Search found 482 matches

by coalcracker
Fri Dec 06, 2019 1:55 pm
Forum: Personal Investments
Topic: 2020 Plan for $45,000,000 in 2045
Replies: 55
Views: 10255

Re: 2020 Plan for $45,000,000 in 2045

You've obviously put a lot of time and thought into educating yourself on investing, and I think you're in great shape particularly with your presumed high income. I don't think my income is as high as yours, but I have been in a similar position (lots of free cash to invest annually) for about 6-7 ...
by coalcracker
Wed Nov 27, 2019 1:02 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: New Phone Scam - Up A Notch
Replies: 59
Views: 4545

Re: New Phone Scam - Up A Notch

I never answer phone unless it is a friend and known number. Otherwise I let it go to voice mail. So, it is easy to avoid a scam if you don’t answer at all. It takes a commitment to do this as most people feel compelled to answer a ringing phone. It is a waste of my time. There is NOTHING that come...
by coalcracker
Fri Nov 22, 2019 9:06 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Spending money to make travel easier and luxurious?
Replies: 85
Views: 7923

Re: Spending money to make travel easier and luxurious?

I'll add to the chorus calling for a local guide. You can tailor this to you interests. We are foodies, and paid for full day culinary experiences on our past two trips to Barcelona and Provence. Both of them were just us and the guide/chef, and included market tours from individuals who knew a LOT ...
by coalcracker
Mon Nov 11, 2019 9:26 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: What is this sound in the house?
Replies: 37
Views: 4722

Re: What is this sound in the house?

Agree with others that critters seems most likely given the timing and what you've excluded so far. Only other thing you might consider is some kind of expansion/contraction of the house in that corner if/when the sun hits during the day. We have plexiglass skylights that pop audibly whenever the su...
by coalcracker
Thu Nov 07, 2019 9:37 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Home Automation Mavens - Need Some Help
Replies: 7
Views: 539

Re: Home Automation Mavens - Need Some Help

Coalcracker, the “not working well with each other” is real. I’m hoping that some broker (eg, Samsung ST, Alexa, whatever) can direct the dialog between the participants. A rabbit hole isn’t the worst thing for me to go down, but I pity someone with less free time than I have. I have a feeling that...
by coalcracker
Thu Nov 07, 2019 8:38 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Home Automation Mavens - Need Some Help
Replies: 7
Views: 539

Re: Home Automation Mavens - Need Some Help

Oh boy, you could go deep down the rabbit hole on this one :D I recently gutted and remodeled a new house and installed whole home smart lighting (Lutron RadioRa2). It works fairly well on its own, but required hours of personal education, trial and error, questions on Lutron's forums, and in the en...
by coalcracker
Wed Nov 06, 2019 8:55 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Travel hacking international flights
Replies: 50
Views: 5145

Re: Travel hacking international flights

OP is flying with multiple people on a fixed route flown by one airline. You're pretty much at the mercy of Lufthansa in this case, especially if you have fixed dates. Credit card strategies and deal sites are not a reliable route for the OP. OP might get lucky but also might have to suck it up and...
by coalcracker
Tue Nov 05, 2019 3:36 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Your Fantasy Kitchen (Cookware-wise)
Replies: 65
Views: 5499

Re: Your Fantasy Kitchen (Cookware-wise)

I would buy (not invest) in a nonstick pan. I buy tramontina's (top wirecutter pick) for $20-30 and replace them every 4-5 years. I use them only for eggs which allows the pan to last longer. I would not recommend a high end nonstick pan; none of them last long enough to justify the expense. I woul...
by coalcracker
Tue Nov 05, 2019 3:34 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Your Fantasy Kitchen (Cookware-wise)
Replies: 65
Views: 5499

Re: Your Fantasy Kitchen (Cookware-wise)

Our kitchen ware consists of what you have already. For the eggs, we buy non-stick skillets and treat them as usable items to dispose of eventually. We buy the winner of America's Test Kitchen which is T-Fal. Other than that, we have a few seasoned cast iron pans for various dishes as well. Probabl...
by coalcracker
Tue Nov 05, 2019 3:09 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Your Fantasy Kitchen (Cookware-wise)
Replies: 65
Views: 5499

Your Fantasy Kitchen (Cookware-wise)

My wife and I love to cook. We have a solid All-Clad stainless steel set (the Subaru of pots and pans) from our wedding 15 years ago, as well as a large Le Crueset dutch oven and a nonstick two-burner griddle. Over the years, we've cooked many delicious and some impressive meals in what we have. How...
by coalcracker
Tue Oct 01, 2019 2:14 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Uber in foreign countries
Replies: 25
Views: 1756

Re: Uber in foreign countries

Last year I needed an Uber for Mumbai hotel to the airport. The price on my app was almost twice the amount on the hotel staff Local uber app. That's very interesting. I have used Uber overseas a lot and was not aware that this could happen, but it makes sense - Uber is the master of price discrimi...
by coalcracker
Fri Sep 27, 2019 12:01 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: FSA after leaving job: FSA loophole?
Replies: 26
Views: 1674

Re: Fsa after leaving job: Fsa loophole?

Is this true of dependent care FSA as well? I seem to recall the amount available was not the full amount if I checked midyear.
by coalcracker
Fri Sep 27, 2019 11:46 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: FSA after leaving job: FSA loophole?
Replies: 26
Views: 1674

Re: Fsa after leaving job: Fsa loophole?

Just to be clear, she would be using money that has not yet been deducted from her paycheck( at least that is how I understand the article.)
by coalcracker
Fri Sep 27, 2019 11:37 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: FSA after leaving job: FSA loophole?
Replies: 26
Views: 1674

FSA after leaving job: FSA loophole?

Spouse is leaving job in October, leaving behind a health FSA and dependent care FSA. A couple of questions: 1. How long do we have to file a claim? Employer said it needs to be done before leaving, but FSA company said we have until March of next year to file 2. A Google search revealed this articl...
by coalcracker
Wed Sep 18, 2019 5:53 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Vacation ideas for February
Replies: 48
Views: 4018

Re: Vacation ideas for February

*Costa Rica-fly into Liberia or San Jose and drive to a beach town on the Pacific coast for the week. Can get different vibes depending on where you go. We spent a week in Nosara and had a fun, relaxed time *Tulum, Mexico- slightly less of a tourist scene than Cancun further north. Stay on the beach...
by coalcracker
Wed Sep 04, 2019 12:30 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: First-hand experiences with United Basic Economy for families?
Replies: 180
Views: 7815

Re: First-hand experiences with United Basic Economy for families?

I have flown United quite a bit recently, sometimes basic economy and sometimes with friends who booked basic economy. If the plane is rather empty then the gate agents have had no problems assigning seats near each other. If the plane is full, they will not reseat anyone with assigned seats to kee...
by coalcracker
Wed Sep 04, 2019 12:26 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: First-hand experiences with United Basic Economy for families?
Replies: 180
Views: 7815

Re: First-hand experiences with United Basic Economy for families?

Here is a recent long thread about this subject: https://www.bogleheads.org/forum/viewtopic.php?f=2&t=275189&p=4425656#p4425656 I have two young kids (5 and 2) and was recently burned by naively choosing basic economy instead of regular economy. Never again. They sat us all separately and, on a full...
by coalcracker
Wed Aug 28, 2019 12:52 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Is medium/long term planning (>5 yrs) useless?
Replies: 20
Views: 1196

Re: Is medium/long term planning (>5 yrs) useless?

David Jay » Wed Aug 28, 2019 1:36 pm There needs to be a balance. More finite planning in the near term, more generalized planning 5-10 years out. I stole this quote somewhere, don’t remember the source: “Having a plan and making adjustments is flexibility, having no plan is anarchy”. THIS. So what...
by coalcracker
Wed Aug 28, 2019 12:25 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Is medium/long term planning (>5 yrs) useless?
Replies: 20
Views: 1196

Is medium/long term planning (>5 yrs) useless?

I'm a planner by nature. About 8 years ago, I created an IPS (investment policy statement) which outlined my long-term financial plans. I was way off in a good way, in part due to the performance of equities and in part to an unexpected 6-figure windfall. Moreover, my non-financial personal and fami...
by coalcracker
Mon Aug 26, 2019 1:26 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Coffee becomes cold too soon
Replies: 119
Views: 10069

Re: Coffee becomes cold too soon

You need a mug warmer. Amazon has many, some have multiple heat settings. I do not have this problem as I don't much care how hot my coffee is, if anything room temperature is fine. I cannot imagine reheating a single cup of coffee, but that is just me. Broken Man 1999 It’s strange: I like my coffe...
by coalcracker
Mon Aug 19, 2019 10:03 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: "No cost" mortgage refi: will lender pay my fees?
Replies: 7
Views: 522

Re: "No cost" mortgage refi: will lender pay my fees?

Has anyone refinanced with *truly* no-cost loan such as this? You might want to improve your question. But the answer is yes. Noted and clarified :sharebeer Do you know offhand reputable lenders that might offer such loans? Is this common? In my limited searching it seems many lenders are reticent ...
by coalcracker
Mon Aug 19, 2019 8:37 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: "No cost" mortgage refi: will lender pay my fees?
Replies: 7
Views: 522

"No cost" mortgage refi: will lender pay my fees?

I'm looking to refinance a 30 year, 4% APR mortgage (28 years left). I have seen rates for a 15-year fixed in the 3.0-3.25% range, and I will have no problem affording the higher payment. Initial inquiries with my existing mortgage company and an online lender yielded similar results. Title insuranc...
by coalcracker
Sat Aug 10, 2019 6:19 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Experience with “change airport” itinerary(LGA to JFK)?
Replies: 33
Views: 2248

Re: Experience with “change airport” itinerary?

I've done this successfully, but I arranged 22 hours in the intermediate city to minimize risk I'd miss the outbound flight. I'd look up the on-time performance of the arriving flight. And with only a few hours to spare, I'd strongly recommend buying TSA Pre or some other accelerated security scree...
by coalcracker
Sat Aug 10, 2019 5:59 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Experience with “change airport” itinerary(LGA to JFK)?
Replies: 33
Views: 2248

Experience with “change airport” itinerary(LGA to JFK)?

I’m looking at one flight stops to Europe (Nice, France) for the fall. My best option on the way back, considering price and time, is a flight through New York City which includes an airport change. We would land in LaGuardia and then transfer by land to JFK. There is a 4 hour 30 minute layover. It ...
by coalcracker
Wed Aug 07, 2019 6:52 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Advice on short Vietnam visit
Replies: 30
Views: 2608

Re: Advice on short Vietnam visit

Halong Bay. Nothing to be seen at night? Well, there is sunset and sunrise. There are the stars. There is the quiet and peace of being on the boat. So, yes, no night clubs, street stalls, and assorted other "night life". I guess if the magic in your life is being entertained at night then there is ...
by coalcracker
Fri Aug 02, 2019 11:59 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Extreme Anxiety with Time/Money
Replies: 95
Views: 9188

Re: Extreme Anxiety with Time/Money

I have a similar type A personality, but I agree with others that kids help (force) me to approach house problems with a certain degree of levity. I've been a homeowner for about 15 years. One approach I found useful is to conquer one "big" inside project and one outside project each year. Each proj...
by coalcracker
Thu Aug 01, 2019 4:34 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Ethics of "bonus payback" when quitting a job
Replies: 158
Views: 11431

Re: Ethics of "bonus payback" when quitting a job

The three month notice period prior to departure is standard in many physician employment contracts. If you just up and quit without adequate notice, you could potentially be reported to the state medical board for patient abandonment and have a negative action taken against your medical license. A...
by coalcracker
Wed Jul 31, 2019 3:42 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Ethics of "bonus payback" when quitting a job
Replies: 158
Views: 11431

Re: Ethics of "bonus payback" when quitting a job

Unless I missed it, we still haven't heard from the OP about what this must work until November thing is. Is everything open to renegotiation? Lordy. You signed something, didn’t think it through before agreeing to start on a date certain with new employer, and now you want either the old or the ne...
by coalcracker
Wed Jul 31, 2019 8:29 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Ethics of "bonus payback" when quitting a job
Replies: 158
Views: 11431

Re: Ethics of "bonus payback" when quitting a job

I do still think that once you start saying that you're happy to pay back the amount of money you received as a net benefit once they have adjusted your taxes and other costs to reflect you did not receive the bonus, this will go away. That's a lot of work. I like this strategy. Throw the ball back...
by coalcracker
Wed Jul 31, 2019 8:21 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Ethics of "bonus payback" when quitting a job
Replies: 158
Views: 11431

Re: Ethics of "bonus payback" when quitting a job

What was signed when the Retention Bonus was distributed? What does that wording say. Coming after the fact and saying, oh, you are leaving you need to pay it back it not valid. Maybe the HR Rep is saying, do not pay it back - as they know there is no legal recourse for the firm to come after you t...
by coalcracker
Wed Jul 31, 2019 8:19 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Ethics of "bonus payback" when quitting a job
Replies: 158
Views: 11431

Re: Ethics of "bonus payback" when quitting a job

Is there a risk of a lawsuit? I mean, there is always a risk, but have these folks been litigious with previous employees? This is an important consideration, thanks for bringing it up. He is attempting to contact other individuals who have left in recent years. Their experiences may go a long way ...
by coalcracker
Wed Jul 31, 2019 7:40 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Ethics of "bonus payback" when quitting a job
Replies: 158
Views: 11431

Re: Ethics of "bonus payback" when quitting a job

OP here. I'll try to address some of the questions/comments as much as I can. *His contract stipulates a 3-month out, fairly standard in medicine. As some have pointed out, anything is negotiable but he chose not to fight this. *The bonus structure is a bit arcane. The "retention bonus" is paid annu...
by coalcracker
Tue Jul 30, 2019 1:24 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Ethics of "bonus payback" when quitting a job
Replies: 158
Views: 11431

Re: Ethics of "bonus payback" when quitting a job

My father gave notice that he will be quitting his job in November 2019. Per the language of his contract, he is required to payback the entirety of a bonus (low-mid 5 figures) which was distributed end of 2018, if he leaves the position anytime in 2019. He inquired about paying back a portion of t...
by coalcracker
Tue Jul 30, 2019 12:53 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Ethics of "bonus payback" when quitting a job
Replies: 158
Views: 11431

Re: Ethics of "bonus payback" when quitting a job

OP here. To clarify (and perhaps change opinions), he did receive a letter stating terms of departure which included a line like: "corporation will be expecting repayment of $xx,xxx bonus by the last day of your employment." But in an immediate follow up conversation, the HR rep alluded to the fact ...
by coalcracker
Tue Jul 30, 2019 12:32 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Ethics of "bonus payback" when quitting a job
Replies: 158
Views: 11431

Re: Ethics of "bonus payback" when quitting a job

Delay departure to 1/1/20? Unfortunately (or fortunately) he took a position elsewhere and they need him ASAP. November was the earliest his current employer would let him leave. The expected loss of a bonus should have been negotiated with the new employer, typically as a sign-on bonus. In all sce...
by coalcracker
Tue Jul 30, 2019 12:21 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Ethics of "bonus payback" when quitting a job
Replies: 158
Views: 11431

Re: Ethics of "bonus payback" when quitting a job

anonenigma wrote:
Tue Jul 30, 2019 12:19 pm
Delay departure to 1/1/20?
Unfortunately (or fortunately) he took a position elsewhere and they need him ASAP. November was the earliest his current employer would let him leave.
by coalcracker
Tue Jul 30, 2019 12:14 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Ethics of "bonus payback" when quitting a job
Replies: 158
Views: 11431

Ethics of "bonus payback" when quitting a job

My father gave notice that he will be quitting his job in November 2019. Per the language of his contract, he is required to payback the entirety of a bonus (low-mid 5 figures) which was distributed end of 2018, if he leaves the position anytime in 2019. He inquired about paying back a portion of th...
by coalcracker
Tue Jul 23, 2019 9:39 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Buenos Aires - How many days?
Replies: 33
Views: 3083

Re: Buenos Aires - How many days?

Do you have your heart set on Iguazu Falls? :twisted: I would third/fourth the suggestion that your consider Patagonia. My wife and I have been all over the place, and both of us still consider our time in Patagonia as the highlight of our last 20 years of travel. You could fly first to El Calafate ...
by coalcracker
Fri Jul 12, 2019 1:59 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Grand Canyon and More In October
Replies: 35
Views: 2975

Re: Grand Canyon and More In October

I've been to most of those places, most recently to Zion, Bryce and the Grand Canyon area in 2017. Two "adventurous" recommendations: -If you could only do one day hike, and have no fear of heights, my pick would be Angel's Landing in Zion. It may be crowded but not insanely so that time of year. Ge...
by coalcracker
Thu Jun 27, 2019 1:44 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Tell me about ventless gas burners for a fireplace
Replies: 19
Views: 811

Re: Tell me about ventless gas burners for a fireplace

... I have some degree of trust that my new CO monitors would pick up any problems before I die. I have read that some ventless systems come with built-in CO and O2 monitors, but don't know much more about it. I would not trust my life, nor the lives of my family and guests, entirely to a technical...
by coalcracker
Thu Jun 27, 2019 1:39 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Tell me about ventless gas burners for a fireplace
Replies: 19
Views: 811

Re: Tell me about ventless gas burners for a fireplace

We had a chimney sweep inspect the fireplace and discovered that parts of each flue are exposed brick with missing/cracked segments, and he recommended not using it to burn gas or wood until we have it relined. This is the classic response from every chimney sweep in existence. Biggest bunch of cro...
by coalcracker
Thu Jun 27, 2019 1:04 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Tell me about ventless gas burners for a fireplace
Replies: 19
Views: 811

Re: Tell me about ventless gas burners for a fireplace

The poster with the defective ventless fireplace died from CO exposure and cannot respond. Touche :beer I personally come the from thought that things do eventually fail or don't work properly over time for various reasons. Given the risks from CO, if I had an option, I personally would opt to have...
by coalcracker
Thu Jun 27, 2019 12:34 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Tell me about ventless gas burners for a fireplace
Replies: 19
Views: 811

Tell me about ventless gas burners for a fireplace

My new home has a double-sided, double-flue fireplace that the previous owners used as wood burning. We want to convert it to a vented gas fireplace, and had a plumber run a gas line to the fireplace as part of a remodeling project. We had a chimney sweep inspect the fireplace and discovered that pa...
by coalcracker
Mon Jun 24, 2019 5:47 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Favorite mountain lodge destinations in the west?
Replies: 49
Views: 4629

Re: Favorite mountain lodge destinations in the west?

My wife has her elderly mother visiting next summer and they were thinking maybe of visiting Yellowstone National Park. But it appears that the destination park hotels are already booked out for 2020, at least for the dates she is looking at. Anyone have any suggestions for nice National Park style...
by coalcracker
Wed May 29, 2019 5:42 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Blackbird Problem
Replies: 11
Views: 1029

Re: Blackbird Problem

Be careful antagonizing crows (if that's what they are). They can hold a grudge:

http://blogs.discovermagazine.com/80bea ... O8KX3tKhhE
by coalcracker
Sat May 25, 2019 1:23 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: London / UK Summer Trip
Replies: 57
Views: 3601

Re: London / UK Summer Trip

I visited London for a week a couple years back with my wife, MIL, and 3-year-old. You'll get lots of opinions on where to stay. We stayed in Bloomsbury near Camden and found it convenient and not too crazy with tourists. Definitely get an apartment rental (AirBnB will have the most options), as it ...
by coalcracker
Wed May 22, 2019 9:15 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Relocate to Charleston SC?
Replies: 57
Views: 6202

Re: Relocate to Charleston SC?

As others have suggested, you will need to prioritize your desires as you are unlikely to find one place with "everything" outside of where you currently live. Have you considered further north from L.A. as Valuethinker suggested? We have friends who live in the San Luis Obispo area and have visited...
by coalcracker
Fri May 17, 2019 7:47 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Refinancing medical school loans?
Replies: 19
Views: 1912

Re: Refinancing medical school loans?

Encourage her to read extensively about the options before doing anything. In particular, the public service loan forgiveness (PSLF) program can completely forgive student loan debt under certain circumstances, but one must be extremely careful to follow all the rules: https://www.whitecoatinvestor....
by coalcracker
Tue May 14, 2019 2:56 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Driving in Lisbon Portugal?
Replies: 25
Views: 1504

Re: Driving in Lisbon Portugal?

So far plan is to fly in on July 26th. Won't be there until the evening. Get a hotel near airport. Probably uber or taxi to hotel. Get a car the 27th and then drive to our destination. Think we will be close to the toll highway, so hopefully driving won't be too bad. Looking at a compact w/manual t...
by coalcracker
Tue May 14, 2019 12:02 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Driving in Lisbon Portugal?
Replies: 25
Views: 1504

Re: Driving in Lisbon Portugal?

I have not driven in Portugal but have vacationed in Lisbon a few times. I would not want to drive around central Lisbon, especially in the area around Barrio Alto. We stayed near there and were driven to and from our flat; the roads were steep and narrow, and the routes to get around were confusing...