Search found 649 matches

by strafe
Sun Nov 20, 2016 12:53 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Choosing a bond fund based on personal income, salary.
Replies: 5
Views: 714

Re: Choosing a bond fund based on personal income, salary.

in general, no matter what your income, you should try to put all your bond funds in tax deferred vehicles -- for example, in your 401k, 403b, or IRA. if you need to hold additional bonds in a taxable account, then the choice between a tax-exempt and taxable bonds boils down to the equivalent rate. ...
by strafe
Sun Nov 20, 2016 7:49 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Anyone Have Experience With Filing Complaint With FDA?
Replies: 22
Views: 2590

Re: Anyone Have Experience With Filing Complaint With FDA?

For what it's worth, levothyroxine (LT4) is one of the few drugs where at least some evidence exists for differences in bioequivalence / therapeutic equivalence between manufacturers. To be clear, one manufacturer's product is not inherently better or worse than another, but the dosage may need to b...
by strafe
Fri Nov 18, 2016 7:15 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Honda Cars
Replies: 96
Views: 7863

Re: Honda Cars

The Accord is a perennial favorite in the Car and Driver 10Best list. This year the Accord received favorable reviews compared to the Mercedes E-class, which costs twice as much. Go for it.

* 2017 10Best list
* Accord review
by strafe
Sun Nov 06, 2016 10:28 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Considering a 10% down vs. doctor's mortgage
Replies: 24
Views: 2324

Re: Considering a 10% down vs. doctor's mortgage

"Doctor's mortgage" does 2 things for you: 1. It generally provides more favorable treatment of student loan payments in calculating debt to income ratios. 2. It waives PMI for loan to value ratios above 80%. My experience from a few years ago was that rates and fees were comparable to tra...
by strafe
Thu Nov 03, 2016 8:09 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Dress shoes
Replies: 33
Views: 2982

Re: Dress shoes

Ecco Windsor slip on might fit your needs If this will be your only pair of business casual shoes, you should consider dark brown instead of black. Hard to find a durable shoe under $200. Most are glued on rubber soles. Allen Edmonds makes great quality dress shoes that are usually on sale for just ...
by strafe
Sun Oct 30, 2016 9:22 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Replacing run-flat tires on BMW
Replies: 34
Views: 2686

Re: Replacing run-flat tires on BMW

That's an option.

You should also look into the Bridgestone Driveguard tire line, which a next-gen run flat that addresses the shortcomings of the older run flat tire designs.
by strafe
Wed Oct 26, 2016 7:41 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Just released ratings steering me from Legacy to Camry
Replies: 35
Views: 2591

Re: Just released ratings steering me from Legacy to Camry

Absent a bona fide need for all wheel drive (Subaru generally) or cargo space (Outback specifically), I would buy the Camry. Don't overthink this.
by strafe
Mon Oct 17, 2016 10:37 am
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Am I focusing too much on retirement investing?
Replies: 10
Views: 2031

Re: Am I focusing too much on retirement investing?

The time from age 50-60 could be covered by the Roth, which allows penalty-free withdrawals of contributions (not earnings) before age 59.5. Google "Roth IRA pipeline" for details. The risk of this approach is that the ability to withdraw contributions could be restricted in the future. In...
by strafe
Sat Oct 08, 2016 1:20 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Camera recommendations- Not SLR
Replies: 52
Views: 3703

Re: Camera recommendations- Not SLR

Take a look at "mirrorless" cameras. You get the image quality and interchangeable lens options like an SLR but eliminate the bulk. SLRs are big because of the optical hardware for the viewfinder. Mirrorless cameras use either a digital screen or viewfinder that saves space. My wife has t...
by strafe
Sat Oct 08, 2016 8:46 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Budget car advice; so so tired of the noise levels
Replies: 75
Views: 6857

Re: Budget car advice; so so tired of the noise levels

I don't doubt that the old Mazda 3 is loud. What is the source of the noise? Is it tread noise? Maybe you just need a new set of tires? Most any new mid size sedan will be acceptably quiet. Think Camry/Sonata/Accord/Fusion/Malibu/Optima. SUVs in general will be noisier than sedans. But if you want u...
by strafe
Sat Oct 08, 2016 6:33 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Camera recommendations- Not SLR
Replies: 52
Views: 3703

Re: Camera recommendations- Not SLR

Take a look at "mirrorless" cameras. You get the image quality and interchangeable lens options like an SLR but eliminate the bulk. SLRs are big because of the optical hardware for the viewfinder. Mirrorless cameras use either a digital screen or viewfinder that saves space. My wife has th...
by strafe
Wed Oct 05, 2016 9:19 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: advice needed- restricted application for spousal benefits gone awry!
Replies: 1
Views: 227

advice needed- restricted application for spousal benefits gone awry!

Social Security messed up my father's application for spousal benefits. Despite clear instructions to the contrary, they processed the application based on his own earnings record rather than the spousal record. I told him to make an appointment with the social security office to straighten this ou...
by strafe
Sat Oct 01, 2016 9:33 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: [T32 NIH Post-doc, eligible for SEP IRA?]
Replies: 10
Views: 545

Re: [T32 NIH Post-doc, eligible for SEP IRA?]

No. If she is paid the stipend as misc income on a 1099, it is not considered earned income. The income is treated like a scholarship and is not payment for service or self-employment. It would also not bbe subject to self employment tax or FICA. If on the other hand she is paid as a W2 employee whi...
by strafe
Wed Sep 28, 2016 1:09 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Is it worth it to pay extra principal towards mortgage?
Replies: 44
Views: 6632

Re: Is it worth it to pay extra principal towards mortgage?

I would get rid of the PMI.

As for paying extra on the mortgage-- don't. Save it instead. When it comes time to buy a new place in 5 years, it's better to have the extra money in the bank rather than locked up in the house you're selling.
by strafe
Sat Sep 24, 2016 1:36 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Volatility of 60/40 Portfolio for retirement modeling
Replies: 8
Views: 1259

Re: Volatility of 60/40 Portfolio for retirement modeling

Just FYI - LifeStrategy Mod. Growth did not have a fixed 60/40 allocation until recently. Prior to a few years ago, it included an actively managed "asset allocation" fund that alternated between stocks and bonds.
by strafe
Fri Sep 23, 2016 8:42 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: A Re-Financing No-Brainer, right???
Replies: 12
Views: 1532

Re: A Re-Financing No-Brainer, right???

If you are accelerating your payoff, you should avoid upfront fees. But instead of rolling the closing costs into the principal balance of the new loan, you should refinance with a no cost loan (where the closing costs are paid with "negative" points in exchange for a slightly higher inter...
by strafe
Sat Sep 17, 2016 8:50 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: 2016 Honda Odyssey - which model?
Replies: 37
Views: 2666

Re: 2016 Honda Odyssey - which model?

We're planning to buy Honda Odyssey some time year - I know it is a popular choice with BHs here. I wanted to ask the owners here how did they decide on the model. There are 6 models for Odyssey ranging from 30k to 45k. Is the navigation package really worth the extra $2500? The rear entertainment ...
by strafe
Fri Sep 16, 2016 5:32 am
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Vanguard's Total International Fund dilemma ?!
Replies: 16
Views: 1931

Re: Vanguard's Total International Fund dilemma ?!

The allocation is market cap-weighted and varies over time.
by strafe
Thu Sep 15, 2016 4:46 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Estimating true costs of first-time home ownership: huge range?
Replies: 9
Views: 1036

Re: Estimating true costs of first-time home ownership: huge range?

There are two reasons why the maintenance and repair estimates are all over the map. First, your costs are not necessarily proportional to the home value. Second, big repair expenses are sporadic. The rental cost of a similar home could give you a rough estimate of your all-in expenses, though even ...
by strafe
Wed Sep 14, 2016 5:58 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Toyota, Honda, Nissan or Chrysler Minivan?
Replies: 43
Views: 4115

Re: Toyota, Honda, Nissan or Chrysler Minivan?

We have a 2012 Chrysler Town and Country and (still) love it. Before you make a decision, make sure you see the way the middle row Chrysler seats fold into the floorboard, and make sure you see how all the other types remove their middle row. Then think about where you want the kids to be sitting. ...
by strafe
Wed Sep 14, 2016 5:56 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Toyota, Honda, Nissan or Chrysler Minivan?
Replies: 43
Views: 4115

Re: Toyota, Honda, Nissan or Chrysler Minivan?

One thing to keep in mind is the model lifecycle. The Chrysler Pacifica (which replaced the 2008-2015 Town and Country) is the newest design. Sedona is 2nd freshest design (2015+). Sienna just had a mid-cycle refresh (2015), but the platform has been in use since 2010. The Odyssey is due to be repla...
by strafe
Tue Sep 13, 2016 7:39 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Getting out of upside down car
Replies: 60
Views: 3822

Re: Getting out of upside down car

As others have said, buy a set of winter wheels & tires from Tire Rack. It will cost you well under $1k (your minimum loss selling the current car) and your car will outperform 4WD w/ standard tires. If you have never driven in the snow and you want to be safe, I suggest taking a winter driving ...
by strafe
Mon Sep 12, 2016 6:35 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Should I pay off my mortgage?
Replies: 45
Views: 4463

Re: Should I pay off my mortgage?

Just to be clear, paying your credit cards in full every cycle does not have any adverse effect on your credit score and is functionally no different than carrying a balance. Credit card companies typically report your statement balance, which is non-zero even if you pay your account off in full. Yo...
by strafe
Sat Sep 10, 2016 6:16 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Toyota, Honda, Nissan or Chrysler Minivan?
Replies: 43
Views: 4115

Re: Toyota, Honda, Nissan or Chrysler Minivan?

The only one in that list you shouldn't buy is the Nissan. It's archaic and does horribly in crash tests . Take the Nissan out of our list and put the Kia Sedona in the comparison. The new Chrysler Pacifica is the best of the bunch in terms price/features, but will depreciate faster than the Toyota ...
by strafe
Fri Aug 26, 2016 10:52 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: LendKey student loan refinance nightmare! help!
Replies: 4
Views: 440

LendKey student loan refinance nightmare! help!

I could use some advice from the board on how to handle a student loan refinance problem that is causing me a great deal of angst. Last month, I applied to refinance a private school loan with LendKey, based on the endorsement from the White Coat Investor site and the promise of a $300 rebate. The i...
by strafe
Wed Aug 17, 2016 8:13 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Medical Billing Question - Hospital Discharge Instructions led to acetaminophen OD
Replies: 69
Views: 5224

Re: Medical Billing Question - Hospital Discharge Instructions led to acetaminophen OD

One other consideration: are you certain the overdose was actually sufficient to warrant admission? I am consulted a few times a year by ER docs that grossly overestimate the severity of the exposure. (For example, the treatment guidelines and the lab sometimes describe results using different units...
by strafe
Sun Aug 14, 2016 7:54 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: US Gov vs federal contractor - medical benefits in retirement?
Replies: 35
Views: 3149

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

Not worth it for such a huge pay cut. No federal employees are earning in the mid six-figures ($400-600k) other than in demand medical specialists and the President. Heads of federal agencies are still low six figures (around $200k). The benefits just aren't worth the much compared to your current m...
by strafe
Thu Aug 11, 2016 12:34 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Student Loan Interest Deduction, Is it worth it?
Replies: 14
Views: 1106

Re: Student Loan Interest Deduction, Is it worth it?

Few people seem to understand what a "write off" really means. Glad you are now in the know! I suggest refinancing it immediately and then paying it off as quickly as you can. Many refinance lenders will give you a $300 rebate that you can apply to principal. Every little bit helps, even i...
by strafe
Sun Jul 10, 2016 6:49 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Amazon.com Store Card
Replies: 68
Views: 9162

Re: Amazon.com Store Card

Does anyone have concerns that this card is not issued by one of the major card issuers such as Visa MasterCard or American Express? So you don't get the same consumer protections. That's why we don't use it. The extra few % rewards above and beyond a credit card don't compensate for the risk of st...
by strafe
Wed Jul 06, 2016 3:57 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Just found out I have a TSP
Replies: 22
Views: 2200

Re: Just found out I have a TSP

When I retired from the Navy in 2008, I lost track of my TSP because it had little money in it ($1,100). Well, I found an old file with my TSP info in it and logged on to find out I had almost tripled my $1,100. Yeah. So, I put it all in the G fund and now I would like to figure out what to do with...
by strafe
Mon Jul 04, 2016 1:43 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Anyone fly drones?
Replies: 10
Views: 1174

Re: Anyone fly drones?

If you're just getting started, and are flying for fun, get something cheap like the Syma X5C. Around $30. Get extra batteries and multi-battery charger.
by strafe
Sun Jul 03, 2016 7:10 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: synthetic oil changes
Replies: 134
Views: 9112

Re: synthetic oil changes

If you are changing your oil every 5,000 miles or following the oil life monitor (that was calibrated for non-synthetic), I wouldn't bother with synthetic. Only exception is if you have frequent starts in a cold climate. Synthetic flows better in the cold. Blackstone Labs, a company that analyzes us...
by strafe
Sat Jul 02, 2016 8:50 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Handling "drive-by" doctoring bills following surgery?
Replies: 106
Views: 9386

Re: Handling "drive-by" doctoring bills following surgery?

So is there anything that I can do to avoid this ahead of time? I'd like to go into surgery knowing whom I am hiring and agreeing to pay. Is there something that I will be given to sign that will state all that? I am asking because I am likely to have back surgery (fusing L4-L5) sometime during the...
by strafe
Fri Jul 01, 2016 6:35 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Auto lease - money factor calculation
Replies: 12
Views: 938

Re: Auto lease - money factor calculation

If treated the same as a mortgage loan with a balloon, the monthly payment would be $499.74, only $0.54 more. The difference would be greater at higher interest rates, but not by much. Your point is an important one. The lease calculation is a good enough approximation of a balloon loan, but much e...
by strafe
Thu Jun 30, 2016 6:11 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Auto lease - money factor calculation
Replies: 12
Views: 938

Re: Auto lease - money factor calculation

I should add that that the total monthly lease payment is the depreciation charge + interest charge + tax. The depreciation charge is calculated as: (Original loan amount - residual value) / lease length. So a 36 month lease on a $23,600 car with a residual value of $20,000 would cost $100/mo for de...
by strafe
Thu Jun 30, 2016 3:32 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Auto lease - money factor calculation
Replies: 12
Views: 938

Re: Auto lease - money factor calculation

Still not clear. "...the money factor is multiplied by the whole balance, while loan interest is calculated on the remaining balance." What does the 1/2 in the multiplication represent? 1/2 = the whole balance of ________? The money factor is multiplied by (original balance+residual value...
by strafe
Wed Jun 29, 2016 9:15 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Auto lease - money factor calculation
Replies: 12
Views: 938

Re: Auto lease - money factor calculation

The reason for the factor of 2 is that the money factor is multiplied by the whole balance, while loan interest is calculated on the remaining balance. Suppose you lease a $30,000 car for 36 months, with a residual value of $19,200. The money factor will be multiplied by $10,800 to determine how mu...
by strafe
Mon Jun 27, 2016 2:45 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Disability and Life Insurance- Military Resident
Replies: 11
Views: 662

Re: Disability and Life Insurance- Military Resident

It may be difficult for you to get reasonably priced coverage. Will they underwrite you as a physician or as a military officer? The quote you got seems very high (double what I paid as a resident).
by strafe
Mon Jun 27, 2016 6:59 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Whole House Dehumidifier?
Replies: 17
Views: 1603

Re: Whole House Dehumidifier?

We are moving from a very dry climate to a very humid one. We have no experience with dehumidifier's. We had been to the new house and when we left, I set the air conditioner's thermostat to 85 since we would be gone. A mistake, because when we returned this past weekend, there was mold beginning i...
by strafe
Mon Jun 27, 2016 6:51 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Car talk: sonata MPG dropped a lot
Replies: 43
Views: 2978

Re: Car talk: sonata MPG dropped a lot

On most modern cars, anything that would affect fuel economy to that degree would trigger the MIL (check engine light). May 1 is when the fuel supply switches over the summer blend. Some states have very strict requirements. Is that when this started? Are you calculating the MPG manually (accurate) ...
by strafe
Sun Jun 26, 2016 6:12 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Dogs scratched my car on country road
Replies: 27
Views: 2938

Re: Dogs scratched my car on country road

How deep are the scratches? My guess is that you can polish them out. Go to your nearest Walmart/Target/Autozone and pick up a bottle of Meguiar's Ultimate Compound (get this specific product; if not available, get Meguiar's Scratch X) and some microfiber towels (should also be in the automotive sec...
by strafe
Sun Jun 26, 2016 4:08 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Updated from 2015: Vehicle Suggestions with 3 Kids
Replies: 45
Views: 4483

Re: Vehicle Suggestions with 3 Kids

Minivan, no question. Also look at a 1-2yr old Chrysler Town & Country, which you can pick up for around 17-19k certified used and maybe even less now that the new Pacifica has been released. The base model (touring) is equivalent to Odyssey EX-L and Sienna XLE -- leather, Rear DVD, backup camer...
by strafe
Fri Jun 24, 2016 6:26 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: house affordability question
Replies: 39
Views: 2179

Re: house affordability question

Only people who have never owned a home treat rent and mortgage amounts as equivalent. Owning a home come with all sorts of extra costs and risks that are currently borne by your landlord, which in high cost of living areas may not even be covered entirely by your rent. Looking at the mortgage vs. r...
by strafe
Fri Jun 24, 2016 6:07 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Dog attacked by another dog
Replies: 91
Views: 5065

Re: Dog attacked by another dog

No one yet has mentioned rabies exposure risk. That's a compelling reason (a) to have your dog evaluated by the vet and (b) to alert animal control.
by strafe
Tue Jun 21, 2016 6:09 am
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Mortgage and Lifetime Asset Allocation
Replies: 18
Views: 1291

Re: Mortgage and Lifetime Asset Allocation

A mortgage is a negative bond. I don't see how. Is a car loan a negative bond as well? How about student loans? Are they negative bonds? What about credit card debt? I honestly don't see the point in trying to torture Social Security benefits into "bonds", mortgages into "negative bo...
by strafe
Sat Jun 18, 2016 1:19 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Leasing a car at age 23
Replies: 51
Views: 3618

Re: Leasing a car at age 23

But that's the definition of selling something. After you sell something, you no longer own it. If yo bought a 15 year old Corolla, drove it for 3 years, and then sold it, you wouldn't "own anything for your hard earned money" at the end either. A lease is a purchase and future sale wrapp...
by strafe
Fri Jun 17, 2016 7:53 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Leasing a car at age 23
Replies: 51
Views: 3618

Re: Leasing a car at age 23

Regardless of the favorable terms, leasing a car starts you on a cycle of never ending car payments where you never own anything for your hard earned money. But that's the definition of selling something. After you sell something, you no longer own it. If yo bought a 15 year old Corolla, drove it f...
by strafe
Thu Jun 16, 2016 8:32 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Dr. Charges Facilities fee of $300 - what should I do?
Replies: 142
Views: 9074

Re: Dr. Charges Facilities fee of $300 - what should I do?

The subject line of this thread is really misleading. Your doctor didn't charge a facilities fee. The hospital did. If you choose to get outpatient care at a hospital, you should consider purchasing an insurance plan that covers those hospital services.
by strafe
Thu Jun 16, 2016 6:14 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Leasing a car at age 23
Replies: 51
Views: 3618

Re: Leasing a car at age 23

I disagree with the naysayers and would go as far to say that most anti-leasing people haven't actually run the numbers. (I was one of them until I actually did a lease analysis.). Sure, it's more expensive to drive a 0-3 year old car than an old one. But if you are going to have a newish car, the e...
by strafe
Thu Jun 16, 2016 6:37 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: 401k loan for home purchase- downside?
Replies: 23
Views: 2187

Re: 401k loan for home purchase- downside?

You should talk to a mortgage broker instead of going lender to lender yourself. You may find a third solution that avoids the issues with the 401k.

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