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Re: The Worst Investment You Can Make: Buying a Home

It depends where and when you buy. From 1973 to the present I have made 20 K and about a million on two homes San Diego and La jolla, 25K on a home in Port Townsend, Washington, and an unrealized gain of 100K in the last three years on a home in Pismo Beach (Bugs Bunny's favored vacation spot). Pure...
by reisner
Wed Aug 20, 2014 6:04 pm
 
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: The Worst Investment You Can Make: Buying a Home
Replies: 135
Views: 15742

Re: Poll for 65+ Seniors

57.6% stocks, but I have a traditional pension with drugs, dental, vision, and supplementary medial insurance, and no mortgage. :sharebeer
by reisner
Sat Aug 16, 2014 9:12 pm
 
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Poll for 65+ Seniors
Replies: 51
Views: 5711

tipping a house painter?

Would you tip a house painter? We scored a special price from a big painting company, $3000 for a 2000 sq. ft. house on the California coast, plus a few add-ons. The crew is a little different each day, but the foreman is here all the time and doing a fantastic job. He does want us to hire him on th...
by reisner
Thu Aug 14, 2014 2:40 pm
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: tipping a house painter?
Replies: 13
Views: 1391

Re: Where do you buy clothes?

Sierra Trading Post, but only with extra discounts via email and reduced shipping. eBay. Occasionally shoes on sale from Zappos. Recently I discovered Gustin, a SF company that crowdsources its products, mostly jeans, chinos, and shirts; for example a very high-end Japanese or Italian selvedge denim...
by reisner
Thu Aug 14, 2014 12:38 pm
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Where do you buy clothes?
Replies: 105
Views: 9105

Re: Drought Management

As residents we are trying our best but frankly the solution does not lie with us. California is one of the few states that does not regulate groundwater pumping. So much is being pumped for agriculture in the Central Valley, where cotton and rice are grown in essentially desert conditions, that the...
by reisner
Sat Aug 02, 2014 10:19 pm
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Drought Management
Replies: 60
Views: 3038

Re: How Much Did You Lose Today?

With the market so high and no new money flowing into our accounts, I have been staying at 56/44 instead of 60/40. Yesterday I sold bonds and bought stock, nearly 2% of our portfolio. Will probably buy a little more today, and we will still be below 60/40. Not that it will make much of a difference,...
by reisner
Fri Aug 01, 2014 2:18 pm
 
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: How Much Did You Lose Today?
Replies: 166
Views: 14170

Re: How Much Did You Lose Today?

With the market so high and no new money flowing into our accounts, I have been staying at 56/44 instead of 60/40. Yesterday I sold bonds and bought stock, nearly 2% of our portfolio. Will probably buy a little more today, and we will still be below 60/40. Not that it will make much of a difference,...
by reisner
Fri Aug 01, 2014 2:17 pm
 
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: How Much Did You Lose Today?
Replies: 166
Views: 14170

Re: Should I Buy a Home Warranty

The only reputable company is American Home Shield. We have used them for six and a half years. In that time they have paid for about $13,000 in work on our two successive homes, both of which were given rave reviews by the home inspectors.
by reisner
Wed Jul 23, 2014 3:21 pm
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Should I Buy a Home Warranty
Replies: 19
Views: 1368

Re: Tiny House Movement

I feel oppressed by possessions that I do not use, even if they are stored away in the garage cabinets. How many of your clothes do you actually wear? How many of all those kitchen implements or knives do you really use (in my case three very sharp knives)? How many of those square feet in the house...
by reisner
Wed Jul 09, 2014 8:03 pm
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Tiny House Movement
Replies: 139
Views: 15934

Re: Please help us decide where to live

If you are considering the Seattle area, the town of La Conner is a gem to the north.
by reisner
Fri Jun 27, 2014 10:45 pm
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Please help us decide where to live
Replies: 169
Views: 8068

Re: Cost of car compared to Gross Income

25% for a 2014 Subaru Forester that we will keep for ten or fifteen years. We could have paid cash but the credit union was offering 1.9%, so why take money out of Vanguard?
by reisner
Fri Jun 20, 2014 11:11 am
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Cost of car compared to Gross Income
Replies: 82
Views: 4669

Re: [Poll] Did you tax loss harvest in the past?

Aty the end of 2009 I sold all sector funds and S&P 500. At the beginning of 2010 I bought Total Stock Market, and there I sit now. In addition, while the market was near bottom and I was temporarily living in a no-tax state, NH, I converted my IRA to a Roth with minimum tax liability. Furthermo...
by reisner
Thu Jun 19, 2014 1:41 pm
 
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: [Poll] Did you tax loss harvest in the past?
Replies: 17
Views: 955

Re: What funds do you sell in order to balance

harikaried wrote:
reisner wrote:The Roth is full of bonds, so I have only the Small Caps Index to work with there.
So the Roth is the only tax advantaged space? No IRA or 401k or even 529?


I have a CalPers state, not municipal, pension, SS, and a house on the California Coast. :sharebeer
by reisner
Sat Jun 07, 2014 9:26 pm
 
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: What funds do you sell in order to balance
Replies: 10
Views: 641

Re: What funds do you sell in order to balance

The Roth is full of bonds, so I have only the Small Caps Index to work with there. And I'm retired; so barring an inheritance or the sale of a screenplay there is no new money to do the rebalancing with. Thanks. I don't necessarily want to get rid of the Small Caps and FTSE; it's just that those sal...
by reisner
Sat Jun 07, 2014 1:39 pm
 
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: What funds do you sell in order to balance
Replies: 10
Views: 641

What funds do you sell in order to balance

The steady rise of the market makes me a little nervous, so I have been rebalancing far more often than usual and trying to stay under our 60% equities allocation. I am probably not alone in this practice. My question is, what are Bogleheads selling lately to balance into bonds? Theoretically I shou...
by reisner
Sat Jun 07, 2014 1:21 pm
 
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: What funds do you sell in order to balance
Replies: 10
Views: 641

Re: Rent vs. buy in SoCal

Don't buy. You sound, the both of you, close to burning out and fleeing to a kindlier place. No possible real estate increase could compensate for the safety of not buying in such a milieu. (I have spent half my life in and out of Palo Alto.)
by reisner
Tue May 27, 2014 12:43 am
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Rent vs. buy in SoCal
Replies: 8
Views: 793

Re: Convince me to choose a Suburban over a Sequoia

Perhaps the best idea would to downsize all the stuff you bring with you, instead of continuing to supersize as has been the American way.
by reisner
Sat May 17, 2014 10:31 pm
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Convince me to choose a Suburban over a Sequoia
Replies: 64
Views: 4334

Re: Convince me to choose a Suburban over a Sequoia

We love the 2001 Sequoia we bought used in 2009 so much that we're selling the 2007 Honda Accord instead of it. (We just bought a Subaru Forester and don't need three cars.) Probably 16 mpg around town, but twenty on the Highway. I've driven it across the country three times with no worries. My shop...
by reisner
Sat May 17, 2014 7:58 pm
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Convince me to choose a Suburban over a Sequoia
Replies: 64
Views: 4334

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

I don't own much, but I buy good stuff--at a bargain, mostly. Food and booze can't be scrimped on. But really good clothes can almost always be had for a huge discount from Sierra Trading Post. So too fishing equipment. Bought exactly the shotgun and deer rifle I wanted, but used, for $500 and $450 ...
by reisner
Wed Apr 02, 2014 3:38 pm
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Expensive hobbies and possessions? (B/c you can...)
Replies: 126
Views: 14205

Re: Mr. Money Mustache: Hero or Foolish?

I have followed him for a while. His Canadian origins may account for some of his rough-it lifestyle (food, showers, laundry, travel arrangements). I think he does a great deal of good, and more power to him if some money comes his way because of the website. But I have come to find his hectoring of...
by reisner
Tue Apr 01, 2014 6:58 pm
 
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Mr. Money Mustache: Hero or Foolish?
Replies: 255
Views: 34725

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

Far from being unsaleable, small houses and apartments enjoy a growing market. See: http://www.lifeedited.com/ It's great to see that Tumbleweed and others are designing small, but not necessarily micro, homes. You don't have to be an extreme minimalist to want the cost and societal benefits as well...
by reisner
Mon Mar 31, 2014 9:51 am
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: How much to build a small house from scratch?
Replies: 28
Views: 1825

Re: Less is Beautiful

This can be one of the stresses in a relationship. Post-my -retirement, my partner's project or life-assignment is the house. Although she does a great job, I myself have no interest in the project. At this point in my life I'm looking for friends and new experiences, not a new doormat, set of dishe...
by reisner
Thu Mar 20, 2014 12:29 am
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Less is Beautiful
Replies: 29
Views: 4391

Re: Poll: When did you retire? Would you do it all over agai

Age 60, in 2005. Since retirement enabled me to sell my house in San Diego at the peak of the market there and move on, which I very much wanted to do, I would certainly do it all over again.
by reisner
Mon Mar 10, 2014 2:28 pm
 
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Poll: When did you retire? Would you do it all over again ?
Replies: 103
Views: 11630

Re: What was your dumbest financial decision?

I had a pair of shoes custom made in Italy for $800. I have worn them only three times. Size 9 if anyone's interested.
by reisner
Sun Mar 02, 2014 1:29 pm
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: What was your dumbest financial decision?
Replies: 106
Views: 9505

Re: Vacuum cleaner advice

Dysons are ridiculously overrated. Go to your local sewing and vacuum store and get good advice on which Miele to buy. Don't buy one over the internet; you won't save enough to make up for the advice you didn't get.
by reisner
Sat Mar 01, 2014 12:17 pm
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Vacuum cleaner advice
Replies: 34
Views: 2188

Re: Warren Buffett's portfolio for his wife: Vanguard index

90/10 is a far cry from 60/40. I would have appreciated the rationale for his AA.
by reisner
Mon Feb 24, 2014 9:45 am
 
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Warren Buffett's portfolio for his wife: Vanguard index fund
Replies: 70
Views: 11630

Re: Cost Analysis: Living in CA vs the South

Full disclosure: Having lived in San Diego (La Jolla) for 35 years and then left, I never again want to go south of Santa Barbara. I moved away (Olympic Peninsula), moved back (Central Coast), moved away (NH), and am thinking of moving back again (Sonoma County). Although green is my favorite color ...
by reisner
Tue Feb 04, 2014 2:14 pm
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Cost Analysis: Living in CA vs the South
Replies: 79
Views: 5954

Re: AARP Membership?

I too have found their Hartford home/auto/umbrella policy rates unbeatable by a long shot. Way better than Geico, Amica, and AAA.
by reisner
Sun Feb 02, 2014 4:30 pm
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: AARP Membership?
Replies: 33
Views: 2117

Re: SUV Vs Sedan

For my money a hatchback is the best vehicle, whether it is basically a car or an SUV. We'll probably be buying a Subaru Forester next. Some have called the Honda Fit more of a mini SUV than a car. If you need AWD, Honda is coming out in a few months with a true mini SUV on the Fit platform. These a...
by reisner
Wed Jan 29, 2014 6:19 pm
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: SUV Vs Sedan
Replies: 50
Views: 4167

Re: Age in Bonds - Who Follows a Different Strategy?

68, wife 53, and we are 60/40. But between my pension and SS alone our income is higher than it was when I was working. No mortgage, no debts, medical, drugs, vision, and dental covered by the pension. And I feel 38. So 60/40 seems right for the foreseeable future.
by reisner
Sun Jan 26, 2014 5:44 pm
 
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Age in Bonds - Who Follows a Different Strategy?
Replies: 132
Views: 7045

Re: Seattle as a place to live?

Much buzz in the Seattle area about how Portland has done so many more things right--traffic, public transportation, open space. Seattle traffic can be horrendous. And while there are some charming neighborhoods like Ballard, the city as a whole has a cold feel to me. A local free newspaper runs a c...
by reisner
Sat Jan 25, 2014 12:06 pm
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Seattle as a place to live?
Replies: 69
Views: 7144

Re: Which bond fund is best?

I like the Intermediate Term Investment Grade because I want to be light on Treasuries.
by reisner
Sat Jan 25, 2014 11:59 am
 
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Which bond fund is best?
Replies: 83
Views: 4351

Re-rebalancing

We Bogleheads don't time the market except, as Nisiprius once pointed out, of course we all do, more or less. Presuming that you have dutifully done your post-distributions rebalancing, and presuming that has meant selling equities and buying bonds--if this week's slide in the market continues next ...
by reisner
Fri Jan 24, 2014 6:54 pm
 
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Re-rebalancing
Replies: 3
Views: 267

Re: Target Breach, Updated

About freezing your credit--that seems like the thing to do right now. Do husband and wife have to do so separately?
by reisner
Sun Jan 19, 2014 1:28 pm
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Target Breach, Updated
Replies: 52
Views: 4593

Re: Target Breach, Updated

Ah, the bliss of ignorance! But I found the idea of giving out personal information in order to protect personal information a bit curious in the current circumstances. Especially given that Experian does not have an unblemished security record: http://krebsonsecurity.com/2013/10/experian-sold-consu...
by reisner
Sun Jan 19, 2014 12:11 pm
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Target Breach, Updated
Replies: 52
Views: 4593

Re: Target Breach, Updated

Target's offer of a free year of Experian credit monitoring requires me to enter my SS number. I see that SScritic signed up, but I'm suspicious. Should I be?
by reisner
Sun Jan 19, 2014 10:54 am
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Target Breach, Updated
Replies: 52
Views: 4593

Re: Biggest regrets in your life in financial investment?

Unfortunately you don't lend money to friends; you give it to them.
by reisner
Fri Jan 17, 2014 9:57 am
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Biggest regrets in your life in financial investment?
Replies: 101
Views: 8042

Re: Biggest regrets in your life in financial investment?

I didn't start investing until I was over fifty. Until then I relied on the future pension, which has been great, and real estate appreciation in San Diego (tiny house in La Jolla) which was unbelievable. Still, I wish I had started putting a little away in index funds during my thirties. But did th...
by reisner
Fri Jan 17, 2014 9:02 am
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Biggest regrets in your life in financial investment?
Replies: 101
Views: 8042

Re: Learning english grammar, writing/communication skills

Many good suggestions here. And now for a few more. If you can find a copy, Robert Graves's "The Reader Over Your Shoulder" is a strenuous tear through the bad writing of supposedly good writers. Study a foreign language, not via one of the new "painless" methods, but the old fas...
by reisner
Tue Jan 14, 2014 9:46 am
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Learning english grammar, writing/communication skills
Replies: 30
Views: 1759

Re: Republic Wireless

We switched from T-Mobile to Republic and haven't looked back. The Sprint coverage beats T-Mobile's. The WiFi option has been great in remote areas. The Moto Defy XT is our first smart phone(s). I'm not yet taking full advantage of it, but am especially pleased with being able to email snapshots. It...
by reisner
Fri Jan 10, 2014 9:14 am
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Republic Wireless
Replies: 45
Views: 11478

Re: when you reach"your number"

My number was a pension number. When I reached it, the pension nearly equaled my net salary, given no more deductions for SS, pension, union dues, IRA. If I didn't retire I was working only for a pension increase, of about two per cent a year--a job most candidates would kill for, but I was burnt ou...
by reisner
Fri Jan 10, 2014 12:53 am
 
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: when you reach"your number"
Replies: 84
Views: 9103

Re: CA state capital gains taxes

I agree with the reasoning of grabiner and sscritic, but I have my own point of view. The source of the income was not covered by the tax laws, only the state in which the tax event--a conversion from IRA to Roth--took place. That was New Hampshire. A quirk in the Federal tax code at the time allowe...
by reisner
Wed Jan 08, 2014 9:15 am
 
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: CA state capital gains taxes
Replies: 18
Views: 7318

Re: CA state capital gains taxes

It was split over two calendar years, 2009 and 2010. At that time the Feds allowed the Roth conversion tax to be paid over two years. The second year I was back in CA and the state tried to take its taste. I refiled the previous year's Fed, back paid all the tax due plus a penalty of about $400, but...
by reisner
Wed Jan 08, 2014 12:45 am
 
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: CA state capital gains taxes
Replies: 18
Views: 7318

Re: CA state capital gains taxes

During a year-long sojourn in NH (no state income tax) I did a Roth conversion. When I moved back to CA the Golden state still tried to grab a tax claim. I mananaged to win but it wasn't easy. I don't know about the rest of the states but CA is nasty.
by reisner
Wed Jan 08, 2014 12:16 am
 
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: CA state capital gains taxes
Replies: 18
Views: 7318

Re: Animal Medicine Cost

If the medicine is also approved for human use, you can order it at a great discount from the AARP pharmacy, provided of course that you are a member.
by reisner
Sat Jan 04, 2014 9:02 am
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Animal Medicine Cost
Replies: 5
Views: 543

Re: About to Buy a 2014 Subaru Forester

I have a Subaru "gotcha" (if you want to call it this)-- I purchased a 1 year old used Subaru Outback about 4 years ago, and the engine in my car burns through about a quart of oil every 2 thousand miles. Apparently, they say this is normal for a Subaru-- the dealer and owner's manual say...
by reisner
Tue Dec 31, 2013 6:51 pm
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: About to Buy a 2014 Subaru Forester
Replies: 51
Views: 6274

Re: How many folks have a dog?

Travel: Yes, there are limits. However, I have traveled with a setter dog all over the country and have enjoyed his companionship more than I can say. I have also traveled to Greece and Turkey with an Airedale and had a ball. $: Make sure you can afford premium food, vet care, and boarding if necess...
by reisner
Thu Dec 26, 2013 11:59 am
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: How many folks have a dog?
Replies: 112
Views: 7458

Re: Should I move to California from Midwest?

Go for the job interview. Hit the freeways at rush hour. Look in realtors' windows. Stroll the Stanford shopping Center, but dress up first. Go have sushi on University Ave in Palo Alto and look around at the other tables. Will you feel comfortable working with the sort of vibe you get from the peop...
by reisner
Fri Dec 20, 2013 1:23 pm
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Should I move to California from Midwest?
Replies: 153
Views: 8033

Re: Should I move to California from Midwest?

If I were doing this for a few years of experience with a new job and a new area, I would make the move but probably not bother with the struggle to buy a house. I have a spent a lot of time in the area, from 1967 on. I would weary of the long hours you describe, the terrible traffic, the high cost ...
by reisner
Fri Dec 20, 2013 10:07 am
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Should I move to California from Midwest?
Replies: 153
Views: 8033

Re: Quitting work

I got a PH.D. and started teaching by the time I was just 25. Because of quick promotions and the job market I stayed to my surprise until retirement. I had gotten tired of the sound of my own voice and the factory-like work teaching GE, in a job that admittedly most adjuncts would die for. Late in ...
by reisner
Thu Dec 19, 2013 7:55 pm
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Quitting work
Replies: 63
Views: 6784
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