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Re: When did you feel "Out of the Woods"?

I think you are asking the wrong forum. People that post here by nature are the types that will never feel "out of the woods" financially. I mean heck every once in a while you have the "am I ready to retire" threads where the poster has a 2 million dollar nest egg with a pension...
by countofmc
Sat Sep 20, 2014 1:05 pm
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: When did you feel "Out of the Woods"?
Replies: 35
Views: 3915

Savings rate, when you start, withdrawal rate > AA

I often see scattered around several different threads, the idea that it's much more important to save as much as you can, start early, and then maintain a SWR during retirement than obsess over asset allocation. Is there a short article or maybe a really good thread here that kind of summarizes tha...
by countofmc
Fri Sep 19, 2014 3:49 pm
 
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Savings rate, when you start, withdrawal rate > AA
Replies: 3
Views: 439

Re: Low Gas Prices => Deals on Hybrid/Electric Cars

Bay Area Toyota dealers are basically giving away 2014 Priuses right now. I'm seeing 4-5k off MSRP
by countofmc
Fri Sep 19, 2014 1:05 pm
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Low Gas Prices => Deals on Hybrid/Electric Cars
Replies: 7
Views: 666

Re: Any success stories of ppl who never made >$50,000?

"Success is peace of mind which is a direct result of self-satisfaction in knowing you did your best to become the best you are capable of becoming." - Coach John Wooden

By that very apt definition, I'm sure there are lots of successful people who never made more than $50,000.
by countofmc
Wed Sep 17, 2014 1:02 am
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Any success stories of ppl who never made >$50,000?
Replies: 149
Views: 9826

Re: Hamilton watches, worth the money?

I wouldn't wear a chrono watch with a suit, btw. I'd get a dress watch. The Hamilton Intra-Matic is comfortably within your budget, is a thin dress watch, looks classy, and sports the ETA 2892 movement, considered one of the finer workhorse movements. I checked this out, looks nice but definitely c...
by countofmc
Mon Sep 15, 2014 6:40 pm
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Hamilton watches, worth the money?
Replies: 214
Views: 7421

Re: Hamilton watches, worth the money?

I wouldn't wear a chrono watch with a suit, btw.

I'd get a dress watch. The Hamilton Intra-Matic is comfortably within your budget, is a thin dress watch, looks classy, and sports the ETA 2892 movement, considered one of the finer workhorse movements.
by countofmc
Mon Sep 15, 2014 6:16 pm
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Hamilton watches, worth the money?
Replies: 214
Views: 7421

Re: Repair/maintain the BMW or get a new car?

I ended up selling the BMW to a good friend, and purchasing a base model Accord for a very good price and 0.9% financing. Pretty happy with my decision so far. No comparison in how these cars drive, but I just couldn't justify keeping a car like a BMW to be basically a garage queen. I hope the good...
by countofmc
Mon Sep 15, 2014 12:18 pm
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Repair/maintain the BMW or get a new car?
Replies: 24
Views: 2166

Re: Hamilton watches, worth the money?

They are generally the cheapest way to get into Swiss watches featuring ETA movements. The brand itself also has a long storied history and is respected in the world of horology. That being said I think Seiko and Citizen automatics are much better values if you can live without the Swiss Made design...
by countofmc
Mon Sep 15, 2014 11:41 am
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Hamilton watches, worth the money?
Replies: 214
Views: 7421

Re: Repair/maintain the BMW or get a new car?

I ended up selling the BMW to a good friend, and purchasing a base model Accord for a very good price and 0.9% financing. Pretty happy with my decision so far. No comparison in how these cars drive, but I just couldn't justify keeping a car like a BMW to be basically a garage queen.
by countofmc
Mon Sep 15, 2014 11:38 am
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Repair/maintain the BMW or get a new car?
Replies: 24
Views: 2166

Re: Repair/maintain the BMW or get a new car?

So I just tried to do some simple calculations and crunch some numbers. According to intellichoice, a new Accord LX (the base model) will depreciate about $11,000. My BMW will depreciate about $8000 over the same time span (I had to just guess this, I compared my current KBB trade-in value to the tr...
by countofmc
Sat Sep 13, 2014 6:24 pm
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Repair/maintain the BMW or get a new car?
Replies: 24
Views: 2166

Re: Getting an independent mechanic check on a CPO car?

You've raised an interesting question. For those of us who might need a replacement vehicle in the future, but clearly do not need a "new" car, how do we react? I, for one, have no "independent mechanic" on retainer. How might I find one? All these posts advising that one have &...
by countofmc
Thu Sep 11, 2014 10:00 pm
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Getting an independent mechanic check on a CPO car?
Replies: 4
Views: 391

Getting an independent mechanic check on a CPO car?

So generally getting your own mechanic to check out a used car before you buy it is advised. Is there a way to get this done with dealer-sold CPO cars though? I guess mechanical issues might not be as big of a deal because these CPOs usually come with pretty good warranties, but I'd be more concerne...
by countofmc
Thu Sep 11, 2014 9:01 pm
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Getting an independent mechanic check on a CPO car?
Replies: 4
Views: 391

Why COULDN'T we just retire on Social Security?

We are in our early 30s, so not going to affect us for a while. Plus I know I'm making assumptions regarding the validity and form of SS. But average SS pay out is around $1200. And that goes up with inflation. If my wife and I continue to work until SS age, there's no reason to think we wouldn't bo...
by countofmc
Thu Sep 11, 2014 11:45 am
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Why COULDN'T we just retire on Social Security?
Replies: 66
Views: 5993

Re: Besides pay and mobility, great job: What to do?

BL wrote:
a Federal gov't job or something.


This might be just the ticket to working in law or related work if she is interested!


Yep, that is the one employer she keeps trying for, although it seems to be tough to land a job with the Feds
by countofmc
Thu Sep 11, 2014 11:16 am
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Besides pay and mobility, great job: What to do?
Replies: 11
Views: 1132

Re: Besides pay and mobility, great job: What to do?

It seems to me that she is rapidly approaching the point where she will not be able to be a lawyer (i.e. enough years out and no one will ever hire her) so if that is a goal in life, she better do it now rather than later. She feels like that ship may already have sailed. She graduated 5 years ago ...
by countofmc
Wed Sep 10, 2014 11:30 am
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Besides pay and mobility, great job: What to do?
Replies: 11
Views: 1132

Besides pay and mobility, great job: What to do?

Seeking career advice for my wife. We've been discussing her job/ career for a while and are kind of stumped over what would be the best course of action going forward, so decided to seek the advice of wide Bogleheads. My wife graduated from law school a couple of years ago. She was not able to find...
by countofmc
Tue Sep 09, 2014 11:17 pm
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Besides pay and mobility, great job: What to do?
Replies: 11
Views: 1132

Repair/maintain the BMW or get a new car?

I have a 2008 BMW with about 40k miles on it. I drive sparingly now as I live close to work (maybe 3k miles a year). So far the car has been reliable and hasn't cost me much (mainly thanks to the free maintenance for the first 4 years), but now it's time to pay the piper. The brakes are worn down, t...
by countofmc
Tue Sep 09, 2014 8:34 pm
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Repair/maintain the BMW or get a new car?
Replies: 24
Views: 2166

Re: 2014/2015 Honda Accord vs. 2014 Toyota Avalon

I would think just about every dealer would allow you to try it on the highway (as long as it wasn't 30 miles away). Nope. The Toyota dealers around (with dealerships right next to the freeway) have specific inside-the-city loops that will take you on a sightseeing trip of all the speed bumps in th...
by countofmc
Thu Aug 28, 2014 1:35 pm
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: 2014/2015 Honda Accord vs. 2014 Toyota Avalon
Replies: 52
Views: 4180

Re: 2014/2015 Honda Accord vs. 2014 Toyota Avalon

Make sure you test drive these cars. From what I've read, the common complaints regarding these cars were addressed for this generation. For example, a major criticism of the Accord has been road noise (I can attest to this, I have an older Accord and it is LOUD at highway speeds). I think Honda wor...
by countofmc
Mon Aug 25, 2014 12:04 pm
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: 2014/2015 Honda Accord vs. 2014 Toyota Avalon
Replies: 52
Views: 4180

Re: Kimchi

Those of you that ferment foods at home, isn't this quite dangerous? Seems like a high botulism risk, ala home-canning.
by countofmc
Thu Aug 21, 2014 4:56 pm
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Kimchi
Replies: 40
Views: 1886

Re: Good place to buy eyeglasses without insurance?

I like Warby Parker's home try on program. You browse their website, pick 5 pairs to try for 5 days with free shipping both ways. And, if you like them then you order them. They only offer their brand of frames, right? Their service and price seem to get really good ratings, but I've heard mixed op...
by countofmc
Thu Aug 21, 2014 4:19 pm
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Good place to buy eyeglasses without insurance?
Replies: 39
Views: 2511

Re: Good place to buy eyeglasses without insurance?

i know zenni optical (online) has some cheap options, some even have a try on for free option too. Can you wear your old pair until your insurance cycle starts over? Just got new glasses from lenscrafters, it was about $350-400 per pair before insurance reimbursement but they were running a 50% off...
by countofmc
Thu Aug 21, 2014 4:18 pm
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Good place to buy eyeglasses without insurance?
Replies: 39
Views: 2511

Re: Good place to buy eyeglasses without insurance?

livesoft wrote:I recently bought online, but it took awhile because the glasses came from Hong Kong. They were progressives, name-brand frame, add-ons. So if you buy online, be sure to be aware of time it takes.


May I ask which website? I heard they do a really good job with eyeglasses in Asia.
by countofmc
Thu Aug 21, 2014 4:16 pm
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Good place to buy eyeglasses without insurance?
Replies: 39
Views: 2511

Good place to buy eyeglasses without insurance?

I wear eyeglasses (near-sighted) for every waking moment. I generally get an eye exam and new glasses every 2-3 years. Just a couple of months ago I bought a new pair, but recently suffered an unfortunate mishap and destroyed my glasses. So I need a new pair. I already used my insurance benefits, so...
by countofmc
Thu Aug 21, 2014 4:10 pm
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Good place to buy eyeglasses without insurance?
Replies: 39
Views: 2511

Re: Retirement luxury vehicle

I was test driving a Mercedes C250's with my daughter last weekend - very nice car, easy to drive, safe, not too big and quick - lease return w/ warranty left are available for low 20's. CLA too new, unproven? I apologize as I'm kinda working off a "stereotypical" retired older lady model...
by countofmc
Wed Aug 13, 2014 6:30 pm
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Retirement luxury vehicle
Replies: 62
Views: 4518

Re: Any Opinions on Mirrorless Cameras?

Nice summary countofmc, Samsung is another brand I looked closely at, the NX 2000 model. Amazon has a nice pink one for $299 with kit lens. Wife would like pink :happy I found several reviews where the Samsung got a refused to recognize lens error. That scarred me away from that model though the pr...
by countofmc
Wed Aug 13, 2014 5:42 pm
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Any Opinions on Mirrorless Cameras?
Replies: 40
Views: 2100

Re: Retirement luxury vehicle

Kinda vague, lots of cars fit your description if you are willing to go used/ CPO. I'd say a used ES350 is as good as anything though.
by countofmc
Wed Aug 13, 2014 5:36 pm
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Retirement luxury vehicle
Replies: 62
Views: 4518

Re: Any Opinions on Mirrorless Cameras?

Should break it down by system : Nikon - Their mirrorless cameras use 1 inch sensors (same as in the Sony RX-100), so IQ suffers compared to some other brands. I'd say Nikon isn't very compelling in this area, but sometimes their cameras can be found very cheap, and they have good autofocus. Micro 4...
by countofmc
Wed Aug 13, 2014 5:23 pm
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Any Opinions on Mirrorless Cameras?
Replies: 40
Views: 2100

Re: Renting forever: financial suicide?

OP here, thanks for all the great posts. Surprised nobody has mentioned the earthquake risk in the Bay Area. It's not a big factor for me, but it also is something that's on the back of my mind. Another big earthquake hitting this area is a question of when, not if. And honestly that has stopped me ...
by countofmc
Wed Aug 13, 2014 1:55 pm
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Renting forever: financial suicide?
Replies: 92
Views: 11019

Re: Renting forever: financial suicide?

My aunt was a lifelong renter in Southern California until about age 60. As she was thinking about retiring, she was afraid of all the unexpected rent increases and what she would have to pay for rent 10, 20, 30 years down the road. We helped her locate a condo near us and she bought it, knowing he...
by countofmc
Mon Aug 11, 2014 6:20 pm
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Renting forever: financial suicide?
Replies: 92
Views: 11019

Re: Help with massive debt repayment

I'll cut across the grain here a bit. At those interest rates, I personally wouldn't be in a hurry to pay off ANY of those loans. I'd invest the extra in a Roth IRA (or non-deductible if your income is too high), I-Bonds, etc., and just keep making minimums on those loans.
by countofmc
Mon Aug 11, 2014 5:17 pm
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Help with massive debt repayment
Replies: 27
Views: 2730

Renting forever: financial suicide?

My wife and I are DINK, early 30s, living in the SF Bay Area. In terms of saving, debt, retirement, etc, we feel like we are finally on a good path. However, the one missing component is the purchase of a home. We both make fairly modest salaries for this area, and simply cannot afford to buy unless...
by countofmc
Mon Aug 11, 2014 5:13 pm
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Renting forever: financial suicide?
Replies: 92
Views: 11019

Re: Relative needs mortgage assistance: good resources?

I'll also ask if anyone has info on whether my grandfather might have traditional refinancing options. His income is quite low right now and that seems to be the problem, but it's erratic and has been higher in the past.
by countofmc
Sat Aug 09, 2014 7:19 pm
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Relative needs mortgage assistance: good resources?
Replies: 1
Views: 290

Relative needs mortgage assistance: good resources?

My grandfather is an immigrant that speaks limited English, so I'm helping him out with this issue he's run into recently. He purchased his home about 15 years ago, so the home itself is worth a decent amount more than he owes on it. However, he is a business owner and lately the business has entere...
by countofmc
Thu Aug 07, 2014 12:27 pm
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Relative needs mortgage assistance: good resources?
Replies: 1
Views: 290

Re: Lexus ES 350 versus Hyundai Genesis

cannondale wrote:That's one hell of a deal you got on that lexus!


2008 was the start of the slowdown in auto sales that I don't think recovered until about 2011-2012. I was also in the market for a used Lexus during that time, and the deals were quite good.
by countofmc
Thu Aug 07, 2014 3:14 am
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Lexus ES 350 versus Hyundai Genesis
Replies: 18
Views: 3507

Re: Easy careers to last me to retirement?

Why not just lower expenses and retire now? Or at least give it a shot, if it doesn't work out you can return to work in a year or two feeling refreshed. I don't think you even need to move overseas for this, there are some very low COL areas here in the USA (unless of course, you WANT to go oversea...
by countofmc
Tue Jul 08, 2014 1:21 pm
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Easy careers to last me to retirement?
Replies: 92
Views: 14190

Receiving a monetary gift from overseas family member

My grandmother, who lives and is a citizen of a foreign country, wants to send me some money as a gift, a piece of my inheritance if you will. Not a huge sum, probably the equivalent of $50,000 USD. I am wondering what the tax/legal implications of this would be on my end? Unless I've gravely mistak...
by countofmc
Wed Jun 11, 2014 10:35 pm
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Receiving a monetary gift from overseas family member
Replies: 9
Views: 1130

Re: Simple Camera for Travel?

I too was looking for a top grade point and shoot. I was able to borrow the Sony and got great shots. However, the price was way more than the Canon S110. While looking I got a great deal on the Canon (far less than 1/2 the price and went for it). Under very low light their were some differences, e...
by countofmc
Fri May 30, 2014 7:48 pm
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Simple Camera for Travel?
Replies: 34
Views: 1573

Re: Simple Camera for Travel?

Honestly, imo in the pocketable P&S category there is one family of cameras that are head and shoulders above everyone else that nothing else needs to be considered: the RX100 series. There are now 3 models available, although I don't know if the Mark III is available yet or will be in time for ...
by countofmc
Fri May 30, 2014 7:45 pm
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Simple Camera for Travel?
Replies: 34
Views: 1573

Re: Ideas for dining inexpensively

Some days are hectic and it's nice to be able to pick up food rather than have to deal with cooking and dishes at the end of a long day. About once a week, my wife and I (we don’t have kids) pick up a foot-long Subway sandwich and split it. We get it to go and have chips & drinks at home so it ...
by countofmc
Mon May 26, 2014 10:22 pm
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Ideas for dining inexpensively
Replies: 79
Views: 4602

Re: Getting Frugal Fatigue: Save a % of income for "fun"?

We budget a monthly amount for each of us as a "no questions asked" for fun stuff. each of us can spend that amount on whatever we wanted. If we didn't spend all of it, it just rolls over into the next month, so one can save towards a "no questions asked" larger purchase. Curren...
by countofmc
Mon May 26, 2014 10:20 pm
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Getting Frugal Fatigue: Save a % of income for "fun"?
Replies: 33
Views: 2985

Re: Getting Frugal Fatigue: Save a % of income for "fun"?

We budget a monthly amount for each of us as a "no questions asked" for fun stuff. each of us can spend that amount on whatever we wanted. If we didn't spend all of it, it just rolls over into the next month, so one can save towards a "no questions asked" larger purchase. Curren...
by countofmc
Mon May 26, 2014 9:38 pm
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Getting Frugal Fatigue: Save a % of income for "fun"?
Replies: 33
Views: 2985

Re: The in-laws are broke!

My opinion is simple and may be controversial. Parents owe their kids EVERYTHING, kids own their parents NOTHING. There is not a single person alive today that made a choice to be born. Parents make the choice to have kids, as such they have a responsibility to raise and support their children. Chil...
by countofmc
Mon May 26, 2014 9:29 pm
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: The in-laws are broke!
Replies: 128
Views: 16516

Re: Ideas for dining inexpensively

I find take-out from Ethnic restaurants provide the best "bang for buck". My wife and I do not exactly eat like birds, but we usually still get about 3-4 total meals out of two entrees from our local Thai place.
by countofmc
Mon May 26, 2014 8:44 pm
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Ideas for dining inexpensively
Replies: 79
Views: 4602

Re: Getting Frugal Fatigue: Save a % of income for "fun"?

Of course it's ok to use some money for fun. There's no correct percentage of your income that you should put aside for fun, it depends on your particular circumstances. How about this for a starting point, instead of saving 33% of your post-tax, how about trying 28% for a while and using the extra...
by countofmc
Mon May 26, 2014 8:40 pm
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Getting Frugal Fatigue: Save a % of income for "fun"?
Replies: 33
Views: 2985

Getting Frugal Fatigue: Save a % of income for "fun"?

My wife and I are in an okay (not good nor bad) position financially, imo. We are doing the "Boglehead minimum" : we have a sufficient EF set up, putting away about 33% of our POST-tax income to retirement (on track to meet our goals), and our only debt is a modest amount of low-interest s...
by countofmc
Mon May 26, 2014 8:18 pm
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Getting Frugal Fatigue: Save a % of income for "fun"?
Replies: 33
Views: 2985

Re: Going to buy ONE individual stock : Sharebuilder ok?

I would suggest opening a brokerage account at a firm where you will eventually make most or all of your IRA contributions. Why complicate things with a one off account for a $1000 purchase? Well then Capitlone360 might make even more sense, as I'm keeping all my ROTH IRA funds in ultra-safe saving...
by countofmc
Wed Apr 30, 2014 2:02 pm
 
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Going to buy ONE individual stock : Sharebuilder ok?
Replies: 6
Views: 399

Re: Going to buy ONE individual stock : Sharebuilder ok?

Do you have an existing roth IRA beyond the Sharebuilder savings IRA? Or any accounts at Vanguard, Fidelity, Schwab? Yes you can buy the stock in a roth IRA. You'll need a brokerage account wherever you plan to do this. Nope, only Roth IRA is a regular savings IRA with CapitalOne360 (not a sharebui...
by countofmc
Wed Apr 30, 2014 1:52 pm
 
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Going to buy ONE individual stock : Sharebuilder ok?
Replies: 6
Views: 399

Going to buy ONE individual stock : Sharebuilder ok?

So basically a gamble. I've never purchased or sold an individual stock (outside of company shares), and don't really have plans to do so in the future. I envision this being two transactions. Buying the stock relatively soon, and then selling sometime down the line. I want to buy $1000 worth of Twi...
by countofmc
Wed Apr 30, 2014 1:37 pm
 
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Going to buy ONE individual stock : Sharebuilder ok?
Replies: 6
Views: 399
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