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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: 28
Views: 2007

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: 1216

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: 1780

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: 2756

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: 1847

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: 2401

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: 1381

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: 3103

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: 1615

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: 970

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: 970

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: 970

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: 1054

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: 4443

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: 960

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: 960

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: 960

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: 2534

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: 2534

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: 1684

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: 3730

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: 3730

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: 746

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: 746

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: 1381

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: 1381

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: 1381

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: 1381

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: 1381

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: 1381

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: 1381

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: 1381

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: 1381

Re: 82 year old mother in good health what % ?

My 82 year mother (in good health) would like advice on how to invest. She has no mortgage, no car payment. Only general bills such as food, gasoline,utilities. She lives in a patio home so she has minimum maintenance costs. What percentage in stocks? Bonds? I think she is interested in investing i...
by thewizzer
Wed Jan 22, 2014 9:45 pm
 
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: 82 year old mother in good health what % ?
Replies: 5
Views: 584

Re: Is there a low cost cell phone plan, limited minutes?

I have been signed up with Page Plus cellular for the past 3 months. I've been very happy with the service so far. I bought an old iPhone 4 from a friend to use. No problems signing up and I use their auto-refill feature so it automatically debits my account every 15th for another month of service. ...
by thewizzer
Sun Jan 19, 2014 2:19 pm
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Is there a low cost cell phone plan, limited minutes?
Replies: 63
Views: 3431

Re: How do you filter your water?

Some communities advise the residents not to drink the water. One culprit is seepage from gasoline tanks causing the additive, MTBE, to enter the drinking water system. If I lived in a community in the USA where it was unsafe to drink the water (allowing for the occasional emergency condition) I wo...
by thewizzer
Thu Jan 09, 2014 11:49 pm
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: How do you filter your water?
Replies: 77
Views: 3134

Re: Trouble trusting US healthcare

My sister in law is a dental hygienist. She has worked for the same dentist for years. Within the past 2 years, the dentist got bought out by some type of dental company. He still runs the office, but now receives a salary from the company. My SIL is happy that once ownership changed, she got a sign...
by thewizzer
Thu Jan 09, 2014 11:43 pm
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Trouble trusting US healthcare
Replies: 70
Views: 3262

Warren Buffett is a Boglehead

He even recommends John Bogle's books, according to the quote in the article

http://www.fool.com/investing/general/2 ... sGPmHm7Sxw

I don't think this is 'new' news, but a welcome re-affirmation for the coming new year nonetheless.
by thewizzer
Mon Dec 30, 2013 11:25 am
 
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Warren Buffett is a Boglehead
Replies: 48
Views: 3186

Re: road noise in your car

Agreed. There is no spray you can buy to deaden road noise.

I have heard of dealerships somehow spraying foam into car pillars in an attempt to quiet rattles, but I doubt they are very effective and I suspect it's not cheap.
by thewizzer
Sun Dec 29, 2013 10:26 am
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: road noise in your car
Replies: 27
Views: 1956

Re: Cash in Your Wallet

I currently have no money in my wallet. I had $2 in my wallet two days ago, but I spent it. I rarely have more than $40 on me.
by thewizzer
Sat Dec 28, 2013 3:32 pm
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Cash in Your Wallet
Replies: 93
Views: 4110

Re: Used Smartphones?

There's a kiosk in my local mall that will buy old smartphones.
by thewizzer
Sat Dec 28, 2013 1:37 pm
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Used Smartphones?
Replies: 20
Views: 1120

Re: December 16: Birthday in the Arts

Hey, Ludwig and I share a b-day! Maybe I'm the next prodigy?
by thewizzer
Tue Dec 17, 2013 12:10 am
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: December 16: Birthday in the Arts
Replies: 46
Views: 2961

Re: What to do first with an iPad Air 16GB?

This is what I do when I get a new system: Install Norton or McAfee Antivirus Run All Windows Updates Transfer Files and Applications from Your Old PC Download the Latest Version of Internet Explorer Tweak Your Power Settings Turn Off Unneeded Services Ummm, it's an iPad. Most (if not all) of this ...
by thewizzer
Fri Dec 06, 2013 10:41 pm
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: What to do first with an iPad Air 16GB?
Replies: 15
Views: 1888

Re: Trampolines and HO Insurance

You can always count on Bogleheads to take all the fun out of life.
by thewizzer
Thu Dec 05, 2013 11:53 pm
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Trampolines and HO Insurance
Replies: 30
Views: 1596

Re: Fort Myers Beach, Marco Island, or ?

I'm sitting in North Fort Myers on vacation as I write this. Heading to Fort Myers Beach again tomorrow. We were there on Saturday. I think it might have hit 80 degrees. The water was cool, but doable. The kids loved it. The beach was quite nice. Gonna try parasailing tomorrow. It's not really upsca...
by thewizzer
Mon Dec 02, 2013 8:53 pm
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Fort Myers Beach, Marco Island, or ?
Replies: 22
Views: 1394

Re: This seems like bad advice to me (is it?)

OP here. I guess there were just a couple of things that rubbed me wrong. I know it's a graphic, so it's difficult to be brief while explaining a complex and nuanced issue, but I think they could have used better language. It makes it sound as though this is the only correct answer. They could have ...
by thewizzer
Thu Nov 21, 2013 9:50 pm
 
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: This seems like bad advice to me (is it?)
Replies: 36
Views: 3119

Re: This seems like bad advice to me (is it?)

I think the point is supposed to be the longer you wait, the more you will be required to save to get to the same place - so start early. Maybe the article was not clear based on the description you gave but I think that's what they were trying to say. There was no article. It was simply a graphic ...
by thewizzer
Wed Nov 20, 2013 10:35 pm
 
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: This seems like bad advice to me (is it?)
Replies: 36
Views: 3119

This seems like bad advice to me (is it?)

My wife's retirement fund newsletter came in the mail today. Generally it's full of useful tidbits, but it's pretty basic stuff. On the back of the newsletter, it had a little graphic with piles of coins and the following blurb: Average percentage of your salary you should devote to your retirement ...
by thewizzer
Wed Nov 20, 2013 8:09 pm
 
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: This seems like bad advice to me (is it?)
Replies: 36
Views: 3119
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