Search found 887 matches

by strafe
Thu Jun 13, 2019 8:56 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Buy Mini-Van Tomorrow or No?
Replies: 59
Views: 3090

Re: Buy Mini-Van Tomorrow or No?

Yes. You can afford it and will be very glad you bought it.

As to the price, that depends on trim level. You can get a brand new Touring L for about the same price. A 1yr old used Pacifica was almost certainly a rental.
by strafe
Sun Jun 09, 2019 8:25 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Paying for rent is throwing away money...myth?
Replies: 301
Views: 17875

Re: Paying for rent is throwing away money...myth?

Everyone rents. You either rent the house directly, or you rent the money to buy the house from a bank. Even folks that pay cash or own outright still pay rent (property tax). The best choice depends on the situation and your priorities. The statement that renting is always “throwing money away” ref...
by strafe
Thu Jun 06, 2019 7:56 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Value of Zillow house price estimate
Replies: 44
Views: 5979

Re: Value of Zillow house price estimate

My home: Zillow 3.2MM Redfin 1.7MM Trulia 2.4MM County appraiser: 1.5MM So, do the roboappraisers know what they are talking about? Absolutely not! Predicting sale prices is more reliable for ordinary homes. The market for mansions is thin and prices volatile, dependent on the whims of a few buyers...
by strafe
Thu Jun 06, 2019 6:04 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Would you buy a house without a garage?
Replies: 95
Views: 5886

Re: Would you buy a house without a garage?

Unless I were car-less, I would never buy a house without a garage (or the potential to build one, with the construction cost reflected appropriately in the purchase price)
by strafe
Thu Jun 06, 2019 5:51 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Value of Zillow house price estimate
Replies: 44
Views: 5979

Re: Value of Zillow house price estimate

For what it’s worth, when buying our last home, I made a simple regression model of comparable home sales in the neighborhood. The model was within spitting distance of Zillow. Keep in mind the 50% confidence interval for the Z-estimate is enormous. Look at the Z estimate range for your house. There...
by strafe
Wed May 22, 2019 1:29 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Expensive front load washer/dryer worth it?
Replies: 53
Views: 3272

Re: Expensive front load washer/dryer worth it?

There are some crazy expensive washer/dryers out there. Do you find the extra cost is worth the bells and whistles? Do these machines return on investment in any ways, whether water usage, clothes preservation, or making the clothes feel especially nice? Or is a $200 craigslist Amana set going to b...
by strafe
Sat May 18, 2019 6:59 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Synthetic oil or not for very low mileage auto?
Replies: 47
Views: 3097

Re: Synthetic oil or not for very low mileage auto?

Mobil1 full synthetic costs $13 total for a 5 quart jug ($23 at Walmart minus $10 online/mail-in rebate that runs most of the year). Pennzoil Platinum often has similar rebates and pricing. The added cost of synthetic oil, if any, is minimal compared to conventional oil. I don't think the decision i...
by strafe
Thu May 16, 2019 5:09 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Which car has the best or most comfortable cabin under 35K
Replies: 74
Views: 6003

Re: Which car has the best or most comfortable cabin under 35K

Hyundai Equus — used,3 years old — by far. Also look at Genesis G80/90.

The Toyota/Lexus/Ford/Honda mentioned above are nice cars, but not even in the same universe compared to the Equus/Genesis.
by strafe
Tue May 14, 2019 7:18 am
Forum: Personal Investments
Topic: Should I leave Betterment?
Replies: 29
Views: 4559

Re: Should I leave Betterment?

I also have reasons why I'm nervous about Betterment: Wash sales - My intuition is that this isn't much of an issue in practice, but I could be wrong About my household: Assets - Non-taxable: $80K Roth IRA, $10K Traditional IRA (both with Betterment at 90% stocks / 10% bonds), Taxable: $0. $10K in ...
by strafe
Tue May 14, 2019 7:16 am
Forum: Personal Investments
Topic: Should I leave Betterment?
Replies: 29
Views: 4559

Re: Should I leave Betterment?

My only concern with Betterment is the possibility of receiving a 1099 hundreds of pages long due to tax loss harvesting. I know it can be imported into tax software, but I value the simplicity of no capital gains transactions. The aggressive tax loss harvesting is worth the 0.25% management fee for...
by strafe
Wed May 08, 2019 5:34 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Diesel Pusher RV
Replies: 9
Views: 749

Re: Diesel Pusher RV

Rent?

A class C (or super-C) from Cruise America won’t be as nice as a class A diesel. But does it really matter?
by strafe
Tue May 07, 2019 5:31 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Remind me why we have Medicare supplement
Replies: 26
Views: 3857

Re: Remind me why we have Medicare supplement

MathIsMyWayr wrote:
Mon May 06, 2019 10:39 pm
A friend of mine had a heart surgery a few years ago. The total bill came out over $1.3 MM (million). Calculation:
  • 20% of $1.3 MM = $260K.
It’s 20% of the Medicare allowable, not 20% of inflated charges.
Still, a lot of money.
by strafe
Tue Apr 30, 2019 4:38 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Best electric cordless lawn mower for medium sized yard?
Replies: 40
Views: 2433

Re: Best electric cordless lawn mower for medium sized yard?

Too much yard for an electric or reel mower here, but if I had a smaller lot like you, I’d probably go for the Fiskars reel mower. For cordless electrics, The Lawn Care Nut did a review of an Ego that might be helpful. His gripes in the review about cut quality only apply to St Augustine which is v...
by strafe
Tue Apr 30, 2019 4:34 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Fun-ish Used Boglehead Car
Replies: 86
Views: 5604

Re: Fun-ish Used Boglehead Car

You can buy a new GTI for about 20k in some parts of the country. Also see VW Jetta GLI Some other fun used options in no particular order: -Subaru BRZ / Toyota 86/FRS -Miata -Acura TL -focus ST -civic Si -mustang -camaro -boxster/cayman -veloster Turbo /N -challenger RT -g37 coupe or 370Z -genesis ...
by strafe
Sun Apr 28, 2019 2:14 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Best electric cordless lawn mower for medium sized yard?
Replies: 40
Views: 2433

Re: Best electric cordless lawn mower for medium sized yard?

Best cordless mower right now is the Ego. Sold at Home Depot. If your yard is flat, the machine is light enough that you can skip the self propelled model.

See a review here.

Their other tools are great -- leaf blower, string trimmer, edger. They all use interchangeable batteries.
by strafe
Fri Apr 26, 2019 8:56 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: 10 minutes worth $300K?
Replies: 61
Views: 8540

Re: 10 minutes worth $300K?

This seems like a false choice. Both options are miserable.

What does a 15min commute look like?
by strafe
Wed Apr 03, 2019 7:12 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Redoing lawn with bermuda
Replies: 25
Views: 2218

Re: Redoing lawn with bermuda

Are you in the transition zone? Considering all the options for warm season grass, why bermuda?

Mowing low will quickly kill the fescue but not the weeds. My neighbors are quite good at it.
by strafe
Tue Apr 02, 2019 4:11 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Only need 5% down to avoid PMI. Should we put less than 20% down and put balance toward renovations?
Replies: 34
Views: 2607

Re: Only need 5% down to avoid PMI. Should we put less than 20% down and put balance toward renovations?

I don't think there's any "avoiding" PMI with less than 20% down. If you're not explicitly paying PMI, then you are instead paying a higher interest rate (i.e. lender-paid PMI). Get a mortgage quote from them (or other lenders) assuming 20% down and see what rate you get. PMI rules only apply to co...
by strafe
Tue Apr 02, 2019 4:09 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Only need 5% down to avoid PMI. Should we put less than 20% down and put balance toward renovations?
Replies: 34
Views: 2607

Re: Only need 5% down to avoid PMI. Should we put less than 20% down and put balance toward renovations?

It’ll be much easier on you to do renovations before you move in. If you don’t feel comfortable dipping into the cash reserves to pay both 20% down payment and renovate, then I think the 5% option is reasonable. I wouldn’t overthink this.
by strafe
Thu Mar 28, 2019 1:07 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Experience with replacing heat pump - Carrier or Lennox?
Replies: 16
Views: 890

Re: Experience with replacing heat pump - Carrier or Lennox?

I don’t know much about those particular systems. Carrier and Lennox are fine brands.

In general the most important factor is the quality of the contractor, not the equipment.

The sweet spot for equipment is in the midrange. A variable speed blower (ECM) is worth every penny for comfort.
by strafe
Wed Mar 27, 2019 1:15 pm
Forum: Forum Issues and Administration
Topic: Auto-Lock threads older than 6 months!
Replies: 50
Views: 6837

Re: Auto-Lock threads older than 6 months!

Active discussion in old threads still adds value. Sure, the topic author may no longer need an answer to the original question. But much of the benefit of a public discussion accrues to other readers. Some topics are timeless.
by strafe
Wed Mar 27, 2019 1:04 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: New Honda CR-V vs. 2-3 Year Old CR-V?
Replies: 11
Views: 716

Re: New Honda CR-V vs. 2-3 Year Old CR-V?

Depreciation on Honda & Toyota is so low that it often doesn’t make sense to buy used. I would buy the new one.
by strafe
Sun Mar 24, 2019 5:21 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: yard service questions
Replies: 12
Views: 1121

Re: yard service questions

No grass? Do you really need to hire someone?

A ready to use jug of Roundup (glyphosate) costs $20 and will take care of your weeds for months.

You can get an inexpensive water pump at Harbor Freight.
by strafe
Sat Mar 23, 2019 5:46 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Thinking of renting an Audi through Silvercar in Orlando
Replies: 6
Views: 821

Re: Thinking of renting an Audi through Silvercar in Orlando

Those of you declining coverage on an Audi should read your credit card agreement and insurance policy carefully. Many (including mine) exclude luxury rentals and may explicitly specify brands of rented cars that are not covered.
by strafe
Wed Mar 20, 2019 5:48 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: AC went kaput, Sketchy quotes. Time to think Geothermal?
Replies: 19
Views: 2273

Re: AC went kaput, Sketchy quotes. Time to think Geothermal?

If you’re needing AC in March I would think an air source heat pump would be far more cost effective than geothermal.

R22 is prohibitively expensive.

You need a TXV to meet SEER ratings. Not to mention it will be considerably more comfortable due to better humidity control.
by strafe
Wed Mar 20, 2019 5:42 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: New carry-on policy at United Airlines?
Replies: 47
Views: 3636

Re: New carry-on policy at United Airlines?

It appears United has a new carry-on luggage practice. On my most recent business trip, after groups 1 and 2 boarded and just as they started to board group 3, they announced that no further carry-on bags that didn't fit under the seat would be allowed on the plane. I fly frequently on business (ar...
by strafe
Tue Mar 19, 2019 7:13 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Progressive Insurance -- Minor Accident
Replies: 22
Views: 1474

Re: Progressive Insurance -- Minor Accident

Just talked to the adjuster. They are still trying to convince me to go to the other insurance company myself. Tells me I have to pay my $500 deductible unless Progressive can get the other insurance company to pay for the damage. I understand that but why do they think I have a better chance with ...
by strafe
Sun Mar 17, 2019 10:34 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Am I being cheap? Wife wants a minivan, but I want to hold off
Replies: 170
Views: 7813

Re: Am I being cheap? Wife wants a minivan, but I want to hold off

Hello fellow Bogleheads! Can you help me decide if I am being practical or cheap? Of course, it is subjective but would love a sanity check from the hive mind. My wife drives a 2009 Honda CR-V with 79,000 miles on it (probably $5k trade-in). We have a 3-year-old and 4.5-year-old. She very much want...
by strafe
Sun Mar 17, 2019 10:26 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Am I being cheap? Wife wants a minivan, but I want to hold off
Replies: 170
Views: 7813

Re: Am I being cheap? Wife wants a minivan, but I want to hold off

before buying the Odyssey you may want to research Transmission issues.. buy a Sienna instead. As a compromise you could buy a 2 year old 2017 with low miles, will be almost new but save 20%. Current Odyssey does not have transmission issues. The Sienna has not been updated meaningfully in 10 years...
by strafe
Wed Mar 13, 2019 5:55 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Lawn care schedule
Replies: 73
Views: 6293

Re: Lawn care schedule

Thanks everyone for the tips! I put out some contractor blend seed yesterday as it was warming up a bit finally and the yard was rather mucky so hoping some of the seeds would grab in nicely between that and the upcoming rain in the forecast. Not the ideal time but hoping i can beat the crabgrass a...
by strafe
Wed Mar 13, 2019 6:52 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Lawn care schedule
Replies: 73
Views: 6293

Re: Lawn care schedule

Proper mowing is by far the most important thing. It's been mentioned a few times above but cannot be emphasized enough. For a northern lawn, that means using the HIGHEST SETTING ON YOUR MOWER. That will be somewhere around 3.5" or (ideally) 4". A taller lawn also has a side benefit of not needing t...
by strafe
Fri Feb 15, 2019 10:00 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: 1099-MISC / W-2 physician tax question
Replies: 6
Views: 490

Re: 1099-MISC / W-2 physician tax question

I would expect the claims would be filed under the hospital’s tax ID, not hers.
by strafe
Mon Feb 11, 2019 7:45 pm
Forum: Personal Investments
Topic: Betterment to VTSAX
Replies: 7
Views: 847

Re: Betterment to VTSAX

I would sell, lock in the loss and buy the Total Stock Index in one fell swoop. I would not view this as a major change in portfolio composition. Be aware of any wash sale limitations if your Betterman account holds the ETF version of VTSAX. Whether 100% Vanguard Total Stock Index is the optimal cho...
by strafe
Sat Feb 02, 2019 10:10 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Mazda Miata as Daily Commute Fun Car?
Replies: 94
Views: 5124

Re: Mazda Miata as Daily Commute Fun Car?

I wouldn’t want to commute that distance in a Miata.

Put a Mk7 VW GTI on your short list.
by strafe
Wed Jan 30, 2019 5:10 am
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Why doesn't the US government sell additional Social Security?
Replies: 23
Views: 2029

Re: Why doesn't the US government sell additional Social Security?

The inflation-adjusted SPIA market seems thin and overpriced. The US government has a huge Social Security department which carries out the disbursement of inflation adjusted annuities. Would it be so unreasonable for them to simply sell additional Social Security benefits much like one purchases a...
by strafe
Wed Jan 16, 2019 7:45 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Boost Emergency Fund or Pay Down Debt?
Replies: 13
Views: 976

Re: Boost Emergency Fund or Pay Down Debt?

The cost (interest rate) of the debt is low enough that I would bolster the emergency fund. You’ll sleep easier with the extra liquidity. Just be sure you don’t spend it on something other than an emergency.
by strafe
Sat Jan 12, 2019 5:33 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: 30" or 36" induction range for remodel?
Replies: 45
Views: 3444

Re: 30" or 36" induction range for remodel?

You definitely need a gas one. 30" 4 burner, 36" 6 burner or 4 plus center. Strongly recommend BlueStar (for high BTU) although a little pricy (30" $4000, 36" $6000). If you are kind cook at home person, a good high heat gas range is a must. If you are super into cooking and have a big family to fe...
by strafe
Thu Jan 10, 2019 7:02 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Switched From W2 to K1 Half Way Through Quarter
Replies: 1
Views: 227

Re: Switched From W2 to K1 Half Way Through Quarter

Does your 2018 W2 withholding get you into one of the estimated tax safe harbors? (I.e. at least 90% of total tax withheld, or at least 100/110% of 2017 tax liability withheld?) If within safe harbor, you don't need to do anything. If not in the safe harbor, I would make a large enough estimated pay...
by strafe
Tue Jan 01, 2019 11:34 am
Forum: Personal Investments
Topic: VTINX vs a 3 fund portfolio in an HSA
Replies: 3
Views: 451

Re: VTINX vs a 3 fund portfolio in an HSA

Doesn’t sound like it matters much either way. The Target Income fund will be simpler and perhaps marginally cheaper due to the transaction fees. It will be marginally more conservative compared to your proposed 3 fund portfolio due to inclusion of short term TIPS. The Target fund rebalances continu...
by strafe
Sat Dec 29, 2018 6:26 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Corvette vs Cayman/Boxster......anyone owned both?
Replies: 57
Views: 4750

Re: Corvette vs Cayman/Boxster......anyone owned both?

Remember the C7 is a quantum leap over older Corvettes. Those describing the Corvette as clunky, cheap, dated or only good in a straight line are undoubtedly taking about older Vettes.
by strafe
Sat Dec 29, 2018 8:49 am
Forum: Personal Investments
Topic: Single Premium Immediate Annuity
Replies: 22
Views: 3425

Re: Single Premium Immediate Annuity

Sometimes in the evening, after consuming a fine IPA, I sometimes think that the Government is holding my tax-deferred accounts hostage. (Ha ha...JOKE, not political...) I can have the money therein so long as I pay a 33% combined ransom. This is my marginal rate, not my effective average rate on m...
by strafe
Sat Dec 29, 2018 7:06 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Corvette vs Cayman/Boxster......anyone owned both?
Replies: 57
Views: 4750

Re: Corvette vs Cayman/Boxster......anyone owned both?

You can’t go wrong with either. I suggest you drive both. Both are excellent in their own ways, but very different. You need to figure out what you value most. I do not own either though have driven both extensively. The Corvette is faster both on the straightaway and in the corners. It feels big an...
by strafe
Fri Dec 28, 2018 1:38 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: How often does VTWSX, or "world cap" ratio update?
Replies: 12
Views: 891

Re: How often does VTWSX, or "world cap" ratio update?

Assuming you make your initial allocation according to world capitalization, you will never need to “rebalance” to maintain a world market cap weighted allocation. Your holdings will rise and fall in tandem with the world market.

(There might be small variations over time due to dividends.)
by strafe
Fri Dec 28, 2018 11:20 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Paying Student Loans
Replies: 11
Views: 1231

Re: Paying Student Loans

Ran across this the other day. Depending on a program such as this probably isn't the greatest idea. At that, IMO there should be a 'cap' on the amount that can be forgiven. To be proactive, its probably best to minimize the amount one borrows to begin with as many of us did. - https://i.postimg.cc...
by strafe
Thu Dec 27, 2018 11:07 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Paying Student Loans
Replies: 11
Views: 1231

Re: Paying Student Loans

Currently have 140k in federal student loans. 6.75% interest. On a “income based” repayment plan which forgives loans after 20 years (not public service). I believe the most they will charge me over that 20 years is $1400/mo. But, I have to pay at least $750/mo now to cover interest and keep the ba...
by strafe
Sun Dec 23, 2018 1:52 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Costco Tire Quality Seconds/Blems??
Replies: 31
Views: 3052

Re: Costco Tire Quality Seconds/Blems??

Sometimes chains like Costco or Discount Tire sell special variants of a tire at a lower price point. For example Costco used to sell the Michelin Defender XT instead of the standard Defender sold everywhere else. The difference was that the XT had a less complex tread pattern. Discount Tire has don...
by strafe
Sun Dec 16, 2018 7:57 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Honda Pilot - Improving Traction
Replies: 23
Views: 1731

Re: Honda Pilot - Improving Traction

It's not just a matter of tread wear. The tire compound loses grip with the passage of time. If more than 5-8 years old, you should replace them regardless of the tread depth. 4/32" is nearly worn out anyways.
by strafe
Sat Dec 15, 2018 6:20 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Volkswagen Reliability
Replies: 102
Views: 5657

Re: Volkswagen Reliability

Have a Mk7 GTI with zero issues since new. Sure, VW may not top the reliability charts. But it’s all relative and everyone is improving over time. Even the worst performing make today is still about as reliable as Lexus was 10 years ago. Volkswagen is trash. 1st hand and 2nd hand experience. That 2....
by strafe
Thu Dec 13, 2018 8:32 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Easy app for slideshows over TV?
Replies: 5
Views: 304

Re: Easy app for slideshows over TV?

Easy. Create an album on your iPhone/iPad/Mac with the photos you want. Open the album on the Apple TV and play slideshow.
by strafe
Thu Dec 06, 2018 5:00 am
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: (NEW) WisdomTree 90/60 U.S. Balanced Fund
Replies: 218
Views: 18648

Re: (NEW) WisdomTree 90/60 U.S. Balanced Fund

Not too shabby, specially if it's used as intended (portable alpha) Is VTI the appropriate comparison? I'd think something more like VWENX (Wellington) might be a better match, since it also has a similar makeup. I picked up a few shares (maybe $1200) when Vanguard went live with the new free ETF l...