Search found 432 matches

by countofmc
Wed Jul 27, 2016 4:04 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Any retirees here who have been life-long renters?
Replies: 126
Views: 8008

Re: Any retirees here who have been life-long renters?

Barefootgirl (and others) have cautioned ... there are too many location and lifestyle specific variables to make sweeping generalizations. Moderator, perhaps the time has come to lock this thread as it has become more & more argumentative perhaps endlessly and less & less answering the OP'...
by countofmc
Wed Jul 27, 2016 1:47 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Any retirees here who have been life-long renters?
Replies: 126
Views: 8008

Re: Any retirees here who have been life-long renters?

Barefootgirl (and others) have cautioned ... there are too many location and lifestyle specific variables to make sweeping generalizations. Moderator, perhaps the time has come to lock this thread as it has become more & more argumentative perhaps endlessly and less & less answering the OP'...
by countofmc
Mon Jul 25, 2016 5:14 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Any retirees here who have been life-long renters?
Replies: 126
Views: 8008

Re: Any retirees here who have been life-long renters?

Could be a very small or non-existent group here. But I keep hearing the siren song of home ownership, but I am not sure if this is ever going to happen for me. I guess I need to hear from some folks that may have been able to retire and "win the game" without having been home owners. Not...
by countofmc
Mon Jul 25, 2016 5:13 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Any retirees here who have been life-long renters?
Replies: 126
Views: 8008

Re: Any retirees here who have been life-long renters?

Life-long renters here and no desire to own. No kids. Won the game unless inflation hits very hard. We live frugally. I believe it is easier to FIRE (Financially Independent Retired Early) as renters if you have the discipline to save. You can move easily to better opportunities, higher paying jobs...
by countofmc
Mon Jul 25, 2016 3:20 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Any retirees here who have been life-long renters?
Replies: 126
Views: 8008

Any retirees here who have been life-long renters?

Could be a very small or non-existent group here. But I keep hearing the siren song of home ownership, but I am not sure if this is ever going to happen for me.

I guess I need to hear from some folks that may have been able to retire and "win the game" without having been home owners.
by countofmc
Thu Jul 21, 2016 1:24 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: What really happens to people who run out of their money in retirement
Replies: 60
Views: 7977

Re: What really happens to people who run out of their money in retirement

Not being flippant, but they are probably dead. Average life expectancy is still a tad under 80, so you might not see a lot of homeless people in their 80s since there aren't THAT many people in their 80s to begin with. I would imagine folks of limited means that may be in a situation to run out of ...
by countofmc
Tue Jul 19, 2016 5:19 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Bay Area Salary Thread
Replies: 22
Views: 2440

Re: Bay Area Salary Thread

Why not use your W2 as a stick in the ground for a year's worth of compensation? I'm pretty surprised. I'm on the high end of the previous posts, on the east coast with much lower cost of living with one year well above all previous posts. In a tech position? My impression FWIW is that the Bay Area...
by countofmc
Thu Jul 07, 2016 11:31 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Thinking of purchasing a home, talk me out of it. can my plan work?
Replies: 47
Views: 3638

Re: thinking of purchasing a home, talk me out of it. can my plan work?

I'm not against taking risks, but you are taking too many at once. A 401k loan that would be repayable immediately if you quit or were laid off/fired. Monthly mortgage payments that could eat up all of your disposable income if you can't find renters. Maybe I missed it or you just forgot to include ...
by countofmc
Mon Jul 04, 2016 9:35 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Need to get over irrational fear regarding investing instilled by parents
Replies: 10
Views: 1290

Need to get over irrational fear regarding investing instilled by parents

Hope everyone is having a wonderful extended weekend. My parents are immigrants from a country that was quite poor and unstable. Average people did not invest in the stock market, and even the banking system was somewhat unreliable due to periods of inflation and government instability. The common t...
by countofmc
Fri Jul 01, 2016 3:38 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Most frustrating company with worst customer service
Replies: 21
Views: 1225

Re: Most frustrating company with worst customer service

Haha, I thought this was going to be an open thread without your personal experience, and I was going to say AT&T.
by countofmc
Fri Jul 01, 2016 1:26 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Condo vs Townhouse Living
Replies: 35
Views: 4340

Condo vs Townhouse Living

So one thing for those that may not be familiar with this. In California (where we are looking) usually there is no legal difference in the ownership structure of a condo or townhouse. In California a "townhouse" is usually a condo in terms of legal ownership, and refers more to the struct...
by countofmc
Thu Jun 30, 2016 8:58 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Where were you financially when you were at 30?
Replies: 225
Views: 22876

Re: Where were you financially when you were at 30?

I really have to give kudos to the folks here who have just turned 30. You guys probably graduated around 08, 09, and we know what that was like. A lot of the people I know around that age seem just now to have really gotten their footing underneath them and making inroads into a career and saving m...
by countofmc
Sun Jun 26, 2016 4:26 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Amazon - customer service issues
Replies: 31
Views: 2376

Re: Amazon - customer service issues

Depends on who you get and what they can do for you. I contacted Amazon because a blu-ray I ordered didn't arrive. The customer service agent kept telling me they'd have to locate what happened to the item before they could do anything. I asked why they can't just cancel that order and send me a new...
by countofmc
Sat Jun 25, 2016 2:15 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Is there an "advantage" to being paid and saving in USD?
Replies: 11
Views: 830

Is there an "advantage" to being paid and saving in USD?

This is just a matter of pure curiosity. I'd say the majority of folks here are working and living in the United States. We get paid in USD, save in USD in US institutions. The USD has de-facto reserve currency status and the US is often seen as a safe haven when things like Brexit happen. As such, ...
by countofmc
Sat Jun 25, 2016 1:58 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: house affordability question
Replies: 39
Views: 2007

Re: house affordability question

so, i have a new question, and thank you so far to everyone who has replied. you've been a huge help and i appreciate all the feedback... in the very short term, i've decided that home ownership isn't as important to me as physically being in a home. i know that probably sounds weird, but i'm sick ...
by countofmc
Fri Jun 24, 2016 6:50 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: house affordability question
Replies: 39
Views: 2007

Re: house affordability question

I find opinions on these issues to be quite interesting. My opinion is you seem a-ok to purchase, but most opinions so far seem to be the opposite. Meanwhile there were 2 recent threads on home buying here in the Bay Area where one person was looking at a $1 million home and another somewhere in th...
by countofmc
Fri Jun 24, 2016 5:03 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: house affordability question
Replies: 39
Views: 2007

Re: house affordability question

I find opinions on these issues to be quite interesting. My opinion is you seem a-ok to purchase, but most opinions so far seem to be the opposite. Meanwhile there were 2 recent threads on home buying here in the Bay Area where one person was looking at a $1 million home and another somewhere in the...
by countofmc
Thu Jun 23, 2016 8:20 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Your favorite country to possibly retire to?
Replies: 89
Views: 6587

Re: Your favorite country to possibly retire to?

Maybe I'm romanticizing this, but I'd love to stay in the USA but move to a small town. One of those towns with a main street full of small businesses and charming store fronts. Small enough that people say hi and are willing to lend a helping hand, but large enough that they know to mind their own ...
by countofmc
Mon Jun 20, 2016 10:34 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Can we/Should we buy this house (SF Bay Area)
Replies: 54
Views: 5293

Re: Can we/Should we buy this house (SF Bay Area)

I personally would not because of your professions. I don't think there is a tech bubble, but let's just assume there is. If that bubble bursts, there is the potential for job loss for software developers, right at the same time as a potential local real estate crash. I think you and your wife BOTH ...
by countofmc
Mon Jun 06, 2016 7:12 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Buying a Rolex Watch
Replies: 171
Views: 16417

Re: Buying a Rolex Watch

Nothing wrong with a Rolex at all, I have my own "luxury purchase" preferences. But the primary reason I'd never buy a Rolex is that it wouldn't match anything else about me. I'd have an expensive watch with mediocre clothes, old cheap car, etc. I can just see myself cleaning baby poop of...
by countofmc
Mon Jun 06, 2016 5:28 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Buying a Rolex Watch
Replies: 171
Views: 16417

Re: Buying a Rolex Watch

Nothing wrong with a Rolex at all, I have my own "luxury purchase" preferences. But the primary reason I'd never buy a Rolex is that it wouldn't match anything else about me. I'd have an expensive watch with mediocre clothes, old cheap car, etc. I can just see myself cleaning baby poop of...
by countofmc
Mon Jun 06, 2016 4:34 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Protecting self against frivolous lawsuits?
Replies: 23
Views: 2475

Protecting self against frivolous lawsuits?

http://www.indystar.com/story/news/2016/06/06/he-sold-40-printer-then-he-sued-indiana-30000/85219140/ I'll admit, because of the society we live in, this is one of my fears. Seems like his legal fees were actually pretty modest, but I've heard of cases like this where lawyer fees were much higher. W...
by countofmc
Mon May 16, 2016 5:01 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Taking new-ish car to independent mechanic?
Replies: 18
Views: 1824

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: 1824

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: 4511

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: 4511

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: 240
Views: 23856

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: 651

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: 1517

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: 4919

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: 7156

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: 8560

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: 2253

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: 6643

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: 6643

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: 2253

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: 6643

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: 6643

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: 6643

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: 6643

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: 6643

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: 4110

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: 4110

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: 5403

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: 4636

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: 5403

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: 5403

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: 1759

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...

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