Search found 926 matches

by sls239
Sat Jul 14, 2018 8:56 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Amazon won't sell this book to me.
Replies: 68
Views: 8753

Re: Amazon won't sell this book to me.

I think the irony here is that Amazon started as a low-cost bookseller. But the responses here - "Someone else will sell you the book" and "Who cares if Amazon has the cheapest price?" It is almost as if the reasons people liked Amazon in the first place are disappearing. And maybe they aren't impor...
by sls239
Sun Jun 03, 2018 2:28 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Re-marriage and claiming social security on ex-spouse
Replies: 10
Views: 1895

Re: Re-marriage and claiming social security on ex-spouse

I read it the way you read it and it is on the ssa.gov site.

And it makes sense to me.

Have you tried E-mail?

And the wording seems to be that certain marriages are "disregarded" so using that phrasing may help.
by sls239
Sun Jun 03, 2018 1:27 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Advice needed for firing investment advisor and hiring Vanguard--Fidelity or Schwab
Replies: 12
Views: 1696

Re: Advice needed for firing investment advisor and hiring Vanguard--Fidelity or Schwab

My advice is to consider if there is a reason you think the generic portfolio recommendations would not be appropriate for you.

Are those reasons far out of the ordinary and large on financial impact?

If so, be prepared to pay for more specialized service.

If not, go cheap.
by sls239
Sun Jun 03, 2018 11:06 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Friends with an EJ Advisor
Replies: 49
Views: 4346

Re: Friends with an EJ Advisor

How about something like this - "I know that EJ is your employer, but they are not a company I would ever do business with and so I won't go to the open house because that is what I would have to tell anyone who asked me."
by sls239
Mon Apr 30, 2018 10:03 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Learning to drive a stick [car with manual transmission]
Replies: 126
Views: 7128

Re: Learning to drive a stick [car with manual transmission]

I taught my spouse how to drive my car, which was a manual transmission because we were going to France and I was technically too young to rent the car myself. We get there and it isn't just a manual transmission, it is also a diesel, parked in a gravel lot on an incline. So I ended up driving anywa...
by sls239
Thu Mar 08, 2018 9:08 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Does anyone here with net worths north of $1 mil use financial advisors?
Replies: 249
Views: 36616

Re: Does anyone here with net worths north of $1 mil use financial advisors?

This sounds like the typical guy that thinks being a millionaire must mean doing something much more dramatic than saving 20% of your under $100k income for 15 years and investing it in total market funds.

Hint: it doesn't.
by sls239
Thu Mar 08, 2018 8:08 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Buying a house before selling a house
Replies: 29
Views: 2525

Re: Buying a house before selling a house

Are you looking at the lines for a particular elementary or middle school?

Many districts have a policy that will allow kids to stay in a school for a final year of elementary or middle school as long as you still live in the district as a whole.
by sls239
Thu Mar 08, 2018 7:32 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: 30 year fixed vs 7 year ARM
Replies: 37
Views: 3282

Re: 30 year fixed vs 7 year ARM

That's a high margin and a high initial adjustment.

That means that keeping the ARM after the first 7 years is not going to be cost effective.
by sls239
Sun Feb 18, 2018 12:40 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Vancouver Vacation (Canada)
Replies: 18
Views: 1587

Re: Vancouver Vacation (Canada)

We got a kite and flew it on the shore.
by sls239
Tue Jan 02, 2018 11:16 am
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Vanguard to launch US 'smart beta' ETFs - Will this board burn down?
Replies: 156
Views: 19882

Re: Vanguard to launch US 'smart beta' ETFs - Will this board burn down?

CULater wrote:
Tue Nov 28, 2017 10:21 pm
Just wondering -- who takes the other side of the trade on factor funds and why are they so dumb? Oh, I guess it's us market index fund investors...
I don't think it is the total market investors. I think it will be mostly other factor investors, and possibly doing so unwittingly.
by sls239
Fri Nov 24, 2017 7:21 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Target Pre-pay phones on Thanksgiving in store issues
Replies: 13
Views: 1536

Re: Target Pre-pay phones on Thanksgiving in store issues

I went to Target Thursday and left without buying anything because it was so poorly organized. Walmart on the other hand was an absolute breeze and it has been for several years now. I know one difference is that Target left all their regular merchandise in place, Walmart moved a lot of regular merc...
by sls239
Tue Nov 14, 2017 6:35 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Why pay cash for a car?
Replies: 248
Views: 31723

Re: Why pay cash for a car?

I paid cash for my last car because 1) It was used 2) I asked if there would be a finance fee and the salesperson said yes 3) We had a second 10+ year old car that could also end up needing replaced at any time 4) I don't want any more inquiries or debt on our credit report than we have to because i...
by sls239
Sat Oct 28, 2017 12:26 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Repair (new engine) 2005 Mazda 3?
Replies: 26
Views: 1793

Re: Repair (new engine) 2005 Mazda 3?

If keeping the car allows you to avoid paying for full coverage insurance with an accident on your record, then it makes more sense.
by sls239
Thu Sep 14, 2017 7:12 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Can not decide between washing machines
Replies: 47
Views: 3769

Re: Can not decide between washing machines

My advice for anyone getting a front loader - Make sure your floor is strong and hard. Make sure the front loader is completely level from side to side and front to back. Make sure they remove the entirety of the stabilizing kit, and if you ever choose to move the front loader (which I don't recomme...
by sls239
Thu Sep 07, 2017 11:51 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: how often does high ACT score == scholarship?
Replies: 102
Views: 10473

Re: how often does high ACT score == scholarship?

Well my suggestion is to go ahead and do the applications. But also, have your child reached out to the people running the actual programs he might be interested in. I think a lot of HS students are intimidated, but IME, the ones that are bold enough are often told that money can be found (or work-s...
by sls239
Thu Aug 31, 2017 10:08 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Capital One Credit Cards - Disaster
Replies: 42
Views: 6501

Re: Capital One Credit Cards - Disaster

I would expect that anytime there is fraud involved with a credit card issuer that all the accounts will be closed and new accounts created. This would necessitate re-establishing all bill pays from those accounts and establishing online access and payments to those new accounts. I think expecting y...
by sls239
Thu Aug 31, 2017 9:32 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Hurricane Harvey has me rethinking my approach to disaster preparations
Replies: 72
Views: 8008

Re: Hurricane Harvey has me rethinking my approach to disaster preparations

I think you have to realize that the decision made by officials to evacuate an area is just not the same as an individual's decision to evacuate. In this case, the officials knew they couldn't pull off a full evacuation of the area in the time allotted. But a person with good resources could have ea...
by sls239
Tue Jul 18, 2017 3:46 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Mortgage Rates in 3 years?
Replies: 26
Views: 3227

Re: Mortgage Rates in 3 years?

The easiest way to find out what is reasonable for you is to try it. Start by pretending your housing costs X / month more than your rent. Put X into a savings account. Every few months, evaluate how it is going. 3 years from now you should know exactly how much per month you can spend on housing an...
by sls239
Tue Jul 18, 2017 3:30 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: 4% mortgage rate vs 2.5% BND yield
Replies: 92
Views: 9353

Re: 4% mortgage rate vs 2.5% BND yield

I'll raise my hand and say if my mortgage rate was 4%, I'd be paying it down. People think about locking in a low rate for 30 years, but for a lot of people, it doesn't last nearly that long. I think the average home is owned about 7 years. Some people have the privilege or the delusion of knowing m...
by sls239
Tue Jul 18, 2017 2:17 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Buying house - Very important decision
Replies: 228
Views: 26066

Re: Buying house - Very important decision

There is one good way to know if you can afford it. Pretend you made that decision, then live with it. That is - take the estimated housing cost, out of that pay your rent, then put the remainder in the bank. Do that for 6 months at least. After those 6 months, you'll know whether you want to contin...
by sls239
Tue Jul 18, 2017 1:02 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: kitchen appliance recommendations, esp refrigerator
Replies: 32
Views: 3470

Re: kitchen appliance recommendations, esp refrigerator

I really like our Kenmore elite fridge. It is made by LG. It is actually the second Kenmore elite fridge I bought. I bought the first one in our last house and the buyers specifically wrote in that they wanted the fridge and made a full price offer so... What I particularly like about my fridge - it...
by sls239
Sun Jul 09, 2017 10:09 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Weak Evidence for International in Vanguard Research - Am I Missing Something?
Replies: 77
Views: 7934

Re: Weak Evidence for International in Vanguard Research - Am I Missing Something?

I'll preface by saying I'm not trying to be political - But I think this question comes up because when people look at risk, an awful lot of people aren't just looking at the risk of losing money, they are looking at what the loss of that money would mean to their lives . People point to Japan as a ...
by sls239
Fri May 19, 2017 10:25 am
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: mortgage down payment levels
Replies: 7
Views: 1185

Re: mortgage down payment levels

I think that is just a response to the changes in PMI with FHA loans. That 11 years of PMI for having a 10% down-payment just invites banks to offer an alternative - a slightly higher rate but no PMI is my guess.
by sls239
Fri May 19, 2017 10:19 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Negotiating an apartment lease
Replies: 7
Views: 1085

Re: Negotiating an apartment lease

Common things to ask for at lease renewal are updates that the vacant apartments are getting before being rented back out - like an appliance or flooring upgrade or a ceiling fan. If there is a clubroom or common space that has a use fee, you could ask for a free one-time use of that. And if you are...
by sls239
Wed May 17, 2017 9:20 am
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Fee help
Replies: 11
Views: 1239

Re: Fee help

Here's what it sounds like to me - You have an investment option - that investment option lists an expense ratio. You are getting a refund of some of that - the "fee adjustment". Then the cost of administering the plan is being charged - the "plan administrative services" And because the "fee adjust...
by sls239
Wed May 17, 2017 9:03 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: How much house? How large of a down payment? Infinite permutations are driving me batty
Replies: 36
Views: 3849

Re: How much house? How large of a down payment? Infinite permutations are driving me batty

I think renting until the child is about 3 is a good idea. A lot of issues that are medically or educationally challenging become apparent by that age, but it still gives you plenty of time to find a house before school starts.
by sls239
Thu May 11, 2017 10:02 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: House Deed Covenant Enforceability
Replies: 43
Views: 4542

Re: House Deed Covenant Enforceability

Why would you want them to turn unsecured credit card debt into debt secured by the home they are living in, covenant or no covenant? I think it is a better strategy to just try and get the interest rates on the credit cards down and help them accelerate their payoffs. I've heard that some credit ca...
by sls239
Thu May 11, 2017 9:37 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: What home improvements are worth it
Replies: 37
Views: 6706

Re: What home improvements are worth it

I've replaced the kitchen faucet on the last 2 houses I've lived in. It is neither difficult nor expensive. You use that faucet every day, get one you like. Don't wait.
by sls239
Thu May 11, 2017 9:03 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Help my friend give away his estate
Replies: 34
Views: 5214

Re: Help my friend give away his estate

If the friend is going to wait until he dies to give the money away, why would he expect the children to not wait until they die to give that money away and so forth? My suggestion is to choose the best charities and give as much away as soon as possible. In theory, a good charity produces a much gr...
by sls239
Sat May 06, 2017 9:09 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Taking over lease of Luxury car, good deal? Anything else to know?
Replies: 19
Views: 2225

Re: Taking over lease of Luxury car, good deal? Anything else to know?

According to KBB, the depreciation for this car in year 1 is approx $16K, depreciation for years 2 and 3 is about $7K total. So based on that, I would say no, this is not a good deal. Buying a used one and driving it for a year and selling it would be a much cheaper way to try it out. https://www.kb...
by sls239
Wed May 03, 2017 4:46 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Need a car for 9-12 months
Replies: 21
Views: 2348

Re: Need a car for 9-12 months

Well if you aren't going to put many miles on it , I think it makes sense to look for a used vehicle that is newer but higher mileage. Then your low mileage evens it out, maximizing resale value.

And I'd go for a Mazda or Hyundai sedan so that you get a decent price but still good reliability.
by sls239
Wed May 03, 2017 4:33 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Time to upgrade bed/bath linens
Replies: 23
Views: 2959

Re: Time to upgrade bed/bath linens

I'd suggest Land's End for all of that. And another +1 on the percale if you want crisp. You should be able to get 20 - 30% off the standard price.

And the exception would be, if you use them, washcloths. I like thinner cheaper washcloths better.
by sls239
Tue May 02, 2017 3:21 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Where to Live on $60K or Less a Year?
Replies: 248
Views: 36073

Re: Where to Live on $60K or Less a Year?

My first thought before reading your list was, if you are a retiree, Bella Vista Arkansas. It is near Bentonville, which is already on your list, but a little more rural. The weather is really good there. My mom lived near there and didn't have a car and could make it to the grocery store on foot ye...
by sls239
Tue May 02, 2017 11:14 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Buying first home with old hvac
Replies: 92
Views: 10867

Re: Buying first home with old hvac

Generally, the age of a major component like the HVAC would be in the seller's disclosure form. Did you get that form? If not, I would say that is a bigger problem. If you did get it before you made the offer, then the age of the HVAC isn't an inspection issue.
by sls239
Fri Apr 28, 2017 8:51 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: 7 car noises you should never ignore
Replies: 23
Views: 4766

Re: 7 car noises you should never ignore

"I don't feel good."
by sls239
Thu Apr 27, 2017 9:50 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Summer vacation, Lake Ouachita, Hot Springs, AR
Replies: 12
Views: 1533

Re: Summer vacation, Lake Ouachita, Hot Springs, AR

You could take him to the diamond mine or one of the quartz mines. You'd want to go as early in the morning as possible and bring a change of clothes. Personally, I thought Hot Springs was on the boring side for a young child. The hiking around on the bluffs is great though. I like to position littl...
by sls239
Thu Apr 27, 2017 9:16 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: putting more than 20% down on new home purchase
Replies: 41
Views: 6660

Re: putting more than 20% down on new home purchase

I think it makes more sense to try and funnel the money from the taxable brokerage account into tax advantaged retirement accounts instead of funneling that money into home equity.
by sls239
Thu Apr 27, 2017 8:46 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: When does it make sense to stop paying to repair your old vehicle?
Replies: 56
Views: 5477

Re: When does it make sense to stop paying to repair your old vehicle?

Well I don't know about where you live, but there are definitely areas of the country where what you can get for an older truck that runs has very little to do with book value. If you still use the truck portion of the vehicle, my guess is that it makes sense to keep it. If you don't really, then pa...
by sls239
Wed Apr 26, 2017 9:30 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: First Mortgage, need help with financial considerations (15 vs. 30 year)
Replies: 24
Views: 2754

Re: First Mortgage, need help with financial considerations (15 vs. 30 year)

Also, with an ARM, you can actually calculate how much extra principle you'd need to pay in order to guarantee the same or lower payment after adjustment by looking at the maximum adjustments. It may require less money to do that on a monthly basis than to make the 15 year payment. You just have to ...
by sls239
Wed Apr 26, 2017 8:56 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Advice for shareholder advocacy?
Replies: 3
Views: 424

Re: Advice for shareholder advocacy?

Is there a large shareholder group that is already doing advocacy? I think it might be reasonable to try and get the concern added to what that group is doing.

Strength in numbers and all that.
by sls239
Wed Apr 19, 2017 5:20 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Wife's Money - 50K - Her Advisor vs My DIY - Help
Replies: 67
Views: 7224

Re: Wife's Money - 50K - Her Advisor vs My DIY - Help

I'm still not clear on what this money is to be allocated for. I'm pretty sure it is not actually for a $50K vacation 5-10 years from now. Most families use some version of sinking funds for vacations - that is they allocate a monthly amount out of their current income and plan vacations approximate...
by sls239
Mon Apr 17, 2017 2:43 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Where to Invest 1st $2000 of Coverdell ESA
Replies: 8
Views: 1033

Re: Where to Invest 1st $2000 of Coverdell ESA

The benefit a Coverdell offers is tax free growth . Investing aggressively and holding long term would maximize that benefit. Obviously if you are using a Coverdell specifically for primary and secondary school, you just won't get as much benefit. I don't know where you intend to open the account, b...
by sls239
Fri Apr 14, 2017 8:39 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: New Home - Design Center Options - making smart choices
Replies: 30
Views: 4453

Re: New Home - Design Center Options - making smart choices

I thought that cultured marble was the default for bathroom counters, not laminate. You may want to double check that. There's not really anything wrong with cultured marble. Common upgrades involve lighting - the pre-wiring for ceiling fans, undercabinet lighting, but also you may want more actual ...
by sls239
Thu Mar 23, 2017 2:58 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: What building year I should seek when shopping for a house?
Replies: 33
Views: 3307

Re: What building year I should seek when shopping for a house?

I think that quality becomes pretty obvious in 10-20 year old homes. But also, neighborhoods tend to have a life-cycle. New neighborhoods tend to have very young children. Neighborhoods of 10 year old homes have a lot of 10 year old children. Neighborhoods of 20 year old homes tend to have a lot of ...
by sls239
Fri Mar 17, 2017 5:10 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Negotiating tips for selling condo to tenant
Replies: 35
Views: 4043

Re: Negotiating tips for selling condo to tenant

Have you considered that an investor might be interested in it right now with the tenants already in place? You might not need to wait until August. And I think that is the kind of opportunity that you might miss by not going with a realtor.
by sls239
Fri Mar 17, 2017 11:47 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Convincing Someone To Dump A Bad Financial Advisor
Replies: 39
Views: 4395

Re: Convincing Someone To Dump A Bad Financial Advisor

Basically what you need to do is focus on what will convince her which is very much not the same thing that convinced you. You could ask her if she feels comfortable having $X amount of her money invested in the stock market. You could ask her "So how did you and FA decide on that allocation?" Quest...
by sls239
Fri Mar 17, 2017 10:38 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Paralysis by Analysis
Replies: 12
Views: 1514

Re: Paralysis by Analysis

Do you find yourself needing the EF for expected but irregular expenses - like a major home repair or a medical deductible, or does your budget cover those adequately with "sinking funds" and still have $1600 surplus?

Is the car loan upside down?
by sls239
Fri Mar 17, 2017 10:29 am
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Is buying I-Bonds in Kids' name for College a good idea?
Replies: 5
Views: 645

Re: Is buying I-Bonds in Kids' name for College a good idea?

Well the bonds will legally be theirs and they won't be restricted to using it just for college tuition. And why do I-bonds interest you when college is just a few years away? There really isn't time for inflation to go really haywire is there? Why not just do a contribution to a 529 with a good bon...
by sls239
Fri Mar 17, 2017 10:19 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Suspicious organic products
Replies: 101
Views: 8173

Re: Suspicious organic products

Personally, I've decided to forego organic for most things, all else being equal, in favor of contributions to The Nature Conservancy. And I think that is a reasonable strategy type for someone who is unsure of what value they are getting from the organic label and not interested in making the time ...
by sls239
Fri Mar 17, 2017 10:01 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Does new job affect pre-qualifying for mortgage?
Replies: 18
Views: 1748

Re: Does new job affect pre-qualifying for mortgage?

If his income is sufficient, then they wont care at all about her income and that might be the easiest way to go about it if possible.

If not possible, the offer letter stating the annual salary should be enough.