Search found 77 matches

by mcgarrett
Tue Mar 12, 2019 9:56 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Experience with turbo >100,000 mi
Replies: 29
Views: 2549

Re: Experience with turbo >100,000 mi

Thanks to everyone for the impressions of turbo reliability and recommendations for proper care. I feel more secure with having a turbo in my retirement vehicle. To be even more secure, I might wait for the 2020 version of the Ascent, given a general hesitation about buying the first year of a new m...
by mcgarrett
Mon Mar 11, 2019 11:13 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Experience with turbo >100,000 mi
Replies: 29
Views: 2549

Re: Experience with turbo >100,000 mi

I understand and agree, this particular iteration of the engine does not have a history to use as a guide, and therefore there is an inherent uncertainty and risk. But it is encouraging that even with the increased complexity and wear, turbo engines can often perform for many miles. Thanks, McGarrett
by mcgarrett
Mon Mar 11, 2019 10:34 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Experience with turbo >100,000 mi
Replies: 29
Views: 2549

Re: Experience with turbo >100,000 mi

Thanks for the insights. I did note some oil consumption issues with previous Subarus, and I believe these were ultimately improved, but I realize that keeping an eye on oil level would be a priority. I think boxer engines have been evolving and although this particular engine might be a new version...
by mcgarrett
Mon Mar 11, 2019 9:52 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Experience with turbo >100,000 mi
Replies: 29
Views: 2549

Experience with turbo >100,000 mi

I am considering a new vehicle purchase this summer, and hopefully this vehicle will be a long-term acquisition. I am planning to retire in 2-3 years, and will be moving out west to an area with an altitude of 6000+ feet, and this CUV (Subaru Ascent) has a turbo engine that might come in handy at th...
by mcgarrett
Tue Mar 05, 2019 11:39 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Where to find inexpensive unlocked phone
Replies: 56
Views: 4297

Re: Where to find inexpensive unlocked phone

Thanks everyone for the tips. To summarize, my current iPhone 6S is not unlocked (unfortunately) and I don't think I can simply swap SIM cards temporarily on this work-provided phone, although that would be a very desirable option and I might try to explore this. I will get the phones from my brothe...
by mcgarrett
Mon Mar 04, 2019 10:14 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Where to find inexpensive unlocked phone
Replies: 56
Views: 4297

Re: Where to find inexpensive unlocked phone

Once again, thanks to everyone for the advice and experiences. It turns out that my brother has 2 Tracfone phones that he has replaced, and he is sending these to me. I hope I can buy a Tracfone SIM card and put it into one of the phones and "activate" it in my name to get prepaid service for about ...
by mcgarrett
Sun Mar 03, 2019 7:15 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Where to find inexpensive unlocked phone
Replies: 56
Views: 4297

Re: Where to find inexpensive unlocked phone

Thank you all for the suggestions. I think I might pursue the feature phone idea, as I really only expect to use this phone as a bridge to Google Voice, and then have calls directed by GV to my current iPhone, that I will maintain.

McGarrett
by mcgarrett
Sun Mar 03, 2019 3:34 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Where to find inexpensive unlocked phone
Replies: 56
Views: 4297

Where to find inexpensive unlocked phone

I apologize for a very basic question, but I admit to being rather unsophisticated with newer technology. I am hoping to discontinue my landline phone and ultimately keep this number and use Google Voice. Through the forum, I have learned that this requires porting the # to a cellular carrier and th...
by mcgarrett
Thu Jan 17, 2019 3:55 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: John Bogle has died at age 89
Replies: 856
Views: 57753

Re: John Bogle has died at age 89

I have the utmost respect for a man who simply did what he felt was right, despite the opportunity to reap enormous personal benefit. R.I.P.
McGarrett
by mcgarrett
Fri Nov 03, 2017 9:46 am
Forum: Personal Investments
Topic: Allocation Decisions: LENDX, SRRIX and QSPIX
Replies: 63
Views: 16220

Re: Allocation Decisions: LENDX, SRRIX and QSPIX

I had hesitated purchasing SSRIX despite the recommendation of my financial advisor at the beginning of 2017 because of my concern about the lack of liquidity. My advisor was making this recommendation based on the presumed low correlation with equities, and suggested ~5% of our portfolio allocated ...
by mcgarrett
Thu Sep 21, 2017 8:07 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Seeking advice about a contractor dispute
Replies: 5
Views: 678

Re: Seeking advice about a contractor dispute

We could contact the manufacturer. Thank you for the suggestion, mouses.
by mcgarrett
Thu Sep 21, 2017 8:06 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Seeking advice about a contractor dispute
Replies: 5
Views: 678

Re: Seeking advice about a contractor dispute

Unfortunately, the finish cannot be removed. It does not look bad, but my wife and I were clear as could be about what we were looking for when the plans were made, and we could live with the kitchen but feel the owner should make more of a price concession to make up for the discrepancy.
by mcgarrett
Thu Sep 21, 2017 7:59 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Seeking advice about a contractor dispute
Replies: 5
Views: 678

Seeking advice about a contractor dispute

My wife and I hired a company to re-face our kitchen cabinets. We met with the sales rep and went through a very long process of choosing colors, styles, trim, etc. DW is very particular, and all of the details were worked out to a "T". Main cabinets in one color, island with drawers/doors in a cont...
by mcgarrett
Wed Jan 11, 2017 12:00 am
Forum: US Chapters
Topic: Sad News About a Respected Forum Member
Replies: 118
Views: 26329

Re: Sad News About a Respected Forum Member

I just wanted to say thanks for sharing your knowledge and patiently educating us. I appreciate your honesty and sage advice, and wish you and your family comfort and peace.

McGarrett
by mcgarrett
Thu Dec 29, 2016 8:23 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Bernstein-"To Make Money They Didn't Need".....and Pascal's Wager
Replies: 187
Views: 25175

Re: Bernstein-"To Make Money They Didn't Need".....and Pascal's Wager

Thanks, matto. I read but didn't register the tax-deferred location mention. I appreciate your pointing it out. If the expected return is after fees, that reduces my anxiety about these high-ish ER's. I currently work with an advisor and could get access to these funds and might direct a portion of ...
by mcgarrett
Thu Dec 29, 2016 7:44 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Bernstein-"To Make Money They Didn't Need".....and Pascal's Wager
Replies: 187
Views: 25175

Re: Bernstein-"To Make Money They Didn't Need".....and Pascal's Wager

I am very interested in SRRIX, and maybe a bit less so in LENDX, as diversifiers in my Larry Portfolio. However, although the SD's are low, and the expected returns are similar to equities with presumably very low correlation to equities, the ER's for these funds is rather high (SSRX 2.42%, LENDX 1....
by mcgarrett
Sat Dec 17, 2016 3:43 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Thoughts on SUV for retirement.
Replies: 54
Views: 6236

Re: Thoughts on SUV for retirement.

All of the feedback is appreciated. A few thoughts: It seems that there are very few Lexus owners, including the GX 460, who express any significant regret with their purchase. Owners and reviewers typically predict very high expected reliability and longevity for these vehicles. Certainly one pays ...
by mcgarrett
Fri Dec 16, 2016 9:42 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Thoughts on SUV for retirement.
Replies: 54
Views: 6236

Re: Thoughts on SUV for retirement.

Thank you all for the different thoughts on the replacement vehicle choices. First, this is not our only car. I also have a Lexus RX450h hybrid and a Subaru Outback (environmentally conscious!). We have three adults in our household including a live-in family friend who helps with keeping our househ...
by mcgarrett
Fri Dec 16, 2016 4:03 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Thoughts on SUV for retirement.
Replies: 54
Views: 6236

Thoughts on SUV for retirement.

My wife and I have 3 teenage kids, one in college, and occasionally need to transport all 5 of us with gear or luggage. We had a minivan when the kids were small, and now have a three-row SUV, nearing 95,000 miles. I anticipate retiring in about 4 years, and would like to replace the current SUV wit...
by mcgarrett
Sat Sep 10, 2016 7:13 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: LTC Quandary
Replies: 32
Views: 4105

Re: LTC Quandary

Jim, Thanks for the details. We are interested in this approach for obtaining LTC coverage with some ability to know the costs up front. We are both less than 60, and I need to understand whether it is advantageous to lock in now, or wait a few years. I suppose we can run various scenarios by the ag...
by mcgarrett
Sat Sep 10, 2016 11:10 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: LTC Quandary
Replies: 32
Views: 4105

Re: LTC Quandary

The option in the brochure is a hybrid policy which requires an initial single premium of $100K. It will provide 50 months of care at approx. $3400/month for a couple (in total). It does not mention inflation protection. And an optional rider provides lifetime care but doesn't mention the cost. If ...
by mcgarrett
Thu Sep 08, 2016 8:39 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: LTC Quandary
Replies: 32
Views: 4105

Re: LTC Quandary

here's an option, https://www.buaweb.com/cms/resource_library/files/c99e53eaa44ff0ce/asset_care_client_brochure.pdf only company out there that has joint coverage. I did my due diligence and called two independent brokers to price check. if you sign up/pay for the LTC rider monthly payments are for...
by mcgarrett
Sat Jul 09, 2016 5:47 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: An alternative to alternative investments [QSPIX]
Replies: 334
Views: 72299

Re: An alternative to alternative investments [QSPIX]

Thanks to lack_ey for your detailed response, and to the other responders. A good example of my naiveté about this type of investment is the leverage issue that was mentioned by Grok and Larry. I am unsure how much leverage is too much, and how much risk this results in over time. I also don't know ...
by mcgarrett
Fri Jul 08, 2016 9:56 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: An alternative to alternative investments [QSPIX]
Replies: 334
Views: 72299

Re: An alternative to alternative investments [QSPIX]

I had researched this fund to attempt to understand its role within a diversified portfolio, and although I am feeling more knowledgeable in general terms, I have hesitated for two reasons. First, the ER is high relative to my other holdings, and it makes me pause, being a Boglehead at heart. But, m...
by mcgarrett
Fri Mar 07, 2014 11:00 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Auto trailer hitch bike racks
Replies: 21
Views: 2661

Re: Auto trailer hitch bike racks

I also have the Quick-Rack with 2 add-ons and I have to tell you it is the easiest carrier for loading our bikes, the bikes are very secure, and although the carrier is not light, it loads very quickly onto the car. I have gotten many comments about the rack on our travels. It is very well-construct...
by mcgarrett
Tue Feb 26, 2013 9:35 pm
Forum: Personal Investments
Topic: Pay off mortgage if salary decreases despite CPI
Replies: 8
Views: 1162

Re: Pay off mortgage if salary decreases despite CPI

Thanks for the responses to my post. I am going to critically look at the return on my FI investments and compare the after-tax return to the APR. The general approach of making extra payments to principal should certainly help, and I am curious about possibly recasting the mortgage with the lender....
by mcgarrett
Tue Feb 26, 2013 1:43 pm
Forum: Personal Investments
Topic: Pay off mortgage if salary decreases despite CPI
Replies: 8
Views: 1162

Re: Pay off mortgage if salary decreases despite CPI

Thanks Meg. Although my salary may decrease, there is a good likelihood I would have a steady income stream and a job loss would be very unlikely. I appreciate your advice about not leaving myself with a very large but illiquid asset, however. It would give me some peace of mind to have an ability t...
by mcgarrett
Tue Feb 26, 2013 11:44 am
Forum: Personal Investments
Topic: Pay off mortgage if salary decreases despite CPI
Replies: 8
Views: 1162

Pay off mortgage if salary decreases despite CPI

I recently refinaced our jumbo mortgage . We now have a 14 year mortgage at 2.87% APR, which is a very attractive situation at first glance. In general, it seems logical to keep such a mortgage and if inflation occurs, we would be paying off the debt with inflated dollars. However there are 2 variab...
by mcgarrett
Fri Jan 20, 2012 9:37 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Another Credit Card Rewards Gone Bad
Replies: 15
Views: 3145

Re: Another Credit Card Rewards Gone Bad

I use the American Express Blue Cash reward card. It works great. Last year my wife (who also has one) and I combined for $700 cash back. You can use the cash as a credit toward your Amex statement or for merchandise. We always credit our statement. You can earn 6% at supermarkets, 3% at gas statio...
by mcgarrett
Fri Aug 05, 2011 12:09 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: house offer price and recent economic indicators
Replies: 32
Views: 5212

Check out this link

I'm not really sure what the "right" approach is, but with the economy in a state of flux, no one truly knows what the real value of the home is or will be going forward. I would not think that a low offer would be insulting or unreasonable. You might want to check out this article from MarketWatch ...
by mcgarrett
Tue May 17, 2011 11:14 pm
Forum: Personal Investments
Topic: Utah 529 International options
Replies: 1
Views: 468

Utah 529 International options

I was reviewing our kids' 529 accounts and it appears that the Utah plan just made the VG Total International Stock Index Fund available to parents who use Option 12 (customized allocation). The ER is 0.12%, in addition to the plan administrative fee. This may be a more desirable choice than the pre...
by mcgarrett
Wed Jan 12, 2011 8:47 pm
Forum: Personal Investments
Topic: Saving in NJ for taxes due on Roth conversion.
Replies: 7
Views: 1203

Saving in NJ for taxes due on Roth conversion.

I made a decision to convert a sizable portion of our retirement funds into Roth IRA's in December. There will be rather large federal tax payments due in April 2012 and April 2013. We are in the 35% federal and 9% NJ tax brackets. I currently have the money sitting in our VG NJ tax-exempt MM fund, ...
by mcgarrett
Mon Sep 27, 2010 10:52 am
Forum: Personal Investments
Topic: DFA for 529 plans
Replies: 4
Views: 1403

Dave, Thanks for your reply. I was considering that even though I might add DFA funds at a higher cost, with a rather significant portion of the overall assets in Ohio CD's with an ER of virtually zero, the total expenses for the 3 different state 529 plans combined would still be quite reasonable. ...
by mcgarrett
Fri Sep 24, 2010 5:56 pm
Forum: Personal Investments
Topic: DFA for 529 plans
Replies: 4
Views: 1403

Guy,
Thanks for the reply. Although my time frame is shorter (my kids are 8, 10 and 12), I have a bit less equity exposure and I thought I could take some more risk on a portion of the equities. Who knows what the best plan is until after the fact. I'm still kicking this idea around.

Steve
by mcgarrett
Fri Sep 24, 2010 4:33 pm
Forum: Personal Investments
Topic: DFA for 529 plans
Replies: 4
Views: 1403

DFA for 529 plans

I have been contributing to 2 different 529 plans for each of my 3 kids and this year I am contributing a 5-year allocation. I have one more installment of the 5-year amount that I plan to send by December, which will be about 17.5% of the overall total. My goal is 60% fixed income/CD's and 40% equi...
by mcgarrett
Thu Sep 09, 2010 4:36 pm
Forum: Personal Investments
Topic: Ally CD Is Best "Money Market" I Can Find
Replies: 26
Views: 5344

Pen Fed CD questions

I have 2 questions:
1. Is this program still available to someone joining the Pen Fed CU and wishing to put in new money?
2. Can these CD's be held within an IRA?
Thanks. This seems to be a pretty good option.
Steve
by mcgarrett
Wed Sep 01, 2010 11:17 pm
Forum: Personal Investments
Topic: Question about refinancing mortgage
Replies: 11
Views: 1576

Thanks

Again, thank you all for your feedback about the ways to evaluate the "savings" above and beyond just comparing one monthly payment amount to a new one. Also, I appreciate the links, and I must admit that MMNJ at the fatwallet site is a fountain of information about various mortgage products.

Steve
by mcgarrett
Tue Aug 31, 2010 5:59 pm
Forum: Personal Investments
Topic: Question about refinancing mortgage
Replies: 11
Views: 1576

Thanks everyone for taking the time to help. tfb: Due to the amount, it apparently is a non-conforming loan sjb19: This is probably a quick way to try to compare apples to apples detifoss: I will ask for the no-closing-cost loan quote right off the bat. Your link and the recommendation about the PM ...
by mcgarrett
Tue Aug 31, 2010 5:51 pm
Forum: Personal Investments
Topic: Question about refinancing mortgage
Replies: 11
Views: 1576

Jack, Thanks for responding. I think the first decrease by ~1000 is due to a combination of the lower interest rate combined with the fact that we now owe only 90% of the original loan amount, so the amount to be financed is starting at a lower point. The numbers seem to match what I found using an ...
by mcgarrett
Tue Aug 31, 2010 5:04 pm
Forum: Personal Investments
Topic: Question about refinancing mortgage
Replies: 11
Views: 1576

Question about refinancing mortgage

My wife and I have a jumbo mortgage with 24 years remaining, at 5.87% fixed. We have met with a mortgage broker to see if we can refinance at a lower rate. He indicated that the best plan he has now with the amount of our mortgage would be a new 30 year mortgage at 5.25%fixed, with no points but wit...
by mcgarrett
Tue Aug 17, 2010 10:55 am
Forum: Personal Investments
Topic: FDIC-insured Bank CD 5.0% for 10 years? Ohio 529
Replies: 65
Views: 50943

Thanks Tramper and all

Thanks to OP and the others for calling my attention to this. In the current environment, the 5% CD combined with VIPSX seems to make sense, and I set up this combination last week. I have a second 529 for each of my 3 kids in Utah, and now I plan to use the Utah plans for the equity portion of thei...
by mcgarrett
Tue Feb 02, 2010 11:09 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Utah's 529 adds custom option and drops fees
Replies: 6
Views: 1779

Jason - Thanks for the heads-up

I have been vacillating about starting new Utah 529 plans for my 3 kids, but with the new Option 12 customizable AA and lower fees, I think this is the time to pull the trigger. I just looked at my planned allocation: 25% Total Bond Mkt 35% Total Stock Mkt 10% Small-cap Index 30% Developed Mkt and t...
by mcgarrett
Fri Jan 08, 2010 8:52 am
Forum: Personal Investments
Topic: Ohio 529 Bond options help
Replies: 22
Views: 2972

Reinvestment of dividends/returns

Do these bond funds within the Ohio 529 plan function just like any bond funds within an IRA, in that dividends/returns are automatically reinvested, helping to reduce the effect of decreased NAV if interest rates rise? Taylor has pointed out in another post that this phenomenon might make investors...
by mcgarrett
Sun Dec 13, 2009 2:44 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Basement Waterproofing Advice
Replies: 17
Views: 5278

Thank you everyone for the advice. LadyGeek's link was very informative. I will contact some local contractors for some initial quotes, but checking BBB will be a priority.
Steve
by mcgarrett
Sun Dec 13, 2009 11:16 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Basement Waterproofing Advice
Replies: 17
Views: 5278

Basement Waterproofing Advice

I have been having problems with 2 types of water leaks into the unfinished portion of my basement. We did an extensive renovation/addition 5 years ago, and the water leaks are in the older 50 year-old part of the house with cinder block foundation. The first bigger leak appears to be around or thro...
by mcgarrett
Tue Aug 11, 2009 3:31 pm
Forum: Personal Investments
Topic: NJ Resident - MM vs. Bond Fund for cash
Replies: 3
Views: 1175

NJ Resident - MM vs. Bond Fund for cash

I have a significant % of my assets at this time in cash, in the VG NJ tax-exempt MM fund. The yield on this fund has dropped significantly. Is there any reason I could not use the NJ Long-term Tax-exempt bond fund as a place to hold this "cash"? I realize it is not as liquid as a money market fund,...
by mcgarrett
Mon Jun 22, 2009 3:36 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Car suggestions?
Replies: 43
Views: 6398

SUV choices

By sheer coincidence, I was going to start a thread about these same vehicles. My choices were the Lexus RX, Infinity EX, Nissan Murano, Acura RDX, and Hyundai SantaFe (roughly in decreasing price). I am planning to pay cash, expect to keep the vehicle 8+ years, and would anticipate about 100k miles...
by mcgarrett
Wed Dec 10, 2008 9:17 am
Forum: Personal Investments
Topic: 7% Tax Free Munis?!
Replies: 4
Views: 1743

Same story in NJ

I am in a similar tax situation with high federal and state tax rates, and also would be interested in any feedback about whether high quality state munis make sense, and how to assess the quality/safety of the particular bonds.

Thanks,

Steve
by mcgarrett
Wed Dec 03, 2008 11:29 pm
Forum: Personal Investments
Topic: Time to pay off mortgage?
Replies: 21
Views: 4423

Response to grabiner

David, Thanks for taking the time to reply to my question. I am in the 35% federal bracket, and will pay 8.97% state income tax (New Jersey!), so I guess I could consider the NJ LT tax-exempt Admiral Fund. The tax-exempt yield on the Vanguard website is 4.27%, and the taxable equivalent calculator a...
by mcgarrett
Wed Dec 03, 2008 8:36 pm
Forum: Personal Investments
Topic: Time to pay off mortgage?
Replies: 21
Views: 4423

4.5% mortgage

I am wondering if the post from mvm is tongue-in-cheek, or if there really is a possibility of the Treasury offering low-interest mortgages. Where is this rumor found? It sure would be an attractive option

Steve