Search found 645 matches

by NoVa Lurker
Wed Oct 10, 2018 9:42 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Grand Canyon (LV) - is $80 ticket price for Sky Walk worth it
Replies: 14
Views: 1328

Re: Grand Canyon (LV) - is $80 ticket price for Sky Walk worth it

I have never been to the North Rim or "West Rim," but we've gone to the South Rim a bunch of times over the years, and it's always great. Amazing views on both the South Kaibab Trail and the Bright Angel Trail. It is well worth hiking down a bit to get away from the crowds and get a different perspe...
by NoVa Lurker
Mon Sep 17, 2018 12:58 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Dilemma: Add room to current house or buy new house?
Replies: 93
Views: 4807

Re: Dilemma: Add room to current house or buy new house?

OP, I think you would have gotten very different responses if you had said: We have a 3900 sq ft home (not including unfinished areas/garage). My wife, who is a doctor and makes three times as much as me, wants to add a 320 sq ft sunroom for entertaining. We can easily afford it. Should we do it, or...
by NoVa Lurker
Wed Aug 29, 2018 12:37 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Just put $100K into TUR. Analysis inside
Replies: 71
Views: 3371

Re: Just put $100K into TUR. Analysis inside

whodidntante wrote:
Wed Aug 29, 2018 11:25 am
I like your gamble or your trolling, whichever applies.
Based on the subsequent posts, we now know the answer.

Of course, OP's strategy could work out. But OP has not done the work to demonstrate that the risks are improperly priced; rather, OP is taking risk to buy in a distressed scenario.
by NoVa Lurker
Thu Aug 02, 2018 11:04 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Co - signed a Mortage, Now wants out
Replies: 57
Views: 6225

Re: Co - signed a Mortage, Now wants out

Note that the phrase, "I co-signed my brother in law's mortgage," is not really the right way to think about it. It's really, "My brother-in-law and I co-signed a 30-year mortgage." This is something you agreed to. If you want out of the contract now, I think you need to consider how to do it in a w...
by NoVa Lurker
Tue Jul 31, 2018 2:13 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: How to prepare for "the talk"
Replies: 64
Views: 5193

Re: How to prepare for "the talk"

Fair questions include: 1. When are you planning to retire? 2. How are you feeling about your finances, especially retirement savings? 3. Can I take over my school loans? 4. Can I help in any other way? I wouldn't ask them to share anything directly. I would keep in mind that the phrase, "Their circ...
by NoVa Lurker
Wed Jul 18, 2018 8:12 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Question about new construction basement houses
Replies: 19
Views: 1488

Re: Question about new construction basement houses

I'm really interested to know if anyone has insight on how often a new construction "walk-out" basements becomes problematic with water issues. I would think a new construction would use new/better methods to better prevent these kinds of water issues. You are getting good advice above from Beth, n...
by NoVa Lurker
Thu Jun 14, 2018 2:30 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Drive from Phoenix to San Diego
Replies: 42
Views: 2927

Re: Drive from Phoenix to San Diego

HueyLD wrote:
Thu Jun 14, 2018 2:29 pm
Except for San Diego, all the places you mentioned (PHX, Grand Canyon, Joshua Tree NP and Palm Springs) are very HOT in late June. O.k., maybe it is not so hot in GCNP.

I think you should just go straight to San Diego for June. Try to visit those hot places in the winter.
+1
by NoVa Lurker
Thu Jun 14, 2018 2:29 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Drive from Phoenix to San Diego
Replies: 42
Views: 2927

Re: Drive from Phoenix to San Diego

If it were me, with two little kids in late June, I'd just fly into San Diego and stay there for a bit! Spend some beach time at Coronado, La Jolla, etc. Hike Torrey Pines. Walk around Balboa Park. Maybe hit 1-2 out of the zoo, wild animal park, Sea World and/or Legoland. Late June is SO HOT in all ...
by NoVa Lurker
Mon Jun 11, 2018 1:43 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: How do you celebrate (potty trained kid) milestone with your spouse?
Replies: 93
Views: 5613

Re: How do you celebrate (potty trained kid) milestone with your spouse?

Congrats! As of this weekend, it seems our last, youngest child can 100%, reliably wipe himself after going to the potty, and your post makes me think we now need to celebrate this! He has been 'potty-trained' for over a year, but the reliable wiping has been prone to more 'relapses' than we experie...
by NoVa Lurker
Thu May 31, 2018 1:49 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Have $3m at 33, "approach to career" advice needed
Replies: 100
Views: 14703

Re: Have $3m at 33, "approach to career" advice needed

The replies to this question (versus the replies to a thread from, say, a 42-year-old widow who received a $1m+ insurance settlement and is now being hounded by financial advisors) are a reminder of what is a bit beyond the skills of this forum, vs. what this forum does very well. You can get good a...
by NoVa Lurker
Tue May 22, 2018 1:30 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: How do you account for a defined benefit pension in your planning?
Replies: 4
Views: 594

Re: How do you account for a defined benefit pension in your planning?

Very roughly - in retirement, you will be looking for income streams to cover your expenses. Pension income is the first source to cover your retirement expenses. For example, if your retirement expenses will be $40k/year and your pension income from the DB pension is $40k/year, then you literally n...
by NoVa Lurker
Tue May 22, 2018 12:27 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Newly widowed, how do I invest 1.5 million life ins. proceeds
Replies: 72
Views: 8536

Re: Newly widowed, how do I invest 1.5 million life ins. proceeds

My wife died 6 months ago. It was the hardest thing I have ever experienced. I felt like I was going crazy. I talked to several grief councilors. Read lots of books. Went to a grief support group. The one piece of advice they all agreed on was to avoid making any big decisions for 6-12 months. I wa...
by NoVa Lurker
Mon May 07, 2018 8:35 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: AMC Movie Theaters -- typical OR not?
Replies: 61
Views: 4976

Re: AMC Movie Theaters -- typical OR not?

We rarely go to movies these days, but when we have gone the past few years, it has always been a great experience. Fun crowds, perfect sound, no obstructed views, comfortable seating. Back when I used to go to movies a lot, in the 90s and early 2000s, there were frequent sub-par experiences. Theate...
by NoVa Lurker
Fri Oct 06, 2017 8:05 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: MoviePass-Too good to be true, but it's legit.
Replies: 369
Views: 48707

Re: MoviePass-Too good to be true, but it's legit.

How would this work for a family of 4? Four cards?
by NoVa Lurker
Thu Sep 21, 2017 9:43 am
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Having First Child a little later in life, Debt just paid, Help Us Check In
Replies: 14
Views: 1926

Re: Having First Child a little later in life, Debt just paid, Help Us Check In

1. The general advice on bogleheads is not to stress too much about 529s. Particularly given your ages, it sounds like you are doing the right thing by focusing on your retirement goals and other financial goals first, then just putting a bit in the 529s to make things easier 20 years from now. If y...
by NoVa Lurker
Fri Sep 01, 2017 10:31 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Flying business class with kids (TATL)
Replies: 24
Views: 1854

Re: Flying business class with kids (TATL)

I agree with the posters above. With kids, it feels better to spend on luxuries on vacation while being frugal in every day life. I would not be worried about spoiling them in this case. Although I have to say, traveling business class to Europe while living in a $114k house takes this thinking to t...
by NoVa Lurker
Mon Aug 28, 2017 10:07 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Desperate to get rid of mosquitoes, what else could we try?
Replies: 62
Views: 5840

Re: Desperate to get rid of mosquitoes, what else could we try?

Call a pest and bug control company..... I can't believe you are the only one who suggested this! Our first year in our home in Northern Virginia, we could not use our backyard in July and August without getting devoured. Our second year, we tried lots of DIY fixes, including candles, dunks, removi...
by NoVa Lurker
Mon Aug 28, 2017 9:57 am
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Priorities - Biglaw junior associate
Replies: 46
Views: 6087

Re: Priorities - Biglaw junior associate

Former biglaw associate here. I went in-house eight years ago. My wife teaches (economics). Without giving you any specific advice, I will just tell you my story, having faced the same decisions as you are now. I had six-figure student loan debt, which I finished paying off when I got my bonus as a ...
by NoVa Lurker
Thu Jul 13, 2017 10:50 am
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Burton Malkiel's Not so random walk
Replies: 17
Views: 3197

Re: Burton Malkiel's Not so random walk

He was literally my Econ 101 professor, 22 years ago.

He did not seem young at the time. Quickly Googling, he would have been 62. Now he is 84. I find it sad that he seems to still be hustling for money. I assume he has more than enough.
by NoVa Lurker
Tue Jul 11, 2017 10:57 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: What to wear for job interview - skip the tie?
Replies: 83
Views: 8963

Re: What to wear for job interview - skip the tie?

Wear the tie, but also be prepared with a response if anybody makes fun of you for wearing a tie, like: "Hopefully you'll see me again, but this will be the last time you see me in a tie!" or "Shows how much I want the job!" or "I'm glad to hear that, since I haven't worn a tie for two years and it'...
by NoVa Lurker
Tue Jun 27, 2017 11:41 am
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Costco vs. Amazon - Thoughts of Prime Members?
Replies: 80
Views: 12583

Re: Costco vs. Amazon - Thoughts of Prime Members?

I feel that young people without kids really like Amazon. I feel that the same young people will eventually become thirty-somethings with kids, and will start spending at warehouse stores. There is a lot of truth in your post above, but I will say, as a forty-something with young kids, I hate going...
by NoVa Lurker
Thu Jun 15, 2017 1:23 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: When you purchase shares, where does the money go?
Replies: 19
Views: 2504

Re: When you purchase shares, where does the money go?

That makes sense - shareholders need to be asked as they will get diluted! Now, do companies typically hold back a bunch of shares? I am assuming they do, how else do they give (restricted or unrestricted) shares to employees? So, if they do, what fraction of the total number of shares would be typ...
by NoVa Lurker
Tue Jun 13, 2017 8:45 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Highlander vs. Pilot
Replies: 30
Views: 6905

Re: Highlander vs. Pilot

This is probably not helpful, but we were trying to decide between Highlander vs Pilot two years ago. We ended up getting an Odyssey, and we have been so, so happy with the decision. My wife was extremely anti-minivan at first, and with two kids we arguably didn't "need" a minivan, but she test drov...
by NoVa Lurker
Tue Jun 13, 2017 8:35 am
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Annual returns for mutual funds for retirement in 25 years?
Replies: 18
Views: 2704

Re: Annual returns for mutual funds for retirement in 25 years?

Economic crisis, bubbles, and irrational behavior make short term forecasts hard. At 10 years most of these transient forces dissipate leaving long term fundamental economic forces to dominate. There is truth in this, but I do think many people learned the wrong lessons from 2008-12, and one of tho...
by NoVa Lurker
Wed May 17, 2017 2:24 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Leaving money in MA teacher pension, but never planning to draw pension?
Replies: 18
Views: 2676

Re: Leaving money in MA teacher pension, but never planning to draw pension?

It can take awhile to roll over a teachers' pension account. We did it with my wife's pension account when we moved states a few years ago, most likely never to return, and it took us about six months to complete the process. She had 5 years of service, so a lump-sum rollover into her new 403(b) pla...
by NoVa Lurker
Mon May 15, 2017 11:40 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Funny Letter [Canceling Escrow Account]
Replies: 39
Views: 6621

Re: Funny Letter [Canceling Escrow Account]

Yes, whenever I see people post about how happy they are to have repaid their mortgage / student loans, I always wonder if their experience was as frustrating and anti-climactic as mine has been. I have paid off one set of student loans and two mortgages over the past few years, and each time it was...
by NoVa Lurker
Tue May 09, 2017 8:10 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: First 100 mile bike ride
Replies: 51
Views: 4297

Re: First 100 mile bike ride

Lots of good advice above, but I didn't see anyone mention sunscreen. Maybe that's obvious since you've already done lots of long-ish rides already. But when you're going 18+ mph on a bike, you don't feel yourself getting burned until it's way too late. I apply waterproof sunscreen before I start a ...
by NoVa Lurker
Fri May 05, 2017 9:05 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Buying a luxury car (how dumb would it be to do this?)
Replies: 216
Views: 26033

Re: Buying a luxury car (how dumb would it be to do this?)

I'd ask what state you live in, because in Va. we tax the heck out of cars annually. But most states not so bad. This was my thought as well. In Virginia, our municipalities tax vehicles annually - yes, every year - at 4.57% of assessed value. The assessments are aggressive - a bit higher than what...
by NoVa Lurker
Wed Apr 12, 2017 12:25 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Aggressive mortgage banker at Citibank - what's the point
Replies: 14
Views: 2023

Re: Aggressive mortgage banker at Citibank - what's the point

Since you asked for a rate quote, he was doing his due diligence..he can't give you a true rate quote without knowing your credit score and portfolio...if you had a 530 when he quoted you 4% with no points and 0% origination may not be true as that rate is now 3 points...so if you wanted a rate quo...
by NoVa Lurker
Mon Mar 27, 2017 3:00 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Massive Student Loan Debt - Girlfriend
Replies: 86
Views: 10533

Re: Massive Student Loan Debt - Girlfriend

Just think of her as making $35,000 per year instead of $55,000 (or just subtract out whatever the payment might be). Would you break up with her if she was hardworking but simply made less of an annual salary? This was my reaction. Even putting aside the federal loan forgiveness, this is a one-tim...
by NoVa Lurker
Mon Mar 27, 2017 2:35 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Child Planning Checklist
Replies: 42
Views: 4578

Re: Child Planning Checklist

Start interviewing pediatricians as soon as you can; there are a LOT of well baby checkups and vaccinations the first year! If you can, talk to all of the doctors and nurse practitioners in the practice since your pediatrician won't always be available in an emergency. This is the one thing I wish ...
by NoVa Lurker
Thu Mar 09, 2017 11:50 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: New or CPO sedan or cross-over for family of four
Replies: 12
Views: 1295

Re: New or CPO sedan or cross-over for family of four

If this is a daily commuter, I would definitely stick with a sedan. Sounds like you're early in the process, so just go to dealerships and test drive a few different cars, which will help start to narrow it down. My own preference for the commuter car is just something that is as reliable as possibl...
by NoVa Lurker
Wed Mar 08, 2017 3:59 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: How Much in Your Emergency Fund And Is It Used?
Replies: 197
Views: 27352

Re: How Much in Your Emergency Fund And Is It Used?

I dont keep an emergency fund. Instead I have "cash reserves". I keep it in a band of $15K and $60K with the target being $40-50K. If the balance drops below $40K I prioritize rebuilding the cash reserves. If it goes over $50K I tend to invest it unless I know I have a big expense coming like an es...
by NoVa Lurker
Thu Nov 10, 2016 3:58 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Age 60, about to retire
Replies: 13
Views: 3477

Re: Age 60, about to retire

You are a bit young yet, but perhaps consider a SPIA (single premium immediate annuity-no other kind) in 10-20 years for fixed income to cover basic needs. You don't need a SPIA with that amount of assets, but it would be a great sleep-well portfolio. I would edit this to simply say, "You don't nee...
by NoVa Lurker
Fri Sep 16, 2016 8:52 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Am I making the right decision? [staying at current job]
Replies: 13
Views: 1427

Re: Am I making the right decision?

As someone who took a 70% pay cut for a (much) better work environment, I'd say accept the better job and give your notice today!
by NoVa Lurker
Fri Sep 16, 2016 8:37 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: How to fix doors that don't close after new carpet installation
Replies: 36
Views: 7153

Re: How to fix doors that don't close after new carpet installation

If it only is a little, you might try loosening the screws holding the hinges to the frame a little, raising the door as much as you can, then re-tightening the screws with the hinges tilted or raised a little to hold the door a little higher. +1. I am surprised it took this far down the thread for...
by NoVa Lurker
Mon Sep 12, 2016 11:13 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Toyota, Honda, Nissan or Chrysler Minivan?
Replies: 43
Views: 5505

Re: Toyota, Honda, Nissan or Chrysler Minivan?

Bought a 2015 Odyssey new last year due to birth of 3rd child. Already been on 2x 800 mile trips. Great vehicle. Same as us - 2015 Odyssey due to 3rd kid, we don't put a ton of miles on it, but it has been fantastic on a couple of road trips. We removed the middle seat in the middle row (it comes r...
by NoVa Lurker
Tue Sep 06, 2016 11:49 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Inheriting lake property with 2 other siblings
Replies: 60
Views: 6210

Re: Inheriting lake property with 2 other siblings

Somewhat 'been there' and kind-of have 'done that.' I put our story at the bottom of this post.... It sounds like you don't need any money from your wife's inheritance, and you should keep that in mind. So there is really no problem here, unless you and your wife make it a problem. People get attach...
by NoVa Lurker
Mon Aug 22, 2016 11:12 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Tips for a 1000 miles car trip with toddler and baby
Replies: 100
Views: 7011

Re: Tips for a 1000 miles car trip with toddler and baby

Yep, we have done this twice round-trip. First with 3.5 yr old and 8 month old, then with 4.5 year old and 20 month old. It's not easy, but it beat the alternatives for us. It helps that my wife and I both like driving, and we can both take two-hour naps in the car, and then wake up feeling okay. Al...
by NoVa Lurker
Mon Aug 22, 2016 9:32 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Why don't ultra high net worth athletes just use a 3-fund portfolio?
Replies: 30
Views: 3510

Re: Why don't ultra high net worth athletes just use a 3-fund portfolio?

Now Tim Duncan on the other hand...... This made me laugh. Duncan's probably all in muni's. He might be now, but not when he was younger - this lawsuit got a lot of coverage, not sure how it ended up: "Duncan, 38, said he met Banks during his rookie year in 1998. At Banks’s urging, the athlete inve...
by NoVa Lurker
Thu Aug 18, 2016 11:51 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Little-used second home: sell at a loss or rent?
Replies: 26
Views: 2944

Re: Little-used second home: sell at a loss or rent?

We were in a very similar boat. Our "sunk cost" (original purchase price plus improvements) was around $300k. The property just didn't make sense for us anymore, even though we had paid off the original loan. Earlier this year, we made a decision to sell at a loss, thinking that the market price was...
by NoVa Lurker
Fri Aug 12, 2016 8:21 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Busch gardens & Water Country, Williamsburg - Suggetions
Replies: 19
Views: 1418

Re: Busch gardens & Water Country, Williamsburg - Suggetions

Are you going in the next few weeks? How old are your kids? Really, the "must-do's" are the two parks you mentioned. We have annual passes and live about two hours away, so we get down there a few times a year. Our boys love it. In the summer, we like going to Water Country in the morning and Busch ...
by NoVa Lurker
Wed Aug 03, 2016 9:10 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: To Lasik or not?
Replies: 34
Views: 3390

Re: To Lasik or not?

I had LASIK in 2008, and I have been SO happy with it. Possibly the best thing I have ever done for myself, since I hated both glasses and contacts. The process was a bit terrifying, and it took me two days to actually have clear vision, but it's been 8 years now without glasses or contacts, and no ...
by NoVa Lurker
Thu Jul 21, 2016 9:59 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Orlando Disney Parks
Replies: 41
Views: 4211

Re: Orlando Disney Parks

What are the cons of keeping it most flexible? I could think of extra cost and non availability of FastPass+. Okay, I'll add some detail around "extra cost" and some other obvious cons: --flights will likely be more expensive if you wait until two days prior as suggested --you won't be able to get ...
by NoVa Lurker
Tue Jul 19, 2016 10:47 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: What to do with a bit of extra money each month? (UPDATED)
Replies: 41
Views: 4111

Re: What to do with a bit of extra money each month?

With more than 26 years left on the mortgage at age 41, I'd put any extra funds to the mortgage. On one hand, you have plenty of home equity and the mortgage interest rate is not that high. But on the other hand, you are 41 and you have a $385,000 loan that you're repaying over the next 26.5 years. ...
by NoVa Lurker
Tue Jul 19, 2016 8:02 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Traveling to DC
Replies: 32
Views: 2387

Re: Traveling to DC

The Smithsonian museums along the National Mall are good to visit and would be a nice, indoor spot given the weather forecast, but you'd need at least a half day for each museum IMHO. It's true that the Smithsonian museums are free, generally worth visiting, and generally require time to explore th...
by NoVa Lurker
Mon Jul 18, 2016 8:05 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Orlando Disney Parks
Replies: 41
Views: 4211

Re: Orlando Disney Parks

Seems like a good start. You can buy tickets on Disney's site, or you can go to undercovertourist.com for a bit of a discount. Booking straight from Disney is quicker and easier, but I would have no worries booking from undercovertourist. I think most other ticket brokers are not recommended. One th...
by NoVa Lurker
Mon Jul 11, 2016 2:24 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: S&P500 vs 3.5% Guaranteed
Replies: 22
Views: 3527

Re: S&P500 vs 3.5% Guaranteed

But my attempts to simplify and optimize might have caused some serious compounding losses. :( To be clear, you didn't lose anything. You could say you lost opportunity, but some investments will always earn a higher return than others, post facto. Now, if you end up having trouble cashing out of t...
by NoVa Lurker
Mon Jul 11, 2016 2:21 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: S&P500 vs 3.5% Guaranteed
Replies: 22
Views: 3527

Re: S&P500 vs 3.5% Guaranteed

This Stable Value is insured by insurance companies thru GIC's and every quarter they release what the rate is gonna be, it has historically been great and even has beaten a fund like total bond for the past 5, 10 years. 3% is an unusual rate to get from that kind of fund these days. It would have ...
by NoVa Lurker
Wed Jul 06, 2016 8:22 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Townhouse VS Stand Alone House ?
Replies: 8
Views: 1488

Re: Townhouse VS Stand Alone House ?

We bought a SFH, after considering townhomes. This is in Northern Virginia, just over the river from DC. We had friends in the area who bought new million-dollar townhomes with thousand-dollar HOAs, and we thought they were crazy. Our home was built in 1947 - very cute with a big yard, lots of updat...