Search found 93 matches

by snackdog
Tue Aug 15, 2017 10:14 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Car Rental on Current Car Insurance Policy?
Replies: 16
Views: 1166

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: 41
Views: 2860

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: 11491

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: 1244

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: 274

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: 2987

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: 70
Views: 8453

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: 2030

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: 6548

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: 3829

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: 1340

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: 1964

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: 4949

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: 4667

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: 4667

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: 12010

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: 9887

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: 4526

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: 6703

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: 6726

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: 3044

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: 1649

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: 4908

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: 5849

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: 5849

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: 1448

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: 8905

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: 8905

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: 12771

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: 66
Views: 12596

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: 2793

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: 2369

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: 3065

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: 3584

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: 2793

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: 20901

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...
by snackdog
Wed Jan 25, 2017 10:12 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Carribean island most like Hawaii
Replies: 63
Views: 8394

Re: Carribean island most like Hawaii

Dominican Republic without question is the *island* nation in the Caribbeean "most like Hawaii" for adventure and hiking. Snorkeling, scuba, surfing, caving, 3000m peaks for hiking, waterfalls, mountain biking, dune buggies, dolphin parks, you name it. You trade the dull Americanized, san...
by snackdog
Wed Jan 25, 2017 10:03 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Refusing to sign or altering hospital billing admission forms?
Replies: 79
Views: 6430

Re: Refusing to sign or altering hospital billing admission forms?

Just sign with an "X". Make them prove it was you later.
by snackdog
Sun Jan 22, 2017 5:18 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Anyone file "decline in value" for property taxes? Advice?
Replies: 26
Views: 2409

Re: Anyone file "decline in value" for property taxes? Advice?

I have appealed successfully by letter in Contra Costa county. Be sure you know the rules in your county. For mine I needed to provide strong comps which: - sold within 90 days of Jan 1 - were within 1/2 mile of my house - were within about 200 sq ft of mine - same beds/baths - similar lot size - si...
by snackdog
Sun Jan 22, 2017 3:16 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Umbrella Insurance Stand-Alone
Replies: 10
Views: 2872

Re: Umbrella Insurance Stand-Alone

RLI will provide standalone umbrella. I am working on a policy just now. USAA, which seems more horrible every year, will not offer me umbrella even though I have homeowners and auto with them. They say nonsense on the phone like "we need a base policy on top of which to insure" - even tho...
by snackdog
Thu Jan 19, 2017 4:49 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: How to improve my income as software lead/manager?
Replies: 52
Views: 5716

Re: How to improve my income as software lead/manager?

Best way to boost your income would be to get a piece of the action - e.g. commission on sales or significant ownership in a startup. Sales has unlimited income, if you are good at sales. Startups can be low salary until they take off, then you hit the jackpot. Choose carefully, as only a few succee...
by snackdog
Wed Jan 18, 2017 9:18 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Thoughts on buying a house from a colleague
Replies: 37
Views: 3553

Re: Thoughts on buying a house from a colleague

Check all the risks and trade offs. Seller can sell fast and save commissions. You can maybe get a better price due to reduced commissions. Both are at risk if real estate attorneys are not used. You are at risk of: - buying a sub-optimal property for your needs because you are not 100% familiar wit...
by snackdog
Wed Jan 18, 2017 4:40 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Rental car--new windshield crack
Replies: 14
Views: 3724

Re: Rental car--new windshield crack

A cracked windshield is a safety issue. It could fail any time. If you are in an accident it will almost certainly fail and you could be injured or killed by the glass. Return the car.
by snackdog
Sun Jan 15, 2017 6:05 am
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: "Stealth Wealth: I’m Just an Ordinary Average Guy"
Replies: 331
Views: 60444

Re: "Stealth Wealth: I’m Just an Ordinary Average Guy"

We are closing in on eight figures but live pretty frugally. Save most of salary. Fly coach. Don't own a car. Max 3 star hotels for travel, typically with a kitchen so we can cook. No jewelry. Clothes up to 10 years old. We are minimalist but still have way too much crap. About half a 40' container ...
by snackdog
Sun Jan 08, 2017 12:13 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Annual Vacation Budget
Replies: 320
Views: 27231

Re: Annual Vacation Budget

5% of gross income.

For us that is 1-2 intercontinental trips and 1-2 international trips (we live on multi-national continent!) for a family of two. I don't count intra-national travel since the cost is trivial and doesn't come out of income.
by snackdog
Sun Jan 08, 2017 7:36 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Is driving for uber worth it for side money?
Replies: 67
Views: 12228

Re: Is driving for uber worth it for side money?

If you enjoy it, already own a vehicle, and don't have better alternatives it is fabulous. You are basically getting paid to drive your car. As long as the incremental cost is way less than you net, do it.
by snackdog
Sat Jan 07, 2017 1:28 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Conversion of Inherited Home into Primary Residence worthwhile?
Replies: 13
Views: 1040

Re: Conversion of Inherited Home into Primary Residence worthwhile?

Uh, do you actually have an interest in living there? I assume you aren't going to upheave just to minimize taxes.
by snackdog
Sat Jan 07, 2017 1:25 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Paying Cash vs. having a Mortgage on Retirement Home
Replies: 11
Views: 1440

Re: Paying Cash vs. having a Mortgage on Retirement Home

It entirely depends on your fortitude and situation. Financial math will always favor a 30 year mortgage as current rates are at historic lows and bound to rise. If investing the money and watching it rollercoaster up and down for a few decades doesn't bother you, borrow the money. If you can imagin...
by snackdog
Sat Jan 07, 2017 1:21 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Any Audi Wagon owners?
Replies: 29
Views: 2413

Re: Any Audi Wagon owners?

Have you considered renting a 4wd vehicle the few days per year you need one rather than living with an expensive and sub optimized vehicle the other 360 days of the year??
by snackdog
Mon Jan 02, 2017 10:54 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: What are you up YTD? [Year To Date]
Replies: 1403
Views: 250956

Re: What are you up YTD? [Year To Date]

Vanguard personal performance of all accounts says 2016 was 13.9% which should be similar to everyone else. Plenty of bonds and crummy stocks in there which pulled me down I guess.