Search found 530 matches

by chuckb84
Sat Apr 17, 2021 11:59 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Down the Coffee rabbit hole....
Replies: 1
Views: 310

Down the Coffee rabbit hole....

There seem to be a fair number of people here who take their coffee pretty seriously, so I wanted to point out this youtube channel. Whether or not you want to go to the extremes this guy does, he's entertaining and gets into some obscure corners of making coffee. The current series on the Aeropress...
by chuckb84
Sat Apr 17, 2021 11:55 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Where do you buy coffee beans?
Replies: 184
Views: 16139

Re: Where do you buy coffee beans?

Ka'u Coffee Mill: Big Island, Hawaii. Shipped to me. https://kaucoffeemill.com/ Koa Coffee Mill: Big Island, Hawaii. Shipped to me. https://www.koacoffee.com/ Whole Bean Premium Peaberry Medium Roast. My "fallback" when I run out are the "Original 8 O'clock" beans at Walmart. :s...
by chuckb84
Fri Apr 16, 2021 9:05 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Bird watchers – what birds are you seeing?
Replies: 1067
Views: 48420

Re: Bird watchers – what birds are you seeing?

Mountain Bluebirds, Robins, lots of Towhees and red-headed Wrens. We're at 7200 feet and it is still getting down into the 20's at night.
by chuckb84
Tue Apr 13, 2021 7:11 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Did you move for better weather? Did you regret it?
Replies: 172
Views: 17340

Re: Did you move for better weather? Did you regret it?

Well, not -just- for the weather, but that was sure a factor. 300 days of sun is quite nice! At 7,000+ elevation, the hottest it gets is 90-ish. We don't have AC and don't miss it, especially compared to the $300/month electric bills half the year in Northern VA. (That said, we may eventually add a ...
by chuckb84
Sat Apr 10, 2021 6:29 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: How much do you spend in retirement compared to before? Did you budget enough?
Replies: 13
Views: 1784

Re: How much do you spend in retirement compared to before? Did you budget enough?

We spend about 70% what we did while working. But, it feels like a lot more, because: No SS tax to pay. Moved to (somewhat) lower cost of living area. DC was very expensive. Refinanced the mortgage down to 2.625. About $700 less/month and the house is twice the size of the old one. Covid confinement...
by chuckb84
Mon Apr 05, 2021 6:42 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Anyone else see drastic increase in Zillow value today?
Replies: 132
Views: 12722

Re: Anyone else see drastic increase in Zillow value today?

Yah, ours is up $40K today. I don't put much faith in these "estimates", in part because I have no idea what they're based on. In the end, the "value" of your house matters only when a buyer signs on the dotted line.
by chuckb84
Sun Apr 04, 2021 8:31 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: What is the BEST thing you spent money on?
Replies: 242
Views: 23982

Re: What is the BEST thing you spent money on?

1. Apple products. Mac user since 1984, and I have NEVER used Windows. Ugh. Currently, two M1 laptops (transformative!), two iPhones, iPad mini, Apple TV and an Apple router. Couldn't be happier with all this. 2. HP calculators! These paced my career: An HP-35 when I started undergrad studies and th...
by chuckb84
Sat Apr 03, 2021 8:27 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: LenderFi: Who did they sell your mortgage to?
Replies: 54
Views: 5045

Re: LenderFi: Who did they sell your mortgage to?

as9 wrote: Sat Apr 03, 2021 12:22 pm Got a letter that our loan was purchased by Freddie Mac (which happened with our first LenderFi refinance). It says to continue making payments to our servicer, which it lists as The Money Source in Meville, NY. Anyone know if this is LenderFi?
I got the same notification today.
by chuckb84
Sat Mar 27, 2021 9:16 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: TV size question
Replies: 105
Views: 5808

Re: TV size question

For our 10' distance in our media room, I had originally decided on a 65" OLED. But then people convinced me to expand my budget and go to the 77" OLED. I did it and I am very happy with it. It kind of feels like being in a movie theater. My wife, who is not keen on tech at all, also love...
by chuckb84
Sat Mar 27, 2021 9:12 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Selling or Trading in an Old Computer
Replies: 27
Views: 2186

Re: Selling or Trading in an Old Computer

I'm getting ready to buy a new computer. I have a late 2013 Macbook Pro, and I will probably buy another Mac, but not sure at this point. The prices seem exorbitant. Anyway, I hear people mention from time to time that they trade in their old computers or sell them on the secondary market to offset...
by chuckb84
Sat Mar 27, 2021 8:54 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Should a Retired Federal Employee Sign Up for Medicare Part B?
Replies: 27
Views: 1888

Re: Should a Retired Federal Employee Sign Up for Medicare Part B?

Yes. I turned 65 a year ago and DW was not yet Medicare eligible because she's not 65 yet. So, I signed up for Medicare A and B, keeping our federal BCBS so she would be covered. Well, at 65.5 I had (have) the first serious illness of my life, with total costs (the "list price" on the bill...
by chuckb84
Wed Mar 17, 2021 11:49 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Another laptop thread - value and photos
Replies: 28
Views: 1699

Re: Another laptop thread - value and photos

For your usage, I'd suggest the $999 M1 Macbook Air. It has, by far, all the processing power you'll ever need and if you're familiar with Macs, it should be an easy change, although the macOS 11 has some visual changes that I don't completely love. The computer is utterly silent, good keyboard, gre...
by chuckb84
Sun Mar 07, 2021 1:29 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: High Earners - What's Your Profession?
Replies: 963
Views: 161398

Re: High Earners - What's Your Profession?

bluebolt wrote: Sat Mar 06, 2021 11:30 am
chuckb84 wrote: Thu Mar 04, 2021 6:15 pm Former Physicist.
Why former? Lost momentum? Too Bohring? Lost Curie-osity? Stuck in a Rutherford? Couldn't help myself, just fission for a laugh. :D
Just means I retired! I still have the mindset, but just a spectator now, although a very interested one.
by chuckb84
Sun Mar 07, 2021 1:28 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Kernel Panic (Mac/Safari)
Replies: 34
Views: 1546

Re: Kernel Panic (Mac/Safari)

What model/year Mac with how much memory/ssd? And what version of macOS? In my experience, recurring kernel panics are usually fixed by a clean OS install, and rarely, (rarely!) it can be bad memory.
by chuckb84
Sun Mar 07, 2021 10:37 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: What Book Are You Currently Reading? Part VI
Replies: 5083
Views: 1324373

Re: What Book Are You Currently Reading? Part VI

"The Milagro Beanfield War", which I read decades ago and decided to reread. Still hilarious, authentic and a tribute to a way of life that is just about gone now. I'll probably do the whole New Mexico trilogy again.
by chuckb84
Thu Mar 04, 2021 6:15 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: High Earners - What's Your Profession?
Replies: 963
Views: 161398

Re: High Earners - What's Your Profession?

Former Physicist.
by chuckb84
Sun Feb 28, 2021 12:53 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Airpods Pro vs competitors?
Replies: 20
Views: 1632

Re: Airpods Pro vs competitors?

Bought Airpods Pro few weeks back in Costco (they had a discount) and actually didn't see any difference in sound quality vs regular Apple $20 earphones. I do agree that noise cancellation is an extra feature but is that it? Any competitors with better sound ? These are worth every cent and with MU...
by chuckb84
Fri Feb 26, 2021 6:59 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: WalletHub's 2021 Ranking of states to retire to
Replies: 20
Views: 2347

Re: WalletHub's 2021 Ranking of states to retire to

"Garbage in, Garbage out" Bad data or my preferences are very different than others and such as survey would have no relevance to me. New Mexico quality of life at 47 is suspect to me. Golf courses and shoreline aren't key factors to me. For Virginia cost of living in Arlington or Fairfax...
by chuckb84
Fri Feb 26, 2021 6:55 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: XFINITY Mobile new phone SIM swap
Replies: 13
Views: 2091

Re: XFINITY Mobile new phone SIM swap

It couldn't be easier. Pull the SIM card from the iPhone 8, put both phones next to each other. Wait about 30 minutes. Except for the improved hardware and bigger screen, I couldn't even tell that I had changed phones.
by chuckb84
Fri Feb 26, 2021 6:53 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Solar...what am I missing?
Replies: 109
Views: 8231

Re: Solar...what am I missing?

I'm in the process of doing a 6.6 KW install using REC Alpha panels. They guarantee for 25 years and guarantee 92% of initial power output in year 25, or they replace the panel.

I think solar panels hold their value now better and longer than most people think.
by chuckb84
Fri Feb 26, 2021 6:45 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: What is the highest expense ratio you willingly pay?
Replies: 156
Views: 12589

Re: What is the highest expense ratio you willingly pay?

Wellington and Wellesley, at 0.17% and 0.16% respectively.
by chuckb84
Sun Feb 21, 2021 12:07 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Which ideas or strategies that helped you discover through Bogleheads?
Replies: 48
Views: 3117

Re: Which ideas or strategies that helped you discover through Bogleheads?

The importance of an IPS.
The 3 fund portfolio.
Ignore the noise. Stay the course.
by chuckb84
Sat Feb 20, 2021 10:46 am
Forum: US Chapters
Topic: Why A Good Boglehead Must Leave The Bogleheads Forum
Replies: 180
Views: 18375

Re: Why A Good Boglehead Must Leave The Bogleheads Forum

Reading the forum hasn't caused me, or even tempted me, to change my portfolio or my AA. Noise is noise, whether it is the general press or this forum. That said, I find LOTS of very useful information on subjects as diverse as books to read, coffee recommendations, TV shows to watch, DIY tips, and ...
by chuckb84
Tue Feb 16, 2021 3:46 pm
Forum: US Chapters
Topic: Average Age of Bogleheads Posters
Replies: 94
Views: 10779

Re: Average Age of Bogleheads Posters

I'm 42....in hexadecimal :).
by chuckb84
Mon Feb 15, 2021 10:52 pm
Forum: Personal Investments
Topic: TSP Rollover to Vanguard
Replies: 6
Views: 660

Re: TSP Rollover to Vanguard

I'm not answering the question you asked, but.....

You may want to leave some bond money in the G fund. There is nothing like it anywhere else.
by chuckb84
Mon Feb 15, 2021 11:03 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Pulled the trigger on a solar install
Replies: 37
Views: 4924

Re: Pulled the trigger on a solar install

Congrats on going solar. I’ve had solar panels on two homes and the only thing I’d add is to make sure your system is big enough to cover your expected future usage. It’s a lot more efficient to add more panels to increase production at the initial installation than later and might not add that muc...
by chuckb84
Sun Feb 14, 2021 11:18 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Laptop Decision
Replies: 78
Views: 4582

Re: Laptop Decision

IF you're happy with a Mac and don't want to run Windows via Bootcamp or Parallels, then the base Macbook Air for $999 is probably great for your needs. But you're solidly and almost completely in the Apple ecosystem, with the pluses and minuses that come with that. I have a 16G/iT M1 Macbook Pro an...
by chuckb84
Sun Feb 14, 2021 10:39 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Pulled the trigger on a solar install
Replies: 37
Views: 4924

Re: Pulled the trigger on a solar install

I think this is a very fair and simple way to do it. I wouldn’t call it “fair” really. It is hugely advantageous to you! Typically utility generation runs 2-4 cents per KWh. Because your state has mandated it, you are likely receiving 3-10 times the going rate for your cleanly produced power. One f...
by chuckb84
Sat Feb 13, 2021 6:40 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Pulled the trigger on a solar install
Replies: 37
Views: 4924

Pulled the trigger on a solar install

After a lot of consideration, I decided to do it :). The decision making factors: Cost after Federal and State taxes is $17131. The system is 6.6 kW, which should produce 103% of our annual usage. Cost/installed watt $2.59. That's about a return of 8.6% in year one, and using a 2.5% electricity rate...
by chuckb84
Fri Feb 12, 2021 9:15 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: What is your favorite non fiction book?
Replies: 142
Views: 8513

Re: What is your favorite non fiction book?

Such a wide category ... For exploration: The Last Place on Earth by Huntford ... (made into a TV Series) but the book is even better. About the history of South Pole exploration. I strongly agree about The Last Place on Earth. Great book, great TV series. If that TV series is available anywhere st...
by chuckb84
Fri Feb 12, 2021 9:12 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: My LenderFi refinance is going well
Replies: 1760
Views: 164912

Re: My LenderFi refinance is going well

My second refi with them was funded today. It was, like the first time, a slow process due entirely to ridiculously slow subordination from my HELOC company. TCF bank. I don't recommend them at all, and will close that account soon. Other than that, a smooth process: 2.625, 30 year fixed, no closing...
by chuckb84
Fri Feb 12, 2021 3:19 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: What is your favorite non fiction book?
Replies: 142
Views: 8513

Re: What is your favorite non fiction book?

Such a wide category ... For exploration: The Last Place on Earth by Huntford ... (made into a TV Series) but the book is even better. About the history of South Pole exploration. I strongly agree about The Last Place on Earth. Great book, great TV series. If that TV series is available anywhere st...
by chuckb84
Fri Feb 12, 2021 9:16 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: What is your favorite non fiction book?
Replies: 142
Views: 8513

Re: What is your favorite non fiction book?

In a lifetime of voracious reading I couldn't pick just one. Instead, here's one that's currently very important and very readable. He absolutely nails what we are going through now:

Spillover: Animal Infections and the Next Human Pandemic, David Quammen.
by chuckb84
Thu Feb 11, 2021 2:46 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Laid off!!
Replies: 96
Views: 16170

Re: Laid off!!

I'm sorry for the way they treated you, but it doesn't really surprise me. Contrary to popular belief, Feds are laid off from time to time. It happened to me in 2002. A group of 5 of us, in a division of 50-ish scientists were "RIFFED" as a group. A quick look at the employees in the divis...
by chuckb84
Mon Feb 08, 2021 10:36 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Good Modern Science Fiction
Replies: 497
Views: 88402

Re: Good Modern Science Fiction

The Nook and Kindle stores have "The John Brunner Collection Volume One: The Sheep Look Up, The Crucible of Time, and The Jagged Orbit" on sale for $3.99, marked down from $19.99, so I picked up a copy, electronically speaking, and am about half way through The Jagged Orbit . It's set in ...
by chuckb84
Sun Feb 07, 2021 3:05 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Laptop Decision
Replies: 78
Views: 4582

Re: Laptop Decision

MacBook Pro over the MacBook Air. (have both newer models, also an older MacBook like yours). More ports and better equiped, better value per dollar on the Pro vs Air. j :D Yep. If you don't care about running Windows, then the M1 Macbook Pro is your choice. I got one with 16G/1T and I expect it wi...
by chuckb84
Sat Feb 06, 2021 8:06 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: What are your staple healthy meals?
Replies: 122
Views: 10054

Re: What are your staple healthy meals?

Bowl of oatmeal with no added sugar. Cinnamon and raisins to taste. Bowl of oatmeal with walnuts, blueberries, flaxmeal, chocolate-flavored protein powder with maltodextrin, and made with diet Dr Pepper to add caffeine and artificial sweetener. I got this recipe off the internet somewhere. Cut up a...
by chuckb84
Thu Feb 04, 2021 4:18 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: DO I renew Microsoft office 360 again?
Replies: 25
Views: 2057

Re: DO I renew Microsoft office 360 again?

I'm looking up iwork, seems to just cover apple not Microsoft applicationsiWork includes: Pages Keynote Numbers That's correct. However many of your files will probably open fine in iWork. https://www.apple.com/mac/pages/compatibility/ That should be the first path. See how they look, and whether l...
by chuckb84
Wed Feb 03, 2021 11:16 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: A physics question
Replies: 21
Views: 1986

Re: A physics question

This question has been nagging at me for a while and I hope someone here has enough of a science background to answer it: The question arose when I noticed that the exhaust fan in my bathroom, which turns on automatically when it detects high humidity [e.g. after I shower] seems to run more slowly ...
by chuckb84
Sat Jan 30, 2021 5:33 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Solar as an investment like bonds
Replies: 57
Views: 3199

Re: Solar as an investment like bonds

Bonds can do who knows what... How do you mean? The debtor has a legal obligation to the lender. Do you mean the debtor can default? Doesn’t have much to do with solar but I am certainly of the opinion that bonds are generally very safe assuming good credit quality. I meant the return, not the prin...
by chuckb84
Sat Jan 30, 2021 2:18 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Solar as an investment like bonds
Replies: 57
Views: 3199

Re: Solar as an investment like bonds

Many good comments in this thread. Points that seem most relevant: Solar PV is different than a bond because you don't have a guarantee of getting your principle back. However, despite many comments to the contrary, there is evidence that when you sell your house, the PV panels enhance the value. It...
by chuckb84
Sat Jan 30, 2021 1:50 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: What is your overall portfolio weighted expense ratio
Replies: 299
Views: 34871

Re: What is your overall portfolio weighted expense ratio

About 0.08. It's up a bit because I put some money into Wellesley and Wellington. About 75% of the portfolio is in a 3 Fund, VTSAX, VTIAX and VBTLX, and that part comes out at about 0.045.
by chuckb84
Wed Jan 27, 2021 11:12 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Solar as an investment like bonds
Replies: 57
Views: 3199

Solar as an investment like bonds

Many (most?) of the threads on installing a home PV system seem to inevitably get down to "How long until I get my money back?", and I think this is an odd point of view, unlike what we take on other investments. No one says, "If I invest in VTSAX, how long until the returns equal my ...
by chuckb84
Wed Jan 27, 2021 10:57 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Desktop is dying - help me with replacement
Replies: 72
Views: 4715

Re: Desktop is dying - help me with replacement

Another out of the box suggestion: Consider a Mac. A Mac Mini is $700 and Just Works. No fiddling with the BIOS or drivers or USB boot drives or whatever. Alternatively a Macbook Air is a really nice laptop for $1000. Of course, I'm an exclusive Mac user since 1984, but....consider this. I think th...
by chuckb84
Wed Jan 27, 2021 4:35 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: PSA for 3 funds folks: Did you pass the "Buy, Hold, and Rebalance" Test on March 2020?
Replies: 135
Views: 4949

Re: PSA for 3 funds folks: Did you pass the "Buy, Hold, and Rebalance" Test on March 2020?

Folks, This is a public service announcement (PSA) for the 3 funds folks. What did you do in March 2020? Did you pass the "Buy, Hold, and Rebalance" tests? A) Did you buy the stock in March 2020 in spite of it going down 30+%? B) Did you hold the stock in March 2020 in spite of it going d...
by chuckb84
Wed Jan 27, 2021 2:54 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: What are you up YTD? [Year To Date]
Replies: 3500
Views: 582758

Re: What are you up YTD? [Year To Date]

Well, this early in the year I don't know how meaningful YTD is. I usually look at the trailing year, and that's up 10.4%. About a 50/50 stock/bond AA and 80% of it is the 3 Fund portfolio.
by chuckb84
Wed Jan 27, 2021 8:31 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: What are your DIY Home and Hobby Projects to Save $$$ and/or Have Fun?
Replies: 105
Views: 8479

Re: What are your DIY Home and Hobby Projects to Save $$$ and/or Have Fun?

The biggest DYI project this year has been refinancing the mortgage.....twice. Saves us $450/month :D . I also went through the house and replaced every door knob on every door. DW hated the old ones, so we picked a style and I started with the easiest and finished with the front door. I did it incr...
by chuckb84
Mon Jan 25, 2021 7:14 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Bond theory in the 3 fund portfolio
Replies: 12
Views: 1179

Re: Bond theory in the 3 fund portfolio

Stocks make you rich, bonds keep you rich. If the market crashes 30% you won't care your bonds are "only" returning 1.5%. You'll just be glad that you didn't have all your money in the market and you have something to rebalance with. Exactly. You may want more in bonds than you think, for...