Search found 2260 matches

by bloom2708
Thu Jul 27, 2017 1:22 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: WiFi Thermostat?
Replies: 45
Views: 2514

Re: WiFi Thermostat?

And mankind still survived all these years without checking their house temp at work. :D I do agree that the vacation in winter furnace check could be of value. I bow honorably in your direction. As far as filter and annual check, I have those are reoccurring events in Google calendar. No bowing re...
by bloom2708
Thu Jul 27, 2017 1:20 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Is it too late to write off basement finish from 4 yrs ago?
Replies: 3
Views: 205

Re: Is it too late to write off basement finish from 4 yrs ago?

What would you write off? Do you use the basement as a home office? If you took out a construction loan and then wrapped that into your mortgage, you are getting the "benefit" of payment more interest, which you then might (if you itemize) get 25 to 35 cents back on over and above the stan...
by bloom2708
Thu Jul 27, 2017 10:15 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: WiFi Thermostat?
Replies: 45
Views: 2514

Re: WiFi Thermostat?

Because according to my utility company I am already at the most efficient billing levels. Two temp changes a year without the strain on the system with the big temp swings. The wifi thermostat is a solution without a problem. If you are on vacation and your furnace goes out, how are you notified? ...
by bloom2708
Thu Jul 27, 2017 9:45 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: WiFi Thermostat?
Replies: 45
Views: 2514

Re: WiFi Thermostat?

I think you missed my point which was setting it and forgetting it made our utility bill more efficient. The temp you set it at is at your discretion. Our builder told us a long time ago that the programmable thermostats actually put more strain on your HVAC because of the need to "work harder...
by bloom2708
Thu Jul 27, 2017 8:12 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Buying a vacation home in San Diego
Replies: 11
Views: 784

Re: Buying a vacation home in San Diego

Those seven hour or so flights coast to coast are not much fun. Seems like an odd place to buy a vacation home given where you live now. To me, it would make more sense to buy a house there when you are ready to move there and just rent a place for vacations. That way you can vacation in different ...
by bloom2708
Thu Jul 27, 2017 8:09 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: WiFi Thermostat?
Replies: 45
Views: 2514

Re: WiFi Thermostat?

Our local utility provides monthly data on how you compare to your neighbors. We are always in the most efficient category. No wifi thermostat. Just keep it at 77 all summer and 66 all winter. Rarely touch it. 77 in the summer is doable. 66 in the winter would not fly in my house. That is extra pai...
by bloom2708
Thu Jul 27, 2017 8:04 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: BMW Z3 or Z4 or nothing at all?
Replies: 42
Views: 1697

Re: BMW Z3 or Z4 or nothing at all?

Expand your Craigslist region window. eBay and have it shipped to you. eBay and one way fly out and drive it back. This one has a "rebuilt" title, but it is in my area. I also use Cars.com or carsforsale.com and do a 250 or 500 mile circle. https://grandforks.craigslist.org/cto/d/bmw/61837...
by bloom2708
Wed Jul 26, 2017 2:57 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Using Profits for expenses
Replies: 5
Views: 365

Re: Using Profits for expenses

You will want to think more "Total Return" and determine a "safe" percentage to withdraw each year. A dividend IS reducing your principal. Simple example: Stock price: $100 Shares owned: 1 Dividend: 5% On the dividend date, you get this: Stock price: $95 Shares owned: 1 Settlemen...
by bloom2708
Wed Jul 26, 2017 8:16 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Need Options - Honda Accord Incredibly Uncomfortable Seats
Replies: 69
Views: 2886

Re: Need Options - Honda Accord Incredibly Uncomfortable Seats

I've learned that I virtually know nothing. If I think I know something I am probably proven wrong later. I've also learned to admit when I'm wrong and then course adjust frequently. The seats are uncomfortable. Life is short. Trade the car for a Lexus. A 3-5 year old ES or LS will be a better car e...
by bloom2708
Tue Jul 25, 2017 2:32 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Need Advice on Credit Card Debt
Replies: 37
Views: 1515

Re: Need Advice on Credit Card Debt

Do you have anything you can sell to lop off bigger chunks? Perhaps read The Total Money Makeover book by Dave Ramsey. You need to figure out how to get "gazelle intense" on this thing or it will hang with you for a long time. Too long. How about a second job delivering pizza until it is g...
by bloom2708
Tue Jul 25, 2017 2:02 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: WiFi Thermostat?
Replies: 45
Views: 2514

Re: WiFi Thermostat?

I have the ecobee3, the ecobee4 is out now. A very well made device. We use 3 remote sensors and can base temps on a single sensor or an average. The phone and website are well designed. Vacation mode and many other features that are quite handy. At any point I can open the app and see a host of inf...
by bloom2708
Tue Jul 25, 2017 1:21 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Is a kamado grill/smoker worth it?
Replies: 17
Views: 1526

Re: Is a kamado grill/smoker worth it?

I've been tempted to buy this as a "starter" kamado. https://www.walmart.com/ip/Akorn-Kamado-Jr/52497353?u1=f8c8fa92716511e784598e1f5ac956b70INT&oid=223073.1&wmlspartner=lw9MynSeamY&sourceid=02759106541186586497&affillinktype=10&veh=aff Smaller and the specs don't match...
by bloom2708
Tue Jul 25, 2017 11:24 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: 2018 Subaru Outback with 3 car seats vs. other car/suv options
Replies: 60
Views: 2753

Re: 2018 Subaru Outback

Lots of choices.

I would not lump Lexus in with the German autos and Volvo. Lexus is Toyota luxury.

Drive a CPO Lexus RX 350 (450h is the hybrid version) in your price range. But, do it after driving some of the others. Or, drive one first and skip the rest. :wink:

Just one idea.
by bloom2708
Tue Jul 25, 2017 11:15 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: College student daughter got her car totaled. Advice?
Replies: 30
Views: 2086

Re: College student daughter got her car totaled. Advice?

I have bought two "new" cars in the last 9 months... both used Lexus vehicles (1 GX SUV, 1 GS350 sport sedan, both 2007) with >100,000 miles that so far (knock on wood) have driven flawlessly and needed nothing more than gas, and look much newer then their 2007 model years suggest. There ...
by bloom2708
Tue Jul 25, 2017 10:41 am
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Low risk return over 2.8%? Suggestions?
Replies: 18
Views: 1612

Re: Low risk return over 2.8%? Suggestions?

No such thing as "no or low risk" with a 2.8% return.

Short and Intermediate bond funds (tax-exempt muni bonds in taxable) will offer some return, but not risk free.

A 1.0+% online savings at Ally or Synchrony is the only risk free (almost) way to save.
by bloom2708
Tue Jul 25, 2017 10:38 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Late start for college savings
Replies: 16
Views: 1204

Re: Late start for college savings

Choosing a reasonable state school, work study, summer jobs. Work from the cost side. As far as savings, it is probably too late for a 529 to be much help. No long window for tax free gains. Start a conservative taxable account (30/70) and save as much as you can without harming your own retirement ...
by bloom2708
Tue Jul 25, 2017 8:13 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: College student daughter got her car totaled. Advice?
Replies: 30
Views: 2086

Re: College student daughter got her car totaled. Advice?

I would second the recommendation of a Lexus RX. My 2007 is worth about $6k with 150k miles, and does have bluetooth for phone (not for streaming), ESC, and a backup camera. Replace the oil cooler hoses ($70 part and about an hour of labor) and you'll be in good shape. It's not an exciting car by a...
by bloom2708
Tue Jul 25, 2017 7:01 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: making a first time home purchase w/ other debts
Replies: 14
Views: 773

Re: making a first time home purchase w/ other debts

OP, you are an adult. Do adult things. Pay off the credit card balance and THEN save enough money for the down payment, taxes, insurance, furniture, lawnmower, closing costs, etc. Patience. You will not spend less money in your flip house, you will spend more. You will find new and amazingly easy wa...
by bloom2708
Mon Jul 24, 2017 7:19 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: College student daughter got her car totaled. Advice?
Replies: 30
Views: 2086

Re: College student daughter got her car totaled. Advice?

Buy a Lexus RX or ES 300 or 330 that matches your budget. High miles it will still be better than other cars.
by bloom2708
Mon Jul 24, 2017 4:40 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: $1m Windfall, Invest in a Taxable Account?
Replies: 8
Views: 1464

Re: $1m Windfall, Invest in a Taxable Account?

If the money is out of the trust and tax is paid, then consider the 3 fund portfolio at Vanguard. 42% Total US Stock Index 18% Total International Stock Index 40% Intermediate-Term Tax-Exempt Bond index Why 60/40? Well, take as much risk as you need to take. At 28, if you could let this money sit fo...
by bloom2708
Mon Jul 24, 2017 4:36 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Apple or AT&T
Replies: 16
Views: 1468

Re: Apple or AT&T

If you're going to buy a new phone check out the deal with Virgin. Buy an iPhone and get service for free for a year, look up Virgin Inner Circle. Looks like a pretty good deal. Virgin Mobile is Sprint. Quite dissimilar to AT&T coverage unless you stay in a urban area. You will pay ~$700 for yo...
by bloom2708
Mon Jul 24, 2017 3:38 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Cutting the cable - Internet speed requirements
Replies: 12
Views: 722

Re: Cutting the cable - Internet speed requirements

Having a good router will also be important. We have 75mb down, which is overkill. 25mb or up should meet all needs. We have settled on Google Wifi (3 point mesh router system) to go with our Amazon Fire TV (2) and Fire Sticks (3). Playstation Vue, Netflix and Amazon Prime. Other than renting an occ...
by bloom2708
Mon Jul 24, 2017 2:22 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: How much of savings to spend on house?
Replies: 6
Views: 623

Re: How much of savings to spend on house?

Give each of your cash dollars a purpose. Emergency Fund, Taxes Fund, Car Fund, Vacation Fund, House down payment fund.. That doesn't mean you can't keep it in a single account, but often people have a lump of money and it is multiple things. Retirement, emergency, house down payment. Each dollar ca...
by bloom2708
Mon Jul 24, 2017 12:59 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Company Vehicle - What would you do?
Replies: 23
Views: 1117

Re: Company Vehicle - What would you do?

If you can use your company vehicle for all personal use, then I would sell it.

Set the $4k aside and perhaps build up a car fund so if something changed you have some cash to buy the next car with.
by bloom2708
Mon Jul 24, 2017 12:56 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Golfers - need to ramp up ASAP!
Replies: 35
Views: 2585

Re: Golfers - need to ramp up ASAP!

Rupert has good advice.

Take a few lessons, hit the driving range. Have a reasonable (Craigslist) set of new-ish clubs. No need to go hog wild.

I prefer slightly older clubs. A good swing will trump much of the new technology. Although the new drivers can really compensate for swing issues at times.
by bloom2708
Fri Jul 21, 2017 10:08 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Scooter for local commute - Honda PCX 150, etc...
Replies: 43
Views: 1999

Re: Scooter for local commute - Honda PCX 150, etc...

Some observations: 150cc is a pretty good sized scooter. Maybe overkill for a short commute. I would look to an electric assist bike over a scooter. With the scooter you will have to be "out in traffic" with all the commuting yahoos. With an electric bike, you can stick to sidewalks/bike p...
by bloom2708
Fri Jul 21, 2017 8:27 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Lexus to Camry, invest difference
Replies: 30
Views: 2574

Re: Lexus to Camry, invest difference

Keep the Lexus. A door ding on a 1-2 year old Lexus is no different from a door ding on a brand new Camry. "Too nice." That is funny stuff. For me at 46, life is too short to drive crappy cars. Not saying the Camry is crappy, but it will be a step down. Driving a used Lexus > driving a new...
by bloom2708
Thu Jul 20, 2017 1:54 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Investing well for Retirement can be frustrating
Replies: 52
Views: 3611

Re: Investing well for Retirement can be frustrating

Retire 10 years before them. No price can be placed on 10 years.

:moneybag
by bloom2708
Thu Jul 20, 2017 1:44 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Another cutting cord thread/PS Vue & recording live events
Replies: 10
Views: 731

Re: Another cutting cord thread/PS Vue & recording live events

The picture quality on Fire TV Box and Fire TV Stick is comparable. The Fire Stick is a bit slower navigating between menus and it takes a bit longer to load/buffer the picture. I was considering switching all our TVs to Fire TV Boxes. I upgraded to Google Wi-Fi and the performance of the Sticks has...
by bloom2708
Thu Jul 20, 2017 1:08 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Should I stay with my advisor?
Replies: 6
Views: 587

Re: Should I stay with my advisor?

Welcome. Yes, you should leave your advisor once you get comfortable doing it yourself. Your 8% return doesn't mean much because the stock market has been rising and rising over the past years. More than likely your return is lagging the market due to fees and not being 100% stocks and diversificati...
by bloom2708
Thu Jul 20, 2017 11:19 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: MVNO's versus the Big 4
Replies: 52
Views: 3945

Re: MVNO's versus the Big 4

Start with Cricket Wireless, H20 Wireless (both AT&T) and Total Wireless (Verizon). All 3 offer pretty compelling packages WITH good broad network coverage (as compared to Sprint and T-mobile). If you have an unlocked phone, it will work with all 3. Cricket and H20 can use a not unlocked AT&...
by bloom2708
Thu Jul 20, 2017 11:18 am
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Need investing advice
Replies: 21
Views: 1495

Re: Need investing advice

You are in an "Emergency" situation. All efforts should be directed toward securing a new job/career. Do you have health insurance? COBRA? The amounts you are talking about will not generate enough income in the short run to make a difference. That is why moving cash into the market now do...
by bloom2708
Thu Jul 20, 2017 8:36 am
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Windfall: Buy or wait?
Replies: 30
Views: 2876

Re: Windfall: Buy or wait?

How much of a windfall? How old? How many years to retirement? Take your risk with your percentage of stocks and bonds. If it is $2 million, then investing at 50/50 is much different than putting that all in at 90/10 or 100/0. If it is $50k, then set aside a portion and invest the rest at your desir...
by bloom2708
Thu Jul 20, 2017 8:30 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Keurig vs coffeemaker - and the Keurig won
Replies: 53
Views: 3498

Re: Keurig vs coffeemaker - and the Keurig won

There is certainly a place for our Keurig. I can have 6 or 7 varieties of coffee and do not have to worry about it going stale or grinding too early. Turn it on, come back in a couple minutes, pop in a pod and you have coffee. When I have more time, I use our Melitta pour over with a paper cone filt...
by bloom2708
Thu Jul 20, 2017 8:27 am
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Can anyone convince me I need international stock in my portfolio?
Replies: 162
Views: 7599

Re: Can anyone convince me I need international stock in my portfolio?

Total US is 3,575 stocks. Total International is 6,700 stocks.

6,700 more companies to diversify your portfolio. Add 20 to 30% Total International.

Then you are "in" a more total market. :arrow:
by bloom2708
Wed Jul 19, 2017 1:30 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: New 401k Contribution
Replies: 6
Views: 336

Re: New 401k Contribution

I am 46 and use the "2030" Target fund in my 401k.

I use a "3 fund" at Vanguard for everything else.

It is better to "catch up" by saving more compared to having a higher stock percentage. I would think 2030 or 2035 would be both good picks.
by bloom2708
Wed Jul 19, 2017 11:37 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Indoor activities for a 3-year-old
Replies: 61
Views: 2739

Re: Indoor activities for a 3-year-old

Make slime.

Google or Bing for the recipe.

Glue, contact solution, borax solution. Hours of fun for our youngest and the next door neighbor.
by bloom2708
Wed Jul 19, 2017 9:27 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: 2008 auto carry collision with 1K deductible?
Replies: 9
Views: 566

Re: 2008 auto carry collision with 1K deductible?

At $6 or $7k, we go to Liability Only.

Another vote to drop full coverage. It really comes down to, can you afford to eat the $5k and do you have cash to help replace?
by bloom2708
Wed Jul 19, 2017 9:22 am
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Ideas on what to do with old stock for future house fund
Replies: 5
Views: 348

Re: Ideas on what to do with old stock for future house fund

Option 2. Sell. Pay the tax. Put in an Ally or Synchrony online savings.

Money needed in 3-5 years should not be in the stock market.

It was a gift, so paying tax on the gain should just be part of the plan.
by bloom2708
Wed Jul 19, 2017 8:49 am
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Options for College Savings
Replies: 17
Views: 746

Re: Options for College Savings

Stay away from the 2% Expense Ratio fund. What are the investment options in the Mass 529? I would think they have a low cost index based or age based portfolios. You can start off aggressive and as the child ages, dial back the stock %. We never went 100% stocks, but more like 70/30 to start and di...
by bloom2708
Wed Jul 19, 2017 8:19 am
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Expense Ratios, how high is too high
Replies: 72
Views: 4007

Re: Expense Ratios, how high is too high

When at Edward Jones I had an Oppenheimer fund with a 2.2% expense ratio. Not to mention the sales load, 12-b1 fee and back end load. I like .2% as a threshold. You can get under .1% at Vanguard (or others) but that requires you to have the $10k or $50k Admiral levels. In a 401k, you may have to go ...
by bloom2708
Wed Jul 19, 2017 8:08 am
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: What's the best way to invest $50,000?
Replies: 4
Views: 561

Re: What's the best way to invest $50,000?

OP, do you have a 401k? If you do, put your bonds (10-20%) in your 401k or Roth IRA. Fill your Roth IRA up for 2017 yet? $5,500 there. Set aside $5,500 for 2018 as well. Taxable: Total US + Total International index funds @ Vanguard Roth IRA: Total US + Total US Bond You can do this yourself if you ...
by bloom2708
Tue Jul 18, 2017 4:44 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Personal Capital - Net Worth?
Replies: 22
Views: 2410

Re: Personal Capital - Net Worth?

Why would you want to enter your vehicles? They depreciate quickly and don't have much value in the long run. Just ignore them as far as your net worth. Many, many threads on this topic. A car is an asset that can be sold for cash quite easily. A $25k or $30k car without a loan should certainly be ...
by bloom2708
Tue Jul 18, 2017 3:01 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: The Quest for Perfection
Replies: 120
Views: 6097

Re: The Quest for Perfection

TD2626 wrote:Easy to manage with reasonable number of holdings (<60)


:shock:

Can you envision keeping your .25% funds at their desired allocation? Yikes.

Less is more. More is much much more.
by bloom2708
Tue Jul 18, 2017 2:41 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Paying for college expenses
Replies: 9
Views: 1019

Re: Paying for college expenses

You may want to consider paying out of pocket for at least a portion of the cost each year. Use a portion of the ESA and 529 and cash flow ~$4,000 to potentially qualify for the American Opportunity Tax Credit. https://www.irs.gov/individuals/aotc We are 1 year away from college for our oldest, so I...
by bloom2708
Tue Jul 18, 2017 2:34 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Family Tents
Replies: 10
Views: 947

Re: Family Tents

Probably best to read reviews on Amazon and others. A 12 person tent sleeps 6 (adults) if you have air mattresses. I note the 12 person Ozark 3 room tent fits 3 queen sized mattresses. If you can get 3 small kids on a queen mattress, then you can get up toward that 8 number. Perhaps a 3 tent configu...
by bloom2708
Tue Jul 18, 2017 11:25 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: sleep number beds
Replies: 2
Views: 459

Re: sleep number beds

I think you can do much better than the Sleep Number and spend much less.

https://sleepopolis.com/mattress-reviews/
by bloom2708
Tue Jul 18, 2017 10:12 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Essential Bike (bicycle) Accessories
Replies: 71
Views: 3269

Re: Essential Bike (bicycle) Accessories

The OP actually needs 0% of the stuff above. This is quite true. If you are going to bike ride when it is nice out for 30 minutes in daylight, the OP needs no additional items. Many items are specific to commuting to work or longer bike rides. I assume the OP understands this. If it is raining, don...
by bloom2708
Tue Jul 18, 2017 9:38 am
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Investment advice for $4 million - can I do all stocks?
Replies: 72
Views: 5639

Re: Investment advice for $4 million - can I do all stocks?

Simple:

Can you go 100% stocks? Yes

Should you go 100% stocks? No way

Go 60/40 or 70/30. Many, many things would have to go exactly as planned for $2 million to become $4 million in 10 years.

:dollar

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