Search found 863 matches

by sls239
Thu Feb 23, 2017 2:39 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Staying at Disneyworld
Replies: 30
Views: 2941

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: 1341

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: 2922

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: 2924

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: 353

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: 322

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: 734

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: 4302

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: 189
Views: 12853

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: 1292

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: 2355

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: 2288

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: 2176

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: 6273

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: 2261

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: 5792

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: 5792

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: 2806

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: 6424

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: 2154
Views: 584902

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: 1002

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: 824

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: 624

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: 2125

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: 3024

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: 3024

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...
by sls239
Wed Nov 02, 2016 3:30 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Mortgage Question
Replies: 7
Views: 776

Re: Mortgage Question

Since you originally scheduled closing more than 30 days out, you could consider letting the rate float and continue comparison shopping for now.

Then lock the rate when closing plus 30 is within the lock period.
by sls239
Wed Nov 02, 2016 3:22 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Anything to do before ARM adjusts? [2017 Update: Reconveyance]
Replies: 11
Views: 1192

Re: Anything to do before ARM adjusts?

Oh I just got confused. I thought you were considering paying it off in December.
by sls239
Mon Oct 31, 2016 7:44 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Anything to do before ARM adjusts? [2017 Update: Reconveyance]
Replies: 11
Views: 1192

Re: Anything to do before ARM adjusts?

If you have an escrow account, you will want to review that. And if property taxes are due at the end of the year, you'll want to make sure you know who is paying them.
by sls239
Mon Oct 24, 2016 7:10 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Declining Service Expectations. Are there any excellent companies still out there?
Replies: 81
Views: 6722

Re: Declining Service Expectations. Are there any excellent companies still out there?

I think it is more noticeable now because there has been slow growth. Companies are still hesitant to add staff, and yet more people are interested in buying so there's more for the staff to do.
by sls239
Fri Oct 21, 2016 6:04 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: 15 year mortgage or 401(k)?
Replies: 29
Views: 2370

Re: 15 year mortgage or 401(k)?

We went with a 7/1 mortgage that offered a 30 year amortization but at the rate of a 15 year mortgage.

Right now we are paying at the 30 year rate and putting more into the 401(k).

But if interest rates were to go up significantly, we could reverse that strategy.
by sls239
Tue Oct 04, 2016 2:34 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Min. length of record of income for mortgage?
Replies: 11
Views: 1025

Re: Min. length of record of income for mortgage?

The first question to ask is if you can qualify for the loan based just on your spouse's income. And you might be surprised at how large a loan you can qualify for on just one income.

This is especially true if you have no other debts.
by sls239
Tue Oct 04, 2016 2:20 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: First time negotiating for a car. Have questions
Replies: 44
Views: 4582

Re: First time negotiating for a car. Have questions

In business-speak, you need a BATNA - best alternative to a negotiated agreement. If you are buying new, might as well start with something in the lower 1/3 of the distribution on the truecar graph. Just know the point at which you want to walk away because your BATNA is better. For the trade-in, se...
by sls239
Wed Sep 14, 2016 5:37 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Company clawing back retirement contributions
Replies: 59
Views: 7267

Re: Company clawing back retirement contributions

I'm guessing here but I suspect that there were differences in what was considered compensation for the purposes of matching, and that in practice, they did not adhere to what the plan documents defined as compensation. And it sounds like that would make it an operation failure. And part of that wou...
by sls239
Tue Sep 13, 2016 8:38 am
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: An "out of sample" test of two specific factor-based portfolios published pre-2008
Replies: 76
Views: 6086

Re: An "out of sample" test of two specific factor-based portfolios published pre-2008

So basically, only a few special people can do factor based investing correctly and they aren't sharing it with people in a way they could implement on their own.

Alright then.
by sls239
Mon Sep 12, 2016 5:22 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Recommend me an odorless antimicrobial surface cleaner for work
Replies: 16
Views: 1186

Re: Recommend me an odorless antimicrobial surface cleaner for work

One thing you need to understand is that the surface needs to be clean before it can be sanitized. So sprays are not going to be effective on surfaces. There are wipes that can both clean and sanitize, but they can't do both in one swipe. But I personally favor plain soap and water on a damp washclo...
by sls239
Thu Sep 01, 2016 4:16 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Magazines for young readers....
Replies: 18
Views: 1587

Re: Magazines for young readers....

Ask or Cricket.
by sls239
Tue Aug 30, 2016 2:08 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Car Shopping - Early 2000s Mid-Sized Car Reliability under $5k?
Replies: 37
Views: 2936

Re: Car Shopping - Early 2000s Mid-Sized Car Reliability under $5k?

My spouse drives an '04 Accord, 4 cylinder with about 2 50K miles on it. There have been some small repairs, a window motor, an O2 sensor. But in my experience, the parts have not been expensive nor labor intensive. And there haven't been any mysterious recurring problems or hard to diagnose glitche...
by sls239
Tue Aug 30, 2016 8:05 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: What is your system for dealing with coins?
Replies: 123
Views: 8667

Re: What is your system for dealing with coins?

The Oklahoma Turnpike Authority pretty much takes my entire year's worth of coins in the one or two trips I make each year.
by sls239
Wed Aug 17, 2016 5:03 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Double Income No Kids (but expect kids in future) - How much home can we afford?
Replies: 28
Views: 3097

Re: Double Income No Kids (but expect kids in future) - How much home can we afford?

Tooooooo soon to buy a house. Once you get your first kid then start looking. Until then you are just wasting your time and your money. Personally I think it's nice to be settled in before having kids. For example, finding the house when pregnant. Trying to find a house with an infant is not easy -...
by sls239
Wed Aug 17, 2016 2:38 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Help. My boss is expecting me to read her mind.
Replies: 53
Views: 4023

Re: Help. My boss is expecting me to read her mind.

She has to make sure that what they are reimbursing qualifies for reimbursement. The government can get in huge trouble for reimbursing an expense that is not reimbursable. Moreso than most private organizations. Remember that everything your boss does is likely very highly scrutinized as well becau...
by sls239
Mon Aug 15, 2016 4:11 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Request for recommendations: English Mystery TV series
Replies: 82
Views: 5722

Re: Request for recommendations: English Mystery TV series

Top of the Lake is good, but it's more like The Killing than Midsomer Murders.
by sls239
Mon Aug 15, 2016 3:47 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Double Income No Kids (but expect kids in future) - How much home can we afford?
Replies: 28
Views: 3097

Re: Double Income No Kids (but expect kids in future) - How much home can we afford?

I'm curious as to why you are interested in buying when you are expecting major changes in other areas of your life.

Might it not be better to wait until you are dealing with reality rather than expectations?

Buying too soon or buying wrong can be just as expensive as buying too much house.
by sls239
Mon Aug 15, 2016 3:37 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: buying used car smarter than buying new?
Replies: 89
Views: 5678

Re: buying used car smarter than buying new?

Don't believe the "rough calculations." I bought my car at a year and a half old, 14K miles for 28% less than the original purchaser. I know because the paperwork was still in the glovebox. Just understand that listed prices for used cars are jacked way up . They do that for two reasons 1)...
by sls239
Mon Aug 15, 2016 2:54 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Barrier to credit card warranty protection claim
Replies: 22
Views: 1827

Re: Barrier to credit card warranty protection claim

The account number should be on your credit report.

If the account number doesn't suffice, I'd file a complaint with the CFPB.
by sls239
Sat Aug 13, 2016 3:15 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Better to sell house ~ every 15 years?
Replies: 40
Views: 5169

Re: Better to sell house ~ every 15 years?

Unless you are lucky and find yourself in a fairly hot market, you'd probably have trouble selling a house with a 15 year old roof, HVAC, paint and carpet.
by sls239
Sat Aug 13, 2016 2:55 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Any lawyers out there. Bike hits car, minor and parents have no insurance
Replies: 91
Views: 7599

Re: Any lawyers out there. Bike hits car, minor and parents have no insurance

Can I tell you something about the clothing? Some poor kids need to be dressed nice because otherwise they risk being seen as a um, troublemaker. Please don't judge their finances on their clothing. (For adults, this also applies to cars). If you've never felt the need to dress a certain way to avoi...
by sls239
Sat Aug 13, 2016 2:23 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Going short to negate going long [socially responsible investing]
Replies: 59
Views: 3503

Re: Going short to negate going long

Thanks everyone for your responses, and especially Valuethinker for your in-depth analysis! You've definitely addressed my core question -- sounds like shorting is a terrible idea. And apologies for skirting the forum guidelines in my specifics -- I recognize the need to keep this forum neutral so ...
by sls239
Sat Aug 13, 2016 12:59 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: $67 Auto Lease??
Replies: 12
Views: 1757

Re: $67 Auto Lease??

How much would you be out if the car were totaled in an accident?

You don't want to be stuck paying the new car price and getting used car value from the insurance company.

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