Search found 1693 matches

by texasdiver
Sun Aug 30, 2015 2:47 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Career Options with STEM and LSA
Replies: 29
Views: 1481

Re: Career Options with STEM and LSA

Like others have said, the STEM shortage isn't really a STEM shortage. It's a shortage of a subset of stem, like data scientists, mechatronic engineers, and so on. There are plenty of math, chemistry, engineering, computer science, etc... majors out there, but there aren't enough students who had a...
by texasdiver
Sun Aug 30, 2015 11:30 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Career Options with STEM and LSA
Replies: 29
Views: 1481

Re: Career Options with STEM and LSA

Former biologist and current HS science teacher here. As I see it, the issue with STEM careers is that a pretty small segment of the population has the brainpower personality to successfully pursue science careers. Science is hard and tedious and one must be both bright and meticulous to be successf...
by texasdiver
Fri Aug 28, 2015 10:05 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Lawn Mower Repair
Replies: 32
Views: 1530

Re: Lawn Mower Repair

If my mower has been sitting for an extended period of time I also pull the fuel hose off the carb and drain out a little bit of fuel from the tank before starting it up. If there is any water in your fuel it will separate and end up on the bottom of the tank. If you drain off the first couple of ou...
by texasdiver
Fri Aug 28, 2015 9:54 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Lawn Mower Repair
Replies: 32
Views: 1530

Re: Lawn Mower Repair

Ethanol (which is alcohol) attracts moisture into the gasoline which will eventually separate and then cause corrosion and other problems in the fuel system. There are two steps you need to take when using gasoline with added ethanol (which is pretty much all you can find these days). 1. Use a fuel ...
by texasdiver
Thu Aug 27, 2015 5:28 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Early retirement with a pension
Replies: 38
Views: 4476

Re: Early retirement with a pension

My 17 year old daughter's current school job is to work as a nanny for a family with elementary and intermediate school kids. She has an early release schedule from the HS and then drives over and picks up 3 kids in her car at 3 different schools at around 3:15 pm and drives them home to one house w...
by texasdiver
Thu Aug 27, 2015 5:12 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: How much do you donate to your kid's public school?
Replies: 60
Views: 4427

Re: How much do you donate to your kid's public school?

Wow.... Middle to upper-middle class Texas suburbs here. The PTA fundraiser "buyout" amount last year was $100 if you just wanted to write a check and not bother with all the silly door-to-door child sales stuff. That was for the elementary. The middle school and high school didn't have PT...
by texasdiver
Thu Aug 27, 2015 8:34 am
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Admiral Shares
Replies: 6
Views: 775

Re: Admiral Shares

They also use only investor shares in many of their 401k and 403b plans, at least those directly managed by Vanguard. I called Vanguard and asked about that for my 403b plan which is directly administered by Vanguard when I noticed that the shares stayed investor shares and didn't convert to Admiral...
by texasdiver
Wed Aug 26, 2015 10:55 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Tire rotation
Replies: 56
Views: 4743

Re: Tire rotation

Yes, they should be rotated. It is fairly easy to do yourself. You should invest in a decent floor jack, pair of jack stands, 1/2 inch drive breaker bar with short extension and 6-point socket to fit the lug nuts/bolts and torque wrench. Know where to place the jack and jack stands (I place the fro...
by texasdiver
Mon Aug 24, 2015 11:01 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: LastPass Users' Feedback
Replies: 14
Views: 1027

Re: LastPass Users' Feedback

I use LastPass Premium on all my devices and so does my wife to a lesser extent. There is really no problem with both spouses using a single account because you can name muliple logins and passwords for each site. So, for example if you both have separate Amazon accounts you can name one "His A...
by texasdiver
Mon Aug 24, 2015 10:37 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Scoring a deal on a boat
Replies: 31
Views: 3051

Re: Scoring a deal on a boat

If you want a play boat, look for someone who already has the boat rigged for towing with a towing pylon mounted in the back and who has all the skis and tubes and ropes ready to toss into the deal. That kind of stuff can add up to real money, especially if you need to mount a towing pylon on the ba...
by texasdiver
Mon Aug 24, 2015 9:06 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: TSP G Fund
Replies: 7
Views: 765

Re: TSP G Fund

My TSP is currently 100% in the G fund. But then I left Federal service over 10 years ago in a career change and my TSP only represents about 15% of my overall portfolio. So it is basically acting like part of my bond allocation. Today is a day I'm glad I'm 100% in the G Fund.
by texasdiver
Mon Aug 24, 2015 9:00 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Scoring a deal on a boat
Replies: 31
Views: 3051

Re: Scoring a deal on a boat

In addition to Craigslist, check the "Boats for Sale and Wanted" forum on the Hull Truth Forums Web site http://www.thehulltruth.com/ This site is basically the bogleheads site for boats, lots and lots of extremely experienced boaters participate on these forums and can provide a wealth of...
by texasdiver
Sat Aug 22, 2015 11:12 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: What is Your Plan B if Quicken dies? [Intuit selling Quicken unit]
Replies: 56
Views: 5663

Re: What is Your Plan B if Quicken dies?

I'll just keep using my existing version which is Quicken 2014. The only thing that will eventually expire (perhaps) is the automatic downloads from my bank and investment accounts. That will be a bit of a pain but I don't have so much stuff going on that I can' manage it manually.
by texasdiver
Sat Aug 22, 2015 11:09 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: 5-Year BS/MS programs computer science
Replies: 15
Views: 1217

Re: 5-Year BS/MS programs computer science

I would do the 5 year program, especially if you have the option to leave after 4 with a BS should you so decide. Practically speaking a lot of college students take 5 years for their BS anyway so you'll be ahead of the game to get the MS after 5. You can always test the job market after 4 years and...
by texasdiver
Fri Aug 21, 2015 5:45 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Non-Retirees: Scared about retirement?
Replies: 45
Views: 4990

Re: Non-Retirees: Scared about retirement?

I'm 51 Don't really have any major fears. But the three biggest concerns would be: 1. Getting waylaid financially between now and retirement. We are on track to a comfortable retirement but not yet financially independent. A major stretch of unemployment or other financial crisis could really set us...
by texasdiver
Thu Aug 20, 2015 11:32 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Carry on luggage
Replies: 87
Views: 7072

Re: Carry on luggage

Apparently, the link I posted has a paywall. I took a quick look, and couldn't find a link to it without one. If someone finds one, please post. Google search the title of the article which is "The New Thin Line Between Carry-On and Checked Bags" and then click on the link to the article ...
by texasdiver
Mon Aug 17, 2015 10:28 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Carry on luggage
Replies: 87
Views: 7072

Re: Carry on luggage

If I was traveling solo I'd probably look into a non wheeled bag but with kids and a wife it is nice to have wheeled bags as it is much easier for the wife and kids to drag them through long airport walks and into hotels. This may be a digression but cannot understand allure of suitcases as backpac...
by texasdiver
Mon Aug 17, 2015 5:02 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Carry on luggage
Replies: 87
Views: 7072

Re: Carry on luggage

Costco Kirkland Signature rollaboard model for $99 http://www.costco.com/Kirkland-Signature%E2%84%A2-21.5%22-Black-Upright-Carry-On.product.11760915.html I've got five of these bags in various iterations. They have changed their standard rollaboard bag model over the years mostly improving them and ...
by texasdiver
Fri Aug 14, 2015 5:04 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Accounting for Cash Balance Plan in asset allocation?
Replies: 14
Views: 1002

Re: Accounting for Cash Balance Plan in asset allocation?

Thanks, it seems like the most logical path is to treat it as a bond/fixed allocation. The only meaningful result of doing so (compared to ignoring it) is that the rest of our portfolio would tilt slightly more towards equities as the years pass and the cash balance plan grows. But it will be years ...
by texasdiver
Fri Aug 14, 2015 4:29 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Accounting for Cash Balance Plan in asset allocation?
Replies: 14
Views: 1002

Accounting for Cash Balance Plan in asset allocation?

My wife is considering a new job that has something called a Cash Balance Plan as part of their retirement benefits. Essentially it appears to be a retirement savings account in which the employer makes an annual deposit equal to 10% of salary and then the account balance earns a fixed 4% interest. ...
by texasdiver
Fri Jul 31, 2015 6:14 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Think about moving from St Louis to Spokane how is the weather different?
Replies: 6
Views: 1046

Re: Think about moving from St Louis to Spokane how is the weather different?

Winters are probably not going to be that different. Lots of cold and gray. Spokane probably gets more snow. But summer in Missouri is probably a lot hotter and more humid than in Spokane which is going to be more dry.
by texasdiver
Thu Jul 30, 2015 9:41 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Rental Car Possible Damaged after I returned it
Replies: 18
Views: 1910

Re: Rental Car Possible Damaged after I returned it

Cell phone cameras are your friend. When I rent a car I walk around it with my cell phone snapping any damage I see at the time of rental and again when I turn it in. I started doing this when renting cars in Latin America where the agencies can be much fussier about little stuff and more frequently...
by texasdiver
Thu Jul 30, 2015 9:33 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Owned a bank owned property & previous owned item
Replies: 10
Views: 780

Re: Owned a bank owned property & previous owned item

I would give it back if it is something you don't really care about. Just put it out by the street and tell him to come get it. There is no reason to get crosswise with someone who KNOWS WHERE YOU LIVE and may have not much to lose at this point if his life has fallen apart. If he was unstable enoug...
by texasdiver
Thu Jul 30, 2015 8:00 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Does % of students from low income households factor when you pick schools for kids?
Replies: 39
Views: 2761

Re: Does % of students from low income households factor when you pick schools for kids?

In our area, the private schools are much more racially and ethnically diverse than the public schools. Why? I think it is because most of the physicians and major league sports participants send their kids to the private schools. So the possibility exists that you can choose home and send your chi...
by texasdiver
Thu Jul 30, 2015 3:16 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Does % of students from low income households factor when you pick schools for kids?
Replies: 39
Views: 2761

Re: Does % of students from low income households factor when you pick schools for kids?

By way of background I teach at a large diverse public HS that draws from a mostly middle and upper middle class population. I'm a big believer in public education and I have 3 kids in public schools. So I have mixed opinions on this. First, unless you are in an extraordinarily wealthy and exclusive...
by texasdiver
Thu Jul 30, 2015 1:00 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: The last 18 months of work-things to think about?
Replies: 9
Views: 1435

Re: The last 18 months of work-things to think about?

Not there yet but I would definitely test-drive your expected retirement income if it is going to be different from your current income. Also if you are going to be doing anything that requires income documentation like a mortgage refi it would probably be better to do it while you still have a docu...
by texasdiver
Thu Jul 30, 2015 11:39 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Priorities
Replies: 79
Views: 7893

Re: Priorities

Thanks for sharing. I am curious what you meant by this:

(By American standards, I have always been under-insured. I figured that the chances of my kids inheriting more money was greater that way, and I am pretty sure I was right.)
by texasdiver
Wed Jul 29, 2015 12:56 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Retirement finances for two
Replies: 8
Views: 1494

Re: Retirement finances for two

And don't let the tail wag the dog. If this is the woman you want to spend the rest of your life with you need to figure out how best to organize your lives so that it works the best for the two of you. Either or both of you could easily live into your 90s which would push the inheritance stuff off ...
by texasdiver
Mon Jul 27, 2015 9:53 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Best Place to live for a young family?
Replies: 42
Views: 4614

Re: Best Place to live for a young family?

Hello, Back in September 2014, we moved from Chicago to Orange County. Prior to that I had lived in Chicago for 12 years. I am 34 years old, wife is 33 and we have a 2 year old and are planning for a second one :). I work in IT and Finance and my wife works in Finance. If someone were to ask me... ...
by texasdiver
Mon Jul 27, 2015 9:42 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Best Place to live for a young family?
Replies: 42
Views: 4614

Re: Best Place to live for a young family?

There is no perfect place that will maximize all your criteria. If such a place did exist it would last 6 months until the influx of lemmings ruined it. You basically have to decide what your priorities are and what things you can compromise on. Also think about your kids. Generally speaking they wi...
by texasdiver
Mon Jul 27, 2015 9:25 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Retirement finances for two
Replies: 8
Views: 1494

Re: Retirement finances for two

I think that having a partner at the end of life involves a whole lot more commitment to each other than having a partner when you are young. At some point one of you is likely to start declining and need more care. If this is the woman who is going to wipe your butt and care for you when you are ol...
by texasdiver
Mon Jul 27, 2015 9:12 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Best Place to live for a young family?
Replies: 42
Views: 4614

Re: Best Place to live for a young family?

I live in the DFW area - relocated from South Bend (near Chicago) - it is very hot but I have adjusted. It took our family about a year to adjust to the heat, now we eat in 100 degree heat by the pool and exercise outside as a family in 90+ degree heat - it really does not bother us much anymore. I...
by texasdiver
Mon Jul 27, 2015 9:03 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: FWD vs AWD (Vehicle)
Replies: 76
Views: 4139

Re: FWD vs AWD (Vehicle)

I drove a FWD Camry in Juneau AK for 5 years without the slightest problem and Juneau has MUCH worse snow and ice driving than what you describe. I just put on 4 studded snow tires all winter and was good to go. I saw a lot more heavy 4x4 SUVs in the ditches around Juneau than small FWD economy cars...
by texasdiver
Thu Jul 23, 2015 1:50 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Best Place to live for a young family?
Replies: 42
Views: 4614

Re: Best Place to live for a young family?

We are basically in your same shoes. Currently live in central Texas and want out. Some random places that seem to have possibilities. Albuquerque. Pretty area with nice weather but schools, crime, and long term water shortages/drought could be issues. Also pretty isolated and economy is mediocre. S...
by texasdiver
Thu Jul 23, 2015 12:33 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Parent caught up in forex (vietnamese dong) scam... What should I do?
Replies: 50
Views: 7628

Re: Parent caught up in forex (vietnamese dong) scam... What should I do?

I would email the scammers back on your Mom's behalf and tell the that you will be reporting them to local law enforcement and the FBI and also monitoring her email and that any further communication from them will be forwarded directly to the authorities. And then actually report them. There is pre...
by texasdiver
Thu Jul 16, 2015 8:39 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: HomeDepot hardwood flooring issue
Replies: 9
Views: 1132

Re: HomeDepot hardwood flooring issue

Are you limited to what your local HD has in the showroom ? Or will they let you special order something else. If you are willing to pay the difference I would expect that HD could probably special order just about anything.
by texasdiver
Tue Jul 14, 2015 8:10 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Beach getaway recommendations please
Replies: 45
Views: 3515

Re: Beach getaway recommendations please

I've been all over Central America and also to Punta Cana. I would take the west coast of Costa Rica hands down over Punta Cana. The Punta Cana that I experienced was a medical conference I went to with my wife at a big all-inclusive resort. Not really my kind of thing. The beach was decent but didn...
by texasdiver
Sat Jul 11, 2015 10:49 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Professional women's clothing stores in DFW area?
Replies: 6
Views: 490

Professional women's clothing stores in DFW area?

My wife needs to buy some new professional/interview clothes for some job interviews in the Pacific Northwest. She is a mid-career physician but doesn't really have anything to wear for interviews anymore. She works in a public clinic and dresses very casual or else wears scrubs at the hospital. And...
by texasdiver
Sat Jul 04, 2015 9:31 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Buying a new desktop computer
Replies: 42
Views: 3878

Re: Buying a new desktop computer

What about one of the cheap new HP mini computers? Similar profile to the Mac Mini but much cheaper. Would be a good option if you already have a decent monitor and keyboard

http://arstechnica.com/gadgets/2015/02/ ... -reviewed/
by texasdiver
Fri Jul 03, 2015 7:31 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Saving on Golf
Replies: 21
Views: 1597

Re: Saving on Golf

Get to know your local HS golf coach and volunteer. I'm friends with the golf coach and teacher from the local HS where I work. When I go with him we get waved onto the local courses because he is buddies with all the course managers. He tells me that anywhere he goes in Texas if he wants to golf he...
by texasdiver
Fri Jul 03, 2015 9:31 am
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: What to do with gifts for baby daughter
Replies: 25
Views: 2665

Re: What to do with gifts for baby daughter

I would put it in a 529. Most definitely not a car fund for some future car 16 years from now. The child may not want or need a car at that point but education will always be needed and will always cost $$$$. Yes the money technically belongs to the child but money is fungible and no one will quibbl...
by texasdiver
Fri Jul 03, 2015 9:25 am
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Girlfriend's Money Manager--Should She Switch to Vanguard?
Replies: 37
Views: 4513

Re: Girlfriend's Money Manager--Should She Switch to Vanguard?

Another way to look at the 5.75% load Take the typical person who is investing say $18,000 a year which is the current 401k maximum. The 5.75% load will slice $1,035 from this contribution and will do the same from every subsequent $18,000 annual contribution. Use any investment return calculator to...
by texasdiver
Thu Jul 02, 2015 10:46 am
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: As a target retirement fund investor, should I substitute Admiral Funds for Investor Shares?
Replies: 25
Views: 2218

Re: As a target retirement fund investor, should I substitute Admiral Funds for Investor Shares?

I've been looking at the same question. So I pulled up Excel and ran the numbers. The ER for Target Retirement 2015 is 0.16% and it is composed of 5 separate funds, Total Stock, Total Bond, Total Int'l Stock, Total Int'l Bond, and TIPS. I pulled up the Admiral Share ERs for those 5 funds and weighte...
by texasdiver
Tue Jun 30, 2015 8:09 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Money arguments with spouse and how did you resolve
Replies: 72
Views: 9116

Re: Money arguments with spouse and how did you resolve

Is it weird or unusual that my wife and I never argue about money?

All our savings and such are on autopilot. We live beneath our means for the most part. She splurges on kindle books, I splurge on tools and cycling accessories. But we never really have any reason to argue about anything.
by texasdiver
Tue Jun 30, 2015 8:03 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Home cleaning services
Replies: 30
Views: 3419

Re: Home cleaning services

$85/wk in Central Texas (Waco area) for a 3100 sf 4 br 3.5 bath house with pets and kids. We can't go 2 weeks like you guy do. Not with 3 kids, 3 cats, and a yellow lab. We have a Mexican cleaning lady who comes and does all the surfaces but doesn't do laundry or linens unless we leave them for her....
by texasdiver
Tue Jun 30, 2015 7:52 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Amazon getting too smart?
Replies: 35
Views: 4902

Re: Amazon getting too smart?

TheGreyingDuke wrote:VPN is the partial solution, that and incognito mode on your browser. I use tunnelbear decent


Really? For Amazon? They still know who you are once you pay. If you really want incognito you probably have to take a pocket of cash to your local Barnes and Noble.
by texasdiver
Mon Jun 29, 2015 9:12 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: How to use SSD computer
Replies: 24
Views: 2650

Re: How to use SSD computer

I do both cloud and hard drive backups

You can get a 1 TB USB portable Hard Drive these days for about $50 and they are the size of an old iPhone

http://www.amazon.com/Passport-Ultra-Po ... B00E83X9P8
by texasdiver
Sun Jun 28, 2015 7:56 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Kodiak Island Alaska
Replies: 10
Views: 1664

Re: Kodiak Island Alaska

If you want to see bears then I would look for an operation that is dedicated to that type of tourism rather than fishing or hunting. Maybe some place like this?: http://kodiakbearcenter.com/ I think it is a newer operation run by the local Alaskan Native corporation on Kodiak so you would probably ...
by texasdiver
Sat Jun 27, 2015 4:49 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Move for a Federal Job - Finances?
Replies: 21
Views: 2589

Re: Move for a Federal Job - Finances?

I worked for a Federal Agency in DC, Seattle, and Juneau starting at GS-9 and ending at GS-14 about 8 years later. Frankly most of my Federal co-workers with kids who did not have deep roots in the DC area were desperate to get out of there and always looking for positions elsewhere. But found it ex...
by texasdiver
Fri Jun 26, 2015 12:11 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Best Educational iPad Apps for Adults?
Replies: 7
Views: 1092

Re: Best Educational iPad Apps for Adults?

Not exactly apps, but Yale and MIT open courses are excellent oyc.yale.edu/courses ocw.mit.edu Yes, my point too. The focus should be on what educational resources are available ONLINE, not what kind of apps are designed specifically for the iPad. There are astonishingly rich online resources avail...

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