Search found 886 matches

by sls239
Wed Apr 19, 2017 5:20 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Wife's Money - 50K - Her Advisor vs My DIY - Help
Replies: 67
Views: 5322

Re: Wife's Money - 50K - Her Advisor vs My DIY - Help

I'm still not clear on what this money is to be allocated for. I'm pretty sure it is not actually for a $50K vacation 5-10 years from now. Most families use some version of sinking funds for vacations - that is they allocate a monthly amount out of their current income and plan vacations approximate...
by sls239
Mon Apr 17, 2017 2:43 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Where to Invest 1st $2000 of Coverdell ESA
Replies: 8
Views: 376

Re: Where to Invest 1st $2000 of Coverdell ESA

The benefit a Coverdell offers is tax free growth . Investing aggressively and holding long term would maximize that benefit. Obviously if you are using a Coverdell specifically for primary and secondary school, you just won't get as much benefit. I don't know where you intend to open the account, b...
by sls239
Fri Apr 14, 2017 8:39 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: New Home - Design Center Options - making smart choices
Replies: 30
Views: 2228

Re: New Home - Design Center Options - making smart choices

I thought that cultured marble was the default for bathroom counters, not laminate. You may want to double check that. There's not really anything wrong with cultured marble. Common upgrades involve lighting - the pre-wiring for ceiling fans, undercabinet lighting, but also you may want more actual ...
by sls239
Thu Mar 23, 2017 2:58 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: What building year I should seek when shopping for a house?
Replies: 33
Views: 2481

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

I think that quality becomes pretty obvious in 10-20 year old homes. But also, neighborhoods tend to have a life-cycle. New neighborhoods tend to have very young children. Neighborhoods of 10 year old homes have a lot of 10 year old children. Neighborhoods of 20 year old homes tend to have a lot of ...
by sls239
Fri Mar 17, 2017 5:10 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Negotiating tips for selling condo to tenant
Replies: 35
Views: 2994

Re: Negotiating tips for selling condo to tenant

Have you considered that an investor might be interested in it right now with the tenants already in place? You might not need to wait until August. And I think that is the kind of opportunity that you might miss by not going with a realtor.
by sls239
Fri Mar 17, 2017 11:47 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Convincing Someone To Dump A Bad Financial Advisor
Replies: 39
Views: 3225

Re: Convincing Someone To Dump A Bad Financial Advisor

Basically what you need to do is focus on what will convince her which is very much not the same thing that convinced you. You could ask her if she feels comfortable having $X amount of her money invested in the stock market. You could ask her "So how did you and FA decide on that allocation?&q...
by sls239
Fri Mar 17, 2017 10:38 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Paralysis by Analysis
Replies: 12
Views: 1079

Re: Paralysis by Analysis

Do you find yourself needing the EF for expected but irregular expenses - like a major home repair or a medical deductible, or does your budget cover those adequately with "sinking funds" and still have $1600 surplus?

Is the car loan upside down?
by sls239
Fri Mar 17, 2017 10:29 am
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Is buying I-Bonds in Kids' name for College a good idea?
Replies: 5
Views: 384

Re: Is buying I-Bonds in Kids' name for College a good idea?

Well the bonds will legally be theirs and they won't be restricted to using it just for college tuition. And why do I-bonds interest you when college is just a few years away? There really isn't time for inflation to go really haywire is there? Why not just do a contribution to a 529 with a good bon...
by sls239
Fri Mar 17, 2017 10:19 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Suspicious organic products
Replies: 101
Views: 5654

Re: Suspicious organic products

Personally, I've decided to forego organic for most things, all else being equal, in favor of contributions to The Nature Conservancy. And I think that is a reasonable strategy type for someone who is unsure of what value they are getting from the organic label and not interested in making the time ...
by sls239
Fri Mar 17, 2017 10:01 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Does new job affect pre-qualifying for mortgage?
Replies: 18
Views: 1103

Re: Does new job affect pre-qualifying for mortgage?

If his income is sufficient, then they wont care at all about her income and that might be the easiest way to go about it if possible.

If not possible, the offer letter stating the annual salary should be enough.
by sls239
Wed Mar 15, 2017 11:30 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Surprise financial disaster, severe debt $300K caused by brother-in-law - Please help!
Replies: 212
Views: 39431

Re: Surprise financial disaster, severe debt $300K caused by brother-in-law - Please help!

You said you were trying to be "unemotional" about this, but attempting to ignore emotions in a situation that is legitimately charged with emotion can easily mean you are making emotional decisions, but doing so from a place of denial or fear and not actually a place of pragmatism. And ju...
by sls239
Tue Mar 14, 2017 1:19 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Time Saving Tactics: Kids Edition
Replies: 57
Views: 3675

Re: Time Saving Tactics: Kids Edition

There are ways to supervise children and get things done at the same time . You put the little one in a safe place, put on a audio book or some reasonably kid friendly music and get to work. You can even sing to your little one. Or you can talk to your little one about what you are doing. Or you can...
by sls239
Tue Mar 14, 2017 12:55 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Why don't things "feel" bubbly?
Replies: 76
Views: 8699

Re: Why don't things "feel" bubbly?

I think it is because the average American worker isn't in bubbly circumstances. And the below average are in dire straits. There's a county in my state with an unemployment rate over 17%. And so I guess you could ask yourself could the stock market specifically be de-coupled from the economic circu...
by sls239
Tue Mar 14, 2017 12:26 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Laminate flooring that looks like hardwood
Replies: 25
Views: 1596

Re: Laminate flooring that looks like hardwood

I only had a brief experience with Armstrong laminate, but I really liked it. Personally, I just don't go for the "distressed" look. It looked like hardwood, only more perfect. Nothing scratched it or even damaged the texture embossed on the top coat. I did manage to damage it, as when I w...
by sls239
Thu Mar 09, 2017 4:03 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Clawback of sales commissions earned
Replies: 42
Views: 2724

Re: Clawback of sales commissions earned

This is probably the most relevant page on TWC site.

http://www.twc.state.tx.us/news/efte/pa ... ments.html
by sls239
Wed Mar 08, 2017 7:51 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: 2017 Honda Civic not recommended by Consumer reports
Replies: 44
Views: 5540

Re: 2017 Honda Civic not recommended by Consumer reports

In my experience, even when a Honda has issues, they stand behind their product often extending warranties, issuing technical bulletins and the like.
by sls239
Tue Mar 07, 2017 3:22 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Paint kitchen cabinets or change wood floor color?
Replies: 11
Views: 942

Re: Paint kitchen cabinets or change wood floor color?

What color is the countertop? The walls?
by sls239
Tue Mar 07, 2017 3:12 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: When & how much to donate?
Replies: 94
Views: 5242

Re: When & how much to donate?

Philosophically, I think it is always a balancing act. I think that the odds are good that many charities can give a better "return on investment" than the stock market can. So I think that giving as soon as you are ready to part with the money is better than accumulating it. The reason to...
by sls239
Wed Mar 01, 2017 7:11 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Maxing out Roths vs starting 529s vs continuing extra mortgage payments
Replies: 12
Views: 1013

Re: Maxing out Roths vs starting 529s vs continuing extra mortgage payments

Can you get the house paid off entirely before the eldest starts college?

Cash flow is the only reason I see to continue the extra house payments, and it only works if you get the cash flow when you need it.
by sls239
Wed Mar 01, 2017 4:49 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Climate and happiness revisited
Replies: 111
Views: 7334

Re: Climate and happiness revisited

You are obviously missing the joy of nerf guns.
by sls239
Wed Mar 01, 2017 4:39 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Vehicle purchase
Replies: 43
Views: 2162

Re: Vehicle purchase

I strongly advise you to wait. There are day-to-day car things that will matter more that you might not be able to predict yet. For example some people like their children to be able to exit the vehicle independently by the time they enter preschool to facilitate drop-off. Other people have kids tha...
by sls239
Wed Mar 01, 2017 4:15 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Why can't I save enough to have decent vacation or restaurant meal
Replies: 125
Views: 11455

Re: Why can't I save enough to have decent vacation or restaurant meal

It's the mortgage.

That mortgage is 25% of your gross pay, the very top of what is considered do-able.

And you haven't mentioned what you pay for cars.
by sls239
Mon Feb 27, 2017 8:03 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: At what point is a used car worth it
Replies: 27
Views: 2904

Re: At what point is a used car worth it

I generally say about $7K difference in current value is the point at which the savings can outweigh the transaction costs, and you still have to be careful. So an $18K car down to an $11K car for example. But really, if a newer car is a financial burden, I'd suggest looking for a replacement that i...
by sls239
Thu Feb 23, 2017 2:39 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Staying at Disneyworld
Replies: 30
Views: 3322

Re: Staying at Disneyworld

We stayed at the Dolphin, used a towncar service to/from the airport which included a stop at the grocery store. We did our character meal as a breakfast, and pre-bought souvenirs from the Disney store - make sure you have one that lights up. I relied heavily on the crowd calendar and tools like tha...
by sls239
Thu Feb 23, 2017 1:18 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Honda: buy new or used?
Replies: 29
Views: 1508

Re: Honda: buy new or used?

You can go back all the way to model year 2013 and still get the same basic Accord design they are selling on new ones now. So there should be a lot to choose from going used, you should be able to get a decent deal. And if you want a higher trim level, those add-ons depreciate even quicker than the...
by sls239
Tue Feb 07, 2017 10:56 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Washer and dryer - upstairs or downstairs?
Replies: 52
Views: 3121

Re: Washer and dryer - upstairs or downstairs?

We've had both. The upstairs laundry was really good when I was staying home with a young baby / toddler. We had a bonus room upstairs that was a play area and of course naptime was an upstairs event. So I could do all the little loads during the day. I turned the buzzers off, and the rest acted lik...
by sls239
Fri Feb 03, 2017 1:18 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: How to save money on a minivan?
Replies: 44
Views: 3225

Re: How to save money on a minivan?

Because your kids are young, they are going to be in car seats for a long time and so will their friends. Pay careful attention to which seats in the minivan can have a car seat. You want LATCH on as many positions as possible. There are also vehicles that overlap the seat belts in such a way that o...
by sls239
Mon Jan 23, 2017 9:03 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: 2016 US Tax Q - Spousal IRA Deduct-ability and where to put $2K
Replies: 5
Views: 384

Re: 2016 US Tax Q - Spousal IRA Deduct-ability and where to put $2K

The child tax credit phase out, if applicable, is something to consider.
by sls239
Wed Jan 18, 2017 6:06 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Mortgage/Real Estate Questions
Replies: 2
Views: 359

Re: Mortgage/Real Estate Questions

Yes, yes, and yes. We've done all 3. But the only reason we were quick to buy this last time is because we were moving back to a place we had lived before, so we already knew the area. For a new area, you'll want to get to know it before purchasing. Even if that means, as it sometimes does, that chi...
by sls239
Tue Jan 17, 2017 7:55 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Buying new construction, looking for feedback
Replies: 3
Views: 759

Re: Buying new construction, looking for feedback

Are you familiar with what the HOA will be responsible for long term? Are the builders currently subsidizing it?
by sls239
Tue Jan 10, 2017 12:16 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Alaska cruise - Help me convince my family
Replies: 60
Views: 4516

Re: Alaska cruise - Help me convince my family

We did one a few years ago basically as an introduction to Alaska. We went in June and there was hardly any rain, it was sunny most of the time. And in Alaska in June, it is daylight for very long hours. It also wasn't windy. We spent a lot of time on deck because the scenery is just astounding (I'm...
by sls239
Tue Jan 10, 2017 9:06 am
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: How Bad was 2008, really?
Replies: 224
Views: 18740

Re: How Bad was 2008, really?

We had our son in 2006. 2007 was when I was supposed to go back to work. Instead, my spouse was laid off. And not just any layoff, they shut down the whole facility and put a hiring freeze on most of the rest of their facilities so no transfers were offered except for those very high up - and this w...
by sls239
Tue Jan 03, 2017 3:39 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Exterior Paint vs. Vinyl Siding
Replies: 24
Views: 1493

Re: Exterior Paint vs. Vinyl Siding

Do you get hail?
by sls239
Tue Jan 03, 2017 2:32 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Thoughts on this inverse living floor plan and building a home in general
Replies: 30
Views: 2565

Re: Thoughts on this inverse living floor plan and building a home in general

The good - The master is big enough to allow for the now recommended rooming-in of babies for the first several months, and many people like secondary bedrooms close to the master while the children are young. The downstairs room could be a nice playroom likely to be used extensively for play dates....
by sls239
Tue Jan 03, 2017 11:10 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Yellowstone Tours Vs. Self-Guided
Replies: 28
Views: 2413

Re: Yellowstone Tours Vs. Self-Guided

We were just there in September with our 10 year old son. The best hike we did IMO was the one to mystic falls and it was only a couple miles. Like PP said, the best moments seemed to be things that couldn't be predicted. Like we took part of a tour with the ranger in the upper geyser basin, but lat...
by sls239
Wed Dec 14, 2016 8:27 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: On-line order, in-store pickup
Replies: 27
Views: 2280

Re: On-line order, in-store pickup

In my experience, Staples was the absolute worst. I was there for about an hour and the store wasn't even busy. In fact, the store isn't even there anymore.
by sls239
Mon Dec 12, 2016 3:31 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Ideal two vehicle combo?
Replies: 73
Views: 6603

Re: Ideal two vehicle combo?

I'd just go with an Accord.

And many building supply places rent trucks for hauling what you buy home. If they don't, there's Penske or U-haul.

And for what it is worth - you can leave the baby carrier in the car. Most people do before too long, IME.
by sls239
Fri Dec 09, 2016 10:24 am
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Why not have an Emergency Fund in your Roth...(for those who can't max out anyways)
Replies: 22
Views: 2309

Re: Why not have an Emergency Fund in your Roth...(for those who can't max out anyways)

One reason might be that if they qualify for the retirement savers tax credit, they are possibly better off putting more money into a TIRA instead of less money in a Roth because the tax credit doesn't distinguish. But I think a single person with no dependents with $60K / year is probably out of th...
by sls239
Mon Dec 05, 2016 4:18 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Spouses and spending styles...
Replies: 53
Views: 5932

Re: Spouses and spending styles...

I fully agree with the idea of building up the EF. That was actually one of our goals until she decided we were going to stop doing that "building up the EF" doesn't sound like it has a definite end point. In order to move on to other goals, there must be an endpoint. So had you agreed on...
by sls239
Mon Dec 05, 2016 3:06 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Spouses and spending styles...
Replies: 53
Views: 5932

Re: Spouses and spending styles...

My suggestion is to just increase how much money you have in the EF to whatever level will make you comfortable. There's nothing wrong with setting your savings aside, setting your EF aside, and then spending every last dime of what's left. It shouldn't feel like "stretching" to do that. T...
by sls239
Fri Dec 02, 2016 10:02 am
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Life-changing event just happened. Seeking portfolio review and guidance
Replies: 35
Views: 2919

Re: Life-changing event just happened. Seeking portfolio review and guidance

I don't think you should make any changes to your allocation right now.

It is too sudden.

Give it some time to see what is likely to happen. Don't panic.

But you should adjust your spending.
by sls239
Fri Dec 02, 2016 9:52 am
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: What percentage of international do you hold?
Replies: 127
Views: 6948

Re: What percentage of international do you hold?

I have 20% of my equities in international. Mostly because well over a decade ago I had to pick a number and I picked 20%. I've seen the chart, yes, 30% looks better and if I were starting today I might pick 30%. But I don't think it is significant enough to change from 20%. Anyone have an updated c...
by sls239
Fri Dec 02, 2016 9:37 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: What Book Are You Currently Reading? Part VI
Replies: 2273
Views: 659929

Re: What Book Are You Currently Reading? Part VI

I'm reading The Big Picture by Sean Carroll, a physicist (not to be confused with Sean B Carroll, the evolutionary biologist). It is a sort of philosophy of science.
by sls239
Tue Nov 29, 2016 2:11 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Best Lightweight Binoculars under $200
Replies: 15
Views: 1060

Re: Best Lightweight Binoculars under $200

I have a pair of Nikon Travelite that my son has used since age 8. They are 8x25 though.
by sls239
Tue Nov 29, 2016 2:00 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Buying a Basketball Hoop
Replies: 11
Views: 988

Re: Buying a Basketball Hoop

Our cul-de-sac has one portable hoop. It has literally gone from house to house as people have moved in and out or gotten more or less interested in bball.
by sls239
Tue Nov 29, 2016 1:36 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: 529 Plans
Replies: 5
Views: 654

Re: 529 Plans

Are the grandparents within the income range to do an ESA? Those offer the flexibility of using it on qualified education related expenses in primary and secondary school.

They have a contribution limit of $2K / year, but there's nothing that says you can't do an ESA and a 529.
by sls239
Mon Nov 21, 2016 2:49 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Fly/Drive to Yellowstone
Replies: 21
Views: 2197

Re: Fly/Drive to Yellowstone

They release the entire next year's lodging every May.
Canyon Village is the one where you can actually reach all the major areas of Yellowstone, if you are looking for one place.
We flew in to Jackson as well.
by sls239
Fri Nov 18, 2016 10:00 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Portland or Dallas (Southlake area)
Replies: 36
Views: 3145

Re: Portland or Dallas (Southlake area)

I know political debates aren't allowed on here, but when I said education was political in Texas I meant it. There's a bill in the state legislature right now that would take away the ability of a school counselor to maintain confidentiality. I'm sure as a physician, you are aware of the importance...
by sls239
Thu Nov 17, 2016 10:30 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Portland or Dallas (Southlake area)
Replies: 36
Views: 3145

Re: Portland or Dallas (Southlake area)

So my brother lives outside of Portland and my sister lives outside of Dallas. My brother is actually a conservative and he loves living in Portland. He complains about liberals all the time, but he also thinks the rail system is awesome. He likes running and drinking craft beer and you can do a ton...

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