Search found 5251 matches

by unclescrooge
Mon Sep 28, 2020 7:33 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: 401K Overpayment - Ex Employer Asking for Money Back
Replies: 57
Views: 3403

Re: 401K Overpayment - Ex Employer Asking for Money Back

Just got a letter from my ex-employer (that I left in 2015) about a $6400 overpayment from my 401K plan. The letter claims the portion was not vested and was distributed on error. This distribution happened in 2018, when I rolled over the funds from the 401K into a Traditional IRA account. They cla...
by unclescrooge
Mon Sep 28, 2020 11:20 am
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Are we NOW in a bubble?
Replies: 66
Views: 6196

Re: Are we NOW in a bubble?

I believe we are now in a bubble. The bubble is not in the stock market per se, but in the global financial system underlying it. In the US, for example, the federal debt to GDP ratio is 136%, up from 56% in 2000. This is World War II level of debt. Central banks in the US and elsewhere have kept i...
by unclescrooge
Mon Sep 28, 2020 11:01 am
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Are we NOW in a bubble?
Replies: 66
Views: 6196

Re: Are we NOW in a bubble?

I often heard that this didn't compare to 1999 because there wasn't much retail investor or "not smart money" activity. This article claims that it's arrived https://www.ft.com/content/ddc4630c-c27c-47e6-b13e-1e036d16b0f9 No. Profits for extremely profitable growth companies are still near all-time...
by unclescrooge
Mon Sep 28, 2020 8:27 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: What Android smartphone to replace a good pocket point-and-shoot camera?
Replies: 11
Views: 506

Re: What Android smartphone to replace a good pocket point-and-shoot camera?

Pixel 3 is probably in your price range.

I've always used samsung phones and found their cameras excellent.

I just upgraded to the S10. The main camera is 12 megapixels.

It is probably sufficient for 90% if your camera needs.
by unclescrooge
Sun Sep 27, 2020 9:50 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Friend on the verge of financial ruin, how to help?
Replies: 83
Views: 8544

Re: Friend on the verge of financial ruin, how to help?

Why is the daughter with no job living in her own apartment? She needs to move home. She'll equally have no job but will also have no rent payment and can help her mom. I'm going to add that daughter should get a job at Lowes/Home Depot/Amazon/Wal Mart. All are hiring nationwide and all pay more th...
by unclescrooge
Sat Sep 26, 2020 1:34 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Dave Ramsey Home Affordability Calculator
Replies: 59
Views: 4493

Re: Dave Ramsey Home Affordability Calculator

So someone who makes six figures in LA That used to be a thing. In LA or NorCal, meh. Let's grab the most conservative home affordability metric and compare it to one of the least affordable housing markets in the West. The asymmetry is real. Things became problematic when thousands of wannabe home...
by unclescrooge
Fri Sep 25, 2020 11:47 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Dave Ramsey Home Affordability Calculator
Replies: 59
Views: 4493

Re: Dave Ramsey Home Affordability Calculator

So someone who makes six figures in LA can afford a $168,990 home? Allow me to channel Dave---"Yes, that is correct. You don't get a pass on math because of geography." I think its a good set of rules. If nothing else it makes people think about their finances before rushing into a house. Coming fr...
by unclescrooge
Fri Sep 25, 2020 5:14 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: PSA: switch to LED light bulbs and save hundreds per year
Replies: 171
Views: 11632

Re: PSA: switch to LED light bulbs and save hundreds per year

I have a friend who put solar tubes all over their top floor. These take sunlight from the roof and project them into the rooms in a way that looks like lamps. They're truly 0 watts (but they only work during the day.) I initially thought you were talking about those. I put a Solatube in the ceilin...
by unclescrooge
Thu Sep 24, 2020 8:51 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: OLD papers [How do I dispose of old papers?]
Replies: 53
Views: 3956

Re: OLD papers [How do I dispose of old papers?]

cleaning out files. How to dispose of old papers--8 years and more--when shredding/burning is not do-able. They have lots of id on them of course, :confused Use it as sheet mulch. Place several layers on the soil. Cover with much. Water as usual. Eventually it will decompose and return to the earth.
by unclescrooge
Thu Sep 24, 2020 8:48 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Avoiding Estate Tax
Replies: 39
Views: 2991

Re: Avoiding Estate Tax

Hi, I'm curious as to what some of you may be doing to reduce your estate or avoid estate tax. My parents estate is over the threshold and so they have talked to some qualified people who told them to create an irrevocable trust fund and state in writing that it, and anything a part of it, is not a...
by unclescrooge
Wed Sep 23, 2020 10:58 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: New 2020 Acura TLX?
Replies: 30
Views: 2439

Re: New 2020 Acura TLX?

I had a 2005 TSX for about 10 years. Great car and I think Acuras tend to look current longer than most other sedans. My wife really liked the beige leather interior. My only hesitation would be that everything seemed more expensive. I drove a honda civic before the Acura and things like tires, ins...
by unclescrooge
Wed Sep 23, 2020 10:54 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: New 2020 Acura TLX?
Replies: 30
Views: 2439

Re: New 2020 Acura TLX?

I can't commend on what you are specifically asking about but I drove a 2002 Acura TL for about 12 years and it was a great car for me. Currently, I have a Subaru and it is also a great car that I've been driving for about 6 years now but I still miss my old Acura. In what way? I currently drive th...
by unclescrooge
Wed Sep 23, 2020 9:49 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Smoker next door
Replies: 79
Views: 4340

Re: Smoker next door

And in some places, it isn't tobacco... Your fan is likely not moving enough airflow, perhaps you should try one of these: https://www.thefirestore.com/store/category.aspx/categoryId/513/Positive-Pressure-Fans/#/orderby/9 :beer Big Ass Fans makes some really big fans, like 8ft tall. Pretty sure you...
by unclescrooge
Tue Sep 22, 2020 11:30 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: In-network provider refusing service if we use insurance
Replies: 122
Views: 6512

Re: In-network provider refusing service if we use insurance

OK what am i missing? 1. OP is scheduled for a procedure, office wants $350 cash. 2. OP asks office to fill out forms for insurance. 3. Office says they will not do the procedure if it goes through insurance. 4. OP says ok we'll pay out of pocket. Office says no. What happened between 3 and 4? Offi...
by unclescrooge
Tue Sep 22, 2020 8:54 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Email Management Tips
Replies: 51
Views: 3872

Re: Email Management Tips

I did a search and couldn’t find anything posted on the topic of approaches to manage email at work. Unfortunately, I’m a bit neurotic about my email inbox and it drives me crazy from time to time. I don’t like leaving a bunch of messages in my inbox, so each message requires an action - leave it i...
by unclescrooge
Tue Sep 22, 2020 1:20 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Is Costco worth the $120 membership?
Replies: 238
Views: 15026

Re: Is Costco worth the $120 membership?

biscuits wrote: Tue Sep 22, 2020 12:50 am Whenever I rent a car, I do it through the Costco website. I never find a better price anywhere else. That alone is worth the fee (I have the regular membership, not the Executive).
Autoslash was better for me.
by unclescrooge
Mon Sep 21, 2020 9:32 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Anyone Have A Solo Stove?
Replies: 30
Views: 2885

Re: Anyone Have A Solo Stove?

I was looking into this and eventually decided against it for the following reasons: My 3 year old son will probably burn himself against the exterior surface. Repeated exposure to burning wood can cause lung cancer. We decided we will be getting a fire table instead. I would use the ember grill if ...
by unclescrooge
Mon Sep 21, 2020 1:01 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: How to get over finance envy
Replies: 377
Views: 50807

Re: How to get over finance envy

WSJ just posted an article indicating the impact of the pandemic on every day middle class Americans. https://www.wsj.com/articles/covid-unemployment-debt-middle-class-family-finances-11600122791?mod=mhp While they tried to put a human angle on the economic suffering brought on by the pandemic, all ...
by unclescrooge
Mon Sep 21, 2020 12:00 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Paying off sub 4% mortgage interest rate early
Replies: 167
Views: 14281

Re: Paying off sub 4% mortgage interest rate early

Is anyone who has a sub 4% fixed mortgage interest rate paying it off aggressively early? If you are, why? At 4%-ish, there is absolutely no better fixed income investment you can make than paying down a mortgage. Certainly no investor should be holding bonds in any taxable account while carrying a...
by unclescrooge
Sun Sep 20, 2020 11:58 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: How to get over finance envy
Replies: 377
Views: 50807

Re: How to get over finance envy

Having a NW of 3M gets a family into the 95th percentile. That means that every 20th person in the US belongs to a family with NW of 3M. That is a lot of people +1 ^this There are a lot of wealthy people out there Every 1 in 100 has some solid coin! https://i.postimg.cc/LqsKDWT1/68604541-7-C9-C-442...
by unclescrooge
Sun Sep 20, 2020 11:52 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: The Fed, Snowflake, and Stocks
Replies: 53
Views: 5796

Re: The Fed, Snowflake, and Stocks

garlandwhizzer wrote: Sun Sep 20, 2020 9:29 pm I suspect he views Snowflake very positively as a long term investment IF PURCHASED AT A 100% DISCOUNT TO MARKET PRICE.
Mathematically, it would be a 50% discount. 100% discount would imply he got the shares for free.
by unclescrooge
Sun Sep 20, 2020 9:53 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Hardwood floor furniture protectors - recommendations?
Replies: 9
Views: 972

Re: Hardwood floor furniture protectors - recommendations?

Doesn't most furniture come with plastic feet on them?
by unclescrooge
Sun Sep 20, 2020 4:25 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: PSA: switch to LED light bulbs and save hundreds per year
Replies: 171
Views: 11632

Re: PSA: switch to LED light bulbs and save hundreds per year

There are many people who always turn on the lights even on a sunny day with lots of windows in the room. Your eyes get dimmer as you get older. On a cloudy day I need the lights on. I am really noticing this in my late 50s. And of course we age at different rates. That may depend on your vision. I...
by unclescrooge
Sun Sep 20, 2020 4:22 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Coping with Wildfire smoke
Replies: 111
Views: 6783

Re: Coping with Wildfire smoke

Spider plants and Jade tree plants are major air cleaners. Not sure of US v UK proper naming. Spider plants could also be called "cat salads" in my household, unless I hang them out of reach. Also, while the NASA study and follow-up studies to the NASA study did conclude plants can act as air purif...
by unclescrooge
Sun Sep 20, 2020 4:16 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Any further reason to hold DLS?
Replies: 32
Views: 2252

Re: Any further reason to hold DLS?

I guess the greater nature of the question is are there asset classes that certain investors (ie:me) should avoid? Traditionally we hold asset classes to get the zig/zag effect ie: the smoothing out and enhancing effect of a diversified portfolio. However, some asset classes, such as the one repres...
by unclescrooge
Sun Sep 20, 2020 1:10 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: I was wrong! Recession in 10 years 8 Months
Replies: 25
Views: 5662

Re: I was wrong! Recession in 10 years 8 Months

celia wrote: Sun Sep 20, 2020 2:25 am EVERY TIME is different. They are all the same in that each one is different than the others.

They are all part of the collection of 'differences'!
Are you claiming it's the same difference?
by unclescrooge
Sun Sep 20, 2020 12:39 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Is Costco worth the $120 membership?
Replies: 238
Views: 15026

Re: Is Costco worth the $120 membership?

Costco membership value hinges on a very narrow proposition. Especially since the pandemic Costco quality has gone down the drain a lot. You might like Costco for whatever reason, but it is clearly not the great value proposition it used to be. We are maintaining the membership only because the fee...
by unclescrooge
Sun Sep 20, 2020 10:36 am
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Any further reason to hold DLS?
Replies: 32
Views: 2252

Re: Any further reason to hold DLS?

I generally believe in the concept of diversifying one's portfolio with other asset classes even though they may undergo long periods of underperformance. The question is when does one jettison a losing asset class. I think I have been patient for 14 years having tied up a large amount of money in ...
by unclescrooge
Sun Sep 20, 2020 10:10 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: How Much House Can We Afford in HCOL Area?
Replies: 300
Views: 19097

Re: How Much House Can We Afford in HCOL Area?

Here are the two scenarios I'm seeing. Let's use example #s Scenario 1: $1.6M purchase, $1.4M down, $200K loan, $100K remaining in savings. Assuming income and bills stay constant the next 30 years, I would have ~$5K cash/mo "left over" to be used for whatever (investing, kids education, extra reti...
by unclescrooge
Sat Sep 19, 2020 9:29 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Is Costco worth the $120 membership?
Replies: 238
Views: 15026

Re: Is Costco worth the $120 membership?

UpperNwGuy wrote: Sat Sep 19, 2020 8:39 pm
— I find that Costco caters to lowest common denominator tastes. I much prefer the products at my nearby Whole Foods.
So you're the guy buying a jar of asparagus water for $7? :mrgreen:
by unclescrooge
Sat Sep 19, 2020 8:56 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Is Costco worth the $120 membership?
Replies: 238
Views: 15026

Re: Is Costco worth the $120 membership?

I find that my executive membership rewards gives me back more than the $120/yr fee, then the costco visa card gives me back even more. $120 is the annual cost of the executive membership which gives you 2% back. The regular membership is $60/yr. If you spend at least $3000/yr then you'd make back ...
by unclescrooge
Sat Sep 19, 2020 8:48 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: How Much House Can We Afford in HCOL Area?
Replies: 300
Views: 19097

Re: How Much House Can We Afford in HCOL Area?

Thanks! I feel good about this decision. I feel good about it because I did not spend $2M or $1.8M or even $1.7M. I felt like $1.2M was all I could stomach but because of where I live and wanting to buy something that COULD be our forever home I went up to $1.6M. It's still 20% of our after tax net...
by unclescrooge
Sat Sep 19, 2020 10:43 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: How Much House Can We Afford in HCOL Area?
Replies: 300
Views: 19097

Re: How Much House Can We Afford in HCOL Area?

Thanks! I feel good about this decision. I feel good about it because I did not spend $2M or $1.8M or even $1.7M. I felt like $1.2M was all I could stomach but because of where I live and wanting to buy something that COULD be our forever home I went up to $1.6M. It's still 20% of our after tax net...
by unclescrooge
Sat Sep 19, 2020 12:42 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Physician Retirement Savings
Replies: 400
Views: 86866

Re: Physician Retirement Savings

If I had $10 million, I would definitely be flying first class and living in a $1million plus house. What’s the point of making and having all that money if you don’t use it? Even an extra $1 million would allow us to fly first class everywhere and live in a bigger house or drive newer cars. 1M doe...
by unclescrooge
Fri Sep 18, 2020 2:02 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Questions to ask a prospective financial advisor
Replies: 112
Views: 4888

Re: Questions to ask a prospective financial advisor

Seeing as many advisors are just using model portfolios from major fund families (something I learned from Greenman72), it seems just as reasonable to trust Vanguard, Fidelity, Schwab, DFA, etc. as the average advisor. I would bet that virtually all advisors are using model portfolios. I very rarel...
by unclescrooge
Thu Sep 17, 2020 8:45 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Coping with Wildfire smoke
Replies: 111
Views: 6783

Re: Coping with Wildfire smoke

Isn't it also pretty boring? No... There really isn't much difference unless you are a frequent user one of the handful of "cultural attractions" in megaurban areas. By cultural attractions, do you mean museums, zoos, theatres, art exhibits, wine tasting, ethnic restaurants, not to mention beaches ...
by unclescrooge
Thu Sep 17, 2020 8:02 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: PSA: switch to LED light bulbs and save hundreds per year
Replies: 171
Views: 11632

Re: PSA: switch to LED light bulbs and save hundreds per year

There are many people who always turn on the lights even on a sunny day with lots of windows in the room. Your eyes get dimmer as you get older. On a cloudy day I need the lights on. I am really noticing this in my late 50s. And of course we age at different rates. That may depend on your vision. I...
by unclescrooge
Thu Sep 17, 2020 7:57 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Coping with Wildfire smoke
Replies: 111
Views: 6783

Re: Coping with Wildfire smoke

+1 to running HVAC with good filters. After researching, we went with a 4" thick Merv 13. (thick > 1", Merv 13 > Merv 12) We also been running a couple of internal air filters that we've been running. They are basically a box fan plus air filter. We'll add an internal air quality monitor to our col...
by unclescrooge
Thu Sep 17, 2020 7:54 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: How to get over finance envy
Replies: 377
Views: 50807

Re: How to get over finance envy

iamblessed wrote: Thu Sep 17, 2020 6:47 pm Nest time you envy someone you know watch this https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=TNRwERkZhjs
You are envying a poor person.
That was awesome!
Goes to show how much you're leaving in the table by working for someone else and not having an equity stake in the company.
by unclescrooge
Thu Sep 17, 2020 5:30 pm
Forum: Personal Investments
Topic: How to deal with long distance rental property?
Replies: 13
Views: 762

Re: How to deal with long distance rental property?

I have an out of state rental property (It became a rental due to job transfer a few years ago). It has been giving me a lot of headaches of managing this property. I am considering the following options. 1) Sell it (Issue: Need to pay a lot tax due to cap-gain) 2) Look for a reliable property mana...
by unclescrooge
Thu Sep 17, 2020 4:02 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Questions to ask a prospective financial advisor
Replies: 112
Views: 4888

Re: Questions to ask a prospective financial advisor

Conclusion: if a friend asks me for a list of questions to ask an advisor, I'm going to respond "have you heard of Target Date funds?". Not a bad solution, except TRD funds start off very aggressive, stay aggressive for too long, and then become very conservative quickly. Hopefully that's the ideal...
by unclescrooge
Thu Sep 17, 2020 3:59 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Questions to ask a prospective financial advisor
Replies: 112
Views: 4888

Re: Questions to ask a prospective financial advisor

In my opinion, we need something like this at the top of every page of your account statement. BE AWARE: THE TOTAL FEES AND EXPENSES IN YOUR PORTFOLIO ARE 2.25%. OVER TIME, THESE EXPENSES WILL SEVERELY CRIPPLE YOUR LIFE SAVINGS. This should be in bold red lettering. Imagine how crippling it must be...
by unclescrooge
Thu Sep 17, 2020 12:43 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Coping with Wildfire smoke
Replies: 111
Views: 6783

Re: Coping with Wildfire smoke

+1 to running HVAC with good filters. After researching, we went with a 4" thick Merv 13. (thick > 1", Merv 13 > Merv 12) We also been running a couple of internal air filters that we've been running. They are basically a box fan plus air filter. We'll add an internal air quality monitor to our col...
by unclescrooge
Wed Sep 16, 2020 11:15 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Gold continues to soar!
Replies: 257
Views: 15333

Re: Gold continues to soar!

The Chinese have taken a shine to gold only recently so they hardly have a long philosophical attachment to it. US experience with gold as a currency or investment is considerably longer than that of China which we derived from the Europeans by tradition. That tradition goes back more than two mill...
by unclescrooge
Wed Sep 16, 2020 11:11 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Coping with Wildfire smoke
Replies: 111
Views: 6783

Re: Coping with Wildfire smoke

We have touched AQI 250-300. Now back down to 170's in Seattle suburbs. It doesn't smell as bad outside now. Indoors we turned off our fresh air inflow from outside on our air conditioner and changed the furnace filter. We also just got an air purifier. I wouldn't go outside without a N-95 in anyth...
by unclescrooge
Wed Sep 16, 2020 9:08 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Vastly different quotes for wallpaper removal and painting job
Replies: 31
Views: 1476

Re: Vastly different quotes for wallpaper removal and painting job

Calico wrote: Wed Sep 16, 2020 7:55 pm
I have been comparing the two quotes and I can't find why the one is so much higher.
This is why you get 3 quotes.

When doing my roof, I got 4 quotes. 3 were about $12,000 and the fourth was $60,000. :shock:
by unclescrooge
Wed Sep 16, 2020 8:46 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Coping with Wildfire smoke
Replies: 111
Views: 6783

Re: Coping with Wildfire smoke

quantAndHold wrote: Wed Sep 16, 2020 7:18 pm
Escapevelocity wrote: Tue Sep 15, 2020 9:01 pm For folks who have the means to do so, it seems like a no-brainer to flee the area for couple weeks at least.
And go where, exactly?
New Zealand. :mrgreen:
by unclescrooge
Wed Sep 16, 2020 6:36 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Coping with Wildfire smoke
Replies: 111
Views: 6783

Re: Coping with Wildfire smoke

Look on the bright side. After this fire season, there won't be any forests left to burn for 20 years. That's brilliant I never considered that, as horrific as it sounds! And I've had my fair share of marginally untouched nature over the last 5 decades. :sharebeer If you read the thread you will fi...
by unclescrooge
Wed Sep 16, 2020 6:13 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Coping with Wildfire smoke
Replies: 111
Views: 6783

Re: Coping with Wildfire smoke

Look on the bright side. After this fire season, there won't be any forests left to burn for 20 years. That's brilliant I never considered that, as horrific as it sounds! And I've had my fair share of marginally untouched nature over the last 5 decades. :sharebeer If you read the thread you will fi...