Search found 755 matches

by hand
Thu Feb 11, 2016 10:57 am
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Sell or Rent House
Replies: 14
Views: 1040

Re: Sell or Rent House

It is unlikely that your preferred residence for 10 years is also a money making rental property. Your baseline option should be selling the house and realizing the tax free gain. As a side note, if you do keep the property, consider refinancing as an owner prior to converting to a rental to take ad...
by hand
Thu Feb 11, 2016 10:41 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: New Washer - Frontload or HE Top Load
Replies: 47
Views: 2796

Re: New Washer - Frontload or HE Top Load

I too would like to hear about actual (as opposed to hearsay) experience of a Speed Queen ownership. Consumer Reports rates these pretty low, so I am confused by all the raving I hear about them. The three Speed Queen top loader models listed on their website are $800, $900 and $1000, so definitely...
by hand
Fri Feb 05, 2016 10:04 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: The Coming Boglehead Zombie Apocalypse (LED bulbs)
Replies: 94
Views: 7133

Re: The Coming Boglehead Zombie Apocalypse (LED bulbs)

We are behind the times, have no LED bulbs, have no problems. I got a laugh out of your comment, and recognize that like any good comedy there is more than a kernel of truth - no doubt your lighting performance exactly meets your expectations. Unfortunately, my bet is that you've been institutional...
by hand
Thu Feb 04, 2016 10:56 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Purchasing Business Class Tickets
Replies: 37
Views: 3333

Re: Purchasing Business Class Tickets

If you would like business class, but don't need business class, consider booking economy / premium economy on a flight that is likely to have "vacancies" in business. Depending on airline and unfilled seats, when you check in, you may be presented with the opportunity to upgrade to busine...
by hand
Thu Feb 04, 2016 10:45 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: The Coming Boglehead Zombie Apocalypse (LED bulbs)
Replies: 94
Views: 7133

Re: The Coming Boglehead Zombie Apocalypse (LED bulbs)

Possibly more important than bulb color in many applications is the bulb's Color Rendering Index (CRI). An incandescent bulb has a CRI of 100, typical low cost LED is 80 or below CRI, but for a modest upcharge higher quality LED can be found with 92+ CRI. For interior lighting, I've been pleased wit...
by hand
Thu Feb 04, 2016 10:30 am
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Teacher's Retirement
Replies: 12
Views: 1255

Re: Teacher's Retirement

While this sounds like it is a good deal assuming the pension pays out as promised, it is hard to truly evaluate without understanding the underlying funding and stability of the specific pension plan. For example, the Michigan Public Schools Employees’ Retirement System (MPSERS) has an unfunded lia...
by hand
Thu Feb 04, 2016 9:13 am
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Muni bond ladder vs fund for large $$$$
Replies: 42
Views: 3140

Re: Muni bond ladder vs fund for large $$$$

Thanks for all great input. Lots of food for thought. "The question is will the actively managed ladder pay back the extra expense through superior performance?" That is the question, isn't it Yes this is at the heart of the issue. In theory if the muni bond market is efficient and there ...
by hand
Fri Jan 29, 2016 4:00 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Wouldnt you recast the mortgage at this stage?
Replies: 19
Views: 1696

Re: Wouldnt you recast the mortgage at this stage?

The only thing you can save is interest on your "extra" payments (less the tax deduction if applicable and interest you could have received from your high yield savings account/CD) between now and when the sale closes. For this minimal return, you a) have lots of nit-picky math to do to en...
by hand
Wed Jan 27, 2016 9:33 am
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: How to get out of our High Cost Investments, and to save for a house
Replies: 19
Views: 1263

Re: How to get out of our High Cost Investments, and to save for a house

2) I understand the desire to save for a house and the desire to save for college, but it is likely not tax efficient to be saving money in taxable when you don't appear to be maxing out your Roth or TSP. So, we should max out our Roth or TSP, but not necessarily both, right? I guess we feel like t...
by hand
Wed Jan 27, 2016 9:18 am
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: How to get out of our High Cost Investments, and to save for a house
Replies: 19
Views: 1263

Re: How to get out of our High Cost Investments, and to save for a house

5) With a 5 year time horizon, Roth funds could be withdrawn to pay for the house - if funding allows, (and especially if post-military work options include a significant pay and tax rate increase) I would work to increase Roth contributions now and pull from them for a house later if needed. I nev...
by hand
Tue Jan 26, 2016 9:57 am
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: How to get out of our High Cost Investments, and to save for a house
Replies: 19
Views: 1263

Re: How to get out of our High Cost Investments, and to save for a house

A coupe of things jump out at me: 1) It is difficult to provide definitive advice without understanding a) whether military pension is a likelihood, b) whether likely pension + personal retirement assets is sufficient to support your retirement needs 2) I understand the desire to save for a house an...
by hand
Fri Jan 22, 2016 12:16 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Credit Card or other plan for diamond purchase
Replies: 17
Views: 890

Re: Credit Card or other plan for diamond purchase

Cheapest way to buy a diamond from a major retailer is often a wire transfer which will allow the vendor to reduce price by cost of credit card fees. That being said, caveat emptor - many "major diamond retailers" simply slap their brand and marketing surcharge on sub-par diamonds and laug...
by hand
Fri Jan 22, 2016 11:53 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Questions about getting a dishwasher
Replies: 28
Views: 1356

Re: Questions about getting a dishwasher

Did you check the spray arms on your dishwasher? Maybe the orifices are clogged. If it has a screen make sure it's clean. Be a shame to throw out an appliance that might only need a little maintenance. Unless you just want a new one regardless. +1 Poor cleaning performance is often related to poor ...
by hand
Sun Jan 17, 2016 10:23 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Selling house, disappointed in realtors. Am I expecting too much?
Replies: 23
Views: 3135

Re: Selling house, disappointed in realtors. Am I expecting too much?

I would be infuriated to receive such poor service from supposed professionals... That being said, it is probably worth taking a moment to determine what little you really need from a realtor given that you are supported by a relocation package. The lack of professionalism on the part of the realtor...
by hand
Wed Jan 13, 2016 1:06 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Mortgage Math: 15% + extra payments vs. 20%
Replies: 13
Views: 1302

Re: Mortgage Math: 15% + extra payments vs. 20%

...I've toyed with the idea of putting 15% down and putting the remainder towards our retirement accounts and then paying an extra $2,000 towards principle for the first 6 months to get rid of PMI quickly. Beware, PMI is a fee that benefits the bank, not you. It is in the bank's best interest to ma...
by hand
Tue Jan 12, 2016 2:12 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Should I keep my term life insurance in force?
Replies: 22
Views: 1785

Re: Should I keep my term life insurance in force?

This is in essence an investment-- that's another way to conceptualize it. To be honest, at say 60, most of us (male) probably have a 0.5% chance of dying over 2 years. According to the following site, [remaining] life expectancy of a generic (US?) 60 year old male is 21.3 years and probability of ...
by hand
Tue Jan 12, 2016 8:56 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Should I keep my term life insurance in force?
Replies: 22
Views: 1785

Re: Should I keep my term life insurance in force?

ESPlanner says I don't need any life insurance, and that we could be spending more than our current budget. I'm sure my premature death would be a financial hardship for my wife, but it wouldn't have the devastating financial consequences my death would have had 7 or 8 years ago. These two statemen...
by hand
Mon Jan 11, 2016 3:26 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Pamplona Spain (Running of the bulls) Recommendations
Replies: 12
Views: 948

Re: Pamplona Spain (Running of the bulls) Recommendations

A couple of thoughts: 1) While $400 per person seems expensive, it seems likely that this cost includes some sort of insurance that you won't miss your boat. Don't discount this value! 2) As an alternative to a balcony view of the running of the bulls, which I'd assume provides for a very exciting c...
by hand
Wed Dec 23, 2015 9:27 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: New car lease without competitor lease
Replies: 3
Views: 455

Re: New car lease without competitor lease

One thought is to check out lease trader and assume the remaining 1 month lease of a competing brand. You'd tick the box of having a competitor's lease with minimal cost, though no idea of transaction cost or risk. Alternately, may be worth checking into the specifics of how a competitor's lease and...
by hand
Thu Dec 17, 2015 11:40 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Can I Afford an $800k Home on $4K/month Take Home?
Replies: 146
Views: 11080

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

My initial reaction is no, no, and heck no., however something drove me to actually play with the numbers. It appears you want to pay cash for the $800k house? $300k from the post-sale value of your current house + $500k from taxable savings? By rough math this leaves you with $250k in taxable + $40...
by hand
Wed Dec 16, 2015 3:27 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Buying used car from dealer, tell me your strategy
Replies: 36
Views: 3698

Re: Buying used car from dealer, tell me your strategy

dmbfan4life20, Sounds like you made out very good. It sounds like this was a new car? Bluebook list the car at about $20k, I doubt I can get it down $3k, in fact I believe margins are higher on new vs used. Thanks for the info. Margins are typically much larger on used cars. New cars are basically ...
by hand
Tue Dec 15, 2015 10:24 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Best noise cancelling headphones?
Replies: 47
Views: 3243

Re: Best noise cancelling headphones?

The Bose never worked for me, too big and bulky. I went with the Shure SE215, they are in the ear buds, very compact, come with a variety of tips to fit every ear, and are $90. The cables are very rugged, the are detachable if they need replacement, and there are no batteries to replace or switches...
by hand
Wed Dec 09, 2015 1:51 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Senior Housing Buy Or Mortgage
Replies: 8
Views: 691

Re: Senior Housing Buy Or Mortgage

Ultimately, this decision hinges on your ability to responsibly manage loan proceeds, actual inflation over the term of the loan, and your comfort with additional complexity & risk in your finances. If I had more than enough money for a secure retirement, I would buy in cash to simplify life, re...
by hand
Fri Dec 04, 2015 3:13 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Realtor Negotiating Advice
Replies: 44
Views: 3973

Re: Realtor Negotiating Advice

Per the Economist (quoting REAL Trends) Average Realtor commission in 2011 was 5.4% giving lie to the "standard 6%" that is often bandied about for realtor commission. Numerous considerations come into play when setting commission: Expected sale price of property Expected time and effort r...
by hand
Wed Dec 02, 2015 1:19 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Historically, was gold's "value" simply that it was a convenient, yet hard to counterfeit symbol?
Replies: 70
Views: 3582

Re: Historically, was gold's "value" simply that it was a convenient, yet hard to counterfeit symbol?

tludwig23 wrote:
Index Fan wrote:Scarcity is significant. Printing unlimited amounts of 'paper money' ends badly, as seen in history.


Please explain. When has printing paper money ended badly?


Zimbabwe - see my avatar!
by hand
Wed Dec 02, 2015 1:03 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Jason Zweig & Future of Real Estate
Replies: 19
Views: 3375

Re: Jason Zweig & Future of Real Estate

The chattering classes love to chatter. Oil will go up, oil will go down. Housing will go up, housing will go down. I find it hard to believe that we've entered "the new housing economy" or that the concept even truly exists outside of a need to sell adds and supporting "news" co...
by hand
Fri Nov 20, 2015 4:14 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: MBA dilemma
Replies: 41
Views: 2960

Re: MBA dilemma

If you intend to keep your current job, primary value of the MBA is signalling internally you're ready for bigger and better things - my preference would be to take the free MBA as branding will likely be irrelevant internally with people who know you and your work, plus you get lots of signalling v...
by hand
Fri Nov 20, 2015 12:49 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Recommended Snow Tires
Replies: 42
Views: 2539

Re: Recommended Snow Tires

I might as well get the best I can if I'm going to bother with winter tires. $120 more for the set isn't even worth a second thought to me when it comes to my safety on the road. How do you know your $120 got you anything better? Tire Rack reviews from amateurs who have not driven on both tires for...
by hand
Fri Nov 20, 2015 10:57 am
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: I'm Behind [saving for retirement]
Replies: 25
Views: 4263

Re: I'm Behind [saving for retirement]

Lots of good advice here... my two cents: 1) Don't get discouraged - even if you have a bit to go to get to the finish line, you're ahead of many and in fine position to finish 2) Take (continue) immediate positive action - max those retirement accounts and save anything additional you can in taxabl...
by hand
Thu Nov 19, 2015 10:47 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Recommended Snow Tires
Replies: 42
Views: 2539

Re: Recommended Snow Tires

My experience with Blizzak vs. X-ice mirrors that of the reviews that Blizzak is better in deep & frequent snow, while X-ice is better for occasional snows and better for dry pavement. I've been happy in PA with Blizzaks swapped on specifically for snowstorms, and X-ice used Dec - Mar. I'd love ...
by hand
Wed Nov 18, 2015 2:42 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Unsolicited FOR SALE SIGN at my property. Please advise.
Replies: 50
Views: 7857

Re: Unsolicited FOR SALE SIGN at my property. Please advise.

Those signs aren't cheap. Take it down, and toss in the trash. At least they'll be out the cost of replacing that sign. I don't understand the hostility in this thread. It might be a simple mistake, and losing the sign could be a significant hardship on someone. It wouldn't hurt to just call and as...
by hand
Wed Nov 18, 2015 12:37 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Has anyone gone from 0 to 100?
Replies: 55
Views: 6179

Re: Has anyone gone from 0 to 100?

Assuming the goal of becoming "godlike" is a bit of hyperbole, and you're really just looking to become self sufficient financially, the good news is that you're embarking on a path many here have already taken. Even better news is that you appear to be starting from 0 rather than a large ...
by hand
Wed Nov 18, 2015 11:43 am
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: ownership in a local business
Replies: 9
Views: 921

Re: ownership in a local business

On the offer sheet, they multiplied the EBITDA by 3, which means, at current profits, it will take three years for me to earn back my principal. Is this a fair deal? For your comment regarding payback of principle to be true the company would have to be exempt from paying Interest, Taxes, and not b...
by hand
Mon Nov 16, 2015 2:01 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: affordability metric? Total housing costs excluding principal?
Replies: 6
Views: 751

Re: affordability metric? Total housing costs excluding principal?

Since paying principal is akin to moving assets from one account to another, an affordability index should exclude that portion of one's payment - right? [Note: this is not a suitable analysis for cash flow purposes; it is only suitable for assessing affordability as a percentage of lifetime income...
by hand
Mon Nov 16, 2015 11:09 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Homeowners insurance for lost wedding ring
Replies: 31
Views: 2405

Re: Homeowners insurance for lost wedding ring

My understanding is that most homeowner's insurance works similar to the USAA experience posted above for jewellery losses - the appraisal specifies a "quality" of diamond / ring and then replaces with the cheapest piece of similar specs that meets your approval. There is a high risk that ...
by hand
Mon Nov 09, 2015 2:24 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: What would you do? (Personal/Family financial situation)
Replies: 55
Views: 4746

Re: What would you do? (Personal/Family financial situation)

1) Don't charge your brother / the estate to pick him up from prison; either do it out of goodwill, or don't do it at all. 2) Do get a quote in writing from a caretaking service to perform all of the house care you have been taking on yourself - this should be used as a celling of what you charge th...
by hand
Wed Oct 28, 2015 11:42 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Oil change - Auto shop or DIY
Replies: 113
Views: 6127

Re: Oil change - Auto shop or DIY

My local auto shop charges $22.85 in total for oil change and they don't upsell except if its needed and they give me a written estimate of the cost if something needs to be done. Am trying to decide the cost of doing oil changes myself since I have a 1 hour round trip to the auto shop. Except for ...
by hand
Tue Oct 27, 2015 7:58 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Washer died. Seeking recommendations for a top loader.
Replies: 65
Views: 4121

Re: Washer died. Seeking recommendations for a top loader.

Not to hijack the thread but trying to decide on mechanical vs. electronic controls? Apparently the SQ electronics have been used for years at laudromats so I'm assuming they're reliable? Plus, you get a 5 year warranty vs. 3-year on the mechanical ones. I've always thought electronic controls are ...
by hand
Thu Oct 22, 2015 8:10 am
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Is any of my capital at risk b/c of the Lawsuit
Replies: 22
Views: 2938

Re: Is any of my capital at risk b/c of the Lawsuit

My read of the complaint is that Vanguard is being accused of skirting taxes by doing work for themselves at cost rather than paying a third party profit. I don't think I'm breaking any laws when I "skirt taxes" by doing my own home improvements rather than paying a contractor for the work...
by hand
Wed Oct 21, 2015 3:01 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Refinance Mortgage = More Interest $?
Replies: 20
Views: 1221

Re: Refinance Mortgage = More Interest $?

Correct, it's the closing cost rolled into the loan. Yes, I plan on living there as far as I can foresee. I do plan on paying additional annual amount to help reduce the principal as some suggested. Thanks for the help everyone! Just as a tip: Since you already have a mortgage, make sure you approa...
by hand
Fri Oct 02, 2015 10:00 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Pseudo Finished Basement Heating
Replies: 23
Views: 1236

Re: Pseudo Finished Basement Heating

If you have concrete block walls, have you considered insulating the walls / rim joists as part of this project? In Michigan, there's likely eventual payback by reducing home heating costs, and would reduce the need for new heat in the basement. Dow Thermax White Face is in insulation product that d...
by hand
Thu Oct 01, 2015 8:31 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Places to buy furniture
Replies: 10
Views: 1092

Re: Places to buy furniture

If you're not on a strict timetable, and flexible stylistically, I second the used recommendation (craigslist, ebay, "vintage" stores) with an eye to heirloom quality furniture which often resells at pennies on the dollar vs. new premium, and at a substantial discount to new midrange. Find...
by hand
Thu Oct 01, 2015 8:28 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: How to keep track of billable hours as a consultant?
Replies: 24
Views: 1355

Re: How to keep track of billable hours as a consultant?

Not sure if it qualifies as more sophisticated than excel, but for billing in hourly or daily increments, with time formally recorded on a weekly basis, I was a fan of sticky notes - one color per client where I would jot date and time spent. Add the total at the end of the week, formally record, to...
by hand
Wed Sep 30, 2015 1:16 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Gas Water Heater Recommendations
Replies: 10
Views: 649

Re: Gas Water Heater Recommendations

Depending on your interest in geeking out on water heater minutiae, you might want to review your hot water usage needs and determine if a like for like replacement of your 50 gallon water heater makes sense. In some cases, a smaller high recovery water heater (or possibly a larger water heater) may...
by hand
Wed Sep 30, 2015 12:54 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Term4Sale quotes realistic?
Replies: 13
Views: 1087

Re: Term4Sale quotes realistic?

Term4Sale quotes were realistic (spot on) for me.

Unless you have some undisclosed medical issue, seems like you should be asking whether your State Farm quotes (and existing insurance rates) are realistic.
by hand
Fri Sep 18, 2015 8:15 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Tips for saving on major kitchen remodel
Replies: 59
Views: 3961

Re: Tips for saving on major kitchen remodel

I took the following approach when doing a kitchen remodel to save a bit: 1) Recognize that labor, cabinets and appliances are likely the largest portion of the budget - the rest is noise. 2) Understand cost drivers of each of the categories and decide where to spend and where to save (we spent on q...
by hand
Tue Sep 15, 2015 7:51 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Road trip: rent a mini-van or take my own?
Replies: 21
Views: 1820

Re: Road trip: rent a mini-van or take my own?

LiveSimple wrote:Again, the memories you create in this road trip in your own van will stay with your family for a long time (decades), that cannot be quantified in dollars.


I'm picturing sick kids, spilled food, dirty diapers etc.
For $300 I'd rent!
by hand
Tue Sep 15, 2015 7:46 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Buying a new house - Should I rent out my current house or sell?
Replies: 39
Views: 2912

Re: Buying a new house - Should I rent out my current house or sell?

I'd sell. Rental rate isn't high enough to justify keeping + not having enough to put down 20% on new home is a red flag / will likely cause you to pay PMI + tax free gains! If for some reason you do decide to keep, suggest refinancing current property while it is your primary residence to extract e...
by hand
Mon Sep 14, 2015 3:04 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Buying house - Exclusive buyer representation agreement
Replies: 10
Views: 717

Re: Buying house - Exclusive buyer representation agreement

I'm a Realtor. Listen to Watty at #2 - not this advice. First off, if you go through the listing agent you are not in dual agency unless you sign an Agreement to be represented. Otherwise the agent is acting as a Facilitator and is legally bound by a fiduciary duty to ONLY represent the interests o...
by hand
Mon Sep 14, 2015 2:26 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Buying house - Exclusive buyer representation agreement
Replies: 10
Views: 717

Re: Buying house - Exclusive buyer representation agreement

Boy, this is a difficult question to answer without significantly more information. If the agent has substantially assisted you in finding, viewing and vetting the house in question, and you believe they'll adequately represent you during negotiation and close, probably only fair to have them formal...

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