Search found 2155 matches

by barnaclebob
Fri Nov 17, 2017 6:16 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Paid off my house. Now how to handle insurance and tax payments?
Replies: 21
Views: 1781

Re: Paid off my house. Now how to handle insurance and tax payments?

Whatever works best for you, the money is fungible. I prefer to keep everything in one place and account for it with a spreadsheet to make sure I've got the right amount saved for certain expenses.
by barnaclebob
Fri Nov 17, 2017 2:12 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: United change fees
Replies: 25
Views: 1237

Re: United change fees

I would call them back. From what I can tell you should have been charged the fee but gotten a voucher for the full value of your ticket. Call whatever premier gold phone number they gave you as those agents will be more willing to help most likely.
by barnaclebob
Fri Nov 17, 2017 11:15 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Tesla truck unveil
Replies: 64
Views: 3510

Re: Tesla truck unnveil

Will the Tesla truck have an automatic slower traffic keep right feature? And an automatic “don’t pass another truck with less than a 10 mph speed differential” feature, please. :happy I'd be happy with a 2mph passing differential. I'm still a skeptic on Tesla but also recognize that a Billionaire ...
by barnaclebob
Thu Nov 16, 2017 4:24 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: RE sale: long close vs. bird-in-hand
Replies: 28
Views: 1811

Re: RE sale: long close vs. bird-in-hand

A seems to risky to me. What happens if the real estate market crashes in that year? Or even if it only goes down 15%? Are you left holding the bag then? Someones previous suggestion of a lot of earnest money and the price has to be locked in seems like a decent protection.
by barnaclebob
Thu Nov 16, 2017 12:57 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: reached 54K IRS limit, now will miss employer match, what to do
Replies: 19
Views: 1000

Re: reached 54K IRS limit, now will miss employer match, what to do

No, the Pretax limit is 18000. You can contribute on an after tax basis up until the total of you and your employers contributions hit 54k. During the first several months of the year all of my contributions are pretax but once i hit that limit they become after tax and my paychecks take a hit beca...
by barnaclebob
Thu Nov 16, 2017 12:46 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: reached 54K IRS limit, now will miss employer match, what to do
Replies: 19
Views: 1000

Re: reached 54K IRS limit, now will miss employer match, what to do

Many companies allow you to put much of your salary into the 401k but match only up to say 10%. My company allows 30% put into the 401k and will match 75% of the first 8% so you can put 38% in total. Add in being able to send bonuses to the 401k and you are looking at a 120k-130k salary to hit the ...
by barnaclebob
Thu Nov 16, 2017 12:30 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: reached 54K IRS limit, now will miss employer match, what to do
Replies: 19
Views: 1000

Re: reached 54K IRS limit, now will miss employer match, what to do

On a related note, how do you hit 54,000 in 401k contributions prior to depositing 18,000? Not just the op just in general. Example below: a company has a very generous match of 10% of your salary and you make $180,000 a year. You put in 18,000 they put in 18,000 you end up with 36,000. How do you ...
by barnaclebob
Thu Nov 16, 2017 10:45 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Has used furniture dropped in value dramatically?
Replies: 99
Views: 6673

Re: Has used furniture dropped in value dramatically?

This whole thread is making me reconsider my thoughts on expensive sofas. Do I really need the "eight way hand tied" sofa with kiln dried hardwood frame for 2x or 3x the cost of an adequate sofa? Justifying that quality furniture "holds its value" isn't really good enough, plus I will end up stress...
by barnaclebob
Wed Nov 15, 2017 4:42 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Fair way to split expenses?
Replies: 105
Views: 4252

Re: Fair way to split expenses?

My wife and I have joint accounts and buy what we need/want. If spending vs saving is the issue then I would say stick with joint accounts and give yourselves allowances each month to separate accounts.
by barnaclebob
Wed Nov 15, 2017 12:04 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Has used furniture dropped in value dramatically?
Replies: 99
Views: 6673

Re: Has used furniture dropped in value dramatically?

I agree, Im 32 and wouldn't touch that furniture. Looks just like all of the other junk in a thrift store. Cheap farmhouse tables that you can make with $200 worth of lumber from home depot and stain are really hot right now even though those too look like garbage. I think the style has gone away fr...
by barnaclebob
Wed Nov 15, 2017 10:22 am
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: U.S. stocks in freefall
Replies: 4148
Views: 1100048

Re: U.S. stocks in freefall

Sorry everyone. I thought for sure my bi-weekly 401k money going in yesterday would boost the market. This must be the first red day my money actually went in on in six or eight months. Don't worry though, next year I'll be able to max out my 401k for the first year ever, and max out two Roth IRAs....
by barnaclebob
Wed Nov 15, 2017 9:53 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Florida slip & fall advice? Helping my parents
Replies: 11
Views: 846

Re: Florida slip & fall advice? Helping my parents

Tell them not to even speak to the store or any of its legal representatives. Nothing good can come from that, it can only damage your case.
by barnaclebob
Wed Nov 15, 2017 8:50 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: How much to charge for nanny services on New Year's Eve?
Replies: 29
Views: 1967

Re: How much to charge for nanny services on New Year's Eve?

I'd charge at least 1.5x her normal rate. $2.50 extra is nothing. I agree that the customer wants a lot of documentation for a 1 night job but you can never be too careful with your special snowflakes.
by barnaclebob
Tue Nov 14, 2017 12:34 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Personal letters to the sellers of your house can work!!!
Replies: 72
Views: 7130

Re: Personal letters to the sellers of your house can work!!!

The sellers were adamant on us waiving that in our current house. Realtor said no big deal - get an inspection done and then decide, based on that if you want to buy or not. There are still plenty of "outs" in the contract with a full return of earnest money. The only outs we (and I would expect mo...
by barnaclebob
Tue Nov 14, 2017 12:25 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Personal letters to the sellers of your house can work!!!
Replies: 72
Views: 7130

Re: Personal letters to the sellers of your house can work!!!

The sellers were adamant on us waiving that in our current house. Realtor said no big deal - get an inspection done and then decide, based on that if you want to buy or not. There are still plenty of "outs" in the contract with a full return of earnest money. The only outs we (and I would expect mo...
by barnaclebob
Tue Nov 14, 2017 9:42 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Creating External Exhaust for Microwave over Range - Need Reality Check
Replies: 26
Views: 2006

Re: Creating External Exhaust for Microwave over Range - Need Reality Check

First of all an OTR microwave is garbage for collecting smoke and grease. You'll be much happier if you find a new location for your microwave and replace it with a proper hood. However venting to the outside wall is pretty easy and there is practically no excuse when the hood is on an exterior wall...
by barnaclebob
Tue Nov 14, 2017 8:41 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Getting a Margaritaville beverage maker repaired.
Replies: 5
Views: 574

Re: Getting a Margaritaville beverage maker repaired.

Time to learn how to tinker. Your only options appear to be to take it apart, find the broken piece, and see if you can fix it or to buy a new one. If you send it to the fix it place, they will try the first option but might have better tools to fix it. If you can get it apart for them they will at ...
by barnaclebob
Mon Nov 13, 2017 4:42 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Home fire insurance
Replies: 9
Views: 570

Re: Home fire insurance

For the personal property part, just take a ton of pictures including serial numbers.
by barnaclebob
Mon Nov 13, 2017 10:18 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Anyone Tried Soylent?
Replies: 24
Views: 1523

Re: Anyone Tried Soylent?

Someone I am friends on Facebook posted about how he was enamored with it and was going to lose tons of weight after signing up for a 2 or 3 bottle per day plan. His posts lasted about 3 days and he's even heavier now.
by barnaclebob
Sat Nov 11, 2017 3:58 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Personal letters to the sellers of your house can work!!!
Replies: 72
Views: 7130

Re: Personal letters to the sellers of your house can work!!!

To all of the naysayers, my wife just got off the phone with the seller to ask if we could come bring my in-laws by and thank her in person. She sounds like an amazingly nice woman who was genuinely happy for us to buy the house and she mentioned things we wrote in the letter. While of course people...
by barnaclebob
Fri Nov 10, 2017 9:46 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Personal letters to the sellers of your house can work!!!
Replies: 72
Views: 7130

Re: Personal letters to the sellers of your house can work!!!

A appreciate the skepticism and can see where you are coming from. You'll just have to trust that this objectively a special house, literally one of the first houses in the area. The house was just too much for the seller and she probably really didn't need an extra 5 or 10k (~1% of the price) If I ...
by barnaclebob
Fri Nov 10, 2017 5:10 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Personal letters to the sellers of your house can work!!!
Replies: 72
Views: 7130

Re: Personal letters to the sellers of your house can work!!!

Its for sure not a requirement to do this. We felt we had a marginal chance at getting the house and thought it wouldn't hurt to try to express our genuine love of the house. Like it or not most humans have emotions and I consider it a courtesy to let the seller know the house is in good hands like ...
by barnaclebob
Fri Nov 10, 2017 4:27 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Personal letters to the sellers of your house can work!!!
Replies: 72
Views: 7130

Re: Personal letters to the sellers of your house can work!!!

One of the advantages of living in one of the trendiest parts of the country where new trendoids are moving every day is I can ruthlessly extract as much of every last quarter penny out of buyers as I can when I sell soon. At most, I might scoff at a heartfelt letter because if you want to live her...
by barnaclebob
Fri Nov 10, 2017 4:04 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Personal letters to the sellers of your house can work!!!
Replies: 72
Views: 7130

Re: Personal letters to the sellers of your house can work!!!

This thread is amazing to me. Here in Pittsburgh, even with a recent mini-run-up in prices, sellers just don't have that kind of power. And I would NEVER EVER buy a house without an inspection. Interesting how real estate markets are so different in different parts of the country. A lot depends on ...
by barnaclebob
Fri Nov 10, 2017 3:05 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Personal letters to the sellers of your house can work!!!
Replies: 72
Views: 7130

Re: Personal letters to the sellers of your house can work!!!

But isn't the advantage of having a written inspection report done by a third party a way to improve negotiations in your favor? By not having a written report, you find out what the known problems are but it is assumed you will cover the cost of fixing them. You are buying the house as-is. Did you...
by barnaclebob
Fri Nov 10, 2017 2:07 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Personal letters to the sellers of your house can work!!!
Replies: 72
Views: 7130

Re: Personal letters to the sellers of your house can work!!!

Congratulations on the house, Barnaclebob! I'm confused by your statement about going from "house rich" to "house middle class" - is it not the other way around? I was trying to say that with our current house we are at the opposite end of "house poor" where you are living near paycheck to paycheck...
by barnaclebob
Fri Nov 10, 2017 1:36 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Personal letters to the sellers of your house can work!!!
Replies: 72
Views: 7130

Re: Personal letters to the sellers of your house can work!!!

I'm sure the letter helped, but to me the biggest lesson here is that there are tangible rewards to fiscal prudence: For sure fiscal prudence put us in a position to be competitive and all I know is that my realtor said the other competing offer was equivalent but slightly higher in price and she w...
by barnaclebob
Fri Nov 10, 2017 12:39 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Personal letters to the sellers of your house can work!!!
Replies: 72
Views: 7130

Re: Personal letters to the sellers of your house can work!!!

margered wrote:
Fri Nov 10, 2017 11:38 am
Often there are government programs to subsidize the cost of a seismic retrofit.
Thanks for the tip, I'll see if any are available here.
by barnaclebob
Fri Nov 10, 2017 10:50 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Personal letters to the sellers of your house can work!!!
Replies: 72
Views: 7130

Re: Personal letters to the sellers of your house can work!!!

The pre inspection was literally the same thing as a full inspection except with no report at the end. We just asked questions and took notes/pictures as we went. We didn't however have time to do a sewer scope which would have been a separate cost. If the pipe collapses soon it will suck but we ca...
by barnaclebob
Fri Nov 10, 2017 10:42 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Personal letters to the sellers of your house can work!!!
Replies: 72
Views: 7130

Re: Personal letters to the sellers of your house can work!!!

Never say never, but I am 99% certain I will never: make an offer above asking price or waive inspection contingency. Those are two things I'm just not comfortable with and I'm willing to miss out on any house that requires it. The pre inspection was literally the same thing as a full inspection ex...
by barnaclebob
Fri Nov 10, 2017 10:01 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Personal letters to the sellers of your house can work!!!
Replies: 72
Views: 7130

Personal letters to the sellers of your house can work!!!

Sorry for the wall of text but I just want to share the story we just went through this week as a data point for people looking to buy a house. Main points are at the bottom if you want to skip. The wife and I semi regularly browse Zillow to see how close we are to being able to afford our dream hou...
by barnaclebob
Thu Nov 09, 2017 2:20 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: U.S. stocks in freefall
Replies: 4148
Views: 1100048

Re: U.S. stocks in freefall

Since the start of this thread on August 8, 2011 Vanguard Total Stock Market Index Fund Admiral Shares (VTSAX) total return is up 161%, and $10,000 has grown to $26,114. I just wanted to see how the freefall is going. The gig is up. People have realized that the way to keep the market going up is t...
by barnaclebob
Wed Nov 08, 2017 3:39 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Gifts for a marathoner
Replies: 25
Views: 1737

Re: Gifts for a marathoner

A costco sized bottle of ibuprofen.
by barnaclebob
Tue Nov 07, 2017 6:26 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Need input: minor rear fender bender with a veteran
Replies: 14
Views: 1867

Re: Need input: minor rear fender bender with a veteran

It's perfectly legit to just drop the matter. I've let about 3 or 4 minor rear endings go now and one person let one go on me even though his front light ended up busted, that wasn't a rear ending but me pulling out in a situation where I needed to think quick and thought wrong. You could give him a...
by barnaclebob
Tue Nov 07, 2017 6:03 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Mold Discovered in Potential House Purchase
Replies: 27
Views: 2773

Re: Mold Discovered in Potential House Purchase

Nah, I'm still not letting it happen. It is bad enough with all the nickel and diming buyers engage in after an inspection. They treat it like its a punch list for new construction. if it isn't a material deficiency, I'm not fixing it. This upsets the real estate agent, but they are not acting in y...
by barnaclebob
Tue Nov 07, 2017 4:02 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Mold Discovered in Potential House Purchase
Replies: 27
Views: 2773

Re: Mold Discovered in Potential House Purchase

This doesn't sound like a huge deal if its confined to an enclosed sump pump well. I don't think its common to do a full inspection on a house that you haven't put an offer on. If I were selling I wouldn't let you touch anything unless you were under contract. There's no way I'd even remotely enter...
by barnaclebob
Tue Nov 07, 2017 11:10 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Fair Price for a Kitchen Remodel
Replies: 34
Views: 2920

Re: Fair Price for a Kitchen Remodel

This does not seem to be that hard of a remodel to be your own GC on. Seems like you only need to coordinate 5 different trades in a mostly sequential order. Demo, cabinets, ducting, counters, and backsplash?. Maybe a handyman to reinstall appliances at the end. FWIW my in laws in the Seattle suburb...
by barnaclebob
Mon Nov 06, 2017 3:23 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Mold Discovered in Potential House Purchase
Replies: 27
Views: 2773

Re: Mold Discovered in Potential House Purchase

This doesn't sound like a huge deal if its confined to an enclosed sump pump well.

I don't think its common to do a full inspection on a house that you haven't put an offer on. If I were selling I wouldn't let you touch anything unless you were under contract.
by barnaclebob
Mon Nov 06, 2017 2:36 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Climate controlled cars - Useful or Useless?
Replies: 49
Views: 2091

Re: Climate controlled cars - Useful or Useless?

What kind of car is it? Its possible you aren't familiar with how to operate it manually. For example, AC is turned on when defrost is activated so that dehumidified air is blown at the windshield. It shouldn't blow cold once the car is warmed up if you have your temp set high and the defrost on. My...
by barnaclebob
Mon Nov 06, 2017 11:40 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: The power of cancellation
Replies: 15
Views: 2577

Re: The power of cancellation

You're going to get mailings offering that same year for like $50. I bet you could call them and make something up like "i got an offer in the mail for $75 for two years" and they would take it.
by barnaclebob
Wed Nov 01, 2017 3:31 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Carmax, Junk Yard, Auction?
Replies: 17
Views: 1487

Re: Carmax, Junk Yard, Auction?

I think you mean KBB lol.

From what I've read carmax will be your most hassle free option. If you donate it you can only deduct what the charity sells it for. Maybe call some junkyards to see what they'll offer.
by barnaclebob
Tue Oct 31, 2017 3:23 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: My 401k is almost all cash now. 1/2 Mil
Replies: 89
Views: 8779

Re: My 401k is almost all cash now. 1/2 Mil

Someone who has been sitting on the sidelines because they were afraid of a crash wont have the guts to put it all back in the market when everyone is talking about total economic collapse, rampant inflation, the end of the dollar, US treasury defaults, etc. The thing about this kind of market timin...
by barnaclebob
Tue Oct 31, 2017 10:00 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Get Lexus service at Toyota and save?
Replies: 29
Views: 1767

Re: Get Lexus service at Toyota and save?

Does the lexus dealer use full synthetic and the toyota conventional? That would explain about $35 of the price difference. Anyone else notice the price of synthetic oil going up in the auto parts store lately? It was $45 before tax for 5 quarts of Valvoline synpower and a bosch steeltech filter on ...
by barnaclebob
Tue Oct 31, 2017 8:19 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Need a good cover crop recommendation for home garden
Replies: 20
Views: 1518

Re: Need a good cover crop recommendation for home garden

Onions or garlic + mulch. You might still be able to plant the garlic now and wont need to do anything until ~July. Otherwise buy some onion starts in spring and you'll be good until August or September.

Next down the list is strawberries for me.
by barnaclebob
Mon Oct 30, 2017 11:32 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Should I pay extra on my mortgage?
Replies: 11
Views: 1738

Re: Should I pay extra on my mortgage?

Personally I'd split it. Its nice to have cash on hand and to pay down a mortgage. My wife and I are rapidly paying down our mortgage which has a 2.75% rate. We would have been maybe $50k better off had we invested in a taxable account instead but we really enjoy not owing money to someone else.
by barnaclebob
Mon Oct 30, 2017 10:17 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Interesting twist to "Free 2-day shipping" at Walmart
Replies: 47
Views: 4166

Re: Interesting twist to "Free 2-day shipping" at Walmart

sco wrote:
Sun Oct 29, 2017 11:31 pm
There is all sorts of stuff at amazon at is cheaper without the "free shipping".. Exactly who do you think pays for that shipping?
Do you have an example of an item that amazon sells where you can opt to pay for shipping and it will be a cheaper price?
by barnaclebob
Mon Oct 30, 2017 10:07 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Storage Recommendations for pictures
Replies: 22
Views: 1083

Re: Storage Recommendations for pictures

I have them backed up on NAS (Network Attached Storage) drive at home which I then backup with a separate hard drive every year after tax time and keep that one at my desk at work in case of fire or theft of the two copies at home. Worst case is I'm out a years worth of pictures that aren't on my ph...
by barnaclebob
Mon Oct 30, 2017 9:59 am
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: How do I invest in a vanguard trust
Replies: 10
Views: 665

Re: How do I invest in a vanguard trust

Gill wrote:
Mon Oct 30, 2017 9:57 am
barnaclebob wrote:
Mon Oct 30, 2017 9:34 am
My guess is that this trust is not available to retail investors and you'll have to just invest in admiral shares like the rest of us pheasants.
Pheasants or peasants?
Gill
Depends how pretty i feel i guess.
by barnaclebob
Mon Oct 30, 2017 9:37 am
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Inheritance and Joint account with Siblings
Replies: 44
Views: 1796

Re: Inheritance and Joint account with Siblings

Since its not needed, how about having your parents keep it so you get a step up in basis when you inherit it. I can't think of any good reason that option #2 is superior to option #1. Best case scenario is that they turn out equal so you may as well go with #1 which has fewer downsides. This isn't ...
by barnaclebob
Mon Oct 30, 2017 9:34 am
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: How do I invest in a vanguard trust
Replies: 10
Views: 665

Re: How do I invest in a vanguard trust

My guess is that this trust is not available to retail investors and you'll have to just invest in admiral shares like the rest of us pheasants.