Search found 1608 matches

by neilpilot
Fri Jun 22, 2018 4:53 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Fixing drip irrigation line
Replies: 11
Views: 478

Re: Fixing drip irrigation line

The drip supply tubes & fittings are fairly generic. Bring a short piece of the damaged tube to the store, to confirm the proper tube replacement and fittings.
by neilpilot
Fri Jun 22, 2018 4:51 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Surprise - Costco sells - but does not install vehicle batteries
Replies: 78
Views: 4534

Re: Surprise - Costco sells - but does not install vehicle batteries

I guess I'd argue if you can't install a battery maybe you shouldn't be driving a car. If you are young and strong, this might be valid. If you are elderly, or have a bad back, lifting a 30 to 40 lb. battery in and out of a car might not be possible. That's a heck of a battery. Most are 15 lbs. The...
by neilpilot
Fri Jun 22, 2018 4:45 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Am I wasting money on my old car?
Replies: 21
Views: 1466

Re: Am I wasting money on my old car?

Jack FFR1846 wrote:
Fri Jun 22, 2018 3:59 pm
I say fix it. Does a 6 year old Corolla or Mazda 2 have a timing belt? If so, and the belt has not been changed, then guess what? You'll need to immediately change the belt.
Guess what, the OP is considering a repair that includes a "new cambelt", which is the timing belt.
by neilpilot
Fri Jun 22, 2018 9:19 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Surprise - Costco sells - but does not install vehicle batteries
Replies: 78
Views: 4534

Re: Surprise - Costco sells - but does not install vehicle batteries

Takes 10 min to install a new battery. Would you pay others $50 install fee? In our area installs are free. 10 minutes to install a battery sure. But how long does it take to get a ride to the store. It's not like every dead battery happens in front of someones house? AAA my friends saves time. Tim...
by neilpilot
Fri Jun 22, 2018 8:51 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Did you celebrate when you finally hit $1m?
Replies: 78
Views: 5252

Re: Did you celebrate when you finally hit $1m?

I was all set to celebrate the $1m asset (excluding home) level, until I realized that the majority of my assets were in my tIRA. So I discounted that $1m to an after tax $600k and kept on saving. :) Are you planning on paying 40% tax on your tIRA, or maybe just a psychological game to keep you sav...
by neilpilot
Fri Jun 22, 2018 7:36 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: How to get cheap flights?
Replies: 18
Views: 838

Re: How to get cheap flights?

Are there ever cheap flights for a holiday week? I can't imagine why the airlines would do that, even if you bought tickets six months in advance. Yes, you can often find a cheap seat if you are willing to fly on the actual holiday. A few years ago we flew back to the USA from Barcelona on Christma...
by neilpilot
Fri Jun 22, 2018 7:12 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Did you celebrate when you finally hit $1m?
Replies: 78
Views: 5252

Re: Did you celebrate when you finally hit $1m?

I was all set to celebrate the $1m asset (excluding home) level, until I realized that the majority of my assets were in my tIRA. So I discounted that $1m to an after tax $600k and kept on saving. :)
by neilpilot
Fri Jun 22, 2018 7:07 am
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: ETFs
Replies: 11
Views: 733

Re: ETFs

You only account for 105% of your portfolio. Are there any other holdings? :twisted:
by neilpilot
Thu Jun 21, 2018 8:52 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: IRS: Great customer service?
Replies: 20
Views: 1764

Re: IRS: Great customer service?

I'd always advise sending certified mail with return request. It gets their attention because they know to a certainty that you have proof that will hold up in Tax Court if it reaches that point. Dream on. I know first hand how incoming mail to the local IRS service center is processed. Certified a...
by neilpilot
Thu Jun 21, 2018 4:51 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: 1st Car Mechanic service experience
Replies: 41
Views: 2042

Re: 1st Car Mechanic service experience

When you can get an oil change for $30 and in a half hour, there’s no need to change it yourself. This is absolutely incorrect. There is one key reason for changing it yourself in this scenario...to ensure it is done correctly. Most places offering $30 / 30 min oil changes are using the lowest knuc...
by neilpilot
Thu Jun 21, 2018 11:33 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: GEICO auto rates vs. USAA: too good to be true?
Replies: 174
Views: 28038

Re: GEICO auto rates vs. USAA: too good to be true?

Thank you UALflyer, that's exactly what I was concerned about concerning claims. If I have a claim, I don't wan't cheap parts or cheap repair shops. I want to have the dealership repair things (or a dealer-recommended body shop). So what insurance company does this? But you are paying higher premiu...
by neilpilot
Thu Jun 21, 2018 10:23 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Heat strips in heat pump miswired and on all the time - how much extra electricity cost?
Replies: 14
Views: 942

Re: Heat strips in heat pump miswired and on all the time - how much extra electricity cost?

You don't leave enough information to do a quantitative analysis, but I wouldn't be surprised if the always-on emergency heat strips are the only culprit. Remember that in the situation you describe the heat strips will obviously increase KW draw directly, but the A/C will also need to work doubly h...
by neilpilot
Thu Jun 21, 2018 10:14 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: What is/ was your career and would you recommend it now?
Replies: 124
Views: 7943

Re: What is/ was your career and would you recommend it now?

Chemical Engineer, then chemical (paints and resins) factory management. It was a good career and I would do it again. Factory and union supervision were never a problem; to the contrary, human relations was rewarding. Factory management is different today in regards to employee (sorry...team membe...
by neilpilot
Thu Jun 21, 2018 8:21 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: 1st Car Mechanic service experience
Replies: 41
Views: 2042

Re: 1st Car Mechanic service experience

Wow that would be shady and I would never return to such a mechanic. I checked the manufacturer maintenance schedule and a new engine air filter replacement was possible at my car's mileage. The problem is, you would never know, unless you are hovering over the mechanic as he services your car. In ...
by neilpilot
Thu Jun 21, 2018 8:14 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Surprise - Costco sells - but does not install vehicle batteries
Replies: 78
Views: 4534

Re: Surprise - Costco sells - but does not install vehicle batteries

One trick of doing your own is to use a memory saver plugged into a cigarette lighter outlet to maintain your radio presets and other computer memory while you are swapping the main battery. Last time I rigged my own with a nine volt battery and old phone charger. Just cut off the phone end, strip ...
by neilpilot
Thu Jun 21, 2018 8:10 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: IRS: Great customer service?
Replies: 20
Views: 1764

Re: IRS: Great customer service?

I'd always advise sending certified mail with return request. It gets their attention because they know to a certainty that you have proof that will hold up in Tax Court if it reaches that point. Dream on. I know first hand how incoming mail to the local IRS service center is processed. Certified a...
by neilpilot
Wed Jun 20, 2018 2:55 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: 1st Car Mechanic service experience
Replies: 41
Views: 2042

Re: 1st Car Mechanic service experience

However I always decline the cabin/engine air filters and do them myself. Those are a 5 minute job and you can order the part on amazon. Sometimes a lot more than 5 minutes. In one of my cars you need to drop the glove compartment to get to the cabin filter. In my older BMW 5-series, it took me alm...
by neilpilot
Wed Jun 20, 2018 1:12 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: thermostat a/c setting
Replies: 17
Views: 941

Re: thermostat a/c setting

I have a question about using a/c. On a normal day in June/July when temp is in mid 80s, is it ok to switch off the thermostat and leave to work to save cooling bill? Or should i be setting it to about 82 cool and leave so that the a/c does not have to work hard when I come back from work? I was to...
by neilpilot
Wed Jun 20, 2018 11:56 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: thermostat a/c setting
Replies: 17
Views: 941

Re: thermostat a/c setting

As far as humidity - I believe some ac systems are better at controlling humidity than others. A house we rented many years ago (rambler style) in the summer had a temperature gap at about 6'. Above that level it was hot/humit and below was cooler. Then, when we turned the setting to fan all the ti...
by neilpilot
Wed Jun 20, 2018 11:51 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Surprise - Costco sells - but does not install vehicle batteries
Replies: 78
Views: 4534

Re: Surprise - Costco sells - but does not install vehicle batteries

Battery change out is pretty easy if and only if a person has 1) the strength and agility to lift a 35-50 lb battery in and out of the engine bay and 2) the skill set to remove old battery safely, and insure the battery is installed securely and properly (including not shorting out the battery or o...
by neilpilot
Wed Jun 20, 2018 11:47 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: thermostat a/c setting
Replies: 17
Views: 941

Re: thermostat a/c setting

There's no clear answer. Some A/C techs say the system will need less maintenance if you leave it on at a higher set point, but the EPA advises you to turn off the A/C. I installed a programmable thermostat for set back control since I preferred having cooling on a little while before I return. I al...
by neilpilot
Wed Jun 20, 2018 11:22 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Life in retirement - what did you do today?
Replies: 194
Views: 16505

Re: Life in retirement - what did you do today?

I'm surprised by how many people are retired and still posting here. I know that I'm only on the forums when I'm at work, and never on the weekends or vacation. My retirement date will likely be the last time I'm ever here. never say never https://www.bogleheads.org/forum/viewtopic.php?f=2&t=231435...
by neilpilot
Wed Jun 20, 2018 8:50 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Life in retirement - what did you do today?
Replies: 194
Views: 16505

Re: Life in retirement - what did you do today?

I'm surprised by how many people are retired and still posting here. I know that I'm only on the forums when I'm at work, and never on the weekends or vacation. My retirement date will likely be the last time I'm ever here. never say never https://www.bogleheads.org/forum/viewtopic.php?f=2&t=231435...
by neilpilot
Wed Jun 20, 2018 8:46 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Life in retirement - what did you do today?
Replies: 194
Views: 16505

Re: Life in retirement - what did you do today?

I'm surprised by how many people are retired and still posting here. I know that I'm only on the forums when I'm at work, and never on the weekends or vacation. My retirement date will likely be the last time I'm ever here. never say never https://www.bogleheads.org/forum/viewtopic.php?f=2&t=231435...
by neilpilot
Wed Jun 20, 2018 7:57 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: dryer vent cleaning--your thoughts?
Replies: 44
Views: 6431

Re: dryer vent cleaning--your thoughts?

The last contributor indicated multiple 90-degree bends in their vent. When a vent is run, it's preferable to install two 45-degree bends when a 90-degree direction change is required. I understand this sometimes can't be done, but it can greatly decrease the resistance to flow, decrease the rate of...
by neilpilot
Tue Jun 19, 2018 4:30 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: I don't trust my own estimate of expenses
Replies: 29
Views: 2199

Re: I don't trust my own estimate of expenses

Why track spending monthly, if what you really want is the big picture?

viewtopic.php?f=2&t=251862&start=50#p3980191
by neilpilot
Tue Jun 19, 2018 10:29 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Tracking spending before retirement useful for estimating retirement expenses?
Replies: 72
Views: 4031

Re: Tracking spending before retirement useful for estimating retirement expenses?

Maybe it's worth noting that you don't need to actively track spending throughout the year. I'm sure some use apps or make daily entry into a spreadsheet, but that sounds too much like work. I wait until all of my credit cards issue their end of year summary, and then simply enter subtotals for each...
by neilpilot
Tue Jun 19, 2018 10:22 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Marriott hotels using Alexa/Echo in guest rooms?
Replies: 34
Views: 2818

Re: Marriott hotels using Alexa/Echo in guest rooms?

jebmke wrote:
Tue Jun 19, 2018 10:01 am

What does this get me that I don't get from Spotify on my phone? [if I am bored, I certainly am not going to just hang around my hotel room; I am probably asleep 90% of the time when I am in a hotel room]
A halfway decent speaker?
by neilpilot
Tue Jun 19, 2018 7:44 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Air conditioner compressor replacement cost
Replies: 28
Views: 2100

Re: Air conditioner compressor replacement cost

Housedoc wrote:
Tue Jun 19, 2018 7:37 am
Capacitor cheap compared to compressor. Cap 25 bucks.
Actually capacitor is about $10. It's a very common and easy repair, and I've replaced one on 2 of my 3 units.
by neilpilot
Tue Jun 19, 2018 7:35 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Italy Trip Questions
Replies: 33
Views: 1836

Re: Italy Trip Questions

Regarding the OP's $2000 RT airfare, whenever you buy an airline ticket far in advance (i.e. for next year) you often pay top dollar. Wait until a couple months before the trip, unless you plan to travel during a peak holiday. Even last minute tickets are often lower price than tickets for the dista...
by neilpilot
Tue Jun 19, 2018 7:32 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Marriott hotels using Alexa/Echo in guest rooms?
Replies: 34
Views: 2818

Re: Marriott hotels using Alexa/Echo in guest rooms?

cheese_breath wrote:
Tue Jun 19, 2018 7:22 am
There better be a way to turn those things off when you don't want them listening. :D :D :D :D :D
My Echo has an off switch, and I'd be surprised if Marriott has a different interface.
by neilpilot
Mon Jun 18, 2018 3:54 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Timeshare ever worth it? Please share details
Replies: 123
Views: 10072

Re: Timeshare ever worth it? Please share details

Seems like timeshares only work for you if: 1) You are able to take regular week-long (or more) vacations every year to an arbitrary location of your choosing. Personally, I haven't been able to do such a thing in almost 10 years. There's always weddings, funerals, graduations, family reunions, etc...
by neilpilot
Mon Jun 18, 2018 3:31 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: type of conduit for string lights
Replies: 9
Views: 528

Re: type of conduit for string lights

I just looked at this thread, and everyone is talking about "pipe". Just to be clear, isn't the OP using conduit or pipe? I ask this because from my perspective conduit, weather metal plastic or fiber, is tubing. Pipe is much more rigid.

So OP are you using pipe?
by neilpilot
Mon Jun 18, 2018 3:15 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Timeshare ever worth it? Please share details
Replies: 123
Views: 10072

Re: Timeshare ever worth it? Please share details

Not so much effort here and we've owned timeshares since 1999. When kids were youngsters, we had great memories using our timeshares and leveraging timeshares, hotel reward point and frequent flyer mileage programs for most of our trips. Our adult kids still remember some of the fabulous trips we t...
by neilpilot
Mon Jun 18, 2018 2:50 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: how to make friends in new location?
Replies: 90
Views: 6969

Re: how to make friends in new location?

In addition to friends, OP should also have some concern for your DW's health. OP's initial post praises the "2 amazing heated pools (90+ temp)" where he lives now. If the pools are really 90+, they are way too hot. Bacteria, algae and other organisms thrive under warm water conditions, and a pool s...
by neilpilot
Mon Jun 18, 2018 11:28 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: What is the largest charitable action you have performed in your life?
Replies: 10
Views: 803

Re: What is the largest charitable action you have performed in your life?

Is this sort of bragging actionable? I don't think it is. A few years ago I logged about 36 flight hours completing 11 charity flights. Four of the flights were transporting patients to or from treatment facilities. The remaining 7 flights were to rescue dogs from kill shelters in the south by tran...
by neilpilot
Mon Jun 18, 2018 10:52 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Social Security advice needed
Replies: 28
Views: 1933

Re: Social Security advice needed

Jack FFR1846 wrote:
Mon Jun 18, 2018 9:56 am
Have you included the likely reduction in benefits in 2034 of 25%?
Is it against board guidelines to suggest that the reduction in benefits is hardly "likely"?
by neilpilot
Mon Jun 18, 2018 10:48 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Timeshare ever worth it? Please share details
Replies: 123
Views: 10072

Re: Timeshare ever worth it? Please share details

Our summer vacation will be staying at a family member's place down the jersey shore for a week. Cost will be $30 in gas and $10 tolls plus maybe a few $100 for food and entertainment. If we had a timeshare I would feel obligated to go on the vacation incurring not only the maintenance fee but much...
by neilpilot
Mon Jun 18, 2018 6:28 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Timeshare ever worth it? Please share details
Replies: 123
Views: 10072

Re: Timeshare ever worth it? Please share details

I did not read other replies, but here is my experience. Married into a deeded timeshare. Traveled w/out kids a lot. Internationally. The places we booked we're terrible. Once, left one and paid for another place to stay. This was thru one of the reputable firms, so to speak. Got lucky, and had the...
by neilpilot
Sun Jun 17, 2018 3:01 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Social Security advice needed
Replies: 28
Views: 1933

Re: Social Security advice needed

Using the above social security numbers for me (using the life expectancy of 85), I come up with total payouts at $279,036 if I took it at age 62 and $312,588 at age 66. That's a difference of $33,552. The four years from age 62 to 66 where I would receive the 1,011 a month equals $48,528. Based on...
by neilpilot
Sun Jun 17, 2018 2:55 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Vanguard admiral shares
Replies: 17
Views: 1194

Re: Vanguard admiral shares

livesoft wrote:
Sun Jun 17, 2018 2:54 pm
neilpilot wrote:
Sun Jun 17, 2018 2:47 pm
Does it explain how my calculations are incorrect?
I never wrote that your calculations are incorrect.
Once again you are correct. Suspicious but not incorrect. You are definitely correct.
by neilpilot
Sun Jun 17, 2018 2:47 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Vanguard admiral shares
Replies: 17
Views: 1194

Re: Vanguard admiral shares

I would have used the minimum amounts for Admiral minus the minimum amounts for Investor share class for each of the funds I owned. Then multiply that by the difference in expense ratios. So say the average difference in amounts are $7K and one has 5 funds and the difference is 0.15% That's $7K * 5...
by neilpilot
Sun Jun 17, 2018 2:36 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: “Day to kill” in Venice Italy
Replies: 51
Views: 3143

Re: “Day to kill” in Venice Italy

For a more familiar coffee, ask for an “Americano”
by neilpilot
Sun Jun 17, 2018 1:39 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Social Security advice needed
Replies: 28
Views: 1933

Re: Social Security advice needed

Can't make a recommendation except to comment that your $18k/yr expense projection seems very low, assuming that you include all expenses. Our current medicare premiums alone, no including out of pocket medical and dental, are currently $6k/yr. Also, be sure to allow for irregular expenses such as h...
by neilpilot
Sun Jun 17, 2018 1:25 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Vanguard admiral shares
Replies: 17
Views: 1194

Re: Vanguard admiral shares

In 2015, when I was mostly Admiral class MFs, the difference for all of our Admiral class holdings amounted to $2k-2.5k/yr. While this difference was not overwhelming, I consider this a bit more than "a joke". Since then we've converted almost all of my MFs to ETFs. I think your calculations are su...
by neilpilot
Sun Jun 17, 2018 1:11 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Italy Trip Questions
Replies: 33
Views: 1836

Re: Italy Trip Questions

2) From the US, you probably would have to fly to Heathrow then catch a smaller plane from Gatwick to Rome. Taxi takes about 45 minutes to get from one airport to the other so make sure you have plenty of time between flights. Actually we looked at a similar itinerary for August, and found reasonab...
by neilpilot
Sun Jun 17, 2018 12:56 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Vanguard admiral shares
Replies: 17
Views: 1194

Re: Vanguard admiral shares

I understand that admiral shares require a minimum balance of $10k. Just so you won't be surprised: The minimum balance is not always $10K and will depend on the actual fund as also mentioned by @DSInvestor. And Vanguard lets clients go below the initial minimum balance for extended periods of time...
by neilpilot
Sun Jun 17, 2018 11:10 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: What are your hobbies?
Replies: 59
Views: 4895

Re: What are your hobbies?

Home and auto repairs (practical as well, but I enjoy most repairs so long as I can take my time) Boating - taking my slow pontoon boat around our lake Travel - domestic & international Sailing - usually on our friend's boat in the Med Flying my small aircraft - often combined with travel Charity fl...
by neilpilot
Sun Jun 17, 2018 11:02 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Early termination of Cable + Internet
Replies: 10
Views: 1205

Re: Early termination of Cable + Internet

You can remove the TV portion of cable and just use the internet... Not always true. I used to subscribe to Adelphia cable internet years ago, and they were quite cool about selling me just internet service, However, when Adelphia went under and was bought by Comcast, that changed. I noticed one mo...
by neilpilot
Sat Jun 16, 2018 3:54 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Tracking spending before retirement useful for estimating retirement expenses?
Replies: 72
Views: 4031

Re: Tracking spending before retirement useful for estimating retirement expenses?

Tracking expenses a year or two prior to retirement is absolutely useful. Your post retirement projection needs to include simple but mostly obvious adjustments. Do you commute 25 ow daily to work; your auto operating expenses might drop. Retirement may mean more travel or golf. It’s likely that ma...