Search found 487 matches

by htdrag11
Fri Jul 31, 2015 3:26 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Amazon reviews
Replies: 22
Views: 2054

Re: Amazon reviews

2 data points: I'm not sure about shills but once I downgraded a book to 1 star and several of the 5-star reviewers kept on pointing out my ignorance on the subject of some glorified insurance book. I held firm. Once I bought a tiny gadget like $10 to hold my smartphone for the car, I gave it a 3 st...
by htdrag11
Sat Jul 18, 2015 10:00 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Foot Massager Recommendation
Replies: 0
Views: 174

Foot Massager Recommendation

We are not diabetic but do a bit of walking (average 3 miles about 3-4 times a week) as exercise. My walking shoes are fairly comfortable, especially when new. I found both Nike and NB are pretty good but they last for no more than a year, so I started to look for a foot massager around the mid-pric...
by htdrag11
Sat Jul 11, 2015 3:59 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: One car or two in semi-retirement?
Replies: 49
Views: 3363

Re: One car or two in semi-retirement?

+1. We've been doing this with one car for over 3 years in retirement. We just need to organize our trips better. The car is a 2012 CPO with 3 years warranty; it is one of the more reliable Japanese model. Now I'm itching for buying or leasing a 2016 Mx-5 for fun, or unload my SUV if a Tesla Model X...
by htdrag11
Tue Jul 07, 2015 9:27 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Wiring funds abroad from Vanguard
Replies: 22
Views: 2004

Re: Wiring funds abroad from Vanguard

I used PayPal tying to my checking or PayPal balance, but I've only transferred $1,000 or less without any fees.
by htdrag11
Tue Jul 07, 2015 9:25 am
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Thanks to Forum Administrators
Replies: 16
Views: 1634

Re: Thanks to Forum Administrators

Me 3.

I always have my ghostery running. This is one of the few sites that I'm not being tracked or shadowed.

Thanks for your diligence. :sharebeer
by htdrag11
Sun Jul 05, 2015 1:27 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: What Movie Have You Recently Watched?
Replies: 1001
Views: 161282

Re: What Movie Have You Recently Watched?

The Hospital 1971 with George C. Scott and Diana Rigg. It was hilarious.

Now I fully appreciate why most of my friends in the healthcare field did not like to check in to the hospitals. It is well worth the 100 minutes of relaxation. :D
by htdrag11
Sat Jul 04, 2015 4:08 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Average raises for promotions
Replies: 32
Views: 3683

Re: Average raises for promotions

In any rational world, that would be deemed criminal behavior. I think the aggregate criminal behavior of the top echelons of the corporate world will come crashing down eventually. Speaking of bubbles. You know what is in a big bubble? Executive compensation. +1 Executive compensation has no relev...
by htdrag11
Sat Jul 04, 2015 3:53 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Best place to order business cards
Replies: 12
Views: 2359

Re: Best place to order business cards

I used www.vistaprint.com; you can design your own card.

It's $9.99 for 100 or more, depending on coupon. Got mine at this price with 250 cards. Think it might even be cheaper if you have their logo on the back.
by htdrag11
Sat Jul 04, 2015 9:56 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: What Book Are You Currently Reading? Part VI
Replies: 887
Views: 159279

Re: What Book Are You Currently Reading? Part VI

Just "fun" reading, The Child 44 Trilogy by Tom Rob Smith. I felt the pace of the 2nd one, The Secret Speech, seems to be more fast paced. I'll get to the last one later this month. Each is about 400 pages with large white spaces. The details of the post-Stalin era is fascinating. Power su...
by htdrag11
Thu Jul 02, 2015 10:26 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Car Dealerships - is this bad service?
Replies: 21
Views: 2490

Re: Car Dealerships - is this bad service?

Not in my case. Actually I took my Lexus to a next door Toyota dealership (neither is related) and they did a 30k miles service on good time (10 minutes early).

Now I do miss the Starbucks coffee from Lexus, but saved me $300 bucks in a lesser decor.
by htdrag11
Mon Jun 29, 2015 10:27 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: What Movie Have You Recently Watched?
Replies: 1001
Views: 161282

Re: What Movie Have You Recently Watched?

Inside Out. Since it was Pixar, we have high expectation. Yes, there will be sequels, as always. I think that Joy (Amy Poelher) really carried the movie, more than the main character Riley. There are moments that we as parents and children could all relate to. It was surprisingly short, only 1.5 hou...
by htdrag11
Mon Jun 29, 2015 9:46 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Marvin vs. Andersen Windows: The Eternal Struggle
Replies: 42
Views: 14857

Re: Marvin vs. Andersen Windows: The Eternal Struggle

I have another Andersen casement window with broken seal - out of warranty. Could the seal be repaired or the whole window needs to be replaced? I googled Glass Guru who is suppose to do this but is not in my area. When I have an occasional problem with the Pella windows or doors that my Mom had in...
by htdrag11
Sat Jun 27, 2015 5:57 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Do you buy used cars like a Boglehead actually should?
Replies: 168
Views: 19794

Re: Do you buy used cars like a Boglehead actually should?

I had bought both new and used cars for many, many years.

My latest is a 2012 Lexus CPO with only 20k miles wiht no issues at all. Previously, I bought 2 new Mazdas (reliable), and a used Passat (mistake - too many electronic gramlins).
by htdrag11
Sat Jun 27, 2015 4:21 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Marvin vs. Andersen Windows: The Eternal Struggle
Replies: 42
Views: 14857

Re: Marvin vs. Andersen Windows: The Eternal Struggle

I have another Andersen casement window with broken seal - out of warranty.

Could the seal be repaired or the whole window needs to be replaced?

I googled Glass Guru who is suppose to do this but is not in my area.
by htdrag11
Mon Jun 22, 2015 2:45 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Will I regret using Composite Decking instead of PT Decking
Replies: 23
Views: 2282

Re: Will I regret using Composite Decking instead of PT Decking

We had Trex for over 10 years. It replaced a PT one and my wife is still very happy. The cost was at least 2x at the time. Our deck has southern exposure. 1) She did not think it gets as hot as PT. 2) Little maintenance, other than some algae. 3) It was a professional job (ouch!!) but you do not see...
by htdrag11
Sun Jun 14, 2015 5:57 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: What Movie Have You Recently Watched?
Replies: 1001
Views: 161282

Re: What Movie Have You Recently Watched?

mbk734 wrote:Foreign - Curse of the Flying Daggers - awesome cinematography


Which one of these did you see or both?

Curse of the Golden Flower; House of Flying Daggers (great cinematography - Yes).
by htdrag11
Sun Jun 14, 2015 5:48 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Where do you keep your to do list?
Replies: 60
Views: 5680

Re: Where do you keep your to do list?

+1 for Google Keep.
by htdrag11
Sat Jun 13, 2015 4:33 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: What Movie Have You Recently Watched?
Replies: 1001
Views: 161282

Re: What Movie Have You Recently Watched?

Lebanon, 2009, about the 1982 Lebanon War; think of it as Das Boot in a tank with 4 Israeli soldiers graduated from high school. The Relief of Belsen, 2007 - I caught the movie since I like the actor from GOT, Iain Glen who played Lt. Col. Johnston, the hero of Quetta (Pakistan earthquake), who trie...
by htdrag11
Wed Jun 03, 2015 2:48 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: PayPal Lessons Learned
Replies: 25
Views: 3480

Re: PayPal Lessons Learned

I've been dealing with Paypal as a seller (and buyer) for about 10 years. As much as people hate on paypal as a merchant provider, I found them incredibly easy to deal with. I've been using eBay/PayPal from last century. Other than one incident as a buyer, I've no issue either but that has nothing ...
by htdrag11
Wed Jun 03, 2015 2:42 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: PayPal Lessons Learned
Replies: 25
Views: 3480

Re: PayPal Lessons Learned

htdrag11, You mention that the item was bought in one of your "favorite forums". Maybe the lesson is not to buy from/through that forum? What was the forum? Avsforum - I've been a home theater/video enthusiast for over 10 years and had multiple dealings. When they switched to a new platfo...
by htdrag11
Wed Jun 03, 2015 7:52 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: PayPal Lessons Learned
Replies: 25
Views: 3480

Re: PayPal Lessons Learned

As I said, I was fortunate but wish PayPal's turn around is as good as Discover or Visa with a voice on the other end of the customer support. There is no number to call; just email. For a 3% transaction fee, I was expecting more or better communication, not left in the dark. I never got confirmatio...
by htdrag11
Tue Jun 02, 2015 5:29 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: PayPal Lessons Learned
Replies: 25
Views: 3480

Re: PayPal Lessons Learned

spectec wrote:If it's too good to be true, it's neither good nor true.


Good lesson. Thanks.
by htdrag11
Tue Jun 02, 2015 1:32 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: PayPal Lessons Learned
Replies: 25
Views: 3480

Re: PayPal Lessons Learned

Yes. I considered myself lucky since the seller could have shipped out an empty box .

PayPal has little or no customer service. It's purely binary mode. I just got the refund without any kind of notice or acknowledgement, kind of stone age customer focus. :(
by htdrag11
Tue Jun 02, 2015 10:29 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: PayPal Lessons Learned
Replies: 25
Views: 3480

PayPal Lessons Learned

Lessons learned! I bought a used but rather expensive Sony 3D projector on May 8th using PayPal in one of my favorite forums. There were a few warning signs which I ignored: - price was way below market (I do know the used pj market) - title of the ad and the picture did not match, VW vs. HW series ...
by htdrag11
Tue Jun 02, 2015 10:03 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Bread Machines?
Replies: 41
Views: 2921

Re: Bread Machines?

Whatever model you choose, stay away from the Betty Crocker model - we just passed it on to a friend who wants to play.

Wife also uses the no-kneading method to bake her bread, with her old old Kitchen Aid mixer. It is a test on her patience.
by htdrag11
Mon May 25, 2015 2:47 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Window replacement -- Renewal by Andersen?
Replies: 31
Views: 2991

Re: Window replacement -- Renewal by Andersen?

FWIW, our house has mostly Andersen windows. After about 13 years, one of them had condensation. At the time, there was a 20 year warranty (not 10 like today), so it was replaced for free. Our 2 sets of French doors are both Pella and Andersen; the latter is much cheaper (like 40%) but no where near...
by htdrag11
Sun May 24, 2015 2:47 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Lexus vs. MB vs. BMW
Replies: 80
Views: 7884

Re: Lexus vs. MB vs. BMW

I've not owned a MB since 1976, so no comments there. My 2000 X5 3.0 was a 1st year car, so there were numerous problems that were fixed under warranty. Sold it when I needed to replace the battery for $300 with about 28k miles. Of the 3 BMW's, that had the most problems comparing to my other 3 seri...
by htdrag11
Sun May 17, 2015 6:46 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: The upside of living longer
Replies: 11
Views: 2435

Re: The upside of living longer

+1.

Health is wealth. Seeing my MIL who is over 80's but in poor health and wealth, it is not living at all. Lessons learned for me.

None plan to fail but most fail to plan.
by htdrag11
Sat May 16, 2015 2:05 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: What Movie Have You Recently Watched?
Replies: 1001
Views: 161282

Re: What Movie Have You Recently Watched?

I'll just my recommendation for Ex Machina. An excellent sci-fi movie ... thought provoking. An much older documentary: The Aristocrats directed by Penn and Teller. It's about the worlds dirtiest grossest joke (usually comedians just tell it to each other). There are some great great scenes in it ....
by htdrag11
Sat May 16, 2015 7:44 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: What Movie Have You Recently Watched?
Replies: 1001
Views: 161282

Re: What Movie Have You Recently Watched?

Mad Max: Fury Road is crazy good! http://www.nytimes.com/2015/05/15/movies/review-mad-max-fury-road-still-angry-after-all-these-years.html Bought tickets for 10:30 am showing today; will post later. The review for this one has been great, better than Avengers from couple of weeks ago (OD with too m...
by htdrag11
Sun May 10, 2015 1:59 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Transfer current employer's 401k to TSP feasible?
Replies: 6
Views: 577

Re: Transfer current employer's 401k to TSP feasible?

Yes. TSP's 0.03% is hard to beat!!!

50% MM S&P500 0.23
15% Columbia Mid Cap 0.28
15% Columbia Small Cap 0.25
20% MM MSCI EAFE Intl Idx Fd 0.51
by htdrag11
Sun May 10, 2015 7:11 am
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Transfer current employer's 401k to TSP feasible?
Replies: 6
Views: 577

Re: Transfer current employer's 401k to TSP feasible?

sawhorse and retiredjg, Thanks, It was a long shot. I doubted too. Of all the MM funds, only their S&P500, Mid-cap, small-cap and International are under 0.5% in expenses. There is no after-tax money here but allows a 15% max contribution to an ESPP with a 15% discount. It is amazing that stocks...
by htdrag11
Sat May 09, 2015 9:35 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Transfer current employer's 401k to TSP feasible?
Replies: 6
Views: 577

Transfer current employer's 401k to TSP feasible?

Our child has a TSP. The current employer's 401 is run by Mass Mutual which carries high expense mutual funds.

1. Can one transfer "active" 401k to TSP?
2. If yes, how many times per year?

Thanks.
by htdrag11
Thu May 07, 2015 7:33 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Frugal car maintenance - Lexus serviced by Toyota
Replies: 49
Views: 3987

Re: Frugal car maintenance - Lexus serviced by Toyota

(3) A good place to buy filters and other repair/maintenance materials is Rockauto (http://www.rockauto.com). They carry parts from a wide variety of OES for almost all cars and are generally cheaper by several dollars compared to Amazon even after factoring shipping costs. There is always a 5% off...
by htdrag11
Wed May 06, 2015 4:50 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Frugal car maintenance - Lexus serviced by Toyota
Replies: 49
Views: 3987

Re: Frugal car maintenance - Lexus serviced by Toyota

FrugalInvestor wrote:The mechanicals of the Lexus RX are essentially identical to the V6 Toyota Highlander.


+1.

Overall, I look at the glass as half full. It was still money safe over the Lexus dealer.

Sure it could be less costly but it was hassle free.
by htdrag11
Tue May 05, 2015 9:48 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Frugal car maintenance - Lexus serviced by Toyota
Replies: 49
Views: 3987

Re: Frugal car maintenance - Lexus serviced by Toyota

The interesting thing I found with the cabin filter I changed myself was that I was charged parts and labor for one during a previous service visit to the dealer not that long ago. When I pulled the thing out it was full of dirt and bugs and looked like it had NEVER been changed. I suspect that was...
by htdrag11
Tue May 05, 2015 9:24 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Frugal car maintenance - Lexus serviced by Toyota
Replies: 49
Views: 3987

Re: Frugal car maintenance - Lexus serviced by Toyota

snowman wrote:2. Wiper blades - ignore your wife's advise, get the full replacement, 2 minutes and you are done. No dirty hands either.



I'm not sure if the replacement wiper blade holder's quality was as good as Lexus. Anyone know about this?
by htdrag11
Tue May 05, 2015 7:13 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Frugal car maintenance - Lexus serviced by Toyota
Replies: 49
Views: 3987

Re: Frugal car maintenance - Lexus serviced by Toyota

Well, to all the well wishers, I've not touch my car since I was in the 20's, talking about lazy. Changing oil is dirty to say the least. As for the blade inserts, I'm OK to have someone else do it for me. In my past, I just got the whole blades from Costco and trashed the old ones but my wife said ...
by htdrag11
Tue May 05, 2015 3:33 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Frugal car maintenance - Lexus serviced by Toyota
Replies: 49
Views: 3987

Frugal car maintenance - Lexus serviced by Toyota

After my "free" oil change, called my Lexus dealer for a 30k mile service estimate, about $500 before taxes. So I got my 2012 RX350 CPO serviced in a next door Toyota (different owner) dealership for a quote of $199 for regular oil, without wiper blade insert replacement. The synthetic and...
by htdrag11
Wed Apr 29, 2015 10:26 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: What Movie Have You Recently Watched?
Replies: 1001
Views: 161282

Re: What Movie Have You Recently Watched?

"Once Upon a Time in Anatolia" - a Turkish murder (not gory at all) mystery gem from 2011 that won the Cannes award: http://www.imdb.com/title/tt1827487/?ref_=rvi_tt It's moving at a slower pace than we normally accustomed to. The cinematography is excellent depicting landscapes as well as...
by htdrag11
Mon Apr 27, 2015 10:01 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Advice on AA for 35 year old (1st gen immigrant)
Replies: 12
Views: 1273

Re: Advice on AA for 35 year old (1st gen immigrant)

nage234 wrote:I might be wrong here but my thinking was Asset preservation. With a large portion of non-liquid inheritance tied to an emerging economy was trying to be very conservative with the 30 for Bond


Got it.
by htdrag11
Mon Apr 27, 2015 7:29 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Investment Report for single 30 y/o
Replies: 2
Views: 562

Re: Investment Report for single 30 y/o

Several observations. 1. Unless you've rich parents or siblings, your $10k emergency fund is rather low. Suggest $40k or 50% of your gross unless your job is rock solid. 2. Junk bonds are considered equities, not bonds. If I recalled, the state of CT has not been kind to capital gains and/or dividen...
by htdrag11
Mon Apr 27, 2015 6:35 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Advice on AA for 35 year old (1st gen immigrant)
Replies: 12
Views: 1273

Re: Advice on AA for 35 year old (1st gen immigrant)

Welcome to the forum. I am also a 1st gen. Before you hear other answers, here is a table from Paul Merriman that I found helpful in my AA. In the long term, the KISS principle applies (I'm lazy too). http://paulmerriman.com/2014-new-site/fine-tuning-your-asset-allocation-2014/ 2. As for the interna...
by htdrag11
Mon Apr 27, 2015 6:13 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Turbo Tax 110% Amazon Tax Refund Bonus
Replies: 22
Views: 2062

Re: Turbo Tax 110% Amazon Tax Refund Bonus

Ditto here for our child last year; it was an extra $200 of Amazon money in this case.

Sweet! :moneybag

Used H&R this year since I was miffed with the price increase from TT; I will reluctantly go back to TT for 2015.
by htdrag11
Mon Apr 27, 2015 6:04 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Best (Available)Red Wine for under $15 preferrably under $10
Replies: 64
Views: 6230

Re: Best (Available)Red Wine for under $15 preferrably under

BahamaMan wrote:A Riesling is a Sweet White wine, right?


Yes. It is originally Germany based grape wine.
by htdrag11
Mon Apr 27, 2015 7:30 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Terminating ADT Alarm Service
Replies: 12
Views: 1888

Re: Terminating ADT Alarm Service

Money is credited today. I could afford a decent lunch for one. :beer

Thank you for all your insights and suggestions.
by htdrag11
Sun Apr 26, 2015 9:37 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Vanguard Balanced Index from Cradle to Grave
Replies: 32
Views: 3650

Re: Vanguard Balanced Index from Cradle to Grave

A corollary to this is that it doesn't matter much whether you simply buy and hold Balanced Index, or whether you hold its two components (Total Stock and Total Bond) as separate funds in a 60/40 proportion and occasionally rebalance as needed. Or 50/50. Because the difference between 60/40 and 50/...
by htdrag11
Sun Apr 26, 2015 9:24 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: TV show recommendations?
Replies: 358
Views: 152329

Re: TV show recommendations?

Here is another vote for Vikings.

Just finished season 3, quite a twist. Can't wait for S4 (maybe the last?).

It's similar to Game of Thrones in terms of political intrigue and violence without the sex part.

My other favorites are PBS' BBC Masterpiece Mysteries.
by htdrag11
Sat Apr 25, 2015 8:54 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Contribution limit 401k
Replies: 30
Views: 3052

Re: Contribution limit 401k

... As for Roth, I thought that if one's AGI is >= $131k, one CANNOT contribute to Roth. In this case, it's zero, not $5,500. My apologies, as I was thinking of the MFJ limit ($191k). Double-check IRS Pub 590-A, as the single limit is $129K. See: How Much Can Be Contributed? (IRS Pub 590-A) No prob...
by htdrag11
Sat Apr 25, 2015 5:58 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Contribution limit 401k
Replies: 30
Views: 3052

Re: Contribution limit 401k

Spirit Rider, Ahem. You're right about the backdoor Roth. There is an existing Roth from the past due to the lower pay scale working for the government, but the good news is that there is NO T-IRA yet. Are you suggesting to put additional money into a new T-IRA and then backdoor to a Roth? What is t...

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