Search found 1628 matches

by Frugal Al
Mon Oct 30, 2017 4:17 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Upgrade my Roku?
Replies: 34
Views: 3287

Re: Upgrade my Roku?

I've used a Roku for years. For the money I think it's the best streamer. There has been a significant change (for some) to the Ultra that might concern some potential buyers, and that is the optical SPDIF connection has been dropped from the new Ultra (4660R). The new version is bit less expensive ...
by Frugal Al
Mon Oct 30, 2017 3:48 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: When the cold wind comes, I go where the dahlias bloom
Replies: 32
Views: 2640

Re: When the cold wind comes, I go where the dahlias bloom

...I'm not sure I could take the politics or lifestyle of Florida or Arizona though... ...I could definitely handle both the politics and lifestyle of Hawaii, but it's a very long flight and very HCOL. What about Chile? Also a long flight but a different and interesting culture, nice park system, a...
by Frugal Al
Wed Sep 20, 2017 6:56 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Online Bill Pay Security: Push or Pull?
Replies: 102
Views: 4995

Re: Online Bill Pay Security: Push or Pull?

I only push using my bank's online bill pay. Pushing though the ACH system is much safer than allowing pulls or writing a checks: https://wallethub.com/edu/ach-payment/11932/
by Frugal Al
Wed Sep 20, 2017 6:13 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Costco vs sams club vs neither.
Replies: 77
Views: 4952

Re: Costco vs sams club vs neither.

I've got 2 Costco stores and one Sam's withing 15 minutes of my home. For my consumption pattern, I save more at Sam's. Also, in our area, the meat is better at Sam's, plus I like that I can get individual steaks now, as opposed to six at a time (I hate freezing a good steak). I also like Costco, bu...
by Frugal Al
Tue Jun 27, 2017 4:35 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Which Dealer Cost/Invoice does one use?
Replies: 20
Views: 1976

Re: Which Dealer Cost/Invoice does one use?

Another expense incurred by the purchaser which also clouds the true price paid is the doc fee. To properly compare one purchaser's price to another, or to invoice price, especially in different states, doc fees should be included in the cost. Some are quite high, and they are usually state taxable ...
by Frugal Al
Tue Jun 20, 2017 8:44 am
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Allianz Vision Deferred Variable Annuity
Replies: 33
Views: 2021

Re: Allianz Vision Deferred Variable Annuity

The promised 8% growth was on the income base and not on the actual investment. Do some research on these and find out how they actually work. I wish you wouldn't just make flippant comments. No one is going to guarantee an 8% growth of principal. Most regular posters here KNOW HOW VA's WORK, and I...
by Frugal Al
Fri Jun 16, 2017 7:28 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Turbochargers
Replies: 60
Views: 4998

Re: Turbochargers

For me this is a simple equation. How much gas will I save in 100,000 miles and what will the be the cost to replace the T Charger in 100,000 miles. Yah, I know some of you will say they last over 100,000 miles but I am not going to be bet on it unless it is a Honda or Toyota T Charger. I wonder wh...
by Frugal Al
Tue Jun 06, 2017 8:51 am
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: My Variable Annuity [what do I have?]
Replies: 39
Views: 3952

Re: My Variable Annuity [what do I have?]

Given the expenses and opportunity costs that have already been paid over the past 10 years, the small percent this represents of the OP's overall portfolio (10%), and the resultant value of the income base ($179k), which is only useful upon the eventual annuitization with Metlife, I'd keep the prod...
by Frugal Al
Sat May 27, 2017 4:56 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Mexican Pacific Beaches
Replies: 52
Views: 5010

Re: Mexican Pacific Beaches

Historical/Natural attractions makes me think of Tulum in Mayan Riviera for the ruins and great beaches. Fly to Cancun and shuttle to Tulum or rent a car which will give you access to Coba and Akumal as well. There are also cenotes in the area for swimming and some have swing ropes that your teen w...
by Frugal Al
Fri May 26, 2017 4:59 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Which Small SUV for 15 Year Reliability?
Replies: 92
Views: 10531

Re: Which Small SUV for 15 Year Reliability?

This ain't no term paper. So draw your own conclusions. :sharebeer In the meantime. Don't be distracted while driving. Don't drive drunk. Don't speed. Don't drive recklessly. Slow down in rain and adverse conditions. Don't run red lights/stop signs. Don't tailgate. Don't drive the wrong way. Watch ...
by Frugal Al
Sun May 21, 2017 2:06 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Which Small SUV for 15 Year Reliability?
Replies: 92
Views: 10531

Re: Which Small SUV for 15 Year Reliability?

Not sure what part of the country you live in and what the weather is like there, however the Subaru AWD system blows the AWD systems Honda and Toyota has out of the water. Go to Youtube and search for Subaru AWD comparisons. Not all Subarus have AWD systems that are much superior to the Hondas and...
by Frugal Al
Thu May 18, 2017 2:29 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Which Small SUV for 15 Year Reliability?
Replies: 92
Views: 10531

Re: Which Small SUV for 15 Year Reliability?

I don't know that it's even possible anymore, but I'd try to find something that's non-turbo and non-CVT for long-term reliability. The Mazda CX-5 would fill that bill--a very nice compact SUV (maybe too compact). Another reasonable alternative, albeit getting a bit dated, is the Acura RDX. Despite...
by Frugal Al
Sat Apr 29, 2017 1:31 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: A Game of "Who is responsible"
Replies: 45
Views: 3585

Re: A Game of "Who is responsible"

The plumber was negligent on the install. I've put in toilets before, they ALL get tested after the install--crap happens. Faulty products happen in the the normal course of business. The $4 gasket should get doubled in price (or tripled) as it is part of their truck inventory, and they can charge f...
by Frugal Al
Sat Apr 22, 2017 4:16 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: 2017 Mazda CX-5 vs. 2017 Honda CRV
Replies: 17
Views: 4217

Re: 2017 Mazda CX-5 vs. 2017 Honda CRV

Both the CR-V and the CX-5 received a major model change for 2017. Both are very good, reliable, compact crossover choices. I've driven the CR-V Touring trim on numerous occasions and found it to be nimble, quiet (although a bit droning under hard acceleration), and well designed. Concerns I have ab...
by Frugal Al
Fri Apr 21, 2017 12:52 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: You can never go "home" - retirement
Replies: 85
Views: 13983

Re: You can never go "home" - retirement

The hometown of one's youth is not just a place, but rather a place and a time . One can no sooner go back to that than they can go back to being the person they were at that time. Some of us are fortunate that we have fond memories of our hometowns--many people don't. There may be good reason to mo...
by Frugal Al
Tue Apr 18, 2017 9:00 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: How to be a good parent to an introverted kid
Replies: 29
Views: 3209

Re: How to be a good parent to an introverted kid

I was the same way, and I turned out great Too funny, this coming from Frank. Anyway, I too am an introvert. I do think mild nudging is in order. It should be acknowledged that it's a totally normal behavior, but it should not be used as an excuse to totally disengage from certain activities. Thank...
by Frugal Al
Mon Apr 17, 2017 10:14 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: take pension or not..Help?
Replies: 12
Views: 1787

Re: take pension or not..Help?

With the limited info provided and assuming good health of your husband and a reasonable life expectancy, I'd definitely wait until age 65 to take the pension. If there is any SS anticipated in the future, the strategy for claiming that should be considired as well.
by Frugal Al
Fri Apr 07, 2017 7:23 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Secretly entered two comma club
Replies: 44
Views: 7634

Re: Secretly entered two comma club

One comma to two comma status is a non-event because it's small change: literally one penny. The change has been happening all along, gradually, from that initial milestone of $100k all the way to $1000k. Or, to look at it another way, like the frog in water gradually heated to boiling, but in a goo...
by Frugal Al
Tue Mar 28, 2017 1:54 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Toyota vs. Honda
Replies: 58
Views: 5451

Re: Toyota vs. Honda

I'm obviously not Harkin, but as a former Honda associate and having dealt with Hondas for the past 36 years or so, I'll offer my opinion: transmissions are not Honda's strong point. Having said that, Honda does learn from their mistakes, once they admit to them--which they are sometimes slow to do....
by Frugal Al
Fri Mar 24, 2017 3:31 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Honda Transmission Service
Replies: 47
Views: 4328

Re: Honda Transmission Service

Yes, you can do it that way Hank, but why if you don't have to? It's actually more difficult, as well as a waste of time and money. One change-out (3 qts) every 30k is all you need to do (a nice ATF funnel makes this easy and quick). Even changing every other oil change is overkill. At 120k or so on...
by Frugal Al
Fri Mar 24, 2017 7:18 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Honda Transmission Service
Replies: 47
Views: 4328

Re: Honda Transmission Service

Good advice from jharkin. DO NOT FLUSH. For the Honda automatic (problematic) transmissions, a single drain and fill every 30k is the way to go. The DW1 is the fully compatible with the Z1, so there's no need to get anal about a (relatively) full change-out of 3 drains/fills. Changing any sooner is ...
by Frugal Al
Wed Mar 22, 2017 10:56 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Quietest tire for 2017 Honda CRV?
Replies: 32
Views: 6073

Re: Quietest tire for 2017 Honda CRV?

There's no doubt that a vehicle that lacks sound deadening insulation can benefit from a product like DynaMat. I installed it myself in a Miata to correct a resonance that bothered me. The process can be hit or miss, and it is not inexpensive if not doing it yourself. I have yet to see an instance w...
by Frugal Al
Mon Mar 13, 2017 6:39 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: 2017 Honda CRV: anyone shopping or buying?
Replies: 26
Views: 5104

Re: 2017 Honda CRV: anyone shopping or buying?

We have a 2004 CR-V. Do you think the 2017 Touring CRV is loads quieter or just a bit quieter? In my opinion, and in a non-instrumented test drive, the 2017 is definitely much quieter, and that's on Hankook tires. I have a 2008 CR-V with Michelin tires, and it's much quieter than that as well. Also...
by Frugal Al
Sun Feb 26, 2017 6:46 am
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Compounding under the microscope.
Replies: 89
Views: 8042

Re: Compounding under the microscope.

Wow, "the magic of compounding" is hype, who would have thought. Obviously, we all know there's no such thing as magic-right? Of course there's no magic in what is just math, but rather it's the power in the resultant, effortless , exponential growth over time within a positive return envi...
by Frugal Al
Sun Feb 26, 2017 4:51 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Caribbean vacation with 3 kids
Replies: 27
Views: 2652

Re: Caribbean vacation with 3 kids

Hard to go wrong with St. John. It can be pricey, but it doesn't have to be. You might also consider Cozumel, or the Akumal/Tulum area, south of Playa del Carmen. Water is great. Day trips to Chichen Itza and other attractions are reasonable. I find both Playa and Cancun too commercial.
by Frugal Al
Sun Feb 19, 2017 6:44 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Car windshield wipers - go cheap or better?
Replies: 42
Views: 5127

Re: Car windshield wipers - go cheap or better?

I think Scotty Kilmer gets windshield wiper advice right: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3AFdUihWPCk .
by Frugal Al
Thu Feb 16, 2017 4:07 am
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: MetLife Promise Whole Life Select 10
Replies: 16
Views: 1630

Re: MetLife Promise Whole Life Select 10

It sounds like bit like lifestyle creep is driving up expenses faster than planned, impinging upon savings and insurance goals. With such a limited amount of info to go on it can be difficult to understand all the facts and circumstances which may not be obvious. What was the primary purpose of this...
by Frugal Al
Mon Feb 13, 2017 8:22 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Permanent Life Insurance
Replies: 16
Views: 2083

Re: Permanent Life Insurance

The insurance agent seems to be offering boiler plate justification for permanent insurance. It appears the agent believes, as they are often taught, that everyone needs some permanent insurance. I don't see any of the conditions present that sometimes makes permanent insurance a reasonable product:...
by Frugal Al
Fri Feb 10, 2017 3:34 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Plumbing issue - advice sought
Replies: 47
Views: 4319

Re: Plumbing issue - advice sought

I have experienced the same issue and still have 3 holes in my ceiling...depending on a few things which have not happened just yet, we plan to sell our home in 3 months to 2 years. Our plumbing has been plagued with leaks just as you describe so wife and I agreed to leave the holes in the ceiling ...
by Frugal Al
Wed Feb 08, 2017 5:36 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Rule of Thumb for Getting Rid of Car
Replies: 51
Views: 6516

Re: Rule of Thumb for Getting Rid of Car

While I'm generally inclined to agree with the Doc, I have to make an exception in this case. Although these cars are great fun, they were not good or reliable cars when new and, unlike a fine wine, they don't get better with age. Unless you turn your own wrenches, this vehicle will probably be a mo...
by Frugal Al
Sun Feb 05, 2017 9:31 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Quicken's future direction - a cause for concern
Replies: 471
Views: 58784

Re: Quicken's future direction - a cause for concern

I like Quicken and use every feature of the software. I could go with an annual payment of $30 to $40 bucks or so, but anything approaching $75 to $80 and I'll be done with it.
by Frugal Al
Tue Jan 31, 2017 7:21 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Sump pump and power outage
Replies: 53
Views: 4784

Re: Sump pump and power outage

Of the close to 1000 deaths in the US due to CO over the last decade (that did not involve a fire), about 80% involved exhaust from a generator. A battery CO alarm is a required accessory. As we approach spring storm season, this cautionary advice definitely bears repeating. Thanks for the heads-up...
by Frugal Al
Thu Jan 26, 2017 4:59 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: What investment firm for small investors?
Replies: 14
Views: 1453

Re: What investment firm for small investors?

I've been a diehard Vanguard fan for years, but I'm concerned that Vanguard is growing too fast. I've recently helped a family member establish accounts there and the customer service is dreadful. Out of nowhere they froze all accounts and threatened to turn them over to the state, because a piece o...
by Frugal Al
Tue Jan 24, 2017 10:06 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: When to proactively replace water heater
Replies: 60
Views: 7047

Re: When to proactively replace water heater

Take_Five, given the heavy usage, the good run you've gotten out of the tank, the lack of anode replacement, and the hard water, I wouldn't hesitate to replace the tank at 20 years. On the other hand, if it's located in a space with no collateral damage potential, you'll be doing the work yourself, ...
by Frugal Al
Mon Dec 19, 2016 4:27 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Grocery cart rolls into side of car, dent, scratched
Replies: 92
Views: 8134

Re: Grccery cart rolls into side of car, dent, scratched

I think this is often handled on a case by case basis, regardless of the actual legal responsibility. No one wants to lose a customer. Was there an inordinate number of carts in the parking lot? Was the grocer making a reasonable effort to clear the parking lot? Was the grocer negligent in providing...
by Frugal Al
Fri Nov 04, 2016 6:58 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Buying an Audi A4
Replies: 73
Views: 8116

Re: Buying an Audi A4

Make sure the extended warranty covers walnut blasting of the valves due to carbon build-up.
by Frugal Al
Thu Oct 13, 2016 3:57 am
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Navy Federal Credit Union - not so different from banks
Replies: 45
Views: 4167

Re: Navy Federal Credit Union - not so different from banks

Maybe there is more to it, but it seems like NFCU got railroaded on this one--nothing so egregious as to warrant the hefty fine. In the old days it was common place for a creditor to contact one's commanding officer for failure to pay. Apparently that's not the case anymore. I think the CFPB is a bi...
by Frugal Al
Thu Oct 13, 2016 3:52 am
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: NFCU - Some Certificate Rates Drop
Replies: 3
Views: 757

Re: NFCU - Some Certificate Rates Drop

Maybe there is more to it, but it seems like NFCU got railroaded on this one--nothing so egregious as to warrant the hefty fine. In the old days it was common place for a creditor to contact one's commanding officer for failure to pay. Apparently that's not the case anymore.
by Frugal Al
Sun Oct 02, 2016 4:40 am
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: SS as a Bond
Replies: 46
Views: 4435

Re: SS as a Bond

For $30,000 a year for 25 years to have a $325,000 present value requires a discount rate of about 7.83%. That is way too high, in my opinion. Since SS benefits are CPI-indexed a better discount rate would be that of long term TIPS, which currently yield about 0.6%. (See WSJ TIPS Quotes 6/30/2016 ....
by Frugal Al
Thu Sep 22, 2016 7:53 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Yup, another pension buyout offer...
Replies: 20
Views: 3758

Re: Yup, another pension buyout offer...

[*]Assuming pension payments are collected in full until life expectancy and then cease completely, isn't the best way to estimate the expected value. A better way weights the pension amount every year by the probability of surviving to that age Cruncher, with all due respect, while your approach i...
by Frugal Al
Wed Sep 14, 2016 12:12 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Presidential Election Insurance, Use T-Bills?
Replies: 65
Views: 5641

Re: Presidential Election Insurance, Use T-Bills?

Greenspan seems to agree with me. He never comes out and says exactly who he is talking about. He probably posts on this forum It would appear this thread has gotten overly political. As for Greenspan, he has zero credibility and knows as little about forecasting as everyone else. He was asleep at ...
by Frugal Al
Sun Aug 28, 2016 2:44 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Can we get by without permanent life insurance?
Replies: 85
Views: 7064

Re: Can we get by without permanent life insurance?

You're not missing anything. Brother in law is a tool and should be treated accordingly. The training for many (most???) life insurance salespeople really pushes home the mistaken concept that virtually EVERYONE needs some form of permanent life insurance. I've had friends who have had this trainin...
by Frugal Al
Sat Aug 27, 2016 9:19 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Honda maintenance schedule?
Replies: 49
Views: 5188

Re: Honda maintenance schedule?

The door jamb is fine if you just want comfort, but there is not harm in any value between the door jamb and the max sidewall That statement is not true, and the article referenced points out that there are many variables that determine the optimal tire pressures. Let's not read more into the artic...
by Frugal Al
Wed Aug 24, 2016 3:08 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Seemingly Too Good To Be True Investment Opportunity: Invest or Don't?
Replies: 85
Views: 8329

Re: Seemingly Too Good To Be True Investment Opportunity: Invest or Don't?

Does that business philosophy sound like a public figure we all know? Wow, I'm doing my best to think of it TropikThunder, but I can't come up with a name. If you can't add something constructive, keep it to yourself. For the OP, I wouldn't get involved in this deal unless I was hands on with the b...
by Frugal Al
Sat Aug 20, 2016 10:52 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Best Crossover SUV to purchase
Replies: 146
Views: 18946

Re: Best Crossover SUV to purchase

Varick, what exactly do you mean by long term? I consider long term ownership to be 10+ years. If you are concerned about long term cost of ownership, well past the new or CPO warranty, the only reasonable candidates are Toyota/Lexus or Honda/Acura. The Volvo is nice. Audi's are nice. Even I've been...
by Frugal Al
Mon Aug 15, 2016 4:18 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: You have $10 Million and 10 years to live. What would you do?
Replies: 55
Views: 6566

Re: You have $10 Million and 10 years to live. What would you do?

I believe there's an old punchline: "First, I'd ask my mother-in-law to move in and that 10 years will seem like an eternity."
by Frugal Al
Sun Aug 14, 2016 7:42 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Best Crossover SUV to purchase
Replies: 146
Views: 18946

Re: Best Crossover SUV to purchase

Even more to the point, stuffing a V6 on the RDX actually made it drive worse (go read any auto magazine review of the first year after they dropped the turbo 4) though it does appeal to buyers who are brainwashed to think more cylinders are always better. The current V6 RDX handles better than the...
by Frugal Al
Wed Aug 03, 2016 11:58 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: How to value a deferred annuity?
Replies: 15
Views: 1107

Re: How to value a deferred annuity?

The value of the QLAC would go up over time as long as you are alive.. That's not quite correct; the value would drop to zero if the annuitant were to contract a terminal illness that would take its toll prior to annuity commencement. In fact, there are many moving parts on such a valuation, includ...
by Frugal Al
Wed Aug 03, 2016 9:16 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: How to value a deferred annuity?
Replies: 15
Views: 1107

Re: How to value a deferred annuity?

...-it needs to be discounted to reflect my actuarial expectation. What will it be worth in 2035, when I am 84? If I'm dying of cancer, probably $0. If I'm running marathons, maybe a lot more than $125K. The value of the insurance has already had the discount applied, and profit for the insurer. As...
by Frugal Al
Mon Aug 01, 2016 2:57 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Should I replace my hot water heater?
Replies: 15
Views: 1479

Re: Should I replace my hot water heater?

Has the anode rod ever been replaced? Regardless, 22 years is a good run. I suspect if the anode rod is replaced when needed, the new one might go 30 years. I'd definitely replace it. These things have a tendency to go out at the worst time. I try to estimate useful life of most of my appliances and...