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by scottyja
Fri Apr 24, 2015 3:31 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: My PC is driving me nuts.
Replies: 28
Views: 2131

Re: My PC is driving me nuts.

+1 for Chrome, Adblock+ and Malwarebytes. But it's not just malware and viruses that cause slowdowns. I'm a fan of CCleaner - it's free and does a good job clearing a lot of the temp files that can also bog your system down. It also has a tool that helps you clean up what runs when Windows starts. M...
by scottyja
Fri Apr 24, 2015 11:38 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: How does bank pay car dealer?
Replies: 4
Views: 445

Re: How does bank pay car dealer?

Not sure what you mean by, "how does the bank end up with the full $20k?" If the car price is $20k and you pay $10k down then the bank only loans the difference of $10K. Where I live, you would get the title but it would show the bank as the lien holder until loan is paid in full. Sorry, ...
by scottyja
Fri Apr 24, 2015 11:27 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Car Dealership Credit Report
Replies: 34
Views: 2493

Re: Car Dealership Credit Report

This post got me curious, as I was just talking to a coworker about his experience trying to buy a new car from a local dealership. The sales rep insisted my coworder needed to provide his SSN. The first reason the sales rep gave was the Patriot Act. My coworker continued to refuse and the dealer th...
by scottyja
Fri Apr 24, 2015 11:05 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: How does bank pay car dealer?
Replies: 4
Views: 445

How does bank pay car dealer?

I was talking to a co-worker today about purchasing a new car, and I realized I don't understand the specifics of purchasing a car from a dealership. Let's say I've been pre-approved for a $20,000 car loan. I find the car I want at a dealership, and work the price out to $20,000 (including fees, reg...
by scottyja
Mon Apr 13, 2015 5:59 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Should I buy extended warranty for our new Toyota Sienna
Replies: 50
Views: 3522

Re: Should I buy extended warranty for our new Toyota Sienna

I would drive the car for a while before deciding. You just spent a lot of money on a good product. You should have until factory warranty expiration to buy. +1 - There are a number of reasons why you might not even have the car before the base warranty expires. I would wait until you're approachin...
by scottyja
Mon Apr 06, 2015 12:12 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Home Air Filters
Replies: 44
Views: 3684

Re: Home Air Filters

When we had our furnace replaced we had a whole-house air purifier installed at the same time. It's a large cabinet that sits right next to the furnace, filtering everything coming from the returns. I replace the MERV-13 filter once a year for about $40. This has been so much better than dealing wit...
by scottyja
Thu Apr 02, 2015 2:59 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Cloud Storage
Replies: 44
Views: 4856

Re: Cloud Storage

I use and LOVE Google Drive, but to answer your question, the Android app is not automatic. If I take a photo or video with my phone, I have to manually upload it to Google Drive. A bit of a pain, but I also really like the ability to keep my folder structure intact. I don't want every single pictu...
by scottyja
Thu Apr 02, 2015 2:48 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Cloud Storage
Replies: 44
Views: 4856

Re: Cloud Storage

I put important files in an encrypted disk image and then put the disk image in google drive. If you're using an encrypted backup service, like CrashPlan, you don't need to backup the entire image every time you do a backup. I initially had it set up this way - my encrypted space was ~ 5GB, but any...
by scottyja
Thu Mar 26, 2015 12:30 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: New Furnace & A/C Unit
Replies: 37
Views: 4014

Re: New Furnace & A/C Unit

We had our AC and furnace replaced last fall with a high-efficiency model. Our old unit was acting up, so it needed to be replaced anyway. But this winter we've seen NO discernible difference in gas usage this year from last. Our gas company shows us a 3 year comparison, even adjusted for outside te...
by scottyja
Tue Feb 17, 2015 3:58 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Experience with Credit File Freezes
Replies: 12
Views: 1055

Re: Experience with Credit File Freezes

Excellent, thanks. In this process, will they ask for credit card and charge it? In my case, yes, I had to enter my credit card information. But after submitting the screen specifically told me I already had a freeze on file and my credit card had not been charged. My monthly credit card statement ...
by scottyja
Tue Feb 17, 2015 12:56 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Experience with Credit File Freezes
Replies: 12
Views: 1055

Re: Experience with Credit File Freezes

If you try to put a freeze on your account through each of the 3 websites, they'll notify you if it already exists. I had to do this with one of the credit bureaus when I wasn't sure the transaction completed.
by scottyja
Tue Feb 10, 2015 4:29 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: How much was your Tax Refund (or amount DUE)
Replies: 110
Views: 8021

Re: How much was your Tax Refund (or amount DUE)

I got back about $5k. I'm doing it wrong, I know. :D I'm doing it wrong, too, but not intentionally. :( Every year I do the W4 exemption calculator and modify my w4 accordingly, but each year my return seems to get bigger and bigger. I'm not sure how many exemptions to add - I'm worried I'll go ove...
by scottyja
Sat Feb 07, 2015 8:41 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Recommend a custodian for individual HSA account
Replies: 25
Views: 2060

Re: Recommend a custodian for individual HSA account

I use Health Equity, which was set up by my employer. Initially I was pretty annoyed with their limited, high-fee investment options. But they've recently added a number of index funds, so I really don't have any complaints at this point. You pay a maintenance fee per month per $1000 invested for th...
by scottyja
Sat Feb 07, 2015 4:36 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: This CPA is advocating snail-mail over e-file for taxes
Replies: 55
Views: 4287

Re: This CPA is advocating snail-mail over e-file for taxes

If I could hand-deliver the tax return to the IRS to ensure it got there safely, I might consider that. But I think the chance of a piece snail-mail getting intercepted, lost, delivered to the wrong address, etc... is high enough that I prefer e-file.
by scottyja
Sat Jan 31, 2015 11:07 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Excess HSA contribution - do I need new W2?
Replies: 10
Views: 802

Re: Excess HSA contribution - do I need new W2?

I'm in the same boat except worse. I sent in the form to get the excess removed, and they removed it but I don't know where it went. :( Looks like I'm going to have to give them a call next week. 111, did your request form specify how you could receive the funds? My HSA allowed 1) rollover to next ...
by scottyja
Sat Jan 31, 2015 11:04 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Excess HSA contribution - do I need new W2?
Replies: 10
Views: 802

Re: Excess HSA contribution - do I need new W2?

Thanks all for the help - specifically the IRS Form 8889 information. TurboTax actually walked me through it pretty easily after I found the error (I used the wrong 12a code on my W2). I'm just going to leave the $100 and get it taxed at 6%, basically a $6 fee.
by scottyja
Sat Jan 31, 2015 10:36 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Excess HSA contribution - do I need new W2?
Replies: 10
Views: 802

Re: Excess HSA contribution - do I need new W2?

livesoft wrote:TurboTax handles this easily as well.

See also: viewtopic.php?p=2303059#p2303059


Thanks, livesoft. Where exactly does turbo tax ask you this? Where you enter your w2 or 1099sa? I think I'm doing something wrong.
by scottyja
Fri Jan 30, 2015 10:05 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Excess HSA contribution - do I need new W2?
Replies: 10
Views: 802

Excess HSA contribution - do I need new W2?

I'm working on my taxes and it looks like I overfunded by HSA by $100.59 - I thought I had it right, but looks like I messed up. My HSA has a 'Distribution of Excess HSA Contribution Form' I can fill out and have them send me the $100.59 (for a $20 fee). This raises two questions - 1. Should I just ...
by scottyja
Thu Jan 29, 2015 1:22 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Rebalancing via contributions
Replies: 19
Views: 1608

Re: Rebalancing via contributions

Does anyone know of any good tools that will figure out what contribution %'s to use to continually seek your ideal asset allocation across accounts? (Other than breaking out an excel spreadsheet and manually doing it every pay period) I use the 'Optimal lazy portfolio rebalancing calculator' (http...
by scottyja
Thu Jan 29, 2015 11:29 am
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: HSA... any receipt savers?
Replies: 203
Views: 10711

Re: HSA... any receipt savers?

My spreadsheet and examples were to show that if that "tax-deferred growth" in your HSA is ultimately used for living expenses , you'd have more money if you paid out of your HSA and invested the out-of-pocket cash you otherwise spent, given our assumptions. knpstr, I appreciate the time ...
by scottyja
Wed Jan 28, 2015 3:52 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Perspectives on house with a pool
Replies: 34
Views: 3079

Re: Perspectives on house with a pool

The last time I moved to my retirement house it took us almost 2 years to find a house with no pool that we really liked etc.. We probably rejected 10-20 really nice houses because they had pools. Since then I have learned about pool "retiring". See here ( http://deckover.com/index.html)....
by scottyja
Wed Jan 28, 2015 12:37 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Perspectives on house with a pool
Replies: 34
Views: 3079

Re: Perspectives on house with a pool

Others will certainly feel differently, but I would personally avoid a house with a pool. We had a home in AZ with a pool, which was already there when we bought the house, and the novelty of it quickly wore off. Most of our neighbors with a pool felt the same way. Ironically, most of the neighbors ...
by scottyja
Thu Jan 22, 2015 1:38 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: HSA... any receipt savers?
Replies: 203
Views: 10711

Re: HSA... any receipt savers?

I was just trying to illustrate the potential "problem" of over-funding one's HSA. If a family contributes say $6550 for 35 years at 7% and defer pay outs they end up with $968,833.16 assuming $1,000 per year in expense have $933,833 left. I see a lot of people remark (not necessarily in ...
by scottyja
Thu Jan 22, 2015 10:46 am
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: HSA... any receipt savers?
Replies: 203
Views: 10711

Re: HSA... any receipt savers?

After Tax Accounts: - Contribute/Pay out of pocket $0 ... you spent it - Contribute/HSA pays $1,000 for 20 years at 6.73% (to adjust for 15% tax on dividend rate of 1.8%) = $42,485 So over 20 years a savings of $1,380 or evenly distributed $69 per year lost in paying with HSA... and the other perso...
by scottyja
Thu Jan 22, 2015 10:20 am
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: HSA... any receipt savers?
Replies: 203
Views: 10711

Re: HSA... any receipt savers?

So over 20 years a savings of $1,380 or evenly distributed $69 per year lost in paying with HSA... and the other person has a closet of 20 years of receipts? (Also any "over saving" in HSA is ordinary income if used for non-medical, where after-tax will be cap gains... this may offset the...
by scottyja
Wed Jan 21, 2015 5:18 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: HSA... any receipt savers?
Replies: 203
Views: 10711

Re: HSA... any receipt savers?

jebmke wrote:Yes, I have. They requested all documents supporting all entries on Schedule A and Form 8889.


Interesting, and they were OK with the receipts you provided for HSA withdraws? Anything that caught you by surprise (in terms of HSA)?
by scottyja
Wed Jan 21, 2015 4:52 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: HSA... any receipt savers?
Replies: 203
Views: 10711

Re: HSA... any receipt savers?

I'm curious, has anyone actually been audited, or had to provide receipts? This may warrant a separate thread, but I'm wondering when/if this happens, what are they going to expect? I'm just assuming the worst, so I save everything I can think of.
by scottyja
Wed Jan 21, 2015 4:50 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: HSA... any receipt savers?
Replies: 203
Views: 10711

Re: HSA... any receipt savers?

jebmke wrote:Most pharmacies will provide an annual statement. We use CVS and I can go in online and print it out every year.


That's great to know - I'll have to see if my pharmacy offers this.
by scottyja
Wed Jan 21, 2015 4:43 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: HSA... any receipt savers?
Replies: 203
Views: 10711

Re: HSA... any receipt savers?

We do this for any medical bill > $100. We initially did it for all bills, but there were just too many $4 prescription receipts to keep track off. After paying out of pocket, I scan a copy of the receipt and store with the credit card statement showing the purchase and the EOB (if applicable). This...
by scottyja
Tue Dec 30, 2014 4:18 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Post your 2015 New Year's Resolutions ITT
Replies: 38
Views: 3772

Re: Post your 2015 New Year's Resolutions ITT

ITT = "in this thread"

CHL = Canadian Hockey League (or Concealed Handgun License... not sure about OP's context)

OP = original poster
by scottyja
Mon Dec 29, 2014 6:04 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Health Equity HSA--New Passive Plan
Replies: 66
Views: 11639

Re: Health Equity HSA--New Passive Plan

Thanks for the info, Novine. I'll have to give them a call and see if there's something I missed. I did go through my past monthly statements and never saw the HSA Admin fee withdrawn, but I'd like to confirm with them - perhaps my employer pays that. I did notice that if my average monthly balance ...
by scottyja
Mon Dec 29, 2014 3:22 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Health Equity HSA--New Passive Plan
Replies: 66
Views: 11639

Re: Health Equity HSA--New Passive Plan

Does anyone know the fees for Health Equity? - particularly, how much cash needs to be left in the account to avoid paying an extra fee (if so, how much is that fee?)? For me it's $2,000. There aren't any fees that I'm aware of - it just limits how much I can move over to investments each contribut...
by scottyja
Sun Dec 28, 2014 10:29 am
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Health Equity HSA--New Passive Plan
Replies: 66
Views: 11639

Re: Health Equity HSA--New Passive Plan

I was previously in that Vanguard fund but I don't see that in the "Standard Funds". I would prefer to be in that without the additional fee but I don't see it in my list of funds. Did you sell/transfer all of it when they closed it for new investment? I still have my existing shares in t...
by scottyja
Sat Dec 27, 2014 11:35 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: What is considered to be a good 401k match?
Replies: 74
Views: 4641

Re: What is considered to be a good 401k match?

My employer currently matches 4% on a 5% 401k investment, but also does a pension that is ~ 12%.
by scottyja
Sat Dec 27, 2014 11:29 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Health Equity HSA--New Passive Plan
Replies: 66
Views: 11639

Re: Health Equity HSA--New Passive Plan

This is fantastic - thanks for the notification! I was mucking around with my account last week and didn't even notice these had been added. I'm not sure if everyone else is seeing the same thing, but for me the Vanguard Large Cap Index fund (VLCAX), which was previously closed to new investments, i...
by scottyja
Fri Dec 26, 2014 6:12 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Now I've heard it all
Replies: 6
Views: 1717

Re: Now I've heard it all

So what happens when you sue the fund manager?!
by scottyja
Mon Nov 10, 2014 6:28 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: What movie is that?
Replies: 5
Views: 647

Re: What movie is that?

I'm sure someone will beat me to it - Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas.

http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0120669/
by scottyja
Mon Sep 22, 2014 5:31 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Novaform Mattresses at Costco
Replies: 14
Views: 2005

Re: Novaform Mattresses at Costco

We bought one from Costco years ago, and recently replaced it with a TempurPedic when we moved. I honestly can't tell much of a difference between the two. I think overall people either love memory foam mattresses or hate them. We're in the love them category. Ours is very firm initially and loosens...
by scottyja
Tue Sep 09, 2014 5:13 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Good Modern Science Fiction
Replies: 182
Views: 12784

Re: Good Modern Science Fiction

I have to admit that I find Wool a bit amateurish. Perhaps partly because of that and definitely partly due to massive, gaping technical and sociological impossibilities, I found it difficult to maintain the suspension of disbelief and get lost in the world the author created. I felt this way too -...
by scottyja
Mon Sep 08, 2014 2:34 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Good Modern Science Fiction
Replies: 182
Views: 12784

Re: Good Modern Science Fiction

I appreciate this list - I primarily read Science Fiction and there are a few here that I've never heard of - I think I'll hit the library on the way home! Some of my recent favorites are the Ringworld series, Snowcrash and Hyperion. I really, really wanted to enjoy Anathem, but I couldn't get into ...
by scottyja
Mon Aug 25, 2014 4:49 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Experiences with concrete lifting
Replies: 9
Views: 803

Re: Experiences with concrete lifting

Thanks for the responses. The good news is that the foundation is sound (so far). I think the builders just did a rush job on the driveway. The sidewalk the city put in after the driveway was down (and cuts through some of the driveway) is still level. This was all 15 years ago, so I'm hoping the so...
by scottyja
Mon Aug 25, 2014 11:37 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Experiences with concrete lifting
Replies: 9
Views: 803

Experiences with concrete lifting

We have a fairly large concrete driveway that is buckling. The driveway consists of 9 concrete pads or sections, and each one seems to be lifting and sinking independently. The worst part has one pad dramatically sinking in one corner and the adjacent corner raising, causing about a 3-4" lip. T...
by scottyja
Thu Aug 14, 2014 5:58 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Weekend in Tucson - Kids' Birthday
Replies: 19
Views: 1099

Re: Weekend in Tucson - Kids' Birthday

Take a hike in Saguaro National Monument - a sight you really won't see in any other part of the country. And then indulge in some great Mexican food! My favorite is El Guero Canelo , which is a little rough around the edges, but your 12 year olds will love the Sonoran Hot Dogs. Or I really like El ...
by scottyja
Thu Jun 05, 2014 5:32 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Sprinkler system lesson learned--leave valves open
Replies: 6
Views: 1144

Re: Sprinkler system lesson learned--leave valves open

mhc wrote:I always make sure I leave those half opened for the winter.


I've heard this too, but never really understood why the advice is half-opened. Why not fully open?
by scottyja
Mon Apr 14, 2014 3:56 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: New homeowner: lawn care advice
Replies: 87
Views: 27645

Re: New homeowner: lawn care advice

+1 on a lawn service. I love coming home Thursday after work and seeing the lawn done. You can generally find people in the classifieds willing to do it much cheaper. I pay $20/week for ~ 10k square feet of lawn. In 20 min those guys knock out what was taking me 1.5-2 hours every Saturday. This allo...
by scottyja
Fri Feb 28, 2014 2:08 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Help Please! I have an Android tablet 101 question
Replies: 6
Views: 380

Re: Help Please! I have an Android tablet 101 question

Which version on Android does your tablet have? I just installed ESFE and didn't have this problem on my Android phone (Nexus 4 with Android 4.4.). When I browse to a folder and select a video, I have the option to launch it through Android's media player or ESFE's media player. In both cases the ap...
by scottyja
Tue Jan 21, 2014 5:13 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: New 2014 Car - Should I Put Anything On The Finish?
Replies: 24
Views: 1926

Re: New 2014 Car - Should I Put Anything On The Finish?

Like a clear coat? More like a screen protector you put on your phone. It's a thin, plastic wrapping that's applied manually. I think the 3M Paint Protection Film is the most common product - sometimes called Clear Bra . I had a friend try to install it himself and it didn't turn out well at all. I...
by scottyja
Tue Jan 21, 2014 5:07 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Any experiences starting a charity?
Replies: 1
Views: 215

Any experiences starting a charity?

Suppose you saw a need in your community that current non-profits or charities do not resolve. I was discussing this with a coworker today and we concluded the need definitely exists, a charity would certainly help, but neither of us have experience or vision to take it from there. One thought would...
by scottyja
Tue Jan 21, 2014 4:16 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: What's your dream car?
Replies: 197
Views: 12986

Re: What's your dream car?

For you car aficionados, check out this comparo: http://www.motortrend.com/roadtests/sedans/1403_luxury_super_sports_sedan_comparison/ . I don't think I've ever read a comparison test where one car won so handily. Yikes - I think that $195,510 price tag puts me clearly out of the 3x rule! It's funn...
by scottyja
Tue Jan 21, 2014 4:08 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: New 2014 Car - Should I Put Anything On The Finish?
Replies: 24
Views: 1926

Re: New 2014 Car - Should I Put Anything On The Finish?

I use the Griot's One-Step Sealant twice a year. I probably have the car washed once or twice between applications. However, if I had a brand-new car, I would consider having the plastic film professionally installed on the front. That's where 90% of my paint chips occur, and if you live in an area ...

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