Search found 231 matches

by buckstar
Sat Oct 13, 2018 8:35 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Cancun in a few weeks
Replies: 48
Views: 3188

Re: Cancun in a few weeks

Agree with others - absolutely go to at least Tulum to see the ruins. Chicin Itza is not terrible close. Also - make sure you visit at least one cenote. If you go to Tulum, Gran Cenote is close. They are spectacular, clear, freshwater swimming holes. Would also highly recommend snorkeling out on the...
by buckstar
Sun Sep 30, 2018 11:02 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Best neighborhoods in Atlanta
Replies: 45
Views: 3513

Re: Best neighborhoods in Atlanta

We used to live in the Virginia Highlands neighborhood, which would satisfy your requirements for a walkable, densely populated neighborhood. We loved it, close to downtown, piedmont park, reasonable distance to Emory university. Good luck!
by buckstar
Sun Aug 19, 2018 9:13 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: San Diego - where to stay, what to do with 6 year old
Replies: 30
Views: 2210

Re: San Diego - where to stay, what to do with 6 year old

In addition to the stuff you mentioned, there is a ton of free stuff to do in San Diego. One of my favorite things is hiking in Torrey Pines, there's hikes for all ages and levels there. When my kids were that age, they also loved the beach at the Del Coronado and the powerhouse park in Del Mar (clo...
by buckstar
Wed Jul 18, 2018 7:16 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Europe travel Qs [Questions]
Replies: 63
Views: 3893

Re: Europe travel Qs

https://www.salzburgerfestspiele.at/summer

If you go to Salzburg sometime over the next 6 weeks, make it a day trip. The festival is great, but it is very crowded and the Hotels are either all booked or very expensive.
by buckstar
Sun May 27, 2018 8:09 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Peloton spin bike worth the high cost?
Replies: 90
Views: 10942

Re: Peloton spin bike worth the high cost?

Disclaimer - I don't own one, but am thinking about getting one, but have been holding off because of the cost. I've noticed that on craigslist, there are lots of treadmills, ellipticals, nordictrak's etc..., but I've been looking for 6 weeks and have yet to see a Peleton bike. I'm going to assume t...
by buckstar
Thu May 03, 2018 1:13 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: How to finance new home-IN a hurry!
Replies: 22
Views: 1704

Re: How to finance new home-IN a hurry!

If you can come up with 20% down, why not just get an 5/1 ARM for the new house, then refinance after you sell the old one? That's what we did last summer. If you can't come up with the 20% down, then a HELOC would make sense.
by buckstar
Sat Apr 28, 2018 10:26 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Lake Tahoe
Replies: 28
Views: 2698

Re: Lake Tahoe

If your family needs something to do while you're at your conference- I would highly recommend this, my teenage kids had a blast.

http://granlibakken.com/adventure-park/
by buckstar
Tue Apr 10, 2018 8:06 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: How can I get a passport?
Replies: 64
Views: 6582

Re: How can I get a passport?

Go online to the USPS website and make an appointment. https://tools.usps.com/go/pages/schedule-appointment/index.jsp We did it this, made an appointment, took us a grand total of 20 minutes for two passport applications. We live in a large city, and were able to make an appointment for a Saturday ...
by buckstar
Sat Mar 24, 2018 9:28 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Berlin - how many days and where to stay?
Replies: 33
Views: 2393

Re: Berlin - how many days and where to stay?

since you only have a limited amount of time in Berlin, and there is so much to see, I would recommend taking a bike tour. We did this as a family last year, and it was fantastic. I’d recommend doing it on your first day, then going back to explore some of your favorite sites later. You cover much m...
by buckstar
Tue Mar 06, 2018 9:32 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Colorado Summer Vacation - what to see and where to stay
Replies: 65
Views: 5446

Re: Colorado Summer Vacation - what to see and where to stay

If you're going to stay in Downtown Denver, I would schedule a tour of the Denver mint. Your kids would probably love one of the alpine slides as well, there are many throughout the are. Most of the ski areas will let you take mountain bikes up the gondolas and bike down. Loads of fun, but if you're...
by buckstar
Tue Mar 06, 2018 9:30 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: 529 as tax-free savings account for private school
Replies: 36
Views: 2674

Re: 529 as tax-free savings account for private school

As others have mentioned- I'm not sure if it's worth the hassle to run it through a 529 if you're going to just going to withdraw in a year or two. The main advantage of the a 529 is the tax-advantaged growth. What I am planning on doing is to withdraw the 10k/yr from accounts that were set up ~10 y...
by buckstar
Mon Mar 05, 2018 5:09 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Colorado Summer Vacation - what to see and where to stay
Replies: 65
Views: 5446

Re: Colorado Summer Vacation - what to see and where to stay

If you want to hike, I would recommend at least a little time in Estes Park, not far from Denver and the entry to Rocky Mountain National Park. The Stanley Hotel is a classic.
by buckstar
Tue Feb 27, 2018 6:09 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Physical cash
Replies: 121
Views: 9170

Re: Physical cash

We keep a couple thousand dollars next to the gun in the safe. Just in case.
by buckstar
Fri Feb 16, 2018 12:58 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Signed up for American Express - "Premium" car rental insurance
Replies: 46
Views: 6903

Re: Signed up for American Express - "Premium" car rental insurance

I've used the "premium car rental Insurance" through amex for a couple years, and had to actually file a claim with them over the summer for some windshield damage in a rental. They were very easy to work with, only took a single phone call and the issue was resolved. They contract out to a third pa...
by buckstar
Fri Feb 16, 2018 9:34 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Rant about relocation mortgage assistance, and a question
Replies: 54
Views: 3689

Re: Rant about relocation mortgage assistance, and a question

I was in a very similar situation last year, starting a new job, had not sold my previous house and was under contract for a new house ($1.5M). We worked with an independent mortgage broker who found us a Jumbo 5/1 ARM ($1.2M) that we kept for a total of 5 months. We sold the old house and refinance...
by buckstar
Sun Feb 11, 2018 10:07 am
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: how did you determine your risk tolerance?
Replies: 138
Views: 8948

Re: how did you determine your risk tolerance?

You may not really know your market tolerance until it actually hits a 50% decline. It's easy enough to say 'it's a buying opportunity' when it's a 10% decline, but things are different when you're assets are down 50%. see below, funny, but true... http://theirrelevantinvestor.com/2018/02/09/35-step...
by buckstar
Thu Feb 08, 2018 9:09 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Munich to Venice
Replies: 15
Views: 1104

Re: Munich to Venice

We are flying into Munich from the US, and then taking a Mediterranean cruise out of Venice, so I think what we'll end up doing is Munich - Salzburg - ?Innsbruck? - Venice. We have an entire week to make the trip, so lot's of hiking/sightseeing on the way. Trains, partly for the experience, but main...
by buckstar
Thu Feb 08, 2018 5:05 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Munich to Venice
Replies: 15
Views: 1104

Re: Munich to Venice

Thanks for the suggestions! Would it be reasonable to to do Munich - Salzburg - Vienna - Budapest - Venice all in one week? Or is that too much traveling.
by buckstar
Thu Feb 08, 2018 12:25 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Munich to Venice
Replies: 15
Views: 1104

Munich to Venice

Family of 4 (two teenage boys) Have a week to travel from Munich to Venice in July. Any suggestions from the board on how to spend our time?
by buckstar
Sun Jan 14, 2018 9:10 pm
Forum: Local Chapters and Bogleheads Community
Topic: Post your Financial Milestone Announcements Here
Replies: 511
Views: 58096

Re: Post your Financial Milestone Announcements Here

Years ago, when our net worth was still negative, I set a goal of financial independence being $3.5M, or $140,000/yr at 4% withdrawal rate. Well we hit that number last week! Unfortunately, what I didn't realize all those years ago is that the goal should have been $3.5M in investable assets, not NW...
by buckstar
Sun Jan 14, 2018 6:27 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Help with 529: Save for College vs Pay for Private School
Replies: 14
Views: 1208

Re: Help with 529: Save for College vs Pay for Private School

Here is what I plan on doing, please correct me if I'm wrong: I have some fairly significant gains in my 529. I plan on taking withdrawals to use for private middle school, and then put the corresponding amount into a different 529. This way I am "capturing" my gains. If the market takes a downturn,...
by buckstar
Thu Dec 28, 2017 1:28 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Upsizing Real Estate for Location/Ease
Replies: 14
Views: 1445

Re: Upsizing Real Estate for Location/Ease

I would do it. I think you are underestimated the benefit of being only 5 minutes from work, and her being 10-15 as opposed to 30 minutes.
by buckstar
Thu Dec 28, 2017 7:59 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: 529 and the new tax law
Replies: 4
Views: 748

Re: 529 and the new tax law

If you have any gains, why would you NOT? My strategy will be to use the maximum allowed and then replenish with new funds. That way, if I am overfunded for college, the gains and penalties will be less.
by buckstar
Sun Nov 26, 2017 9:56 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Scanner Software for PDFs
Replies: 8
Views: 898

Re: Scanner Software for PDFs

I believe acrobat pro is only available as a subscription now. Nuance makes an excellent PDF creator/manipulator which can be purchased outright.
by buckstar
Tue Nov 21, 2017 12:00 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: LED Lightbulbs - Recommended Brands
Replies: 48
Views: 3574

Re: LED Lightbulbs - Recommended Brands

I use almost exclusively Halco ProLED lights. They are more expensive, but to my eye, they are closer to incandescent bulbs than the Cree and FEIT bulbs I have tried from Costco. Also have not had a single failure yet, but it's only been about 3 years for the oldest ones.
by buckstar
Thu Nov 09, 2017 3:09 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Password manager without browser extension?
Replies: 34
Views: 2121

Re: Password manager without browser extension?

I personally trust my knowledge of what's on my machine more than I trust a browser extension to do its job correctly. 30 years in the IT Engineering field tends to lead me to not believe that statement from 99.9% of people :wink: I've been misquoted! That was someone else's reply to my original po...
by buckstar
Wed Nov 08, 2017 12:52 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Password manager without browser extension?
Replies: 34
Views: 2121

Re: Password manager without browser extension?

Copying and pasting passwords through your operating system should be avoided. If I recall correctly, all open applications have access to the clipboard, which could be a major problem if you have any malware running. That’s the main advantage of the browser extensions and auto fill scripts, along w...
by buckstar
Tue Oct 17, 2017 9:17 am
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: With panicked homeowners selling their flooded homes for 40¢ on the dollar, investors are flocking to Houston
Replies: 35
Views: 7233

Re: With panicked homeowners selling their flooded homes for 40¢ on the dollar, investors are flocking to Houston

I think most newer houses in the Houston area are built on slab foundations. At least those in the suburbs that I’ve seen. There’s no raising them. Perhaps smaller older houses in older neighborhoods are built on pier and beam foundations that can be raised. But the ordinary suburban home built in ...
by buckstar
Fri Oct 13, 2017 9:32 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Earplugs that work on low frequency noise?
Replies: 35
Views: 3930

Re: Earplugs that work on low frequency noise?

I think that you may be surprised if you ask them to move the time back an hour.

Check with your city as well, our city ordinance prohibits construction work and lawn work before 9am on weekends, your city may have something similar.
by buckstar
Thu Oct 12, 2017 10:11 am
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: With panicked homeowners selling their flooded homes for 40¢ on the dollar, investors are flocking to Houston
Replies: 35
Views: 7233

Re: With panicked homeowners selling their flooded homes for 40¢ on the dollar, investors are flocking to Houston

It's a very sad situation overall. Many of these homes have been flooded three years in a row. The solution is to raise them onto piers above the base flood elevation level, but that is expensive and many of the homeowner's don't have the resources to do so. When most of these homes were built, they...
by buckstar
Wed Sep 20, 2017 6:20 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: 30yr Mortgage Refi Rates
Replies: 16
Views: 2985

Re: 30yr Mortgage Refi Rates

Zillow has been my go to place for mortgage rates for he last few years.
by buckstar
Sat Sep 16, 2017 9:54 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Maximizing retirement plan contrib after closing practice
Replies: 0
Views: 232

Maximizing retirement plan contrib after closing practice

I closed a medical practice early this year and let all of my employees go. I had a 401k plan that has been terminated that had a safe harbor (4%) match for my employees. The practice is no longer open, but technically the business is still active, I'm still receiving insurance payments, etc... Can ...
by buckstar
Thu Aug 31, 2017 8:19 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: 2 comma club (my way)!!
Replies: 60
Views: 13219

Re: 2 comma club (my way)!!

Mrxyz wrote:
Fri Mar 06, 2015 6:20 am
I am saving lots every year and hope to make it to 2 MIL in the next 5 to 7 years.
Very impressive that you did this in 2.5 years, not your estimated 5-7! Congratulations!!

Buckstar
by buckstar
Wed Aug 09, 2017 12:34 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Should we sell a home to a friend's daughter?
Replies: 31
Views: 3940

Re: Should we sell a home to a friend's daughter?

Another option would be to make it clear from the beginning that the property will be sold "as is". That way the onus is on them to identify any potential problems, and then decide whether or not to proceed.
by buckstar
Mon Aug 07, 2017 7:34 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Acadia National Park: Bar Harbor, Maine
Replies: 28
Views: 3568

Re: Acadia National Park: Bar Harbor, Maine

Lot's of good recommendations - our favorites are the hiking (wild blueberry bushes for snacks!), biking on the carriage trails, and kayaking. If you have kids, I would strongly recommend Diver Ed's Dive-in Theater Boat Tour. It's fun and hilarious, and as a bonus, educational as well.
by buckstar
Tue Jul 18, 2017 11:13 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Do You Take Your Credit Card Receipts?
Replies: 85
Views: 9570

Re: Do You Take Your Credit Card Receipts?

What do you do when the receipt you take from a restaurant doesn't match up with the charge on your credit card statement? I went to a restaurant recently and the credit card statement charge is $20 more than the receipt I took. Do I call the restaurant or the credit card company, or do nothing?
by buckstar
Mon Jun 26, 2017 4:46 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Best Practices for Managing Paper Receipts
Replies: 28
Views: 3827

Re: Best Practices for Managing Paper Receipts

Thank me later. Fujitsu iX500 ScanSnap Document Scanner + EverNote (FREE) https://www.amazon.com/Fujitsu-ScanSnap-Document-Scanner-PA03656-B305/dp/B01G3JYVYM/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1498094415&sr=8-1&keywords=fuji+snapscan $444 for a scanner? :confused your smartphone can do it for free w/ any one o...
by buckstar
Fri Jun 16, 2017 2:04 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Mortgage amount vs savings vs interest deduction
Replies: 26
Views: 2467

Re: Mortgage amount vs savings vs interest deduction

buckstar, 1) Why do you assume that the 6% return is solely in the qualified dividend? A more reasonable assumption would be 2% to 3% dividend and the rest in capital gain. <<And you neglected to consider the MID on the $36k in mortgage interest. >> 2) Then, we throw in property tax, homeowner insu...
by buckstar
Thu Jun 15, 2017 3:32 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Mortgage amount vs savings vs interest deduction
Replies: 26
Views: 2467

Re: Mortgage amount vs savings vs interest deduction

Reston, etc are not DC - they are exurbs. The commute in from Reston to DC is almost an hour. If you want to live in NW DC or Arlington, $1.3M will buy you a ranch home. One other factor to consider is that a jumbo loan above $1M is considered a 'super jumbo' and has higher rates and different under...
by buckstar
Wed Jun 14, 2017 10:35 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: To buy or not to buy and move?
Replies: 19
Views: 2363

Re: To buy or not to buy and move?

Five thousand sq ft for two people in their 70s seems quite large! I imagine as you get older, you will value that space less and less, and maybe even regret it as it will get difficult to care for. I would recommend moving close to family and downsizing, and furthermore if your are going to love cl...
by buckstar
Mon Jun 05, 2017 8:40 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Source for Finding and Understanding Medical Billing Codes
Replies: 8
Views: 1117

Re: Source for Finding and Understanding Medical Billing Codes

This is the Medicare website, you can search by code, and see what medicare reimburses for each code. There are modifiers and adjustments for multiple codes, so your physician is likely not making as much as you think.

https://www.cms.gov/apps/physician-fee- ... ement.aspx
by buckstar
Fri May 12, 2017 9:02 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Can you suggest a mortgage lender who does not resell
Replies: 67
Views: 7930

Re: Can you suggest a mortgage lender who does not resell

As mentioned above, you can specify that you don't want to escrow your insurance and property tax. Usually this will result in either a higher rate or increased closing costs. If you don't escrow, it doesn't really matter who your loan servicer is. If you are hell bent on having your originator not ...
by buckstar
Thu May 04, 2017 9:59 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Public University (Texas) Retirement Options
Replies: 25
Views: 3841

Re: Public University (Texas) Retirement Options

I would caution both of you NOT to count on spending your entire careers at one institution. This is your first job out of training. I think most people will tell you that you learn more in your first two years of practice than you did during residency, both about medicine, and about the business of...
by buckstar
Tue Apr 18, 2017 9:15 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: More advice for BigLaw Survivor, please?
Replies: 180
Views: 25273

Re: More advice for BigLaw Survivor, please?

BLS-

Just a bump to say thank you for a fantastic post and your updates, which I hope you continue to do periodically.

I hope/plan to be in your position somewhere in the next 4-6 years (albeit with college expenses still to pay for), and your post has been inspirational.
by buckstar
Thu Apr 13, 2017 3:43 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: million dollar condo?
Replies: 33
Views: 4932

Re: million dollar condo?

Certainly you can afford it, I'm just not sure it's the correct decision for you. Why not wait until after you have kids to make that decision? You may decide that when you have kids you will want a yard for them. Or maybe you will want to live in area with other young families so there are lots of ...
by buckstar
Tue Apr 11, 2017 3:15 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Can we afford private school tuition
Replies: 42
Views: 5024

Re: Can we afford private school tuition

Just remember that with private school tuition comes other expense: yearly donations, class trip fees, etc...
by buckstar
Thu Mar 30, 2017 4:25 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Spring Break Trip to Disney World
Replies: 68
Views: 6368

Re: Spring Break Trip to Disney World

Express pass at Universal is totally worth it. I wouldn't go without it.
by buckstar
Sat Mar 11, 2017 10:37 am
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Portfolio Review and Our Complete Economic Situation
Replies: 16
Views: 1903

Re: Portfolio Review and Our Complete Economic Situation

Does your business have employees? If not, I would strongly consider a defined benefit plan. If structured correctly, you will be able to defer taxes on a much, much larger share of your income. I use employee fiduciary for our 401k plan, they are very good, with low, transparent fees and let you pi...
by buckstar
Fri Mar 03, 2017 8:48 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: When & how much to donate?
Replies: 108
Views: 10008

Re: When & how much to donate?

Congratulations on your success! You will receive no criticism from me, only encouragement. I would say donate as much or as little as you want, just donate something. The more strongly you feel about the cause, the more you and the cause will benefit.
by buckstar
Tue Feb 28, 2017 9:36 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Macbook Pro 15 (2016 Model): Worth the Upgrade?
Replies: 8
Views: 970

Re: Macbook Pro 15 (2016 Model): Worth the Upgrade?

I just made the same upgrade you are proposing. Was it worth it? For me, yes because my 2012 MacBook Pro was dying. It was the first Mac I've had that I would describe as a lemon, as I had (hardware) problems with it from year one of ownership. Having said that, it still lasted me 4 years without ha...