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Re: Just had offer accepted on a house! (Advice pls!)

Accompany the inspector when he does his job - but be ready to crawl in the attic/crawlspace/whatever if you are up to it.
by hicabob
Wed Apr 16, 2014 7:49 pm
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Just had offer accepted on a house! (Advice pls!)
Replies: 16
Views: 962

Re: A Ceramics Question

At the extreme, stuff subject to this can shoot shards around. Better to get rid of it, I would think. I have heard of modern day Pyrex, no longer made in the U.S. alas, shattering under what would seem not too extreme temperature changes, but I've never had my decades old dinnerware in several pat...
by hicabob
Tue Apr 15, 2014 5:23 pm
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: A Ceramics Question
Replies: 9
Views: 486

Re: A Ceramics Question

Kintsugi is an interesting and sometimes beautiful Japanese repair method.
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Kintsugi
by hicabob
Tue Apr 15, 2014 4:29 pm
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: A Ceramics Question
Replies: 9
Views: 486

Re: Stocks: How Bad It Can Get

livesoft wrote:There have been a lot more 20% drops than the chart has shown. A lot more.


Here's a better list - It's not quantified and made into a nice chart though.
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_st ... ar_markets
by hicabob
Tue Apr 15, 2014 1:16 pm
 
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Stocks: How Bad It Can Get
Replies: 72
Views: 5190

Re: Lost $10K in my investments past few months

in the past few months i lost about $10K in my retirement investments and my biotech mutual fund has tanked as well. is this downswing in the market temporary? whats everyone doing now..staying the course as always? Relax and turn off the streamer - The sickening feeling when you lose the equivalen...
by hicabob
Tue Apr 15, 2014 12:54 pm
 
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Lost $10K in my investments past few months
Replies: 36
Views: 4257

Re: Elio Car

Clark Howard, a consumer advocate on WSB-AM Atlanta has purchased several over the years and has done some reviews on them on his website. ...But Clark admits he buys them for the novelty and to avoid using foreign oil, and that that they don't really save any money ... just like his current Nissan...
by hicabob
Tue Apr 15, 2014 11:53 am
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Elio Car
Replies: 26
Views: 1462

Re: Stocks: How Bad It Can Get

Nice pictorial - From the limited sample number the time period between dramatic stock market events does seem to be decreasing (but I suppose the recovery period is decreasing too?) which is a little scary.
by hicabob
Tue Apr 15, 2014 10:16 am
 
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Stocks: How Bad It Can Get
Replies: 72
Views: 5190

Re: Elio Car

The Tata Nano seems like a more practical design to me ... http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Tata_Nano The extra wheel can add useful stability as this video of one of the most successful 3-wheelers shows ...(warning - funny :D ) https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=QQh56geU0X8 One problem with mini-cars in t...
by hicabob
Tue Apr 15, 2014 9:59 am
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Elio Car
Replies: 26
Views: 1462

Re: I have a cell phone and am in search of a carrier

I just ended a 2 year contract with Verizon ... now that my phone is no longer paid for by someone else my frugal nature has taken over and after looking around I'm thinking of buying an unlocked dual sim gsm smartphone then getting the $30 no-contract t-mobile w/ unlimited web (5gb @ 4g speed), unl...
by hicabob
Sun Apr 13, 2014 12:46 pm
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: I have a cell phone and am in search of a carrier
Replies: 24
Views: 1217

Re: Use credit cards to pay rent: Amex Serve?

Even though I never use Amex Serve to pay rent, but I have been milking my Southwest Rapid Rewards Visa to fund Amex Serve (currently at 100,592 pts). You can also use Amazon Payment to milk some more CC reward pts monthly. My wife and I have been paying each other using CC's and immediately transf...
by hicabob
Sun Apr 13, 2014 12:23 pm
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Use credit cards to pay rent: Amex Serve?
Replies: 49
Views: 3013

Re: Ooh - Media is finally checking past predictions!

lws6772 wrote:I'm always amused when there's a big movement. There's always analysts that know all about it, knew it was coming(whatever direction), no surprise. Of course what will happen next week, not so much. :D


I too can retroactively trade with the best of them! :twisted:
by hicabob
Fri Apr 11, 2014 6:54 pm
 
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Ooh - Media is finally checking past predictions!
Replies: 4
Views: 830

Re: Wasting money on rent or buy in California

This khan academy video is well done and very relevant to your situation.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=YL10H_EcB-E
by hicabob
Fri Apr 11, 2014 12:49 pm
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Wasting money on rent or buy in California
Replies: 20
Views: 2175

Re: How to short?

... and it can't be an IRA AFAIK
by hicabob
Fri Apr 11, 2014 11:57 am
 
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: How to short?
Replies: 14
Views: 1011

Re: Life in the Bay Area and housing costs

I grew up in South Bay. The weather is lovely, but there's really no reason to stay there unless you're a high tech employee with lots of unvested, valuable stock options or if you have a strong connection to the area. I moved to Reno about 10 years ago and haven't regretted. The cost of everything...
by hicabob
Thu Apr 10, 2014 8:34 pm
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Life in the Bay Area and housing costs
Replies: 51
Views: 3055

Re: Life in the Bay Area and housing costs

As with most jobs, govt employees make more $$ in Santa Clara than most of the US. The other day my kid sent me a rant with an attached employment ad for a Santa Clara County building painter offering $76k/year + govt pension + govt benefits. Not too shabby for a blue collar job.
by hicabob
Thu Apr 10, 2014 2:49 pm
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Life in the Bay Area and housing costs
Replies: 51
Views: 3055

Re: California Taxes - Am I Missing Something?

Property tax rates are lower than most places although real estate is pricey in most locals - prop tax is based on purchase price , about 1.1%, estate taxes are on the low side. As you thought, income tax is bad for high earners ... & cap gains and dividends are treated as regular income :shock:
by hicabob
Mon Apr 07, 2014 1:30 pm
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: California Taxes - Am I Missing Something?
Replies: 142
Views: 7556

Re: The Unthinkable Disaster: What If Your Account Disappear

This is one reason why I still keep my Fidelity account. As tempting it is to have all the eggs in one basket, no basket is fool-proof. But there are limits to the practicality of diversification. For example, I would not bother keeping money in a Swiss bank, but for some it's the next logical step...
by hicabob
Mon Apr 07, 2014 10:31 am
 
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: The Unthinkable Disaster: What If Your Account Disappeared?
Replies: 43
Views: 4323

Re: Propane and HOA Costs for Home

Propane varies a lot by part of the country and does not have stable pricing. In California (central coast) I just paid $2.79/gallon. I have heard N. Dakota is about $4 /gallon currently though.
by hicabob
Sun Apr 06, 2014 5:11 pm
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Propane and HOA Costs for Home
Replies: 7
Views: 465

Re: road trip with kids, Northern California

Most kids love the Santa Cruz beach boardwalk which is on the "main beach" and has a classic wood roller coaster, an antique merry-go-round w/calliope etc. Everyone likes lunch on the adjacent wharf too.
by hicabob
Thu Apr 03, 2014 8:52 pm
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: road trip with kids, Northern California
Replies: 12
Views: 686

Re: [High-frequency trading hurts regular customers]

I saw LadyGeeks original link didn't work but found the 60mins episode on youtube - worth watching

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8RFLIj4a2kw#t=29

I love the 60 kilometer fiber in a shoebox "delay machine"!
by hicabob
Thu Apr 03, 2014 3:33 pm
 
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: [High-frequency trading hurts regular customers]
Replies: 107
Views: 6160

Re: How did you determine your "number" for retirement

From my pre-boglehead years I had this simplistic concept of 1 mill in an ira, 1 mill in taxable and 1 mill in real estate would be enough ... I ended up selling my small biz when it wasn't fun anymore and ended up with more than enough.
by hicabob
Thu Apr 03, 2014 12:58 pm
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: How did you determine your "number" for retirement
Replies: 51
Views: 3272

Re: Best ways to show daily news to 9 year old

I see the "Nightly News with Brian Williams" everyday at 7pm on NBC and I want my daughter to join me so that she can also get an update on what's happening around the world. But the advertisements in the middle of the news(like "Cialis") are age inappropriate and I wish this ki...
by hicabob
Wed Apr 02, 2014 10:38 am
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Best ways to show daily news to 9 year old
Replies: 28
Views: 1906

Re: Expensive hobbies and possessions? (B/c you can...)

Toons wrote:Roadtrek Agile SS Class B- RV. :happy



Those are nice! - as someone who was a Westphalia owner/aficionado decades ago these Sprinter RV's have been tempting me.
by hicabob
Tue Apr 01, 2014 4:19 pm
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Expensive hobbies and possessions? (B/c you can...)
Replies: 126
Views: 9125

Re: Earthquake insurance in California

I have never bothered but it is expensive here and has a huge deductible. During the 7.2 Loma Prieta earthquake my neighbors house was destroyed when it shifted about 1 foot off the foundation - yes it was bolted down - my house only had a cracked window - earthquakes are weird - one house trashed, ...
by hicabob
Mon Mar 31, 2014 6:28 pm
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Earthquake insurance in California
Replies: 27
Views: 1393

Re: How much to build a small house from scratch?

From a strictly financial point of view - hiring an architect and builder for a 500 sq ft house would almost certainly not be prudent.
I would think 1k feet absolute minimum, probably more.
by hicabob
Sun Mar 30, 2014 8:40 pm
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: How much to build a small house from scratch?
Replies: 28
Views: 1577

HSA year to year rollover rules

My daughter recently started a new job and she selected a high deductible insurance plan. The HR person told her she could either have $230 contributed to an HSA every pay period or alternatively have it added to her paycheck. She chose the paycheck since the HR person told her if she doesn't use th...
by hicabob
Sat Mar 29, 2014 5:02 pm
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: HSA year to year rollover rules
Replies: 6
Views: 391

Re: Auto repair - "Threads getting thin in oil pan drain plu

WOW!! Are there any particular car brands that are more susceptible to this problem that others? I've been driving since 1957 (first car was a '52 Ford), and I've never had this problem. I've gone through cycles of changing the oil myself, oil change shops, and dealer changes. The worst I ever had ...
by hicabob
Thu Mar 27, 2014 10:24 am
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Auto repair - "Threads getting thin in oil pan drain plug"
Replies: 40
Views: 1760

Re: Tough college choice

Go visit them both if possible - Oneonta is quite the classic upstate town (or used to be 10 years or so ago last time I saw it). SUNY + Hartnell make it a college town. The slightly more ritzy Cooperstown and Otsego Lake is nearby - both of which are quite fun & have vacation-type-stuff to do, ...
by hicabob
Mon Mar 24, 2014 7:18 pm
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Tough college choice
Replies: 54
Views: 4027

Re: Ancestry Tests

Is there a big advantage to exhibiting presumably "First Nation" dna?
by hicabob
Sun Mar 23, 2014 9:48 pm
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Ancestry Tests
Replies: 19
Views: 1915

Re: renting out condo management fees

I have an acquaintance who pays 10% for a couple houses she owns. I have heard vacation properties (so short term) can be 30-40% . What is the rationale behind not selling an unwanted piece of real estate though even though it's underwater? Sometimes with investments it's better to get it done and t...
by hicabob
Sun Mar 23, 2014 2:15 pm
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: renting out condo management fees
Replies: 17
Views: 926

Re: CA vs AZ drivers license?

AZ residency would allow you not to pay CA income taxes! :happy
by hicabob
Mon Mar 17, 2014 11:03 am
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: CA vs AZ drivers license?
Replies: 8
Views: 762

Re: Cancel Verizon cellular ($100/mo) for PagePlus resllers?

Recently Verizon prepaid has an "Allset" $45/month plan with unlimited talk/text/500mb data. Isn't competition a wonderful thing for us consumers!
No contract of course.
http://www.verizonwireless.com/wcms/con ... epaid.html
by hicabob
Sun Mar 16, 2014 6:49 pm
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Cancel Verizon cellular ($100/mo) for PagePlus resllers?
Replies: 60
Views: 3297

Re: KissTrust--trust accounts for the middle class?

It looks like the Mr. Money Mustache dust up has make its way to Techdirt (with a bogleheads mention): http://www.techdirt.com/articles/20140313/07405826562/company-fires-off-legal-threats-to-site-owner-over-third-party-forum-post-self-inflicted-damage-ensues.shtml That certainly blew up for them !...
by hicabob
Fri Mar 14, 2014 7:51 pm
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: KissTrust--trust accounts for the middle class?
Replies: 30
Views: 9516

Re: Did you retire in your 30s?

I don't think there's anything wrong with a person stopping paid employment at any age if they wish to and can afford it. It opens up the job(s) to those who want it among other benefits to multiple parties.
by hicabob
Thu Mar 13, 2014 10:25 pm
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Did you retire in your 30s?
Replies: 55
Views: 5292

Re: Traveler's health insurance for Americans

Other western countries that have universal health have reciprocal coverage. An associate of mine from Australia was in a Netherlands hospital for a couple weeks w/ deep leg thrombosis and the charge was 0.00 for what he said was excellent care.
by hicabob
Thu Mar 13, 2014 11:20 am
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Traveler's health insurance for Americans
Replies: 5
Views: 396

Re: non-compete

I am not an attorney, you are not my client, and this is not legal advice. Talk to a licensed attorney in your state. From what I've seen and read about Non-Compete Agreements is that they are generally very difficult to enforce and really only work if the employee was quite high up the corporate l...
by hicabob
Tue Mar 11, 2014 7:28 pm
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: non-compete [Employer NDA and Non-Compete agreements]
Replies: 35
Views: 1560

Re: non-compete

I've had a couple before - Not a lawyer here but I think that unless you receive something of value (i.e. they give you $$$ to sign) it is not valid. I suppose one could argue the paycheck is the value but since it's after you started work I would think not? It does vary state to state, California b...
by hicabob
Tue Mar 11, 2014 5:20 pm
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: non-compete [Employer NDA and Non-Compete agreements]
Replies: 35
Views: 1560

Re: Alternatives to paying full real estate commissions?

It is a little strange that RE commissions are the same where the avg house is 1,000,000 as where the avg house is 200k. It would seem the amount of work to sell them would be very similar.
by hicabob
Tue Mar 11, 2014 11:46 am
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Alternatives to paying full real estate commissions?
Replies: 31
Views: 2438

Re: Move to California means what $ ?

That's a misinterpretation of the graph. I think my interpretation was fairly accurate. To that point, I started my professional career in the middle 20% but now, 15 years later, I am in the top 20%. It's not just where you are today, but where you hope to be in the future. Anyway, thanks to the po...
by hicabob
Sun Mar 09, 2014 12:58 pm
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Move to California means what $ ?
Replies: 55
Views: 4333

Re: Any Subaru owners out there?

So basically they can set the speed control to 15-20 MPH in a traffic jam and take your foot off the pedals and set back and the car will speed up and slow down automatically. This sounds like a cool deal to me. See here for description of this neat feature. http://www.batfa.com/subaru-eyesight-sys...
by hicabob
Sat Mar 08, 2014 9:21 pm
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Any Subaru owners out there?
Replies: 53
Views: 4025

Re: Can I retire yet?

whoMe wrote:I may be wrong, but I read the OP as the mortgage being included in the $120K per year essential costs. Which would mean total expenses would only be $180K per year.



Sinbad (OP) said "other expenses" so as written it is not included. He obviously likes to "live well".
by hicabob
Sat Mar 08, 2014 12:33 pm
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Can I retire yet?
Replies: 85
Views: 5794

Re: games for basement Game Room - suggestions

Foosball and/or table hockey - get decent units though.
by hicabob
Fri Mar 07, 2014 12:02 pm
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: games for basement Game Room - suggestions
Replies: 18
Views: 1006

Re: Ultraviolet light to treat house water?

Where I currently live all the houses have wells. A standard home inspection included testing the well for e-coli. If e-coli are found the remedy is to dump a gallon of household bleach down the well which apparently sterilizes it for a period of time. I have an ozone generator (see http://www.tripl...
by hicabob
Thu Mar 06, 2014 9:12 pm
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Ultraviolet light to treat house water?
Replies: 4
Views: 614

Re: My 401k match

Nice - if you max it out and save 21% every year you will be sitting pretty!
by hicabob
Wed Mar 05, 2014 8:09 pm
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: My 401k match
Replies: 24
Views: 1409

Re: Credit card chip upgrade good idea??

Your PIN is encrypted in the chip somehow so that bad guys who steal your card can play with it all they want and not determine the PIN? (Actually, that's not right; a 4-digit PIN is only 10,000 possibilities, so an automated tester should be able to determine your PIN in an hour or so...) I believ...
by hicabob
Tue Mar 04, 2014 11:54 am
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Credit card chip upgrade good idea??
Replies: 45
Views: 1534

Re: Move to California means what $ ?

Estate tax is one of the few taxes that is not too bad in CA relative to other places. The first 5 million is not taxed.
by hicabob
Tue Mar 04, 2014 11:51 am
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Move to California means what $ ?
Replies: 55
Views: 4333

Re: Credit card chip upgrade good idea??

But I think that most PINs are burnt into the chip when the card is made and not modifiable... Ouch. For those who churn multiple cards for miles (like me), I suppose we need to take ResearchMed's advice and write our PINs on our cards (laughing). We can always use a nearly impossible to decipher c...
by hicabob
Tue Mar 04, 2014 11:11 am
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Credit card chip upgrade good idea??
Replies: 45
Views: 1534

Re: Credit card chip upgrade good idea??

My understanding is that the "chip + signature" gives up part of the security. The "chip + pin" is 2-factor authentication to use it (something you have + something you know). The "chip + signature" is basically the same 1-factor system we have now (something you have)...
by hicabob
Mon Mar 03, 2014 9:57 pm
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Credit card chip upgrade good idea??
Replies: 45
Views: 1534

Re: Credit card chip upgrade good idea??

Does anyone know if there are any "US-based" cards that can use the chip/pin technology? Flyertalk has a spreadsheet of which bank issues what. It's the first link in the wiki. http://www.flyertalk.com/forum/credit-card-programs/1304271-usa-emv-cards-available-today-chip-pin-chip-signatur...
by hicabob
Mon Mar 03, 2014 9:01 pm
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Credit card chip upgrade good idea??
Replies: 45
Views: 1534

Re: Credit card chip upgrade good idea??

My understanding is that the "chip + signature" gives up part of the security. Agree, clearly US banks have the infrastructure to validate PINs for charges made to debit cards. I would think "Stripe + PIN" would have 99% of the fraud prevention benefits of "Chip + PIN"...
by hicabob
Mon Mar 03, 2014 8:01 pm
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Credit card chip upgrade good idea??
Replies: 45
Views: 1534
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