Search found 101 matches

by -buzz-
Thu Oct 11, 2018 11:11 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Mortgage vs. Cash
Replies: 28
Views: 2269

Re: Mortgage vs. Cash

We were planning to get a mortgage on the new house and invest about $600K of our savings into a diversified portfolio (80/10/10 or 70/15/15), except for about $50-100K as an emergency fund which we'd keep in a high interest savings account. However, after re-reviewing the blog, I'm having second t...
by -buzz-
Tue Oct 09, 2018 1:16 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Mazda 3 w/ Snow tire or Subaru AWD with All Season Tire
Replies: 56
Views: 3556

Re: Mazda 3 w/ Snow tire or Subaru AWD with All Season Tire

We have a Mazda 3 that was purchased as a kid's first car. It was 9 years old and 72k miles when we bought it. Nice little car that has been good for us. My biggest concern with driving a Mazda in the snow would be ground clearance. I think the Subaru would do a little better clearing piled up snow ...
by -buzz-
Thu Oct 04, 2018 3:45 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Sold Home - 2 days after buyer claims they found an issue with A/C
Replies: 119
Views: 11952

Re: Sold Home - 2 days after buyer claims they found an issue with A/C

I am betting about zero home warranty companies will replace an AC unit. They will all do the cheapest possible repair and make you wait for as long as possible:) Home Warranty of America replaced two units in two years in a previous home for us. The first unit was replaced during our first year of...
by -buzz-
Tue Oct 02, 2018 3:44 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Washington DC with Side Trips Mount Vernon & Monticello Advice
Replies: 11
Views: 797

Re: Washington DC with Side Trips Mount Vernon & Monticello Advice

We did a Gray Line tour of DC that included Mt. Vernon, Arlington, and the memorials. It was a little expensive, but it was an efficient way to see a lot in a short amount of time. It was great to be shuttled right to the sights and not fuss with parking, directions, etc. Also, the driver or guide w...
by -buzz-
Tue Aug 28, 2018 3:15 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Smarter personal finance software?
Replies: 14
Views: 1454

Re: Smarter personal finance software?

Curious to ask. For those of you who use YNAB or other apps, is it worth the monthly fee? I've only read about them and not used any before--The NYT recd YNAB pretty enthusiastically. What is its real added value? I would really just use it to improve my savings. We use YNAB. It has been a huge hel...
by -buzz-
Wed Aug 22, 2018 2:07 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Good Non-Boring Boglehead Cars Under $30k
Replies: 247
Views: 16797

Re: Good Non-Boring Boglehead Cars Under $30k

I've owned a Miata. The total opposite of boring while at the same time being reliable and not very expensive. With acknowledged trunk storage and rear seat problems. :thumbsup The most fun car I've ever owned was a Miata with a 6 speed manual transmission. Very reliable and easy to drive. I was ev...
by -buzz-
Wed Aug 22, 2018 2:02 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: 529 Fees
Replies: 11
Views: 2880

Re: 529 Fees

We went with the Nevada 529. Accessible directly through the Vanguard website. More than enough investment options. ERs are very close between UT and NV. My impression is that ERs in 529s are under continual competitive pressure so the absolute lowest cost provider probably changes over time. As lon...
by -buzz-
Fri Aug 17, 2018 4:34 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Young family: Capital Allocation Question, Home vs. Investments
Replies: 5
Views: 515

Re: Young family: Capital Allocation Question, Home vs. Investments

Would I ever do a cash-out refi to invest? No. I would not create debt on my home to invest. By the time you pay expenses of selling the $540k property and buying a $650 property, the mortgage to cover difference is probably ~$140k. Going with a mortgage of $200k is would only put an additional $60...
by -buzz-
Fri Aug 10, 2018 2:10 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Should I pay 6000.00 to repair wife's car....
Replies: 77
Views: 4990

Re: Should I pay 6000.00 to repair wife's car....

Apparently the new Body Shop (Dealers) has found it is broken on both ends. So the 5K includes: - new door - remove front end of car - to get to the area where it is broken by the Apiller. - paint etc. Have you thought about trying to get a door from a salvage yard? Don't know if that is practical ...
by -buzz-
Tue Aug 07, 2018 2:18 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Grind and Brew Coffee Makers - worth it?
Replies: 39
Views: 3443

Re: Grind and Brew Coffee Makers - worth it?

I tend to dislike machines that create unnecessary material waste, i.e., Keurig and Nespresso. I am interested in an automatic espresso type machine, like the Jura J8, I guess. A question for those users: do those machines make a cup of regular joe, in addition to the lattes, capuccinsos, etc.? Yes...
by -buzz-
Mon Jul 30, 2018 10:14 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Should I move to cash in my child's Pennsylvania 529 plan?
Replies: 6
Views: 694

Re: Should I move to cash in my child's Pennsylvania 529 plan?

I think it depends on how close to your funding goal you are at this point.

If you think you have sufficient funds to cover your target school(s), then I would certainly move to a more conservative AA. Maybe not all cash hut semester between 30-70 and 50-50 would be my suggestion.
by -buzz-
Mon Jul 30, 2018 10:01 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Settle my claim or elevate issue
Replies: 18
Views: 1615

Re: Settle my claim or elevate issue

Never hurts to ask but if they paid your repair and rental car costs, they made you whole to the best of their ability. I wouldn't expect any further compensation for time or inconvienence.
by -buzz-
Sun Jul 29, 2018 4:01 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Any problems with freezer "drawer" models
Replies: 40
Views: 2990

Re: Any problems with freezer "drawer" models

We have a Samsung for about 8 yrs. No issue. Sis in law had a different brand and handle kept pulling loose. Check for a sturdy handle. Love the design. Weight not a problem. We bought a Samsung about 5 years ago. The ice maker on the french door models has a design problem. There is a class action...
by -buzz-
Sat Jul 28, 2018 3:21 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Home Addition Finance
Replies: 48
Views: 2855

Re: Home Addition Finance

This really hits home with me. I think this is great advice and makes sense. Paying down debt and saving up the cash will take some time. That is a good thing. Use the time to thoroughly plan what you want in the remodel/addition before you ever bring in architects and contractors who may try to se...
by -buzz-
Sat Jul 28, 2018 2:58 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Talk to me about Le Creuset
Replies: 53
Views: 6227

Re: Talk to me about Le Creuset

Our other cookware is Lodge Cast Iron (large and small skillet) and Debuyer carbon steel pan for fish and crepes . We have too much cookware, but we are a family of 5 with three teenagers. Keeping the crew fed is an ongoing challenge. My favorites are a Debuyer carbon steel skillet and what Debuyer...
by -buzz-
Fri Jul 27, 2018 2:22 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Home Addition Finance
Replies: 48
Views: 2855

Re: Home Addition Finance

We can wait 2 years and have the cash plus a cushion, but not sure my wife will have the patience (I don't blame her, we have a bad layout) Think about what puts you in the best position 5-10 years from now. You love the location, the property is workable long term with some improvements, and have ...
by -buzz-
Fri Jul 27, 2018 11:50 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: $75,000 bonus - help me with my plan
Replies: 24
Views: 3482

Re: $75,000 bonus - help me with my plan

I am feeling that our plan could be something like the following: 1) Put away enough to max backdoor Roths immediately in Jan 2019 2) I have a highly variable income and am having what is considered an anomaly year (Our W2s will be near 400K this year, but I anticipate we will sit around 200K next ...
by -buzz-
Mon Jul 23, 2018 6:31 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Legacy across generations......
Replies: 66
Views: 4451

Re: Legacy across generations......

The age of the grandchildren at the time of inheritance matters to me. At the current age (10 years old or younger), I would split it 50-50 between the children. I wouldn't want to bestow a significant amount of money to grandchildren who are less than 30 years old. That money might not help them an...
by -buzz-
Mon Jul 23, 2018 1:59 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Rotating Tires in Honda Odyssey
Replies: 15
Views: 1633

Re: Rotating Tires in Honda Odyssey

I do it at each oil change. No particular logic to that other than it is easy to remember.

I rotate mine front to back.

I also have a hydraulic jack and impact wrench at home, so it is easy for me to do myself when necessary.
by -buzz-
Wed Jul 18, 2018 6:46 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: sams club - new member
Replies: 22
Views: 1785

Re: sams club - new member

Overall, we shop more at Costco but keep memberships at both for different things. (3 teenagers in the house , economizing our grocery bill is important.) We have been really happy with Sam's Optical. Pretty good prices and the staff at our local one is awesome. One thing I really like is that they ...
by -buzz-
Wed Jul 18, 2018 1:23 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Selling mom's house
Replies: 50
Views: 4312

Re: Selling mom's house

My sister (that lives in the house) is trying to buy our part out and does not yet know if she will be approved for the mortgage (she had to get a co-signer). ... She has asked us to take 100K AND turn around and give her 5k from each of our share so she can fix the house. Definitely do not agree t...
by -buzz-
Wed Jul 18, 2018 9:02 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Question about new construction basement houses
Replies: 19
Views: 1537

Re: Question about new construction basement houses

Edit: One additional question, would you have the builder finish the basement for an additional $26k for 1000 sq ft space? We built a house with an unfinished basement 5 years ago. Haven't had any problem with moisture. We considered having the builder finish it and decided against it because it wa...
by -buzz-
Tue Jul 17, 2018 1:05 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Simple question on where to fund - 401k > IRA > what next
Replies: 20
Views: 1500

Re: Simple question on where to fund - 401k > IRA > what next

Does your plan offer a self-directed brokerage window?
by -buzz-
Tue Jul 17, 2018 11:46 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Wills
Replies: 54
Views: 3350

Re: Wills

I don't have a lawyer. How do you find a good lawyer? We updated our will and estate planning documents this year. We were way overdue and I'm glad we finally got it done. I asked friends for recommendations and found an attorney we were happy with. The biggest hurdle for us (and the reason we wait...
by -buzz-
Tue Jul 17, 2018 11:34 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Should I reduce the death benefit of my term life policy?
Replies: 20
Views: 1090

Re: Should I reduce the death benefit of my term life policy?

I will not be having any more children - even if I remarry again. If you remarried, the new spouse could bring children into the relationship. Unless the premium is a financial strain, I would reduce the coverage to $1M for right now and reevaluate it when you turn 50. See what your life looks like...
by -buzz-
Tue Jul 17, 2018 10:02 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Anyone not have a Budget?
Replies: 115
Views: 7814

Re: Anyone not have a Budget?

The way we manage our finances has evolved over time. We didn't used to budget. When we were dual income with no kids, we didn't feel it was necessary. When we went down to one income after kids, we managed a little more closely but didn't have a formal budget. For a little over a year, we have been...
by -buzz-
Mon Jul 16, 2018 3:25 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: How much did your braces/invisalign braces cost?
Replies: 32
Views: 2936

Re: How much did your braces/invisalign braces cost?

We shopped around. $4.2k for one kid and $3.2k for the other were the cash up front prices. Same treatment was 15-20% higher at another provider. We had just switched plans and hadn't had time to build up money in the HSA, so we chose a payment plan that will end up costing $4.4k for one and $3.4k f...
by -buzz-
Thu Jul 12, 2018 11:18 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Emergency fund checkup
Replies: 19
Views: 1678

Re: Emergency fund checkup

As far as costs, I had an employee move about 500 miles. Single guy living in a 2 BR apartment. The cost was about $8k to have him professionally moved, which included supplies, packing, loading, transport, and unpacking. I'd guess that doing it yourself would cut the cost in half. ^ Thanks. Did he...
by -buzz-
Wed Jul 11, 2018 12:11 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Emergency fund checkup
Replies: 19
Views: 1678

Re: Emergency fund checkup

Roth IRAs are for retirement savings. Emergency funds should be kept outside so you can access them without taxes or penalties. Also, an outside EF protects you from raiding the IRA when something happens. If you have equity in your current house, the costs of selling your current home would be dedu...
by -buzz-
Fri Jul 06, 2018 4:10 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Budgeting Decision - Pay Down Debt Faster? Or Put Towards Savings?
Replies: 12
Views: 854

Re: Budgeting Decision - Pay Down Debt Faster? Or Put Towards Savings?

Have you ever had any issues with combining finances? I have heard some horror stories from co-workers and extended family members (it led to divorce for my cousin). My wife and I just celebrated our 25th wedding anniversary this week. (Yay us!) We've had our finances combined all of that time. We ...
by -buzz-
Fri Jul 06, 2018 3:51 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Anxiety Spending Money
Replies: 52
Views: 5685

Re: Anxiety Spending Money

I'm caught in an emotional battle with myself : I'm trying to be responsible by paying off my debt as quickly as possible while also saving and increasing my income by any means. To supplement my low income, I've been selling items on eBay and Amazon for about a year, doing odd jobs on the weekend,...
by -buzz-
Fri Jul 06, 2018 12:06 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Budgeting Decision - Pay Down Debt Faster? Or Put Towards Savings?
Replies: 12
Views: 854

Re: Budgeting Decision - Pay Down Debt Faster? Or Put Towards Savings?

We currently have a little over $10k in the savings account. Checking account never falls below $3k at any given time after paying bills. Wife has an emergency fund of roughly $60k. (her parents paid for her college and she also was a lot smarter with her money at 19-25 than I was). So there is $10...
by -buzz-
Fri Jul 06, 2018 11:45 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Cheapest quality online tax preparation software?
Replies: 8
Views: 448

Re: Cheapest quality online tax preparation software?

I have used H&R Block software for several years. Costs about $35 including state return.
by -buzz-
Thu Jul 05, 2018 11:59 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Downsizing question: smaller house or interim rental
Replies: 15
Views: 992

Re: Downsizing question: smaller house or interim rental

When I downsized in 2001 after I retired I carried two homes and two mortgages at once for about 1.5 years. I spent a little more than normal for that time while I fixed up the new house to our specifications and moved and sold the old house. I got a mortgage loan on the new house with a 30 year te...
by -buzz-
Tue Jul 03, 2018 2:05 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Cheapest way to buy a phone in 2018?
Replies: 73
Views: 7773

Re: Cheapest way to buy a phone in 2018?

Big Dog wrote:
Tue Jul 03, 2018 10:30 am
For apple, Max Capacity should be 80%+. Anything lower, then you can get your battery replaced for $29. Of course, that means a week without your phone.
We got two iPhone batteries replaced at Best Buy. They were able to do the $29 price and had them back in a couple of hours.
by -buzz-
Tue Jul 03, 2018 11:47 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: How much should i expect to pay for car insurance?
Replies: 22
Views: 1497

Re: How much should i expect to pay for car insurance?

Too many variables to ball park a number. Some personal information is going to be needed to get a quote - age, location, male/female, marital status, driving history, prior claims, coverage amounts, deductible amounts, eligible discounts, annual mileage, security of parking, etc. all factor into th...
by -buzz-
Tue Jul 03, 2018 9:12 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Transporting bikes with an SUV?
Replies: 38
Views: 2040

Re: Transporting bikes with an SUV?

Watch craigslist and find a used hitch mounted rack.

Hitch mount is secure and easy to access. The nicer ones swing away with the bikes mounted so you can access the rear hatch, but that isn't 100% necessary.

For kid's bikes, you may need top tube adapters to allow them to fit on the rack securely.
by -buzz-
Fri Jun 29, 2018 5:46 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Deferred Comp good idea?
Replies: 25
Views: 2570

Re: Deferred Comp good idea?

- I have to decide in advance how long to defer: either 3, 4 or 5 years. - Immediately if I leave the company, die, or the elected deferral period is over, it's paid out in a SINGLE LUMP SUM. If you were within 5 years of retirement and could push out some income, it might make sense. I don't see t...
by -buzz-
Fri Jun 29, 2018 5:08 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Buy used or new Honda Odyssey - specific example
Replies: 26
Views: 2167

Re: Buy used or new Honda Odyssey - specific example

With those two rough price points and our plan to own our minivan for 9-10+ years - would you recommend buying used or new? There is another factor you might want to consider. You've already driven a minivan for 10 years. Do you really need a minivan for 10 more years? We drove an Odyssey (purchase...
by -buzz-
Fri Jun 29, 2018 3:15 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Determining "Fair Market Value" for a home
Replies: 14
Views: 1193

Re: Determining "Fair Market Value" for a home

I got such confusing information about an appraisal. A good friend of mine who is a realtor said that appraisals by licensed appraisers are not terribly reliable and vary all over the place and can't really be trusted any more than a good realtor's estimate, plus can cost $500. So, I have been a li...
by -buzz-
Fri Jun 29, 2018 11:50 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Loan to Max Out 401(k)
Replies: 28
Views: 1838

Re: Loan to Max Out 401(k)

Apologies for the potentially dumb question, but I live in a very high-tax jurisdiction (New York City), and while I do alright, I don't make enough to max out my 401(k) contribution ($18,500/yr) comfortably. To contribute the max would seriously put a damper on my lifestyle. So, I was considering ...
by -buzz-
Wed Jun 27, 2018 8:54 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Buying a truck - Honda Ridgeline vs Chevrolet Silverado 1500?
Replies: 98
Views: 6800

Re: Buying a truck - Honda Ridgeline vs Chevrolet Silverado 1500?

can you elaborate on the off-road capabiity please? like what specifically can the ridgeline not do that other trucks can? thanks off-road is important to me. The Ridgeline is perfectly capable of going off-pavement, it just can't do heavy-duty off-roading like crawling rocks. It has no low range. ...
by -buzz-
Wed Jun 27, 2018 12:01 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Buying a truck - Honda Ridgeline vs Chevrolet Silverado 1500?
Replies: 98
Views: 6800

Re: Buying a truck - Honda Ridgeline vs Chevrolet Silverado 1500?

I've been driving my Toyota Tacoma for 10 years. It has been a great truck. Zero problems and has held a very strong resale value. I wouldn't hesitate to buy another one today. I prefer mid-size trucks over full size. For city driving, they are a lot easier to maneuver and park. They also get slight...
by -buzz-
Mon Jun 25, 2018 12:48 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Costco tire - Michelin vs Bridgestone
Replies: 44
Views: 26572

Re: Costco tire - Michelin vs Bridgestone

Last year I traded in a 1996 Ford Windstar with 82,000 miles with the original Michelin tires and a substantial amount of tread left on them. Yikes. I would not drive on 20 year old tires even if they did have tread left. +1. Dry rot makes tires unsafe after about 6 years. You may indeed have plent...
by -buzz-
Mon Jun 25, 2018 11:27 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Buy year end 2018 van vs. 2019 model
Replies: 7
Views: 882

Re: Buy year end 2018 van vs. 2019 model

Maybe a 2017 with 12000 miles would be a better bet. True, but finding one might be harder than you think. Last time we bought a van was in 2016. I really wanted to save some money and buy a low-mileage, used van. I watched the ads for a couple of months. I was surprised by the lack of choices with...
by -buzz-
Sun Jun 24, 2018 8:31 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Buy year end 2018 van vs. 2019 model
Replies: 7
Views: 882

Re: Buy year end 2018 van vs. 2019 model

We would expect to keep it 8-10 yrs, 150-200K miles. By the time you plan to sell it, the depreciation curve will be pretty flat so one model year difference won't matter much. Condition and mileage will matter more to the buyer. Financially, a $1,000 savings on the older year will probably more th...
by -buzz-
Sat Jun 23, 2018 1:31 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Costco tire - Michelin vs Bridgestone
Replies: 44
Views: 26572

Re: Costco tire - Michelin vs Bridgestone

Parthenon wrote:
Wed Mar 15, 2017 10:47 pm
Last year I traded in a 1996 Ford Windstar with 82,000 miles with the original Michelin tires and a substantial amount of tread left on them.
Yikes. I would not drive on 20 year old tires even if they did have tread left.
by -buzz-
Sat Jun 23, 2018 1:02 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: car for long-distance driving
Replies: 80
Views: 5715

Re: car for long-distance driving

Might be cheaper to rent a car with unlimited mileage for such trips. I was thinking the same thing, especially if the trips are only a few days. Keep from piling the mileage on your own car and save on maintenance costs. Otherwise, I'd suggest something like a Toyota Highlander or RAV 4. Winter dr...
by -buzz-
Fri Jun 22, 2018 6:56 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: What do you include in your grocery budget?
Replies: 36
Views: 1929

Re: What do you include in your grocery budget?

My experience is that trying to be too granular about budget tracking adds unnecessary complexity without adding value. We are a family of 5 with teenage children at home so our Grocery category is a pretty big budget item right now. We budget separately for Groceries, Dining Out, Household and Pres...
by -buzz-
Fri Jun 22, 2018 3:59 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: House and HELOC refi advice
Replies: 6
Views: 923

Re: House and HELOC refi advice

There is an online calculator that lets you compare loan consolidation scenarios: Consolidation Refinance calculator You're considering a finance offer that only lowers your interest rate by 1/8th of a point compared to your first mortgage, so there will be minimal savings on the first mortgage to o...