Search found 257 matches

by snackdog
Mon May 21, 2018 5:10 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Best used SUV, Wagon, Hatch, Pickup under $10k
Replies: 15
Views: 1267

Re: Best used SUV, Wagon, Hatch, Pickup under $10k

Great advice everyone and some good links. I think I can eliminate the truck. I can borrow a truck or worst case rent one off Turo for $30/day for hauling mulch or something. The bike is more important and will fit in many vehicles with fold down seats. I'm not sure my frugality extends all the way ...
by snackdog
Mon May 21, 2018 3:25 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Best used SUV, Wagon, Hatch, Pickup under $10k
Replies: 15
Views: 1267

Best used SUV, Wagon, Hatch, Pickup under $10k

My frugal tendencies are stronger than my "cool car" tendencies. We will be buying a car soon and seek your recommendations. Criteria 1) Cost. Under $10,000. 2) Reliability. The less time and cost for service the better. Ideally oil changes only. 3) Safety. Prefer a 4 or 5 star safety rating. 3) Dog...
by snackdog
Wed May 16, 2018 3:00 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: how do you tip on wine at a restaurant
Replies: 152
Views: 8043

Re: how do you tip on wine at a restaurant

15%-20% on the total bill. If the wine is cheap it doesn't matter. If it is a $10,000 bottle, you can afford the tip, otherwise drink it at home. $5 per person reminds me of my grandfather. He tipped 25 cents per person, regardless of the bill or venue. Coffee shop donuts? 25c/pp. Steak dinner? 25c/...
by snackdog
Wed May 16, 2018 11:11 am
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Friend says "Stock market will crash, invest in silver" - thoughts?
Replies: 127
Views: 7531

Re: Friend says "Stock market will crash, invest in silver" - thoughts?

Your friend is potentially in good company because as recently as the late 70s people have made fortunes off silver investments. The daring Hunt brothers of Texas managed to corner the silver market (no small feat) and made themselves an estimated $4 billion profit. A few million was later clawed ba...
by snackdog
Tue May 15, 2018 12:38 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: How can I clear $40-60,000/yr with $1,000,000 cash... Low Risk?
Replies: 71
Views: 10400

Re: How can I clear $40-60,000/yr with $1,000,000 cash... Low Risk?

Seriously though has noone mentioned annuity option. I'm betting the op could spent a million dollars and easily buy an annuity that would pay him 40k after tax a year. A 40 year old could buy an annuity for 1 million that pays 46k a year for life. If he is old enough he could get an annuity that p...
by snackdog
Thu May 10, 2018 7:54 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Leasing analysis - am I missing anything?
Replies: 7
Views: 913

Re: Leasing analysis - am I missing anything?

If you google around you will see people getting the same car for $0 down and $224/month.
by snackdog
Thu May 10, 2018 4:28 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Lifting Heavy Objects onto a Vehicle Cargo Tray; Need Ideas!
Replies: 28
Views: 1898

Re: Lifting Heavy Objects onto a Vehicle Cargo Tray; Need Ideas!

Options -

1) sell them with the condition the buyer pick them up at your place
2) get someone strong to lift them for you and/or use enough people to lift safely
3) borrow a hydraulic engine hoist from a friend (need to find way to take it to delivery location)
by snackdog
Thu May 10, 2018 4:22 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Which cordless weed whacker to buy?
Replies: 49
Views: 3186

Re: Which cordless weed whacker to buy?

Have you considered non-power tools for the job? Would spare the neighbors the noise and get you a lot more exercise.
by snackdog
Tue May 08, 2018 3:03 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: How much car to buy on $250K income, $200K NW, newborn on the way
Replies: 78
Views: 5927

Re: How much car to buy on $250K income, $200K NW, newborn on the way

I prefer saving to throwing money at cars. I definitely would not go over $10,000 (5% of net worth) which can actually get you a great second hand car these days.
by snackdog
Mon May 07, 2018 1:05 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Bucket List Adventures/Activities
Replies: 110
Views: 7830

Re: Bucket List Adventures/Activities

I guess we are getting old (50) and boring but we sort of side with Carl from "An Idiot Abroad" who considers most of the Wonders not so Wonderful in person as they are in the brochure. Nice reading the lists but nothing really grabbed my attention. We have enjoyed most of the US including national ...
by snackdog
Fri May 04, 2018 7:13 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Car rentals, what is the catch?
Replies: 25
Views: 2091

Re: Car rentals, what is the catch?

Just read the reviews for U-save and Priceless on Yelp. They are hilarious. And terrible!

https://www.yelp.com/biz/u-save-car-and ... ave+rental
by snackdog
Fri May 04, 2018 4:39 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Need advice on $5M property sale
Replies: 39
Views: 3979

Re: Need advice on $5M property sale

For $300K maybe it's worth getting your own real estate license.
by snackdog
Fri May 04, 2018 3:02 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: How old is too old for a vehicle, even for a well running one ?
Replies: 83
Views: 4903

Re: How old is too old for a vehicle, even for a well running one ?

If you maintain them properly, there really is no limit. I wouldn't hesitate to daily drive a car from the 1950s or 60s under the right conditions, those conditions being not a lot of congested highway commuting. For typical American suburban/urban commuting I would prefer something newer from, say ...
by snackdog
Thu May 03, 2018 2:49 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: If you really like the CR-V, you should check out the [_____]
Replies: 79
Views: 6248

Re: If you really like the CR-V, you should check out the [_____]

JD Power is pretty useless, and it doesn't measure quality or reliability at all, it measures satisfaction. Here's a great article explaining that, but i'll summarize below: JD Power is literally the benchmark for the auto industry. The gold standard. Every major automaker buys into it and many eve...
by snackdog
Wed May 02, 2018 12:07 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: If you really like the CR-V, you should check out the [_____]
Replies: 79
Views: 6248

Re: If you really like the CR-V, you should check out the [_____]

JD Powers is the best source of reliability for new vehicles. Otherwise, you have to purchase a 5-10 year old vehicle.
by snackdog
Wed May 02, 2018 10:50 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: If you really like the CR-V, you should check out the [_____]
Replies: 79
Views: 6248

Re: If you really like the CR-V, you should check out the [_____]

The 2017 Mazda CX-3 scored dead last in JD Powers initial quality ratings for miniature SUVs. Honda CR-V is in the slightly larger "compact" SUV group and was middle of the pack.

http://www.jdpower.com/cars/study/2017- ... t-SUV/1081
by snackdog
Tue May 01, 2018 4:29 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Nontraditional Cruising
Replies: 21
Views: 2303

Re: Nontraditional Cruising

If you are not too price sensitive, the cruises the National Geographic Society does are simply top notch. Small boats and great lectures and excursions.

If you are older, you may also like the the Elderhostel cruises although they are heavy on noisy, white-haired Americans from the heartland.
by snackdog
Tue May 01, 2018 7:44 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: What is the maximum social security benefit?
Replies: 32
Views: 4451

Re: What is the maximum social security benefit?

Since most people do not achieve the compensation ceiling for max benefit during at least their first several years, one is faced with 40 years or more of work to get max SS benefits. Seems like a long time to work!
by snackdog
Tue May 01, 2018 4:27 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: If you really like the CR-V, you should check out the [_____]
Replies: 79
Views: 6248

Re: If you really like the CR-V, you should check out the [_____]

Kia Sorento if you don't mind something a bit larger, better looking with more features and a fabulous warranty.
by snackdog
Tue May 01, 2018 4:22 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Signed Car Lease, Dealer calls later asking for a CO-SIGNER despite excellent credit
Replies: 180
Views: 17327

Re: Signed Car Lease, Dealer calls later asking for a CO-SIGNER despite excellent credit

If you both have "great credit" then why not have both names on both car lease and mortgage? The combined income would help in both cases. In other words, adding his name to the mortgage could be beneficial even with the car lease in place. If joint debt/income is not an issue after adding the car l...
by snackdog
Tue May 01, 2018 3:43 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Moving to The Woodlands,TX
Replies: 49
Views: 5669

Re: Moving to The Woodlands,TX

The defining characteristic of The Woodlands is that it is a large "master-planned community" conceived of by a famous oil man. If those types of places suit you, it is one of the bigger and better ones. If they don't suit you, run away, as this one is full on regarding rules and uniformity. It is s...
by snackdog
Mon Apr 30, 2018 3:32 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: AF pilots and retention bonus, glad you stayed or happy you went?
Replies: 27
Views: 3637

Re: AF pilots and retention bonus, glad you stayed or happy you went?

Is there any way one of you can retire and start an industry career while the other remains 10 more years to secure the lifetime healthcare benefits? If this could be managed it might hedge your bets and give you a bit of the best of both worlds.
by snackdog
Sun Apr 29, 2018 4:06 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Yet another New York restaurant thread - wanting unique ideas
Replies: 2
Views: 499

Re: Yet another New York restaurant thread - wanting unique ideas

- Caribbean - Negril Village - African that is not Moroccan or Ethiopian (we like ‘em, but have already done ‘em) - Braai - Latin American - Victor's Cafe - Malay or Indonesian Nyonya - Central Asian Ariana - kid friendly jazz/music club with something halfway decent worth seeing in the early eveni...
by snackdog
Thu Apr 26, 2018 4:26 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Comfortable Commuter Cars under $50K
Replies: 81
Views: 5745

Re: Comfortable Commuter Cars under $50K

Subaru seats can be brutal. The Lexus IS the way to go for comfort, value and reliability. The Germans will have you spending your life at service centers.
by snackdog
Thu Apr 26, 2018 5:26 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Who benefits from "best and final offer" on condo?
Replies: 107
Views: 5941

Re: Who benefits from "best and final offer" on condo?

Fire your realtor. She does not understand how properties are bought and sold in a hot market.

Best and final after initial bids is quite common. Selling agents will promise to get the deal signed in so many days from the first open house. Speed counts.
by snackdog
Wed Apr 25, 2018 6:31 am
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Is there any app/software that neatly tells you daily gains/losses?
Replies: 19
Views: 1755

Re: Is there any app/software that neatly tells you daily gains/losses?

I use SigFig.com for this, so I can obsess hourly over every change in the market and re-forecast my retirement date based on the latest market movements. It can also be useful to get a feel for the magnitude of daily changes. Most are small but every so often a giant whoppergtherup or down.
by snackdog
Sat Apr 21, 2018 6:59 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Is Los Angeles a good place long term to live financially?
Replies: 198
Views: 15318

Re: Is Los Angeles a good place long term to live financially?

I spent a summer working in LA and loved it. I shared a three-bedroom house 1/2 a block from the beach at Marina del Rey. I think it was about $500/month. I commuted downtown with a friend and I think we were able to use a carpool lane so that worked ok. We were home in the afternoon in time for a c...
by snackdog
Wed Apr 18, 2018 8:08 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: How old are you and how much do you save for retirement a year
Replies: 244
Views: 29333

Re: How old are you and how much do you save for retirement a year

We are expats, so normally around 100% of gross bass pay plus stock. Bonus goes to pay taxes. Live off expat benefits.
by snackdog
Sat Apr 14, 2018 3:47 am
Forum: Local Chapters and Bogleheads Community
Topic: Improving Local Boglehead Chapter Meetings
Replies: 19
Views: 2078

Re: Improving Local Boglehead Chapter Meetings

Do you have a charter or terms of reference for your group? Do you have strategic objectives? Measures? Have you considered a treasury to fund meetings and improve them? I was a member of an informal group which met monthly. The organizer did two things. First, we arranged venues which would provide...
by snackdog
Wed Apr 11, 2018 8:24 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Power of Attorney real estate sales
Replies: 4
Views: 416

Re: Power of Attorney real estate sales

An attorney is always a good idea in real estate. Many buy and sell without them (I have as well) but there is always potential for problems which can be greatly mitigated by using an attorney. They are not expensive and although the risk of a problem is small, the consequence can be huge. A buddy o...
by snackdog
Wed Apr 11, 2018 2:51 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Honda reliability slipping?
Replies: 31
Views: 3907

Re: Honda reliability slipping?

The most reliable source of dependability info/prediction on new cars is the JD Powers initial quality study. For 2017 Honda and Acura both ranked in the bottom half. However, in 2017 the industry average was 97 problems per 100 vehicles, so Honda at 105 was low and just ahead of Dodge. In 2008, ind...
by snackdog
Sat Apr 07, 2018 6:16 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: How does one adjust salaries to account for housing costs when considering a move?
Replies: 24
Views: 1473

Re: How does one adjust salaries to account for housing costs when considering a move?

We had a similar decision a couple times in the past, we always chose to move to the HCOL area. It was a bit tight (mostly because we had to squeeze the budget for the home we wanted to purchase), but we made it. Today we have about 10x more equity than we would if we had not moved, mostly as the ma...
by snackdog
Fri Apr 06, 2018 10:07 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Starting a home search... Late 60s rancher?
Replies: 18
Views: 1586

Re: Starting a home search... Late 60s rancher?

We have such a home in the area you describe. I don't think you are likely to run into any major live-changing issues. They are solid houses and were generally well built on good lots. Weak points were windows, insulation, and electric. You MUST have someone inspect the electrical panel to insure it...
by snackdog
Tue Apr 03, 2018 4:44 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: How did you file your income taxes?
Replies: 77
Views: 3977

Re: How did you file your income taxes?

KPMG did my return, all 148 pages. I have no idea what is in all that nonsense. I cross-check a few key lines vs previous years and sign it.

Is this thread actionable?
by snackdog
Mon Apr 02, 2018 6:06 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Porsche 911 & Carmax?
Replies: 13
Views: 2731

Re: Porsche 911 & Carmax?

Why would a Porsche be different from any other car Carmax resells? A car is a car.
by snackdog
Mon Apr 02, 2018 6:01 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Retire at 55, what's the magic number
Replies: 90
Views: 10272

Re: Retire at 55, what's the magic number

30x annual expenses has 100% success rate in all historical instances, assuming you have $0 social security. Since you can cover at least half your expenses with SS, you should be very comfortable with 25x or even less.
by snackdog
Sun Apr 01, 2018 8:05 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Planning to trade car with my friend. Need bogleheads' wisdom
Replies: 22
Views: 1924

Re: Planning to trade car with my friend. Need bogleheads' wisdom

Since you are saving your friend $60K, see if he will pay your taxes. Alternatively, if the cars are in such great demand that the dealer won't let you switch, sell the car for a profit to someone farther down the line. It is not a financial mistake, necessarily, if it is your dream car and assuming...
by snackdog
Sun Apr 01, 2018 8:54 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Comparison of grocery prices?
Replies: 47
Views: 3875

Re: Comparison of grocery prices?

Basket and Favedo are popular apps for this.
by snackdog
Sat Mar 31, 2018 4:09 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: William Bernstein: Retirement Investing and Spending in two easy steps
Replies: 77
Views: 9319

Re: William Bernstein: Retirement Investing and Spending in two easy steps

How about a ladder of non-inflation adjusted annuities? I guess as with any ladder, the money waiting for the next rung needs to be somewhere.
by snackdog
Fri Mar 30, 2018 7:22 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Renting car when you lose your D/L out of state
Replies: 30
Views: 2279

Re: Renting car when you lose your D/L out of state

Not having the document with you is not a big issue. The big issue is not actually having a valid license. I was once stopped for allegedly running a red light. I didn't have any wallet or anything but I knew my D/L number so I got off with a verbal warning. Some jurisdictions may write you a ticket...
by snackdog
Fri Mar 30, 2018 3:04 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Joint savings account with non US citizen in foreign country, is the interest reportable to IRS?
Replies: 8
Views: 794

Re: Joint savings account with non US citizen in foreign country, is the interest reportable to IRS?

You must report the account details and balance via an FBAR filing, particularly if the balance exceeded the equivalent of US$10,000 any time during the year. Failing to do so could land you in jail. Most foreign banks will report your ownership (but not interest paid) to the IRS as of about 2014. A...
by snackdog
Sun Mar 25, 2018 9:15 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Big time home inspection issues
Replies: 44
Views: 5227

Re: Big time home inspection issues

We once had a roughly similar experience. Realtor was great and suggested we run away. Instead, we foolishly suggested an adjustment to the sales price of around $75K. Seller balked, which was lucky for us. He eventually sold it for $130K less than our adjusted offer. In retrospect we were very happ...
by snackdog
Sat Mar 24, 2018 6:58 am
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: USAA- limited options for investments w/ high ER's, but I still feel loyal. Help!
Replies: 43
Views: 2275

Re: USAA- limited options for investments w/ high ER's, but I still feel loyal. Help!

USAA has a great business model where they have duped hapless service people into giving them "loyalty", paying higher insurance rates and suffering investment fees. I've used them on and off since the 80s but their service has really gone down hill. Explore all options and choose carefully!
by snackdog
Sat Mar 24, 2018 4:04 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: changing my signature when signing checks and credit card receipts
Replies: 47
Views: 3327

Re: changing my signature when signing checks and credit card receipts

I haven't signed a check or credit card receipt in like ten years - the world is digital and cards use PINS. Banking is online. The US seems to be the only country using these 19th century analog methods.
by snackdog
Fri Mar 23, 2018 4:32 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Underrated places to visit in U.S.?
Replies: 126
Views: 11496

Re: Underrated places to visit in U.S.?

If you like to eat Las Vegas and Houston are quite under rated for diversity, quality, selection and price.
by snackdog
Wed Mar 21, 2018 12:47 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Need to pull some data off some old 5-1/4" floppy disks
Replies: 20
Views: 2619

Re: Need to pull some data off some old 5-1/4" floppy disks

PVW wrote:
Wed Mar 21, 2018 12:14 pm
Depending on the age and quality of the floppy disks and the storage environment, there is a chance the data on the disks has degraded and might not be readable.
One more reason to store your data on punch cards. If you store them well they can last decades!
by snackdog
Wed Mar 21, 2018 12:43 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Kettlebell Swing experience?
Replies: 50
Views: 4362

Re: Kettlebell Swing experience?

Kettleballs are great fun until someone gets cracked on the skull, then they are not so fun anymore.
by snackdog
Wed Mar 21, 2018 12:39 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Drink package on Royal Caribbean, worth it?
Replies: 73
Views: 6921

Re: Drink package on Royal Caribbean, worth it?

Remember you are on a ship, so perhaps a mimosa around the pool late in the morning, a beer or two at lunch, a couple cocktails at sunset happy hour, wine at dinner and maybe a scotch to wrap things. It adds up. You're on vacation!