Search found 698 matches

by onthecusp
Sun Oct 13, 2019 6:23 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Hotel mini bar - rude to use for own stuff
Replies: 42
Views: 5960

Re: Hotel mini bar - rude to use for own stuff

It was just one night, but a few months ago stayed at a hotel with an additional mandatory "resort fee" that was above the price from hotels.com. It included $x from the minibar and presumably could check out things like skateboards, balls to take to the park, etc. Seems like a complete rip off, tho...
by onthecusp
Fri Oct 11, 2019 1:25 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Purchasing an old home 100yrs +
Replies: 33
Views: 2151

Re: Purchasing an old home 100yrs +

Take care regarding potential lead paint as well. Use paint stripper and scraping rather than sanding. I loved our old house but wonder what I might have exposed myself and the family to years ago.
by onthecusp
Thu Oct 10, 2019 4:32 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Cold feet - Radiant subfloor heating question
Replies: 26
Views: 2022

Re: Cold feet - Radiant subfloor heating question

Back when we lived in northern Ohio, we added subfloor heat to the kitchen area and loved it. Already had hot water circulating heat, so tapped into that with PEX pipe/tube which was clipped to the bottom of the floor on the basement side just like you are describing for your electric elements. Can'...
by onthecusp
Wed Oct 09, 2019 6:36 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: AMLP [ALPS Alerian MLP ETF]
Replies: 5
Views: 406

Re: AMLP [ALPS Alerian MLP ETF]

You might be interested in this article: AMLP Is Too Expensive - Avoid Next, see the wiki: Master limited partnership Master limited partnerships are intended for very experienced investors who understand both the risks involved and the incredibly complex taxation rules. Please ask in the Boglehead...
by onthecusp
Wed Oct 09, 2019 3:18 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: AMLP [ALPS Alerian MLP ETF]
Replies: 5
Views: 406

Re: AMLP

Never owned it but followed it for awhile. I work in the space and own some of the underlying MLPs. Yes it has been down or maybe sideways for a number of years, and recently down again. That is a market timing observation and market timing is not a good idea. I'll try to focus on the tax and asset ...
by onthecusp
Wed Oct 09, 2019 1:12 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Should a job offer include details about relocation package?
Replies: 20
Views: 1907

Re: Should a job offer include details about relocation package?

If they "have a relocation company" it is probably a package meant to keep you "whole" but not provide a bunch of extra cash. They won't say what it is worth because you won't see the costs. Now various companies ideas of "whole" can be pretty different. I am pretty tolerant of such ambiguity but yo...
by onthecusp
Wed Oct 09, 2019 12:56 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Chris Mamula: October Bogleheads on Investing podcast guest.
Replies: 4
Views: 847

Re: Chris Mamula: October Bogleheads on Investing podcast guest.

Great! I'll listen this afternoon on the ride home. Thanks Rick!
by onthecusp
Mon Oct 07, 2019 5:13 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Should a job offer include details about relocation package?
Replies: 20
Views: 1907

Re: Should a job offer include details about relocation package?

If you like what you have seen so far it is probably time for a verbal acceptance, but conditional on what you need to know. Pare out anything you are curious about but would not change your decision. Relocation can be a big sum of money, payable in some form in the near future, so it is important t...
by onthecusp
Mon Oct 07, 2019 2:16 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Chris Mamula: October Bogleheads on Investing podcast guest.
Replies: 4
Views: 847

Re: Chris Mamula: October Bogleheads on Investing podcast guest.

Hi Rick, I've listened to your other podcasts and they are all great! Good discussions with a focus on boglehead values. I'll try and work up to a specific question here. I'm interested in exploring the "definition" of "sufficient" resources for FI/FIRE when still making large contributions. I'm at ...
by onthecusp
Tue Oct 01, 2019 4:26 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: high toilet
Replies: 33
Views: 3107

Re: high toilet

We still have a regular flush toilet - although it does seem to use a bit less water than the older ones. In an organization's building where I spend some time, the toilets there have the lower water use with an "air bottle" type of mechanism. It seems that the refilling of the tank pressurizes thi...
by onthecusp
Tue Oct 01, 2019 4:21 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: high toilet
Replies: 33
Views: 3107

Re: high toilet

Some people buying high toilets while others are going the other direction: https://www.amazon.com/s?k=squatty+potty&gclid=EAIaIQobChMIpNbonM375AIVhICfCh18hg-NEAAYAiAAEgJDaPD_BwE&hvadid=241928493241&hvdev=c&hvlocphy=9003749&hvnetw=g&hvpos=1t2&hvqmt=e&hvrand=11988329310206867433&hvtargid=kwd-4388803...
by onthecusp
Tue Sep 24, 2019 6:53 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Thought provoking non-fiction for 3rd grader
Replies: 51
Views: 2245

Re: Thought provoking non-fiction for 3rd grader

The Way Things Work by David Macaulay. Just looking online, I see there is an updated version called "The Way Things Work Now". Any opinion on which would be better? (updated and newer is not always better) I think you would be fine with the updated one. Reading about the two Macaulay editions, it ...
by onthecusp
Tue Sep 24, 2019 3:03 pm
Forum: Personal Investments
Topic: Verge of Retiring, Portfolio Analysis Help
Replies: 46
Views: 4428

Re: Verge of Retiring, Portfolio Analysis Help

Coming in late here, I agree with homestretch's numbers and your interpretation. It appears that 98,000 in total spending would be Social Security plus 4% of the remaining 1,100,000 investments. That is much closer to 100,000 than 80,000 :D And you still have other real estate to divest of when you ...
by onthecusp
Tue Sep 24, 2019 1:32 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Thought provoking non-fiction for 3rd grader
Replies: 51
Views: 2245

Re: Thought provoking non-fiction for 3rd grader

The Way Things Work by David Macaulay. I'm an engineer, reading a precursor to this book in childhood was formative and a foundation for what I've learned since. Even if your third grader is not destined for a technical life, having a basic understanding of technology is a great leg up in today's wo...
by onthecusp
Tue Sep 24, 2019 10:20 am
Forum: Personal Investments
Topic: Currently invested in 100% stock
Replies: 130
Views: 13052

Re: Currently invested in 100% stock

100% stock might be ok for you given many of the caveats already expressed. There is another reason to have an allocation to bonds, and that is buying an education in how bonds work. Now, I would not recommend holding a whole life policy or other poor investment "for education," but given the almost...
by onthecusp
Sat Sep 21, 2019 4:03 pm
Forum: US Chapters
Topic: Roll Call for the Retirement Class of 2020!
Replies: 39
Views: 4702

Re: Roll Call for the Retirement Class of 2020!

Add (62) to onthecusp making me oldest so far.
by onthecusp
Thu Sep 19, 2019 11:09 am
Forum: Non-US Investing
Topic: What to Recommend to Interested Friends
Replies: 20
Views: 1110

Re: What to Recommend to Interested Friends

tibbitts wrote:
Thu Sep 19, 2019 7:59 am
I'm not sure how investing comes up in casual conversation; how is this happening?
I will bring it up along with general retirement discussions.
by onthecusp
Mon Sep 09, 2019 7:50 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Allan Roth: Why Risk-Profile Questionnaires Don’t Work
Replies: 48
Views: 3603

Re: Allan Roth: Why Risk-Profile Questionnaires Don’t Work

Conversely, if you are an older investor used to big returns in the stock market who also has won the game, it feels very uncomfortable to de-risk, selling stocks to buy bonds. It doesn't feel comfortable but it is probably necessary to do so. So in many ways, I think risk tolerance is an incorrect...
by onthecusp
Fri Sep 06, 2019 12:00 pm
Forum: Non-US Investing
Topic: Keep new house unoccupied or let sibling mind it rent free? [ex-pat in UAE]
Replies: 31
Views: 2669

Re: Keep new house unoccupied or let sibling mind it rent free?b

A few years ago I was assigned overseas and we rented out our house to someone I knew from work. Fairly low rent to someone I knew, didn't want to leave it empty for 2 years and didn't want to sell either. The assignment was cut short and we moved back in about 6 months. Though my tenant left right ...
by onthecusp
Thu Sep 05, 2019 2:12 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Savings Percentage Calculation
Replies: 51
Views: 3102

Re: Savings Percentage Calculation

I blurted out both 50% and 25% in a recent thread. I was referring to "percent of after tax income" since I was referencing a savings rate versus future spending ability. But operating in actual dollars is much more useful. Get good with spreadsheets! :sharebeer
by onthecusp
Wed Sep 04, 2019 8:34 pm
Forum: Personal Investments
Topic: Middle Age people with low savings need to take on more investment risk than is normal?
Replies: 52
Views: 5764

Re: Middle Age people with low savings need to take on more investment risk than is normal?

It is hard to be much more specific than the good advice already given without more information such as expected social security and retirement spending expectations. Savings has to go way way up. A target of about half of income would allow a 48 year old to save enough to continue the same limited ...
by onthecusp
Wed Aug 28, 2019 8:24 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Pay off house before retirement or have available cash?
Replies: 84
Views: 6849

Re: Pay off house before retirement or have available cash?

Chopping up the original post to just a few things I think are key. Retirement is either 6 or 11 years off for me. If I dedicate most of my savings and continued earnings to paying off the house by the time I retire, I can probably do it, but my savings will be depleted... There is $500,000 left on ...
by onthecusp
Wed Aug 28, 2019 5:49 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Paying off 0% car loan early
Replies: 52
Views: 2575

Re: Paying off 0% car loan early

Pay it off if it lets you never take out a car loan again. Then you could get the 1000 back offer, or choose a less expensive car, however you can make that happen. I'm only half kidding, the other answers are correct financially. What you don't want is to get to where you decide to trade it in stil...
by onthecusp
Wed Aug 28, 2019 3:01 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Is medium/long term planning (>5 yrs) useless?
Replies: 20
Views: 1113

Re: Is medium/long term planning (>5 yrs) useless?

Beyond 5 years is more for broad goals. Detailed plans are for the next few weeks to years. If you are not too hung up on changing as you go, go ahead an make more detailed plans farther out. There is a vast fuzzy area in between. Some examples: When I was 12 I pretty much knew I wanted (goal) to ha...
by onthecusp
Fri Aug 23, 2019 11:25 am
Forum: US Chapters
Topic: Roll Call for the Retirement Class of 2020!
Replies: 39
Views: 4702

Re: Roll Call for the Retirement Class of 2020!

OK! I like that definition. :D
by onthecusp
Wed Aug 21, 2019 3:41 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Optional Life Insurance (through employer)?
Replies: 34
Views: 1423

Re: Optional Life Insurance (through employer)?

I've had my life insurance for about 20 years through a group rate offered through a professional (engineering) organization membership. I was a member anyway and the membership is not so expensive. Last I checked the rate was quite low compared to what I could find elsewhere. Now that I am getting ...
by onthecusp
Wed Aug 21, 2019 1:57 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Moving to Houston
Replies: 39
Views: 3719

Re: Moving to Houston

I live in eastern Pearland. Park and ride with a bus to downtown is a nice commute of about 45 minutes door to door mostly catching up on my phone. Rarely any wrecks in the HOV lane the busses use. To Montrose? Ugg. You could go downtown then light rail, but you have just gone from simplicity and re...
by onthecusp
Wed Aug 21, 2019 1:32 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Estimating social security in the future
Replies: 18
Views: 1325

Re: Estimating social security in the future

The forum doesn't permit speculation about future legislation, which your post seems to demand. In any case for someone who is a minimum of 30 years from claiming it's nothing but wild speculation anyway, regardless of legislation, due to unknown future earnings. My post doesn't demand anything. I ...
by onthecusp
Tue Aug 20, 2019 4:35 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: [What TV Show Have You Recently Watched?]
Replies: 1498
Views: 156642

Re: [What TV Show Have You Recently Watched?]

Watched season 2 of Abstentia, Amazon, generally good and fairly gripping, apart from the occasional implausibilities (her routinely beating up ex military combat specialists at more than twice her size) and the season ending surprise (wait...what?) moments. Watching season 2 of Dark. I really like...
by onthecusp
Tue Aug 20, 2019 4:07 pm
Forum: Personal Investments
Topic: Fidelity REITs
Replies: 13
Views: 1230

Re: Fidelity REITs

I also use FREL ETF in Fidelity. Not to suggest market timing, but it seems kind of high. I think the yield is about 3.5% though so that is good.
by onthecusp
Mon Aug 19, 2019 5:44 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: How are you finding "no cost" refis?
Replies: 20
Views: 2367

Re: How are you finding "no cost" refis?

I've found them with a mortgage broker or by asking Citi, Wells Fargo, local credit union. To me financing the closing costs make comparison hard, but I understand it could make sense for someone with little cash available. My default for comparison is a low cost (pay no points) loan so the fees are...
by onthecusp
Mon Aug 19, 2019 1:27 pm
Forum: Personal Investments
Topic: My retirement plan is changing -- AGAIN!!
Replies: 21
Views: 2755

Re: My retirement plan is changing -- AGAIN!!

Want to add that the idea of a value tilt is not a universally agreed strategy. If you are still youngish maybe just the one VIGIX fund until you can branch out with an IRA or after tax investments.
by onthecusp
Mon Aug 19, 2019 1:23 pm
Forum: Personal Investments
Topic: My retirement plan is changing -- AGAIN!!
Replies: 21
Views: 2755

Re: My retirement plan is changing -- AGAIN!!

The VIGIX fund looks like the only really good choice. Large growth so it probably won't be hugely different from an S&P 500 fund. Good low expense ratio. (Thank oldcomputerguy for filling in the fund details.) LSVVX might be an option for a Value tilt without a terrible expense ratio. As mentioned ...
by onthecusp
Sat Aug 17, 2019 11:02 pm
Forum: US Chapters
Topic: Roll Call for the Retirement Class of 2020!
Replies: 39
Views: 4702

Re: Roll Call for the Retirement Class of 2020!

After watching these threads for a couple of years I've made a decision. April 3, 2020 is the plan. Tired of the megacorp culture all the time. I had hoped to make the jump this year, after one more year I'm certain we can make it work now. A little more in savings, a little more understanding of wh...
by onthecusp
Thu Aug 15, 2019 9:44 am
Forum: Personal Investments
Topic: Three fund portfolio
Replies: 13
Views: 1604

Re: Three fund portfolio

Stocks are bad because they are so high, but good because of the recent drop. International stocks are bad because world wide recession fears, but good because the dollar is high so you are buying them cheap. Bonds are bad because rates are low, but good because rates may be going lower (increasing ...
by onthecusp
Tue Aug 13, 2019 11:07 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Family Practice going member only Pros & Cons?
Replies: 53
Views: 3364

Re: Family Practice going member only Pros & Cons?

My doc tried this a few years ago. Didn't get enough takers and cancelled the plan, he finally went into administration at the hospital next door. He was a good doctor, miss him but he moved on. I have a good doctor now but her support staff sucks. PA never answers her phone. Answering machine messa...
by onthecusp
Tue Aug 13, 2019 12:56 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Personal Hearing Devices (not Hearing Aids)
Replies: 8
Views: 733

Re: Personal Hearing Devices (not Hearing Aids)

Buy em. If they help, you are better off than doing nothing. If you have moderate loss and want to fiddle with frequency settings you might get 90% of the benefit with 20% of the price. I have Costco sourced HAids and they work for me. I have fairly moderate hearing loss but the idea that my defaul...
by onthecusp
Tue Aug 13, 2019 9:53 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Personal Hearing Devices (not Hearing Aids)
Replies: 8
Views: 733

Re: Personal Hearing Devices (not Hearing Aids)

Buy em. If they help, you are better off than doing nothing. If you have moderate loss and want to fiddle with frequency settings you might get 90% of the benefit with 20% of the price. I have Costco sourced HAids and they work for me. I have fairly moderate hearing loss but the idea that my default...
by onthecusp
Mon Aug 12, 2019 4:46 pm
Forum: Personal Investments
Topic: Should Bonds be removed from Asset Allocation
Replies: 49
Views: 3577

Re: Should Bonds be removed from Asset Allocation

What is going on now that is making you rethink your asset allocation plan? Maybe the fact that the bond bubble has reached absurd levels?? If this bond bubble is absurd then what do you think about all the other nations with negative interest rates? Exactly this. If our rates move from absurdly lo...
by onthecusp
Mon Aug 12, 2019 4:05 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: threshold for paying debt
Replies: 41
Views: 2782

Re: threshold for paying debt

I think it's about more than interest rates, to be honest. For instance, I have student loans/car loans right now. Even though one of my student loans is at a higher interest rate, extra money is going towards a really low interest car loan. Why? Because my minimum payment on that is by far the mos...
by onthecusp
Mon Aug 12, 2019 10:43 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Are you a "solo ager?"
Replies: 133
Views: 17896

Re: Are you a "solo ager?"

123 wrote:
Sat Aug 10, 2019 12:28 am
Dude2 wrote:
Fri Aug 09, 2019 8:42 am
Alexa will always be there for me.
As long as you can remember her name.
Alexa has been asking us if we want to use "Brief Mode" so I guess she does not want to talk to us anymore either. :(
by onthecusp
Thu Aug 08, 2019 3:13 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Real Estate Negotiation Came to a Halt
Replies: 67
Views: 5186

Re: Real Estate Negotiation Came to a Halt

The buyer is negotiating off of their own anchor point but it is just not worth that with the complete lack of other interest. You do not need to keep going up, the other way is ok too. Give them a reason for the reduced offer that they can respond to, like uncertainty over them being able to close ...
by onthecusp
Wed Aug 07, 2019 2:59 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Pocket protector recommendations
Replies: 21
Views: 2332

Re: Pocket protector recommendations

Carrying slide rules around?! What's next; phones??? :mrgreen:
by onthecusp
Mon Aug 05, 2019 3:04 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Using Damprid with metal objects
Replies: 8
Views: 868

Re: Using Damprid with metal objects

There are desiccant packs made for safes, designed to be "recharged" in the oven. They turn color so you can monitor their useful life. Here is an example. I would have bought this for my own safe if I had seen it. You could buy two or more if your closet is bigger. https://www.theruststore.com/750-...
by onthecusp
Mon Aug 05, 2019 2:25 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Australia Trip - 2021
Replies: 25
Views: 1683

Re: Australia Trip - 2021

We took a bus round trip from Alice Springs Airport to Uluru, stayed overnight at the resort and back the next day. Might be a nice break from driving if the rest of the trip is going to be self drive. There are other activities worth a two or three nights stay if you have the time.
by onthecusp
Mon Aug 05, 2019 12:56 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Should I pay off my Mortgage (yes, another)
Replies: 19
Views: 1930

Re: Should I pay off my Mortgage (yes, another)

I dont believe paying down a portion of my mortgage would help me sleep at night, so splitting it between taxable and mortgage I dont believe would help much. On the flip side, would I be staying awake at night worrying about my taxable account being depleted by $200k? Just to focus on this, I felt...
by onthecusp
Sun Aug 04, 2019 10:05 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: A most curious question ... [What is target % of net income needed for retirement?]
Replies: 27
Views: 2957

Re: A most curious question ... [What is target % of net income needed for retirement?]

I would look at expenses and not income. Based on the OP full post, it seems clear that he is asking about the percentage of income that NEEDED TO BE SAVED for retirement, rather than how much income would be needed in retirement. Ralph You can't know how much to save without knowing expenses. Expe...
by onthecusp
Sun Aug 04, 2019 9:47 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Is our spending crazy?
Replies: 111
Views: 7351

Re: Is our spending crazy?

If it is making you work hours and feel stress that drive you crazy, then: yes, your spending is crazy. If you are happy with your career, saving sufficiently for your goals, then: no, your spending is not crazy. If this isn't the lifestyle you want to live, talk to your wife about your financial a...
by onthecusp
Sun Aug 04, 2019 3:37 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Dentist: Is this acceptable?
Replies: 63
Views: 5026

Re: Dentist: Is this acceptable?

Dentist here: I wouldn’t worry too much. Ideally a patient will have an exam done every six months. However, sometimes dentists are out of town, sick, etc. In Texas, it is allowed to have hygienist clean teeth with no dentist present. However, in Texas A hygienist isn’t supposed to clean teeth with...