Search found 566 matches

by 3504PIR
Mon Oct 15, 2018 3:47 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Black Friday is coming.. what's on your list?
Replies: 70
Views: 5841

Re: Black Friday is coming.. what's on your list?

A Wolf gas cooking range. Saving money by cooking healthy food at home. We put an Aga 48" dual fuel range/oven into our new house. I was familiar with Aga from our time living in the UK - although what they are famous for are as foreign to Americans as anything you can imagine - their cooking hobs....
by 3504PIR
Sun Oct 14, 2018 12:37 am
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: DGS: Own it? Opinions on it? [WisdomTree Emerging Mkts SmallCap Dividend]
Replies: 25
Views: 1666

Re: DGS: Own it? Opinions on it? [WisdomTree Emerging Mkts SmallCap Dividend]

I love dividends, and appreciate that my views on them run contrary to most BHs. That being said, I would never buy a small cap fund or stock that had a dividend or dividend focus. Mature companies paying a dividend is fine, given a reasonable payout ratio measured against earnings. Small cap issue...
by 3504PIR
Sat Oct 13, 2018 11:58 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: DGS: Own it? Opinions on it? [WisdomTree Emerging Mkts SmallCap Dividend]
Replies: 25
Views: 1666

Re: DGS: Own it? Opinions on it? [WisdomTree Emerging Mkts SmallCap Dividend]

I love dividends, and appreciate that my views on them run contrary to most BHs. That being said, I would never buy a small cap fund or stock that had a dividend or dividend focus. Mature companies paying a dividend is fine, given a reasonable payout ratio measured against earnings. Small cap issues...
by 3504PIR
Sat Oct 13, 2018 9:33 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Making Winter Camping more comfortable
Replies: 39
Views: 2612

Re: Making Winter Camping more comfortable

Why not just go to bed earlier, say an hour or two after sunset? You will be tired enough, you burn a lot of energy in the cold even if your not doing anything. I was an infantry officer for 22 years and spent a lot of time exposed to any type of weather you can imagine. No tents in the infantry but...
by 3504PIR
Sat Oct 06, 2018 8:56 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Thinking of moving to Texas, Iowa, Idaho, or North Carolina
Replies: 209
Views: 14249

Re: Thinking of moving to Texas, Iowa, Idaho, or North Carolina

Charlotte and Raleigh are the 2 largest cities in NC and both have been prospering and growing at a rapid rate for a long time. Both have their share of traffic problems but nothing like Southern California. NC has a flat rate for state income tax: 5.49% with very few deductions. The weather is nic...
by 3504PIR
Sat Oct 06, 2018 8:18 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Should I take a pretty big pay cut to become a diplomat?
Replies: 32
Views: 3713

Re: Should I take a pretty big pay cut to become a diplomat?

Cruise wrote:
Sat Oct 06, 2018 8:10 pm
Do you have a TS or above clearance? This is long-term asset to acquire if you don’t yet possess.
Please don’t answer this question either way.
by 3504PIR
Sat Oct 06, 2018 8:18 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Should I take a pretty big pay cut to become a diplomat?
Replies: 32
Views: 3713

Re: Should I take a pretty big pay cut to become a diplomat?

Agree with others on the fact that financial would be less of a decision point than family. I recommend you get a very honest assessment on what the first 10 years or so as a FSO look like from an assignment perspective. Once you have a good understanding of the early career path, would you send you...
by 3504PIR
Fri Oct 05, 2018 4:29 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: 20 countries where 200K in retirement savings will last you decades
Replies: 75
Views: 8936

Re: 20 countries where 200K in retirement savings will last you decades

Some viable options in that slide deck. I’m not a big fan of slide articles so I only went to number 6, but the only location in 1-6 I haven’t been is Nicaragua. If push came to shove I could see pulling off something like this. Food for thought - I don’t think the majority of US citizens aged 60 or...
by 3504PIR
Sat Sep 29, 2018 5:43 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: College Student Performance Issues
Replies: 83
Views: 4498

Re: College Student Performance Issues

This is very common, and regardless of her initial performance she is still adjusting to a variety,of things but mainly her new found freedom. The problems she is having are probably linked to her maturity, or lack there of and/or being overwhelmed by the educational differences between high school ...
by 3504PIR
Fri Sep 28, 2018 11:55 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: PV Solar (Sunpower vs. Panasonic HIT) & To Roof or Not to Re-roof
Replies: 12
Views: 1148

Re: PV Solar (Sunpower vs. Panasonic HIT) & To Roof or Not to Re-roof

I would replace the roof with solar roof shingles from Tesla. I’m not sure if they are currently available, but if they’re not, they will be soon enough.
by 3504PIR
Fri Sep 28, 2018 2:41 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Overseas contractor needs Retirement account
Replies: 1
Views: 189

Re: Overseas contractor needs Retirement account

He should open an IRA account at Vanguard or Fidelity, either traditional or roth just like anyone else. Not "just like anyone else" he may need to wait until he is back in the US on leave before doing that. He will need a permanent address in the U.S. I opened a Fidelity account while overseas and ...
by 3504PIR
Sat Sep 22, 2018 6:39 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Mom's Estate: Can you help please?
Replies: 44
Views: 2098

Re: Mom's Estate: Can you help please?

I'm sorry about the loss of your dad, he and your mom sound as if they had a great life together and accomplished a lot financially. I wouldn't go crazy with building a portfolio and reworking your mom's whole portfolio. If it were my mother, I'd put a portion into short term muni bond fund, an inte...
by 3504PIR
Sat Sep 22, 2018 2:26 am
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: New job. Need help adding funds to my new 401k
Replies: 13
Views: 843

Re: New job. Need help adding funds to my new 401k

The DFA funds would be my choice. I can’t read the fund names but would go for the ones that come closest to your AA. You may want to keep your bonds in your IRA. I can’t see the names of many funds, but could read the stable value, JH bond fund and DFA inflation bond fund. There may be others but t...
by 3504PIR
Sat Sep 22, 2018 1:44 am
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Getting Started with Rental Property Investments
Replies: 8
Views: 890

Re: Getting Started with Rental Property Investments

I’d recommend against being a long distance landlord, particularly if you’re living overseas. I’d also recommend against buying a condo for a rental as the HOA will kill any cash flow opportunity. That being said, if you do intend to later move to the rental, the plan becomes a little more viable to...
by 3504PIR
Thu Sep 20, 2018 2:38 am
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Traditional TSP and Roth TSP
Replies: 16
Views: 1572

Re: Traditional TSP and Roth TSP

Traditional vs Roth depends on your personal situation as previously mentioned. Roth is taxed now and then grows tax free. Traditional is not taxed now but when you withdraw it at retirement. You’ll be matched after you’re vested, usually after a year. I think that 1% match is immediate and the rema...
by 3504PIR
Wed Sep 19, 2018 6:34 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Fixing diamond ring
Replies: 19
Views: 1400

Re: Fixing diamond ring

Thank you very much folks, I'll take a 50x magnification glass I have and will actually try to see if I see the impurities in my GIA certificate on the map or serial number (though I don't think the number was engraved). It won’t be all that difficult to see the impurities, unless it is like a brok...
by 3504PIR
Wed Sep 19, 2018 3:20 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Fixing diamond ring
Replies: 19
Views: 1400

Re: Fixing diamond ring

Hi Serbeer, I made an account just to answer this question because of the relevance to my own situation. I just bought an engagement ring that is a 1 ct diamond, solitaire setting and cost roughly the same as yours, ~ 5600. During the process the salesman showed me the impurities in the diamond and...
by 3504PIR
Wed Sep 19, 2018 3:09 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Did you really have something to retire to?
Replies: 133
Views: 11631

Re: Did you really have something to retire to?

We bought a horse farm about 5 years ago, did significant remodeling to the house and are very much looking forward to being there full time in June. I figured out that I have about a years worth of projects that will be more cosmetic to the acreage than costly that we'll begin to tackle once we're ...
by 3504PIR
Mon Sep 17, 2018 5:13 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: How to tell when a Mango is ripe?
Replies: 19
Views: 1263

Re: How to tell when a Mango is ripe?

We have mangos all over the ground outside my office. The ones on the ground seem ripe :happy
by 3504PIR
Sun Sep 16, 2018 1:39 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: 38% pay cut for dream job?
Replies: 61
Views: 5329

Re: 38% pay cut for dream job?

I was using 4th world to illustrate somewhere worse off than what we refer to as 3d world. We use the term loosely in my govt agency, but not officially. There are places worse off than say Haiti where the USSD has a post, usually a consulate, not an embassy.
by 3504PIR
Sun Sep 16, 2018 12:13 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: 38% pay cut for dream job?
Replies: 61
Views: 5329

Re: 38% pay cut for dream job?

I don’t know how familiar you are with the career path for a junior foreign service officer, but it kept me from doing the same thing when I was in my early 40s. In the first 7 years you will be posted to very remote locations for more than half of that 7 years. Botswana type remoteness. You’re allo...
by 3504PIR
Sat Sep 15, 2018 8:01 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Solar Install w/ SolarCity
Replies: 36
Views: 2590

Re: Solar Install w/ SolarCity

Awesome.
by 3504PIR
Sat Sep 15, 2018 6:56 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Solar Install w/ SolarCity
Replies: 36
Views: 2590

Re: Solar Install w/ SolarCity

At first glance that seems like a huge system but we really need to know how big your house is. I also think what you’ve done is awesome. I’m looking at a system about 1/3 of yours and debating 1 vs 2 power walls. Based on the size of your home, I’m curious how long 3 would give you assuming no char...
by 3504PIR
Fri Sep 14, 2018 9:33 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: How real is cyber risk?
Replies: 176
Views: 9989

Re: How real is cyber risk?

This goes back to the OP which asked a broad question, rather than some of the more specific examples given throughout the thread at the micro level. I don’t think the internet as we know it will still be around in the next 5-10 years. The ability to disrupt it or even to a degree destroy it by an a...
by 3504PIR
Thu Sep 13, 2018 12:09 am
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Pension alternatives
Replies: 41
Views: 3333

Re: Pension alternatives

Why not get 20? I’m not a huge fan of using leverage in something as important as retirement, at least not to that extent.
by 3504PIR
Wed Sep 12, 2018 8:54 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: FERS why it is so low.
Replies: 12
Views: 1850

Re: FERS why it is so low.

Hi. I just started a federal job. It has FERS. I went through the FERS calculator and it says that when I retire I will get a whopping 5k a year in retirement income. I don't get it. Is this for real? What is so great about government benefits if the pension pays 5k a year when you retire? It seems...
by 3504PIR
Wed Sep 12, 2018 1:52 am
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Going off-track of asset allocation due to high savings rate
Replies: 47
Views: 2936

Re: Going off-track of asset allocation due to high savings rate

I’m not sure what you’re doing but I do know it has absolutely nothing to do with HOW MUCH you are investing. So having a high savings rate has no correlation to what you’re doing.
by 3504PIR
Tue Sep 11, 2018 3:49 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: MBA vs Home Ownership
Replies: 24
Views: 2051

Re: MBA vs Home Ownership

I think you're looking at this the wrong way. Look at it from the "where do I want to be in 20 years" lens rather than MBA vs house.

I would certainly go to one of those $130k+ schools and I would not listen to those who say its foolish.
by 3504PIR
Sun Sep 09, 2018 12:01 am
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Scaring the Old Folks
Replies: 71
Views: 8275

Re: Scaring the Old Folks

I have no idea what I’ll spend in retirement beginning next year.I know my fixed costs, housing etc, but have no real reference for spending levels. Of the last 11 years we lived in Europe for 9 and Hawaii for 2 now. Neither location has given us a good measure on what we’ll spend in N. Carolina as ...
by 3504PIR
Sun Sep 02, 2018 12:56 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Help Us Pick a Lot to Build On - Which Neighborhood Option?
Replies: 19
Views: 1869

Re: Help Us Pick a Lot to Build On - Which Neighborhood Option?

Depending on where you are, consider not being in a neighborhood at all. I currently own a home on 12 acres and couldn’t be happier. I cannot imagine living in a,neighborhood/subdivision again. Food for thought.
by 3504PIR
Thu Aug 30, 2018 5:15 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Bright Start 529 investment choices
Replies: 6
Views: 567

Re: Bright Start 529 investment choices

We used an age based fund which is much like a target date fund. Worked out great and I never worried about the accounts nor did I mess with them or feel the need to mess with them, which I think is important.
by 3504PIR
Wed Aug 29, 2018 4:27 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Native German speakers: need help with translation.
Replies: 17
Views: 2010

Re: Native German speakers: need help with translation.

Your translation is correct, besetzt und frei and you're sure to have nobody understand what you're trying to achieve unless you color code them red and green or place a red indicator next to besetzt and green indicator next to frei. Additionally, you can use WC as the indicator for bathroom (in US ...
by 3504PIR
Fri Aug 24, 2018 3:53 am
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Invest or Pay off Student Loans
Replies: 40
Views: 2192

Re: Invest or Pay off Student Loans

This is driving me crazy. Here's my situation: Me 36, Wife 35 No kids Married filing separately (for student loan purposes) Salary: Me: $120,000 Wife: $59,000 annual Student loans: Me $140K fixed at 5.1% IR 10 yrs Wife $80K fixed at 5% IR (10 yrs) private & $90K government (wife's government loan e...
by 3504PIR
Fri Aug 24, 2018 3:53 am
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Invest or Pay off Student Loans
Replies: 40
Views: 2192

Re: Invest or Pay off Student Loans

This is driving me crazy. Here's my situation: Me 36, Wife 35 No kids Married filing separately (for student loan purposes) Salary: Me: $120,000 Wife: $59,000 annual Student loans: Me $140K fixed at 5.1% IR 10 yrs Wife $80K fixed at 5% IR (10 yrs) private & $90K government (wife's government loan e...
by 3504PIR
Tue Aug 14, 2018 9:04 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: As an American, where are some great places in the world to retire?
Replies: 151
Views: 14929

Re: As an American, where are some great places in the world to retire?

Have they ever lived outside the US? If they have lived internationally, have they ever set up basic utilities, banking or garbage collection? Are they fluent in any languages besides English? Do they watch a lot of tv?

Answers to these questions would be helpful.
by 3504PIR
Sun Aug 12, 2018 2:35 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Yet another "can I afford it"?
Replies: 42
Views: 4079

Re: Yet another "can I afford it"?

A lot of bogleheads will tell you that you're priorities are misguided and your budget for a car is a luxury you can't afford to execute. You can afford to do this, but I would only caution you to take your time and spend some time driving the cars you are interested in, in addition to your researc...
by 3504PIR
Sat Aug 11, 2018 12:01 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: tweak my finances...
Replies: 5
Views: 591

Re: tweak my finances...

I’m not sure why you aren’t interested in putting the money into a taxable account. It will certainly help out if you plan on retiring early. I have about half my investments in a taxable account and am very happy I do as I am retiring early next spring. I’ve also used some of the dividends to help ...
by 3504PIR
Mon Aug 06, 2018 8:03 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Will you pay for your kids' college/graduate education?
Replies: 366
Views: 15606

Re: Will you pay for your kids' college/graduate education?

We are paying 100%. Our daughter is attending a private university with about 40% of costs covered by scholarships and the remainder is paid by us. I had the opportunity to go to school with my parents paying and think it really helped me get off to a good start. We want our daughter to have the sam...
by 3504PIR
Fri Jul 27, 2018 12:46 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Yet another "can I afford it"?
Replies: 42
Views: 4079

Re: Yet another "can I afford it"?

A lot of bogleheads will tell you that you're priorities are misguided and your budget for a car is a luxury you can't afford to execute. You can afford to do this, but I would only caution you to take your time and spend some time driving the cars you are interested in, in addition to your research...
by 3504PIR
Thu Jul 26, 2018 3:41 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Toughest Purchase of my Life. Engagement Ring time
Replies: 207
Views: 10064

Re: Toughest Purchase of my Life. Engagement Ring time

Back in the day when I became engaged, I shopped for the diamond rather than the ring. I was able to find a great stone, very high quality and color at a very good price. I gave her the diamond in its clear container in a ring box when I asked the question. The next day she picked out a setting and ...
by 3504PIR
Thu Jul 26, 2018 3:33 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Hold one stock 25 years
Replies: 68
Views: 6382

Re: Hold one stock 25 years

Interesting as a mental topic. My father who is now knocking on the door of 90 is/was pretty diversified overall but bought single stocks in the day, in companies that he likes and knows - and frankly that was the only way to invest in the stock market when he started investing. Many he has held for...
by 3504PIR
Tue Jul 17, 2018 11:50 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Amazon Prime Day 2018
Replies: 88
Views: 10455

Re: Amazon Prime Day 2018

I snagged 3 of the 6 free kindle books. Go me!
by 3504PIR
Tue Jul 17, 2018 11:47 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Buy a vacation home while renting
Replies: 61
Views: 4060

Re: Buy a vacation home while renting

I recommend looking at this decision from a broad context. If you were to pay off your student debt quickly while continuing on with your present lifestyle and not buying the vacation home, what will your net worth be in 10 years? You’re in a very good position to become very wealthy under that scen...
by 3504PIR
Tue Jul 17, 2018 4:15 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Anyone not have a Budget?
Replies: 115
Views: 7621

Re: Anyone not have a Budget?

I don't have a budget and have never followed one. I created a budget when I first got married but never checked it or followed up. I generally know my income, and know my expenses and about when they are due. If something in my life changes (like where I live or work for example) I will add up my i...
by 3504PIR
Sun Jul 15, 2018 1:09 am
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Spending profile in retirement
Replies: 19
Views: 1769

Re: Spending profile in retirement

I’ve always looked at my budget in the terms of fixed and variable costs. If you are spending around $10,000 a month after taxes, per the earlier post, is that your overall budget? I’m confused by the term spending in this context. Do you have obligations of $10,000 per month or does spending refer ...
by 3504PIR
Sun Jul 15, 2018 12:54 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Anyone been to Molokai lately?
Replies: 8
Views: 1662

Re: Anyone been to Molokai lately?

Have you considered Lanai? DW and I stayed at the Koele Lodge and it was wonderful. Played both golf courses. The island is unique. That was awhile ago before the major renovations. Not sure of the status now. Molokai is similar to where I grew up in old country Hawaii. No stoplights. No McDonalds....
by 3504PIR
Fri Jul 13, 2018 10:49 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Dave Ramsey made me laugh today
Replies: 63
Views: 7020

Re: Dave Ramsey made me laugh today

In the context you provide in the OP regarding bonds, Ramsey is 100% correct. Bonds and bond funds lose value in times of raising interest rates. I’m not sure why that made you laugh. The rest of it is typical Ramsey and I don’t agree with his investment advice. Only if the rise is not expected by ...
by 3504PIR
Fri Jul 13, 2018 9:20 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Dave Ramsey made me laugh today
Replies: 63
Views: 7020

Re: Dave Ramsey made me laugh today

In the context you provide in the OP regarding bonds, Ramsey is 100% correct. Bonds and bond funds lose value in times of raising interest rates. I’m not sure why that made you laugh. The rest of it is typical Ramsey and I don’t agree with his investment advice.
by 3504PIR
Thu Jul 12, 2018 3:58 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Anyone take naps at work?
Replies: 93
Views: 5967

Re: Anyone take naps at work?

I've only rarely gone out to my car and grabbed a quick power nap, but I wish napping was part of the work culture during my career. I think it is very beneficial to both employer and employee and if it was something I could have done without negative blowback, I may have stayed in the workforce lon...