Search found 2944 matches

by psteinx
Thu Apr 25, 2019 11:52 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Who is buying 1-3 year old used Toyotas and Hondas?
Replies: 78
Views: 7143

Re: Who is buying 1-3 year old used Toyotas and Hondas?

xenochrony wrote:
Thu Apr 25, 2019 6:44 pm
Mileage at purchase was 35000, reasonable life expectancy for a well cared for Fit can be >300,000 and that sir, is my plan.
If you plan to drive it to 300K+ miles, why not buy it 6/8/10 years old, with much more mileage, at a presumably smaller fraction of the price of new?
by psteinx
Thu Apr 25, 2019 6:22 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Who is buying 1-3 year old used Toyotas and Hondas?
Replies: 78
Views: 7143

Re: Who is buying 1-3 year old used Toyotas and Hondas?

Interesting thread. I've had quite a different experience than many of the posters in this thread. I purchased a 4 year old CPO Honda Fit M/T 35% BELOW the price of an equivalent new Honda Fit. In my opinion, that was a huge discount over new, (the latter, which was well outside my budget). I am no...
by psteinx
Wed Apr 24, 2019 12:56 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: New Car: Ever make sense to lease?
Replies: 147
Views: 18149

Re: New Car: Ever make sense to lease?

- Lots of talk about how a lease is rarely a better financial decision than buying. I'm willing to agree to that. But just *how much* of a bad financial decision is it? In the three pages of replies here, there wasn't much talk about that. Are we saying $50/month "wasted"? $100/month? Do all of you...
by psteinx
Tue Apr 23, 2019 5:27 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Foreign property/family issue
Replies: 31
Views: 1474

Re: Foreign property/family issue

This is not only a money issue, but a money and relationships and family and love and so on issue. Hard to fully disentangle everything, and you know the nuances better than us here on the forums. I'll repeat my suggestion: Getting a basically neutral outside party involved might be useful, because ...
by psteinx
Tue Apr 23, 2019 3:02 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Foreign property/family issue
Replies: 31
Views: 1474

Re: Foreign property/family issue

We won't be providing financial support if they run out of money, and if that happens then they'll be living off $25k/year SS. (We would provide support for necessities at least, but I'd rather take a hard line when talking to them.) [snip] My wife and I would be willing to chip in some money into ...
by psteinx
Mon Apr 22, 2019 1:23 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Foreign property/family issue
Replies: 31
Views: 1474

Re: Foreign property/family issue

I definitely agree they should be spending SS + 4% of nest egg, no more, I'm just not sure the best way to get them there, if it's even possible. This board is generally sold on 4% SWR. I'm sort of ambivalent about this - there's a lot of situational stuff that affects it. Your in-law's case is com...
by psteinx
Mon Apr 22, 2019 1:19 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Foreign property/family issue
Replies: 31
Views: 1474

Re: Foreign property/family issue

OK, so to try to recapitulate/summarize: * Prosperous mid 30s California couple (~$450K gross income, saving 45% of gross, or about $200K/year), with $2M net worth. But kid on the way could perhaps slow income/add costs. * Wife's parents (Dad mid 60s, wife ???) in financial decline, with high spendi...
by psteinx
Tue Apr 16, 2019 3:37 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Cashless warrant exercise - tax consequences?
Replies: 11
Views: 1580

Re: Cashless warrant exercise - tax consequences?

I am bumping this old thread for visibility. I'm still interested in an answer here. My internet research did not, IIRC, produce a clear answer.
by psteinx
Tue Apr 16, 2019 3:35 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: 1099 Interest on savings bond for kid
Replies: 3
Views: 309

1099 Interest on savings bond for kid

In 2018, we cashed in a number of savings bonds, with a small total aggregate value (low hundreds), for our 3 kids. I believe the resulting sums went into their bank/investment accounts. The savings bonds were, IIRC, mostly jointly titled in the standard fashion (I forget the exact phrasing) for a p...
by psteinx
Tue Apr 16, 2019 3:22 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Basis for shares received as gift a long time ago?
Replies: 4
Views: 367

Basis for shares received as gift a long time ago?

My wife has some shares of GE received as a gift (not an inheritance) from her parent(s) in 1998, I think. They have been with ComputerShare, and the dividends were DRIP'ed into more shares. I/we have kept fairly good records since the time of receipt, and I think we have relatively solid basis figu...
by psteinx
Thu Apr 11, 2019 10:15 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Add more value to undergrad application during high school
Replies: 42
Views: 2081

Re: Add more value to undergrad application during high school

A subject of significant recent interest to myself: I have one kid who's now a college freshman, one a HS senior, and the other in 8th grade. We've been through the application/admission process for the two oldest, and are keeping an eye on things for the youngest. I tried to educate myself on the a...
by psteinx
Thu Apr 04, 2019 11:38 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Submitting Backup Offer on Home
Replies: 35
Views: 2356

Re: Submitting Backup Offer on Home

I'm not sure of the legal ramifications of making a "backup offer". I'd be wary of incurring any sort of legal obligation in this situation, as it could be relatively open-ended. i.e. Do you really want to be (legally) committed to this house, 80 days from now, if the primary offer falls through? Do...
by psteinx
Thu Apr 04, 2019 12:23 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: 4 days in Munich, Germany
Replies: 28
Views: 1584

Re: 4 days in Munich, Germany

We hit Rothenburg-Munich-Neuschwanstein on the last leg of a European trip last summer, with 3 kids (ages, then, 13, 17, 18). I've done Salzburg separately, a long time ago. We had a rental vehicle for our trip - didn't need to worry about trains. I like Rothenburg. Neat city. Worth a long detour fr...
by psteinx
Tue Mar 26, 2019 3:46 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: My wife's 2016 Mazda CX-5 lease is up. Now what?
Replies: 37
Views: 2662

Re: My wife's 2016 Mazda CX-5 lease is up. Now what?

Virtually every vehicle maker has one or more entries in this general category (small/mid CUV/SUV). Just test driving them all would take a lot of time. Price will narrow things somewhat, as will, perhaps, preferences in looks and certain features. But if you've got a dealers' row nearby, she can pr...
by psteinx
Tue Mar 26, 2019 12:54 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: SW USA vacation spots w/teens. Scottsdale->Grand Canyon->Eastward (Santa Fe?)
Replies: 32
Views: 1639

Re: SW USA vacation spots w/teens (Las Vegas->Grand Canyon->Scottsdale)

OK, so a change of plans. Original trip to AZ in mid-March cancelled. (Flight cancellation, rebooking options bad.) Now thinking late May/early June, with 5 of us (rather than 4 before, adding my oldest daughter to the mix), and coordinating with the need to drop my oldest daughter off in a small to...
by psteinx
Fri Mar 22, 2019 11:35 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Lawnmower(s)
Replies: 43
Views: 2968

Lawnmower(s)

Have a house in the 'burbs with medium sized lawn. Takes ~30-40 min to cut. Quite hilly, somewhat rocky, uneven, lots of corners and things to negotiate. Current mower is gas powered, self-propelled, dating to ~2007. Lawn mostly mowed by my 17 y.o. son, but I do it occasionally, and will likely rein...
by psteinx
Fri Mar 15, 2019 12:21 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Tax refund if taxes withheld but no return filed (under threshold)?
Replies: 8
Views: 423

Re: Tax refund if taxes withheld but no return filed (under threshold)?

Thanks.

And for what it's worth, I should have added that there's a small amount of state withholdings in question too. I don't think she has to file in our state, but I'm guessing she'll want to, to get a refund. Hopefully it's over any threshold for the state to send any refund back.
by psteinx
Fri Mar 15, 2019 12:09 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Tax refund if taxes withheld but no return filed (under threshold)?
Replies: 8
Views: 423

Tax refund if taxes withheld but no return filed (under threshold)?

One of my kids earned W-2 wages, with a bit of fed and state taxes withheld, but I think does not *need* to file federal taxes (under the relevant thresholds).

Am I correct to assume that the only way to get the withheld federal taxes back is to actually do the return anyways?
by psteinx
Wed Mar 13, 2019 11:54 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Should I give more money to a family member?
Replies: 107
Views: 6337

Re: Should I give more money to a family member?

As others have stated, it's a bit complicated, and there's reason to suspect that the story as relayed is not 100% complete. I am not a lawyer, but a valid written will (as apparently existed) should govern the direct inheritance. It should be settled promptly. It's not clear how much here was forma...
by psteinx
Wed Mar 13, 2019 11:15 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Buy New Car Now or Wait End of Lease?
Replies: 11
Views: 949

Re: Buy New Car Now or Wait End of Lease?

The outback lease has 16 months to go, at $360/mo, so ~$5760 remaining. You say you could trade it in at a $2-3K loss, but is that assuming you trade at the place you're leasing from? If so, it's likely a concessionary trade of some sort, where they're making a bigger profit somewhere else - for exa...
by psteinx
Mon Mar 11, 2019 3:07 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Are academic enrichment courses for school age kids worth it
Replies: 61
Views: 3136

Re: Are academic enrichment courses for school age kids worth it

I have a daughter (second grade) who hates reading. She is good at it but doesn't enjoy it. What should I do to change her dislike of reading into a love of reading? The answer is there is nothing I can do. She knows what reading is, and she is old enough to decide what she does or does not like. S...
by psteinx
Fri Mar 08, 2019 4:12 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Should I just buy the townhouse I'm currently renting
Replies: 33
Views: 2887

Re: Should I just buy the townhouse I'm currently renting

So, a few things are different about your decision versus a more typical rent/buy decision, due to the fact that you already live there and are apparently pleased with the place: 1) No extra cost to move your stuff, versus the possibility that if you DON'T buy this place, someone else will buy it an...
by psteinx
Thu Feb 28, 2019 3:14 pm
Forum: Personal Investments
Topic: Is it hard to capture tiny profits trading if you are not greedy?
Replies: 21
Views: 1502

Re: Is it hard to capture tiny profits trading if you are not greedy?

This approach has some similarities to a Martingale approach at conventional (Vegas style) gambling. In a Martingale, you bet 1 unit on a game that is close to 50/50 (roulette say), then, if you lose, double the bet (i.e. another bet of 2). If you win that bet, you're net +1. If you lose, you bet 4 ...
by psteinx
Thu Feb 28, 2019 12:53 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Buying a house as a medical student
Replies: 23
Views: 1041

Re: Buying a house as a medical student

Seems like a shame to potentially dump 8-9 years of rent down the toilet Renting is NOT throwing money down the toilet. You're paying for a service. Buying is not really getting that service for free. You're committing capital and/or paying interest, plus other expenses like maintenance, taxes, ins...
by psteinx
Tue Feb 26, 2019 1:50 pm
Forum: Personal Investments
Topic: Helping Grandpa
Replies: 6
Views: 1403

Re: Helping Grandpa

1) I don't have much insight into the annuities, but suspect that the first responder is basically right - that while these are pricey products and were perhaps not great buys at the time, it's not clear that selling them now would be helpful. In particular, doing so without fully understanding them...
by psteinx
Thu Feb 07, 2019 12:16 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: SW USA vacation spots w/teens. Scottsdale->Grand Canyon->Eastward (Santa Fe?)
Replies: 32
Views: 1639

Re: SW USA vacation spots w/teens (Grand Canyon, Santa Fe, ???)

OK, narrowing things down a bit further: I think I'm focusing on Northern Arizona. Specifically, flying into Las Vegas, spending a night there, then driving out the next day, possibly doing a Hoover Dam tour, then spending a few days around the Grand Canyon/Williams/Flagstaff/Sedona area, before dri...
by psteinx
Tue Feb 05, 2019 12:03 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: SW USA vacation spots w/teens. Scottsdale->Grand Canyon->Eastward (Santa Fe?)
Replies: 32
Views: 1639

Re: SW USA vacation spots w/teens (Grand Canyon, Santa Fe, ???)

Thanks all for the input. This gives me some stuff to look into. Probably will confine things a bit more geographically...
by psteinx
Mon Feb 04, 2019 1:34 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: SW USA vacation spots w/teens. Scottsdale->Grand Canyon->Eastward (Santa Fe?)
Replies: 32
Views: 1639

SW USA vacation spots w/teens. Scottsdale->Grand Canyon->Eastward (Santa Fe?)

RE-EDITED (3/26/2019): Plans changing - time window now late May/early June. Now thinking flight out, driving return back, from Scottsdale to Flagstaff/G.C. area to Santa Fe to north of Dallas to St. Louis 'burbs. Mainly looking for thoughts on possible interesting waypoint(s) from Flagstaff to Dal...
by psteinx
Tue Jan 29, 2019 11:46 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: All inclusive resort with 9 year old?
Replies: 16
Views: 2140

Re: All inclusive resort with 9 year old?

Atlantis in the Bahamas was really nice when we went there (without kids at the time) about 20 years ago. I looked into it a year or two back - it's pretty pricey. But perhaps worth looking into, especially if your finances are strong and you're in the Eastern half or so of the US.
by psteinx
Thu Jan 24, 2019 1:34 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: New job, sales at Subaru
Replies: 72
Views: 9705

Re: New job, sales at Subaru

Some thoughts: (I've never sold cars, so take this with a grain of salt). 1) A few posters in here are saying something like: Use this approach, use *that* approach, it's what I prefer. But different customers have different preferences. So I would focus on learning to read people and preferences, a...
by psteinx
Fri Jan 18, 2019 12:01 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: 529 Details
Replies: 28
Views: 2070

529 Details

A bunch of 529 Qs below that may be at least slightly obscure: Background - Missouri family, with accounts in Missouri MOST 529 program for our 3 kids. Oldest currently in college, and others on the way, hopefully. One issue is that, as college plans sharpen, the total amounts needed are shifting, b...
by psteinx
Thu Jan 10, 2019 1:31 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: 5 days. What to do in Las Vegas and Grand Canyon
Replies: 48
Views: 2723

Re: 5 days. What to do in Las Vegas and Grand Canyon

If you're coming from Phoenix, consider the musical instruments museum in Scottsdale (depending on your kids' ages and your family's interests...)
by psteinx
Fri Jan 04, 2019 5:54 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: 11 days in Europe...Budget and logistical advice please
Replies: 90
Views: 4904

Re: 11 days in Europe...Budget and logistical advice please

We did something like 9-10 days in Europe, last summer (late July/early August), with our family of 5 (2 parents + 3 teens). You can probably find one or more threads in which I asked for advice on various related topics. Some quick observations. 1) Contrary to some advice, we DID hit multiple citie...
by psteinx
Fri Jan 04, 2019 5:42 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Paying (paper) cash for daily transactions
Replies: 83
Views: 3838

Paying (paper) cash for daily transactions

A quick thread drawing on a few observations/minor complaints: 1) I like to use cash for most transactions < $40 or so. In particular, this includes quick service food, coffee and the like. I like this because in GENERAL it's faster than a CC, it kind of helps frame my spending, mentally, and maybe ...
by psteinx
Fri Jan 04, 2019 3:55 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: TV antennas...
Replies: 35
Views: 2752

Re: TV antennas...

Hmm, lots of folks suggesting antenna in the attic. That may be a route I follow, but is more complex (getting the signal to where the TVs are). If I just wanted localized solutions (i.e. at/near the point of the TVs), is there anything likely to produce a big improvement over ~6' rabbit ear type so...
by psteinx
Fri Jan 04, 2019 2:25 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: TV antennas...
Replies: 35
Views: 2752

TV antennas...

So, we do have cable for our TVs (though one is not connected), but I'd prefer to have antenna(s), too, for redundancy and a few other issues. We live in a 2 story house, on a hill, with a mostly finished basement (two of our TVs are down there.) There are a lot of stations within reasonable distanc...
by psteinx
Fri Jan 04, 2019 2:15 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Which Compact SUV Should I Buy?
Replies: 211
Views: 13314

Re: Which Compact SUV Should I Buy?

As has been pointed out, new tires shouldn't be as much as you were thinking, and a good cleaning and/or some ding repairs and the like can spruce up what you have and maybe satisfy your new car fever for a bit. I test drove an XC-40 circa last August. I liked it, but at the time, they were pretty n...
by psteinx
Wed Dec 19, 2018 1:43 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Buyer's Remorse on purchasing a Mercedes
Replies: 82
Views: 6959

Re: Buyer's Remorse on purchasing a Mercedes

That's the biggest thing. I feel bad, but he says the price is insignificant and to not be bothered by it. Also, he says "not to be bothered by it", but you "feel bad" and have created a thread on a financial forum titled "Buyer's Remorse on purchasing a Mercedes". It appears you DO feel bad about ...
by psteinx
Wed Dec 19, 2018 1:40 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Buyer's Remorse on purchasing a Mercedes
Replies: 82
Views: 6959

Re: Buyer's Remorse on purchasing a Mercedes

On the one hand: That's the biggest thing. I feel bad, but he says the price is insignificant and to not be bothered by it. On the other hand: My parents and I aren't doing too well financially (high salary but debt from bad financial decisions, student debt) and I just started working If you truly ...
by psteinx
Tue Dec 18, 2018 6:25 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Interior repaint frequency?
Replies: 17
Views: 1450

Re: Interior repaint frequency?

And yeah, I realize it's a subjective thing. But sometimes you wonder if you're the old crank who lets everything deteriorate while others are updating/refreshing/repainting much more frequently. And, as I alluded to in the OP, a quick perusal of some painters' sites suggests what seem to me too fre...
by psteinx
Tue Dec 18, 2018 6:22 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Interior repaint frequency?
Replies: 17
Views: 1450

Re: Interior repaint frequency?

Non-smokers. Light colors - mostly whites and off-whites. Not too much greasy/smoky food. I just did some touch-up painting in the kitchen (partly inspiring my recent kitchen remodel thread, elsewhere on this forum). Our kitchen probably sees the most frequent need for painting/touch-up.
by psteinx
Tue Dec 18, 2018 6:13 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Interior repaint frequency?
Replies: 17
Views: 1450

Interior repaint frequency?

What's typical for the frequency of general interior repainting? I'm talking about full repaints, not touch-ups, and repaints just due to general accumulation of issues on the surface (i.e. not necessarily a color change or in conjunction with a broader project that messed up the walls). I poked aro...
by psteinx
Tue Dec 18, 2018 6:08 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Kitchen refresh/remodel ideas
Replies: 36
Views: 2582

Re: Kitchen refresh/remodel ideas

How well do stone and stone-like countertops (granite, quartz, etc.) hold up after 10-20 years?
by psteinx
Tue Dec 18, 2018 6:07 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Kitchen refresh/remodel ideas
Replies: 36
Views: 2582

Re: Kitchen refresh/remodel ideas

The kitchen is a bit over 22 years old. Not 30. Feels profligate to waste a reasonably functional kitchen for looking/feeling a bit tired. Also, I worry that replacing cabinets would mean replacing flooring, because any tweaks to lower cabinet layout, or even perhaps small sizing differences in new ...
by psteinx
Tue Dec 18, 2018 2:56 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: When has being frugal or cheaping out bit you in the rear?
Replies: 109
Views: 8392

Re: When has being frugal or cheaping out bit you in the rear?

The "tires 'til they pop" story encouraged me to post this: I'm ~22 years old, about to drive ~800 miles home from college (I think it was after graduation). One of the tires on my cheap car is so badly worn that bits of metal are showing through (I assume the steel belt or something?) Should I addr...
by psteinx
Tue Dec 18, 2018 2:35 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Kitchen refresh/remodel ideas
Replies: 36
Views: 2582

Kitchen refresh/remodel ideas

TLDR - pondering both cheap and expensive ways to refresh a 90s kitchen. Major layout changes are not really in the cards (the kitchen is big enough). === Our house was built mid-90s. It's relatively large, but many of the finishes were fairly basic/cheap. The kitchen has laminate cabinets and count...
by psteinx
Tue Dec 18, 2018 2:13 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Paint adhesion issue (painted table)
Replies: 3
Views: 327

Paint adhesion issue (painted table)

We have a coffee table that was originally surfaced, I think, with a wood veneer with some sort of polish/finish (i.e. not painted). At some point we painted it. Not sure all the steps that have been done over the years and repaintings, but its basically a layer or two of primer, plus a layer or two...
by psteinx
Fri Dec 14, 2018 3:08 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: New England travel ideas, summer 2019
Replies: 29
Views: 1409

Re: New England travel ideas, summer 2019

To be clear: I'm thinking about ~2.5 days for Boston/Cambridge, PLUS perhaps 2-4 more days for area or areas near Boston or in New England generally...
by psteinx
Fri Dec 14, 2018 11:58 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: New England travel ideas, summer 2019
Replies: 29
Views: 1409

Re: New England travel ideas, summer 2019

Thanks for the advice all. Follow-ups. IIRC, we're already booked Wed night through Sat night at a location in Boston or Cambridge. Plan on spending Wedn afternoon, Thurs, Frid exploring Boston, Saturday at wedding and related activities. (So, ~2.5 days for Boston itself). Was just kicking around id...
by psteinx
Thu Dec 13, 2018 4:09 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: New England travel ideas, summer 2019
Replies: 29
Views: 1409

New England travel ideas, summer 2019

Our family of 5 (spouse and I + 3 teens) will likely be in Boston area for a few days in late June, 2019. (Family wedding + a bit of extra time). My original thinking had been to just fly in to Boston area, spend a few days there, then return. But it's occurred to me that we could piggyback some oth...