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Re: Honda fit vs VW GTI

You're right, these could not be any more different. The very fact that you're even asking this question tells me that you should get the GTI. Sure the GTI's fuel economy, resale value and reliability will be slightly worse than the Fit. However, the Fit has a very specific purpose as a very practic...
by strafe
Sun Mar 01, 2015 6:25 pm
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Honda fit vs VW GTI
Replies: 37
Views: 1962

Re: Old car insurance

JoeJohnson wrote:Question: Why is everybody recommending comprehensive but dropping collision? If you can afford to total the car in a wreck, why would you insure the risk of flood, trees, fire, etc?


It makes more sense when you remember that 93% of drivers believe they are above average.
by strafe
Sat Feb 28, 2015 9:56 am
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Old car insurance
Replies: 37
Views: 2416

Re: Replacing a reliable Toyota

Can you list some examples of what you've paid for some repairs? I'd be interested for the Volvo, and from the other post on the Mercedes. Cost of ownership. I can handle market downturns, but nothing like a really expensive car repair that seems like it should be cheaper to make my stomach turn wi...
by strafe
Fri Feb 06, 2015 7:47 pm
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Replacing a reliable Toyota
Replies: 43
Views: 4049

Re: 1099 non-employee compensation question

All, thank you for the comments. To answer a question earlier, the 1099 is from the professional society. Filing schedule C will cost the least in tax because my "net profit" subject to self-employment tax would be very low (can claim airfare as a business expense) and would be consistent ...
by strafe
Wed Feb 04, 2015 2:31 pm
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: 1099 non-employee compensation question
Replies: 6
Views: 582

1099 non-employee compensation question

I'm a W-2 employee. I applied for and received a lump-sum "travel support" award from a professional society in connection with attending the annual scientific meeting last year. My employer reimbursed me for the portion of my travel expenses that exceeded the amount of the grant. The stip...
by strafe
Tue Feb 03, 2015 6:40 pm
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: 1099 non-employee compensation question
Replies: 6
Views: 582

Re: What is a move-up car after mid-size sedan?

Lexus is probably the brand most associated with entry-level luxury cars. The ES and RX are about that price range. Also look a the Mercedes C class, BMW 3, Hyundai Genesis (best bang for buck) and Cadillac ATS.
by strafe
Sat Dec 13, 2014 5:57 pm
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: What is a move-up car after mid-size sedan?
Replies: 63
Views: 4246

Re: iPad Purchase - Online vs Store

Doesn't matter either way, prices are the same.
by strafe
Fri Dec 12, 2014 4:03 pm
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: iPad Purchase - Online vs Store
Replies: 24
Views: 1675

Re: Phone for Europe trip

What phone do you currently have? When we last traveled to Europe, I just used my iPhone. I bought a SIM card on arrival with prepaid minutes/data and replaced the Verizon SIM card with the foreign one. I think I paid $20 or $30 (USD equivalent) for a SIM that came with 250 voice minutes and unlimit...
by strafe
Thu Oct 23, 2014 1:00 pm
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Phone for Europe trip
Replies: 24
Views: 1618

Re: How do you wash your car?

I find it it amusing that people claim the rain washes their car. Rain is what makes my cars dirty! Also, I'm going to call B.S. on the statement that "I never wash the car and it looks as good as the day it was new." I am by no means a detailing fanatic. I've never washed the car more tha...
by strafe
Wed Oct 22, 2014 9:56 am
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: How do you wash your car?
Replies: 143
Views: 8152

Re: Computer codes availability at indep. repair garages?

Total ripoff.

My other favorite rip-off is the $60 cabin filter replacement.

The filter(s) cost $5-10 at most and take under 2 minutes to replace.
by strafe
Mon Oct 13, 2014 9:55 pm
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Computer codes availability at indep. repair garages?
Replies: 42
Views: 1995

Re: is a 1920 x 1200 monitor worth it?

What do you mean , "the native resolution of the video card?" Your laptop screen has a native resolution (as does any monitor you buy). Is that what you mean? If so, the video card may actually support external resolutions higher than the native resolution of the built-in screen. The video...
by strafe
Fri Oct 03, 2014 2:06 pm
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: is a 1920 x 1200 monitor worth it?
Replies: 15
Views: 921

Re: Amex Premium Car Rental Ins and Liability Coverage

Same issue would apply to the Chase Sapphire Preferred, which offers primary auto insurance coverage for free (well, you do pay a small annual fee). The coverage is there to make the rental car company whole and protect you from the rental company, and nothing more. I think it turns on whether you c...
by strafe
Fri Oct 03, 2014 2:04 pm
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Amex Premium Car Rental Ins and Liability Coverage
Replies: 8
Views: 876

Re: Car-Certified Lexus LS 460 Vs New ES 350 Vs New RX 350

The LS460 is rear wheel drive but will be just fine in the bad weather if you use winter tires. Ground clearance not much worse than the RX.
by strafe
Sun Sep 14, 2014 10:00 pm
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Car-Certified Lexus LS 460 Vs New ES 350 Vs New RX 350
Replies: 63
Views: 4884

Re: Rental rate of return

As a general rule of thumb, expenses for single family homes (e.g. repairs, maintenance, vacancies, advertising & management, taxes,and insurance, but not financing) add up to about 50% of gross rents. So, in your example renting for $750 per month, you would anticipate net operating income of $...
by strafe
Thu Sep 11, 2014 6:51 pm
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Rental rate of return
Replies: 17
Views: 1528

Re: Repair/maintain the BMW or get a new car?

Brakes are normal maintenance. Your description of the rest is vague; what gasket? What other maintenance items? If you were to replace the BMW, your new car would also have brakes & other consumable parts that wear out. Hondas in particular are notorious for premature rotor warpage. If the car ...
by strafe
Tue Sep 09, 2014 8:12 pm
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Repair/maintain the BMW or get a new car?
Replies: 24
Views: 2539

Re: The Power of Zero: Controversial New Book About Taxes

"Tax free" is a bit misleading as it only applies to income tax. The consumption of all of these savings vehicles would still be subject to sales or value-added tax (VAT).
by strafe
Sat Aug 30, 2014 7:04 am
 
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: The Power of Zero: [Book and tax planning for retirement]
Replies: 52
Views: 6116

Re: Gas station etiquette

I'm really amused at how lengthy this silly thread has gotten. Nothing ignites conversation like gasoline, manners, and a catchy diagram. Thought 1: you say B was "evidently not interested" in the open space ahead of A, but that B thought A was interested. Who is right? Did B pull into A's...
by strafe
Thu Aug 28, 2014 8:11 pm
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Gas station etiquette
Replies: 46
Views: 3516

Re: Gas station etiquette

Your Costco gas station must get the same crowds as mine. I and most folks do pass car A to get to the open pump. I'm not sure I would do so if car B had been in postition you indicated, however. That seemed a bit strange to me, but if you (or car B) had noticed that car A was about to finish and l...
by strafe
Thu Aug 28, 2014 2:33 pm
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Gas station etiquette
Replies: 46
Views: 3516

Gas station etiquette

Someone give me a hard time at the local Costco gas station today. I thought my actions were completely appropriate, but wonder if perhaps I violated some unwritten rule of gas station etiquette. The Costco gas pumps are set up like they are everywhere, with multiple aisles of pumps, a wide center l...
by strafe
Thu Aug 28, 2014 1:59 pm
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Gas station etiquette
Replies: 46
Views: 3516

Re: Sick Building Syndrome (Electrical Pollution)

It's more likely to be the lighting flicker or an odor. I would not hang my hat on a made-up disease. Do you have a computer monitor there? Is it a different LCD panel type (e.g. twisted nematic) than what you're used to? I've noticed that TN displays bother my eyes with extended use, probably from ...
by strafe
Thu Aug 28, 2014 6:50 am
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Sick Building Syndrome (Electrical Pollution)
Replies: 17
Views: 1472

Marriage makes you fatter.

First comes love, then comes obesity.

Will your $4500 outfit still fit in a few years?
by strafe
Mon Aug 25, 2014 7:43 pm
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Zegna Suits
Replies: 197
Views: 10924

Re: Can a Boglehead put down 10% on a house?

I suppose it depends on the house and the age of the house. The only maintenance expenses I've *ever* had (on multiple houses) were to unplug a toilet and furnace maintenance. For me renting has always been more expensive than buying because rent payments are higher than the mortgage for the same a...
by strafe
Mon Aug 25, 2014 4:34 pm
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Can a Boglehead put down 10% on a house?
Replies: 30
Views: 2623

Re: Can a Boglehead put down 10% on a house?

If you do this, and are required to have mortgage insurance, look into "upfront PMI" where you pay the mortgage insurance premium in a lump sum at closing The break-even is generally around 2 years and you avoid the need to petition for PMI removal (which can be quite onerous). Avoiding PM...
by strafe
Mon Aug 25, 2014 3:24 pm
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Can a Boglehead put down 10% on a house?
Replies: 30
Views: 2623

Re: 2014/2015 Honda Accord vs. 2014 Toyota Avalon

@KyleAAA Do you know if the pre-2005 Accord hybrids had the same drive train? I remember they discontinued the Accord hybrid models between 2005-2014. I can answer this question for you: No -- completely different drivetrains and purpose. The original Accord hybrid added hybrid components to the V6...
by strafe
Sun Aug 24, 2014 7:20 am
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: 2014/2015 Honda Accord vs. 2014 Toyota Avalon
Replies: 54
Views: 7397

Re: 2014/2015 Honda Accord vs. 2014 Toyota Avalon

surfstar wrote:How long do you plan on owning/driving this? Unless you run it to over 150-200k miles, the hybrid premium will not be recovered in reduced gas costs.


You shouldn't assume this is a matter of economic analysis. People don't generally buy hybrids to save money.
by strafe
Fri Aug 22, 2014 1:12 pm
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: 2014/2015 Honda Accord vs. 2014 Toyota Avalon
Replies: 54
Views: 7397

Re: 2014/2015 Honda Accord vs. 2014 Toyota Avalon

Those two cars are in different categories. The Camry Hybrid would be more comparable to the Accord. The Avalon is more upmarket. While I might prefer driving the Accord for its sportier handling, if your goal is quietness, the Avalon is the clear answer. Both will be comparable in reliability with ...
by strafe
Fri Aug 22, 2014 1:04 pm
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: 2014/2015 Honda Accord vs. 2014 Toyota Avalon
Replies: 54
Views: 7397

Re: Big iPhone Data Bills/Google Maps

Google Maps uses minimal data transfer. The drain is probably from something else. What is your data limit? How much are you using? Are you using video chat (e.g. Skype or FaceTime) over cellular? It would de difficult to exceed any of the typical carrier limits without video or significant audio use.
by strafe
Fri Aug 22, 2014 1:01 pm
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Big iPhone Data Bills/Google Maps
Replies: 16
Views: 1519

Re: Best Place to Do Research on Orthopedic Surgeons

There is a great deal of bias in quality metrics. (Surgeons with higher scores are likely the ones doing the simple cases and turning away the more complex cases that could adversely impact outcomes reporting.) Best bet is to find the surgeon who does a high volume of the particular procedure you ne...
by strafe
Wed Aug 13, 2014 4:43 pm
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Best Place to Do Research on Orthopedic Surgeons
Replies: 28
Views: 1965

Re: Top Tier gas or ethanol free (premium)

Ethanol free, though I suspect with a newish car designed to handle the caustic effects of ethanol, it probably doesn't matter a whole lot. I own a classic car that has some fuel system issues that I suspect is related to ethanol damage. If you're concerned about detergents, you can add a bottle of ...
by strafe
Sat Aug 09, 2014 9:18 pm
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Top Tier gas or ethanol free (premium)
Replies: 3
Views: 595

Re: Taking out mortgage with zero down. Smart or no?

Not only is zero down smart, it's the sensible choice.

Why tie up all that money in your house? Keep it liquid.

The mistake would be to spend the down payment money, as alluded by the poster above me who bought with zero down and spent his savings.
by strafe
Mon Jul 28, 2014 1:02 pm
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Taking out mortgage with zero down. Smart or no?
Replies: 64
Views: 3505

Re: Hw many credit cards to own?

I view three as the absolute minimum. When my wife and I purchased our home, we ran into trouble with the mortgage lender because she "only" had two credit card accounts in her name. Lenders now require each borrower to have three independent "trade lines" in order to qualify for...
by strafe
Mon Jul 21, 2014 1:24 pm
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Hw many credit cards to own?
Replies: 123
Views: 76886

Re: Should I buy a new(er) car, and if so what?

There's no way I would tolerate 2 hrs a day in a Honda Civic. You clearly can afford a better car. Of your list of small cars, my pick would be the new Mazda 3 hatchback by a country mile. For about the same money you can buy a more comfortable (albeit less sporty) car e.g. Honda Accord, Hyundai Son...
by strafe
Tue Jul 15, 2014 9:12 pm
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Should I buy a new(er) car, and if so what?
Replies: 19
Views: 2406

Re: Home Warranty education needed

Home warranties are generally a bad deal. Would never purchase one on my own. In my area they are often included by the seller to "sweeten" the deal and also distract the buyer from coming after the seller if something goes wrong shortly after purchase. I had a poor experience with HSA. Th...
by strafe
Tue Jun 17, 2014 5:00 pm
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Home Warranty education needed
Replies: 10
Views: 723

Re: Medical Textbook for the Layperson?

I would check out Cecil's Essentials of Medicine. It's an overview text written at a med student level.
http://www.amazon.com/Andreoli-Carpente ... 1416061096
by strafe
Thu Jun 12, 2014 6:58 pm
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Medical Textbook for the Layperson?
Replies: 22
Views: 1927

Re: Peppy V6 With Good Fuel Economy

A modern 4 cylinder midsize sedan will have plenty of power for typical driving. For example, Hyundai Sonata 4-cyl makes 200hp. That's far more than even a V6 from 1992 would have.
by strafe
Wed Jun 11, 2014 5:31 pm
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Peppy V6 With Good Fuel Economy
Replies: 35
Views: 3149

Re: Thinking of buying a 1974 Corvette

The 70s were the "dark ages" for performance cars and Corvettes in particular. Emissions regulations strangled the performance, which suppresses both the prices and fun. The most expensive classic car in the world is a cheap one. Restoring an old car will be a money pit. If you're looking ...
by strafe
Wed May 28, 2014 4:12 pm
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Thinking of buying a 1974 Corvette
Replies: 22
Views: 1574

Re: North Carolina/Virginia vacation

- Greenville, SC is a nice city to visit. Nice downtown. BMW museum & factory tours (X3 & X5 manufactured there) in Greer, SC just outside Greenville. - Old Salem, NC - basically a less impressive & less historic Williamsburg - museums in & around Raleigh-Durham (NC natural sciences,...
by strafe
Mon May 12, 2014 8:55 pm
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: North Carolina/Virginia vacation
Replies: 24
Views: 1927

Re: Should I be concerned: auto vs. umbrella insurance

Some (in my experience, most) policies are structured like this: Your umbrella policy is a liability policy with a coverage limit of $1,000,000 and a deductible of $250,000. That's not my experience but does describe the somewhat similar product known as "excess liability" so I think if y...
by strafe
Sun May 04, 2014 2:12 pm
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Should I be concerned: auto vs. umbrella insurance
Replies: 34
Views: 3743

Re: Should I be concerned: auto vs. umbrella insurance

Umbrella insurance is not a uniform product, which is responsible for the disagreement. Some (in my experience, most) policies are structured like this: Your umbrella policy is a liability policy with a coverage limit of $1,000,000 and a deductible of $250,000. Your auto policy, as corrected, has a ...
by strafe
Sun May 04, 2014 7:35 am
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Should I be concerned: auto vs. umbrella insurance
Replies: 34
Views: 3743

Re: Pay down variable loan or invest

I thought federal consolidation loans converted to fixed rates at the prevailing variable rate at the time of consolidation (rounded up to the next eighth of a percent). Is that option still available? That would certainly factor into the decisionmaking process.
by strafe
Tue Apr 29, 2014 4:25 pm
 
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Pay down variable loan or invest
Replies: 19
Views: 3094

Re: Detached Townhome vs. Single Family Home Costs

"Single Family Home -Price: $300,000 Purchase Price -Taxes: $3,500 -HOA: $0 -Insurance: $2,000 Sorry to hijack the thread but I was doing similar comparison. So home owner's insurance cost is really 4 times than a townhome? That insurance quote seems extreme. I own a single family home of comp...
by strafe
Tue Apr 29, 2014 10:44 am
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Detached Townhome vs. Single Family Home Costs
Replies: 24
Views: 2927

Re: is 4gb memory, 500gb hd adequate for new desktop?

There will likely be a performance difference between 4gb memory and 8gb. 8gb is a reasonable minimum these days. Memory that is compatible with your computer will become more expensive with time, so better to buy more now. Unless you are going to wait >5 years to upgrade your memory, memory will c...
by strafe
Sat Mar 08, 2014 6:14 pm
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: is 4gb memory, 500gb hd adequate for new desktop?
Replies: 56
Views: 2740

Re: is 4gb memory, 500gb hd adequate for new desktop?

There will likely be a performance difference between 4gb memory and 8gb. 8gb is a reasonable minimum these days. Memory that is compatible with your computer will become more expensive with time, so better to buy more now. HD size won't affect performance. Your need for storage will depend on the e...
by strafe
Sat Mar 08, 2014 11:17 am
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: is 4gb memory, 500gb hd adequate for new desktop?
Replies: 56
Views: 2740

Re: Is there Software for one's car maintenance schedule

Sounds like you need a calendar app with reminder features

- Mac comes with one of the box
- any smartphone
- most webmail services (ie gmail)

Obviously any software you use will time based. Choose a frequency that approximates miles driven. Use the "snooze" feature if too early.
by strafe
Fri Mar 07, 2014 7:47 pm
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Is there Software for one's car maintenance schedule
Replies: 49
Views: 3818

Re: Comparing lease deal to 0.09% financing on car

[ ... ] For the OP, don't forget the con of leasing that the car needs to be returned in good shape, one curb scrape under the bumper, a long scratch (emphasis on long, BMW was rather forgiving), or something like that and you're out 500 bucks. Of course a bonus is if you have an accident and the c...
by strafe
Thu Mar 06, 2014 1:33 pm
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Comparing lease deal to 0.9% financing on car
Replies: 21
Views: 1203

Re: Comparing lease deal to 0.09% financing on car

A lease is a car purchase, a balloon loan, and future car sale all wrapped into one transaction. Separating the above into separate transactions may or may not save you money. It depends on the particulars of the lease program. A few months ago I ran a number of "present value" scenarios w...
by strafe
Thu Mar 06, 2014 11:35 am
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Comparing lease deal to 0.9% financing on car
Replies: 21
Views: 1203

Re: Used $35k Porsche on $64k income?

I am shocked at the responses to this thread. Did anyone who responded actually read the original post? It's like you all read the word "Porsche" and shut your brains off. The original poster stated clearly that he is not the person buying the car, but all the feedback is directed at him a...
by strafe
Tue Mar 04, 2014 4:47 pm
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Used $35k Porsche on $64k income?
Replies: 95
Views: 6999

Re: Used $35k Porsche on $64k income?

Why all the naysayers? His overall expenditures are low relative to his income. The 997 probably isn't going to depreciate much more. He should be able to sell it for very close to that in a few years, once the kids arrive. I see nothing wrong with this. Sounds like he can afford to buy the car and ...
by strafe
Mon Mar 03, 2014 9:30 pm
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Used $35k Porsche on $64k income?
Replies: 95
Views: 6999

Re: Cancellation fee from health provider - feeling ripped o

It sounds like you might be talking about a chiropractor. In that case, remember that the perceived benefit we derive from placebo is proportional to the price we pay. So you should be feeling $65 better. (If it''s PT/OT, please disregard. )
by strafe
Mon Feb 17, 2014 6:46 pm
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Cancellation fee from health provider - feeling ripped off
Replies: 30
Views: 2102

Re: Leased a new car -- now what?

OP: You should change the title to "FLEECED a new car -- now what?" I've run detailed lease vs buy analyses, mostly for BMWs, and found that in many cases leasing (even "serial" leasing) is superior to buying in many instances. Obviously it's cheaper to buy and hold a car for 10...
by strafe
Sat Feb 15, 2014 10:00 pm
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Leased a new car -- now what?
Replies: 20
Views: 2757
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