Search found 780 matches

by strafe
Mon Jun 18, 2018 6:51 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: How much car to buy reasonably?
Replies: 50
Views: 2177

Re: How much car to buy reasonably?

You should buy a 5 door 2018 GTI with DSG (or stick). No more, no less. $25k out the door - go ahead and buy new if you want and keep for 10+ years. Why GTI? May I ask? I doubt any car on the market will bring you more fun per dollar than the VW GTI. Go test drive one, you'll see. This review about...
by strafe
Sun Jun 10, 2018 3:53 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: The effect of a difficult last name on employment prospects...
Replies: 43
Views: 3493

Re: The effect of a difficult last name on employment prospects...

First names might have a bigger impact than last names.

Lay press coverage here and here of a cross-sectional study a few years back that concluded the shorter your first name, the higher your earnings.
by strafe
Sun Jun 10, 2018 10:44 am
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: 35 and Need Help With Building Wealth
Replies: 55
Views: 6555

Re: 35 and Need Help With Building Wealth

Two comments: I work in sales so It's $13.85 + commission. Also it's work from home so $0 commute and 0 minutes commuting time. Also it allows me to work on my websites between calls, which is how I generate Adsense income. While I could find a job that pays more, the trade off would be less time to...
by strafe
Tue Jun 05, 2018 5:36 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: New AC Unit broken or "feezing". HVAC company says it's my fault for "running it too hard". What can I do?
Replies: 55
Views: 5135

Re: New AC Unit broken or "feezing". HVAC company says it's my fault for "running it too hard". What can I do?

I need some advice with yet another consumer issue. I bought a brand new HVAC system almost exactly 1 year ago from an HVAC company in my area. They installed the system and removed the old system. It worked great through last Summer and Winter, and so far this Spring. I replace the filter every mo...
by strafe
Sat Jun 02, 2018 6:15 am
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Rental property sanity check
Replies: 6
Views: 800

Re: Rental property sanity check

I’m not sure I understand the math:
Gross rent $1800
- Mortgage $800.
- Operating expenses (maintenance, capital improvements, property management, vacancy allowance) not mentioned but probably $500-$1000/Mo
= slim margin

I don’t think this works unless you can charge higher rent.
by strafe
Thu May 31, 2018 9:57 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Investing vs Paying down loan
Replies: 9
Views: 1079

Re: Investing vs Paying down loan

Right now I have an extra $500/month that I am currently sending to my emergency savings account. Even though employment is secure and have 7 months of expenses saved up, I prefer to have a bigger savings balance (1 year worth of expenses) . Should I direct those funds to maximize my retirement acc...
by strafe
Wed May 30, 2018 4:16 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Vehicle Advice for new Boglehead (4Runner)
Replies: 45
Views: 2264

Re: Vehicle Advice for new Boglehead (4Runner)

What is it about that particular truck/model that you like? Off road capability? Appearance? Body on frame build? Toyota reliability? All of those things interest me. I figured it's too much $$ for where I am now - just didn't know for sure if it'd matter that I planned on keeping it for 10 plus ye...
by strafe
Sun May 27, 2018 6:33 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Peloton spin bike worth the high cost?
Replies: 30
Views: 3792

Re: Peloton spin bike worth the high cost?

Look at a road bike + indoor trainer + Zwift as cheaper and IMO more interesting alternative. Or the Concept2 BikeErg + Zwift.
by strafe
Sat May 26, 2018 8:49 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Rowing machine
Replies: 32
Views: 2515

Re: Rowing machine

There is no rowing machine worth buying other than the concept2. Resale value is excellent as well, so there is limited risk. Get the model D. The WaterRower is also well made but is more a piece of furniture than a serious work out tool. The concept2 app ecosystem is exceptional. Connects to Strava...
by strafe
Sat May 26, 2018 6:45 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Near commercial level treadmill
Replies: 36
Views: 2734

Re: Near commercial level treadmill

Have you read this article?

Your price range seems to put you in no-man's land between a gussied up consumer/home treadmill and the high end commercial units.
If you want the best, look at Woodway.
by strafe
Sat May 26, 2018 6:39 am
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: The "4% withdrawal rate"- would it apply to someone "retiring" in their 70s?
Replies: 54
Views: 4484

Re: The "4% withdrawl rate" - would it apply to someone "retiring" in their 70s?

No one has mentioned the Vanguard Managed Payout fund. It might work, though probably focuses too much on capital preservation for someone retiring in their 70s. I still think the SPIA would be better.
by strafe
Sat May 26, 2018 6:36 am
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: The "4% withdrawal rate"- would it apply to someone "retiring" in their 70s?
Replies: 54
Views: 4484

Re: The "4% withdrawl rate" - would it apply to someone "retiring" in their 70s?

This is a case where I would explore buying a single premium immediate annuity for a large portion of the portfolio (perhaps up to half, with the remainder in equities). I also agree that an immediate annuity (with inflation adjustment) is definitely something to strongly consider in this kind of s...
by strafe
Sat May 26, 2018 5:23 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Am I crazy to pay off my 30-yr fixed 3.625 mortgage?
Replies: 129
Views: 13873

Re: Am I crazy to pay off my 30-yr fixed 3.625 mortgage?

Stepping back, I think you should enjoy the moment where you have the difficult decision, at age 36, to either pay off the $200k+ mortgage and own your house outright, or invest in your $1M+ portfolio. Sweet. +1 For all the strong opinions on this topic, in the end, the difference between either st...
by strafe
Sat May 26, 2018 5:18 am
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: The "4% withdrawal rate"- would it apply to someone "retiring" in their 70s?
Replies: 54
Views: 4484

Re: The "4% withdrawl rate" - would it apply to someone "retiring" in their 70s?

This is a case where I would explore buying a single premium immediate annuity for a large portion of the portfolio (perhaps up to half, with the remainder in equities). You can get quotes at immediateannuities.com.
by strafe
Tue May 22, 2018 5:26 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Lease buyout negotiation tips?
Replies: 21
Views: 1907

Re: Lease buyout negotiation tips?

My DW's VW Passat lease is coming to the end and the dealer already contacted us with few options for the new lease (awful ones) but we didn't like any of it. The residual value is around $12k and we can easily squeeze 40k more miles from it (I hope for more but have few concerns about TSI engine)....
by strafe
Tue May 22, 2018 5:18 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Factory Five build cars
Replies: 23
Views: 2517

Re: Factory Five build cars

Do you want to build one? Have the mechanical skill to do so? The space? The time? If you’re simply trying to save my money, this is the wrong approach. You can buy an assembled FF car for far less than the time/money you’ll spend on building yourself. You do it yourself because that’s your passion.
by strafe
Fri May 18, 2018 7:52 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Attic HVAC: fan doesn't work in AUTO mode and AC on
Replies: 8
Views: 877

Re: Attic HVAC: fan doesn't work in AUTO mode and AC on

I agree with just frank: This is most likely a thermostat problem. There is only one fan control line coming out of the thermostat. It is either on or off. However, you can have some more advanced systems that control the fan asynchronously from the control of the condenser. This is usually done fo...
by strafe
Thu May 17, 2018 1:45 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Do I pay towards my mortgage or invest?
Replies: 45
Views: 4686

Re: Do I pay towards my mortgage or invest?

Anyone who has ever applied for a HELOC, a mortgage or even a credit card understands this. A lot of people lean on this to justify not paying down debt because it doesn't feel as good as leveraging into stocks. But the transaction costs to take out a $10K loan are simply not that high. Of course t...
by strafe
Thu May 17, 2018 1:35 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Do I pay towards my mortgage or invest?
Replies: 45
Views: 4686

Re: Do I pay towards my mortgage or invest?

Hi everyone, I got a good tax refund this year - a little over $10k. I have a mortgage of $480k @ 3.875% (30 yr fixed). I am thinking about putting this 10k towards the mortgage, and from my calculations, I save about 20k in interest over 30 years. Other options are - build a deck, take care of som...
by strafe
Thu May 17, 2018 1:27 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Do I pay towards my mortgage or invest?
Replies: 45
Views: 4686

Re: Do I pay towards my mortgage or invest?

Hi everyone, I got a good tax refund this year - a little over $10k. I have a mortgage of $480k @ 3.875% (30 yr fixed). Here's one way you may have already (accidentally) answered this question for yourself. At any point since you get your mortgage, you likely had the option to borrow $10K against ...
by strafe
Tue May 15, 2018 8:25 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Term life-is this reasonable price?
Replies: 10
Views: 961

Re: Term life-is this reasonable price?

check term4sale.com
by strafe
Sat May 12, 2018 5:34 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: hedge trimmer
Replies: 7
Views: 450

Re: hedge trimmer

I strongly recommend the Ego line of electric tools, carried at Home Depot and others. Lineup includes hedge trimmer, leaf blower, string trimmer, chain saw, and lawn mower, as well a "power head" system that includes pole saw, string trimmer and edger attachments.
by strafe
Fri May 11, 2018 10:05 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Anyone buy carbon offsets when flying?
Replies: 111
Views: 4674

Re: Anyone buy carbon offsets when flying?

If I were that concerned about my carbon footprint, I wouldn't fly at all. I wouldn't drive either - I'd walk to my destination :happy Seriously, though, the plane will fly and use the fuel whether or not you are on board (unless everyone decided to cancel their reservations.) Yup, I already walk t...
by strafe
Fri May 11, 2018 9:53 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: how to figure that shoes need replacing
Replies: 30
Views: 2231

Re: how to figure that shoes need replacing

I have these pair of ecco dress shoes that I wear to work on alternate days. So ~10-12 full days per month How do you figure that you need to change them and buy new ones. Sometimes my feet hurt but other days they don't. So i don't know if the feet hurting is because of shoes or because I was stan...
by strafe
Fri May 11, 2018 9:41 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: When to replace a car windshield
Replies: 27
Views: 1781

Re: When to replace a car windshield

This may sound stupid, but have you tried cleaning the windshield? Mine gets like that too when it's dirty, always amazes me how clear it is once I clean it, which admittedly, I don't do as often as I should. I probably take my car to get washed 1x a month Not a stupid suggestion at all. These are ...
by strafe
Fri May 11, 2018 9:33 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Anyone buy carbon offsets when flying?
Replies: 111
Views: 4674

Re: Anyone buy carbon offsets when flying?

In before the lock...

If you actually want to lower your carbon footprint, rather than just feel pious, you should become a vegetarian.
by strafe
Fri May 11, 2018 5:58 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: New Car Suggestions: BMW Crapping Out
Replies: 61
Views: 5556

Re: New Car Suggestions: BMW Crapping Out

Now that you have fixed the BMW, you could consider keeping it.

CX-9 gets the best ratings of the non luxury large SUVs.
The MDX would be a safe bet if you want something a little nicer.
Also consider the Tahoe / Yukon.
by strafe
Thu May 10, 2018 12:58 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Payoff mortgage early or save?
Replies: 27
Views: 3085

Re: Payoff mortgage early or save?

I've always felt that, unless and until you can make one lump sum payment to eliminate the mortgage, you should hold on to extra cash. The bank isn't interested in the fact that you're 12 months ahead of where you should be on your mortgage; your payment is due every month on the 1st. Lose your job...
by strafe
Wed May 09, 2018 5:54 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Another Vehicle Question
Replies: 31
Views: 1706

Re: Another Vehicle Question

I'm not convinced the Expedition is larger for the passengers than your existing van. The Expedition is mostly for people who need a truck that can haul a lot of people, or for people who just want the look. With 3 kids of similar age I cannot imagine how you are 'outgrowing' the van. We make do in...
by strafe
Wed May 09, 2018 5:13 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Buying out car lease loan
Replies: 11
Views: 1189

Re: Buying out car lease loan

You should explore other lenders. Unless the manufacturer’s captive bank offers an exceptional rate or waived lease termination fees, I can’t fathom why anyone would want to deal with these titling hassles. Lightstream, for example, places no lien; you can title it however you wish.
by strafe
Thu May 03, 2018 5:34 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: IBR student loan repayment question
Replies: 4
Views: 410

Re: IBR student loan repayment question

Let's say it's IBR. Borrowed amount = 100k. After several years of making IBR payments, the balance = 115k. Income then goes above threshold. Payments cannot exceed amount under what a normal 10 year payment schedule would be...so 115k amortized over 120 months...or is it 100k amortized over 120 mo...
by strafe
Fri Apr 20, 2018 7:45 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Car for 23 year old
Replies: 33
Views: 2545

Re: Car for 23 year old

Consider a lightly used Hyundai Sonata
by strafe
Fri Apr 20, 2018 7:44 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Car for 23 year old
Replies: 33
Views: 2545

Re: Car for 23 year old

Used Lexus ES. Find the nicest one owner with low miles in your price range. I recently bought an 05 ES 330, 75k miles. $7k Beautiful car. Toyota reliable. Till the repair bills come Why do you say that? The ES330 is a Camry with a nicer interior. I’ve never though of Toyotas as expensive to keep o...
by strafe
Thu Apr 19, 2018 4:32 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Car value: old car with low mileage
Replies: 22
Views: 1601

Re: Car value: old car with low mileage

Please come back after the sale and let us know what happens. It seems like just about any car in good shape without mechanical problems should be worth at least $3-4k for private party sale. On the other hand, you'll be competing against some decent cars in that price range. I can't imagine there's...
by strafe
Tue Apr 17, 2018 5:14 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Mozart in the morning, please
Replies: 18
Views: 2381

Re: Mozart in the morning, please

Amazon Echo Spot

pair with another speaker if you need better sound
by strafe
Wed Apr 11, 2018 4:52 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Student Loan Repayment Plan
Replies: 41
Views: 1738

Re: Student Loan Repayment Plan

If the loan balance grows substantially due to accumulating interest, the tax bill owed at year 25 forgiveness could exceed the cost of repaying the loan on a normal payment plan. The tax bill in year 25 could be hundreds of thousands of dollars. The limits on negative amortization in REPAYE would p...
by strafe
Tue Apr 10, 2018 8:31 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: VA Physician TSP matching and FERS
Replies: 7
Views: 613

Re: VA Physician TSP matching and FERS

performance pay does not count toward TSP match or FERS calculation, but market (specialty + locale) pay does count.
by strafe
Fri Mar 23, 2018 7:18 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Why can you "spend more" if you buy SPIA?
Replies: 12
Views: 1193

Re: Why can you "spend more" if you buy SPIA?

You can spend more because you plan for an average life expectancy and not a maximum life expectancy.
by strafe
Sun Mar 18, 2018 7:38 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: London Hotels
Replies: 59
Views: 4112

Re: London Hotels

Check out the Renaissance at St. Pancras
by strafe
Fri Mar 16, 2018 7:02 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Lease of new Truck
Replies: 8
Views: 746

Re: Lease of new Truck

I second the 24 month lease being a better deal from residual standpoint. The one pay is marginally attractive but need to take in consideration how much gap insurance will cost to cover you in the event the car is stolen or totalled. Crash day 1 with no gap, lose 8.5k. Gap is sometimes included by...
by strafe
Fri Mar 16, 2018 4:49 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Modest stereo system
Replies: 57
Views: 3696

Re: Modest stereo system

This won’t meet the requirements for FM or vinyl,but consider the Apple HomePod. You can link two or more of them for whole house sound.
by strafe
Sat Mar 10, 2018 6:33 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: MD-Phd (Harvard) vs MSTP (School X)
Replies: 44
Views: 3846

Re: MD-Phd (Harvard) vs MSTP (School X)

Harvard is the #1 school in the world by many ratings. I wouldn't think about this one too long. Best students, profs, resources. Yale #11 Hopkins #17 UCSF #18 What is the source for this? Are these universities or medical schools? Rankings, for whatever they’re worth, depend on what you’re attempt...
by strafe
Thu Mar 08, 2018 9:41 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: MD-Phd (Harvard) vs MSTP (School X)
Replies: 44
Views: 3846

Re: MD-Phd (Harvard) vs MSTP (School X)

UCSF and Hopkins are peer institutions to Harvard. Unless pursuing a specific research program or mentorship opportunity available only at Harvard, I would choose the MSTP program with the assurance of funding.
by strafe
Thu Mar 08, 2018 8:19 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: 0W-20 Synthetic Motor Oil
Replies: 58
Views: 7385

Re: 0W-20 Synthetic Motor Oil

There are four cars in our family...three require/can use 0W-20 synthetic motor oil (Lexus LS460; Honda CRV and Toyota Corolla). The other (Lexus RX330) needs 5W-30 and I used synthetic last time. I am/plan to run all four vehicles for 10,000 miles/1 year, which ever comes first. Please let's NOT t...
by strafe
Sun Mar 04, 2018 7:00 am
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Pay off car loan or keep money in bond fund?
Replies: 11
Views: 917

Re: Pay off car loan or keep money in bond fund?

I would refinance to a lower rate and preserve your liquidity. However, the more savings you have, the less I think this decision matters.
by strafe
Fri Mar 02, 2018 5:07 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Sweet Spot For SEER Rating
Replies: 29
Views: 2541

Re: Sweet Spot For SEER Rating

The ECM blowers are worth every penny. I would rule out the 14 SEER since it does not have ECM. 2-stage A/C is a comfort feature (improved humidity control and smaller on/off temperature fluctuations) -- not necessarily all that cheaper to run. An ECM blower already gets you much of the dehumidifica...
by strafe
Tue Feb 20, 2018 4:20 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Paying off car loan good for credit?
Replies: 19
Views: 974

Re: Paying off car loan good for credit?

It depends on the ratios of -debt payments to income, and -auto loan balance to liquid savings. If your debt payments are high relative to your income, pay off the car loan. If you are short on savings / illiquid, do not pay off the loan. Neither apply? your score is >800 and none of this matters. ...
by strafe
Tue Feb 20, 2018 4:12 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Paying off car loan good for credit?
Replies: 19
Views: 974

Re: Paying off car loan good for credit?

It depends on the ratios of
-debt payments to income, and
-auto loan balance to liquid savings.

If your debt payments are high relative to your income, pay off the car loan.
If you are short on savings / illiquid, do not pay off the loan.

Neither apply? your score is >800 and none of this matters.