Search found 191 matches

by vveat
Thu Aug 11, 2016 3:21 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Direction on a couple of early retirement questions
Replies: 5
Views: 560

Direction on a couple of early retirement questions

I have started thinking of options for early retirement - somewhere between 50 and 55, so I have still a good 10 year horizon for planning. I am looking at some resources (the wiki, the Bogleheads guide to retirement planning, Firecalc, etc), and at this point just exploring the possibility A few qu...
by vveat
Sun Jul 17, 2016 6:19 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Raising a reader
Replies: 53
Views: 3250

Re: Raising a reader

I think both my kids are "readers". Older one is 8, reads a chapter book a day, at 5th grade level or so, owns more than 200 books and is active library user. She likes movies, but will often opt out if she is in the midst of an interesting book. The younger one at 5 learned to read recent...
by vveat
Wed Jun 29, 2016 11:06 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: How best to take little kids sightseeing?
Replies: 37
Views: 2410

Re: How best to take little kids sightseeing?

Thanks, in Vienna the Lipizzaners are on vacation right now, that was my first thought too. I am hoping they will stand a short walk through the Hofburg Imperial Apartments and then we'll try the Prater. Good points, I probably had too high expectations. They like natural history museums, aquariums ...
by vveat
Wed Jun 29, 2016 9:39 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: How best to take little kids sightseeing?
Replies: 37
Views: 2410

How best to take little kids sightseeing?

We are in the midst of a trip in Europe and it's not going as easy as expected. The kids are 5 and 8, we are doing a family visit in Europe and I decided that we can get them started with a couple of days in Amsterdam and in Vienna on the way back and forth. We specifically picked what we thought we...
by vveat
Sat Jun 04, 2016 8:01 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: What TYPE of books do you like to read?
Replies: 48
Views: 2229

Re: What TYPE of books do you like to read?

Non-fiction Social science - recently going through different angles on the influence of class and education in America Cooking - not cookbooks but more techniques, travel-related, memoirs Fiction Fantasy History Recently I have been skimming with pleasure some of my daughter's books - she is 8 but ...
by vveat
Sun May 22, 2016 6:17 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Advice w/ 62YO Mom Moving In - Rent? Resentment? Plans? (Update, Pg 2)
Replies: 101
Views: 9371

Re: Advice w/ 62YO Mom Moving In - Rent? Resentment? Plans?

I would say if there is a way to "test drive" this with her visiting for a few months, it would be a good way to check what works and what doesn't. That's what we did over the winter, and it didn't work too well regretfully. I am from a culture where you take care of your elderly parents a...
by vveat
Sat May 21, 2016 4:36 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Women business clothes - what brands make the right impression?
Replies: 64
Views: 6433

Re: Women business clothes - what brands make the right impression?

Making a quick update as promised. I have to say again the advice was excellent - it didn't just answer the specific questions I had posed but went well beyond to things I hadn't considered properly, for example - Good fit matters much more than a brand - There are style elements beyond clothes - ma...
by vveat
Fri Apr 29, 2016 6:03 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Women business clothes - what brands make the right impression?
Replies: 64
Views: 6433

Re: Women business clothes - what brands make the right impression?

I am deeply grateful that never in my life have I devoted as much time, energy, and money as most people posting on this thread have to clothes and makeup, nor has anyone suggested that I should. I would say, one one hundredth of the effort. Why is it that people who don't keep up with the Jones by...
by vveat
Thu Apr 28, 2016 11:09 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Women business clothes - what brands make the right impression?
Replies: 64
Views: 6433

Re: Women business clothes - what brands make the right impression?

What an overwhelming wave of responses - thank you all for the kind advice!!! So many things I hadn't even thought of. I am already taking a couple of steps and over the weekend need to reread everything carefully and pick more nuggets. - I have booked an appointment at Nordstrom, which should help ...
by vveat
Tue Apr 26, 2016 1:32 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Kellogg vs. Darden
Replies: 17
Views: 1639

Re: Kellogg vs. Darden

Those are both "top 20" B-schools. As long as she graduates in the top 20% of her class, she will absolutely, positively, have the "world by the tail!" Good luck and many good wishes to her! :sharebeer MBA programs are not like law school. Most recruiters do not care about your ...
by vveat
Tue Apr 26, 2016 1:01 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Women business clothes - what brands make the right impression?
Replies: 64
Views: 6433

Women business clothes - what brands make the right impression?

I am dreading the type of response I may get to such a question, but I really would like to get the Bogleheads perspective. The original problem is that I don’t know and don’t care much about brands of clothing, shoes, accessories, etc. I don’t enjoy shopping and I don’t really notice what other peo...
by vveat
Mon Mar 07, 2016 7:32 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Is an interior designer worth it?
Replies: 33
Views: 3427

Re: Is an interior designer worth it?

I have used an online designer already 4 times - from full room design to specific small question about paint color. She has a menu of services. Prices are very reasonable and you can follow up with (many) questions, I typically do. http://www.interiordesignserviceonline.com/ I have been invariably ...
by vveat
Sun Feb 07, 2016 8:27 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Personal property inventory
Replies: 12
Views: 1620

Re: Personal property inventory

so they likely won't care about your book database or how many DVDs you have. They have formulas for such items. What kind of formulas? If they don't care about the count, do they just assume than an average household has X books or X DVDs, even if you have a count? Thanks for reminding me of the t...
by vveat
Sun Feb 07, 2016 11:10 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Personal property inventory
Replies: 12
Views: 1620

Personal property inventory

I was just updating our personal property inventory – I try to go through it once a year or so, keep it current for insurance purposes. We keep a fairly detailed list in Excel with descriptions of items, and when possible the model and purchase cost. The good thing is we usually buy from Amazon and ...
by vveat
Wed Feb 03, 2016 2:34 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: United vs Lufthansa on taxes and fees
Replies: 7
Views: 831

United vs Lufthansa on taxes and fees

I have been using Lufthansa Miles and More for years, have Sen status and am happy with service and flight availability. One issue with flying on miles has always been the high taxes and fees - for example a one way business flight to Europe with one transfer in Vienna recently came with $460 fee, i...
by vveat
Sun Jan 03, 2016 7:48 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: How do you keep your young kids busy/occupied?
Replies: 37
Views: 3268

Re: How do you keep your young kids busy/occupied?

Leaving them alone in a playroom (or their bedroom) for a while and expecting them to entertain themselves for a bit is entirely reasonable at that age. I would encourage that not only because it gives the parents some breathing space, but because it makes them more creative and independent. I have ...
by vveat
Sun Dec 27, 2015 8:22 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Funding delays to a newly opened Vanguard account
Replies: 2
Views: 501

Funding delays to a newly opened Vanguard account

I am usually doing a backdoor Roth once a year, not necessarily the same month, so sometimes I end up with as much as year and a half between transfers. The traditional IRA stays empty in between transactions, so twice in past years I've had it closed by Vanguard and had to reopen it. (I'll fix this...
by vveat
Wed Oct 07, 2015 1:41 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Using gift card for Amazon.de?
Replies: 2
Views: 333

Using gift card for Amazon.de?

Do you know whether one can convert a gift card for amazon.de to a gift card for amazon.com? I just got one today, but am not sure how to use it. I tried putting in the code in the US site, but it didn't accept it. If I buy from the German site something physical, paying for shipping from Germany do...
by vveat
Sun Sep 13, 2015 7:25 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: What bed did you get your toddler and how long did you use it?
Replies: 31
Views: 3248

Re: What bed did you get your toddler and how long did you use it?

My kids slept in toddler-size beds, using their crib mattresses, from 1.5 year old until this year (so one used it for 5.5 years, the other only 3 years). Now we built them custom loft beds using IKEA's small bed mattresses (27.5 x 63"). I don't think we'll upgrade them to twin beds for a few m...
by vveat
Sun Aug 30, 2015 5:54 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Proof that this summer was hotter than last summer
Replies: 11
Views: 1274

Re: Proof that this summer was hotter than last summer

I've tracked electricity and gas usage for the last 5 years, and it's been a decrease so far, annual consumption ~15% down in 2013 and in 2014 again, and this year I think we are headed for 5-10% drop. For summer specifically May-June this year together was 1482 kWh, last year 1502 You said a line g...
by vveat
Wed Aug 26, 2015 9:17 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Siblings sharing a room until what age?
Replies: 15
Views: 2270

Siblings sharing a room until what age?

Do any of you have kids of different gender that have shared a room until teen age or more? At what point you separated them and why? We have a boy and a girl, who are 5 and 7 now and we have them sharing a room by choice since the younger one turned 2. It may be a cultural thing, how we were brough...
by vveat
Mon Aug 24, 2015 4:25 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Ways to reduce basement humidity
Replies: 20
Views: 2160

Re: Ways to reduce basement humidity

Thank you everybody for the ideas. The University of Minnesota link was great, very comprehensive read. It seems dehumidifier is the first option to try. We bought today a new Frigidaire, because we are not sure the old machine is doing the job optimally, and we'll keep it running. I think the soil ...
by vveat
Sun Aug 23, 2015 12:54 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Ways to reduce basement humidity
Replies: 20
Views: 2160

Ways to reduce basement humidity

We are looking into measures to reduce the level of humidity in our basement. It's a furnished (carpeted) one, and used mostly for storage (a lot of closets and built ins) and as kids playroom, only occasionally as an office or place for extra guests to sleep. We have a dehumidifier, but we run it o...
by vveat
Thu Aug 13, 2015 9:55 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Maximizing space in a small house
Replies: 39
Views: 5215

Re: Maximizing space in a small house

I am fan of Sarah Susanka's books - the "Not So Big House" approach. She has nice clever solutions for optimizing space. http://www.amazon.com/Not-So-Big-House-Blueprint/dp/1600851509/ref=sr_1_1?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1439477282&sr=1-1&keywords=sarah+susanka http://www.amazon....
by vveat
Tue Jul 21, 2015 2:14 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: El Paso into Juarez - Day trip w/ family - Safe and practical?
Replies: 33
Views: 3718

Re: El Paso into Juarez - Day trip w/ family - Safe and practical?

I was working there for a couple of months 10 years ago on a project. The kidnappings were just on the rise, so I drove back each evening to sleep in El Paso. I ate out a few times with a Mexican colleague, but nothing much to see or do from touristic perspective. A pretty run down town, mostly dirt...
by vveat
Wed Jul 15, 2015 7:27 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Tipping in a buffet
Replies: 26
Views: 3277

Tipping in a buffet

Today's thread on tipping didn't mention buffets and I am curious, since we just went for lunch to a small Indian buffet, for the first time in maybe 10 years. Self-serve obviously, but there were waiters who refilled water glasses and one brought some condiments over. The bill was just $20 for 2 pe...
by vveat
Mon Jul 13, 2015 3:37 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: House Layout: Where to put Dining Table?
Replies: 23
Views: 2257

Re: House Layout: Where to put Dining Table?

Id hire a professional designer and pay them an hourly rate to help you plan layout, as you are debating purpose of multiple spaces. Well worth the fee to have a trained set of eyes. This! I had a similar dilemma a couple of year ago, and I used an online designer service. First I asked advice on h...
by vveat
Wed Jul 08, 2015 4:11 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: kitchenaid vs. bosch dishwasher
Replies: 62
Views: 10397

Re: kitchenaid vs. bosch dishwasher

We had a Bosch installed 1 week ago - so far everything works perfectly: - we use the "sanitizing" at the end of the cycle and everything comes out perfectly dry - the third rack for silverware really creates a lot of extra space - the three sets of tines point in different directions and ...
by vveat
Sun Jun 28, 2015 11:14 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Home cleaning services
Replies: 30
Views: 3826

Re: Home cleaning services

We pay $70 bi-weekly in NJ to the same person who also babysits for us occasionally. She cleans about 1,500 sq ft, including 2 baths. She is not doing a perfect job, previously we had a better one who charged $85 for slightly bigger area of cleaning. I had quotes from cleaning services and they were...
by vveat
Sun Jun 28, 2015 10:54 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Is your home owner insurance going up 27% this year?
Replies: 35
Views: 4221

Re: Is your home owner insurance going up 27% this year?

In New Jersey ours went up by ~20% two consecutive years. Sandy would explain the first increase, but the next one was annoying. I am planning to shop around soon, not even wait for renewal time - the problem is we have both home and auto with them and a ticket I got last year may mean I won't get v...
by vveat
Thu Jun 25, 2015 4:00 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Money arguments with spouse and how did you resolve
Replies: 72
Views: 9982

Re: Money arguments with spouse and how did you resolve

We pretty much never have money arguments in the sense of what to spend - the fact that I am the single earner, but my husband is more frugal probably helps. I defer to his common sense and he defers to my financial planning skills. And we are a high income household which helps, but we had similar ...
by vveat
Tue Jun 23, 2015 1:08 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Your Top 10 Books
Replies: 56
Views: 8274

Re: Your Top 10 Books

I'll go with the (fiction) ones I have reread numerous times. Non-fiction is harder for such a list - I could almost do a top 10 in each area One Day in the Life of Ivan Denisovich, by Alexander Solzhenitsyn The Good Earth, by Pearl Buck The First Man in Rome, by Colleen McCullough The Moon is a Har...
by vveat
Mon Jun 22, 2015 10:20 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: What percent of your spending is "basic" and what percent is "discretionary"?
Replies: 42
Views: 4569

Re: What percent of your spending is "basic" and what percent is "discretionary"?

Our emergency budget is 52% of the current spend - so discretionary is 48%. It assumes decrease in some categories (reduction to basics) such as groceries, some kids related stuff, etc. And increase in some categories such as healthcare. Kid's preschool makes a good 20% of our spend, and is definite...
by vveat
Sun Jun 21, 2015 2:54 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Non-Bogleheads approach to changing cars?
Replies: 44
Views: 5682

Re: Non-Bogleheads approach to changing cars?

You bought used and sold it when it still had value as it fit your family's needs so I don't see an issue. Only red flag I saw was $100 junk yard toyota. I would never drive myself or let a family member drive a car in such condition. I hear you but we didn't have many options at the time, I was ju...
by vveat
Thu Jun 18, 2015 9:03 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: How much do your children cost per month?
Replies: 83
Views: 8435

Re: How much do your children cost per month?

2 kids, 4 and 7, high COL area. The costs of school, camps and activities way exceed anything else. "Kids" is by far our biggest expense category. Annual $17000 preschool (2 more years to go) $4500 summer camps $4000 sports - gymnastics team for one and swimming classes for both $2000 baby...
by vveat
Wed Jun 17, 2015 4:56 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Amazon refunds when a gift card was used
Replies: 1
Views: 516

Amazon refunds when a gift card was used

Does anybody happen to know this. When you've purchased an item and paid partially with a gift card, upon the item return does Amazon refund only the portion that went on the credit card, or do you get any gift card balance back? I just bought something and it's too small, their size chart was horre...
by vveat
Sun Jun 14, 2015 5:51 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Where do you keep your to do list?
Replies: 60
Views: 6613

Re: Where do you keep your to do list?

Thank you as always for the quick and plentiful advice. I checked out OneNote, Evernote, Google Keep, Trello and Toodledo - and I liked Evernote best for now, will give it a fair try. Aside from getting Sticky Notes off my screen, I also like the synchronizing with iPhone - I didn't know how useful ...
by vveat
Sun Jun 14, 2015 9:29 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Where do you keep your to do list?
Replies: 60
Views: 6613

Where do you keep your to do list?

This is mostly in work context, though could be just as useful for a personal to do list. I am looking for a simple IT solution that doesn't overcomplicate things. Not an app, something under Windows. What I need is the ability to: - see a master list with items organized in "projects" - h...
by vveat
Thu Jun 11, 2015 11:08 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Non-Bogleheads approach to changing cars?
Replies: 44
Views: 5682

Non-Bogleheads approach to changing cars?

I was sorting our car records since we changed cars recently, and it struck me that our approach to replacing cars may seem very un-Bogleheadish. We absolutely believe one shouldn't change cars just for the sake of driving a new car - and for that matter we've never bought a "new" new car....
by vveat
Wed Jun 10, 2015 7:11 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Advice Needed - Has Anyone Chosen Work Life Balance over Extra Money?
Replies: 106
Views: 14439

Re: Advice Needed - Has Anyone Chosen Work Life Balance over Extra Money?

Is your skill set and hence potential for success just as good at the new job? You are shifting industries or sectors - are skills exactly transferable? If not, that may create some extra risk and pressures on new job, aside from the lack of network. I moved tracks within the same company - from a h...
by vveat
Tue Jun 09, 2015 7:52 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Advice for Boston trip
Replies: 24
Views: 1877

Re: Advice for Boston trip

Thank you everybody for the amazing advice. I think we have our list now with your help - we'll do a Duck tour first, then hit some of the Freedom Trail from Paul Revere's House to Boston Commons and get to the Swan Boats - we'll add the Boston Tea Party ship to the list and do the Children's Museum...
by vveat
Tue Jun 09, 2015 8:02 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Advice for Boston trip
Replies: 24
Views: 1877

Advice for Boston trip

We’ll visit Boston for 3 days next week with our 7 and 4 year old kids. The older one is very interested in the revolution and colonial times, so we’ll walk a bit the Freedom Trail, have a look at Paul Revere’s house and maybe Faneuil Hall, likely do a Duck tour, but I am wondering what else to add....
by vveat
Thu May 28, 2015 8:57 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Should I shorten my last name?
Replies: 70
Views: 8791

Re: Should I shorten my last name?

My husband and I always bring up the name Frunzik Mkrtchyan (famous Armenian actor from Soviet times) to illustrate how you can have 9 letter name with essentially one vowel sound :sharebeer I was very happy to switch to my husband's name, even if it took me a year after the marriage. Still need to ...
by vveat
Sun May 24, 2015 5:44 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Quality medicines
Replies: 8
Views: 1107

Re: Quality medicines

The pharmacy chains in the US usually buy from a few mega wholesalers - Cardinal health, McKesson, etc, and they work with all manufacturers, so your medication could be sourced from anywhere. Even if you insist on locating a specific drug from a specific company, you usually have no way of knowing ...
by vveat
Fri May 22, 2015 7:50 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Teaching maths to a 4 year old
Replies: 31
Views: 3178

Re: Teaching maths to a 4 year old

My 4 year old was fascinated by the Bugs and Buttons app. I got the free one first and that kept him interested for quite a while. All kind of counting and adding exercises, pretty intuitive
by vveat
Wed May 20, 2015 4:29 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Lending a car to a niece for a few months - how to arrange insurance
Replies: 10
Views: 1379

Re: Lending a car to a niece for a few months - how to arrange insurance

They suggested he sells the car to his niece for a dollar. :confused
by vveat
Wed May 20, 2015 3:51 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Lending a car to a niece for a few months - how to arrange insurance
Replies: 10
Views: 1379

Lending a car to a niece for a few months - how to arrange insurance

A friend in NJ has a niece who is just graduating in IL and she has found a job there at least through December (she may need to go abroad after that). She needs a car and my friend has an old car, which he doesn't need since he just upgraded to a new one. He wants to give her the old car to use thr...
by vveat
Sun May 17, 2015 8:17 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Should we purchase home without permits?
Replies: 70
Views: 5698

Re: Should we purchase home without permits?

Some years ago we bought a house with an illegal addition built without a foundation (walls raised up from an old patio). This was still the boom years, a bidding war situation, and us fairly confident in our handyman abilities. We did get a discount from the seller, something like $4k. All ended up...
by vveat
Sun May 03, 2015 11:04 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Buying ML350 - how old a car to get?
Replies: 6
Views: 1141

Buying ML350 - how old a car to get?

We are looking for a new car with high towing capacity - over 7000 lb - and my husband has decided on ML350. I am not messing up with his choice, but our dilemma is how old a car to buy. His previous and current cars have been bought when 5+ years old (he has driven a Toyota, a Nissan, a Saab, but n...
by vveat
Sun Apr 26, 2015 7:29 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Experience with transporting oversized art piece?
Replies: 7
Views: 825

Re: Experience with transporting oversized art piece?

The sculptures are not exactly expensive - I think originally $300 or so each. It's not a recent purchase, they have been in the family for a while, I want to bring them over to US for sentimental reasons. If shipping separately I was thinking FedEx or UPS. Aren't they reliable for this? How does on...

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