Search found 1405 matches

by harrychan
Sat Apr 07, 2018 12:43 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: [When is going out to a restaurant worth it to you?]
Replies: 71
Views: 6230

Re: [When is going out to a restaurant worth it to you?]

Main driver is time. With two kids involved with sports, on nights we have practice and weekend games we eat out or grab food to go. We do sneak in the occasional entertainment dine-outs for date night.
by harrychan
Tue Mar 27, 2018 10:49 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Los Angeles Condo Purchase Advice
Replies: 53
Views: 4362

Re: Los Angeles Condo Purchase Advice

I will make this blunt and quick. I make as much as you, am 35 years old, have roughly 500k in retirement savings and live in a 600k house with no mortgage and no other debt. I am contemplating using 200k in cash, to put 800k down on a 1.3m home (i.e., 500k mortgage) and I am debating if I should d...
by harrychan
Sun Mar 25, 2018 10:10 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Anxious about age, career, and housing costs
Replies: 60
Views: 5992

Re: Anxious about age, career, and housing costs

In your situation, I would not buy. But as others have said, make sure you save enough so you account for housing when you near retirement. I bought a home in a HCOL area during the recession. I have no plans to leave here and am confident I could land a job by ensuring my skills are relevant.
by harrychan
Sat Mar 24, 2018 8:30 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: CBP (INS) Global Entry program worth it?
Replies: 65
Views: 5778

Re: CBP (INS) Global Entry program worth it?

4) I see membership is for 5 years, but it really looks like it is for 5 years from my next birthday. In my case, that works out closer to 6 years for this round. Correct! That's what happened to me and I got mine just after my birthday so I almost get it for 6 years. Also, global entry comes with ...
by harrychan
Sat Mar 24, 2018 1:01 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: "I won the Lottery" update -
Replies: 33
Views: 8954

Re: "I won the Lottery" update -

As awkward as it sounds, I would MUCH prefer winning 2nd prize (of $1-2mil) than the 1st prize of tens and possibly hundred million. Winning 2nd wouldn't be as life changing but enough to give you that buffer where it accelerated your retirement by a few years. Winning several hundred would be too l...
by harrychan
Sat Mar 24, 2018 12:56 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: changing my signature when signing checks and credit card receipts
Replies: 47
Views: 3850

Re: changing my signature when signing checks and credit card receipts

True story. At one point I took similar advice and wrote on the back of my credit card to "See I.D." so they could verify my driver's license. I went to Japan once and tried to purchase something with my CC. The receptionist looked confused when trying to compare my signature and I took out my ID. A...
by harrychan
Fri Mar 23, 2018 5:01 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: What Budget? Do you keep one?
Replies: 116
Views: 9006

Re: What Budget? Do you keep one?

DW and I started doing a budget and it's helped us quite significantly for the past year. We were in the camp where we always made more than we spend so we didn't think much about having a budget. We have so much more control over our budget that we can make informed decisions about large purchases ...
by harrychan
Thu Mar 22, 2018 6:00 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Anyone Deleting Facebook?
Replies: 338
Views: 27587

Re: Anyone Deleting Facebook?

I'm not. I suffered a painful lesson when I deleted a similar account on a now defunct social media platform. An acquaintance noticed that I deleted my profile and created a dubious profile with my name and picture then befriended many people and started talking to them. His goal was to use my name ...
by harrychan
Wed Mar 21, 2018 9:38 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: We made the right decision to not purchase a home now, right?
Replies: 47
Views: 4477

Re: We made the right decision to not purchase a home now, right?

You made the right decision to hold off. First, I wouldn't even consider buying until you and your fiance got married. Second, make sure you get that 20% down. We were in very similar situation as you except in a HCOL area. We didn't get a pass on math and saved up 20% which equated to $120k at that...
by harrychan
Tue Mar 20, 2018 8:42 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Unique Housing Situation
Replies: 9
Views: 1017

Re: Unique Housing Situation

I like your thought process. You essentially buy then rent back the childhood home back to your father. Sounds solid but I would make sure your in laws are ok with you two continuing to live rent free or else you end up paying mortgage and rent.
by harrychan
Mon Mar 19, 2018 8:38 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Rent in Retirement
Replies: 35
Views: 3945

Re: Rent in Retirement

rent much less costs and stress. Not the case if you have a paid for home. You can potentially make the argument that rent CAN cost less than property tax and upkeep but that is also subjective. I have close to zero stress at my current SFH residence. Renting on the other hand causes tremendous str...
by harrychan
Sun Mar 18, 2018 7:15 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: How much money can a CPA save you?
Replies: 52
Views: 6507

Re: How much money can a CPA save you?

I see having a CPA as saving me time and time is money. I can't stand to read irs guidelines or understand the questions on any tax software. Each year I drop off a pile of paperwork from work income, wife and my side businesses, stock transactions and I'm done. Well worth the $250 each year as I'm ...
by harrychan
Sun Mar 18, 2018 7:11 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: London Hotels
Replies: 59
Views: 4685

Re: London Hotels

You won't find any much lower priced hotels just 5 minutes away from central London. Significant price differences will be some 30-40 min away which may be 10-12 stops. You can try some newer hotels or condos south of the Thames river but it's considered a bit shady part of town.
by harrychan
Sat Mar 17, 2018 10:24 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Does credit score matter if you never plan to borrow money again?
Replies: 44
Views: 4785

Re: Does credit score matter if you never plan to borrow money again?

I did have an absolete bill from a web host that went into collection and it came up during a credit check when I was in escrow for my home. The escrow reserved the $30 to pay it off but I don't recall if it was paid or not.
by harrychan
Sat Mar 17, 2018 12:43 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Bicycle Commuting in LA - Thoughts?
Replies: 100
Views: 6201

Re: Bicycle Commuting in LA - Thoughts?

Talk to some other people where you work about their experience and to get tips. Buying a bike at a shop is a good idea, but consider buying a used bike with a warranty provided by the shop. A new bike becomes a used bike very quickly, anyway. unwarranted hostility towards cyclists I'm sure that yo...
by harrychan
Sat Mar 17, 2018 12:35 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Need advice re: Liberal Arts Colleges...
Replies: 235
Views: 14539

Re: Need advice re: Liberal Arts Colleges...

OP,

Do this. Create a LinkedIn account if you don't have one. Then search your target liberal arts schools your child may attend. Review what type of jobs people are doing based on the school and degree. It will give you the best data on what you are looking for.
by harrychan
Mon Mar 12, 2018 10:22 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Bicycle Commuting in LA - Thoughts?
Replies: 100
Views: 6201

Re: Bicycle Commuting in LA - Thoughts?

I drive in Los Angeles every day, and I don't think it's a good idea. Drivers are supposed to leave a certain distance between their vehicle and the bicycle (three feet?), but hardly anybody does that. I notice that bicycle lanes seem to disappear for no reason as well. It's really going to depend ...
by harrychan
Sat Mar 10, 2018 7:50 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Where to get money for down payment?
Replies: 13
Views: 1305

Re: Where to get money for down payment?

Wait till you save enough money to have the 20% down.
by harrychan
Sat Mar 03, 2018 7:46 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: What was your % pay raise?
Replies: 179
Views: 20414

Re: What was your % pay raise?

This year around 3% with 18% bonus. Last year 45% bump. I switched jobs. :)
by harrychan
Thu Mar 01, 2018 9:53 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: PC Guy. Inherited a Mid-2012 MacBook Pro ($500 value). Talk me into/out of keeping it.
Replies: 37
Views: 2941

Re: PC Guy. Inherited a Mid-2012 MacBook Pro ($500 value). Talk me into/out of keeping it.

I think that model in particular is desirable because you can upgrade the SSD and RAM on your own. You can't do that with the newer ones.
by harrychan
Sat Feb 24, 2018 10:30 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Just had our offer accepted on a $1.4 Million House
Replies: 90
Views: 10095

Re: Just had our offer accepted on a $1.4 Million House

HEDGEFUNDIE wrote:
Sat Feb 24, 2018 10:41 am
Ignore everyone here telling you to rent.
Not to mention there is an extremely short supply of SFH residence in nice areas for rent. With demand comes a cost.
by harrychan
Sat Feb 24, 2018 10:26 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: How Far is too Far, Commuting?
Replies: 211
Views: 14463

Re: How Far is too Far, Commuting?

Had a full time job that was WFH for about 8 years. At some point I realized that I was getting too complacent and comfortable at home. I started looking for a new job casually and got an offer for 45% more in pay but 35 miles against traffic. It takes me about 45 min to get to work but going 70mph+...
by harrychan
Mon Feb 12, 2018 8:18 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: I’m not renewing my Costco membership.
Replies: 80
Views: 8788

Re: I’m not renewing my Costco membership.

neilpilot wrote:
Mon Feb 12, 2018 9:54 am
If you are really bothered by that $60/year, one way to get around that is to ask a friend or family member with a Costco membership to buy you a $10-$25 prepaid cash card. You can use the cash card to get into Costco and pay for part of your purchase.
You can't do that anymore.
by harrychan
Sat Feb 10, 2018 2:04 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: what to look for when buying a flipped house
Replies: 27
Views: 2556

Re: what to look for when buying a flipped house

Find a solid home inspector and a certified electrician. Not one referred by either agents.
by harrychan
Wed Feb 07, 2018 6:37 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Leaving HCOL state for financial reasons
Replies: 48
Views: 5701

Re: Leaving HCOL state for financial reasons

Allow me to piggyback on this question. Would not your increase in equity in HCOL home offset any savings by moving to a LCOL area?
by harrychan
Tue Feb 06, 2018 12:26 am
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Stay the course? Edited to Staying the course!
Replies: 22
Views: 2628

Re: Stay the course? Edited to Staying the course!

Please...

I have a friend who pulled EVERYTHING out of his 401k in 2008 citing the losses. He has yet to go back "in".

:|
by harrychan
Sat Jan 27, 2018 1:56 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: If you lost your job
Replies: 19
Views: 3039

Re: If you lost your job

Been fortunate to have never been laid off or fired. If I do lose my job, I would leverage all contacts I've made and ask for referrals. I'm confident that I've built a reputation where someone will put in a good word or make a few calls on my behalf.
by harrychan
Tue Jan 16, 2018 11:56 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Need to buy new printer. Suggestions for best value?
Replies: 32
Views: 2866

Re: Need to buy new printer. Suggestions for best value?

Whatever you do, do not buy Epson. They've set it up where it disables the printer when ANY cartridge is out. I ran out of one of the color inks and it would print a few pages when you set it to print black / gray only but it would be disabled until you replace whatever cartridge is out.
by harrychan
Sun Jan 14, 2018 8:42 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Dave Ramsey's Millionaire Study
Replies: 59
Views: 13321

Re: Dave Ramsey's Millionaire Study

I completed the survey a while back and look forward to the results.
by harrychan
Thu Jan 11, 2018 12:39 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Men's no iron dress shirt recommendations
Replies: 66
Views: 5514

Re: Men's no iron dress shirt recommendations

Banana republic for me. Each dress shirt list price is about $80 each. But they run so many promotions that you can get them for around $35 (fair price). When I am at store I would look at the clearance section and sometimes you can get one for $15+. Once you know your size and fit (Camden or Grant...
by harrychan
Tue Jan 09, 2018 8:53 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: OnePlus 5t Smartphone?
Replies: 21
Views: 1668

Re: OnePlus 5t Smartphone?

Techie here. It's a legit Android phone company who cuts the middleman by selling direct to consumer. I had the OnePlus one and now using the OnePlus 5. It's the best bang for the buck you can get on the market in my opinion. If you can wait, the OnePlus 6 is rumored to be coming out in March.
by harrychan
Sat Jan 06, 2018 9:11 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Shall I buy a one B/B apt in Bay Area? Help needed, please.
Replies: 18
Views: 1827

Re: Shall I buy a one B/B apt in Bay Area? Help needed, please.

Times are different. I would not purchase a property while on h-1b. There are just too many unknowns.
by harrychan
Wed Jan 03, 2018 10:12 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: 2016 Nissan Pathfinder S with 3rd row seat
Replies: 11
Views: 1028

Re: 2016 Nissan Pathfinder S with 3rd row seat

We had the 2014 pathfinder and would not recommend it. We didn't have any major issues but the drive wasn't very smooth. I would recommend looking at Acura MDX or Toyota Highlander for the same specs.
by harrychan
Wed Jan 03, 2018 7:41 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Do you have a antivirus for you Android phone?
Replies: 20
Views: 1873

Re: Do you have a antivirus for you Android phone?

No because I can easily sideload recovery (TWRP) and restore from backup using Nandroid.
by harrychan
Tue Jan 02, 2018 5:19 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Request your suggestion - current job Vs. New job
Replies: 35
Views: 2679

Re: Request your suggestion - current job Vs. New job

Apologies. That's the part where its not similar.
by harrychan
Tue Jan 02, 2018 5:05 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Request your suggestion - current job Vs. New job
Replies: 35
Views: 2679

Re: Request your suggestion - current job Vs. New job

I can relate as I was in a similar situation as you exactly a year ago except mine was a bit more clear. The job I was leaving was a full time telecommute position. The new job offer I got required me to commute to an office 45 min away but with a 45% pay bump. Had it been only under 20% bump, I may...
by harrychan
Mon Jan 01, 2018 11:28 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Long Term House—Any Regrets on things you didn’t do?
Replies: 48
Views: 6794

Re: Long Term House—Any Regrets on things you didn’t do?

Nice thread. 7 years in this SFH originally built in 1945. Win: Recessed lights. Spent about $120/light and it was the best money we soent. I cannot imagine how the previous owners got by with just lamps. Miss: Upgrade the electricals. Now that we are moved in, we would have e to move out and reloca...
by harrychan
Fri Dec 29, 2017 3:13 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Another should i buy my dream porsche thread...
Replies: 240
Views: 14429

Re: Another should i buy my dream porsche thread...

Looking to spend about 100k on a new 911. Can i afford it? Would you do it? Not lookin no to buy outright but finance the car. I am 39 years old. Income about 250k per year. (Just for a big raise last year) 140k liquid savings 250k in retirement 400k equity in the home (currently worth around 900k)...
by harrychan
Wed Dec 27, 2017 4:54 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Would you sign a non-compete for a side-gig consulting agreement?
Replies: 44
Views: 3012

Re: Would you sign a non-compete for a side-gig consulting agreement?

Ask them for a list of “sensitive competitors” that the non compete would apply to. At least two of my former employers had a list of “sensitive competitors” distributed to management. If you gave notice to go to one of those, they would walk you out the door immediately (they still had to pay you ...
by harrychan
Wed Dec 27, 2017 12:33 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Galaxy S7 from ebay?
Replies: 11
Views: 1455

Re: Galaxy S7 from ebay?

I wouldn't. If you read the fine print, phones on ebay are gray market phones which do not have warranty in the US. If it fails then you will have no recourse. If you insist on buying, you can consider buying 3rd party warranty such as squaretrade.
by harrychan
Tue Dec 26, 2017 2:50 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Should we downsize?
Replies: 42
Views: 3477

Re: Should we downsize?

I wouldn't downsize. The end game doesn't have to be to pay off your mortgage. In most places, desirable homes in great locations will add more equity always be desirable. Case in point, when we bought our home in a HCOL area we had the option of buying a cheaper townhouse for $450-500k or stretch a...
by harrychan
Mon Dec 25, 2017 5:02 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: manual car for new teen driver
Replies: 143
Views: 8274

Re: manual car for new teen driver

Maybe a Subaru Forester or legacy. You should be able to find 2010 models that are MT under $10k.
by harrychan
Sun Dec 17, 2017 1:25 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Buying a new sofa with two young kids?
Replies: 36
Views: 2902

Re: Buying a new sofa with two young kids?

Get leather. Our leather couch has stood the test of time with spills, ink, you name it.
by harrychan
Sat Dec 16, 2017 11:01 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Best place to get a Suit
Replies: 21
Views: 2075

Re: Best place to get a Suit

davidkw wrote:
Sat Dec 16, 2017 2:17 am
I always get my suits from Macy's and i get my dress pants from there too.
For cheap suits, I get them from Macy's. They usually have steep discounts where you can get suit and pants for $150. I also have 3 suits that were tailored.
by harrychan
Sun Dec 10, 2017 11:08 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Can we afford to live on one income?
Replies: 70
Views: 6569

Re: Can we afford to live on one income?

A bit house poor. As you say, it is manageable but with very little wiggle room. Is your taxable considered your emergency fund? What is your income projection in the next 3 years? I left a cush 6 figure work from home job and got 45% raise by switching jobs so my wife could stay at home for 3 years...
by harrychan
Sun Nov 26, 2017 11:12 am
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Didn't buy Bitcoin at $4600
Replies: 138
Views: 13815

Re: Didn't buy Bitcoin at $4600

I started hearing about BTC back in 2011 when I cam across an article. As a techie, I researched ways to mine it. After a few weeks, I gave up and thought about just buying it. Back then it was roughly $1.30. I never followed through as there weren't many open markets to buy.
by harrychan
Fri Nov 24, 2017 11:30 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Any tips on gifts for employees?
Replies: 14
Views: 1458

Re: Any tips on gifts for employees?

Thanks for the tips. I will accompany each gift with a hand written card. We also combine thanksgiving and christmas and call it 'holiday' party. I think I will do nice slim ties for the guys and luxury hand soap for the ladies. Gift cards just seem so impersonal.
by harrychan
Thu Nov 23, 2017 6:43 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Any tips on gifts for employees?
Replies: 14
Views: 1458

Any tips on gifts for employees?

I manage a team of 14 people with equal mix of men and women. Budget is under $25/person. Any good ideas aside from the typical ones like gift card or wine? I would like to give something thoughtful. What are gifts you received from your boss that you appreciated? If it matters, this is coming from ...
by harrychan
Thu Nov 23, 2017 11:45 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Public or Montessori Private School
Replies: 60
Views: 5327

Re: Public or Montessori Private School

We were faced with a similar dilemma a few years ago. Our older son was well ahead of his peers. For K, we went ahead and put him into a private school and he did very well. For 1st grade, we decided to give our public school a try. After all, it is a blue ribbon school that was recognized in the st...
by harrychan
Sun Nov 19, 2017 8:05 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Dave Ramsey says don't use credit cards, even if you pay them off
Replies: 221
Views: 19841

Re: Dave Ramsey says don't use credit cards, even if you pay them off

if you have the discipline to regulate your spending then I think you are fine with using credit cards. With that said, I tend to agree with DR as many Americans, who are in debt, use credit card as overflow or buy things they can't afford. If you look around, credit card companies make it easy for ...