Search found 1697 matches

by mmmodem
Sun Sep 15, 2019 9:21 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Do you trust Microsoft updating your Windows 7 machine?
Replies: 40
Views: 1676

Re: Do you trust Microsoft updating your Windows 7 machine?

I don't necessarily trust Microsoft more than Apple or Google. I don't trust them less either. I will, however, look at their performance in supporting older hardware. Google is notorious for not updating Android on older devices. Apple is probably on par with Microsoft on older hardware in terms of...
by mmmodem
Sat Sep 14, 2019 1:46 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Bay Area teacher saving half my income – why the doubt? (and asking more questions)
Replies: 174
Views: 6323

Re: Bay Area teacher saving half my income – why the doubt? (and asking more questions)

Thanks for your post. I found it very interesting. Being a Bay Area native, I know that a middle class lifestyle on your income is neither rare or an exception for the folks living here. It is not due to you being fortunate buying at the right time as you've already pointed out that a person today c...
by mmmodem
Tue Sep 10, 2019 9:13 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: I'm gonna need a bigger TV...
Replies: 36
Views: 4217

Re: I'm gonna need a bigger TV...

New "budget" TVs are incredible. Our 55" TCL that was purchased for <$400 looks every bit as good as my parent's $2k Samsung. Unless you are going to shell out for OLED, I really don't see the point in spending more than you have to on a TV. Agree completely. Our near top of the line 55" 3D smart H...
by mmmodem
Sun Sep 08, 2019 8:33 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: 3.875% fixed rate, 30-year mortgage: are you paying it off early?
Replies: 93
Views: 3694

Re: 3.875% fixed rate, 30-year mortgage: are you paying it off early?

1. If tax advantaged accounts are not maxed out, I would absolutely invest instead instead of paying off the mortgage. More below. 2. I prefer the liquidity of investments that I can sell right away if I needed the money rather than equity locked in a home. 3. My expectations are that my investments...
by mmmodem
Fri Sep 06, 2019 1:40 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: 2019 Hyundai Elantra SE
Replies: 15
Views: 859

Re: 2019 Hyundai Elantra SE

I can't comment on whether to tell them you are financing or paying cash before hand is a good tactic. It doesn't make sense to me either way how you pay for the car how it would benefit the dealer. However, in your case, you should tell them you are financing. Oftentimes, 0% financing deals are in ...
by mmmodem
Fri Sep 06, 2019 9:27 am
Forum: Non-US Investing
Topic: Keep new house unoccupied or let sibling mind it rent free? [ex-pat in UAE]
Replies: 31
Views: 2551

Re: Keep new house unoccupied or let sibling mind it rent free?b

I once rented a room to an in-law family member in exchange for babysitting. It worked great. The room was empty anyway. I didn't need the space and was uncomfortable renting to a stranger. The family member was retired and so saving rent allowed them to have some luxuries. I saved on child care. Wi...
by mmmodem
Fri Sep 06, 2019 8:15 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: eBay Seller Retaliatory Feedback
Replies: 28
Views: 2050

Re: eBay Seller Retaliatory Feedback

Counterpoint. I don't think you should have left negative feedback to the seller given you received a refund. The seller was able to remove your negative feedback likely because there is proof that a case was opened and closed immediately with a full refund. How can the seller be faulted for that? Y...
by mmmodem
Thu Sep 05, 2019 8:11 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Wedding/Engagement Ring Insurance
Replies: 64
Views: 3535

Re: Wedding/Engagement Ring Insurance

DW got pregnant the first year we were married. She could no longer fit the engagement ring. She was against resizing as she would lose the weight afterwards. We were able to find a cubic zirconia that looked similar for about $100. And that is what she has worn for the last decade. The engagement r...
by mmmodem
Thu Sep 05, 2019 4:28 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Waze gives wrong directions;now gmaps too; any others I can use?
Replies: 33
Views: 3130

Re: Waze gives wrong directions;now gmaps too; any others I can use?

What OP described for both Waze and Google maps is a GPS locator error. Apps can't navigate you if they have the wrong location for you. An example is going through a tunnel. Few navigation apps will be able to route you out of the tunnel unless it "guesses" correctly exactly when you will emergency...
by mmmodem
Wed Sep 04, 2019 8:07 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Do you consider your house as part of your bond portfolio?
Replies: 52
Views: 2216

Re: Do you consider your house as part of your bond portfolio?

Technically, I don't consider our primary home a bond. But practically, I treat it the same way as I treat a bond. So my answer to OP is yes. I can see a primary home is a separate asset class but I'm binary towards my assets. I don't want to add complexity with a third category. Therefore, primary ...
by mmmodem
Tue Sep 03, 2019 12:12 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Does having children hurt net worth?
Replies: 47
Views: 1829

Re: Does having children hurt net worth?

Net worth is defined as the value of all current assets minus outstanding liabilities. Technically speaking, having a child is an 18 year long contract to pay an overall average of $233,610 divided into regular installments over the 18 years. Mathematically speaking, it's the same as any other liab...
by mmmodem
Tue Sep 03, 2019 9:52 am
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: 3 fund people how are you feeling?
Replies: 112
Views: 12311

Re: 3 fund people how are you feeling?

I neither feel good nor feel bad. I did check on balances last week. Last check was 6 months ago. I was surprised my net worth showed an increase. I was prepared for a decrease from all the doom and gloom. I had to increase my 401k percentage contribution to buy more VTSAX to ensure I get the $19k m...
by mmmodem
Tue Sep 03, 2019 8:10 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Down Payment vs. Invest vs. Student Loan
Replies: 15
Views: 795

Re: Down Payment vs. Invest vs. Student Loan

1. I consider saving for a primary home or retirement fungible. That is equity in your primary home decreases your retirement needs. Therefore, decreasing 401k to just the match to save for your primary home is acceptable. 2. I refuse to pay PMI. Therefore, you must save 20% for the down payment wit...
by mmmodem
Fri Aug 30, 2019 1:59 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Minimum to keep in checking account?
Replies: 40
Views: 3080

Re: Minimum to keep in checking account?

We keep a minimum of about $1500 in our interest bearing checking account. Currently at 0.648%. This number is legacy from our Chase checking account which requires a $1500 minimum balance to avoid fees. Our Alliant account does not have this requirement but this amount would almost cover any bill w...
by mmmodem
Fri Aug 30, 2019 12:58 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Max out 401K for 2019 at new Job?
Replies: 15
Views: 1661

Re: Max out 401K for 2019 at new Job?

Max it out. Yes, you are spending after tax money to invest pre-tax dollars. But you are gaining something. You're gaining $19k in a 401k. Consider the alternative, that you do not invest in the 401k. You'd still be spending after tax money. The difference is, you'd have more in an emergency fund an...
by mmmodem
Fri Aug 30, 2019 10:50 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Vehicle idle stop-start when parking
Replies: 50
Views: 3040

Re: Vehicle idle stop-start when parking

I looked up how Ford does this and apparently any time you shift out of D into gear except P would restart the engine. That means on a traditional shifter, it is easy to hit R on your way to P thus starting up the engine. I like start/stop systems. Manufacturers just need to make sure to include an ...
by mmmodem
Fri Aug 30, 2019 6:34 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Vehicle idle stop-start when parking
Replies: 50
Views: 3040

Re: Vehicle idle stop-start when parking

Yes, but it seems like they could just as well have programmed it to just shut itself off after a short time in those circumstances, as I suggested above. I wondered about this on the Prius as well. The engine does not shut off either. Why? Twice, I've dropped off my wife and she had the key. I am ...
by mmmodem
Thu Aug 29, 2019 4:26 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Vehicle idle stop-start when parking
Replies: 50
Views: 3040

Re: Vehicle idle stop-start when parking

My guess as to why this happens is it's an active reminder for you to shut off the vehicle. My Prius doesn't turn on the engine so there have been reports of people forgetting to shut off the car. Therefore, one of the first things I did after purchase was train myself to never shift to P. I just sh...
by mmmodem
Wed Aug 28, 2019 1:29 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Laser or inkjet
Replies: 58
Views: 3055

Re: Laser or inkjet

Agree with above concerning laser except I am sticking with my Brother inkjet. It's actually my second one. The first worked so well I gave it to my dad and got another one. Simply put I want to print in color. Color photos are done at Walgreens or online. Everything else, though, I want color. I bu...
by mmmodem
Wed Aug 28, 2019 12:05 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: My Car Insurance Premiums Went Down !!
Replies: 6
Views: 669

Re: My Car Insurance Premiums Went Down !!

Customer retention discount? My premium was $700 for one year on a newer full coverage and an older liability only coverage. I recall you mentioning you've been with this company for decades. There may be lower premiums out there and this discount encourages you to stay.
by mmmodem
Tue Aug 27, 2019 3:04 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Employment protection in case of merger?
Replies: 20
Views: 1282

Re: Employment protection in case of merger?

I did not survive my companies last merger and was forced to quit. Half my colleagues didn't survive either. Seems the proactive ones quit and found a job. The hopeful ones now have an extended period between jobs. Anyway, the best protection for me is the same for keeping the job. Do fantastic wor...
by mmmodem
Tue Aug 27, 2019 11:30 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Employment protection in case of merger?
Replies: 20
Views: 1282

Re: Employment protection in case of merger?

I did not survive my companies last merger and was forced to quit. Half my colleagues didn't survive either. Seems the proactive ones quit and found a job. The hopeful ones now have an extended period between jobs. Anyway, the best protection for me is the same for keeping the job. Do fantastic work...
by mmmodem
Tue Aug 27, 2019 7:39 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Qualifying for home loan quickly
Replies: 11
Views: 490

Re: Qualifying for home loan quickly

Are you sure it takes days to meet with a mortgage lender? I'm pretty sure there are lenders that can put together a pre-approval letter immediately. I know mine did and I never met him. He lives in another state. My credit report was all that was needed for a pre-approval. Including a snapshot of y...
by mmmodem
Tue Aug 27, 2019 7:28 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: eBay Item Not Received Procedure
Replies: 10
Views: 878

Re: eBay Item Not Received Procedure

I would accept a refund as well and I would go ahead with eBay resolution. In fact, a seller once asked me to proceed with eBay resolution for them to give me the refund. No bad mark is made if resolved by both sides. eBay doesn't even get involved unless no correspondence is received from either si...
by mmmodem
Fri Aug 23, 2019 9:46 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Giving 2 weeks notice with a non-compete
Replies: 14
Views: 1879

Re: Giving 2 weeks notice with a non-compete

I left a job in CA where non-competes are unenforceable. I went to a direct competitor. They did ask and I declined to answer. I chose not to disclose my next employer because I did not want "baggage" to follow me onto my next job. I wasn't walked out by security but I was told I could leave the nex...
by mmmodem
Fri Aug 23, 2019 7:37 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Getting Rental Security Deposit Back with On Time Rent Payments
Replies: 10
Views: 665

Re: Getting Rental Security Deposit Back with On Time Rent Payments

I have never heard of a refund of the security deposit for a rent while one is still renting. I have heard of this for a utility company, though. The last time I rented, I was ready to pay 1st month's rent and one month's rent as the security deposit. When I arrived, the little old church lady landl...
by mmmodem
Thu Aug 22, 2019 7:15 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Buying used car (another one of those threads!)
Replies: 21
Views: 1272

Re: Buying used car (another one of those threads!)

It depends on what your previous car was. If it was a commuter car, then I think the Elantra is a fantastic deal. With your low mileage usage, it's definitely better to purchase high mileage used. I'm a fan of high mileage previous rentals as they are priced lower because both conditions are undesir...
by mmmodem
Wed Aug 21, 2019 10:35 pm
Forum: Personal Investments
Topic: Invest vs pay off student loan in 1 year period
Replies: 43
Views: 2062

Re: Invest vs pay off student loan in 1 year period

Hmm, that's interesting. Where did the $15k in a taxable account come from? To clarify, option A is my current 401k balance ($70k) and the $19k goes toward my student loan. Option B is if I put that same $19k into my 401k instead, raising the balance to $89k. Let's see if I can clarify: Option A: F...
by mmmodem
Wed Aug 21, 2019 10:03 am
Forum: Personal Investments
Topic: Turn off auto-reinvest dividends?
Replies: 17
Views: 1814

Re: Turn off auto-reinvest dividends?

Piling on with no on auto-reinvesting dividends. For me, the main pro is not accidentally triggering a wash sale.
by mmmodem
Wed Aug 21, 2019 9:48 am
Forum: Personal Investments
Topic: Invest vs pay off student loan in 1 year period
Replies: 43
Views: 2062

Re: Invest vs pay off student loan in 1 year period

Why though? It sounds like if you do the 401k max you would not be paying anything on the loan which is BAD. If maxing the 401k means you are paying the normal loan payments anyway then there is no reason to pay it off early and give up the tax savings and 401k space. My loan is deferred because I'...
by mmmodem
Tue Aug 20, 2019 8:39 am
Forum: Personal Investments
Topic: When Did You Ease Up On Saving Aggressively?
Replies: 170
Views: 13097

Re: When Did You Ease Up On Saving Aggressively?

As many have already said, we started easing up at 25x spending. This represents the lowest level of spending that we know we can survive. It's not the way we want to live but it's security knowing we have enough to take care of ourselves. Additional savings will be gravy. Therefore, we get to live ...
by mmmodem
Tue Aug 20, 2019 8:06 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Paying credit card "current balance" vs. "statement balance"
Replies: 48
Views: 4366

Re: Paying credit card "current balance" vs. "statement balance"

I don't have an answer for OP but I just looked at the last three statements from my Citi Doublecash card. I set up auto pay for the statement balance. Don't think there is an option to auto pay the current balance. Anyway, all three months they took less than the statement balance because I had app...
by mmmodem
Tue Aug 20, 2019 7:37 am
Forum: Personal Investments
Topic: Invest vs pay off student loan in 1 year period
Replies: 43
Views: 2062

Re: Invest vs pay off student loan in 1 year period

What other reasons would investing be the better option? 1. 401k reduces your taxes for 2019. That's $4180 if The entirety of the $19k is in the 22% marginal rate. 2. Tax deferred growth. You'll never get this 401k space again. You've only computed out 1 year. What happens to tax deferred growth ov...
by mmmodem
Tue Aug 20, 2019 6:31 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Battery powered lawn mower
Replies: 54
Views: 3194

Re: Battery powered lawn mower

ponyboy wrote:
Mon Aug 19, 2019 6:04 pm
When my mower runs out of fuel, takes less than 60 seconds to top off. Seems like a clear winner to me.
Way too long. Takes me 5 seconds to swap out the battery. :beer
by mmmodem
Mon Aug 19, 2019 12:23 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: HCOL savings rates
Replies: 43
Views: 3462

Re: HCOL savings rates

Bought home in SF Bay Area 7 years ago. Family of 5 Household income: ~$150k 401k + Roth IRA + HSA: ~$27k We only save in tax advantaged accounts. We moved out of the HCOLA a little over a year ago to LCOLA. Household income dropped to ~$120k 401k+ Roth IRA + HSA = ~$37k Did you sell your home when...
by mmmodem
Mon Aug 19, 2019 12:11 pm
Forum: Personal Investments
Topic: Saving for a new car
Replies: 14
Views: 1206

Re: Saving for a new car

Agree with above. Our previous car loan was at 0% and our current car loan is at 2%. With interest rates this low, we've made no provisions to save up for a vehicle purchase. Even though we can pay cash, we've decided to keep the loan. Essentially, we've invested that amount according to our asset a...
by mmmodem
Mon Aug 19, 2019 8:56 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Battery powered lawn mower
Replies: 54
Views: 3194

Re: Battery powered lawn mower

We have a steep 300 ft driveway and we use an electric EGO snow blower. A lot of coworkers laughed at my purchase here in New England. However, it works well for me and if it can do that, then any electric lawn mower will be fine. We also have a Ryobi lawnmower and a Ryobi leaf blower. I wish they w...
by mmmodem
Mon Aug 19, 2019 7:58 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: HCOL savings rates
Replies: 43
Views: 3462

Re: HCOL savings rates

Bought home in SF Bay Area 7 years ago.
Family of 5
Household income: ~$150k
401k + Roth IRA + HSA: ~$27k
We only save in tax advantaged accounts.

We moved out of the HCOLA a little over a year ago to LCOLA.
Household income dropped to ~$120k
401k+ Roth IRA + HSA = ~$37k
by mmmodem
Fri Aug 16, 2019 3:04 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Buying an older used car - any new/different ideas?
Replies: 64
Views: 3264

Re: Buying an older used car - any new/different ideas?

When I was younger, I hated the Prius so much, I wrote a paper in college and got an A for it spouting how the battery is harmful to the environment and itsbfuel savings is offset by battery replacement. So I was very melancholy to end up with a 2012 Prius through Hobson's Choice. The years of owner...
by mmmodem
Thu Aug 15, 2019 9:00 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Net-worth rule of thumb for house purchase?
Replies: 123
Views: 5936

Re: Net-worth rule of thumb for house purchase?

I read the whole thread but I still can't fathom why net worth has an influence on home price. If I no longer have an income, then I'll have to resort to the emergency fund. If it runs out then I cannot make mortgage. I will sell the home. The situation would be the same as if I were renting. I woul...
by mmmodem
Thu Aug 15, 2019 6:36 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Moving for better public schools?
Replies: 63
Views: 4821

Re: Moving for better public schools?

1. All things being equal, I would move to the better school district. The higher cost of the home would be offset by higher value when you sell. I would consider it a wash. Your situation isn't equal however, a much longer commute is an absolute deal breaker. I follow the airplane rule. Take care o...
by mmmodem
Wed Aug 14, 2019 1:40 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Dishwasher Fiasco
Replies: 52
Views: 3061

Re: Dishwasher Fiasco

Why can't you do the electrical work yourself? I think that's what most people do. Because I am not an electrician. This is 110v work and does not require an electrician. If it was 220v like the stove or clothes dryer then I'd hire an electrician. Anyway, I found the same problem with my broken dis...
by mmmodem
Wed Aug 14, 2019 9:42 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Geekbench Scores: Single vs Mult-Core Scores?
Replies: 16
Views: 936

Re: Geekbench Scores: Single vs Mult-Core Scores?

Looks like you're getting all opinions from the single-core versus multi-core speculators. Suffice it to say, some applications perform better with multi-cores. Some applications don't because of the way the program was written. Without knowing what programs you use normally, we can't say which is m...
by mmmodem
Tue Aug 13, 2019 8:40 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: House purchase (cash)... wire transfer or cashier's check?
Replies: 32
Views: 2055

Re: House purchase (cash)... wire transfer or cashier's check?

Congratulations on (almost) buying a home! I recently bought a home and did it via wire transfer. The way we did it is my lawyer sent me a letter via FedEx that had the wire information, and when I got it I called him on the phone and verified the wire info in the letter. Wire then went through wit...
by mmmodem
Fri Aug 09, 2019 1:39 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: "Rent the Back Yard"
Replies: 41
Views: 2888

Re: "Rent the Back Yard"

Sounds like a great idea. It's basically an in-law unit. My friend rented an in-law unit in Evergreen. Read: very expensive part of San Jose. It was a new construction home at the time sold with the benefit that you could rent out the add on to pay for mortgage. For those thinking about privacy, tak...
by mmmodem
Fri Aug 09, 2019 1:30 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Do You Order "the Special" at Restaurants?
Replies: 50
Views: 4094

Re: Do You Order "the Special" at Restaurants?

I often order the specials because it is usually priced lower than if it was not a special. I like a good deal. If not, then I don't order it. I'm surprised there are people that would order a something without knowing the price. Let's assume Anthony Bourdain is correct and the restaurant is offload...
by mmmodem
Fri Aug 09, 2019 7:01 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: "Unlimited" mobile phone data. Don't need it. But I may need up to 10G a month. Dunno... options with Mint?
Replies: 13
Views: 1040

Re: "Unlimited" mobile phone data. Don't need it. But I may need up to 10G a month. Dunno... options with Mint?

Sounds like you'll only need 2-3 gb a month. I browse on my phone roughly one hour everyday on cellular and that is my usage. I'd just go with then current Mint Mobile $20/8gb a month for 3 months and you get 3 months free. Check out how much you use after 6 months and decide if you want to stay at ...
by mmmodem
Fri Aug 09, 2019 6:46 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: San Jose (CA) cost of living
Replies: 36
Views: 3819

Re: San Jose (CA) cost of living

By "close to downtown" I meant: not too far from the relatively new shopping area and the California Theater. But I also meant: not too far from a train station with access to San Francisco, which doesn't necessarily mean close to downtown San Jose. Then where you really want to live is Milpitas as...
by mmmodem
Thu Aug 08, 2019 10:17 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Renting a car in Boston (Logan Airport)
Replies: 9
Views: 446

Re: Renting a car in Boston (Logan Airport)

Last time I rented a vehicle in Boston, I got the toll tag. It was for a business trip so I didn't have to pay for it. I decided to see if I could do all my travels in CT, NH, RI, & MA without going through tolls. You can set Google maps navigate and avoid all tolls. And yes, I was able to do the en...
by mmmodem
Wed Aug 07, 2019 9:10 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: San Jose (CA) cost of living
Replies: 36
Views: 3819

Re: San Jose (CA) cost of living

Your numbers are spot on coming from a Milpitas resident. (City next to San Jose) You really don't need a landline with E911 and registering your address to your cellphone. But if you insist, AT&T offers metered landline service for significantly less than $40. It was $10/month to set up for my gran...