Search found 1168 matches

by hand
Tue Sep 18, 2018 8:01 am
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Facing Retirement at year end
Replies: 22
Views: 2655

Re: Facing Retirement at year end

Wife hopes she is done and I agree. She will draw $29K/yr social security at 66. Not sure why taking SS at 66 is presented as a given - delaying social security (i.e. waiting until max benefit) can substantially reduce risk later in retirement. SS withdrawal strategy should be a question answered b...
by hand
Mon Sep 17, 2018 1:08 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: New Job 1 year 401k wait, advice?
Replies: 12
Views: 1389

Re: New Job 1 year 401k wait, advice?

Look into backdoor Roth (taxable IRA contribution converted into a Roth IRA) as a way to contribute $11k / yr for you and your wife (though dependent on basis of existing IRAs, if any). If you do have IRAs with a basis, perhaps from the roll-over of your legacy 401(k), consider using some of the $30...
by hand
Sat Sep 15, 2018 3:51 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Rain Jacket recommendations and care
Replies: 32
Views: 2385

Re: Rain Jacket recommendations and care

Patagonia Torrentshell Jacket - lightweight and often goes on sale on their website, and likely in stores.
by hand
Thu Sep 13, 2018 7:53 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Cash on hand for emergencies
Replies: 43
Views: 4328

Re: Cash on hand for emergencies

AlohaJoe wrote:
Tue Oct 03, 2017 8:59 am

I live in a third world country. (Except they're not called that anymore.)
Ordinally challenged?
by hand
Fri Sep 07, 2018 10:46 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Certified Pre-Owned Cars (CPO): Is this normal?
Replies: 30
Views: 2460

Re: Certified Pre-Owned Cars (CPO): Is this normal?

You got scammed - don't feel bad, it is in the used car dealer's job description.

You do however have a responsibility to yourself and to others to fight back.
by hand
Thu Sep 06, 2018 1:33 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Need Help, Dummy Buying A Car!
Replies: 21
Views: 1313

Re: Need Help, Dummy Buying A Car!

Do you have any flexibility in budget? While there are certaintly plenty of servicable cars in your price range, there are also a large number of dogs and you risk a false economy of cheaping out on something you are going to have to depend on since maintenece and repairs of a used car could easily ...
by hand
Wed Sep 05, 2018 12:20 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Short Sale Purchasing [property]
Replies: 17
Views: 1346

Re: Short Sale Purchasing

Hi, I'm in process of purchasing a short sale. I put an offer - and that was accepted by the seller, and passed on to the seller's lender. The Seller's lender performed an appraisal, and it seems that their appraisal came back so high, that the lowest they may allow the sale is still higher than my...
by hand
Sat Sep 01, 2018 11:39 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Responding to IRS CP2000 notice for backdoor Roth - new 8606 or not?
Replies: 30
Views: 1612

Re: Responding to IRS CP2000 notice for backdoor Roth - new 8606 or not?

Try calling the number in the letter first to explain what was intended. I recieved a similar letter, and after a bit of a wait on hold, the agent I spoke to was able to easily understand the intended conversion (Backdoor Roth) and see that while proper paperwork had been filed, IRS had misunderstoo...
by hand
Tue Aug 21, 2018 4:43 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Good Non-Boring Boglehead Cars Under $30k
Replies: 215
Views: 12265

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

It feels like providing input on a couple additional dimensions could help you / respondants narrow down the choices: 1) Highway, Backroads or city driving? 2) Is this a daily commuter which will have to absorb lots of miles, or a weekend garage queen? 3) Do you care about ongoing costs (maintenance...
by hand
Thu Aug 09, 2018 7:20 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Landlord advice needed with section 8
Replies: 38
Views: 3746

Re: Landlord advice needed with section 8

Several hundred rental units over many decades. 1. Don't rent to Section 8. (or other subsidized type of arrangement). 2. Be patient and rent to the best non-Section 8 tenants that are available. Without exception. 3. Know the landlord tenant code and all local codes and laws (state/fed/county/etc)...
by hand
Tue Aug 07, 2018 1:04 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Landlord advice needed with section 8
Replies: 38
Views: 3746

Re: Landlord advice needed with section 8

Tax Question: If you are demonstrably below market due to the Section 8 moratorium, does the difference count as a charitable donation? (I suspect not, but perhaps?) Contrary Opinion: If you are currently renting to Section 8 tenants, your perspective tenant pool (even at market) is likely challengi...
by hand
Tue Aug 07, 2018 10:52 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Selling a used car
Replies: 49
Views: 2106

Re: Selling a used car

Here is a crazy idea, raise the price. A lot of people won't even consider a car under a certain price. Get a bunch of good pics, raise the price to $2,200, and let the future buyer feel like they are getting a great deal when they get it for $1,400! I used this tactic (increasing price) sucessfull...
by hand
Mon Jul 30, 2018 4:31 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Accidental Death & Dismemberment Insurance
Replies: 27
Views: 2053

Re: Accidental Death & Dismemberment Insurance

I heard it costs an arm and a leg...
by hand
Mon Jul 30, 2018 4:03 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Buying new houses
Replies: 5
Views: 600

Re: Buying new houses

New houses run the gamut from custom built highest quality, to tract built minimum code (less anything they can get away with.) Newer houses are more likely to have nice features such as higher efficiency appliances, modern floor plans and wiring for internet and home theater, but it is really easy ...
by hand
Mon Jul 30, 2018 1:29 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Any reason a building should not consent to a condo buyer using a family mortgage?
Replies: 19
Views: 1789

Re: Any reason a building should not consent to a condo buyer using a family mortgage?

Is the condo association doing separate financial due diligence on the buyer? If not, I could imagine a situation where a non-arms length relationship between buyer and lender allows someone who is not qualified enough for a bank loan to buy into the building. This could increase chance of default ...
by hand
Mon Jul 30, 2018 9:47 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Any reason a building should not consent to a condo buyer using a family mortgage?
Replies: 19
Views: 1789

Re: Any reason a building should not consent to a condo buyer using a family mortgage?

Is the condo association doing separate financial due diligence on the buyer? If not, I could imagine a situation where a non-arms length relationship between buyer and lender allows someone who is not qualified enough for a bank loan to buy into the building. This could increase chance of default /...
by hand
Tue Jul 24, 2018 10:41 am
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Does Anyone Invest In Berkshire Hathaway Instead Of Index Funds?
Replies: 80
Views: 14595

Re: Does Anyone Invest In Berkshire Hathaway Instead Of Index Funds?

There is yet one more advantage of owning Berkshire. They have vowed to defend the shares at 110% book value. I don't agree with this assessment... Authorization to repurchase at 120% of Book is different than a commitment to do so July 18, 2018, Berkshire now repurchases at 110% book value and the...
by hand
Fri Jul 20, 2018 9:13 am
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: $800,000 Windfall. Love the 3-Fund portfolio approach. Wealth Managers in contact
Replies: 33
Views: 4307

Re: $800,000 Windfall. Love the 3-Fund portfolio approach. Wealth Managers in contact

Few if any managers can alter the fundamental relationship between risk and returns (positive or negative) and finding those managers who can ahead of time is essentially an impossible task. Keep your fees as low as possible (don't pay anyone a percentage!) and use the three fund portfolio (or a tar...
by hand
Fri Jul 20, 2018 8:40 am
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Should I Dump a Pile of Money on Young Son?
Replies: 157
Views: 13702

Re: Should I Dump a Pile of Money on Young Son?

Yes you should be worried about ruining him, however impact of gifted wealth is very individual dependent. From what you've said, it sure seems like he is well positioned to handle this potential gift well (though negative outcomes are always possible). It sure seems like there are lots of opportuni...
by hand
Thu Jul 12, 2018 11:16 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Flooring for New House
Replies: 57
Views: 4073

Re: Flooring for New House

Tile/Wood: Pros: Classic flooring option, High resale value, adds character with scratches etc, is the product the builder recommends, unlikely to crack- tile is PEI5 Cons: Tile can chip or crack, Wood requires more maintenance, wood can scratch etc (also a pro) Luxury Vinyl Plank (https://www.alst...
by hand
Tue Jul 10, 2018 2:26 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Radon
Replies: 29
Views: 1938

Re: Radon

I’ve been reading old posts regarding radon. Thought I’d post my specific situation for any feedback. I used one of the devices that you set out for three months or more (4.5 months in my case). Came back 4.9 in the basement and 2.5 on the first floor (4 is the EPA action level). Uncertainty level ...
by hand
Tue Jul 10, 2018 2:19 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Replace water heater at end of warranty or repair?
Replies: 31
Views: 2266

Re: Replace water heater at end of warranty or repair?

Beware that Bradford White water heaters are made in such a way that regular checking or replacement of the anode is more difficult/expensive than most other brands (typically attached to the hot water outlet rather than a separate location where maintenance can be done without disrupting the plumbi...
by hand
Fri Jul 06, 2018 1:44 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Pitfalls of real estate investing
Replies: 39
Views: 4398

Re: Pitfalls of real estate investing

Specific to Detroit, be sure you understand the risk of structural changes to the existing property taxing scheme. Not at all an expert, but believe Detroit recently exited bankruptcy which gave it a temporary stay on addressing underfunded pension liabilities. At some point the remaining Billion+ d...
by hand
Fri Jun 29, 2018 10:31 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: [Small, Portable, and Ductless Air Conditioners]
Replies: 55
Views: 3142

Re: Ductless Mini Split AC

I have a couple years experience with a mini-split at a vacation property and have been very happy. As noted, the technology is good, but key is finding an experienced installer in the US. Three notes on your specific use case: 1) A/C efficiency dosen't seem like it should be too high on your list f...
by hand
Fri Jun 22, 2018 11:34 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Am I wasting money on my old car?
Replies: 34
Views: 3571

Re: Am I wasting money on my old car?

All prices in New Zealand dollars. ($1 US = NZ$1.45) I have a 1996 Toyota Corolla 118,000 miles. Get it serviced every 6 months as I know bugger all about cars and am prepared to have an expert check it out. It requires $1500 worth of work on it (including service, new cambelt and water pump). If y...
by hand
Fri Jun 22, 2018 6:34 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Boglehead guilt with buying a car - Volvo vs Toyota Highlander
Replies: 69
Views: 4872

Re: Boglehead guilt with buying a car - Volvo vs Toyota Highlander

Not sure why this is a Boglehead guilt issue, Bogleheads are about making good reasoned financial (life?) decisions which includes being mindful about costs - there's no requirement to drive cheap cars (though there is obviously a subset of Bogleheads who do both). To me, Volvo is nicer, likely safe...
by hand
Tue Jun 19, 2018 1:54 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Retire at 50: Should I?
Replies: 93
Views: 12826

Re: Retire at 50: Should I?

[*]Cash-balance pension: $294,000 (see below) [*]Cash-balance Pension: 10.6%[/list] In my view, the cash-balance pension is bond-like, so I consider my bond allocation to be about 28% (I’ve wandered a little off my goal of 30%). The cash-balance pension pays interest at the 30-year T-bill rate, or ...
by hand
Tue Jun 19, 2018 1:13 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Road trip Pennsylvania,Maryland,and DC
Replies: 97
Views: 5501

Re: Road trip Pennsylvania,Maryland,and DC

Drive from Philly to DC is great - especially during rush hour, or construction, or bad weather, or holidays... Really gives you time to contemplate the realities of living in a large metro area. </Sarcasm> Given the stated goals (except the driving preference), I'd fly into Philly, stay downtown an...
by hand
Tue Jun 19, 2018 11:01 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Marriott hotels using Alexa/Echo in guest rooms?
Replies: 34
Views: 3404

Re: Marriott hotels using Alexa/Echo in guest rooms?

In principle, I'm against any types of listening devices in the rooms. That being said - biggest quality of life "improvement" in the hotels I stay in are the "smart" thermostats which decide in the middle of the night that there's no-one in your room and adjust the temperature accordingly so you 1)...
by hand
Mon Jun 11, 2018 12:57 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: House sale by owner - Problems & Pitfalls?
Replies: 30
Views: 1794

Re: House sale by owner - Problems & Pitfalls?

Reasons why an FSBO might be sub-optimal: - you may mis-price your house, in either direction (although, it is more likely that you will overprice your house), - marketing reach might be limited, - you may undervalue your house (different from under-pricing it) by not maximizing its 'show' value. C...
by hand
Tue Jun 05, 2018 2:21 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Should I replace my water heater?
Replies: 50
Views: 3305

Re: Should I replace my water heater?

I'd probably replace eventually, but depending on criticality of location (e.g finished second floor vs. unfinished basement) be tempted to wait until I got settled in the house and had a chance to prioritize other repairs / hidden issues. The key is to recognize that the home inspection wording is ...
by hand
Mon Jun 04, 2018 2:45 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Dehumidifier for humid basement. I want one that lasts.
Replies: 37
Views: 10424

Re: Dehumidifier for humid basement. I want one that lasts.

I'm able to turn it off and open two basement windows on days when it is warm but with low humidity, such as today...70s with dew point in the high 40s. In addition, since we run the furnace fan continuously, I open the vents down there to add to the ventilation while dehumidifier is off. These ste...
by hand
Mon Jun 04, 2018 1:30 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Dehumidifier for humid basement. I want one that lasts.
Replies: 37
Views: 10424

Re: Dehumidifier for humid basement. I want one that lasts.

Be sure to look at total cost of ownership especially if you live in an expensive electricity area. I've been happy with a Santa Fe unit for the last two years, and expect to continue to be happy for years to come, but the dehumidifier still needs to last several more years to get payback on the hig...
by hand
Wed Apr 25, 2018 1:50 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Term4Sale Agent - Am I getting bad advice?
Replies: 7
Views: 864

Re: Term4Sale Agent - Am I getting bad advice?

I don't recall anything about future living / work locations in my term life application, though certain high risk sports (SCUBA etc.) were explicitly called out. Seems likely this agent is using term 4 sale as a tool to get prospects and "up-sell" in to products that are more lucrative to them (and...
by hand
Wed Apr 25, 2018 8:00 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Who benefits from "best and final offer" on condo?
Replies: 107
Views: 6948

Re: Who benefits from "best and final offer" on condo?

While "best and final" as described may not have ended with the highest possible sale price, it still could have been to the benefit of the sellers: 1) They have a time constraint on when they need to accept offer 2) They believe it is important to keep their implied word in terms of "best and final...
by hand
Tue Apr 24, 2018 7:48 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Cashing out of the Bay Area
Replies: 84
Views: 11437

Re: Cashing out of the Bay Area

There's a big difference between knowing whether local real estate is at a peak and knowing whether selling a house an moving from a HCOL to a LCOL area will support your retirement or other financial requirements. While I don't disagree that real estate is less efficient than the stock market, I'd ...
by hand
Mon Apr 23, 2018 9:29 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Rebating buyer's agent for 1st time single-family home purchase
Replies: 40
Views: 3263

Re: Rebating buyer's agent for 1st time single-family home purchase

I guess, at this point, we are not confident in our ability to find a good relator who provides high value. Any suggestions for how to do this? While I know there must be good agents out there (and there seem to be some on this board) I personally decided it was easier to sell my house on my own th...
by hand
Mon Apr 23, 2018 2:34 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Rebating buyer's agent for 1st time single-family home purchase
Replies: 40
Views: 3263

Re: Rebating buyer's agent for 1st time single-family home purchase

In light of our circumstances, do Bogleheads think that (i) a rebating agent is good as we are quite motivated and capable of finding houses ourselves and are already doing a lot of the "homework" for our future purchase, or (ii) a regular 3% commission buyer's agent is better as this is our first ...
by hand
Mon Apr 23, 2018 11:29 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Your own General Contractor
Replies: 33
Views: 3249

Re: Your own General Contractor

What is "cheap crap"?? A lot of what goes into a new house is generic. Framing lumber, plywood sheathing, roofing, electrical wire, copper pipe (or pex), sheetrock, etc. Now things like cabinets, windows, flooring, tile, siding, lighting and plumbing fixtures, HVAC, interior trim and millwork certa...
by hand
Thu Apr 19, 2018 10:07 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Another discussion about private vs public schools?
Replies: 79
Views: 5020

Re: Another discussion about private vs public schools?

Funding model of a school does not in and of itself define the schools quality. I'd recommend determining for yourself what characteristics of a "good school" are important to you and doing some research on how well local options align with those characteristics. Off the top of my head there are a n...
by hand
Fri Apr 13, 2018 2:20 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: realtor wants to show house to buyer, no listing agent for me
Replies: 55
Views: 5391

Re: realtor wants to show house to buyer, no listing agent for me

Seems likely that one of the following is occurring: 1) There is a real buyer with interest and a realtor who is doing a good job for their client by finding hidden inventory with hopes of closing a fair (market, or market+) deal 2) There is an aggressive buyer and realtor who are hoping to buy a ho...
by hand
Thu Apr 05, 2018 3:51 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: House down payment - Smart for anything between 3.5% and 20%?
Replies: 23
Views: 1986

Re: House down payment - Smart for anything between 3.5% and 20%?

Others here are more knowledgeable about real estate, but you can remove PMI once you pay off a certain percentage of the home's original value. If you make a larger down payment, you are closer to that number, so you don't have as far to go. If you believe you can get a better return, elsewhere, d...
by hand
Thu Apr 05, 2018 2:36 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Creative home financing?
Replies: 2
Views: 390

Re: Creative home financing?

Want to build an 800K-ish retirement home. Very much prefer to have no mortgage after (could easily afford it, but with 2 kids in college, being 50+ and after not having a mortgage for years, would seem to be a bad idea; also would not want to mess with the construction loan process). The build nee...
by hand
Tue Apr 03, 2018 11:50 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Paying Points on Purchase Mortgage - Worth It?
Replies: 28
Views: 2826

Re: Paying Points on Purchase Mortgage - Worth It?

OP, I'm in the home buying process as well and have decided to do the same thing - put more down rather than mess with points. The escrow discussion has piqued my interest. With money market accounts and CD rates on the rise, I see a convincing argument to pursuing a mortgage agreement without escr...
by hand
Tue Apr 03, 2018 8:23 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Kitchen Faucet & Sink recommendations?
Replies: 55
Views: 5827

Re: Kitchen Faucet & Sink recommendations?

I've standardized on Grohe in the last couple of years and been very happy so far... "SilkMove" cartridges are great and I have no reason to question that the faucets I've purchased will last for decades (and are warranted for life). That being said, Grohe offers differing levels of quality, and has...
by hand
Mon Apr 02, 2018 3:25 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Does agent get paid if property taken by eminent domain?
Replies: 13
Views: 2146

Re: Does agent get paid if property taken by eminent domain?

A couple of thoughts: 1) Perhaps fire broker now to start (and end) the 180 day exclusion period earlier. 2) Irrespective of whether seizure is covered by contract, perhaps agent is only paid for buyers they brought in - tough to make the case that agent brought in the government, and if they did, s...
by hand
Mon Apr 02, 2018 1:18 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Replacing a deck
Replies: 14
Views: 2588

Re: Replacing a deck

If "noticeable slant" represents an obvious defect, you'll probably partially double pay should you sell the house without repairing... Once when the buyers factor the issue into their offer, and a second time when the inspector raises it as an issue and you re-negotiate price to close the sale. For...
by hand
Mon Apr 02, 2018 1:13 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Tires: Where to Get? Warranty? And Questions?
Replies: 74
Views: 6734

Re: Tires: Where to Get? Warranty? And Questions?

I've had generally good experiences with Costco, though the logistics of leaving a car at Costco until work complete can be a hassle.

Latest experience with Tire Rack & a mobile installer through Tire Rack was great - guy in a truck showed up and mounted, balanced and installed tires in my driveway!
by hand
Mon Mar 26, 2018 7:31 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Thinking about capitulating on house
Replies: 34
Views: 4431

Re: Thinking about capitulating on house

Since you already own the house, relevant financial evaluation isn't how much of the current house you do (or don't) use. Look at carrying costs of the current house vs. transaction costs + carrying cost of the alternative. If you expect to desire 800 sq ft for the next 5-10 years or more, probably ...
by hand
Wed Mar 21, 2018 3:29 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Cookware Brands - Demeyere?
Replies: 43
Views: 4180

Re: Cookware Brands - Demeyere?

Commercial cookware seems to be a better value than the "premium" home brands. If it can stand abuse from harried chefs and line cooks, it'll probably last generations in a home kitchen. Vollrath has a broad range of stainless-clad cookware. I have one of their pans and like it. Available from vari...