Search found 960 matches

by hand
Thu Mar 23, 2017 12:01 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Help with my father's windfall
Replies: 17
Views: 1459

Re: Help with my father's windfall

Sorry for your loss. Please recognize that best practice with a windfall, especially when dealing with loss is to do nothing for a substantial period of time (multiple months). That being said, your plan of paying off outstanding debts seems reasonable, especially if your Father isn't financially so...
by hand
Wed Mar 22, 2017 2:52 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: How do I share internet with my neighbor?
Replies: 17
Views: 1304

Re: How do I share internet with my neighbor?

At one point, there was a popular solution using a Pringles can as a directional wifi antenna.

For the specific use case described here, I'd think a directional antenna (DIY or otherwise) would be a better match than (or perhaps a compliment to) a generic omnidirectional wifi extender.
by hand
Wed Mar 22, 2017 10:08 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Car Vandalism During Cross-Country Drive
Replies: 41
Views: 3197

Re: Car Vandalism During Cross-Country Drive

Park next to nicer cars with more better stuff?
by hand
Wed Mar 22, 2017 10:07 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: What building year I should seek when shopping for a house?
Replies: 32
Views: 2034

Re: What building year I should seek when shopping for a house?

I think this is a great question, though clearly not top priority or useful way of conducting a search for many. To some extent, desired build year(s) are a matter of picking your poison and preferences. On one hand newer houses are generally required to meet more stringent safety code standards, ha...
by hand
Wed Mar 22, 2017 9:31 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Car Vandalism During Cross-Country Drive
Replies: 41
Views: 3197

Re: Car Vandalism During Cross-Country Drive

Good suggestions up thread for reducing attractiveness / opportunity for break-in. To the extent that this is a financial question, recommend reviewing your insurance, and dropping deductible(s) to minimum for the period of your drive. Cost to do so is likely minimal, and will mitigate costs related...
by hand
Tue Mar 21, 2017 12:50 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Buying a second home in Florida- mortgage or purchase
Replies: 15
Views: 1174

Re: Buying a second home in Florida- mortgage or purchase

Have you considered the tax and legal implications of whether your Fla home is your second or primary home?
I believe Florida has some generous laws shielding assets tied up in a primary home. No idea what the other tax and legal considerations are, but likely worth some focused thought.
by hand
Tue Mar 21, 2017 11:12 am
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: TSP Loan for First Time Homebuyer
Replies: 32
Views: 911

Re: TSP Loan for First Time Homebuyer

What happens if you can't / don't repay the TSP loan?

Biggest downside here other than time out of market (assuming you can afford to borrow from your retirement accounts in the first place) is that you run into a job / health hiccup and your financial problems impact your retirement savings.
by hand
Tue Mar 21, 2017 10:42 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Any downside in buying a brand new house ?
Replies: 71
Views: 4443

Re: Any downside in buying a brand new house ?

In my experience, both buying and selling, I have only seen very thorough and complete inspections... always spot on and almost to the point of nitpicking. These have been inspections by the buyer and recommended by the buyer's realtor. Why would the buyer's realtor not recommend the best inspector...
by hand
Mon Mar 20, 2017 1:55 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Partial mortgage payoff, consolidation
Replies: 8
Views: 551

Re: Partial mortgage payoff, consolidation

Partial payment of existing mortgage is almost certainly a good thing. You give up receiving 1% interest, but stop paying 4% interest. Excluding tax implications (likely minimal), you realize a net 3% annual return on whatever you prepay with virtually no risk. A couple items to consider when determ...
by hand
Mon Mar 20, 2017 1:44 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Any downside in buying a brand new house ?
Replies: 71
Views: 4443

Re: Any downside in buying a brand new house ?

One thing to remember is that building codes are "minimum" standards. Many times it is beneficial to build to a higher level but not cost effective, for example upgrading to a higher capacity electrical panel, additional electrical outlets, better insulation,etc. Worth noting is that the ...
by hand
Mon Mar 13, 2017 10:20 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: gratuitous homeownership items
Replies: 210
Views: 15279

Re: gratuitous homeownership items

It appears the big loser in this thread is the giant, jetted bathtub. Swimming pools are a close second. Are you listening home builders? Not sure production home builders care even if they are listening... A jetted tub is a relatively cheap upgrade that presumably sells well. Whether it is actuall...
by hand
Mon Mar 13, 2017 9:36 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Flooring for Basement
Replies: 36
Views: 1924

Re: Flooring for Basement

I went with wood look porcelain tile for an occasionally flooded basement.
Not cheap, but and I haven't had a chance to live with it through a flood cycle, but I have high hopes.
by hand
Thu Mar 09, 2017 12:41 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Sizing a ductless min-split for basement
Replies: 58
Views: 2650

Re: Sizing a ductless min-split for basement

I'd still say its impossible to estimate over the 'net....are the walls insulated or not, to what R-value. Are the rims and sill sealed, insulated? Is the slab insulated, or not, R-value? The first two are more important than the last one. Unfinished and walls will be 2" of R5 so total R10 and...
by hand
Fri Mar 03, 2017 9:51 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Getting a feel for cost to build a home
Replies: 11
Views: 1159

Re: Getting a feel for cost to build a home

2 OTOH great values can be found on an older home where the former owner spent far above the market rate to build it. Of course, once accepting the higher costs of building "your own home", there's nothing like it. Something like the "new car smell". Putting the bathroom exactly...
by hand
Fri Mar 03, 2017 9:36 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Do Boglehead DIY or Pay a Professional?
Replies: 95
Views: 6854

Re: Do Boglehead DIY or Pay a Professional?

Overall I prefer to pay a professional these days, but the big obstacle is finding the right pro. This is an important point; the post title implies a false dichotomy. Options are often: 1) DIY the project / repair 2) DIY hiring and project management. Finding someone to do a quality job at a reaso...
by hand
Fri Mar 03, 2017 9:20 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Replace gas water heater with electric?
Replies: 40
Views: 2745

Re: Replace gas water heater with electric?

2. The recovery rate of a gas water heater (same size tank) is much quicker than electric This is a big deal for some use cases... Two people in a house with regular usage patterns, probably not a deal breaker. Frequently have numerous house guests who all want morning showers? You'll likely notice...
by hand
Fri Mar 03, 2017 12:21 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Do Boglehead DIY or Pay a Professional?
Replies: 95
Views: 6854

Re: Do Boglehead DIY or Pay a Professional?

I consider it a part time job which I can choose the jobs that have the return that I would like. (Cost for Pro - DIY cost) / # DIY Hours = Hourly DIY Rate If the hourly rate is acceptable, do it yourself. If not, hire a pro. Don't forget to adjust for the income taxes you don't have to pay when yo...
by hand
Thu Mar 02, 2017 11:32 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Want to downsize, best option for funding home improvements
Replies: 22
Views: 1159

Re: Want to downsize, best option for funding home improvements

One of the tricky things about renovating for sale is that it requires a chance in thinking from long term owner mentality to that of a short term investor. First - be sure the costs of the renovation are justified in terms of increased sales price / increases speed of sale. Realtors will typically ...
by hand
Wed Mar 01, 2017 1:06 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Vehicle purchase
Replies: 43
Views: 1840

Re: Vehicle purchase

Clearly there is an emotional appeal to a bigger "newer to you" vehicle. Balance that with the facts of the situation: 1) You don't need a larger car now 2) You are unlikely to have a new baby for another 9+ months 3) Newborns don't really take up a lot of space for the first year 4) Money...
by hand
Mon Feb 27, 2017 1:43 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Do Boglehead DIY or Pay a Professional?
Replies: 95
Views: 6854

Re: Do Boglehead DIY or Pay a Professional?

I started DIY for cost reasons, and kept at it for the sense of achievement, and because once you know how to do things the right way, it is often easier to DIY than to hire someone, and fix / manage their low quality work. Ultimately, navigation of a complex hierarchy determines my willingness to D...
by hand
Thu Feb 23, 2017 9:51 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Negotiating tips for selling condo to tenant
Replies: 35
Views: 2877

Re: Negotiating tips for selling condo to tenant

Extend current lease through early 2018 so lease termination coincides with your preferred selling season. Don't change rent as gesture of goodwill, but extract promise from renters to help with a small number of showings and increase strength of language (if legal) regarding penalties if tenant doe...
by hand
Wed Feb 22, 2017 3:35 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Maternity leave and Condo Loss = opportunity to liquidate taxable
Replies: 9
Views: 881

Re: Maternity leave and Condo Loss = opportunity to liquidate taxable

Make sure you understand the rental math...

1) As noted above - was loss during the period the property was a rental
2) Is this a property you owned for a while (I'm assuming yes as most property has gained in last 7 years) - if so, be sure your "loss" is net of recaptured depreciation
by hand
Sat Feb 18, 2017 6:34 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Induction cooktop impressions?
Replies: 31
Views: 1713

Re: Induction cooktop impressions?

I did similar research in the past, and came to the conclusion that quality induction was likely equal to or better than gas in many cases. Hidden negatives / surprises I read about were as follows: 1) Occasionally users noted a buzzing sound from the stove / pots when cooking 2) Glass top less dura...
by hand
Wed Feb 15, 2017 3:54 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Currently an Edward Jones client and need some advice
Replies: 32
Views: 2292

Re: Currently an Edward Jones client and need some advice

I asked him is edward Jones isn't required to act in their clients best interest and they have me in funds where they get a kickback, how do I know the only reason I'm in those funds isn't because of the kickback they get and that they aren't required to act in my best interest. All he said was he ...
by hand
Tue Feb 14, 2017 5:37 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: First time home buyer advice
Replies: 16
Views: 1462

Re: First time home buyer advice

FYI a family member reports that Well Fargo sent a letter saying PMI ~$40/month, won't automatically drop off until original LTV is 78%, 20 months from now - $800 total. Or she can pay WF a $550 fee right now to re-appraise to confirm she is at or below 80% to get the PMI dropped now. Another squee...
by hand
Mon Feb 13, 2017 10:13 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: 1 pay check/3 people, making sense of LI
Replies: 3
Views: 708

Re: 1 pay check/3 people, making sense of LI

At a high level, what you've described: $X needed for next 7 years of living expenses if your spouse dies now + $Y needed further in the future for college expenses can be handled one of two ways: 1) One insurance policy for $X + $Y dollars (possibly adjusted for inflation / time value of money) las...
by hand
Tue Feb 07, 2017 8:16 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Disney Cruise instead of Disney World?
Replies: 45
Views: 4114

Re: Disney Cruise instead of Disney World?

There's no chance we'd pull our son out of school for a vacation. Thank you. I can't believe that there are people that attach so little importance to their childrens' education that they would even consider this. We took our daughter to Disney World when she was five and then had to take her back ...
by hand
Mon Feb 06, 2017 4:49 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: First time home buyer advice
Replies: 16
Views: 1462

Re: First time home buyer advice

Realtors say they take 6%. Data (albeit somewhat dated) shows they take between 5% & 5.4% in the internet era (post 2000) http://www.economist.com/node/21554204 https://www.justice.gov/atr/competition-real-estate-brokerage-industry (see table 1) First step in keeping hands out of your pockets is...
by hand
Thu Feb 02, 2017 11:39 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Are Defined Benefit Plans a rip off?
Replies: 49
Views: 4127

Re: Are Defined Benefit Plans a rip off?

A defined benefit plan is usually through an employer. What this sounds like is an annuity. An annuity purchased before you need it and through a "financial advisor" is almost certainly a bad deal. You are right to be concerned. JT Thank you. This is a private "defined benefit plan&q...
by hand
Mon Jan 30, 2017 10:38 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Please tell me if I can afford this Porsche
Replies: 81
Views: 5303

Re: Please tell me if I can afford this Porsche

Your household makes more then $1mm annually and your asking if you can afford a $75k car? That's exactly what I'm asking. I think sometimes folks find it hard to fathom the astounding cost of living differences that can exist within our country. We make about $1M, yes. Our actual after-tax take-ho...
by hand
Fri Jan 27, 2017 11:44 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Cashing out for 2017 expenses while market is high?
Replies: 33
Views: 3219

Re: Cashing out for 2017 expenses while market is high?

Though I would've thought the wise thing to do would be to always have at least a year's worth of expenses in cash in order to weather a market downturn without having to pull cash when it's low. The problem with that strategy is that you're foregoing the expected return on that money every moment ...
by hand
Fri Jan 27, 2017 9:17 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: 75 gallon hot water heaters
Replies: 40
Views: 2566

Re: 75 gallon hot water heaters

It is a gas water heater. So far it seems like it gives plenty of hot water, and is only set on medium. Maybe there was a problem with the old one. We are in a big sprawling one story house. The water heater is in the basement, in the middle of the house. It is a long way for the water to go to the...
by hand
Thu Jan 26, 2017 8:21 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: 75 gallon hot water heaters
Replies: 40
Views: 2566

Re: 75 gallon hot water heaters

With 4 people taking showers within 15-minutes of each other, my 50-gallon electric water heater just could not handle it unless I turned the thermostat up very high. I installed an 80-gallon water heater a few years ago, before the new regulations. Switch to low-flow shower heads. I'll try that wh...
by hand
Thu Jan 26, 2017 11:43 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: 75 gallon hot water heaters
Replies: 40
Views: 2566

Re: 75 gallon hot water heaters

Depending on your use case, a high recovery 50 gallon may meet your needs as well as or better than a 75 gallon tank.

Do you need a lot of water all at once (fill a large tub), or is it multiple uses (laundry, dishwashing, multiple showers) in quick succession?
by hand
Thu Jan 26, 2017 11:34 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Is there a best way to buy a new vehicle that's not on the lot yet?
Replies: 24
Views: 2544

Re: Is there a best way to buy a new vehicle that's not on the lot yet?

To me, there is an important distinction between scarce (not many exist for sale) and rare (in demand due to scarcity). While you use the colloquial "rare" in your post, I think what you are describing is a scarce, but not particularly in demand truck. I would consider (and probably cross-...
by hand
Thu Jan 26, 2017 10:33 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Moving into a rental before current occ closes
Replies: 9
Views: 738

Re: Moving into a rental before current occ closes

You should be worried. In all likelihood things will work out fine, however you are in a situation where you are dependent on a specific move-in date, but the landlord who rented you the property has no way to guarantee the property will be available on that date because they have no way to compel t...
by hand
Wed Jan 25, 2017 9:56 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Visiting Princeton/Philadelphia, where to stay
Replies: 24
Views: 1445

Re: Visiting Princeton/Philadelphia, where to stay

Sounds like a college visit? If so, I'd think you'd want to spend more time in Princeton than the average visitor to get a real feel for the school, the town and the people. I'd consider 2 nights in Princeton, then train into Philadelphia (direct from Trenton assuming you have a car, slightly more c...
by hand
Tue Jan 24, 2017 1:30 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Best Places to Live in US?
Replies: 123
Views: 11505

Re: Best Places to Live in US?

I second the suggestion of ranking priorities before going down the rabbit hole of where is best... Typically, decision criteria are ordered something like the following: 1) Where is good work available 2) Where are there good school options for the kids that I can afford 3) Where is current family ...
by hand
Tue Jan 24, 2017 10:16 am
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Pickle - how to disengage advisory services
Replies: 19
Views: 2023

Re: Pickle - how to disengage advisory services

When you're in a hole, first thing to do is stop digging: 1) Stop any new contributions 2) As noted above, turn off dividend reinvestments Second, get strategic about reducing influence of the advisor including ability to churn you into frontloaded funds / charge closure fees (Order of the following...
by hand
Mon Jan 23, 2017 5:00 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Getting my electricity usage under control
Replies: 34
Views: 3775

Re: Getting my electricity usage under control

Do you have a "spare" refrigerator or freezer in the basement? These are absolute electricity sucking devices. If you figure you're saving money by buying meat and freezing it for later use, do the math. You may not be saving anything because the freezer is always using electricity. Is th...
by hand
Mon Jan 23, 2017 3:56 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Investing advice for recently widowed 62 yr old Man
Replies: 7
Views: 990

Re: Investing advice for recently widowed 62 yr old Man

Standard (and good) guidance is not to make any big changes immediately after a loss. Using cash to max tax beneficial accounts sounds like a really good plan, and drag of cash over a couple years won't be too bad, though there may be short term bonds that are likely to yield slightly better return ...
by hand
Mon Jan 23, 2017 12:31 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: When to proactively replace water heater
Replies: 60
Views: 5987

Re: When to proactively replace water heater

It's on our list for replacement this year, when we have the money set aside for it or when it dies--whichever comes first. Since it's in the basement, in an unfinished area, less than a foot away from a floor drain, it's not going to cause a lot of damage if it ruptures or leaks. If we have room i...
by hand
Fri Jan 20, 2017 12:14 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Where to get $100k for home remodel?
Replies: 34
Views: 3781

Re: Where to get $100k for home remodel?

401(k) loan? Liquidate some Roth (and potentially pay back)? Potential for misuse is high, and I understand why many are passionately against anyone ever touching retirement assets, but both seem to be reasonable options to me for people who have overfunded / are ahead of the game in their retiremen...
by hand
Thu Jan 19, 2017 4:02 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Am I evaluating rental profitability correctly in terms of depreciation?
Replies: 6
Views: 592

Re: Am I evaluating rental profitability correctly in terms of depreciation?

I'm having a really hard time wrapping my head around Section 8 tenants in a Historic district with an activist historical commission. As it stands now, you are spending money to be the buffer between the historical commission and the long term, terminally ill residents. Is there any way to either a...
by hand
Mon Jan 09, 2017 11:03 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Desktop PC monitors
Replies: 13
Views: 1218

Re: Desktop PC monitors

Have you considered an ultrawide monitor? Also be aware that a bigger monitor may not be able to display more information if resolution is identical (e.g. 2560 × 1440-pixel resolution). Monitor size decisions are really a function of your eyesight and distance from the monitor (and budget). If you n...
by hand
Thu Jan 05, 2017 8:48 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: A kitchen timer made in the USA.........
Replies: 22
Views: 1866

Re: A kitchen timer made in the USA.........

I'm a fan of the Thermoworks triple time stick and single time stick, though unclear of manufacturing location.

These are clearly products designed by engineers to work well vs. lots of the junk that is made to meet a price-point and marketing bullet points irrespective of functionality.
by hand
Thu Dec 22, 2016 10:27 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Reliable washer/dryer brands
Replies: 42
Views: 3161

Re: Reliable washer/dryer brands

Just took delivery two weeks ago of matching Speed Queen top-load washer (with agitator) and electric dryer, both with electronic controls guaranteed for five years. Manual controls are guaranteed for three years. Niece bought same set a little over a year ago and loves them. You won't find Speed Q...
by hand
Tue Dec 20, 2016 9:23 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Water Heater Install $1,800!
Replies: 50
Views: 5031

Re: Water Heater Install $1,800!

Well called the guy to price match. He basically said you need to compare apples to apples. He installs Bradford White WHs, he could get Rheems but the customer service, warranty, and quality of Bradford Whites are superior to Rheems. After the standard un-educated google search I pretty much found...
by hand
Mon Dec 19, 2016 10:07 am
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Concept of Bogleheads needing to "Save more"
Replies: 61
Views: 5157

Re: Concept of Bogleheads needing to "Save more"

Hello, Like many other bogleheads, I'm often trying to advise friends and family members to follow this type of investing. That being said, I've noticed something in the commonly stated bogleheads principals and don't fully understand the need for it. To put it simply, why does it constantly need t...
by hand
Fri Dec 16, 2016 9:18 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Benefits/longevity of more expensive ($300+) mens dress shoes?
Replies: 40
Views: 3036

Re: Benefits/longevity of more expensive ($300+) mens dress shoes?

Also, would the Peal shoes and cordovan at BB be worth extra cost? I'm a huge fan of shell cordovan as it wears like iron, keeps a shine and requires minimal care and polishing vs. more traditional leather. ~$300 premium for cordovan is likely not "worth it" for many, but for a lifetime p...

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