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Re: Outdoor fire pit? Yea or Nay

I can see how if the homes are in very close proximity that there could be issues, but we have sufficient acreage that this is not an issue Very close proximity and sufficient acreage are in the lungs of the beholder. I've lived in rural areas where 640 acre lots were not sufficient. Or possibly my...
by scubadiver
Tue May 06, 2014 7:48 pm
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Outdoor fire pit? Yea or Nay
Replies: 62
Views: 7712

Re: Outdoor fire pit? Yea or Nay

Obviously, as the varying posts in this thread indicate, it completely depends on how you think you'll use it, what kind of neighborhood you live in, and how friendly you are with your neighbors. We put one in last summer - as part of a large stone patio we had built - and when it is warm we use it...
by scubadiver
Mon May 05, 2014 8:38 pm
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Outdoor fire pit? Yea or Nay
Replies: 62
Views: 7712

Re: New homeowner: lawn care advice

ryuns wrote:In what world is 4000 sf a small yard anyway?

My driveway is 4000 sq ft.
by scubadiver
Sat Apr 19, 2014 9:02 pm
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: New homeowner: lawn care advice
Replies: 87
Views: 26938

Re: I accidentally discovered a coworkers salary... now what

Regarding the fact that your co-worker is storing personal files on a shared folder -> Not your problem. Mind your own business and move on. Regarding the fact that your co-worker makes substantially more than you -> If my math is correct, your co-worker literally has at least twice as much work exp...
by scubadiver
Fri Apr 04, 2014 10:20 pm
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: I accidentally discovered a coworkers salary... now what?
Replies: 59
Views: 6059

Re: Saving on major renovations

Wanting to make some fundamental improvements to the home so that it is more livable is understandable. There's a lot of subjectivity in the word "livable", but I could see taking a liberal interpretation if you have the financial means. That being said, modifications such as moving walls ...
by scubadiver
Fri Apr 04, 2014 8:51 pm
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Saving on major renovations
Replies: 33
Views: 3092

Re: Frugal Fatigue

jackpullo997 wrote:it will all be squandered on limos, prostitutes, and cocaine when I die.

Wow, sounds like you really know how to throw a funeral.
by scubadiver
Wed Apr 02, 2014 7:59 pm
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Frugal Fatigue
Replies: 96
Views: 11328

Re: 401k vs Roth?

To answer scuba's question, it's 36k in student loan debt, which we're planning to pay off over the next year and a half.

That being the case, I think your near term strategy is on the right track.

I would take a second look at things once you have the loans paid off and are married.

Scubadiver
by scubadiver
Tue Apr 01, 2014 8:40 pm
 
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: 401k vs Roth?
Replies: 12
Views: 982

Re: First things first

We are having the gutters cleaned but the problem is that water is deposited at the foundation. Unfortunately, due to the placement of one gutter it will require ripping up part of the driveway (asphalt on concrete) to be able to bury a hose for the water to drain from out of view. Funny, we had th...
by scubadiver
Tue Apr 01, 2014 8:30 pm
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Saving on major renovations
Replies: 33
Views: 3092

Re: Need help with time share offer

DON'T DO IT!!! Take the cash you are about to piss away and put it in the bank. Add in the maintenance costs and fund an annual ski trip for the next 20 years. But it happens to be the end of the month, and our rep is close of hitting his sales bonus and he really needs this sale – so he threw in an...
by scubadiver
Mon Mar 31, 2014 10:02 pm
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Need help with time share offer
Replies: 22
Views: 1788

Re: Frugal Fatigue

vachica wrote:How do Bogleheads handle the times when they feel that they are missing out on life by saving so much?

To be honest, this is not a feeling that I am at all familiar with.
by scubadiver
Mon Mar 31, 2014 9:53 pm
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Frugal Fatigue
Replies: 96
Views: 11328

Re: Boxed Wines

mfswatz9 wrote:We like boxed Franzia merlot or cabernet for table wine.

I second that recommendation.

I would not recommend the Vella Cabernet Sauvignon. That crap is undrinkable. I bought a 5L Box on Friday, had one glass and put the rest in the trash. :annoyed
by scubadiver
Mon Mar 31, 2014 9:51 pm
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Boxed Wines
Replies: 29
Views: 2258

Re: First things first

Thanks. I'm wondering if we need an architect vs a GC. Might be a good idea since we want to move some walls. For the most part, we are keeping the home's existing footprint. Financially speaking, this sort of renovation is not consistent with wanting to sell in a few years. So, first thing to do i...
by scubadiver
Mon Mar 31, 2014 9:45 pm
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Saving on major renovations
Replies: 33
Views: 3092

Re: 401k vs Roth?

Thanks all, great suggestions so far. Sounds like I need to double check my math on the current tax rates. To answer Kenyan's question: currently the rest of our income is going toward paying off her student loans, building up the emergency fund, and paying for a wedding. If we're lucky enough to h...
by scubadiver
Mon Mar 31, 2014 9:18 pm
 
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: 401k vs Roth?
Replies: 12
Views: 982

Re: help for a fellow seeker

The problem with buying a home is that I can't afford it in my neighborhood.. my rent is $1.2k month and I really love where I live in Beachwood Canyon L.A. where the homes start at $1m. If you can afford it (and you can) and it allows you to live in an area you really like (and apparently it does)...
by scubadiver
Mon Mar 31, 2014 9:08 pm
 
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: help for a fellow seeker
Replies: 30
Views: 3228

Re: Tree stump removal

In January, high winds snapped a 5-year-old tree in my backyard in half, leaving a two-foot stump. I believe it was an ash. I think that it had already been weakened, as it lost its leaves early last summer. The stump is roughly 5 or 6 inches in diameter. Any recommendations in how to go about remo...
by scubadiver
Sun Mar 30, 2014 1:47 pm
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Tree stump removal
Replies: 25
Views: 2102

Re: Moving to HCOL (Net Income Paycut)? [High Cost of Living

Food for thought. Do you or your significant other have family in or near Ohio? Do you or your significant other have family in or near San Jose? My advice would be to go where your family is. Family trumps cost of living. If you don't appreciate that now, you will begin to once you have kids and as...
by scubadiver
Sat Mar 29, 2014 9:29 pm
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Moving to HCOL (Net Income Paycut)? [High Cost of Living]
Replies: 14
Views: 1234

Re: Student Loans and Retirement help

Right now she is contributing 10% to her 401k through work and saving about 500 bucks a month after all other expenses/loan payments. It is my opinion that with that high of loan rates, she should lower her 401k contribution to 1% so that she gets the match and then put the 9% that she was previous...
by scubadiver
Sat Mar 29, 2014 10:16 am
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Student Loans and Retirement help
Replies: 9
Views: 910

Re: Tough college choice

Understand that the following feedback is provided by someone with two degrees in mathematics whose last clothing purchase was a dry suit for scuba diving back in 2007. (Fortunately for me, my wife and MIL do a pretty good job of keeping me in decent threads. :)) All things being equal, I almost alw...
by scubadiver
Mon Mar 24, 2014 9:46 pm
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Tough college choice
Replies: 72
Views: 16999

Re: Single Income Family with 4 Children (so far)

What are your thoughts on 529 plans in my situation? I don't like the idea of being subject to market fluctuations, not knowing for sure where my kid will want to go to school, etc... but there are tax benefits. Am I better off just having some other type of investment and earmarking it for tuition...
by scubadiver
Thu Mar 20, 2014 9:41 pm
 
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Single Income Family with 4 Children (so far)
Replies: 69
Views: 5290

Re: Single Income Family with 4 Children (so far)

Welcome to the forum! Overall you are in a decent situation. I would be a little concerned about the fact that you have given up many years of tax advantaged retirement savings, but you seem to be on a path to remedy that going forward. For now I would make maxing 401K, Roth IRA (for you) and deduct...
by scubadiver
Wed Mar 19, 2014 11:26 pm
 
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Single Income Family with 4 Children (so far)
Replies: 69
Views: 5290

Re: HOA lawyer sends threatening letter, need advice

steve_14 wrote: Lesson learned - if your checks aren't being cashed in the fall, don't wait until spring to look into the issue.


^^No kidding.
by scubadiver
Wed Mar 19, 2014 10:26 pm
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: HOA lawyer sends threatening letter, need advice
Replies: 46
Views: 4517

Re: Do you love your job? What do you do?

It seems like a lot of people in this forum don't like the idea of working, and the hatred of that work is a motivator towards an early, successful retirement. This statement is a gross generalization that, in my opinion, really misses the mark as to why so many people visit and participate in this...
by scubadiver
Sun Mar 16, 2014 2:06 pm
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Do you love your job? What do you do?
Replies: 134
Views: 11226

Re: Should you discuss your wages with your peers?

Apparently not even my wife knows how much I make. I just asked her. To her credit she was within 10%, though not by much.

I do not discuss salary with co-workers.

Scubadiver
by scubadiver
Fri Mar 14, 2014 9:03 pm
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Should you discuss your wages with your peers?
Replies: 82
Views: 6998

Re: House too small; what to do?

My father, a baby boomer, grew up with 12 siblings. I'm pretty sure they did not live in a 15000 sq ft home. 1500 maybe. They were 3-4 deep per bedroom and the older siblings learned how to sleep comfortably on the floor. With 1400 sq ft, I would say you still have some room to grow. :wink: Seriousl...
by scubadiver
Thu Mar 13, 2014 10:01 pm
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: House too small; what to do?
Replies: 38
Views: 3553

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 scubadiver
Sun Mar 09, 2014 11:39 am
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Move to California means what $ ?
Replies: 55
Views: 4686

Re: Financial advisor wants me to roll a 401(k) into an IRA?

I'd say you could also trust most people on this forum. Most of us are here to altruistically share knowledge, advice, opinions, experiences and to learn. I would strongly agree with this. This is a great forum and resource for those who want to learn and share. I completely agree with this and wou...
by scubadiver
Sun Mar 09, 2014 12:32 am
 
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Financial advisor wants me to roll a 401(k) into an IRA?
Replies: 98
Views: 7609

Re: Move to California means what $ ?

The problem is that Texas is located in Texas. investor My wife has several friends from high school who are now living in Texas. These are people who are college educated and solidly middle class. The feedback they provide is that life in Texas is pretty good. There are jobs, affordable housing, g...
by scubadiver
Sat Mar 08, 2014 10:37 am
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Move to California means what $ ?
Replies: 55
Views: 4686

Re: Move to California means what $ ?

You can compare total state taxes, by state, here - http://www.itep.org/whopays/#map That's quite a coincidence. I was just about to link there. When every anyone says X or Y is a low tax or high tax state, you should ask for WHOM? As this data from ITEP shows, tax burdens in Texas are a lot lower ...
by scubadiver
Fri Mar 07, 2014 10:49 pm
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Move to California means what $ ?
Replies: 55
Views: 4686

Re: Financial advisor wants me to roll a 401(k) into an IRA?

We recently hired a fee-only financial advisor. His first move is to suggest we move it over to a TD Ameritrade IRA account that they manage at a 1% annual fee (plus a .35% TD custodial fee). There is no way the I would EVER pay a 1.35% annual fee. Whether you choose to roll it over or not is anoth...
by scubadiver
Mon Mar 03, 2014 10:02 am
 
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Financial advisor wants me to roll a 401(k) into an IRA?
Replies: 98
Views: 7609

Re: 32 y/o with baby on the way needing advice

If you wish to avoid PMI, you will need to save more than 20% of the purchase price. There are additional settlement costs that could easily run you say $5-10K, so on a $200k home, you will probably need to bring at least $50K to avoid PMI. If that is your goal, and I think it should be, accomplishi...
by scubadiver
Sun Feb 23, 2014 9:34 pm
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: 32 y/o with baby on the way needing advice
Replies: 7
Views: 1538

Re: taxes done and…why is my spouse working?

It is an interesting question though... How would I tell my kids they should work hard in school, go to college and maybe grad school if all I did was stay at home all day? My wife has been a stay-at-home mom at different times (she is again right now), but her working too HAS been a good influence...
by scubadiver
Wed Feb 19, 2014 11:04 pm
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: taxes done and…why is my spouse working?
Replies: 90
Views: 9217

Re: taxes done and…why is my spouse working?

Fwiw, we are both attorneys. Finally, if I didn't work it isn't clear to me why I would have gone to professional school. I don't know your circumstances, but it might have been to meet and marry a lawyer who would be capable of supporting you if you stayed home with your children. My daughter the ...
by scubadiver
Tue Feb 18, 2014 10:43 pm
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: taxes done and…why is my spouse working?
Replies: 90
Views: 9217

Re: taxes done and…why is my spouse working?

Well I work in order to provide my daughter with the role model of a successful professional woman. I also work to provide financial security to our family. Should my husband ever want to take an opportunity that would require a pay cut, he is free to do so. My working also puts on track for early ...
by scubadiver
Tue Feb 18, 2014 10:14 pm
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: taxes done and…why is my spouse working?
Replies: 90
Views: 9217

Re: ASPCA vs Humane Society

Deleted duplicate post
by scubadiver
Sun Feb 16, 2014 11:54 pm
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: ASPCA vs Humane Society
Replies: 27
Views: 1985

Re: taxes done and…why is my spouse working?

I'm supportive of whichever decision she makes. And she's free to change her mind going forward (so there is a good chance several years from now I'll be searching for and reading this thread again…). My wife is also a stay at home mom. It was a decision we made together. I had a lot of input in te...
by scubadiver
Sun Feb 16, 2014 10:24 pm
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: taxes done and…why is my spouse working?
Replies: 90
Views: 9217

Re: ASPCA vs Humane Society

I would never under any circumstances donate to the Humane Society of the United States (HSUS) again. We made the mistake of sending them a modest donation about 8 years ago. Between the mailings and the HSUS merchandise that we received over a time span of 5 years (they're persistent buggers), I ha...
by scubadiver
Sun Feb 16, 2014 9:47 pm
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: ASPCA vs Humane Society
Replies: 27
Views: 1985

Re: Layed off and now retiring. Need advice...

Great question. I may return to some type of "income producing work" but I doubt it will be full time or significant income. If that changes, i'll withdraw less (or spend a little more). But, I don't think I want to plan on it. Aside from general financial considerations, I think you shou...
by scubadiver
Sat Feb 15, 2014 11:53 am
 
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Layed off and now retiring. Need advice...
Replies: 65
Views: 7821

Re: Newly married - setting up finances

NOTE: I am not a divorce attorney. We have all of our assets in joint accounts with the obvious exception of a couple of retirement accounts, but even there the other spouse is the beneficiary upon the death of the account owner. My wife is a stay at home mom, so I'm not sure what sense it makes to ...
by scubadiver
Thu Feb 13, 2014 10:28 pm
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Newly married - setting up finances
Replies: 23
Views: 1926

Re: Smart Home Purchase?

kdub2008, I see you're relatively new to the forum. Welcome aboard. I hope you stick around as there is a lot that can be learned here. Concerning the on-going debate about your home purchase planning, here's how I see it: Dave Ramsey 1 kdub2008 0 I would stick to renting until you have enough money...
by scubadiver
Thu Feb 13, 2014 8:52 pm
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Smart Home Purchase?
Replies: 21
Views: 2425

Re: How do you define "emergency fund?"

You are certainly conservative but, assuming that you are taking advantage of tax deferred savings opportunities and not carrying any high interest rate debts, I wouldn't say you are too conservative. Your mental break down of the fund into two separate components is reasonable. I don't do it like t...
by scubadiver
Fri Feb 07, 2014 10:45 pm
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: How do you define "emergency fund?"
Replies: 32
Views: 2946

Re: Pay off student loans or contribute to roth ira?

At 6.8%, I would make getting rid of the student loans a priority.
by scubadiver
Fri Feb 07, 2014 10:36 pm
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Pay off student loans or contribute to roth ira?
Replies: 18
Views: 3277

Re: Young Professional- Advice- Retirement v. Student Loans

1) Max your matching contribution. If you are there only 1 year, an automatic 33% return on investment is still worth it. 2) Refinance the loans to a lower rate. This will help with that rate issue we discussed. 3) Max your ROTH IRA while you are still at a lower tax rate. You will love the tax fre...
by scubadiver
Fri Feb 07, 2014 10:25 pm
 
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Young Professional- Advice- Retirement v. Student Loans
Replies: 13
Views: 1252

Re: Your mortgage type, if any [POLL]

We have a 30-year fixed at 3.625% that originated in 2013. Not the best rate ever, but pretty darn good. I'm in no hurry to pay it off and instead we are maxing tax-advantaged savings.
by scubadiver
Wed Feb 05, 2014 9:42 pm
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Your mortgage type, if any [POLL]
Replies: 63
Views: 3756

Re: "Shark Tank"

Another interesting tidbit is that the show gets 2% of every business that appears on the show regardless of wether a deal is made. The show has been going on for years now in multiple countries and many of the businesses have done very well -- 2% of every business = a whole lot of :moneybag :money...
by scubadiver
Wed Feb 05, 2014 9:39 pm
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: "Shark Tank"
Replies: 10
Views: 1921

Re: Thoughts on Pet Insurance- Dog??

@scubadiver, you're certainly entitled to your point of view, but you might consider being less dismissive of people (e.g., by calling their choices "absurd") who also love their dogs very much and feel differently. In our case, we had adopted our dog via rescue as an adult after our prev...
by scubadiver
Mon Feb 03, 2014 11:13 pm
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Thoughts on Pet Insurance- Dog??
Replies: 18
Views: 1487

Re: Thoughts on Pet Insurance- Dog??

Can't say that I would ever consider buying pet insurance. While I absolutely love my dog, if he needs $5K in medical treatment to live, we will say our goodbyes and put him to sleep. Never mind the absurdity of getting chemo for a dog, cat, iguana or whatever in the event that they develop cancer. ...
by scubadiver
Sun Feb 02, 2014 11:10 am
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Thoughts on Pet Insurance- Dog??
Replies: 18
Views: 1487

Re: Anyone familiar with this? Bank asking for info...

scubadiver, I'm probably one of the most vocal people here about "sticking it to the man", meaning anyone who tries to get personal data from me will have to pull teeth. But SARs mean you are reported to law enforcement (FINCEN initially and potentially others...local law enforcement, FBI...
by scubadiver
Thu Jan 23, 2014 12:22 am
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Anyone familiar with this? Bank asking for info...
Replies: 86
Views: 7588

Re: Anyone familiar with this? Bank asking for info...

I would give them citizenship without a fight. Occupation if they had a good reason. Income... when you apply for a loan, never before. The big quesiton is how to refuse information without triggering a SAR. If banks in real life are anything like the bankers on Internet forums, they are trigger-ha...
by scubadiver
Wed Jan 22, 2014 11:43 pm
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Anyone familiar with this? Bank asking for info...
Replies: 86
Views: 7588

Re: High Income Earner & College Attended

Attended community college, then state flagship university for B.S., then some other state's flagship university for M.S. Not really sure how I should have voted but went for state U since I was 2/3 of the way there. Am comfortably north of $100K though in the Washington D.C. area I still feel rathe...
by scubadiver
Mon Jan 13, 2014 9:55 pm
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: High Income Earner & College Attended
Replies: 58
Views: 4322

Re: How much a baby costs?

We have a 5 year old and 1 year old. Our single biggest child related cost was the loss of my wife's 5.5K / month of income, not to mention benefits, when she left her job to stay at home. Let's call that luxury day care. Then there were some upfront costs such as strollers, cribs, cloth diapers, et...
by scubadiver
Sat Jan 11, 2014 3:23 pm
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: How much a baby costs?
Replies: 86
Views: 5090
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