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Re: Roof shingle selection

I'm also confused if you need to match the old roof in color and texture.

If you get to start over, and if summer heat is an issue, consider a "white" (whitish) color shingle, it helps reflect heat.
by Easy Rhino
Mon Apr 20, 2015 5:45 pm
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Roof shingle selection
Replies: 16
Views: 1357

Re: “Entry level” luxury cars under 40k

I have a 15 year old A4. The maintenance is a pain (no huge failures, just expensive upkeep and repairs)

I drove a loan A3 one weekend, years ago. It was very fun. Tiny, but fun.

the talk of Subaru WRX's got me thinking... what about a Mitsubishi Lancer with AWD?
by Easy Rhino
Mon Apr 20, 2015 5:40 pm
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: “Entry level” luxury cars under 40k
Replies: 93
Views: 7886

Re: How smart are thermostats?

We have the relatively plain programmable thermostat that was in the house when we moved in. (M-Fri and Sat and Sun schedules). It seems fine for our uses. Weekday schedules are pretty consistent, weekends are unpredictable so we just leave it at flat temperature. It seems fine, i'm not sure what a ...
by Easy Rhino
Wed Apr 15, 2015 5:00 pm
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: How smart are thermostats?
Replies: 43
Views: 3031

Re: How much should a small tile floor (3' X 5') cost? $2000

Are you going to be replacing it with 'traditional' tile, i.e. stone or porcelain on a mortar bed? Might get a quote from tilers instead of carpenters. The tile portion sounds more demanding than replacing the plywood. Also, if the flooding was extensive, there may be rot or mold, so you might find ...
by Easy Rhino
Wed Apr 15, 2015 4:44 pm
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: How much should a small tile floor (3' X 5') cost? $2000?
Replies: 47
Views: 3147

Re: I... must... stop... Spending!

The amount of saving may depend on when you say you're maxing 401k and Roth, if you mean just you or you and your wife. Could be between $23k and $46k. The good news is, you know, that's a lot of savings. Bad news is that you may be setting yourself up on a wobbly stool. With negative cash flow and ...
by Easy Rhino
Tue Apr 14, 2015 6:42 pm
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: I... must... stop... Spending!
Replies: 25
Views: 3777

Re: my review of my HSA with Saturna brokerage

Rainier wrote:I've got all my forms filled, just don't want to botch the rollover from UMB.

The distribution form UMB doesn't really matter, there's no special reporting code they need to use.

When you mail the check to Saturna, include a note that it's a rollover contribution.
by Easy Rhino
Wed Mar 25, 2015 9:26 am
 
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: my review of my HSA with Saturna brokerage
Replies: 57
Views: 11926

Re: Measuring duct volume and/or temperature

a contractor was doing some tests at our place, but I wasn't paying very careful attention. One device would measure velocity of air in the ducts (I think this device was only mentioned, not actually used). Another was a device that would measure the air pressure in the room. Then you could relative...
by Easy Rhino
Wed Mar 25, 2015 2:22 am
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Measuring duct volume and/or temperature
Replies: 6
Views: 508

Re: Manufactured Spending - Good Idea / Bad Idea?

I've had a few credit cards shut down by the banks for excessive use, and had two audit-type people at two different brokerages call me up and tell me to "cool it" for excessive money transfers.

So yes, there can be downsides.
by Easy Rhino
Wed Mar 25, 2015 2:19 am
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Manufactured Spending - Good Idea / Bad Idea?
Replies: 109
Views: 9547

Re: my review of my HSA with Saturna brokerage

Which fund is it? In general, if you look at the NAV of the fund from the same date for the same ticker, then it should be the same.

Saturna's going to charge transaction fees on purchase, is there any chance that's accounting for the perceived performance difference?
by Easy Rhino
Tue Mar 24, 2015 5:58 pm
 
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: my review of my HSA with Saturna brokerage
Replies: 57
Views: 11926

Re: my review of my HSA with Saturna brokerage

Those types of questions are fairly common when I've opened brokerage accounts. More intrusive than a bank account. I believe some questions regarding day-trading, for instance, are required by the SEC. I haven't been contacted by Saturna for any reason whatsoever, except when I accidentally made my...
by Easy Rhino
Fri Mar 20, 2015 7:06 pm
 
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: my review of my HSA with Saturna brokerage
Replies: 57
Views: 11926

Re: One Level or Two Level House

I'm not aged yet, but I simply prefer single story, if you can get it.

Our house is mostly single story. One large room (formerly an apartment) is downstairs.
by Easy Rhino
Tue Mar 17, 2015 5:54 pm
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: One Level or Two Level House
Replies: 68
Views: 5884

Re: Is a larger home downpayment worth it?

Where is the house, and perhaps more importantly, what lenders are you getting mortgage quotes from? i'm also surprised that there's a difference between 70% and 80% LTV. (Maybe it's exceeding fannie/freddie jumbo guidelines or something). 10% of an expensive house is, well, a lot of money, probably...
by Easy Rhino
Tue Mar 17, 2015 5:21 pm
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Is a larger home downpayment worth it?
Replies: 18
Views: 2435

Re: House Foundation Cracks, No big deal or RUN!

a few questions. the answers won't matter to me, because I'm ignorant, but they will affect you. Is this a slab foundation or something else (crawlspace, etc).? What's the custom in your area if you place an offer and are in escrow? Around here we could always back out (or negotiate) if it looked ba...
by Easy Rhino
Tue Mar 17, 2015 5:16 pm
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: House Foundation Cracks, No big deal or RUN!
Replies: 24
Views: 2846

Re: Asset Allocation with Home Purchase in Mind

I would only sell SPY for a total market fund if I could sell it at break even or a loss. I wouldn't pay capital gains tax for the conversion. AS for the down payment, you could treat it as a separate "bucket" from the retirement funds, and manage it conservatively. That's what we did. It'...
by Easy Rhino
Sat Feb 28, 2015 1:54 am
 
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Asset Allocation with Home Purchase in Mind
Replies: 7
Views: 739

Re: Should we refi our ARM if we plan to move w/in 2 years?

yeah if you're going to move in 2 years then refi to a fixed rate really doesn't matter.

The only time I could see it would be if you had a higher rate, and you could refi to a lower one and maybe even get a credit at the same time.
by Easy Rhino
Fri Feb 27, 2015 5:45 pm
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Should we refi our ARM if we plan to move w/in 2 years?
Replies: 7
Views: 562

Re: HSA: spend or invest?

my medical expenses have so far been fairly low and I'm maxing out contributions to my HSA, so I go ahead and do my medical expenses out of it for convenience. Stupendous, if you have enough in your account, you could do a rollover to another HSA custodian with lower priced investments. I use Saturn...
by Easy Rhino
Thu Feb 26, 2015 7:26 pm
 
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: HSA: spend or invest?
Replies: 31
Views: 3454

Re: Raise was only 2.44%?

10 years ago at this job, the joke was that everybody got a 3% raise every year regardless of reviews, if the manager even remembered to complete a review. It's gotten better since then. (as previously described, managers request their raises from a "pool" determined by the grand finance h...
by Easy Rhino
Thu Feb 26, 2015 4:54 pm
 
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Raise was only 2.44%?
Replies: 49
Views: 4816

Re: Recommend a quality (and reasonably priced) knife set

Anyone a big fan of ceramic knives? I see some seemingly fancy ones at the local Japanese market and they seem intriguing.
by Easy Rhino
Wed Feb 25, 2015 8:09 pm
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Recommend a quality (and reasonably priced) knife set
Replies: 64
Views: 2873

Re: What are Costco's best deals?

Anything that you don't mind buying a ton of. Also, some items that are never discounted, you might be able to get a small discount. for instance, something like a Vitamix may cost the same everywhere (I don't know... maybe?), but at Costco you could spend the same amount and get extra stuff with it...
by Easy Rhino
Wed Feb 25, 2015 6:37 pm
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: What are Costco's best deals?
Replies: 220
Views: 21239

Re: Commission sales or salary?

Well gee, if he loves sales and dislikes his old field, then he should probably stick with sales.

Who knows, he may want to do sales in some other industry.
by Easy Rhino
Wed Feb 25, 2015 6:31 pm
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Commission sales or salary?
Replies: 15
Views: 1349

Re: Form 1116 country of origin

I think the correct answer is RIC, although I don't know the block software specifically.

Any chance you don't need to fill out the 1116 at all? If it's dividends below a certain amount, you can skip it.
by Easy Rhino
Wed Feb 25, 2015 10:43 am
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Form 1116 country of origin
Replies: 11
Views: 458

Re: Another Should I participate in my ESPP?

so it sounds like you'd get 12 lots of stock per year, one each month? Each individual lot must be held 12 months, or something else? That is kind of a long time. It seems like if you sold 5.5 months into each offering period, you would be able to purchase the maximum amount of stock. Also, is there...
by Easy Rhino
Tue Feb 24, 2015 7:32 pm
 
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Another Should I participate in my ESPP?
Replies: 6
Views: 534

Re: State pension buying years of service

My wife had to make a similar decision a few years ago here in California. I don't think the 'air time' option is available any more for CalPERS though. The actuarial assumptions behind the buyback and the effect of the increased service credit were, frankly, beyond us. We knew that it was supposed ...
by Easy Rhino
Tue Feb 24, 2015 6:46 pm
 
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: State pension buying years of service
Replies: 1
Views: 278

Re: Air Quality Testing for home inspection?

as someone who thought we had might have had a mold problem, and even had a mold inspector out briefly, I wouldn't bother with the mold air test. There's some level of mold in the air all the time. And if it finds a higher than desired level, it doesn't do anything to tell you the source. So if it d...
by Easy Rhino
Tue Feb 24, 2015 5:58 pm
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Air Quality Testing for home inspection?
Replies: 21
Views: 1109

Re: Cap Gains & Divs killed me this year

well, you mentioned selling a few AAPL shares. Selling even a few would be a big capital gain if they were held for a long time.

I don't have any of my taxable holdings set to automatically reinvest anything. It's just a pain to track the different lots.
by Easy Rhino
Fri Feb 20, 2015 6:41 pm
 
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Cap Gains & Divs killed me this year
Replies: 65
Views: 7360

Re: Which light bulbs are best bang for the buck?

Our house has mostly LED's, especially for any area where the light is used a lot. For a few cases of limited use and where I need instant on, dimmability, or outdoor security lights, I have some incandescents. For some interior uses where the effiiency and warmup aren't issues (inside ceiling fans,...
by Easy Rhino
Wed Feb 11, 2015 7:06 pm
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Which light bulbs are best bang for the buck?
Replies: 41
Views: 3696

Re: my review of my HSA with Saturna brokerage

Could someone with a Saturna account tell me how to go about funding the account? Do you go straight to "Trading Stocks" and the money will be ACH'ed from bank? Or are you supposed to fund some sort of sweep account (like Vanguard's Money Market)? If so, where do you go to fund this accou...
by Easy Rhino
Sat Feb 07, 2015 1:45 pm
 
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: my review of my HSA with Saturna brokerage
Replies: 57
Views: 11926

Re: my review of my HSA with Saturna brokerage

If you are opening a brokerage account you don't need to put anything into one of their mutual funds.
by Easy Rhino
Sun Feb 01, 2015 12:17 am
 
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: my review of my HSA with Saturna brokerage
Replies: 57
Views: 11926

Re: Accidentally forgot a credit card for three months HELP!

something similar happened to me about 9 years ago. I had a card with like a $12 balance on it, and forgot I had the balance. I missed statements for a good 5 months, the account went very delinquent and was then charged off! My my credit score was hurt a lot by it. When I finally realized this (I w...
by Easy Rhino
Sat Jan 31, 2015 2:42 am
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Accidentally forgot a credit card for three months HELP!
Replies: 40
Views: 4100

Re: my review of my HSA with Saturna brokerage

Note that the vanguard ETF's have just the regular 14.95 commission. Also, at mossysf's mention of T Rowe Price, it seems that their SP500 fund, PREIX is listed as no fee and has an ER of 0.28%. Their bond fund, PBDIX, is also on the no fee program with an ER of 0.3% I say it 'seems' like they're on...
by Easy Rhino
Tue Jan 13, 2015 5:23 pm
 
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: my review of my HSA with Saturna brokerage
Replies: 57
Views: 11926

Re: Why not just let cash be cash?

SIPC coverage limit if the brokerage folds with your cash in their account?
by Easy Rhino
Mon Jan 12, 2015 6:46 pm
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Why not just let cash be cash?
Replies: 27
Views: 2576

Re: Questions about mortgage refinancing

I wouldn't particularly advise extending a mortgage or getting a cash out refi in order to invest, no. However, I'm in the process of trying to refi right now. Rates are pretty darn low. You might be able to get a 15 year loan with a rate of close to 1% lower than what you currently have. It might b...
by Easy Rhino
Mon Jan 12, 2015 6:31 pm
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Questions about mortgage refinancing
Replies: 8
Views: 527

Re: Home Energy Audit - worth it?

Similar to others, I found an energy rater from our state (California here), full price woulda been around $600 but we had just bought the house so rebates took our cost to zero. Two contractors and one admin person spent 2 or 3 hours doing the test. What I really liked was that when we got the resu...
by Easy Rhino
Mon Jan 12, 2015 9:45 am
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Home Energy Audit - worth it?
Replies: 22
Views: 2425

Re: Getting Married - Want advice merging Portfolio & Taxes

Congratulations! Indeed it doesn't seem like there's a lot to commingle. Most everything is in retirement accounts which are going to stay in one person's name. Are you and your fiancée on board with having the same asset allocation? That's probably the most important thing In theory, if you transfe...
by Easy Rhino
Fri Jan 09, 2015 7:08 pm
 
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Getting Married - Want advice merging Portfolio & Taxes
Replies: 24
Views: 2039

Re: Changes (mostly bad ones) to my 401k. Who benefits?

I would hope that the employer is at least getting reduced plan expenses out of it. If they didn't, then I would think they were fully hoodwinked. But the mere addition of those funds isn't that terrible, what bothers me more is the marketing of them as core investments. For an extreme version, imag...
by Easy Rhino
Fri Jan 09, 2015 12:45 pm
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Changes (mostly bad ones) to my 401k. Who benefits?
Replies: 34
Views: 2773

Re: What to do with my stupid losses?

Ask yourself if you would want to spent $30 right now to buy these stocks? If not, go ahead and sell them.
by Easy Rhino
Wed Jan 07, 2015 6:59 pm
 
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: What to do with my stupid losses?
Replies: 16
Views: 1574

Re: my review of my HSA with Saturna brokerage

I got a PM with a question about this account, and I thought I'd share. Since I'm in California, I need to worry about capital gains for state tax purposes. Saturna offers several different methods of lot identification when selling, including individual lot selection. Also, I looked at a few compan...
by Easy Rhino
Wed Jan 07, 2015 2:48 pm
 
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: my review of my HSA with Saturna brokerage
Replies: 57
Views: 11926

Re: Lightbulbs in Fully Enclosed Recessed Fixtures

I wonder "how enclosed" they really mean when they mean fully enclosed... I mean, if it's enclosed but the enclosure is a food across... is that okay? We've got a hodgepodge of lighting in our house, but that's okay with me. The house had a ton of recessed lighting, I had bought some indiv...
by Easy Rhino
Tue Jan 06, 2015 5:37 pm
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Lightbulbs in Fully Enclosed Recessed Fixtures
Replies: 57
Views: 4531

Re: Keurig Coffee Makers

So, here's my dilemma. I personally prefer using a regular drip coffee maker with a timer so it will be ready when i wake up. But when I forget to set it, I'm not functional enough in the morning, so we have a keurig for backup and emergencies. That's two coffee makers sitting on our counter the who...
by Easy Rhino
Tue Jan 06, 2015 1:31 am
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Keurig Coffee Makers
Replies: 37
Views: 2802

Re: Another Down Payment Math Problem

1. It's not clear to me why a Boglehead would reduce retirement savings? After reading this forum for a few years I struggle to understand that. My thought would be that money is fungible, max all retirement space when possible, if the money is needed later then figure out how to withdraw. This wou...
by Easy Rhino
Mon Jan 05, 2015 12:41 pm
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Another Down Payment Math Problem
Replies: 14
Views: 2189

Re: Another Down Payment Math Problem

It seems like you, I mean the hypothetical family, could generate some pretty decent cash savings if you reduced retirement savings. In terms of your cash needs, if you have a 375k house, you need over 75k to have a 20% down payment to get the lowest rates. Because settlement costs are gonna be, lik...
by Easy Rhino
Fri Jan 02, 2015 8:29 pm
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Another Down Payment Math Problem
Replies: 14
Views: 2189

Re: LED Flood Light Question (CREE/FEIT/Etc)

We have a bunch of recessed LEDs. They don't dim as far down as incandescents for me either They indeed 'feel' brighter, even at the same max brightness and color temperature. I've used BR30 bulbs from several manufacturers. The biggest difference was how "pointy" the light LED's would loo...
by Easy Rhino
Fri Dec 26, 2014 2:32 am
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: LED Flood Light Question (CREE/FEIT/Etc)
Replies: 28
Views: 4110

So, are there any appealing commodity funds/etfs?

Since people are treating oil prices like they're in a free fall, I feel it's a good time to wake from my hibernation of thinking about commodity funds, which I haven't even thought about in the last couple of years (and have never purchased). Are there any good commodity funds, or etf's or other in...
by Easy Rhino
Fri Dec 12, 2014 6:37 pm
 
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: So, are there any appealing commodity funds/etfs?
Replies: 3
Views: 656

Re: Has anyone used a West Elm card?

well there's the fundamental limitation where the bonus bucks can expire in a short time, and also have their "must be used in one transaction" limitation.
by Easy Rhino
Wed Dec 10, 2014 7:16 pm
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Has anyone used a West Elm card?
Replies: 3
Views: 673

Re: Has anyone used a West Elm card?

it seems like the problem is not the credit card, it's the design dollars program itself. Which looks pretty crappy.
by Easy Rhino
Wed Dec 10, 2014 2:41 pm
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Has anyone used a West Elm card?
Replies: 3
Views: 673

Re: Virus Protection

I've alternated between AVG free and Microsoft Defender.
by Easy Rhino
Wed Dec 10, 2014 2:29 pm
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Virus Protection
Replies: 11
Views: 985

Re: How long do grilles last?

man, last year, the first time I used my then-new #300 propane grill, I ended up with the entire hood engulfed in flames from the burned meat. there's still an awesome scorch mark on it.

I don't think I'm going to get 10 years out of it.
by Easy Rhino
Tue Dec 09, 2014 5:35 pm
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: How long do grilles last?
Replies: 26
Views: 2599

Re: Holiday Tipping

We just paid our housekeeper double her usual amount on her most recent biweekly visit.

anyone tip a newspaper deliverer?

Our deliverer (who I've never actually caught in person), included a self-addressed holiday card in my newspaper so I could presumably send her a tip.
by Easy Rhino
Tue Dec 09, 2014 4:24 pm
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Holiday Tipping
Replies: 13
Views: 1548

Re: Suspicious House Odor

have a wet dry vac? Vaccuum the water out of the u-trap in the shower to get full unblocked sewer smell, then see if that's a stronger version of what you're already smelling.

... then put water back in there to re-trap it please.
by Easy Rhino
Tue Dec 09, 2014 4:21 pm
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Suspicious House Odor
Replies: 22
Views: 3230

Re: Have you ever been let go?

the small company i was working for went of business when I was in my mid 20's. Was actually unemployed for over a year, fortunately I had cash savings and few responsibilities at the time.
by Easy Rhino
Tue Dec 09, 2014 4:18 pm
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Have you ever been let go?
Replies: 74
Views: 5970
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