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Re: Home Appraisal

That is about all mine have been but I have always lived in subdivisions with lots of very comparable homes. This actually makes sense because they have very little information about the quality or details of the houses they are using as comparable sales so spending a long time looking at your house...
by Watty
Wed Jul 30, 2014 9:08 pm
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Home Appraisal
Replies: 17
Views: 934

Re: How does car trade-in works?

Since we're talking about selling a fairly new car, how do people arrange payment when selling, say, a $15K car on craigslist? My previous experience selling cars all involved prices in the few hundreds of dollars range, and I only accepted cash. How do you safely accept payment of thousands? Once ...
by Watty
Tue Jul 29, 2014 9:34 pm
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: How does car trade-in work?
Replies: 59
Views: 3101

Re: How to handle a company that won't honor a warranty?

It was not clear if you had just talked to them on their 800 number or if you have sent them something in writing.

If you have not written them yet the next thing I would do would be to write them and send it by certified mail and ask them for their response in writing.
by Watty
Tue Jul 29, 2014 9:05 pm
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: How to handle a company that won't honor a warranty?
Replies: 23
Views: 1383

Re: Principal Residence = Poor Investment?

Over the very long term the real return on a the price of a typical suburban house is not far from negative 100% since they will not age well and if they even make it to be a hundred years old they will very likely be getting very tired by then. There will be exceptions of course but see if you can ...
by Watty
Tue Jul 29, 2014 8:57 pm
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Principal Residence = Poor Investment?
Replies: 61
Views: 3414

Re: New HVAC system

As a fellow DFWer with a 31 year old HVAC I'm quite interested in this thread... please post what you learn! :) Even if that system is still working OK it could very likely cost effective to replace it sooner rather then later just because of the energy savings. (Steam boilers may be a special case.)
by Watty
Tue Jul 29, 2014 8:37 pm
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: New HVAC system
Replies: 29
Views: 2021

Re: retirement savings for my young kids?

I think you could call us middle class, So how do I go about this? 1) Max out your retirement accounts so they can inherit them some day. 2) Save up enough to that they will never have to support you when you are older even if your financial plans go terribly wrong. I have happen to several people ...
by Watty
Mon Jul 28, 2014 9:02 pm
 
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: retirement savings for my young kids?
Replies: 29
Views: 2203

Re: New HVAC system

Obviously the bigger the better, That is very incorrect. I am not expert but when I was shopping for my AC one of the things that I saw mention in lots of places that getting an AC unit that was too large was just as bad as getting one that was too small since it would not run long enough to take t...
by Watty
Mon Jul 28, 2014 8:43 pm
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: New HVAC system
Replies: 29
Views: 2021

Re: Kitchen Remodel... Or Not?

One thing to remember is that with that major of remodel there will be several months where you will likely have to move out for at least part of the time and live in a construction zone for the rest. You will l likely need to also move out a lot of your belongings since they will almost certainly b...
by Watty
Mon Jul 28, 2014 3:12 pm
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Kitchen Remodel... Or Not?
Replies: 53
Views: 2739

Re: What amount of Earnest Money - New Pulte Home

If the money is being held in escrow, and not being paid to the builder, then I would not be too worried about 5%.
by Watty
Sun Jul 27, 2014 9:39 pm
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: What amount of Earnest Money - New Pulte Home
Replies: 35
Views: 1857

Re: 33 yo single parent: Need financial advice

Free cash Q's: Q1: Should I pay off my student loans in total this month (This would leave me with 6k for and emergency fund) ? This would free up some monthly breathing room cash ($315/month). However, the interest rates are quite low on my loans as well so I'm torn. Perhaps contribute enough to ge...
by Watty
Sun Jul 27, 2014 9:34 pm
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: 33 yo single parent: Need financial advice
Replies: 12
Views: 985

Re: "best" online booking service for hotel room?

I use tripadvisor for reading the reviews of the hotels and that may include some good small hotels or B&Bs that will not show up on the large online booking companies. Most of the big online booking companies usually have very similar prices. It does not sound like a huge city and it sounds lik...
by Watty
Sun Jul 27, 2014 5:21 pm
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: "best" online booking service for hotel room?
Replies: 27
Views: 2105

Re: 33 yo single parent: Need financial advice

Some more information would be useful.

What is your marginal tax bracket?

Is the interest on your student loans deductible?

Do you have a paid off car? What is is worth and how long do you expect it to last?
by Watty
Sun Jul 27, 2014 5:02 pm
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: 33 yo single parent: Need financial advice
Replies: 12
Views: 985

Re: Buying A New Car

That is what I did when I bought my last Honda, but I live in a large city so they were all with an hours drive. When I was dealing with there internet sales person about a only about third of the dealers were really interested in dealing over the internet. About a third just wanted you to come in, ...
by Watty
Sun Jul 27, 2014 4:31 pm
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Buying A New Car
Replies: 7
Views: 667

Re: Surge protectors

When you get your new blender, be sure to read the manual, the ones I have used typically only run for 15 seconds or less for the things I have used it for.
by Watty
Sun Jul 27, 2014 4:21 pm
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Surge protectors
Replies: 40
Views: 2680

Re: Buying property - frank responses requested

I'd hesitate to buy something immediately on return or retirement. We rented for over a year when we returned to the US and we were only away for 3.5 years. +1. Things tend to change over 20 years. Your nostalgia may trip you up. Another +1 In addition to giving you time to check on San Diego you c...
by Watty
Sun Jul 27, 2014 4:14 pm
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Buying property - frank responses requested
Replies: 29
Views: 2960

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

Could use a second opinion. You are most likely making the biggest purchase of your life. Contact a real estate attorney and get a professional opinion. It was my attorney who suggested calling the town for the permitting. I guess I am seeking a third opinion? :D Your local laws, and practices, may...
by Watty
Sat Jul 26, 2014 2:36 pm
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Buying a Home - Town permit records don't match disclosures
Replies: 57
Views: 3488

Re: Buying a house and a car

In addition to having enough cash for a 20% down payment financing a car now would temporarily hurt her credit score and the debt to income ratios that are used to approve her mortgage. If she will be in the same line of work then changing jobs right before financing a house will likely not be a pro...
by Watty
Sat Jul 26, 2014 2:24 pm
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Buying a house and a car
Replies: 6
Views: 443

Re: help with inherited IRA

A good asset allocation for an inherited IRA will depend mostly on the rest of your portfolio which you didn't give us. +1 The generic one size fits all recommendation would be for a low cost targeted retirement fund like a 2020 fund. There are pros and cons and better choices for many if not most ...
by Watty
Fri Jul 25, 2014 10:41 pm
 
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: help with inherited IRA
Replies: 8
Views: 888

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

1) Walk-out basement lot that overlooks wooded nature area.


Be sure that that the wooded area is really protected and will never be developed or that trees could be harvested some day.
by Watty
Fri Jul 25, 2014 10:34 pm
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Whats a Better Lot in a Tract Home Neighborhood?
Replies: 31
Views: 2188

Re: New investor wondering how best to use a windfall

Your priorities to build emergency fund and get rid of 6.8% debt is good. For size of emergency fund, I suggest 6 months of expenses. +1 Your wife's 6.55% loan is small and just about the same rate so you might want to pay that off just to eliminate a monthly payment and simplify your life a bit. T...
by Watty
Thu Jul 24, 2014 8:42 pm
 
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: New investor wondering how best to use a windfall
Replies: 9
Views: 563

Re: Help me to help my 60 YO mother invest.

There is a quote that often comes up here and it attributed to a number of people, “The enemy of good plan is a perfect plan.” Having lost her husband and your father recently is overwhelming like you said so be careful of getting too stuck in trying to find the perfect plan that is only marginally ...
by Watty
Thu Jul 24, 2014 4:22 pm
 
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Help me to help my 60 YO mother invest.
Replies: 3
Views: 444

Re: Reaching Severe Burnout - Can I Scale Back Career?

Reaching Severe Burnout - Can I Scale Back Career? ..... I am still young (30) ...... Just this year, we reached a net worth of $600K ($350 tax deferred, $250 taxable, no home ownership). Years ago I thought this would be enough but now that I'm there it does t seem like so much, hence my dilemma. ...
by Watty
Wed Jul 23, 2014 8:12 pm
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Reaching Severe Burnout - Can I Scale Back Career?
Replies: 48
Views: 5049

Re: Will baby boomers retiring spell doom for the markets

I agree that this is mostly noise especially since the baby boomers retirement will be spread out over almost 50 years since it will be a long time until the last of the baby boomers, who were born as late as 1964 die off. A few things not mentioned; 1) The money that baby boomers take out of their ...
by Watty
Wed Jul 23, 2014 6:05 am
 
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Will baby boomers retiring spell doom for the markets
Replies: 45
Views: 5382

Re: New investor with an unexpected windfall

Be sure to take your time in deciding what to do. http://www.bogleheads.org/wiki/Managing_a_windfall There is nothing wrong with parking the money in several bank (to keep below the insurance limits) for six months or a year while you learn more and decide what to do. It would be good to make sure y...
by Watty
Tue Jul 22, 2014 9:17 pm
 
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: New investor with an unexpected windfall
Replies: 16
Views: 1752

Re: Help me choose a new tv

The last I looked Costco provided a better warranty then most stores.

You are looking at getting a huge TV, be sure to check to see if it is the right size for the viewing distance that you will have in the room, many people end up getting TV that are too large which can be a problem.
by Watty
Tue Jul 22, 2014 9:05 pm
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Help me choose a new tv
Replies: 31
Views: 1704

Re: 2 days in Portland, suggestions?

you can drive by Multnomah falls, but go about 10 miles further and do the hike to Wahclella falls or Eagle Creek/Punchbowl falls instead. Multnomah falls is worth stopping by but it tends to be very busy since it is right on the highway but there are a number of other waterfalls that you can eithe...
by Watty
Tue Jul 22, 2014 9:00 pm
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: 2 days in Portland, suggestions?
Replies: 34
Views: 1347

Re: New car - put extra $ towards current loan or save?

If you are getting near the end of the full 36 month warranty on your current car then it would be better to sell it sooner rather than later. You will likely get a bit of premium while it is under the full warranty.
by Watty
Mon Jul 21, 2014 8:55 pm
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: New car - put extra $ towards current loan or save?
Replies: 9
Views: 605

Re: cash in ibond or use savings for education

Thank you for any ideas. It would be good to do a dummy tax return to see just how large a tax advantage it would be for you. If your situation has not changed much you can just make a copy of last years tax return, if you did it yourself, and tweak the numbers a bit. One of the problems is that if...
by Watty
Mon Jul 21, 2014 4:34 pm
 
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: cash in ibond or use savings for education
Replies: 9
Views: 685

Re: Income for my 81 Year Old Father

I too am in my 80's with a good bit of cash and i bonds and never thought of dividing the total by 20 in order to see what i could draw down on an annual basis with no risk involved since i own no equities.I would be very comfortable .Thank you Lady Geek! Bob Yes, It is amazing how many people agon...
by Watty
Mon Jul 21, 2014 4:27 pm
 
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Income for my 81 Year Old Father
Replies: 11
Views: 1454

Re: Need advice re hearing aid for small child

Be sure to double check with your insurance company to see if the hearing aid will be covered. My company provided insurance plan does not say anything about hearing aids in the list of plan benefits that they hand out during open enrollment, but it does cover my wife's hearing aids. Since the compa...
by Watty
Mon Jul 21, 2014 11:46 am
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Need advice re hearing aid for small child
Replies: 22
Views: 1167

Re: US car rental insurance for foreign tourist ?

When researching this be sure to look at liability insurance in case she injures someone and insurance to cover damage to the car. The only credit card coverage I have heard of covers damage to the car. Any liability coverage through the rental car company would likely not only be expensive but also...
by Watty
Mon Jul 21, 2014 11:34 am
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: US car rental insurance for foreign tourist ?
Replies: 9
Views: 810

Re: Can I retire early?

Expenses: Essentials (real estate taxes, fed/state taxes, health insurance included here): $46,000 annually Discretionary (big travel budget, foodie interests, garden, classes, fitness): $50,000 annually Total: $96,000 including taxes That might be what you need to provide right now, but in about t...
by Watty
Sun Jul 20, 2014 7:37 pm
 
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Can I retire early?
Replies: 28
Views: 3915

Re: Gray Market woes

You might also contact the company to see if they have any suggestions.
by Watty
Sat Jul 19, 2014 9:58 pm
 
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Gray Market woes
Replies: 20
Views: 2051

Re: I was tempted to market time and didn't

The drop and bounce back was only about 1% each way. Even if you timed it perfectly and sold with before the drop and bought back before the bounce then that is only a combined 2% gain, before taxes and trading costs. That would of course been nice to have but the risk if it turning out badly and th...
by Watty
Sat Jul 19, 2014 4:43 pm
 
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: I was tempted to market time and didn't
Replies: 19
Views: 1815

Re: AA for a spoiled young buck

Questions: 1. The American Century Growth, Janus Worldwide, and Vanguard Value Index were set up as gift trust funds for me when I was a lad. Between the 3, they have roughly $55k in unrealized gains. A large chunk of change for someone in the 25% tax bracket! I'm in favor of reducing the number of ...
by Watty
Sat Jul 19, 2014 4:24 pm
 
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: AA for a spoiled young buck
Replies: 26
Views: 3843

Re: Honda Fit, Civic

Comfort is not a part of my selection criteria, I adapt to the car I have. Have you driven Fit in the mountains? Yes and no. I am from the west cost but I am living on the east coast now. I have driven it in the Appalachians and it did just fine, but some people would not consider those "real&...
by Watty
Sat Jul 19, 2014 10:59 am
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Honda Fit, Civic
Replies: 32
Views: 3057

Re: Honda Fit, Civic

2. In retirement I may start taking long road trips and driving in mountains. Fit or Civic or Accord? I expect that in retirement I will also take some long road trips but without commuting the total miles I drive each year will be a lot less so the importance so getting the best gas mileage will b...
by Watty
Sat Jul 19, 2014 10:40 am
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Honda Fit, Civic
Replies: 32
Views: 3057

Re: How much energy does water heater use when I'm not home?

Any thoughts on this would be a appreciate. The next time you go on vacation turn off as many electric items as possible then look at the electric meter before and after you your trip to see how much electricity was used. That will tell you how much your entire house used. There will be some other ...
by Watty
Fri Jul 18, 2014 10:33 pm
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: How much energy does water heater use when I'm not home?
Replies: 32
Views: 2727

Re: Living on Dividends

Hi, Here are a few links that might be of interest if you have not seen them yet. There are decades until you need to worry about the withdraw methods but here is the wiki that gives an overview of some of the options. http://www.bogleheads.org/wiki/Withdrawal_methods Generally speaking if you will ...
by Watty
Fri Jul 18, 2014 10:22 pm
 
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Living on Dividends
Replies: 18
Views: 4430

Re: Buy a condo for college?

Dorms have an advantage in that there is at least minimal supervision and they are a great way for them to acclimate to college and make new friends so there is a lot to be said for having them live in a dorm for at least their first year. If they live in a dorm on campus for the first year there is...
by Watty
Fri Jul 18, 2014 7:27 pm
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Buy a condo for college?
Replies: 29
Views: 2496

Re: New Grad needing some advice

Contributing at least 6% to get the maximum match is an easy choice and combined with the employers match that will give you over a 10% contribution. You have a lot of other financial goals that likely include things like; Paying down your debt. Saving up a good emergency fund. (using the Roth like ...
by Watty
Fri Jul 18, 2014 4:04 pm
 
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: New Grad needing some advice
Replies: 14
Views: 1153

Re: Cash out pension?

Should we roll the money? It certainly seems like it unless something is egregiously wrong with my calculations.



Your numbers look good and I would roll the money over.

An additional problem is that she may be able to take a lump sum now, but they may eliminate that option in the future.
by Watty
Fri Jul 18, 2014 3:30 pm
 
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Cash out pension?
Replies: 30
Views: 1655

Re: Honda Fit, Civic

I have experience driving in snow elsewhere and the few times I have driven my Fit here in Atlanta in a couple of inches of snow it seemed more than acceptable. The problem with it though is that it has almost no ground clearance. I didn’t look it up but I suspect that it would bottom out if you tri...
by Watty
Fri Jul 18, 2014 3:17 pm
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Honda Fit, Civic
Replies: 32
Views: 3057

Re: Selling RV Abroad & Bringing Cash Home

Argentina has all sorts of currency problems, to put it mildly, so it might be very difficult to get the cash out of that country. It would a long drive but going back up to Brazil to sell it might be another option to consider.
by Watty
Thu Jul 17, 2014 9:44 pm
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Selling RV Abroad & Bringing Cash Home
Replies: 23
Views: 2093

Re: 15 year mortgage or a 30 year & Invest?

Person B) takes out a 30 year fixed mortgage and with the extra money (the difference between person A's monthly payment and person B's) that he doesn't need to pay had he taken a 15 year mortgage, he invests extra in his index fund, still all in his tax advantage accounts (roughly 27% of his incom...
by Watty
Thu Jul 17, 2014 9:14 pm
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: 15 year mortgage or a 30 year & Invest?
Replies: 34
Views: 3579

Re: Ways to help daughter financially? (property, tax, and e

If you have been renting the house and taking depreciation then selling the house would likely also result in extra capital gains taxes because the depreciation would reduce your cost basis. I would suspect that if you gave her the house the depreciation would be also be a problem. Any other ideas? ...
by Watty
Wed Jul 16, 2014 10:45 pm
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Ways to help daughter financially? (property, tax, and estat
Replies: 9
Views: 1194

Re: New inheritance added to portfolio- grateful for advice

It would be good to check, but I would assume that the bond ladder was inherited at a stepped up cost basis. If so then the excess bonds could be sold with little tax consequences so that you could purchase equities to get your portfolio balanced. Tax bracket: Fed 35% State 5.75% Portfolio is in mid...
by Watty
Wed Jul 16, 2014 10:27 pm
 
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: New inheritance added to portfolio- grateful for advice
Replies: 3
Views: 763

Re: Debt Payoff Plan - Student/Car Loans

You may be able to refinance the car loan at a much lower interest rate, possible less than 2%.
by Watty
Tue Jul 15, 2014 10:02 pm
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Debt Payoff Plan - Student/Car Loans
Replies: 9
Views: 1114

Re: Using Emergency Fund to Pay off Auto Loan

With a new baby due in a few weeks you may need the emergency fund then if there are any complications. I would keep it and use it to pay the day care if you need to. The interest you are saving on the car loan is minimal. I would put that idea on the back burner and then look at this again in six m...
by Watty
Tue Jul 15, 2014 9:57 pm
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Using Emergency Fund to Pay off Auto Loan
Replies: 20
Views: 1564

Re: Small Inherited IRA - what would you do?

If your are eligible for other deductible retirement accounts that you are not maxing out then you withdraw some money from the inherited account each year then make a matching deductible retirement account contribution. For example if you can make a $3,000 additional deductible IRA contribution the...
by Watty
Tue Jul 15, 2014 9:05 pm
 
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Small Inherited IRA - what would you do?
Replies: 7
Views: 1037
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