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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 9:44 am
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Buying a house, not new, what to look for/wish you had
Replies: 33
Views: 1843

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 9:30 am
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: "Employees Forgo Wellness Cash Incentives Worth Millions"
Replies: 30
Views: 2722

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...
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: 848

Re: Boomer forced to retire (unemployed)

On the perception of "age discrimination". First, it's partially real in the sense that some employers may think that a younger worker may be more creative or "fit in" better. He has to be positive, enthusiastic and eager in the interviews. He needs to be offering improvement sug...
by stan1
Sun Mar 29, 2015 6:18 am
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Boomer forced to retire (unemployed)
Replies: 34
Views: 3916

Re: Mom seeking financial help - what to do?

I would help her adjust her withholding (and probably give her $1,000 this year).
by stan1
Fri Mar 27, 2015 7:01 am
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Mom seeking financial help - what to do?
Replies: 62
Views: 4458

Re: TurboTax is the WORST

Without much information to go on I'd suggest you go into the forms view and look for the worksheet in question. Check to see what's relevant on that worksheet. Edit/update as needed. You can also delete the worksheet if you are sure you don't need it -- but want to be absolutely sure before you do ...
by stan1
Sat Mar 21, 2015 5:37 pm
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: TurboTax is the WORST
Replies: 6
Views: 1743

Re: Doctor's office requires credit card on file

My question would be how long will it take to get an appointment? What you are describing are indications it is a busy practice that's not worried about a few patients going elsewhere.
by stan1
Fri Mar 20, 2015 6:59 pm
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Doctor's office requires credit card on file
Replies: 55
Views: 2950

Re: Help w/ my mom's financial situation

My mom's "expensive" hobby is scrapbooking. Boy, I wish I'd come up with that business idea! Who would have thought ...
by stan1
Fri Mar 20, 2015 6:45 pm
 
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Help w/ my mom's financial situation
Replies: 18
Views: 1736

Re: Help w/ my mom's financial situation

I have a slightly different take. I don't think your mom can take the risk of being invested in the stock market at her age/asset level. Would you want to be in a position where you have to explain to her that her $68K is now worth $40K? She could need the money in the next 5-10 years. I would put t...
by stan1
Fri Mar 20, 2015 5:59 pm
 
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Help w/ my mom's financial situation
Replies: 18
Views: 1736

Re: Underpriced house recently sold

What's the condition of the house? Tear down or gut jobs can sell for a 50% discount in high demand neighborhoods.
by stan1
Wed Mar 18, 2015 7:32 pm
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Underpriced house recently sold
Replies: 13
Views: 1505

Re: Starting a New Business with a Partner - Setup Questions

In the industry I work in I've seen multiple small businesses with 51%/49% ownership structures where pay equalizes out but there's a clear decision maker. I've also seen non-majority founding partners move on to other job opportunities and be bought out by the majority stakeholder after disagreemen...
by stan1
Mon Mar 16, 2015 7:55 am
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Starting a New Business with a Partner - Setup Questions
Replies: 11
Views: 717

Re: excess cash flows - to mortgage?

For most of the time we had a mortgage we made 1 or 2 extra payments each year while we also invested in taxable accounts and maxed out retirement accounts. Eventually our taxable accounts got to be a lot bigger than our mortgage balance. At some point we decided to just pay off the mortgage. In mos...
by stan1
Sun Mar 15, 2015 3:19 pm
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: excess cash flows - to mortgage?
Replies: 10
Views: 897

Re: Retiring to California. Keep 401k money pre-tax?

Just to get this straight: So I'd move it to a traditional IRA, then have them slowly convert it, keeping them in a low bracket? Sorry, I misread, its in a 401K now and you asked about rolling it over into a Traditional IRA. I would consider that, especially if the 401K doesn't have good fund choic...
by stan1
Sun Mar 15, 2015 3:12 pm
 
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Retiring to California. Keep 401k money pre-tax?
Replies: 21
Views: 1339

Re: Golf course lot value

Entirely a personal preference so tough to place a value on it. Some people wouldn't buy a house on a golf course, others wouldn't pay a dime more, others would be willing to pay a premium. To me just about any house that backs up onto open space is preferable to one that is right up against another...
by stan1
Sun Mar 15, 2015 2:20 pm
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Golf course lot value
Replies: 5
Views: 681

Re: Retiring to California. Keep 401k money pre-tax?

California does have a reputation for high income tax rates, but that's more of an issue for people with high incomes because the tax rate increases with income. For example, a married couple can have an AGI up to $36472 and still be in the 2% state tax bracket (owing $580 in state income tax). They...
by stan1
Sun Mar 15, 2015 2:11 pm
 
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Retiring to California. Keep 401k money pre-tax?
Replies: 21
Views: 1339

Re: Sell gas station for one dollar

Likewise the heirs of the gas station owner would want to make sure they understand the disclaim process in the states involved to ensure they don't become personally liable for the property.
by stan1
Sun Mar 15, 2015 1:16 pm
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Sell gas station for one dollar
Replies: 48
Views: 3924

Re: Retirement Issues: Life Expectancy

Not sure what to say other than its something each individual has to look at and honestly assess things like health, lifestyle, and family history. Even so there's some element of chance as very healthy and fit people do sometimes come down with devastating illnesses. You are correct that actuarial ...
by stan1
Sat Mar 14, 2015 1:29 pm
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Retirement Issues: Life Expectancy
Replies: 24
Views: 2212

Re: Ice Dams - now what?

Lots of good info here:

viewtopic.php?f=11&t=157803
by stan1
Sat Mar 14, 2015 11:48 am
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Ice Dams - now what?
Replies: 49
Views: 4401

Re: Providing hotel options for wedding guests

Just contact your preferred hotels and ask them about group rates. The larger the group the better the rate usually. Usually they will set aside a certain number of rooms at a group rate, but people will have to make their reservations early otherwise the rooms will be released to the general public...
by stan1
Sat Mar 14, 2015 11:36 am
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Providing hotel options for wedding guests
Replies: 9
Views: 1045

Upcoming Paris Trip - Podcast Tours?

I'm thinking about trying something new for our upcoming trip to Paris -- podcasts. I've seen the Rick Steve's free podcasts which seem interesting, especially for the Musee d' Orsay. We typically enjoy taking small group tours but are thinking we might mix it up this time. Any recommendations on 1)...
by stan1
Fri Mar 13, 2015 7:36 pm
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Upcoming Paris Trip - Podcast Tours?
Replies: 1
Views: 264

Re: Pet insurance?

We looked into it but decided to self insure. Costs go up quickly as the dog ages, plus there are a lot of exclusions/limitations. Definitely not the same as ACA-compliant human insurance. We could cover a $10-15K bill if we had to (please let's not debate whether it's prudent to spend that amount o...
by stan1
Fri Mar 13, 2015 5:29 pm
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Pet insurance?
Replies: 32
Views: 1924

Re: $600 night guard for teeth grinding, really?

I never knew teeth grinding was such an issue. Now I feel left out, I'll have to ask my dentist next time I see him if he sees signs of grinding.
by stan1
Thu Mar 12, 2015 9:29 pm
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: $600 night guard for teeth grinding, really?
Replies: 92
Views: 5760

Re: Bonus received. But its not what was agreed upon. Advi

Move on, you aren't a good match with the company you work for. The fact that they've honored the bonus commitment and put you on a PIP instead of laying you off outright is well beyond what most employers would do. I hope your job search leads you to something you are happier working on and that ma...
by stan1
Wed Mar 11, 2015 10:07 pm
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Bonus received. But its not what was agreed upon. Advice?
Replies: 61
Views: 5075

Re: How do you use your email?

I assume my work and personal emails might be forwarded to others. I don't put anything in email that I wouldn't want forwarded.
by stan1
Wed Mar 11, 2015 9:52 pm
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: How do you use your email?
Replies: 16
Views: 1362

Re: How much house can we afford by Boglehead standards?

I'm in the $200K-250K group. Lower is always better, but its best to buy a house you and your family will be happy in for 30 years rather than to buy and sell a house every 5-7 years and pay transaction costs.
by stan1
Wed Mar 11, 2015 8:49 pm
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: How much house can we afford by Boglehead standards?
Replies: 31
Views: 4560

Re: Trip to Mexico

In any major Mexican tourist destination you'll find your US dollars are happily accepted. Often prices are posted in US dollars, not pesos. Know what the exchange rate is so you don't get ripped off, but round up.
by stan1
Tue Mar 10, 2015 8:12 am
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Trip to Mexico
Replies: 28
Views: 1878

Re: Disposing of old greeting/holiday cards

The way we handled this with my mom is that we gave her about 10 years of notice that she would get to a point where she could no longer live alone. As a senior person myself, I'm curious as to what age your mom was when you gave her a 10 year notice of future senescence. We started to have a conve...
by stan1
Sun Mar 08, 2015 3:59 pm
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Disposing of old greeting/holiday cards
Replies: 21
Views: 1073

Re: Thinking of buying electric shaver

You'll have to try it and see if it works for you. Some people prefer Braun and others prefer Norelco electric razors. If you have thick/dense hair pattern you may not be happy with the results. I have been using electric razors for over 30 years. You do have to buy new blades every so often (about ...
by stan1
Sun Mar 08, 2015 3:36 pm
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Thinking of buying electric shaver
Replies: 29
Views: 1758

Re: Savings and car purchase

Looks like this link on state by state composition of Vanguard municipal bond fund interest is just what you need, and it specifically gives information for Utah:
https://personal.vanguard.com/us/insigh ... ecific-tax
by stan1
Sun Mar 08, 2015 3:17 pm
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Savings and car purchase
Replies: 8
Views: 518

Re: Disposing of old greeting/holiday cards

The way we handled this with my mom is that we gave her about 10 years of notice that she would get to a point where she could no longer live alone. At about the 5 year mark she realized she would not be able to live alone forever and started to sort through some of her belongings. She took up scrap...
by stan1
Sun Mar 08, 2015 3:09 pm
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Disposing of old greeting/holiday cards
Replies: 21
Views: 1073

Re: Savings and car purchase

Just a thought-VWITX/Vanguard Intermediate Term Tax Exempt :happy https://personal.vanguard.com/us/funds/vanguard/compare?navigatingFrom= Looks good..so VFITX is state tax exempt and VWITX is federal exempt? Yes, treasury interest is not subject to state/local taxes. Municipal bond interest is exem...
by stan1
Sun Mar 08, 2015 2:46 pm
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Savings and car purchase
Replies: 8
Views: 518

Re: Poll Is a mortgage payment an investment

I checked none of the above. I need a place to live. A mortgage lets me pay for a place to live over a finite amount of time. If my requirements change over time I can transfer the equity from my current home to a future home that better meets my needs. I also plan to use my home equity to pay for e...
by stan1
Sun Mar 08, 2015 2:22 pm
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Poll: Do you consider mortgage payments an investment?
Replies: 58
Views: 3702

Re: How to Hold CPA Accountable for Negligence

bls wrote:The new CPA I spoke to said since there's no payroll, there's no W-2 income to file. So how do I create payroll for 2014 in 2015?


Did you ask the new CPA that question? What was her answer?
by stan1
Sun Mar 08, 2015 1:51 pm
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: How to Hold CPA Accountable for Negligence
Replies: 36
Views: 3211

Re: High Cost of Fruits and Vegetables

Here's the website for FDA recommendation where they use a measurable unit of "cups" rather than ill-defined "servings": http://www.choosemyplate.gov/food-groups/ As an example, a large apple is considered to be two cups of fruit -- and the daily recommendation is 1 1/2 to 2 cups...
by stan1
Sun Mar 08, 2015 1:04 pm
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: High Cost of Fruits and Vegetables
Replies: 126
Views: 7011

Re: Loaning money to an only child

Seems like letting them live in your house as caretakers while you aren't there would be a good way to help them save money/pay off debt.
by stan1
Sun Mar 08, 2015 12:27 pm
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Loaning money to an only child
Replies: 17
Views: 1411

Re: How to Hold CPA Accountable for Negligence

There are usually two sides to every disagreement and poor communication is often a root cause. We are hearing one side. The accountant might say she didn't have all the information she needed or information changed at the last minute. Or she might not be qualified to be handling OP's complex situat...
by stan1
Sun Mar 08, 2015 12:18 pm
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: How to Hold CPA Accountable for Negligence
Replies: 36
Views: 3211

Re: High Cost of Fruits and Vegetables

livesoft wrote:If you are hungry, then fill up on diet sodas ... Obviously, this is not medical advice.


Did he really write that????? I guess this is why dietary advice is off topic!
by stan1
Sun Mar 08, 2015 12:00 pm
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: High Cost of Fruits and Vegetables
Replies: 126
Views: 7011

Re: High Cost of Fruits and Vegetables

You could look for lower priced sources, sounds like you might be buying from Whole Foods or similar. Even if you live in a VHCOL area like NYC or SF there are local ethnic, discount, or farmer direct sources that should be cheaper (albeit maybe less convenient).
by stan1
Sun Mar 08, 2015 11:24 am
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: High Cost of Fruits and Vegetables
Replies: 126
Views: 7011

Re: Evernote Premium Worth It?

If you have a WSJ subscription you can get a free 1 year upgrade to Evernote Premium through WSJ+
by stan1
Sat Mar 07, 2015 11:40 pm
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Evernote Premium Worth It?
Replies: 28
Views: 2122

Re: When you put some credit cards in a drawer and not use t

I use the ones I want to keep open at least once per year. I have had accounts close due to non-usage.
by stan1
Sat Mar 07, 2015 6:27 pm
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: When you put some credit cards in a drawer and not use them
Replies: 17
Views: 1870

Re: Vanguard PAS vs. Portfolio Solutions?

Other non-AUM DFA options that are mentioned sometimes (I don't have personal experience so due diligence is up to you):

Cardiff Park (fixed fee, DFA advisor)
Derek Tinnin/Altiora (posts here occasionally, a la carte fee structure, DFA advisor)
by stan1
Sat Mar 07, 2015 3:29 pm
 
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Vanguard PAS vs. Portfolio Solutions?
Replies: 11
Views: 1071

Re: Real estate frustration in finding a new home

Are you ready to buy the house right now? You may be sending a message that you are "just looking" in which case the Realtor might be reluctant to spend time with a client who isn't ready to buy. Have you been clear on what your needs are? I would agree with looking at houses on the intern...
by stan1
Thu Mar 05, 2015 8:49 am
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Real estate frustration in finding a new home
Replies: 33
Views: 2440

Re: Holdings that shouldn't be in taxable, but now have gain

I'd just leave the TSM alone and not worry about trying to time interest rates/market conditions by selling assets in a taxable account. TSM dividends are qualified so tax rate is lower. The bond fund does not have qualified dividends. I'd be donating that to charity (or selling it when gains are lo...
by stan1
Wed Mar 04, 2015 6:56 am
 
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Holdings that shouldn't be in taxable, but now have gains
Replies: 5
Views: 757

Re: Any ever do a small addition on their house?

Is the basement climate controlled? To be honest I'd set your oldest son up in an informal bedroom downstairs when he turns about 13 (spend a few thousand, don't replace windows or anything major like that). That will give him his own space. A generation of sons who grew up in the 60s and 70s living...
by stan1
Wed Mar 04, 2015 6:49 am
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Any ever do a small addition on their house?
Replies: 24
Views: 1898

Re: Oil & Vinegar

Another vote for California Olive Ranch which they carry at my primary grocery store. I use whatever balsamic I pick off the shelf. Here's a suggestion for making the dressing. I buy 2 oz jello shot cups with lids in bulk. I put in olive oil and balsamic in a 3:1 ratio to make a single serving. Put ...
by stan1
Mon Mar 02, 2015 9:06 pm
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Oil & Vinegar
Replies: 52
Views: 4088

Re: iPhone upgrade

If failing means the home button or power on/off button aren't responding then do a google search for iPhone repair in your city. The address that comes up might be a little shady and they might not speak English well but go down anyways and for about $40 bucks (probably cash only) they'll fix it wh...
by stan1
Sun Mar 01, 2015 3:53 pm
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: iPhone upgrade
Replies: 30
Views: 2470

Re: Investing 1 Mill for 75 year old parent

I would put 1-2 years of expenses (say $75-100K) into an FDIC insured savings account linked to a checking account that her SS is deposited into. Set up the dividends and distributions to pay into the savings account and transfer to the checking account as needed. This should help avoid the need to ...
by stan1
Sun Mar 01, 2015 2:19 pm
 
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Investing 1 Mill for 75 year old parent
Replies: 18
Views: 1728

Re: Advice on next steps - taxable account and portfolio

Re-fi your mortgage (possibly to a 15 year loan). Should be able to find something around 1% lower with no points/origination.
by stan1
Sun Mar 01, 2015 1:50 pm
 
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Advice on next steps - taxable account and portfolio
Replies: 6
Views: 749

Re: Do you consider mortgage payments as savings?

dbr wrote:What causes this ongoing confusion about what it means to save?


Because saving 30% or 50% is obviously better than saving 20%, especially if you want to tell your spouse/friends about it or gloat on the internet. :moneybag
by stan1
Sun Mar 01, 2015 1:38 pm
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Do you consider mortgage payments as savings?
Replies: 410
Views: 20156

Re: Does a Roth IRA make sense if you live in a high COL pla

I seriously feel like crying or something stupid like that, lol. I am really frustrated. I don't understand any of this and feel like I made the wrong decision putting my entire year-end bonus into my Roth IRA for 2015. Chill out, it's insignificant in the big picture. The fact that you saved your ...
by stan1
Sun Mar 01, 2015 1:01 pm
 
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Does a Roth IRA make sense if you live in a high COL place?
Replies: 85
Views: 3312
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