Search found 545 matches

by NoVa Lurker
Wed Jun 24, 2015 9:41 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Money arguments with spouse and how did you resolve
Replies: 72
Views: 8823

Re: Money arguments with spouse and how did you resolve

did you have money issues with your spouse and how did you resolve and how quickly. Yes, we talk about money issues after the kids go to sleep. We have never had anything we could not resolve relatively quickly. We are lucky that we have similar views in general. The only exception was after we got...
by NoVa Lurker
Wed Jun 24, 2015 9:25 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Rent or Sell House with ~$300K capital gain?
Replies: 14
Views: 1288

Re: Rent or Sell House with ~$300K capital gain?

Unless you want to move back into the house I'd probably sell. Being a LL is anything but passive income even if you use a PM. It's not just the tenant issues but on-going maintenance and capital repairs. Right now I probably have the best tenants I've ever had. My husband and I have three full-tim...
by NoVa Lurker
Wed Jun 17, 2015 10:58 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Disney World Orlando Advice
Replies: 36
Views: 3239

Re: Disney World Orlando Advice

Get familiar with DISboards.com and easywdw.com. Those are great resources and, if you spend enough time, all of your questions will be answered. Even then, I am not sure it is possible to have a fun, reasonably-priced trip to Disney World between Xmas and New Year's - the crowds may just be too ove...
by NoVa Lurker
Fri Jun 05, 2015 8:37 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: One million dollar home
Replies: 37
Views: 5778

Re: One million dollar home

Five years ago, we essentially did A ($700k old home plus about $200k in expected work), even though we could have done C ($1.1m or so new-build McMansion). We should have done C. Financially, we've spent much less than expected in doing the remodeling that we knew was necessary, but that has been o...
by NoVa Lurker
Thu Jun 04, 2015 1:51 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Divorcing over finances.
Replies: 70
Views: 6498

Re: Divorcing over finances.

We are doing all of the divorce paperwork through a paralegal in CA. She wants 35K and nothing else. She will be literally cashing that check today. We did not have kids. She has agreed not to take any of my increased 401K balance or pension, and nothing else. I haven't seen anybody else mention th...
by NoVa Lurker
Wed Jun 03, 2015 12:56 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Quit high paying job to be stay at home parent?
Replies: 44
Views: 5224

Re: Quit high paying job to be stay at home parent?

OP - What you suggest seems possible, but it doesn't seem like the best approach, for a few reasons. If you are planning to have your first child in three years, and you are unhappy in your job now, that means either three more years of working in an unhappy job, or it's three years to find and esta...
by NoVa Lurker
Wed Jun 03, 2015 10:27 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Going to Disney during "Jersey" Week
Replies: 6
Views: 1037

Re: Going to Disney during "Jersey" Week

The weather will probably be great. Jersey week is still better than a lot of other times, but it will feel crowded to you. The parks are just a lot busier than they used to be, the resorts are actually more full in November than June (due to discounts and promotions), the new "Fastpass Plus&qu...
by NoVa Lurker
Fri May 29, 2015 11:12 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Best Kid Toys
Replies: 32
Views: 2769

Re: Best Kid Toys

I have a son who turned 4 in April. For his birthday party, one of his friends gave him this Bat Cave: http://www.toysrus.com/buy/favorite-characters/fisher-price-imaginext-batcave-x7677-21655226 It is an understatement to say it has been a huge hit with our son. This is not the kind of toy we norma...
by NoVa Lurker
Tue May 26, 2015 9:01 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Kitchen Remodeling and Microwave Food
Replies: 30
Views: 2007

Re: Kitchen Remodeling and Microwave Food

We did a full kitchen remodel last year. We lost our stovetop, oven, and built-in microwave for 4 weeks (they had estimated 5 weeks, and the work ended up taking almost 6 weeks, but they put in the appliances before the kitchen was completely done, so we could start using them again). OP, eight week...
by NoVa Lurker
Thu May 21, 2015 11:43 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: homeowner vacancy insurance - yikes
Replies: 18
Views: 1447

Re: homeowner vacancy insurance - yikes

Tell us more about the house, the neighborhood, and how long you expect the house to be on the market. Also, do you know whether the insurance is pro-rated, so that it would be around $600/month until you sell? Without knowing more, since this was your family home, my initial thought is that you sho...
by NoVa Lurker
Tue May 12, 2015 9:07 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Is this a dumb thing to do? [Pied-a-terre to share with daughter]
Replies: 41
Views: 5165

Re: Is this a dumb thing to do?

Seems like you have the money to buy it in cash, without changing your lifestyle or retirement plans. Both you and your daughter would benefit from it, and it's hard to see any scenario where you'd be forced to sell any time soon due to financial circumstances. Do you have any other big-dollar purch...
by NoVa Lurker
Mon May 11, 2015 11:57 am
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Advisor: buy a nicer home pre-retirement
Replies: 31
Views: 3215

Re: Advisor: buy a nicer home pre-retirement

The other factor in his recommendation was to get a home we can live in even if we aren't in top physical shape years down the road, because our current home isn't great in that regard. He said if we wait until we're really in need of a home that's more senior-friendly, we're going to find it much ...
by NoVa Lurker
Thu May 07, 2015 8:45 am
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: New member, and way behind the 8-ball (long and boring)
Replies: 15
Views: 2235

Re: New member, and way behind the 8-ball (long and boring)

Welcome. I think you are in the right place, and you are already moving in the right direction financially. Contributing to a Roth IRA, building up the emergency fund a bit more, and paying off the student debt all seem like good priorities for you. In my view, there's no real magic to deciding amon...
by NoVa Lurker
Mon May 04, 2015 10:12 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Advice Needed: Family + Rental Property + Interesting Scenario
Replies: 22
Views: 2368

Re: Advice Needed: Family + Rental Property + Interesting Scenario

I don't understand the numbers. It looks like the deal is she will pay you a lump-sum of $165k, and in return she gets $100/month off rent, for a place that is bigger and more expensive than what she actually needs. And you are worried this does not make financial sense for _you_? Incidentally, we r...
by NoVa Lurker
Wed Apr 29, 2015 12:45 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Thoughts on 529
Replies: 15
Views: 951

Re: Thoughts on 529

OP - We are in about the same position as you, and we arrived at an initial target of $5500 per year per kid in 529s (as of 2011 - it should go up with inflation), but we are not one bit stressed out if we go below that some years. That was based on 4 years at UVA at 2011-12 prices (which is when w...
by NoVa Lurker
Wed Apr 29, 2015 9:44 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Thoughts on 529
Replies: 15
Views: 951

Re: Thoughts on 529

OP - We are in about the same position as you, and we arrived at an initial target of $5500 per year per kid in 529s (as of 2011 - it should go up with inflation), but we are not one bit stressed out if we go below that some years. That was based on 4 years at UVA at 2011-12 prices (which is when we...
by NoVa Lurker
Mon Apr 27, 2015 11:00 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Been invited to wedding in Disney World. My cost?
Replies: 58
Views: 6719

Re: Been invited to wedding in Disney World. My cost?

I have learned that my wife and I essentially had a destination wedding for my side of the family, as she grew up on one coast and I grew up on the other. All her family lives within an hour of each other, whereas my extended family is spread over a bunch of cities. So we had the wedding in her home...
by NoVa Lurker
Wed Apr 22, 2015 2:28 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Paying for GFs school - any way to help myself?
Replies: 76
Views: 5222

Re: Paying for GFs school - any way to help myself?

Please stay on-topic, meaning the financial aspects, which are: Hello Boggle-ites, I am paying for my girlfriend of 3.5yrs nursing edumacation (proudly - she is an all A achieving rock star). Last year I gifted her the money and she paid it through her bank account. This year, I am paying the insti...
by NoVa Lurker
Mon Apr 20, 2015 10:21 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Paying for GFs school - any way to help myself?
Replies: 76
Views: 5222

Re: Paying for GFs school - any way to help myself?

PPS: I'm the reason we aren't engaged or married. I lost my mother (57yo) to cancer in December 2013 and that rocked my world. My S/O helped take care of my mother and we have been inundated for the past 16+ months organizing my mothers estate. I'm the type of Type A person that completely immerses...
by NoVa Lurker
Tue Apr 14, 2015 9:34 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: How to [Financially] Prepare for a Baby
Replies: 42
Views: 4232

Re: How to Prepare for a Baby

For the first two years, the only big financial impact is if a parent stops working to care for the child, or if you pay for child care to enable both parents to work. (Unless you have great family help, you're in one boat or the other.) We have two small kids. For us, all the other expenses have ca...
by NoVa Lurker
Mon Apr 13, 2015 12:19 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: On a budget and Friday night
Replies: 68
Views: 5852

Re: On a budget and Friday night

My wife and I have two young kids. Our routine is to get takeout on Friday night. (It's not a financial splurge -- we use fresh ingredients when cooking, so takeout is often cheaper -- but takeout is easier than cooking and cleaning up afterwards.) Kids are fed, bathed, brushed, and asleep by about ...
by NoVa Lurker
Wed Apr 01, 2015 3:04 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: hate Hate HATE shopping for home services
Replies: 10
Views: 957

Re: hate Hate HATE shopping for home services

We have been much happier since we signed up for Angie's List two years ago. You have to pay, but it gives you access to a lot more information about the contractors, and the contractors with A ratings on Angie's List seem more incentivized to keep you happy, in order to maintain their high rating. ...
by NoVa Lurker
Wed Apr 01, 2015 11:28 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Corporate Finance vs Personal Finance
Replies: 9
Views: 954

Re: Corporate Finance vs Personal Finance

OP - Why are you asking? In addition to the factors mentioned above, one difference is that, with personal finance, the principal is doing the labor. In other words, in your personal life, you can frequently save money by spending more time and effort. You can pay someone to take care of your yard, ...
by NoVa Lurker
Wed Apr 01, 2015 8:43 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Bamboo vs Engineered Hardwood floor?
Replies: 12
Views: 1825

Re: Bamboo vs Engineered Hardwood floor?

We bought a home with radiant heating, and the floors were all in terrible shape, so we planned to replace them. We were told we cannot have "real" hardwood, because all the floors have a concrete base. We went with engineered hardwood, but we used a pretty thick option. I don't remember t...
by NoVa Lurker
Fri Mar 27, 2015 9:39 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Can I afford a $1M house?
Replies: 82
Views: 10634

Re: Can I afford a $1M house?

We faced a similar decision to yours, and we ultimately decided to stay put. We concluded that we could "afford" a $1m (or even much higher) house, but it just wasn't worth it. We also live in a HCOL east coast suburb. Our income is in the same ballpark as yours. We have a lot more liquid ...
by NoVa Lurker
Tue Mar 24, 2015 8:27 am
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Excess Cash - Play Monopoly or Repay Debt?
Replies: 67
Views: 6513

Re: Excess Cash - Play Monopoly or Repay Debt?

I would advise either deleveraging or building up your reserves. Right now it appears that you consider your mother's accounts as a portion of your reserves: The good news on those family loans is that I don't have to pay her on a schedule. One year I had a bunch of property issues blow up, and I w...
by NoVa Lurker
Wed Mar 04, 2015 10:02 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Frozen Pipes/No Water In Home
Replies: 29
Views: 3020

Re: Frozen Pipes/No Water In Home

I don't have any good advice for the OP; only commiseration. We had a pipe burst above our kitchen during the "polar vortex" last year. What a disaster. This year, we've been dripping faucets at night, keeping the heat in our house warmer all winter, and holding our breath whenever the tem...
by NoVa Lurker
Tue Feb 24, 2015 12:30 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Who's going to Disney this summer?
Replies: 84
Views: 6121

Re: Who's going to Disney this summer?

Please go in October if you can, best time I've ever gone and we've done it multiple times.. Weather is nice and lines are lowww! Aren't more rides closed during off-peak periods? Yes, although Disney announces most closures long in advance, and you can find updated info easily -- e.g., here: http:...
by NoVa Lurker
Mon Feb 23, 2015 12:08 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Who's going to Disney this summer?
Replies: 84
Views: 6121

Re: Who's going to Disney this summer?

We went to Disney World this past November, during their "free dining" promotion. (Under this deal, you get a bunch of "free" meals if you pay rack rate for the hotel and park tickets.) We have two young boys. Overall, it was a blast, and not particularly expensive. We stayed on-...
by NoVa Lurker
Wed Feb 18, 2015 2:49 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Another--should I rent it or sell it--post
Replies: 25
Views: 1705

Re: Another--should I rent it or sell it--post

Usually, I would say no way -- you should sell. Factors not mentioned above: your friendship with your new renter could be seriously strained by entering into a LL-tenant relationship; becoming a landlord will likely take way more time than you think; and you are dealing with owning two properties, ...
by NoVa Lurker
Fri Feb 13, 2015 12:24 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Dealing with Contractors
Replies: 9
Views: 820

Re: Dealing with Contractors

I'm sorry about your daughter's accident, glad she is okay. That must have been really traumatic for your whole family. How many feet up is the railing? I.e., is this a railing on a second-story landing, or is it part of a staircase? Code or not, it sounds like it was poorly installed and is hazardo...
by NoVa Lurker
Thu Feb 12, 2015 10:01 am
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: What to do with 350K. Plop it in a 529?
Replies: 36
Views: 4322

Re: What to do with 350K. Plop it in a 529?

FYI if it hasn't been mentioned the $2000 state tax deduction is per beneficiary and it rolls over indefinitely. so maybe in 50 years you'll have it all deducted. Ohio! Wow! I didn't realize that. Unlimited carryover seemed too good to be true but I looked it up and sure enough you're right. Got to...
by NoVa Lurker
Mon Feb 02, 2015 11:00 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Replacing a reliable Toyota
Replies: 43
Views: 4595

Re: Replacing a reliable Toyota

We have been really happy with a RAV4 for a family of 4, but ours is not 4WD. We've had it for six years and had no real problems. Maintenance costs have been very, very low. With two rows, there is a ton of room in the back.
by NoVa Lurker
Wed Jan 28, 2015 4:52 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Workplace net worth conversations you'd like to avoid?
Replies: 87
Views: 10039

Re: Workplace net worth conversations you'd like to avoid?

This is a variant on a line from Conan O'Brien's 2000 commencement speech at Harvard: ".... Never tell anyone in a roadside diner that you went to Harvard. In those situations, the correct response to, “Where did you go to school?” is “School? I never had much in the way of book learnin’ and su...
by NoVa Lurker
Thu Jan 22, 2015 10:41 am
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Real 3% (CPI plus 3% guaranteed)
Replies: 21
Views: 1915

Re: Real 3% (CPI plus 3% guaranteed)

OP, If you are asking about the World Bank retirement plan, the Real+3% option is simply a great deal. The World Bank pension plan is one of the best-funded plans in the world. It puts those funds into an expansive mix of investments. Due to its large size, it is able to negotiate good terms, which ...
by NoVa Lurker
Wed Jan 21, 2015 2:22 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Transition to a single income household
Replies: 16
Views: 1381

Re: Transition to a single income household

- The non worker tends to go loopie for a while with just the kids to talk to and vastly reduced adult interaction :D This was the biggest thing I did not expect. For years before we had kids, my wife always rolled with the punches and had a positive attitude, through good times and bad. But then, ...
by NoVa Lurker
Tue Jan 20, 2015 10:37 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: First time vacation home - mortgage or purchase with cash?
Replies: 10
Views: 892

Re: First time vacation home - mortgage or purchase with cas

Would strongly, strongly, strongly, strongly suggest that you not buy a vacation home if you are considering buying a home in the NYC suburbs in the next 3 years. You probably feel cash rich now. You will not feel that way when you want to buy a home in that area. (Or even if you move to most other ...
by NoVa Lurker
Wed Jan 14, 2015 12:24 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: When your spouse isn't quite as frugal as you
Replies: 94
Views: 9503

Re: When your spouse isn't quite as frugal as you

These issues are very, very normal for a relationship. I have seen many otherwise-good relationships get derailed by conflicts about spending habits. If I were you, I would really try hard not to harp on convenience store purchases. It's a different story if he's regularly buying new electronics on ...
by NoVa Lurker
Mon Jan 12, 2015 11:07 am
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Need help informing my father he is making a mistake
Replies: 58
Views: 5259

Re: Need help informing my father he is making a mistake

Yeah, I'd go even further than fposte. You are almost certainly correct that your father is making a mistake (and probably a few mistakes, all at once). But why take a conversation with your father in a negative direction, unless there is an urgent need? This is not really your business - people was...
by NoVa Lurker
Tue Jan 06, 2015 10:47 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Any men here get their wedding band on Amazon?
Replies: 66
Views: 4297

Re: Any men here get their wedding band on Amazon?

I bought a tungsten carbide wedding band on Amazon in 2010. I recall it being $23 (with free shipping and, back then, no sales tax...). I have worn it every day since then. It feels great and looks almost the same as the day I got it. (I am looking at it closely now, and I can see some light scratch...
by NoVa Lurker
Tue Dec 30, 2014 9:26 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Do you read online reviews?
Replies: 26
Views: 1888

Re: Do you read online reviews?

We do - quite extensively! We have a house originally built in 1947, and there have been a bunch of problems where we needed a plumber/electrician/other contractor/etc. We've also done some voluntary improvements. We are in Northern Virginia. For the first three years in our home, we used the yellow...
by NoVa Lurker
Wed Dec 17, 2014 9:19 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: SS Delay Question
Replies: 14
Views: 1720

Re: SS Delay Question

Just to follow on trasmuss' point - OP, I believe your initial thought is probably correct UNLESS your Dad made a significantly higher salary than your Mom. If your Dad's salary is just a little bit higher, then in the scenario where he dies before your mom has reached her FRA, her own benefits stil...
by NoVa Lurker
Thu Dec 04, 2014 4:50 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Fly or drive [with a newborn]?
Replies: 58
Views: 5208

Re: Fly or drive? Not just time vs. money anymore

My wife and I just completed a long-distance trip (10-day vacation, 700 miles away) with a 3.5-year-old and a 7-month-old. The decision we faced was either 12 hours each way driving or 3 hours flying. I assumed that would equal a minimum of 15 hours total if we drove (including stops for bathrooms, ...
by NoVa Lurker
Mon Nov 24, 2014 12:34 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Bogleheads, any "Black Friday" [recommendations]
Replies: 59
Views: 6518

Re: Bogleheads, anyone doing "Black Friday"

I struggle to understand the economics of Black Friday. Is it a case of just a few heavily discounted deals to lure in shoppers? What is the economic incentive for stores to offer discounts in the lead-in to the biggest shopping season, when presumably demand is highest? In the UK they have sales t...
by NoVa Lurker
Wed Oct 29, 2014 11:26 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Finance kids' medical educations with a HELOC?
Replies: 24
Views: 2257

Re: Finance kids' medical educations with a HELOC?

One additional downside is the tension this will create if your son or daughter decide that medicine is just not for them, after racking up loans. If the loans are directly to them, from a financial institution, then the decision is theirs. If the loans are from you, then it will only make things to...
by NoVa Lurker
Tue Oct 28, 2014 11:16 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: New appliances - Stainless Steel or not?
Replies: 56
Views: 4265

Re: New appliances - Stainless Steel or not?

We have all 'stainless steel' appliances in the kitchen, and we like them. We have two small boys, so we are forced to take a pretty laid-back approach to smudges, etc. But even with fingerprints visible most of the time on the appliances, especially on the fridge, I'd still prefer the stainless fin...
by NoVa Lurker
Tue Oct 28, 2014 7:39 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Career Advice for an Unhappy Young Doctor?
Replies: 116
Views: 15078

Re: Career Advice for an Unhappy Young Doctor?

Many are treated as little more than high priced help that the administrators would love to replace with mid priced help. I am sure this is true, and demoralizing. Unfortunately, you just described virtually everyone in every high-paying corporate job. And I don't really see why medicine _should_ b...
by NoVa Lurker
Wed Oct 15, 2014 10:53 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: How to wrap my head around downsizing my home?
Replies: 47
Views: 4015

Re: How to wrap my head around downsizing my home?

I am sorry about your diagnosis. Best wishes. Moving does seem to be the most sensible decision, but it doesn't mean you have to do it. As Skiffy suggests, there are probably other solutions if you just don't want to leave your home. Having said that, if I were in your shoes, I would move into a con...
by NoVa Lurker
Thu Oct 09, 2014 8:30 am
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: 30 yr TIPs auction announced 16 oct: yield=1.10%?
Replies: 93
Views: 7608

Re: 30 yr TIPs auction announced 16 oct: yield=1.10%?

Leif wrote:Not too excited...


Yep, this is it in a nutshell.

While it may (or may not) be wise to have some long-term TIPS as part of your portfolio, it's a bit sad to lock in 1.1% real for 30 years.
by NoVa Lurker
Wed Oct 08, 2014 10:33 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Wife Expecting, Down to One Income Source
Replies: 116
Views: 9827

Re: Wife Expecting, Down to One Income Source

I'm a man and I took my 3 month old daughter to the pediatrician with a 103 degree fever (my wife used up all her sick days with maternity leave). The nurse asked "where is the mother" as if my wife had died, run off, or had been deployed to Iraq. I remarked that she was at work and there...

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