Search found 70 matches

by flarf
Wed Nov 06, 2019 5:47 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: The Shade Store -anyone use them or have recommendations
Replies: 12
Views: 1086

Re: The Shade Store -anyone use them or have recommendations

If you are comfortable installing your own: https://automaticblindsandshades.com/

Have used them twice. They're very helpful if you have any questions as well.
by flarf
Fri Oct 25, 2019 9:22 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Transporting elderly parent state-to-state
Replies: 47
Views: 3103

Re: Transporting elderly parent state-to-state

bankle wrote:
Thu Oct 24, 2019 9:28 pm
The quotes I've received are about 10k for ground, and 20k for private plane.
What type of plane? There's a wide spectrum of noise and vibration in this price range.
by flarf
Thu Oct 24, 2019 10:37 am
Forum: Personal Investments
Topic: Benefits of Flagship Status at Vanguard?
Replies: 65
Views: 7488

Re: Benefits of Flagship Status at Vanguard?

I take advantage of the free outbound wire transfers. That seems to be a less common perq than free inbound transfers.
by flarf
Wed Oct 23, 2019 12:59 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Best credit card for 2 mil+ in annual spending?
Replies: 60
Views: 6442

Re: Best credit card for 2 mil+ in annual spending?

At 2M of annual spend, could the account be over-funded like a debit card to avoid hitting the credit limit? If my credit limit is $150k, I need to spend $200k, and my balance is $0 can I simply make a $50k payment to the account today then spend $200k without exceeding the credit limit? This is su...
by flarf
Mon Oct 14, 2019 12:43 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: BoA preferred rewards - worth it for very high spend?
Replies: 10
Views: 675

Re: BoA preferred rewards - worth it for very high spend?

With $100k of annual spend, the difference between 2.625% and 2.0% is $625. But if you did go the BofA route, you'd most likely have some cash back at the 3.5% level as well, and I think you need to consider this over a multi-year period. It's easily thousands of dollars in your pocket, and it doesn...
by flarf
Thu Oct 10, 2019 9:57 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: In home part-time senior care options?
Replies: 13
Views: 896

Re: In home part-time senior care options?

Ideally, you'd find an unaffiliated person at the facility who is already doing similar work for other residents. Failing that, I would pay for a month of access to care.com and use it to generate leads, knowing that you need to properly diligence the candidates. For what it's worth, we found our na...
by flarf
Tue Oct 08, 2019 9:55 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: 529 savings?
Replies: 19
Views: 2632

Re: 529 savings?

Indeed -- contributions up to $10k per couple are deductible in NY, but rollovers are not.
by flarf
Wed Oct 02, 2019 12:54 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: FYI, Spanish bank ATMs [Dynamic Currency Conversion]
Replies: 64
Views: 4505

Re: FYI, Spanish bank ATMs

Had a 12% conversion fee show up on an ATM in the arrivals hall at the airport in Barcelona. Crazy.

Big green "ACCEPT" button with a much less obvious button to decline next to it.
by flarf
Tue Sep 24, 2019 12:22 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Should I take a pension buyout?
Replies: 15
Views: 1128

Re: Should I take a pension buyout?

ImmediateAnnuities.com is quoting a $2431 monthly payment if you pay $450k today. From that perspective, the $3000 monthly pension doesn't look bad. But at a 5% return, the lump sum wins unless you live beyond 87.
by flarf
Thu Aug 15, 2019 6:23 pm
Forum: Personal Investments
Topic: Co-op retirement condo
Replies: 8
Views: 810

Re: Co-op retirement condo

I've owned a couple of co-op apartments in NYC, where they're very common. You could view the co-op board involvement in approving sales transactions as either a positive or a negative. Presumably they are screening potential buyers to ensure they have sufficient financial resources to maintain stab...
by flarf
Thu Aug 15, 2019 10:30 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Need Creative Solutions for Billing Expenses to Renter
Replies: 27
Views: 2455

Re: Need Creative Solutions for Billing Expenses to Renter

This is brilliant. Looks like just costs about $75 to put one in. How do I install so the meter is only capturing the electricity being used at this part of the dwelling as opposed to the whole property? You're going to need to call an electrician. Where the power enters your property and where it ...
by flarf
Thu Aug 08, 2019 2:29 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Pharma career change - bench to ?
Replies: 15
Views: 1961

Re: Pharma career change - bench to ?

There is huge demand right now for legitimate contract manufacturers of cell and gene therapies and very few players. Lonza is the gorilla here and has their two US facilities in Houston and Portsmouth, NH. If you're at all interested in bioprocessing I'd take a look at some of their up-and-coming c...
by flarf
Wed Jul 24, 2019 9:34 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Owners of RECENT Speed Queen washers ONLY
Replies: 13
Views: 2191

Re: Owners of RECENT Speed Queen washers ONLY

FYI, here's a copy of the warranty offering:

Image

Source: https://www.automaticwasher.org/cgi-bin ... i?79961_10
by flarf
Wed Jul 24, 2019 8:36 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Oil to natural gas conversion anyone?
Replies: 43
Views: 2248

Re: Oil to natural gas conversion anyone?

Check with your state, municipality, and natural gas utility for any rebates. Massachusetts, for example, has been aggressively rebating purchases of high-efficiency HVAC and hot water heating equipment.
by flarf
Wed Jul 24, 2019 8:31 am
Forum: Personal Investments
Topic: Who has the best (easiest) Donor Advised Fund
Replies: 57
Views: 3032

Re: Who has the best (easiest) Donor Advised Fund

I hold my taxable account at Motif Investing. How difficult is it on Vanguard/Fidelity/Schwab DAF to select specific tax lots at another brokerage for donation? It's a lot easier to "push" the assets from your taxable account to the DAF. My brokerage firm provides a form for doing so, and I note th...
by flarf
Tue Jul 16, 2019 4:39 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: College cost prediction and savings for 5, 3, and newborn
Replies: 102
Views: 6329

Re: College cost prediction and savings for 5, 3, and newborn

I'm not concerned about over-funding a 529 plan as a parent. If my kids don't spend it, then hopefully their kids do, after decades of growth. The college business is so massive and layered with vested interests that it's really hard to believe it'll transform into something super-affordable. Sure, ...
by flarf
Tue Jul 16, 2019 4:29 pm
Forum: Personal Investments
Topic: 529 for retirement
Replies: 4
Views: 355

Re: 529 for retirement

Might want to spend a little more time reading here: https://www.savingforcollege.com/articl ... -and-board
by flarf
Thu Jul 11, 2019 11:17 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Evaluating interest-only mortgage
Replies: 13
Views: 1419

Re: Evaluating interest-only mortgage

I don't think a 10-year amortizing ARM is significantly less risky than a 10-year interest-only ARM. The former comes due at a point where you still haven't made a significant dent in the principal. Either loan will put you in a painful situation if prevailing rates are drastically higher in 2029. T...
by flarf
Wed Jul 10, 2019 3:13 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Solar powered landscape lighting
Replies: 15
Views: 1058

Re: Solar powered landscape lighting

Artful Dodger wrote:
Wed Jul 10, 2019 2:07 pm
Flarf, do you remember the brand name of the lights you purchased from Amazon?
MicroSolar, but I just looked and it's no longer available. Here's a similar model that has two heads instead of one:

https://www.amazon.com/Solar-Powered-Al ... B00QT9XSOG
by flarf
Wed Jul 10, 2019 1:13 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Solar powered landscape lighting
Replies: 15
Views: 1058

Re: Solar powered landscape lighting

I have one solar landscape light that works well. It has a separate panel, roughly the size of an index card, on a 10 foot cord. It was something like $25 from Amazon. During the summer it runs for probably 8 hours after dark, but in the winter it's less than half of that (northeastern US). Cloudy d...
by flarf
Tue Jun 25, 2019 5:28 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Is this overkill on construction work
Replies: 11
Views: 1744

Re: Is this overkill on construction work

Is there a buildings department that has jurisdiction over your location? That would be a good place to start. A big piece of the puzzle is your soil type. See the table about 1/3 down this page: https://www.deckmagazine.com/design-construction/footings/better-deck-piers_o A 30x30 footing paired wit...
by flarf
Tue Jun 25, 2019 11:00 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Relationship mortgage discounts for moving a million assets
Replies: 311
Views: 36620

Re: Relationship mortgage discounts for moving a million assets

My experience is a little stale but I used Citizens Bank for a NYC mortgage in late 2017. They were offering the same new money discounts as BofA at the time and were competitive on rates. Their geographic reach is limited, mostly east coast I believe. They had no self-directed brokerage option -- t...
by flarf
Thu Jun 20, 2019 1:06 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Highest % cash back credit card
Replies: 77
Views: 6596

Re: Highest % cash back credit card

BoA cards with the preferred rewards top tier status give the highest cash back %’s With the premium rewards card: 3.5% on travel and dining 2.625% on everything else With the cash rewards card: 5.25% on gas stations (including purchases made inside!) 3.5% on grocery and wholesale (works at Costco)...
by flarf
Thu Jun 20, 2019 10:35 am
Forum: Personal Investments
Topic: Best brokerage for Private Client customers
Replies: 5
Views: 948

Re: Best brokerage for Private Client customers

If the primary objective here is better IPO allocations, then you need to look at who is underwriting the IPOs you're following. If JPMorgan is typically lead left, then that's a good place to start building a relationship. But keep your expectations in check -- some of these deals are so stupidly o...
by flarf
Tue May 21, 2019 1:46 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Hiring a Nanny in the SF Bay Area
Replies: 5
Views: 1017

Re: Hiring a Nanny in the SF Bay Area

NYC based, with us for four years: Hourly rate: was $18-25 when just one child, went up to $32 with two (ages 1 and 4) + OT Aboveboard pay: yes (our deal is we gross up her pay and cover her federal income tax if she stays all year, so her share of tax is limited to state, city, social security, and...
by flarf
Mon May 13, 2019 9:36 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Buy or keep renting in Manhattan?
Replies: 44
Views: 7883

Re: Buy or keep renting in Manhattan?

Ok, I'll bite. We're focused on getting 2,000 to 2,500 sq ft...and also live in a halfway decent public school area. The 1.2M 3br place on your link for example is 1,250 sq ft and I am not an expert on LES but don't have very good schools. Financeguy you could buy two apartments at Seward for 2 mil...
by flarf
Wed May 08, 2019 8:39 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Wire transfer from VNG to title company
Replies: 10
Views: 829

Re: Wire transfer from VNG to title company

You do not need to send in a form. Outbound wires to a third party can be done with a phone call, as long as you have voice verification enabled on your account. Beware the timing limitations. Funds will be wired the next business day as long as your request is entered before 4pm Eastern. In my expe...
by flarf
Wed May 01, 2019 11:17 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Babymoon?
Replies: 36
Views: 3228

Re: Babymoon?

Almost nowhere in the world is too far if you have 10 days. Young children do not acknowledge time zones, so take the opportunity to go somewhere really far away that isn't particularly family friendly. My vote would be an overwater bungalow in the Maldives. Lots of ways to get there on points (it's...
by flarf
Mon Apr 22, 2019 10:28 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Which WAP to replace Airport Extreme - please no mesh recommendations
Replies: 116
Views: 6100

Re: Which WAP to replace Airport Extreme - please no mesh recommendations

The Netgear Orbi products can now use Ethernet backhaul.
by flarf
Mon Apr 22, 2019 8:04 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: 10/1 ARM Conf/Jumbo vs 30yr Fixed Conf/Jumbo
Replies: 3
Views: 459

Re: 10/1 ARM Conf/Jumbo vs 30yr Fixed Conf/Jumbo

You have no need for a 30 or even a 10 year fixed rate period. Why not look into 5 or 7 year options? You should be able to get under 3%.
by flarf
Fri Apr 19, 2019 8:32 am
Forum: Personal Investments
Topic: Vanguard wire transfers without 'medallion signature guarantee'
Replies: 8
Views: 1295

Re: Vanguard wire transfers without 'medallion signature guarantee'

I have read if you setup voice verification, you do not need medallion guarantee. Ymmv Not sure why this old thread got bumped, or if the OP is even still around, but this is accurate. I set up a Vanguard brokerage account last year and have done about a half dozen wires out of it, none of them wit...
by flarf
Thu Apr 04, 2019 10:37 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Landlord looking to buy out my lease. Whats a reasonable price?
Replies: 75
Views: 6334

Re: Landlord looking to buy out my lease. Whats a reasonable price?

Wrecking ball parked outside? Many jurisdictions won't allow demolition of a building until fumigation is completed. That can't be done while the building is occupied.

There are indeed a lot of moving parts here, and a tenant stands in the way of a lot of them.
by flarf
Thu Apr 04, 2019 10:20 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Landlord looking to buy out my lease. Whats a reasonable price?
Replies: 75
Views: 6334

Re: Landlord looking to buy out my lease. Whats a reasonable price?

Not sure why it's such a "huuuuuuuge" assumption on the carrying costs. The amount financed is irrelevant by the new owner is irrelevant; what matters is the cap rate, and you can use that to set a floor on the value of getting the OP out early. OP can ask for $10k + security deposit return and the ...
by flarf
Thu Apr 04, 2019 10:11 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Additional Costs for 3rd Child?
Replies: 74
Views: 2898

Re: Additional Costs for 3rd Child?

We'll be in this boat in a few years, as our third is a newborn right now. I'm shocked hotels won't let 5 people stay in a room, but maybe it's a fire code thing? Exactly. Try pulling this stunt in many places of the world outside the US and you'll be stuck taking a second room at the prevailing ra...
by flarf
Wed Apr 03, 2019 3:26 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Additional Costs for 3rd Child?
Replies: 74
Views: 2898

Re: Additional Costs for 3rd Child?

My wife and I are debating a third right now. I'd give it a 75% chance. The best reason we can come up with to stop at two is that we're about to move into a new place where the current two kids each get a bedroom and no longer need to share. If we had a third, two of them would need to share. That ...
by flarf
Tue Apr 02, 2019 1:56 pm
Forum: Personal Investments
Topic: BofA / Merrill Edge is [Tempting me to] Switch from Vanguard
Replies: 49
Views: 4910

Re: BofA / Merrill Edge is Making Me Switch from Vanguard

The 100 free trades per month are for equities and ETFs, both sales and purchases. Mutual funds are not included.

LFKB, I did the same to pick up the 50 bps rate reduction, there's really no catch. The 75% bonus cash back on the BofA credit cards is also enticing.
by flarf
Tue Apr 02, 2019 10:52 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Newlyweds considering moving to NYC...advice and insight appreciated.
Replies: 51
Views: 4785

Re: Newlyweds considering moving to NYC...advice and insight appreciated.

If one of you will be commuting on Metro-North and you want to live on the UES, then I'd suggest focusing your search around 86th and Lex so you have an express subway to 125th Street. I'll be the 10th person to suggest ditching the car if at all possible. There's always the East Harlem value play t...
by flarf
Thu Mar 28, 2019 12:00 pm
Forum: Personal Investments
Topic: Double-check before realizing large capital gains
Replies: 10
Views: 1356

Re: Double-check before realizing large capital gains

Going back to the charitable angle -- if you don't already have a donor-advised fund, this could be an opportunity to start one. Much better to make charitable contributions using appreciated stock than with cash you could otherwise invest.
by flarf
Fri Mar 22, 2019 1:10 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Need to decide on defined benefit survivorship in next few weeks
Replies: 5
Views: 319

Re: Need to decide on defined benefit survivorship in next few weeks

I think this is one of those times when you need to bring emotion into consideration as well. Imagine it's 2025. You die, your spouse is still living. If you choose the single life annuity, not only did she just lose her husband, but she lost his pension as well. Even though she has millions in the ...
by flarf
Tue Mar 19, 2019 9:49 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Reggio Emilia approach to preschool
Replies: 11
Views: 1167

Re: Reggio Emilia approach to preschool

Both my children are at a Reggio preschool, each started at age 2 with the morning program (3 hours per day, 5 days per week) which I think is more than enough hours for preschool if the family doesn't require full time child care. I think that's the minimum amount of time to make it worthwhile, an...
by flarf
Mon Mar 18, 2019 11:12 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Reggio Emilia approach to preschool
Replies: 11
Views: 1167

Re: Reggio Emilia approach to preschool

My oldest is finishing his time at a Reggio Emilia nursery school. He started around 19 months and turns 5 late this year. Having now been through almost three years, it's clear that what matters more than the approach are the teachers. His first and third year were great; his second year was just o...
by flarf
Fri Mar 15, 2019 10:50 am
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: 90 day waiting period for Vanguard Flagship
Replies: 37
Views: 4383

Re: 90 day waiting period for Vanguard Flagship

Probably my fault. I moved some money to Vanguard in December and have already sent three free wires.
by flarf
Mon Mar 11, 2019 5:02 pm
Forum: Personal Investments
Topic: XBI and VXF
Replies: 5
Views: 432

Re: XBI and VXF

XBI has never paid out a capital gain since it was started in 2006.

Bloomberg indicates VXF had some <4 cent annual special cash dividends through 2015, but none since. Inconsequential on a ~$100 security.

https://www.fidelity.com/learning-cente ... efficiency
by flarf
Mon Mar 11, 2019 10:46 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Island Vacation with Shade on the Beach?
Replies: 40
Views: 4436

Re: Island Vacation with Shade on the Beach?

Tough to give recommendations without a budget in mind. Vieques is dead quiet but that's partially because the largest resort was destroyed by Hurricane Maria and never re-opened. Last I checked, the electrical cable from PR still wasn't in service and they were reliant exclusively on solar and gen...
by flarf
Mon Mar 11, 2019 8:25 am
Forum: Personal Investments
Topic: XBI and VXF
Replies: 5
Views: 432

Re: XBI and VXF

XBI owner here. It's a fund of largely development-stage biotechnology companies. It's no surprise that those companies are generally unprofitable. Most of them have no revenues. The largest holding in XBI is ONCE (Spark Therapeutics), which is up 191% YTD following their February announcement of an...
by flarf
Thu Mar 07, 2019 11:07 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Island Vacation with Shade on the Beach?
Replies: 40
Views: 4436

Re: Island Vacation with Shade on the Beach?

Tough to give recommendations without a budget in mind. Vieques is dead quiet but that's partially because the largest resort was destroyed by Hurricane Maria and never re-opened. Last I checked, the electrical cable from PR still wasn't in service and they were reliant exclusively on solar and gene...
by flarf
Tue Feb 19, 2019 2:51 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: NYC tax filing(City tax filing) question
Replies: 3
Views: 248

Re: NYC tax filing(City tax filing) question

Your son doesn't need to buy any software assuming he doesn't exceed $66k of income. See https://www.tax.ny.gov/pit/efile/default.htm for free options to file a New York State income tax return, which will include any NY City income taxes as well.
by flarf
Mon Feb 11, 2019 10:53 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Passport Photos ?
Replies: 85
Views: 4227

Re: Passport Photos ?

Adults are easy. You ever try getting an infant to look straight ahead at a camera and hold a neutral expression? I always thought it would be a great idea to have a website where one could purchase passport-compliant pictures of babies. You could have a spectrum of say 20 to choose from, and I bet ...
by flarf
Fri Feb 08, 2019 5:24 pm
Forum: Personal Investments
Topic: Funds for taxable retirement account, handling estimated taxes
Replies: 7
Views: 696

Re: Funds for taxable retirement account, handling estimated taxes

If the taxes on dividends from VTI, VXUS, or whatever you end up with in taxable start to become meaningful, you can always have your employer adjust your federal income tax withholding. It's as simple as completing a new W-4 form, and unlike making estimated tax payments throughout the year, requir...