Search found 5501 matches

by stan1
Sun Jun 17, 2018 3:49 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Which Supermarket are you?
Replies: 54
Views: 1674

Re: Which Supermarket are you?

Military commissary for everything but meat. We do not buy in bulk for two people.
by stan1
Sun Jun 17, 2018 11:31 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: African Safari: Worth it or Hype?
Replies: 41
Views: 2662

Re: African Safari: Worth it or Hype?

I would only do such a trip if I was in an SUV with a driver, guide, and no other tourists. Lodging would not need to be luxury. I would not do it if I was in a bus or van with other people. Cost would be higher but sometimes a bargain is not a good deal. Fully independent might be an option too but...
by stan1
Sun Jun 17, 2018 11:25 am
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Take Advantage of Stable Value Fund?
Replies: 20
Views: 811

Re: Take Advantage of Stable Value Fund?

If your fixed income allocation is 10% whether you leave that in Total Bond Market or move some or all of it to a Stable Value fund for a few months or even a few years will have negligible impact during your long term investing time horizon. I do some timing on bond duration and yield. I am happy w...
by stan1
Sun Jun 17, 2018 11:00 am
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Vanguard email about transition fund accounts to new brokerage platform
Replies: 17
Views: 1092

Re: Vanguard email about transition fund accounts to new brokerage platform

Since I have mutual funds and ETFs I converted my taxable account several years ago. Works fine for me. I do not have the option of converting my Roth IRA that also has both funds and ETFs in it. I'd convert it also if I could. Given that some customers (at least me) don't have the option to convert...
by stan1
Sun Jun 17, 2018 10:31 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Italy Trip Questions
Replies: 17
Views: 605

Re: Italy Trip Questions

Don't go to Italy in the summer. They don't like air conditioning, ice, or cold drinks as much as Americans do. And it does get warm. Agree on avoiding Italy in summer. It's not that they don't like air conditioning. Remember Italy imports pretty much all its energy. They don't have oil or natural ...
by stan1
Sun Jun 17, 2018 10:24 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Italy Trip Questions
Replies: 17
Views: 605

Re: Italy Trip Questions

Your post indicates you want to save money, so the options I'm going to discuss are less convenient. Personally I would pay a pretty big premium to get a non-stop flight from your nearest large airport to Rome. If you don't live near a large airport in the US you have many choices on where your layo...
by stan1
Sat Jun 16, 2018 1:37 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: A vehicle that "sits up" but can't afford CRV
Replies: 41
Views: 3234

Re: A vehicle that "sits up" but can't afford CRV

Kia Souls have quite the following from people who want a car that's easy to get into and offers plenty of shoulder/hip room. The box on wheels fad is mostly over but the Soul is still a pragmatic choice. Plus the Kia warranty. I think its a good value new. You could see what a 3-5 year old used one...
by stan1
Sat Jun 16, 2018 12:48 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Auto Accident Settlement
Replies: 7
Views: 824

Re: Auto Accident Settlement

In CA I'd consult an attorney if there are injuries resulting from an auto accident. Every state is different.
by stan1
Fri Jun 15, 2018 8:07 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: How to value a truck for sale
Replies: 5
Views: 332

Re: How to value a truck for sale

People who work in construction or maintenance will be willing to pay for a beat up truck that runs decently. I think $950 is low unless you want it gone very fast. I'd do maybe $1400 and be willing to negotiate down for a quick sale. If you price it at $950 buyer will see it in person and want anot...
by stan1
Thu Jun 14, 2018 8:53 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Home Sellers - do you read Buyer inspection reports?
Replies: 22
Views: 1612

Re: Home Sellers - do you read Buyer inspection reports?

If you are the unfortunate owner of a property with a major defect such as a failed foundation, fire, or repeated flooding that is either very expensive to fix or unfixable in full I'd be handling the sale very differently than if you are worried about a few windows that don't latch tightly. I would...
by stan1
Thu Jun 14, 2018 7:53 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: FIRE to Sweden from Switzerland on 1M euro?
Replies: 16
Views: 1240

Re: FIRE to Sweden from Switzerland on 1M euro?

I think my advice for under 40 FIRE would be the same in Sweden as it is in the US. A lot can change in 50 years let alone 5 years. I think semi-FIRE works best for people under 60. You can tell everyone you are "retired" from your stressful city job but you actually are working doing something you ...
by stan1
Mon Jun 11, 2018 8:39 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: House sale by owner - Problems & Pitfalls?
Replies: 30
Views: 1549

Re: House sale by owner - Problems & Pitfalls?

When we sell our house, we want to do the sale ourselves in conjunction with our lawyer rather than use a real estate agent (savings approx. $12K). I would appreciate comments by folks who did execute a 'sale by owner' and the problems / pitfalls they encountered. Thank you. Often times an FSBO buy...
by stan1
Mon Jun 11, 2018 8:30 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: House sale by owner - Problems & Pitfalls?
Replies: 30
Views: 1549

Re: House sale by owner - Problems & Pitfalls?

NOR is a realtor a negotiator This comes down to picking the right realtor. Negotiation is a human soft skill that can be honed through experience. Some people are better at it than others. Absolutely no need for a certificate or specialized training in negotiation although some people may have tha...
by stan1
Mon Jun 11, 2018 8:16 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Amsterdam
Replies: 12
Views: 833

Re: Amsterdam

First consumer discussion on cannabis I think? BH.org has come a long way. We'll have to see if the mods agree and thread stays active/visible.
by stan1
Sun Jun 10, 2018 6:04 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: The effect of a difficult last name on employment prospects...
Replies: 43
Views: 3457

Re: The effect of a difficult last name on employment prospects...

One person I know in this situation has not changed his name, but he goes by the first syllable. For example Mr. Yazaglobaslotsky becomes Mr. Yaza. This is something people will work with you on. When you aren't selected for positions what mentoring do you get from the members of the hiring panel? Y...
by stan1
Sun Jun 10, 2018 1:46 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Will VTI certainly outperform VOO in the long run?
Replies: 7
Views: 440

Re: Will VTI certainly outperform VOO in the long run?

Is VTI guaranteed to outperform VOO because of the presence of smaller cap stocks? There is no guarantee because there is no way to predict the future. You will find periods in the past and future where one was slightly better than the other. I believe owning as much of the market as possible is mo...
by stan1
Sun Jun 10, 2018 10:06 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Paint shutters or remove
Replies: 7
Views: 695

Re: Paint shutters or remove

I would leave some sort of shutter if they add to the house's curb appeal. We've had decorative shutters refinished in place and replaced over the years. If you are replacing you may want to consider a flat or raised panel design instead of slats. They are much easier to sand down and repaint. We've...
by stan1
Sun Jun 10, 2018 9:57 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Moved Family Across Country for New Job and Job is now gone
Replies: 27
Views: 6413

Re: Moved Family Across Country for New Job and Job is now gone

Sorry to hear that. Most important thing for you and your family is to do your best not to let it get you down. This is something you have no control over. Try your best to keep a positive attitude and be enthusiastic for new opportunities. Seems at this point you have no geographic ties so I'd open...
by stan1
Sat Jun 09, 2018 2:29 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Foreign language immersion daycare
Replies: 50
Views: 2518

Re: Foreign language immersion daycare

No. The only way I would even remotely consider this is if you, the parent, speaks one of these foreign languages also at home. Do you? After-school programs are typically child care. If you speak the language at home you don't need the immersion especially as an infant/toddler. The driving would c...
by stan1
Sat Jun 09, 2018 2:02 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Getting into real estate?
Replies: 10
Views: 918

Re: Getting into real estate?

I'd just add that if you are 22 or 23 and wouldn't mind 3 roommates now you might feel very differently in just a few years. You might have a lot of friends your age right now who you would enjoy having as roommates because you have common interests but as everyone gets older your friends will want ...
by stan1
Sat Jun 09, 2018 10:39 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Porsche Macan
Replies: 28
Views: 2976

Re: Porsche Macan

I just looked and my local Porsche dealer has 77 Macans (34 S models) in inventory right now so not that scarce. I did this because I've noticed they have multiple lots filled with unsold new vehicles and lease returns located a few blocks away from the dealership. I'd negotiate just like at any oth...
by stan1
Sat Jun 09, 2018 10:32 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Merrill edge closing expat accounts
Replies: 10
Views: 1041

Re: Merrill edge closing expat accounts

I'm surprised they told you because I'm guessing their lawyers and compliance officers would spin up sky high if they knew a Merrill employee was saying that.
by stan1
Sat Jun 09, 2018 10:24 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Penfed CD @ 3% - 5 year
Replies: 16
Views: 2154

Re: Penfed CD @ 3% - 5 year

3% for an FDIC insured "zero risk" investment five years ago seemed like a good deal back then and I'd assess that it played out nicely for someone who wanted a "zero risk" investment. I do not think 3% for the next five years is a good deal, but that's just me speculating. I'd use something like Pr...
by stan1
Sat Jun 09, 2018 10:06 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Indecision on Career Move - Fed to Industry
Replies: 21
Views: 1281

Re: Indecision on Career Move - Fed to Industry

With the information you've provided you could be me in a different state of residence but I'm 15 years ahead of you and I didn't feel like you do at the time. Chaotic means different things. I've spent most of the last 20 years in a very chaotic environment but have enjoyed managing change and achi...
by stan1
Sat Jun 09, 2018 9:28 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Planning Silver Sea cruise
Replies: 2
Views: 364

Re: Planning Silver Sea cruise

Silversea is very nice and they will take good care of you. I would not hesitate in any way so long as you understand its not a casual experience. You will not find many children on board and there will be many people around your age. Everything is subjective but we've found Silversea (and Crystal) ...
by stan1
Fri Jun 08, 2018 8:41 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Found an FSBO home for sale. How to avoid Realtor?
Replies: 42
Views: 3331

Re: Found an FSBO home for sale. How to avoid Realtor?

Another typical RE thread with lots of opinions by people who have never been Realtors and don't understand the game. Enough of that. One BIG problem of buying from a FSBO is you have no idea how they priced the house. It could be 10% high (or 10% low). I'd seriously consider paying for an appraisa...
by stan1
Thu Jun 07, 2018 7:26 am
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Breaking Up and Staying On Good Terms with an Advisor
Replies: 28
Views: 3132

Re: Breaking Up and Staying On Good Terms with an Advisor

First I would initiate the transfer at Vanguard. Then I would write a polite email to the advisor thanking him for helping you learn about investing and that you've decided to move the account elsewhere. Period. No need to start a debate about low fees or the value added of an advisor or mention you...
by stan1
Sun Jun 03, 2018 1:38 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: How to Use My Verizon Phone Internationally
Replies: 6
Views: 477

Re: How to Use My Verizon Phone Internationally

28fe6 wrote:
Sun Jun 03, 2018 1:15 pm
My experience
is limited but for international, Verizon is not what you want.
Ten years ago this was true when US Verizon infrastructure and phones were CDMA but now most phones are quad band capable and international roaming on LTE networks works fine.
by stan1
Sun Jun 03, 2018 1:27 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Car drove through our home - some questions on insurance and restitution
Replies: 26
Views: 3248

Re: Car drove through our home - some questions on insurance and restitution

If the damage is large (I'll start with $50K) you need an attorney. You might spend $5-15K but you may get a lot of that back with a better settlement and frankly I'd be fine paying an expert to deal with some of the problems to reduce my stress even if I didn't get reimbursed. Let your attorney com...
by stan1
Sun Jun 03, 2018 10:19 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Getting an appraisal before making an offer
Replies: 16
Views: 1067

Re: Getting an appraisal before making an offer

From my perspective, that puts you in a good position. You can negotiate, increase your cash up front or exit the deal. Got it. Down payment is not an issue, but I am not interested in paying above the appraisal. It's a good home, not a dream home. We need more space to blend families. Key to any n...
by stan1
Sun Jun 03, 2018 9:42 am
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: PenFed 3% 5 year certificates are back.
Replies: 15
Views: 2226

Re: PenFed 3% 5 year certificates are back.

My 85 year old mother's 5 year 3% Pen Fed CDs come due in January. I'll keep watching but my intent right now is moving her back toward a ladder of 5 year CDs with varying due dates.
by stan1
Sun Jun 03, 2018 9:27 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Getting an appraisal before making an offer
Replies: 16
Views: 1067

Re: Getting an appraisal before making an offer

The difference between the 2400 and 3000 square feet will often be obvious (such as a basement, attic or addition the owner is counting but is not recognized by the town). Was it permitted? When was it added? You may have better luck with a small town attorney who understands local real estate than ...
by stan1
Sun Jun 03, 2018 9:11 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Need advice on 1st international vacation
Replies: 106
Views: 5609

Re: Need advice on 1st international vacation

True story:
Standing in line at immigration in Heathrow at about 8:00 AM after an overnight flight from the US. Person next to me collapses onto the floor. Immediately gets up and says "Oh, it must be the Ambien". Talk to your doctor.
by stan1
Sun Jun 03, 2018 8:41 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: 6 hour layover on Heathrow
Replies: 42
Views: 3267

Re: 6 hour layover on Heathrow

Heathrow Express is the fastest train trip but in this case may not be the best. First it is expensive and you won't be able to save by buying in advance. Second although travel time from Terminal 2/3 to Paddington is 15 minutes you can wait 15 minutes for the next train (or miss one because you are...
by stan1
Sun Jun 03, 2018 8:05 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Need advice on 1st international vacation
Replies: 106
Views: 5609

Re: Need advice on 1st international vacation

Europeans often use English to talk to each other so it is many people's second language. I heartily endorse London as your first overseas vacation destination especially if you are an independent traveller. The key to enjoying London as an independent traveller is buying a Visitor Oyster Card which...
by stan1
Sat Jun 02, 2018 10:22 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Travel advice for an engineer
Replies: 65
Views: 4182

Re: Travel advice for an engineer

In my travels, three destinations have blown me away: The Duomo in Florence The mosque of Cordoba Diocletian's palace in Split I work on large, first of a kind, science/engineering/construction projects, and so am fascinated to see these old projects. Can you suggest other travel destinations, and/...
by stan1
Thu May 31, 2018 3:01 am
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: ITOT versus VTSAX
Replies: 25
Views: 1836

Re: ITOT versus VTSAX

This is a comical amount of time and energy put into a single basis point difference. There are probably dozens of other things you could be doing to optimize your investments/finances that are more valuable than this debate. ITOT is fine. Especially in a tax deferred account where you could sell I...
by stan1
Thu May 31, 2018 2:55 am
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Advice for bad advice
Replies: 14
Views: 1852

Re: Advice for bad advice

OK, the easy part. Just go in and sell everything in the $2300 taxable account. That's less than 1% of your $600K emergency fund. Just clear it out and move on. TD Ameritrade will calculate any capital gains tax owed and issue you a 1099 next February. Just enter what they give you on your 2018 tax ...
by stan1
Thu May 31, 2018 1:53 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: online MBA
Replies: 15
Views: 1162

Re: online MBA

How is the program accredited? In the US most one year MBA programs are regionally accredited. I would not pay for any degree that is not accredited to the national standard expected in the US (such as AACSB). How will the degree show up on a transcript? Is it differentiated from a two year resident...
by stan1
Tue May 22, 2018 8:28 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Are there any experienced real-estate people here?
Replies: 39
Views: 3803

Re: Are there any experienced real-estate people here?

Quick question to you and anyone else reading this, since I agree a realtor isn't motivated to get top dollar, how does somebody go about getting the absolute most from their sale? My grandparents badly need something to retire on, so even $20,000 extra will make an impact on their lives. Do we jus...
by stan1
Sun May 20, 2018 1:22 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Tesla Autopilot, worth it?
Replies: 113
Views: 7075

Re: Tesla Autopilot, worth it?

If you are entertaining this question it seems like the cost of the autopilot should be well under 1% of your net worth. I'd treat it as a toy or hobby and get it only if you'd find it enjoyable.
by stan1
Sun May 20, 2018 1:09 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Life Changes
Replies: 27
Views: 3507

Re: Life Changes

Sounds like a big lifestyle choice more than a financial one. The commute will be easier if traffic is free flowing rather than stop and go. I would not take anything the realtor says about an easement or utility hookup as truth. Verify it yourself with an attorney, local builder, or the utility com...
by stan1
Sun May 20, 2018 12:54 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Rental cars in Europe
Replies: 33
Views: 2071

Re: Rental cars in Europe

I'm sure someone has had a problem with non-availability of cars at Hertz or Avis that wasn't solved quickly (the Internet is large and many people rent cars) -- but I have only had that problem with discount operations such as Alamo and Dollar. Also a late night pickup adds risk so I would avoid th...
by stan1
Sun May 20, 2018 8:52 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Alzheimer's Disease, Long Term Care, and your Retirement Finances
Replies: 83
Views: 7844

Re: Alzheimer's Disease, Long Term Care, and your Retirement Finances

We have 3 parents aged 85 to 93 right now. One is in an independent apartment co-located with an assisted living facility and the other two are in assisted living. None of the three have Alzheimers but all three need assistance with finances, general decision making, and communication with health ca...
by stan1
Sun May 20, 2018 8:38 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Where to find movers for a couch?
Replies: 16
Views: 1178

Re: Where to find movers for a couch?

I've hired movers and haulers based on large numbers of highly rated Yelp reviews and have had fast and courteous service from obviously hardworking people. Be clear with them upfront what you expect. Do you want the sofa to be shrink wrapped and cared for like a professional mover? Do you want insu...
by stan1
Sat May 19, 2018 1:01 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Do we need a trust?
Replies: 16
Views: 2197

Re: Do we need a trust?

be able to dictate how it gets spent. What do you mean by this? Are you saying you want the money you leave to a responsible heir (not the special needs grandchild) to only be spent in certain ways such as on education but not others such a new car or vacation? What about health care that isn't cov...
by stan1
Sat May 19, 2018 8:29 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Hardwood around the perimeter but plywood under the rug
Replies: 12
Views: 1262

Re: Hardwood around the perimeter but plywood under the rug

One possibility is that a previous owner wanted a hardwood border around carpet, then later someone wanted area rugs so they filled in where the carpet was with plywood and put down their area rugs. Or another possibility is someone was too cheap to put down hardwood over the entire floor. Is the or...
by stan1
Fri May 18, 2018 8:49 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: prearranged funeral plans-Neptune Society
Replies: 10
Views: 1001

Re: prearranged funeral plans-Neptune Society

I don't see the advantage of pre-paying for end of life services unless death is imminent. If you want to be helpful I would provide your heirs with 2 or 3 mortuaries or direct crematories that you have vetted. That way if one closes there will be another choice. Circumstances change. As an extreme ...
by stan1
Fri May 18, 2018 8:36 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Are there any experienced real-estate people here?
Replies: 39
Views: 3803

Re: Are there any experienced real-estate people here?

I've heard a few real estate agents say "no, leave it as-is and sell it" but as I looked further into it, I suspect that's because they wanted to invest the $20k for $50k back themselves and flip it. I can't be sure though and would like advice. I would run away fast from any "realtor" who I approa...
by stan1
Thu May 17, 2018 8:52 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Question for Federal Govt Retirees
Replies: 20
Views: 1387

Re: Question for Federal Govt Retirees

My agency offers a two day class for employees planning to retire within the next 5 years. Topics include a lot of information about when to submit paperwork and timing of leave. I'm not in that group but everyone I know who has taken it says it was very helpful. Maybe your agency has the same train...