Recent Posts

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I'm really looking forward to a robot caregiver for disabled people and Alzheimer's patients... and a robot plumber... and a robot toilet cleaner... and a robot lawn/garden weeder.
At my age, I'm really hoping for affordable robot exoskeletons or such when my body becomes infirm.
Well, the Navy is using a similar model in shipyards right now... and you know it has to be cheap before they'll spend it on shipyard workers.
http://defensetech.org/2014/08/22/navy-uses-exoskeletons-for-shipyard-maintenance/
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Off Topic / Re: The Spoils of War and Conquest
« Last post by Grog on Today at 12:36:50 AM »
tl;dr: Here's a crazy notion I've had for several years, wondering what you all think: I think there should be spoils in war like in ancient times. Nations that win a war should take over the defeated nation, if they want it.

LOL do you mean that America should have been submissed to Vietnam?

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Antimustachian Wall of Shame and Comedy / Re: Overheard on Facebook
« Last post by Nords on Today at 12:33:16 AM »

The whole idea is to have enough financial independence so that your employer can only bribe you with your cheerful consent instead of via fiscal coercion.

It's only been recently that I've reached that point and the freedom to say "no" and not worry about my  job, or the income, is unbelievable and impossible to explain.
When people can see the smile on your face, no explanation is necessary...
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Welcome and General Discussion / Re: zestimate way up!
« Last post by innerscorecard on Today at 12:32:08 AM »
You know, it's funny, Zillow is making housing more like the stock market with these daily fluctuations in value. Where previously, the very reason that buying houses made sense for most people over stocks despite the lower expected return is that people wouldn't see market fluctuations so often, making them less likely to buy or sell out of panic.
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Sure, if you want to loan me the proceeds for half of a property, then pay yourself back out of the profits, I'm in for being partner two!  We can think of it however you'd like.

I pay for PM until your investment is paid back, and after that we split everything 50/50.  I'm in!

(For serious though, if you want to invest with me that way, I have good properties and good management, and am more than willing to invest your money.)
OK, my eyeballs just perked up and now I'm paying attention again.

How much capital would you want from your partner, how long would the payback period be, and how long would the partnership last?  How many partners would you want on one property?  Would we be holding the properties indefinitely in a TIC, or would we decide to sell out at some point and take capital gains?

What does the typical Bigger Pockets investor do, and have you worked with them?
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Ask a Mustachian / Re: If you are FI, should you still DIY
« Last post by Nords on Today at 12:24:14 AM »
I hate cleaning, I would much prefer to have someone come in and clean and let me go off to the job I like, instead of cleaning.  However, I knew people who loved their jobs but by their 50s hated them but could not leave because they did not have the money.  So, I clean myself and save the money.  But what happens once I get to FI and if I still like my job and hate cleaning?  Why not save myself the time of cleaning and do something I enjoy for money instead?
I don't have a burning hatred of cleaning because I just don't give a crap about it.  My spouse and I work reasonably efficiently to keep things from getting dirty or cluttered in the first place, so we can go a month or two between serious dusting and floor-sweeping.  I usually win the gross-out contests, although I'll often clean a toilet every week.

However, now that we're FI, we have a housecleaner visit once a week for two hours.  She's a self-employed entrepreneur and she's taught us quite a bit about speed cleaning.  She does not declutter or handle dishes or even empty wastebaskets.  She does bathrooms, dusting, sweeping, vacuuming, and (a few times a year) windows. 

The real leverage to hiring the housecleaner is that we feel compelled to stay out of her way.  While she's in the house, my spouse and I are outside doing heavy yardwork:  weedwhacking, bougainvillea pruning, tree pruning, sprinkler maintenance.  Some days we're doing home-improvement projects or other repairs.  The key is that we know what we're doing every Wednesday morning for two hours, we get ready for it, and we push hard for the whole two hours. 

In our personal twisted Puritan work ethic, we earn back the money we spend on the housecleaner by doing our own more expensive work on the yard & house.  It's work that would get done at a much slower pace (if it got done at all) without the weekly housecleaning.

In about 20 years, though, I'm going to have to hire someone to handle the bougainvillea pruning 5-6 times/year.  Mid-70s seems a bit old to be waving around a pole trimmer on a steep hillside below a 10-foot-tall thorny hedge, or dancing on the top of the adjacent lava-rock wall to reach twigs on the far edge.  Maybe while the pruner is hacking away at the greenery, I'll take over the housecleaning.

So you should align your spending with your values.  If you want to hire a housecleaner then put the money in your budget and control your spending appropriately.  You could do it right now if you feel that you're willing to work a few extra months to reach FI while maintaining a suitable quality of life.  You have to define the line between frugality and deprivation.

But if it came to paying for a gym membership or a housecleaner, then I'd ditch the gym and do my own aerobic housecleaning & weight-lifting.
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Off Topic / Re: The Spoils of War and Conquest
« Last post by EricL on Today at 12:16:46 AM »
The simple fact is humans are not perfect.

+1

Set up a situation in which the victor can take whatever they like from the loser and you will inevitably encourage any nation, that believes it can win, to go to war if they don't want to pay the price in some other way to resolve the issue.

It is probably an appealing idea to people who live in a militarily superior country that needs the resources of a militarily  less superior country to continue their own current standard of living.  Probably not such an appealing idea the other way around.

I can see where a victor who was not favored to win might be quite enthusiastic about harsh reparations.  An example would be the Ethiopians in the first war with the Italians.  In the late 19th century Italy tried to coerce Ethiopia into becoming a protectorate with methods considered underhanded even by the standards of the time. To Italy, Ethiopia seemed a mere confederacy of spear chuckers. But actually it was an ancient sovereign state with a savvy monarch.  It was no pushover.  Italy, while punching above its weight in Africa due to modern firearms, was still only a third rate power.  As diplomacy failed Ethiopia went on a weapons buying spee and a national call up. When the two sides clashed the "spear chuckers" carried quality European firearms into battle which they fought from the high ground against the outnumbered, disorganized Italians. If Ethiopia in victory could have demanded harsh reparations against Italy they might well have.  If they'd known the Italians would return in greater numbers to inflict even greater suffering they definitely would have.

And I'll add that one of the great myths, IMO, of the past 250 years is that war is rational.  Even most pacifists assume this.  Yes, wars can be planned as rational exercises (though often that is illusory too) and benefit can from rare rationality.  But when the adrenalin is up the hands grow sweaty on the hounds' leashes (the bastards are always pulling hard); what was meant as a calm statement can be a loud cry for something else.
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Not exactly in the name of frugality but necessity, I carried a new computer (tower) home which is a 30 minute walk. Although being frugal is why I don't have a car. The woman asked if I'd be ok walking it to the car and I said actually I was walking it home she looked like I'd grown a second head.
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Ask a Mustachian / Re: Best things to buy used for baby/toddler?
« Last post by cutenila on Today at 12:12:29 AM »
Wow!! Thanks for all the suggestions and great advice! Now time to convince my husband that we can buy atleast some used stuff.... Esp clothing.
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I'm 29 weeks pregnant and still biking to work (4.25 miles each way, flat) every day.  I don't think it's crazy, but my coworkers do.  I think they're crazy for paying $3.50/gallon for gas (or more, I don't actually know what gas costs lately).
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