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Everything posted by dgreen

  1. @tjnc09 If you do a trip from SoCal to Carlsbad, another good stop would be Saguaro in Tucson. And Chiricahua National Monument looks cool, but I haven't been there so can't totally vouch for it.
  2. I’m not sure what this means. When it comes to a refi, what’s “on time” mean?
  3. I’m starting to think the QB position may not be a strength this year.
  4. But don't we have several products that have become nicer/better over time and they haven't led to an affordability problem? I'd guess if people wanted to resell their TVs and treated them as investment opportunities, we'd put laws into place that make the manufacture and distribution of them more difficult, driving up their price, and we'd have an affordable TV problem.
  5. Talk about burying the bone lede. Your dogs wrote autobiographies?
  6. So what's the risk/downside with going with someone like this?
  7. No prob. Didn't take it that way. I know you can shop on Google but I didn't think you were actually buying stuff from Google when you did that. Does Google have a store that sells goods? They sell books? Or maybe it's the world's heaviest book?
  8. $7 shipping for a book? Yeah, I'd think that would be next day or two day with an air leg if needed. Maybe it's a crappy company you ordered from and they kept like $6 for themselves and paid $1 for FedEx to deliver it to you by rail.
  9. I was on an ARM with my credit union with a rate around 2.375% that was set to adjust last Summer. So, I refinanced into a 30 year fixed at 4.75% with my credit union. Now I see I can probably get 3.375% (0.625 points) with my credit union (probably drops our monthly about $200). Before that ARM, I was on another ARM. So, I've already refinanced this house three times. The last refinance we took some money out for some home improvements (mostly floors - wood on main level, LVP in basement). Add in closing costs each time and we still owe almost as much as we did when we first bought the house almost 15 years ago. We still have plenty of equity - our LTV is probably under 0.60 - so I'm not worried from that standpoint. I just don't like the fact that our principal hasn't gone down much. I've been thinking how I really don't want to refi again, but the current situation seems like a no-brainer. My guess is there's little chance we move in the next 6 years. If we did, it would be because our income situation has drastically improved and in that scenario I probably wouldn't worry too much whether another refi was worth it and I'd gladly move.
  10. It's cheaper than truck or air. FedEx loads up many shipping containers with goods that their customers didn't seem to express/pay for the need to receive it quicker and they put them on trains, stopping at many transfer stations, changing trains, and eventually getting on a truck towards the end. Really, it's kind of amazing you'll ever have it appear on your doorstep.
  11. My guess is the 3 main factors are your distance from city lights, cloud cover, and moon stage. When I was in the Arches last year, we had a half moon and that was enough to keep us from seeing the Milky Way. Saw way more stars than near my house, obviously, but it didn’t end up being the experience I had hoped for.
  13. Wow. I admit I've been wondering how you are able to to invest so much into retirement accounts with a government job and a lot of kids. I believe your wife works, too, so that obviously helps, but that military retirement also sounds like a big help.
  14. I've considered starting a federal government employee thread, and I still might to discuss all sorts of topics, but here is a good as place as any to discuss federal retirement benefits. You're right that you'll need to wait until 60 to avoid reductions. But, at 60, I think you'd get 20%, not 22%. It's 1% per year of service under 62 and 1.1% if you retire 62 or later. I'll have 34 years in at 57 and can start getting 34% at that time. Add in the Annuity Supplement and I might be able to pull off a retirement at 57. If you're not familiar, the Annuity Supplement pays you a % of your estimated full SS until you reach age 62. You divide the number of years of service by 40 and then multiply by your estimated age 62 SS. So, for me, that's approximately (34/40)*3000 per month or about $30k/year. Add in my 34% pension and that might work, depending on my life situation at the time. For you, I assume that would be (20/40)*3000 per month starting at age 60 to help get you to age 62 and full SS. I'd also consider phased retirement. For up to three years, I can work half time for half salary and then also get half my pension. So, that would be about 2/3 of my salary at the time to work 20 hour weeks. That would pay more than full retirement plus the annuity supplement. I might consider time some time in the 57-60 age range and then full retirement with the annuity supplement for ages 60-62. I'm curious how good the military pension is. Will that be significant amount? When can you start earning that?
  15. They will call her G.I. Jane.
  16. At the Grand Canyon, a squirrel hopped onto my nephew’s lap wanting food.
  17. These might be mine, too, although I don't have very strong memories of either and it's hard to know if I remember when they actually happened or if I just "remember" them based on other memories after the fact. I was 5 when Reagan was shot. But, I'm somewhat confident I remember watching news coverage that day. I definitely have a clear memory of watching the first 49ers-Bengals SB, which would have been almost a year after Reagan.
  18. And in Linden is the Apple House which has some kick ### apple cinnamon donuts.
  19. Winchester has a nice downtown that a teenage girl can probably find some shops she likes. Harpers Ferry is on the route between Frederick and the north end of the park. You could do the route down 15 and out 50 and stop in Middleburg, Va.
  20. And what about a Conservative answer which would be to stop telling these people how fortunate they are to have white privilege? When we talk about minorities being poor, we blame the system. When whites are poor, well, I'm not sure what we say. Do we even really talk about it?
  21. Isn’t it also generally seen as more of a local/state issue than a national issue? DC local politics talk about it a decent amount.
  22. The Decennial Census no longer has a long form. Starting in 2010, it only had one form. The old long form questions are now on the annual sample survey called the American Community Survey (ACS). The ACS has a citizenship question.