Search found 678 matches

by chw
Wed Oct 16, 2019 10:33 am
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Schwab Fixed Monthly Fee CFP Advice
Replies: 24
Views: 2244

Re: Schwab Fixed Monthly Fee CFP Advice

Long time Schwab client here. While I don't use this service, I have nothing but accolades for the level of Schwab's customer support team, as well as the assistance I have received from my assigned Client Consultant. Some have mentioned they doubt the quality of advice that may be provided by this ...
by chw
Tue Oct 15, 2019 6:27 am
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: REITs or investment property?
Replies: 70
Views: 4636

Re: REITs or investment property?

Direct ownership of investment property is a bit different than owning REIT shares. Direct ownership is a never ending job (think taking a call a 2am from a tenant that the heat went out). One could hire a property manager, but many managers do a poor job of managing, and their cut erodes the positi...
by chw
Fri Oct 11, 2019 9:05 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Refinancing NYC co-op apt we don't live in, should we go 30-year fixed or 7/1 ARM?
Replies: 20
Views: 1783

Re: Refinancing NYC co-op apt we don't live in, should we go 30-year fixed or 7/1 ARM?

Personally, I would opt for the 7 years. Average duration of the typical mortgage is usually under 5 years.

Keep an eye on rates after you refi- if the rate drops more than .25% for a no closing cost loan, simply refi again.
by chw
Fri Oct 11, 2019 8:43 pm
Forum: Personal Investments
Topic: Retirees, when did you start really planning your retirement?
Replies: 53
Views: 4659

Re: Retirees, when did you start really planning your retirement?

I got serious about 3-4 years prior to the year I planned to have the resources to FIRE. The initial stage was to carefully track expenses to have a solid idea where our money went, and how that would change in retirement. About 12-18 month prior to retiring, I had a comprehensive financial review c...
by chw
Fri Oct 11, 2019 11:09 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Purchasing an old home 100yrs +
Replies: 33
Views: 2165

Re: Purchasing an old home 100yrs +

I'm not saying don't buy this old home, but generally old homes (100+ years) are money pits. The best ones to buy, are the ones already updated when you buy them, and even then bizarre stuff can go wrong. Had a friend with one recently- found out the water supply line from the street to the home was...
by chw
Thu Oct 10, 2019 8:38 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: $575 to replace rear brake pads and rotors on a 2017 Subaru Forester?
Replies: 64
Views: 4172

Re: $575 to replace rear brake pads and rotors on a 2017 Subaru Forester?

I paid $400 for new front pads and rotors on an Outback to an independent repair shop using new OEM parts. Dealer wanted about $550 for same job.
by chw
Thu Oct 10, 2019 11:17 am
Forum: Personal Investments
Topic: Pre Retirement Portfolio Review
Replies: 25
Views: 3149

Re: Pre Retirement Portfolio Review

I would say with a high 7 figure portfolio, and 250k expected income need, you are good to go. Above this, you could still be ok, but without exact #s, hard to confirm. The $100k year passive income should be a good buffer to possibly spend above the 250k level if need. Good thoughts by others so f...
by chw
Wed Oct 09, 2019 12:32 pm
Forum: Personal Investments
Topic: Pre Retirement Portfolio Review
Replies: 25
Views: 3149

Re: Pre Retirement Portfolio Review

I would say with a high 7 figure portfolio, and 250k expected income need, you are good to go. Above this, you could still be ok, but without exact #s, hard to confirm. The $100k year passive income should be a good buffer to possibly spend above the 250k level if need. Good thoughts by others so f...
by chw
Wed Oct 09, 2019 12:16 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Solar without tax benefits?
Replies: 6
Views: 531

Re: Solar without tax benefits?

Without tax incentives (federal or state) it comes down to: 1) Your cost of electricity. 2) Are SRECs, or similar type of incentives offered? 3) Net metering availability, and rules on how it is applied. 4) Your commitment to renewable energy, and reducing your carbon footprint Generally for most ma...
by chw
Mon Oct 07, 2019 12:56 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Buying a house with in slab copper piping
Replies: 34
Views: 3849

Re: Buying a house with in slab copper piping

It’s not a matter of if, but when leaks will develop. I live in an area where this type of construction was common in the 1960s, and it’s very common for geysers to erupt in the slab during heating season. I would get 3 quotes to see how much it costs for the supply line and buried plumbing to be up...
by chw
Sat Oct 05, 2019 7:58 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: At wits end with mortgage company issues
Replies: 73
Views: 4890

Re: At wits end with mortgage company issues

setancre wrote:
Fri Oct 04, 2019 11:23 am
Is it possible they didn't properly record a payment over the summer, and are applying everything as if it is one month late now?
This...
by chw
Fri Oct 04, 2019 7:43 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Career Change from Commercial Banking
Replies: 14
Views: 1436

Re: Career Change from Commercial Banking

I previously worked (now retired) as a RM at a major large bank for over 10 years. If you have a good relationship with your manager, ask what roles there may be where you may be able to have more customer interaction, and perhaps work on a path to become an RM (it’s basically the main role with cli...
by chw
Fri Oct 04, 2019 6:46 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Solar Installation - 0.75 Year Later
Replies: 64
Views: 7850

Re: Solar Installation - 0.75 Year Later

RCL wrote:
Fri Oct 04, 2019 6:23 pm
For those of you that have purchased solar, have you seen your property taxes increase due to the addition of the solar system?
We haven’t been reassessed yet. There may be a nominal increase in the tax assessment and taxes, but not high enough where one would decide to not install panels.
by chw
Fri Oct 04, 2019 6:43 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Solar Installation - 0.75 Year Later
Replies: 64
Views: 7850

Re: Solar Installation - 0.75 Year Later

fwiw (and this may be obvious to many, but it wasn't to me and others who heard this on npr's science friday) a roofer called in and said if you're thinking about installing solar, you should do it when you need to replace your roof (or try to align it as much as possible). Otherwise, if you instal...
by chw
Thu Oct 03, 2019 2:17 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Mortgage rates what would you choose
Replies: 23
Views: 1659

Re: Mortgage rates what would you choose

7 year fixed: 2.75% 10 year fixed: 3.00% 30 year fixed: 3.75% 7 year fixed or 7 year ARM? 7 year fixed probably has massive monthly payment as you're paying off 1.1M in 84 months. The product is a 7/1 ARM loan- fixed for 7 years, rolls to a 1 years ARM thereafter, based on a 30 year armortization.
by chw
Thu Oct 03, 2019 2:14 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Mortgage rates what would you choose
Replies: 23
Views: 1659

Re: Mortgage rates what would you choose

It’s a toss up between the 7 and 10 year fixed. I would probably go with the 7 year and keep an eye on rates over the next few years. If you can jump on a no cost refi in 2-3 years at or below the 2.75%, jump on it, and you basically would cover the 10 years you are hoping to attain out of the mortg...
by chw
Thu Oct 03, 2019 9:47 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Recourse for "Stolen" Money
Replies: 93
Views: 7554

Re: Recourse for "Stolen" Money

You have 2 options: 1) File a small claims action against the Seller. Even this will likely result in no money being received, though a default judgement would be a black mark on the Seller's credit profile. 2) Walk away. I know it's a hard pill to swallow, but walking away is the best option. Conti...
by chw
Thu Oct 03, 2019 6:27 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Solar Installation - 0.75 Year Later
Replies: 64
Views: 7850

Re: Solar Installation - 0.75 Year Later

Tag. Great thread. Any recommendations for bay area solar companies? Any good sites which review the latest and greatest solar tech? I have a new roof. Electric bill runs from 100 go 200 max. I guess I should look into this. Friends have said a house battery would be great ( store your own power to...
by chw
Wed Oct 02, 2019 6:37 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Solar Installation - 0.75 Year Later
Replies: 64
Views: 7850

Re: Solar Installation - 0.75 Year Later

We installed 20 of the same Panasonic panels late last year as well (Coastal New England). Our inverters are Enphase microinverters, but all warranty info the same as what you mention. Installed cost was around $3.00/watt. Our energy cost is about the same as yours, and expect break even in about 5-...
by chw
Wed Oct 02, 2019 1:17 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Who has had a pool?
Replies: 108
Views: 9458

Re: Who has had a pool?

Bought a home with an IG pool already installed. It was a nice feature when the kids were small, but generally not used much when they were out of high school. We live in an area that only has about a 10 week season- so I would not encourage the install of one unless you live in an area with a longe...
by chw
Sat Sep 28, 2019 7:14 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Refinance 7/1 ARM mortgage
Replies: 33
Views: 3047

Re: Refinance 7/1 ARM mortgage

I would refi now into a new 7/1 ARM if no point no closings cost rate is .25% lower. If rates drop further in the future, rinse and repeat.... I refi’d 6 times with 7/1 ARMs from 2009-2012 until rate bottomed out at 2.5%. Each refi, I didn’t think rates could go lower but they did. If you wait to s...
by chw
Wed Sep 25, 2019 7:33 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Solar panel advice & experiences
Replies: 64
Views: 2779

Re: Solar panel advice & experiences

Installed 20 panels a year ago. The system is performing as expected, with no issues. Our payback after federal and state tax credits is estimated just under 5 years (we have high kw rates). We had a 3 year old roof, and southern facing roof, so decision to install was pretty straightforward. I woul...
by chw
Mon Sep 23, 2019 6:53 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: solar installation, question on added roof structural support
Replies: 20
Views: 1157

Re: solar installation, question on added roof structural support

I would forgo the solar, unless you could site the panels elsewhere on the property (garage, ground mount). If you go forward ask the installer if there have been issues with the local utility installing the new electric meter after the panels are installed. I had a conversation with the installer w...
by chw
Fri Sep 20, 2019 11:29 am
Forum: Personal Investments
Topic: VTIAX International fund - should I give up on it?
Replies: 297
Views: 25981

Re: VTIAX International fund - should I give up on it?

I would say, if your IPS says you should own x% of International as part of your AA, you should stick with it. I rebalance into or out of it annually depending on how it has performed, and don’t try to overthink it. I would say if International has a bad year or two, it’s a good time to pick up shar...
by chw
Wed Sep 18, 2019 9:45 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Live in MA, Need 2.5 years health insurance until Medicare
Replies: 38
Views: 2390

Re: Live in MA, Need 2.5 years health insurance until Medicare

I echo the comments of another poster: talk to a MA-based broker. The insurers themselves will not deal directly with individuals or small business. There aren't actually a ton of brokers, it's a small state, and the state that Obamacare came from in the first place. My broker last time was an outf...
by chw
Tue Sep 17, 2019 8:03 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Alternatives to Subaru Outback?
Replies: 84
Views: 7600

Re: Alternatives to Subaru Outback?

Toyota Highlander.
by chw
Mon Sep 16, 2019 5:59 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Live in MA, Need 2.5 years health insurance until Medicare
Replies: 38
Views: 2390

Re: Live in MA, Need 2.5 years health insurance until Medicare

I also live in MA, am a few years younger than you, and my COBRA expired earlier this year. I also live outside the metro Boston area. IMO, I believe the Health Connector plans are your best options. Agree, the Health Connector website could be better, but it is ok once you figure it out. I called a...
by chw
Mon Sep 16, 2019 5:04 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Mortgage rate last week
Replies: 38
Views: 4105

Re: Mortgage rate last week

Trying to time the direction of interest rates is a losers game. Unexpected market forces have a way of unexpectedly moving rates in directions that aren’t expected. If you are buying and the monthly payment is in the range you were hoping for with a low cost, or no losing cost loan, lock in the rat...
by chw
Mon Sep 16, 2019 11:10 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Money back from Short Sale/Foreclosure?
Replies: 8
Views: 827

Re: Money back from Short Sale/Foreclosure?

Very helpful all... with regards to the 'cash for keys' idea - I am not a contractor, but I'd bet my own house that this house will not come close to passing inspection. Would that be a disqualifying criteria for a 'cash for keys' scenario? Generally, the house doesn't have to pass an inspection. I...
by chw
Fri Sep 13, 2019 5:09 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: AC Unit Feedback - Another One
Replies: 15
Views: 1083

Re: AC Unit Feedback - Another One

I would take a strong look at the Infinity, which I believe is a variable speed. We installed an American Standard VS unit which we’ve been very pleased with. The VS option does a much better job dehumidifying on days of moderate heat as the compressor runs longer on a lower speed. The VS compressor...
by chw
Thu Sep 12, 2019 2:54 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Neighbor wants me to sell her my driveway but parking is tight. Detailed analysis help
Replies: 45
Views: 5743

Re: Neighbor wants me to sell her my driveway but parking is tight. Detailed analysis help

I bought a duplex and on one side (the one I'm moving into) there's a driveway between my unit and my neighbors house. She had historically used the driveway because it was a family owned duplex, but her sister in law, the seller, kind of kept her out of the loop. However, I know my neighbor receiv...
by chw
Thu Sep 12, 2019 8:26 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Money back from Short Sale/Foreclosure?
Replies: 8
Views: 827

Re: Money back from Short Sale/Foreclosure?

Thanks for the responses - there's a new wrinkle here that has been brought to my attention in that the lawyer's brother-in-law is a house-flipper and is positioning himself to purchase the house in short sale from the bank. Maybe that's why the lawyer is contending that my in-laws will see some mo...
by chw
Thu Sep 12, 2019 8:21 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Money back from Short Sale/Foreclosure?
Replies: 8
Views: 827

Re: Money back from Short Sale/Foreclosure?

I did some pre foreclosure work years ago for my employer (mega bank)- It was common to offer the borrower “cash for keys” to avoid the high cost of foreclosing. It entailed the borrower deeding the house to the bank, and leaving the home broom clean. It was a way for folks to walk away with some ca...
by chw
Sun Sep 08, 2019 9:51 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: 3.875% fixed rate, 30-year mortgage: are you paying it off early?
Replies: 93
Views: 3957

Re: 3.875% fixed rate, 30-year mortgage: are you paying it off early?

Perhaps. One factor as you determine this is the deductibility of the mortgage interest. If you use the standard deduction on your taxes, you aren’t getting any tax benefit from the interest being paid.
by chw
Fri Sep 06, 2019 7:13 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: eBay Seller Retaliatory Feedback
Replies: 28
Views: 2174

Re: eBay Seller Retaliatory Feedback

I generally don't leave negative feedback unless there is a potential upside for me. I don't care about selection bias inherent in eBay reviews. If you actually read them, they are worthless anyway. "Shipped item two minutes after I place my order, item 10x better than described, uses fresh cut flo...
by chw
Fri Sep 06, 2019 5:05 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: eBay Seller Retaliatory Feedback
Replies: 28
Views: 2174

Re: eBay Seller Retaliatory Feedback

I would contact eBay customer service by phone to have the negative feedback removed.
by chw
Thu Sep 05, 2019 4:21 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Entertaining house guests
Replies: 37
Views: 3121

Re: Entertaining house guests

Check Trip Advisor for top activities in nearest metro to you.

Have the guest do some research on what they might want do? Best way to have a successful trip.
by chw
Wed Sep 04, 2019 7:20 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Refinance 7/1 ARM mortgage
Replies: 33
Views: 3047

Re: Refinance 7/1 ARM mortgage

I just closed a 2.75% 7-year ARM no closing cost refinance with HSBC after moving some assets over to HSBC. Without moving assets the rate they offered was about 3%. That was a month back and rates have dropped further so you should get better rates now. Thanks, was there >20% equity? I am just try...
by chw
Wed Sep 04, 2019 7:16 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Refinance 7/1 ARM mortgage
Replies: 33
Views: 3047

Re: Refinance 7/1 ARM mortgage

I would refi now into a new 7/1 ARM if no point no closings cost rate is .25% lower. If rates drop further in the future, rinse and repeat.... I refi’d 6 times with 7/1 ARMs from 2009-2012 until rate bottomed out at 2.5%. Each refi, I didn’t think rates could go lower but they did. If you wait to se...
by chw
Wed Sep 04, 2019 6:41 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Cold Air Penetrating Window Glass (Winter, Boston)
Replies: 30
Views: 2339

Re: Cold Air Penetrating Window Glass (Winter, Boston)

Perhaps try these window inserts: https://www.windowinserts.com/ . I used one for a skylight, and it completely stopped a cold draft I used to get from it. They are much better than the window film, and cosmetically much nicer looking. The inserts can also be removed and reused. I actually leave th...
by chw
Tue Sep 03, 2019 7:11 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Cold Air Penetrating Window Glass (Winter, Boston)
Replies: 30
Views: 2339

Re: Cold Air Penetrating Window Glass (Winter, Boston)

Perhaps try these window inserts: https://www.windowinserts.com/ . I used one for a skylight, and it completely stopped a cold draft I used to get from it. They are much better than the window film, and cosmetically much nicer looking. The inserts can also be removed and reused. I actually leave the...
by chw
Mon Sep 02, 2019 7:03 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Any experience with EBB to minisplits upgrade? [Electric BaseBoard]
Replies: 2
Views: 211

Re: Any experience with EBB to minisplits upgra

I looked at mini split systems, as well as ducted systems in an 1800 sq ft ranch home. Ended up going with a ducted variable speed central air/heat pump that is nearly as efficient as the MS systems, and does a better job of covering every room in the house. The best MS system still was not going to...
by chw
Sun Sep 01, 2019 2:22 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Bogleheads was right, I was wrong
Replies: 163
Views: 17863

Re: Bogleheads was right, I was wrong

I would start funding the 8 year old’s 529 a bit more aggressively. The college years have a way of creeping up pretty quickly. I know funding our children’s 529 plans at an early age helped with decisions when they entered college beginning in 2008 as the financial crisis was unfolding and my job ...
by chw
Sun Sep 01, 2019 12:22 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Bogleheads was right, I was wrong
Replies: 163
Views: 17863

Re: Bogleheads was right, I was wrong

I would start funding the 8 year old’s 529 a bit more aggressively. The college years have a way of creeping up pretty quickly. I know funding our children’s 529 plans at an early age helped with decisions when they entered college beginning in 2008 as the financial crisis was unfolding and my job ...
by chw
Sun Sep 01, 2019 10:23 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Bogleheads was right, I was wrong
Replies: 163
Views: 17863

Re: Bogleheads was right, I was wrong

I would start funding the 8 year old’s 529 a bit more aggressively. The college years have a way of creeping up pretty quickly. I know funding our children’s 529 plans at an early age helped with decisions when they entered college beginning in 2008 as the financial crisis was unfolding and my job s...
by chw
Sat Aug 31, 2019 5:02 am
Forum: Personal Investments
Topic: $1,000 a month or $180,000 Pension Question
Replies: 55
Views: 5766

Re: $1,000 a month or $180,000 Pension Question

Silk McCue wrote:
Fri Aug 30, 2019 7:11 am
Given your age I believe that the additional pension increase by far outpaces the Drop funds since one of you is likely to live into your 90s. $180k extra in 3 years properly invested couldn’t hold a candle to that.

Cheers
+1
by chw
Thu Aug 29, 2019 7:23 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Pay off mortgage with sale of taxable account assets?
Replies: 87
Views: 4681

Re: Pay off mortgage with sale of taxable account assets?

I would not pay the capital gains to pay off the mortgage. I would use all dividends, and annual capital gain distributions from the taxable account to pay towards the principal. As you have other surplus cash, use it towards the principal as well. Only make the extra principal payments after maxing...
by chw
Wed Aug 28, 2019 8:22 pm
Forum: Personal Investments
Topic: Best interest bearing savings account?
Replies: 34
Views: 4871

Re: Best interest bearing savings account?

Been with Ally Bank for years. I like their platform, excellent customer service (24/7), easy setup with outside financial institutions, and generally good rates. Current MM rate slightly under others, but I suspect others will likely be lowering. Ally was a bit early on this rate cycle to lower rat...
by chw
Wed Aug 28, 2019 6:45 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Index Funds Bubble? [Michael Burry article]
Replies: 235
Views: 25281

Re: Index Funds Bubble?

Seems to be click bait to me.
by chw
Wed Aug 28, 2019 6:38 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: [Have to keep job just for health insurance. Any ideas on insurance replacement?]
Replies: 20
Views: 1523

Re: Really?? My FIRE comes down to heath insurance?? Depressing!

I am mid-50s and realizing if I don't leave megacorp soon, my head is going to explode. I am burned out and have plans to do other fun quasi-business activities. I have run the numbers and (yahoo) I can pull the cord now! But wait, there is this devious issue of health insurance for me and the DW. ...