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Re: New HVAC system

We have Lennox since it is the quietest. Noise annoys me. Noise has more to do with the installation than the brand. If your outside unit is sitting a foot away from your single-pane glass window (probably a code violation not to mention a waste of energy of course), any brand is going to seem nois...
by tibbitts
Tue Jul 29, 2014 8:57 am
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: New HVAC system
Replies: 29
Views: 2065

Re: Saving for Adoption

Thank you everyone so much for the advice. Great to hear from people who have done it and hear the realistic issues that come up. We do know that adoption often involves heartbreak, invasion of privacy, etc. Also appreciate the warning about how long the process can take. A friend was giving us sim...
by tibbitts
Tue Jul 29, 2014 8:51 am
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Saving for Adoption
Replies: 14
Views: 1266

Re: New HVAC system

When we bought our unit we had 7 contractors measure with all their computer-aided tools, and every one of them came up with 3tons, as an upgrade from 2.5tons. We have 3tons, 15seer. The system isn't enough for us (Oklahoma, 1500sq ft. 1 story), although a larger unit probably wouldn't have fit phys...
by tibbitts
Mon Jul 28, 2014 10:23 pm
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: New HVAC system
Replies: 29
Views: 2065

Re: Kitchen Remodel... Or Not?

I live in a 25 year old house and if I had your income and the ability to do all the work in a few days, I'd knock it down tomorrow and build a new one. Well, ok, I'd actually rather be in a slightly different location, but that's not the point, I'm talking about the quality of the house itself - a...
by tibbitts
Mon Jul 28, 2014 7:34 pm
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Kitchen Remodel... Or Not?
Replies: 53
Views: 2797

Re: Kitchen Remodel... Or Not?

I live in a 25 year old house and if I had your income and the ability to do all the work in a few days, I'd knock it down tomorrow and build a new one. Well, ok, I'd actually rather be in a slightly different location, but that's not the point, I'm talking about the quality of the house itself - an...
by tibbitts
Mon Jul 28, 2014 8:55 am
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Kitchen Remodel... Or Not?
Replies: 53
Views: 2797

Re: Vanguard eliminates fee on FTSE All-World ex-US Small-Ca

Time to work on my neglected small cap international tilt!! I've held out on this due to the extra fee, glad to see if has reached critical mass and been removed. I tried holding out on the international RE fund, but gave in, partly, after admiral shares became available. So I have some of it now, ...
by tibbitts
Sun Jul 27, 2014 7:48 pm
 
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Vanguard eliminates fee on FTSE All-World ex-US Small-Cap
Replies: 24
Views: 3517

Re: Should I become a CFP?

My non-expert opinion is that certifications don't matter for someone in your position. All that matters is being willing to convince all your friends/relatives, and of course perfect strangers, to hand over their life savings to you. One percent of them will know or care what a CFP is. When it come...
by tibbitts
Sun Jul 27, 2014 5:40 pm
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Should I become a CFP?
Replies: 23
Views: 2797

Re: Saving for Adoption

I wish everyone the best, and there are several wonderful adopted children in our extended family. But just this once I wish the decision on adoption were made with the best interests of the child at heart, rather than treated as a consumer purchase. I think you're misreading some of this. The chil...
by tibbitts
Sun Jul 27, 2014 4:52 pm
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Saving for Adoption
Replies: 14
Views: 1266

Re: Saving for Adoption

Well, it is a consumer purchase, particularly a typical newborn adoption. But I'm not understanding this: We do not feel called to foster to adopt, especially because we both work outside the home. Either you have the resources required to outsource the required care or not. While it's true that fos...
by tibbitts
Sun Jul 27, 2014 4:50 pm
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Saving for Adoption
Replies: 14
Views: 1266

Re: Vanguard eliminates fee on FTSE All-World ex-US Small-Ca

This is excellent news from Vanguard. Thank you Kevin. Not necessarily. It's not such good news for everybody who already bought the fund and paid the fees, and was counting on those fee contributions from others trading into and out of the fund to improve their net performance over time. Of course...
by tibbitts
Sun Jul 27, 2014 12:55 pm
 
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Vanguard eliminates fee on FTSE All-World ex-US Small-Cap
Replies: 24
Views: 3517

Re: rewards checking account

Not worthwhile. Similarly, there's a limit to how many credit cards are worth juggling to maximize rebates, unless collecting the maximum possible rebates is a hobby. One exception would be if you're spending a lot of someone else's money for which you get reimbursed. 2% back on $1,000,000 becomes p...
by tibbitts
Sun Jul 27, 2014 12:41 pm
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: rewards checking account
Replies: 12
Views: 708

Re: Mileage Reimbursement or Company Car?

You can't deduct the reimbursement, but I believe you can deduct the shortfall between what the company pays you and whatever the allowed rate for a given year is, at least if you can get over the itemization and percent-of-AGI hurdle. I had an employer once that paid a half-cent or a cent more than...
by tibbitts
Sat Jul 26, 2014 11:49 am
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Mileage Reimbursement or Company Car?
Replies: 17
Views: 637

Re: Public Speaking-help

Go to Toastmasters for the long term. For the short term, engage the "owner" of the meeting, tell him/her you want to be sure your content is on target, will they review it ahead of time? In my experience, Dale Carnegie is expensive and much less effective than a good Toastmasters' Club o...
by tibbitts
Sat Jul 26, 2014 1:10 am
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Public Speaking-help
Replies: 71
Views: 3606

Re: Public Speaking-help

I think you should delegate the presentation. You can be on hand to help out.
by tibbitts
Sat Jul 26, 2014 12:55 am
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Public Speaking-help
Replies: 71
Views: 3606

Re: Advice wanted on first computer purchase since 1982!

Go to the apple store and pick up a new 17" macbook pro. Oh wait, you can't. Work supplies me with a 15" macbook pro, i7, 8gb. It's nice, and fine if you really just want a computer that you plug into giant destkop monitors, but 17" is nicer if you actually want to use it on your lap....
by tibbitts
Thu Jul 24, 2014 7:57 pm
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Advice wanted on first computer purchase since 1982!
Replies: 105
Views: 5751

Re: Can I manage a new CC?

I have a fist full of cc's and regularly use 4 of them. AMEX 6% groceries, used just for groceries, PenFed 5% gas, used just for gas, Fido AMEX 2% used for everything I can and the Fido Visa 1.5% for when they don't take Amex. I have Discover and some store cards, an Amazon card and others but don'...
by tibbitts
Thu Jul 24, 2014 8:35 am
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Can I manage a new CC?
Replies: 13
Views: 1055

Re: Here's another "where should I retire" thread

My only suggestion is to avoid two homes. You can travel more to make up for not having the second home. I know that sometimes you sort of fall into owning a second home and it may be be convenient to sell it, at least in the short run. Or you might buy a second home early for various reasons, in pr...
by tibbitts
Wed Jul 23, 2014 8:58 pm
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Here's another "where should I retire" thread
Replies: 104
Views: 6171

Re: Can it be wrong to be too risk averse?

... He points out that a loss of principal is a lot bigger problem to his long term investment goals for retirement, than missing out on a higher rate of return. ... Respectfully disagree. This is a faulty assumption, as his bonds are losing against inflation. Any investment philosophy based on a f...
by tibbitts
Wed Jul 23, 2014 8:59 am
 
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Can it be wrong to be too risk averse?
Replies: 49
Views: 2336

Re: Evaluating Vanguard CFP Recommendations

My thinking is that if you know enough to criticize the plan, you don't need the plan. It's always been my feeling that VG can't win here. They used to recommend a mix of passive and active funds, and we didn't like that. They recommended funds-of-funds (Diversified Equity), and we didn't like that....
by tibbitts
Wed Jul 23, 2014 8:46 am
 
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Evaluating Vanguard CFP Recommendations
Replies: 23
Views: 1805

Re: Can it be wrong to be too risk averse?

You need an awfully lot of safe assets in retirement to live on. I believe Groucho Marx was wealthy and invested only in government bonds. When someone said they don't pay enough he supposedly said "they do if you have enough of them". Having enough of them is the challenge. Most need som...
by tibbitts
Tue Jul 22, 2014 7:31 pm
 
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Can it be wrong to be too risk averse?
Replies: 49
Views: 2336

Re: Parents are behind. Total asset allocation advice (56 &

ab0mination wrote:
Grt2bOutdoors wrote:How do you know your parents are behind?


Well they're behind by every metric & rule of thumb I've ever heard

Well, if I recall one of those metrics is that about 1 in 4 couples retire on nothing but social security. It seems like they're doing a lot better than that.
by tibbitts
Mon Jul 21, 2014 7:32 pm
 
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Parents are behind. Total asset allocation advice (56 & 51)?
Replies: 26
Views: 3493

Re: Anyone attend Worcester Polytechnic Institute

I don't know anything about WPI, but it seems that many if not most graduates get hired based on internships. So one question for her would be what prospects she feels she has at employers where she's done internships.
by tibbitts
Sun Jul 20, 2014 6:09 pm
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Anyone attend Worcester Polytechnic Institute
Replies: 45
Views: 2433

Re: Market Timing vs. Market Opportunity

I think it's ok to do what's being proposed, but it has to have nothing to do with an emotional reaction to QE. You need an algorithm that you establish and stick with. You have to recognize the possibility that your algorithm will leave you out of equities forever. So clearly this works best - and ...
by tibbitts
Fri Jul 18, 2014 8:04 am
 
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Market Timing vs. Market Opportunity
Replies: 46
Views: 2969

Re: Teacher Considering Career Change

The problem was the administration. I don't want to complain about it since that won't do me any good. Have you spent your entire career at one school? Did you teach right out of college or do something else first? Probably your experience would vary depending on the school, but it seems premature ...
by tibbitts
Wed Jul 16, 2014 9:34 pm
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Teacher Considering Career Change
Replies: 49
Views: 3855

Re: Help me understand bond funds

Thanks for the replies. asif408, the link was really helpful. So, it sounds like it doesn't really make sense when people say to avoid bonds because interest rates are low. I think what people are saying is that the spread between rates and the inflation they're experiencing is unfavorable and/or n...
by tibbitts
Wed Jul 16, 2014 9:03 pm
 
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Help me understand bond funds
Replies: 5
Views: 827

Re: Should I use margin to buy a balanced fund?

Would you be asking this question if the market was still at the lows it hit during the last downturn, and was showing no signs of ever improving?
by tibbitts
Wed Jul 16, 2014 7:47 pm
 
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Should I use margin to buy a balanced fund?
Replies: 191
Views: 10014

Re: Buying a camper

There are popups that shouldn't take 75min to set up - ours was more like 15-20min and could be done by one person. Admittedly setup was not the most fun to do in rain, or hot or cold weather, for that matter, but even hardside campers have some setup to do. Soon your kids will be old enough to do i...
by tibbitts
Wed Jul 16, 2014 8:49 am
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Buying a camper
Replies: 26
Views: 2496

Re: University of British Columbia - Vancouver?

From the major/minor I'm guessing she's planning to head directly to grad school. Unless she has a particular one in mind (particularly one in canada) I'm guessing the grad school reputation, etc. will be what matters more for employment, and how she got there will matter less. I'm definitely not an...
by tibbitts
Tue Jul 15, 2014 8:48 am
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: University of British Columbia - Vancouver?
Replies: 31
Views: 1745

Re: Anyone here flip houses?

Thanks for all the info. I definitely won't be able to do the renovations myself, not only do I lack time but I lack the skill for that kind of work. My best friends dad, however, does this kind of work all the time. He does paint, carpet, builds cabinets, etc. Now if plumbing and electrical were t...
by tibbitts
Mon Jul 14, 2014 8:53 am
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Anyone here flip houses?
Replies: 40
Views: 4624

Re: Anyone here flip houses?

As I've mentioned in similar threads, if you don't d-i-y, you probably need to have access to wholesale labor to make this work: framers, finish carpenters, electricians, plumbers, roofers, hvac, foundation repair people, etc. And in your case, you need labor that works effectively with almost no su...
by tibbitts
Sun Jul 13, 2014 11:55 pm
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Anyone here flip houses?
Replies: 40
Views: 4624

Re: mom wants to "sell" me her condo for estate planning

You should take the house. Maybe have her sell it to you for $1 or something. My father in law's mother just had to sell her house and all her assets to pay for her nursing home costs and it has essentially spent all of her assets down to nothing included what was a paid off home. If the home was i...
by tibbitts
Sun Jul 13, 2014 11:41 am
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: mom wants to "sell" me her condo for estate planning
Replies: 23
Views: 3001

Re: Safe withdrawal rate > 4% if no heirs & ok to deplete ca

I think the OP was operating under the incorrect assumption that 4% was generally considered safe for preserving principal.
by tibbitts
Sun Jul 13, 2014 11:05 am
 
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Safe withdrawal rate > 4% if no heirs & ok to deplete captl?
Replies: 32
Views: 3091

Re: Why so afraid to "lose" money?

I see a lot of posts about saving for things 1-5 years away. And the general consensus always seems to be that this money can't be in stocks. But in the accumulation stage of life, I don't really get this approach. I've always taken the approach of having one asset allocation for all my accounts. I...
by tibbitts
Sat Jul 12, 2014 5:37 pm
 
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Why so afraid to "lose" money?
Replies: 22
Views: 3322

Re: Family member as Financial Advisor

I think all these replies are missing the point. If your father is an independent financial adviser and planning on handing his business over to you some day, that's an absolutely overriding consideration. Or to be more specific, if that's likely to happen if you continue investing $500/mo, and not ...
by tibbitts
Sat Jul 12, 2014 11:08 am
 
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Family member as Financial Advisor
Replies: 35
Views: 2998

Re: Amazon.com Rewards Visa card from Chase

My sign-up bonus was only $30 too, years ago. But yesterday I received this threatening (well, to me) notice via email regarding my chase amazon visa: Rest assured, your rewards program is still the same. Going forward, we will now refer to the rewards you earn as "% Back. At the bottom of the ...
by tibbitts
Thu Jul 10, 2014 8:45 am
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Amazon.com Rewards Visa card from Chase
Replies: 35
Views: 4779

Re: Valuing a personal residence for net worth purposes

I have no interest in net worth calculations so for you it's important to first figure out the meaning and use of this number you are trying to calculate to guide you to the proper way to evaluate it. Net Worth for me is one of my critical measures. Personally, I track it monthly. The value of any ...
by tibbitts
Sat Jul 05, 2014 2:02 pm
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Valuing a personal residence for net worth purposes
Replies: 73
Views: 4000

Re: Valuing a personal residence for net worth purposes

I have no interest in net worth calculations so for you it's important to first figure out the meaning and use of this number you are trying to calculate to guide you to the proper way to evaluate it. Net Worth for me is one of my critical measures. Personally, I track it monthly. The value of any ...
by tibbitts
Sat Jul 05, 2014 1:13 pm
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Valuing a personal residence for net worth purposes
Replies: 73
Views: 4000

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

Many of us have salaries that are public, but even if not, kids should know - as long as they also understand the expenses and taxes in detail. Younger kids, even teenagers, may assume that if you make $50k/yr, you can spend $50k a year, and won't really think of utilities or taxes as "spending...
by tibbitts
Sat Jul 05, 2014 12:07 pm
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Do you tell your kids how much you make?
Replies: 58
Views: 5988

Re: Bad paint job - Course of action help pls

I don't think SW paint is necessarily better than HD or some other brands, keeping in mind that every brand has different quality levels. However I think that paints can have different characteristics, so if a painter has a lot of experience with a certain brand of higher-end paint, it can be advant...
by tibbitts
Sat Jul 05, 2014 11:45 am
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Bad paint job - Course of action help pls
Replies: 28
Views: 2549

Re: Saving for my education

You've made a lot of progress and should feel good about that. My suggestion would be that if you get close to finishing a 2yr degree and can do that without wasting many credits that won't transfer, do that vs. maybe skipping one or two classes and transferring directly to a 4yr program. Life has a...
by tibbitts
Fri Jul 04, 2014 10:21 pm
 
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Saving for my education
Replies: 7
Views: 669

Re: Advice: Small Cap VSCIX or VGELX (Energy)>

Tidbitts: I am not claiming to have any special knowledge of the Energy sector and I defy you to re-read my quote and state that what I said was anything more than my own personal thinking on the sector itself. I'm just thinking about what it is I see going on in the world today and wondering if it...
by tibbitts
Thu Jul 03, 2014 8:12 pm
 
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Advice: Small Cap VSCIX or VGELX (Energy)?
Replies: 5
Views: 305

Re: Advice: Small Cap VSCIX or Energy Index VGELX?

You may not receive too many replies to your thread because: 1. the energy fund you mention isn't an index, so your premise is incorrect; 2. maybe you haven't read the forum or wiki here very much, but nobody here is going to believe that you have some knowledge of the energy industry (and therefore...
by tibbitts
Thu Jul 03, 2014 8:51 am
 
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Advice: Small Cap VSCIX or VGELX (Energy)?
Replies: 5
Views: 305

Re: 2015 Subaru Outback

If you want far better fuel mileage and a smaller vehicle, look at the Crosstrek. We went from 2 generations of Outbacks (02 and 08) to the Crosstrek last year. With the CVT transmission, it gets in the low 30s mpg. I particularly liked that the limited can be had with manual leather heated seats w...
by tibbitts
Tue Jul 01, 2014 8:20 am
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: 2015 Subaru Outback
Replies: 18
Views: 2167

Re: finding an adviser/handholder for wife

You're way too worried about this. It would be good to have a discussion with the family about what you've done and why, but when you're gone you need to let the people that are left make their own decisions. Everybody will survive, and not necessarily be better or worse off because they might not d...
by tibbitts
Mon Jun 30, 2014 7:22 pm
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: finding an adviser/handholder for wife
Replies: 24
Views: 3340

Re: How to get father on board with index funds

For whatever reason, VG (and many other companies) choose not to offer a particularly high-income equity fund. I don't know why; the theoretical arguments against sort-of-high-income funds are the same as would be with higher-income funds. Some people just want 5%+ dividend equities. Maybe VG will c...
by tibbitts
Sun Jun 29, 2014 5:42 pm
 
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: How to get father on board with index funds
Replies: 34
Views: 2084

Re: Bad paint job - Course of action help pls

I felt that was reasonable and paid him his the original quote. Nobody has any idea whether you've paid him half the estimate, or the entire amount. But an important point was that if you contracted for specific materials and didn't get them, the contractor should obligated to restore the original ...
by tibbitts
Sat Jun 28, 2014 12:32 pm
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Bad paint job - Course of action help pls
Replies: 28
Views: 2549

Re: Better than index funds: Buy a conglomerate’s stock

Not seeing anything of value in the article, and I think the investing approach is terrible.
by tibbitts
Sat Jun 28, 2014 11:51 am
 
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Better than index funds: Buy a conglomerate’s stock
Replies: 27
Views: 3430

Re: Best Road Trip Vehicle

But you don't want something so huge that it's difficult to drive. It's not a matter of "camping"; it's a matter of having the freedom to stay near somewhere interesting when it's late, you're tired, and there's no other lodging available. It would be really nice to have the ability to bo...
by tibbitts
Fri Jun 27, 2014 7:30 pm
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Best Road Trip Vehicle
Replies: 35
Views: 2749

Re: Best Road Trip Vehicle

You have to consider the budget, how much "touring" you'll do vs. staying in one location, where you'll be driving (exploring where 4wd and clearance might be important), and what you'll be taking with you (hobbies, etc.) If money was no object, for purchase price or fuel, I'd consider a B...
by tibbitts
Thu Jun 26, 2014 8:52 pm
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Best Road Trip Vehicle
Replies: 35
Views: 2749

Re: Pool fence installation?

We're wrapping up our in-ground swimming pool contsruction and are in the final stages of landscaping and selecting pool fence. I'm shocked at how expensive some of the quotes have been for pool fence and installation. Quotes have been anywhere from 9K - 14K (for appox 250 feet) of black aluminum f...
by tibbitts
Mon Jun 23, 2014 8:53 am
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Pool fence installation?
Replies: 13
Views: 814
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