Search found 68 matches

by kayakprof
Wed Dec 30, 2020 6:40 am
Forum: US Chapters
Topic: Post your Financial Milestone Announcements Here
Replies: 2279
Views: 271093

Re: Post your Financial Milestone Announcements Here

I just wanted to share my excitement. On Dec. 30, 2020, my DW and I paid off our last non-mortgage loan. In 2020 we paid off: $10k in student loans = zero balance $10k in car loan = zero balance $34K in HLOC = zero balance At this point, our only debt is our mortgage at 2.75%. Our investments (403b,...
by kayakprof
Sat Dec 26, 2020 6:26 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: (MD) Transfer Tax when Refinancing?
Replies: 5
Views: 515

Re: (MD) Transfer Tax when Refinancing?

I closed a $300k (no cash-out) refi about 3 weeks ago in MD. Transfer tax was $94.
by kayakprof
Fri Dec 18, 2020 7:16 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Waste collection (trash) prices
Replies: 56
Views: 2414

Re: Waste collection (trash) prices

We live 1 mile from town on a dirt road. We were paying $70/mo for pickup, but the truck driver suddenly claimed that he couldn't get into or out of our dirt driveway. We were essentially forced to start taking the trash to the local county "transfer station". It costs $4 to drop off our h...
by kayakprof
Mon Dec 14, 2020 4:06 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Pay off HLOC with Emergency Fund?
Replies: 2
Views: 307

Pay off HLOC with Emergency Fund?

Dear Bogleheads, A year and a half ago, we obtained a HLOC in order to fund renovations on our home. Out of $170,000 renovation costs, we had to borrow $35,000 from the HLOC. The pandemic arrived just after we finished renovations. Since March, we've been saving prolifically (for us) and have $35,00...
by kayakprof
Mon Nov 30, 2020 3:59 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Winter in Florida
Replies: 16
Views: 1761

Re: Winter in Florida

St. George beach is great and not busy. Indian Pass is another one close by. Both have access to Appalachicola which is a very cool little Bohemian town. Much farther south - Big Pine Key.
by kayakprof
Wed Nov 11, 2020 2:05 pm
Forum: US Chapters
Topic: Post your Financial Milestone Announcements Here
Replies: 2279
Views: 271093

Re: Post your Financial Milestone Announcements Here

Thanks to regularly reading Bogleheads, our goals have shifted quite a bit over time. This year we paid off DW's student loan and our car loan. Woohoo! Felt good. We also saved up 6 months in our EF. That made us feel a bit safter. Just yesterday we (nervously) took the plunge to contribute 20% to o...
by kayakprof
Thu Nov 05, 2020 4:08 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: iPhone upgrade trick w/AT&T
Replies: 59
Views: 7927

Re: iPhone upgrade trick w/AT&T

I'm a professor. I've never heard of this 25% discount that was mentioned. Is that for real? Are there any tricks?
by kayakprof
Thu Nov 05, 2020 9:24 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Would a $1MM inheritance change your retirement plans?
Replies: 113
Views: 10256

Re: Would a $1MM inheritance change your retirement plans?

I also would never count on that inheritance before it was in my account. But yes, $1 million would significantly change my retirement planning. At the moment I expect to have $2 million in my accounts by age 62 (about 14 years from now), and that should be enough to fund what I consider a good reti...
by kayakprof
Wed Sep 30, 2020 6:23 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Anybody have experience booking through Hotels.com?
Replies: 31
Views: 2244

Re: Anybody have experience booking through Hotels.com?

In the past I used hotels.com many times. But I found it is more difficult to cancel through them, and if there are any problems when you arrive at the hotel, the hotel will insist that you go through the third party (Hotels.com) to solve those problems. Now I just use hotels.com to identify some ho...
by kayakprof
Sat Aug 29, 2020 4:25 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: What works best to clean tile? I have 4 inch tile with cement used as grout.
Replies: 11
Views: 1147

Re: What works best to clean tile? I have 4 inch tile with cement used as grout.

A very effective cleaner is any kind of "boat hull cleaner" - and a scrub brush that can attach to a power drill. You'll be done in minutes
by kayakprof
Sat Aug 15, 2020 3:42 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Covid Salary Reduction, Debt vs. Investing v. Saving
Replies: 32
Views: 3164

Re: Covid Salary Reduction, Debt vs. Investing v. Saving

Per suggestions from above, I would: 1. Pay off the credit cards asap. The rates are outrageous. 2. Refinance the home, whether for cash-out, or not (a mortgage above 4% these days is quite high) 3. Get a new car insurance company. My wife and I pay $118/mo total for two cars/two drivers. 4. See if ...
by kayakprof
Mon Jun 08, 2020 12:49 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Should we buy fixer upper
Replies: 28
Views: 1734

Re: Should we buy fixer upper

We did something similar last year. Bought a 1954 house on a beautiful piece of property (no neighbors in sight). It was 2200 sq. ft. We contracted an well known draftsman to draw up construction plans, and then had 5 bids on the construction. It was $65k to totally renovate the galley kitchen into ...
by kayakprof
Wed Jun 03, 2020 8:58 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Avoiding keeping-up-with-the-joneses w.r.t. private schools
Replies: 320
Views: 18953

Re: Avoiding keeping-up-with-the-joneses w.r.t. private schools

DW and I both went to public schools in the South. Her experience was truly terrible - but all four kids in her family walked away with valedictorian and free rides to college. I, myself, vividly remember a kid throwing a brick at the VP one day during lunch break in high school. I also got a free r...
by kayakprof
Fri May 22, 2020 6:25 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Better to rent through Airbnb or VRBO?
Replies: 10
Views: 1062

Re: Better to rent through Airbnb or VRBO?

Check "Flipkey" as well. We just rented a place and for some unknown reason flipkey was less expensive by $100. And the COVID cancel policy was very reasonable.
by kayakprof
Sun May 17, 2020 7:28 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Is anyone on the road?
Replies: 35
Views: 4225

Re: Is anyone on the road?

I just drove 2000 miles from east coast to colorado. Traffic is light, I encountered no slow-downs for the entire trip. Here in this part of CO, lots of businesses are open, although restaurants are not nearly as open as usual. Tons of people are rafting and kayaking on the river, the trails are ope...
by kayakprof
Sat May 16, 2020 8:22 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: What are your alternative plans this summer if it was travel?
Replies: 65
Views: 5720

Re: What are your alternative plans this summer if it was travel?

We live on the East Coast. Had longtime plans for 2 months in Colorado this summer. With schools online for the kiddos, we paid 1/2 price to add a third month in Colorado. Will social distance hike, bike, raft, horseback ride and rock scramble all summer. We see no difference in social distant outdo...
by kayakprof
Mon May 11, 2020 3:37 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: What are your alternative plans this summer if it was travel?
Replies: 65
Views: 5720

Re: What are your alternative plans this summer if it was travel?

So far we have made it our mission to explore every park and trail within a 45 minute drive of our home. Its been great - we've found lots of amazing spots and there have been few people on the trails. We are now heading out to Colorado to "stay at home" in a very different place for the n...
by kayakprof
Wed Apr 29, 2020 9:45 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Is this market timing or something else?
Replies: 12
Views: 689

Re: Is this market timing or something else?

Excellent point. No pension. Just a 403.
by kayakprof
Wed Apr 29, 2020 8:50 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Is this market timing or something else?
Replies: 12
Views: 689

Re: Is this market timing or something else?

Thanks for the responses, it is helpful in thinking this through. I'm leaning toward a 2 year EF because I teach at a small college. Small colleges were already facing demographic declines prior to the financial disaster of COVID. IMO a job loss could easily translate into 2 years of underemployment...
by kayakprof
Wed Apr 29, 2020 8:00 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Is this market timing or something else?
Replies: 12
Views: 689

Is this market timing or something else?

My job is becoming less and less predictable and secure. Colleagues at work have been furloughed and laid off. My existing emergency fund will only cover 4 months of expenses. I feel the need to increase my emergency fund to one full year, if not two full years. One way I am doing this is by reducin...
by kayakprof
Tue Apr 21, 2020 7:32 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Bird watchers – what birds are you seeing?
Replies: 1051
Views: 47715

Re: Bird watchers – what birds are you seeing?

Out hiking in a marshland with the kids yesterday when we saw two large Canada geese get into a savage fight that lasted 3 minutes. Biting, pushing underwater, running and chasing, funny noises. Never seen that before. After the fight, lots of bathing and preening behaviors from both animals.
by kayakprof
Fri Apr 17, 2020 12:40 pm
Forum: US Chapters
Topic: How Is Your Job Being Impacted By The Current Crisis?
Replies: 505
Views: 56953

Re: How Is Your Job Being Impacted By The Current Crisis?

My employer announced furloughs for low level staff, but it appears they will make more from unemployment stimulus than they were making at the job. In addition, the employer asked middle and higher level folks to donate "as many days of salary as they like" back to the institution. Is it ...
by kayakprof
Wed Apr 15, 2020 1:11 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Rural Home: Getting Hardwired?
Replies: 39
Views: 2775

Re: Rural Home: Getting Hardwired?

Really good idea - there are at least 8 other neighbors on the road - although the nearest of them is about a mile away. But if they ever sell, the new owners will very likely want to get connected.
by kayakprof
Wed Apr 15, 2020 12:53 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Rural Home: Getting Hardwired?
Replies: 39
Views: 2775

Re: Rural Home: Getting Hardwired?

An update: We teamed up with one of our neighbors (who lives about .25 miles away) and approached the cable company for an estimate to get hardwired. The company was quick and decisive. Whereas it would have cost one of us $9500 to connect, for some reason it only costs $6900 total for the two of us...
by kayakprof
Wed Apr 08, 2020 1:24 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Rural Home: Getting Hardwired?
Replies: 39
Views: 2775

Re: Rural Home: Getting Hardwired?

OP here. Our county received a government grant for 50% of the costs to hook-up rural customers with fiber optic. It would have cost me $700 to get connected. Then the county commissioners got into a political mash-up and they dropped the grant completely. It was infuriating. I've read news stories ...
by kayakprof
Wed Apr 08, 2020 6:44 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Dependent FSA contributions during Covid19?
Replies: 16
Views: 1100

Re: Dependent FSA contributions during Covid19?

I'm also in the process of pausing mine due to Rainier's earlier post. Otherwise, we would have almost certainly lost that money.
by kayakprof
Wed Apr 08, 2020 6:42 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Rural Home: Getting Hardwired?
Replies: 39
Views: 2775

Re: Rural Home: Getting Hardwired?

I really appreciate these responses, as they mirror what I've been thinking. I have told them to move forward, but the company movement is glacial. I expect to be connected eventually, but not before the pandemic runs its course. Still, we need to be connected.
by kayakprof
Mon Apr 06, 2020 11:48 am
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: What percentage of your paycheck do you invest?
Replies: 268
Views: 17288

Re: What percentage of your paycheck do you invest?

I'm a teacher with two elementary age kids and a mortgage. Save 15% of gross plus a 7.5% match for retirement. Also max out my HSA. Having spent so much time on Bogleheads, I hope to max my 403b every year starting a year or two from now. There are other savings, but they are largely for emergency f...
by kayakprof
Mon Apr 06, 2020 9:41 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Rural Home: Getting Hardwired?
Replies: 39
Views: 2775

Re: Rural Home: Getting Hardwired?

I appreciate these replies. They give me some new options to follow up on. I did find one neighbor who would like to split the costs. The others are either so used to living offline (i.e. in their 80s), or so far away, that they aren't interested. Only about 11 neighbors total on a 2 mile road. I re...
by kayakprof
Mon Apr 06, 2020 6:53 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Rural Home: Getting Hardwired?
Replies: 39
Views: 2775

Rural Home: Getting Hardwired?

Although we live no more than 1 mile from the center of town, our house is not hardwired with cable or fiber optic. Our property is surrounded by high trees and we have no direct line of sight to a tower, which means that several of the local satellite and cell phone internet providers either cannot...
by kayakprof
Wed Apr 01, 2020 8:42 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Housing Market Response in this environment?
Replies: 57
Views: 7687

Re: Housing Market Response in this environment?

Quick Update: My MIL did get her house under contract. The final offer is 97.5% of her asking price, all cash. It took 5 days to get the house under contract from the time she put it on the market.
by kayakprof
Tue Mar 31, 2020 1:54 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Housing Market Response in this environment?
Replies: 57
Views: 7687

Re: Housing Market Response in this environment?

My 75 MIL put her house on the market on Saturday (4 days ago). One in-house visit from curious neighbors. One virtual walk-through from long distance interested party. The long-distance made an offer for 95% of the asking price. My MIL countered this afternoon for 97.5% of the original asking - and...
by kayakprof
Mon Mar 30, 2020 9:04 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Bird watchers – what birds are you seeing?
Replies: 1051
Views: 47715

Re: Bird watchers – what birds are you seeing?

This morning two wild turkeys wandered by. They stopped to check out a resting deer, and the Tom fanned at the deer. She (the doe) didn't even bother to yawn at him. So he kept walking with his lady.
by kayakprof
Sun Mar 29, 2020 7:50 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Bird watchers – what birds are you seeing?
Replies: 1051
Views: 47715

Re: Bird watchers – what birds are you seeing?

The Ospreys arrived like clockwork on March 16th this year. We see a nesting pair of Bald Eagles flying around with a large juvenile every day (and the juvenile really is awkward trying to hunt - it is interesting to see the parents move aside and let the juvi claim their meals). A blue heron owns s...
by kayakprof
Mon Mar 16, 2020 7:35 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: My LenderFi refinance is going well
Replies: 1760
Views: 164823

Re: My LenderFi refinance is going well

I am in the process with Lenderfi. I initially applied on Feb 22. I am hoping to move from a 3.875% 30 year mortgage (25 years left) to a 3.25% 20 year mortgage. This would both lower my interest rate and cuts 5 years off the mortgage (although it raises my monthly payment by $125). I received a pho...
by kayakprof
Tue Feb 18, 2020 7:46 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Can 529 funds be used for a fully-funded PHD?
Replies: 25
Views: 1780

Re: Can 529 funds be used for a fully-funded PHD?

By no means am I an expert on 529 regulations, but on the surface this sounds pretty simple. You can use a 529 to cover the cost of room and board up to the amount listed as official cost of attendance by the college. If the stipend is pay for working as a TA or RA or in some other capacity, then th...
by kayakprof
Wed Dec 25, 2019 8:47 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: New Mexico Camping in June with Kids
Replies: 12
Views: 1075

Re: New Mexico Camping in June with Kids

Bandolier and the Jemez Mountains are both great. Both allow access to Santa Fe and Los Alamos, so plenty of cultural activities you can engage in during the day if you wanted a day trip. In the Jemez, you can hike to hot springs and hike through Valles Caldera. Chaco Canyon will be short on shade, ...
by kayakprof
Thu Dec 19, 2019 7:57 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: "Safer" places for Spanish immersion experience?
Replies: 84
Views: 7596

Re: "Safer" places for Spanish immersion experience?

I have never looked for language immersion classes there, but Havana, Cuba has a reputation as being one of the safest cities for solo female travelers in the world. And it is fun and interesting as well. And of course, it is close and easy to get to.
by kayakprof
Fri Jun 07, 2019 4:06 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Lodging and restaurants in Boone, NC.
Replies: 21
Views: 1761

Re: Lodging and restaurants in Boone, NC.

The Boone Bagelry is a wonderful low cost breakfast. The Red Onion is great dining. I'm partial to Mellow Mushroom pizza.
by kayakprof
Sun Dec 30, 2018 6:55 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Looking for recommendations on a family SUV.
Replies: 63
Views: 3848

Re: Looking for recommendations on a family SUV.

Two kids under 9 years old. We have a subaru outback, which feels a little small for long vacations. But the gas mileage is great. We have a 2011 honda pilot, which feels huge. The 3rd row is great, and when its down, there is much storage. We highly recommend it. However, it is a V-6 and the gas mi...
by kayakprof
Thu Dec 20, 2018 7:20 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Driving from MA to FL - recommendations?
Replies: 30
Views: 2639

Re: Driving from MA to FL - recommendations?

Consider night driving until you are south of Richmond, VA. The NE and Mid-Atlantic (Conn, NYC, DC and south of DC) are tough to beat in the daytime no matter what apps you use. At least you are facing the beach traffic another poster mentioned. That is all summer. Beware driving near DC on a Sunday...
by kayakprof
Thu Dec 13, 2018 6:58 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Is a New Car Okay if Driven 15+ Years?
Replies: 91
Views: 8542

Re: Is a New Car Okay if Driven 15+ Years?

From age 16 - 21, I could only afford $1000 cars. It was constant shop maintenance. Bought a new Honda civic in 1995 for maybe $11,000-$14,000. Drove it until 2010. It had no problems when I sold it for $2500. In 2010, bought a new Honda Pilot ($26,000) due to baby arriving. Still driving that. No p...
by kayakprof
Wed Dec 12, 2018 6:47 am
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: What Happened to you during the Financial crisis of 2007–2008
Replies: 249
Views: 23914

Re: What Happened to you during the Financial crisis of 2007–2008

In 2008 I was mid 30s and accepted a new job across the country for a 35% salary increase. I didn't change my allocations at all, except to put more money into retirement accounts due to salary increase. I didn't have much invested to begin with (maybe 150k). Rode it out without paying much attentio...
by kayakprof
Fri Dec 07, 2018 1:21 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Climate Concerns re: small Jersey Shore Vacation Home
Replies: 54
Views: 3403

Re: Climate Concerns re: small Jersey Shore Vacation Home

Forecasts concerning relative sea level rise (SLR) are very complex. So is determining risk. The fact that private insurers gave up on insuring flood zones more than 50 years ago tells me something. The fact that the only available insurance is federal, subsidized, and that we the tax payers cover t...
by kayakprof
Fri Dec 07, 2018 7:23 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Climate Concerns re: small Jersey Shore Vacation Home
Replies: 54
Views: 3403

Re: Climate Concerns re: small Jersey Shore Vacation Home

It is as likely that flood insurance will go away entirely as it is that flood insurance will increase in cost. There is no private market for coastal flood insurance - it is a federal program - and it is a guaranteed loser in terms of paying for itself. In fact, the last administration tried to pha...
by kayakprof
Tue Dec 04, 2018 6:31 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Travel now & work a bit longer, OR the other way around?
Replies: 38
Views: 3146

Re: Travel now & work a bit longer, OR the other way around?

I just had this conversation with my DW last night. We lean heavily toward travel now. Both age 45, two kids are under 10. Unlike the OP, however, we have little chance of retiring in the 50-52 range. More like the 58 - 62 range. Largely we feel we can't retire until we understand how college will b...
by kayakprof
Thu Nov 29, 2018 12:59 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Calling all 50-60 year old homeowners with kids/families
Replies: 36
Views: 4624

Re: Calling all 50-60 year old homeowners with kids/families

I agree with unclescrooge. If you know you are going to stay in the house, and you really plan to do the renovation in the next five years, do it today so that your entire family can benefit and enjoy the renovation. It sounds like all your other finances are in order.
by kayakprof
Wed Nov 28, 2018 11:59 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Calling all 50-60 year old homeowners with kids/families
Replies: 36
Views: 4624

Re: Calling all 50-60 year old homeowners with kids/families

A couple years ago we bought a very beat-up rancher built in early 1950s. I said "no" as soon as we walked in for our first viewing, and at the same moment my DW said "this is the house for us." I was floored - the house was terrible (with 50 year old green shag carpet and every ...
by kayakprof
Wed Nov 28, 2018 7:17 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Travel To Cuba - Tips
Replies: 17
Views: 2119

Re: Travel To Cuba - Tips

U.S. law requires Americans to be part of a tour group. U.S. banks are not allowed to operate in Cuba. This means that you cannot use an US issued ATM card, and that you cannot use a US issued credit card while in-country. Everything is cash - so you should bring enough cash for the entire duration ...