Search found 112 matches

by mclovin
Tue Jul 03, 2018 12:01 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: International Vacation Ideas
Replies: 47
Views: 3143

Re: International Vacation Ideas

For going on an African Safari, is a week doable or also should really look at 10-14 days to make it worthwhile? My wife and I did a 7 day 6 night safari at two separate conservancies and that was sufficient as we saw a ton of animals. I would recommend checking out conservancies/private reserves t...
by mclovin
Fri May 18, 2018 10:36 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Growing Fruit Trees and Shrubs
Replies: 30
Views: 2582

Re: Growing Fruit Trees and Shrubs

I grow Owari satsumas in South Louisiana. By growing at home, I can leave the fruit on the tree until it is wonderfully sweet. The peels can get puffy and they look ugly, but it is much tastier than anything that is available at the grocery store. I also have some blueberries and figs which do not r...
by mclovin
Wed Feb 28, 2018 11:33 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Any downside to WiFi calling?
Replies: 25
Views: 2259

Re: Any downside to WiFi calling?

Google Hangouts Dialer app works to call America and Canada from most international countries. I use it to talk to my brother in England and have been very pleased.
by mclovin
Thu Feb 22, 2018 9:57 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: $20,000 question - Galapagos or Serengeti safari ?
Replies: 29
Views: 3763

Re: $20,000 question - Galapagos or Serengeti safari ?

If you go to Tanzania/Kenya or South Africa, it would be worth checking out conservancies, which are private parks that tend to border national parks. My wife and I went to the Masai Mara. In the conservancy, there were only two vehicles and we could off road to follow wildlife. There also was a hig...
by mclovin
Tue Jan 09, 2018 5:20 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Stand Alone Umbrella Insurance
Replies: 43
Views: 4008

Re: Stand Alone Umbrella Insurance

I had a stand along policy with RLI when I was outside of the country and my normal carrier would not offer coverage. It was more expensive than bundling it with my homeowner's and auto policies by a few hundred dollars per year, but the peace of mind was still worth it. How did you contract it? As...
by mclovin
Mon Jan 08, 2018 3:36 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Stand Alone Umbrella Insurance
Replies: 43
Views: 4008

Re: Stand Alone Umbrella Insurance

I had a stand along policy with RLI when I was outside of the country and my normal carrier would not offer coverage.

It was more expensive than bundling it with my homeowner's and auto policies by a few hundred dollars per year, but the peace of mind was still worth it.
by mclovin
Wed Jan 03, 2018 4:00 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Anyone Port From Verizon To Red Pocket?
Replies: 10
Views: 1213

Re: Anyone Port From Verizon To Red Pocket?

I ported my number to Google Voice, for a one time $20 fee and then use the Google Voice app along with whatever cheap cell phone carrier has the best deal. It has worked well so far. There could be some issues with two factor authentication for Google accounts using that number in that if you got l...
by mclovin
Thu Sep 21, 2017 11:53 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Memory Foam Mattress Recomendations
Replies: 63
Views: 7404

Re: Memory Foam Mattress Recomendations

I had a Casper and returned it. I did not find it offered enough support. I switched to a Saatva, which is the parent company behind leaf and loom. My Saatva is SUPER comfortable. I had a good experience with both companies. Casper made the return very easy, and did not complain when our return was ...
by mclovin
Tue Aug 29, 2017 5:06 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Driving a car [in] Italy, any suggestion?
Replies: 47
Views: 4275

Re: Driving a car Italy, any suggestion?

I would rent a car through the country specific version of the car rental company website that you intend to use. We booked a car for an international trip through the US version of Hertz, but it did not have all of the options or questions needed. The US website told us we could cross country borde...
by mclovin
Wed Feb 03, 2016 1:16 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: My life changed - Should I Refinance Now?
Replies: 14
Views: 3136

Re: My life changed - Should I Refinance Now?

a. Amerisave has a 15 year fixed for 2.5% if I pay 2.4 points ($4,300) or a 3% with no points. Both loans would have ~$2000 in closing fees I refinanced through Amerisave. They were painful to deal with and the actual fees they charged came back higher than their estimate when it was time to close....
by mclovin
Sun Nov 01, 2015 2:22 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Recent Egypt Travel Experiences ?
Replies: 8
Views: 1698

Re: Recent Egypt Travel Experiences ?

My wife and I went with my parents in May. I would recommend checking with the local guide to see if they could provide a driver when you need one. We did not try to use Uber. As for food, I would reccomend trying out some koshari. It was delicious. And Sharm El Sheikh is very nice if you want to re...
by mclovin
Tue Oct 06, 2015 1:06 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Property Inspector questions
Replies: 13
Views: 1491

Re: Property Inspector questions

You could look on Angie's list to see if someone comes recommended. I would ask how long it takes the inspector to do his work. I would expect 4-5 hours for a 1800 square foot home. You could also ask for sample reports or references from other clients. We used an inspector who had a reputation for ...
by mclovin
Tue Sep 29, 2015 4:44 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Maxing out 401K, Backdoor Roth and Mega Backdoor Roth. What’s next?
Replies: 8
Views: 904

Re: Maxing out 401K, Backdoor Roth and Mega Backdoor Roth. What’s next?

Have you considered ibonds? Beyond that, investing in a taxable account has some advantages: the ability to employ tax loss harvesting, easy access, and a source of savings that can be employed in lieu of tax deferred savings in order to defer/prolong the tax favored growth. Tax-advantaged is bette...
by mclovin
Tue Sep 29, 2015 12:39 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Maxing out 401K, Backdoor Roth and Mega Backdoor Roth. What’s next?
Replies: 8
Views: 904

Re: Maxing out 401K, Backdoor Roth and Mega Backdoor Roth. What’s next?

sounds like early retirement is next :sharebeer if you're asking what to do with extra money: pay down debts? invest in taxable? blow it all? any of those could be reasonable choice, but not enough info to provide advice. Hi Lincoln. We have a mortgage, but the interest rate is 2.75%, so I am not i...
by mclovin
Tue Sep 29, 2015 12:30 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Maxing out 401K, Backdoor Roth and Mega Backdoor Roth. What’s next?
Replies: 8
Views: 904

Re: Maxing out 401K, Backdoor Roth and Mega Backdoor Roth. What’s next?

529 if appropriate. Don't get suckered into thinking tax deferral is the goal. Otherwise you will get sold products you really shouldn't purchase. Hi Dhoson - we have no plans for children and my wife and I should be finished with all of our higher education, so I do not think a 529 would work for ...
by mclovin
Tue Sep 29, 2015 12:10 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Maxing out 401K, Backdoor Roth and Mega Backdoor Roth. What’s next?
Replies: 8
Views: 904

Maxing out 401K, Backdoor Roth and Mega Backdoor Roth. What’s next?

My wife and I are on an overseas assignment in a location where we get paid more and spend very little. Most of our living costs are covered by the company, so we just pay for food and travel. I realize that we are very fortunate to have this opportunity. It should last another few years. We are max...
by mclovin
Fri Aug 14, 2015 2:38 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Am I crazy? Quitting my job.
Replies: 107
Views: 21355

Re: Am I crazy? Quitting my job.

My wife and I live in the Eastern Province of Saudi Arabia. I might suggest that you look into ways to have more fun outside of work. We joined a beach club and hang out there on the weekends. It is nice to take a break from the compound. We enjoy cooking more than we did at home and trying local fo...
by mclovin
Mon Dec 15, 2014 4:47 am
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Backdoor IRA question
Replies: 12
Views: 1512

Re: Backdoor IRA question

In the Finance Buff article, what is meant by the statement: No Rollover to Traditional IRA When you are doing the backdoor Roth IRA, remember not to rollover from an employer-sponsored plan to a traditional IRA in the same year, either before or after you do the Roth conversion. You can rollover fr...
by mclovin
Thu Apr 24, 2014 5:32 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Samsung Galaxy S III on Straight Talk vs. Family Mobile?
Replies: 41
Views: 10448

Re: Samsung Galaxy S III on Straight Talk vs. Family Mobile?

I have a Samsung Galaxy SIII mini. I got it unlocked off of Amazon and ordered a sim card from Straight Talk, so it runs on the AT&T network. A benefit of the mini version of the phone is that it takes a full size sim that is easier to find overseas without having to get your sim card cut to size, w...
by mclovin
Tue Jan 08, 2013 6:11 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Rules When Buying a Home (Advice for a First Time Buyer)
Replies: 28
Views: 2805

Re: Rules When Buying a Home (Advice for a First Time Buyer)

Hire an independent home inspector, not one recommended by your realtor or mortgage lender. It is money well-spent. Also, be there when the inspection is done and, if you're not a handyman-type person, bring along someone you know who can ask the inspector intelligent questions. I have a good frien...
by mclovin
Wed Dec 05, 2012 10:43 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Engineering School Choices; AR-Fayetteville vs. Missouri S&T
Replies: 30
Views: 3207

Re: Engineering School Choices; Ark vs. Miss S&T

The biggest difference will be campus culture. Arkansas would give them a more traditional big college experience (for better or worse). Rolla's undergraduate population is 77% male. Fayetteville feels like a college town. Rolla, less so. Excellent point. I am a chemical engineer. One thing I would...
by mclovin
Wed Apr 18, 2012 10:44 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Penn State Honors College Vs. Cornell ... Thank you! Post #1
Replies: 116
Views: 16401

Re: Penn State Honors College Vs. Cornell

You may find this discussion to be relevant. Personally (and I'm a scientist/engineer), I don't feel that Cornell is an elite engineering school, and if that will really be the direction if your child's education I don't think it's worth the extra cost. Great school, yes, but not top-tier for these...
by mclovin
Thu Sep 22, 2011 2:14 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Visa for Viet Nam
Replies: 18
Views: 1726

Could you work through the Vietnam Embassay? http://www.vietnamembassy-usa.org/consular_services/visa_info/ I spent 3 months in Thailand and had to get a mulitple entry work Visa. The process involved sending my passport to the consulate. I did it using Fedex and had a prepaid envelope for the retur...
by mclovin
Tue Sep 20, 2011 10:14 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Chemical or Mechanical Engineering for Future Job Prospects
Replies: 53
Views: 15918

The most important thing is to find out which companies recruit at your college engineering career fair, and for which disciplines. It will give you a good flavor for what your options will be upon graduation. This is great advice. I am a ChE and I just got back from interviewing interns at my univ...
by mclovin
Thu Sep 01, 2011 12:10 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Are condos a good alternative to renting an apartment?
Replies: 34
Views: 4956

I think the bulk of young professionals in Dallas are either going to be renting in a place like The Village or are going to just buy a house because they are so inexpensive. I have been out of college for 6 years. I now value not living next door to college students and I am getting married which ...
by mclovin
Mon Aug 15, 2011 10:46 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Advice for 30 year old seeking to start career
Replies: 22
Views: 5893

Re: Advice for 30 year old seeking to start career

The top option he's considering right now is going back to college and picking up a computer science degree, but he (and I) are not sure whether that would be a good idea since he'd be 32-33 when he's finished and tech seems to be a young man's game, esp for entry-level positions. Maybe your friend...
by mclovin
Tue Aug 02, 2011 10:12 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Best Places in the World to Travel
Replies: 38
Views: 5911

Thailand beats these all hands down though, but obviously a long flight. +1 This has to be the ultimate Boglehead destination. I just got back from 3 months of work in Thailand. We got to travel on the weekends. Nice hotels were around $30 per night. Meals clocked in aorund $4 per person. It could ...
by mclovin
Thu Jun 02, 2011 10:37 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Do you (or did you, if retired) have friends at work?
Replies: 34
Views: 4344

I would highly reccomend checking out a local Toastmasters club. I have seen soft spoken people become better at projecting their voices. It is also a good place to make friends. There is a section in a Toastmasters meeting called 'Table Topics' where members practice giving extemperaneous responses...
by mclovin
Wed Feb 09, 2011 9:59 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Boglehead Beer
Replies: 785
Views: 147727

Cherokee8215 wrote:If you ask some of the critics on the recent car threads, Natural Light or Milwaukee's Best.
I drink Natty for the taste, not the cost. When it is really hot and you want to go tailgate or tube a river it hits the spot.
by mclovin
Thu Feb 03, 2011 4:20 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Most liveable southern city for a young couple?
Replies: 35
Views: 4584

I currently live in Baton Rouge. I like it, but it does not seem to attract many young professionals. I moved here after college and after 4 years, many of my friends have moved on. In the south, I quite enjoy Pensacola, FL and Mobile, AL. Norfolk, VA might be a good choice. It has a smaller city fe...
by mclovin
Wed Feb 02, 2011 9:52 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Investment Help...now that I have $$ to put into taxable
Replies: 4
Views: 1086

I agree with the other posters that money you need in 3 years should not be in the market. In terms of adding a 401K and a taxable account, you will want to make sure that you only put tax efficent funds in the taxable part of your investments. I made the mistake of having a small cap index in my ta...
by mclovin
Thu Jan 27, 2011 6:04 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: What to do in Vegas on a Monday
Replies: 33
Views: 4097

If you like pinball, the pinball hall of fame is outstanding. http://www.pinballmuseum.org/ I would reccomend Red Rock Canyon as well. Many of the hotels have car rental places attached to them. I got one for $35 for the day and went to Red Rock and then the Lotus of Siam for Thai food. Ellis Island...
by mclovin
Thu Jan 13, 2011 4:16 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: How much is too much?
Replies: 86
Views: 9874

Re: How much is too much?

My biggest fear I have is raising my cost of living. I have an apartment I rent for 650 a month that I like well enough, and I keep required monthly expenses low. I do that so that I can feel like I can splurge every once in a while on things like eating out or going to the theater. But I'm surroun...
by mclovin
Wed Jan 12, 2011 12:13 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Do you have Umbrella Insurance?
Replies: 50
Views: 7850

tdhg566 wrote:
They do still have their house (won't be sold until next summer), but I've spoken to the agent about it and she didn't indicate that the lack of a house would be a problem.
I rent and have an umbrella policy on top of my renter's insurance with USAA.
by mclovin
Wed Jan 12, 2011 12:11 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Do you have Umbrella Insurance?
Replies: 50
Views: 7850

Not to complicate this, but the question should qualify the net worth by limiting it to those assets that can be claimed by creditors. Depending on one's state, all or part of one's home equity, cash value of life insurance and all amounts held in qualified retirement plans are generally not attach...
by mclovin
Thu Jan 06, 2011 5:12 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: 2011 BOGLEHEAD CONTEST REGISTRATION
Replies: 374
Views: 36365

1485.514
by mclovin
Fri Dec 03, 2010 8:41 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: New Investor with a bad 403b. Please help!!!!
Replies: 16
Views: 3207

The VALIC rep comes to our school twice a year to scare teachers and tell them that they cannot understand investing. He also smacks his gum while talking to a group of teachers. For this reason alone I would not let him handle my retirement. I regard VALIC and other reps who come onto campuses sel...
by mclovin
Tue Nov 16, 2010 3:04 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Personal Finance courses
Replies: 6
Views: 1181

I am currently taking an economics class at the community college. It is fascinating. It would have been interesting to take as an undergard, but it is a lot more relevant to me now to see how economic policy can affect my investments. I would also suggest Khan Academy for some online lectures. Ther...
by mclovin
Tue Nov 09, 2010 10:05 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Short term apt lease vs. Living in a motel
Replies: 11
Views: 2050

I would look into apartment complexs that have a provision that would allow you to break your lease. At my apartment, the lease break fee is one month's rent.
by mclovin
Sat Oct 02, 2010 4:30 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Where do the Bogleheads live?
Replies: 87
Views: 11982

I live in Louisiana for the low cost of living, lack of snow and ice, culture, and opportunities in manufacturing.

Coming out of college, the companies I interviewed with paid the same amount for jobs in the South or the D.C. area. My paycheck goes a lot further here.
by mclovin
Wed Sep 29, 2010 11:18 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Book on buying a house?
Replies: 10
Views: 2819

I think "Home Buying for Dummies" is a good place to start for a general overview. You could see if ti meets you needs and then investigate more specific areas in the upcoming years.
by mclovin
Mon Sep 27, 2010 8:22 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: 23 yr old new to investing
Replies: 47
Views: 5522

One of the things to consider when you are starting out is tax efficency. It is something that I did not consider when I was just starting out. In additon to the books suggested, please see Principles of Tax-Efficient Fund Placement on the Bogleheads Wiki.
by mclovin
Wed Sep 01, 2010 9:21 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: BCS Picks
Replies: 836
Views: 100882

I hope Boise State goes undefeated just to liven things up a bit. :P Paul Interesting game coming up, Va Tech v. Boise State, a pure passing team against a grind it out run oriented team. It should be a good test of Boise State's offense. I don't agree with those who say Va Tech will be able to pla...
by mclovin
Mon Aug 30, 2010 8:16 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Hurricane preparedness thread 2010.
Replies: 60
Views: 7377

When Hurricane Gustav was coming, I prepared by stocking up only on chef boyardee products. In Baton Rouge, we lost power for 8 days, and after the 5th day of cold chef boyardee I was going a little crazy. Fortunately McDonald's opened that day. A Big Mac has never tasted so good. The point is I wou...
by mclovin
Fri Aug 27, 2010 11:03 am
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Beginner Investing
Replies: 8
Views: 1344

Hi Danyem,

Welcome to the forum. To give more detailed answers, we would need more information about your situation and your options. You can read this post on the information needed to answer portfolio questons:

http://www.bogleheads.org/forum/viewtopic.php?t=6212
by mclovin
Fri Aug 13, 2010 8:59 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Buy or Rent a Tux?
Replies: 39
Views: 6288

My brothers and I agreed that we would wear a black tux as groomsman in each other's weddings. After two weddings, the tux with all of the accessories has already paid for itself and I have a couple more weddings to go.
by mclovin
Thu Aug 12, 2010 1:41 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: The Best Man Speech
Replies: 31
Views: 4953

AnimalCrackers wrote:

1. Don't get drunk before you give the speech.
2. Keep it short.

I have seen both of these go horribly, horribly wrong.
+1 for this advice. You can take rounds of shots afterwards, but don't get drunk before the toast. Nothing good would come out of being drunk and speaking in public.
by mclovin
Tue Aug 10, 2010 8:44 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: USAA Umbrella Policy
Replies: 26
Views: 5584

What kind of accident causes umbrella rates to increase? Would a car accident with USAA result in higher umbrella premiums?
by mclovin
Wed Jul 07, 2010 9:25 am
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Getting married in 3 months!
Replies: 33
Views: 4151

I would reccomend getting the pre-nup done as soon as possible:
The document should be signed as early before the nuptials as possible to avoid the appearance of coercion, another key reason why some agreements are rendered null and void.
http://www.bankrate.com/brm/prenup.asp