Search found 204 matches

by SwampDonkey
Fri Oct 23, 2020 10:53 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Payoff rental mortgages?
Replies: 46
Views: 2295

Re: Payoff rental mortgages?

1 percent rule is based on determining a rentals cash flow at time of purchase. If you end up owning the rental out right after 5, 10 or 20 years you basically have a paid annuity at that time. Minus taxes and maintenance of course. To me I look at the 1 percent rule when I purchase a rental proper...
by SwampDonkey
Fri Oct 23, 2020 9:32 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: New kid on the way, should we get a new minivan? or else?
Replies: 55
Views: 2363

Re: New kid on the way, should we get a new minivan? or else?

Two cars can fit in our garage, so a third will have to be on the driveway. This is probably fine for most but I am just one of those who don't like to have a car continually sitting on the driveway outside. Please share your secret sauce for having room for two cars in your garage while having two...
by SwampDonkey
Tue Oct 20, 2020 8:24 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Let’s discuss my rental dilemma
Replies: 41
Views: 4896

Re: Let’s discuss my rental dilemma

Having been in your situation several years ago (being a new dad and having to move), I can empathize with your stressors. Looking back on my situation, my priorities would be: 1. Whatever makes my wife happy. She's going through a lot, both physically and mentally; try to accommodate and support he...
by SwampDonkey
Tue Oct 20, 2020 7:52 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Advice needed on parents finances..
Replies: 14
Views: 1225

Re: Advice needed on parents finances..

If it were me I'd pay off both mortgages and never have to worry about another mortgage payment ever again. I'm a believer in the psychological freedom of having these stressors removed from one's life. And they'd still have $950k in assets which is nothing to sneeze at. For the rental - seems like ...
by SwampDonkey
Mon Oct 19, 2020 8:24 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Items that are worth the money for the quality
Replies: 407
Views: 26524

Re: Items that are worth the money for the quality

Chaco sandals - bought a pair in 2005. Sent them back to Chaco to have them resoled in 2016 for free. They returned them in "like new" condition. Still wearing them today. iPhone - tried to save money by going LG Android a few years ago. The UI was so not-user friendly I returned it within two week...
by SwampDonkey
Mon Oct 19, 2020 10:36 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Items that are worth the money for the quality
Replies: 407
Views: 26524

Re: Items that are worth the money for the quality

Panasonic plasma TVs (no longer sold) My folks purchased a 50" Panasonic Plasma ~10-15 years ago. Still the best picture quality of any tv I have ever watched a game on. The images and colors are extremely bright and vivid. They want to replace it with something bigger but haven't been able to find...
by SwampDonkey
Mon Oct 12, 2020 10:01 pm
Forum: Personal Investments
Topic: Suggestions for 100x moonshots
Replies: 86
Views: 11982

Re: Suggestions for 100x moonshots

My favorite sleeper stock right now is Mercado Libre (MELI). If you combine Amazon, Paypal, and a few others into a single company, this is what MELI is....only in South America and still in the early stages. Strong management team, clear vision and execution (so far), investments from some major U...
by SwampDonkey
Mon Oct 12, 2020 10:00 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Individual Stocks - 5-10% of Portfolio "Play Money" - YES or NO?
Replies: 91
Views: 4968

Re: Individual Stocks - 5-10% of Portfolio "Play Money" - YES or NO?

Similar situation as you. I put all of my annual IRA and TSP contributions in Boglehead'ish ETFs. This is the vast majority of my annual retirement savings (~30k-32k'ish). Anything extra, I invest into a basket of stocks; this is a few thousand$ per year. I've underperformed some years, outperformed...
by SwampDonkey
Fri Oct 09, 2020 1:59 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Recommendations wanted: lower cost wireless ear buds for runners
Replies: 17
Views: 983

Re: Recommendations wanted: lower cost wireless ear buds for runners

I've been using the AUKEY True Wireless Earbuds for the past six months. ~$23 on Amazon. Pros: -stay in place for the most part -easy pairing -wireless -sound quality is okay; bass is not the best -very light and comfortable - good battery life - they're $20; if I lose them, so what? Cons: - horribl...
by SwampDonkey
Sun Oct 04, 2020 8:16 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Favorite Camping Gear
Replies: 75
Views: 5077

Re: Favorite Camping Gear

Used to be big into backpacking, had kids and took several years off, now we're starting back up as car campers. At this stage in our life, our primary considerations are comfort and convenience. I've never been a fan of air mattresses so we recently splurged on the Disc-O-Bed XLs (purchased from Co...
by SwampDonkey
Sat Oct 03, 2020 11:09 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: If you have a pension, how do you view it?
Replies: 190
Views: 12739

Re: If you have a pension, how do you view it?

Our plan is to retire when we have our "forever home" paid off + $1M in investments/savings. If things continue to track, this will be in 5-10 years and I'll retire with a military pension. With no mortgage to worry about in retirement, I expect my pension to cover 90-100% of our monthly expenses. T...
by SwampDonkey
Wed Sep 16, 2020 4:59 pm
Forum: Personal Investments
Topic: Suggestions for 100x moonshots
Replies: 86
Views: 11982

Re: Suggestions for 100x moonshots

Another big risk/big reward would be to buy baskets of stocks from currently troubled industries. Specifically the airlines and the cruise industry. You could have a cruise basket made up of the three majors, all currently down a ton. If they recover, huge profits for you. You could have an airline ...
by SwampDonkey
Wed Sep 16, 2020 4:51 pm
Forum: Personal Investments
Topic: Suggestions for 100x moonshots
Replies: 86
Views: 11982

Re: Suggestions for 100x moonshots

My favorite sleeper stock right now is Mercado Libre (MELI). If you combine Amazon, Paypal, and a few others into a single company, this is what MELI is....only in South America and still in the early stages. Strong management team, clear vision and execution (so far), investments from some major US...
by SwampDonkey
Tue Sep 15, 2020 4:44 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Too Many Monthly Digital Subscriptions - Time for Apple One?
Replies: 25
Views: 2593

Re: Too Many Monthly Digital Subscriptions - Time for Apple One?

My family will be subscribing. We were already paying $15/month for the music subscription and we have been very happy with it. For only $5 more per month we can get: Apple Music Apple TV+ Apple Arcade 200 GB of iCloud storage This is an easy decision for us. I'm really curious how well they execute...
by SwampDonkey
Fri Sep 11, 2020 9:40 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Tenants screening
Replies: 32
Views: 2719

Re: Tenants screening

How consistent is the $130k per year? If it fluctuates it may be cause for concern. Items I look for when screening tenants are: 1. Financial stability. 2. Trustworthiness. 3. Honesty. 4. Communication 5. What is their story? I've had tenants for ~12 years and, knock on wood, those basic screening ...
by SwampDonkey
Wed Sep 09, 2020 9:33 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Tenants screening
Replies: 32
Views: 2719

Re: Tenants screening

How consistent is the $130k per year? If it fluctuates it may be cause for concern. Items I look for when screening tenants are: 1. Financial stability. 2. Trustworthiness. 3. Honesty. 4. Communication 5. What is their story? I've had tenants for ~12 years and, knock on wood, those basic screening t...
by SwampDonkey
Fri Aug 28, 2020 12:54 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: ‘Play money’ invested by Dad growing huge - what would you do?
Replies: 99
Views: 13312

Re: ‘Play money’ invested by Dad growing huge - what would you do?

Congrats. Your dad hit a homerun with his $38 Tesla buys. If it were me, I'd have the conversation with my dad and suggest I wanted to take 1/2 of the current money and invest it in a like-minded ETF which is still innovation / growth focused, but at a lower risk. If you've never heard of them, chec...
by SwampDonkey
Thu Aug 27, 2020 1:27 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: $40k Hardwood Floors Gone Wrong - Help!
Replies: 43
Views: 4885

Re: $40k Hardwood Floors Gone Wrong - Help!

My thoughts: 1. It sounds like your install crew has been great and as helpful as can be reasonably expected. I would not try and hold them financially responsible in any manner. 2. Even though the new (incorrect) floor is tolerable, it is not what you paid for. I'm not a lawyer but if this were to ...
by SwampDonkey
Sun Aug 16, 2020 8:14 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: What surprised you the most once you retired?
Replies: 267
Views: 31335

Re: What surprised you the most once you retired?

Hi flying away, I asked my wife just that. She is Chinese so her saving perspective is a little different. She said it means we are good savers. As for missing out, we have had an interesting journey. From1973 to 1989 we have lived in the Marshall Islands ....... Out of curiosity, which island and ...
by SwampDonkey
Fri Jul 24, 2020 8:37 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Screened in porch - Yay or Nay
Replies: 41
Views: 3274

Re: Screened in porch - Yay or Nay

I recommend doing it but not at $25k - that seems really steep. Anecdotal experiences: Home in TN: back patio (~12x20) was already covered with several strong pillars supporting it. Bugs were nasty though. Watched quite a few YouTube videos and spent two weekends DIY'ing it. Total cost was around $7...
by SwampDonkey
Tue Jul 14, 2020 12:42 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Are 55+ Communities a Baby Boomer Thing Only? If so, who will buy when Boomers want to sell?
Replies: 195
Views: 16815

Re: Are 55+ Communities a Baby Boomer Thing Only? If so, who will buy when Boomers want to sell?

I'm a millennial (late 30's) and we recently toured and drove through the Villages in central Florida. Prior to the visit, my expectations were the "golden girls" tv show. In other words, my expectations were not high. After our day there I jokingly told my wife I was ready to move in next week. We ...
by SwampDonkey
Sat Jul 11, 2020 11:59 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Paver installation cost
Replies: 27
Views: 2529

Re: Paver installation cost

I ended up DIY'ing a paver patio but prior to the DIY I had a guy provide a bid - he said all-in costs were likely in the $7-9/ sq ft range. This is in central FL for reference.
by SwampDonkey
Mon May 18, 2020 5:42 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Rent is increased by 6%, negotiation tips?
Replies: 62
Views: 5947

Re: Rent is increased by 6%, negotiation tips?

I can only answer from my experience as a landlord of single-family homes. 1. I despise having a vacant property because that means I'm paying 100% of the expenses with no income. With that said, I'd rather have the house vacant than have the wrong tenants in the house as they may cause significantl...
by SwampDonkey
Mon Apr 27, 2020 10:28 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: purchasing a minivan - price on a new Kia Sedona
Replies: 10
Views: 724

Re: purchasing a minivan - price on a new Kia Sedona

We were in the market for a minivan recently and the Sedona was one of the ones that made our final list. The pricing you are seeing is the same we were getting quoted during our search (about 10 dealerships in FL). This was Jan/Feb of this year.
by SwampDonkey
Mon Apr 27, 2020 10:20 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Florida HOA complaining of Weeds in Lawn
Replies: 101
Views: 8899

Re: Florida HOA complaining of Weeds in Lawn

It is true that renter could be not watering the lawn, but maybe you meant in the summer months? . One way to check this is to review the monthly bill - it should be way higher during the winter months .... Why is that? We live in a similar climate and St Augustine grass needs no water in the winte...
by SwampDonkey
Mon Apr 27, 2020 10:14 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Florida HOA complaining of Weeds in Lawn
Replies: 101
Views: 8899

Re: Florida HOA complaining of Weeds in Lawn

What I've noticed in our FL HOA neighborhood is many of the "rental" homes in the hood have lawns similar to the pictures that were posted. A lot of the renters don't water their lawn as frequently as needed to keep St. Augustine healthy (it's thirsty!) because the monthly water bills can get relat...
by SwampDonkey
Sun Apr 26, 2020 9:58 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Florida HOA complaining of Weeds in Lawn
Replies: 101
Views: 8899

Re: Florida HOA complaining of Weeds in Lawn

What I've noticed in our FL HOA neighborhood is many of the "rental" homes in the hood have lawns similar to the pictures that were posted. A lot of the renters don't water their lawn as frequently as needed to keep St. Augustine healthy (it's thirsty!) because the monthly water bills can get relati...
by SwampDonkey
Sun Apr 26, 2020 9:48 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Ridiculous HVAC Duct cleaning quote
Replies: 51
Views: 4869

Re: Ridiculous HVAC Duct cleaning quote

I had an HVAC guy over to do some work (capacitor replacement, unclogging the tube) and we got to talking. He used to work in the same service I'm in so we hit it off pretty well. I asked him about duct cleaning and he said he'd gladly do it because it's huge margins for him but he said it wasn't ne...
by SwampDonkey
Sun Apr 26, 2020 9:31 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Renewal by Anderson window prices
Replies: 39
Views: 3852

Re: Renewal by Anderson window prices

We had a bedroom window go bad. Standard size, not too big, not too small. We went through the local Lowe's for replacement. They sent out a rep who showed up on time, was professional and courteous, took measurements, and gave me a price quote for $379 which included installation. This was several ...
by SwampDonkey
Sun Apr 26, 2020 9:10 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Polywood Patio Furniture
Replies: 10
Views: 1149

Re: Polywood Patio Furniture

It’s great. I have two Adirondack chairs because I was tired of replacing/sanding/treating wooden Adirondacks every other year. They sit out in the sun and never fade. They are very heavy/sturdy, and I’m looking to buy more. They also stay clean. I wouldn’t say they look like wood thought. I would ...
by SwampDonkey
Thu Apr 16, 2020 10:27 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Florida HOA complaining of Weeds in Lawn
Replies: 101
Views: 8899

Re: Florida HOA complaining of Weeds in Lawn

TruGreen is all over Florida and they do a great job with every yard they’re contracted for. They even offer a guarantee. Many people in my HOA’d neighborhood use them and their monthly fees range from $50-75/month.

This seems to be the easy answer.
by SwampDonkey
Fri Apr 03, 2020 8:16 pm
Forum: Personal Investments
Topic: Green Dot online savings account is 3% APY - what?
Replies: 10
Views: 1548

Re: Green Dot online savings account is 3% APY - what?

I listened to a Motley Fool podcast with the CEO of this company when they began this promotion. While he wouldn’t provide specific numbers, he did acknowledge the bank loses money on these accounts and they justify it as the cost for acquiring new customers.
by SwampDonkey
Thu Apr 02, 2020 10:23 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Car Wheel Cleaner Spray
Replies: 9
Views: 739

Re: Car Wheel Cleaner Spray

This may sound crazy but oven cleaner works great on wheels. Spray it on, let it sit for a couple of minutes, and grime wipes right off. My wife's wheels were neglected for several years. Tons of brake dust baked onto them. Quite ugly. I watched quite a few YouTube videos on the best products and pu...
by SwampDonkey
Tue Mar 31, 2020 9:26 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Did you move for better weather? Did you regret it?
Replies: 108
Views: 9060

Re: Did you move for better weather? Did you regret it?

UpperNwGuy wrote: Tue Mar 31, 2020 9:04 am The perfect weather for me simply doesn't exist in the US.
I would suggest Monterey CA as having the best weather I've experienced. An amazing (small) city as well. But, it'll cost you...
by SwampDonkey
Sun Mar 29, 2020 8:19 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: What's worth paying more for?
Replies: 80
Views: 6719

Re: What's worth paying more for?

Running shoes.
My body's at the point where if I try to run in any old pair of shoes, my shins, knees, back, and pretty much everything else is either sore or injured.
Brooks and Hokas work well for me and neither are cheap.
by SwampDonkey
Sun Mar 22, 2020 9:49 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Buying expensive things after the market crash
Replies: 39
Views: 5041

Re: Buying expensive things after the market crash

My husband and I bought a gently used motorhome last week, a 2019 model that is about 1 1/2 years old for 40% off the new price (the real price, not the MSRP). It wasn't our intention to do so, but we were helping some friends of ours shop for an RV and saw this one that we'd considered buying new ...
by SwampDonkey
Wed Mar 18, 2020 9:38 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Buying expensive things after the market crash
Replies: 39
Views: 5041

Re: Buying expensive things after the market crash

My husband and I bought a gently used motorhome last week, a 2019 model that is about 1 1/2 years old for 40% off the new price (the real price, not the MSRP). It wasn't our intention to do so, but we were helping some friends of ours shop for an RV and saw this one that we'd considered buying new ...
by SwampDonkey
Mon Mar 16, 2020 10:58 pm
Forum: Personal Investments
Topic: What Individual stocks are you buying?
Replies: 147
Views: 12370

Re: What Individual stocks are you buying?

Current positions I will most likely add to: Paypal Square Mercardo Libre Amazon Berkshire Disney Apple StoneCo Ltd. Businesses that are on my watch list that I may end up buying: Wells Fargo Zillow RedFin NERD (a gaming basket of stocks) Exxon Etsy (had a previous position, sold it for a 20% gain b...
by SwampDonkey
Tue Mar 10, 2020 8:30 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Please help make sense of these 15yr refinance options
Replies: 2
Views: 545

Re: Please help make sense of these 15yr refinance options

If you haven't already done so, I would take a look at the various calculators on the Mortgage Professor's website. In your situation, the calculator you'll want to use is here: https://www.mtgprofessor.com/calculators/Calculator3a.html. You plug in the info for your current loan, then plug in the i...
by SwampDonkey
Sun Mar 08, 2020 10:26 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: 30 year mortgage under 3%
Replies: 301
Views: 47284

Re: 30 year mortgage under 3%

MBB_Boy wrote: Sat Mar 07, 2020 10:48 am I just did a 2.75 30yr with my current lender (Freedom Mortgage) - streamline refinance, so no cost or hassle. Signed some forms, not even a credit check
Was this a VA loan? If so, did you have to pay the .5% funding fee?
by SwampDonkey
Fri Dec 27, 2019 11:20 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Gifts to your employees- how much?
Replies: 113
Views: 7492

Re: Gifts to your employees- how much?

A small plate of assorted home-made cookies & a $10 Starbucks gift card.
by SwampDonkey
Sun Dec 01, 2019 12:27 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Finally got my 3% ARM mortgage
Replies: 16
Views: 2646

Re: Finally got my 3% ARM mortgage

I am about to close on a 3% fixed, 15 year, refinance with no cash out, no points, no appraisal required (because the loan is 20% LTV), fees of $500 because I don't want to escrow T&I (would have been $0 if I did the T&I escrow). 3 weeks from loan app to close. Who did you go through? I've been sea...
by SwampDonkey
Tue Oct 08, 2019 12:54 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Find my phone -- easy way to find it when lost in the house?
Replies: 38
Views: 2910

Re: Find my phone -- easy way to find it when lost in the house?

I appreciate this thread. I often leave my iphone throughout my house and have to have my wife call it while I listen for the vibration. I just tried the "Find my iphone" app and having the ability to make the phone make a significant ringing noise will make finding my phone 10x easier in the futur...
by SwampDonkey
Tue Oct 08, 2019 12:52 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Whole Life - We're doing it. What to look for?
Replies: 134
Views: 12325

Re: Whole Life - We're doing it. What to look for?

SwampDonkey: I don't know if you ever really got the answer to your question or if it is all OBE now, but I am posting here for my first time to double down on what jes74 says. Navy Mutual is a unique company, and frankly, one of the best benefits I have had from my service. jes74 nails all the rea...
by SwampDonkey
Tue Oct 08, 2019 12:30 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Whole Life - We're doing it. What to look for?
Replies: 134
Views: 12325

Re: Whole Life - We're doing it. What to look for?

As this is one of the most extensive financial advice discussions on the net regarding Navy Mutual I wanted to add a few things for those searching...." Thank you for providing your personal experience. I agree with everything you said. While I'll stick with SGLI while AD for convenience sake, I'll...
by SwampDonkey
Tue Oct 08, 2019 12:10 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Find my phone -- easy way to find it when lost in the house?
Replies: 38
Views: 2910

Re: Find my phone -- easy way to find it when lost in the house?

I appreciate this thread. I often leave my iphone throughout my house and have to have my wife call it while I listen for the vibration. I just tried the "Find my iphone" app and having the ability to make the phone make a significant ringing noise will make finding my phone 10x easier in the future.
by SwampDonkey
Mon Oct 07, 2019 7:34 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Question on a concrete driveway
Replies: 15
Views: 1756

Re: Question on a concrete driveway

I recently paid someone to extend the width of our driveway by 3-ft on one side. I had three people provide quotes and I asked each of them if they thought rebar was necessary. None of the three throught rebar was necessary but offered to include it we really thought it was necessary (we decided aga...
by SwampDonkey
Thu Sep 05, 2019 11:06 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Do I need (term) life insurance?
Replies: 16
Views: 1249

Re: Do I need (term) life insurance?

It probably isn't financially necessary. However.... I would do it solely to provide peace of mind for the surviving spouse if you or your SO passes. Speaking from experience (in-laws), regardless of how financially stable a person may be, the unexpected death of their SO will turn their life upside...
by SwampDonkey
Wed Jul 17, 2019 6:47 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: House not appraising for amount we were offered!
Replies: 137
Views: 15867

Re: House not appraising for amount we were offered!

Similar thing happened to me. The appraised value came in $25k below what the buyer's offer was. Luckily, all stakeholders wanted to close the deal so we managed to get the deal done. How we did it: Seller's agent: reduced his fee to 1% Buyer's agent: reduced his fee to 1% Buyer agreed to forget the...
by SwampDonkey
Sun Apr 21, 2019 8:31 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Aloft Tampa Downtown-Late April 4 nights
Replies: 8
Views: 965

Re: Aloft Tampa Downtown-Late April 4 nights

Concur with what the previous poster said - you would be right in the middle of down town and be able to walk to quite a bit. I'd recommend taking an evening and either riding a bike or taking an Uber to Hyde Park (I'm guessing it's 3-4 miles away from downtown). It's a GREAT area on Tampa with a ve...