Search found 131 matches

by chickadee
Thu Aug 17, 2017 12:41 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: ObamaCare 2018
Replies: 50
Views: 6155

Re: ObamaCare 2018

No, not always right. At least in my state, insurance companies have left the individual market entirely. So you can't go buy a plan direct from Aetna or Humana or United or Cigna, nor can you buy one through the exchange. They have all chosen to exit this un-profitable personal health insurance mar...
by chickadee
Sun Aug 13, 2017 11:04 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Best place (with warm weather) to raise children
Replies: 104
Views: 16141

Re: Best place (with warm weather) to raise children

Northern suburbs - Cedar Hill area - of Austin, Texas. Bonus: no state income tax. Agree with the spirit of this. But it's Cedar Park, not Cedar Hill. I'd put Round Rock TX, Georgetown TX and San Marcos TX on the list. Near lovely lakes, not ocean FWIW. If you are an applicance repairman, please co...
by chickadee
Fri Aug 11, 2017 5:21 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Harry Bosch: the Amazon Series vs the novels
Replies: 47
Views: 2237

Re: Harry Bosch: the Amazon Series vs the novels

Ugh. Tom Cruise as Reacher. That really is just horrible casting indeed.
by chickadee
Fri Aug 11, 2017 1:03 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: AA, IPS. Tinkering trap?
Replies: 11
Views: 853

Re: AA, IPS. Tinkering trap?

Good question. I think I'm about 70% of the way to our "number." No pensions.
by chickadee
Fri Aug 11, 2017 12:52 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: AA, IPS. Tinkering trap?
Replies: 11
Views: 853

AA, IPS. Tinkering trap?

About two months ago I finally actually wrote out an IPS. In it, the main AA chosen was 65/35 with 10% of equities in international. Now, I'm thinking that 60/40 would be better. And that international should be 15% of equities. I feel that I was taking some recency bias when I chose such a low inte...
by chickadee
Thu Aug 03, 2017 1:03 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Wells Fargo - what the kittens?
Replies: 36
Views: 2718

Re: Wells Fargo - what the kittens?

I can't really imagine leaving my money on deposit at Wells Fargo after reading these articles (and others). Taking my personal information and opening other accounts? How am I supposed to "catch them at this."? I don't understand the lethargy of oh well, I'll just keep an eye on them. How...
by chickadee
Thu Aug 03, 2017 12:11 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Wells Fargo - what the kittens?
Replies: 36
Views: 2718

Re: Wells Fargo - what the kittens?

Another sobering article on Wells Fargo. "Most Americans have assumed their bank accounts are sacrosanct. But with the major scandal unfolding at Wells Fargo, angry former employees illuminate the alarming pressure that allegedly led local bankers to defraud perhaps more than a million customer...
by chickadee
Tue Aug 01, 2017 10:58 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Florence Hotels.......
Replies: 25
Views: 1409

Re: Florence Hotels.......

Another vote for the Westin. Used cash plus points to bring the price down. Well located and great service.
by chickadee
Mon Jul 31, 2017 11:57 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Bad kitchen cabinet install in condo. Need help improving.
Replies: 34
Views: 2739

Re: Bad kitchen cabinet install in condo. Need help improving.

New, bigger trim doesn't fix the part where the soffit is bigger than the cabinets. It juts out an inch or so in one place, and overhangs the cabinets 6 pointless inches on the other side of the room. It doesn't look right, even if the gaps are fixed. The "soffit" was popular in the 60s. N...
by chickadee
Mon Jul 31, 2017 10:06 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Italy in August Trip (Rome, Florence, Venice)
Replies: 44
Views: 2607

Re: Italy in August Trip (Rome, Florence, Venice)

Good responses here. Note that chances of acqua alta in Venice in August are slim. I wouldn't let that dictate my luggage choices. Not everyone has a young(ish), strong back to carry a backpack, and that shouldn't stop anyone from going to Europe. If you aren't into crowded art exhibits, as your OP ...
by chickadee
Mon Jul 24, 2017 11:26 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Books not to read.
Replies: 155
Views: 11898

Re: Books not to read.

Anathem by Neal Stephenson. I like his work, but I'd like the hours back that I spent reading this one.

Got through the first few chapters of Ulysses by James Joyce. I understand what he's going for, but find it pretty irritating.

Agree with Victoria, War and Peace was excellent.
by chickadee
Fri Jul 07, 2017 12:31 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Last 80 minutes of my career
Replies: 64
Views: 10234

Re: Last 80 minutes of my career

Sing swan sing! Life is more than a job title. You've earned a permanent break from the salt mines, enjoy it!
by chickadee
Fri Jul 07, 2017 12:12 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Proposed AA - Please critique [Asset Allocation]
Replies: 22
Views: 1134

Re: Proposed AA - Please critique

4. I settled on 35% international as this is the middle of the seeming consensus range of 20-50%. Typically when we (and the experts you've been reading) talk about international, it is based on a percent of the equities in an AA. NOT as percent of the total portfolio. So, if you want 35% internati...
by chickadee
Sat Jun 24, 2017 12:24 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Sealing/staining a new cedar gate
Replies: 3
Views: 512

Re: Sealing/staining a new cedar gate

How long ago did you stain? How long do you think til you have to redo it?
by chickadee
Fri Jun 23, 2017 4:08 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Sealing/staining a new cedar gate
Replies: 3
Views: 512

Sealing/staining a new cedar gate

Just got new fence gates and surrounding pickets. Replaced about 20 pickets on one side of fence, and am going to replace entire back fence next month. Third side is different construction (shadowbox) that that neighbor claims he is going to replace in September (sigh). If I want to keep the "n...
by chickadee
Sun Jun 18, 2017 10:29 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Office Chair
Replies: 15
Views: 1279

Re: Office Chair

Steelcase Leap here. Although I sit on a Roho cushion as well, because I can't seem to find a seat with enough cushion. I don't like the Aeron's at all. The Freedom mentioned above was my second choice. I would spend the money on a good chair. Hopefully, you have a store near you where you can try a...
by chickadee
Sun May 21, 2017 4:18 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Paris private tours
Replies: 12
Views: 1260

Re: Paris private tours

I'll second the food tour idea as well. Paris by Mouth does a Marais food tour, and we tried to go on this, but it was sold out. We took another one, which was fun, but the Paris by Mouth tours are very highly rated.
by chickadee
Sun May 21, 2017 2:05 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Paris private tours
Replies: 12
Views: 1260

Re: Paris private tours

Well, I was in Paris for 5 days....so not minimizing my time in a place, no. Guess I should have said "spending one day out of our _several_ day itinerary with a good guide."
by chickadee
Thu May 18, 2017 12:46 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Paris private tours
Replies: 12
Views: 1260

Re: Paris private tours

We took a tour by 2CV (old French-made car kinda like a VW bug) and it was the highlight of our trip. You get a real feel for the neighborhoods of Paris, and the car can get down small alleyways, etc., that other cars can't. We had the champagne option as well, so that capped off the experience. Wan...
by chickadee
Mon May 15, 2017 11:39 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Saver's Credit and IRA to Roth conversion question (Form 8880)
Replies: 7
Views: 743

Re: Saver's Credit and IRA to Roth conversion question (Form 8880)

Well, not sure what to do here. I reached out to my CPA and she basically said we are wrong. That "distributions" in 2014 and 2015, which should go on line 4, eliminate the credit. These weren't distributions, but conversions from TIRA to Roth. We didn't put any money in our pockets, in ot...
by chickadee
Thu May 11, 2017 6:31 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Saver's Credit and IRA to Roth conversion question (Form 8880)
Replies: 7
Views: 743

Re: Saver's Credit and IRA to Roth conversion question (Form 8880)

Yep, I see it now. Thanks Duckie!

Next question is, would you file an amended return to get a $400 credit?
by chickadee
Thu May 11, 2017 4:09 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Saver's Credit and IRA to Roth conversion question (Form 8880)
Replies: 7
Views: 743

Saver's Credit and IRA to Roth conversion question (Form 8880)

Hoping someone knows if line 4 of Form 8880 includes money you converted from a traditional IRA to a Roth IRA? I thought it did, but then got conflicting advice. Here is the information in the IRS instructions: Line 4 Enter the total amount of distributions you, and your spouse if filing jointly, re...
by chickadee
Tue May 09, 2017 1:54 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Thinking of switching to Target Funds
Replies: 10
Views: 1424

Re: Thinking of switching to Target Funds

The expense ratio on that T Rowe Price target fund is high. And its an odd hodge lodge of a bunch of funds. The 3 fund choices you have now would cost much less, and you can tailor the stock/bond ratio how she wants it. I don't have any objections to the Vanguard target retirement fund.
by chickadee
Sat May 06, 2017 5:24 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Need help with tree
Replies: 20
Views: 1192

Re: Need help with tree

Well this is (was) a Shurmard red oak, which is well adapted for Central Texas. It's right close to the street, so shouldn't clog the gutters. It's about 7 feet tall now. I couldn't help myself, so i did a little slicing and dicing (boglehead pun intended) and then tree paint sprayed the wounds. It ...
by chickadee
Sat May 06, 2017 2:26 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Need help with tree
Replies: 20
Views: 1192

Re: Need help with tree

Guess I really can't do anything til fall, here in TX... I'm leaning towards replacement.
by chickadee
Sat May 06, 2017 11:47 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Need help with tree
Replies: 20
Views: 1192

Re: Need help with tree

No, the stub you see in the crotch is the original dead trunk. It's dead wood. I can trim it back closer to the live trunk if needed.
by chickadee
Sat May 06, 2017 11:29 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Need help with tree
Replies: 20
Views: 1192

Need help with tree

So we planted a tiny red oak tree in our yard a few years back. It accidentally got hit with some RoundUp and the main tiny trunk died. You can see its stub in the photos. We cut it back, and two new "trunks" grew from the root ball. Should we: 1) Dig it up, get a nice new tree from a nurs...
by chickadee
Fri May 05, 2017 12:08 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: 2-3 days around Nice, France. Advice?
Replies: 9
Views: 797

Re: 2-3 days around Nice, France. Advice?

I was in Nice in February. I'd second the idea to hire a private guide, ours took us to Antibes and the Picasso Museum, walked around the Antibes market, then up to St. Paul de Vence for a stroll and lunch under the trees at an outdoor restaurant. Then we drove through Monaco on the route used in th...
by chickadee
Thu Apr 27, 2017 11:49 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Colorado trip - w visit to Red Rocks
Replies: 19
Views: 1366

Re: Colorado trip - w visit to Red Rocks

Thanks all for the tips so far! Lots of great ideas here, and we'll get to researching.

Maybe a dumb question, but is RMNP someplace to avoid in mid July? Too crowded with families?
by chickadee
Wed Apr 26, 2017 10:40 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: car portable refrigerator
Replies: 12
Views: 991

Re: car portable refrigerator

Sounds like a job for a Yeti.

http://yeti.com/tundra
by chickadee
Wed Apr 26, 2017 8:05 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Colorado trip - w visit to Red Rocks
Replies: 19
Views: 1366

Re: Colorado trip - w visit to Red Rocks

Thanks! I don't want to spend all the time in a car. Say, one night near Red Rocks, then a pretty drive to x, where we spend 1-2 nights, then drive to y, where we spend 1-2 nights, then we drive to airport to catch flight. Would rather the driving days be less than 2 hours, including drive back to a...
by chickadee
Wed Apr 26, 2017 6:22 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Colorado trip - w visit to Red Rocks
Replies: 19
Views: 1366

Colorado trip - w visit to Red Rocks

There's a concert at Red Rocks amphitheater this summer that SO and I would like to see. Never having been to CO, how would I pair this with seeing some scenic beauty, pretty drives, breathe some mountain air, etc. Let's say 4 nights, assuming flying into Denver and renting a car. No hiking or campi...
by chickadee
Mon Apr 24, 2017 9:22 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Best surface for garage, epoxy, polished concrete, something else?
Replies: 24
Views: 2953

Re: Best surface for garage, epoxy, polished concrete, something else?

To answer above question, 2 car garage.

He says it's only going to take one day? Hmmmm. Seems like our guy prepped and did the color coat in one day. Then it had to dry before sealant/top coat went on the next day.
by chickadee
Thu Apr 20, 2017 7:21 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Best surface for garage, epoxy, polished concrete, something else?
Replies: 24
Views: 2953

Re: Best surface for garage, epoxy, polished concrete, something else?

Had our garage professionally epoxied two years ago. We've really enjoyed it. It's medium grey, with cream, black and grey chips. Kinda like grey granite. It blows those epoxy and chip kit things from HD out of the water. Our installer didn't use acid to etch, but rather ground the floor mechanicall...
by chickadee
Fri Apr 07, 2017 2:06 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Helping a friend with 401k choices
Replies: 5
Views: 560

Re: Helping a friend with 401k choices

I agree. I did look up that fund and it seems like it's a fair bet for the expense ratio.
by chickadee
Thu Apr 06, 2017 1:10 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Helping a friend with 401k choices
Replies: 5
Views: 560

Helping a friend with 401k choices

Hello all. A friend has asked for a bit of help in choosing funds in her 401k. I'll list them out below. The only funds that jumps out to me is the TRP Equity Index 500 with .26 expense ratio, the Blackrock Intl index with .37 expense ratio, and the Fidelity US Bond index with .04 expense ratio. I d...
by chickadee
Sat Mar 04, 2017 2:22 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Traveling to Italy - 3 weeks in 2017, advice appreciated
Replies: 119
Views: 10275

Re: Traveling to Italy - 3 weeks in 2017, advice appreciated

The Scavi tour does not include admission to the Vatican Museum. And it's an awesome tour, enjoy! Admission to St. Peter's basilica is free for everyone.
by chickadee
Mon Jan 23, 2017 10:49 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Bill Bernstein "If You Can"
Replies: 22
Views: 5925

Re: Bill Bernstein "If You Can"

"Had" being the operative word here. :?
by chickadee
Sat Jan 21, 2017 12:27 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: London Hotel
Replies: 13
Views: 1497

Re: London Hotel

Radisson Blu Mercer Street or Fielding hotel. Both in Covent garden area.
by chickadee
Tue Jan 03, 2017 7:15 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Investing in a Masters and Ph.D?
Replies: 101
Views: 6154

Re: Investing in a Masters and Ph.D?

I think that you should work through your own (seemingly, from your post) feelings of inadequacy. What _others_ think about you is irrelevant. What _you_ think about you is the thing that counts. In short, "Your life isn't yours if you constantly care what people think." How exactly would ...
by chickadee
Thu Dec 22, 2016 4:43 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Best time/method of buying a new car.
Replies: 34
Views: 3186

Re: Best time/method of buying a new car.

The "end of the month" gambit seems to only work if they are close to meeting their monthly sales goal. If it's the last day of the month, and they are far from their goal, then they aren't going to be especially interested in aggressively discounting your car.
by chickadee
Wed Nov 02, 2016 7:38 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Texas [road trip]
Replies: 63
Views: 5079

Re: Texas [road trip]

Second a stop at McDonald Observatory in Fort Davis. The views of the Milky Way at night are amazing as this is one of the darkest spots without light pollution in the U.S. If there is a "Star Party" when you are there, go. The staff point out constellations with laser pointers. It's unbel...
by chickadee
Tue Sep 20, 2016 6:11 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Last minute Portland trip, need help
Replies: 23
Views: 2081

Re: Last minute Portland trip, need help

Well, looks like it's gonna be the new Hampton Inn in Hood River. Best Western had limited availability. Lot of other choices already booked up. If anyone knows of good hard cider and wine to taste along the "fruit loop"or in the general area the info would be much appreciated! We're less ...
by chickadee
Tue Sep 20, 2016 1:34 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Last minute Portland trip, need help
Replies: 23
Views: 2081

Re: Last minute Portland trip, need help

I'm thinking maybe the Best Western Plus in Hood River. Anyone know this location? Photos look nice.
by chickadee
Tue Sep 20, 2016 12:32 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Last minute Portland trip, need help
Replies: 23
Views: 2081

Re: Last minute Portland trip, need help

Y'all are the best!

I concur that the coast or maybe Hood River are good ideas. Bend will have to wait for another trip down the road.

Take a jacket? That sounds like heaven....
by chickadee
Mon Sep 19, 2016 5:46 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Last minute Portland trip, need help
Replies: 23
Views: 2081

Last minute Portland trip, need help

Hello all. I've decided to go to the Portland area this weekend for 4 nights. I have a room at the McMenamins Edgefield in Troutdale for the LAST two nights. Now I need a room for the first two nights. We've done downtown Portland several times, so I was thinking maybe we could drive somewhere not T...
by chickadee
Fri Sep 16, 2016 10:29 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Traveling to Italy - 3 weeks in 2017, advice appreciated
Replies: 119
Views: 10275

Re: Traveling to Italy - 3 weeks in 2017, advice appreciated

I"d hate to think that you're only gonna spend 2 days in Rome. Three nights in a city gets you 2 days sightseeing. And you'll probably think that means Vatican Museums and Forum/Colliseum. There's so much more to Rome than that, and the Vatican Museums especially are a crowded nightmare. I'd ad...
by chickadee
Sat Aug 06, 2016 4:10 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Portfolio Review - Please run your eyeball over my accounts
Replies: 6
Views: 915

Re: Portfolio Review - Please run your eyeball over my accounts

If I invest in international it would be in additional funds added to taxable. I'm pretty happy with how the rest of the accounts are looking now. Trying to keep it simple.