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Re: Hybrid electric water heaters

OK, you are talking about propane. That makes sense. I can see why you are thinking of an alternative. Lowes has the GE Hybrid on sale right now for $999. When I look it up, it tells me I also get a $300 rebate back from my local utility company. I'm sure that varies by location, but that is the sal...
by deanbrew
Fri Nov 21, 2014 4:32 pm
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Hybrid electric water heaters
Replies: 6
Views: 527

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. Are you talking about propane (bottled gas) rather than natural gas? Or are you conv...
by deanbrew
Fri Nov 21, 2014 2:23 pm
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Hybrid electric water heaters
Replies: 6
Views: 527

Re: Carrying alternatives for phone, credit cards, money

Phone goes in one front pocket. Wallet, cash, and keys go in the other front pocket. Nothing goes in your back pockets. Fortunately, you didn't ask about gun, knife, flashlight, and other EDC / zombie-defense stuff, which require other creative solutions. That's exactly what I was thinking as I rea...
by deanbrew
Fri Nov 21, 2014 2:08 pm
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Carrying alternatives for phone, credit cards, money
Replies: 11
Views: 740

Re: New teenage driver - which car for insurance

Around 1995 our son started to go to a local college and needed to drive daily on a busy expressway at high speed. So we bought him a new Chevy Beretta with a 6 cyl. engine to get out of trouble fast and enough weight to hold his position during an accident. So we went with safety in his particular...
by deanbrew
Fri Nov 21, 2014 10:17 am
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: New teenage driver - which car for insurance
Replies: 31
Views: 2193

Re: New teenage driver - which car for insurance

Simple then. Get 3 quotes with your teenager assigned to each vehicle. Choose the lowest. But I think what the insurance company is asking is what vehicle the teenager will principally drive. If is really equal then your choice. Ask your agent. I'm pretty sure it won't be the newest vehicle, so you...
by deanbrew
Wed Nov 19, 2014 11:51 am
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: New teenage driver - which car for insurance
Replies: 31
Views: 2193

Re: Boglehead family vacations

A WDW annual pass is less than $2 per day. Even if I lived in FL, I wouldn't go enough to make an annual pass worthwhile (at $675), but it definitely isn't of much use to someone who lives in Illinois. Curious, though, is an annual pass valid for only one person? In other words, if you buy a pass, ...
by deanbrew
Thu Nov 13, 2014 11:35 am
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Boglehead family vacations
Replies: 42
Views: 3076

Re: Boglehead family vacations

We go to WDW for $45/person/day including park passes, accommodation, transport and food. Some people spend ridiculous amounts on holidays. Not very frugal. Are you having a flashback to 1980? Disney World ticket prices are now about $70 to $100 per person, not including parking or food (or lodging).
by deanbrew
Wed Nov 12, 2014 7:39 pm
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Boglehead family vacations
Replies: 42
Views: 3076

Re: Boglehead family vacations

I haven't been on a Disney Cruise, but I've heard they are wonderful, but very pricey. We took our kids on two Carnival cruises, and they absolutely loved them both, as did we. Carnival (and Royal Caribbean, I've heard) have great "kids' clubs" and activities for kids, at prices that are w...
by deanbrew
Wed Nov 12, 2014 10:42 am
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Boglehead family vacations
Replies: 42
Views: 3076

Re: Road Tolls, and Rental Cars

Why not just go through the cash lane and pay the toll? Seems a lot simpler. I'm not sure about other states, but in PA you pay a huge premium to pay cash. If you enter from Ohio and go to Harrisburg, you pay $21.39 if you use EZ pass, but you pay $30.10 if you pay cash, or 41 percent more. And as ...
by deanbrew
Tue Nov 11, 2014 1:22 pm
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Road Tolls, and Rental Cars
Replies: 20
Views: 1070

Re: Road Tolls, and Rental Cars

Interesting... I have done that in the past and always have gotten a letter form EZ pass billing me for the toll and I needed to write them and say, "yes, that was my vehicle", which they already knew since they sent the letter to me, the same person who owned the transpoder. Interesting,...
by deanbrew
Tue Nov 11, 2014 12:27 pm
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Road Tolls, and Rental Cars
Replies: 20
Views: 1070

Re: Road Tolls, and Rental Cars

Not sure about most of them, but I use my EZ pass with rentals. Just need to give them a call with the plate number and they will enroll the rental for the week(s) you have it. Used it recently on trip from Vermont to Kentucky. I have used my EZ pass in several cars I own, friend's cars and rental ...
by deanbrew
Tue Nov 11, 2014 9:11 am
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Road Tolls, and Rental Cars
Replies: 20
Views: 1070

Re: How to calculate rate of return on cash value life insur

I would keep it, no question. You have $79k worth of life insurance, plus cash value that is growing a lot more than the annual premium amount. Surely, the death benefit has some significant value to survivors, or perhaps for estate planning purposes. Don't forget that life insurance proceeds are us...
by deanbrew
Sat Nov 08, 2014 3:05 pm
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: How to calculate rate of return on cash value life insurance
Replies: 7
Views: 864

Re: Track your car's fuel use (mileage)

I had a Boglehead instance of serendipity last evening. I drove to a nearby town, and when I got on the highway, I happened to pass a mile marker just as my odometer turned to an even number, including the tenth of a mile digit. After driving 40 miles, by the highway markers, my odometer indicated I...
by deanbrew
Tue Nov 04, 2014 9:36 am
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Track your car's fuel use (mileage)
Replies: 31
Views: 1953

Re: Track your car's fuel use (mileage)

How do you know your car odometer is accurate when you calculate your own mileage? Ever check that? Good question. No doubt your odometer accuracy changes as your tires wear down, and who knows how accurate it is even right out of the factory with brand new tires. In addition to checking against th...
by deanbrew
Mon Nov 03, 2014 10:25 am
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Track your car's fuel use (mileage)
Replies: 31
Views: 1953

Re: Seeking recommendations for a new dishwasher

I don't need to buy a new DW yet, and I'm pretty satisfied with the 10 year old Maytag I have. But when the time comes, do users (as opposed to marketers) find stainless steel insides to be worthwhile? We went with a plastic interior, as I just couldn't see that a stainless interior was worth the ex...
by deanbrew
Mon Nov 03, 2014 8:27 am
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Seeking recommendations for a new dishwasher
Replies: 15
Views: 962

Re: Track your car's fuel use (mileage)

The dashboard MPG indicator on my Chevy Sonic is consistently about 1 to 1.5 higher than what I calculate from my actual mileage and gas usage between fillups. I have found the same 1.0 to 1.5 MPG optimism on every one of the last four cars (three different brands, none Chevy) my wife and I have ow...
by deanbrew
Mon Nov 03, 2014 8:18 am
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Track your car's fuel use (mileage)
Replies: 31
Views: 1953

Re: How to calculate rate of return on cash value life insur

I don't think the OP is or should be concerned with the rate of return since the policy was bought. He should only be concerned with the return this past year, and going forward. It seems to me the return over the past year was 5.58%, as the OP indicated. The cash value went up by $485, less the $16...
by deanbrew
Fri Oct 31, 2014 9:16 am
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: How to calculate rate of return on cash value life insurance
Replies: 7
Views: 864

Re: New Pool...equipment advice

95-100 degrees is more like a hot tub. Our YMCA has a warm pool (for paddlers of all ages) and a cool pool for lap swimmers. The cool pool is usually around 80 and the warm pool 86-88. We have an in ground pool for summer use... We don't control the temp but I usually don't use it below 82 or above...
by deanbrew
Mon Oct 27, 2014 4:57 pm
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: New Pool...equipment advice
Replies: 9
Views: 809

Re: IS this car lease too good to be true?

When you do a lease, you want to pay as little down as possible. Ask them for zero down and the money factor and you'll come back down to earth a little. Multiply the MF with 2400 to get the interest rate. Then ask for the monthly cost. I agree. The $112 monthly payment is indeed quite low, but you...
by deanbrew
Fri Oct 24, 2014 11:12 am
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: IS this car lease too good to be true?
Replies: 13
Views: 1959

Re: Home Depot Warranty not honored

I never buy extended warranties. Retailers often make more on the warranty than they do on the sale of the product. Over the long run you will save plenty of money buying products with a reputation for quality and self insuring the repairs if you cannot get it fixed under the mfg warranty that was ...
by deanbrew
Fri Oct 17, 2014 6:24 pm
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Home Depot Warranty not honored
Replies: 27
Views: 3378

Re: Home Depot Warranty not honored

I suggest going into the store where you bought it and get them to assist you. Involve the GM if needed. Try this. The retailer makes a lot of money on these warranties, and should be willing to help. Remember that the warranty does not come from HD, rather they sell a warranty provided by another ...
by deanbrew
Thu Oct 16, 2014 7:43 am
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Home Depot Warranty not honored
Replies: 27
Views: 3378

Re: How to buy a used car

Carfax and similar can be helpful but I wouldn't solely rely on them as such reports don't always include everything. I will second this opinion. When looking for used cars two years ago, we came across one (online) that was about two years old and had a perfectly clean Carfax report. When we went ...
by deanbrew
Wed Oct 15, 2014 12:35 pm
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: How to buy a used car
Replies: 16
Views: 1672

Re: What happened to the audiophile?

I've had lasik. My eyes are 20/20. Then the obvious explanation is ruled out. Have to look for another explanation, I guess. :wink: I'm not trying to bust your chops, and go ahead and keep watching SD if you like. But HDTV is so superior, particularly for sports, and has gotten so reasonably-priced...
by deanbrew
Wed Oct 15, 2014 8:14 am
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: What happened to the audiophile?[High quality music sources]
Replies: 71
Views: 3944

Re: What happened to the audiophile?

There are snobs for everything. There is nothing wrong with the sound of mp3s. The only people who think they sound "terrible" are the small few who work or dabble in sound design. ... I have never seen a blueray or HD movie -GASP- and only rent SD movie titles. Oh the humanity! And you k...
by deanbrew
Wed Oct 15, 2014 7:40 am
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: What happened to the audiophile?[High quality music sources]
Replies: 71
Views: 3944

Re: Buy a new car, or fix the old one?

They may be incremental year to year, but I think its worth looking at a larger time frame like 10-15 years. I don't disagree, but my motivations to replace a 10-15 year old car involve comfort and convenience features , such as automatic HVAC, bluetooth for phone, bluetooth for music, heated/coole...
by deanbrew
Tue Oct 14, 2014 1:43 pm
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Buy a new car, or fix the old one?
Replies: 55
Views: 3093

Re: Buy a new car, or fix the old one?

Is this really something to be concerned about (I'm asking non-sarcastically)? I've seen a few other posters with the same sentiment on other threads. I have a ten year old car with only 65k miles. While I have the money put aside to get a new(er) car, I really don't see the point. I've got ABS, st...
by deanbrew
Tue Oct 14, 2014 1:14 pm
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Buy a new car, or fix the old one?
Replies: 55
Views: 3093

Re: Buy a new car, or fix the old one?

I echo the advise to get a second opinion. A $1200 repair to fix a steering problem seems excessive, but it depends on what needs done. If you don't have a trusted independent mechanic, ask your friends and co-workers for recommendations. As already posted, you don't have enough information to decid...
by deanbrew
Tue Oct 14, 2014 11:28 am
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Buy a new car, or fix the old one?
Replies: 55
Views: 3093

Re: Help with finding real estate agent

I have identified three potential agents and have set up interviews. You're off to a great start. I've often advised friends to interview at least three agents when listing a property. All three should prepare a "market analysis", letting you know what they think your home is worth, how m...
by deanbrew
Mon Oct 13, 2014 2:52 pm
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Help with finding real estate agent
Replies: 8
Views: 775

Re: How to buy a used car

Not much to add, other than the other big used car website (in addition to cars.com) is autotrader.com. Works pretty much like cars.com, but you'll find different listings. I have two large used car dealers near me that specialize in one to three year old cars with low mileage, and they sell a boatl...
by deanbrew
Mon Oct 13, 2014 2:34 pm
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: How to buy a used car
Replies: 16
Views: 1672

Re: Computer codes availability at indep. repair garages?

They are padding the bill. Even if special equipment is needed, and even if it takes another minute. $18 is exorbitant. Add $1.00? Reasonable. Anything more than $2.00 strikes me as a rip-off. -------- Edit: $89 for an oil change? :shock: It can't be that high at the dealership, is it? My last oil c...
by deanbrew
Mon Oct 13, 2014 2:24 pm
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Computer codes availability at indep. repair garages?
Replies: 42
Views: 1871

Re: Wine - how to keep it from not spoiling?

I don't know if these work or not, but they get good reviews on Amazon: http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B001G7QUWI/ref=as_li_tl?ie=UTF8&camp=1789&creative=9325&creativeASIN=B001G7QUWI&linkCode=as2&tag=morwincel-20&linkId=RCNL4P6VLMPHBKCK The idea is similar to Rumrunner flas...
by deanbrew
Fri Oct 10, 2014 1:30 pm
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Wine - how to keep it from not spoiling?
Replies: 57
Views: 3014

Re: Wine - how to keep it from not spoiling?

Question: Since I drink one glass of red wine daily, a bottle of wine lasts me for a week. How can I keep it from not going bad? You get seven glasses of wine from a bottle? I've never heard of bottles that size. A standard serving is 5 ounces, and five servings equates to 740 milliliters, very clo...
by deanbrew
Fri Oct 10, 2014 1:02 pm
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Wine - how to keep it from not spoiling?
Replies: 57
Views: 3014

Re: Possible Uninsured Motorist accident - UPDATE

Glad you got a response. As for the parents not calling you back, perhaps they've taken the attitude that this is the daughter's situation to handle and they told her to take care of it. Which she seems to be doing by texting you the insurance information. I agree she should have called rather than ...
by deanbrew
Thu Oct 09, 2014 7:34 am
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Possible Uninsured Motorist accident - UPDATE
Replies: 47
Views: 3604

Re: sell this rental property?

The 15-year mortgage certainly impacts the cash flow. Even commercial properties are typically financed with 25 to 30 year amortizations. Not to say paying off the loan is a bad thing, but it increases the monthly outflow. In the end, the rent isn't high enough to justify a $200k+ price. As with man...
by deanbrew
Thu Oct 09, 2014 6:08 am
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: sell this rental property?
Replies: 8
Views: 1015

Re: Possible Uninsured Motorist accident

If it was me I wouldn't drop my deductible down to $500 for this reason as well. At $125 per year in increased premiums that means you need to have a loss that hits the deductible less than every 4 years in order to make out ahead financially. To me having losses that often is unlikely and would al...
by deanbrew
Thu Oct 02, 2014 12:35 pm
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Possible Uninsured Motorist accident - UPDATE
Replies: 47
Views: 3604

Re: Possible Uninsured Motorist accident

I also live in PA, and my wife was hit while sitting still at a stop sign two years ago. The other (at-fault) driver had insurance, but he only had the state minimum and didn't have enough to cover the major damage to my wife's car and another vehicle that was damaged. In our case, we received full ...
by deanbrew
Thu Oct 02, 2014 8:22 am
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Possible Uninsured Motorist accident - UPDATE
Replies: 47
Views: 3604

Re: Home affordability

You really are not "stretching" at all. A 20 percent PITI to gross income ratio is pretty low, and the payment is affordable given your income. One thing to consider is that your youngest child is 3 and will be heading off to school in another couple of years. Are you having more kids? Wil...
by deanbrew
Fri Sep 26, 2014 3:41 pm
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Home affordability
Replies: 25
Views: 2827

Re: Strange Billing Practice by Medical Provider

Who should get the "deductible" amount paid by the patient. I understand that the physician/provider should get the contractual "copay". He she should also receive the contracted insurance claim approved amount for the services. But - shouldn't the deductible amount be fairly al...
by deanbrew
Thu Sep 18, 2014 4:40 pm
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Strange Billing Practice by Medical Provider
Replies: 38
Views: 2895

Re: The boglehead way to buy furniture

If you have the time, patience and inclination, go to estate sales and auction houses. You can buy quality furniture incredibly cheaply. Pennies on the dollar. But you have to be willing to spend a fair amount of time searching on auctionzip.com and similar websites to find stuff that interests you,...
by deanbrew
Tue Sep 16, 2014 12:34 pm
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: The boglehead way to buy furniture
Replies: 56
Views: 5277

Re: Strange Billing Practice by Medical Provider

My kids used to see an allergy specialist who simply refused to deal with insurance. Everyone paid their full charge on a monthly basis and took care of their own insurance submissions. I would wait until the end of the year and send in all 12 months worth of receipts and then deal with my insurance...
by deanbrew
Tue Sep 16, 2014 12:29 pm
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Strange Billing Practice by Medical Provider
Replies: 38
Views: 2895

Re: Anyone have a house with a pool?

But seriously, a neighbor of mine with young kids recently paid to have her pool filled in because the stress of worrying about her kids falling in it was killing her. Seems crazy to me. How about teaching the kids to swim? Seems more reasonable than filling in the pool. When my kids were teenagers...
by deanbrew
Thu Sep 11, 2014 8:49 am
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Anyone have a house with a pool?
Replies: 32
Views: 2479

Re: Anyone have a house with a pool?

I certainly wouldn't talk anyone into a pool, or out of one, for that matter. We have an inground pool because my wife loves it. I could do without. But I have to say it really isn't that expensive to maintain or operate. The best decision was changing from chlorine to a SWG (salt water generation) ...
by deanbrew
Thu Sep 11, 2014 8:44 am
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Anyone have a house with a pool?
Replies: 32
Views: 2479

Re: The Calculus of DIY

The outside door handle broke on my son's car. The stealer wanted $350 to fix it, which I found outrageous. Look on the internet, and the problem is that new handles do not come pre-painted. They only come in black, ready to be painted. But I can buy an OEM one for under $30 and online car forums sh...
by deanbrew
Wed Sep 10, 2014 7:57 am
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: The Calculus of DIY
Replies: 9
Views: 1221

Re: Receiving Inheritance Distribution, Move to Avoid Tax?

I appreciate everyone's responses, and had no idea that this inherited IRA account couldn't stay on a "hold" pattern until my wife hits normal withdrawal age. Not at all intuitive, is it? I'm going to send copies of the first and last statements to my accountant and see what he has to say....
by deanbrew
Tue Sep 09, 2014 12:59 pm
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Receiving Inheritance Distribution, Move to Avoid Tax?
Replies: 17
Views: 1047

Re: Receiving Inheritance Distribution, Move to Avoid Tax?

an inherited IRA behaves differently from a personal IRA - Your wife likely should be taking RMD's based on her own life expectancy. Hopefully you have not co-mingled the funds with her own IRA. I'll have to ask our accountant and lawyer when I get a chance, but I'm pretty sure they would have told...
by deanbrew
Tue Sep 09, 2014 9:04 am
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Receiving Inheritance Distribution, Move to Avoid Tax?
Replies: 17
Views: 1047

Re: Receiving Inheritance Distribution, Move to Avoid Tax?

pshonore wrote:
Aren't inherited IRAs subject to RMDs??[/quote]


I'm not exactly sure what you are asking. My wife will have to start taking required withdrawals once she hits 70.5 years old, just like with her other retirement accounts. Am I misunderstanding your question/concern?
by deanbrew
Tue Sep 09, 2014 8:33 am
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Receiving Inheritance Distribution, Move to Avoid Tax?
Replies: 17
Views: 1047

Re: Receiving Inheritance Distribution, Move to Avoid Tax?

My wife and I have both received inheritances in the past. In both cases, all assets (properties, stocks, etc.) were liquidated and all taxes were handled by the deceased estate attorney before any proceeds were disbursed. We didn't have to pay any taxes, as they were taken care of before disburseme...
by deanbrew
Tue Sep 09, 2014 7:55 am
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Receiving Inheritance Distribution, Move to Avoid Tax?
Replies: 17
Views: 1047

Re: contingent beneficiary for life insurance

My wife and I both have the beneficiary named as "estate of the insured" on our policies. If one of us dies, the estate (all assets) automatically goes to the other. If both of us die at the same time, "the estate" is handled according to our will. This was devised by our lawyer ...
by deanbrew
Tue Sep 09, 2014 7:52 am
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: contingent beneficiary for life insurance
Replies: 9
Views: 765

Re: Kitchen "Backsplash" question

We have put laminate on our backsplashes in our most recent two houses. It holds up great and is very easy to clean. You can buy laminate in many colors and designs. We have a copper-color one with a subtle pattern. Not as cheap as paint, but less expensive and easier to care for than tile.
by deanbrew
Thu Sep 04, 2014 8:30 am
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Kitchen "Backsplash" question
Replies: 14
Views: 1982

Re: How long can a 1995 Chevrolet Beretta last?

Longer than I would want to drive it.
by deanbrew
Fri Aug 29, 2014 7:02 am
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: How long can a 1995 Chevrolet Beretta last?
Replies: 10
Views: 850
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