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Re: Keep house or sell

You are missing one important data point, how much is the condo worth when you sell it? Plan for some repairs and also for some vacancies. Also do you want to be a remote landlord.
by German Expat
Thu Jul 17, 2014 6:07 pm
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Keep house or sell
Replies: 14
Views: 924

Re: Paperwhite for Cloudy-Day Reading

I get more then 1 week reading (1-2 hours per day) out of the paperwhite but usually put it into airplane mode. I am using the 'original' paperwhite cover.

http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B007R5 ... UTF8&psc=1

Best device to read because it is easy on your eyes.
by German Expat
Wed Jul 16, 2014 6:51 pm
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Paperwhite for Cloudy-Day Reading
Replies: 21
Views: 1812

Re: Refinance ?

Why don't you look at different products with lower rates? E.g. Penfed has a 5/5 ARM with 3.25% and virtually no closing costs. Worst case after 5 years it would go to 5.25%. https://www.penfed.org/55-Adjustable-Rate-Mortgage/?WT.ac=1021 Or look at a 15 year fixed with a potentially lower rate and p...
by German Expat
Wed Jul 16, 2014 3:41 pm
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Refinance ?
Replies: 14
Views: 860

Re: Luggage recommendation

I like the Costco carry on luggage. I have the 21" Kirkland spinner and it holds up very well. Also you can't beat the warranty :-). I do like the spinner design because it puts less strain on your back. http://www.costco.com/Kirkland-Signature%E2%84%A2-21%22-Hybrid-Spinner-Carry-On---Black-.pr...
by German Expat
Sun Jul 06, 2014 8:13 pm
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Luggage recommendation
Replies: 34
Views: 2121

Re: Noise blocking earphones

I would be careful with the active noise canceling headphones for your application. They work very well for airplanes with constant background noise but can't block variable noise well. For those you just need a tight seal around your ear. For flying I use in ear bose quiet comfort 20 but at home I ...
by German Expat
Fri Jun 20, 2014 1:55 am
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Noise blocking earphones
Replies: 18
Views: 969

Re: Europe travel

Where is she going to and how much does she get paid? Easiest is to just spend the money (e.g. take a nice trip for the memories). We had a couple Au Pairs from Europe(in the US) and they all managed to spend their money :-). Is the pay higher now then it used to be? Added: forgot to add the actual ...
by German Expat
Fri Jun 13, 2014 2:55 pm
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Europe travel
Replies: 11
Views: 1438

Re: TV - is wifi needed or desirable?

I don't think it is worth it or you should get it. I don't like the user interface much on our wireless TV and the manufacturers tend not to stay up to date with changes. Also consider that the TV will probably last 10 years or more. We use a Roku on one TV, Apple TV on another TV and for the TV wit...
by German Expat
Wed Jun 11, 2014 12:41 pm
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: TV - is wifi needed or desirable?
Replies: 25
Views: 2016

Re: Commute to elementary school [French language spoken]

Our son has Chinese as his second language. My wife also has a bit of a harder time to keep up but what helped us most was to immerse him. He is almost 9 years old and my wife and he went for longer summer breaks to China and he had no choice. He also goes to a Chinese Sunday school (2 hours every S...
by German Expat
Wed Jun 11, 2014 12:32 pm
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Commute to elementary school [French language spoken]
Replies: 37
Views: 2703

Re: Amazon prime - how to get the best out of it?

Streaming just got a lot better, they have now older HBO shows on it. If your child is relative small you can lock the kindle tablets down:

http://www.howtogeek.com/178303/how-to- ... -freetime/
by German Expat
Mon Jun 02, 2014 7:16 pm
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Amazon prime - how to get the best out of it?
Replies: 48
Views: 5073

Re: Round The World!

I did a couple (always on business though) world around trips and you can book them usually cheaper when you start somewhere else (US prices are relative high). Just came back a couple weeks ago doing it on Cathay, Quatar and BA in business class. For a private trip I am not sure I would really want...
by German Expat
Fri May 30, 2014 9:12 pm
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Round The World!
Replies: 43
Views: 9021

Asset allocation: Selling house, moving abroad and renting

We are moving to Switzerland in August and are in the process of selling our house. We will rent in Switzerland. We were on the way to pay off the current home in about 7-10 years and have 50% equity in it. Our current asset allocation is 1/3 international, domestic and bonds. We did decide to stay ...
by German Expat
Fri May 30, 2014 5:06 pm
 
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Asset allocation: Selling house, moving abroad and renting
Replies: 1
Views: 185

Re: Google Voice Not Supported on OBi Devices After May 15 2

Depends on the plan with voip.ms. Just head over to their web site at http://www.voip.ms I got the cheapest plan for 0.99 cent for the phone number per month as the only fixed fee and then pay per call (inbound and outbound). Works best for us because 95% of our calls are international to family and...
by German Expat
Fri May 16, 2014 8:43 pm
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Google Voice Not Supported on OBi Devices After May 15 2014
Replies: 88
Views: 8361

Re: Google Voice Not Supported on OBi Devices After May 15 2

You can just add a 2nd provider and then your list will look like this in the obitalk portal: SP1 Google Voice™ Account Connected SP2 Voip ms Registered Then click on SP2 and the 2nd option on the next screen allows you to make this the primary line: Primary Line for Outgoing Calls If you check this...
by German Expat
Fri May 16, 2014 8:11 pm
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Google Voice Not Supported on OBi Devices After May 15 2014
Replies: 88
Views: 8361

Re: Google Voice Not Supported on OBi Devices After May 15 2

Mine still works as well. I assume they just didn't get around turning it off yet :-).

I already have a 2nd provider (voip.ms) configured and fully tested and will swap over after it stops working.
by German Expat
Fri May 16, 2014 6:45 pm
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Google Voice Not Supported on OBi Devices After May 15 2014
Replies: 88
Views: 8361

Re: Solar Panels?

I got a system 2 years ago, works well but had people coming out to our house. I did get 3 quotes at the time. The reason for them taking measurements was that our roof is split into many sections and a bit hard to figure out just via google pictures if they would have fit. We also had to decide on ...
by German Expat
Fri May 16, 2014 8:20 am
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: [residential] Solar Panels [in CA]?
Replies: 22
Views: 1666

Re: Google Voice Not Supported on OBi Devices After May 15 2

Personally I think the privacy concern is overblown even when using hangouts or GV. Google will use the meta data for its own purposes, at the end they are a business. But they are not interested in you as a person, at the end it is around better add targeting and using large data to predict things ...
by German Expat
Tue Apr 22, 2014 3:03 pm
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Google Voice Not Supported on OBi Devices After May 15 2014
Replies: 88
Views: 8361

Re: Google Voice Not Supported on OBi Devices After May 15 2

Just login to GV and then go to settings (the gear box on the right upper side) then go to phones and turn google chat on with your hangout (email) id. It will ring then on your obi and on your laptop (assuming you have hangouts running). Personally I still prefer a phone to a laptop or pc that has ...
by German Expat
Fri Apr 18, 2014 8:59 pm
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Google Voice Not Supported on OBi Devices After May 15 2014
Replies: 88
Views: 8361

Re: Google Voice Not Supported on OBi Devices After May 15 2

We have quite some international calls though and the rates are about the same for GV vs. voip.ms So it will become impossible to make outgoing calls through GV, is that right? So I won't be able to use GV for outgoing international calls, right? I'll have to get a refund of my GV balance. Is there...
by German Expat
Fri Apr 18, 2014 6:29 pm
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Google Voice Not Supported on OBi Devices After May 15 2014
Replies: 88
Views: 8361

Re: Google Voice Not Supported on OBi Devices After May 15 2

I added voip.ms as a 2nd provider and will ride google voice to its end on my obi. Afterwards will still keep my main number on GV and just forward it to the new number on voip.ms It is not free but cheap enough. We are not using our land line too much so per minute costs don't play a huge role. We ...
by German Expat
Thu Apr 17, 2014 9:53 pm
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Google Voice Not Supported on OBi Devices After May 15 2014
Replies: 88
Views: 8361

Re: suggestion for awd luxury sedan

Which area of the country do you live in? I have a BMW 535xi in Colorado and it works great and had no break downs. I think reliability is a bit overblown because a lot of the break downs could be smaller issues and not strand you on the side of the road. With so many motors and electronics in moder...
by German Expat
Mon Apr 14, 2014 10:55 am
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: suggestion for awd luxury sedan
Replies: 44
Views: 4347

Re: HD video projector vs. multiple monitors for design?

Just curios about how you build your model and what software you are using? I am using Embarcadero Erstudio for data modeling and the largest model has currently 879 tables with way more then 2226 relationships. I change it quite often while I travel just on the laptop screen. The model would be way...
by German Expat
Sat Mar 22, 2014 7:51 am
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: HD video projector vs. multiple monitors for design?
Replies: 28
Views: 1993

Re: Drive to CO Skiing in 2WD Minivan?

I would be more worried about quality tires. Dedicated snow's on a 2WD will beat a 4WD in almost any situation but especially when breaking. If it is one of the real heavy snow days I would just not drive even with a 4WD. 2 years ago I did beach my 4WD BMW in front of the garage with all 4 wheels sp...
by German Expat
Sun Feb 09, 2014 10:51 am
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Drive to CO Skiing in 2WD Minivan?
Replies: 29
Views: 2022

Re: Color Laser Printer Recommendations?

Also using a brother and quite happy with it. It does have scanning and copying though. I do use the copy once in a while and the scanner is decent enough for casual use. I doubt it added much to the price of the machine and up to now did not make it break more often. I really like the duplex featur...
by German Expat
Sat Jan 18, 2014 11:04 pm
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Color Laser Printer Recommendations?
Replies: 21
Views: 1651

Re: Potentially moving to Europe for 5-10 years

One more thing. It was not clear if you were a US citizen or not. If not then the estate taxes on non-resident aliens are VERY high so if you get hit by a bus over there and still have accounts in the US then they might be subject to that. Sorry, forgot to mention that above, me and my son are Germ...
by German Expat
Mon Jan 13, 2014 3:05 pm
 
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Potentially moving to Europe for 5-10 years
Replies: 11
Views: 926

Re: Potentially moving to Europe for 5-10 years

Good point on the mailing address, will look into this and ask a friend to keep one. I already figured out state tax is a problem in Colorado because we would need to file if we keep a drivers license or any other tie. Before transferring out of the country I plan to move back to Tennessee to avoid ...
by German Expat
Mon Jan 13, 2014 2:35 pm
 
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Potentially moving to Europe for 5-10 years
Replies: 11
Views: 926

Re: Potentially moving to Europe for 5-10 years

Thanks for the replies. I have also a German passport but for practical purposes this won't make a difference since they will treat me as Facta / American anyway. There is a case on a different (Swiss) forum where a 86 year old was born in the US but never lived there except his first 2 years and no...
by German Expat
Mon Jan 13, 2014 1:59 pm
 
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Potentially moving to Europe for 5-10 years
Replies: 11
Views: 926

Potentially moving to Europe for 5-10 years

We are currently considering moving to Switzerland this summer. We would move for 5-10 years but then plan to come back to the US. With Facta in place it will be quite hard to invest in Switzerland since we will have a hard enough time just to get a checking account. Now to my questions and I apprec...
by German Expat
Sun Jan 12, 2014 4:21 pm
 
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Potentially moving to Europe for 5-10 years
Replies: 11
Views: 926

Re: Partially Invest Emergency Fund?

I would not mingle the funds into 1 account until you are married. You can still run 2 separate accounts but treat them like one larger emergency fund. You state fiance in your post and then later on spouse?
by German Expat
Mon Jan 06, 2014 10:27 am
 
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Partially Invest Emergency Fund?
Replies: 19
Views: 1168

Re: best way to hide your personal information on work lapto

I travel a lot and like to have (some) personal files with me. I put them on a USB stick rather then storing them on the company laptop.
by German Expat
Mon Jan 06, 2014 12:16 am
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: best way to hide your personal information on work laptop
Replies: 44
Views: 3802

Re: Car Dilemma

We have a front wheel drive CRV (2006) and I prefer it to my all wheel drive BMW on really snowy days because of the ground clearance. We are in Colorado so there can be a lot of snow. I have dedicated snow tires for it though. We bought it new in 2005 because 3 year old cars were not that much chea...
by German Expat
Thu Dec 26, 2013 1:56 pm
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Car Dilemma
Replies: 20
Views: 1733

Re: Grilling: Propane, natural gas, and electric?

We had an outside gas line at our last house and bought a Weber grill at Lowes suitable for it. Most Weber grills come in both variants but stores don't carry them usually in the natural gas variety or they might not discount them as much. After we moved our current house had no line, I got it quote...
by German Expat
Thu Dec 26, 2013 1:02 pm
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Grilling: Propane, natural gas, and electric?
Replies: 65
Views: 13497

Re: Best way to have PMI taken off?

You could also consider a refinance with e.g. a 5/5 Penfed ARM if you plan to sell in 5-7 anyway. Most closing costs are covered, the interest rate is probably lower and they will get a new appraisal which might bring you above the 80%.
by German Expat
Fri Dec 20, 2013 5:19 pm
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Best way to have PMI taken off?
Replies: 29
Views: 1484

Re: Best way to have PMI taken off?

Even if the assessment won't help I would pay the 25k down. Saving 1800$ per year is a 7.2% return on this alone and this doesn't even consider the saved interest on your mortgage. You can always spend the 400$ and see how much less then you have to pay but even if it stays the same value I would st...
by German Expat
Thu Dec 19, 2013 10:03 pm
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Best way to have PMI taken off?
Replies: 29
Views: 1484

Re: Denver Meetup for Feb 2014 (please respond)

Hi Jonathan,

thanks for organizing it. I just replied with some possible dates.
by German Expat
Thu Dec 19, 2013 7:38 pm
 
Forum: Local Chapters and Bogleheads Community
Topic: Denver Meetup for Feb 2014 (please respond)
Replies: 9
Views: 867

Re: Traveling Wifi ?

My wife is thrilled with her Nook HD+ and took it to work to show her co-workers. The realization hit her that she had no internet connection in her office Are you saying that.. a) There is literally no internet connection at the office at all (wired OR wifi). b) There is no wifi at her office, so ...
by German Expat
Sat Dec 14, 2013 5:17 pm
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Traveling Wifi ?
Replies: 31
Views: 2458

Re: E-Book subscriptions ?

I have a Kindle reader, Kindle HDX and Ipad. For reading a very much prefer my Kindle Paperwhite, it is just much easier on the eyes and the battery lasts a long time. I sometimes keep reading a book though on the Iphone or Ipad if this is what I have around. You can get a lot of free books on Amazo...
by German Expat
Mon Dec 09, 2013 10:06 pm
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: E-Book subscriptions ?
Replies: 18
Views: 681

Re: Car seat for toddler

Another vote for the Britax Marathon, look for coupon codes or discontinued colors. We had 3 of them (3 cars) and really liked them. You should first mount them rear facing as long as your child can fit in this way. Much safer. Also make sure you install the top tether for optimal safety when turnin...
by German Expat
Thu Dec 05, 2013 6:41 pm
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Car seat for toddler
Replies: 26
Views: 1391

Re: Small business video conferencing suggestions?

Google hangout but buy a decent external camera and better speakers. Works well enough for our purposes. We also have a full blown Tandberg setup in dedicated rooms at a couple key locations but for what you describe this is way too expensive for your needs.
by German Expat
Mon Nov 18, 2013 1:44 pm
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Small business video conferencing suggestions?
Replies: 13
Views: 824

Re: Shopping for new mortgage - Recommendations?

I check these lenders before pulling the refi trigger: http://www.amerisave.com/ http://aimloan.com/ http://www.nationalmortgagealliance.com/ https://www.firstib.com/ https://penfed.mortgagewebcenter.com/CheckRates/SearchCriteria.asp?PID=22 No personally info required to get instant online quotes. ...
by German Expat
Fri Nov 15, 2013 6:42 pm
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Shopping for new mortgage - Recommendations?
Replies: 18
Views: 1999

Re: clueless about wireless

If you don't want to change carriers the easiest is you buy a wireless Internet router and connect it to your cable modem via Ethernet cable. Most of the wireless routers are pretty straight forward and relative inexpensive. Almost all of the consumer products have some form of simple setup with pre...
by German Expat
Thu Nov 14, 2013 9:48 am
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: clueless about wireless
Replies: 62
Views: 2966

Re: Attic insulation for new home?

No way you should pay 4800 for just getting insulation blown in. Your friend must have had a lot of other work. Even with sealing all can lights and other things it should be way less.
by German Expat
Tue Nov 12, 2013 9:46 pm
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Attic insulation for new home?
Replies: 30
Views: 1699

Re: Attic insulation for new home?

I had R30 and air sealing was not great (house built in 1999). We redid it 3 years ago and I can see a lower energy bill. I got a (free) energy audit done that showed the air loss. The main issue was the air sealing around a lot of light fixtures. I think it is worth it but also depends on what area...
by German Expat
Tue Nov 12, 2013 7:01 am
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Attic insulation for new home?
Replies: 30
Views: 1699

Re: Advice on how to get a good car lease deal needed

What state are you in? Some are not lease friendly (e.g. Texas). I would browse various web sites and look for lease deals. The problem with a lease is that you have more moving parts and if you did not buy a car for a while then you really need to understand how a lease works (residual, money facto...
by German Expat
Sun Nov 10, 2013 11:52 am
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Advice on how to get a good car lease deal needed
Replies: 13
Views: 976

Re: Donating a Used TV to Charity

Staples accepts monitors, screens, tvs, and old computers - no matter the age (or at least they did about a year ago). They strip the electronics for the rare metals, copper, etc. from what I understand. You just have to get the TV to them. They don't accept TV's. http://www.staples.com/sbd/cre/mar...
by German Expat
Mon Oct 28, 2013 11:26 am
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Donating a Used TV to Charity
Replies: 44
Views: 2934

Re: Where to go in Europe in the Winter?

I would go to Spain (Barcelona)) if museums are not your thing. You have a bit more daylight and the weather is warmer. If you ski then Austria or Switzerland but the cities won't be that much fun with the cold temperatures and no fun going out on the lakes or up the mountains either.
by German Expat
Sat Oct 26, 2013 6:10 pm
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Where to go in Europe in the Winter?
Replies: 20
Views: 1508

Re: Donating a Used TV to Charity

Posted my old CRT''s on craigslist for people to pick it up for free. Got takers for both TV's but was a couple years ago. I doubt you will find many takers now but worth a try. Our county charges recycling costs.
by German Expat
Sat Oct 26, 2013 6:06 pm
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Donating a Used TV to Charity
Replies: 44
Views: 2934

Re: You no longer need a phone (Google Hangouts)

Used it last night on my iPod touch, but, I am pretty sure that the first time I used it there was a notice that said free until 12/31/2013.* Free is also US and Canada, not the world. That's free, but with several limitations. * What I see now under terms is "currently." So in other word...
by German Expat
Sat Oct 19, 2013 12:34 pm
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: You no longer need a phone (Google Hangouts)
Replies: 13
Views: 1400

Re: Wall Street Journal Subscriptions on Ebay question

Just got it via the WSJ program for students for 99$ (my wife is a Professor and therefore eligible). They used to give it for free to Professors but stopped that a while ago except if they push it to your students. Not sure if we will keep it but trying it now for 1 year.
by German Expat
Wed Oct 09, 2013 9:35 pm
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Wall Street Journal Subscriptions on Ebay question
Replies: 18
Views: 2898

Re: New construction Vs older home buy?

I like a 'newer' used home, last house we bought in 2007 was built in 1999. Advantage was that the neighborhood is already established with no new construction noise around us. Also the yard was done and we could check the house for any major issues that should have shown by then. It was and is a so...
by German Expat
Sun Oct 06, 2013 2:03 pm
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: New construction Vs older home buy?
Replies: 22
Views: 2233
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