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Re: Expensive hobbies and possessions? (B/c you can...)

I used to own a beautiful antique sailboat. 27 feet, teak decks, and you could stand up below. Brightwork (varnish) all over, that required upkeep every year (including the wooden mast). She probably cost me $600/mo. and it was really worth it while I was into sailing and varnishing and navigation, ...
by McCharley
Tue Apr 01, 2014 10:26 pm
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Expensive hobbies and possessions? (B/c you can...)
Replies: 126
Views: 9004

Re: Reading room chair - what to pay and where to purchase?

The only way you'll get a good chair in your price range is if you get lucky or spend a long time in consignment stores. With you in your forties this might be your LAST CHAIR. :shock: Do not be afraid to spend a little more; it is simply what they cost. If I wanted to buy an automobile for $2000 I ...
by McCharley
Sun Mar 30, 2014 10:22 pm
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Reading room chair - what to pay and where to purchase?
Replies: 29
Views: 2349

Re: Convince me to get a credit card

Well, Okay, This thread has gone on and on. :oops: But I wanted to ask: Why not charge everything to a credit card? :confused The advantages would be: -Total itemization of all purchases (useful for sales tax deduction) :moneybag -potential warranty extension -rental car insurance (prob. can't rent ...
by McCharley
Fri Mar 28, 2014 10:38 pm
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Can you please convince me to get a credit card?
Replies: 80
Views: 4289

What were your TurboTax final numbers?

I always find the TurboTax final summary to be very informative, since it shows the real, paid tax rate. Let's compare real tax rates and see if we can't find a winning strategy (not mine, BTW)! :sharebeer AGI 164k Taxable 137k Tax 25.8k Effective tax rate: 15.75% Notes: Low mortgage rate, no kids, ...
by McCharley
Mon Mar 24, 2014 12:48 am
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: What were your TurboTax final numbers?
Replies: 4
Views: 1016

Re: Convince me to get a credit card

Well, a credit card beats a debit card for security since the debit funds are taken immediately and the credit card bills later. A credit card is essential: what if you need bail?!? :shock: Really, the only reason I can see not to have a credit card (no fee, cash/miles back, paid in full every month...
by McCharley
Mon Mar 24, 2014 12:29 am
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Can you please convince me to get a credit card?
Replies: 80
Views: 4289

Re: Have extra cash: Should I pay off the HOUSE or INVEST it

A hybrid approach is not bad: pay down your mortgage faster by making extra payments. The calculators at dinkytown.net (really!) are great for seeing how much you can save. For me, at 2.75% 10yr. mortgage and $161k to go, $1k extra per month saves me most of the cost of the loan, pays it off in 6 ye...
by McCharley
Mon Mar 24, 2014 12:21 am
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Have extra cash: Should I pay off the HOUSE or INVEST it?
Replies: 31
Views: 2743

Re: Critique these long-term real-estate investments

The problem is that now you are a landlord. What happens when your tenant runs into tough times and cannot pay the rent -- will you kick her and her children into the street? Or what if a roof leak goes ignored and the house becomes moldy and uninhabitable? I am surprised you can more than cover the...
by McCharley
Sun Mar 16, 2014 8:19 pm
 
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Critique these long-term real-estate investments
Replies: 15
Views: 984

Re: Can I beat 2.75% guaranteed via mortgage paydown?

Thanks, Folks, I'm surprised to see that there is so much debate. I do maximize all 401(k) accounts already; I agree with the poster who said that this would be important to do first. And I guess I agree that the differences would mathematically not be very large no matter what I do. So paying off t...
by McCharley
Sun Mar 16, 2014 3:11 pm
 
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Can I beat 2.75% guaranteed via mortgage paydown?
Replies: 73
Views: 4487

Can I beat 2.75% guaranteed via mortgage paydown?

Dear Bogleheads, Like a lot of you, I pay down my mortgage as fast as I can. "Guaranteed return" in the form of definitely paying less overall is hard to ignore. I refinanced my mortgage last year to a 2.75%, 10 year loan. I have always paid an extra $1000/mo. towards my mortgage and am wo...
by McCharley
Sat Mar 15, 2014 10:23 pm
 
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Can I beat 2.75% guaranteed via mortgage paydown?
Replies: 73
Views: 4487

Scientists' view of Biotech Investing

Gentlemen, I work in biotech, and quite a few of my colleagues invest in the sector, assuming that they have an edge from being in the business. I don't do this to any great extent (largely because I am in the business and so am already assuming the risks of the sector). However, I came across this ...
by McCharley
Sun Mar 02, 2014 3:31 pm
 
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Scientists' view of Biotech Investing
Replies: 3
Views: 373

Re: What to do when a parent's money runs out?

Wow, thanks for all the replies! To answer some of the questions: my mother keeps her house very cold -- like 50. Just warm enough to keep the pipes from freezing. This is because heat (oil) is so expensive. She is subsidized on this, however. The person who commented about people not planning for o...
by McCharley
Wed Feb 12, 2014 1:05 am
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: What to do when a parent's money runs out?
Replies: 135
Views: 15186

Re: What to do when a parent's money runs out?

Well, I thought I'd update the situation. Thank all you Bogleheads for weighing in! She has tapped out all the mortgages and has nothing left except whatever equity is in the house (limited). I'm going to provide $500/mo. for the next year, at which point she'll downsize. All of you saying I should ...
by McCharley
Tue Feb 11, 2014 2:20 am
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: What to do when a parent's money runs out?
Replies: 135
Views: 15186

Where would one hide from debit ceiling apocalypse?

Bogelers, I am not going to shift anything because y'all have convinced me that STAY THE COURSE is the way to go... but I was wondering if one was wanting to hunker down in bunker mode over the next month what one would put assets into... Not American dollars. Gold, perhaps? What's the safest asset ...
by McCharley
Sat Oct 05, 2013 11:13 pm
 
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Government Shutdown/Default [effect on investments]
Replies: 454
Views: 26367

Re: Personal Rate of Return

I find it hilarious that Bolgeheads recommend a set-it-and-forget-it investing strategy -- they're more obsessive than most!

Cheers, Guys -- gotta be one to know one! :sharebeer
by McCharley
Tue Aug 27, 2013 12:43 am
 
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Personal Rate of Return
Replies: 19
Views: 1875

Re: Bank delaying refinance -- could it be on purpose?

UPDATE With the lock near ending my lender's urge to drive the deal to completion was palpable. The title company handling the paperwork called me at work and wanted me and my wife to drop everything, drive downtown, and sign papers ASAP. They would validate parking, they offered. My annoyance must ...
by McCharley
Tue Jul 23, 2013 9:53 pm
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Bank delaying refinance -- could it be on purpose?
Replies: 8
Views: 919

Bank delaying refinance -- could it be on purpose?

Good Boglers, I locked in a 2.75% rate on a 10 year mortgage two months ago. :D My lock expires at the end of the month, and my bank has still not completed the paperwork. I get assurances that it is almost done. I am refinancing with the same bank that gave me the original loan at 3.875 on 15 years...
by McCharley
Fri Jul 19, 2013 10:42 pm
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Bank delaying refinance -- could it be on purpose?
Replies: 8
Views: 919

Anyone try Bloomberg Black?

I just received a solicitation from these folks. It appears to be a Mint-like service except that it costs money (and may work better).

Has anyone tried them out?

Thanks,
McC :sharebeer
by McCharley
Sat Jul 06, 2013 12:55 pm
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Anyone try Bloomberg Black?
Replies: 8
Views: 1240

Re: How do you keep yourself honest about your returns?

I am surprised how many people choose to turn a blind eye to their returns. 8-) My goal has been to hold 30 stocks that outperform the market -- or at least match it. Part of this "hobby" is to obsessively check performance: I look every day. :greedy I trade very little. For me this is jus...
by McCharley
Fri Jun 28, 2013 1:07 am
 
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: How do you keep yourself honest about your returns?
Replies: 53
Views: 5051

Re: How much should cat tooth extraction cost?

We just had to put this cat down yesterday. Very sad. Kidney failure, probably cancer. Multiple issues. HOWEVER, I felt the need to follow up because in hindsight these extra years were worth the cost. She was a good cat: a purr that would rumble the whole bed, and she'd not let you be depressed (li...
by McCharley
Tue Jun 25, 2013 9:46 pm
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: How much should cat tooth extraction cost?
Replies: 47
Views: 10315

Re: College costs, anyone else spit coffee on their monitor?

My neighbor encouraged her daughter to pursue esoteric, sought-after sports. The girl became a pole vaulter in high school and had multiple full scholarship offers when she graduated. She ended up dropping the sport in college but that did not affect her scholarship.
by McCharley
Mon Jun 03, 2013 11:56 pm
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: College costs, anyone else spit coffee on their monitor?
Replies: 151
Views: 10170

Re: What to do when a parent's money runs out?

Quite thoughtful replies -- thank you all. To answer your questions, I can afford the $1k/mo. right now. I have a good-paying job, at least for now. I work in biotech, though, and employment is always precarious -- I have, in fact, been trying to save as much as I can for that eventuality. (This for...
by McCharley
Mon Jun 03, 2013 9:43 pm
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: What to do when a parent's money runs out?
Replies: 135
Views: 15186

Re: What to do when a parent's money runs out?

Thanks for all the replies. Just to clarify, she gets $1200/month in SS and has already reverse mortgaged her house to the hilt. She now lives in a large farmouse in the boondocks of Maine. It is too much house for her but now if she moves the mortgage comes due and it is a difficult place to sell. ...
by McCharley
Sun Jun 02, 2013 3:13 pm
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: What to do when a parent's money runs out?
Replies: 135
Views: 15186

What to do when a parent's money runs out?

I wonder if any of you find yourselves in a similar situation... My (single) mother has, counter to all advice and despite about $200k in inheritance, retired early and managed to spend down everything, including a mortgage on her house. :confused (If I sound a little bitter it is because it could h...
by McCharley
Sun Jun 02, 2013 1:40 pm
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: What to do when a parent's money runs out?
Replies: 135
Views: 15186

Check for abandoned property -- worked twice for me

States will hold abandoned property but don't make much of an effort to return it. They do typically have a searchable database online, though. Twice I have hit pay dirt looking at old places I lived. Twenty five years ago I lived in California and missed a final paycheck from an employer. I found i...
by McCharley
Tue Apr 09, 2013 9:35 pm
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Check for abandoned property -- worked twice for me
Replies: 34
Views: 3627

Re: When to do Tax Gain Harvesting?

Well, of course if you sell the stock you cannot repurchase it for 30 days due to wash sale rules.

The company, this company you believed enough in to invest in the first place, may have a very good month while you stay on the sidelines.
by McCharley
Wed Mar 20, 2013 11:47 pm
 
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: When to do Tax Gain Harvesting?
Replies: 12
Views: 594

Re: Apple Stock - Seems great, right?

Hi, Chris, I, too, dabble in individual stocks and do not think it is necessarily un-Boglehead. This forum focuses mostly on simple index fund portfolios (the Three Fund Portfolio is great IMHO) but somehow this doesn't free us from being somewhat obsessive about investments. AAPL is 3% of SPY (SP50...
by McCharley
Wed Mar 20, 2013 9:45 pm
 
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Apple Stock - Seems great, right?
Replies: 29
Views: 2407

Re: Any of you Bogleheads NOT going to retire?

My friend Crazy Mike points out that "you have to do something"

Maybe he is not crazy after all...
by McCharley
Wed Mar 13, 2013 12:07 am
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Any of you Bogleheads NOT going to retire?
Replies: 35
Views: 4133

Any of you Bogleheads NOT going to retire?

My Dad is an architect, still working in his seventies. He says most architects do their best work late in life. He says he will never retire, although he may become more selective about the work he takes on. I have seen this with a lot of artists, not so much in business. For him this has really si...
by McCharley
Sun Mar 10, 2013 11:47 pm
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Any of you Bogleheads NOT going to retire?
Replies: 35
Views: 4133

Re: Investing for 100 years!!! less wordy version!!

With that much in assets you have a heavy responsibility to spend it wisely! You could put away a relatively small percentage into the safest of investments that would see to your personal needs for as long as you live. With the rest, you get to design a legacy. You can do a LOT with that kind of mo...
by McCharley
Fri Mar 08, 2013 11:22 pm
 
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Investing for 100 years!!! less wordy version!!
Replies: 17
Views: 2424

Re: Dead laptop (Mac)

Looks like I'm too late here, but those of you replacing drives should consider a solid-state drive (SSD). They are more expensive, but the higher performance is really noticeable. And they use less power and are more rugged than standard hard drives, useful qualities in a laptop! On home computers ...
by McCharley
Sat Feb 16, 2013 3:09 pm
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Dead laptop (Mac)
Replies: 11
Views: 1098

Not having kids was the best financial decision I ever made

My friends who have children are all getting sucked dry by them, whatever their income level. It seems like those who make a lot more money do things like send their kids to private schools. And most of the couples I know with kids have one person who is underemployed. I know more than one person wh...
by McCharley
Sat Feb 09, 2013 2:56 pm
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Not having kids was the best financial decision I ever made
Replies: 16
Views: 1579

Re: does water pipe "insulation" work?

I have been told that if you are going to drink tap water that you should let it run for a while first to clear the pipes. This was from a water/sewer person who tested for metals all the time. She said if you did not let it run for a while they'd be sky high. Maybe I am imaging things but I swear m...
by McCharley
Wed Feb 06, 2013 9:57 pm
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: does water pipe "insulation" work?
Replies: 32
Views: 2848

Re: How do you keep yourself honest about your returns?

I thought I'd update this with my results. I XIRR'ed everything in Excel, comparing my deposits and withdrawals to a mirror with just purchases and sells of SPY. If I go back 5 years it turns out that I would have been better off with just the SPY. :oops: I'm beating SPY for the year, tho'! :sharebe...
by McCharley
Sat Feb 02, 2013 4:33 pm
 
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: How do you keep yourself honest about your returns?
Replies: 53
Views: 5051

How do you keep yourself honest about your returns?

I have a portfolio of stocks and would like to compare my returns to the SP500. I can XIRR my cash flows (I put money in and took money out over the year), but how do I add SP500 comparison data? I tried a mirror portfolio where all cash flows were in and out of GSPC, but I think this misses dividen...
by McCharley
Sun Jan 27, 2013 9:39 pm
 
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: How do you keep yourself honest about your returns?
Replies: 53
Views: 5051

Re: Home Siding

Don't do vinyl. It really drops curbside appeal.

Hardie is good stuff -- no competition there. I have it on my house and a shed.

My only complaint is that working with it can be dusty, but if someone else is doing the work that's not an issue.
by McCharley
Sat Jan 19, 2013 2:50 pm
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Home Siding
Replies: 25
Views: 1972

Re: Leather furniture recomendations

The thing to really recognize is that leathers are not created equal. Low end leather is more like vinyl (I have a couch from Cost Plus).
by McCharley
Mon Jan 14, 2013 10:26 pm
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Leather furniture recomendations
Replies: 4
Views: 533

Re: Need new desktop PC

I second the motion to build it yourself. I just built one and it's fun -- I learned a lot and saved money, besides. I bought everything from NewEgg. i7 Intel processor, Gigabyte motherboard, SSD, Radeon 7770 graphics card. You'll want a better graphics card for gaming. Or maybe TWO of them in cross...
by McCharley
Mon Jan 14, 2013 10:21 pm
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Need new desktop PC
Replies: 19
Views: 2018

Re: For those of you who have kept your cars for a long time

I used to drive old cars forever just like you folks. But new cars have so many great safety features: airbags, curtain air bags, abs, traction control, better headlights -- on and on. In recent years I have changed my tune and purchased new cars. I do intend to drive them forever, though!
by McCharley
Wed Jan 09, 2013 1:21 am
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: For those of you who have kept your cars for a long time...
Replies: 95
Views: 5670

How to transfer money from Scottrade to your bank

As a saver I've long considered the difficulty of transferring money out of Scottrade to be an advantage. It is easy to electronically transfer money in but not out. However, if you call and ask they will give you cheques you can write on your account. With the BOA check photograph/deposit app it is...
by McCharley
Fri Jan 04, 2013 12:58 am
 
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: How to transfer money from Scottrade to your bank
Replies: 3
Views: 1409

Re: Cheapest way to fix home door lock "issue"

I have had great success in using "Smartkey" locks. They are able to be easily adjusted to a new key (as long as you have the old one). This enables you to easily key all your locks to the same key. I know the double version can have a cylinder swapped for a turn-button. It is just a coupl...
by McCharley
Sun Dec 23, 2012 8:02 pm
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Cheapest way to fix home door lock "issue"
Replies: 19
Views: 1881

Re: MINT

I've used Mint for years. It is pretty good for current balances and transactions, but terrible for tracking performance. The algorithm it uses for calculating performance does not use your actual cost basis or holding time, so the results it spits out are meaningless. This is a big disappointment -...
by McCharley
Sun Dec 02, 2012 9:28 pm
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: MINT
Replies: 43
Views: 4857

Seattle Earthquake insurance now Lloyd's of London?

We recently received a "notice of non-renewal" on our earthquake policy, but it came with an offer to renew for $625/yr (220k coverage, high deductible) with LOL.

I had thought LOL was the insurer of last resort. :shock:

Is this a sign that I need to look for other insurers?
by McCharley
Sun Dec 02, 2012 8:02 pm
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Seattle Earthquake insurance now Lloyd's of London?
Replies: 2
Views: 386

Does a lot of cash on the sidelines buffer sudden drops?

I have read that more cash is being kept as cash and not invested. http://www.theatlantic.com/business/archive/2012/07/the-5-trillion-stash-us-corporations-money-hoard-is-bigger-than-the-gdp-of-germany/260006/ Doesn't this create a situation where market drops are jumped on more quickly? Doesn't hav...
by McCharley
Sat Nov 24, 2012 3:40 am
 
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Does a lot of cash on the sidelines buffer sudden drops?
Replies: 6
Views: 747

How to profit from legalization in WA and CO?

This seems like the Wild West right now. Is there any way to invest in a diversified way?
by McCharley
Mon Nov 12, 2012 1:50 am
 
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: How to profit from legalization in WA and CO?
Replies: 24
Views: 2033

Re: Cookware: Quality; Essential Pieces

You really need a pan you can get hot enough to sear/char food, so don't have all non-stick. You need a fond to deglaze for sauce... 8-)
by McCharley
Mon Nov 05, 2012 10:06 pm
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Cookware: Quality; Essential Pieces
Replies: 60
Views: 3338

Re: How often do I need to drive a seldom-used truck?

Thanks to those who replied (and apologies for reposting it). There have been a few people who have suggested renting a car now and then rather than having this one. Almost every experience I've had renting cars has been negative -- long waits, high pressure sales on the insurance. Plus that elimina...
by McCharley
Sat Oct 20, 2012 2:10 pm
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: How often do I need to drive a seldom-used truck?
Replies: 15
Views: 1962

How often do you need to drive a car?

I have a 2011 Toyota Tacoma pickup with 1500 miles. I commute by bicycle and my wife has a car so it can sit for a long time. It can sit for weeks, unused. How often do I need to drive it for optimum longevity?
by McCharley
Sat Oct 20, 2012 12:38 am
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: How often do you need to drive a car?
Replies: 5
Views: 604

How often do I need to drive a seldom-used truck?

I have a 2011 Toyota Tacoma which doesn't get driven much. I bike to work and sometimes the truck can sit for 2-3 weeks. It only has about 1600 miles on it. I do try to get the engine up to temperature when I do take it out.

Do I need to drive this more?
by McCharley
Tue Oct 09, 2012 12:48 am
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: How often do I need to drive a seldom-used truck?
Replies: 15
Views: 1962

How to invest for 200 years?

I just learned that Benjamin Franklin bequeathed about $112k in today's dollars to each of two trusts with 200 year timelines. According to the Wikipedia, the trusts were set up as a charity for two cities: Boston and Philadelphia. The Philadelphia fund grew to $2 million, the Boston fund to $5 mill...
by McCharley
Mon Oct 01, 2012 9:50 pm
 
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: How to invest for 200 years?
Replies: 20
Views: 2405

Re: employer 401K contributions in lieu of salary: free lunc

If you had a policy like this it would allow you to attract more "greybeards". Currently these folks are undervalued.
by McCharley
Thu Sep 20, 2012 11:54 pm
 
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: employer 401K contributions in lieu of salary: free lunch?
Replies: 17
Views: 1516
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