Search found 901 matches

by finite_difference
Fri May 25, 2018 6:09 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Do I need to reduce monthly debt payments? Auto + House
Replies: 9
Views: 914

Re: Do I need to reduce monthly debt payments? Auto + House

I'm an engineer, so I take joy in optimizing and micromanaging (I think Bogleheads can relate!). For the Honda car loans, the promotional 1.9% rate only applies to 36 mo loans - It climbs to 2.9% for 37-60 month loans, which will add ~$1000 to the purchase price of the car. It's easier to put a lar...
by finite_difference
Fri May 25, 2018 6:53 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: I've never budgeted sucessfully
Replies: 52
Views: 3676

Re: I've never budgeted sucessfully

I use to do a budget and keep track of my expenses. I stopped doing this a while ago after my friend made a good argument against it. His argument is essentially the exercise takes too much time and is not needed unless one is spending too much. These days, I use a simpler approach. After I put awa...
by finite_difference
Thu May 24, 2018 5:14 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Best used SUV, Wagon, Hatch, Pickup under $10k
Replies: 34
Views: 2754

Re: Best used SUV, Wagon, Hatch, Pickup under $10k

I vote CRV, RAV4, or Fit. Might have CVT though. Maybe if you can get a manual Forester or Outback, since those also have CVT? Not sure what you have against a good CVT. A manual transmission is not CVT. Subaru automatic transmissions are CVT now, but I don't know what model year that starts, maybe...
by finite_difference
Thu May 24, 2018 4:53 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Winter Home - issues/costs?
Replies: 33
Views: 2057

Re: Winter Home - issues/costs?

We bought the timeshare at an ocean front resort in Pompano Beach that we felt we would like to visit every year. It is hard to find ocean front rentals in the winter because that is when the owners want to use the property as well. Also, many of the condo buildings have restrictions on rentals suc...
by finite_difference
Tue May 22, 2018 7:56 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Best used SUV, Wagon, Hatch, Pickup under $10k
Replies: 34
Views: 2754

Re: Best used SUV, Wagon, Hatch, Pickup under $10k

I vote CRV, RAV4, or Fit. Might have CVT though. Maybe if you can get a manual Forester or Outback, since those also have CVT? Not sure what you have against a good CVT.
by finite_difference
Tue May 22, 2018 7:40 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: How do you stop moving the goal posts.
Replies: 62
Views: 4681

Re: How do you stop moving the goal posts.

How to stop moving goal posts: don’t be like TheTimeLord.
by finite_difference
Mon May 21, 2018 9:25 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: "Why 97% of People Don't Use 529 College Savings Plans."
Replies: 262
Views: 47348

Re: "Why 97% of People Don't Use 529 College Savings Plans."

i don't understand why 529 threads always end up being so long. if you can max out your 401k, that alone puts you in the top 90th percentile of americans. add in maxing the IRA, probably bumps your into 95th percentile. add in maxing a HSA (stealth IRA) and yep, you're 97th percentile now. so if yo...
by finite_difference
Mon May 21, 2018 9:03 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: "Why 97% of People Don't Use 529 College Savings Plans."
Replies: 262
Views: 47348

Re: "Why 97% of People Don't Use 529 College Savings Plans."

Could someone channel college expenses through a 529 to avoid state income taxes? In most states, contributions can reduce income taxes. The strategy would be to have money in it for short time so it does not effect federal student aid. But maybe that would not work? Yes, I think in most(?) states ...
by finite_difference
Mon May 21, 2018 7:14 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: "Why 97% of People Don't Use 529 College Savings Plans."
Replies: 262
Views: 47348

Re: "Why 97% of People Don't Use 529 College Savings Plans."

i don't understand why 529 threads always end up being so long. if you can max out your 401k, that alone puts you in the top 90th percentile of americans. add in maxing the IRA, probably bumps your into 95th percentile. add in maxing a HSA (stealth IRA) and yep, you're 97th percentile now. so if yo...
by finite_difference
Sun May 20, 2018 1:13 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: My turn to ask - am I ready for retirement - can I say I'm FI?
Replies: 41
Views: 4611

Re: My turn to ask - am I ready for retirement - can I say I'm FI?

What about working for 1-3 years until your mortgage is paid off? How would that impact your spending needs?

One way to mitigate sequence of return risk is belt tightening. How much are you able to reduce your expenses but still be happy?
by finite_difference
Sat May 19, 2018 2:14 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Good time to buy a house or wait it out
Replies: 21
Views: 1887

Re: Good time to buy a house or wait it out

Wouldn’t higher mortgage rates and higher property taxes both have a tendency to drive home prices down? But RE is very local and subject to how the local economy is performing (driving local demand) and to local supply (which can be strongly affected by zoning regulations). I would think that urban...
by finite_difference
Sun May 13, 2018 8:04 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Used car, $20K-$25K
Replies: 43
Views: 3775

Re: Used car, $20K-$25K

The genesis is a great car Not sure about your other comment though? Why would you “steer” away from the A4 and 3 series when Audi and BMW have been amongst the most reliable brands over the last few years? https://www.consumerreports.org/car-reliability-owner-satisfaction/car-brands-reliability-ho...
by finite_difference
Sun May 13, 2018 7:58 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: My 2017 CRV is a victim of the dreaded oil gas-dilution issue
Replies: 273
Views: 34624

Re: My 2017 CRV is a victim of the dreaded oil gas-dilution issue

Wow, my months-long 2018 CR-V vs. RAV4 vs. CX-5 shopping analysis just got narrowed down a bit. Why not get the non-turbo version? Reports are that it actually has the fuel dilution problem too, but not as bad as the 1.5L turbo. Probably involves the direct fuel injection, piston rings, and whateve...
by finite_difference
Sun May 13, 2018 7:54 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: 2018 Forester vs CRV vs RAV4
Replies: 130
Views: 13052

Re: 2018 Forester vs CRV vs RAV4

After just a few years with children it is really hard to beat a minivan - in our experience either an Odyssey or Sienna. Just send some time observing the pick-up lines at your local elementary, middle and high school and it will all become clear. It was only a matter of time before one of the min...
by finite_difference
Fri May 11, 2018 11:08 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Used car, $20K-$25K
Replies: 43
Views: 3775

Re: Used car, $20K-$25K

To all those who suggested the Genesis: excellent idea. I hadn't thought of this. I'm seeing a lot of them with low miles under $25K. I'll explore this further. After further thought, a 3 Series or A4 doesn't seem like the best choice for me. Nice cars, but maintenance issues and size are steering ...
by finite_difference
Thu May 10, 2018 9:11 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Do we spend too much on food?
Replies: 71
Views: 5996

Re: Do we spend too much on food?

According to the BLS (instead of anecdotes): The portion of a Seattle household’s budget spent on food, 13.6 percent, was not significantly different from the 12.6-percent U.S. average. Seattle-area households spent $5,938, or 58.3 percent, of their food dollars on food at home and $4,240 (41.7 per...
by finite_difference
Thu May 10, 2018 8:07 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Do we spend too much on food?
Replies: 71
Views: 5996

Re: Do we spend too much on food?

According to the BLS (instead of anecdotes): The portion of a Seattle household’s budget spent on food, 13.6 percent, was not significantly different from the 12.6-percent U.S. average. Seattle-area households spent $5,938, or 58.3 percent, of their food dollars on food at home and $4,240 (41.7 per...
by finite_difference
Thu May 10, 2018 7:53 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Reccommended Minivans
Replies: 31
Views: 1836

Re: Reccommended Minivans

I'd buy the 2018 Odyssey EX-L in a heartbeat, if we didn't already own the 2016 model. :D It'll run you over $30k, but a couple extra $k won't make a difference in 15 years. :beer I guess the “L” in EX-L is for Leather. I got a 2016 EX new for $30k OTD (could probably get it for less if you are goo...
by finite_difference
Thu May 10, 2018 8:25 am
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: How do you quantify the risk differential between 85/15 and 70/30?
Replies: 70
Views: 5742

Re: How do you quantify the risk differential between 85/15 and 70/30?

Don’t forget the behavioral aspect, which is difficult to quantify but can outweigh the rational aspects. For example, I see a lot of members posting semi-gleefully about their optimum 100/0 AA. That’s fine and all, assuming they will be able to stick it out when they see 50% of their portfolio evap...
by finite_difference
Thu May 10, 2018 7:01 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Recommendation For Shirts
Replies: 36
Views: 2334

Re: Recommendation For Shirts

livesoft wrote:
Tue May 08, 2018 11:28 am
Check out the underwear while you are shopping, too.
Especially since you have to remember to replace those every year.
by finite_difference
Thu May 10, 2018 6:58 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Is it time for me to change jobs or should I stay put?
Replies: 70
Views: 6351

Re: Is it time for me to change jobs or should I stay put?

Make sure your boss knows what your responsibilities are, and all the good work you are doing. What’s the point in doing all that work and not documenting it? I would build a case for a promotion/raise. If you’re not getting a raise every year then you aren’t making a good case for yourself (unless...
by finite_difference
Thu May 10, 2018 6:44 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: What's the view on dogs running free?
Replies: 110
Views: 5311

Re: What's the view on dogs running free?

livesoft wrote:
Wed May 09, 2018 12:59 pm
So you get the benefit of dog ownership without the costs?

Personally, I don't mind folks walking across my yard as long as I can walk across their yard.
Quid pro quo!
by finite_difference
Tue May 08, 2018 3:54 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Is it time for me to change jobs or should I stay put?
Replies: 70
Views: 6351

Re: Is it time for me to change jobs or should I stay put?

Get your resume up to date and apply for some other jobs. Go on some interviews. See what else is out there. Maybe after you interview you may feel differently about your current position. You might want to stay or it might be exciting and make you want to change jobs. That process might help you c...
by finite_difference
Mon May 07, 2018 8:33 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: My 2017 CRV is a victim of the dreaded oil gas-dilution issue
Replies: 273
Views: 34624

Re: My 2017 CRV is a victim of the dreaded oil gas-dilution issue

CardinalRule wrote:
Sat May 05, 2018 10:18 am
Wow, my months-long 2018 CR-V vs. RAV4 vs. CX-5 shopping analysis just got narrowed down a bit.
Why not get the non-turbo version?
by finite_difference
Mon May 07, 2018 8:32 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: My 2017 CRV is a victim of the dreaded oil gas-dilution issue
Replies: 273
Views: 34624

Re: My 2017 CRV is a victim of the dreaded oil gas-dilution issue

This guy found a way to disable VCM (variable cylinder management) on his Odyssey V-6 Works if you don't mind driving around with the check engine light on all the time. I have successfully disabled VCM on my 2008 Odyssey Touring by pulling the connector off of the rocker arm oil pressure sensor. T...
by finite_difference
Mon May 07, 2018 8:02 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: most compelling TV character ever
Replies: 175
Views: 16147

Re: most compelling TV character ever

unclescrooge wrote:
Mon May 07, 2018 7:57 pm
stlrick wrote:
Sat May 05, 2018 12:43 pm
Jeremy Brett as Sherlock Holmes
+1

Also, Henry Winkler as Fonzie :mrgreen:
For Sherlock I was going to say Benedict Cumberbatch.. ;)
by finite_difference
Mon May 07, 2018 8:00 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: most compelling TV character ever
Replies: 175
Views: 16147

Re:

1. Al Swearengen (Deadwood) 2. Baltimore City (The Wire) 3. Bubbles (The Wire) It’s funny that everyone likes some character on Deadwood. I had to stop watching that show after a couple episodes after they killed every compelling character I cared about :mrgreen: The Wire++. The best show ever made...
by finite_difference
Sun May 06, 2018 4:34 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: What career for smartest kid in the class?
Replies: 132
Views: 8034

Re: What career for smartest kid in the class?

I retired from Cardiology 13 years ago at age 54. If I were doing it now, I would choose a career other than Medicine. The average med school debt is $195,000, and we have turned physicians into professional students. If you start med school at age 25 and want to be a Cardiology subspecialist, you ...
by finite_difference
Sun May 06, 2018 2:38 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: What career for smartest kid in the class?
Replies: 132
Views: 8034

Re: What career for smartest kid in the class?

1. Cancer research/immunotherapy. 2. Robotics. 3. Aerospace. 4. Quantum computing. 5. Artificial intelligence. 6. Vaccine development (Zika, AIDS, etc.) 7. Antibiotics. 8. Self-driving cars. 9. Electrical and electro-optical engineering. 10. Curing incurable diseases (Parkinson’s, Alzheimer’s, etc.)...
by finite_difference
Sun May 06, 2018 2:06 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Why Shouldn't I Buy McDonalds Or Coke?
Replies: 66
Views: 8263

Re: Why Shouldn't I Buy McDonalds Or Coke?

Here are a few reasons: 1. McDonalds: relies on unskilled labor, which is becoming harder to find. Restaurant competition significantly increasing. Some restaurants are significantly worse than others, indicating their oversight may be declining. Most of the food is very bad for your health and tha...
by finite_difference
Sun May 06, 2018 7:19 am
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Why Shouldn't I Buy McDonalds Or Coke?
Replies: 66
Views: 8263

Re: Why Shouldn't I Buy McDonalds Or Coke?

Here are a few reasons: 1. McDonalds: relies on unskilled labor, which is becoming harder to find. Restaurant competition significantly increasing. Some restaurants are significantly worse than others, indicating their oversight may be declining. Most of the food is very bad for your health and that...
by finite_difference
Fri May 04, 2018 8:29 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Growing Fruit Trees and Shrubs
Replies: 30
Views: 2425

Re: Growing Fruit Trees and Shrubs

I love reading the responses here about folks who manage to grow stuff so well :).
by finite_difference
Fri May 04, 2018 8:22 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Vanguard High Yield Corporate - Another New Low in Dividend
Replies: 19
Views: 4181

Re: Vanguard High Yield Corporate - Another New Low in Dividend

SEC rule 10b-18 was instituted in 1982. Is that just a coincidence? https://www.investopedia.com/terms/r/rule10b18.asp Looks like just a coincidence. SEC rule 10-b-18 is about a corporation or an affiliate repurchasing shares of common stock. The Vanguard High Yield Corporate fund had a higher inco...
by finite_difference
Fri May 04, 2018 8:19 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: I inherited 1 million dollars, should I open an IRA or keep adding money to this million dollar brokerage account
Replies: 52
Views: 5097

Re: I inherited 1 million dollars, should I open an IRA or keep adding money to this million dollar brokerage account

1 mil buys you 3.3 share of BRKA. No dividend every paid so no cap gain and dividend tax until you sell. After you retired before RMD and SS, convert it to BRAKB and start to sell, keep cap gain a bit below your target tax rate and hopefully zero. Are you kidding? Serious question here. Are you kid...
by finite_difference
Thu May 03, 2018 12:05 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Thinking of going "back" to school nearing 40?
Replies: 24
Views: 3059

Re: Thinking of going "back" to school nearing 40?

Go for it!! Especially with 6 months off per year should be quite doable.
by finite_difference
Wed May 02, 2018 11:56 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Vanguard High Yield Corporate - Another New Low in Dividend
Replies: 19
Views: 4181

Re: Vanguard High Yield Corporate - Another New Low in Dividend

The most recent dividend of $0.02224 per share represents a new low. The dividend appears to have been in a long term decline. The earliest dividend data I have shows the dividend at $0.084 in July 1989. The highest income distribution per share was $0.235 in Jan. 1983. It was the end of the fiscal...
by finite_difference
Sun Apr 29, 2018 10:14 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Those with high savings rate: why?
Replies: 246
Views: 31302

Re: Those with high savings rate: why?

I grew up in the Rust Belt. As I child I watched families all with stay at home Mom’s and Dad’s who just barely made it out of high school living what was considered a solid middle class life style. This was made possible by the union jobs in the steel mills and manufacturing plants. Then, when I w...
by finite_difference
Sat Apr 28, 2018 7:31 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: 300k vs 500k house?
Replies: 32
Views: 4463

Re: 300k vs 500k house?

many great replies here! Yes, life is VERY short, do what suits you, as either choice has cost / benefit. Having traded 30+ properties a few thoughts: 1) Primary house is not always an asset, and can often be a liability (anchor chain) 2) A Radical view... $500k could be spinning off $5k / month an...
by finite_difference
Sat Apr 28, 2018 12:31 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Extended Warranty for Honda Odyssey - worth it?
Replies: 23
Views: 1571

Re: Extended Warranty for Honda Odyssey - worth it?

So evidently, Hondas aren't as reliable as the other car buying threads on this forum would have you believe. Hm. I’ve heard the Honda Odyssey automated doors can have issues over time. I’m actually not sure on the maintenance for them. Probably should clean and regrease then periodically. I would ...
by finite_difference
Sat Apr 28, 2018 12:26 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: 300k vs 500k house?
Replies: 32
Views: 4463

Re: 300k vs 500k house?

What about finishing an attic or basement or doing a small addition? If you can upgrade your house for $25-75k vs spending $200k, I would think that would have a significant impact on net worth. That difference is about the cost of 1-3 college educations.
by finite_difference
Fri Apr 27, 2018 10:46 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Extended Warranty for Honda Odyssey - worth it?
Replies: 23
Views: 1571

Re: Extended Warranty for Honda Odyssey - worth it?

Happy to help. I got my quote for a 1-year-old Odyssey so that could be a reason why it is lower too, if the warranty starts from the warranty purchase date.

At least the Saccucci and Hyannis HondaCare quotes represent good value — hopefully we have no issues, but it’s great for peace of mind.
by finite_difference
Fri Apr 27, 2018 6:34 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Extended Warranty for Honda Odyssey - worth it?
Replies: 23
Views: 1571

Re: Extended Warranty for Honda Odyssey - worth it?

You can buy a Honda care warranty at cost from saccucci Honda in Newport, RI over the phone at cost. They sell so many warranties that they get kickbacks from Honda. Big dealers sued them because they were taking so many warranty customers, all that changed after the suit is that you can’t buy over...
by finite_difference
Thu Apr 26, 2018 10:44 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Amazon to raise Prime membership in US to $119 from $99
Replies: 145
Views: 10797

Re: Amazon to raise Prime membership in US to $119 from $99

So it’s $10/month, up from $8.33. Psychologically $119 seems like quite a bit more than $99 though. I get quite a bit of value out of Amazon Prime Video and Amazon is very convenient for shopping. But I am being more careful now to check prices. That’s the biggest dealbreaker for me, if they start c...
by finite_difference
Thu Apr 26, 2018 10:32 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Larry Swedroe: Financial Perils Of Old Age
Replies: 94
Views: 10879

Re: Larry Swedroe: Financial Perils Of Old Age

My grandfather lived to be 95 and said to me: “If I’d have done this right I would have dropped dead at 75.” My mother (gradpa’s daughter) is now 92 and the last few years have not been pretty: repeated falls, broken bones, mild dementia, hearing loss, the gamut. She planned ahead with a long-term ...
by finite_difference
Mon Apr 23, 2018 10:18 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Salary Negotiation gone sour
Replies: 98
Views: 10136

Re: Salary Negotiation gone sour

If they took someone else because of 3k/yr losing that job was actually positive for you. +1. Something is fishy about that company. You probably lucked out. That’s why I think it’s always good to negotiate for salary — the company’s way of handling it is a pretty good indicator of what it will be ...
by finite_difference
Mon Apr 23, 2018 4:34 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Nomadic lifestyle in their 50s
Replies: 101
Views: 10454

Re: Nomadic lifestyle in their 50s

Any thoughts? I wouldn't sell the condo until you've not used it for a significant amount of time to ensure it isn't needed anymore. I know a lot of people who travel 6+ months a year but all of them like having their own place to come back too now and then. Yeah I also would like to be semi-nomadi...
by finite_difference
Mon Apr 23, 2018 1:18 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: My taxable account is banged up. Need some help!
Replies: 20
Views: 2375

Re: My taxable account is banged up. Need some help!

You can switch from VBTLX (Vanguard Total Bond Admital) to VWIUX (Vanguard Intermediate Tax-Exempt) depending on your tax bracket. Honestly, I don’t think there’s anything really that bad about owning VBTLX in taxable because it’s a great fund and it’s low cost. There’s a Vanguard NJ municipal fund ...
by finite_difference
Thu Apr 19, 2018 7:51 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: What hedge strategies do you employ?
Replies: 29
Views: 2754

Re: What hedge strategies do you employ?

Clinical healthcare is recession proof, outside a few specialties like plastic surgery. There's always going to be a demand for doctors and nurses. We tilt away from biomedicine as a form of, uh, occupational hedging. The advancements here are in how not to deliver care -- so demand will not be the...
by finite_difference
Thu Apr 19, 2018 7:46 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: What hedge strategies do you employ?
Replies: 29
Views: 2754

Re: What hedge strategies do you employ?

I understand what you mean by hedging, but that is not the classical meaning of the word. I'm surprised no one mentioned it so far, that the riskiest stock for you is the one you work for. Since many people get stock awards, or options, or RSUs, it is unavoidable to an extent. And there are politic...
by finite_difference
Thu Apr 19, 2018 7:37 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Another discussion about private vs public schools?
Replies: 79
Views: 4546

Re: Another discussion about private vs public schools?

But how good is the private school compared to the best public school?

You may need to move back to the Northeast! ;)