Search found 1592 matches

by alfaspider
Mon Nov 19, 2018 12:56 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: How do Bogleheads buy cars?
Replies: 81
Views: 10937

Re: How do Bogleheads buy cars?

Also if you think 80 year olds drive Buicks maybe you should take a look at the cascada convertible and the new regal. I really think those look pretty nice and nothing like what a grandmother/father would drive. I know this is a necropost, but I got a good chuckle out of this one. An 80 year old i...
by alfaspider
Mon Nov 19, 2018 9:36 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: New car - aftermarket upgrades vs higher trim
Replies: 28
Views: 1676

Re: New car - aftermarket upgrades vs higher trim

Aftermarket leather is typically worlds better than OEM. Tint is easy. Replacing the head unit gets what you want at a much higher quality than stock. I’ve never seen a car with aftermarket leather that looks better than OEM. A lot of newer cars have some significant issues with replacing the head ...
by alfaspider
Sun Nov 18, 2018 4:58 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: New car - aftermarket upgrades vs higher trim
Replies: 28
Views: 1676

Re: New car - aftermarket upgrades vs higher trim

Aftermarket leather is typically worlds better than OEM. Tint is easy. Replacing the head unit gets what you want at a much higher quality than stock. I’ve never seen a car with aftermarket leather that looks better than OEM. A lot of newer cars have some significant issues with replacing the head ...
by alfaspider
Thu Nov 15, 2018 1:58 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: SoFi Money
Replies: 9
Views: 1199

Re: SoFi Money

Interesting, but I'm willing to deal with a few transfers back and forth with my online savings account to get FDIC insurance. Plus, my account pays a wee bit higher (2.05%).
by alfaspider
Thu Nov 15, 2018 11:50 am
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: U.S. stocks in freefall
Replies: 7850
Views: 1610709

Re: U.S. stocks in freefall

CULater wrote:
Thu Nov 15, 2018 10:52 am
Market down another 200 points today so far. Dare we say "U.S. stocks in slowfall"?
VTI is flat as of this moment. The Dow is pretty much irrelevant.
by alfaspider
Thu Nov 15, 2018 11:48 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Accuracy of Zillow/Trulia/Redfin Estimates
Replies: 51
Views: 4384

Re: Accuracy of Zillow/Trulia/Redfin Estimates

Got a professional appraisal of my condo in Phoenix and it was right where the Zillow estimate was. How many of you have compared Zillow to a professional appraisal? A real estate agent's estimate isn't the gold standard. The Zillow estimate for my house is almost $200k less than the last professio...
by alfaspider
Thu Nov 15, 2018 9:43 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: rule of thumb for using HSA funds?
Replies: 40
Views: 3249

Re: rule of thumb for using HSA funds?

Personally, I don't find it realistic to save receipts for the 30+ years I would need to in order to maximize the HSA. You do realize you are required to save proof of service (bills, EOBs, etc..) and payment (receipts, financial records, etc..) For at least three years after the tax filing deadlin...
by alfaspider
Wed Nov 14, 2018 3:56 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: sony TV XBR49X900F $1K vs a cheaper alternative Samsung $330
Replies: 18
Views: 934

Re: sony TV XBR49X900F $1K vs a cheaper alternative Samsung $330

If she's set on a Sony, there are much cheaper alternatives within the Sony line at the same size. For example: https://www.bhphotovideo.com/c/product/1224247-REG/sony_kdl48w650d_kdl_w650d_series_48_1080p.html/?ap=y&gclid=CjwKCAiArK_fBRABEiwA0gOOc5aR6JDnOqHrF-5xo6PY0GBpd1YicIYVnIzKoRC0Bbk0fcvWKJnEAB...
by alfaspider
Wed Nov 14, 2018 3:34 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Accuracy of Zillow/Trulia/Redfin Estimates
Replies: 51
Views: 4384

Re: Accuracy of Zillow/Trulia/Redfin Estimates

However, you can use these services to get a pretty good idea of what your home is worth just by looking at comps yourself- taking into account list prices as well as time to sell. If a similar house a block away listed for $500k and sold 2 weeks later, that should give you a pretty good idea that ...
by alfaspider
Wed Nov 14, 2018 2:12 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Accuracy of Zillow/Trulia/Redfin Estimates
Replies: 51
Views: 4384

Re: Accuracy of Zillow/Trulia/Redfin Estimates

Agents tend to use $/sqft for houses in a neighborhood. That always irks me because it tells you nothing about the condition of the house. One house could be in need of a complete rehab and the other one was just redone. Not around here they don't. It's much more sophisticated than that. There are ...
by alfaspider
Wed Nov 14, 2018 12:13 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Accuracy of Zillow/Trulia/Redfin Estimates
Replies: 51
Views: 4384

Re: Accuracy of Zillow/Trulia/Redfin Estimates

These estimates should be considered a general ballpark at best. In some cities, they aren't even great for a ballpark, except maybe as a relative comparison between neighborhoods. However, you can use these services to get a pretty good idea of what your home is worth just by looking at comps yours...
by alfaspider
Wed Nov 14, 2018 11:30 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: rule of thumb for using HSA funds?
Replies: 40
Views: 3249

Re: rule of thumb for using HSA funds?

Personally, I don't find it realistic to save receipts for the 30+ years I would need to in order to maximize the HSA. You do realize you are required to save proof of service (bills, EOBs, etc..) and payment (receipts, financial records, etc..) For at least three years after the tax filing deadlin...
by alfaspider
Wed Nov 14, 2018 9:33 am
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Oops! Edward Jones tops Vanguard in customer survey
Replies: 50
Views: 5140

Re: Oops! Edward Jones tops Vanguard in customer survey

Edward Jones will become your best friend for about 1% of your net worth per annum. Yep. I will become friends with just about ANYBODY for 1% of their net worth per annum :mrgreen: EJ has GREAT customer service, but most people have no idea how much they are paying for it. I think it's odd that som...
by alfaspider
Wed Nov 14, 2018 9:16 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: rule of thumb for using HSA funds?
Replies: 40
Views: 3249

Re: rule of thumb for using HSA funds?

Personally, I don't find it realistic to save receipts for the 30+ years I would need to in order to maximize the HSA. On top of that, I have no idea if HSAs will even exist in their current form by the time I am retirement age, or how HSA funds will be handled if the law ever changes. So, even thou...
by alfaspider
Tue Nov 13, 2018 12:51 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: [Financial] Habits of the Rich
Replies: 195
Views: 23914

Re: [Financial] Habits of the Rich

I would have to debate calling most people here rich... At 3.1% WR, that's $26MM. That's the very BOTTOM rang of rich. I have to disagree. Median family income in the US is $59k. And they have to work for that. If I am retired, or just FI, have ~1.5 times that in family income and don't have to wor...
by alfaspider
Tue Nov 13, 2018 8:40 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Finances in NYC
Replies: 95
Views: 7782

Re: Finances in NYC

If you look at Bankrates cost of living calculator you see that $58k in Columbus is equivalent to $145k in Manhattan and $111k in Brooklyn, with the difference being rent/mortgage. From a financial perspective the new wage is comprobale to your current wage adjusted for COL in NYC. OP, I would enco...
by alfaspider
Mon Nov 12, 2018 4:59 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: [Financial] Habits of the Rich
Replies: 195
Views: 23914

Re: [Financial] Habits of the Rich

Victoria's Secrets of becoming rich : 1. Select a peer group of people you want to resemble. I bet many Bogleheads became more wealthy and more successful after they have joined the Forum. 2. Be always learning . Pursue advanced degrees, professional certifications, and marketable skills. Do NOT fo...
by alfaspider
Mon Nov 12, 2018 11:38 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Planet Fitness etc.,
Replies: 51
Views: 4357

Re: Planet Fitness etc.,

PF is a bit of a running joke among fitness enthusiasts because they seem to do their darndest to repel those who are actually into fitness. For example, most facilities have a "no deadlifting" rule, which is a core exercise that most people with any significant interest in strength training will ex...
by alfaspider
Thu Nov 08, 2018 1:57 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: United MileagePlus - Confused and looking for cheaper options
Replies: 26
Views: 2053

Re: United MileagePlus - Confused and looking for cheaper options

Buying additional miles rarely makes sense unless you are just a tiny bit under (a few hundred or so). In your case, I'd just buy one of the two tickets. You shouldn't have to book an unaccompanied minor ticket if you are on the same flight- worse comes to worse, you may need to get an agent to help...
by alfaspider
Thu Nov 08, 2018 9:41 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Best LSAT course?
Replies: 20
Views: 1007

Re: Best LSAT course?

sawhorse wrote:
Thu Nov 08, 2018 9:38 am
I got a 178 on the LSAT. The only preparation I did was practice on the actual past versions of the test. A lot of them are available. There is no substitute for the real thing.
Statistically, 99.9% of test takers will not be in your position. But you already knew that :happy
by alfaspider
Thu Nov 08, 2018 9:40 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Best LSAT course?
Replies: 20
Views: 1007

Re: Best LSAT course?

For in-person courses, I think Testmasters is probably the best, especially if you are shooting for a high score. Princeton Review and Kaplan tend to be a bit more "lowest common denominator" focused. Testmasters also has the most stringent requirements for instructors (170+ on a real test instead o...
by alfaspider
Wed Nov 07, 2018 12:08 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Are we in trouble?
Replies: 106
Views: 12708

Re: Are we in trouble?

We live in Texas with a higher income than that, and I can't fathom paying $1.2M for a house. Not because we couldn't afford it per-se, but because I don't see the value in living such an expensive house when a more reasonably priced one still gives you a very nice house in a good neighborhood. I al...
by alfaspider
Wed Nov 07, 2018 11:47 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Moving to NYC without a job
Replies: 33
Views: 5054

Re: Moving to NYC without a job

I'd caution against this. Getting an apartment in NYC is expensive. It is typical for landlords to demand first month's, last month's rent, one month's rent deposit, AND a broker commission. An (relatively cheap) apartment that costs $2,000 a month can cost $8,000 to move into, and that's not includ...
by alfaspider
Tue Nov 06, 2018 8:35 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: High Earners - What's Your Profession?
Replies: 702
Views: 113490

Re: High Earners - What's Your Profession?

Would really like to revive this thread instead of starting a new one. Not sure why some are so reluctant to share exact numbers as we are supposedly ananomyous. 35 yrs old Healthcare profession ( not MD) MS degree 250k gross.. but crazy hrs 80 plus as 250k is not the norm for my profession at all....
by alfaspider
Mon Nov 05, 2018 8:20 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Argentina Trip Over Winter Break
Replies: 20
Views: 1643

Re: Argentina Trip Over Winter Break

BA was a really neat place. As a Boglehead one of the great joys of BA was that it was dirt cheap. At the time wonderful pasta dinners were $4, steak dinners $7, glass of wine $2, etc. I have a feeling that is not true any more. It’s still a neat place and worth visiting. Argentina is in the midst ...
by alfaspider
Thu Nov 01, 2018 10:52 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Argentina Trip Over Winter Break
Replies: 20
Views: 1643

Re: Argentina Trip Over Winter Break

BA was a really neat place. As a Boglehead one of the great joys of BA was that it was dirt cheap. At the time wonderful pasta dinners were $4, steak dinners $7, glass of wine $2, etc. I have a feeling that is not true any more. It’s still a neat place and worth visiting. Argentina is in the midst ...
by alfaspider
Thu Nov 01, 2018 10:27 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Talk me out of buying a Tesla Model 3
Replies: 295
Views: 19159

Re: Talk me out of buying a Tesla Model 3

Then there's the Supercharger issues as well. The two nearest Superchargers to me are notorious for being overloaded. They often have people waiting to use them after 11:00pm on a weeknight. This is what happens when you offer "free gas"... even people who pay $100K+ on a car can't turn that deal d...
by alfaspider
Thu Nov 01, 2018 10:20 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Argentina Trip Over Winter Break
Replies: 20
Views: 1643

Re: Argentina Trip Over Winter Break

I do recommend seeing Uruguay if you have the time, and I think you really only need a day. I really enjoyed both Colonia and Montevideo. We took the ferry to Colonia, did a few hours of sightseeing + lunch, then continued on to Montevideo via bus. Montevideo had some great live music in the cafes. ...
by alfaspider
Thu Nov 01, 2018 8:03 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Tax refunds expected to be 26% more in 2019
Replies: 52
Views: 5690

Re: Tax refunds expected to be 26% more in 2019

My goal has always been to pay the maximum possible without incurring a penalty. I prefer to get an interest-free loan from the government rather than provide one to it :happy Excellent. As a fellow tax payer - I thank you! :happy Keep in mind that I am paying the maximum payment at tax time relati...
by alfaspider
Thu Nov 01, 2018 8:01 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Talk me out of buying a Tesla Model 3
Replies: 295
Views: 19159

Re: Talk me out of buying a Tesla Model 3

A car is a hunk of metal and/or fiberglass that loses value over time. Why would you want to spend $75,000 on one? When I was 12, my father was approximately your age and had a similar amount of money saved. He worked in high finance (not on Wall Street or at a brokerage firm) and had a very bright...
by alfaspider
Wed Oct 31, 2018 1:36 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Good Non-Boring Boglehead Cars Under $30k
Replies: 247
Views: 16866

Re: Good Non-Boring Boglehead Cars Under $30k

If you did a pros vs cons list for the ST vs GTI, what would it look like? GTI Pros: Available as a 2 door if you desire GTI is no longer available as a 2-door. Jeez what is this world coming to. I remember when it was only offered as a 2 door. And I thought at least the Golf R would be 2 door but ...
by alfaspider
Wed Oct 31, 2018 1:22 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Good Non-Boring Boglehead Cars Under $30k
Replies: 247
Views: 16866

Re: Good Non-Boring Boglehead Cars Under $30k

sjt wrote:
Wed Oct 31, 2018 1:19 pm
monkey_business wrote:
Wed Oct 31, 2018 12:52 pm

If you did a pros vs cons list for the ST vs GTI, what would it look like?
GTI Pros:

Available as a 2 door if you desire

GTI is no longer available as a 2-door.
by alfaspider
Wed Oct 31, 2018 1:16 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Good Non-Boring Boglehead Cars Under $30k
Replies: 247
Views: 16866

Re: Good Non-Boring Boglehead Cars Under $30k

Wanted to make a follow-up to this surprisingly popular thread. After some more research and test driving, the top contender so far is the VW Golf GTI. The handling and overall fun factor in this little car was surprisingly very good. I don't think there is another car that is this sporty, yet prac...
by alfaspider
Wed Oct 31, 2018 8:05 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Tax refunds expected to be 26% more in 2019
Replies: 52
Views: 5690

Re: Tax refunds expected to be 26% more in 2019

My goal has always been to pay the maximum possible without incurring a penalty. I prefer to get an interest-free loan from the government rather than provide one to it :happy
by alfaspider
Wed Oct 31, 2018 8:00 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Am I doing well financially?
Replies: 162
Views: 12646

Re: Am I doing well financially?

I like to think I am doing well financially, but for my age, sometimes I feel like I am behind the curve when I read about some other posters' assets. I come from a lower class/lower middle class background and got my career started a little late due to being stuck in a podunk town for years after ...
by alfaspider
Tue Oct 30, 2018 10:40 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Kevin O'Leary: owning a car is a terrible idea
Replies: 43
Views: 3318

Re: Kevin O'Leary: owning a car is a terrible idea

His depreciation assumptions are absurd. Very few cars depreciate that quickly, and of course nobody says you have to buy a brand new vehicle if your problem is depreciation.
by alfaspider
Tue Oct 30, 2018 7:23 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Who has gotten the most value out of a car?
Replies: 48
Views: 3222

Re: Who has gotten the most value out of a car?

My brother has done pretty well. He bought a VW Diesel wagon in 2011 for around $22k. With the buyback, he got $19k, which means he drove it for ~$500 a year in depreciation (while getting almost 50mpg). Then, instead of buying a new car, he bought a 2007 Toyota Yaris for $2,300. It's a manual trans...
by alfaspider
Mon Oct 29, 2018 4:06 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: U.S. stocks in freefall
Replies: 7850
Views: 1610709

Re: U.S. stocks in freefall

Human beings think in terms of stories; we have since we were huddled against the fire together on the savannah, trying to explain what the stars were. We like Stories - we need Stories. Stories have to make sense in a way that the world rarely does - otherwise, we wouldn't tell them, and they woul...
by alfaspider
Mon Oct 29, 2018 3:10 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Am I doing well financially?
Replies: 162
Views: 12646

Re: Am I doing well financially?

I'm kind of amazed by the responses so far. Here's a relatively young couple with no debt and a mid-six-figure net worth earning enough to have $3,000 extra cash left over at the end of every month and people are acting like they are Thelma and Louise speeding towards some sort of financial cliff. ...
by alfaspider
Mon Oct 29, 2018 1:53 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Running Tires Smaller than OEM size?
Replies: 15
Views: 814

Re: Running Tires Smaller than OEM size?

In general, it is not unsafe to run a slightly smaller size. However, your speedometer will be inaccurate, and a smaller size will result in shorter gearing, which may hurt fuel economy. The shorter sidewall may make bumps a little harsher. I would be concerned that an inaccurate speedometer could ...
by alfaspider
Mon Oct 29, 2018 12:46 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Should I get rid of PMI or pay off my car loan?
Replies: 28
Views: 1502

Re: Should I get rid of PMI or pay off my car loan?

Agree on getting rid of PMI. PMI is just money thrown down a hole from which you get no benefit. Even the interest on the car note is a sort of benefit because it is the fee you pay for use of the money. Plus, the total amount of interest on the car note is likely much less than PMI. Not only is the...
by alfaspider
Mon Oct 29, 2018 10:50 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Running Tires Smaller than OEM size?
Replies: 15
Views: 814

Re: Running Tires Smaller than OEM size?

Hello, Quick question, my OEM tire size is 245 65 17 with 105t as the load index. I want to run 225 65 17 with 102h as load index because I had a set of these given to me. Can I run this smaller tire safely without concern? In general, it is not unsafe to run a slightly smaller size. However, your ...
by alfaspider
Mon Oct 29, 2018 10:46 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: When to change tires; and what brand
Replies: 131
Views: 8526

Re: When to change tires; and what brand

It's pretty difficult to accurately generalize about an entire brand from the experience of one set of tires on one particular vehicle. 100% this. I suppose there was a time when tires were pretty much tires when it came to street applications, but the market today has splintered into quite a few s...
by alfaspider
Mon Oct 29, 2018 7:58 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Getting depressed with all this saving. :-(
Replies: 38
Views: 6390

Re: Getting depressed with all this saving. :-(

So - to get a handle on myself, I decided to go ahead and put pretty much all Taxable cash into CDs, some 10K in bonds, 35 in VTSAX.The rest 200K in MSFT and 100K in AAPL stock just has a lot of long term gains. And now I'm depressed. New speakers beckon. (My HiFi is around 100K, but I need to upgr...
by alfaspider
Mon Oct 29, 2018 7:52 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Am I doing well financially?
Replies: 162
Views: 12646

Re: Am I doing well financially?

As I said, this couple will be in CC debt and negative cash flows once kids arrive. Nearly all responses are recommending reduced spending. Nothing the OP has posted has indicated that either spouse has ever spent more than they earned or accumulated any credit card debt, so it is unfair to assume ...
by alfaspider
Sun Oct 28, 2018 7:24 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Barron's Making the Case for Gold
Replies: 139
Views: 10840

Re: Barron's Making the Case for Gold

You can also easily exchange crude oil, copper, pork bellies, used iphones, loose cigarettes, or any number of commodities for local currencies in many major markets. The fact that there are many places to exchange gold is simply a reflection of the reasonably robust market for the commodity. Suppo...
by alfaspider
Sun Oct 28, 2018 10:13 am
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Barron's Making the Case for Gold
Replies: 139
Views: 10840

Re: Barron's Making the Case for Gold

You can also easily exchange crude oil, copper, pork bellies, used iphones, loose cigarettes, or any number of commodities for local currencies in many major markets. The fact that there are many places to exchange gold is simply a reflection of the reasonably robust market for the commodity. Suppo...
by alfaspider
Thu Oct 25, 2018 2:20 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: What's everyone currently in?
Replies: 93
Views: 8097

Re: What's everyone currently in?

I have my Roth IRA with VTI, BND, VXUS which is very basic I haven't touched it in years but with all this volatility I'm thinking I may want to. But why? There has been similar volatility several times over the last few years. I also think your Roth is where you want to swing for the fences. I am ...
by alfaspider
Wed Oct 24, 2018 4:28 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Home with over $500k gain and retirement?
Replies: 10
Views: 1001

Re: Home with over $500k gain and retirement?

I don't think your problem is very big. You currently only have about $100k of gain beyond the exclusion. That's only a $15-20k tax hit on $675k realized cash depending on your income level (assuming no mortgage when you sell). Not really all that significant compared to the size of the transaction....
by alfaspider
Wed Oct 24, 2018 2:30 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Computer Speed upgrade devices
Replies: 10
Views: 603

Re: Computer Speed upgrade devices

Spend the $35 on more RAM. It will actually make your machine run better. Those gadgets are mostly snake oil. If you have enough RAM, double it to $70 and upgrade that spinning disk (if you still have one) to a SSD. Adding RAM won't do much if you aren't filling up the RAM you have. A SSN (or a fas...