Search found 1655 matches

by texasdiver
Sat Jul 04, 2015 9:31 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Buying a new desktop computer
Replies: 42
Views: 2852

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: 1390

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: 1726

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: 33
Views: 2968

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: 1874

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: 70
Views: 7316

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: 3042

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: 33
Views: 4211

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: 2174

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: 1579

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: 2378

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: 962

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...
by texasdiver
Fri Jun 26, 2015 10:42 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Grade 6, Writing, Resources.
Replies: 10
Views: 805

Re: Grade 6, Writing, Resources.

What specifically is the question? Are you looking for summer resources? I also have a 6th grader. She is doing band camp and I make sure she is well stocked with books from the local library. Beyond that we just get outdoors, spend time together, and travel a lot during the summer. There is more to...
by texasdiver
Thu Jun 25, 2015 9:37 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Best Educational iPad Apps for Adults?
Replies: 7
Views: 962

Re: Best Educational iPad Apps for Adults?

Safari or Chrome or iBooks I teach at a school that has issued iPads to all students and teachers. Frankly I don't really use apps much for teaching other than content creation. What I do is assign a lot of reading and research topics which basically means the kids spend a lot of time using Safari o...
by texasdiver
Thu Jun 25, 2015 8:46 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Any solo retired RVer's out there?
Replies: 90
Views: 12123

Re: Any solo retired RVer's out there?

I think you made a good choice. Especially for a couple that isn't planning to do full time. When you bring the grand kids you can also bring a tent and put them on the ground depending on their age and level of independence. That's pretty common. Unless you are doing Texas camping in July! i live 1...
by texasdiver
Wed Jun 24, 2015 7:38 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Kodiak Island Alaska
Replies: 10
Views: 1579

Re: Kodiak Island Alaska

The DIY trip would require a remote fly in by sea/ bush plane, and that gets expensive (look at the weight restrictions but generally it's around 600 pounds, including you). There are simple cabins you can rent for reasonable prices. You just have to come prepared for bears. http://www.fws.gov/refu...
by texasdiver
Tue Jun 23, 2015 10:13 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: 4th of July in Washington, DC
Replies: 12
Views: 1179

Re: 4th of July in Washington, DC

I used to do it when I lived there but that was back in the pre 9-11 days. There never was any security checks to go through, you just found your patch of grass near the Washington monument and watched the live music all afternoon until it got dark enough for the fireworks. Perhaps things are differ...
by texasdiver
Tue Jun 23, 2015 9:56 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Kodiak Island Alaska
Replies: 10
Views: 1579

Re: Kodiak Island Alaska

Out of curiosity I did some reading about wilderness lodges on Kodiak Island. It looks like most of them are along Kupreanof Strait which divides Kodiak Island from Afognak Island and some are in Larson Bay. I don't have any personal experience with any of these lodges although I have been through t...
by texasdiver
Tue Jun 23, 2015 5:07 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Kodiak Island Alaska
Replies: 10
Views: 1579

Re: Kodiak Island Alaska

Well hey, here I am. I worked out of Kodiak Island doing observing on fishing boats for a couple of years and also at fish processors located at Old Harbor and Akhiok (small native villages on Kodiak Island) and during my spare time I did a lot of hiking around that area. So I've seen a lot of the s...
by texasdiver
Sat Jun 20, 2015 10:44 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Any solo retired RVer's out there?
Replies: 90
Views: 12123

Re: Any solo retired RVer's out there?

Just got back from a week in the Davis Mountains of West Texas with the family in our Fleetwood Popup. We split time between Carlesbad National Park in NM and Davis Mountains in TX. I paid particular attention to rigs this trip. Probably about 15% were self-propelled RVs, 15% were hard-sided camping...
by texasdiver
Mon Jun 15, 2015 9:19 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: How/where to get rid of old gasoline
Replies: 35
Views: 3718

Re: How/where to get rid of old gasoline

Burn it in your car a couple gallons at a time. 3 years is not that old. I would buy a new 5 gallon container and decant/siphon off the old gasoline into the new container so that any sludge or water is left behind. Gas floats on water so any water, rust, or other foreign material will be on the bot...
by texasdiver
Sun Jun 14, 2015 10:12 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Retirement Investing and Age Gap
Replies: 15
Views: 2389

Re: Retirement Investing and Age Gap

What would concern me as much as the lack of retirement savings is possible disability. You mention your husband is 40 and has health issues but that you are counting on him working for himself for another 25 years. In addition, your income depends on him working as well. That would concern me great...
by texasdiver
Sun Jun 14, 2015 9:21 am
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Vanguard: "Can I obtain global exposure through U.S. multinationals?"
Replies: 22
Views: 2950

Re: Vanguard: "Can I obtain global exposure through U.S. multinationals?"

There are many here who are far more expert than I. But I do travel frequently to Latin America and try to be observant about the economy. Take the example of Chile which is the country I'm most familiar with. The top stocks in the Chilean stock market are mostly mining, construction and telecom sto...
by texasdiver
Sun Jun 14, 2015 8:59 am
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Why High Equity Allocation in Retirement
Replies: 78
Views: 9764

Re: Why High Equity Allocation in Retirement

The way I look at it, if I retire at 60 then I'm planning for at least 3 decades of retirement meaning that at least 1/3 of my portfolio is set aside for the decade of my 80s. An equity heavy allocation is not at all unreasonable for funds that I don't plan to touch for over 2 decades. By the time I...
by texasdiver
Fri Jun 12, 2015 9:02 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: IPhone Financial stuff
Replies: 26
Views: 3004

Re: IPhone Financial stuff

My wife has new 6 Plus IPhone and we used it a ton on our vacation. We liked it so much I am wondering if I can just quit carrying 1-2 laptops on vacation. Only use the IPhone. What are the issues? Does anyone on here use a smart phone to read financial account balances and your checking account ba...
by texasdiver
Fri Jun 12, 2015 7:23 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Thoughts on 401k loan for home purchase?
Replies: 29
Views: 2375

Re: Thoughts on 401k loan for home purchase?

Is the Georgia real estate market to absolutely hot that you are afraid of missing this one opportunity? Your situation isn't particularly unique. If you want to move, put your house up for sale and start shopping in the area you want to move to. I'm guessing that there are probably going to be plen...
by texasdiver
Thu Jun 11, 2015 4:27 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Advice Needed - Has Anyone Chosen Work Life Balance over Extra Money?
Replies: 101
Views: 10615

Re: Advice Needed - Has Anyone Chosen Work Life Balance over Extra Money?

Assuming you are still in the 28% tax bracket at 250k then your 70k raise will net you 50k per year after taxes, less than that if you have state income tax so perhaps 45k. So basically the new position would net you in the ballpark of an additional 4k per month after taxes. That's not nothing. Do y...
by texasdiver
Thu Jun 11, 2015 9:59 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Best Company to Bundle Auto & Home Insurance
Replies: 19
Views: 1980

Re: Best Company to Bundle Auto & Home Insurance

The last time I actively shopped around here in TX was about 4 years ago and the cheapest bundle I found was through Costco which uses Ameriprise. I saved a couple hundred dollars over every other option I examined. The insurance savings alone pays for my Costco card 4x over. As for whether they are...
by texasdiver
Wed Jun 10, 2015 9:13 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Rent a bike in SF, ride to LA, and drop it off?
Replies: 23
Views: 1677

Re: Rent a bike in SF, ride to LA, and drop it off?

How are you going to make sure you get your bike back at the end and that it's still going to be in decent condition w/o taco'd wheels and the like? I assume rental bikes overall are expensive for just this reason. I've considered a west coast bike trip. For me at least, figuring out the bike trans...
by texasdiver
Wed Jun 10, 2015 1:52 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Floor Tiles or Ice Skating Rink?
Replies: 9
Views: 1345

Re: Floor Tiles or Ice Skating Rink?

There are various types of adhesive rubber non-skid surfaces that you could put down on your tile under your bath mats that would keep them from sliding. Here's an example for use in a shop that would probably work: http://www.harborfreight.com/self-adhesive-rubber-safety-step-tread-98856.html Here'...
by texasdiver
Wed Jun 10, 2015 1:38 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Airline flight booking
Replies: 22
Views: 2992

Re: Airline flight booking

I research flights using Kayak, Orbitz and the other sites as well as google. Then I ALWAYS purchase the tickets directly from the airline web site rather than through any 3-party aggregator. If there is some problem with changed/cancelled flights down the road (and there frequently is these days) I...
by texasdiver
Wed Jun 10, 2015 1:32 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Perpetual Travelling
Replies: 73
Views: 9881

Re: Perpetual Travelling

Another thing I always bring while traveling is a couple of 3-outlet converter cubes like these which you can get in various shapes at any hardware store or Wal-Mart http://www.amazon.com/Leviton-531-I-Triple-outlet-adapter/dp/B00002NASA/ It is often the case that one winds up in a hotel room or caf...
by texasdiver
Wed Jun 10, 2015 1:16 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Perpetual Travelling
Replies: 73
Views: 9881

Re: Perpetual Travelling

texasdiver, et al, I discussed adapters with an American girl in my dorm. She is traveling to several countries and uses an universal adapter that can be configured for any physical wall socket formfactor and that has both an USB port for charging smartphones and an American socket for laptops. A q...
by texasdiver
Wed Jun 10, 2015 12:58 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Rent a bike in SF, ride to LA, and drop it off?
Replies: 23
Views: 1677

Re: Rent a bike in SF, ride to LA, and drop it off?

Why start in SF and drop off in LA? Why not go the other way? You could price it differently to get the supply/demand in balance like one way rental cars. For example, $200 rental charge either way, but $200 drop off in LA (to return bike to SF), or no drop-off fee if going to SF. Heck, even give a...
by texasdiver
Wed Jun 10, 2015 12:57 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Rent a bike in SF, ride to LA, and drop it off?
Replies: 23
Views: 1677

Re: Rent a bike in SF, ride to LA, and drop it off?

I don't think that kind of business would be worth the hassle and I think your market niche is way too narrow. I've ridden the Pacific Coast a couple of times, most recently the summer of 2013 with my father and daughter. I saw three kids of cyclists riding along the coast. 1, Independent cycling to...
by texasdiver
Mon Jun 08, 2015 10:17 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Perpetual Travelling
Replies: 73
Views: 9881

Re: Perpetual Travelling

Using electricity abroad is not really as complicated as it first seems. The first thing to determine is whether or not the electrical appliance you want to use is AC or DC. All household current everywhere in the world is AC current but it may vary between 110 and 240 volts and cycle at different H...
by texasdiver
Mon Jun 08, 2015 8:54 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Thoughts on Federal Employment
Replies: 82
Views: 8436

Re: Thoughts on Federal Employment

Just as many on this board caution against younger workers relying on social security in its current form and with its current levels of benefits to support their retirement, I'd caution against younger workers weighing federal retirement benefits too heavily in the decision about whether to take a...
by texasdiver
Sun Jun 07, 2015 9:04 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Thoughts on Federal Employment
Replies: 82
Views: 8436

Re: Thoughts on Federal Employment

I think we agree and are talking past one another. I'm simply saying that a typical Boglehead type saver who maximizes their TSP through a Federal career will likely end up with a retirement in which the TSP provides perhaps 3x the income of the pension. This is in huge contrast to the old Federal ...
by texasdiver
Sun Jun 07, 2015 1:11 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Any solo retired RVer's out there?
Replies: 90
Views: 12123

Re: Any solo retired RVer's out there?

Well, here's one to check out….an Airstream on a Sprinter chassis ….very nice. Have not seen this before! https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=W9RGV6nybRo Yep, the airstream coaches fly under the radar because they don't have the iconic riveted aluminum look so you don't spot them from a mile away like ...
by texasdiver
Sun Jun 07, 2015 12:46 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Thoughts on Federal Employment
Replies: 82
Views: 8436

Re: Thoughts on Federal Employment

texasdiver - My own comments were not oriented toward changing policy - rather there seems to be little interest in following upon suggestions designed to improve efficiencies (cut costs) or actually to improve current practices to ensure we are even compliant with policy. Curious about your commen...
by texasdiver
Sun Jun 07, 2015 11:59 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Thoughts on Federal Employment
Replies: 82
Views: 8436

Re: Thoughts on Federal Employment

From my friends in the federal government, I get the impression federal employment is a better match for those who already believe in the organizational mission of the agency they're working within and are interested in diligently carrying out that mission than it is for those who want an opportuni...
by texasdiver
Sun Jun 07, 2015 11:46 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Any solo retired RVer's out there?
Replies: 90
Views: 12123

Re: Any solo retired RVer's out there?

I saw a lot of things in my year on the road. One was a VW Touareg pulling a small to midsize Airstream. I would not have expected that to work. I happened to be behind these folks (a couple) at the dump station one day and I was curious enough to ask. They said the VW was doing an outstanding job,...
by texasdiver
Sun Jun 07, 2015 10:39 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Any solo retired RVer's out there?
Replies: 90
Views: 12123

Re: Any solo retired RVer's out there?

If it were me and I was planning to tour North America solo in retirement, and money wasn't the prime concern, I think I would pair a small to mid-size airstream with one of the new turbodiesel SUVs like the Mercedes BlueTech, Grand Cherokee EcoDiesel, or VW Touareg. If you follow the airstream comm...
by texasdiver
Sun Jun 07, 2015 9:56 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Thoughts on Federal Employment
Replies: 82
Views: 8436

Re: Thoughts on Federal Employment

I would disagree with your assumption that the federal pension and the TSP match are benefits that are separate from wages. In reality it is just all part of the employees total compensation package. But under your scenario the employee gains 3x more value from the TSP than the pension. Generally s...
by texasdiver
Sat Jun 06, 2015 6:46 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Thoughts on Federal Employment
Replies: 82
Views: 8436

Re: Thoughts on Federal Employment

Well this just made me want to do the math. I compared somebody who works for 40 years making an $80,000 salary in real $s at the federal govt versus 40 years at $80,000 a year in the private sector. For the federal government TSP I assumed: Saving $18,000 in the TSP annually with a 5% match TSP ea...
by texasdiver
Sat Jun 06, 2015 11:51 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Any solo retired RVer's out there?
Replies: 90
Views: 12123

Re: Any solo retired RVer's out there?

Out of curiousity what are considered to be the best manufacturers of fifth wheels (e.g. non-commodity, quality construction that will hold value better and a group of enthusiasts who value the brand)? Thanks, Stan1 Open Range is one manufacturer that my wife and I were impressed with. Smaller comp...
by texasdiver
Sat Jun 06, 2015 8:26 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Any solo retired RVer's out there?
Replies: 90
Views: 12123

Re: Any solo retired RVer's out there?

Pop up truck campers solve a lot of the high center of balance issues which is why they are preferred by the off-road back country type of user who may be exploring rugged steep roads that also may have low clearance under trees and such. On the other hand it is harder to stealth camp in a pop up tr...
by texasdiver
Sat Jun 06, 2015 8:14 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Thoughts on Federal Employment
Replies: 82
Views: 8436

Re: Thoughts on Federal Employment

I have never worked for the government, so please correct me if I'm wrong, but from what I've seen, a huge portion of the benefits that come with being a federal employee is contained in the pension. Like most pension plans, this one is based on how many years you work and what your salary is near ...
by texasdiver
Fri Jun 05, 2015 5:55 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Any solo retired RVer's out there?
Replies: 90
Views: 12123

Re: Any solo retired RVer's out there?

For all things truck campers check out the Wander the West site. The focus is on remote travel and camping but they have the most active forums on truck campers

http://www.wanderthewest.com/index.php/
by texasdiver
Fri Jun 05, 2015 5:40 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Does too high initial house asking price kill chance at selling house?
Replies: 50
Views: 4754

Re: Does too high initial house asking price kill chance at selling house?

Educate yourself by pretending to be buyers. Load zillow or realtor.com onto your phone or tablet and drive around your town and shop for $275, $300, $325, and $350K houses and you will quickly get a sense of where your market is at. If you want to sell you should have one of the nicer houses in you...

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