Search found 1017 matches

by Dagwood
Mon Dec 21, 2020 1:53 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: How much to save for 529 plan?
Replies: 24
Views: 2309

Re: How much to save for 529 plan?

As much as you can comfortably and responsibly, in line with your values and your own retirement planning. I would follow the rule, “go where they pay.” Chances are that if your kid really belongs in college, there will be a university that offers a combination of aid and scholarship to reduce the c...
by Dagwood
Mon Dec 21, 2020 9:34 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: 529 Rollovers
Replies: 3
Views: 180

Re: 529 Rollovers

It makes sense that only the contributions and not the growth would count.
by Dagwood
Mon Dec 21, 2020 8:58 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: 529 Rollovers
Replies: 3
Views: 180

529 Rollovers

Good morning. We have Utah and Maryland 529 accounts. We live in MD. I want to make sure we maximize our MD income tax deduction. If I were to roll some money from the Utah plan into the MD plan, would that roll count as contribution for the purposes of the MD income tax deduction? I cannot seem to ...
by Dagwood
Wed Nov 11, 2020 12:43 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Should I sell my classic BMW?
Replies: 30
Views: 2418

Re: Should I sell my classic BMW?

Thanks all for the helpful feedback. I appreciate it. BMW's of that vintage have developed a bit of a cult following. You can track their price trends on Bring A Trailer, although most of these cars tend to sell with much lower mileage. https://bringatrailer.com/bmw/7-series/ If you like the car, ke...
by Dagwood
Wed Nov 11, 2020 6:47 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Should I sell my classic BMW?
Replies: 30
Views: 2418

Should I sell my classic BMW?

Good morning all, Posting here because I've been mostly a reader here over the years and the people are sensible (and cheap, like me!). So here's the question: I have a classic BMW (I hate to use the word "classic" because I bought the car when it was merely "certified pre-owned"...
by Dagwood
Thu Aug 15, 2019 6:10 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Moving for better public schools?
Replies: 64
Views: 6046

Moving for better public schools?

My wife and I are 45 with two children, 11 and 8. We both work outside the home as attorneys, and our current mortgage is scheduled to be paid off in 12 years. My income is higher as my wife is self employed so as to have greater flexibility with the kids. The mortgage amount is reasonable in that i...
by Dagwood
Fri Aug 17, 2018 5:59 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: House Value & Mortgage as a Percentage of Net Worth
Replies: 83
Views: 7236

Re: House Value & Mortgage as a Percentage of Net Worth

My grandfather, a child of the Depression, mentioned to me that your mortgage should generally be no more than twice your annual income. Interest rates were generally higher in his time, and my parents’ time, so I could definitely see people going above that a bit, as none of this is scientific. Tha...
by Dagwood
Thu Aug 16, 2018 6:53 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: My 2017 CRV is a victim of the dreaded oil gas-dilution issue
Replies: 1199
Views: 193731

Re: My 2017 CRV is a victim of the dreaded oil gas-dilution issue

This whole fiasco is a perfect example of the cost and risk to consumers associated with such high fuel economy standards. Miniature turbo charged engines running 10+ atmospheres of compression on 0 weight oil with direct injection and regular grade fuel? It is all to hit that CAFE number. Good grie...
by Dagwood
Thu Aug 16, 2018 6:31 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Seattle- mandatory affordable housing units affect single family home values?
Replies: 47
Views: 3934

Re: Seattle- mandatory affordable housing units affect single family home values?

It is not politically correct to say it but yes this type of thing has the real potential to negatively impact school quality and the neighborhood generally. If it bothers you, you should move. Where we live, you can opt out of those problems but it requires you to spend $1mm plus on a home. We do n...
by Dagwood
Tue Jul 03, 2018 4:46 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: My 2017 CRV is a victim of the dreaded oil gas-dilution issue
Replies: 1199
Views: 193731

Re: My 2017 CRV is a victim of the dreaded oil gas-dilution issue

Not much an owner can do here until Honda announces a fix but to change the oil more frequently to protect the engine. Also, realize that this is the cost of CAFE standards being raised so high. Carmakers are making engineering decisions in the name of fuel economy that pose significant reliability ...
by Dagwood
Wed Jul 27, 2016 8:20 pm
Forum: Personal Investments
Topic: Help me evaluate options re an old whole life mistake
Replies: 9
Views: 1746

Re: Help me evaluate options re an old whole life mistake

Thanks for the replies. I will request the in-force illustration. The firm is Northwestern.
by Dagwood
Mon Jul 25, 2016 7:07 am
Forum: Personal Investments
Topic: Help me evaluate options re an old whole life mistake
Replies: 9
Views: 1746

Help me evaluate options re an old whole life mistake

Many years ago (around 1999) I bought a whole life policy with a death benefit of $100k. With the benefit of hindsight and what I have learned here and elsewhere, I realized that this is a mistake -- don't combine insurance and investment. The cost of the premiums on this thing, and the math with re...
by Dagwood
Mon Dec 29, 2014 5:52 pm
Forum: Personal Investments
Topic: Vanguard / American Funds Question
Replies: 5
Views: 1031

Re: Vanguard / American Funds Question

Laura, Thank you for your offer of help. And thanks to the others who offered advice. Here are the other choices (besides the one she has and the one I was looking at). These are all under the plan's "large cap stocks" category : Allianz Global Dividend Value Fund A shares, exp. ratio 1.05...
by Dagwood
Sun Dec 28, 2014 7:16 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Backyard Spa
Replies: 20
Views: 3591

Re: Backyard Spa

I hesitate to tell people what to buy because people's values and resources are different. That being said, we had one when we bought our house. My view, fwiw, is that unless you really need one or live in a climate where it is realistic that you will use it all-year, don't do it. I think maintainin...
by Dagwood
Sun Dec 28, 2014 6:23 am
Forum: Personal Investments
Topic: Vanguard / American Funds Question
Replies: 5
Views: 1031

Vanguard / American Funds Question

My wife's 401K plan offers the AmFds Gr Fd Am R1 (American Funds Growth Fund) as the principal large cap fund offering. The plan offers other options in the same large cap grouping but they are to me no more appealing because the expense ratios are similar and the long-term returns are less. Plus, w...
by Dagwood
Thu Dec 06, 2012 3:10 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Jack Bogle: Vanguard's $2.2 trillion man
Replies: 17
Views: 2588

Re: Jack Bogle: Vanguard's $2.2 trillion man

Grt2bOutdoors wrote:I wonder if he is ever stopped in the street and thanked.
I bumped into him in a public elevator about 9 years ago. I looked at him and said, "thank you." He just smiled and said thanks.
by Dagwood
Tue Nov 27, 2012 6:03 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Generator or No Generator
Replies: 82
Views: 20621

Re: Generator or No Generator

We couldn't justify the expense of a whole house back-up unit and plus the fact that the ones most commonly installed (Generac) have some reliability issues. The better units from Kohler or Cummins cost about as much as a Honda Civic. That being said, because outages have become far too common, and ...
by Dagwood
Sat Nov 24, 2012 7:23 am
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Interesting Performance Article
Replies: 2
Views: 420

Interesting Performance Article

Nothing the people here don't know already but interesting to see it prominently displayed on CNBC. Then again if you have a story to run, but want to run it and not have it garner too much attention, this is the weekend to do it. http://www.cnbc.com/id/49920464 ("Smart Money? Hedge Funds Now W...
by Dagwood
Fri Aug 17, 2012 9:28 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: When can one determine if they can afford toys?
Replies: 40
Views: 7431

Re: When can one determine if they can afford toys?

Live a little. You are dead a long time.
by Dagwood
Mon Aug 13, 2012 5:48 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Need advice on purchasing a gas trimmer
Replies: 21
Views: 4151

Re: Need advice on purchasing a gas trimmer

Echo or Stihl. Go to your local dealer, tell them what you need, and they will recommend the appropriate size. You will spend between $200-$300 for either machine and it will last much, much longer than any of the other brands that are commonly purchased by homeowners. Honda is also excellent but yo...
by Dagwood
Mon Aug 13, 2012 5:46 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: financial hardship loan modifications
Replies: 2
Views: 370

Re: financial hardship loan modifications

You need to consult with a bankruptcy attorney immediately. This forum is useful but it is not a substitute for having professional legal advice. Contact your local county bar association and typically they will have a referral resource. Start there.
by Dagwood
Wed Aug 08, 2012 6:57 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Home Carpet scrubbers...worth the price?
Replies: 12
Views: 1671

Re: Home Carpet scrubbers...worth the price?

We just had the carpets in our home cleaned, plus a couple couches and half a dozen chairs. It was five rooms, maybe 1700 sq. ft. The bill was about $600. So I was thinking......I wonder if buying one of those home carpet scrubbers might be worth it. I'd expect to pay $500 or $600 for a good one, a...
by Dagwood
Wed Aug 08, 2012 6:29 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: truck owners [gas or diesel?]
Replies: 31
Views: 3192

Re: truck owners [gas or diesel?]

If you are not hauling heavy loads regularly, and really want it for what I call its "abilities in a pinch" then a 1500 series Chevy or F150 Ford is probably fine. Dodge makes an excellent truck too (family has been in construction for almost 50 years so we have a great deal of experience ...
by Dagwood
Fri Dec 23, 2011 10:16 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Poll: Synthetic vs Regular Motor Oil
Replies: 42
Views: 3989

Re: Poll: Synthetic vs Regular Motor Oil

You could literally drive yourself crazy trying to figure out what oil to use and how often to change it. The only things that can be said with any real basis is that, for the most part, the 3k mile oil change is a thing of the past and that the best bet is to just follow the service manual's recomm...
by Dagwood
Mon Dec 19, 2011 1:27 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Owning a used jalopy: Same cost as leasing brand car.
Replies: 132
Views: 9651

Re: Owning a used jalopy: Same cost as leasing brand car.

Being faced with these numbers, I get very irritated when you constantly hear folks on car forums and elsewhere saying "I drove my Honda 240,000 miles and it costed zero for maintenance." They're almost definitely lying through their teeth. The alternative is that they're very knowlegable...
by Dagwood
Sat Dec 10, 2011 5:34 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: My Lemon Car
Replies: 23
Views: 2448

Re: My Lemon Car

I purchased a new 2006 Volkswagen Passat 2.0T NEW in October 2005. In the roughly 6 years that I have owned this car using proper maintenance, I have had countless troubles with engine lights turning on and stuff. Fortunately, it all occurred during the first five years when I had warranty coverage...
by Dagwood
Sat Nov 26, 2011 6:58 am
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Madoff Victims
Replies: 34
Views: 2976

Re: Madoff Victims

There's an old saying "you can't con an honest man", which isn't entirely true but it *was* widely whispered that Madoff's fund was frontrunning his brokerage trades. Hence the aura of mystery and lack of questioning of unreasonable returns. I'm sympathetic to the few who were clueless bu...
by Dagwood
Tue Nov 15, 2011 5:44 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Haircuts
Replies: 57
Views: 4422

Re: Haircuts

It is always pretty obvious when someone cut his or her own hair, other than men who go with the crew cut or other very short cuts. If you work outside the home, or regularly deal with other professional adults, spring for the professional haircut. A barber is fine, or for women a more basic salon. ...
by Dagwood
Sat Nov 05, 2011 2:51 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Can illegal immigrants be deported if they sue?
Replies: 21
Views: 10396

Re: Can illegal immigrants be deported if they sue?

Generally, people in the country in violation of federal immigration laws still have recourse to the courts. If this were not the case, then it would be possible for people to commit serious wrongs against them without recourse. At the same time, the practicalities of their being present in the coun...
by Dagwood
Thu Nov 03, 2011 7:30 am
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: MF global: tell me again how Vanguard is safe from fraud?
Replies: 43
Views: 5216

Re: MF global: tell me again how Vanguard is safe from fraud

When the dust settles from MF Global, there is a good chance of criminal charges being filed against MF Global and Corzine, notwithstanding his obvious political connections. The commingling of customer funds with proprietary funds is a form of theft and seriously undermines the exchanges and the m...
by Dagwood
Tue Nov 01, 2011 7:40 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: How Fast Can A Corolla Go?
Replies: 49
Views: 15057

Re: How Fast Can A Corolla Go?

I bring my own Mobil 1 synthetic to be sure they put the right synthetic in, it actually costs more to buy the oil then pay for the labor than if I let them do the bundled service. And i generally use a local independent, not the dealer. And I didn't buy the Corolla tires to save money either. In f...
by Dagwood
Mon Oct 31, 2011 8:50 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: How Fast Can A Corolla Go?
Replies: 49
Views: 15057

Re: How Fast Can A Corolla Go?

Toyota didn't base the tire solely on the car's top speed. The handling characteristics of tires with higher speed ratings are often better, and the car could be intended to have tires with, for example, higher temperature and traction ratings, or stiffer sidewalls. Point is that unless you think T...
by Dagwood
Sat Oct 29, 2011 2:13 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: How Fast Can A Corolla Go?
Replies: 49
Views: 15057

Re: How Fast Can A Corolla Go?

I just ordered new tires for our 2010 Corolla "S" from TIRERACK.COM. Immediately someone from there called to "warn" me that they'll ship the tires, but that the speed rating of the tire I ordered was "only" 118MPH versus the 130MPH that the tires have that came from t...
by Dagwood
Sat Oct 29, 2011 12:59 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Lexus ES 350 versus Hyundai Genesis
Replies: 22
Views: 7591

Re: Lexus ES 350 versus Hyundai Genesis

Drive both and the answer will be obvious -- Genesis.
by Dagwood
Sat Oct 29, 2011 6:58 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: How do you live your life?
Replies: 94
Views: 48480

Re: How do you live your life?

What say you? Should one really live each day as his or her last? Can one do that and be great? I say two things and ask a question: 1. Self help books are a dead end. 2. The financial acumen of this forum is very impressive -- there is not a better place to get advice on money-related matters. But...
by Dagwood
Sat Oct 29, 2011 6:41 am
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: U.S. Government considers new debt security
Replies: 24
Views: 2889

Re: U.S. Government considers new debt security

There is nothing inherently wrong with this type of instrument. If folks want to get more of a "flavor" for them, I believe Fannie and Freddie issue similar if not the same type of instrument. Credit risk here is/was also nil because the US backed them in the crisis, but it might provide a...
by Dagwood
Fri Oct 14, 2011 11:15 am
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: WSJ Scandal
Replies: 19
Views: 2841

Re: WSJ Scandal

All I'm saying is that folks are jumping to a lot of conclusions while getting "facts" from the publications competitors. JT Yes, you are correct -- they are jumping to conclusions. And the reason for it is that theyprobably don't like the politics of the paper's editorial page and they d...
by Dagwood
Wed Oct 12, 2011 7:06 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: 2011 or 2012 BMW 3 series (buy or lease)
Replies: 42
Views: 6654

Some good advice here and a lot of nonsense. Couple of things to keep in mind: Many of the people with the stories of Lexi with never-ending longevity are driving the Camry-based models (ES, RX, etc.) These are good cars but they are not performance cars by any means. They are upgraded Toyotas. So w...
by Dagwood
Fri Oct 07, 2011 1:19 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Great day for humanity: Yankees lose
Replies: 39
Views: 3242

Re: Great day for humanity: Yankees lose

Indices wrote:Thank you Detroit Tigers!
God is a Yankees fan. This is fact. He lets the other teams win so the other fans aren't complete sore losers.
by Dagwood
Wed Oct 05, 2011 11:25 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Car Trade-in / Replacement Advice
Replies: 7
Views: 1057

Car Trade-in / Replacement Advice

I know this group is skeptical of spending money in general, which is why I think this is a good audience for the following question. We have a 2004 Honda CRV with 75k miles on it. The car has had all Honda dealer service. I purchased the car new and it is under Honda extended warrnaty until the mid...
by Dagwood
Sat Oct 01, 2011 11:32 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Auto Mechanic Question
Replies: 38
Views: 3130

I don't want to argue with you, but the reality is that most manufacturers recommend brake fluid changes for the reason I mentioned. Ignoring that service recommendation and spending money on other wear items does not negate the need to change it, if it is recommended by the manufacturer. Mechanics...
by Dagwood
Sat Oct 01, 2011 9:18 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Auto Mechanic Question
Replies: 38
Views: 3130

I don't want to argue with you, but the reality is that most manufacturers recommend brake fluid changes for the reason I mentioned. Ignoring that service recommendation and spending money on other wear items does not negate the need to change it, if it is recommended by the manufacturer. Mechanics ...
by Dagwood
Sat Oct 01, 2011 6:16 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Auto Mechanic Question
Replies: 38
Views: 3130

Re: Auto Mechanic Question

And make sure that you are changing your brake fluid at the interval prescribed in the car's owner's manual. Hmmm, had not even given that a thought! Just my opinion, I have never changed my brake fluid and probably never will. Like I mentioned my wifes 96 4Runner has 189000 and we expect to get 25...
by Dagwood
Fri Sep 30, 2011 12:31 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Auto Mechanic Question
Replies: 38
Views: 3130

Re: Auto Mechanic Question

Last year, my car didn't pass inspection because the brake pads were contaminated. The tech thought it might be a (edit) wheel cylinder (not master cylinder) problem. I took it too a mechanic, they checked the rear brakes and wheel cylinders, and replaced the brake shoes. There was no repair done -...
by Dagwood
Fri Sep 30, 2011 9:19 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Is marriage too risky?
Replies: 89
Views: 8904

Re: Is marriage too risky?

I've seen the most recent statistics which point out that 2/3 of first marriages end in divorce. The US has one of the highest divorce rates in the world. Also, depending on which state you live in, your spouse can take half of your assets, plus alimony, child support, and whatever else the court d...
by Dagwood
Thu Sep 29, 2011 7:11 am
Forum: Personal Investments
Topic: 28. Government Employee - Clueless, but would love to learn.
Replies: 40
Views: 4804

(b) Check into whether you are eligible for a federal consolidation. There have been changes in all these programs in the last few years but if you are it is a nice thing to get it all "in one pile" (less bills each month, much simpler) and probably a better rate, so you can whack away at...
by Dagwood
Thu Sep 29, 2011 5:44 am
Forum: Personal Investments
Topic: 28. Government Employee - Clueless, but would love to learn.
Replies: 40
Views: 4804

Re: 28. Government Employee - Clueless, but would love to le

Hi all. This is my first post. I feel very clueless about investing, while simultaneously overwhelmed with information on the options. I'm hoping I can get some help here. Here's my personal finance situation: 1. Working 13 months in Federal Government, starting out as GS-11 and just promoted to GS...
by Dagwood
Tue Sep 20, 2011 10:16 am
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Glad I didn't buy Netflix
Replies: 83
Views: 10388

I'm really baffled by how many people are mad at Netflix. It is still an amazing deal. Amazon charges per movie and even if you are an Amazon Prime member, it is not a huge library compared to Netflix. All other instant streaming companies charge per movie. It will not take very long to reach the m...
by Dagwood
Sat Sep 17, 2011 6:29 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Worst Case repair scenario for a 2007 Honda Accord?
Replies: 16
Views: 2855

Besides the big ones-engine and tranny-which are unlikely, the other big potential expense items on any car as it ages are AC repairs, emissions repairs (catalytic converter and O2 sensor), and on a FWD car, CV axles and boots. Problems with the latter two items are reduced by not driving like a juv...
by Dagwood
Fri Sep 16, 2011 1:21 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Hypermiling: The Art of Squeezing MPGs
Replies: 184
Views: 22531

I recently drove 200 miles and got 29.9 MPG on my LS460 All Wheel Drive. I drove calm and steady at 60MPH. Cars and trucks were BLOWING past me, but I just kept on at 60. I did have the A/C on, but the outside temp was about the same as inside so there wasn't much work for the compressor to do. But...