Search found 2690 matches

by psteinx
Wed Feb 21, 2018 3:16 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Lawn care, especially bare, shaded spots
Replies: 14
Views: 678

Re: Lawn care, especially bare, shaded spots

Re: hardscaping Yes, adding more pavers and assorted hardscaping is a possibility, though wouldn't really work in some areas (would look rather out of place). I may have more extensive landscaping projects this year. We've also got a fairly large, relatively flat area that had been a playset area. T...
by psteinx
Wed Feb 21, 2018 3:13 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Lawn care, especially bare, shaded spots
Replies: 14
Views: 678

Re: Lawn care, especially bare, shaded spots

Re: ground cover. Two of the muddy spots are on either side of a couple of gates in the fence that allow access from the backyard to the front (on either side of the house). Ground cover plants would be awkward, as it's common to walk through these areas, and the gates themselves need to swing open.
by psteinx
Wed Feb 21, 2018 2:39 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Lawn care, especially bare, shaded spots
Replies: 14
Views: 678

Lawn care, especially bare, shaded spots

Preface: I'm looking for solutions that are approximately an intersection of low-ish cost, low hassle (minimal time), and decent end result (attractive, full lawn). I'm also not looking to get a PhD in lawn care, nor spend hours reading specialist forums. I'm saying this in part because specialty to...
by psteinx
Wed Feb 14, 2018 6:47 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Planning Using Nominal or Real Return
Replies: 13
Views: 663

Re: Planning Using Nominal or Real Return

1) You should generally use real returns. 2) I would assume that whoever said to assume 7% returns as fairly conservative and "safe" was talking about nominal returns 3) I would not personally assume that 7% nominal returns are particularly conservative, and especially not assume that they are safe....
by psteinx
Tue Feb 13, 2018 3:15 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Help me help my niece (College costs, financial aid, etc)
Replies: 41
Views: 2530

Re: Help me help my niece (College costs, financial aid, etc)

My oldest daughter had a major passion for art. Was supposedly considered by her art teachers as the best they'd seen, etc., "must go into art". This is/was at a decent sized, good quality suburban middle and high school, for what it's worth. She took AP Art in her junior year in HS, and the student...
by psteinx
Tue Feb 13, 2018 1:12 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Co-investment with parents and sibling jealosy [Home construction]
Replies: 22
Views: 2193

Re: Co-investment with parents and sibling jealosy

My wife and I live in a HCOL area in the United States. Her parents own a shoddy house nearby on a very nice lot and we have all been discussing tearing their house down and building a large multi-generational house (effectively two units) on their lot where all of us could live. In principle, if t...
by psteinx
Thu Feb 08, 2018 3:31 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Rental Sell or Keep Decision help
Replies: 9
Views: 562

Re: Rental Sell or Keep Decision help

You will have a basis in the condo. Determining what that basis actually is is a bit tricky. I can't remember the details - you'll probably want to research on your own. I'm not sure if the starting point is what you paid, or what its value was at the time you converted from personal use to rental. ...
by psteinx
Thu Feb 08, 2018 2:45 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Rental Sell or Keep Decision help
Replies: 9
Views: 562

Re: Rental Sell or Keep Decision help

Quick analysis: Value: 220K But, what you'd really realize, after fees, commissions, repairs, etc, is probably closer to 200K. You've been conservative and said 175K, but I think that may be too conservative. Net Income: ~$9600/year Is it fair to assume that your cost estimates (and thus net income ...
by psteinx
Mon Feb 05, 2018 8:32 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Can I extend a lease?
Replies: 7
Views: 694

Re: Can I extend a lease?

$139/month seems pretty cheap to me. Depends on the car of course, but possibly the OP paid a fair amount up front to get such a leasing deal or possibly the OP just got a really good deal or who knows? Seems reasonable for OP to contact the finance company if he/she is otherwise satisfied with the ...
by psteinx
Thu Feb 01, 2018 3:03 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: State (MO) tax deadline (for amended return) different from Fed?
Replies: 2
Views: 199

Re: State (MO) tax deadline (for amended return) different from Fed?

Thank you Mark. I will look this up and hopefully follow through successfully. The amount in question is a little over $900. Worth some effort but not a ton...
by psteinx
Wed Jan 31, 2018 6:51 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Finding a preparer for complex tax returns and consultation
Replies: 7
Views: 699

Re: Finding a preparer for complex tax returns and consultation

Bumping this thread... Was thinking about this more today. I'd love to find a preparer who would know the answer to 70%+ of my tricky questions without having to research, and who could and would do a solid job researching the remainder, for a reasonable price (say, that of a low to mid-end lawyer)....
by psteinx
Wed Jan 31, 2018 12:39 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: State (MO) tax deadline (for amended return) different from Fed?
Replies: 2
Views: 199

State (MO) tax deadline (for amended return) different from Fed?

So I/we filed a couple of amended state (Missouri) returns this past fall (for issues only on the state side - not in conjunction with Fed amended return filings) for relatively modest refunds (hundreds of dollars in each case). One was for tax year 2013, the other for tax year 2015. In both years, ...
by psteinx
Wed Jan 31, 2018 11:13 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: New or used vehicle for new graduate with job?
Replies: 31
Views: 1363

Re: New or used vehicle for new graduate with job?

Could this a situation where the boglehead decision may be to buy new? Is there a logical way to compare from an economic point of view? Either way, he plans on keeping the car for a long time. Also, any recommendations if this is the best time to buy for deals or should he wait until closer to May...
by psteinx
Wed Jan 31, 2018 12:07 am
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Buy a house? But there's a student loan elephant in the room
Replies: 65
Views: 5888

Re: Buy a house? But there's a student loan elephant in the room

March 3, 2017: OP's student debt: $339K Her student debt: $324K Used car debt: $15K Overall (listed) debt: $678K Emergency fund: $20K Total position of the above: $658K in the hole === January 30, 2018: OP's student debt: $270K Her student debt: $260K Used car debt: gone Overall (listed) debt: $530K...
by psteinx
Mon Jan 29, 2018 3:32 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Neighbor recently burglarized- Suggestions for home security
Replies: 83
Views: 6641

Re: Neighbor recently burgalerized - Suggestions for home security

Re: Anti-break film How easy is this to self-install? Does it change the appearance of the glass in any noticeable way? I'd be interested in this primarily for some sidelight windows next to a main door. I would like to reduce the chances of a "break sidelight, reach around to unlock door" approach...
by psteinx
Thu Jan 25, 2018 12:49 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: What steps should my sister and I go through to claim our inheritance?
Replies: 21
Views: 2725

Re: What steps should my sister and I go through to claim our inheritance?

In addition to legal issues, rights, or lack thereof, you may consider personal connections/relationships. i.e. Even if you find you have no legal claims on the relevant items, the stepmother's heirs may gift you certain items, particularly if they are truly personal. That said, I would think this w...
by psteinx
Wed Jan 24, 2018 6:07 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Lawn service etiquette
Replies: 36
Views: 3748

Re: Lawn service etiquette

Re: Price differentials mentioned in this thread. Keep in mind that yard/property sizes, and maintenance norms, vary ENORMOUSLY across areas of the country, and even within areas. Somebody who even has a lawn in Phoenix probably has a relatively small one, whereas average lawn sizes for an upper mid...
by psteinx
Tue Jan 23, 2018 1:27 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Lawn service etiquette
Replies: 36
Views: 3748

Re: Lawn service etiquette

To more directly address OP: They are generally fantastic... We continued service from the previous owners (who were much older and likely incapable of doing much yardwork) initially just because it took us a while to move in and we wanted to make sure we didn't pass off the neighbors/HOA before eve...
by psteinx
Tue Jan 23, 2018 1:19 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Lawn service etiquette
Replies: 36
Views: 3748

Re: Lawn service etiquette

PS. Last Wednesday my yard guy came over and fertilized the whole back yard and all the shrubs and trees. He trimmed several plants and shrubs. He mowed the lawn and raked up all the clipping and blew all the leaves out front and hauled away all the clippings and leaves. It took him 2+ hours with t...
by psteinx
Mon Jan 22, 2018 10:03 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Should I buy a business or suck it up at a job(s) with a pension.
Replies: 82
Views: 5944

Re: Should I buy a business or suck it up at a job(s) with a pension.

One more thing to think about, that, again, may have been previously addressed... Is the pension income, insurance benefits, etc., joint survivor? i.e. Your wife is ~4 years younger than you, and probably has a significantly longer life expectancy than you. To the extent that benefits continue for h...
by psteinx
Mon Jan 22, 2018 4:44 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Should I buy a business or suck it up at a job(s) with a pension.
Replies: 82
Views: 5944

Re: Should I buy a business or suck it up at a job(s) with a pension.

It's a little hard to say without a full analysis of the extra benefits accrued with more years on the job. I mostly read the first post so if that was detailed later, I've missed it. Were I in your shoes, I might approach it like this: Compare benefits (extra pension, medical, etc.) accrued at vari...
by psteinx
Wed Jan 17, 2018 10:26 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Vanguard Advisor Bullied Me
Replies: 32
Views: 4851

Re: Vanguard Advisor Bullied Me

OK, so let's take this piece by piece, and be gentle on the first time poster: I am new to investing via a brokerage account. Previously I had only an employer-sponsored IRA. I had been managing my own holdings in the IRA and averaged an 11% return. OK, fair 'nuff. But can you clarify a bit for the ...
by psteinx
Wed Jan 17, 2018 3:25 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: What to adjust now if not leaving a legacy?
Replies: 10
Views: 825

Re: What to adjust now if not leaving a legacy?

I agree with rmelvey. SPIAs are relatively more attractive to those who don't want/plan to leave a legacy. That doesn't mean the non-legacy leaver should be 100% SPIA, nor that the legacy leaver should be 0% SPIA, but it does shift the attractiveness somewhat, in my opinion...
by psteinx
Fri Jan 12, 2018 4:10 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Negotiate lease payoff?
Replies: 3
Views: 297

Re: Negotiate lease payoff?

Check out this very recent thread, very close to what you're asking about:

viewtopic.php?f=11&t=237222&p=3713109#p3707289
by psteinx
Thu Jan 11, 2018 5:56 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Finding a preparer for complex tax returns and consultation
Replies: 7
Views: 699

Finding a preparer for complex tax returns and consultation

We have complex tax returns with a variety of complications and potential tax gotchas, mainly related to investment returns of various sorts. PFIC, sales/redemptions of covered and uncovered stock and muni bonds, AMT, phaseouts and extra schedules for lots of things, etc. I stopped using a CPA sever...
by psteinx
Thu Jan 11, 2018 5:24 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Individual investors, possible structural advantages
Replies: 10
Views: 758

Re: Individual investors, possible structural advantages

For munis, you're saying that institutions can't compete with those individuals who like to value munis as a hobby? Choosing to value your time at zero doesn't represent a structural advantage. And I'm not even convinced it's true. And you've explained the advantage of holding individual stocks com...
by psteinx
Thu Jan 11, 2018 5:08 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Individual investors, possible structural advantages
Replies: 10
Views: 758

Re: Individual investors, possible structural advantages

Not to dive too deep, but to expand a little on #2 (munis) and #9 (individual stocks). Munis: There's already a tailwind for an individual, in certain states, because they avoid even the cheap (but non-zero) ER of a Vanguard national muni fund, and they can buy issues for their specific state (savin...
by psteinx
Thu Jan 11, 2018 4:59 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: 529 Questions
Replies: 1
Views: 211

529 Questions

Some 529 Questions: 1) Assume one wants to allow 529 money to grow, tax-deferred, as long as possible, and that, where the 529 won't fully cover relevant 4 year costs, that the first year or two are paid out of pocket. But then, perhaps, one may realize further down the line that there's more 529 mo...
by psteinx
Thu Jan 11, 2018 4:16 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: State tax credits that can be bought/traded
Replies: 11
Views: 1563

Re: State tax credits that can be bought/traded

Bumping this again: Can anyone point to clear IRS guidance (in a publication or elsewhere) on how a purchased state tax credit interacts with Schedule A? Is the credit or its purchase price deductible, federally? Does anyone have and care to share further experiences (including pricing and availabil...
by psteinx
Thu Jan 11, 2018 3:38 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Individual investors, possible structural advantages
Replies: 10
Views: 758

Individual investors, possible structural advantages

TLDR - I propose a list of areas (below) where individual investors may be able to outperform a 3-fund portfolio due to certain structural issues. For those who are interested in, possibly, doing a little bit better than a standard, simple portfolio (at the likely cost of extra time and effort), I ...
by psteinx
Thu Jan 11, 2018 12:31 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Which Car To Keep
Replies: 25
Views: 1454

Re: Which Car To Keep

For many years, our family of 5 had only a minivan and a convertible that seats 4. Assuming the primary family hauler is fairly reliable (i.e. a *new* minivan), I think it's ok for the secondary vehicle to not be able to seat everyone.
by psteinx
Wed Jan 10, 2018 4:15 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Cars in college
Replies: 33
Views: 1536

Re: Cars in college

Right now we have 3 vehicles for 4 drivers.
by psteinx
Wed Jan 10, 2018 2:17 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Cars in college
Replies: 33
Views: 1536

Cars in college

Trying to plan a bit for the years ahead. Currently have 2 HS drivers, one going to college next fall, the other the following fall, with a 3rd kid reaching driving age in a few years. Trying to estimate who will need/want cars, when. FWIW, we're in the St. Louis suburbs, with very weak public trans...
by psteinx
Tue Jan 09, 2018 8:36 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Low mileage, but old, used car (service and reliabilty)
Replies: 20
Views: 1178

Re: Low mileage, but old, used car (service and reliabilty)

OK that sounds a little weird because I *know* the headlights aren't illuminating as they should be. But I guess I'm wondering if it's an aiming issue or the issue outlined (far) above, in which case replacement headlights would likely be a major improvement.
by psteinx
Tue Jan 09, 2018 8:35 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Low mileage, but old, used car (service and reliabilty)
Replies: 20
Views: 1178

Re: Low mileage, but old, used car (service and reliabilty)

2. Most people here are flat out wrong on the headlights. The outside plastic oxidizes plain and simple. My 2004 Saab headlights looked like milk glass...get a nice headlight restoration kit with sandpaper (like that from 3M) and spend a few hours with a powerdrill to sand off all the oxidated gunk...
by psteinx
Tue Jan 09, 2018 3:30 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Low mileage, but old, used car (service and reliabilty)
Replies: 20
Views: 1178

Re: Low mileage, but old, used car (service and reliabilty)

Thanks for the tip(s) on the headlights. Yes, they are daytime running lights. It's hard for me to just look at them (on or off), and tell if there's a problem, but now I'm inclined to pre-emptively replace the entire housings. FWIW, I've tried to self check the aim before and I thought it was OK, b...
by psteinx
Tue Jan 09, 2018 3:19 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Low mileage, but old, used car (service and reliabilty)
Replies: 20
Views: 1178

Re: Low mileage, but old, used car (service and reliabilty)

Re: the headlights. The plastic housing is still quite clear - not the yellow/cloudy you see on some old cars. And, IIRC, I replaced all the bulbs not too long ago. I think it's maybe just some weird Swedish safety thing where they don't want the bulbs shining in other drivers' eyes, so they aim far...
by psteinx
Tue Jan 09, 2018 2:55 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Low mileage, but old, used car (service and reliabilty)
Replies: 20
Views: 1178

Low mileage, but old, used car (service and reliabilty)

I've got a 2004 Saab 9-3 convertible. Mileage 55xxx. I've owned it a little over half its lifespan (bought used from the original owner, who seemed to care for it well.) Neither I nor she put much mileage on it (obviously). It's now running perhaps 4-5K/year, mostly short, around town distances. Ser...
by psteinx
Fri Jan 05, 2018 4:15 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Why Edward Jones?
Replies: 25
Views: 3519

Re: Why Edward Jones?

I think too often the assumption by folks on this forum is something like: 1) Ed Jones. Save 10-20% of paycheck, invest in maybe a 70/30 portfolio. or 2) Direct investing with Vanguard at around 0.10%. For the really extravagant, use PAS. Same savings rate and portfolio as above (albeit with cheaper...
by psteinx
Fri Jan 05, 2018 3:01 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Easy cost basis shortcuts?
Replies: 3
Views: 191

Re: Easy cost basis shortcuts?

The basis should be the sum of the amounts invested and reinvested. If in the early years you just spent the dividends, then the part you'll need to summarize may be even shorter than ~80 rows...
by psteinx
Fri Jan 05, 2018 2:51 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Easy cost basis shortcuts?
Replies: 3
Views: 191

Re: Easy cost basis shortcuts?

If she actually has all the statements, this isn't that hard. You should be able to create a spreadsheet. It'll have about 80 rows (20 years times 4 quarters), plus a few extras for starting sum, final totals, and maybe a special dividend or the like here and there. You won't necessarily have to go ...
by psteinx
Tue Dec 19, 2017 7:03 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Stamp inheritance
Replies: 30
Views: 2977

Re: Stamp inheritance

Perhaps a broader lesson can be drawn here about possible long term outcomes for various sorts of physical collectibles, including others that are more in-favor right now than stamps...
by psteinx
Tue Dec 19, 2017 6:59 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: How to find investors?
Replies: 6
Views: 432

Re: How to find investors?

I agree with Klang.

You should find a different job.

A job that depends on a new college grad (presumably) bringing in $60K in investment for the company raises a big red flag.

[EDIT - I tweaked this post...]
by psteinx
Mon Dec 18, 2017 3:25 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Single Purpose Device- Waffle Iron
Replies: 27
Views: 2266

Re: Single Purpose Device- Waffle Iron

Waffle irons are relatively inexpensive. Few if any other devices will make a decent waffle (or approximation thereof), and a waffle iron will make few if any other foods. So be it. Waffles are tasty. If you like waffles and want to make non-frozen waffles at home, buy a waffle iron. Don't get over-...
by psteinx
Mon Dec 18, 2017 2:29 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Buying Real Silver and Gold (Not Bitcoin)
Replies: 201
Views: 17800

Re: Buying Real Silver and Gold (Not Bitcoin)

1) I appreciate grayfox's posts in this thread on the actual experiences of buying silver. 2) I'm not experienced with this topic myself. Treat my comments as speculative. 3) One shouldn't expect to get rock bottom pricing/spreads from a physical storefront. If you walked into a physical Ed Jones, S...
by psteinx
Mon Dec 11, 2017 3:30 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Upside Down On Vehicle
Replies: 16
Views: 1264

Re: Upside Down On Vehicle

You bought a truck, you're happy with it, but you're calling around to dealers trying to get trade in values, and are stressed about the results?

Chill out...
by psteinx
Mon Dec 11, 2017 2:41 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Sweet Gum Balls
Replies: 36
Views: 2682

Re: Sweet Gum Balls

12 feet across is borderline giant redwood territory or whatever. I suspect exaggeration, but who knows. Big trees can be a hazard. Obviously there is a problem if they die, but also, if the root ball is not very extensive, and the ground gets saturated with water, they're a fallover risk. I assume ...
by psteinx
Fri Dec 08, 2017 1:20 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Sweet Gum Balls
Replies: 36
Views: 2682

Re: Sweet Gum Balls

They can do more than that. My somewhat elderly mother hurt herself via sweet gum ball. I believe she was walking the neighborhood, turned an ankle or foot from a gumball (on the sidewalk I think), and suffered a relatively serious injury. Moral - keep the gumballs off the sidewalks (which is probab...
by psteinx
Thu Nov 30, 2017 1:38 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Is there any reason to invest in real estate?
Replies: 98
Views: 8398

Re: Is there any reason to invest in real estate?

And I don't mean to denigrate the value of even a $30K windfall. But that's not really very early retirement money in the US...
by psteinx
Thu Nov 30, 2017 1:36 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Is there any reason to invest in real estate?
Replies: 98
Views: 8398

Re: Is there any reason to invest in real estate?

Also, to re-emphasize, scale and consistency matter. There are lots of high ROI opportunities available at tiny scale. Some common ones include pursuing brokerage bonuses, frequent flyer bonus, CC signup bonuses. Even coupons, groupons and the like count, I suppose. But these things aren't particula...