Search found 5595 matches

by stan1
Sun Jul 22, 2018 11:49 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: High voltage powelines near house
Replies: 25
Views: 1306

Re: High voltage powelines near house

The house was right next to large powerlines. Then, the lady mentioned that her husband passed from leukemia 4 years earlier. I ran out of there ASAP. There's reality and perception. There's science and aesthetics. There's me and there's other people. Notwithstanding reality and science I would not...
by stan1
Sat Jul 21, 2018 1:56 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: High school graduation monetary gift for nephew
Replies: 37
Views: 1830

Re: High school graduation monetary gift for nephew

A check or cash for $250 is generous, $500 very generous. I would not tie any strings to the money or make the amount of the gift contingent upon how he will spend it. If you want to help out with education expenses and there is a need that is also very generous and I'd treat that as a separate gift.
by stan1
Sat Jul 21, 2018 1:37 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Federal Benefits Question - Annuity, TSP, FEHBP
Replies: 19
Views: 985

Re: Federal Benefits Question - Annuity, TSP, FEHBP

I'd also point out that many of these benefits can be changed by two votes and a presidential signature. Yes in the past many changes have affected new hires but the CSRS to FERS transition and increased contribution rates have impacted existing employees to varying degrees. My point is not to try t...
by stan1
Sat Jul 21, 2018 1:10 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: does beneficiary trump all
Replies: 10
Views: 1017

Re: does beneficiary trump all

It sounds like multiple issues are getting mixed together in your post that you need to separate out including how she holds her current assets including the inherited IRA and insurance settlement, her current husband's care costs, her legal obligation to contribute to his care, his prognosis to lea...
by stan1
Sat Jul 21, 2018 9:22 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: I dont know how to spend money
Replies: 30
Views: 3019

Re: I dont know how to spend money

Do your frugal habits impact your ability to achieve life goals such as meeting and dating a potential spouse or maintaining the professional image your expected in your career? You can find a spouse who shares your values and enjoys a hike in the mountains more than a $500 night out for dinner, dri...
by stan1
Sat Jul 21, 2018 9:05 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Best luxury vinyl plank flooring?
Replies: 13
Views: 968

Re: Best luxury vinyl plank flooring?

Make sure you are getting a fully installed quote (flooring, glue/supplies, removal and disposal, surface preparation, any baseboard modification, labor, delivery if applicable, taxes). These factors other than the flooring material can have a big influence on cost.
by stan1
Fri Jul 20, 2018 7:43 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: JFK Traverlers: How to go from NJ to JFK and the opposite?
Replies: 38
Views: 1600

Re: JFK Traverlers: How to go from NJ to JFK and the opposite?

For a two hour drive and it sounds like 5 or more bags of various types including backpacks and purses I'd hire a sedan (mini-van) service. Airport drop offs are just about the only gig they have left. If you like the driver make arrangements for him to pick up you instead of using Uber/Lyft.
by stan1
Thu Jul 19, 2018 7:58 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Planning a trip to France in June 2019 - ADvice ?
Replies: 17
Views: 1005

Re: Planning a trip to France in June 2019 - ADvice ?

I find 10-12 days to be a good compromise for a trip to Europe. Of course it would be nice to stay longer but many people who are employed or in school can't do that. One week trips are short relative to the duration of the flight. That said 6-7 full days is a good amount of time to spend in Paris f...
by stan1
Sun Jul 15, 2018 9:14 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Where to get a $100 bill?
Replies: 49
Views: 4933

Re: Where to get a $100 bill?

It's a reason among many to join your local credit union.
by stan1
Sun Jul 15, 2018 8:26 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: How much furniture spending is ok?
Replies: 46
Views: 2902

Re: How much furniture spending is ok?

For a rental? I'd spend a lot less than if I owned a home and had expectation to stay there for 10 or more years. A few furniture pieces like a favorite chair or a bed frame are easily movable but when you start getting into dressers, sofas, and dining tables it's easy to find that you want a parti...
by stan1
Sun Jul 15, 2018 6:59 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Any Interior Designers Here? Looking for Japanese Bathroom/Kitchen Designs
Replies: 4
Views: 345

Re: Any Interior Designers Here? Looking for Japanese Bathroom/Kitchen Designs

I'd look through Houzz to find some examples of what you like. Many designers encourage that as a starting point these days especially when people want a specific style or look. Then you'll be able to think about specific items you like such as cabinets, flooring, counters, wall surfaces, use of mat...
by stan1
Sun Jul 15, 2018 6:39 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Am I dreaming or is there a possibility: Retire at 45?
Replies: 7
Views: 1600

Re: Am I dreaming or is there a possibility: Retire at 45?

What would you want to do with your time? I know many military retirees who still like working. Some want fast paced jobs where they stay active and feel like they are contributing to something important. Others are more selective about choosing jobs they enjoy. Many need the extra income. Any way t...
by stan1
Sun Jul 15, 2018 6:27 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Are Credit Cards Actually Convenient?
Replies: 65
Views: 3703

Re: Are Credit Cards Actually Convenient?

I have only had the problem with Bank of America. After two rejections (one for a $3000 carpet purchase and another $80 at Lowe's) I called to complain and told them if they didn't knock off frivolous declines on card present transactions I would close the account. I somewhat followed through and no...
by stan1
Sun Jul 15, 2018 6:14 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: How much furniture spending is ok?
Replies: 46
Views: 2902

Re: How much furniture spending is ok?

For a rental? I'd spend a lot less than if I owned a home and had expectation to stay there for 10 or more years. A few furniture pieces like a favorite chair or a bed frame are easily movable but when you start getting into dressers, sofas, and dining tables it's easy to find that you want a partic...
by stan1
Sun Jul 15, 2018 11:59 am
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Advice for a beginner with £100k
Replies: 5
Views: 354

Re: Advice for a beginner with £100k

I would be very happy with yearly average returns of 10%. What would you be doing if you were me? So would all of us, but the average annual return for the Vanguard Total World ETF (domiciled in the US) since its inception in 2008 is 6.21% before taxes. You may get 10% some years but other years it...
by stan1
Sun Jul 15, 2018 11:15 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Kitchen Remodel
Replies: 23
Views: 1729

Re: Kitchen Remodel

It wasn't clear from your OP but I am assuming this is a full kitchen reno? If so, I have couple tips if you want to go high end: 1) painted and sealed custom cabinets that are 100% wood (we had the cheap, store bought particle board ones orginally and they don't hold up against water) 2) soft clos...
by stan1
Sun Jul 15, 2018 10:49 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Kitchen Remodel
Replies: 23
Views: 1729

Re: Kitchen Remodel

7. Cabinetry with rolling shelves and other features to save the "back" is worth a million ice packs. 8. The corners of a range hood or cooktop hood should never ever be below the tallest person in the house. :shock: 7. What is a rolling shelf? It's a flat drawer behind a door. Just get drawers in ...
by stan1
Sun Jul 15, 2018 10:35 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: How do you back up Quicken?
Replies: 15
Views: 803

Re: How do you back up Quicken?

I have been running Quicken with all its data files inside a folder synced to Dropbox for a few years now. No issues. The QDF file syncs when I exit Quicken. If I'm doing a lot of work in Quicken I'll exit and reopen the file in the middle of what I'm doing. Sometimes I go in a do cleanup on categor...
by stan1
Sun Jul 15, 2018 10:30 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Kitchen Remodel
Replies: 23
Views: 1729

Re: Kitchen Remodel

7. Cabinetry with rolling shelves and other features to save the "back" is worth a million ice packs. 8. The corners of a range hood or cooktop hood should never ever be below the tallest person in the house. :shock: 7. What is a rolling shelf? It's a flat drawer behind a door. Just get drawers in ...
by stan1
Sun Jul 15, 2018 9:55 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: How often do you buy a primary residence?
Replies: 46
Views: 3758

Re: How often do you buy a primary residence?

We seem to move about every 15 years. It's mostly because of lifestyle changes but it comes at a cost. There are a lot of hidden transaction costs that come with moving beyond those involved in the purchase and sale itself, such as hiring movers, fixing up the old house to put it up for sale, and fi...
by stan1
Sun Jul 15, 2018 9:43 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Kitchen Remodel
Replies: 23
Views: 1729

Re: Kitchen Remodel

My thinking is to cook more healthy and tasty food at home instead of going out. Spend more to save. With that as a stated objective I'd definitely consider the Miele induction cooktop and a combi convection steam oven and/or a convection speed oven. All make cooking at home faster and easier. The ...
by stan1
Sun Jul 15, 2018 8:53 am
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Change in Flagship Rep Service ?
Replies: 21
Views: 2235

Re: Change in Flagship Rep Service ?

I was transitioned to the team concept about 3 months ago and have not had to interact with them since. I did find that the dedicated Flagship rep I had previously (for about 10 years) was very capable and was able to steer through the Vanguard bureaucracy to get something done. I only needed to use...
by stan1
Sat Jul 14, 2018 1:59 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Portfolio Alignment Guidance
Replies: 8
Views: 688

Re: Portfolio Alignment Guidance

You may have seen the announcement Vanguard made that they are going to offer free trades of most ETFs. I'd expect that most large brokerages will match that eventually due to competitive pressures. I wouldn't make any long term decisions right now (such as buying an ETF you don't really want to hol...
by stan1
Sat Jul 14, 2018 7:29 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: are mccormick gourmet spices better
Replies: 31
Views: 2096

Re: are mccormick gourmet spices better

And another person surprised to find there is a Penzeys retail storefront 7 miles from my house.
by stan1
Fri Jul 13, 2018 3:32 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Kitchen Remodel
Replies: 23
Views: 1729

Re: Kitchen Remodel

I'll start at the beginning. A big contributor to a successful kitchen remodel is hiring an experienced kitchen designer. If you are going to spend over $50K on appliances don't skimp on the design. Look at portfolios first to get a feel for what you like. A designer might tell you she can work with...
by stan1
Fri Jul 13, 2018 8:02 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: New construction: financing fell through, builder won't return deposit/earnest $
Replies: 37
Views: 3347

Re: New construction: financing fell through, builder won't return deposit/earnest $

sunny_socal wrote:
Thu Jul 12, 2018 4:13 pm
We're exploring a new deal with the builder. Our CA rental manager is indicating that he'll have a signed lease within a day or two.
Seems like the best approach to me. Quite a bit of bad advice on this thread.
by stan1
Fri Jul 13, 2018 7:59 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Someone is using my cellphone number
Replies: 21
Views: 2783

Re: Someone is using my cellphone number

Block the number and move on. You've already given them a lot of additional personal information (which I would not have wanted to do). It's just Best Buy. If it was Vanguard, my bank, or my health insurer I'd have a different response here (and I'd expect they would too after your call).
by stan1
Fri Jul 13, 2018 7:16 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Preparing non-technocrat spouse $ Mgmt
Replies: 25
Views: 2135

Re: Preparing non-technocrat spouse $ Mgmt

Seems like you enjoy managing complexity and have some strong personal opinions about this. Your wife doesn't share either. So its a switch from your mindset to her mindset. If you've been married for a long time you've both grown used to each other. Given your ages if you are in good health carry o...
by stan1
Thu Jul 12, 2018 8:24 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Advice on IT Certification program
Replies: 93
Views: 3697

Re: Advice on IT Certification program

3) The following book is the bible for networking. If your kid can read this book and understand about 10% to 15% of what he read, he is in a very good shape. Most folks in networking will understand less than 50% of this book. I am in this area for 30+ years and I am nowhere close to 100%. And, th...
by stan1
Thu Jul 12, 2018 6:54 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Advice on IT Certification program
Replies: 93
Views: 3697

Re: Advice on IT Certification program

If I were going to make a few suggestions for your child: start networking and going to meet-ups. I got my initial help desk role from someone I knew from high school. skip the certification program and just self-study for A+ and Network+. This will show initiative and provide a solid foundation of...
by stan1
Thu Jul 12, 2018 6:40 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Trade War: time for Mac Upgrade?
Replies: 34
Views: 2938

Re: Trade War: time for Mac Upgrade?

I keep computers for four-six years. Large parts of Apple's current laptop and iMac lineup hasn't been refreshed since June 2017. Given my preferences to stretch four to six years out of a computer purchase personally I would not buy something that is already a year old. If, however, you'd be OK wi...
by stan1
Wed Jul 11, 2018 8:21 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Deciding how much to spend on home remodeling
Replies: 22
Views: 1885

Re: Deciding how much to spend on home remodeling

All at once or smaller pieces over time: There are pros and cons of either, but one thing to keep in mind is that everything is done in layers, so if you want to make any changes later to inner layers like framing, plumbing and electrical that impact the outer layers like floor or paint you need to ...
by stan1
Wed Jul 11, 2018 7:31 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Trade War: time for Mac Upgrade?
Replies: 34
Views: 2938

Re: Trade War: time for Mac Upgrade?

I keep computers for four-six years. Large parts of Apple's current laptop and iMac lineup hasn't been refreshed since June 2017. Given my preferences to stretch four to six years out of a computer purchase personally I would not buy something that is already a year old. If, however, you'd be OK wit...
by stan1
Wed Jul 11, 2018 7:24 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Deciding how much to spend on home remodeling
Replies: 22
Views: 1885

Re: Deciding how much to spend on home remodeling

Architects are not always good at estimating cost, so your $60-120K range could actually be $120-200K when you talk to a builder and select your finishes and fixtures. Especially if you are looking at structural changes like taking out walls or moving the kitchen in an area with high cost and short ...
by stan1
Wed Jul 11, 2018 7:46 am
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: What's up with Wells Fargo
Replies: 27
Views: 2879

Re: What's up with Wells Fargo

There are state laws on handling of inactive and dormant accounts. These laws can apply to checking, savings, and brokerage accounts together or separately. Interest earned is not activity nor is logging into a website. The details of the laws vary by state.
by stan1
Tue Jul 10, 2018 8:10 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Flooring for New House
Replies: 57
Views: 3782

Re: Flooring for New House

In my area people in $2M+ houses with young kids and dogs are putting LVT/LVP on their slab foundations. Their attitude is they will replace with wood when the kids are older or if they have decide to sell the house. The LVT/LVP products are not cheap. Cost per square foot with professional install ...
by stan1
Tue Jul 10, 2018 7:57 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Masterbath Remodel - Tub or No Tub ?
Replies: 57
Views: 3235

Re: Masterbath Remodel - Tub or No Tub ?

In my VHCOL inner suburb area: Realtors say its OK to get rid of the master tub in favor of a spa-like walk in shower BUT ONLY IF there is a tub in the hall/kids/guest bath.
by stan1
Tue Jul 10, 2018 7:00 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: PenFed or Navy Federal?
Replies: 30
Views: 2138

Re: PenFed or Navy Federal?

I have accounts at both. Between the two you can usually get a "good" CD rate but maybe not the best available at the time. If you want the best and "good" isn't good enough you'll need to be prepared to move your money regularly. If you want a "good" rate on an FDIC insured money market savings acc...
by stan1
Mon Jul 09, 2018 7:04 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Rent Cost vs Commute -- How would you calculate trade-off financially?
Replies: 11
Views: 845

Re: Rent Cost vs Commute -- How would you calculate trade-off financially?

Do you know Houston? You should be considering traffic as well as distance. Absolutely! Traffic plus the hours of a student working in multiple medical centers? I'd go for the 10-20 minute rush hour commute if I could afford it. Maybe your hours will be such that you aren't commuting during rush ho...
by stan1
Sun Jul 08, 2018 6:02 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Is it contradictory to be a Boglehead and have substantial allocation towards SCV?
Replies: 30
Views: 2237

Re: Is it contradictory to be a Boglehead and have substantial allocation towards SCV?

First, the assertion that SCV has under-performed the S&P500 over long time periods is flat-out wrong. There is a small cap premium and a value premium, and these are persistent and pervasive (over long time periods). Look at the data yourself. Not that I'm against SCV, but there are some examples ...
by stan1
Sun Jul 08, 2018 1:09 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Tax-friendlier alternatives to Vanguard Extended Market?
Replies: 22
Views: 2001

Re: Tax-friendlier alternatives to Vanguard Extended Market?

The best ways to mitigate uncertainty is to diversify and to know your risk tolerance. There's no way to predict what will happen in 20 or 50 years yet alone 1 year. You have no control over future taxes or returns but you can position yourself with some agility if you need it. You can plan based on...
by stan1
Sun Jul 08, 2018 12:50 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Anyone with experience in Social Security/SSA Hearings?
Replies: 15
Views: 1535

Re: Anyone with experience in Social Security/SSA Hearings?

Personally, with up to $40K of upside I'd at least consult with and probably hire an attorney.
by stan1
Sun Jul 08, 2018 12:35 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Spending Patterns in Retirement: Retirees are Slow to Exhaust their Assets
Replies: 16
Views: 3548

Re: Spending Patterns in Retirement: Retirees are Slow to Exhaust their Assets

Not surprising behaviorally at all. People that have accumulated money are savers not spenders. I don't think I know any savers who suddenly became spenders in retirement. Well, I take that back, there is my neighbor who has multiple law enforcement pensions and is now earning much more in pension i...
by stan1
Sun Jul 08, 2018 12:06 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Long Cruises
Replies: 20
Views: 1706

Re: Long Cruises

Some people love them. Some people get bored. Our retired friends went on the Queen Mary 2 in Queen's Grill for 21 days from Dubai to England (e.g. First Class where they will prepare whatever meal you ask for). They have been on Cunard several times in a variety of staterooms and will only book wha...
by stan1
Sun Jul 08, 2018 10:30 am
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Need help with my fund selections!
Replies: 4
Views: 460

Re: Need help with my fund selections!

VTSAX = Total Stock Market Admiral VIMAX = Mid Cap Index Admiral VSMAX = Small Cap Index Admiral If it was me I'd buy $50K more of Total Stock Market (VTI) and $50K more of Total International Stock Market in the taxable account where you say you have $100K you want to invest, then rebalance the tax...
by stan1
Sun Jul 08, 2018 9:24 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Checkbook balancing software?
Replies: 31
Views: 1647

Re: Checkbook balancing software?

My FIL tracked every penny for 40+ years in check registers and then Quicken for most of the last 20 years. He's 94 now. As his vision got worse he decided he couldn't keep up with it and that it wasn't a good use of his energy/time since he could look at his account on line. He also realized that a...
by stan1
Sun Jul 08, 2018 9:08 am
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Tax-friendlier alternatives to Vanguard Extended Market?
Replies: 22
Views: 2001

Re: Tax-friendlier alternatives to Vanguard Extended Market?

Unfortunately, state income tax rate is very high. Unless I've missed something in the calculations, I think I'm still better off holding IJR (iShares Core S&P Small-Cap) and my large-cap fund in taxable and keeping VXUS (Total International) in 401k/Roth for now. If I run out of 401k space for fix...
by stan1
Fri Jul 06, 2018 10:28 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Tax-friendlier alternatives to Vanguard Extended Market?
Replies: 22
Views: 2001

Re: Tax-friendlier alternatives to Vanguard Extended Market?

I'm going to go back to the first post. Why do you need to buy an extended market fund in a taxable account? Does your 401K only have an S&P 500 index fund? My first two choices in taxable are always Total Stock Market and Total International Stock Market. If your thought is you need to buy a comple...
by stan1
Fri Jul 06, 2018 8:16 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: how to diagnose problem with cable internet speed
Replies: 27
Views: 2228

Re: how to diagnose problem with cable internet speed

If you are using Wi-Fi make sure the router and the adapter (computer) are operating at 5GHz not 2.4GHz. Issue with 2.4 GHz is that you can get a lot of interference with garage door openers, microwaves ovens, and other household appliances. We live in a dense neighborhood and had this exact problem...
by stan1
Fri Jul 06, 2018 1:51 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: What’s the lowest risk investment to keep up with inflation?
Replies: 8
Views: 1501

Re: What’s the lowest risk investment to keep up with inflation?

Phineas J. Whoopee wrote:
Fri Jul 06, 2018 1:49 pm
Where did you find 2.8% as the current rate of inflation?
PJW
https://www.bls.gov/news.release/cpi.nr0.htm

Last twelve months ending May, 2018; not seasonally adjusted.