Search found 602 matches

by random_walker_77
Wed Sep 19, 2018 1:13 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Recommendations for traveler's Insurance for 65 years+
Replies: 13
Views: 868

Re: Recommendations for traveler's Insurance for 65 years+

I've bought medevac insurance through insuremytrip.com, but tripinsurancestore.com sounds reputable too, see this discussion on cruisecritic:
https://boards.cruisecritic.com/showthr ... ?t=2538045
by random_walker_77
Tue Sep 18, 2018 10:04 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: How to determine best China index ETF? Is the cheapest ER most important or more liquidity?
Replies: 3
Views: 266

Re: How to determine best China index ETF? Is the cheapest ER most important or more liquidity?

I'm with vineviz. Why take a focussed bet on the china market? Diversity is your friend, and concentrating on china is a high risk/high reward gamble. Risk here includes the possibility of markets lifted by fraud. (keep in mind that this country where babies were dying from fake infant formula) Did ...
by random_walker_77
Tue Sep 18, 2018 9:38 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Gas leak detector?
Replies: 21
Views: 1056

Re: Gas leak detector?

thanks to all who replied....it is helpful. I found this product on amazon. seems decent for $32. I was thinking besides exploding house, this may be useful in situations where we accidentally left stove running (e.g. you're stewing something on low heat and somehow the fire went out creating a slo...
by random_walker_77
Mon Sep 17, 2018 11:33 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Gas leak detector?
Replies: 21
Views: 1056

Re: Gas leak detector?

Hi fellow BH, By now you've probably heard of the spontaneous house explosions in the north east. What do you think of "gas detectors"? Amazon and Home depot have them for sale but frankly this is the first time I heard of them. Of course I have all the carbon monoxide and smoke detectors. So I am ...
by random_walker_77
Mon Sep 17, 2018 11:22 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Is this a potentially dangerous electrical issue that needs to be addressed?
Replies: 19
Views: 1948

Re: Is this a potentially dangerous electrical issue that needs to be addressed?

Agree with link above as likely solution. This is an easy fix so long as you have minor experience and comfort with electricity. If not hire a handyman to swap out the outlet. I agree as well. Comfort with electricity should include turning off power to this circuit (or the whole house to be safe) ...
by random_walker_77
Mon Sep 17, 2018 9:10 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Picking a Charity
Replies: 69
Views: 2635

Re: Picking a Charity

One of our favorite causes is cancer research, and we choose to donate directly to a cancer research center to bypass the fundraising middle men. (https://www.cancer.gov/research/nci-role/cancer-centers) For personal reasons, our favorite is Fred Hutchinson(https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Fred_Hutchin...
by random_walker_77
Sun Sep 16, 2018 9:52 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Rain Jacket recommendations and care
Replies: 32
Views: 2300

Re: Rain Jacket recommendations and care

Before throwing out the old one, you might try this "Kiwi Camp Dry Heavy Duty Water Repellant": https://www.amazon.com/KIWI-Camp-Heavy-Water-Repellent/dp/B000HJ7CLY/?th=1&psc=1 (fyi, it's cheaper at walmart, ~$8) I've had good luck using it to waterproof a tent, and the reviews indicate that some pe...
by random_walker_77
Thu Sep 13, 2018 10:48 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Best options for Cash to beat inflation (other than CD) for short term 1-3 years
Replies: 7
Views: 979

Re: Best options for Cash to beat inflation (other than CD) for short term 1-3 years

I agree with the others. There's no way to beat inflation, especially on an after-tax basis, without taking on risk. In the CA bay area, between state and federal taxes, it wouldn't be unusual to have 40+% marginal tax rates. Investments necessarily involve a risk vs reward tradeoff, and the low ret...
by random_walker_77
Thu Sep 13, 2018 7:14 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: I need a chainsaw to trim branches and limbs!!
Replies: 90
Views: 3811

Re: I need a chainsaw to trim branches and limbs!!

For what you need, a chainsaw is both overkill and a risk to life and limb. Get a reciprocating saw and pruning blades (5 pack for $11 https://www.homedepot.com/p/Diablo-9-in-5-TPI-Fleam-Ground-Pruning-Reciprocating-Saw-Blade-5-Pack-DS0905FG5/203464786) Cordless is about $60, corded is more like $25...
by random_walker_77
Wed Sep 12, 2018 1:47 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Taxes in retirement too good to be true?
Replies: 23
Views: 4325

Re: Taxes in retirement too good to be true?

Don't forget that inflation is also taxed, so tax rates ought to be low enough to incentivize making capital available to companies. Consider if inflation is 3% and you've invested 100K, and get a return of 3%. You've no real gains, but now you owe taxes on 3%, so you're losing money. If you get a r...
by random_walker_77
Tue Sep 11, 2018 10:12 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Vanguard electronic bank transfers
Replies: 22
Views: 2027

Re: Vanguard electronic bank transfers

Vanguard's website is open nearly 24/7, but funds transfers happen only on business days, w/ the usual ETF transfer delays (I'm not sure how much for pushes towards a bank, and for pulls, it doesn't matter as your purchase happens the same day. I think my bank usually reports the money as withdrawin...
by random_walker_77
Tue Sep 11, 2018 10:10 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Vanguard electronic bank transfers
Replies: 22
Views: 2027

Re: Vanguard electronic bank transfers

Some details that surprised me: 1) If you open checkwriting on an account, and don't write any checks for an extended period of time (in my case, years), they will contact you to let you know they'll be turning off your checkwriting on that fund. The stated rationale is to improve security. 2) If yo...
by random_walker_77
Tue Sep 11, 2018 7:38 am
Forum: Forum Issues and Administration
Topic: Posting spreadsheets?
Replies: 5
Views: 793

Re: Posting spreadsheets?

Yes, if using google drive, you're going to want to create a 2nd throw-away google account.

Also, you'd share as view-only, which means that anyone wanting to play with the spreadsheet will need to make their own copy (which is easy, but requires that they have a google account).
by random_walker_77
Mon Sep 10, 2018 10:27 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: What performance to expect from central AC?
Replies: 35
Views: 2345

Re: What performance to expect from central AC?

Our problem is our thermostat. The builder put it in the worst location possible, near a large, sunny window and on the other side of the wall from the oven. It is in the least used room in the house, on the opposite side of the family room and bedrooms. The thermostat temp never reflects the tempe...
by random_walker_77
Sun Sep 09, 2018 9:45 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: What performance to expect from central AC?
Replies: 35
Views: 2345

Re: What performance to expect from central AC?

Thanks to all for your comments and advice. To answer some of your questions, The house is a 50 year old brick Rambler with 1200 sq feet on the main floor and 1300 sq feet in a finished basement. Being in Minnesota it's well insulated with double paned glass windows. The unit was purchased from a l...
by random_walker_77
Wed Sep 05, 2018 1:23 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: How to tell which vent is dryer vent?
Replies: 40
Views: 1646

Re: How to tell which vent is dryer vent?

Do you have one of those point and shoot laser thermometers? Turn on the dryer and point the gun at each vent. I'd think the dryer vent is hotter if it's working properly blowing out hot air. Maybe check each beforehand to get a baseline. Our vent blows quite well (onto our back patio, a silly desi...
by random_walker_77
Tue Sep 04, 2018 5:36 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Home-spun Weed Killers
Replies: 21
Views: 1513

Re: Home-spun Weed Killers

To kill weeds in the cracks of my driveway/sidewalk, I use hot water. I just heat up a pot using my coffee maker or kettle. No chemicals whatsoever, and cheap. Just be sure to bend down low so as to minimize splashing, as a burn would negate any cost savings. This is also only useful when no desired...
by random_walker_77
Wed Aug 29, 2018 12:12 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Stock Market Simulation Game/App?
Replies: 8
Views: 552

Re: Stock Market Simulation Game/App?

The risk, though, is what happens if you do well with the simulation? Does it change your views on the utility of investing in individual stocks? To the extent that this might increase the odds that you start investing in individual stocks because you're talented at it, I think that this could be de...
by random_walker_77
Thu Jul 19, 2018 9:55 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Should I get a warranty for my new glasses?
Replies: 24
Views: 1367

Re: Should I get a warranty for my new glasses?

$300 for glasses? Two words...Zenni Optical. Agreed. Or goggles4u.com. Either way, google for coupons. For those without unusually strong prescriptions and especially with straightforward glasses, you can get a basic pair of prescription glasses or sunglasses for < $25, shipped. Or maybe as low as ...
by random_walker_77
Wed Jul 04, 2018 10:48 pm
Forum: Local Chapters and Bogleheads Community
Topic: favorite bogleheads posts?
Replies: 110
Views: 23415

Re: favorite bogleheads posts?

Denovo's post on becoming a landlord: viewtopic.php?t=226980
by random_walker_77
Wed Jul 04, 2018 10:42 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Can I finance a new home abroad (Carribean)???
Replies: 53
Views: 4597

Re: Can I finance a new home abroad (Carribean)???

I remember a while back a financial advisor friend of mine telling me that there are international banks that have a presence in the US where I can perhaps be able to get a loan backed by my investment portfolio. For something like this, look into the risk of some equivalent to a "margin call" -- i...
by random_walker_77
Tue Jul 03, 2018 11:23 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: 25-year-old military vet/undergrad student in search of advice
Replies: 11
Views: 1027

Re: 25-year-old military vet/undergrad student in search of advice

Thank you for your service. I'm with the others -- you're investing in yourself right now. Don't sweat saving, but try to spend wisely. If you can work part-time without adversely impacting your studies, go for it, but your primary "job" right now is to get an education, and do as well as you can in...
by random_walker_77
Tue Jul 03, 2018 10:54 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Can I finance a new home abroad (Carribean)???
Replies: 53
Views: 4597

Re: Can I finance a new home abroad (Carribean)???

whoops, the 2nd quote was from: http://dominicanrepublicvacationhomes.com/faqs.html The 1st link also has this page talking about universal rent control and these choice excerpts: https://www.globalpropertyguide.com/Caribbean/Dominican-Republic/Landlord-and-Tenant "It is very difficult to evict tena...
by random_walker_77
Tue Jul 03, 2018 10:48 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Can I finance a new home abroad (Carribean)???
Replies: 53
Views: 4597

Re: Can I finance a new home abroad (Carribean)???

Do you have relatives in that country? Do you have experience w/ being a landlord, and especially the risks associated with being a landlord? (damage to property, problem tenants, evictions) To what extent are property values a function of land value vs value of the building? Keeping in mind that th...
by random_walker_77
Mon Jul 02, 2018 10:32 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Affording a $1.8-2M house
Replies: 54
Views: 9492

Re: Affording a $1.8-2M house

Having spent time in Seattle, San Jose, and now living in Austin, I'd chime in that there's a lot of techies out here in Austin. Some neighborhoods feel like the bay area, with 2/3 of the neighbors from India/China/Taiwan/Korea. Between Ranch 99, H-Mart, and some of the other asian markets, there's ...
by random_walker_77
Mon Jul 02, 2018 10:03 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: RSU Strategy
Replies: 10
Views: 889

Re: RSU Strategy

And assuming you're not actively trying to buy more of your company's stock with your monthly paychecks (hey, some people like to put their eggs all in one basket!), don't feel bad about selling the stock. You're (mostly) participating in gains on the price of company stock through the unvested RSUs
by random_walker_77
Mon Jul 02, 2018 10:01 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: RSU Strategy
Replies: 10
Views: 889

Re: RSU Strategy

When RSU's vest, they show up as ordinary income and you have to pay taxes. My company will sell 1/4 of the RSUs at vesting to help pay for the tax withholdings. But that's almost beside the point because of the fact that you *are taxed* at vesting, so on that day, you have no gains or losses. If yo...
by random_walker_77
Sat Jun 30, 2018 9:33 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: replace old central AC unit?
Replies: 32
Views: 2510

Re: replace old central AC unit?

Things to think about: 1) Is the a/c unit maintained and working as it should? Is the cold air coming out of the vents 15-20 degrees cooler than the room's temp? (This is most conveniently measured with something like this for $12-$20, and which is useful for checking for warmspots around doors and ...
by random_walker_77
Thu Jun 28, 2018 10:47 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Is there a way to avoid bad companies in S&P 500?
Replies: 92
Views: 4841

Re: Is there a way to avoid bad companies in S&P 500?

One never knows which stock is going to recover. In 1997 Apple was forecasted to enter bankruptcy and B. Gates was asking "why doesn't Steve (Jobs) just give up." That's actually the stock that convinced me I can't pick out the losers. I remember rewatching "Forrest Gump" around '97 and thinking th...
by random_walker_77
Wed Jun 27, 2018 9:41 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: 6 week minivan or SUV rental
Replies: 8
Views: 1053

Re: 6 week minivan or SUV rental

If you're counting on your credit card for supplemental insurance, note that most only cover rentals that are less than 30 days. So you might want to break it up into 2 rentals. Also, this is a situation where it'd be highly advantageous to rent from an off-airport location, which usually have lowe...
by random_walker_77
Wed Jun 27, 2018 9:17 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Umbrella Policy: Right amount for $7 mil net worth?
Replies: 76
Views: 10788

Re: Umbrella Policy: Right amount for $7 mil net worth?

I do not understand making a connection between your net worth and the umbrella policy amount. AFAIK juries are not told the amount of your insurance or your net worth so the award should not be related. Once a jury awards above say $1 million then the sky is the limit and the amount actually award...
by random_walker_77
Wed Jun 27, 2018 7:36 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Timing exit from megacorp
Replies: 54
Views: 6093

Re: Timing exit from megacorp

This is not dissimilar from my situation except I'm salary and RSU's but no bonus. I too have been thinking about timing and for me it's about vesting a significant amount of RSU's as the stock has had a big runup that I'd like to capture. I know I will always walk away from some amount of stock bu...
by random_walker_77
Tue Jun 26, 2018 11:01 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Timing exit from megacorp
Replies: 54
Views: 6093

Re: Timing exit from megacorp

Don't say anything until after your RSU's/bonus are paid in May. It's probably to your advantage to stay through 6/1 anyways. Your marginal tax rate is always better at the beginning of the year when those dollars are getting taxed at the low bracket rates. If you increase your 401k contributions, y...
by random_walker_77
Tue Jun 26, 2018 10:51 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: 6 week minivan or SUV rental
Replies: 8
Views: 1053

Re: 6 week minivan or SUV rental

If you're counting on your credit card for supplemental insurance, note that most only cover rentals that are less than 30 days. So you might want to break it up into 2 rentals. Also, this is a situation where it'd be highly advantageous to rent from an off-airport location, which usually have lower...
by random_walker_77
Sun Jun 24, 2018 10:06 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Compliments for Vanguard?
Replies: 40
Views: 3292

Re: Compliments for Vanguard?

I've been with Vanguard for over 22 years, and have had no problems with them. Of all the mutual fund firms, I trust Vanguard the most to lower costs and not raise expense ratios. They've won my trust as the firm most likely to put their customer's interests ahead of their own profits. From what I'v...
by random_walker_77
Sun Jun 24, 2018 4:21 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Best book to read before buying a house?
Replies: 6
Views: 649

Re: Best book to read before buying a house?

It was a long time ago, but I found the Nolo books to be really helpful:

This is the one I read:
https://store.nolo.com/products/how-to- ... -bhca.html

And this is the non-california book:
https://store.nolo.com/products/nolos-e ... -htbh.html
by random_walker_77
Sat Jun 16, 2018 12:25 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Thought on replacing roof before sale?
Replies: 35
Views: 2983

Re: Thought on replacing roof before sale?

If the market is screaming hot, it doesn't matter. Otherwise, it's to your advantage to get it fixed before it goes on the market. As a seller, your incentive is to get it replaced to be "good enough." No need to get the lifetime shingles vs cheap shingles -- the odds are the buyer isn't going to va...
by random_walker_77
Wed Jun 06, 2018 9:24 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Boston trip with small kids
Replies: 19
Views: 1678

Re: Boston trip with small kids

Regarding that duck tour... just want to make sure you are aware that the accident rate for those tours seems to be a tad high. You're probably fine to go, but it's good to be aware all the same. http://www.philly.com/philly/blogs/real-time/At-least-26-have-died-in-.html https://www.seattletimes.co...
by random_walker_77
Wed Jun 06, 2018 7:23 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Upgrade to SSD for 5-year old desktop?
Replies: 64
Views: 3948

Re: Upgrade to SSD for 5-year old desktop?

absolutely upgrade to a SSD. Many ship with cloning software. (For others using laptops, a USB HD enclosure for ~$12 facilitates easy cloning).

Or, even just get this: 2TB SSD for $240
https://slickdeals.net/f/11675043-micro ... daily-deal
by random_walker_77
Tue Jun 05, 2018 11:06 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Boston trip with small kids
Replies: 19
Views: 1678

Re: Boston trip with small kids

Regarding that duck tour... just want to make sure you are aware that the accident rate for those tours seems to be a tad high. You're probably fine to go, but it's good to be aware all the same. http://www.philly.com/philly/blogs/real-time/At-least-26-have-died-in-.html https://www.seattletimes.com...
by random_walker_77
Tue Jun 05, 2018 8:58 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Safeco Auto Insurance
Replies: 12
Views: 1208

Re: Safeco Auto Insurance

We've had safeco for about 12 years now for auto/home/umbrella. They were quite good w/ auto and home claims. We've had claims from being rear-endeded (minor) and hail (major auto damage, and new roof on the house). Safeco was very responsive and quite reasonable. At one point, we almost switched aw...
by random_walker_77
Fri Jun 01, 2018 9:15 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Any aerospace engineers? Pros v. cons of working for NASA v. private sector
Replies: 50
Views: 4929

Re: Any aerospace engineers? Pros v. cons of working for NASA v. private sector

Congrats to your son on such an early graduation! Though really, this means he can simply work more years before full retirement age :twisted: ...unless he saves enough to retire early. How are his people skills? I'm an engineer, but not in aero, and have observed that academia and industry reward d...
by random_walker_77
Thu May 31, 2018 12:58 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Need some advice in regards to A/C System
Replies: 29
Views: 1806

Re: Need some advice in regards to A/C System

You're getting good advice here. Reiterating the point above that the contactor is a $20 part. Here in texas, you're going to want to think of the contactors and capacitors as consumable items. They're $20 parts plus labor. So spending $100-150 for a new contactor/cap as preventative maintenance... ...
by random_walker_77
Wed May 30, 2018 7:55 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Car with best smell, pollution and noise insulation
Replies: 24
Views: 2139

Re: Car with best smell, pollution and noise insulation

For noise insulation, there are after-market products you can apply to reduce the noise. I'm not sure how well it works, but look around:
https://soundproofexpert.com/quiet-road-noise-car/
by random_walker_77
Wed May 30, 2018 7:51 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Car with best smell, pollution and noise insulation
Replies: 24
Views: 2139

Re: Car with best smell, pollution and noise insulation

Lately I have severe headaches after a day on the road. Be sure to talk to your doctor about this, there could be something else going on. You might also think about putting a carbon monoxide detector in your car for a trip or two just to rule that out. Something like this with a numerical readout....
by random_walker_77
Fri May 25, 2018 10:17 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Reducing mosquitos by pool
Replies: 14
Views: 1563

Re: Reducing mosquitos by pool

If you think these mosquitoes are breeding in the pool, then you really need to use pool chemicals. If you just need general mosquito control, look into ovitraps. You can find instructions to build your own or buy them. I bought these and found that they help a lot: https://www.amazon.com/Mosquito-L...
by random_walker_77
Fri May 25, 2018 9:02 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Is there a good one stop website/broker for car insurance quotes?
Replies: 8
Views: 872

Re: Is there a good one stop website/broker for car insurance quotes?

In my experience, it's important to shop around for insurance every 3-4 years. They seem to gradually raise rates, but new customers get better rates. One time, I ended up going from a safeco policy that was approaching $900/yr and got placed into a safeco policy w/ the same coverage "under a new pr...
by random_walker_77
Wed May 16, 2018 9:29 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Mortgage decision killing me
Replies: 52
Views: 7185

Re: Mortgage decision killing me

This is about comfort with risk. You've got the income, you've got the savings, but do you want the flexibility and security that a 30yr gives you? The 30 yr helps you if inflation charges upwards, but you're paying for that "benefit" with the higher interest rate. When we bought our original, we we...
by random_walker_77
Tue May 15, 2018 8:47 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: New(ish) attending physicians in the Bay Area: Housing
Replies: 150
Views: 13359

Re: New(ish) attending physicians in the Bay Area: Housing

Yes. The home we rent (which is quite nice) has a price/annual rent ratio of over 38 (being conservative)- more realistically about 45. That is the benefit of these home owners who literally pay property taxes of only a few thousand dollars a year due to prop 13 whereas if I were to buy the same ho...
by random_walker_77
Mon May 14, 2018 9:25 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Another ESPP question
Replies: 5
Views: 623

Re: Another ESPP question

I agree w/ Manedark along roughly the same reasoning. Buying at a 15% discount is a nice tailwind and this does seem like a deal, but it is not without risk. What is your ability and willingness to take risk? If the next recession rolls along and you lose a lot of the ESPP money, how disastrous is t...