Search found 540 matches

by Wolkenspiel
Thu Jun 14, 2018 7:57 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Architectural Services and Fees - advice needed
Replies: 7
Views: 626

Re: Architectural Services and Fees - advice needed

The question is on hiring an architect. What is the best way to hire an architect? Where might I find a reasonable architect to compare service fees? Architects charge 10-15% of the estimated cost to build. Other architects have an hourly rate. Any suggestions or experiences that you can share are ...
by Wolkenspiel
Fri Apr 27, 2018 8:12 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Touch Up Paint on New Car
Replies: 10
Views: 852

Re: Touch Up Paint on New Car

We bought a new Subaru Forester in 2017. We have noticed several scratches where white is showing under the red color. We do not recall any instances that might have caused this other than at the "no touch" car wash. It seems like there is only one layer of the final paint color. We contacted the d...
by Wolkenspiel
Mon Apr 09, 2018 2:59 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: New Lexus LS or Tesla Model S
Replies: 63
Views: 4576

Re: New Lexus LS or Tesla Model S

To answer other commenters, it’ll be a vehicle that will be kept for easily a decade+ I have driven the Tesla and 5th gen LS. I own a '13 A8 (I love the seats in the A8). In 2028 the Model S will be ancient. With that constraint, and between Model S and LS, I would certainly get a new LS, although ...
by Wolkenspiel
Mon Apr 09, 2018 12:06 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Ivy school education. Is it worth it?
Replies: 238
Views: 13649

Re: Ivy school education. Is it worth it?

A few (you included) may indeed be part of such a group, and spend some actual (limited) time working directly with said professor, but it CANNOT be a universal benefit, because there aren't enough "top of their field" professors, and there aren't enough hours in the day. This varies by discipline ...
by Wolkenspiel
Mon Apr 09, 2018 11:58 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Ivy school education. Is it worth it?
Replies: 238
Views: 13649

Re: Ivy school education. Is it worth it?

Couple of other things to keep in mind 1. Ivies do not provide athletic or merit scholarships, only need based. Middle to upper middle class will pay full amount. What's your definition of "middle-class". Apparently, $200k+ per year. As per the Yale website: "Families whose total gross income is le...
by Wolkenspiel
Sun Apr 08, 2018 9:37 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Ivy school education. Is it worth it?
Replies: 238
Views: 13649

Re: Ivy school education. Is it worth it?

Early career earnings is not the metric I'd use to evaluate a college. For better or worse, there is a class system in the US based largely on education. Many desirable jobs are off-limits for people who did not attend elite colleges or grad schools. Many desirable spouses are effectively off-limit...
by Wolkenspiel
Sun Apr 08, 2018 9:28 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Ivy school education. Is it worth it?
Replies: 238
Views: 13649

Re: Ivy school education. Is it worth it?

I want to role play about the young person who studied very hard to get into an high impact school. Lets say Stanford. They worked super hard in high school and then worked super hard in college. Their family were upper middle class so they got some tuition assistance but not a huge amount. This st...
by Wolkenspiel
Sat Apr 07, 2018 7:18 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: how much would a new kitchen cost?
Replies: 21
Views: 1833

Re: how much would a new kitchen cost?

I know it depends on a lot of things, but I've been watching the house flip shows (usu Las Vegas or SoCal) where a contractor quotes a job to the owner to gut the old kitchen and put in cabinets, floor, and countertops, at around 6000-8000. That seems surprisingly reasonable to me. I could go for t...
by Wolkenspiel
Sat Apr 07, 2018 6:07 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: What would an extra $2000 in cash flow mean for a large family?
Replies: 58
Views: 4344

Re: What would an extra $2000 in cash flow mean for a large family?

I think people could answer more accurately if they read yor previous thread: https://www.bogleheads.org/forum/viewtopic.php?f=2&t=243809 Like OP, I'm "mid-career" faculty in the "physical sciences". OP in the thread quoted above says: "However, the institution [he would be moving to] is significan...
by Wolkenspiel
Fri Apr 06, 2018 5:49 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Your Monthly Cost of Living
Replies: 66
Views: 7168

Re: Your Monthly Cost of Living

Boston suburbs, family of 5, in round numbers:

1. Housing: rent/mortgage/utilities: $4300
2. Transportation: car, insurance, license, registration, gas, maintenance: $2000 (3 cars, incl. '14 911 C4s)
3. Food: groceries, restaurants: $1200
4. Other: ???
by Wolkenspiel
Fri Mar 23, 2018 11:20 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Berlin - how many days and where to stay?
Replies: 33
Views: 1878

Re: Berlin - how many days and where to stay?

If you're on a budget, I don't think the exact location of your hotel/airbnb matters too much - public transportation in Berlin is excellent. When visiting last year for three days I realized that it is also a great city for biking. Probably the fastest way to get around (and see the city at the sam...
by Wolkenspiel
Sun Mar 18, 2018 12:13 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Mountain Bike
Replies: 8
Views: 929

Re: Mountain Bike

If you have a few specific models in mind, a quick google search will usually bring up a handful of reviews for any model from the big bike manufacturers. If I had a $1000 budget, I would look at eBay to buy a recent model year new bike or little-used bike. The depreciation even on brand-name bikes ...
by Wolkenspiel
Fri Mar 09, 2018 10:44 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Is this too much for a kitchen?
Replies: 69
Views: 6938

Re: Is this too much for a kitchen?

I have Ikea cabinets in my kitchen. They are 4 years old. The doors were made in Italy and hardware was the same used on high end cabinets. I am very happy with them. I agree, you have to like one of the limited styles/finishes. Not even that - there are a handful of companies that provide new door...
by Wolkenspiel
Mon Feb 19, 2018 7:41 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Is window replacement this expensive?
Replies: 27
Views: 2701

Re: Is window replacement this expensive?

I am looking to replace 5 windows at my home (Seattle). - 3 windows are large (around 7 ft by 8ft). Each of these window will have 3 sashes (1 fixed picture and 2 open-able sashes) - 2 small windows (around 2 ft by 3 ft). both with two sashes each. I opted for all default options - low e glass, dou...
by Wolkenspiel
Tue Feb 13, 2018 8:36 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Should I claim chapter 7 bankruptcy? debt 110k
Replies: 64
Views: 7166

Re: Should I claim chapter 7 bankruptcy? debt 110k

You had $300k to invest last June that you apparently put all in SPY. Now you lost $500k. Where did the extra $200k come from? Just get more from that source and pay off your debt. And you haven't had any income, so how can you owe $20k in taxes? None of this makes any sense. Are we being trolled? ...
by Wolkenspiel
Sun Jan 28, 2018 6:19 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Certified Used BMW, Audi or Mercedes
Replies: 53
Views: 4539

Re: Certified Used BMW, Audi or Mercedes

Lexus lets you buy an 8 year CPO bumper-to-bumper extended warranty for about $3000-$4000. (It's basically a complete extension of the new car warranty). The German brands offer only a 4 or 5 year extension (for about the same price), and those have lots of meaningful exceptions, like the audio sys...
by Wolkenspiel
Mon Jan 15, 2018 2:00 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: A half year at full pay or a full year at half pay?
Replies: 49
Views: 5094

Re: A half year at full pay or a full year at half pay?

I'm a bit late to the party, but here are some random thoughts: - I'm planning to take my 2nd sabbatical this year - full year at full pay. That's not the official policy, but I have seen many different kinds of deals made: double-teaching, course development, research leaves, buying out teaching et...
by Wolkenspiel
Wed Dec 27, 2017 9:58 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: European Cities that don't interest you
Replies: 187
Views: 13381

Re: European Cities that don't interest you

Surprised/amused to see Frankfurt on so many no-go lists. Sure, the main tourist attractions (Roemerberg, Alt-Sachsenhausen etc) are a bit rubbish, but there's a few handfuls of good to world-class museums, nice walks and parks, good and/or local food/drink and easy access to some of Germany's nices...
by Wolkenspiel
Mon Dec 25, 2017 8:37 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: 1st, your education. Then...Location, Location, Location
Replies: 66
Views: 9034

Re: 1st, your education. Then...Location, Location, Location

flyingaway wrote:
Sun Dec 24, 2017 2:11 pm
If you want to be a billionaire, do not finish college.
Maybe, but first make sure you get into a good school to drop out of...
by Wolkenspiel
Wed Dec 13, 2017 10:09 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Jim Simons Medalion fund averages 71.8% annual return
Replies: 26
Views: 4650

Re: Jim Simons Medalion fund averages 71.8% annual return

HomerJ wrote:
Wed Dec 13, 2017 12:40 pm
By next year (2018), that $500 billion from 2014 will be worth $4 trillion. By 2024, it will be worth $100 trillion.
I'm guessing it's not true, or if true, too late to join the gravy train.
Not if they move into Bitcoin :twisted:
by Wolkenspiel
Thu Nov 30, 2017 10:41 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: I Can "Afford" This Right? (New Car)
Replies: 60
Views: 5206

Re: I Can "Afford" This Right? (New Car)

32, single, the right answer is a 2014 911 carrera CPO. Get it and be done, and go back to a normal 45k SUV in a few years when you have kids, and save the 911 for weekends. Sell the 911 in 20 years for the same price you are buying it for (not inflation adjusted). Always be that guy with the cool ...
by Wolkenspiel
Fri Oct 20, 2017 11:38 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Any BMW X5 owners?
Replies: 17
Views: 2798

Re: Any BMW X5 owners?

Hi all, I am thinking of getting a new car cpo and have always wanted a BMW X5, I was wondering how many who have owned the BMW x5 are happy with it and have owned it beyond the warranty period. I think a 2-3 year old CPO is a good way to get into a luxury car. Just wanted some opinions from owners...
by Wolkenspiel
Sun Jun 18, 2017 10:28 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: BMW X5 2017 - Seeking advice
Replies: 40
Views: 5082

Re: BMW X5 2017 - Seeking advice

We own a previous generation X5 35i, 2012 MY with ~27000 miles. I'm sure the low mileage contributed, but the car has not had any repairs or dealer visits, other for the yearly maintenance. All materials inside have held up fine (with 2 little kids and their stuff being lugged around) and it basical...
by Wolkenspiel
Mon Jun 12, 2017 7:52 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Can we afford a 800k house in HCOL area (Boston area) ?
Replies: 42
Views: 5784

Re: Can we afford a 800k house in HCOL area (Boston area) ?

Few things:' 1) Why are you viewing day care as a recurring expense? Daycare is temporary in nature, by the time kids are in school (age 4: preschool) day care is no longer needed. We've got plenty of cash to weather a temporary expense like that if we run into issues cash flowing it. Daycare is a ...
by Wolkenspiel
Fri May 05, 2017 12:50 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Buying a luxury car (how dumb would it be to do this?)
Replies: 216
Views: 24726

Re: Buying a luxury car (how dumb would it be to do this?)

ncbill wrote: Paying just for the routine maintenance during the lease (much less out-of-warranty repairs) might push them back to a Toyota. :happy
OP will have difficulties trying to pay for the X5's FREE "routine maintenance" during the lease. All baked in the price of course, but no surprises.
by Wolkenspiel
Fri May 05, 2017 12:45 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Buying a luxury car (how dumb would it be to do this?)
Replies: 216
Views: 24726

Re: Buying a luxury car (how dumb would it be to do this?)

A BMW X5 is a wonderful car, but since you are used to driving a Toyota make sure you factor in the $300 oil changes, $1500 sets of tires that last 20k miles, and any out of warranty work even with an independent shop will be expensive. A set of OEM tires for my 2012 X5 is $750 or less for 18" and ...
by Wolkenspiel
Sun Apr 23, 2017 1:52 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: how much house can we afford? Boston area.
Replies: 50
Views: 5174

Re: how much house can we afford? Boston area.

Assuming down payment of 20%, I'd go no more than base salary x 2 = mortgage debt. These types of housing ratios don't work in HCOL areas. A quick check of the single family listings in some of the nice suburbs shows one (!) single family residence for less than $500k - an 880sqft home that from th...
by Wolkenspiel
Thu Apr 06, 2017 9:41 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Buying expensive car, how to keep payments low?
Replies: 149
Views: 11719

Re: Buying expensive car, how to keep payments low?

For those interested in Q7, they should seriously consider VW Atlas. If I remember correctly, the current Q7 has been around since 2005!!! No, 2017+ Q7's are "all new" - completely redesigned platform. They just look the same (on the outside). In terms of driving dynamics, the new car is a major st...
by Wolkenspiel
Wed Mar 01, 2017 9:12 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: What Car Should I Buy My Daughter as a Graduation Present
Replies: 150
Views: 13023

Re: What Car Should I Buy My Daughter as a Graduation Present

Buy her a Lotus Elise. For $30k, you can find an 05-07 in perfect condition. Mid/rear engine so the drive wheels have most of the weight of the car over them. Great for winter traction. Traction is fine, unless there are more than 5-6" of snow. In that case the flat underbody of the aluminum monoco...
by Wolkenspiel
Fri Feb 17, 2017 9:49 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Induction cooktop impressions?
Replies: 32
Views: 3141

Re: Induction cooktop impressions?

Like most who replied, I love the (Electrolux) induction cooktop we installed in our kitchen reno last year. Instantaneous response, more power, easier cleanup compare to the previous electric range. Probably even prefer it over gas. No problems using any of the steel pots and pans we had, from chea...
by Wolkenspiel
Wed Feb 01, 2017 9:37 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Most of College Endowments Lost Money in 2016
Replies: 10
Views: 2129

Re: Most of College Endowments Lost Money in 2016

meanwhile the S&P 500, aka the one fund portfolio returned 12%. http://www.cnbc.com/2017/01/04/most-investors-didnt-come-close-to-beating-the-sp-500.html Fiscal year 2016, not calendar year 2016. S&P 500 from June 2015 to June 2016 did not return 12%, but ~4%. All spelt out in the article quoted.
by Wolkenspiel
Mon Jan 30, 2017 6:12 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Seeking a Europe based broker that accepts US Persons.
Replies: 3
Views: 573

Re: Seeking a Europe based broker that accepts US Persons.

Have you checked Cortal Consors (Consorsbank.de)? I think they are owned by Paribas, and there seemed to be some language in their account profile that indicated that they might take US clients. Good luck.
by Wolkenspiel
Tue Jan 24, 2017 8:30 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Need a good commuter car fairly soon
Replies: 86
Views: 8402

Re: Need a good commuter car fairly soon

what are these super cheap jettas? The MSRP is around 18/19k which doesn't seem unusually cheap. Dealers on the East Coast are advertising new 2017 Jettas starting at $12.1k ($19k MSRP), see e.g. cars.com. There are some caveats (e.g. destination charge, dealer fees need to be added), but VW is mas...
by Wolkenspiel
Fri Dec 09, 2016 8:07 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Eyeglasses - Costco Changed Policies - Help!
Replies: 51
Views: 43197

Re: Eyeglasses - Costco Changed Policies - Help!

For equivalent progressive lenses, that site is about $100 more than Costco in my case...or make it about $80, since I had to pay an $18 extra fee at Costco. My comparison was digital/hd progressive with 1.67 material and premium AR, which were $169 at Costco or $187 with the $18 fee. Another onlin...
by Wolkenspiel
Wed Dec 07, 2016 3:45 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Flying Across Atlantic with 98th Percentile 18-Month Child
Replies: 114
Views: 9175

Re: Flying Across Atlantic with 98th Percentile 18-Month Child

davidsorensen32 wrote:I'd fly business.
Once we're going there, why not a private jet? Btw, I've found that fellow business class passengers take even less kindly to crying toddlers than the folks in coach.
by Wolkenspiel
Wed Dec 07, 2016 3:41 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Flying Across Atlantic with 98th Percentile 18-Month Child
Replies: 114
Views: 9175

Re: Flying Across Atlantic with 98th Percentile 18-Month Child

Talk to a travel agent. Even with a toddler on your lap and without a seat, you are required to pay taxes. So you are not really saving a full cost of a fare. The ticket is likely 30-40% of the total cost. We also had a 99th percentile son and it wasn't even a question if we were to keep him on our...
by Wolkenspiel
Wed Dec 07, 2016 3:38 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Flying Across Atlantic with 98th Percentile 18-Month Child
Replies: 114
Views: 9175

Re: Flying Across Atlantic with 98th Percentile 18-Month Child

We have flown many longer (e.g. US-East Asia) trips with a lap child (sometimes even adding a toddler), so this can be done. Not the most relaxing trip, but not such herculean task either. My wife even did a number of solo trips with infant+toddler. You should try to get a bulkhead seat with a bassi...
by Wolkenspiel
Sun Dec 04, 2016 4:16 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Amazon Prime Getting Stingy?
Replies: 90
Views: 14634

Re: Amazon Prime Getting Stingy?

I apparently placed 59 orders with Amazon this year. I recall one instance where the original shipment didn't make it and Amazon sent a replacement, which arrived a week after the originally promised date. It didn't occur to me to ask for any additional compensation... Overall, still very satisfied.
by Wolkenspiel
Thu Oct 13, 2016 1:02 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Kitchen Remodel question
Replies: 44
Views: 4076

Re: Kitchen Remodel question

We recently remodeled our kitchen and went with a built-in microwave under the countertop of the kitchen island (actual built-in, not a countertop MW on a shelf). Avoids both wasting precious counter space and the "outdated" over-the-range look. Cost was maybe $500, split between the stainless steel...
by Wolkenspiel
Thu Aug 11, 2016 4:39 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Professor having to buy his own computer for work
Replies: 93
Views: 8051

Re: Professor having to buy his own computer for work

Although the universities do not publish those numbers, I believe MIT, like Harvard Stanford Yale Princeton (Amherst, Dartmouth, Penn etc.) has a legacy rate which is significant. I believe at the other aforementioned schools it is around 30% (but I am not aware that that number is ever published)....
by Wolkenspiel
Thu Aug 11, 2016 3:26 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: How to address a college professor with a PhD (Dr. or Prof.)
Replies: 60
Views: 4387

Re: How to address a college professor with a PhD (Dr. or Prof.)

I don't care much how students in my classes address me, although Prof. Wolkenspiel seems a bit more appropriate than Dr. Wolkenspiel - after all, that's the capacity in which I interact with them. I don't even mind much if they address me by first name, as long as it doesn't reflect a generally unp...
by Wolkenspiel
Tue Mar 29, 2016 8:00 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Europe Trip in August
Replies: 99
Views: 8745

Re: Europe Trip in August

Valuethinker wrote: Europe? It very much depends, but most places a 10% tip works.
Yeah, for tourists. Don't export (or import) ridiculous American habits to the rest of the world. In most of Europe, what is on the bill is what you pay, rounded up by a few % if you like.
by Wolkenspiel
Tue Sep 29, 2015 7:35 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Should my husband become a US citizen?
Replies: 102
Views: 9830

Re: Should my husband become a US citizen?

Keep in mind that your greencard expires after 10 years. I know you can apply to have it extended, but you should do research on whether or not those extensions are commonly granted or they expect people to apply for citizenship. That's not an issue. I agree that generally that is not an issue. How...
by Wolkenspiel
Mon Sep 07, 2015 8:46 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: college related advice for 11th grader
Replies: 180
Views: 18982

Re: college related advice for 11th grader

The only other thing I have to say is that if he plans on going to graduate school it doesn't matter where he does undergrad. I'd be interested to know how you arrived at this conclusion. I have direct experience with MIT grad student admissions (in a STEM field) and can not confirm this. In my fie...
by Wolkenspiel
Wed Sep 02, 2015 12:18 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Chip credit cards, do I need to get a PIN?
Replies: 54
Views: 7770

Re: Chip credit cards, do I need to get a PIN?

VictoriaF wrote:Do all unattended stations accept cash? I always carry with me plenty of cash and bring the leftovers home for the next trip.
In Switzerland and Italy they generally accept cash, in France I have seen many that don't (and also don't accept non-Chip&PIN US cards).
by Wolkenspiel
Wed Sep 02, 2015 12:14 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Chip credit cards, do I need to get a PIN?
Replies: 54
Views: 7770

Re: Chip credit cards, do I need to get a PIN?

The vast majority of Chipped cards in the US are Chip and Signature. If you get a PIN it is only used for cash advances at ATMs. If you get overseas to a kiosk or place that actually requires an offline Chip & PIN it probably won't work even with that PIN that you set. That is not correct. I recent...
by Wolkenspiel
Mon Aug 03, 2015 7:04 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Enough is enough
Replies: 51
Views: 17201

Re: Enough -- by Jack Bogle

I'm re-reading it. Page XX, in the introduction Mr. Bogle states, that David Einhorn of Greenlight Capital, claims our .gov has changed the way it calculates inflation several times over the last 35 yrs. "Using the pre-1980-methoed {inflation} would be over 9%, compared to about 2% in the official ...
by Wolkenspiel
Wed Jul 15, 2015 10:01 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: I have a dilemma? Should I provide a concession?
Replies: 20
Views: 3414

Re: I have a dilemma? Should I provide a concession?

I got some feedback today from the property manager regarding reimbursement and it appears that is not an option. I was told the HOA wants to hire their own personnel and will complete the project in Aug/Sept. Since the buyers want the floors fixed or a concession by next week it appears I will hav...
by Wolkenspiel
Wed Jul 15, 2015 9:42 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Need to Refi 1st Mortgage but under water $110k
Replies: 27
Views: 3198

Re: Need to Refi 1st Mortgage but under water $110k

Lets look at some numbers. $723000 * 0.055 / 12 = $3314 $223000 * 0.0275 / 12 = $511 Total Payment = $3825/month Gross Income = $180000 / 12 = $15000/month Approx Net Income = $15000 * 2/3 = $10000/month Net income - mortgage = $6175 With a net income of $10000/month, I'm wondering why you can't ma...
by Wolkenspiel
Sun Jul 12, 2015 8:31 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Selling a used car
Replies: 27
Views: 3130

Re: Selling a used car

We sold a car a year ago. Took some decent photos, posted ads on cars.com and craigslist, using a throwaway email address and phone number. We priced the car at the low end of the cars.com asking prices, and sold it within a couple of days. Sale was closed and money wired at our local BoA branch. Ov...