Search found 433 matches

by random_walker_77
Thu Oct 19, 2017 11:56 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: It's that time of year, and I'm pregnant!
Replies: 13
Views: 2778

Re: It's that time of year, and I'm pregnant!

3) Assuming those premiums are paid twice per month, the HDHP costs you $6056/yr for the family, after taking into account the employer's $1K HSA contribution. The PPO costs you $8208. The HDHP starts out cheaper, and it's now about expenses that narrow the gap until the PPO is cheaper. For the fir...
by random_walker_77
Wed Oct 18, 2017 10:05 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: It's that time of year, and I'm pregnant!
Replies: 13
Views: 2778

Re: It's that time of year, and I'm pregnant!

Ah, and be sure to budget for your upcoming medical expenses for you and your baby. For a 20-30k medical expense, you're going to have a ~$6K out of pocket (oop) bill expense HDHP, PPO, HDHP (oop), PPO (oop) 10K 10.6K 11.5K, 4.6K, 3.2K 20K 11.6K 13.5K, 5.6K, 5.2K 30K 12.0K 15.5K, 6.0K, 7.2K 40K 12.0...
by random_walker_77
Wed Oct 18, 2017 9:48 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: It's that time of year, and I'm pregnant!
Replies: 13
Views: 2778

Re: It's that time of year, and I'm pregnant!

If you're going to be on the HDHP for a full year, then definitely the HDHP. 1) The way it's set up, I think you'll actually come out ahead on the HDHP for any amount of out-of-pocket! (Justification below) 2) The one catch, and it's a big one, is this. The worst case scenario for the HDHP is if you...
by random_walker_77
Wed Oct 18, 2017 8:58 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Help with PR emergency prep: Water filter, Propane stove, etc.
Replies: 43
Views: 2178

Re: Help with PR emergency prep: Water filter, Propane stove, etc.

PS, overstating the obvious, but since this is a young adult we're talking about, remember not to use a camping stove indoors. Certain clean-burning stoves, maybe, w/ ventilation and ideally a battery-operated carbon monoxide alarm...
by random_walker_77
Tue Oct 17, 2017 10:46 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Help with PR emergency prep: Water filter, Propane stove, etc.
Replies: 43
Views: 2178

Re: Help with PR emergency prep: Water filter, Propane stove, etc.

I'd reiterate the advice from Pajamas. You probably don't need a water filter, and a pillcase of water purification tablets is suitable insurance. Contact the school to find out what conditions are like. For filters, I have this one, which is claimed to be good for 25 gallons of turbid water to 200 ...
by random_walker_77
Sat Oct 14, 2017 12:20 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Anyone Ever Jackhammered a Concrete Patio?
Replies: 27
Views: 1570

Re: Anyone Ever Jackhammered a Concrete Patio?

I manually removed an old sidewalk last summer & installed new...broke it up w/ a chisel by hand, loaded into the F150 drove to a . . Local utility companies will come mark buried lines for free. Takes about a week to get that done. That's where I'd start. but, but, but... why do it by hand? If you...
by random_walker_77
Sat Oct 14, 2017 12:16 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Anyone Ever Jackhammered a Concrete Patio?
Replies: 27
Views: 1570

Re: Anyone Ever Jackhammered a Concrete Patio?

I've broken up my share of concrete over the years thru various means. These Chinese demo hammers are great for the price and infinitely easier than sledge hammering well made concrete. https://www.amazon.com/XtremepowerUS-2200Watt-Electric-Demolition-Concrete/dp/B00IO3Z5MS/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1...
by random_walker_77
Thu Oct 05, 2017 8:17 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Garage door opener on last leg
Replies: 32
Views: 2715

Re: Garage door opener on last leg

Get a belt drive model as they're much quieter. Most come with battery backup, and extra wireless keypads. Replacing an existing garage door opener is pretty straightforward so long as you can reuse the old safety sensors. Did your old one have the optical beam at the bottom of the garage door? If s...
by random_walker_77
Tue Oct 03, 2017 11:18 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: My first promotion without a pay increase
Replies: 47
Views: 4927

Re: My first promotion without a pay increase

I agree with some others that they might not think you are a flight risk....Every now and then, wear a suit to work. Get haircuts regularly and make yourself look more marketable (whatever that means in your situation). Take off a day with very little notice. At the same, make a positive case to yo...
by random_walker_77
Tue Oct 03, 2017 11:00 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Bay Area Real Estate
Replies: 154
Views: 14177

Re: Bay Area Real Estate

It's important to note that tech today is not tech in 2001 with the dot-com bubble. I'm not saying there aren't outrageously valued startups based on dubious ideas, but the largest employers are not going anywhere. They may have layoffs here and there, and some older companies may stagnate, but the...
by random_walker_77
Tue Oct 03, 2017 10:23 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Best way to sell annual stock grants?
Replies: 8
Views: 527

Re: Best way to sell annual stock grants?

I too would sell whatever stock put the most after-tax dollars in my wallet. In this case, short term stock w/ a high basis is better than LT stock with a low basis. Given that I'm going to sell 100 shares of xyz corp, choose whichever option pays the least amount of tax. Paying 35% of 1K is better ...
by random_walker_77
Thu Sep 28, 2017 2:45 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: My first promotion without a pay increase
Replies: 47
Views: 4927

Re: My first promotion without a pay increase

Yes, I am thankful to have a good job, manager, and team . It's just disappointing to not be financially rewarded for going above and beyond. I am trying to focus on the intangibles like the work-life balance (which is I'd say TOO good and delays work), an easy commute, and a solid team. Keep in mi...
by random_walker_77
Thu Sep 28, 2017 10:25 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Bay Area Real Estate
Replies: 154
Views: 14177

Re: Bay Area Real Estate

Because it's pointless advice. And it's incredibly predictable on any thread (on this board and on others) that mention Bay Area housing. . . I don't think one should never move from the Bay Area. For some it's a good choice. If you think you can't cut it, if you've made it, if the work life balanc...
by random_walker_77
Wed Sep 27, 2017 3:44 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Bay Area Real Estate
Replies: 154
Views: 14177

Re: Bay Area Real Estate

If you are being valued by the company you work for then you should be seeing RSUs (see discussion above) of 1-2x your salary every year with a vesting over maybe 4 years (paying out 1/48 every month). You start to get 1/4 to 1/2 of your salary in RSUs in year one and once you are 4 years into that...
by random_walker_77
Wed Sep 27, 2017 12:06 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Bay Area Real Estate
Replies: 154
Views: 14177

Re: Bay Area Real Estate

If you're considering buying a house in the bay area and you have the 20% down payment saved up, consider moving to a cheaper part of the country and buying a house with cash. With no mortgage, your after housing income will probably be about the same in a lower cost of living area compared to livi...
by random_walker_77
Sun Sep 17, 2017 9:15 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Buying nightguards (teeth grinding)
Replies: 52
Views: 4206

Re: Buying nightguards (teeth grinding)

I have a dentist-made nightguard. It was expensive, several hundred $ when I got it back around 2001. But it's very rigid, thin, and with daily use of denture cleaner, it's still very clean. That said, it's worn down from grinding and I think I'm going to have to get another one in a year or two. Am...
by random_walker_77
Sun Sep 03, 2017 4:51 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: After market rear view (backup) cameras.
Replies: 19
Views: 1929

Re: After market rear view (backup) cameras.

I added one to my older minivan for ~$30 in parts (display panel, camera, wireless transmitter), when they were bundled on sale. Looks like it's more like $60 at regular price. viewtopic.php?t=201838#p3092441
by random_walker_77
Mon Aug 28, 2017 11:36 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Check serial number caused an issue
Replies: 26
Views: 2304

Re: Check serial number caused an issue

Also do note that you don't have to order checks from your bank. It's perfectly fine to order them from costco/sam's/walmart etc. and then you pick the design and starting check number. Might as well make it 8780 or something equally high There are also the family of check printing companies that fr...
by random_walker_77
Mon Aug 28, 2017 11:09 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: stopped check / holder in due course
Replies: 13
Views: 1246

Re: stopped check / holder in due course

Read this FTC opinion before you proceed. IANAL, but I doubt that you can be successfully sued in this case. Get legal help if you need it. That ruling is about if you used credit, which further underscores the big difference between paying by check vs credit. Reading this was very eye opening for ...
by random_walker_77
Fri Aug 25, 2017 9:03 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: stopped check / holder in due course
Replies: 13
Views: 1246

Re: stopped check / holder in due course

Thanks all, looks like I'll be paying the check cashing firm. Up until now, I hadn't properly appreciated the protection that a credit card offers over paying by check. sigh.
by random_walker_77
Wed Aug 23, 2017 10:49 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: stopped check / holder in due course
Replies: 13
Views: 1246

stopped check / holder in due course

Hello everyone, I realize I need to go find a consumer (?) lawyer for a consultation, but thought I'd poll the collective wisdom for some advice on what to ask and what points I need to consider. Essentially, I had a contractor do some work on my home here in Texas. Their credit card reader was "bro...
by random_walker_77
Tue Aug 01, 2017 9:00 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Dinner plates that do not get so hot after microwaving?
Replies: 37
Views: 3265

Re: Dinner plates that do not get so hot after microwaving?

According to an article I read earlier this year, there's a chemistry angle on this. Earthenware contains water and will heat in a microwave, but stoneware and porcelain will have eliminated all water: https://eic.rsc.org/feature/the-chemistry-of-pottery/2020245.article Stoneware vs earthenware Pots...
by random_walker_77
Thu Jul 27, 2017 9:16 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Recommendations for 3-Fund at Schwab
Replies: 9
Views: 915

Re: Recommendations for 3-Fund at Schwab

It was pointed out to me that SWISX doesn't include exposure to Canada nor emerging markets. I wonder, as a practical matter, how significant is this difference. Developed markets are about 75% of international stocks. Emerging markets are about 20% and Canada is about 5%. Whether you consider the ...
by random_walker_77
Thu Jul 27, 2017 11:55 am
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Recommendations for 3-Fund at Schwab
Replies: 9
Views: 915

Re: Recommendations for 3-Fund at Schwab

Note that the wiki lists equivalent funds for schwab, fidelity, and others:

https://www.bogleheads.org/wiki/Three-f ... head-style

Schwab Total Stock Market Index (SWTSX)
Schwab International Index (SWISX)
Schwab U.S. Aggregate Bond Index Fund (SWAGX)
by random_walker_77
Tue Jul 25, 2017 9:35 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: My risk tolerance suddenly went down
Replies: 33
Views: 5650

Re: My risk tolerance suddenly went down

Congrats on the new job, and count yourself very lucky indeed. In learning this lesson now, in finding a new job so quickly, and in the large raise. Perhaps you should've been shopping your resume earlier to keep abreast of market compensation, hmm? As you've seen, you shouldn't ever have occasion t...
by random_walker_77
Tue Jul 25, 2017 9:18 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Another bay area housing thread..
Replies: 143
Views: 13377

Re: Another bay area housing thread..

So, a question I've got to ask... where's the shame in renting a house? With the income levels we're talking about, and with kids on the distant horizon, why not just rent in someplace central like Sunnyvale and pay for a quality private school when the time comes? Zillow implies that a typical hous...
by random_walker_77
Tue Jul 25, 2017 4:11 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Another bay area housing thread..
Replies: 143
Views: 13377

Re: Another bay area housing thread..

I know of a few people that bought right at the peak of the last housing bubble in 2007 or so. They bought modest single family ranch homes for $800k-900k. They lost 30-40% value when the housing bubble busted. They were upside down for 10 years and just recently regained value so they are back in ...
by random_walker_77
Tue Jul 11, 2017 4:49 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Advice on buying a musical instrument
Replies: 24
Views: 1685

Re: Advice on buying a musical instrument

Another vote for buying your rental, or inquiring about a rent-to-buy arrangement. (Some shops will credit a portion of your rental fees towards an instrument purchase. Further, you're no longer buying a new instrument but a used instrument, and it should be repriced accordingly). You've been playin...
by random_walker_77
Mon Jun 26, 2017 10:15 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Bay Area housing
Replies: 69
Views: 6562

Re: Bay Area housing

How is this argument about interest rates being at an all time low different from the same argument applied to bonds? Consider this -- you're wrong on bonds and maybe you lose a small (<30%) of your money. Whereas if you borrow 1.5M at 4:1 leverage, if you're wrong, you lose all of your invested mo...
by random_walker_77
Mon Jun 26, 2017 9:16 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Bay Area housing
Replies: 69
Views: 6562

Re: Bay Area housing

A) Heads you win, tails they lose. California is a non-recourse state. Just don't refi, and if you end up deeply underwater, turn in the keys and walk away. Your credit will be trashed for several years, but it's not the end of the world. With high paying jobs, not necessarily even a big inconvenie...
by random_walker_77
Mon Jun 26, 2017 9:13 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Worth it to attempt repair on A/C condenser?
Replies: 33
Views: 2382

Re: Worth it to attempt repair on A/C condenser?

+1 on all the capacitor posts. The symptoms you are describing sound exactly like a capacitor failure. I bought a bag of resistors on Amazon and made a capacitor discharger out of those and some spare wire and alligator clips. Total cost about $8. You could also use the big screwdriver across the t...
by random_walker_77
Mon Jun 26, 2017 9:09 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Worth it to attempt repair on A/C condenser?
Replies: 33
Views: 2382

Re: Worth it to attempt repair on A/C condenser?

As an update, it was very hot and humid here yesterday, and DW didn't want to wait until the new part arrived from Amazon, especially since we're leaving for vacation soon and have a very hectic few weeks coming up in general; not a lot of time to tinker. She also didn't have quite the confidence l...
by random_walker_77
Sat Jun 24, 2017 10:04 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Bay Area housing
Replies: 69
Views: 6562

Re: Bay Area housing

The daunting thing here is all those people who are buying with all-cash. Consider that if they're cashing out stock options, you need to cash out close to $4M to have $2M after all the taxes. Sure, the bay area is popular and minting money like crazy, but it does drive some concerns about whether ...
by random_walker_77
Sat Jun 24, 2017 9:37 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Bay Area housing
Replies: 69
Views: 6562

Re: Bay Area housing

How much other assets do you have? If you're a high income couple, where credit doesn't matter so much, one could argue that you should go for it. A) Heads you win, tails they lose. California is a non-recourse state. Just don't refi, and If you end up deeply underwater, turn in the keys and walk aw...
by random_walker_77
Tue Jun 20, 2017 9:44 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Help with determining appropriate salary
Replies: 7
Views: 1223

Re: Help with determining appropriate salary

In addition to the excellent suggestions above, sometimes industry journals will publish salary surveys. And the government publishes detailed information by occupation, broken down by geography. Of particular interest, it also shows median + 10th/25/75/90th percentile salaries. https://www.bls.gov/...
by random_walker_77
Mon Jun 19, 2017 6:14 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Garage Parking Aid
Replies: 28
Views: 2453

Re: Garage Parking Aid

I've had one of these on the garage floor for 3 or 4 years now. https://www.amazon.com/Camco-44442-AccuPark-Vehicle-Parking/dp/B000EDUUIA/ref=sr_1_3?ie=UTF8&qid=1497899056&sr=8-3&keywords=car+garage+stop I've had 2 of these in my 2-car garage for 7 years and really like it. It's held up well to the...
by random_walker_77
Wed May 24, 2017 10:03 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Equity and Salary Balance
Replies: 1
Views: 683

Re: Equity and Salary Balance

Hello, I'm investing in a business. I have a person that is specialized in this industry. He requested $75,000/year until we get the business started. He also requested 25% equity since he'll be building the business (sweat equity). I'll invest around $150,000 into the business and own the rest of ...
by random_walker_77
Wed May 24, 2017 9:31 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: carpet beetles (varied carpet beetle)
Replies: 16
Views: 1982

Re: carpet beetles (varied carpet beetle)

In addition to vacuuming frequently, you can also apply diatomaceous earth. If you think they're coming in from outside, apply outside your house, and you can apply along your baseboards or even into your carpet. Be sure you buy the food-grade DE, and wear a dust mask as inhaling it probably isn't s...
by random_walker_77
Wed May 24, 2017 9:17 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: denture/partial cleaners?
Replies: 3
Views: 525

Re: denture/partial cleaners?

Maybe not exactly the same, but I've got a nightguard that's over 16 years ago which still looks great. I use a daily soaking of denture cleaner. Didn't seem to matter which one -- I've used efferdent, polident, and the generics for them from walmart/target/HEB. As far as I can tell, the generics co...
by random_walker_77
Mon May 22, 2017 9:43 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Retiring at 50. Making sure my investments are in order.
Replies: 15
Views: 3668

Re: Retiring at 50. Making sure my investments are in order.

Wow! Great info! I teach at a local University at night, so I will probably step that up after retirement as something to keep me busy and still another source of income in "regular retirement".... I guess my last question would be this... Do I keep my investments as they are now, or do I...
by random_walker_77
Mon May 22, 2017 8:26 am
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Retiring at 50. Making sure my investments are in order.
Replies: 15
Views: 3668

Re: Retiring at 50. Making sure my investments are in order.

Random Walker 77, Thanks for the info. Here's what I can answer.. 1. 60/40 has served me pretty well and I have been sticking with that for now. 2. I can roll the lump sum into my 457 tax deferred or another IRA.. Yes, I would pay taxes on it if I took the lump sum.. I can start drawing from my 457...
by random_walker_77
Sat May 20, 2017 9:47 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Retiring at 50. Making sure my investments are in order.
Replies: 15
Views: 3668

Re: Retiring at 50. Making sure my investments are in order.

Thanks for your service -- that's a tough career field! Make sure you have a really good handle on what your expenses are. See if you can come up with a decent estimate for that health insurance you're planning to keep with the state. Figure out your annual expenses, and be sure to budget for the in...
by random_walker_77
Fri May 19, 2017 9:13 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Insect repellent
Replies: 14
Views: 1323

Re: Insect repellent

For a business trip to India, the travel clinic recommended 3M Ultrathon. The clerk at REI said the stuff was developed for the US military. Finding myself trapped in a dim sedan every night with several mosquitoes buzzing around (possibly carrying chikungunya/malaria), I was glad to find that it re...
by random_walker_77
Wed May 17, 2017 11:19 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Anyone else agree with my logic on silicon valley housing?
Replies: 84
Views: 8197

Re: Anyone else agree with my logic on silicon valley housing?

Austin must be the most overrated city to live in the country!! It is a nice place to live. However, everyone thinks it's one of the great places to live in this country. It's not! There's no ocean. There's no mountains. No saltwater beaches. No skiing. The weather is very hot. No "trees"...
by random_walker_77
Mon May 08, 2017 6:54 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Seattle and Vancouver with kids
Replies: 19
Views: 1440

Re: Seattle and Vancouver with kids

When are you going? The Ballard locks has a fish ladder with underwater viewing of the salmon returning to spawn. It's also kind of interesting to see how they move boats between the lake and the sound (which are at different heights) m m I'd also add another vote for the Bainbridge ferry. One of t...
by random_walker_77
Mon May 08, 2017 11:49 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Seattle and Vancouver with kids
Replies: 19
Views: 1440

Re: Seattle and Vancouver with kids

When are you going? The Ballard locks has a fish ladder with underwater viewing of the salmon returning to spawn. It's also kind of interesting to see how they move boats between the lake and the sound (which are at different heights) m m I'd also add another vote for the Bainbridge ferry. One of th...
by random_walker_77
Sat May 06, 2017 10:13 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: ISO/NSO Grant Advice - Who do I talk to?
Replies: 6
Views: 522

Re: ISO/NSO Grant Advice - Who do I talk to?

For taxes, I'd look for a CPA who has a lot of experience with options. Really though, I'd strongly urge you to acquire and read "Consider your Options" by Kaye A. Thomas. This will give you a better understanding, and put you in a position to ask the right questions. I read an earlier edi...
by random_walker_77
Wed May 03, 2017 7:35 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Great knife for slicing limes and raw potatoes
Replies: 56
Views: 3804

Re: Great knife for slicing limes and raw potatoes

I'm also very partial to the victorinox chef's knife. Absolutely agree that even cheap knives are great so long as you keep them sharp. We have an electric sharpener too, but I hate pulling it out, and then cleaning up all the metal dust afterwards. This ~$10 sharpener is my favorite. The tapered di...
by random_walker_77
Wed May 03, 2017 10:27 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Google voice started blocking some phone calls
Replies: 10
Views: 1517

Re: Google voice started blocking some phone calls

m Try going to voice.google.com. See if you can find the contact in your call list. On the left, if you click on the 3 dots, I'm seeing a list of folders, including the spam folder. Check in there too. Once you find it, click on the settings (3 dots) in the main message window on the right, and ther...