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Re: Recalled baby crib - modify to donate to charity?

I ran into the same issue a few years ago.

Just throw it away. I know it stinks to put something in the trash that is completely serviceable, but just throw it away.
by thewizzer
Mon Aug 25, 2014 11:50 am
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Recalled baby crib - modify to donate to charity?
Replies: 10
Views: 554

Re: Getting Married, traveling abroad

Well I'm certainly no expert, but if you decide on Germany I would head south. Munich is a beautiful city and the capital of the state of Bavaria. It's also home to the Oktoberfest, so it might be quite expensive during that time of the year. However, if you don't have to pay for airfare or lodging,...
by thewizzer
Fri Aug 15, 2014 10:40 pm
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Getting Married, traveling abroad
Replies: 25
Views: 1362

Re: Getting Married, traveling abroad

Congrats on the marriage.

That's an awfully broad statement. How much is your budget? How long is the trip? Why Western Europe (as opposed to further east)? Where will you be flying out of?
by thewizzer
Fri Aug 15, 2014 10:26 pm
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Getting Married, traveling abroad
Replies: 25
Views: 1362

Re: Int'l Train Travel

Took a train a couple of years ago from Copenhagen to Hamburg. Wonderful trip. Clean, fast, well-maintained train. The coolest part was when they hit the coast of Denmark, the train pulled right into the open end of a ferry. The door closed behind it and we went upstairs to enjoy the ferry ride acro...
by thewizzer
Sat Jul 26, 2014 8:45 pm
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Int'l Train Travel
Replies: 28
Views: 1589

Re: Whats a Better Lot in a Tract Home Neighborhood?

Based on info provided, I vote for walk-out basement hands down. Plus, isn't there an ability to count the basement in the total square feet since it has an egress route?* I would think that this would help on re-sale. *I have no idea if this is actually true or not; it's just one of those things I'...
by thewizzer
Fri Jul 25, 2014 11:31 pm
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Whats a Better Lot in a Tract Home Neighborhood?
Replies: 31
Views: 2230

Re: Patio door recommendations

We had a Pella sliding glass door put in several years ago to replace the sliding door that was original to the house. I've been extremely happy with it. Seals well, slides well, overall I think it's a great door. It was definitely more expensive than what you can buy from Lowes or Home Depot, but t...
by thewizzer
Tue Jul 22, 2014 11:32 pm
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Patio door recommendations
Replies: 15
Views: 1029

Re: Ditch car and commute to work in 250cc scooter in Raleig

My wife calls them murder-cycles.

It sounds like you would be a great candidate for an elio if they ever start building them.
by thewizzer
Mon Jul 21, 2014 7:30 pm
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Ditch car and commute to work in 250cc scooter in Raleigh?
Replies: 79
Views: 6623

Re: Cash out pension?

It's gov't., she'll get whatever she has vested/promised. You can't beat a guarantee, and you can't guarantee anything with real returns in the open market. I'd keep it where it is and let it erode over time. At least it'll be there. That's probably true for Federal government, but NOT true for sta...
by thewizzer
Sat Jul 19, 2014 6:16 pm
 
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Cash out pension?
Replies: 30
Views: 1683

Re: Purchasing Food at Work

Does anyone else struggle with spending money at your job for food? I'm going to take the opposite approach and state that I don't struggle with spending money for food at work. I enjoy going out for lunch at work. I like the group of guys I work with and it's nice to take a break in the middle of ...
by thewizzer
Fri Jul 18, 2014 12:09 am
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Purchasing Food at Work
Replies: 41
Views: 4066

Re: In retirement you expect you standard of living to?

recently retired - I'm practicing being less frugal I will officially retire next week and voted "stay the same," but I too am practicing being less frugal. For me that means deciding to buy a bag of cereal when it's not on sale -- because I can. Although I expect to be doing some more tr...
by thewizzer
Thu Jul 03, 2014 3:50 pm
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: In retirement you expect your standard of living to?
Replies: 55
Views: 4573

Re: Do you tell your kids how much you make?

I'm always surprised by threads like this as I guess my family was pretty open about finances. But to me it seems like my parents didn't have much of a choice with the internet and databases available I was probably going to find out whether they told me or not. You beat me to it. I guess I've been...
by thewizzer
Thu Jul 03, 2014 3:29 pm
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Do you tell your kids how much you make?
Replies: 58
Views: 6078

Re: A day in Dachau?

I remember my parents talking about their visit to Dachau in the late 1950s. Dad was U.S. military and had duty stations is both France and Germany during this time. He, Mom, and older sibs decided to visit Dachau one weekend. Although Dad had a vague idea where it was, there were no signs. More th...
by thewizzer
Mon Jun 23, 2014 11:54 am
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: A day in Dachau?
Replies: 38
Views: 2785

Re: A day in Dachau?

I was there about 4 weeks ago. If you are using public transportation, take the S2 (green) train line to the Dachau stop. There will be a bus waiting at the bus stop directly adjacent to the station that goes to the memorial site. If you buy a single day ticket for 11.7 Euros, you can use both the b...
by thewizzer
Sun Jun 22, 2014 9:37 pm
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: A day in Dachau?
Replies: 38
Views: 2785

Re: Interest-only mortgage & home-equity loan

Forgive me if this comes across as rude, but a couple of things come to mind. First of all, is he even asking for guidance or are you just offering it? Secondly, assuming he is asking for advice, why don't you give him the same advice you are stating here? Tell him to sell the house and get his othe...
by thewizzer
Sat Jun 21, 2014 10:28 pm
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Interest-only mortgage & home-equity loan
Replies: 13
Views: 793

Re: Sewer Line Replacement Under Garage

I'd do the whole thing. You have the money saved. And like you said, you don't know how vital it is until it's not working properly. I'd think longer about it if it was going to be a hardship, but it sounds as though you have the money.
by thewizzer
Wed Apr 30, 2014 11:24 pm
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Sewer Line Replacement Under Garage
Replies: 11
Views: 1159

Re: Anyone been to Budapest?

So OP, how was the trip?

I learned today that my reservation on airbnb was cancelled, so I am in the process of finding another place to stay. I'm thinking (based on all the previous recommendations) that I'll look for something on the Pest side this time.

Any other thoughts?
by thewizzer
Tue Apr 29, 2014 8:20 pm
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Anyone been to Budapest?
Replies: 31
Views: 4778

Re: sportsmobile [camper van conversions]

I know that if I have to ask...., but how much does one of these things typically cost? I'm sure it depends on how you outfit it. Just curious.
by thewizzer
Sun Apr 27, 2014 8:30 am
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: sportsmobile [camper van conversions]
Replies: 23
Views: 5115

Re: Anyone been to Budapest?

I've never been, but I'm going there on vacation myself this May. Please update this post when you return as I'd love to hear how your trip went (if for nothing more than self-serving purposes :D )
by thewizzer
Sun Mar 30, 2014 12:21 am
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Anyone been to Budapest?
Replies: 31
Views: 4778

Re: water heater purchase from Amazon

Extremely variable based on location. Where I live, I got a water heater installed by Lowes for under $700 total.
by thewizzer
Sat Mar 29, 2014 4:14 pm
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: water heater purchase from Amazon
Replies: 12
Views: 1256

Re: Lowes Install Services- anyone use them for a new bathro

I've had Lowes install countertops, carpet, a dishwasher, and a hot water heater. I've been satisfied with all of their services. They do give you plenty of opportunities to voice any concerns, as they always call and check up on how satisfied you are with the job. I wouldn't hesitate to use them ag...
by thewizzer
Thu Mar 27, 2014 11:22 pm
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Lowes Install Services- anyone use them for a new bathroom?
Replies: 22
Views: 2173

Re: washing machine - front loader or HE top loader?

I've been very happy with the LG front loaders we purchased 3 or 4 years ago. I bought the matching pedestals on overstock.com (they were substantially cheaper than buying them from Home Depot). We've never had an issue with them. The mold/mildew 'issue' with front loaders is easily dealt with simpl...
by thewizzer
Mon Mar 03, 2014 11:32 pm
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: washing machine - front loader or HE top loader?
Replies: 52
Views: 4217

Re: Purchase farmland or sell it?

You don't touch on whether or not you or your wife has any emotional attachment to this land. Is this the old family farm that one of you grew up on? When talking about it from a strictly financial sense, it shouldn't make a difference. But since none of us are robots, maybe it does. Personally, I a...
by thewizzer
Mon Mar 03, 2014 11:25 pm
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Purchase farmland or sell it?
Replies: 33
Views: 2133

Re: Helping an irresponsible dad preserve a financial windfa

I want to echo some fatalistic comments above. I was the executor of my parents' estate and was concerned about a sibling who had zero financial sense or responsibility. We each got just under 1M. I still have all of mine and then some. Theirs is long gone after less than a decade. There was nothin...
by thewizzer
Mon Mar 03, 2014 11:07 pm
 
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Helping an irresponsible dad preserve a financial windfall
Replies: 29
Views: 2461

Re: Need European travel website advice

update: Just got tickets for the flight! Flying into Budapest and out of Bucharest a week later. Long layovers in Munich on both ends of the flight (almost a full day on the way back). Currently, I'm thinking we spend a couple of days in Budapest, take the train to Oradea, rent a car and drive throu...
by thewizzer
Fri Feb 28, 2014 10:25 pm
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Need European travel website advice
Replies: 27
Views: 1577

Re: Nice couches are pricey, where I can get them for less?

We've found that the La-Z-Boy furniture gallery in our area carries a very nice selection of all types of furniture. The couch and loveseat we bought several years ago have held up well. Based on the prices you quoted, it might not be much cheaper than Pottery Barn, but maybe a little.
by thewizzer
Mon Feb 17, 2014 1:21 am
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Nice couches are pricey, where I can get them for less?
Replies: 43
Views: 4046

Re: How to get in on an IPO

Too funny. Our daughter was in a start-up quite some years ago. We plunked down $5000 in the "friends and family" thing. Lost it all. Thankfully, we can all chuckle about it these days. Yes, but you had an opportunity to sell. Did it open at $0? Most likely, it opened up at a large profit...
by thewizzer
Thu Feb 13, 2014 9:49 pm
 
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: How to get in on an IPO
Replies: 23
Views: 1734

Re: Russell 3000 vs. SP 500 index; any appreciable differenc

I would with switch to the 3000 index to get a little small cap exposure or else use a small cap fund in conduction with the 500 index fund in order to own the whole market. While your fees are higher than what you can get on the open market, for a work plan they aren't too bad compared to what man...
by thewizzer
Thu Feb 13, 2014 7:16 pm
 
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Russell 3000 vs. SP 500 index; any appreciable difference?
Replies: 10
Views: 1351

Re: Russell 3000 vs. SP 500 index; any appreciable differenc

Thank you all for the insight. As far as the fees go, unfortunately I think I'm stuck for a while. This money is tied up in a 457 plan administered through work, and the only way to contribute pre-tax dollars is through payroll deduction. However, I was successful in lobbying my employer to re-negot...
by thewizzer
Thu Feb 13, 2014 3:44 pm
 
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Russell 3000 vs. SP 500 index; any appreciable difference?
Replies: 10
Views: 1351

Russell 3000 vs. SP 500 index; any appreciable difference?

I met with a financial advisor today. Things went really well, no complaints to speak of. I did have one question for him that I would like to run past the everyone else as well. I currently have 59% of my total portfolio wrapped up in a single SP500 index fund (total plan balance is low six figures...
by thewizzer
Thu Feb 13, 2014 12:29 am
 
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Russell 3000 vs. SP 500 index; any appreciable difference?
Replies: 10
Views: 1351

Re: My Next Step = Current FireFighter Looking For Advise

Military? Not sure this would help with the problem of being away from home too much.
by thewizzer
Tue Feb 11, 2014 1:33 am
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: My Next Step = Current FireFighter Looking For Advise
Replies: 15
Views: 1117

Re: Bogleheads and Fast Food

I'm a pretty frequent flier on the McDonald's dollar menu. Portion size is key. A double hamburger (or McChicken with 90% of the mayo scraped off), small french fry, and large unsweetened iced tea is my go to meal in a pinch. They actually have pretty good unsweetened iced tea.
by thewizzer
Mon Feb 10, 2014 7:26 pm
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Bogleheads and Fast Food
Replies: 77
Views: 4853

Re: HVAC units - hard to comparison shop

I think you need to be real careful doing this repair yourself if you are not experienced with electricity. You can get hurt bad dealing with HVAC systems. Did I mention that stands for HIGH VOLTAGE Air Conditioning which in most cases is 240 Volts which can kill you if mishandled. These units have...
by thewizzer
Mon Feb 10, 2014 1:32 pm
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: HVAC units - hard to comparison shop
Replies: 14
Views: 1185

Re: HVAC units - hard to comparison shop

bogleviewer wrote: My understanding it is that it does both heat and air conditioning.


And yes, you are correct, it does both.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=14MmsNPtn6U
by thewizzer
Sun Feb 09, 2014 7:55 pm
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: HVAC units - hard to comparison shop
Replies: 14
Views: 1185

Re: HVAC units - hard to comparison shop

My first thought is no, this is not a DIY project. That quote might be a bit high, but it's not crazy high. I'm not an HVAC tech, but I have had a furnace replaced and gotten quotes for replacing a central air unit. The best advice would be to shop around and get multiple quotes. For 900 bucks, I'd ...
by thewizzer
Sun Feb 09, 2014 7:51 pm
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: HVAC units - hard to comparison shop
Replies: 14
Views: 1185

Re: My kids want a treehouse -

The pre-made kits are expensive for what you get so it would be better to just find plans and buy the lumber locally. I would agree with this. You can buy the plans and all the hardware (nuts & bolts, screws, brackets, etc) at any big box store and then buy the lumber separately. I purchased pl...
by thewizzer
Sun Feb 09, 2014 7:40 pm
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: My kids want a treehouse -
Replies: 36
Views: 2810

Re: My kids want a treehouse -

Tip If you're not a handy carpenter, don't try to do this yourself. Putting your kids 10 feet up in the air (or more) in a rickety contraption that's gonna fall apart is a recipe for disaster. My dad made us one when we were kids, but he knew what he was doing. Even then, looking back now he probabl...
by thewizzer
Sun Feb 09, 2014 11:10 am
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: My kids want a treehouse -
Replies: 36
Views: 2810

Re: Floor jacks

I had the same debate with myself and decided against the HF jack. I looked on eBay and found an aluminum Crafstman New In Box for sale with Buy It Now for I think $90. I'd rather buy a bit better quality and not take the chance with the cheapest tool I can find. Not worth it to me for a critical t...
by thewizzer
Fri Feb 07, 2014 1:10 am
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Floor jacks
Replies: 17
Views: 1911

Re: Winter coats:

I should note that I got my LL Bean coats on ebay -- for much reduced prices. Some may find this icky---- but I really hate winter, and I really hate overpaying. I have also gotten my ebay shopping down to a fine art. I've bought clothes on ebay. I go for the stuff with tags still attached, and the...
by thewizzer
Tue Feb 04, 2014 7:43 pm
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Winter coats:
Replies: 53
Views: 4608

Re: Winter coats:

I notice that a large number, perhaps even a majority, of people wear coats from either Columbia or Northface, the former being in somewhat lower numbers. Recently purchasing a winter coat led to these brands only to feel that they were overpriced. Eventually, a coat was purchased that was of neith...
by thewizzer
Mon Feb 03, 2014 8:41 pm
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Winter coats:
Replies: 53
Views: 4608

Re: Help understanding my pension plan

Now you got me thinking about it. I found this article, which might help summarize it a bit better than my ramblings:

http://www.bettergov.org/a_public_pensi ... hat_works/
by thewizzer
Sun Feb 02, 2014 11:35 pm
 
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Help understanding my pension plan
Replies: 10
Views: 836

Re: Help understanding my pension plan

I work in Illinois and I contribute to my own pension plan (but not a state pension plan nor IMRF). However, my wife contributes to IMRF through her employer, so hopefully I can give you a bit of an insider's perspective. First of all, IMRF includes most municipal employees not covered by other pens...
by thewizzer
Sun Feb 02, 2014 10:21 pm
 
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Help understanding my pension plan
Replies: 10
Views: 836

Re: Need European travel website advice

You didn't say how long you have for the trip, but we did an awesome guys Italy vacation by flying into Venice for a day, then renting a car and driving south to Rome over the course of a week... through Modena (Ferrari & Lamborghini museums), Florence, Sienna and day trips from there to variou...
by thewizzer
Thu Jan 30, 2014 10:31 pm
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Need European travel website advice
Replies: 27
Views: 1577

Re: Need European travel website advice

How about... http://www.airbnb.com http://www.vrbo.com I had a lot of luck with airbnb in Germany..... highly recommend Any of you care to expand on your recommendations for airbnb? I think it looks cool. My friend is skeptical, especially because some of them are pretty darn cheap (at least in Bud...
by thewizzer
Thu Jan 30, 2014 10:28 pm
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Need European travel website advice
Replies: 27
Views: 1577

Re: Need European travel website advice

Thanks for the input. It's not that I'm against Spain, just not this time. I can't tell you why, I'm just not feeling it. Plus my travel partner has been there before, so it would be old hat to him. He's tried to get me to head to Pamplona with him (he's been there before), but I have absolutely no...
by thewizzer
Wed Jan 29, 2014 12:22 am
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Need European travel website advice
Replies: 27
Views: 1577

Re: Need European travel website advice

I haven't been to Munich (well, just the airport), though I've visited the rest of the places on your list. Slovenia is the only one that I didn't LOVE. Ljubljana is very green, and it's cute, but there isn't a lot going on. If you plan to get out to the lakes and mountains, that's a different stor...
by thewizzer
Tue Jan 28, 2014 12:20 am
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Need European travel website advice
Replies: 27
Views: 1577

Re: Need European travel website advice

I have a similar arrangement with a couple single friends who like to travel and we've done the same thing for trips to Egypt, Spain, Italy and the Baltic. You'll never travel cheaper and stay in better accommodations while splitting the costs 2/3 ways - It's great! I've never used that company you...
by thewizzer
Tue Jan 28, 2014 12:08 am
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Need European travel website advice
Replies: 27
Views: 1577

Re: Need European travel website advice

TripAdvisor has a long thread on the company. Read it and decide for yourself. http://www.tripadvisor.com/ShowTopic-g187147-i14-k2185388-Is_European_Destinations_com_a_legit_site_to_book_from-Paris_Ile_de_France.html I would ignore the posts from people who only have one post, they're likely shills...
by thewizzer
Mon Jan 27, 2014 11:57 pm
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Need European travel website advice
Replies: 27
Views: 1577

Re: Need European travel website advice

Don't know anything about the website you mentioned, but I can vouch for Slovenia as a travel destination. :beer I'd be interested in hearing more about Slovenia. It appears the country really promotes their tourism industry through their website. I was perusing it a while ago and was intrigued wit...
by thewizzer
Mon Jan 27, 2014 8:21 pm
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Need European travel website advice
Replies: 27
Views: 1577

Re: Need European travel website advice

Comments: Never used the site, have seen it, I believe it is trustworthy based on my experience with travel and the industry (my ex was in travel website biz). I've used Costco Travel, Trafalgar, Avoya Travel, and VacationsToGo. If you can get to Berlin and/or Cologne while in Germany, do it. Altho...
by thewizzer
Mon Jan 27, 2014 8:15 pm
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Need European travel website advice
Replies: 27
Views: 1577

Need European travel website advice

Hello all, I was hoping to pick your collective brains about an upcoming European vacation. It will be just myself and a friend, each paying separately but traveling and staying together. We went to London, Copenhagen and Hamburg last year and had a good time. We're looking to do it again this year,...
by thewizzer
Mon Jan 27, 2014 4:37 pm
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Need European travel website advice
Replies: 27
Views: 1577
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