Search found 107 matches

by snackdog
Sun Oct 15, 2017 2:07 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: What are you driving? And would you buy your current ride again?
Replies: 106
Views: 4637

Re: What are you driving? And would you buy your current ride again?

Have only had a company vehicle last 5-6 years. They are new and fancy and include insurance so we can save a lot. Not looking forward to retiring and having to pay for a vehicle (not to mention fancy expense account lunches, dinners, hotels, flights, etc).
by snackdog
Sat Oct 14, 2017 7:13 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Liability of phone conversations while my client is driving (and I am not in the car)?
Replies: 64
Views: 3659

Re: Liability of phone conversations while my client is driving (and I am not in the car)?

Is the legal liability your only concern? What kind of a physician is willing to put the health and life of their client and third parties (other motorists, pedestrians) at risk for a buck? If you are a decent doctor, clients will bend over backward for access to you. Really good physicians can even...
by snackdog
Thu Oct 12, 2017 5:50 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Going First Class
Replies: 42
Views: 2301

Re: Going First Class

Imagine a line in the arrivals area where all the people who rode coach can collect a fat wad of $100 bills for sitting a few feet behind you for a few hours.
by snackdog
Sun Oct 01, 2017 7:12 am
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: $10 million+ - Still Working and LBYM
Replies: 162
Views: 16181

Re: $10 million+ - Still Working and LBYM

Nothing special about 8 figures (or 10 figures) if you spend too much. Michael Jackson spent more than he earned. OP has only managed to save investment account of 2.3x annual earnings over 25 years which strikes me as quite low. Perhaps it has all been re-invested into a business which can be sold ...
by snackdog
Thu Sep 21, 2017 8:36 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Luxury Car Purchase
Replies: 47
Views: 3649

Re: Luxury Car Purchase

At a 3.5% SWR you would have started at about $100k per year so something like $500/mo total car cost would be reasonable.
by snackdog
Thu Sep 21, 2017 10:21 am
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Any "average Joe" here actually make out well with individual stocks?
Replies: 108
Views: 12457

Re: Any "average Joe" here actually make out well with individual stocks?

I have somehow managed to end ahead of VTSAX by 2 percentage points over the last ten years. I'm no investing genius and definitely had some losers. I was lucky to have picked up AAPL and GOOG relatively early. BRK.B has done well also. Other holdings are mostly mainstream companies you have heard o...
by snackdog
Mon Sep 18, 2017 2:34 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: USPS lost very important certified mail - What next?
Replies: 46
Views: 4847

Re: USPS lost very important certified mail - What next?

Can you stop payment and drive over with a replacement check?
by snackdog
Mon Sep 18, 2017 5:24 am
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: The Difference Between Risk and Uncertainty
Replies: 41
Views: 2878

Re: The Difference Between Risk and Uncertainty

A risk is something bad potentially happening. An uncertainty is something you don't know. Uncertainties - I am uncertain (don't know) if it will rain tomorrow. - I am uncertain how the stock market will perform. - I don't know if my house is strong enough to withstand a hurricane. Risks - If it doe...
by snackdog
Sun Sep 17, 2017 9:19 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Should I contact a lawyer?
Replies: 69
Views: 3565

Re: Should I contact a lawyer?

You did the only thing you can do, which is ask the school district to discipline the teacher who is taking credit for your materials. As others have noted, it all belongs to the District (including copy rights) so it is up to them how to handle it. If they students benefit, as they say, that is the...
by snackdog
Sat Sep 09, 2017 11:48 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Luxury car: perception vs reality
Replies: 118
Views: 6437

Re: Luxury car: perception vs reality

Spending 5% (not 50%) of income annually on a car seems appropriate. With the right lease this could work out. Recent Mercedes e300 leases have been under $300/month which seems ok if you are netting more than $6K/month. I'm in the camp of "you can afford to buy or lease what you can afford to self-...
by snackdog
Thu Sep 07, 2017 12:16 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Name something you had to have and now you regret purchasing it?
Replies: 275
Views: 24128

Re: Name something you had to have and now you regret purchasing it?

Bought a very snazzy-looking red two door sports coupe after a couple years on the job. A co-worker goaded me "You deserve it!!" 1990 VW Corrado. $3,500. It was fun at first but had endless problems, mostly of the electrical variety, and was loud and rode poorly. Traded it in a couple years later on...
by snackdog
Tue Sep 05, 2017 5:46 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: If I died today, what would my spouse do?
Replies: 69
Views: 14004

Re: If I died today, what would my spouse do?

My college physics instructor (who gave me a pretty low grade), would always scream at us to "start by writing down what you know!" I wrote it all up on a tabbed Excel file - accounts, strategy, instructions, to-do lists, obit, you name it. I sent it to the spouse and the response I got was "I will ...
by snackdog
Thu Aug 31, 2017 5:21 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: How much sooner could you retire with NO property taxes?
Replies: 116
Views: 7340

Re: How much sooner could you retire with NO property taxes?

I know several people who have managed to eliminate property tax in Texas. One group donated their properties to the University of Texas in return for "life estates" for them and their spouses. UT gets the house when they die, but in the mean time they pay no property tax. I'm not clear if it is wai...
by snackdog
Tue Aug 15, 2017 10:14 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Car Rental on Current Car Insurance Policy?
Replies: 16
Views: 1335

Re: Car Rental on Current Car Insurance Policy?

I do the opposite - we don't own a car in the US but I have a policy which covers me for the several weeks per year we rent a car. Cheap.
by snackdog
Mon Jul 17, 2017 7:27 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: california homeowners - do you have earthquake insurance?
Replies: 79
Views: 6258

Re: california homeowners - do you have earthquake insurance?

We live pretty close to the San Andreas fault. Unless you live in a very valuable 19th century brick house with no seismic retrofits, the insurance makes little sense. The premiums are huge compared to the risk of damage even assuming the big one occurs tomorrow. It is pretty hard to damage a well b...
by snackdog
Wed Jul 05, 2017 5:05 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Seeking advice on 1.2m (now 900K) house purchase
Replies: 188
Views: 12576

Re: Should I buy a 1.2-1.3M house and how to minimize taxes?

I would be reluctant to put more than 20% down and borrow more than 3x my base salary. So a $600K house (more likely condo) would be my target. I would try to find one which would be readily rentable (e.g. near public transport) in the event I moved out or up one day. Whacking an extra $600K in ther...
by snackdog
Sun Jul 02, 2017 2:34 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Effective Tax Rate
Replies: 10
Views: 1371

Re: Effective Tax Rate

To reduce confusion when comparing between people or years, I recommend standardizing on 1040 form lines. I prefer - line 43 Taxable Income, divided by line 63 Total Tax. Mine was 24% last year, which is a bit outrageous but not seeing a lot I can do about it other than retire to reduce income. Of c...
by snackdog
Tue Jun 20, 2017 4:52 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Loss Calc Help - Old Mutual Fund
Replies: 2
Views: 296

Loss Calc Help - Old Mutual Fund

Ok I have an old mutual fund I need to sell. Have held this rotten sucker for over 30 years and ridden her up and down, but mostly the latter. Purchase was 2000 shares at about $5.75/share. $11,500. The fund approached penny status and split 1:10 at some point so in today's units, that's 200 shares ...
by snackdog
Sun Jun 11, 2017 5:22 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: 2004 LEXUS RX 330
Replies: 46
Views: 3171

Re: 2004 LEXUS RX 330

Why not just get a 2011 or so Highlander? A Lexus is nothing more than a Toyota with more gadgets which you don't need and which will be expensive if repair is required.
by snackdog
Mon Jun 05, 2017 6:53 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Help me choose an EXPENSIVE* red wine for a gift
Replies: 69
Views: 8812

Re: Help me choose an EXPENSIVE* red wine for a gift

I would tear up the personal check he gave you and put it in a card with the wine. It's not right for him to pay you out of his own pocket nor for you to accept his check.
by snackdog
Sun Jun 04, 2017 5:20 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Do I need umbrella insurance?
Replies: 17
Views: 2143

Re: Do I need umbrella insurance?

Ask you insurer to also quote increasing the personal liability on your existing policies to $1MM.
by snackdog
Fri May 19, 2017 5:24 am
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Convince me to get back into stocks!
Replies: 83
Views: 6956

Re: Convince me to get back into stocks!

Why do people think the stock market is high? The S&P 500 average annual return from 2000-2016 was only 2.3%. It was went down like hell from 2000-2009 and has only just recovered a bit. The long term average is 10% which leaves huge head room to grow just to return to the historical average.
by snackdog
Thu May 18, 2017 1:01 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Death in family a week before cruise
Replies: 30
Views: 3987

Re: Death in family a week before cruise

If they have a good infirmary on board the ship, perhaps you could just bring her along with you. Just a thought.
by snackdog
Fri May 05, 2017 6:16 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Curb Impact Car Doesn't Go
Replies: 13
Views: 1418

Re: Curb Impact Car Doesn't Go

I once tapped a curb in a similar fashion in a newish Sentra rental. I couldn't get the car to move so my passenger tried to exit the car and have a look. His door wouldn't budge. We both grew concerned and climbed out the drivers side. Turns out the front right wheel was relocated rearward about 25...
by snackdog
Sun Apr 16, 2017 3:41 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: New law will ban NYC employers from asking about salary history
Replies: 15
Views: 2046

Re: New law will ban NYC employers from asking about salary history

How can they make an acceptable offer if they don't know your salary?
by snackdog
Thu Apr 13, 2017 5:19 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Car Breaks Down on Long Road Trip
Replies: 55
Views: 5068

Re: Car Breaks Down on Long Road Trip

I Know two friends who had major car trouble on vacation in the muddle of nowhere in West Texas. First guy was in his VW Rabbit convertible when the transmission cratered. Major tow bill. Second guy was in a borrowed RV when it sprang a fuel leak,caught fire and burned to ashes. Insurance denied cla...
by snackdog
Sun Apr 09, 2017 4:48 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Packing cubes for travel
Replies: 60
Views: 4921

Re: Packing cubes for travel

Underwear and socks are vital space fillers for me. I can't imagine losing them to cubes. First, they fill the narrow tracks on the bottom of the suitcase between handle tunnels. Second, they are critical for stuffing inside shoes so they don't get crushed. Third, they can just fill any awkward spac...
by snackdog
Fri Apr 07, 2017 11:07 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Packing cubes for travel
Replies: 60
Views: 4921

Re: Packing cubes for travel

Seems like more junk we never knew we "needed". Have traveled extensively and never had a problem organizing my suitcase or finding anything. I can pack for any trip in under 20 minutes. Key is to pack light and take the least amount possible. And do a look-back when you get home on the cr...
by snackdog
Wed Apr 05, 2017 1:27 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: High Income earners, whats your Tax Strategy?
Replies: 113
Views: 12608

Re: High Income earners, whats your Tax Strategy?

The IRS has significantly cracked down on syndicated conservation easements. You may regret having been involved in any.

https://www.irs.gov/pub/irs-drop/n-17-10.pdf
by snackdog
Wed Apr 05, 2017 11:57 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Buying expensive car, how to keep payments low?
Replies: 149
Views: 10315

Re: Buying expensive car, how to keep payments low?

You can lease a new Chevy Trax micro-SUV for under $1000 for the entire 2 year lease period. That is less than tax, fees and registration assuming $0 monthly lease. See leasehackr forum.
by snackdog
Sun Apr 02, 2017 4:24 am
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Two comma club - thank you
Replies: 16
Views: 4641

Re: Two comma club - thank you

Don't wait until three commas to check back in.
by snackdog
Sun Mar 26, 2017 3:48 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Does living at the beach reduce it's appeal?
Replies: 43
Views: 6837

Re: Does living at the beach reduce it's appeal?

We were beach front at Ipanema for several years. It wears off pretty quickly. Nice to always have a lovely view, sunrise, sunset, of course. But along with that we see a lot of chaos- traffic, people, etc. The sea air quickly ate our bikes, electronics, AC units, binoculars, etc. even though we nev...
by snackdog
Thu Mar 23, 2017 3:55 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Vehicles as a percentage of net worth
Replies: 102
Views: 7340

Re: Vehicles as a percentage of net worth

Best to push this expense as low as you can by driving as little as possible, living near work and shopping, cycling more, etc. we haven't owned a vehicle for about five years. Employer provides me a leased and insured truck which I use to commute. We can walk to everything from home but will do a b...
by snackdog
Wed Mar 22, 2017 3:55 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Where's the sweet spot in the cost/benefit curve for floor speakers?
Replies: 40
Views: 3128

Re: Where's the sweet spot in the cost/benefit curve for floor speakers?

The listening space makes a vast difference. A large room with high ceilings and plenty of wood will often demolish a conventional room, even with orders of magnitude equipment cost differential. Think symphony hall: The more your space resembles one the less speaker and amp you need for great sound...
by snackdog
Mon Mar 20, 2017 12:11 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Smart Will (or how to avoid a legal morass)
Replies: 21
Views: 1717

Smart Will (or how to avoid a legal morass)

I read somewhere recently that any specifications in a will regarding percentages (fractions) of a total estate are dangerous as they may attract legal challenges. For example, if your will said 10% of your estate would go to a charity, many charities would hire an attorney to follow up and ensure y...
by snackdog
Tue Mar 14, 2017 9:26 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Did I Buy Too Much Home?!?!?!
Replies: 42
Views: 5010

Re: Did I Buy Too Much Home?!?!?!

The numbers are acceptable, just very high. Your salaries might be better directed toward other means. You are risking your credit and down payment if one of you loses a job in the next tech bust. I would have scrimped a bit at your age and bought a less expensive place which was easier to afford on...
by snackdog
Sun Mar 05, 2017 7:27 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Windfall: should we pay cash for ~$1.3M home?
Replies: 96
Views: 6087

Re: Windfall: should we pay cash for ~$1.3M home?

I don't understand the earthquake hysteria. Just avoid ancient brick or mud homes and you should be fine. You really can't knock down a wood frame home. Make sure it is bolted to foundation and substrata are solid. Big quakes have had minor impacts in Calif. Even 1906 SF was mostly fire damage. Plac...
by snackdog
Sat Mar 04, 2017 8:12 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Windfall: should we pay cash for ~$1.3M home?
Replies: 96
Views: 6087

Re: Windfall: should we pay cash for ~$1.3M home?

You just boosted your investable savings to about where they should be. Take out 20% for a down payment if you must and no more. Keep PITI to no more than 40% of gross income unless you have enough discretionary spending which can be pared back.
by snackdog
Tue Feb 28, 2017 1:45 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Warning & Advice Requested
Replies: 19
Views: 1553

Re: Warning & Advice Requested

It is no longer illegal to wire money to Cuba.
by snackdog
Tue Feb 28, 2017 5:47 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Used German Luxury vs New Japanese
Replies: 89
Views: 9303

Re: Used German Luxury vs New Japanese

European cars have been wildly oversold in North America to the point where they have no cache at all. You can find them all over any working class suburb in America. Nearly every American owns one at some point. They are like diamonds - nothing special but market hype.
by snackdog
Mon Feb 27, 2017 5:52 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Used German Luxury vs New Japanese
Replies: 89
Views: 9303

Re: Used German Luxury vs New Japanese

You have the choices all backwards. When buying German, stay with new cars because they are a nightmare to keep running after 2-3 years. All your time will be spent in service centers.if you want one, lease a new one for 24 months. Read leasehackr to find the best deal. When buying Japanese, it is s...
by snackdog
Sun Feb 19, 2017 9:25 am
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Is a 4% plus CPI withdrawal rate actually aggressive?
Replies: 232
Views: 13434

Re: Is a 4% plus CPI withdrawal rate actually aggressive?

Medical technology is advancing by leaps and bounds. If your grandparents lived into their 90s, you might live into your 100s. If you retire at 60, that could be a 50 year retirement. That alone argues for lower than 4%.
by snackdog
Sat Feb 11, 2017 9:22 am
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Medallion Signature Guarantee
Replies: 78
Views: 14658

Re: Medallion Signature Guarantee

I also moved a Vg taxable account in my name into a Vg account named in a living trust. They went back and forth on the medallion signature need. I finally got it done at my credit union. Only one manager in the country had enough signature authority, which seemed ridiculous.
by snackdog
Fri Feb 10, 2017 8:41 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Payment Method for Private Used Car Sale
Replies: 43
Views: 2940

Re: Payment Method for Private Used Car Sale

Definitely do the transaction at your bank and draw up some legal paper work to protect you. Also ensure title transfer occurs. Until they file the title transfer paperwork, the car is in your name. If they crash it or get parking tickets, you may have to deal with it.
by snackdog
Tue Feb 07, 2017 4:00 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Early retirement offer
Replies: 9
Views: 2419

Re: Early retirement offer

Negotiate for lifetime athletic facility access!
by snackdog
Sat Feb 04, 2017 5:38 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Lexus PreCollision Safety System (auto braking)
Replies: 35
Views: 3129

Re: Lexus PreCollision Safety System (auto braking)

Depending on how much you drive you might be far better served to minimize your driving to the bare minimum, daylight hours only and cycle/walk more. Combine all your errands into one trip every couple weeks. Never drive to work, etc.
by snackdog
Sat Jan 28, 2017 5:33 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Determining max amount to spend on a house?
Replies: 27
Views: 3657

Re: Determining max amount to spend on a house?

Paying cash, the imputed rent of a $2.5MM home at 6% is $150,000. Add $35k for taxes, $20,000 for repairs, $5k for insurance and you get around $200,000 per year. If you and wifey earn more than $600,000 net with stable jobs and marriage, you are good to go. I would skip the EQ insurance as price is...
by snackdog
Fri Jan 27, 2017 4:56 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Is there a best way to buy a new vehicle that's not on the lot yet?
Replies: 24
Views: 2870

Re: Is there a best way to buy a new vehicle that's not on the lot yet?

If the new prices are cheaper, as you say, why not buy several and resell them at a tidy profit?
by snackdog
Thu Jan 26, 2017 9:18 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: New SUV, $50G, Pilot/Highlander/Other
Replies: 146
Views: 21369

Re: New SUV, $50G, Pilot/Highlander/Other

Highlander is a great choice. It signals you want Asian quality and reliability and that you are not overly concerned with looks, 4wd, clearance, power, prestige, etc. I would definitely skip all the American and European brands which cost more and offer less in terms of reliability. Other comparabl...