Search found 375 matches

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: 5233

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: 5233

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: 454

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: 454

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: 454

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: 1647

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: 8725

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: 11066

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: 2469

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: 8818

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: 497

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: 1592

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: 5826

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: 3832

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: 5826

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: 950

Re: Any way to earn a little money?

Amazon Mechanica Turk
by countofmc
Wed Oct 28, 2015 6:30 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Advise on home buying [South SF Bay area, Expecting baby]
Replies: 3
Views: 402

Re: Advise on home buying [South SF Bay area, Expecting baby]

Everything seems good. You are looking for homes with prices that fall within normal ranges for the Bay Area and should be affordable based on your income. Unless you left something out, your retirement savings seem low for someone with such a high income and relatively low expenses, but I'm guessin...
by countofmc
Wed Oct 28, 2015 4:40 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Any hotel-oriented rewards credit cards?
Replies: 12
Views: 1226

Any hotel-oriented rewards credit cards?

So lately we've been traveling more, so I was considering getting a rewards credit card that gives you travel rewards. I find most of these are geared towards fliers, but we rarely travel by airplane on vacation. So I was wondering if there were any good ones folks here may like that offer good rewa...
by countofmc
Wed Oct 21, 2015 6:19 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Why Save for Retirement? (Millennial Edition)
Replies: 44
Views: 7481

Re: Why Save for Retirement? (Millennial Edition)

Well my millennial peers are not quite as pessimistic (at least outwardly). As far as retirement is concerned, I'd say in general my peers don't treat it as first priority, but few to none of them are free-spenders either. What I mean by this is they generally watch the bottom line, try to be frugal...
by countofmc
Tue Oct 20, 2015 5:54 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: If your savings rate is sufficient to meet goal, should you own stock?
Replies: 17
Views: 1485

Re: If your savings rate is sufficient to meet goal, should you own stock?

Well you'd have to estimate. On most retirement calculators, you put in a figure that you estimate, and the estimate of inflation seems no more or less certain than the estimate for market returns, future tax rates, etc. Also, if inflation is primary concern, why not just TIPS? Yes, TIPS would work...
by countofmc
Tue Oct 20, 2015 5:38 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: If your savings rate is sufficient to meet goal, should you own stock?
Replies: 17
Views: 1485

Re: If your savings rate is sufficient to meet goal, should you own stock?

One reason may be Inflation Protection. You say "After Inflation", but you have no idea what inflation will be. Well you'd have to estimate. On most retirement calculators, you put in a figure that you estimate, and the estimate of inflation seems no more or less certain than the estimate...
by countofmc
Tue Oct 20, 2015 4:30 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: If your savings rate is sufficient to meet goal, should you own stock?
Replies: 17
Views: 1485

If your savings rate is sufficient to meet goal, should you own stock?

Or at least adjust your AA? Very rudimentary math, but what I am getting at is say you have determined you need $2 million in 20 years to meet your goals (even after inflation). You already have a portfolio of $1 million, and you will save $50k for the next 20 years. For someone like this, should th...
by countofmc
Mon Oct 19, 2015 1:41 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: 2008 Market Crash, Did You See It As Opportunity?
Replies: 60
Views: 4247

Re: 2008 Market Crash, Did You See It As Opportunity?

No, I was honestly just too fearful of potential job loss and the end of modern society to do anything but hoard cash and wish for the best. Maybe working in the financial industry, as I was doing at the time, did not help. Our firm went from being the busiest we ever had been in the summer of 2007 ...
by countofmc
Mon Oct 19, 2015 12:00 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Is there an ideal age to retire?
Replies: 137
Views: 11375

Re: Is there an ideal age to retire?

So when I've tried to determine an ideal age to retire for myself, my biggest consideration has been health. I do not want to retire too late to enjoy some of the things I want to do because I am not healthy enough to do them. Unfortunately, future health or life is impossible to determine with cert...
by countofmc
Fri Oct 16, 2015 6:30 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Is The Bay Area Worth It?
Replies: 159
Views: 16178

Re: Is The Bay Area Worth It?

I've been living here about 7 years now after spending most of my life in SoCal. The COL and cons of living here (the two usually go hand-in-hand) will be discussed nonstop, so I will mention some things I like about the Bay Area, esp in comparison to having lived in SoCal (mostly LA). So the pros a...
by countofmc
Thu Oct 15, 2015 1:02 am
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Portfolio Review: do I have enough to drop out of the rat race?
Replies: 49
Views: 8016

Re: Portfolio Review: do I have enough to drop out of the rat race?

I'd try out the "detox" you are talking about. Just quit and travel, see how that suits you. After that, I'd come back to the USA and live in a very low COL area and see if you can pick up a part-time or freelance gig that suits you AND covers all your annual expenses and then some.
by countofmc
Thu Oct 08, 2015 8:12 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Trouble with family thinking we have more money than we do
Replies: 87
Views: 8724

Re: Trouble with family thinking we have more money than we do

I think this thread got a tad sidetracked, and I've gotten some great responses that I appreciate, so I wouldn't be so opposed if a mod sees this and locks it. My point in starting this thread was not to debate the moral obligations of financial support for one's parents. If I was a multi-millionair...
by countofmc
Thu Oct 08, 2015 8:06 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Buy House in Cash or Mortgage?
Replies: 52
Views: 2788

Re: Buy House in Cash or Mortgage?

countofmc, The state is Maryland, and at least according to this the homestead exemption is $22K if in bankruptcy: http://www.nolo.com/legal-encyclopedia/maryland-bankruptcy-homestead-exemption.html So I mean, basically nothing, right? So yea that would be a concern of mine. I mean if a guy has a 1...
by countofmc
Thu Oct 08, 2015 6:50 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Buy House in Cash or Mortgage?
Replies: 52
Views: 2788

Re: Buy House in Cash or Mortgage?

countofmc, I'm not quite following the concern about asset protection. You mean if I go completely bankrupt, could the house be seized somehow? It will be a big chunk of my overall net north, somewhere around 35%. The bulk of current retirement savings is at Vanguard in a rollover IRA & roth IR...
by countofmc
Thu Oct 08, 2015 5:41 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Need info on starting a blog
Replies: 9
Views: 863

Need info on starting a blog

Just want to start a simple blog, more as a hobby than anything. I do want a dedicated domain though, like http://www.countofmc.com instead of say http://www.countofmc.blogspot.com. But otherwise simplicity would be good, nothing where I have to write my own HTML or anything like that. I've tried go...
by countofmc
Thu Oct 08, 2015 5:32 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Buy House in Cash or Mortgage?
Replies: 52
Views: 2788

Re: Buy House in Cash or Mortgage?

I guess this is a question as much as a comment for OP, but should asset protection considerations factor into this? States have different homestead laws, and I think in California for example the value of the home that can be protected is fairly low compared to what home values are these days. Conv...
by countofmc
Thu Oct 08, 2015 12:36 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Trouble with family thinking we have more money than we do
Replies: 87
Views: 8724

Re: Trouble with family thinking we have more money than we do

Why don't you discuss your finances with your parents (and/or in-laws)? I regularly discuss our money stuff with my mom and dad (and I'm 35 years old). Paycheck, savings, investments, retirement, college, etc. etc... they know everything. In the OP's situation, I think that would just backfire. The...
by countofmc
Thu Oct 08, 2015 12:19 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Trouble with family thinking we have more money than we do
Replies: 87
Views: 8724

Re: Trouble with family thinking we have more money than we do

Keenobserver, not knowing OP, I give him the benefit of the doubt regarding his parents' situation. I don't see it as "flat out refuse to help them" as I see him not wanting to subsidize unwise choices. Sir the OP admits the parents are actually in need, and has refused due to his own lon...
by countofmc
Wed Oct 07, 2015 10:03 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Trouble with family thinking we have more money than we do
Replies: 87
Views: 8724

Re: Trouble with family thinking we have more money than we do

Keenobserver, not knowing OP, I give him the benefit of the doubt regarding his parents' situation. I don't see it as "flat out refuse to help them" as I see him not wanting to subsidize unwise choices. Sir the OP admits the parents are actually in need, and has refused due to his own lon...
by countofmc
Wed Oct 07, 2015 10:02 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Trouble with family thinking we have more money than we do
Replies: 87
Views: 8724

Re: Trouble with family thinking we have more money than we do

Keenobserver, not knowing OP, I give him the benefit of the doubt regarding his parents' situation. I don't see it as "flat out refuse to help them" as I see him not wanting to subsidize unwise choices. Pretty much. The last couple of times they gave me a sob story and asked for money, th...
by countofmc
Wed Oct 07, 2015 6:07 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Trouble with family thinking we have more money than we do
Replies: 87
Views: 8724

Re: Trouble with family thinking we have more money than we do

I know that the general idea is not to reveal too much about one's own financial situation to family and friends, but I wonder if it is possible to insert comments naturally into conversations that communicate the information. E.g., lament that home ownership is out of reach because non-profit sala...
by countofmc
Wed Oct 07, 2015 5:51 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Trouble with family thinking we have more money than we do
Replies: 87
Views: 8724

Trouble with family thinking we have more money than we do

I have an advanced degree but chose not to work in that field. My wife has a fancy "title", but she works for a non-profit. Because of this, we make a fairly low income for where we live (SF Bay Area). We are happy with the choices we made, and our own financial goals are pretty much on ta...
by countofmc
Sat Oct 03, 2015 1:50 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: HSA, FSA, and all that jazz [Health Savings, Flex Spending Acc'ts]
Replies: 12
Views: 1047

Re: HSA, FSA, and all that jazz [Health Savings, Flex Spending Acc'ts]

Thank you, very helpful. One additional question. My wife and I decided we'll both go on the HDHP (we both work for same employer, if I haven't mentioned that already). In that situation, are we supposed to both open individual HSAs for each of us, or do we open one family HSA and use that for both ...
by countofmc
Sat Oct 03, 2015 1:31 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Where in the U.S. can I buy a house for under $250k that's a nice place to live?
Replies: 152
Views: 15908

Re: Where in the U.S. can I buy a house for under $250k that's a nice place to live?

I'm partial to NC & SC, since I live in Charlotte. Have you considered smaller cities nearby, such as Burlington, Greensboro, Winston Salem, Sanford, etc? The Greenville - Spartanburg area of SC is also very nice, and it offers easy access to either the mountains or the beach, mostly via inters...
by countofmc
Sat Oct 03, 2015 1:12 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Where in the U.S. can I buy a house for under $250k that's a nice place to live?
Replies: 152
Views: 15908

Re: Where in the U.S. can I buy a house for under $250k that's a nice place to live?

I may be biased because I spent my childhood in the south and loved it. But I think Nashville may fit that criteria. You obviously know you won't get CA weather anywhere else, but the weather wasn't too extreme down there. People also say good things about Asheville, but not sure if it meets your pr...
by countofmc
Fri Oct 02, 2015 5:11 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: HSA, FSA, and all that jazz [Health Savings, Flex Spending Acc'ts]
Replies: 12
Views: 1047

HSA, FSA, and all that jazz [Health Savings, Flex Spending Acc'ts]

So currently my spouse and I both have individual PPO plans through our employer. My wife is the only one that has an FSA, out of which we both deduct money for medical expenses. For 2016, our employer is doing away with the PPO plans. I will be going to a High Deductible plan and contributing to an...
by countofmc
Wed Sep 30, 2015 9:06 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Martial arts for beginner adults
Replies: 45
Views: 3239

Re: Martial arts for beginner adults

Sorry for piggybacking on OP's thread, but felt like I should just post here instead of starting a new one. I too have been looking for a martial art, but unlike OP, my sole motivation is SELF DEFENSE in a real world situation. I get enough exercise jogging and lifting weights, so I don't really wan...
by countofmc
Tue Sep 29, 2015 6:10 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Is Toyota going to be the next VW?
Replies: 29
Views: 3273

Re: Is Toyota going to be the next VW?

A question I sincerely posed a while ago (might have been here or some other forum) is whether there is a single automaker left with "clean hands". Sudden acceleration, exploding airbags, emissions cheating, faulty ignition switches, etc. It seems like a culture of disregarding problems an...
by countofmc
Wed Sep 23, 2015 10:20 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Talk me out of 4500 purchase [Camera]
Replies: 122
Views: 6710

Re: Talk me out of 4500 purchase [Camera]

I would get the 50/1.4, which is a good lens, especially if you stop it down just a little, and if you don't whack it into anything (the old design AF motor is a little fragile). I've used a few L lenses before, and some of them give gorgeous color and sharpness, but IMHO the 50/1.2 is too expensiv...
by countofmc
Wed Sep 23, 2015 10:14 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Talk me out of 4500 purchase [Camera]
Replies: 122
Views: 6710

Re: Talk me out of 4500 purchase

I could do street work, which is why I wanted the 50mm 1.2L....killer street lens. I live in the greater boston area too, a lot of opportunity. You would want to be careful with taking $5,000 worth of equipment into some street situations. Even with a less expensive full size DSLR you might get unw...
by countofmc
Wed Sep 23, 2015 7:08 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Talk me out of 4500 purchase [Camera]
Replies: 122
Views: 6710

Re: Talk me out of 4500 purchase

This one is easy. If you are not a professional and/or do some major sports shooting, I don't think the 5D3's more advanced AF system and better build quality and other amenities would be necessary over the 6D. Image quality is very similar. 6D has been my camera since early 2013, my best photograph...
by countofmc
Mon Sep 21, 2015 1:05 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: watch as gift or for self: sapphire crystal?
Replies: 14
Views: 1614

Re: watch as gift or for self: sapphire crystal?

Not a scratch on my Vacheron or my Patek, so yea I'd recommend sapphire. Just kidding! I do think the very classic "original" moonwatch Omega Speedmaster still uses hardlex, and I do like some of the scratches it can get as it does seem to add character to the look of the watch. So I don't...
by countofmc
Fri Sep 18, 2015 8:59 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: If You Have Savings In Your 20s, You’re Doing Something Wrong [article]
Replies: 148
Views: 12709

Re: If You Have Savings In Your 20s, You’re Doing Something Wrong [article]

Well I'm in my mid 30s, so I guess somewhere in between 20s and 40s. I have acquaintances, co-workers, friends, family etc. in their 20s and 40s, and I'd say I'd happily trade living it up in my 20s to have a more comfortable decade in my 40s. Sure there is the whole "you could die tomorrow&quo...
by countofmc
Thu Sep 17, 2015 4:18 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Corelle Dinnerware, anyone?
Replies: 22
Views: 2023

Re: Corelle Dinnerware, anyone?

New Corelle is not the same as old Corelle. The newer Corelle isn't as durable as it was in the past. It isn't your dishwasher or anything you're doing. If you want your Corelle to last then try Goodwill or a second-hand store. Or branch out to real dinnerware. Well it's a very small sample size, b...
by countofmc
Thu Sep 17, 2015 3:07 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Corelle Dinnerware, anyone?
Replies: 22
Views: 2023

Re: Corelle Dinnerware, anyone?

Actually, to those of you who have owned the dinnerware for decades with no issues, may I ask how you clean the dishes? I just stick them in the dishwasher with Cascade detergent, but I'm suspecting the cleaning process might be causing my problems.

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