Search found 438 matches

by sergio
Thu Dec 05, 2019 12:12 pm
Forum: Personal Investments
Topic: "The Wealthy Renter" by Alex Avery.
Replies: 135
Views: 12258

Re: "The Wealthy Renter" by Alex Avery.

I think people overstate maintenance and upkeep issues. I'm trying to figure out what keeps breaking in all of these homes that consumes all your weekends! We have owned an old home (100+ years) for almost 20 years and haven't had that many issues. Sure, you have to mow the lawn and shovel the side...
by sergio
Sun Dec 01, 2019 2:03 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: My 3 buckets: 1 yr cash + 2 yr bond + stocks
Replies: 61
Views: 5597

Re: My 3 buckets: 1 yr cash + 2 yr bond + stocks

For me: 6 months cash + two 1-year CDs that mature 6 months apart, each with about 1/2 years of expenses.
by sergio
Mon Nov 25, 2019 4:20 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: We have a prenup, now buying a house.
Replies: 117
Views: 6974

Re: We have a prenup, now buying a house.

Suppose you wrote your wife a check for 500k and bought the house together, and lost it in a divorce. Was there something else important you were going to do with that 500k? I suppose this is a rhetorical question, though I admit I'm wondering why the money is so important to you. When I was a grad...
by sergio
Sun Nov 24, 2019 9:01 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Underpayment of tax penalty?
Replies: 37
Views: 2201

Re: Underpayment of tax penalty?

Can you change your withholding for the rest of the year so that you withhold the amount you owed in 2018? That should be the simplest solution. Then figure out what you'll owe and earn a few months interest on it until you file next year. You missed what the OP clearly said their first paragraph. ...
by sergio
Sun Nov 24, 2019 6:20 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Underpayment of tax penalty?
Replies: 37
Views: 2201

Re: Underpayment of tax penalty?

Can you change your withholding for the rest of the year so that you withhold the amount you owed in 2018? That should be the simplest solution. Then figure out what you'll owe and earn a few months interest on it until you file next year.
by sergio
Fri Nov 22, 2019 4:46 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Water heater - am I getting ripped off
Replies: 58
Views: 4195

Re: Water heater - am I getting ripped off

Your rip off is less than my rip off quote. We were quoted $6900 for install of a natural gas tankless water heater. That's 4.5x the retail cost of the heater! :shock: You're comparing apples and oranges. A tankless water heater will usually require a new (larger) gas line and a new (larger) vent, ...
by sergio
Fri Nov 22, 2019 12:46 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: What are the best jobs to downshift into?
Replies: 51
Views: 7263

Re: What are the best jobs to downshift into?

School Bus Driver. A nearby school district hired me and trained me for licensing and driving technique. Part-time 20 to 25 hour per week. Nights, weekends, holidays off. Plenty of time for vacations with my wife. If you enjoy driving, and helps if you either raised kids, coached or similar, or jus...
by sergio
Fri Nov 22, 2019 12:27 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: OMG My New House is SO Drafty!
Replies: 57
Views: 7307

Re: OMG My New House is SO Drafty!

Only $250 a month? Crank up the heat!!!! :D Any sarcasm here? Asking out of true curiosity. I often wonder what other people pay for heat. I heard that a green energy startup advised power plants to put average bills for ppl's NEIGHBOR's on the bill. To tap into people's innate competitiveness. Thi...
by sergio
Wed Nov 20, 2019 7:00 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Water heater - am I getting ripped off
Replies: 58
Views: 4195

Re: Water heater - am I getting ripped off

I used to own a company that specialized in water heaters (nationwide). Here are the costs: 50 gallon gas at Home Depot $558 (online) B-vent 4" material (really depends on how far that have to run it ($30-70-ish) Some new black pipe parts ($20-30-ish) New copper for water hook ups and P/T line ($20...
by sergio
Wed Nov 20, 2019 6:12 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Water heater - am I getting ripped off
Replies: 58
Views: 4195

Re: Water heater - am I getting ripped off

As others pointed out, one guy moving a 50 gallon is not easy. A decent gas 50 gallon is $600-$700. Add in miscellaneous parts, labor, removal, travel time and I don't think it is crazy. I installed one with the help of my father a few months ago. How is this vented? I mean, how long is the vent pi...
by sergio
Wed Nov 20, 2019 6:01 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Water heater - am I getting ripped off
Replies: 58
Views: 4195

Re: Water heater - am I getting ripped off

As others pointed out, one guy moving a 50 gallon is not easy. A decent gas 50 gallon is $600-$700. Add in miscellaneous parts, labor, removal, travel time and I don't think it is crazy. I installed one with the help of my father a few months ago. How is this vented? I mean, how long is the vent pi...
by sergio
Wed Nov 20, 2019 2:19 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Water heater - am I getting ripped off
Replies: 58
Views: 4195

Re: Water heater - am I getting ripped off

delamer wrote:
Wed Nov 20, 2019 2:16 pm
If this was a quote obtained purely over the phone, how do they know that the venting is not up to code?
He asked for the size of the exhaust vents. They are 3". Code currently requires 4".
by sergio
Wed Nov 20, 2019 1:54 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Water heater - am I getting ripped off
Replies: 58
Views: 4195

Water heater - am I getting ripped off

Water heater has developed a small leak. The heater is 15 years old, so basically time for a replacement. I called one of the very reputable companies around here, they only do water heaters (based on a friend's suggestion). They quoted $1500 for the following: 0. Delivery of new water heater 1. Bra...
by sergio
Wed Nov 13, 2019 5:43 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Anyone had their house repiped?
Replies: 32
Views: 3411

Re: Anyone had their house repiped?

op it depends on whether or not is prevention of pipes freezing is a priority Supposedly PEX can deal with freezing better, here is a comparison of cooper pipe, PEX & CVPVC in a freezer test https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=OOeBJ8mDr8Q Freezing is still an issue with PEX because it still connects to...
by sergio
Tue Nov 12, 2019 3:26 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Anyone had their house repiped?
Replies: 32
Views: 3411

Re: Anyone had their house repiped?

I'm surprised copper pipe failing after 20-30 years? Or is it the joints that may not have been properly soldered failing? Yeah I was going to say the same thing. Our place is over 50 years old and has all OG copper piping that has held up great despite hard water and very very cold winters. I don'...
by sergio
Mon Nov 11, 2019 11:01 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: IHG credit card and Rewards Nights ...
Replies: 37
Views: 1679

Re: IHG credit card and Rewards Nights ...

I've had the best luck using the rewards at overseas locations. I've gotten some pretty amazing rooms in major Asian cities for 20 or 25k points, as well as the free reward nights. It also helps what are considered "lower-tier" IHG hotels in the US can actually be quite nice overseas. I once stayed ...
by sergio
Sat Nov 09, 2019 2:31 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: How bad business travel is?
Replies: 62
Views: 5228

Re: How bad business travel is?

A major part of my willingness to travel on business these days relates to how strict the company's travel policies are. ... My current employer is another story. The beancounters in the procurement department took hold of the corporate travel function and stripped all pleasure out of it. You are r...
by sergio
Wed Oct 30, 2019 5:00 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Unnecessary blood tests
Replies: 51
Views: 3125

Re: Unnecessary blood tests

As a former practicing internist and sub specialist, if a patient requested that for an annual physical that I should not obtain a CBC and metabolic profile, I would suggest that if there is no emergency at that visit, that he/she get another doctor and this visit is at no charge. The patient is te...
by sergio
Tue Oct 29, 2019 6:07 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Tapping Retirement Savings to Purchase a House
Replies: 23
Views: 1822

Re: Tapping Retirement Savings to Purchase a House

Is renting an option? How will you afford the house if you lose your job 3 years later?
by sergio
Sun Oct 13, 2019 8:22 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Does a condo owner need umbrella insurance?
Replies: 13
Views: 1326

Re: Does a condo owner need umbrella insurance?

IIRC the vast majority of umbrella claims are auto related. So yes, you should consider it unless you're not going to benefiting anymore.
by sergio
Sun Oct 13, 2019 8:21 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Does a condo owner need umbrella insurance?
Replies: 13
Views: 1326

Re: Does a condo owner need umbrella insurance?

IIRC the vast majority of umbrella claims are auto related. So yes, you should consider it unless you're not going to benefiting anymore.
by sergio
Mon Sep 30, 2019 3:26 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: New State Farm Coverages
Replies: 46
Views: 16465

Re: New State Farm Coverages

I was also offered the home systems insurance for I believe $2-3/month. I don't remember all the details but I believe the failure had to occur due to something like a power surge or other random act of god, not things like corrosion or natural wear and tear. And he mentioned the reimbursement would...
by sergio
Sat Sep 28, 2019 3:11 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Financing house after divorce
Replies: 28
Views: 2577

Re: Financing house after divorce

OP, Is buying the house more important or paying for your kids' college education? You cannot afford both. KlangFool His kids are 2 and 5 and he is young, makes $135k a year with decent retirement savings. A $400k townhouse is not out of line as long as he has a decent emergency fund and his other ...
by sergio
Sat Sep 28, 2019 9:15 am
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: How much cash do you keep in your HSA?
Replies: 63
Views: 4883

Re: How much cash do you keep in your HSA?

One year of OOP expenses plus the $2k minimum required. So if in a year I hit the OOP max I don't need to sell investments. I just redirect my future contributions to cash until I have enough for the OOP max again. Then back to investing.
by sergio
Sat Sep 28, 2019 9:11 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Financing house after divorce
Replies: 28
Views: 2577

Re: Financing house after divorce

OP, Is buying the house more important or paying for your kids' college education? You cannot afford both. KlangFool His kids are 2 and 5 and he is young, makes $135k a year with decent retirement savings. A $400k townhouse is not out of line as long as he has a decent emergency fund and his other ...
by sergio
Sat Sep 28, 2019 9:07 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Financing house after divorce
Replies: 28
Views: 2577

Re: Financing house after divorce

You've got three things going for you - lots of time, a working ex spouse, and good income. Youve got thks. Keep renting, saving, and to see how things shake out. And don't be that guy that remarries a year after divorce. Focus on your kids and yourself.
by sergio
Sun Sep 22, 2019 10:10 pm
Forum: Personal Investments
Topic: retiring abroad with savings worth 200k...
Replies: 101
Views: 15411

Re: retiring abroad with savings worth 200k...

At the very least I suggest you do something like teach English online for 10 or so hours a week. You can easily get $10/hour which will give you around $400/month. Then you'd only need to take out $400-600/month which is a 2-3% withdrawal rate. And I know a few people who pull in over $20/hour teac...
by sergio
Sun Sep 22, 2019 4:49 pm
Forum: Personal Investments
Topic: Old employer forcing out of 401k-rollover options?
Replies: 14
Views: 1036

Re: Old employer forcing out of 401k-rollover options?

This is only somewhat related but I would try to keep the money in the 401k unless you are in a state that has solid IRA protection against creditors/lawsuits/bankruptcy etc. I work at a small company and we still have people in our 401k plan that retired/left years ago since the plan has a great se...
by sergio
Sun Sep 22, 2019 10:14 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Overpaid for my house, next options?
Replies: 53
Views: 8990

Re: Overpaid for my house, next options?

There was a fantastic article I read a while back that made the argument that those who "do less" end up doing far better financially. For example, the guy that buys a house and stays there for 30+ years vs the guy that is constantly changing their home. Or the worker that puts aside 10% of their sa...
by sergio
Sat Sep 21, 2019 9:42 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Making Psychological Shift to High Deductibles, Funded HSA
Replies: 30
Views: 2109

Re: Making Psychological Shift to High Deductibles, Funded HSA

1. There's a strong disincentive to use the HSA for its intended purpose. If I can afford medical care using after tax dollars (which I can), it makes sense simply to let the HSA build up. 2. There's a relative disincentive to seek medical care at all unless absolutely necessary. I wouldn't hesitat...
by sergio
Fri Sep 20, 2019 7:50 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: How do you spend money to gain time? (young family)
Replies: 155
Views: 11731

Re: How do you spend money to gain time? (young family)

I work at a small company. My salary is decent, 401k is great, vacation is very good, health insurance is abysmal - $1200/month for three people and a HDHP with a $7k OOP family maximum. BUT ... I can work at home 1 or 2 days a week. When I work from home, I can get 8 hours of work done in 6 due to ...
by sergio
Fri Sep 20, 2019 3:19 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: solar installation, question on added roof structural support
Replies: 20
Views: 1255

Re: solar installation, question on added roof structural support

Roofer or even a structural engineer. Can you get away with fewer panels and no extra support required?
by sergio
Fri Sep 20, 2019 1:44 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Making Psychological Shift to High Deductibles, Funded HSA
Replies: 30
Views: 2109

Re: Making Psychological Shift to High Deductibles, Funded HSA

We've been on one for 9 years - I really like it in many ways and we've built up a nice HSA acct, even though I only keep it invested very conservatively in a money market. My biggest beef was mentioned by an earlier poster - lack of consumer pricing transparency and complexity of coding - it is th...
by sergio
Fri Sep 20, 2019 11:36 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Making Psychological Shift to High Deductibles, Funded HSA
Replies: 30
Views: 2109

Re: Making Psychological Shift to High Deductibles, Funded HSA

1. There's a strong disincentive to use the HSA for its intended purpose. If I can afford medical care using after tax dollars (which I can), it makes sense simply to let the HSA build up. 2. There's a relative disincentive to seek medical care at all unless absolutely necessary. I wouldn't hesitat...
by sergio
Fri Sep 20, 2019 11:17 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Making Psychological Shift to High Deductibles, Funded HSA
Replies: 30
Views: 2109

Re: Making Psychological Shift to High Deductibles, Funded HSA

1. There's a strong disincentive to use the HSA for its intended purpose. If I can afford medical care using after tax dollars (which I can), it makes sense simply to let the HSA build up. 2. There's a relative disincentive to seek medical care at all unless absolutely necessary. I wouldn't hesitat...
by sergio
Mon Sep 16, 2019 11:42 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: House centipedes in an apartment
Replies: 20
Views: 1777

Re: House centipedes in an apartment

A buddy of mine had major pest issues at his apartment years back. He sealed every single opening he could find - caulking under baseboards and around socket plates, heavy strainers on all drains, rubber strip under the front door, etc. His was probably the one pest-free unit out of 100s in the buil...
by sergio
Sun Sep 15, 2019 4:03 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Paying "early" on mortgage may be unwise
Replies: 229
Views: 21135

Re: Paying "early" on mortgage may be unwise

We have paid off our mortgage early. Every time I sent in an extra payment I noted on the check that it was for principal only. One time they didn't do it, I caught it and they had to go back and fix their mistake. Their problem not mine, but we got it right, you do have to have it put towards prin...
by sergio
Thu Sep 12, 2019 10:35 pm
Forum: Personal Investments
Topic: Must pick American Funds
Replies: 15
Views: 2156

Re: Must pick American Funds

R4 share ERs are much higher that the options you have, right? Not sure why it's a lower cost plan. Anyways, I'd probably just go with a target date fund. The TD funds at Americsn Funds are super solid.
by sergio
Thu Sep 12, 2019 12:08 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Umbrella coverage a no brainer?
Replies: 13
Views: 1771

Re: Umbrella coverage a no brainer?

Many people base their umbrella coverage on the net worth of non-protected assets. Others base it on the idea of being large enough to handle typical settlement. Still others say so long as you have at least 1-2 million, you will have the insurance company’s attorneys working for you and that’s eno...
by sergio
Wed Sep 11, 2019 10:58 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Umbrella coverage a no brainer?
Replies: 13
Views: 1771

Re: Umbrella coverage a no brainer?

Spoke with my insurance agent yesterday. I've always had a $250k/$500k/$100k person/accident/property auto liability policy and a $500k liability on homeowners policy. I inquired about adding umbrella. I was shocked at the price - $8/month ($100/year) for $1 million or $14/month ($168/year) for $2 ...
by sergio
Tue Sep 10, 2019 10:30 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Umbrella coverage a no brainer?
Replies: 13
Views: 1771

Re: Umbrella coverage a no brainer?

Spoke with my insurance agent yesterday. I've always had a $250k/$500k/$100k person/accident/property auto liability policy and a $500k liability on homeowners policy. I inquired about adding umbrella. I was shocked at the price - $8/month ($100/year) for $1 million or $14/month ($168/year) for $2 ...
by sergio
Tue Sep 10, 2019 8:12 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Umbrella coverage a no brainer?
Replies: 13
Views: 1771

Umbrella coverage a no brainer?

Spoke with my insurance agent yesterday. I've always had a $250k/$500k/$100k person/accident/property auto liability policy and a $500k liability on homeowners policy. I inquired about adding umbrella. I was shocked at the price - $8/month ($100/year) for $1 million or $14/month ($168/year) for $2 m...
by sergio
Tue Sep 10, 2019 9:41 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Guidelines for townhouse insurance
Replies: 2
Views: 321

Re: Guidelines for townhouse insurance

Based on the insurance agent's high-end recommendation the total insured value would e $171,000 (760 sq ft X 3 X $75). You should ask for an estimated price for such a policy that also includes personal belongs coverage, some liability coverage for accidents, etc. You may find out that that there i...
by sergio
Mon Sep 09, 2019 6:20 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Guidelines for townhouse insurance
Replies: 2
Views: 321

Guidelines for townhouse insurance

I live in a very large townhouse complex (250+ units) that's been around since the 1970s. The HOA has a master policy with a $10k deductible for $50+ million, basically the amount needed to raze and rebuild the entire complex if something were to happen. This is a walls out policy, so in the worst c...
by sergio
Sat Sep 07, 2019 4:34 pm
Forum: Personal Investments
Topic: 2 Misleading Fidelity Target Date Funds
Replies: 55
Views: 4483

Re: 2 Misleading Fidelity Target Date Funds

The biggest issue for 95%+ people isn't the difference between a 0.75 ER (Fidelity Freedom Active 2045) vs 0.12 ER (Fidelity Freedom Index 2045), it's getting people to contribute a decent amount, consistently. My mom works for a large hospital and recently an email was sent out encouraging people t...
by sergio
Sat Sep 07, 2019 4:07 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Paying "early" on mortgage may be unwise
Replies: 229
Views: 21135

Re: Paying "early" on mortgage may be unwise

We have a family friend that constantly espouses the the financial benefits of home ownership yet has nearly no equity after 20 years due to constantly moving and refinancing. On paper he's a basically renter who overpays and gets the luxury of being responsible for all maintenance. No-cost refinan...
by sergio
Sat Sep 07, 2019 2:30 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Paying "early" on mortgage may be unwise
Replies: 229
Views: 21135

Re: Paying "early" on mortgage may be unwise

Personally I think the entire country would be better off if the 30 year mortgage rate was eliminated. Most people move after 7 years, moving at least two or three times in their homeowning life. 30 year mortgages are like long auto loans: they mask the true cost of the loan by using a smaller mont...
by sergio
Sat Sep 07, 2019 12:45 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Can it get better than 15 year fixed mortgage at 3%?
Replies: 44
Views: 3638

Re: Can it get better than 15 year fixed mortgage at 3%?

Another point to consider is with rates historically very low any further reduction in a mortgage rate would have to be material to make sense for the closing costs incurred. Rates are so low that a very small additional decrease may be splitting hairs. This is a great point and something I’m exper...
by sergio
Fri Sep 06, 2019 9:34 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: First-hand experiences with United Basic Economy for families?
Replies: 180
Views: 7793

Re: First-hand experiences with United Basic Economy for families?

What is it with people on here trying to cheap out when it comes to kids? Reminds me of the guy that wanted to vacation with his wife/soon to be newborn infant in a third world country during parental leave because it's cheap, they wouldn't need to burn vacation time, and to get the most out of the ...
by sergio
Thu Sep 05, 2019 1:04 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Career change at 36- Finance to Nursing/PA?
Replies: 40
Views: 3863

Re: Career change at 36- Finance to Nursing/PA?

My mom got into nursing in her early 40s after being out of the workforce for 15 years with limited education as an immigrant. She got her medical assistant certificate and starting working at a nursing home while taking classes during off-hours and weekends once my youngest sibling went to high sch...