Search found 1939 matches

by sunny_socal
Thu Apr 09, 2015 12:30 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Cheapest way to get Credit Card cash advance.
Replies: 24
Views: 9121

Re: Cheapest way to get Credit Card cash advance.

Are there ways to do this without paying any cash advance fees? I am not looking for a 0% APR - I intend to pay it off before next statement. I thought interest on credit card cash advances accrued the day you took the advance - no grace period like a purchase? Yes, for an actual cash advance. But ...
by sunny_socal
Thu Apr 09, 2015 8:26 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Year round storage container for CDs in car
Replies: 14
Views: 1440

Re: Year round storage container for CDs in car

I burned all my CDs to MP3 format. They are now on every computer & cell phone in the house.

In my cars I either have an audio input permitting a cell phone to be the player, or I installed a modern BT compatible stereo that can stream from a phone.

Ditch the CDs! :beer
by sunny_socal
Wed Apr 08, 2015 7:46 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: New or Used Honda Odyssey
Replies: 46
Views: 12043

Re: New or Used Honda Odyssey

In 2013 I got a used 2005 Pilot EX-L with about 100k miles for about 11k. Not an apples to apples comparison, but I think you have to get an older than 3 year old used vehicle to get a deal. There was relatively major maintenance due around 100k miles (water pump, etc) that was already done, and ou...
by sunny_socal
Tue Apr 07, 2015 11:11 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Need[ed] to stop an ACH transfer [that once was] tomorrow
Replies: 11
Views: 3032

Re: EMERGENCY! Need to stop an ACH transfer happening tomorr

Shouldn't you be doing the happy dance for making an extra payment?
by sunny_socal
Tue Apr 07, 2015 8:00 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Switch to 15 year mortgage? (Cash flow vs. better rate)
Replies: 17
Views: 2639

Re: Switch to 15 year mortgage? (Cash flow vs. better rate)

Watty wrote: If you buy another property in the area you could end up with 500% of your net worth in real estate which is risky because it would not be diversified.
Don't follow - is 500% a typo? (50%?)
by sunny_socal
Tue Apr 07, 2015 6:38 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Switch to 15 year mortgage? (Cash flow vs. better rate)
Replies: 17
Views: 2639

Re: Switch to 15 year mortgage? (Cash flow vs. better rate)

Have you considered a zero cost refi? It's not truly zero cost since the mortgage broker or lender get paid by adding some points on the loan, but from your perspective there really are no costs. I've done this several times over the last few years and it's been great. I've ended up with a much bett...
by sunny_socal
Mon Apr 06, 2015 11:20 pm
Forum: Personal Investments
Topic: Selling RSU's to fund a down payment on first home
Replies: 9
Views: 2829

Re: Selling RSU's to fund a down payment on first home

I tend to dump my RSUs as soon as they vest - and I sleep at night. Simple tax situation, no need to stare at company stock price on a daily basis. :beer

Take the money and run!
by sunny_socal
Mon Apr 06, 2015 4:37 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Microsoft's Surface 3- anyone considering?
Replies: 35
Views: 5147

Re: Microsoft's Surface 3- anyone considering?

It runs Windows? No thanks. (I've been running Windows since it first came out... it hasn't gotten any better along the way.) That is just silly. But it also silly to argue with religious fanatics. What's silly about that? I've used the various Windows flavors for ~23 years. I still use it for work...
by sunny_socal
Mon Apr 06, 2015 12:42 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Tankless Hot Water Heaters
Replies: 33
Views: 6922

Re: Tankless Hot Water Heaters

Would never go tankless. Traditional heaters will last a very long time if you change the anode every few years, $50 per. We have two heaters and they also provide 80 gallons of emergency water supply.
by sunny_socal
Sun Apr 05, 2015 8:53 am
Forum: Personal Investments
Topic: 6% Loss on some Stock Options, hold or sell and dump in Roth
Replies: 15
Views: 1641

Re: 6% Loss on some Stock Options, hold or sell and dump in

My rule: always dump company stock as soon as it vests. Otherwise it's just gambling. Take the money and run.
by sunny_socal
Sun Apr 05, 2015 8:20 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Sunglasses $6 to $200
Replies: 30
Views: 4905

Re: Sunglasses $6 to $200

If you like Bolle's, go to any Big5 . They carry many models and they are frequently (always?) on sale. On sale they are 30-40/pair even for polarized. IMO they are excellent value and fit me perfectly. I've had Raybans occasionally, but I either lose them or find some other way of wrecking them. No...
by sunny_socal
Sun Apr 05, 2015 8:15 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Firm High Loft Pillow
Replies: 4
Views: 1128

Re: Firm High Loft Pillow

I've gone with Ikea's memory foam pillows. They come in two parts: 1) Memory foam core (maybe 3" thick) 2) Outer shell that is zippered, adds maybe an another 2" of thickness. I bought two of these pillows, took the entire first pillow and stuffed it into the shell from the second one. It is now the...
by sunny_socal
Sat Apr 04, 2015 8:30 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Hate where we live, do we make major changes?
Replies: 132
Views: 18063

Re: Hate where we live, do we make major changes?

I moved from NY to San Diego :D Positives : - Fantastic weather. I can go hiking/biking just by stepping outside any day of the year. - The best breweries in the country, bar none. Only Belgium a better place for beer, and they don't make IPAs. :beer - Mountains 1hr away. Desert 1.5hr away. Beach 0....
by sunny_socal
Sat Apr 04, 2015 6:36 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Beach vacation in So Cal
Replies: 52
Views: 7034

Re: Beach vacation in So Cal

Fly to San Diego, stay in Encinitas, Cardiff or Leucadia. ^^^ This. San Diego is very family friendly with relatively small population and traffic compared to LA. Between the above beach towns and Oceanside, and Legoland, you'll definitely fill up a few days. I avoid the LA area like the plague. Ho...
by sunny_socal
Sat Apr 04, 2015 12:04 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Buy riding mower or hire service to cut grass?
Replies: 56
Views: 11157

Re: Buy riding mower or hire service to cut grass?

Whatever you do, don't go too cheap on the mower: 1) First I got a used John Deere, ended up being a money pit and I lost $700 on it 2) Got a brand new Ariens from Home Depot - but it won't cut very well. List price was $1400 but I got it for $750 and hence a "good deal", but now I would get a Husqv...
by sunny_socal
Fri Apr 03, 2015 7:35 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: lowest cost to own CA carpool eligible car for commuting
Replies: 9
Views: 2066

Re: lowest cost to own CA carpool eligible car for commuting

The EV gets you into the carpool lane, which can be a huge benefit if you can take advantage of it for your commutes. Conceptually it's a good idea. However every time I'd actually need a carpool lane, that lane is already filled with cars and they aren't' moving any further than rest of traffic :a...
by sunny_socal
Fri Apr 03, 2015 4:33 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Microsoft's Surface 3- anyone considering?
Replies: 35
Views: 5147

Re: Microsoft's Surface 3- anyone considering?

It runs Windows? No thanks.

(I've been running Windows since it first came out... it hasn't gotten any better along the way.)
by sunny_socal
Fri Apr 03, 2015 12:23 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Purchase vs lease solar panels?
Replies: 34
Views: 4602

Re: Purchase vs lease solar panels?

Once the federal tax credit expires, I would expect the price of the panels to drop the amount of the tax credit. Don't let tax credits influence your decision. I'm fully expecting to see that as well. Right now the tax credits merely enable installers to increase the price of the system. It effect...
by sunny_socal
Fri Apr 03, 2015 12:14 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: lowest cost to own CA carpool eligible car for commuting
Replies: 9
Views: 2066

Re: lowest cost to own CA carpool eligible car for commuting

http://www.autoblog.com/2015/03/23/honda-fit-ev-lease-199-month/ Very interesting. I get 34-38 MPG with my current gas Fit, figure $175 in gas per month. For someone that doesn't already have a car the EV Fit lease seems like a decent deal, but for me it would be $200+electricity, probably not a go...
by sunny_socal
Fri Apr 03, 2015 12:03 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Earthquake coverage in CA
Replies: 20
Views: 2156

Re: Earthquake coverage in CA

We're in "Zone 4". But this map of San Diego county shows our area to be relatively safe:
http://www.shakeout.org/images/San_Dieg ... rs_map.jpg

The quakes tend to take place out in the boonies (ie. Salton Sea area)
by sunny_socal
Fri Apr 03, 2015 9:15 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Earthquake coverage in CA
Replies: 20
Views: 2156

Earthquake coverage in CA

Do any bogleheads living in CA have earthquake coverage on their home? Every time I move or refi I get a letter offering this insurance. However, the deductible is 15% which translates into a huge amount of $$. I know we have the occasional tremor but we're not near a fault line and it seems unlikel...
by sunny_socal
Fri Apr 03, 2015 8:40 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Cutting the cable cord - how did you do it?
Replies: 110
Views: 14936

Re: Cutting the cable cord - how did you do it?

They can disable it and they are doing it. Charter in my area caught onto this and now doing the internet split thing doesn't work to get basic cable. My understanding is all cable companies are going to this model where the signal is so that you need a box to even get basic cable. enjoy it while y...
by sunny_socal
Fri Apr 03, 2015 8:38 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: lowest cost to own CA carpool eligible car for commuting
Replies: 9
Views: 2066

Re: lowest cost to own CA carpool eligible car for commuting

I'd go with the Prius. I had one, and it was reliable and very fuel efficient. (Warning: not a very exciting car) Leaf: You're going to be spending more $$ on electricity. A friend of mine has one and installed a solar panel set just to support the Leaf. He thinks he's merely breaking even with the ...
by sunny_socal
Thu Apr 02, 2015 9:45 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Cutting the cable cord - how did you do it?
Replies: 110
Views: 14936

Re: Cutting the cable cord - how did you do it?

No 'cable' for ~10 years now: - Roku for Pandora/Netflix/Hulu (when the PS3 decides to not work) - PS3 for Netflix/Hulu (when the Roku decides to not work) - Chromecast for other content that is available for streaming on a computer but not on the set top boxes - Live sports (eg. football games) av...
by sunny_socal
Thu Apr 02, 2015 9:38 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Purchase vs lease solar panels?
Replies: 34
Views: 4602

Re: Purchase vs lease solar panels?

Look into installing the panels yourself. We just had a set installed and total cost was $30k. At one point in time the .gov subsidies were not available unless a licensed installer did th work. (live in CA) These days it is sufficient to have the setup inspected by the county, it doesn't matter who...
by sunny_socal
Wed Apr 01, 2015 3:31 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Laptop: Windows based vs. Apple
Replies: 87
Views: 13497

Re: Laptop: Windows based vs. Apple

Another satisfied MBP owner here! :D I finally made the jump after decades of railing against Apple/Mac/OSX all while dealing with the instability of Windows and the inconsistency of Linux. Oh I've used high end laptops, but in the end the all succumb to Windows cluttering them up and slowing things...
by sunny_socal
Wed Apr 01, 2015 11:37 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Bamboo vs Engineered Hardwood floor?
Replies: 12
Views: 4525

Re: Bamboo vs Engineered Hardwood floor?

- You're on the top floor. Moisture is not going to be a problem. - Engineered wood is still hardwood - it's just a criss cross laminate of the same material. I presume by "hardwood" you mean "solid hardwood." You should avoid solid flooring anyway, it's troublesome under the best of conditions. Eng...
by sunny_socal
Wed Apr 01, 2015 9:32 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: My car is (supposedly) totaled. What to do?
Replies: 26
Views: 4173

Re: My car is (supposedly) totaled. What to do?

What's with everyone suggesting he rent a car? He drives 5000 miles a year - that's 100 miles per week! Rental would be at least $50/week, or $2500/year. Not an option, IMO. The best option is #2, but don't even get it fixed except for the mirror. You'll be driving a free car, with a great nest egg ...
by sunny_socal
Wed Apr 01, 2015 9:06 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Tablet recommendations?
Replies: 17
Views: 2489

Re: Tablet recommendations?

At that size (10-12 inches), why not get one of the ~$300 chome book laptops? Edit: for those saying ipad, do you realize you are suggesting a tablet with more like 8-9 inches of useable screen space considering what he wants to use it for? A chrome book is a great idea. My older son has one for sc...
by sunny_socal
Tue Mar 31, 2015 6:52 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Why Buying a *New* Car Makes Sense? Please help!
Replies: 63
Views: 8104

Re: Why Buying a *New* Car Makes Sense? Please help!

A few points to swing you toward the used car: - Gas mileage on the sticker doesn't track reality. My 6 year old Honda Fit gets 37 MPG with spirited driving while a new one at time of purchase was rated at 34MPG. While technology does advance, your results will vary and will have more to do with yo...
by sunny_socal
Tue Mar 31, 2015 6:34 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: cash out refinance vs home equity loan for large purchases
Replies: 8
Views: 1850

Re: cash out refinance vs home equity loan for large purchas

Ever looked at the resale value on things like boats, skidoos, trailers, RVs? If you can settle for a used one you won't need to spend nearly as much.
As others said, save up rather than taking out a loan for a toy.
by sunny_socal
Tue Mar 31, 2015 6:29 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: repair or replace old car?
Replies: 26
Views: 3994

Re: repair or replace old car?

Good grief, surprising number of people jumping on the "dump it" bandwagon just because of a bad starter! :oops: People fall into one of two camps: 1) Drive newer cars with less than 100k miles. Switch cars frequently. 2) Drive cars into the ground, 100k miles is nothing. If you're in camp (2) like ...
by sunny_socal
Tue Mar 31, 2015 4:12 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Can I afford a $500,000 house?
Replies: 43
Views: 24385

Re: Can I afford a $500,000 house?

OP, you sound like me and my wife from a few years ago. We ended up with the bigger house and I have no regrets. Happy wife, happy life! :sharebeer Here in CA the question is not "can I afford a $500k house", but "can I find a $500k house?" The only way to get into a bigger house is to buy something...
by sunny_socal
Tue Mar 31, 2015 3:23 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Why Mac only has online version of WillMaker and Turbo Tax?
Replies: 14
Views: 1863

Re: Why Mac only has online version of WillMaker and Turbo T

What's wrong with the online version? That's all I've used - I have no desire to install a piece of software that is continually out of date, requiring constant patches.
by sunny_socal
Sat Mar 28, 2015 9:42 am
Forum: Personal Investments
Topic: New here: Help with 401k, IRA, first taxable account
Replies: 9
Views: 1398

Re: New here: Help with 401k, IRA, first taxable account

Any feedback on what to select out of the 401k funds to achieve a 70/30 stock/bond mix? If you're going to be rolling the IRA into the 401k then the easiest choice is a mix of ( VTTVX ) Vanguard Target Retirement 2025 Fund (0.17%) and ( VTTHX ) Vanguard Target Retirement 2035 Fund (0.18%). Between ...
by sunny_socal
Wed Mar 25, 2015 10:21 pm
Forum: Personal Investments
Topic: New here: Help with 401k, IRA, first taxable account
Replies: 9
Views: 1398

Re: New here: Help with 401k, IRA, first taxable account

Thanks for the comments on the IRA->401k rollover prior to Roth backdoor, I'll definitely do both. Any feedback on what to select out of the 401k funds to achieve a 70/30 stock/bond mix? - Fidelity International Money Market Portfolio (FMPXX) (0.21) - Fidelity Government Income Fund (FGOVX) (0.45) -...
by sunny_socal
Wed Mar 25, 2015 9:41 am
Forum: Personal Investments
Topic: New here: Help with 401k, IRA, first taxable account
Replies: 9
Views: 1398

Re: New here: Help with 401k, IRA, first taxable account

Excellent idea to roll IRA into the 401k to clear for your backdoor Roth. I don't see anything much better than VTTHX. What about spouse investments? You should coordinate the entire portfolio. JW My wife stays at home, has no accounts in her name and only works a part time job earning ~$4k/year to...
by sunny_socal
Wed Mar 25, 2015 8:47 am
Forum: Personal Investments
Topic: New here: Help with 401k, IRA, first taxable account
Replies: 9
Views: 1398

Re: New here: Help with 401k, IRA, first taxable account

Thanks for the feedback. Anyone else? I've also had a suggestion to roll my IRA _back_ into my 401k. (I wasn't aware this was possible.) It would clear the way for Roth backdoor conversions. A Roth would indeed be my next priority after getting the existing retirement accounts sorted out. So, assumi...
by sunny_socal
Tue Mar 24, 2015 4:33 pm
Forum: Personal Investments
Topic: New here: Help with 401k, IRA, first taxable account
Replies: 9
Views: 1398

New here: Help with 401k, IRA, first taxable account

Hello, First post. I haven't lurked long, but I can see that this is one of the best investment websites :D I'm very new to the world of investing. I've participated in 401k, but that's been all and I haven't really paid attention to what I've been doing. However I've had some kind of "midlife crisi...