Search found 651 matches

by sunny_socal
Fri Jan 20, 2017 3:51 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: East Coast And Work/Life Balance
Replies: 68
Views: 5435

Re: East Coast And Work/Life Balance

Yikes--be careful. Alabama ranks at the bottom of some metrics that matter--like life expectancy, obesity, income, graduation rates, etc. May be a fine place to live for some people, but comparing NJ to Alabama is...hard. So if you move to Alabama you'll become obese, you'll die sooner, you're less...
by sunny_socal
Fri Jan 20, 2017 9:11 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: HSAs in California
Replies: 91
Views: 20404

Re: HSAs in California

I'm still terribly confused about my CA HSA! Can it potentially be very simple? My HSA account is actually two buckets: - A "cash" account for my contributions (and employer contributions). Withdrawals also come from here. - An "investment" account, similar to a 401k. I can't pic...
by sunny_socal
Fri Jan 20, 2017 9:05 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: East Coast And Work/Life Balance
Replies: 68
Views: 5435

Re: East Coast And Work/Life Balance

Texas to the East Coast? Yup - it's a downgrade.

Out here on the West Coast at least we have better weather! And better beer :beer But I'd give it up for a chance to move to TX. Once CA secedes from the union, we're outta here! :)
by sunny_socal
Fri Jan 20, 2017 12:07 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Easy Ways to Save a Little Money (Like Churning)
Replies: 17
Views: 2749

Re: Easy Ways to Save a Little Money (Like Churning)

- Port your landline to a Google voice number and get an Obi VoIP box. Free calls within the US! - Ditch your cell provider and get cricket. $100 flat for five lines! Or 20 each. - Put Linux mint on that old computer, it will run like new again - Sign up for ebates, suddenly you get cash back on eve...
by sunny_socal
Thu Jan 19, 2017 8:50 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: ok to pull plug and retire?
Replies: 51
Views: 6643

Re: ok to pull plug and retire?

The better question is: what will I _do_ once I'm retired?
by sunny_socal
Thu Jan 19, 2017 8:48 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Toaster Oven Recommendations
Replies: 34
Views: 1706

Re: Toaster Oven Recommendations

The one from Costco is fine, it also has convection. Cuisinart, I think.
by sunny_socal
Wed Jan 18, 2017 12:43 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: truck prices
Replies: 37
Views: 2670

Re: truck prices

I think if someone reads my advice, it still holds true. Forums provide anecdotal and unverified data points. We know nothing of the circumstances of the sale, truthfulness from somebody's forum post, or completeness of their data (are they including any taxes or fees? did they omit that they actua...
by sunny_socal
Wed Jan 18, 2017 10:06 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Durable photo printer ?
Replies: 32
Views: 1148

Re: Durable photo printer ?

I put the last Pro-100 I bought into service for my own use. I had no luck trying to sell "bare" printers without print heads and ink and finally gave them away on Craigslist. The old unit was working fine but since I had 4 unused printers I was giving away, I decided to give away the one...
by sunny_socal
Wed Jan 18, 2017 9:45 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: The wisdom of buying a car that doesn't depreciate (much)
Replies: 24
Views: 2773

Re: The wisdom of buying a car that doesn't depreciate (much)

I once bought a very used F250 (250k miles?), $3k. Changed the oil, drove it for a year, sold it for $3k. It had fully depreciated.

But OP, you can buy whatever you want :mrgreen: No need to stress about it unless that's part of the game :beer
by sunny_socal
Tue Jan 17, 2017 7:29 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Durable photo printer ?
Replies: 32
Views: 1148

Re: Durable photo printer ?

I hope I didn't bite off more than I can chew. This thing weighs 43 lbs!
http://www.steves-digicams.com/blog/can ... er-review/

Still, my wife has wanted a better photo printer and the kids have asked for a color printer. I'll need to get creative in making some space for it! :P
by sunny_socal
Tue Jan 17, 2017 5:22 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: truck prices
Replies: 37
Views: 2670

Re: truck prices

truecar.com is built for just this purpose. kbb.com will show you a "fair" price, MSRP, and invoice. Edit: I'm playing around with TrueCar a bit more, and it seems that all the information from KBB is also there. I'd use the two as comparison against each other and use the best number I f...
by sunny_socal
Tue Jan 17, 2017 10:06 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Durable photo printer ?
Replies: 32
Views: 1148

Re: Durable photo printer ?

Hi madbrain, The rebate form is also on the Canon website: https://shop.usa.canon.com/shop/en/catalog/canon-mail-in-rebate?cm_sp=CD-_-HP_Row5_Right-Top-Block-_-MailInRebate BH photo also shows it https://www.bhphotovideo.com/c/product/893738-REG/Canon_6228b002_Pixma_Pro_100_Photo_Inkjet.html I think...
by sunny_socal
Tue Jan 17, 2017 12:31 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Basic question on Hybrid cars
Replies: 64
Views: 3476

Re: Basic question on Hybrid cars

What's the question? Are dedicated hybrid models 'better'? Yes if you're chasing fuel efficiency above everything else. The Prius is an excellent example, it is very efficient, it does the Hybrid thing very well. I owned one some years ago and it was a reliable vehicle that went from Point A to Poin...
by sunny_socal
Tue Jan 17, 2017 12:20 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Best Financial Moves You've Made
Replies: 141
Views: 15313

Re: Best Financial Moves You've Made

I'll add another one: taking out a 401k loan as a "bridge loan" when moving from one house to another. Quick easy cash, paid myself back a month later when my 1st house sold :beer
by sunny_socal
Mon Jan 16, 2017 6:45 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Very confused with W4 Allowances
Replies: 33
Views: 2384

Re: Very confused with W4 Allowances

All the .gov W4 worksheets and web wizards do nothing for me. These days I do it like this: 1. File taxes 2. If I paid too much or too little, adjust accordingly (ie raise or lower the allowances) Right now I have 40 for California, 18 for Federal :annoyed I've asked our payroll dept for guidance ho...
by sunny_socal
Mon Jan 16, 2017 2:16 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Durable photo printer ?
Replies: 32
Views: 1148

Re: Durable photo printer ?

I gave up and now just upload photos online and have them printed and mailed to my door a couple days later. I've found it costs much less than trying to own and refill cartridges for a home printer and the quality is much better than I ever got by printing at home. If I need them quicker, I just p...
by sunny_socal
Mon Jan 16, 2017 10:31 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Durable photo printer ?
Replies: 32
Views: 1148

Re: Durable photo printer ?

Took advantage of my own offer (LOL), wife gets a very nice anniversary gift! - $499 MSRP (or at least that's the Best Buy price) - $379 Adorama price :happy - Another $5 off since I selected "green shipping" (ground), still 'free' :) - 1% cash back via Ebates :P ( Everyone should sign up ...
by sunny_socal
Mon Jan 16, 2017 10:10 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Durable photo printer ?
Replies: 32
Views: 1148

Re: Durable photo printer ?

Wow the pixma has a $250 rebate right now! So it's $130 after rebate:
https://www.adorama.com/icapro100.html
by sunny_socal
Mon Jan 16, 2017 10:09 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Durable photo printer ?
Replies: 32
Views: 1148

Re: Durable photo printer ?

Can that Pixma print post card size as well?

My wife has a selphy and is looking to upgrade. The selphy has a weird user interface and she must print many test pictures - the paper/film is expensive.
by sunny_socal
Mon Jan 16, 2017 2:14 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: is a 401k loan always terrible?
Replies: 51
Views: 3124

Re: is a 401k loan always terrible?

Borrow it, not a big deal. Just be sure to pay it back.
by sunny_socal
Sun Jan 15, 2017 11:17 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: What are Costco's best deals?
Replies: 346
Views: 53617

Re: What are Costco's best deals?

Gas is their 'best deal' for me, it's $0.30/gallon less than anyone else. As for the rest: - They occasionally have very good deals on individual items. Around thanksgiving they had a GoPro Hero4 silver for $250 with a memory card and extra battery. This was about $100 less than anyone else at the t...
by sunny_socal
Sun Jan 15, 2017 11:03 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Upgrade or just buy new? [Computer]
Replies: 44
Views: 2438

Re: Upgrade or just buy new? [Computer]

I highly recommend installing Linux Mint on your old XP machine! And don't run it off the CD, that will be slow - replace the old OS on the hard drive. Behavior after this upgrade will be very similar to a Chromebook, even better, since you can use the rest of your hard drive for storage. Keep this ...
by sunny_socal
Sun Jan 15, 2017 10:48 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Way to turn off credit card applications?
Replies: 10
Views: 1024

Re: Way to turn off credit card applications?

Freeze your credit! You don't have to go through "Life Lock" or any other company, just do it yourself:
http://www.clark.com/credit-freeze-and-thaw-guide

Quick and easy, it took me about an hour to process all three credit agencies.
by sunny_socal
Sat Jan 14, 2017 11:04 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: New SUV, $50G, Pilot/Highlander/Other
Replies: 113
Views: 13759

Re: New SUV, $50G, Pilot/Highlander/Other

OP, are you really using the "get a bunch of internet quotes and pick the best one" method, or are you still walking into the dealership to "negotiate"? Maybe I'm wrong about the Pilot (is it a hot new vehicle or something?), but I bought an Accord last year and it was trivial to...
by sunny_socal
Sat Jan 14, 2017 10:18 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Best Financial Moves You've Made
Replies: 141
Views: 15313

Re: Best Financial Moves You've Made

Bought a relatively cheap fixer house right before the housing boom. Sold it 2 years later for 2x the price, right before the crash! :mrgreen:

We live in CA so we still have a mortgage, but it's nice knowing that we'll be able to buy a house with cash when we escape this state! :beer
by sunny_socal
Thu Jan 12, 2017 12:52 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Annual Vacation Budget
Replies: 252
Views: 15660

Re: Annual Vacation Budget

$5k/year: - Annual Disneyland day (I don't care for it, but wife grew up going there and wants to continue the tradition :wink: ) - A few RV camping trips - Possibly a weekend at a hotel We have an upcoming European vacation, I suspect that will be at least $10k :shock: We have pets, so any extended...
by sunny_socal
Thu Jan 12, 2017 12:27 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: How to build passive income
Replies: 45
Views: 4293

Re: How to build passive income

What is the best way for someone to build passive income with about $30,000 in cash savings that is 32 years old? I want to build wealth instead of getting the 1 percent interest in my saving account. I'm leaning toward a rental property. Is that cash in addition to your Emergency Fund, or is it yo...
by sunny_socal
Thu Jan 12, 2017 12:06 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Advice on salary negotiation
Replies: 9
Views: 1273

Re: Advice on salary negotiation

You should leave. I know several people who are stuck in a rut, 8-10 years in the same title & position. They're doing great work and "deserve" to get a promo but no such promo will be given. Companies are not in the business of making your life better, they exist to make money - pure ...
by sunny_socal
Thu Jan 12, 2017 9:15 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Replacing timing belt on 2009 Accord(Do it or sell?)
Replies: 83
Views: 11661

Re: Replacing timing belt on 2009 Accord(Do it or sell?)

I believe the OP still has about 35k miles before the timing belt is due to be changed on the regular Honda maintenance schedule. It isn't due until 105k. Agree. We have a 2007 Honda Pilot and just changed it last year when the vehicle reached 100k. So if OP had a V6 he should just keep driving it ...
by sunny_socal
Thu Jan 12, 2017 1:30 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: France or Switzerland
Replies: 50
Views: 4517

Re: France or Switzerland

If your wife is afraid, then you shouldn't go. It doesn't really matter if her fear is rational or not; if she feels it, she feels it. And there are many other places to go in the world. But would she feel better if you avoided, say, Paris and stuck to moral rural areas in France? Alsace, for examp...
by sunny_socal
Wed Jan 11, 2017 4:25 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Are $50 drugstore and supermarket "drones" any fun?
Replies: 18
Views: 2104

Re: Are $50 drugstore and supermarket "drones" any fun?

I bought this one several months ago and it's lots of fun - https://www.amazon.com/Syma-X5SC-Explorers-Headless-Quadcopter/dp/B00WJOLJW8/ref=sr_1_1?s=photo&ie=UTF8&qid=1484139988&sr=1-1&keywords=syma+x5c+headless Pretty easy to set up and learn to fly. Video and still images are ok ...
by sunny_socal
Wed Jan 11, 2017 1:57 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Thinking of getting tires from Costco
Replies: 66
Views: 4510

Re: Thinking of getting tires from Costco

I just go an email from Costco for Executive Members:
- $70 coupon for set of 4 Michelins
- $60 coupon for installation


Getting new tires while shopping @ Costco? Priceless :beer

Expires 1/13/17
by sunny_socal
Wed Jan 11, 2017 10:08 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: 401k reached critical mass - 21% increase in one year
Replies: 14
Views: 1632

Re: 401k reached critical mass - 21% increase in one year

It's definitely the market gains and not the contributions
by sunny_socal
Wed Jan 11, 2017 10:03 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: 401k reached critical mass - 21% increase in one year
Replies: 14
Views: 1632

401k reached critical mass - 21% increase in one year

I don't know what happened to my 401k but it seems to have reached critical mass. Since Jan 2016 I have experienced a 21% increase! :beer The portfolio is rather boglehead, just a mix of Fidelity 'target' funds. I contribute the max and employer match is effectively 5k/year. Anyone else see this? Is...
by sunny_socal
Wed Jan 11, 2017 9:55 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: New SUV, $50G, Pilot/Highlander/Other
Replies: 113
Views: 13759

Re: New SUV, $50G, Pilot/Highlander/Other

nura wrote:For around $45k you could buy a 13-14 GL350 with third row seating for two adults while getting 20mpg, leave aside balance $5k for any repairs.


Or you could get a 2012 for 35k, leaving 15k for repairs
https://www.carmax.com/car/14011393
by sunny_socal
Wed Jan 11, 2017 12:42 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Thinking of getting tires from Costco
Replies: 66
Views: 4510

Re: Thinking of getting tires from Costco

I often get tires from Costco. Their warehouse selection is weak but I can usually order any Bridgestone or Michelin tire I want during their sales. I didn't think road hazard was worth it but I recently got a nail in my tire and it was too close to the edge to repair. I hadn't bought from Costco an...
by sunny_socal
Tue Jan 10, 2017 9:21 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: USAA 2.5% Cash Back Credit Card
Replies: 60
Views: 10314

Re: USAA 2.5% Cash Back Credit Card

Is this card now available in CA? I just visited USAA and after I logged out I noticed a little "Want a card? We have a special offer..." box - I clicked it :wink: It look me to a very generic questionnaire where I entered my state of residence, my credit score and anticipated monthly spen...
by sunny_socal
Mon Jan 09, 2017 11:44 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Selling Car - Private Sale vs CarMax vs Dealer
Replies: 42
Views: 3517

Re: Selling Car - Private Sale vs CarMax vs Dealer

The price tiers are just as others have said. Since your cars have loans you can still sell them private party, but to make things simple you'll need to go through a bank or credit union for the paperwork. The buyer takes out a loan to buy the vehicle (whether they need the loan or not) and the bank...
by sunny_socal
Fri Jan 06, 2017 10:08 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Refinancing a 2.75% Mortgage Rate?
Replies: 16
Views: 2960

Re: Refinancing a 2.75% Mortgage Rate?

I would do it, but only because I don't like ARM loans. Fixed rate removes yet another "What if" from life, allowing me to sleep better :beer

Also explore 15, 20 and 25 year terms if you seek a lower rate.
by sunny_socal
Thu Jan 05, 2017 9:53 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Honda Pilot vs Toyota Highlander?
Replies: 61
Views: 5652

Re: Honda Pilot vs Toyota Highlander?

I've seen nothing but positive reviews of the xc90 online. And after 30k miles on my 2016 XC90, there's very little to complain about. I drove all the competitors, no other 3-row SUV could touch the mpg, the future-proofed infotainment system, and the comfort. you might as well save your money and ...
by sunny_socal
Thu Jan 05, 2017 9:38 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Sprucing up an old car?
Replies: 41
Views: 3251

Re: Sprucing up an old car?

For my wife's 07 Pilot I just installed a JVC Bluetooth head unit with a touch screen and XM radio. It has back up camera support but I didn't go that far. Also removed 90% of the scratches using the following method: - Carburetor cleaner for any paint transfer scrapes - Meguair's Compound for buffi...
by sunny_socal
Thu Jan 05, 2017 2:18 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Purchase used car with financing lien
Replies: 2
Views: 310

Re: Purchase used car with financing lien

Get a loan at a credit union ( whether you actually need a loan or not) and let them handle the title transfer. Then pay off your new loan, receive title from credit union. Done.
by sunny_socal
Wed Jan 04, 2017 9:38 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Investing in a Masters and Ph.D?
Replies: 101
Views: 5049

Re: Investing in a Masters and Ph.D?

Don't do it, you can be in some other "think tank" for free - join Toastmasters for example. Degrees are a waste of $$ unless you actually need one - for you it's just a want. Stay the course and keep building your nest egg, don't blow it now.
by sunny_socal
Tue Jan 03, 2017 11:35 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: How many of you did a Roth conversion the first day of 2017
Replies: 47
Views: 3243

Re: How many of you did a Roth conversion the first day of 2017

I couldn't manage it until January 21 last year. I want to finish last year's tax return and a current year estimate before I decide on the Roth conversion amount, and I'm at the mercy of the latest tax form. You could always shoot for the max and do a partial recharacterization if you overshoot. 8...
by sunny_socal
Tue Jan 03, 2017 3:17 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Teaching kids about money
Replies: 3
Views: 315

Re: Teaching kids about money

I can't recommend any websites, but I did set up bank accounts for my kids at that age: A savings and a checking. - When they were small I'd deposit $5/week into their checking accounts ('allowance') - Each week $1 would transfer from the checking into savings automatically Now that they are older t...
by sunny_socal
Tue Jan 03, 2017 9:37 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Large purchase anxiety!
Replies: 24
Views: 2642

Re: Large purchase anxiety!

At least you didn't buy a $14k diamond ring! :mrgreen:
by sunny_socal
Tue Jan 03, 2017 9:32 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Use small windfall + investment to payoff mortgage?
Replies: 4
Views: 618

Re: Use small windfall + investment to payoff mortgage?

You say you're moving? The house is almost paid off right now, it really depends on what kind of house you're buying next. If you buy a 900k house you'll need more cash. If you buy a 500k house (likely, IMO), the current house payment will be moot.

In this situation I'd keep the cash or buy the car.
by sunny_socal
Sat Dec 31, 2016 9:26 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Delayed Gratification In Life & its fallacies
Replies: 56
Views: 5726

Re: Delayed Gratification In Life & its fallacies

<snip> In my case, once I have (responsibly) filled all the tax-benefited buckets I can (pre-tax 401K, IRAs, HSA, After-tax 401K; + rainy day yearly boost + 10k/kid/yr for college), I let loose a bit and indulge... <snip> You obviously you have good cash flow, you have filled all your retirement &a...
by sunny_socal
Fri Dec 30, 2016 10:42 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: When is it "OK" to get a car loan?
Replies: 42
Views: 3431

Re: When is it "OK" to get a car loan?

I would definitely get the loan and get the 911 - or even take the $$ from your over-funded EF. You'll still have a decent EF left over and you can always sell the 911 if necessary.
by sunny_socal
Thu Dec 29, 2016 10:12 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: I'll never save a 20% down payment. Rent for life?
Replies: 138
Views: 12627

Re: I'll never save a 20% down payment. Rent for life?

Another way to get there if your credit is good is to borrow 80% conventional mortgage with no PMI, and then in addition you borrow 5-10-whatever% as a second mortgage for shorter term from bank, parents, friends, or ask the seller to take a small second mortgage to cover the shortfall to get to 20...

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