Search found 4606 matches

by stan1
Sat Jun 24, 2017 2:38 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Can we/should we afford a $2M house?
Replies: 53
Views: 6099

Re: Can we/should we afford a $2M house?

A few things; With a new custom built home you also need to be sure to budget for things like landscaping, curtains, and furnishing the home. That can vary wildly but for a $2M house that could easily be $50K or more. Well, you'll be lucky if its under $500K. Landscaping a new construction $2M home...
by stan1
Sat Jun 24, 2017 12:52 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Salary Negotiation - Is this request common?
Replies: 9
Views: 1534

Re: Salary Negotiation - Is this request common?

+1 on signing bonus and salary to keep it simple unless you have reason to believe the type of contract you are thinking about is common in your industry/company. If you are being asked to sell a product that has a plateaued market, a commoditized market with low differentiation between competitors,...
by stan1
Sat Jun 24, 2017 12:33 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Bay Area housing
Replies: 66
Views: 4724

Re: Bay Area housing

It's not always just about finances. Is your SO happier in the current condo and willing to stay there longer than you are? Maybe for example your SO has a better commute in the current location than in the area where you'd be buying a house? Maybe you have a stronger "nesting/homesteading"...
by stan1
Fri Jun 23, 2017 8:28 am
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Vanguard - Inter. or Total Muni [VTEAX - Tax-Exempt Bond Index]
Replies: 12
Views: 980

Re: Vanguard - Int. Muni or Total Muni

In my experience muni bond funds have not been held forever. I have sold muni bond funds to pay for a new car, home improvements, and down payment on a new home. Since I don't keep $50-100K in checking accounts I dip into muni bond holdings when I need liquidity to make a major purchase. Your situat...
by stan1
Fri Jun 23, 2017 8:18 am
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Is VG Total Stock Market Index too concentrated?
Replies: 52
Views: 3765

Re: Is VG Total Stock Market Index too concentrated?

Would you be surprised if I told you the following? (which is true) Top 10 holdings = 15% weight (0.3% of # of stocks in the index) Top 22 holdings = 25% weight (0.6% of # of stocks in the index) Top 85 holdings = 50% weight (2.4% of # of stocks in the index) Top 295 holdings = 75% weight (8.3% of ...
by stan1
Thu Jun 22, 2017 7:05 am
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Email from VG - Vanguard Rep is on Leave ??
Replies: 22
Views: 2727

Re: Email from VG - Vanguard Rep is on Leave ??

Flagship is the new Voyager Select... Well said. And the experienced reps for the old Voyager Select are all "I'll have to ask, please hold". You don't get to be the lowest cost by paying the highest salaries. Experienced personal expect higher wages. It's worse than "please hold&quo...
by stan1
Mon Jun 19, 2017 8:11 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Negotiating a House Using Seller's Agent (opinions wanted)
Replies: 75
Views: 2808

Re: Negotiating a House Using Seller's Agent (opinions wanted)

I think OP is playing this right. Houses that are overpriced to begin with take a long time to sell and often I think end up selling for a little less than if they had been priced in line with the market to begin with. People who live in a seller's market where houses often get multiple offers in a ...
by stan1
Sun Jun 18, 2017 11:08 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Need WIFI repeater or second router Advice
Replies: 45
Views: 2494

Re: Need WIFI repeater or second router Advice

1) Upgrade router to 802.11 ac. You should be able to get this from Verizon. 2) Make sure your devices support 802.11 ac. You may need to get a USB 802.11 ac wifi adapter if your device doesn't support the ac standard. 3) 5GHz band is faster but has less range. 2.4GHz band is slower but has more ran...
by stan1
Sun Jun 18, 2017 10:54 am
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Why do we need an emergency fund?
Replies: 70
Views: 4072

Re: Why do we need an emergency fund?

Here are some steps we have taken in the past if we needed cash: - Sell shares of a municipal bond fund - Cash out a CD - Sell shares in equity funds in a taxable account (also helpful for rebalancing or purging investments in a taxable account that you no longer want to own) - Sell I bonds - Take T...
by stan1
Sun Jun 18, 2017 10:20 am
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Why do we need an emergency fund?
Replies: 70
Views: 4072

Re: Why do we need an emergency fund?

You need liquidity and access to cash not an emergency fund. If you can get liquidity another way, great. How will you pay cash for a new car? How will you pay cash for a new roof? How will you pay for living expenses if you need to care for a close family member for 6 months in another city? What i...
by stan1
Sun Jun 18, 2017 9:17 am
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Amazon Buys Whole Foods
Replies: 103
Views: 10292

Re: Amazon Buys Whole Foods

In some cities Amazon already has its own fleet of vans and a separate group gig economy drivers using their own vehicles. Linking that to an established distribution center for fresh items (produce, meat, flowers). I'd guess they will also press hard on the state by state and city by city legalitie...
by stan1
Sat Jun 17, 2017 6:37 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: How best to Donate?
Replies: 20
Views: 1234

Re: How best to Donate?

A Donor Advised Fund may be an option for you, but a single charity or an attorney might not recommend it to you. The reason is because many charities can benefit from a Donor Advised Fund and because you don't need to hire an attorney to start a Donor Advised Fund. There are conflicts of interest h...
by stan1
Thu Jun 08, 2017 8:42 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Earthquake insurance in SOCAL
Replies: 28
Views: 1478

Re: Earthquake insurance in SOCAL

Our quote for earthquake insurance in Southern California is around $500/year. That's about 0.05% of property value on our paid off house so we bought the insurance. We live about 2 miles from the Newport-Inglewood/Rose Canyon fault complex that extends along the entire coast of Southern California....
by stan1
Thu Jun 08, 2017 8:12 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Buying a House with an Old but Working Roof
Replies: 19
Views: 1031

Re: Buying a House with an Old but Working Roof

You can propose whatever you want. The seller will say yes or no or make a counter offer. Then you'll have to decide whether to exercise your inspection contingency to exit the contract or accept the deal. Does a roof that has 5-10 years left trigger an inspection contingency? I don't know but in mo...
by stan1
Tue Jun 06, 2017 8:29 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: [Moving to] Washington, DC Navy Yard Area
Replies: 12
Views: 1110

Re: Washington, DC Navy Yard Area

The area is redeveloping very rapidly but you'll still find pockets where there is a mix of new and old development. I've been there 1 or 2 times per year for the last 15 years and every time I step out of the Metro station I'm surprised at the new construction. There's now a Harris Teeter about 2 b...
by stan1
Mon Jun 05, 2017 8:50 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Worth it to buy expensive clothes?
Replies: 90
Views: 7736

Re: Worth it to buy expensive clothes?

Well fitting clothes do not need to be expensive. The large shirt makers now have multiple fits: extra slim, slim, athletic, regular. I buy them on sale when the price is around $50 each. Those options get me close enough to a shirt that looks good without being custom. It took a few tries but I've ...
by stan1
Mon Jun 05, 2017 8:41 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Flying first class, business, versus economy.
Replies: 105
Views: 6824

Re: Flying first class, business, versus economy.

For a little more perspective on priorities: We started considering business class tickets (purchased on sale) after we had our house paid off and after we had seven figures in investment/retirement accounts. We don't have kids but if we did we would have added after college was paid for. So we are ...
by stan1
Mon Jun 05, 2017 8:15 am
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Do municipal bond funds make sense for me?
Replies: 8
Views: 844

Re: Do municipal bond funds make sense for me?

What percentage of your assets are in retirement accounts today (401Ks, IRAs)? What percentage do you expect would be in retirement accounts in 5 or 10 years as you make more contributions? I don't know whether muni bonds are appropriate for you without more information, but if I did buy muni bonds ...
by stan1
Mon Jun 05, 2017 7:30 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Flying first class, business, versus economy.
Replies: 105
Views: 6824

Re: Flying first class, business, versus economy.

First try premium economy. Cost and product varies by airline. You have to check each airline to see what product they offer as well as determine what type of aircraft you'll be on. Economy Plus is a United product that gives more legroom but otherwise its the same seat as the rest of economy. Briti...
by stan1
Sun Jun 04, 2017 11:56 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: What Will Home Care Cost?
Replies: 25
Views: 2400

Re: What Will Home Care Cost?

My in-laws needed a home health aide on an ad-hoc basis last year. Cost was $25/hour in a low cost of living area through an agency. They cooked meals, cleaned, did laundry, etc. They are not medical professionals. If you need this service long term you could start with an agency and then look for s...
by stan1
Fri Jun 02, 2017 8:20 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Is Flagship membership status worth a $50 [transaction] fee?
Replies: 40
Views: 5206

Re: Is Flagship membership status worth a $50 one time fee?

Don't let the tail wag the dog. Choose your investment strategy and stick to it. I find no benefit to Flagship status. It's not like airline or hotel loyalty programs where there are real benefits that have value to me such as early boarding or lounge access.
by stan1
Wed May 31, 2017 8:47 am
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Does anyone treat taxable as a "someday fund"?
Replies: 86
Views: 5963

Re: Does anyone treat taxable as a "someday fund"?

Sure, I've sold index funds and Muni bond funds in my taxable account to pay for new cars, to get a down payment for a new house, and later to pay off my house. I do make sure I'm selling holdings with long term gains.
by stan1
Tue May 30, 2017 7:16 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Buying parents home--how to navigate
Replies: 12
Views: 1460

Re: Buying parents home--how to navigate

If you buy your inlaws home it is fair to expect that you will help them with housing the rest of their lives. If you need to relocate (planned or unplanned) you'll feel a sense of obligation to bring them with you or find them an affordable place in the future. They sound like wonderful people who ...
by stan1
Fri May 26, 2017 7:52 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Refinance Mortgage From 30 to 15 OR Invest?
Replies: 46
Views: 3964

Re: Refinance Mortgage From 30 to 15 OR Invest?

I'd put money you might need within 5 years for a down payment on a new home or to pay outright for a new car should go into high yield savings account along with whatever you feel appropriate for an emergency fund. Money you might need on a timeline longer than five years (or may be unneeded in yo...
by stan1
Fri May 26, 2017 5:10 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Refinance Mortgage From 30 to 15 OR Invest?
Replies: 46
Views: 3964

Re: Refinance Mortgage From 30 to 15 OR Invest?

I'd put money you might need within 5 years for a down payment on a new home or to pay outright for a new car should go into high yield savings account along with whatever you feel appropriate for an emergency fund. Money you might need on a timeline longer than five years (or may be unneeded in you...
by stan1
Fri May 26, 2017 5:06 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Are middle-aged breadwinners getting a raw deal?
Replies: 20
Views: 2875

Re: Are middle-aged breadwinners getting a raw deal?

Something similar happened in my family 30 40 years ago. My parents divorced. My dad remarried a woman he worked with and their work/social lives continued to blend together. My mom never remarried.
by stan1
Wed May 24, 2017 7:37 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: anyone ever live/living on a boat?
Replies: 46
Views: 5608

Re: anyone ever live/living on a boat?

One consideration: The people I know who live on boats have smaller sailboats where this may be a bigger issue than on a large power boat. They live onboard year round but also take their boats out into the ocean. They've told me most live aboards at their marina end up with a lot of extra personal ...
by stan1
Wed May 24, 2017 7:24 am
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Refinance Mortgage From 30 to 15 OR Invest?
Replies: 46
Views: 3964

Re: Refinance Mortgage From 30 to 15 OR Invest?

Long thread, sorry for jumping in the middle but here's what I would do: It's all about liquidity. 1) Less inclined to re-fi a rental property especially if relocating back to that area is unlikely. It's a business. Look at cash flow. You'll eventually have some large expenses with the house and you...
by stan1
Tue May 23, 2017 8:32 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: California Title Car Paid Off no Title for 8 months
Replies: 6
Views: 764

Re: California Title Car Paid Off no Title for 8 months

It looks like you may have a special case. I'd call a DMV branch office in a rural county and ask how to get a duplicate title. My county has one DMV office for every 450,000 residents. You may get better service where the office is serving 10% of the number of people. It can take over 4 weeks to ge...
by stan1
Sun May 21, 2017 2:18 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Firefox painfully slow
Replies: 34
Views: 3562

Re: Firefox painfully slow

Make sure your hard drive has free space.

Also if you only have 4MB of RAM it may be time to add more.
by stan1
Sun May 21, 2017 8:18 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Job loss
Replies: 28
Views: 2410

Re: Job loss

Your boss probably told you this so you could consider resigning rather than being fired over the weekend. Your boss could have told you that as a personal favor thinking that you might prefer a resignation on your resume. Or, the company could be trying to get you to resign to lower their costs. I ...
by stan1
Fri May 19, 2017 7:55 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Summer outdoor parties - party food ideas
Replies: 20
Views: 1721

Re: Summer outdoor parties - party food ideas

Is this at home or a picnic away from home? We find that taco and sandwich bars are popular year round. For sandwiches we buy a variety of rolls and pre-slice them about 3/4 of the way through. We get deli sliced meats and add in some fun extras like sliced persian cucumbers or several gourmet musta...
by stan1
Fri May 19, 2017 7:31 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: How handle home sale proceeds?
Replies: 7
Views: 802

Re: How handle home sale proceeds?

Be very, very careful about wiring instructions. There is an increasing level of fraud related to wire transfers. If the sale proceeds are wired into the wrong account and withdrawn your money is GONE. Wire transfer fraud has been going on with businesses for some time. I know one very savvy busines...
by stan1
Wed May 17, 2017 7:38 am
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Article: "Our emergency fund is exactly $0.00"
Replies: 73
Views: 7703

Re: Article: "Our emergency fund is exactly $0.00"

People with a six figure taxable account can use that as an emergency fund if they want. Most people don't have a six figure taxable account.
by stan1
Mon May 15, 2017 8:50 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Replace floor BEFORE or AFTER New Cabinets?
Replies: 27
Views: 2427

Re: Replace floor BEFORE or AFTER New Cabinets?

Do you expect the floor or cabinets to last longer? Put the one you expect to last longer in first. I live in an area where almost every house built in the last 60 years has a slab foundation (millions of homes). Builders always put cabinets in before floors and people tend to keep it that way. If y...
by stan1
Sat May 13, 2017 9:04 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Negotiating job responsibilities
Replies: 15
Views: 1237

Re: Negotiating job responsibilities

Discussing specific position/job duties is perfectly reasonable. This is basic communications so talk to them. I would not take a job if I didn't have some idea what I'd be doing. If they are looking for someone to do product development and you don't want to do that it is a mismatch. Most big compa...
by stan1
Sat May 13, 2017 8:23 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Out of town neighbor received FTD del.What to do.
Replies: 13
Views: 1517

Re: Out of town neighbor received FTD del.What to do.

Google is your friend. This is what Martha Stewart has to say about tulips. It seems like almost a full time job to care for them and it only gets rated at 3/5 stars so maybe try another site also: http://www.marthastewart.com/271296/arranging-tulips You've already opened the box. Take a photo. Put ...
by stan1
Sat May 13, 2017 8:17 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Cars: Expense or Asset?
Replies: 84
Views: 4817

Re: Cars: Expense or Asset?

Agree this is mental gymnastics and irrelevant to long term financial planning unless you are about to declare bankruptcy or die. If you want to treat your car as an asset to make your net worth look bigger or want an "accurate" net worth valuation you are only fooling yourself. Is furnitu...
by stan1
Sat May 13, 2017 8:00 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Buying Major Appliances Online
Replies: 20
Views: 1901

Re: Online? Not for me

I have determined that I would save zero$ by buying online. Sub-Zero, Wolf, Miele. These brands, at least in theory, restrict discounting and most retailers are limited to their assigned geographic regions. Be careful that any discounted appliances you might find online are new and have a full warr...
by stan1
Sat May 13, 2017 7:51 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: How much to tip movers?
Replies: 44
Views: 3547

Re: How much to tip movers?

I would give $20/person and be thankful I didn't have to do it myself.
by stan1
Fri May 12, 2017 8:39 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: First Time Home Owner ---- mortgage or cash?
Replies: 8
Views: 1194

Re: First Time Home Owner ---- mortgage or cash?

Easy answer. In your situation I would pay cash but think of it as a loan you have to pay back to yourselves with a payment every month. I'd also use the taxable account to fund improvements and pay yourself back the same way.
by stan1
Fri May 12, 2017 8:29 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Newly Disabled and Need Good Advice
Replies: 16
Views: 1744

Re: Newly Disabled and Need Good Advice

Do you own your home? If so how much is left on the mortgage, how many years left on the loan, and what is your monthly payment? It might make sense to pay off the mortgage with your savings if that would help you get your monthly expenses down closer to your wife's salary + what you expect from SS ...
by stan1
Thu May 11, 2017 8:30 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Home Addition Costs
Replies: 19
Views: 1635

Re: Home Addition Costs

+1 on providing fixtures and materials yourself if you are OK with managing the budget. We just completed a first floor remodel (kitchen, powder, family/fireplace, dining, living). Our contractor/designer had us buy primary materials ourselves. The contractors provided lumber, pipe, fasteners, caulk...
by stan1
Thu May 11, 2017 8:22 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Sell a car to carmax if/when car has a "problem"?
Replies: 22
Views: 3229

Re: Sell a car to carmax if/when car has a "problem"?

I sold a 2001 model vehicle to CarMax a few years ago. They did not ask me to disclose anything other than if it had been in a major accident. They did an inspection and a short test drive. I had been advised by my mechanic the car was developing a head gasket leak (a known problem in that model). I...
by stan1
Tue May 09, 2017 8:06 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Home purchase question
Replies: 22
Views: 2194

Re: Home purchase question

Seems to me you could afford the larger $430K house AND pay down the student loans quicker AND continue to save for retirement/kids with the $400K salary.

I'd buy the home your family will be happy in. You can afford to do so. I'd be careful about embarking on a lot of improvement projects though.
by stan1
Tue May 09, 2017 7:43 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Question about re-gifting a gift for tax purposes
Replies: 13
Views: 698

Re: Question about re-gifting a gift for tax purposes

mrsytf wrote:This may be stating the obvious is your husband married or have a child?


I think you mean is your son married or have a child.
by stan1
Sun May 07, 2017 10:17 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Individual health insurance
Replies: 59
Views: 3423

Re: Individual health insurance

My best advice would be to first forget any preconceived notions you have about politics, health care, and ACA. Treat this solely as a business decision to get the health care you want at a price you want to pay. Get the facts directly from the plans involved (including exchanges and insurers). Also...
by stan1
Sun May 07, 2017 3:54 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Recommended Asset Protection Attorney
Replies: 3
Views: 521

Re: Recommended Asset Protection Attorney

Asset protection is a broad description. Everyone wants to protect assets from something but some people might have a greater likelihood of needing assistance. Are you trying to protect assets from creditors, liability claims, assisted living/nursing home expenses, estate tax, or law enforcement/tax...
by stan1
Sun May 07, 2017 1:31 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Can we afford a 800K house?
Replies: 52
Views: 5027

Re: Can we afford a 800K house?

Immigration status for two people is the main factor I see. I would not make any assumptions about high income individuals being given preference for immigration. At this point it is political not just bureaucratic and anything could happen. Waiving contingencies including finance and inspection has...
by stan1
Sun May 07, 2017 9:35 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Retired - How much can I afford to pay for house
Replies: 12
Views: 1764

Re: Retired - How much can I afford to pay for house

Your wife is right. First, will you be selling your current home? If so you'd be pulling that much less out of your investment accounts. Find the location you'd both enjoy and buy a small, simple home there suitable to a retiree lifestyle. I don't think either of you will suddenly become extravagant...

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