Search found 5601 matches

by stan1
Sun Jul 22, 2018 6:30 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Best luxury vinyl plank flooring?
Replies: 19
Views: 1406

Re: Best luxury vinyl plank flooring?

I’m curious what features distinguish a “luxury” vinyl floor from the non-luxury variety. Is vinyl more desirable than hardwood these days? Just like there are many types of vinyl there are many types of wood. Of course solid oak floors will be durable lasting for centuries and desirable to most pe...
by stan1
Sun Jul 22, 2018 2:05 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: JFK Traverlers: How to go from NJ to JFK and the opposite?
Replies: 48
Views: 1930

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

One person mentioned it earlier but if a car service or a scheduled Uber is more than you want to pay or you want more control I would get a quote for one way car rentals. We've done this before in another part of the country and the car rental was about $60 each way including taxes and airport fees...
by stan1
Sun Jul 22, 2018 1:33 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: When to buy airline tickets for Christmas flight?
Replies: 10
Views: 660

Re: When to buy airline tickets for Christmas flight?

I do not go on domestic holiday trips very often but my limited experience is that domestic flights around Thanksgiving and Christmas only go up not down. International and maybe resort locations might be different (business travel and some personal travel drops off on those weeks because people pre...
by stan1
Sun Jul 22, 2018 12:34 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Buy house for retired mother?
Replies: 37
Views: 2112

Re: Buy house for retired mother?

I'd think about a patio home that's not in a dedicated senior community or a senior apartment in order to help minimize maintenance and upkeep. Many single story patio home communities do have a large number of seniors living in them and at least in my area these properties command a premium price. ...
by stan1
Sun Jul 22, 2018 12:10 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Online access: Two factor authentication
Replies: 9
Views: 528

Re: Online access: Two factor authentication

Vanguard, our credit union, and our insurer all allow us each to have separate logins and then the Joint accounts are linked to both of the logins.
by stan1
Sun Jul 22, 2018 11:59 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: What have been your experiences in purchasing a plot of land to build a someday home?
Replies: 16
Views: 1312

Re: What have been your experiences in purchasing a plot of land to build a someday home?

The property is worthless unless you are building soon, and even then I'd do extensive due diligence especially if you have limited knowledge of the area. I would not buy this property unless I was confident the lot was buildable for a reasonable cost, I was going to build within 3 years, and I knew...
by stan1
Sun Jul 22, 2018 11:49 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: High voltage powelines near house
Replies: 45
Views: 2462

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: 1845

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: 21
Views: 1211

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: 1143

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: 3171

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: 19
Views: 1406

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: 48
Views: 1930

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: 1007

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: 4938

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: 2903

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: 346

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: 1602

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: 3707

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: 2903

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: 355

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: 1730

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: 1730

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: 804

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: 1730

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: 3762

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: 1730

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: 2236

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: 2103

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: 1730

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: 3348

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: 3702

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: 3702

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: 2940

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: 2940

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: 2880

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: 3787

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: 3236

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: 2140

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: 2238

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: 3552

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: 1707

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...