Search found 4365 matches

by stan1
Fri Jul 22, 2016 7:44 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Help With Picking Job Title at Startup
Replies: 33
Views: 2029

Re: Help With Picking Job Title at Startup

I would pick a title that reflects what you are good at and use terminology that is common in your industry.
by stan1
Fri Jul 22, 2016 7:30 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Buying a house with a partner with separate assets
Replies: 13
Views: 1225

Re: Buying a house with a partner with separate assets

We kept it simple: each of us contributed 50% to all house related costs and expenses. The house was held as Joint Tenancy with Right of Survivorship. We each left the other our share of the house in our wills. We did not have other legal agreements related to the house such as a document stating ho...
by stan1
Mon Jul 18, 2016 7:02 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: HOA Swimming Pool Trespassing Issue
Replies: 100
Views: 6486

Re: HOA Swimming Pool Trespassing Issue

We set up a simple camera system with 24 hours of storage and one of the board members reviews it if noise concerns are noted by residents who live near the pool. I think it was a couple hundred dollars. However a few residents were weirded out about putting the pool under video surveillance. They w...
by stan1
Thu Jul 14, 2016 7:35 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Boss cutting salary in response to employee not doing "job"
Replies: 78
Views: 8573

Re: Boss cutting salary in response to employee not doing "job"

Sounds to me like boss is trying to get the employee to quit rather than fire her. I can think of several reasons why the boss might do this, including terms of the contract (which none of us have seen) but also desire to avoid confrontation; cultural norms (if applicable for boss or employee); feel...
by stan1
Wed Jul 13, 2016 8:29 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Do you tip Uber drivers?
Replies: 49
Views: 5222

Re: Do you tip Uber drivers?

I do tip. I haven't drunk the kool-aid on the gig/outsourced economy but that's not a topic for discussion on this forum.
by stan1
Tue Jul 12, 2016 5:15 am
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: This portfolio appropriate for a 91 year old widow?
Replies: 26
Views: 2109

Re: This portfolio appropriate for a 91 year old widow?

Has she ever drawn down any of the money for living expenses? If not and she is in good health I'd go with the highest yield 5 to 7 year FDIC insured CD I could find (should be around 2%). Look into the early withdrawal penalties. Interest rates have been low for awhile now but if something unexpect...
by stan1
Sun Jul 10, 2016 12:36 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Email compromised: How serious?
Replies: 42
Views: 2628

Re: Email compromised: How serious?

My understanding is that someone on the dark web is selling a combination of my email address and [old] password. Victoria It could also be your email address with a password you never used or your email address with a password you used at another site. Many sites use your email address as a login ...
by stan1
Tue Jul 05, 2016 7:01 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Can I afford a million dollar house?
Replies: 85
Views: 8556

Re: Can I afford a million dollar house?

You started this thread asking for advice less than 24 hours before updating everyone that you made an offer at asking price (against the overwhelming consensus that you shouldn't) AND you got feedback that the seller received many cash other offers above asking - all on the July 4th holiday (in my...
by stan1
Mon Jul 04, 2016 7:21 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Can I afford a million dollar house?
Replies: 85
Views: 8556

Re: Can I afford a million dollar house?

I appreciate all of the feedbacks. I think my numbers are a bit too optimistic. **Update** I did make an offer on the housing @ asking price. However, my agent informed me the seller received three offers that are above asking price and they are all cash offer. Yes, this is happening with highly de...
by stan1
Mon Jul 04, 2016 3:11 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Can I afford a million dollar house?
Replies: 85
Views: 8556

Re: Can I afford a million dollar house?

Are you going to hire a landscaper or spend 3-4 hours per week yourself? That will be $200/month minimum. Will you be hiring someone to clean the house? That's $200-300/month. For utilities: $300/month in Southern CA is pretty low if you are including electric, gas, water/sewer (!), and high speed i...
by stan1
Mon Jul 04, 2016 2:52 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Real estate location - Important factors
Replies: 19
Views: 1338

Re: Real estate location - Important factors

Where I live neighborhoods that had a mix of walkability, good local schools, diverse demographics (age, occupation), groups of nice homes but not luxury estates, and under 30 minute commutes to major employment centers held up relatively well in the last downturn. They went down about 15-20%. It wa...
by stan1
Sun Jul 03, 2016 9:47 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Can I afford a million dollar house?
Replies: 85
Views: 8556

Re: Can I afford a million dollar house?

I live in a VHCOL area and I'm usually one of the first to tell people who've made the decision to live and stay in such an area to buy a house that will meet their household's needs. In this case I don't think you have the assets, income, and liquidity to do this yet. If your business continues to ...
by stan1
Sun Jul 03, 2016 6:50 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Specifying type of room at cheap national chains?
Replies: 29
Views: 2055

Re: Specifying type of room at cheap national chains?

I do not think it is true that "most guests" avoid second floor rooms. As others have said some people avoid first floor rooms because risk of break-ins is perceived to be less and because of lobby/gym/laundry noise. Also, I've seen that some hotels put their pet friendly rooms on the firs...
by stan1
Sat Jul 02, 2016 10:47 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Condo vs Townhouse Living
Replies: 35
Views: 4312

Re: Condo vs Townhouse Living

Sure, townhome style with no neighbors above or below is going to be preferable for most people -- but there are fewer of them and they are likely going to be more desirable (expensive) to purchase. The townhouse style units I've seen built in California have a double wood frame wall with a few inch...
by stan1
Sat Jul 02, 2016 10:23 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Experiences with "speed ovens" (combo microwave/convection)
Replies: 8
Views: 701

Re: Experiences with "speed ovens" (combo microwave/convection)

Topic has been discussed exhaustively on Garden Web appliance forum over the past decade. Recommend searching there. Convection microwaves and "speed ovens" sometimes seem to be used interchangeably. The best "speed ovens" are 240V which basically lets the oven be used to do anyt...
by stan1
Thu Jun 30, 2016 6:57 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Reducing Electric Bill- Point of Diminishing Returns?
Replies: 34
Views: 3496

Re: Reducing Electric Bill- Point of Diminishing Returns?

We've now upgraded our circa 1996 gas heater/blower and a/c condenser. The newer models are much cheaper to operate and we are conducting an experiment this summer to see how much our electric bill is if we just leave the a/c on with thermostat set at 75 instead of opening and closing windows each d...
by stan1
Sun Jun 19, 2016 6:27 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Advice on house situation
Replies: 21
Views: 1913

Re: Advice on house situation

It really depends on the individual. Some enjoy owning rental properties and understand it's a part time job, not a hobby. I've also seen more people of modest incomes enhance their retirement by accumulating some rentals, over their working years, and reaping the benefits after the properties are ...
by stan1
Sun Jun 19, 2016 6:21 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Can we/Should we buy this house (SF Bay Area)
Replies: 54
Views: 5255

Re: Can we/Should we buy this house (SF Bay Area)

People who don't live in HCOL areas will tell you to buy a less expensive house or move to a LCOL area. They'll ask what you will do if one of you loses your job or if wife wants to stay home with kids. None of that will be helpful because you've already thought about all of those options (possibly ...
by stan1
Tue May 31, 2016 8:27 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Condo for daughter - treat as investment property?
Replies: 10
Views: 1273

Re: Condo for daughter - treat as investment property?

You need to discuss with your tax advisor whether this is an investment (rental) property or a second home. Pick one. There isn't a middle ground that lets you take advantage of just the benefits arising from each approach.
by stan1
Sun May 29, 2016 1:47 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Buying and Selling Home via Redfin
Replies: 3
Views: 634

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: 1888

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: 1808

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: 101
Views: 10175

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: 9
Views: 1218

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: 556

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: 794

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: 556

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: 2955

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: 1954

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: 2157

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: 737

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: 118
Views: 10332

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: 788

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: 2120

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: 68
Views: 7346

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: 2102

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: 2252

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: 3138

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: 4214

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: 4214

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: 3274

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: 1549

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: 5944

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: 5166

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: 4091

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: 1724

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: 2450

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: 1163

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: 2640

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: 1090

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?

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