Search found 1344 matches

by neilpilot
Wed Feb 21, 2018 9:31 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: What UN-frugal thing do you do?
Replies: 55
Views: 1515

Re: What UN-frugal thing do you do?

I do charity flights (people or dogs) that cost me, on the average, about $350 a pop. I average 10-15 flights a year, so the cost adds up. Through TY2017 at least I was able to recover a portion of my expense thru itemized deductions. However, with the higher standard deduction, I'm sure my expenses...
by neilpilot
Wed Feb 21, 2018 9:09 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Safe to file taxes now?
Replies: 24
Views: 1954

Re: Safe to file taxes now?

I filed the same day Scottrade posted 1099s, on Feb 15. My Federal and State refunds are both larger than planned. One year I did receive a corrected 1099 very late, IIRC in early April, after I filed. I ran the numbers and the correction would have changed my tax liability by only $1-$2, so I chose...
by neilpilot
Wed Feb 21, 2018 8:53 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Vacation in May. Boston, Martha's Vineyard, Ogunquit (cancelled Bar Harbor)
Replies: 29
Views: 1823

Re: Vacation in May. Boston, Martha's Vineyard, Bar Harbor

In Boston... the museums, freedom trail, take the boat out to the harbor islands, etc. When you eat in the north end make sure to find Briccos hidden down in an alley and get your Cannoli at Modern, not Mikes ;) Okay, dem's fighting words! Mike's is clearly the best, pay no attention to this poster...
by neilpilot
Wed Feb 21, 2018 8:10 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Mixing fuel octanes for cars
Replies: 57
Views: 3379

Re: Mixing fuel octanes for cars

So I had (misunderstood) what octane means-- I thought simply higher energy. How does higher octane map to higher performance for a propeller aircraft? What is the effect on the (piston, usually in-line) engine? While there are many other factors that impact the performance of prop aircraft, aircra...
by neilpilot
Tue Feb 20, 2018 7:21 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Mixing fuel octanes for cars
Replies: 57
Views: 3379

Re: Mixing fuel octanes for cars

http://www.appropedia.org/Energy_content_of_fuels A small sampling, showing relative energy density and octane. The higher the octane, the lower the energy density. As I posted above, the energy content of gasoline does not vary with octane rating. With varying composition, such as methanol content...
by neilpilot
Sun Feb 18, 2018 5:07 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Martha’s Vineyard: Is 2 weeks too long of a vacation there?
Replies: 12
Views: 1328

Re: Martha’s Vineyard: Is 2 weeks too long of a vacation there?

As one who can daytrip there, I'd say it all depends on the weather. What time of year are you going? Summers are crowded in the towns. Hope you don't get a week of drizzle. Best time to go is September or early October. Today we booked a week in MVY for mid-October. That will be our 5th trip; all ...
by neilpilot
Sun Feb 18, 2018 3:34 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Bogleheads with $100K+ MSRP cars?
Replies: 82
Views: 7371

Re: Bogleheads with $100K+ MSRP cars?

I have two, a Tesla and a Range Rover. My justification is I spend less on cars as a % of my income than 95% of Americans. But the real question is why do you need to justify your excess? Don't you own an airplane as a hobby? :beer Yes, but as much for transportation than as a hobby. I bought my ai...
by neilpilot
Sun Feb 18, 2018 2:13 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Bogleheads with $100K+ MSRP cars?
Replies: 82
Views: 7371

Re: Bogleheads with $100K+ MSRP cars?

I have two, a Tesla and a Range Rover. My justification is I spend less on cars as a % of my income than 95% of Americans. So let's test the logic of your statement. It's generally accepted that 95% of Americans (in the USA) own cars. By your statement, you "spend less on cars as a % of my income t...
by neilpilot
Sun Feb 18, 2018 11:25 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: GEICO Auto Shady Practice?
Replies: 31
Views: 2146

Re: GEICO Auto Shady Practice?

The OP's experience sounds atypical, based on my experience and what I've heard from others. I can't recall the details, but back in 2015 when I first switched to GEICO I worked up a quote online and then visited their local office. I can't recall the details, but the cost of the same coverage quote...
by neilpilot
Sun Feb 18, 2018 10:59 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: What frugal thing did you do today?
Replies: 426
Views: 33435

Re: What frugal thing did you do today?

On my weekly grocery shopping trip, I stopped by the cafe next store and bought a cup of regular coffee...went back to pick up my groceries and after I finished my shopping and coffee, I went back to the cafe and got my spouse a cup of decaf with my free refill. :D Sometimes frugal boarders on the ...
by neilpilot
Sat Feb 17, 2018 8:32 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Mixing fuel octanes for cars
Replies: 57
Views: 3379

Re: Mixing fuel octanes for cars

Fuel with more energy, as in 91 or 93 octane compared to 87 or 89 octane, contains more energy and required less fuel to create the same explosive energy inside the cylinder. You are close to being correct, but octane has nothing to do with energy content. A higher octane rating means that the fuel...
by neilpilot
Sat Feb 17, 2018 2:05 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: What frugal thing did you do today?
Replies: 426
Views: 33435

Re: What frugal thing did you do today?

On my weekly grocery shopping trip, I stopped by the cafe next store and bought a cup of regular coffee...went back to pick up my groceries and after I finished my shopping and coffee, I went back to the cafe and got my spouse a cup of decaf with my free refill. :D Sometimes frugal boarders on the ...
by neilpilot
Sat Feb 17, 2018 1:54 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: cybertheft from brokerage and retirement accounts after Equifax identity theft
Replies: 23
Views: 2822

Re: cybertheft from brokerage and retirement accounts after Equifax identity theft

... OK. This is a real threat but maybe a very low probability. Still looking for a real example. What if nobody here supplies an example you feel is real? What will you conclude? PJW One way or the other, it wont change what I actually do. I view this thread, as well as a few other similar threads...
by neilpilot
Sat Feb 17, 2018 1:35 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Rollover a Pension into Roth IRA or Traditional IRA?
Replies: 20
Views: 1229

Re: Rollover a Pension into Roth IRA or Traditional IRA?

I believe that the 10% penalty if you don't roll it over into the tIRA only applies if you are younger than 55 at the end of the year you leave your job
by neilpilot
Sat Feb 17, 2018 12:34 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Mixing fuel octanes for cars
Replies: 57
Views: 3379

Re: Mixing fuel octanes for cars

Fuel with more energy, as in 91 or 93 octane compared to 87 or 89 octane, contains more energy and required less fuel to create the same explosive energy inside the cylinder. You are close to being correct, but octane has nothing to do with energy content. A higher octane rating means that the fuel...
by neilpilot
Sat Feb 17, 2018 12:26 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Cell phone service
Replies: 38
Views: 2448

Re: Cell phone service

Yes - the deals seem to be in the 3, 4 or 5 phone plans. Look for unlimited DATA . OTOH if you don't want to pay for unlimited data, then why pay for it? We average under 1G/mo total for our 2 lines, and have only gone to 2G one time in the past year. The best unlimited data plan we found would cos...
by neilpilot
Sat Feb 17, 2018 9:38 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Mixing fuel octanes for cars
Replies: 57
Views: 3379

Re: Mixing fuel octanes for cars

Our strategy is to avoid buying any car that is so poorly designed as to require needlessly expensive gasoline. Marylander1 Calling a high compression cylinder "poorly designed" is in some ways equivalent to considering a Mercedes or BMW inferior to a Honda Fit or Ford Escort. Lower octane can be a...
by neilpilot
Sat Feb 17, 2018 9:21 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Cell phone service
Replies: 38
Views: 2448

Re: Cell phone service

Yes - the deals seem to be in the 3, 4 or 5 phone plans. Look for unlimited DATA . OTOH if you don't want to pay for unlimited data, then why pay for it? We average under 1G/mo total for our 2 lines, and have only gone to 2G one time in the past year. The best unlimited data plan we found would cos...
by neilpilot
Sat Feb 17, 2018 8:32 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Cell phone service
Replies: 38
Views: 2448

Re: Cell phone service

Consumer Cellular. They use either AT&T or TMobile, you get to pick. Buy a phone from them or bring your own. I have them with AT&T and drive around in New England and have never had a problem getting a signal. https://www.consumercellular.com/Plans +1 Thanks to this board, found CC, switched from ...
by neilpilot
Fri Feb 16, 2018 5:03 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Wheel alignment new tires
Replies: 15
Views: 667

Re: Wheel alignment new tires

I wonder if many of the responses above are made without realizing that the OP just replaced his rear tires? While I do understand that cars can have their rear tires out of alignment, most owners will never check and/or align the rear, only the front suspension.
by neilpilot
Fri Feb 16, 2018 3:59 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: cybertheft from brokerage and retirement accounts after Equifax identity theft
Replies: 23
Views: 2822

Re: cybertheft from brokerage and retirement accounts after Equifax identity theft

I'm not saying that it cannot happen, but can someone give an example of an individual investor who has lost all or part of their brokerage account due to cyberhacking, where the investor had not done something stupid (aka shared their login with others) and where the assets were not recovered or r...
by neilpilot
Fri Feb 16, 2018 3:30 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: cybertheft from brokerage and retirement accounts after Equifax identity theft
Replies: 23
Views: 2822

Re: cybertheft from brokerage and retirement accounts after Equifax identity theft

I'm not saying that it cannot happen, but can someone give an example of an individual investor who has lost all or part of their brokerage account due to cyberhacking, where the investor had not done something stupid (aka shared their login with others) and where the assets were not recovered or r...
by neilpilot
Fri Feb 16, 2018 2:54 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: cybertheft from brokerage and retirement accounts after Equifax identity theft
Replies: 23
Views: 2822

Re: cybertheft from brokerage and retirement accounts after Equifax identity theft

I'm not saying that it cannot happen, but can someone give an example of an individual investor who has lost all or part of their brokerage account due to cyberhacking, where the investor had not done something stupid (aka shared their login with others) and where the assets were not recovered or re...
by neilpilot
Fri Feb 16, 2018 8:51 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Vacation in May. Boston, Martha's Vineyard, Ogunquit (cancelled Bar Harbor)
Replies: 29
Views: 1823

Re: Vacation in May. Boston, Martha's Vineyard, Bar Harbor

For the past few years, we've taken annual (separate) trips to Boston in the spring and MVY in the fall. I have always flown from Memphis direct to MVY, and have never been there in season. For our week on the island, we have always purchased a bus pass and stayed in Edgartown. The bus system is che...
by neilpilot
Fri Feb 16, 2018 8:40 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: What frugal thing did you do today?
Replies: 426
Views: 33435

Re: What frugal thing did you do today?

denovo wrote:
Fri Feb 16, 2018 7:22 am
I've seen about 20 movies in the last 3 months for only $30 bucks.
I used to spend that much (RedBox), but haven't rented a movie in about a year. Now watch maybe 2 movies each week on my Fire Stick. Since I already had Amazon Prime, that's about 25 movies in the last 3 months for $0.
by neilpilot
Thu Feb 15, 2018 12:59 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Dental chews for dogs....useful?
Replies: 36
Views: 1897

Re: Dental chews for dogs....useful?

Our 13 yo shih tzu/maltese mix has been getting raw carrots as a treat almost daily for a dozen years. Per his vet, he has great teeth without any brushing or vet cleaning.
by neilpilot
Wed Feb 14, 2018 9:34 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: free dinner investing seminar
Replies: 245
Views: 15671

Re: free dinner investing seminar

If your friend decides to go, I suggest setting up a throwaway email account and making up a false phone number when he fills out the participant registration form. He will be contacted to set up an appointment if they don't get him to do so at the seminar. When you say "He will be contacted to set...
by neilpilot
Wed Feb 14, 2018 10:01 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Buying Iphone X with AT&T
Replies: 16
Views: 781

Re: Buying Iphone X with AT&T

Fiat lux wrote:
Wed Feb 14, 2018 9:48 am
Ok this not a thread on if its a wise investment, but rather we are presupposing I am buying it !
A phone isn't an investment, it's an expense.
by neilpilot
Tue Feb 13, 2018 4:43 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Appliance repair: manufacturer authorized tech vs generic repairman?
Replies: 23
Views: 1058

Re: Appliance repair: manufacturer authorized tech vs generic repairman?

Thanks so much for the advice everyone. This washer is a little more than 2 years old. Can signs of wear and tear that I can ignore happen so soon? I briefly researched fixing it myself. But I'm not very handy, and it seemed pretty daunting, so I gave up. I decided to go with a generic repair guy w...
by neilpilot
Tue Feb 13, 2018 11:30 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Appliance repair: manufacturer authorized tech vs generic repairman?
Replies: 23
Views: 1058

Re: Appliance repair: manufacturer authorized tech vs generic repairman?

gotester2000 wrote:
Tue Feb 13, 2018 9:19 am
Once any device is out of warranty it is hardly worth repairing from the authorized center which always has standard jacked up rates.
Agreed. A good analogy is taking your out-of-warranty car to the dealer for routine maintenance.
by neilpilot
Tue Feb 13, 2018 8:44 am
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Day trading for a living/career?
Replies: 95
Views: 6608

Re: Day trading for a living/career?

Okay - - I know one fellow who seems to make money. I think what he does is use his stock holdings as a basis for buying/selling puts and/or calls (forgive me, I do not understand options even though he explained it twice). I think everything he does is protected on the up-side and down-side. It so...
by neilpilot
Mon Feb 12, 2018 5:58 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: free dinner investing seminar
Replies: 245
Views: 15671

Re: free dinner investing seminar

I get these invites all the time in the mail. Just by doing a simple search on the person presenting I can see if it is an insurance sales (annuity pitch) or a financial planner pitch. I want to take my wife to one to show her what to look out for. However I will put down the wrong phone number and...
by neilpilot
Mon Feb 12, 2018 2:52 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Driving a rental car in Western Europe
Replies: 46
Views: 1535

Re: Driving a rental car in Western Europe

2) International Driving Permit is required in Austria, US license fine in the other countries. Safety vests also required in Austria, German rental may not include them. IDP is required in Italy as well as Austria. My experience is that a triangle & vest safety packet is often included at no cost,...
by neilpilot
Mon Feb 12, 2018 9:54 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: I’m not renewing my Costco membership.
Replies: 80
Views: 7105

Re: I’m not renewing my Costco membership.

We're no longer members, but the cost of membership wasn't our issue. We just didn't like shopping there. If you are really bothered by that $60/year, one way to get around that is to ask a friend or family member with a Costco membership to buy you a $10-$25 prepaid cash card. You can use the cash ...
by neilpilot
Mon Feb 12, 2018 9:39 am
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Vanguard advice--I'm confused
Replies: 30
Views: 3671

Re: Vanguard advice--I'm confused

Missedtheboat wrote:
Mon Feb 12, 2018 1:21 am
Thanks for the input. So I should not be freaked out buying over $400,000 in bond funds right now?
I presume that if you target a 50:50 equity:bond allocation, that equates to $400k in bonds? Or are you asking if a portion of your bond allocation should actually be in cash?
by neilpilot
Mon Feb 12, 2018 9:16 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Driving a rental car in Western Europe
Replies: 46
Views: 1535

Re: Driving a rental car in Western Europe

Having a GPS is pretty much a must. I don't know if a cell phone would work well enough or use too much data. It is likely cheaper to buy one than to rent one for a long trip. If you buy one over there then update it before your need it. :oops: It is a long story but I planned on buying one in Spai...
by neilpilot
Mon Feb 12, 2018 9:05 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Really simple tax question
Replies: 14
Views: 1340

Re: Really simple tax question

Sandi_k wrote:
Mon Feb 12, 2018 2:06 am
The $5500 Roth contribution is AFTER tax. It should not be deducted from your income, and does not therefore reduce your taxable income.
...and that's why the OP is only deducting his spouse's IRA and not his roth.
by neilpilot
Sat Feb 10, 2018 8:50 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: T-Mobile promotion for 55+
Replies: 92
Views: 10711

Re: T-Mobile promotion for 55+

In late August I posted on this thread that I was considering switching from ATT to this T-mobile 55+ plan. However, I went with Xfinity when they ran their $200 of a phone promo in September. We bought two new LGs for $1 each, including tax and shipping. We averaged less than 2G/mo data when we wer...
by neilpilot
Fri Feb 09, 2018 11:23 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Best TV options for multiple residences?
Replies: 9
Views: 506

Re: Best TV options for multiple residences?

You should be able to watch HBO everywhere via their streaming app. You could do the same with the rest of your tv by subscribing to a streaming service such as Sling, DirectTV Now, YouTubeTV, etc. You will need to check if your market receives the NBC/CBS/ABC streams (not all do). If they do, then...
by neilpilot
Fri Feb 09, 2018 11:21 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Multiiple indicator lights on (car)
Replies: 44
Views: 1622

Re: Multiiple indicator lights on (car)

My wife knows that whenever the check engine light turns on she needs to immediately pull to the side of the road, read the error code and look it up on her phone to make sure the underlying issue isn't about to cause irreparable harm to the engine. It happens about twice a year and typically a loo...
by neilpilot
Fri Feb 09, 2018 11:04 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Social Security Spousal Benefit Q....
Replies: 4
Views: 642

Re: Social Security Spousal Benefit Q....

Don't think she can apply for spousal until you begin your own benefits.
by neilpilot
Fri Feb 09, 2018 10:59 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Multiiple indicator lights on (car)
Replies: 44
Views: 1622

Re: Multiiple indicator lights on (car)

There’s a reasonable chance all 4 are caused by low battery voltage / bad alternator. That was my first guess. And in our case, we had a belt snap last month, so the alternator was not working. Every idiot light on the dash went on. But since it was only a belt, it was a cheap fix. Note, however, w...
by neilpilot
Fri Feb 09, 2018 9:56 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Multiiple indicator lights on (car)
Replies: 44
Views: 1622

Re: Multiiple indicator lights on (car)

My wife knows that whenever the check engine light turns on she needs to immediately pull to the side of the road, read the error code and look it up on her phone to make sure the underlying issue isn't about to cause irreparable harm to the engine. It happens about twice a year and typically a loo...
by neilpilot
Thu Feb 08, 2018 4:23 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: HSA...let me get this straight
Replies: 36
Views: 3753

Re: HSA...let me get this straight

This is the first year I was able to accumulate enough medical expenses to claim a deduction. My HSA is invested, and I have not yet used HSA funds for current or prior medical bills. Since my expenses in TY2017 were claimed on Schedule A, do any of these also qualify for future HSA withdrawals? I d...
by neilpilot
Wed Feb 07, 2018 5:14 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Niagara falls US side
Replies: 27
Views: 1609

Re: Niagara falls US side

Yes, you now need a passport to cross the border. Stay on the US side or you could run into immigration problems. Gill Actually, unless there's been a recent change you do not need a passport if you have your green card. Here's what I read: "U.S. Lawful Permanent Residents may use their I-551 ("Gre...
by neilpilot
Wed Feb 07, 2018 4:37 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Niagara falls US side
Replies: 27
Views: 1609

Re: Niagara falls US side

Yes, you now need a passport to cross the border. Stay on the US side or you could run into immigration problems. Gill Actually, unless there's been a recent change you do not need a passport if you have your green card. Here's what I read: "U.S. Lawful Permanent Residents may use their I-551 ("Gre...
by neilpilot
Wed Feb 07, 2018 4:27 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Niagara falls US side
Replies: 27
Views: 1609

Re: Niagara falls US side

Gill wrote:
Wed Feb 07, 2018 4:09 pm
niceguy7376 wrote:
Wed Feb 07, 2018 3:55 pm
On the drive to Niagara, take a trip to Corning Museum.
That would be way out of his way on a trip from New Jersey to Niagara Falls.
Gill
Yes, that would add at least 10 minutes to the 6-6.5 hour drive :D
by neilpilot
Wed Feb 07, 2018 1:11 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Best BBQ in Austin
Replies: 33
Views: 2625

Re: Best BBQ in Austin

Youre not going to go wrong - you could go to Rudy's (our fast-ish foodish) and there are a million others that (assuming you're coming from somewhere without BBQ) will blow away options in your hometown. ...and here I thought BBQ was, by definition, pork :D Well, we've got that too 🤣 I'm in Memphi...
by neilpilot
Wed Feb 07, 2018 9:41 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Best BBQ in Austin
Replies: 33
Views: 2625

Re: Best BBQ in Austin

NoGambleNoFuture wrote:
Tue Feb 06, 2018 10:02 pm

Youre not going to go wrong - you could go to Rudy's (our fast-ish foodish) and there are a million others that (assuming you're coming from somewhere without BBQ) will blow away options in your hometown.
...and here I thought BBQ was, by definition, pork :D
by neilpilot
Tue Feb 06, 2018 10:15 am
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Merrill Lynch site crashed today (VG fine)
Replies: 20
Views: 1405

Re: Merrill Lynch site crashed today (VG fine)

zeugmite wrote:
Tue Feb 06, 2018 10:05 am
Well, damn. I can't log into Merrill Edge right now:
"We are sorry, an error occurred while trying to retrieve your data. Please try again later."
ME login works fine for me, as does Scottrade.