Search found 150 matches

by BobStrauss
Sat Feb 20, 2021 9:15 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Any Boglehead Lessons From the Texas Winter Storm?
Replies: 226
Views: 18157

Re: Any Boglehead Lessons From the Texas Winter Storm?

I live in San Antonio. Have a wife and two kids - a two year old and an 8 week old. We lost power for several days. Best prep for us in hindsight was to develop and maintain a social network. When things go bad, it usually doesn’t impact everyone 100% across the board. We had friends who were on the...
by BobStrauss
Wed Feb 10, 2021 11:18 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: If you are investing in a traditional 401(k) or traditional IRA, do you have a good reason for doing this?
Replies: 156
Views: 9290

Re: If you are investing in a traditional 401(k) or traditional IRA, do you have a good reason for doing this?

I max out my traditional 401k (TSP actually) since I am pursuing PSLF, and am on an income-based payment schedule. Each dollar I save reduces my monthly payment, akin to a tax break of an additional 15%.

In another three years I’ll have to reevaluate.
by BobStrauss
Wed Feb 10, 2021 3:16 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: "Preventive Care" - What is it exactly?
Replies: 8
Views: 1180

"Preventive Care" - What is it exactly?

Switched to a HDHP (GEHA) this year, which touts coverage of preventive care at 100%. Considering I only go to the doctor every 6 months (required due to prescription medication), I figured this would at least cover one of the visits completely. Doesn't seem to, though. Recently had my annual visit ...
by BobStrauss
Sat Feb 06, 2021 10:21 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: F150 - Flood Ford Extended Warranty
Replies: 10
Views: 783

Re: F150 - Flood Ford Extended Warranty

The one I'm looking at covers all the items ordinarily covered under the standard bumper-to-bumper warranty (https://www.floodfordesp.com/pdf/PremiumCARE_Ford_ESP.pdf). I understand modern vehicles are far more reliable than they used to be, but the cost of newer, more complicated systems (blind spo...
by BobStrauss
Sat Feb 06, 2021 8:26 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: F150 - Flood Ford Extended Warranty
Replies: 10
Views: 783

F150 - Flood Ford Extended Warranty

I've got a 2018 Ford F150 Lariat that I love, but don't trust it nearly as much as some of my previous vehicles. I'm coming up on three years of ownership in May, and have little over 30k miles, and am wondering whether it's finally time to pull the trigger on a Flood Ford extended warranty (which b...
by BobStrauss
Tue Jan 26, 2021 1:12 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Ugh Vanguard! May have to leave. They made a huge error.
Replies: 223
Views: 25227

Re: Ugh Vanguard! May have to leave. They made a huge error.

humbledinvestor wrote: Mon Jan 25, 2021 3:20 pm Fixed 11 business days later. In hindsight I could have reacted better and Vanguard could have also done a better job in response. Glad it's done.
Hah, man I’d have been going nuts as well. Glad you got it sorted.
by BobStrauss
Sat Jan 02, 2021 12:04 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Share your net worth progression
Replies: 2475
Views: 564172

Re: Share your net worth progression

Jan 1 TSP / Gross = % gross in TSP 2013: 843 / 57408 = 1.5% 2014: 8214 / 59915 = 13.7% 2015: 18320 / 62466 = 29.3% 2016: 30312 / 65170 = 46.5% 2017: 48202 / 66230 = 72.8% 2018: 74621 / 69381 = 107.6% 2019: 87039 / 70781 = 123.0% 2020: 128745 / 75205 = 171.2% 2021: 175098 / 75957 = 230.5% My personal...
by BobStrauss
Sun Dec 06, 2020 3:41 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Coronavirus (Consumer Issues) How you are preparing?
Replies: 1775
Views: 150639

Re: Coronavirus (Consumer Issues) How you are preparing?

Dontwasteit wrote: Sat Dec 05, 2020 9:11 pm
checkyourmath wrote: Sun Nov 22, 2020 8:31 pm Haven't changed anything. We already had everything we need. I drank a lot more beer during the last 9 months is the only change. I am drinking about a 6 pack a week now.
A can a day?....Slow down man, lol :sharebeer
Beer. Now THATS something worth stocking up on.
by BobStrauss
Fri Dec 04, 2020 8:56 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Coronavirus (Consumer Issues) How you are preparing?
Replies: 1775
Views: 150639

Re: Coronavirus (Consumer Issues) How you are preparing?

Preparing for an emergency has become controversial as evidenced by "preparedness" is now considered hoarding. Lots of folks stocked up during the summer as items became plentiful. They are now considered hoarders, mostly by those who did not take time to purchase needed items.. Personall...
by BobStrauss
Thu Dec 03, 2020 2:14 pm
Forum: Personal Investments
Topic: At what milestone did you feel secure?
Replies: 156
Views: 17595

Re: At what milestone did you feel secure?

Realize that at any age and any amount of assets and milestones, it can all go away in a heartbeat. . . or. . .. financial concerns can be dwarfed by other matters and events in life. Feeling "secure" can instill confidence or over confidence, inspiration to strive for bigger and better m...
by BobStrauss
Wed Dec 02, 2020 9:18 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Career planning and federal government jobs
Replies: 67
Views: 4511

Re: Career planning and federal government jobs

It may not be for everyone, but the military is by far the best way to start a path toward working in the government field. Even if active duty doesn't work out, your child will now have vet preference on applying for fed jobs. Further, almost everywhere there are military jobs there are federal jo...
by BobStrauss
Sat Nov 28, 2020 7:38 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: My car insurance rate is $1000/month. HELP
Replies: 69
Views: 7437

Re: My car insurance rate is $1000/month. HELP

Weird that so many here have had high GEICO quotes. It’s always been consistently lower than the others (All State, Progressive, Amica, State Farm) for me here in Texas.
by BobStrauss
Fri Oct 09, 2020 7:53 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Community Solar - Worth It?
Replies: 6
Views: 610

Re: Community Solar - Worth It?

I've decided as most of you mentioned that the payoff period is too long for me to want to pursue this. Also a bit concerned that degradation in the panels could mean that the payoff may actually be longer than it initially looks on paper. Perhaps another program will come along in a few years that'...
by BobStrauss
Thu Oct 08, 2020 4:04 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Community Solar - Worth It?
Replies: 6
Views: 610

Community Solar - Worth It?

I live in San Antonio, and our major municipal energy provider (CPS Energy) has partnered with a local solar company (Big Sun) in offering a community solar plan. Here are some of the main points: customers will own the physical panels but they are offsite, used above carports in the city; the accou...
by BobStrauss
Fri Sep 18, 2020 9:53 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Refinance Mega Thread
Replies: 10052
Views: 710621

Re: Refinance Mega Thread

We have 11 years left on our 15-year 3% APR mortgage, a balance now of $88k. I'm seeing some lower rates available in the 2.6-2.8% APR range for 10 year mortgages, but I'm getting the impression it's not worth it for banks or credit unions to deal with us on this? Any thoughts you guys have would b...
by BobStrauss
Fri Sep 18, 2020 9:11 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Refinance Mega Thread
Replies: 10052
Views: 710621

Re: Refinance Mega Thread

We have 11 years left on our 15-year 3% APR mortgage, a balance now of $88k. I'm seeing some lower rates available in the 2.6-2.8% APR range for 10 year mortgages, but I'm getting the impression it's not worth it for banks or credit unions to deal with us on this? Any thoughts you guys have would be...
by BobStrauss
Fri Jun 12, 2020 5:59 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Best car between $15,000 and $20,000?
Replies: 29
Views: 2718

Re: Best car between $15,000 and $20,000?

My 2017 Kia Forte was $15k out the door when I bought it. Still happy with it, and I like the 60k warranties that come with Kia and Hyundai. I second the Kia Forte being an incredible value. Bought a 2013 new and had it six years, and no other compact could provide the same features and tech at the...
by BobStrauss
Fri Apr 24, 2020 10:23 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: TurboTax Online: Inputting income/withholding for MFS
Replies: 0
Views: 170

TurboTax Online: Inputting income/withholding for MFS

Can anyone advise me on how to input community property adjustments for TurboTax's online program? My wife and I live in Texas and file separately (due to student loan reasons). I believe I need to input our income and withholdings, but it's really confusing the way it's worded. One page says "...
by BobStrauss
Mon Apr 20, 2020 10:30 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Helping deciding if i should purchase a truck
Replies: 26
Views: 1711

Re: Helping deciding if i should purchase a truck

So... I'm not going to tell you what to do because that's really a personal preference and I don't think you can go wrong either way. It sounds like you can afford either choice. My $.02 - I have a 2018 F-150 Lariat and it is the best truck I've owned. We tend to travel with it more than the SUV be...
by BobStrauss
Sat Mar 28, 2020 8:05 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: How are you going to use your stimulus money?
Replies: 222
Views: 13380

Re: How are you going to use your stimulus money?

At the risk of straying into the political (sorry Lady Geek if this is too much), but I think the concern for Bogleheads should be to spend the money to juice the economy and get things moving again. The loss of $1200 or $2400 or a little more (by not receiving a check) pales in comparison to the a...
by BobStrauss
Sun Jan 19, 2020 8:56 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: If you could only listen to one podcast...
Replies: 138
Views: 12526

Re: If you could only listen to one podcast...

Joe Rogan Experience or Your Mom’s House
by BobStrauss
Sun Jan 05, 2020 2:21 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Good car for toddler and newborn
Replies: 41
Views: 2540

Re: Good car for toddler and newborn

Far more information needed. Budget? Must haves? Personal preferences?

Personally, I’d go as new and as big as your budget reasonably allows, as safety is the number one factor imo.
by BobStrauss
Sun Dec 29, 2019 10:46 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Good quality work/ dress shoes?
Replies: 23
Views: 1637

Re: Good quality work/ dress shoes?

I’ve worn the same two pairs of Allen Edmonds shoes (a wing tip and an ankle boot) to work for the past six years. If you get something with a Goodyear well and a sole that can be replaced, any good pair of shoes should be able to last you a real long time.
by BobStrauss
Thu Dec 26, 2019 8:19 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Boglehead Thoughts on House Size to Family Size
Replies: 53
Views: 4483

Re: Boglehead Thoughts on House Size to Family Size

We’re a family of 3 plus a small dog) living in a 1200 square foot house. It’s very much doable if you plan your furniture purchases well and don’t hoard clutter, the latter point especially.
by BobStrauss
Tue Dec 17, 2019 7:42 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Quality Power-Tool Brands
Replies: 93
Views: 6504

Re: Quality Power-Tool Brands

My opinion only: Put your money where it matters in the big ticket tools that do the heavy work...mitre saw, table saw, reciprocating saw and skill saw (DeWalt, Bosch, Milwaukee). Drills, impact drivers, finesse type tools (finish nailers, jigsaws, routers) can be mid grade (Ryobi, Black and Decker...
by BobStrauss
Mon Nov 11, 2019 4:17 pm
Forum: Personal Investments
Topic: Spend It All vs. Leave $$ for the Kids
Replies: 192
Views: 16717

Re: Spend It All vs. Leave $$ for the Kids

One thing I haven’t really seen brought up yet: how inheritance could help adult children in weathering a financial storm. Major health care surprises, freak accidents, lawsuits. There are so many ways in which a bad bounce or two can have permanent negative impacts on one’s life. No matter the valu...
by BobStrauss
Sun Nov 03, 2019 12:56 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Is it possible to revise FSA dependent care claims?
Replies: 5
Views: 371

Re: Is it possible to revise FSA dependent care claims?

Our 2019 expenses will only shake out to about $4,000, as we started daycare in late June, and monthly bills are only $635. However, it appears that "babysitting by a relative who's not a tax dependent" is an eligible expense. If it's less than $400 in net self-employment earnings, I read ...
by BobStrauss
Sun Nov 03, 2019 11:20 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Is it possible to revise FSA dependent care claims?
Replies: 5
Views: 371

Is it possible to revise FSA dependent care claims?

My wife and I have both been contributing to dependent care FSAs this year. However, I wasn't paying enough attention and had us max out this year, without realizing this would require some finagling to work out. Mine is federal and allows me to use them on expenses up to March of 2020, but hers is ...
by BobStrauss
Fri Sep 06, 2019 8:09 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Can it get better than 15 year fixed mortgage at 3%?
Replies: 44
Views: 3858

Re: Can it get better than 15 year fixed mortgage at 3%?

Obviously 2 is better than 3. And 1 is better than 2. You've been a member since 2011 and haven't noticed in those 8 years that Bogleheads don't usually think rates are predictable? You're not going to get any answers because none of us know the future of rates. Sure - I get it. But even during the...
by BobStrauss
Fri Sep 06, 2019 8:02 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Can it get better than 15 year fixed mortgage at 3%?
Replies: 44
Views: 3858

Can it get better than 15 year fixed mortgage at 3%?

We refinanced back in fall of 2016 to a 15 year mortgage at 3% APR. Now I'm seeing articles about home loan rates dropping to new lows. Can it get much better than what we're currently locked into?
by BobStrauss
Sat Aug 10, 2019 2:38 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Is a 300/500 car policy truly enough?
Replies: 54
Views: 5431

Re: Is a 300/500 car policy truly enough?

UPDATE: I haven’t been served yet, but the insurance company has asked about it each time I’ve called, so I guess that’s the expectation. My provider has been great, though. Apparently I had accident forgiveness, so there will be no additional impact to my rates (which had already been reduced when ...
by BobStrauss
Thu Aug 01, 2019 9:26 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Is a 300/500 car policy truly enough?
Replies: 54
Views: 5431

Re: Is a 300/500 car policy truly enough?

From what gathered on a quick Google search, government retirement plans like the TSP are not ERISA qualified, and therefore subject to creditors. I also assumed our house would be subject as well, in which we have about $90k of equity. As for letting others drive our car - absolutely never again. W...
by BobStrauss
Thu Aug 01, 2019 6:45 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Is a 300/500 car policy truly enough?
Replies: 54
Views: 5431

Re: Is a 300/500 car policy truly enough?

my MIL was driving my wife’s car and struck another vehicle from behind would my family stand to lose everything despite my relatively high level of coverage? Why do you think you (personally) would have any liability when you weren't driving the car? doesn't insurance follow the vehicle? and since...
by BobStrauss
Wed Jul 31, 2019 8:44 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Is a 300/500 car policy truly enough?
Replies: 54
Views: 5431

Re: Is a 300/500 car policy truly enough?

Umbrella policies are generally pretty cheap. Like $230 for $1million coverage per year for me so I favor having it. I hope all goes well for everyone involved and that your rates aren't too affected either At that price it sounds like a bargain. It’s funny, our rates actually went down a couple mo...
by BobStrauss
Wed Jul 31, 2019 8:00 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Is a 300/500 car policy truly enough?
Replies: 54
Views: 5431

Is a 300/500 car policy truly enough?

My wife (31) and I (35) gross about $150k per year, save about 25% of that, and have the following accounts: My TSP: $112k Her 401k: $75k Roth IRA: $3k We’re about to get sued from a car accident last November, when my MIL was driving my wife’s car and struck another vehicle from behind. No airbags ...
by BobStrauss
Tue Jul 09, 2019 8:53 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Pickup truck issue!!
Replies: 39
Views: 3577

Re: Pickup truck issue!!

New trucks are expensive, but it sounds like having to spend $3-5k on a truck with only 129k miles on it isn’t a great deal either. Whatever you do I would factor safety into your consideration. Trucks produced now are far safer than those built 10+ years ago. Not just the crash tests, but when you ...
by BobStrauss
Thu Jul 04, 2019 12:01 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Reservations about purchasing a 16 year old house
Replies: 65
Views: 5951

Re: Reservations about purchasing a 16 year old house

Though the age of those systems would be part of my decision (particularly with regard to price), it would not by any means be major factor. I would be more concerned with the location, quality of the build, layout, etc. Those things cannot be easily changed. ... If you buy a house with newer syste...
by BobStrauss
Fri Jun 28, 2019 8:12 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Trex decking or alternatives?
Replies: 44
Views: 5620

Re: Trex decking or alternatives?

FWIW, there shouldn’t be any more maintenance on an ipe deck than on a plastic one. Hell, it even has a Class A fire resistance rating - same as concrete. And ipe decks look stunning.
by BobStrauss
Thu Jun 27, 2019 8:47 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Any insurance beating USAA?
Replies: 42
Views: 4136

Re: Any insurance beating USAA?

For our family, GEICO has been far cheaper than USAA - and great when we’ve needed to make claims as well.
by BobStrauss
Thu Jun 27, 2019 8:44 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Trex decking or alternatives?
Replies: 44
Views: 5620

Re: Trex decking or alternatives?

How long do you want this deck to last? If you only anticipate being in this house another 10 years, a well-built deck using pressure treated pine (or perhaps cedar) might be the way to go. Maintain it well and it should hold up just fine. If you’ll be there longer and/or want something that’ll last...
by BobStrauss
Thu Jun 13, 2019 9:26 am
Forum: Personal Investments
Topic: Vanguard Roth IRA / Lifestrategy Income for Emer Fund
Replies: 1
Views: 280

Vanguard Roth IRA / Lifestrategy Income for Emer Fund

Hi, All, I don't have an IRA yet, but I'm thinking of opening a Roth for an emergency fund slash near term savings account. It'd be nice to have the account to eventually use towards college (and additional retirement) savings as well. However, my immediate need is to chunk $3k away in anticipation ...
by BobStrauss
Tue Jun 11, 2019 3:56 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Job opportunity - KSA/Bahrain
Replies: 66
Views: 6211

Re: Job opportunity - KSA/Bahrain

You live in the greatest country in the world with the most freedoms. Is $ that important to leave your wife and children, who you will not see grow up in their "best" years......to live/work in a somewhat oppressive country? Turn the table around...and put yourself in your wife's situati...
by BobStrauss
Sat May 11, 2019 10:25 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Tired of a reel mower
Replies: 42
Views: 4337

Re: Tired of a reel mower

Aren't reel mowers supposed to provide a better lawn? I was taught they "cut" the blade instead of tearing it off, which results in less yellowing. Also supposedly they are the better choice for lawns the grow sideways via stolons, such as zoysia, centipede or bermuda. Is this outdated in...
by BobStrauss
Fri May 10, 2019 1:08 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Self-Propelled Lawn Mower
Replies: 19
Views: 1279

Re: Self-Propelled Lawn Mower

Battery operated electric mowers are probably the way to go for most people. No gas, less maintenance, super light, and very little noise. I had a Kobalt for five years and had no issue with the batteries, even though I mow weekly and for many months out of the year (I live in San Antonio). Recently...
by BobStrauss
Sun May 05, 2019 9:41 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: I have a buddy in Australia he says he pays for each email. I never heard of this. Is this true?
Replies: 17
Views: 3685

Re: I have a buddy in Australia he says he pays for each email. I never heard of this. Is this true?

I lived in Sydney for a year in a half, leaving in 2010. I couldn’t believe how slow and expensive internet access was over there. The Aussies do a lot of things extremely well, but that isn’t one of them.
by BobStrauss
Sat Apr 06, 2019 9:26 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Drill & driver combo kit comparison
Replies: 46
Views: 3392

Re: Drill & driver combo kit comparison

Like several others mention, I don’t think you can go wrong with Ryobi’s 18v tools. For a weekend warrior I use mine a lot, probably abuse them somewhat with some larger projects, but I’ve never had any issues.
by BobStrauss
Sun Jan 20, 2019 9:32 am
Forum: Personal Investments
Topic: Storage facility as investment.
Replies: 25
Views: 2763

Re: Storage facility as investment.

I have looked at several storage investment syndications. Personally and from reading industry reports the sector was great but is getting overbuilt. I also think anecdotally the trend towards minimalism is limiting more growth. Parents have owned a storage unit in NW Kansas since the early 2000s. ...
by BobStrauss
Sat Jan 19, 2019 8:00 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Ford F-series pickup with 4x4 and 4 doors?
Replies: 31
Views: 2438

Re: Ford F-series pickup with 4x4 and 4 doors?

My advice is to check out f150forum.com.
by BobStrauss
Sat Jan 12, 2019 11:03 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: [Peter Jackson’s “They shall not grow old” - streaming on HBO]
Replies: 94
Views: 13757

Re: Impressive film in theater Dec 17 and 27 only

I guess I have to be one of the lone negative reviews. I wanted to love it, and did find the remastered footage fascinating, but I didn’t find the style of the film too gripping. The authentic narration was great, but it jumped between speakers so rapidly that to me it lacked depth and direction. Al...
by BobStrauss
Mon Sep 24, 2018 5:00 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Mom needs hip revision: how can I fight on her behalf?
Replies: 22
Views: 2155

Re: Mom needs hip revision: how can I fight on her behalf?

Maybe you were not blown off at Mayo. How long have you waited since the reply they sent? Things move slowly in the medical corporate world. Even though it is the Mayo clinic I can imagine that fixing a hip that has been fixed already three times would be fraught with complications of the actual su...