Search found 159 matches

by windaar
Wed Jun 29, 2016 6:39 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Where were you financially when you were at 30?
Replies: 217
Views: 21030

Re: Where were you financially when you were at 30?

I was still in grad school with no savings or assets, eating egg-drop Ramen, spaghetti, and bean burritos every night. The schooling paid off and I am now very financially secure but still enjoy spaghetti and burritos, the Ramen not so much.
by windaar
Sat May 21, 2016 9:55 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Amazon has no head to head competitors?
Replies: 71
Views: 4621

Re: Amazon has no head to head competitors?

With 2 working parents and 2 small kids our family places a premium on time. I have no time to drive 15 min to a B&M store, find parking, often in bad weather, drag the kids in the store, find out that some of what I came for is out of stock, stand in line, and drive back home. I love coming hom...
by windaar
Sat May 14, 2016 6:50 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: National Universities rankings 25 to 75 - Highest priority
Replies: 65
Views: 4518

Re: National Universities rankings 25 to 75 - Highest priority

Some of the advice here about taking all APs and getting A's is like telling an investor to "buy low and sell high." Great but useless advice if you don't know how to do it or can't do it. Students should: 1. Look beyond rankings which are often based on questionable variables and methodol...
by windaar
Sat May 07, 2016 7:02 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: How to liquidate silver bars
Replies: 15
Views: 1970

Re: How to liquidate silver bars

Your dentist can set you up with his precious metal scrap service, and you'd avoid shipping, though they may not take coins. You get very close to spot this way. But with silver having lost so much value in the last 5 years, maybe just hold onto it as a rainy day hedge against the collapse of the do...
by windaar
Tue Apr 05, 2016 5:38 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Need Advice on Inheritance
Replies: 8
Views: 941

Re: Need Advice on Inheritance

Move slowly. The IRA you maybe able to stretch distributions your life expectancy. Don't sell or move anything until you have solid professional answers. Otherwise you may take an unnecessary tax hit.
by windaar
Fri Mar 11, 2016 1:15 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Holding and Forwarding Mail
Replies: 10
Views: 1185

Re: Holding and Forwarding Mail

I arranged for USPS mail holding during a vacation about a year ago but plenty of mail was still delivered to our mailbox during that time, so I consider it a non-service.
by windaar
Thu Mar 10, 2016 6:11 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Brother undercharged himself as family trustee
Replies: 26
Views: 3421

Re: Brother undercharged himself as family trustee

I was personal rep, executor, and trustee 10 years ago for a less complicated estate and our family attorney recommended 30K as compensation for my work.
by windaar
Fri Jan 08, 2016 7:54 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Family Tree Software / Genealogy Website Recommendation
Replies: 24
Views: 1537

Re: Family Tree Software / Genealogy Website Recommendation

Note that you don't have to actually put your mother's maiden name when you use it as a security question. You can use whatever you want. I recommend not actually using that as the answer because it's easy to find out from public records. Agree; you can have a predetermined name like "chevycha...
by windaar
Fri Jan 08, 2016 7:52 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Family Tree Software / Genealogy Website Recommendation
Replies: 24
Views: 1537

Re: Family Tree Software / Genealogy Website Recommendation

Add me to the list of those who find ancestry.com to be worth the high price tag. Especially if you spring for the international upgrade, you have endless troves of info. I started with family documents and built a very comprehensive, documented family history. I keep my tree "private" so ...
by windaar
Fri Jan 01, 2016 4:09 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: VG IRA surviving spouse automatic rollover?
Replies: 5
Views: 440

VG IRA surviving spouse automatic rollover?

When a person with a VG IRA dies and the surviving spouse takes possession of the IRA, is it automatically rolled over into his/her name, or are their other defaults such as merely becoming the "owner" of the IRA?
by windaar
Thu Dec 31, 2015 6:55 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: A dead year, never get it back
Replies: 84
Views: 8055

Re: A dead year, never get it back

My TIAA Traditional earned 4%+
I maxed my 403(b) and shielded lots of $ from income tax.
No major correction or crash.
Equities were a wash but it was a year I'll gladly take.
by windaar
Sun Dec 13, 2015 1:17 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Few hours in Paris - what do to?
Replies: 13
Views: 1084

Re: Few hours in Paris - what do to?

Take the train/metro to Trocadero to get the classic view of the Eiffel Tower, or to Charles de Gaulle Etoile to walk down the Champs Elysees, get a drink at a cafe and watch the bustle. Don't bother with museums with that little time.
by windaar
Wed Nov 18, 2015 8:15 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Advice on selling a house to a friend?
Replies: 7
Views: 556

Re: Advice on selling a house to a friend?

I'd be willing to give them most or all of the 6.5% commission

Why would you give this to them this instead of keeping it? Or at most splitting it? This alone makes it sound as if you will take a bath by selling it to a friend rather than on an open market.
by windaar
Sat Nov 14, 2015 7:34 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Help! Inherited money I planned to use for retirement but it disqualifies my kids from scholarships.
Replies: 147
Views: 8088

Re: Help! Inherited money I planned to use for retirement but it disqualifies my kids from scholarships.

You can drop the whole pot into a VG Variable Annuity tomorrow and it is off the books for and financial aid calculation and saved for your retirement needs.
by windaar
Mon Sep 14, 2015 7:13 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Consumer Reports Magazine & Website
Replies: 99
Views: 6100

Re: Consumer Reports Magazine & Website

Letting my subscription lapse when it is up for the following reasons: 1. they sneakily replaced their car price report feature with TrueCar. 2. Too much content is now only on the pay website. 3. Bozo come-ons like the raffle tickets they sent me a couple of years ago. 4. I get pretty good consumer...
by windaar
Sun Aug 23, 2015 6:24 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Ways to reduce basement humidity
Replies: 20
Views: 2099

Re: Ways to reduce basement humidity

The newer good dehumidifiers have digital hygrometer readouts. You just set for the desired humidity, which in a basement would be 50% or 55% and then it turns on and off as needed. You never have to turn it off - if the humidity is low it just remains off. If you run a hose to a drain, no need to e...
by windaar
Tue Aug 18, 2015 11:22 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Advice please: Professionally wall mounting a TV and 5.1 sound
Replies: 22
Views: 1804

Re: Advice please: Professionally wall mounting a TV and 5.1 sound

I will probably buy the TV from Best Buy Be warned that BB quietly shortened their return period from 30 days to 15 days. I waited more than 15 days to install my TV after buying it and it had a screen crack with no impact point. BB refused to replace it since it had been more than 15 days. The TV ...
by windaar
Sat Aug 15, 2015 9:02 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: General Finance Strategies for Upper Middle Class
Replies: 33
Views: 5797

Re: General Finance Strategies for Upper Middle Class

And how the heck do professors and doctors get put in the same category? Sociologists define the social classes with a combination of income, education, occupation, and to some extent culture. It is not just income. A professor in Manhattan earning 50K is in a higher social class than a truck drive...
by windaar
Fri Aug 14, 2015 4:36 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Saving a tree when installing a septic drain field
Replies: 5
Views: 503

Re: Saving a tree when installing a septic drain field

Not an expert, but I can share with you that my field was dug about 10 to 15 feet from the base of 2 older oak trees about a decade ago and the trees have been fine.
by windaar
Fri Aug 14, 2015 4:04 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: General Finance Strategies for Upper Middle Class
Replies: 33
Views: 5797

Re: General Finance Strategies for Upper Middle Class

Sociologists usually define UMC as self-directed professionals such as doctors, lawyers, professors, etc. In the U.S. it is more of a professional, and lifestyle, designation than an income designation. To answer the original question, I think that one of the biggest challenges of a person in the UM...
by windaar
Tue Aug 11, 2015 7:46 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Garage door fine, but keypad not working
Replies: 19
Views: 1499

Re: Garage door fine, but keypad not working

It is most likely the battery. Mine had an old 9v in it. See if there is a slot on the bottom that you can pry/twist with a screwdriver to pop the case open.
by windaar
Mon Aug 10, 2015 7:07 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Buying a Rolex Watch
Replies: 171
Views: 16331

Re: Buying a Rolex Watch

Submariner / sports watches and the like - yeah, I think they're faddish The Submariner has been around since 1954 and isn't going anywhere; it is a classic. One reason that fine watches will be around for a while is that, besides a wedding ring, the wristwatch is the only piece of jewelry that a g...
by windaar
Sun Aug 09, 2015 4:44 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Former Housemate Owes Money - What to do?
Replies: 97
Views: 7146

Re: Former Housemate Owes Money - What to do?

Too late for the 0P but perhaps a lesson to the rest: in grad school I stopped putting any bill in my name when I had housemates. That was the only way to avoid holding the bag. Oh, and I paid every penny owed, I always did my dishes too and left other people's beer in the fridge alone.
by windaar
Sun Aug 09, 2015 4:20 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Anti-smartphone [basic phone + paper planner & address book] anyone??
Replies: 42
Views: 3816

Re: Anti-smartphone [basic phone + paper planner & address book] anyone??

I use a pay as you go flip phone, less than $100/year, a legal pad, and a wifi iPad. I am a busy professional and this has not impeded my work at all. In waiting rooms, on park benches, in restaurants, I don't have my head in a permanently downcast position. I enjoy thinking, daydreaming, and watchi...
by windaar
Thu Aug 06, 2015 10:43 am
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: TIAA Cref 403(b)
Replies: 26
Views: 1927

Re: TIAA Cref 403(b)

It generates 3% return, which will wash away by inflation.

Not exactly for everybody. 3% is the guaranteed minimum; funds may end up paying more. (Mine pays more than 4%). And it compounds tax-free. Inflation is a factor, but so might the volatility of bonds for some investors (like me).
by windaar
Thu Aug 06, 2015 7:12 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Buying a Rolex Watch
Replies: 171
Views: 16331

Re: Buying a Rolex Watch

I don't think you should view a Rolex as an investment, but as something you should enjoy. That said, they do hold their value, and my 2 Rolexes sell used for more than I paid for them in the 2000s. (Save box, papers, and orig sales slip in case you ever want to resell, will go for more and attract ...
by windaar
Thu Aug 06, 2015 7:05 am
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: TIAA Cref 403(b)
Replies: 26
Views: 1927

Re: TIAA Cref 403(b)

Not sure I understand the limiting position in which the OP finds himself. My T/C 403(b) TRAD funds are completely liquid and I can move then around when and how I wish. My 401(a) TRAD funds are the ones locked into the 9 year rule. BTW I use TRAD for all of my fixed allocation. For me the 4%+ inter...
by windaar
Thu Aug 06, 2015 6:58 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Consumer Reports Makes Significant Changes to Car Buying Service
Replies: 19
Views: 4183

Consumer Reports Makes Significant Changes to Car Buying Service

I learned this the hard way this week. CU has quietly dropped the old reliable $14 car price report, and replaced it with a "Build & Buy" service partnered with the truecar.com company. At one point in the car search they ask for your telephone number. You cannot go forward without ent...
by windaar
Sat Jul 04, 2015 1:58 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Girlfriend's Money Manager--Should She Switch to Vanguard?
Replies: 37
Views: 4856

Re: Girlfriend's Money Manager--Should She Switch to Vanguard?

Initiate the request with the receiving institution Yes. I did this when transferring funds from a pesky ML "advisor" and my MIL did the same when moving a funds from a high fee outfit to VG. One call to VG and I never heard from ML again. VG sent me all the paperwork to sign and took car...
by windaar
Wed Jun 10, 2015 8:46 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Advice Needed - Has Anyone Chosen Work Life Balance over Extra Money?
Replies: 106
Views: 14255

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

My Dad taught me a huge lesson when mid-career he moved to a more fulfilling position at half the salary. He still earned enough to support the family, and once told me how fortunate he was to wake up each morning wanting to go to work. This influenced me to aim for a career in education (which I lo...
by windaar
Wed May 27, 2015 8:09 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Cost of a "free" PhD program is around half a million? How does anyone afford this?
Replies: 91
Views: 7771

Re: Cost of a "free" PhD program is around half a million? How does anyone afford this?

^^^Mine was in a Humanities field. It could not have been done much more quickly. First are 2 to 4 years of coursework, perhaps following Master's degree of a year or two. Then the qualifying exams, which can take more than a year. Then assembling a committee (not easy) and getting the prospectus ap...
by windaar
Wed May 27, 2015 7:29 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Cost of a "free" PhD program is around half a million? How does anyone afford this?
Replies: 91
Views: 7771

Re: Cost of a "free" PhD program is around half a million? How does anyone afford this?

I did my PhD over the course of almost a decade. I enjoyed what I was doing, life of the mind, and always making interesting new friends. I lived very frugally and made do with stipends and weird summer jobs. The degree made it possible to land a career in academia which is very fulfilling. For me i...
by windaar
Fri May 22, 2015 8:53 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: At what point does 529 make sense
Replies: 24
Views: 3657

Re: At what point does 529 make sense

It is a nice bucket into which grandparents can contribute if they want (and possibly get a state tax deduction as well).
by windaar
Fri May 01, 2015 5:32 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Private Schools - Tuition
Replies: 90
Views: 7111

Re: Private Schools - Tuition

Many parents whose kids attend independent schools are not doing so for "results," such as a more likelihood of getting into a certain perceived level of college. They may choose the school for the positive experience. The school I am familiar with is safe. There is no bullying, teasing, r...
by windaar
Fri Apr 24, 2015 5:10 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Who still have Cable TV?
Replies: 63
Views: 4705

Re: Who still have Cable TV?

We've been off the cable for 9 years. We recently discovered Sling which for $20/mo gives us the channels we missed from Cable (ESPN, HGTV, A&E Food, Disney, Cartoon, etc.)
by windaar
Wed Apr 22, 2015 7:00 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: any experiences negotiating fences with neighbors?
Replies: 27
Views: 3361

Re: any experiences negotiating fences with neighbors?

My parents asked a neighbor if they would go half on a fence on the property line. They said no. So my parents put the fence a few inches on their side. Several years later, neighbors got a dog and then fenced their yard, attaching to my parents' fence, essentially adding to their property, which wi...
by windaar
Thu Apr 16, 2015 4:49 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Proof vinyl has higher music ceiling than mp3?
Replies: 36
Views: 3273

Re: Proof vinyl has higher music ceiling than mp3?

Thanks, Tigermilk for the explanation. I hadn't Completely understood why some of my friends' state of the art systems sounded bad to me, used to vinyl/tubes. If the music is too perfect and crisp it just sounds shrill, cold, and dead, and, how you nicely put it, fatiguing.
by windaar
Thu Apr 16, 2015 2:53 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Proof vinyl has higher music ceiling than mp3?
Replies: 36
Views: 3273

Re: Proof vinyl has higher music ceiling than mp3?

The book "perfecting Sound Forever" by Greg Milner (2009) is an extensive history of recorded music that explains the differences. Nothing sounds better than vinyl played through a tube amp. Have your skeptical friends over and then toggle between vinyl/CD/MP3 and between solid state/tube ...
by windaar
Wed Apr 01, 2015 5:59 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Anyone been Daycare Poor before? Advice on our situation!
Replies: 27
Views: 4457

Re: Anyone been Daycare Poor before? Advice on our situation

When our kids were born we did the math and having us both work would not have been worth it. Add up all of the expenses (commute, new clothes, lunches out, as well as daycare) and see if this is your case. My wife became a SAHM for 7 years and when both kids were in school she got her old job back....
by windaar
Mon Mar 09, 2015 4:48 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Thinking of buying electric shaver
Replies: 34
Views: 3999

Re: Thinking of buying electric shaver

Electrics always leave my face smarting. I'd echo the rec to try DE shaving which is inexpensive and satisfying. There is a site called badgerandblade.com that has helpful forums if you're interested in exploring this.
by windaar
Mon Mar 09, 2015 4:42 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Gray market dealer to buy a watch?
Replies: 2
Views: 778

Re: Gray market dealer to buy a watch?

I twice bought sterling silverware thru Jomashop and everything went great. If you ever buy a higher end greymarket watch you might want to contact them first to verify that the serial number will be intact. Sometimes GM items have SN removed or it is absent, which lowers value and resale possibility.
by windaar
Sun Mar 08, 2015 9:49 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Just cut my cable bill...
Replies: 58
Views: 7116

Re: Just cut my cable bill...

Sling is a game changer. All my wife wants from cable is HGTV and you can watch shows archived from the last three days in addition to the live feed. Plus ESPN, Food, Disney, CNN. Kind of cable lite for $20/mo.
by windaar
Thu Feb 26, 2015 8:38 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Should you tip when picking up takeout food?
Replies: 54
Views: 5424

Re: Should you tip when picking up takeout food?

I started tipping 10% a couple of years ago for takeout. It just seems right to me.
by windaar
Sat Feb 21, 2015 8:39 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: On line product reviews vs Consumers Reports
Replies: 37
Views: 3999

Re: On line product reviews vs Consumers Reports

Not sure what you mean by online reviews since CR is online. What they mean is specific recent reviews of the product, down to the model #. The CR online reviews are "online" insofar as they are in the internet, but they are often outdated or only reference certain few models. I do subscr...
by windaar
Tue Feb 10, 2015 6:20 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Father passed away/Getting taking advantaged of by investor?
Replies: 17
Views: 2153

Re: Father passed away/Getting taking advantaged of by inves

This guy is a salesman who wants to make money off of you, just as a car salesman would. Nothing wrong with that, but his interests and yours are far apart, you just need to remind yourself of that. Eventually you can buy what you think is best, not what someone is selling to you. I second all above...
by windaar
Wed Feb 04, 2015 6:15 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Advice on Selling Car with Manual Transmission?
Replies: 30
Views: 3412

Re: Advice on Selling Car with Manual Transmission?

Kids who want "tuner" cars (look it up) will eat that car up! They want manual Japanese cars.
by windaar
Tue Feb 03, 2015 10:23 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Preventing Ice Build up in my roof gutters
Replies: 23
Views: 2479

Re: Preventing Ice Build up in my roof gutters

For a permanent solution the attic needs to be the same temp as the outside. We had to have more roof vents added, soffit vents all checked, bathroom fans venting to the outside, all vent tubing in the attic insulated, whole house fan sealed during winter, and significant insulation added, and evene...
by windaar
Mon Feb 02, 2015 6:57 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Approaching 50...What to expect?
Replies: 108
Views: 12640

Re: Approaching 50...What to expect?

I'm halfway from 50 to 60. Funny, the first things I was going to mention were "have lots of reading glasses" and "get a colonoscopy," and I was beaten to those! Watch as many sunrises and sunsets as you can, no matter where you live. We only get a limited number of those. Have o...
by windaar
Wed Jan 28, 2015 7:03 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Amazon Prime - good deal or calculated conditioning
Replies: 50
Views: 3826

Re: Amazon Prime - good deal or calculated conditioning

We don't buy more on Amazon because of Prime; we joined Prime because we buy a lot of stuff on Amazon. With jobs and kids, time is scarce. No parking lots, no finding out a store is out of a needed item, no lines at checkout. Boxes on the front porch when we get home every day. Awesome.
by windaar
Wed Dec 31, 2014 6:19 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Best albums from 2014?
Replies: 63
Views: 6818

Re: Best albums from 2014?

The Tony Bennett CD with LGG is a really great listen if you like standards.

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