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Re: Engineered wood floors?

A single floor type flows better. Your current floor is 1/2 inch thick. Unless you pick another 1/2 inch product you will have ups and downs in your floor where people will be tripping over the transition all the time. Another problem with the floor you selected is that it cannot be refinished so y...
by texasdiver
Thu Jan 29, 2015 10:30 pm
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Engineered wood floors?
Replies: 20
Views: 2027

Re: "Retiring in a Low-Return Environment"

The difficulties of actively predicting anything for the next 30 years are immense. Too much time, too many variables, too many unforeseen things happening. I think the message is basically right, lower returns expected for both stocks and bonds over the next decade or so, but I do not accept that ...
by texasdiver
Thu Jan 29, 2015 10:15 pm
 
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: "Retiring in a Low-Return Environment"
Replies: 37
Views: 3413

Re: Engineered wood floors?

Thanks guys... The wife wants lighter wood than we have in the living room. I remembered that the builders left an extra box of flooring in the attic and it turns out that what we have now is LM Flooring Heritage Hickory Fireside: http://www.lmflooring.com/catalog/collection/heritage. You guys are r...
by texasdiver
Thu Jan 29, 2015 12:58 pm
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Engineered wood floors?
Replies: 20
Views: 2027

Re: Why not a 2 fund portfolio like Bogle suggests

Jack Bogle does not equal Vanguard He doesn't even work there anymore. The very smart people who are putting together Vanguard's target retirement funds made their own call regarding international stocks (and now international bonds). I agree with them on the international stocks. I've yet to be con...
by texasdiver
Thu Jan 29, 2015 11:56 am
 
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Why not a 2 fund portfolio like Bogle suggests
Replies: 36
Views: 3639

Re: Workplace net worth conversations you'd like to avoid?

My pre-packaged response to any financial discussion at work, especially any talk about "investment opportunities" is that "We've got 3 kids approaching college age so we are just not in a position to be able to think about that right now" That said, I have stepped in and guided ...
by texasdiver
Thu Jan 29, 2015 10:15 am
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Workplace net worth conversations you'd like to avoid?
Replies: 76
Views: 6447

Re: Amazon Prime - good deal or calculated conditioning

I don't think it is really any different from warehouse membership fees such as the annual fees charged by Costco. I buy a ton of stuff at both Costco and Amazon, not because of the fees, but because they are the best combination of price, convenience, and service. In any event, the prime membership...
by texasdiver
Wed Jan 28, 2015 2:44 pm
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Amazon Prime - good deal or calculated conditioning
Replies: 50
Views: 2815

Re: 400ft Driveway - How do I plow the snow?

There's a Gravely walk behind tractor as well. They are massively over engineered and last for years. (My current one was made in 1978) You can get all kinds of attachments (50" mower, 40" mower, sickle bar mower, snow blower (will blow snow 50'), flail mower, 4 ft brush (see a lot in the...
by texasdiver
Wed Jan 28, 2015 2:06 pm
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: 400ft Driveway - How do I plow the snow?
Replies: 64
Views: 4707

Re: What age did you move out?

Moved out at 18 to go to college across the country in 1982. A year later my parents moved to a different part of the country and I haven't been under their roof for more than a week at a time since. This poll would be more interesting if it asked: "What age did you become financially independe...
by texasdiver
Tue Jan 27, 2015 10:35 pm
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: What age did you move out?
Replies: 117
Views: 4702

Re: Engineered wood floors?

Wow, thanks for the detailed report Broadstone. Exactly the type of information I'm looking for. What I would probably do is start with a 1-room install in a guest bedroom and see how it goes. The final result would be mostly covered by furniture and throw rugs so room for minor mistakes. Then based...
by texasdiver
Tue Jan 27, 2015 3:47 pm
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Engineered wood floors?
Replies: 20
Views: 2027

Re: Engineered wood floors?

Sounds like glue down is the way to go over concrete. I did a floating laminate floor over a particle board subfloor at a previous house in Alaska and never really liked the hollow sound. Anyone here have any experience with ripping up a glued down floor? Is it a giant mess of a job or are the adhes...
by texasdiver
Tue Jan 27, 2015 11:25 am
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Engineered wood floors?
Replies: 20
Views: 2027

Re: The Biggest Risk

Using P2P loans (Lending Club) as a replacement for bonds in my portfolio. I have 6 figures loaned out over about 3.5k people. Working amazingly well so far. Tax bracket isn't too high so I'm not getting killed by taxes. The real test will be in a few years once my loans start maturing and have mor...
by texasdiver
Tue Jan 27, 2015 11:22 am
 
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: The Biggest Risk
Replies: 18
Views: 1940

Re: The Biggest Risk

When we moved to Texas for my wife's residency we bought a house in the country with a zero-down adjustable rate "doctor's loan" Not risky like buying silver on margin but that's all I can think of. It turned out OK. When we went to sell 5 years later the house hadn't appreciated much but ...
by texasdiver
Tue Jan 27, 2015 11:21 am
 
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: The Biggest Risk
Replies: 18
Views: 1940

Re: File FAFSA with 7 figure non-retirement portfolio?

If your FAFSA says you are worth say $10 million you are probably painting a target on your back for future fundraising campaigns. If not for the FAFSA, how would the college ever know which of its students are rich kids? I have never filled out a FAFSA for my current or previous student. They don'...
by texasdiver
Tue Jan 27, 2015 11:15 am
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: File FAFSA with 7 figure non-retirement portfolio?
Replies: 42
Views: 5332

Re: File FAFSA with 7 figure non-retirement portfolio?

My guess is that the schools want the FAFSA for their databases even if you aren't close to qualifying (perhaps especially then). Generally speaking I expect most schools are very interested in being able to profile their student population in terms of race, ethnicity, where they are from, and WEALT...
by texasdiver
Tue Jan 27, 2015 9:15 am
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: File FAFSA with 7 figure non-retirement portfolio?
Replies: 42
Views: 5332

Re: Engineered wood floors?

I looked up both Muskoka and Vintage as I hadn't heard of either of them before and it seems they are both Canadian companies. I'm not sure how much if any they have penetrated the Texas market as neither web site's find a dealer feature found any dealers near my zip code. But their stuff looks nice...
by texasdiver
Mon Jan 26, 2015 10:54 pm
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Engineered wood floors?
Replies: 20
Views: 2027

Re: 40 years of IRA and 401k Contributions

That's with a 6% return.

If one had picked a reasonable balanced fund like Wellington or Wellesley, which both returned over 10% since 1970, that $1 million would be well over $2 million (I'm too lazy to do the math).
by texasdiver
Mon Jan 26, 2015 3:41 pm
 
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: 40 years of IRA and 401k Contributions
Replies: 18
Views: 2248

Engineered wood floors?

So this weekend we visited some friends who tore the carpeting out of their house and replaced it with engineered hardwood floors. My wife was extremely impressed with the results as they did a very good job with the DIY install. The planks they used were wide and were darked stained with a rustic d...
by texasdiver
Mon Jan 26, 2015 3:09 pm
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Engineered wood floors?
Replies: 20
Views: 2027

Re: Less than a Million Club Poll, your real number?

There is the number that my wife and I probably need in order to reasonably maintain our relatively frugal and simple lifestyle. And then there is the number that we are likely to end up with which will probably be 2-3x our first number. Why the big difference? Because my wife has zero intention of ...
by texasdiver
Mon Jan 26, 2015 2:13 pm
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Less than a Million Club Poll, your real number?
Replies: 15
Views: 3252

Re: Poll: Locating deceased person's assets

I have a word document that lists in detail every bank account, loan, insurance policy, investment account, pension, and the location of all important paper documents such as passports, car and camper titles, birth certificates, shot records, , etc. for our kids. Also the location of our will and th...
by texasdiver
Sun Jan 25, 2015 9:07 pm
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Poll: Locating deceased person's assets
Replies: 33
Views: 2250

Re: Adopting

Cousin of mine and his wife adopted an infant from Russia about 5 years ago (or maybe it was Ukraine, I forget). The boy turned out to have severe cognitive and developmental disabilities possibly due to malnutrition and abuse. Hard to know exactly. It turned out to be a life changing event for them...
by texasdiver
Sun Jan 25, 2015 8:43 pm
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Adopting
Replies: 29
Views: 2382

Re: 400ft Driveway - How do I plow the snow?

The bigger question isn't the length of the driveway but how many times you need to clear it each winter. During the 10 years I spent in Alaska pretty much no one bothered with the toy snow removal machines. You either had a Ford F250 4x4 with the snowplow package on front, or as Livesoft said, you ...
by texasdiver
Sun Jan 25, 2015 2:23 pm
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: 400ft Driveway - How do I plow the snow?
Replies: 64
Views: 4707

Re: Anyone still keep DVDs?

Ninegrams wrote:Try donating them to your local library. That's where I keep "my" collection.


THIS

You can probably claim it as a tax deduction
by texasdiver
Sun Jan 25, 2015 2:12 pm
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Anyone still keep DVDs?
Replies: 25
Views: 1477

Re: Reliability of LED televisions?

My school district installed 50" Vizio LCD TVs in every classroom across the district (10 schools probably 500+ classrooms) about 5 years ago and to my knowledge not one of them has failed yet. I expect that LCD technology is more reliable than any other type of TV technology that preceded it i...
by texasdiver
Sun Jan 25, 2015 2:09 pm
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Reliability of LED televisions?
Replies: 18
Views: 1215

Re: Emergency Info on Smart phones with locked screens

You don't really need an app to do this. I don't have emergency medical info on my lock screen but I do have "This phone belongs to xxxx If lost please contact (my email and my wife's phone number). Came in handy once when I left the phone on the counter at Barnes and Noble and the clerk saw my...
by texasdiver
Sun Jan 25, 2015 10:03 am
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Emergency Info on Smart phones with locked screens
Replies: 3
Views: 558

Re: Marotta's Gone-Fishing Portfolio

17.4% Pimco Total Return (PTTDX/PTTRX)
12.6% Pimco Emerg Market Bond (PEMDX/PEBIX)
12.0% iShares N.Amer Nat. Resources (IGE)

42% of the portfolio in these three funds??????

Well, that's certainly different.
by texasdiver
Sat Jan 24, 2015 10:22 pm
 
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Marotta's Gone-Fishing Portfolio
Replies: 12
Views: 1456

Re: Prepaid Tuition Vs 529 plan

17 years is a long time. You may be living in another part of the country. Your child may get into Stanford or Harvard or join the military. The state university system may be a mess or unrecognizable. Or they could just renege as has happened in other states like Alabama http://usatoday30.usatoday....
by texasdiver
Sat Jan 24, 2015 7:37 pm
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Prepaid Tuition Vs 529 plan
Replies: 12
Views: 880

Re: Anyone else love reading textbooks?

I totally agree with that triangle. Unfortunately, I've found in my experience that the number of students (even at ivy league colleges) that commit the adequate amount of time and attention to the base (remembering phase) is vanishingly small. Everyone, including educators, is all about avoiding m...
by texasdiver
Sat Jan 24, 2015 5:36 pm
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Anyone else love reading textbooks?
Replies: 82
Views: 2794

Re: Selling a home - 1st timer

1. If you have any amount of clutter definitely rent a nearby storage locker and start packing and moving everything that isn't essential to your immediate life. I'd suggest buying a big stack of identical sized moving boxes from a moving company so that all your boxes stack and move nicely. If you ...
by texasdiver
Sat Jan 24, 2015 2:38 pm
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Selling a home - 1st timer
Replies: 26
Views: 2399

Re: HSA... any receipt savers?

I don't actually save a single receipt because I usually pay medical bills online. What I do save are the following: 1. Insurance EOB statements. Most insurance company web sites will also let you log in and print annual summaries of all your out of pocket expenses. I printed these for previous year...
by texasdiver
Sat Jan 24, 2015 2:11 pm
 
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: HSA... any receipt savers?
Replies: 188
Views: 8334

Re: Anyone else love reading textbooks?

Did this ever happen to anyone else while studying? Read the assigned pages or the entire chapter and get to the end of chapter questions. There is a good number that are relatively easily when going back to the formulas and theorems. Then, there are a fair number where the text does not go into en...
by texasdiver
Sat Jan 24, 2015 1:28 pm
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Anyone else love reading textbooks?
Replies: 82
Views: 2794

Re: Anyone else love reading textbooks?

A good number of elementary-middle school- high school textbooks are written off-shore where costs are much lower. Some of the errors in history texts have been so blatant that I have gone back to trusted sources to verify my suspicions. I do not proofread full-time. That would be far too boring. I...
by texasdiver
Sat Jan 24, 2015 12:41 pm
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Anyone else love reading textbooks?
Replies: 82
Views: 2794

Re: Would maxing a Roth and 401k each year be enough?

the HSA is an even better deal than the 401K or Roth because it is tax exempt at both the contribution and withdrawal stage Unless using distributions for qualified medical expenses I think you still have to pay ordinary income tax on the withdrawal of HSA past age 65. Yes, but if you pay out of po...
by texasdiver
Sat Jan 24, 2015 8:51 am
 
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Would maxing a Roth and 401k each year be enough?
Replies: 17
Views: 2805

Re: seiko divers watch

I have this one http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B00AJK9CL4 Excellent watch. People call it the Orange Monster and it is popular among the watch crowd of which I"m not one. I'm partial to automatic watches and dive watches with rotating bezels. This Seiko is far superior to the Invicta watch th...
by texasdiver
Fri Jan 23, 2015 7:26 pm
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: seiko divers watch
Replies: 8
Views: 613

Re: Anyone else love reading textbooks?

Well, as a HS science teacher I can tell you that I have about 50 different science textbooks on my classroom shelf and not more than a handful of them are truly good. Some of offerings by the biggest publishers like Pearson are so bad as to be virtually unusable in the classroom. And their electro...
by texasdiver
Fri Jan 23, 2015 5:22 pm
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Anyone else love reading textbooks?
Replies: 82
Views: 2794

Re: Would maxing a Roth and 401k each year be enough?

Add an HSA account to the mix and you'll be in even better shape. That's another $3,350 you can tax shelter each year and the limit adjusts upward with inflation. You need to have a qualifying High Deductible health insurance plan to open an HSA though. If you document all your medical expenses and ...
by texasdiver
Fri Jan 23, 2015 5:10 pm
 
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Would maxing a Roth and 401k each year be enough?
Replies: 17
Views: 2805

Re: Anyone else love reading textbooks?

Well, as a HS science teacher I can tell you that I have about 50 different science textbooks on my classroom shelf and not more than a handful of them are truly good. Some of offerings by the biggest publishers like Pearson are so bad as to be virtually unusable in the classroom. And their electron...
by texasdiver
Fri Jan 23, 2015 4:59 pm
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Anyone else love reading textbooks?
Replies: 82
Views: 2794

Re: "Its Time To End Financial Advisers 1% Fees"

Adviser fees are easy enough to avoid or eliminate. Just do your own investing or use an adviser who charges hourly fees. What it is really time to end are the 401(k) and 403(b) fees that most employees are subject to without recourse. I can move my IRA and taxable money around to my heart's content...
by texasdiver
Fri Jan 23, 2015 3:20 pm
 
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: "Its Time To End Financial Advisers 1% Fees"
Replies: 102
Views: 7940

Re: AOTC versus 529 plan [American Opportunity Tax Credit]

So for families with AGI over $160,000 (my wife and I are a little bit over) is there anything of interest in this conversation? Are there additional reasons to abandon 529 plans for those who don't qualify for AOTC? Our oldest daughter is a HS junior so we are now in the middle of SAT angst and not...
by texasdiver
Fri Jan 23, 2015 10:02 am
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: AOTC versus 529 plan [American Opportunity Tax Credit]
Replies: 45
Views: 3028

Re: Reporter doing story on pitfalls of doing one's own taxe

Maybe one day the federal government will buy over Turbotax, integrate the tax-filing software with its own databases, allow taxpayers to log in with their SSN to be greeted with prefilled personal and wage information (the way Amazon does it) and provide digital images of all the forms given to it...
by texasdiver
Thu Jan 22, 2015 10:48 pm
 
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Reporter doing story on pitfalls of doing one's own taxes
Replies: 40
Views: 4686

Re: Credit card FICO, is it a gimmick? EMV+sign, useful?

My Discover Card has been putting my free FICO score on my statements and making it available online when I do online account access. It seems to be about the right score and when I look at the fine print at the bottom of the page it says: Your FICO® Credit Score is based on data from TransUnion and...
by texasdiver
Thu Jan 22, 2015 10:37 pm
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Credit card FICO, is it a gimmick? EMV+sign, useful?
Replies: 20
Views: 1679

Re: Reporter doing story on pitfalls of doing one's own taxe

I suspect the numbers about self-prepared returns being more accurate than prepared returns are correct because: 1. It's a self selecting group. People who are math-phobic or not interested or not good on a computer don't even think about doing their own return. So those who do decide to DIY are a ...
by texasdiver
Wed Jan 21, 2015 10:11 pm
 
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Reporter doing story on pitfalls of doing one's own taxes
Replies: 40
Views: 4686

Re: Vanguard too successful?

So how does go contrarian against Vanguard? what is the opposite of investing in a 100% transparent and low fee Vanguard index fund? A completely opaque high-fee hedge fund? Thanks but no thanks. I'll stick with Vanguard.
by texasdiver
Wed Jan 21, 2015 4:34 pm
 
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Vanguard too successful?
Replies: 13
Views: 2136

Re: Couples with two homes

I don't know the geography involved, but one possibility would be to buy your primary house where you actually want to live the majority of your time. Then buy a second home or condo that is in a marketable location to do an AIRB&B or VRBO type of short-term rental for the majority of time you a...
by texasdiver
Wed Jan 21, 2015 3:47 pm
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Couples with two homes
Replies: 11
Views: 1142

Re: Couples with two homes

Do your kids know you are planning on visiting them for "weeks or months" at a time? As the 50 year old "kid" on the other end of the equation with two sets of grandparents who like to visit from time to time I can tell you that visits from the parents that last longer than a cou...
by texasdiver
Wed Jan 21, 2015 3:09 pm
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Couples with two homes
Replies: 11
Views: 1142

Re: What will happen to international stocks if a Euro break

The top 10 stocks in Vanguard Total International are: 1 Nestle SA 2 Royal Dutch Shell plc 3 Novartis AG 4 Roche Holding AG 5 HSBC Holdings plc 6 Toyota Motor Corp. 7 Samsung Electronics Co. Ltd. 8 BHP Billiton 9 BP plc 10 Bayer AG Basically they are all companies that have a completely global reach...
by texasdiver
Wed Jan 21, 2015 2:53 pm
 
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: What will happen to international stocks if a Euro breakup?
Replies: 23
Views: 1579

Re: Figuring out my parent's retirement

2017 is only 2 years away. If they want to keep working because they basically enjoy it and like staying busy and being part of the working world then why not? The next two years will go fast, especially if they have retirement dates set. On the other hand, if work is a physical or mental burden and...
by texasdiver
Wed Jan 21, 2015 2:41 pm
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Figuring out my parent's retirement
Replies: 15
Views: 1746

Re: Trying to understand index funds

Indexes are cheap because computers make the decision about which equities to purchase. You could theoretically set up any kind of index fund you wanted to track any sort of pre-established formula and it would be cheap to run. What makes actively managed funds expensive is that they hire whole team...
by texasdiver
Wed Jan 21, 2015 2:30 pm
 
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Trying to understand index funds
Replies: 14
Views: 1202

Re: Supreme Court to hear fiduciary duty/high cost funds cas

Will this have any bearing on the claim (by MegaEmployer) that they are not "allowed" to offer, say, Institutional classes [lower ER classes] of Vanguard mutual funds because it would disproportionately benefit higher-paid employees? I'm sure I've seen others list their mutual funds avail...
by texasdiver
Wed Jan 21, 2015 2:17 pm
 
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Supreme Court to hear fiduciary duty/high cost funds case
Replies: 28
Views: 3656

Re: What age did you hit $100,000?

After college I did the Peace Corps from age 24-26, worked on boats in Alaska for a few years between travel adventures, then went back to grad school from ages 29-31 and didn't get my first professional job with retirement accounts and such until age 31 when I started working for the Federal govern...
by texasdiver
Wed Jan 21, 2015 1:52 pm
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: What age did you hit $100,000?
Replies: 68
Views: 5826

Re: Figuring out my parent's retirement

So if they are both on full SSDI right now, what would they be retiring from? You didn't mention any current employment. It sounds like a question of semantics or just making it "official."

Or is the question more along the lines of whether or not they need to go back to work?
by texasdiver
Wed Jan 21, 2015 1:46 pm
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Figuring out my parent's retirement
Replies: 15
Views: 1746
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