Search found 2705 matches

by texasdiver
Tue Nov 13, 2018 1:33 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Best city car
Replies: 19
Views: 1718

Re: Best city car

Thanks all for suggestions .. Lots of fans for Mazda 3 - I am going to give it serious look. I am leaning towards getting a Prius - great milage, and comfortable seating as you mentioned. Although 2019 Camry Hybrid has similar milage albeit at higher price. I have looked at electric, but the though...
by texasdiver
Mon Nov 12, 2018 12:21 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Best city car
Replies: 19
Views: 1718

Re: Best city car

Important question. Do you have your own parking or garage with power? If so, I'd take a very hard look at electric cars, especially if you don't do long out of town road trips. If it is going to be your only car and you need to drive 250 miles to grandma's house on a frequent basis maybe not. Other...
by texasdiver
Mon Nov 12, 2018 12:15 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: 30" or 36" induction range for remodel?
Replies: 36
Views: 2230

Re: 30" or 36" induction range for remodel?

I would put in separates. You don't really lose much space if at all because the space under the cooktop is available for pots and pans storage. Then put in a double wall oven, or a oven/microwave combo. Also makes it nicer for big group cooking projects like Thanksgiving because your cooktop and ov...
by texasdiver
Sun Nov 11, 2018 5:49 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Help! yet aother PPO vs HDHP plan
Replies: 12
Views: 1087

Re: Help! yet aother PPO vs HDHP plan

What are your co-pays in the PPO plan? We have a similar choice between HDHP and non-HDHP plans. The HDHP plan has no co-pays because you are paying for everything up to the deductible The non-HDHP plan had $25-50 co-pays for different categories of appointments up to the annual deductible after whi...
by texasdiver
Fri Nov 09, 2018 7:54 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Paper or Paperless? How and what financial records do you keep?
Replies: 50
Views: 3573

Re: Paper or Paperless? How and what financial records do you keep?

We're all hosed if .pdf format becomes obsolete. I'm kind of joking and kind of not. Something I do think about. VHS anybody? Agree that would be a pain. But PDF has become so widely used for so long that I can't imagine that when something better comes along there won't be a long period where the ...
by texasdiver
Thu Nov 08, 2018 1:10 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: high deductible vs. PPO calculation--high deductible always wins?
Replies: 35
Views: 3057

Re: high deductible vs. PPO calculation--high deductible always wins?

If I get a non-HDHP plan, I will be eligible for an FSA. I have never had an FSA before. My experience is that switching companies with an HSA can be a good thing since any company seed money is generally frontloaded, so switching companies means you may be able to double-dip seed money from both c...
by texasdiver
Thu Nov 08, 2018 12:50 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Financial coaching - license / certificate?
Replies: 6
Views: 566

Re: Financial coaching - license / certificate?

Turn the question around. If you were shopping for a financial coach and planning to spend a meaningful amount of money for that advice, what qualificiations would you look for? And what combinations of qualifications and experience would you use to distinguish between potential candidates? If I wer...
by texasdiver
Thu Nov 08, 2018 12:04 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Favorite "free stuff"?
Replies: 137
Views: 10448

Re: Favorite "free stuff"?

Libraries
Local parks and trails
Concerts in the park
First Fridays gallery walks and art in my town
Oregon beaches (compared to some east coast areas where you pay)
by texasdiver
Tue Nov 06, 2018 5:12 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Paper or Paperless? How and what financial records do you keep?
Replies: 50
Views: 3573

Re: Paper or Paperless? How and what financial records do you keep?

I confess that I have a filing cabinet full of paper income tax returns dating back over thirty years. It's been my plan to scan all these into PDFs, but I've somehow never gotten around to it . I keep other financial records (statements, check registers, etc) as PDFs on a separate USB memory stick...
by texasdiver
Tue Nov 06, 2018 1:24 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Paper or Paperless? How and what financial records do you keep?
Replies: 50
Views: 3573

Paper or Paperless? How and what financial records do you keep?

I'm the kind of person who stores every paper bank, credit card, mortgage, investment, and pay statement and then files them away in annual financial folders by year. For what purpose I'm not exactly sure but I have folders of records going back 25 years. I have all of the same information in Quicke...
by texasdiver
Tue Nov 06, 2018 10:06 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: high deductible vs. PPO calculation--high deductible always wins?
Replies: 35
Views: 3057

Re: high deductible vs. PPO calculation--high deductible always wins?

The actuaries who do the math aren’t stupid. The prices are based on the insurance company’s actual risk. +1 Actuaries work for the insurance company and don’t take into account incentives the federal government may offer to individuals to opt for a HDHP with HSA over a PPO. If someone will contrib...
by texasdiver
Mon Nov 05, 2018 10:53 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: retirement travel: RVs vs fly/drive/hotel
Replies: 98
Views: 9221

Re: retirement travel: RVs vs fly/drive/hotel

I have heard some analysis that you could actually travel by car, stay at medium level hotels such as Holiday Express, Springhill Suites, etc and still come out well ahead on an annual basis over an RV, but that would depend on whether taking a two week vacation vs months for sure. The idea of VRBO...
by texasdiver
Mon Nov 05, 2018 10:42 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: retirement travel: RVs vs fly/drive/hotel
Replies: 98
Views: 9221

Re: retirement travel: RVs vs fly/drive/hotel

Speaking of big RV shows, they seem to come to my area every three or four months, but the local RV/trailer dealers (there are several large ones) all seem to have a huge inventory of new vehicles on their lots. I often wonder how much of capital is tied up in that inventory and how many they can p...
by texasdiver
Mon Nov 05, 2018 4:29 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Dependent Care FSA Question
Replies: 10
Views: 922

Re: Dependent Care FSA Question

Hello, We have our son who is going to daycare now. He spends 8 hours at daycare while my wife and I go to work. Next year I'm thinking about signing up for Dependent Care FSA. What information do I need from daycare? Do I need Tax ID/SS#/EIN? Or just the receipt is sufficient? Thanks in advance! D...
by texasdiver
Mon Nov 05, 2018 4:24 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Post FiRE job...teaching??
Replies: 33
Views: 3918

Re: Post FiRE job...teaching??

you think teaching HS (or younger) will be EASIER then college courses? lol Biggest chuckle of the day. From what I hear from my daughter who has been teaching at a high school for close to 15 years, teaching high schoolers is a very trying experience. You might want to teach at a place where the s...
by texasdiver
Mon Nov 05, 2018 12:32 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: high deductible vs. PPO calculation--high deductible always wins?
Replies: 35
Views: 3057

Re: high deductible vs. PPO calculation--high deductible always wins?

My numbers are way different than yours for our choice between a HDHP plan and our normal no-deductible plan. My wife works for Kaiser and both plan choices are from Kaiser so the numbers are a lot different. But the conclusions are essentially the same. There is no level of spending for us in which...
by texasdiver
Sun Nov 04, 2018 11:27 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Dependent Care FSA Question
Replies: 10
Views: 922

Re: Dependent Care FSA Question

Hello, We have our son who is going to daycare now. He spends 8 hours at daycare while my wife and I go to work. Next year I'm thinking about signing up for Dependent Care FSA. What information do I need from daycare? Do I need Tax ID/SS#/EIN? Or just the receipt is sufficient? Thanks in advance! D...
by texasdiver
Sun Nov 04, 2018 10:02 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: retirement travel: RVs vs fly/drive/hotel
Replies: 98
Views: 9221

Re: retirement travel: RVs vs fly/drive/hotel

I have heard some analysis that you could actually travel by car, stay at medium level hotels such as Holiday Express, Springhill Suites, etc and still come out well ahead on an annual basis over an RV, but that would depend on whether taking a two week vacation vs months for sure. The idea of VRBO...
by texasdiver
Fri Nov 02, 2018 10:02 am
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: retiring abroad with savings worth 200k...
Replies: 48
Views: 7176

Re: retiring abroad with savings worth 200k...

Puerto Vallarta is relatively expensive since it's a major tourist spot... I went there last Dec. and it was not as cheap as other places. I would suggest Panama or even Ecuador. I lived in Ecuador for a bit in 2010, in Quito, it was pretty cheap. I met a US expat there actually who had just retire...
by texasdiver
Thu Nov 01, 2018 9:32 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: retiring abroad with savings worth 200k...
Replies: 48
Views: 7176

Re: retiring abroad with savings worth 200k...

No, you don't have remotely enough money. I wouldn't think of doing something like that with less than $500k. Stuff comes up all the time. First time you need to fly back to the states for a wedding funeral, or family emergency, rent a car, get a hotel room, etc. your budget will be blown for 4 mont...
by texasdiver
Thu Nov 01, 2018 8:50 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: What does the BH community do with their pets when they travel?
Replies: 78
Views: 6361

Re: What does the BH community do with their pets when they travel?

We have a yellow lab and two cats: For short trips (overnight or weekend) we board the dog at a local boarding kennel and leave the cats to fend for themselves. They only eat dry food out of a self feeder anyway so they are fine. For long trips we usually save some $$ by driving down and dropping th...
by texasdiver
Thu Nov 01, 2018 3:27 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Tell me about establishing trusts for our minor children
Replies: 28
Views: 2703

Re: Tell me about establishing trusts for our minor children

In the first post you say the brother in law also will be the guardian. I assume this means guardian of the children's assets, not of the children themselves. You would need someone to take care of them, besides managing the money. No, their actual guardian as well. We basically have no one else in...
by texasdiver
Thu Nov 01, 2018 2:07 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Tell me about establishing trusts for our minor children
Replies: 28
Views: 2703

Re: Tell me about establishing trusts for our minor children

Losing both parents then leaving school, activities and all friends to move to a foreign country does not sound like a great solution. Very generous of brother in law to relocate if needed. Does he have US citizenship or permanent resident status? If not, could he actually make that move? Our daugh...
by texasdiver
Thu Nov 01, 2018 8:59 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Tell me about establishing trusts for our minor children
Replies: 28
Views: 2703

Re: Tell me about establishing trusts for our minor children

In the first post you say the brother in law also will be the guardian. I assume this means guardian of the children's assets, not of the children themselves. You would need someone to take care of them, besides managing the money. No, their actual guardian as well. We basically have no one else in...
by texasdiver
Wed Oct 31, 2018 5:17 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Tell me about establishing trusts for our minor children
Replies: 28
Views: 2703

Re: Tell me about establishing trusts for our minor children

We are contemplating using Vanguard Trust Services and having Vanguard act as financial advisor and Co-Trustee along with my brother-in-law. I understand that this isn't necessarily the cheapest option but seems reasonable. Vanguard's fees for a trust under $5 million in size are 0.25% for trust ad...
by texasdiver
Wed Oct 31, 2018 10:33 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Tell me about establishing trusts for our minor children
Replies: 28
Views: 2703

Re: Tell me about establishing trusts for our minor children

The state estate tax in your state of residence is just over $2 million. If you follow your plan, each of your daughters will inherit an amount equal to more than half her estate tax exemption at age 30. With their own life insurance policies and assets, they are likely to be over the exemption amo...
by texasdiver
Tue Oct 30, 2018 11:11 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Tell me about establishing trusts for our minor children
Replies: 28
Views: 2703

Re: Tell me about establishing trusts for our minor children

3. Three trusts vs one. <snip> Or reasons not to? You have a lot in your post, but just wanted to chime in on this. We wanted to split our estate equally to our two minor kids, however the lawyer brought up a great point that we hadn't considered - what if one child suffers someway where they objec...
by texasdiver
Tue Oct 30, 2018 1:53 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Tell me about establishing trusts for our minor children
Replies: 28
Views: 2703

Re: Tell me about establishing trusts for our minor children

Coincidentally, I sat down with an attorney yesterday to grapple with these same matters, and we seem to have similar philosophies, so I'll share what I did. Three trusts vs one. I chose one. We also have multiple kids, each a couple years apart. The main problem with three separate trusts, accordi...
by texasdiver
Tue Oct 30, 2018 1:43 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Tell me about establishing trusts for our minor children
Replies: 28
Views: 2703

Re: Tell me about establishing trusts for our minor children

3. Three trusts vs one. <snip> Or reasons not to? You have a lot in your post, but just wanted to chime in on this. We wanted to split our estate equally to our two minor kids, however the lawyer brought up a great point that we hadn't considered - what if one child suffers someway where they objec...
by texasdiver
Tue Oct 30, 2018 11:58 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Tell me about establishing trusts for our minor children
Replies: 28
Views: 2703

Tell me about establishing trusts for our minor children

My wife and I have an appointment to update our will since we recently relocated to a new state. As part of that process I want to figure out the most logical and prudent way to set up a trust for our assets should we both die. We have 3 unmarried daughters ages 12, 15, and 20. The total value of ou...
by texasdiver
Mon Oct 29, 2018 10:39 am
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Timber as an alternative - didn't work so well...
Replies: 34
Views: 5465

Re: Timber as an alternative - didn't work so well...

About 30 years ago the controller for the St. Louis based company I worked for shared his timber plan. He bought 40 acres and planted walnut trees. He said it’d be worth $1 million in 40 years. I never thought about it until seeing this. According to this article he was conservative https://www.pro...
by texasdiver
Mon Oct 29, 2018 2:47 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Social Security WEP Question when filing at age 70
Replies: 2
Views: 466

Re: Social Security WEP Question when filing at age 70

If I understand correctly, the WEP reduction is applied to your full retirement age benefit before any adjustments are made for delayed retirement or COLA, so the difference at age 70 would be larger than half your pension amount. But I give up the $51,853 of pension earnings that I would receive f...
by texasdiver
Mon Oct 29, 2018 12:09 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Becoming frugal
Replies: 81
Views: 10855

Re: Becoming frugal

Stop vacations. If you live in a nice house, why pay for time away from it? You are paying double when you stay away from home. If you live in a desirable vacation area there are house swapping web sites where you can trade houses with someone in another part of the world for basically free. Obviou...
by texasdiver
Sun Oct 28, 2018 11:46 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Social Security WEP Question when filing at age 70
Replies: 2
Views: 466

Social Security WEP Question when filing at age 70

I'm currently trying to analyze the effects of Social Security Windfall Elimination Provision(WEP) on my social security benefits under various scenarios (whether or not I should cash in my affected pension) and I have a complicated WEP question. In short, the SSI states that my WEP reduction will n...
by texasdiver
Sun Oct 28, 2018 9:08 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Late to the game, need some advice (live off savings while maxing out 403b?)
Replies: 12
Views: 1074

Re: Late to the game, need some advice (live off savings while maxing out 403b?)

Important question. How long do you think you’ll be with this employer? If you plan to be there for 31 more years until age 65 then I would be VERY loath to tie money into a 403b at those extremely high ERs. Because you aren’t getting it out until you retire. The ERs kill you every year again and ag...
by texasdiver
Sun Oct 28, 2018 6:21 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Timber as an alternative - didn't work so well...
Replies: 34
Views: 5465

Re: Timber as an alternative - didn't work so well...

I wonder how Trump's tariffs on Canadian lumber and paper products (newsprint) have affected this market if at all. I have no idea if Canadian lumber is in direct competition with these pulpwood tree farms in the south or more directly competitive with say douglas fir lumber from the Northwest. Also...
by texasdiver
Sun Oct 28, 2018 5:52 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Becoming frugal
Replies: 81
Views: 10855

Re: Becoming frugal

Both under the ACA and under Medicare - the annual wellness (or whatever else they might be called) are no charge - BUT commonly you are charged if you bring up any problems. So, be careful. Under my Kaiser Medicare plan, the "letter" of the plan and fine print says the same thing -- HOWEVER I have...
by texasdiver
Sun Oct 28, 2018 4:42 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Becoming frugal
Replies: 81
Views: 10855

Re: Becoming frugal

The OP is from the UK so this won't apply. But for those of you who are in the US and have medical coverage.... 1. When you make your annual appointments for yourself or child make sure you request wellness checks for youself or "well child" checks for your kids. Under the ACA both adults and childr...
by texasdiver
Sun Oct 28, 2018 2:24 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Becoming frugal
Replies: 81
Views: 10855

Re: Becoming frugal

Go over your credit card statements with a fine-tooth comb and highlighter pen. Identify any repeating charges for services like heath clubs, streaming music/video services, online subcriptions etc. amazon prime, That you may not be using or using very much. Cancel all that you can live without. Add...
by texasdiver
Sat Oct 27, 2018 11:42 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: What Memberships/Subscriptions Are Most Valuable To You?
Replies: 68
Views: 4778

Re: What Memberships/Subscriptions Are Most Valuable To You?

Netflix
Prime
New York Times Digital
LastPass
24 Hour Fitness (for wife and daughters mostly)
Kindle Unlimited (my wife is a fan)
Costco

I think that is all that we are actually paying for other than the usual home internet and cellular service. I don't pay for anything I don't think is valuable.
by texasdiver
Thu Oct 25, 2018 1:27 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: First time home buying questions
Replies: 11
Views: 991

Re: First time home buying questions

Portland area resident here. We bought across the river in Camas 2.5 years ago but that was not our first house and both my wife and I work in Vancouver rather than Portland so our commutes are not an issue. If you are looking for west-side suburbs then I'd do what it takes to get near transit and w...
by texasdiver
Wed Oct 24, 2018 7:12 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Seeking housing advice
Replies: 11
Views: 1179

Re: Seeking housing advice

I support the apartment option as well. At early 50s the inlaws are not elderly and will benefit from the increased independence of having their own space. Option D which may or may not be legal in your jurisdiction would be to build a speparate small accessory dwelling unit on your lot. This is a p...
by texasdiver
Wed Oct 24, 2018 7:02 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Empty nester downsizing - any advice?
Replies: 51
Views: 5491

Re: Empty nester downsizing - any advice?

A lot of condo and upscale apartment complexes have basement storage lockers. If you know for certain that you will wanting to keep certain sentimental and seasonal items in storage it may be worth while looking for housing that comes with free on-site storage so you don't need to deal with offsite ...
by texasdiver
Wed Oct 24, 2018 2:55 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Dental Mishap
Replies: 46
Views: 4816

Re: Dental Mishap

It is difficult to visualize how the wrong teeth were extracted. There is a simple numbering system for identifying adult teeth and a slightly more complex system for naming pediatric teeth. http://www.americantooth.com/downloads/instructions/Dental_Sys_Primary_Teeth.pdf Maybe it's different for ch...
by texasdiver
Wed Oct 24, 2018 2:40 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: PSA: Don't buy a big house
Replies: 248
Views: 25678

Re: PSA: Don't buy a big house

While we're griping about houses, let me add that I hate the space wasted by the jetted bath tub in our master bath. What a useless item that is annoying to clean. We're currently using it to store some cleaning supplies. :annoyed YES...I HATE those. Especially when builders cut corners and install...
by texasdiver
Wed Oct 24, 2018 10:31 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: PSA: Don't buy a big house
Replies: 248
Views: 25678

Re: PSA: Don't buy a big house

One nice thing about a big house is hosting parties and out of town guests. But with that said I think the biggest house I would want is 2,500 - 3,000 sqft for a family of 4 or 5. You could put every one of your out-of-town guests up in the Four Seasons, W, Omni, take your pick, and never come clos...
by texasdiver
Tue Oct 23, 2018 6:19 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Withdraw 401k for Down Payment
Replies: 20
Views: 1460

Re: Withdraw 401k for Down Payment

A 401k loan would make much more sense financially if your plan allows it. You don't pay any penalties and the interest on the loan you pay back to yourself.
by texasdiver
Tue Oct 23, 2018 10:46 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: How often does Costco have the deals on 4 Michelin tires?
Replies: 36
Views: 2844

Re: How often does Costco have the deals on 4 Michelin tires?

They alternate the Michelin and Bridgestone coupons in their monthly coupon books which don't precisely match the calendar months. Mine just arrived in the mail yesterday and is valid from 10/31 through 11/26. It has the $70 off Bridgestone coupon in it so the next Michelin coupon will probably be i...
by texasdiver
Tue Oct 23, 2018 10:36 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: PSA: Don't buy a big house
Replies: 248
Views: 25678

Re: PSA: Don't buy a big house

Anyone figure out how to change the tall smoke alarms without buying a taller ladder? We have one on a perhaps 12 foor ceiling. My 14' orchard ladder is too tall to set up; the regular 6' ladder isn't tall enough. I have the light bulb changing stick which works well, and all our other ceilings are...
by texasdiver
Mon Oct 22, 2018 12:59 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Final Decision - Housing
Replies: 22
Views: 1651

Re: Final Decision - Housing

Interest rates are rising. What's the interest rate on your current mortgage compared to the rate you can lock in now? Is it worth walking away from a good rate that we may never see again in our lifetimes? We lived for over a decade in Central Texas so I have a sense of the market there. Neighborho...