Search found 2338 matches

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: 12
Views: 2105

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: 19
Views: 1234

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: 22
Views: 935

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: 22
Views: 935

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: 44
Views: 4419

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: 50
Views: 3794

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: 2481

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: 357

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: 2481

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: 1452

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: 1452

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: 1452

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: 1452

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: 1452

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: 1452

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: 923

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: 923

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: 923

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: 923

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: 923

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: 1468

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: 17462

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: 19
Views: 2596

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...
by texasdiver
Sun Jan 07, 2018 2:18 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: portable chargers for electronic devices
Replies: 35
Views: 1817

Re: portable chargers for electronic devices

If you are looking for a good home backup for power failures (as opposed to something to keep in your backpack or something) then a good option is a big lead acid car charger backup battery. They come with USB ports for 12 volt accessory charging and you can use it to jump start your car. Something ...
by texasdiver
Sat Jan 06, 2018 12:26 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Limit Owner Use of Rental Home to Two Weeks?
Replies: 22
Views: 3480

Re: Limit Owner Use of Rental Home to Two Weeks?

Just curious. How would the IRS ever know if an owner exceeded the 14 days? You don't really leave a paper trail when you are visiting your own property. I suppose it's one thing if you winter in Florida for months at a time or some such and have long blocks of time at the location so that all your ...
by texasdiver
Sat Jan 06, 2018 12:07 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: How to browse specifically for homes with "mother-in-law suite"?
Replies: 29
Views: 1831

Re: How to browse specifically for homes with "mother-in-law suite"?

Something called "accessory dwelling units" are becoming a popular option in some west coast cities like Portland, Seattle, and Vancouver. Depending on the area they can be anything from a tiny house on wheels sitting in the yard to a complete small second house in the back yard and anything in betw...
by texasdiver
Fri Jan 05, 2018 8:55 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: How to browse specifically for homes with "mother-in-law suite"?
Replies: 29
Views: 1831

Re: How to browse specifically for homes with "mother-in-law suite"?

Are you looking for just a bed/bath suite like a second master on the far side of the house? Or are you looking for a separate apartment with a kitchen or kitchenettte? Big difference. My wife and I did an extensive house search 2 years ago for the former. We just wanted a ground floor guest suite f...
by texasdiver
Fri Jan 05, 2018 12:11 am
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Hitting The Sell Button
Replies: 222
Views: 24854

Re: Hitting The Sell Button

My wife's main portfolio is 100% in Vanguard Target Retirement 2030. My main portfolio is 100% in the TSP Target Retirement 2030 This means we have had a greater percentage in international stocks than we probably would have had I built the portfolio with individual funds. Which has been a good thin...
by texasdiver
Tue Jan 02, 2018 7:11 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Oregon and N California trip, need advice
Replies: 20
Views: 1585

Re: Oregon and N California trip, need advice

chickadee wrote:
Tue Jan 02, 2018 6:40 pm
Those are gorgeous photos! Thanks for all the input, I’m going to look at flight ideas.

Does anyone have ideas on where to stay in the Crescent City area? Some decent motel is fine, just want to get a reservation early enough.
lighthouse Inn: http://thelighthouseinncrescentcity.com/
by texasdiver
Tue Jan 02, 2018 5:20 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Oregon and N California trip, need advice
Replies: 20
Views: 1585

Re: Oregon and N California trip, need advice

Thanks all for the advice so far. Texasdiver, didn't know you were actually a Beaver state guy! I had discovered the Medford airport, and am musing that as a possibility to cut down on some driving, the tickets aren't much higher than PDX ones. The route I mapped so far included about 17 hours of d...
by texasdiver
Tue Jan 02, 2018 4:59 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Recommend me a good laser printer for a chromebook!
Replies: 23
Views: 1690

Re: Recommend me a good laser printer for a chromebook!

I find it easier to print from a tablet or smartphone than a Chromebook. I used to email from Chromebook to phone to print. No need to email it to yourself. Just install the Google Drive app on your tablet or phone and all your documents will directly accessible on your phone for printing or editing.
by texasdiver
Tue Jan 02, 2018 2:59 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Oregon and N California trip, need advice
Replies: 20
Views: 1585

Re: Oregon and N California trip, need advice

OP that time of june I wouldn’t expect the whole rim loop to be open, hopefully you can get to the lodge and the west rim road (the north entrance might not even be open by then) remember, gas stations are not self-serve, you must have an attendant in OR and most stations are not 24 hour so watch y...
by texasdiver
Mon Jan 01, 2018 10:59 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Saving a little, here and there...
Replies: 21
Views: 3760

Re: Saving a little, here and there...

I buy all my clothes (except shoes) at Costco $50 companion fares on Alaska Airlines. If you travel a lot and live in a city with good Alaska Airlines service (basically the west coast) these are a great deal. You get a free $50 companion fare each year for holding the Alaska Airlines mileage credit...
by texasdiver
Mon Jan 01, 2018 10:52 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: 529's: Torn Between Utah and Vanguard (Nevada) Plans
Replies: 21
Views: 10198

Re: 529's: Torn Between Utah and Vanguard (Nevada) Plans

I'm debating between those exact plans right now. The costs of the Vanguard plan have come down substantially since this thread started in 2012. You'll want to look at current data to compare costs in 2018 not the old stuff in this thread. I'm in the Vanguard Nevada plan and happy with it. Basicall...
by texasdiver
Mon Jan 01, 2018 10:47 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Financial (or other planning) for job switching
Replies: 5
Views: 590

Re: Financial (or other planning) for job switching

My wife and I relocated across country and both started new jobs in mid-2016. Her new job had a 1-year waiting period for joining the 401(k) plan so we lost 1/2 year's worth of contributions to her accounts due to not maxing out her contributions during the first half of 2016 before we relocated. Wa...
by texasdiver
Mon Jan 01, 2018 10:32 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Share your net worth progression
Replies: 710
Views: 184032

Re: Share your net worth progression

Only been tracking in Quicken since 2010. Well, I tracked before that but lost all my old data in 2010 when upgrading to a new version of Quicken and didn't bother to re-enter all the old stuff. All figures are for the last day of the year for each year so 2010 is actually 12/31/2010. Net worth figu...
by texasdiver
Mon Jan 01, 2018 9:48 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: High deductible health insurance with HSA for family of 5
Replies: 19
Views: 1721

Re: High deductible health insurance with HSA for family of 5

My wife and I are in a situation similar to the OP. We have 3 kids ages 11, 14, and 19. My wife's employer offers a HD plan with HSA and contributes approximately $2400 into it each year. We max it out each year with our own contributions. Her plan has a $4000 family deductible. The cost difference ...
by texasdiver
Mon Jan 01, 2018 8:41 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Oregon and N California trip, need advice
Replies: 20
Views: 1585

Re: Oregon and N California trip, need advice

Despite my handle, I grew up in OR and have spent most of my life in this area. Most of your locations are in OR. Therefore it probably makes the most sense to fly into PDX, rent a car, and do a loop from there. US Highway 101 goes down the entire Oregon coast to Eureka CA. From there is becomes an ...
by texasdiver
Sat Dec 30, 2017 7:16 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: manual car for new teen driver
Replies: 143
Views: 6505

Re: manual car for new teen driver

Are they any different than any other RWD vehicle? Like the kind we grew up with? Somehow we all learned to drive with manuals, RWD, in the snow and ice. That said we do want to get a safe vehicle so if RWD is to be avoided, so be it. Do Tacomas not come in 4x4? Yes they are worse. Even the 4x4 mod...
by texasdiver
Sat Dec 30, 2017 5:51 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Gulf coast vacation ideas?
Replies: 9
Views: 850

Re: Gulf coast vacation ideas?

How old are the kids? 2 and 5. So they are pretty easy to entertain. We were in Destin last year for a wedding. I liked it too but seemed like we drove everywhere. Thanks for the replies. I’ll look into the Best Western in Gulf Shores. For something different, maybe Seaside FL which is just a bit e...
by texasdiver
Sat Dec 30, 2017 4:26 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: manual car for new teen driver
Replies: 143
Views: 6505

Re: manual car for new teen driver

To return to the OP's question, I recommend a 4-cylinder manual Toyota Tacoma. The 4 cylinder, which is not always optimum in a pickup, is perfect for a teenage boy, IMHO. That's an innovative idea. It would handle all weather, be reliable, and carry anything one needed, especially if it had a camp...
by texasdiver
Sat Dec 30, 2017 3:33 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Applying for financial aid with high income
Replies: 50
Views: 3060

Re: Applying for financial aid with high income

Why did you say the book contradict my statement? Because you claimed private schools were not worth it and the book (and many other sources) talks about the merits of applying for and attending many of the great private schools we have. You also never qualified your statement with pricing. I am so...
by texasdiver
Sat Dec 30, 2017 2:03 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: How did you guys do in 1966 - 1980?
Replies: 27
Views: 1840

Re: How did you guys do in 1966 - 1980?

My Dad was born in 1937 so fits your time period. He and my mother did just fine by earning two generous pensions (teacher's pension and nurse's pension) and social security and investing in a couple of duplexes jointly with his brother. I can remember HATING those duplexes because one of my mostly ...
by texasdiver
Sat Dec 30, 2017 1:39 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: European Cities that don't interest you
Replies: 187
Views: 11815

Re: European Cities that don't interest you

What I like about traveling is experiencing new environments and cultures that are different from the bland car-centric suburban middle america existence that I have spent most of the last 50 years living in. European cities that have followed the car-centric suburban sprawl pattern just have no int...
by texasdiver
Sat Dec 30, 2017 12:30 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Gulf coast vacation ideas?
Replies: 9
Views: 850

Re: Gulf coast vacation ideas?

Last time I did a Gulf Coast beach vacation with the family we stayed at the Destin West resort which is actually on Okaloosa Island just across the bridge from Destin: http://www.destinwest.com/ Okaloosa Island is the barrier island that separates Destin and Fort Walton Beach. It's a big condo comp...
by texasdiver
Fri Dec 29, 2017 1:59 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Applying for financial aid with high income
Replies: 50
Views: 3060

Re: Applying for financial aid with high income

OP, grant FA at your income level is rare to non-existent absent extraordinary circumstances (e.g., medical nightmare or other expenses). However, a FAFSA might be required for on-campus employment. On-campus employment is quite a benefit, especially being a TA, as much of the “work” time can be sp...
by texasdiver
Thu Dec 28, 2017 5:28 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Keeping a checkbook register
Replies: 95
Views: 5766

Re: Keeping a checkbook register

I write paper checks for 3 reasons: 1. to pay my daughter's piano teacher each month 2. to pay our cleaning lady. I leave a check for her on the counter. 3. to pay the occasional school fundraiser and school fee. Although even that is getting easier and easier to do online. Those represent about 10%...
by texasdiver
Thu Dec 28, 2017 5:17 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Spain Trip: Barcelona & Girona + Cycling
Replies: 11
Views: 653

Re: Spain Trip: Barcelona & Girona + Cycling

Looks like both Barcelona and Girona have urban bike share networks. If it were me, I'd do bike share riding for all the urban stuff in both cities and then rent a nicer road bike for some longer rides in the Girona area. The convenience of bike sharing is unbeatable for kicking around dense urban a...
by texasdiver
Thu Dec 28, 2017 4:53 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: 1st, your education. Then...Location, Location, Location
Replies: 66
Views: 8553

Re: 1st, your education. Then...Location, Location, Location

I don't think the advice was to move to the Northeast, but rather, for young people to move to cities in order to find opportunity. Doesn't have to be the Washington-Boston corridor. Dallas, Atlanta, Houston, Seattle, Denver, etc. All of them are booming. I would go so far as to say be very careful ...
by texasdiver
Thu Dec 28, 2017 4:21 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Crater Lake trip from Bay area in June
Replies: 21
Views: 1404

Re: Crater Lake trip from Bay area in June

Skip Klamath Falls. It would be like staying in Stockton when you are visiting the Bay Area. My advice with kids? Put in some extra driving and stay in Sun River which is a resort town about 70 miles north of Crater Lake. There are a bazillion VRBO and AirBnB rentals in Sun River and there is a ton ...