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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 8:58 pm
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: How far away from a freight railroad track should you live?
Replies: 43
Views: 2198

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
Mon Apr 27, 2015 8:52 pm
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Traveling light up to 2 weeks - ditch the laptop, use phone?
Replies: 26
Views: 1189

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 2:09 pm
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Turbo Tax 110% Amazon Tax Refund Bonus
Replies: 22
Views: 1615

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 1:42 pm
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Thinking about a new desktop PC.
Replies: 29
Views: 1975

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 1:14 pm
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Been invited to wedding in Disney World. My cost?
Replies: 53
Views: 4342

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 12:44 pm
 
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Retiring in two months - what to do with TSP?
Replies: 11
Views: 1253

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
Sun Apr 26, 2015 12:26 pm
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Anyone Manually Manage Quicken?
Replies: 46
Views: 2039

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 8:22 am
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Potential new home is well-priced, but...
Replies: 31
Views: 2750

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
Tue Apr 21, 2015 7:30 am
 
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Should I buy into my brother's shop?
Replies: 22
Views: 2773

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 6:55 am
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Don't come to Europe with a new chip and sign credit card
Replies: 50
Views: 6175

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 6:47 am
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Payoff Mortgage or Fund Taxable Account
Replies: 16
Views: 2086

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
Sun Apr 19, 2015 6:44 am
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: engineers - please help with engineering school selection
Replies: 176
Views: 10628

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
Wed Apr 08, 2015 8:15 pm
 
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Bogle possible mistake? Discussion [on age-based portfolios]
Replies: 53
Views: 5030

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
Tue Apr 07, 2015 9:27 pm
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Beach vacation in So Cal
Replies: 52
Views: 4293

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 9:59 pm
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Beach vacation in So Cal
Replies: 52
Views: 4293

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
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: 1169

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
Sat Apr 04, 2015 9:39 am
 
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Good 5 year jumbo or regular CD rate ?
Replies: 7
Views: 1765

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
Wed Apr 01, 2015 5:25 pm
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Conducting job interviews
Replies: 11
Views: 1757

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: 2326

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: 2871

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: 935

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: 4081

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: 4603

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: 1829

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: 3095

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: 1791

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: 1791

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: 1547

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: 742

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: 937

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: 1368

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: 708

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: 1368

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: 4090

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: 2303

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: 4628

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: 1086

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: 290

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: 2026

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: 6166

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: 5290

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: 1430

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: 4756

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 Consumer Issues
Topic: Trip to [Zihuatanejo] Mexico
Replies: 37
Views: 3329

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: 1131

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: 1855

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: 540

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: 1131

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: 540

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: 4029
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