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Re: Considering buying a Plug-in Prius or a Volt

She started the job/commute about 6 weeks ago. I trust her when she says the carpool lane would make a difference (albeit not a huge one, but still enough to prefer to be in it). The issue is that there is a limited number of HOV stickers available. I would hate to "miss the opportunity" t...
by playtothebeat
Fri Aug 15, 2014 11:20 pm
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Considering buying a Plug-in Prius or a Volt
Replies: 40
Views: 2555

Re: Considering buying a Plug-in Prius or a Volt

Since I haven't purchased a car in close to 8 years.. What's the best way to negotiate? I am of the mindset that I don't mind paying a little extra if it means I get out of the dealership sooner, but I definitely don't want to "overpay".. Any advice on the "car buying experience"...
by playtothebeat
Fri Aug 15, 2014 10:33 pm
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Considering buying a Plug-in Prius or a Volt
Replies: 40
Views: 2555

Re: Considering buying a Plug-in Prius or a Volt

My wife does have the ability to plug in and charge at work. I believe it cost saround $0.75/hr. If this is the case you should consider a pure electric ... Since you live in CA, there are a large number of EV vehicles, many sold only in CA. Honda Fit / Accord EV, Ford Focus Electric, etc. Nissan L...
by playtothebeat
Fri Aug 15, 2014 12:31 am
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Considering buying a Plug-in Prius or a Volt
Replies: 40
Views: 2555

Re: Considering buying a Prius or a Volt

Lots of great responses here, appreciate it. I plan on looking at both this weekend at some local dealerships. My wife does have the ability to plug in and charge at work. I believe it cost saround $0.75/hr. My concern with the Volt is room in the back - our son's car seat is quite bulky (Recarro), ...
by playtothebeat
Thu Aug 14, 2014 12:04 pm
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Considering buying a Plug-in Prius or a Volt
Replies: 40
Views: 2555

Re: Robin Williams

Surprisingly, I thought RV was a really funny movie. Definitely didn't expect it to be. By the way, I'm interested to see how his will/estate will play out. For those of you who followed the James Gandolfini's case, it's definitely a case study in making sure you have your financial/estate/trust aff...
by playtothebeat
Tue Aug 12, 2014 7:03 pm
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Robin Williams
Replies: 42
Views: 4612

Re: Where do you buy clothes?

Dress shirts and casual shirts - Charles Tyrwhitt (ctshirts.com) - fantastic quality, in my opinion. I buy them for about $40 each. Other dress clothes (slacks etc) - mostly Calvin Klein at Macy's, with a few Hugo Boss sprinkled in from Nordstrom. Shoes - i have a few pair of Allen Edmonds, and the ...
by playtothebeat
Tue Aug 12, 2014 12:21 pm
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Where do you buy clothes?
Replies: 105
Views: 8688

Re: Considering buying a Prius or a Volt

What about a used prius? Seems like they're hard to find with an HOV sticker - I wouldn't buy one that isn't HOV-eligible, as gas savings alone aren't worth the added car payment (which is also why a diesel isn't going to work) Perhaps someone can correct me if i'm wrong, but my understanding is th...
by playtothebeat
Thu Aug 07, 2014 1:26 pm
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Considering buying a Plug-in Prius or a Volt
Replies: 40
Views: 2555

Considering buying a Plug-in Prius or a Volt

My wife and I have been discussing this over the last few days. This is a direct result of the recent position my wife took which now has a 100 mile roundtrip commute four days a week (Irvine to Century City, for those who are familiar with OC/LA area - yep, it's brutal). She's an attorney - her gro...
by playtothebeat
Thu Aug 07, 2014 11:34 am
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Considering buying a Plug-in Prius or a Volt
Replies: 40
Views: 2555

Help me choose a new tv

The TV in my living room finally went out. It was a Sony DLP, and while the quality was great, it took up quite a bit of space. I can probably get a new bulb for it for abotu $200-$250, but frankly don't think it's worth doing any more; plus, I would like to get a TV mounted to create some more floo...
by playtothebeat
Tue Jul 22, 2014 7:16 pm
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Help me choose a new tv
Replies: 31
Views: 1802

Re: Cost to appraise a real estate LP

What kind of property(ies) are you talking about? Single family houses? Apartments? Industrial?
by playtothebeat
Wed Jul 16, 2014 1:05 pm
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Cost to appraise a real estate LP
Replies: 5
Views: 332

Re: Breastfeeding and baby formula

I have a 9 month old now. 1) sign up for their mailing lists. you'll get coupons ($5 off, usually) in the mail. use them. look for sales at Babies R Us - i've found that Enfamil formula is about the same price everywhere, but BRU will have deals about once a month or so where you get $10 off if you ...
by playtothebeat
Mon Jun 30, 2014 12:31 pm
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Breastfeeding and baby formula
Replies: 24
Views: 1258

Re: Buying Certified Pre-Owned Vehicles

Thanks for the replies. After doing some research, I found a lot of complaints with Sonatas not getting the advertised gas mileage. I'll probably spend about $14k more and get a new loaded Outback instead If you are worried about MPG, Outback certainly ain't your vehicle :? That. Also, unless they'...
by playtothebeat
Thu Jun 26, 2014 11:28 am
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Buying Certified Pre-Owned Vehicles
Replies: 23
Views: 2383

Re: Engagement Ring - Diamond Help

Keep in mind that once you cross certain "thresholds" the price seems to go up just because of the threshold. I.e. a 1.50 will be significantly more expensive than a 1.48 carat diamond, even though you'll never be able to tell the difference. I spent about that much (before the setting) an...
by playtothebeat
Wed Jun 18, 2014 8:19 pm
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Engagement Ring - Diamond Help
Replies: 61
Views: 4339

Re: What Do You Eat For Snacks?

Almonds
Apples dipped in peanut butter (use simple organic peanut butter - look at the list of ingredients - if it has more than "peanuts" and maybe salt, don't buy it)
Bananas
Figs
Dark chocolate
Sprats
Full fat cheese
by playtothebeat
Tue Jun 17, 2014 5:01 pm
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: What Do You Eat For Snacks?
Replies: 103
Views: 6448

Re: Car for a long daily commute

So try it, but if the job works out, your priority should be to move. Go ahead and plan on moving back in 5 years when he gets to kindergarten. A lot of things can change in that much time. Great point. We'll give this a try - we know it won't be easy, and won't love it. We know it will make things...
by playtothebeat
Tue Jun 17, 2014 12:01 pm
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Car for a long daily commute
Replies: 75
Views: 5973

Re: Car for a long daily commute

Thanks for the feedback, everyone. Really appreciate all the input. I haven't considered the idea of doing extended stay or anything like that once or twice a week; that might not be a bad idea. We have a lot of friends in the LA area, so she could probably stay with one of them once or twice a week...
by playtothebeat
Mon Jun 16, 2014 12:29 am
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Car for a long daily commute
Replies: 75
Views: 5973

Re: Car for a long daily commute

No argument that moving would solve the issue, but OC is far superior to LA county (in my opinion) for quality of life and raising a child (especially in the area we are in). So moving is not really an option at this point for us (plus, given that our house is probably still underwater, it'd be toug...
by playtothebeat
Wed Jun 11, 2014 1:33 pm
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Car for a long daily commute
Replies: 75
Views: 5973

Re: Car for a long daily commute

I'm not picking on you, but this brings up a general question. How many people factor in all of the costs when making a job decision? Based on the current IRS standard mileage rate and California tax rates, this commute will eat up almost $20,000 of gross salary (the actual cost is lower, but so is...
by playtothebeat
Mon Jun 09, 2014 2:02 pm
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Car for a long daily commute
Replies: 75
Views: 5973

Re: Car for a long daily commute

Thanks for the responces, everyone. Unfortunately, we know just how bad that commute will be. The new job does come with a significant pay bump and title promotion, so there are some positives. She'll have some flexibility with her hours, and will likely need to do something like 6am-3pm to make thi...
by playtothebeat
Mon Jun 09, 2014 11:34 am
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Car for a long daily commute
Replies: 75
Views: 5973

Car for a long daily commute

My wife will be starting a new position in a few weeks which will require a daily commute of about 110 miles round trip (from Irvine to Century City, for those of you who live in or are familiar with the Orange County/LA County area). We currently have two cars: a 2010 bmw 528 and a 2007 mazda 6. Th...
by playtothebeat
Sun Jun 08, 2014 7:16 pm
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Car for a long daily commute
Replies: 75
Views: 5973

Re: UCLA vs USC Decision [Which college to attend]

I went to SC for undergrad, and wouldn't trade it for anything. I had some grants/scholarships, but still came out with about $70k of total debt (undergrad). And I would do it again. it lead me directly to my career (commercial real estate finance). and i was there during the golden Pete Carrol year...
by playtothebeat
Sat May 17, 2014 12:19 pm
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: UCLA vs USC Decision [Which college to attend]
Replies: 62
Views: 3688

Re: Son moving to LA - neighborhood/town recommendations?

You gotta tell us more about your son in order to answer that question. You mentioned he's single - is he 18? 25? 35? there's a difference. What does he like to do? Beach volleyaball? Manhattan Beach is the world capital of beach volleyball. Does he like to surf? Manhattan Beach is great for that to...
by playtothebeat
Tue Feb 18, 2014 6:28 pm
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Son moving to LA - neighborhood/town recommendations?
Replies: 43
Views: 3504

Re: Is living without credit cards a dangerous idea?

Frankly, i think it's very impractical in today's society to live without a credit card. For instance, you can't buy a meal or a drink on an airplane with cash anymore - has to be plastic (you can use debit, of course). As someone pointed out, I'd use the CCs for large items (for rewards), and you a...
by playtothebeat
Wed Jan 15, 2014 8:54 pm
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Is living without credit cards a dangerous idea?
Replies: 66
Views: 3089

Re: Buying/installing a new Washer & Dryer set.

Thanks for the input, all. I'm not sure if simply bleaching it would work for us, if not for the fact that we've been talking for a long time about replacing our washer (it's a top-load agitator; we like the top-load; we don't like the agitator..) I should probably phrase my question/concerns better...
by playtothebeat
Sat Nov 23, 2013 5:17 pm
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Buying/installing a new Washer & Dryer set.
Replies: 10
Views: 851

Buying/installing a new Washer & Dryer set.

Over the past few weeks i've noticed an odd (stale?) smell coming from my washer; i'm worried it might be mold or mildew, and with a newborn in the house, that's not something I want to deal with. As such, I spent the last couple of days looking for a new washer and gas dryer set. My laundry room is...
by playtothebeat
Sat Nov 23, 2013 2:26 am
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Buying/installing a new Washer & Dryer set.
Replies: 10
Views: 851

Re: HRA or HSA?

To me, the difference between the two in terms of cost (premiums, deductibles, and oop max) is not significant. You say you're in a fairly high tax bracket, so I assume the additional $1000 OOP is not a big deal to you either. I personally like the portability of the HSA, as well as the ability to i...
by playtothebeat
Tue Nov 19, 2013 2:26 pm
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: HRA or HSA?
Replies: 4
Views: 469

Re: limited FSA with an HSA, help

If i'm not mistaken, it actually depends on your company, rather than IRS or Wageworks. IRS is now permitting the $500 cary-over for FSAs (including limited, I believe), but companies do not have to offer that benefit. Check with your HR. You should also find out whether you have to have funds in th...
by playtothebeat
Tue Nov 19, 2013 2:21 pm
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: limited FSA with an HSA, help
Replies: 2
Views: 224

Re: Two separate HSAs for me and wife?

@ThePrune:
Can you clarify (B) for me - If my wife choses not to fund her FSA with any pre-tax dollars (and does not get anything from the employer), does that mean I can contribute to the HSA?
by playtothebeat
Wed Nov 13, 2013 5:24 pm
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Two separate HSAs for me and wife?
Replies: 5
Views: 523

Two separate HSAs for me and wife?

Like many of us, my wife and I (along with our 1 month old newborn) are going through our health care options for 2014 and have a question I'm hoping someone can help answer, as I've been unable to find an answer online. My employer offers an HSA plan with the following key stats: Rates You + spouse...
by playtothebeat
Wed Nov 13, 2013 2:20 am
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Two separate HSAs for me and wife?
Replies: 5
Views: 523

Re: Young Guys [and Gals] Making Good Money

Here's what I suggest you do.. Find a field or fields that interest you. Meet people in those fields and pick their brain about the type of work they do, their lifestyles, etc. Could be something as simple as reaching out to your alma matter and seeing if the career center can set you up for some in...
by playtothebeat
Wed Sep 25, 2013 12:31 am
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Young Guys [and Gals] Making Good Money
Replies: 241
Views: 23413

Re: How many big moves have you made in your lifetime?

Moved from Russia to Oregon when I was 12. Spoke some English but not much. That was quite an adjustment.
Then went to college in CA after never having stepped foot in CA. Another cultural adjustment, to say the least..
by playtothebeat
Sun Sep 01, 2013 4:38 pm
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: How many big moves have you made in your lifetime?
Replies: 76
Views: 5582

Re: Can I get the bank to allow me to rent out my place?

Reach out to your bank and ask. If they say no, they have to show that their rationale is "reasonable" (meaning, it is something that other market participants would agree to be a common practice). The bank will also have to give you an answer in a timely manner (i.e. they can't withold th...
by playtothebeat
Sun Sep 01, 2013 12:41 am
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Can I get the bank to allow me to rent out my place?
Replies: 20
Views: 1995

Re: New job with new commute, worth it?

I live in Southern California. Here, a 45-60 minute commute is very typical. My commute was 45 minutes to go from Santa Monica to Downtown LA, and that was about 15 miles..

I'd definitely do it. This also hopefully establishes a higher pay baseline for your next position/job.
by playtothebeat
Tue Aug 27, 2013 10:58 am
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: New job with new commute, worth it?
Replies: 31
Views: 1978

Re: Insanity in the office kitchen/break room

I got tired of the fact that the coffee in the office tastes burned, so I have a french press in my own office and make a fresh cup every morning. Problem solved.
We have a monthly fridge clean up as well where everything gets thrown out and we bring someone in to scrub it clean
by playtothebeat
Wed Aug 21, 2013 10:55 am
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Insanity in the office kitchen/break room
Replies: 32
Views: 3215

Re: Refinance/"Buy" house from the wife?

I'm in Orange county so I'd have to put some money down to qualify for th FHA it looks like, but still far less than 20% for a "traditional" loan. Also , my intent is of course to not do anything illegal. If something like this is non-arms length or illegal, my apologies. You hear of kids ...
by playtothebeat
Fri Aug 16, 2013 10:39 pm
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Refinance/"Buy" house from the wife?
Replies: 2
Views: 506

Refinance/"Buy" house from the wife?

I recently got married. My wife purchased a house with her ex husband in 2004, and took out a HELOC in 2006. Combined, the mortgage is $750k. The house value today is somewhere in that same ballpark. The interest rates on the two loans are 6.5% and 8.75% respectively, which is obviously high by toda...
by playtothebeat
Fri Aug 16, 2013 6:02 pm
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Refinance/"Buy" house from the wife?
Replies: 2
Views: 506

Re: Expected rate of returns

I'm curious to know what people use as their "expected rate of return" when calculating potential growth of the portfolio? I believe this "calculation" should be treated as a cone of uncertainty (just like hurricanes) and should not be calculated as a straight line. My belief is...
by playtothebeat
Wed Aug 14, 2013 12:26 pm
 
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Expected rate of returns
Replies: 33
Views: 2557

Re: Expected rate of returns

I haven't seen any studies (albeit, I haven't looked hard enough, I'm sure) which would show what a historic rate of return has been on a mixed portfolio given various allocations to stocks/bonds and investment horizon. Has anything like that been published before? I wouldn't use these to determine...
by playtothebeat
Tue Aug 13, 2013 3:27 pm
 
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Expected rate of returns
Replies: 33
Views: 2557

Expected rate of returns

I'm curious to know what people use as their "expected rate of return" when calculating potential growth of the portfolio? For instance, I know the S&P has returned something like 6.5% since 1871 (post dividends, and adjusted for inflation). That number might be appropriate to use if y...
by playtothebeat
Tue Aug 13, 2013 1:37 pm
 
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Expected rate of returns
Replies: 33
Views: 2557

Re: New LLC for Rentals Complete - Deed Transfer Issues?

Ok here is an update! I had lunch with a title attorney today and he said he can do a quit cliam deed transfer no problem to get all the deeds into the LLC. He has seen lenders catch that before (usually when tax bills come in if you escrow) and then contact the client about it. In one case a lende...
by playtothebeat
Sun Aug 11, 2013 6:46 pm
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: New LLC for Rentals Complete - Deed Transfer Issues?
Replies: 35
Views: 2518

Re: Portfolio help for couple expecting twins

I cannot really understand why you did not pay off the student loan and car loan with so much money sitting in the bank. If these are low interest rate car loans (i.e. 0% or 1%), I personally don't see the need for paying them off any sooner than you must, although i am probably a minority in this ...
by playtothebeat
Thu Aug 08, 2013 8:43 pm
 
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Portfolio help for couple expecting twins
Replies: 8
Views: 578

Re: Pledged asset line vs margin loan

There are no fees and the interest rate is a fixed 3.4% + 90 Day Libor for 5 years. When you say it's fixed at 3.4% + 90 day libor.. do you mean for the entire 5 years, it's fixed at 3.4% + whatever 90 Day libor is at the time you close the loan? Or is it 90 day libor, resetting every 90 days? (I'm...
by playtothebeat
Thu Aug 08, 2013 7:58 pm
 
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Pledged asset line vs margin loan
Replies: 5
Views: 582

HSA investment options

I have an HSA account at Wells Fargo. The balance has just crossed the threshold which allows me to have an "investment" account (as opposed to purely a savings account). Here are the options I have: WF ADV CASH INV MONEY MKT-SVC 0.5% ER WF ADV CORE BOND FUND-ADM 0.7% ER WF ADV HIGH INCOME...
by playtothebeat
Thu Aug 08, 2013 1:28 pm
 
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: HSA investment options
Replies: 1
Views: 219

Re: Career Transition Question

Do you have enough money saved up to last for a year or more of low income? I'm assuming you'll have a low base salary, with majority of your income dependent on your sales volume. If you do, go for it. If you're not happy at your job, make a move. Having a well paying job is one thing, but happines...
by playtothebeat
Fri Aug 02, 2013 3:09 pm
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Career Transition Question
Replies: 10
Views: 1054

Re: Dave Ramsey close to 100% stock

Dave Ramsey also referred to the S&P500 index as "SNP" in his blog posts
by playtothebeat
Thu Aug 01, 2013 11:40 am
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Dave Ramsey close to 100% stock
Replies: 65
Views: 6411

Re: New Honda Accord v/s CPO BMW 328i

We ran the numbers, and as long as we keep the car through the warranty period, which we absolutely plan to do, I come out on top given all the "major" services which are coming up. Somebody is coming out ahead and I doubt it's you! :? I should have clarified - we come out ahead on the ex...
by playtothebeat
Tue Jul 30, 2013 11:42 pm
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: New Honda Accord v/s CPO BMW 328i
Replies: 88
Views: 10334

Re: New Honda Accord v/s CPO BMW 328i

Buy the BMW, and get the extended warranty so that you're covered completely. I think they have them up to 100k miles, possibly even more. I just bought extended warranty and the extended service plan for our 2010 528i. Yes, it cost me $5k total (i think $4800 total, actually). However, i'm covered ...
by playtothebeat
Tue Jul 30, 2013 5:21 pm
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: New Honda Accord v/s CPO BMW 328i
Replies: 88
Views: 10334

Re: Wells Fargo - Sent Unsolicited Credit Cards

Seems very strange. I don't think a company can simply open up a CC in your name. Something is fishy. You sure these are CCs and aren't some debit cards from a rebate you are supposed to get? (a lot of companies now send a Visa debit card instead of a check)

I'd call them.
by playtothebeat
Mon Jul 29, 2013 4:31 pm
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Wells Fargo - Sent Unsolicited Credit Cards
Replies: 16
Views: 983

Re: Anyone own "Triple Net" properties?

... the minority of investors that do take out recourse loans ... are the amateurs. And the banks know this. The point of my previous post. That's inaccurate. It's a matter of trading off recourse for other terms - as someone else pointed out, you may be able to get a non-recourse loan at X leverag...
by playtothebeat
Mon Jul 29, 2013 11:37 am
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Anyone own "Triple Net" properties?
Replies: 24
Views: 2657
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