Search found 122 matches

by galawdawg
Fri Sep 13, 2019 8:03 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Vanguard Flagship Services -- Another One Bites the Dust
Replies: 50
Views: 7679

Re: Vanguard Flagship Services -- Another One Bites the Dust

I assume this phase-out of Flagship services is because they want Vanguard customers with 1M+ AUM to pay for this via their Personal Advisory Services instead.... That would certainly dovetail with my recent experiences with Vanguard's annoying push of PAS. First it started with regular emails to b...
by galawdawg
Fri Sep 13, 2019 6:41 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Atlanta area - relocation, questions
Replies: 7
Views: 573

Re: Atlanta area - relocation, questions

Where in general is your family member located? Traffic in Atlanta, particularly on the top end perimeter (285) can be really miserable. If you want to be in an area with a low crime rate, I would recommend avoiding the west side of Atlanta and western suburbs and focus on the northern side. The Dun...
by galawdawg
Tue Sep 10, 2019 7:48 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Lexus or Camry?
Replies: 34
Views: 3144

Re: Lexus or Camry?

My 2004 Lexus LS430 looks and drives like a new luxury car. Purchased it at 90k for just over $10k, now past the 150k mile mark and other than the timing belt/water pump at 100k, all I've had to spend on upkeep is on normal wear/tear items (tires, brake pads, wiper blades) and maintenance (oil chang...
by galawdawg
Tue Sep 10, 2019 1:11 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Retirement Planning - Pension
Replies: 24
Views: 2729

Re: Retirement Planning - Pension

I do appreciate the advice so far. Just to clarify the pension vests in 5 years (she has been there almost 4 currently), for this question assume she at least makes it that far. Also if there were a job change she would at that point begin investing in a 401k. While the simplest (and potentially be...
by galawdawg
Tue Sep 10, 2019 12:04 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Retirement Planning - Pension
Replies: 24
Views: 2729

Re: Retirement Planning - Pension

I'd recommend you ignore the pension for retirement planning purposes and instead save and invest as though your wife won't have a pension. That gives your family flexibility and freedom to make future career decisions that don't hinge on "but we need the pension to retire", forces you to live below...
by galawdawg
Mon Sep 09, 2019 7:45 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Lending to friend to India
Replies: 54
Views: 3436

Re: Lending to friend to India

I appreciate the advice. I really do. I do know all the risks associated and haven't made any decision on it yet. I am just trying to understand the legal risks and hence this thread. Thanks Well then, it sounds like you really don't know all of the risks associated... If you decide to disregard th...
by galawdawg
Fri Sep 06, 2019 12:38 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Co-sponsoring an immigrant's sick family member [Updated]
Replies: 47
Views: 4444

Re: Co-sponsoring an immigrant's sick family member [Updated]

Are you willing to agree under penalty of perjury that you will "receive, support and maintain" Juan's family member? Will you be willing to deposit a bond to guarantee that his family member will not become a public charge and that they will depart the US when required? Do you understand that "if t...
by galawdawg
Fri Sep 06, 2019 6:20 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Problems with flights to Bogleheads conference
Replies: 7
Views: 1281

Re: Problems with flights to Bogleheads conference

SW is currently showing five (5) return flights from PHL to DEN on Oct 18 (including the non-stop mentioned earlier) that depart PHL after 3:30 pm (conference ends about 1:30 pm) and arrive in DEN before 10:30 pm. They have twelve flights from PHL to DEN on Oct 17 and twelve on Oct 19, all spread th...
by galawdawg
Wed Sep 04, 2019 8:00 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: First-hand experiences with United Basic Economy for families?
Replies: 180
Views: 6903

Re: First-hand experiences with United Basic Economy for families?

I wish the airlines would grow a spine and start enforcing existing size/weight restrictions for carry-on. If it doesn't fit in the size-gage and/or it's overweight, they should pay full checked bag price, plus a penalty for not checking it properly in the first place. https://www.bogleheads.org/fo...
by galawdawg
Wed Sep 04, 2019 1:43 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: First-hand experiences with United Basic Economy for families?
Replies: 180
Views: 6903

Re: First-hand experiences with United Basic Economy for families?

So what if nobody offers to switch and the seat for the kid is a center seat away from parents? That's a serious question, I do not know what happens in that situation. Do they force a switch? I don't know either. I can think of a few things that might happen. The people sitting next to the kid mig...
by galawdawg
Mon Sep 02, 2019 5:47 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Neighbor wants me to sell her my driveway but parking is tight. Detailed analysis help
Replies: 45
Views: 5585

Re: Neighbor wants me to sell her my driveway but parking is tight. Detailed analysis help

Were you aware of the issue prior to purchasing? You almost have to rent the space to maintain relations in good condition. Maybe add some type of liability waiver as a requirement. The seller negotiated in parking for her and I sent her the hold harmless agreement. I agreed to a year of parking if...
by galawdawg
Fri Aug 30, 2019 8:56 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Advice: Refuse delivery of a damaged item!
Replies: 11
Views: 1156

Re: Advice: Refuse delivery of a damaged item!

Generally when I receive delivery of a large item (appliance, furniture, etc) there is a place on the delivery ticket to sign indicating that everything was received in good condition and sometimes a place to indicate any damage or issues. Were you asked to sign for delivery of the refrigerator and ...
by galawdawg
Fri Aug 30, 2019 3:03 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Co-sponsoring an immigrant's sick family member [Updated]
Replies: 47
Views: 4444

Re: Co-sponsoring an immigrant's sick family member

In his home country, Juan worked for the government in an anti-narcotics role, and he was forced to flee when the narcos figured out his identity. His story sounded fishy to me from the very beginning unless you misunderstood something. If he worked for the government in anti-narcotics, he WAS THE ...
by galawdawg
Fri Aug 30, 2019 1:56 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Co-sponsoring an immigrant's sick family member [Updated]
Replies: 47
Views: 4444

Re: Co-sponsoring an immigrant's sick family member

If they cannot afford to finish repaying your $1,500 loan and cannot afford to bring his son to the US for medical treatment, he can't afford the medical bills. He is essentially asking you to co-sign a $50,000 plus loan that he has little or no apparent ability to repay. I really want to help him, ...
by galawdawg
Fri Aug 30, 2019 10:45 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Pay off mortgage with sale of taxable account assets?
Replies: 87
Views: 4477

Re: Pay off mortgage with sale of taxable account assets?

While my mortgage rate is lower (2.675%) than yours, when I retired last year I chose not to payoff my mortgage. I too would have incurred CG taxes plus 6% state tax if I had paid it off immediately or zero CG taxes (but 6% state taxes) if I spread the withdrawals from my taxable investments over a...
by galawdawg
Fri Aug 30, 2019 7:37 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Pay off mortgage with sale of taxable account assets?
Replies: 87
Views: 4477

Re: Pay off mortgage with sale of taxable account assets?

While my mortgage rate is lower (2.675%) than yours, when I retired last year I chose not to payoff my mortgage. I too would have incurred CG taxes plus 6% state tax if I had paid it off immediately or zero CG taxes (but 6% state taxes) if I spread the withdrawals from my taxable investments over a ...
by galawdawg
Fri Aug 30, 2019 7:21 am
Forum: Personal Investments
Topic: $1,000 a month or $180,000 Pension Question
Replies: 55
Views: 5629

Re: $1,000 a month or $180,000 Pension Question

Based upon the numbers and your age, I'd suggest that opting for the $1,000/mo bump in your pension rather than the $180k lump sum is the better course of action. I had a similar partial lump sum option with our state pension system and chose to forgo the lump sum and take the higher monthly pension...
by galawdawg
Fri Aug 30, 2019 6:45 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: While there is a high school question - my daughter wants to graduate early
Replies: 76
Views: 3483

Re: While there is a high school question - my daughter wants to graduate early

It sounds like she has a good head on her shoulders and a well=thought out plan for the next steps of her education. I'd say if you see any negatives or pitfalls, you point them out and then let her make the decision. Some in your daughter's position accrue college credit through AP classes and/or d...
by galawdawg
Thu Aug 29, 2019 1:57 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Should we let go of our Realtor and get a Real Estate Attorney?
Replies: 82
Views: 4179

Re: Should we let go of our Realtor and get a Real Estate Attorney?

How much will you save on Montessori by starting your older child in public school this school year rather than next? If the deal goes through today and we close in 2 months, we would save 14,000 in Montessori cost for our older daughter. This of course assumes that we will not find another house f...
by galawdawg
Thu Aug 29, 2019 11:50 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Should we let go of our Realtor and get a Real Estate Attorney?
Replies: 82
Views: 4179

Re: Should we let go of our Realtor and get a Real Estate Attorney?

How much will you save on Montessori by starting your older child in public school this school year rather than next?
by galawdawg
Thu Aug 29, 2019 11:26 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Should we let go of our Realtor and get a Real Estate Attorney?
Replies: 82
Views: 4179

Re: Should we let go of our Realtor and get a Real Estate Attorney?

My apologies if this comes across as harsh, but I saw on your other post that you and your spouse are under 40, your annual income is $350k, you have no debt, you have about $1.8 million invested and you own your $300k home outright. Do we really need to help you decide whether you should, in an eff...
by galawdawg
Thu Aug 29, 2019 5:20 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Up State New York speeding ticket for a non-New York resident.
Replies: 27
Views: 3200

Re: Up State New York speeding ticket for a non-New York resident.

I speed ALL THE TIME, and have been ticketed for it 5 or 6 times, and given warnings another 10 or 12 times(all in Upstate NY). I always lawyer up, and the lawyer intercedes with the DAs office before the court date. It's always either dropped altogether, or reduced to a parking ticket. As a habitu...
by galawdawg
Tue Aug 27, 2019 2:31 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Mouse invasion!
Replies: 68
Views: 3823

Re: Mouse invasion!

I use humane live traps. Bait them with a little peanut butter and oatmeal, and then catch and release the little guys a mile or so down the road. If you are interested I can link to the better live traps I've used. We've used live traps as well with much success to catch those few field mice that ...
by galawdawg
Tue Aug 27, 2019 2:15 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Death in family (not sure how to proceed)...
Replies: 30
Views: 5298

Re: Death in family (not sure how to proceed)...

I am sorry for your loss. It sounds like you have a good handle on the high-level details of what needs to be done so I am going to suggest more street level, practical approach on how you might go about doing it. The first pieces of information you need are the date of birth and SSN number of your...
by galawdawg
Tue Aug 27, 2019 1:53 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: How to help an employee who is in debt and requesting a loan
Replies: 110
Views: 8027

Re: How to help an employee who is in debt and requesting a loan

There are some folks, such as my sister-in-law, who are very "connected" with all kinds of services available to those "in need" and in similar circumstances. We now live a distance away from where I grew up, while my brother and sister-in-law still live in that area. I was amazed that my sister-in...
by galawdawg
Tue Aug 27, 2019 1:19 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: How to help an employee who is in debt and requesting a loan
Replies: 110
Views: 8027

Re: How to help an employee who is in debt and requesting a loan

This is why earlier in the thread I suggested a voluntary collection in the workplace. This kind of help is personal (people she knows, who she can do favors for in return or show appreciation to), yet draws the line between employer and employees. Respectfully, I'd be cautious about this approach ...
by galawdawg
Tue Aug 27, 2019 9:22 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Estate planning - Attorney vs DIY
Replies: 27
Views: 1976

Re: Estate planning - Attorney vs DIY

I would suggest that anyone with minor children hire a trusted attorney in this legal specialty to handle their estate planning. You aren't just paying someone to prepare a document expressing your wishes. A competent attorney who specializes in this area will be aware of the latest developments in ...
by galawdawg
Tue Aug 27, 2019 7:06 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Pension Payout Options - Need Help
Replies: 12
Views: 1170

Re: Pension Payout Options - Need Help

When I was deciding how to take my pension upon my retirement last year, I ran a few ballpark calculations that I found helpful, perhaps it will be helpful to you as well. Because we have been blessed to accumulate a sizable portfolio, I wanted to play it "safe" with my pension options and take more...
by galawdawg
Tue Aug 27, 2019 4:40 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: eBay Item Not Received Procedure
Replies: 10
Views: 878

Re: eBay Item Not Received Procedure

If you want a refund for the single order that did not arrive (order 2), simply let the seller know that you prefer a refund rather than the substitute items offered. No need to open a case at this point. (Since the seller combined shipping and the tracking number would presumably show delivered, th...
by galawdawg
Sun Aug 25, 2019 6:26 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Mortgage Payoff Tips
Replies: 16
Views: 1800

Re: Mortgage Payoff Tips

You mention that you save $50k per year inclusive of 401k and HSA which are maxed. Does that mean you contribute $19k each to your 401k and another $7k to your HSA for a total of $45k and then have $5k remaining annually in "savings"? Or did you mean to say that you save $50k per year in addition to...
by galawdawg
Sun Aug 25, 2019 5:31 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Death in family (not sure how to proceed)...
Replies: 30
Views: 5298

Re: Death in family (not sure how to proceed)...

Sorry for your loss. Your wife's sister should contact a trusted Missouri attorney who handles estate matters. If her husband left a will, that will name the executor and govern how his estate is distributed. If he died intestate (without a will), the probate court would need to appoint an administr...
by galawdawg
Sat Aug 24, 2019 8:54 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: How to help an employee who is in debt and requesting a loan
Replies: 110
Views: 8027

Re: How to help an employee who is in debt and requesting a loan

I have just a few observations: 1. Any communication to the employee about this request should be from the employer (your spouse), not from you. 2. While the employee may have a serious health issue and a child with a disability, it sounds like some/most/all of the financial issues are due to other ...
by galawdawg
Sat Aug 24, 2019 5:44 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Grass is greener on the other side - Need inputs
Replies: 25
Views: 2904

Re: Grass is greener on the other side - Need inputs

I agree with others that option 2 appears to be the best fit for you and your stated goals. I retired from state government last year at age 53 with a pension that meets all of our monthly expenses and the same health insurance options and costs as active state employees. I made considerably less mo...
by galawdawg
Fri Aug 23, 2019 12:19 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: I spend no money so am I over-saving for retirement?
Replies: 54
Views: 5170

Re: I spend no money so am I over-saving for retirement?

This requires an in-depth look at your finances, starting with what your goals are. At this point I do not have any idea.. Sounds like the options are spend, pass down or donate.. Spending is most likely out.. Donating I am not too sure about.. Passing down, also not too sure about.. Unless I am mi...
by galawdawg
Thu Aug 22, 2019 5:34 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: help disputing unknown fees on home equity line of credit with bank
Replies: 7
Views: 619

Re: help disputing unknown fees on home equity line of credit with bank

I just read through your previous thread linked in your post and noticed that you also mentioned in that thread in June that there was in addition to the mortgage another $3,000 in "high interest loans" to payoff. So is this HELOC the other $3,000 in "high interest loans" referred to in your other t...
by galawdawg
Tue Aug 20, 2019 11:08 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: How to remove security system in new home?
Replies: 18
Views: 1072

Re: How to remove security system in new home?

While some equipment MAY be proprietary, much is not. Simply changing monitoring companies is often quite easy. And sometimes existing wiring can be used, or sensors, like a magnetic door sensor. Those that choose to self-monitor ignore the insurance discounts that central monitoring provide, as we...
by galawdawg
Sun Aug 18, 2019 6:10 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Moving from Bay area, CA to Knoxville, TN
Replies: 98
Views: 6918

Re: Moving from Bay area, CA to Knoxville, TN

According to Bankrate's Cost of Living Calculator/Comparison tool, to maintain your current standard of living on a San Francisco salary of $200,000 in Knoxville, TN, you'd need $97,959.18. From a purely financial standpoint, a relocation to Knoxville with the offered $185,000 salary (even with a sm...
by galawdawg
Tue Aug 13, 2019 8:08 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Breaking a mortgage rate lock
Replies: 17
Views: 1208

Re: Breaking a mortgage rate lock

But I am still curious how my decision could have screwed him. Could it be a matter of conversion targets that his company set for him? Who knows! Just speculation but he may be compensated in part by commission, sometimes as much as 1% of the loan amount. Or he could be compensated in part based u...
by galawdawg
Tue Aug 13, 2019 7:39 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Breaking a mortgage rate lock
Replies: 17
Views: 1208

Re: Breaking a mortgage lock

The reason why I asked was because the first lender called me and talked in a very frustrated manner. I didn't even tell him that I was pulling out my application. I just send him the better loan estimate and asked if he could match or beat that. He told me that I was kind of screwing him by pullin...
by galawdawg
Tue Aug 13, 2019 6:38 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Do burglars steal and use paperwork?
Replies: 39
Views: 4513

Re: Do burglars steal and use paperwork?

...I suppose the message is to keep credit cards and jewelry in the gun safe. It is even better to deter burglars from picking your home as a target in the first place. Folks would be surprised how many people make it very easy for burglars and thieves. Remember... most of them are lazy (that's one...
by galawdawg
Tue Aug 13, 2019 4:41 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Do burglars steal and use paperwork?
Replies: 39
Views: 4513

Re: Do burglars steal and use paperwork?

I spent most of my career as a felony prosecutor and was a patrol officer and investigator before that. I can not recall a single case in over thirty years where financial records or documents were stolen in a burglary. Burglars would steal checks and checkbooks and credit/debit cards, but even that...
by galawdawg
Sun Aug 11, 2019 3:02 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Condo pool requires having an attendent on duty
Replies: 25
Views: 3011

Re: Condo pool requires having an attendent on duty

Many states have laws that require a lifeguard on duty at public and recreational pools under most circumstances. Maryland for example is one of them. http://www.dsd.state.md.us/comar/comarhtml/10/10.17.01.40.htm I'm not familiar with local regulations requiring an "attendant" for water quality issu...
by galawdawg
Tue Aug 06, 2019 7:28 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Worth it to upgrade to Main Cabin Extra?
Replies: 76
Views: 3852

Re: Worth it to upgrade to Premium Economy?

I think it depends on how "Premium Economy" is defined. I flew Premium Economy on an Air Canada 787 to Tel Aviv a few years ago and it was absolutely worth every penny. Separate cabin, seats similar to domestic first class, great meals and complimentary drinks, all for a modest cost difference over ...
by galawdawg
Tue Aug 06, 2019 6:41 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Soil erosion, rain runoff— major concern or no?
Replies: 17
Views: 1279

Re: Soil erosion, rain runoff— major concern or no?

Without knowing how steep the slope is, how much water flows through that area and how often there is heavy rainfall, it is hard to give much guidance. I purchased a house with an erosion issue on a slope at the side of the driveway. I was able to very inexpensively put a catch basin and grate at th...
by galawdawg
Tue Aug 06, 2019 5:45 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Selling home- Demanding Buyer (Repairs)
Replies: 421
Views: 40040

Re: Selling home- Demanding Buyer (Repairs)

Be careful not to let your previous experience with the unsuccessful offer govern how you handle future transactions. While I realize that you have been "burned" by your experience with the previous buyer, IMHO you risk over-complicating your dealings with other prospective buyers. I'd recommend you...
by galawdawg
Tue Aug 06, 2019 8:06 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Appealing property tax assessment
Replies: 19
Views: 1333

Re: Appealing property tax assessment

Two years ago you estimated that your home was worth 900k. https://www.bogleheads.org/forum/viewtopic.php?t=224008#p3460811. Have property values in your area dropped that significantly since then? As others have mentioned, the two strongest arguments to make on appeal of a tax assessment are establ...
by galawdawg
Fri Jul 26, 2019 11:51 am
Forum: Personal Investments
Topic: Should I pay off my mortgage?
Replies: 34
Views: 2375

Re: Should I pay off my mortgage?

Since you don't actually have the cash to pay the balance of your mortgage, It would seem to me that the real question isn't "should I pay off my mortgage" but "how should I borrow to finance my house". Regarding cobbling together loans from your TSP account and your margin account and withdrawing f...
by galawdawg
Thu Jul 25, 2019 8:31 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Electrician required to replace rocker light switches with PIR motion detecting light switches?
Replies: 36
Views: 2839

Re: Electrician required to replace rocker light switches with PIR motion detecting light switches?

As others mentioned, replacement of light switches is generally an easy DIY project. A couple of caveats: Be certain that the power to the switch is off at the breaker panel. After removing the cover plate, use a voltage tester to verify the power is off before you start removing wires from the exis...
by galawdawg
Sun Jun 16, 2019 2:52 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Keep car and pay for maintence or get new car
Replies: 22
Views: 1149

Re: Keep car and pay for maintence or get new car

Oh - a good local mechanic said the belts and all Associates work (water pump etc) would be about $1200 and the dealer wants north of $1500 - cheaper than anew car but it’s still a lot Those are just maintenance issues that come with car ownership and if the car is otherwise reliable, I wouldn't ev...