Search found 1425 matches

by Starfish
Tue Nov 19, 2019 12:46 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Toughest Purchase of my Life. Engagement Ring time
Replies: 214
Views: 13146

Re: Toughest Purchase of my Life. Engagement Ring time

Wow, $7800 is a lot to spend on an engagement ring. Would she be happy with a simple gold band? Gold holds its value better than diamonds, real or fake. It has an ancient history, is naturally beautiful, and while not as good as stocks, does seem to hold its value over time. A good friend of mine b...
by Starfish
Tue Nov 19, 2019 12:45 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Toughest Purchase of my Life. Engagement Ring time
Replies: 214
Views: 13146

Re: Toughest Purchase of my Life. Engagement Ring time

Diamonds have always had zero intrinsic value, same with gold. It's valuable because people say it is. People get really wrapped up in the cost but I don't really understand when someone spends less on a ring feeling terrific about it but has no problem buying a new car that also depreciates at lea...
by Starfish
Mon Nov 18, 2019 7:00 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: AWD Camry
Replies: 37
Views: 2704

Re: AWD Camry

I don't think there is any contradiction here.
AWD + snow tires + some skill is the winner.
But the difference between AWD and FWD much much smaller than the difference made by tires and is not that useful to most people.
by Starfish
Mon Nov 18, 2019 2:33 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: AWD Camry
Replies: 37
Views: 2704

Re: AWD Camry

In my local city, they do not plow the neighborhoods. I used to be in those neighborhoods regularly for work. My FWD car couldn’t traverse some of those streets, was prone to getting stuck. Good Michelin tires. Streetside parking was also a chore. After getting my first AWD CUV, I would not go back...
by Starfish
Mon Nov 18, 2019 2:24 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: morality, kids, tuition etc
Replies: 68
Views: 3951

Re: morality, kids, tuition etc

However all things being equal I prefer the 4 year option myself since think 4 years of college is a good time to make friends for life and explore I couldn't agree more with this. Ideally, education should not be about money. There is a lot more in going to college than learning a trade and taking...
by Starfish
Sun Nov 17, 2019 12:52 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: AWD Camry
Replies: 37
Views: 2704

Re: AWD Camry

Almost nobody needs AWD. I go in mountains in the winter all the time. I did it on east coast, I did on west coast, in Canada, Colordo, Utah etc and I have never felt the need for AWD.
Good tires, on the other hand, are essential.
by Starfish
Sun Nov 17, 2019 12:40 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Dental insurance covers 3 cleanings/yr?
Replies: 20
Views: 1872

Re: Dental insurance covers 3 cleanings/yr?

anon_investor wrote:
Sat Nov 16, 2019 11:17 pm
HEDGEFUNDIE wrote:
Sat Nov 16, 2019 9:39 pm
In reviewing my options during Open Enrollment, I discovered that my dental insurance covers 3 cleanings per calendar year!

I had no idea this was a thing. Any idea how common this is?
Extra money for your dentist! :moneybag :moneybag :moneybag

There is no money in cleanings.
by Starfish
Sun Nov 17, 2019 12:19 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Should I Travel ot Ecuador?
Replies: 49
Views: 3504

Re: Should I Travel ot Ecuador?

Based on this website: https://www.travelsafe-abroad.com/ Marseilles, Quito, Porto, San Jose (Costa Rica), Panama City have similar scores. I walked by myself or with a 3-5y old kid and my wife in the daytime and at night (not evening, middle of the night) through all these places. If the website is...
by Starfish
Sun Nov 17, 2019 12:02 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Should I Travel ot Ecuador?
Replies: 49
Views: 3504

Re: Should I Travel ot Ecuador?

Maybe other governments are not into fear mongering. First time when I landed in US in the orientation week I was told not to take an unmarked taxi in JFK not because of the price but because it was dangerous. There is a solid American community in Quito, mostly retired people. How bad can it be? L...
by Starfish
Sat Nov 16, 2019 3:46 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: More retirees have a mortgage
Replies: 114
Views: 7066

Re: More retirees have a mortgage

What about taxes?
To pay a mortgage one has to generate income and pay (marginal) taxes on that income.
Same problem with rent.
What about sequence of returns risk?
by Starfish
Fri Nov 15, 2019 10:23 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Should I Travel ot Ecuador?
Replies: 49
Views: 3504

Re: Should I Travel ot Ecuador?

Maybe other governments are not into fear mongering.
First time when I landed in US in the orientation week I was told not to take an unmarked taxi in JFK not because of the price but because it was dangerous.
There is a solid American community in Quito, mostly retired people. How bad can it be?
by Starfish
Fri Nov 15, 2019 1:40 pm
Forum: Personal Investments
Topic: Roast my investing strategy. (Help me FIRE)
Replies: 31
Views: 3323

Re: Roast my investing strategy. (Help me FIRE)

You asked for a roast: horrible idea to concentrate 2/3 of your net worth in a single asset and expect it to last for the next 50 years. What if your plan was $2MM in a single stock, that would pay dividends? That's essentially what you're doing, plus being a landlord for high end renters long dist...
by Starfish
Thu Nov 14, 2019 7:02 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Should I Travel ot Ecuador?
Replies: 49
Views: 3504

Re: Should I Travel ot Ecuador?

How about some anecdotes just for local color. When I was in Quito in 2011 every bank branch had a guard carrying a carbine standing in the entryway. Number of times I have observed bank guards in New York City banks carrying carbines = 0. They do this in Costa Rica too - not quite known for its cr...
by Starfish
Thu Nov 14, 2019 6:49 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Bigger car for baby?
Replies: 62
Views: 2636

Re: Bigger car for baby?

I had a kid in a medium size sedan and a Honda Civic with 2 doors. My friend had a toddler and a baby with a VW Golf. I remeber at some point we though we need a crossover like a Subaru Outback. I just hate SUVs so much that I we kept delaying buying one and then we realized that we did not need any...
by Starfish
Thu Nov 14, 2019 2:55 am
Forum: Personal Investments
Topic: How to combine finances with your spouse? Recently married/early30s
Replies: 72
Views: 4954

Re: How to combine finances with your spouse? Recently married/early30s

If you aren’t willing to give every dollar to the other person you shouldn’t get married... [comment removed by moderator oldcomputerguy] It sounds like your protecting your savings while you test out the waters? If your not comfortable putting his name on the account to, don’t get married. Boglehe...
by Starfish
Thu Nov 14, 2019 2:47 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Blankets/Bedding for Cold Winter Nights
Replies: 56
Views: 3497

Re: Blankets/Bedding for Cold Winter Nights

Anyone sleep in sleeping bags? Heavy winter clothing? Any guess of what the absolute most financially efficient way of staying warm while sleeping would be? A cheap (20$) synthetic rectangular sleeping bag beats everything. I used to sleep in one as a kid. I loved it. The temperature in the house w...
by Starfish
Thu Nov 14, 2019 2:22 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: (Sigh) "Wasting" year-old smoke detector batteries...
Replies: 93
Views: 4826

Re: (Sigh) "Wasting" year-old smoke detector batteries...

anon_investor wrote:
Wed Nov 13, 2019 4:59 pm
I wish they did not use only 9v batteries. If it was a lot of extra AAA or AA, I could find a use, but honestly now a days what uses a 9v?
A lot of things actually.
For example my lock on the main door uses 9V. Also some toys.
by Starfish
Thu Nov 14, 2019 2:21 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: (Sigh) "Wasting" year-old smoke detector batteries...
Replies: 93
Views: 4826

Re: (Sigh) "Wasting" year-old smoke detector batteries...

I wait until the 2am beet, then hide them somewhere, then take the batteries out, then when I remember in couple of months or so replace them.
by Starfish
Wed Nov 13, 2019 8:57 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Productizing an idea
Replies: 28
Views: 1530

Re: Productizing an idea

Everyone is wrong. Dont spend any money on lawyers. Don't file a patent. Don't do any of that nonsense... Go on Alibaba.com, talk to a Chinese company that makes something similar now. Chances are they can make what you are talking about or something close to it already exists. Take your specs and ...
by Starfish
Thu Nov 07, 2019 1:39 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Your Fantasy Kitchen (Cookware-wise)
Replies: 57
Views: 4126

Re: Your Fantasy Kitchen (Cookware-wise)

I have cheap Tramontina cast iron pans (17$ for 2) and they are the best. They require almost 0 maintenance. I used them for years. No oiling, easy cleaning. Food comes out very good. There is 0 correlation between the price of cookware and the quality of food coming out of it. I also find ridiculou...
by Starfish
Wed Nov 06, 2019 5:00 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Chase Sapphire Reserve - Fees Waived?
Replies: 54
Views: 4951

Re: Chase Sapphire Reserve - Fees Waived?

I have no use for Priority Pass. Regular airport lounges are usually fine. I spend a fair amount on travel. Priority Pass is a decent value. Last time I used 2 times for 3 people in Heathrow. Unlimited food (not great but ok) and drinks. I saved easily 100$, probably more. Yes, the lounge is not gr...
by Starfish
Mon Nov 04, 2019 1:29 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Airbnb - Guide a beginner
Replies: 64
Views: 6248

Re: Airbnb - Guide a beginner

I have used a lot of AirBnB in te past, all over the world, and it was always a very good experience (also, Uber and Lyft). I really don't believe I am that lucky.
The riskiest bet I made was renting in Maui for next winter vacation a condo with zero reviews. We will see how it goes.
by Starfish
Sun Nov 03, 2019 11:54 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Apple Pay. Does anyone use it?
Replies: 196
Views: 11972

Re: Apple Pay. Does anyone use it?

As others have commented maybe the info is already out there, but my bottom line which I think got lost in transmission was are you willing to peel back another layer of privacy to save a few seconds at the checkout line? As has been previously mentioned, Apple Pay is more secure than using your cr...
by Starfish
Sun Nov 03, 2019 11:47 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Apple Pay. Does anyone use it?
Replies: 196
Views: 11972

Re: Apple Pay. Does anyone use it?

Love Apple Pay and use it whenever possible. It's incredibly convenient on the watch. My wife said last night she is a huge fan because she doesn't have to haul out her purse and get out her wallet, remove credit card, wait for transaction, return credit card to wallet, return wallet to purse. Quic...
by Starfish
Sun Nov 03, 2019 2:02 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Apple Pay. Does anyone use it?
Replies: 196
Views: 11972

Re: Apple Pay. Does anyone use it?

I find very funny the concerns with Apple Pay security when it obviously so much more secure that normal credit card use. A system where you give your CC to various people (usually underpaid) and they take it in another room it is obviously very insecure. With Apple pay nobody can copy your credit c...
by Starfish
Fri Nov 01, 2019 4:49 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Apple Pay. Does anyone use it?
Replies: 196
Views: 11972

Re: Apple Pay. Does anyone use it?

I use Apple Pay all the time. I thought everyone did. Are there people here who don't use it? It's not that convenient in US, a lot of places don't take contactless. What do you do in a restaurant for example? If you have to carry a card with you the purpose is defeated. Plenty of cards have the co...
by Starfish
Fri Nov 01, 2019 4:25 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Costa Rica
Replies: 14
Views: 1686

Re: Costa Rica

We are planning a 10-11 day trip to Costa Rica and want to spend half of it on the Pacific Coast. Idea is to have one base of operations and to explore from there. Oso is a bet too rough for us. We are into nature and water, and don't want to rough it but don't need luxury either. Ideas on towns to...
by Starfish
Thu Oct 31, 2019 7:46 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Timeshare offer experience
Replies: 103
Views: 10231

Re: Timeshare offer experience

Posting my experience on a timeshare promotion as I know several Bogleheads have received the same offer. I got this offer in the mail a few months ago: 1. Five nights at the Westin Princeville Kauai (for the nights we went, worth $2,000) 2. Rental car (worth $185) 3. $75 resort credit 4. Mandatory...
by Starfish
Thu Oct 31, 2019 7:34 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: [Just got married] Looking for ways to cut down on my budget
Replies: 80
Views: 6428

Re: How do people live on an average household income of 60K? Looking for ways to cut down on my budget

~1/3 of your joint gross income is going towards taxes and another 1/3 towards student loan/mortgage debt. That leaves only 1/3 for savings and living expenses. Consider refinancing to a 30-year term to give yourselves some breathing room. You can always pay extra towards principal if you have extr...
by Starfish
Thu Oct 31, 2019 2:55 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Should we downshift and move to Europe?
Replies: 40
Views: 5079

Re: Should we downshift and move to Europe?

Hi, unless you intend to live and work in UK or Ireland the languages that you have a full grasp of are super important notwithstanding that most Europeans speak at least two languages already. DJN Most? I doubt it. A lot of them, yes. Now it depends what you call "speak". The fact that most can sa...
by Starfish
Thu Oct 31, 2019 12:26 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Should we downshift and move to Europe?
Replies: 40
Views: 5079

Re: Should we downshift and move to Europe?

On the other hand we're actually thinking that gaining US citizenship might be not a good idea. So the questions comes essentially to: more money and more stressful job here in US or less money and better life balance in Europe. re the first point: I am of the mind that getting a US passport, regar...
by Starfish
Wed Oct 30, 2019 4:59 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Time for a new car - Corolla or Civic...
Replies: 101
Views: 9884

Re: Time for a new car - Corolla or Civic...

I have not. I owned a Civic for almost 10 years. Never again. It's an honest and reliable car but there are cars on the market a lot more enjoyable and better quality for only 10-20% more. I wouldn't put Type R in the same bag, it's a very different car. I would like to drive a Type R. When I looke...
by Starfish
Wed Oct 30, 2019 2:59 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Time for a new car - Corolla or Civic...
Replies: 101
Views: 9884

Re: Time for a new car - Corolla or Civic...

Civic quality/reliability has declined the past 10 years. Corolla quality/reliability has not. Quality? :D Choosing between Corolla por Civic is like death by hanging or beheading. Still unpleasant. To me these cars are very poor value in terms of experience offered vs price. Yes, they might be mor...
by Starfish
Wed Oct 30, 2019 2:55 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Time for a new car - Corolla or Civic...
Replies: 101
Views: 9884

Re: Time for a new car - Corolla or Civic...

Choosing between Corolla por Civic is like death by hanging or beheading. Still unpleasant. To me these cars are very poor value in terms of experience offered vs price. Yes, they might be more reliable, so one will drive them for a long and torturous time. Same goes for Camry and Accord. Have you ...
by Starfish
Wed Oct 30, 2019 2:49 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Refinance $120k student loans before or after marriage?
Replies: 32
Views: 1868

Re: Refinance $120k student loans before or after marriage?

900,000 in savings 5,000 in student loans What was the original loan amount and/or why haven’t you paid that off? Sorry it’s just very interesting +1. Combined with your desire to let her loan ride I am intrigued by your motives and potential lack of understanding on compounding loans vs. compoundi...
by Starfish
Tue Oct 29, 2019 4:56 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Time for a new car - Corolla or Civic...
Replies: 101
Views: 9884

Re: Time for a new car - Corolla or Civic...

Civic quality/reliability has declined the past 10 years. Corolla quality/reliability has not. Quality? :D Choosing between Corolla por Civic is like death by hanging or beheading. Still unpleasant. To me these cars are very poor value in terms of experience offered vs price. Yes, they might be mor...
by Starfish
Tue Oct 29, 2019 4:45 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: California Fires: Landlord/Tenant Question
Replies: 71
Views: 4131

Re: California Fires: Landlord/Tenant Question

I don't don't think your question is unreasonable (and I am a landlord, I have been a renter for long time). IMO if PGE paid to the homeowners some kind of compensations, it would make sense to transfer the compensation to the affected party (the renter). But as PGE does not pay anything, there is n...
by Starfish
Tue Oct 29, 2019 4:40 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Is it OK not to wash off bleach?
Replies: 6
Views: 1426

Re: Is it OK not to wash off bleach?

Sun destroys the rubber and discolors the wood.
by Starfish
Mon Oct 28, 2019 5:03 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: I no longer plan on retiring early
Replies: 110
Views: 15155

Re: I no longer plan on retiring early

We make plans. God laughs. Worry about today. Never retire is no more a sure bet than retiring very early. With our Western Diets, health is not guaranteed. Diet is the easiest thing to change. Western diets are not some kind of immutable fatality. Besides, France, Italy, Spain, scandinavian countr...
by Starfish
Fri Oct 25, 2019 9:47 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: First Republic Bank doesn’t have physical coins
Replies: 76
Views: 4901

Re: First Republic Bank doesn’t have physical coins

Over the years, in doing balancing and auditing, I have often found that pennies are your friend! For example, a balancing discrepancy of, say, $0.03 - could actually be an error of $99,97 in one direction and three cents in another. Slightly off topic - I believe the US should: 1. Eliminate the pe...
by Starfish
Fri Oct 25, 2019 9:35 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: First Republic Bank doesn’t have physical coins
Replies: 76
Views: 4901

Re: First Republic Bank doesn’t have physical coins

I have a First Republic Bank account that I use for a small business, but I was mostly using the online website and rarely stepped into the branch. But last week I needed to withdraw a small amount in cash, to make the books balance. So I headed into the local branch and asked to withdraw $15.42. M...
by Starfish
Fri Oct 25, 2019 7:09 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: I no longer plan on retiring early
Replies: 110
Views: 15155

Re: I no longer plan on retiring early

We make plans. God laughs. Worry about today. Never retire is no more a sure bet than retiring very early. With our Western Diets, health is not guaranteed. Diet is the easiest thing to change. Western diets are not some kind of immutable fatality. Besides, France, Italy, Spain, scandinavian countr...
by Starfish
Wed Oct 23, 2019 9:14 pm
Forum: Personal Investments
Topic: 11 Reasons to Carry a Big, Long Mortgage by Ric Edelman.
Replies: 93
Views: 10858

Re: 11 Reasons to Carry a Big, Long Mortgage by Ric Edelman.

It isn't wasted, as the money not used to pay down the mortgage is earning some benefit for you. If your mortgage is 2% after tax and your bonds are yielding 2%, you pay and receive the same amount of interest. If your mortgage is 2.5% after tax and your bonds are yielding 2%, it may be worth payin...
by Starfish
Wed Oct 23, 2019 7:03 pm
Forum: Personal Investments
Topic: High income earner waiting for a bear market to start investing
Replies: 119
Views: 12106

Re: High income earner waiting for a bear market to start investing

The real puzzler with this one is thinking one can maintain that kind of income until age 75-80. Unless OP’s occupation is dictator of a small African country, I find that to be unlikely. Medical specialist that isn’t surgery related? Neurologist? That would account for the extended training period...
by Starfish
Wed Oct 23, 2019 4:52 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Moving my home landline phone number to MagicJack - good idea?
Replies: 52
Views: 3906

Re: Moving my home landline phone number to MagicJack - good idea?

I am over 40 and never had a land line (except in campus as a student,, and of course when I was living with my parents). Why do people have one? I keep my Verizon land line for reliable 911. Cost is $26.42 a month. Isn’t that VOIP? Isn’t VOIP unreliable for 911? * As to why people keep landlines, ...
by Starfish
Wed Oct 23, 2019 4:46 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Moving my home landline phone number to MagicJack - good idea?
Replies: 52
Views: 3906

Re: Moving my home landline phone number to MagicJack - good idea?

I am over 40 and never had a land line (except in campus as a student,, and of course when I was living with my parents). Why do people have one? I keep my Verizon land line for reliable 911. Cost is $26.42 a month. I am pretty sure at least 90% of the calls to 911 come from cell phones. They must ...
by Starfish
Wed Oct 23, 2019 4:42 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Spending Money - Surprising Low Fun Return
Replies: 58
Views: 6248

Re: Spending Money - Surprising Low Fun Return

OP: you spent money on “things.” Perhaps you should have directed that money towards experiences (vacations, travel, day trips, sporting events, etc). That may have moved the needle more than the things. There is no difference. Things give experiences. I don't understand why would anybody desire a ...
by Starfish
Wed Oct 23, 2019 2:36 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Moving my home landline phone number to MagicJack - good idea?
Replies: 52
Views: 3906

Re: Moving my home landline phone number to MagicJack - good idea?

I am over 40 and never had a land line (except in campus as a student,, and of course when I was living with my parents). Why do people have one?
by Starfish
Tue Oct 22, 2019 8:22 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Is principal portion of mortgage counted for savings rate purposes?
Replies: 126
Views: 6690

Re: Is principal portion of mortgage counted for savings rate purposes?

I save 30% of gross income into 401k and Roth, but would my principal portion of my monthly payment also be considered in the savings rate since it is directly reducing debt? Thanks. I count the equity in the house as net worth, which is savings. Not the principal, I don't care about the pricipal.
by Starfish
Mon Oct 21, 2019 2:56 pm
Forum: Personal Investments
Topic: Retiring and Getting Over The Fear of Quitting?
Replies: 84
Views: 9808

Re: Retiring and Getting Over The Fear of Quitting?

By the way, what ages are considered as middle ages? 40 to 50, to me. To me it's 50 to 60 ... I didn't feel in the least "middle-aged" in my 40s. If you stay active and have a bit of luck with your health, you don't really slow down in your 40s (unless you are a professional athlete ...). That's mo...