Search found 332 matches

by thomasbayarea
Fri Apr 01, 2016 11:34 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Five Best National Parks to Visit?
Replies: 99
Views: 6683

Re: Five Best National Parks to Visit?

whaleknives wrote:Image

I have climbed the cables of half dome several years now. After they setup the daily permit limit, it is not crowded at all.
by thomasbayarea
Fri Apr 01, 2016 10:06 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Five Best National Parks to Visit?
Replies: 99
Views: 6683

Re: Five Best National Parks to Visit?

Yosemite - The problem with such a beautiful park is that it takes multiple visits to truly appreciate it. I have been to Yosemite over a dozen times now (I live close) and every time I discover something new. That park is truly special in my book - none others have come close - but it look several ...
by thomasbayarea
Wed Feb 24, 2016 5:37 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Please help me, help my parents, help me
Replies: 15
Views: 2369

Re: Please help me, help my parents, help me

Your two parents gifting 5 people (your spouse, you and the 3 kids) $14k each, allows for the first $140,000 to be tax exempt (no need to report it). Can you split it up into two checks of $140k each? This way you don't even have to file a tax return. Well, even if you have to report it on form 709,...
by thomasbayarea
Fri Feb 19, 2016 1:55 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Applied for 100 jobs, no callbacks. What's up?
Replies: 103
Views: 8610

Re: Applied for 100 jobs, no callbacks. What's up?

OP, any calls?

We're all waiting excitedly :P :P
by thomasbayarea
Wed Feb 03, 2016 11:52 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: What do you pay per year for daycare?
Replies: 33
Views: 1345

Re: What do you pay per year for daycare?

$1500/kid/month - SF Bay Area
by thomasbayarea
Sun Jan 31, 2016 11:50 am
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Downward trend over?
Replies: 46
Views: 4345

Re: Downward trend over?

Down
No Up
No Down
No Up
:confused
by thomasbayarea
Fri Jan 29, 2016 9:24 am
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Regret of selling winning stocks early
Replies: 35
Views: 3259

Re: Regret of selling winning stocks early

I have always sold ESPP & RSUs immediately on vesting.

Some years I was unhappy because waiting would have been profitable.

Last 2 years selling immediately has been profitable.

Who knows the right answer :confused

Move on :sharebeer
by thomasbayarea
Wed Jan 13, 2016 3:22 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Ever get mad at the screen when the market is down
Replies: 32
Views: 2195

Re: Ever get mad at the screen when the market is down

I see that the market is down again today. I found myself saying "Take it all! I don't care what happens. [insert a few profanities]" in a frustrated yet serious undertone. In other words, if the market wants to play games then I will too. I will pretend that red is up and green is down. ...
by thomasbayarea
Mon Jan 11, 2016 10:48 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Oil Changes turns into a disaster. What to do?
Replies: 62
Views: 7044

Re: Oil Changes turns into a disaster. What to do?

Sorry to hear. I've had similar bad experiences at Jiffy Lube. One time they severely under filled the oil, it didn't show up on the dipstick right after the oil change. Another time they over pumped my tires by 10psi. I never go there now... Have not been in 5+ years. I think it's going to be hard ...
by thomasbayarea
Fri Jan 08, 2016 2:06 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Tough Frugal Decisions
Replies: 111
Views: 18445

Re: Tough Frugal Decisions

I came to this country for grad school with $500 in my pocket, which was not very different from the $500 of now. Lived in tiny shared apartments Ate a lot of mac n cheese, dollar slice pizza and dollar Chinese food Rode the bus (free college bus pass) Bought a used bike in a year and life improved ...
by thomasbayarea
Tue Jan 05, 2016 1:58 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: profitable hobby?
Replies: 119
Views: 11470

Re: profitable hobby?

If you are a tennis player it is easy to make a few bucks coaching kids.
by thomasbayarea
Tue Jan 05, 2016 1:38 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: How do you have fun?
Replies: 73
Views: 5403

Re: How do you have fun?

My last bike was an '04 Honda CBR 1000rr with over $10k in aftermarket parts and engine/suspension work. Around 450lbs. full of fuel and ~170hp at the rear wheel. very nice bike, i went for the V-twin version ! not quite the brute on the top end of the i4 but i liked the more linear power curve. Ti...
by thomasbayarea
Mon Jan 04, 2016 2:39 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: How do you have fun?
Replies: 73
Views: 5403

Re: How do you have fun?

Mid 30s, 2 kids, Bay Area, busy life. Cheap/Free Tennis CrossFit (free at work) Biking with the kids Hiking Movies Reading/Book club/Library Expensive Motorcycles Music concerts Dining out Day trips to museums, local destinations Liquor/Wine club Electronics, audio equipment Shopping (mostly the wif...
by thomasbayarea
Thu Dec 17, 2015 8:49 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Argentine peso is down 30% today ...
Replies: 24
Views: 2421

Re: Argentine peso is down 30% today ...

tenkuky wrote:Trapiche Old Cask Malbec
$ 7.99
I love it :sharebeer
Where do you buy this?
by thomasbayarea
Wed Dec 16, 2015 4:30 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Which would you buy?
Replies: 16
Views: 2206

Re: Which would you buy?

Also consider any differences in safety features. The Sienna might not have ESC Just curious - What is the need for ESC? As far as I know, ESC only corrects over- and under-steering. All Toyota vehicles come with traction control (corrects wheel spin) and ABS (corrects slip during braking)... which...
by thomasbayarea
Wed Dec 16, 2015 12:23 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Which would you buy?
Replies: 16
Views: 2206

Re: Which would you buy?

I called the Dodge dealer and they have two in stock at that price... Confirmed. They are also willing to do that price, even if you are not a current non FCA lesee. I understand that the Sienna is probably a better car and more reliable, but the price difference is amazing. The Dodge is seriously t...
by thomasbayarea
Tue Dec 15, 2015 8:30 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Which would you buy?
Replies: 16
Views: 2206

Which would you buy?

a) New
Image

Or

b) Used
Image
by thomasbayarea
Wed Dec 09, 2015 6:29 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: BMW current and past owners -- how was the reliability and would you buy another?
Replies: 89
Views: 7254

Re: BMW current and past owners -- how was the reliability and would you buy another?

If you've owned a (or multiple BMWs), how was the reliability? What did you own, how old was it? 2011 BMW 328i with 55k miles now (the Honda Civic of BMWs). Not very reliable. Many things broke under warranty and after warranty expired I replaced 6 spark plugs and coils due to persistent misfiring ...
by thomasbayarea
Sun Dec 06, 2015 11:06 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Flaunt Your High-Mileage Car
Replies: 179
Views: 12628

Re: Flaunt Your High-Mileage Car

My Nissan Maxima had 238,000 miles when I sold it.

That is the distance from the earth to the moon.
by thomasbayarea
Sun Dec 06, 2015 9:22 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: A car nicer than the boss?
Replies: 169
Views: 12238

Re: A car nicer than the boss?

stoptothink wrote:I have seen similar threads on this topic, but I have a difficult time believing anybody but you actually cares.
+1 Just drive what you want and stop being worried. People are busier than you think - they will not care.
by thomasbayarea
Sun Dec 06, 2015 9:21 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: A car nicer than the boss?
Replies: 169
Views: 12238

Re: A car nicer than the boss?

I think it depends on where you are. Here is Silicon Valley nobody cares what you drive. I have a senior engineer who drives a Cayman GT4 while my CTO drives a 10 year old Lexus. You have to show up and do your work; After that it's all up to you. Consider if your CTO drove the Cayman, and the engi...
by thomasbayarea
Sun Dec 06, 2015 9:49 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: A car nicer than the boss?
Replies: 169
Views: 12238

Re: A car nicer than the boss?

I think it depends on where you are. Here is Silicon Valley nobody cares what you drive. I have a senior engineer who drives a Cayman GT4 while my CTO drives a 10 year old Lexus. You have to show up and do your work; After that it's all up to you.
by thomasbayarea
Wed Nov 25, 2015 2:55 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Bath tub - Replace - Written quote - $2,500+
Replies: 16
Views: 1272

Re: Bath tub - Replace - Written quote - $2,500+

Your quote is too high - I suggest getting a few more bids. We recently remodeled a couple of bathrooms (Fremont, CA - HCOL) and the labor for each was not much more than your quote. The bathrooms were torn down to the studs and everything new was put in.
by thomasbayarea
Wed Nov 04, 2015 5:09 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Which Mazda3 to buy? 2013 (53k miles) $12k, 2012 (27k miles) $15k, new 2015 $19k
Replies: 60
Views: 4763

Re: Which Mazda3 to buy? 2013 (53k miles) $12k, 2012 (27k miles) $15k, new 2015 $19k

The 2015 looks SO MUCH better than the previous generation. That would be my choice, hands down.
by thomasbayarea
Wed Nov 04, 2015 3:15 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Whisky Recommendations
Replies: 109
Views: 9653

Re: Whisky Recommendations

Here you go -->

Trader Joe's 10 year highland single malt (it's better than the 18 year speyside)

Image
by thomasbayarea
Thu Oct 08, 2015 10:35 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Trouble with family thinking we have more money than we do
Replies: 87
Views: 9037

Re: Trouble with family thinking we have more money than we do

Why don't you discuss your finances with your parents (and/or in-laws)?

I regularly discuss our money stuff with my mom and dad (and I'm 35 years old). Paycheck, savings, investments, retirement, college, etc. etc... they know everything.
by thomasbayarea
Mon Sep 07, 2015 10:16 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Cost of piano lessons
Replies: 44
Views: 4242

Re: Cost of piano lessons

$40 / half hour private lesson.

SF Bay Area

8 year old kid.
by thomasbayarea
Wed Aug 26, 2015 4:02 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: $100 k for a MBA, worth it ?
Replies: 35
Views: 7035

Re: $100 k for a MBA, worth it ?

Skip the MBA, a complete waste of time for a 37 year old electrical engineer at a phone company. Program manager? Visibility? See this link , a good read. If you consistently deliver what the business needs most, and you do it well, it’s impossible not to get promoted. People tell me this isn’t true...
by thomasbayarea
Sun Aug 23, 2015 10:45 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Passed up for a promotion, now what?
Replies: 34
Views: 4817

Re: Passed up for a promotion, now what?

Thank you all very much for the valuable inputs. I spent a lot of time reading, re-reading and thinking about the various responses. I agree with the general consensus to play along with this in the short term - work hard and continue to contribute at the 100% level, without any confrontations, etc....
by thomasbayarea
Thu Aug 20, 2015 6:29 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Passed up for a promotion, now what?
Replies: 34
Views: 4817

Passed up for a promotion, now what?

Well it looks like I have been passed up for a long awaited promotion. My last promotion was in 2011 and I have been steadily working my butt off towards the next rung. Over the last two years I've had many 1-1 meetings with my VP where he clearly laid out the path for a promotion (more responsibili...
by thomasbayarea
Sun Jul 26, 2015 11:47 am
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Investing the proceeds from the sale of your home
Replies: 8
Views: 979

Re: Investing the proceeds from the sale of your home

Thanks for all the ideas. Jobs are relatively stable and cover our expenses + savings well. Mortgage is a PenFed 5/5 ARM currently at 2.75%. I'm starting to construct the portfolio keeping stocks in taxable and bonds + REITs in the 401ks. I have two questions -- 1. Tax Managed Balanced funds are des...
by thomasbayarea
Thu Jul 23, 2015 10:55 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Investing the proceeds from the sale of your home
Replies: 8
Views: 979

Re: Investing the proceeds from the sale of your home

thomasbayarea- Congrats again on the sale of your home! You're talking about putting the $400K in a taxable account, correct? The TR fund and the REIT fund are not appropriate for a taxable account. You may want to list your entire portfolio to get comprehensive advice, but good candidates for a ta...
by thomasbayarea
Thu Jul 23, 2015 8:36 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Investing the proceeds from the sale of your home
Replies: 8
Views: 979

Investing the proceeds from the sale of your home

We recently sold our home and I'm looking for advice on investing the proceeds. Here are the details: Emergency funds: 6 months Debt: 800K mortgage on current home Tax Filing Status: Married Filing Jointly Tax Rate: 33% Federal, ??% State (California) State of Residence: CA Age: Wife and me are 35, ...
by thomasbayarea
Wed Jul 22, 2015 11:53 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Housing related question: Should I sell, rent out or stay?
Replies: 36
Views: 2546

Re: Housing related question: Should I sell, rent out or stay?

OP here, update. We sold the house, see this thread . On 5/3/2012 I started this thread, writing: "The house is probably worth $500,000". On 6/22/2015, we sold for $880,000. Interesting results, with luck on our side. :sharebeer Now I need to figure out where to invest the money :idea: But...
by thomasbayarea
Wed Jul 22, 2015 11:46 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Selling home - unexpected competition
Replies: 113
Views: 14828

Re: Selling home - unexpected competition

OP here. We finally closed on the house yesterday. The competition closed for $855K, while we closed for $880K. Our closing was delayed by about 3 weeks for two reasons: 1. The buyers agent wanted the competition to close first, so that the appraisal comes in high. If the $855K comp was not availabl...
by thomasbayarea
Fri Jun 19, 2015 3:54 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Crazy error on Vanguard's part
Replies: 16
Views: 4031

Re: Crazy error on Vanguard's part

$41K in free money and you complain? :D Anyway, I don't know how to resolve this, just hoping it works out for you. Keep in mind that most of us here are with Vanguard for their investment philosophy, their mutual funds, ETFs, etc. The website & customer service has it's flaws and every now and ...
by thomasbayarea
Sun May 31, 2015 9:49 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Selling home - unexpected competition
Replies: 113
Views: 14828

Re: Selling home - unexpected competition

Few questions 1. I may have missed it, but where/why are you moving? How much will your new home cost? 2. I put this more on the agent than you, but why are homes being bid higher than the asking price? Seems like if that is the case then the asking prices are way too low. 1. As someone else posted...
by thomasbayarea
Fri May 29, 2015 8:01 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Selling home - unexpected competition
Replies: 113
Views: 14828

Re: Selling home - unexpected competition

8foot7 wrote:Not afraid to say I was wrong here. Congratulations :sharebeer

Thanks!
by thomasbayarea
Fri May 29, 2015 8:00 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Selling home - unexpected competition
Replies: 113
Views: 14828

Re: Selling home - unexpected competition

Glad you waited and got a better offer. Now you just need to be patient and check off the days until your escrow is closed. Hopefully you are relocating out of the Bay Area as being on the buying side is not a fun place to be right now :( We bought our current house/residence about two years ago wh...
by thomasbayarea
Fri May 29, 2015 7:56 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Selling home - unexpected competition
Replies: 113
Views: 14828

Re: Selling home - unexpected competition

thomasbayarea, I'm just curious. Does "no contingencies" mean there will not be an inspection? If I were a buyer, I'd be very uncomfortable with that. But I assume that is the way it is in a very hot market. This was a real interesting thread. We (the sellers) did the inspections and disc...
by thomasbayarea
Fri May 29, 2015 7:54 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Selling home - unexpected competition
Replies: 113
Views: 14828

Re: Selling home - unexpected competition

555 wrote:So did your agent get 2.5% of $880k instead of the 4% of $850k they wanted?
Yes that's right.
by thomasbayarea
Fri May 29, 2015 12:57 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Selling home - unexpected competition
Replies: 113
Views: 14828

Re: Selling home - unexpected competition

On pins and needles to learn if Team Thomas has gone into contract, and if they ended up agreeing to the first offer. :greedy I've always felt a much greater sense of joy and celebration signing off on a home SALE vs a home PURCHASE. Seems to me the ecstatic couple standing next to the "SOLD&q...
by thomasbayarea
Wed May 27, 2015 8:47 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Selling home - unexpected competition
Replies: 113
Views: 14828

Re: Selling home - unexpected competition

JLJL wrote:Have you accepted the offer or are you waiting?

We've decided to wait till Thursday, a little over 24 hours from now...

Thanks you all for this valuable discussion.
by thomasbayarea
Wed May 27, 2015 8:44 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Selling home - unexpected competition
Replies: 113
Views: 14828

Re: Selling home - unexpected competition

One more point. The highest dollar offer is not necessarily the one you want to take. You need to have some consideration of how likely the buyer is to actually close the deal when accepting. In a hot market, some buyers may be blasting out multiple offers without due diligence. It's not super easy...
by thomasbayarea
Tue May 26, 2015 11:00 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Selling home - unexpected competition
Replies: 113
Views: 14828

Re: Selling home - unexpected competition

How does the commission work these days in the bay area? Did you agree to 6% commission (3% buyer's agent, 3% seller's agent)? And now your agent is telling you she's willing to take 2% as the buyer's agent, or 2.5 as both buyer and seller, or whatever? 5% is becoming more normal in many areas thes...
by thomasbayarea
Tue May 26, 2015 8:38 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Selling home - unexpected competition
Replies: 113
Views: 14828

Re: Selling home - unexpected competition

8foot7 wrote:Unless there are unusual contingencies in that offer, I'd be inclined to accept an offer that is 50k over asking.
I agree, I would think the same in a typical market. But in 2014 and 2015 in the Bay Area most houses sell for $50K+ above the list price (when listed "correctly").
by thomasbayarea
Tue May 26, 2015 8:28 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Selling home - unexpected competition
Replies: 113
Views: 14828

Re: Selling home - unexpected competition

will34 wrote:At what price did the house listed for $760k sell?
It has been pending since Saturday, but I don't know at what price. I suspect something in the same ball park ~$850K

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