Search found 1055 matches

by mrc
Sat Feb 24, 2018 8:34 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Third floor too hot with central A/C: options?
Replies: 20
Views: 1076

Re: Third floor too hot with central A/C: options?

Our second floor gets hot in the summer. House has the feed plenum for 2nd story in the attic, and flexible duct to ceiling vents in the rooms. he central return in the hallway. So no closing doors. This has to be the worst idea ever. HVAC tech says there is no way to push cold heavy air from the ba...
by mrc
Thu Feb 22, 2018 8:22 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Confusion about prepaying property taxes
Replies: 137
Views: 13334

Re: Confusion about prepaying property taxes

I think the “hard line” comes from the feeling that in years past the IRS allowed, or at least didn’t challenge, people making an estimated payment. Montgomery County in Maryland just told their residents to do exactly that. I noticed my check for property tax pre-payment hasn't cleared the bank ye...
by mrc
Sat Feb 17, 2018 7:47 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Best plants to grow to save money for food costs
Replies: 93
Views: 4896

Re: Best plants to grow to save money for food costs

I have grown crops to obtain particular varieties of produce and herbs/spices that are difficult to impossible to find locally. I've grown for better quality (think grocery store cannon ball tomatoes). But never to save money. I found tending a garden doesn't save all that much money, especially giv...
by mrc
Fri Feb 16, 2018 5:31 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Federal Retiree Health Care with/Medicare
Replies: 206
Views: 15270

Re: Federal Retiree Health Care with/Medicare

In modest defense of mrc, I tried the link this morning with Chrome on both Mac and PC and the expand/collapse twistie didn't work. Not an adblock, blocked cookie or script, or other usual issue. I looked around on the Medicare site for a webmaster contact link or email address to notify, didn't fi...
by mrc
Fri Feb 16, 2018 11:37 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Federal Retiree Health Care with/Medicare
Replies: 206
Views: 15270

Re: Federal Retiree Health Care with/Medicare

... After reading all these posts, I am concerned whether my spouse will have to pay a penalty if we decide to take B within the 8 month period. He is nearly 69, I am close to 68 (March). I had assumed the 8 month period also pertained to him as dependent on my policy but now not so sure. If spouse...
by mrc
Wed Feb 14, 2018 5:17 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: C-Suite etiquette advise needed
Replies: 27
Views: 3666

Re: C-Suite etiquette advise needed

Ask for the faux gras, it's a dried textured vegetable protein bean dip. :D My DW is a vegan non-drinker. From what I have observed over the years, things work best when you politely and quietly request club soda (so you have something in your hand), and decline the animal products with grace. "No t...
by mrc
Mon Feb 12, 2018 12:34 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Vanguard 1099s available - Other companies just as good for sending 1099s???
Replies: 67
Views: 7938

Re: Vanguard 1099s available - Other companies just as good for sending 1099s???

oldzey wrote:
Mon Feb 12, 2018 12:03 pm
My "Consolidated Form 1099" just showed up!

Time to file taxes! :sharebeer
Just received the email. Alas:

Tax information is temporarily unavailable. Please try again later or contact us.

I must not alone :?
by mrc
Thu Feb 08, 2018 4:11 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Financial Hole
Replies: 163
Views: 13402

Re: Financial Hole

You'd have to take the kid and smokes up with the wife,I've been down that road and she isn't budging. So I can only work on me right now... I think that Consumer Cellular is what old people use,and I'm sure that doesn't include data. Wow. :annoyed Consumer Cellular offers cheaper plans than your c...
by mrc
Tue Feb 06, 2018 2:05 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: No such thing as true own occupation in group LTD insurance?
Replies: 6
Views: 264

Re: No such thing as true own occupation in group LTD insurance?

Way back when I shopped for external LTD for spouse and me. One big difference, other than portability, was own-occupation vs any. Group policies through employers may not be what you really want. You might try pricing LTD on your own. ETA: You may want to ask your HR dept about the terms. Read the...
by mrc
Tue Feb 06, 2018 1:49 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: No such thing as true own occupation in group LTD insurance?
Replies: 6
Views: 264

Re: No such thing as true own occupation in group LTD insurance?

Way back when I shopped for external LTD for spouse and me. One big difference, other than portability, was own-occupation vs any. Group policies through employers may not be what you really want. You might try pricing LTD on your own. ETA: You may want to ask your HR dept about the terms. Read the ...
by mrc
Mon Feb 05, 2018 7:31 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Cheapest funeral options
Replies: 40
Views: 3062

Re: Cheapest funeral options

So we made a mistake and called a funeral home to do the cremation, which resulted in the bill being double what a direct cremation would have cost. I don't understand why it is implied that cremation done by a funeral home and direct cremation are mutually exclusive. Funeral homes can do direct cr...
by mrc
Sat Feb 03, 2018 3:27 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Cheapest funeral options
Replies: 40
Views: 3062

Re: Cheapest funeral options

Whole body anatomical donation is one way, but some institutions impost a fairly high fee if they work with a funeral home. Others cover the entire cost. And it's possible that the body cannot be accepted for anatomical use (e.g., if it's too heavy, communicable disease, isn't discovered timely). Lo...
by mrc
Wed Jan 31, 2018 5:05 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: How to ship two big tubs of butter internationally?
Replies: 43
Views: 3444

Re: How to ship two big tubs of butter internationally?

Mango butter (AKA mango oil, mango kernel fat) is an extracted nut oil. Doesn't need refrigeration, but has a low melting point. https://www.amazon.com/Mango-Butter-Better-Shea-Moisturizer/dp/B01I5I9UYA?SubscriptionId=AKIAILSHYYTFIVPWUY6Q&tag=duckduckgo-ffab-20&linkCode=xm2&camp=2025&creative=165953...
by mrc
Mon Jan 29, 2018 9:00 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Any Difference Between Retiring and Resigning?
Replies: 3
Views: 667

Re: Any Difference Between Retiring and Resigning?

If the company offers perks for retirees (insurance coverage, other discounts), perhaps. My megacorp assumed you were 65+ so what they offered wasn't much benefit to me. I simply resigned and moved my 401k and company ESPP stock shares elsewhere.
by mrc
Sat Jan 27, 2018 5:19 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: What hourly consulting rate outside my day job?
Replies: 28
Views: 1467

Re: What hourly consulting rate outside my day job?

You want to make sure your employer doesn't have a policy that prohibits or restricts moonlighting. There are things you can do to check without telling the employer. Thanks, I will check into that. I can't imagine they would have any such policy. It's a typical megacorp with 100k employees worldwi...
by mrc
Thu Jan 25, 2018 1:35 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Using disinfecting wipes to clean surfaces
Replies: 48
Views: 3067

Re: Using disinfecting wipes to clean surfaces

This is about hand sanitizer, but wipes are supposed to perform a similar function .... The labels say “Kills 99.99% of germs.” What does that really mean? Experts such as Theodor Rosebury estimate that there are 10 million individual bacteria living on the average cm2 of human skin. Adults possess ...
by mrc
Thu Jan 25, 2018 10:19 am
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Question to Taylor and others regarding bucket approach in retirement
Replies: 53
Views: 3246

Re: Question to Taylor and others regarding bucket approach in retirement

This thought from livesoft in another thread is exactly what I needed to be OK without the $150K savings account. The other thing I come back to....The money you absolutely cannot afford to lose has to be in truly safe investments. I think differently about that. Since bond funds don't ever drop mor...
by mrc
Tue Jan 23, 2018 12:14 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Jeans without strong chemical odor
Replies: 36
Views: 1894

Re: Jeans without strong chemical odor

Mine from Land's End don't stink. I won't go to the clothing department of department stores, or clothing stores because I can't stand the chemical assault. I don't notice it in the clothing store but every time I go to Home Depot I feel like I am taking years off my life. Pep Boys makes me gag. :b...
by mrc
Tue Jan 23, 2018 8:07 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Jeans without strong chemical odor
Replies: 36
Views: 1894

Re: Jeans without strong chemical odor

Mine from Land's End don't stink. I won't go to the clothing department of department stores, or clothing stores because I can't stand the chemical assault.
by mrc
Mon Jan 22, 2018 5:27 am
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: TIAA and me again (and Vanguard)
Replies: 14
Views: 1025

Re: TIAA and me again (and Vanguard)

Going off your previous thread, why don't you transfer your 403(b) from your former employer (with poor fund choices) to the 403(b) with your current employer (with good fund choices)? That's a good idea, move it all (unless you want a piece of TREA). I worked for a large university, and can access...
by mrc
Sun Jan 21, 2018 7:45 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: return expensive 3 year old's eye glasses?
Replies: 22
Views: 1726

Re: return expensive 3 year old's eye glasses?

60 Minutes reported on Luxottica's vertical integration a while back. They make frames (even designer) for $3 each, they own many optical shops (including LensCrafters Pearle Vision, Sears Optical, Target Optical, Sunglass Hut, Oakley), and they are EyeMed insurance! That's why my progressive lens ...
by mrc
Sun Jan 21, 2018 5:54 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Refinishing roughed in stairs - removing carpet
Replies: 60
Views: 4166

Re: Refinishing roughed in stairs - removing carpet

My 2cents If the oak is on the thin side, it may have cracked on a glue line. Doesn't take much stress. Overall, a glued-up board is more stable than a solid wide piece. So I wouldn't fret about the glue joints per se. Generally, the glue joints are the strongest part provided the joint is sound. Pe...
by mrc
Thu Jan 11, 2018 2:30 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Trying to downsize but still too much stuff
Replies: 59
Views: 5884

Re: Trying to downsize but still too much stuff

...Personally, I've never understood keeping your wedding dress and things like that. My Mother has had hers for 50 years and not taken it out once. What is the point? My MIL was married in 1944. My wife wore the dress in 1984. It happens. It was very neat as the war-time silk was very special.
by mrc
Wed Jan 10, 2018 1:01 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: If I have a million with Edward Jones, in 10 years, how much money has my FA made off me?
Replies: 48
Views: 6490

Re: If I have a million with Edward Jones, in 10 years, how much money has my FA made off me?

With your folks in mind, ponder the Keep Costs Low objective of the BH philosophy. That is the graph that made me move out of managed funds at a financial institution (and employer!) into index funds with low cost providers.
by mrc
Tue Jan 09, 2018 9:23 am
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Roth brokerage transfers into sweep fund.
Replies: 0
Views: 125

Roth brokerage transfers into sweep fund.

My first time using a brokerage-type account for a Roth (Fidelity). Don't forget when you transfer funds to your Roth account, the funds are deposited into your sweep fund (e.g., a money market). After the transfer settles, you must then transfer the new contribution from the sweep fund into your de...
by mrc
Wed Jan 03, 2018 2:30 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Do you eventually get accustomed to your higher balances?
Replies: 47
Views: 6860

Re: Do you eventually get accustomed to your higher balances?

I didn't come from money either. Yes you get used to it, but for me I was well into middle age. The experience was made easier by having several different accounts: current, former employers, IRAs, etc. Our '17 year-end gains (just market movement and interest/div, excluding contributions) were more...
by mrc
Fri Dec 29, 2017 11:11 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Plow Guy Raised Rates
Replies: 112
Views: 9459

Re: Plow Guy Raised Rates

It's not the increased rate that's the problem. It's the lack of notification and the fact that he doesn't see an issue with raising rates and hoping I don't notice. To be honest, if he had come to me and asked to increase the rate, I would have agreed as the rate has been at $45 since 2013. Obviou...
by mrc
Thu Dec 28, 2017 6:18 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: The Economics of a new Puppy
Replies: 113
Views: 7311

Re: The Economics of a new Puppy

We have 5 fur logs right now, and have had dogs in the house for 35+ years. We use chewy.com for food because local big box pet stores don't carry our brand, and the boutique shops that do charge a lot more. We have one on Science Diet available only from the vet. We use valleyvet.com & healthwareho...
by mrc
Wed Dec 27, 2017 3:19 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Confusion about prepaying property taxes
Replies: 137
Views: 13334

Re: Confusion about prepaying property taxes

Just got back from the treasurer/assessor's office in my town, where it's the rare person that doesn't itemize. People were lining up to prepay property taxes. I pre-paid the two payments that would have been due in the first half of 2018 - these are part of the 2017-18 fiscal year, so that seemed ...
by mrc
Wed Dec 27, 2017 7:51 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Confusion about prepaying property taxes
Replies: 137
Views: 13334

Re: Confusion about prepaying property taxes

My county enacted legislation during an emergency session yesterday. If you checked to see whether your jurisdiction accepts prepayments before, and they did not, you may want to check again . A few are making last-minute changes. We'll save ~30% of the tax bill by deducting '18 state/local taxes on...
by mrc
Fri Dec 22, 2017 12:52 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Any Instant Pot users here?
Replies: 102
Views: 11212

Re: Any Instant Pot users here?

I can't be the only one to keep seeing this thread in the list and think this has something to do with Nestlé's new Quick Marijuana product.
by mrc
Thu Dec 21, 2017 11:59 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Please Post Tax Bill Questions Here [was Tax Bill Omnibus Thread]
Replies: 886
Views: 51146

Re: Tax Bill Omnibus Thread

Although the new tax bill is eliminating exemptions on the tax forms, I expect there to still be exemptions in the W4. For those that use their withholding as a savings account, there should be little difference. Likewise for those of us who estimate our taxes in advance and whose W4 exemptions hav...
by mrc
Wed Dec 20, 2017 2:37 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Please Post Tax Bill Questions Here [was Tax Bill Omnibus Thread]
Replies: 886
Views: 51146

Re: Tax Bill Omnibus Thread

The problem though is that your state or county has to allow the prepayment of property tax. I was getting all ready to go in and give them a $10,000 check to prepay 2018 property taxes but then checked the county website. Washington state law prohibits the payment of property tax in a year before ...
by mrc
Wed Dec 20, 2017 9:47 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: TurboTax Prices
Replies: 171
Views: 21258

Re: TurboTax Prices

What he said. I won't buy a copy for download. I want a product in a box. So 6 yrs from now if I have to open a file for whatever reason I can install it on what will presumably be a different computer. Also important for amending returns. Once in a blue moon, computer architectures change (e.g., M...
by mrc
Wed Dec 20, 2017 7:44 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Aprilaire Humidifier
Replies: 29
Views: 2237

Re: Aprilaire Humidifier

When you adjust the humidistat (dial) up and down, do you hear a not-so-faint click? Perhaps the solenoid isn't getting power and isn't opening.
by mrc
Wed Dec 20, 2017 5:46 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Best place to get eyeglasses / no vision insurance
Replies: 94
Views: 16130

Re: Best place to get eyeglasses / no vision insurance

sperry8 wrote:
Tue Dec 19, 2017 11:39 pm
... Weirdly the phone rep told me to subtract 3mm from the pupillary distance I had from my eye doc. Can't understand why (he didn't explain) so I just subtracted 1mm, and will hope. ...
Were these for reading? When you focus on closer objects, your eyes turn slightly inward.
by mrc
Tue Dec 19, 2017 12:41 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Does a State job make it easier to get a FED job?
Replies: 10
Views: 1111

Re: Does a State job make it easier to get a FED job?

Except for holding a license (e.g., for a state bar or a PE), probably not. There isn't really a government service job hierarchy.
by mrc
Sun Dec 17, 2017 9:37 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: New job offer - background check
Replies: 140
Views: 7670

Re: New job offer - background check

Is there no background check to be a company comptroller? If it comes up, tell them what you told us: 14+ years ago at age 17, my dumb high school friends and I decided it would be a good idea to shoot out a bunch of car windows in a couple different towns one night. Long story short, I was charged ...
by mrc
Sun Dec 17, 2017 5:49 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Year end review with less nerdy spouse
Replies: 72
Views: 8307

Re: Year end review with less nerdy spouse

About once a year ... Me: On 12/31/XX, we had $X in retirement savings, and $Y in "cash." Retirement accounts are $Z in equities, the rest in bonds (60/40). Her: What happens if the stock market crazy drops? Me: Nothing. While we wait for it to come back, we live on the pension + SS, and supplement ...
by mrc
Mon Dec 11, 2017 2:48 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Upside Down On Vehicle
Replies: 16
Views: 1264

Re: Upside Down On Vehicle

Drive it. Enjoy it. And if you need to sell, don't use a stealership. These should hold their value for trades folks.
by mrc
Sun Dec 10, 2017 11:12 am
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Reasons why not to shorten target fund
Replies: 9
Views: 604

Re: Reasons why not to shorten target fund

I did the opposite with my wife and my target funds. I chose dates farther out—to be more aggressive. That was before I found BHs and the three fund portfolio. Also while we both had far lower assets.
by mrc
Sat Dec 09, 2017 4:25 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Home Security Camera: Post a Warning Sign or Not?
Replies: 20
Views: 2649

Re: Home Security Camera: Post a Warning Sign or Not?

If you want evidence of a crime, conceal the cameras and post no sign.

If you want the thieves to keep on walking, post conspicuous signs.


My sign: Our dogs can run from back door to the fence in 1.2 seconds. Can you?
by mrc
Fri Dec 08, 2017 4:52 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Sweet Gum Balls
Replies: 36
Views: 2683

Re: Sweet Gum Balls

Here is a link to the product in question: https://baganut.com/collections/pick-up-sweet-gum-balls/products/36-push-sweet-gum-harvester Those work great for walnuts and hickory nuts which are smooth. Not sure this would pick up buckets of gum balls. Search the questions for "gum" and see what other...
by mrc
Fri Dec 08, 2017 12:25 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Mold removal from wood
Replies: 14
Views: 1391

Re: Mold removal from wood

This is the first time I'm hearing about Concrobium and have a few questions. Is this the product that would be used after a hurricane for mold remediation? Is this the product incorporated into anti-mold paints? Is the product as non-toxic as it seems? From the FAQ: Sodium Carbonate is the listed ...
by mrc
Fri Dec 08, 2017 12:07 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Sweet Gum Balls
Replies: 36
Views: 2683

Re: Sweet Gum Balls

I have a half dozen each sweetgum (Liquidambar styraciflua) and sycamore (Platanus occidentalis) in my yard. The seed balls disappear soon after falling when I mow with a mulching mower. I will say that for a couple weeks when the fruits fall, the areas become no bare feet zones. But that's OK becau...
by mrc
Fri Dec 08, 2017 6:31 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Question about IRMAA and first couple years of retirement
Replies: 17
Views: 1819

Re: Question about IRMAA and first couple years of retirement

What does the letter from your former employer need to state? Is it just a few lines stating your name and that you retired on a specific date. Or does it require address, SS number etc? Thanks Anyone who needs this should either already have your PII (personally identifiable information), or you w...
by mrc
Wed Dec 06, 2017 6:48 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Concrete vs Pavers
Replies: 18
Views: 2153

Re: Concrete vs Pavers

When I replaced an asphalt driveway concrete and pavers were about the same price. The old driveway had to be broken up and removed. The substrate for concrete was pretty much already there. The contractor installed reinforcing mesh and poured in sections. The 20' or so adjacent to the road had to b...
by mrc
Wed Dec 06, 2017 1:22 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Are plasma TV's gone forever?
Replies: 36
Views: 4744

Re: Are plasma TV's gone forever?

So, when will this thread appear on the board? Can I use my old plasma TV to heat the guestroom? Our Panasonic TH42PX20 can heat the bedroom by itself. Coupled with a 300w halogen lamp and several dogs, it was like having a space heater running. I was sorry to see plasma sets be so short lived. But ...
by mrc
Wed Dec 06, 2017 12:33 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Cat sitter info
Replies: 21
Views: 1105

Re: Cat sitter info

We boarded our cat rather than having someone stop by. The stress of being left alone and visited by a stranger balanced out the stress of being boarded. Techs played with the cat (she was friendly and exhibited somewhat atypical catness). Also on the up side, there were no—how do I put it—signs of ...
by mrc
Wed Nov 29, 2017 6:29 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Does it make sense to drop health insurance?
Replies: 198
Views: 8097

Re: Does it make sense to drop health insurance?

Healthy people can become sick people in the blink of an eye.

If you can sleep without any insurance, great. I couldn't.

I find both dental and vision insurance more of a prepay plan. I don't see going in for an eye exam or a cleaning leading to a $64,000 bill.