Search found 5658 matches

by stan1
Sun Aug 19, 2018 9:57 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: San Diego - where to stay, what to do with 6 year old
Replies: 15
Views: 693

Re: San Diego - where to stay, what to do with 6 year old

We considered staying at the Legoland property, but its quite expensive; so we are considering other hotels in lower price range like Days Inn, Best Western etc. I want to figure out which neighborhoods we should target if we visit Legoland, Zoo, Seaworld and Mexico border. Legoland is perfect for ...
by stan1
Sat Aug 18, 2018 7:44 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: New Zealand
Replies: 14
Views: 1103

Re: New Zealand

Not sure if this is what you have in mind but the classic slow travel NZ visit is to rent a camper van and drive around the South Island.
by stan1
Sat Aug 18, 2018 2:41 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Opinions and experiences with Verizon Prepaid?
Replies: 14
Views: 841

Re: Opinions and experiences with Verizon Prepaid?

We all know networks are very local. I have an ATT personal phone and a Verizon work phone. There are many places where either has two bars and the other has 4 bars. I have found a few places where neither has coverage. I have found few places where one has coverage and the other does not. I'll keep...
by stan1
Fri Aug 17, 2018 10:18 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: The Fall of Consumer Reports
Replies: 44
Views: 6064

Re: The Fall of Consumer Reports

Another way people lost trust is with appliances. It's not CR's fault that appliances went from being designed and supported to last 20-30 years down to 5-10 years. I'm sure millions of subscribers got burned when a "recommended" brand or model had to be replaced much more quickly than expected beca...
by stan1
Fri Aug 17, 2018 1:28 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Helping elderly mother with her finances - 2 issues
Replies: 17
Views: 1631

Re: Helping elderly mother with her finances - 2 issues

She has good pension income for a retiree, and you've just reduced her monthly expenses. I would not assume she would be unable to refi her mortgage into a fixed rate loan. You and she need to talk to lenders. I don't see a down side to trying in her position. Does she have good credit? I'd start wi...
by stan1
Fri Aug 17, 2018 12:43 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Elderly Relative Short on Money
Replies: 91
Views: 6801

Re: Elderly Relative Short on Money

Your MIL is in a spot where she needs to take more risk but really is not able to given she needs to stretch that money out for 20-30 years. She will likely need every bit of her money during her lifetime and higher equity risk could be catastrophic if she needed cash during a market downturn. My mo...
by stan1
Fri Aug 17, 2018 12:31 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Non-owner contributing to home renovations: what's fair?
Replies: 39
Views: 2303

Re: Non-owner contributing to home renovations: what's fair?

Agree it would be a gift and accordingly maybe you agree to go 3:1 or 2:1 contributions to account for her not getting any future return. Keep in mind that despite what a realtor or contractor may tell you realistically very few home improvements such as a single $8-10K project add to the value of a...
by stan1
Fri Aug 17, 2018 11:50 am
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Stable Value Funds vs Bond Fund
Replies: 13
Views: 859

Re: Stable Value Funds vs Bond Fund

Here is the yield: Performance: YTD: 1.07 1 YR: 1.79 3 YR: 1.63 5 YR. 1.41 In retrospect for that time period you would have been better off in an FDIC insured CD. Going forward today you can easily find one year 2+% FDIC insured CDs. You couldn't use a CD when the money is in your 401K but if you ...
by stan1
Fri Aug 17, 2018 11:35 am
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: How to safely build a new house [financial risk]
Replies: 2
Views: 325

Re: How to safely build a new house [financial risk]

Are you looking at a true custom home where you would obtain a construction loan to pay the builder and suppliers or are you looking to go on contract with a larger scale builder who would finance, construct and deliver the house to you? Two very different approaches. Big difference in financing as ...
by stan1
Fri Aug 17, 2018 9:13 am
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Stable Value Funds vs Bond Fund
Replies: 13
Views: 859

Re: Stable Value Funds vs Bond Fund

Most stable value funds have an underlying insurance product or backstop by an employer or government. There are some special cases. Stable value funds went a long way towards extinction over the last 10 years due to the financial crisis impact on insurance markets and low interest rates. With the p...
by stan1
Fri Aug 17, 2018 8:48 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Trip to Kazakhstan & Uzbekistan. Time to utilize a travel agent?
Replies: 22
Views: 1709

Re: Trip to Kazakhstan & Uzbekistan. Time to utilize a travel agent?

Are the university classes taught in English, Russian, or Kazakh? I don't see how an introductory Russian or Kazakh class could prepare a student to be successful at the university level. International students do not come straight into bachelor's degree programs in US universities not knowing any E...
by stan1
Fri Aug 17, 2018 8:12 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Continue flood insurance after mortgage paid off?
Replies: 15
Views: 969

Re: Continue flood insurance after mortgage paid off?

Why not sell the place now and move into an apartment for 3-5 years? I'm not sure why you want to own this problem. If you can sell it for $300K today there's really no way you can assume it will be worth more than that in a few years. If the area floods a few more times even the most stubborn Texan...
by stan1
Fri Aug 17, 2018 8:05 am
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Advisor Dumped, Now How to Best Simplify
Replies: 18
Views: 1848

Re: Advisor Dumped, Now How to Best Simplify

It appears I have more losses than gains, so I may be making this more complicated than I need to. If I am net negative for the year when I sell, does it really matter how much of it is STCG or LTCG? And to determine that, I would also need to know any gains/losses realized earlier in the year, cor...
by stan1
Fri Aug 17, 2018 7:53 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Do we really need to save 20 % ?
Replies: 28
Views: 2719

Re: Do we really need to save 20 % ?

Personally I'd go with your wife on this one. Your plans are just conceptual at this time. You want liquidity to give you options and let you make a fast decision. Yes you could invest in a taxable account and sell assets when you need to but there is a chance it will during a future market downturn...
by stan1
Fri Aug 17, 2018 7:40 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Master bathroom addition question
Replies: 10
Views: 660

Re: Master bathroom addition question

I have seen very high end homes where there is a bathroom behind the headboard/nightstands with his and her doors on either side leading to a bath/closet area. It has a very luxurious feel and it takes up a lot of square footage. If there are dressing rooms on either side you can go a long way towar...
by stan1
Tue Aug 14, 2018 7:53 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Residential vs Commercial Property Landlord
Replies: 6
Views: 719

Re: Residential vs Commercial Property Landlord

You can get a longer lease on commercial property but it can be much harder to find a tenant. Commercial space goes obsolete much faster than residential and can require large investments on the landlord's part to attract and keep a quality tenant. In my area we have discount jewelry and home furnis...
by stan1
Tue Aug 14, 2018 7:20 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: 33 Male, how am I doing?
Replies: 28
Views: 2618

Re: 33 Male, how am I doing?

It sounds like you've fallen into a nice rental situation. I wouldn't be in a hurry to change that unless you feel there's a quality of life issue you want to change. Home ownership takes a lot of time and unless you see maintaining a house and yard as a hobby there are plenty of more fun things to ...
by stan1
Tue Aug 14, 2018 6:59 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Sidewalk repair - price in line?
Replies: 32
Views: 1927

Re: Sidewalk repair - price in line?

City gave us a code violation for cracks in three sidewalks. The property in in S. Florida. I requested a few estimates and only one contractor responded. He wants to obtain a city permit, remove the old walks and replace them. The three sidewalks to be replaced are 8 x 4 feet. I realize there's re...
by stan1
Tue Aug 14, 2018 7:50 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Marriage [How should finances be handled?]
Replies: 58
Views: 4598

Re: Marriage

My advice is that if you are comfortable marrying someone you should be comfortable combining your finance. I’m sure there are people who have made it work, I’m just speaking from experience. All of the people I know who keep things separate are either divorced or miserable...YMMV +1. Agree 100% on...
by stan1
Mon Aug 13, 2018 8:59 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Asked my advisor about fees and here's their reply
Replies: 40
Views: 5199

Re: Asked my advisor about fees and here's their reply

If you can do the math to figure out how much you are paying per year in fees you have the necessary math skills you need to manage your own portfolio.
by stan1
Sun Aug 12, 2018 9:20 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Joint checking accounts.
Replies: 26
Views: 1949

Re: Joint checking accounts.

Money goes into our respective individual accounts then we each transfer money once per month into a joint account for bills associated with household expenses. We do not have kids. We don't squabble over minor things like who pays for groceries or meals out (we both do). Some people believe their m...
by stan1
Sat Aug 11, 2018 5:48 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: support vs. gift for college student
Replies: 6
Views: 734

Re: support vs. gift for college student

You are over complicating this. If you can pay for your child's education and she is appreciative just do so.
by stan1
Sat Aug 11, 2018 1:52 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Paper checks yes or no?
Replies: 116
Views: 6213

Re: Paper checks yes or no?

They are still needed in a few places. Motor Vehicles takes credit cards online but not at their local office if you can't renew online for some reason. My life insurance company won't take a credit card or do an ACH transfer. Work on the house that's too big for cash.
by stan1
Fri Aug 10, 2018 6:01 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Order of selling equities in taxable account
Replies: 9
Views: 980

Re: Order of selling equities in taxable account

I would also use improved diversification as a factor in selling. For example if $500k of the $750K is in Apple I'd be trying to reduce my exposure there.
by stan1
Fri Aug 10, 2018 4:36 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Buying used car - advice requested
Replies: 36
Views: 2369

Re: Buying used car - advice requested

I think you should look at a new 2018 Mazda 3 sedan or hatchback. They are coming out with a complete redesign in 2019 that has a new Spark Plug Controlled Compression Ignition. I would NOT buy that for a few years as the performance is unknown. You should be able to get a very good deal on a Mazda ...
by stan1
Fri Aug 10, 2018 7:26 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Response from boss re: market analysis
Replies: 71
Views: 7408

Re: Rude response from boss re: market adjustment

If the company thought they had an attrition or staffing problem they would compensate accordingly. They gave you a pretty clear response they don't see a problem. Perhaps you see a lot of attrition but management feels its manageable and they are willing to accept more frequent turnover. Once you m...
by stan1
Thu Aug 09, 2018 7:16 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Selling Small Business
Replies: 4
Views: 381

Re: Selling Small Business

Make a list of people you know who might buy it. If its netting (grossing?) $120K/year for 25% time work could you hire an employee?
by stan1
Thu Aug 09, 2018 7:34 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Huge mortgage mistake
Replies: 58
Views: 8409

Re: Huge mortgage mistake

Easy to do a refi to a 15 or 20 year loan if you want, or just make some extra payments to principal. You didn't make a huge mistake so don't beat yourself up over this.
by stan1
Thu Aug 09, 2018 7:23 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Moving to LA - Tips Wanted
Replies: 26
Views: 2030

Re: Moving to LA - Tips Wanted

Lots of good advice up thread. If your kids will be in the apartment/house most of the day proximity to a well maintained playground will help their caregiver. If they won't be in school for a few years I'd assume at least one more move which should give you more options. Traffic really helps if you...
by stan1
Tue Aug 07, 2018 7:28 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Best Counter Depth Side by Side refrigerator
Replies: 24
Views: 2161

Re: Best Counter Depth Side by Side refrigerator

There is no "best". Think about it in terms of lowering risk of something going wrong that is expensive to fix. Get something that does not have an in-door ice dispenser or fancy electronics. Be happy if it lasts past 7 years. Buy a manufacturer extended warranty if you'd be very upset if it needs r...
by stan1
Mon Aug 06, 2018 7:03 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Maui Hawaii Trip - How to save money?
Replies: 52
Views: 4729

Re: Maui Hawaii Trip - How to save money?

There are good local fast casual style places everywhere these days. Look for them in advance on the internet. If you don't like lines you can try to eat during off hours. When travelling we try to get down to two meals per day with a snack for the third. Portion sizes can sometimes be large to comp...
by stan1
Mon Aug 06, 2018 6:54 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Cost of ownership of buying Model 3 vs keeping my M235i.
Replies: 50
Views: 2925

Re: Cost of ownership of buying Model 3 vs keeping my M235i.

I'd get an Audi A4 (or S4) if you want a sedan or hold onto your 2 series BMW for a few more years. There is some risk of something going wrong but our recent experience with BMW and Mercedes cars in years 4-8 has been pretty good although we drive each car about 7000 miles per year. In 4 years ther...
by stan1
Sun Aug 05, 2018 2:29 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: How do you keep your math skills sharp?
Replies: 29
Views: 1517

Re: How do you keep your math skills sharp?

A few years ago I sat next to a 70ish gentleman on a flight who was intensely focused on row reducing a large matrix. For me it would be a little more fun to look at classic operations research problems such as optimizing the delivery route of Amazon vehicles.
by stan1
Sat Aug 04, 2018 5:41 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Valuing donation of goods
Replies: 6
Views: 435

Re: Valuing donation of goods

Under the new tax law, you may not be getting any benefit from the charitable deduction this year onwards anyway. So this may turn out to be moot. Based on the new tax law tiers, my prior years itemized deductions, and my understanding of thn new tax law, including State & Local capped at $10k, I a...
by stan1
Sat Aug 04, 2018 5:14 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Valuing donation of goods
Replies: 6
Views: 435

Re: Valuing donation of goods

I have been using ItsDeductible values for many years (since it was first offered). During that time I made $1,000-2000 per year of charitable donations. We did a large purge last December before new tax law took effect. I choose "medium" value most of the time and "high" only if the item is essenti...
by stan1
Sat Aug 04, 2018 2:25 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: UK vacation help
Replies: 15
Views: 707

Re: UK vacation help

Pick one of the two for a one week trip and plan to go back to the other on another trip. You'd need a car or an organized tour once you are outside of Edinburgh and Dublin. For a one week trip I would not go to Glasgow. Make sure you refresh your memory of the difference between England, Scotland, ...
by stan1
Sat Aug 04, 2018 1:50 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: "Safe" recommendations to store important documents?
Replies: 10
Views: 1073

Re: "Safe" recommendations to store important documents?

Probably worth doing but I would also have remote offsite backup copies of important information. A heavy, sturdy safe that's bolted down might deter burglars who are in a hurry and it might survive a single house fire where the fire department is able to respond quickly. In the case of a California...
by stan1
Fri Aug 03, 2018 6:17 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Gated communities pros and cons? (Atlanta or anywhere.)
Replies: 67
Views: 4216

Re: Gated communities pros and cons? (Atlanta or anywhere.)

We have an entry gate to our neighborhood of about 50 zero lot line detached homes. The gate was not one of the main reasons we bought here. Those were location (commute time), location (shopping, restaurants), location (micro climate), size of house, and a decent patio area. Our HOA manager provide...
by stan1
Fri Aug 03, 2018 5:44 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Few weeks into new job recieved significantly better offer elsewhere
Replies: 103
Views: 9811

Re: Few weeks into new job recieved significantly better offer elsewhere

I don't think anonymous voices on the internet can be of much help on this. Talk about it with your spouse or a trusted mentor who knows you well if you have one. Then go with your gut instinct and try to keep a good personal relationship as best you can with the other. Try very hard not to communic...
by stan1
Fri Aug 03, 2018 1:38 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Vanguard to offer non-Vanguard ETFs commission-free
Replies: 204
Views: 18862

Re: Vanguard to offer non-Vanguard ETFs commission-free

I wish they would respond to messages in a timely fashion. It's been 44 hours, 32 minutes without a response. Might be intentional. Vanguard might prefer you buy Vanguard ETFs at another brokerage who will provide response times that better meet your needs rather than incurring the expense of a hea...
by stan1
Fri Aug 03, 2018 1:10 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Is solar power for your home a worthwhile investment?
Replies: 55
Views: 4658

Re: Is solar power for your home a worthwhile investment?

For us it is not worth it. Our electric bill is $60-200 per month even when we use the air conditioner in summer (and we live in an area with high electricity costs). We have a natural gas heater and water heater and do not at this time have an electric car or a need to replace our current cars. We ...
by stan1
Fri Aug 03, 2018 12:03 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Home is *just* outside flood zone - how much flood insurance do I buy?
Replies: 50
Views: 2837

Re: Home is *just* outside flood zone - how much flood insurance do I buy?

If the lake under discussion is Lake Barcroft you have a lot of internet reading to do.
by stan1
Fri Aug 03, 2018 11:29 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Replace fireplace doors on pre-fab fireplace
Replies: 6
Views: 294

Re: Replace fireplace doors on pre-fab fireplace

We replaced the glass doors on our factory built unit with a retrofit product that nests inside the opening with a lip about 1/2" thick. It came with glass doors and a new screen. Also gave a nice refresh to the look of the fireplace since the new glass and frame came in a variety of different color...
by stan1
Fri Aug 03, 2018 9:01 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Charitable giving strategy
Replies: 43
Views: 2229

Re: Charitable giving strategy

I give to local charities that make an observable impact; my undergraduate alma mater where I did learn a lot about myself and I have some continued interest in keeping their high ranking intact; and a few carefully thought over national foundations who promote causes important to me. Oh, and the Bo...
by stan1
Fri Aug 03, 2018 8:42 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Home is *just* outside flood zone - how much flood insurance do I buy?
Replies: 50
Views: 2837

Re: Home is *just* outside flood zone - how much flood insurance do I buy?

Flood maps aren't perfect. You don't need to be a licensed civil engineer or hydrologist to self assess your risk. Use a careful eye and look around your immediate neighborhood and within a mile radius. Where are any creeks or gullies that head into the reservoir? How many feet above or below the sp...
by stan1
Fri Aug 03, 2018 7:55 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: best place to hide a key
Replies: 63
Views: 4678

Re: best place to hide a key

A zippered pocket (but then you have to remember to take the key out before washing the clothes).
by stan1
Thu Aug 02, 2018 7:47 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Which offer to accept on vacant land?
Replies: 17
Views: 1865

Re: Which offer to accept on vacant land?

To be honest #3 at this point may have the highest likelihood of actually closing the deal. You didn't state how long they would have to get approvals. They are the most familiar with the property and having recently looked at the property closely enough to make an offer they may have the best chanc...
by stan1
Tue Jul 31, 2018 10:16 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Getting emails saying I signed up for a bunch of subscriptions...
Replies: 7
Views: 673

Re: Getting emails saying I signed up for a bunch of subscriptions...

- Block them as spam - Stop using your email address and get a new one This was one of my thoughts. Others agree? I've had it for 10-15 years so would hate to lose it. Those were options and maybe I should have labeled them as such. Marking these emails as spam is easy. Much harder to stop using an...
by stan1
Tue Jul 31, 2018 6:31 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Getting emails saying I signed up for a bunch of subscriptions...
Replies: 7
Views: 673

Re: Getting emails saying I signed up for a bunch of subscriptions...

- Block them as spam
- Stop using your email address and get a new one
by stan1
Tue Jul 31, 2018 6:23 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: First Home, quadplex???
Replies: 15
Views: 1439

Re: First Home, quadplex???

Do you want to operate a small business as a landlord? At least to get started do you mind having your customers (tenants) living next to you? They will knock on your door at 1 AM when the toilet clogs but you can also call the police yourself if they are partying loudly at 1 AM. Once you are past t...