Search found 50 matches

by kDictavissent
Thu Jun 29, 2017 11:30 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Advice on real estate options (pied a terre + rental)
Replies: 4
Views: 748

Advice on real estate options (pied a terre + rental)

Question for those of you with interests in real estate. We have relocated but my spouse's job is still requiring that they are back in our home city, 125 miles away, currently about 50% of the month. That will drop to 25% of the month in the near future, but ongoing for the foreseeable future. As w...
by kDictavissent
Sun Feb 05, 2017 9:27 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: get rid of landline but keep access to 911
Replies: 38
Views: 12876

Re: get rid of landline but keep access to 911

At one point in the 2000s, in a certain state, I was told that landlines had to remain provisioned to the local central office even if service was not active so that emergency 911 calls could be placed. I do NOT know if this is the case anymore or in all states (and I certainly wouldn't test it by t...
by kDictavissent
Thu Sep 15, 2016 11:14 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Favorite Coffee
Replies: 147
Views: 20569

Re: Favorite Coffee

On a work trip to East Africa earlier this year, both the home where we stayed and the organization we visited would boil water in an electric kettle and serve a Tanzanian instant coffee called Africafe. My first reaction to the idea of instant was memories of awful crystalline instant coffees like ...
by kDictavissent
Tue May 10, 2016 6:27 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Traveling through Nairobi - thoughts on quick park visit?
Replies: 3
Views: 554

Re: Traveling through Nairobi - thoughts on quick park visit?

Metacritic -- just wanted to stop back by and say THANK YOU for the advice! We took the excursion and it worked out great. Had absolutely plenty of time and loved the park. Having a great driver/vehicle helped. Little traffic to deal with, and international arrivals in the SkyTeam terminal of NBO wa...
by kDictavissent
Thu Apr 14, 2016 11:30 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Traveling through Nairobi - thoughts on quick park visit?
Replies: 3
Views: 554

Re: Traveling through Nairobi - thoughts on quick park visit?

Metacritic, thanks for this helpful reply! Great advice, will take you up on it!
by kDictavissent
Tue Apr 12, 2016 3:25 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Traveling through Nairobi - thoughts on quick park visit?
Replies: 3
Views: 554

Traveling through Nairobi - thoughts on quick park visit?

O knowledgeable Boglehead types-- In a few weeks I am traveling to Tanzania and Kenya on business. It's a fully-packed ten day agenda -- except for one travel day, where we have a flight from Tanzania arriving at Nairobi at 10:00am, then another flight departing at 6:00pm heading elsewhere in Kenya....
by kDictavissent
Fri Mar 25, 2016 9:12 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Best way to spend one evening in Orlando
Replies: 13
Views: 1570

Re: Best way to spend one evening in Orlando

A second suggestion for Park Avenue in downtown Winter Park if you want something non-touristy. (Well, kinda touristy, but it's where the locals go.)
by kDictavissent
Fri Jan 15, 2016 10:46 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: What age does LBYM (being a big saver) pay off?
Replies: 81
Views: 13738

Re: What age does LBYM (being a big saver) pay off?

Early in my marriage (i.e., mid/late 20s), we never lived beyond our means, but we fully lived into our means. Funny, as our means grew, our living did, too, for a while. (Ironically, my wife read Bernstein's Four Pillars in 2000, at age 25 while briefly out of work, and suggested we LBYM. We do fin...
by kDictavissent
Thu Dec 24, 2015 10:52 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Inexpensive Smartphone for Cricket Wireless
Replies: 20
Views: 3398

Re: Inexpensive Smartphone for Cricket Wireless

Cricket subscriber here. As a rule, I would bring an unlocked phone vs buying from them, since version and security upgrades have been limited. Have previously used a 1st gen Moto G (Cricket locked) on Cricket. From a specs perspective, I definitely concur with going 3rd gen on the G and would buy u...
by kDictavissent
Mon Dec 21, 2015 1:18 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Independent Vendors for Umbrella Policy - Need Advice
Replies: 5
Views: 770

Re: Independent Vendors for Umbrella Policy - Need Advice

My experience is tangentially related to yours but thought another data point might be helpful. We had long had USAA insure our primary home, cars and personal property. When we renovated and moved into a 1920s home, we thought some of USAA's assumptions and estimates were high, but we stayed with t...
by kDictavissent
Sun Aug 09, 2015 9:52 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Verizon Killing off 2-Year Contracts & Phone Subsidies
Replies: 129
Views: 16286

Re: Verizon Killing off 2-Year Contracts & Phone Subsidies

Count me in the group of folks very pleased by this change. I went to Cricket eight months ago. Great carrier and service. Only issue is that a vacation place we have out in the mountains has a U.S. Cellular tower on which Verizon roams but others don't. Assuming we BYOP, 3 GB of shared data plus tw...
by kDictavissent
Sat Jul 04, 2015 10:52 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: What is the best meal you've had at a restaurant?
Replies: 119
Views: 26075

Re: What is the best meal you've had at a restaurant?

I've had great meals in many places, including a 15th-anniversary lunch at Chez Panisse, but these two stand out the most: 1) 5th-anniversary dinner at the late, great Magnolia Grill in Durham, N.C. A real gem that made Gourmet's top-ten US restaurants several times in the 1990s/2000s. Gone a few ye...
by kDictavissent
Thu Jul 02, 2015 11:59 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Auto Loans getting out of control?
Replies: 16
Views: 4527

Re: Auto Loans getting out of control?

Saw this on the WSJ today: http://blogs.wsj.com/totalreturn/2015/06/30/loose-car-lending-practices-trouble-a-regulator/ If you're not a subscriber, Google "Loose Car Lending Practices Trouble a Regulator" and follow the link to get around the paywall. I didn't know this was a thing, but a...
by kDictavissent
Sun Jun 07, 2015 10:14 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Money and cell phones when traveling to Canada
Replies: 40
Views: 8756

Re: Money and cell phones when traveling to Canada

IF you decide you want access to data/voice at other times with your phone, an American iPhone will work fine in Canada in re frequencies. One option is to buy a SIM card for your use in Canada while you're there. The 7-11 convenience store chain sells SpeakOut prepaid mobile service that runs over ...
by kDictavissent
Tue Jun 02, 2015 11:53 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Western Governor's University (WGU)
Replies: 15
Views: 6263

Re: Western Governor's University (WGU)

I'm going to resurrect this thread in hopes that it catches someone's eye who can shed any light as to whether WGU would be a worthwhile investment for someone looking to pursue a reasonably priced MBA program. Any thoughts or experiences on Western Governors University? Between the cost of their d...
by kDictavissent
Fri May 29, 2015 7:59 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: What to do in Raleigh
Replies: 18
Views: 2792

Re: What to do in Raleigh

If you make it over to Durham, check out a Durham Bulls game and the revitalized American Tobacco Campus across the street. The Sarah Duke Gardens are beautiful, as is Duke University's West Campus. Downtown and near it, there are amazing restaurants and bars that explain why Durham (and the broader...
by kDictavissent
Tue May 26, 2015 12:05 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Cellular/wifi traveling to Scotland
Replies: 14
Views: 4476

Re: Cellular/wifi traveling to Scotland

Last year I spent two weeks in England and Scotland. Upon arriving in London, I found an 02 store and picked up a sim card and a one month pre paid plan for my Nexus 4 smart phone. I think I paid 29 pounds for the sim and the one month plan for 2GB of data. We mostly used the data plan for Google m...
by kDictavissent
Thu May 21, 2015 6:35 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: A trip to Disney World - What are the best days during Christmas time?
Replies: 33
Views: 5436

Re: A trip to Disney World - What are the best days during Christmas time?

OP here. Thanks for your suggestions. Wow. I didn't expect to hear an unanimous ‘no'. The reason why we even thought of going around Christmas time was to avoid the crowds and hot weather during summer months. Though we can visit at other times of the year, we have a kid in school, and were not rea...
by kDictavissent
Thu Apr 09, 2015 11:49 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Cost of College & Weighing the Merits of Top Schools
Replies: 304
Views: 51995

Re: Cost of College & Weighing the Merits of Top Schools

HYPS graduate (about 20 years ago) here; met my wife there. I came from an upper-middle class family (though the S&L crisis had caused a brief interruption in my father's earning potential, though not much and not for long.) Still received plenty of aid, and graduated with about $25,000 in stude...
by kDictavissent
Wed Mar 11, 2015 12:43 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Do you really need 2.5 million to retire well?
Replies: 267
Views: 71508

Re: Do you really need 2.5 million to retire well?

FYI: http://www.nbcnews.com/business/consumer/do-you-really-need-2-5-million-retire-well-n321466 It seems like a large number for most people. If true, it sure seems like Bogleheads are best equipped to reach - and help others reach - that goal. If every American family were able to earn enough, to...
by kDictavissent
Mon Mar 09, 2015 10:21 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Internet/Smartphone Usage in China? Security?
Replies: 7
Views: 920

Re: Internet/Smartphone Usage in China? Security?

On my last trip to the Shanghai area, I brought a "burner" cell phone -- unlocked Global GSM Moto E phone with 2G/3G support. Got a SIM through China Unicom, had plenty of data for the trip and a local in-country number. Reportedly, Internet access is freer within a certain radius of major...
by kDictavissent
Thu Feb 19, 2015 8:12 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Some Changes Coming to Verizon Prepaid
Replies: 3
Views: 652

Re: Some Changes Coming to Verizon Prepaid

My son will be glad to hear this. It's fairly common knowledge that Verizon is really the only carrier option for many of us in rural areas. A $35 plan isn't a good deal if you can't send and receive calls. :) Generally speaking, in rural parts of North Carolina anyway, I can pick up AT&T almos...
by kDictavissent
Thu Feb 19, 2015 6:56 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Some Changes Coming to Verizon Prepaid
Replies: 3
Views: 652

Re: Some Changes Coming to Verizon Prepaid

Yikes... I get exactly the same voice, SMS and 2.5 GB of data with AT&T prepaid (Cricket) for $35 a month. Plus, our phones can go on any GSM network giving us more market power in the future. And that's wiithout the trade offs in network quality and coverage that come from T-Mobile and Sprint a...
by kDictavissent
Sun Feb 08, 2015 7:51 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Verizon Wireless Modifies 'More Everything Plans'
Replies: 14
Views: 3833

Re: Verizon Wireless Modifies 'More Everything Plans'

I would echo what a previous poster said about Cricket Wireless. Ported two numbers over from Verizon and have found no diminution in coverage on AT&T versus what I had with Verizon. In my area, in fact, I have found much better indoor coverage; in my local supermarkets, VZ died out near the bac...
by kDictavissent
Tue Jan 27, 2015 12:02 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Poll: Locating deceased person's assets
Replies: 33
Views: 3463

Re: Poll: Locating deceased person's assets

My mother, who passed several years ago, hid 45 ounces of gold inside the compartment of a game table. Fortunately, she let me know about this when she was ill and consented to have it locked in a safe deposit box for safekeeping. She swore there were no other surprises, and I found none when going ...
by kDictavissent
Mon Jan 26, 2015 1:40 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Android or iPhone? Which do you like, and why?
Replies: 40
Views: 3463

Re: Android or iPhone? Which do you like, and why?

Longtime Apple user -- lightly in the OS 7/8/9 days, converted full-bore in 2001 to get a FreeBSD-based OS with all the visual goodies. Had a first-gen iPod, first iPhone... heck, even had the Newton-based eMate 300 in college. So, a dyed-in-the-wool Apple fan here. While I still have and love my iP...
by kDictavissent
Fri Dec 26, 2014 6:04 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: BMW X3 vs Audi Q5
Replies: 30
Views: 8521

Re: BMW X3 vs Audi Q5

Here's another not-typically-cross-shopped option to consider: the Mazda CX-5. We're on the verge of purchasing a small SUV ourselves to help out with trips to a place we have out in the mountains (200 mi. round-trip drive.) AWD, comfort, and sportiness were all requirements, as was a small-size sin...
by kDictavissent
Fri Dec 05, 2014 8:48 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Legal Protections Question (Rental Property)
Replies: 29
Views: 3420

Re: Legal Protections Question (Rental Property)

There are some scenarios in which an LLC isn't usable. For instance, we have an accessory dwelling unit on our property -- a detached garage with a 700 sq. ft. apartment above. Family lives there now but we'll be renting it out for $1,000/mo. next year. We thought about ways to us an LLC LLC, but tr...
by kDictavissent
Thu Nov 20, 2014 6:41 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Should we tip the caregiver
Replies: 26
Views: 6450

Re: Should we tip the caregiver

My mother passed after 18 months' care from a live in caregiver and a close friend who had helped her with her retirement property. She asked that they be left $5,000 and $10,000 respectively, which I honored. Had she not been inclined to leave such, I would have on my own volition (as sole heir) le...
by kDictavissent
Wed Nov 12, 2014 1:22 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Boglehead family vacations
Replies: 44
Views: 6070

Re: Boglehead family vacations

Another option is to rent a timeshare unit in a large timeshare resort. Take a look at Orange Lake in Orlando. It's a huge timeshare resort, with several swimming pools, mini golf, kids activities, etc. You can rent a 2BR unit for a week for probably $1,000 to $2,000 for the week. From there, you c...
by kDictavissent
Fri Nov 07, 2014 9:21 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Find org to establish charity Haunt in Raleigh / RTP area?
Replies: 9
Views: 2464

Re: Find org to establish charity Haunt in Raleigh / RTP are

The Durham Jaycees have been doing a haunted house for about 40 years now. Before the American Tobacco project's basement was renovated into space for high-tech startups, they held it there a year or too (an old factory is an appropriately creepy place!) This year, I think they were at Northgate Mal...
by kDictavissent
Wed Oct 22, 2014 7:01 am
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: selling RSU immediately
Replies: 40
Views: 8410

Re: selling RSU immediately

If the above is not enough, imagine going home to your spouse and saying "well, we had $250k in the RSU account yesterday, but the SEC/FBI/DOJ/State Department of Whatever, just launched a major probe of our accounting and the company is going to likely have to restate 5 years of earnings. The...
by kDictavissent
Fri Oct 17, 2014 3:25 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Smartphone questions
Replies: 107
Views: 14936

Re: Smartphone questions

You're getting very good advice here in the thread. I've been an iPhone user since the first-gen. Have liked it very much and it is an easy adjustment for a non-smartphone user. At the same time, I went abroad earlier this year with a cheap ($130) Moto E phone and was surprised how fast and powerful...
by kDictavissent
Tue Oct 07, 2014 1:49 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Best Place To Buy Actual Gold Coins
Replies: 28
Views: 5232

Re: Best Place To Buy Actual Gold Coins

Another vote for APMEX. When I was executor of an estate I used them to sell AGEs, junk silver and silver rounds. They were terrifically professional and their pricing was the best I found.

APMEX is definitely where I would start.
by kDictavissent
Mon Sep 29, 2014 3:48 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: See both financial advisor and elder law lawyer for Mom?
Replies: 45
Views: 4315

Re: See both financial advisor and elder law lawyer for Mom?

My late mother required in-home care the last eighteen months of her life. She had enough assets that she could afford to pay the expense herself, and while you could have looked at it as "eating up" her assets, she and I both felt very fortunate that she could afford to be a private-pay p...
by kDictavissent
Thu Sep 18, 2014 8:40 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Investing in Startup My Father Is Joining as Founder
Replies: 16
Views: 2439

Re: Investing in Startup My Father Is Joining as Founder

If you've been looking to invest some "play money"/"gambling money," then this is a great opportunity. The most likely scenario is you lose it all. The other (much less likely) scenario is that it will be worth a lot of money. I'd give it no more than a 10% chance of success. I'...
by kDictavissent
Thu Sep 18, 2014 5:09 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: EJ Gadflies [Edward Jones]
Replies: 64
Views: 13593

Re: EJ Gadflies [Edward Jones]

My mom/stepdad's Edward Jones scumbag showed up at my grandfathers funeral...he knew my mom was about to get a mid 6 figure inheritance...Luckily I think I convinced them to keep it out of Edward Jones' claws by showing them what the 5.75% front load would cost them. Okay I agree there is no point ...
by kDictavissent
Thu Sep 18, 2014 11:38 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: The boglehead way to buy furniture
Replies: 56
Views: 10713

Re: The boglehead way to buy furniture

In our 20s, the wife and I bought a kitchen table and bedroom set from Pompanoosuc Mills up in Vermont. Not inexpensive, and in fact probably a bit rich for us at the time. On the other hand, it will be the only bedroom set and kitchen table we will ever buy for our entire lives, and is good enough ...
by kDictavissent
Thu Sep 18, 2014 11:29 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: EJ Gadflies [Edward Jones]
Replies: 64
Views: 13593

Re: EJ Gadflies [Edward Jones]

My mom/stepdad's Edward Jones scumbag showed up at my grandfathers funeral...he knew my mom was about to get a mid 6 figure inheritance...Luckily I think I convinced them to keep it out of Edward Jones' claws by showing them what the 5.75% front load would cost them. Okay I agree there is no point ...
by kDictavissent
Tue Sep 09, 2014 2:15 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Another Smartphone/Verizon Question
Replies: 21
Views: 2625

Re: Another Smartphone/Verizon Question

If you travel internationally frequently, you might take a look at T-Mobile as an option. It's slightly pricier than where you are now ($50/mo.), but at that rate their Simple Choice plan includes unlimited (2G or 3G) data and unlimited SMS messages in 120 countries around the world, including Franc...
by kDictavissent
Tue Sep 09, 2014 12:02 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Prioritizing: Dream Home vs. Retirement Savings
Replies: 33
Views: 3176

Re: Prioritizing: Dream Home vs. Retirement Savings

My wife and I never planned to own a second home, but ended up with one in the North Carolina mountains, a few hours from where we live. My Dad loves that area and found a foreclosure home available there last year. He's just retired and wanted a place to go to several times a year, where we could j...
by kDictavissent
Tue Jul 29, 2014 5:42 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Apple TV
Replies: 43
Views: 7024

Re: Apple TV

You're getting good advice on the AppleTV -- though I would add that while we are an Apple household (everyone has a MacBook Air and iPad and we use Apple wireless networking equipment), I find the Roku 3 far superior for everything except projecting from the iPad/Mac to the TV, which we never do a...
by kDictavissent
Sun Jul 27, 2014 6:38 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Paycheck division/saving for yearly expenses & contributions
Replies: 10
Views: 1734

Re: Paycheck division/saving for yearly expenses & contribut

We do something very similar to what folks are sharing here. We started with a simpler version of this last year (routine savings accounts for property tax and major household expenses) but have modified it significantly this year. We use USAA for our main checking account and for clearing all direc...
by kDictavissent
Sun Jul 27, 2014 6:20 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Apple TV
Replies: 43
Views: 7024

Re: Apple TV

You're getting good advice on the AppleTV -- though I would add that while we are an Apple household (everyone has a MacBook Air and iPad and we use Apple wireless networking equipment), I find the Roku 3 far superior for everything except projecting from the iPad/Mac to the TV, which we never do an...
by kDictavissent
Thu Jul 17, 2014 5:33 am
Forum: Personal Investments
Topic: Help with fund picks for a new guy.
Replies: 19
Views: 2499

Re: Help with fund picks for a new guy.

... Stocks do have greater average returns but also higher volatility. And, importantly, it's historically been the case that there is a low correlation between stock and bond performance. That is, in years when stocks do well bonds don't do as well -- but when stocks do badly, bonds do better or a...
by kDictavissent
Wed Jul 16, 2014 7:00 am
Forum: Personal Investments
Topic: Help with fund picks for a new guy.
Replies: 19
Views: 2499

Re: Help with fund picks for a new guy.

First, welcome and congrats on coming here and asking for advice. This is one of the sanest forums you will find on the Internet -- that sounds like I'm damning with faint praise, but I'm not! As others have said, it's crucial that you figure out what the right asset allocation is for you, and then ...
by kDictavissent
Wed Jul 16, 2014 6:44 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Auction vs. estate sale to liquidate personal property
Replies: 5
Views: 1585

Re: Auction vs. estate sale to liquidate personal property

Not sure if you are an executor as well as an heir, or just an executor trying to do your fiduciary duty. I was in the former category with my mother a few years ago, and essentially the sole heir to boot. Some of my advice therefore might not apply but you may find relevant. First, it sounds like y...
by kDictavissent
Tue Jul 08, 2014 11:34 am
Forum: Personal Investments
Topic: Portfolio advice sought! (AA, wash-rule, new Roth 403(b))
Replies: 5
Views: 793

Re: Portfolio advice sought! (AA, wash-rule, new Roth 403(b)

You have a net tax rate of almost 40% so using Roth 403b makes no sense. Thanks for the feedback. I wrestled with this and in fact initially wasn't thinking about exploring the Roth option for this reason. But, a couple factors were swaying me in the other direction: * I have a 15 year head start o...
by kDictavissent
Tue Jul 08, 2014 5:53 am
Forum: Personal Investments
Topic: Portfolio advice sought! (AA, wash-rule, new Roth 403(b))
Replies: 5
Views: 793

Re: Portfolio advice sought! (AA, wash-rule, new Roth 403(b)

A quick thought about "her" investments: Normally, I like the idea of one fund per account and filling up a 401(k) with a bond fund, so your suggestion of F fund is great and her 401(k) with a bond is great, too. HOWEVER, since you would have no fixed income in his accounts, it would make...
by kDictavissent
Mon Jul 07, 2014 5:14 pm
Forum: Personal Investments
Topic: Portfolio advice sought! (AA, wash-rule, new Roth 403(b))
Replies: 5
Views: 793

Portfolio advice sought! (AA, wash-rule, new Roth 403(b))

I’ve enjoyed reading this forum and getting up to speed on better approaches to managing my investments. Although I don’t think we’re in a horrible place at present, I want to move towards an index-oriented approach, rebalance where I’ve gotten out of whack, lower fees a bit, and try to bring some o...