Search found 2337 matches

by jharkin
Tue Nov 05, 2019 11:02 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: H&R BLOCK Pre-Order 2019 Software Offer
Replies: 90
Views: 7208

Re: H&R BLOCK Pre-Order 2019 Software Offer

I presume that since the address is preceded by https this a legitimate offer. Be careful. HTTPS only means that the website is running SSL encryption. It in no way guarantees that its the genuine HRBlock website as its a trivially easy thing for a hacker to setup a fake site with SSL. In this case...
by jharkin
Fri Nov 01, 2019 7:14 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: APC power backup for extended outages
Replies: 29
Views: 1323

Re: APC power backup for extended outages

Look into transfer switches. They are easy to wire, but if you are uncomfortable an electrician can easily do it. +1 I did one myself as well... not a big deal if you are comfortable around electrical work. Even simpler is an interlock breaker... If I would do it again i would go this route as it a...
by jharkin
Thu Oct 31, 2019 12:54 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Website that shows salary/benefit/401k information for companies?
Replies: 22
Views: 1961

Re: Website that shows salary/benefit/401k information for companies?

There is no database of salaries. Of course there is - Glassdoor, Salary.com, and (mostly California tech) levels.fyi or blind. Whats debatable is how accurate they are since everything is self reported by a small % of employees and not verifiable. HR departments typically buy access to proprietary...
by jharkin
Thu Oct 31, 2019 12:49 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Small electrical/airflow/filtering questions
Replies: 29
Views: 825

Re: Small electrical/airflow/filtering questions

OP, no disrespect intended, but I think you hit the nail on the head with your final statement, "If enough people cared" As mentioned, we just installed a slew of switches in our renovation, and I’m surprised how limited the lighting and switching options are. I can only assume that consumers aren’...
by jharkin
Thu Oct 31, 2019 12:44 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Small electrical/airflow/filtering questions
Replies: 29
Views: 825

Re: Small electrical/airflow/filtering questions

1) We have a bunch of 2-way (and I think one 3-way) switches in the house. Same light(s) controlled from switches at different locations. It's long been a minor annoyance of mine that you can thus have the switch in the "down" position at the location convenient to you, but the lights are on, becau...
by jharkin
Thu Oct 31, 2019 12:34 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: cousin inherited older house - how to get solid overview of all repairs needed?
Replies: 21
Views: 1728

Re: cousin inherited older house - how to get solid overview of all repairs needed?

clip651 wrote:
Wed Oct 30, 2019 11:39 am
partly due to older construction that wasn't great to begin with,
What makes you think the house was not built well?
by jharkin
Thu Oct 31, 2019 12:28 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: APC power backup for extended outages
Replies: 29
Views: 1323

Re: APC power backup for extended outages

The newer lithium battery powered "generator replacements" might be more suitable, you can run them inside too. The bigger ones can power a fridge. https://www.amazon.com/s?k=yeti+1400&gclid=Cj0KCQjwjOrtBRCcARIsAEq4rW6Q-PvEwNOnwhE3HEPxjxtY32ACP_uErTX8BroH-4YeN0XytfyM25MaAnvWEALw_wcB&hvadid=19049255...
by jharkin
Thu Oct 31, 2019 12:14 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: APC power backup for extended outages
Replies: 29
Views: 1323

Re: APC power backup for extended outages

I have a couple different APC Smart UPS units that I use for my PC and router. Consumer UPS like the APC units have fairly inefficient inverters in them, and the batteries in most sizes are only sized to provide enough run time to safely shutoff equipment over a long outage. The charging circuity th...
by jharkin
Mon Oct 28, 2019 9:27 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Home buying advice: Build new or buy used?
Replies: 76
Views: 5457

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

My experience, having lived in homes built in the late 1700s, mid 1800s, 1920s, 1930s, 1970s, 1980s, and 1990s.. (not in that order) For the homes built 50 years ago, or 100+ years ago, how much concern did you have about issues under the surface unable to be viewed by the naked eye? I am not a han...
by jharkin
Fri Oct 25, 2019 1:41 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Home buying advice: Build new or buy used?
Replies: 76
Views: 5457

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

Put it this way, a 2x4 isn’t actually 2”x4” anymore - they are actually 1.5”x3.5”. Back in the 1950s a 2x4 was actually 2”x4”. Lead paint isn’t really a problem as long as it isn’t chipping (which is usually from water intrusion). I’d rather have copper pipes with soldered connections than PVC with...
by jharkin
Fri Oct 25, 2019 1:15 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Home buying advice: Build new or buy used?
Replies: 76
Views: 5457

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

While I would suspect buying a used home, as with many used products, offers the most ‘bang for the buck’, is there an exception for home buying? A new home would have a new HVAC system, a new roof, and any other items which might need to be replaced in a few years after a used home purchase, while...
by jharkin
Wed Oct 09, 2019 2:41 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Dilemma buying a new house
Replies: 31
Views: 2638

Re: Dilemma buying a new house

Both options have some risk. We moved this year and bought our new house first, then put existing house on the market once new house was firmly under contract. We got LUCKY in that existing house sold in 3 days for asking price and we had about 3 weeks overlap between closings and no double payments...
by jharkin
Mon Oct 07, 2019 9:53 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Dropping Interest Rates on High-Yield Savings
Replies: 31
Views: 4577

Re: Dropping Interest Rates on High-Yield Savings

A couple years ago these accounts where all earning 0.5% at best... and had been for years. 10+ years ago they where generating 3-4%. They will go up and they will go down. When one goes down they likely all will go down in time. Up to you if its worth moving money around every few months to chase a...
by jharkin
Fri Oct 04, 2019 12:42 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: IT compensation comparison
Replies: 269
Views: 24543

Re: IT compensation comparison

200k software engineers or total employees? If you trust Labor Department, 600k total SE in US, and making under $100k average https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Software_engineering_demographics You can make educated guesses. Google has $50k employees and only $20k SE, out of that 90% at google for ins...
by jharkin
Fri Oct 04, 2019 10:14 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Car price ratio to NW
Replies: 140
Views: 9409

Re: Car price ratio to NW

If anyone wants an eye-opener on how badly car debt affects people, just peruse the car loan threads on /r/personalfinance over on Reddit. Not uncommon to see people who have 30+% of their monthly cash flow going towards their car. :shock: Ive seen those, thats absolutely terrifying. I wouldnt even...
by jharkin
Thu Oct 03, 2019 11:00 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Eight year old Infiniti: What is necessary and priorty maintenance
Replies: 11
Views: 1011

Re: Eight year old Infiniti: What is necessary and priorty maintenance

What maintenance is recommended by fellow BH. I don't care and you shouldn't either. Follow the maintenance schedule published by the manufacturer. +10000 The internet is full of armchair quarterbacks who think they know better than the people who designed the vehicle. Oddly, most of them are not a...
by jharkin
Thu Oct 03, 2019 7:40 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: IT compensation comparison
Replies: 269
Views: 24543

Re: IT compensation comparison

I’m blown away that a LCOL 6 year SDE is clearing 350k Really did myself a disservice going into a hard science engineering field post-2000 tech bubble Should have gambled it on software instead In hindsight maybe, but it wasn't so obvious at the time. I was a laid off software engineer in the earl...
by jharkin
Tue Oct 01, 2019 6:58 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: HVAC advice - ac or ac + furnace
Replies: 11
Views: 972

Re: HVAC advice - ac or ac + furnace

Furnace is 11 years old? It shouldn't be anywhere near end of life, and a new one is not likely to be much more efficient. Total waste to replace. For that matter are you sure your AC is not reparable? *shakes my head* As I grew up with mechanical systems that lasted 20,30,40 years.. based on thread...
by jharkin
Mon Sep 30, 2019 8:49 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Home energy/electricity monitoring?
Replies: 56
Views: 3001

Re: Home energy/electricity monitoring?

Heat with oil. Previously used gas and it was a little cheaper. Oil is not a little more expensive... its a lot - to the tune of about 2x the $ per BTU delivered. And oil fired boilers and furnaces tend to bee a bit less efficient than gas - so brace yourself for significantly higher heat bills thi...
by jharkin
Mon Sep 30, 2019 8:25 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: AA batteries (in a blood pressure monitor for example)
Replies: 39
Views: 2440

Re: AA batteries (in a blood pressure monitor for example)

I use tons of Eneloop batteries, but like all things "it depends" Eneloops are low self discharge (LSR) NiMH rechargables. The LSR part means you can change them today, and leave them in a drawer for months and use them later. In the old days NiMH rechargables got a bad rap as the early ones would l...
by jharkin
Mon Sep 30, 2019 7:37 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Financial Check In Before Baby
Replies: 15
Views: 1592

Re: Financial Check In Before Baby

Question: Are you sure you are in the 24% federal bracket? By my math you shouldn't be anywhere close even if you cash out those shares, unless there is some other income you didn't list. Income: 185k 401k: - 26k HSA: - 7k standard deduction: -24k ------------ Net taxable income: 128k ...well below ...
by jharkin
Fri Sep 27, 2019 7:52 am
Forum: Personal Investments
Topic: Mother laid off without retirement savings
Replies: 24
Views: 5667

Re: Mother laid off without retirement savings

The reality is your mom just needs to keep working as long as she can. If anything encourage her to delay taking SS as long as she can and try to save as much as reasonable. FWIW my mom is in her 70s, zero savings and still works. She also took SS immediately at 62 so its not really enough to live o...
by jharkin
Fri Sep 27, 2019 7:10 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: financially clueless senior MIL who thinks she’s rich
Replies: 162
Views: 20092

Re: financially clueless senior MIL who thinks she’s rich

.Her house is in a rural area and probably sells for $200k. They have $190k in savings ( my FIL had it all in CD ). Her SSI+pension is about $2200 per month. My MILis 84 I think you're far too conservative. Her likelihood to live another 20 years is insanely low. She's worth 400k plus 2200 per mont...
by jharkin
Wed Sep 25, 2019 7:09 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: IT compensation comparison
Replies: 269
Views: 24543

Re: IT compensation comparison

jharkin, FYI. DevOps is old news. The latest word is DevSecOps. KlangFool I never claimed it was new. My last company made a big push into it starting around 2014, and we where late to the party already. I was just trying to clarify that its not about learning hardware - since most big projects abt...
by jharkin
Tue Sep 24, 2019 2:58 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: *UPDATE* A/C and furnace - flooding
Replies: 52
Views: 4709

Re: A/C and furnace – probable replacement (soon)

Lots of interesting and contrasting opinions here as usual including folks that think their 26 year old HVAC system is as efficient as brand new models available today. FWIW, I did not state that 26-year-old HVAC is as efficient as the most efficient models available today. I stated that it was eff...
by jharkin
Tue Sep 24, 2019 2:44 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: *UPDATE* A/C and furnace - flooding
Replies: 52
Views: 4709

Re: A/C and furnace – probable replacement (soon)

Just had repairs done to our gas boiler at our cottage, forced hot water system. There was a rebate I could have received, but I would have had to install a part that regulates the boiler temperature depending on the outside air temp. In other words, heat the boiler less hot if outside air is warme...
by jharkin
Tue Sep 24, 2019 2:17 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Where do you buy parts for DIY Auto repairs
Replies: 46
Views: 3366

Re: Where do you buy parts for DIY Auto repairs

... oh well. i did discover harborfreight tools today. amazing prices. thanks to everyone for the help. I really need to be more patient and post here first :oops: Just a quick heads-up on Harbor Freight. Fine for some things relatively low-tech (hammers, some power tools, and so on.) But exercise ...
by jharkin
Tue Sep 24, 2019 1:29 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: IT compensation comparison
Replies: 269
Views: 24543

Re: IT compensation comparison

There is more to the story. It is that software, in fact, is not easy. It is very, very difficult. At least, the type of software built and maintained by these companies is not easy. A computer game written by a high schooler is not exactly comparable. Learning a few programming languages would als...
by jharkin
Tue Sep 24, 2019 8:16 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Career Discussion / Options - Information Technology @ age 50
Replies: 22
Views: 2342

Re: Career Discussion / Options - Information Technology @ age 50

To be honest, if you have never even managed 1 person in your career at age 50... what makes you think you can make the jump to management track now and make director/vp in a couple years? Most people i know who made it even to the VP level (sorry, but when I think "executive" I think of 3 letter ti...
by jharkin
Tue Sep 24, 2019 7:56 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Buying a home with unpermitted addition
Replies: 59
Views: 6136

Re: Buying a home with unpermitted addition

Depending on your city, remodel or additions without permits should be fine. I built a new deck about 5 years ago. No permits. Looks fine and is structurally fine. If I sold the house, I'm not sure a buyer would say anything. As long as a private party inspection was done and the addition is fine, ...
by jharkin
Tue Sep 24, 2019 7:31 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Where do you buy parts for DIY Auto repairs
Replies: 46
Views: 3366

Re: Where do you buy parts for DIY Auto repairs

... oh well. i did discover harborfreight tools today. amazing prices. thanks to everyone for the help. I really need to be more patient and post here first :oops: Just a quick heads-up on Harbor Freight. Fine for some things relatively low-tech (hammers, some power tools, and so on.) But exercise ...
by jharkin
Tue Sep 24, 2019 7:28 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Where do you buy parts for DIY Auto repairs
Replies: 46
Views: 3366

Re: Where do you buy parts for DIY Auto repairs

Like others I price shop rockauto, amazon, Advance, and Autozone for run of the mill parts. We also have lots of Honda vehicles in the family and for situations where I want OEM I usually buy from bernardiparts.com - they are a dealer and tend to have the best online price. Funny thing is, I work so...
by jharkin
Sun Sep 22, 2019 5:51 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: *UPDATE* A/C and furnace - flooding
Replies: 52
Views: 4709

Re: A/C and furnace – probable replacement (soon)

Agree with this. Additionally, in an older home, your existing ducts & their layout will limit how efficient a furnace will be, even if you buy a very high efficiency furnace. Why do you think so? The technology of ducting hasn’t not really changed at all beyond the fact they are better insulated t...
by jharkin
Sun Sep 22, 2019 5:36 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: *UPDATE* A/C and furnace - flooding
Replies: 52
Views: 4709

Re: A/C and furnace – probable replacement (soon)

Your HVAC is very old, likely not very efficient, ... I'll disagree with these statements because our systems are 26 years-old and efficient. Codes changed around 1992-1993 so that anything newer had to be efficient. These systems should last 30 years, so 18 years old is not bad to me. Agreed. Alwa...
by jharkin
Fri Sep 20, 2019 8:10 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Moisture and mold found during home inspection
Replies: 53
Views: 3085

Re: Moisture and mold found during home inspection

Hi all, We put in an offer for a townhome and it was accepted! This is a three story townhome with the first floor being a garage and the 2nd and 3rd floors the living area. However, during home inspections, the following major things came up: Mold found underneath the kitchen sink AC systems are w...
by jharkin
Fri Sep 20, 2019 7:51 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Cheaper option than redoing hardwood floors?
Replies: 27
Views: 2410

Re: Cheaper option than redoing hardwood floors?

I can’t just add a layer of stain on top? New homeowner, so I know nothing. Thank you. Stain soaks INTO the grain of the wood. Polyurethane creates an impermeable barrier ofn top of the wood, so it has to be removed to change color. I know another posted suggested tinted polyurethanes. I tried them...
by jharkin
Fri Sep 20, 2019 7:03 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: How do you spend money to gain time? (young family)
Replies: 155
Views: 11579

Re: How do you spend money to gain time? (young family)

2) pay someone to fertilize lawn (can't have a toddler stepping on thistles) I just fertilized my lawn this morning. It took about 15 minutes with a handheld spreader. I did have to buy fertilizer yesterday on my way to the library (while the maids cleaned the house). But fertilizing is such a rare...
by jharkin
Thu Sep 19, 2019 2:55 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: IT compensation comparison
Replies: 269
Views: 24543

Re: IT compensation comparison

As you go higher up the skill and expertise ladder even $180K is, as you put it, "chump" change. Compensation can easily be in the 7 figures. https://techcrunch.com/2010/11/11/google-offers-staff-engineer-3-5-million-to-turn-down-facebook-offer/ One or two high profile extreme offers (and this was ...
by jharkin
Thu Sep 19, 2019 2:43 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: IT compensation comparison
Replies: 269
Views: 24543

Re: IT compensation comparison

Well this data seems to reference "software engineers" (an important distinction), not really IT but nonetheless, This is an important distinction. - Software developers make a lot more money than traditional "IT" fields like network, database and systems admins,etc - Within developers, certain spe...
by jharkin
Fri Sep 13, 2019 7:03 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: How many years for each $250k of net worth?
Replies: 36
Views: 6165

Re: How many years for each $250k of net worth?

There is no one size fits all answer... there cant be. It depends on: * How much you earn * how much your earnings increase (decrease) over time * how much your living expenses are * how much living expenses change over time * How you invest * market returns * sequence of returns * Major life alteri...
by jharkin
Thu Sep 12, 2019 10:36 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Bay Area budget for $350k family income
Replies: 94
Views: 7548

Re: Bay Area budget for $350k family income

I saw that this morning. IM (not so)HO all this article shows is what a bubble the author lives in. He claims that to live a "middle class" lifestyle in one of the wealtheist cities in the world that a couple needs to pay for $25,000 private preschool and $45,000 private high school. Seriously? San ...
by jharkin
Wed Sep 11, 2019 4:34 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Sherwin Williams "Rejuvinate" for old home paint job?
Replies: 13
Views: 1115

Re: Sherwin Williams "Rejuvinate" for old home paint job?

A method recommended to me by professional old house restorers when I owned an 18th century home is this: 1 strip siding to bare wood using your favorite method 2 Apply a coat of “blopturp” a 50/50 mix of Boiled linseed oil and turpentine (some blend in 20% penetrol) ... this soaks in and conditions...
by jharkin
Mon Sep 09, 2019 7:37 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Microwave keeps tripping circuit breaker
Replies: 26
Views: 1759

Re: Microwave keeps tripping circuit breaker

Just because the code says the micro needs a dedicated circuit, doesn't guarantee it is. If the house has ever been renovated, or had repair work done by a hack who didn't pull a permit dont be shocked if somebody added onto a circuit they where not supposed to. - I would definitely find some other ...
by jharkin
Sun Sep 08, 2019 7:27 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Did humanity ever make good Gas cans
Replies: 70
Views: 6414

Re: Did humanity ever make good Gas cans

First, I recommend going electric. When I was last a homeowner, I had battery electric push mower, trimmer, and leaf blower. No gas. Second, if you do have small gas things, just buy the canned fuel that comes in steel cans. It's worth it. It will make your equipment last longer and run better too....
by jharkin
Sun Sep 08, 2019 6:35 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Finding reliable contractor in Boston area?
Replies: 14
Views: 730

Re: Finding reliable contractor in Boston area?

How “old” is the building? Remember old is relative, in greater Boston you still have homes built in the 1800s 1700s and even a few from the 1600s still occupied as private residences. There are many contractors in he area who know how to work with them. They won’t be the cheapest however...
by jharkin
Wed Sep 04, 2019 1:46 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: How often do you receive out-of-sequence pay bumps?
Replies: 56
Views: 3362

Re: How often do you receive out-of-sequence pay bumps?

In my 20s and early 30s I got off cycle raises maybe 3 or 4 times. A couple where "market adjustments" where the entire department got an extra raise in a years that attrition to startups was particularly bad and management was attempting to stop the bleed. Once was a director level promotion where ...
by jharkin
Wed Sep 04, 2019 5:54 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Cold Air Penetrating Window Glass (Winter, Boston)
Replies: 30
Views: 2416

Re: Cold Air Penetrating Window Glass (Winter, Boston)

???? Is a laser temperature gun reading the temperature of the surface of a clear glass window? Or is it seeing through the window and simply reading the temperature outside? Even if the windows are completely tight, there's going to be radiation loss. Your body "shines" far infrared light; a wall ...
by jharkin
Wed Sep 04, 2019 5:47 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Purchasing a truck - thoughts?
Replies: 105
Views: 6949

Re: Purchasing a truck - thoughts?

Nobody that cares about having the safest vehicle buys a pickup truck. A minivan is the way to go by far if that is you. What is this based on? IIHS fatality statistics. ~70% fewer fatalities in the most popular minivans than the most popular trucks. Unfortunately the stats are fairly dated so obvi...
by jharkin
Wed Sep 04, 2019 5:41 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Purchasing a truck - thoughts?
Replies: 105
Views: 6949

Re: Purchasing a truck - thoughts?

My friend bought a ford--his reasoning was that the aluminum frame would last a lot longer in the rust belt we live in then any other truck....Just gives you something to think about. Unfortunately your friend made a rather expensive mistake. Only the bed and cab is aluminum on the F-150. The frame...