Search found 409 matches

by countofmc
Mon May 16, 2016 5:01 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Taking new-ish car to independent mechanic?
Replies: 18
Views: 1656

Re: Taking new-ish car to independent mechanic?

Gill wrote:I never return the car to the dealer after I drive it off the lot unless it is for warranty work, and that is for two high-end cars.
Gill


Good to know, thanks. I thought maybe I was a weird one for thinking of taking a non-old car to an Indy, but seems I have company.
by countofmc
Mon May 16, 2016 12:31 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Taking new-ish car to independent mechanic?
Replies: 18
Views: 1656

Taking new-ish car to independent mechanic?

2014 Accord, 15k miles. Usually when a car is "new" enough to be within its bumper-to-bumper warranty period, I take it to the dealer. I know the "if you don't take it to dealer it voids your warranty" is a myth, I just do it because if the dealer finds any other issues that need...
by countofmc
Sun Apr 24, 2016 3:46 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Pros/Cons of Condo Living?
Replies: 43
Views: 4259

Re: Pros/Cons of Condo Living?

I live in and am a board member in our 44 unit condo. It's been a very positive experience and I really enjoy not doing yard work and exterior maintenance. The first thing to do is check for any rental restrictions. Many condos have none, many do, and they can be more or less restrictive. Ours has ...
by countofmc
Sun Apr 24, 2016 2:28 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Pros/Cons of Condo Living?
Replies: 43
Views: 4259

Pros/Cons of Condo Living?

We are considering buying a condo in another city (where my parents currently live). The idea is that my parents are probably going to sell their house in the next 1-2 years as they transition into retirement and want to downsize. The key is they want to sell their home while the market is doing wel...
by countofmc
Thu Apr 14, 2016 5:16 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Soapbox (car safety features)
Replies: 206
Views: 20676

Re: Soapbox (car safety features)

I have a few thoughts about this new technology: One is technology that assists the driver vs technology that can actually take control of the vehicle. So the former would be lane departure warning (without the steering guidance that pulls you back) or a backup camera. Latter would be auto-braking u...
by countofmc
Thu Apr 14, 2016 1:55 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Credit Card Churning : Airline/Hotel points for Amazon GCs?
Replies: 3
Views: 599

Credit Card Churning : Airline/Hotel points for Amazon GCs?

So I don't think I'm anywhere near hardcore churning, but I have signed up for a couple of cards with some good bonuses. I don't travel much and rarely fly, so I usually convert the points to cash (such as the Chase Sapphire) or Amazon GCs. It's not the most efficient way to redeem points, but I sti...
by countofmc
Sun Apr 10, 2016 8:39 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Decided not to buy home in Bay Area - changing gears [to] investing
Replies: 6
Views: 1448

Decided not to buy home in Bay Area - changing gears [to] investing

So I've asked several questions on this issue and gotten very helpful responses. With an eye towards hopefully buying a home in the SF Bay Area and knowing we'd need a hefty down payment, we've put retirement savings on hold for about the last year or so and just been saving cash in a savings accoun...
by countofmc
Sun Apr 10, 2016 5:55 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Free old BMW worth it?
Replies: 44
Views: 4672

Re: Free old BMW worth it?

If you can't flip it I wouldn't take it.
by countofmc
Mon Apr 04, 2016 12:04 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: 50/ can I cross the finish line?
Replies: 51
Views: 6931

Re: 50/ can I cross the finish line?

Hopefully I am not being presumptuous, but you stated you have an 8 year old. If you wait until 60 to retire, your child will be 18 and off to college. It just sounds really cool to possibly spend 10 years doing anything you'd want with your child, whether it's travel, take them to school, maybe ski...
by countofmc
Fri Apr 01, 2016 5:44 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Chase Freedom Unlimited card 1.5% back + bonus
Replies: 85
Views: 8008

Re: Chase Freedom Unlimited card 1.5% back + bonus

Thank you for the link. I have the "regular" Freedom card, might sign up for this. Seems like the perfect complement to the regular Freedom. If it's not a quarterly 5% category, then just use the Unlimited. I also like the Chase interface when I have a bank account. I usually just deposit ...
by countofmc
Sun Mar 27, 2016 4:31 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Does anyone earn any income (10 bucks plus) a week from one of those survey, blog, visit website jobs?
Replies: 22
Views: 2140

Re: Does anyone earn any income (10 bucks plus) a week from one of those survey, blog, visit website jobs?

... I stopped after I filed taxes for that year. When I realized I was losing basically 40% or more of every dollar earned to taxes, I felt like the time I was spending on MTurk was better spent just playing video games. :D I know that feeling. Years ago I did some additional self employment work o...
by countofmc
Sun Mar 27, 2016 2:43 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Thoughts on Housing Prices Trajectory in the Bay Area?
Replies: 77
Views: 6226

Re: Thoughts on Housing Prices Trajectory in the Bay Area?

is chinese immigration a big thing in SF? i see alot of chinese between SF proper and San Mateo, but the feel (and the quantity) is so different than Vancouver, BC.. they don't remind me of recent immigrants, even the older ones that don't speak english. vancouver chinese have feel that they are st...
by countofmc
Sun Mar 27, 2016 2:38 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Thoughts on Housing Prices Trajectory in the Bay Area?
Replies: 77
Views: 6226

Re: Thoughts on Housing Prices Trajectory in the Bay Area?

Stanford and Berkeley will still be here, very intelligent people will continue to come here because of the chance to get that education and stay in a geographically beautiful area with great weather. Universities tend to hold their values for a long time. So Stanford/Berkeley are definitely pluses...
by countofmc
Sun Mar 27, 2016 2:34 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Does anyone earn any income (10 bucks plus) a week from one of those survey, blog, visit website jobs?
Replies: 22
Views: 2140

Re: Does anyone earn any income (10 bucks plus) a week from one of those survey, blog, visit website jobs?

Mechanical Turk on Amazon. 10 bucks a week would be easy on that site, maybe only 2-3 hour commitment. I had a period where I was grinding on MTurk a bit, but I stopped after I filed taxes for that year. When I realized I was losing basically 40% or more of every dollar earned to taxes, I felt like ...
by countofmc
Wed Mar 23, 2016 6:55 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Thoughts on Housing Prices Trajectory in the Bay Area?
Replies: 77
Views: 6226

Re: Thoughts on Housing Prices Trajectory in the Bay Area?

I don't think non-californians can comprehend how ridiculous things are out here. I agree. Even on this forum, there are posts regarding the rising costs of Bay Area housing going back at least four years. Each time, the non-californians say not to buy because "bubble popping", overvaluat...
by countofmc
Wed Mar 23, 2016 6:27 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Thoughts on Housing Prices Trajectory in the Bay Area?
Replies: 77
Views: 6226

Re: Thoughts on Housing Prices Trajectory in the Bay Area?

But, anything I say should be discounted by my only living places where $1,000,000 is the very top slice of the market. I don't think non-californians can comprehend how ridiculous things are out here. In many parts of Los Angeles, $1MM is a starter home that is either 900 sq ft, and frequently nee...
by countofmc
Wed Mar 23, 2016 5:43 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Thoughts on Housing Prices Trajectory in the Bay Area?
Replies: 77
Views: 6226

Re: Thoughts on Housing Prices Trajectory in the Bay Area?

Oh, and I will add that I am not one of these folks I see here that drinks the kool-aid no matter what. I wish real estate would crash here so I could afford to buy in. At present we are probably going to be looking to move out of the area in the future. And I don't work in tech, so I don't have muc...
by countofmc
Wed Mar 23, 2016 5:40 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Thoughts on Housing Prices Trajectory in the Bay Area?
Replies: 77
Views: 6226

Re: Thoughts on Housing Prices Trajectory in the Bay Area?

As a Bay Area resident, I think there is a natural floor put in prices in San Francisco and the Peninsula due to Nimby-ism, geographical limitations, environmental protectionism, and Chinese/foreign money. East Bay may be another story though. The area is also anchored by two world-class universiti...
by countofmc
Wed Mar 23, 2016 3:45 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Thoughts on Housing Prices Trajectory in the Bay Area?
Replies: 77
Views: 6226

Re: Thoughts on Housing Prices Trajectory in the Bay Area?

As others have said, I think 4-5 years is too short of a time horizon. On homes of that price, you are probably going to get chewed up by transaction costs. As a Bay Area resident, I think there is a natural floor put in prices in San Francisco and the Peninsula due to Nimby-ism, geographical limita...
by countofmc
Tue Mar 22, 2016 4:32 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Changing careers to finance mid 30's
Replies: 40
Views: 3954

Re: Changing careers to finance mid 30's

OP, would you also consider accounting? I don't think it would be too difficult getting a 60k/year job in that field. There are also a ton of degree programs, some even court students without an accounting background. Look into Masters in Accountancy programs (MACC). Not sure if your age and non-tra...
by countofmc
Mon Mar 21, 2016 6:49 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Changing careers to finance mid 30's
Replies: 40
Views: 3954

Re: Changing careers to finance mid 30's

"Finance" is a huge field, you'd probably want to do some research and narrow it down a bit. It's like saying someone wants to do "IT". If you are talking about investment banking, such as making the big $$$ at a Goldman Sachs, then mid 30s is probably too late. Most of those job...
by countofmc
Mon Mar 14, 2016 12:57 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Going to 30/70 (Target Retirement Income Fund) at age 33?
Replies: 44
Views: 5229

Re: Going to 30/70 (Target Retirement Income Fund) at age 33?

Just as an update, I used the recent market run up as an opportunity. My portfolio went back in the black for the year, so I decided to drop down all the way to 30/70. Basically moved everything into Vanguard Target Retirement Income. I know this is ridiculously conservative for my age. But I spent ...
by countofmc
Wed Mar 02, 2016 10:44 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Want to buy 2014 Acura TSX - turned in lease
Replies: 44
Views: 4412

Re: Want to buy 2014 Acura TSX - turned in lease

Generally speaking sales for a particular model do trail off as you get later in the model year. Some people hold off to wait for the major redesign (in this case would be for the '15 TLX) or look for newer model competitors. So there might not be that many '14 CPOs as say '13 or '12. But I doubt it...
by countofmc
Thu Feb 25, 2016 5:54 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Going to 30/70 (Target Retirement Income Fund) at age 33?
Replies: 44
Views: 5229

Re: Going to 30/70 (Target Retirement Income Fund) at age 33?

By nature I've always been quite risk adverse.... It would be a misconception to think that bonds are risk free, they just have different types of risk. Longer term bonds will get clobbered if interest rates rise a lot and they may not even keep up with inflation expecially in a taxable account. I ...
by countofmc
Thu Feb 25, 2016 4:08 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Going to 30/70 (Target Retirement Income Fund) at age 33?
Replies: 44
Views: 5229

Going to 30/70 (Target Retirement Income Fund) at age 33?

By nature I've always been quite risk adverse (not just in finances :D ). My AA has never been above 60/40, and that's what it is now. I didn't do any panic selling during 2008, but I didn't have much in my portfolio back then. I've been assessing my sleep-well point recently during the market swoon...
by countofmc
Wed Feb 24, 2016 4:56 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Thinking of putting aside 401k money for home purchase
Replies: 18
Views: 1678

Re: Thinking of putting aside 401k money for home purchase

Thanks for the replies so far. It's rather difficult to plan for a home purchase in the future, especially in a market where home prices have literally doubled in the last 4 years. Plus the uncertainty regarding what my salary will be (up or down), mortgage rates, etc. So far I can only really go on...
by countofmc
Wed Feb 24, 2016 1:17 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Thinking of putting aside 401k money for home purchase
Replies: 18
Views: 1678

Re: Thinking of putting aside 401k money for home purchase

I think you would be better off just changing your stock/bond allocation to something more conservative (i.e. instead of 80/20, maybe go to 70/30 or 60/40). Maxing out your 401k but leaving it in cash would leave a big cash drag on your portfolio if you never end up using those funds for a down pay...
by countofmc
Wed Feb 24, 2016 12:28 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Thinking of putting aside 401k money for home purchase
Replies: 18
Views: 1678

Thinking of putting aside 401k money for home purchase

So I know the rules regarding borrowing from 401k for a home purchase, and I also know it's highly discouraged here, and I get that reasoning. That being said we live in the Bay Area and have modest (at best) incomes for the area. Saving the $100,000 or more of cash for down payment to purchase even...
by countofmc
Wed Feb 24, 2016 11:18 am
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Rental Property Near University, Thoughts?
Replies: 50
Views: 2751

Re: Rental Property Near University, Thoughts?

Just one point of caution would be the possibility that the university could just build more housing on their existing property. This is exactly what happened at my alma mater. It went from guaranteeing housing for 2 years to all 4, so caused a crash in rental prices in the nearby apartments. There ...
by countofmc
Sun Feb 21, 2016 12:16 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Any side income potential in iOS development or web development?
Replies: 10
Views: 1509

Re: Any side income potential in iOS development or web development?

One concern about web development, which was recently addressed by my professor who is the Associate Dean in the CS Department, is that there are so many website builders and tools to automate the task of building a website. He claims that in a few years, web development will be less valuable and m...
by countofmc
Tue Feb 16, 2016 1:46 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Prescription costs on HDHP?
Replies: 10
Views: 826

Prescription costs on HDHP?

This year, for first time ever, I've elected my employer's HDHP with HSA. I have some regular prescription meds I take, so I was expecting to pay the full cost of those until deductible is hit. But surprisingly, it seems like my pharmacy is charging me less. About 1/3 of retail price. Not sure if th...
by countofmc
Sat Feb 13, 2016 4:17 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Any side income potential in iOS development or web development?
Replies: 10
Views: 1509

Any side income potential in iOS development or web development?

I am not working in the tech industry nor have an educational background in it, but recently took up coding as a hobby. Been having a lot of fun. Started with Python and coded some rudimentary programs and such. Want to keep learning, and been thinking of focusing on iOS development or web developme...
by countofmc
Fri Jan 08, 2016 5:26 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Amazon Prime Shipping Issues since move from UPS to USPS
Replies: 74
Views: 7237

Re: Amazon Prime Shipping Issues since move from UPS to USPS

I placed several orders in early December. Amazon has bundled them into different shipments. Two of these shipments have not arrived by middle December and I contacted Amazon. It was a hassle to file separate claims on items from different orders missing in consolidated shipments, but after I finis...
by countofmc
Fri Jan 08, 2016 5:17 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Amazon Prime Shipping Issues since move from UPS to USPS
Replies: 74
Views: 7237

Re: Amazon Prime Shipping Issues since move from UPS to USPS

I think there are more variables at play here than a UPS to USPS switchup. I'm a frequent Amazon shopper, and have had all the problems you've described, regardless of carrier. I used to have a lot of problems with Ontrac, but after I moved to a different neighborhood, Ontrac became the most reliabl...
by countofmc
Fri Jan 08, 2016 3:39 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Q about credit card unauthorized charges
Replies: 8
Views: 525

Re: Q about credit card unauthorized charges

So I found two unauthorized charges on my CC. Pretty classic, first was for under a dollar, then the second was for around $100. I let the CC company know, they cancelled my card and will mail me a new one, and also will mail me paperwork to contest the charges. This is the first time this has happ...
by countofmc
Fri Jan 08, 2016 3:37 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Q about credit card unauthorized charges
Replies: 8
Views: 525

Re: Q about credit card unauthorized charges

I have had a few unauthorized charges to my credit cards over many years. A quick call to the credit card company resulted in the card being canceled, a replacement card with new account number overnighted to me, and all unauthorized charges removed from my account by the credit card issuer. I woul...
by countofmc
Fri Jan 08, 2016 3:10 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Q about credit card unauthorized charges
Replies: 8
Views: 525

Q about credit card unauthorized charges

So I found two unauthorized charges on my CC. Pretty classic, first was for under a dollar, then the second was for around $100. I let the CC company know, they cancelled my card and will mail me a new one, and also will mail me paperwork to contest the charges. This is the first time this has happe...
by countofmc
Fri Dec 25, 2015 6:35 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: How to Buy Luxury Watches/Jewelry
Replies: 16
Views: 1830

Re: How to Buy Luxury Watches/Jewelry

As someone already suggested, visit one of the big watch forums like watchuseek for additional info. Here are the ways you can purchase a luxury wristwatch: (1) Boutique store: These are the stores run by the watchmakers themselves. So the Cartier store, or the Rolex store, etc. Generally you will n...
by countofmc
Thu Dec 17, 2015 9:30 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Bogleheads: Share how you like to vacation
Replies: 113
Views: 9811

Bogleheads: Share how you like to vacation

Would be interesting in knowing how this community likes to vacation. Do you like to take 1-2 big vacations a year, or more frequent shorter and local vacations? Prefer to go overseas or stay domestic? What are some of your favorite destination? Over the years, what kind of vacation seems to give yo...
by countofmc
Thu Dec 17, 2015 9:16 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Can I Afford an $800k Home on $4K/month Take Home?
Replies: 146
Views: 12418

Re: Can I Afford an $800k Home on $4K/month Take Home?

Unless I'm missing something, seems like you can afford to purchase the house. But can you afford to live in it and continue to meet your goals for retirement? Looks like you will still have over 700k in taxable and retirement accounts even if you purchase this place in cash. But I'm guessing annual...
by countofmc
Tue Dec 15, 2015 2:03 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Too old to change career?
Replies: 23
Views: 2731

Re: Too old to change career?

He wouldn't necessarily have to go into public accounting. He could consider managerial accounting (corporate) instead. Also as most people have said, public accounting is often a young person's game with all the hours they work but having worked for a Big 4 and for a small local firm, I can tell y...
by countofmc
Sat Nov 28, 2015 9:00 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Honda Accord broke down last night
Replies: 71
Views: 9639

Re: Honda Accord broke down last night

We are on our 3rd transmission, I believe we have a 3 year warranty - paperwork at work but my memory is pretty good. we had the car towed to the dealer in hopes that it IS the transmission, we get it replaced and then have trade in value. We've sunk too much money into this car - 1-1/2 years ago w...
by countofmc
Mon Nov 23, 2015 12:56 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: How often should a refrigerator "run"?
Replies: 3
Views: 574

How often should a refrigerator "run"?

I'm a renter, but our fridge is less than 3 years old. One of those newer stainless steel energy efficient ones. Whirlpool, basic 2-door design. I've noticed our fridge "runs" (as in compressor kicks in, cools it down) every 2 hours now, for about 20 minutes each time. Can be more frequent...
by countofmc
Sat Nov 21, 2015 5:29 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Federal employee - two jobs
Replies: 34
Views: 1792

Re: Federal employee - two jobs

Almost the exact same thing happened to me at my job. My boss left for greener pastures, so I got "promoted". Except that meant they were going to assign me his work duties, have me keep doing mine, and pay me less than what my boss was making (although I did get a modest raise). This was ...
by countofmc
Mon Nov 09, 2015 12:33 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: In a Housing Bind...
Replies: 60
Views: 6344

Re: In a Housing Bind...

Man, this thread has been eye opening. I've lived in an apartment my whole adult life saving up for hopefully a single family home one day. I hate noise and inconsiderate neighbors and thought SFH living would be the cure to this, but I guess even then problem neighbors are an issue. I guess the les...
by countofmc
Mon Nov 09, 2015 12:31 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Watch under $100
Replies: 46
Views: 4330

Re: Watch under $100

I get huge mileage out of Casio G-Shock models. Those suckers are ridiculously tough, and some of the models are I think fairly "neutral" enough for business casual, though I"d never wear one with a suit.

Also have had good luck with Citizen Eco-Drives.
by countofmc
Fri Nov 06, 2015 7:02 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: In a Housing Bind...
Replies: 60
Views: 6344

Re: In a Housing Bind...

Just to exhaust all your options, do you know if these noisy neighbors are homeowners or renters? If the latter, they might eventually move out anyways, or you might be able to find/speak directly with the homeowners. That being said, problem neighbors will ALWAYS be problem neighbors. I wouldn't ha...
by countofmc
Tue Nov 03, 2015 9:22 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Any way to earn a little money?
Replies: 5
Views: 1028

Re: Any way to earn a little money?

Amazon Mechanica Turk

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