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Re: Here's another "where should I retire" thread

My parents semi-retired in Newark, Delaware. I initially thought it was an odd choice, but I understand it a lot better now. They can walk to the main campus of University of Delaware, as well as the shops and restaurants of Main Street, but their neighborhood is removed from the undergrad / frat ho...
by NoVa Lurker
Thu Jul 24, 2014 9:43 am
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Here's another "where should I retire" thread
Replies: 104
Views: 6098

Re: American in need of Premier team to root for

Good call! My suggestion is to watch for a few years, then pick. Your allegiances will likely shift a bit, and then settle. I think you will like the Premier League. My wife and I realized last year that we watch more club soccer than everything else on TV (including all other sports) combined. We s...
by NoVa Lurker
Mon Jul 21, 2014 11:36 am
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: American in need of Premier team to root for
Replies: 21
Views: 1047

Re: Cash out pension?

And if what is the result if you only earn a 2% real rate of return over the next 25 years? You plan for the optimistic view, now what about if the results are worse than you projected? OP used 4% real, which I would not necessarily call the "optimistic view." It seems like a good, middle...
by NoVa Lurker
Fri Jul 18, 2014 12:52 pm
 
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Cash out pension?
Replies: 30
Views: 1654

Re: Help for parent nearing retirement (unsolicited)

Given what my wife and I are going through with our respective parents (the details of which would not be helpful to you), I admire your mom's apparent health and financial position. In terms of financial advice, let her know that you are there for her, if she wants it. If not, it sounds like she ha...
by NoVa Lurker
Mon Jul 14, 2014 3:17 pm
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Help for parent nearing retirement (unsolicited)
Replies: 17
Views: 1282

Re: House maintenance cost

I've heard 1% of the home value often, but it should not be a surprise that it can vary very, very, very, very widely.
by NoVa Lurker
Wed Jul 02, 2014 4:41 pm
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: House maintenance cost
Replies: 13
Views: 1257

Re: homeowners ins deductible

Had a very similar experience to Sheepdog. Our current deductible is near $4000. It seems high, but our homeowners insurance premium is very low, and our overall coverage numbers seem larger than we need.
by NoVa Lurker
Wed Jul 02, 2014 4:09 pm
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: homeowners ins deductible
Replies: 7
Views: 784

Re: Getting toddler to brush their teeth

Our first son, now three, went through a phase this past winter where he was very resistant to letting us brush him. And when he brushed himself, he proclaimed himself done in about five seconds -- not good enough! We tried a bunch of things that didn't work, which turned it into quite a nightly bat...
by NoVa Lurker
Wed Jul 02, 2014 10:19 am
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Getting toddler to brush their teeth
Replies: 53
Views: 2407

Re: do you lie about your finances to friends

I am not comfortable with white lies, so I usually just stick to (1) answering with related information but not numbers, and/or (2) asking questions in response, rather than making any statements. I think most people would rather talk about themselves than hear about you. But if you give them financ...
by NoVa Lurker
Mon Jun 30, 2014 3:17 pm
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: do you lie about your finances to friends
Replies: 103
Views: 8962

Re: Experience with PenFed refinance

We used them 1.5 years ago for a 5-year HEL at 1.99% with no closing fees except the appraisal. This was basically a second mortgage on our home - we used the proceeds to pay off a 6.75% investment loan. Customer service was horrendous. I must have followed up more than 20 times between the rate loc...
by NoVa Lurker
Wed Jun 18, 2014 2:20 pm
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Experience with PenFed refinance
Replies: 69
Views: 3201

Re: Calling all Cyclists...

I wouldn't make things too complicated. Sure I've got a helmet for safety and gloves for cold/windy weather riding. After I added my lights and a speedometer (Cateye) I've maxed out what I need. I'm not a stylish rider, in fact I'm pretty frumpy. A 10 year old kid can have a great time on a bike wi...
by NoVa Lurker
Tue Jun 17, 2014 9:30 am
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Calling all Cyclists... [help getting into cycling]
Replies: 71
Views: 5158

Re: Bernstein: A Decade of Super-Low Returns [1.4% for 60/40

I find it interesting that in 4 pages no one has produced a single example, or even a test, that purports to quantify the advantage of market predictions of this sort, or even show any benefit at all. Here's an example of the benefit of these sort of predictions: My employer is a large financial in...
by NoVa Lurker
Thu Jun 12, 2014 9:31 am
 
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Bernstein: A Decade of Super-Low Returns [1.4% for 60/40]
Replies: 207
Views: 17180

Re: Child Life Insurance

There is absolutely no reason why you should buy life insurance for your toddlers. You would be paying $60/month for 15 years in exchange for (1) life insurance that is not necessary, because they are children, and nobody is depending on their income, plus (2) an investment that has very little net ...
by NoVa Lurker
Tue Jun 10, 2014 12:14 pm
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Child Life Insurance
Replies: 29
Views: 1107

Re: Verizon FIOS bundle-->internet only. Streaming speed?

We have Verizon FIOS, and we have had a few rounds of cancelling cable. Then we re-order a few months later, to get the new customer deals. We watch very little actual TV, but tt just doesn't save that much money to go without cable - the double play base price (with "Extreme," not just &q...
by NoVa Lurker
Thu Jun 05, 2014 10:38 am
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Verizon FIOS bundle-->internet only. Streaming speed?
Replies: 7
Views: 722

Re: Are hybrid cars a good idea yet?

As I said, for some people they can be a good idea. So run the numbers and see where it falls out for you. I don't think most people do this. They just buy these things without thought. I suspect most Bogleheads do run the numbers, as we did on both bulbs and cars. You're probably correct about the...
by NoVa Lurker
Thu May 29, 2014 11:06 am
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Are hybrid cars a good idea yet?
Replies: 105
Views: 8145

Re: How do you dress for work travel?

I travel a fair amount - usually business class for international, coach in domestic. I wear a suit at work and in meetings / conferences, but I never wear a suit when I travel (unless I'm headed directly to a meeting/office on the ground, which is rare), so I selected your middle option. However, I...
by NoVa Lurker
Tue May 27, 2014 9:11 am
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: How do you dress for work travel?
Replies: 21
Views: 1863

Re: 2600 days of every dollar tracked

This is very interesting, thanks OP. I suspect my expenses were relatively similar through my 20s. These days, with a wife, two young kids, a home, two (relatively accidental) rental properties, several income streams, and day-care/preschool costs, our income/expenses are a mess. We have definitely ...
by NoVa Lurker
Wed May 21, 2014 11:31 am
 
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: 2600 days of every dollar tracked
Replies: 68
Views: 6015

Re: 31 yo single income with 3 small children: What to do?

Sounds like you already made the right call on the 529s based on the advice above, but just to pile on: the tax benefits of 529s are good but not great -- a one-time-only 6.5% state tax break (which you will still get if you contribute those funds in a future year), plus no tax owed on investment in...
by NoVa Lurker
Thu May 08, 2014 9:26 am
 
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: 31 yo single income with 3 small children: What to do?
Replies: 31
Views: 3790

Re: Records to keep from prior years? Thanks.

I do pretty much the same thing as Toons, except: (1) I keep a set of "Tax Documents" as both a hard copy and soft copy on my home computer. This includes everything from the returns themselves to all the underlying documents, including scanned copies of even the smallest receipts. I curre...
by NoVa Lurker
Fri Apr 25, 2014 9:19 am
 
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Records to keep from prior years? Thanks.
Replies: 4
Views: 664

Re: Joe Stiglitz - "most of finance does more harm than good

One reason that I keep a simple, Boglehead-consistent asset allocation is that, if I were to invest in any complex financial instruments, I feel like I would be part of the problem.
by NoVa Lurker
Fri Apr 25, 2014 9:02 am
 
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Joe Stiglitz - "most of finance does more harm than good"
Replies: 8
Views: 1090

Re: Tough college choice

OP, yes, thanks for the update. Seems like a good decision. I did not weigh in above, but I have many family members who went to University of Delaware, and my parents now live in Newark. While everyone complains about UDel admin (I'm sure for good reason), the family members who went there, over a ...
by NoVa Lurker
Thu Apr 24, 2014 12:26 pm
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Tough college choice
Replies: 72
Views: 16917

Re: Need advice on financial planning at age 40

If we get 2500 monthly rent, we will have about 30K in rental income that we have to pay fed and state taxes on each year. Rupert is correct on the main problem with your plan, but there is also no way you will have 30K in taxable rental income. Have you ever actually done your taxes with a rental ...
by NoVa Lurker
Tue Apr 22, 2014 9:23 am
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Need advice on financial planning at age 40
Replies: 23
Views: 3254

Re: The Most Critical Investment Decision: Time Horizon

I agree with the original post for a reason that has not been discussed: too many investors initially create an asset allocation that is designed for retirement purposes only. Then they funnel ALL of their savings into that allocation. When young, this could mean 90/10. They may realize that they al...
by NoVa Lurker
Fri Apr 04, 2014 9:04 am
 
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: The Most Critical Investment Decision: Time Horizon
Replies: 10
Views: 1935

Re: Advice on what to do with proceeds from second home sale

I am probably more risk-averse than you are. If I were in your shoes, all that debt would scare me, and the interest-only loan would particularly scare me. For the reasons suggested by grabiner, I would pay off the office loan entirely, and then pay off about half of the new condo loan. Then I would...
by NoVa Lurker
Thu Apr 03, 2014 12:34 pm
 
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Advice on what to do with proceeds from second home sale
Replies: 8
Views: 1033

Re: Really confused by Bernstein

Myself and many people on this board seem to have plenty of no-growth revenue streams and assets (SS, pension, paid off house, collectibles). I'm certainly not going to de-risk and thus "de-growth" the last remaining slice of the pie, nor am I going to plan on 1% SWR from a balanced finan...
by NoVa Lurker
Fri Mar 28, 2014 9:49 am
 
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Really confused by Bernstein
Replies: 168
Views: 14443

Re: Buying first home in SF - gut check

What do you need all the liquidity for? In other words, why not use most of your $2.5M portfolio to buy the house? I'd actually agree with macchiato. In your shoes, I'd be looking at 4BR if you are thinking at least 2 kids. If you buy a house now but move into a bigger one in five years, the taxes a...
by NoVa Lurker
Wed Mar 26, 2014 4:22 pm
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Buying first home in SF - gut check
Replies: 93
Views: 9875

Re: Acquiring Debt - Marriage

OP - You haven't given us a full picture of your finances, so we can't give you a completely certain answer. Still, you've told us enough to make clear that the order is not that big a deal. You two don't have that much total debt, and obviously you'll want to prepay the car loan or student loan bef...
by NoVa Lurker
Tue Mar 18, 2014 9:17 am
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Acquiring Debt - Marriage
Replies: 28
Views: 2838

Re: Amazon Prime Increase

Yeah, we've had Amazon Prime for a few years now. For a long time, Amazon was significantly cheaper on almost every product. Also, the reviews are so helpful, the stuff just shows up at your doorstep, and they are great with customer service. But over the past couple years, prices have definitely in...
by NoVa Lurker
Thu Mar 13, 2014 10:05 am
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Amazon Prime Increase
Replies: 185
Views: 9163

Re: OK to Book Vacation Place , Switch Later for Better Deal

In my experience, most vacation condo rentals require hefty upfront payment (often 50% within 10 days, then the balance at least 30 days prior to the rental), much of which is forfeited if you cancel too late. By contrast, many national hotel chains offer free cancellation up to a few days before th...
by NoVa Lurker
Wed Mar 12, 2014 3:32 pm
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: OK to Book Vacation Place , Switch Later for Better Deal?
Replies: 8
Views: 676

Re: Stay or move is the financial question.

Not sure why everyone is focused on the Bay Area, when OP said, "We can’t afford San Francisco or San Jose housing therefore we will have to find something that under 400K, small home with a lot of land. Commuting isn’t a problem since I can work from home and my husband job is driving around f...
by NoVa Lurker
Wed Mar 12, 2014 3:00 pm
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Stay or move is the financial question.
Replies: 21
Views: 1713

Re: Forbes Article Disagreeing with Buffett

I think the responses above pretty much cover it. From the bio, I particularly enjoy, "These are the situations that consistently produce higher return opportunities (or higher risk levels). ..." The implication seems to be, 'If you are savvy (like me and those who invest with me), then a ...
by NoVa Lurker
Mon Mar 10, 2014 10:01 am
 
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Forbes Article Disagreeing with Buffett
Replies: 7
Views: 969

Re: Will this affect your Tipping?

No idea. I could see myself choosing "no tip", making my choice publicly known, and then handing the server (assuming the server is not the owner) a generous tip while giving him/her an explanation that I am tipping him/her for the excellent service, but I will be very reluctant to return...
by NoVa Lurker
Thu Mar 06, 2014 10:27 am
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Will this affect your Tipping? [Suggested Tip Amounts]
Replies: 123
Views: 8863

Re: Is This Deal Too Good To Be True?

I have booked hotels on venere.com before. I never had any issues. But I don't recall ever having to change itineraries, etc., and I don't remember any perks being included (i.e., we weren't doing anything all-inclusive, and I don't think we even had free parking, breakfast, or special room requests...
by NoVa Lurker
Thu Feb 27, 2014 5:18 pm
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Is This Deal Too Good To Be True?
Replies: 5
Views: 1398

Re: Car Seats: Leather or Cloth with Kids?

No doubt - "leather" is easier to clean and is hardier than cloth seats. I use quotes because most "leather" out there is faux leather such as Mercedes' MB-Tex and BMW's Leatherette. True leather is much, much more expensive, harder to care for and more fragile than the fake stu...
by NoVa Lurker
Thu Feb 27, 2014 11:58 am
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Car Seats: Leather or Cloth with Kids?
Replies: 46
Views: 2667

Re: what's your number?? (for married couples)

Even here in "high-cost" California, with one's mortgage paid off, and Social Security with a COLA and all that, it's really hard to spend more than $120K/annum after-tax. I asked the wife the other day: "could you make it on $10K/mo, after tax?" She laughed. For us, the math is...
by NoVa Lurker
Thu Feb 27, 2014 11:22 am
 
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: what's your number?? (for married couples)
Replies: 70
Views: 6429

Re: Market Timing - Sort Of

Does the "avoid market timing" mantra apply only to getting in and out of the market based on anticipated swings in the market or is does it also apply to the initial investment of new cash? It also applies to the initial investment of new cash. Hence everyone else's advice above. What is...
by NoVa Lurker
Thu Feb 20, 2014 11:58 am
 
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Market Timing - Sort Of
Replies: 5
Views: 475

Re: Leverage Your Way To A Richer Retirement

LETFs is the attention-grabber in the Forbes article, but the approach that is suggested by Scott is really just another variation on standard asset allocation thinking. In my asset allocation world, "bonds" means a mix of high-grade debt and "stocks" means broad index funds. Not...
by NoVa Lurker
Fri Feb 14, 2014 10:45 am
 
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Leverage Your Way To A Richer Retirement
Replies: 28
Views: 3814

Re: How Often are you Reissues a Debit Card (BofA)

Got a new credit card in the mail from BofA last fall. The explanation was that my current card was set to expire on July 2015. The new card has an expiration date of.... July 2015. As OP suggests, they re-issue them fairly frequently. It used to be a pain, but now we're used to it, so it only takes...
by NoVa Lurker
Fri Feb 14, 2014 9:46 am
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: How Often are you Reissued a Debit Card (BofA)
Replies: 9
Views: 558

Re: Mortgage advice

We came to the opposite conclusion of most others above. I note that you did not provide exact interest rates, or the mortgage amount, or your marginal tax bracket, or whether you itemize already, or your other financials. So all of the advice above is based on various assumptions. We did a 15-year ...
by NoVa Lurker
Tue Feb 11, 2014 1:14 pm
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Mortgage advice
Replies: 12
Views: 884

Re: Financial Advisor - This good so far?

Income pre-tax: 145k 401k contributions: 1450 per mo (max) 300 extra to mortgage each month 350 to savings each month Spending approx 6000 per month on all bills including extra to mortgage, groceries, etc. House: Value: 360k Owe: 288k 401k: 98k Mutual Fund: 10k (This is our emergency fund) Savings...
by NoVa Lurker
Thu Feb 06, 2014 3:31 pm
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Financial Advisor - This good so far?
Replies: 46
Views: 2811

Re: Winter coats:

One detail that I consider important is the quality of the zipper- how easy is it to zip up with gloves on; does it tend to get caught in the fabric around it; does it open from the bottom (for long parkas, coats). The better the zipper, the more faith I have in the overall quality of the jacket/co...
by NoVa Lurker
Thu Feb 06, 2014 1:59 pm
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Winter coats:
Replies: 53
Views: 4214

Re: France with a 10 month old

One thing to consider is that the window of ages in which traveling is _very_ difficult is relatively short, and you might already be in that window. We had a TERRIBLE trip with our son when he was at 8 months. He's now almost three years old. By contrast, we traveled this past Christmas, and he was...
by NoVa Lurker
Thu Jan 30, 2014 3:24 pm
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: France with a 10 month old
Replies: 30
Views: 1960

Re: Home Affordability - Good Income, Luxury Home

I would not feel comfortable blowing up to $600K on a house at your income level. Unexpected bad stuff has a way of happening - been there and done that. The amount you choose to spend on a house now will go a long way toward dictating the level of your financial success in the future. You're talki...
by NoVa Lurker
Tue Jan 28, 2014 1:16 pm
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Home Affordability - Good Income, Luxury Home
Replies: 31
Views: 2937

Re: Home Affordability - Good Income, Luxury Home

OP - sounds like this will be a brand new home? If so, I think it all makes sense in the $600k ballpark. You will still have higher maintenance costs than what you have now, but it won't be as bad as if you bought, say, a home originally built in 1947 (as my wife and I did.... it's a beautiful, uniq...
by NoVa Lurker
Tue Jan 28, 2014 11:00 am
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Home Affordability - Good Income, Luxury Home
Replies: 31
Views: 2937

Re: Home Equity Loan-Wells Fargo charging $500 to quit!

Wow! The price of cost-effective banking would now appear to require eternal vigilance. Shawcroft Yes, it seems the price of cost-effective everything these days requires eternal vigilance. This is a hot-button issue for me and my wife. In the past year, (1) we've been double-charged on a co-pay fr...
by NoVa Lurker
Thu Jan 23, 2014 10:49 am
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Home Equity Loan-Wells Fargo charging $500 to quit!
Replies: 49
Views: 3899

Re: college related advice for 11th grader

that is amazing about Princeton, Leeraer. I am processing my thoughts about that and will write back later. That was then, the last half of the 1970s in Mechanical / Aerospace Engineering. Students were admitted to the graduate school, not for a particular degree. L. Went to Princeton for undergrad...
by NoVa Lurker
Wed Jan 15, 2014 3:48 pm
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: college related advice for 11th grader
Replies: 106
Views: 6683

Re: School District Not Allowing me To Invest

Just a comment about switching districts: it's not necessarily a nuclear option. Over the years, my wife has switched from Hawaii to California to Virginia (all public school districts). In Hawaii, she was not vested and still received a small cash payout. In California, she was kind-of vested (long...
by NoVa Lurker
Tue Jan 14, 2014 11:43 am
 
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: School District Not Allowing me To Invest
Replies: 82
Views: 6686

Re: Please help me put some sense in a senior relative's hea

I strongly agree with the responses above. She is 80. It is very understandable if she doesn't want to spend her remaining time in this world dealing with investing / finances. A few percentage points makes less of an impact by then. As long as she has enough to live her life the way she wants to, t...
by NoVa Lurker
Tue Jan 14, 2014 11:24 am
 
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Please help me put some sense in a senior relative's head
Replies: 24
Views: 1652

Re: "Should You Count Social Security as a Bond?"

I have really enjoyed the contributions of Professor Emeritus in this thread. Professor brings an interesting twist to the two most appropriate meta-criticisms of this entire, stale topic: 1. "SS as bond" is really just semantic. Everyone on this board agrees and understands that SS should...
by NoVa Lurker
Fri Jan 10, 2014 1:13 pm
 
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: "Should You Count Social Security as a Bond?"
Replies: 75
Views: 3181

Re: Discoveries with my new Paperwhite

Use your local public library. I can't remember the last time I bought a book for my Kindle. Huge +1 for the library. At our public library, once you register, you can check out up to 7 ebooks at a time, and you can put ebooks on hold. One of the formats is kindle, so the library sends you a link d...
by NoVa Lurker
Fri Dec 20, 2013 1:57 pm
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Discoveries with my new Paperwhite
Replies: 21
Views: 1905

Re: Child-Care Credit

The above responses answer your question, but I can't resist a comment. It surprised me when I realized "Child care expenses are deductible" really means, "Child care expenses are deductible up to a relatively small cap." For many parents, this is a significant piece of informati...
by NoVa Lurker
Mon Dec 16, 2013 11:09 am
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Child-Care Credit
Replies: 11
Views: 571
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