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Re: Boglehead used car problem. Run It or ditch it?

You should save up enough to buy a new car in cash. If you have the money and don't like uncertainty - it is OK to spend your money to reduce uncertainty. I wouldn't bother with another used car because I think that same uncertainty will creep in on you. That said, my spouse drives an '04 Honda with...
by sls239
Tue Apr 22, 2014 3:09 pm
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Boglehead used car problem. Run It or ditch it?
Replies: 26
Views: 2017

Re: POLL: why carry cash?

My bete noir are people at the grocery store checkout who insist on bagging their own groceries while the cashier waits, then after bagging, swipe their card. In this regard I do observe a gender gap. That's me. And it's because I have coupons and I need to make sure the cashier rings them up befor...
by sls239
Tue Apr 22, 2014 2:14 pm
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: POLL: why carry cash?
Replies: 220
Views: 7025

Re: [Eating] Fish

We live inland and have limited choices as to anything fresh. But white fish with herbs, white wine, and chicken broth is good enough for my son to eat, but he doesn't want it for lunch the next day. There's a green sauce by La Frontera that you add to caramelized onions that makes good fish tacos w...
by sls239
Tue Apr 22, 2014 12:44 pm
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: [Eating] Fish
Replies: 105
Views: 7104

Re: sued by landlord

If it were me, I'd feel more comfortable handling it myself rather than waiting for the apartment management to do it. What I think it would need is a response and a request for dismissal. The statement on the court document that you were given notice to vacate by 3/31 is just false , the case shoul...
by sls239
Mon Apr 21, 2014 1:01 pm
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: sued by landlord
Replies: 34
Views: 4006

Re: Switching Banks

Ah the Nature Conservancy card. I've had that for a long time and still do because it is my oldest card. But I'm under no delusion that the Nature Conservancy is getting much benefit from it. Arrangements like this generally involve vanishingly small amounts on the individual level, but a decent tax...
by sls239
Mon Apr 21, 2014 12:43 pm
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Switching Banks
Replies: 30
Views: 2409

Re: 529's not recommended

I'm in AR and they have a clawback provision on the state tax deduction that applies to rollovers to out of state plans, so the strategy mentioned above would have been a no-go. So the combined extra expenses and the uncertainty of remaining in the state plus the fact that my alternative is a grandf...
by sls239
Mon Apr 21, 2014 11:49 am
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: 529's not recommended
Replies: 24
Views: 2716

Re: Keep passwords in USB thumb drive: good idea?

And if you don't mind me asking, are the numbers you are incrementing at the end of your password? You can put it wherever you want. You can make it as long or as complicated as you want. Your incrementing could be at the beginning and you could use the scheme of adding "1.50" "2.60&...
by sls239
Thu Apr 17, 2014 3:54 pm
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Keep passwords in USB thumb drive: good idea?
Replies: 43
Views: 2020

Re: Why are total bond market funds so often recommended?

I have a question about the Barclay's index - Does the index include just the bonds, as in an actual loan of money to somebody or something, or does it also include the "synthetic" securities that represent something more like a bet on some other bond? And I guess I could ask which model i...
by sls239
Thu Apr 17, 2014 3:29 pm
 
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Why are total bond market funds so often recommended?
Replies: 52
Views: 4419

Re: Keep passwords in USB thumb drive: good idea?

I spent a little time refining my password advice. But making and remembering a strong unique password for every site is NOT difficult! I will show you how in 2 easy steps: Step 1: Get a character string The easiest way to make a character string is to use a fact, like this: azis-273C [absolute zero...
by sls239
Thu Apr 17, 2014 1:05 pm
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Keep passwords in USB thumb drive: good idea?
Replies: 43
Views: 2020

Re: problem with Amica, what to do next?

I'd start communicating in writing, which means e-mail. You should list everything that might be pertinent - one item that should be extremely pertinent is that the usage of the old car should change in both quantity and quality - it is now a leisure vehicle driven less than 5K miles / year. Make su...
by sls239
Thu Apr 17, 2014 11:36 am
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: problem with Amica, what to do next?
Replies: 22
Views: 2077

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

I think the inspection is a good time to also spend a significant amount of time in what is to be your house and to get to know it. Yes, basically go with the inspector, but also spend some time doing things like seeing how long it takes hot water to reach the master bath. There are non-obvious perf...
by sls239
Thu Apr 17, 2014 11:17 am
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Just had offer accepted on a house! (Advice pls!)
Replies: 29
Views: 2100

Re: Japan Does not Show That Stocks are Dangerous

Danger is relative. If you are invested in stocks, it is probably because you need a decent stock market return to meet your goal. You can sit and argue about just how bad what happened in Japan would have been for a "prudent" investor, but the truth of the matter is it was certainly not g...
by sls239
Thu Apr 17, 2014 10:39 am
 
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Japan Does not Show That Stocks are Dangerous
Replies: 79
Views: 4092

Re: New homeowner: lawn care advice

I have and use an electric mower. But for Houston, with any decent sized yard, I'd think you'd want a gas mower. I bought the electric one when we lived in Austin, where you really only have to mow every week and a half or so.
by sls239
Mon Apr 14, 2014 6:11 pm
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: New homeowner: lawn care advice
Replies: 54
Views: 3791

Re: Is "sheltering" my GF financially hurting our future?

My experience has been that the qualifying income is tied to the credit score of the individual if both scores are halfway decent. So if a spouse has not as good credit, their income won't be used to meet the other qualifications for the mortgage, so it will reduce the size of the mortgage you will ...
by sls239
Mon Apr 14, 2014 11:52 am
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Is "sheltering" my GF financially hurting our future?
Replies: 22
Views: 3734

Re: The slackening...

I'm not aware of any scientific evidence that worrying, stress, suffering, trauma, or any other similar hardship has any beneficial effect on human beings. Quite the contrary. There's no reason to believe that any disappointing offspring of a wealthy person would have turned out better if they weren...
by sls239
Mon Apr 14, 2014 11:25 am
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: The slackening...
Replies: 61
Views: 6496

Re: Anyone else very reluctant to buy right now?

Because the market has done so well in recent years, I evaluated where we were in terms of our goals. I discovered that we now didn't need to take quite as much risk as we had just a few years ago to reach our goals. So we don't. Which was my preference. (from 85/15 to 75/25 give or take 5% ) Was it...
by sls239
Thu Apr 10, 2014 11:56 am
 
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Anyone else very reluctant to buy right now?
Replies: 124
Views: 12117

Re: Advice Needed on Transitioning to DIY Passive Portfolio

I was hoping to transition to a broadly diversified portfolio using just a few index funds to capture the desired U.S. stock/international stock/bond mix, not try to clone a complete copy of the current allocations. Is this a mistake? If you do it all at once and you really know what you want, then...
by sls239
Wed Apr 09, 2014 6:22 pm
 
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Advice Needed on Transitioning to DIY Passive Portfolio
Replies: 52
Views: 3558

Re: Netflix & Red Box

You can change your plan once a month. We alternate between DVDs in warm weather and streaming in winter.
by sls239
Wed Apr 09, 2014 9:17 am
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Netflix & Red Box
Replies: 26
Views: 1494

Re: What to do with Win computers?

It may sound funny, but I'm essentially converting my EE PC into a master cookbook.

Otherwise, many municipalities have an electronics recycling day where you can dispose of things you might otherwise have to pay to dispose of.
by sls239
Tue Apr 08, 2014 10:25 am
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: What to do with Win computers?
Replies: 51
Views: 2271

Re: Car recommendations - Mazda6, accord, Prius

It isn't that hybrids don't get good mileage in highway driving - it is that conventional cars also get good mileage on the highway. Additionally, this may or may not matter to you, but on the Honda Accord Hybrid none of the back seat folds down. That really limits your ability to carry long things....
by sls239
Tue Apr 08, 2014 9:37 am
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Car recommendations - Mazda6, accord, Prius
Replies: 23
Views: 1786

Re: 24 y/o investing inheritance

If the amount you can funnel into roth accounts is limited, I'd put my most aggressive investments there (including international stock if you don't itemize). And then for the bond side, you might consider putting some in I-bonds since they would be exempt from CA income tax. And they would be avail...
by sls239
Mon Apr 07, 2014 12:02 pm
 
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: 24 y/o investing inheritance
Replies: 15
Views: 1954

Re: Advice Needed on Transitioning to DIY Passive Portfolio

I think you have to ask yourself if you are more of a quit cold turkey kind of person or a nicorette kind of person. If you want to do this in baby steps you can. The basic idea is go for the low-hanging fruit first. Step 1 would be to get rid of the 1.25% management fee by transferring "in kin...
by sls239
Mon Apr 07, 2014 11:12 am
 
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Advice Needed on Transitioning to DIY Passive Portfolio
Replies: 52
Views: 3558

Re: 1 Nice car vs 2 Decent cars (daily driver/weekend car)?

I'd take the luxury car I could drive all the time - hands down. A little bit of joy every single day. Renting a car isn't difficult if the need arises. There may even be a place where you could rent a car you are enthusiastic about for a special weekend - without the obligations that come with owne...
by sls239
Mon Apr 07, 2014 9:57 am
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: 1 Nice car vs 2 Decent cars (daily driver/weekend car)?
Replies: 34
Views: 2502

Re: Best option for high interest earning no fee checking?

I'd go for a cash bonus first. Then spend some time looking for a halfway decent long-term rate.

You may already buy your max for other purposes, but we're rolling our savings over into I-bonds.
by sls239
Mon Apr 07, 2014 9:46 am
 
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Best option for high interest earning no fee checking?
Replies: 19
Views: 1635

Re: Moving cross-country....best value type movers

I wouldn't rent a U-haul, but I would rent a Penske. If those things are important enough for you to move them when you've gotten rid of everything else, you might as well keep them with you. Also, I don't know if live plants or pets are on your list, but those would have to travel with you anyway -...
by sls239
Mon Apr 07, 2014 9:37 am
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Moving cross-country....best value type movers
Replies: 4
Views: 381

Re: Why pay off your house?

Well the obvious reason to pay off the house is because you think you might sell the house before the risk-free rate goes above your mortgage rate and you don't want to place a bet on the opposing side of that. If we are talking about paying down , and not just paying off - a good reason to pay down...
by sls239
Sun Apr 06, 2014 10:28 pm
 
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Why pay off your house?
Replies: 119
Views: 8595

Re: Why is Vanguard defending high frequency trading?

Both Bogle and Gus Sauter (who used to be head man at Vanguard) have stated that on balance HFT lowers transaction costs and that those costs have decreased as HFT has increased. But the whole cost of the techniques used by HFT are not necessarily contained within what is labeled "transaction ...
by sls239
Fri Apr 04, 2014 6:43 pm
 
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Why is Joe Brennan defending high frequency trading?
Replies: 54
Views: 3590

Re: Buying for someone who "has everything"

I'd probably say screw Christmas etc. and give you cut roses from my garden when they are in bloom. Roses from the florist don't smell like our roses.
by sls239
Fri Apr 04, 2014 5:40 pm
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Buying for someone who "has everything"
Replies: 43
Views: 2304

Re: Extreme ways to avoid college loan debt

I confess. After an engagement of barely two months, I got married on December 19th. I was an out-of-state student and the university had one scholarship for out-of-state students and another scholarship for in-state students and marriage offered instant residency. And filing MFJ lowered DH taxes co...
by sls239
Fri Apr 04, 2014 5:03 pm
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Extreme ways to avoid college loan debt
Replies: 8
Views: 590

Re: To MBA or not MBA?

Is the area / industry you work in well represented in Cincinnati? There's networking in general, and then there's networking with people who really know your industry. For example the University of Texas programs are crawling with people in the tech industry, but no so much the steel industry, kwim?
by sls239
Fri Apr 04, 2014 4:50 pm
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: To MBA or not MBA?
Replies: 57
Views: 4521

Re: Spouses that struggle with budgets

He basically suggested cutting back, so really the goal is to just support each other in trying to do what each wants to do. There are strategies for changing behavior. Wanting to change a behavior often isn't enough. For some people it isn't just a "don't do it" matter. There are even pre...
by sls239
Tue Apr 01, 2014 3:35 pm
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Spouses that struggle with budgets
Replies: 27
Views: 2264

Re: Mr. Money Mustache: Hero or Foolish?

I don't really like it when anyone says "Just do this, this, and this." Also, I really don't like the notion that retirement is the only goal that matters. To be honest, even if I didn't like a particular job that well, I've always grown as a person through doing them. I don't spend my lif...
by sls239
Tue Apr 01, 2014 9:27 am
 
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Mr. Money Mustache: Hero or Foolish?
Replies: 244
Views: 26884

Re: Saving on major renovations

No comment on the renovations.

But I will say that Black Friday is a good day to go appliance shopping, especially if you are wanting the top-of-the-line for a mainstream brand.
by sls239
Tue Apr 01, 2014 8:43 am
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Saving on major renovations
Replies: 33
Views: 2520

Re: Being older/younger in class -- benefits, issues?

One thing I will say, just as an anecdote - I knew 4 girls who skipped later grades and went to college early and had emotional issues in college. I think there is a difference between being young from the start and becoming relatively younger in midstream. I also think it is easier to skip a year o...
by sls239
Mon Mar 31, 2014 10:14 pm
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Being older/younger in class -- benefits, issues?
Replies: 98
Views: 4861

Re: 25yo, Married, House, Baby, and looking for help!

I'd say do pre-tax at least until you get below the child tax credit phaseout range. And here is my emergency contingency plan in order: 1) reduce retirement contributions 2) use EF 3) access retirement funds The more you contribute to retirement, the more room you have at step #1, making step #3 mu...
by sls239
Tue Mar 25, 2014 3:57 pm
 
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: 25yo, Married, House, Baby, and looking for help!
Replies: 17
Views: 1944

Re: Selling House - Build a New Garage First?

I think the standard logic is if the improvement would bring it up to the standards of the neighborhood, it would likely help the house sell quicker. That may or may not be important to you. If the improvement would set it above the standards of the neighborhood, you are probably just wasting your m...
by sls239
Tue Mar 25, 2014 3:43 pm
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Selling House - Build a New Garage First?
Replies: 11
Views: 802

Re: Best Mortgage Type for 1st-timers: 30-YR Fixed?

I think with a 30 year fixed you are paying a premium to have that rate for 30 years. If you aren't going to take advantage of all 30 years, then you should consider if another product would save you money and allow you to pay down the principal faster. A 10/1 or even a 7/1 with good caps might be w...
by sls239
Tue Mar 25, 2014 3:37 pm
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Best Mortgage Type for 1st-timers: 30-YR Fixed?
Replies: 19
Views: 1188

Re: Ashamed - Wells Fargo crushing me on credit/debit card f

I like the Quicksilver card. I like Chase too in general, but most years we don't charge enough for the Sapphire card to be worth it. What I like about Cap One is the simplicity and consistency. I started with a "no hassles" card 10 years ago or so and they never tried to reduce or dilute ...
by sls239
Tue Mar 25, 2014 3:21 pm
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Ashamed - Wells Fargo crushing me on credit/debit card fees
Replies: 18
Views: 2045

Re: Accounts with no new contributions - how often to rebala

We have a rollover that holds all the bonds and also a good bit of stock and only use the 401K for a stock index fund. What I did was set up an automatic monthly exchange from stocks to bonds in the rollover in the amount that would represent the appropriate percentage of the 401(k) contribution. I ...
by sls239
Tue Mar 25, 2014 3:03 pm
 
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Accounts with no new contributions - how often to rebalance?
Replies: 4
Views: 411

Re: The least productive post ever

I think it varies with income. I think that for lower income people, the effect of doubling up is more dramatic than for higher income people. Housing is a big source of savings, and for lower income people it represents a higher proportion of their income. A higher income couple might spend a lot o...
by sls239
Tue Mar 25, 2014 2:52 pm
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: The least productive post ever
Replies: 18
Views: 1680

Re: Teaching Kids Money Management (under age 10)

We only do long-term saving with our son - age 7. And I'm careful to not suggest that it is allocated for anything like a car or college either. I believe in saving for the sake of saving, or rainy day, or whatever you want to call it. I don't do the short-term "saving" for wants because I...
by sls239
Mon Mar 24, 2014 4:31 pm
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Teaching Kids Money Management (under age 10)
Replies: 11
Views: 934

Re: Prius performance in extremely hot climates

I had a Honda Civic hybrid when I lived in Austin. Using the A/C in a hybrid has basically the same effect as using the A/C in a regular car of the same size. And theoretically, I can think of one advantage - friction brakes generate a lot of heat. Heat does affect how often you are supposed to get ...
by sls239
Fri Mar 21, 2014 5:22 pm
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Prius performance in extremely hot climates
Replies: 14
Views: 1014

Re: Rule of thumb for replacing a used car?

If it is "haunted." That is, if there's a problem and it can't quite be identified, is intermittent, or something fails more than once, or there seems to be several problems with the same system - stuff like that would lead me to replace a car.
by sls239
Fri Mar 21, 2014 4:38 pm
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Rule of thumb for replacing a used car?
Replies: 27
Views: 1784

Re: Need advice on lawn not being taken care last year

Step one is to take photographs of the lawn. Hopefully you have photographs of what the lawn looked like before. When we rented out our old house we had a clause in the lease that if the tenant didn't take care of the lawn they would be charged for a lawn care service in addition to rent. Even witho...
by sls239
Fri Mar 21, 2014 10:07 am
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Need advice on lawn not being taken care last year
Replies: 11
Views: 1321

Re: Cars: Lease vs. buy. (Similar to houses? rent vs. buy?)

Going from buying and keeping Honda / Toyotas to leasing a new luxury car every 3 years is really two steps up the expense ladder. You might want to take it one step at a time. Leasing can make sense if the residual value of the vehicle is unpredictable because you'd be paying someone to take that r...
by sls239
Fri Mar 21, 2014 9:50 am
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Cars: Lease vs. buy. (Similar to houses? rent vs. buy?)
Replies: 47
Views: 2932

Re: HOA lawyer sends threatening letter, need advice

Offer $255 to settle all outstanding matters. Judges don't really like it when one party turns down a reasonable settlement offer. Then start talking to other property owners. The county probably has contact information listed in their public records, probably online searchable by address. Ask them ...
by sls239
Thu Mar 20, 2014 9:41 pm
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: HOA lawyer sends threatening letter, need advice
Replies: 46
Views: 4236

Re: Buy a used car or pay $5,000 more to get a new one?

I know you said you need one ASAP. Check for a used Mazda 3. It comes in a hatchback and doesn't have the Honda premium but is a good reliable car. You might not like it as much as the new Subaru, but you should be able to save significantly more than $5K. And after all, $5K is still $5K. How many r...
by sls239
Thu Mar 20, 2014 7:33 pm
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Buy a used car or pay $5,000 more to get a new one?
Replies: 62
Views: 4235

Re: advice requested from engineers

Both my spouse and I went to UT - me for undergrad - I started in ChemE, but changed majors and my spouse for graduate school - also ChemE, then later an MBA. One thing I would strongly advise for undergrad is if he is interested in biomedical engineering - don't forget the biomedical part. UT has a...
by sls239
Wed Mar 19, 2014 3:33 pm
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: advice requested from engineers
Replies: 85
Views: 4415

Re: Children: Are they worth every penny?

Happiness is not a function of how many siblings you have. A big family doesn't guarantee a happy one and a small one doesn't doom someone to unhappiness. And personally I think you are right to be concerned about a child with special needs. At 53, your spouse is most likely in the peak earning year...
by sls239
Wed Mar 19, 2014 3:10 pm
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Children: Are they worth every penny?
Replies: 68
Views: 4599
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