Search found 115 matches

by ncbill
Fri Dec 15, 2017 2:01 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Lexus RX 350 - new vs. preowned
Replies: 29
Views: 1812

Re: Lexus RX 350 - new vs. preowned

My almost 80-year-old in-laws love their 2015 CPO (bought last year)

It has been back to the dealer several times for software upgrades - don't know if that's an indication of a problem or simply that the previous owner never bothered.
by ncbill
Wed Dec 13, 2017 9:31 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Microwave - Reliable built-in with vent?
Replies: 11
Views: 687

Re: Microwave - Reliable built-in with vent?

A knowledgeable appliance salesperson will share with you that a microwave with a built in vent is going to provide marginal performance at best as they are designed for convenience. These are really not a good idea.................. I am skeptical of that claim. Over-the-range microwaves are setup...
by ncbill
Wed Dec 13, 2017 7:40 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Quit jobs to gain lower EFC [Expected Family Contribution]
Replies: 89
Views: 5850

Re: Quit jobs to gain lower EFC

When I fill out the Net Cost Calculators for schools that our first is considering, the senior in H.S. (mostly private, east coast; one ivy, let me know if you need specifics), we get a number lower than our EFC. For those who have gone through this process over the past few years, is this typical?...
by ncbill
Mon Dec 11, 2017 3:16 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: 2018 financial goals - what are yours?
Replies: 79
Views: 6556

Re: 2018 financial goals - what are yours?

Send the last kid off to undergrad.

Preferably on someone else's dime.

They're trying their best to get Uncle Sam to pay for it.

Time will tell.
by ncbill
Thu Dec 07, 2017 7:12 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Jack Bogle Is Worried About U.S. Pensions
Replies: 85
Views: 8219

Re: Jack Bogle Is Worried About U.S. Pensions

^It is pretty clear that many retirees do not like to spend principal and will cut back on expenses rather than sell capital. It's a behavioral thing that many academics did not plan for. One way to get retirees to spend the money is to sell them annuities with monthly payouts. Very true. Whether g...
by ncbill
Thu Dec 07, 2017 1:33 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Umbrella liability insurance policy to match portfolio size?
Replies: 30
Views: 2705

Re: Umbrella liability insurance policy to match portfolio size?

To use an imperfect analogy: if you were constructing a building at the seashore, would your seawall be the height of the largest wave (plus some margin), or the height of the building? Clearly what matters is the tallest wave you might encounter. As others have said, ANY size umbrella policy can b...
by ncbill
Thu Dec 07, 2017 12:30 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Do people still use AAA?
Replies: 181
Views: 10762

Re: Do people still use AAA?

Sure, it's a minimal expense for the family. Let it expire and you get significantly discounted renewal offers. BTW, on another forum one tow driver posted a few years ago that insurance plan reimbursement for towing is much lower than what AAA pays, so for him at least those calls went to the botto...
by ncbill
Fri Dec 01, 2017 10:31 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: quiet natural gas generators
Replies: 38
Views: 2163

Re: quiet natural gas generators

We had our 20KW Generac installed in the spring of 2013 by our HVAC contractor, who sells/installs/maintain both the Generac and Kohler brands with no "push" to install one over the other. We went with the Generac primarily due to market penetration when compared to the other brands. While one of t...
by ncbill
Thu Nov 30, 2017 4:28 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Water filtration system - worth it?
Replies: 17
Views: 1087

Re: Water filtration system - worth it?

Saw a neat whole house filter system on This Old House (didn't track down a link)

It consisted of a standard sediment canister filter then a whopping big (think oversized fire extinguisher) long-life carbon filter.
by ncbill
Thu Nov 30, 2017 4:22 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: What can we learn from BitCoin’s surge?
Replies: 37
Views: 3142

Re: What can we learn from BitCoin’s surge?

Start your own crypto currency to sell.
by ncbill
Thu Nov 30, 2017 4:05 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Social Security Number Asked for use of POA by Credit Card Company
Replies: 14
Views: 1252

Re: Social Security Number Asked for use of POA by Credit Card Company

No way I'd give them my SSN.

Notarized letter sent certified mail, return receipt with a copy of your POA attached, said letter worded something like
"Account closed at customer request"

In my state POAs have to be registered at the county courthouse so I always sent a certified copy of the POA.
by ncbill
Wed Nov 29, 2017 11:44 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Does it make sense to drop health insurance?
Replies: 198
Views: 7146

Re: Does it make sense to drop health insurance?

I have never, ever heard of a situation where one should not have health insurance even for a day. Even dental insurance is a good idea to avoid being gouged by the fictitious "regular" cost. I'm glad you brought that up. In fact, we do not have dental insurance. Our dentist completely understands ...
by ncbill
Wed Nov 29, 2017 5:22 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Why should I donate to my alma mater?
Replies: 133
Views: 9374

Re: Why should I donate to my alma mater?

Once you donate once to any charity they will hit you up every year for eternity. Your alma mater may still solicit you for donations even if you've never made a donation. :annoyed I feel zero guilt about not contributing to more administrative bloat, bigger marquees, fancier dorms, and amazing rec...
by ncbill
Wed Nov 29, 2017 1:17 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Safest roomy luxury suv?
Replies: 58
Views: 5093

Re: Safest roomy luxury suv?

Had a Xc90, ml 350, qx60. Cost of Ownership is high on all 3. Xc90 had too many issues after 5 years. Ml 350 drive like a car and fun to drive, I did not feel safe with that vehicle, too light. Qx60 is the newest I own with a lot of bells and whistles and a lot of neat safety features. By far, I fe...
by ncbill
Wed Nov 29, 2017 1:06 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Does it make sense to drop health insurance?
Replies: 198
Views: 7146

Re: Does it make sense to drop health insurance?

Unfortunately I have more questions then answers for your situation. Have you looked at short-term health insurance as an alternative? Does your wife work? If so, can she get access to health insurance or transfer to a company that offers health insurance? How long will you be going without health ...
by ncbill
Tue Nov 28, 2017 1:36 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Kidde fire extinguisher recall
Replies: 41
Views: 3068

Re: Kidde fire extinguisher recall

registered 3 eligible for the recall on their site, received the first replacement yesterday
by ncbill
Sat Nov 25, 2017 6:49 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Discovered debt
Replies: 63
Views: 7595

Re: Discovered debt

...He needs to get a W-2 job even if it is only part time. Is the above realistic for a 67 year old whose "business" has never made a dime? (i.e. forget his age, does he really have any marketable skills?) Wouldn't applying for spousal SS retirement benefits be his best option for income, assuming ...
by ncbill
Sat Nov 25, 2017 12:54 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Discovered debt
Replies: 63
Views: 7595

Re: Discovered debt

Puzzled why people have her drawing funds from her creditor-protected accounts - those should never be touched in this situation. And home equity would be protected under a bankruptcy filing, so the taxable monies are the ones at risk (are they needed for retirement?) Since hubby has a hobby, not a ...
by ncbill
Sat Nov 25, 2017 12:36 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: What are average incomes for luxury vehicle purchases? Will help me decide
Replies: 57
Views: 3650

Re: What are average incomes for luxury vehicle purchases? Will help me decide

...If you make 200k per year then 2 $40k vehicles is the same percentage. That should get you into the BMW, MB, Lexus, Audi range (the lower end of the range anyway). Spending 40%-50% of annual income on ALL cars for the household every 8-10 years seems reasonable to me, if you place value on drivi...
by ncbill
Sat Nov 25, 2017 12:03 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: TVs: Go for $0 or $300
Replies: 17
Views: 1764

Re: TVs: Go for $0 or $300

old tv.

& please, for the love of all that's HDTV, boycott 60Hz panels...
by ncbill
Mon Nov 20, 2017 10:46 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: iPhone vs Android longevity
Replies: 9
Views: 1006

Re: iPhone vs Android longevity

Forget the software.

The glass on my kids' iPhones crack if you look at them funny.

So they're stuck with big, bulky cases while I have a minimalist, rubberized cover for my Moto.
by ncbill
Mon Nov 20, 2017 10:43 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: My dad's army jacket
Replies: 70
Views: 5140

Re: My dad's army jacket

Spirit Rider, thanks for the recap of U.S. Code on the subject of uniforms. Interesting. Assume the mere fact it is specified in US Code is considered its own deterrent, as I'm having a tough time imagining any literal enforcement. I think a lawyer would have a field day (not a Navy one :D ) defend...
by ncbill
Mon Nov 20, 2017 10:20 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Water Heater Install $1,800!
Replies: 75
Views: 10115

Re: Water Heater Install $1,800!

Consider the warranty. Tanks with 5-6 year warranties have ONE anode rod. Tanks with 10-12 year warranties have TWO anode rods (or sometimes a really thick single rod). Think of the rod as a timer to tank failure. The speed depends somewhat on water quality, pH, etc. The rod sacrifices itself as th...
by ncbill
Mon Nov 20, 2017 10:17 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: My fafsa has made me an "independent" because I was born before Jan. 1 1995. But im not independent...
Replies: 19
Views: 1537

Re: My fafsa has made me an "independent" because I was born before Jan. 1 1995. But im not independent...

petulant wrote:
Sat Nov 18, 2017 10:26 am
Why are you troubled that you can't put down your mother's income? By not listing that income, your expected family contribution will be much lower, increasing your aid.
No kidding.

I considered bribing my high school senior to enlist for a 2 year MOS just to get independent status...
by ncbill
Tue Nov 14, 2017 3:28 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Why pay cash for a car?
Replies: 179
Views: 15231

Re: Why pay cash for a car?

There are several ways to look at this. The problem with buying new is the depreciation expense in the first 3 years of ownership. Many people end up underwater because of this. Also, if you crash the car a week later, your insurance is going to nickel and dime you over the market value of the vehi...
by ncbill
Sat Nov 11, 2017 10:40 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Worth changing 40 gal. to 30gal. hot water tank?
Replies: 90
Views: 4878

Re: Worth changing 40 gal. to 30gal. hot water tank?

I have a 40 and am going to a 30 once mine wears out. I can save about $100 a year. I should have done it a long time ago but I hate to get rid of something that is working. My father once ran a duplex on one 30 gallon tank. Remember the key is timing. Since he lived in the other half. He just note...
by ncbill
Sat Nov 11, 2017 11:31 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Liability insurance for college students in dorms ?
Replies: 13
Views: 1083

Re: Liability insurance for college students in dorms ?

I did buy small low deductible property insurance for my kids living in college dorms. What about liability insurance ? I am told by my broker that my home and umbrella policies do not cover them in the dorms, despite fact that online research indicated that this is usually included. One kid moving...
by ncbill
Sat Nov 11, 2017 11:09 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: term insurance renewal, now i'm high risk - "special situation"?
Replies: 17
Views: 1607

Re: term insurance renewal, now i'm high risk - "special situation"?

A key factor here is this something you can change? Another option is to get the Term policy and then go on a strict diet and exercise plan. Make appropriate fitness goals. Next year you might be able to pay a very normal amount. The issue is anxiety, I've been taking something like Celexa for year...
by ncbill
Sat Nov 11, 2017 10:58 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Worth changing 40 gal. to 30gal. hot water tank?
Replies: 90
Views: 4878

Re: Worth changing 40 gal. to 30gal. hot water tank?

No reason to change unless it isn't working for your family, i.e. regularly running out of hot water.

But you should check the sacrificial anode, as it likely needs replacement on a 10+ year old water heater.
by ncbill
Wed Nov 01, 2017 2:02 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Cheap low speed unlimited data
Replies: 16
Views: 1509

Re: Cheap low speed unlimited data

plenty of people reselling hotspots on ebay

which are signed up on someone's plan for unlimited verizon 3G (only around 1MBps) for $5/month.

i have one for backup/travel.
by ncbill
Wed Nov 01, 2017 8:55 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: No true pay as you go [cellphone plan]
Replies: 63
Views: 5295

Re: No true pay as you go [cellphone plan]

Sorry, but FP has been doing this shady billing for a long time. I set these up years ago when only one device was allowed per email. If I consolidate them, they then charge $5/month, per line. AFAIK, there's no option to have multiple, free devices under one email. It's been such a hassle I now rec...
by ncbill
Tue Oct 31, 2017 7:39 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: No true pay as you go [cellphone plan]
Replies: 63
Views: 5295

Re: No true pay as you go [cellphone plan]

OP, that Red Pocket plan is the most flexible - the kit allows you to choose whichever network (AT&T, Sprint, T-Mobile, Verizon) works best in your area. I just ordered it to use with an old Sprint tablet. Freedompop...well, you better have great Sprint coverage. And use a prepaid (or temporary) cre...
by ncbill
Tue Oct 31, 2017 7:21 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: House - leaking chimney - thoughts?
Replies: 24
Views: 1159

Re: House - leaking chimney - thoughts?

Chimney caps also rust-through - had that happen at several homes here in our neighborhood.
by ncbill
Tue Oct 31, 2017 7:16 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: MacBook Maintenance/Improvement - Running Slow
Replies: 16
Views: 1068

Re: MacBook Maintenance/Improvement - Running Slow

SSD with 4GB memory will be faster than 8GB memory with a hard drive.

I've upgraded a couple of 2012 used MacBook Pro models to a 256GB SSD but left them with the stock, 4GB memory.
by ncbill
Tue Oct 31, 2017 7:05 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: New Car: Ever make sense to lease?
Replies: 84
Views: 5597

Re: New Car: Ever make sense to lease?

Here are Edmunds best lease deals of October: https://www.edmunds.com/car-leasing/monthly-199-lease-deals.html All require some money and fees down and all are at least 22 cents a mile, which is not cheap. JT Those are the national offers. They are only a starting point for negotiation, e.g. you ne...
by ncbill
Mon Oct 23, 2017 8:33 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Buy a rental property before primary home?
Replies: 20
Views: 1824

Re: Buy a rental property before primary home?

Should I buy a rental property before my primary home (not planning to buy a duplex)? $600 k cash $400 k stocks $300 k yearly income (work plus business) 800s credit score No debt/in my 30s I am thinking about buying a house near my work ($400 k). However, I am not exactly sure if I see myself livi...
by ncbill
Wed Oct 18, 2017 11:35 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Buy a rental property before primary home?
Replies: 20
Views: 1824

Re: Buy a rental property before primary home?

Should I buy a rental property before my primary home (not planning to buy a duplex)? $600 k cash $400 k stocks $300 k yearly income (work plus business) 800s credit score No debt/in my 30s I am thinking about buying a house near my work ($400 k). However, I am not exactly sure if I see myself livi...
by ncbill
Tue Oct 17, 2017 4:14 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: How many miles/years do you keep your car?
Replies: 108
Views: 7753

Re: How many miles/years do you keep your car?

newest vehicle 2007, oldest 1997, 50k-200k miles.

most acquired used from relatives.

very happy an older relative finally agreed to part with their (top trim-line) Town Car

plan on keeping that at least another decade (preferably two)
by ncbill
Tue Oct 17, 2017 3:56 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Converting to Safety Razors
Replies: 116
Views: 11743

Re: Converting to Safety Razors

I tried switching to a Merkur safety razor, badger brush, and traditional soap several years ago. I was never patient enough to get a good shave in a reasonable time without a lot of nicks. I gave up that experiment after about 3 months. What I found works well for the amount of time and effort I w...
by ncbill
Wed Oct 11, 2017 4:14 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: cash and landlines in disasters
Replies: 21
Views: 2500

Re: cash and landlines in disasters

copper line (from the CO to your home) is no longer guaranteed. any problems and your local telco replaces the above with an unpowered fiber line to a box near your home from where the copper line now runs to your home (and your neighbors) my neighborhood has had the above for the last 20+ years. ho...
by ncbill
Wed Oct 11, 2017 1:03 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Care by Volvo
Replies: 14
Views: 1396

Re: Care by Volvo

Curious what the forum's thoughts are on the recently announced Care by Volvo program. They're touting it as a subscription service as opposed to a leasing plan, fancy words ! I guess the major disadvantage here is that you can't negotiate on the price so i'm sure that will set many BH's hair on fi...
by ncbill
Mon Oct 09, 2017 3:52 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Health Care for 2018, Curious About Other's Increases
Replies: 21
Views: 2811

Re: Health Care for 2018, Curious About Other's Increases

In NC as well, no communication from BCBS yet, & on healthcare.gov "2018 plans and prices will be available to preview shortly before November 1."
by ncbill
Mon Oct 09, 2017 3:48 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Do you want your receipt?
Replies: 99
Views: 7937

Re: Do you want your receipt?

Back on topic, here's my rant:

I already get email receipts from my bank for any of their ATMs as well as from the local grocery store (tied to credit card after entering email once)

More stores should be offering automatic receipts via email...
by ncbill
Mon Oct 09, 2017 2:26 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Is the new Chevy Equinox any good?
Replies: 59
Views: 6041

Re: Is the new Chevy Equinox any good?

wouldn't buy but they lease well
by ncbill
Mon Oct 09, 2017 1:49 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Is there boglehead consensus on buying a car?
Replies: 73
Views: 5339

Re: Is there boglehead consensus on buying a car?

I am leasing my main commuter car, a 2018 Chevrolet Equinox LT AWD for $245 per month. No up front or turn in fees. This is $2940 per year. Total cost over 10 years will be $29,400 - If I can continue to get a competitive lease rate, which is undetermined. $29.4k cost of ownership over 10 years, to...
by ncbill
Thu Oct 05, 2017 6:31 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: How much worth house should one buy?
Replies: 73
Views: 4478

Re: How much worth house should one buy?

1) Why do you need to buy in order to live in a particular location? You could rent. This is a common lie that people tell to themselves in order to overspend on a house. One very good reason is school districts. Recently, a group of "concerned" citizens in our school district managed to change sch...
by ncbill
Mon Oct 02, 2017 10:22 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Should I get a New Macbook Pro?
Replies: 47
Views: 4226

Re: Should I get a New Mac or Macbookpro?

Certain models of the 13" Macbook Pro have issues with the SATA (hard drive) flex cables failing. There was a Quality Assurance program which ended this summer. Apple also recommends replacing the SATA cable when replacing the hard drive. Although the usual symptom of a failed cable are failure to ...
by ncbill
Mon Oct 02, 2017 10:10 am
Forum: Local Chapters and Bogleheads Community
Topic: Bogleheads you would most like to meet and why?
Replies: 134
Views: 9899

Re: Bogleheads you would most like to meet and why?

military vets & especially retirees

not for me, but for my kids (one in undergrad, another a similar path)
so I'd like to pick their brains to help my kids with how to maximize their financial lives while in the military
by ncbill
Mon Oct 02, 2017 9:29 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Past problem with Universal Life assumptions
Replies: 7
Views: 441

Re: Past problem with Universal Life assumptions

saw the same when an agent called and tried to sell me on surrendering an existing plain-vanilla whole-life policy in favor of a new UL policy with a LTC rider. despite additional upfront funding with hefty premiums ($10,000 annually for several years) the illustration (using the guarantee) collapse...
by ncbill
Sun Oct 01, 2017 3:12 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Why do you LBYM? Why do you save and invest?
Replies: 204
Views: 15752

Re: Why do you LBYM? Why do you save and invest?

profligate.

describes my relatives.

they are a cautionary tale, to say the least.

"train wreck" per another poster also applies.

i don't want to end up like them...no way out of their current situation because of the choices made decades earlier.

i like options...