Search found 1775 matches

by surfstar
Wed Nov 13, 2019 7:05 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Saving for a new vehicle
Replies: 33
Views: 2934

Re: Saving for a new vehicle

Buy an inexpensive car: https://alephblog.com/2014/10/08/buying-an-inexpensive-car/ Bought a 5 year old car with a salvage title for over $10k (back in 2014) - I don't really thinks that's a great purchase. Sure its cheaper than a brand new car, but over the car's lifespan - not by that much. Plus ...
by surfstar
Wed Nov 13, 2019 7:02 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Collection Calls Right After Death
Replies: 14
Views: 395

Re: Collection Calls Right After Death

Don't answer the phone unless you recognize the caller.

Anything legit will be in the mail, along with lots of other scam-type stuff to wade through.
by surfstar
Wed Nov 13, 2019 1:13 pm
Forum: Personal Investments
Topic: Recently married, early 30's portfolio/fire advice?
Replies: 21
Views: 1551

Re: Recently married, early 30's portfolio/fire advice?

Do you have excess "savings" in your cash funds? You said you already have the 20% down-payment and EF, right? I would completely max out your 401k for 2019 - both you and your spouse should contribute the maximum amount allowed per paycheck until 12/31/19, or you hit the $19k limit. Use your cash s...
by surfstar
Tue Nov 12, 2019 6:14 pm
Forum: Personal Investments
Topic: BRK.B
Replies: 17
Views: 1640

Re: BRK.B

Keep one share and get 8% discount at Geico.
viewtopic.php?t=209721
by surfstar
Tue Nov 12, 2019 1:16 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Homebuying in Los Angeles - Advice Needed
Replies: 54
Views: 3625

Re: Homebuying in Los Angeles - Advice Needed

https://www.nytimes.com/interactive/201 ... lator.html

Can't believe no one mentioned this yet. Try to run some numbers for different scenarios. Don't forget about the hassle that comes with home ownership - maintenance DIY or p-a-y for it.
by surfstar
Mon Nov 11, 2019 12:01 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Saving for a new vehicle
Replies: 33
Views: 2934

Re: Saving for a new vehicle

I don't think there are any mind blowing new safety features within the last five years. Seven years, maybe. At ten years, I'd say it's definitely time to get the new generation of safety features. Adaptive Cruise Control is becoming standard, Automatic Emergency Braking, backup cameras, testing fo...
by surfstar
Sat Nov 09, 2019 12:26 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: shocking hospital fee estimate
Replies: 45
Views: 3957

Re: shocking hospital fee estimate

This is our healthcare system.

Its also why many of the well-off Bogleheads, "coincidentally" are physicians.
by surfstar
Sat Nov 09, 2019 12:25 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Should I Travel ot Ecuador?
Replies: 33
Views: 2079

Re: Should I Travel ot Ecuador?

How about some anecdotes just for local color. When I was in Quito in 2011 every bank branch had a guard carrying a carbine standing in the entryway. Number of times I have observed bank guards in New York City banks carrying carbines = 0. They do this in Costa Rica too - not quite known for its cr...
by surfstar
Sat Nov 09, 2019 12:11 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Singles/DINKs in HCOL/VHCOL areas, can you please share your budget?
Replies: 20
Views: 2465

Re: Singles/DINKs in HCOL/VHCOL areas, can you please share your budget?

I'll ballpark it, for Santa Barbara, CA, 2 person household: Rent: $2800-3500 (pretty basic 2br at that price, actually) Our actual # for a 2/2 condo is ~$3800 mo, includes HOA, mortgage, taxes and 1% towards maint. Utilities: $170 Internet: $70 Cellphone: $50 Transportation: $750-900 (own 2 newer c...
by surfstar
Fri Nov 08, 2019 7:15 pm
Forum: Personal Investments
Topic: Talk Me Off the Active Investing Ledge!
Replies: 34
Views: 2041

Re: Talk Me Off the Active Investing Ledge!

Past performance...
by surfstar
Fri Nov 08, 2019 7:11 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: How bad business travel is?
Replies: 61
Views: 4657

Re: How bad business travel is?

Per diem, plus airline/hotel points = even more of a bonus

At least in our experience.
by surfstar
Fri Nov 08, 2019 6:51 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Question for Car experts - how urgent/important are these maintenance items
Replies: 36
Views: 3304

Re: Question for Car experts - how urgent/important are these maintenance items

I am pleasantly surprised how well belts and hoses hold up in today's vehicles. Agreed. Belts are constructed very well and have been for a while. I thought about changing the serpentine belt in my 2005 Saturn Vue, at around 90k, but inspected it and saw no issues. It was perfectly fine still when ...
by surfstar
Fri Nov 08, 2019 5:38 pm
Forum: Personal Investments
Topic: Investment Ideas
Replies: 49
Views: 2971

Re: Investment Ideas

That is what I offered to him and I think he would great great benefits of it. There is just one problem I see here: If he maxes out both him and his wife’s 491k-s that $100,000 would last only about 4 years. And after exhausted that money he wouldn’t be able to continue maxing out. Any suggestions...
by surfstar
Fri Nov 08, 2019 5:31 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Saving for a new vehicle
Replies: 33
Views: 2934

Re: Saving for a new vehicle

(e.g. we purchased a Prius Prime months sooner than we planned. Just found out that a $1500 CA rebate would have no longer applied, had we not bought when we did. Waiting even weeks would have cost us more, for sure.) Are the rules for 35 miles already in effect? I thought they will start sometime ...
by surfstar
Fri Nov 08, 2019 12:33 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Saving for a new vehicle
Replies: 33
Views: 2934

Re: Saving for a new vehicle

Despite being a fairly frugal person, I've come to realize that a well-purchased new car is a good value overall. Coming from someone who always bought used and considered anything with less than 100k - very low mileage! While you are saving up, keep an eye on the auto market. If you time it right, ...
by surfstar
Fri Nov 08, 2019 12:27 pm
Forum: Personal Investments
Topic: Investment Ideas
Replies: 49
Views: 2971

Re: Investment Ideas

I might have missed the earlier discussion of using the funds to max the 401k, but that seems to be the best way by far to utilize the money.
As you note, the reduction in taxable income will also be beneficial.

Sounds like a solid plan.
by surfstar
Fri Nov 08, 2019 10:51 am
Forum: Personal Investments
Topic: Investment Ideas
Replies: 49
Views: 2971

Re: Investment Ideas

Now that you mention that he is not max'ing out his 401k - that is the perfect place to put this money. Tell "your friend" to maximize his 401k, his spouses (if available) and both Roth IRAs too, if possible. Take any shortfall of monthly funds from this $100k. After a few years the 100k will be in...
by surfstar
Thu Nov 07, 2019 4:21 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Wait for Social Security - breakeven returns
Replies: 103
Views: 9061

Re: Wait for Social Security - breakeven returns

Are you really going to be disappointed that you are still alive, but have a lower SS payment? I think so, yes. If I took reduced SS at 62 and I lived to be 87, I would probably be disappointed at myself for making that decision. My argument is that is you are that lucid and healthy at age 87 - gre...
by surfstar
Thu Nov 07, 2019 4:15 pm
Forum: Personal Investments
Topic: MMA or Savings or Cash Management
Replies: 21
Views: 1288

Re: MMA or Savings or Cash Management

2.25% up to 50k
https://allamerica.bank/personal/bankin ... t-checking

You know its better b/c its a MMMA - Mega Money Market Account ;)
by surfstar
Thu Nov 07, 2019 2:26 pm
Forum: Personal Investments
Topic: EOY Investments - Roth or HSA? (New Guy!)
Replies: 5
Views: 243

Re: EOY Investments - Roth or HSA? (New Guy!)

BOTH!

HSA for sure

Then fund Roth by 4/15/20
by surfstar
Thu Nov 07, 2019 2:14 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Fidelity - promotion bonus
Replies: 43
Views: 6132

Re: Fidelity - promotion bonus

Agreed.

I did a Citibank and Bank of the West savings account promos this year - netting $500 + $250
Citi required $15k + a few transfers, BW $250 + transfers.

$1m for $600-2500 - meh
by surfstar
Thu Nov 07, 2019 1:59 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Wait for Social Security - breakeven returns
Replies: 103
Views: 9061

Re: Wait for Social Security - breakeven returns

:sharebeer :sharebeer If we just knew when we were going to die, it'd be much easier to precisely calculate! Then we'd also know when to quit working too! The calculators tell us to delay to 70, that's for sure. We'll just have to see how we feel and what our finances look like at 62 (20+ years awa...
by surfstar
Thu Nov 07, 2019 12:57 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Madza CX-5 2018 vs 2019
Replies: 14
Views: 970

Re: Madza CX-5 2018 vs 2019

The best bang for your buck, is always the lowest price trim. You get the car, the engine, everything that matters. The "extras" is where they fleece buyers. You can option a car to cost 40% more - same engine, same car - not much value in that, IMO. Especially with most cars coming very well equipp...
by surfstar
Thu Nov 07, 2019 12:34 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Wait for Social Security - breakeven returns
Replies: 103
Views: 9061

Re: Wait for Social Security - breakeven returns

One point I don't think is brought up enough is you're not going to "care" when you're dead that you didn't "break even" on this gamble. But you're definitely going to care if you withdrew earlier and are locked into that lower payment stream forever and you live a longer life. I don't know about t...
by surfstar
Wed Nov 06, 2019 9:18 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: My New Car Buying Tips
Replies: 350
Views: 111217

Re: My New Car Buying Tips

Last purchase we never spoke to the person until we met them in person at the dealer. All email. Went perfectly. I'm not saying you can't get a decent price and a smooth car-buying process via email only. I'm simply saying that if you want the BEST opportunity to save the MOST amount of money, pick...
by surfstar
Wed Nov 06, 2019 7:57 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: My New Car Buying Tips
Replies: 350
Views: 111217

Re: My New Car Buying Tips

I never give a real phone # - I don't want to hear a salesperson try and con their way through a "deal" with me. If they want our business, put it in writing. I always use 867-5309 for my number, yet none of them get it. "I tried calling the number you gave and it didn't work. Please call me to disc...
by surfstar
Wed Nov 06, 2019 6:48 pm
Forum: Personal Investments
Topic: Investment Ideas
Replies: 49
Views: 2971

Re: Investment Ideas

We recently refinanced. Got a lower rate, lowered our monthly payment, kept a 30 yr, which extended our loan by 30 months. We are investing the difference of our lower payments in a taxable account - after analyzing that we should, vs pay off the 3.5% loan early. Took out $0. Thought that was normal...
by surfstar
Wed Nov 06, 2019 12:14 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: What car fits comfortably 3 adults with luggages?
Replies: 63
Views: 1854

Re: What car fits comfortably 3 adults with luggages?

Yes, rent the largest SUV possible! Introduce them to America - the land of land-yachts! Or use the existing vehicle you have and make it work. This is 100% what people in other countries do. Improvise. Work with what you have. Don't spend money needlessly. Etc, etc. Oh, my experience credentials as...
by surfstar
Mon Nov 04, 2019 10:09 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Permit Pulled Without My Knowledge
Replies: 14
Views: 2158

Re: Permit Pulled Without My Knowledge

Usually you need a valid owner authorization to pull a permit.

I wouldn't worry though. Its a sign that the buyer is ready to move in quickly. Don't let them do any work prior to closing, unless it was part of escrow negotiations.
by surfstar
Sun Nov 03, 2019 10:39 am
Forum: Personal Investments
Topic: At the halfway mark, need help with 2 big decisions
Replies: 30
Views: 3162

Re: At the halfway mark, need help with 2 big decisions

HINAP wrote:
Sun Nov 03, 2019 7:35 am
Working 80+ hours a week and all weekend, every weekend with high stress work non-stop
Toxic culture
1. That is not living.

2. If the new job "pays 50% less" is that at 40 hrs / week? If so that sounds like the same pay rate, and a lower tax rate.
by surfstar
Sun Nov 03, 2019 10:02 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Cell phone service
Replies: 21
Views: 1644

Re: Cell phone service

I was also going to say "Visible"
Get 4 family/friends together and I believe it is $25ea
Also they are running a $100/$200 promotion to switch, right now. It would require all of us to get new phones, so we're staying with Cricket (same $25, for unlimited 4 lines, but AT&T vs VZW network)
by surfstar
Fri Nov 01, 2019 2:29 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Time for a new car - Corolla or Civic...
Replies: 101
Views: 9759

Re: Time for a new car - Corolla or Civic...

another Prius Prime vote Our NET price including taxes, fees, tags, forthcoming rebates and tax credits, etc: $18,729 We just purchased one. Wasn't on our radar until I stumbled across the fact that tax credits are still available (I assumed they were phased out or only applied to full EVs) For deta...
by surfstar
Thu Oct 31, 2019 11:22 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Better.com for New Home Mortgage? Reliable?
Replies: 13
Views: 1035

Re: Better.com for New Home Mortgage? Reliable?

Online is great, especially for refi's. First purchase, we used a local broker that the RE agents liked. Their rate actually wasn't that bad - probably an 1/8 higher, but it was smooth. Just refi'd last month with online broker: Save Financial. Great service from a smaller place and best rate of any...
by surfstar
Thu Oct 31, 2019 3:26 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Has anyone issued a private mortgage?
Replies: 15
Views: 1807

Re: Has anyone issued a private mortgage?

Those aren't really comps if they are larger and in much better shape. The value of something is what someone is willing to pay. If you'd rather put sweat equity into it and take potentially more months in order to get the beneficiaries a bit more money; that's noble. I'd say it's not much different...
by surfstar
Thu Oct 31, 2019 2:13 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Possible Layoff: Need Assurance That We Will Be Okay
Replies: 153
Views: 12448

Re: Possible Layoff: Need Assurance That We Will Be Okay

$40k on furniture? IKEA and Craigslist. Is this one of those humble-brag posts? http://www.globalrichlist.com/wealth If someone in the 0.08% of the richest people in the world is loosing sleep over their money... they have other issues besides finances (and we're not allowed to discuss personal medi...
by surfstar
Thu Oct 31, 2019 2:06 pm
Forum: Personal Investments
Topic: Worried I am getting addicted to individual stocks.
Replies: 113
Views: 7324

Re: Worried I am getting addicted to individual stocks.

Just put new contributions into an index fund. That 35% will go down soon enough. No need to undo anything.

Congrats on an apparently awesome savings rate.
by surfstar
Thu Oct 31, 2019 9:43 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: My New Car Buying Tips
Replies: 350
Views: 111217

Re: My New Car Buying Tips

#1 tip - don't shop when you NEED a car (much easier to jump on a deal vs buy the first thing) ...recent purchase we pulled off: $27,600 -- 2020 Prius Prime LE in Blue Magnetism $930 -- destination/delivery $259 -- all weather floor mats + cargo liner $125 -- door edge guards $79 -- rear bumper appl...
by surfstar
Tue Oct 29, 2019 2:55 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: How much do you plan to spend on your children's weddings?
Replies: 182
Views: 8787

Re: How much do you plan to spend on your children's weddings?

Because this answer is just as relevant as anyone's in these insanely YMMV-type posts:

We plan to spend $1,000,000 on each child's wedding.












We have 0 children.
by surfstar
Tue Oct 29, 2019 2:21 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Do I Have a Crummy Local Government Pension?
Replies: 51
Views: 4107

Re: Do I Have a Crummy Local Government Pension?

Does it look like I get a poor value for putting 9.25% of my salary into the plan? Would you be excited to have this benefit at your job? Or would you reluctantly accept it because the job as a whole is a very good one? If the job is a very good one, you should happily accept it as a benefit. Fund ...
by surfstar
Tue Oct 29, 2019 1:01 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: California Fires: Landlord/Tenant Question
Replies: 71
Views: 4119

Re: California Fires: Landlord/Tenant Question

LL doesn't provide the power. The utility company does. Utility Co shuts off power: the renter, LL and everyone else in that area is out of luck. In this case the LL isn't out of luck at all. They are still getting uninterrupted rent on the home. LL could own and live in the same affected community...
by surfstar
Tue Oct 29, 2019 12:54 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: California Fires: Landlord/Tenant Question
Replies: 71
Views: 4119

Re: California Fires: Landlord/Tenant Question

LL doesn't provide the power. The utility company does. If a rental has a backup generator, Tesla Powerwall, etc - that is an amenity and they can charge higher rent for that. If the power goes out b/c the LL failed to pay a bill, do maintenance, etc, then yes, they could withhold rent. Utility Co s...
by surfstar
Mon Oct 28, 2019 2:25 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: How long is too long to receive an order from an online merchant?
Replies: 9
Views: 543

Re: How long is too long to receive an order from an online merchant?

Sounds shady. Was the price too good to be true?
Unless its a large/heavy item and slow shipping, I'd be telling them I'm disputing the charge if status doesn't change within 24 hours.
by surfstar
Thu Oct 24, 2019 5:41 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Spending Money - Surprising Low Fun Return
Replies: 58
Views: 6234

Re: Spending Money - Surprising Low Fun Return

We also don't aspire to purchase items or "spend" money. Our goal of early retirement is to simply have time to do the things we love to do on the weekends (and longer trips), but full-time.

If anyone would like to donate to our FIRE fund, feel free ;)
by surfstar
Thu Oct 24, 2019 12:10 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Carrying cash from overseas
Replies: 9
Views: 947

Re: Carrying cash from overseas

because money laundering
by surfstar
Thu Oct 24, 2019 10:47 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Part time job (20h/wk) - how to shield income from taxes?
Replies: 36
Views: 2294

Re: Part time job (20h/wk) - how to shield income from taxes?

Cart Horse Its almost November - you won't have to worry about 2019 "tax shielding" 2020 is a full year - I feel like if she's actively looking for a different / full-time position, what's the chance she actually stays in this 20hr/week job for a full year? Seems like all this worry about paying tax...
by surfstar
Tue Oct 22, 2019 1:39 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: car battery change or not? 2 year old battery
Replies: 118
Views: 6296

Re: car battery change or not? 2 year old battery

I'm not that old (born '80), but I am going to miss the simplicity of being able to push start a stick shift. In college, I had a Mazda with the starter going out, it would intermittently "stick" and not start. I parked selectively, backed-in, not facing uphill, and if it "stuck", could push start i...
by surfstar
Sat Oct 12, 2019 12:43 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Seller misrepresented fulfillment of defect fixes - next steps? sue?
Replies: 55
Views: 5039

Re: Seller misrepresented fulfillment of defect fixes - next steps? sue?

You signed an acceptance that the work was done - based on what they gave you / told you. You didn't inspect the work, you're not a chimney/building inspector and didn't have time to hire one, let alone feel the need to hire one. Based on your description, it sounds like they falsely represented tha...
by surfstar
Fri Oct 11, 2019 11:16 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: $575 to replace rear brake pads and rotors on a 2017 Subaru Forester?
Replies: 64
Views: 4447

Re: $575 to replace rear brake pads and rotors on a 2017 Subaru Forester?

OP - less than 36k miles? https://www.subaru.com/owners/vehicle-warranty/warranties-2017.html Wear Item Limited Warranty WEAR ITEM COVERAGE is 3 years or 36,000 miles, whichever comes first. Items covered are brake pad/shoe linings, clutch linings, and wiper blades. Also, do you drive with hard/fast...
by surfstar
Wed Oct 09, 2019 4:55 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Cold feet - Radiant subfloor heating question
Replies: 26
Views: 2208

Re: Cold feet - Radiant subfloor heating question

Uggs are great. As a surfer, I was wearing them for a decade+ before Oprah put them on her wish list one year and then all the celebrities were wearing them to get coffee or walk their dogs in 65* CA "weather". They're great for cold feet after surfing and also for around the house in the winter. Tr...