Search found 72 matches

by SwampDonkey
Thu Dec 31, 2015 3:33 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Military and House Buying
Replies: 8
Views: 582

Re: Military and House Buying

Current AD. On my 9th permanent duty station. Have only bought twice. Bought in these areas because the housing market was very depressed in these locations but the rental rates weren't correspondingly low. I was never "all-in" on buying, I just happened to find houses that were exactly wh...
by SwampDonkey
Wed Dec 16, 2015 4:28 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: New Military Retirement System
Replies: 80
Views: 6774

Re: New Military Retirement System

Retirement pay is just one piece of a complicated system that manages recruiting and retention. It has nothing to do with what is fair or what anyone deserves; it's about how much we need to pay, and when, to recruit and retain enough of the right people. A prime example is that you can't break it ...
by SwampDonkey
Wed Dec 16, 2015 4:12 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: New Military Retirement System
Replies: 80
Views: 6774

Re: New Military Retirement System

few questions.... 1- When would I be considered Active Duty the day I ship out for basic? or when I graduate? Cause i definitely want to make a career out of the military so I want to opt for the current program. I just don't know how AD works. I don't want to get on the bus thinking i'm active dut...
by SwampDonkey
Sun Nov 01, 2015 11:39 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Age 29 & married, how much life insurance?
Replies: 46
Views: 5655

Re: Age 29 & married, how much life insurance?

We were recently in your shoes and this is how we proceeded. We did this several years ago and I am comfortable with our decision. I should also note, we did not insure until my wife became pregnant and long-term childcare costs became relevant. Me: breadwinner; $400k life insurance policy with annu...
by SwampDonkey
Sun Nov 01, 2015 11:17 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: SUV with "Best Ride"
Replies: 40
Views: 4220

Re: SUV with "Best Ride"

Test drive the Buick Enclave - seats seven, very smooth ride, and a very quiet interior. Overall, a fantastic vehicle.
by SwampDonkey
Sun Nov 01, 2015 11:00 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Hawaii vacation questions
Replies: 41
Views: 3194

Re: Hawaii vacation questions

Currently live on Oahu; visited the other islands several times. Oahu is where you go to be a tourist; Maui is where you go to relax. 1. The above comment about the Disney resort having their own beach is not accurate. All beaches in Hawaii are public based on state law. There are several resorts wh...
by SwampDonkey
Thu Oct 15, 2015 1:34 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Bicycle commuting
Replies: 91
Views: 6285

Re: Bicycle commuting

Just started a couple months ago and love it. 8 miles rountrip; some bike path, some sidewalk, some street. Takes me about 20 minutes from door to door which is just as quick as my car on the best of car-commuting days. My "Tipping Point" was spending 2.5 hrs in traffic to get home one aft...
by SwampDonkey
Wed Sep 30, 2015 5:07 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Washer died. Seeking recommendations for a top loader.
Replies: 65
Views: 4111

Re: Washer died. Seeking recommendations for a top loader.

We just purchased a new LG set; this is the washer we decided on: http://www.homedepot.com/p/LG-Electronics-4-1-cu-ft-High-Efficiency-Front-Control-Top-Load-Washer-in-White-ENERGY-STAR-WT1101CW/203578178. Please, please, please, do not buy this washer. This is far and away the worst purchase of my l...
by SwampDonkey
Thu Aug 06, 2015 5:45 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: SUV advice
Replies: 119
Views: 9587

Re: SUV advice

We were recently in your shoes --- purchased a Ford Fusion right before baby #1 arrived. It worked okay but putting the stroller into the trunk was a bit unwieldy (and it took up most of the trunk). When we found out baby #2 was on it's way, we starting researching and test-driving a bigger "fa...
by SwampDonkey
Thu Aug 06, 2015 3:41 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Energy Sector: Oil and gas
Replies: 50
Views: 3822

Re: Energy Sector: Oil and gas

Great discussion by all. I've decided to holster my good-idea-gun for a while and see how the geopolitics plays out over the next few quarters before allocating any funds to this sector.

Also, thanks for pointing out Vanguard's VDE! Seems like the smartest way to play this. :sharebeer
by SwampDonkey
Thu Aug 06, 2015 10:51 am
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Energy Sector: Oil and gas
Replies: 50
Views: 3822

Energy Sector: Oil and gas

Just curious to see if anyone is loading up on oil and gas during the recent downturn in the sector. I'm not one for market timing but I'm also not one to ignore the obvious --- the sector is absolutely getting crushed right now. I am thinking about taking small positions in some of the major oil an...
by SwampDonkey
Mon Jul 06, 2015 6:15 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Car rental tip - go directly to the rental company
Replies: 14
Views: 2673

Re: Car rental tip - go directly to the rental company

Wow... Just tried http://www.autoslash.com for the first time and it was fantastic. 4-day trip to Spokane, WA --- http://www.hipmunk.com -- $160 was the lowest (economy) http://www.usaa.com -- $175 was the lowest (several types) http://www.costcotravel.com -- $150 was the lowest (full-size) http://w...
by SwampDonkey
Mon Jul 06, 2015 5:29 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Worst financial book you have read (or will admit you have read)
Replies: 94
Views: 10306

Re: Worst financial book you have read (or will admit you have read)

Hands down, "Rich Dad, Poor Dad" -- the worst $15 investment I ever made.
by SwampDonkey
Wed Jul 01, 2015 1:43 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Golf in Bangkok and Chiang Mai, Thailand
Replies: 3
Views: 706

Re: Golf in Bangkok and Chiang Mai, Thailand

Haven't golfed in those specific areas but I did a little further south in Pattaya. We were staying at a relatively nice hotel, at least it was nice enough to have an "excursions" desk with agent. We asked him for out options and he showed us approx. 6 different course pamphlets and gave u...
by SwampDonkey
Tue Jun 09, 2015 2:37 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Thoughts on Federal Employment
Replies: 86
Views: 9828

Re: Thoughts on Federal Employment

There's nothing to keep you from joining the military for 2-4 years to get an equal status in the hiring process. Besides, the military is "federal employment" :mrgreen: ... - Ron Other than the fact that I'm beyond the maximum age -- thanks for reminding me that I'm so old! :shock: :D :D...
by SwampDonkey
Tue Jun 09, 2015 2:12 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Buying Used Car on eBay
Replies: 27
Views: 2790

Re: Buying Used Car on eBay

We purchased a '12 Buick Enclave on eBay last fall. The car had 30+ photos and looked immaculate. However, the car had been wrecked and when I emailed the seller, he sent me the salvaged photos (slight damage to the front left of the vehicle). Was the car worth it? So far, yes. I had been closely mo...
by SwampDonkey
Wed Apr 15, 2015 10:39 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Paying off rental with Heloc to move schedule e to schedule
Replies: 26
Views: 1688

Re: Paying off rental with Heloc to move schedule e to sched

OP - Just something to consider - while you enjoy being a LL now, you are still single, child-free (I assume), and young in your career. As you shift from single to married, childless to parent, and mentee to supervisor, the free time and limited stress you are accustomed to at this moment will quic...
by SwampDonkey
Wed Feb 25, 2015 10:57 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Anyone have one of those standing desks?
Replies: 26
Views: 2689

Re: Anyone have one of those standing desks?

I used to use a homemade one for two years and it was wonderful - alertness throughout the day increased, reduced back pain, higher tendency to walk around and see how everyone was doing. I then transferred and used a normal (sit-down) desk for 12 months. It was bad. Back pain returned and felt a sl...
by SwampDonkey
Thu Jan 15, 2015 11:59 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Is this an unreasonable quote for interior home painting?
Replies: 55
Views: 5762

Re: Is this an unreasonable quote for interior home painting

We had two painters spend three hours painting our living room, entryway, and two hallways --- about 800 sq ft and 14ft ceilings. They initially quoted $425, I talked them down to $350. They tried to only apply a single coat and say that was good. It wasn't. They applied the second coat after I tol...
by SwampDonkey
Thu Jan 15, 2015 4:00 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Is this an unreasonable quote for interior home painting?
Replies: 55
Views: 5762

Re: Is this an unreasonable quote for interior home painting

We had two painters spend three hours painting our living room, entryway, and two hallways --- about 800 sq ft and 14ft ceilings. They initially quoted $425, I talked them down to $350. They tried to only apply a single coat and say that was good. It wasn't. They applied the second coat after I told...
by SwampDonkey
Sun Jan 11, 2015 9:24 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Help me to understand time shares
Replies: 61
Views: 6430

Re: Help me to understand time shares

My wife and eye viewed timeshares with the same suspect eye that many of the posters on here have already mentioned. However, my folks have had a timeshare with Blue Green for the past 7 years and they have really, really enjoyed being owners. Unfortunately for them, they purchased from the develope...
by SwampDonkey
Sat Aug 16, 2014 10:19 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Two days in Little Rock, AR - What to do and see?
Replies: 29
Views: 1890

Re: Two days in Little Rock, AR - What to do and see?

Follow up from our trip: Clinton Library: This was our first presidential library so we weren't really sure what to expect. With that said, we were a little under-impressed. The building was very nice, the workers were very kind and helpful, but overall, the experience was just under-whelming. The t...
by SwampDonkey
Wed Jul 30, 2014 12:21 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Two days in Little Rock, AR - What to do and see?
Replies: 29
Views: 1890

Re: Two days in Little Rock, AR - What to do and see?

Appreciate the response from everyone. I think we're going to focus our energy into the Presidential library, the Big Dam, and Pinnacle mountain. For those that have hiked the mountain, how "toddler" friendly is it? Is it feasible to have a toddler on my back and complete the hike (relativ...
by SwampDonkey
Tue Jul 29, 2014 7:33 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Two days in Little Rock, AR - What to do and see?
Replies: 29
Views: 1890

Two days in Little Rock, AR - What to do and see?

My family will be travelling through Little Rock, AR, in the near future and we thought we'd spend a few days checking out the area. Anyone have any suggestions on what to visit? Where to stay? Local restaurants? Travelers include two adults and a toddler. Any insight would be greatly appreciated!
by SwampDonkey
Mon Mar 17, 2014 12:21 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Do you love your job? What do you do?
Replies: 134
Views: 11958

Re: Do you love your job? What do you do?

Naval Officer - started as an Enlisted Sailor out of high school, was selected for NROTC scholarship, currently active duty as a mid-level officer. Pros: Travel; job stability; make enough to provide for my family; health and retirement benefits; management/leadership experience; level of responsibi...
by SwampDonkey
Thu Feb 20, 2014 11:17 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Buying a 'loaded' vs stripped down vehicle
Replies: 52
Views: 4817

Re: Buying a 'loaded' vs stripped down vehicle

Two thoughts: 1. Why not consider an actual pickup truck? Depending on the brand, the "mega" and "crew" cabs are cavernous on the inside. If you buy the bench seat in the front (has the fold down arm rest/junk hider), you can easily fit 6 people in there. Add to that, you have an...
by SwampDonkey
Sat Feb 08, 2014 12:42 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: $25K Budget for a Fun Car
Replies: 64
Views: 7930

Re: $25K Budget for a Fun Car

http://www.ebay.com/itm/Saturn-Sky-WE-F ... ars_Trucks

2008 Saturn Sky in primo condition. Less than $16k. Only 18k miles.
by SwampDonkey
Thu Jan 23, 2014 8:49 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Best Comfort and Best Workout Clothes
Replies: 28
Views: 4138

Re: Best Comfort and Best Workout Clothes

Most gear doesn't matter - especially when it comes to regular ole' t-shirts and shorts. However, when it's a bit chillier than that, there are two pieces of active wear that I've had for 5 years and I still wear them whenever I get the chance: Running pants from Sporthill: http://www.sporthill.com ...
by SwampDonkey
Tue Nov 12, 2013 9:29 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: What Are Some Unwritten Rules in Your Office?
Replies: 39
Views: 4804

Re: What Are Some Unwritten Rules in Your Office?

Stand and greet the boss when she first enters the front office in the morning. Same goes for when she leaves in the evening. If someone's calling my or one of the other desks in my office and the person is engaged and can't answer their phone - answer it for them from your own desk. If the dishwash...
by SwampDonkey
Sun Jul 21, 2013 6:34 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Car maintenance app like Mint?
Replies: 8
Views: 1068

Re: Car maintenance app like Mint?

I've been using the app, "Road Trip" for the past 36 months to track fuel consumption, mileage, maintenance, and all other random expenses from our vehicles. App is a few bucks, tracks several vehicles, backups online, and is easy to use. Overall, highly recommended.
by SwampDonkey
Sun Jun 02, 2013 1:18 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Best place to buy and best brand of lawn mower?
Replies: 27
Views: 5566

Re: Best place to buy and best brand of lawn mower?

Thank you all for the advice. I ended up snagging a used John Deere LA145 (http://www.deere.com/wps/dcom/en_US/products/equipment/riding_mowers/lawn_tractors/100_series/LA145/LA145.page) with 80 hrs of use for $1100 on Craigslist. Bought it from an older couple who no longer mowed their own yard and...
by SwampDonkey
Sun Jun 02, 2013 1:13 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Navy Mutual for Term Life Insurance?
Replies: 4
Views: 736

Navy Mutual for Term Life Insurance?

Hi, BLUF: Anyone use Navy Mutual for their term life and if so, what are your thoughts? Any idea why they are 15-30% cheaper than the lowest rates found on http://www.term4sale.com? Wife is about to have our first baby so we decided it was time to research life insurance for her. Thanks to the advic...
by SwampDonkey
Tue Apr 23, 2013 10:01 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: any suggestions on a ccw [Concealed Carry Weapon]
Replies: 92
Views: 8082

Re: any suggestions on a ccw [Concealed Carry Weapon]

Yes, the Taurus brand is still in its infancy and for true enthusiasts, it will probably never compare to the tried and trues within the industry. It's made in Brazil but has some sort of corporate representation in FL (not 100% sure of this). I purchased mine off a recommendation from a friend who ...
by SwampDonkey
Tue Apr 23, 2013 12:39 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Best place to buy and best brand of lawn mower?
Replies: 27
Views: 5566

Re: Best place to buy and best brand of lawn mower?

If your lawn is reflectively flat and you maintain your engine oil level and change it regularly you should not have an issue with a mower in the 1K - 1.5K range. Issues arise when there are significant inclines due to fact that mowers in this price range do not have an oil pump hence lack of lubri...
by SwampDonkey
Tue Apr 23, 2013 12:37 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Best place to buy and best brand of lawn mower?
Replies: 27
Views: 5566

Re: Best place to buy and best brand of lawn mower?

Home Depot sells an Ariens riding mower for $1k. Probably very adequate for your needs. They'll ship it for free. http://www.homedepot.com/p/Ariens-42-in-17-5-HP-6-speed-Riding-Lawn-Mower-960160027/203013179?N=c5c0#.UXVFV0qC3Tc Wow.... I had never heard of this brand before. Their consumer reviews ...
by SwampDonkey
Tue Apr 23, 2013 12:31 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: any suggestions on a ccw [Concealed Carry Weapon]
Replies: 92
Views: 8082

Re: any suggestions on a ccw

Big fan of the Taurus PT 740 Slim: http://www.taurususa.com/product-details.cfm?id=716&category=Pistol First 50 rounds were a bit uncomfortable as the grip didn't have a place for my pinky. Problem solved with an $8 extender: http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B0057IL8QK/ref=oh_details_o00_s00_i01...
by SwampDonkey
Sun Apr 21, 2013 11:25 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Best place to buy and best brand of lawn mower?
Replies: 27
Views: 5566

Best place to buy and best brand of lawn mower?

We have about 3/4 of an acre to mow so I'm finally biting the bullet and purchasing a riding lawn mower. Anyone have any good or bad experiences with a particular store or website? And what about brands? We're looking to try and stay as close to $1k as possible so if you have any specific recommenda...
by SwampDonkey
Wed Mar 13, 2013 10:53 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: [recommend a leather toiletry bag?]
Replies: 21
Views: 2445

[recommend a leather toiletry bag?]

The "what kind of wallet" thread got me thinking - what are some of your positive experiences with toiletry bags? My wife purchased me a personalized (my initials) leather toiletry bag from Pottery Barn recently. The leather was okay but the engraving was horrible. After five rounds of ema...
by SwampDonkey
Wed Feb 20, 2013 9:38 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Trip to Panama
Replies: 7
Views: 658

Re: Trip to Panama

Spent 3 weeks there a few years back. Most notable memories: 1. Several casinos available with player-friendly rules (as compared to U.S.). For instance, playing Blackjack, they would let you split whenever you wanted, double whenever you wanted, and surrender whenever you wanted. If you know basic ...
by SwampDonkey
Thu Feb 07, 2013 7:32 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Contractor ruts up front yard -Long Distance landlord. Ahh!!
Replies: 15
Views: 2461

Re: Contractor ruts up front yard -Long Distance landlord. A

Size/type of tree: Huge oak tree. Estimate 7-8 ft diameter. Also snapped three 36-inch diameter trees on the way down. Setting: Very rural Quotes: $1850 - cut up trees and completely remove them from the property $1200 - cut up trees and chip the wood on site, leaving a giant pile of chips $1000 - c...
by SwampDonkey
Wed Feb 06, 2013 8:39 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Contractor ruts up front yard -Long Distance landlord. Ahh!!
Replies: 15
Views: 2461

Re: Contractor ruts up front yard -Long Distance landlord. A

Just wanted to close this thread with how everything ended up.... The contractors completed removed the tree and ground the stump into the ground so you can't even tell it was there. I wish there was a way to post pictures on here as the contractor sent me a photo of the root ball ---- my tenants es...
by SwampDonkey
Wed Feb 06, 2013 8:24 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Is [this] a stupid idea? - Extreme mortgage payoff
Replies: 40
Views: 4687

Re: Is [this] a stupid idea? - Extreme mortgage payoff

Two poor pieces of advice - switching out from a known mortgage payment to an unknown at that end of 5 years. :oops: If rates move higher, now the OP is up the creek with no job and a higher payment. No refi and no money to pay the mortgage when out of a job - not a good idea! I know lots of unempl...
by SwampDonkey
Wed Feb 06, 2013 8:14 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Is [this] a stupid idea? - Extreme mortgage payoff
Replies: 40
Views: 4687

Re: Is [this] a stupid idea? - Extreme mortgage payoff

Oh, and your math is not anywhere near correct. $430k at 3.625% 30yr fixed is $1961.02/month. $430k at 2.42% 5/1 ARM is $1681.19/month . So, only $280/month in actual interest savings, which the OP would not only lose the tax deduction for the same amount, but also forego the tax deduction for 401K...
by SwampDonkey
Tue Feb 05, 2013 2:18 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Is [this] a stupid idea? - Extreme mortgage payoff
Replies: 40
Views: 4687

Re: Is [this] a stupid idea? - Extreme mortgage payoff

Do it! It's probably not the correct answer from a pure mathematical standpoint (assuming the market gives positive returns and you have decent portion of your retirement funds in the market). I know market timing is not highly regarded on this board but what are your thoughts on where our economy i...
by SwampDonkey
Wed Jan 16, 2013 1:25 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Landlord dilema
Replies: 33
Views: 2698

Re: Landlord dilema

Are you local? If you are, I'd stop by the nieghbor's home and offer to have a look at the water heater with him. If the two of you can't figure it out together, suggest you head to Home Depot together to look for a new one and offer your assistance in installing the new one. Justification: You main...
by SwampDonkey
Mon Jan 14, 2013 11:26 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Contractor ruts up front yard -Long Distance landlord. Ahh!!
Replies: 15
Views: 2461

Contractor ruts up front yard -Long Distance landlord. Ahh!!

We currently live across the country from our rental. Last month, a windstorm knocked a giant oak tree across the front edge of our property. It didn't damage any structures or the yard but it was BIG and left about a 4-ft hole where the root ball was pulled up. After having three companies give quo...
by SwampDonkey
Wed Dec 05, 2012 11:13 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: How to DCA $20k in cash in a Roth IRA?
Replies: 10
Views: 900

Re: How to DCA $20k in cash in a Roth IRA?

Thank you all for your different points of view.

Many great ideas were brought up and I will breach each idea with my friend. I'll update this thread in a month or so once action is taken.

Thanks again.
by SwampDonkey
Wed Dec 05, 2012 12:55 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Refi. from a 30 to 15 year mortgage - pay down principal?
Replies: 12
Views: 1151

Re: Refi. from a 30 to 15 year mortgage - pay down principal

Q. How did I get such a low rate on a rental? A. Lots of research, time on the phone, and frustration after frustration. I had to call about 10 different lenders before I found one that looked past the "rental" aspect of my home (the first nine all offered reduced rates, nowhere near 3.25,...
by SwampDonkey
Mon Dec 03, 2012 11:01 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: How to DCA $20k in cash in a Roth IRA?
Replies: 10
Views: 900

How to DCA $20k in cash in a Roth IRA?

Currently know someone who has $20k in cash in an IRA. Out of fear of losing the money by investing, they never did anything with the money except deposit it into the Roth and let it sit. I believe I have convinced them that over time, investing will result in greater gains than that of the simple i...
by SwampDonkey
Mon Dec 03, 2012 10:47 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Refi. from a 30 to 15 year mortgage - pay down principal?
Replies: 12
Views: 1151

Re: Refi. from a 30 to 15 year mortgage - pay down principal

Hi Lulu, Although I am not near as knowledgeable as some on this board, I thought I'd add my personal experience: Original home was a 30 year fixed rate at 5% which was about $1650/month (including everything). I added an extra $125/month to principal. Only lived in the home for 18 months before mov...

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