Search found 430 matches

by AnimalCrackers
Tue Dec 19, 2017 2:56 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Electric Energy Usage
Replies: 86
Views: 5579

Re: Electric Energy Usage

Home energy audit first - don't just think "insulation" - air sealing is critical (don't want to be heating unconditioned space like the attic) +1 Why guess at the most cost-effective way to lower your energy bill, save the planet, etc? Your power company or county or municipality may offer a rebat...
by AnimalCrackers
Wed May 31, 2017 3:34 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Help me determine a savings percentage..
Replies: 19
Views: 1835

Re: Help me determine a savings percentage..

Years ago, I used figures from this article and built an Excel spreadsheet to make a composite aspiring retiree of me and my wife. I used the savings rate figure the spreadsheet generated to find a minimum rate for us to save, while we used any leftover funds to pay down debt, save for college, or o...
by AnimalCrackers
Thu Apr 20, 2017 1:34 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: About lawn sprinkler sytem
Replies: 16
Views: 1761

Re: About lawn sprinkler sytem

We have a mix-and-match system, and it works really well: a Weathermatic SL1600 smart controller with an extra module for more zones, wired Weathermatic weather station (temperature and moisture sensor), Irritrol valves, 6-inch Rainbird spray bodies with MP Rotator spray heads. I can't say enough ab...
by AnimalCrackers
Fri Apr 07, 2017 1:56 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: I cut the cord a couple years back but think I'm going back to cable
Replies: 47
Views: 8607

Re: I cut the cord a couple years back but think I'm going back to cable

I briefly used Unlocator to circumvent the blackout rules that prevented me from watching my local MLB team on MLBTV through our Rokus.

It worked pretty well, but I ultimately decided I didn't care that much, because I prefer to watch my childhood team, which is out of market.

https://unlocator.com/
by AnimalCrackers
Thu Mar 16, 2017 3:44 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Quiet Bedroom overhead fan
Replies: 25
Views: 2146

Re: Quiet Bedroom overhead fan

We have had a 54 inch Litex ceiling fan that we bought from Costco.com for years. The fan itself is surprisingly quiet. You can barely hear it on the low setting. When it started to wobble a bit and make a clicking noise a while back, I tightened all the accessible fasteners, e.g., blade, housing, b...
by AnimalCrackers
Tue Mar 14, 2017 2:57 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Impact driver (and possibly drill) recommendations
Replies: 36
Views: 2940

Re: Impact driver (and possibly drill) recommendations

I'm surprised no one mentioned the Ryobi ONE+ 18-Volt Lithium-Ion Cordless Drill/Driver and Impact Driver Kit (2-Tool). $149.

I bought and supplemented a six piece combo kit that included both, and now I almost never use the 18v Skil drill set that preceded it.
by AnimalCrackers
Thu Mar 02, 2017 3:06 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: 1st Post...TSP inter-transfer
Replies: 9
Views: 1239

Re: 1st Post...TSP inter-transfer

Without knowing more, if I were you I'd:
1) cancel the appointment with the Edward Jones "advisor";
2) see if the local library has a copy of "The Bogleheads' Guide To Retirement Planning," obtain, and read carefully; and,
3) consider exchanging the entire balance of the TSP into the L2020 fund.
by AnimalCrackers
Tue Feb 21, 2017 5:31 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Is 60/40 too conservative for 31 year old?
Replies: 69
Views: 8651

Re: Is 60/40 too conservative for 31 year old?

"The 60/40 Solution: The ideal asset allocation for today’s
market and for the future is
more conservative than you thought"

Maybe a bit dated, but probably worth a look.

http://web.archive.org/web/200612140619 ... in6040.pdf
by AnimalCrackers
Tue Sep 29, 2015 3:47 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Dividend Mantra Sells Out
Replies: 28
Views: 8823

Re: Dividend Mantra Sells Out

I used to follow that blog closely. DM was a lot more interesting to me before he quit his day job, bought a car, and moved to Michigan and back.
by AnimalCrackers
Tue Sep 01, 2015 1:30 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: HVAC Audit - and efficient heat
Replies: 5
Views: 702

Re: HVAC Audit - and efficient heat

We made signifcant home energy efficiency upgrades in 2015. This book was extremely helpful: Insulate and Weatherize: For Energy Efficiency at Home (Taunton's Build Like a Pro) Paperback – October 18, 2012 by Bruce Harley. My suggestion would be to read it cover to cover before spending any money or...
by AnimalCrackers
Fri Jan 09, 2015 1:47 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Wedding Anniversary in Cape Cod
Replies: 40
Views: 3777

Re: Wedding Anniversary in Cape Cod

FWIW, if I ever go back to Cape Cod in the summer, I am taking my parka and my wetsuit.
by AnimalCrackers
Tue Dec 09, 2014 6:02 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Thrift Savings Plan vs Roth TSP
Replies: 13
Views: 2297

Re: Thrift Savings Plan vs Roth TSP

I found this author's 2 or 3 articles on the issue helpful: http://thefinancebuff.com/most-tsp-part ... h-tsp.html
by AnimalCrackers
Fri Nov 14, 2014 4:54 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Harry's razors
Replies: 53
Views: 11264

Re: Harry's razors

Don't know who Harry is but, I am also in the DE camp. I have been using this one below for years: http://www.amazon.com/Merkur-Heavy-Double-Razor-Included/dp/B000QYEK88/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1415999017&sr=8-1&keywords=merkur+heavy+duty+double+edge+razor+34c And these are the razors I use. They la...
by AnimalCrackers
Tue Oct 28, 2014 3:27 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Money saved by buying a hybrid or electric car?
Replies: 81
Views: 9063

Re: Money saved by buying a hybrid or electric car?

I found this calculator helpful when making a similar decision recently: http://www.befrugal.com/tools/electric-car-calculator/
by AnimalCrackers
Mon Oct 20, 2014 12:13 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Shoes for Plantar Fasciitis?
Replies: 47
Views: 5533

Re: Shoes for Plantar Fasciitis?

Brooks Addiction walkers from Zappos (with custom orthotics).
by AnimalCrackers
Mon Oct 20, 2014 12:02 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: DIY Winterizing Sprinkler / Irrigation System
Replies: 17
Views: 8636

Re: DIY Winterizing Sprinkler / Irrigation System

This website has been very helpful to me and my irrigation system: http://www.irrigationtutorials.com/winter.htm
by AnimalCrackers
Fri Sep 19, 2014 10:20 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Low Gas Prices => Deals on Hybrid/Electric Cars
Replies: 7
Views: 992

Re: Low Gas Prices => Deals on Hybrid/Electric Cars

Depending on the make and model, you may have 100,000 miles of life left in your current car. I suspect that, even if you're right about a pending cost increase in hyrbrid or electric cars, the amount you'd save by timing the purchase just right would be dwarfed by the amount you'd save in just not ...
by AnimalCrackers
Fri Sep 05, 2014 2:05 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Pre paying insurance premiums
Replies: 10
Views: 708

Re: Pre paying insurance premiums

I pay annually rather than monthly for exactly that reason. We do the same. We save 1/26th of the annual premium into a saving account biweekly and then pay the premium to the insurance company once a year. Same thing with disability insurance premiums, auto insurance premiums, etc. All to avoid va...
by AnimalCrackers
Fri Sep 05, 2014 1:53 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: New or Used Prius
Replies: 11
Views: 1898

Re: New or Used Prius

We just bought a 2008 Prius (49,000 on odometer) from a good friend.

I found this MMM article interesting, especially regarding the battery life issue: http://www.mrmoneymustache.com/2012/03/ ... ble-maker/
by AnimalCrackers
Tue Aug 19, 2014 4:01 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Kaiser vs Blue Shield
Replies: 83
Views: 17618

Re: Kaiser vs Blue Shield

I like not having to deal with or worry about whether something is in network or not. Go to a Kaiser facility and you are guaranteed not to run into out of network issues. I place a high value on avoiding costly out of network surprises, too, and my family has been happy with Kaiser for seven years.
by AnimalCrackers
Tue Aug 19, 2014 11:26 am
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: REITS, emerging markets, small cap growth, or all three?
Replies: 8
Views: 843

Re: REITS, emerging markets, small cap growth, or all three?

Perhaps I need to stick with the three fund portfolio and quit over analyzing everything. :oops: Pretty much can't go wrong with this choice. Adding some emerging markets in Roth IRA will complete the portfolio. FWIW, that's ultimately what I did, after I concluded that overweighting the REITs, sma...
by AnimalCrackers
Mon Aug 11, 2014 11:23 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Should I waive Federal Employees Group Life Insurance?
Replies: 12
Views: 4825

Re: Should I waive Federal Employees Group Life Insurance?

FWIW, the wife and I are both feds. We have two kids. We're both healthy. We kept basic, waived optional life insurance, and both bought term policies through term4sale. IIRC, it seemed like the optional life insurance offered came at a premium in exchange for not having to undergo (and pass) medica...
by AnimalCrackers
Fri Aug 08, 2014 12:55 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Timing cap gains & losses fun
Replies: 8
Views: 703

Re: Timing cap gains & losses fun

Broadly both, but more specifically, they were purchased during or after March 2012. I mentioned 2009 because IIRC, that's when brokerages had to start calculating and providing basis information for covered shares. Reporting did not start until 2011. Mutual fund reporting did not start until 2012....
by AnimalCrackers
Fri Aug 08, 2014 12:05 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Timing cap gains & losses fun
Replies: 8
Views: 703

Re: Timing cap gains & losses fun

I plan to liquidate a taxable account that will have a balance of about $8k in stock and bond ETFs (purchased no earlier than March 2012) ... because the purchases were after 2009 or something, Which is it? Purchased on or after March 2012? Or after 2009? Broadly both, but more specifically, they w...
by AnimalCrackers
Fri Aug 08, 2014 9:53 am
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Timing cap gains & losses fun
Replies: 8
Views: 703

Re: Timing cap gains & losses fun

I don't see any complexities in this. The 1099B from Fidelity should download automatically into TurboTax and you will just have to confirm that the info is correct on the forms. Pretty easy I would think. Presumably you are not automatically re-investing. Thanks for weighing in. No, I am not now n...
by AnimalCrackers
Thu Aug 07, 2014 3:40 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Timing cap gains & losses fun
Replies: 8
Views: 703

Timing cap gains & losses fun

I plan to liquidate a taxable account that will have a balance of about $8k in stock and bond ETFs (purchased no earlier than March 2012) between now and say 01.31.15. I plan to use the proceeds to pay down a student loan, so I’m not selling solely for the tax consequences. The account has scores of...
by AnimalCrackers
Tue Aug 05, 2014 5:53 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Opinions appreciated on current physician disability policy
Replies: 23
Views: 1819

Re: Opinions appreciated on current physician disability pol

I'm not qualified to answer your specific questions, but the White Coat Investor probably is. My glib advice: buy EmergDoc's book, email him, tell him you bought his book, and then make him answer your specific question(s). :)

http://whitecoatinvestor.com/disability ... roduction/
by AnimalCrackers
Tue Aug 05, 2014 3:49 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: REITS-worth the time to add 10% into portfolio
Replies: 33
Views: 3537

Re: REITS-worth the time to add 10% into portfolio

Ask yourself why you don't add other VG sector funds for diversification, such as Energy, Health Care, or Precious Metals . . . . I had a separate REIT allocation, but dropped it. That was my thinking, too. I figured I'd basically be overweighting the companies that were already represented in (2.5...
by AnimalCrackers
Thu Jul 31, 2014 3:36 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: First time home buyer ?'s
Replies: 15
Views: 1730

Re: First time home buyer ?'s

FWIW, my wife and I bought our first house in 2006. Before we made any big decisions, we both spent a long, long time reading at the Mortgage Professor's website: http://www.mtgprofessor.com/ That website contains a wealth of information on the industry. We also bought a copy of "Home Buying for Dum...
by AnimalCrackers
Fri Jul 11, 2014 12:12 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Boglehead Rules Of Thumb To Investing?
Replies: 23
Views: 3909

Re: Boglehead Rules Of Thumb To Investing?

I've found this article pretty close to what I think are the rules of thumb: http://whitecoatinvestor.com/the-default-portfolio/
by AnimalCrackers
Wed Jul 02, 2014 12:48 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: TSP Advice
Replies: 6
Views: 789

Re: TSP Advice

OP, you may be interested in this article from The White Coat Investor: http://whitecoatinvestor.com/should-you ... ributions/
by AnimalCrackers
Fri Jun 13, 2014 2:03 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Will adding [air duct] returns cool the upstairs bedrooms?
Replies: 60
Views: 17456

Re: Will adding returns cool the upstairs bedrooms?

OP, we solved a very similar problem by installing inline duct fans in the basement in the ducts that led to two offending bedrooms on the second story, one with a rheostat. They look kind of like this: http://www.amazon.com/Fantech-FR-150-Centrifugal-Housing/dp/B000GXCPV8/ref=sr_1_7?s=hi&ie=UTF8&qi...
by AnimalCrackers
Fri Jun 06, 2014 4:06 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Roth TSP
Replies: 12
Views: 1174

Re: Roth TSP

I continually struggle with the same type of decision.

These articles help me worry about it:

http://thefinancebuff.com/case-against-roth-401k.html

http://thefinancebuff.com/most-tsp-part ... h-tsp.html
by AnimalCrackers
Tue Jun 03, 2014 5:26 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Fitness tracker recommendation
Replies: 12
Views: 1418

Re: Fitness tracker recommendation

I've been wearing a Polar Loop since mid February. I knew it was waterproof, which was a big selling point for me, but it's more comfortable and lighter than I'd anticipated. I rarely take it off. The most significant change in my physical behavior since putting it on: I now almost always use a bath...
by AnimalCrackers
Thu May 15, 2014 4:33 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: New homeowner: lawn care advice
Replies: 87
Views: 30148

Re: New homeowner: lawn care advice

Executive summary: Mow at the highest setting, leave clippings on the lawn, water infrequently (but deeply) - an inch once a week, feed your SOIL instead of your grass (with simple materials available at your local feed and seed). The basic idea is to create an ideal soil ecosystem for your lawn to...
by AnimalCrackers
Tue Apr 29, 2014 5:37 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Pay down variable loan or invest
Replies: 19
Views: 3432

Re: Pay down variable loan or invest

I probably should have mentioned this in the original post, but I have also read the following article by EmergDoc that includes among the list of nine loan/investing priorities: "1) Pay off high interest debt. Any credit cards or consumer debt at 8% or higher should be paid off ASAP." and "2) Inves...
by AnimalCrackers
Tue Apr 29, 2014 5:17 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Pay down variable loan or invest
Replies: 19
Views: 3432

Re: Pay down variable loan or invest

HardKnocker wrote:Get rid of the debt.
I hear you.

No mater how you cut it, there is a greater-than-zero chance that the variable rate would rise right up to the 8.25% cap come some July 1 before I completely pay it off.
by AnimalCrackers
Tue Apr 29, 2014 4:21 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Pay down variable loan or invest
Replies: 19
Views: 3432

Re: Pay down variable loan or invest

you are comparing guaranteed returns from paying debt to expected returns from equities. Thanks for the replies and help. I picked 60/40 for the comparison, because I somewhat expect our glide path to end there. You're right on the issue, as I see it. The guaranteed return from paying debt will cha...
by AnimalCrackers
Tue Apr 29, 2014 4:14 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Pay down variable loan or invest
Replies: 19
Views: 3432

Re: Pay down variable loan or invest

The rate could go up a huge amount before it would really be signficantly better to pay off the debts first. If I'm extending your logic correctly, jimb_fromATL, the rate of the loan would have to rise above 10% before you would advocate paying down the loan over investing more in the TSP (expected...
by AnimalCrackers
Tue Apr 29, 2014 2:17 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Pay down variable loan or invest
Replies: 19
Views: 3432

Re: Pay down variable loan or invest

Other possibly relevant information -- your age? any possibility that either loan will be forgiven? your current savings rate? Off-hand I would say start using the extra dollars to pay down the principal on the unsubsidized student loan. Thanks for the response. I'm 46. If I switched repayment plan...
by AnimalCrackers
Tue Apr 29, 2014 1:37 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Pay down variable loan or invest
Replies: 19
Views: 3432

Pay down variable loan or invest

I expect to pay off my wife’s 4.575% fixed rate student loans in July or August, soon after she receives the last matching payment from her employer. So, we’ll soon be in a position to start paying down MY student loans a bit: Direct Consolidation Loan, unsubsidized; $26,001 current balance; variabl...