Search found 525 matches

by snackdog
Fri May 24, 2019 5:00 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: What is the best way to test drive cars?
Replies: 39
Views: 2677

Re: What is the best way to test drive cars?

I bought a car last year. I found the one that interested me the most online (model, color, price), then phoned the dealer. I instructed the salesman to bring the car to my office at 2pm that day for a test drive. He showed up right on time. I inspected the car, jumped in, drove off, loved it. He an...
by snackdog
Thu May 23, 2019 6:58 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Weber vs Broil King Grills
Replies: 21
Views: 1718

Re: Weber vs Broil King Grills

We moved around from grilling on the bbq after the American Cancer Society warnings came out.
by snackdog
Wed May 22, 2019 6:05 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Best small AWD to 'drive into the ground'
Replies: 87
Views: 5204

Re: Best small AWD to 'drive into the ground'

The Subaru is the best bet by far for value, reliability and AWD performance.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2OzK-oRPCbs
by snackdog
Sat May 18, 2019 12:59 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Crazy to Sell a Newer Car for an Older Car?
Replies: 49
Views: 2885

Re: Crazy to Sell a Newer Car for an Older Car?

Get a 2010 Lexus for $10K. It will be better than your Camry and likely maintenance free.
by snackdog
Tue May 14, 2019 5:23 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Chrome or Brushed Nickel [Bathroom fixtures]
Replies: 29
Views: 1983

Re: Chrome or Brushed Nickel

Brushed nickel is pretty much last decade style. Chrome is in. And you need to wipe it each time it gets wet if you don't want water marks.
by snackdog
Sat May 11, 2019 8:19 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Which US city would you move to?
Replies: 74
Views: 7037

Re: Which US city would you move to?

Well educated population, progressive place with diverse culture, dining, great flight connections, scenic beauty and excellent weather.
by snackdog
Sat May 11, 2019 12:09 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Brother in law using our address
Replies: 12
Views: 1663

Re: Brother in law using our address

Sounds like you are looking for a good reason to cut him off.
by snackdog
Fri May 10, 2019 8:31 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Window replacement - any advice? Lessons learned?
Replies: 60
Views: 11745

Re: Window replacement - any advice? Lessons learned?

It all depends on what you need. We recently bought a new house that has the cheapest builder grade aluminum frame windows I have ever seen. They are single hung and sticky to open. The good news is we never open them because this is humid Texas. The bad news is our house is tall, un-shaded and face...
by snackdog
Fri May 10, 2019 1:34 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Going solar
Replies: 29
Views: 2251

Re: Going solar

Your electricity use or cost (or both) seem high. We pay about $.09/kWh and use about 500 kWh/mo to keep a 3300 sq ft Texas house very comfortable 24/7.
by snackdog
Thu May 09, 2019 11:07 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Rarely used items that are worth having?
Replies: 112
Views: 10855

Re: Rarely used items that are worth having?

cadreamer2015 wrote:
Fri May 03, 2019 11:32 am
Fire extinguisher
This is probably the most important one.

Some would add a defibrillator since heart disease is the biggest killer in the US, but they cost about $1300.
by snackdog
Thu May 09, 2019 8:34 am
Forum: Non-US Investing
Topic: Theory: Choose retirement country based on Forex rate
Replies: 32
Views: 2262

Re: Theory: Choose retirement country based on Forex rate

if you like playing Forex games, you could play them for years before retirement, investing in currencies you think will outperform vs your own. I was an expat in Australia in 2009. The Aussie dollar collapsed so I transferred a big chunk of US dollars over. I lived off those for years. If I had bee...
by snackdog
Wed May 08, 2019 8:03 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Walk away from my auto lease?
Replies: 154
Views: 7349

Re: Walk away from my auto lease?

I guess the good news is that the transmission sacrificed itself and you didn't burn out them engine. That could have been next if you continued redlining it. The bill would have been far larger. You will pay for the transmission regardless of whether you keep the car, return it now or return it at ...
by snackdog
Wed May 08, 2019 3:52 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Walk away from my auto lease?
Replies: 154
Views: 7349

Re: Walk away from my auto lease?

The things you do with your foot (clutch pedal) and hand (gear shift knob) can be hard on the clutch and/or the transmission gears/teeth. If one were to be reckless with the foot and hand, it could damage both. Any event where the clutch is not full engaged or disengaged is hard on the clutch. Think...
by snackdog
Wed May 08, 2019 2:00 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Walk away from my auto lease?
Replies: 154
Views: 7349

Re: Walk away from my auto lease?

If you were in a situation in traffic involving a steep incline with stop-and-go traffic, this could wear the clutch pretty quickly (especially on a Porsche, Ferrari or Lambo). Or if your daily driving involves a lot of hills with stop-and-go (e.g. SF or LA hills). Breaking the transmission is a lot...
by snackdog
Wed May 08, 2019 9:07 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Aligning Insurance and Umbrella Limits
Replies: 16
Views: 1011

Re: Aligning Insurance and Umbrella Limits

Take a look, its cheap to go from 300k to 1M on the primary. Then get it in writing that your umbrella will stack for 2M total It is already in writing if you have a policy. Read your contract. Mine says - "We will pay...excess insurance over and above the greater of: 1) the minimum limit of covera...
by snackdog
Tue May 07, 2019 5:06 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Walk away from my auto lease?
Replies: 154
Views: 7349

Re: Walk away from my auto lease?

Any towing? Hill climbing? Drag racing?
by snackdog
Tue May 07, 2019 3:03 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: How do YOU make coffee?
Replies: 201
Views: 8637

Re: How do YOU make coffee?

La Pavoni hand lever. I didn't drink straight espresso shots until I picked this unit up last month. Now I can't bear any milk in the espresso as it ruins the flavor.
by snackdog
Tue May 07, 2019 12:30 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Aligning Insurance and Umbrella Limits
Replies: 16
Views: 1011

Re: Aligning Insurance and Umbrella Limits

As most of you know, if you have an umbrella policy it is probably written through one of the larger umbrella companies even if sold through your insurer. My primary insurer is USAA, but the umbrella policy USAA sold me is through RLI. I called USAA and they confirmed the umbrella starts wherever th...
by snackdog
Tue May 07, 2019 7:14 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Aligning Insurance and Umbrella Limits
Replies: 16
Views: 1011

Re: Aligning Insurance and Umbrella Limits

They won't' overlap. The insurer sets a minimum for other policies (home, auto) and the umbrella picks up after that. They are different insurers. I can't see how they don't overlap. If I have a $500,000 claim, my primary insurer will cover it currently even though I am paying for umbrella starting...
by snackdog
Tue May 07, 2019 6:49 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Aligning Insurance and Umbrella Limits
Replies: 16
Views: 1011

Aligning Insurance and Umbrella Limits

Until recently I was not eligible for umbrella coverage in the US so I set the liability coverage fairly high ($1MM) on insurance for two rental properties I have. I am now eligible for umbrella and the insurer requires I maintain $300,000 on the underlying policies. Should I reduce them from $1MM t...
by snackdog
Thu May 02, 2019 1:21 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Fun-ish Used Boglehead Car
Replies: 86
Views: 5333

Re: Fun-ish Used Boglehead Car

There seems to be a divergence about the definition of "fun". A common misconception is to equate it to hp (or more accurately torque). If that's your idea of fun, get an electric car. If it is about handling (which it should be), you want light weight and RWD. The latter eliminates all the Mazda an...
by snackdog
Wed May 01, 2019 8:05 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Best way to send USD to Australia
Replies: 13
Views: 744

Re: Best way to send USD to Australia

Why not bitcoin?
by snackdog
Tue Apr 30, 2019 8:18 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Fun-ish Used Boglehead Car
Replies: 86
Views: 5333

Re: Fun-ish Used Boglehead Car

Miata all day long, the most bang for buck on the fun scale of any car.
by snackdog
Sun Apr 28, 2019 9:12 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Toilets that never get used
Replies: 38
Views: 5504

Re: Toilets that never get used

Just rotate your use of toilets so they all get used regularly and cleaned. Same goes for showers and sinks.
by snackdog
Sun Apr 28, 2019 6:27 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: EXTREMELY frugal things from our parents and grandparents
Replies: 110
Views: 9305

Re: EXTREMELY frugal things from our paernets and grandparents

My father would stop the car for almost anything in the road and send one of us running back to fetch it. A glove. A boot. A hat. One time even a Barbie doll with one breast flattened by a passing car. My sister used it for years.
by snackdog
Sat Apr 27, 2019 8:29 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Texas property tax protest
Replies: 55
Views: 5143

Re: Texas property tax protest

Your appraisal sounds quite fair. What is it you are protesting? $3,000 x 2.35% = $70. Assuming you win the argument that there has been 0% inflation since you purchased, it is worth your time? I guess if you are really bored and want to understand the process better you have nothing to lose (unless...
by snackdog
Thu Apr 25, 2019 1:05 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Why would Ortho push for Invisalign? (non-medical question)
Replies: 41
Views: 3187

Re: Why would Ortho push for Invisalign? (non-medical question)

Because they get a commission from Invisalign when they sell it to you. They can make more money for less effort with Invisalign than they can trying to manage braces.
by snackdog
Sun Apr 21, 2019 6:38 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: What are your 5 favorite tools (hand, power, other)
Replies: 33
Views: 2115

Re: What are your 5 favorite tools (hand, power, other)

I find 90% of jobs require only these -

1) Phillips head screwdriver
2) Flat head screwdriver
3) Medium small claw hammer
4) Needle nose pliers
5) Angle nose pliers

We have a few other tools but they get used very rarely. We should probably just get rid of them.
by snackdog
Sat Apr 20, 2019 7:04 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Vacation home experiences?
Replies: 35
Views: 3455

Re: Vacation home experiences?

There are a lot of threads on this site as well as countless articles on the internet. Vacation homes are alligators, cost-wise. I should know, we have one a few hours from the Bay Area. What we pay in property taxes alone would fund us going to the same location (or any comparable) and staying in n...
by snackdog
Sat Apr 20, 2019 8:00 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: How much do you spend on food per month, per person?
Replies: 190
Views: 15389

Re: How much do you spend on food per month, per person?

I'm impressed with how little people spend. We shop at the cheapest place we can find and buy basic meat and veg, not much processed food. Somehow we manage to spend $300/month/person on groceries (including pet food) which is around national average. We spend about the same on restaurants. :shock:
by snackdog
Sat Apr 20, 2019 6:10 am
Forum: Personal Investments
Topic: Net Worth where it should be?
Replies: 49
Views: 6746

Re: Net Worth where it should be?

The thread linked below has a chart of Bogleheads from 2015. You are a bit under the curve but it depends on how long you have worked versus the average.

viewtopic.php?t=274807
by snackdog
Thu Apr 18, 2019 10:21 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Is it worth renting a car in Vegas?
Replies: 22
Views: 1753

Re: Is it worth renting a car in Vegas?

The Strip is ideally set up for families with kids. No need for a car. We have had a car in Vegas and it basically just sat at the hotel.
by snackdog
Thu Apr 18, 2019 12:00 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Reverse Mortgage for Sequence of return risk
Replies: 30
Views: 1346

Re: Reverse Mortgage for Sequence of return risk

We will likely have two homes in retirement. I'm not afraid of SRR but am concerned about long term care and not interested in LTC insurance. So, we will sell a house to fund LTC, if required. If worse comes to worse, we'll sell both houses. If the doomsday scenario plays out and the market drops li...
by snackdog
Mon Apr 15, 2019 11:40 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: seriously thinking about leaving S. CA but where to?
Replies: 177
Views: 9990

Re: seriously thinking about leaving S. CA but where to?

How about Baja Mexico or Puerta Vallarta? Same climate but different politics. Still mostly American. Cheaper living if that is your main concern.
by snackdog
Thu Apr 11, 2019 3:54 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Are Airport Lounges Worth the Money?
Replies: 95
Views: 8262

Re: Are Airport Lounges Worth the Money?

I always check out the lounge when flying business or first. They range from great (Emirates) to horrific (KLM). They are mostly full of tired, poorly dressed hapless business travelers, including some with drinking problems. I like to walk and people watch so the terminal usually is a better bet fo...
by snackdog
Tue Apr 09, 2019 11:11 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Buying and Reselling Used Car Every Year as a Used Car Buying Strategy?
Replies: 21
Views: 1423

Re: Buying and Reselling Used Car Every Year as a Used Car Buying Strategy?

My old man does this, but on a less frequent basis. No sales tax in his location so cheap to flip vehicles. He looks over the ads every day for obvious bargains from motivated sellers. If he finds one, he will test drive then buy. By meeting the seller and looking them in the eye he can usually suss...
by snackdog
Sat Apr 06, 2019 7:00 am
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Valuation Informed Indexing
Replies: 37
Views: 2100

Re: Valuation Informed Indexing

Trying to time the market, even if just tiling/adjusting the index based on some logic, typically ends in tears.
by snackdog
Wed Apr 03, 2019 8:30 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Make sure your retirement investment plan includes being fired from your job in your 50s
Replies: 285
Views: 16583

Re: Make sure your retirement investment plan includes being fired from your job in your 50s

I have never seen anyone with a half-decent job laid off in their 50s who really went into financial hardship (lost house, marriage, etc). Those who had kids to put through college and whatnot just knuckled down and did what it took to get jobs in the same field. I even knew a few who were pretty ho...
by snackdog
Wed Apr 03, 2019 12:35 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Summer Europe trip - overwhelming to plan!
Replies: 29
Views: 2034

Re: Summer Europe trip - overwhelming to plan!

Write down your list of must-see places then cut it at least in half. I recommend a car rental in order to have maximum freedom and flexibility. Look at the cheapest Europe destination from your home city and work from there. For example, I'm in Houston so my cheapest European flights would be to Lo...
by snackdog
Mon Apr 01, 2019 8:22 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Dealing with craigslist scammers
Replies: 22
Views: 1827

Re: Dealing with craigslist scammers

I guess you could reinforce it with lead so it would weigh a few tons and the movers would charge them out the wazoo.
by snackdog
Mon Apr 01, 2019 4:04 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Real Estate question: lower the asking price or spend to repair
Replies: 26
Views: 1347

Re: Real Estate question: lower the asking price or spend to repair

The answer is market-specific. In a hot market, you need to inspect and address all issues before listing. In a slow market, you can get away with more depending on how long you want to wait for the right buyer.
by snackdog
Sun Mar 31, 2019 5:57 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: cost/benefit of a home elevator/escalator
Replies: 20
Views: 1075

Re: cost/benefit of a home elevator/escalator

Home elevators are not worth the cost/hassle unless you are already in need of one and home shopping, in which case you are probably better off with a one-story home. Having ridden in a few home elevators, they are , flimsy, slow and tiny. I can only imagine being trapped in one when it breaks and w...
by snackdog
Sun Mar 31, 2019 12:55 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Video Camera to check in on Elderly Parent
Replies: 76
Views: 4876

Re: Video Camera to check in on Elderly Parent

What if the 95-year old has a hot date?
by snackdog
Sat Mar 30, 2019 5:14 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Shut off water before a vacation
Replies: 78
Views: 5879

Re: Shut off water before a vacation

I wonder if pressuring the whole system down and abruptly back up again is asking for trouble. We just use alerts from a water main flow meter (supplied by water company who will also automatically shut off water for us), which worked when we had a toilet with a slow internal leak, and with a few le...
by snackdog
Thu Mar 28, 2019 10:29 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: I would like a boat. I also know nothing about boats
Replies: 147
Views: 8858

Re: I would like a boat. I also know nothing about boats

I would pick up a lightly used 10 year old Bayliner bowrider for under $15K.
by snackdog
Tue Mar 26, 2019 7:40 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Why take the risk with equities?
Replies: 122
Views: 8111

Re: Why take the risk with equities?

Everyone seems to forget that the same studies which established 4% inflation-adjusted SWR as "safe" also said without adjusting for inflation, one could use a SWR of 7%. 7% > 6% therefore superior to SPIA.
by snackdog
Sun Mar 24, 2019 6:07 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: What to do when client doesn't pay and ignores you?
Replies: 29
Views: 3579

Re: What to do when client doesn't pay and ignores you?

In addition to small claims on this case, going forward, I would reconsider lending instruments without a deposit equal to value. I would also curtail lessons at the first bounced check.
by snackdog
Thu Mar 21, 2019 4:12 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Being a Boglehead and car enthusiast stinks
Replies: 72
Views: 4500

Re: Being a Boglehead and car enthusiast stinks

The generally agreed best all around sports car you can buy is cheaper than a Bogle Camry, new or used. The Mazda Miata.
by snackdog
Wed Mar 20, 2019 12:39 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Minivan - Safety
Replies: 34
Views: 1624

Re: Minivan - Safety

The only five star NCAP minivan is the Dodge Caravan. The Outback, by the way, is not 5 star.

There are enough 5-star vehicles, I don't see why anyone would buy anything less safe. I know plenty of people who have died or been permanently disabled by accidents. They are common occurrences.