Search found 287 matches

by Woodshark
Sat Jul 23, 2016 1:52 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Cinque terre in September....
Replies: 18
Views: 1398

Re: Cinque terre in September....

We just came back from Italy about 4 weeks ago. It was our fourth trip to Cinque Terre and it will definitely be our last. Years ago it was a real hidden gem of travel. Now they bus, train and boat in cruise ship day trippers. The villages have been literally loved to death. During the day, they are...
by Woodshark
Mon May 16, 2016 1:16 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Best moving option
Replies: 15
Views: 1483

Re: Best moving option

We moved a state away this past fall. I found out you can hire people to just load or unload the moving van. Go to movinghelp.com
I rented a UHaul and hired people to pack it. I drove the moving van and hired another crew to unpack it. It went very well and I saved a fair amount of money.
by Woodshark
Sat Apr 23, 2016 5:46 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Million? [Will I get there]
Replies: 41
Views: 5636

Re: Million? [Will I get there]

Is one million a magic number? I really don't know but is your first million a magic number? You bet ya! At least for us it was. I know and understand that it is just a number on a spreadsheet. Out of context of our lifestyle and expenses it is meaningless. But when we did cross into the double comm...
by Woodshark
Wed Mar 23, 2016 8:12 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: W-2 for Nanny Paid Only $1200 in 2015?
Replies: 2
Views: 492

Re: W-2 for Nanny Paid Only $1200 in 2015?

First off I will admit that I am not an accountant and this is totally out of my wheelhouse. That said, does she only work for you or for other people also. If so, she might be considered as an independent contractor. If she invoices you, you might only have to provide her a 1099. Something to look ...
by Woodshark
Sat Mar 12, 2016 5:10 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Rental car in Italy
Replies: 31
Views: 2935

Re: Rental car in Italy

Thanks for the heads up on the IDP. We are planning a three week trip to Italy in June. It has been 15 years since we were there and I totally forgot about having to have a IDP when driving there. There is not a AAA office around here but I found out you can just mail in an application with your req...
by Woodshark
Fri Feb 19, 2016 5:11 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: did you pull a permit for new central air?
Replies: 8
Views: 837

Re: did you pull a permit for new central air?

I've had several replaced and never even considered pulling a permit. Of course I'm in the Southeast.
by Woodshark
Sat Feb 13, 2016 8:45 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: What is your decline in Net Worth as of today?
Replies: 96
Views: 10983

Re: What is your decline in Net Worth as of today?

Good gosh, I can't follow the daily, weekly or even monthly gyrations. It would drive me crazy.

I do know that in 1990 I had a net worth of around $6,000. Now it's still in two comma club range. So all in all I'm happy with it.
by Woodshark
Wed Feb 03, 2016 9:06 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Make your retirement money last
Replies: 46
Views: 11277

Re: Make your retirement money last

Years ago I really enjoyed reading “Making the Most of Your Money NOW”. The width and depth of the topics covered were perfect for someone with my (then) limited understanding of investing and financial planning. The writing was so clear, informative and approachable that I gave several copies out a...
by Woodshark
Fri Jan 22, 2016 5:17 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Unexpected Costco cash card and letter in the mail
Replies: 8
Views: 2041

Re: Unexpected Costco cash card and letter in the mail

I received a card for $20 with a note saying that the item of clothing I purchased was not 100% cotton as stated on the label.
by Woodshark
Fri Jan 22, 2016 5:15 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Vanguard Store Items
Replies: 63
Views: 5464

Re: Vanguard Store Items

I bought two of the "retiree in training" tee shirts last year. I gave one to my wife when she was 90 days from her retirement party and the other to a good friend who was thinking about retiring this spring. Both of the recipients thought they were great.
by Woodshark
Thu Jan 07, 2016 10:25 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Vacation Deal
Replies: 9
Views: 1038

Re: Vacation Deal

Another recommendation for Bookit.com
by Woodshark
Thu Jan 07, 2016 10:23 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Cheap source of Science Diet Optimal Care cat food?
Replies: 25
Views: 1582

Re: Cheap source of Science Diet Optimal Care cat food?

Our cat is on a prescription cat food due to severe allergies. Normally we would purchase it at our local vet. We have recently moved and now purchase it via Chewy.com I have found them very pleasant to deal with.
by Woodshark
Sun Jan 03, 2016 3:47 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Minivan or SUV?
Replies: 24
Views: 2208

Re: Minivan or SUV?

Years ago I bought an SUV. Not for off-roading. Not for driving in snow. Not for camping but because I needed to haul things. I had no interest in a minivan because, well, I just thought SUV’s looked cool and minivans were for soccer moms. It was large, uncomfortable, had lots of road noise and dran...
by Woodshark
Thu Dec 17, 2015 6:42 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: [What happened with HLEIX last week? (JPMorgan Equity Index)]
Replies: 12
Views: 1069

Re: [What happened with HLEIX last week? (JPMorgan Equity Index)]

I was concerned (initially) because of an in process transfer of this fund. My wife held this in her 403b and we had a started a trustee to trustee transfer of her Vanguard IRA. Not knowing the progress, I was alarmed to see a post about this seldom mentioned fund. Today the funds settled and I foun...
by Woodshark
Wed Dec 16, 2015 5:31 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: [What happened with HLEIX last week? (JPMorgan Equity Index)]
Replies: 12
Views: 1069

Re: [What happened with HLEIX last week? (JPMorgan Equity Index)]

What exactly happened last week? My wife holds a chunk of this in her retirement account and I'm curious to what did occur.
by Woodshark
Sat Dec 05, 2015 8:41 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: What Book Are You Currently Reading? Part VI
Replies: 1709
Views: 399079

Re: What Book Are You Currently Reading? Part VI

I just finished "I am Pilgrim" by Terry Hayes. (A wonderful book with a terrible title.) I highly recommend it. A global spy, terrorist, murder mystery book with well constructed plots and sub plots. First book I have enjoyed for some time. It is by far the best book I have read this year ...
by Woodshark
Fri Nov 27, 2015 9:29 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Travel backpacks with removable backpack option
Replies: 42
Views: 3396

Re: Travel backpacks with removable backpack option

We are HUGE fans of the eBags Motherlode backpacks. They check all your boxes and are inexpensive. http://www.ebags.com/product/ebags/mother-lode-tls-weekender-convertible/143101 Another vote for the eBag. It has won awards, gets great reviews and is now my go-to bag for any travel. Plus they are o...
by Woodshark
Mon Nov 02, 2015 6:41 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: HOW do you spend your money? (Cash, Debit, Check, Credit?)
Replies: 34
Views: 2445

Re: HOW do you spend your money? (Cash, Debit, Check, Credit?)

I try to keep it simple. We have one checking account and one credit card account. I try to pay for most things using a rewards credit card for any purchase greater that $15-$20. The card gets paid off monthly via a normal hand written check or electronically depending on how I feel that day. Utilit...
by Woodshark
Thu Oct 29, 2015 1:12 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Guilty pleasures?
Replies: 123
Views: 13503

Re: Guilty pleasures?

A little over a year ago, I started noticing that people I went to school with were dropping dead in the prime of their lives. I stopped feeling guilty for my pleasures, now I swim in them. The first step was to keep my favorite aged rum on hand. :) BFG Agree with Barefootgirl. Personally recommend...
by Woodshark
Tue Oct 20, 2015 4:55 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: New sofa recommendation : Sofa that lasts long
Replies: 24
Views: 3001

Re: New sofa recommendation : Sofa that lasts long

We bought two Clayton Marcus sofas with 8-way hand tied springs over 25 years ago. They have held up wonderfully with daily use. Recently we moved and the fabric did not match our new interior so we gifted them to our neighbor. I miss them already.
by Woodshark
Wed Sep 30, 2015 2:41 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Minivan or not?
Replies: 50
Views: 4500

Re: Minivan or not?

We still have a 1998 Plymouth Grand Caravan (Dodge/Chrysler) that we bought new. Not worth much on the used market so we keep it. We call it our truck and cannot imagine being without it. With the seats out, it holds full sheets of 4x8 plywood. Very helpful for us DIY folks. The engine is made by Mi...
by Woodshark
Wed Sep 30, 2015 8:23 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Consumer items that are worth the initial investment?
Replies: 110
Views: 14701

Re: Consumer items that are worth the initial investment?

For years I have enjoyed a daily cup of cappuccino from our Saeco Aroma espresso machine. Made with freshly ground beans from a Maestro Classic burr grinder. A winning combination that will not break the bank. Also, my Rockport "Dressport" black dress shoes that I have owned since around 1...
by Woodshark
Fri Sep 25, 2015 3:05 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Ever paid for home inspection as the seller?
Replies: 42
Views: 2993

Re: Ever paid for home inspection as the seller?

We sold our house about two months ago. I had the same idea, go ahead and pay for a home inspection, but my realtor told me not to. She said that the buyer would not trust my inspector and would hire their own anyway. In hindsight, I think this was wrong. I'm fairly sure that they would have accept...
by Woodshark
Fri Sep 25, 2015 2:45 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Owner-carried home loan
Replies: 6
Views: 556

Re: Owner-carried home loan

I personally would not rule it out. Do you need 100% of the sale now or is 30% now ok? What would you do with the remaining 70% if you got it now? What interest rate are they willing to pay? If you can charge an interest rate that pays much better than sticking it in a money market or CD, then you c...
by Woodshark
Thu Sep 24, 2015 5:37 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: DIY Alarm System for Home
Replies: 22
Views: 2331

Re: DIY Alarm System for Home

A few years ago we built our retirement home and DIY installed a wired system from http://www.homesecuritystore.com/. At the time they were very helpful and we are very happy with it overall.
by Woodshark
Thu Sep 24, 2015 5:30 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Ever paid for home inspection as the seller?
Replies: 42
Views: 2993

Re: Ever paid for home inspection as the seller?

We sold our house about two months ago. I had the same idea, go ahead and pay for a home inspection, but my realtor told me not to. She said that the buyer would not trust my inspector and would hire their own anyway. In hindsight, I think this was wrong. I'm fairly sure that they would have accepte...
by Woodshark
Tue Sep 08, 2015 8:20 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Best Small Purchases (Around the house)
Replies: 133
Views: 15552

Re: Best Small Purchases (Around the house)

I love my wonder winder. It is a wall mounted extension cord storage and winding device. They run around $20 and make life so much easier for those of us who are deploying a power cord to run this tool or that trimmer. Been using this in my garage for 3 years now, works as advertised. Wraps up my 10...
by Woodshark
Wed Aug 26, 2015 5:07 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Time to upgrade my HVAC?
Replies: 22
Views: 2705

Re: Time to upgrade my HVAC?

With the age and seer rating it's time to replace it. It's just a matter of time before it dies on you. By replacing it now, you can do some research, get a few quotes and replace it on your schedule. Otherwise you wait till it dies and you have to make snap decisions that may not be the best in the...
by Woodshark
Wed Aug 26, 2015 5:01 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: The Bogleheads' Silent Majority
Replies: 255
Views: 37570

Re: The Bogleheads' Silent Majority

Another silent majority semi-lurker here also. I’ve been following this forum for over two years. We just retired a couple of months ago (mid 50’s) with a 60/40 portfolio for our long term investments. Not really worried about the recent market dip because we have a nice chuck of cash from the sale ...
by Woodshark
Wed Jul 15, 2015 2:34 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Is there something like a "Bogleheads Guide to Insurance"?
Replies: 7
Views: 1470

Re: Is there something like a "Bogleheads Guide to Insurance"?

I liked the information on insurance in Making the Most of Your Money Now
by Jane Bryant Quinn.
by Woodshark
Thu Jun 25, 2015 6:58 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: 10 year old car
Replies: 27
Views: 3686

Re: 10 year old car

Well, $500 is not a lot if you plan on keeping it another year or more. That’s about two standard car payments. You could have it painted. Just remember, it won’t be a perfect paint job, just better. Another thought is to see if you can find a hood in a junkyard that is the same factory color, but i...
by Woodshark
Sun Jun 14, 2015 7:39 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Plumber question
Replies: 28
Views: 3990

Re: Plumber question

CPVC (plastic) is standard where we live and passes all codes. IF there is a pressure problem, it's just hot water. Maybe very hot water but copper is not required.
by Woodshark
Mon May 25, 2015 7:41 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Do-it-yourself handy person: How did you learn?
Replies: 41
Views: 5531

Re: Do-it-yourself handy person: How did you learn?

I learned because of two reasons. 1. I grew up poor. As in government housing poor. If I wanted something fixed I had to learn how to do it myself. 2. I always liked working on things, figuring out what made them work. Instead of asking for toys I asked for tools. Back then there was no youtube or i...
by Woodshark
Wed May 20, 2015 5:33 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Building a guest house
Replies: 20
Views: 2362

Re: Building a guest house

You have to ask yourself the following.... 1. Do you want to be a landlord with all that it might include? 2. Do you need the rental income? 3. Do you have the 40K in excess funds? 4. What happens if he fails to complete the unit or rents for a few months then moves away? Not likely but alway a poss...
by Woodshark
Wed May 20, 2015 4:56 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Ways to fund an early retirement?
Replies: 40
Views: 3011

Re: Ways to fund an early retirement?

Some people are eligible for pensions after 25-30 years of service. (Teachers, police etc) If you start early enough you can retire the first year you qualify and draw a pension in your early 50’s. If you also funded a 457 account and are retired then you have access to it, penalty free. That is our...
by Woodshark
Tue May 12, 2015 5:24 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Patio Furniture
Replies: 16
Views: 2432

Re: Patio Furniture

If your existing outdoor furniture is real teak and not just a teak "finish" then I would recommend keeping it. Real teak is expensive and very weather resistant so it should last for years and years. Before you do something rash like putting on the curb I would recommend giving it a good ...
by Woodshark
Mon Apr 06, 2015 7:54 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Can I stop being unemployed and retire?
Replies: 14
Views: 3835

Re: Can I stop being unemployed and retire?

After a quick overlook I have two comments. 1. You have a lot of different investments. I would look into consolidating them into a more simple (less than 10) format. 2. You are almost 60 and state that your estimated withdrawal rate would only be 2%. So yes, I think you could safely call yourself r...
by Woodshark
Mon Apr 06, 2015 5:44 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Help me Understand Why I Keep My Bond Allocations
Replies: 15
Views: 1640

Re: Help me Understand Why I Keep My Bond Allocations

You are asking the same question I have posed to myself weekly for the last six months. If bonds are returning so little, are they really paying me enough for the risk in owning them? Right now CD rates are very, very low also, but at least you know that your investments have a built in floor and wi...
by Woodshark
Sat Apr 04, 2015 4:52 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Your homeowner and auto insurance annual rate increases?
Replies: 30
Views: 7036

Re: Your homeowner and auto insurance annual rate increases?

I stayed with State Farm for over 25 years. After three years in a row with double digit rate increases I decided to shop around. I had an independent agent shop for rates and we ended up saving over $600 (two homes/ three cars) per year.
by Woodshark
Sun Mar 29, 2015 7:07 am
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: If you had 1 [investing] book to recommend...
Replies: 51
Views: 6660

Re: If you had 1 book to recommend...

Leeraar wrote:Jane Bryant Quinn: "Making the most of your money now".

L.


A second recommendation for this book. Besides just investing it covers a wide variety of topics such as insurance, wills etc. Written in an easy to understand matter, it is my go to book for gifting.
by Woodshark
Wed Mar 18, 2015 5:50 am
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: how often do you check performance?
Replies: 70
Views: 6189

Re: how often do you check performance?

I check a couple of times a week. Not to compare to any model, since I do not have one. It's usually just a quick look to see what the total of all our accounts together is doing. My wife is retiring in two months. We will be selling our house and moving to another state so there is a lot of change ...
by Woodshark
Fri Mar 13, 2015 5:19 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Projects when moving into a new (to us) home
Replies: 20
Views: 1884

Re: Projects when moving into a new (to us) home

My recommendations are… Have a whole house surge protector installed. That way you know that all the electronic gear in your house as at least a fighting chance during an electrical storm. If you have a garage door opener, change the codes. A repeat but it needs repeating. Buy new washer supply hose...
by Woodshark
Sat Mar 07, 2015 8:23 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: What is your favorite consumer product?
Replies: 174
Views: 15281

Re: What is your favorite consumer product?

VesperLynd wrote:Speaking of rum, Pyrat rum...with pineapple juice...I used to doubt brand loyalty when it came to rum. No longer.


Good call. I have a couple of bottles of Pyrat rum stashed away right now. If you like Pyrat then you need to try Zaya rum. It is my favorite for sipping. No mixers allowed.
by Woodshark
Fri Mar 06, 2015 5:15 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: The More I learn, the fewer changes I make
Replies: 25
Views: 3838

Re: The More I learn, the Less changes I make

Same here. I spent way too much time and lost way too much $$ chasing the latest hot mutual funds, investing in individual stocks, hiring a financial planner who churned the accounts plus me occasionally trying to time the market. Thankfully after a few foolish years I came to understand the majesty...
by Woodshark
Fri Mar 06, 2015 4:34 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Acct maintenance - Statements - Confirmation emails???
Replies: 15
Views: 2751

Re: Acct maintenance - Statements - Confirmation emails???

Wow, I'm only 54 and you guys make me feel ancient, paranoid or both. I have them mail me paper copies of statements and transactions that I put into a 3 ring binder. I keep ALL paper records for the current and past year. Anything older gets culled to includes only the end of year summary. I guess ...
by Woodshark
Mon Mar 02, 2015 4:13 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Picking a listing agent
Replies: 16
Views: 1416

Re: Picking a listing agent

Since we are putting on house on the market in a couple of months this is timely information. :D

I look forward to more information, comments and suggestions.
by Woodshark
Mon Mar 02, 2015 4:06 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Oil & Vinegar
Replies: 52
Views: 5593

Re: Oil & Vinegar

I've started to make my own also. It tastes so much better than the store bought pre-made stuff. You can do a search for vinagrette recipes and see that it is the basics plus what added spices you want to add in. I like to add a couple of garlic cloves. After a few days on counter, it just gets bett...
by Woodshark
Mon Mar 02, 2015 3:54 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Consumer Cellular increases Minutes, Texts, & Data
Replies: 14
Views: 1300

Re: Consumer Cellular increases Minutes, Texts, & Data

Another CC user here. This is good news as I often get within 10% of data plan limit now. The new increase will give me some wiggle room.
by Woodshark
Tue Feb 24, 2015 8:39 am
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Keep brokerage account at Vanguard?
Replies: 11
Views: 1932

Re: Keep brokerage account at Vanguard?

Having used Fidelity and Schwab for years I was used to a certain level of service and convenience. After I opened my Vanguard brokerage, I was surprised how disappointed I was with it.
by Woodshark
Tue Feb 24, 2015 7:48 am
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: is there such "3 fund portfolio at VALIC"?
Replies: 16
Views: 1755

Re: is there such "3 fund portfolio at VALIC"?

Consider yourself lucky. My wife's a teacher and her retirement options are with Valic. In her plan they only offer about 8-10 funds. Most with higher costs, non are from Vanguard and only one index equivalent.

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