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Re: Beer sales in PA supermarkets? Is this allowed now?

There was a change to the laws about selling beer, but wine and spirits are still controlled by the state. My Acme now has a beer section. I now have a reason to accompany my wife to the store.

All of the northeast States have odd alcohol laws. You can thank the Puritans and Quakers.
by Kosmo
Thu Feb 26, 2015 7:25 pm
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Beer sales in PA supermarkets? Is this allowed now?
Replies: 10
Views: 620

Re: why do some people like Fidelity?

This is almost like asking why some people like Ford and some like Chevy. Things may be different, but there isn't always an iron clad case that one is better than the other.
by Kosmo
Sat Feb 21, 2015 7:05 am
 
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: why do some people like Fidelity?
Replies: 67
Views: 6635

Re: Keep buying regardless of price movement?

Prague wrote:Therefore, I ask about energy sector as I am clueless about it.

Then why are you investing in it? And more to the point, why are you trying to time that sector?
by Kosmo
Wed Feb 18, 2015 11:07 pm
 
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Keep buying regardless of price movement?
Replies: 17
Views: 2003

Re: Recommend a general U.S. history book

I have three thoughts. 1) A single book that covers all of US history is likely to be boring. All the meat and gristle will be hidden from view, and you'll just see the skeleton. I would read some books that dive into a particular period, written by knowledge good writers. Authors such as Stephen A...
by Kosmo
Wed Feb 18, 2015 1:55 pm
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Recommend a general U.S. history book
Replies: 22
Views: 1100

Re: Roth IRA Contribution limit question

jebmke wrote:Remember, the first word in IRA is Individual.

Ha! I was about to write the same thing!
by Kosmo
Wed Feb 18, 2015 11:56 am
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Roth IRA Contribution limit question
Replies: 5
Views: 312

Re: Roth IRA Contribution limit question

sksbog wrote:Does that mean a couple can each contribute to $5,500 and thus total 11K can be contributed?

This. If contributions are permitted, they apply to each individual.
by Kosmo
Wed Feb 18, 2015 11:55 am
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Roth IRA Contribution limit question
Replies: 5
Views: 312

Re: How often and how much should I raise the rent?

I can't say what's "standard", but I do believe rent increases are expected. Property taxes generally increase every year, so the rent should at least increase at the same rate. And that doesn't even factor in inflation for repairs or other services. I don't think your 4% per year is unrea...
by Kosmo
Tue Feb 17, 2015 2:14 pm
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: How often and how much should I raise the rent?
Replies: 25
Views: 1600

Re: Not clearing snow from driveway

If you drive over it and compact the snow...and it snows again, you have a nice thick layer of ice on the driveway that will take significantly longer to clear off. I'm about to go shovel my driveway right now...
by Kosmo
Tue Feb 17, 2015 6:05 am
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Not clearing snow from driveway
Replies: 81
Views: 5763

Re: Traveling by car - estimating costs

A 1,000 mile road trip is no different than any other 1,000 miles put on the car. In fact, it's probably "easy" highway miles instead of "hard" city miles. The only exception might be budgeting for increased gas expenses in a short period of time.
by Kosmo
Mon Feb 16, 2015 4:27 pm
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Traveling by car - estimating costs
Replies: 28
Views: 1486

Re: Tenants won't let us show the rental: what do we do?

... California Civil Code 1954 ... That is useful info, though it does not apply to me (or the OP). The PA Landlord and Tenant Act of 1951 has no similar clauses. I used a "standard" lease with no modifications from the real estate agent who marketed the property. I presume the wording of...
by Kosmo
Mon Feb 16, 2015 4:02 pm
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Tenants won't let us show the rental: what do we do?
Replies: 60
Views: 6926

Re: Buying As Is Home

"As is" means "I'm selling this in the condition it is in with no changes." Getting an inspection is just so you know what the issues are. It does not give you any bargaining power. Aside: I wouldn't trust the cost estimates in the inspection anyways. Get quotes from actual trad...
by Kosmo
Sun Feb 15, 2015 8:02 pm
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Buying As Is Home
Replies: 27
Views: 2006

Re: Where would YOU place 50k for intermediate term savings?

If this was me...10k in the savings account, 15k in muni bonds, and 25k in total market index. That gives me reasonable assurance that I'll have access to that indefinite amount of money I'll need in a time period of roughly 5 years.
by Kosmo
Sun Feb 15, 2015 7:47 pm
 
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Where would YOU place 50k for intermediate term savings?
Replies: 24
Views: 2211

Re: Tenants won't let us show the rental: what do we do?

Please be aware that there are many absolutely legal things that the tenants can do or demand that will seriously impact your ability to sell the home: ... I find it odd that you'd spout off this list when it is absolutely legal for the landlord to enter the property for whatever the reason may be ...
by Kosmo
Sun Feb 15, 2015 7:38 pm
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Tenants won't let us show the rental: what do we do?
Replies: 60
Views: 6926

Re: Tenants won't let us show the rental: what do we do?

Sounds like you need to find a new management company. You should not have any contact with the tenant. What is the management company doing?
by Kosmo
Sun Feb 15, 2015 3:07 pm
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Tenants won't let us show the rental: what do we do?
Replies: 60
Views: 6926

Re: Buying As Is Home

"As is" means "I'm selling this in the condition it is in with no changes." Getting an inspection is just so you know what the issues are. It does not give you any bargaining power. Aside: I wouldn't trust the cost estimates in the inspection anyways. Get quotes from actual trade...
by Kosmo
Sun Feb 15, 2015 2:27 pm
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Buying As Is Home
Replies: 27
Views: 2006

Re: Bogglehead Career Advice

So you want to get out of the legal field entirely? Do you have any skills that apply to other careers? Coding, computer systems, trade skills, etc? Is philosophy a stepping stone to law school? I don't know many attorneys, but the few I do know studied history and English as undergrads. Would you c...
by Kosmo
Thu Feb 12, 2015 1:20 pm
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Bogglehead Career Advice
Replies: 42
Views: 2796

Re: Costco/AmEx relationship ending. New Costco MasterCard?

I regularly shop at Costco and am there multiple times per week. They have been pushing AmEx signups hard for the past 2 weeks or so. I guess I'll just sign up for a card from whoever they strike a deal with. Or maybe they'll accept any card...
by Kosmo
Thu Feb 12, 2015 1:07 pm
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Costco/AmEx relationship ending. New Costco MasterCard?
Replies: 46
Views: 9837

Re: I need a recommendation for a pressure washer.

rgarling wrote:You are going to need more cleaning power than an electric machine can provide, unless you literally have all day to do the job.

Yep. Less than 2000 psi won't cut it for cleaning concrete and stone unless you get the nozzle right up close and go very slowly.
by Kosmo
Wed Feb 11, 2015 9:27 am
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: I need a recommendation for a pressure washer.
Replies: 26
Views: 1380

Re: Rent or sell townhome

Are those tax amounts annual amounts? If those are monthly amounts, then forget everything I just said and sell. $415 for annual property taxes? I have to move to Colorado! My rental townhouse in PA has property taxes an order of magnitude higher. Take your homeowner insurance policy. Look at the p...
by Kosmo
Tue Feb 10, 2015 12:56 pm
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Rent or sell townhome
Replies: 18
Views: 1114

Re: Rent or sell townhome

Sell. With the predicted rent you can't even cover the mortgage, taxes, and insurance.
by Kosmo
Tue Feb 10, 2015 12:34 pm
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Rent or sell townhome
Replies: 18
Views: 1114

Re: Mortgage vs Adding Equity (How to pay for it)

Would you do all the work yourself? Having contractors do the work is far more expensive and you won't recapture the money spent. So the most cost effective solution is to buy a house that's already what you want. If you can do all or the vast majority of the work yourself, and you enjoy doing it (t...
by Kosmo
Tue Feb 10, 2015 8:44 am
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Mortgage vs Adding Equity (How to pay for it)
Replies: 8
Views: 853

Re: Question about fluorescent lighting fixture

Always replace all the florescent bulbs in the same fixture at the same time even if only 1 isn't working. Having bulbs of significantly different ages doesn't work well since the ballast will be "tuned", for lack of a better word, to the new bulb which lights the quickest, leaving insuffi...
by Kosmo
Tue Feb 10, 2015 8:08 am
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Question about fluorescent lighting fixture
Replies: 16
Views: 1154

Re: Worth Upgrading to LED Lighting?

Along with the idea of replacing the bulbs, what does it mean/warn against when I read on the proposed socket, "60W Max" ? If I were to put a 100W in there, would it explode ? :confused No. The actual power draw of CFLs and LEDs is far lower than incandescents. That's where the cost savin...
by Kosmo
Sun Feb 08, 2015 9:19 am
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Worth Upgrading to LED Lighting?
Replies: 45
Views: 3459

Re: HealthEquity Passive Funds

I also have Health Equity. I use these funds: LARGE BLEND VIIIX VANGUARD INSTITUTIONAL INDEX INSTL PL OER 0.02% INTERMEDIATE-TERM BOND VBMPX VANGUARD TOTAL BOND MARKET IDX INSTLPLS OER 0.05% VIIIX = S&P 500 VBMPX = VBTLX You can look up the tickers on the vanguard website to get more info. These...
by Kosmo
Wed Feb 04, 2015 8:44 pm
 
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: HealthEquity Passive Funds
Replies: 3
Views: 382

Re: At what age did you become financially independent?

Graduated college at 21; got my first full-time job and paid all my bills from my own earnings from that point on. Even went to grad school on my own. It never occurred to me to do anything different, and it surprises me the level of dependence that many young adults (in their twenties) still have ...
by Kosmo
Sun Feb 01, 2015 10:37 pm
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: What age did you become financially independent of parents?
Replies: 68
Views: 4636

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: 5078

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: 5108

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: 3826

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: 3826

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: 1320

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: 2463

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: 2463

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: 1053

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: 4400

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: 3238

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: 4798

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: 14
Views: 1386

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: 3099

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: 4068

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: 2037

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: 2018

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: 4909

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: 4960

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: 363

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: 990

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: 810

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: 1019

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: 2101

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: 1199

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: 6738
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