Search found 5400 matches

by stan1
Thu Apr 19, 2018 8:15 am
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Vanguard customer experience
Replies: 18
Views: 1670

Re: Vanguard customer experience

Vanguard is a low cost operation. Walmart does not offer a personal shopper service and they don't do alterations on clothing. I don't expect customer service when I shop at Walmart. In fact the opposite is true. I expect to wait in line to check out at Walmart and I expect the clothing racks to be ...
by stan1
Wed Apr 18, 2018 8:56 am
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Investment question...
Replies: 10
Views: 514

Re: Investment question...

You also need to assess your life expectancy based on your personal health not actuarial data. The administrator of the pension plan is already making the assumption you will live a long time in a low interest rate environment. I'd probably lean towards the lump sum given those are both assumptions ...
by stan1
Wed Apr 18, 2018 8:25 am
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: I want to pay off my mortgage. Am I crazy?
Replies: 54
Views: 4997

Re: I want to pay off my mortgage. Am I crazy?

You said the mortgage balance is 4% of your net worth and you have 5 years left on a 10 year loan. Paying it off early will make zero difference in your personal finances. You have no need to borrow money but maybe you want to. Maybe its fun to speculate and spend a lot of time while you are retired...
by stan1
Wed Apr 18, 2018 8:05 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Europe- Zurich<->Paris- 10 days
Replies: 16
Views: 853

Re: Europe- Zurich<->Paris- 10 days

Agree with AirBNB/VRBO for 7 people (and even that's assuming everyone gets along well and won't need a break from other family members). Normally I would not recommend renting a vehicle but in your situation I think the van rental between large cities will be cost effective and flexible, especially...
by stan1
Tue Apr 17, 2018 7:02 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Mozart in the morning, please
Replies: 18
Views: 2237

Re: Mozart in the morning, please

Amazon Echo Spot pair with another speaker if you need better sound There should be an easier and lower cost solution but I have to agree this might be the best choice right now (especially if you have Amazon Prime with access to Prime Music). I might cover the camera, just in case Amazon decides t...
by stan1
Sun Apr 15, 2018 6:47 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: New HVAC system
Replies: 15
Views: 1789

Re: New HVAC system

If you have a gas furnace (likely with 1989 construction in Southern California) you should get it tested for carbon monoxide leaks caused by a cracked heat exchanger. It's a problem in coastal climates even where appliances are seldom used. If they test and find a leak it will get red tagged. We us...
by stan1
Sun Apr 15, 2018 1:57 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: 52 oz, the new orange juice size?
Replies: 21
Views: 1539

Re: 52 oz, the new orange juice size?

This seems to fall into the actionless rant category. If evil corporate America is keeping you down you can stop buying his orange juice. Or cut back from a 12 oz glass of juice to an 8 oz glass of juice.
by stan1
Sun Apr 15, 2018 1:32 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Decisions on a Two Car Strategy
Replies: 24
Views: 2039

Re: Decisions on a Two Car Strategy

Sounds like you are looking for a pink unicorn (they don't exist). Keep driving the two cars you have now until they become more unreliable or expensive to repair. With a more urgent need to make a decision the options will suddenly become clearer.
by stan1
Sun Apr 15, 2018 11:21 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Decisions on a Two Car Strategy
Replies: 24
Views: 2039

Re: Decisions on a Two Car Strategy

I was going to suggest looking at the Kia Niro hybrid and Mazda CX-3/CX-5/CX-9 family also. Can also wait a little longer and see the 2019 RAV4 Hybrid. One think you need to be careful about with many of the crossovers is visibility. Many have large C-pillars that make it hard to see out the rear of...
by stan1
Sun Apr 15, 2018 11:06 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Las Vegas hotel
Replies: 44
Views: 2884

Re: Las Vegas hotel

Several years ago when I visited I found that the rates at the big hotels were varying by the hour as we approached the weekend. Avoid weekends... Yes, the large hotels and chains use a yield management pricing strategy like the airlines so you will see a lot of fluctuation in the rates. One approa...
by stan1
Sun Apr 15, 2018 10:52 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Las Vegas hotel
Replies: 44
Views: 2884

Re: Las Vegas hotel

There are hundreds of hotels in Vegas and it is almost always possible to find a good deal unless your timing is bad with a major convention or holiday weekend. Watch out for charges like parking and resort fees which can turn a good deal into something expensive. Do you want to be on strip or off s...
by stan1
Sun Apr 15, 2018 10:25 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Dealing with poorly assigned hotel rooms?
Replies: 41
Views: 3101

Re: Dealing with poorly assigned hotel rooms?

I think you can resolve this by working with the manager on duty right now. I'd call or go back right now since it happened last night and they could already be giving compensation to other people in nearby rooms. If that doesn't work you can escalate.
by stan1
Sat Apr 14, 2018 6:44 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: BH travel tips?
Replies: 119
Views: 6090

Re: BH travel tips?

- Off season travel, especially to Europe where cold temperatures can be dealt with by wearing long underwear and a coat - Public transit in most cities for 1-2 people (but there are places where it doesn't work) - Watch for airfare sales (including premium classes). I haven't flown in economy on a ...
by stan1
Fri Apr 13, 2018 5:38 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Appropriate to ask co-worker when retiring?
Replies: 35
Views: 2226

Re: Appropriate to ask co-worker when retiring?

Interesting comments so far. Where I work (in a government job) many people talk casually about retirement plans years in advance. Some are dreamers, some enjoy their jobs and would miss coming to work, some have specific plans, some have kids/grandkids/parents they are supporting, some don't know w...
by stan1
Fri Apr 13, 2018 4:54 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: vanguard notice - retiring our old investment platform
Replies: 50
Views: 5969

Re: vanguard notice - retiring our old investment platform

HueyLD wrote:
Fri Apr 13, 2018 3:08 pm
I told my rep that I would be the last client to convert and she chuckled.
Everyone has a price .... $100? $1000? Maybe this is where it is headed.
by stan1
Fri Apr 13, 2018 8:41 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Family shared real estate purchase - how to best structure?
Replies: 14
Views: 895

Re: Family shared real estate purchase - how to best structure?

A key decision is whether you are going to operate this as a business or as a second family home. The IRS does not make that decision for you. The IRS does not require you treat your parents as tenants. If its a business it is easiest if the parents pay market rent and the owners can depreciate as w...
by stan1
Thu Apr 12, 2018 8:57 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Mid-40s in tech - how to pass off as acceptably young
Replies: 111
Views: 9724

Re: Mid-40s in tech - how to pass off as acceptably young

Self awareness is important. I think you have it. I'd work your professional and social networks. Your reputation is a more valuable asset than your experience or physical appearance, but I wouldn't leave anything to chance.
by stan1
Thu Apr 12, 2018 7:54 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Farewell gift for office when quitting job?
Replies: 19
Views: 2417

Re: Farewell gift for office when quitting job?

I'd keep it simple and just bring in breakfast or lunch for everyone or host a happy hour or bowling event. Something the group enjoys but maybe a little unique. Fun and friendship.
by stan1
Thu Apr 12, 2018 8:10 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: realtor wants to show house to buyer, no listing agent for me
Replies: 55
Views: 4602

Re: realtor wants to show house to buyer, no listing agent for me

If you don't want to sell firmly tell the agent "no, I'm not interested in selling, please stop contacting me". That should be enough if the realtor is a professional. Make sure you aren't sending mixed messages such as "maybe if the price is right" or "I might like to move some day but I don't know...
by stan1
Wed Apr 11, 2018 9:02 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Honda reliability slipping?
Replies: 31
Views: 3824

Re: Honda reliability slipping?

All manufacturers are balancing improved mileage (often that means lower weight), improved safety, manufacturing cost, warranty service cost, and customer desires for sophisticated infotainment systems with reliability. Infotainment and other electronics are a major source of problems in newer cars....
by stan1
Wed Apr 11, 2018 8:44 am
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Book recommendation for Millenial
Replies: 11
Views: 947

Re: Book recommendation for Millenial

When was the last time they read a book? Talking to them in a conversational way over time may get better results. Scheduling a phone call to "talk finance" might not work well.
by stan1
Wed Apr 11, 2018 8:14 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: New Turbo Tax "freak out" screen?
Replies: 6
Views: 1068

Re: New Turbo Tax "freak out" screen?

Turbo Tax is all about accurate data entry. I'd ignore any warnings or advice from the software until you've entered all your data, and if at the end you see something that's surprising I'd double and triple check your data entry.
by stan1
Mon Apr 09, 2018 7:27 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Water pressure regulator sanity check
Replies: 7
Views: 729

Re: Water pressure regulator sanity check

I think I know what city you are in based on your description of an ongoing water meter controversy. Yes, you do need a pressure regulator in many houses here as there is a lot of pressure variation. We had over 150 PSI at our old house; it should be around 50 psi. The water bill spikes are not beca...
by stan1
Sun Apr 08, 2018 8:50 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Handling ageism in tech
Replies: 56
Views: 4366

Re: Handling ageism in tech

Stay up to date. Keep learning new things and become an expert in new areas. Don't just keep doing your old job. Earn your pay. Volunteer for hard assignments that have management visibility. There's competition. Maintain a high energy level. Have a positive attitude. Don't complain. Be active. You ...
by stan1
Sun Apr 08, 2018 6:30 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Thin/light but warm blanket for California winters?
Replies: 16
Views: 880

Re: Thin/light but warm blanket for California winters?

I also use a down comforter. I got mine at Feathered Friends when they were having a sale last fall. We are in coastal Southern California and do not use the heater while sleeping in the winter and medium weight worked out well but it will be too warm for summer months.
by stan1
Sun Apr 08, 2018 10:43 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: TurboTax "Audit Defense" worth it?
Replies: 9
Views: 1586

Re: TurboTax "Audit Defense" worth it?

It's basically insurance. We have never been audited in the past but I bought it this year for the first time because of a large contribution of appreciated securities to my donor advised fund and sale of a limited partnership. Will not buy it next year. It's $45, not $450 or $4500. If I don't need ...
by stan1
Sat Apr 07, 2018 9:07 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Engineering: Quality of school vs. specialized niche degree
Replies: 52
Views: 3287

Re: Engineering: Quality of school vs. specialized niche degree

HomerJ wrote:
Sat Apr 07, 2018 8:01 pm

Georgia Tech
U of Illinois
U of Michigan
Purdue
You left off the highest rated public undergraduate engineering program at the University of California, Berkeley (#3 behind MIT and Stanford). Yes I'm making sure I milk these ratings for whatever they are worth.
by stan1
Sat Apr 07, 2018 5:45 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Engineering: Quality of school vs. specialized niche degree
Replies: 52
Views: 3287

Re: Engineering: Quality of school vs. specialized niche degree

The Missouri S&T program appears to be an undergraduate minor program, so he'd probably major in civil, mechanical, mining, or geological engineering. It's more of a graduate specialty. Basically you have to know how to build something in order to take it down correctly. I'd go with the broader engi...
by stan1
Sat Apr 07, 2018 1:10 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Need new bedroom furniture
Replies: 23
Views: 1208

Re: Need new bedroom furniture

If you are a do it yourselfer and it matches the style you like how about buying used furniture, painting it, and replacing the pulls/hardware with a style like what you are seeing in the furniture stores? This could save you thousands of dollars. If you don't like the style of Room and Board which ...
by stan1
Sat Apr 07, 2018 12:24 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: WSJ article on Vanguard snafoos - Should Bogleheads.org get involved?
Replies: 23
Views: 3072

Re: WSJ article on Vanguard snafoos - Should Boglehead.org get involved?

I am at the point where I think Vanguard would prefer all their retail customers transfer accounts to a full service broker while continuing to invest using Vanguard ETFs. Perception and reality of low quality customer service may be a deliberate decision to help encourage that migration. Retail in...
by stan1
Sat Apr 07, 2018 12:03 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: WSJ article on Vanguard snafoos - Should Bogleheads.org get involved?
Replies: 23
Views: 3072

Re: WSJ article on Vanguard snafoos - Should Boglehead.org get involved?

I am at the point where I think Vanguard would prefer all their retail customers transfer accounts to a full service broker while continuing to invest using Vanguard ETFs. Perception and reality of low quality customer service may be a deliberate decision to help encourage that migration. Retail in...
by stan1
Sat Apr 07, 2018 12:02 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Finance only laptop? Can I use an old one?
Replies: 25
Views: 1629

Re: Finance only laptop? Can I use an old one?

I'd be comfortable updating all the software on the existing Win 10 laptop, doing a full malware scan, and then using it as you propose. Exception might be if you have done online gambling or similar activity or if you are famous or a high profile individual who could be targeted by organized crime ...
by stan1
Sat Apr 07, 2018 11:46 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: !Please Advise on sensible housing for guy going through divorce!
Replies: 32
Views: 2631

Re: !Please Advise on sensible housing for guy going through divorce!

A quick look around seems to show that I'd pay a premium for this though (one that I found- an extended stay america was $1500 per month). Please point out any errors in my thinking. To be honest if you can get a room at Extended Stay America for $1500/month (that's $50/night -- very low cost) I mi...
by stan1
Sat Apr 07, 2018 9:41 am
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: WSJ article on Vanguard snafoos - Should Bogleheads.org get involved?
Replies: 23
Views: 3072

Re: WSJ article on Vanguard snafoos - Should Boglehead.org get involved?

I am at the point where I think Vanguard would prefer all their retail customers transfer accounts to a full service broker while continuing to invest using Vanguard ETFs. Perception and reality of low quality customer service may be a deliberate decision to help encourage that migration. Retail inv...
by stan1
Fri Apr 06, 2018 8:11 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: [When is going out to a restaurant worth it to you?]
Replies: 71
Views: 5047

Re: [When is going out to a restaurant worth it to you?]

BLUF: We happily spend some money to buy back time. 1. We like eating different things that are time consuming to cook on our own 2. We don't particularly enjoy cooking or washing dishes 3. We don't enjoy grocery shopping (usually requires multiple stops -- store with low prices has bad meat and veg...
by stan1
Thu Apr 05, 2018 8:33 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Permanent DINK couples - Considerations, thoughts, etc?
Replies: 40
Views: 4434

Re: Permanent DINK couples - Considerations, thoughts, etc?

We save a lot more than our friends with kids who have higher incomes. We drive nicer cars and take nicer vacations but live in a less expensive house. We live in a desirable urban neighborhood near restaurants and parks with a short 12 minute commute to work but not so great schools. Our friends ha...
by stan1
Wed Apr 04, 2018 8:37 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: House Flooded - Process with Insurance and Experience?
Replies: 13
Views: 1421

Re: House Flooded - Process with Insurance and Experience?

I definitely would not start out the process by creating an adversarial relationship with the people working for the insurer who you will need to work with for the duration of the project. This is your first time but USAA does this thousands of times per year. Be cautious and ask questions but treat...
by stan1
Tue Apr 03, 2018 9:25 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: This-millennial-couple-is-saving-150000-a-year-and-plans-to-retire-by-2029-heres-how-they-
Replies: 136
Views: 10349

Re: This-millennial-couple-is-saving-150000-a-year-and-plans-to-retire-by-2029-heres-how-they-

Sounds like they should start a business promoting a frugal lifestyle and then make a lot of money off it while claiming to not be working.
by stan1
Tue Apr 03, 2018 9:18 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Builder wants $800 to vent a gas cooktop
Replies: 53
Views: 3969

Re: Builder wants $800 to vent a gas cooktop

How long will you be in the house? If less than 5 years, no, you won't get a dime back when you sell. If more than 5 years it's a nice to have item. Very very few people would not buy a house solely because it has a recirculating vent (and at a lower price point many condos and houses will have a re...
by stan1
Tue Apr 03, 2018 6:54 am
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Best longevity calculator?
Replies: 32
Views: 2688

Re: Best longevity calculator?

You mean a site that would ask for very detailed health information on every medical ailment you might have ever had, family history, your past and current alcohol, cigarette,and drug consumption, your weight, your diet, your exercise habits, any high risk activities you participate in, sexual conta...
by stan1
Mon Apr 02, 2018 8:00 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Electricity as home office deduction or direct expense
Replies: 7
Views: 367

Re: Electricity as home office deduction or direct expense

In general utilities are pro-rated based on the percentage of the square footage in the house used for the business. How do you know 75% of your electricity is used by the business and 25% is used for living in the house? Is that an estimate or do you have a second meter installed? If you had a seco...
by stan1
Sun Apr 01, 2018 11:55 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: What age is the best to give a child control of an inheritance?
Replies: 192
Views: 10619

Re: What age is the best to give a child control of an inheritance?

Another thing you can start on is making sure she knows an inheritance is separate property unless she commingles it with joint/community property. She may decide to commingle such as buying a house but she should know that is a decision she can make. She should know what actions result in commingli...
by stan1
Sun Apr 01, 2018 11:36 am
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Unanswered: Clements Highlights 4 Questions of Much Debate
Replies: 27
Views: 2360

Re: Unanswered: Clements Highlights 4 Questions of Much Debate

Let's add: Should I pay off my mortgage? Should I buy or rent my primary residence? What age should I start social security? Should I buy long term care insurance? Should I eat meat, grains, eggs, salmon, organic, non-GMO, gluten free, salt, butter, fat, carbohydrates, dirt, ice cream, BBQ, coffee, ...
by stan1
Sun Apr 01, 2018 10:44 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: $20,000 book - what to do with it
Replies: 34
Views: 5494

Re: $20,000 book - what to do with it

It's only worth $20K if someone is willing to pay that much. Maybe someone is, maybe not. I'd get it appraised and donate it to a library that has the resources to store and preserve it properly. I'd consider bunching your itemized deductions into one tax year if you don't expect to itemize most yea...
by stan1
Sun Apr 01, 2018 10:18 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Online meals, anyone do these?
Replies: 28
Views: 3088

Re: Online meals, anyone do these?

We have used Freshly at times when we are very busy. It is a luxury for sure so if you are worried about cost or are philosophically opposed to microwave ovens you should skip the rest of the post as Freshly won't be a good fit. On the plus side we found the portion size to be just right and that mo...
by stan1
Sun Apr 01, 2018 10:00 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Car totalled, not-at-fault - use my insurance or theirs? What leverage do I have for negotiating?
Replies: 35
Views: 3249

Re: Car totalled, not-at-fault - use my insurance or theirs? What leverage do I have for negotiating?

I'll keep it simple and I think this applies to all of the US. File the claim with your insurance not the other drivers. Consult with an attorney if you are injured.

In my state my insurance company would be able to get the deductible back from the other driver's insurer.
by stan1
Sat Mar 31, 2018 8:42 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: At what price difference would you no longer go with USAA for auto insurance?
Replies: 18
Views: 1605

Re: At what price difference would you no longer go with USAA for auto insurance?

USAA has multiple sub-companies and business units based on how you are eligible. If you yourself are an officer (active or retired) with a good driving record I'd be more inclined to stay than if you are eligible as a family member or enlisted. The difference in your quotes is a lot and I would pro...
by stan1
Sat Mar 31, 2018 6:15 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Negotiating a relocation for current employer
Replies: 4
Views: 506

Re: Negotiating a relocation for current employer

I think you should move for all the reasons you list, but there is no way I'd commute 4 hours each day even if much of that time was on a train. I'd choose to live somewhere much closer so I could spend time with my immediate family (girlfriend for now) and visit the rest of my family on the weekend...
by stan1
Sat Mar 31, 2018 2:09 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Why does it seem there are so many bad/poor 401K plans?
Replies: 36
Views: 3528

Re: Why does it seem there are so many bad/poor 401K plans?

Follow the money. Plan administrators have to get compensated somehow. Sometimes the employer pays the plan administrator's fees directly. Other times the employer wants the plan participants to pay the administrative costs so the administrator and underlying fund managers whose funds are offered in...
by stan1
Wed Mar 28, 2018 9:20 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Cosign college loan for sibling?
Replies: 87
Views: 3795

Re: Cosign college loan for sibling?

Sorry but your brother should switch to a lower cost school that he and your family can afford. Not even a Harvard undergraduate degree is worth $200K in debt, and if its not Harvard, Stanford, or Yale the value proposition heads even farther south.