Search found 1532 matches

by jharkin
Thu Jun 21, 2018 12:10 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Surprise - Costco sells - but does not install vehicle batteries
Replies: 57
Views: 3219

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? Most places do it for free. Including stores like Napa, advance Auto parts, etc. That's true. They also charge a lot more for the battery. It's 2 nuts, 2-3 wrench turns each. It shouldn't take more than 5 minutes. Plus, Co...
by jharkin
Thu Jun 21, 2018 12:05 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: 1st Car Mechanic service experience
Replies: 41
Views: 1976

Re: 1st Car Mechanic service experience

Do the math on your cash back vs their cc fee. Indeed, a good mechanic is a great resource to have. I mostly DIY but have a great, reasonably priced mechanic a couple miles from my house. Has saved me a few times when a job required something I don't have.....be it a tool or the knowledge of how to...
by jharkin
Thu Jun 21, 2018 7:57 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: $1M Term Life Insurance
Replies: 14
Views: 1555

Re: $1M Term Life Insurance

$1k/year for a million sounds about right. That's roughly what I pay for a million term with Amica and I bought that around age 30 just before my first child was born. Average health... not great, not horrible. I got a 25 year level term, which will expire just after the kid finishes undergrad. By t...
by jharkin
Thu Jun 21, 2018 7:51 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Timeshare ever worth it? Please share details
Replies: 123
Views: 10010

Re: Timeshare ever worth it? Please share details

No. I meant to say No. Did I mention? No. My parents bought a couple in the 90s. :oops: We got them out of them, but it was a major headache.... Basically had to buy the management company out of multiple years maintenance in each case. And not all management companies will let you out at all. You ...
by jharkin
Thu Jun 21, 2018 7:31 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: MIL passed- question about her Social Security
Replies: 22
Views: 2462

Re: MIL passed- question about her Social Security

Yep... My parents divorced in the 80s... Dad remarried right way but my mom never did and she still had hte option to claim against my Dad's SS ( I think her own was higher but she had the choice). Agree with others that these rules have nothing to do with trust fund depletion, as its been this way ...
by jharkin
Mon Jun 18, 2018 2:20 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: New Capital One 360 ACH limits
Replies: 47
Views: 7388

Re: New Capitol One 360 ACH limits

Been doing the same. Their recent redesign has made simple tasks frustrating. I miss when it was ING. Its been steadily downhill since then, agreed. Its a PIA that simple things like closing accounts is no longer easy. Used to be you just transfer out till its a zero balance and then it closes auto...
by jharkin
Mon Jun 18, 2018 7:26 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: What are your hobbies?
Replies: 58
Views: 4632

Re: What are your hobbies?

I have toooo many hobbies. My biggest problem when I get to retirement will probably be prioritizing them. * building/flying large scale (gas) radio control airplanes/helicopters * Antique house restoration * general house DIY, wodworking, etc * DIY auto mechanic * vintage stereo - have not done any...
by jharkin
Sat Jun 16, 2018 7:57 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Thought on replacing roof before sale?
Replies: 12
Views: 1147

Re: Thought on replacing roof before sale?

Thanks for the inputs so far.... Polenta I was in fact considering exactly what you suggested + maybe adding heat strips. The back roof is low enough I can easily get up there with a ladder to clean it myself. Right now, in my town houses 300-600k are selling on list day with bidding wars. I'm think...
by jharkin
Sat Jun 16, 2018 6:55 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Thought on replacing roof before sale?
Replies: 12
Views: 1147

Thought on replacing roof before sale?

OK, I'm struggling with this one - looking for opinions. We have been in our house just under 10 years. Owe 250k @3.5% and its valued somewhere 375-400ish. Plan is to sell and trade up to a larger house within 2-3 years (right now its 4 of us in 1300 sq ft with one bath - we need more space). This i...
by jharkin
Sat Jun 16, 2018 6:15 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Job in MA, live in MA, RI, or CT?
Replies: 66
Views: 2549

Re: Job in MA, live in MA, RI, or CT?

BTW, someone mentioned Prop 2 1/2 in MA and that your property taxes are capped at 2.5% growth. That is not true. The total amount of tax levied by a municipality (minus new growth) is capped at 2.5%. Your tax bill certainly can increase by more than 2.5% if property values elsewhere fall. The muni...
by jharkin
Sat Jun 16, 2018 6:09 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Job in MA, live in MA, RI, or CT?
Replies: 66
Views: 2549

Re: Job in MA, live in MA, RI, or CT?

I agree with you. The pure tax % aspect is actually a good value for the services available in Massachusetts. However, high real estate prices relative to the region explain how many residents ultimately end up paying for it. Sure this is true, and I do live in a town with a high rate (I think arou...
by jharkin
Sat Jun 16, 2018 5:51 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Job in MA, live in MA, RI, or CT?
Replies: 66
Views: 2549

Re: Job in MA, live in MA, RI, or CT?

Like I don't wish to pay taxes. Live in New Hampshire then and commute down 495. NH property taxes are actually the highest of the bunch Yep, and the lack of income tax will be no benefit because Mass will tax you as a non resident employee. Worst of all worlds. Contrary to reputation, Mass is actu...
by jharkin
Fri Jun 15, 2018 2:39 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Learning how to fix/repair things
Replies: 29
Views: 2219

Re: Book learning

This book was famous in its day: https://www.amazon.com/Readers-Digest-Complete-Yourself-Manual/dp/0895770105/ There are newer replacements. I still have that. Great basic reference. As you get beyond its scope in specific areas you can get more in depth books, like the Tuanton's "build like a pro"...
by jharkin
Fri Jun 15, 2018 8:54 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: can we afford to spend $20K on travel annually
Replies: 89
Views: 6614

Re: can we afford to spend $20K on travel annually

Thanks for the advise. The only reason I am budgeting for 20K is I have no idea how much a trip for a family of four will cost. We did some nearby weeklong trips that can easily cost 4K-5K (no air tickets yet) It depends on how many activities you do and where you like to stay. We did a Florida wee...
by jharkin
Fri Jun 15, 2018 8:43 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: $75,000 bonus - help me with my plan
Replies: 20
Views: 2307

Re: $75,000 bonus - help me with my plan

+1 on paying off the car. Even though you likely have a lower rate than your mortgage in this environment I'd rather clear consumer debt first.
by jharkin
Fri Jun 15, 2018 8:31 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Career advice (take the promotion or not)
Replies: 26
Views: 3153

Re: Career advice (take the promotion or not)

I find it hilarious when established high-growth companies with Megacorp-style frills like "pay grades" pretend to still be startups so that they can blame all their cultural and process failings on being a startup. In my experience, actual startups are much more chaotic, but also much more flexibl...
by jharkin
Sat Jun 09, 2018 6:19 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Why do we work?
Replies: 121
Views: 10041

Re: Why do we work?

What I find interesting is how many people work because they "have nothing else to do".... I can understand having a passion for work if you have a calling to find the cure for cancer, end world hunger or build the mars colony. But I could never work just to avoid boredom. But I am not really surpri...
by jharkin
Thu Jun 07, 2018 7:32 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Water Heaters
Replies: 27
Views: 2081

Re: Water Heaters

I live kind of in the middle of the country a little further south and I can tell you that no house built within the last 40 years has a basement here across multiple cities I have live in for hundreds of miles. Maybe a few custom homes, but I would estimate 99% of new construction is on a crawl or...
by jharkin
Thu Jun 07, 2018 5:49 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Masonry Wood-Burning Fireplace Issues
Replies: 25
Views: 1356

Re: Masonry Wood-Burning Fireplace Issues

Go visit hearth.com for advice. Get the chimney swept and then see what happens. There is NO need to use artificial logs unless you simply can’t find good dry wood. The problem is that most people don’t burn dry wood... and it’s smoky smouldering fires of wet wood that cause creosote buildup. Unless...
by jharkin
Wed Jun 06, 2018 7:30 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Severance Package Question
Replies: 57
Views: 4992

Re: Severance Package Question

Ok, so I just left my last company and can talk about this a bit more freely now :) FWIW this was a $10B market cap public software firm. I was at the director level. I was never laid off, but once we went through a voluntary and the packages where public knowledge internally: - Everybody got a base...
by jharkin
Tue Jun 05, 2018 6:30 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Best insurer? Allstate vs chubb vs AAA or others
Replies: 34
Views: 2432

Re: Best insurer? Allstate vs chubb vs AAA or others

If you shop just on price you may regret it if you ever have a claim. Since USAA is not an option, I would strongly suggest Amica.

Other members here like Geico.
by jharkin
Mon Jun 04, 2018 3:55 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: H&R Block Software
Replies: 132
Views: 13452

Re: H&R Block Software

A warning for anyone who uses the H&R Block deluxe.... Ive used it for going on 15 years and never had a problem until this year. Now I just got an IRS CP14 notice in the mail for underpayment. Checking my records, I had e-filed with Block and provided a credit card to pay the balance due. Well for ...
by jharkin
Mon Jun 04, 2018 7:01 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: new job bigger take home pay
Replies: 15
Views: 1832

Re: new job bigger take home pay

Too high IRA balances? Not sure what that means - we do $24K for each of us each year before the 401K match and then do a backdoor Roth as well for each. (plus the HSA max's) IRS rules require that you pro-rate from all TIRA balances when you back door. So if you had, say, a prior employers 401k yo...
by jharkin
Mon Jun 04, 2018 6:27 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Can a physician work in tech while practicing as well?
Replies: 57
Views: 3766

Re: Can a physician work in or transition to tech?

I don’t want to sound too rude, but it’s pretty strange to me that you’d want to basically throw out all of the time and money you have invested in to med school so soon after completing. I am assuming you aren’t going to be in debt from it? Even if you are on a super fast careeer trajectory in tec...
by jharkin
Mon Jun 04, 2018 5:23 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: What is your Take Home Pay / Gross Pay ratio?
Replies: 75
Views: 5656

Re: What is your Take Home Pay / Gross Pay ratio?

Last job = 48%. The usual taxes + insurance + I had max 401k, max HSA and a 10% ESPP deducted.

New job will be about 58- 60%. All of the above except no ESPP.
by jharkin
Sun Jun 03, 2018 3:16 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Max out 401k w/credit card debt?
Replies: 30
Views: 1861

Re: Max out 401k w/credit card debt?

sport wrote:
Sat Jun 02, 2018 11:43 pm

I would contribute to the 401k only up to the match amount, if any.
+1

401k up to match only, nothing into the 529 or anything else until the CC debt is erased. You should be putting every available dollar on that until its gone.
by jharkin
Sat Jun 02, 2018 9:25 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: 36" or 42" wide Refrigerator?
Replies: 33
Views: 2790

Re: 36" or 42" wide Refrigerator?

Wow.... we are still living with a 30!! inch (that WAS the standard years ago)..

I do wish we had space for a 36... but honestly dont even know what we would do with something g like a 42 or 48, unless you have 6 kids or such...
by jharkin
Thu May 31, 2018 5:45 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Vehicle Advice for new Boglehead (4Runner)
Replies: 45
Views: 2306

Re: Vehicle Advice for new Boglehead (4Runner)

Sorry to pile on, but there is no way you can afford this. Even if you liquidated your savings to buy it cash (bad idea!) the operating costs and maintenance will be a painful stretch once you move out and have to pay rent. When I was in my 20s making 50k I spent 20k on a car... looking back I even ...
by jharkin
Wed May 30, 2018 7:20 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: The Side Hustle
Replies: 65
Views: 8175

Re: The Side Hustle

I feel so old when I read about hustle or side hustle. I know it must mean something else that what I think it means, but what I hear is so wrong. I interpret is as a fraud or swindle and I can not see how you can make money unless you take advantage of somebody else. I am happy not to ever had a s...
by jharkin
Tue May 29, 2018 7:26 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: How To Store Blue Rhino Tanks Safely
Replies: 35
Views: 2707

Re: How To Store Blue Rhino Tanks Safely

I keep my spare tank in a shed that is under shade in the back corner of the yard. Another tip- get your gas anywhere BUT Blue Rhino . they are overpriced and there has been discussion online that they dont even fully fill the tanks (they put in 15lb, but I believe the tank can take 16 or 17 when it...
by jharkin
Sun May 27, 2018 11:39 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Considering iPad to replace failing Nexus tablet
Replies: 44
Views: 2547

Re: Considering iPad to replace failing Nexus tablet

I used to be all Android, but my Nexus 10 had the same problems. I made the switch to an iPad last year and could not be happier. Android tablets are a dead end now. I still use android phones, and I loaded my iPad with gmail and google maps apps. My laptop is all windows. Mixing environments works ...
by jharkin
Sun May 27, 2018 8:11 am
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Misuse of the word "technology" in finance
Replies: 19
Views: 1197

Re: Misuse of the word "technology" in finance

I find it slightly odd that in the world of finance the word "technology" seems to be associated only with information technology. For example, Apple and Alphabet are considered tech stocks, but BMW or Boeing are not. Technology is a very broad term which includes everything from manufacturing to b...
by jharkin
Sun May 27, 2018 8:03 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Help Buying Mens Shoes for Work and Dating
Replies: 97
Views: 8298

Re: Help Buying Mens Shoes for Work and Dating

Don't think a 35-year-old man would be dating a "girl." Shoes are probably a long way behind fit, presentable, breathing. Vic :twisted: This whole thread just reminds me how glad I am to be long time married and working in a tech office job where nobody cares what I look like... Spending money on f...
by jharkin
Sat May 26, 2018 4:36 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: GEICO auto rates vs. USAA: too good to be true?
Replies: 174
Views: 27950

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

Price is nice, but SERVICE is important. Price USAA (if you qualify) and AMICA to compare. We've been with AMICA for nearly 40 years and their service cannot be beat. I've experienced a couple of auto claims with AMICA and was rather disappointed. In one case in particular, their handling of the cl...
by jharkin
Sat May 26, 2018 4:29 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Is having insurance from 5 different companies normal?
Replies: 15
Views: 1640

Re: Is having insurance from 5 different companies normal?

I have one company for everything (auto, home, umbrella, life). I probably am not paying the cheapest overall premium, but I shop for best service, not lowest price.
by jharkin
Sat May 26, 2018 4:11 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Computer RAM Prices
Replies: 11
Views: 1318

Re: Computer RAM Prices

Ok, you got me to go look at ram prices for the first time in nearly a decade...

Looks like $50 buys about 4GB.

I remember when $50 didn't even buy 1MB...

oh how times have changed....
by jharkin
Fri May 25, 2018 11:34 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: When did this start?? [Restaurant tipping on total bill]
Replies: 58
Views: 3873

Re: When did this start??

I've never understand arguing the nuance of tipping pre-tax vs post-tax totals....If you have a $50 meal and tax is 8%, that's $4 in tax....if you tip 20% of pre-tax that's $9.20. 20% of post-tax is $10....why are some of y'all such sticklers for 80 cents? Talking about taking the pre-tax total and...
by jharkin
Fri May 25, 2018 11:31 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: When did this start?? [Restaurant tipping on total bill]
Replies: 58
Views: 3873

Re: When did this start??

You are making an enormous assumption that those tips go to your server. They often go into a pool and get split with the busboys and kitchen support staff - people who do even more thankless work than the waitstaff. If you are especially concerned, leave the tip in cash rather than on the credit c...
by jharkin
Fri May 25, 2018 11:24 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: When did this start?? [Restaurant tipping on total bill]
Replies: 58
Views: 3873

Re: When did this start??

I'm in the top 10% of income earners in the wealthiest country on the planet, and usually the person serving me food is working a crap job just to make ends meet and making less in tips in a day than I make in an hour. So I've always adopted the Dave Ramsey philosophy of being "Outrageously generou...
by jharkin
Fri May 25, 2018 10:25 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Career planning in IT/software development when over 40
Replies: 118
Views: 10637

Re: Career planning in IT/software development when over 40

What role are you switching into? I am about same age and profile and looking to fit into a non tech role. Program management. The last few years I had been in operations and mostly handling project management type work rather than hands on technical anyway so it was a transition that made sense fo...
by jharkin
Fri May 25, 2018 7:41 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Buy an old farmhouse?
Replies: 52
Views: 5040

Re: Buy an old farmhouse?

Pretty much totally OT, but I'm procrastinating about painting window grilles today... There is a trick to painting windows that makes it go MUCH faster. Dont use tape. I repeat, no tape. Just paint the windows allowing it to get on the glass. Let it dry a couple days , then use a a straight razor ...
by jharkin
Fri May 25, 2018 7:34 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Water Heater Install $1,800!
Replies: 94
Views: 17566

Re: Water Heater Install $1,800!

False. The temperature of the incoming water has a great effect on the amount/temperature of hot water a tankless heater can produce. Tankless water heaters are rated at a certain GPM at a certain temperature rise. Not really. The water main is always buried below the frost line (so it cant freeze)...
by jharkin
Fri May 25, 2018 7:29 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Career planning in IT/software development when over 40
Replies: 118
Views: 10637

Re: Career planning in IT/software development when over 40

All I can say is try and stay positive folks. I was getting close to burnout and started seriously considering changing after 2+ decades in the same company.. and it was TERRIFYING. But along the way I realized that to make it work I had to let go of trying to stay technology competitive and look at...
by jharkin
Thu May 24, 2018 9:00 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Am I crazy to pay off my 30-yr fixed 3.625 mortgage?
Replies: 129
Views: 13908

Re: Am I crazy to pay off my 30-yr fixed 3.625 mortgage?

You probably cant go wrong either way. Though in your situation I'd most likely pay it and be done. Im guessing your total NW is in the 1.2-1.5 range??.... for a 145k income at 36 you are already way ahead of the game. With your savings rate your expenses are probably well under 100k, putting you al...
by jharkin
Thu May 24, 2018 5:54 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Buy an old farmhouse?
Replies: 52
Views: 5040

Re: Buy an old farmhouse?

Yes to everything above. Also, please don't paint over old woodwork. Someone who loves old houses may buy it in the future, and they will have to resort to using dental tools to get the paint out of designs while removing it from the woodwork. With one caveat - Its a HGTV fad to "expose and stain a...
by jharkin
Wed May 23, 2018 5:36 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: quality exterior stain?
Replies: 14
Views: 939

Re: quality exterior stain?

Exterior stains come in transparent, semi-transparent and solid color. Solid stain is basically a thin paint and it sounds like that is what you are asking for. Some of the responses where referring to transparent stains. I agree with others, oil base is more durable, however: * In some states(mine ...
by jharkin
Wed May 23, 2018 6:35 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Buy an old farmhouse?
Replies: 52
Views: 5040

Re: Buy an old farmhouse?

I'm going to be blunt. The fear of risk that the bogleheads financial mindset gives us, also translates to a fear of "anything old" for many members here. This is why every house thread has people insisting on new construction and you see so many car threads where people think if they dont buy the l...
by jharkin
Wed May 23, 2018 6:15 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Water Heater Install $1,800!
Replies: 94
Views: 17566

Re: Water Heater Install $1,800!

As for tankless, Im not sure if this is a big deal, but we are in the upper midwest, which means the ground is freakn cold. From what I heard tankless water heaters arn't ideal for our weather, but that is from a non-expert friend. The outside temperature, whether it be air or ground - has no effec...
by jharkin
Wed May 23, 2018 6:03 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Career planning in IT/software development when over 40
Replies: 118
Views: 10637

Re: Career planning in IT/software development when over 40

That makes sense. In some companies (including the one I work for), it seem that coding is seen as an entry level skill. You don't see too many job ads for developers that are looking of someone with 10+ years of experience. I think like everything else we have discussed - it depends. I still work ...
by jharkin
Tue May 22, 2018 6:54 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Old Hot Water Heater
Replies: 20
Views: 1306

Re: Old Hot Water Heater

Everybody is jumping to conclusions without any details. What KIND of water heater is it? -Standard glass lined steel electric/gas tank heaters can have warranties ranging from 5 years to lifetime. "7 years" is a commonly quoted life estimate but it can vary greatly.... and especially can be extende...