Search found 130 matches

by snackdog
Sat Dec 16, 2017 3:52 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Best place to get a Suit
Replies: 21
Views: 1476

Re: Best place to get a Suit

Suit Supply is awesome. They combine style, price and service. You will be custom fitted and catered to during your entire experience. Takes a few days to tailor the suit to your exact specs. It makes a huge difference. Most of the suits are $5-700 and look better than suits costing several times th...
by snackdog
Fri Dec 15, 2017 10:25 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Should I open a fitness center for extra money?
Replies: 37
Views: 2610

Re: Should I open a fitness center for extra money?

The current hot trend in gyms are small boutique places with alternative "fun" exercises (think kettle balls) and dedicated trainers for each client for each session. They run around $200/month and up. A buddy of mine started one in San Francisco last year and it is on fire. He can't hire trainers f...
by snackdog
Tue Dec 12, 2017 6:01 am
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Early Retirement - Lump Sum vs. Annuity
Replies: 41
Views: 2762

Re: Early Retirement - Lump Sum vs. Annuity

The annuity payout is low because current interest rates are so low. The time to buy an annuity is later in life (say age 70), when you need it, when the payout is higher (because you actuarily closer to kicking the bucket), and when interest rates may be higher. The lump sum is high for the same re...
by snackdog
Mon Dec 11, 2017 3:54 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: What cause BH fear about running out of saving though they have big size of asset?
Replies: 27
Views: 1683

Re: What cause BH fear about running out of saving though they have big size of asset?

Plenty of people have municipal, state or federal government jobs which offer fabulous pensions and medical benefits after 20 years or so of service. They are set for life and use the spouse income as gravy for vacations, toys, etc. Some just work longer and plan to live on social security. Two earn...
by snackdog
Sat Dec 09, 2017 6:33 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: I am buying a car: Most/Least Reliable Makes?
Replies: 70
Views: 4164

Re: I am buying a car: Most/Least Reliable Makes?

I assume you are not looking for anecdotal evidence since that is not very useful. JD Powers publishes annual studies of reliability. Currently Kia and Hyundai rank highest followed by GM and BMW. Toyota is average. Honda/Acura/Lexus below average. http://www.jdpower.com/press-releases/2017-us-initi...
by snackdog
Fri Dec 08, 2017 6:30 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: At what age your investments start making more money than you?
Replies: 107
Views: 7339

Re: At what age your investments start making more money than you?

With 3% annual salary growth, 50% savings rate and 7% return you can make it in 20 years. 25% savings rate takes about 30 years. 15% = nearly 45 years.

For us it was about 8% annual salary growth and about 15 years.
by snackdog
Thu Dec 07, 2017 5:07 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: I received a speeding ticket via mail from IA - should I pay it?
Replies: 72
Views: 4904

Re: I received a speeding ticket via mail from IA - should I pay it?

If it wasn't sent registered certified mail, I would pretend I didn't receive it.

Slow down!
by snackdog
Wed Dec 06, 2017 6:56 am
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Amount You Need To Save Annually Over Lifespan
Replies: 80
Views: 8814

Re: Amount You Need To Save Annually Over Lifespan

Most people don't save a constant dollar amount but rather a fraction of a salary which often increases over time. In addition, the fraction saved often increases over time once basic needs are met and salary increases. But let's be simple and assume a constant savings rate and salary increase. Give...
by snackdog
Wed Dec 06, 2017 4:37 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: selling an older car on eBay-no bites!
Replies: 65
Views: 4634

Re: selling an older car on eBay-no bites!

Caprice Wagon. I love the boxy styling. Wagons are very cool. Yours appears to be in rough shape. Your price is way too high. I think realistically you are looking at $3000 or less. Here is one in great condition with 1/3 the miles yours has and it sold for $5500. https://www.ebay.com/itm/1977-Chevr...
by snackdog
Sun Dec 03, 2017 5:02 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Reached 4M target. Taking money off table. Advice?
Replies: 100
Views: 13684

Re: Reached 4M target. Taking money off table. Advice?

I'm in a vaguely similar situation, minus kids but with a lot more real estate. There has been a bunch of advice here and it has been all over the board but too much of it crushingly conservative. I see no reason not to remain fully invested in stocks and bonds and no reason to pay off your mortgage...
by snackdog
Fri Dec 01, 2017 4:17 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: I Can "Afford" This Right? (New Car)
Replies: 60
Views: 4618

Re: I Can "Afford" This Right? (New Car)

If you can keep the payment (or depreciation if paying cash), insurance and gas under 5% of your net monthly income I say go for it. See if you can get a lease deal on a demo for under $400/mo and you might get close.

The car has had rather mixed reviews with a lot of transmission complaints.
by snackdog
Sun Nov 26, 2017 10:33 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: The fallacy of spending money on "experiences" vs hard assets
Replies: 336
Views: 17472

Re: The fallacy of spending money on "experiences" vs hard assets

The fallacy is that things can bring you happiness by their inate being. This happiness tends to be quite temporary and replaced by a lust for other things: the newer car, the bigger house, the faster jet, the more brilliant sapphire, the taller pyramid. What one does with "stuff" in the way of expe...
by snackdog
Sat Nov 25, 2017 6:53 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Etiquette question: Paying for meals out & out of town guests
Replies: 79
Views: 5574

Re: Etiquette question: Paying for meals out & out of town guests

I hope you presented them with a bill for half the Thanksgiving food and drink. I had a friend who used to do this at dinner parties he hosted. People were horrified yet they paid up. He was cheap as hell, despite owning a Rolls-Royce.
by snackdog
Fri Nov 24, 2017 2:22 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Anyone tired of the stock market going up?
Replies: 213
Views: 16282

Re: Anyone tired of the stock market going up?

What if the bull run continued ten more years?
by snackdog
Mon Nov 20, 2017 8:28 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Tax Returns - How Long Do you Keep?
Replies: 56
Views: 4532

Re: Tax Returns - How Long Do you Keep?

No point at all in keeping paper and potentially not much in digital either unless those docs are your only means of substantiating significant deductions. Most deductions can be proven by records from a mortgage lender or property tax assessor, so unless you have exotic deductions it may be safe to...
by snackdog
Mon Nov 20, 2017 6:10 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: How much do you budget for vacation?
Replies: 94
Views: 5808

Re: How much do you budget for vacation?

Less than 5% of annual gross income is our budget and we stick to it most years. As we mature we see a change in balance between the awe of being in exotic places (which has about worn off at this point) and the joy of being pampered with a cool hotel (or villa), great food and personal guides. We a...
by snackdog
Wed Nov 15, 2017 4:16 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: The 4% rule DOES fail but still makes sense!
Replies: 195
Views: 15251

Re: The 4% rule DOES fail but still makes sense!

The good news is that nobody, even in the US, is likely to *need* $100,000 or more every year for 30+ years. If things get rough, you will cut back. Nobody will run out of money. There is a huge discretionary portion in $100,000/yr. My grandfather started his retirement flying first class. He later ...
by snackdog
Wed Nov 15, 2017 3:32 am
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: GE and the myth of "safe blue-chip stocks"
Replies: 73
Views: 7725

Re: GE and the myth of "safe blue-chip stocks"

There is nothing sacred about the DOW. None of the original companies from 1896 are still around. Oh wait, one is - GE! It has actually been kicked out of the DOW twice before and risen from the ashes. Anyhow, it has been struggling for years. They need to do something different, for sure, even if i...
by snackdog
Wed Nov 15, 2017 3:16 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: question for cpa? state income tax when living / moving back and forth in CA and WA?
Replies: 17
Views: 1280

Re: question for cpa? state income tax when living / moving back and forth in CA and WA?

I have a colleague who resides and works in Texas. He visits California every couple months for internal company meetings. His tax advisors told him to track and report all days worked in California and declare a pro-rate share of his salary to California. So, he pays California income tax on 10 or ...
by snackdog
Sat Nov 11, 2017 10:01 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Why NOT make more money?
Replies: 213
Views: 19522

Re: Why NOT make more money?

We live in a beach paradise wuth a company paid apt, utilities and vehicle plus stipends. 30 paid vacation days plus many host country holidays plus ability to combine business travel with personal. What’s not to like? Retirement could be much less luxurious simply because we are frugal. Boss can be...
by snackdog
Fri Nov 10, 2017 6:40 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Flying first class, business, versus economy.
Replies: 184
Views: 16881

Re: Flying first class, business, versus economy.

We fly several times per year, long haul, both for work and personal vacation. Work is always business class but when I'm paying it is always economy. Cost versus income or net worth is not a factor in this or any decision, only value. It's not that easy to sleep but for one night, but we're willing...
by snackdog
Sat Nov 04, 2017 8:25 am
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: In 40s and no retirement [US ex-pat in Brazil]
Replies: 28
Views: 3193

Re: In 40s and no retirement [US ex-pat in Brazil]

Do you or wife get the Brazilian FGTS? Is is similar to social security but paid by employer. You can cash out a lump sum under certain conditions. It can be a lot of money.
by snackdog
Mon Oct 23, 2017 11:38 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Car Enthusiasts Unite! - Porsche, Benz, Ferrari, Lambo, etc.
Replies: 72
Views: 5430

Re: Car Enthusiasts Unite! - Porsche, Benz, Ferrari, Lambo, etc.

You have several options as I see it. If you enjoy a great looking sports car that handles well, you can keep the one you already have. If you wish to invest time driving it on a track and can't afford to do so with the 911 due to finances, swap it for one you can, such as a Miata. You can haul at l...
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: 130
Views: 7655

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: 4283

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: 2630

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: 17300

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: 3900

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: 13173

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: 5404

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: 3100

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: 3862

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: 7165

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: 26003

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: 14423

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: 7875

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: 1412

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: 7007

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: 192
Views: 14320

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: 1478

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: 326

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: 3439

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: 9307

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: 2272

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: 7489

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: 4227

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: 1519

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: 2107

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: 5324

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...