Search found 73 matches

by cyfan
Mon Apr 10, 2017 3:08 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: To claim or not to claim (collision insurance) that is the question
Replies: 10
Views: 859

Re: To claim or not to claim (collision insurance) that is the question

In a similar situation, minor damage to car and minor damage to house for a single incident, I encountered the following. Car and house were covered by one company (Nationwide) but of course are on separate policies. House deductible = $1,000 Collision deductible on car = $500 Insurance company did ...
by cyfan
Wed Nov 02, 2016 1:26 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Two plumbing questions/issues
Replies: 23
Views: 2995

Re: Two plumbing questions/issues

If you are semi-handy with tools, replacing it yourself is a very easy task, especially if the new one is the same size as the old one. I took the opportunity to install flexible water lines which really simplified the installation. If gas, be sure to test the gas connection with soapy water to ensu...
by cyfan
Tue Sep 27, 2016 12:02 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Replace car battery after X years or wait till it dies?
Replies: 124
Views: 13200

Re: Replace car battery after X years or wait till it dies?

Replacing a battery at X years does not guarantee anything as battery age by itself is not a very good predictor of failure. As others have stated, I prefer to use up resources before replacing but that is just my preference. I carry jumper cables in my trunk as standard practice and have never had ...
by cyfan
Thu Mar 31, 2016 5:06 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: do you do airbnb ??
Replies: 64
Views: 6254

Re: do you do airbnb ??

I have used Airbnb in downtown Boston and consider that particular experience a success. However, keep in mind you are renting from individuals and no 2 experiences are likely to be the same. The best thing you can do is to check user reviews on any property you are considering and pay particular at...
by cyfan
Thu Mar 31, 2016 3:58 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Living Trust vs Transfer on Death
Replies: 61
Views: 9471

Re: Living Trust vs Transfer on Death

The best trust you can have is trust in your children. +1 I am in a similar situation with grown children who are more responsible than most any trustee that I could think of. It seems the most significant gap between a will and trust is the need for durable power of attorney in case I or my wife a...
by cyfan
Wed Oct 14, 2015 4:53 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Fender Bender - Pursue at-fault's insurance or direct?
Replies: 17
Views: 1560

Re: Fender Bender - Pursue at-fault's insurance or direct?

I have had a few of these over the years and normally start by reporting it to my insurance and give it a few days, perhaps up to a week, to hear from the other insurance company. In most cases they will make arrangements for an estimate and subsequent repair assuming the other driver reported it. I...
by cyfan
Wed Aug 05, 2015 4:54 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Alaska Cruise - Saving Money On Shore Excursions
Replies: 25
Views: 2640

Re: Alaska Cruise - Saving Money On Shore Excursions

+1 on the whale watch tour from Juneau.
From Skagway, I would recommend having a look at the excursion to Kroschel Wildlife Center. You take a boat to Haines, AK, then bus another 30 to 40 minutes to get there. It is NOT a zoo. You can do a web search to learn more about it.
by cyfan
Tue Jun 30, 2015 1:56 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Will removing a wood burning stove reduce my home value?
Replies: 16
Views: 4444

Re: Will removing a wood burning stove reduce my home value?

I just removed my wood burning fireplace in March and also live in the upper midwest (70s built split level) . We had not used it in over 20 years and considered both gas and electric replacements before choosing electric. The newer electric units are quite impressive with how real the flame looks a...
by cyfan
Thu May 28, 2015 9:50 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Downside of placing a credit freeze?
Replies: 21
Views: 3862

Re: Downside of placing a credit freeze?

My health insurance coverage through mega corp happens to be through Anthem. Lucky me. While they are offering monitoring services, this seems sorely short sighted relative to any prevention approach. I recently spent the $60 to freeze my and spouses credit reporting and while I recognize it may pot...
by cyfan
Fri Apr 24, 2015 3:55 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: How should anticipated inheritance affect asset allocation?
Replies: 23
Views: 2756

Re: How should anticipated inheritance affect asset allocati

chunkstyle wrote: Hi all, My parents have discussed the inheritance with me. They are not leaving it to charity, and the chances of my dad leaving everything to a future wife are close enough to zero That may be true but whichever parent survives the other could re-marry one day and if that happens...
by cyfan
Thu Apr 23, 2015 1:28 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Blacktop Driveway Sealing
Replies: 20
Views: 3363

Re: Blacktop Driveway Sealing

Jack FFR1846 wrote: How often are roads sealed? Never 1) compare the thickness of the asphalt in a road vs your typical driveway 2) asphalt roads have cracks and holes (at least in the midwest) that most would deem unacceptable in their driveway I fought that battle for 10 years before removing the...
by cyfan
Mon Mar 30, 2015 4:53 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Social Security Guidance/Specialist
Replies: 5
Views: 1058

Re: Social Security Guidance/Specialist

TomatoTomahto wrote:If you want to read and understand, Mike Piper's book (modest BH poster ObliviousInvestor above) and L. Kotlikoff's book are great.

+1 on Mike Pipers book. I have read it and it helped immensely. It is a great addition to any personal finance library.
by cyfan
Tue Feb 03, 2015 1:41 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Joining the free dinner circuit? Promises, promises.
Replies: 100
Views: 11650

Re: Joining the free dinner circuit? Promises, promises.

The rage lately seems to be equity indexed annuities. I think in one presentation they even inserted the word "fixed" in the middle of it which really puzzled me; how can something be both equity indexed and fixed at the same time? I guess they consider it "fixed" on the way down...
by cyfan
Mon Feb 02, 2015 5:06 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: First Time Dog Owners -- Any Regrets?
Replies: 83
Views: 8839

Re: First Time Dog Owners -- Any Regrets?

If you decide to get one, read up on the various needs/behaviors of various breeds you are considering. If a dog's needs are met, they will be a joy to be around. If not, nobody including the dog will be happy. A good place to check out is a dog park where the typical owner will love to tell you abo...
by cyfan
Mon Dec 15, 2014 6:07 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Should I transfer my 401k balance to my new employer?
Replies: 4
Views: 498

Re: Should I transfer my 401k balance to my new employer?

I would probably transfer the old 401k into an IRA with Vanguard. +1 In addition to the reason mentioned by Carl, another is that you minimize the risk of your company switching to a less desirable plan than they might currently have. I have seen this occur when my previous company was sold to anot...
by cyfan
Wed Dec 10, 2014 12:09 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: A puzzle about Social Security
Replies: 46
Views: 4758

Re: A puzzle about Social Security

If I were the niece, I would ask both to take SS at age 62. While total payouts may break even at age 82 as mentioned, this ignores the fact that the niece could probably invest those proceeds at a safe 4% to 5% with a reasonable stock/bond split. Too many comparisons only look at the total payout. ...
by cyfan
Mon Oct 06, 2014 5:02 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Road trip to Chicago with kids- what to do/recommendations?
Replies: 44
Views: 5040

Re: Road trip to Chicago with kids- what to do/recommendatio

For anyone who stays downtown, I have used spothero.com to reserve and pre-pay parking. Drive in during off peak travel hours. Reserve a parking garage close to your hotel with spothero, then use public transportation for local travel. It can save significantly over what hotels charge for parking. G...
by cyfan
Wed Sep 17, 2014 10:37 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Friend needs guidance or financial planner?
Replies: 3
Views: 574

Re: Friend needs guidance or financial planner?

I first have a question regarding "She is not one who can read a personal finance book and do it on her own - she's very smart, but investing is not her thing." Is that because there is no interest in learning about the basics of investing? Or is this because it is perceived as too complic...
by cyfan
Thu Sep 04, 2014 12:38 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: The four most useless things financial advisers tell you
Replies: 11
Views: 2444

Re: The four most useless things financial advisers tell you

I agree with number 2 as well, and yes, I realize that I am agreeing to take SS before age 70. The comparisons typically only look at actual dollars paid out from the SS system and ignore the fact that you are likely to have earnings against what is drawn out early. If you make a fair comparison aga...
by cyfan
Thu Aug 21, 2014 3:03 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Company car versus personal car for business
Replies: 9
Views: 1298

Re: Company car versus personal car for business

The dealer buy back price would be a low end wholesale number. According to NADA, the difference between full retail and tradein is a 5K to 6K spread depending on trim lines etc. Just curious what you have tried to advertise it for? Even 2K above what the dealer has offered should generate some inte...
by cyfan
Wed Aug 20, 2014 4:14 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Will you have to pay your parent's long term care costs?
Replies: 57
Views: 6333

Re: Will you have to pay your parent's long term care costs?

I am interested in the exceptions listed in the article. (1) An individual doesn't have sufficient financial ability to support the indigent person or (2) A child isn't liable for the support of a parent who abandoned the child when he/she was a minor for a specified period. Particularly, #2 and wha...
by cyfan
Mon Jun 02, 2014 1:32 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: How much $ savings needed to change car insurance companies?
Replies: 29
Views: 2765

Re: How much $ savings needed to change car insurance compan

I am not sure why all the attention to local agents. Local agents are primarily sales people and add a layer of expenses which must be recovered in premiums. With or without a local agent, claims are typically handled by a separate group and any large company will have local body shops that they par...
by cyfan
Mon Dec 02, 2013 1:23 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: buying car from dealership not close to your house?
Replies: 39
Views: 4226

Re: buying car from dealership not close to your house?

I just purchased a new car from a dealer 200+ miles from home for various reasons, mainly because I preferred to deal via email quotes and did not want to play the game of having to be present in a showroom for hours at a time to haggle with sales people and their managers. Saving $1200 did not hurt...
by cyfan
Thu Nov 14, 2013 2:56 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Elderly parents heavily invested with Edward Jones- help
Replies: 28
Views: 10964

Re: Elderly parents heavily invested with Edward Jones- help

Hoppy hit the nail on the head by stating "But they'll invest their life savings and pay a 2.5% fee (above what an equivalent portfolio would return at Vanguard) taken from their returns,as long as they don't actually have to write a check for it". This is precisely the thought pattern of ...
by cyfan
Fri Oct 25, 2013 10:24 am
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: The Flight Path Approach to Age-Based Asset Allocation
Replies: 74
Views: 8784

Re: The Flight Path Approach to Age-Based Asset Allocation

For me, the article makes complete sense. There are very few 20 somethings that truly understand their appetite for risk (I sure didn't) and early on, the values in retirement accounts are relatively small enough that giving up a few percentage points in what ideally might be invested in stocks is a...
by cyfan
Wed Oct 02, 2013 9:46 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: 2007 Honda Civic, to sell or not to sell?
Replies: 57
Views: 4478

Re: 2007 Honda Civic, to sell or not to sell?

The BH consensus is exactly what I would expect. Get something you like, take care of it, and drive it to the near end of it's life. To take that one step further, I also prefer to buy new, get exactly what I want, even if I may pay just a bit more for a few extras because by doing that, I will be l...
by cyfan
Thu Jun 27, 2013 1:13 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Ordering a new vehicle
Replies: 39
Views: 4222

Re: Ordering a new vehicle

My wife ordered a RAV4 in 2010 as she was very picky about everything like color, engine choice, FWD, trim line etc, and it did not take any longer to get it than a domestic brand. If I recall it was assembled in Canada as many of the foreign name plates have assembly plants in North America. I don'...
by cyfan
Fri Jun 14, 2013 11:34 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: I think I need to change my car
Replies: 25
Views: 2471

Re: I think I need to change my car

Given that you mentioned it is basically your second car and you have a later model vehicle for longer trips, I would vote with those who said to keep it. Keep in mind that dealers love to oversell maintenance items that are not necessarily needed as they make a ton of money off it. Do you happen to...
by cyfan
Tue Apr 02, 2013 12:36 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Do you account for future inheritance?
Replies: 45
Views: 3199

Re: Do you account for future inheritance?

My grandmother will be 103 in June and is still able to communicate remarkably well. Regardless of how much she may have had, I would hate to be the one waiting on that potential inheritance given that her "kids" are now 83 and 81. I never count on any inheritance for my financial planning.
by cyfan
Thu Feb 14, 2013 1:31 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Researching Large Sedans
Replies: 17
Views: 1725

Re: Researching Large Sedans

For the price range and full size used car with a V6 you want, in my opinion it would be difficult to beat an Impala. There are certainly nicer cars out there but for the money, it is as good value as you will find because they depreciate rapidly. I happen to have a 2001 Impala LS with 189K miles on...
by cyfan
Sun Jan 27, 2013 2:50 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: What Tax Preparers Really Charge (WSJ)
Replies: 52
Views: 5932

Re: What Tax Preparers Really Charge (WSJ)

For those of us with only a 1040, Schedule A, and the accompanying state return, I would compare the decision to do taxes on our own (with or without tax software) similar to the decision to invest without a broker. With minimal effort and some interest in the subject along with some light reading, ...
by cyfan
Wed Jan 02, 2013 2:55 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Overfunding 401K and consequences?
Replies: 6
Views: 986

Re: Overfunding 401K and consequences?

Interesting. When I checked my final pay check on line in December, I was surprised to see that my take home pay was a few hundred dollars larger than expected and when I looked closer, I could see that it was due to my 401K contribution hitting that magic 17,000 that you speak of. This is my contri...
by cyfan
Wed Jan 02, 2013 2:45 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Visit to London
Replies: 40
Views: 2621

Re: Visit to London

+1 on the Tower of London
by cyfan
Wed Nov 28, 2012 1:52 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: 401K and Nursing Home Question
Replies: 2
Views: 578

Re: 401K and Nursing Home Question

If I recall correctly, you will need to spend down to the last $2K before Medicaid kicks in. I recommend using part of the 401K balance to prepay funeral expenses because it is highly likely that nursing home care will drain the account in short order either way.
by cyfan
Tue Nov 13, 2012 2:19 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: What % of Employers Allow Rollovers into 401ks/403bs/...
Replies: 9
Views: 598

Re: What % of Employers Allow Rollovers into 401ks/403bs/...

Just curious why anyone would want to roll their qualifying funds into an employers 401K. You will be limited to a smaller number of funds inside a 401K while a self directed IRA using a brokerage account will allow you access to virtually anything. Every time I change jobs I roll over into my self ...
by cyfan
Tue Oct 02, 2012 5:01 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: What would you do - $450K in farm land
Replies: 28
Views: 3195

Re: What would you do - $450K in farm land

For anyone with an elderly parent who is an absentee owner of farm land and who does not get anywhere near the cash rent determined by fair market values, I would recommend they talk to a farm management company. You do not necessarily have to do business with them long term but they can do an evalu...
by cyfan
Wed Aug 29, 2012 7:46 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Choosing Corporate 401k Funds
Replies: 21
Views: 1321

Re: Choosing Corporate 401k Funds

BTW, I am on my employer's 401(k) committee. We do not select funds just because some internet forum has given us advice. Just imagine if a committee member announced: "These are the funds we should have. I found them recommended on an Internet forum." Valid point but anyone who makes rec...
by cyfan
Thu Aug 23, 2012 12:30 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Extended warranty on car I'll "drive till wheels fall off"?
Replies: 30
Views: 3037

Re: Extended warranty on car I'll "drive till wheels fall of

The problem with finding value in extended warranties is that even if something fails that would be covered, it is still very likely to be outside warranty expiration based on miles. Most vehicle brands today will easily go 200K miles without major engine or transmission problems IF properly maintai...
by cyfan
Wed Jul 25, 2012 4:33 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Car's water pump
Replies: 14
Views: 3921

Re: Car's water pump

A water pump failure at 31K miles is VERY premature. I would certainly ask to see where the leak is coming from but if it is sprayed up under the hood it sounds more like a hose connection or some other high pressure leak. A leaky water pump normally just drips antifreeze on the floor. I have two 20...
by cyfan
Fri Jul 20, 2012 10:29 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Payment Method, Selling Travel Trailer
Replies: 19
Views: 2273

Re: Payment Method, Selling Travel Trailer

Believe it or not, for my last one I took a personal check for the 12K range only because the folks were fine with waiting for it to clear before coming back to finish the title work a few days later and pick up the RV. They were WAY too trusting in my opinion and I told them so. For many other simi...
by cyfan
Tue Jun 12, 2012 2:18 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: A case for actively managed funds
Replies: 52
Views: 4235

Re: A case for actively managed funds

This reminds me of a relative who returns from Las Vegas and boasts about how much money he won. I never hear from this person after 75% of the trips he takes. Hmmmm, why would that be? As others have said, this firm likely manages more than 2 funds. What is the story on those and when were those fu...
by cyfan
Thu May 24, 2012 12:25 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: House is paid off!!!
Replies: 48
Views: 4782

Re: House is paid off!!!

Special congrats for accomplishing this before age 40 as I am sure it took most of us longer to do this. I was early 50s before getting this done. You will be glad that you ignored those who say never to pay your house off early. You can't put a price on the freedom that comes with retiring debt and...
by cyfan
Sun Apr 29, 2012 6:14 pm
Forum: Local Chapters and Bogleheads Community
Topic: Eastern Iowa chapter meeting, Saturday April 28, Coralville
Replies: 3
Views: 1008

Re: Eastern Iowa chapter meeting, Saturday April 28, Coralvi

I just wanted to say thanks to everyone for making my first local chapter meeting interesting with a wide variety of discussion topics. I enjoyed getting to know everyone and appreciate all of you being patient with a first timer as well as making me feel welcome. I look forward to future meetings. ...
by cyfan
Wed Apr 25, 2012 11:37 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Keep mortgage LTV = 80% forever?
Replies: 32
Views: 2518

Re: Keep mortgage LTV = 80% forever?

I can certainly see the potential attraction to this given today's extremely low mortgage rates so long as the "cash out" as you call it remains fully invested throughout the years as it is likely to earn more than the lower interest rates of today. That being said, it would not be for me....
by cyfan
Tue Apr 24, 2012 2:10 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: What Your Broker Won't Tell You
Replies: 11
Views: 1748

Re: What Your Broker Won't Tell You

A good advisor will practice what they preach (at their appropriate need of risk). I would not use this as a guide. If I were the typical advisor whose motivation is to maximize my commission, I would be happy to place some of my own money into a closet index fund where the management fee was say 1...
by cyfan
Thu Jan 19, 2012 1:57 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Does the cruise ship sinking make you reconsider cruising?
Replies: 58
Views: 4654

Re: Does the cruise ship sinking make you reconsider cruisin

No, not any more than a car crash on today's news prevents me from getting in my car. I happen to be leaving on Freedom of the Seas in 2 weeks and have no desire to cancel. This is probably the safest time to go anyway as I can only imagine what these cruise lines are going through to ensure this ne...
by cyfan
Tue Jan 10, 2012 12:32 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: House downpayment-Rules for borrowing from a 401k vs saving?
Replies: 12
Views: 2736

Re: House downpayment-Rules for borrowing from a 401k vs sav

In the nicest way possible, I'd like to suggest that you can't afford to buy a house if you need PMI or if you need to borrow from your retirement savings. Bottlecap, I agree with your statement above. If we all started out in our 20's with the financial knowledge and discipline that we have later ...
by cyfan
Tue Jan 10, 2012 11:02 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: House downpayment-Rules for borrowing from a 401k vs saving?
Replies: 12
Views: 2736

Re: House downpayment-Rules for borrowing from a 401k vs sav

cyfan, I think your math is wrong. The 1% PMI applies to the whole mortgage amount, right? So the effective rate on the borrowed (missing) 20% down payment is huge. And he could refinance at a lower rate, right? So the payback for his wallet could be huge. But what the 401k itself "earns"...
by cyfan
Mon Jan 09, 2012 2:11 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: House downpayment-Rules for borrowing from a 401k vs saving?
Replies: 12
Views: 2736

Re: House downpayment-Rules for borrowing from a 401k vs sav

Interesting as my son just emailed me asking pretty much the same thing. He is in a townhouse that he purchased 4 years ago and is paying PMI due to no down payment at the time of purchase. He wants to refinance to lower his interest rate either way. I am generally against borrowing from a 401K but ...
by cyfan
Thu Jan 05, 2012 2:28 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Who Will Your Spouse Call when You're Dead?
Replies: 31
Views: 3752

Re: Who Will Your Spouse Call when You're Dead?

Thanks for bringing up this subject but I must admit it is painful to think about. I have reviewed by IRA and 401K with my spouse many times but she will never feel comfortable managing them from on-line or calling someone she does not know. How would you go about finding a local adviser who would r...