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Re: Intuit Turbo Tax Refund

I called TT after reading the article. Here is how the call went. Me: I bought a CD version of 2013 and CD version of 2104 TT Deluxe and i had to upgrade while I was working on my taxes because of Schedule D. The person on the phone: We are offering free upgrades to those who call about schedule D n...
by detroitbabu
Fri Jan 23, 2015 9:57 am
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Intuit Turbo Tax Refund
Replies: 23
Views: 2126

Re: [Annual POLL] What was your 2014 return?

7.1% not counting contributions
11.1% with contributions

45% Large Cap US Stocks
15% Small/Mid Cap
20% International
20% Bonds
by detroitbabu
Sat Jan 03, 2015 5:23 pm
 
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: [Annual POLL] What was your 2014 return?
Replies: 144
Views: 14084

Re: What are you up YTD?

7.1% not counting contributions
11.1% with contributions

45% Large Cap US Stocks
15% Small/Mid Cap
20% International
20% Bonds
by detroitbabu
Sat Jan 03, 2015 9:59 am
 
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: What are you up YTD?
Replies: 271
Views: 30082

Re: Do we have enough to retire?

Do the $5K monthly expenses include the HELOC and payments on the rentals?
I think you have enough but considering the misgivings of one of you, it would be nice to pay off the debt (~$240K) before considering retirement.
by detroitbabu
Mon Dec 29, 2014 1:01 pm
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Do we have enough to retire?
Replies: 23
Views: 2876

Re: Buying Mazda CX-5 - to wait or not to wait?

I recently purchased a vehicle and was debating between buying used vs new. Looking at the used vehicle prices and features, gas mileage and improvements in the 2015 version, I came to the conclusion that buying new made sense from a total cost of ownership perspective. I ended up buying a 2015 Hond...
by detroitbabu
Sat Dec 27, 2014 7:31 am
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Buying Mazda CX-5 - to wait or not to wait?
Replies: 16
Views: 2059

Re: Help With Windfall

Your effective mortgage rate is/will be <3%. I would not prepay that.
I would get rid of the student loans and then DCA the remaining amount per your AAP over 18-24 months.
by detroitbabu
Thu Dec 11, 2014 3:34 pm
 
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Help With Windfall
Replies: 8
Views: 1705

Re: Help With Windfall

What are the interest rates on the student loans and mortgage?
by detroitbabu
Wed Dec 10, 2014 7:28 pm
 
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Help With Windfall
Replies: 8
Views: 1705

Re: Ad hoc travel to Antarctica

Antarctica is on my bucket list too along with Torres Del Paine National Park.
I have seen some spectacular pictures of Torres Del Paine.
by detroitbabu
Wed Dec 10, 2014 12:34 pm
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Ad hoc travel to Antarctica
Replies: 51
Views: 2668

Re: Engineered Hardwood Floors

Consensus here and from the experts seems to be that this is an installation issue and not a Bellawood/engineered product issue. So I have decided to stick with engineered product. I am not quite sure if I should go with a 3/8" engineered or 3/4" engineered. Would appreciate any thoughts. ...
by detroitbabu
Mon Dec 01, 2014 9:38 am
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Engineered Hardwood Floors
Replies: 14
Views: 2476

Re: Engineered Hardwood Floors

Thanks everyone for the great suggestions. A little more information since a few of you asked some questions. I live in Michigan. The wood was acclimatized for 3 weeks in the home before it was installed. Install Instructions from LL and Bellawood were followed. Vapor barrier and underlayment was la...
by detroitbabu
Fri Nov 28, 2014 6:44 am
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Engineered Hardwood Floors
Replies: 14
Views: 2476

Engineered Hardwood Floors

We have 3/8" Bellawood Brazilian Cherry floor from lumber liquidators installed on the first floor of our home. There are a few issues with the flooring like creaking, uneven gaps, planks popping up in a few placesetc. The company who installed the flooring hired a third party expert to analyze...
by detroitbabu
Wed Nov 26, 2014 5:31 pm
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Engineered Hardwood Floors
Replies: 14
Views: 2476

Re: Thinking about retiring next year

Mortgage + Car Loan + Additional College Expenses (above what you have saved for college) add up to ~$200,000.
I would work until most of the debt is gone.
Although your pension+ss of ~$74,000 is good.
by detroitbabu
Sat Nov 22, 2014 8:33 am
 
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Thinking about retiring next year
Replies: 16
Views: 2630

Re: Athens and London, what to do and where to stay?

I highly recommend airbnb.com
by detroitbabu
Fri Oct 24, 2014 8:18 am
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Athens and London, what to do and where to stay?
Replies: 36
Views: 2221

Re: Is it possible to have a favorite movie

I have many favorites but one that particularly comes to mind is "Big" - Tom Hanks and Elizabeth Perkins.
http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0094737/

Maybe it was the age when I watched it that I liked it. Still my favorite.
by detroitbabu
Fri Oct 17, 2014 9:12 pm
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Is it possible to have a favorite movie
Replies: 82
Views: 3368

Re: Tell me about Paris

We went to Paris in July and stayed in 6th arr. (Rue De Vaugirard/Montparnasse Blvd area). Booked an apartment through AirBnB. Great location, nice apartment. Very safe even at night with family. Communication with the owner was via email and then via phone/text messages when we were traveling in E...
by detroitbabu
Fri Oct 03, 2014 9:50 pm
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Tell me about Paris
Replies: 65
Views: 4094

Re: Tell me about Paris

We went to Paris in July and stayed in 6th arr. (Rue De Vaugirard/Montparnasse Blvd area). Booked an apartment through AirBnB. Great location, nice apartment. Very safe even at night with family. Communication with the owner was via email and then via phone/text messages when we were traveling in Eu...
by detroitbabu
Thu Oct 02, 2014 10:04 am
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Tell me about Paris
Replies: 65
Views: 4094

Re: External backup drives - Seagate vs Western Digital

Thanks to everyone who replied. I have been backing up pictures and music to Google Drive and Drop Box and important files to a 64 GB USB drive. But it is becoming a hassle. I wanted a big enough storage so that it can back up multiple computers and devices automatically and be under my control unli...
by detroitbabu
Mon Sep 15, 2014 2:13 pm
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: External backup drives - Seagate vs Western Digital
Replies: 43
Views: 3305

External backup drives - Seagate vs Western Digital

I want to buy an external back up device which can back up one mac, and 2 windows laptops (one Windows Vista home premium and one with Windows 7 Home premium OS) What is the recommendation from the forum on the brand from reliability perspective? Seagate, WD, Samsung, Hitachi, Toshiba? I saw a netwo...
by detroitbabu
Sun Sep 14, 2014 4:59 pm
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: External backup drives - Seagate vs Western Digital
Replies: 43
Views: 3305

Re: Atlanta - recommendations on where to live

Alpharetta will meet your requirements but don't know about your job location.
MARTA can help.
by detroitbabu
Mon Sep 08, 2014 6:15 am
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Atlanta - recommendations on where to live
Replies: 24
Views: 1392

Re: Arches-Bryce-Zion road trip: Where to stay?

We stayed in Kanab, UT
by detroitbabu
Tue Aug 26, 2014 9:02 am
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Arches-Bryce-Zion road trip: Where to stay?
Replies: 16
Views: 1220

Re: average American eats out 203 times per year

3 meals a day * 365 = 1095 meals per year
203/1095 = 18.54% which is 1 out of every 5 meals.

or 203/52 = 4 meals/week seems reasonable considering a lot of people eat their breakfast in their cars on the way to work.
by detroitbabu
Fri Aug 08, 2014 11:24 am
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: average American eats out 203 times per year
Replies: 105
Views: 7032

Re: how often do you look at your account

Only on days when market is up. :)
by detroitbabu
Mon Jul 21, 2014 2:31 pm
 
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: how often do you look at your account
Replies: 70
Views: 3816

Re: Honda Fit, Civic

Why not consider a 2014 or 2015 Civic?
Pretty comparable fuel economy and only a couple grand more than Fit

Civic is a bigger car too.
Of course, if you are tired of driving a Civic and want to try something new, that is a different story.
by detroitbabu
Fri Jul 18, 2014 4:09 pm
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Honda Fit, Civic
Replies: 32
Views: 4371

Re: SAT preparation

I thought recently they have changed SAT.
by detroitbabu
Sat Jul 12, 2014 5:09 pm
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: SAT preparation
Replies: 33
Views: 3254

Re: Recommendations on Walking/Trekking poles

Before you go to REI, you might want to check a few online websites for their clearance sales.
You may get last year's model for a good discount.

Here are a few online retailers with excellent return policies

sierratradingpost.com
moosejaw.com
backcountry.com
campmor.com
llbean.com
by detroitbabu
Tue Jul 08, 2014 5:13 pm
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Recommendations on Walking/Trekking poles
Replies: 16
Views: 1673

Re: Tablet for classroom use

Good deal at Target. 16GB iPad Mini for $199.

http://slickdeals.net/permadeal/122160/ ... y-or-white
by detroitbabu
Thu Jun 12, 2014 5:44 am
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Tablet for classroom use
Replies: 6
Views: 667

Re: Prepay mortgage?

If you get a break on state taxes for contributing to a 529, why not max that out instead of just putting in $9k?
e.g. Michigan has a cap of $10,000 / year for getting a break on state tax. Worth finding out for your state.
by detroitbabu
Mon Mar 24, 2014 1:06 pm
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Prepay mortgage?
Replies: 24
Views: 2398

Re: Prepay mortgage?

Maybe contribute to a 529 plan for kids if you are not doing it already.
by detroitbabu
Wed Mar 05, 2014 10:04 am
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Prepay mortgage?
Replies: 24
Views: 2398

Re: A Big Trip: The Himalayas

You may also want to look at Sikkim, which is a state in India.
Longer hikes than Ladakh, great scenery, tea-house type accommodations, guided treks with porters.

http://www.thehikinglife.com/2010/10/yu ... ndia-2008/
by detroitbabu
Fri Feb 28, 2014 12:17 pm
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: A Big Trip: The Himalayas
Replies: 15
Views: 1148

Re: A Big Trip: The Himalayas

we have made arrangments to stay in more westernized lodging during the trek. I am referring to the lodges run by Yeti Mountain Homes and Everest Summit Lodges. These types of lodges are only available as far as Pangboche, which is quite a bit short of EBC . Not true. Accomodations in Tengboche, Di...
by detroitbabu
Thu Feb 27, 2014 9:18 pm
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: A Big Trip: The Himalayas
Replies: 15
Views: 1148

Re: A Big Trip: The Himalayas

I recently (October 2013) completed the Everest Base Camp trek. Nepal and especially both EBC and Annapurna Base Camp treks are very popular and geared toward western tourists. You will find the trails very crowded during the peak season (April-May and October) but the scenery is spectacular. I have...
by detroitbabu
Thu Feb 27, 2014 5:37 pm
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: A Big Trip: The Himalayas
Replies: 15
Views: 1148

Re: Sault Ste. Marie to Toronto, summer 2014: tips?

Don't know how much are you into wilderness but you want true wilderness you should visit Isle Royale National park in Lake Superior. Least known and visited national park in US but it is really beautiful. You can reach it only via ferry boat. The ferry ride from Michigan side (Houghton or Copper ha...
by detroitbabu
Fri Dec 06, 2013 12:39 pm
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Sault Ste. Marie to Toronto, summer 2014: tips?
Replies: 8
Views: 835

Re: Family trip to Orlando. Suggestions.

1-2 days at Disney parks is not enough. You need at least 5 days.

Check out http://allears.net/index.html for comprehensive info on Disney world.
by detroitbabu
Sun Jul 28, 2013 11:47 am
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Family trip to Orlando. Suggestions.
Replies: 33
Views: 2349

Re: Long Distance Walking

Just coming back from my planned hike to Pikes Peak via Barr trail. Needed 8.5 hours
Fantastic experience!!! Hiked up and took the train down.
by detroitbabu
Sun Jul 07, 2013 9:42 am
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Long Distance Walking
Replies: 143
Views: 16136

Re: Costco holdout considering membership

I don't like TJ's produce. It always seems like it's moldy or dead the next day. Aldi is the same way, I wonder if it's a problem with their suppliers or distribution network. Both have the worst produce ever... but to their credit the normal TJ or Aldi customer isn't big on produce but rather shop...
by detroitbabu
Mon Jun 03, 2013 4:02 pm
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Costco holdout considering membership
Replies: 117
Views: 7642

Re: Long Distance Walking

I am hiking (up and down) Pikes Peak via Barr trail in July.
by detroitbabu
Thu May 23, 2013 8:29 am
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Long Distance Walking
Replies: 143
Views: 16136

Re: kitchen faucets

I have this one and am very happy with it. I bought it from CostCo when it was on sale.

http://www.costco.com/Hansgrohe%2c-Alle ... 10216.html
by detroitbabu
Fri Apr 05, 2013 2:07 pm
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: kitchen faucets
Replies: 25
Views: 2439

Re: Your most intense movie scene

Not the most intense but the one of the most shocking for me was from "The Crying Game".
by detroitbabu
Wed Jan 16, 2013 5:41 pm
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Your most intense movie scene
Replies: 155
Views: 10146

Re: Should I move from upstate NY to Los Angeles, CA?

The money that you will lose on your house, you can recover later. I would not worry too much about that. How do you propose he recovers real money lost? What guarantee do you give him? I'd like to know how to quickly and easily recover $50K. I meant to say in the long run that amount may not matte...
by detroitbabu
Tue Jan 01, 2013 1:52 pm
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Should I move from upstate NY to Los Angeles, CA?
Replies: 64
Views: 4774

Re: Should I move from upstate NY to Los Angeles, CA?

You are young and JPL is a great opportunity. If I were in your place, I would not think twice and move.
The money that you will lose on your house, you can recover later. I would not worry too much about that.
by detroitbabu
Tue Jan 01, 2013 7:10 am
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Should I move from upstate NY to Los Angeles, CA?
Replies: 64
Views: 4774

Re: Where to visit in FL with a toddler and a senior?

In December you will not find swimmable ocean temps anywhere in the US. The ocean from West Palm Beach to Fort Lauderdale (see AMZ650 forecast ) is around 77 degrees right now. That's slightly chilly for a pool, but hardly unswimmable. For comparison, the water off the beaches in Los Angeles County...
by detroitbabu
Tue Dec 18, 2012 9:17 am
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Where to visit in FL with a toddler and a senior?
Replies: 31
Views: 3043

Re: Where to visit in FL with a toddler and a senior?

In December you will not find swimmable ocean temps anywhere in the US. You will need to go further south to Mexico or Caribbean. I would recommend Cancun or Dominican Republic (Punta Cana) all inclusives. There are still some great deals even this late. check out http://www.cheapcaribbean.com. Anot...
by detroitbabu
Thu Dec 13, 2012 5:15 pm
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Where to visit in FL with a toddler and a senior?
Replies: 31
Views: 3043

Re: American snacks, candy & other typical foods

Peanut brittle (the indian version) is readily available in India and would not be a novelty item. I would say Pringles potato chips (various flavors), Chex mix, chewing gums (different flavors) is something you don't get in India. A mixed bag of candy bars (like you get at Halloween) with snickers,...
by detroitbabu
Mon Nov 26, 2012 3:34 pm
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: American snacks, candy & other typical foods
Replies: 21
Views: 2382

Re: Winter Boots

Go here. http://www.rei.com/category/4500006_Men%27s+Footwear If you have an REI nearby, visit the store and get recommendations from the people in the store based on your budget, physique, purpose, frequency of use etc. Some good brands are Keen, Asolo, Salomon, Vasque, Danner, Merrell etc. For sat...
by detroitbabu
Mon Nov 26, 2012 12:50 pm
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Winter Boots
Replies: 27
Views: 3229

Re: Vanguard Account Daily Update

This thread is funny to me since my Vanguard Account is showing the same values from 2007. :) Unless there is a big move that could trigger re-balancing or TLH it is hardly worth the effort to look closely. Certainly not worth getting excited that the data isn't "evening fresh." Sidney, D...
by detroitbabu
Thu Oct 18, 2012 8:26 am
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Vanguard Account Daily Update
Replies: 27
Views: 1701
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