Search found 334 matches

by financial.freedom
Sat Sep 05, 2015 11:19 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Should I change to artificial grass (in SoCal)?
Replies: 43
Views: 4337

Re: Should I change to artificial grass (in SoCal)?

There is no HOA, so no concern there. My wife doesn't like the look of artificial grass, but she hasn't seen many examples (and I haven't either). Our grass is turning brown too with the 5 min 3 x per week restrictions. Not entirely brown, but went from green to being about 30% brown. We could repla...
by financial.freedom
Sat Sep 05, 2015 10:15 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Should I change to artificial grass (in SoCal)?
Replies: 43
Views: 4337

Should I change to artificial grass (in SoCal)?

We recently purchased a house, and between a pool and large lot size (by SoCal standards) our water bill is VERY high. I changed the sprinklers to water 3x per week and 5 mins for each set, according to the drought restrictions in our area. I've made other changes in lifestyle, but our monthly bill ...
by financial.freedom
Tue Aug 25, 2015 6:15 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Should I TLH Total Stock Market?
Replies: 8
Views: 1159

Re: Should I TLH Total Stock Market?

This is good advice, in general I check on my funds from time-to-time using their similar ETF (such as VTI for TSM). I last checked around 3pm EST and decided to go for it. Monday ended up being a good day to TLH (was more than double the 6k stated above). Decided that I'll just stick with Large Cap...
by financial.freedom
Tue Aug 25, 2015 6:06 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: After TLH Reminder: Update cost basis etc.
Replies: 1
Views: 256

After TLH Reminder: Update cost basis etc.

Just a reminder for those who Tax Loss Harvested recently: 1. If it is a new fund that wasn't in your account before, the default setting is "reinvest" cap gains and dividends. For many (probably most), it is best to change the default. 2. For many, the cost basis should be changed to Spec...
by financial.freedom
Tue Aug 25, 2015 5:55 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Which tax-exempt bond fund ??
Replies: 37
Views: 8568

Re: Which tax-exempt bond fund ??

The AMT-free feature sounded appealing to me, then I looked up the prospectus for Vanguard Intermediate-Term Tax-Exempt Fund Admiral Shares (VWIUX): m It has 0% listed for AMT -- so that is ALSO an AMT-free fund right now, correct? In the past, think I read that it is allowed to carry a smallish amo...
by financial.freedom
Mon Aug 24, 2015 11:06 am
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Can I TLH when there are "unavailable" shares?
Replies: 1
Views: 314

Re: Can I TLH when there are "unavailable" shares?

Nevermind, it shows up when I try to do the exchange online. Think I answered my own question.
by financial.freedom
Mon Aug 24, 2015 11:05 am
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Can I TLH when there are "unavailable" shares?
Replies: 1
Views: 314

Can I TLH when there are "unavailable" shares?

I purchased shares of Total Stock Market on 8/20 and they are "unavailable" when I log in to Vanguard until 8/27. If I TLH, I think that I need to exchange ALL shares to avoid a wash sale since these were purchased less than 30 days ago, correct? Does that mean I can't exchange today witho...
by financial.freedom
Sat Aug 22, 2015 7:15 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Should I TLH Total Stock Market?
Replies: 8
Views: 1159

Re: Should I TLH Total Stock Market?

Is this at Vanguard, and are any of these covered shares? If so, do you have separate tax lots, and perhaps losses in some lots and gains in others? The idea is that you may be able to sell just the tax lots with losses instead of selling all shares. If at Vanguard, you can set your tax basis metho...
by financial.freedom
Sat Aug 22, 2015 7:12 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Should I TLH Total Stock Market?
Replies: 8
Views: 1159

Re: Should I TLH Total Stock Market?

Thank you for the reply. I don't hold any small cap funds (just 3-fund with munis in taxable). Would it make much of a difference?
by financial.freedom
Sat Aug 22, 2015 6:50 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Should I TLH Total Stock Market?
Replies: 8
Views: 1159

Should I TLH Total Stock Market?

I have 200k Total Stock Market in Taxable and could sell it for a loss of about 6k. Already have a loss from harvesting Total International in taxable (exchanged it for VG FTSE All World-Ex US) for a loss of 4k. 1. Is it worth it to exchange 200k worth of funds for a 6k loss or should I wait for a h...
by financial.freedom
Fri Aug 07, 2015 5:40 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Home security system and land line
Replies: 15
Views: 1631

Re: Home security system and land line

FWIW:

Power outages and burglars can prevent a landline from working, right?

Don't think I'd ever pay for a security system unless it operates wirelessly, such as from a cell tower.
by financial.freedom
Thu Aug 06, 2015 5:28 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: High income earners (300k) without employee retirement options (401k/403b)
Replies: 15
Views: 2493

Re: High income earners (300k) without employee retirement options (401k/403b)

1. Backdoor Roth IRA for you and spouse each year (11k) the first week of January. 2. Max out 401k for spouse (18k+ -- does she have employer match?) 3. Get 1099 at your current job or find a side job and max out solo 401k 4. In the meantime d/w your employer setting up 401k 5. Look into HSA 6. LBYM...
by financial.freedom
Fri Jul 31, 2015 10:24 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: CA State Refund Intercepted by DMV
Replies: 12
Views: 2323

Re: CA State Refund Intercepted by DMV

See: m , #7. Yes, I read that already. We moved around the time the car was turned back in, so maybe DMV sent it to the old address. Some of our mail is being forwarded and some not (for reasons that are unclear). Regardless, the dealership should have filled out a change of ownership. I will call ...
by financial.freedom
Fri Jul 31, 2015 10:13 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: CA State Refund Intercepted by DMV
Replies: 12
Views: 2323

CA State Refund Intercepted by DMV

The DMV intercepted my CA state refund check and took away money equal to the amount of my prior vehicle registration fee. However, the lease was over on the vehicle and I had already turned the car back in before the registration was due. Is there any way to get the money back? I feel as though cal...
by financial.freedom
Sat Jul 11, 2015 9:27 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: In-laws not saving for retirement -- help!
Replies: 47
Views: 9911

Re: In-laws not saving for retirement -- help!

What should I do? Is there anything I can do? Save yourself (selves, if your wife is on the same page with you). Do the in-laws live in a different state? If not, do you know what the filial support laws are like in your state? Even people in the middle to well off/responsible end of the financial ...
by financial.freedom
Sat Jul 11, 2015 9:17 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: In-laws not saving for retirement -- help!
Replies: 47
Views: 9911

Re: In-laws not saving for retirement -- help!

BolderBoy wrote:
financial.freedom wrote:What should I do? Is there anything I can do?

Save yourself (selves, if your wife is on the same page with you). Do the in-laws live in a different state? If not, do you know what the filial support laws are like in your state?


They live in a different state.
by financial.freedom
Sat Jul 11, 2015 9:16 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: In-laws not saving for retirement -- help!
Replies: 47
Views: 9911

Re: In-laws not saving for retirement -- help!

... is there any way your wife can make them realize that they have a problem? That's the first step... ... I'm also astonished they would ask you to sign a loan for that amount. How do they think you're going to be able to afford it with an interest rate that is surely pretty high given their hist...
by financial.freedom
Sat Jul 11, 2015 2:19 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Curtains vs. Shutters?
Replies: 7
Views: 1886

Curtains vs. Shutters?

We received a quote from Home Depot for $7k for shutters for 6 windows (two of the windows are pretty large, about 105" across). The quote is more expensive that what we were expecting. I think shutters look nice, but I'm concerned they will obstruct the view and not let in as much sunlight. Wh...
by financial.freedom
Fri Jul 10, 2015 6:20 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Roof done: call company to pay or wait from them to call?
Replies: 10
Views: 1826

Re: Roof done: call company to pay or wait from them to call?

Don't pay until: 1. You are satisfied with the job. Walk the roof yourself if it is walkable. Have the contractor do a walk-through with you. 2. Make sure there is no damage. We found damage inside our house. They told us it wasn't their fault. I told them I wouldn't pay until they had someone from ...
by financial.freedom
Fri Jul 10, 2015 6:02 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: In-laws not saving for retirement -- help!
Replies: 47
Views: 9911

Re: In-laws not saving for retirement -- help!

You didn't co-sign the loan? I would second the suggestion NOT to start enabling, it will just delay the their making hard choices. Our family is not the sort to get into each other's business, maybe your family is? Correct, we did not co-sign the loan (it was for 2M yikes). We know their business ...
by financial.freedom
Fri Jul 10, 2015 5:41 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: In-laws not saving for retirement -- help!
Replies: 47
Views: 9911

Re: In-laws not saving for retirement -- help!

sawhorse wrote:By the way, how did you and your wife find out their financial information?


They asked us to co-sign a loan, so we inquired.
by financial.freedom
Fri Jul 10, 2015 5:41 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: In-laws not saving for retirement -- help!
Replies: 47
Views: 9911

Re: In-laws not saving for retirement -- help!

livesoft wrote:Self-employed people are supposed to pay FICA/medicare taxes just like everybody else -- at least if they have any profits.


When I last inquired, my father-in-law told me his accountant shows losses every year.
by financial.freedom
Fri Jul 10, 2015 5:29 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: In-laws not saving for retirement -- help!
Replies: 47
Views: 9911

Re: In-laws not saving for retirement -- help!

Thank you for the advice. Yes, I think they have not been paying much into the system for SS since they have mainly been self-employed over the years. They've had other businesses go bankrupt in the past and survived. But they seem to be slowing down as they get older (mid 60s), don't know how much ...
by financial.freedom
Fri Jul 10, 2015 2:54 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: In-laws not saving for retirement -- help!
Replies: 47
Views: 9911

In-laws not saving for retirement -- help!

I'm really concerned about my in-laws. They are in their 60s, not saving for retirement, accumulating a lot of debt, and I'm concerned that at some point in time it will have a major impact upon my spouse and I. My father-in-law at one point had 400k in his work 401k, but he recently took out all of...
by financial.freedom
Fri Jul 10, 2015 2:41 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: 5 year CD @ 2.4% - a good deal?
Replies: 32
Views: 5584

Re: 5 year CD @ 2.4% - a good deal?

Don't see this mentioned above, but have to take your tax bracket into consideration. For my tax rate, 2.4% CDs is ~1.2% muni bond so make more sense for me to go munis for 5-year horizon right now.
by financial.freedom
Sun Jun 28, 2015 4:04 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: What is best attic fan thermostat setting?
Replies: 2
Views: 1034

What is best attic fan thermostat setting?

We live in coastal SoCal and do not have AC. We have a new roof with one attic fan installed. The default setting was 110 degrees F, but when the electrician hooked it up he put the thermostat at 90 degrees. It runs all day long, starting at 730am even when the house is relatively cool. Should we ch...
by financial.freedom
Sun Jun 07, 2015 6:16 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Best way to re-key locks on new house?
Replies: 36
Views: 9150

Re: Best way to re-key locks on new house?

Thanks for all of the suggestions! Just wanted to follow-up: I called a few locksmiths and cheapest for drilling/installing deadbolt was $150. Lowes and a few other places only re-keyed locks specifically purchased from their store. I removed the locks, took them to a local Ace HW store and they re-...
by financial.freedom
Tue May 26, 2015 10:57 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Best way to re-key locks on new house?
Replies: 36
Views: 9150

Re: Best way to re-key locks on new house?

Thank you for the replies!

I will take out the cylinders and have them re-keyed at the local hardware store, great advice.

Will look into the drill attachment for the deadbolt installation.
by financial.freedom
Mon May 25, 2015 7:15 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Best way to re-key locks on new house?
Replies: 36
Views: 9150

Re: Best way to re-key locks on new house?

If you do not have deadbolts now, then re-keying will not make them appear magically. I don't quite understand what this deadbolt discussion is about because if you have deadbolts now, new deadbolts will very likely fit in the same holes. There is one door to the outside that does not have a deadbo...
by financial.freedom
Mon May 25, 2015 6:49 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Best way to re-key locks on new house?
Replies: 36
Views: 9150

Re: Best way to re-key locks on new house?

I meant the tools to install a new deadbolt.
by financial.freedom
Mon May 25, 2015 6:36 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Advice Re: roof replacement South Bay LA County?
Replies: 1
Views: 347

Advice Re: roof replacement South Bay LA County?

Any advice from BHs regarding roof replacement? We need to replace the entire roof on a new purchase ASAP. We have one quote for 40k, using lightweight concrete tiles. Plan is to get 2-3 more quotes and get it replaced in the next 2-3 weeks. When looking for a roofing company, we want a company that...
by financial.freedom
Mon May 25, 2015 6:28 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Best way to re-key locks on new house?
Replies: 36
Views: 9150

Re: Best way to re-key locks on new house?

Great, thanks!

I can probably buy and replace the locks, but drilling/installing a deadbolt on one of the doors is probably beyond my scope.
by financial.freedom
Mon May 25, 2015 4:42 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Best way to re-key locks on new house?
Replies: 36
Views: 9150

Best way to re-key locks on new house?

The last time I paid to re-key locks on a house I called a few locksmiths and it was very expensive, about $450 for 5 locks. I called Lowe's and they will re-key locks for free, but I have to buy all new locks from Lowe's (about $50-100 per lock depending on the type) and install them myself. Howeve...
by financial.freedom
Sun May 17, 2015 6:58 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Should we purchase home without permits?
Replies: 70
Views: 6768

Re: Should we purchase home without permits?

PS - If they do not have the time or equity to bring it up to code, another option is asking them to come down on the purchase price so that we can pay to have it done. If that happens, how much would you ask for -- 20k? 30k? The only thing I don't like about this approach is our homeowner's insuran...
by financial.freedom
Sun May 17, 2015 6:54 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Should we purchase home without permits?
Replies: 70
Views: 6768

Re: Should we purchase home without permits?

That's about the age of my home. How's the electrical look? My first concern is that you're seriously lacking on grounded outlets, especially GFI (Ground Fault Interrupters) for the bathrooms. If grounded outlets are required to bring it up to code, you're looking at a major overhaul. If anything h...
by financial.freedom
Sun May 17, 2015 12:23 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Should we purchase home without permits?
Replies: 70
Views: 6768

Re: Should we purchase home without permits?

I think that entering into a large financial commitment in which you will lack liquidity will result in you having to change your name sake from financial freedom to something less desirable. According the NYT rent vs. buy calculator, we'd have to live there about 8-10 years for it to make financia...
by financial.freedom
Sat May 16, 2015 7:26 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Should we purchase home without permits?
Replies: 70
Views: 6768

Re: Should we purchase home without permits?

Aluminum wiring was a major problem in the late 1970s. Here's an article from 2006: The Fire Dangers of Aluminum Wiring I don't want to scare you, as I only mentioned it because you've got an old home with no permits. It's one of many things to check for. All outlets should be grounded (3-prong), f...
by financial.freedom
Sat May 16, 2015 6:48 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Should we purchase home without permits?
Replies: 70
Views: 6768

Re: Should we purchase home without permits?

That's about the age of my home. How's the electrical look? My first concern is that you're seriously lacking on grounded outlets, especially GFI (Ground Fault Interrupters) for the bathrooms. If grounded outlets are required to bring it up to code, you're looking at a major overhaul. If anything h...
by financial.freedom
Sat May 16, 2015 1:55 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Should we purchase home without permits?
Replies: 70
Views: 6768

Re: Should we purchase home without permits?

They disclosed some work was done without permits (remodel kitchen, bathrooms, landscaping) but not plumbing, electric, gas line. I think we have enough ways out if we need; we still haven't removed any contingencies yet. It is an older home, about 50-60 years old (but not historic 120 years old). Y...
by financial.freedom
Sat May 16, 2015 11:33 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Should we purchase home without permits?
Replies: 70
Views: 6768

Re: Should we purchase home without permits?

Update: The City inspection showed the following: Electrical, plumbing, gas line, water heater were done without permits. Discrepancy between BR/BA (public record shows 3BR/2BA, but house is 4BR/3.5BA). The square footage is similar within ~100 sq ft. So I don't think they added the bedroom and 1.5 ...
by financial.freedom
Thu May 14, 2015 12:50 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Should we purchase home without permits?
Replies: 70
Views: 6768

Re: Should we purchase home without permits?

There is another consideration that I don't think has been brought up and that is homeowner's insurance. If it is evident that you have "illegal" structures on this property, I think you will not be able to obtain a policy until all discrepancies are corrected. You may want to check with ...
by financial.freedom
Wed May 13, 2015 7:17 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Should we purchase home without permits?
Replies: 70
Views: 6768

Re: Should we purchase home without permits?

If the city can give you a defnitive, exact amount for permits and fines then you should request a credit back at closing. This is better for two reasons: you can close faster (that's good for seller, too) and you can be in charge of the process and make sure it's done absolutely right. The seller ...
by financial.freedom
Wed May 13, 2015 7:16 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Should we purchase home without permits?
Replies: 70
Views: 6768

Re: Should we purchase home without permits?

I called the City, and they said the extra BR/BA won't be torn down unless there is something obviously wrong. The problem I see is that when you pull a permit, say for construction, they want to see the work before sheetrock and insulation to inspect the framing. This means ripping the wall out do...
by financial.freedom
Wed May 13, 2015 5:33 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Should we purchase home without permits?
Replies: 70
Views: 6768

Re: Should we purchase home without permits?

I called the City, and they said the extra BR/BA won't be torn down unless there is something obviously wrong. The problem I see is that when you pull a permit, say for construction, they want to see the work before sheetrock and insulation to inspect the framing. This means ripping the wall out do...
by financial.freedom
Tue May 12, 2015 5:45 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Should we purchase home without permits?
Replies: 70
Views: 6768

Re: Should we purchase home without permits?

Nearly every house that old is going to have some unpermitted work on it. The key here is more two things. 1. Is the unpermitted work at the quality level you want--e.g., electrical? 2. Is unpermitted work that influences the value of your property legal? An example of a problem under #2, in my cit...
by financial.freedom
Tue May 12, 2015 5:43 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Should we purchase home without permits?
Replies: 70
Views: 6768

Re: Should we purchase home without permits?

If you can figure out what was done without permits, an inspector may be able to help you with the next step. That would be guessing the risk you would assume by buying the house. People skip permits because they cost money and because they involve inspection of the work. Someone who plans to do sh...
by financial.freedom
Tue May 12, 2015 5:26 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Should we purchase home without permits?
Replies: 70
Views: 6768

Re: Should we purchase home without permits?

I called a RE lawyer and he said the seller needs to furnish the permits. He advised us not to remove contingencies until this is resolved, and that we do not need a lawyer yet.
by financial.freedom
Tue May 12, 2015 4:41 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Should we purchase home without permits?
Replies: 70
Views: 6768

Re: Should we purchase home without permits?

We want to show the buyer that we are pursuing the purchase and removing some of the contingencies demonstrates that. There is mild urgency since they have another buyer. At the same time, we want a way out if the building permit situation does not work out (additions are not up to code, etc.).
by financial.freedom
Tue May 12, 2015 3:57 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Should we purchase home without permits?
Replies: 70
Views: 6768

Re: Should we purchase home without permits?

It's true that property taxes would go up, but I think we have to consider that against the cost of City fines, inability to make improvements, and potential loss of negotiating power when we sell the house in the future. You're out of your mind, IMHO to make such a major financial commitment witho...