Search found 572 matches

by strafe
Fri Jul 24, 2015 9:55 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Asking for separate checks?
Replies: 71
Views: 4923

Re: Asking for separate checks?

I'm shocked by some of the responses. There must be regional/age differences. In my neck of the woods (mid-atlantic), separate checks are the norm. Most servers ask at some point before bringing the checks how they should be grouped. Dividing a single check evenly would be highly unusual. Obviously,...
by strafe
Fri Jun 05, 2015 2:48 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Any BH know about whole house Dehumidifier?
Replies: 25
Views: 1267

Re: Any BH know about whole house Dehumidifier?

riley42 wrote:unfortunately, our AC system only has one fan speed.


Are you sure about this? every old air handler I've seen has 3-4 different fan speed options to tune the airflow to the ductwork and dehumidification requirements. These should be indicated on the wiring diagram.
by strafe
Thu May 28, 2015 8:47 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: BMW needs new tires
Replies: 24
Views: 2230

Re: BMW needs new tires

Discount Tire (and I'm sure many other stores) will match Tire Rack's shipped prices.

As for tires, I highly recommend the Michelin Pilot Sport A/S 3. Best tire I've ever owned.
by strafe
Wed May 13, 2015 11:59 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Replace timing belt on old car with multiple issues?
Replies: 13
Views: 1311

Re: Replace timing belt on old car with multiple issues?

As others have said, sell the car. I've been in your shoes. My priorities in residency were to be a good parent and to learn to be a good doctor. I would avoid encumbering yourself with anything that distracts from those goals. You will not have the time or energy to be fooling around with car (or h...
by strafe
Wed May 13, 2015 11:21 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Refinance now or Wait for rate adjustment
Replies: 12
Views: 969

Re: Refinance now or Wait for rate adjustment

I would not refinance. Three things to consider: 1) a guaranteed lower interest rate now (when you have a higher balance) matters more than the risk of a higher interest rate later (when your balance will be much smaller) 2) because you are making extra payments, your required principal and interest...
by strafe
Thu May 07, 2015 3:48 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: buying a new subaru outback
Replies: 25
Views: 2488

Re: buying a new subaru outback

No question, I would take the practically-free loan and keep the "cash" invested. If it's a budget issue, draw the monthly payment out of the cash savings.
by strafe
Sat Apr 25, 2015 6:12 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Compare 10/1 ARM vs 30 yr
Replies: 4
Views: 648

Re: Compare 10/1 ARM vs 30 yr

I think you are making this too complicated. You don't need a spreadsheet to tell you that a loan option with a lower interest rate for your entire time horizon and a lower down payment requirement is superior. If there is any chance you will have the mortgage longer 10 years, that's the part to ana...
by strafe
Tue Apr 07, 2015 8:31 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Switch to 15 year mortgage? (Cash flow vs. better rate)
Replies: 17
Views: 1828

Re: Switch to 15 year mortgage? (Cash flow vs. better rate)

I would also look into ARMs. You get the benefit of the lower interest rate and the 30 yr amortization schedule. ARM is only worthwhile if you plan to pay off the mortgage (whether by paying rapidly or selling) no later than 2-3 years after the fixed rate period ends
by strafe
Mon Apr 06, 2015 6:04 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Mystery of increasing wages, but decreasing federal withhold
Replies: 12
Views: 1476

Re: Mystery of increasing wages, but decreasing federal with

How much of her income in prior years was from bonuses or other "supplemental" payments that are withheld at a higher rate than wage income?
by strafe
Mon Mar 30, 2015 5:47 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Why Buying a *New* Car Makes Sense? Please help!
Replies: 63
Views: 6274

Re: Why Buying a *New* Car Makes Sense? Please help!

Edmunds true market value would give you an idea of the used car average selling prices (after negotiation). if you were buying a CPO car, any issues you Inherit would be covered by the included extended warranty. Otherwise, why not just buy a plain (non certified) used car? I do not know the specif...
by strafe
Mon Mar 30, 2015 5:36 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Why Buying a *New* Car Makes Sense? Please help!
Replies: 63
Views: 6274

Re: Why Buying a *New* Car Makes Sense? Please help!

I think you are right: CPO cars are not a good deal for reliable, low depreciation vehicles that are unlikely to make any use of the warranty. CPO cars do not benefit from many manufacturer incentives, including financing, the drive down the cost of the new car. However, there are a couple problems ...
by strafe
Sat Mar 28, 2015 2:30 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Selling mutual funds before or after dividends
Replies: 10
Views: 883

Re: Selling mutual funds before or after dividends

All other things being equal, the fund's NAV will decrease by the amount of the distribution regardless of the distribution type. Dividends and capital gains have the same effect.

The timing of the distribution matters only for tax reasons. As Taylor pointed out, in an IRA it doesn't matter.
by strafe
Thu Mar 26, 2015 7:19 am
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: What would you do with 1.25 million dollars for 1 year?
Replies: 39
Views: 4133

Re: What would you do with 1.25 million dollars for 1 year?

Given that the 1.25MM is just a fraction of your proceeds from the sale and the yields on safe short term instruments are so low, I would pay the estimated tax now and be done with it. Otherwise my. vote is for the limited-term tax exempt fund.
by strafe
Fri Mar 20, 2015 3:59 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Hearse as daily driver?
Replies: 58
Views: 4914

Hearse as daily driver?

I'm in the market for a new (used) car. Perusing Craigslist, I came across several listings for late model pre-owned hearses for under $5,000. They all had low mileage (about 20,000) and were reportedly driven gently to/from church and "the gardens." Plenty of people come to this forum see...
by strafe
Tue Mar 17, 2015 5:47 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Is a larger home downpayment worth it?
Replies: 18
Views: 2647

Re: Is a larger home downpayment worth it?

Kosmo wrote:Why are the rates different if you put down an additional down payment above the 20% "minimum"? I've never heard of that. I could see that rates increase if you go below the 20% down.


Condo mortgages often require 70% LTV rather than the 80% typical for single family homes.
by strafe
Tue Mar 17, 2015 5:46 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Is a larger home downpayment worth it?
Replies: 18
Views: 2647

Re: Is a larger home downpayment worth it?

To my mind, the biggest benefit of a larger downpayment is the cash flow improvement over the life of the loan due to the smaller required payment. Except that you can cover the extra cashflow with your bigger pot of savings. Putting a larger amount down is only advantageous if you would otherwise ...
by strafe
Tue Mar 17, 2015 5:43 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Is a larger home downpayment worth it?
Replies: 18
Views: 2647

Re: Is a larger home downpayment worth it?

It was explained that the higher debt/income ratio makes it such that the first 70% loan (30% down case) is 3.75% and borrowing another 10% (20% down case) comes effectively at 4.75% (which averages 3.875% for the entire 80% loan). Assuming there is enough cash for updates and repairs, would it be ...
by strafe
Sun Mar 15, 2015 8:43 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Buying a Home. 30yr FRM vs. 15yrFRM vs. ARM 5/1
Replies: 32
Views: 3051

Re: Buying a Home. 30yr FRM vs. 15yrFRM vs. ARM 5/1

ARMs make a ton of sense for Bogleheads. If you are intent on paying your mortgage off early (or know you won't own the house forever), you get the flexibility of 30-year amortization and better interest rates than a 15-year fixed mortgage. Moreover, because the mortgage is re-amortized over the rem...
by strafe
Sun Mar 01, 2015 6:25 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Honda fit vs VW GTI
Replies: 54
Views: 4960

Re: Honda fit vs VW GTI

You're right, these could not be any more different. The very fact that you're even asking this question tells me that you should get the GTI. Sure the GTI's fuel economy, resale value and reliability will be slightly worse than the Fit. However, the Fit has a very specific purpose as a very practic...
by strafe
Sat Feb 28, 2015 9:56 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Old car insurance
Replies: 39
Views: 3631

Re: Old car insurance

JoeJohnson wrote:Question: Why is everybody recommending comprehensive but dropping collision? If you can afford to total the car in a wreck, why would you insure the risk of flood, trees, fire, etc?


It makes more sense when you remember that 93% of drivers believe they are above average.
by strafe
Fri Feb 06, 2015 7:47 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Replacing a reliable Toyota
Replies: 43
Views: 4591

Re: Replacing a reliable Toyota

Can you list some examples of what you've paid for some repairs? I'd be interested for the Volvo, and from the other post on the Mercedes. Cost of ownership. I can handle market downturns, but nothing like a really expensive car repair that seems like it should be cheaper to make my stomach turn wi...
by strafe
Wed Feb 04, 2015 2:31 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: 1099 non-employee compensation question
Replies: 6
Views: 671

Re: 1099 non-employee compensation question

All, thank you for the comments. To answer a question earlier, the 1099 is from the professional society. Filing schedule C will cost the least in tax because my "net profit" subject to self-employment tax would be very low (can claim airfare as a business expense) and would be consistent ...
by strafe
Tue Feb 03, 2015 6:40 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: 1099 non-employee compensation question
Replies: 6
Views: 671

1099 non-employee compensation question

I'm a W-2 employee. I applied for and received a lump-sum "travel support" award from a professional society in connection with attending the annual scientific meeting last year. My employer reimbursed me for the portion of my travel expenses that exceeded the amount of the grant. The stip...
by strafe
Sat Dec 13, 2014 5:57 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: What is a move-up car after mid-size sedan?
Replies: 63
Views: 4600

Re: What is a move-up car after mid-size sedan?

Lexus is probably the brand most associated with entry-level luxury cars. The ES and RX are about that price range. Also look a the Mercedes C class, BMW 3, Hyundai Genesis (best bang for buck) and Cadillac ATS.
by strafe
Fri Dec 12, 2014 4:03 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: iPad Purchase - Online vs Store
Replies: 24
Views: 1830

Re: iPad Purchase - Online vs Store

Doesn't matter either way, prices are the same.
by strafe
Thu Oct 23, 2014 1:00 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Phone for Europe trip
Replies: 24
Views: 1720

Re: Phone for Europe trip

What phone do you currently have? When we last traveled to Europe, I just used my iPhone. I bought a SIM card on arrival with prepaid minutes/data and replaced the Verizon SIM card with the foreign one. I think I paid $20 or $30 (USD equivalent) for a SIM that came with 250 voice minutes and unlimit...
by strafe
Wed Oct 22, 2014 9:56 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: How do you wash your car?
Replies: 143
Views: 9324

Re: How do you wash your car?

I find it it amusing that people claim the rain washes their car. Rain is what makes my cars dirty! Also, I'm going to call B.S. on the statement that "I never wash the car and it looks as good as the day it was new." I am by no means a detailing fanatic. I've never washed the car more tha...
by strafe
Mon Oct 13, 2014 9:55 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Computer codes availability at indep. repair garages?
Replies: 42
Views: 2093

Re: Computer codes availability at indep. repair garages?

Total ripoff.

My other favorite rip-off is the $60 cabin filter replacement.

The filter(s) cost $5-10 at most and take under 2 minutes to replace.
by strafe
Fri Oct 03, 2014 2:06 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: is a 1920 x 1200 monitor worth it?
Replies: 15
Views: 1051

Re: is a 1920 x 1200 monitor worth it?

What do you mean , "the native resolution of the video card?" Your laptop screen has a native resolution (as does any monitor you buy). Is that what you mean? If so, the video card may actually support external resolutions higher than the native resolution of the built-in screen. The video...
by strafe
Fri Oct 03, 2014 2:04 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Amex Premium Car Rental Ins and Liability Coverage
Replies: 8
Views: 955

Re: Amex Premium Car Rental Ins and Liability Coverage

Same issue would apply to the Chase Sapphire Preferred, which offers primary auto insurance coverage for free (well, you do pay a small annual fee). The coverage is there to make the rental car company whole and protect you from the rental company, and nothing more. I think it turns on whether you c...
by strafe
Sun Sep 14, 2014 10:00 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Car-Certified Lexus LS 460 Vs New ES 350 Vs New RX 350
Replies: 63
Views: 5694

Re: Car-Certified Lexus LS 460 Vs New ES 350 Vs New RX 350

The LS460 is rear wheel drive but will be just fine in the bad weather if you use winter tires. Ground clearance not much worse than the RX.
by strafe
Thu Sep 11, 2014 6:51 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Rental rate of return
Replies: 17
Views: 1595

Re: Rental rate of return

As a general rule of thumb, expenses for single family homes (e.g. repairs, maintenance, vacancies, advertising & management, taxes,and insurance, but not financing) add up to about 50% of gross rents. So, in your example renting for $750 per month, you would anticipate net operating income of $...
by strafe
Tue Sep 09, 2014 8:12 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Repair/maintain the BMW or get a new car?
Replies: 24
Views: 2645

Re: Repair/maintain the BMW or get a new car?

Brakes are normal maintenance. Your description of the rest is vague; what gasket? What other maintenance items? If you were to replace the BMW, your new car would also have brakes & other consumable parts that wear out. Hondas in particular are notorious for premature rotor warpage. If the car ...
by strafe
Sat Aug 30, 2014 7:04 am
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: The Power of Zero: [Book and tax planning for retirement]
Replies: 52
Views: 6646

Re: The Power of Zero: Controversial New Book About Taxes

"Tax free" is a bit misleading as it only applies to income tax. The consumption of all of these savings vehicles would still be subject to sales or value-added tax (VAT).
by strafe
Thu Aug 28, 2014 8:11 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Gas station etiquette
Replies: 46
Views: 3798

Re: Gas station etiquette

I'm really amused at how lengthy this silly thread has gotten. Nothing ignites conversation like gasoline, manners, and a catchy diagram. Thought 1: you say B was "evidently not interested" in the open space ahead of A, but that B thought A was interested. Who is right? Did B pull into A's...
by strafe
Thu Aug 28, 2014 2:33 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Gas station etiquette
Replies: 46
Views: 3798

Re: Gas station etiquette

Your Costco gas station must get the same crowds as mine. I and most folks do pass car A to get to the open pump. I'm not sure I would do so if car B had been in postition you indicated, however. That seemed a bit strange to me, but if you (or car B) had noticed that car A was about to finish and l...
by strafe
Thu Aug 28, 2014 1:59 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Gas station etiquette
Replies: 46
Views: 3798

Gas station etiquette

Someone give me a hard time at the local Costco gas station today. I thought my actions were completely appropriate, but wonder if perhaps I violated some unwritten rule of gas station etiquette. The Costco gas pumps are set up like they are everywhere, with multiple aisles of pumps, a wide center l...
by strafe
Thu Aug 28, 2014 6:50 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Sick Building Syndrome (Electrical Pollution)
Replies: 17
Views: 1652

Re: Sick Building Syndrome (Electrical Pollution)

It's more likely to be the lighting flicker or an odor. I would not hang my hat on a made-up disease. Do you have a computer monitor there? Is it a different LCD panel type (e.g. twisted nematic) than what you're used to? I've noticed that TN displays bother my eyes with extended use, probably from ...
by strafe
Mon Aug 25, 2014 7:43 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Zegna Suits
Replies: 197
Views: 12011

Marriage makes you fatter.

First comes love, then comes obesity.

Will your $4500 outfit still fit in a few years?
by strafe
Mon Aug 25, 2014 4:34 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Can a Boglehead put down 10% on a house?
Replies: 30
Views: 2731

Re: Can a Boglehead put down 10% on a house?

I suppose it depends on the house and the age of the house. The only maintenance expenses I've *ever* had (on multiple houses) were to unplug a toilet and furnace maintenance. For me renting has always been more expensive than buying because rent payments are higher than the mortgage for the same a...
by strafe
Mon Aug 25, 2014 3:24 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Can a Boglehead put down 10% on a house?
Replies: 30
Views: 2731

Re: Can a Boglehead put down 10% on a house?

If you do this, and are required to have mortgage insurance, look into "upfront PMI" where you pay the mortgage insurance premium in a lump sum at closing The break-even is generally around 2 years and you avoid the need to petition for PMI removal (which can be quite onerous). Avoiding PM...
by strafe
Sun Aug 24, 2014 7:20 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: 2014/2015 Honda Accord vs. 2014 Toyota Avalon
Replies: 54
Views: 8637

Re: 2014/2015 Honda Accord vs. 2014 Toyota Avalon

@KyleAAA Do you know if the pre-2005 Accord hybrids had the same drive train? I remember they discontinued the Accord hybrid models between 2005-2014. I can answer this question for you: No -- completely different drivetrains and purpose. The original Accord hybrid added hybrid components to the V6...
by strafe
Fri Aug 22, 2014 1:12 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: 2014/2015 Honda Accord vs. 2014 Toyota Avalon
Replies: 54
Views: 8637

Re: 2014/2015 Honda Accord vs. 2014 Toyota Avalon

surfstar wrote:How long do you plan on owning/driving this? Unless you run it to over 150-200k miles, the hybrid premium will not be recovered in reduced gas costs.


You shouldn't assume this is a matter of economic analysis. People don't generally buy hybrids to save money.
by strafe
Fri Aug 22, 2014 1:04 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: 2014/2015 Honda Accord vs. 2014 Toyota Avalon
Replies: 54
Views: 8637

Re: 2014/2015 Honda Accord vs. 2014 Toyota Avalon

Those two cars are in different categories. The Camry Hybrid would be more comparable to the Accord. The Avalon is more upmarket. While I might prefer driving the Accord for its sportier handling, if your goal is quietness, the Avalon is the clear answer. Both will be comparable in reliability with ...
by strafe
Fri Aug 22, 2014 1:01 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Big iPhone Data Bills/Google Maps
Replies: 16
Views: 1620

Re: Big iPhone Data Bills/Google Maps

Google Maps uses minimal data transfer. The drain is probably from something else. What is your data limit? How much are you using? Are you using video chat (e.g. Skype or FaceTime) over cellular? It would de difficult to exceed any of the typical carrier limits without video or significant audio use.
by strafe
Wed Aug 13, 2014 4:43 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Best Place to Do Research on Orthopedic Surgeons
Replies: 28
Views: 2134

Re: Best Place to Do Research on Orthopedic Surgeons

There is a great deal of bias in quality metrics. (Surgeons with higher scores are likely the ones doing the simple cases and turning away the more complex cases that could adversely impact outcomes reporting.) Best bet is to find the surgeon who does a high volume of the particular procedure you ne...
by strafe
Sat Aug 09, 2014 9:18 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Top Tier gas or ethanol free (premium)
Replies: 3
Views: 647

Re: Top Tier gas or ethanol free (premium)

Ethanol free, though I suspect with a newish car designed to handle the caustic effects of ethanol, it probably doesn't matter a whole lot. I own a classic car that has some fuel system issues that I suspect is related to ethanol damage. If you're concerned about detergents, you can add a bottle of ...
by strafe
Mon Jul 28, 2014 1:02 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Taking out mortgage with zero down. Smart or no?
Replies: 64
Views: 3673

Re: Taking out mortgage with zero down. Smart or no?

Not only is zero down smart, it's the sensible choice.

Why tie up all that money in your house? Keep it liquid.

The mistake would be to spend the down payment money, as alluded by the poster above me who bought with zero down and spent his savings.
by strafe
Mon Jul 21, 2014 1:24 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Hw many credit cards to own?
Replies: 123
Views: 78754

Re: Hw many credit cards to own?

I view three as the absolute minimum. When my wife and I purchased our home, we ran into trouble with the mortgage lender because she "only" had two credit card accounts in her name. Lenders now require each borrower to have three independent "trade lines" in order to qualify for...
by strafe
Tue Jul 15, 2014 9:12 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Should I buy a new(er) car, and if so what?
Replies: 19
Views: 2488

Re: Should I buy a new(er) car, and if so what?

There's no way I would tolerate 2 hrs a day in a Honda Civic. You clearly can afford a better car. Of your list of small cars, my pick would be the new Mazda 3 hatchback by a country mile. For about the same money you can buy a more comfortable (albeit less sporty) car e.g. Honda Accord, Hyundai Son...

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