Search found 703 matches

by black jack
Thu Apr 16, 2015 7:30 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: How do you quickly cool food?
Replies: 34
Views: 8038

Re: How do you quickly cool food?

There's the "blast chiller" - now available for home kitchens: http://www.popsci.com/gadgets/article/2012-06/kitchen-alchemy-cool-anything-fast-blast-chiller And one of my favoritely-named pieces of cooking equipment: the "anti-griddle": http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Anti-griddle
by black jack
Sun Apr 12, 2015 11:42 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Household Gross Income Poll
Replies: 134
Views: 21682

Re: Household Gross Income Poll

Selection bias: there are currently 299 responses to this poll, and there are roughly 44,000 registered members of this forum. For those who find this poll lacking in variables: Bobblehead's annual net worth survey spreadsheet (2015 edition: https://www.bogleheads.org/forum/viewtopic.php?f=2&t=...
by black jack
Sun Apr 12, 2015 11:29 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Household Gross Income Poll
Replies: 134
Views: 21682

Re: Household Gross Income Poll

Selection bias: there are currently 299 responses to this poll, and there are roughly 44,000 registered members of this forum. For those who find this poll lacking in variables: Bobblehead's annual net worth survey spreadsheet (2015 edition: https://www.bogleheads.org/forum/viewtopic.php?f=2&t=1...
by black jack
Sat Apr 11, 2015 6:58 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: What Book Are You Currently Reading? Part VI
Replies: 4865
Views: 1305006

Re: What Book Are You Currently Reading? Part VI

Get What's Yours: The Secrets to Maxing Out Your Social Security Hardcover by Laurence J. Kotlikoff , Philip Moeller , Paul Solman The book is too small. By that I mean it's dimension are much smaller than a typical hardcover book. To make things worse, the print is too small. They really cheaped o...
by black jack
Wed Apr 01, 2015 9:43 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Rental property returns
Replies: 39
Views: 11842

Re: Rental property returns

Based on my limited experience as a landlord (renting out a $350k SFH for the past 4.5 years, plus tracking the numbers on some office condos for family), I agree that your estimates seem reasonably conservative. I agree with sgrabiner that at $1800 it sounds like you're not going to be breaking eve...
by black jack
Sat Mar 14, 2015 6:12 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: My Greatest Weakness.
Replies: 37
Views: 7492

Re: My Greatest Weakness.

Remember what your first-grade teacher (should have) told you: there's no such thing as a stupid question. To the degree that others notices your performance (in the office, at the gym, wherever), they would prefer to see you as underperforming compared to them (after which they won't give you a sec...
by black jack
Sat Mar 14, 2015 1:42 pm
Forum: Personal Investments
Topic: Brett Arend's Article - What Are His Sources?
Replies: 4
Views: 1134

Re: Brett Arend's Article - What Are His Sources?

He doesn't give sources for that research. Is anyone aware of such sources, especially for the 10% deviation? Doctor Burton Malkiel originally suggestest monkeys would do as well as fund managers. As the article stated, research by Research Affiliates showed monkeys choosing 30 stocks actually do b...
by black jack
Fri Mar 13, 2015 10:32 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Where to purchase Windows? What version?
Replies: 32
Views: 3627

Re: Where to purchase Windows? What version?

The most current version of windows is 8.1. Windows 10 is set to be released very soon. However when someone tries to upgrade to a newer version of windows on a computer that had an older version a person must be careful because sometimes an older machine may not be able to handle a newer version o...
by black jack
Fri Mar 13, 2015 10:14 pm
Forum: US Chapters
Topic: Vanguard Diehards Alumni
Replies: 23
Views: 2889

Re: Vanguard Diehards Alumni

My 40th birthday was in 1999; something about that "4-0" moved me to start thinking about, and saving for, retirement. I was a Boglehead by nature, and soon found Vanguard and the Diehards Forum, which I followed for a few years (under another, now forgotten username). After a while I drif...
by black jack
Wed Mar 11, 2015 9:56 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: How do you use your email?
Replies: 16
Views: 2183

Re: How do you use your email?

For my work email, I assume anything I write could someday be read by the world. For my private email, I'm a bit more trusting/careless. But this reminds me of something I read in todays NYTimes: http://www.nytimes.com/2015/03/12/technology/slack-the-office-messaging-app-that-may-finally-sink-email....
by black jack
Wed Mar 11, 2015 9:47 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: My Penfed 5/5 ARM just adjusted down to 2.25%
Replies: 13
Views: 2582

Re: My Penfed 5/5 ARM just adjusted down to 2.25%

Congrats black jack! My mother reset hers back in 2012 when their reset also restarted the clock. When they changed that policy back in 2013, we were surprised and wondered if it would be a worthwhile deal anymore since your lower rate would only be guaranteed for less than 5 years (though would li...
by black jack
Wed Mar 11, 2015 9:44 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: My Penfed 5/5 ARM just adjusted down to 2.25%
Replies: 13
Views: 2582

Re: My Penfed 5/5 ARM just adjusted down to 2.25%

Bacchus01 wrote: We have two homes, one is currently at 2.125% 3 years into a 5 year arm and one is 2.25% on a 15-fixed.
I thought 2.25% for five years was about as good as was possible until I saw your 15-year fixed at 2.25% - that really is an amazing rate. When did you get that one?
by black jack
Wed Mar 11, 2015 9:31 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Rental properties
Replies: 25
Views: 5216

Re: Rental properties

I have a rental property - our previous house. But the variability in rental properties: single family houses in settled/unsettled neighborhoods, duplexes likewise, commercial offices, small apartment buildings - plus whether the owner also acts as property manager or hires someone else - means that...
by black jack
Wed Mar 11, 2015 9:16 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Credit Check to Rent an Apartment?
Replies: 23
Views: 2738

Re: Credit Check to Rent an Apartment?

Is it now accepted practice to demand a credit check from an individual before renting them an apartment? My kid is trying to rent a room in a HCOL area. A number of possible apartments are requiring a credit check prior to renting the apartment. How do you protect your financial information if you...
by black jack
Tue Mar 10, 2015 8:47 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: My Penfed 5/5 ARM just adjusted down to 2.25%
Replies: 13
Views: 2582

My Penfed 5/5 ARM just adjusted down to 2.25%

So the flipside of getting nothing in interest on my savings is paying very little in interest on my mortgage. If there's a moral to this story, one possibility is the risk of "fighting the last war." I started paying attention to the economy in the late 1970s, and seeing several years of ...
by black jack
Mon Mar 09, 2015 8:28 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: My attic air leak blocking checklist
Replies: 24
Views: 3392

Re: My attic air leak blocking checklist

Also, seems counter intuitive, but if you have a basement check for air leaks down there (windows, outside intrusions, etc), especially anywhere that electrical, plumbing, etc, goes to the upstairs through your subfloor. The stack effect is how a lot of air moves through your house. The cold air co...
by black jack
Mon Mar 09, 2015 7:24 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Fly or drive?
Replies: 84
Views: 8218

Re: Fly or drive?

My personal fly/drive threshold is around 1,000 miles, but my wife's threshold is a bit less, so compromises are made. I like to drive at night when the roads are uncrowded. It is safer to fly than drive, though driving on the interstate is the safest type of driving. I'd put movies on a laptop or t...
by black jack
Sun Mar 08, 2015 4:09 pm
Forum: US Chapters
Topic: "Bogleheads," representativeness, the 0.1%, and thanks
Replies: 12
Views: 2745

Re: "Bogleheads," representativeness, the 0.1%, and thanks

Most recently this feeling was stirred by the thread asking how much people had saved by age 30, and seeing a number of posters who had over $100,000 in savings by that age. Yeah but a number of posters in that same thread said the equal to nothing..... Don't cherry pick the responses even though i...
by black jack
Sun Mar 08, 2015 4:07 pm
Forum: US Chapters
Topic: "Bogleheads," representativeness, the 0.1%, and thanks
Replies: 12
Views: 2745

Re: "Bogleheads," representativeness, the 0.1%, and thanks

The value and difficulty of posts vary. I'd like to acknowledge Laura, retiredjg, and a few others who provide laborious reviews of new poster portfolios. Note that Bogleheads contributions are not limited to posting. Alex and Larry maintain Forum's servers. Mel, Taylor and several others wrote two...
by black jack
Sun Mar 08, 2015 3:07 pm
Forum: US Chapters
Topic: "Bogleheads," representativeness, the 0.1%, and thanks
Replies: 12
Views: 2745

"Bogleheads," representativeness, the 0.1%, and thanks

I sometimes feel (and others sometimes post similar feelings) that I'm a poor relation at the BH forum, as I save way less than 50% of my income, have a household income of way less than $200,000, and have way less than $1 million in savings. Most recently this feeling was stirred by the thread aski...
by black jack
Sun Mar 08, 2015 10:14 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Choosing between learning a language/learning martial art
Replies: 26
Views: 2883

Re: Choosing between learning a language/learning martial ar

I assume the choice of Taekwando is related to your interest in Korea. There's also Hwarangdo and Hapkido, though teachers are a little harder to find. Perhaps you could do both martial arts and language study? Martial arts classes are typically taught in one-hour segments; with small children at ho...
by black jack
Sat Mar 07, 2015 4:59 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: How long did you stay in your starter home?
Replies: 87
Views: 15341

Re: How long did you stay in your starter home?

8 years, though it was not bought with the idea of being a starter home; we moved because it appeared we would need more indoor space. We still own that home, and rent it out; it's within walking distance to downtown, and it's possible we may downsize back into it after our daughter leaves the nest....
by black jack
Thu Mar 05, 2015 3:13 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: question about pensions for people with TSP
Replies: 11
Views: 1837

Re: question about pensions for people with TSP

Your wife's pension is the "Basic Benefits" part of the Federal Employees Retirement System (FERS). Information is available at http://www.opm.gov/retirement-services/ ... formation/
by black jack
Thu Mar 05, 2015 3:07 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Real estate frustration in finding a new home
Replies: 33
Views: 3912

Re: Real estate frustration in finding a new home

Many of the homes we've been taken to, are quite simply not worth anywhere near the asking price. What makes you come to this conclusion? If the lack of inventory is very low and the area is desirable, then just because a price "seems" high doesn't make it so. A home is 'worth' what peopl...
by black jack
Mon Mar 02, 2015 7:14 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: What Book Are You Currently Reading? Part VI
Replies: 4865
Views: 1305006

Re: What Book Are You Currently Reading? Part VI

I am reading Montana by Gwen Florio. This is a crime novel about a woman journalist embedded in Afghanistan. She returns home to find out her newspaper is eliminating its foreign bureau and will rely on wire services for its foreign coverage. More or less out of a job, she travels to Montana to reu...
by black jack
Sat Feb 28, 2015 12:43 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: How long will I l live? (mortality predictor)
Replies: 17
Views: 2973

How long will I l live? (mortality predictor)

How long do you have? No one can know for sure, but you can consult mortality tables, or try this site: http://www.population.io/?utm_campaign=Brookings+Brief&utm_source=hs_email&utm_medium=email&utm_content=16290882&_hsenc=p2ANqtz--cU5kSONO16KtSKX0fw-uBHj4gdaZzpywg0mowFB8HRIrnNwqnK3...
by black jack
Wed Feb 25, 2015 9:20 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: How much did you have saved up for retirement at age 30?
Replies: 173
Views: 25669

Re: How much did you have saved up for retirement at age 30?

At 30 I had several thousand dollars (don't remember exactly, let alone to convert to current value) in an IRA which I then used when I quite my job and spent a year traveling the world. I then went back to grad school to start a new career. I didn't start saving seriously until I was 40. Fortunatel...
by black jack
Wed Feb 25, 2015 8:56 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Subaru and Consumer Reports ratings
Replies: 100
Views: 32018

Re: Subaru and Consumer Reports ratings

We have a 2005 Legacy wagon with 90,000 miles. No major problems, generally happy with car. I have a soft spot for station wagons, and will probably get an Outback to replace this one when the time comes. Two irritations: (1) daytime running lights (good, for safety) means the low bulbs burn out rel...
by black jack
Wed Feb 25, 2015 8:07 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Anyone have one of those standing desks?
Replies: 45
Views: 7553

Re: Anyone have one of those standing desks?

I've been using a standing desk at work for about four years. I get muscle spasms sometimes when rising from a seated position, and wanted to avoid that. I wanted to test the concept, so initially I just used some surplus shelves and cardboard boxes to raise my monitor and keyboard. That made for a ...
by black jack
Fri Feb 20, 2015 11:45 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Please Help Me Explain an Equity Index Annuity to a Relative
Replies: 37
Views: 3861

Re: Please Help Me Explain an Equity Index Annuity to a Rela

To OP: here's a data point for your friend about how equity index annuities work. My mom, an unsophisticated and trusting soul, was sold a deferred equity index annuity (at age 77) after attending one of those "free financial planning information for seniors" presentations many years ago. ...
by black jack
Wed Feb 18, 2015 7:30 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Music / Song Help
Replies: 52
Views: 4363

Re: Music / Song Help

Another Gordon Lightfoot piece: Canadian Railroad Trilogy (maybe not long enough, only 6:25).
by black jack
Wed Feb 18, 2015 7:18 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Accounting for Pension in Savings Rate
Replies: 2
Views: 656

Re: Accounting for Pension in Savings Rate

It depends on the context in which you are calculating your savings rate. If you are calculating your savings rate objectively - in order to determine how much your savings are growing each year against your estimated retirement needs - then count the employer's contribution. If you are calculating ...
by black jack
Wed Feb 18, 2015 7:12 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: What is your favorite consumer product?
Replies: 334
Views: 71107

Re: What is your favorite consumer product?

TiVo DVR
Kirkland Super Extra-Large Peanuts
Kirkland frozen pineapple chunks
Sandisk Sansa Clip MP3 player
by black jack
Sat Feb 14, 2015 12:01 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Woodway treadmills
Replies: 25
Views: 3421

Re: Woodway treadmills

TomatoTomahto wrote: I am beyond proud of who she is.
That's a nice feeling to express anytime, but especially on Valentine's Day. :)
by black jack
Sat Feb 14, 2015 11:25 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Woodway treadmills
Replies: 25
Views: 3421

Re: Woodway treadmills

Many people WITHOUT her health history have been sedentary for years too. I agree that the treadmill is cheap if it supports her running habit - and funny that you compare its price to a car, as they point in opposite directions (car > less physical activity, treadmill > more physical activity). Res...
by black jack
Sat Feb 14, 2015 10:53 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Woodway treadmills
Replies: 25
Views: 3421

Re: Woodway treadmills

TomatoTomahto wrote:I told my wife that it cost more than my first 3 cars put together, literally :D
Adjusted for inflation? :)
by black jack
Fri Feb 13, 2015 5:40 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Before building your house, what should you haven known/read
Replies: 14
Views: 2141

Re: Before building your house, what should you haven known/

This question has probably been asked before; search the site. Threads asking about major remodeling may also have useful information: see for example http://www.bogleheads.org/forum/viewtopic.php?f=11&t=136280 My dad built a house - that is, he acted as the general contractor. He knew something...
by black jack
Sun Feb 08, 2015 5:08 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: What Movie Have You Recently Watched?
Replies: 6226
Views: 1420860

Re: What Movie Have You Recently Watched?

Watched "Olympus Has Fallen" (aka "Die Hard in the White House") on Netflix.

It was pretty entertaining - didn't move quite fast enough to entirely distract from a few illogical script moments, but Gerard Butler was good as the indestructible hero.
by black jack
Sun Feb 01, 2015 1:32 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: How to respond when someone asks how much money you make?
Replies: 107
Views: 36228

Re: How to respond when someone asks how much money you make

I actually don't have an issue with people knowing how much I make. IMO, it does no good to anyone but employers to keep our salaries confidential. Concealing information from each other just leads to compensation imbalance based on negotiation skill. Drastic imbalance is probably very common and o...
by black jack
Sun Feb 01, 2015 1:06 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Bogleheads has made me obsessive about our money
Replies: 41
Views: 7403

Re: Bogelheads has made me obsessive about our money

Our retirement is comfortable and giving us an income that is more than we anticipated. ... Being on this wonderful forum makes me realize all the mistakes we made. Instead i wish to focus on how well we did bumblingly by ourselves. If you are comfortable in retirement, and have more income that yo...
by black jack
Sat Jan 31, 2015 10:31 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: How much is a safe car worth?
Replies: 170
Views: 15783

Re: How much is a safe car worth?

The direct response to your question would be difficult to calculate: it would depend on where you live, where you drive to, how much you drive at various times of day and on which days of the week, and several other factors. Even then, the result would just be a statistical rate that would be subje...
by black jack
Sun Jan 25, 2015 11:50 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Rental Car Prices - is this the new normal ?
Replies: 89
Views: 13829

Re: Rental Car Prices - is this the new normal ?

Another vote for using Costco. I have a relative who works for one of the rental car companies, and gets an employee discount which can be shared with family. I have checked the price of renting with that employee discount a few times, and Costco's price was always cheaper - though that's because th...
by black jack
Sun Jan 11, 2015 11:23 am
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Jonathan Clements Money Guide 2015 -- A Gem
Replies: 19
Views: 5535

Re: Jonathan Clements Money Guide 2015 -- A Gem

Not sure #3 makes sense. It you sell your home when prices are down, the next home you buy will also be cheap. That's only if you are buying another home immediately in the same area. If you end up renting or moving to another area where prices have not fallen, it may not work out so well. Also, th...
by black jack
Fri Jan 09, 2015 9:48 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Purchasing a car with credit cards for cash back rewards?
Replies: 36
Views: 5519

Re: Purchasing a car with credit cards for cash back rewards

Several years ago I tried to do this. I called the credit card company in advance to confirm that their policy - that a merchant who advertises as accepting their card cannot refuse to allow a customer to use the card for a purchase - applied to automobile dealerships. At the dealership, when we'd a...
by black jack
Fri Jan 09, 2015 12:29 am
Forum: Personal Investments
Topic: Does mom need liability insurance for commercial offices?
Replies: 9
Views: 1693

Re: Does mom need liability insurance for commercial offices

Thanks for the information, Alan; I'll ask the property management company about this.
by black jack
Wed Jan 07, 2015 11:21 pm
Forum: Personal Investments
Topic: Does mom need liability insurance for commercial offices?
Replies: 9
Views: 1693

Re: Does mom need liability insurance for commercial offices

Thanks to everyone who replied.

I'll be getting insurance on those units.
by black jack
Tue Jan 06, 2015 11:45 pm
Forum: Personal Investments
Topic: Does mom need liability insurance for commercial offices?
Replies: 9
Views: 1693

Does mom need liability insurance for commercial offices?

I manage my elderly mom's finances. She owns several small commercial offices. These have been managed by a sibling who also owns several offices in the same office parks. We are moving all these properties to a property management firm. In the transition, I'm looking at things I haven't paid attent...
by black jack
Mon Dec 29, 2014 12:24 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Electronic gizmos and apps you actually use a lot
Replies: 14
Views: 2359

Re: Electronic gizmos and apps you actually use a lot

Sandisk Sansa Clip Zip - $40
-FM radio, audiobooks, podcasts

Tivo Premiere
-Netflix
-Pandora

Nikon D3300
Nikon SB-600 external flash

Garmin Forerunner 305 w/ heart rate monitor

Kindle Keyboard

desktop and laptop computer
-Evernote
by black jack
Mon Dec 29, 2014 12:12 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: What Movie Have You Recently Watched?
Replies: 6226
Views: 1420860

Re: What Movie Have You Recently Watched?

Took daughter and niece to see Into the Woods (they chose, but perhaps without quite realizing what they were getting into). I enjoyed it; a musical, twining four classic fairy tales together and changing them around a bit. Since the stories deal with love, loss, and bearing up, there was something ...
by black jack
Sun Dec 28, 2014 11:58 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: What Book Are You Currently Reading? Part VI
Replies: 4865
Views: 1305006

Re: What Book Are You Currently Reading? Part VI

Audiobooks: thanks to a long holiday driving trip, finished Ken Follett's Fall of Giants , and immediately started upon the second volume in his 20th century trilogy, The Winter of the World . As he did in his medieval duology ( Pillars of the Earth and World Without End ), Follett does a wonderful...