Search found 4683 matches

by stan1
Sun Aug 20, 2017 2:45 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: School District Quality
Replies: 12
Views: 731

Re: School District Quality

In my area median household income by zip code is a simpler metric that gets you most of the way to what you want. The metrics you are looking at are as much about the demographics of the student body as they are about the school itself.
by stan1
Sun Aug 20, 2017 2:29 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: How do you watch movies? (Theater, online streaming, DVD, etc.)
Replies: 16
Views: 783

Re: How do you watch movies? (Theater, online streaming, DVD, etc.)

Haven't been to an actual movie theater in close to 20 years. We use Netflix streaming and discs. There are still a lot of movies or series we want to watch that aren't reliably available on streaming.
by stan1
Sun Aug 20, 2017 12:51 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: I own no international stocks. Can you guess why?
Replies: 94
Views: 4222

Re: I own no international stocks. Can you guess why?

My father in law is a Battle of the Bulge veteran (he was an enlisted MP) who went on to be a chief engineer at a Fortune 500 company (with no college degree). He hasn't left the US since he returned home from Europe in 1945. His former employer of 40+ years is still around but is now a multinationa...
by stan1
Sun Aug 20, 2017 10:27 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Weightlifting Equipment for Home Gym
Replies: 27
Views: 1645

Re: Weightlifting Equipment for Home Gym

If you want a good deal look for lightly used equipment locally. People do buy this stuff, seldom use it, and then decide its taking up too much space in their home/garage or decide to move and figure its easier to get rid of it than move it.
by stan1
Sun Aug 20, 2017 10:15 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Should we sell our Home to Mother-in-law?
Replies: 23
Views: 1151

Re: Should we sell our Home to Mother-in-law?

SuperSaver wrote:
Sun Aug 20, 2017 8:11 am
MIL planning on transferring all assets to grown adult children and grand kids in future
If she has over $1M you need to think carefully about what this means ... don't do anything without a comprehensive estate plan and understanding of how tax laws work.
by stan1
Sun Aug 20, 2017 9:11 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Should we sell our Home to Mother-in-law?
Replies: 23
Views: 1151

Re: Should we sell our Home to Mother-in-law?

Why would a single 60 plus year old woman want to live in alone in a 3000 square foot house? I prefer your plan to sell it on the open market at fair market value. If MIL has over $1M she does not need to be receiving a $90K gift from her heirs. If she has a lot more than $1M strategy should be the ...
by stan1
Sat Aug 19, 2017 7:43 pm
Forum: Forum Issues and Administration
Topic: Home Page Updated
Replies: 42
Views: 2344

Re: Home Page Updated

Thank you for the more/less option on the site description, that helps a lot with readability.
by stan1
Sat Aug 19, 2017 9:34 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Pay off mortgage or taxable account
Replies: 28
Views: 1890

Re: Pay off mortgage or taxable account

Don't think about it as winning or losing! Building a taxable account and paying the mortgage down faster are both signs of financial discipline and success. Do both and pat yourselves on the back. Do some of both. Eventually you'll get to the point where what's left of the mortgage is a small perce...
by stan1
Sat Aug 19, 2017 9:30 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Help with overanalyzing purchases
Replies: 17
Views: 1148

Re: Help with overanalyzing purchases

A ski boat sounds fun if its something you'd use many times per year, and I think your kids would enjoy it as they grow up. Use some of your money for things you enjoy and things that will give you and your kids memories for the rest of their lives. What's not to love about your kids telling your gr...
by stan1
Sat Aug 19, 2017 9:15 am
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: where do I put the proceeds of my house sale?
Replies: 14
Views: 1223

Re: where do I put the proceeds of my house sale?

You have over $900K at age 47. How much do you need? This is a forum filled with outliers. Most people don't retire with $5M or $10M portfolios. Many people would live happily ever after retiring at 65 with $1M in investments/savings. Do you need to reassess your risk tolerance? If you are going to ...
by stan1
Sat Aug 19, 2017 9:08 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: DUI lawyer - need advice
Replies: 85
Views: 6403

Re: DUI lawyer - need advice

It depends on the state and court system. Some places it might help, other places it would be a waste of money.

Agree the child should feel a lot of pain but there are places in the country where hiring an attorney gets "well off" people a different outcome than people who can't afford an attorney.
by stan1
Sat Aug 19, 2017 9:03 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Kitchen Remodel Price/Contractor Dispute
Replies: 33
Views: 3124

Re: Kitchen Remodel Price/Contractor Dispute

If you have a problem with something a year from now how do you want the contractor to respond? Staying on good terms with your contractor has some value. I'm not saying you should pay because it seems like the owner shouldn't have agreed to the 10% discount if it meant he wouldn't honor the design ...
by stan1
Fri Aug 18, 2017 8:17 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Anyone have a personal chef?
Replies: 48
Views: 4155

Re: Anyone have a personal chef?

If it is just two adults I'd look at meal delivery services first, with the caveat that your spouse's "limited diet" may require something very custom and make meal delivery unworkable. We have used Freshly which covers a lot of the US. There are also many local options that might work if "limited d...
by stan1
Fri Aug 18, 2017 7:59 am
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: "Vanguard fund shareholders encouraged to vote as proxy campaign gets under way."
Replies: 69
Views: 8014

Re: "Vanguard fund shareholders encouraged to vote as proxy campaign gets under way."

The socially correct international investing proposal is clearly labeled as a shareholder initiated -- not by Vanguard management. The REIT proposal is very important as it fundamentally changes the REIT Index Fund from REITs to Real Estate: Vanguard is proposing to add real estate development and m...
by stan1
Thu Aug 17, 2017 8:16 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Should we pay off the house before the baby arrives?
Replies: 11
Views: 877

Re: Should we pay off the house before the baby arrives?

What percentage of your total portfolio value is the $170K? What percentage of your taxable investment and savings accounts is the $170K? What is your annual income and how much do you save each year? If the $170K is more than lets say 20% of your portfolio or would deplete almost all of your taxabl...
by stan1
Wed Aug 16, 2017 8:36 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Is $9000 too much for a sectional sofa ?
Replies: 123
Views: 6478

Re: Is $9000 too much for a sectional sofa ?

Toddlers and preschoolers might wreck furniture; teens and adults should not be wrecking furniture. If you are going to use the sofa as a dining table I'd go with something lower cost. We paid about $5000 for a two piece leather corner sectional a few months ago. It fits nicely into the room. We bou...
by stan1
Wed Aug 16, 2017 8:22 am
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: California - clarification on taxes
Replies: 36
Views: 2383

Re: California - clarification on taxes

Not mentioned yet are Traditional 401K contributions that help a lot in the 28% federal/9.3% state tax bracket.
by stan1
Wed Aug 16, 2017 8:15 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Plan for making child pay for part of college
Replies: 111
Views: 5235

Re: Plan for making child pay for part of college

I'd focus on expectations. Do your kids have jobs while in high school? If you expect them to work through college better get them used to balancing priorities between work and school now. If you can't or don't want to pay for out of state or private school tuition I'd make that very clear to them t...
by stan1
Mon Aug 14, 2017 8:26 am
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: XIRR - Non-reinvested dividends
Replies: 39
Views: 3089

Re: XIRR - Non-reinvested dividends

If you're working with a total portfolio balance and the dividends go to a Money market fund, etc which is included in the total portfolio balance, then no it is not a withdrawal. This is what I do. I calculate XIRR on my total portfolio not individual holdings or accounts. I have dividends in my t...
by stan1
Sat Aug 12, 2017 5:38 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Model Home Purchase/Leaseback
Replies: 16
Views: 1198

Re: Model Home Purchase/Leaseback

My experience is that models generally sell for a price favorable to the builder. Usually its someone who falls in love with the interior decorating done by the builder, really wants a turn key home, and it becomes an emotional purchase. Your situation may be different so keep track of what the hous...
by stan1
Wed Aug 09, 2017 8:59 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Do you plan to ditch your laptop in travel soon?
Replies: 54
Views: 3655

Re: Do you plan to ditch your laptop in travel soon?

I use:

Macbook Air 11"
iPhone w/ international data package

There's still plenty of things I prefer the larger screen and keyboard for. For me MacBook Air is easier than a tablet plus folding keyboard.
by stan1
Wed Aug 09, 2017 8:40 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Remodel or move?
Replies: 8
Views: 695

Re: Remodel or move?

To me the key would be "location". You could always get a larger lot or house, but is the neighborhood viewed as one of the best in your city? Close to jobs? Homes well maintained? Good public schools? If you like the location and others also like it (for resale) I'd strongly consider the remodel. W...
by stan1
Mon Aug 07, 2017 8:04 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Best bond fund for taxable 3 fund portfolio in CA?
Replies: 9
Views: 603

Re: Best bond fund for taxable 3 fund portfolio in CA?

Hello All, I live in California and am in the 9.3% state bracket, and 33% federal bracket. What bond fund do you recommend for a taxable 3 fund portfolio? The total value of the portfolio initially would be about 100K. Thank you! Is this just looking at your taxable account or your entire portfolio...
by stan1
Mon Aug 07, 2017 7:37 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Buying parents home and estate planing
Replies: 17
Views: 1244

Re: Buying parents home and estate planing

Another option: Is the $350K home too large for their needs to the point where they have difficulty maintaining the property? Could they sell this house and buy a lower cost home or condo for cash? This approach may take some time for them to think through. You haven't mentioned their health status ...
by stan1
Mon Aug 07, 2017 3:59 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Buying parents home and estate planing
Replies: 17
Views: 1244

Re: Buying parents home and estate planing

Agree, giving them some money every month seems like the first course of action if you are OK doing that for the rest of their lives.
by stan1
Sun Aug 06, 2017 12:20 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: LastPass Premium price increasing
Replies: 32
Views: 2806

Re: LastPass Premium price increasing

I log into accounts from my phone and three different laptops. I use random 20+ character passwords including symbols that are impossible to memorize. My eyes are bad so manually typing long character strings especially on my phone is error prone and frustrating and I need to cut/paste. I understand...
by stan1
Sun Aug 06, 2017 12:10 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: trying to understand total market and value investing
Replies: 77
Views: 4846

Re: trying to understand total market and value investing

Total Stock Market's "Top 5" holdings right now are:
Apple
Alphabet (Google)
Microsoft
Amazon
Facebook

I realize some will say that's diversified because the market has determined valuation. I beg to differ.
by stan1
Sun Aug 06, 2017 11:38 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Heavy Duty Boxes for Long Term Permanent Storage
Replies: 20
Views: 1623

Re: Heavy Duty Boxes for Long Term Permanent Storage

Heavy duty small boxes at Home Depot. Last I bought some they were about $3 each. Fill them up to the top. Fill up empty space with clothing or bedding. Use small boxes so they don't get too heavy. Make them all the same size so they stack easier. Stack them up heavy (books) on the bottom and light ...
by stan1
Sun Aug 06, 2017 11:32 am
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Should I make Roth 401k or Traditional 401k contributions?
Replies: 8
Views: 737

Re: Should I make Roth 401k or Traditional 401k contributions?

Meh, it's a minor factor. I'd probably do the Roth 401K now and then switch to Traditional 401K once you get married. Reason is to build up some diversification between pre-tax (Traditional) and post-tax (Roth) retirement accounts. There's no way to predict future tax rates or market returns so dive...
by stan1
Sun Aug 06, 2017 11:21 am
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Do I have enough to retire-retire from the military
Replies: 42
Views: 3557

Re: Do I have enough to retire-retire from the military

You can choose to retire to a state that has favorable tax treatment for military pensions. The elephant in the room is any service connected disability which could be a big consideration for taxation, education costs for kids, etc.
by stan1
Sun Aug 06, 2017 11:00 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Townhome or condo?
Replies: 29
Views: 2220

Re: Townhome or condo?

With your rent at $2400/month I don't think you should buy now. If you buy a condo get one that "feels" more like an attached single family home or townhouse rather than an apartment. No one wants to spend that amount of money and feel like they are living in an apartment complex. Best if no unit ab...
by stan1
Sun Aug 06, 2017 10:03 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: knee replacement and air travel screening
Replies: 11
Views: 1181

Re: knee replacement and air travel screening

Try it and see, just allow a little extra time until you know the results. I would not volunteer anything in advance. Make sure to remove other metal objects like watches, coins, keys that could trigger the equipment. If the knee alarms follow the process. At that point I might say "oh, I had knee r...
by stan1
Sun Aug 06, 2017 9:53 am
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Should TBM Be Your Only Bond Fund?
Replies: 33
Views: 4916

Re: Should TBM Be Your Only Bond Fund?

Big picture: I don't think it will make much difference on what age you retire, whether you outlive your assets, or how much you leave to your heirs.
by stan1
Sun Aug 06, 2017 9:27 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: LastPass Premium price increasing
Replies: 32
Views: 2806

Re: LastPass Premium price increasing

Glad I bought 10 years in 2015 when buy-out announcement was made. Had I known of a 10 year option, I would have bought it in 2015. Never say anything like that though. I bought one 5 year which added onto the term of my existing subscription. So I said to myself "let's try another 5 years" and the...
by stan1
Sat Aug 05, 2017 7:17 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Help me pick a car
Replies: 54
Views: 4141

Re: Help me pick a car

I'd show her some Subarus. With a 7 month old you'll be using a stroller long enough that a CUV with a flat deck makes sense, plus you have 20 years of kids gear ahead in the future from strollers, to sports gear, to art projects, to moving into a dorm. There's a reason big station wagons in the 60s...
by stan1
Sat Aug 05, 2017 6:20 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Do I want a landscape architect? If not, what?
Replies: 8
Views: 849

Re: Do I want a landscape architect? If not, what?

I'd go on a site like Houzz and find a few photos of what you'd like to have. Then show those to a landscape contractor who also does design. For a small size I think that will work unless you want something that is stunning and unique that takes a lot of specialized creative talent.
by stan1
Fri Aug 04, 2017 8:17 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Making a Direct Offer to Purchase a Home
Replies: 28
Views: 2369

Re: Making a Direct Offer to Purchase a Home

Even in a state where fill in the blank forms are often used I'd bring in an attorney for a private party sale. I can't imagine why you would waive an inspection unless you are in the SF Bay area and there will be 10 other offers without an inspection contingency if they put it on the market? Anoth...
by stan1
Fri Aug 04, 2017 8:03 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Making a Direct Offer to Purchase a Home
Replies: 28
Views: 2369

Re: Making a Direct Offer to Purchase a Home

Even in a state where fill in the blank forms are often used I'd bring in an attorney for a private party sale. I can't imagine why you would waive an inspection unless you are in the SF Bay area and there will be 10 other offers without an inspection contingency if they put it on the market? Anothe...
by stan1
Thu Aug 03, 2017 10:11 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Real Estate agent fees for purchaser
Replies: 9
Views: 717

Re: Real Estate agent fees for purchaser

This is not normal where I live. There are a lot of under-employed realtors here since it is a HCOL metro area with not a lot of turnover in housing stock. You'd need to understand what's typical in your area and whether you'd be getting something of value to you for the additional fee. I know peopl...
by stan1
Thu Aug 03, 2017 9:22 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: LastPass Premium price increasing
Replies: 32
Views: 2806

Re: LastPass Premium price increasing

Glad I bought 10 years in 2015 when buy-out announcement was made.
by stan1
Wed Aug 02, 2017 10:25 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: belts for dress pants
Replies: 37
Views: 2280

Re: belts for dress pants

I bought a belt from Bullhide about 5 years ago. I wear it 5 days per week and feel a little bad that I haven't bought another one because the original has held up so well. Very highly customizable.

http://www.bullhidebelts.com/
by stan1
Wed Aug 02, 2017 7:09 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: How far off are Zillow's estimates?
Replies: 82
Views: 7371

Re: How far off are Zillow's estimates?

Zestimates are for entertainment purposes. Nothing more.
by stan1
Wed Aug 02, 2017 7:00 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: What do you do when you need access to money in an investment account?
Replies: 33
Views: 2850

Re: What do you do when you need access to money in an investment account?

I'd sell whatever has the lowest long term capital gains. Also use it as an opportunity to sell an investment you no longer want to hold (such as an individual stock or an active mutual fund if you have any). Also can be an opportunity to rebalance by selling something you are overweight in for your...
by stan1
Wed Jul 26, 2017 7:30 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: online storage for small community - dropbox? other?
Replies: 6
Views: 357

Re: online storage for small community - dropbox? other?

Is this a condominium and how many units are there? We have an association manager who runs a basic website containing monthly bulletins, financial statements, reserve studies, CC&Rs, etc. She uploads new information but the site itself hasn't changed in I'd guess 15 years. The association manag...
by stan1
Mon Jul 24, 2017 7:49 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Three credit card scams ATTEMPTED this week
Replies: 9
Views: 1939

Re: Three credit card scams ATTEMPTED this week

Not convinced this is a scam or an anomaly with the virtual card numbers. Hopefully they get it fixed fast for those of you who use them.
by stan1
Sun Jul 23, 2017 10:05 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Would you chase down this possible hit and run lead?
Replies: 31
Views: 2896

Re: Would you chase down this possible hit and run lead?

There's nothing actionable here especially if you don't think it needs to be repaired and it doesn't seem like you are questioning your choice of the $1K deductible.
by stan1
Sat Jul 22, 2017 1:00 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: should my 22 yr old son have my power of attorney
Replies: 13
Views: 1516

Re: should my 22 yr old son have my power of attorney

I would wait longer to make the changes (especially if you and your spouse are both healthy and you trust your older brothers). Maybe when he is 30 but each family's situation is different.
by stan1
Sat Jul 22, 2017 9:52 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: What's your personal savings rate?
Replies: 135
Views: 11363

Re: What's your personal savings rate?

I don't think this is a very useful metric to benchmark against across different income levels. Someone who earns $500K/year can live the same lifestyle as someone who earns $50K/year (with the difference being taxes).
by stan1
Sat Jul 22, 2017 8:40 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Does anyone set portfolio goals and rewards?
Replies: 35
Views: 2261

Re: Does anyone set portfolio goals and rewards?

I don't like the potential behavioral impacts of tying rewards to portfolio performance. Seems like it could consciously or subconsciously encourage speculation, a riskier asset allocation, or market timing. Now I realize most here will claim they have full control of the situation and this couldn't...
by stan1
Sat Jul 22, 2017 8:17 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: if spreadsheet with account balances goes to hackers?
Replies: 11
Views: 1075

Re: if spreadsheet with account balances goes to hackers?

I see minimal risk in storing account balances, unless you are a high profile individual who would be targeted for a cyber attack. High profile isn't limited to politicians and actresses; it would include an attorney working on a lot of international cases or someone who has knowledge of significant...