Search found 593 matches

by snowman
Fri Sep 15, 2017 9:11 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Repair 2003 Honda Accord?
Replies: 26
Views: 1639

Re: Repair 2003 Honda Accord?

how old are the tires and fluids? Does it have a timing chain or belt and if its a belt when is that due? How current are you on other maintenance? Tires have about 5000 miles on them very new. Fluids are changed regularly. The only thing on the dealer's list is transmission fluid. The A/C was fixe...
by snowman
Wed Sep 13, 2017 1:49 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: New or used Lexus ES300h?
Replies: 25
Views: 2184

Re: New or used Lexus ES300h?

I can buy a new 2017 for about $40,000 a 2013 with 57,000 miles for a little over $20,000. Go for 2013. You are getting it half-off and probably with 75% life remaining. As a car guy (non-Toyota/Lexus owner), that's exactly how I see it. My only worry would be the battery, but that could be an issu...
by snowman
Sat Sep 09, 2017 1:59 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Financial Independence Mindset
Replies: 83
Views: 6417

Re: Financial Independence Mindset

I too am surprised you already own a home, but it is what it is. Couple points: 1. Don't give up TIRA/401k deduction. It's a good deal, in fact so good that Congress is now considering taking it away (may not happen, just saying don't take it for granted); and 2. A lot of people you see travelling a...
by snowman
Sat Sep 09, 2017 1:32 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Luxury car: perception vs reality
Replies: 118
Views: 6006

Re: Luxury car: perception vs reality

Also, as many already pointed out, a used luxury car may be way cheaper than a new non-luxury one, and it may actually be a better value. I can think of several 5-8 year old Lexus vehicles that are going to provide cheap, comfortable, safe and reliable transportation to their owners for many years ...
by snowman
Sat Sep 09, 2017 12:21 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Luxury car: perception vs reality
Replies: 118
Views: 6006

Re: Luxury car: perception vs reality

The thing is a car is an aspirational good. If it was just transport we'd all own the cheapest Hyundai or Kia 4 door, say. Or the Ford equivalent. But we do not. Cars reflect our aspirations, self image. And human consumption choices are very influenced by their peer group-- friends, neighbours, si...
by snowman
Sat Sep 09, 2017 9:26 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: New Mobile Phone number - Now hounded by Collection Agencies
Replies: 38
Views: 3142

Re: New Mobile Phone number - Now hounded by Collection Agencies

We had this when we got our phone number. Took a while but they eventually went away. I think most were actually grateful for us explaining the situation so I would not just hang up on them. As did we. We took Saving$ and Aristotelian's approach - calmly explaining that "Joe Blow" doesn't live here...
by snowman
Thu Sep 07, 2017 9:21 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: how often does high ACT score == scholarship?
Replies: 85
Views: 4747

Re: how often does high ACT score == scholarship?

OP, It was our experience that state universities printed in black and white the amount of scholarship provided based on the ACT score, e.g. 33-36 = full tuition, 29-32 = $2500 per year, etc. I assume you've read their material? Good luck! A quick search indicates Wisconsin does not have such autom...
by snowman
Wed Sep 06, 2017 5:57 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: The Emerging Markets "lost decade" is over
Replies: 52
Views: 5394

Re: The Emerging Markets "lost decade" is over

For ETFs, I use this website:

https://www.etfreplay.com/combine.aspx

For 10 years as of yesterday, the total return for VWO is 23.2%, including all dividends.
by snowman
Wed Sep 06, 2017 10:35 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: how often does high ACT score == scholarship?
Replies: 85
Views: 4747

Re: how often does high ACT score == scholarship?

<< He has interests/talents in the arts (graphic design, industrial design) as well as STEM (engineering, physics). >> There is no way that he is really interested in those areas. The personality type and temperament needed to work and succeed in each area are totally different. The more accurate s...
by snowman
Wed Sep 06, 2017 10:13 am
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: The Emerging Markets "lost decade" is over
Replies: 52
Views: 5394

Re: The Emerging Markets "lost decade" is over

When I started investing in the mid-90s, I used to have similar thoughts, based on my own experience: most countries outside of US are not just corrupt, but extremely corrupt. Yes, the US is somewhat corrupt too, but in a very different way. I too thought there is no way I would invest in any of tho...
by snowman
Tue Sep 05, 2017 4:21 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: ACA 9.69% Affordability rule
Replies: 6
Views: 923

Re: ACA 9.69% Affordability rule

IRA deduction will lower his MAGI, so that's good news. To avoid any potential issues, he could get a second job and make sure he does not work more than 30 hours at his main (current) job. Just an option he may not have thought of.
by snowman
Tue Sep 05, 2017 3:18 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: how often does high ACT score == scholarship?
Replies: 85
Views: 4747

Re: how often does high ACT score == scholarship?

OP, Your best bet for merit aid would be UMN-TC if your son was NMF (the qualifying test is taken in October of junior year in HS). Check with your son (and/or GC) to make sure he really did not take it or took it but did not score high enough. As has been pointed out, MN has reciprocity agreement w...
by snowman
Tue Sep 05, 2017 11:44 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: how often does high ACT score == scholarship?
Replies: 85
Views: 4747

Re: how often does high ACT score == scholarship?

As others already posted, you need to go to college confidential website, you will find all the answers there. Spend some time on Financial Aid & Scholarships forum. Also look up individual schools forums your son is considering applying to. If you still don't find answers you are looking for, feel ...
by snowman
Tue Aug 15, 2017 6:42 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: what was the actual return of BND last year?
Replies: 20
Views: 2304

Re: what was the actual return of BND last year?

As of today, last 12 month return is -0.2%.

This is the best site I found a while back for ETFs, they count reinvested dividends:

http://www.etfreplay.com/combine.aspx
by snowman
Thu Aug 10, 2017 10:11 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Toyota Camry Repair Priorities
Replies: 71
Views: 4325

Re: Toyota Camry Repair Priorities

Thanks for all your replies. With all the posts I regularly read here about cars going 200-300k miles, I'm always wondering what kind of maintenance and repairs they are doing during that time. The posts make it sound so simple. It's also not clear to me what is "routine" maintenance vs what are re...
by snowman
Wed Aug 09, 2017 6:40 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Life at crossroads. What would you do ?
Replies: 198
Views: 17155

Re: Life at crossroads. What would you do ?

No disrespect to OP, but this thread took a funny turn, and reminded me of last year’s election... I think that’s the biggest issue here. If one’s entire universe is centered around SF, and if one is type A personality, there really are no options besides 3-hour daily commute to corporate job one do...
by snowman
Tue Aug 08, 2017 9:49 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Life at crossroads. What would you do ?
Replies: 198
Views: 17155

Re: Life at crossroads. What would you do ?

OP, if I were you, I would move to a nice area with excellent public schools. With your savings, I don't think you would even need to find work. You could effectively retire but keep your options open - volunteer, work part-time, find something that interests you. You have options most people don't....
by snowman
Tue Aug 08, 2017 9:37 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Deja Vu.. are there too many houses for sale?
Replies: 47
Views: 4299

Re: Deja Vu.. are there too many houses for sale?

[...]Anything under $250K that is in decent shape and not overpriced is gone in a few days. I think you're hitting they key here. The economy is doing a bit better but people don't believe they'll be able to pay off a $1M mortgage. So they buy what they can afford. A lot more low-cost houses. Seein...
by snowman
Thu Aug 03, 2017 8:24 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: What to do with 2.50% HSA Checking?
Replies: 10
Views: 736

Re: What to do with 2.50% HSA Checking?

Thanks. That's the best rate I have seen in years! My CU used to pay 2%, but they lowered it to 1% late last year. I will check if it's possible to move my HSA to your CU.
by snowman
Thu Aug 03, 2017 8:11 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: What to do with 2.50% HSA Checking?
Replies: 10
Views: 736

Re: What to do with 2.50% HSA Checking?

I would keep it there as part of fixed income AA.

Which CU pays 2.5% interest in HSA if you don't mind sharing?
by snowman
Thu Aug 03, 2017 11:36 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Retire early, live abroad until 65 and come back
Replies: 72
Views: 8283

Re: Retire early, live abroad until 65 and come back

I don’t see a problem with your plan, the obstacles mentioned in replies are just details to be worked out. The major problem you face is your spouse – is she on board? If she is not, that’s the end of it.
by snowman
Tue Aug 01, 2017 6:33 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: New military officer. Is the Roth TSP the obvious choice?
Replies: 37
Views: 3261

Re: New military officer. Is the Roth TSP the obvious choice?

I am not 100% sure (check on this), but I believe the new military retirement plan provides 5% match only to traditional, not Roth 401k. If that's the case, you will want to have both traditional (up to a free match) and Roth TSP. Also, as others suggested, run the numbers in TT, you may realize mor...
by snowman
Tue Aug 01, 2017 4:59 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: FAFSA: if known result, why complete?
Replies: 44
Views: 2741

Re: FAFSA: if known result, why complete?

I completely understand why admissions people recommend to fill out FAFSA. Most people in this country are not financially savvy, and they don’t really understand how FAFSA works. For example, many people don’t realize that assets in retirement accounts or equity in primary residence do not count to...
by snowman
Sat Jul 29, 2017 9:54 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Colorado Vehicle Registration fees
Replies: 20
Views: 1644

Re: Colorado Vehicle Registration fees

Welcome to Colorado! Yes, this is normal. It will go down every year. Eventually, if you keep the car long enough, it will bottom out at about $80 per year; higher for heavier vehicles. If you decide to buy a new SUV, be prepared for the registration fee shock; better yet find out ahead of time so y...
by snowman
Wed Jul 26, 2017 4:51 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Wife retiring- social security and pension decisions
Replies: 22
Views: 1480

Re: Wife retiring- social security and pension decisions

Just 2 points: 1. While ACA is in flux, it's unlikely to go away, and it's possible her coverage through Kaiser may be cheaper (MAGI dependent) than the coverage she gets from her employer today. You should be able to price it on your state (or federal) exchange and play with numbers in Turbo tax. 2...
by snowman
Mon Jul 17, 2017 8:05 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Metropcs iPhone SE $200
Replies: 42
Views: 3436

Re: Metropcs iPhone SE $200

Unfortunately, I tried this yesterday. I went to the link, entered the IMEI # from the unwrapped box, and submitted the request. I received the email to confirm the request which I did. I checked the status link today and received the message at the top that the phone has not be active for 6 month....
by snowman
Sun Jul 16, 2017 11:47 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Road noise in 2017 Honda CRV?
Replies: 32
Views: 3727

Re: Road noise in 2017 Honda CRV?

Thanks. I know Hondas have always had a firm ride and road noise. I traded a 99 Accord Coupe because I couldn't stand the harsh ride. I still own a 2002 CRV and I can't even talk on the cellphone unless I'm on a smooth asphalt highway, and I feel every bump and crack in the road. You might be right...
by snowman
Sun Jul 16, 2017 10:54 am
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: How are folks handling the unprecedented rise in the market ?
Replies: 166
Views: 18262

Re: How are folks handling the unprecedented rise in the market ?

I am 40% international, have been for many years, so it's nice to see it doing well again. Just checked - it's up only 28% over the last 6 years, vs. 108% for total US. So I don't feel the jitters, quite the opposite - I feel like my portfolio has been under performing all these years. But these are...
by snowman
Sun Jul 16, 2017 8:59 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Road noise in 2017 Honda CRV?
Replies: 32
Views: 3727

Re: Road noise in 2017 Honda CRV?

I wonder if there is any chance of getting a dealer to include a tire swap as part of the purchase of a new CRV? Has anyone ever tried that? I wouldn't mind paying something for a tire upgrade, but I wouldn't want to pay full price for the new tires, which might run $700 - $800 for a set of Micheli...
by snowman
Fri Jul 14, 2017 8:17 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Is a 529 of any benefit in this instance?
Replies: 16
Views: 1183

Re: Is a 529 of any benefit in this instance?

It really depends. Personally, I would recommend prioritizing retirement savings over 529, but again there are too many moving variables and they change over time. Yes, it is true that IRA withdrawals count as income. But it's also true that money in IRA does not count as an asset on FAFSA. Money in...
by snowman
Fri Jul 14, 2017 2:12 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Road noise in 2017 Honda CRV?
Replies: 32
Views: 3727

Re: Road noise in 2017 Honda CRV?

Road noise is a trademark of Honda cars, comparatively speaking. If that criterion is really important to you, you should look elsewhere. Even the best tires are not going to make much of a difference (speaking from personal experience). Go and test drive it yourself, see if it bothers you that much...
by snowman
Tue Jul 04, 2017 10:52 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Brake Pads and Rotors for 2011 Benz C300 4Matic?
Replies: 43
Views: 2795

Re: Brake Pads and Rotors for 2011 Benz C300 4Matic?

I also replace rotors/pads myself, one of the easiest things to do on a car, and probably the most cost effective - i.e. how much does it cost you DIY vs. how much you get charged by the dealer. If you cannot/don't want to do it yourself, I would still recommend buying the set yourself from Amazon, ...
by snowman
Fri Jun 23, 2017 12:40 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: The Final, Definitive Thread on Brokerage Transfer Bonuses
Replies: 538
Views: 82744

Re: The Final, Definitive Thread on Brokerage Transfer Bonuses

When you are transferring out, most companies charge account transfer fee around $75. How do they charge that fee when the account is fully invested? Say you are transferring Roth IRA account invested in ETFs with money market balance of $1.50. Do they sell some ETFs to get their fee? Or do they sen...
by snowman
Thu Jun 22, 2017 1:00 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Christine Benz: "How to Make the Most of Your 401(k)"
Replies: 24
Views: 3574

Re: Christine Benz: "How to Make the Most of Your 401(k)"

It’s possible that I could be completely wrong about “barriers” being the problem, as I can only speak from my personal experience which is statistically insignificant. But here it is. In my role in a corporate world some years ago, I directly hired people to work on my team. I made sure that every ...
by snowman
Mon Jun 19, 2017 7:12 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: "Find out if your fund is declaring a quarterly dividend in June."
Replies: 32
Views: 4735

Re: "Find out if your fund is declaring a quarterly dividend in June."

InvestorNewb wrote:l don't see the amounts posted yet for ETFs that are being declared today (VTI/VXUS).

http://www.dividend.com/dividend-stocks ... arket-etf/

Here is VTI; VXUS not yet declared.
by snowman
Mon Jun 19, 2017 12:00 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Metropcs iPhone SE $200
Replies: 42
Views: 3436

Re: Metropcs iPhone SE $200

You don't need to unlock the phone if you plan to stay on AT&T network forever. Unlocking gives you flexibility to switch to TM in the US, or any GSM carrier abroad. It's not a necessity, it's just nice to have. Since it's free, why not. As far as I know, the unlocking method I described only w...
by snowman
Sun Jun 18, 2017 8:51 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Metropcs iPhone SE $200
Replies: 42
Views: 3436

Re: Metropcs iPhone SE $200

You don't need to unlock the phone if you plan to stay on AT&T network forever. Unlocking gives you flexibility to switch to TM in the US, or any GSM carrier abroad. It's not a necessity, it's just nice to have. Since it's free, why not. As far as I know, the unlocking method I described only wo...
by snowman
Sun Jun 18, 2017 5:34 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Metropcs iPhone SE $200
Replies: 42
Views: 3436

Re: Metropcs iPhone SE $200

As far as Best Buy goes, you can check their local inventory online. Your store may not have it, but the one 10 miles away might. Worth checking. I would also ask what the return policy is for the specific phone you are buying (I never bought Apple product so not sure if they have brand-specific ret...
by snowman
Sun Jun 18, 2017 11:28 am
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Thinking of changing my international allocation
Replies: 19
Views: 1667

Re: Thinking of changing my international allocation

OP, You will be fine either way, the proposed change is very small. However, I am guessing you want to make the change mainly because of recent under-performance. Owning international since the financial crisis has been very painful, especially the last 6 years or so. A lot of the pain has been caus...
by snowman
Sun Jun 18, 2017 10:55 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Metropcs iPhone SE $200
Replies: 42
Views: 3436

Re: Metropcs iPhone SE $200

CULater, That's why I said you have to select NO for current customer on AT&T's website. When you do that, the screen changes and it will ask you for IMEI number (displayed outside on the phone's box), make and model number. You also type in your email, to which AT&T will communicate. You wi...
by snowman
Sun Jun 18, 2017 9:34 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Metropcs iPhone SE $200
Replies: 42
Views: 3436

Re: Metropcs iPhone SE $200

I'm assuming that all these deals being mentioned (Consumer Cellular, StraightTalk, etc.) mean the SE is locked to their service and must be unlocked to get away -- correct? How long are you married to the service before you can do that? With consumer cellular you're locked in for six months. Not n...
by snowman
Fri Jun 16, 2017 10:07 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Metropcs iPhone SE $200
Replies: 42
Views: 3436

Re: Metropcs iPhone SE $200

4 inch would be really small for me, but I understand everyone has different preferences. You can get the same deal from Consumer Cellular: m They resell AT&T just like Cricket, so your phone will work on Cricket out of the box. Alternatively, you could switch to CC, remain on the same network y...
by snowman
Sat Jun 10, 2017 6:53 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: What Do You Pay for an Oil Change?
Replies: 129
Views: 9054

Re: What Do You Pay for an Oil Change?

And dealerships tend to just use the cheapest oil they can find in bulk. Toyota dealers do not use the (excellent) Toyota brand synthetic, which is expensive for them. They just buy any cheap API oil in bulk (which isn't bad oil, but it isn't the good stuff either). Good point, I don't think public...
by snowman
Sat Jun 10, 2017 1:34 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: What Do You Pay for an Oil Change?
Replies: 129
Views: 9054

Re: What Do You Pay for an Oil Change?

And dealerships tend to just use the cheapest oil they can find in bulk. Toyota dealers do not use the (excellent) Toyota brand synthetic, which is expensive for them. They just buy any cheap API oil in bulk (which isn't bad oil, but it isn't the good stuff either). Good point, I don't think public...
by snowman
Sat Jun 10, 2017 11:21 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Changing State Residences for ACA Coverage
Replies: 15
Views: 1557

Re: Changing State Residences for ACA Coverage

OP, Based on your description, you should not have any problem doing this. I also wouldn't worry too much about ACA disappearing altogether - it either remains intact, or will be replaced with similar legislation, i.e. v2.0. The biggest concern - now and then - is actually having affordable coverage...
by snowman
Thu Jun 01, 2017 2:18 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Changing Car Cabin Air Filter - after how much time
Replies: 45
Views: 2719

Re: Changing Car Cabin Air Filter - after how much time

OP, Car cabin filters function much like furnace filters at your house. They filter the air you breathe. I suspect yours are fairly clean if you only drive 6K miles per year in a non-dusty environment. It's really easy to check them out - you drop the glove box, press on tabs, and out comes your fil...
by snowman
Thu Jun 01, 2017 1:29 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: What Do You Pay for an Oil Change?
Replies: 129
Views: 9054

Re: What Do You Pay for an Oil Change?

I do it myself, here are my costs: Synthetic Mobil 1 oil 5q jug - on sale at Walmart for $23, minus $12 rebate from Mobil 1, equals $11. High quality oil filter - $4 on sale (Amazon or RockAuto). Total - $15. I do it whenever it fits my schedule, it's quick, easy, done right. Now if you cannot (or ...
by snowman
Thu Jun 01, 2017 9:29 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: What Do You Pay for an Oil Change?
Replies: 129
Views: 9054

Re: What Do You Pay for an Oil Change?

In my post, I forgot to mention I don't like the coolant charge there at all! They probably told you it was too low. Not sure if they asked for your permission or not, but you check coolant level (and add if necessary) when the engine is cold. They should not have touched it. And I also assume whate...
by snowman
Thu Jun 01, 2017 8:59 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: What Do You Pay for an Oil Change?
Replies: 129
Views: 9054

Re: What Do You Pay for an Oil Change?

I do it myself, here are my costs: Synthetic Mobil 1 oil 5q jug - on sale at Walmart for $23, minus $12 rebate from Mobil 1, equals $11. High quality oil filter - $4 on sale (Amazon or RockAuto). Total - $15. I do it whenever it fits my schedule, it's quick, easy, done right. Now if you cannot (or d...