Search found 2474 matches

by neilpilot
Mon Jun 24, 2019 8:16 pm
Forum: Personal Investments
Topic: Financial planning now that retired
Replies: 5
Views: 593

Re: Financial planning now that retired

The number and type of investments are overly complex, but that's what you get at Edward Jones. I'm not going to give you any specific advice, except to point out that if you truly have near zero income this year you should seriously consider large Roth conversion, and pay any tax owed out of your M...
by neilpilot
Mon Jun 24, 2019 10:30 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: what was your worst major purchase? mine is a 2019 mazda3
Replies: 154
Views: 11250

Re: what was your worst major purchase? mine is a 2019 mazda3

Worst purchase ever: 1978 Chevy Monday, bought new when I was a struggling student. The apex of horrible cars from Detroit. The other worst purchase: Fender American Strat. It was a good instrument, just the wrong instrument for me. My own bad judgment. Too bad you didn't keep that 1978 Chevy Monda...
by neilpilot
Sun Jun 23, 2019 10:46 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Any Mint Mobile customers here?
Replies: 37
Views: 2049

Re: Any Mint Mobile customers here?

Can you share with us your carrier’s name? Xfinity mobile, on the Verizon network. Many threads here on this service. I'd be quite surprised if there were no taxes or fees on the Xfinity mobile plan. You need to compare apples to apples. Then there's the whole thing of not using much data. And bein...
by neilpilot
Sun Jun 23, 2019 10:27 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Any Mint Mobile customers here?
Replies: 37
Views: 2049

Re: Any Mint Mobile customers here?

Very happy with Mint. $15/month cannot be beat. Maybe if you need the data. I use very little data, and my unlimited talk & text plan beats Mint by $15/mo. Can you share with us your carrier’s name? Xfinity mobile, on the Verizon network. Many threads here on this service. I'd be quite surprised if...
by neilpilot
Sun Jun 23, 2019 10:20 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Any Mint Mobile customers here?
Replies: 37
Views: 2049

Re: Any Mint Mobile customers here?

Very happy with Mint. $15/month cannot be beat. Maybe if you need the data. I use very little data, and my unlimited talk & text plan beats Mint by $15/mo. Can you share with us your carrier’s name? Xfinity mobile, on the Verizon network. Many threads here on this service. Yes, but unfortunately th...
by neilpilot
Sun Jun 23, 2019 10:11 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Any Mint Mobile customers here?
Replies: 37
Views: 2049

Re: Any Mint Mobile customers here?

LSLover wrote:
Sun Jun 23, 2019 9:42 am
neilpilot wrote:
Thu Jun 06, 2019 3:22 pm
aristotelian wrote:
Thu Jun 06, 2019 3:13 pm
Very happy with Mint. $15/month cannot be beat.
Maybe if you need the data. I use very little data, and my unlimited talk & text plan beats Mint by $15/mo.
Can you share with us your carrier’s name?
Xfinity mobile, on the Verizon network. Many threads here on this service.
by neilpilot
Sat Jun 22, 2019 5:13 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: How long for spousal benefits to get approved?
Replies: 2
Views: 386

Re: How long for spousal benefits to get approved?

Sit tight.....you may not hear anything until mid-July.
by neilpilot
Fri Jun 21, 2019 6:10 am
Forum: Personal Investments
Topic: Roth conversions-easier if at same brokerage
Replies: 10
Views: 761

Re: Roth conversions-easier if at same brokerage

I have both tIRA and Roth at TDA and have moved assets over to complete a conversion. It was simpler for me to do this rather than sell in tIRA, move cash into Roth, and then repurchase. Another advantage if accounts are at same brokerage.
by neilpilot
Thu Jun 20, 2019 7:04 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Dealer 30K Service for 2017 RAV4--Unusual Items?
Replies: 48
Views: 3264

Re: Dealer 30K Service for 2017 RAV4--Unusual Items?

Seems like just another example why, unless it's a warranty or recall issue, the dealer should be last on your list when you consider service. In fact Toyota's 30k service is pure DIY for many owners, but if you must pay someone then pay an indy mechanic.
by neilpilot
Wed Jun 19, 2019 10:28 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Don't pay full price for SiriusXM radio
Replies: 160
Views: 23871

Re: Don't pay full price for SiriusXM radio

I switched to listening to audiobooks and declined to renew my subscription. It was a overly long phone call but if you do it on a day that your stress level is low it does work. Another reason why I haven't given XM a cc#. If I decide to cancel, I'll just write a letter or email to their customer ...
by neilpilot
Tue Jun 18, 2019 9:33 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Verizon to Xfinity Mobile for Cell Services
Replies: 13
Views: 870

Re: Verizon to Xfinity Mobile for Cell Services

International coverage when traveling is more expensive in my experience is what I should have said. I recall Verizon being $10/day for call/text/data whereas when I was in Costa Rica earlier this year Xfinity were $0.15/min, $0.10/text, $0.15/mB. Assuming 0.5Gb/week data use (my usual usage, not i...
by neilpilot
Tue Jun 18, 2019 4:11 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: With hindsight, what signs indicated you were about to lose your job?
Replies: 127
Views: 11293

Re: With hindsight, what signs indicated you were about to lose your job?

I found my current employer within 2 weeks and I double dipped salary for 2.5 months. Still here 13 years later. The only time I was let go, they eliminated the department I had managed for 5 years. I was given 6 months severance, but in 3 weeks I found a higher paying position with a competitor in...
by neilpilot
Tue Jun 18, 2019 2:59 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Ukraine Makes Up 43% of Total World Bond?
Replies: 11
Views: 2213

Re: Ukraine Makes Up 43% of Total World Bond?

This thread, as well as others recently regarding VG login issues, make it seem VG IT is loosing control.

100% of my investments assets are in VG MFs & ETFs, but they are all in accounts at another brokerage. Just hope my underlying investments aren't at risk, given VG's IT prowess.
by neilpilot
Tue Jun 18, 2019 2:36 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: 50 or 75 gallon water heater?
Replies: 67
Views: 4080

Re: 50 or 75 gallon water heater?

dm200 wrote:
Tue Jun 18, 2019 2:35 pm
Unless I missed it, we did not know whether this water heater is gas or electric.

If gas, then I would feel confident about a 50 gallon, but if electric - stick with the 75 gallon.
OP's first post, first line = gas. Your confidence was not shared by OP's installer, nor his DW.
by neilpilot
Tue Jun 18, 2019 1:06 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Verizon to Xfinity Mobile for Cell Services
Replies: 13
Views: 870

Re: Verizon to Xfinity Mobile for Cell Services

Yes, switched about a year ago. Cost is significantly lower. Service is maybe a slight dropoff but not substantial. Well worth it in my opinion. Only thing I've discovered I don't like is that the international coverage is not nearly as good as Verizon. By international coverage, I assume you mean ...
by neilpilot
Tue Jun 18, 2019 12:57 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: how is Home Depot's contractor service (for a water heater)?
Replies: 53
Views: 4094

Re: how is Home Depot's contractor service (for a water heater)?

I can calculate my potential savings. My break even point to replace one of my tanks with a tankless, based on capital cost and energy savings alone, is about 32 years. Trouble is the system will last less than last that time. I haven't included any system maintenance cost. Tankless heaters are mor...
by neilpilot
Tue Jun 18, 2019 12:14 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: how is Home Depot's contractor service (for a water heater)?
Replies: 53
Views: 4094

Re: how is Home Depot's contractor service (for a water heater)?

It isn't just "ME", everyone who has a tankless water heater saves as much as 34% compared to a storage heater. https://www.energy.gov/articles/new-infographic-and-projects-keep-your-energy-bills-out-hot-water It is something worth looking into if one has to replace a storage water heater. [/quote]...
by neilpilot
Tue Jun 18, 2019 9:42 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Don't pay full price for SiriusXM radio
Replies: 160
Views: 23871

Re: Don't pay full price for SiriusXM radio

Another way to avoid needing a reminder or having the automatic renewal at full price: I use CapitalOne's "virtual" card numbers. I have one set up just for SiriusXM, and turn it off right after renewing. Then if/when they get around to trying to renew me, the card comes back as invalid. They then ...
by neilpilot
Tue Jun 18, 2019 9:23 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: 2013 Cadillac SRX - Corroded / Pitted Wheels
Replies: 12
Views: 772

Re: 2013 Cadillac SRX - Corroded / Pitted Wheels

... Do you know what is causing the pitting? Is it environmental damage (acid raid) or is it perhaps not cleaning your wheels/washing your car frequently enough? Brake dust is usually very corrosive. Again, some cars brands regardless of how much you clean the wheels tend to have to have issues (BM...
by neilpilot
Tue Jun 18, 2019 9:15 am
Forum: Personal Investments
Topic: Transferring mutual funds between taxable accounts
Replies: 17
Views: 895

Re: Transferring mutual funds between taxable accounts

I also wonder why the same owner would maintain 2 taxable accounts at the same broker. Different beneficiary? What other reason makes sense? With some exceptions, I keep cash, stocks and bonds in separate accounts. It is probably mental accounting but helps me with asset allocation. Bad idea? I've ...
by neilpilot
Tue Jun 18, 2019 9:04 am
Forum: Personal Investments
Topic: Transferring mutual funds between taxable accounts
Replies: 17
Views: 895

Re: Transferring mutual funds between taxable accounts

I also wonder why the same owner would maintain 2 taxable accounts at the same broker. Different beneficiary? What other reason makes sense?
by neilpilot
Mon Jun 17, 2019 1:28 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: car cylinder ignition coil - replace only nonfunctional one or all of them?
Replies: 22
Views: 977

Re: car cylinder ignition coil - replace only nonfunctional one or all of them?

This issue may be model/engine specific. My car would need all coils replaced if one went bad. You may want to visit a forum specific for your car, and ask how others have proceeded. I've never heard of that before. May I ask what model car do you have that needs all coils replaced if 1 is bad? The...
by neilpilot
Mon Jun 17, 2019 10:00 am
Forum: Non-US Investing
Topic: Variable (0.96%) or fixed (2.29%) mortgage for 30 years?
Replies: 10
Views: 1457

Re: Variable (0.96%) or fixed (2.29%) mortgage for 30 years?

Not sure of your tax status but lets say you were in a 25 % bracket. After the tax deduction if you get one and subtracting inflation, you'd really be paying only about .12%. That's practically free money. That is an excellent fixed rate. If rates go up you're good. If rates go down, refinance, sti...
by neilpilot
Sun Jun 16, 2019 3:34 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: car cylinder ignition coil - replace only nonfunctional one or all of them?
Replies: 22
Views: 977

Re: car cylinder ignition coil - replace only nonfunctional one or all of them?

Swansea wrote:
Sun Jun 16, 2019 2:21 pm
This issue may be model/engine specific. My car would need all coils replaced if one went bad.
You may want to visit a forum specific for your car, and ask how others have proceeded.
I've never heard of that before. May I ask what model car do you have that needs all coils replaced if 1 is bad?
by neilpilot
Sun Jun 16, 2019 3:30 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: how is Home Depot's contractor service (for a water heater)?
Replies: 53
Views: 4094

Re: how is Home Depot's contractor service (for a water heater)?

Had my 6 year old gas water heater replaced by HD without issue for less money than plumber installed prior unit. Out of curiosity, why did you replace it so soon? We have an 11 year-old gas water heater that needed a valve replaced last year, and the plumber said it should be good for at least ano...
by neilpilot
Sun Jun 16, 2019 3:00 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Best SIM card for travel in Europe?
Replies: 38
Views: 2635

Re: Best SIM card for travel in Europe?

It still amazes me that travelers think they need to use mobile data to navigate. While I download maps to minimize data usage, mobile data was very useful in getting real time public transportation information in a couple of major cities. Sure it is, and it's an individual choice. For our trip las...
by neilpilot
Sun Jun 16, 2019 1:21 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Best SIM card for travel in Europe?
Replies: 38
Views: 2635

Re: Best SIM card for travel in Europe?

It still amazes me that travelers think they need to use mobile data to navigate. I never said that. What I said was I used T-Mobile data for navigation. In fact, before my T-Mobile I used an iPhone App called Pocket Earth. You just need to download the app and the maps in the area you will be visi...
by neilpilot
Sun Jun 16, 2019 1:10 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: car cylinder ignition coil - replace only nonfunctional one or all of them?
Replies: 22
Views: 977

Re: car cylinder coil - replace only nonfunctional one or all of them?

It's an ignition coil, not a "cylinder coil". No need to replace the other good coils, but it is relatively easy to identify a bad coil if you have the same symptons later due to another bad coil. Also no need to change the plugs if they aren't near their end of life. The mechanic should have remove...
by neilpilot
Sun Jun 16, 2019 12:53 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: With hindsight, what signs indicated you were about to lose your job?
Replies: 127
Views: 11293

Re: With hindsight, what signs indicated you were about to lose your job?

I was department head of a 5 person department. I, along with my senior chemist, were typically the first ones in each morning. One morning neither of us could log in to the network. By 10am that day we were both escorted out, the department was dissolved, and the other 3 team members were reassigned.
by neilpilot
Sun Jun 16, 2019 12:11 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Best SIM card for travel in Europe?
Replies: 38
Views: 2635

Re: Best SIM card for travel in Europe?

Are SIM cards still a thing? I did that 5 years ago in Denmark. A bit of a hassle. Now I have T-Mobile so I get free texting and 2G data overseas. Data is slow, but good enough for my uses (navigation) . Otherwise I use WiFi combined with FaceTime for calling. In an emergency I can use cellular cal...
by neilpilot
Sat Jun 15, 2019 8:34 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Compound interest for 10% interest rate?
Replies: 29
Views: 3132

Re: Compound interest for 10% interest rate?

Because it’s inflation relative to the US dollar means it’s worth less relative to the dollar at the end of the period. Inflation has nothing to do with exchange rate. You are misinformed......https://www.investopedia.com/ask/answers/022415/how-does-inflation-affect-exchange-rate-between-two-nation...
by neilpilot
Sat Jun 15, 2019 10:04 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: (Water Filtration System) Miracle we are all not dead
Replies: 61
Views: 5388

Re: (Water Filtration System) Miracle we are all not dead

Since this is a new house, does it have CPVC pipes? If so, they could be leaching chlorine, and may do it for a few years. Also, for those concerned about chlorine or simply sensitive to the odor, it breaks down readily. Suemarkp: New CPVC and PVC pipe could potentially leach very small amounts of ...
by neilpilot
Sat Jun 15, 2019 9:29 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: 11 days. England, Ireland or Scotland?
Replies: 31
Views: 2037

Re: 11 days. England, Ireland or Scotland?

2. Make sure you bring your GPS with you, using google maps was not as helpful as our gps particularly at the MANY roundabouts you will encounter. The Garmin gps indicated which turn to make when entering a roundabout with many have 4 options as to where to turn. 20. Hotels require you to place you...
by neilpilot
Sat Jun 15, 2019 9:08 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: At what net worth/ income level would you put your kids in private school?
Replies: 23
Views: 1463

Re: At what net worth/ income level would you put your kids in private school?

We considered that question about 15 years ago, and decided to enroll our daughter in public school. Irrespective of our income level, since we thought the public HS available to us was academically as good as the alternative private HS, and socially superior. In other words, considering your net wo...
by neilpilot
Sat Jun 15, 2019 7:38 am
Forum: Personal Investments
Topic: [ETF vs. Mutual Fund questions]
Replies: 33
Views: 1341

Re: can i change from ETFs to ( mf) mutual fund

As others have said, my experience with the 2 brokers I've used indicate that ETF and MF dividends can be managed exactly the same way. Each individual holding can be set to either dividend reinvest or flow into my account as cash. I can also set up the account to either sweep into a ~2% MM account ...
by neilpilot
Sat Jun 15, 2019 7:33 am
Forum: Personal Investments
Topic: [ETF vs. Mutual Fund questions]
Replies: 33
Views: 1341

Re: which is better ETF or MF ???

At Vanguard there is no difference in the tax efficiency of the "mutual" or Exchange Traded version of a fund. For many people, the mechanics of buying and selling the "mutual fund" shares are easier than dealing with ETFs. Dale For many people, the mechanics of buying/selling ETFs are easier to de...
by neilpilot
Thu Jun 13, 2019 4:22 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: 50 or 75 gallon water heater?
Replies: 67
Views: 4080

Re: 50 or 75 gallon water heater?

We currently have a 21 year old, 75 gallon gas water heater located in the basement of our home. I'm thinking about doing a 50 gallon water heater. My concern is...will 50 gallons be enough? I live in a household of five and I am the only male. We've had a 50 gallon tank forever and I can only thin...
by neilpilot
Thu Jun 13, 2019 2:21 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Why is this cabin so inexpensive?
Replies: 15
Views: 1533

Re: Why is this cabin so inexpensive?

Listing says "Cabin to moved". Reading thru the poor English, are they saying the cabin is for sale but not the lot; i.e. the buyer is expected to remove the building from it's location?
by neilpilot
Wed Jun 12, 2019 9:57 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Renting a car in Europe across countries
Replies: 22
Views: 1265

Re: Renting a car in Europe across countries

Absolutely get an international driving license! 1. They're required in the Czech Republic https://cz.usembassy.gov/u-s-citizen-services/local-resources-of-u-s-citizens/notice-on-drivers-licenses/ 2. Even though not required in Germany, you can save yourself time /questions / confusion if pulled ov...
by neilpilot
Wed Jun 12, 2019 6:47 pm
Forum: Personal Investments
Topic: HSA - Save Reciepts When Paying Bills?
Replies: 36
Views: 2224

Re: HSA - Save Reciepts When Paying Bills?

I've only seen one or two reports here on the forum of somebody actually being audited on HSA withdrawals. I believe that one reported a withdrawal in a single year well in excess of $10K. As I noted above, I cashed out my HSA last year, in excess of 24k. It's all covered by receipted and qualified...
by neilpilot
Wed Jun 12, 2019 11:00 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Central Air Conditioning Troubleshooting
Replies: 18
Views: 1108

Re: Central Air Conditioning Troubleshooting

May be as simple as a thermostat, or a breaker trip on the outside condenser (either wall fuse or panel breaker), or a reset on the HVAC unit. Download the repair manual and follow the troubleshooting guide. j Of course none of the items you list are the problem, since the OP posted that I just tur...
by neilpilot
Tue Jun 11, 2019 8:55 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Cleaning up new house before move in—getting rid of “cat smell”
Replies: 59
Views: 9918

Re: Cleaning up new house before move in—getting rid of “cat smell”

Fortunately the house is all hardwood/tile floors. I don’t believe it is a matter of a poorly managed cat house, just the scent of dander. Good thing. Mostly. I have had rental units where unauthorized pets had peed on the walls and inside corners. It runs down to the baseboard, puddles, then seeps...
by neilpilot
Tue Jun 11, 2019 8:51 am
Forum: Personal Investments
Topic: HSA - Save Reciepts When Paying Bills?
Replies: 36
Views: 2224

Re: HSA - Save Reciepts When Paying Bills?

Just curious.....I'd like to hear from anyone here that has been asked by the IRS to provide receipts to substantiate HSA withdrawals. First hand accounts only. I withdrew over $24k from my HSA in TY2018, do have receipts to substantiate the withdrawal, but don't really expect any questions from the...
by neilpilot
Tue Jun 11, 2019 6:56 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Registering for SS and Medicare office this Wednesday. What else do I need to take?
Replies: 3
Views: 646

Re: Registering for SS and Medicare office this Wednesday. What else do I need to take?

I believe that your MAGI (modified adjusted gross income) from 2 years previous will be used to determine your IRMAA charge. So I think that your 2017 MAGI will determine your 2019 IRMAA charge. Yes, but.....If you can document a Medicare qualified "life changing event", then it's very easy to succ...
by neilpilot
Mon Jun 10, 2019 9:51 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: What frugal thing did you do today?
Replies: 846
Views: 85427

Re: What frugal thing did you do today?

tooluser wrote:
Mon Jun 10, 2019 7:46 pm
Paid $200 more for a nonstop roundtrip plane ticket so that I would not spend an extra 8 hours in transport and have the potential for extra delays. :happy
Anti-frugal?
by neilpilot
Mon Jun 10, 2019 2:29 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Best verizon mvno for little to no data.
Replies: 20
Views: 1504

Re: Best verizon mvno for little to no data.

As previously mentioned, Xfinity is a Verizon MVNO. It's free if you use little or no data, so long as you are a Comcast internet customer.
by neilpilot
Mon Jun 10, 2019 1:18 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Refrigerator Advice
Replies: 46
Views: 3108

Re: Refrigerator Advice

Before installing our replacement fridge, I put in a power surge outlet (replacing conventional outlet that was there) where the refrigerator plugs into to prevent future occurrences. It also comes with a built in speaker so if it trips, it will play a noise to get our attention to reset it before ...
by neilpilot
Mon Jun 10, 2019 7:49 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Working for the Airlines - Value of Free Travel
Replies: 62
Views: 4910

Re: Working for the Airlines - Value of Free Travel

Do you have any experience travelling as a non-rev flyer, or are you simply trying to relate your travel prowess to the topic of airline employee travel percs? It's nice to hear that " the CSR gives me $500 per ticketed traveler for flights cancelled or delayed ", but this has zero relevance to me ...
by neilpilot
Sun Jun 09, 2019 9:21 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Anyone recommend a cheap cell phone service for text and calls?
Replies: 24
Views: 2046

Re: Anyone recommend a cheap cell phone service for text and calls?

If you or he has Comcast internet, you can’t get much cheaper than free (plus tax & fees). Xfinity mobile.
by neilpilot
Sun Jun 09, 2019 11:26 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Social Security Earnings
Replies: 4
Views: 898

Re: Social Security Earnings

earnings = W2 plus and earned income reported on 1099s. Of course, when you filed that 1099 income you also paid SS self-employed tax.