Search found 4546 matches

by stan1
Sat Apr 22, 2017 7:54 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Issue With Real Estate Agent (Seller)
Replies: 22
Views: 1441

Re: Issue With Real Estate Agent (Seller)

One thing your realtor SHOULD be doing is calling every other realtor who has showed the house to a potential buyer and asking for feedback. Why didn't the buyer like the house? Did the potential buyer think the location was bad? Interior or exterior did not show well? Dated and needs too much updat...
by stan1
Sat Apr 22, 2017 5:27 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Issue With Real Estate Agent (Seller)
Replies: 22
Views: 1441

Re: Issue With Real Estate Agent (Seller)

I'm the OP. The house is in good cosmetic and mechanical shape. The lot isn't great; it's a cul de sac that opens into a townhouse complex. That being said, it's in a great school district and is a good neighborhood. I'll take what I can get but it's not clear how far to cut the price and how fast....
by stan1
Sat Apr 22, 2017 2:20 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Issue With Real Estate Agent (Seller)
Replies: 22
Views: 1441

Re: Issue With Real Estate Agent (Seller)

If the house hasn't sold after 4 months on the market it is almost certainly overpriced unless it really is in a small market niche. How many buyers have walked through the house? There should be no need for the listing agent to be present. In fact requiring her be present discourages buyers because...
by stan1
Sat Apr 22, 2017 8:47 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Moving... and U-haul trucks are expensive!
Replies: 23
Views: 1835

Re: Moving... and U-haul trucks are expensive!

Since you are just 2 hours away I'd look into how much the cost difference would be to pickup/dropoff at the same place on the same day. One way rentals are expensive.
by stan1
Sat Apr 22, 2017 8:34 am
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Why are pensions revered, but annuities reviled?
Replies: 71
Views: 4236

Re: Why are pensions revered, but annuities reviled?

Pensions weren't a choice once you selected an employer and were viewed as a benefit/entitlement. Many people contribute far less money to a pension than they get back. Annuities usually aren't subsidized. Plenty of people have bought out their pensions for a cash payment partly because they didn't ...
by stan1
Sat Apr 22, 2017 4:28 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Should some professions tell people how much they make?
Replies: 33
Views: 3227

Re: Should some professions tell people how much they make?

It's the nature of the job. Some parents aren't going to continue paying for a tutor unless they see quick results. What I'd do is build your resume/CV by listing your qualifications (including education, GPA, scholarships, years of experience tutoring, number of clients). You could list some of the...
by stan1
Thu Apr 20, 2017 6:29 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Can we afford to purchase this new house?
Replies: 13
Views: 1222

Re: Can we afford to purchase this new house?

Will your income change after you have kids? By how much? Yes in general most people can afford a house that is about 2X annual income plus you can make a 20% down payment. Agree with buying a house that you will be happy with for many years if possible. Sometimes schools and commute times change th...
by stan1
Wed Apr 19, 2017 10:37 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Larry Swedroe says "Goodby."
Replies: 289
Views: 25392

Re: Larry Swedroe says "Goodby."

I figured out a long time ago to ignore most comments on internet boards but if you are a widely known figure with a professional reputation working in a customer service industry that's harder to do.
by stan1
Wed Apr 19, 2017 10:29 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Tips on Uber
Replies: 64
Views: 4767

Re: Tips on Uber

I've only used Lyft and usually to/from airports. I've had several drivers tell me they only drive for Lyft "because the passengers are nicer." Yeah that probably means tips, but maybe people who tip are good customers in other ways. I still use a sedan service for my 0530 boarding flights...
by stan1
Tue Apr 18, 2017 6:57 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Career Advice-Job Change
Replies: 4
Views: 595

Re: Career Advice-Job Change

If you feel your career growth is at a standstill you should do something about it. If you don't see opportunities to do something different in Company A you should look elsewhere. The biggest flag I see is you say Company B would have you working second shift hours. For me that would be a showstopp...
by stan1
Tue Apr 18, 2017 8:39 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Buying a house: dual agent, rebating agent, open listing, or else?
Replies: 6
Views: 533

Re: Buying a house: dual agent, rebating agent, open listing, or else?

Keep looking for a rebating agent. They most likely won't be working for a franchised agency like Coldwell or Century 21 and you might not find them at an open house. It will be an independent person with a website. Redfin is another possibility if they operate in your area. Negotiating with the lis...
by stan1
Sun Apr 16, 2017 10:40 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Home remodel / addition plans
Replies: 17
Views: 1693

Re: Home remodel / addition plans

I would recommend posting in the "Kitchen" and "Building a Home" sections on GardenWeb (Houzz). You'll get some very objective feedback on improving the design (if you are open to that input -- sometimes people post a plan there saying they want feedback but really are already &q...
by stan1
Thu Apr 13, 2017 8:11 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Most sophisticated tax software?
Replies: 6
Views: 620

Re: Most sophisticated tax software?

Are you looking at forms view in TT? Are you sure there isn't a missing entry somewhere? I've seen situations in TT where the interview format data entry screens have omitted a necessary data field and I've had to go into forms view and enter it manually. Likewise when using forms mode I've had to s...
by stan1
Wed Apr 12, 2017 8:13 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Extreme Frugality vs Living Life - Where do you draw the line?
Replies: 77
Views: 8259

Re: Extreme Frugality vs Living Life - Where do you draw the line?

For us the realization set in during our 40s that we had a substantial nest egg saved up in our younger years and could spend a little more to enjoy life. That meant business class seats when we travel internationally for vacation about once each year and upgrades to the house but we still keep our ...
by stan1
Fri Apr 07, 2017 1:34 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Returning to the workforce after an extended break - how did you do it?
Replies: 10
Views: 1201

Re: Returning to the workforce after an extended break - how did you do it?

Maintain your professional and social relationships. It's easier now than ever with email and text messages. Keep track of former supervisors and co-workers who valued your contributions. Continue to engage with them during your time away albeit at a reduced frequency. What to talk about? The same t...
by stan1
Fri Apr 07, 2017 12:15 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: HVAC H-E-L-P! Water leaking from intake (return)
Replies: 12
Views: 514

Re: HVAC H-E-L-P! Water leaking from intake (return)

What type of system do you have? Often with central air it is a split system with a condenser outside the house (on the roof) and a fan/coil system inside the attic that connects to the return and ducting. There is an insulated coolant pipe that runs between the two. It sounds like you do not have a...
by stan1
Fri Apr 07, 2017 9:56 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Should I drop Chase Sapphire Preferred (have Reserve and Freedom)
Replies: 15
Views: 715

Re: Should I drop Chase Sapphire Preferred (have Reserve and Freedom)

The Marriott Rewards card's main benefits for me are the 15 nights per year towards elite status and one free night at a lower cost property. The free night does come close to offsetting the annual fee. If the 15 nights per year towards elite status get you to Gold status that may be helpful since t...
by stan1
Fri Apr 07, 2017 9:28 am
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Best taxable fund for potential future mortgage payoff
Replies: 23
Views: 1121

Re: Best taxable mortgage payoff fund for our situation

We did some of both (paying off mortgage with extra payments and saving in taxable accounts). We've always had bi-weekly salary income so it was easy to apply an extra mortgage payment to pay off principal early (26 pay periods in a 12 month year). As our incomes increased we added the equivalent of...
by stan1
Fri Apr 07, 2017 8:22 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: HDHP's - Does your employer offer them?
Replies: 47
Views: 1619

Re: HDHP's - Does your employer offer them?

There's some psychology here and most people unfortunately aren't Bogleheads (we can't change that). An HDHP with an HSA sounds great to a middle to high income Boglehead who is already saving 30% or more of income but to the rest of the population people hear "high deductible" and "s...
by stan1
Thu Mar 30, 2017 9:01 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Divorcing and handling shared and split assets after divorce
Replies: 55
Views: 3268

Re: Divorcing and handling shared and split assets after divorce

Repeating, but maybe it will help.
Nesting is a bad idea. Settle up now. Kids are resilient.
Most healthy adults move on. If there's a mental health or similar complex issue involved I don't think generic internet advice will help you out.
by stan1
Wed Mar 29, 2017 8:00 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Chores for elementary school age kids?
Replies: 18
Views: 1299

Re: Chores for elementary school age kids?

You folks think 6 year olds should be handling insecticides, fertilizer and bathroom cleaning products? Really?? Wow. Maybe not 6 for insecticides and fertilizers, but 9 yes. I was raised by a single mom and my brother and I did these chores from about that age on. Maybe that's why I don't have any...
by stan1
Tue Mar 28, 2017 8:25 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Help with inheritance/financial situation
Replies: 9
Views: 1281

Re: Help with inheritance/financial situation

thrill21 wrote:The house is not in my name at all though, it is in hers and her parents trust. It was purchased when we were married and is being paid back out of a joint account.


OK, so this is very easy. Do not commingle the inheritance. She's already protected in case of divorce.
by stan1
Tue Mar 28, 2017 8:55 am
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Critique My AA
Replies: 10
Views: 640

Re: Critique My AA

Yep I'd just do 100% Total Stock Market for now (VTI at 0.05% expense ratio).
by stan1
Tue Mar 28, 2017 8:29 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Help with inheritance/financial situation
Replies: 9
Views: 1281

Re: Help with inheritance/financial situation

Make sure you understand separate versus community property and how that principle applies to an inheritance in your state. I live in a community property state but an inheritance is considered to be separate property unless you commingle it with community property (such as paying off a mortgage on ...
by stan1
Tue Mar 28, 2017 7:33 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Federal pension beats high salary and savings rate? (fed vs contractor for employment)
Replies: 47
Views: 4131

Re: Federal pension beats high salary and savings rate? (fed vs contractor for employment)

Another point that I don't think has been mentioned yet is that contracts get recompeted if the agency is following federal acquisition regulations properly. Long term sole sources don't take away the risk; eventually a contracting officer, attorney, or leadership will put their foot down and make t...
by stan1
Mon Mar 27, 2017 8:38 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Need advice about massive changes in daughter's college program by dean
Replies: 52
Views: 4032

Re: Need advice about massive changes in daughter's college program by dean

Thanks for clarifying. Maybe one positive way to help when you meet with the dean is offer the assistance of the student group to help them create and implement a communication plan to get the word out? It would seem to be a given that media people would know how to communicate -- but I've met plent...
by stan1
Sun Mar 26, 2017 8:57 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Does your asset allocation derate tax-deferred holdings to account for future tax liability?
Replies: 163
Views: 6926

Re: Does your asset allocation derate tax-deferred holdings to account for future tax liability?

No, this is complexity that I believe is unnecessary and involves too much beyond my control. I'm 7-15 years out from retirement.
by stan1
Sun Mar 26, 2017 8:43 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Hospital billing nightmare
Replies: 26
Views: 2337

Re: Hospital billing nightmare

By grandmothered do you mean a plan she had purchased prior to ACA taking effect and exercised the "if you like your current plan you can keep it" option? My advice: pull an all nighter reading every last piece of information you can find about the two plans and make sure you fully underst...
by stan1
Sun Mar 26, 2017 8:28 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Long Term Care Insurance (LTCI): Too Expensive or Worth the Cost?
Replies: 35
Views: 4070

Re: Long Term Care Insurance (LTCI): Too Expensive or Worth the Cost?

If she develops Alzheimer's at some point she may no longer have a strong desire to stay in the house. Her guardian needs to be able to make the right decisions for her and should not be tied to a desire to stay in the house expressed many years earlier if that's no longer in her best interests. Plu...
by stan1
Sun Mar 26, 2017 8:06 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Clearing customs in Seattle
Replies: 20
Views: 1546

Re: Clearing customs in Seattle

Just to keep in mind: Daughter may be 17 or 25 or 50 (not specified) Daughter may not have frequent flier status that gets her priority for rebooking. Daughter may be in the far back of the plane in coach not First/Business and may be at the back of the customs line. Daughter may not have Global Ent...
by stan1
Sun Mar 26, 2017 4:15 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Clearing customs in Seattle
Replies: 20
Views: 1546

Re: Clearing customs in Seattle

I would not book an international to domestic connection of less than 2 hours at any US airport. Much easier to wait a few extra minutes than dealing with rebooking a missed connection. International flights are often early or delayed due to atmospheric conditions en route or other reasons.
by stan1
Sun Mar 26, 2017 11:53 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: 10 days in Berlin and Krakow
Replies: 9
Views: 491

Re: 10 days in Berlin and Krakow

Berlin has excellent public transit that is very friendly to English speakers. The U-Bahn and S-Bahn are also an integral part of the city history from WWII to the Wall. Note on museums: Berlin is a city with a complex history and there are a number of museums to tell its story. History does require...
by stan1
Sun Mar 26, 2017 10:53 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Linking bank account to VG brokerage (Safe way)
Replies: 2
Views: 295

Re: Linking bank account to VG brokerage (Safe way)

You could:
Set up direct deposit/allotment so that some money goes from your paycheck to Vanguard
Mail Vanguard a check
Do a wire transfer from your bank to Vanguard (most banks will charge for this service)

I think linking the accounts is the best way.
by stan1
Sun Mar 26, 2017 9:59 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: thoughts on in-ceiling speakers?
Replies: 48
Views: 2821

Re: thoughts on in-ceiling speakers?

The higher cost for the CAT6 drops should include CAT6 cable but double check with the builder on that (and look at it closely to make sure its right before they put in the drywall). If it was me I would pay for the CAT6 cable (but probably not necessary). How many square feet is the house? You may ...
by stan1
Sun Mar 26, 2017 9:50 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: thoughts on in-ceiling speakers?
Replies: 48
Views: 2821

Re: thoughts on in-ceiling speakers?

Our house was built by a previous owner with speakers in the ceilings in 1996 and we are removing them as we repaint the house. We are not audiophiles and frankly I prefer silence to music so I'm probably not well qualified to offer much of an opinion. For us the built in TV speakers are fine. I'd j...
by stan1
Wed Mar 22, 2017 6:08 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: whole house water filter --your thoughts?
Replies: 26
Views: 1943

Re: whole house water filter --your thoughts?

Why whole house? More cost effective to focus on one faucet in the kitchen that you use for drinking water (plus a tap to the ice maker if you want). That way you aren't filtering water headed back into the sewage system. Also consider filter replacement costs. Given your concerns I'm not sure you w...
by stan1
Sat Mar 18, 2017 3:33 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Home buying advice for first time buyer
Replies: 4
Views: 403

Re: Home buying advice for first time buyer

I'd take the stock options off the table unless you are going to exercise them and convert to cash. We had some up until a few years ago and treated them as a windfall when we exercised them (due to retirement). If you don't want to exclude them at least convert to a post tax value because you will ...
by stan1
Sat Mar 18, 2017 2:55 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Best place to get eyeglasses / no vision insurance
Replies: 43
Views: 3143

Re: Best place to get eyeglasses / no vision insurance

Many health insurance plans do not cover eye exams. As an example for federal employees it is additional coverage purchased separately from health insurance and for many people it is not a good deal even if you replace your glasses frequently. Vision care for adults is not a minimum essential benefi...
by stan1
Sat Mar 18, 2017 1:36 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Best place to get eyeglasses / no vision insurance
Replies: 43
Views: 3143

Re: Best place to get eyeglasses / no vision insurance

I bought a pair from Warby Parker last year and will probably do so again. They have a retail store near me. Unlike most other opticians they have frames well organized by size so you don't spend a lot of time looking through frames that are too small or too big.
by stan1
Sat Mar 18, 2017 10:53 am
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Portfolio Check-Up
Replies: 2
Views: 157

Re: Portfolio Check-Up

Lifestyle: modest, and try to save money wherever we can in a relatively expensive city; nonetheless, the last couple years have had lots of big expenses that have cut into our savings rate substantially Your asset allocation is fine and secondary to your savings rate at this point. Is there a ligh...
by stan1
Sat Mar 18, 2017 9:31 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Buying a Storage Unit with Condo...?
Replies: 23
Views: 1592

Re: Buying a Storage Unit with Condo...?

First, sounds like you need it and I'd think having the onsite storage would be much better than renting storage space elsewhere. You'll be more likely to use your equipment if it is easy to access and less likely if you have to drive a few miles to load it up. When it comes time to sell there could...
by stan1
Sun Mar 12, 2017 6:39 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: (Updated Again- Happy Ending) Issue With Contractor. What to do?
Replies: 56
Views: 5433

Re: Issue With Contractor. What to do?

Give him time to respond. If you have an email address I'd follow up with that as well. I've found a lot of people (myself included at times) are not great about following up on voice mail these days. Or you can text him during working hours. No accusations, just state the ducting is not connected a...
by stan1
Sun Mar 05, 2017 7:21 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Has anyone had problems gifting Vanguard shares to an organization?
Replies: 25
Views: 1570

Re: Has anyone had problems gifting Vanguard shares to an organization?

If you want to do this regularly move your holdings out of Vanguard. In my experience Vanguard is not set up to handle transactions like this. They will make a mistake and then you will have to spend a lot of time with them to correct. Perversely I have begun to wonder if Vanguard would actually rat...
by stan1
Sun Mar 05, 2017 1:28 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Should federal employee communicate 18 months to retirement?
Replies: 44
Views: 3347

Re: Should federal employee communicate 18 months to retirement?

Agree some people might be offering advice who are not federal employees. Advice would be very different in that situation. My experience (as a federal employee, supervisor, and manager) has been that capable federal employees in critical jobs who tell management they intend to retire in less than 2...
by stan1
Sun Mar 05, 2017 11:51 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: London (UK) Recommendations – Theater, Comedy, Tea, Activities
Replies: 8
Views: 702

Re: London (UK) Recommendations – Theater, Comedy, Tea, Activities

Look at the London Walks website and pick some off the beaten path neighborhoods for a 2 hour guided walking tour (such as Hampstead or "Little Venice").
by stan1
Sun Mar 05, 2017 11:36 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Yet Another Home Purchase Advice Thread
Replies: 2
Views: 254

Re: Yet Another Home Purchase Advice Thread

Let's apply the often referenced "willingness, ability and need" principle: Yes, someone who makes $600K/year is "able" to afford a $950K house. No one "needs" a 4200 square foot house. So the question is whether you want to buy the house or not ("willing"). I...
by stan1
Sun Mar 05, 2017 9:46 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Should the money earmarked for certain expenses be part of net worth?
Replies: 52
Views: 3313

Re: Should the money earmarked for certain expenses be part of net worth?

I view $1 as $1. Doesn't matter whether it is in a 401K, IRA, Taxable investment account, CD, TreasuryDirect I-Bond, checking account, wallet, or mattress. If I spend $30K on a new car the corresponding drop in net worth reminds me that I need to take steps to watch and adjust my future spending. I ...
by stan1
Sat Mar 04, 2017 10:15 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Crazy idea? Take over parents' loans
Replies: 32
Views: 2424

Re: Crazy idea? Take over parents' loans

Keep it simple. If you want to help your parents out financially -- and are able to do so -- give them a gift.
by stan1
Sat Mar 04, 2017 10:06 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Windfall: should we pay cash for ~$1.3M home?
Replies: 96
Views: 5270

Re: Windfall: should we pay cash for ~$1.3M home?

Values? Please. Choosing to live in a HCOL area is not a values decision. Quality of life tradeoff with some pros and cons -- absolutely yes.

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