Search found 1286 matches

by Kosmo
Fri Jun 28, 2019 9:13 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: roofing nails
Replies: 20
Views: 1028

Re: roofing nails

Don't give them final payment until everything is cleaned up to your satisfaction. Also tell them that they will be responsible for any medical bills for people or animals that occur due to materials and supplies left after construction. Same goes for repair work for damage to equipment or vehicles....
by Kosmo
Sun Jun 16, 2019 6:25 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Best way to teach my 4 year old to be fluent in Spanish?
Replies: 53
Views: 3442

Re: Best way to teach my 4 year old to be fluent in Spanish?

My kids have a Spanish tutor that comes to the house. They learn through games and songs. The kids are 5 and 6, so regular classes wouldn't quite work with them yet. Foreign language classes haven't started in the school system yet.
by Kosmo
Fri May 24, 2019 4:45 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: American Express lowered my credit limit
Replies: 61
Views: 5061

Re: American Express lowered my credit limit

I got the same letter. On that card I've been charging a few hundred dollars a month on a limit of like $22k. So I see their point. Reducing the limit doesn't really have any significant impact on me.
by Kosmo
Tue Apr 23, 2019 11:15 am
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: How and when did you do it - to get to 1 Million
Replies: 130
Views: 27472

Re: How and when did you do it - to get to 1 Million

I find it interesting that the people who responded where primarily split between 2 camps: saving diligently for a long time or working/saving incredibly hard for a short time. There's not a lot of "I got lucky" or "my plan wasn't working, so I changed it" or other means. I'm roughly 15% of the way...
by Kosmo
Sat Apr 13, 2019 9:18 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: PA local earned income tax return question
Replies: 4
Views: 432

Re: PA local earned income tax return question

No. You pay the equivalent of the higher rate between where you live and where you work. You owe both the local income tax and the non- resident wage tax, not or . But they can offset each other and the tax form settles up the difference if one taxing authority owes another. In your example you owe ...
by Kosmo
Thu Apr 04, 2019 6:53 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Pay cash for hvac or leverage 0% financing?
Replies: 42
Views: 1790

Re: Pay cash for hvac or leverage 0% financing?

I say to take the financing. About 4 years ago I replaced my HVAC and took the financing. 1 year at 0%, no payments. It was just under $12k. The company only accepted a partial payment on credit card, which I did for some unrelated ventilation work. Then a year later I had to replace the HVAC in my ...
by Kosmo
Wed Apr 03, 2019 6:34 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: "Stop Asking Kids What They Want to Be When They Grow Up"
Replies: 25
Views: 1847

Re: "Stop Asking Kids What They Want to Be When They Grow Up"

A few years ago...

Me: What do you want to be when you grow up?

4 year old son: Taller
by Kosmo
Tue Mar 05, 2019 7:43 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Global Entry Application turnaround times?
Replies: 35
Views: 3610

Re: Global Entry Application turnaround times?

My wife just did it. Paperwork submitted in mid December. Interview was about 2 weeks ago.
by Kosmo
Sat Jan 19, 2019 7:56 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: What do you read?
Replies: 10
Views: 587

Re: What do you read?

My goal this year is 12 books. I'm a slow reader. My wife's goal is 36 books. I read almost exclusively history books. I'm into colonial America right now including some local history books. It's a mix of kindle and physical books. I lean towards kindle because it's more convenient, but there's far ...
by Kosmo
Mon Dec 31, 2018 6:42 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Radon Mitigation System
Replies: 20
Views: 1810

Re: Radon Mitigation System

I had a system put in about 2 years ago. Radon levels went from ~4.2 to ~1.5. It cost in the range of $950. I wasn't too concerned with the radon levels to start with, but my wife was, so that was an easy decision to get it done. The installers did a nice job of matching the vent to the color of the...
by Kosmo
Tue Dec 18, 2018 3:51 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Do you Report Home Improvements to County Tax Office?
Replies: 14
Views: 1188

Re: Do you Report Home Improvements to County Tax Office?

No. They will re- assess when the proper trigger occurs (time, sale, etc.).
by Kosmo
Sun Jul 08, 2018 6:31 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: What do you pay for home services?
Replies: 55
Views: 3729

Re: What do you pay for home services?

We pay $35 per cut. That includes weed whacking, edging, and blowing. It's generally 3 guys for 20 min total. Fertilizing, aerating, etc we pay as needed. The landscaper does about 25 yards in the neighborhood, so his rates are a little less than some other guys around here. We have a little less th...
by Kosmo
Sun Jul 08, 2018 7:41 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Ireland trip
Replies: 20
Views: 1820

Re: Ireland trip

We did Ireland 7 years ago and it was the best vacation we've had. Rental car and B&Bs. We had a general route around the country with some specific places to see, but a significant chunk of time was just exploring. Find a hole in the wall pub in a small town or drive a few miles down a gravel road ...
by Kosmo
Thu May 31, 2018 9:10 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Sherwin Williams paint
Replies: 52
Views: 4177

Re: Sherwin Williams paint

They'll make any color on the spot in the store. The cost of the paint will be cheaper at Home Depot or Lowes. But the quality of paint will be much better getting it from a dedicated paint store. Lowes does sell Sherwin Williams paint, but their top grade paint is a middle grade from a paint store....
by Kosmo
Sat Mar 17, 2018 9:22 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: TV and set up recommendations for above fireplace
Replies: 35
Views: 3439

Re: TV and set up recommendations for above fireplace

My tv is above the fireplace. All the wires are in the wall so you can't see them. There's enough space between the boron of the tv and the mantel to put up some decorations. It does put some strain on the neck if I'm watching tv for extended periods when sitting on the couch (it's a better viewing ...
by Kosmo
Sun Mar 04, 2018 1:04 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: What will you do with your tax refund?
Replies: 87
Views: 7225

Re: What will you do with your tax refund?

unclescrooge wrote:
Thu Jan 25, 2018 1:56 pm
It will probably go towards landscaping my back yard.
Me too. My refund will be less than $200, so it won't get very far. But that's better than owing.
by Kosmo
Tue Dec 26, 2017 10:55 pm
Forum: Personal Investments
Topic: ETF Expense Ratio = to $0.00
Replies: 12
Views: 1397

Re: ETF Expense Ratio = to $0.00

triceratop wrote:
Tue Dec 26, 2017 3:14 pm
ofckrupke wrote:
Tue Dec 26, 2017 3:10 pm
triceratop wrote:
Tue Dec 26, 2017 2:52 pm
There seems to be a units problem, too. An expense ratio implies a dimensionless quantity.
Expense Ratio has dimensions of inverse time.
Ha! I can see that perspective!
That's not a joke. The units of ER are % per year, which is dimensions of [1] per [time]. Inverse time.
by Kosmo
Fri Oct 13, 2017 8:45 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Which is the Most Tax-Efficient Method to Increase Your Cash Position?
Replies: 34
Views: 3280

Re: Which is the Most Tax-Efficient Method to Increase Your Cash Position?

livesoft is pointing you in the right direction.
Grt2bOutdoors wrote:
Thu Oct 12, 2017 11:21 am
The exact dollar amount of gains to take is $6,972, take one dollar more and now you will be paying more in taxes.
This is the amount of capital gains that would be taxed at 0%. This is not the dollar amount of securities to sell.
by Kosmo
Sun Oct 08, 2017 3:19 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Does this make sense?
Replies: 4
Views: 1006

Re: Does this make sense?

You'll pay less in interest, but will you be able to come up with the $10k to pay off the credit card in 18 months while still making the full car payment over that time? I'd guess a person with an interest rate of 8% on a car loan won't be able to save enough or produce that much cash flow. And doe...
by Kosmo
Thu Sep 21, 2017 11:43 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Uplifted Driveway = No Home Owners Policy ?!
Replies: 82
Views: 6911

Re: Uplifted Driveway = No Home Owners Policy ?!

Entire driveway is 800 sq-ft. about 1/3 has a major uplifted portion half way through it. Another 1/3 has inch-wide cracks. Front 1/3 is broken at the street. So maybe I could get by with a partial fix, but it would look odd. Assuming removal and replacement of all 800 sq-ft that's around $5K at $5...
by Kosmo
Wed Sep 13, 2017 12:05 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Home Project - Front door, porch and walkway
Replies: 11
Views: 1646

Re: Home Project - Front door, porch and walkway

For the door try a window and siding company. I had my front door, storm door, and slider replaced a few years ago when I had my windows replaced. Best bet for the walkway is a masonry company. Do you want it just repaired and regrouted or fully replaced? Might be hard to find someone willing to rep...
by Kosmo
Thu Sep 07, 2017 6:38 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Replacing Old Shower handles
Replies: 21
Views: 2672

Re: Replacing Old Shower handles

A similar thing happened to me a few years ago. I couldn't get the handles off and neither could my plumber. The minerals in the water can basically fuse the handle to the valve. He ended up replacing the valve and had to cut an access hole. I made a panel to cover it up instead of repairing the dry...
by Kosmo
Mon Sep 04, 2017 7:04 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: How old were you when you got your first credit card?
Replies: 46
Views: 3514

Re: How old were you when you got your first credit card?

When I was 20 in college. We were at a football game and it was freezing. If you signed up for a school branded credit card you got a long sleeved shirt. So me and about 4 or 5 friends signed up. That card had since morphed into a Chase Freedom card.
by Kosmo
Wed Aug 30, 2017 11:05 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: How much sooner could you retire with NO property taxes?
Replies: 116
Views: 9508

Re: How much sooner could you retire with NO property taxes?

Property taxes are hyper local. It really depends on who the taxing authorities are and what services are covered. Here's an example: the township immediately east of me has a police department and sponsors trash and recycling pickup, neither of which my township does. Their millage rate is nearly d...
by Kosmo
Thu Aug 24, 2017 1:44 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Exhaust Fan for the bathroom
Replies: 59
Views: 6167

Re: Exhaust Fan for the bathroom

I installed one a few months back that I bought at Costco. I don't offhand recall the maker. It has a humidity sensing mode, so it'll kick on if humidity is above 60%. The only catch is it'll toggle on and off for multiple cycles if the humidity remains near 60%. It also has a full on mode. Relative...
by Kosmo
Wed Aug 23, 2017 5:18 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Lowes vs Home Depot
Replies: 62
Views: 10075

Re: Lowes vs Home Depot

Around me the Home Depot has a much better selection of hardware, plumbing and electrical supplies, and lumber. I usually go there for what I need. It's also in a mote convenient location. The only time I'll definitely go to Lowe's is for paint. Their Sherwin Williams line is significantly cheaper t...
by Kosmo
Tue Aug 15, 2017 5:40 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: What kind of hotel do you get on business travel?
Replies: 44
Views: 4697

Re: What kind of hotel do you get on business travel?

lazydavid wrote:
Tue Aug 15, 2017 5:33 am
Typically it's Courtyard Marriott, Hilton Garden, Hampton class of hotels.
This. Although for most of the places I have to travel to that is the top end of hotels.
by Kosmo
Sun Aug 13, 2017 6:17 am
Forum: Personal Investments
Topic: Healthequity HSA
Replies: 16
Views: 3919

Re: Healthequity HSA

I have 2 HSA accounts with Health Equity (1 is in my wife's name). Both of our employers have agreements with them for direct deposit off contributions. The fee to access Vanguard funds is 0.4% per year. Even when adding that to the fund expenses it's still less than the ERs of the active funds they...
by Kosmo
Fri Aug 11, 2017 7:45 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Feeling guilty about travel expenses
Replies: 25
Views: 4040

Re: Feeling guilty about travel expenses

It's your money, spend it as you see fit. You shouldn't feel guilty spending money to do something you enjoy. Let's put some context around this statement. I would agree with this comment IF: 1) you are maxing out your 401K and HSA. 2) you have zero credit card and car debt. 3) you have thought abo...
by Kosmo
Fri Aug 11, 2017 5:07 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Feeling guilty about travel expenses
Replies: 25
Views: 4040

Re: Feeling guilty about travel expenses

It's your money, spend it as you see fit. You shouldn't feel guilty spending money to do something you enjoy.
by Kosmo
Sun Jul 30, 2017 6:58 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Escrow surplus - toward escrow or principal?
Replies: 13
Views: 1936

Re: Escrow surplus - toward escrow or principal?

Option C is to use the money for something else.
mortfree wrote:Don't escrow at all

DYI
When I inquired about this with my lender they required a 1 time fee of something like $600 for monitoring that I actually did pay my taxes. I thought it wasn't worth it.
by Kosmo
Thu Jul 27, 2017 7:23 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Is it too late to write off basement finish from 4 yrs ago?
Replies: 8
Views: 1923

Re: Is it too late to write off basement finish from 4 yrs ago?

Since the work was done before the rental was put in service it is part of your basis.
by Kosmo
Sat Jul 22, 2017 10:43 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Commuters (that drive), what do you listen to?
Replies: 60
Views: 4475

Re: Commuters (that drive), what do you listen to?

Terrestrial radio. Rock and roll stations with good morning shows.
by Kosmo
Fri Jul 21, 2017 5:31 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: State Farm vs Penn National- auto, renters, umbrella?
Replies: 58
Views: 7547

Re: Why does State Farm have poor reviews?

I've had State Farm for the last few years and in the past. They were great for auto claims. Fast and direct pay to the local shops I've used. They were beyond horrible for a rental property claim. Everyone I spoke with on the phone seemed clueless. The estimating contractor they sent was unfamiliar...
by Kosmo
Wed Jul 12, 2017 9:11 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: APR on Mortgage from 3.55% to 3.48% Good Deal?
Replies: 6
Views: 742

Re: APR on Mortgage from 3.55% to 3.48% Good Deal?

Hi jadedfalcons, I have not inquired about fees yet. My interest rate will stay the same, its the APR that is different. Why would you pay for a refinance if the interest rate is the same? The APR considers all fees in total which you've already paid when you got the existing mortgage. You can't lo...
by Kosmo
Wed Jul 12, 2017 9:01 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Do you consider business travel to be a perk or a burden?
Replies: 117
Views: 10591

Re: Do you consider business travel to be a perk or a burden?

Rupert wrote:I really enjoyed business travel when I was young and childless. When you have a family, it's a burden.
This.
by Kosmo
Wed Jul 12, 2017 12:18 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Refinance Appraisal
Replies: 10
Views: 1049

Re: Refinance Appraisal

Ok maybe I should play it cool until the closing. It's not like they can drop the ball on me at the closing and say my appraisal came in way low right? It has to be within 10%? of GFE? Certain transaction costs have to be within +10% of the GFE. The cost of the appraisal is one of these items. The ...
by Kosmo
Sat Jul 08, 2017 6:11 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Buying a house in FEMA flood zone X
Replies: 30
Views: 11430

Re: Buying a house in FEMA flood zone X

omega wrote:Is it worth taking the risk? Am I unnecessary concerned?
What flood zone do you currently live in? Zone X unshaded is the 2nd lowest defined risk zone. That certainly doesn't signify increased risk to me. I personally wouldn't bat an eye at buying a house in Zone X unshaded or shaded.
by Kosmo
Thu Jul 06, 2017 1:56 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Save or Pay Down Mortgage?
Replies: 6
Views: 1721

Re: Save or Pay Down Mortgage?

Thanks, everyone. A few months before you start shopping for your new home, draw enough (or get a new one if you need a bigger one) to cover your down payment and closing costs on the new house. This hadn't occurred to me. Unless I can get the credit line extended to ~85% total LTV I won't be able t...
by Kosmo
Mon Jul 03, 2017 6:39 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: People who receive employer 401k contributions, how is it accounted on paystubs?
Replies: 28
Views: 4638

Re: People who receive employer 401k contributions, how is it accounted on paystubs?

Employer matching contributions do not appear on my paystubs. My wife's paystubs have separate line items in a 2nd column that show matching contribution and safe harbor contribution. Both companies put this info on W-2s.
by Kosmo
Thu Jun 29, 2017 6:16 am
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Time in the market is more important, But seriously ?
Replies: 60
Views: 9703

Re: Time in the market is more important, But seriously ?

How do you know it's a peak? What if that 5-10% drop doesn't come for another 5 years?

When it comes to predicting the future, nobody knows nothin.
by Kosmo
Wed Jun 28, 2017 7:16 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Getting a new cooktop, gas vs electric?
Replies: 72
Views: 6421

Re: Getting a new cooktop, gas vs electric?

41fan wrote:We'll remove the existing countertop, cooktop, and sink ourselves and also plumb the new sink and faucet ourselves.
If you can do this you can probably run a gas line yourself. It'll be far cheaper than a plumber.
by Kosmo
Mon Jun 26, 2017 6:50 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Best Practices for Managing Paper Receipts
Replies: 28
Views: 4095

Re: Best Practices for Managing Paper Receipts

I have file folders for tax and HSA related receipts. Everything else goes into an envelope. I keep the envelope for about 3 months in case I need to make any returns. After 3 months it gets thrown away. So I have 3 envelopes in rotation, but they just sit in a desk drawer 99% of the time. It's rare...
by Kosmo
Thu Jun 22, 2017 8:49 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Save or Pay Down Mortgage?
Replies: 6
Views: 1721

Save or Pay Down Mortgage?

In 1 or 2 years we are looking to move. (We want to minimize interruption with kids school schedule, so we're looking at next summer or the one after.) The purchase of a new house is dependent on the sale of our current house. What is the best use of money going towards the new house: save it up or ...
by Kosmo
Wed Jun 21, 2017 4:30 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Used cars in high demand
Replies: 16
Views: 3293

Re: Used cars in high demand

I can't tell if this is a serious post or not.

Hint: that's a marketing ploy to get you to buy a new car.
by Kosmo
Mon Jun 19, 2017 6:54 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Garage Parking Aid
Replies: 28
Views: 3738

Re: Garage Parking Aid

I put a 2 ft length of 2x3 on the ground at the front tire. Stop when you feel it. My wife generally enters the garage at a sportier speed than most drivers so the wood shifts around. I have a chalk outline so I know where to replace it to. If you will be parking different cars in that spot then dif...
by Kosmo
Mon Jun 19, 2017 7:35 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Lg refrigerator vs Samsung refrigerator.
Replies: 37
Views: 22445

Re: Lg refrigerator vs Samsung refrigerator.

I have 2 Kenmore Elite fridges that were manufactured by LG. No problems since I bought them about 5 years ago.
by Kosmo
Mon Jun 19, 2017 7:25 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Scratched Bumper with Police on the Scene
Replies: 26
Views: 3503

Re: Scratched Bumper with Police on the Scene

I had a similar thing happen in the fall. I tried to go through the insurance of the woman who hit me and got nowhere. Every time I called I had to go through the same story and provide claim numbers and dates and times that I had called so they could review recorded conversations and notes. This we...
by Kosmo
Wed Jun 14, 2017 5:21 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: How many of you have rentals (i.e. you're a landlord)? Are they worth it?
Replies: 74
Views: 8430

Re: How many of you have rentals (i.e. you're a landlord)? Are they worth it?

We rent out the townhouse we used to live in. Not worth it and we're looking to get out.