Search found 2783 matches

by texasdiver
Wed Jan 16, 2019 10:14 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Anyone ever buy Hilton's Timeshares (HGVC)?
Replies: 51
Views: 9167

Re: Anyone ever buy Hilton's Timeshares (HGVC)?

I did one of these once in Puerto Vallarta back in the late 80s. That is 2 hours I'll never get back but got a nice dinner voucher at a nice restaurant. I have some relatives who have a time share in Gatlinburg TN. It is painful to see their photos on facebook every year like clockwork. Line dancing...
by texasdiver
Wed Jan 16, 2019 8:35 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Best kids savings account
Replies: 14
Views: 1201

Re: Best kids savings account

First check with whatever bank or credit union you already bank with. That will make things much easier than opening up just a child’s account at some new bank.
by texasdiver
Wed Jan 16, 2019 11:24 am
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Preparing for modest early retirement in 5yrs. Questions & Feedback.
Replies: 36
Views: 2317

Re: Preparing for modest early retirement in 5yrs. Questions & Feedback.

Honestly your biggest future expense and uncertainty is not the health insurance. It is the 2 kids ages 10 and 12. Yes I know there are millions who raise kids on salaries that are smaller than your future pension. But still. As the parent of 3 kids ages 12, 15, and 20 I can tell you that kids are ...
by texasdiver
Tue Jan 15, 2019 10:34 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Preparing for modest early retirement in 5yrs. Questions & Feedback.
Replies: 36
Views: 2317

Re: Preparing for modest early retirement in 5yrs. Questions & Feedback.

Honestly your biggest future expense and uncertainty is not the health insurance. It is the 2 kids ages 10 and 12. Yes I know there are millions who raise kids on salaries that are smaller than your future pension. But still. As the parent of 3 kids ages 12, 15, and 20 I can tell you that kids are t...
by texasdiver
Mon Jan 14, 2019 11:42 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: 15 full days in Costa Rica
Replies: 25
Views: 1828

Re: 15 full days in Costa Rica

We've done a half dozen visits to Costa Rica with family. We always just rent a 4x4 to do our own driving and use local hotels or VRBO rentals. My wife and I are both fluent in Spanish which makes independent adenturing easier perhaps (she is Chilean so Spanish is her 1st language). Some comments: 1...
by texasdiver
Sun Jan 13, 2019 8:32 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: ID during International Travel
Replies: 14
Views: 788

Re: ID during International Travel

I'm always loath to give my passport to any cop or soldier because you may not get it back easily. While travelling through Eastern bloc countries it was practically a rule to put a 100 DM note in your passport when you handed it to the policeman. I was in Spain back in the 1990's and had just gott...
by texasdiver
Sun Jan 13, 2019 8:23 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: ID during International Travel
Replies: 14
Views: 788

Re: ID during International Travel

I've also been pulled over a couple time and have gone through various police road blocks in Mexico, Guatemala, Honduras, Costa Rica, Brazil, and Chile. Always only showed by US drivers license and NEVER gave my passport to a cop, even when I had it on me. Always just told them the passport was in ...
by texasdiver
Sun Jan 13, 2019 7:06 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: ID during International Travel
Replies: 14
Views: 788

Re: ID during International Travel

When traveling international we sometimes don't have our passport with us when we are out and about in a foreign country. If on an ocean or river cruise they tend to hold your passports and your ship id is supposed to be your identification and sometimes we have it locked in a hotel safe. The last ...
by texasdiver
Sun Jan 13, 2019 6:51 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Taking expensive DSLR on kayak?
Replies: 41
Views: 2037

Re: Taking expensive DSLR on kayak?

Get a waterproof housing. Wide variety of options from those designed for surface use to those designed for deep diving that are hugely more expensive https://www.bhphotovideo.com/c/search?ci=16477&fct=fct_camera-type_2031%7cslr%2bfct_to-use-with_2032%7ccanon%2bfct_compatibility_6326%7ccanon-5d-mark...
by texasdiver
Sun Jan 13, 2019 6:42 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Buying a house for college student housing??
Replies: 2
Views: 450

Buying a house for college student housing??

HS daughter is just starting to look at colleges so we are a couple of years away from needing to deal with college housing. So I'm thinking ahead a bit here. We live in the greater Portland area which has several colleges that the daughter is considering in addition to schools in the Seattle and Pu...
by texasdiver
Sun Jan 13, 2019 6:14 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: pros and cons of target date funds?
Replies: 63
Views: 7534

Re: pros and cons of target date funds?

Vanguard's Target date funds have a 40% Int'l allocation The TSP's Target date funds have a 35% Int'l allocation Between my wife and myself we have roughly equal amounts distributed between those two funds so we have approximately 37.5% in Int'l stocks. Would our Int'l allocation be that high if I w...
by texasdiver
Sun Jan 13, 2019 5:54 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Unusual tv mounting question
Replies: 8
Views: 841

Re: Unusual tv mounting question

You should be able to find a .pdf of the owners manual online if you google search the model number. It almost certainly has instructions for converting between stand mount and wall mount. I suspect that the metal rod to which you refer is either secured by a screw that is hidden behind a removable ...
by texasdiver
Sat Jan 12, 2019 1:01 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Anyone raised 3 kids WITHOUT buying a 3-row vehicle?
Replies: 82
Views: 5493

Re: Anyone raised 3 kids WITHOUT buying a 3-row vehicle?

One more point in the minivan vs SUV comparision. We had a Sienna when the kiddos were little. When oldest got to driving age we passed on my wife's CR-V to the oldest to take to college and bought her a Highlander. So we have lots of experience in the minivan (over 300,000 miles on it) and more rec...
by texasdiver
Fri Jan 11, 2019 9:47 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Anyone raised 3 kids WITHOUT buying a 3-row vehicle?
Replies: 82
Views: 5493

Re: Anyone raised 3 kids WITHOUT buying a 3-row vehicle?

Be strategic.

Let your wife pick the minivan of her dreams this time around.

Next time when the kids are older it will be YOUR TURN to pick the vehicle :D
by texasdiver
Thu Jan 10, 2019 8:45 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Anyone raised 3 kids WITHOUT buying a 3-row vehicle?
Replies: 82
Views: 5493

Re: Anyone raised 3 kids WITHOUT buying a 3-row vehicle?

123 wrote:
Thu Jan 10, 2019 8:35 pm
It was easy before seat belts.
Before car seats. The top rated ones are enormous.
by texasdiver
Thu Jan 10, 2019 8:43 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Building Wealth Through Home Equity--Myth or Reality?
Replies: 94
Views: 6056

Re: Building Wealth Through Home Equity--Myth or Reality?

Bought my first home in 1998 for $135,000 with 10% down on a 7.8% mortgage Two cities, four houses, and 6 mortgages later we now live in a house worth about 5x the purchase price of our first home and we conservatively have about $275k in equity. Never took any "cash out" and except for the first ho...
by texasdiver
Thu Jan 10, 2019 8:19 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Taxable vs Nontaxable retirement savings: is there an ideal ratio?
Replies: 10
Views: 1500

Re: Taxable vs Nontaxable retirement savings: is there an ideal ratio?

Well, obviously you'd rather have $1 million in a Roth than $1 million in a traditional IRA. The pat answer you often hear from financial advisors is that you want to do tax-deferred savings if you think your tax rate will be lower when you are retired and Roth savings if you think your tax rate wil...
by texasdiver
Thu Jan 10, 2019 7:18 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Best way to match paint?
Replies: 22
Views: 1431

Re: Best way to match paint?

Seriously. With as much time as you'll spend messing around with techniques to get a pefect match you can have the whole wall painted. Then you will never notice any slight differences.
by texasdiver
Thu Jan 10, 2019 6:22 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Anyone raised 3 kids WITHOUT buying a 3-row vehicle?
Replies: 82
Views: 5493

Re: Anyone raised 3 kids WITHOUT buying a 3-row vehicle?

Get the minivan of your wife's dreams. Or at least a 3-row SUV like a Highlander or Pilot. Times have changed. With car seats you can't pile in the kids like you used to.

Then start saving for the next car for when the kids are older that will be YOUR turn to pick. :D
by texasdiver
Mon Jan 07, 2019 11:28 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Keeping old statements from closed accounts
Replies: 22
Views: 1901

Re: Keeping old statements from closed accounts

I ran into a similar pile of mine while in an ill and manic mood several years ago. I don't think the thought of scanning them even crossed my mind. If it did, it didn't overpower my repulsion at handling all those dusty statements any more than necessary. They were unable to escape my trash bag. ....
by texasdiver
Mon Jan 07, 2019 11:19 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Target Date Fund vs. 3 Fund Portfolio
Replies: 53
Views: 17628

Re: Target Date Fund vs. 3 Fund Portfolio

My wife and I have the bulk of our portfolio in two target date funds. One of the Federal TSP Target date funds (mine) and a Vanguard target date fund (hers). In the TSP there is no fee advantage to breaking the portfolio out into individual funds so I don't bother. With Vanguard there is a small fe...
by texasdiver
Mon Jan 07, 2019 10:44 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Best town I've never heard of [for relocating]
Replies: 137
Views: 20388

Re: Best town I've never heard of [for relocating]

Vancouver, Wa. Nice weather, a bit wet during the winter, little snow Portland, Oregon across the Colombia river - right next door Sail on the Colombia, ski in the Cascades, windsurf at Hood River Gorge, hike everywhere No income tax in Washington. Pop across the river and buy all your stuff in Ore...
by texasdiver
Mon Jan 07, 2019 10:19 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: House hunting in San Antonio (relocating from IL) - What to watch out for?
Replies: 31
Views: 1590

Re: House hunting in San Antonio (relocating from IL) - What to watch out for?

We lived in Texas for a decade and have close family in San Antonio. The locals here are giving good advice. As a teacher with a nose to the ground on school issues in Texas I would tell you that San Antonio has very gerrymandered school districts. There are perhaps 15 different school districts in ...
by texasdiver
Mon Jan 07, 2019 9:41 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Best town I've never heard of [for relocating]
Replies: 137
Views: 20388

Re: Best town I've never heard of [for relocating]

I learned, reading this thread, that there’s a magazine called “Garden and Gun.” Who knew? I ran across this magazine in the lobby of a dentist office in Waco TX. At first I thought it was some sort of National Lampoon style spoof. But no, it is definitely real, and apparently popular in the south.
by texasdiver
Mon Jan 07, 2019 9:33 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Best town I've never heard of [for relocating]
Replies: 137
Views: 20388

Re: Best town I've never heard of [for relocating]

Hello fellow Bogleheads! I'm looking to move to a town in which to put down roots and raise a family. I've finally come to the conclusion that life is too short not to live in a place you find beautiful. So, below are some criteria I'm looking for, and I look forward to any recommendations you migh...
by texasdiver
Sun Jan 06, 2019 1:48 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: How do you view a savings surplus in retirement?
Replies: 117
Views: 5937

Re: How do you view a savings surplus in retirement?

My parents are about 80 and have been facing this for years. Essentially with their pensions, social security and RMDs they have more monthly income coming in than they manage to spend by a factor of about 40%. They just save the difference like they have been doing for the past 60 years of their li...
by texasdiver
Sun Jan 06, 2019 1:22 am
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Delaying retirement just to help adult children
Replies: 66
Views: 6131

Re: Delaying retirement just to help adult children

If your in-laws have 40x annual expenses saved at age 60 in a 50/50 Boglehead portfolio then frankly they don't need anyone's advice on how to manage their financial affairs. They will be fine either way. I would stay out of it. You can rest assured that, if their financial health is any indication,...
by texasdiver
Sat Jan 05, 2019 5:43 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Is an ARM always a bad idea?
Replies: 43
Views: 3934

Re: Is an ARM always a bad idea?

My wife and I did a 5 year fixed ARM physician loan at 5% when she entered residency in 2003. We bought a house in a fast growing area in suburban TX. At the time, the physician loan through a local bank was a lot less hassle to apply for and the rate was lower than whatever the 30 year fixed rates ...
by texasdiver
Sat Jan 05, 2019 4:28 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Keeping old statements from closed accounts
Replies: 22
Views: 1901

Re: Keeping old statements from closed accounts

Well, yesterday I went through all my current bank and credit card accounts online and downloaded the .pdf statements for each account back to 5 years except for Chase (or Citi?) which only allowed downloads back 12 months without putting in special requests. Took maybe 45 minutes to download 5 year...
by texasdiver
Fri Jan 04, 2019 3:38 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Keeping old statements from closed accounts
Replies: 22
Views: 1901

Re: Keeping old statements from closed accounts

I'm the original poster here. I keep any tax related documents in a separate folder organized by year. These are just stacks of old quarterly and annual 401k and IRA statements from accounts that were closed several years ago when they were rolled over into Vanguard (hers) and the TSP (mine). There ...
by texasdiver
Fri Jan 04, 2019 2:52 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Keeping old statements from closed accounts
Replies: 22
Views: 1901

Keeping old statements from closed accounts

Doing my annual financial housekeeping.

I have stacks of old statements from retirement accounts (IRAs and 401k plans) that we have since closed and rolled over into Vanguard and the TSP.

Is there any reason at all to keep statements from old retirement accounts that have been closed?
by texasdiver
Sat Dec 29, 2018 7:23 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: HR Issue at Work
Replies: 9
Views: 1207

Re: HR Issue at Work

The purpose of HR in any organization (including yours) is not to protect you. It is to protect the organization.

Bear that in mind before considering any next steps.
by texasdiver
Sat Dec 29, 2018 3:16 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Father-in-law denied apartment for lack of income even though he has assets. What to do?
Replies: 77
Views: 7601

Re: Father-in-law denied apartment for lack of income even though he has assets. What to do?

Rather than guessing, why not ask for a meeting with the management and find out exactly what they will accept. Based on my experience dealing with getting my daughter into an apartment complex near her college, I found that the local manager was 100% constrained by corporate policies set in another...
by texasdiver
Tue Dec 25, 2018 9:46 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Nest Outdoor Cam for wildlife viewing?
Replies: 4
Views: 640

Re: Nest Outdoor Cam for wildlife viewing?

A dedicated trail camera would likely be better than a Nest. I might decide to get one of those as well. But from what I understand, trailcams are usually battery powered with SD cards and motion activated so you have to go out and retrieve the SD card when you want to see what you shot and then re...
by texasdiver
Tue Dec 25, 2018 6:45 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Nest Outdoor Cam for wildlife viewing?
Replies: 4
Views: 640

Nest Outdoor Cam for wildlife viewing?

We have a Nest Hello doorbell on the front of the house which we like. So I'm already sort of invested in the Nest home app and video system. The back of our house abuts a greenbelt where we occasionally see deer, racoons, coyotes, owls, and reports of bobcats. I'm thinking of buying a nest outdoor ...
by texasdiver
Mon Dec 24, 2018 1:08 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Rental property as a means of wealth capture?
Replies: 20
Views: 2947

Re: Rental property as a means of wealth capture?

So you mother can afford a $650,000 home, she just doesn't want to take the tax hit on her 401(k) to come up with the down payment? Rather than you buying the place for her, seems like the better solution would be to explore various options for her to make the purchase herself. There are a variety o...
by texasdiver
Fri Dec 21, 2018 12:22 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: what backtesting tools are fee advisors ALLOWED to use?
Replies: 5
Views: 421

Re: what backtesting tools are fee advisors ALLOWED to use?

I just took a first look at http://cfiresim.com and it seems to be very sophisticated. But I would bet that a fee advisor would not be _allowed_ to use it, since it has no provenence. Who knows if there's a deep error, or a deliberate error hacked into it by a malicious actor? So what advisors do u...
by texasdiver
Thu Dec 20, 2018 1:38 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Buying a bicycle
Replies: 10
Views: 787

Re: Buying a bicycle

Depending on where you live, Craigslist is the place to find inexpensive bicycles. May help if you have someone who knows bikes to assist you in finding the right size and model for your needs. I see you are in Sarasota FL. You should have a wealth of decent options available. Something like this, f...
by texasdiver
Mon Dec 17, 2018 4:21 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Gundlach says passive investing has reached 'mania' status and says investors should avoid index funds
Replies: 52
Views: 5346

Re: Gundlach says passive investing has reached 'mania' status and says investors should avoid index funds

I don't get it.

If these passive investing critics are correct in their analysis. Which I assume is that mindless buying into an index introduces price disortions. Then these geniuses should just shut up and make billions on their secret knowledge.
by texasdiver
Mon Dec 17, 2018 3:53 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Worx 20v battery leaf blower
Replies: 12
Views: 1021

Re: Worx 20v battery leaf blower

I have a $30 corded black and decker blower that blows about 10x better than the cordless model I have that cost 4x more money. Some cordless tools are great. But I've yet to see a blower that will get the job done like a simple cheap corded model. I think AC power motors are just a whole lot more e...
by texasdiver
Sat Dec 15, 2018 3:00 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Strange [job] interview- what do you think?
Replies: 35
Views: 3616

Re: Strange interview- what do you think?

OP, 1) If the hiring manager likes you so much, he would not waste his time interviewing someone else. So, you may or may not be one of the top candidates. 2) If the hiring manager likes you so much, he would not tell you that he will be interviewing someone else. What if you accepted some other of...
by texasdiver
Sat Dec 15, 2018 2:47 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Nice gifts for young kids
Replies: 33
Views: 2653

Re: Nice gifts for young kids

Age-appropriate books. When my kids were that age we had WAY too many toys and they seemed to continually multiply after every birthday and trip to McDonalds. About once a year my wife with gather up a garbage bag or two of junk toys and stick them in the garage. If the kids didn't notice what was m...
by texasdiver
Sat Dec 15, 2018 2:35 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Strange [job] interview- what do you think?
Replies: 35
Views: 3616

Re: Strange interview- what do you think?

I think whatever unconventional feel you got from the interview reflects on them and not you. I agree with livesoft, the other candidates probably got the identical treatment. I've been on hiring committees in a variety of different professions and employers. They can be very different from place to...
by texasdiver
Fri Dec 14, 2018 1:13 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Easy app for slideshows over TV?
Replies: 5
Views: 281

Re: Easy app for slideshows over TV?

Experimented around with it last night and decided to go the iPad route. Actually the most difficult part of the process was getting photos off the computer and onto the iPad. Had to download a separate pay app to do that as Apple makes it extremely difficult. Once all the photos you want are in an ...
by texasdiver
Thu Dec 13, 2018 8:42 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Easy app for slideshows over TV?
Replies: 5
Views: 281

Re: Easy app for slideshows over TV?

OnceARunner wrote:
Thu Dec 13, 2018 8:28 pm
Photos app on the iPad has an easy slideshow function that you can project to the appletv through AirPlay.
Actually that looks like it will work well enough for my use. Thanks! Will save a ton of time.

Looks like that feature is only on the iPad and not the iPhone.
by texasdiver
Thu Dec 13, 2018 8:18 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Easy app for slideshows over TV?
Replies: 5
Views: 281

Easy app for slideshows over TV?

We've got at least 3 different devices that will allow me to cast from computer or phone to my TV. I have an older Apple TV, I have a Google Chromecast, and I have a Samsung Smart TV that will also interact with my phone or iPad. What I'm looking for is a simple but elegant app for the iPad or for m...
by texasdiver
Thu Dec 13, 2018 7:10 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Setting Up Accounts For Minors
Replies: 20
Views: 1054

Re: Setting Up Accounts For Minors

I am using USAA for both my personal and my kid's youth checking and savings accounts. It works extremely well. I have a USAA checking account that is my primary checking account used for direct payroll deposits and all of my wife and my checking needs. I have 3 daughters. For each of them I have se...
by texasdiver
Sat Dec 08, 2018 11:59 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Teachers Who Have Net Worth of $1 million +
Replies: 137
Views: 18768

Re: Teachers Who Have Net Worth of $1 million +

After 12 years of a second career in education my guess is that very few teachers have a net worth of $1 million unless you do tortured calculations to include social security and pensions into that net worth. The exception, of course, is married teachers who have a higher paid professional spouse. ...
by texasdiver
Sat Dec 08, 2018 1:40 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: HSA recordkeeping question (old receipts)
Replies: 9
Views: 832

Re: HSA recordkeeping question (old receipts)

Not trying to commit fraud here. I'm trying to reconstruct some old records to figure out how many unclaimed bills we may have. This is from 2007. We had a self-funded HSA through my wife's employer first. The my employer started funding medical FSAs for employees with unused portions of their medic...