Search found 904 matches

by sls239
Fri May 19, 2017 10:25 am
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: mortgage down payment levels
Replies: 7
Views: 815

Re: mortgage down payment levels

I think that is just a response to the changes in PMI with FHA loans. That 11 years of PMI for having a 10% down-payment just invites banks to offer an alternative - a slightly higher rate but no PMI is my guess.
by sls239
Fri May 19, 2017 10:19 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Negotiating an apartment lease
Replies: 7
Views: 681

Re: Negotiating an apartment lease

Common things to ask for at lease renewal are updates that the vacant apartments are getting before being rented back out - like an appliance or flooring upgrade or a ceiling fan. If there is a clubroom or common space that has a use fee, you could ask for a free one-time use of that. And if you are...
by sls239
Wed May 17, 2017 9:20 am
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Fee help
Replies: 11
Views: 755

Re: Fee help

Here's what it sounds like to me - You have an investment option - that investment option lists an expense ratio. You are getting a refund of some of that - the "fee adjustment". Then the cost of administering the plan is being charged - the "plan administrative services" And bec...
by sls239
Wed May 17, 2017 9:03 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: How much house? How large of a down payment? Infinite permutations are driving me batty
Replies: 36
Views: 3062

Re: How much house? How large of a down payment? Infinite permutations are driving me batty

I think renting until the child is about 3 is a good idea. A lot of issues that are medically or educationally challenging become apparent by that age, but it still gives you plenty of time to find a house before school starts.
by sls239
Thu May 11, 2017 10:02 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: House Deed Covenant Enforceability
Replies: 39
Views: 2792

Re: House Deed Covenant Enforceability

Why would you want them to turn unsecured credit card debt into debt secured by the home they are living in, covenant or no covenant? I think it is a better strategy to just try and get the interest rates on the credit cards down and help them accelerate their payoffs. I've heard that some credit ca...
by sls239
Thu May 11, 2017 9:37 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: What home improvements are worth it
Replies: 37
Views: 5371

Re: What home improvements are worth it

I've replaced the kitchen faucet on the last 2 houses I've lived in. It is neither difficult nor expensive. You use that faucet every day, get one you like. Don't wait.
by sls239
Thu May 11, 2017 9:03 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Help my friend give away his estate
Replies: 34
Views: 4043

Re: Help my friend give away his estate

If the friend is going to wait until he dies to give the money away, why would he expect the children to not wait until they die to give that money away and so forth? My suggestion is to choose the best charities and give as much away as soon as possible. In theory, a good charity produces a much gr...
by sls239
Sat May 06, 2017 9:09 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Taking over lease of Luxury car, good deal? Anything else to know?
Replies: 19
Views: 1475

Re: Taking over lease of Luxury car, good deal? Anything else to know?

According to KBB, the depreciation for this car in year 1 is approx $16K, depreciation for years 2 and 3 is about $7K total. So based on that, I would say no, this is not a good deal. Buying a used one and driving it for a year and selling it would be a much cheaper way to try it out. https://www.kb...
by sls239
Wed May 03, 2017 4:46 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Need a car for 9-12 months
Replies: 21
Views: 1733

Re: Need a car for 9-12 months

Well if you aren't going to put many miles on it , I think it makes sense to look for a used vehicle that is newer but higher mileage. Then your low mileage evens it out, maximizing resale value.

And I'd go for a Mazda or Hyundai sedan so that you get a decent price but still good reliability.
by sls239
Wed May 03, 2017 4:33 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Time to upgrade bed/bath linens
Replies: 23
Views: 1994

Re: Time to upgrade bed/bath linens

I'd suggest Land's End for all of that. And another +1 on the percale if you want crisp. You should be able to get 20 - 30% off the standard price.

And the exception would be, if you use them, washcloths. I like thinner cheaper washcloths better.
by sls239
Tue May 02, 2017 3:21 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Where to Live on $60K or Less a Year?
Replies: 213
Views: 17962

Re: Where to Live on $60K or Less a Year?

My first thought before reading your list was, if you are a retiree, Bella Vista Arkansas. It is near Bentonville, which is already on your list, but a little more rural. The weather is really good there. My mom lived near there and didn't have a car and could make it to the grocery store on foot ye...
by sls239
Tue May 02, 2017 11:14 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Buying first home with old hvac
Replies: 92
Views: 3890

Re: Buying first home with old hvac

Generally, the age of a major component like the HVAC would be in the seller's disclosure form. Did you get that form? If not, I would say that is a bigger problem. If you did get it before you made the offer, then the age of the HVAC isn't an inspection issue.
by sls239
Fri Apr 28, 2017 8:51 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: 7 car noises you should never ignore
Replies: 23
Views: 3698

Re: 7 car noises you should never ignore

"I don't feel good."
by sls239
Thu Apr 27, 2017 9:50 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Summer vacation, Lake Ouachita, Hot Springs, AR
Replies: 12
Views: 983

Re: Summer vacation, Lake Ouachita, Hot Springs, AR

You could take him to the diamond mine or one of the quartz mines. You'd want to go as early in the morning as possible and bring a change of clothes. Personally, I thought Hot Springs was on the boring side for a young child. The hiking around on the bluffs is great though. I like to position littl...
by sls239
Thu Apr 27, 2017 9:16 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: putting more than 20% down on new home purchase
Replies: 30
Views: 3136

Re: putting more than 20% down on new home purchase

I think it makes more sense to try and funnel the money from the taxable brokerage account into tax advantaged retirement accounts instead of funneling that money into home equity.
by sls239
Thu Apr 27, 2017 8:46 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: When does it make sense to stop paying to repair your old vehicle?
Replies: 56
Views: 3914

Re: When does it make sense to stop paying to repair your old vehicle?

Well I don't know about where you live, but there are definitely areas of the country where what you can get for an older truck that runs has very little to do with book value. If you still use the truck portion of the vehicle, my guess is that it makes sense to keep it. If you don't really, then pa...
by sls239
Wed Apr 26, 2017 9:30 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: First Mortgage, need help with financial considerations (15 vs. 30 year)
Replies: 24
Views: 2059

Re: First Mortgage, need help with financial considerations (15 vs. 30 year)

Also, with an ARM, you can actually calculate how much extra principle you'd need to pay in order to guarantee the same or lower payment after adjustment by looking at the maximum adjustments. It may require less money to do that on a monthly basis than to make the 15 year payment. You just have to ...
by sls239
Wed Apr 26, 2017 8:56 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Advice for shareholder advocacy?
Replies: 3
Views: 270

Re: Advice for shareholder advocacy?

Is there a large shareholder group that is already doing advocacy? I think it might be reasonable to try and get the concern added to what that group is doing.

Strength in numbers and all that.
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: 5711

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: 429

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: 2478

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: 2573

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: 3125

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: 3417

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: 1133

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: 413

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: 5963

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: 1148

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: 219
Views: 42943

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: 3789

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: 8890

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: 1696

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: 2850

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: 5989

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: 981

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: 5500

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: 1055

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: 7647

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: 2263

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: 11757

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: 2973

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: 3434

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: 1592

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: 3287

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: 3312

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: 406

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: 369

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: 766

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: 4669

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: 19218

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...

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