Search found 168 matches

by Van-Guard23
Fri Oct 21, 2016 3:13 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Transitioning from Military
Replies: 21
Views: 2091

Re: Transitioning from Military

retirementbound, First of all congratulations on you and your wife's upcoming military retirement! My wife and I are retired dual military couples (Army officers with prior service as well) and are early retirees in Hawaii. I turned down Battalion Command in Italy (the process was more difficult tha...
by Van-Guard23
Sun Sep 18, 2016 4:13 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Traveling to Italy - 3 weeks in 2017, advice appreciated
Replies: 85
Views: 5774

Re: Traveling to Italy - 3 weeks in 2017, advice appreciated

We are almost finalized. I also spoke more to the family and asked them where they would like to go, in order. Rome actually was near the bottom. Venice 3 nights Florence 4 nights Lucca 3 nights Rome 3 nights Amalfi Coast 6 nights We can always come back, right? If you are staying in Florence for 4...
by Van-Guard23
Fri Sep 16, 2016 11:35 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Favorite Coffee
Replies: 147
Views: 10643

Re: Favorite Coffee

By far, the best coffee my wife and I ever had was whole bean civet coffee we bought on a trip to Hanoi, Vietnam. It actually took a lot of explaining to our guide what we were looking for at the Old Quarter, and we wouldn't have been successful in our quest had our daughter not seen a silhouette o...
by Van-Guard23
Fri Sep 16, 2016 11:33 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Favorite Coffee
Replies: 147
Views: 10643

Re: Favorite Coffee

By far, the best coffee my wife and I ever had was whole bean civet coffee we bought on a trip to Hanoi, Vietnam. It actually took a lot of explaining to our guide what we were looking for at the Old Quarter, and we wouldn't have been successful in our quest had our daughter not seen a silhouette o...
by Van-Guard23
Fri Sep 16, 2016 2:29 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Favorite Coffee
Replies: 147
Views: 10643

Re: Favorite Coffee

By far, the best coffee my wife and I ever had was whole bean civet coffee we bought on a trip to Hanoi, Vietnam. It actually took a lot of explaining to our guide what we were looking for at the Old Quarter, and we wouldn't have been successful in our quest had our daughter not seen a silhouette of...
by Van-Guard23
Thu Aug 04, 2016 10:48 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Another Italy Trip
Replies: 33
Views: 1736

Re: Another Italy Trip

My wife and I are planning a trip to Italy; * 2 nights in Rome * 3 nights in Florence * 2 nights in Cinque Terre, and * 2 final nights in Rome. We're thinking this might be too ambitious. Maybe stay longer or reduce the traveling Any thoughts would be appreciated. Cartman, My wife lived in Italy fo...
by Van-Guard23
Mon Aug 01, 2016 10:14 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: How long to turn 1 million to 2 millions for you?
Replies: 44
Views: 8315

Re: How long to turn 1 million to 2 millions for you?

It took us many, many years to achieve $1M...but "only" 4 years and 4 months to double that. The power of compounding. However, as Peter Foley indicated, it all depends on market conditions and your Asset Allocation. That is nice. Mind if I ask from what year to what year to double that? ...
by Van-Guard23
Mon Aug 01, 2016 9:51 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: How long to turn 1 million to 2 millions for you?
Replies: 44
Views: 8315

Re: How long to turn 1 million to 2 millions for you?

It took us many, many years to achieve $1M...but "only" 4 years and 4 months to double that. The power of compounding. However, as Peter Foley indicated, it all depends on market conditions and your Asset Allocation.
by Van-Guard23
Tue Jul 05, 2016 10:44 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Tag Heuer wrist watch
Replies: 24
Views: 2274

Re: Tag Heuer wrist watch

I have a Tag Heuer Aquaracer I received as a gift from my wife...on Mother's Day 8 years ago nonetheless. I love it but had an issue involved with a broken spring preventing the date wheel from turning. I believe the problem may have stemmed from what I thought was a reputable jeweler replacing the ...
by Van-Guard23
Fri Jun 24, 2016 8:04 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Suggestions for resolving an issue with auto insurance company
Replies: 4
Views: 585

Suggestions for resolving an issue with auto insurance company

I thought I would consult the collective wisdom of the BH community. My mother, in her early 70s living in California, was involved in a fender bender, whereby a car driven by a young driver, backed into her car (I believe in a parking lot). The other driver was insured by Infinity insurance. At the...
by Van-Guard23
Thu May 12, 2016 4:15 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Military retirement upcoming; suggested retirement location?
Replies: 19
Views: 3122

Re: Military retirement upcoming; suggested retirement location?

Have you considered living in Hawaii? Oahu to be exact. My wife and I are both retired military officers living on Oahu and love it...so far. It checks off pretty much everything in your checklist...you didn't mention Cost of Living in your checklist. 1. Warm weather. Must have. - CHECK 2. Fantastic...
by Van-Guard23
Wed Apr 27, 2016 9:08 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Budapest
Replies: 10
Views: 1171

Re: Budapest

My wife and I enjoyed or 4-day visit of Budapest a couple of years ago. In addition to the Buda Castle complex (Matthias Church, Fisherman's Bastion, Royal Palace) and a possible visit to their famous baths (Szechenyi and Gellert Baths are two of the popular ones), you should also check out St. Step...
by Van-Guard23
Tue Mar 15, 2016 8:47 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Recommend a personal finance talk radio show.
Replies: 38
Views: 4367

Re: Recommend a personal finance talk radio show.

The five podcasts I normally listen to regarding finance are: - Jill on Money (Jill Schlesinger) - The Money Guy (Brian Preston and Bo Hanson) - CPA/PFS and CFA dispense various advice following the Boglehead approach - APM's Marketplace (Kai Ryssdal) - NPR's Planet Money - entertaining look at fina...
by Van-Guard23
Mon Feb 01, 2016 3:16 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Dual-military couple relocating to Vilseck, Germany :)
Replies: 23
Views: 2151

Re: Dual-military couple relocating to Vilseck, Germany :)

Thanks everyone for the responses thus far! @mikeast- We have no children or dogs yet. We would like to live off post, and we were told Weiden and Amberg are good options. As far as cars go, my wife’s car is about 10 years old, and we want to either replace it here or overseas. Do you have any expe...
by Van-Guard23
Wed Nov 04, 2015 3:28 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Help with Tricare plan selection.
Replies: 8
Views: 945

Re: Help with Tricare plan selection.

Friends, It is now time for me to select one of the Tricare health plans for myself (no dependants). My choice is straightforward but not so simple given the complexity of the Tricare system as I understand it. My choice is either "Tricare Prime" or "Tricare Standard and Extra" ...
by Van-Guard23
Wed Oct 14, 2015 6:47 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Military Retirement; "Should I stay or should I go now?"
Replies: 39
Views: 4841

Re: Military Retirement; "Should I stay or should I go now?"

FatMoneyClip, Thanks for your service. My wife and I (now both retired military officers with enlisted time) agonized over this decision a couple of years ago. My wife and I both reached 20 years and were just returning from deployments to Afghanistan (always joked that the Army Couples Program work...
by Van-Guard23
Mon Aug 10, 2015 5:43 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Boglehead Hawaii
Replies: 30
Views: 4085

Re: Boglehead Hawaii

We live on Oahu and have been to the Big Island...and just wanted to add a few things of interest from what folks have already mentioned (In addition to Volcanoes National Park as well as Mauna Kea and Mauno Loa): - If you like waterfalls...there are a few on the Hilo side of the island. Rainbow Fal...
by Van-Guard23
Wed Apr 15, 2015 6:23 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: 24 y/o military -- Target Date vs. 3 Fund Portfolio Advice
Replies: 13
Views: 1650

Re: 24 y/o military -- Target Date vs. 3 Fund Portfolio Advi

Evader53, First of all, thanks for your service. As a military retiree, based on my experiences I would say you are ahead of your peers as you seem to have a good foundation for your financial future. With regards to your questions, a lot of it depends on what you are comfortable with...don't get to...
by Van-Guard23
Sun Mar 29, 2015 6:17 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: My New Car Buying Tips
Replies: 184
Views: 39004

Re: My New Car Buying Tips

I've done this a couple of times, and wonder what you guys think. I think I have got the best deal using this process. First, before you negotiate you need to decide on a car, and when I mean decide, I mean make model, options and even the color and interior. You may have to flexible on color , but...
by Van-Guard23
Fri Feb 20, 2015 5:59 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: House painting contractors
Replies: 12
Views: 1346

Re: House painting contractors

I went through this last year when HoA needed us to repaint our 8-year old house...but that's another story. In any case, I looked at reviews on Yelp and focused on four businesses (three local and one national) who had the highest reviews. I got them to stop by and give me their estimates for the j...
by Van-Guard23
Fri Feb 20, 2015 3:32 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Pick-Pockets
Replies: 63
Views: 7201

Re: Pick-Pockets

Madrid. It was my first day there and we were jet lagged. I was sitting in an outdoor cafe and there was a loud disturbance. I was just about to pay so my wallet was in front of me on the table. I look down and my wallet is gone. I see two little kids run away, they must have been 7 years old. A by...
by Van-Guard23
Sun Feb 08, 2015 3:45 am
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Military Deployment, where to invest
Replies: 22
Views: 2355

Re: Military Deployment, where to invest

Oleblue, Since you already know about the SDP, make sure you are aware of the Annual Addition Limit for your TSP while you are deployed to a CZTE just as navyitaly mentioned in a previous post. While the Elective Deferral Limit for your TSP is indeed $18,000 this year, note that your Annual Addition...
by Van-Guard23
Mon Feb 02, 2015 3:50 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Rules Of Thumb For Personal Finance?
Replies: 20
Views: 3148

Re: Rules Of Thumb For Personal Finance?

I agree with # 6 only. Rule 2 contradicts 6 methinks. I think the WIKI here has the Boglehead investment philosophy. But my philosophy would be: 1. Take charge of your career and make a lot of money 2. Be generous to others with your monies 3. Invest to a set amount every pay period(make your inves...
by Van-Guard23
Fri Nov 21, 2014 4:06 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Europe off-season (late Jan), 11 days, $3K budget
Replies: 19
Views: 2462

Re: Europe off-season (late Jan), 11 days, $3K budget

How about Istanbul and the surrounding areas such as Ephesus and Cappadocia? I second someone's suggestion about Spain (Barcelona, Madrid, Seville and day trips from those locations) and Portugal (Lisbon and day trips from there). We are doing both trips this month and next month.
by Van-Guard23
Wed Sep 24, 2014 12:53 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Help with a property sale decision
Replies: 7
Views: 908

Re: Help with a property sale decision

I am a banker in Texas, and I've also done some seller-financed property loans like the one you are talking about so I have a little bit of experience with these types of arrangements. They are not uncommon and can actually be a really great deal for the buyer and seller alike. Usually the buyer of...
by Van-Guard23
Tue Sep 23, 2014 1:07 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Help with a property sale decision
Replies: 7
Views: 908

Re: Help with a property sale decision

Banks are an expert on two things: 1) Determining who is credit worthy to loan money to 2) Collecting money from debtors that can pay but won't Your friends are neither of these things. If the business owner is not able to convince a bank to give him a loan, that should be a ginormous red flag that...
by Van-Guard23
Mon Sep 22, 2014 2:37 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Help with a property sale decision
Replies: 7
Views: 908

Help with a property sale decision

I am posting for a friend of mine who, together with his sister, inherited a property in TX after their mom died just over 3 months ago (he lives in HI and his sister lives in CA). They are are looking to sell this property which is currently being rented out to a business which pays rent on the pro...
by Van-Guard23
Fri Jul 25, 2014 5:02 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: TSP Questions: (ROTH or Traditional)?
Replies: 11
Views: 1725

Re: TSP Questions: (ROTH or Traditional)?

http://myarmybenefits.us.army.mil/Home/Benefit_Library/Federal_Benefits_Page/Thrift_Savings_Plan_(TSP).html?serv=150 Hi, my brother is currently an officer and will be stationed in Hawaii soon. His starting salary will be a little over $50,000 and basically knows nothing about investing/saving for ...
by Van-Guard23
Sun Jun 29, 2014 10:14 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Who do you talk with about your financial goals?
Replies: 158
Views: 12614

Re: Who do you talk with about your financial goals?

Besides your spouse who do you talk to about your financial goals, even in the abstract? When you achieve a goal and something good happens do you have anyone you feel you can share that with? Just my wife...and she is really just interested in the big picture so I share our net worth with her on a...
by Van-Guard23
Sun Jun 29, 2014 9:39 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: How many Bogleheads golf?
Replies: 81
Views: 6041

Re: How many Bogleheads golf?

I try to play and hit the driving range once or twice a week. Mainly play the courses on military bases with the occasional municipal course here on Oahu...costs from $34 to $50 with cart. I have been playing off and on for a few years but just started playing more often the past few months after re...
by Van-Guard23
Mon Jun 23, 2014 4:41 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Advice requested - Cashing out whole life insurance policy
Replies: 40
Views: 3294

Re: Advice requested - Cashing out whole life insurance poli

Just wanted to provide an update...it took a while but I was able to secure a reasonable 20-year term life insurance with $500K coverage for just $64.50 a month (didn't get the preferred rate due to some medical issues but still much lower than what USAA quoted). I have since submitted my paperwork ...
by Van-Guard23
Sun Jun 22, 2014 7:29 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Military [Survivor Benefit Plan] and Other Mistakes
Replies: 22
Views: 2086

Re: Military [Survivor Benefit Plan] and Other Mistakes

Dear Bogleheads, Several co-workers and myself are retiring from the military this year. Naturally, topics such as next careers, locations, etc. come up in conversation. Recently, I realized one of my friends who is married with kids is planning to forgo the survivor benefit plan that is offered by...
by Van-Guard23
Sat Jun 21, 2014 10:43 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Reasons to go with a local vs national mortgage lender?
Replies: 24
Views: 1634

Re: Reasons to go with a local vs national mortgage lender?

However, a couple of months down the road, the loan was sold back to Wells Fargo...and they couldn't or wouldn't match the lower rate to begin with. I would've thought they would rather do the refi in-house and match the rate offered by other companies but they opted to just "buy" the loa...
by Van-Guard23
Sat Jun 21, 2014 7:21 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Reasons to go with a local vs national mortgage lender?
Replies: 24
Views: 1634

Re: Reasons to go with a local vs national mortgage lender?

My experiences are that the local lender cost me money. We used a mortgage broker after shopping around for our first loan. Later when internet loans came out, she was going to cost us a few thousand dollars more to refinance and would not budge. My advice is to shop around and don't believe what a...
by Van-Guard23
Fri May 23, 2014 10:45 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Youtude videos on economics for my son to watch
Replies: 11
Views: 1082

Re: Youtude videos on economics for my son to watch

One the best PBS documentary series I have seen is "Commanding Heights": http://www.pbs.org/wgbh/commandingheights/hi/story/
This 3-part series explores the ongoing battle of economic theories between Keynes and von Hayek, which continues to shape the world's economies.
by Van-Guard23
Fri Mar 07, 2014 9:22 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Joint or Separate Accounts? - Married Couples
Replies: 82
Views: 5611

Re: Joint or Separate Accounts? - Married Couples

My wife and I basically have similar salaries when we got married and pretty much remained that way (maybe I was making slightly more). Once we "merged" our finances when we got married, we both maintained our own savings and checking accounts but set up direct deposit into joint checking ...
by Van-Guard23
Sun Mar 02, 2014 10:48 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Indoor Plants - Recommendations?
Replies: 21
Views: 2476

Re: Indoor Plants - Recommendations?

If you want low maintenance, good looking indoor plant, you can't do better than a ZZ Plant ( Scientific name: Zamioculcas zamiifolia). You only have to water it once a month and the only way to kill it would be to overwater it.
by Van-Guard23
Sun Mar 02, 2014 12:08 am
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Vanguard Total International Stock vs Dodge & Cox Int'l
Replies: 23
Views: 4193

Re: Vanguard Total International Stock vs Dodge & Cox Int'l

I have my Roth IRAs split between VTIAX and DODFX...and have also noticed VTIAX underperforming DODFX the past few years. I intend to keep both moving forward. Incidentally, I also have DODGX and VTSAX in my taxable accounts. I've had DODGX for a while and cashing out now would incur substantial cap...
by Van-Guard23
Wed Feb 12, 2014 7:55 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: POLL: Do you do your own taxes?
Replies: 54
Views: 3907

Re: POLL: Do you do you own taxes?

I have done my taxes ever since I was an Army 1st Lieutenant, after being "voluntold" to go thru training and work at the post VITA site during the tax season...that was 17 years ago. For the past 6 or 7 years, I have used the free H&R Block Basic software available thru http://www.mil...
by Van-Guard23
Mon Feb 10, 2014 10:44 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Another option for Excess contributions to 2013 Roth IRA?
Replies: 4
Views: 455

Re: Another option for Excess contributions to 2013 Roth IRA

Excellent...thanks again. I should be able to proceed with my 2013 tax return, then hold it for a couple of months before I file in April since I am paying the IRS this year.

Yes, I'm fairly certain that we would not hit the phaseout range for 2014, so I should be able to avoid that rigmarole.
by Van-Guard23
Mon Feb 10, 2014 10:17 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Another option for Excess contributions to 2013 Roth IRA?
Replies: 4
Views: 455

Re: Another option for Excess contributions to 2013 Roth IRA

Option 4 is actually Option 2, but instead of sending the corrective distribution to you, VG will deposit it back into the Roth as your 2014 contribution. You still will get a 1099R reporting the excess contribution distribution with tax and penalty on the earnings, but no 6% penalty. Note that the...
by Van-Guard23
Mon Feb 10, 2014 8:05 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Another option for Excess contributions to 2013 Roth IRA?
Replies: 4
Views: 455

Another option for Excess contributions to 2013 Roth IRA?

I just did my “preliminary” tax computations and found out that our combined modified AGI falls between $178,000 and $188,000 (married filing jointly) which reduced the amount we can contribute towards our Roth IRA, from combined $11,000 to just $7,180. I have read multiple postings on this topic by...
by Van-Guard23
Sun Feb 09, 2014 10:36 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: iPhone Case
Replies: 38
Views: 3142

Re: iPhone Case

I bought an Otterbox case for my iPhone5 and my wife bought a Lifeproof case for her iPhone 4s...no complaints with either. However, I have opted for a Mophie juicepack to replace my Otterbox case as the battery runs down pretty quickly on an iPhone especially if you do a lot of Facetime or use GPS ...
by Van-Guard23
Tue Jan 21, 2014 10:52 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: London itinerary assistance
Replies: 28
Views: 1636

Re: London itinerary assistance

You can see the Rosetta stone, Elgin Marbles, and Egyptian mummies in 60-90 minutes if you don't dillydally and aren't into reading every little detail about every exhibit piece. Yes, you can also spend an entire day doing the same... or an entire week. YMMV depending on how into it you are. The RS...
by Van-Guard23
Mon Jan 20, 2014 11:14 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: London itinerary assistance
Replies: 28
Views: 1636

Re: London itinerary assistance

I have posted before on London and I am not going to repeat it all. But the best walk in London is from opposite Tower Hill station (ie south bank) up to Westminster Bridge, taking in Southwark Cathedral, Shakespeare's Globe Theatre, the Tate Modern (just stick your head in and see the Turbine Hall...
by Van-Guard23
Mon Jan 20, 2014 2:40 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: London itinerary assistance
Replies: 28
Views: 1636

Re: London itinerary assistance

If you're planning to do Windsor first thing in the morning and will take public transport, a weekend would be preferable since you'll avoid "rush hour" and the premium tube fare for peak travel before 9:30a... as well as for the train (anything before 9:20a). However, I've done it early ...
by Van-Guard23
Mon Jan 20, 2014 2:36 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: London itinerary assistance
Replies: 28
Views: 1636

Re: London itinerary assistance

We had a week in London, and also did the Windsor/Stonehenge/Bath tour (highly recommend it). For a day and a half, I would buy the hop on/hop off bus pass and ride the routes. Places I would definitely get off the bus and tour would be St. Paul's, Tower of London, Westminster Abbey. The "Lond...
by Van-Guard23
Mon Jan 20, 2014 2:31 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: London itinerary assistance
Replies: 28
Views: 1636

Re: London itinerary assistance

I have done the Windsor, Bath, and Stonehenge Tour and heartily recommend it. Your time at each place will be limited. You will be in Windsor 3-4 hours, 2 hours in Bath, and probably an hour at Stonehenge. A little over four hours will be on the road. I took mine on a Saturday. Sunday was a good da...
by Van-Guard23
Mon Jan 20, 2014 2:16 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: London itinerary assistance
Replies: 28
Views: 1636

Re: London itinerary assistance

I don't think it matters too much which day you do which. The one thing that I would say is that if you want to catch a play or musical, check on which night the ones of interest are dark; Sun or Mon nights are common off nights. One other minor point, presuming you are taking a bus tour for Stoneh...

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