Search found 1207 matches

by bloom2708
Sun Jan 22, 2017 10:24 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Cell phones - I have met my match, please help
Replies: 31
Views: 3365

Re: Cell phones - I have met my match, please help

OP here - I'm all set thanks to the collective wisdom of the Bogleheads. Thank you all! Here's what I got: - Motorola MotoG4, 16GB for $179 +tax at Best Buy. I made sure to get an unlocked phone. - total wireless SIM card, $9.99 at Walmart. - total wireless 1 month, 5GB, unlimited text and talk, $3...
by bloom2708
Sun Jan 22, 2017 10:10 am
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Trying to get on track
Replies: 35
Views: 2071

Re: Trying to get on track

I need to spend time more carefully tracking my expenses; I was trusting mint.com for some of this data but on closer inspection I found anomalies. For example mint.com says we spent $25,000 on Amazon.com, but the sum total of all orders (- returns) is just south of $19,000. It may be double-counti...
by bloom2708
Sat Jan 21, 2017 9:58 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Cell phones - I have met my match, please help
Replies: 31
Views: 3365

Re: Cell phones - I have met my match, please help

TotalWireless.com is a newer Verizon MVNO.

They have the most competetive value proposition for a single line. Unlimited/Unlimited/5GB 4g data for $33/month.

Online or visit your nearest Walmart for details. Keep your Verizon phone or get a new/newer one.
by bloom2708
Fri Jan 20, 2017 4:12 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Trying to get on track
Replies: 35
Views: 2071

Re: Trying to get on track

Welcome fellow MSFTer. :D So you narrowed me down to 6 people based on the address book (maybe 5 because no way the SDE2 makes this salary). :happy Eh, that's ok :mrgreen: You have a great income, benefits, company match. Are you filling up your $4,250 additional in your HSA after the $2,500 compan...
by bloom2708
Fri Jan 20, 2017 3:51 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: New Thermostat
Replies: 15
Views: 1271

Re: New Thermostat

The Ecobee came with the house we bought, I like it alot. Unfortunately they took the sensors with them so I'm not using it to it's full potential. It's only disconnected from wifi once in the last year, minor annoyance. You can buy 2 packs of sensors on Amazon, eBay, etc. I think you can have up t...
by bloom2708
Fri Jan 20, 2017 3:47 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Trying to get on track
Replies: 35
Views: 2071

Re: Trying to get on track

Welcome fellow MSFTer. :D Your family is perfectly "normal". You buy whatever you want whenever you want. Every day is Christmas, birthday and Thanksgiving all wrapped together. I get it. This will be a team effort to look at spending. Perhaps Feb could be a "buy only food pay the bil...
by bloom2708
Fri Jan 20, 2017 3:06 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: How much is your cell phone bill?
Replies: 256
Views: 21244

Re: How much is your cell phone bill?

how stable are these plans? Is there a risk we could switch, then have VZ stop selling its capacity? It seems like VZ would know this could lead to canninbalization of its existing customers. I have no answer for that. Tracfone owns Total Wireless. They have been around in various forms for many ye...
by bloom2708
Fri Jan 20, 2017 2:38 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: New Thermostat
Replies: 15
Views: 1271

Re: New Thermostat

I've been eyeing the Ecovent system since I first heard about it on Ask This Old House. It essentially replaces your vent cover so every room becomes it own zone and can be set for what temperature you desire. It's a bit pricey. I'm waiting until we get our remodeling done and floors replaced, (we ...
by bloom2708
Fri Jan 20, 2017 2:25 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: How much is your cell phone bill?
Replies: 256
Views: 21244

Re: How much is your cell phone bill?

We are now down to about $200 for a family plan for 5. We've all paid off our phones so this is the rate for data, text, minutes, and taxes/fees. We get about 18 gb per month, shared, plus carryover. We never even come close to going over. Unlimited minutes and text. I'm happy with the overall valu...
by bloom2708
Fri Jan 20, 2017 9:57 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Where to get $100k for home remodel?
Replies: 29
Views: 2749

Re: Where to get $100k for home remodel?

1 or 5 You owe the tax on the capital gains whether you do the remodel or not. If you sell 10 years from now, the gain will likely still be there in some form. Paying for the remodel seems the best way to make it real. I would consider scaling back the remodel if paying for it makes you uncomfortabl...
by bloom2708
Thu Jan 19, 2017 5:57 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: New Thermostat
Replies: 15
Views: 1271

Re: New Thermostat

The phone app is very good. "Follow me" allows you to use the sensors in the rooms you are in. The web interface is excellent. Various reports available each month. Vacation mode is excellent. You can create a schedule that has as many periods as is necessary. Each schedule period can use ...
by bloom2708
Thu Jan 19, 2017 5:24 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Toaster Oven Recommendations
Replies: 34
Views: 1706

Re: Toaster Oven Recommendations

Our previous toaster oven did the same thing. Kept flipping the breaker. I sent it packing to the landfill. I purchased a Kitchenaid from Costco. It is a bit bigger than the previous Black & Decker but I can do a good sized pizza in this one. The convection setting is good. Cooks fast. I would g...
by bloom2708
Thu Jan 19, 2017 5:11 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: New Thermostat
Replies: 15
Views: 1271

Re: New Thermostat

I've had good luck with the ecobee3 (2 years+). We have 4 sensors (the unit itself and 3 remote sensors). Without "smart vents" or a zoned system, if you make a cold room warmer you will make a "just right" room warmer as well. We have a two story with full basement. I keep all t...
by bloom2708
Thu Jan 19, 2017 1:58 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: How much is your cell phone bill?
Replies: 256
Views: 21244

Re: How much is your cell phone bill?

We are now down to about $200 for a family plan for 5. We've all paid off our phones so this is the rate for data, text, minutes, and taxes/fees. We get about 18 gb per month, shared, plus carryover. We never even come close to going over. Unlimited minutes and text. I'm happy with the overall valu...
by bloom2708
Wed Jan 18, 2017 11:35 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Spring Break Family trip advise
Replies: 6
Views: 505

Re: Spring Break Family trip advise

How about Key West?

Stay in the US and be "quite close" to the Caribbean area. Marriot Key West for your points.

We have stayed in Marathon two times. Tranquility Bay in Marathon is awesome. Prices are not for the faint of heart. :annoyed
by bloom2708
Sun Jan 15, 2017 10:08 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Value of House in Planning for Retirement
Replies: 46
Views: 3062

Re: Value of House in Planning for Retirement

OP, how do you get from $480k in debt to $50k in the next 9 years on the mortgage / HELOC?
by bloom2708
Sat Jan 14, 2017 1:34 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Should people own 2 cars for themselves?
Replies: 21
Views: 2778

Re: Should people own 2 cars for themselves?

I think it is unlikely you will come out ahead financially with the second car. That doesn't mean you shouldn't do it. Cars have specific purposes. I liken it to having a toolbox filled with only different sized hammers. I have a 2001 Toyota Echo that I only drive back and forth to work. It was $1,8...
by bloom2708
Fri Jan 13, 2017 4:44 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Traditional 401k vs Roth 401
Replies: 4
Views: 413

Re: Traditional 401k vs Roth 401

Because you don't know, go with 100% traditional. Defer the decision (and tax payment) to much later and let the 401k grow. Best case, her tax bracket is lower in retirement (many are). It is a tie if the tax bracket is still 25%. If it is higher, then you only pay the higher tax only on the amount ...
by bloom2708
Fri Jan 13, 2017 2:21 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Stay in paid-off starter house vs. dream house+work a few more years
Replies: 51
Views: 3093

Re: Stay in paid-off starter house vs. dream house+work a few more years

It would be completely "normal" to move up houses. You can afford it. The purchase goes directly against your "...on the way to early retirement..." statement that started your post. I would "almost buy" the $750k house. Go look at it. Imagine living in it. Then don't b...
by bloom2708
Fri Jan 13, 2017 10:39 am
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Amazon???
Replies: 22
Views: 3065

Re: Amazon???

This works for me. Any time you get an urge to buy a specific stock, buy more of the Total US Stock market index. Amazon is in there. #7 in the top 10 of VTSAX. As a bonus you get all the others. :shock: Feelings, urges, inclinations, hot tips, pals telling you about the next stock. Buy as many shar...
by bloom2708
Fri Jan 13, 2017 10:23 am
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: 100% Stock or Bust?
Replies: 17
Views: 1825

Re: 100% Stock or Bust?

If every year, stocks returned 7% and bonds returned 2%, 100/0 would be the perfect allocation. Your total return comes from 3 areas: 1. Appreciation of stocks 2. Dividends from stocks 3. Dividend/Income from Bonds This is overly simplified, and none of these returns are guaranteed. Take a year wher...
by bloom2708
Thu Jan 12, 2017 4:02 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: How to best approach saving for retirement/debt reduction
Replies: 14
Views: 671

Re: How to best approach saving for retirement/debt reduction

Think how (correction) much you could invest with the $50k in debt gone. You are feeling the dilution of effort because the debt is limiting your cash flow. Have you addressed the issues that resulted in the $40k in CC debt? I have a friend that has been "debt free" many times. He doesn't ...
by bloom2708
Thu Jan 12, 2017 10:43 am
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Asset Allocation advice
Replies: 7
Views: 639

Re: Asset Allocation advice

I'm not sure I can answer your question. From my reading at 100/0 or 95/5 you are taking extra risk for a very small bit of potential extra return. Bonds do provide a return and in certain years beat stocks. Some years they beat stocks by quite a bit (Stocks -20%, bonds 2%). So by increasing bonds (...
by bloom2708
Wed Jan 11, 2017 4:25 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: [403(b) Fidelity or TIAA Cref allocation, and do I want one?]
Replies: 137
Views: 5022

Re: EJ not [costing me as much as] others?

Advisory Solutions funds at EJ will have to be liquidated before transfer. You will pay some account closing fees at EJ ($95/account). There may be some very minor fees if you can transfer in kind to Vanguard and sell there. Whatever the fees, you will likely make up all those fees in 1-2 months of ...
by bloom2708
Wed Jan 11, 2017 1:52 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: No debt, except for...
Replies: 7
Views: 1073

Re: No debt, except for...

Are a mortgage, 1-2 car loans and student loans "de facto" loans? Normal and expected. I can have those 3 types and be "normal". You can still see there are different camps as to whether debt should be paid off or encouraged. Lots of different ways to skin a cat. I'm in the "...
by bloom2708
Wed Jan 11, 2017 10:30 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Thinking of getting tires from Costco
Replies: 66
Views: 4510

Re: Thinking of getting tires from Costco

Research the tires you want. Then research your local and online options for buying those specific tires. If you want to just drive up, get new tires and drive out, then you can likely do better than Costco. Others have mentioned the long waits. Costco is a busy place. I shop there often. They do no...
by bloom2708
Tue Jan 10, 2017 5:21 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: What would you do with $200k???
Replies: 2
Views: 533

Re: What would you do with $200k???

Give each of the $200,000 a name and a purpose. Do you have a 6-12 month Emergency Fund established? Do you have non-mortgage debt you can pay off? You can certainly fund near term spending. Taxes Fund, Vacation Fund, Car Fund. Spending in that 1-5 year horizon should be kept in a Savings account or...
by bloom2708
Tue Jan 10, 2017 4:57 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: 2017 Goals...What should we do?
Replies: 15
Views: 1560

Re: 2017 Goals...What should we do?

With your username as it is, have you read "The Total Money Makeover" by Dave Ramsey? Read through the various debt payoff threads using the Search box. There is a wide variety of opinions on the topic. Dave Ramsey's "7 Baby Step" plan is one plan if you are serious about getting...
by bloom2708
Tue Jan 10, 2017 2:39 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: How often do you make contributions to your portfolio?
Replies: 15
Views: 1011

Re: How often do you make contributions to your portfolio?

I buy whenever we have extra funds available to invest. I look at our asset allocation and buy towards it. If I look today, stocks are up about 1.9% from our desired allocation. If I have $500 to invest today, I would put it in bonds. Moving toward the AA. As your portfolio grows it is harder to mov...
by bloom2708
Tue Jan 10, 2017 2:27 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: [403(b) Fidelity or TIAA Cref allocation, and do I want one?]
Replies: 137
Views: 5022

Re: EJ not [costing me as much as] others?

Once your eyes are open to the fees you are paying you cannot close them. You are in the denial phase at this point. That is ok. I was there as well. I escaped less than 2 years at EJ with a good "life lesson". My parents choose to stay at EJ. They don't want to make their advisor "fe...
by bloom2708
Mon Jan 09, 2017 4:28 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Car purchase: Strategy for a car driven occasionally
Replies: 34
Views: 1900

Re: Car purchase: Strategy for a car driven occasionally

The lowest cost option is certainly driving your current car longer. Spending any amount of money now on new or used is more expensive than future unknown car repairs. My father-in-law is 75 and refuses to drive a car out of warranty. He doesn't want any car repairs. Is this a reasonable way to &quo...
by bloom2708
Mon Jan 09, 2017 4:08 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Bedroom is colder than rest of house. Radiator heating question.
Replies: 70
Views: 3020

Re: Bedroom is colder than rest of house. Radiator heating question.

mhalley wrote:I solved my cold bedroom problem with a portable electric heater.


+1 get a heater with a built in thermostat. Have it kick in if the bedroom drops below 70.

$25 to $50 on Amazon.
by bloom2708
Mon Jan 09, 2017 3:34 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Asset Allocation advice
Replies: 7
Views: 639

Re: Asset Allocation advice

Take as much risk as you need to. At age 39, how did you settle on the 5% bond allocation? Are you thinking your two mortgages are more like negative bonds so you want to limit your positive bond exposure? 80/20 would seem like a more rational AA at age 39. Age in bonds - 20. I know there is a sizea...
by bloom2708
Sun Jan 08, 2017 11:19 am
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Beginning Investor
Replies: 3
Views: 260

Re: Beginning Investor

Use the search function and read up on the 3 fund portfolio. Total US Stock Index Total International Stock Index Total US Bond Index Start with Age in bonds down to age in bonds -10 for your bond percentage. If you are 30, 70/30 to 80/20 is your target allocation range. We don't know if this is tax...
by bloom2708
Fri Jan 06, 2017 1:55 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Car for Teen next year...new vs used?
Replies: 50
Views: 3380

Re: Car for Teen next year...new vs used?

When I was 16 I got a old beater car for my birthday and I was eternally grateful. Then I had a couple of fender benders, hit a deer, and finally didn't keep track of oil changes (there was no oil warning light, or at least it wasn't functioning) and the engine seized up because I was running it wi...
by bloom2708
Fri Jan 06, 2017 1:51 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Tell me all about snowblowers
Replies: 42
Views: 2432

Re: Tell me all about snowblowers

Search your local Craigstlist. I have had great luck with MTD Yard Machines. Yes, they are "lower end", but they work great and won't break your budget. I had a 5hp and moved up to the 10hp version for our big/wet snows. Both had/have electric start (plug in, push button, unplug) Your swe...
by bloom2708
Fri Jan 06, 2017 1:22 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: How much is your cell phone bill?
Replies: 256
Views: 21244

Re: How much is your cell phone bill?

Wow, I had no idea so many people were paying so much for cellphone plans every month. I have a prepaid plan and I paid $45 last year, so it works out to about $4 a month. You can actually make/receive a lot of calls for just $4 a month (I don't use any data though.) I am on my computer all the tim...
by bloom2708
Fri Jan 06, 2017 1:01 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Tell me all about snowblowers
Replies: 42
Views: 2432

Re: Tell me all about snowblowers

Search your local Craigstlist. I have had great luck with MTD Yard Machines. Yes, they are "lower end", but they work great and won't break your budget. I had a 5hp and moved up to the 10hp version for our big/wet snows. Both had/have electric start (plug in, push button, unplug) Your swee...
by bloom2708
Thu Jan 05, 2017 2:31 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: How much is your cell phone bill?
Replies: 256
Views: 21244

Re: How much is your cell phone bill?

$50/mo for 2 phones on Cricket. I'm curious about RingPlus. If it's free how are they in business? RingPlus has been having some issues. They currently are not offering any free plans. They canceled all their legacy plans. I enjoyed nearly 1 year of $0 monthly payments until my plan was yanked. We ...
by bloom2708
Wed Jan 04, 2017 9:53 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Sonicare ToothBrush
Replies: 35
Views: 3350

Re: Sonicare ToothBrush

What is the difference between Sonicare and Oral-B? My dentist recommends flossing and using whichever one is cheaper, the Oral-B is cheaper than the Sonicare. Opinions? I've had both. SonicCare definitely "sonics" at a faster rate. They are powerful. The diamond head replacement brush I ...
by bloom2708
Wed Jan 04, 2017 6:49 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: How is my 401(k) Bond Fund?
Replies: 9
Views: 736

Re: How is my 401(k) Bond Fund?

That fund should be a good option. Low expense ratio of .19. Probably a 6-7 year average duration. Intermediate-Term in general. Actively managed isn't as big of a deal with bond funds. I use Vanguard Int-Term Tax-Exempt bond index in taxable. That is an often recommended actively managed bond index...
by bloom2708
Wed Jan 04, 2017 4:36 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Portfolio advice requested on new AA for IRA's
Replies: 1
Views: 92

Re: Portfolio advice requested on new AA for IRA's

The 3 fund portfolio with 5% in your VHDYX for "fun" seems like a good place to start. Total US (VTSAX) Total International (VTIAX) Total US Bond (VBTLX) in tax-sheltered We also have 20% of our stock allocation in International. If you go 50% stocks, then 40% US and 10% International. 50%...
by bloom2708
Wed Jan 04, 2017 4:13 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Champion of 401K Lament the Revolution they Started
Replies: 75
Views: 4514

Re: Champion of 401K Lament the Revolution they Started

Is the drawback like health insurance that it is primarily attached to "work". Another thread, the spouse works part time and has no other vehicle than $5,500 Roth or Traditional. I work 8 more hours per week (example) and can sock away $18k + $9k match + $5,500 Roth. Why would the Traditi...
by bloom2708
Wed Jan 04, 2017 3:48 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: spousal disagreement over how much house to buy
Replies: 99
Views: 6366

Re: spousal disagreement over how much house to buy

How many houses have you looked at? 5, 10, 50? Humans are easily distracted and tend to fall in love with a house quickly. Perhaps put it on the top of your list and then keep looking. Find a way to stay arms length and delay the decision by looking for something even better. I like the time savings...
by bloom2708
Wed Jan 04, 2017 3:36 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: should i surrender my fixed indexed annuity
Replies: 13
Views: 953

Re: should i surrender my fixed indexed annuity

If this is retirement money that you are going to let it work for the next 20+ years, I'd be inclined to get out. Pay the fee and get the balance over to Vanguard. Your eyes are wide open now. They cannot be shut. The annuity likely has a high fee built in. Is the money still in inherited IRA status...
by bloom2708
Wed Jan 04, 2017 12:36 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: How to dress for winter vacation in Alberta
Replies: 45
Views: 2276

Re: How to dress for winter vacation in Alberta

It was -17 F in Fargo this morning. :oops: Outdoor activities in that weather are not fun. If there is any wind it would be considered dangerous. Even without the wind, hands, feet, ears, they get cold fast. I shoveled my driveway for about 10 minutes and my hands and feet were very cold. Start with...
by bloom2708
Wed Jan 04, 2017 9:49 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Recommend a Phone Please
Replies: 21
Views: 1301

Re: Recommend a Phone Please

Samsung Galaxy J1 Mini Prime could be one option. http://www.ebay.com/itm/Samsung-Galaxy-J1-Mini-Prime-8GB-J106B-DUAL-SIM-Android-6-0-GSM-Unlocked-Phone-/152059769796?var=&hash=item236777f3c4:m:mEQmCp2-Njp_pmCmkxCxOFg If you are on a GSM carrier (AT&T, T-mobile, Cricket, H20, Net10, Straight...
by bloom2708
Wed Jan 04, 2017 9:40 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Car Title Question
Replies: 3
Views: 287

Re: Car Title Question

States do this differently. Some allow you to hold your title with the lienholder listed. In other states, the bank will hold your title with your loan papers. You do not need to fill out the Buyer/Seller sections until you decide to sell the car. Do not fill in any of the sections until you are in ...
by bloom2708
Tue Jan 03, 2017 9:34 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Car for Teen next year...new vs used?
Replies: 50
Views: 3380

Re: Car for Teen next year...new vs used?

Used. 2008 to 2010 Honda Civic, Accord or Toyota Camry or Corolla. Father of 3 girls. The soon to be 17 year old has had 2 fender benders and totaled one used car. Nobody hurt. A new car for a new driver. Best intentions. Get them some experience and buy them a "new" car for graduation if ...
by bloom2708
Tue Jan 03, 2017 5:22 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Whats your number to walk away?
Replies: 245
Views: 27077

Re: Whats your number to walk away?

$12 million is not enough to consider retirement/financial independece? :shock: :annoyed

Invested very conservatively that is $240k/year of dividends/income. Interesting to see the different numbers. :?

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