Search found 1537 matches

by mmmodem
Mon Apr 15, 2019 7:54 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Newbie international traveler
Replies: 62
Views: 3232

Re: Newbie international traveler

As above already stated. 5. Notify your banks with travel dates so they don't deactivate your cards due to automatic fraud alerts. We went to Europe for 2 weeks a couple years ago and paid for just about everything with credit cards. I wasn't worried about fraud as most restaurants we went to had ha...
by mmmodem
Fri Apr 12, 2019 9:58 am
Forum: Personal Investments
Topic: Leave out the bond fund of the 3 fund portfolio??
Replies: 40
Views: 3493

Re: Leave out the bond fund of the 3 fund portfolio??

I think it's a mistake of logic to classify home equity as a fixed income portion of one's portfolio, or to mentally account for it as such, when making decisions about asset allocation. I agree it's a mistake to classify home equity as a fixed income. What I am doing appears to be equating the two...
by mmmodem
Fri Apr 12, 2019 8:40 am
Forum: Personal Investments
Topic: Leave out the bond fund of the 3 fund portfolio??
Replies: 40
Views: 3493

Re: Leave out the bond fund of the 3 fund portfolio??

I don't think anyone is really 100% stocks. Most folks say they are 100% stocks but they usually have additional savings/fixed income accounts. That's what I keep thinking! :annoyed I know there are a lot of 100% stock threads and I try to read every one of them to glean understanding. I'm still no...
by mmmodem
Tue Apr 09, 2019 2:01 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: How Much Do You Pay For Haircut?
Replies: 115
Views: 6249

Re: How Much Do You Pay For Haircut?

Bob Sacamano wrote:
Tue Apr 09, 2019 12:59 pm
$0. i bought a really nice clipper about 10 years ago and have cut my own hair since.
Some here. $0
I cut my own hair. Bought an electric razor for $25 about 2 years ago.
by mmmodem
Sat Apr 06, 2019 10:09 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Thinking of selling my financed iPhone XS Max and going back to Android...
Replies: 40
Views: 2499

Re: Thinking of selling my financed iPhone XS Max and going back to Android...

Maybe my math is wrong but the "saving money" part does seem questionable. Ok. Maybe you want to purchase a $350 smartphone instead. Say an Android phone costs $350. After 2 years you sell for $165. Then you buy another Android for $350. You spent $535. Still far less than even if you bought an iPh...
by mmmodem
Sat Apr 06, 2019 9:36 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Thinking of selling my financed iPhone XS Max and going back to Android...
Replies: 40
Views: 2499

Re: Thinking of selling my financed iPhone XS Max and going back to Android...

And what will you do in 2 years? Will you be more likely to continue to use a two year old $300 Android phone or a 2 year old flagship iPhone? If it's unlikely you'll use a mid tier Android phone over two years, you should consider resale value. Assume an iPhone Xs Max will be worth $500 in 2 years....
by mmmodem
Fri Apr 05, 2019 3:25 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: What happens if I put more than 30 bills into ATM?
Replies: 21
Views: 2585

Re: What happens if I put more than 30 bills into ATM?

The machine will count up to the limit and the extra bills are returned. I actually found the machines quite remarkable how well they could handle this. I never counted and just put as many as the machine would take. I knew my total amount but not how many bills. I often have stacks of crumpled bill...
by mmmodem
Mon Apr 01, 2019 9:42 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Keeping a stash of vacation days as unemployment "insurance"
Replies: 70
Views: 4853

Re: Keeping a stash of vacation days as unemployment "insurance"

My current employer allow accumulation and carryover of up to 200 hours of PTO :) Until they change the policy! :twisted: But seriously, I am not saying that this is a likelihood but I would not treat unused vacation as a guaranteed payout. Right. No guarantee into the future at all. Makes me glad ...
by mmmodem
Sat Mar 30, 2019 11:08 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Keeping a stash of vacation days as unemployment "insurance"
Replies: 70
Views: 4853

Re: Keeping a stash of vacation days as unemployment "insurance"

I think this is excellent above. I had accumulated 11 weeks of PTO after leaving my previous job. I was glad to have that cushion to find my next job. This isn't like taking no vacation. It's taking fewer vacations at the beginning of your career at the company. Once you're close to maxing out your ...
by mmmodem
Fri Mar 29, 2019 8:32 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: I drive 8000 miles a year, what car do you recommend?
Replies: 39
Views: 3289

Re: I drive 8000 miles a year, what car do you recommend?

I have a 2009 hybrid and put on about 9000 miles a year. It's never made sense to me to fix a car for more than it's worth as I can easily buy the same thing for less. As to those who say, I know the history of my own car. It's risky to buy used. Yes, I do know the history of my car and it is broken...
by mmmodem
Wed Mar 20, 2019 12:23 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Minivan - Safety
Replies: 34
Views: 1604

Re: Minivan - Safety

The way I look at safety is this: A Prius has the statistic of 47 deaths per million registered vehicles. Say a minivan or SUV is twice as safe at 100 deaths per million vehicles. That seems great to replace my Prius with a vehicle that is twice as safe. However, if I look at percentages, I'm spendi...
by mmmodem
Sat Mar 16, 2019 5:59 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Haven't bought a car in ages - how does negotiation work these days?
Replies: 47
Views: 4998

Re: Haven't bought a car in ages - how does negotiation work these days?

The last few cars I purchased were negotiated through email until none of the local dealers could match the lowest price. Then I walked into the dealer, test drove the car and signed the papers. I also bought towards the end of the year when next year's models were already out. Got my 2012 Prius tha...
by mmmodem
Sat Mar 16, 2019 5:36 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: homeownership coaching
Replies: 13
Views: 1489

Re: homeownership coaching

We are savers. We don't budget for home repairs or maintenance. We take each item on a case by case basis. For nearly everything, we can pay cash for right away. There are various reasons to delay, how much more damage it will cause, what is the risk to safety. Will there be a discount if we wait, e...
by mmmodem
Fri Mar 15, 2019 12:18 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Can I still use/sell a three-year old new laptop battery?
Replies: 18
Views: 794

Re: Can I still use/sell a three-year old new laptop battery?

Its capacity is likely diminished but it can still be useful. I'd much rather see it being used than going to the landfill or to be recycled if there is still life left in it. There are lots of eBay items sold as-is for a significant discount. Resellers tends to buy them and refurbish them.
by mmmodem
Thu Mar 14, 2019 12:40 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Property tax hacks in California
Replies: 53
Views: 4890

Re: Property tax hacks in California

We have a million dollar home in CA and we pay about $6k in property taxes. There is no hack. Thank Prop 13 and ridiculous home prices. We bought it at $400k 8 years ago.
by mmmodem
Thu Mar 14, 2019 11:17 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Lemon or Just Getting Used to Having an Older Car???
Replies: 33
Views: 2703

Re: Lemon or Just Getting Used to Having an Older Car???

We recently got rid of a 2009 Hyundai Sonata after the 10 year warranty lapsed. It did leave us stranded once a couple years ago when the engine stalled. It was repaired under warranty. DW would've gotten rid of it at that instant as she has zero tolerance for unreliability. That basically means we ...
by mmmodem
Thu Mar 14, 2019 6:17 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: New Oil Boiler/Indirect Hot Water Heater - Turn House Temperature Down at Night?
Replies: 20
Views: 1026

Re: New Oil Boiler/Indirect Hot Water Heater - Turn House Temperature Down at Night?

I'm not an expert. I would like to hear from an expert but until I do, I'm with valuethinker. We also have a indirect hot water oil burner. We keep the bedroom at 62 degrees and the rest of the home at 50. We turn up the rest of the home to 60 when we wake up. I've never checked the temperature of t...
by mmmodem
Wed Mar 13, 2019 1:54 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Any credit cards that can beat the Citi doublecash?
Replies: 64
Views: 6333

Re: Any credit cards that can beat the Citi doublecash?

I'm interested as well. I use my Citi card as general purpose. I keep an Amazon prime card for Amazon and a Discover for their rotating 5% categories. I don't currently know of a better rewards card.
by mmmodem
Wed Mar 13, 2019 12:09 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Should I give more money to a family member?
Replies: 107
Views: 6331

Re: Should I give more money to a family member?

Let me see how it is from your sisters side. My father just passed away. I live in an undesirable area. I want to go to graduate school to get a better job. I also want to get married but we haven't saved enough for a wedding or a honeymoon. My older always more responsible sister tells me she doesn...
by mmmodem
Wed Mar 13, 2019 8:45 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Buying a used car for LA
Replies: 25
Views: 1687

Re: Buying a used car for LA

Yes, SUV and CUV are safer than compact cars. It's just physics. The SUV is larger and heavier. However, let's define how safe. The average death rate per million registered vehicles is 100 for a compact sedan. Assume the SUV you wish to purchase is twice as safe at only 50 deaths. That's great righ...
by mmmodem
Mon Mar 11, 2019 3:19 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Where to save? Roth or House Down Payment
Replies: 4
Views: 402

Re: Where to save? Roth or House Down Payment

I think it's an excellent idea. We've always continued to contribute to a Roth IRA while saving for a home down payment. Both times we have been fortunate enough to not need it.
by mmmodem
Wed Mar 06, 2019 6:47 pm
Forum: Personal Investments
Topic: ESPP shares tank before I can sell
Replies: 26
Views: 1418

Re: ESPP shares tank before I can sell

$35 in broker fees. Essentially each quarter I'm getting a couple thousand in stock, with a couple hundred dollars worth of discount. Theoretically, even with the stock marginally down and this steep broker fee, participating is better than not participating. I stopped participating in my ESPP when...
by mmmodem
Mon Mar 04, 2019 9:00 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Convince aging parents to pay for snow removal
Replies: 64
Views: 3555

Re: Convince aging parents to pay for snow removal

Good luck. It will be a dark day indeed before I pay someone to shovel snow when I can do it myself. I just spent an hour snow blowing my driveway. It was only about 6 inches and very light. If my children kept telling me about what I can or cannot do, I will start ignoring them. If they paid for a ...
by mmmodem
Thu Feb 28, 2019 12:33 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Going to "cash-only" restaurants?
Replies: 109
Views: 4353

Re: Going to "cash-only" restaurants?

I hate using cash. They're filthy pieces of paper that have touched many hands. I carry about $20 cash with me at all times for those oops moments when I accidentally eat at a cash only restaurant or need to go through a toll. I haven't made a mistake in awhile so the same $20 bill from 6 months ago...
by mmmodem
Thu Feb 28, 2019 8:32 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Different emissions standards?
Replies: 8
Views: 575

Re: Different emissions standards?

There may be a cost and performance penalty to meet stricter CARB standards over federal emissions standards. In order to reduce the cost to the customer, some vehicles may not have that emissions component or have a lower cost component installed instead. And especially on sports cars, customers of...
by mmmodem
Tue Feb 26, 2019 11:30 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Slightly different keep/replace car decision
Replies: 22
Views: 1345

Re: Slightly different keep/replace car decision

In 5 years, you may want to consider that insurance for a new driver will be high. A way to mitigate this is to buy the safest vehicle that you can afford to have liability only insurance on. Collision and comprehensive goes up exponentially for a new driver. Your BMW at 13 years old would actually ...
by mmmodem
Mon Feb 25, 2019 6:22 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Slightly different keep/replace car decision
Replies: 22
Views: 1345

Re: Slightly different keep/replace car decision

Your keep/replace car is unchanged by what you'll get your son. You already know you need to get him something in 5 years. You can start saving that extra car payment now. In effect, you won't be buying two cars at the same time. Keep the BMW. You can make the decision in 5 years whether to give it ...
by mmmodem
Mon Feb 25, 2019 4:12 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Lowest Tax Possible
Replies: 46
Views: 4020

Re: Lowest Tax Possible

Do in this order: 1. If allowed, switch to an HDHP plan at your employer and contribute maximum $7000 to an HSA. 2. Contribute fully to a Roth IRA. A traditional IRA will decrease your 2019 taxes but it's not recommended. Do a search. 3. Maximize your 401k and your wife's 403b If you manage to be ab...
by mmmodem
Thu Feb 21, 2019 9:33 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: How to finance car purchase for teen
Replies: 60
Views: 2811

Re: How to finance car purchase for teen

There's no point in co-signing with your son if you're going to pay for the car. Sure there is, as long as the co-signing parent understands that both parties are fully responsible for the debt and the parent is ready, willing and able to assume timely payments if necessary. The child's name on the...
by mmmodem
Thu Feb 21, 2019 8:51 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Negotiating a pay raise
Replies: 24
Views: 1836

Re: Negotiating a pay raise

I've never received a raise without another job offer. I've done the research at salary.com et al to get salary comparables. I've made my case with examples of the value I bring to the company. I've outlined what I will do in the future to deserve the raise with no avail. Nothing ever worked until I...
by mmmodem
Thu Feb 21, 2019 8:36 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: How to finance car purchase for teen
Replies: 60
Views: 2811

Re: How to finance car purchase for teen

With that criteria, I'd get a Toyota Yaris or Honda Fit. A Civic today is bigger than the Honda Accord that I grew up with in the 90's as the family sedan. I'd even entertain a Nissan Leaf S that can be had for just under $20k after federal and local rebates if you live in the right place. It's an E...
by mmmodem
Wed Feb 20, 2019 9:24 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Credit card worth it for $50 discount?
Replies: 23
Views: 1425

Re: Credit card worth it for $50 discount?

I signed up for the $50. It's not a one time deal. When you need tires again, the same card will qualify for the next $50 promotion. However, when I tried to sign up, one of the questions to verify my identity had all incorrect answers. I was declined. Oh well.
by mmmodem
Tue Feb 19, 2019 1:16 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: How to repair credit due to late Bank of America payment
Replies: 53
Views: 2585

Re: How to repair credit due to late Bank of America payment

I was also successful in getting a late payment removed and the penalty. All I did was call in and enquire and the CSR removed the late fee and reporting. I don't remember what I said but it was probably something along the lines of I've been a long time customer and this is the only time I ever for...
by mmmodem
Tue Feb 19, 2019 12:47 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: To: Taylor Larimore: Early Withdrawals
Replies: 46
Views: 7009

Re: To: Taylor Larimore: Early Withdrawals

I think Taylor's situation is not common now. He had $1M when he retired and health insurance for the family. As a former federal employee, he might have a pension. He was in a good spot and probably had no need to worry about 3% or 4% SWR. Just my guess. Even with the uncertainty of ACA healthcare...
by mmmodem
Tue Feb 19, 2019 8:02 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: KeyHero? Home Depot?
Replies: 28
Views: 2769

Re: KeyHero? Home Depot?

That's pretty slick. I'm going to go try it. Thanks for the heads up. If you're afraid of hackers breaking into your car or home, it's very simple to not have your home address or car description on file.
by mmmodem
Sun Feb 17, 2019 9:43 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: I want a new Audi A6 2018 (50k) - Can I afford it? Or is this just a really dumb decision...
Replies: 136
Views: 7549

Re: I want a new Audi A6 2018 (50k) - Can I afford it? Or is this just a really dumb decision...

One of the best things I did in my 20's, was buy an Acura to replace a perfectly working Toyota Corolla. I learned that I hated paying premium for maintenance, repairs, and gas. Sure, I felt good driving a nice vehicle but the additional monthly costs took a literal toll on my wallet. I consider it ...
by mmmodem
Sat Feb 16, 2019 11:24 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Chase free credit score..what's the catch?
Replies: 10
Views: 1138

Re: Chase free credit score..what's the catch?

I don't know if there is a catch but given my Discover, Citibank and even my credit union accounts offers a credit score free, I consider it a necessary service to keep up with their competition. Discover beats them all by also providing credit alerts that notifies me when someone accesses my credit...
by mmmodem
Thu Feb 14, 2019 6:52 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Fast turnaround on Federal Tax
Replies: 40
Views: 3663

Re: Fast turnaround on Federal Tax

Got our Valentine's gift from the federal government today. We e-filed on Feb 6. It was exactly 7 days to receive our refund the previous two years as well with an extra day for the direct deposit to go from pending to deposited. This is the earliest we've ever filed due to fear of another governmen...
by mmmodem
Wed Feb 13, 2019 5:57 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Ever heard of dentists sedating toddlers to fill baby teeth cavities?
Replies: 28
Views: 2442

Re: Ever heard of dentists sedating toddlers to fill baby teeth cavities?

Don't know how common it is but we were given this option a couple months ago for dental work. My daughter had constant toothaches but squirmed too much in the chair for the dentist to do necessary work. We exhausted all temporary patches the dentist could perform on two separate visits but my daugh...
by mmmodem
Tue Dec 11, 2018 9:46 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: hotel booking
Replies: 14
Views: 996

Re: hotel booking

I look at it as buying an extended warranty. I assume it is priced to allow the seller to make money, it is financially in my favor to take the non refundable rate. The chances of me needing a hotel are pretty high if I already purchased the airline tickets. Also spending 14x$30-50=$420-$700 to insu...
by mmmodem
Tue Dec 11, 2018 8:57 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Possibly dumb question about streaming services
Replies: 26
Views: 1810

Re: Possibly dumb question about streaming services

I was hoping to avoid going to this much trouble because I thought I'd need an antenna for each TV in the house. I'm assuming there are instructions for hooking up an antenna to your cable somewhere online? You'll only need one device connected to the antenna and your router. Look up HDHomerun, Ama...
by mmmodem
Mon Dec 10, 2018 8:20 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Electric bill with LED
Replies: 114
Views: 9014

Re: Electric bill with LED

Anyone notice a significant savings going from incandescent or CFL to LED? For about $50 in bulbs I switched all the bulbs in my house to LED. I did it to save $ and help the environment. Just wondering if anyone actually noticed a real savings month to month... I did not and I didn't expect to. LE...
by mmmodem
Fri Dec 07, 2018 1:59 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Auto refinance
Replies: 12
Views: 533

Re: Auto refinance

Even if you get 2.2%, that's like $5 a month savings. Is that worth the hassle​?
by mmmodem
Thu Dec 06, 2018 10:25 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Streaming over-the-air TV on a laptop
Replies: 17
Views: 1349

Re: Streaming over-the-air TV on a laptop

Silicondust HDHomerun user here as well. I stream over the air TV to my laptop, Fire TV, iPhone, Android, just about everything.
by mmmodem
Tue Dec 04, 2018 1:20 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Home Purchase Price vs. Gross Income
Replies: 59
Views: 4463

Re: Home Purchase Price vs. Gross Income

Reading threads with conversations about setting yourself/family up for financial success even through hard times, I’m curious what other Boglegeads ratio of home purchase price is vs. gross income and whether you live in a LCOL, MCOL or HCOL. For my family, it was about 1.93x at time of purchase a...
by mmmodem
Sun Dec 02, 2018 9:22 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Employer says no to relocation as employee, should I offer to be contractor?
Replies: 37
Views: 3212

Re: Employer says no to relocation as employee, should I offer to be contractor?

We are home searching in Vermont and I hope to be living there by early next year. (Winter will be such a great time to move, oh well ;-) Thanks for getting back to us. So few return with what he happens. I relocated to New England exactly one year year ago. I don't know why people kept telling me ...
by mmmodem
Sun Dec 02, 2018 9:05 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Home Purchase Price vs. Gross Income
Replies: 59
Views: 4463

Re: Home Purchase Price vs. Gross Income

Our first home in an HCOL area was 1.5x. It was the smallest home in a desirable neighborhood with good schools. Our second home was 2.5x. Our third was 3.3x. Our current is 3.6x. At first glance it may seem lifestyle creep is spiraling out of control. However, accounting for the equity sale of the ...
by mmmodem
Sat Dec 01, 2018 11:27 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: declining employer benefits?
Replies: 36
Views: 4117

Re: declining employer benefits?

I have not encountered an employer that pays for declining health insurance. However, my current employer does allow us to decline life insurance for cash which is great as I can get more term life insurance coverage per dollar on my own.
by mmmodem
Sat Dec 01, 2018 11:19 am
Forum: Personal Investments
Topic: For those of us that can't max contribute
Replies: 43
Views: 2783

Re: For those of us that can't max contribute

I would attack that 5.5% by taking your emergency fund down to $0 (or $1000 if you need that comfort). That is just too high of an interest to keep around another minute. Your Roth IRA becomes your emergency fund at this point until all debt is paid off. Contributions can be taken out without penalt...
by mmmodem
Sat Dec 01, 2018 10:45 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Family loan
Replies: 19
Views: 1351

Re: Family loan

This is a lot ($50k) Given that context, I would offer them $10k and say this is all I can afford. So far, no family member has ever come back to ask for money when I offered to give them only a portion of what they asked. It's easier for me as I don't have to say no. They clearly understand that I...