Search found 3378 matches

by btenny
Mon Jan 16, 2017 3:06 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: "Stealth Wealth: I’m Just an Ordinary Average Guy"
Replies: 248
Views: 36975

Re: "Stealth Wealth: I’m Just an Ordinary Average Guy"

My parents and aunts and uncles all lived through the depression as young adults. They were all broke and poor during those early days but most ended up wealthy in old age. None had college educations. They were all just frugal and hard working for their whole lives. Each had different experiences f...
by btenny
Mon Jan 16, 2017 1:56 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Is the housing market like stocks? When do you think prices fall again?
Replies: 33
Views: 1982

Re: Is the housing market like stocks? When do you think prices fall again?

California is more cyclical than most RE markets. Prices go up and down over long periods. There does not seem to be a real time period. They are just "variable" and are driven mostly by the strength of the local job markets and the quality of the properties and neighborhoods. Right now my...
by btenny
Sun Jan 15, 2017 10:03 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Oops...Stuck with 100% Equities in Taxables!!
Replies: 4
Views: 1114

Re: Oops...Stuck with 100% Equities in Taxables!!

Are you going to do a lot of IRA conversion to Roth IRAs in the next few years? This will give you some taxable costs and reduce your taxes when RMDs start. I would do that first. I have not run the numbers but I bet you can convert $100K or so a year in the next 2-4 years without much increase in t...
by btenny
Sun Jan 15, 2017 9:33 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: How to improve my income as software lead/manager?
Replies: 30
Views: 2959

Re: How to improve my income as software lead/manager?

The way to make money as a software developer or SW manager is to own part or all of the company. This ownership usually happens at places like Google or Softy or FB or xyz startup or newer company. But ownership also works well in any company. So when you are talking salary or job opportunities and...
by btenny
Sun Jan 15, 2017 9:14 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: What are Costco's best deals?
Replies: 336
Views: 51154

Re: What are Costco's best deals?

I will not be doing much charging on my Citi card. During the Costco changeover from Amex to Citi they made a big screw up on my accounts in June. Citi opened a second account in my name and did not tell me about it. Then they moved Amex charges to it and added late fees etc.. I did not know there w...
by btenny
Sun Jan 15, 2017 3:04 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Getting out of a high expense fund (without screwing up)
Replies: 12
Views: 520

Re: Getting out of a high expense fund (without screwing up)

Do not let the tail wag the dog. You are getting sc***ed with those high fees for muni fund. Plus high yield munis are really risky right now. So sell them ASAP. Yes you have a some difficulties with the cost basis. But most good CPAs will help you find out good guesses for the prices you can use fo...
by btenny
Sun Jan 15, 2017 2:42 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: What are Costco's best deals?
Replies: 336
Views: 51154

Re: What are Costco's best deals?

Hot dog (or brat) with a soda for $1.50 is really a great deal. Low cost good gas with 2% or so rebate is good for gas. But I have found most Arco stations match the Costco price without the rebate. In Arizona recently gas was $1.87. So a very good deal. We get the rotisserie chicken for $4.99 and b...
by btenny
Sat Jan 14, 2017 8:52 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: downhill skiing
Replies: 32
Views: 2221

Re: downhill skiing

Janey and others. There are lots of very good ski instructors who can teach you "defensive skiing". Yes there is such a thing. Ask for a lesson on defensive skiing at your local resort. It is sort of like defensive driving. The ski school will arrange it. You learn to look around for skier...
by btenny
Sat Jan 14, 2017 1:59 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Should people own 2 cars for themselves?
Replies: 21
Views: 2676

Re: Should people own 2 cars for themselves?

It depends on what type of real estate you are looking to sell. That will define how you dress and what you drive and how approach the market. Agents specialize in one type of real estate from what I see. So it depends on your connections and so forth. See below. The few real estate agents I know dr...
by btenny
Sat Jan 14, 2017 1:23 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Very confused with W4 Allowances
Replies: 18
Views: 966

Re: Very confused with W4 Allowances

Use Turbo Tax or similar tax tool to forecast what taxes you will owe for 2017. Use the 2015 tool and tax data to do this estimate. Do not wait for the 2016 tool and results. Just modify the earnings amount and oterh figures to reflect your current salaries and add your kid to the dependents locatio...
by btenny
Sat Jan 14, 2017 1:13 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Payoff Auto Lease Halfway Thru w/Financing?
Replies: 9
Views: 468

Re: Payoff Auto Lease Halfway Thru w/Financing?

What is the interest rate on the lease? In most recent car leases the rate is very low and subsidized by the car manufacturer. Most likely 1-2%. So a 1.99% deal is not a significant improvement. Call the lease holder to get the info. And you have already paid the "lease origination fee" of...
by btenny
Sat Jan 14, 2017 12:46 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Recommendations for home paper shredder
Replies: 50
Views: 1872

Re: Recommendations for home paper shredder

I have a Aurora model confetti shredder that I have used for 10 years or so. It takes 3 pages or so at a time. I use it a little. But mostly we burn our paper. For the last 5 years or so I have burned most of my sensitive paper in my backyard Chiminea. See below. We set up a fire in the back yard ab...
by btenny
Fri Jan 13, 2017 11:39 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: downhill skiing
Replies: 32
Views: 2221

Re: downhill skiing

Skiing has gotten cheap in recent years. Vail and Heavenly and many ski resorts now sell Season Passes for $400ish. The key is to buy a local season pass. My wife and I pay $349 each for our Tahoe Value season pass. This lets us ski every day for the whole season for about $800. Plus we rent a locke...
by btenny
Thu Jan 12, 2017 8:54 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: downhill skiing
Replies: 32
Views: 2221

Re: downhill skiing

Rodc My 94 year old friend is really quite a guy. He is sort of a local institution. He was a POW twice during WWII and after by the Germans and then the Russians. Then he came to America as he says and life got wonderful. He is just a happy guy who loves to hike an ski and have fun. He loves life i...
by btenny
Thu Jan 12, 2017 4:41 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: downhill skiing
Replies: 32
Views: 2221

Re: downhill skiing

There is no age limit for skiing if you a have the will power and love the sport. Yes you slow down and ski more carefully. But no one I know has stopped skiing due to age. My wife and I still ski every year for 20-30 days. We are over 70. Many of our friends are over 70, two others are over 80 and ...
by btenny
Thu Jan 12, 2017 11:49 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Puzzled by Medicare Drug Plan Details
Replies: 7
Views: 666

Re: Puzzled by Medicare Drug Plan Details

Also wanted to point out that I pay variable price for my expensive drug. Sometimes it cost $400ish and sometimes it cost $500ish (full price but deductible is 25% I think) and the dose rate does not effect the price. My doc halved the dose on this drug so I took half pills for a while until I ran o...
by btenny
Thu Jan 12, 2017 11:40 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Puzzled by Medicare Drug Plan Details
Replies: 7
Views: 666

Re: Puzzled by Medicare Drug Plan Details

Yes the drug order effects how much you spend a little in some cases. If you buy a low priced drug first thing each year you do not save on the high priced last drug order at year end. So the best strategy is to order the most expensive drug first each year and get all your deductible applied to tha...
by btenny
Thu Jan 12, 2017 11:18 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Getting Subaru Legacy(4Cyl 2.5L or V6 3.6R?)
Replies: 51
Views: 3585

Re: Getting Subaru Legacy(4Cyl 2.5L or V6 3.6R?)

Make sure you bring your chains if you are coming to the Sierras. We have gotten 11 FEET of new snow in the last 7 days so the plow drivers are worn out from work. They are sort of keeping up with HWY 50 but closing it periodically to bomb the avalanche chutes. Plus it has snowed so much the plows a...
by btenny
Wed Jan 11, 2017 2:46 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Keeping kitchen knives sharp
Replies: 53
Views: 3700

Re: Keeping kitchen knives sharp

We have tried a lot of different sharpening services and a few friends doing it for us. Teh sharpening works for while but then we need it repeated. I guess we just do not get them sharpened right or buy good enough knives. Because my wife always ends up going to the store and buying a new set of se...
by btenny
Wed Jan 11, 2017 2:33 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Where Can a Self-Supporting Retiree Move?
Replies: 32
Views: 3440

Re: Where Can a Self-Supporting Retiree Move?

Victoria said a lot but left out trying retirement right here in the good old USA in a few new places. I get not liking where you live now and wanting to move. But why out of the country completely? All the people I know who have done extensive international travel say the US is the best country on ...
by btenny
Wed Jan 11, 2017 2:01 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Retiree's Asset Allocation
Replies: 12
Views: 1032

Re: Retiree's Asset Allocation

I am at 40/60 stocks to bonds at similar age. The key you need to decide is how you will feel and get along if your retirement stash goes down by 25-30%.

And regarding that RMD. Are you sure you need to take a RMD this year? Is your birthday in January?

Good Luck.
by btenny
Wed Jan 11, 2017 11:50 am
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: VG kills 2 active funds
Replies: 3
Views: 1181

Re: VG kills 2 active funds

Very very interesting story. According to Morningstar these two funds were Institutional funds run by Vanguard that beat the SP500 for over a decade by about 40-100 basis points after fees EVERY year. The story goes on to say they think the fund could continue to beat the Index in the future. They s...
by btenny
Tue Jan 10, 2017 10:19 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: 4 Months Abroad - what to do before we leave?
Replies: 32
Views: 1832

Re: 4 Months Abroad - what to do before we leave?

We snowbird. We have a written checklist with about 20 items on the list. We check stuff off as we do it the last few days. We put closing and locking the garage as the last item on the list. 1. Set the thermostat at 60 to 88 degrees. Cooler kills the house plants. Hotter is bad on furniture and stu...
by btenny
Tue Jan 10, 2017 8:27 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Sell strategy for thinly traded closed end fund shares
Replies: 16
Views: 723

Re: Sell strategy for thinly traded closed end fund shares

Do not worry about commission's. Even if the trades get broken into 10 trades at $7 per trade that is still only $70 to sell $300K+ of stock. No big deal IMO.
by btenny
Tue Jan 10, 2017 5:50 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Sell strategy for thinly traded closed end fund shares
Replies: 16
Views: 723

Re: Sell strategy for thinly traded closed end fund shares

350K shares per day should have enough bigger traders to cover a 10K block in one or two trades per day. 1K to 5K share blocks are routine. If it takes more than one day that is fine. The trades will occur as needed over 2 or so days. No extra fees should be charged by the broker. That is also why I...
by btenny
Tue Jan 10, 2017 5:31 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: New to medicare, I thought they billed quarterly?
Replies: 9
Views: 1156

Re: New to medicare, I thought they billed quarterly?

I did the auto pay by checking account for a few years. It worked fine. I got maybe 2-3 monthly bills before they did the auto pay thing. I also do checking auto pay with the Part F-HD and part D drugs provider payments. The big issues with the insurance companies is if you miss a single payment for...
by btenny
Tue Jan 10, 2017 5:20 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Sell strategy for thinly traded closed end fund shares
Replies: 16
Views: 723

Re: Sell strategy for thinly traded closed end fund shares

Is there some reason to not break this order into 5 blocks of 10K shares? Is there a speed issue with trying to get fully out of the CEF quickly due to some recent price action? Yes I know there are some extra fees for 5 trades versus one trade. But with 10K shares per trade there is much less risk ...
by btenny
Tue Jan 10, 2017 5:03 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Imminent Early Retirement - Asset Allocation?
Replies: 9
Views: 1067

Re: Imminent Early Retirement - Asset Allocation?

Buy some low cost 20 year term life insurance for each of you and your wife. At your age it should be very cheap. I bet you can get $200K or more in insurance for less than $1K total per year. Then if something should happen to one or both of you your kids have more $$ safety and you have more $$ fo...
by btenny
Tue Jan 10, 2017 1:04 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: To those with a pension...
Replies: 52
Views: 5804

Re: To those with a pension...

No to both questions. I maxed out 401K like account at my work every year. In the early years my company matched my investment. They also gave me a small pension. My wife maxed out her pensions. We also saved outside taxable money and invested in real estate and some stocks. This allowed us to retir...
by btenny
Tue Jan 10, 2017 12:47 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Shoe Shine boy stock tipper, Island owning truck drivers, what's next?
Replies: 8
Views: 1265

Re: Shoe Shine boy stock tipper, Island owning truck drivers, what's next?

When people who make $200K cannot afford a small house things are over priced. So I think the homes are over priced. I also know my California real estate expert investor friend said people are getting "greedy" and this is not good for the market. She said lots of people are rent price gou...
by btenny
Tue Jan 10, 2017 12:19 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Car purchase: Strategy for a car driven occasionally
Replies: 34
Views: 1874

Re: Car purchase: Strategy for a car driven occasionally

IMO forget the VW. The Allroad is a true euro station wagon. It is low to the ground and and small and economical so entry and exit is small car like. It does hold a lot of stuff. I drove the turbo diesel and liked how it handled and the great mpg and the good price. Now it turns out the smog stuff ...
by btenny
Tue Jan 10, 2017 11:55 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Car purchase: Strategy for a car driven occasionally
Replies: 34
Views: 1874

Re: Car purchase: Strategy for a car driven occasionally

Let me save you some test drive time. I drove all the ones you mentions plus a few others a lot back in 2013 when I leased my 3.6R Outback and again in 2016 when I bought my Outback at lease end. At that time the six cylinder Outback was the only SUV that drove sort of fun. I could not find a Mazda ...
by btenny
Mon Jan 09, 2017 10:28 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Car purchase: Strategy for a car driven occasionally
Replies: 34
Views: 1874

Re: Car purchase: Strategy for a car driven occasionally

You do know that you can buy a nice used Lexus RX350 for about $35K? I know a Lexus was not on your list but I think it should be. From my quick scan on AutoTrader it looks like you can buy a 2013 model year RX350 AWD for about that much $$. Plus I am sure they are great cars that last almost foreve...
by btenny
Mon Jan 09, 2017 3:21 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Teeth whitening
Replies: 38
Views: 3194

Re: Teeth whitening

I am not sure. I used to drink a little red wine before but did not notice. I was mostly a beer and Margarita guy in my younger years and when I was working. I got the whitening in 2003ish. Now I dink red wine regularly. No the whitening does NOT work on crowns. That is why I got the procedure done ...
by btenny
Mon Jan 09, 2017 3:17 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Car purchase: Strategy for a car driven occasionally
Replies: 34
Views: 1874

Re: Car purchase: Strategy for a car driven occasionally

I think you misread the CR data on Subaru. The 2013 oil issues were for the 4 engine. The six has no oil issues that I am aware of. Mine does not use any oil between changes and it uses regular oil. No synthetic is required or recommended for the 3.6 R engine. It uses regular oil. The dealer says I ...
by btenny
Mon Jan 09, 2017 2:59 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Car purchase: Strategy for a car driven occasionally
Replies: 34
Views: 1874

Re: Car purchase: Strategy for a car driven occasionally

I missed the need for SUV or wagon and price you want to spend. I would suggest a used 2013 Subaru Outback with the 3.6R engine and 5 speed automatic. These can be bought for $22K or so and will last for at least a 150K miles easily. Plus this configuration is very reliable and easy to repair. I wou...
by btenny
Mon Jan 09, 2017 2:43 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Teeth whitening
Replies: 38
Views: 3194

Re: Teeth whitening

I paid about $150 to have it done back when at the dentist. He was offering a special. It worked OK and I liked the look. My teeth were not stained but just slightly off white to start. I went for some brighter and not real white like the movie stars. The dentist could grade the whiteness and get th...
by btenny
Mon Jan 09, 2017 2:31 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Car purchase: Strategy for a car driven occasionally
Replies: 34
Views: 1874

Re: Car purchase: Strategy for a car driven occasionally

I would look around and find a good older car that you like with moderate mileage. Maybe 60K to 80K miles. I know I own a 2006 Lincoln Zephyr that it is a great car. Mine has 83K miles and has had one repair besides tires and oil changes. You can find them all over the internet for $8K or so. I thin...
by btenny
Mon Jan 09, 2017 2:17 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Getting Subaru Legacy(4Cyl 2.5L or V6 3.6R?)
Replies: 51
Views: 3585

Re: Getting Subaru Legacy(4Cyl 2.5L or V6 3.6R?)

Subaru's are great in the snow and mountains. They offer good features for the price. The Outback is a great car with lots of space and better features versus similar Toyotas or Hondas or brand X models. They last a long time. They are lower maintenance than a Jeep and get better mpg.
by btenny
Mon Jan 09, 2017 2:09 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Roofing costs and options (flat v pitched ; solar panels)
Replies: 6
Views: 513

Re: Roofing costs and options (flat v pitched ; solar panels)

I suggest you look into having a foam roof installed on you flat roof. I have owned two of them in Arizona. They are great and low cost. They can fix lots of drainage issues by putting in foam shaping to improve drainage and water runoff. There are variations to improve long term life. My previous h...
by btenny
Mon Jan 09, 2017 1:17 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: How to replace shower arm pipe? Plumbing question.
Replies: 26
Views: 1468

Re: How to replace shower arm pipe? Plumbing question.

If this shower arm is not leaking I suggest you let it alone. This thing is so old it is showing rust so it will be very difficult to remove. Yes you may get lucky and get it to turn and not cause any issues. But it is more likely to break or bend the attaching pipe behind the wall when removed. Plu...
by btenny
Mon Jan 09, 2017 1:09 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Getting Subaru Legacy(4Cyl 2.5L or V6 3.6R?)
Replies: 51
Views: 3585

Re: Getting Subaru Legacy(4Cyl 2.5L or V6 3.6R?)

By the way all Subaru engines are flat configurations, so no V6. The 4 banger is 2 x 2 opposed cylinders. The 6 is 3 x 3 opposed cylinders. They call these boxer engines. This setup is one of the key things that makes the cars handle and drive they way they do. This flat engine sets lower in the car...
by btenny
Mon Jan 09, 2017 12:52 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Getting Subaru Legacy(4Cyl 2.5L or V6 3.6R?)
Replies: 51
Views: 3585

Re: Getting Subaru Legacy(4Cyl 2.5L or V6 3.6R?)

I have a 3.6R limited Outback with a old style 5 speed automatic transmission. It gets about 25 mpg in mixed driving. It has fantastic acceleration under heavy loads and in the Sierra mountains. It is a lot quieter than the 4 banger. It is more reliable and does not have any of the long term oil or ...
by btenny
Sun Jan 08, 2017 4:24 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Reverting to a Wood Burning Fireplace from Gas
Replies: 37
Views: 1849

Re: Reverting to a Wood Burning Fireplace from Gas

Most of those gas supply lines in wood fireplaces were meant for use as log wood starters. They were not meant for long term use as a gas fire. Yes they can be used that way but if someone accidentally forgets to open the flue they are very dangerous and can kill you. Furnaces and good gas fireplace...
by btenny
Sun Jan 08, 2017 4:14 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Just retired-requesting portfolio reallocation advice
Replies: 53
Views: 4038

Re: Just retired-requesting portfolio reallocation advice

One topic you have not covered in your retirement plan is what you will do money wise if one of you passes early? What kind of income can you expect to have in that situation? For sure you will loose Social Security money. What about your pensions? Who gets what? I know many older widows and widower...
by btenny
Sun Jan 08, 2017 3:53 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Scottrade Bank Q's
Replies: 5
Views: 345

Re: Scottrade Bank Q's

My Scottrade taxable brokerage account has a checking feature built in. I was issued a check register and some checks years ago. I can write 2-4 (? number) of checks each month and use the money as I desire. I have written a few checks as needed over the years. I have never done ACH from that accoun...
by btenny
Sun Jan 08, 2017 3:33 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Reverting to a Wood Burning Fireplace from Gas
Replies: 37
Views: 1849

Re: Reverting to a Wood Burning Fireplace from Gas

Hello. I have converted two wood fireplaces to gas. Both times I got a rebate from the city and some sort of approval permit. Both times I used a licenses contractor to do the work and he got teh permit. I am pretty sure most people who do gas conversion get a rebate like this. This usually makes th...
by btenny
Sun Jan 08, 2017 1:27 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: how do I attach phone wire to a house?
Replies: 7
Views: 478

Re: how do I attach phone wire to a house?

Most electricians have a stapler that looks like this. These are good for stapling wires of 12-16 gauge. They will not crush this size wires. http://www.benmeadows.com/stanley-al-sharpshooter-staple-guns_36814407/?gclid=CLmb1sCSs9ECFRC1wAodt-wIEg&selectedsku=147100&CID=BMPL10&s_kwcid=AL!...
by btenny
Wed Jan 04, 2017 8:56 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Tile flooring - hard on the ole bones?
Replies: 18
Views: 1685

Re: Tile flooring - hard on the ole bones?

I had high end vinyl linoleum in my last house kitchen for 20 years, 18 years of it all bad. The stuff was a disaster. It looked great at the store with a pattern like ceramic. We had it installed and it looked great and was easy to clean and soft under foot for about a year or two. Then the stuff s...
by btenny
Tue Jan 03, 2017 10:37 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: What is the most inexpensive way to learn driving in Seattle?
Replies: 14
Views: 991

Re: What is the most inexpensive way to learn driving in Seattle?

A Introduction to Driving takes about 1-2 hours a time on 2-3 days spread over two weeks for total of 4-6 hours. This will teach you the basics of driving. You also need to learn driving rules from the state driving rules booklet. But this is only the beginning. After this introduction you also need...

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