Search found 92 matches

Return to advanced search

Re: Buying a home with aluminum wiring?

If I could be bothered to take the time to respond to everything in this topic, my posts would read like Jack's almost verbatim. There's a huge amount of fear-mongering in this topic that's not grounded in facts or reality. My wife and I purchased a home last year that during our inspection was foun...
by MattE
Fri Aug 22, 2014 9:51 am
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Buying a home with aluminum wiring?
Replies: 73
Views: 4708

Re: Cheap Carnival Cruises

Regarding the advice to book your own excursions, be aware of one risk. If an unapproved excursion operator doesn't get you back to the ship on time, you're on your own. The ship can leave without you and it's up to you to get yourself to the next port of call or back home. I've never seen that hap...
by MattE
Sat Aug 02, 2014 12:43 am
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Cheap Carnival Cruises
Replies: 21
Views: 2813

Re: Cheap Carnival Cruises

There's a Carnival Cruise that leaves out of Baltimore every weekend that does a 7-day trip to Port Canaveral (Orlando\Cocoa Beach Florida), and then Nassau\Freeport in the Bahamas. It's typically loaded with college spring breakers (matching whatever major regional school is out that week) for the ...
by MattE
Fri Aug 01, 2014 11:52 am
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Cheap Carnival Cruises
Replies: 21
Views: 2813

Re: POLL: Do/did you get a match? How much?

50% match up to 8% of your pay, so the equivalent is 4%. It historically had been 100% up to 8% but the company halved it just before I started working there in 2010 as a cost control measure.
by MattE
Thu Jun 12, 2014 10:27 am
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: POLL: Do/did you get a match? How much?
Replies: 67
Views: 4231

Re: Suggestions on used high mileage car?

I second the Saturn suggestion. They're very bare-bones cars, but the early 2000s manual SLs get 30-40 MPG (depending on driving type and condition of the car), will generally run you $3000-$4500, and run for forever with minimal maintenance. I drive a 2001 SL that I bought in 2008 with 109K on it; ...
by MattE
Fri May 16, 2014 11:48 am
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Suggestions on used high mileage car?
Replies: 17
Views: 1024

Re: Car recommendations - Mazda6, accord, Prius

The wife and I just bought a 2013 Mazda 6 last summer and couldn't be happier with it. It gets decent gas mileage in real-world driving (~30 MPG combined), drives very smooth, and is deceptively roomy - plenty of passenger space and the trunk is huge. They've got a good manufacturer's warranty (5 ye...
by MattE
Wed Apr 09, 2014 11:50 am
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Car recommendations - Mazda6, accord, Prius
Replies: 23
Views: 2326

Re: Reviewing my insurance now that I have money

Renter's insurance is one of those things that's so cheap for the level of protection it provides that not having it is borderline negligent.
by MattE
Tue Apr 08, 2014 1:52 pm
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Reviewing my insurance now that I have money
Replies: 6
Views: 762

Re: Boglehead Cruise Line Preference

My wife and I are younger (mid-20s) and have done several Carnival cruises and always enjoyed them a lot. They're certainly more of a "for the masses" cruise and their clientele varies pretty drastically throughout the year - during the spring you get tons of college students, summer is al...
by MattE
Thu Apr 03, 2014 7:31 pm
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Boglehead Cruise Line Preference
Replies: 57
Views: 7062

Re: Stay for pay, or leave for growth? Seeking opinions.

How long have you been at your current position? Almost four years. Secondly, you may be able to negotiate a hiring bonus to cover the remaining tuition. When I was hiring engineers, HR always had hard salary caps that we couldn't exceed in an offer but were generally much more flexible about bonus...
by MattE
Mon Feb 24, 2014 6:11 pm
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Stay for pay, or leave for growth? Seeking opinions.
Replies: 14
Views: 1238

Re: Best place to procure a mortgage

My wife and I used National Mortgage Alliance this past summer when we bought our first home and had a pretty good experience, though their paperwork requirements are substantial and they required wet ink signatures on every single page of the closing documents, though those are hassles rather than ...
by MattE
Mon Feb 24, 2014 2:02 pm
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Best place to procure a mortgage
Replies: 15
Views: 1028

Re: Stay for pay, or leave for growth? Seeking opinions.

I appreciate the opinions. After mulling it over some more, I'm pretty sure I'm going to go with my initial reaction and just sit tight for a while unless one of the applications I've already put out there in the past couple of weeks comes back with an offer I can't refuse.
by MattE
Wed Feb 19, 2014 9:48 pm
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Stay for pay, or leave for growth? Seeking opinions.
Replies: 14
Views: 1238

Stay for pay, or leave for growth? Seeking opinions.

I currently work as an engineer for a Fortune 100 company doing satellite operations and analysis work. I'm paid pretty well for the work I do and my level of experience, but the benefits (aside from a pretty good 401k) and corporate culture are terrible, and it's kind of a dead-end job in that ther...
by MattE
Mon Feb 17, 2014 4:25 pm
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Stay for pay, or leave for growth? Seeking opinions.
Replies: 14
Views: 1238

Re: How do you define "emergency fund?"

I'm in the boat with people that just have general purpose "savings." My wife and I keep a savings account with an amount that covers our insurance deductibles in it (which would also cover about 1.5 months of expenses) for instant-access, and a much larger (and regularly contributed to) a...
by MattE
Fri Feb 07, 2014 6:41 pm
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: How do you define "emergency fund?"
Replies: 32
Views: 2923

Re: Question On Reimbursed Educational Reimbursements on Tax

That would make sense. Thanks for the responses!
by MattE
Tue Jan 21, 2014 11:35 am
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Question On Reimbursed Educational Reimbursements on Taxes
Replies: 8
Views: 518

Question On Reimbursed Educational Reimbursements on Taxes

I work full-time as an engineer and am finishing up my Master's part-time on the side. My current employer reimburses my tuition expenses. However, I am looking to leave my current job within the next several months for better opportunities elsewhere, and my tuition reimbursement from my employer ha...
by MattE
Mon Jan 20, 2014 4:27 am
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Question On Reimbursed Educational Reimbursements on Taxes
Replies: 8
Views: 518

Re: Did you have a Lousy Job as a teen / young adult?

I lived in a rural area with very limited job opportunities for minors outside of the winter (ski resort region). I spent a summer working groundskeeping and maintenance at a summer camp 20 miles from home working minimum wage because it was pretty much the only thing available, and was more or less...
by MattE
Mon Jan 20, 2014 4:12 am
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Did you have a Lousy Job as a teen / young adult?
Replies: 127
Views: 5484

Re: Is there a low cost cell phone plan, limited minutes?

I'll also vouch for PagePlus - we swapped my wife's Droid 3 over to their $55 plan (unlimited talk\text + 2 GB data) and my old Motorola Q9 to their $12 plan (250 minutes\250 texts) last year and have had no problems at all with it.
by MattE
Mon Jan 20, 2014 3:57 am
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Is there a low cost cell phone plan, limited minutes?
Replies: 66
Views: 4142

Re: Casio G-Shock

I've been wearing G-Shocks for 20 years and have nothing but good things to say about them. The only reason I don't have the same one from childhood is because it was stolen in college, and the one I bought to replace it has been trucking 7 years since. Get one of the Tough Solars and you'll never n...
by MattE
Sun Nov 24, 2013 2:07 am
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Casio G-Shock
Replies: 22
Views: 1304

Re: How did you/your child pay for college?

I'm probably close to the age of most everyone else in this topic's children (or younger, in some cases), so for what it's worth: I attended Penn State from '06 - '10, with my tuition + room & board varying from ~$20K my freshman year to ~$25K my senior year. My family provided nothing towards m...
by MattE
Tue Oct 01, 2013 7:51 pm
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: How did you/your child pay for college?
Replies: 151
Views: 8987

Re: Considering a Bread Machine

My wife and I and I don't use ours that often (maybe a half dozen times per year), but every time we use it, we find ourselves going, "Why the hell don't we do this more often?" You really can't beat the simplicity of it - the process is literally dump in ingredients -> receive delicious b...
by MattE
Mon Sep 09, 2013 11:51 pm
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Considering a Bread Machine
Replies: 38
Views: 2600

Re: Any ideas for a good desktop PC under $600?

Quick foot, where did you buy that custom optioned pc? What I see lately is most pc brands don't really offer options like they used to and SSD was really hard to find and couldn't just be added as an option to most setups. I've bought both a laptop and a desktop from http://www.ibuypower.com/home....
by MattE
Mon Aug 26, 2013 11:40 pm
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Any ideas for a good desktop PC under $600?
Replies: 18
Views: 2020

Re: Moving brother out of Mom's house

You do the best that you can and try to forget it's a problem when it's not immediately an issue, to be honest. My mother is 46, a paranoid schizophrenic, and even prior to mental illness setting in had been one of the least reliable people and worst decision makers I've ever met in my life. She's c...
by MattE
Fri Aug 23, 2013 1:45 am
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Moving brother out of Mom's house
Replies: 26
Views: 4480

Re: Mortgage Companies Recommendations

My wife and I just closed on a new home in June with National Mortgage Alliance, and the process with them was fairly painless and straightforward. We were also able to put them in a bidding war against AimLoan, which ultimately led to thousands of dollars of origination fees being knocked off even ...
by MattE
Tue Aug 20, 2013 5:24 pm
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Mortgage Companies Recommendations
Replies: 9
Views: 674

Re: Mortgage dilemma, please help

You're right, I misread what was originally posted while responding at way too late an hour on far too little sleep. The NMA estimate doesn't include your mandatory pre-paids, which explains the price gap. A breakout of everything included in the credit union's "summary of charges" would r...
by MattE
Wed Jun 26, 2013 10:32 pm
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Mortgage dilemma, please help
Replies: 26
Views: 4201

Re: Mortgage dilemma, please help

Closing costs are closing costs; as listed, the loan from NMA appears to be several thousand dollars cheaper upfront in addition to having the lower rate. FWIW, I just closed on my first house last week with the mortgage through NMA and the process went extremely smoothly. It's also quite possible t...
by MattE
Wed Jun 26, 2013 12:40 am
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Mortgage dilemma, please help
Replies: 26
Views: 4201

Re: Bidding on Ebay; Ignorance on best Bidding strategy

I completely fail to understand what advantage you supposedly gain from waiting until the last few seconds. I just bid the amount I am willing to pay at the time when I see the item... and forget about it until the auction has finished. Ok, here's why. Say there is an item for which I am willing to...
by MattE
Sat May 11, 2013 1:18 am
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Bidding on Ebay; Ignorance on best Bidding strategy
Replies: 88
Views: 4740

Re: Experience with Entitle Direct?

Follow up for the benefit of anyone else that comes looking in the future: EnTitle Direct undercut every other quote I got from local (B\W Corridor) title companies by at least $450 when including the insurance premiums and all settlement fees. In several cases they were more than $600 cheaper. Howe...
by MattE
Fri May 10, 2013 5:57 pm
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Experience with Entitle Direct? [Title insurance]
Replies: 4
Views: 673

Re: How Much Did You Spend on Your Engagement Ring??

I spent $3800 on hers in 2010. At the time that was about 3 weeks' gross salary. The central stone isn't real (cubic zirconia), but it has a few dozen much smaller high-quality diamonds inlaid about the band and was part of a designed matching pair (engagement ring\wedding band) so we were able to q...
by MattE
Tue May 07, 2013 5:21 pm
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: How Much Did You Spend on Your Engagement Ring??
Replies: 289
Views: 20790

Re: Renting - The Boglehead Way

I would make sure you have documented any damage prior to moving in-including countertops, floors walls, etc. Take dated pictures, put copies with your lease and notify your landlord. In college towns they pretty much keep the damage deposit as a matter of principal, it didn't matter if you left th...
by MattE
Tue May 07, 2013 5:05 pm
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Renting - The Boglehead Way
Replies: 65
Views: 7803

Experience with Entitle Direct? [Title insurance]

Anyone here have any past experiences they wish to share about Entitle Direct? I'm shopping for title insurance on our first home purchase right now, and they quoted my substantially under what the local companies have. In a very small sample size, I've seen\heard things on both ends of the spectrum...
by MattE
Tue Apr 16, 2013 10:34 am
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Experience with Entitle Direct? [Title insurance]
Replies: 4
Views: 673

Re: Anyone have experience with 203k mortgages?

You may want to retitle this to be a "renovation loan" or something since I thought you were commenting on the size of the loan and had to google to figure out what you were talking about. Anyone that can't identify what a 203k loan is obviously isn't going to have much (or more likely, a...
by MattE
Sun Mar 31, 2013 11:03 am
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Anyone have experience with 203k mortgages?
Replies: 4
Views: 946

Anyone have experience with 203k mortgages?

The wife and I are looking to buy a new home, and are currently looking at a property that has everything we want, except what it doesn't. The home was recently renovated and is being flipped by a local contracting company, and they did an incredibly good job with it - gorgeous new kitchen and bathr...
by MattE
Sun Mar 31, 2013 12:20 am
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Anyone have experience with 203k mortgages?
Replies: 4
Views: 946

Re: Experiences with Zillow-listed mortgage lenders\brokers?

Thanks for all the replies. I live in literally the only state in the entire country where FIB won't do first-home purchase loans, and my initial communications with PenFed have been kind of off-putting, so I'm probably going to stick with PNC, NASA FCU, National Mortgage Alliance, and another Zillo...
by MattE
Wed Mar 13, 2013 2:39 am
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Experiences with Zillow-listed mortgage lenders\brokers?
Replies: 9
Views: 1018

Experiences with Zillow-listed mortgage lenders\brokers?

My wife and I are about to begin the process of finding and purchasing our first house, and as such are starting to schedule appointments with lenders to discuss rates, terms, and pre-approval on mortgages. Right now I'm planning on looking at PNC (our primary bank), NASA FCU, and possibly PenFed. I...
by MattE
Sun Mar 10, 2013 3:49 am
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Experiences with Zillow-listed mortgage lenders\brokers?
Replies: 9
Views: 1018

Re: Turbo Tax Figuring State Tax Wrong

I actually was just trying to delete this topic because I already found where *I* screwed up, and can't now that you replied haha. I copied something wrong from one of our W-2s into the iFile system and it threw all the math off, and then I used that same figure when doing the pen-and-paper work. A ...
by MattE
Mon Feb 11, 2013 8:59 pm
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Turbo Tax Figuring State Tax Wrong
Replies: 12
Views: 1923

Turbo Tax Figuring State Tax Wrong

So, in the process of doing my taxes using Turbo Tax, I double-checked its calculations for my state return against the official iFile system for Maryland, and TurboTax is overestimating my total state\local taxes owed for the year by like $2400. I triple-checked this by going and working through th...
by MattE
Mon Feb 11, 2013 8:51 pm
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Turbo Tax Figuring State Tax Wrong
Replies: 12
Views: 1923

Re: Getting Canadian $

If where you're going has one in the area, the best place to exchange money in Canada is a casino. They charge no fees, because they want you to gamble and spend money.
by MattE
Fri Jan 11, 2013 10:41 pm
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Getting Canadian $
Replies: 30
Views: 1179

Re: Colleges Losing Pricing Power

The college elitism backed by factual exaggerations and apples-to-oranges comparisons in this thread is literally nauseating. And as a graduate, I also take personal umbrage with the frequency that people try to use Penn State as the "rag-tag state school" comparison, when the numbers say ...
by MattE
Thu Jan 10, 2013 5:56 pm
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Colleges Losing Pricing Power
Replies: 41
Views: 2439

Re: Good-to-Go on Roth IRA Withdrawal for Home Purchase?

Alan S. wrote:...


That was more along the lines of what I was asking for. Nothing we were planning on taking out would count as anything other than contributions, then, no earnings will be touched. Thanks!
by MattE
Thu Jan 10, 2013 2:39 pm
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Good-to-Go on Roth IRA Withdrawal for Home Purchase?
Replies: 12
Views: 1033

Re: Good-to-Go on Roth IRA Withdrawal for Home Purchase?

The Roths were, in fact, opened with the intent that they would be used to fund a home purchase. We are funding retirement savings separately and primarily through our 401ks at work, as they are decidedly not awful. The money that was used to open my wife's Roth IRA was rolled over from her 401k at ...
by MattE
Thu Jan 10, 2013 2:35 pm
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Good-to-Go on Roth IRA Withdrawal for Home Purchase?
Replies: 12
Views: 1033

Re: Pay raise for young engineer

He's slightly below average salary-wise for his experience and a PE is normally good for 5-10%. Targeting the low 70s wouldn't be patently offensive to a potential employer.
by MattE
Wed Jan 09, 2013 8:51 pm
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Pay raise for young engineer
Replies: 18
Views: 1882

Re: Pay raise for young engineer

It would be easier to say if that's a reasonable salary target if you specified what he's making now. Where he lives makes a substantial difference as well, $80K in Nebraska is not the same as $80K on the California coast.
by MattE
Wed Jan 09, 2013 8:04 pm
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Pay raise for young engineer
Replies: 18
Views: 1882

Good-to-Go on Roth IRA Withdrawal for Home Purchase?

So, my wife and I are looking at purchasing our first home this coming summer, and had been planning on each withdrawing $10K from our Roth IRAs to put towards the down payment. I think I've covered my bases as far as making sure everything should be kosher tax and penalty wise, but I figured I'd as...
by MattE
Wed Jan 09, 2013 5:07 pm
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Good-to-Go on Roth IRA Withdrawal for Home Purchase?
Replies: 12
Views: 1033

Re: What Book Are You Currently Reading? Part V

We Can Build You by Philip K. Dick.
by MattE
Mon Sep 10, 2012 1:43 am
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: What Book Are You Currently Reading? Part V
Replies: 3347
Views: 1147522

Re: Increase assets or decrease liabilities?

I was pondering this very thing today. Should I stop funding my 401(k) and apply the funds to pay down the mortgage with an eye to paying it off when I retire in 2-3 years? My preliminary conclusion is to keep funding the tax deferred stuff since you only have a limited number of opportunities to d...
by MattE
Tue Aug 14, 2012 8:57 pm
 
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Increase assets or decrease liabilities?
Replies: 54
Views: 7156

Re: What was Your Starting Salary Out of College?

$58K in 2010 = $61K now in 2012.
by MattE
Wed Aug 08, 2012 6:00 pm
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: What was Your Starting Salary Out of College?
Replies: 151
Views: 8777

Re: Good fitness site in the spirit of Bogleheads?

In my third week of doing Rippetoe's Starting Strength with my buddies. Getting my form ironed out and keep adding weight. Tried working out on and off for a long time. This has been the most progressive and enjoyable. I just started Rippetoe's Starting Strength program. I like how it focuses on th...
by MattE
Tue Aug 07, 2012 7:38 pm
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Good fitness site in the spirit of Bogleheads?
Replies: 27
Views: 4894

Re: What is the worst job you have ever had?

The summer after my freshman year at college I worked groundskeeping\construction\maintenance for a summer camp in my area. It was a minimum-wage position, and I was basically treated like slave labor by the camp owner\managers with not a shred of decency, respect, or care for my well-being. In retr...
by MattE
Tue Aug 07, 2012 7:06 pm
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: What is the worst job you have ever had?
Replies: 87
Views: 5257

Re: Good fitness site in the spirit of Bogleheads?

I agree with the people that have mentioned Rippetoe's Starting Strength. It is THE baseline building workout routine for people that are out of shape or don't exercise often. I disagree with the guy who said it overemphasizes squats; it's pretty much impossible to overemphasize squats, as they're a...
by MattE
Tue Aug 07, 2012 6:34 pm
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Good fitness site in the spirit of Bogleheads?
Replies: 27
Views: 4894

Re: Outdoor fire pit? Yea or Nay

Sitting around an open fire in the evening, especially on a cool night, is one of the greatest simple pleasures there is in life.

I'm kind in disbelief at some of the responses in this topic as far as overreacting to the smoke from them and whatnot. How does one not enjoy the smell of a wood fire?
by MattE
Mon Jun 11, 2012 12:16 am
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Outdoor fire pit? Yea or Nay
Replies: 62
Views: 7462
Next

Return to advanced search