Search found 259 matches

by mmcmonster
Tue Oct 16, 2018 5:52 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: "MegaMillions and Powerball jackpots combined are now $1B" - Good investment?
Replies: 55
Views: 2707

Re: "MegaMillions and Powerball jackpots combined are now $1B" - Good investment?

folks at work did a pool thing, I opted out as I don't subscribe to these types of things...was given a hard time since it was only a $2 contribution but it's ok. I don't gamble as it's against my principle. My work does a pool periodically as well, generally when the numbers are over $100M. I alwa...
by mmcmonster
Sat Oct 13, 2018 5:40 am
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: whats the consensus on muni % allocation
Replies: 9
Views: 1204

Re: whats the consensus on muni % allocation

[...]I have about 65% of my bonds in state muni. I live in PA and make sure that no more than 30% of my bonds are PA muni. No need to concentrate my risk on the bond side. Currently I am: In taxable: 29% VPALX - PA Muni 35% VWIUX - Intermediate Term Muni In Tax Deferred: 9% VBTLX - Total Bonds 27% ...
by mmcmonster
Thu Oct 11, 2018 5:08 am
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: whats the consensus on muni % allocation
Replies: 9
Views: 1204

Re: whats the consensus on muni % allocation

I'm in a high tax bracket. I have about 65% of my bonds in state muni. I live in PA and make sure that no more than 30% of my bonds are PA muni. No need to concentrate my risk on the bond side. Currently I am: In taxable: 29% VPALX - PA Muni 35% VWIUX - Intermediate Term Muni In Tax Deferred: 9% VBT...
by mmcmonster
Tue Oct 09, 2018 12:20 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: What is your annual cost for health insurance?
Replies: 137
Views: 9579

Re: What is your annual cost for health insurance?

[...]This is one of the annoying things about the retire early crowd. If you're uncomfortable with the healthcare situation in your life/our country (which is totally broken IMO, so I'm with you there), then keep working. Retirement (especially "retiring early") isn't a right, it's a privilege. It'...
by mmcmonster
Mon Oct 08, 2018 7:26 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: What is your annual cost for health insurance?
Replies: 137
Views: 9579

Re: What is your annual cost for health insurance?

As am American, I find this quite depressing. In order to retire and not worry about medical expenses, I've got four options: 1 - Wait until I'm 65 years old to get Medicare -- So much for retiring early. :? 2 - Get a disease state that puts me on Medicare at an early age -- But I don't want to be o...
by mmcmonster
Fri Oct 05, 2018 5:11 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Solar Panel Installation?
Replies: 19
Views: 1433

Re: Solar Panel Installation?

As a new solar purchaser, we ended up with 108% of our previous year's usage. Reasons include: 1 - Kids are getting into middle and high school and will be coming straight home and spend more time up later at night. 2 - Comfort in keeping AC a little cooler. 3 - Consideration for a second electric (...
by mmcmonster
Wed Oct 03, 2018 11:30 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: How many months/years of living expenses do you save each year?
Replies: 29
Views: 3411

Re: How many months/years of living expenses do you save each year?

Isn't this the same question as "what percentage of your post-tax dollars do you save each year"? I guess it's easier for me to figure out how much I save each year (I can just look that up on my Vanguard app) and subtract that amount from my income minus taxes to figure out what my expenses are eac...
by mmcmonster
Wed Sep 26, 2018 5:03 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: How much money do you want to retire?
Replies: 621
Views: 76374

Re: How much money do you want to retire?

How much money do you want to retire? Please also state your age. Also assume your pensions will be zero. My wife and I are 47y/o. My kids are 11 and 14. My goal is 5M *and* have my kids be financially independent (meaning out of college without loans, good careers, settled down, and married). Whic...
by mmcmonster
Mon Sep 24, 2018 8:17 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: FIL bought land with 6 other people, and one passed away
Replies: 8
Views: 1648

Re: FIL bought land with 6 other people, and one passed away

I don’t understand the bank not being willing to accept payment unless the loan document forbids prepayments. Gill There are probably legal ramifications if the payments are made in full (someone pays the share of the deceased individual) and then the deceased's share is contested. The person or gr...
by mmcmonster
Mon Sep 24, 2018 3:30 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Ripped off by a locksmith
Replies: 75
Views: 5721

Re: Ripped off by a locksmith

[...]This reminds me of a story about a repairman who fixed a giant ship engine. He examined it and simply used a hammer to tap something, which instantly fixed it. He gave them a bill that charged $2 for tapping with a hammer, and $9998 for knowing where to tap. :) So, yeah, you're not paying for ...
by mmcmonster
Tue Sep 18, 2018 4:04 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Solar Install w/ SolarCity
Replies: 36
Views: 2596

Re: Solar Install w/ SolarCity

For those who have installed power walls, did this affect your home insurance? I told my insurance agent (State Farm) about the installation. They increased my coverage by about the same as the total cost of the installation. He also came by and took pictures of the panel layout and number of panel...
by mmcmonster
Mon Sep 17, 2018 5:08 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Solar Install w/ SolarCity
Replies: 36
Views: 2596

Re: Solar Install w/ SolarCity

Sound like the power companies need to invest in battery technology. The Tesla batteries are able to take up sudden increases in load nearly instantaneously (much faster than any generator or power plant could spin up). https://news.slashdot.org/story/18/05/11/2324230/teslas-giant-battery-in-austra...
by mmcmonster
Mon Sep 17, 2018 11:17 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Solar Install w/ SolarCity
Replies: 36
Views: 2596

Re: Solar Install w/ SolarCity

Interesting analysis. As others have mentioned, that is too long of a break-even to interest me. Here in Arizona, solar sounds great, but there is quite a penalty from the electric company (fees) for going with solar. We looked into it, but our relatively low use of AC would make the payoff even lo...
by mmcmonster
Mon Sep 17, 2018 5:14 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Solar Install w/ SolarCity
Replies: 36
Views: 2596

Re: Solar Install w/ SolarCity

My System: 41.5 kWh storage with 3 PowerWalls (each has capacity of 13.5 kWh) Over the last three years we average ~19,300 kWh @ 12.5cents/kWh ($2400) Am I reading this right? You use on average 19,300 kWh/year and three Powerwallas store 41.5 kWH, meaning once they are full charged, you will have ...
by mmcmonster
Sun Sep 16, 2018 8:52 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Solar Install w/ SolarCity
Replies: 36
Views: 2596

Re: Solar Install w/ SolarCity

My System: 41.5 kWh storage with 3 PowerWalls (each has capacity of 13.5 kWh) Over the last three years we average ~19,300 kWh @ 12.5cents/kWh ($2400) Am I reading this right? You use on average 19,300 kWh/year and three Powerwallas store 41.5 kWH, meaning once they are full charged, you will have ...
by mmcmonster
Sun Sep 16, 2018 5:54 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Solar Install w/ SolarCity
Replies: 36
Views: 2596

Re: Solar Install w/ SolarCity

Interesting analysis. As others have mentioned, that is too long of a break-even to interest me. Here in Arizona, solar sounds great, but there is quite a penalty from the electric company (fees) for going with solar. We looked into it, but our relatively low use of AC would make the payoff even lo...
by mmcmonster
Sun Sep 16, 2018 5:41 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Solar Install w/ SolarCity
Replies: 36
Views: 2596

Re: Solar Install w/ SolarCity

Is there anything I can put on my roof that would tell me my generating capacity that doesn't cost a lot of money? The SolarCity rep came to my house and took some pictures of the roof and anything tall enough to put shade on it (we have one tree near the house). He then put all the info into an ap...
by mmcmonster
Sat Sep 15, 2018 8:04 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Solar Install w/ SolarCity
Replies: 36
Views: 2596

Re: Solar Install w/ SolarCity

fareastwarriors wrote:
Sat Sep 15, 2018 7:49 pm
Thanks for sharing. Could you separate the panel cost from the Powerwall cost?
They didn't give a breakdown for the PowerWalls. They did say it was roughly ~$7k each, plus installation costs.
by mmcmonster
Sat Sep 15, 2018 7:33 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Solar Install w/ SolarCity
Replies: 36
Views: 2596

Re: Solar Install w/ SolarCity

Some replies to the questions: We live in the North East Pennsylvania area. About an hour north of Philadelphia, an hour west of New York City. The panels cover the entire west side (back) of the house and a bit of the south side. The house is probably 5500-6000 square foot, including a finished bas...
by mmcmonster
Sat Sep 15, 2018 4:57 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Solar Install w/ SolarCity
Replies: 36
Views: 2596

Solar Install w/ SolarCity

Just wanted to write my experience down regarding my solar installation with SolarCity (now Tesla). I started the process in 12/2017 and started generating energy in 9/2018. The system took longer to install because they were limited by supplies of the batteries and their installation teams are runn...
by mmcmonster
Sat Sep 15, 2018 10:25 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: How to retire
Replies: 9
Views: 1819

Re: How to retire

That works well if no children or grandchildren involved in the decision. That is the main reason people age in place instead of moving. I always wonder if regret doesn't enter into that decision later. True enough. There's me and my brother. He's married without children. I have two kids. While it...
by mmcmonster
Sat Sep 15, 2018 8:46 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: How to retire
Replies: 9
Views: 1819

How to retire

I see a lot of posts here about when to retire, where to retire, and should you retire. I just wanted to describe how my parents retired. A bit about choosing a time, a place, and plans for what to do afterwards. My parents decided that they were going to retire. In addition to deciding to downsize ...
by mmcmonster
Sat Sep 08, 2018 8:40 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Is it sensible to buy a car from Elon Musk?
Replies: 59
Views: 3124

Re: Is it sensible to buy a car from Elon Musk?

It's a personal decision. The hardware will deprecate but probably run fine. If the company goes bankrupt, the assets will probably get stripped and the new owners will (hopefully) want to cultivate the current customers. Personally, I bought a Model S four years ago. Just got Tesla Solar panels and...
by mmcmonster
Mon Aug 27, 2018 11:50 am
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Should I open a second trading account ?
Replies: 3
Views: 517

Re: Should I open a second trading account ?

When I was first reading on forums about investing, there were many individuals advocating having two brokerage accounts, each actively managed by different investment managers. The idea was that you play them off of each other to get better (lower) expense ratios as well as better performance. Anot...
by mmcmonster
Sat Aug 25, 2018 10:56 am
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Breaking Up and Staying On Good Terms with an Advisor
Replies: 33
Views: 4120

Re: Breaking Up and Staying On Good Terms with an Advisor

Questions How important is my relationship with this guy going to be in the future? I assume he'll play a role in settling my parents' estate. But it'll be just business, right? And there are laws and things to protect me if he's resentful? (I think I sound a little paranoid, and feel free to say s...
by mmcmonster
Sat Aug 25, 2018 5:17 am
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Selling all equities, discuss why I'm wrong. :)
Replies: 289
Views: 44691

Re: Selling all equities, discuss why I'm wrong. :)

An update in this market turbulence. [...] My actual portfolio deviated a bit from my model and like I said in my last update I started buying far out of the money puts and rolling them over which has generally been a money sink, but this month seems to be working well. With the options included, I...
by mmcmonster
Fri Aug 17, 2018 5:16 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Boglehead Birthday Gift for 50th B Day - Fine Spirits
Replies: 29
Views: 2101

Re: Boglehead Birthday Gift for 50th B Day - Fine Spirits

Nicolas wrote:
Thu Aug 16, 2018 6:45 pm
How about a case of Bogle wine? It's quite good stuff.
Image
Wanted to second the Bogle wine. My wife and I love it! :beer
by mmcmonster
Wed Jul 18, 2018 7:56 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Question about new construction basement houses
Replies: 19
Views: 1497

Re: Question about new construction basement houses

We did a custom new construction about 7 years ago. The outside of the concrete foundation was wrapped in a watertight seal to prevent water seeping in the sides. French drains are pretty standard as well. Make sure you add a dehumidifier that goes into either a pit with a pump in it or something el...
by mmcmonster
Tue Jul 17, 2018 9:36 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Anyone not have a Budget?
Replies: 115
Views: 7633

Re: Anyone not have a Budget?

Never had a budget. Wife and I are quite frugal and have always automatically lived below our means. We do consciously save more (ie: not put in investment accounts) when we are planning a large purchase. That being said, I keep track of all expenses in a massive spreadsheet: Over the last few years...
by mmcmonster
Mon Jul 16, 2018 12:36 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Why own a bed?
Replies: 140
Views: 10135

Re: Why own a bed?

The trend around me is heavy duty boxsprings and extra thick mattresses. We got rid of the box springs on my kids beds and replaced them with 2x4s cut to the exact needed length at the local Home Depot (cut for free). The 2x4s rest on the edges of the frame. (That's why the cut has to be near-perfe...
by mmcmonster
Mon Jul 16, 2018 12:33 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: $13 Million Goal for Early Retirement (am I crazy?)
Replies: 179
Views: 33935

Re: $13 Million Goal for Early Retirement (am I crazy?)

You may be overestimating how much travel you want to do. Travel is awesome and fun. But traveling ALL THE TIME is exhausting! You'll likely find that budgeting $10,000 a month to expenses is WAY too much. For $10,000, you would go on a 30-day cruise for two. I've been thinking about this, as I hop...
by mmcmonster
Mon Jul 16, 2018 11:33 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Why own a bed?
Replies: 140
Views: 10135

Re: Why own a bed?

The trend around me is heavy duty boxsprings and extra thick mattresses. We got rid of the box springs on my kids beds and replaced them with 2x4s cut to the exact needed length at the local Home Depot (cut for free). The 2x4s rest on the edges of the frame. (That's why the cut has to be near-perfec...
by mmcmonster
Thu Jul 12, 2018 5:23 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Keeping a checkbook register
Replies: 122
Views: 9734

Re: Keeping a checkbook register

I've used a LibreOffice Spreadsheet (The spreadsheet is older, originally in Excel, then OpenOffice, now LibreOffice) for all my banking needs. First few columns are Reconciliation, Date, Description. Then I have three for the Bank: Withdrawal, Deposit, Balance. Then I have three columns for each of...
by mmcmonster
Tue Jul 10, 2018 4:19 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Masterbath Remodel - Tub or No Tub ?
Replies: 57
Views: 3595

Re: Masterbath Remodel - Tub or No Tub ?

Our master bath: Love the large shower with a large seat area (seats two). It has a regular shower head, four jets, and a rain head as well. In addition it has a hand-held shower head installed near the seat so you can sit and shower any one particular area. We have a 5/8" tempered glass shower door...
by mmcmonster
Tue Jul 10, 2018 12:09 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Going solar?
Replies: 73
Views: 6243

Re: Going solar?

Can anybody explain the difference between getting a propane generator vs "getting solar and backup battery" that mmcmonster is doing? Meaning what can and can't be run functionally during a power outage? Regarding Propane Generator vs. Solar: They both produce electricity. So if you have a large e...
by mmcmonster
Tue Jul 10, 2018 7:01 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Going solar?
Replies: 73
Views: 6243

Re: Going solar?

I'm getting solar installed ... today! For me, it's more that my local electrical utility isn't quite as reliable as when I moved here, ~7 years ago. I'm concerned that over the next few years it's going to get less stable. In addition, I'm getting solar and battery backup instead of getting a propa...
by mmcmonster
Mon Jul 02, 2018 5:02 am
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Do you own just 5% of anything?
Replies: 65
Views: 5194

Re: Do you own just 5% of anything?

I own 5% of Total International. Because I'm not convinced that I need international, but it's nice to have a little so I'm not totally missing out on the party. I own 1% of Vanguard Health Care ETF. It used to be more but I decided to stop buying it and no longer consider part of my asset allocatio...
by mmcmonster
Fri Jun 29, 2018 5:24 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Did you celebrate when you finally hit $1m?
Replies: 209
Views: 22296

Re: Did you celebrate when you finally hit $1m?

We hit it in 10/2015. Didn't make much of a deal about it, because it's always dependent on how you calculate it. We had already paid off our mortgage and the number didn't include college savings plans for the kids. I think we just opened a bottle of wine that week. :beer Same when we hit 2M. The o...
by mmcmonster
Tue Jun 05, 2018 5:14 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: How much money do you want to retire?
Replies: 621
Views: 76374

Re: How much money do you want to retire?

Wife and I are both 47. Kids are 14 and 11. Will "slow down" when I hit $5M outside of 529 plans (in roughly 5 years). I'll retire ... when I get a good offer from my friends (NOT from my work). My retirement plan (and I've discussed this with friends and family) is to find a group of like-minded pe...
by mmcmonster
Fri May 25, 2018 5:45 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Rum and Summer Cocktails
Replies: 30
Views: 2229

Re: Rum and Summer Cocktails

A good Rum & Coke is a great drink. But it has to be a good (white) rum and a good (non-US) Coke. The rum will bring out the flavors of the Coca-Cola. Just make sure you get real Coke, not that High Fructose Corn Syrup nonsense that's ubiquitous in the U.S. Look in the foreign foods aisle of the gro...
by mmcmonster
Thu May 24, 2018 6:21 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: High End Wrist Watches (Gone Crazy)
Replies: 249
Views: 27494

Re: High End Wrist Watches (Gone Crazy)

Watches are worn for style. Men are allowed a minimal amount of jewelry. Watches and cufflinks are about all that are tolerated by society. (And it's been a while since cufflinks were considered commonplace.) I personally like the Omega Seamaster collection. ( https://www.omegawatches.com/en-us/watc...
by mmcmonster
Mon May 14, 2018 4:34 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Best way to define "rich"?
Replies: 32
Views: 2600

Re: Best way to define "rich"?

But how does one define rich? Rich is never having to wonder if you can afford to buy or do something. You just go and get it/do it. Not a very useful answer, as it's unreachable for most of humanity. But it is something to aspire towards... maybe? I prefer the definition that Rich is being able to...
by mmcmonster
Tue May 01, 2018 7:06 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Home Theater Stereo/Speakers
Replies: 72
Views: 5928

Re: Home Theater Stereo/Speakers

You've got a lot of great recommendations. I'll just give a few tips after furnishing my house with a wide variety of sound options. Get a subwoofer that is comparable quality to the speakers. Subwoofers will add depth to any speakers and you'll appreciate the difference once you hear it. When you i...
by mmcmonster
Mon Apr 09, 2018 4:17 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: New Lexus LS or Tesla Model S
Replies: 63
Views: 5320

Re: New Lexus LS or Tesla Model S

Tesla hands down. We have driven one since 2013. Onto our second Model S now that they’re all wheel drive and have auto pilot capabilities. Given the choice we won’t ever go back to an ICE. Love the quiet and the insane acceleration. I have the Spring 2014 Tesla Model S. I love it and will never go...
by mmcmonster
Tue Mar 27, 2018 5:52 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: NYC Real Estate
Replies: 13
Views: 1895

Re: NYC Real Estate

My parents lived in Staten Island for > 30 years. There's some really nice areas near the ferry which are inexpensive.

Just mentioning another option. If you ask someone who lives in the other boroughs, they'd turn their nose up at mentioning S.I. :twisted:
by mmcmonster
Sat Mar 24, 2018 5:04 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: changing my signature when signing checks and credit card receipts
Replies: 47
Views: 3854

Re: changing my signature when signing checks and credit card receipts

I have a middle name that I never use. Over the years I think I actually dropped my middle name for just an initial. My passport and drivers license have the middle initial. Once, a few years ago, I had to sign something which wasn't a big deal. I think it was for school or some such. I signed my fi...
by mmcmonster
Sat Mar 24, 2018 5:00 am
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: "I won the Lottery" update -
Replies: 33
Views: 9006

Re: "I won the Lottery" update -

Very happy for you and your family.

You've taken a fantastic thing and made it even better for you and yours. You've made yourself a better person and will impart that wisdom to your children, too. :beer
by mmcmonster
Thu Mar 15, 2018 5:25 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: How to Thank/Reward Realtor
Replies: 28
Views: 2567

Re: How to Thank/Reward Realtor

Our realtor was an elderly gentleman who helped us buy two houses and rent in between, over the course of six years. He was exceedingly knowledgeable and was semi-retired when helping us with our last purchase. So certainly on the business end we couldn't help him too much with referrals. After he r...
by mmcmonster
Sun Mar 11, 2018 10:08 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Men's Cologne
Replies: 66
Views: 6166

Re: Men's Cologne

I like CK One.

Bought a bottle when I was 25 and it's still there 20+ years later. I use it at most once a year, when going out with DW and she bugs me about how the bottle's been sitting around for (literally) decades. :P
by mmcmonster
Mon Mar 05, 2018 5:43 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Travel insurance for foreign tourists in U.S.
Replies: 2
Views: 323

Travel insurance for foreign tourists in U.S.

My DW's parents are coming to visit the U.S. this summer and plan on staying ~6-8 weeks. My father-in-law has multiple medical issues but is fairly stable on his medications. Any pointers on how and where to get travel insurance for my inlaws (or even just him), to cover unexpected medical expenses....