Search found 725 matches

by FireProof
Wed Feb 12, 2020 10:50 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: What are your not free but still frugal hobbies?
Replies: 102
Views: 6890

Re: What are your not free but still frugal hobbies?

Tennis: A couple of rackets at $60 each last for years. Cans of balls for $2 a pop at Costco, use them at least 3 or 4 times each. String with a modern, playable co-poly, so almost never have to restring. Public courts are free.
by FireProof
Wed Feb 05, 2020 10:38 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Couples w/ kids: What is/was the most expensive time period of your life?
Replies: 145
Views: 11125

Re: Couples w/ kids: What is/was the most expensive time period of your life?

For me: Most expensive 1. College 2. Preschool 3. High school 4. Elementary school But then, I wasn't a greedy child (and my parents would have been willing to say no). But I have a relative in high school whose parents buy her all the expensive sneakers she wants (2 or 3 pairs per month), the lates...
by FireProof
Tue Feb 04, 2020 11:09 am
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Why many inheritances don't last past 3 generations
Replies: 140
Views: 16347

Re: Why many inheritances don't last past 3 generations

Any historical data is fairly out-of-date, I would say. For pretty much all of history, the average family would have 4+ kids. If 3 generations are 64+ great-grandchildren, dilution is pretty severe (even in primogeniture, the lucky son would still have some kind of duty to aids his less fortunate c...
by FireProof
Wed Jan 29, 2020 11:03 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Should I install modern water savings toilet in old building? Plumber says absolutely NOT TO
Replies: 52
Views: 5439

Re: Should I install modern water savings toilet in old building? Plumber says absolutely NOT TO

I have heard of similar issues, it is a real thing, depending on the overall construction of the lines, which you probably have no good way to learn about. Next best option is ask around to see if anyone else has upgraded, how many, and results, although I imagine approaching fellow tenants whom yo...
by FireProof
Fri Jan 24, 2020 8:58 am
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Isn’t Inflation Much Larger Than 2%?
Replies: 289
Views: 18022

Re: Isn’t Inflation Much Larger Than 2%?

A lot of confirmation bias, and it makes sense, because housing and health insurance is very visible. But other things have gotten more affordable over the years. Food (that is, staples) nowadays is so ridiculously cheap it is amazing anyone could starve.
by FireProof
Tue Jan 21, 2020 11:53 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Tell me about Chile/Argentina
Replies: 27
Views: 3000

Re: Tell me about Chile/Argentina

In Chile, I would recommend renting a 4-wheel drive and driving the Carretera Austral (completely virgin landscapes, glaciers, active volcanoes, cruises through fjords, waterfalls, wild hot springs, the marble cathedral, etc), ending at General Carrera Lake, then coming back through Argentina (Welsh...
by FireProof
Thu Dec 12, 2019 10:38 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Debited twice for single ATM withdrawal
Replies: 3
Views: 569

Debited twice for single ATM withdrawal

While traveling in Mexico, I made a withdrawal from the ATM of a major Mexican bank (using my Charles Schwab card). The next day, I happened to be looking at my transaction history, and I noticed that it showed three separate ATM withdrawals for the same amount! One of them had been reversed, but st...
by FireProof
Fri Dec 06, 2019 2:03 am
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: The 10 biggest new ETFs of 2019
Replies: 14
Views: 1493

Re: The 10 biggest new ETFs of 2019

Well, these are "new ETFs." All the major providers already have the core ETFs, so what other result would even be possible?
by FireProof
Thu Nov 21, 2019 2:20 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Year in Europe (location advice)
Replies: 34
Views: 2497

Re: Year in Europe (location advice)

If Spain, consider Seville; it's farther South so a better winter climate than Barc. It's a beautiful, clean city with amazing history--and less populated. We met an American lady there who winters in Faro, Portugal, saying it has a significant USA population and of course right on the ocean. Sevil...
by FireProof
Tue Oct 15, 2019 3:08 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: When is private (elementary) school worth it?
Replies: 100
Views: 8654

Re: When is private (elementary) school worth it?

In first grade, kids will tend to have very different levels of maturity, prior knowledge etc, but that will converge a bit as they age. I always did everything at an earlier age (including graduating from a top 20 university at age 19), but in the end, we ended up in the same place. If it's really ...
by FireProof
Tue Oct 15, 2019 12:07 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Need help !!! US or Canadian universities?
Replies: 56
Views: 3881

Re: Need help !!! US or Canadian universities?

A lot of ink being spilled, but there is one simple false premise of your post that renders it moot: At your income level, Cornell will not be expensive.

Basically, to choose between your options, you will have to know what they actually are, and what they actually cost.
by FireProof
Mon Oct 14, 2019 8:18 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Do you carry your passport with you during international travel?
Replies: 110
Views: 10478

Re: Do you carry your passport with you during international travel?

Some countries (Spain for one) require everyone to carry a national ID, and a U.S. state driver's license doesn't count. So probably good practice to always have your passport with you unless you know for sure it is not required. So what about tourists visiting Spain? What is the penalty? I was jog...
by FireProof
Sun Sep 29, 2019 11:19 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Going to a wedding party
Replies: 48
Views: 4595

Re: Going to a wedding party

If this is the first American wedding for the OP the most important thing that hasn't changed much over the years is the value of the wedding gift should equal (or exceed) the cost of the reception. The reception could be anything from a small, modest affair to be held in the church hall with no al...
by FireProof
Sat Sep 28, 2019 5:33 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: financially clueless senior MIL who thinks she’s rich
Replies: 162
Views: 21028

Re: financially clueless senior MIL who thinks she’s rich

So $390,000, $4,000/month expenses ($1,800 after the pension) FIRECalc looked at the 134 possible 15 year periods in the available data, starting with a portfolio of $390,000 and spending your specified amounts each year thereafter. Here is how your portfolio would have fared in each of the 134 cycl...
by FireProof
Fri Sep 27, 2019 9:39 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Beyond Meat Burger? Do you like?
Replies: 119
Views: 10028

Re: Beyond Meat Burger? Do you like?

My SO makes incredible turkey burgers. May be worth exploring, but I wouldn’t recommend eating it rawer. My SO uses ground turkey (or sometimes pork) for most meals you'd generally use ground beef for (spaghetti, meatloaf, tacos, etc.) and it's a good substitute. Not as much for burgers, but maybe ...
by FireProof
Thu Sep 26, 2019 11:02 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Half of Retirees Afraid to Use Savings
Replies: 111
Views: 13288

Re: Half of Retirees Afraid to Use Savings

So the basic narrative (of financial journalism in general, not oly this article) is 1. Americans save FAR TOO LITTLE for retirement 2. Once they retire, they spend EVEN LESS than their miserly savings allow So, at first glance, either Americans are reduced to paupers in retirement, or the necessary...
by FireProof
Thu Sep 26, 2019 4:08 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: College Student Internships
Replies: 45
Views: 2414

Re: College Student Internships

My sister (CS) had internships after her 2nd year (small tech company for something like $25/hr) and 3rd year (big tech company for $8000/month). This was only about 5 years ago. The internship before your final year is the most important, since that usually lead to a full-time job offer, and that m...
by FireProof
Wed Sep 25, 2019 4:13 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: What is the highest "safe" withdrawal rate for a 15 year period?
Replies: 44
Views: 3782

Re: What is the highest "safe" withdrawal rate for a 15 year period?

If you take Bogleheads advice you will never retire, work until death because there is always a risk. If you have accurately calculated your expenses then you should be fine and you can always go back to work, at least part time. But if your budget doesnt have any fun then life is going to be reall...
by FireProof
Sun Sep 22, 2019 5:29 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Paying taxes for selling gold coins
Replies: 54
Views: 3259

Re: Paying taxes for selling gold coins

You can't get rid of capital gains just by gifting something, or no one would ever pay capital gains tax. The only tricky thing here may be figuring out + documenting the cost basis, given the nature and provenance of the asset.

And the gift tax "limit" is in the millions, not 12k.
by FireProof
Fri Sep 20, 2019 11:37 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: How hard is it to get into college?
Replies: 167
Views: 11548

Re: How hard is it to get into college?

I am not worried about test scores. She took the PSAT and did well enough for aid if she was a junior (but it doesn't count because she did that as a freshman). I think her grades are great (even if she doesn't or others say anything less than all A's is substandard). Like I said, she pretty much h...
by FireProof
Fri Sep 20, 2019 10:16 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: How hard is it to get into college?
Replies: 167
Views: 11548

Re: How hard is it to get into college?

I am not worried about test scores. She took the PSAT and did well enough for aid if she was a junior (but it doesn't count because she did that as a freshman). I think her grades are great (even if she doesn't or others say anything less than all A's is substandard). Like I said, she pretty much h...
by FireProof
Fri Sep 20, 2019 9:56 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Blue Apron for a sick friend?
Replies: 41
Views: 2635

Re: Blue Apron for a sick friend?

Wonderful! Checking out freshly right now! Ihere are countless other options that will deliver completely prepared meals. If you don't mind, a few names will be appreciated. Thanks for you time and input! I mean, restaurants? Creating completely prepared meals is kinda what they're for. Most delive...
by FireProof
Fri Sep 20, 2019 9:46 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: How to handle "split-the-bill" group lunches?
Replies: 159
Views: 8601

Re: How to handle "split-the-bill" group lunches?

mak1277 wrote:
Thu Sep 19, 2019 1:14 pm
Just play the credit card game...everyone gives a card to the server, the server picks one, and that person pays the whole bill.
Problem remains - expected value is still split equally even though some spent far less.
by FireProof
Fri Sep 20, 2019 9:20 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: How hard is it to get into college?
Replies: 167
Views: 11548

Re: How hard is it to get into college?

Very easy. Many colleges are close to open admissions - 70+% are accepted. Some of those are low quality, admittedly, but not all of them. There are many solid public schools that are not selective. There are also truly open-admission community colleges that provide near-guaranteed transfers to four...
by FireProof
Wed Sep 18, 2019 5:44 pm
Forum: Personal Investments
Topic: 1Mil$ Dollar-Cost Averaging is a strategy
Replies: 48
Views: 2964

Re: 1Mil$ Dollar-Cost Averaging is a strategy

Why leave $500k in cash? At least put it in a good money market or short-term Treasury bonds? 5 or 10 years to DCA it in is totally insane. Do it all at once, or at least all within 1 year. Ok, good idea, 500K in Treasury Bonds. As far as All at Once, I don't think I can sleep well at night knowing...
by FireProof
Tue Sep 17, 2019 6:01 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Bay Area teacher saving half my income – why the doubt? (and asking more questions)
Replies: 508
Views: 32701

Re: Bay Area teacher saving half my income – why the doubt? (and asking more questions)

It's funny that on a forum full of bragging about $500,000 incomes and $10,000 South America vacations, THIS is the thread that gets the most petty jealousy.
by FireProof
Tue Sep 17, 2019 3:26 am
Forum: US Chapters
Topic: Where Bogleheads Live
Replies: 31
Views: 5858

Re: Where Bogleheads Live

So basically the population rankings. Perhaps number of college graduates might add some predictive power.
by FireProof
Tue Sep 10, 2019 11:53 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Can this girl "go wild?"
Replies: 33
Views: 5357

Re: Can this girl "go wild?"

Hie thee to Cancun, forthwith.

No need to track spending to control it. And doesn't sound like it needs much controlling, anyway.
by FireProof
Mon Sep 09, 2019 5:14 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Lending to friend to India
Replies: 54
Views: 4049

Re: Lending to friend to India

There IS a gift tax in India, so it doesn't seem like a good option.
by FireProof
Fri Sep 06, 2019 9:47 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Should I join an elite social club for adults?
Replies: 27
Views: 3426

Re: Should I join an elite social club for adults?

Lately, I have been seeing ads in my Facebook feed for social clubs for later career professionals. The clubs sounds swank and for the elite. Attorneys, doctors, politicians, and other high profile people are claimed to be members. Club says that more business takes place at the club bar than at an...
by FireProof
Fri Sep 06, 2019 7:26 am
Forum: Personal Investments
Topic: Middle Age people with low savings need to take on more investment risk than is normal?
Replies: 52
Views: 6154

Re: Middle Age people with low savings need to take on more investment risk than is normal?

There's always the risk of roving bandits, but if you become the vassal of a powerful knight, that will provide a measure of insurance.
by FireProof
Fri Sep 06, 2019 4:56 am
Forum: Non-US Investing
Topic: Keep new house unoccupied or let sibling mind it rent free? [ex-pat in UAE]
Replies: 31
Views: 2922

Re: Keep new house unoccupied or let sibling mind it rent free?b

Leaving it empty when it could save your brother 1800/month seems like a crime, especially if you also get somethimg out of it. You know your brother better, but certainly I wouldn't need any kind of contract with my sibling. Whether he pays rent seems entirely up to you. It doesn't sound like you g...
by FireProof
Tue Sep 03, 2019 12:45 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Does having children hurt net worth?
Replies: 47
Views: 2147

Re: Does having children hurt net worth?

OP, The answer is very simple and straightforward. 1) IMHO, if someone thinks of their children as net worth, liability, and/or asset, the person should not have any children. Having children is not a financial decision. 2) Financially, the cost of raising children could be as little or as much as ...
by FireProof
Tue Sep 03, 2019 6:42 am
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Do passive investments match the realized returns of active investments?
Replies: 35
Views: 3973

Re: Do passive investments match the realized returns of active investments?

There is nothing in aggregate gained by the people who might be trading those assets among each other, their aggregate return will be the same as those who simply hold the market and don't trade... before costs, and after the costs of trading and paying an active manager there return will be even l...
by FireProof
Mon Sep 02, 2019 3:51 pm
Forum: Personal Investments
Topic: Avoid grandson poverty
Replies: 76
Views: 9813

Re: Avoid grandson poverty

Kids can do unpredictable things. I know one who got good grades in college, graduated with two degrees in 4 years, and now, over two years after graduation still refuses to look for a job. $1000/month would let him fully fund his lifestyle - in fact it would greatly improve his standard of living....
by FireProof
Fri Aug 30, 2019 4:22 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: College age male: How much money for food?
Replies: 138
Views: 6447

Re: College age male: How much money for food?

To the people saying $100mo is adequate for a college-age male, um, that is just plain nuts. That’s $3.33 per day. That’s $1 per meal. A box of pasta and sauce, with nothing else (which I would NOT consider healthy or balanced) would cost about $4 by itself. So you are proposing less than one (unhe...
by FireProof
Fri Aug 30, 2019 8:47 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: College age male: How much money for food?
Replies: 138
Views: 6447

Re: College age male: How much money for food?

Cooking balanced meals (i.e. starch + vegetables + meat) should be cheaper than eating processed ramen - never understood that concept. Ridiculous how cheap food is nowadays.
by FireProof
Fri Aug 30, 2019 7:57 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Cheaper healthcare in Italy?
Replies: 27
Views: 2464

Re: Cheaper healthcare in Italy?

Everything related to medical care will be much cheaper, even if you do it privately (generally 1/3 to 1/2 the cost, but sometimes much cheaper). Elective things like laser surgery (assuming no risk of blindness) are not covered by national health, so there may be even cheaper options in Central/Eas...
by FireProof
Fri Aug 23, 2019 11:56 am
Forum: Personal Investments
Topic: where does kids college funds come into play in my plan?
Replies: 24
Views: 2198

Re: where does kids college funds come into play in my plan?

If anything, kids today (from upper-middle class families) have FAR TOO MUCH pressure, all without any skin in the game, whether it's self-imposed, peer pressure, or from parents. E.g. a recent study of a Silicon Valley high school found that 54 percent of students displayed moderate to severe sympt...
by FireProof
Fri Aug 23, 2019 11:16 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Best undergrad majors ahead of Law school?
Replies: 75
Views: 3988

Re: Best undergrad majors ahead of Law school?

1. Something that she would like anyway, because there's a good chance she won't end up in law school. 2. Something with lenient grading, because law school admissions are essentially purely a combination of GPA and LSAT (except at Yale and Stanford, but if she's competitive there, she has nothing t...
by FireProof
Fri Aug 23, 2019 9:47 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Pet Insurance?
Replies: 26
Views: 1501

Re: Pet Insurance?

Maybe as actual insurance, if you are willing but not able to pay for some low-probability high-cost treatment. But as a way to save money, I very much doubt it. Not only does selling it have to be profitable for the insurance company, it has to be profitable for them despite moral hazard (i.e. that...
by FireProof
Fri Aug 23, 2019 9:42 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: I spend no money so am I over-saving for retirement?
Replies: 54
Views: 5533

Re: I spend no money so am I over-saving for retirement?

Nope, just means you can retire earlier.
by FireProof
Thu Aug 08, 2019 6:15 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: San Jose (CA) cost of living
Replies: 36
Views: 4234

Re: San Jose (CA) cost of living

One thing to keep in mind is that basically everything is way more expensive than the rest of the US - you need to look at this when you're budgeting. Also thing that are free elsewhere generally cost money - e.g. something as simple as parking at a county park costs $5-$10. A burger and fries out ...
by FireProof
Thu Aug 08, 2019 5:53 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Amazon -- no longer the lowest prices, evidently
Replies: 120
Views: 13722

Re: Amazon -- no longer the lowest prices, evidently

The only thing I buy at Amazon at this point is generic Chinese computer chargers (and even that would probably be better from something like AliExpress). Prices are rarely notable, but much more than that, it's just so confusing - a million unknown sellers with a million fake reviews selling slight...
by FireProof
Tue Aug 06, 2019 4:23 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: FYI, Spanish bank ATMs [Dynamic Currency Conversion]
Replies: 64
Views: 4959

Re: FYI, Spanish bank ATMs

Lived in Spain for many years, and that's never happened to me. But it's true that something may have changed. There used to be no ATM fees at all at almost any Spanish bank, including Santander, for example, but when I tried to withdraw from a Santander ATM in the last couple of months, I saw there...
by FireProof
Tue Aug 06, 2019 4:14 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Financial anxiety and next steps in relationship
Replies: 102
Views: 8112

Re: Financial anxiety and next steps in relationship

I think you need to think this through clearly yourself. What's the upside of marriage in this situation? Generally, the principle practical purposes are for visa purposes, or a single-income couple to reduce taxes and get health insurance for the other partner. At the moment, neither of these seems...
by FireProof
Wed Jul 31, 2019 9:55 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Take the cash or the free dinner?
Replies: 72
Views: 6799

Re: Take the cash or the free dinner?

My 75+ year old Dad was physically thrown out by bouncers of some group presentation (for an investment scheme) for asking too many questions.
by FireProof
Sat Jul 20, 2019 8:21 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Should relative incomes be a factor in wedding gift?
Replies: 107
Views: 7185

Should relative incomes be a factor in wedding gift?

Going soon to a wedding with cash gifts, so we'll be ponying up. Should the amount of the gift be affected in any way by the fact that the happy couple has an income about five to six times higher than my wife and I? Obviously from an economic or philosophical standpoint, the argument would be prett...
by FireProof
Fri Jul 19, 2019 7:09 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Do people in HCOL areas have a higher net worth and more wealth building potential than LCOL?
Replies: 289
Views: 23430

Re: Do people in HCOL areas have a higher net worth and more wealth building potential than LCOL?

People in HCOL for sure, do, because they tend to be more educated and from a higher social class, with higher future orientation and better financial knowledge and planning (most will still spend whatever they earn, sure, but basically 100% in non-HCOL areas spend all they earn). However, that does...