Search found 119 matches

by jastevenson
Sat Jul 04, 2020 5:29 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Chevrolet Tahoe?
Replies: 22
Views: 1826

Re: Chevrolet Tahoe?

While I’m not sure I’d try my luck with a first year GM product (not to mention, one built during the COVID crisis), the new Tahoe is leaps and bounds ahead of the Sequoia, which hasn’t been meaningfully upgraded in nearly a decade and a half. The Sequoia has amazing resale value and reliability, bu...
by jastevenson
Thu May 28, 2020 10:01 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Which type of RV to rent to drive up the California coast?
Replies: 6
Views: 784

Which type of RV to rent to drive up the California coast?

Hi all, I don’t know a thing about RVs, but was thinking a nice trip would be to rent an RV this summer and drive along the California “lost coast” (SF to the Oregon border), which I am told is quite lovely. We are two adults and a child. My question: what type of RV or trailer (and how long?) would...
by jastevenson
Wed May 27, 2020 12:08 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: How can I use 6 weeks of vacation in the next 6 months in the Covid era?
Replies: 37
Views: 3427

How can I use 6 weeks of vacation in the next 6 months in the Covid era?

Basically, I need to take one week of vacation per month for the next six months (If I don’t use it by December, I will lose it). I can also do a single 2 week vacation and four 1 week vacations. Travelers are two adults and a six year old. We do not own an RV (wish we did!) Starting location is Sac...
by jastevenson
Fri May 15, 2020 8:00 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Amazon returns: lose cashback if refund to “account balance” rather than credit card?
Replies: 3
Views: 460

Amazon returns: lose cashback if refund to “account balance” rather than credit card?

When I return a product to Amazon there are two options: refund to Amazon account balance, or refund to credit card. Refunding to the account balance is near instantaneous. However, I wonder if the downside is that you lose the cashback from your credit card next time you buy, making it a bad idea. ...
by jastevenson
Wed Apr 29, 2020 11:20 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Lakeland, FLA as a retirement destination?
Replies: 8
Views: 1350

Re: Lakeland, FLA as a retirement destination?

I lived in Orlando so I cannot directly comment on Lakeland but I do know the weather is very similar. Be absolutely sure you are ok with 8 months of oppressive heat, drenching humidity, biting flies, and mosquitoes. I was not, so I left. It was depressing to look out the window and see a beautiful ...
by jastevenson
Sat Apr 25, 2020 6:10 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: [Anyone found] amazing shopping deals now?
Replies: 30
Views: 3991

Re: Amazing shopping deals now

Good time to buy clothes. For example, bought some stuff at Banana Republic for 60 percent off plus another 25 Percent off just for signing up for their email. So about 70 percent off total. Usually I like to try on clothes first but I bought some stuff I had tried on on the past and liked.
by jastevenson
Sat Apr 18, 2020 7:00 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Easier way to search Prime Video for senior?
Replies: 9
Views: 678

Re: Easier way to search Prime Video for senior?

I second voice search on Fire stick. Way easier. And if he or she doesn’t have the latest Fire stick, mine was only 25 dollars, so not super expensive to upgrade.
by jastevenson
Tue Apr 14, 2020 3:52 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Learning 2 foreign languages simultaneously: bad idea for 5 year old?
Replies: 28
Views: 1476

Learning 2 foreign languages simultaneously: bad idea for 5 year old?

Hi all, We have a 5 year old and have recently enrolled her in online foreign language classes. Since school is out of session, there is lots of free time throughout the day, so one possibility is enrolling her in a second foreign language class. Any thoughts on learning two languages at the same ti...
by jastevenson
Sat Apr 11, 2020 10:47 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Just how easy is owning real estate if you have a property manager? (super easy, or just “less hard”)?
Replies: 51
Views: 4715

Just how easy is owning real estate if you have a property manager? (super easy, or just “less hard”)?

I like the idea if diversifying into real estate to get leverage. However, I know for a fact that I would hate being a landlord, and would absolutely use a property manager. Obviously, having a property manager makes owning a rental property easier , but I want something that is easy in absolute ter...
by jastevenson
Tue Apr 07, 2020 2:23 pm
Forum: Personal Investments
Topic: Any downside to putting money into HSA from bank account vs. having it put in by employer?
Replies: 8
Views: 558

Any downside to putting money into HSA from bank account vs. having it put in by employer?

Hi all, I can ask my employer to put money into my HSA (by debiting my paycheck), or I can just put the money in via direct deposit from my bank account. I plan to put in the max via a single direct deposit from my bank account. Is there any downside to doing this vs. having the money put in from my...
by jastevenson
Fri Apr 03, 2020 8:48 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: What are you doing for haircuts due to coronavirus shutdown?
Replies: 254
Views: 21331

What are you doing for haircuts due to coronavirus shutdown?

My hair grows pretty quick, so I am due for a haircut. However, all the barber shops are shut down.

How are you handling our national health hair crisis?
by jastevenson
Sun Mar 29, 2020 2:02 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: How much umbrella insurance do I need?
Replies: 14
Views: 1096

Re: How much umbrella insurance do I need?

If you are young and have a high income though I assume they could garnish your wages for 20 years.
by jastevenson
Sat Mar 28, 2020 10:18 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Where to find a live, online teacher for foreign language and voice lessons for a 5 year old?
Replies: 6
Views: 552

Where to find a live, online teacher for foreign language and voice lessons for a 5 year old?

My child’s school is on indefinite hiatus. I can teach her math and reading at home, but her school also had foreign language lessons, and I can’t help her there. I’d also like her to get voice lessons, and I am pretty much tone deaf! Any experience with or recommendations for finding an online teac...
by jastevenson
Tue Mar 17, 2020 10:41 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: If I get coronavirus, how can I protect the rest of my household?
Replies: 14
Views: 1035

If I get coronavirus, how can I protect the rest of my household?

If I were to get symptoms of coronavirus (and it might be too late to protect family since there is asymptomatic transmission...), what can we do to protect other members of our household? Avoiding touching and frequent hand sanitizing is obvious, but are there more aggressive measures? Anyone plann...
by jastevenson
Fri Mar 06, 2020 1:59 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: The Ikea Museum
Replies: 7
Views: 897

Re: The Ikea Museum

Great post, thanks!
by jastevenson
Thu Jan 16, 2020 3:34 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Discounted IVF medication programs for higher income people?
Replies: 12
Views: 1576

Discounted IVF medication programs for higher income people?

Hi all, We are planning to start IVF, and our insurance doesn’t cover much. IVF medications are :moneybag :moneybag There are some discount programs, but they appear to be needs-based, and our income is unlikely to allow for a significant discount. Any tips on reducing the cost of IVF meds if one’s ...
by jastevenson
Wed Jan 08, 2020 10:15 am
Forum: Personal Investments
Topic: Can I max out HSA, then change to non-HDHP plan next month?
Replies: 6
Views: 720

Can I max out HSA, then change to non-HDHP plan next month?

Hi all,

I have an HDHP with HSA. I changed jobs and have the option of changing to a non-HDHP plan (with no HSA).

Can I max out my HSA for 2020, immediately change plans to a non-HDHP plan, and still keep all the 2020 money in the HSA? Or is there some penalty for doing this?

Thank you!
by jastevenson
Tue Dec 24, 2019 7:09 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Best option to finance car after paying cash?
Replies: 12
Views: 1089

Best option to finance car after paying cash?

Hi all, I am in a situation where I will be paying cash for a new vehicle. If I had bought it and financed with a bank immediately, I can get a 1.9 percent interest rate for 36 months, but I need to buy the vehicle with cash because I a moving out of state at the same time (it’s a complicated and ve...
by jastevenson
Tue Dec 17, 2019 2:05 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Buying a car while moving from one state to a different state. Any opportunities to save money/geographic arbitrage?
Replies: 4
Views: 293

Buying a car while moving from one state to a different state. Any opportunities to save money/geographic arbitrage?

Hi all, I am moving from Virginia to Washington state and am selling my car. I therefore need to buy a new car. I I have two weeks between the day I leave my current job in Virginia and the day I start my new job in Washington. Since will be temporarily stateless, is there a way to save money on the...
by jastevenson
Tue Dec 10, 2019 1:34 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: How do you keep your infrequently used electronics charged?
Replies: 15
Views: 1242

How do you keep your infrequently used electronics charged?

Hi all, What are people doing to keep battery-operated electronics that they use infrequently charged? I have read it is bad for the devices to let the battery get severely depleted, but I have many such devices. For example, I have an older iPad and a set of noise cancelling headphones that I use j...
by jastevenson
Tue Oct 29, 2019 6:12 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: I want a pre-made, wholesome lunch delivered to me daily for under $15. Options?
Replies: 52
Views: 5214

I want a pre-made, wholesome lunch delivered to me daily for under $15. Options?

I hate cooking, prefer to eat healthy, and work at a place with a truly awful cafeteria. I am willing to pay $15/day to get a good lunch. I know some people buy from Uber Eats, but I life in a fairly small city and the local dining options are not very appealing. Any other options? How about mail or...
by jastevenson
Sat Aug 03, 2019 11:12 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: How can I get a good room when I check into a hotel I booked online?
Replies: 30
Views: 3322

How can I get a good room when I check into a hotel I booked online?

This may be just my perception, but I feel like I always get a bad hotel room (eg, near the elevator where the “ding” wakes me up, or on the side of the building facing a busy interstate). Sometimes I will ask to change it if I am not satisfied, but often they say “there’s no more of that type avail...
by jastevenson
Tue Jul 09, 2019 7:54 pm
Forum: Personal Investments
Topic: Safest way to invest $1 mil for individual with cognitive impairment to protect their assets?
Replies: 33
Views: 4046

Safest way to invest $1 mil for individual with cognitive impairment to protect their assets?

A family member has a medical condition that predisposes them to making rash financial decisions and has made them susceptible to financial scammers. This individual was formerly healthy, very intelligent, and hardworking, and has a 1 million dollar portfolio, which is invested in ~90% bonds (their ...
by jastevenson
Sun Jun 23, 2019 10:49 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: RESOLVED: Orlando area: good , low-pressure discount / clearance furniture stores? IKEA, American Freight, At Home, etc?
Replies: 25
Views: 2247

Re: Orlando area: good , low-pressure discount / clearance furniture stores? IKEA, American Freight, At Home, etc?

You might try ScanDesign outlet in Altamonte.

Regular ScanDesign is very expensive but good quality. The outlet is more expensive than IKEA, but nice stuff for a big discount off new.

No pressure and you can wander the store yourself.
by jastevenson
Sat Jun 15, 2019 7:38 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Best way to teach my 4 year old to be fluent in Spanish?
Replies: 53
Views: 3906

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

I am monolingual, and wish I knew a second language. I have a 4 year old, and would like to have her learn Spanish in such a way that she is fluent or at least semi-fluent in the future. Any thoughts on the best way to do this? She is currently taking 1 hour a week Spanish class, and I try to practi...
by jastevenson
Sat May 18, 2019 1:22 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: How do I prevent yellow underarm stains on my white shirts?
Replies: 24
Views: 3597

How do I prevent yellow underarm stains on my white shirts?

I have some nice white/light colored button down short sleeve shirts that look nice and are good for hot weather, but I worry about getting those dreaded yellow underarm stains. The shirts have some colored stripes and such, so dipping them in bleach sounds like it would damage them. I live in a ver...
by jastevenson
Tue Feb 26, 2019 9:47 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Got a Macbook Air, Hate the 'Butterfly" Keyboard
Replies: 11
Views: 1297

Re: Got a Macbook Air, Hate the 'Butterfly" Keyboard

Had the same issue when I got my MacBook and hated the keyboard for the first 45 days. Still don’t super love it but it is pretty good. Consider giving it another few weeks first. If you still hate it, then return it.
by jastevenson
Sun Dec 09, 2018 6:00 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Do fundings in limited expense FSA (LEX-FSA) roll into regular FSA if insurance plan is changed?
Replies: 2
Views: 403

Do fundings in limited expense FSA (LEX-FSA) roll into regular FSA if insurance plan is changed?

Hi all, I have an HSA with HDHP health plan. I have $500 in my limited expense FSA account. I am changing it next year into a regular non-HSA health plan, which comes with FSA (full FSA, not limited expense dental/vision FSA). My employer allows funds to roll over from year to year, but I am wonderi...
by jastevenson
Sat Aug 11, 2018 11:55 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Worth seeing comedian live if already saw their Netflix special?
Replies: 20
Views: 2082

Worth seeing comedian live if already saw their Netflix special?

Tom Segura is a comedian that I like, and have watched all 3 of his Netflix comedy specials. He's coming to town in a couple of months, so was considering going. Is there any good reason to see a comedian live if you've already seen their Netflix special? Not sure how much of a comedian's show is ne...
by jastevenson
Sun Jul 29, 2018 10:16 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: When mortgage rates are high, why invest in stock market?
Replies: 36
Views: 4835

When mortgage rates are high, why invest in stock market?

I'm probably missing something blindingly obvious, but I was reading earlier today that mortgage rates in the early 2000s were over 7%. Given that average stock market return is about 7% over time, why was anyone (with a mortgage) investing in the stock market in, say, 2002? Because wouldn't paying ...
by jastevenson
Mon Jul 09, 2018 9:55 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Should I take a $60k paycut to work 4days/week
Replies: 58
Views: 6251

Re: Should I take a $60k paycut to work 4days/week

Another way to look at it is, would you PAY $1,150 (60k/52 extra days off) to take an extra day off this week.

So wake up tomorrow morning when the alarm goes off, and ask yourself "Would I pay $1,150 to not have to get up and go to work right now."
by jastevenson
Sat Jul 07, 2018 5:47 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Would you take a job in a less desirable city if you had to work fewer days?
Replies: 40
Views: 3556

Re: Would you take a job in a less desirable city if you had to work fewer days?

harrychan wrote:
Sat Jul 07, 2018 4:59 pm
Is it less hours or are you changing from 5/40 to 3/13 schedule?
It’s basically 3 x 10 hour days (7-5) instead of 5 x 8 hour days (830-430).
by jastevenson
Sat Jul 07, 2018 2:53 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Would you take a job in a less desirable city if you had to work fewer days?
Replies: 40
Views: 3556

Would you take a job in a less desirable city if you had to work fewer days?

Would be interested in knowing if anyone has made a decision like this and how it turned out. I currently live in a big city (1.5 mil metro) with a lot of great activities and good weather, but need to work 5 days per week. I have the opportunity to take a job in a small city (400k metro) I don't re...
by jastevenson
Wed Jul 04, 2018 12:14 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Is this the least bad way to get out of my lease?
Replies: 5
Views: 1128

Is this the least bad way to get out of my lease?

Hi everyone, I'm halfway through a 39 month lease, and need to get rid of the leased vehicle (GM Financial). My impression is that the least bad way to do this is to call GM, ask what the buy out price is, write GM a check (I can pay cash), and then turn around and sell the car locally (since I woul...
by jastevenson
Sat Jun 30, 2018 4:16 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: How to document a verbal conversation for future legal reasons.
Replies: 21
Views: 3264

How to document a verbal conversation for future legal reasons.

What is the most legally valid way to document that a verbal conversation occurred? For example, I could write down on a sheet of paper "Today, 6/30, I spoke with Mr. Jones, and he said 'XYZ'" and put it in a safe, but that seems pretty weak from a legal perspective. Any thoughts/experiences would b...
by jastevenson
Sun Jun 24, 2018 2:15 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Best book to read before buying a house?
Replies: 6
Views: 975

Best book to read before buying a house?

So I've finally reached the stage in life that has me thinking about buying a home. Thanks to BH, I know quite a bit about personal finance, but very little about buying a home! Any recommendations on a book to read that will help avoid any pitfalls? It's a personal home, not an investment property....
by jastevenson
Mon Dec 18, 2017 8:33 pm
Forum: Personal Investments
Topic: What to do with spouse's SEP-IRA if she is no longer working?
Replies: 6
Views: 830

What to do with spouse's SEP-IRA if she is no longer working?

My wife has 200k in a SEP-IRA from a few years back, but is currently a stay-at-home mom. She cannot contribute to a Roth since she has a SEP-IRA. I'd like to contribute to her Roth, but I am in the 35% tax bracket, so I don't want to convert it at that rate. We currently file taxes jointly, but cou...
by jastevenson
Tue Aug 29, 2017 6:15 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Private disability claim--good lawyer to consult?
Replies: 4
Views: 872

Re: Private disability claim--good lawyer to consult?

That is good to hear that these policies are generally honored. My concern is for two reasons. First, the insurance company obviously would prefer not to pay if they can avoid it, and the insurance contract has quite of bit of "legalese" that can be a bit tricky for a non-lawyer. Second, my issue is...
by jastevenson
Mon Aug 28, 2017 6:26 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Private disability claim--good lawyer to consult?
Replies: 4
Views: 872

Private disability claim--good lawyer to consult?

Hello, I have a private disability insurance policy that I signed up for over 10 years ago, and will likely need to use it. My concern is that my insurance company (like any insurance company) will try to dispute/minimize my insurance claim. While I have not submitted a claim yet, I would like to co...
by jastevenson
Sun Jul 16, 2017 2:09 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Anyone have a second home in The NC mountains?
Replies: 25
Views: 4171

Re: Anyone have a second home in The NC mountains?

No personal experience, but I did notice on weather.com that it is mid-90s all next week in Lake Lure. So if you're really wanting somewhere cool and comfortable in the summertime, maybe better to look at higher latitudes than NC? Looks gorgeous out there though.
by jastevenson
Tue May 02, 2017 8:26 am
Forum: Personal Investments
Topic: Any reason not to roll out a 401a into another retirement account?
Replies: 3
Views: 600

Any reason not to roll out a 401a into another retirement account?

Is anyone aware of any special advantages to a 401a over other types of tax deferred accounts? The University of California just added an $8.75 quarterly fee, and since I don't have a ton of money with them (I worked there for a relatively short time), this represents a big increase in my expense ra...
by jastevenson
Sun Apr 30, 2017 3:34 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Lowest hassle, highest return way to buy real estate in a far-away location for use as a hedge?
Replies: 16
Views: 2856

Lowest hassle, highest return way to buy real estate in a far-away location for use as a hedge?

I have relatively low net worth, but high income (mid-30s physician, so didn't make much money until age 32). After maxing out my retirement funds and paying my living expenses (I rent), I have 100k/year of money left over. I am thinking about buying real estate since I see a loan as a "force multip...
by jastevenson
Sat Apr 15, 2017 2:27 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Is there any reason a buy-and-hold investor would buy gold?
Replies: 158
Views: 14941

Is there any reason a buy-and-hold investor would buy gold?

When you invest in a index fund, the premise is that you own a piece of a company. So long-term growth in the size and profit of a company results in a higher stock price when Gold rises and falls in value, but the value seems to change based more on things like political climate and global security...
by jastevenson
Sun Apr 09, 2017 7:22 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Death of retail/malls to affect REITs?
Replies: 69
Views: 9216

Death of retail/malls to affect REITs?

The troubles of brick and mortar retailers, department stores, and malls has been in the news lately. Sears, HH Gregg, Macys, Kmart, etc are either bankrupt or headed in a downward spiral. As anchor stores close, their malls fail with them. My understanding is that a lot of REITs invest in malls. Ca...
by jastevenson
Sun Mar 12, 2017 8:08 pm
Forum: Personal Investments
Topic: Non-working spouse with large SEP-IRA. Any way to contribute to retirement fund?
Replies: 2
Views: 742

Non-working spouse with large SEP-IRA. Any way to contribute to retirement fund?

I am paid as an employee and contribute $5,500 to a backdoor Roth each yet. My wife has a SEP-IRA from her old job, and we'd prefer not to convert it to a Roth. But my understanding is that if you have a SEP-IRA, you can't contribute to a Roth. Any solution for her to make annual contributions to a ...
by jastevenson
Wed Nov 30, 2016 7:18 am
Forum: Personal Investments
Topic: I contribute to a fund weekly. How to safely tax loss harvest?
Replies: 4
Views: 1029

I contribute to a fund weekly. How to safely tax loss harvest?

Hi all, I've read many of the TLH threads, but am still a bit confused with my current situation. My taxable account have a 3 fund portfolio--total stock (VTSAX), total international (VTIAX), and intermediate municipal bonds (VWITX). I contribute a fixed dollar amount to each fund once a week, and r...
by jastevenson
Fri Oct 14, 2016 6:28 am
Forum: Personal Investments
Topic: Good options for China stock exposure?
Replies: 1
Views: 296

Good options for China stock exposure?

The vast majority of my money is in the fairly standard BH 3-fund portfolio. I would like some more China exposure, but VTI doesn't offer it, and standard emerging markets funds dilute the China share with stocks from other nations. Any thoughts on the best way to get more China exposure in my portf...
by jastevenson
Sat Aug 27, 2016 8:27 am
Forum: Personal Investments
Topic: California Scholarshare 529: stay in age 0-4 fund forever?
Replies: 3
Views: 685

Re: California Scholarshare 529: stay in age 0-4 fund forever?

It looks like the age-based allocations have 0.01% lower expense ratio, so I figured I'd go with that. Realizing that it only saves me like $50 over 18 years, but whatever :D Anyway, the newly lowered ratios on Scholarshare pulled me away from Nevada and Utah plans, so I'm now the owner of a Califor...
by jastevenson
Fri Aug 26, 2016 6:34 pm
Forum: Personal Investments
Topic: California Scholarshare 529: stay in age 0-4 fund forever?
Replies: 3
Views: 685

California Scholarshare 529: stay in age 0-4 fund forever?

Was looking into the California Scholarshare 529 due to the low expense ratios on the age-based plans. However, I do think that they become too conservative with the stock allocation as the kid gets older. If I wanted to stay in the age 0-4 fund, do I have the option of keeping it there when the chi...