Search found 124 matches

by BrianMc
Sun Dec 10, 2017 11:25 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: CPA: The best profession if you want to make the most money + keep the most money?
Replies: 61
Views: 6100

Re: CPA: The best profession if you want to make the most money + keep the most money?

I think the OP could benefit greatly through a mentorship. OP has made some interesting posts in the past indicating, among other things, he's an intelligent, small business owner (owns a tutoring company). He appears eager, driven, and ambitious. However, he also appears to be struggling with what ...
by BrianMc
Sun Dec 10, 2017 10:39 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Danger of being a helicopter pilot?
Replies: 40
Views: 3561

Re: Danger of being a helicopter pilot?

Good morning. Former Unrestricted Naval Aviator here representing the Men's Department of the Department of the Navy (Mel will get this). :D My Background: Following Navy flight school, I served four years in a fleet helicopter squadron, both land and ship based, and finished my final two years teac...
by BrianMc
Sat Dec 09, 2017 8:10 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: TSP 401k Contribution Question
Replies: 9
Views: 465

Re: TSP 401k Contribution Question

Hi, I hope your family issues are OK. I recommend checking with your HR as my 2018 pay schedule has 27 pay periods. Thus, $18,500 / 27 = $686 per pay period (effective pp 25; however, as others have noted above, your agency may be different). Once we’re back on the customary 26 pay periods, the bi-w...
by BrianMc
Thu Dec 07, 2017 11:15 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: TV show recommendations?
Replies: 572
Views: 214471

Re: TV show recommendations?

I just finished the first season of “Mindhunter” on Netflix. It details the beginnings of the FBI’s Behavioral Science Unit (think “Silence of the Lambs” and “Criminal Minds”). No doubt in my mind this series will last several seasons. Fantastic show that you’ll likely binge watch.
by BrianMc
Thu Dec 07, 2017 9:01 am
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Thrift Savings Plan to Change I Fund Index
Replies: 7
Views: 995

Re: Thrift Savings Plan to Change I Fund Index

Terrific news for those of us who tried to replicate the MSCI All Country World via the I Fund and other mutual funds and/or ETFs. Good move by the Board!
by BrianMc
Sat Oct 14, 2017 10:33 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Boston area Relocation...major decision points
Replies: 34
Views: 3070

Re: Boston area Relocation...major decision points

Definitely rent at first, Boston area real estate is so pricey that rushing to buy could result in a very costly mistake. In something more OT, you couldn't pay me enough to go back to MA. There must be pockets of people I could relate to around the universities, but the provinciality and thought p...
by BrianMc
Sat Oct 07, 2017 9:46 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Musty smell in a bedroom
Replies: 6
Views: 1224

Re: Musty smell in a bedroom

You might start by either renting a moisture meter from a tool rental company or hire the diagnosis person from a flood recovery company with one. I would try to get very certain on the location of the moisture before I started paying people to remove drywall. Your previous experience with the wate...
by BrianMc
Sat Oct 07, 2017 9:42 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Musty smell in a bedroom
Replies: 6
Views: 1224

Re: Musty smell in a bedroom

Are you sure this is the source of the musty smell? Do you have a crawl space? I ask because musty smell can also come from poorly ventilated crawl space, especially with the conditions you cited. I'm unsure of the source, hoping that it was just the siding and that the smell was absorbed by the dr...
by BrianMc
Fri Oct 06, 2017 7:18 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Musty smell in a bedroom
Replies: 6
Views: 1224

Musty smell in a bedroom

DW and I recently had our house re-sided. This was an entire siding tear off of a home built in 1978 (think the Tudor look although it wasn't a real tudor). The previous main siding boards were painted masonry-type boards with cedar board trim. During the removal of the old siding, rot was discovere...
by BrianMc
Mon Sep 18, 2017 9:55 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Worth buying an excessive priced house?
Replies: 43
Views: 4211

Re: Worth buying an excessive house?

TYJ,

One question: Who has to cut the grass and maintain the landscape? If you don't like doing these things and won't be paying someone to do so, forget it.
by BrianMc
Mon Sep 18, 2017 9:54 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Getting over emotional attachment to house
Replies: 70
Views: 6303

Re: Getting over emotional attachment to house

Petro, I've always enjoyed your posts and you've helped me in the past. I've been in your shoes (not due to retirement) but due to a job relocation. I could have kept our place and rented it, but sold instead. I regret it. Here's why: I lived in the Washington, DC area for several years due to my jo...
by BrianMc
Tue Sep 05, 2017 5:53 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Should we let MIL pay off our mortgage?
Replies: 69
Views: 9250

Re: Should we let MIL pay off our mortgage?

I found this to be an interesting thread with lots of constructive comments as well as some less-than-tactful responses I found out-of-the-ordinary for Bogleheads. I'm going to differ from many responses and base my opinion on the human aspect to OP's story, specifically, his Mother-in-Law's (MIL) s...
by BrianMc
Mon Sep 04, 2017 9:08 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Renting during residency
Replies: 12
Views: 1434

Re: Renting during residency

I'm going to give you some tough love, so don't take it personally. Yes, what you posted is a vent. You have zero student loans and I can only assume you weren't forced into this residency. Your two housing choices both seem unfavorable to you, so let's put some things into perspective... At the end...
by BrianMc
Thu Aug 31, 2017 10:39 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Hurricane Harvey relief?
Replies: 42
Views: 3443

Re: Hurricane Harvey relief?

What I heard about is Joel Osteen amazing reaction of not opening is "stadium/church" to victims of the hurricane and also adding a donation page on his website to "help them help texas".... That was absolutely no help to the OP's question. Bogleheads is not the place for politics or debate, especi...
by BrianMc
Thu Aug 31, 2017 10:23 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Hurricane Harvey relief?
Replies: 42
Views: 3443

Re: Hurricane Harvey relief?

We really like Samaritan's Purse and we just made our donation:

https://www.samaritanspurse.org

They do a lot of wonderful work around the world for people who are really suffering. If you follow the link above, you can donate specifically for Hurricane Harvey Relief.
by BrianMc
Thu Aug 31, 2017 9:57 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Facing a setback
Replies: 19
Views: 2216

Re: Facing a setback

Hey there, First of all, not "good" progress so far, "great" progress! Night and day from where you were a few months ago. Be proud of what you've accomplished and keep your chin up. With respect to the car, I'd try this approach...call around to some fix-it shops and be completely honest. Tell them...
by BrianMc
Sun Aug 13, 2017 6:41 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Should I buy a paint sprayer?
Replies: 10
Views: 1093

Re: Should I buy a paint sprayer?

Great responses, thanks everyone!
by BrianMc
Sat Aug 12, 2017 1:16 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Should I buy a paint sprayer?
Replies: 10
Views: 1093

Should I buy a paint sprayer?

We're on our third home in 15+ years. The first two were new and I painted both interiors. Currently on our third home, which is approaching 40 years old. We have several projects on the horizon to include a complete re-siding job in the very near future. Because this will change the entire look of ...
by BrianMc
Fri Aug 04, 2017 12:33 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Home Remodeling Expenses
Replies: 12
Views: 1500

Re: Home Remodeling Expenses

MM, You're doing very well, congratulations. If you enjoy your home, like spending time in it, and plan to keep it for the foreseeable future, I say go for it. You have the funds, so if you can get everything you want for $60K, do it all at once. You'll minimize the inconvenience dealing with contra...
by BrianMc
Thu Aug 03, 2017 10:24 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Matching VTTSX 2060 to TSP fund?
Replies: 16
Views: 1287

Re: Matching VTTSX 2060 to TSP fund?

Better than most. Personally, I prefer a slightly higher exposure to small and mid caps. Additionally, the F fund has outperformed the G fund in recent memory, but there's definitely a place for the G. Thus, if I was looking at a 90/10 allocation, I'd go: C: 55% F: 15% I: 20% F: 5% G: 5% Enjoy the ...
by BrianMc
Thu Aug 03, 2017 7:10 am
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Matching VTTSX 2060 to TSP fund?
Replies: 16
Views: 1287

Re: Matching VTTSX 2060 to TSP fund?

There is a way to replicate Total International with a combination of the I Fund and Vanguard Funds. The mix has been posted on BH within the last year or so.
by BrianMc
Thu Aug 03, 2017 6:38 am
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Matching VTTSX 2060 to TSP fund?
Replies: 16
Views: 1287

Re: Matching VTTSX 2060 to TSP fund?

Better than most. Personally, I prefer a slightly higher exposure to small and mid caps. Additionally, the F fund has outperformed the G fund in recent memory, but there's definitely a place for the G. Thus, if I was looking at a 90/10 allocation, I'd go: C: 55% F: 15% I: 20% F: 5% G: 5% Enjoy the g...
by BrianMc
Mon Jul 31, 2017 9:54 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: $300k at 32. Doing well?
Replies: 14
Views: 3104

Re: How are they doing? $300k at 32

Due to the precise details provided, you seem to know just about everything about your "friends" finances. :D Sooooooo, I must ask (as this may affect how people answer your OP; and I'm willing to wager others may be thinking the same thing), does this really pertain to your friends or is this your ...
by BrianMc
Thu Apr 27, 2017 6:26 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: When does it make sense to stop paying to repair your old vehicle?
Replies: 56
Views: 4682

Re: When does it make sense to stop paying to repair your old vehicle?

OP here. Of all my posts (I don't have many), this one has generated the greatest diversity of opinions. They've been enjoyable to read, so thanks. It's interesting to see what people focus on from my original post, so I'll elaborate on some things: 1. The paint job: I had the truck re-painted last ...
by BrianMc
Wed Apr 26, 2017 8:20 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: When does it make sense to stop paying to repair your old vehicle?
Replies: 56
Views: 4682

Re: When does it make sense to stop paying to repair your old vehicle?

Drat,

I was thinking the same thing. I would love to give it to my son in furtherance of a lawn care business I've discussed with him (in our neighborhood alone, he'd make a killing mowing lawns, spreading mulch, etc).
by BrianMc
Wed Apr 26, 2017 7:55 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: When does it make sense to stop paying to repair your old vehicle?
Replies: 56
Views: 4682

Re: When does it make sense to stop paying to repair your old vehicle?

PJs, Thanks. It's perhaps an attachment issue. Think driving several times across the country in the thing; flight school with 15 of your best friends (ever; and some have since passed) sitting in the truck's bed on the way to a night of fun; and the utility value of having a truck. That being said,...
by BrianMc
Wed Apr 26, 2017 7:34 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: When does it make sense to stop paying to repair your old vehicle?
Replies: 56
Views: 4682

When does it make sense to stop paying to repair your old vehicle?

Hello All, My Boglehead-mobile is a 21 year-old American pick-up truck I bought new when I was a brand new military officer, which was my first, full-time job. It has 145K miles, a rebuilt engine (about 60K miles and 12 years ago), and I've kept very good care of it (honestly, I'm attached to it and...
by BrianMc
Fri Mar 31, 2017 10:17 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: New Annuity Horror - Any Way Out?
Replies: 5
Views: 838

Re: New Annuity Horror - Any Way Out?

Thank you! I hate to sound ghoulish, but if push comes to shove, what happens if she passes away in say, two years? Can she leave the balance to her church, charity, or relatives? If not, perhaps this is a way to have her reconsider?
by BrianMc
Fri Mar 31, 2017 10:00 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: New Annuity Horror - Any Way Out?
Replies: 5
Views: 838

New Annuity Horror - Any Way Out?

All, I received some disheartening info today. I don't have all the info as what I've received is second hand...An older relative who's lived on her own her entire life but is close to my DW reportedly cashed out either her 401K or company stock ($50K) and purchased an annuity. The annuity will pay ...
by BrianMc
Sun Feb 19, 2017 8:06 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: 100% Stock Portfolio? - 20s Military Investor
Replies: 13
Views: 1892

Re: 100% Stock Portfolio? - 20s Military Investor

I was you twenty years ago. Yes, 100% is fine for now. Start reading some books if you haven't already to help you with determining your personal asset allocation (you may ultimately decide you like what you have). Here are three I recommend in no particular order (in addition to the Bogleheads book...
by BrianMc
Sun Feb 19, 2017 3:47 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: TSP Investing or Private Student Loans ($300K+ total student loans; $53K of which are private)
Replies: 7
Views: 886

Re: TSP Investing or Private Student Loans ($300K+ total student loans; $53K of which are private)

Unless I'm reading your post incorrectly, this seems to be more of a moral question...do you pay the loans you took out (and I assume agreed to) or do you try to get out of them? You also mentioned pursuing this after your probationary period, which I found interesting. Are you concerned this will n...
by BrianMc
Sat Feb 18, 2017 9:19 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Long Day Trip: Drive Old Car or Rent Car?
Replies: 59
Views: 4676

Re: Long Day Trip: Drive Old Car or Rent Car?

Less than $20 to drive your family around in a nicer car.

Be a wild man for a day and splurge.

Honestly, the time you've spent thinking about this trivial amount of money would be better spent doing other things.

Enjoy your trip! :D
by BrianMc
Sun Feb 12, 2017 9:36 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Kitchen cabinets
Replies: 73
Views: 6961

Re: Kitchen cabinets

Those look like nice cabinets. Do they get dirty? All depends on the usage and who is handling the doors and drawers (adults with clean hands or little folks with melted popsicles in them). I like white cabinets and plan to get ours professionally painted (we have dark oak...think late 70s). Do a li...
by BrianMc
Sun Feb 12, 2017 9:27 am
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Privatecollege529 vs Texas Prepaid Tuition
Replies: 4
Views: 546

Re: Privatecollege529 vs Texas Prepaid Tuition

I do not reside in TX and do not have a PrivateCollege529 or TexasPromiseFund/State529/StatePrepaidTuition. I'm in a similar boat though, as I have 529s in two different states in which I received/receive tax incentives on my state taxes. Based on some quick research, here are my thoughts on what yo...
by BrianMc
Sat Feb 11, 2017 8:51 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Convince Wife for Honda Odyssey
Replies: 48
Views: 3298

Re: Convince Wife for Honda Odyssey

We've owned our Odyssey for almost 10 years. Many, many wonderful memories so far to include bringing our kids home from the hospital as newborns, to filling the ENTIRE trunk with suitcases and toys for a one week summer vacation, to having a "perfectly healthy" three year old projectile v...
by BrianMc
Sat Feb 04, 2017 10:00 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Cord cut strategy for young family
Replies: 67
Views: 7771

Re: Cord cut strategy for young family

BD, I can't answer all of your questions, but I can answer some. First, I'd see how many channels you can access over the digital airwaves. Check out this site and input your zip code: m. If you're in a relatively flat area, you may get several (I can get 40+). If you're in a hilly or mountainous ar...
by BrianMc
Tue Jan 31, 2017 9:49 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Are you changing your AA based on current events?
Replies: 68
Views: 4083

Re: Are you changing your AA based on current events?

No. Case and point: I conducted my annual re-balancing and planned contributions a few weeks ago. The market was doing great. I paused for a moment and contemplated increasing my stock allocation - I didn't. Now, a few weeks later, one could think more bonds could be a better move based on current e...
by BrianMc
Mon Jan 16, 2017 1:09 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Streaming TV for Elderly Parents
Replies: 39
Views: 4274

Re: Streaming TV for Elderly Parents

I do not have the knowledge to do much of what is discussed here, although I know from discussions I'm overpaying for cable (Comcast) and land line phone and internet (Verizon). I receive offers from Comcast, for everything, MUCH cheaper than the combined fee I pay now. Does anyone take this sort o...
by BrianMc
Mon Jan 16, 2017 6:18 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Streaming TV for Elderly Parents
Replies: 39
Views: 4274

Re: Streaming TV for Elderly Parents

I can speak from personal experience as "we cut the cord" from cable on December 31 and it lasted two weeks. Personally, I can live with the antenna and Roku (and I actually enjoy the simplicity...we receive approx. 45 digital channels where I live with a simple $25 antenna), but there are...
by BrianMc
Sat Jan 14, 2017 5:04 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Any reason to NOT go all G Fund for Bond Allocation?
Replies: 5
Views: 1005

Any reason to NOT go all G Fund for Bond Allocation?

Hi All, This is the weekend I usually rebalance my portfolio (Roth IRA and TSP). I keep all of my bonds (25% of my portfolio) in my TSP via the G Fund (20%) and the F Fund (5%). I just looked at the current composition of the L2040 fund, and it currently holds 20.5% in G and 6% in F. I know there ar...
by BrianMc
Wed Jan 11, 2017 2:17 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: France or Switzerland
Replies: 52
Views: 5949

Re: France or Switzerland

normaldude wrote:According to the Economist.com's Big Mac index, Switzerland is literally the most expensive place in the world.

Big Mac Cost:

- Switzerland: $6.59

- USA: $5.04

- Euro Area: $4.21

http://www.economist.com/content/big-mac-index


The Economist folks must have bought their Big Macs in Alaska or Hawaii! :sharebeer :sharebeer
by BrianMc
Wed Jan 11, 2017 1:21 am
Forum: Local Chapters and Bogleheads Community
Topic: Sad News About a Respected Forum Member
Replies: 118
Views: 22196

Re: Sad News About a Respected Forum Member

Ole Meph, a Boglehead and Diehards legend. About 12 years ago, there were a series of monster threads on M* concerning a financial company many would consider "questionable" (I'm keeping it kind and not mentioning their name) in its dealings with military personnel with respect to investin...
by BrianMc
Sun Jan 08, 2017 8:27 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Reverting to a Wood Burning Fireplace from Gas
Replies: 37
Views: 2770

Re: Reverting to a Wood Burning Fireplace from Gas

Many thanks to all for your very thoughtful, detailed responses. I've taken your recommendations to heart and I've decided to keep the gas fireplace for now and see if I can possibly add a blower to get some heat from it. For those who asked, it's located on the main level and on an exterior wall. W...
by BrianMc
Sun Jan 08, 2017 3:44 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Reverting to a Wood Burning Fireplace from Gas
Replies: 37
Views: 2770

Re: Reverting to a Wood Burning Fireplace from Gas

If you want more heat, check to see if you have a vented or a ventless gas log insert. Vented will require the flue to be open and as said above, much of the heat actually just goes out the chimney. We have a ventless insert, so the flue doesn't need to be open and most of the heat comes into the h...
by BrianMc
Sun Jan 08, 2017 3:23 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Reverting to a Wood Burning Fireplace from Gas
Replies: 37
Views: 2770

Re: Reverting to a Wood Burning Fireplace from Gas

user5027 wrote:I would consider getting a wood stove insert. From what you describe it is an open fireplace and most of the heat goes up the chimney.


Who specializes in something like this...a mason?
by BrianMc
Sun Jan 08, 2017 3:16 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Reverting to a Wood Burning Fireplace from Gas
Replies: 37
Views: 2770

Re: Reverting to a Wood Burning Fireplace from Gas

Is it sized properly for the room (BTUs?)? Does it have a blower installed to move the air? What is the condition of the chimney? . Pardon my ignorance, but I have no idea if it's properly sized for the room. The fireplace was constructed when the home was built. The original owner actually watched...
by BrianMc
Sun Jan 08, 2017 3:09 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Reverting to a Wood Burning Fireplace from Gas
Replies: 37
Views: 2770

Reverting to a Wood Burning Fireplace from Gas

I was wondering if anyone's ever gone back to a wood burning fireplace after having converted to gas? We bought our home from the original owners years back and it has a beautiful fireplace. I would say it's the focal point of the downstairs and was one of the home's selling points in my eyes. The p...
by BrianMc
Sat Jan 07, 2017 12:20 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Is driving for uber worth it for side money?
Replies: 67
Views: 13522

Re: Is driving for uber worth it for side money?

While the app knows where you are going and has already plotted out the fastest route, the DRIVER is not allowed to see any of this until they've already driven to pick you up and you are in the car. The driver has no knowledge of your destination when he or she accepts the ride. So it's possible t...
by BrianMc
Thu Jan 05, 2017 8:21 am
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Good time for VGPMX? [Vanguard Precious Metals And Mining]
Replies: 18
Views: 2353

Re: Good time for VGPMX? [Vanguard Precious Metals And Mining]

It was up 51% last year. Seems like it had a phenomenal year. It did have a great year last year. However, I bought it almost exactly two years ago (12/24/14 to be exact) and am up a little over 5% in total over that time--including dividends. It is very volatile and has not been a great long term ...
by BrianMc
Wed Jan 04, 2017 9:01 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Good time for VGPMX? [Vanguard Precious Metals And Mining]
Replies: 18
Views: 2353

Re: Good time for VGPMX? [Vanguard Precious Metals And Mining]

It was up 51% last year. Seems like it had a phenomenal year.