Search found 6599 matches

by michaeljc70
Fri May 29, 2020 8:04 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: NJ property taxes too high. What are my alternative states?
Replies: 104
Views: 7196

Re: NJ property taxes too high. What are my alternative states?

I used to live in NJ and moved to coastal NC 4 years ago. Everyday I see more and more NJ/NY license plates and it’s great to see . NJ and NY are overpriced and besides the ability to have a city, offers nothing. Who wants to be charged a ton to live in the cold on unpaved roads? It's great...until...
by michaeljc70
Fri May 29, 2020 8:01 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: What will you NOT buy online?
Replies: 92
Views: 5600

Re: What will you NOT buy online?

Clothes. Unless they are a direct replacement. Even among the same brand fits vary. I have shirts from S to XL in my closet. Mostly wear M/L but there are outliers. Shoes can vary too. Gym shoes in particular tend to run small in brands like Puma, Nike, etc. I have shoes in sizes from 10.5 to 12.5. ...
by michaeljc70
Thu May 28, 2020 2:15 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: NJ property taxes too high. What are my alternative states?
Replies: 104
Views: 7196

Re: NJ property taxes too high. What are my alternative states?

Liberals have destroyed New Jersey just like they ruined NY and California. Insane taxes and insane policies. People are fleeing these states in droves. DW and myself are moving to Florida as soon as we can (Another year or 2). Can't wait! I like Florida for about a week in the winter. I wouldn't w...
by michaeljc70
Thu May 28, 2020 10:05 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Approaching 40, worried about financial future
Replies: 121
Views: 12037

Re: Approaching 40, worried about financial future

As I stated above, there won't be much of an income tax hit with a part time or lower paying job if you put it in tax differed accounts. With the limit of $19.5k this year she could make ~$25k, put 75% (depends on plan) in the 401k and only pay income taxes on a few thousand bucks. Since it sounds l...
by michaeljc70
Thu May 28, 2020 8:43 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: NJ property taxes too high. What are my alternative states?
Replies: 104
Views: 7196

Re: NJ property taxes too high. What are my alternative states?

I used to live in NJ and moved to coastal NC 4 years ago. Everyday I see more and more NJ/NY license plates and it’s great to see . NJ and NY are overpriced and besides the ability to have a city, offers nothing. Who wants to be charged a ton to live in the cold on unpaved roads? It's great...until...
by michaeljc70
Thu May 28, 2020 8:17 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: does anyone have a subscription to youtube tv?
Replies: 69
Views: 3548

Re: does anyone have a subscription to youtube tv?

Love it. Switched from Spectrum and am saving a lot of $$, especially since I moved my cell service to Spectrum as well. Favorite thing about YTTV is time shifting. Automatically record a show, jump in maybe 15-20 minutes after it starts, and watch the whole thing with no commercials. 2nd favorite ...
by michaeljc70
Thu May 28, 2020 7:49 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: If Jeep has such poor reliability, how come they are everywhere?
Replies: 155
Views: 11331

Re: If Jeep has such poor reliability, how come they are everywhere?

This is maybe the perfect way to state the Jeep phenomenon. I've never gotten it (and I'm a guy who has a truck and could probably get away without having one). For the life of me I will never understand how someone can look at a Jeep Grand and a 4Runner for the same price and go with a Jeep I'm st...
by michaeljc70
Thu May 28, 2020 7:25 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: does anyone have a subscription to youtube tv?
Replies: 69
Views: 3548

Re: does anyone have a subscription to youtube tv?

I have had it about 6 months and have been very happy with it. It has all the channels I need, the DVR service and interface are good and the price reasonable. The most annoying thing is if I play a show I "recorded" and fall asleep it keeps playing other shows based on some algorithm. This is extr...
by michaeljc70
Thu May 28, 2020 6:17 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Why are you NOT buying rental properties?
Replies: 1008
Views: 104247

Re: Why are you NOT buying rental properties?

With coronavirus, more and more people are late with rental payments and landlords will have a hard time collecting and evicting. Imagine being a landlord in nyc, the tenants have more rights than the landlord. It takes over a year or two to evict and good luck getting any payments. Amazingly thoug...
by michaeljc70
Wed May 27, 2020 2:52 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: The "Best of" for Aldi?
Replies: 91
Views: 5755

Re: The "Best of" for Aldi?

There's a box of mixed crackers (I think there's 6 different crackers) that's amazingly good and inexpensive compared to the same/similar name brand box o' mixed crackers. I forgot about those. They are really good and a good price. I like the type that has seeds in it. Some of my favorite items ha...
by michaeljc70
Wed May 27, 2020 11:46 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: The "Best of" for Aldi?
Replies: 91
Views: 5755

Re: The "Best of" for Aldi?

Aldi was our regular hangout before the lockdown. Since lockdown, I see long lines outside every time I drive by (think they limit # people in the store). We now shop at Weis, not as good but no lines. I still prefer Aldi if things start to improve. Wondering if Aldi is well stocked during this tim...
by michaeljc70
Wed May 27, 2020 11:40 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Large Canceled Check - Stop payment + Close Account
Replies: 27
Views: 2464

Re: Large Canceled Check - Stop payment + Close Account

You can typically renew a stop payment after 6 months but sometimes they will charge you a fee (and it still won't be forever and need renewal+new fee). As much of a hassle as it is, I would close the account and open a new one if you cannot get the other check back. First I would call or write wher...
by michaeljc70
Wed May 27, 2020 11:29 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: The "Best of" for Aldi?
Replies: 91
Views: 5755

Re: The "Best of" for Aldi?

We love Aldi, wish they would have some more regular brands though. All of the Aldi brand snacks are fantastic (crackers, cookies, chips) and cheap too. That's the whole point. If they have the same brands as every grocery store and they will have the same prices what would be the point? The stores...
by michaeljc70
Wed May 27, 2020 11:28 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: If Jeep has such poor reliability, how come they are everywhere?
Replies: 155
Views: 11331

Re: If Jeep has such poor reliability, how come they are everywhere?

It seems that Jeep vehicles are nearly legendary for their poor reliability ratings, and yet I see them everywhere like dandelions. Why are they so popular when they have such a poor reputation? It’s funny... just this morning on my daily walk I came across a house that had three Land Rovers parked...
by michaeljc70
Wed May 27, 2020 8:36 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: does anyone have a subscription to youtube tv?
Replies: 69
Views: 3548

Re: does anyone have a subscription to youtube tv?

My non-negotiable is the ability to fast forward commercials. I'm trying out Hulu, like it so far and supposedly by adding on additional DVR storage I will also get to skip commercials. Somewhere online I thought I read that YTTV lets you do that without extra charge, so I'm confused about above co...
by michaeljc70
Wed May 27, 2020 8:23 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: does anyone have a subscription to youtube tv?
Replies: 69
Views: 3548

Re: does anyone have a subscription to youtube tv?

I have had it about 6 months and have been very happy with it. It has all the channels I need, the DVR service and interface are good and the price reasonable. The most annoying thing is if I play a show I "recorded" and fall asleep it keeps playing other shows based on some algorithm. This is extr...
by michaeljc70
Tue May 26, 2020 10:05 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: does anyone have a subscription to youtube tv?
Replies: 69
Views: 3548

Re: does anyone have a subscription to youtube tv?

I have had it about 6 months and have been very happy with it. It has all the channels I need, the DVR service and interface are good and the price reasonable. The most annoying thing is if I play a show I "recorded" and fall asleep it keeps playing other shows based on some algorithm. This is extre...
by michaeljc70
Tue May 26, 2020 7:30 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Auto Insurance Adult Child/gap/Is this legit?
Replies: 8
Views: 654

Re: Auto Insurance Adult Child/gap/Is this legit?

If I remember correctly, I was able to continue to receive the good student discount until I was 25. It helps as insurance for a male under 25 is pretty expensive. As to if this is legitimate I have no idea. You'd have to read the policy as how can someone answer without even knowing your insurance ...
by michaeljc70
Tue May 26, 2020 6:43 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: The "Best of" for Aldi?
Replies: 91
Views: 5755

Re: The "Best of" for Aldi?

-The smoked sliced cheese- gouda and white cheddar. Mostly for snacking. Missing since Covid. -The take and bake deli style thin crust Mega Meat pizza. It is not as good as homemade, but with slight doctoring and for ~$6 hard to beat. -Salami bites (spicy or mild). These are about the size of quarte...
by michaeljc70
Tue May 26, 2020 9:51 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: The axe falls and I am prepared. What's next?
Replies: 364
Views: 27422

Re: The axe falls and I am prepared. What's next?

Sorry to hear about your layoff. I know through your posts you've been planning for it for a while and it sounds like you are well prepared. I don't have much other advice other than I've worked as a contractor for the bulk of the last 25 years in IT and can say part-time work is hard to come by. I ...
by michaeljc70
Mon May 25, 2020 4:44 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Any Instant Pot users here?
Replies: 142
Views: 17477

Re: Any Instant Pot users here?

One safety note with dried beans: Kidney beans, particularly red kidney beans, cannellini beans, broad beans, and some other bean varieties have a toxin that MUST be cooked to an internal temperature of 100C (boiling) for at least 10 minutes to neutralize the toxin. Tests have showed that 80C (slow...
by michaeljc70
Mon May 25, 2020 4:28 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Any Instant Pot users here?
Replies: 142
Views: 17477

Re: Any Instant Pot users here?

I already commented, but I wish that rim on the main unit outside the stainless steel pot was easier to clean. I put the rest (sealing ring, lid, SS pot) in the dishwasher. I wrap a skewer or skinny end of a small utensil in a paper towel and that kind of does the job but it could be easier. Given t...
by michaeljc70
Mon May 25, 2020 4:24 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Anyone buy a car from a rental car company???
Replies: 25
Views: 2598

Re: Anyone buy a car from a rental car company???

I wouldn't. I cannot believe everyone drives/treats a rental car like they drive their own car. They also tend to have a lot of miles in a short time meaning they will be out of warranty. Maybe the impact of it being a rental isn't as bad as I think, but I don't see any benefits (is the price really...
by michaeljc70
Mon May 25, 2020 9:54 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Worried about sibling financial future
Replies: 31
Views: 3947

Re: Worried about sibling financial future

I have two brothers that have no savings and make little effort to work. They are in their 40s, but I highly doubt they will change their ways. Both are smart and it is a self made situation so they won't be getting any help from me. One brother had a 6 figure job and got mad at the company and quit...
by michaeljc70
Mon May 25, 2020 9:46 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: How Much should I fund my HSA and Why?
Replies: 28
Views: 5758

Re: How Much should I fund my HSA and Why?

I am strongly in the camp that you should fund your HSA to the max immediately after contributing enough to receive any employer match to a qualified plan. It is far better than any traditional or Roth contribution option. It combines the tax deduction of a traditional contribution, and the tax-fre...
by michaeljc70
Mon May 25, 2020 9:04 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Approaching 40, worried about financial future
Replies: 121
Views: 12037

Re: Approaching 40, worried about financial future

If the reason your wife doesn't want to work is the kids, after the kids are adults she could still get in 10-15 years of work. I don't know her background, but even if she won't make a lot of money I'd look for a job with a good 401k match or pension (I know, unlikely nowadays). I've worked places ...
by michaeljc70
Sun May 24, 2020 5:26 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Why are you NOT buying rental properties?
Replies: 1008
Views: 104247

Re: Why are you NOT buying rental properties?

<r><QUOTE author="TropikThunder" post_id="5271923" time="1590358586" user_id="108323"><s>[quote=TropikThunder post_id=5271923 time=1590358586 user_id=108323]</s> <QUOTE author="bugleheadd" post_id="5271818" time="1590355052" user_id="154502"><s>[quote=bugleheadd post_id=5271818 time=1590355052 user_...
by michaeljc70
Sun May 24, 2020 3:27 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Approaching 40, worried about financial future
Replies: 121
Views: 12037

Re: Approaching 40, worried about financial future

Can you explain this a little further? Well, the SS calculator here https://www.ssa.gov/OACT/quickcalc/ gives $38k using his age/income and a retirement age of 70. So that is 90% more than what you used. Yes, agreed - that is what I figured as well. But what about his wife and the couples SS total?...
by michaeljc70
Sun May 24, 2020 12:17 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Approaching 40, worried about financial future
Replies: 121
Views: 12037

Re: Approaching 40, worried about financial future

JamesJonesJrJr wrote:
Sun May 24, 2020 12:07 pm
michaeljc70 wrote:
Sun May 24, 2020 11:35 am

I think he will get more than $20k SS at age 70.
Can you explain this a little further?
Well, the SS calculator here https://www.ssa.gov/OACT/quickcalc/ gives $38k using his age/income and a retirement age of 70. So that is 90% more than what you used.
by michaeljc70
Sun May 24, 2020 11:35 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Approaching 40, worried about financial future
Replies: 121
Views: 12037

Re: Approaching 40, worried about financial future

I ran some numbers for you. On your current trajectory, I estimate you'll retire at age 75. Here's a link to the report I generated if you'd like to see the projection in detail. One adjustment you could consider making is increasing your exposure to equities, especially considering your retirement...
by michaeljc70
Sun May 24, 2020 11:25 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Any Instant Pot users here?
Replies: 142
Views: 17477

Re: Any Instant Pot users here?

I think the problem is people have too high of an expectation. It is a pressure cooker. Though you can make anything in it, that doesn't mean it will taste good or save time. I use it for things that would take hours to cook like chuck roasts, pork shoulder, bone broth, etc. and it works great and s...
by michaeljc70
Sun May 24, 2020 8:15 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Why are you NOT buying rental properties?
Replies: 1008
Views: 104247

Re: Why are you NOT buying rental properties?

+1. Who can get a mortgage on a rental with no money down? It *is* possible. My first two rentals, a duplex and a SFR, are still financed on VA loans that I obtained with no money down. I lived in each property for over a year in order to do so. That isn't getting a no money down mortgage on a rent...
by michaeljc70
Sun May 24, 2020 8:13 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Approaching 40, worried about financial future
Replies: 121
Views: 12037

Re: Approaching 40, worried about financial future

It sounds like you downsized from a $400k house to a $350k one without selling the first one? Are you paying a commission? What are the total costs for closing, moving, taxes/stamps, etc? What about paying the mortgage on both? It doesn't sound like much of a savings on its face. There is no magic b...
by michaeljc70
Sun May 24, 2020 7:43 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Why are you NOT buying rental properties?
Replies: 1008
Views: 104247

Re: Why are you NOT buying rental properties?

Something a lot of people are missing is that the tenant actually pays for your mortgage.... Let’s say you buy a 100k apartment which you can rent for 8k a year. Instead of putting your own money, you take a mortgage at 3% for 10 years. The rent pays for your mortgage. Meanwhile your money passivel...
by michaeljc70
Fri May 22, 2020 3:39 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: family cabin planning through generations
Replies: 26
Views: 4771

Re: family cabin planning through generations

I am looking at this issue now for my mother's vacation house. Current thought is to have it owned by an LLC and set aside enough $$ on her death to cover expenses indefinitely. LLC agreement would lay out how the property is managed/used, and would allow for sales/transfers of LLC interests only a...
by michaeljc70
Wed May 20, 2020 8:05 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Mortgage - 15 year versus 30 year if both at same interest rate
Replies: 25
Views: 3193

Re: Mortgage - 15 year versus 30 year if both at same interest rate

Assuming the closing costs are the same and you are not worried about being reckless with the extra money a 30 year would leave it is a no brainer.
by michaeljc70
Wed May 20, 2020 8:02 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: How to gift to your kids ?
Replies: 8
Views: 1260

Re: How to gift to your kids ?

I don't have kids but I can relay what my parents do with their 4 children. They give the $15k (of course they could give more being a couple) per child broken up among holidays/special occasions. Basically Xmas, bday and random holidays (one year it was Easter and one it was Halloween and one it wa...
by michaeljc70
Wed May 20, 2020 7:54 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Lowes vs Home Depot
Replies: 97
Views: 14234

Re: Lowes vs Home Depot

In my city of 3 million people there are dozens of Home Depots and 2 Lowe's so it is HD for me. We also have Menards and I go there too. Lowe's seems to be the most expensive of the 3. Lowe's seems to be the least crowded and has better help than the others. The HD near me seem to have 1 register op...
by michaeljc70
Sat May 16, 2020 9:11 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Does Delaying Social Security Deliver an 8% Return?
Replies: 92
Views: 7432

Re: Does Delaying Social Security Deliver an 8% Return?

Christine Benz article includes use of Mike Piper's free Open Social Security calculator. "Delaying Social Security delivers an 8% guaranteed return." You often see those words. I've written them myself. But does it, really? Making statements like that is not helpful. The right thing to do is to de...
by michaeljc70
Fri May 15, 2020 12:07 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Quicken 2019 and forward
Replies: 322
Views: 29584

Re: Quicken 2019 and forward

I don't know if it is supposed to impress people with the number of updates when you are on a subscription to think you are getting your money's worth or what. However, having worked in software development for decades, it is actually slightly alarming to me. Even if proper testing is being done, i...
by michaeljc70
Fri May 15, 2020 9:15 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Quicken 2019 and forward
Replies: 322
Views: 29584

Re: Quicken 2019 and forward

I don't know if it is supposed to impress people with the number of updates when you are on a subscription to think you are getting your money's worth or what. However, having worked in software development for decades, it is actually slightly alarming to me. Even if proper testing is being done, it...
by michaeljc70
Thu May 14, 2020 11:34 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Does Delaying Social Security Deliver an 8% Return?
Replies: 92
Views: 7432

Re: Does Delaying Social Security Deliver an 8% Return?

That article is primarily intended for self-employed people. Paying more FICA is a much better deal for employees, who pay only half the tax (with the other half paid by an employer for no cost or benefit to you) but receive the whole benefit. This is relevant for such issues as whether to use payr...
by michaeljc70
Thu May 14, 2020 11:04 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Does Delaying Social Security Deliver an 8% Return?
Replies: 92
Views: 7432

Re: Does Delaying Social Security Deliver an 8% Return?

I remember in school a lecturer talking about what a bad deal social security was. This was in the 70s before they started taxing social security benefits. So I understand your statement about the Feds taking things away from you. Not for everyone. There are many studies on this and this one is by ...
by michaeljc70
Thu May 14, 2020 11:00 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Dentist charges $10 for PPE
Replies: 234
Views: 10795

Re: Dentist charges $10 for PPE

I think a lot of posts are missing the key point. The dentist has a contract with an insurance company and there is a contracted rate. The OP has a contract with the insurance provider. The question is do the contracts allow additional charges beyond what was standard before? This is not a matter o...
by michaeljc70
Thu May 14, 2020 10:51 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Dentist charges $10 for PPE
Replies: 234
Views: 10795

Re: Dentist charges $10 for PPE

I think a lot of posts are missing the key point. The dentist has a contract with an insurance company and there is a contracted rate. The OP has a contract with the insurance provider. The question is do the contracts allow additional charges beyond what was standard before? This is not a matter o...
by michaeljc70
Thu May 14, 2020 10:48 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Does Delaying Social Security Deliver an 8% Return?
Replies: 92
Views: 7432

Re: Does Delaying Social Security Deliver an 8% Return?

So, whatever you do, I don't think you should literally wait for seventy candles on the cake because, you know, you might forget to do it. Or something like a pandemic might happen. I'm not sure what options are available for filing before age 70 but specifying that benefits should only begin at ag...
by michaeljc70
Thu May 14, 2020 10:33 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Dentist charges $10 for PPE
Replies: 234
Views: 10795

Re: Dentist charges $10 for PPE

I think a lot of posts are missing the key point. The dentist has a contract with an insurance company and there is a contracted rate. The OP has a contract with the insurance provider. The question is do the contracts allow additional charges beyond what was standard before? This is not a matter o...
by michaeljc70
Thu May 14, 2020 9:19 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Does Delaying Social Security Deliver an 8% Return?
Replies: 92
Views: 7432

Re: Does Delaying Social Security Deliver an 8% Return?

... Social Security is intended to be "actuarially neutral." I believe that to a rough approximation it is. … So the net present value of future benefits and internal rate of return and so forth are supposed to be about the same. (underline added) The internal rates of return from my previous post ...
by michaeljc70
Thu May 14, 2020 9:05 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Dentist charges $10 for PPE
Replies: 234
Views: 10795

Re: Dentist charges $10 for PPE

I think a lot of posts are missing the key point. The dentist has a contract with an insurance company and there is a contracted rate. The OP has a contract with the insurance provider. The question is do the contracts allow additional charges beyond what was standard before? This is not a matter of...