Search found 2365 matches

by texasdiver
Tue Feb 20, 2018 5:11 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Expat Living
Replies: 29
Views: 3139

Re: Expat Living

My wife and I talk about retiring in Chile or perhaps having a second residence there. She is Chilean and our kids are all dual citizens so I'm the only one in the family who doesn't actually hold a second Chilean passport. We have a few more years to go before having to make the decision. It would ...
by texasdiver
Sun Feb 18, 2018 5:20 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Do you wear a wedding band? [at a job interview]
Replies: 126
Views: 7061

Re: Do you wear a wedding band?

Yes.

Plain gold band bought at Costco when we married 18 years ago. I basically haven't taken it off since
by texasdiver
Sun Feb 18, 2018 1:47 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Sams Club vs Costco
Replies: 45
Views: 3678

Re: Sams Club vs Costco

Sam's Club has gone to a lot of effort to copy Costco. Where we used to live in Texas we had a Sam's Club 15 minutes away in Waco and the nearest Costco was just over an hour away in Cedar Park. For a quick restocking I'd do Sam's but for a bigger weekend restocking I'd make the drive to Costco and ...
by texasdiver
Sat Feb 17, 2018 11:17 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Vancouver Vacation (Canada)
Replies: 18
Views: 1254

Re: Vancouver Vacation (Canada)

Vancouver is nice but with kids I'd plan a side trip to Vancouver Island and Victoria. The ferries themselves are fun. Victoria is a beautiful walkable small city with lots of attractions. You can also do whale watching tours. In Vancouver, my top two attractions are the UBC Museum of Anthropology h...
by texasdiver
Sat Feb 17, 2018 2:54 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: 403(b) plan provisions
Replies: 10
Views: 591

Re: 403(b) plan provisions

It looks like Vanguard offers 403(b) services with no asset based fee. Does anyone have experience with that, particularly the recordkeeping services? It appears those are outsourced to Newport Group. My last 403(b) as a teacher in Texas was a directly administered plan through Vanguard. I'm not su...
by texasdiver
Sat Feb 17, 2018 2:36 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Mixing fuel octanes for cars
Replies: 47
Views: 2771

Re: Mixing fuel octanes for cars

My 2004 Sienna called for 91 octane in the owners manual. 296,000 miles later I have still never once filled it up with premium fuel. Nothing but regular 87 octane for the life of the vehicle. To date I have had no engine-related issues with this vehicle. I've had suspension issues, had to replace t...
by texasdiver
Sat Feb 17, 2018 12:29 am
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Which book for an 18 year old who is asking about investing?
Replies: 44
Views: 2600

Re: Which book for an 18 year old who is asking about investing?

HS teacher here. Most 18 year olds are going to find info online rather than reading books. Some good web sites, especially with forums might be a better option. This forum is going to be a bit much for an 18 year old new investor but there must be some good ones oriented towards basic boglehead typ...
by texasdiver
Fri Feb 16, 2018 1:49 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: 403(b) plan provisions
Replies: 10
Views: 591

Re: 403(b) plan provisions

There is a plan administrative asset-based charge of .0235% - I'm not sure if that's good or bad. Back in our previous jobs my wife and I both had 403(b) plans. Her plan through a local public health clinic had a 0.55% administrative fee imposed by the plan manager (Standard Insurance) on top of th...
by texasdiver
Fri Feb 16, 2018 1:42 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: 403(b) plan provisions
Replies: 10
Views: 591

Re: 403(b) plan provisions

Although it might be controversial on this board, a loan provision might be useful, especially to encourage increased participation on the part of younger participants. I was able to purchase my first home in a HCOL area ONLY because I was able to borrow part of the down payment from my Federal TSP....
by texasdiver
Fri Feb 16, 2018 1:09 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Retirees: The common sense withdrawal method
Replies: 113
Views: 9140

Re: Retirees: The common sense withdrawal method

I don't know that "taking out what you need when you need it" is common sense. If you have enough that your 'needs' are aligned with portfolio sustainability over the period of your lifetime then that will work fine. If not, you're going to run into a problem and I think common sense would dictate ...
by texasdiver
Wed Feb 14, 2018 11:19 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Dental chews for dogs....useful?
Replies: 36
Views: 1896

Dental chews for dogs....useful?

I've been buying dental chews for my lab for years, reading the labels which always say "helps clean teeth" and "reduces plaque and tartar" and thinking that I'm actually doing something beneficial for my dog. For some reason today I read the label more closely which states: "monitor your dog closel...
by texasdiver
Wed Feb 14, 2018 6:50 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: What is the best place to buy pet food online?
Replies: 28
Views: 2007

Re: What is the best place to buy pet food online?

Anyone here use Costco.com? I buy my dog food in person at the local Costco warehouse which is 5 minutes away. Their Kirkland Signature dog foods are about $28 for a 40 lb bag in the warehouse. I see on their web site the same 40 lb bag is $39 shipping included which makes it competitive with amazon...
by texasdiver
Mon Feb 12, 2018 10:32 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Costco 'Goodyear' wiper blades
Replies: 24
Views: 2224

Re: Costco 'Goodyear' wiper blades

Put them on my wife's Highlander and they squeaked horribly, especially in the misting conditions that are so prevalent here in the Northwest. She demanded that I do something about it. I tried cleaning and Rain-X but that didn't solve the problem. Finally I googled up windshield wiper reviews and f...
by texasdiver
Mon Feb 12, 2018 12:59 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Birding binoculars under $500?
Replies: 21
Views: 1005

Re: Birding binoculars under $500?

Thanks for the Swarovski and Leica recommendations. But I've got a daughter in college and 2 more on the way so a $2 grand pair of binoculars is so not happening in our household! If anything I'll choose to spend less and get a $275 pair of Monarch 5s. My retired dad who is much more into birding is...
by texasdiver
Sun Feb 11, 2018 11:13 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Birding binoculars under $500?
Replies: 21
Views: 1005

Re: Birding binoculars under $500?

Hey, TD, You seem to have done your homework! The only thing I might suggest is that a camera rig with a solid telephoto might be more fun for bagging your birds. :beer I do have a Canon superzoom camera but honestly I really just want something to keep on the kitchen counter to use to look across ...
by texasdiver
Sun Feb 11, 2018 10:50 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: L.L. Bean, Citing Abuse, Tightens Its Generous Policy on Returns
Replies: 41
Views: 4384

Re: L.L. Bean, Citing Abuse, Tightens Its Generous Policy on Returns

They are a business. They no doubt gained millions of dollars in sales and customer loyalty over the decades by sticking with this policy and making it part of their corporate culture and image. Now the math no longer works out for them. So be it. I suspect going forward they will still honor lifeti...
by texasdiver
Sun Feb 11, 2018 10:30 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Birding binoculars under $500?
Replies: 21
Views: 1005

Birding binoculars under $500?

I think there are some serious birders here. We recently moved into a house that backs up against a wooded greenbelt and are getting more into birding. The small pocket binoculars I own just aren't quite cutting it. After reading a variety of online reviews I came up with the Nikon Monarch 7 8x42 an...
by texasdiver
Mon Feb 05, 2018 12:45 am
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Calculating the payroll value of a pension?
Replies: 11
Views: 982

Re: Calculating the payroll value of a pension?

Hello texasdiver, it looks as though your figures are correct regarding the replacement for you future "lost years" for your pension, it sounds like there is still a little trepidation regarding taking another job. It appears that I am a few years ahead of where you are now. When I became fully ves...
by texasdiver
Sun Feb 04, 2018 3:43 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Calculating the payroll value of a pension?
Replies: 11
Views: 982

Re: Calculating the payroll value of a pension?

On the other hand, I wouldn't actually be replacing the lost pension with an annuity that I buy today. To the contrary, what I'd actually be doing is the first scenario: Replacing the lost pension with additional 401k or taxable savings that I'd start withdrawing at age 65 most likely using the 4% r...
by texasdiver
Sun Feb 04, 2018 2:46 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Calculating the payroll value of a pension?
Replies: 11
Views: 982

Re: Calculating the payroll value of a pension?

Several important questions: If you change jobs now, at what age would you start the pension that you have accrued? How long is that from now? Most pension plans have a reduction if you start benefits prior to 65. At your current job, do you pay into Social Security? SS has some nasty rules meant t...
by texasdiver
Sun Feb 04, 2018 1:34 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Calculating the payroll value of a pension?
Replies: 11
Views: 982

Calculating the payroll value of a pension?

Is there some rule of thumb that one can use to calculate the payroll value of a pension? I'm a teacher and trying to calculate how much additional salary I would have to earn in order to break even if I change careers from teaching where I have a pension to a career with no pension benefit. Using r...
by texasdiver
Sat Feb 03, 2018 2:08 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Alaska rental car - what is the real risk with unpaved roads?
Replies: 36
Views: 2323

Re: Alaska rental car - what is the real risk with unpaved roads?

I’ve rented a bunch of cars in Alaska while traveling there on business over the years. As I recall, they don’t forbid you to drive on gravel roads or anything like that. What they do tell you is that certain notorious roads are off limits. Like the Dalton Highway up to the north slope. They will h...
by texasdiver
Thu Feb 01, 2018 9:07 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Alaska rental car - what is the real risk with unpaved roads?
Replies: 36
Views: 2323

Re: Alaska rental car - what is the real risk with unpaved roads?

I’ve rented a bunch of cars in Alaska while traveling there on business over the years. As I recall, they don’t forbid you to drive on gravel roads or anything like that. What they do tell you is that certain notorious roads are off limits. Like the Dalton Highway up to the north slope. They will ha...
by texasdiver
Sun Jan 28, 2018 5:45 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: 401k millionaires
Replies: 158
Views: 23657

Re: 401k millionaires

I'm not sure how useful it is to look at single account balances with a specific firm. My wife and I have been consolidating our accounts like mad and we still have 9 different tax advantaged accounts between us and can't get it further reduced from that. And this is after rolling 4 or 5 legacy acco...
by texasdiver
Sat Jan 27, 2018 7:46 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: If you're really rich you're probably not an index-fundi Boglehead
Replies: 61
Views: 10910

Re: If you're really rich you're probably not an index-fundi Boglehead

I expect that a great many of the uber wealthy, especially the recently uber wealthy are more or less stuck with their current asset allocation because it is primarily in the form of ownership interests in companies that they built or helped build. Someone like a Jeff Bezos or Elon Musk can't simply...
by texasdiver
Wed Jan 24, 2018 4:36 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Group life policy when you leave the group?
Replies: 2
Views: 184

Re: Group life policy when you leave the group?

This policy was not through my employer. It was through the Assocation of Texas Professional Educators which is more or less the Teacher's Union in Texas even though Texas is not a union state. You pay an annual fee to stay a member of the association which I let lapse when I left Texas. http://www....
by texasdiver
Wed Jan 24, 2018 4:10 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Group life policy when you leave the group?
Replies: 2
Views: 184

Group life policy when you leave the group?

I have a group tem life policy that I obtained some years ago when I was a member of a professional teacher organization in Texas. I've since moved to the west coast and let my membership in the group lapse. Does anyone know what happens to generally group policies in this instance? The policy is be...
by texasdiver
Tue Jan 23, 2018 11:48 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Article: 8 Frugal and Forgotten Ways Your Great-Grandparents Made It through Hard Times
Replies: 29
Views: 5087

Re: Article: 8 Frugal and Forgotten Ways Your Great-Grandparents Made It through Hard Times

My parents were very into picnicking. I grew up in Oregon in the 60s and 70s. We would take frequent weekend excursions out to the beach or up to the mountains. They always involved my mother packing up a picnic lunch. They would search out parks and roadside waysides that had picnic tables. We NEVE...
by texasdiver
Mon Jan 22, 2018 8:44 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: How much $ worth of things have you discarded without using?
Replies: 25
Views: 2380

Re: How much $ worth of things have you discarded without using?

When we last moved from TX to WA I probably dumpstered at least $5-10 grand worth of junk because I didn't have the time or energy to bother with a moving sale. Lots of cheap furniture and tools and assorted junk that had accumulated over the years. Including some stuff that was still in unopened bo...
by texasdiver
Mon Jan 22, 2018 12:22 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Anyone donated a car to charity?
Replies: 25
Views: 1426

Re: Anyone donated a car to charity?

Thanks guys. I think even with the new tax law we will be over the 24k standard deduction in 2018 so it would still make sense to donate for the small tax deduction. What I'll probably do is just put it on craigslist this summer for a week or two and see if anyone wants it. If not, call up a charity...
by texasdiver
Sun Jan 21, 2018 2:39 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Anyone donated a car to charity?
Replies: 25
Views: 1426

Anyone donated a car to charity?

I've got a 2004 Toyota Sienna I want to get rid of this summer. I'm the only owner. I bought it new in summer 2003 and have 291,000 miles on it. At this point the catalytic converters have gone out and I'm looking at the neighborhood of $1200-$2000 just to replace them so that the car will pass emis...
by texasdiver
Sat Jan 20, 2018 4:39 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Pros and Cons of High Rise Condos for retired couple
Replies: 47
Views: 5097

Re: Pros and Cons of High Rise Condos for retired couple

My inlaws have lived in a high rise urban condo for years. Lots of pluses if you aren't into home maintenance and property maintenance stuff. But it is also where they lived most of their lives so their entire family and social network is nearby. They have on-site parking which makes a big differenc...
by texasdiver
Sat Jan 20, 2018 2:02 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Do we need an emergency supplies kit (go bag)?
Replies: 65
Views: 5455

Re: Do we need an emergency supplies kit (go bag)?

We had a bad scare back in Texas in 2012 during the drought when a nearby grass/range fire nearly swept into our subdivision. I realized then I needed to have things organized to grab in a moment's notice. After that I did the following: 1. All important documents (passports, shot records, birth cer...
by texasdiver
Fri Jan 19, 2018 1:30 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Family Balance and Children's Athletics
Replies: 37
Views: 2561

Re: Family Balance and Children's Athletics

One word of advice. Don't let athletics govern education, especially at the college level. I have seen students and parents become so obsessed with the lure of an athletic scholarship that they end up attending a college they wouldn't otherwise consider educationally just because it is the one that ...
by texasdiver
Fri Jan 19, 2018 1:14 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Dealing with overseas inheritance?
Replies: 3
Views: 391

Dealing with overseas inheritance?

My wife's elderly parents are Chilean and reaching the point of failing health. They have quite a variety of investment properties and real estate in Chile that will eventually be liquidated by my wife and her brother when her parents pass. At some point when all is cashed in my wife expects to inhe...
by texasdiver
Fri Jan 19, 2018 12:07 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Family Balance and Children's Athletics
Replies: 37
Views: 2561

Re: Family Balance and Children's Athletics

Teacher and parent of 3 kids here. I have one daughter who was relatively athletic (varsity starter at a big HS) and two who are not. I've also taught numerous HS athletes who have gone on to play D-1 sports and a couple to the pros. My wife and I basically laid out two rules for our daughters. We t...
by texasdiver
Tue Jan 16, 2018 12:45 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: best flooring for a basement wood shop?
Replies: 27
Views: 1536

Re: best flooring for a basement wood shop?

[I'm more into boat building than traditional woodworking so not so heavy into the machinery and more into the open work space and hand-tools. Having built boats in my woodshop, I would say that probably the only option would be hardwood flooring in this situation since concrete is not an option. T...
by texasdiver
Tue Jan 16, 2018 12:40 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: best flooring for a basement wood shop?
Replies: 27
Views: 1536

Re: best flooring for a basement wood shop?

Another product that may split the difference between looks and functionality is wood look porcelain tile. Pros are look and durability, cons are cost, requirement for a solid sub-floor and hard surface which may not be desirable for boat building. If you're not aware, porcelain tile is rated based...
by texasdiver
Tue Jan 16, 2018 12:43 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: best flooring for a basement wood shop?
Replies: 27
Views: 1536

Re: best flooring for a basement wood shop?

I wanted solid hardwood flooring but because we have a slab foundation engineered is recommended due to moisture but I never found any engineered product I couldn't damage with my fingernail so I think you're right that it might not be durable enough for a shop. That led me to tile which led me to ...
by texasdiver
Mon Jan 15, 2018 9:37 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: best flooring for a basement wood shop?
Replies: 27
Views: 1536

Re: best flooring for a basement wood shop?

IMHE, one of the issues with woodshop flooring is that you end up with sawdust on the floor. I'd worry about that being slippery with tile or vinyl. It's a real bummer when you're pushing that big board thru the table saw and your feet slip, sending your hand into the blade. Are you planning to hav...
by texasdiver
Mon Jan 15, 2018 7:43 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: best flooring for a basement wood shop?
Replies: 27
Views: 1536

Re: best flooring for a basement wood shop?

I'm trying to imagine how you build a basement that does not have a concrete floor. Anyway, for shop purposes, I would do concrete. If only for woodworking (no metal work, welding, cars etc) I might consider a heavy duty t&g plywood floor but it is going to get roughed up pretty quickly. We call it...
by texasdiver
Mon Jan 15, 2018 7:27 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: best flooring for a basement wood shop?
Replies: 27
Views: 1536

best flooring for a basement wood shop?

We have a larger house than we really need and the finished daylight basement is currently a carpeted space with 2 bedrooms, a bathroom, and a large open living area with a wet bar. The carpet is really at the end of its life and needs replacing. But I'm thinking ahead to claiming the space for a wo...
by texasdiver
Sat Jan 13, 2018 6:12 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Pension service credit purchase: yes or no?
Replies: 16
Views: 948

Re: Pension service credit purchase: yes or no?

I'm currently a public school teacher in the middle of my 2nd year of teaching in WA with 9 years of additional experience teaching in TX. The WA teacher's pension program has a service credit purchase (buy-back) provision allowing me to purchase up to 7 years of experience teaching in another stat...
by texasdiver
Sat Jan 13, 2018 6:07 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Pension service credit purchase: yes or no?
Replies: 16
Views: 948

Re: Pension service credit purchase: yes or no?

It almost always pays to buy service time. California PERS eliminated this option (except for military buyback) several years ago due to the costs associated with it. Looking at your numbers I would absolutely do it. The purchase is even better if you have a survivor benefit. The only negative is i...
by texasdiver
Sat Jan 13, 2018 5:53 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Pension service credit purchase: yes or no?
Replies: 16
Views: 948

Re: Pension service credit purchase: yes or no?

Trying to respond to all the questions here: 1. I am in the TRS-2 plan in WA which is the current traditional pension plan. TRS-3 is the newer hybrid plan with the 401K element. TRS-1 is the older legacy plan with more generous rules that only applies to teachers who began teaching in WA before year...
by texasdiver
Sat Jan 13, 2018 2:58 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Pension service credit purchase: yes or no?
Replies: 16
Views: 948

Re: Pension service credit purchase: yes or no?

It almost always pays to buy service time. California PERS eliminated this option (except for military buyback) several years ago due to the costs associated with it. Looking at your numbers I would absolutely do it. The purchase is even better if you have a survivor benefit. The only negative is i...
by texasdiver
Sat Jan 13, 2018 2:19 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Pension service credit purchase: yes or no?
Replies: 16
Views: 948

Pension service credit purchase: yes or no?

I'm currently a public school teacher in the middle of my 2nd year of teaching in WA with 9 years of additional experience teaching in TX. The WA teacher's pension program has a service credit purchase (buy-back) provision allowing me to purchase up to 7 years of experience teaching in another state...
by texasdiver
Wed Jan 10, 2018 2:48 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Cars in college
Replies: 33
Views: 1532

Re: Cars in college

fourth factor is student jobs. My daughter is a sophomore at a large university in a college town. Technically she could survive easily without a car if college life was the only part of the equation. But she is also working off campus as a nanny on a daily basis. She uses her car to pick up two kid...
by texasdiver
Wed Jan 10, 2018 1:43 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Why Buy Bonds If You Have A Mortgage?
Replies: 187
Views: 17871

Re: Why Buy Bonds If You Have A Mortgage?

So if you have a 3% fixed mortgage and you pay it off early and consider that to be the equivalent of a 3% bond.

Why not refi into a a 6% fixed rate mortgage and pay that off early so that you are earning the equivalent of a 6% bond?
by texasdiver
Mon Jan 08, 2018 8:47 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Living on Dividends and Interest
Replies: 58
Views: 7446

Re: Living on Dividends and Interest

What would be correct or wrong about living on the dividends and interest of your portfolio if you were able to do so with a 30% surplus or more? For this exercise, consuming capital by selling shares/individual bonds/cd's would be prohibited. I'd be curious as to what this group thinks about it. I...