Search found 352 matches

by amarone
Wed Jan 20, 2016 3:22 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Buy a house with pool & What to look for?
Replies: 20
Views: 1610

Re: Buy a house with pool & What to look for?

I have an inground pool, and do the maintenance my self. Noway, nohow do I spend anywhere near what amarone mentions, but he/she is using a pool service. I spend no more than $300 a year on chemicals and the occasional water topping off. I replaced the pump a few years ago, and I think that was $20...
by amarone
Wed Jan 20, 2016 9:29 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Wifi Thermostat??
Replies: 39
Views: 4424

Re: Wifi Thermostat??

I bought a couple of Honeywells 2 - 3 years ago and have been happy with them. However, if I were starting now I would not look at thermostats in isolation. I would determine the best home automation system or standard and then choose thermostats compatible with that.
by amarone
Wed Jan 20, 2016 9:24 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Home WiFi extender
Replies: 20
Views: 1369

Re: Home WiFi extender

Wifi extender aka repeater aka booster do work, but they are not the best solution if you want high performance wifi. I would only use an extender if there was no other workable solution. What an extender does is connect to the wifi router as a single wifi client and rebroadcast the signal. Because...
by amarone
Wed Jan 20, 2016 9:11 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Amazon Prime: doing the math...is it worth it?
Replies: 92
Views: 7892

Re: Amazon Prime: doing the math...is it worth it?

It is difficult to work out the benefit in pure dollars (doing the math). We get a free Kindle book per month. Value $60 (only otherwise cheap books are available). Free shipping - as others have said, we could mostly get free shipping simply by choosing the slower option that is free to non-Prime m...
by amarone
Wed Jan 20, 2016 7:52 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Buy a house with pool & What to look for?
Replies: 20
Views: 1610

Re: Buy a house with pool & What to look for?

We bought a house with a pool almost exactly 3 years ago. It had been neglected somewhat and I don't think we have reached "steady state" costs yet, but we have spent $17,000 in 3 years, excluding the additional electricity for pumps (it is not heated) and water bills. They probably boost ...
by amarone
Fri Jan 15, 2016 10:03 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Help - want to pay "cash" for a car
Replies: 68
Views: 3607

Re: Help - want to pay "cash" for a car

As far as the insurance issue mentioned above, in MY STATE (it varies) if you have a policy it automatically covers any new vehicle you acquire for up to 30 days with the same coverage as your other highest level insured vehicle. Your old insurance card is just fine. It also varies by dealer policy...
by amarone
Fri Jan 15, 2016 8:14 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Help - want to pay "cash" for a car
Replies: 68
Views: 3607

Re: Help - want to pay "cash" for a car

I would be shocked if a reputable dealer would accept actual cash that large. Most wouldn't. Is that something you know or are assuming? A dealer would have to report any payment of $10k or more to the IRS, but the IRS says: auto dealerships frequently receive cash in excess of $10,000 and are requ...
by amarone
Thu Jan 14, 2016 12:55 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Help - want to pay "cash" for a car
Replies: 68
Views: 3607

Re: Help - want to pay "cash" for a car

Like others, I pay with a personal check. However, last year the dealer refused to accept my check - I was using a check that draws on one of my Vanguard funds. It was the first check I was writing against that fund. The dealership refused it, citing a rule the owner put in place that they will not ...
by amarone
Mon Dec 21, 2015 4:04 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: How much do you spend on groceries?
Replies: 109
Views: 7387

Re: How much do you spend on groceries?

To all the Bogleheads here and the philosophy of index funds and the low costs of such. When you see the large amount that some people spend on groceries you have to wonder how that fits in with the philosophy. Saving percentages per year on index funds verses other funds is contraindicated by the ...
by amarone
Sun Dec 20, 2015 6:11 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: How much do you spend on groceries?
Replies: 109
Views: 7387

Re: How much do you spend on groceries?

According to Quicken, $875/month for 2 adults and one teenager. That is Supermarket spending, so will also include non-food items such as cleaning and paper goods, beer, shampoo/soap/toothpaste/deodorant etc.. It excludes eating out.
by amarone
Tue Dec 15, 2015 9:24 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: New Laptop -- Christmas present for me
Replies: 53
Views: 4619

Re: New Laptop -- Christmas present for me

I am wanting an XPS 13, but its support for Windows 10 was delayed compared to most other models, so I waited. Now it is available with Windows 10 but many recent reviews have reported issues with the Windows 10 support, so I will continue to wait until it stabilizes.
by amarone
Fri Dec 04, 2015 7:59 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Realtor Negotiating Advice
Replies: 44
Views: 3952

Re: Realtor Negotiating Advice

I used to be a Realtor. I never negotiated my fees. But I think my reasons were sound. First, I would take into account the value of the home and time I thought it would take to sell to determine the commission I would charge. In your 5.5% example, 1/2 that goes to the buyer's agent, leave 2.75%. R...
by amarone
Fri Nov 20, 2015 10:07 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Are Subarus reliable?
Replies: 81
Views: 5608

Re: Are Subarus reliable?

So those of you with late model Subarus......I'm curious, do you have manual transmissions or CVT (Continuously variable transmission)? I've never driven a CVT car but I know most of the import manufacturers are phasing out the traditional automatic tranmissions and going with the CVTs. I have hear...
by amarone
Thu Nov 19, 2015 4:38 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: What to do with $10k bonus
Replies: 34
Views: 2783

Re: What to do with $10k bonus

Well no, I'm not sure... but I got bonuses for about 6-7 years and they were ALWAYS taxed around 35/40%. ""The problem with this approach is that instead of being taxed at a flat 25% – and having that 25% rate apply only to the bonus amount – you get taxed at what is almost certainly a hi...
by amarone
Thu Nov 19, 2015 12:13 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Are Subarus reliable?
Replies: 81
Views: 5608

Re: Are Subarus reliable?

Again, self-reported data, but truedelta.com provides repair data by make & model. Here is the Outback and repair trips for the last six years' models: http://www.truedelta.com/2015-Subaru-Outback/reliability-trends-253 You can see how different year models rate. Looks like 2009 and earlier Outb...
by amarone
Thu Nov 19, 2015 10:30 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Are Subarus reliable?
Replies: 81
Views: 5608

Re: Are Subarus reliable?

We can all swap anecdotes, but Consumer Reports rates Subaru in the top 5 for reliability in their 2015 survey. I do not have access to the CR site, but the headline of their press release is: Lexus, Toyota, Audi, Mazda, and Subaru Most Reliable Brands The full report is in the December issue, which...
by amarone
Wed Nov 18, 2015 7:08 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Are Subarus reliable?
Replies: 81
Views: 5608

Re: Are Subarus reliable?

We have a 2012 Outback, 135k miles. Total maintenance cost including tires = 3.5 cents/mile.

Only issue is I have to put a quart of oil in after 5,000 miles of the 7,500 mile service interval.
by amarone
Tue Nov 03, 2015 6:21 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Do you hold international bonds in your tax-advantaged space?
Replies: 43
Views: 2494

Re: Do you hold international bonds in your tax-advantaged space?

I have some pension funds in the UK. As anything non-international would mean "UK only", I went with a Global Bond Fund. However, 40% of that is in US bonds.
by amarone
Mon Nov 02, 2015 6:55 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: How Many Credit Cards Do You Have?
Replies: 91
Views: 6459

Re: How Many Credit Cards Do You Have?

Two, and only because not everywhere takes Amex. Main card is Amex Blue Cash - the original one and grandfathered into its cashback. $1,600/year cash back in each of the last two years. CDC Visa. Chosen mostly to maintain a relationship with the credit union as may not qualify if we closed the accou...
by amarone
Fri Oct 30, 2015 5:44 am
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: P2P Lending - Anyone try it?
Replies: 75
Views: 5804

Re: P2P Lending - Anyone try it?

So I just found the Grok's tips series, and I found #6 interesting (and prudent): https://www.bogleheads.org/forum/viewtopic.php?t=67727 The summary would be: Don't invest in products where the incentives aren't aligned with your goals. Does anyone have thoughts on how the incentives are lined up f...
by amarone
Thu Oct 29, 2015 12:17 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: P2P Lending - Anyone try it?
Replies: 75
Views: 5804

Re: P2P Lending - Anyone try it?

Regarding taxable accounts, a friend did this a few years back and told me the tax reporting was nighmarish (maybe because things were reported loan-by-loan so he had a bazillion individual accounts he had to enter). Has that aspect improved? Just looked at my Lending Club 2014 tax statement. The i...
by amarone
Sat Oct 24, 2015 8:43 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: P2P Lending - Anyone try it?
Replies: 75
Views: 5804

Re: P2P Lending - Anyone try it?

What time spent researching? I spend no time at all and have my spare cash automatically invested into a diverse range of notes. You literally spent zero minutes researching your automated investment, zero minutes setting it up, and zero minutes checking out Lending Club? I think you're ignoring th...
by amarone
Sat Oct 24, 2015 5:27 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: P2P Lending - Anyone try it?
Replies: 75
Views: 5804

Re: P2P Lending - Anyone try it?

seems to me that the percentage of ones portfolio that should be put into P2P would be so small that any "extra return" would not be worth the time spend researching. What time spent researching? I spend no time at all and have my spare cash automatically invested into a diverse range of ...
by amarone
Sat Oct 24, 2015 5:36 am
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: P2P Lending - Anyone try it?
Replies: 75
Views: 5804

Re: P2P Lending - Anyone try it?

I've been using Lending Club for over 4 years and have about $17k in there now. I have made about 9% annually. I invest very passively - they have a feature called Automated Investing which automatically reinvests interest according to criteria you set. I do not monitor notes for going bad. I invest...
by amarone
Thu Oct 22, 2015 5:23 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: How much info. to share with estate planning attorney
Replies: 20
Views: 2334

Re: How much info. to share with estate planning attorney

I went through this process earlier this year and had an 8-page questionnaire to fill in. However, it did not ask for details of individual accounts, or account numbers or SSN. We just had to provide totals, ownership (husband/wife/joint), and beneficiaries (where relevant) by asset type. I would th...
by amarone
Thu Oct 22, 2015 8:29 am
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Disappearing account on Vanguard
Replies: 19
Views: 2024

Re: Disappearing account on Vanguard

I opened this thread thinking it might be the same as just happened to me. It is not, but I thought I would add my experience in case it helps anyone else. Recently, my automatic download into Quicken failed, saying that Vanguard reports that my tIRA account does not exist. I could not find it on th...
by amarone
Tue Oct 20, 2015 1:10 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: buying a used car from a dealer - fees etc
Replies: 12
Views: 1325

Re: buying a used car from a dealer - fees etc

We had a dealer hiding a fee in the taxes. The quoted price included a single line item for tax. I thought it looked a little high, but in Georgia the tax on a used car is not simply a percentage so you cannot instantly tell if it is correct - you have to look it up for your particular car on a web ...
by amarone
Tue Oct 20, 2015 12:59 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Suspend (and Repay) SS Benefits ?
Replies: 28
Views: 2355

Re: Suspend (and Repay) SS Benefits ?

If someone starts collecting at 62 but then becomes disabled and can claim disability until normal retirement age, does that have the same effect on the retirement sum as suspending? On the SSA site I have seen mention that when retirement payments resume, they will be higher than before swapping to...
by amarone
Thu Oct 08, 2015 1:18 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Joint Finances as a newlywed couple?
Replies: 29
Views: 2193

Re: Joint Finances as a newlywed couple?

We didn't discuss it very much before marriage either. We talked about goals and plans and dreams, but not the nuts and bolts of handling the family finances. Looking back I think that's because we intuitively knew we'd just throw it all together in joint accounts. We had nothing (I mean nothing!) ...
by amarone
Sat Oct 03, 2015 1:22 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Should my husband become a US citizen?
Replies: 102
Views: 7310

Re: Should my husband become a US citizen?

I became a citizen last month after nearly 19 years in the US and being married to a US citizen for 10. I had been procrastinating about become a citizen because, although the US is now my home and I want to participate fully, I was struggling with the oath under which I renounce all other allegianc...
by amarone
Sun Sep 27, 2015 7:18 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Ever paid for home inspection as the seller?
Replies: 42
Views: 2690

Re: Ever paid for home inspection as the seller?

the cost of an inspection is literally a drop in the bucket compared to the other costs associated with selling one house and buying another. We are talking small change here. Does the relative cost really matter? We are talking $400 (or whatever). Is it really relevant how much the rest of the tra...
by amarone
Sun Sep 27, 2015 1:15 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Ever paid for home inspection as the seller?
Replies: 42
Views: 2690

Re: Ever paid for home inspection as the seller?

There is a standard disclosure form that we will have to complete. I am not aware of anything that needs fixing, but there are areas that could benefit from a paint job. Filling in the form will not be an issue. My point was an inspection may reveal something that you don't know now that will have ...
by amarone
Fri Sep 25, 2015 10:20 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Ever paid for home inspection as the seller?
Replies: 42
Views: 2690

Re: Ever paid for home inspection as the seller?

the cost of an inspection is literally a drop in the bucket compared to the other costs associated with selling one house and buying another. We are talking small change here. Does the relative cost really matter? We are talking $400 (or whatever). Is it really relevant how much the rest of the tra...
by amarone
Fri Sep 25, 2015 4:16 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Ever paid for home inspection as the seller?
Replies: 42
Views: 2690

Re: Ever paid for home inspection as the seller?

As someone looking at buying a house right now, I would thank you very much for your inspection and then get my own anyway. If you didn't want me to get my own for some reason, I would assume you're trying to hide something and move on. I would absolutely expect the buyer to arrange their own inspe...
by amarone
Fri Sep 25, 2015 3:24 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Ever paid for home inspection as the seller?
Replies: 42
Views: 2690

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 amarone
Fri Sep 25, 2015 6:49 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Ever paid for home inspection as the seller?
Replies: 42
Views: 2690

Re: Ever paid for home inspection as the seller?

It really is important to understand the market where your house is located. I sold my mom's house a few years ago in a small town with a slight buyers market. The house needed a lot of work. I hired an inspector and his report helped me decide what to fix before putting the house on the market. As...
by amarone
Thu Sep 24, 2015 5:43 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Ever paid for home inspection as the seller?
Replies: 42
Views: 2690

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 amarone
Thu Sep 24, 2015 5:42 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Ever paid for home inspection as the seller?
Replies: 42
Views: 2690

Re: Ever paid for home inspection as the seller?

For an older house, it might be in your best interests to find out significant problems on the front end and get them fixed. I probably would not do that for a newer house myself. Other than termite inspections - that needs to be done anyway if you live in a termite part of the country. Of course, ...
by amarone
Thu Sep 24, 2015 5:40 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Ever paid for home inspection as the seller?
Replies: 42
Views: 2690

Re: Ever paid for home inspection as the seller?

If I were the purchaser I wouldn't accept your inspection anyway. Is s/he trying to drum up business for a friend? If your realtor really is trying to get you to sweeten the pot, why doesn't she want you to just offer $X reimbursement for inspection costs at closing instead? I do not have a Realtor...
by amarone
Thu Sep 24, 2015 5:37 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Ever paid for home inspection as the seller?
Replies: 42
Views: 2690

Re: Ever paid for home inspection as the seller?

In some markets (at least in some segments), that's standard practice. I've done it as a seller, used a very reputable inspector and provided the entire report to prospective buyers, but told my agent to emphasize that the absence of an inspection contingency in prospective buyers' offers would be ...
by amarone
Thu Sep 24, 2015 4:05 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Ever paid for home inspection as the seller?
Replies: 42
Views: 2690

Ever paid for home inspection as the seller?

We will be putting our home on the market in about 18 months and have just started to research best practices. Yes, it is a long time off, but it gives us plenty of time to fix things. I have bought several houses in the US before, but never sold one (don't ask!), so am a newbie at this. A Realtor, ...
by amarone
Tue Aug 11, 2015 11:14 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Comcast Offers-whats the catch?
Replies: 26
Views: 2655

Re: Comcast Offers-whats the catch?

As others have said, as long as you are alert to when special offers end, take advantage of the offers for bundled services. I have a second home for which we wanted just Internet (Netflix is fine for our TV viewing needs). I started with just Comcast Internet, but now have Internet plus a few TV ch...
by amarone
Tue Aug 11, 2015 10:54 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Real Estate Commission
Replies: 11
Views: 1138

Re: Real Estate Commission

The process is mostly up to the buyer in my state. They have to provide the offer and earnest money. How did you handle the earnest money, given that is normally held in a separate account by the agent's company? I have been involved in buying a house without an agent, and in that case we simply di...
by amarone
Tue Aug 11, 2015 10:29 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Real Estate Commission
Replies: 11
Views: 1138

Re: Real Estate Commission

The process is mostly up to the buyer in my state. They have to provide the offer and earnest money. How did you handle the earnest money, given that is normally held in a separate account by the agent's company? I have been involved in buying a house without an agent, and in that case we simply di...
by amarone
Thu May 07, 2015 10:00 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Non traded REITs and indexed annuities
Replies: 49
Views: 2938

Re: Non traded REITs and indexed annuities

I know someone who was persuaded by an Ameriprise advisor to invest in two non-traded REITs. Over a period during which VNQ gained 60%, these each lost about 30%. Both disallowed redemptions until one of them eventually went public, allowing an exit at considerable loss. She still owns the other and...
by amarone
Sun Apr 19, 2015 3:13 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Marginal benefit of spending more on car
Replies: 83
Views: 7973

Re: Marginal benefit of spending more on car

You can spend an extra $10k by buying a more expensive make/model of car or even luxury options on the same car, or you can spend $10k by buying a newer version of the same car. These are very different. If you are thinking of buying used, bear in mind that there have been significant safety improve...
by amarone
Thu Mar 19, 2015 5:02 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Savannah
Replies: 28
Views: 4041

Re: Savannah

If you do a walking tour, I suggest Savannah Dan. It is entertaining and not taxing.

And another recommendation for The Olde Pink House.
by amarone
Fri Feb 27, 2015 4:00 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Beepi - a new way to buy a used car?
Replies: 32
Views: 4843

Re: Beepi - a new way to buy a used car?

I disagree and think that test drives are quite important. In 2000 I found out that the cars I thought I liked, 1998 VW GTi, celica, civic Type R, were not the driving style and experience I wanted. I ended up going with an Acura GSR which I still wish I had. In 2012 it was again a competition betw...
by amarone
Thu Feb 26, 2015 6:58 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Vanguard Financial Planning Service ?
Replies: 11
Views: 3990

Re: Vanguard Financial Planning Service ?

amarone: In your second link, go to Benefits-at-a-glance and then look at the 5th line. That only says "Access to a financial advisor" is "included" (if I am looking at the right part). No mention of a financial plan. In the description of the Flagship benefits it states: Consul...

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