Search found 139 matches

by tech_arch
Mon May 22, 2017 2:29 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Need new Router/Wifi Networking Ideas
Replies: 26
Views: 1727

Re: Need new Router/Wifi Networking Ideas

+1 to use additional Airport hardware. The Airport Utility makes setting up additional nodes very easy; the wizard is maybe 3 steps and you're done.
by tech_arch
Mon May 22, 2017 8:57 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Vehicle recommendation for large family
Replies: 32
Views: 1583

Re: Vehicle recommendation for large family

Others already mentioned it, but you may want to look into the Diono Radian RXT car seat. We were able to fit 3 across in an older Toyota Highlander. http://www.amazon.com/Diono-Radian-All-Convertible-Shadow/dp/B005MQRAAK/ Also a StowAway2 hitch rack/box may help too. They aren't cheap, but they ar...
by tech_arch
Mon May 22, 2017 8:56 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Vehicle recommendation for large family
Replies: 32
Views: 1583

Re: Vehicle recommendation for large family

We have a 2016 Odyssey and you might be surprised at how well it does car seats. The outer seats in the middle row have a "wide" setting, which moves them out from the middle seat a bit. We have done two boosters in the outer seats + rear-facing car seat in the center of the middle row, an...
by tech_arch
Sun May 21, 2017 1:24 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Offline Puzzle or Brain Teaser/Training Apps
Replies: 3
Views: 311

Re: Offline Puzzle or Brain Teaser/Training Apps

When traveling I usually use a combination of offline Netflix, Kindle, the Flow free suite of games, and Sudoku. You might like 2048 (available as an app, too) and Interlocked.
by tech_arch
Sun May 21, 2017 1:17 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: HSA and FSA at the same time
Replies: 8
Views: 657

Re: HSA and FSA at the same time

BogleAlltheWay wrote:Thanks. I was afraid of that. Is it possible to reclassify the FSA as limited purpose for this year? I have not used any of the funds. My FSA is only like $300

I have no idea; you'd have to talk with HR.
by tech_arch
Sun May 21, 2017 9:16 am
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: HSA and FSA at the same time
Replies: 8
Views: 657

Re: HSA and FSA at the same time

Hi all , I recently found out I am eligible for a HSA, but I already contributed to my FSA for 2017. Apparently, you cannot do both in the same year. Does than mean I have to wait to 2018 to open of HSA or can I open one for 2017, but only take the tax deduction for one? If you are covered by a reg...
by tech_arch
Fri May 19, 2017 10:15 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Cheapest voice only, low minutes cell service
Replies: 11
Views: 1329

Re: Cheapest voice only, low minutes cell service

FreedomPop. It's free. http://www.freedompop.com/phone Ringplus threw in the towel. I wouldn't be surprised if Freedompop was next. I don't trust their business model or that they will stay in business. And I tried their service, and had a poor experience, so I don't trust being able to make phone ...
by tech_arch
Fri May 19, 2017 1:50 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Tesla Solar Roof
Replies: 81
Views: 7668

Re: Tesla Solar Roof

madbrain wrote:Do you have any chimneys on your roof ? Even something this small can cause shading issues. One of my panels generates about half the energy of all the others due to a nearby chimney.

Nope :- ) Our southern roof is essentially just one long side with zero shading issues; pretty much 100% ideal!
by tech_arch
Thu May 18, 2017 3:56 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Tesla Solar Roof
Replies: 81
Views: 7668

Re: Tesla Solar Roof

I think the very fact that there are HOAs that actively ban the installation of rooftop solar in neighborhoods implies that there are individuals who either think that: 1. Solar panels are ugly or at least not architecturally consistent with the style of the homes in the neighborhood. 2. That the i...
by tech_arch
Thu May 18, 2017 12:57 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Tesla Solar Roof
Replies: 81
Views: 7668

Re: Tesla Solar Roof

[ REC Twin Peaks 290W panels with a Sunny Boy 7.7 string inverter. We're early adopters in our neighborhood and were able to get a good deal for that. How does a 7.7 string inverter work for a 9kw system ? You should price the cost of inverter replacement over 25 years, it's likely you will have to...
by tech_arch
Wed May 17, 2017 7:31 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Tesla Solar Roof
Replies: 81
Views: 7668

Re: Tesla Solar Roof

What about the fact that electricity prices could DROP over the next 30 years? Better and more affordable solar generation and storage. Are these 30 year savings predicated on electricity prices today and increasing with inflation? Are you entering into a 30 year price contract with the local utili...
by tech_arch
Mon May 15, 2017 1:13 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: how do you invest your HSA
Replies: 39
Views: 3049

Re: Withdraw Anytime in the future?

Question: I might have read this somewhere but I would like a confirmation / opinions / take. Can one actually pay medical expenses out of pocket and retain the receipt/invoice. Then anytime in the future -- even 30-40 years down the road -- withdraw an amount equal to those medical expenses? If so...
by tech_arch
Mon May 15, 2017 8:16 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Tesla Solar Roof
Replies: 81
Views: 7668

Re: Tesla Solar Roof

This article indicates that the Tesla calculator may be making misleading assumptions and omissions: that it assumes the entire cost of the roof rather than just the solar-related portion is eligible for a tax credit, that it omits opportunity costs, and that it assumes the roof will last not nearl...
by tech_arch
Sun May 14, 2017 2:39 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Replace floor BEFORE or AFTER New Cabinets?
Replies: 27
Views: 2231

Re: Replace floor BEFORE or AFTER New Cabinets?

We did flooring last. The slab should be level while not all tile is not perfectly flat, which may cause problems. I think it also gives a cleaner look where the tile meets the cabinetry.

From a job cost standpoint, it's about even.
by tech_arch
Fri May 12, 2017 7:33 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Tesla Solar Roof
Replies: 81
Views: 7668

Re: Tesla Solar Roof

I saw that Tesla released pricing of their solar roofs today. Even though we're in the middle of getting a traditional PV system installed, I decided to see what their cost estimate would be for my house. I was not impressed. Traditional system: 9kW, $21,500 before 30% federal tax credit. My estima...
by tech_arch
Fri May 12, 2017 10:48 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Buying a House - Where should I get the money for closing
Replies: 9
Views: 1338

Re: Buying a House - Where should I get the money for closing

How much is in the emergency fund? You'll need to save some cash to pay for fix-ups to your current house to get it on the market. But other than that, I would for sure draw down the emergency fund before messing with my investments. The whole point of an emergency fund is to be used in situations ...
by tech_arch
Fri May 12, 2017 10:40 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Does a new car purchase make sense?
Replies: 38
Views: 2471

Re: Does a new car purchase make sense?

According to Consumer Reports: Jan 28, 2016 - The lane-departure warning is so bothersome that about two-thirds of owners turn off the feature, according to an IIHS study. We felt like we were getting so many false positives with ours that we turned it off, too. I put it on for long road trips, but...
by tech_arch
Fri May 12, 2017 8:51 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Charter bought the local cable company...How to get them to stop calling me?
Replies: 8
Views: 813

Re: Charter bought the local cable company...How to get them to stop calling me?

Current "do not call" laws exempt companies who have an existing business relationship with you. I'm pretty sure you they have to honor DNC requests when it comes to additional solicitations. Obviously they can always call you to discuss your primary business relationship. Source: Busines...
by tech_arch
Thu May 11, 2017 2:09 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Does a new car purchase make sense?
Replies: 38
Views: 2471

Re: Does a new car purchase make sense?

Don't get a car loan that exceeds 2-3 years (you're buying too much car, and you'll always be underwater on the loan if it goes beyond 4 years.) This isn't always true. Last year we took out a 5-year, 0.9% loan for $28k on our new minivan with $5k down. The payments definitely exceed the depreciati...
by tech_arch
Thu May 11, 2017 12:49 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Does a new car purchase make sense?
Replies: 38
Views: 2471

Re: Does a new car purchase make sense?

What safety concerns do you and your family have about the current car? Have you verified them by checking the NHTSA ratings ? You'll probably get better responses if you share more information about the car. FWIW, my daily driver is a compact that's 12 years old. It has ABS, front air bags, and pro...
by tech_arch
Thu May 11, 2017 8:46 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Tesla Solar Roof
Replies: 81
Views: 7668

Re: Tesla Solar Roof

Angelus359 wrote:Diy solar sounds a bit scary though, tbh

I agree with this, at least for roof-top installs. There's no way I'd feel confident installing mountings and flashing on my roof, but if it was a ground install I'd probably go the DIY route.
by tech_arch
Thu May 11, 2017 7:55 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Tesla Solar Roof
Replies: 81
Views: 7668

Re: Tesla Solar Roof

I saw that Tesla released pricing of their solar roofs today. Even though we're in the middle of getting a traditional PV system installed, I decided to see what their cost estimate would be for my house. I was not impressed. And is this to be completely off the grid with battery back-up, or this i...
by tech_arch
Wed May 10, 2017 9:02 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Tesla Solar Roof
Replies: 81
Views: 7668

Tesla Solar Roof

I saw that Tesla released pricing of their solar roofs today. Even though we're in the middle of getting a traditional PV system installed, I decided to see what their cost estimate would be for my house. I was not impressed. Traditional system: 9kW, $21,500 before 30% federal tax credit. My estimat...
by tech_arch
Wed May 10, 2017 8:29 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Puzzling issue with MacBookAir
Replies: 7
Views: 882

Re: Puzzling issue with MacBookAir

did a little more digging around....how strange...it seems to be connected to a new security setting (that I did not change or apply) that requires me to give the ok to open apps from "unidentified developers"....but these aren't apps, they are documents...strange. That setting has been i...
by tech_arch
Wed May 10, 2017 11:53 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: 18" vs 20" Tires
Replies: 39
Views: 2093

Re: 18" vs 20" Tires

Car and Driver tested different wheel sizes on a VW Golf (yes, I know, not an SUV), going from 15" to 19". Their conclusion was 17" and 18" offered the best performance in terms of cornering and braking while smaller wheels were better for comfort and acceleration. They didn't li...
by tech_arch
Tue May 09, 2017 8:19 am
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: HSA newbie
Replies: 7
Views: 810

Re: HSA newbie

You're welcome. My personal approach is to leave one year's worth of my out of pocket max liquid and invest the rest, but YMMV.
by tech_arch
Mon May 08, 2017 9:45 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: HSA newbie
Replies: 7
Views: 810

Re: HSA newbie

I have Benefitwallet which offers the total domestic stock market Vanguard fund. I didn't realize there is a monthly fee to invest, is that typically offset by the tax free investment/growth? I imagine the fee increases over time like all other fees. Yes, it's typically offset by the tax-free envir...
by tech_arch
Mon May 08, 2017 9:03 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: HSA newbie
Replies: 7
Views: 810

Re: HSA newbie

I would start with the wiki page for HSAs. I finally have one that lets me invest and will be putting most of it in a Vanguard lifestyle fund as soon as my transfer goes through.

Do you need help picking funds to invest (if available in your HSA?)
by tech_arch
Mon May 08, 2017 8:24 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: What if the insurance company check is more than autobody?
Replies: 6
Views: 1053

Re: What if the insurance company check is more than autobody?

A close family friend of mine used to be an insurance adjuster. He explained that this was called "saving the deductible" because the independent repair shop would be doing the work for the price of the insurance check, instead of the full estimated amount (insurance + deductible.) This is...
by tech_arch
Sat May 06, 2017 6:20 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: A few Questions from a young investor.
Replies: 19
Views: 1171

Re: A few Questions from a young investor.

It's kind of unclear what you want. What kind of portfolio are you trying to set up? I 'll be honest, every time I think I figure it out, it seems I have only made things worse. To answer your question, I'd have to give an example. Say I'm 30 years from retirement and I set up something as follows ...
by tech_arch
Sat May 06, 2017 6:14 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: A few Questions from a young investor.
Replies: 19
Views: 1171

Re: A few Questions from a young investor.

I did not but into the simplicity side at first, but now I am realizing that it's the way to go for me. If you want simplicity, Vanguard's target date funds would be the simplest option. They'll expose you to domestic and international stocks and bonds and keep it balanced. Later, if/when you decid...
by tech_arch
Fri May 05, 2017 10:50 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Fairness in College Savings
Replies: 47
Views: 2885

Re: Fairness in College Savings

Fair is debatable. I think most would consider it fair that your children (or grandchildren) get a bigger share than nephews and nieces. Or you could determine your budget, divide by the number of children, and then contribute those equal payments. If another child is born then recalculate the distr...
by tech_arch
Fri May 05, 2017 10:37 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Strategy for Mortgage Downpayment < 20%
Replies: 28
Views: 1582

Re: Strategy for Mortgage Downpayment < 20%

If you have the cash to put 20% down, still maintain 5 months of expenses in an emergency fund after you close, and have the ability to build back up your cash reserves to wherever it is you want them in around 4 months then I don't see what the issue is? I think you are being extremely overly caut...
by tech_arch
Thu May 04, 2017 3:25 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: FSA Question
Replies: 5
Views: 426

Re: FSA Question

I would double-check with HR to verify. The benefits provider should be able to give you a definitive answer, in writing, as to the current regs. The IRS publication you cited does say that it is per employer, though, and not per calendar year.
by tech_arch
Thu May 04, 2017 3:18 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Wife getting PhD, how to fund? (student vs 401k loan vs home equity, etc)
Replies: 50
Views: 3048

Re: Wife getting PhD, how to fund? (student vs 401k loan vs home equity, etc)

I don't have any experience with your wife's field, but many employers will cover educational expenses. Perhaps there is an office near the school that would accept her part-time, pay more than what her financial aid is covering, and keep her on for X years afterward in return for paying for the cla...
by tech_arch
Wed May 03, 2017 3:58 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Income has increased drastically! What to do now?
Replies: 18
Views: 2184

Re: Income has increased drastically! What to do now?

I would look over some of the posts over at http://whitecoatinvestor.com/2016-tax-report/ to learn about potential tax deferred accounts you might be able to take advantage of (401(k) instead of IRA, maybe hiring your spouse so the company can contribute on her behalf, etc...) Other ideas: HSA? 529s...
by tech_arch
Tue May 02, 2017 9:41 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Will vs Living Trust
Replies: 52
Views: 3978

Re: Will vs Living Trust

Florida requires that a personal representative be either a relative or a Florida resident. When a Florida client's first choice for personal representative isn't either a relative or a Florida resident, we'll often do a revocable trust. Other than that, we generally don't do revocable trusts for F...
by tech_arch
Tue May 02, 2017 6:49 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Will vs Living Trust
Replies: 52
Views: 3978

Re: Will vs Living Trust

Florida requires that a personal representative be either a relative or a Florida resident. When a Florida client's first choice for personal representative isn't either a relative or a Florida resident, we'll often do a revocable trust. Other than that, we generally don't do revocable trusts for F...
by tech_arch
Tue May 02, 2017 11:49 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Banking in Marriage
Replies: 66
Views: 4345

Re: Banking in Marriage

We're fans of the one account approach, with $X set aside as an "allowance" to spend as we see fit. Whatever works for you, though.
by tech_arch
Tue May 02, 2017 9:29 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Great knife for slicing limes and raw potatoes
Replies: 56
Views: 3056

Re: Great knife for slicing limes and raw potatoes

I'd like to challenge the general statement about not putting knives in the dishwasher if you want them to remain sharp. Knife sharpness has nothing to do with an automatic dishwasher, per se. As long as the knife is secured in such a way that nothing other than moving water touches the cutting edg...
by tech_arch
Tue May 02, 2017 9:18 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: HOA vs No-HOA
Replies: 53
Views: 3263

Re: HOA vs No-HOA

As above, it's all about location. Off the top of my head, in no particular order... ⋅ Quality of schools ⋅ Gated community or not? ⋅ What would your daily commute be like? ⋅ Public transit, if appropriate ⋅ How close to shopping do you want to be? &...
by tech_arch
Tue May 02, 2017 7:31 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Great knife for slicing limes and raw potatoes
Replies: 56
Views: 3056

Re: Great knife for slicing limes and raw potatoes

I would recommend either a chef's knife or santoku. As long as you keep it sharp it and avoid the dishwasher it should be fine. Make sure the length feels good to you as does the grip. I personally prefer wooden handles as I think I get better grip, but others prefer plastic. Here's a guide buy one ...
by tech_arch
Mon May 01, 2017 8:49 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Buying first home with old hvac
Replies: 92
Views: 3830

Re: Buying first home with old hvac

There is an inspection contingency although I thought that was only if something was not working – technically the units are working it's just that they are 20 years old. What do you other buyers do in similar situations? As always, it depends on what is in your contract. The inspection clause in o...
by tech_arch
Mon May 01, 2017 12:38 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Roomba or competitor?
Replies: 16
Views: 1986

Re: Roomba or competitor?

We also have the Roomba 805 from Costco. It works well enough, and it's nice to let it do its thing in a few rooms while we're doing something else. It does a good job cleaning our floors, which are mostly tile. Caveats: * I find it maddening to watch since it goes in a seemingly random pattern. I w...
by tech_arch
Sun Apr 30, 2017 7:26 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Buying couches the Boglehead way
Replies: 36
Views: 4194

Re: Buying couches the Boglehead way

We bought ours at Rooms To Go about nine years ago. We did microfiber with the anti-spill treatment because kids. They're now at the end of their life; cushions are getting saggy, can't really keep them clean anymore, and one has a broken support (I suspect from abuse, not shoddy craftsmanship.) We'...
by tech_arch
Wed Apr 26, 2017 7:55 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: car portable refrigerator
Replies: 12
Views: 885

Re: car portable refrigerator

Decent coolers can keep ice for three days so I would you to be fine with sufficient ice packs. Even Coleman has coolers rated for 6 days of ice retention. We take a couple of big Coleman coolers camping and they keep drinks cold and meats frozen over the weekend without issue when topped off with i...
by tech_arch
Wed Apr 26, 2017 2:03 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Major health issue - finding new employment with health coverage
Replies: 35
Views: 2524

Re: Major health issue - finding new employment with health coverage

I'm trying to figure out how I can find new employment when my family has major health insurance needs. I'm currently employed (USA) with excellent health insurance, but wishing for employment with a different company. One of my family members has a medical condition that requires expensive tests m...
by tech_arch
Wed Apr 26, 2017 10:09 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Pregnant - HSA vs PPO decision
Replies: 11
Views: 1014

Re: Pregnant - HSA vs PPO decision

erock139 wrote:We even got a free breast pump per calendar year, but ended up paying out of pocket for a nicer, more efficient pump.


Off-topic: breast pumps are covered under the ACA so all plans should cover one, though they might not be the one mom likes the best.
by tech_arch
Wed Apr 26, 2017 8:54 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Washing Machine Hook-up to Kitchen Sink
Replies: 6
Views: 607

Re: Washing Machine Hook-up to Kitchen Sink

Have you looked at portable washing machines? Those come with sink adaptors and should work without issue, though they have smaller capacities.

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