Search found 585 matches

by strafe
Sun Apr 17, 2016 7:34 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Medical School preparation Pointers for a Sophomore Student
Replies: 48
Views: 2873

Re: Medical School preparation Pointers for a Sophomore Student

Prerequisite courses may be school specific but will generally include general biology, general chemistry, organic chemistry and general physics. Some schools have extra math requirements that we won't need to worry about as an engineering grad. Doing a human anatomy course (with cadaver lab) and a ...
by strafe
Thu Apr 07, 2016 5:07 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Credit cards with those little chip thingys...
Replies: 8
Views: 1034

Re: Credit cards with those little chip thingys...

The chip verifies that your genuine card is present, not a copy. It is easy to create a fake magnetic strip containing your credit card number. But a thief can't readily create a fake chip.
by strafe
Thu Mar 31, 2016 3:03 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: How long can I drive my car that needs repairs?
Replies: 22
Views: 1558

Re: How long can I drive my car that needs repairs?

I have a 19 year old Nissan. I would say the strut and bushing are not safety: struts and bushing failures cause discomfort but they have nothing to do with steering and braking. Agree with previous thread that you should replace Oxygen sensor, but if you don't care about mpg or OBD error codes, yo...
by strafe
Wed Mar 30, 2016 11:26 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Used car buying Qs
Replies: 51
Views: 3649

Re: Used car buying Qs

Your budget can get you a late model (as in 2011, or newer) Hyundai Sonata with under 100k miles. That's a nice, safe, reliable mid-sized car that doesn't come with a price premium. There have been tremendous advances in car safety in the last five years. Statistically speaking, your kid is going to...
by strafe
Wed Mar 30, 2016 11:11 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: How long can I drive my car that needs repairs?
Replies: 22
Views: 1558

Re: How long can I drive my car that needs repairs?

Can't say without knowing how bad they are. Front struts and bushings could be a major safety issue (loss of control in an emergency) if they're completely shot. Wheels won't fall off unless they're talking about the ball joints. O2 sensor could hurt fuel economy and ruin the cat (dumping unburned g...
by strafe
Mon Mar 14, 2016 6:28 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Throw away turbo tax disk?
Replies: 16
Views: 1695

Re: Throw away turbo tax disk?

Its unlikely that installation media would contain personal info that someone could dig out of the landfill. But it's at least a theoretical possibility with floppy disks, and it would be reasonable to physically destroy them. (As if anyone has the equipment to read them...) Product CDs/DVDs are rea...
by strafe
Wed Jan 20, 2016 7:56 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Car tire replacement
Replies: 45
Views: 3455

Re: Car tire replacement

I haven't found Costco prices to be all that competitive in my neck of the woods, but I've also had lots of balance problems when I buy from Discount Tire. Shop around, including Tire Rack. As far as tire selection goes, I would buy the Michelin Pilot Sport A/S 3. You mentioned your car is all wheel...
by strafe
Sat Nov 14, 2015 8:16 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Down to 2 cars: How to decide?
Replies: 15
Views: 2146

Re: Down to 2 cars: How to decide?

Single, no kids, dont expect to have kids. 1) New 2015 Mazda3i Sport hatchback, $18.750 out the door 2) used 2013 Mazda3i Touring sedan, 17k miles, $14.250k out the door . the 3yr/36k factory mile warranty expires 8/2016 so i have 9months left. no additional warranty from this dealer. normalization...
by strafe
Mon Oct 26, 2015 7:51 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Looking to refinance a 5/1 ARM from Third Federal
Replies: 7
Views: 800

Re: Looking to refinance a 5/1 ARM from Third Federal

Questions: 1) Which mortgage should I refinance? Why not both? 2) Since I have enough equity in primary should I do cash out refinance and payoff rental. Obviously, not too keen on this since it will increase risk on my primary house. I wouldn't, but too few details given to provide an intelligent ...
by strafe
Tue Oct 06, 2015 12:14 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Headlights & car safety
Replies: 48
Views: 3926

Re: Headlights & car safety

Can't tell you what types of headlights they are, but I often wonder why people coming at me on a narrow, curvy 2-land road think they're safer by blinding oncoming traffic with bright aftermarket (not high beams) headlights. Sounds like the lights weren't properly aimed. The projector lenses can b...
by strafe
Mon Oct 05, 2015 7:58 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Headlights & car safety
Replies: 48
Views: 3926

Re: Headlights & car safety

yes, headlights have improved.

there are aftermarket projector kits for older cars but the quality is often poor.
if your headlights are oxidized (cloudy), polishing them with a plastic polish or headlight restoration kit might improve the situation, though the effect won't be profound.
by strafe
Thu Oct 01, 2015 9:37 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Minivan or not?
Replies: 50
Views: 4175

Re: Minivan or not?

Holas. Steer clear of Chrysler (and maybe any other American minivans). I've owned a new Chrysler T&C, and replaced it with a used one after the new one was smashed parked outside my house. Both vans experienced the same problems that eat up my time (still own the used one). The minivan is so v...
by strafe
Sat Aug 15, 2015 5:38 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: What type of oil do I need for a 2015 Jeep Compass?
Replies: 9
Views: 3787

Re: What type of oil do I need for a 2015 Jeep Compass?

Walmart (always) and Amazon (sometimes) have the best prices for oil. The price difference between conventional and synthetic is minimal. The spread you see from the oil change place is pure profit. Mobil 1 is great oil but I suggest you not use it in your Jeep since your car is still under warranty...
by strafe
Fri Jul 24, 2015 9:55 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Asking for separate checks?
Replies: 88
Views: 7623

Re: Asking for separate checks?

I'm shocked by some of the responses. There must be regional/age differences. In my neck of the woods (mid-atlantic), separate checks are the norm. Most servers ask at some point before bringing the checks how they should be grouped. Dividing a single check evenly would be highly unusual. Obviously,...
by strafe
Fri Jun 05, 2015 2:48 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Any BH know about whole house Dehumidifier?
Replies: 25
Views: 1598

Re: Any BH know about whole house Dehumidifier?

riley42 wrote:unfortunately, our AC system only has one fan speed.


Are you sure about this? every old air handler I've seen has 3-4 different fan speed options to tune the airflow to the ductwork and dehumidification requirements. These should be indicated on the wiring diagram.
by strafe
Thu May 28, 2015 8:47 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: BMW needs new tires
Replies: 24
Views: 2433

Re: BMW needs new tires

Discount Tire (and I'm sure many other stores) will match Tire Rack's shipped prices.

As for tires, I highly recommend the Michelin Pilot Sport A/S 3. Best tire I've ever owned.
by strafe
Wed May 13, 2015 11:59 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Replace timing belt on old car with multiple issues?
Replies: 13
Views: 1492

Re: Replace timing belt on old car with multiple issues?

As others have said, sell the car. I've been in your shoes. My priorities in residency were to be a good parent and to learn to be a good doctor. I would avoid encumbering yourself with anything that distracts from those goals. You will not have the time or energy to be fooling around with car (or h...
by strafe
Wed May 13, 2015 11:21 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Refinance now or Wait for rate adjustment
Replies: 21
Views: 1864

Re: Refinance now or Wait for rate adjustment

I would not refinance. Three things to consider: 1) a guaranteed lower interest rate now (when you have a higher balance) matters more than the risk of a higher interest rate later (when your balance will be much smaller) 2) because you are making extra payments, your required principal and interest...
by strafe
Thu May 07, 2015 3:48 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: buying a new subaru outback
Replies: 25
Views: 2935

Re: buying a new subaru outback

No question, I would take the practically-free loan and keep the "cash" invested. If it's a budget issue, draw the monthly payment out of the cash savings.
by strafe
Sat Apr 25, 2015 6:12 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Compare 10/1 ARM vs 30 yr
Replies: 4
Views: 803

Re: Compare 10/1 ARM vs 30 yr

I think you are making this too complicated. You don't need a spreadsheet to tell you that a loan option with a lower interest rate for your entire time horizon and a lower down payment requirement is superior. If there is any chance you will have the mortgage longer 10 years, that's the part to ana...
by strafe
Tue Apr 07, 2015 8:31 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Switch to 15 year mortgage? (Cash flow vs. better rate)
Replies: 17
Views: 2026

Re: Switch to 15 year mortgage? (Cash flow vs. better rate)

I would also look into ARMs. You get the benefit of the lower interest rate and the 30 yr amortization schedule. ARM is only worthwhile if you plan to pay off the mortgage (whether by paying rapidly or selling) no later than 2-3 years after the fixed rate period ends
by strafe
Mon Apr 06, 2015 6:04 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Mystery of increasing wages, but decreasing federal withhold
Replies: 12
Views: 1529

Re: Mystery of increasing wages, but decreasing federal with

How much of her income in prior years was from bonuses or other "supplemental" payments that are withheld at a higher rate than wage income?
by strafe
Mon Mar 30, 2015 5:47 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Why Buying a *New* Car Makes Sense? Please help!
Replies: 63
Views: 6769

Re: Why Buying a *New* Car Makes Sense? Please help!

Edmunds true market value would give you an idea of the used car average selling prices (after negotiation). if you were buying a CPO car, any issues you Inherit would be covered by the included extended warranty. Otherwise, why not just buy a plain (non certified) used car? I do not know the specif...
by strafe
Mon Mar 30, 2015 5:36 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Why Buying a *New* Car Makes Sense? Please help!
Replies: 63
Views: 6769

Re: Why Buying a *New* Car Makes Sense? Please help!

I think you are right: CPO cars are not a good deal for reliable, low depreciation vehicles that are unlikely to make any use of the warranty. CPO cars do not benefit from many manufacturer incentives, including financing, the drive down the cost of the new car. However, there are a couple problems ...
by strafe
Sat Mar 28, 2015 2:30 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Selling mutual funds before or after dividends
Replies: 10
Views: 976

Re: Selling mutual funds before or after dividends

All other things being equal, the fund's NAV will decrease by the amount of the distribution regardless of the distribution type. Dividends and capital gains have the same effect.

The timing of the distribution matters only for tax reasons. As Taylor pointed out, in an IRA it doesn't matter.
by strafe
Thu Mar 26, 2015 7:19 am
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: What would you do with 1.25 million dollars for 1 year?
Replies: 39
Views: 4407

Re: What would you do with 1.25 million dollars for 1 year?

Given that the 1.25MM is just a fraction of your proceeds from the sale and the yields on safe short term instruments are so low, I would pay the estimated tax now and be done with it. Otherwise my. vote is for the limited-term tax exempt fund.
by strafe
Fri Mar 20, 2015 3:59 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Hearse as daily driver?
Replies: 58
Views: 5543

Hearse as daily driver?

I'm in the market for a new (used) car. Perusing Craigslist, I came across several listings for late model pre-owned hearses for under $5,000. They all had low mileage (about 20,000) and were reportedly driven gently to/from church and "the gardens." Plenty of people come to this forum see...
by strafe
Tue Mar 17, 2015 5:47 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Is a larger home downpayment worth it?
Replies: 18
Views: 2803

Re: Is a larger home downpayment worth it?

Kosmo wrote:Why are the rates different if you put down an additional down payment above the 20% "minimum"? I've never heard of that. I could see that rates increase if you go below the 20% down.


Condo mortgages often require 70% LTV rather than the 80% typical for single family homes.
by strafe
Tue Mar 17, 2015 5:46 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Is a larger home downpayment worth it?
Replies: 18
Views: 2803

Re: Is a larger home downpayment worth it?

To my mind, the biggest benefit of a larger downpayment is the cash flow improvement over the life of the loan due to the smaller required payment. Except that you can cover the extra cashflow with your bigger pot of savings. Putting a larger amount down is only advantageous if you would otherwise ...
by strafe
Tue Mar 17, 2015 5:43 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Is a larger home downpayment worth it?
Replies: 18
Views: 2803

Re: Is a larger home downpayment worth it?

It was explained that the higher debt/income ratio makes it such that the first 70% loan (30% down case) is 3.75% and borrowing another 10% (20% down case) comes effectively at 4.75% (which averages 3.875% for the entire 80% loan). Assuming there is enough cash for updates and repairs, would it be ...
by strafe
Sun Mar 15, 2015 8:43 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Buying a Home. 30yr FRM vs. 15yrFRM vs. ARM 5/1
Replies: 32
Views: 3271

Re: Buying a Home. 30yr FRM vs. 15yrFRM vs. ARM 5/1

ARMs make a ton of sense for Bogleheads. If you are intent on paying your mortgage off early (or know you won't own the house forever), you get the flexibility of 30-year amortization and better interest rates than a 15-year fixed mortgage. Moreover, because the mortgage is re-amortized over the rem...
by strafe
Sun Mar 01, 2015 6:25 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Honda fit vs VW GTI
Replies: 54
Views: 6272

Re: Honda fit vs VW GTI

You're right, these could not be any more different. The very fact that you're even asking this question tells me that you should get the GTI. Sure the GTI's fuel economy, resale value and reliability will be slightly worse than the Fit. However, the Fit has a very specific purpose as a very practic...
by strafe
Sat Feb 28, 2015 9:56 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Old car insurance
Replies: 39
Views: 3931

Re: Old car insurance

JoeJohnson wrote:Question: Why is everybody recommending comprehensive but dropping collision? If you can afford to total the car in a wreck, why would you insure the risk of flood, trees, fire, etc?


It makes more sense when you remember that 93% of drivers believe they are above average.
by strafe
Fri Feb 06, 2015 7:47 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Replacing a reliable Toyota
Replies: 43
Views: 4972

Re: Replacing a reliable Toyota

Can you list some examples of what you've paid for some repairs? I'd be interested for the Volvo, and from the other post on the Mercedes. Cost of ownership. I can handle market downturns, but nothing like a really expensive car repair that seems like it should be cheaper to make my stomach turn wi...
by strafe
Wed Feb 04, 2015 2:31 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: 1099 non-employee compensation question
Replies: 8
Views: 976

Re: 1099 non-employee compensation question

All, thank you for the comments. To answer a question earlier, the 1099 is from the professional society. Filing schedule C will cost the least in tax because my "net profit" subject to self-employment tax would be very low (can claim airfare as a business expense) and would be consistent ...
by strafe
Tue Feb 03, 2015 6:40 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: 1099 non-employee compensation question
Replies: 8
Views: 976

1099 non-employee compensation question

I'm a W-2 employee. I applied for and received a lump-sum "travel support" award from a professional society in connection with attending the annual scientific meeting last year. My employer reimbursed me for the portion of my travel expenses that exceeded the amount of the grant. The stip...
by strafe
Sat Dec 13, 2014 5:57 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: What is a move-up car after mid-size sedan?
Replies: 63
Views: 5099

Re: What is a move-up car after mid-size sedan?

Lexus is probably the brand most associated with entry-level luxury cars. The ES and RX are about that price range. Also look a the Mercedes C class, BMW 3, Hyundai Genesis (best bang for buck) and Cadillac ATS.
by strafe
Fri Dec 12, 2014 4:03 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: iPad Purchase - Online vs Store
Replies: 24
Views: 1988

Re: iPad Purchase - Online vs Store

Doesn't matter either way, prices are the same.
by strafe
Thu Oct 23, 2014 1:00 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Phone for Europe trip
Replies: 24
Views: 1965

Re: Phone for Europe trip

What phone do you currently have? When we last traveled to Europe, I just used my iPhone. I bought a SIM card on arrival with prepaid minutes/data and replaced the Verizon SIM card with the foreign one. I think I paid $20 or $30 (USD equivalent) for a SIM that came with 250 voice minutes and unlimit...
by strafe
Wed Oct 22, 2014 9:56 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: How do you wash your car?
Replies: 143
Views: 10695

Re: How do you wash your car?

I find it it amusing that people claim the rain washes their car. Rain is what makes my cars dirty! Also, I'm going to call B.S. on the statement that "I never wash the car and it looks as good as the day it was new." I am by no means a detailing fanatic. I've never washed the car more tha...
by strafe
Mon Oct 13, 2014 9:55 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Computer codes availability at indep. repair garages?
Replies: 42
Views: 2301

Re: Computer codes availability at indep. repair garages?

Total ripoff.

My other favorite rip-off is the $60 cabin filter replacement.

The filter(s) cost $5-10 at most and take under 2 minutes to replace.
by strafe
Fri Oct 03, 2014 2:06 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: is a 1920 x 1200 monitor worth it?
Replies: 15
Views: 1199

Re: is a 1920 x 1200 monitor worth it?

What do you mean , "the native resolution of the video card?" Your laptop screen has a native resolution (as does any monitor you buy). Is that what you mean? If so, the video card may actually support external resolutions higher than the native resolution of the built-in screen. The video...
by strafe
Fri Oct 03, 2014 2:04 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Amex Premium Car Rental Ins and Liability Coverage
Replies: 8
Views: 1180

Re: Amex Premium Car Rental Ins and Liability Coverage

Same issue would apply to the Chase Sapphire Preferred, which offers primary auto insurance coverage for free (well, you do pay a small annual fee). The coverage is there to make the rental car company whole and protect you from the rental company, and nothing more. I think it turns on whether you c...
by strafe
Sun Sep 14, 2014 10:00 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Car-Certified Lexus LS 460 Vs New ES 350 Vs New RX 350
Replies: 75
Views: 9934

Re: Car-Certified Lexus LS 460 Vs New ES 350 Vs New RX 350

The LS460 is rear wheel drive but will be just fine in the bad weather if you use winter tires. Ground clearance not much worse than the RX.
by strafe
Thu Sep 11, 2014 6:51 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Rental rate of return
Replies: 17
Views: 1695

Re: Rental rate of return

As a general rule of thumb, expenses for single family homes (e.g. repairs, maintenance, vacancies, advertising & management, taxes,and insurance, but not financing) add up to about 50% of gross rents. So, in your example renting for $750 per month, you would anticipate net operating income of $...
by strafe
Tue Sep 09, 2014 8:12 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Repair/maintain the BMW or get a new car?
Replies: 24
Views: 2912

Re: Repair/maintain the BMW or get a new car?

Brakes are normal maintenance. Your description of the rest is vague; what gasket? What other maintenance items? If you were to replace the BMW, your new car would also have brakes & other consumable parts that wear out. Hondas in particular are notorious for premature rotor warpage. If the car ...
by strafe
Sat Aug 30, 2014 7:04 am
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: The Power of Zero: [Book and tax planning for retirement]
Replies: 52
Views: 7202

Re: The Power of Zero: Controversial New Book About Taxes

"Tax free" is a bit misleading as it only applies to income tax. The consumption of all of these savings vehicles would still be subject to sales or value-added tax (VAT).
by strafe
Thu Aug 28, 2014 8:11 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Gas station etiquette
Replies: 46
Views: 4353

Re: Gas station etiquette

I'm really amused at how lengthy this silly thread has gotten. Nothing ignites conversation like gasoline, manners, and a catchy diagram. Thought 1: you say B was "evidently not interested" in the open space ahead of A, but that B thought A was interested. Who is right? Did B pull into A's...
by strafe
Thu Aug 28, 2014 2:33 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Gas station etiquette
Replies: 46
Views: 4353

Re: Gas station etiquette

Your Costco gas station must get the same crowds as mine. I and most folks do pass car A to get to the open pump. I'm not sure I would do so if car B had been in postition you indicated, however. That seemed a bit strange to me, but if you (or car B) had noticed that car A was about to finish and l...
by strafe
Thu Aug 28, 2014 1:59 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Gas station etiquette
Replies: 46
Views: 4353

Gas station etiquette

Someone give me a hard time at the local Costco gas station today. I thought my actions were completely appropriate, but wonder if perhaps I violated some unwritten rule of gas station etiquette. The Costco gas pumps are set up like they are everywhere, with multiple aisles of pumps, a wide center l...

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