Search found 823 matches

by ram
Thu Jun 22, 2017 11:51 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Check engine light. Toyota Avalon 2006, 155K miles [safety issue?]
Replies: 55
Views: 3622

Re: Check engine light. Toyota Avalon 2006, 155K miles [safety issue?]

WOW, yup, glad you have a good paying job since you got taken for a ride on those prices. I hope you were the one that cheaped out on only replaced half the coil packs, and not the mechanic because that is extremely lazy. You can get a whole set of coil packs for 100-150 bucks plus plugs are very c...
by ram
Thu Jun 22, 2017 11:44 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Check engine light. Toyota Avalon 2006, 155K miles [safety issue?]
Replies: 55
Views: 3622

Re: Check engine light. Toyota Avalon 2006, 155K miles [safety issue?]

WOW, yup, glad you have a good paying job since you got taken for a ride on those prices. I hope you were the one that cheaped out on only replaced half the coil packs, and not the mechanic because that is extremely lazy. You can get a whole set of coil packs for 100-150 bucks plus plugs are very c...
by ram
Thu Jun 22, 2017 11:43 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Check engine light. Toyota Avalon 2006, 155K miles [safety issue?]
Replies: 55
Views: 3622

Re: Check engine light. Toyota Avalon 2006, 155K miles [safety issue?]

If it was misfiring long enough, it's possible that the excessive fuel going out the exhaust has fouled the catalytic converter and that could be causing some of the remaining shuddering. Particularly if the engine feels sluggish and gets worse mileage as a result of the exhaust restriction. The O2...
by ram
Thu Jun 22, 2017 11:39 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Check engine light. Toyota Avalon 2006, 155K miles [safety issue?]
Replies: 55
Views: 3622

Re: Check engine light. Toyota Avalon 2006, 155K miles [safety issue?]

Thank you for all opinions. After driving it for 40 miles on the highway my daughter reports that the shaking is 90% better. It still has some vibrations when it slows down (such as while making turns). She will use it for next 6 weeks. Then she drops off the car with me and goes to Boston for a yea...
by ram
Thu Jun 22, 2017 9:34 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Bogleheads: Please help me pick a new car
Replies: 48
Views: 1942

Re: Bogleheads: Please help me pick a new car

https://www.bogleheads.org/forum/viewtopic.php?t=146906 The above is my thread when I wanted to buy a car. I got Lexus LS for >40% off at 3yrs. I drove Audi A4 for 4 days as a silvercar rental. It is a good car but my lexus LS is much more comfortable and as 3yr old CPO cheaper than a new A4. The CP...
by ram
Mon Jun 19, 2017 7:17 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Check engine light. Toyota Avalon 2006, 155K miles [safety issue?]
Replies: 55
Views: 3622

Re: Check engine light. Toyota Avalon 2006, 155K miles [safety issue?]

Replaced all plugs today. Replaced all the coils in the 3 back cylinders. (Cost about $800 including 250 labor). Daughter says that the shuddering is about 50% less.
by ram
Sun Jun 18, 2017 9:29 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Check engine light. Toyota Avalon 2006, 155K miles [safety issue?]
Replies: 55
Views: 3622

Re: Check engine light. Toyota Avalon 2006, 155K miles [safety issue?]

My daughter and the Avalon is home for 4 days. I just checked the codes. There are 10 of them: P0300 (multiple cylinder misfire) P0353 (Ignition coil C primary/ secondary circuit malfunction) P0300P P0301P to P0306P (misfire of cylinder 1 to cylinder 6) P0353P The car is shuddering. I will take it f...
by ram
Fri Jun 16, 2017 11:57 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Can we discuss Investment Order
Replies: 22
Views: 2390

Re: Can we discuss Investment Order

Here is what I told my son who joined the workforce recently. ... 4. He is on parent's health insurance, so no question of HSA. If the parent's insurance is an HDHP, and the son is no longer a dependent, the son may have his own HSA - and contribute the family maximum. This is independent of what t...
by ram
Wed Jun 14, 2017 10:44 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Can we discuss Investment Order
Replies: 22
Views: 2390

Re: Can we discuss Investment Order

Here is what I told my son who joined the workforce recently. ... 4. He is on parent's health insurance, so no question of HSA. If the parent's insurance is an HDHP, and the son is no longer a dependent, the son may have his own HSA - and contribute the family maximum. This is independent of what t...
by ram
Wed Jun 14, 2017 10:35 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Finishing Basement - financing?
Replies: 10
Views: 951

Re: Finishing Basement - financing?

Borrowing 20K at 0% and instead investing it at for an average of 9 months at 1.2% will earn you $180.
There are many CCs that pay better. See nerdwallet.com.
by ram
Sun Jun 11, 2017 9:42 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Can we discuss Investment Order
Replies: 22
Views: 2390

Re: Can we discuss Investment Order

Here is what I told my son who joined the workforce recently.
1. Contribute to 401K upto the match.
2. Roth IRA
3. Continue adding to 401K till 18K.
4. He is on parent's health insurance, so no question of HSA.
5. Taxable account.
by ram
Sat Jun 10, 2017 3:42 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: College admissions question - she got a "C"
Replies: 100
Views: 7799

Re: College admissions question - she got a "C"

My son had a few 'C's in 'band' class. This did not prevent him from getting admitted to more than half a dozen well known schools and getting a full tuition scholarship. (He did have all A's in STEM subjects)
by ram
Mon May 29, 2017 11:49 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: High School Graduation Gifts
Replies: 21
Views: 2023

Re: High School Graduation Gifts

I always give cash. (as in paper money). Typically $25 to $100. My two children who graduated from HS in the last decade preferred cash. Many HS graduates may not have a bank account. My son held on to his checks for two months till he opened a bank account in the city that he went to college. He ha...
by ram
Tue May 23, 2017 7:11 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: First house - penny wise?
Replies: 12
Views: 2669

Re: First house - penny wise?

I would go with the higher cost option. Take a 30 yr mortgage but plan on paying it off in 20 yrs.
by ram
Mon May 22, 2017 6:49 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Well-made quality handbags
Replies: 32
Views: 3070

Re: Well-made quality handbags

My wife likes her tumi handbag. I like their suitcases.
by ram
Mon May 15, 2017 11:49 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Check engine light. Toyota Avalon 2006, 155K miles [safety issue?]
Replies: 55
Views: 3622

Re: Check engine light. Toyota Avalon 2006, 155K miles [safety issue?]

Thanks everybody. I did not actually ask the mechanic what the codes were. Will try doing so. I did order the $13 code reader that was recommended. In the future I will at least know what the likely problem is before taking it to the mechanic. I did look at videos of replacing spark plugs etc. There...
by ram
Sun May 14, 2017 4:53 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Check engine light. Toyota Avalon 2006, 155K miles [safety issue?]
Replies: 55
Views: 3622

Re: Check engine light. Toyota Avalon 2006, 155K miles [safety issue?]

Thanks Watty and everybody else. Inspection is not needed for registration in my state. ( Edit: for rural counties, which is where I live)
by ram
Sun May 14, 2017 4:42 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Check engine light. Toyota Avalon 2006, 155K miles [safety issue?]
Replies: 55
Views: 3622

Re: Check engine light. Toyota Avalon 2006, 155K miles [safety issue?]

As mentioned, you need to know the codes. I have a Subaru with a P0420 code (catalytic converter efficiency below minimum) which means one of a number of things. None of these things are safety related. I'm working on the solutions one at a time and resetting the code (I have a code reader) to chec...
by ram
Sun May 14, 2017 4:30 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Check engine light. Toyota Avalon 2006, 155K miles [safety issue?]
Replies: 55
Views: 3622

Re: Check engine light. Toyota Avalon 2006, 155K miles [safety issue?]

Flickering means the engine is misfiring (spark plug fires but the gasoline does not ignite). That can be due to relatively minor issues like a valve cover gasket leaking oil in the spark plug well, or bad coil pack, or it could be a serious issue like a failed engine internal component. As far as ...
by ram
Sun May 14, 2017 3:51 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: American Funds beat out Vanguard Index over lifetime?
Replies: 63
Views: 7275

Re: American Funds beat out Vanguard Index over lifetime?

Reading this thread I get the impression that American Funds are good enough to match returns of equivalent Vanguard funds. In other words they are at least able to cover their extra costs through their superior returns, at least in a retirement account (where tax drag would not matter) Thus under o...
by ram
Sun May 14, 2017 2:09 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Check engine light. Toyota Avalon 2006, 155K miles [safety issue?]
Replies: 55
Views: 3622

Check engine light. Toyota Avalon 2006, 155K miles [safety issue?]

I have a Toyota Avalon 2006 which I purchased used in 2008. It was a company fleet vehicle for its initial 1.5 years and 90K miles and has served my family well for last 9 years. I have taken good care of it with usual timely maintenance. Currently my daughter who is in college 150 miles away uses t...
by ram
Sun May 14, 2017 1:22 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Current rebalancing opportunities (November 2016 update)
Replies: 41
Views: 11132

Re: Current rebalancing opportunities (November 2016 update)

Is it time to rebalance into REITs. Almost all other classes of equities are at or near their 12 month peaks.
by ram
Wed May 10, 2017 6:49 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Why not Vanguard(other MF houses) have 'Fee-only-advisors' ??
Replies: 5
Views: 750

Re: Why not Vanguard(other MF houses) have 'Fee-only-advisors' ??

Why would Edward Jones want to have a fee only adviser who would presumably have to recommend the customer to invest in low cost index MFs from Vanguard or Fido.
The aim of these investment houses is to make money.
by ram
Sun May 07, 2017 9:08 am
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Preparing for Tax Loss Harvest
Replies: 27
Views: 1018

Re: Preparing for Tax Loss Harvest

This is a taxable account. So given a choice of keeping only one of these funds in taxable I would keep small cap. So how about: - add only to small cap. - sell only small cap value for tax loss harvesting purpose till you have sold it all. At that point: -Wait 30 days. -Start buying small cap value...
by ram
Sun May 07, 2017 8:45 am
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Aggressive index funds
Replies: 15
Views: 1643

Re: Aggressive index funds

I suggest always giving the names of funds along with their ticker symbols the first time you mention them, as most of us haven't memorized them (and many Vanguard funds have two ticker symbols commonly used in the forum, one for the $3,000-minimum "investor" share class and another for t...
by ram
Sun May 07, 2017 7:54 am
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Acceptable Success Rate to Retire using Firecalc
Replies: 41
Views: 3102

Re: Acceptable Success Rate to Retire using Firecalc

As Taylor Larimore has written here, before the days of online calculators, he and his wife "spent more in the good years and less in the lean years" (paraphrased). That's my plan, too. The only problem I have with that plan is if the lean years come early when I am healthiest and most ab...
by ram
Sat May 06, 2017 12:19 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Birthday Rebalance - Quick Quesiton
Replies: 8
Views: 684

Re: Birthday Rebalance - Quick Quesiton

This is my issue with rebalancing as well. Different asses in different accounts. Do not keep any "asses". Just get rid of them. :) The OP's choice of assets is good. Those can be used for replacing. OP: I wouldn't worry about this level of rebalancing. New money over the next year or so ...
by ram
Thu May 04, 2017 7:42 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Buying a luxury car (how dumb would it be to do this?)
Replies: 216
Views: 18134

Re: Buying a luxury car (how dumb would it be to do this?)

After driving hondas and toyotas for many years I got a Lexus LS 460 about 18 months ago. We like it. No regrets . Got it used(CPO) for about 60% of the initial cost.
by ram
Thu May 04, 2017 7:29 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Two night trip
Replies: 9
Views: 869

Re: Two night trip

Last year we took a 8 day driving vacation and went around lake Michigan.
I would recommend Holland , Traverse city (sleeping bear sand dunes) or Lake Geneva. I would put madison lowest, but perhaps that is because I go there frequently.
by ram
Tue May 02, 2017 8:42 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: How quick is too quick for a job offer?
Replies: 29
Views: 3381

Re: How quick is too quick for a job offer?

We typically hire physicians with face to face interview lasting a single day. There is an approx 60 min phone interview before inviting for in person interview. Typical salary range 200- 300K.
by ram
Sat Apr 29, 2017 10:14 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Please poke holes in my tax strategy
Replies: 38
Views: 5758

Re: Please poke holes in my tax strategy

Please poke holes in my tax strategy.

Sorry. I can't. The strategy looks good.
by ram
Sat Apr 29, 2017 9:48 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Deceptive Billing by Dermatologist?
Replies: 33
Views: 3468

Re: Deceptive Billing by Dermatologist?

DW contacts local dermatologist practice to inquire about having a few lesions frozen as a cash / customer pay transaction. She is given a number as a flat fee for freezing up to xx number of lesions. She arrives at office and again explains her reason for visiting and pays up front the flat fee. O...
by ram
Sat Apr 29, 2017 8:56 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Applying for a new role with same employer - salary negotiation
Replies: 13
Views: 985

Re: Applying for a new role with same employer - salary negotiation

I once worked for an employer that had such bands. It was understood by all that the new person will automatically be at the lowest end of the band. At 1 year you go up.
by ram
Thu Apr 27, 2017 9:59 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Helping adult children
Replies: 81
Views: 8413

Re: Helping adult children

Two of my parents' children became physicians and one a school teacher. All education costs for the children were paid by parents. The medical education costs were higher than the non medical education. All children were happy that parents paid for the education. There was no separate payment made ...
by ram
Thu Apr 27, 2017 9:49 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: If you pay a high AMT, would you take out $1M mortgage?
Replies: 45
Views: 3853

Re: If you pay a high AMT, would you take out $1M mortgage?

If you are in AMT region with potential significant future increases in income realize that you may tunnel through the AMT income range and come out on the other side with no AMT. In other words with still higher income your regular taxes will be high enough that AMT will not apply.
by ram
Thu Apr 27, 2017 9:30 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Helping adult children
Replies: 81
Views: 8413

Re: Helping adult children

Two of my parents' children became physicians and one a school teacher. All education costs for the children were paid by parents. The medical education costs were higher than the non medical education. All children were happy that parents paid for the education. There was no separate payment made t...
by ram
Wed Apr 26, 2017 8:58 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Doctor bill question
Replies: 29
Views: 2041

Re: Doctor bill question

In most states NP's require physician supervision. The extent of the supervision is variable in different states. It is reasonable to assume that you got the benefit of a MD's knowledge even though you did not meet face to face with him. At the very least it was available if required. Whether the ch...
by ram
Sun Apr 23, 2017 7:26 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Are CCRCs a good deal? [Continuing Care Retirement Community]
Replies: 30
Views: 2802

Re: Are CCRCs a good deal?

A recent issue of consumers report has an article on it with tips about what you should review before making the decision.
by ram
Fri Apr 21, 2017 10:50 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: What To Do With My Car While in NYC
Replies: 32
Views: 2973

Re: What To Do With My Car While in NYC

My daughter will be in Boston for 1 year. I am going to keep "her" car for that year and she will get it back at the end of the year. It is actually my old car and legally still belongs to me. I will drive it periodically and maintain it and park it in the 3rd garage. The big issue is clea...
by ram
Fri Apr 21, 2017 9:44 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: My Doctor says I am "unusual" (declining some blood tests)
Replies: 51
Views: 7066

Re: My Doctor says I am "unusual" (declining some blood tests)

I try to make sure all my doctors are provided any test results, no matter who requested. I have noticed a lot of gaps in getting records to your doctors, even when the lab people are asked specifically to send results to Drs X, Y, and Z. I might save myself one or two draws here and there. Usually...
by ram
Thu Apr 20, 2017 10:19 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Differential aggressiveness for ROTH vs 401K
Replies: 31
Views: 2505

Re: Differential aggressiveness for ROTH vs 401K

I keep bonds, small cap value and REITS in tax deferred.
Roth: REITS and SCV (expected higher return)
401 K: Bonds (expected lower returns)
by ram
Thu Apr 20, 2017 6:09 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Home Insurance Premium - How to decrease.
Replies: 41
Views: 3893

Re: Home Insurance Premium - How to decrease.

2) Increasing the deductible from 5 K to 10 K would save me another $100. ( I am planning on opting for this) It would take you 50 years to recoup if you have a claim where you absorb the entire deductible difference. Good point. Will take that in consideration before making the final decision. Tha...
by ram
Thu Apr 20, 2017 12:49 am
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Weight loss and investing
Replies: 35
Views: 4135

Re: Weight loss and investing

Is there any data to show that age, sex and race matched Bogleheads have better BMI than non bogleheads (general US population). Perhaps time for a new poll. If 'ability to make a plan and stick to it' is the common underlying principle then there presumably should be a correlation. What is the corr...
by ram
Wed Apr 19, 2017 11:59 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Visualizing the devastating impact of fees
Replies: 54
Views: 5125

Re: Visualizing the devastating impact of fees

Excellent work. Perhaps a similar document can me made to show the ratio of principal and interest for a 5%, 30 year mortgage paid in 5, 10, 15, 20, 25, 30 years. Then perhaps this data, mortgage interest data and Taylor Larimore's "buy a Toyota Corolla and save" data can all be posted tog...
by ram
Wed Apr 19, 2017 11:06 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Home Insurance Premium - How to decrease.
Replies: 41
Views: 3893

Re: Home Insurance Premium - How to decrease.

I emailed Amica about the discrepancy. Their reply : They can reduce the dwelling coverage limit to $405K (from 570 K) and still continue with the replacement cost policy. ( The platinum policy that I have can pay upto 130% of this amount for replacement) Their loss settlement is to rebuild the home...
by ram
Tue Apr 18, 2017 9:25 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Why would anyone want to buy bond funds?
Replies: 92
Views: 9566

Re: Why would anyone want to buy bond funds?

Because on some days they can give you >100% per annum returns. :)
(Today's return on bonds BND was 0.36% x 365 = 131% p.a.)
by ram
Tue Apr 18, 2017 9:01 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Doctor fees - Insured vs uninsured patients
Replies: 27
Views: 2808

Re: Doctor fees - Insured vs uninsured patients

I am an employed physician and have no authority over the amount that a patient is charged. It is anticipated that the proportion of employed physicians will increase. I am finding it tough to believe that first sentence. If an uninsured patient comes to a doctor's office seeking treatment for a fe...
by ram
Tue Apr 18, 2017 8:52 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Doctor fees - Insured vs uninsured patients
Replies: 27
Views: 2808

Re: Doctor fees - Insured vs uninsured patients

My dentist gives me a 5% discount for fees paid before leaving the facility. After the procedure I walk out to the cashier's desk. She calls the dental assistant who tells what procedure was done and the cashier makes the bill in the next two minutes and I pay 95% of it and walk out. All my family m...
by ram
Mon Apr 17, 2017 9:44 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Home Insurance Premium - How to decrease.
Replies: 41
Views: 3893

Re: Home Insurance Premium - How to decrease.

Home Insurance Premium - How to decrease. Postby ram » Sun Apr 16, 2017 1:04 pm We raised deductibles on auto and home to save some premium $$$. Regardless of whether you choose to do this for your home, be mindful of whether your deductible is set as a flat dollar amount or a percentage of value. ...
by ram
Mon Apr 17, 2017 9:37 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Home Insurance Premium - How to decrease.
Replies: 41
Views: 3893

Re: Home Insurance Premium - How to decrease.

I am an Amica customer as well - have been for over 20 years. $1100 coverage on a house with 570k replacement value sounds cheap to me. I just got my renewal for this year, $1136 and my new replacement value is $331k. I have a $2500 deductible, the platinum coverage like you have (130% payout, repl...

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