Search found 377 matches

by sschoe2
Thu Jul 18, 2019 7:04 am
Forum: Personal Investments
Topic: Beginning Investments
Replies: 8
Views: 582

Re: Beginning Investments

VTI Vanguard Total Stock Market Index ETF.
by sschoe2
Tue Jul 16, 2019 8:29 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Being a hands off homeowner
Replies: 48
Views: 2724

Re: Being a hands off homeowner

Good luck, I've had little success finding someone to do home maintenance for reasonable rates. I've literally been quoted way over $100 per hour. I recently tried to get a quote to replace my front door and got $3300. Replacing a front door is about a 4 hour job. Assuming the door is about $1k that...
by sschoe2
Thu Jul 11, 2019 8:07 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Who cuts your hair? And for how much?
Replies: 153
Views: 7985

Re: Who cuts your hair? And for how much?

There is a $5 place near me plus I leave a $2 tip. My hair is pretty simple clippers on the side and quick snip snip in front and on top.
by sschoe2
Fri Jul 05, 2019 7:46 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Why does my credit union inundate me with offers of life insurance?
Replies: 18
Views: 2551

Re: Why does my credit union inundate me with offers of life insurance?

The CU junk mail doesn't bother me. I get the same thing from work. My employer uses Metlife for disability and dental insurance and I get frequent official looking exclusive offers for their auto insurance. However, the last time I was shopping for auto insurance Metlife was among the highest quote...
by sschoe2
Thu Jul 04, 2019 2:55 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Why does my credit union inundate me with offers of life insurance?
Replies: 18
Views: 2551

Re: Why does my credit union inundate me with offers of life insurance?

Hmm I never filled out the free life insurance. I didn't trust it. It's been a while but I use to get checks in the mail that signing and cashing signed you up for some monthly service so it seemed like that.
by sschoe2
Mon Jul 01, 2019 7:43 am
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: What do you hold in your IRA and Why?
Replies: 48
Views: 3338

Re: What do you hold in your IRA and Why?

100% VTI. My 401k is Vanguard Target 2045 and I don't agree with a 40% international allocation.
by sschoe2
Mon Jul 01, 2019 7:41 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Opinions on bicycle disc brakes?
Replies: 45
Views: 3580

Re: Opinions on bicycle disc brakes?

Every bike with linear pull/V-brakes I've owned has had issues with squealing even using Koolstop Salmon pads and adjusting the toe in. On the front I have to use a horseshoe shaped metal thingy to tie the arms together called a brake booster. That is the only thing that stops it. After getting caug...
by sschoe2
Wed Jun 26, 2019 3:59 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Appliance Replacement
Replies: 10
Views: 1031

Re: Appliance Replacement

Water heater and dryer I think the break even point with the energy saved would be a very long time. I'd wait for them to fail. I've also heard that electric water heater is a very good option unless you have an exhaust ie Chimney in place as the power vent ones are more expensive and have a shorter...
by sschoe2
Wed Jun 26, 2019 11:02 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Budgeting/Expense tracking
Replies: 31
Views: 1616

Re: Budgeting/Expense tracking

I use Personal Capital to help plus keep track of bills via my banks's bill pay etc. I know what the mortgage costs and am on the budget plan for electricity and gas and most of my other bills are regular. I then calculate a percentage for each based on gross income. Results are 30% lost to taxes [a...
by sschoe2
Wed Jun 26, 2019 10:07 am
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Dave Ramsey says to give up employer 401K match to pay down debt
Replies: 148
Views: 8149

Re: Dave Ramsey now says to give up employer 401K match to pay down debt

Is such an interest rate legal anywhere in the U.S.? Some of the title/payday lenders have interest rates that high or higher and some credit cards come close particularly the subprime and store cards. A better strategy would probably be to do a debt consolidation rather than skip the employer match.
by sschoe2
Wed Jun 26, 2019 8:48 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Should I buy a condo in Chicago?
Replies: 52
Views: 5280

Re: Should I buy a condo in Chicago?

Another Chicago area resident here: It is tough for me to talk about the area without violating board rules on both swearing and politics but suffices to say I deeply disapprove of and am worried by the trajectory things are going here particularly in terms of the effect on the finances and quality ...
by sschoe2
Wed Jun 26, 2019 7:23 am
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Why do 401k's limit investment options?
Replies: 30
Views: 2196

Re: Why do 401k's limit investment options?

Most people have pathetically low financial literacy. Giving them too many choices intimidates and confuses them. Low cost Index based target date funds are a good default choice for people who don't have the time nor inclination to learn about expenses, asset allocation, rebalancing etc. I personal...
by sschoe2
Tue Jun 25, 2019 11:29 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: How did you lower your annual expenses?
Replies: 145
Views: 12747

Re: How did you lower your annual expenses?

I just spend as little as possible without reducing my quality of life to unacceptable levels. I also keep track of my budget Gross income $92k taxes 30% (6% is property tax and this is maxing out my t401k also probably a bit more with fees and sales tax) savings 27%/31 with match housing 20% (15 ye...
by sschoe2
Tue Jun 25, 2019 9:33 am
Forum: Personal Investments
Topic: Roth IRA all the way?
Replies: 26
Views: 2739

Re: Roth IRA all the way?

My state Illinois doesn't tax retirement income [currently] so by going traditional you save on 5% income tax that you never have to pay. Also many people work in states with high income taxes and when they retire move to states with lower or none.
by sschoe2
Mon Jun 24, 2019 3:17 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Frugal or cheap?
Replies: 106
Views: 8938

Re: Frugal or cheap?

TxAg wrote:
Sat Jun 22, 2019 9:49 pm
One more vote for "happy wife - happy life" being a dumb saying

Marriage is a partnership
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WZIy_k4PiU8
by sschoe2
Mon Jun 24, 2019 2:34 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Thank you, Honda - repair story
Replies: 17
Views: 1978

Re: Thank you, Honda - repair story

Honda's have poor A/C systems. Had the same problem with my Fit. Compressor went bad. It cost >$1000 to replace a few years ago and it is giving me problems again. Even GM in the 1990's were competent enough to spec a reliable A/C system.

[Content edited by Moderator Mel Lindauer]
by sschoe2
Mon Jun 24, 2019 11:05 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: what was your worst major purchase? mine is a 2019 mazda3
Replies: 182
Views: 15848

Re: what was your worst major purchase? mine is a 2019 mazda3

I've said it before Chemistry/Biochemistry degree. I have to tell recruiters to [go away -- moderator oldcomputerguy] with offers for $15-20 an hour many contract no benefits.
by sschoe2
Thu Jun 20, 2019 4:00 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: How to avoid high vet bills?
Replies: 110
Views: 6484

Re: How to avoid high vet bills?

You can do pretty much any vaccine yourself except Rabies. You don't want to mess around with that as if your dog/cat bites someone and you can't provide proof of Rabies vaccination, they will kill and behead your pet and send it for testing.
by sschoe2
Thu Jun 20, 2019 11:27 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Has anyone been to Armenia or "Stans" such as Kazakhstan
Replies: 13
Views: 2181

Re: Has anyone been to Armenia or "Stans" such as Kazakhstan

Uzbekistan has the major silk road sites-- all of which are meant to be fascinating (Samarkand etc.). The country is, however, a very brutal dictatorship (with an emerging Islamic fundamentalism problem). Tajikistan as well apparently. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Terrorist_attack_against_cyclists...
by sschoe2
Thu Jun 20, 2019 9:25 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Dealer 30K Service for 2017 RAV4--Unusual Items?
Replies: 52
Views: 4291

Re: Dealer 30K Service for 2017 RAV4--Unusual Items?

Waste of money. At most go buy some Chevron Techron gas additive at Walmart, Amazon, Costco, etc and pour it in your gas tank and move on. The PEA in the Techron is one of the only gas additives I'm aware that has been proven to remove deposits. Whether it is needed or not is another story but does...
by sschoe2
Thu Jun 20, 2019 9:12 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: how is Home Depot's contractor service (for a water heater)?
Replies: 53
Views: 4202

Re: how is Home Depot's contractor service (for a water heater)?

I live in Chicago. From what I've heard if you are in a cold snap and the incoming water is near freezing a tank-less can have a lot of trouble providing the extra heating necessary. This is a bigger problem when you are filling a bath tub/shower at full blast as the faster flowing water water is sp...
by sschoe2
Thu Jun 20, 2019 8:31 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Dealer 30K Service for 2017 RAV4--Unusual Items?
Replies: 52
Views: 4291

Re: Dealer 30K Service for 2017 RAV4--Unusual Items?

At 30K on an automatic I'd do a transmission flush or a drain and fill (Honda's are no flush I think Toyota's can be) It can greatly extend the life of your transmission to get all that bad fluid and debris out of there.
by sschoe2
Thu Jun 20, 2019 6:58 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Dealer 30K Service for 2017 RAV4--Unusual Items?
Replies: 52
Views: 4291

Re: Dealer 30K Service for 2017 RAV4--Unusual Items?

A dealer did that? Don't manufacturers typically frown on such additives as they are not approved nor recommended.
by sschoe2
Thu Jun 20, 2019 6:54 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: How to avoid high vet bills?
Replies: 110
Views: 6484

Re: How to avoid high vet bills?

jibantik wrote:
Tue Jun 18, 2019 3:15 pm
Meh, I'd rather spend time with my dog over 99.9% of the people I know. It's probably 100%, but I'll leave a little bit for the sake of my marriage :mrgreen:
Hear hear. My dogs keep me sane.
by sschoe2
Tue Jun 18, 2019 10:32 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: How to avoid high vet bills?
Replies: 110
Views: 6484

Re: How to avoid high vet bills?

I do some DIY. I also vaccinate myself I order the vaccines next day ice pack from Jeffer's Pet (Spectra 9 and KennelJec) I keep some needles and a bag of ringer's solution in the freezer in case they get gastritis which they seem to about once a year or so to treat dehydration with subcutaneous flu...
by sschoe2
Tue Jun 18, 2019 10:28 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: How to avoid high vet bills?
Replies: 110
Views: 6484

Re: How to avoid high vet bills?

That's nothing I spent over $2000 on vet bills this year One dog need a major teeth cleaning so $200 for pre-anesthesia full blood workup and $800 for the procedure. The other dog has a cough and heart murmur so $500 in blood work and xrays and $500 for a cardiac consult and echocardiogram. Vet bill...
by sschoe2
Mon Jun 17, 2019 7:57 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Do not use Personal Capital
Replies: 100
Views: 15857

Re: Do not use Personal Capital

When I just created the account a few years ago I got a few sales calls pitching advisory services. I let them know I wasn't interested and haven't received any since. I just get some nags from their website that they can lower taxes or reduce risk while maintaining returns if I go with their PAS. I...
by sschoe2
Mon Jun 17, 2019 7:52 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Mosquitos
Replies: 45
Views: 3823

Re: Mosquitos

They are bad. I went to bed Tuesday night with my windows open and woke up Wednesday with red welts and spots all over my ankles, feet and the palm of my hands. I actually thought I had a flea infestation from my dogs and laundered the sheets, fiproniled the dogs, and gave them both a bath but no it...
by sschoe2
Thu Jun 13, 2019 11:12 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Retired at 35 and have no friends :(
Replies: 113
Views: 11195

Re: Retired at 35 and have no friends :(

Consider bicycling. I belong to 2 clubs and they moderate to long rides almost every day. Of course most are in the >50 age bracket.
by sschoe2
Tue Jun 11, 2019 8:11 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Anything you wish you had spent money on when you were younger?
Replies: 73
Views: 7251

Re: Anything you wish you had spent money on when you were younger?

I wish I would have bought index funds instead of accumulating in a savings account. I was scared off stocks by my dad who read Motley Fool and read every investing book and watched every program and had an uncanny habit of buying stock if companies that then went bankrupt. It made me think investin...
by sschoe2
Tue Jun 11, 2019 8:25 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: 15K CAR with comfortable seats and quiet
Replies: 51
Views: 4077

Re: 15K CAR with comfortable seats and quiet

Some Honda's have issues with comfortable seats, but Honda/Toyota, Hyundai has gotten much better in recent years where and Nissan has gone the other direction.
by sschoe2
Wed Jun 05, 2019 3:32 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Are we downsizing too much?
Replies: 63
Views: 4787

Re: Are we downsizing too much?

. I don't need 250 sq ft for a queen bed and some dressers. Other people love it cause you can put in a chair, tv and other stuff and make another Oh I absolutely want space in my master bedroom for a desk and computer with big screen monitor so I can lie in bed and watch stuff streaming before bed...
by sschoe2
Wed Jun 05, 2019 2:57 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Are we downsizing too much?
Replies: 63
Views: 4787

Re: Are we downsizing too much?

So why don't you move into a 600 sq ft place? Why are you paying for all that space you don't need? The hotel sounds great but it is a much different experience when your guests have to drive (or be driven) somewhere versus just walking down the hall. You pick what you prefer and obviously costs ma...
by sschoe2
Wed Jun 05, 2019 11:03 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Would you buy a house without a garage?
Replies: 95
Views: 6049

Re: Would you buy a house without a garage?

alfaspider wrote:
Wed Jun 05, 2019 8:43 am
2) Don't have to go out in the elements coming/going from the house
If you have an attached garage. I assume you need to go out into the elements and typically walk farther to get from your origin/destination to where your car is parked than from the garage or driveway to your entrance.
by sschoe2
Wed Jun 05, 2019 8:05 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Would you buy a house without a garage?
Replies: 95
Views: 6049

Re: Would you buy a house without a garage?

If it was priced right. A garage costs what $20-$30k to build. If you just put your car in the driveway then you can make due with a shed. Here in Chicago, during winter, I like to put my car in a garage so I don't have to scrape the frost off the windows every morning. Hail is another concern.
by sschoe2
Wed Jun 05, 2019 8:00 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Are we downsizing too much?
Replies: 63
Views: 4787

Re: Are we downsizing too much?

I have a 1400 ft2 for myself and am not using 2 of the 3 bedrooms nor the finished basement rec room. It depends on your life style. I don't accumulate stuff. I buy clothes when it wears out in the wash and only enough for about 2 weeks of rotation. If I am not using it it goes into storage in the c...
by sschoe2
Tue Jun 04, 2019 7:23 am
Forum: Personal Investments
Topic: Have Wells Fargo 401k which was bought by PFG any info?
Replies: 0
Views: 173

Have Wells Fargo 401k which was bought by PFG any info?

I heard that Wells Fargo sold their 401k business to Principal Financial Group. From what I've read from the forum archives search they are a crappy insurance company with high expense ratio offerings. The current WF plan is pretty good with Vanguard Target Funds and low fees ~$120 a year. Has anyon...
by sschoe2
Thu May 30, 2019 7:37 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Buying a "new" car - Advice pls
Replies: 76
Views: 6427

Re: Buying a "new" car - Advice pls

It is tough to find good value in used cars these days. I was looking for one for my mom a few years back nothing expensive just a economical subcompact. Most of what I found were 10 year old cars with 100k miles for $10k which I bought myself a 0 year old Honda Fit with 0 miles on it for $17k. I fi...
by sschoe2
Fri May 24, 2019 9:40 am
Forum: Personal Investments
Topic: Help my broker is trying to freak me out
Replies: 94
Views: 14066

Re: Help my broker is trying to freak me out

VTI. Well I called my broker and he started saying I was making a grave mistake that I would be getting in at the top of the market, that I wouldn’t be fully diversified It was there my BS meter went off the scale. Total US stock market represents the entire US stock market many of which have prett...
by sschoe2
Wed May 22, 2019 8:23 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Why not non traded REIT such as yield tree?
Replies: 25
Views: 1838

Re: Why not non traded REIT such as yield tree?

I remember when Bob Brinker was on the radio investment vehicles on his don't touch with a 10 foot pole list were annuities, precious metal coins, whole life, and nontraded REITs.
by sschoe2
Wed May 22, 2019 2:47 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Frustration dealing with contractors....am I doing something wrong?
Replies: 43
Views: 4522

Re: Frustration dealing with contractors....am I doing something wrong?

I give up on hiring contractors and try to learn to do as much as possible myself. Either they don't show or quote >$200 per hour more than a lawyer or some doctors. I tried getting quotes to replace a front door (it is mounted a bit strange in that on the inside the sheetrock overlaps the rough ope...
by sschoe2
Wed May 22, 2019 2:39 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Expensive front load washer/dryer worth it?
Replies: 53
Views: 3348

Re: Expensive front load washer/dryer worth it?

No modern appliances are of appallingly bad quality. They have very delicate cheap plastic parts, circuit boards with sub-par soldering, overengineered... In my last house I had a 30 year old Kenmore and my current house >10 year old Maytags. I'll fix them via youtube video if I can or pay to have t...
by sschoe2
Wed May 22, 2019 2:20 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Another Honda maintenance thread
Replies: 44
Views: 3491

Re: Another Honda maintenance thread

My Honda Fit takes Ow20 which I think is only available in synthetic. If you take it to a chain for a $30 oil change they may use 5w or whatever similar conventional they have. I follow the maintenance minder for oil. I do more transmission fluid drain and fills though than recommended. I waited for...
by sschoe2
Wed May 22, 2019 2:13 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Sell condo or rent it?
Replies: 14
Views: 1181

Re: Sell condo or rent it?

Are you allowed to rent it? A lot of condo boards prohibit residents from renting or airbnbing. I'd sell it regardless.
by sschoe2
Wed May 22, 2019 12:30 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Cash - Throw it all on the table!!!
Replies: 150
Views: 23807

Re: Cash - Throw it all on the table!!!

I keep about 1 years expenses ~$40k in a 2% savings account. Everything else is stocks with a minimal amount of bonds in my 401k Vanguard Target 2045. I have deep anxiety about how long or even if I will be able to find another decent job as a Chemist. It might involve a long job search or retrainin...
by sschoe2
Tue May 21, 2019 12:58 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: How to Minimize Your Emergency Care Expenses
Replies: 338
Views: 91903

Re: How to Minimize Your Emergency Care Expenses

What are people's opinions about going out of the country for any medical procedure that doesn't have to be done immediately even with insurance?
by sschoe2
Tue May 21, 2019 11:15 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Tired of gas grills rusting out...
Replies: 120
Views: 15053

Re: Tired of gas grills rusting out...

I bought one of the old Weber Silver B's off craigslist. Used it for a few years. Bought another one with frame rust for parts I needed still going. The only part that typically rusts is the cross bar against the side of the cookbox which I'm sure a welder can replace <$100.
by sschoe2
Sun Apr 21, 2019 8:11 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: First Time Home Buyer Tips
Replies: 32
Views: 2077

Re: First Time Home Buyer Tips

1. Don't buy a house with any sort of association. The amount of horror stories I hear and read about every day with them just forget it. Also the assessments are unpredictable and can go up on a whim or you can get a large special assessment or the HOA can order you to do something like replace all...
by sschoe2
Sun Apr 21, 2019 8:02 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Vanguard kicking butt with Target Date Funds
Replies: 22
Views: 5391

Re: Vanguard kicking butt with Target Date Funds

My 401k is in Vanguard Target 2045. It is the best option available in my 401k there are no individual total stock markets and such. Not a bad option. I am not as bullish on total international as Vanguard is (40% of stock allocation) so I compensate by having my rIRA 100% Vanguard Total [US] Stock ...