Search found 3417 matches

by Rupert
Thu Apr 25, 2013 9:24 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Homeower's Policy Rate Increase
Replies: 22
Views: 1849

Re: Homeower's Policy Rate Increase

Your insurer may be trying to reduce its exposure in your area. They might be raising rates precisely to get folks like you to drop coverage and find other insurance. Insurers do that a lot around here (Gulf Coast).
by Rupert
Wed Apr 24, 2013 9:09 am
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: "The Train Wreck Awaiting American Retirement."
Replies: 29
Views: 4627

Re: "The Train Wreck Awaiting American Retirement."

Anybody ever read "Boomsday" by Christopher Buckley? (If you don't have a sense of humor, please don't read it or even Google it).
by Rupert
Wed Apr 24, 2013 8:56 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Any suggestions for a refrigerator that broke after 2 years?
Replies: 24
Views: 3426

Re: Any suggestions for a refrigerator that broke after 2 ye

I have a friend whose oven exploded recently. It was a very expensive Kitchenaid model and the blue ceramic interior of the oven actually exploded (not just a crack). Turns out a lot of Kitchenaid ovens have been exploding around the country. Anyway, Kitchenaid, when contacted, explained that the mo...
by Rupert
Tue Apr 23, 2013 10:23 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: 15 year vs. 30 year for starter home
Replies: 23
Views: 2883

Re: 15 year vs. 30 year for starter home

For a starter home that you might only be in for 5 years, I'd definitely go with the 30-year mortgage. As the previous poster said, you can always pay the 30-year note off early. As for whether to go with a 3-bedroom or 2-bedroom home, definitely the 3 bedroom. A 2-bedroom house, even one with a fin...
by Rupert
Mon Apr 22, 2013 2:27 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Getting lower cable rates by threatening to cancel
Replies: 67
Views: 9336

Re: Getting lower cable rates by threatening to cancel

I called Comcast recently and threatened to switch to U-Verse. Their response was, "Good luck with that." So I'm not sure Comcast will play that game anymore.
by Rupert
Wed Apr 17, 2013 11:45 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Help with tax fraud
Replies: 15
Views: 2079

Re: Help with tax fraud

Yes, he should call the IRS immediately. He should also call the credit bureaus and place a fraud alert or freeze on his credit reports. If they've claimed him as a dependent, they have his social security number. There's a lot they can do with that information.
by Rupert
Mon Apr 15, 2013 10:09 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Window Blinds - Bali, Levolor, Hunter Douglas
Replies: 36
Views: 82527

Re: Window Blinds - Bali, Levolor, Hunter Douglas

I've ordered Levolor blinds through the Home Depot website before (it's cheaper to do it through Home Depot than directly from Levolor, btw). I've been very satisfied.
by Rupert
Fri Apr 12, 2013 2:16 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Land Sales Contract and Late Fees
Replies: 6
Views: 613

Re: Land Sales Contract and Late Fees

Mmmmm, I am not a real estate lawyer, but I am a lawyer. I would not wait until the end of the contract to try to collect those fees if I were you. And if I were you I'd see a real estate lawyer about the situation pronto.
by Rupert
Fri Apr 12, 2013 11:32 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Land Sales Contract and Late Fees
Replies: 6
Views: 613

Re: Land Sales Contract and Late Fees

I would argue that you're entitled to the full $100 late fee. Your contract states you are to be paid X by the 5th of each month. You are not being paid X by the 5th. You are only being paid half of X by the 5th. As for who pays that $100 fee, I believe the buyers are jointly and severally liable fo...
by Rupert
Fri Apr 12, 2013 11:03 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: How important is a good school district?
Replies: 65
Views: 4996

Re: How important is a good school district?

I think it usually does make sense financially to buy a house in a better school district. But this is not purely a financial question. You also have to consider which choice will make your family happier. For example, if the move increases your daily commute by an hour, you are far from your child ...
by Rupert
Thu Apr 11, 2013 2:59 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Furlough Salary Reduction (help with math)
Replies: 13
Views: 2555

Re: Furlough Salary Reduction (help with math)

Update: Just got my first furlough paycheck. mhc got it right: it was a 9.2% reduction in gross pay.
by Rupert
Thu Apr 11, 2013 9:23 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Would appreciate Bogleheaded advice on a vehicle purchase
Replies: 48
Views: 4392

Re: Would appreciate Bogleheaded advice on a vehicle purchas

Honda CR-V (4 cylinder), Acura RDX (6 cylinder), Toyota Prius V (hybrid) - all good cars, very reliable. Style is in the eye of the beholder, but I think the Acura is the most stylish of the three. You might have a hard time finding a used Prius V right now, but Carmax has tons of gently used Hondas...
by Rupert
Wed Apr 10, 2013 2:32 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: One night hotel stay in D.C.
Replies: 42
Views: 3938

Re: One night hotel stay in D.C.

DC is expensive. Hotels there don't often offer discounts because they don't have to; their rooms are full regardless of discounts. That being said, you should be able to find a good room for less than $400. Try the Grand Hyatt. It's a huge conference hotel, but I've had luck finding rooms there for...
by Rupert
Tue Apr 09, 2013 9:03 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Month-long visits to American cities
Replies: 52
Views: 6192

Re: Month-long visits to American cities

You have to have a car in Atlanta. MARTA will simply not get you where you want to go. I recommend staying there only 2 weeks and, while there, staying in a neighborhood like Virginia Highlands or in a separate town just outside Atlanta, such as Decatur. Downtown Atlanta is dead at night. The only f...
by Rupert
Fri Apr 05, 2013 9:03 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Furlough Salary Reduction (help with math)
Replies: 13
Views: 2555

Re: Furlough Salary Reduction (help with math)

Thanks guys. My "HR Department" consists of one lady who has no idea what the answer is. She said she'll let our payroll processor figure it out. But the payroll company has made mistakes on my paycheck in the past so I always check their math. They're supposed to run a dummy payroll for us before t...
by Rupert
Thu Apr 04, 2013 3:49 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Furlough Salary Reduction (help with math)
Replies: 13
Views: 2555

Furlough Salary Reduction (help with math)

I work for a quasi-government firm affected by sequestration. My colleagues and I have been told that we will be furloughed 12 days between April 1 and September 30. We've been instructed to take one furlough day per pay period during that time. We're paid twice a month, on the 15th day and last day...
by Rupert
Wed Apr 03, 2013 12:10 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: One night hotel stay in D.C.
Replies: 42
Views: 3938

Re: One night hotel stay in D.C.

How much are you looking to spend? If you're going to splurge a little, stay in a Kimpton Hotel. I enjoy the Hotel George in Capitol Hill. It's near Union Station on the Metro's red line. There's a great little French restaurant on-site called Bistro Bis. I highly recommend it. There's another Kimpt...
by Rupert
Wed Apr 03, 2013 8:55 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Vanguard 529
Replies: 6
Views: 814

Re: Vanguard 529

You don't have to login to Upromise. You just login to Vanguard and click on your 529 account link. Vanguard will automatically redirect you to Upromise without you having to login again.
by Rupert
Tue Apr 02, 2013 9:01 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Is It O.K. To Wash Wool "Dry Clean Only" Dress Pants?
Replies: 19
Views: 49122

Re: Is It O.K. To Wash Wool "Dry Clean Only" Dress Pants?

No, it isn't okay. You may not destroy them the first time you wash them but you will destroy them much faster than if you took care of them properly.
by Rupert
Mon Mar 25, 2013 10:42 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Planning for children
Replies: 18
Views: 1850

Re: Planning for children

You've gotten good advice so far. I'll just reiterate the importance of the following three items: (1) eliminate all consumer debt (car loans, credit card balances, etc.); (2) build a very healthy emergency fund; and (3) buy term life insurance. It's extremely important to buy life insurance before ...
by Rupert
Fri Mar 22, 2013 11:07 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Daycare closing for 1 day (no power) Claim credit?
Replies: 35
Views: 2583

Re: Daycare closing for 1 day (no power) Claim credit?

I wouldn't risk destroying a good relationship with a decent daycare over $30. Most daycares that charge only $150 a week are nonprofits. That's why they can charge so little and that's why it's highly relevant that they probably still have to pay their staff for the missed day of work. You don't wa...
by Rupert
Thu Mar 21, 2013 12:59 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Girlfriend Sends Money Home Every Month...Driving Me Nuts!
Replies: 41
Views: 6845

Re: Girlfriend Sends Money Home Every Month...Driving Me Nut

Every first-generation immigrant I've ever known has sent substantial sums of money back home to support family. There's an attorney I work with right now who married a Peruvian woman. The wife doesn't work and they have 4 kids they are barely able to feed, clothe, and educate. Yet they still send a...
by Rupert
Wed Mar 20, 2013 4:19 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Help with limited options in 401K plan
Replies: 12
Views: 2286

Re: Help with limited options in 401K plan

Sorry my answer misled you, richard37. I only recommended holding international in your Roth because I overlooked the Vanguard fund in your 401(k) choices. I prefer total international, but the one in your 401(k) is perfectly acceptable.
by Rupert
Wed Mar 20, 2013 3:03 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Cheap Wall St Journal?
Replies: 64
Views: 11810

Re: Cheap Wall St Journal?

I pick one up every morning in the lobby of the hotel attached to my office building. :happy
by Rupert
Wed Mar 20, 2013 2:15 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Help with limited options in 401K plan
Replies: 12
Views: 2286

Re: Help with limited options in 401K plan

Oh yeah, I overlooked the Vanguard international fund. There you go, perfect, low-cost portfolio. You're fortunate indeed.
by Rupert
Wed Mar 20, 2013 2:06 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Help with limited options in 401K plan
Replies: 12
Views: 2286

Re: Help with limited options in 401K plan

These fees are not high by 401(k) standards. You're not going to do any better than those three Spartan funds, the 500, the extended market, and the bond. Why not just use those? The fees for the target retirement funds are also low compared to most target funds I've seen. Choosing one of those woul...
by Rupert
Wed Mar 20, 2013 11:20 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: should we think about retirement?
Replies: 105
Views: 9132

Re: should we think about retirement?

Don't want to toss cold water on your plans in general, but I do have a question about your plan to (maybe) go on Medicaid. Isn't that a state-administered program that would only allow you to receive care, and minimal care at that, in the state where you qualify for the program? How does that jive ...
by Rupert
Tue Mar 19, 2013 11:31 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Mortgage payment stubs
Replies: 4
Views: 568

Re: Mortgage payment stubs

What do you mean by "writing off"? Do you mean deducting the interest? If so, then, no, you don't have to save anything. Your mortgage company will send you a 1099 at the end of the tax year.
by Rupert
Tue Mar 19, 2013 9:24 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Traveling to Europe for the first time...need help!
Replies: 67
Views: 16830

Re: Traveling to Europe for the first time...need help!

Switzerland is too expensive for your budget. Germany, Austria and even some places in northern Italy also have Alps and are much cheaper. I wouldn't count on finding much cheap "street food" in that part of Europe. You're going to be eating in restaurants mostly. You might find an occasional hot do...
by Rupert
Mon Mar 18, 2013 1:50 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Best way to mulch yard?
Replies: 26
Views: 4556

Re: Best way to mulch yard?

I use either pine straw bought in bales from Lowes ($2-5 a bale, depending on what season you buy it) or fallen oak tree leaves from the oak trees on my property. I generally use the pine straw in my front beds because I prefer the look of it. It forms a nice mat after it's been rained on a few time...
by Rupert
Mon Mar 18, 2013 9:08 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Tipping a hairdresser
Replies: 85
Views: 8543

Re: Tipping a hairdresser

She doesn't get a cut, color and blow dry in 30 minutes. A cut, color and blow dry is a 2- or 3-hour affair. If the hairstylist owns the salon, no tip is necessary. I don't tip owners, just employees. If the hairstylist is an employee, custom is to tip 10-20%. In my town, it's 10%. In other towns I'...
by Rupert
Thu Mar 14, 2013 10:32 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Amazon Item Price Change
Replies: 17
Views: 2953

Re: Amazon Item Price Change

Most of you folks have had a lot better experiences with Amazon's customer service than I have. Once they shipped me something I had not ordered, had not paid for, and had no use for (a cellphone cover for a phone I do not own). I called them and asked what to do with it because it was obviously som...
by Rupert
Thu Mar 14, 2013 10:20 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: 529 plan article suggests improvements
Replies: 12
Views: 1366

Re: 529 plan article suggests improvements

I think the idea of permitting 529s to be converted into Roth IRAs is brilliant. Are there any good reasons not to allow that? I can't think of any.
by Rupert
Thu Mar 14, 2013 10:16 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Maximizing a Stay at the Ritz
Replies: 29
Views: 3527

Re: Maximizing a Stay at the Ritz

Turn-down service: Maid comes in, turns down the bed (i.e., removes the throw pillows, adjusts the sleep pillows, rolls back the top corner of the duvet), places a mint on your pillow, and turns on the radio so that quiet music is playing when you return from dinner. It's not something I would ever ...
by Rupert
Thu Mar 14, 2013 9:16 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Maximizing a Stay at the Ritz
Replies: 29
Views: 3527

Re: Maximizing a Stay at the Ritz

I would never pay to stay in a Ritz-Carlton or another hotel like it because I've learned over the years by staying there on business trips that it really really isn't worth the extra price you pay for it. I find the "my pleasure" business from the staff kinda creepy. You'll see what I mean. And I h...
by Rupert
Tue Mar 12, 2013 9:26 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Dependent care child tax credit using TT
Replies: 2
Views: 352

Re: Dependent care child tax credit using TT

I was hoping someone else would chime in to answer your question because I'm not sure if that FSA information has to be included on your W-2 or not. But since no one has, I'll make an attempt. Did you ask your HR person (or whoever is responsible for preparing your W-2) why the FSA information was n...
by Rupert
Fri Mar 08, 2013 10:43 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: How to fight a speeding ticket?
Replies: 30
Views: 2562

Re: How to fight a speeding ticket?

Criminal defense lawyer here: To avoid points, go to traffic school (or whatever other procedure allows you to avoid the points in your jurisdiction). Otherwise, just pay the ticket. You confessed. The cop will show up for court. He will remember that you confessed. You will either admit to the judg...
by Rupert
Fri Mar 08, 2013 10:26 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Dental Insurance
Replies: 16
Views: 1427

Re: Dental Insurance

There's a difference between accepting payment from an insurer and being an in-network provider for an insurer. In the latter case, the dentist agrees to accept whatever the insurer will pay for a procedure. In the former case, the dentist just agrees to bill the insurer for the patient and accept p...
by Rupert
Tue Mar 05, 2013 10:13 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Life Insurance Question - ROP, Term, Universal, Whole?
Replies: 17
Views: 1633

Re: Life Insurance Question - ROP, Term, Universal, Whole?

Do you really think being healthy now means you'll live another 30 years? How will your spouse support herself if you choke on a piece of steak at dinner tomorrow night? Unless you are supporting a disabled child or spouse (when permanent insurance might make sense), you need term insurance and enou...
by Rupert
Fri Mar 01, 2013 2:34 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Looking for pharmacist jobs with a criminal background
Replies: 28
Views: 5441

Re: Looking for pharmacist jobs with a criminal background

Criminal defense lawyer here: You cannot expunge an arrest in every jurisdiction. The laws governing expungement vary from state to state. So the fact that he was arrested may always appear in certain databases, such as the NCIC database used by law enforcement agencies like the DEA. Also, you can't...
by Rupert
Thu Feb 28, 2013 1:32 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Would you seriously date someone with $300K in debt?
Replies: 85
Views: 5323

Re: Would you seriously date someone with $300K in debt?

Back to the original question . . . Is she doing public-interest work, i.e., nonprofit, prosecutor's office, indigent criminal defense? If so, has she pursued the loan forgiveness programs available for lawyers who choose such paths? If loan forgiveness is not an option, would she consider taking a ...
by Rupert
Wed Feb 27, 2013 3:42 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Any Experience Selling a Car on [Craigslist]?
Replies: 49
Views: 4985

Re: Any Experience Selling a Car on [Craigslist]?

Another option is a car consignment lot. I know a guy who does this. He has a vacant lot on a busy highway. For a percentage of the sale price or a minimum charge, whichever is higher, he lets sellers park their cars on the lot. He also meets with potential buyers and handles the test drives.
by Rupert
Wed Feb 27, 2013 10:14 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Car servicing at dealership or local mechanic??
Replies: 39
Views: 3189

Re: Car servicing at dealership or local mechanic??

If you can find an independent mechanic who specializes in Hondas, that's the way to go for most maintenance/repairs that aren't warranty/recall work. There are some repairs, though, that an independent mechanic won't touch, most having to do with safety equipment such as airbags and seatbelts. The ...
by Rupert
Fri Feb 22, 2013 12:55 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Replace or repair the car? - What's a Boglehead to do?
Replies: 37
Views: 2668

Re: Replace or repair the car? - What's a Boglehead to do?

If your wife doesn't feel safe in the car, you should sell it. Her mental anguish trumps your economics. I wouldn't even consider keeping it.
by Rupert
Mon Feb 18, 2013 9:19 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: perdido beach/key florida
Replies: 2
Views: 499

Re: perdido beach/key florida

Haven't stayed there but we have a place near there on the Alabama side. Definitely visit Johnson's Beach, which is a federally-protected seashore. It's one of the most beautiful and beautifully deserted beaches I've ever seen. It's a great place to find seashells too if you're into that. You have t...
by Rupert
Sat Feb 16, 2013 9:08 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Estimating tax value for clothing donations
Replies: 26
Views: 4233

Re: Estimating tax value for clothing donations

I second the recommendation to use Turbotax's It's Deductible program. As stated by a previous poster, it provides estimated values for donated items. I think its values are based on the price of similar items listed for sale on sites like EBay and Craigslist. You're not going to find better estimat...
by Rupert
Tue Feb 05, 2013 11:40 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Car Accident Question
Replies: 18
Views: 2201

Re: Car Accident Question

I hope your wife is okay. Take care of her now and worry about this stuff tomorrow. I've been in two accidents in my life and have, unfortunately, learned that there's less stress and paperwork involved when you're the party at fault. If it's your fault, your insurance company pays for everything an...
by Rupert
Tue Feb 05, 2013 11:11 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Car Accident Question
Replies: 18
Views: 2201

Re: Car Accident Question

There have been several threads addressing this question lately. You should search for and review those. Short answer (there's no right or wrong answer) is you can do it either way: file directly on the other driver's liability policy or file on your own collision policy and let your insurance compa...
by Rupert
Thu Jan 31, 2013 1:25 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: My 529 and Coverdell Accounts are overfunded
Replies: 10
Views: 1690

Re: My 529 and Coverdell Accounts are overfunded

The 529s can just sit and grow. You can change the names of the beneficiaries to your grandchildren or yourself or anybody. I recommend adding the names of my children as your beneficiaries. :) Congrats on saving enough and then some.