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Re: Kitchen Remodel... Or Not?

"I don't understand what's so great about old houses. House technology has advanced a lot in 25 years, not to mention 130." I'm pretty confident that most houses that have made it to 130 years old, if properly maintained, will be around longer than many of the homes built in the last 25 ye...
by Novine
Mon Jul 28, 2014 11:08 am
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Kitchen Remodel... Or Not?
Replies: 50
Views: 2029

Re: What amount of Earnest Money - New Pulte Home

Kind of amusing to read about a "hot subdivision" - Pulte subdivisions are pretty cookie-cutter so if you don't get into "Avalon Hills", "Avalon Meadow" or "Avalon Ponds" will surely provide the same houses with the same cul-de-sacs looking out over the same &...
by Novine
Mon Jul 28, 2014 10:55 am
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: What amount of Earnest Money - New Pulte Home
Replies: 33
Views: 1467

Re: Mutual Fund Suggestions?

"Novine, my ML advisor did not ask me how I was invested in my 401k when he suggested the investment for my Roth. I have always had my 401k through Vanguard so he did not have insight into that account." I'm not surprised, ours didn't ask either. It's another example of how the people &quo...
by Novine
Mon Jul 28, 2014 10:50 am
 
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Mutual Fund Suggestions?
Replies: 6
Views: 593

Re: What amount of Earnest Money - New Pulte Home

That's what I was wondering. You can check out the development here.
by Novine
Sun Jul 27, 2014 10:42 pm
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: What amount of Earnest Money - New Pulte Home
Replies: 33
Views: 1467

Re: Help me save my parents from Merrill Lynch

Why so disparaging? Because you can invest at much lower cost through firms like Vanguard or Fidelity without the conflicts-of-interest that lies with every ML salesperson (no, they're not financial advisors). Like others, it was showing my wife the many ways that ML was ripping us off in fees and b...
by Novine
Sun Jul 27, 2014 10:27 pm
 
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Help me save my parents from Merrill Lynch
Replies: 28
Views: 3236

Re: Mutual Fund Suggestions?

Did your ML advisor ask you how you were invested in your 401k when suggesting that investment for your Roth?
by Novine
Sun Jul 27, 2014 10:18 pm
 
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Mutual Fund Suggestions?
Replies: 6
Views: 593

Re: Buying property - frank responses requested

What are rental rates in the area where you want to live? Putting a significant amount of your retirement funds into a single asset may not be a good call.
by Novine
Sun Jul 27, 2014 3:34 pm
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Buying property - frank responses requested
Replies: 22
Views: 2018

Re: Buying a Home - Town permit records don't match disclosu

The biggest concern would be the electrical work from both a long-term liability and personal safety viewpoint. You want to be sure that it was done correctly. Roofs can be an expensive fix if they're not installed correctly. At the minimum, I would want to have someone who knows what they're doing ...
by Novine
Sun Jul 27, 2014 12:18 am
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Buying a Home - Town permit records don't match disclosures
Replies: 55
Views: 3155

Re: AMZN's magical status

" Amazon’s assets aren’t liquid; they are books, CDs, DVDs, children’s toys, clothes, consumer electronics, etc." This is an example of the misunderstanding of some people's view of Amazon. Amazon has moved way beyond just being a seller of goods. As was noted, if Amazon ever spun off its ...
by Novine
Sun Jul 27, 2014 12:09 am
 
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: AMZN's magical status
Replies: 26
Views: 2711

Re: How Should I Manage My 401k?

Did you select these funds? Or were they selected for you? Are you enrolled in any guided portfolio service or something similar in your 401k?
by Novine
Sat Jul 26, 2014 9:41 pm
 
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: How Should I Manage My 401k?
Replies: 7
Views: 689

Re: AMZN's magical status

Jim Cramer - yeah, him - had what I thought was a good write-up on why Amazon's valuations are so out of synch with how equities are typically valued in his latest book. You have to understand that Amazon's moved beyond being an online retailer. Its technology platform powers a huge number of compan...
by Novine
Sat Jul 26, 2014 1:23 pm
 
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: AMZN's magical status
Replies: 26
Views: 2711

Re: Should I Buy a Home Warranty

The flip side is some years, you don't "need" the warranty at all. It's a form of insurance. Some people self-insure, others prefer to pay higher premiums to avoid large out-of-pocket costs.
by Novine
Fri Jul 25, 2014 4:51 pm
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Should I Buy a Home Warranty
Replies: 19
Views: 1332

Re: Whats a Better Lot in a Tract Home Neighborhood?

Who is the house for? You? Your spouse? Kids? Personally, I wouldn't want that much house in a soulless subdivision in the suburbs. But you're trying to meet someone's needs with that house. You might want to see what they would prefer.
by Novine
Fri Jul 25, 2014 4:49 pm
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Whats a Better Lot in a Tract Home Neighborhood?
Replies: 31
Views: 2058

Re: 500K Sitting in a Bank Account

Who is legally responsible for managing this money?
by Novine
Thu Jul 24, 2014 1:07 pm
 
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: 500K Sitting in a Bank Account
Replies: 17
Views: 1576

Re: Should I Buy a Home Warranty

When I bought my home, the previous owners covered a home warranty (American Home Shield) for the first year. I kept it going for a couple of years after that. It easily paid for itself with a hot water heater that was replaced, a broken furnace fan and some other items that were covered. In my expe...
by Novine
Thu Jul 24, 2014 10:59 am
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Should I Buy a Home Warranty
Replies: 19
Views: 1332

Re: Best Way to Show Google Docs via Wi-Fi on a TV: Chromeca

This link talks about a way to auto loop a presentation.
by Novine
Tue Jul 22, 2014 10:45 pm
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Best Way to Show Google Docs via Wi-Fi on a TV: Chromecast?
Replies: 6
Views: 557

Re: Helping My Grandmother

How much could she realistically get if she sold the house? What are rental rates in her area? Depending on your answers, the best return may be selling the house and moving into an apartment.
by Novine
Sun Jul 20, 2014 6:35 pm
 
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Helping My Grandmother
Replies: 54
Views: 3180

Re: Buying First Home - Inspection Follow Up Advice

Keep in mind that the OP noted the house is 95 years old. Structurally, not all of the suggestions are feasible considering how these homes were constructed. Even the OP's idea for adding insulation in the walls may not be a good idea depending on the interior and exterior wall materials and constru...
by Novine
Sun Jul 20, 2014 6:03 pm
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Buying First Home - Inspection Follow Up Advice
Replies: 22
Views: 1844

Re: Millennials (with jobs) are super-saving their retiremen

"That means they will run deficits for 20-30 years before going bankrupt. " I don't think this is accurate. It means that the system can continue to run for 20 -30 years - with no change - until payments of benefits have to be reduced. There are some adjustments, like raising the cap on SS...
by Novine
Sat Jul 19, 2014 9:51 pm
 
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Millennials (with jobs) are super-saving their retirement
Replies: 65
Views: 9180

Re: Variable annuity ,what's the difference ?

"She took this one on advice of a friend who is a financial advisor , the same guy who sold is our WL policies ."

Nice "friend".
by Novine
Sat Jul 19, 2014 2:38 pm
 
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Variable annuity ,what's the difference ?
Replies: 14
Views: 1830

Re: Yet another newbie's 403(b): fund/allocation advice, ple

Are you going to max out your Roth IRA each year too? Or were you just planning to do the 403(b)?
by Novine
Thu Jul 17, 2014 10:40 pm
 
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Yet another newbie's 403(b): fund/allocation advice, please
Replies: 8
Views: 558

Re: Market Timing vs. Market Opportunity

A "market opportunity" is market timing that worked out in hindsight. No one calls them "opportunities" when they bet wrong and lose money. I've read enough posts by people who pulled out in anticipation of the fiscal cliff or the 2011 or 2013 debt crisis, convinced that a market...
by Novine
Thu Jul 17, 2014 10:09 pm
 
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Market Timing vs. Market Opportunity
Replies: 46
Views: 2937

Re: Second Largest PreK-12 School District Wins a 457b award

Far better than my 457b plan. But I find that ERs to be a bit high for Vanguard funds considering the size of the pool of potential retirees.
by Novine
Thu Jul 17, 2014 9:57 pm
 
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Second Largest PreK-12 School District Wins a 457b award!
Replies: 11
Views: 893

Re: New Investor with Class A fund blues

Out of curiosity, what did you tell the advisor about your goals, risk-tolerance, etc. that led them to select that line-up of funds?
by Novine
Tue Jul 15, 2014 3:07 pm
 
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: New Investor with Class A fund blues
Replies: 31
Views: 2085

Re: New Investor - Looking To Play and Need Advice

Don't take this the wrong way but at age 36, you need to get serious about saving for retirement. You're not going to accomplish that by trying to day trade or other get rich schemes unless you think buying lottery tickets or going to the dog track are suitable alternatives for retirement planning. ...
by Novine
Mon Jul 14, 2014 11:21 pm
 
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: New Investor - Looking To Play and Need Advice
Replies: 7
Views: 954

Re: Debt payoff plan opinions

"Also, how much of a hassle is it to refinance a vehicle. I'm assuming the title has to be transferred and so forth and I'm sure that's not free. What all would that entail on my part?"

Depends. Who holds the car loan?
by Novine
Mon Jul 14, 2014 3:08 pm
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Debt payoff plan opinions
Replies: 53
Views: 3106

Re: Should I try to re-fi my mortgage?

How did that compare to Zillow? I've been curious as to how well that tracks actual appraisals.
by Novine
Mon Jul 14, 2014 12:36 pm
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Should I try to re-fi my mortgage?
Replies: 26
Views: 3278

Re: Should I try to re-fi my mortgage?

We're in the same boat but in the 'burbs. But we plan on staying in our house. Did you have any problems hitting your target on the appraisal?
by Novine
Mon Jul 14, 2014 11:36 am
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Should I try to re-fi my mortgage?
Replies: 26
Views: 3278

Allstate's Drivewise Program

We just signed up our cars for Allstate's Drivewise program. For anyone who has been or is currently enrolled, how has it worked out for you discount-wise? I've seen mixed reviews online. Any tips or tricks on how to maximize your discount?
by Novine
Mon Jul 14, 2014 11:27 am
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Allstate's Drivewise Program
Replies: 3
Views: 685

Re: Anyone here flip houses?

There are Bogleheads who flip houses. From what they've reported, I didn't get the impression it was something you can do "on the side". One of the biggest threats to your investment are your carrying costs while you own the property. The longer it takes you to flip, the less likely you ar...
by Novine
Sun Jul 13, 2014 11:45 pm
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Anyone here flip houses?
Replies: 40
Views: 4604

Re: Solar panels, are they worth it?

Someone who had only one offer on their house in 5 months has bigger problems than leased solar panels on their roof.
by Novine
Sat Jul 12, 2014 7:15 pm
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Solar panels, are they worth it?
Replies: 53
Views: 4979

Re: Total neophyte wants to invest wisely

With the potential for you to "retire" in the next 5 -7 years balanced against the idea that you may be in the home for another 20 years, have you given any thought to refinancing into a 15 year mortgage? Based on current rates, you could probably lower your interest rate 0.5%. More import...
by Novine
Fri Jul 11, 2014 9:43 am
 
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Total neophyte wants to invest wisely
Replies: 16
Views: 2095

Re: Total neophyte wants to invest wisely

"Pay off mortgage or invest?" Most people don't want to go into retirement, early or otherwise, with mortgage debt. But in your case, factors that could determine the right approach would include: - How long do you plan to be in the current house? - Any plans to downsize in retirement? - W...
by Novine
Thu Jul 10, 2014 10:08 am
 
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Total neophyte wants to invest wisely
Replies: 16
Views: 2095

Re: Must-haves and Legal Needs for a Millionaire

Typically, the goal of life insurance is to ensure that your wife and future children are not left in financial peril if you were to die suddenly. How much do you need? It depends on what you want to accomplish. Do you want to provide an income stream for X number of years? Do you want to ensure tha...
by Novine
Thu Jul 10, 2014 9:58 am
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Must-haves and Legal Needs for a Millionaire
Replies: 17
Views: 4742

Re: Help with AA and priorities!

Double-check those ERs for the Vanguard funds. In my VALIC plan, the normally low-cost Vanguard funds are larded up with extra fees that are hidden in the footnotes. They may still be your best choice but it's likely that they're not as cheap as you listed.
by Novine
Tue Jul 08, 2014 9:09 pm
 
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Help with AA and priorities!
Replies: 9
Views: 925

Re: Getting back to trying to live frugal, correct investmen

AdviceTrack is going to take around 1% of your investments in fees to "manage" your retirement account for you. You don't need AdviceTrack, that's what you come here to get. Dump AdviceTrack as soon as you can.
by Novine
Tue Jul 08, 2014 12:08 pm
 
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Getting back to trying to live frugal, correct investments
Replies: 10
Views: 1438

Re: stocks about to plunge

by Novine
Tue Jul 08, 2014 10:55 am
 
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: stocks about to plunge
Replies: 39
Views: 7684

Re: Help with Investments - Newly Engaged Couple

Are you treating all of these funds as one portfolio? If so, it still looks too complicated to me. You shouldn't be duplicating your 90/10 asset allocation in each account. There's no need for 5 - 6 funds in each account. Instead, you should pick the best fund(s) in each account that allow you to cr...
by Novine
Tue Jul 08, 2014 10:32 am
 
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Help with Investments - Newly Engaged Couple
Replies: 18
Views: 1669

Re: I think I might have too much saved in a 401k

I'm surprised that livesoft hasn't chimed in on the OPs zero tax bracket approach to dealing with his "problem".
by Novine
Sun Jul 06, 2014 1:26 pm
 
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: I think I might have too much saved in a 401k
Replies: 40
Views: 4175

Re: Get in the game

"So I think I was spared the fees, as some of the comments above noted may have been the case. Does this mean maybe this guy could be trusted?"

You may have been spared the front-end loads but you're still paying annual fees on those funds.
by Novine
Thu Jul 03, 2014 1:15 pm
 
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Get in the game
Replies: 21
Views: 1800

Re: Alpo risk in retirement: Overblown?

"The poorest even appear to have the highest obesity rates among Americans"

Which tell us what? That people are obese because they are spending a lot on food? Probably not. The cheapest food is often the least healthy for you.
by Novine
Thu Jul 03, 2014 12:56 pm
 
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Alpo risk in retirement: Overblown?
Replies: 41
Views: 2341

Re: Alpo risk in retirement: Overblown?

Being in the same age bracket as "killjoy2012", I can agree on several data points for our generation: - Pensions are going to be a thing of the past for most people our age and younger. Contrary to popular opinion, the majority of workers never had pensions. But a significant percentage d...
by Novine
Thu Jul 03, 2014 12:54 pm
 
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Alpo risk in retirement: Overblown?
Replies: 41
Views: 2341

Re: Who do you talk with about your financial goals?

Sorry about that - to get this back on track, my wife and I regularly discuss our financial goals and how we are doing. She's not as interested in all of the details but I think it's important for her to know what we're doing investment-wise in case she ever has to take things over. I talk the marke...
by Novine
Tue Jul 01, 2014 5:13 pm
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Who do you talk with about your financial goals?
Replies: 158
Views: 9080

Re: Who do you talk with about your financial goals?

I always find these discussions fascinating because one of the great laments of the BH crowd is the lack of financial literacy among Americans. But when asked whom they share their knowledge of financial matters, the most frequent answer appears to be only a spouse or no one at all. I get not wantin...
by Novine
Tue Jul 01, 2014 12:19 pm
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Who do you talk with about your financial goals?
Replies: 158
Views: 9080

Re: My investments are a disaster

What's the basis of his objection to moving the funds?
by Novine
Thu Jun 26, 2014 11:40 am
 
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: My investments are a disaster
Replies: 55
Views: 6319

Re: Contractor Messed up

Do you want the look of Oak cabinets? I would get some photos of what you want versus what they are offering to install. $1000 off isn't going to do you any good if you're unhappy with the look of the final product.
by Novine
Wed Jun 25, 2014 2:58 pm
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Contractor Messed up
Replies: 45
Views: 2964

Re: Retirement savings advice for two public servants

Will you be eligible to collect Social Security at the appropriate age? I didn't see you mention it and I know that some governmental employees don't participate in SS.
by Novine
Wed Jun 25, 2014 2:52 pm
 
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Retirement savings advice for two public servants
Replies: 16
Views: 1502

Re: real estate fraud?

The fraud in these cases is multiple individuals getting mortgages far in excess of the value of the house and then allowing them to be foreclosed after failing to pay on the homes.
by Novine
Wed Jun 25, 2014 2:45 pm
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: real estate fraud?
Replies: 33
Views: 2647
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