Search found 677 matches

by NoVa Lurker
Mon Dec 02, 2019 12:44 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: iPad or Chromebook for 5 year old?
Replies: 42
Views: 2399

Re: iPad or Chromebook for 5 year old?

Surprised the Kindle isn't mentioned more. Much cheaper than all other options mentioned, and if you get the Kids' Edition, it comes with a breakage warranty, a great protective case, and a free year of their kid apps. Every Kindle is worse than the worst ipad, but the Kindle works for all major vid...
by NoVa Lurker
Mon Nov 18, 2019 9:23 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: morality, kids, tuition etc
Replies: 68
Views: 4269

Re: morality, kids, tuition etc

My wife did something like #2. Her parents saved no money for the kids' college, and in her senior year, they told her they could help out with $5k/year but the rest was up to her. They were just in the financial territory where they didn't get financial aid grants, only loans. So my wife had the ch...
by NoVa Lurker
Thu Oct 17, 2019 12:06 pm
Forum: Personal Investments
Topic: Where to Put "Extra" Taxable Savings
Replies: 28
Views: 3446

Re: Where to Put "Extra" Taxable Savings

Give a bunch to some very worthy charities. Yes, we have started doing this more, as well. It felt a bit shameful to realize that we both gave more to worthy causes before we got married and had kids, when our incomes were lower. Since we discuss pretty much all significant discretionary spending, ...
by NoVa Lurker
Tue Oct 15, 2019 2:28 pm
Forum: Personal Investments
Topic: Where to Put "Extra" Taxable Savings
Replies: 28
Views: 3446

Re: Where to Put "Extra" Taxable Savings

OP: What is the percentage breakdown of taxable assets to tax-privileged assets in your overall portfolio? If you count our home and pensions along with the various tax-advantaged funds, then taxable assets are only about 3-4% of the overall portfolio. I appreciate the question -- I hadn't ever tho...
by NoVa Lurker
Tue Oct 15, 2019 1:20 pm
Forum: Personal Investments
Topic: Where to Put "Extra" Taxable Savings
Replies: 28
Views: 3446

Re: Where to Put "Extra" Taxable Savings

OP: What is the percentage breakdown of taxable assets to tax-privileged assets in your overall portfolio? If you count our home and pensions along with the various tax-advantaged funds, then taxable assets are only about 3-4% of the overall portfolio. I appreciate the question -- I hadn't ever tho...
by NoVa Lurker
Tue Oct 15, 2019 1:13 pm
Forum: Personal Investments
Topic: Where to Put "Extra" Taxable Savings
Replies: 28
Views: 3446

Re: Where to Put "Extra" Taxable Savings

Lots of good further thoughts here. Thanks. Klangfool, I will have to think a lot harder about what you are saying. I haven't really thought of money being fungible between taxable and tax-advantaged savings, but that's probably because we just have never had taxable savings except (1) true emergenc...
by NoVa Lurker
Tue Oct 15, 2019 12:22 pm
Forum: Personal Investments
Topic: Where to Put "Extra" Taxable Savings
Replies: 28
Views: 3446

Re: Where to Put "Extra" Taxable Savings

Thanks very much for the answers so far. Investing these funds in a way that mirrors our AA makes perfect sense; it had honestly not occurred to me. Along the lines of what bertilak suggests, maybe we can start with roughly our AA, but then make it just a bit more simple/safe. We have some I-bonds, ...
by NoVa Lurker
Tue Oct 15, 2019 11:25 am
Forum: Personal Investments
Topic: Where to Put "Extra" Taxable Savings
Replies: 28
Views: 3446

Where to Put "Extra" Taxable Savings

Basic question : What would you do with a bunch of taxable savings, assuming all your tax-advantaged buckets are full up, you have no need for additional retirement savings, and you have no foreseeable big expenses for which to save? Background : After many years on Bogleheads, my wife and I are in...
by NoVa Lurker
Mon Sep 23, 2019 8:31 am
Forum: Personal Investments
Topic: Investing half of net worth, is market too high?
Replies: 25
Views: 5260

Re: Investing half of net worth, is market too high?

Mostly everyone is telling you to just plunge in, whether right away or DCA'ing over an 18-month period, etc. I think this is because you framed the question by asking if the market is too high. (It's also because you're asking this question in 2019, not 2009.) But what if you framed it instead as, ...
by NoVa Lurker
Tue Sep 17, 2019 11:34 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: I know you shouldn't try to time the market but what about the "housing market"?
Replies: 16
Views: 2273

Re: I know you shouldn't try to time the market but what about the "housing market"?

I think in your case it's less "market-timing," and more that real estate transaction costs can be quite high, so it's better to keep renting until you have more certainty as to what, exactly, you want to buy for the long-term. Since it seems like you do want to buy eventually, I would suggest you k...
by NoVa Lurker
Wed Sep 11, 2019 9:17 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: [Buying 1/2 pint milk in bulk for school lunches?]
Replies: 68
Views: 4632

Re: [Buying 1/2 pint milk in bulk for school lunches?]

In defense of OP, I have also been surprised that the only small-package milk option at every store is the Horizon stuff, which is way more expensive and just doesn't taste as good as 'regular' milk. Our kids (3rd grade and kindergarten) only get 25 minutes for lunch at school, and apparently the lu...
by NoVa Lurker
Thu Sep 05, 2019 9:06 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: How to help MIL
Replies: 26
Views: 1557

Re: How to help MIL

If the most recent explanation is true, then Rick Boglehead's suggested "less formal way" (i.e., giving you Power of Attorney and essentially sole practical control over the accounts, which will remain in MIL's name) seems like a very good approach. But OP, starting your recent explanation with, "To...
by NoVa Lurker
Mon Jul 22, 2019 3:08 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Wife (teacher) and I are trying for a baby. What are some "must-knows" and other tips?
Replies: 127
Views: 11592

Re: Wife (teacher) and I are trying for a baby. What are some "must-knows" and other tips?

I would get term life insurance, for both of you. may i ask where to start with this? it honestly didn't really cross my mind but it does make sense. do BH's have a favorite company to get LI through? In addition to the answers above, you should check whether you and/or your wife can add extra term...
by NoVa Lurker
Fri Jul 12, 2019 9:57 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: 3 kids and 2 working parents - childcare costs
Replies: 17
Views: 1776

Re: 3 kids and 2 working parents - childcare costs

I haven't seen anyone mention the Au Pair option, which you may want to investigate. Here's a short summary of our experience with it. We live in Northern Virginia, with three young kids (now 8, 5 and 2) and have had au pairs for a few years. We have always picked au pairs from Germany. We used Cult...
by NoVa Lurker
Thu Jun 27, 2019 12:04 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Hot water heater on pilot light
Replies: 21
Views: 2091

Re: Hot water heater on pilot light

It is interesting that you posted this, because we are having pretty much the exact same issue right now. I don't have advice because we are still trying to figure it out, but I am curious to hear from others. We got a new hot water heater installed in late April. Our old tank had exact temperatures...
by NoVa Lurker
Mon Jun 10, 2019 3:02 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Anyone familiar with driving from Disneyland area to Tucson, Az?
Replies: 39
Views: 2360

Re: Anyone familiar with driving from Disneyland area to Tucson, Az?

Why would you even drag a 3y old in these places? Maybe I'm crazy and don't know it yet? :D Are you saying it's not worth it? It's torture for all of you... At least if the kid is 8 it's torture only for the parents. This hasn't been my experience at all. I'm no Disney/theme park fanatic. However, ...
by NoVa Lurker
Wed Jun 05, 2019 10:28 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Resort vacation w/ 6 month old...?
Replies: 30
Views: 1888

Re: Resort vacation w/ 6 month old...?

Our three boys are now 8, 5 and 2. We found 8-9 months to be the end of the "easy" window for travel - they started to eat more solids and become more mobile, and hitting various milestones made them more excited and less able to adjust to sleep changes. By age 3, short/medium flights and drives bec...
by NoVa Lurker
Tue May 21, 2019 1:21 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Expensive front load washer/dryer worth it?
Replies: 53
Views: 3824

Re: Expensive front load washer/dryer worth it?

Here on the Gulf Coast I know some people have issues with fighting the tendency of the front load washer to mildew, because by nature of the design the door closes with a tight seal, trapping moisture. Simple solution is to leave the door open, but thats nto very attractive is it? Yep, we got a fr...
by NoVa Lurker
Fri May 03, 2019 7:47 am
Forum: Personal Investments
Topic: Riskfree 3.00% Yield?!
Replies: 33
Views: 6498

Re: Riskfree 3.00% Yield?!

You are not getting a 3% yield, you are getting a 2.07% yield. in your tax situation, it is equivalent to a 3% pretax yield, but it is not yielding 3%. And it's not risk free, not a lot of risk, but not risk free. Umm, you realize what TEY means right? There is no tax on this investment hence your ...
by NoVa Lurker
Thu Apr 04, 2019 3:21 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Help! Having a Baby - Stay Home Cost analysis
Replies: 33
Views: 2565

Re: Help! Having a Baby - Stay Home Cost analysis

One thing to add, which I guess is in favor of going back to work and using day care: You are analyzing the 2019-2020 numbers pretty closely. But the later years matter even more. For a teacher, the effect of losing pension contributions, benefits, and one salary step for each year you stay at home ...
by NoVa Lurker
Wed Mar 27, 2019 8:47 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Moisture in Basement and House
Replies: 17
Views: 1345

Re: Moisture in Basement and House

We live in Northern Virginia, everybody has to deal with moisture problems. We bought a house that had french drains around 3 of the basement walls, and a sump pump. Long story short, we now have the french drain around all 4 of the basement walls. But more importantly, we had the outside of our hou...
by NoVa Lurker
Thu Mar 21, 2019 11:33 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Minivan or SUV?
Replies: 24
Views: 1848

Re: Minivan or SUV?

We faced the same decision except we have 3 kids plus a live-in au pair. And we car pool for our oldest kid's soccer and baseball practices during the week. So for a family of 6 right now, who often drives all 6 together, and frequently car pools, a minivan is a no-brainer. We have come to really ap...
by NoVa Lurker
Thu Mar 14, 2019 11:54 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Is my *entire* life financed when I have a mortgage?
Replies: 84
Views: 6299

Re: Is my *entire* life financed when I have a mortgage?

You're reaching for something here, not sure what it is. There are bsaic needs we all need, housing, transportation, eat, utilities, etc. After that, it's all luxury. Once the "experts" have decided what that nominal amount is for your household in your zip code, everything on top of that is a luxu...
by NoVa Lurker
Wed Mar 13, 2019 10:34 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Utility bill hits new highs! What can I do?
Replies: 55
Views: 3360

Re: Utility bill hits new highs! What can I do?

If your usage is up, there could be lots of reasons, which we wouldn't be able to figure out over the internet. The things that have already been mentioned seem most likely. A few other possible culprits, in addition to what has already been mentioned: maybe a small crack or opening has grown bigger...
by NoVa Lurker
Mon Mar 11, 2019 10:23 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Island Vacation with Shade on the Beach?
Replies: 40
Views: 4461

Re: Island Vacation with Shade on the Beach?

My wife has not had much luck finding a place for us to take a vacation this year. Though almost any island will do, we want to visit the Caribbean again but she has two criteria that we struggling to resolve. We'd like a quiet, uncrowded island like St. John (we've been there a couple of times and...
by NoVa Lurker
Fri Feb 22, 2019 9:21 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Continue with home project or not?
Replies: 37
Views: 3501

Re: Continue with home project or not?

1) This is not a variance and all numerical values were met by a wide margin. We had to go through an approval process with the city and we got it approved despite the petition. The city has a number of subjective items like "not sticking out" which then requires things like dropping plate heights....
by NoVa Lurker
Fri Jan 25, 2019 1:24 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: New Home Computer of Some Kind
Replies: 40
Views: 2393

Re: New Home Computer of Some Kind

Thanks everyone. This has been helpful.
by NoVa Lurker
Fri Jan 25, 2019 12:14 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: New Home Computer of Some Kind
Replies: 40
Views: 2393

Re: New Home Computer of Some Kind

I'd strongly recommend that you try and understand what the issues are you're having before just buying a new computer. If your computer has an internet connection, and room on the hard drive, then downloading TurboTax doesn't take 3 days. You could have a lousy internet connection, you could have ...
by NoVa Lurker
Fri Jan 25, 2019 12:11 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: New Home Computer of Some Kind
Replies: 40
Views: 2393

Re: New Home Computer of Some Kind

What about one of the "pro" tablets, whether ipad pro or Surface pro The iPad Pro is a wonderful piece of hardware, but I wouldn't recommend it for your uses. You basically want to do things with the PC that are not possible or too cumbersome on the iPhone. Guess what, those things will be just as ...
by NoVa Lurker
Fri Jan 25, 2019 9:54 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: New Home Computer of Some Kind
Replies: 40
Views: 2393

New Home Computer of Some Kind

Looking for Boglehead advice on a very general question. We have a home desktop that is now 9 years old. We rarely turn it on any more, but we do still use it (1) to upload and edit photos from our DSLR camera (which are then swept into the Google Photos cloud), (2) to do our taxes with TurboTax, an...
by NoVa Lurker
Thu Jan 24, 2019 1:01 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Victim of my own success! How to deal with a complex life?
Replies: 103
Views: 9554

Re: Victim of my own success! How to deal with a complex life?

You're making everything sound so much more complex than it is... [OT comment removed by admin LadyGeek] Just jumping into this thread, it seems like OP is getting a lot of good advice, and arguing with all of it. The short advice is that the enemy can be the perfect of the good. You can spend 200 ...
by NoVa Lurker
Wed Dec 12, 2018 9:44 am
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: What Happened to you during the Financial crisis of 2007–2008
Replies: 249
Views: 22792

Re: What Happened to you during the Financial crisis of 2007–2008

Also market timer who went into the Crash leveraged, lost over $1m, made it back - another very interesting thread. Not sure if anyone has posted the link, but it is worth it for young, smart folks to read this whole thread and experience the 2007-2008-2009 drop and rebound in real time. Market tim...
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: 1469

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: 5366

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: 3731

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: 6591

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: 5486

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: 1762

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: 3260

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: 3260

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: 6365

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: 153
Views: 34689

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: 695

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: Personal Investments
Topic: Newly widowed, how do I invest 1.5 million life ins. proceeds
Replies: 72
Views: 9449

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: 6115

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: 374
Views: 57642

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: Personal Investments
Topic: Having First Child a little later in life, Debt just paid, Help Us Check In
Replies: 14
Views: 2040

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: 2027

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: 7267

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: Personal Investments
Topic: Priorities - Biglaw junior associate
Replies: 58
Views: 8482

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 ...