GoogleFinance price quotes for TSP Funds

This is great. Thanks, hoppy!
by Cash
Sat Jun 21, 2014 8:56 am
 
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: GoogleFinance price quotes for TSP Funds
Replies: 11
Views: 1535

Re: Maxed out 401k (no match) ... New job (6% match!) Option

If you can max out your 401(k) that early, you might be in backdoor Roth land, so be careful with that IRA. I found myself in a similar position this year, contacted my old employer about withdrawing the contributions, determined that the administrator had no idea what I was talking about, and decid...
by Cash
Tue May 13, 2014 6:43 am
 
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Maxed out 401k (no match) ... New job (6% match!) Options?
Replies: 13
Views: 1635

Re: Roll over good 401(k) into TSP?

Thanks for the replies! I was leaning toward rolling it over and it looks like that is the consensus.
by Cash
Sun May 04, 2014 9:57 am
 
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Roll over good 401(k) into TSP?
Replies: 4
Views: 399

Roll over good 401(k) into TSP?

I am about to have access to the TSP due to a job change. My current 401(k) is pretty good. I use the brokerage option to purchase Vanguard ETFs and TIPS. There is no charge for the brokerage option, but I do pay $12 per ETF trade and $50 per TIPS purchase. With TSP, I'd probably use the G fund inst...
by Cash
Sat May 03, 2014 9:34 am
 
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Roll over good 401(k) into TSP?
Replies: 4
Views: 399

Re: Amazon Prime Increase

$1 more and I probably would not renew. But there's still value at $99 for me (and probably at $100 too, but there's a psychological barrier that Amazon is probably aware of).
by Cash
Thu Mar 13, 2014 8:48 am
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Amazon Prime Increase
Replies: 185
Views: 9295

Re: AT&T Mobile Users: Check your plans

I switch to this ATT plan without spending $1000 extra. 2 lines unlimited talk, unlimited text, and 10GB data for $105 plus tax. There's new plan out tomorrow from ATT. 2 lines unlimited talk, unlimited text, and shared 2GB data for $90. I have never gone above 0.5GB so will try to switch again tom...
by Cash
Tue Mar 11, 2014 7:42 am
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: AT&T Mobile Users: Check your plans
Replies: 55
Views: 6765

Re: Portfolio Advice for early-career couple

Your savings rate seems low for someone in the 33% bracket with no debt. It does not appear that you are even maxing out your retirement accounts. But perhaps you are saving a lot of cash for your down payment. I agree with the other posters that you would benefit from simplification.
by Cash
Sun Feb 23, 2014 10:33 am
 
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Portfolio Advice for early-career couple
Replies: 9
Views: 851

Re: 30 yr TIPs auction announced 2/13- any takers?

I think the regs say under par. Oh, is that right? Maybe I will stop selling more than I need to then. Under par certainly makes planning easier. should help you out 1 year from now. the next 2 auctions are re-openings so that rule doesn't apply Ah, good point. I'm now done for this year, but I wil...
by Cash
Thu Feb 20, 2014 5:35 pm
 
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: 30 yr TIPs auction announced 2/13- any takers?
Replies: 131
Views: 8689

Re: 30 yr TIPs auction announced 2/13- any takers?

Doc wrote:I think the regs say under par.


Oh, is that right? Maybe I will stop selling more than I need to then. Under par certainly makes planning easier.
by Cash
Thu Feb 20, 2014 3:11 pm
 
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: 30 yr TIPs auction announced 2/13- any takers?
Replies: 131
Views: 8689

Re: Getting tempted to toss WellsTrade and a move to Vanguar

I like the idea of consolidating at Vanguard for Bogleheads, but don't do it myself. You can give VG a try with a partial transfer. In same boat as you. Right now everything is set up decent, one log in/one statement for all accounts for the most part. I need to mull this over some more. Given all ...
by Cash
Thu Feb 20, 2014 10:17 am
 
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Getting tempted to toss WellsTrade and a move to Vanguard
Replies: 26
Views: 1253

Re: Traditional IRA for 62-year-old

dickenjb wrote:
Cash wrote:Yes, she works part-time.


Traditional IRA withdrawals might later cause her SS to be taxed.


Hm, I hadn't thought about that. But we're only talking about $2-3k here, and this will be her first IRA, so should we be concerned about SS taxation?
by Cash
Thu Feb 20, 2014 10:13 am
 
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Traditional IRA for 62-year-old
Replies: 6
Views: 287

Re: Traditional IRA for 62-year-old

Yes, she works part-time.
by Cash
Thu Feb 20, 2014 8:49 am
 
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Traditional IRA for 62-year-old
Replies: 6
Views: 287

Traditional IRA for 62-year-old

I'm doing my mother-in-law's taxes. She's 62. Am I correct that if she is under the income threshold, she can contribute to a traditional IRA for 2013, deduct that amount from her 2013 income, and then be able to withdraw money from the IRA penalty-free whenever she wants? I've skimmed Publication 5...
by Cash
Thu Feb 20, 2014 8:41 am
 
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Traditional IRA for 62-year-old
Replies: 6
Views: 287

Re: Getting tempted to toss WellsTrade and a move to Vanguar

I dumped WellsTrade for Vanguard last year. I don't miss WellsTrade. In fact, I was quite happy to avoid what had become an annual rigmarole with WellsTrade to do two backdoor Roth IRAs. Easy as pie with Vanguard because it can all be done online--no multiple faxes and multiple phone calls and weeks...
by Cash
Wed Feb 19, 2014 8:31 pm
 
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Getting tempted to toss WellsTrade and a move to Vanguard
Replies: 26
Views: 1253

Re: Pay off student loan or invest?

You're not going to earn much trying to leverage $15k. Pay it off.
by Cash
Wed Feb 19, 2014 4:03 pm
 
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Pay off student loan or invest?
Replies: 12
Views: 872

Re: AT&T Mobile Users: Check your plans

I do see that shared plans might create some other side-effects though (one or two members or the family consuming without restraints) You can restrict data access to a line from your online account. I've never tried this since the only other user on my shared account is my wife, but I imagine it w...
by Cash
Mon Feb 17, 2014 11:13 am
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: AT&T Mobile Users: Check your plans
Replies: 55
Views: 6765

Re: Buy order, etf on weekend?

It sounds like you should stick to mutual funds. Placing after-hours ETF orders is an easy way to get hosed.
by Cash
Sat Feb 15, 2014 4:07 pm
 
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Buy order, etf on weekend?
Replies: 7
Views: 551

Re: Buenos Aires and Macchu Picchu?

We went to Machu Picchu last June. Words simply do not do it justice. I echo the advise to stay in Aguas Calientes and then take an early morning bus up to MP. It wasn't terribly crowded when we arrived, and we were able to watch the sunrise. Then we hiked Huayna Picchu, which I'd also highly recomm...
by Cash
Sat Feb 15, 2014 12:29 pm
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Buenos Aires and Macchu Picchu?
Replies: 20
Views: 1853

Re: Paying back student loans- Am I being too aggressive???

We have a similar income to yours and also had six figures in student loans (no car debt though). For a while, we prioritized investing over the loans. That was probably the right move in hindsight, because we were saving a lot during the 2009-13 run-up in the stock market. Would I do the same now? ...
by Cash
Thu Feb 13, 2014 9:45 am
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Paying back student loans- Am I being too aggressive???
Replies: 33
Views: 2937

Re: AT&T Mobile Users: Check your plans

You know, it appears to make sense to switch, but it's not exactly a no-brainer bargain. I can save $80 a month on my bill (four phones), which is great. I already have 10GB of shared data, so that wouldn't change. But I will have to pay full price for replacement phones. So, I save $20 a month per...
by Cash
Wed Feb 12, 2014 9:13 pm
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: AT&T Mobile Users: Check your plans
Replies: 55
Views: 6765

Re: AT&T Mobile Users: Check your plans

investingholder wrote:I just wanted to say thank you to the OP. I changed our plan and we are saving a bit money for more data and text, and more importantly - no longer on contract.


Great, glad you were able to save money as well!
by Cash
Wed Feb 12, 2014 9:08 pm
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: AT&T Mobile Users: Check your plans
Replies: 55
Views: 6765

Re: When did/do you want stocks to start rising?

One consequence of this observation is that there is no such thing as "good for investors." There may be, "good for young investors" or "good for retired investors" but in reality, those groups want completely different outcomes for their stock investments. The former ...
by Cash
Tue Feb 11, 2014 7:25 pm
 
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: When did/do you want stocks to start rising?
Replies: 58
Views: 3427

Re: When did/do you want stocks to start rising?

I think Bernstein talks about this in Ages of the Investor . Much better to start your career in a bear market and retire during a bull than vice versa. I'm with letsgobobby...hoping for the market to go sideways (b/c I don't like losing money either...) for a long while, then a bull in about 15 yea...
by Cash
Mon Feb 10, 2014 8:41 pm
 
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: When did/do you want stocks to start rising?
Replies: 58
Views: 3427

Re: 30 yr TIPs auction announced 2/13- any takers?

I'm planning on buying too. Hopefully we'll get that 1.5%...
by Cash
Mon Feb 10, 2014 3:23 pm
 
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: 30 yr TIPs auction announced 2/13- any takers?
Replies: 131
Views: 8689

Re: AT&T Mobile Users: Check your plans

This is exactly how I feel. My wife and teenage sons go through phones just about exactly every two years. So am I saving $30/month now to spend $600 on each new iPhone in 2 years? Why would you prefer to pay the phone company an extra $600 over 2 years and be locked into a contract? At least by sa...
by Cash
Thu Feb 06, 2014 10:46 am
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: AT&T Mobile Users: Check your plans
Replies: 55
Views: 6765

Re: AT&T Mobile Users: Check your plans

This is exactly how I feel. My wife and teenage sons go through phones just about exactly every two years. So am I saving $30/month now to spend $600 on each new iPhone in 2 years? Why would you prefer to pay the phone company an extra $600 over 2 years and be locked into a contract? At least by sa...
by Cash
Thu Feb 06, 2014 9:57 am
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: AT&T Mobile Users: Check your plans
Replies: 55
Views: 6765

Re: AT&T Mobile Users: Check your plans

Now that ATT is on board with these bring-your-own-device plans, many more people are going to see how much they can save by getting a cheaper phone, so I imagine we're going to start seeing much more competition on that front. I read an article recently that examined iPhone pricing and how much App...
by Cash
Thu Feb 06, 2014 8:10 am
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: AT&T Mobile Users: Check your plans
Replies: 55
Views: 6765
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