Search found 371 matches

by El Greco
Tue Oct 15, 2019 4:17 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Home appraisal square ft less than Seller Listing
Replies: 42
Views: 2070

Re: Home appraisal square ft less than Seller Listing

Do you want to back out of the deal because of this? Hopefully your agent is guiding you on the absurdity of looking at an exact $/sqft to determine the offer amount. If I was the seller and a buyer came with this absurdity to try to get a consesions on price I would say pound sand and let the buye...
by El Greco
Mon Oct 14, 2019 3:34 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Why are Mazda CX-5’s sales so much less than other brands?
Replies: 40
Views: 3947

Re: Why are Mazda CX-5’s sales so much less than other brands?

They are simply a smaller, more niche brand with far less dealers than Honda and Toyota. They are also considered reliable drivers cars for people who enjoy driving, unlike Toyotas which are more like reliable appliances. I own two, a 2014 Mazda6 and a 2018 Mazda CX-5 GT. I have zero complaints abou...
by El Greco
Thu Oct 10, 2019 10:20 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Neighbor filming a TV Show
Replies: 71
Views: 3554

Re: Neighbor filming a TV Show

To paraphrase Mark Twain:

"I have been through many terrible things in my life, some of which have actually happened."
by El Greco
Thu Oct 10, 2019 9:56 am
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: RMD to Roth?
Replies: 16
Views: 1128

Re: RMD to Roth?

Others will comment, but my understanding is that ROTH conversions can only be done with money withdrawn above the RMD amount.
by El Greco
Mon Oct 07, 2019 1:47 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Hospital wants me to prepay for procedure. Normal?
Replies: 67
Views: 19010

Re: Hospital wants me to prepay for procedure. Normal?

Hospital wanted prepayment for my Stress Test. The cost was around $1,700. I had a $1,000 deductible and 20% co-insurance, so the Hospital wanted around $1,300 upfront. Well, my insurance company has a "discount" arrangement where I should only have been charged around $200 total. Took a month to g...
by El Greco
Sun Oct 06, 2019 10:56 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Broken driver-side window. What to do?
Replies: 30
Views: 2268

Re: Broken driver-side window. What to do?

Before you do anything, carefully check your policy, or call State Farm. Most auto policies today routinely include full glass coverage with 0 deductibles. You might have it and not even know it. Insurers handle these claims routinely and usually don't penalize you for it on renewal. I have made 4 g...
by El Greco
Mon Sep 23, 2019 4:27 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: New Camry Questions
Replies: 101
Views: 6169

Re: New Camry Questions

I don't trust the push-button start systems. There's nothing wrong with just a key. A caveat on the push-button start - at least for the Mazda CX5. When the fob button battery dies (which ours do every two years), the car will not start . The spare key in the fob doesn't help - it will get you into...
by El Greco
Tue Sep 17, 2019 4:14 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Retirees that have hobbies that make money - what are they?
Replies: 26
Views: 3162

Re: Retirees that have hobbies that make money - what are they?

Not retired yet but will be shortly. However, I plan to continue my money-making hobby which is the restoration of antique radios and vintage electronics, such as vacuum tube guitar amplifiers, as well as vintage tone-wheel Hammond organs. I do this now for a group of collectors and musicians and al...
by El Greco
Mon Sep 16, 2019 10:39 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: I don't understand the benefit of title insurance in this case.
Replies: 57
Views: 3769

Re: I don't understand the benefit of title insurance in this case.

Admittedly, I'm far from an expert on title insurance, but it seems like a first-class racket to me. I’m a lawyer in Florida and have been involved in a few litigated title insurance matters. Believe me when I say title examiners and agents make a lot of stupid mistakes. Most title agents aren’t la...
by El Greco
Thu Sep 12, 2019 11:09 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Beach City / Town in Florida
Replies: 56
Views: 5983

Re: Beach City / Town in Florida

FWIW: https://www.nhc.noaa.gov/climo/images/strikes_us.jpg 7-9 strikes in a 110 year period (if I am reading the map correctly) may be less than many other counties but still a fair amount...110/8 is still a strike every 13-14 years or so (severity was not indicated). And hurricane severity may be ...
by El Greco
Wed Sep 11, 2019 10:39 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Good Real Estate Agent in Sarasota?
Replies: 4
Views: 487

Re: Good Real Estate Agent in Sarasota?

Thanks Gill. Anyone else have any suggestions?
by El Greco
Wed Sep 11, 2019 12:59 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: What older products/tools are better than modern equivalents?
Replies: 54
Views: 4038

Re: What older products/tools are better than modern equivalents?

The Weller 8200 soldering gun. It's still being made, but being made like crap. I buy my Weller 8200 guns on Ebay. The old ones made in Easton, Pa.
by El Greco
Sun Sep 08, 2019 4:02 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Good Real Estate Agent in Sarasota?
Replies: 4
Views: 487

Good Real Estate Agent in Sarasota?

Hi All: DW and I are going to Sarasota Fl. mid-november for a week. We are seriously considering selling our Long Island home and moving there in about a year and a half after we both retire. We were there once a few years ago for a few days and liked the area a lot. Can anyone recommend a good real...
by El Greco
Tue Aug 27, 2019 2:04 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Mouse invasion!
Replies: 68
Views: 4116

Re: Mouse invasion!

If you don't want to kill the mouse use one of these Tin Cat traps:https://www.amazon.com/Victor-Humane-Live-Mouse-M310S/dp/B01LN44X8G/ref=asc_df_B01LN44X8G/?tag=hyprod-20&linkCode=df0&hvadid=241960413056&hvpos=1o1&hvnetw=g&hvrand=7329604999381336146&hvpone=&hvptwo=&hvqmt=&hvdev=c&hvdvcmdl=&hvlocint...
by El Greco
Fri Aug 09, 2019 5:25 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Buy historic, walkable home or stay in blah subdivision with short commute?
Replies: 56
Views: 5963

Re: Buy historic, walkable home or stay in blah subdivision with short commute?

It sounds like you would really prefer to live in the historic home, and from your description, I don't blame you. So do it! Your financial situation seems good. When I was a little younger than you I bought a large, updated 1920's home with a lot of style and beautiful craftsmanship. It was over ou...
by El Greco
Fri Aug 09, 2019 5:03 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Received a $17,000 medical bill! Can we negotiate?
Replies: 91
Views: 9899

Re: Received a $17,000 medical bill! Can we negotiate?

I never thought I would say this but, I'm glad me and DW are going to be on Medicare soon. Our health system is a wreck.
by El Greco
Thu Jul 25, 2019 5:25 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Be aware of Verizon!
Replies: 34
Views: 4417

Re: Be aware of Verizon!

This is why I still have quite a bit of stock in Verizon. The really, really know how to make money. :twisted:
by El Greco
Mon Jul 15, 2019 1:44 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Anyone buy the Nissan Rogue over the Honda CRV???
Replies: 86
Views: 5643

Re: Anyone buy the Nissan Rogue over the Honda CRV???

While the oil issues on the honda are certainly a concern you will probably do better overall on reliability with the Honda. I think the Honda is probably also a nicer vehicle. Have you looked at the Mazda CX-5? We just got one and my wife and I both thought it was nicer than the CRV. Just got a Ma...
by El Greco
Sat Jul 13, 2019 10:42 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Buying a used car: 0-interest loan over 15 months, or buy in cash
Replies: 32
Views: 2014

Re: Buying a used car: 0-interest loan over 15 months, or buy in cash

Take the free loan. I think people on this forum vastly overestimate the complexity of scheduling a monthly payment. As long as your monthly cash flow is not tight a 0% loan is a no brainer. ^^^This Yeah, I don't get it. I don't understand why so many people on this forum have a problem with free m...
by El Greco
Wed Jul 10, 2019 9:53 am
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Fidelity Expands Their Index Fund Lineup
Replies: 70
Views: 9444

Re: Fidelity Expands Their Index Fund Lineup

I wish they would add a balanced index fund to their offerings like VBIAX or the Vanguard Lifestrategy funds.
by El Greco
Sun Jun 30, 2019 10:23 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: 2019 BOGLEHEAD CONTEST -- Semi-Annual Report
Replies: 13
Views: 1207

Re: 2019 BOGLEHEAD CONTEST -- Semi-Annual Report

It ain't over till it's over. 8-)
by El Greco
Fri Jun 21, 2019 10:47 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: How much is your guys’ fees for your 401k?
Replies: 96
Views: 5717

Re: How much is your guys’ fees for your 401k?

.25% per year, removed monthly as an "asset based fee". It adds up. Currently about $500 a year. Not sure why they deserve this fee, as all contributions go to one Vanguard Life Strategy fund. Employer contributes measly matching amount. As usual, stingy to a fault. Can't wait to retire from this he...
by El Greco
Wed Jun 19, 2019 4:20 pm
Forum: Personal Investments
Topic: ROTH IRA question
Replies: 6
Views: 521

Re: ROTH IRA question

Thank you all.
by El Greco
Wed Jun 19, 2019 3:43 pm
Forum: Personal Investments
Topic: ROTH IRA question
Replies: 6
Views: 521

ROTH IRA question

Hi all:

I'm planning to retire next year and will have no earned income, however my spouse will continue to work. We file MFJ. Will we both still be able to contribute to our ROTH IRA accounts based on her earned income?
by El Greco
Mon Jun 17, 2019 4:13 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: With hindsight, what signs indicated you were about to lose your job?
Replies: 127
Views: 12634

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

The biggest sign I have seen is when your direct boss, the person who presumably would be the one to fire you, suddenly begins to find all sorts of problems and flaws with your work. Flaws and problems that they never seemed to notice before, which usually result in some pretty uncomfortable and con...
by El Greco
Thu Jun 06, 2019 9:54 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Value of Zillow house price estimate
Replies: 44
Views: 6284

Re: Value of Zillow house price estimate

How much is a Zillow house price estimate worth? A little less than a plugged nickel.
by El Greco
Tue May 21, 2019 1:06 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Which Compact SUV Should I Buy?
Replies: 217
Views: 16350

Re: Which Compact SUV Should I Buy?

Congrats Meg. Don't feel bad. You can afford it and I'm sure you earned it. Life's too short to drive crappy cars. I recently rented one of these on a trip to Florida. It's a great car!
by El Greco
Thu May 16, 2019 4:36 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Chrome or Brushed Nickel [Bathroom fixtures]
Replies: 29
Views: 3612

Re: Chrome or Brushed Nickel

Personally, I prefer polished nickel. It's a great, rich look. I couldn't give a hang about what the current "style" is. I like what I like...and I have to live with it.
by El Greco
Thu May 16, 2019 10:26 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Which car has the best or most comfortable cabin under 35K
Replies: 74
Views: 6448

Re: Which car has the best or most comfortable cabin under 35K

Another vote for Mazda. IMO the best, most comfortable interiors outside of luxury class vehicles. The new models are also very quiet. I own 2 (a Mazda6 and CX-5) and I can drive them for hours in complete comfort. Combine that with sharp exterior styling, excellent driving dynamics and very good re...
by El Greco
Tue May 07, 2019 10:48 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: New smartphone recommendations
Replies: 20
Views: 2062

Re: New smartphone recommendations

I have a Moto G6. I came from a Galaxy S5. It cost me about $200 and it's a very good phone. Nowhere near as "buggy" as my old Galaxys with good features and great battery life. The Moto G7 is similar and newer. I would upgrade to it without hesitation.
by El Greco
Mon May 06, 2019 4:35 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Best Book on Medicare?
Replies: 6
Views: 691

Best Book on Medicare?

Hi All:

Approaching Medicare age and want to be prepared. What book would be best for boning up on Medicare?
by El Greco
Mon Apr 29, 2019 2:56 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Why do most people hate/dread learning about money and is there a good book for helping them?
Replies: 78
Views: 5512

Re: Why do most people hate/dread learning about money and is there a good book for helping them?

I have recommended "How to Make Your Money Last" by Jane Bryant Quinn. She is a clear, concise writer who makes most financial concepts seem non-threatening. Plus, she gives excellent advice. I think the people I have recommended her books to have benefitted.
by El Greco
Tue Apr 23, 2019 2:28 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Home Owners Insurance - 40 percent increase
Replies: 34
Views: 3206

Re: Home Owners Insurance - 40 percent increase

Shop a few more name brand insurers. A couple of years ago, Liberty Mutual was killing me on premiums for home-auto-umbrella. I shopped new policies at Amica and The Hartford. Amica was 25% less. The Hartford was 35% less. Went with Hartford. Renewed again with Hartford and the cost actually went do...
by El Greco
Tue Apr 16, 2019 3:27 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: What Are Your Simple Pleasures?
Replies: 145
Views: 13025

Re: What Are Your Simple Pleasures?

A nice glass of wine with dinner
An occasional cigar after dinner
A good, clean shave
Driving away from the car wash
Petting my cat's belly
by El Greco
Mon Apr 08, 2019 8:33 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: New homeowner wants to DIY, but disappointed today
Replies: 50
Views: 5389

Re: New homeowner wants to DIY, but disappointed today

As a plumber acquaintance of mine always says: "Plumbing is not a hobby." But seriously, of all the household tasks, advanced plumbing jobs are jobs I usually source out to a pro. With plumbing, anything can go wrong....and usually does. :annoyed
by El Greco
Tue Apr 02, 2019 10:02 am
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Make sure your retirement investment plan includes being fired from your job in your 50s
Replies: 285
Views: 17874

Re: Make sure your retirement investment plan includes being fired from your job in your 50s

I'm in Advertising. At age 50 you are considered Methuseleh. And you sure as heck better be prepared to be jettisoned no matter how good you are or how many awards you have. YMMV
by El Greco
Fri Mar 29, 2019 5:17 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Anybody else get a huge tax increase due to SALT deduction changes?
Replies: 101
Views: 7627

Re: Anybody else get a huge tax increase due to SALT deduction changes?

MFJ. Lost about 12k in SALT deductions which pushed us to take standard deduction. Income was about the same as last year but we owed an extra $1500 in federal taxes. I guess we're in that middle class-home owning-high SALT state "sweet spot". :annoyed
by El Greco
Tue Mar 26, 2019 4:09 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: [2018 tax return - How does it compare to previous years?]
Replies: 441
Views: 33860

Re: [2018 tax return - How does it compare to previous years?]

I live in a high SALT state, so loss of these deductions was not favorable to us. We ended up taking the standard deduction. What we didn't realize until we met with our accountant was that we were also losing personal exemptions to the tune of an additional $8100 in deductions. Bottom line, we paid...
by El Greco
Tue Mar 26, 2019 3:53 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: My wife's 2016 Mazda CX-5 lease is up. Now what?
Replies: 37
Views: 2983

Re: My wife's 2016 Mazda CX-5 lease is up. Now what?

I would totally get the newest Mazda CX-5. It punches way above its weight. Stylish, efficient, very fast with turbo, etc. Better looking than the one she is turning in and now includes CarPlay. My .02 Ditto. DW has 2018 CX-5 GT (pretty much the same as 2019 CX-5). LOVES it. Definitely punches abov...
by El Greco
Mon Mar 25, 2019 9:05 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: I would like a boat. I also know nothing about boats
Replies: 147
Views: 9615

Re: I would like a boat. I also know nothing about boats

BOAT: Bust Out Another Thousand
by El Greco
Thu Mar 21, 2019 2:41 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: When is it time for a new smartphone?
Replies: 66
Views: 4437

Re: When is it time for a new smartphone?

My Galaxy S5 went south just before I went on vacation back in November. So I stopped into my carrier (Verizon) looking to replace it. After seeing the $750 plus prices for a new iPhone or Galaxy I took the young sales guy's advice and got a MotoG6. Great phone, sleek very good features, don't miss ...
by El Greco
Thu Mar 21, 2019 2:28 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Good reminder to review your insurance policies for savings
Replies: 4
Views: 656

Re: Good reminder to review your insurance policies for savings

OP is right. I did this comparison last year and saved 2K per year. Just got a renewal on my current policies and they remained the same cumulatively (one policy went up a little, the other went down a little). I learned a hard and expensive lesson by staying with my previous insurer for over 30 yea...
by El Greco
Thu Mar 07, 2019 2:05 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Happy 10th Birthday Bull Market!
Replies: 34
Views: 3312

Re: Happy 10th Birthday Bull Market!

I have been watching the personal performance tab at Vanguard as we count down to the anniversary of the bottom. It shows a total investment gain dollar figure for the last 10 years. Its very gratifying to see how far we have come. Regarding those worst performers, it looks like it could be time to...
by El Greco
Wed Mar 06, 2019 10:37 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: First “financial” thing you do in the morning
Replies: 80
Views: 6016

Re: First “financial” thing you do in the morning

The first thing I do is check the stock quotes as I still own several individual stocks. Though, I rarely act on the information. The last thing I do before going to bed is to check all of my investment accounts to see how my funds performed and to monitor for any suspicious activity. I also call up...
by El Greco
Tue Mar 05, 2019 3:36 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: 2019 Mazda CX-5 Grand Touring or Honda CR-V EXL
Replies: 69
Views: 6077

Re: 2019 Mazda CX-5 Grand Touring or Honda CR-V EXL

I recently had to make the same choice. Picked the CX-5 GT in Soul Red with parchment interior. Looks great, drives like a dream and AA/Carplay is now standard in 2019. Definitely punches above its weight. I also own a 2014 Mazda 6. Zero problems 5 years in.
by El Greco
Wed Feb 27, 2019 4:41 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Is Hyundai the value sweet spot?
Replies: 139
Views: 13978

Re: Is Hyundai the value sweet spot?

Rented a Hyundai Sonata recently and detested it. IMHO engineering and materials felt "10 years ago" as compared to Honda, Toyota, Mazda, Ford. Exchanged the Hyundai for a Mazda 6 the next morning. Totally different driving experience. I have had a few rental Sonatas/Optimas. They tend to be stripp...
by El Greco
Wed Feb 27, 2019 10:45 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Is Hyundai the value sweet spot?
Replies: 139
Views: 13978

Re: Is Hyundai the value sweet spot?

Rented a Hyundai Sonata recently and detested it. IMHO engineering and materials felt "10 years ago" as compared to Honda, Toyota, Mazda, Ford. Exchanged the Hyundai for a Mazda 6 the next morning. Totally different driving experience. I have had a few rental Sonatas/Optimas. They tend to be stripp...
by El Greco
Tue Feb 26, 2019 2:18 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Is Hyundai the value sweet spot?
Replies: 139
Views: 13978

Re: Is Hyundai the value sweet spot?

Rented a Hyundai Sonata recently and detested it. IMHO engineering and materials felt "10 years ago" as compared to Honda, Toyota, Mazda, Ford. Exchanged the Hyundai for a Mazda 6 the next morning. Totally different driving experience.