Search found 4410 matches

by stan1
Fri Sep 30, 2016 12:19 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Where/how do Bogleheads get their tires inflated?
Replies: 60
Views: 2596

Re: Where/how do Bogleheads get their tires inflated?

We have several gas stations near us that have free compressors. I keep a simple analog gauge in my car rather than relying on the gauge attached to the compressor. I don't strive for perfection, just good enough.
by stan1
Fri Sep 30, 2016 12:14 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Is Private high school in the good school district worth investing?
Replies: 40
Views: 2775

Re: Is Private high school in the good school district worth investing?

This is one of these areas where Bogleheads strive for a formula to give an easy answer. Enter ranking of nearby public schools, class sizes, acceptance rates to Ivy League, dropout rate, cost of private schools and out pops the answer of whether private school is worth the expense. While we're at i...
by stan1
Fri Sep 30, 2016 8:51 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Looking for a legal way from a tax standpoint
Replies: 8
Views: 808

Re: Looking for a legal way from a tax standpoint

Great idea for helping your friend, but it would be a lot faster and easier to collect cash donations for the family.
by stan1
Sat Sep 24, 2016 4:38 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Can adult child gift money back to parent?
Replies: 31
Views: 3460

Re: Can adult child gift money back to parent?

It's either a 100% loan or 100% gift. You are looking for an undefined maybe a loan/maybe a gift situation that doesn't exist. If its a loan the lender will view it as such which may impact the maximum loan amount. If its a gift the lender will want signed (possibly sworn) statements that it is not ...
by stan1
Sat Sep 24, 2016 4:19 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: How Much House Can I Afford (HCOL edition)
Replies: 21
Views: 2108

Re: How Much House Can I Afford (HCOL edition)

Yes, I would say $2-2.5M range although be careful that you don't need another $500K for a remodel if you are up at the higher end. You probably could also do $3M if you had to. There are plenty of expensive houses that need a lot of work. Make sure you are paying for a great location (proximity to...
by stan1
Sat Sep 24, 2016 3:43 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: How Much House Can I Afford (HCOL edition)
Replies: 21
Views: 2108

Re: How Much House Can I Afford (HCOL edition)

Yes, I would say $2-2.5M range although be careful that you don't need another $500K for a remodel if you are up at the higher end. You probably could also do $3M if you had to. There are plenty of expensive houses that need a lot of work. Make sure you are paying for a great location (proximity to ...
by stan1
Wed Sep 21, 2016 7:41 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: How is your experience about buying home in SF bay area?
Replies: 18
Views: 2276

Re: How is your experience about buying home in SF bay area?

We've been lucky with timing our purchases in a HCOL area (buy/sell rounds in 1998 and 2015). If it helps we think of our home as a long term lifestyle choice. It is not a short term decision nor is it an investment. We've also put over $200K into each of the houses we've owned so appreciation is de...
by stan1
Wed Sep 21, 2016 8:49 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: macOS Sierra
Replies: 20
Views: 2098

Re: macOS Sierra

I was happy that the upgrade found and purged about 20GB of system files that I hadn't been able to track down. Admittedly I didn't put a huge amount of effort into it (because I didn't need the storage) but I knew something wasn't right with my El Capitan install because it was supposed to fit on a...
by stan1
Sun Sep 18, 2016 7:50 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Disappointing News Wells Fargo
Replies: 111
Views: 8891

Re: Disappointing News Wells Fargo

The executives all have performance based compensation as well. They were fine with this until the serfs got caught just as they were fine with loan agents marking up mortgage applications with phony income back in 2004/2005. Incentives often end up rewarding unwanted bad behavior.
by stan1
Sun Sep 18, 2016 6:57 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: major remodel: regrets or things you'd do again
Replies: 68
Views: 6854

Re: major remodel: regrets or things you'd do again

paper200, go to the GardenWeb Kitchen forum on Houzz. The advice you get there will be at the same level as the advice you would get here for investments. Just like this site there are always some differences of opinion but overall advice is high quality.

http://ths.gardenweb.com/forums/kitchbath
by stan1
Sat Sep 17, 2016 3:37 am
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Travel to Europe, buy new cars, expensive iPads and Louis Vuittons
Replies: 5
Views: 1190

Re: Travel to Europe, buy new cars, expensive iPads and Louis Vuittons

Don't look at the equity in your house as money that can be accessed for spending. Your house is a place to live. When you add up the costs of maintaining a house over the years you'll realize that much of that money you think you've gained by appreciation will actually be spent on new roof, new flo...
by stan1
Fri Sep 16, 2016 7:28 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Tenant Background Check and Credit Check
Replies: 23
Views: 1697

Re: Tenant Background Check and Credit Check

So this is the management company employed by the homeowner's association? If so they are asking on the HOA's behalf so it is the HOA's policy to do this? At a minimum you would need to update whatever disclosure statement the tenant is signing to give you access to this information to add the HOA a...
by stan1
Mon Sep 12, 2016 6:00 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Long term care rate increase
Replies: 21
Views: 1959

Re: Long term care rate increase

Is there a benefit adjustment for inflation? At that price I'm guessing there won't be and you have hopefully 50 years before you would need it. I think the best indicator of future need is your current health and family history. Your ability to self fund might go up with age if your investment port...
by stan1
Mon Sep 05, 2016 3:34 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: How to pay a nanny
Replies: 9
Views: 1366

Re: How to pay a nanny

Some people other than politicians need plausible deniability on this issue. Along the lines of "I knew it was an important issue so I hired a reputable company to do it and expected they would handle it properly. How was I to know they would mess is up?" Wonder why several are exiting the...
by stan1
Sat Sep 03, 2016 9:35 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Help with potential lawsuit
Replies: 32
Views: 2783

Re: Help with potential lawsuit

This is why you have insurance. It is a little scary and new to you but USAA sees this every day. If you have significant assets or income you should look into an umbrella policy. A $1M or $2M umbrella policy is not very expensive (which means the insurance companies don't pay out those amounts very...
by stan1
Fri Sep 02, 2016 10:55 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: How to allocate money - am I too cash heavy?
Replies: 13
Views: 1503

Re: How to allocate money - am I too cash heavy?

I'll tell you what we did which is probably a little contrary to popular advice on this forum. We did start taxable investment accounts before we started paying down the mortgage quicker or maxing out retirement accounts because we wanted to make sure we maintained sufficient liquidity. Once we had ...
by stan1
Mon Aug 29, 2016 8:51 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Do I need a real estate agent as a buyer?
Replies: 58
Views: 3393

Re: Do I need a real estate agent as a buyer?

The agent is not entitled to the buyers agent commission unless the buyer agrees to such terms. Real estate is not rocket science, any dumb dumb (hence all the stay at home moms being real estate agents on the side) can read and understand the clauses and agree to or reject the terms. It doesn't wo...
by stan1
Mon Aug 29, 2016 8:30 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Good School District or Private School?
Replies: 77
Views: 4502

Re: Good School District or Private School?

I think you will have the financial means to make either decision you've laid out, or the third option which is to buy the more expensive house and send your kids to private school anyways. Parents often find out that having several good choices is best and that each child's needs will change over t...
by stan1
Mon Aug 29, 2016 7:09 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Do I need a real estate agent as a buyer?
Replies: 58
Views: 3393

Re: Do I need a real estate agent as a buyer?

I am in the middle of buying a townhome where I have done this. When looking at the place, I asked the realtor if she was open to the idea of crediting the buyers back 2% so I could offer a lower amount and they would get more money. The realtor also wins by getting 4%. It's working out so far. You...
by stan1
Sun Aug 28, 2016 10:25 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Buying house near church
Replies: 65
Views: 4774

Re: Buying house near church

Agree a small congregation would be OK but no way to tell if it will stay that way. Problem would be if they expand and take away on-site parking (hopefully city would stop that but you never know). Church could get a popular new pastor which could boost attendance and overflow parking. Or church co...
by stan1
Sat Aug 27, 2016 11:38 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Down Payment Amount on New Home - 10 or 20%
Replies: 21
Views: 1599

Re: Down Payment Amount on New Home - 10 or 20%

OK, so I think you just gave us some important new information. Did you just tell us you are buying your father's home which he needs to sell to pay for his care in a nursing home? That's a whole different set of questions. Have you thought about all the implications of that?
by stan1
Sat Aug 27, 2016 10:16 am
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Do you count your emergency fund?
Replies: 45
Views: 3173

Re: Do you count your emergency fund?

I would also add that how you treat your emergency fund is determined by your circumstances. If you have volatile jobs, a large mortgage, and limited savings or taxable investment accounts then you have a much greater need for a separate emergency fund than if you have two very stable jobs, a paid o...
by stan1
Sat Aug 27, 2016 10:05 am
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Do you count your emergency fund?
Replies: 45
Views: 3173

Re: Do you count your emergency fund?

Yes I do include a 5% allocation to cash inside my asset allocation. There's no right or wrong answer. I have money market savings accounts, CDs, and municipal bond funds in taxable accounts. When I can get 3% CDs I buy as much as I can (sometimes there's a low dollar limit at my credit union). I us...
by stan1
Fri Aug 26, 2016 8:14 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Real Estate agents who operate on an hourly rate
Replies: 73
Views: 5924

Re: Real Estate agents who operate on an hourly rate

My observations on reasons why a house isn't selling: 1) Overpriced 2) Undesirable location 3) Not offering 3% commission to buyer's agent Number 3 seems to be the view proposed by realtors frequently, without corroboration. I would summarily fire any Buyer's Agent working for me if he refused to p...
by stan1
Thu Aug 25, 2016 8:12 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Real Estate agents who operate on an hourly rate
Replies: 73
Views: 5924

Re: Real Estate agents who operate on an hourly rate

My observations on reasons why a house isn't selling:
1) Overpriced
2) Undesirable location
3) Not offering 3% commission to buyer's agent
by stan1
Thu Aug 25, 2016 8:17 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Real Estate agents who operate on an hourly rate
Replies: 73
Views: 5924

Re: Real Estate agents who operate on an hourly rate

I'm glad none of you have ever had to sell a "difficult" house or deal with emotional/irrational buyers and sellers who created problems during the sale. Unfortunately I've had to deal with all of these situations and choosing the right realtor got the transactions completed on schedule. O...
by stan1
Sat Aug 20, 2016 1:29 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Career Counseling for Teens
Replies: 34
Views: 2043

Re: Career Counseling for Teens

A fortune teller or a random number generator would be no less accurate picking a career field for a teenager than a psychological profile. It might be a fun exercise and a topic for conversation but I surely hope no parent would subject their teenager to such an instrument and then try to use the r...
by stan1
Sat Aug 20, 2016 1:00 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Self-drafting prenuptial agreement in CA
Replies: 17
Views: 1254

Re: Self-drafting prenuptial agreement in CA

Thank you for the responses, guys. My mind was navigating down the same road you guys are with your logic/advice. I don't have much for assets at all, but, as I've come to learn- I/she may strike gold one day and wouldn't want the newly acquired fortune to be partially defaulted to the other becaus...
by stan1
Sat Aug 20, 2016 12:26 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Career Counseling for Teens
Replies: 34
Views: 2043

Re: Career Counseling for Teens

For 13 and 14 year olds start by instilling a strong work ethic, creativity, critical thinking, and problem solving. Teach them to ask and answer questions intelligently and to communicate. Encourage them to do things like working on the house, cooking, car repair that reinforce these skills. Set th...
by stan1
Sat Aug 20, 2016 12:17 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: What is your system for dealing with coins?
Replies: 123
Views: 7737

Re: What is your system for dealing with coins?

I have not had a coin in my pockets in the US for years. I use credit cards for all purchases. I do keep a few quarters in my car because there are still some meters that only take coins. Maybe 10 years ago I sorted coins and took them back to the bank about once every 2 years. I do carry 1 & 2 ...
by stan1
Sat Aug 20, 2016 8:28 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Credit Card Fraud: How many times is 'normal'?
Replies: 24
Views: 1389

Re: Credit Card Fraud: How many times is 'normal'?

Please don't worry about this. We can be thankful for consumer credit protection laws that have been in place to protect from fraud for decades. Even though cybercrime hadn't been imagined back then the laws still transfer risk back to the issuers and merchants. Because they are at risk financial in...
by stan1
Sat Aug 20, 2016 1:01 am
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Help for my elderly mom
Replies: 19
Views: 1436

Re: Help for my elderly mom

Personally, I would gradually move the 3 investment funds into CDs. It seems like she will need the cash proceeds in 2-3 years for living expenses therefore it is no longer appropriate for investing in a riskier asset. I would sell in 2016 and 2017 and 2018 if necessary to spread capital gains taxes...
by stan1
Fri Aug 19, 2016 11:25 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Large amount of home equity - tempting to cash out and FIRE?
Replies: 57
Views: 4340

Re: Large amount of home equity - tempting to cash out and FIRE?

Even in LA there is a quality of life factor. I realize some will be of the opinion that no part of LA or even CA is nice -- but there are pockets in West LA that have a pretty good lifestyle for people who like living near the center of a city rather than a more distant suburb. My advice would be t...
by stan1
Tue Aug 16, 2016 9:39 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Should I get vision insurance?
Replies: 12
Views: 809

Re: Should I get vision insurance?

I think this is one many people will be best off self insuring for. For me the cost of an exam is about $130 every two years and I'm happy with glasses I buy for $110. Until recently my vision was pretty stable so I was able to wear glasses for a long time (they wore out before they needed a new pre...
by stan1
Mon Aug 15, 2016 8:47 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Best home mortgage lenders?
Replies: 37
Views: 5474

Re: Best home mortgage lenders?

lender that the seller wanted me to use is this a joke? since when does the sellers starts to insert themselves in the middle of a lending transaction between a buyer and lender? Unfortunately it has become "a thing" that hopefully won't spread too far. Some sellers in San Francisco Bay A...
by stan1
Mon Aug 15, 2016 4:36 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Take Investments Out to Buy a House?
Replies: 4
Views: 528

Re: Take Investments Out to Buy a House?

I have sold tax exempt bond fund shares to buy cars, pay for remodeling projects, and to fund a down payment, and almost certainly will do so again with no hesitation. I rebuild the bond position over the coming months and years. For $50K another option is to borrow from the TSP if you have that muc...
by stan1
Sun Aug 14, 2016 9:44 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: What does the BH community do with their pets when they travel?
Replies: 60
Views: 3204

Re: What does the BH community do with their pets when they travel?

We happily pay a neighbor $40/day to bring our Sheltie into her home. She appreciates the extra income (spends it on her kids and grandkids I think) and treats him like part of her family.
by stan1
Sun Aug 14, 2016 2:14 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Investing Condominium Funds
Replies: 20
Views: 1495

Re: Investing Condominium Funds

Build up the cash reserves (many HOAs are not funded to 100% reserve); maintain the property especially if it is getting older; if you still have excess funds reduce the monthly dues. A HOA has no reason to consider investing (and its illegal in many jurisdictions).
by stan1
Sun Aug 14, 2016 2:00 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Can landlord specify 6 month inspection in California?
Replies: 16
Views: 1585

Re: Can landlord specify 6 month inspection in California?

If you are concerned about water on hardwood floors I'd provide the tenant with a floormat (such as in front of the sink if you have wood floors in the kitchen). Likewise you might want to provide mats at the doors. If this is a long term rental I'd put down lower maintenance flooring in areas where...
by stan1
Sun Aug 14, 2016 1:31 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: US Gov vs federal contractor - medical benefits in retirement?
Replies: 35
Views: 2992

Re: US Gov vs federal contractor - medical benefits in retirement?

You are 35 so anything can happen over the next 30 or 60 years. Your employer's contract with the government will most likely be recompeted at least every 5 years unless you've managed to find a situation where the government routinely does sole source procurements for services (not supposed to be d...
by stan1
Wed Aug 10, 2016 7:17 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Better to sell house ~ every 15 years?
Replies: 40
Views: 4966

Re: Better to sell house ~ every 15 years?

We lived in a house that was too large for us for many years. One of the deciding factors that pushed us to finally sell it was the looming prospect of having to replace the 15 year old HVAC systems which would have been over $20K. We had original appliances except for a dishwasher. We were fine put...
by stan1
Tue Aug 09, 2016 8:20 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Will realtor advise on needed improvements for home sale?
Replies: 38
Views: 2058

Re: Will realtor advise on needed improvements for home sale?

Some thoughts based on my mom's house (built in 1969). I cleaned it out and got it ready to list over a 3 month period. 1) Empty the house and make it spotlessly clean. You can save some furniture for staging if it is clean and not too dated but it is better clean and empty than dirty. Estate sale c...
by stan1
Sun Aug 07, 2016 12:23 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: How should I pay for garage renovation?
Replies: 10
Views: 989

Re: How should I pay for garage renovation?

Cash. I'd recommend deferring for a few months for two reasons. First, most important is to spend a few months on the design to make sure you get what you want out of the remodel. Your initial ideas will often be quite different than what you decide upon after several months of evolution with the de...
by stan1
Sun Jul 24, 2016 2:18 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Do Realtors Find FSBOs?
Replies: 63
Views: 4303

Re: Do Realtors Find FSBOs?

Multiple issues. Realtors use the MLS and don't search through many different websites. A few reasons why realtors don't like FSBO's is because they don't want to get stuck doing the work of both the sellers and buyers agent and because some FSBO sellers are unrealistic/not serious/slow to respond. ...
by stan1
Sun Jul 24, 2016 1:54 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: What type of new driveway should I get?
Replies: 21
Views: 2430

Re: What type of new driveway should I get?

Depending upon the condition of the driveway you might be able to get a slurry seal on top of the existing asphalt rather than replacing. That should be a lot less than breaking up and replacing everything. Slurry seal may not be recommended though if the edges are breaking up or if there are a lot ...
by stan1
Fri Jul 22, 2016 7:44 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Help With Picking Job Title at Startup
Replies: 36
Views: 2551

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: 1336

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: 7278

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: 8932

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: 5479

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.

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