Search found 2393 matches

by btenny
Wed Jul 29, 2015 11:01 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Need car for 6 months a year. Best ideas?
Replies: 16
Views: 1254

Re: Need car for 6 months a year. Best ideas?

I would just keep an older car and not use it 6 months a year. That is the cheapest way. But when you "put it away" each year you will need to do a few things. I would put stabilizer in the gas, disconnect the battery, change the oil and air up the tires to maximum. Store the car in a gara...
by btenny
Sun Jul 26, 2015 2:09 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Would you look down on a co-worker for driving a beater?
Replies: 172
Views: 10607

Re: Would you look down on a co-worker for driving a beater?

Depending on where and what you do for living you would instantly qualify for a job in middle management. Bosses look on people who drive older cars as people who know how to conserve money and not spend it frivolously. One of the most respected senior guys at my company rode a 35 year old Honda 75 ...
by btenny
Sun Jul 26, 2015 1:58 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: How much does Property Tax factor in home purchase?
Replies: 36
Views: 2567

Re: How much does Property Tax factor in home purchase?

How many here have full recourse loans?
by btenny
Sun Jul 26, 2015 1:55 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: How much does Property Tax factor in home purchase?
Replies: 36
Views: 2567

Re: How much does Property Tax factor in home purchase?

I guess they went down for now. They were 5% from 2011 thru 2014. Will they really stay down?

http://www.revenue.state.il.us/TaxRates ... rYears.htm
by btenny
Sat Jul 25, 2015 7:37 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: How much does Property Tax factor in home purchase?
Replies: 36
Views: 2567

Re: How much does Property Tax factor in home purchase?

I would not suggest you buy a home in Illinois at this time. There are just too many property and tax issues with buying in that state right now. But if you are willing to make a probable life long commitment to the area and the taxes as you find them, then I would proceed very carefully but otherwi...
by btenny
Sat Jul 25, 2015 12:03 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Home Window Replacement - Recommendations (Southwest)?
Replies: 13
Views: 858

Re: Home Window Replacement - Recommendations (Southwest)?

We did our whole house window replacement back in 2010 in two segments. We did the back first after some storm damage and then the front the next year. We did our with Milgard Vinyl windows designed for the desert. We live in Phoenix. These windows are great IMO. The company has a regional factory i...
by btenny
Thu Jul 23, 2015 2:18 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: solar energy in new england
Replies: 32
Views: 1882

Re: solar energy in new england

Do you use lights in the winter? I bet since you are so smart your home still uses NG Lights? Does your NG heater use a air blower and electric starter? Does your furnace have electric interlocks? Does your home have electric garage door opener? How about that dishwasher? How about that computer you...
by btenny
Thu Jul 23, 2015 2:00 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: solar energy in new england
Replies: 32
Views: 1882

Re: solar energy in new england

Rude personal insults are really wonderful and appreciated on this board. They show your intelligence about the topic and how you are unwilling to listen to opposing views.

PS. I was building LSI chips before you existed and have the patents to prove it. How many do you have?
by btenny
Thu Jul 23, 2015 1:41 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Downsize, Reduce, Simplify.
Replies: 93
Views: 15869

Re: Downsize, Reduce, Simplify.

I retired and downsized many years ago and loved it. Bought a small home and paid cash. Got rid of a ton of stuff. Now we had time to do fun things. We love not having all the big home/yard to take care of. Loved the old place but also loved seeing it go. Together with retiring early was the best de...
by btenny
Thu Jul 23, 2015 1:29 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Downsize, Reduce, Simplify.
Replies: 93
Views: 15869

Re: Downsize, Reduce, Simplify.

Big parties can be held in small spaces. It just takes planning. Several of our friends have moved into smaller homes and townhouses. So now they hold parties outdoors in the summer. The weather is nice now and so they set up several tables in the back yard (or common area) and put on table clothes ...
by btenny
Thu Jul 23, 2015 12:48 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Ross Root Feeder
Replies: 24
Views: 1652

Re: Ross Root Feeder

I have one that I use pretty regularly in Arizona to feed my big trees. It works pretty good. The City of Phoenix also does tree feeding and watering with a perforated drain pipe like you describe. They put one perforated pipe per big tree in the ground and then put a sprinkler inside it. Then the p...
by btenny
Thu Jul 23, 2015 12:28 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Hard assets are having some very hard times
Replies: 16
Views: 1866

Re: Hard assets are having some very hard times

Oil is down over 50 percent and still falling. Some are saying $20 is possible. So a drop of 80 percent. I cannot imagine what the company CEOs are talking about behind closed doors today. I worry about my XOM and KMI investments. The bigger question is will this precipitous drop cause deflation and...
by btenny
Thu Jul 23, 2015 12:22 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Problem w/ vehicle, dealership shrugs shoulders
Replies: 24
Views: 2261

Re: Problem w/ vehicle, dealership shrugs shoulders

That is a good part of the reason I did not buy the latest "eyesight" system from Subaru when it first came out on my 2013 Outback. Besides the big expense. I was and am still worried about bugs and defects and hacking issues that are know and unknown in these complex electronic cars. I th...
by btenny
Thu Jul 23, 2015 12:08 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Hard assets are having some very hard times
Replies: 16
Views: 1866

Re: Hard assets are having some very hard times

I have long held a percentage of my investments in Exxon (XOM) because I bought that stock decades ago and have held it since. I now collect more in dividends each year than the initial investment. I added a chunk of KMP a few years ago to round up my asset allocation to "Commodities " to ...
by btenny
Thu Jul 23, 2015 11:37 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Bogle backfire?
Replies: 66
Views: 7747

Re: Bogle backfire?

Well.... I have two friends who used to be married. He is a swing for the fences guy and she is conservative quiet type. He got lucky after they divorced and a made ton of money in real estate. But his second wife passed away early so he is now rich and old and lonely. He plays a lot of golf. His ex...
by btenny
Thu Jul 23, 2015 11:22 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Problem w/ vehicle, dealership shrugs shoulders
Replies: 24
Views: 2261

Re: Problem w/ vehicle, dealership shrugs shoulders

My cousin is a very senior mechanic with GM/Chevrolet. He spends about sixty percent or more of his days driving around in cars/trucks to get them to fail in some funny mode. He said it is a real problem to find errors or failure modes today. I also know that creating special "test cases" ...
by btenny
Wed Jul 22, 2015 2:35 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: solar energy in new england
Replies: 32
Views: 1882

Re: solar energy in new england

New Grid Fees for solar customers may be coming your way. http://thinkprogress.org/climate/2015/02/27/3627891/arizona-utility-adds-50-dollar-rooftop-solar-fee/ http://www.mprnews.org/story/2015/06/18/grid-fees http://www.mass.gov/eea/energy-utilities-clean-tech/electric-power/grid-mod/grid-moderniza...
by btenny
Wed Jul 22, 2015 2:08 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: solar energy in new england
Replies: 32
Views: 1882

Re: solar energy in new england

Well guys everything I said stands. You need more power in the cold winter months and solar will not provide that. Yes you can install solar "right now" and make the numbers work. See below. http://atomicinsights.com/power-new-england-prices-increasing-rapidly/ http://www.wbur.org/2015/03/...
by btenny
Tue Jul 21, 2015 7:58 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: solar energy in new england
Replies: 32
Views: 1882

Re: solar energy in new england

Well with the federal rebate and various Mass rebates paying everyone over 50-60% of the costs of panels I guess there are lots of installers. But I suggest these solar panels will not really pay for themselves in less than 15 years due to snow issues. That is not an investment I want to make. Pleas...
by btenny
Tue Jul 21, 2015 6:54 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: solar energy in new england
Replies: 32
Views: 1882

Re: solar energy in new england

New England is too far north and too cloudy and stormy to get enough sun to make solar electric work well. So no one that I know of sells the panels or installs them there. Plus solar works the best in summer when New Englanders don't need much energy. You guys need lots of energy in the winter for ...
by btenny
Tue Jul 21, 2015 6:33 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: El Paso into Juarez - Day trip w/ family - Safe and practical?
Replies: 32
Views: 2777

Re: El Paso into Juarez - Day trip w/ family - Safe and practical?

Here is some of the Native American jewelry https://www.google.com/search?q=native+american+jewelry&rls=com.microsoft:en-US:IE-Address&biw=1138&bih=540&tbm=isch&tbo=u&source=univ&sa=X&ved=0CEMQsARqFQoTCK7Evt6v7cYCFUKdgAod1moPYQ and some sand paintings https://www.goog...
by btenny
Tue Jul 21, 2015 6:19 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: El Paso into Juarez - Day trip w/ family - Safe and practical?
Replies: 32
Views: 2777

Re: El Paso into Juarez - Day trip w/ family - Safe and practical?

I suggest you take your kids to see some of the Native American stuff around New Mexico instead of Juarez. This is real American cultural stuff that very few see or understand. It is really cool stuff IMO. If you can, go see some of the events at the Gathering of Nations Pow Wow in Albuquerque or th...
by btenny
Tue Jul 21, 2015 12:33 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: El Paso into Juarez - Day trip w/ family - Safe and practical?
Replies: 32
Views: 2777

Re: El Paso into Juarez - Day trip w/ family - Safe and practical?

NO way would I take my kids any where near El Paso or Juarez. Juarez is one of the most dangerous cites in the world. See below. What do you hope to show your kids about Juarez? Dirt streets? Poor people selling trinkets? Smelly food stands selling questionable meat in tacos? Going around street hac...
by btenny
Mon Jul 20, 2015 12:54 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Do you hate your vehicle infotainment system?
Replies: 73
Views: 5930

Re: Do you hate your vehicle infotainment system?

How about the Lexus RX 350 with the "mouse" in the center console. You have to use the thing to point to stuff in the screen. It was a deal breaker for me when we were looking at cars in 2013.
by btenny
Mon Jul 20, 2015 11:26 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Do you hate your vehicle infotainment system?
Replies: 73
Views: 5930

Re: Do you hate your vehicle infotainment system?

I bought a new 2013 Outback Limited with the second level Infotainment system to avoid all the complexity mess and extra expense of the big screen nav and eyesight system. When I bought this car that extra was $2000 extra. I paid for the good radio. So I have a small backup camera and a radio with b...
by btenny
Sun Jul 19, 2015 1:07 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Recommendations for gas grill
Replies: 63
Views: 4942

Re: Recommendations for gas grill

Travel. I used the grill once before finding out the upper grate does not fit and falls in. The door issues is not a deal breaker, it just fits tight and scrapes some. I ordered the grill from a local Ace hardware store to reduce the drive time for taking it home. That store told me in advance they ...
by btenny
Sun Jul 19, 2015 12:41 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Bridge loan vs paying cash
Replies: 21
Views: 1730

Re: Bridge loan vs paying cash

I did a ARM full blown home loan back in 2001 when I faced your situation. I was completely retired but my wife was still working. Our income was down from previous years so the loan company would not give us the best rate available at that time but we had 5X assets versus the loan amount. I did not...
by btenny
Sat Jul 18, 2015 12:11 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: DIY auto air conditioner recharge
Replies: 22
Views: 1766

Re: DIY auto air conditioner recharge

40-50 years ago lots of cars had leaky AC units and local mechanics and do it your selfers "charged" their AC units when they leaked a little to keep them cooling well. Some parts store still sell those types kits. But no one should do this for lots of reasons. First if the AC units has le...
by btenny
Sat Jul 18, 2015 11:54 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Recommendations for gas grill
Replies: 63
Views: 4942

Re: Recommendations for gas grill

In Arizona I have a Weber Genesis with the 3 burners and the sear burner and side burner. It was easy to assemble and cooks great and looks great after 3 years of steady use. It is by far the best grill I have ever used. It heats up in 3-5 minutes to 400 degrees for burgers or steaks and goes even h...
by btenny
Fri Jul 17, 2015 2:06 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Medicare Rx at Costco
Replies: 8
Views: 666

Re: Medicare Rx at Costco

It is not illegal to pay cash for medicine on Medicare. Many people have Medicare Parts A/B and pay cash for medicines. My father in law and tons of older people never got on Part D and just pay cash. They buy medicine all the time in 100 pill lots for cash at Costco and Walmart. They take generics ...
by btenny
Fri Jul 17, 2015 1:49 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Home landscaping dilemma
Replies: 21
Views: 2170

Re: Home landscaping dilemma

Get some landscaping done. A nice back yard is a must IMO. Get one that you will love and spend time enjoying. As you know AZ is wonderful outside a good part of the year. Do you have kids and how old? This is the key issue IMO in deciding how and what to include in the landscaping plan. Kids love p...
by btenny
Thu Jul 16, 2015 10:37 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Downsizing/Cutting Expenses
Replies: 19
Views: 2993

Re: Downsizing/Cutting Expenses

2300 plus basement room plus storage plus garage? If yes probably great for a family with two kids in snow country. 1800 plus nothing? Probably too small due to not enough public space for kids in winter. What are the details? How good are the schools in the two neighborhoods? Also since you did not...
by btenny
Wed Jul 15, 2015 2:52 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Getting rid of moles & voles (rodents)
Replies: 28
Views: 1700

Re: Getting rid of moles & voles (rodents)

I got a bunch of them by using regular mousetraps and creamy peanut butter for bait. I bought a new jar of peanut butter and only used it for this purpose. I used plastic gloves to handle the traps and bait and a new plastic spoon to put a good sized glob of bait on each trap. I have older traps so ...
by btenny
Wed Jul 15, 2015 11:45 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Truck Stolen
Replies: 30
Views: 2941

Re: Truck Stolen

Yea a friend of mine got his International Harvester pick up truck stolen back when. It was the same sort of deal. Totally cool truck fixed up but with a lot of miles, painted, new interior, etc. Police even said his went to Mexico as this was in Phoenix, before special keys. Back then insurance cos...
by btenny
Wed Jul 15, 2015 11:28 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: VRBO illegal rental [Vacation Rentals by Owner]
Replies: 53
Views: 5102

Re: VRBO illegal rental [Vacation Rentals by Owner]

The real question in all this is how vacation and short term rentals impact costs. Well here is what I know from Tahoe. 1. HOA costs go up a lot. 1a. The HOA hired 2-3 regular guards to drive around and watch out for noise and parking and other constant complaints. THis is a 24x7 issue and takes 2-3...
by btenny
Tue Jul 14, 2015 1:07 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: VRBO illegal rental [Vacation Rentals by Owner]
Replies: 53
Views: 5102

Re: VRBO illegal rental [Vacation Rentals by Owner]

By the way, when is "facilitating a violation" or similar issue a crime and not by Airbnb or VBRO?
by btenny
Tue Jul 14, 2015 1:04 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: VRBO illegal rental [Vacation Rentals by Owner]
Replies: 53
Views: 5102

Re: VRBO illegal rental [Vacation Rentals by Owner]

The place I am talking about in Arizona is all large nice single family homes. Everyone has a good sized front and back yard and many have pools. The HOA passed a set of regulations back in 2001 with 67% (or greater) of the homeowners agreeing to not have any rentals shorter than 6 months. So NO sho...
by btenny
Tue Jul 14, 2015 12:01 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: VRBO illegal rental [Vacation Rentals by Owner]
Replies: 53
Views: 5102

Re: VRBO illegal rental [Vacation Rentals by Owner]

Well this whole AirBnB thing and VBRO thing is destroying housing neighborhoods in lots of towns and completely changing those towns. I know. I live in two of those towns. Tahoe put into place a set of ordinances back when to allow almost all neighbor hoods to rent homes and condos and apartments on...
by btenny
Mon Jul 13, 2015 2:18 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Downsizing/Cutting Expenses
Replies: 19
Views: 2993

Re: Downsizing/Cutting Expenses

When my second child was born we sold our rental income properties and moved the money to the stock market and towards a new home down payment due to time commitments and rental issues. We did it after a big run up in property values and long flat down stock market (1980). We then bought a big enoug...
by btenny
Sun Jul 12, 2015 12:52 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: WSJ: "Hassle of Inheriting a Brokerage Account"
Replies: 19
Views: 2929

Re: WSJ: "Hassle of Inheriting a Brokerage Account"

My FIL had a ton of single penny stocks positions that he traded in over the years. He and his broker friend were both in their 80s and had lots of "knowledge" about small oil and gold stocks from other friends. They made a lot of money in those types of penny stocks over the years. So som...
by btenny
Sat Jul 11, 2015 3:00 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: WSJ: "Hassle of Inheriting a Brokerage Account"
Replies: 19
Views: 2929

Re: WSJ: "Hassle of Inheriting a Brokerage Account"

Also very important. My wife was a signer on her Dad's trust checking account and his safe deposit box. So she had access to money to pay bills for 2-3 months before she got death certificates and paperwork set up at the bank. She had to start a new second checking account at Wells Fargo to pay esta...
by btenny
Sat Jul 11, 2015 2:52 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: WSJ: "Hassle of Inheriting a Brokerage Account"
Replies: 19
Views: 2929

Re: WSJ: "Hassle of Inheriting a Brokerage Account"

My wife and her brother inherited 3 accounts from their Dad at Wells Fargo Brokerage. Both were trustees to their Dad's estate. Two accounts were trusts and one was an IRA. Wells was easy to work with and did just what we ask. We took 3ish meetings as I recall to get everything set up and all the pa...
by btenny
Sat Jul 11, 2015 2:16 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Dental Implants in Thailand
Replies: 6
Views: 1019

Re: Dental Implants in Thailand

The cost in Mexico is 30-50% of US costs. So it is a good deal for the right circumstances. But not many people get implants as Wendy pointed out. Those are very complicated and can have issues. Most people from the US stick to regular dental cleanings and fillings and maybe a crown. The dentist gro...
by btenny
Sat Jul 11, 2015 2:09 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: A Career in Golf?
Replies: 22
Views: 2448

Re: A Career in Golf?

Selling Callaway is actually worse than working at the club from what I understand. One of my neighbors in Arizona did that for a while. He had to move to Phoenix on his $$ and then they trained him. He then was transferred to some small town near where he lived before. So he knew the area and the p...
by btenny
Sat Jul 11, 2015 1:44 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Dental Implants in Thailand
Replies: 6
Views: 1019

Re: Dental Implants in Thailand

Lots of people (both Americans and Canadians) go to Mexico border towns for this kind of dental work. I am familiar with one of the towns and the area nearby. I also know people who have had good work done there. Most of the dentists in this particular town are US trained and English speaking and al...
by btenny
Sat Jul 11, 2015 1:32 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: buying ski condo to use in summer
Replies: 26
Views: 2523

Re: buying ski condo to use in summer

I owned a ski condo for 25 years in Colorado and now rent a home in another ski town. I like the cool summer air but it does get really crowded on holiday weekends. You may make enough to covers expenses if you pay cash for the unit. But you need to buy it cheap and run the numbers to make sure the ...
by btenny
Fri Jul 10, 2015 5:31 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: One car or two in semi-retirement?
Replies: 49
Views: 3360

Re: One car or two in semi-retirement?

Three cars and two locations for my wife and I in retirement. We keep one old car that costs maybe $450 per year that we use at our summer home. It is 4 wheel drive so it is also good in the big snows we get at this house in the winter. We leave it at our summer home when we go to the desert for the...
by btenny
Fri Jul 10, 2015 5:12 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Commuting vs. weekday widowing
Replies: 27
Views: 2473

Re: Commuting vs. weekday widowing

I know lots of people who have very long commutes and basically work in other cities from when they live. One guy is still married after 4 years or so of going 3.5 hours to work. He used to do consulting and this was the only work he could find after the 2008 crash. He rented a room in a friends hou...
by btenny
Fri Jul 10, 2015 4:39 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Buying home outright vs. Investing and renting
Replies: 20
Views: 1328

Re: Buying home outright vs. Investing and renting

Please see my revised numbers. I goofed the first time.....
by btenny
Fri Jul 10, 2015 4:11 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Buying home outright vs. Investing and renting
Replies: 20
Views: 1328

Re: Buying home outright vs. Investing and renting

When I first retired 15 years ago we downsized dramatically from a $700K house to a $250K house. I paid cash for the new house and got rid of a swimming pool and a ton of maintenance from the big yard. Best decision I ever made. The result was my nest egg was much larger and now enough for me to sta...

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