Search found 137 matches

by Oilburner
Wed Aug 26, 2015 11:42 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Time to upgrade my HVAC?
Replies: 22
Views: 2294

Re: Time to upgrade my HVAC?

Use a window air conditioner. Perhaps one on each floor and you can have some zone control. I am in Nova too and that is what I have done. The central A/C is 20 plus years old and the furnace was replaced just before I bought the house and since the central A/C did not work well at all I went the wi...
by Oilburner
Wed Aug 26, 2015 11:25 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Tire rotation
Replies: 58
Views: 5101

Re: Tire rotation

Yes, they should be rotated. It is fairly easy to do yourself. You should invest in a decent floor jack, pair of jack stands, 1/2 inch drive breaker bar with short extension and 6-point socket to fit the lug nuts/bolts and torque wrench. Know where to place the jack and jack stands (I place the fron...
by Oilburner
Wed May 13, 2015 10:04 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Replace timing belt on old car with multiple issues?
Replies: 13
Views: 1331

Re: Replace timing belt on old car with multiple issues?

Having replaced a few timing belts on the A4 Jetta (body style you have) and driving VWs for 40 plus years, I say you should sell the car and move on to possibly a good used vehicle that will fit the needs of your growing family. If you have the timing belt replaced it will be expensive (my guess is...
by Oilburner
Tue Dec 30, 2014 1:26 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Buying gasoline
Replies: 7
Views: 1396

Re: Buying gasoline

This must be a regional occurrence. There are not cash discounts for gasoline where I live. I use a 5% cash back CC too :happy
by Oilburner
Mon Dec 29, 2014 9:43 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Snow blower maintenance and repair
Replies: 26
Views: 2703

Re: Snow blower maintenance and repair

I'll add that please be careful when cleaning out carburetor jets. Don't use a small wire or needle to clear a plugged jet if you can avoid it. It is easy to damage them by enlarging the orifice since they are (usually) brass and this causes the engine to then run rich. If the jet is obviously clogg...
by Oilburner
Mon Dec 29, 2014 9:30 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Snow blower maintenance and repair
Replies: 26
Views: 2703

Re: Snow blower maintenance and repair

My opinion is the mechanic is partly correct. I don't think the 10% ethanol in the gasoline is the culprit. Most likely the issue is plugged carburetor jets due to gums formed from gasoline left in the snow blower for extended periods. A sure way to verify this is if the snow blower runs on a prime....
by Oilburner
Wed Jul 16, 2014 11:02 am
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Another reason I am my own advisor
Replies: 15
Views: 4133

Re: Another reason I am my own advisor

This is why I like being a Boglehead. When I switched jobs I was able to, without even thinking about it, simply roll-over my 1.68 ER 401K to Vanguard and enjoy a $5000 savings in fees per year and be invested in the exact same funds (yes, I paid a 1.68 ER on the Vanguard 2030 Target Date fund, bran...
by Oilburner
Wed Jul 16, 2014 10:54 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: boglehead botanists...is this poison ivy?
Replies: 32
Views: 2647

Re: boglehead botanists...is this poison ivy?

No, it is not posion ivy. Not sure what it is though.
by Oilburner
Fri Jun 06, 2014 10:39 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Anyone here own a safe?
Replies: 91
Views: 13341

Re: Anyone here own a safe?

I was considering getting one of those smaller safes for things like jewelry, cash, important documents, etc. But I wonder how secure one of these things would be. Seems like it would just draw attention, and a robber could easily just carry the entire safe out and deal with opening it later. I can...
by Oilburner
Mon May 05, 2014 12:38 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Do Honda Mowers Leave Un-cut Grass Strips? [YES, but...]
Replies: 55
Views: 15304

Re: Do Honda Mowers Leave Un-cut Grass Strips? [YES, but...]

I have a variable-speed, self-propelled rear bagger model Honda and it exhibits all the major problems listed--leaves unmowen strips, hard to start (I also us starting fluid), etc. I live in the mountains and my yard is very steep. Add to the pro list, that the variable speed drive works flawlessly...
by Oilburner
Mon May 05, 2014 12:36 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Do Honda Mowers Leave Un-cut Grass Strips? [YES, but...]
Replies: 55
Views: 15304

Duplicate Post
by Oilburner
Mon May 05, 2014 12:28 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Do Honda Mowers Leave Un-cut Grass Strips? [YES, but...]
Replies: 55
Views: 15304

Re: Do Honda Mowers Leave Un-cut Grass Strips? [YES, but...]

I think Honda push mowers are great and I've no complaints. My experience is that my now 79 year old mother has a Honda mower that is at least 14 years old and it has the same twin blade pictured on the mower in OP's link. I used her mower regularly each summer to mow her half-acre yard several time...
by Oilburner
Wed Mar 19, 2014 1:12 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Gas Grill - Natural Gas vs Liquid Propane
Replies: 46
Views: 8637

Re: Gas Grill - Natural Gas vs Liquid Propane

Propane has these potential safety hazards: - Spouse gets mad when fuel runs out - Get in car accident with a LP tank in the vehicle - Back injury while changing out propane tank - Robbed at local store while paying for propane tank - Someone steals your LP tank on the back deck and then sees all t...
by Oilburner
Wed Mar 19, 2014 12:57 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Gas Grill - Natural Gas vs Liquid Propane
Replies: 46
Views: 8637

Re: Gas Grill - Natural Gas vs Liquid Propane

The cost to convert the grill to natural gas should be minimal if you do it yourself. There are probably kits out there to do this conversion (different burner orifice and possibly regulator) for about $25. A general rule of thumb is propane in the 4-gallon BBQ tanks cost roughly 3 - 4 times what na...
by Oilburner
Thu Feb 27, 2014 11:54 am
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: what's your number?? (for married couples)
Replies: 70
Views: 6706

Re: what's your number?? (for married couples)

Anything over 2 million would make me and my wife feel pretty comfortable. The more the better.
by Oilburner
Wed Feb 19, 2014 1:28 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Issues with small employer 401K
Replies: 27
Views: 3308

Re: Issues with small employer 401K

I feel for you. I was in the same boat last year, at a 3-person office that used Transamercia (an insurance company) branded common funds with a wrap fee for their 401k. I was paying about 2% for Vanguard index funds. My 401k balance had grown to the point that the 2% was really painful. This is wha...
by Oilburner
Thu Jan 30, 2014 2:05 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: preventing rust on car exhaust system
Replies: 28
Views: 4373

Re: preventing rust on car exhaust system

[/quote] I remember those days well. I think lots of short trips where the engine never get up to temp contributes to this corrosion. Also think the introduction of unleaded gas has something to do with the long life of today's exhaust systems. On a different note, a lot of Northeast states have swi...
by Oilburner
Thu Jan 30, 2014 10:22 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: preventing rust on car exhaust system
Replies: 28
Views: 4373

Re: preventing rust on car exhaust system

The neighbors probably think I'm nuts, but after I get road salt on my car, right when the temperature gets to 32 degrees F, or above, outside, I thoroughly spray off the entire car and especially all parts of the underside (engine compartment included, covering the master cylinder reservoir with al...
by Oilburner
Thu Jan 30, 2014 9:57 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Sell my financed luxury car to free up cash?
Replies: 18
Views: 2228

Re: Sell my financed luxury car to free up cash?

I would sell the car, but try to get a fair price for it. Cars are bad investments (generally), so don't hang onto it as an investment. You have a cost to keep (store) them, even if it is in your garage, there is an opportunity cost because you can't use the space for something else. And cars deprec...
by Oilburner
Tue Jan 28, 2014 12:00 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Most Efficient Way to Heat a Home
Replies: 86
Views: 6065

Re: Most Efficient Way to Heat a Home

Oil heat is one of the more expensive forms of heat. You will spend about four times on oil heat, than you will for natural gas, after factoring the added furnace maintenance (usually yearly) that oil burners require. One thing you can do is make sure your house is properly insulated and sealed to m...
by Oilburner
Mon Jan 27, 2014 11:22 am
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Bought in, and then they start tumbling
Replies: 67
Views: 9514

Re: Bought in, and then they start tumbling

Just be glad you HAVE the money to buy into the stock market. The average person does not.
by Oilburner
Wed Jan 15, 2014 2:02 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: devices to maximize a car's fuel economy
Replies: 64
Views: 3841

Re: devices to maximize a car's fuel economy

A "K&N Airfilter" will help a little. I have read that the oil that the K & N filter uses (you have to periodically oil the foam filter) slowly evaporates into the intake air and can ruin (fowl) the MAF (mass air flow) sensor. MAFs sometimes can not be cleaned (with tuner cleaner)...
by Oilburner
Tue Jan 14, 2014 11:54 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: devices to maximize a car's fuel economy
Replies: 64
Views: 3841

Re: devices to maximize a car's fuel economy

The best device to increase fuel economy is the vehicle owner/driver. Maintain the car per the owner's manual. The following have a bearing on fuel economy: air filter, spark plugs, valve adjustment (if car has mechanical lifters), tire pressure (higher is better, but too high is dangerous), vehicle...
by Oilburner
Mon Jan 13, 2014 10:06 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: HSBC 5% Cash Rebate Master Card: Looks Like It's History
Replies: 1
Views: 502

HSBC 5% Cash Rebate Master Card: Looks Like It's History

Who here has an HSBC Master Card that gives a 5% cash rebate on automotive (including gasoline), groceries and healthcare expenditures? I've had this card for years and every month I get back about $40 in cash (as a statement credit), at least four times more than any other cash-back credit card I o...
by Oilburner
Mon Jan 13, 2014 9:34 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Good/ enjoy math, but dislike programming: College major?
Replies: 65
Views: 3814

Re: Good/ enjoy math, but dislike programming: College major

I would suggest he take another look at engineering, and ideally petroleum engineering or geology. But only if he is interested by the subject matter. If uninterested, it will be painful to pursue an engineering degree. I say this because I am in the oil industry and know firsthand the petroleum ind...
by Oilburner
Fri Jan 10, 2014 10:24 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: How do I establish a retirement "number"?
Replies: 40
Views: 3714

Re: How do I establish a retirement "number"?

Personally, I don't. I have a (very) rough estimate assuming I'll need 100% of my current income, but I mainly just use that for fun, because I don't know what my expenses will be either. I just save as much as I can and figure in 30 years when I'm 55 I will have a good idea of what my expenses are...
by Oilburner
Mon Dec 02, 2013 11:45 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Heat Pump Replacement Advice Please
Replies: 20
Views: 2176

Re: Heat Pump Replacement Advice Please

This caught my attention: "the current unit has serious trouble keeping up during the extreme (for our area) hot and cold temps,..." This may or may not be indicative of a need to replace the heat pump. Although at 20 years of age, that in itself would probably warrant replacement. As part...
by Oilburner
Wed Nov 27, 2013 2:26 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: This Article Made Me Laugh, Re: Rollovers
Replies: 18
Views: 1954

Re: This Article Made Me Laugh, Re: Rollovers

Well early this year I left that employer for a better job (one of the big reasons I left was the employer turned his nose up at a Vanguard proposal for a small company 401k plan I gave him) and within a week had my sizable 401k in a Vanguard Rollover IRA in the same 2030 Target Date fund, but at 0...
by Oilburner
Wed Nov 27, 2013 2:22 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: How do you keep all your important documents?
Replies: 43
Views: 3928

Re: How do you keep all your important documents?

Bankrate.com said the following for IRAs: "[Keep records] Permanently If you made a nondeductible contribution to an IRA, keep the records indefinitely to prove that you already paid tax on this money when the time comes to withdraw." Does this include Roth IRAs? Or by the very nature of i...
by Oilburner
Wed Nov 27, 2013 2:07 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Bitcoins as investment
Replies: 210
Views: 15086

Re: Bitcoins as investment

My 26 year old son called me a couple nights ago and asked if I was going to invest money in Bitcoin. And then suggested I do if I had not planned to. I said, "Bit what?" Well, I was not quite that uninformed about Bitcoin, but have heard the name and read a few paragraph article on it. He...
by Oilburner
Tue Nov 26, 2013 1:05 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Buying Wall-to-Wall Carpet: What Do I Need to Know?
Replies: 28
Views: 3708

Re: Buying Wall-to-Wall Carpet: What Do I Need to Know?

Measure your carpeted area. I did before buying new wall-to-wall carpet. The estimates I got were based on up to 50% more carpet than my measured amount. This can give you some bargaining power. 10 - 12% would be the most overage you should pay for.
by Oilburner
Tue Nov 26, 2013 12:51 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: This Article Made Me Laugh, Re: Rollovers
Replies: 18
Views: 1954

Re: This Article Made Me Laugh, Re: Rollovers

12 years ago I was naive and rolled my 401k from my previous employer to my new employer. I thought that is just what people did. Several years later I embraced the Bogleheads philosophy and realized what a mistake I made. And I could not correct this error unless I died or left the company, one tha...
by Oilburner
Mon Nov 25, 2013 7:32 am
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Vanguard Mutual Fund Price When Exchanging Funds
Replies: 3
Views: 300

Vanguard Mutual Fund Price When Exchanging Funds

I've looked all over Vanguard's web site and I can not find the answer to this seemingly simple question: When I exchange Vanguard mutual funds on-line after hours, are the fund transaction prices their previous close prices, or are the prices the following business day's closing prices? Thank you.
by Oilburner
Fri Nov 22, 2013 3:34 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Success Stories of Bogleheads
Replies: 62
Views: 6915

Re: Success Stories of Bogleheads

I discovered the Boggleheads a couple of years after I received a sizable (for me anyway) inheritance and put it with a financial planner (overall ER of about 3.5%) because I did not know any better. Invested in all stock funds. This was in 2007. Then after the bottom fell out of the market I though...
by Oilburner
Sun Nov 10, 2013 10:13 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Living in Arlington, VA
Replies: 63
Views: 3120

Re: Living in Arlington, VA

Arlington is very expensive for rent and condo prices. Vienna has a Metrorail (subway) stop and although still not inexpensive, should be less than Arlington, VA to live. Here is the Metrorail web site: http://www.wmata.com/rail/ On the plus side if he lives in Arlington, VA he will be going against...
by Oilburner
Mon Nov 04, 2013 9:44 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: FSA gains $500 rollover feature
Replies: 42
Views: 3978

Re: FSA gains $500 rollover feature

We participate in the medical FSA through my wife's employer, but my new employer offers one (my old employer did not), so I will compare plans. I did not see the following mentioned above: My wife's FSA DOES NOT have a grace period where two and a half months in the following year can be used to pu...
by Oilburner
Thu Oct 31, 2013 7:46 am
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: 401k Overcontribution
Replies: 19
Views: 1254

Re: 401k Overcontribution

You and your wife won't miss out on much. Since matches are by pay period, the forgone match will be about 2/12 X 0.75 X 0.06 of her salary. This represents November and December. Let's say she was hired at 100,000 per year. The forgone amount would be $750.
by Oilburner
Wed Oct 16, 2013 7:14 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Home security ideas
Replies: 31
Views: 2630

Re: Home security ideas

Locks don't mean crap to a determined criminal. Anything "passive" is just that. A good German Shepherd. Great family dogs - excellent with small children and women in general - brutal with unknown intruders and highly suspicious of strange adult males who come onto the family turf. I use...
by Oilburner
Wed Oct 16, 2013 7:00 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Young Guys [and Gals] Making Good Money
Replies: 241
Views: 25354

Re: Young Guys Making Good Money

Just curious, where do you work? That sounds like a great place to work. The specific company isn't important...it is a large energy company, of which there are many in Houston. If you start rattling off names like Exxon, Shell, BP, Chevron, ConocoPhillips, Marathon, Halliburton, Schlumberger, Anad...
by Oilburner
Thu Oct 10, 2013 10:19 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: [Considering solar power] - How do these #s look?
Replies: 32
Views: 2471

Re: [Considering solar power] - How do these #s look?

I just did a one-minute calculation, assuming 12 cents a KW hour, 8 hours a day of sunlight average at full power and half of the days being sunny and I come up with a 15-year payback, which is a lot better than I would have thought.
by Oilburner
Fri Oct 04, 2013 8:09 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Car dealer refusing to repair car
Replies: 54
Views: 5260

Re: Car dealer refusing to repair car

Another (and hopefully final) update: The engineer from Nissan visited the dealership earlier today, looked at the car, and figured out the problem. My girlfriend couldn't relay to me exactly what was wrong with the car, but they have decided to replace the entire engine. The car should be good to ...
by Oilburner
Fri Oct 04, 2013 7:33 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Car dealer refusing to repair car
Replies: 54
Views: 5260

Re: Car dealer refusing to repair car

I've performed ALL the maintenance and repairs on my cars ever since I have been driving (for about 38 years), so my comments come with experience. What make and model is this? Sometimes internet searches will divulge a common problem, so it is worth a search on "coolant loss year, make, model&...
by Oilburner
Tue Sep 24, 2013 7:56 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Landlord will not return rent deposit check ($1500)
Replies: 41
Views: 5996

Re: Landlord will not return rent deposit check ($1500)

I take it you left on good terms and did not break the lease and that the lease states you are to get your security deposit back under the lease conditions. Note that in some states interest must be paid and the deposit must be held in escrow. You have been nice, but its time to play hard ball. Send...
by Oilburner
Wed Sep 18, 2013 9:44 am
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: The Incredible Importance of Social Security
Replies: 97
Views: 11617

Re: The Incredible Importance of Social Security

Wow, I never thought I would be in the top 10%, the 10th decile. Just shows it pays to stay the course and save more than you spend. I have about eight years left until retirement too. :happy
by Oilburner
Mon Sep 16, 2013 10:27 am
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: My daughter's investment choices makes me want to puke!
Replies: 14
Views: 2609

Re: My daughter's investment choices makes me want to puke!

Fred: Your daughter is rather lucky. A 0.96 ER for a Vanguard Retirement Date Fund with Transamerica is a bargain. I recently left a small-business employer that used Transamerica (insurance company) branded funds. I was in the Vanguard 2030 fund and it had a 1.68% ER :shock: This made my blood boil...
by Oilburner
Fri Sep 13, 2013 7:57 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Termite treatment
Replies: 23
Views: 3006

Re: Termite treatment

The mild winter and wet summer has made 2013 a bad year for termites. That's what I thought too. I also had four-year old tree stump in the front yard and was going to rent a stump grinder to get rid of it, but when I kicked it, it just disintegrated because it was termite infested. So I guess I sa...
by Oilburner
Fri Sep 13, 2013 7:42 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: USAA Homeowner Insurance Increase
Replies: 35
Views: 3851

Re: USAA Homeowner Insurance Increase

I tend to agree with rotorhead that USAA appears to be losing its way. I always recommended USAA to my Soldiers and felt proud to be a member, but the significant drop off in quality vs. price over the last few years has left me disheartened. My premiums went up 25% last year and an additional 18.6...
by Oilburner
Fri Sep 13, 2013 7:33 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Haggling at Furniture Store (Lay-z-Boy)
Replies: 28
Views: 5131

Re: Haggling at Furniture Store (Lay-z-Boy)

Supposidley you can, but a couple of years ago I went into our local Lazy Boy store, selected a recliner, and asked if they could knock a little off the price and I was told flat out "No" so my wife and I headed for the door and the sales person did not even bat an eye or give any indicati...
by Oilburner
Thu Sep 12, 2013 9:15 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Costs are out of control!!! 401(k) Committee
Replies: 43
Views: 4126

Re: Costs are out of control!!! 401(k) Committee

The place I left earlier this year had plan assets under a million (now they are under $500,000 :D ) with near 2% ERs. What I did before I left was present the boss with a proposal from Vanguard Small Business 401k. They will do all the work and develop the proposal. The fees were under half of what...

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