Search found 2575 matches

by jharkin
Sun Jan 19, 2020 8:06 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Should I Refinance?
Replies: 10
Views: 958

Re: Should I Refinance?

It’s no cost because they are probably rebating a point to cover the title fees in exchange for a higher rate. Like I mentioned earlier this week the Costco program had 3.5 with zero points + title/recording fees. 3.6 sounds about right for no cost.
by jharkin
Sat Jan 18, 2020 9:32 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Should I Refinance?
Replies: 10
Views: 958

Re: Should I Refinance?

Call NBKC. They are part of the Costco program and you will pay no more than $275 +title /appraisal/recording fees with you Costco membership.

They have (had?) 3.5% no points for conforming loans as of last Tuesday. I just started a refi with them this week, my 3rd time using this bank.
by jharkin
Fri Jan 17, 2020 11:50 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Can I potentially retire in 2023? Or is it too early for me?
Replies: 27
Views: 4762

Re: Can I potentially retire in 2023? Or is it too early for me?

A few comments; 1) Having one spouse work for a long time after a much higher earning spouse retires might not work for many couples so you might want to get some marriage counseling to make sure that you are both going to be OK with this. In addition to the dynamics that could make the mechanics d...
by jharkin
Fri Jan 17, 2020 11:28 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: What is a reasonable estimate for annual expenses in early retirement in a HCOL area for one person?
Replies: 50
Views: 3591

Re: What is a reasonable estimate for annual expenses in early retirement in a HCOL area for one person?

1. Do you think $40k a year is enough for one person in early retirement living in a HCOL area? If not, can you please provide a breakdown of your estimated annual expenses? I think a lot of these FIRE formulas assume that by retirement you own a paid off house - but remember even then you still ha...
by jharkin
Fri Jan 17, 2020 10:45 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Engineers - What are you making? ($$$)
Replies: 357
Views: 44464

Re: Engineers - What are you making?

Bs.ME here, but I never worked in the field. I ended up in software working for a couple different companies that make technical software engineers use. 23 years in I am now in a program management role making just shy of 150k + bonuses that have the potential to eventually reach 1/3-1/2 of base, 6%...
by jharkin
Fri Jan 17, 2020 9:19 am
Forum: Personal Investments
Topic: I think I must stop 401(k) to grow taxable account, but it just feels wrong!
Replies: 19
Views: 2503

Re: I think I must stop 401(k) to grow taxable account, but it just feels wrong!

Can you give us the balance split between pretax 401k, Roth 401k and Roth IRA? As mentioned, with your savings rate you might have enough Roth contribution basis to get by from 55 to 59 (when you are able to start drawing roth gains and 401k without penalty)... while possibly also doing a lot more R...
by jharkin
Wed Jan 15, 2020 12:48 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: When can I get rid of PMI?
Replies: 13
Views: 1608

Re: When can I get rid of PMI?

Is your loan size near one of the cutoff points between conforming loans and jumbos? I live in a county that has one of the "higher" limits, so when shopping for loans there are actually 3 different products available for "conventional" financing: * A true "conforming" loan that's under the national...
by jharkin
Wed Jan 15, 2020 8:40 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Critique My 2019 Spending
Replies: 48
Views: 4564

Re: Critique My 2019 Spending

I live in Boston metro and have 2 kids. Income a little bit higher than you, but we both work. If this is single income you are doing quite well. Others have asked all the savings and investment questions so I'll add thoughts on the expense side living in the same area: 1 - Its a nitpick but you are...
by jharkin
Tue Jan 14, 2020 6:52 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Sewer Line Replacement - Expensive/Next Steps
Replies: 23
Views: 2825

Re: Sewer Line Replacement - Expensive/Next Steps

+2 And I’d advise against making an insurance claim. They way you have described it this is normal wear. There is no storm damage/natural disaster/act of god here so there is no reason for them to cover it. The claim, even if denied may end up on you CLUE report for a long time.... Insurance policie...
by jharkin
Sat Jan 11, 2020 10:24 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Water heater - to drain or not?
Replies: 26
Views: 3775

Re: Water heater - to drain or not?

That’s a Superstore Ultra. It’s a stainless steel indirect tank, and as such it CANT rust and there is no burner to get buried in limescale.Your plumber doesn’t reccomend draining sediment because there won’t be much unless you have a lot of junk coming in from the water main. I think the online rec...
by jharkin
Sat Jan 11, 2020 8:03 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Too Much Unused Stuff - What do you do with it?
Replies: 11
Views: 2179

Re: Too Much Unused Stuff - What do you do with it?

I’m trying to make more of a conscious effort to not buy new stuff in the first place if it won’t get long term use. I find selling used things is harder and with less ROI than it was 20 years ago. Everyone wants “new” these days, electronics have become disposable, young parents have been brainwash...
by jharkin
Thu Jan 09, 2020 7:21 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Living in a HCOL and making a middle class salary is a struggle
Replies: 340
Views: 20941

Re: Living in a HCOL and making a middle class salary is a struggle

OMG 7 pages in 2 days ;) Without reading it all I’ll say what’s probably been said 10 times already. You are NOT middle class, not even really upper middle....you are upper class. We make similar money to you and just moved to a house even more expensive in Boston area and we still manage to contrib...
by jharkin
Wed Jan 08, 2020 12:23 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Picking a Realtor
Replies: 36
Views: 2471

Re: Picking a Realtor

I wouldn't list it a high sky price though. I don't want it gone right away, but willing to wait 4-5 months. This could be a very bad strategy and that's what you need to understand for your neighborhood. +1. If the market is hot then good properties sell fast. Where I live around Boston houses eit...
by jharkin
Wed Jan 08, 2020 8:46 am
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: In my opinion, Best Overall Retirement Article
Replies: 95
Views: 11242

Re: In my opinion, Best Overall Retirement Article

There were some good suggestions worked into the article, but I don't come close to agreeing with your opinion. While I'm no proponent of the extreme early retirement movement found throughout the internet, I don't go so far as to believe that more reasonable early retirement is not doable if, for ...
by jharkin
Wed Dec 25, 2019 8:56 am
Forum: Personal Investments
Topic: In or Near Retirement with Only Six Figures?
Replies: 126
Views: 15725

Re: In or Near Retirement with Only Six Figures?

I think this is a good question. I tell the young people I work with that they need at least $2 million per person to retire. They look at me like I'm crazy. You are indeed crazy. 4% withdrawals of $4 million for a couple is $160k a year. Plus whatever they get in Social Security (probably another ...
by jharkin
Tue Dec 24, 2019 10:14 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Hosed by fees - how to balance UTMAs?
Replies: 12
Views: 892

Re: Hosed by fees - how to balance UTMAs?

UBS belong right there with Edward Jones and Fisher Investments in the BH hall of shame. My MIL has some of her IRA with them and pays 10x the fees on 1/10th the money I have with VG/SW.
by jharkin
Tue Dec 24, 2019 10:06 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Burned out looking for options
Replies: 32
Views: 3818

Re: Burned out looking for options

Mr. Rumples wrote: Tue Dec 24, 2019 6:55 amq. The guy I use turns down work on all but ranch houses he has that choice.
People actually pay to have gutters cleaned on a ranch??? You can do that standing on the ground with a long wand!
by jharkin
Tue Dec 24, 2019 9:45 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Time to replace the Water Heater - Lots of Questions - Help!
Replies: 77
Views: 5882

Re: Time to replace the Water Heater - Lots of Questions - Help!

I don’t know if this has been asked yet- What type of heating system do you have? Is it heat pump? Gas forced air? Hot water baseboard or radiant? If it IS a hot water system than you missed considering the best option of all- a stainless steel indirect tank run off a priority zone from your boiler....
by jharkin
Tue Dec 24, 2019 9:38 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Quality Power-Tool Brands
Replies: 93
Views: 6268

Re: Quality Power-Tool Brands

Keep in mind that many of these tool brands are under one umbrella in homeowner grade/ mid grade/pro grade groups. I.e. the Stanley Black & Decker Corp. owns: * Craftsman (hand tools, acquired from Sears) Power tools too. However, be cautious: Sears retained the right to sell Craftsman branded tool...
by jharkin
Tue Dec 24, 2019 9:02 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Anyone had success demanding a fully remote position at their current employer?
Replies: 31
Views: 2619

Re: Anyone had success demanding a fully remote position at their current employer?

Be aware that permission to work remotely can be revoked at any time. Some companies these days are rethinking their work from home policies and are choosing to curtail it, due to declines in productivity and collaboration. +1 The last company I worked for was very lenient about WFH but I noticed t...
by jharkin
Mon Dec 23, 2019 7:47 pm
Forum: Personal Investments
Topic: In or Near Retirement with Only Six Figures?
Replies: 126
Views: 15725

Re: In or Near Retirement with Only Six Figures?

My parents and in-laws (both early 60's) have a combined $0 in retirement, both having health issues which may force them into retirement. There are a lot people who have nothing but SS and many of them will be fine (I think my parents will be, my in-laws are a different story). +1 my parents are i...
by jharkin
Mon Dec 23, 2019 3:14 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Quality Power-Tool Brands
Replies: 93
Views: 6268

Re: Quality Power-Tool Brands

My son is a remodeling contractor and he uses a lot of Ridgid power tools. They must be good for him to have used them for so many years. Some contractors switched to them because Rigid offers free battery replacements. My dad started buying into Rigid (having been a DeWalt guy for decades) in the ...
by jharkin
Mon Dec 23, 2019 2:49 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Can I get the new customer rate from Verizon Fios? Or should I switch to Spectrum?
Replies: 52
Views: 6017

Re: Can I get the new customer rate from Verizon Fios? Or should I switch to Spectrum?

The good news is that these shenanigans will end in a few years tops once 5G has widespread adoption. Competition is coming. I am not a telecom engineer, but I don't think 5g speed and throughput will match that of wire to the home, especially FIOS. What I have read is that 5G is theoretically capa...
by jharkin
Mon Dec 23, 2019 9:38 am
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: How can index fund expense ratios be so low?
Replies: 12
Views: 1101

Re: How can index fund expense ratios be so low?

Anyway all these changes are done by machine. +1. 20 years ago the ER for VFINX was a lot higher... closer to 0.5%. It has steadily declined as the fund has grown and more things done by people can be handled by algorithms now. VTSAX has over $800billion in assets under management. 800,000,000,000 ...
by jharkin
Fri Dec 20, 2019 9:57 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Amica - Auto Policy, only 6 months
Replies: 57
Views: 4723

Re: Amica - Auto Policy, only 6 months

I wont know if the 6 month change effects Mass until my next renewal comes up in June 2020. Insurance is pretty heavily regulated here and at one point 12 month policies where mandated by law but I dont think that is the case anymore....= As to the question on competitive rates - folks should rememb...
by jharkin
Tue Dec 17, 2019 2:21 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Best Compact Luxury Car < $35k... Acura ILX?
Replies: 17
Views: 1753

Re: Best Compact Luxury Car < $35k... Acura ILX?

I'm a big fan of Honda/Acura but in my opinion, Acura lost it's way around 2005 and someone should put a bullet into the head of Acura in my opinion and just meld it's cars into Honda dealerships. If you want an actual luxury car, I'd recommend looking at (gulp) Lexus. Although they drive like Buic...
by jharkin
Tue Dec 17, 2019 2:15 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Energy Audit, Attic/HVAC Insulation and Sealing
Replies: 14
Views: 1020

Re: Energy Audit, Attic/HVAC Insulation and Sealing

Have you looking into whether your State or the local utilities provide incentives for this? Where I live in the northeast the state provides utility funded incentives that profide free audits, free air sealing and offset up to 75% of insulation upgrades. There are also rebates toward furnace, boile...
by jharkin
Mon Dec 16, 2019 10:38 am
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Why have bonds done so well in last year?
Replies: 5
Views: 482

Re: Why have bonds done so well in last year?

And yet at the same time there is a parallel thread going about how bonds are now useless and we should all go 100% stocks.

Funny, for a board founded on the advice of a guy famous for 'nobody knows nuthin" people love to predict :mrgreen:
by jharkin
Fri Dec 13, 2019 7:54 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: In search of a dishwasher that dries plastics well...
Replies: 80
Views: 4832

Re: In search of a dishwasher that dries plastics well...

Heated dry is nothing but a waste of energy/money. 90% of our kitchenware dries just fine from the leftover heat from washing if I simply wait an hour or 2 after the cycle stops. The couple items (plastic usually) that dont are solved in 30 seconds with a dishtowel. Plastics will always be a challen...
by jharkin
Thu Dec 12, 2019 8:12 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Any experience with Mr. Cooper? (Nationstar)
Replies: 11
Views: 897

Any experience with Mr. Cooper? (Nationstar)

So my new mortgage servicing was just sold to Mr. Cooper.... No big deal, right? They sold it just before Thanksgiving and I get the letter that should send payments to Mr.Cooper starting on 12/1. Along with the usual 60 day grace period during transfers, etc language. 12/1 rolls around and no intro...
by jharkin
Thu Dec 05, 2019 1:12 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Home maintenance tasks
Replies: 31
Views: 3525

Re: Home maintenance tasks

Also for anyone with natural gas, how often do you have to service the boiler? Converting from oil to gas next week! If its a traditional cast iron boiler feeding forced hot water baseboards/radiators - the answer is almost never. There simply is nothing that needs cleaning and not much to wear out...
by jharkin
Thu Nov 14, 2019 3:50 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: (Sigh) "Wasting" year-old smoke detector batteries...
Replies: 93
Views: 5647

Re: (Sigh) "Wasting" year-old smoke detector batteries...

I am not sure why 9V batteries seem to have been largely superseded. My guess is that perhaps integrated circuits will work directly from 3V but that old-fashioned discrete transistor circuits worked better and were easier to design with a higher voltages. Junction transistors versus CMOS, maybe? L...
by jharkin
Thu Nov 14, 2019 3:45 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Condensate pump recommendations wanted
Replies: 7
Views: 765

Re: Condensate pump recommendations wanted

If you have a drain lower than the output of the AC condenser and humidifier than stick with gravity drain. Absolutely no good reason (and a lot of bad ones) to add complexity where its not required. *IF* you need to move condensate uphill the Little Giant is the gold standard... only one I've ever ...
by jharkin
Thu Nov 14, 2019 3:37 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Garage Generator Install
Replies: 44
Views: 3367

Re: Garage Generator Install

NO I repeat NO None of what you propose is code legal or insurable. The building code absolutely prohibits multiple appliances sharing a flue and I am fairly certain that is by far not the only thing that would be in violation running a gas powered generator indoors. Please just dont do this. Suck ...
by jharkin
Wed Nov 13, 2019 3:26 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Water hammer
Replies: 27
Views: 2336

Re: Water hammer

Water hammer happens at my house when a device that uses substantial flow suddenly shuts off the water. For me, that's the toilet and the laundry machine. Normally, there's no water hammer because of the air cushions built into the pipes, but after a while, the air dissolves into the water and then...
by jharkin
Wed Nov 13, 2019 3:08 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Romantic northeast winter weekend getaway?
Replies: 28
Views: 3489

Re: Romantic northeast winter weekend getaway?

Interesting Stowe came up. We where just there this past weekend. I wouldn't stay at the Ski Resort proper unless its Ski season. Off season like this past weekend the place is a ghost town. Another nice place to stay in town if you like historic Inn's is the Green Mountain Inn. Just pay extra for o...
by jharkin
Wed Nov 13, 2019 3:04 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Blankets/Bedding for Cold Winter Nights
Replies: 56
Views: 4063

Re: Blankets/Bedding for Cold Winter Nights

CaptainSaver wrote: Tue Nov 12, 2019 3:05 pm Wondering what people have found to be the most comfortable and efficient bedding for keeping warm when it is cold out.
Properly operating central heat and well insulated walls/roof.
by jharkin
Wed Nov 13, 2019 3:02 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Anyone had their house repiped?
Replies: 32
Views: 3801

Re: Anyone had their house repiped?

I have copper piping and have never had any problems even though it is now almost 50 years old at this point. I wouldn't be so quick though to jump on the PEX bandwagon and assume that it will last longer without problems. I have a buddy who is a plumber and he has already redone PEX piping from th...
by jharkin
Tue Nov 05, 2019 11:02 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: H&R BLOCK Pre-Order 2019 Software Offer
Replies: 317
Views: 29054

Re: H&R BLOCK Pre-Order 2019 Software Offer

I presume that since the address is preceded by https this a legitimate offer. Be careful. HTTPS only means that the website is running SSL encryption. It in no way guarantees that its the genuine HRBlock website as its a trivially easy thing for a hacker to setup a fake site with SSL. In this case...
by jharkin
Fri Nov 01, 2019 7:14 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: APC power backup for extended outages
Replies: 29
Views: 1719

Re: APC power backup for extended outages

Look into transfer switches. They are easy to wire, but if you are uncomfortable an electrician can easily do it. +1 I did one myself as well... not a big deal if you are comfortable around electrical work. Even simpler is an interlock breaker... If I would do it again i would go this route as it a...
by jharkin
Thu Oct 31, 2019 12:54 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Website that shows salary/benefit/401k information for companies?
Replies: 22
Views: 2490

Re: Website that shows salary/benefit/401k information for companies?

There is no database of salaries. Of course there is - Glassdoor, Salary.com, and (mostly California tech) levels.fyi or blind. Whats debatable is how accurate they are since everything is self reported by a small % of employees and not verifiable. HR departments typically buy access to proprietary...
by jharkin
Thu Oct 31, 2019 12:49 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Small electrical/airflow/filtering questions
Replies: 29
Views: 1096

Re: Small electrical/airflow/filtering questions

OP, no disrespect intended, but I think you hit the nail on the head with your final statement, "If enough people cared" As mentioned, we just installed a slew of switches in our renovation, and I’m surprised how limited the lighting and switching options are. I can only assume that consumers aren’...
by jharkin
Thu Oct 31, 2019 12:44 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Small electrical/airflow/filtering questions
Replies: 29
Views: 1096

Re: Small electrical/airflow/filtering questions

1) We have a bunch of 2-way (and I think one 3-way) switches in the house. Same light(s) controlled from switches at different locations. It's long been a minor annoyance of mine that you can thus have the switch in the "down" position at the location convenient to you, but the lights are on, becau...
by jharkin
Thu Oct 31, 2019 12:34 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: cousin inherited older house - how to get solid overview of all repairs needed?
Replies: 21
Views: 2057

Re: cousin inherited older house - how to get solid overview of all repairs needed?

clip651 wrote: Wed Oct 30, 2019 11:39 am partly due to older construction that wasn't great to begin with,
What makes you think the house was not built well?
by jharkin
Thu Oct 31, 2019 12:28 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: APC power backup for extended outages
Replies: 29
Views: 1719

Re: APC power backup for extended outages

The newer lithium battery powered "generator replacements" might be more suitable, you can run them inside too. The bigger ones can power a fridge. https://www.amazon.com/s?k=yeti+1400&gclid=Cj0KCQjwjOrtBRCcARIsAEq4rW6Q-PvEwNOnwhE3HEPxjxtY32ACP_uErTX8BroH-4YeN0XytfyM25MaAnvWEALw_wcB&hvadid=19049255...
by jharkin
Thu Oct 31, 2019 12:14 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: APC power backup for extended outages
Replies: 29
Views: 1719

Re: APC power backup for extended outages

I have a couple different APC Smart UPS units that I use for my PC and router. Consumer UPS like the APC units have fairly inefficient inverters in them, and the batteries in most sizes are only sized to provide enough run time to safely shutoff equipment over a long outage. The charging circuity th...
by jharkin
Mon Oct 28, 2019 9:27 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Home buying advice: Build new or buy used?
Replies: 76
Views: 6391

Re: Home buying advice: Build new or buy used?

My experience, having lived in homes built in the late 1700s, mid 1800s, 1920s, 1930s, 1970s, 1980s, and 1990s.. (not in that order) For the homes built 50 years ago, or 100+ years ago, how much concern did you have about issues under the surface unable to be viewed by the naked eye? I am not a han...
by jharkin
Fri Oct 25, 2019 1:41 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Home buying advice: Build new or buy used?
Replies: 76
Views: 6391

Re: Home buying advice: Build new or buy used?

Put it this way, a 2x4 isn’t actually 2”x4” anymore - they are actually 1.5”x3.5”. Back in the 1950s a 2x4 was actually 2”x4”. Lead paint isn’t really a problem as long as it isn’t chipping (which is usually from water intrusion). I’d rather have copper pipes with soldered connections than PVC with...
by jharkin
Fri Oct 25, 2019 1:15 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Home buying advice: Build new or buy used?
Replies: 76
Views: 6391

Re: Home buying advice: Build new or buy used?

While I would suspect buying a used home, as with many used products, offers the most ‘bang for the buck’, is there an exception for home buying? A new home would have a new HVAC system, a new roof, and any other items which might need to be replaced in a few years after a used home purchase, while...
by jharkin
Wed Oct 09, 2019 2:41 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Dilemma buying a new house
Replies: 31
Views: 2926

Re: Dilemma buying a new house

Both options have some risk. We moved this year and bought our new house first, then put existing house on the market once new house was firmly under contract. We got LUCKY in that existing house sold in 3 days for asking price and we had about 3 weeks overlap between closings and no double payments...