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Re: Kitchen Remodel... Or Not?

You are making $400K/year and living in a $250K house. You are (almost) millionaires at 32/33 on one income with two kids. Of course you can spend $70K on a remodel, but I think in a 130 year old house you'd want to assume that the final number will be closer to $100K once you get done due to unexpe...
by stan1
Mon Jul 28, 2014 5:50 am
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Kitchen Remodel... Or Not?
Replies: 30
Views: 1097

Re: 33 yo single parent: Need financial advice

Child support is something you are paying out, as in non custodial parent? Why would it stop in four years? Or are you just say these are your expenses for your child, and when they go to public kindergarten vs daycare you won't have to pay so much? The $1700 is 50% child support payments that I am...
by stan1
Sun Jul 27, 2014 9:14 pm
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: 33 yo single parent: Need financial advice
Replies: 12
Views: 839

Re: Selling House - Do We Need a Listing Broker?

My experience is that people who buy FSBO's want a bargain. Some people will not consider buying a FSBO because they don't want to deal with the homeowner, and many realtors will not actively show a FSBO because they know they'll get stuck doing most of the selling agent's work as well as the buyer'...
by stan1
Sun Jul 27, 2014 8:47 pm
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Selling House - Do We Need a Listing Broker?
Replies: 45
Views: 1475

Re: POLL: My home is worth less/more in 2014 than in 2007?

In my immediate neighborhood of 21 houses 5 sold between Oct, 2013 and May, 2014 for prices above what they would have sold for in 2005 (which was the plateau here). The owners had been waiting to sell for some time (move closer to kids private schools, larger house/lot).
by stan1
Sun Jul 27, 2014 5:48 pm
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: POLL: My home is worth less/more in 2014 than in 2007?
Replies: 65
Views: 2876

Re: best place to buy kitchen appliances

I'd look at a local/regional discount appliance store. Where I live we have Pacific Sales and I've used them in the past with good results. They were quite a bit cheaper than Sears for the Whirlpool washer/dryer and refrigerator we bought a few years ago. I just noticed that they are now partnered w...
by stan1
Sun Jul 27, 2014 5:26 am
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: best place to buy kitchen appliances
Replies: 15
Views: 1013

Re: Stop Extra Payment Toward Mortgage?

Personally I would not want to borrow money to pay for household repairs or car repairs like you describe so I would not even consider the HELOC option. I would stop making extra payments on the mortgage until your emergency fund is back where you want it to be. I think you have a good plan.
by stan1
Sun Jul 27, 2014 5:17 am
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Stop Extra Payment Toward Mortgage?
Replies: 31
Views: 1844

Re: I have access to a military TSP...worth it?

Most of any negativity you might be hearing about the TSP from your buddies or other websites is because it doesn't have active funds/individual stocks. There are plenty of people out there who want those choices but you won't find them here on Bogleheads. The TSP is the best 5-fund retirement plan ...
by stan1
Sun Jul 27, 2014 5:08 am
 
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: I have access to a military TSP...worth it?
Replies: 13
Views: 983

Re: Providing cars to employees - employer point of view?

Some random thoughts/questions I would want to understand the answers to: - what is reasonable and customary in the industry? - what is the policy on personal use - are the people expected to drop everything and report to work if they get a phone call even on weekends, thereby making personal and or...
by stan1
Sat Jul 26, 2014 7:01 pm
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Providing cars to employees - employer point of view?
Replies: 7
Views: 764

Re: Vanguard quietly adds longevity annuities

I think its going to be a long time before insurers offer to accept a lot of risk as they did with pre-2008 annuities and long term care policies.
by stan1
Sat Jul 26, 2014 6:57 pm
 
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Vanguard quietly adds longevity annuities
Replies: 76
Views: 4826

Re: Buying a Home - Town permit records don't match disclosu

If I was the seller I might cough up a few thousand to finish the deal off, but if that didn't do it I'd put the house back on the market (especially if there were multiple offers). It's a seller's market right now so why deal with difficult buyers?
by stan1
Sat Jul 26, 2014 2:19 pm
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Buying a Home - Town permit records don't match disclosures
Replies: 55
Views: 3042

Re: Mileage Reimbursement or Company Car?

Reimbursement would not be taxable income. I think the car is in fine shape. I'm going to keep it until it (or I) die. My initial thinking is to pocket the reimbursement money and deduct some of the mileage on my taxes... You can't do that (legally). You can't get reimbursed by your company for bus...
by stan1
Sat Jul 26, 2014 11:35 am
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Mileage Reimbursement or Company Car?
Replies: 17
Views: 584

Re: Mileage Reimbursement or Company Car?

I would use the company car/gas card. Also check to see how auto insurance will be handled. It's possible you might come out ahead by a few thousand dollars using your own car, but there's the risk of a lot of hassle if your car gets broken into or involved in an accident. With the company car you m...
by stan1
Sat Jul 26, 2014 11:34 am
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Mileage Reimbursement or Company Car?
Replies: 17
Views: 584

Re: What is it like to live in Charlottesville, VA?

It's very, very nice. The con for me is that it is too far from a major airline hub. Yep, 2+ hours from Dulles and 2.5+ hours from DC although I think the road is entirely 4 lanes now so you have a better chance of traveling at the speed limit. Also, if you have bad allergies pollen is a problem. I...
by stan1
Sat Jul 26, 2014 11:13 am
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: What is it like to live in Charlottesville, VA?
Replies: 17
Views: 1327

Re: Vanguard eliminates fee on FTSE All-World ex-US Small-Ca

4th and Inches wrote:Any estimates on how long until they do come out with Admiral shares?


Hard to say. The mutual fund investor share class only has $391M in assets, but that's more than Global Ex Us Real Estate which does have Admiral shares.
by stan1
Sat Jul 26, 2014 7:34 am
 
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Vanguard eliminates fee on FTSE All-World ex-US Small-Cap
Replies: 23
Views: 2962

Re: Whats a Better Lot in a Tract Home Neighborhood?

I think I'd go for the wooded lot based off what you describe, assuming the wooded land is some sort of conservation easement not undeveloped property that could turn into apartments or a strip mall next year. I wouldn't want to front or back onto a school or park, either. I think the walk out basem...
by stan1
Sat Jul 26, 2014 7:02 am
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Whats a Better Lot in a Tract Home Neighborhood?
Replies: 31
Views: 1966

Re: Do you split in-state and fed munis? If so, how?

I only use CA muni funds, no national muni funds. My combined marginal tax rate is 37.3%. CA muni funds comprise up to about 5% of my total asset allocation. I sell holdings in my CA intermediate term tax free fund every 8-10 years when I buy a new car or have a major household expense so sometimes ...
by stan1
Wed Jul 23, 2014 9:27 pm
 
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Do you split in-state and national munis? If so, how?
Replies: 16
Views: 671

Re: Front office vs Enterprise wide IT job

The answer is clear: Front Office if you want to be part of the excitement; Back Office if you don't. I think you should try the FO (especially if you don't have kids); there are many slower paced jobs if you decide you don't like it. You'll have to stay on your toes; I'd also imagine FO folks get l...
by stan1
Wed Jul 23, 2014 9:22 am
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Front office vs Enterprise wide IT job
Replies: 5
Views: 557

Re: Anyone been to Charleston, SC?

Fairly randomly the GF and I booked a trip to Charleston next week. We will be driving from Chicago, and staying thurs-Sun. It was on my list to visit for awhile, for no specific reason other than I heard good things. So here I am trying to find some activities. We are pretty big foodies (god I hat...
by stan1
Wed Jul 23, 2014 4:49 am
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Anyone been to Charleston, SC?
Replies: 27
Views: 1374

Re: Poll - Do you use Quicken?

The admiral shares conversion was a hassle (I'd forgotten about it since it happened years ago). Unfortunately I bought TSM and had dividends reinvested. I knew I needed to get the number of shares right for each lot in order to maintain cost basis properly. I ended up building a conversion spreadsh...
by stan1
Mon Jul 21, 2014 10:58 pm
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Poll - Do you use Quicken?
Replies: 66
Views: 3280

Re: Helping My Grandmother

I'm going to summarize some of the options that have been ruled out: - Selling house - Geting a trusted roommate (female, around her age) - Reverse mortage - Moving her in with family - Family helping pay off mortgage - Family helping out with bills/groceries I haven't heard moving to a lower cost o...
by stan1
Sun Jul 20, 2014 11:49 pm
 
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Helping My Grandmother
Replies: 54
Views: 3179

Re: years of investing and balances

Don't think about having $1M in assets/net worth. If you are worried about that number then what you need to focus on is income. Make more and spend the same/less is the secret. The family that makes $400K/year and spends $75K is going to reach $1M much faster than the family that makes $90K and spe...
by stan1
Sun Jul 20, 2014 9:02 pm
 
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: years of investing and balances
Replies: 23
Views: 1933

Re: TSP vs Vanguard

Pick the assset allocation that works for you, then find a target fund that meets the asset allocation you desire. Vanguard's problem was likely benchmarking. If their 2040 fund is underperforming Fidelity's or Schwab's 2040 fund then people think Vanguard's is inferior. It's not, it just has a diff...
by stan1
Sun Jul 20, 2014 8:27 pm
 
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: TSP vs Vanguard
Replies: 10
Views: 1156

Re: Helping My Grandmother

If she won't use a credit card for groceries you could deposit $200/month into her checking account (or whatever number you want to use). I do that with my mom to help her make ends meet. She is 81 and has a little more than your mom because she sold her house this year (but also now has to pay rent...
by stan1
Sun Jul 20, 2014 6:29 pm
 
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Helping My Grandmother
Replies: 54
Views: 3179

Re: Helping My Grandmother

Tough situation for her (and her family). She's fortunate to have family members who care about her. You probably aren't going to like my answer but I don't think she should have anything invested in stocks or bonds. She has zero ability to take risk especially if she is in good health and might liv...
by stan1
Sun Jul 20, 2014 5:51 pm
 
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Helping My Grandmother
Replies: 54
Views: 3179

Re: Buying First Home - Inspection Follow Up Advice

Important to keep in mind that an inspection and an appraisal are two different things. An inspection is theoretically for your benefit, although it's also for the seller's and both Realtor's benefit to avoid lawsuits over undisclosed defects (known or unknown). An appraisal is for the lender's bene...
by stan1
Sun Jul 20, 2014 7:22 am
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Buying First Home - Inspection Follow Up Advice
Replies: 22
Views: 1844

Re: Favorite portfolio tracking software

You might want to start by typing "portfolio software" into the search box. Been addressed many times, and its a lot of personal preference.
by stan1
Sat Jul 19, 2014 4:25 pm
 
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Favorite portfolio tracking software
Replies: 14
Views: 1800

Re: Missing TSP Contribution?

My bi-weekly contributions (employee, agency automatic, and agency matching) all posted as usual on Thursday (7/17). If yours is delayed maybe your agency's payroll system was late to report. Did your paycheck direct deposit properly?
by stan1
Sat Jul 19, 2014 10:34 am
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Missing TSP Contribution?
Replies: 9
Views: 1174

Re: Have you quit your job because of your boss?

Seems like both you and your boss would benefit from you taking a management directed reassignment (e.g. a lateral reassignment to a vacant position elsewhere in the organization without a competitive announcement). Since you've been there 20 years do you have other people who you'd like to work for...
by stan1
Sun Jul 13, 2014 1:23 pm
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Have you quit your job because of your boss?
Replies: 66
Views: 7129

Re: Moving from Midwest to Coastal Cities: COL Adjustment?

Currently in a job in the Midwest earning $80k. Have been contemplating a career move to better places.... I hate crowds, cities and commute, but I'm willing to move if the $$$ is good. I have to ask some questions because these comments seem at odds with each other. What are your criteria for a &q...
by stan1
Sun Jul 13, 2014 11:53 am
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Moving from Midwest to Coastal Cities: COL Adjustment?
Replies: 25
Views: 2521

Re: Travel Converters/Adapters

I've always used a two prong europlug adapter (Type C) in Italy and continental Europe. You can plug a europlug adapter into a Type L outlet (the ground/middle hole in the outlet is unused just like plugging a US Type A plug into a Type B outlet). I no longer have any Type B power requirements when ...
by stan1
Sat Jul 12, 2014 8:45 pm
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Travel Converters/Adapters
Replies: 11
Views: 876

Re: Offer on home accepted- Sellers want to rent for sometim

They are paying cots of Principal, interest, HOA, utilities, taxes for 2 months(trying less than 59 days as lender's condition) Have you considered the income tax cost to you? You have to report their payments to you as rental income. True but it sounds like in this case most if not all of the &quo...
by stan1
Tue Jul 08, 2014 7:12 am
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Offer on home accepted- Sellers want to rent for sometime
Replies: 19
Views: 1673

Re: Offer on home accepted- Sellers want to rent for sometim

Seller should be paying market rent -- not an amount equal to your costs. Utilities should stay in sellers name until you move in (as they would in a rental). Since it is just for 2 months you could request that the rent be paid to you out of the escrow if its not too late. The realtors involved sho...
by stan1
Tue Jul 08, 2014 7:10 am
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Offer on home accepted- Sellers want to rent for sometime
Replies: 19
Views: 1673

Re: Offer on home accepted- Sellers want to rent for sometim

This has become fairly "normal" in my seller's market neighborhood where there are many cash offers on $1M homes. Sellers want to rent back for 2-3 months while they wait for escrow to close on a new house, rather than moving into a rental for that period of time. It has often become a con...
by stan1
Tue Jul 08, 2014 4:55 am
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Offer on home accepted- Sellers want to rent for sometime
Replies: 19
Views: 1673

Re: California Intermediate-Term Tax-Exempt Fund

I have up to about 10% of my portfolio in this fund (I use it to pay for a new car when I need one, then rebuild it). I do not hold any national municipal bond funds. People have been predicting California's geologic destruction and political/economic demise for decades; it hasn't happened yet but m...
by stan1
Mon Jul 07, 2014 5:24 pm
 
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: California Intermediate-Term Tax-Exempt Fund
Replies: 9
Views: 933

Re: Want international exposure? You already have it.

Why would I buy GM stock but not Ford stock? That's why I buy broad index funds like Total Stock market rather than individual stocks. Likewise why would I buy Ford and GM stock but not Toyota, Hyundai, Peugeot, and VW? I have no reason to believe American based companies are fundamentally superior ...
by stan1
Sat Jul 05, 2014 5:49 pm
 
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Want international exposure? You already have it.
Replies: 65
Views: 6333

Re: Valuing a personal residence for net worth purposes

True, but the basic point is that a realitor either chose or was convinced to start there. And looking at the price per sq. ft. it isn't much different than new construction in the area, so I am guessing they will get closer to asking than to the zEstimate. Realtors don't determine the selling pric...
by stan1
Sat Jul 05, 2014 1:47 pm
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Valuing a personal residence for net worth purposes
Replies: 73
Views: 3825

Re: Valuing a personal residence for net worth purposes

Assuming you have no outstanding mortgage on the home, for net worth calculation I would use a realistic value of what it would sell for if you sold it today. That is to say the realistic selling value that would be assigned by you and your realtor. Of course if you have a mortgage balance that wou...
by stan1
Sat Jul 05, 2014 1:23 pm
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Valuing a personal residence for net worth purposes
Replies: 73
Views: 3825

Re: Valuing a personal residence for net worth purposes

I use the value of the home based on recent comparables reduced by 10% for selling costs. My house is in a subdivision of 120 homes so there's at least 5-10 sales every year I can use as a value per square foot comp. In my state the assesssed value on a property tax bill has nothing to do with the r...
by stan1
Sat Jul 05, 2014 12:59 pm
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Valuing a personal residence for net worth purposes
Replies: 73
Views: 3825

Re: Combining finances - gift tax?

blueleaf wrote:Thanks for all the responses so far. One more related question: Does adding her as a co-owner of a bank account count as a "gift" for tax purposes?


Seems like you should wait on some of this until after you are married since you seem very concerned about it.
by stan1
Fri Jul 04, 2014 7:34 pm
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Combining finances - gift tax?
Replies: 15
Views: 743

Re: Best website for airfare?

Make sure you check DCA, IAD, and BWI -- there can be significant price differences at times.

Amazingly enough sometimes it is cheaper to fly from IAD to CLD (Carlsbad) with a plane change at LAX, also.
by stan1
Fri Jul 04, 2014 3:34 pm
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Best website for airfare?
Replies: 20
Views: 2838

Re: [Poll] Which do you include in Asset Allocation?

I include all investable assets and liability (which allows prepayment) that are measurable in my investment portfolio. Some controversial examples: 1. primary residence: included because of appreciating value. Using this logic, I exclude cars. 2. mortgage (liability): included because I consider m...
by stan1
Fri Jul 04, 2014 12:31 am
 
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: [Poll] Which do you include in Asset Allocation?
Replies: 41
Views: 2635

Re: Are You Re-Balancing?

All of my new contributions have gone to bonds for the past two years and I have transferred small cap value shares into my donor advised fund -- so yes.
by stan1
Thu Jul 03, 2014 10:13 pm
 
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: POLL: Are You Re-Balancing?
Replies: 70
Views: 4958

Re: Please Help Me Plan A Trip To Italy

Thank you. I will look into that hotel. Our cruise ends when we get to Rome so everything in Italy will be flexible and individual. Do day trips via rail to Florence, Venice, and Monaco sound reasonable with Rome as our home base? No day trips to Venice or Monaco from Rome. It is possible for Flore...
by stan1
Thu Jul 03, 2014 9:58 pm
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Please Help Me Plan A Trip To Italy
Replies: 26
Views: 1866

Re: Continue subscribing to local newspaper?

I've found that local TV stations put a lot of the local news on their websites (for free) -- and sometimes its updated faster on the TV station websites.
by stan1
Thu Jul 03, 2014 9:43 pm
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Continue subscribing to local newspaper?
Replies: 86
Views: 6173

Re: Sell rental property to pay down mortgage?

Investment property is a business. You are looking cap rates so clearly you are thinking along the right lines. You said the rental is paid of so you should have good positive cash flow. If you don't mind being a landlord and the property is generating income you could direct that to paying down the...
by stan1
Thu Jul 03, 2014 4:37 pm
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Sell rental property to pay down mortgage?
Replies: 5
Views: 556

Re: Do you tell your kids how much you make?

Maybe I'm nosy but my parents owned a small business (retail) and always had pay stubs, tax returns, and accounting reports filed around the house so I knew their incomes down to the penny even though we didn't talk about it. During junior high and high school I did end of day reconciliation and man...
by stan1
Thu Jul 03, 2014 4:19 pm
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Do you tell your kids how much you make?
Replies: 58
Views: 5945

Re: Brick patio question

Several neighbors have put in high end, professionally installed concrete pavers with good success. I make the distinction about high end and professionally installed because I've certainly seen some Home Depot DIY paver projects around that look awful and detract value from the house. The edging is...
by stan1
Thu Jul 03, 2014 2:19 pm
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Brick patio question
Replies: 8
Views: 954

Re: Help/Advice reReal Estate Negotiation

How long has the property you are looking at been on the market? That's important. If the house has been on the market for less than 2 months the seller may be reluctant to take a lower offer. If its been on the market for longer than that they may be open to lower offers -- or may be holding out fo...
by stan1
Thu Jul 03, 2014 1:49 pm
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Help/Advice re Real Estate Negotiation
Replies: 10
Views: 911

Re: TSP vs. IRA?

I would probably do exactly what OP is doing: contribute to the TSP to get the match, max out the Roth iRA, and then when you can save more go back to the TSP. I would not be using a brokerage for my IRA that charges $7/trade for a broad market ETF. I'd be buying Vanguard ETFs at Vanguard with no co...
by stan1
Thu Jul 03, 2014 1:37 pm
 
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: TSP vs. IRA?
Replies: 17
Views: 1407

Re: Gift idea for high school grad?

I would give a $100-200 cash or a gift card to amazon or a gas station if he has a car. If he's getting a lot of financial assistance from his parents he might be best served by having you hold onto it until he graduates from college, gets married, or has children of his own. If he's taking out stud...
by stan1
Thu Jul 03, 2014 12:54 pm
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Gift idea for high school grad?
Replies: 16
Views: 674
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