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Re: Fly or drive?

What is the weather expected to be like? We are a lot more likely to fly in winter. I think the key for longer drives with kids is to have a stop where they can be really active. We've done 6 hours to a state park, camped, hiked the next morning, and drove another 6 hours in the afternoon. My sister...
by sls239
Wed Mar 11, 2015 9:42 am
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Fly or drive?
Replies: 84
Views: 4579

Re: Vanguard et al disintermediated?

I think that is ignoring the cost of intellectual property.

The S&P has rights to their indexes, you can't legally just reverse engineer it and get it for free.

Vanguard negotiates the legal minefield for us, and I imagine they do so efficiently.
by sls239
Tue Mar 10, 2015 3:09 pm
 
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Vanguard et al disintermediated?
Replies: 39
Views: 2690

Re: High Cost of Fruits and Vegetables

Sorry I can't get past the whole I'm going broke because of spinach, arugula, and kale thing.

Have you ever heard of cabbage?
by sls239
Tue Mar 10, 2015 1:43 pm
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: High Cost of Fruits and Vegetables
Replies: 126
Views: 6997

Re: Wife tired of saving...

I think you need to examine what your money does for you. Money is a means to an end, not an end in itself. But that doesn't mean that money must be spent to achieve an end. Sometimes the end is security, which would require not spending the money. It sounds like you see security in having a lot of ...
by sls239
Tue Mar 10, 2015 9:02 am
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Wife tired of saving...
Replies: 203
Views: 19213

Re: College readiness

Just have him take the hardest classes he can handle.

Persistence and love of learning is more important than anything.

The other thing is to encourage him to get comfortable speaking to adult professionals and asking them questions.
by sls239
Tue Mar 10, 2015 8:30 am
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: College readiness
Replies: 27
Views: 1763

Re: Does My Daughter Need A Prenup?

Let's face it, you don't really know what is going on with their relationship because it is none of your business. Consider, however, the possibility that he is only doing "OK" because he has chosen to remain where your daughter is. For all you know, he is already making financial sacrific...
by sls239
Fri Mar 06, 2015 12:54 pm
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Does My Daughter Need A Prenup?
Replies: 175
Views: 5832

Re: Buy home in area with only good PK-8 public schools?

Isn't IL changing their test this year? Test results tend to depend a lot on the test itself. If the EL test is too hard, then students are being tested more on how they come in than how much they've learned. If the HS test is too easy, then a lot of schools score well and the results have less mean...
by sls239
Thu Mar 05, 2015 1:59 pm
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Buy home in area with only good PK-8 public schools?
Replies: 44
Views: 2786

Re: Wife tired of saving...

i think this is one of the warning signs of breaking away from the long term goal


What is the long term goal?
by sls239
Thu Mar 05, 2015 1:29 pm
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Wife tired of saving...
Replies: 203
Views: 19213

Re: Trying to avoid extra $100/mo. to keep min balance on es

Why not just put an extra $1100 into the escrow account and keep your monthly payment the same?

At least you'd get that $1100 back if you sold, unlike the $925 fee.
by sls239
Mon Mar 02, 2015 3:52 pm
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Trying to avoid extra $100/mo. to keep min balance on escrow
Replies: 13
Views: 747

Re: Paris France help/suggestions for women

A cross body bag with an outer and inner zipper should do the trick. I'm fond of Baggallini, and you can find them sometimes at TJMaxx.
by sls239
Mon Mar 02, 2015 1:02 pm
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Paris France help/suggestions for women
Replies: 22
Views: 1624

Re: Arkansas: Expensive 529 Plan (math help on B/E point pls

Well if you itemize, then you end up having to pay federal taxes on that $210 (because you can no longer write it off), whether your put it into the 529 or not. I'll admit that my scenario was much less of a close call (total stock admiral has ER of .05) and so I was not dealing with longer periods ...
by sls239
Fri Feb 27, 2015 6:37 pm
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Arkansas: Expensive 529 Plan (math help on B/E point pls)
Replies: 7
Views: 582

Re: Favorite Vacation/Trip

How early in the summer can you go?

Because my inclination would be to say go to Vegas and use that as a base to hit up a couple national parks. But you'd want to do that in May, not July.
by sls239
Fri Feb 27, 2015 11:51 am
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Favorite Vacation/Trip
Replies: 40
Views: 4448

Re: Interesting story on NPR, International Investing

It is an argument for investing both in soda and in aluminum and in mining (Aluminum is not mined, bauxite, aluminum ore, is). US mining companies own mines overseas, with the miners paid in local currency, but the price of ore set on the world market. So presumably, they too are making money. The o...
by sls239
Fri Feb 27, 2015 11:18 am
 
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Interesting story on NPR, International Investing
Replies: 4
Views: 1253

Re: How to hedge a 5/5 ARM?

You say you are in a volatile industry - what are the chances you would have to re-locate before you get a chance to break even?
by sls239
Fri Feb 27, 2015 10:38 am
 
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: How to hedge a 5/5 ARM?
Replies: 20
Views: 1304

Re: Life insurance - how much is needed

It is rather a personal decision. What you need to do is talk about what your wife thinks should happen in the event you pass away. Some SAHMs feel strongly that they would return to work and have good earning capacity, others don't. Some spouses would expect to keep the same standard of living, oth...
by sls239
Fri Feb 27, 2015 10:25 am
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Life insurance - how much is needed
Replies: 18
Views: 1323

Re: How to hedge a 5/5 ARM?

Why are you accepting a mortgage with a 4 year break even time frame when the interest is only guaranteed to be lower for 5 years? (Because a 2% increase would be 4.5%, well over the 3.125% you have now) Seems like an awful lot of trouble to save on 1 year of interest. Why not just take the points a...
by sls239
Fri Feb 27, 2015 9:59 am
 
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: How to hedge a 5/5 ARM?
Replies: 20
Views: 1304

Re: Interesting story on NPR, International Investing

So you are putting up Russia as an alternative? Some people believe that you shouldn't invest in what you don't understand. I know I can't really claim any understanding of Russian private property or Russian markets. Investing in something because it happens to be making a lot of money right now is...
by sls239
Fri Feb 27, 2015 9:49 am
 
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Interesting story on NPR, International Investing
Replies: 4
Views: 1253

Re: How much is a pension worth?

Is your career one that has a fairly steady career trajectory? For example teaching is pretty steady - salary tends to go up a little with inflation and with experience. But many other career trajectories can include large sudden increases, especially when changing employers. In some professions, it...
by sls239
Fri Feb 27, 2015 9:35 am
 
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: How much is a pension worth?
Replies: 23
Views: 3621

Re: How does one increase their typing speed and accuracy?

Yes, there should be little ridges on the "F" and "J" keys. There should also be one on the 5 of a 10 key set-up on the side. So you can, if you have a long string of numbers, pop your right hand over to that and bring it back to the letters by using the ridges. In addition to no...
by sls239
Thu Feb 26, 2015 6:02 pm
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: How does one increase their typing speed and accuracy?
Replies: 70
Views: 4008

Re: Arkansas: Expensive 529 Plan (math help on B/E point pls

A higher growth rate will make the higher expenses equal the tax deduction after fewer years, not more. The value of the investment after year one is initial investment*(1 + growth rate - expense rate). And the value of the investment after two years is YearOneValue*(1 + growth rate - expense rate)....
by sls239
Mon Feb 23, 2015 8:42 pm
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Arkansas: Expensive 529 Plan (math help on B/E point pls)
Replies: 7
Views: 582

Re: Spring Break Ideas for Apr 4-11 for girls 4,6 yrs

DC has the National Zoo and the National Geographic Museum, and the Smithsonian Native American museum has activities that kids can participate in and the cafeteria food is interesting, even for DC.
by sls239
Tue Feb 17, 2015 9:12 am
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Spring Break Ideas for Apr 4-11 for girls 4,6 yrs
Replies: 45
Views: 2524

Re: Tenants won't let us show the rental: what do we do?

Any decent person would feel like they were between a rock and a hard place given the "letter of the law" - either let people traipse around without doing anything special, or go to a lot of effort to make the place super neat and clean and not get anything in return. Offer money for them ...
by sls239
Mon Feb 16, 2015 3:25 pm
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Tenants won't let us show the rental: what do we do?
Replies: 60
Views: 7168

Re: deciding on big ticket item - fitting it into financial

I'm a pay yourself first type person. I wouldn't be choosing between my financial goals and spending. I would be choosing between this spending and other spending. If I am ahead on saving for retirement, then I reduce the risk, I don't reduce the contributions (as a percentage). I suppose if I had r...
by sls239
Mon Feb 16, 2015 12:58 pm
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: deciding on big ticket item - fitting it into financial plan
Replies: 19
Views: 1358

Re: Should I raise my tenants rent?

Do you ever plan on raising the rent? If so, I'd suggest raising it a nominal amount this year just as an indicator. Even $10 / month would be sufficient. The reason is, as PP mentioned, inflation. But you must consider that while inflation is low, it also compounds over time. You don't want to get ...
by sls239
Mon Feb 16, 2015 12:44 pm
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Should I raise my tenants rent?
Replies: 35
Views: 1851

Re: How to make this fair: gifting to kids with different me

I think the real flaw is that OPs parents think that handing kid B the money to fund a Roth IRA is something that encourages saving. A better way to go about it would be to match funds - for what kid B puts into a Roth IRA, the parents match. That encourages saving, which is what the parents think t...
by sls239
Fri Feb 13, 2015 9:56 am
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: How to make this fair: gifting to kids with different means
Replies: 108
Views: 9168

Re: Valentine’s day dinner I could cook?

Well I think some of this will come down to what equipment you have. If you have a roasting pan and a roasting rack, and a meat thermometer, a whole chicken is about the easiest thing in the world to make. Cook's Illustrated Cookbook has several ways to roast a chicken with very detailed directions ...
by sls239
Tue Feb 10, 2015 11:07 am
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Valentine’s day dinner I could cook?
Replies: 40
Views: 2434

Re: When 60/40 just isn't appropriate

All theory aside - Doesn't this come down to approximately spending 40 years at 70/30 pinning your hopes on the stock market and then spending the next 30 years at 30/70 pinning your hopes on the bond market? But approximately, if instead of 3/7ths of your years being dominated by the bond market, w...
by sls239
Sun Feb 08, 2015 9:41 pm
 
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: When 60/40 just isn't appropriate
Replies: 127
Views: 13517

Re: Are car loans really that bad?

So my point was - to bring it back around to the loans - it is one of the ways they talk you into spending more than you would otherwise. You can go in thinking I'll buy used and pay cash - then they say don't you want to buy new, it only costs a little more and you can get this great interest rate....
by sls239
Wed Feb 04, 2015 1:53 pm
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Are car loans really that bad?
Replies: 86
Views: 6896

Re: Are car loans really that bad?

I don't know where you are getting those numbers. There is a 2013 Accord LX with 20K miles on it with an asking price of 19K - meaning you could probably get it for 18K. A new Accord LX probably costs about 22K. So for getting a car virtually identical, but with 20K miles on it (leaving 15K miles le...
by sls239
Tue Feb 03, 2015 7:56 pm
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Are car loans really that bad?
Replies: 86
Views: 6896

Re: Are car loans really that bad?

A 4-year-old model with 40-50k miles would have saved me ~25% But percentage of purchase price is not the appropriate way to measure the savings. And that is the problem. If a $50 item is on sale for 50% off, many would go out of their way to get it. But 5% of $5000 is deemed "not worth it.&qu...
by sls239
Tue Feb 03, 2015 3:07 pm
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Are car loans really that bad?
Replies: 86
Views: 6896

Re: Used Car Recommendations for Friends

I think they will need to try the car itself. For example how easy it is for them to reach the seat belt can be very important, especially if they have arthritis. Also how easy it is to get in and out of the vehicle is important, as is how well they can handle the controls for the audio / climate.
by sls239
Mon Feb 02, 2015 6:23 pm
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Used Car Recommendations for Friends
Replies: 12
Views: 828

Re: Are car loans really that bad?

But in the case of cars, a lightly used car for a few thousand less means you aren't going to be driving that car as long as a new car. I get your point I'd you're buying something that you will keep forever. But a car is going to break. Would you rather save a few thousand up front? Or replace you...
by sls239
Mon Feb 02, 2015 5:51 pm
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Are car loans really that bad?
Replies: 86
Views: 6896

Re: Are car loans really that bad?

Well it is hard to separate the loans themselves from all the issues that they present. What I have heard many times is someone will look at a lightly used car, then look at a new car. They'll see that the new car is only a few thousand more than the lightly used one but they can get a 0.9% loan on ...
by sls239
Mon Feb 02, 2015 1:40 pm
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Are car loans really that bad?
Replies: 86
Views: 6896

Re: Telescopes?

The local university here has a 14" telescope and has viewing nights open to the public.
by sls239
Sun Feb 01, 2015 8:57 pm
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Telescopes?
Replies: 21
Views: 1354

Re: How much is a safe car worth?

I recently traded in my 2003 Honda Civic for a 2013 Mazda 3. One of the key considerations was that the newer car had ESC. It also has hands free cell phone stuff, and blind spot monitoring (No back up camera). I actually crunched the numbers and came up with an expected extra cost of $500 more per ...
by sls239
Sun Feb 01, 2015 1:55 pm
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: How much is a safe car worth?
Replies: 170
Views: 9197

Re: Bringing up 529s to the grandparents

I would suggest experience gifts instead - Zoo membership, Disney on Ice tickets and so forth. You can even have the grandparents go with the child and they can spend time together, you and spouse get free time, and you score points with the ILs.
by sls239
Fri Jan 30, 2015 1:09 pm
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Bringing up 529s to the grandparents
Replies: 58
Views: 3246

Re: 2.875% mortgage pay-off financially justifiable?

If paying down the mortgage allows you to take more risk in other parts of your portfolio, then there is your justification. Since many people want to reduce risk as they get older, paying down the mortgage could also substitute for that. Also you can also get closer to justifying it if the duration...
by sls239
Thu Jan 29, 2015 3:00 pm
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: 2.875% mortgage pay-off financially justifiable?
Replies: 35
Views: 3960

Re: High Expense Funds vs Vanguard: No Difference?

Of course it is an oversimplification to say that you will get exactly the expected value.

The chances of getting exactly the expected value are quite low.

But that doesn't negate the meaning of expected value.
by sls239
Thu Jan 29, 2015 2:27 pm
 
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: High Expense Funds vs Vanguard: No Difference?
Replies: 37
Views: 2763

Re: Vehicles are much safer! (just in the last few years)

I wonder if cash for clunkers played a role in getting some unsafe vehicles off the streets. Or more widespread use of GPS tracking systems in long-distance hauling might have played a role. Or stricter laws against cellphone use. I wonder if the single vehicle fatal crash rates would show a signifi...
by sls239
Thu Jan 29, 2015 2:12 pm
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Vehicles are (apparently) MUCH safer in last few years
Replies: 54
Views: 4408

Re: High Expense Funds vs Vanguard: No Difference?

I don't see the expected 0.67% difference that meowcat is suggesting should be there. I am not saying that the actively managed fund is better, and i am not even really saying that it is *the same*, i am saying that the differences are *small*. Actually what you are saying is that they have been sm...
by sls239
Thu Jan 29, 2015 1:58 pm
 
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: High Expense Funds vs Vanguard: No Difference?
Replies: 37
Views: 2763

Re: Determining House Needs

It isn't just about size, it is also about layout. And changing the layout of a house can be harder even than changing the size. When we bought our first house in 2006, we chose one with the master on the same floor and close to the secondary bedrooms. This is handy when you are going in at night, w...
by sls239
Wed Jan 28, 2015 11:14 am
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Determining House Needs
Replies: 12
Views: 1514

Re: I'm thinking about making very large 529 contributions A

No, I will wait until college is within 7 years, which is the length of time it takes for the extra expenses of the state's 529 fund options to eat up the tax deduction they offer.

In the meantime, I'm sticking with the ESA and Vanguard's admiral funds.
by sls239
Wed Jan 28, 2015 10:52 am
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: I'm thinking about making very large 529 contributions ASAP
Replies: 72
Views: 5589

Moving up a tax bracket - when to avoid, when to give up

We are pushing up against the 25% bracket after many years in the 15% bracket. Knowing this might happen, we've always maxed our roth contributions so they currently make up a full third of our retirement savings. There's no roth option for the 401k and the funds available are not the cheapest, but ...
by sls239
Tue Jan 27, 2015 10:20 am
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Moving up a tax bracket - when to avoid, when to give up
Replies: 26
Views: 2637

Re: Netflix DVD delivery slowdown?

So what I do is streaming for several months, then a 2 at a time DVD plan for a few months.

It works out well.

Is it possible that the mail just bogs down over the holidays?
by sls239
Fri Jan 23, 2015 6:31 pm
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Netflix DVD delivery slowdown?
Replies: 99
Views: 14926

Re: When is cash still king?

Garage sales
Craigslist
State fair
Local donut shop
Newspaper vending machines
School / municipal park concession stands
by sls239
Thu Jan 22, 2015 9:24 am
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: When is cash still king?
Replies: 26
Views: 2850

Re: Engineered Hardwood

Wood or laminate in the kitchen seems gross to me. Imagine a drop of "chicken juice" going into the seam... You can't bleach a wood floor.
by sls239
Wed Jan 21, 2015 12:13 pm
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Engineered Hardwood
Replies: 29
Views: 2937

Re: Transition to a single income household

We didn't plan to be single income this long either. The major change is missing the routine of going to work. Being a SAH spouse is almost like ADD is being forced upon you. There is a huge variety of tasks that are required and while some things have schedule flexibility, others have barely any. A...
by sls239
Tue Jan 20, 2015 2:32 pm
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Transition to a single income household
Replies: 16
Views: 1297

Re: Honda Civic vs Fit Safety Question

We had a Civic (hybrid) and an Accord up until 2 months ago when the Civic got replaced by a hatchback. The Civic was fine for daily trips, or trips with 2 people. But when all 3 of us were going on a road trip or camping, we used the Accord. However if you are considering more children, I'd suggest...
by sls239
Mon Jan 19, 2015 10:51 am
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Honda Civic vs Fit Safety Question
Replies: 55
Views: 3546

Re: Getting Married - Want advice merging Portfolio & Taxes

Do either of you have other financial goals other than retirement?

Like possibly wanting to start a business, donate to charities, or care for an aging parent?
by sls239
Sat Jan 10, 2015 9:37 am
 
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Getting Married - Want advice merging Portfolio & Taxes
Replies: 24
Views: 2013
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