Search found 692 matches

by snackdog
Sun Aug 18, 2019 8:22 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Company Vehicle - value?
Replies: 9
Views: 597

Re: Company Vehicle - value?

For tax purposes as imputed income? Use the IRS mileage figures.
by snackdog
Sat Aug 17, 2019 6:15 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: How to define "HCOL" (high cost of living) areas?
Replies: 78
Views: 4411

Re: How to define "HCOL" (high cost of living) areas?

I would base it on housing prices which makes up the majority of one’s household expenses. If the cost is over $250 per square foot I would call that HCOL. And almost every city has an area where the average price exceeds that amount. It is all very personal and specific. If you house is paid for a...
by snackdog
Fri Aug 16, 2019 8:58 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: How to define "HCOL" (high cost of living) areas?
Replies: 78
Views: 4411

Re: How to define "HCOL" (high cost of living) areas?

Lots of places on that top 20 list don't strike me as particularly High COL. I would limit it to The Bay Area, Hawaii, most of LA, greater NYC and maybe Boston. Even then, it is still stupid because you have people living on very modest salaries in all those areas.
by snackdog
Fri Aug 16, 2019 8:52 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: BravoCon 2019 sold out in 1 minute
Replies: 8
Views: 875

Re: BravoCon 2019 sold out in 1 minute

Olive Garden sold 24,000 NeverEnding Pasta Passes in less than one second. 80% were lifetime passes. Eat as much pasta, salad and breadsticks as you like for the rest of your life for $500 one time. Not a bad meal plan.
by snackdog
Thu Aug 15, 2019 8:33 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Best watch for around $5,000?
Replies: 1126
Views: 282813

Re: Best watch for around $5,000?

I have never been much for fancy watches, particularly garrish Rolex, Breitling, etc. However, I stumbled across a low profile vintage watch at home while packing for our most recent move. Spouse advised me to throw it in the trash, but looked nice so I kept it. Turns out it is a vintage Omega. I cl...
by snackdog
Thu Aug 15, 2019 4:23 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Do burglars steal and use paperwork?
Replies: 34
Views: 3779

Re: Do burglars steal and use paperwork?

No issue with burglars. You should generally have your credit locked anyhow. Bigger issue is keeping lots of paper records. Better to scan those and go paperless.
by snackdog
Thu Aug 15, 2019 4:18 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Moving to Houston
Replies: 16
Views: 1813

Re: Moving to Houston

There are heaps of rental opportunities near your office in northeast Montrose and the Fourth Ward. Wharton School is fabulous and your kids can walk to school and you can walk or bike to work. What's not to like?
by snackdog
Mon Aug 12, 2019 10:11 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Condo pool requires having an attendent on duty
Replies: 25
Views: 2976

Re: Condo pool requires having an attendent on duty

I agree most public and private pools are revolting. A huge fraction of those swimming haven’t showered, in some cases for days. The pool is their bath tub. Crowded beaches can be even worse for water quality.
by snackdog
Sun Aug 11, 2019 8:43 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Healthy fast food
Replies: 152
Views: 10113

Re: Healthy fast food

Watch your total caloric intake, exercise fanatically and you can eat whatever you like. Even the 34g fat Impossible Burger.
by snackdog
Sun Aug 11, 2019 8:29 am
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Why do dividends still exist?
Replies: 162
Views: 8344

Re: Why do dividends still exist?

I work for a large company which has paid a dividend for ages, almost always increased the dividend/share, and reminds investors every chance it gets that the dividend is sacred and the first place to "spend", even when quarterly profits are hugely negative. When earnings are high and other investme...
by snackdog
Sat Aug 10, 2019 7:06 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Vehicle Air horn
Replies: 29
Views: 2345

Re: Vehicle Air horn

They are loud but apparently the compressor wears out pretty quickly so you will be replacing them every year or so. Be aware that if use of the horn is deemed to be the cause of an accident and the horn is not legal in the jurisdiction in question, you could be liable for damages.
by snackdog
Sat Aug 10, 2019 6:52 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: If you think oil prices will drop where would you invest?
Replies: 66
Views: 3179

Re: If you think oil prices will drop where would you invest?

You could have asked the same question about coal 100 years ago when oil and gas came along as energy sources. But today coal production around the world is at an all time high. Real coal prices are about the same as they were 60 years ago. The reason is energy demand continues to rise faster than a...
by snackdog
Fri Aug 09, 2019 1:57 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Liability coverage for non-car-owners: Umbrella without auto policy
Replies: 7
Views: 513

Re: Liability coverage for non-car-owners: Umbrella without auto policy

It’s fine if you never drive. But if you do drive, even a rental, you need coverage. It is cheaper to get your own than pay for it through the rental agency.
by snackdog
Fri Aug 09, 2019 8:11 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Silly question - what’s your largest non-essential item as a % of your net worth? Or, what is its dollar value?
Replies: 25
Views: 1755

Re: Silly question - what’s your largest non-essential item as a % of your net worth? Or, what is its dollar value?

Not sure this thread is actionable, but everything is non-essential in my view.

I would never buy a fancy watch, but employer has given me a couple and I found one in a drawer at home which I new cherish.
by snackdog
Thu Aug 08, 2019 7:37 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: What to do with expired passports?
Replies: 22
Views: 2604

Re: What to do with expired passports?

Could you sell them at all?
by snackdog
Thu Aug 08, 2019 6:29 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Omega watch expenses
Replies: 38
Views: 2963

Re: Omega watch expenses

I came across and old Omega I guess was in a box for more than 20 years. It's automatic, so I just set the time and it goes. No batteries, no winding, no nonsense. Love it.
by snackdog
Wed Aug 07, 2019 7:20 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Amazon -- no longer the lowest prices, evidently
Replies: 101
Views: 9597

Re: Amazon -- no longer the lowest prices, evidently

Low prices was before they dominated retail and drove all the malls out of business. Now everyone is hooked and ordering six days per week, they charge whatever they like.
by snackdog
Tue Aug 06, 2019 7:02 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Are you getting rid of your gas appliances?
Replies: 43
Views: 3075

Are you getting rid of your gas appliances?

The city of Berkeley has enacted a ban on gas appliances in new homes in order to reduce carbon emissions. That means the stove, hot water, furnace and clothes dryer all need to run on electricity (unless someone has a better idea). Induction stoves seem good. Electric tankless water heaters aren't ...
by snackdog
Sun Aug 04, 2019 7:58 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Is our spending crazy?
Replies: 111
Views: 7196

Re: Is our spending crazy?

Post your detailed budget and we can tell you where to start trimming. You can reduce substantially.
by snackdog
Sun Aug 04, 2019 10:26 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Dentist: Is this acceptable?
Replies: 63
Views: 4891

Re: Dentist: Is this acceptable?

There no laws governing this, just dental association guidelines, most of which say "dentist OR dental hygienist". If you have a question, ask your hygienist and they will either deal with it or get you an appointment with the dentist. In my experience, the dentist is just glancing in there fishing ...
by snackdog
Sat Aug 03, 2019 6:55 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Stand Alone Umbrella Insurance
Replies: 57
Views: 8396

Re: Stand Alone Umbrella Insurance

There is no such thing as "stand alone" umbrella as it can, by definition, only be issued "in excess" of underlying policies. That said, RLI will issue a policy directly to you as long as you certify the limits of policies you have with other insurers. You can find the details on their web site.
by snackdog
Fri Aug 02, 2019 10:11 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Used Car Recommendations for Active Retired Couple
Replies: 31
Views: 2005

Re: Used Car Recommendations for Active Retired Couple

2019 RAV-4 AWD hybrid. 39 mpg. $29,000. America's best-selling non-pickup.
by snackdog
Fri Aug 02, 2019 10:48 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: luxury vehicle: what income/asset range
Replies: 75
Views: 4559

Re: luxury vehicle: what income/asset range

I would argue in 2019, Lexus only makes 3 bona-fide luxury models; LS (sedan), LC (coupe), and LX (SUV). The rest of the lineup are upscale versions of various Toyota models from around the globe (Yes, I'm aware the LX is a rebadged version of the Toyota Land Cruiser). What Toyota model is the GS? ...
by snackdog
Fri Aug 02, 2019 9:58 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: luxury vehicle: what income/asset range
Replies: 75
Views: 4559

Re: luxury vehicle: what income/asset range

I would argue in 2019, Lexus only makes 3 bona-fide luxury models; LS (sedan), LC (coupe), and LX (SUV). The rest of the lineup are upscale versions of various Toyota models from around the globe (Yes, I'm aware the LX is a rebadged version of the Toyota Land Cruiser). What Toyota model is the GS?
by snackdog
Fri Aug 02, 2019 9:55 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: luxury vehicle: what income/asset range
Replies: 75
Views: 4559

Re: luxury vehicle: what income/asset range

We have had a lot of different luxury cars, mostly because I am a bit of a car nut. My current favorite is a 100,000-mile 2008 GS350 we bought last year for $10K. 300HP, RWD, and all the goodies. Runs like a scalded dog. I have had brand new 2019 rental cars recently which were POS compared to the L...
by snackdog
Thu Aug 01, 2019 12:01 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Favorite Lunch Box or Bag
Replies: 22
Views: 1101

Re: Favorite Lunch Box or Bag

I'm partial to these -

Image
by snackdog
Thu Aug 01, 2019 11:58 am
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Are You Rich?
Replies: 31
Views: 3261

Re: Are You Rich?

If you *rely* on a paycheck, ss, or annuity distributions, you are probably not rich.
by snackdog
Thu Aug 01, 2019 11:46 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Are all models of Toyota generally considered reliable?
Replies: 52
Views: 4872

Re: Are all models of Toyota generally considered reliable?

The Tercel was considered below industry average, so I'd be careful if you are thinking of picking one up. http://dashboard-light.com/reports/Toyota.html Also, since this is Bogleheads I should give an anecdotal data point, two different friends had 1980s Tercel wagons they drove for hundreds of tho...
by snackdog
Tue Jul 30, 2019 1:11 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Rental a Vehicle for a long vacation
Replies: 34
Views: 1781

Re: Rental a Vehicle for a long vacation

If you are going to be playing "chicken" with the buffalo I suggest you get a Jeep Wrangler in Salt Lake City. I'm pretty hard on vehicles. I have had rental cars with blown motors and rental cars I have demolished. In both cases, the rental company swapped me for a new one as quick as they could. I...
by snackdog
Tue Jul 30, 2019 9:34 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Losing a month's worth of work on a personal project
Replies: 15
Views: 1664

Re: Losing a month's worth of work on a personal project

You will be amazed at how much faster it goes the second time around. This in itself can be an interesting learning opportunity.
by snackdog
Mon Jul 29, 2019 7:36 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Buying a house anonymously (Florida)
Replies: 30
Views: 2701

Re: Buying a house anonymously (Florida)

I once rented out a house next door to an older man and his wife. We became friendly and he told me that years earlier that the house I rented had a fence around the front yard which was full of barking dogs belonging to the then-current owner. The old man bought the house for cash the first opportu...
by snackdog
Mon Jul 29, 2019 9:39 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: How to avoid cleaners going out of business - and not getting your things?
Replies: 25
Views: 1766

Re: How to avoid cleaners going out of business - and not getting your things?

I guess you could drive around to five or ten different dry cleaners, dropping off a single garment at each one, to limit your exposure.
by snackdog
Mon Jul 29, 2019 9:36 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Buying a house anonymously (Florida)
Replies: 30
Views: 2701

Re: Buying a house anonymously (Florida)

I expect you can set up an LLC and use that name on all the paperwork. You can give a friend or attorney signature authority if a person needs to be present at the closing for signatures. Of course, your realtor will need to keep their mouth shut also. If you are paying cash, you could have a friend...
by snackdog
Mon Jul 29, 2019 7:04 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Products for DIY car detailing
Replies: 19
Views: 1560

Re: Products for DIY car detailing

I find that going to the hand car wash and wax plus interior detail for like $40 every few months works great. Takes them a couple hours but car comes out sparkling, I can do other things and no need to manage my own cleaning equipment at home. I keep a microfiber in the center console for periodic ...
by snackdog
Sun Jul 28, 2019 5:23 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: VOIP - what do you use?
Replies: 55
Views: 3666

Re: VOIP - what do you use?

We use obitalk which is free and works great over the home wifi. To get 911 service I use GoogleVoice via Callcentric for $1.95/month. If it weren't for fussy occasional renters (and the liability if I didn't have phone service with 911 location), we wouldn't use anything but our mobile phones and W...
by snackdog
Sun Jul 28, 2019 8:01 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Best Zero Turn Mower for less than $3000
Replies: 12
Views: 1102

Re: Best Zero Turn Mower for less than $3000

Have you calculated how many times (months/years) you could pay someone else to do your mowing for $3000? For me it would be about ten years. And have you considered sharing with your neighbor? Mowers are one of those things that get used only 3.5 hours per month, which is 95% idle time so it makes ...
by snackdog
Sun Jul 28, 2019 7:55 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: DAF for church offering? [Donor Advised Fund]
Replies: 71
Views: 8811

Re: DAF for church offering?

I also find the use of DAFs puzzling. They add complexity and cost, and the charity would rather have all the money now than receive it over time. I've only been able to come up with 3 reasons for using them: 1) The giver wants the tax deduction now but hasn't decided which charities to give to, or...
by snackdog
Sun Jul 28, 2019 7:37 am
Forum: Personal Investments
Topic: Regression to Mean - whats the next Armageddon for stocks?
Replies: 22
Views: 2269

Re: Regression to Mean - whats the next Armageddon for stocks?

Crypto currencies as a reason for a stock-market crash seems far-fetched to me. The replacement of traditional currencies by crypto currencies would hit bond holders hard if the value of the existing currencies would be reduced. Or put another way, widespread use of crypto currencies would amount t...
by snackdog
Sat Jul 27, 2019 7:46 pm
Forum: Personal Investments
Topic: Regression to Mean - whats the next Armageddon for stocks?
Replies: 22
Views: 2269

Re: Regression to Mean - whats the next Armageddon for stocks?

My speculation is that the next real crash (complete loss of confidence in stocks by most people including all of us), will be something different than in the past and hard to predict. One scenario is crypto. With Facebook coming in suppose crypto gets huge and disrupts all real currencies, driving ...
by snackdog
Sat Jul 27, 2019 7:42 pm
Forum: Personal Investments
Topic: What to do in a crash
Replies: 65
Views: 6859

Re: What to do in a crash

If you know when the crash will occur and if, when and how a recovery may follow you should sell and buy accordingly as you can do very well. Otherwise, you will just have to carry on like the rest of us.
by snackdog
Sat Jul 27, 2019 8:19 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Ghosted by IKEA after warranty claim
Replies: 49
Views: 5135

Re: Ghosted by IKEA after warranty claim

iKeA is about low cost, no frills, cheap stuff. Ok for college etc but easily collapses under its own fiberboard weight.
by snackdog
Sat Jul 27, 2019 7:15 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Electrician required to replace rocker light switches with PIR motion detecting light switches?
Replies: 36
Views: 2806

Re: Electrician required to replace rocker light switches with PIR motion detecting light switches?

We installed Lutron PIR in stairs, closets and garage. Motion sensors are good for us only for entering normally dark transitory areas, not occupying them. We don’t like waving our hands every ten minutes. For rooms you occupy I recommend regular switches or Lutron Caseta you can control by voice vi...
by snackdog
Fri Jul 26, 2019 6:39 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: How much to tip at wedding
Replies: 24
Views: 2734

Re: How much to tip at wedding

Tip 10% if you are happy with the service.
by snackdog
Fri Jul 26, 2019 6:32 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Cheapest way to finance home improvements?
Replies: 18
Views: 1615

Re: Cheapest way to finance home improvements?

If you don't mind the temporary impact to your credit score, you can take out a series of 0% APR credit cards an eventually pay it off with no interest. I know people who have done this. It is obviously the cheapest way to get the money.
by snackdog
Fri Jul 26, 2019 6:30 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: I Pay a city tax but I no longer work and live in the city
Replies: 14
Views: 2459

Re: I Pay a city tax but I no longer work and live in the city

Ask your employer to stop withholding the tax.
by snackdog
Fri Jul 26, 2019 12:03 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Upgrading Patio Furniture:
Replies: 7
Views: 859

Re: Upgrading Patio Furniture:

Have you looked at Ratana brand?
by snackdog
Fri Jul 26, 2019 6:12 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Cable Line between two poles in backyard is sagging after storm
Replies: 5
Views: 671

Re: Cable Line between two poles in backyard is sagging after storm

I had a hanging piece and called the cable company (as a customer) and they rushed out to address it.

Wait a year for 5G and maybe you can remove the cable line altogether.
by snackdog
Fri Jul 26, 2019 5:58 am
Forum: Personal Investments
Topic: Who has the best (easiest) Donor Advised Fund
Replies: 57
Views: 2697

Re: Who has the best (easiest) Donor Advised Fund

This thread prompted me to open one so thanks for that. It took five minutes online with Vanguard. I will fund it in December I guess with 10 years of planned donations since that would be about the most I can deduct this year. Another 10 next year should about do it. Then ready to retire.
by snackdog
Thu Jul 25, 2019 10:48 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Decision to buy earthquake insurance
Replies: 40
Views: 1950

Re: Decision to buy earthquake insurance

You need to understand the particular risks for your house. Houses "destroyed" by earthquakes are either 1) ancient and built of brick or stone, 2) on ground which shifts dramatically or 3) burned in a fire due to a gas leak. Your conventional insurance may cover the fire scenario. If your house is ...