Search found 138 matches

by Elemental
Thu Apr 12, 2018 12:00 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Could you support family on 1 income?
Replies: 88
Views: 5594

Re: Could you support family on 1 income?

I am the sole provider for my family. I wish that weren't the case, as my anxiety due to being the sole source of income is paralyzing. My wife has been a stay at home mom, and has recently become unable to work even if she wanted to, so that is our reality. We make some sacrifices. Vacations are mo...
by Elemental
Mon Feb 05, 2018 10:42 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Cheap cell phone plans
Replies: 48
Views: 3557

Re: Cheap cell phone plans

Ting can't be beat if you're ok with theT-Mobile network. I tried that first, and found that T-Mobile did not work for me and my family. We're comfortably settled into Consumer Cellular now, and we're happy. We already had our own phones, so we didn't look at the big carriers with BOGO deals on phon...
by Elemental
Sat Jan 13, 2018 9:26 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Has InformedforLife.org (vehicle safety ratings) gone too far?
Replies: 29
Views: 2121

Re: Has InformedforLife.org (vehicle safety ratings) gone too far?

... My take-away: Some models have scores of only "1" not because their crash prevention system is inferior, but only because the IIHS just hasn't gotten around to testing them yet. With InformedforLife.org's methodology, these cars are treated as having an inferior crash prevention system and labe...
by Elemental
Fri Jan 12, 2018 11:38 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Has InformedforLife.org (vehicle safety ratings) gone too far?
Replies: 29
Views: 2121

Re: Has InformedforLife.org (vehicle safety ratings) gone too far?

Thanks everyone for your replies, I really appreciate all the information you've provided. There's certainly a lot to think about.
by Elemental
Fri Jan 12, 2018 11:36 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Has InformedforLife.org (vehicle safety ratings) gone too far?
Replies: 29
Views: 2121

Re: Has InformedforLife.org (vehicle safety ratings) gone too far?

My newest vehicle has automatic braking, and I still worry that it will decide to brake when it shouldn't and actually cause a problem. That hasn't happened yet, but the pre-brake warning has happened when I didn't think it should have. Elemental, Do you mind to share the make and model of the newe...
by Elemental
Fri Jan 12, 2018 7:01 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Has InformedforLife.org (vehicle safety ratings) gone too far?
Replies: 29
Views: 2121

Re: Has Informed for Life .org (vehicle safety ratings) gone too far?

The Mazda6 is a good example of a car that was on the list until the new rating system came out. It was just barely above the 3200 pound minimum though. It is now considered "Least Safe" due to weight. All the extra safety stuff is not standard and only available at the high trim level. I like that ...
by Elemental
Fri Jan 12, 2018 6:43 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Has InformedforLife.org (vehicle safety ratings) gone too far?
Replies: 29
Views: 2121

Re: Has Informed for Life .org (vehicle safety ratings) gone too far?

... It is also true that if a person is really worried about being killed in an auto accident some of the effective things one can do about it include: 1. Spend less time/mileage driving and riding in cars. 2. Don't engage in hazardous driving behavior such as drinking and driving, talking on/looki...
by Elemental
Fri Jan 12, 2018 1:24 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Has InformedforLife.org (vehicle safety ratings) gone too far?
Replies: 29
Views: 2121

Has InformedforLife.org (vehicle safety ratings) gone too far?

I was introduced to informedforlife.org here in the forums. It was very helpful to me 2 years ago when I was shopping for a new vehicle, and ultimately helped me make my choice for a new car. I was sold on the value of safety over other considerations (style / pride / etc). Now, 2 years later, I'm b...
by Elemental
Wed Jan 03, 2018 8:37 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Taxes [Do it yourself or use tax software?]
Replies: 39
Views: 2968

Re: Taxes [Do it yourself or use tax software?]

I bought the HR Block software last year after TaxAct raised their prices so dramatically (had been using that for years). I liked having the software available so I could play around with it more easily. This year, I'm thinking about the HR Block FREE online option. My only hesitation is about the ...
by Elemental
Tue Oct 24, 2017 12:32 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: TrevH's 4 Fund Portfolio
Replies: 6
Views: 1118

Re: TrevH's 4 Fund Portfolio

Does anyone have data on returns for this 4 Fund Portfolio? The MarketWatch site that tracks the "lazy portfolios" shows the lazy "Ultimate Buy and Hold" portfolio hasn't been doing very well over the last 3, 5, and 10 years ( http://www.marketwatch.com/lazyportfolio )
by Elemental
Sat May 20, 2017 9:21 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Neighbor draining onto / flooding my patio and yard daily - what can I do?
Replies: 59
Views: 6633

Re: Neighbor draining onto / flooding my patio and yard daily - what can I do?

There are lots of variations on this type of product that could work. http://www.plastictrenchdrain.com/wp-content/uploads/2015/04/image1-1024x660.jpg Where does the water go? Is there a pipe down there that takes it somewhere? Edit: nevermind, I see it works like a gutter. I guess I'd have to have...
by Elemental
Fri May 19, 2017 11:06 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Neighbor draining onto / flooding my patio and yard daily - what can I do?
Replies: 59
Views: 6633

Re: Neighbor draining onto / flooding my patio and yard daily - what can I do?

Interesting situation. Pics are useful. Short of cutting into the concrete / french drain / etc ... How's about something like slender long sand bags / tubes. Thinking of the shape of front door draft stoppers I've seen advertised. Or swimming pool noodles. I actually just deployed something like t...
by Elemental
Fri May 19, 2017 10:53 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Neighbor draining onto / flooding my patio and yard daily - what can I do?
Replies: 59
Views: 6633

Re: Neighbor draining onto / flooding my patio and yard daily - what can I do?

inbox788 wrote: The concrete is cracked a bit; when did you plan on having it redone? That's a good opportunity to fix part of the drainage problem.
Replacing that area of concrete was towards the bottom of the list of things to do. It may have to be done now.
by Elemental
Fri May 19, 2017 10:42 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Neighbor draining onto / flooding my patio and yard daily - what can I do?
Replies: 59
Views: 6633

Re: Neighbor draining onto / flooding my patio and yard daily - what can I do?

Here's a link to the photos I took yesterday afternoon and again today after the sprinklers worked the magic: https://www.dropbox.com/sh/a8r86trxmiwt ... xTP5a?dl=0
by Elemental
Thu May 18, 2017 7:49 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Neighbor draining onto / flooding my patio and yard daily - what can I do?
Replies: 59
Views: 6633

Re: Neighbor draining onto / flooding my patio and yard daily - what can I do?

livesoft wrote:How about at least 3 photos of the situation?
Thanks for your interest in helping out. I'll grab a photo tonight, and then a couple more tomorrow after the next wave.
by Elemental
Thu May 18, 2017 7:48 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Neighbor draining onto / flooding my patio and yard daily - what can I do?
Replies: 59
Views: 6633

Re: Neighbor draining onto / flooding my patio and yard daily - what can I do?

I still have to think that even with just rain alone (not thinking of sprinklers), it's still his property that is draining enough water onto my property causing a problem. I get that I might not have the best drainage, but the problem is because of the neighboring property, and the fact that it's a...
by Elemental
Thu May 18, 2017 4:44 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Neighbor draining onto / flooding my patio and yard daily - what can I do?
Replies: 59
Views: 6633

Re: Neighbor draining onto / flooding my patio and yard daily - what can I do?

rustymutt wrote:You need to have a French drain installed. Fixed.
The "French drain" should be installed along the fence line?
by Elemental
Thu May 18, 2017 2:44 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Neighbor draining onto / flooding my patio and yard daily - what can I do?
Replies: 59
Views: 6633

Re: Neighbor draining onto / flooding my patio and yard daily - what can I do?

It sounds like you have a drainage problem that you need to fix. Surely a person has a right to water their lawn. Surely he has a right, but watering every day is one of the dumber things he can do to his lawn. If your lawn is healthy you shouldn't have to water more than once per week, and that's ...
by Elemental
Thu May 18, 2017 2:42 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Neighbor draining onto / flooding my patio and yard daily - what can I do?
Replies: 59
Views: 6633

Re: Neighbor draining onto / flooding my patio and yard daily - what can I do?

Another question is: How big of a deal is this for selling a house? I bought the house with this "pre-existing condition" several years ago. Is there a quick fix I could do to sell the house? We want to move anyway, so an expensive project would not have a ROI for us anytime soon. The detached garag...
by Elemental
Thu May 18, 2017 2:38 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Neighbor draining onto / flooding my patio and yard daily - what can I do?
Replies: 59
Views: 6633

Re: Neighbor draining onto / flooding my patio and yard daily - what can I do?

The problem would be there when it rains regardless if sorinklers. Sounds like the neighbor wouldn't have the money to pay to fix the problem, even if you sued him and won. So you have 2 options, pay for a lawyer, get a judgement he can't pay so you get a lien on his house so you get paid when he d...
by Elemental
Thu May 18, 2017 2:35 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Neighbor draining onto / flooding my patio and yard daily - what can I do?
Replies: 59
Views: 6633

Re: Neighbor draining onto / flooding my patio and yard daily - what can I do?

When you say it is against code, do you mean it is against city code? If it is, your city should have a code enforcement department. You could regrade your yard to protect your patio and garage. This is the route I would probably go. See if you can direct his water in a way that is beneficial to yo...
by Elemental
Thu May 18, 2017 2:33 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Neighbor draining onto / flooding my patio and yard daily - what can I do?
Replies: 59
Views: 6633

Re: Neighbor draining onto / flooding my patio and yard daily - what can I do?

Why not a small ditch along your property line to get that water to some place that you need it? Or it could be just in front of patio so that your lawn is watered for free by the neighbor. This could be elaborate like a French drain ... or not. You could even have a diverter to send it back where ...
by Elemental
Thu May 18, 2017 2:32 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Neighbor draining onto / flooding my patio and yard daily - what can I do?
Replies: 59
Views: 6633

Re: Neighbor draining onto / flooding my patio and yard daily - what can I do?

What happens when it rains, absent your neighbor's sprinkler(s)? i.e. If things are graded properly, I would think the patio would slope/drain away from the detached garage. If it does not do so, then the neighbor's sprinkler(s) are a problem, but even normal rain would be a problem also... I admit...
by Elemental
Thu May 18, 2017 2:21 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Neighbor draining onto / flooding my patio and yard daily - what can I do?
Replies: 59
Views: 6633

Neighbor draining onto / flooding my patio and yard daily - what can I do?

I have a neighbor who runs his sprinklers every morning, rain or shine. His yard slopes gently down to the fence between our yards. Every morning, the water floods under the fence, across my patio, and leaves an inch or two of standing water on my patio up against my detached garage. I have spoken w...
by Elemental
Thu Apr 27, 2017 5:34 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Major health issue - finding new employment with health coverage
Replies: 35
Views: 2981

Re: Major health issue - finding new employment with health coverage

I haven't had time to read all the replies. I have read of scenarios like this: small company one employee has giant medical bills insurance company raises the small company's rates through the ceiling small company has to let the employee go as it just can't afford the rates. This is the scenario ...
by Elemental
Thu Apr 27, 2017 2:40 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Major health issue - finding new employment with health coverage
Replies: 35
Views: 2981

Re: Major health issue - finding new employment with health coverage

... if I am you, I would start a new thread and ask how to reduce that cost. Or, where can you go to find that kind of information. KlangFool Yes, I would like to find a lower cost alternative. As it is, our insurance covers 99% of the cost, and the drug company financial assistance program helps w...
by Elemental
Wed Apr 26, 2017 4:02 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Major health issue - finding new employment with health coverage
Replies: 35
Views: 2981

Re: Major health issue - finding new employment with health coverage

Thank you everyone for your thoughtful replies. I've learned a lot today, and have some good notes for follow-up research. I wish I would've consulted this group earlier!
by Elemental
Wed Apr 26, 2017 12:40 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Major health issue - finding new employment with health coverage
Replies: 35
Views: 2981

Re: Major health issue - finding new employment with health coverage

Thanks for your replies and follow-up questions When you say you are "currently employed (USA)" and are frustrated with the "current government healthcare system," do you mean you work for the federal government? No, I was just indicating I am a citizen and employed in the USA You seem to think smal...
by Elemental
Wed Apr 26, 2017 12:04 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Major health issue - finding new employment with health coverage
Replies: 35
Views: 2981

Major health issue - finding new employment with health coverage

I'm trying to figure out how I can find new employment when my family has major health insurance needs. I'm currently employed (USA) with excellent health insurance, but wishing for employment with a different company. One of my family members has a medical condition that requires expensive tests mu...
by Elemental
Fri Mar 03, 2017 12:53 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: How is Your Pension Plan Performing?
Replies: 6
Views: 872

Re: How is Your Pension Plan Performing?

My company plan is funded around 100%. It is an old plan with a very conservative benefit and is not offered for new employees.
by Elemental
Wed Nov 23, 2016 1:46 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Living near a Quarry
Replies: 26
Views: 7505

Re: Living near a Quarry

The valley in which I live has quarries on all sides of it. They are ugly for sure, but we're used to it around here. They are slowly removing a mountain at one end. We get fairly significant dust storms (nothing like Tatooine, but major dust with low visibility) and muddy rain at times. I expect th...
by Elemental
Fri Nov 18, 2016 11:58 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Honda Cars
Replies: 96
Views: 11303

Re: Honda Cars

I like the suggestion of taking someone with you on a test drive too. Even with a new Honda where you think you can't go wrong. My last car was such a complete junker, that I didn't notice the vibration in a new 2016 / 2017 Accord on test drives. After a couple of weeks, it became noticeable to me. ...
by Elemental
Fri Nov 18, 2016 2:48 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Honda Cars
Replies: 96
Views: 11303

Re: Honda Cars

I hate to bring down the Honda love here, but... I have a 2016 Accord, and the vibration at idle when in Drive is severe. I think it's going to rattle itself to pieces before long. Google it so you know what you're getting into. This is just with the 4 cylinder CVT transmission. If you're going with...
by Elemental
Wed Nov 16, 2016 5:36 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Which cell phone for 13 year old?
Replies: 59
Views: 4596

Re: Which cell phone for 13 year old?

We started giving our kids phones at 12 - 13. It was much easier for us because they have so many after school activities and need rides, etc. They have older iPhones, and are on Ting, which is pretty cheap for minimal use (actually not bad for a lot of use either). Unfortunately, Ting uses TMobile,...
by Elemental
Mon Nov 14, 2016 10:02 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Products to cope with other drivers' LED headlight
Replies: 66
Views: 9849

Re: Products to cope with other drivers' LED headlight

I'm right there with you. I think brake lights are just as bad too. I roll up to a stop light and get blinded by the super-bright LED brake lights in front of me. It blinds me as bad as the super-bright headlights and the super-bright billboards. I think I need to sell my car and get something talle...
by Elemental
Fri Oct 28, 2016 10:38 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Amazon Prime Pantry
Replies: 23
Views: 3146

Re: Amazon Prime Pantry

I have used it with some success. It takes a while to "fill up" the box while shopping. I find I also have to substitute different brands for some things (different soap, mouthwash, whatever) in order to get free shipping. I like the instant coupons, no sales tax applied, and free shipping once you ...
by Elemental
Mon Oct 24, 2016 5:06 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Does it make sense to sell I Bonds with penalty, to re-buy at a higher rate?
Replies: 6
Views: 791

Re: Does it make sense to sell I Bonds with penalty, to re-buy at a higher rate?

You're probably right. I'm just looking at the bonds and seeing a couple of dollars worth of appreciation and wondering how it keeps up with inflation when it could be earning 1.0% interest in an ordinary bank account.
by Elemental
Mon Oct 24, 2016 4:38 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Does it make sense to sell I Bonds with penalty, to re-buy at a higher rate?
Replies: 6
Views: 791

Re: Does it make sense to sell I Bonds with penalty, to re-buy at a higher rate?

I'm just looking at the rate that the TD website shows next to the bond listing. I'm just thinking why not pay the penalty to redeem these bonds and get going with new ones at the higher rate. I think the fixed rate is 0.
by Elemental
Mon Oct 24, 2016 4:24 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Does it make sense to sell I Bonds with penalty, to re-buy at a higher rate?
Replies: 6
Views: 791

Does it make sense to sell I Bonds with penalty, to re-buy at a higher rate?

I have some I Bonds doing almost nothing in my TD account. They are not 5 years old yet, and earning very little interest. Would it make sense to sell these bonds now and incur the early-redemption penalty, in order to buy newer bonds with a higher interest rate? The current rate listed on my bonds ...
by Elemental
Mon Sep 12, 2016 11:36 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Toyota, Honda, Nissan or Chrysler Minivan?
Replies: 43
Views: 5251

Re: Toyota, Honda, Nissan or Chrysler Minivan?

... Honda drove better, Toyota swayed uncomfortably when I turned sharply... This is true. We have a 2012 Honda. I really wanted to like the Toyota for the AWD that would be better in the snow, but I couldn't get past the "tippy" feeling of the Toyota. It really felt tippy going around corners. Qui...
by Elemental
Wed Aug 24, 2016 11:45 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Aug. 2017 US total eclipse hotel reservations.
Replies: 83
Views: 9363

Re: Aug. 2017 US total eclipse hotel reservations.

I am thinking of driving into the totality zone - maybe Hopkinsville, KY or Land Between the Lakes. About a 4 hour drive or so. I am probably 30 minutes away for the 2024 event. I thought about this option as well. I wonder what the traffic will be like. I think it might be pretty busy. My drive wo...
by Elemental
Wed Aug 24, 2016 11:07 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Aug. 2017 US total eclipse hotel reservations.
Replies: 83
Views: 9363

Re: Aug. 2017 US total eclipse hotel reservations.

This might be a dumb question, but, how do you book a hotel that far in advance? Online bookings don't go out that far. I called a couple of 800 numbers, and was told the same thing.
by Elemental
Tue Aug 23, 2016 12:34 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: How much MLP is reasonable in a portfolio?
Replies: 18
Views: 1882

Re: How much MLP is reasonable in a portfolio?

I mentioned Core 4 because outside of my 401k, I'm invested mostly in a target date fund and a very small allocation to REIT. We'll ignore the Wellesley.
by Elemental
Mon Aug 22, 2016 7:19 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: How much MLP is reasonable in a portfolio?
Replies: 18
Views: 1882

Re: How much MLP is reasonable in a portfolio?

Given your previous post, it seems as though you are performance chasing and lacking an overall investment plan. Do you have an IPS? If so, what does it say about MLPs? Furthermore, you seem to be buying high and selling low--the opposite of what you're trying to do. I'd leave this alone and let co...
by Elemental
Mon Aug 22, 2016 7:15 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: How much MLP is reasonable in a portfolio?
Replies: 18
Views: 1882

Re: How much MLP is reasonable in a portfolio?

20% allocation to MLPs within a 401k sounds quite extreme to me given most participants would not review nor understand the investment. Was the original MLP an ETF, ETN, fund or other? Were you invested in the original MLP fund and OK with the volatility? Why is the new version deemed worthy or bet...
by Elemental
Mon Aug 22, 2016 5:52 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: How much MLP is reasonable in a portfolio?
Replies: 18
Views: 1882

Re: How much MLP is reasonable in a portfolio?

David Jay wrote:Fool me once...
Yes, I feel this way for sure. I dropped it last year, probably at the all-time low, so now I missed out on the 25% run up this year. With the new tinkering, I'll be put back in at 9%, so I'm just wondering if I should let it happen, or if even at that level it is inappropriate.
by Elemental
Mon Aug 22, 2016 4:23 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: How much MLP is reasonable in a portfolio?
Replies: 18
Views: 1882

How much MLP is reasonable in a portfolio?

I'm really more of a Core-4 wannabe. However, megacorp is once again tinkering with the 401k options. In the past, we got slaughtered with the MLP that was part of the package. It was something like 20% of the portfolio, and dropped like a rock. Now, they have changed tickers to MLPPX , and decided ...
by Elemental
Sat Jul 23, 2016 12:33 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Mortgage broker prohibiting me from refinancing
Replies: 18
Views: 3218

Re: Mortgage broker prohibiting me from refinancing

I think it might be worth it, yes. I have a long ways to go to pay off this house, and locking in a lower rate would really add up. I didn't pay costs last time (hence the issue at hand), but would maybe be willing to pay some costs as the rates dip lower.
by Elemental
Thu Jul 21, 2016 11:24 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Mortgage broker prohibiting me from refinancing
Replies: 18
Views: 3218

Re: Mortgage broker prohibiting me from refinancing

By the way, you also need to look closely at the numbers (as well as the wording) for any future mortgage that seems to be giving you something for nothing. Often "no costs" means that you don't pay them at closing but that some costs are rolled into the new mortgage. Then you end up paying interes...
by Elemental
Thu Jul 21, 2016 10:26 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Mortgage broker prohibiting me from refinancing
Replies: 18
Views: 3218

Re: Mortgage broker prohibiting me from refinancing

You're right, I do not want to do business with the broker again (it wasn't the best experience to begin with anyway). I wouldn't mind staying with the lender, but if they don't want to keep me, that's fine. There are a lot of lenders out there. I'm more concerned with the broker having told me I wo...