Search found 414 matches

by amarone
Mon Nov 14, 2016 7:01 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Amazon Prime: doing the math...is it worth it?
Replies: 111
Views: 12322

Re: Amazon Prime: doing the math...is it worth it?

It is difficult to work out the benefit in pure dollars (doing the math). We get a free Kindle book per month. Value $60 (only otherwise cheap books are available). Free shipping - as others have said, we could mostly get free shipping simply by choosing the slower option that is free to non-Prime ...
by amarone
Thu Nov 03, 2016 8:06 am
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Lending Club desperate for investors?
Replies: 75
Views: 7618

Re: Lending Club desperate for investors?

Some defaults look like flat out fraud to me. In my first investment of $1,000 (40 notes), two were charged off without making a single payment. That did not happen again out of 1,933 notes purchased until last month when a company president of 10+ years and a supposedly verified $100k income borrow...
by amarone
Wed Nov 02, 2016 6:43 am
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Lending Club desperate for investors?
Replies: 75
Views: 7618

Re: Lending Club desperate for investors?

I had $18k in Lending Club and it was one of my best investments last year. Nevertheless, I am getting out. At the end of last month I analyzed my account as I had a feeling that charge offs were increasing. Charge offs averaged 0.5% of my investment per month in 2015. Over the first five months of...
by amarone
Mon Oct 24, 2016 1:21 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: advice on buying a new Outback/Legacy/Camry
Replies: 20
Views: 1964

Re: advice on buying a new Outback or Legacy

Subaru's have always been known to burn some oil but supposedly have fixed this with their new engines. I think if you change your oil more frequently than the recommended 6500 miles you will have no problems. They changed the service interval on the Outback to be every 6,000 miles instead of every...
by amarone
Mon Oct 24, 2016 10:19 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: advice on buying a new Outback/Legacy/Camry
Replies: 20
Views: 1964

Re: advice on buying a new Outback or Legacy

My wife had a 2012 Outback 3.6R and replaced it with a 2016 model last December. She loves the car, but with a big BUT that means our next car may be something different. We got the Eyesight feature, which we love. I am not sure if it is related to the Eyesight feature, but the windshield is extreme...
by amarone
Wed Oct 19, 2016 6:17 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: How do you analyze your spending? (Where is my money going?)
Replies: 69
Views: 5711

Re: How do you analyze your spending? (Where is my money going?)

Another Quicken user here. I download transactions daily in a single download, then spend less than a minute categorizing them (longer if it involves Vanguard money market transactions as VG does not do this right). I run reports quarterly and annually to see income & expenses, net worth, invest...
by amarone
Wed Oct 19, 2016 6:11 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Quicken 2017 Windows is also available
Replies: 8
Views: 1304

Re: Quicken 2017 Windows is also available

I need to do my three-yearly upgrade. Early reviews of Quicken 2017 Premier on Amazon are better than normal for a first release of the new version. I will still hold off a bit to wait for some bug fixes. Looks a bit pricey though - $110. I know I can get some discount off this, but it still looks l...
by amarone
Fri Oct 07, 2016 6:04 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Simplisafe Home Security System
Replies: 34
Views: 3696

Re: Simplisafe Home Security System

We have had three false alarms. One was while we were there - caught our son vaping at 2am :happy . The other two occasions we were not at the house and a false alarm when you are over 4 hours away is not good news. One seemed to be caused by installation of sprayfoam, and we do not know what cause...
by amarone
Fri Oct 07, 2016 9:15 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Simplisafe Home Security System
Replies: 34
Views: 3696

Re: Simplisafe Home Security System

We have had three false alarms. One was while we were there - caught our son vaping at 2am :happy . The other two occasions we were not at the house and a false alarm when you are over 4 hours away is not good news. One seemed to be caused by installation of sprayfoam, and we do not know what cause...
by amarone
Fri Oct 07, 2016 6:52 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Simplisafe Home Security System
Replies: 34
Views: 3696

Re: Simplisafe Home Security System

I have had a SS system for a little over 3 years in a second home. Overall, I am not too thrilled with the system. We have had many defective components, in particular smoke and CO detectors. I bought these detectors as soon as they became available, so maybe it was teething troubles, but it suggest...
by amarone
Thu Oct 06, 2016 9:24 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Advice on hiring an architect
Replies: 31
Views: 1975

Re: Advice on hiring an architect

⋅ What questions should we ask before hiring? ⋅ What to look out for in the contract? What to make sure is included, and is excluded. ⋅ How do we make sure the architect engages the right builder? We were told that a benefit of using an architect is that they will bid ...
by amarone
Thu Oct 06, 2016 9:20 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Advice on hiring an architect
Replies: 31
Views: 1975

Re: Advice on hiring an architect

Why would you spend $300,000 to sell a house? Why not just list the house as is and knock $300,000 off the price? Tried that (and more) - didn't work. The house has been on the market for two years. Initially, few high-end homes were selling. More recently, sales have increased but it is the renova...
by amarone
Thu Oct 06, 2016 6:55 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Timing of SS benefit payments to 18-year old
Replies: 0
Views: 198

Timing of SS benefit payments to 18-year old

We currently get SS benefits for my stepson because his dad is claiming. My stepson turns 18 at the beginning of January, but payments should continue until he graduates high school in May. Payments will be direct to my stepson, whereas currently they are deposited into our bank account on the fourt...
by amarone
Wed Oct 05, 2016 9:11 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Advice on hiring an architect
Replies: 31
Views: 1975

Re: Advice on hiring an architect

This makes me think that the property owner really isn't ready to sell. This is just a convenient stalling technique for whatever personal reasons the property owner may have. Quite the opposite - that is why he is prepared to lay out a lot of money to get the house to sell. He has not even visited...
by amarone
Wed Oct 05, 2016 9:09 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Advice on hiring an architect
Replies: 31
Views: 1975

Re: Advice on hiring an architect

Architects often do construction administration ("CA") which is a totally different phase of the work from the design. During CA, the architect will represent the owner, forcing the contractor to build according to specifications that were developed and agreed upon at the end of the desig...
by amarone
Wed Oct 05, 2016 9:00 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Advice on hiring an architect
Replies: 31
Views: 1975

Re: Advice on hiring an architect

The architect or designer will put together some pretty plans. Houses sliding down mountains sounds like a geotechnical engineer. Tearing down walls and supporting the existing structure will involve a structural engineer. In that particular area you might find a specialized engineer that does both...
by amarone
Mon Oct 03, 2016 2:03 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Advice on hiring an architect
Replies: 31
Views: 1975

Re: Advice on hiring an architect

Why would you spend $300,000 to sell a house? Why not just list the house as is and knock $300,000 off the price? Tried that (and more) - didn't work. The house has been on the market for two years. Initially, few high-end homes were selling. More recently, sales have increased but it is the renova...
by amarone
Mon Oct 03, 2016 1:57 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Advice on hiring an architect
Replies: 31
Views: 1975

Re: Advice on hiring an architect

Are you looking for an architect to design the changes (sounds like you know what is wanted) or supervise the construction? First step in any construction project is detailed plans. Its difficult to get any reliable estimates without them. Both. The main part of the work is to modernize the house b...
by amarone
Mon Oct 03, 2016 1:54 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Advice on hiring an architect
Replies: 31
Views: 1975

Re: Advice on hiring an architect

My wife and I are helping her father renovate and sell a second home. We are helping mostly because we are only 2 hours from it rather than 5 rather than because we have relevant expertise (we don't). The renovations will be extensive - probably $250 - 300k, and involve significant internal structu...
by amarone
Mon Oct 03, 2016 9:06 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Advice on hiring an architect
Replies: 31
Views: 1975

Advice on hiring an architect

My wife and I are helping her father renovate and sell a second home. We are helping mostly because we are only 2 hours from it rather than 5 rather than because we have relevant expertise (we don't). The renovations will be extensive - probably $250 - 300k, and involve significant internal structur...
by amarone
Wed Aug 03, 2016 3:24 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Lending Club - Thoughts?
Replies: 27
Views: 3528

Re: Lending Club - Thoughts?

I have similarly used some play money to try this out. I try to select people with an 800+ credit score and want to consolidate debt. I want to say that about 75%+ of my loans are people in this situation and are classified as "Low Risk" in my portfolio there. A little less than a year in...
by amarone
Wed Aug 03, 2016 8:33 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Should we take this insurance money?
Replies: 9
Views: 1413

Re: Should we take this insurance money?

I know someone in a similar position, except that it was for hail damage. He tried to get he insurance company to take back the check, but they would not take it back. The insurance company will not want to insure a house with a damaged roof. I had hail damage identified by someone the insurance co...
by amarone
Thu Jul 28, 2016 4:13 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Comcast - lease modem/router or buy?
Replies: 29
Views: 1988

Re: Comcast - lease modem/router or buy?

I have bought my own twice and installed them myself without needing an installation kit.
by amarone
Sat Jun 18, 2016 4:26 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Medical Billing Error - a success story!
Replies: 16
Views: 1972

Re: Medical Billing Error - a success story!

Great to hear! The number of medical billing errors is outrageous. I can't imagine any other industry being allowed to get away with so many billing errors. Calling them "errors" is charitable in many instances. We are handling the finances of my sister-in-law, who had a stroke last Septe...
by amarone
Sat Jun 18, 2016 4:24 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Medical Billing Error - a success story!
Replies: 16
Views: 1972

Re: Medical Billing Error - a success story!

Nope. She had reached her annual out of pocket maximum under her ACA policy and therefore had neither further deductible or coinsurance to pay. As the "mistakes" were always in the health provider's favor, I am not inclined to believe that they were always genuine mistakes. Mind you, ther...
by amarone
Fri Jun 17, 2016 6:29 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Medical Billing Error - a success story!
Replies: 16
Views: 1972

Re: Medical Billing Error - a success story!

Great to hear! The number of medical billing errors is outrageous. I can't imagine any other industry being allowed to get away with so many billing errors. Calling them "errors" is charitable in many instances. We are handling the finances of my sister-in-law, who had a stroke last Septe...
by amarone
Fri Jun 17, 2016 5:31 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Medical Billing Error - a success story!
Replies: 16
Views: 1972

Re: Medical Billing Error - a success story!

Great to hear! The number of medical billing errors is outrageous. I can't imagine any other industry being allowed to get away with so many billing errors. Calling them "errors" is charitable in many instances. We are handling the finances of my sister-in-law, who had a stroke last Septe...
by amarone
Thu Jun 16, 2016 8:21 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Uber Car and the real cost of driving
Replies: 71
Views: 9574

Re: Uber Car and the real cost of driving

The government $0.55/mile deal is for deprecation, insurance, maintenance, and fuel. There is a large range of cars, some as cheap as $16k new (Honda Fit), and some as expensive as $60k new (fully loaded mini van for example). So, if we assume the government calculated out a $30k car for 125k miles...
by amarone
Thu Jun 16, 2016 8:16 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Medical Billing Error - a success story!
Replies: 16
Views: 1972

Re: Medical Billing Error - a success story!

Great to hear! The number of medical billing errors is outrageous. I can't imagine any other industry being allowed to get away with so many billing errors. Calling them "errors" is charitable in many instances. We are handling the finances of my sister-in-law, who had a stroke last Septe...
by amarone
Sun Jun 12, 2016 7:34 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: 3 Row SUVs - Help Educate Me
Replies: 42
Views: 3523

Re: 3 Row SUVs - Help Educate Me

How often do you need both 3 rows in use and decent luggage space? If it is only a few times per year, then why drive a bigger (and probably less economical) car all the rest of the time just for those few occasions? Get a medium SUV and a cargo carrier for the roof.

Or a minivan.
by amarone
Sun Jun 12, 2016 7:05 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Renew flood insurance?
Replies: 10
Views: 822

Re: Renew flood insurance?

I'd be much happier with a flood policy that provided up to $750K of coverage, included finished walk out levels, and that had a $10K or $15K deductible. I can write a check for a fat deductible. What I want is coverage that protects me for the tail losses I can't so easily cover, but that isn't on...
by amarone
Sun Jun 12, 2016 6:35 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Actionable advice in a Brexit scenario
Replies: 162
Views: 17467

Re: Actionable advice in a Brexit scenario

Iridium wrote:Otherwise, stay the course. The market has already priced in the short-term impacts.

No it hasn't. The market has priced in the possibility of short-term impacts. It has not priced in a 100% certainty. So if Brexit occurs (or does not occur) the market will adjust to the actuality.
by amarone
Sat Jun 11, 2016 10:47 am
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: How much to keep money in bank account?
Replies: 8
Views: 1832

Re: How much to keep money in bank account?

Although I do have an online savings account, I do not try very hard to minimize the balance in my checking account. At current interest rates, there is not much to be gained - every $1,000 you can lower your average balance by is worth a whole $10/year, less taxes. If we get a big receipt, such as ...
by amarone
Sat Jun 11, 2016 10:42 am
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Lending Club desperate for investors?
Replies: 75
Views: 7618

Re: Lending Club desperate for investors?

I had $18k in Lending Club and it was one of my best investments last year. Nevertheless, I am getting out. At the end of last month I analyzed my account as I had a feeling that charge offs were increasing. Charge offs averaged 0.5% of my investment per month in 2015. Over the first five months of ...
by amarone
Mon May 30, 2016 3:41 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Looking to buy a golf cart
Replies: 15
Views: 1634

Re: Looking to buy a golf cart

Where do you live? Are you in a golf cart community? Most places (other that golf cart communities) require vehicles to be licensed and in order to get that license you need liability insurance and most insurance companies are reluctant to insure golf carts. Tru My cart is insured under my homeowne...
by amarone
Mon May 30, 2016 2:16 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Looking to buy a golf cart
Replies: 15
Views: 1634

Re: Looking to buy a golf cart

I would go electric. Gas carts are noisier, unresponsive (lag between putting foot down and going), less convenient to recharge, pollute more, and sometimes (based on those I have rented n golf courses) prone to backfire. I suppose the one advantage is that if you run out, you can just pour in some ...
by amarone
Sun May 29, 2016 5:10 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Social Security Disability???
Replies: 27
Views: 2112

Re: Social Security Disability???

When you go on SSD you also go on Medicare. That means you might lose your current doctors. Look into that aspect before hand. My sister-in-law went onto disability a few months ago and did not go onto Medicare, nor was offered the option to do so. She is still on an ACA plan. People who qualify fo...
by amarone
Sun May 29, 2016 12:56 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Social Security Disability???
Replies: 27
Views: 2112

Re: Social Security Disability???

enebyberg wrote:When you go on SSD you also go on Medicare. That means you might lose your current doctors. Look into that aspect before hand.

My sister-in-law went onto disability a few months ago and did not go onto Medicare, nor was offered the option to do so. She is still on an ACA plan.
by amarone
Sat May 28, 2016 3:10 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Recall: Subaru 2015, 2016 & 2017 Legacy & Outback steering
Replies: 43
Views: 4152

Re: Recall: Subaru 2015, 2016 & 2017 Legacy & Outback steering

We had a 2012 Outback that, after about 60k miles, needed a top up of oil. I put a quart in after 5,000 of the 7,500 mile service interval. Not a big deal. We subsequently bought a 2016 Outback and noticed that the service interval has been reduced to 6,000 miles. I suspect this might be related to ...
by amarone
Sun May 22, 2016 5:53 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Still double checking bank checkbook math?
Replies: 46
Views: 2819

Re: Still double checking bank checkbook math?

Which edition of Quicken does an adequate job with keeping up with your checking account? Is this automatically downloaded to Quicken? Thanks It is every edition, I think, and has been for many years. I download each night by opening quicken and hitting "update." Not truly automatic, but ...
by amarone
Thu May 19, 2016 9:14 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Pride in no inheritance to kids?
Replies: 233
Views: 2484

Re: Pride in no inheritance to kids?

There are some who feel that they've already given their kids their legacy up front by bringing them up under comfortable conditions and paying for their educations and that their financial responsibilities ended when the children were able to support themselves. The parents would now like to feel ...
by amarone
Tue May 17, 2016 2:22 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Hail damage on roof; what to do with Insurance Providers' $9,950 check
Replies: 51
Views: 4422

Re: Hail damage on roof; what to do with Insurance Providers' $9,950 check

You can certainly take the check, cash it and save it - fixing nothing. However, if you have a roof leak or other issue in the future (as a result of this hail incident or not), you'll effectively have no ability to make another a claim. If it were me and you like your home, I'd replace the roof. I...
by amarone
Fri May 06, 2016 9:46 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: how much cash do you carry in your wallet?
Replies: 152
Views: 15689

Re: how much cash do you carry in your wallet?

I average about $150 although the only regular cash transaction I have is my bridge - $10 two to three times per week. Why as much as $150? So I don't have to go to the ATM too often. I would never feel comfortable with zero cash. After all, it is useful to be able to bail out those people who smugl...
by amarone
Fri May 06, 2016 9:41 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Do you check credit card statements?
Replies: 79
Views: 4974

Re: Do you check credit card statements?

I don't even see my credit card statement. I get an email telling me it is ready, with a link, but I don't bother checking it. I download transactions into Quicken every day. If there is anything I cannot remember, I look it up on the Amex web site where there is more detail. I find an error or frau...
by amarone
Tue Apr 26, 2016 3:26 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Missed Payment Impact on Credit Score
Replies: 12
Views: 1292

Re: Missed Payment Impact on Credit Score

From my experience a missed payment is a big deal, score went from around 780-800 to 730-740 overnight! :annoyed So once upon a time I fell for the "10% off if you get our card today!" offer at a prominent department store. I saved $150 so I thought it was worth it. Paid the full balance ...
by amarone
Tue Apr 26, 2016 12:24 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Ameriprise - Transition to Vanguard
Replies: 12
Views: 1298

Re: Ameriprise - Transition to Vanguard

No need to repeat the excellent advice you have already got, but will hone in on one aspect: Hines Global REIT. I helped someone escape from Ameriprise and was shocked to discover that they put 25% of her money into two unlisted REITs (one was Hines REIT - a different fund from the Global REIT). The...
by amarone
Mon Apr 18, 2016 10:54 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Laptop - Touch Screen?
Replies: 22
Views: 1816

Re: Laptop - Touch Screen?

I am embarrassed to admit that I recently bought a laptop (Asus Zenbook) without realizing it would have a touch screen. I thought I would not use it, but have ended up liking it. If I am doing serious work, or plenty of typing, I am plugged into a docking station with real keyboard, monitor and mou...
by amarone
Sun Apr 17, 2016 9:50 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: How Did You File Your Income Taxes for 2015?
Replies: 101
Views: 5742

Re: How Did You File Your Income Taxes for 2015?

Used downloaded version of Turbotax. e-filed Federal (IRS said my return was incorrect by $1.25 as Turbotax rounded my estimated tax payments - yes, I paid estimated taxes not in whole dollars; I will not do that again). I would have mailed my state tax returns anyway rather than pay the extra fee t...
by amarone
Sat Apr 02, 2016 7:31 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Help me pick a tax software [Form 8938 - Specified Foreign Financial Assets]
Replies: 12
Views: 1537

Re: Help me pick a tax software [Form 8938 - Specified Foreign Financial Assets]

I have five foreign accounts and TurboTax Deluxe handled Form 8938 with no problem and I e-filed.

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