Search found 3283 matches

by michaeljc70
Tue Sep 18, 2018 11:05 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Tesla Refund
Replies: 16
Views: 1703

Re: Tesla Refund

eye.surgeon wrote:
Tue Sep 18, 2018 10:34 am
Sounds like as much a Paypal problem as a Tesla problem.
It took 6 months to figure out an alternate payment method or figure out the problem? :shock:
by michaeljc70
Tue Sep 18, 2018 10:48 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Inexpensive source for greeting cards?
Replies: 12
Views: 349

Re: Inexpensive source for greeting cards?

Aldi's (new item), Trader Joes, Party City, Dollar Tree. Costco has a box of Hallmark cards once in a while for a variety of events that are really nice and cheap (but they don't have writing (sayings) inside). The cards have nice embellishments (for lack of a better word) and look expensive. They h...
by michaeljc70
Tue Sep 18, 2018 10:01 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Need help in solving Tenant landlord issue
Replies: 20
Views: 1616

Re: Need help in solving Tenant landlord issue

I think paying a lawyer a few hundred bucks to send a letter (disputing all these charges and threatening legal action) might give you the most bang for your buck. Court is time consuming and can be costly and can quickly turn into a he said she said situation.
by michaeljc70
Tue Sep 18, 2018 9:42 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Leasing Cars in Retirement
Replies: 47
Views: 3350

Re: Leasing Cars in Retirement

Isn't leasing just delaying the taxes? You still have to have the money down (I know sometimes you can get none down, but payments are higher). You still have to make the payments. If you buy and sell after 3 years (or trade in), the residual value is money you don't have to take out of savings. I r...
by michaeljc70
Tue Sep 18, 2018 9:35 am
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Is there such thing as saving TOO much?
Replies: 63
Views: 4655

Re: Is there such thing as saving TOO much?

I am in a situation where my bills are relatively low. (Single, no kids). I live a pretty basic, simple, and frugal lifestyle. (10 year old reliable car, prepaid cell phone, cut my own hair etc). I am saving roughly 50%+ of my salary, Investing mostly in VTSAX and some liquid savings accounts for a...
by michaeljc70
Tue Sep 18, 2018 9:32 am
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Equity in house / Do you use it?
Replies: 35
Views: 1933

Re: Equity in house / Do you use it?

I would use it if there was a temporary cash flow issue I needed to overcome. If I needed the money longer term I would sell and downsize. If I was older and really needed the money and didn't want to move, I'd consider a reverse mortgage as a last resort.
by michaeljc70
Tue Sep 18, 2018 9:27 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: HOA Donation in Remembrance of Deceased Owner
Replies: 21
Views: 1343

Re: HOA Donation in Remembrance of Deceased Owner

I agree that this is not appropriate and I doubt many by-laws would legally allow this. Of course, boards often do what they want as no one is going to sue to stop you from spending $100. In most associations this is such a small amount that I wouldn't lose sleep over it. If the HOA wanted to do suc...
by michaeljc70
Tue Sep 18, 2018 9:15 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: How to determine quality of a finished new construction home
Replies: 45
Views: 2729

Re: How to determine quality of a finished new construction home

Lots of good commentary here.. Like any home, best thing is to educate yourself, hire a good inspector and ask a lot of questions. First, look at the architecture... Is it a well designed, well proportioned house ? (look at http://www.mcmansionhell.com to see what I mean - lots of contemporary hous...
by michaeljc70
Mon Sep 17, 2018 3:11 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Dilemma: Add room to current house or buy new house?
Replies: 77
Views: 2805

Re: Dilemma: Add room to current house or buy new house?

One issue could be that we have this 2000sqft unfinished basement that is simply never used so it feels like we only have 4000sqft in reality. My wife does not want to climb down and up from the basement so finishing it may be throwing money down the drain. Stairs. She doesnt want to walk up and do...
by michaeljc70
Mon Sep 17, 2018 3:04 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Massive Student Loan Debt - Fiancee
Replies: 105
Views: 9388

Re: Massive Student Loan Debt - Fiancee

Though the debt can be overcome, imagine what the NFV is of $150k when you are in your early 20s! I am not going to do the math and have people pick apart the numbers I use, but it is a lot of money at age 60 or 65. I would guess if I had an extra $150k when in my early 20s I probably wouldn't ever ...
by michaeljc70
Mon Sep 17, 2018 2:56 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Dilemma: Add room to current house or buy new house?
Replies: 77
Views: 2805

Re: Dilemma: Add room to current house or buy new house?

Another way of looking at this is adding a 320 sq ft room will add a little more than 5% square footage to the home for about 20% of the market value of the house. Since the land has some value, the actual % of home value is actually probably much higher.
by michaeljc70
Mon Sep 17, 2018 2:32 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Dilemma: Add room to current house or buy new house?
Replies: 77
Views: 2805

Re: Dilemma: Add room to current house or buy new house?

GoldStar wrote:
Mon Sep 17, 2018 2:25 pm
You lost me at 6000 sq feet being too small.
It's only 1200 sq ft a person!
by michaeljc70
Mon Sep 17, 2018 2:27 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Selling your home with Opendoor
Replies: 3
Views: 358

Re: Selling your home with Opendoor

Wonder if ppl have experience with Opendoor service. Seems like cost is about the same as real estate agent, with less hassle. I'm curious to hear real experiences from BH's I found out about it here . Thanks. H When you say "cost" it doesn't sound like you are taking into account any difference in...
by michaeljc70
Mon Sep 17, 2018 2:15 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: ACA - Silver plan cost sharing worth it?
Replies: 29
Views: 2081

Re: ACA - Silver plan cost sharing worth it?

So, I did the ACA application and put in my info. The eligibility document says "Choose a plan by October 30, 2018." "Until October 30, 2018, you're eligible to buy a 2018 Marketplace plan". So I think I am good if I get a plan for 11/1 and pay before that. One thing I will add is to think carefull...
by michaeljc70
Mon Sep 17, 2018 1:53 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Dilemma: Add room to current house or buy new house?
Replies: 77
Views: 2805

Re: Dilemma: Add room to current house or buy new house?

Sounds like keeping up with the Joneses. Who cares what other houses nearby or friends have? You have an unfinished basement.
by michaeljc70
Mon Sep 17, 2018 1:51 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Considering Quitting Job - Seeking Advice. Would you do it?
Replies: 121
Views: 7222

Re: Considering Quitting Job - Seeking Advice. Would you do it?

After saving heavily for 25 years, there is no need to continue at this pace. I wouldn't think twice about quitting. Your kids are teenagers and in 8 years you will not be able to get that time back. First, I would try to see if moving to another position in the company is possible. Maybe at a reduc...
by michaeljc70
Mon Sep 17, 2018 1:43 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Single Family Homes in Chicago?
Replies: 25
Views: 2403

Re: Single Family Homes in Chicago?

If you go slightly outside hot areas like Roscoe Village/Logan Square you can find single family homes for less money. A new home (roughly 3400 sq ft) will still run $700+. I am specifically thinking of Avondale which is sort of between Logan Square and Roscoe Village. Lakeview is a traffic and park...
by michaeljc70
Mon Sep 17, 2018 12:06 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: ACA - Silver plan cost sharing worth it?
Replies: 29
Views: 2081

Re: ACA - Silver plan cost sharing worth it?

So, I did the ACA application and put in my info.

The eligibility document says "Choose a plan by October 30, 2018." "Until October 30, 2018, you're eligible to buy a
2018 Marketplace plan".

So I think I am good if I get a plan for 11/1 and pay before that.
by michaeljc70
Mon Sep 17, 2018 10:15 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: ACA - Silver plan cost sharing worth it?
Replies: 29
Views: 2081

Re: ACA - Silver plan cost sharing worth it?

It says: "If you qualify for an SEP, you usually have up to 60 days following the event to enroll in a plan." The qualifying date would be 9/1 as that is when I lost coverage. After that, I get 60 days. At least that is how I read it. In such a scenario, wouldn’t you have to enroll retroactively go...
by michaeljc70
Sun Sep 16, 2018 6:37 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: ACA - Silver plan cost sharing worth it?
Replies: 29
Views: 2081

Re: ACA - Silver plan cost sharing worth it?

Yes. My work insurance ended at the end of August. We are trying in Sept/Oct to not have insurance with the fallback of opting for COBRA retroactively if we really have to. I will then go on the ACA for Nov/Dec. This is really just to avoid the penalty and as a backstop to a medical catastrophe. If...
by michaeljc70
Sun Sep 16, 2018 12:43 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: CDs role in Fixed income part of portfolio
Replies: 31
Views: 2610

Re: CDs role in Fixed income part of portfolio

Though I don't have historical data on CDs going back really far, when looking at the 10 year treasury I can see that there appears to be only one year (since 1928) where the 10 year lost double digits while there are 18 years where it had double digit returns. Many were also in low inflation years...
by michaeljc70
Sun Sep 16, 2018 12:04 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Is Hardwood Floor No Maintenance (vs Carpet)?
Replies: 39
Views: 3592

Re: Is Hardwood Floor No Maintenance (vs Carpet)?

Imagine wearing a sweater for 1 year straight. Once a week you take it outside and brush the dirt off it. Once a year you wash it. Thats carpet folks...and most people still have carpet in their homes. You think by running a vacuum over it that it actually gets clean? Its picks up the fine particle...
by michaeljc70
Sun Sep 16, 2018 10:13 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: ACA - Silver plan cost sharing worth it?
Replies: 29
Views: 2081

Re: ACA - Silver plan cost sharing worth it?

Silver plans with CSR are the best deal for those who are sick, but not very sick. The cost-sharing subsidy will offset the higher premium. If you qualify for CSR they are, particularly the lower two tiers of CSR. The top tier depends on how much higher the silver premium is. my COBRA is subsidized...
by michaeljc70
Sun Sep 16, 2018 10:02 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: If you really like the CR-V, you should check out the [_____]
Replies: 89
Views: 8930

Re: If you really like the CR-V, you should check out the [_____]

I'm very happy with my CX-5. The RAV4 is ugly to me. The CX-5 drove a lot better than the Santa Fe/Tuscon IMO. Everyone has the CR-V (which might not bother many people). +1. (Is this thread still going?) Our CX-5 has capable AWD, sensible layout, good tech, good visibility, and is genuinely fun to...
by michaeljc70
Sat Sep 15, 2018 8:41 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: ACA - Silver plan cost sharing worth it?
Replies: 29
Views: 2081

Re: ACA - Silver plan cost sharing worth it?

I'm in the 3rd biggest city in the US and there is 1 HSA plan. It is bad-expensive for such a high deductible. $1036/mo premium (ages 48/41), $8550 deductible, 13,100 OOP. Your premium is broadly in line with healthcare costs. US GDP per capita is $53,000. Healthcare spending is 18% of GDP. That wo...
by michaeljc70
Sat Sep 15, 2018 8:27 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: ACA - Silver plan cost sharing worth it?
Replies: 29
Views: 2081

Re: ACA - Silver plan cost sharing worth it?

I have to decide between utilizing my last year of COBRA or jumping to ACA for 2019. ] I'm not sure you can voluntarily give up cobra and receive ACA subsidies. When you are no longer eligible for cobra, that becomes a qualifying life event change, and you may enroll in ACA outside of the usual ope...
by michaeljc70
Sat Sep 15, 2018 8:16 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: ACA - Silver plan cost sharing worth it?
Replies: 29
Views: 2081

Re: ACA - Silver plan cost sharing worth it?

I have to decide between utilizing my last year of COBRA or jumping to ACA for 2019. ] I'm not sure you can voluntarily give up cobra and receive ACA subsidies. When you are no longer eligible for cobra, that becomes a qualifying life event change, and you may enroll in ACA outside of the usual ope...
by michaeljc70
Sat Sep 15, 2018 8:14 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Is Hardwood Floor No Maintenance (vs Carpet)?
Replies: 39
Views: 3592

Re: Is Hardwood Floor No Maintenance (vs Carpet)?

If you really vacuum 2x a year, hardwood is probably not for you. All the gross stuff can fall to the bottom of a carpet (depending on type) out of site. On hardwood floors it obviously has nowhere to go.
by michaeljc70
Sat Sep 15, 2018 8:12 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: The twenty dollar rule revisited
Replies: 44
Views: 4928

Re: The twenty dollar rule revisited

I commented in the other thread that got locked. I think $20 is way too restrictive. Since you are spending more than you earn, it doesn't seem to be working. A budget closely tracked and reviewed monthly (by you and your spouse) would be better IMO. To be honest, this $20 thing seems childish. You ...
by michaeljc70
Sat Sep 15, 2018 6:50 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: ACA - Silver plan cost sharing worth it?
Replies: 29
Views: 2081

Re: ACA - Silver plan cost sharing worth it?

I'm in the 3rd biggest city in the US and there is 1 HSA plan. It is bad-expensive for such a high deductible. $1036/mo premium (ages 48/41), $8550 deductible, 13,100 OOP.
by michaeljc70
Sat Sep 15, 2018 1:28 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: ACA - Silver plan cost sharing worth it?
Replies: 29
Views: 2081

Re: ACA - Silver plan cost sharing worth it?

It probably does not make sense to do Roth conversions since the effective marginal tax rate is about 25% due to loss of ACA subsidies. See: https://thefinancebuff.com/tax-calculator-aca-obamacare-subsidy.html And if you anticipate any significant medical expenses, there are big benefits to the cos...
by michaeljc70
Sat Sep 15, 2018 12:05 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: CDs role in Fixed income part of portfolio
Replies: 31
Views: 2610

Re: CDs role in Fixed income part of portfolio

Historically, the best overall INVESTMENT portfolio performance (i.e. highest risk-adjusted return) has come from holding intermediate or long-term bonds rather than... CDs... I'm wondering what source could have concluded that and how it could be valid, especially on a forward looking basis, even ...
by michaeljc70
Sat Sep 15, 2018 10:34 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Massive Student Loan Debt - Fiancee
Replies: 105
Views: 9388

Re: Massive Student Loan Debt - Fiancee

A lot of interesting responses. I'd be more concerned over differences in financial perspectives than the debt itself. The debt can be overcome. People usually don't change their view of money and are either frugal or not. That being said, starting out your life together $150k in the hole wouldn't b...
by michaeljc70
Sat Sep 15, 2018 10:10 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: If you really like the CR-V, you should check out the [_____]
Replies: 89
Views: 8930

Re: If you really like the CR-V, you should check out the [_____]

I'm very happy with my CX-5. The RAV4 is ugly to me. The CX-5 drove a lot better than the Santa Fe/Tuscon IMO. Everyone has the CR-V (which might not bother many people).
by michaeljc70
Sat Sep 15, 2018 10:02 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: How to determine quality of a finished new construction home
Replies: 45
Views: 2729

Re: How to determine quality of a finished new construction home

How likely is it that they make all of the apparent stuff high quality but average or lower quality on construction like insulation, materials, foundation, roofing, etc.? The likelihood is 100%. Agreed. +1 The average minimum standard is "build per code, plans, and specs", then add cosmetics and ac...
by michaeljc70
Sat Sep 15, 2018 9:45 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: ACA - Silver plan cost sharing worth it?
Replies: 29
Views: 2081

ACA - Silver plan cost sharing worth it?

I don't plan on working next year (though that could change) and I am trying to figure out what to do for insurance. We'll (spouse and I) be going on an ACA plan. What I am wondering is if I can keep our income low enough to get the cost sharing reductions in deductibles/co-pays and if it is worth i...
by michaeljc70
Sat Sep 15, 2018 9:22 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: How to determine quality of a finished new construction home
Replies: 45
Views: 2729

Re: How to determine quality of a finished new construction home

I am not sure what you are concerned with exactly. Quality is subjective. Most people refer to finishes when judging a home as that is what you see. You don't really hear about houses falling down because they were low quality. I'd be concerned about things like tightness (good insulation, sealing),...
by michaeljc70
Sat Sep 15, 2018 9:11 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: How to determine quality of a finished new construction home
Replies: 45
Views: 2729

Re: How to determine quality of a finished new construction home

I would ask about how "tight" the home is. Do a blower door test to determine Air Changes/hour. (ACH) The production builders don't care about it because you can't see it. I have seen some ACH above 7. A good tight home will be 1.5-2.0. But after you move in you will feel drafts. And your heating/c...
by michaeljc70
Sat Sep 15, 2018 9:01 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Revocable Trust or TOD Deed for Primary Residence?
Replies: 5
Views: 479

Re: Revocable Trust or TOD Deed for Primary Residence?

As indicated by the OP, TOD is much simpler. A trust will really require a lawyer and be more expensive. From what I've heard, you might have to go the trust route if you want to cover more unique circumstances. Like say you have two kids and if one of them passes before you you want their kids (you...
by michaeljc70
Fri Sep 14, 2018 7:05 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: CDs role in Fixed income part of portfolio
Replies: 31
Views: 2610

Re: CDs role in Fixed income part of portfolio

CD's make sense for a retail investor who wants zero risk and accepts the lower return thus associated with them. Interim values of the CD's between purchase and maturity do fluctuate, however, just like bond funds. Sometimes buying CD's are better than buying similarly risk free treasury bonds (vi...
by michaeljc70
Fri Sep 14, 2018 6:03 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: CDs role in Fixed income part of portfolio
Replies: 31
Views: 2610

CDs role in Fixed income part of portfolio

I'm interested in what role CDs should play in a FI part of a portfolio, particularly near/in retirement compared to Total Bond or similar. Obviously, CDs don't lose principal value while they also don't gain outsized returns in volatile/dropping rate environments like longer term bonds (like during...
by michaeljc70
Fri Sep 14, 2018 4:48 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Another high expense-ratio 401(k), Help!
Replies: 22
Views: 1201

Re: Another high expense-ratio 401(k), Help!

Assuming you think your tax rate in retirement will be the same or higher, I would contribute the minimum to get the matching and put the rest in a Roth. Those look like ERs on funds I had 25 years ago. As someone else said, the employer is passing the cost of the plan onto the employees.
by michaeljc70
Fri Sep 14, 2018 4:37 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: 3 fund vs EJ
Replies: 16
Views: 959

Re: 3 fund vs EJ

I stay out of my parents’ investments. My Father is at T Rowe Price. He has his money in umpteen funds (Tech, Healthcare, Consumer Staples, Energy, Industrials, etc.) saying he is spreading his risk around. In the end, he probably has just about every sector fund (I think he has 14 funds total) and...
by michaeljc70
Fri Sep 14, 2018 1:41 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: kitchen door rack
Replies: 4
Views: 452

Re: kitchen door rack

You can find cheap options, but most are over the door types. If the top of your door doesn't have a lot of clearance on top, the over the door models could scrape. Most aren't adjustable like the Elfa. I had one like this at my last house: https://www.homedepot.com/p/ClosetMaid-72-in-x-12-9-16-in-x...
by michaeljc70
Fri Sep 14, 2018 11:26 am
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Vanguard is requiring cell phone security codes - problem for international travel (UPDATE)
Replies: 65
Views: 3681

Re: Vanguard is requiring cell phone security codes - problem for international travel (UPDATE)

I do my sisters IRA for her only check it once a week. I live in Oregon she might live in Texas. How this work? She has her own computer I use mine to get to her account. She can either get the text and send it to you via text, email or phone or it may be possible to add your cell phone as a second...
by michaeljc70
Fri Sep 14, 2018 11:21 am
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Age in Bonds - Still Recommended?
Replies: 127
Views: 7898

Re: Age in Bonds - Still Recommended?

I'm 48 and have 25% in bonds and never plan on going above 25%. I'm not even thrilled with having 25% in bonds. I was thinking to make it more like 15% bonds and 10% CDs. Of course, both are FI which is what I assume we are really talking about.
by michaeljc70
Fri Sep 14, 2018 10:18 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Is home alarm monitoring worth it?
Replies: 56
Views: 3652

Re: Is home alarm monitoring worth it?

5. Dog- maybe the one true deterrent. However you need one that is genuinely unfriendly, at least to strangers. Trouble is most people get dogs mostly as pets, not personal protection. AND everyone with an unleashed dog assures me that they are friendly, so apparently virtually all dogs are useless...
by michaeljc70
Fri Sep 14, 2018 10:06 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Is home alarm monitoring worth it?
Replies: 56
Views: 3652

Re: Is home alarm monitoring worth it?

I got a SimpliSafe burglar alarm that I installed myself. I can get monitoring for $15/month, but is the monitoring worth while? If someone kicks down my door and sets off the alarm, it will be at least 10 minutes before the police get here. The burglar knows that. The burglar will either run away ...
by michaeljc70
Fri Sep 14, 2018 9:55 am
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Age in Bonds - Still Recommended?
Replies: 127
Views: 7898

Re: Age in Bonds - Still Recommended?

I've never believed in that. Why would someone 25 years old retiring in 40 years have 25% in bonds? Makes no sense to me.
by michaeljc70
Fri Sep 14, 2018 9:53 am
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Vanguard is requiring cell phone security codes - problem for international travel (UPDATE)
Replies: 65
Views: 3681

Re: Vanguard is requiring cell phone security codes - problem for international travel

Switching brokerages probably won't help- at least for long. They will all be requiring 2FA sooner or later. It somewhat surprises me how many people are concerned about the inconvenience vs. having their accounts wiped out by a hacker. Maybe Vanguard should let you opt out of 2FA if you accept the ...