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by stan1
Mon May 18, 2015 7:45 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Jobs for Retired Air Force (without degree)
Replies: 26
Views: 1554

Re: Jobs for Retired Air Force (without degree)

- Private sector/temp aero medic (assuming his certifications are current). They may be more flexible on age. - Consultant, trainer, or manager at a private sector, public sector, or military medical company (lapsed certifications may be OK) - Small business owner (with a 30 year military pension he...
by stan1
Sun May 17, 2015 11:52 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Home Office Flooring - Boglehead Choice?
Replies: 17
Views: 1002

Re: Home Office Flooring - Boglehead Choice?

Thanks for the Pergo/equivalent suggestion. I'll keep that in mind.

Any thoughts on the suitability of cork flooring?
by stan1
Sun May 17, 2015 11:27 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Home Office Flooring - Boglehead Choice?
Replies: 17
Views: 1002

Re: Home Office Flooring - Boglehead Choice?

hicabob wrote:Pergo type laminate snap-together flooring is great for home offices. Not expensive, easy to install, durable, smooth and looks good.


Does it scratch when using rolling chairs?
by stan1
Sun May 17, 2015 11:21 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Buying house from family member
Replies: 13
Views: 1017

Re: Buying house from family member

Unless you are her only heir I think you should plan on paying full market value (what it would sell for if you listed it on the open market). Does your grandmother have other children (than your parent) and other grandchildren? It would not be fair to them to have you get favored treatment with dis...
by stan1
Sun May 17, 2015 11:10 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Home Office Flooring - Boglehead Choice?
Replies: 17
Views: 1002

Home Office Flooring - Boglehead Choice?

Bogleheads, What are your recommendations for good looking yet practical home office flooring? We currently have a berber carpet with 4' x 4' plastic matts in front of the desks which functions well but is not very attractive. Although wood looks very nice I think it would get easily scratched by ro...
by stan1
Sun May 17, 2015 9:49 am
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Merrill Edge - Premium Services
Replies: 3
Views: 315

Re: Merrill Edge - Premium Services

I'm not a Merrill customer but it might just get you more solicitations from better sales people.
by stan1
Sun May 17, 2015 9:11 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Mortgage or Mutual Fund
Replies: 7
Views: 517

Re: Mortgage or Mutual Fund

I think the right answer for most people fortunate enough to in the situation where they can invest in a taxable account or pay off mortgage is to do some of both. Not sure why it always comes up on this board as one or the other. Personally I find liquidity to be more liberating than being debt free.
by stan1
Sun May 17, 2015 6:26 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Cellular/wifi traveling to Scotland
Replies: 9
Views: 538

Re: Cellular/wifi traveling to Scotland

Along these same lines, DW is heading to So. Korea for a few weeks and was asking the same question. I had, as a 1st thought, that it would be possible to buy a throw-away phone at or near the Seoul airport for use in country. Do you see anything seriously wrong with this approach and at the time I...
by stan1
Sat May 16, 2015 8:00 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Contingent Offer
Replies: 13
Views: 1506

Re: Contingent Offer

Personally I would lower the asking price to get a solid non-contingent offer before I accepted a contingent offer. Too many things can go wrong.
by stan1
Sat May 16, 2015 7:49 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Transfer on Death account
Replies: 12
Views: 1626

Re: Transfer on Death account

Need to tell us what state you are in.
by stan1
Sat May 16, 2015 7:46 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Post tax investing or Pay off 2.95% Mortgage?
Replies: 38
Views: 3312

Re: Post tax investing or Pay off 2.95% Mortgage?

Start a taxable account. If I was in the 39% tax bracket and had a secure job that did not require me to keep substantial personal liquidity (e.g. a small business owner or serial entrepreneur) I'd be trying to build a seven figure taxable portfolio and use that to provide a liquidity buffer beyond ...
by stan1
Sat May 16, 2015 5:46 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Cellular/wifi traveling to Scotland
Replies: 9
Views: 538

Re: Cellular/wifi traveling to Scotland

With 120MB data plans I would recommend you go into setting and disable cellular data for mapping apps and other high bandwidth apps you use to make sure you don't run over accidently. Mobile apps are not very bandwidth efficient these days so it would be very easy to go over if you accidently pull ...
by stan1
Sat May 16, 2015 9:52 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Cellular/wifi traveling to Scotland
Replies: 9
Views: 538

Re: Cellular/wifi traveling to Scotland

By far the easiest (but probably not the cheapest) option is to get a 1 month international data plan from ATT. http://www.att.com/shop/wireless/international/roaming.html?tab=1 For $120 you can get unlimited messaging, 800MB of data, and $0.35/minute calls good for one month. There are cheaper plan...
by stan1
Sat May 16, 2015 9:40 am
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Saltless Water Conditioning or Descaler
Replies: 3
Views: 277

Re: Saltless Water Conditioning or Descaler

Is it OK to use potassium chloride instead of sodium chloride?

I had not heard about bans. Is the issue discharging the sludge into the sewer system?
by stan1
Thu May 14, 2015 7:43 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Home Internet - Cat 5e or Cat 6
Replies: 49
Views: 3090

Re: Home Internet - Cat 5e or Cat 6

Also, make sure you are adhering to the CA Prop 60 eligibility requirement that the new property have an equal or lesser current market value compared to your current property. Your decisions on builder upgrades could be a factor there, unless the current market value of your current property great...
by stan1
Thu May 14, 2015 6:28 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Home Internet - Cat 5e or Cat 6
Replies: 49
Views: 3090

Re: Home Internet - Cat 5e or Cat 6

You plan on putting 3 of your 4 connections in the same room? Why not just one and install a hub or router? Put the other two connections into other rooms. The office will have one computer on one wall and two computers on the opposite wall. Its worth $150 to me to avoid running a cable around the ...
by stan1
Wed May 13, 2015 10:07 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Home Internet - Cat 5e or Cat 6
Replies: 49
Views: 3090

Re: Home Internet - Cat 5e or Cat 6

Cat 5e will provide gigabit speeds that should provide plenty of bandwidth for home consumption. cat 6 could support 10 gigabit We stream two 1080p screens at 13gigabit. I just upgraded my office connection to gigabit from 100Mb Unless you move lots of files around, gigabit is overkill. What is you...
by stan1
Wed May 13, 2015 9:58 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Home Internet - Cat 5e or Cat 6
Replies: 49
Views: 3090

Re: Home Internet - Cat 5e or Cat 6

Smurf tubing, a.k.a. as flexible conduit is the answer but you may have to negotiate a bit for it. You can run Cat 5 through it now and, later, replace it with something else. It's a tract house at a middle price point for new construction in my area, so customization is limited to what's on the fi...
by stan1
Wed May 13, 2015 8:24 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Home Internet - Cat 5e or Cat 6
Replies: 49
Views: 3090

Home Internet - Cat 5e or Cat 6

We are buying a new tract home that has a fixed menu of builder "upgrades". It is not a custom home so choices are limited by the builder but since we live in a VHCOL area nothing is cheap. We will live in the house for 15-25 years. We will transfer our property tax basis from our current ...
by stan1
Wed May 13, 2015 8:10 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Identity theft
Replies: 24
Views: 2409

Re: Identity theft

Nothing shady as a company but I'm starting to get suspicious of a couple of places that I use routinely and use the Chase card. I'm going to try using a different card and see if that gets hacked. If so I should have a clear idea of at least some possible culprits. Any thoughts about home depot? I...
by stan1
Wed May 13, 2015 7:56 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: How to suggest downsizing to Parent
Replies: 23
Views: 2484

Re: How to suggest downsizing to Parent

We had to be somewhat direct with my mom who was in a 2400 square foot house with 2 acres of land by herself. We started prepping her years before that she would get to a point where she could not take care of herself in a large house so when the need became very real the idea of moving wasn't a new...
by stan1
Wed May 13, 2015 7:48 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: capital gains to pay off mortgage
Replies: 10
Views: 718

Re: capital gains to pay off mortgage

You would owe tax on any gains realized by the sale.

Remember you only owe tax on the gains -- not on the sale proceeds.
So: If you sell $10K worth of mutual funds but you paid $9K the gain is $1K.
If your capital gains tax rate is 10% you would owe a grand total of $100 in capital gains taxes.
by stan1
Tue May 12, 2015 8:14 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Closing on house in less then 30 days- bad idea?
Replies: 24
Views: 2022

Re: Closing on house in less then 30 days- bad idea?

As a seller, suppose you have two offers within a couple thousand dollars. Let's say one is all cash for $1.100M and will close in 21 days. Another is for $1.103M (%3,000 more) with 30% down and 70% financed and will close in 30 days. This borrower is pre-qualified has not have a loan yet and there ...
by stan1
Sun May 10, 2015 12:15 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Identity theft
Replies: 24
Views: 2409

Re: Identity theft

This sounds like the work of an "inside job". How about cancelling your credit card with them and getting a new one in your wife's name/SSN? Chase is a huge bank and if it was an insider at Chase the person would be smart enough to move around to different customers instead of hitting the...
by stan1
Sun May 10, 2015 12:00 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Wellesely for Taxable?
Replies: 4
Views: 885

Re: Wellesely for Taxable?

I would not use Wellesley in a taxable account unless you were in a very low tax bracket (e.g. 10% or 15%) and in retirement (e.g. needing the income right now). Wellesley has capital gains distributions and dividend income. It may not seem like a lot now, but as you add to the account over the year...
by stan1
Sun May 10, 2015 8:44 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Identity theft
Replies: 24
Views: 2409

Re: Identity theft

The first thing I would do is review where you are using the card, and stop using it at any place outside the U.S. and at small businesses that may not have good management controls/fraud detection. What you are describing could be a situation where someone you frequently do business with is willing...
by stan1
Fri May 08, 2015 9:23 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Selling condo should I replace carpeting?
Replies: 15
Views: 1558

Re: Selling condo should I replace carpeting?

I think its important to differentiate whether the carpet is dirty due to traffic/dirt or pet stains. If its due to pet stains you definitely want to replace it. This will be a huge turnoff to many buyers, and some people are more sensitive to pet smells than others. If its dirt in traffic areas I w...
by stan1
Tue May 05, 2015 7:21 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: How to pay real estate tax with Target Redcard
Replies: 79
Views: 7073

Re: How to pay real estate tax with Target Redcard

As an investor in Target and American Express (through Total Stock Market) I'm glad to see this come to an end.
by stan1
Tue May 05, 2015 7:18 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: How to negotiate roof replacement (in escrow)?
Replies: 16
Views: 1432

Re: How to negotiate roof replacement (in escrow)?

I'd be prepared to walk away over this one if $50K means a lot to you (it is a lot to me). That's the best way to negotiate. Hopefully your offer was contingent upon the inspection. Walking away may get the seller to come back with a stronger offer to repair the roof if they don't want to go through...
by stan1
Mon Apr 27, 2015 8:58 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: How far away from a freight railroad track should you live?
Replies: 51
Views: 3326

Re: How far away from a freight railroad track should you li

I find crossing bells in the silence of the night more annoying than the horn.
by stan1
Mon Apr 27, 2015 8:52 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Traveling light up to 2 weeks - ditch the laptop, use phone?
Replies: 54
Views: 3546

Re: Traveling light up to 2 weeks - ditch the laptop, use ph

I think it depends on what you like to do while travelling. My partner likes to spend 2 hours writing a 3-5 page journal entry evening when we get back to the hotel. Yes, he's done it on his iPhone 5s but he prefers to use my MacBook Air. I do not use a special briefcase or padding for my MacBook Ai...
by stan1
Sun Apr 26, 2015 2:09 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Turbo Tax 110% Amazon Tax Refund Bonus
Replies: 22
Views: 1911

Re: Turbo Tax 110% Amazon Tax Refund Bonus

Your strategy is not without other risks, and until the fraudulent return situation gets straightened out I'll stick with owing tax rather than planning a refund. Would not want a large refund to get held up for 6-12 months because someone filed a fraudulent return using my SSN (especially since my ...
by stan1
Sun Apr 26, 2015 1:42 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Thinking about a new desktop PC.
Replies: 55
Views: 3881

Re: Thinking about a new desktop PC.

My guess is that most people on this board want to keep a new computer for 5-7+ years. If that's you, buy the latest OS version (in OP's case I'd try to hold out a few months and buy a computer with Win 10 and plan to upgrade it to Win 11/12). Also agree that at this point I'd only buy a computer wi...
by stan1
Sun Apr 26, 2015 1:14 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Been invited to wedding in Disney World. My cost?
Replies: 58
Views: 5940

Re: Been invited to wedding in Disney World. My cost?

Very easily could go over $1,000 if you stay more than 1 or 2 nights and go to the parks. You could possibly save money by staying at a different hotel if they've chosen one that's relatively expensive (but then you would need a rental car and likely would face paid parking -- so might be a wash). P...
by stan1
Sun Apr 26, 2015 12:44 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Retiring in two months - what to do with TSP?
Replies: 11
Views: 1401

Re: Retiring in two months - what to do with TSP?

Will you be able to live off the pension and SS/disability without tapping into your TSP/savings? That's important to know. It sounds like you will be able to, and possibly even have some money left over each month for an emergency fund in case you need a new car or repairs on a house. Have you seen...
by stan1
Sun Apr 26, 2015 12:26 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Anyone Manually Manage Quicken?
Replies: 46
Views: 2257

Re: Anyone Manually Manage Quicken?

I primarily use a Mac, but also have a PC that I only use for Quicken because the PC version of Quicken is vastly superior to the Mac version. I've been downloading transactions into Quicken since that capability was first available (guessing it was about 20 years ago). I've never found an error in ...
by stan1
Tue Apr 21, 2015 8:22 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Potential new home is well-priced, but...
Replies: 31
Views: 2835

Re: Potential new home is well-priced, but...

Why do you think the lender is going to approve a short sale for $150K less than the market value of the house? It's 2015 not 2009.
by stan1
Tue Apr 21, 2015 7:30 am
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Should I buy into my brother's shop?
Replies: 22
Views: 2825

Re: Should I buy into my brother's shop?

Taking this post at face value -- is this business located in the U.S.? [edit: just noticed OP lives in Australia not the U.S.} I've never seen a store that only sells lottery tickets in the U.S. Usually the lottery tickets are a way to bring people into the business hoping they buy gas or food whic...
by stan1
Sun Apr 19, 2015 6:55 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Don't come to Europe with a new chip and sign credit card
Replies: 55
Views: 7762

Re: Don't come to Europe with a new chip and sign credit car

I had no issues last year in Paris - surprisingly - with Fidelity/FIA chip & signature VISA and Amex . They even worked at unattended train ticket machines. I was never asked for an ID when signing. Interesting. We were in Paris this week and the unmanned RATP (Metro) kiosks would not accept ou...
by stan1
Sun Apr 19, 2015 6:47 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Payoff Mortgage or Fund Taxable Account
Replies: 16
Views: 2176

Re: Payoff Mortgage or Fund Taxable Account

I would not start paying off the mortgage early until you have six figures in the taxable account AND combined 529 accounts. I would consider a fixed rate mortgage if you plan to stay in the house more than 5 years.
by stan1
Sun Apr 19, 2015 6:44 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: engineers - please help with engineering school selection
Replies: 185
Views: 12019

Re: engineers - please help with engineering school selectio

snowman, I think the two choices are very similar and whatever plusses/minuses of each at this point are minor. You can't go wrong with either. I think it would be a mistake to favor Minnesota over Colorado at this point over $5K/year -- unless that really was a hardship or over a few points in a co...
by stan1
Wed Apr 08, 2015 8:15 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Bogle possible mistake? Discussion [on age-based portfolios]
Replies: 67
Views: 6953

Re: John Bogle possible mistake? Discussion

Should a 60 year old couple in each of these circumstances have the same asset allocation?
A) Net worth $50,000
B) Net worth $500,000
C) Net worth $5M
D) Net worth $50M

Answer: No, for the reason cited above (need, ability, and willingness to take risk).
by stan1
Tue Apr 07, 2015 9:27 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Beach vacation in So Cal
Replies: 52
Views: 4488

Re: Beach vacation in So Cal

I have noted that the restaurants in North San Diego County that are "nice" are usually chains, like Black Angus, Outback, etc. Not that there is anything wrong with that... Maybe 20 years ago, but not any more especially in the Del Mar/Carmel Valley area. Over the years we've enjoyed Pam...
by stan1
Sun Apr 05, 2015 9:59 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Beach vacation in So Cal
Replies: 52
Views: 4488

Re: Beach vacation in So Cal

Plenty of other things to do in San Diego besides the beach so the kids won't get exhausted (and sun burned). You can go to the beach for an hour or two in the morning and then again in the evening to cool off, and spend the rest of the day at Legoland or the San Diego Zoo (kids will sleep well). Yo...
by stan1
Sun Apr 05, 2015 9:46 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Stay put, renovate, tear down and rebuild, or move?
Replies: 12
Views: 1216

Re: Stay put, renovate, tear down and rebuild, or move?

How long would you like to live in the house? If you can spend $500-700K on the house and stay there for 30 years I wouldn't worry about recouping your costs at time of sale. You'll have 30 years of time spent with your family enjoying the house. If, on the other hand, you see yourself staying there...
by stan1
Sat Apr 04, 2015 9:39 am
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Good 5 year jumbo or regular CD rate ?
Replies: 7
Views: 1818

Re: Good 5 year jumbo or regular CD rate ?

Pen Fed has not offered a 3% 5 year CD since January, 2014. But you are right -- credit unions often do not show up on the BankRate.com site.
by stan1
Wed Apr 01, 2015 5:25 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Conducting job interviews
Replies: 11
Views: 1804

Re: Conducting job interviews

Many companies use interview panels, either where the panel meets together to interview the candidate as a group or panel members meet separately with the candidate and compare notes later on. I think having multiple people interview the candidate is good; helps get different perspectives.
by stan1
Sun Mar 29, 2015 9:44 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Buying a house, not new, what to look for/wish you had
Replies: 33
Views: 2485

Re: Buying a house, not new, what to look for/wish you had

Keeping it simple, I'd focus on several things: 1) Location - narrow the neighborhoods you are interested down to a manageable group based on commute time, public schools, and other amenities. 2) Initial walk through - Look for a house that has the basics of what you desire (number of bedrooms/baths...
by stan1
Sun Mar 29, 2015 9:30 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: "Employees Forgo Wellness Cash Incentives Worth Millions"
Replies: 30
Views: 2971

Re: "Employees Forgo Wellness Cash Incentives Worth Millions

My insurer offers wellness incentives that are accumulated by doing online courses in things like weight loss and sleep hygiene. I can get up to $50 per year by doing these classes and the incentive is deposited onto a debit card that you can only use for health related expenses. That's the problem....
by stan1
Sun Mar 29, 2015 9:17 am
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Saving for a Car - investing in ST Muni bond mutual fund
Replies: 19
Views: 987

Re: Saving for a Car - investing in ST Muni bond mutual fund

To be honest, it's b/c one of my best friends is a FA w/ Edward Jones and has done a lot of hypothetical analyses on my portfolio, and I felt like giving him a try. There's the issue. Keep your financials separate from your friendships. Buy him a beer and talk about fishing, baseball, whatever -- a...

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