Search found 344 matches

by Luke Duke
Wed Jul 01, 2015 4:07 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Health insurance "birthday rule"
Replies: 10
Views: 1098

Re: Health insurance "birthday rule"

The birthday rule would only go into effect if you kept your coverage through your employer and your wife had coverage through her employer as well. When you drop your coverage it will be a non-issue.
by Luke Duke
Fri Jun 26, 2015 9:16 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Squirrel nemesis
Replies: 60
Views: 5176

Re: Squirrel nemesis

I think that this is what pellet guns are made for.
by Luke Duke
Fri Jun 26, 2015 9:10 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Most Economical Way to Handle the Lawn
Replies: 71
Views: 6427

Re: Most Economical Way to Handle the Lawn

As a novice, I'm looking at two options. I'm leaning toward hiring a lawn company for around $35 a week while handling my own fertilizing/weed removal. $35/week is a steal for a 1/2 acre lot. The only reasons I can think of not to pay $35/week is if you really enjoy yard work and/or you want to for...
by Luke Duke
Thu Jun 18, 2015 1:17 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Best "All Around Lens" for Nikon DSLRs?
Replies: 105
Views: 7845

Re: Best "All Around Lens" for Nikon DSLRs?

OP wanted a zoom, single lens for travel. Lightweight preferred. Self-admitted to being a point and shoot guy. Why is anyone recommending fixed, bright, portrait lenses? I will continue to talk to myself in left field over here, muttering, "maybe he should just buy a point and shoot camera, fo...
by Luke Duke
Thu Jun 18, 2015 1:17 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Best "All Around Lens" for Nikon DSLRs?
Replies: 105
Views: 7845

Re: Best "All Around Lens" for Nikon DSLRs?

If RooseveltG's current 35 mm lens is f/2.8, f/1.8 or better, then I think he will be disappointed in a zoom lens which is slower with just f/3.5 or worse. Doubtful. The OP probably leaves his camera in A or P mode and "points and clicks". There's nothing wrong with that if it suits his n...
by Luke Duke
Thu Jun 18, 2015 9:27 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Best "All Around Lens" for Nikon DSLRs?
Replies: 105
Views: 7845

Re: Best "All Around Lens" for Nikon DSLRs?

The AF-S DX NIKKOR18-105mm f/3.5-5.6G ED VR has worked well for me. I own some prime lenses, a longer zoom and occasionally rent a 70-200 f/2.8, but I still take 90+% of my pics with the 18-105mm. I wouldn't want to haul around anything bigger or heavier for an extended period of time.
by Luke Duke
Wed Jun 17, 2015 4:36 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Dress Shirts: Off The Rack + Tailored Or Made to Measure
Replies: 15
Views: 1555

Re: Dress Shirts: Off The Rack + Tailored Or Made to Measure

I have a big neck and short arms so it is nearly impossible for me to find my size at a store. If by some miracle I find my size, it still fits like a parachute. I never really considered this to be a major issue since I only wore a dress shirt to weddings and funerals and I just kept my jacket on. ...
by Luke Duke
Mon Jun 15, 2015 9:19 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: How/where to get rid of old gasoline
Replies: 35
Views: 3680

Re: How/where to get rid of old gasoline

I would put a little at a time in your car's tank and not think twice about it.
by Luke Duke
Fri Jun 12, 2015 9:30 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Unsure of the process of paying off mortgage early (all at once)
Replies: 30
Views: 3426

Re: Unsure of the process of paying off mortgage early (all at once)

dolphinsaremammals wrote:Be sure you are in the time period where you can pay off your mortgage in advance. With mine I could not do that for the first two years or somesuch.


Sure you could have. There may have been a penalty to do so, but you could have done it.
by Luke Duke
Wed Jun 10, 2015 9:15 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Are there any merchants that accept only Amex?
Replies: 25
Views: 2282

Re: Are there any merchants that accept only Amex?

Louie's in Dallas, at least before Louie died. I haven't been back since.
by Luke Duke
Thu May 28, 2015 10:23 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Early/Earlier/Earliest Retirement?
Replies: 30
Views: 4891

Re: Early/Earlier/Earliest Retirement?

Independent, Do you mind explaining this one in more detail? The house is your long term care plan. Thanks! I'm sure that he means that the sale of her home could fund several years of nursing home care should she require assistance toward the end of her life. There would be no need for LTC insuran...
by Luke Duke
Thu May 28, 2015 9:35 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: BMW needs new tires
Replies: 24
Views: 2182

Re: BMW needs new tires

If I have a choice, I will never buy another tire from anyone other than Discount Tire.
by Luke Duke
Thu May 21, 2015 9:51 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Building a guest house
Replies: 20
Views: 2045

Re: Building a guest house

yellowgirl wrote:He also wants to design the house.


I would insist on veto power.
by Luke Duke
Mon May 18, 2015 1:33 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Home Internet - Cat 5e or Cat 6
Replies: 49
Views: 3419

Re: Home Internet - Cat 5e or Cat 6

I haven't read all of the responses... They are ripping you off on the Cat 6. Cat6 cable is only about $25 more for a 1000ft spool. The keystones cost double ($1.50 vs $0.75 ). My personal preference would be for Cat6, but not at the markup that you are being quoted. If you can't get them to upgrade...
by Luke Duke
Tue May 12, 2015 10:49 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Preventing people from disturbing wet sidewalk cement.
Replies: 13
Views: 1340

Re: Preventing people from disturbing wet sidewalk cement.

If someone lightly defaces some wet concrete you can use a push broom to fix it.
by Luke Duke
Fri May 08, 2015 10:17 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Paying off student loans by selling house
Replies: 43
Views: 2867

Re: Paying off student loans by selling house

If you kept your house and decided to make paying off her loans the #1 priority, how long do you think it would take you? If I didn't invest and we combined incomes, it would be done in 19 months. If I continued to max out my Roth and 401k and we combined incomes, it would be done in 29 months. Tho...
by Luke Duke
Thu May 07, 2015 3:11 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Paying off student loans by selling house
Replies: 43
Views: 2867

Re: Paying off student loans by selling house

If you kept your house and decided to make paying off her loans the #1 priority, how long do you think it would take you?

You mention your house not being ideal for starting a family. Can you elaborate why?
by Luke Duke
Thu Apr 30, 2015 10:07 am
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Help me understand preferred stock we own...
Replies: 9
Views: 1110

Re: Help me understand preferred stock we own...

Well, I had this nice long note all written but then my session timed out and it vanished. The short answer is that you should read the prospectus, keeping in mind that it's a sales document, not an unbiased evaluation, and answer just this one question: If you had $2M in new cash to invest, would ...
by Luke Duke
Thu Apr 30, 2015 10:05 am
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Should I pay off the mortgage before I quit my job?
Replies: 30
Views: 3501

Re: Should I pay off the mortgage before I quit my job?

Why not wait another year and put all of your take home pay towards your mortgage? At least that way you will know that you can live on one income and if you do decide to use your taxable account to pay off your mortgage the balance won't be nearly as high. You won't know if you will like staying ho...
by Luke Duke
Thu Apr 30, 2015 9:00 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Prepping a house for sale: What are the priorities?
Replies: 33
Views: 3119

Re: Prepping a house for sale: What are the priorities?

I haven't read all of the responses, but you might try just cleaning the carpets and see how they look. If you still feel that they would turnoff a prospective buyer then you can advertise a "carpet allowance of $x,000" as part of the sale. I think that it works best for all parties involv...
by Luke Duke
Thu Apr 30, 2015 8:53 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: What do you tip a valet?
Replies: 54
Views: 4284

Re: What do you tip a valet?

they mess up my seat adjustment. I hate that. Every time I get my Buick back from the mechanic, i have to readjust the seat. It's an old car, so it's not like they're joy riding. Would you rather they drive the car while in an awkward position? I'll be honest, it annoys me too, but they're probably...
by Luke Duke
Thu Apr 30, 2015 8:46 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: New car every 5 years instead of 10?
Replies: 129
Views: 10375

Re: New car every 5 years instead of 10?

If you want and can afford a new car every 5 years, go for it. But don't kid yourself about that being more economical than driving a car for 10 years. This. Heck, since Christmas I've dumped $1200 into a 12 yr old car with 210K miles and now I have a car that I hope to drive for 2-3 more years. I'...
by Luke Duke
Thu Apr 30, 2015 8:34 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: family cabin planning through generations
Replies: 16
Views: 2330

Re: family cabin planning through generations

This attorney strongly recommends passing / giving such property to one individual rather than have it pass through the generations to an ever larger number of heirs. In his experience it is not so much the second generation owners who are the problems, because they grew up as siblings with a share...
by Luke Duke
Wed Apr 29, 2015 4:19 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: What do you tip a valet?
Replies: 54
Views: 4284

Re: What do you tip a valet?

I was a valet in Austin, TX from 1999-2001. We were not paid an hourly rate of any kind unless we were working at a private party, even then it was about $1 above minimum wage. If there was a fee for valet service, 100% of that fee went to the valet company, not to the valets. We even had one locati...
by Luke Duke
Thu Apr 23, 2015 9:57 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: New Water Heater
Replies: 42
Views: 4271

Re: New Water Heater

I've posted about my water heater adventures before, but... Where I live, water heaters are typically installed in the attic. Which, to be honest, freaks me out more than a little. So I do what I can to try to prevent a catastrophe. I don't know if it really helps, but I drain the sediment every Oc...
by Luke Duke
Wed Apr 22, 2015 9:41 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: New Water Heater
Replies: 42
Views: 4271

Re: New Water Heater

In order to flush it effectively, I think there needs to be something to stir up all the sediment so it is suspended in the water before flushing. I have yet to see something like that marketed in water heaters. http://www.waterheaterrescue.com/pages/WHRpages/English/OrderPages/XCart/Sediment-Contr...
by Luke Duke
Tue Mar 24, 2015 1:52 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Proactively replace water heater?
Replies: 53
Views: 5862

Re: Proactively replace water heater?

If you choose not to proactively replace your water heater, you may want to get one of these . I bought a 3 pack and put one in my water heater pan because I had the same concerns that you have. Six months later I had a leak that was immediately detected. Since my water heater is in the attic, the d...
by Luke Duke
Tue Mar 24, 2015 1:48 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: New washing machine won't fit down basement steps.
Replies: 32
Views: 3320

Re: New washing machine won't fit down basement steps.

One of these would make it much easier to lower the new machines.

http://www.amazon.com/s/ref=nb_sb_noss? ... tric+hoist
by Luke Duke
Tue Mar 24, 2015 1:37 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Selling rental house with two owners
Replies: 4
Views: 697

Re: Selling rental house with two owners

thisisatest wrote:I'm thinking the safest thing to do is to have 100% go to the daughter and then she can just transfer money over to the mom over time, under the gift limits. But of course whatever gains there are will be taxed higher with the daughter.


My thoughts as well.
by Luke Duke
Thu Mar 12, 2015 10:35 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Projects when moving into a new (to us) home
Replies: 20
Views: 1672

Re: Projects when moving into a new (to us) home

Refinish any hardwood floors that need refinishing before you move in.
by Luke Duke
Fri Mar 06, 2015 2:04 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Suggest an infrared temperture gun
Replies: 21
Views: 1884

Re: Suggest an infrared temperture gun

TnGuy wrote:And for a mere $1,600 you can attach one to your smart phone.


David


You can get a Flir One for $249.
http://flir.com/flirone/buy-us.cfm
by Luke Duke
Tue Feb 24, 2015 3:28 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Going to Austin, TX in March. What should we be doing?
Replies: 24
Views: 1660

Re: Going to Austin, TX in March. What should we be doing?

Franklins BBQ is very good. If you decide to go there you should plan to arrive a few hours early to stand in the line down the street. Also I don't think its an 'Austin thing', but the first time I ever had a Kolache it was there, and they are pretty incredible. Theres also a really good local ban...
by Luke Duke
Tue Feb 24, 2015 3:23 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Suggest an infrared temperture gun
Replies: 21
Views: 1884

Re: Suggest an infrared temperture gun

There's nothing wrong with a cheap infrared temperature gun, you just need to understand how it works. You can't just point it at any surface at any distance and get an accurate temperature reading. Just about any device under $200 will probably have a fixed emissivity setting of ~.95-.97, which is ...
by Luke Duke
Tue Feb 24, 2015 3:00 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Should I shut off water in a vacant home in winter?
Replies: 15
Views: 1632

Re: Should I shut off water in a vacant home in winter?

I have no experience with boilers either, but 60*F seems high for an unoccupied house. I would also get the owners to spring for a web-enabled thermostat so the home can be monitored remotely.
by Luke Duke
Mon Feb 09, 2015 10:11 am
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: What to do with 350K. Plop it in a 529?
Replies: 36
Views: 4275

Re: What to do with 350K. Plop it in a 529?

niceguy7376 wrote:Remember that you cannot do much with 529 related to tax loss harvesting.


You can if you spread your money around in different states.
by Luke Duke
Fri Feb 06, 2015 3:08 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Looking for a DSLR that will allow me to get fairly serious.
Replies: 118
Views: 7238

Re: Looking for a DSLR that will allow me to get fairly seri

I agree about getting some fast primes. But watch out if you go too wide if you want to use them to take portraits. A wide angle lens can distort lines and angles (not good for portraits) and you'll have to get quite close to the subject. Yep http://digital-photography-school.com/wp-content/uploads...
by Luke Duke
Fri Feb 06, 2015 2:48 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Real estate planning and a parent who lives overseas
Replies: 13
Views: 800

Re: Real estate planning and a parent who lives overseas

The other idea that came up in discussion was for my wife to do a Quit Claim for his portion (or half) to herself and her brother. So my wifes mom would be half owner and wife and brother each 25%. How much was the house purchased for and how much is it worth. I'm guessing that your wife and her br...
by Luke Duke
Wed Feb 04, 2015 2:20 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Tomahawk Steak
Replies: 29
Views: 3750

Re: Tomahawk Steak

I do a somewhat shortened "dry" version of this. I set one burner on my grill on low -- try to get the off-burner elevated rack temp to around 200-225. I cook the steak on this slowly - turning every 5 minutes until the internal temp is around 90-95 degrees. Then I sear each side over dir...
by Luke Duke
Mon Jan 12, 2015 5:05 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Ridiculous closing costs on cash deal?
Replies: 15
Views: 2878

Re: Ridiculous closing costs on cash deal?

Maybe if I go back to the same title company that issued the policy 7 years ago, it will be less expensive. In Texas, the cost of title insurance is set by the state according to the dales price. http://www.tdi.texas.gov/title/titlerates2014.html I would definitely go back to the same title company...
by Luke Duke
Mon Jan 12, 2015 4:58 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Mom's retirement
Replies: 15
Views: 1326

Re: Mom's retirement

That rent seems very low for a $500K house. Houses worth half that rent for close to the same amount in my neighborhood.
by Luke Duke
Mon Jan 12, 2015 11:20 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: What's in your car emergency kit?
Replies: 52
Views: 4436

Re: What's in your car emergency kit?

* Small tire pump (12V of course, not a hand pump) Why "of course"? Small hand or foot pumps are cheaper, faster , lighter, smaller and more reliable than the electric ones. And if it breaks I can probably fix it. These are all important attributes for an emergency kit. I disagree with th...
by Luke Duke
Fri Dec 19, 2014 2:59 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Anyone prep for the PMP???
Replies: 17
Views: 4071

Re: Anyone prep for the PMP???

I took a Crosswinds class this week from Tony Johnson and I highly recommend it. If you can't get to a class, you can buy his material on Amazon.
by Luke Duke
Fri Dec 19, 2014 2:53 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: security camera outside away from a power source
Replies: 18
Views: 1887

Re: security camera outside away from a power source

Let's assume for a moment that you can get a camera functioning at the entrance and that the camera can record the license plate and a sufficiently clear picture of the driver to positively identify the trash dumpers. Will this actually get you anywhere with the local authorities? Will they actuall...
by Luke Duke
Fri Dec 19, 2014 2:23 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: FSA: how much do I fund?
Replies: 16
Views: 876

Re: FSA: how much do I fund?

Ok. So if I use $0 and am fired after 1 pay period i lose $106. But if I spend $406 in deductible payments that first week of January, the company will eat that $300 loss. Do I have that right? Yes. You could max out your FSA, have a medical procedure done on Jan 2, get reimbursed, quit your job an...
by Luke Duke
Tue Dec 09, 2014 5:34 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Donate or Sell AV Receiver
Replies: 11
Views: 992

Re: Donate or Sell AV Receiver

I would give it away. Surely you know someone with a kid in college or wants some music in the garage or back patio.
by Luke Duke
Mon Dec 08, 2014 11:39 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Holiday Meal Splurging (Wagyu beef)
Replies: 17
Views: 1668

Re: Holiday Meal Splurging (Wagyu beef)

It's pretty hard to beat a properly cooked Wagyu steak. For a large group I would prepare them one of two ways: 1. Cut them into individual steaks. Sous vide and quick sear. http://www.seriouseats.com/2010/03/how-to-sous-vide-steak.html 2. Keep the ribeye whole. Cook it on the lowest setting that yo...
by Luke Duke
Mon Dec 08, 2014 10:44 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: How long do grilles last?
Replies: 26
Views: 2649

Re: How long do grilles last?

I would think Webers should last more than 8 years, but "beyond cleaning" suggests carbon build up and not a problem with the grill. Have you ever taken it apart and used cleaners and/or a power sprayer? JT This. Also for $300 you won't get a (new) grill that will last more than a few yea...
by Luke Duke
Thu Dec 04, 2014 1:28 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Help with inheritance/gift
Replies: 8
Views: 1758

Re: Help with inheritance/gift

You should also consider maxing out your 401k in the year that you sell the stocks.
by Luke Duke
Tue Nov 25, 2014 4:44 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Strategically not paying medical bills for 90 days for a dis
Replies: 30
Views: 5484

Re: Strategically not paying medical bills for 90 days for a

I've gotten 20% off of the negotiated rate on two different occasions by waiting it out.
by Luke Duke
Fri Nov 21, 2014 2:41 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Hybrid electric water heaters
Replies: 6
Views: 588

Re: Hybrid electric water heaters

We currently have a gas water heater, the city gas charges us $150 a year to just have them as a service provider. When we purchase gas the charge us for fuel delivery which is $150 then the cost of the gas itself. If we don't need to purchase gas for the next year that's when they charge us the $1...

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