Search found 4346 matches

by stan1
Sun May 29, 2016 1:47 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Buying and Selling Home via Redfin
Replies: 3
Views: 565

Re: Buying and Selling Home via Redfin

Another approach would be to interview a successful agent who closes a lot of sales in your neighborhood as the seller's agent and ask what type of deal she would be willing to negotiate if you also use her as the buyer's agent on a new house. Part of this is market dependent: if you are confident t...
by stan1
Sun May 29, 2016 12:08 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: 82yr old mother set to inherit large sum
Replies: 12
Views: 1766

Re: 82yr old mother set to inherit large sum

Your mom is very fortunate to have a brother and three sons who are looking out for her. Financially what I'd say at this point is that she has no need to take risk. One key point is going to be whether the inheritance comes to her in or out of an IRA. She now has the money to move into a nice senio...
by stan1
Sun May 29, 2016 11:38 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: HSA better than PPO in all scenarios
Replies: 14
Views: 1691

Re: HSA better than PPO in all scenarios

This is awful insurance. Is the deductible per person or for the entire family (hopefully the latter)? Even worse is the 50% reimbursement after the deductible is met. Are all three plans with the same provider network? Personally I would consider looking for another job unless there's a really good...
by stan1
Thu May 26, 2016 6:33 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Is Real Estate Market going crazy again?
Replies: 81
Views: 6942

Re: Is Real Estate Market going crazy again?

The identical house down the street from us sold earlier in May for 8% more than we paid for ours 9 months earlier. I'm glad we didn't buy at the top, but also don't want to see another round of foreclosures and rental conversions. We live in a planned urban development with 60 single family detache...
by stan1
Sun May 22, 2016 3:03 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Gift Tax
Replies: 7
Views: 780

Re: Gift Tax

Short answer: No. It sounds like you are giving him less than $14,000 per year. If you are giving him more than that answer might change and we need to know if you or he are married. There is also an educational exclusion if you are making payments directly to the university for tuition but that doe...
by stan1
Sun May 22, 2016 1:56 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Anything special about FEGLI? [ Federal Employees' Group Life Insurance]
Replies: 8
Views: 491

Re: Anything special about FEGLI? [ Federal Employees' Group Life Insurance]

FEGLI is operated under a long term contract to MetLife. If a claim is made the beneficiaries get a check from MetLife not U.S. Treasury. I don't know what the federal government's role would be if MetLife couldn't pay but I'm sure someone on this board has investigated and will post. Congress can v...
by stan1
Sun May 22, 2016 1:41 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Mortgage options after foreclosure?
Replies: 5
Views: 701

Re: Mortgage options after foreclosure?

They would have to start talking to mortgage brokers and lenders. They might get vectored to a high risk lender and pay a higher interest rate.

The details matter including income, type of income (W-2 or not), amount of loan, down payment, credit score, other assets, and other debt.
by stan1
Sun May 22, 2016 1:30 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Anything special about FEGLI? [ Federal Employees' Group Life Insurance]
Replies: 8
Views: 491

Re: Anything special about FEGLI?

FEGLI does not require medical exams/tests when you get hired or have kids. Make sure you also consider that FEGLI rates go up a lot as you get older. You will get a better price on 20 or 30 year term insurance if you and your wife can go through an underwriting process and pass the medical exam/tes...
by stan1
Sun May 22, 2016 1:23 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Buying land in West
Replies: 30
Views: 2783

Re: Buying land in West

Definitely something you need to time right (buy low) and get lucky with things you can't control (climate change, population growth, nearby infrastructure improvements that add value not reduce value, trends). Likelihood of randomly buying 80 acres today and then having someone propose and actually...
by stan1
Thu May 19, 2016 7:47 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Higher condo fees on higher floor units?
Replies: 25
Views: 1805

Re: Higher condo fees on higher floor units?

Around here I've seen some new construction urban condos that have both walk up and mid/high-rise units with the idea that the walk-ups help make the sidewalk more walkable/livable. The HOA dues for the walk ups are the same per square foot as the high rise even though the walk up townhouses don't h...
by stan1
Thu May 19, 2016 7:37 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Macbook Air - how to keep it running smoothly?
Replies: 18
Views: 1988

Re: Macbook Air - how to keep it running smoothly?

Is the computer running out of disk space? Click on the Apple icon in the upper left, About This Mac, Storage and if it is down in the 1 or 2 GB range or below it probably is running out of disk space especially when doing updates. I have a 128 GB hard drive and find that I have had to move some pho...
by stan1
Tue May 17, 2016 7:56 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: options other than paying ex spouse from TSP
Replies: 7
Views: 686

Re: options other than paying ex spouse from TSP

How much do you have in the brokerage account and how much in capital gains? Personally I'd be inclined to do that first so long as you had adequate emergency fund or another way to maintain liquidity. I remember your earlier posts. Sounds like you decided to keep the house. Sorry things didn't work...
by stan1
Wed May 11, 2016 7:50 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Evicting a tenant-Hire lawyer?
Replies: 50
Views: 4449

Re: Evicting a tenant-Hire lawyer?

Yep, hire a local area residential landlord/tenant (eviction) specialist unless you want to become one yourself.
by stan1
Sat May 07, 2016 11:18 am
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Best bank for Home owners association banking
Replies: 10
Views: 726

Re: Best bank for Home owners association banking

I would check with other HOAs in your area. If you don't have these relationships you should build them for references to other professionals who specialize in work with cost-sensitive HOAs (auditors, attorneys, contractors).
by stan1
Sat May 07, 2016 9:49 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Tips for Selling Bedroom Set
Replies: 27
Views: 2028

Re: Tips for Selling Bedroom Set

I'd venture it will be hard to find a buyer willing to pay $550 so you'll have to decide whether you want to get rid of them quickly or hold out. Donate for a tax deduction or contact a consignment store (some consignment stores will only want to work with higher end pieces so you may have to call a...
by stan1
Thu May 05, 2016 8:43 am
Forum: Forum Issues and Administration
Topic: Revealing Usernames
Replies: 52
Views: 5045

Re: Revealing Usernames

Definitely a good idea to remain anonymous for most people and should be encouraged when any specific financial information is posted. Current and future employers, charitable organizations, school teachers, nosy neighbors, etc. can all do google searches in addition to bad guys who commit fraud. No...
by stan1
Tue May 03, 2016 8:19 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Not at fault Car accident, should I file for Arbitration?
Replies: 26
Views: 1973

Re: Not at fault Car accident, should I file for Arbitration?

What state are you in? It does matter as every state is different.
by stan1
Sat Apr 09, 2016 9:33 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: is keeping employer health insurance a good reason to stay in a bad job
Replies: 29
Views: 2119

Re: is keeping employer health insurance a good reason to stay in a bad job

Among my truisms: "people take the best jobs they can get" I don't think this is true for many people. I know many people who could get a "better" job but don't because they are risk averse, don't like change, or can't see that a different job would be an improvement. Unfortunat...
by stan1
Sat Apr 09, 2016 7:37 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Experience with Honda Sensing?
Replies: 41
Views: 2891

Re: Experience with Honda Sensing?

Lots of discussion about the new CIvic and Honda Sensing on the CIvic X (10th Gen) forum:
http://www.civicx.com/forums/
by stan1
Fri Apr 01, 2016 7:33 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: SF Bay Area Housing: Listing agent underpricing
Replies: 58
Views: 4023

Re: SF Bay Area Housing: Listing agent underpricing

My good news story: I intentionally set the price a little low hoping to create interest and there also were some nearby houses that were closing at lower $/square foot than I hoped to get for ours. Listed house last summer on a Weds. Open house on Sunday. Had about 30 showings by Monday. Had 2 offe...
by stan1
Thu Mar 31, 2016 8:29 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: SF Bay Area Housing: Listing agent underpricing
Replies: 58
Views: 4023

Re: SF Bay Area Housing: Listing agent underpricing

You can:
1) Play the game and win (overpay for a house probably by waiving all contingencies)
2) Play the game and lose (get frustrated with not having offers accepted)
3) Sit on the sidelines (rent)
4) Play a game with better odds (move to flyover state)
by stan1
Thu Mar 31, 2016 8:30 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: First time home buying, need advice!
Replies: 35
Views: 3141

Re: First time home buying, need advice!

What I would **not** recommend doing is buying a condo that feels like an apartment. There are many, many condos in most cities and they can be hard to sell if there isn't something special like a view, lots of light, great location, very quiet, dedicated parking, well managed complex. Be picky even...
by stan1
Thu Mar 31, 2016 7:07 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Remodel or buy a different house?
Replies: 13
Views: 1487

Re: Remodel or buy a different house?

We learned our lesson on the first houses we bought (before we were married): location matters. Our subsequent houses have always been in desirable neighborhoods that we've enjoyed living in (with the added benefit that houses in desirable neighborhoods are likely to be easier to sell when the time ...
by stan1
Fri Mar 25, 2016 7:17 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Europe Trip in August
Replies: 99
Views: 5632

Re: Europe Trip in August

I really hate to say this, and I'm going to come across as a complete racist, but I think part of the reason people feel safer in Europe is because it is much more homogenous... Actually homogeneous is an out of date view. I'm guessing you haven't ridden the London, Paris, or Berlin metro/bahn in a...
by stan1
Wed Mar 23, 2016 8:45 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Black formal shoes with sneaker like support
Replies: 56
Views: 4901

Re: Black formal shoes with sneaker like support

smackboy1 wrote:I've gotten away with wearing Merrell black nubuck Jungle Mocs with my tux. It's dark and nobody is looking at my feet :beer



People have likely noticed, they just haven't said anything to you. Whether that matters is unknown (boss, client, future spouse, random person you'll never meet again).
by stan1
Tue Mar 22, 2016 8:24 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Changing careers to finance mid 30's
Replies: 40
Views: 3958

Re: Changing careers to finance mid 30's

Do you have any interaction with the executives you cook for in your current job (e.g. make customized dishes for them or handle special requests, able to walk around the dining room and ask them if they like their meal)? Seems like you are very close to being able to build a network if you have som...
by stan1
Mon Mar 21, 2016 8:20 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Bad service - Dispute transaction with credit card company?
Replies: 14
Views: 1559

Re: Bad service - Dispute transaction with credit card company?

The Fair Credit BIlling Act covers billing errors not consumer regret and dissatisfaction so I don't think you'd get much sympathy from the credit card issuer. But maybe your state has a different law. A billing error is something like a double charge, a charge for something that was returned but no...
by stan1
Sun Mar 20, 2016 6:04 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Retired and Risk Averse - Suggestions Please
Replies: 27
Views: 2378

Re: Retired and Risk Averse - Suggestions Please

If you really are risk averse you might put some of it into FDIC insured CDs at a bank/credit union (since you are living off SS/pension). That's going to pay much more than Vanguard's money market fund. You could do: 1/3 S&P 500 Index (or Total Stock Market) 1/3 Total Bond Market 1/3 5 year CD ...
by stan1
Sun Mar 20, 2016 5:56 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: not filing CA state income tax if getting a small refund
Replies: 14
Views: 1113

Re: not filing CA state income tax if getting a small refund

Yes, seems like he might qualify for the "free" online version of TurboTax (federal and state).
by stan1
Sun Mar 20, 2016 5:18 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Importance of parental involvement in education.
Replies: 31
Views: 2540

Re: Importance of parental involvement in education.

For OP: Make the decision in 10 years (if everything has gone according to the plan you've laid out). In the meantime enjoy your family, live within your means and save enough to give yourselves flexibility if you need it in the future.
by stan1
Sun Mar 20, 2016 1:59 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Tax Strategies for significant capital gains
Replies: 10
Views: 1047

Re: Tax Strategies for significant capital gains

Are these stock options or shares you own outright in an employee stock ownership plan or something else?
by stan1
Fri Mar 18, 2016 10:46 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Dishwasher recommendation.
Replies: 44
Views: 3179

Re: Dishwasher recommendation.

Appliance manufacturers are about halfway through a multi-decade long battle to convince people these are generally disposable products -- not repairable products.

"Resistance is futile ..."
by stan1
Fri Mar 18, 2016 8:27 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Age 29; stay in smaller house or buy a bigger house?
Replies: 44
Views: 4211

Re: Age 29; stay in smaller house or buy a bigger house?

Quality of life is it. Commute time, schools, parks, family/friends/neighbors. I wouldn't give up having those close by for a big house. Also I would not buy ahead of need.
by stan1
Fri Mar 18, 2016 6:07 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Suburbs with high ownership
Replies: 29
Views: 2803

Re: Suburbs with high ownership

I think you'd find good suburbs to live in by spending a few minutes looking through the city-data forums for each city. Comparing median income for the zip code with median for the metro area is going to give you many of the same zip codes. Household size if lots of kids or few kids matters to you....
by stan1
Fri Mar 18, 2016 5:36 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Should I proactively freeze my credit?
Replies: 18
Views: 1303

Re: Should I proactively freeze my credit?

The 3 credit bureaus make money by selling your data so they don't go out of their way to make this overly user friendly or convenient, but I've had my credit frozen now for about 2 years and am glad I did so. We did buy a new house last summer and although I had problems with one of the 3 bureaus w...
by stan1
Fri Mar 11, 2016 9:35 am
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: How to invest while living in Ukraine?
Replies: 5
Views: 540

Re: How to invest while living in Ukraine?

Did the friend ask you to become involved in his finances, such as holding the account in your name or facilitating transfers of funds? I'd say no to that.
by stan1
Wed Mar 09, 2016 8:59 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: House Accidentally in Deed of Trust
Replies: 4
Views: 839

Re: House Accidentally in Deed of Trust

Before you do anything go down to your county/city recorder's office (or similiar) and do a records search against the property to make sure there aren't any other documents recorded that are dated later and which are missing in your records. Sometimes you can do this online these days -- and someti...
by stan1
Wed Mar 09, 2016 6:57 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Choosing real estate agent for selling house
Replies: 6
Views: 588

Re: Choosing real estate agent for selling house

I sold my mom's 45 year old house a few years ago. What I did was make certain that it was priced slightly below market value based on the closest comps we could find. There weren't any exact comps so we were looking at houses that were 20 years newer. We got a full price offer about 60 days after w...
by stan1
Wed Mar 09, 2016 6:43 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Mom needs long term care - assets into trust?
Replies: 22
Views: 2276

Re: Mom needs long term care - assets into trust?

Don't move any money around until you've talked to the elder care attorney in your mom's state.
Try to keep the records clean until you have the advice of the attorney.
Definitely don't give anyone "gifts" out of her accounts.
by stan1
Sun Mar 06, 2016 9:30 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Cities good for living abroad?
Replies: 110
Views: 10041

Re: Cities good for living abroad?

Depending on your situation, you'll need to get smart on Schengen visa requirements. I will. I assume that since we have no intention of earning any income or doing any business there, it will not be a real problem. L. You assume wrong. With that approach you could well get an "illegal immigra...
by stan1
Sun Mar 06, 2016 12:27 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Virginia Tech vs. NC State [choosing a school]
Replies: 52
Views: 3145

Re: Virginia Tech vs. NC State [choosing a school]

There will be some debate whether its better to be a B student at VT or a C student at GA Tech. I don't know the answer but a lot of it is going to be how the student responds. I was a B student with some Cs at a very prestigious public university majoring in Electrical Engineering. I did get a job ...
by stan1
Sat Mar 05, 2016 12:39 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Virginia Tech vs. NC State [choosing a school]
Replies: 52
Views: 3145

Re: Virginia Tech vs. NC State [choosing a school]

I work with several VT grads who had a good experience (albeit 20+ years ago). Agree the college community around VT is something that might be appreciated in years to come although being in the RTP area will offer more opportunities for local and career relevant summer jobs. Some schools let studen...
by stan1
Sat Mar 05, 2016 9:17 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Storing Files on the 'Cloud' - Security Fears?
Replies: 8
Views: 671

Re: Storing Files on the 'Cloud' - Security Fears?

I'd be a lot more concerned about it if you are a high profile individual who might be targeted. That includes public figures like politicians and actors but also scientists, C-level executives and their staff, and attorneys who might be targeted because you would be expected to have access to intel...
by stan1
Sat Mar 05, 2016 8:58 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: How much fed tax do you withhold?
Replies: 22
Views: 1893

Re: How much fed tax do you withhold?

I try to owe feds and state $100-300 each. Usually takes me 2 or 3 years to get that perfected after a large income or deduction change though. In September or October I sometimes adjust withholding for the rest of the year to fine tune.
by stan1
Fri Mar 04, 2016 11:09 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: housing: am I just being too picky?
Replies: 60
Views: 6610

Re: housing: am I just being too picky?

To get RV parking around here with a reasonable commute time you'd need to be looking at older (1950s-1970s) neighborhoods that have larger/wider lots and no HOA -- possibly in an area that was semi-rural at the time some houses were built but now has denser development. Maybe zoned for horses or li...
by stan1
Thu Mar 03, 2016 9:18 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Using electronic lock box when selling house
Replies: 28
Views: 1698

Re: Using electronic lock box when selling house

goshenBogle: You are not wrong to not use a lock box, especially since you are still living in the house. I would NEVER allow a lock box while still occupying the house. Interested buyers will go through their realtor, who will contact your realtor to arrange a visit. No problem. It really depends....
by stan1
Thu Mar 03, 2016 9:14 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Using electronic lock box when selling house
Replies: 28
Views: 1698

Re: Using electronic lock box when selling house

Is your goal to sell the house soon or are you listing the house to see if anyone will pay a high price for the property? Keeping a house ready for buyers to walk through is a lot of work. We wanted to get it over with quickly. You should have the house decluttered, moved out some furniture, and spo...
by stan1
Wed Mar 02, 2016 9:24 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Building a house in 5-10 years from now
Replies: 10
Views: 982

Re: Building a house in 5-10 years from now

Simple: spend a lot less than you earn.

Two ways to do that: spend less and earn more.

Sorry there's no other secrets.
by stan1
Sun Feb 28, 2016 9:22 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Selling house - Is dual agency relationship a good or bad idea?
Replies: 41
Views: 2496

Re: Selling house - Is dual agency relationship a good or bad idea?

We have sold three homes over the past 30 years. Twice the listing agent brought in the buyer and it almost happened the third time. It went down like this: 1) Listing agent held first open house. Buyer visited open house without an agent and our listing agent became the buyers agent. There were mu...
by stan1
Sun Feb 28, 2016 6:28 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Selling house - Is dual agency relationship a good or bad idea?
Replies: 41
Views: 2496

Re: Selling house - Is dual agency relationship a good or bad idea?

We have sold three homes over the past 30 years. Twice the listing agent brought in the buyer and it almost happened the third time. It went down like this: 1) Listing agent held first open house. Buyer visited open house without an agent and our listing agent became the buyers agent. There were mul...

Go to advanced search