Search found 748 matches

by jpelder
Wed May 27, 2020 1:37 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Avoiding keeping-up-with-the-joneses w.r.t. private schools
Replies: 125
Views: 5798

Re: Avoiding keeping-up-with-the-joneses w.r.t. private schools

what I like about private schools (at least here) is the kids can easily be expelled if they're acting up. Unless their parents are big donors/PTA board members/etc. :) There was one of those in my graduating class (private HS). He somehow got kicked out every year (stupid pranks, mostly), and was ...
by jpelder
Wed May 27, 2020 10:25 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Switching Insurance
Replies: 29
Views: 1202

Re: Switching Insurance

It's definitely worthwhile to get some quotes. State Farm has always had great claims service in my experience (my parents are long-time SF customers, and I've been one most of my adult life). I had auto insurance with Geico for a few years, but never had a claim, so I can't speak to their service o...
by jpelder
Wed May 27, 2020 8:51 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Bird Nest Forming Under Deck
Replies: 15
Views: 745

Re: Bird Nest Forming Under Deck

Just remember that it's illegal to disturb the nest of a native songbird while it has eggs or nestlings in it, so get rid of it before they finish construction. Otherwise, you'll just have to deal with it for the month or two that the eggs and nestlings are in it. If it's a house sparrow or a Europe...
by jpelder
Tue May 26, 2020 1:35 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Landscape Edger
Replies: 7
Views: 434

Re: Landscape Edger

That looks like the kind of edger you use to trim the grass off your sidewalk and driveway. I don't think it would make a 3 inch deep trench. Maybe a construction equipment rental company near you would have a more suitable tool. You might just call and ask about their smallest trenching machine. I ...
by jpelder
Tue May 26, 2020 10:46 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Avoiding keeping-up-with-the-joneses w.r.t. private schools
Replies: 125
Views: 5798

Re: Avoiding keeping-up-with-the-joneses w.r.t. private schools

Public School teacher here, so I have an agenda. I'm also an alumnus of a selective private K-12 school, so I've seen both sides from a certain perspective. The metric that I put the most trust in for grading a public school is teacher turnover. If the teachers are leaving, it means that there's som...
by jpelder
Tue May 26, 2020 9:57 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Career advice for science PhD student
Replies: 32
Views: 2358

Re: Career advice for science PhD student

The pharmaceutical industry seems like a natural fit for a good synthetic chemist. I'm a biology guy who struggled mightily through organic chemistry, so I'm duly impressed with your skills. I have an MS in biology (from a terminal master's program), and elected not to pursue a PhD. I'm a HS science...
by jpelder
Mon May 25, 2020 1:35 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: First Time Car Buyer Needs Help. HELP ME PLEASE! Thank you!
Replies: 79
Views: 3210

Re: First Time Car Buyer Needs Help. HELP ME PLEASE! Thank you!

Hi greenxspidey, I hate to sound like a broken record, but don't buy this car now. If you really want to do it, wait until you get that $300,000 per year job before you do. You really can't afford it now. For perspective, I'm a science teacher, and I make almost as much money as you do as a resident...
by jpelder
Sun May 24, 2020 12:04 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: New Tires or New Car?
Replies: 56
Views: 3214

Re: New Tires or New Car?

One option is to buy 4 new tires, but to keep the 3 old tires that are still good, either as spares or to sell to a used tire dealer. You won't recoup the whole price of the new tire replacements, but it'll soften the blow.
by jpelder
Wed May 20, 2020 10:49 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Brother buy a house from another brother
Replies: 8
Views: 807

Re: Brother buy a house from another brother

It definitely depends on the state. Here in North Carolina, real estate sales contracts have to be run through a lawyer. It would probably be best to use one to make sure everything is properly set up and registered.
by jpelder
Wed May 20, 2020 9:24 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Engagement Ring Help
Replies: 68
Views: 2922

Re: Engagement Ring Help

I'd go with a local place if you want the traditional route, just make sure that they'll clean and size for free or for a reasonable price. Be aware of the hardness of diamond alternatives if your future fiancee/wife is going to wear her ring every day. Diamonds are hard and can't be scratched by ba...
by jpelder
Tue May 19, 2020 9:16 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Alternatives to Craftsman Tools
Replies: 98
Views: 6249

Re: Alternatives to Craftsman Tools

I have mixed feelings about this thread and have a few comments for some on here that could be my father or grandfather... BLUF -- You can often still buy quality products in 2020, but you have to pay for them and cannot expect bottom tier Walmart pricing for a product that is expected to last a li...
by jpelder
Mon May 18, 2020 10:34 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Composite AND wood deck?
Replies: 15
Views: 994

Re: Composite AND wood deck?

This is definitely doable. The beach condo my family used to own did this to replace the balconies, which were splintery after 20 years in sun, rain, and salt spray. The composite was a vast improvement in almost every way (the downside is that it got much hotter than wood in the sun)
by jpelder
Wed May 13, 2020 9:39 am
Forum: Personal Investments
Topic: Low risk vanguard fund for short term?
Replies: 18
Views: 1364

Re: Low risk vanguard fund for short term?

I've used Prime Money Market (VMMXX) and Short-Term Corporate Bond (VSCSX). Prime MM is more stable (no share price change), but the Short-Term Corporate Bond gives slightly higher return (about 1/2% higher, give or take). It's more volatile, but I never lost more than a few hundred dollars of $50k ...
by jpelder
Wed May 13, 2020 8:24 am
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Paul Tudor: Compelling case for bitcoin ?
Replies: 213
Views: 10049

Re: Paul Tudor: Compelling case for bitcoin ?

Thoughts ? Yeah... Currency speculation is extremely risky and not really an investment. Cryptocurrency speculation is stupid. Those are my thoughts. We're on the same page there. If I wanted to gamble, I'd go out to Cherokee, NC and throw money in the slot machines at the casino. At least the prof...
by jpelder
Mon May 04, 2020 12:56 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Considering getting an espresso maker - thoughts?
Replies: 52
Views: 2837

Re: Considering getting an espresso maker - thoughts?

I still have flashbacks of making gallons of espresso a double-shot at a time to make the granita mix at the coffee shop where I worked in college. I don't like espresso enough to want to spend the money on a good home machine. What I do know as a former espresso-slinger: -Good, freshly-roasted coff...
by jpelder
Mon May 04, 2020 10:45 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Mesh Wifi
Replies: 118
Views: 7350

Re: Mesh Wifi

Upgrading to a faster router doesn't do much for you unless your router is the choke point for your internet. Even cheap routers like the Archer A7 will have no problem at speeds well above the average speed delivered to U.S. households. Unless your internet speed is above 200 Mbps or you do signif...
by jpelder
Fri May 01, 2020 9:27 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: State Farm Safe Driving App
Replies: 45
Views: 3120

Re: State Farm Safe Driving App

I've been using Drive Safe and Save for a couple of years now. We got a 15% discount on DW's share of the insurance (we each commute in our own cars, but use mine for almost all long-distance drives together). I think mine only got the base 5% discount for using the service. I'm not terribly skeeved...
by jpelder
Tue Apr 28, 2020 11:15 am
Forum: Personal Investments
Topic: How much to keep at Vanguard?
Replies: 12
Views: 1534

Re: How much to keep at Vanguard?

I doubt that it would be possible for any bad actor to actually steal securities. The people who can actually trade on the exchanges are very closely vetted and monitored, and all purchases must also have a buyer. Vanguard (and every other reputable brokerage firm) has backups, backups to backups, a...
by jpelder
Sat Apr 25, 2020 9:55 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Wash sale rule with similar assets, not exactly the same
Replies: 12
Views: 411

Re: Wash sale rule with similar assets, not exactly the same

The IRS hasn't made a conclusive ruling on how similar something has to be to count as a wash sale. The only thing that definitely counts is shares of the same fund or stock. My hunch is if the funds follow a different index and don't contain a similar number of holdings, then you would have a good ...
by jpelder
Wed Apr 22, 2020 10:23 am
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Is deflation good or bad for the S&P 500?
Replies: 23
Views: 2238

Re: Is deflation good or bad for the S&P 500?

Deflation will never be allowed to occur in the United States. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bernanke_doctrine 1) The name of the Fed chair is not "Ben Bernanke." 2) Deflation of -2.06% was "allowed" to occur from 8/2008 through 7/2009, inclusive, which was during Ben Bernanke's tenure. 3) Fed chai...
by jpelder
Tue Apr 21, 2020 10:30 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: will covid 19 destroy senior campuses
Replies: 52
Views: 4364

Re: will covid 19 destroy senior campuses

Covid 19 has called into question retirement communal living. Can it survive? More people die of the flu that of Covid (so far). The reason we're so scared of it is because we don't have a vaccine or cure yet. Once those are developed I doubt we'll give it any more concern than we give the flu. Tha...
by jpelder
Mon Apr 20, 2020 1:21 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: [Oil futures price plummets, Bogleheads react]
Replies: 154
Views: 8073

Re: Just ordered 10'000 barrels of oil for free - anyone else?

Will do good wrote:
Mon Apr 20, 2020 1:15 pm
Wonder if I can store these oil in my swimming pool? maybe use the community pool as well. :twisted:
Can you just imagine the Nextdoor posts?
by jpelder
Mon Apr 20, 2020 12:51 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Coffee Experts - Help with an online coffee order
Replies: 33
Views: 2592

Re: Coffee Experts - Help with an online coffee order

There are a few great local coffee Roasters in places I've lived. I'm not sure if their coffee costs with shipping will be in your budget, but the coffee is great. I'm a medium roast fan, so my dark roast opinions aren't too applicable. Both of the places below use a normal dark roast scale, not the...
by jpelder
Mon Apr 20, 2020 11:06 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: 100mbps vs 200mbps broadband speed
Replies: 48
Views: 1969

Re: 100mbps vs 200mbps broadband speed

The chokepoint might be your wireless connection, rather than the trunk connection. If your WiFi router is more than a few years old, it probably only has 2 or 4 antennas, which means multiple devices are having to swap channels. Adding parallel capacity will help more than increasing the speed limi...
by jpelder
Mon Apr 20, 2020 8:40 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Growing Fruit and Vegetables
Replies: 30
Views: 1858

Re: Growing Fruit and Vegetables

Herbs are my favorite, and they're practically idiot-proof. It's nice to be able to pick just what you need, instead of buying a bunch and wasting most. We have a larger yard for veggies, but our herb garden is only about 8x8. In the perennial herb department, we have chives, oregano, rosemary (this...
by jpelder
Mon Apr 20, 2020 8:29 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Stimulus Charity?
Replies: 28
Views: 1584

Re: Stimulus Charity?

We took half of ours and donated it. $300 each to 4 different charities that help with feeding and housing. The other half we're using to buy giftcards or just to patronize local businesses that we want to keep afloat. Restaurants, breweries, and art places.
by jpelder
Fri Apr 17, 2020 9:48 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: I don’t need to file anything on April 15,2020, right?
Replies: 22
Views: 3060

Re: I don’t need to file anything on April 15,2020, right?

Davistax wrote:
Fri Apr 17, 2020 9:26 am
You can efile at any time & delay payment until 7/15.
That's likely the best plan to prevent fraud, although I doubt anyone would like to pay OP's tax bill for them
by jpelder
Thu Apr 16, 2020 1:54 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Pixel 3a or Wait for New Iphone?
Replies: 35
Views: 1546

Re: Pixel 3a or Wait for New Iphone?

Google has guaranteed software updates for at least 3 years. The phone is being discounted by Google because a 4a version will be released soon. What does that mean? As an old iPhone SE user that is considering the Pixel 3a I'm confused by this. Does Google typically not offer updates for phones af...
by jpelder
Thu Apr 16, 2020 1:03 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: What are you doing for haircuts due to coronavirus shutdown?
Replies: 254
Views: 20103

Re: What are you doing for haircuts due to coronavirus shutdown?

Farmer uses sheep shears to give himself a haircut, one minute twelve seconds: https://twitter.com/i/status/1250119125386616838 Don't catch an ear in those things! Alas, I have starkly straight hair (1a on the Andre Walker scale: straight, fine, and a tendency to oiliness), so any unevenness in cut...
by jpelder
Tue Apr 14, 2020 9:14 am
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Investments you wouldn't touch with a 10 foot pole
Replies: 110
Views: 9173

Re: Investments you wouldn't touch with a 10 foot pole

Anything in Mainland China Government bonds. While popular, not capital investment, not supportive of free-market principles. I've always wondered in the back of my mind whether the U.S. government could simply cancel their debts with the stroke of a pen like the monarchs of Europe used to do all t...
by jpelder
Sun Apr 12, 2020 10:14 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Should we be concerned with any banks closing?
Replies: 44
Views: 3195

Re: Should we be concerned with any banks closing?

As others have said, if your bank goes bust, the FDIC will arrange a shotgun marriage to save the bank's business, or they will cash out insured deposits. https://money.howstuffworks.com/personal-finance/banking/bank-closes-down1.htm The FDIC has never failed to deliver 100% of insured deposits. Thi...
by jpelder
Thu Apr 02, 2020 11:03 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Homemade Salad Dressing
Replies: 50
Views: 2813

Re: Homemade Salad Dressing

I often make my own vinaigrette 4 Tb Oil (usually EV Olive, but sometimes toasted walnut, sesame, or a blend) 1-2 Tb Acid (Good aged balsamic, wine vinegar, citrus juice) 1 tsp dijon mustard Dash of salt, grind of pepper, a few chopped herbs if desired (oregano and thyme are great in a lemon-olive o...
by jpelder
Tue Mar 31, 2020 1:52 pm
Forum: Personal Investments
Topic: Rollover of 401K (403B) "RMD" to TIRA
Replies: 7
Views: 264

Re: Rollover of 401K (403B) "RMD" to TIRA

Thanks, retiredjg for the confirmation. Another question.......hoping the fungible idea saves me here. The "RMD" came into account A. Thinking it really was an RMD , I reinvested it in account A. Now I am thinking I want to do a rollover into TIRA account B. Can I just bring in $$ from outside bank...
by jpelder
Tue Mar 31, 2020 10:23 am
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Investments you wouldn't touch with a 10 foot pole
Replies: 110
Views: 9173

Re: Investments you wouldn't touch with a 10 foot pole

I break this answer into two parts: Things that I don't think anyone should touch with a ten-foot pole Cryptocurrency: at best it's currency speculation, and you might as well just buy Euros and Yen to hedge your dollars. At worst, it's an outright scam Leveraged/inverse funds and ETFs: These seem l...
by jpelder
Mon Mar 30, 2020 9:45 am
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: CNBC: Investors Should Be Buying Individual Stocks, Not Indexes
Replies: 84
Views: 7494

Re: CNBC: Investors Should Be Buying Individual Stocks, Not Indexes

"It's very hard for a man to understand something when his salary depends on his not understanding it." Mr. El-Erian works for Allianz, a major supplier of actively-managed mutual funds. He wants people to think that his staff is super-smart and can beat the market. Some of them probably can some of...
by jpelder
Wed Mar 25, 2020 11:17 am
Forum: Personal Investments
Topic: Please recommend 401k Allocation with new Employer
Replies: 10
Views: 484

Re: Please recommend 401k Allocation with new Employer

I would also recommend the Target-Date funds. DW and I's IRAs are invested in the Vanguard Target Date 2055 fund (we're both about 30). In the current market, not having to worry about rebalancing and the temptation to tinker with allocation is nice. Same thing over the past few years when the marke...
by jpelder
Mon Mar 23, 2020 10:59 am
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Which industry is most likely to survive CoronaCrash?
Replies: 14
Views: 892

Re: Which industry is most likely to survive CoronaCrash?

Any business that facilitates virtual work or cloud services (Zoom, Citrix, Microsoft, Google, Amazon) seem like they'll be mostly OK, although the more diversified ones may suffer from losses in other departments. Likewise, providers of E-Learning services (Discovery Education, Instructure, Blackbo...
by jpelder
Fri Mar 13, 2020 9:04 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: What entertainment during Covid-19 times?
Replies: 101
Views: 5443

Re: What entertainment during Covid-19 times?

I just put a couple of books on hold at the library. I also have a good stockpile of dried beans, onions, celery, and concentrated broth that I can use to make into soups if I'm at home due to closed schools (I'm a teacher) My Netflix, Amazon Prime, Starz, and HBO accounts are up-to-date, too. I've ...
by jpelder
Thu Mar 12, 2020 7:30 am
Forum: Personal Investments
Topic: Large amount of cash to invest, not sure if I should wait for further dip. Thoughts?
Replies: 32
Views: 3579

Re: Large amount of cash to invest, not sure if I should wait for further dip. Thoughts?

Was it invested at the old 401k? If so, I'd get it back into the allocation it was in. If you're really not comfortable with that, I would set up a schedule of automatic investments to get it fully invested by this time next year. Maybe do $5800 per week or something like that (300,000/52=5769 and s...
by jpelder
Tue Mar 10, 2020 6:22 am
Forum: Personal Investments
Topic: Come to Jesus moment...maybe becoming a Boglehead
Replies: 8
Views: 1847

Re: Come to Jesus moment...maybe becoming a Boglehead

The 3 fund portfolio works wonders Indeed it does. My approach of using an all-in-one fund for retirement investing is paying behavioral dividends now. Sure, I've lost a lot of money on paper, but I don't have to log in to rebalance and therefore have to resist the urge to tinker and/or market time...
by jpelder
Fri Feb 28, 2020 7:47 am
Forum: Personal Investments
Topic: New index fund, where to start?
Replies: 3
Views: 299

Re: New index fund, where to start?

Hi LateStarter, I use Vanguard for my investments (I have a pension through work and bank at as local credit union). Many people around here like Fidelity, and if you've been satisfied by their service, it would be fine to leave the old 403b at Fidelity and open your IRAs and taxable accounts there....
by jpelder
Thu Feb 27, 2020 8:23 am
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Article by the founder of Intuit and Personal Capital: Bitcoin is a scam
Replies: 23
Views: 2169

Re: Article by the founder of Intuit and Personal Capital: Bitcoin is a scam

I agree with the author. Bitcoin itself may not be a scam per se, but at best it's currency speculation. His points about the resource cost of mining (a single Bitcoin requires 2 years of average household electricity to mine) and the risk of pump and dump are especially salient. I'm not buying any ...
by jpelder
Thu Feb 27, 2020 7:35 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Inexpensive men's razors?
Replies: 37
Views: 2660

Re: Inexpensive men's razors?

You could just grow a beard. I use Dollar Shave Club to shave the neckbeard, but with a full beard, I only have to shave twice or thrice per week instead of every day. I haven't noticed any change in quality of Dollar Shave Club's blades, either, but I only get refills twice a year, so I may not hav...
by jpelder
Mon Feb 24, 2020 3:04 pm
Forum: Personal Investments
Topic: Market sell off
Replies: 55
Views: 7707

Re: Market sell off

The best ways to react to a selloff: 1: Rebalance to make sure that your asset allocation still matches your target (many people have "bands" of plus/minus a certain percentage) 2. Continue investing on your regular schedule to "buy low" Some members around here keep some money in cash/bonds to "buy...
by jpelder
Wed Feb 19, 2020 6:06 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Pet Peeve: Bar Keeper's Friend Clumping
Replies: 15
Views: 1873

Re: Pet Peeve: Bar Keeper's Friend Clumping

Humidity will make any hydrophilic powder clump. The solution I've found is to keep the scouring powder in a cabinet in my laundry room, rather than under a sink where it's humid. I also just bang the can against the bathtub to get the last chunks broken up
by jpelder
Sat Feb 15, 2020 10:20 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Advice for my next car please
Replies: 24
Views: 2184

Re: Advice for my next car please

Have you got any second opinions about how much it costs to replace struts? Without knowing the exact model or the exact details of replacement, it certainly sounds like an unusually high repair cost. I second this. Either call around for price quotes, or take it to another place or two for diagnos...
by jpelder
Sat Feb 15, 2020 9:42 am
Forum: Personal Investments
Topic: PSA : Turbotax cannot import vanguard brokerage 1099 ?
Replies: 25
Views: 2490

Re: PSA : Turbotax cannot import vanguard brokerage 1099 ?

TurboTax has for years had two separate imports for this. If you had the full year on the new brokerage platform, you have to import via a search for Vanguard Marketing Corporation or Vanguard Brokerage Services or something. I don't recall the exact terminology and I'm not at my computer to confir...
by jpelder
Fri Feb 14, 2020 2:29 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Should I drop my auto insurance full coverage?
Replies: 2
Views: 386

Re: Should I drop my auto insurance full coverage?

The number I've heard is that it's worth cancelling when the annual premium is more than 10% of the "total payout" (value minus deductible). https://www.insurance.com/auto-insurance/coverage/comprehensive-and-collision-auto-insurance.html My cars are worth $10k and $5k. Collision and comprehensive c...
by jpelder
Fri Feb 14, 2020 2:09 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Does anyone bypass insurance for primary care?
Replies: 108
Views: 6858

Re: Does anyone bypass insurance for primary care?

I don't do this, but visits to my designated PCP are only a $20 copay (an annual physical is $0 copay), and I usually don't have any balance bills for my annual visit
by jpelder
Fri Feb 14, 2020 1:49 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: creating a will
Replies: 22
Views: 1507

Re: creating a will

If you have minor children or a complicated situation, I would absolutely get an attorney. If you'd be fine with a chance that your state's intestacy laws would kick in, then LegalZoom would probably work