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Re: Early Retirement

It is a mistake to think of retirement. At your age, you should be thinking about what you want to do instead. :beer
by McCharley
Thu Dec 11, 2014 10:42 pm
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Early Retirement
Replies: 19
Views: 3359

Re: Have you ever been let go?

I work in biotech, and this profession is one of the least stable professions I know of. :( This encourages savings. :moneybag I was laid off once, and it feels like losing a popularity contest. Many thanks to fellow BHders on this site for their support. I got lucky and found a job in a month. :sha...
by McCharley
Tue Dec 09, 2014 11:01 pm
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Have you ever been let go?
Replies: 74
Views: 5432

Re: Credit card sign-on bonuses -- worth the trouble?

Thanks for all the replies! I applied for the credit card. :greedy There was a recent discussion on Reddit about credit cards which some of you might find interesting: http://www.reddit.com/r/personalfinance/comments/2ojo9a/whats_the_best_credit_card/ The Sally Mae Barclaycard seems particularly goo...
by McCharley
Tue Dec 09, 2014 10:21 pm
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Credit card sign-on bonuses -- worth the trouble?
Replies: 83
Views: 5843

Credit card sign-on bonuses -- worth the trouble?

I just received an AMEX offer for a $200 rebate and Amazon Prime for a year. :shock: I am buying a $1400 projector soon (merry Xmas to me! :sharebeer ) so I could just use this card for that single purchase, meet the $1k charge requirement, and close the account. I usually throw these offers in the ...
by McCharley
Fri Dec 05, 2014 9:07 pm
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Credit card sign-on bonuses -- worth the trouble?
Replies: 83
Views: 5843

Re: How do you rebalance?

You know, it'd be great if one's 401(k) would add new funds to maintain an asset allocation rather than in a fixed ratio. :sharebeer The retirement accounts I've had: Vanguard, TIAA-CREF, and Fidelity, only allowed me to add new money in a fixed ratio to the various funds. Some of these had automati...
by McCharley
Fri Dec 05, 2014 12:22 am
 
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: How do you rebalance?
Replies: 40
Views: 3139

Re: outdoor "security" camera

I think you'd find the quality of a game camera too low. Plus it only records to the camera. I have two wireless Sharx cameras. They transmit to the computer which records when they motion-sense. It is oddly entertaining ro click through all the "events" (eg postman) outside my house from ...
by McCharley
Thu Dec 04, 2014 1:04 am
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: outdoor "security" camera
Replies: 5
Views: 942

Re: 15 vs 30 mortgage on a condo I plan on renting after 5 y

Are you capable of aggressively paying this down?

In general, it is best to avoid investments on credit, and this includes mortgages.

If you are serious about this as an investment vehicle then get the 15 and pay it off in 5. :greedy
by McCharley
Fri Nov 21, 2014 9:56 pm
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: 15 vs 30 mortgage on a condo I plan on renting after 5 years
Replies: 15
Views: 1340

Re: Is Boglehead investing becoming the conventional wisdom?

Doesn't index investing depend upon a relatively efficient market? And doesn't the efficient market require a lot of people watching it? As the popularity of index funds increases there will be fewer people trying to determine what the fair price of any stock is. One could easily see how this would ...
by McCharley
Sun Nov 16, 2014 2:27 am
 
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Is Boglehead investing becoming the conventional wisdom?
Replies: 23
Views: 3104

Re: Harry's razors

My wife and I both use Harry's. 8-) She got sick of all the changeover in handles and blades and having to constantly "buy in" to a new system at the drugstore. (This might be worse for women :confused ) Harry's is consistent. I usually shower at the gym, though, where I use a cheap, dispo...
by McCharley
Sat Nov 15, 2014 8:19 pm
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Harry's razors
Replies: 53
Views: 5680

Re: Vinyl Siding over wood

We pulled off vinyl over aesbestos :shock: over wood siding before using Hardiplank. Once you start looking, vinyl really looks terrible. I'd urge you to think carefully and look at a lot of houses. My wife originally couldn't tell the difference, but now residing our house has made her notice. If y...
by McCharley
Sat Nov 15, 2014 8:03 pm
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Vinyl Siding over wood
Replies: 18
Views: 1974

Is Boglehead investing becoming the conventional wisdom?

Low-cost, diversified, index fund investing seems now to be the generally accepted, "smart" way to invest. This is a good thing -- it wasn't so many years ago that costs weren't even considered, for one thing. Now it seems that everywhere I look in the lay press these basic Bogleheads prin...
by McCharley
Tue Nov 11, 2014 6:17 pm
 
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Is Boglehead investing becoming the conventional wisdom?
Replies: 23
Views: 3104

Re: "You're invited to...." (nonsense talk and dinner)

I would like myself better if I had the nerve to go to one of these and heckle.

You'd still get the dinner. :beer
by McCharley
Thu Nov 06, 2014 1:01 am
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: "You're invited to...." (nonsense talk and dinner)
Replies: 108
Views: 11204

Re: LED Christmas lights?

I very much prefer incandescent lights. The LED ones are very cold, and they appear to flicker.

I am disappointed that they are the new normal. :annoyed
by McCharley
Tue Nov 04, 2014 11:50 pm
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: LED Christmas lights?
Replies: 19
Views: 3139

DCA deposits can raise red flags with the IRS

I saw this article in the NYT this morning and was surprised to see that the IRS can apparently seize accounts it regards as suspicious, such as repeated cash deposits under the $10k reporting limit: http://www.nytimes.com/2014/10/26/us/law-lets-irs-seize-accounts-on-suspicion-no-crime-required.html...
by McCharley
Sun Oct 26, 2014 2:36 pm
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: DCA deposits can raise red flags with the IRS
Replies: 7
Views: 1542

Re: How do you wash your car?

I don't wash my car that much, but when I had a boat I'd wash it all the time. Perhaps this is true of cars, too: if you wash it you notice things that are out of whack before they become problems. A loose license plate, a nail in the tire, etc. And cleaning your windows, inside and out, is really a...
by McCharley
Tue Oct 21, 2014 8:41 pm
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: How do you wash your car?
Replies: 143
Views: 7389

Re: Which home security system with camera do u use?

I have a couple of Sharx wifi cameras. They are not cheap but they work well. :sharebeer
by McCharley
Mon Oct 20, 2014 11:30 pm
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Which home security system with camera do u use?
Replies: 3
Views: 409

Re: Windows XP

No, no, no!

Do not run XP unless you have some very good reason to do so, like hardware that requires it.

Windows 7 is the desktop system of choice, IMHO.

Now that XP is not supported you'll be thrown to the wolves. :annoyed
by McCharley
Sun Oct 19, 2014 10:59 pm
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Windows XP
Replies: 64
Views: 3783

Re: Borescope for inspecting dryer vents and AC ducts

For lint a borescope is overkill. But don't let that stop you from getting one! :sharebeer

I used mine repeatedly this weekend to check out walls that I wanted to cut outlets into. I could see where all the wires were before cutting -- very reassuring! :o
by McCharley
Sun Oct 19, 2014 10:13 pm
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Borescope for inspecting dryer vents and AC ducts
Replies: 9
Views: 1362

Re: Debit Card was hacked. Should I just use cash from now

First of all, good for you for noticing the charge! :sharebeer I echo all the folks on here saying that a credit card makes good sense. I also have mine (a Chase Rewards Ink card) set to text me whenever a charge of over $100 is made. This just reinforces that money is being spent. It CAN be rather ...
by McCharley
Sun Oct 19, 2014 1:16 pm
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Debit Card was hacked. Should I just use cash from now on?
Replies: 56
Views: 3981

Re: need a new home page [browser default page]

I disagree about keeping it simple. :D My go-to startup page is igHome; my wife uses NetVibes. Both do the same thing, allowing multiple RSS feeds and email preview. Put everything in front of you. Add interesting sites over time, and eliminate disappointing ones. Have multiple tabs (finance, news, ...
by McCharley
Wed Oct 15, 2014 9:25 pm
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: need a new home page [browser default page]
Replies: 25
Views: 2066

Re: What happened to the audiophile?[High quality music sour

Thanks for all the responses! :sharebeer

An overall theme seems to be that music is just getting left behind in favor of other interests.

I read that the videogame GTA5 outsold the entire global music industry in 2013.

Times they are a-changin' 8-)
by McCharley
Wed Oct 15, 2014 9:05 pm
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: What happened to the audiophile?[High quality music sources]
Replies: 71
Views: 4089

What happened to the audiophile?[High quality music sources]

I recall when people spent hundreds of dollars on a phono cartridge. I worked in a stereo store when CDs first came out -- wow, all of a sudden, good sound was cheap. Mind you I was a snob (and still am) -- those analog recordings had something that the CDs didn't: they sounded less harsh (hard to d...
by McCharley
Tue Oct 14, 2014 10:07 pm
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: What happened to the audiophile?[High quality music sources]
Replies: 71
Views: 4089

Re: Buy a new car, or fix the old one?

All that matters is how much you like the car.

Fixing it is way less expensive than buying something new. Economic no-brainer.

On the other hand, life is too short to drive a car you dislike. :sharebeer
by McCharley
Tue Oct 14, 2014 9:55 pm
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Buy a new car, or fix the old one?
Replies: 55
Views: 3144

Re: Borescope for inspecting dryer vents and AC ducts

Ha! My fault for mentioning it. :D First of all, it depends a great deal what you are going to use it for. If you want to look into your car cylinders then you need one that fits through the spark plug hole. If you want to look at your wastewater pipe you need one that is long and waterproof. Me, I ...
by McCharley
Tue Oct 14, 2014 9:45 pm
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Borescope for inspecting dryer vents and AC ducts
Replies: 9
Views: 1362

You may be getting charged rent for a router/modem you own

This morning's NYT Haggler article was about Comcast, which had been charging a customer $8/mo. rent for a router they'd bought from Amazon. The customer then got nowhere with customer service until the Haggler called, after which they refunded the customer's 4 years of "rent" fees :shock:...
by McCharley
Sun Oct 12, 2014 2:24 pm
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: You may be getting charged rent for a router/modem you own
Replies: 34
Views: 4176

Re: Clothes Dryer drying very slowly

If it is heating up OK then it is almost certainly lint buildup, as others have suggested. You need to clear out the vent pipe and where it joins the machine. This would be a great opportunity for you to purchase a borescope, as you know every home fixit issue is an excuse to buy a tool. :D (It is e...
by McCharley
Sun Oct 12, 2014 2:13 pm
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Clothes Dryer drying very slowly
Replies: 24
Views: 2002

Re: Paying extra on Mortgage vs Investing?

I put an extra $1000 on my mortgage every month, even though it is at 2.75%. :happy I just love the idea of paying it off early, and this way it gets paid off in five years instead of ten. :D I can't make enough guaranteed returns (CDs, etc.) to make it worth stockpiling somewhere else to pay off in...
by McCharley
Fri Oct 10, 2014 10:26 pm
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Paying extra on Mortgage vs Investing?
Replies: 18
Views: 2398

Re: How can I stop feeling depressed about my finances?

Just set your course and forget about your finances. :beer

You're in good shape. It is all the course you've picked, not the speed right now.

If you end up being paid to do what you love, you win. :sharebeer
by McCharley
Fri Oct 10, 2014 10:16 pm
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: How can I stop feeling depressed about my finances?
Replies: 130
Views: 14784

Re: Tell me about Berlin :-)

The Berlin Wall Museum is one of my favorites. They have all kinds of crazy contraptions people used to get over the wall -- early, simple ladders and later secret compartments in cars. I loved the guy who made it out with essentially an outboard motor and a snorkel. It is a combination infusion of ...
by McCharley
Tue Oct 07, 2014 11:33 pm
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Tell me about Berlin :-)
Replies: 40
Views: 3524

Re: How long before disputing a charge on my Visa?

UPDATE: they sent the boroscope, new and perfect. Half the Amazon price.

All of my suspicions were for nothing. ToolBarn delivered. :beer
by McCharley
Mon Oct 06, 2014 11:02 pm
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: How long before disputing a charge on my Visa?
Replies: 20
Views: 1837

How long before disputing a charge on my Visa?

I have had the good fortune of never having had to dispute a charge on my credit card. :happy But about a week ago I ordered a borescope from Toolbarn.com. They promptly charged my credit card and I've heard nothing since. Amazon has spoiled me, I think, with fast shipping and constant updates. So I...
by McCharley
Sat Oct 04, 2014 7:31 pm
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: How long before disputing a charge on my Visa?
Replies: 20
Views: 1837

Re: Should I (physician) get an MBA?

Hey, whoa there... :shock: You said you were recently out of training. You've sacrificed a lot to get where you are, and you job is probably not something you can do part time while pursuing an MBA, so the rest of your life (wife, kids, friends, your novel, whatever) would be neglected to go get MOR...
by McCharley
Thu Oct 02, 2014 12:05 am
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Should I (physician) get an MBA?
Replies: 31
Views: 3762

Re: Am I being scammed? Wolf range hood, defective delivery

I am sure I'm not the only one who expected them to be this responsive! Often these family businesses live by their reputation. :sharebeer

(Now they better pull through! :annoyed )
by McCharley
Sun Sep 21, 2014 11:19 pm
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Am I being scammed? Wolf range hood, defective delivery
Replies: 16
Views: 1917

Re: A safe full of cash

Musbane, You have it right. :sharebeer The specific catastrophe for my area (Seattle) would be earthquake: hopefully guns would not be needed, but cash would sure help. :moneybag For me this is a hypothetical question because I am of limited means and never have more than $100 on hand. But if I was ...
by McCharley
Thu Sep 18, 2014 10:21 pm
 
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: A safe full of cash
Replies: 22
Views: 3103

A safe full of cash

The recent thread on here about high net worth investment ($50MM or so) got me thinking about this. It seems like there might be (terrible) times when cash was very short, and a couple hundred thousand in a safe would be a great insurance. Maybe I read too many thrillers! :mrgreen: I know Depression...
by McCharley
Thu Sep 18, 2014 9:26 pm
 
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: A safe full of cash
Replies: 22
Views: 3103

Re: Vanguard's Website - Bad, or just me?

It is interesting that you like TIAA-CREF, as I nominate THEM for the worst website. Why? TIAA-CREF is totally opaque about account history older than 6 months. I like to check once in a while to ensure that money diverted from my paycheck actually goes to them and that purchases are properly credit...
by McCharley
Tue Sep 16, 2014 11:18 pm
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Vanguard's Website - Bad, or just me?
Replies: 36
Views: 2474

Re: Individual stock

I think the spirit of the question is a lottery ticket -- $5k is not ruinous to lose, and yet the upside is almost unlimited. :D With the long timeframe you are looking for early, transformative companies. You want to buy when they are small -- not SP500. :wink: This is very hard to predict and you ...
by McCharley
Thu Sep 11, 2014 9:40 pm
 
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Individual stock
Replies: 21
Views: 1273

Re: Guidance moving to Seattle

Rent someplace walking distance to work for a year, then make your move.

Walking to work is a real luxury, and you should enjoy it for at least a year. :D

McC
by McCharley
Sun Sep 07, 2014 11:09 pm
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Guidance moving to Seattle
Replies: 21
Views: 2014

Re: My early 30's Ameriprise portfolio

You should look at the "Three Fund Portfolio" sticky. You have a crazy number of accounts -- I would simplify. If you want to invest do it with "funny money" in individual stocks not to exceed 5% of your portfolio (many on this forum would try to talk you out of this). The manage...
by McCharley
Tue Sep 02, 2014 10:54 pm
 
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: My early 30's Ameriprise portfolio
Replies: 36
Views: 3648

Re: Where to put emergency cash

Put $10k in that checking account. Dribble the rest into ROTH accounts at the max per year -- you can withdraw what you put in penalty-free and bank what it earns in whatever investments you want. In the meantime, the Ally 5 year CDs offer 1.6% and only the sacrifice of a month of interest for withd...
by McCharley
Tue Sep 02, 2014 10:41 pm
 
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Where to put emergency cash
Replies: 11
Views: 1398

Re: Setting up a spreadsheet?

Excel is awesome and terrible all at once. It has great, really advanced functionality (like XIRR) that really helps investors. Its graphs are terrible, though, really a joke. And in its current incarnation a lot of the useful stuff is lost in formatting fluff. Still, though, it is a program worth b...
by McCharley
Tue Sep 02, 2014 10:27 pm
 
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Setting up a spreadsheet?
Replies: 15
Views: 1094

Re: Is now a good time to buy bonds?

Hey, Mckoder, You sound like you're new to this site -- welcome! :beer Please understand that the basics here are to spend less than you earn (far less, often) and invest in a few, low-cost index funds at an asset allocation that makes sense for your age and loss tolerance. Questions like yours that...
by McCharley
Tue Sep 02, 2014 10:13 pm
 
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Is now a good time to buy bonds?
Replies: 18
Views: 2175

Re: DIY Index Fund

I do this, mostly because I want to exclude a few of the top holdings in index funds. I've held >30 stocks for years now, and it is amazing how close they track the market. On the plus side, I get to deduct losers and defer the gains on winners. I started doing this when I saw the garbage in most SC...
by McCharley
Mon Sep 01, 2014 10:45 pm
 
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: DIY Index Fund
Replies: 25
Views: 2583

Re: Convert Quicken .qfx to Excel?

Thanks for trying, Heartwood, But there is not a simple solution to this, at least for the files that TIAA-CREF makes. I did solve it by manually correcting the XML files, a painful process which I cannot recommend. This is what's wrong: A piece of data in XML has an opening tag and a closing tag, l...
by McCharley
Sat Aug 16, 2014 5:10 pm
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Convert Quicken .qfx to Excel?
Replies: 2
Views: 300

Convert Quicken .qfx to Excel?

Hello, B'headers, TIAA-CREF will only allow data export in a proprietary Quicken format (.qfx). :annoyed It used to be that you could change the header and make it into a standard XML document that Excel could read, but no longer. I really don't want to spend $65 for Quicken. Any of you folks figure...
by McCharley
Sat Aug 16, 2014 2:01 pm
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Convert Quicken .qfx to Excel?
Replies: 2
Views: 300

Re: T. Rowe Price study says Roth generally better - thought

If you are maxing out at Roth 401(k) you are investing more money than if you max out a regular 401(k) because of those extra taxes you are paying now. In a sense, a Roth 401(k) allows you to invest more than the $17,500 maximum. :moneybag Even if your tax rate goes way down in retirement, those tax...
by McCharley
Fri Aug 08, 2014 1:07 pm
 
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: T. Rowe Price study says Roth generally better - thoughts?
Replies: 14
Views: 1221

Re: home security monitoring cameras

I have had pretty good luck with Sharx wireless cams. I currently run two, one inside and one outside.

I would say that were I to do it again I'd go with wired cameras -- when things go belly-up it is always something with the wireless.
by McCharley
Mon Aug 04, 2014 12:34 am
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: home security monitoring cameras
Replies: 2
Views: 550

Re: Best Used Recreational Bicycles for New Riders

The people who have suggested buying from a local used bike store are right on. You need knowledgeable staff to help you out with basics like lights and fenders and setup. Bike people LOVE to help people like you. :D Do not buy a WalMart bike. They are disposable crap. Buy a couple of good used bike...
by McCharley
Tue Jul 22, 2014 10:40 pm
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Best Used Recreational Bicycles for New Riders
Replies: 26
Views: 2462

Re: beneficiary form trumps will

Thanks for posting this, semperlux,

I just saw this article and headed here to post it, myself.

I tend to think of a will as the last and final word on everything but as placeholder points out this is not at all true.

Gonna look over those forms this weekend! :sharebeer
by McCharley
Fri Jun 27, 2014 3:56 pm
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: beneficiary form trumps will
Replies: 54
Views: 4370

Re: Noise blocking earphones

Active headphones are really best with drone noises (like airplane noise).

There are all kinds of earplugs, with all levels of blocking.

You could also get muffs like you use with a chainsaw. Get them with the mesh facemask for extra points! :sharebeer
by McCharley
Thu Jun 19, 2014 11:59 pm
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Noise blocking earphones
Replies: 18
Views: 3736
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