Search found 173 matches

by 6Pack
Sun Nov 17, 2019 7:31 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Gift Card Already Used?
Replies: 23
Views: 1679

Re: Gift Card Already Used?

Just a tip of what I do with gift cards to help against this in the future. I put all of my gift cards in a business card book (they fit perfectly) and I use a marker to write the current balance on the front of the card. That way if I use only part of a card, I know exactly how much is left. As far...
by 6Pack
Sat Nov 16, 2019 5:52 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Is this a fair price for a wealth manager financial advisor?
Replies: 43
Views: 3106

Re: Is this a fair price for a wealth manager financial advisor?

A “fair price” is in the eye of the beholder. What I think is fair might be different than what you think is fair. For example, I don’t think paying a mechanic $800 for brakes and rotors is fair when I can do it myself for $200. But if you aren’t handy with tools or comfortable with doing the work, ...
by 6Pack
Fri Nov 15, 2019 8:19 pm
Forum: Personal Investments
Topic: Planning for sister-in-law's future after losing her father.
Replies: 15
Views: 1742

Re: Planning for sister-in-law's future after losing her father.

Just thinking out loud here: the money is your wife’s sister’s to inherit outright (at least that’s what it sounds like). You can’t necessarily take her money and put it in a trust for her. I’d talk to a lawyer in your state before you do anything. From the sounds of it, you may have potential liabi...
by 6Pack
Fri Nov 15, 2019 7:43 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Moonlighting - get paid as 1099 vs single member LLC?
Replies: 20
Views: 1279

Re: Moonlighting - get paid as 1099 vs single member LLC?

I’d go forward as a sole proprietor. I’m fact, for my side hustle, I’m a sole proprietorship.

Don’t forget to set up a SEP IRA for your side hustle. The contribution limits for Roth/traditional IRAs and 401(k)s are all different, so you could max them all out each year.
by 6Pack
Tue Nov 12, 2019 2:45 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Hard Wired smoke alarms. Recommendations.
Replies: 34
Views: 1886

Re: Hard Wired smoke alarms. Recommendations.

In Maryland, you are now required to replace smoke detectors with ten year batteries. At least a couple of counties in Maryland have fire departments who provide free smoke detectors. Mine does for folks over 60 or so. This is true, UNLESS they are hardwired, then you can have a hardwired detector ...
by 6Pack
Mon Nov 11, 2019 9:24 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: HDHP over BCBS Basic for Feds?
Replies: 70
Views: 3227

Re: HDHP over BCBS Basic for Feds?

Of course the first day of open season would be on a federal holiday... I have a family of 5 (including me) and we will stick with BCBS Basic. With kids, it’s amazing the stuff that can just come up (like my youngest needing minor surgery last year). However, if you’re comfortable with a HDHP, go fo...
by 6Pack
Thu Oct 31, 2019 3:51 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: APC power backup for extended outages
Replies: 29
Views: 1334

Re: APC power backup for extended outages

For those who asked, yes my ISP was up the whole time Saturday-Wednesday during the PG&E blackouts. The neighbors were on it and it is locally managed with a generator. Thanks for the suggestions. I'm aware of whole house generators ($7-10,000+) plumbed into the electrical system which would be goo...
by 6Pack
Thu Oct 31, 2019 11:10 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: I have a new LLC and questions!
Replies: 10
Views: 775

Re: I have a new LLC and questions!

I have a sole proprietorship and still use an EIN from the IRS whenever I have to fill out a W-9. I don’t want to give out my Social Security Number freely, so I use the EIN. You should use an EIN even if you are a single-member LLC. In fact, for liability purposes (corporate veil and such), I don’t...
by 6Pack
Thu Oct 31, 2019 11:04 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: APC power backup for extended outages
Replies: 29
Views: 1334

Re: APC power backup for extended outages

I have a UPS power my server, switch, router, WiFi, modem and Vonage devices. It’ll last about an hour. I extended the circuit from my sump pump to run my computer equipment. I usually get my generator out at the half hour mark, and I tied the sump pump circuit into my transfer switch, so I get the ...
by 6Pack
Tue Oct 29, 2019 7:07 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Question for Feds re: liability insurance...
Replies: 20
Views: 1227

Re: Question for Feds re: liability insurance...

If your wife follows proper procedures (ie: documenting everything in detail), what kind of liability does she honestly face? I know quite a few contracting officers in different agencies and they don’t have personal liability insurance (even though they sign the contracts to bind the government). I...
by 6Pack
Mon Oct 28, 2019 6:44 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Furnace air filters
Replies: 37
Views: 2902

Re: Furnace air filters

You need to be careful with using a filter with too much filtration (a high MERV rating) because it will restrict too much airflow and may cause your cool to ice up when running the AC. When we got our new HVAC, I specifically asked for a 5” media box. I can use an MERV 13 filleter without worrying ...
by 6Pack
Fri Oct 25, 2019 4:18 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Security camera questions
Replies: 10
Views: 1210

Re: Security camera questions

We just installed three Ring cameras this week: 1 doorbell, 1 wired and 1 solar. So far so good! I’m going to wait until Black Friday to get more cameras - they could go on sale. I like being able to keep an eye on everything, even if it’s a simple “did I remember to close the garage door”. Granted,...
by 6Pack
Mon Oct 21, 2019 2:05 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Home buying advice: Build new or buy used?
Replies: 76
Views: 5476

Re: Home buying advice: Build new or buy used?

My house was built in 2000 and we got it in 2011. My parents’ house was built in the mid-1950s. The construction quality of my parents’ house is hands down better than mine. Don’t let age deceive you. Now I don’t know how old of a home you are considering, but if it were me, I’d go with something f...
by 6Pack
Mon Oct 21, 2019 1:35 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: car battery change or not? 2 year old battery
Replies: 118
Views: 6346

Re: car battery change or not? 2 year old battery

The CCA spec is a variable that is entered into the tester by the tech. An old trick some dealers use is to say the battery is a higher capacity than what it really is, so the test shows a failure when in fact it’s ok.
by 6Pack
Mon Oct 21, 2019 1:32 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Home buying advice: Build new or buy used?
Replies: 76
Views: 5476

Re: Home buying advice: Build new or buy used?

My house was built in 2000 and we got it in 2011. My parents’ house was built in the mid-1950s. The construction quality of my parents’ house is hands down better than mine. Don’t let age deceive you. Now I don’t know how old of a home you are considering, but if it were me, I’d go with something fr...
by 6Pack
Fri Oct 18, 2019 11:59 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Deed fraud (on your home)- anyone have insight?
Replies: 51
Views: 4173

Re: Deed fraud (on your home)- anyone have insight?

PVW wrote:
Fri Oct 18, 2019 11:47 am
My state and municipality charge a deed transfer tax. It seems this would thwart deed fraud.
Mathematically, it’s still lucrative to pony up $5,000 in transfer taxes to steal $400,000.
by 6Pack
Fri Oct 18, 2019 11:27 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Deed fraud (on your home)- anyone have insight?
Replies: 51
Views: 4173

Re: Deed fraud (on your home)- anyone have insight?

How would the thief get access to the deed? The grantor signs the deed to the grantee. I don’t see how such a fraud is possible. Deeds are filed at the county courthouse, which means they are public records. Anyone can pull a deed to your property (to find an owner or perform a title search). It’s ...
by 6Pack
Thu Oct 10, 2019 8:38 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: $575 to replace rear brake pads and rotors on a 2017 Subaru Forester?
Replies: 64
Views: 4484

Re: $575 to replace rear brake pads and rotors on a 2017 Subaru Forester?

Watch YouTube, get some tools, and do it yourself. I can do all 4 brakes and rotors for about $250 after rebates. Do it once and your tools paid for themselves. I did this 7 years ago and never looked back.
by 6Pack
Tue Oct 08, 2019 8:39 pm
Forum: Personal Investments
Topic: Fee-only planner for federal employees?
Replies: 30
Views: 2062

Re: Fee-only planner for federal employees?

Depends where in MD you are. I work closely with a few-only planner near Baltimore. They also have an office in Frederick.
by 6Pack
Sun Oct 06, 2019 6:37 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: replacing Smoke Detectors (not just batteries)
Replies: 30
Views: 1964

Re: replacing Smoke Detectors (not just batteries)

Many times you can find a contractor pack of 6 or 8 at a slightly reduced price. Cut the circuit breaker off and have at it. Is it true that newer houses don't have circuit breakers for the smoke detectors? Someone said it's code where I live. Seems a safety risk in itself to not have a breaker for...
by 6Pack
Sat Oct 05, 2019 6:47 am
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: How many are switching from Fidelity?
Replies: 140
Views: 15966

Re: How many are switching from Fidelity?

I like Fidelity's CMA account and 2% cash back credit card. No intention on changing. I find it interesting that there are Bogleheads that trade individual stocks so much that "free" brokerage commission is of value... Same here. Plus, Fidelity has the zero fee mutual funds. If you get all 4 of the...
by 6Pack
Fri Oct 04, 2019 4:59 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Side income ideas for a non-lawyer JD holder?
Replies: 30
Views: 2130

Re: Side income ideas for a non-lawyer JD holder?

Estate planning goes hand-in-hand with personal finance. If you take a few CLEs, find a local mentor, and beat the street marketing, you can get an estate planning practice going. I do estate planning, probate, and business law (contracts, LLCs, etc..). Just keep your overhead low, provide good valu...
by 6Pack
Fri Oct 04, 2019 4:39 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Side income ideas for a non-lawyer JD holder?
Replies: 30
Views: 2130

Re: Side income ideas for a non-lawyer JD holder?

Have you thought about taking the bar exam? I have a day job with the feds and a law practice on the side (transactional stuff). EDIT: if you have spare time, studying for the bar won’t be tough and the biggest hurdle to being a lawyer is law school, and you’ve already got that covered. Also, the am...
by 6Pack
Thu Oct 03, 2019 9:56 pm
Forum: Personal Investments
Topic: Lump sum vs Pension
Replies: 20
Views: 2095

Re: Lump sum vs Pension

As a general rule of thumb, every $100/month in pension income is worth $18,000. So $867 would be worth approximately $154,800. However, a pension can help negate sequence of returns risk and allow you to keep more investments in stocks (as opposed to bonds) because you have the extra pension paymen...
by 6Pack
Thu Oct 03, 2019 6:22 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Pension Lump Sum Payout Option Offered
Replies: 3
Views: 300

Re: Pension Lump Sum Payout Option Offered

If it were me, I’d run the numbers to see what an annuity would cost at age 65, with 50% survivor benefits. I was talking to a co-worker today about our pensions (I’m 36 and work for the feds). My thought is that the pension protects against sequence of returns risk and otherwise allows me to be mor...
by 6Pack
Thu Oct 03, 2019 6:07 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: [When my children marry, should they sign a pre-nuptial agreement?]
Replies: 95
Views: 7992

Re: Daddy I'm engaged! Pre-nup?

I’m a lawyer and I find pre-nups and post-nups sort of self defeating. You are basically saying “I want to get married, but eventually it won’t work out, so here’s the split...” I couldn’t imagine marrying someone and asking for a pre-nup. In fact, my wife once asked why I never asked her for one ev...
by 6Pack
Wed Oct 02, 2019 7:08 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Will or trust question
Replies: 18
Views: 1603

Re: Will or trust question

retired@50 wrote:
Wed Oct 02, 2019 4:21 pm
Sometimes wills and/or trusts have clauses that state any person who chooses to contest this document gets nothing... Be careful and/or grateful.
These are called “In Terrorem” clauses. I’ve yet to have a client who doesn’t want one in their will - encourages everyone to play nice.
by 6Pack
Mon Sep 30, 2019 8:01 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Home repair - paying cash (dollar bills)
Replies: 60
Views: 5115

Re: Home repair - paying cash (dollar bills)

If you have a problem and need to take him to court, how can you prove you paid for his services? Is he licensed? Does he provide an insurance certificate? Is his estimate in writing, or just verbal? ++ If his 'non-employees' get hurt while up on a ladder, does he have insurance for them, or will y...
by 6Pack
Mon Sep 30, 2019 4:59 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Home repair - paying cash (dollar bills)
Replies: 60
Views: 5115

Re: Home repair - paying cash (dollar bills)

When negotiating with contractors I always ask for the cash rate. I’ve only had one person say credit cards and cash are the same price. I’d have no worries - I’ve been hiring contractors like this for years (home repair, auto repair, landscaping, etc...) In fact, I needed some flashing repaired bef...
by 6Pack
Mon Sep 30, 2019 4:56 am
Forum: Personal Investments
Topic: TSP: Moving out of G Fund to F?
Replies: 49
Views: 3438

Re: TSP: Moving out of G Fund to F?

I might be an outlier, but I don’t have any F or G funds in my TSP. I’m only in the C, S, and I funds, which I rebalance quarterly. When I get older I’ll revisit this - I’m 36 now. The thing you need to do is figure out your asset allocation and stick with it, through thick and thin. I just changed ...
by 6Pack
Sun Sep 29, 2019 7:43 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Fidelity rewards Visa, affiliate data sharing.
Replies: 11
Views: 1509

Re: Fidelity rewards Visa, affiliate data sharing.

My conclusion: Fidelity had to have been feeding the balances in my IRA accounts to Elan, or whatever bank you say, is behind their Visa card. Everyone gets at least a 25k limit on the Fidelity card, I got it before I had any balance with them. Hmm. My limit is 9.5k on the Fidelity Rewards card. Mi...
by 6Pack
Fri Sep 20, 2019 6:22 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Need to buy new over the range microwave; which brand/model is reliable?
Replies: 16
Views: 970

Re: Need to buy new over the range microwave; which brand/model is reliable?

We have a KitchenAid convection oven/microwave. It’s a little pricey, but you add a second oven to your kitchen without increasing footprint.
by 6Pack
Fri Sep 13, 2019 11:18 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Whistleblowing / Going Rogue at Work
Replies: 122
Views: 6457

Re: Whistleblowing / Going Rogue at Work

I would be interested to know the circumstances of the previous president’s departure - retirement? medical issue? fired? I wouldn’t go. Here’s why: (1) you aren’t a whistleblower nor have you “gone rogue”, so you have no legal protection; (2) your comments/suggestions seem to have had limited impac...
by 6Pack
Tue Aug 13, 2019 7:59 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Provider choosing to bill as out of network
Replies: 43
Views: 3721

Re: Provider choosing to bill as out of network

As a general rule of thumb I live by, I don’t lie for other people.

This isn’t a standard practice that I’m aware of and may be fraudulent. Just my $0.02.
by 6Pack
Wed Aug 07, 2019 6:12 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Upgrading a PC, am I spending too much in too little time?
Replies: 35
Views: 2843

Re: Upgrading a PC, am I spending too much in too little time?

1. The OS on your SSD is better, since it will be accessed more than your data. I would also install your frequently used programs on the SSD as well, but keep your data on the HDD. 2. $150 for a 1TB SSD seems high, Amazon has it for $139 (free shipping of prime), and other good brands (Crucial, Sa...
by 6Pack
Thu Jul 25, 2019 7:16 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Way out of financial catastrophe?
Replies: 80
Views: 11522

Re: Way out of financial catastrophe?

Holy cow, this is a nightmare. I'm not sure what the heck I would do in a situation like this. Have you talked to your insurance company? I would almost consider just walking away from the house and letting the bank foreclose on it. To sink 1 million dollars into structural home repairs that weren'...
by 6Pack
Fri Jul 19, 2019 9:30 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: finding transformer in attic with insulation (edited for correct name of component)
Replies: 36
Views: 2479

Re: finding transformer in attic with insulation (edited for correct name of component)

Just some safety advice: I’m not sure where you are located, but if you’re in part of the US that’s experiencing the heat wave, this weekend may not be the best time to poke around your attic looking for the doorbell transformer. With that being said, nighttime or early morning is the best time to d...
by 6Pack
Sat Jul 06, 2019 5:29 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Homeowner's dilemma
Replies: 6
Views: 1053

Re: Homeowner's dilemma

Are you on a septic? If so, those repairs would be very costly. However, you need to figure out what kind of pipes your talking about. Irrigation pipes are easy to repair. A septic drain field I will require permits and a whole lot of work.
by 6Pack
Sat Jul 06, 2019 5:24 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Sofa or couch ( an6 difference) for new homeowners
Replies: 25
Views: 1679

Re: Sofa or couch ( an6 difference) for new homeowners

Tell them to stay away from second hand stuff due to possible bed bugs (unless they personally know the household getting rid of the sofa). We have Ikea sofas and love them because they use slip covers that can go in the wash. Kids spill a drink? No problem, throw the cover in the wash and it’s as g...
by 6Pack
Wed Jul 03, 2019 8:14 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: House, auto and umbrella insurance increases?
Replies: 10
Views: 806

Re: House, auto and umbrella insurance increases?

My umbrella is the same as last year (no increase), my home insurance would have been the same as last year (no increase) but I raised the deductible and shaved $250 off my bill and my auto insurance was a minimal (1-2%) increase over last year. I’ve been with the same insurer for about 10 years. I’...
by 6Pack
Wed Jul 03, 2019 4:49 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Anyone pay to install transfer switch recently? Does quote seem reasonable?
Replies: 47
Views: 3199

Re: Anyone pay to install transfer switch recently? Does quote seem reasonable?

I did mine a few years ago myself. It’s really not that hard. I got a kit off Amazon and watched a few movies on YouTube. I have a well and needed 220V to run it. If you get a kit, they really aren’t that hard. No more difficult than wiring a new outlet.
by 6Pack
Fri Jun 14, 2019 8:09 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Side hustle: car rentals via turo
Replies: 16
Views: 1972

Re: Side hustle: car rentals via turo

Aside from the issues of wrecking the car, I’d be very concerned about getting sued for negligent entrustment. I’d be interested to see if Turo’s insurance policy includes negligent entrustment as a covered item.
by 6Pack
Wed May 29, 2019 8:53 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Group Ownership of a Car (partnership)
Replies: 20
Views: 1564

Re: Group Ownership of a Car (partnership)

Would having ownership in the name of the partnership make any of the partners less liable individually for potential lawsuits, etc.? I'm hoping and thinking it would. Yes, titling the vehicle in he name of the partnership would help prevent personal liability. However, that liability would shift t...
by 6Pack
Tue May 28, 2019 9:54 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Home sale (Estate)
Replies: 34
Views: 1733

Re: Home sale (Estate)

Interview a few real estate agents and get their thoughts on what they recommend and why. On the other side of the fence, I follow the three Ds of getting a good deal: Death, Divorce and Destitution. Any one of these scenarios will lead to a motivated seller, which means the price will be lower. If ...
by 6Pack
Mon May 27, 2019 9:46 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: tankless water heater?
Replies: 37
Views: 3733

Re: tankless water heater?

Are you on a well or city water? We’re on a well and my plumber said we’d have nothing but trouble with a tankless heater. He said he has seen sediment and iron buildup problems in tankless heaters on well water.

Not sure if this applies to you, but I thought I’d mention it.
by 6Pack
Mon May 27, 2019 8:49 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Central AC not Working Properly?
Replies: 37
Views: 2573

Re: Central AC not Working Properly?

If you are comfortable with doing some work on your system, get a manifold gauge set (they are specific to each type of refrigerant, such as R-12, R-22, R-134a, R-410a, etc...) off Amazon, hook it up to your high side and low side, which will be near your outdoor unit and do some troubleshooting. If...
by 6Pack
Sun May 19, 2019 7:01 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: How to deal with home upgrades - HELOC or not?
Replies: 23
Views: 1717

Re: How to deal with home upgrades - HELOC or not?

I’d opt to save and pay in cash or do it myself. I patched my asphalt driveway last year and used about 1/2 ton of cold patch to expand the apron onto the main road. Wasn’t fun and was messy, but it got the job done. Was also much cheaper than the $5,000 someone wanted to do it for me. Also, I work ...
by 6Pack
Wed May 15, 2019 5:19 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: 10,000% inflation in USA?
Replies: 19
Views: 1663

Re: 10,000% inflation in USA?

If you study history, you’ll see that hyperinflation is not a new thing. Look at the Weimar Republic in the 1920s and 1930s. I don’t have the rate handy, but it’s my understanding a few million Marks would buy a gallon of milk (before the hyper inflation, 1 Mark was approximately $4 USD). If you are...
by 6Pack
Wed May 08, 2019 8:20 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Title search and insurance
Replies: 14
Views: 1211

Re: Title search and insurance

Do you *need* to get title insurance? If she has owned the property for a very long period of time to preclude any possible adverse possession claims, title insurance may be unnecessary. It all comes down to your comfort level since this is a cash purchase.