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Re: What age did you move out?

Left for college when I was 17. I lived with my parents for 2 summers after that. When I graduated I moved to a new city for a job.

In college we had a few Aussie exchange students on our rugby team. So if you need a break from living at home, go to a foreign country.
by Kosmo
Tue Jan 27, 2015 11:11 pm
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: What age did you move out?
Replies: 117
Views: 4918

Re: How to climb up in a megacorp

Engineering PH.Ds have a glass ceiling at most megacorps. If what you actually want is to move into top management, you will need an MBA. If you can handle the academics of an engineering PH.D, then an MBA will be a no brainer. Exactly, get an MBA. Regardless of how far you want to advance, you nee...
by Kosmo
Tue Jan 27, 2015 10:33 am
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: How to climb up in a megacorp
Replies: 37
Views: 4920

Re: New car safety features

Last time I checked, driving cars without seatbelts, ESC, airbags, crumple zones, and the rest of the safety stuff didn't make people more attentive drivers. They still drove like idiots. They did die a lot more often. These things don't make drivers more attentive, but they also don't make them le...
by Kosmo
Tue Jan 27, 2015 10:19 am
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: New car safety features
Replies: 70
Views: 3698

Re: New car safety features

I'm certainly for safety improvements in cars, but I'm very against taking control away from the driver. I do not want my car to brake if I don't step on the brake. I don't want the lights to turn on unless I turn them on. Basically, I want the car to do what I tell it to, not what it thinks it shou...
by Kosmo
Mon Jan 26, 2015 4:28 pm
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: New car safety features
Replies: 70
Views: 3698

Re: Heat pump - drop temperature at night or keep constant?

Lower it at night but have a more gradual temp rise in the morning. If all of a sudden the thermostat gives an instantaneous temp increase of 5 degrees that will kick on the aux heat. But if it's 2 degrees higher or might not. Then 30 minutes later go another 2 degrees. Slowly work up to your desire...
by Kosmo
Sun Jan 25, 2015 8:07 am
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Heat pump - drop temperature at night or keep constant?
Replies: 17
Views: 1244

Re: Selling a home - 1st timer

9. Fix all the noticeable items that will turn off a buyer. Be willing to spend some money to make it look pretty. Invite an anal-retentive friend over to critique your house. How old is your roof? Some buyers will make you replace it. We spent $27K getting our house ready (new roof, hot water heat...
by Kosmo
Fri Jan 23, 2015 9:38 pm
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Selling a home - 1st timer
Replies: 26
Views: 2413

Re: Selling a home - 1st timer

I'm a first time seller also. House has been up for sale for 1 week. We're using the realtor we used to buy the house. Their team has dedicated realtors who specialize in just selling. They had suggestions on staging the house, developed marketing plans, and do advertising (post cards, phone calls, ...
by Kosmo
Fri Jan 23, 2015 12:35 pm
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Selling a home - 1st timer
Replies: 26
Views: 2413

Re: downhill ski boots question

letsgobobby wrote: Renting at $40-55 per trip (includes skis, boots, poles, and a helmet) adds up but the time/hassle factor of renting and returning every time I go is the real deal breaker.

You don't avoid this if you still have to rent the skis.
by Kosmo
Tue Jan 20, 2015 6:53 am
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: downhill ski boots question
Replies: 17
Views: 1010

Re: Is this an unreasonable quote for interior home painting

High, but not completely ridiculous. Good paint is expensive.

At only 670 sf, why not do it yourself?
by Kosmo
Tue Jan 13, 2015 10:23 pm
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Is this an unreasonable quote for interior home painting?
Replies: 55
Views: 4353

Re: POLL: Homeowners Ins cost $/month per $100k home value?

Philly suburb. $1350 yearly for a house valued around $425k.
by Kosmo
Sun Jan 11, 2015 6:55 pm
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: POLL: Homeowners Ins cost $/month per $100k home value?
Replies: 42
Views: 3141

Re: Doing my taxes by hand

If you do intend to do it by hand, I suggest at least using FreeFillableForms. But it should be simple enough for someone with your education. Exactly. I use this. You still need to know which forms to use and what goes where, but the software will prevent you from making arithmetic errors. Most of...
by Kosmo
Sun Jan 11, 2015 6:46 pm
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Doing my taxes by hand
Replies: 64
Views: 4741

Re: Garage door openers - recommended brand, model?

I have a Craftsman chain drive opener. I just replaced a 30 yr old one with a new model. It's nothing fancy, just a motor and a light. Came with an inside button, outside keypad, and 2 car units. Cost about $150.
by Kosmo
Sat Jan 10, 2015 7:02 pm
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Garage door openers - recommended brand, model?
Replies: 13
Views: 1198

Re: Is my HVAC (heat pump) really dead?

I really don't have much to add, but I wanted to thank everyone who provided info. I have an offer in on a house with a heat pump and I'm trying to learn about them as much as possible. Most everything I could find just explains refrigeration cycles (I always hated thermodynamics...) but no one talk...
by Kosmo
Fri Jan 09, 2015 10:47 am
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Is my HVAC (heat pump) really dead?
Replies: 54
Views: 3059

Re: What's in your car emergency kit?

I have the following in my SUV all the time: Handful of assorted tools (mostly screwdrivers, pliers, and a hammer) 2 flashlights Hatchet Small hand saw Collapsible shovel Knives (3 in various places in the car, plus 1 in my pocket) Matches Bungee cords and rope Toilet paper Bottle opener Work gloves...
by Kosmo
Thu Jan 08, 2015 10:11 pm
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: What's in your car emergency kit?
Replies: 52
Views: 4019

Re: Misunderstanding around dimensions

100 feet square is a square with each side measuring 100 feet. 100 feet square =/= 100 feet squared (100 ft^2) The term "feet square" describes a shape from which you can calculate the area. It does not directly give the area. "Feet squared" or "square feet" directly gi...
by Kosmo
Mon Jan 05, 2015 8:00 pm
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Misunderstanding around dimensions
Replies: 29
Views: 2025

Re: Excel question

ROUND is the proper function to use. 0.0-0.499999999... is rounded down. 0.5-0.999999999... is rounded up. The tricky part is figuring out how the brokerage does it's calculations. Does it actually only use 2 decimal places or does it use more for the calculations but only shows 2 decimal places to ...
by Kosmo
Fri Dec 26, 2014 9:51 am
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Excel question
Replies: 18
Views: 2011

Re: POLL: What are your monthly food expenses?

We're about $500-550 per month for 2 adults and 2 toddlers. That's food only, not including dining out or household items. I'd like to get that down to about $400.
by Kosmo
Tue Dec 23, 2014 10:53 pm
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: POLL: What are your monthly food expenses?
Replies: 67
Views: 4885

Re: Paycheck "leap year"

We get our 27th check on 12/31/14 and not 1/1/15. This happens to me this year. They moved what would normally be the first check of next year to the last check of this year. Months with 3 paychecks are odd for me because those paychecks have no deductions for health insurance, HSA, and dependent c...
by Kosmo
Mon Dec 22, 2014 10:27 pm
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Paycheck "leap year"
Replies: 25
Views: 4920

Re: 2 HSA or 2 FSA ?

Definitely can't do that. Those limits are per family (or per household, I forget the exact language).
by Kosmo
Sun Dec 21, 2014 3:34 pm
 
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: 2 HSA or 2 FSA ?
Replies: 2
Views: 353

Re: Fixing an IRA Mixup

Thanks for the info, everyone. Unfortunately I was unable to find the original 2011 tax documents. I was able to find every year back to 2005 except 2011. Go figure. I was able to get the form 5498 from the IRA custodian's website and it shows a rollover amount in 2011 with the IRA box checked (not ...
by Kosmo
Fri Dec 19, 2014 9:54 pm
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Fixing an IRA Mixup
Replies: 10
Views: 977

Re: HOA Townhouse Reserve Amount

What are you responsible for paying for? Roofs, roads, sidewalks, fences, ... When will these need replacing? How much will they cost? You can figure out how much you can expect to pay per year, how much you're adding to the fund each year, and then figure out how many years of expenses you should k...
by Kosmo
Thu Dec 18, 2014 9:30 pm
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: HOA Townhouse Reserve Amount
Replies: 9
Views: 805

Re: Humidifiers?

I've got 2 of these: http://www.amazon.com/Incorporated-V3700-Starry-Night-Humidifier/dp/B004AUZV46/ One in each of my kids' rooms, and a similar one (without a nightlight) in our bedroom. The low setting is sufficient to keep everyone nasally comfortable. Cool mist was recommended by our doctors, b...
by Kosmo
Sun Dec 14, 2014 9:12 pm
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Humidifiers?
Replies: 14
Views: 1006

Re: How to automatically transfer tenants rent to my account

The tenant should set this up at her bank. It's much easier to push money to other people than pull. Wells Fargo can do what you want.
by Kosmo
Sat Dec 13, 2014 5:22 pm
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: How to automatically transfer tenants rent to my account?
Replies: 22
Views: 2084

Re: Are you a Morning Person?

The earlier you get up the more you can accomplish in a day. Especially if you like using natural light. I find that there are increasingly more distractions impeding me getting things done the later it goes into the evening/night.
by Kosmo
Thu Dec 11, 2014 11:24 am
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Are you a Morning Person?
Replies: 15
Views: 1185

Re: Who Paid for the wedding?

I got married in 2012. My wife and I paid for the wedding. My parents paid for the rehearsal dinner.
by Kosmo
Sat Dec 06, 2014 10:54 pm
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Who Paid for the wedding?
Replies: 94
Views: 6701

Re: Fixing an IRA Mixup

Thanks, Epsilon Delta. I do have the tax returns. In my wife's 2011 return line 16b contains the amount of the rollover, so it was included in taxable income. All else in your questions is as expected. Would the proper amendment to be to remove the income from line 16b or include the contribution on...
by Kosmo
Tue Dec 02, 2014 10:51 am
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Fixing an IRA Mixup
Replies: 10
Views: 977

Fixing an IRA Mixup

In 2011 my wife rolled over an old 401k into an IRA. We intended for it to be a Roth IRA, but some line of communication got mixed up between me, her, and the custodian. So instead of a Roth IRA she has a traditional IRA. I just discovered this over the weekend...I'm not quite sure how I missed that...
by Kosmo
Mon Dec 01, 2014 10:17 pm
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Fixing an IRA Mixup
Replies: 10
Views: 977

Re: Best 529 Plan

I use New York.
by Kosmo
Thu Nov 27, 2014 12:16 pm
 
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Best 529 Plan
Replies: 15
Views: 1749

Re: What is the present value of future payments?

I'm trying to simulate how an annuity with a guarantee withdrawal benefit would have performed during period 1968 to 1997. This was the worst retirement period according to the 1992 Bengen study that gave us the 4% withdrawal rate. Unrelated to the OP...how can a study done in 1992 use data from 19...
by Kosmo
Thu Nov 27, 2014 12:13 pm
 
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: What is the present value of future payments?
Replies: 8
Views: 762

Re: When do you feel comfortable financially to have kids?

Money is really low on the list. First on the list is can you handle the responsibilities of being a parent? Are you willing to put the kid(s) first and everything else second? Are you going to do whatever it takes to make sure they are healthy, happy, and safe? If you answered yes, then you'll find...
by Kosmo
Wed Nov 26, 2014 10:15 pm
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: When do you feel comfortable financially to have kids?
Replies: 59
Views: 4476

Re: 401k loan to pay off CC & student debt

Check with Chase or Citi for a 0% intro rate on balance transfers. If you're eligible, you might get 12-18 months with no interest. And if there's still a balance, you can do it again.
by Kosmo
Sun Nov 23, 2014 9:40 pm
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: 401k loan to pay off CC & student debt
Replies: 19
Views: 2319

Re: Do you use a phone book?

Layers of torn out pages work nicely as packing material for glasses and dishes. I've also used them for sacrificial backing material when cutting things with razor knives.
by Kosmo
Sun Nov 23, 2014 6:00 pm
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Do you use a phone book?
Replies: 51
Views: 2218

Re: A week in Tuscany: April 2015. Suggestions?

We just took such a trip in October. We were in Florence for 3 days, then in Sarteano for 8 days. We were there for a wedding, but we took day trips to the surrounding towns. The towns we enjoyed the most were Volterra and Siena. The cathedral in Siena is the most impressive church I've ever seen. A...
by Kosmo
Sat Nov 22, 2014 7:45 pm
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: A week in Tuscany: April 2015. Suggestions?
Replies: 22
Views: 1767

Re: Poll: How much $ for childcare?

When my kids went to daycare at that age it was about $900 per month for 3 days a week. This was about a year ago. Since they've gotten older is about the same price for full time.
by Kosmo
Wed Nov 19, 2014 6:53 pm
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Poll: How much $ for childcare?
Replies: 20
Views: 2514

Re: getting paid for Excel work

Deliver it password protected. He gets the password when you get the cash.
by Kosmo
Tue Nov 18, 2014 8:22 pm
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: getting paid for Excel work
Replies: 9
Views: 2301

Re: How often do you go out to dinner?

Dinners out, very rarely. Maybe 1 or 2 every 3 months. Lunches out, maybe 3-4 a month, on the weekend.
by Kosmo
Mon Nov 17, 2014 2:34 pm
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: How often do you go out to dinner?
Replies: 60
Views: 6669

Re: Could you rent out your house?

According to the Philly news outlet, hotels within 10 miles are already almost booked. I heard a similar thing on the radio this morning. They estimate about 2 million people will attend mass on the Ben Franklin parkway. The entire population of Philadelphia is only 1.5 million. I'd consider rentin...
by Kosmo
Mon Nov 17, 2014 2:06 pm
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: [Should I] rent out [my] house [for a 3-day event]?
Replies: 68
Views: 6926

Re: Hoa resurrection

For the love of all that is holy, put down the resurrection of the HOA and make sure it doesn't happen. Jam them up in technicalities and bury it. HOA's attract busy-bodies with nothing better to do than stick their noses in other people's businesses. The quality of life will go down for you. They ...
by Kosmo
Sun Nov 16, 2014 8:14 am
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: HOA resurrection
Replies: 35
Views: 5661

Re: Waitress giving me discount - ethical question

Just up the tip by the cost of the wings you expected to pay. Make sure every time you go there you get this waitress. Eat, drink, and be happy.
by Kosmo
Sat Nov 15, 2014 4:48 pm
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Waitress giving me discount - ethical question
Replies: 62
Views: 8931

Re: Landlord wants us to sign an entirely new contract!

Did you honestly think the landlord was going to take care of water/sewage/trash? I cover water, sewer, and trash for my rental townhouse. I priced it into the rent. I don't think it's terribly unusual for the landlord to cover that, at least in this area. The primary reason is that the township ca...
by Kosmo
Fri Nov 14, 2014 10:22 pm
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Landlord wants us to sign an entirely new contract!
Replies: 51
Views: 10203

Re: Vacation in Quebec City

My honeymoon was to Quebec City in January of 2012. The food was delicious. Steak, elk, venison, rabbit...meats of all types! I'd recommend a food tour. The one we took was about a 3 hr walking tour and we stopped at 5-6 places including seafood, maple products, crepes, and chocolate. We took anothe...
by Kosmo
Thu Nov 13, 2014 8:48 pm
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Vacation in Quebec City
Replies: 18
Views: 1321

Re: Tax assessment of housing relative to income

Tax assessed value is ~1.3x yearly income. Purchase price was ~2.1x income (about 2 years ago). Current value is now ~2.8x income.

I imagine this data could be skewed by the recency of the tax assessment.
by Kosmo
Wed Nov 12, 2014 9:52 am
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Tax assessment of housing relative to income
Replies: 7
Views: 343

Re: Your car(s) are equal to how many months income

2005 Ford and 2008 Hyundai. Both have about 120k miles. Combined value is about 60% of monthly gross. Car values are low, income is not high.

I'm not sure what one would do with this data.
by Kosmo
Wed Nov 12, 2014 9:45 am
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Your car(s) are equal to how many months income
Replies: 93
Views: 6596

Re: Dependent care FSA

pshonore wrote:Believe the max child care expense is $6K assuming two eligible kids - that leaves $1K for the credit or $200 additional

Yes, this is how it works.
by Kosmo
Tue Nov 11, 2014 6:27 pm
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Dependent care FSA
Replies: 6
Views: 403

Re: Pay for Release from Escrow

Thanks, everyone. I don't think it's worth it either. According to their letter, the fee is a fixed percentage of the original loan balance, so I don't believe it will decrease or go away. The escrow account doesn't pay interest.
by Kosmo
Mon Nov 10, 2014 11:18 am
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Pay for Release from Escrow
Replies: 5
Views: 669

Re: math equation I can't figure out

Oicuryy wrote:Maybe he solved this for g.

1080=451+(0.15-0.09)×451 ÷ (0.09 - g)

Ron


This gives 0.047 = 4.7%. It's not complicated math.
by Kosmo
Sun Nov 09, 2014 7:45 pm
 
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: math equation I can't figure out [Earnings formula]
Replies: 6
Views: 1633

Re: 1276% toll admin fee from Dollar. 86% of rental cost

I got hit with fees like this once when my personal EZ Pass didn't register at the toll both when I was in a rental car. Something like a $15 fee plus a $1.50 toll. It's annoying, but it was also 100% my fault. This was before they started putting the EZ Pass in the rentals. The driver is responsibl...
by Kosmo
Sun Nov 09, 2014 10:53 am
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: 1276% toll admin fee from Dollar.
Replies: 89
Views: 10655

Re: Messy baby restaurant etiquette

I've got a 1 and a 2 year old. We limit ourselves to kid-friendly restaurants. Any place with a tablecloth is off limits. But we don't eat out often, maybe once a week on Saturday or Sunday for lunch. I generally clean up anything they dropped on the floor and give the table a quick wipe down with a...
by Kosmo
Sun Nov 09, 2014 10:42 am
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Messy baby restaurant etiquette
Replies: 75
Views: 5019

Pay for Release from Escrow

I currently escrow my property taxes with my mortgage company (I do not escrow insurance). I inquired about being released from escrow and paying the taxes myself. They responded that I could do that but I would have to pay a one-time fee of $600 to cover the costs of them monitoring me to make sure...
by Kosmo
Sun Nov 09, 2014 10:21 am
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Pay for Release from Escrow
Replies: 5
Views: 669

Re: What do you set your thermostat to (in F)?

I like about 66-68. The wife likes it warmer. And she thinks the kids do too, but she's wrong. Anyways, it's set to about 72.
by Kosmo
Tue Nov 04, 2014 6:11 pm
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: What do you set your thermostat to (in F)?
Replies: 81
Views: 4820
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