Search found 671 matches

by mrc
Sun Mar 26, 2017 2:40 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: John Deere 1025R with Mower
Replies: 10
Views: 607

Re: John Deere 1025R with Mower

Get the 3 point pull behind model for the tractor and a zero turn mower for the nice grass in the yard. The tractor will be too big for cutting around things and much slower than a good zero turn. In addition, the zero turn is like driving a go cart. Lots of fun really. I migrated from a JD 4100 wi...
by mrc
Sun Mar 26, 2017 10:24 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Backdoor Roth Epic Fail!
Replies: 13
Views: 1886

Re: Backdoor Roth Epic Fail!

FYI: there are better places to have IRA accounts. A tIRA to Roth IRA conversion does not have to involve paperwork. Moved our IRAs out of TIAA (to Fidelity) for exactly this reason. There seems to be multiple ways to do something like this with TIAA, some self-serve, most not. Some require phone c...
by mrc
Sat Mar 25, 2017 1:47 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: whole house water filter --your thoughts?
Replies: 26
Views: 1867

Re: whole house water filter --your thoughts?

I don't know the current water softener technology today, but I recall that (years ago) water softeners greatly increased the sodium (salt) content of water. Depends on the initial hardness. Not much according to Mayo Clinic. Actually, I believe the article is incorrect when it states "Some wa...
by mrc
Sat Mar 25, 2017 12:12 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: whole house water filter --your thoughts?
Replies: 26
Views: 1867

Re: whole house water filter --your thoughts?

dm200 wrote:I don't know the current water softener technology today, but I recall that (years ago) water softeners greatly increased the sodium (salt) content of water.


Depends on the initial hardness. Not much according to Mayo Clinic.
by mrc
Fri Mar 24, 2017 3:19 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: gratuitous homeownership items
Replies: 218
Views: 16729

Re: gratuitous homeownership items

Just wondering with the people disappointed with granite counters. Sure it's granite and not marble? I think I'm the guy who first complained about granite in this thread. My counters are granite, according to the seller, my realtor, and, most importantly, the stone treatment specialist who came ou...
by mrc
Wed Mar 22, 2017 10:28 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Car Vandalism During Cross-Country Drive
Replies: 41
Views: 3274

Re: Car Vandalism During Cross-Country Drive

Like the idea of the "used diaper pail" motif! A Pampers box overflowing with prop trash would surely keep most folks moving along. When we traveled cross country, once the car was as unloaded as we could, we moved it to a well-lit location in plain view. No need to have the car right outs...
by mrc
Mon Mar 20, 2017 1:50 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Wife going back to school. What financial steps should I take?
Replies: 23
Views: 1100

Re: Wife going back to school. What financial steps should I take?

DW in her early 40s went to law school while I worked. No kids. School was an hour away, so she didn't need separate living. But I hardly saw her during that time. Law school and PhD programs keep one very busy. DW makes more than I do now (after a bit of a slower start). Some in the social sciences...
by mrc
Mon Mar 20, 2017 4:32 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: gratuitous homeownership items
Replies: 218
Views: 16729

Re: gratuitous homeownership items

Our old house had this huge, 2-person jetted tub. Unfortunately the 40 gallon hot water heater wouldn't fill it. Yes, but one adds cold water to hot so one doesn't scald themselves. Still, a 40g heater set to a safe 120 degrees cannot deliver enough hot water to fill a large ~70g tub, and keep it t...
by mrc
Sun Mar 19, 2017 3:58 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Paying $20 to E-File State Return
Replies: 75
Views: 10861

Re: Paying $20 to E-File State Return

I print my state return and mail it. We generally get a small federal refund, and owe the state. I hold the paper until around 1 April. Not hard. Although the first year I did this (long time ago) I forgot to include the W-2s!
by mrc
Sun Mar 19, 2017 3:29 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: cost of Solar Power
Replies: 95
Views: 6234

Re: cost of Solar Power

MathWizard wrote:You are In Maryland, I would suggest looking into how much snow would be on the roof,
and hence on your solar panels, during the winter. That may greatly affect your payback time.


This hasn't affected me much. But my house faces southwest, has black shingles, and a fairly steep pitch.
by mrc
Sun Mar 19, 2017 6:35 am
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Am I Addicted [to contribute to my taxable account]
Replies: 57
Views: 6075

Re: Am I Addicted

I would suppose recovering investors don't post here much.
by mrc
Sat Mar 18, 2017 2:43 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Best place to get eyeglasses / no vision insurance
Replies: 43
Views: 2823

Re: Best place to get eyeglasses / no vision insurance

I've gone three ways: LensCrafters, Costco, and Zenni. LensCrafters with insurance cost 2-3 times as much as Costco. Check out a 60 minutes story above vertical integration of EyeMed (insurance), LensCrafters (glasses) and luxottica (frames). The mark up will astound you. I don't use LensCrafters an...
by mrc
Fri Mar 17, 2017 9:16 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Gutter Replacement
Replies: 17
Views: 1577

Re: Gutter Replacement

11) We have the older style gutters with spikes and I have some concern about the holes left in our fascia by the spikes being a water intrusion/rot starting point if we replace the gutters. We live in a warm, humid area. I replaced my spikes with screw in hidden fasteners like these spaced about 3...
by mrc
Wed Mar 15, 2017 12:15 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: cost of Solar Power
Replies: 95
Views: 6234

Re: cost of Solar Power

A competent and honest solar company will provide pay back period for different PV system sizes you request. For us, it was well worth it. Our home is 2809 sq ft, built in 2007, so fairly good insulation and fairly efficient appliances. It doesn't have the best roof layout, so required a 12.2kW sys...
by mrc
Wed Mar 15, 2017 12:08 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: PayPal - Any Disadvantages?
Replies: 28
Views: 2240

Re: PayPal - Any Disadvantages?

I have used PayPal for as long as it has existed. No issues. I use a strong password and do not keep a balance (or a small one). Buying/selling on eBay and Paypal is pretty much a must. I also use it to send payments to friends or receive payments (fantasy football). If you haven't needed it to thi...
by mrc
Wed Mar 15, 2017 8:03 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: $464.12 dinner bill last night. No regrets.
Replies: 78
Views: 9541

Re: $464.12 dinner bill last night. No regrets.

radchad3 wrote:That is a great story. Congrats on paying off your loans. But even better to hear is that you took the time and effort to thank those that got you there, not many people do that and it is a very good reminder.

Chad


So true. Well done guitarguy. Well done. (Not the steaks I hope).
by mrc
Wed Mar 15, 2017 7:55 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: cost of Solar Power
Replies: 95
Views: 6234

Re: cost of Solar Power

We got in Summer 2009: $58K for 6.5KW PV and a two-panel solar hot water (thermal). In central Maryland. Federal and state rebates returned about 40% of that. SRECs *should* have reduced the cost substantially. But I was an idiot and ran my credits through the company that installed the system. They...
by mrc
Tue Mar 14, 2017 3:12 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Preparing financially for our funerals - prepay or not?
Replies: 113
Views: 8781

Re: Preparing financially for our funerals - prepay or not?

Know nothing of your specific deal but many of these schools are refusing future bodies because of how popular the idea is. I looked into it and the fine print said pretty much that the school can refuse the body at the time of death. Your plan could be to be handed off to a school but your heirs m...
by mrc
Tue Mar 14, 2017 11:29 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Laminate flooring that looks like hardwood
Replies: 25
Views: 1406

Re: Laminate flooring that looks like hardwood

I don't like the sound of a floating floor. Sounds like you're loading a horse up a ramp. I've seen hardwood (beech and Brazilian cherry) survive a flood condition. If that laminate gets wet, it swells and never regains the original shape. The dog peed on our Pergo and the fuzzy places the emerged a...
by mrc
Mon Mar 13, 2017 1:25 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: gratuitous homeownership items
Replies: 218
Views: 16729

Re: gratuitous homeownership items

Hi I don't know where you live but some of these surprised me. Pool (above ground) - removed If you have kids under about 12, they are great. In ground has the snob value, above ground do the work just as well. BUT other than that, no one seems to get value out of them. No kids. The pool was too co...
by mrc
Mon Mar 13, 2017 11:00 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: gratuitous homeownership items
Replies: 218
Views: 16729

Re: gratuitous homeownership items

Pool (above ground) - removed "Super Bath" Jacuzi Tub -- jets louder than a real jet, cold, large capacity, on well/septic - removed Alarm system (we have fur alarms) Intercom Wood burning fireplace (heat sync and blackens the walls) Whole house fan -- either too cold or too humid to use m...
by mrc
Sun Mar 12, 2017 4:44 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Forced role change, what would you do?
Replies: 38
Views: 2565

Re: Forced role change, what would you do?

I was told it was a permanent reduction in headcount of the R&D group and I was being added to the Manufacturing Engineering group because of my obvious skills in manufacturing engineering and my 10 years experience as a ME/ME Manager at a high volume/high precision automation heavy Tier 1 Auto...
by mrc
Fri Mar 10, 2017 6:02 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: What to do with all these passwords ?
Replies: 104
Views: 5895

Re: What to do with all these passwords ?

I use 1Password. VERY convenient. The spreadsheet doesn't come close. There is now no need for URL manager since the URLs are in each login's entry. I set auto fill but not auto submit to have a look before submitting your credentials. I make up a random answer for the security questions, e.g., stre...
by mrc
Thu Mar 09, 2017 1:35 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Kitchen cabinets
Replies: 73
Views: 5654

Re: Kitchen cabinets

If anyone has a single bowl sink in your kitchen, is it undermount? Would you recommend a single bowl sink? I always have a double bowl sink but now am thinking about getting a single bowl 30-36 in. wide instead. Are there any disadvantages of this type/size sink? Old house had a double sink 1/3-2/...
by mrc
Thu Mar 09, 2017 11:19 am
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Calculating overall expense ratios
Replies: 4
Views: 206

Re: Calculating overall expense ratios

Classic case of Excel percent confusion (and rounding truncation) with the format: Decimal 21056 0.000500 10.528 31033 0.002200 68.2726 87018 0.001600 139.2288 99826 0.000450 44.9217 ------ -------- -------- 238933 0.001101 262.9511 Percent formatted 21056 0.0500% 10.528 31033 0.2200% 68.2726 87018 ...
by mrc
Thu Mar 09, 2017 10:25 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Zero-Turn Mowers
Replies: 23
Views: 1651

Re: Zero-Turn Mowers

I purchased an eXmark with a 52" deck years ago for 2.5 acres. I did not want to purchase another mower in my lifetime. Nothing will wear out that cannot be replaced with this unit. The Deere models were simply over-priced compared to the eXmark at the time I was in the market. If you look on t...
by mrc
Sun Mar 05, 2017 5:06 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Net worth milestone reached: $100,000!
Replies: 52
Views: 3909

Re: Net worth milestone reached: $100,000!

Congratulations. Oh what a feeling!
by mrc
Sat Mar 04, 2017 3:12 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Giving my lawn the TLC it needs
Replies: 69
Views: 3469

Re: Giving my lawn the TLC it needs

Last year I had bare spots from tree removals. I did everything I normally do except adding some top soil to compensate for tree stump removal, and a heavier over seeding rate (6#/1000ft^2). Straw on top. Had to water once (a major pain on 2.5 acres). Normal routine: In the fall: Mow short. Aerate w...
by mrc
Sat Mar 04, 2017 5:15 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Giving my lawn the TLC it needs
Replies: 69
Views: 3469

Re: Giving my lawn the TLC it needs

... If you have kids and/or pets avoid chemicals. We use Milorganite when only fertilizing... Link From the website: Milorganite is composed of heat-dried microbes that have digested the organic material in wastewater. Milorganite is manufactured by the Milwaukee Metropolitan Sewerage District . Th...
by mrc
Fri Mar 03, 2017 5:39 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Crazy shipping boxes for small items
Replies: 7
Views: 653

Re: Crazy shipping boxes for small items

Sears did that with an order of mine a couple years ago. Five adjustable shop clamps came from three places in four huge boxes. The shipping had to cost more than the sale price on the product. Not seen it with Amazon.
by mrc
Thu Mar 02, 2017 12:29 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: What are the big things to get right?
Replies: 90
Views: 11084

Re: What are the big things to get right?

BW1985 wrote:
Solid list. I would definitely put index funds over stock picking much higher on the list.

I would also replace 'food' with 'restaurants/shopping' spending.


Especially since deciding to index is way easier than finding a spouse :beer
by mrc
Thu Mar 02, 2017 5:14 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: The Wall Street Journal to close Google loophole entirely
Replies: 114
Views: 11804

Re: The Wall Street Journal to close Google loophole entirely

I wish there were a way to access WSJ on occasion and compensate the publication, but for something less than $278/year. Current intro rates are better, but short lived. There must be a way to offer something between $0 and $278/year.
by mrc
Wed Mar 01, 2017 3:03 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: TIAA financial advisor?
Replies: 48
Views: 3356

Re: TIAA financial advisor?

So the no-cost consultations TIAA offers come in different flavors? I have over $1M at TIAA, yet I doubt I spoke with a CFP (no business card, so I don't know for sure). It was like having a live CSR in front of me -- that's all. Email sig says "Financial Consultant | Institutional Retirement&q...
by mrc
Wed Mar 01, 2017 1:56 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: The Wall Street Journal to close Google loophole entirely
Replies: 114
Views: 11804

Re: The Wall Street Journal to close Google loophole entirely

When I check links to publications from Facebook or Twitter posts, I resent a blocking banner saying subscribe to read further. I feel like I just wasted my time. I resent "turn off your ad blocker software" too. I generally just look for the content someplace else or move on. However, for...
by mrc
Tue Feb 28, 2017 12:54 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Do you clear your inbox?
Replies: 49
Views: 2978

Re: Do you clear your inbox?

I cc myself on every outgoing message. I know there are people that do this, but I find it incredibly silly. You already HAVE a copy of every message you ever sent (subject to retention policy and manual deletion). Why clutter up your mailbox with duplicate copies of everything? Corporate policy wa...
by mrc
Tue Feb 28, 2017 12:48 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Compounding under the microscope.
Replies: 89
Views: 6836

Re: Compounding under the microscope.

I remember reading a book one time where the question was asked: If you have a choice of working for $1000 per day for 35 days, versus working for one cent the first day and doubling the amount each day for 35 days, which choice would you take? Obviously we can't compound our money at 100% per day,...
by mrc
Mon Feb 27, 2017 3:52 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Do you clear your inbox?
Replies: 49
Views: 2978

Re: Do you clear your inbox?

I like a clean inbox. I deal with messages as they arrive (delete, reply, keep). I cc myself on every outgoing message. I used to file keepers in an organized tree, now everything I don't delete goes into a single archive folder. Mail search is my new friend. I just can't deal with a huge inbox. I l...
by mrc
Sun Feb 26, 2017 6:14 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Feline Achilles' tendon injury
Replies: 20
Views: 1132

Re: Feline Achilles' tendon injury

This is a lot like the decision whether to fix or replace a car: Put big money into a major engine repair only to have the tranny go 6 months later. Except we don't get (that) attached to our cars. We have had cars, dogs, and cats. Of the three, cats have the best ability to heal themselves, recover...
by mrc
Fri Feb 24, 2017 3:46 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Hearing Aid Benefits
Replies: 19
Views: 1030

Re: Hearing Aid Benefits

I really don't understand how an eBay purchase would work out. HAs need custom fitting and tuning to your hearing profile in both ears.

Anyway, +1 for Costco. $1200 for Kirkland Signature pair, compared to $6K for units from a boutique. For at 90 year old: this is some serious hardware.
by mrc
Fri Feb 24, 2017 12:36 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: free credit reports
Replies: 12
Views: 975

Re: free credit reports

I was about to sign up for it but saw these fine prints and decided not to continue. I'll get my credit reports from AnnualCreditReport.com instead. ... Us too. And since we have our CRs frozen, the online request fails (cannot complete the request at this time, but you can request by mail). So tha...
by mrc
Fri Feb 24, 2017 11:34 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: TIAA financial advisor?
Replies: 48
Views: 3356

Re: TIAA financial advisor?

Forgot to mention that during the complimentary consultation -- and while knowing I had just retired days ago -- there was no discussion of LTC insurance, or budget/expenses, or taxes at all.
by mrc
Fri Feb 24, 2017 5:14 am
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: risk of my Tesla deposit
Replies: 142
Views: 9769

Re: risk of my Tesla deposit

Be sure any tax credit remains clear of AMT. We turned a $5K credit into $300 several years ago.
by mrc
Fri Feb 24, 2017 5:04 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: TIAA financial advisor?
Replies: 48
Views: 3356

Re: TIAA financial advisor?

The Wizard wrote:
livesoft wrote:Thanks, then if I do this, I will insist that they take me to lunch first.

They're low budget.
This isn't EJ.
I doubt you'll get fed...
:)


They did have killer starlight mints in the candy jar! :wink:
by mrc
Thu Feb 23, 2017 5:01 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: TIAA financial advisor?
Replies: 48
Views: 3356

Re: TIAA financial advisor?

Back from my meeting [with a TIAA advisor]. Not worth the effort IMHO. Rep walked through my "profile" update affirming assets and risk tolerance. Thanks for this report. My local TIAA rep (a CFP) found out about me and has contacted me about free no-obligation look-see. I might do it if ...
by mrc
Thu Feb 23, 2017 4:55 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: TSP Participant Account Balances
Replies: 43
Views: 8359

Re: TSP Participant Account Balances

In DC at least, there's a lot of rotation between public and private sector. Could be that people work for five years in gov, go to private sector, and keep the TSP. That could affect balances. Or come to government service as a second career. Wife has over $1M in retirement assets, but not all wit...
by mrc
Thu Feb 23, 2017 4:39 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: TIAA financial advisor?
Replies: 48
Views: 3356

Re: TIAA financial advisor?

In the process of getting ready to retire in 6 months I was wondering what my options were with an old 403b account I had with TIAA-CREF. About a third is in the traditional TIAA annuity paying about 4.5% and the other 2/3 is in the CREF stock fund. (these moneys account for about 15% of my retirem...
by mrc
Tue Feb 21, 2017 8:52 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Garage Floor Covering - Need Advice
Replies: 20
Views: 1282

Re: Garage Floor Covering - Need Advice

Am considering having our garage floor covered/protected. Can anyone provide advice on either the more permanent epoxy covering or the semi-permanent 'plastic jigsaw pieces' coverings? Primary objective is to protect our new concrete garage floor at a reasonable cost. Thank you, in advance. Protect...
by mrc
Tue Feb 21, 2017 8:39 am
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Trying to understand TIAA Traditional
Replies: 25
Views: 1245

Re: Trying to understand TIAA Traditional

The one study that I know of comparing TIAA Traditional to bond. http://collegeretirement.blogspot.com/2 ... -deal.html Broken link. I'd like to read this. Found the articles (it's a small site): Is TIAA Traditional a good deal? - The Payout Phase Is TIAA Traditional a Good Deal? - The Accumulation...
by mrc
Tue Feb 21, 2017 8:32 am
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Trying to understand TIAA Traditional
Replies: 25
Views: 1245

Re: Trying to understand TIAA Traditional

student wrote:
The one study that I know of comparing TIAA Traditional to bond. http://collegeretirement.blogspot.com/2 ... -deal.html


Broken link. I'd like to read this.

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