Search found 170 matches

by michaelingp
Mon Aug 12, 2019 7:19 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: which stud finder?
Replies: 52
Views: 2745

Re: which stud finder?

Will the Franklin detect studs through tile?
by michaelingp
Mon Aug 12, 2019 5:16 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: How to find a reliable car service center?
Replies: 45
Views: 2285

Re: How to find a reliable car service center?

From previous posts, I have learnt local mom and pop shops are better than dealerships but dont know how to find a reliable one. I've read a lot of posts on this forum concerning car repairs, and I haven't got the impression that there is a consensus that mom and pop shops are better than dealershi...
by michaelingp
Thu Aug 08, 2019 7:17 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Best online retailer other than Amazon
Replies: 36
Views: 2055

Re: Best online retailer other than Amazon

I use Home Depot a lot, particularly for big things like a 4x8' sheet of plastic (pick up at store). Prices are usually about the same as Amazon when Amazon has the same item. In my experience, though, nobody can come close to Amazon in delivery time and the sheer amount of information about the ite...
by michaelingp
Thu Aug 08, 2019 7:09 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Amazon delivery
Replies: 17
Views: 1606

Re: Amazon delivery

Received 1-day: they likely have the item in the distribution center close to you - they simply throw it in a local truck and drive it over. Multiple Days: The item is far far away. I used to think the same until recently. Last week I ordered an item on Sunday, it arrived the next Monday. When I lo...
by michaelingp
Thu Aug 08, 2019 6:59 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: What to do with expired passports?
Replies: 22
Views: 2606

Re: What to do with expired passports?

In my state you can use an expired passpord (up to five years) to identify yourself for RealID driver's license. So, I say, keep them.
by michaelingp
Sun Aug 04, 2019 6:59 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: For long time retirees, do you use a spreadsheet?
Replies: 37
Views: 2638

Re: For long time retirees, do you use a spreadsheet?

Retired 6 years. I have a spreadsheet that I've enhanced over the years to track my investments. "Track" is not really the right word, it actually just reports my holdings and AA at any one time. I update it manually which doesn't take much time every couple of months. I can use it for rebalancing s...
by michaelingp
Thu Jul 11, 2019 8:55 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Got robbed in London...Phone stolen...what else do I need to do?
Replies: 56
Views: 7881

Re: Got mugged in London...Phone stolen...what else do I need to do?

I figured what we learned from the San Bernardino shootings is that iPhones are pretty difficult to crack. I don't think your average pickpocket is going to pay the Israelis a million dollars to crack your phone password. Even if your phone was unlocked when it was snatched, most likely the financia...
by michaelingp
Thu Jul 11, 2019 9:54 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Google fi users - happy with it and recs?
Replies: 32
Views: 3276

Re: Google fi users - happy with it and recs?

I wasn't going to comment since I only have a sample size of one, but since others have brought it up... I was on Fi for several years. I had a Nexus 5x which worked OK while it worked, but it had battery and hardware problems. They fixed it once for $45 but I didn't have use of the phone for two we...
by michaelingp
Wed Jul 10, 2019 4:13 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Retirees, did your level of luxury increase faster than you anticipated?
Replies: 47
Views: 5089

Re: Retirees, did your level of luxury increase faster than you anticipated?

I would say either not at all, or maybe a little bit. For us anyway, I think our values are pretty well set in cement and our financial situation doesn't seem to affect them much. We have a motor home, but we had one before we retired (7 years ago). We still have the 15 y.o. Honda. We're a little mo...
by michaelingp
Mon Jul 08, 2019 8:35 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Verizon iPhone international trip
Replies: 37
Views: 2236

Re: Verizon iPhone international trip

As I posted above, if you don’t really need to make/answer a large number of calls and texts then you can simply use your US sim and pay per minute and per text. In our case this has cost us a small fraction of what the $10/day plan would have cost. In I'm reading their table correctly, for Verizon...
by michaelingp
Mon Jul 08, 2019 3:23 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Verizon iPhone international trip
Replies: 37
Views: 2236

Re: Verizon iPhone international trip

We live in the U.S. and are going to Canada for three weeks or so, and Verizon doesn't have Travel Pass available for our plan. Verizon suggested we "just get a SIM card in Canada". Does anyone have experience doing this? How does it work? How expensive is it? We could probably live with just data, ...
by michaelingp
Fri Jun 28, 2019 4:30 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: roofing nails
Replies: 20
Views: 1084

Re: roofing nails

When we had our roof replaced a couple of months ago, the contractor was so sure of his crew's cleanup process that he said he'd pay for any flat tires we got. His guys used a wide magnet and did an absolutely great job on the roof, cleaning up, and were really nice people. So, when I had the inevit...
by michaelingp
Tue Jun 25, 2019 10:42 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Pickleball Paddle recommendation?
Replies: 60
Views: 3581

Re: Pickleball Paddle recommendation?

A lot of players where I play (including me) have the Onix Z5 Graphite, so if you believe in crowd sourcing... It's a high quality mid-weight paddle. Thanks! Seems rather pricey and a bit heavy, no? Are these players beginners? Mine is 8.0 oz, so I wouldn't say particularly heavy. I'd also say it's...
by michaelingp
Mon Jun 24, 2019 8:39 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Pickleball Paddle recommendation?
Replies: 60
Views: 3581

Re: Pickleball Paddle recommendation?

Looks interesting as a less strenuous knee-friendly pseudo tennis -- while not as lame as badminton :P It's much more of a social game than tennis. With tennis, you and your partner (or foursome) arrange a time, go to a court and play together, then go home. In most areas of the country, with pickl...
by michaelingp
Mon Jun 24, 2019 8:27 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Pickleball Paddle recommendation?
Replies: 60
Views: 3581

Re: Pickleball Paddle recommendation?

When you purchase from them you can return the paddle for a different one within 30days if you don’t like it. Actually, you can return for any reason (you pay the return shipping) and you don't have to buy another from them. Another possibility is a demo program from a local shop (if you have one, ...
by michaelingp
Mon Jun 17, 2019 6:52 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Cancel collision coverage on older car?
Replies: 79
Views: 6632

Re: Cancel collision coverage on older car?

It has been my experience and opinion that you can often get better, more cost effective, and more complete repairs from a collision when your Insurance company is watching the repairs. They handle request for changes (increases) to the initial repair estimates and I am sure my insurance company is...
by michaelingp
Mon Jun 17, 2019 4:32 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Are you a member of nextdoor.com? Any concerns registering your info?
Replies: 71
Views: 6181

Re: Are you a member of nextdoor.com? Any concerns registering your info?

Nextdoor in my area is pretty much worthless, I guess because they never reached critical mass and most folks are happy enough with the neighborhood listserve.
by michaelingp
Mon Jun 17, 2019 4:30 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: User reviews - How do you use them?
Replies: 33
Views: 1394

Re: User reviews - How do you use them?

I too look just at the one star reviews and try to read between the lines. Is it a valid complaint, and would it affect me? That said, I usually will not buy something on Amazon if there are, say, more than 25% 1 star reviews. I don't use Yelp! anymore. There are too many believable stories of how t...
by michaelingp
Mon Jun 17, 2019 4:23 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Restore Corrupted External Hard Drive
Replies: 20
Views: 1331

Re: Restore Corrupted External Hard Drive

My experience (when i worked for a large organization) with companies that can recover data from dead drives was similar to a shake-down artist. They would do enough work to get you a list of files, and then, depending on how valuable the data appears from the file names, and how deep they think you...
by michaelingp
Mon Jun 17, 2019 4:18 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Cancel collision coverage on older car?
Replies: 79
Views: 6632

Re: Cancel collision coverage on older car?

I re-instated collision on my 15 y.o. Honda for the rental car reason. It was only $37 a year if I remember. The problem I had with the credit card coverage is you have to read the small print. The big problem for me was there was a limit to the number of consecutive days. I just didn't want the has...
by michaelingp
Mon Jun 17, 2019 9:31 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Restore Corrupted External Hard Drive
Replies: 20
Views: 1331

Re: Restore Corrupted External Hard Drive

The first step, as others have said, is to try the bare drive in a new enclosure. If the drive appears to be working (no bad noises, etc., maybe you can read some of it), then I would recommend SpinRite. I know it sounds like voodoo or even a scam, but it saved my behind several times.
by michaelingp
Sun Jun 16, 2019 1:48 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Can I get the new customer rate from Verizon Fios? Or should I switch to Spectrum?
Replies: 30
Views: 1786

Re: Can I get the new customer rate from Verizon Fios? Or should I switch to Spectrum?

I don't know all the details because my wife did all the negotiation (for me, life is too short to deal with Verizon!). We were going on vacation in the summer, so she cancelled the service. There was no equipment to return because we never had TV, just Internet. Actually, she says the cancellation ...
by michaelingp
Sat Jun 15, 2019 7:01 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: What Movie Have You Recently Watched?
Replies: 4638
Views: 1197500

Re: What Movie Have You Recently Watched?

Just saw Rocketman (Elton John biopic) at the neighborhood multiplex. If you haven't been to a movie in a few years, you should go. The digital projectors are incredibly sharp, film making has improved unbelievably, the sound is great, where we went they have lounge chairs that are far apart from o...
by michaelingp
Sat Jun 15, 2019 11:58 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: my physical therepy collect upfront of $30 even i have medicare insurance
Replies: 11
Views: 1572

Re: my physical therepy collect upfront of $30 even i have medicare insurance

edit to add: Medicare pays 80% of the Medicare approved amount. You (or your supplement, if you have one) pays the remaining 20%; if you have an Advantage plan, details depend on plan, but a copay is typical. You are correct. I should have done my research before posting. I've edited my post above ...
by michaelingp
Sat Jun 15, 2019 11:50 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Do you repair your own appliances?
Replies: 65
Views: 3742

Re: Do you repair your own appliances?

Yep. So far the washer (2x's), dryer (2x's), dishwasher (4x's), disposer, air handler, whole house heater, water heater. I always use repairclinic.com, Google and YouTube and support my local appliance parts store. I wouldn't want to do it for a living, but it is enjoyable when you DIY and it actua...
by michaelingp
Sat Jun 15, 2019 10:10 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Checks without my account number
Replies: 39
Views: 4049

Re: Checks without my account number

What gets me is the IRS still asks that you write your SSN on checks.
by michaelingp
Sat Jun 15, 2019 9:53 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: my physical therepy collect upfront of $30 even i have medicare insurance
Replies: 11
Views: 1572

Re: my physical therepy collect upfront of $30 even i have medicare insurance

I assume you are speaking of Medicare Part B? I had a few sessions a while back and Part B paid the entire cost.

Correction: I am so embarrassed. This post is incorrect. My BCBS plan picked up the $23 copay for each visit. The process was so transparent to me that I was confused who paid what.
by michaelingp
Fri Jun 14, 2019 6:56 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Win 10 image backup software?
Replies: 49
Views: 4243

Re: Win 10 image backup software?

With the prior Windows 10 version 1803, I had a problem updating due to VeraCrypt. After I decrypted the drive and uninstalled VeraCrypt, the upgrade succeeded. I had the same problem recently with updating to 1903. I had to decrypt my laptop in order to upgrade to 1903. After a bit of Googling, I ...
by michaelingp
Wed Jun 12, 2019 4:27 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: What Movie Have You Recently Watched?
Replies: 4638
Views: 1197500

Re: What Movie Have You Recently Watched?

Just saw Rocketman (Elton John biopic) at the neighborhood multiplex. If you haven't been to a movie in a few years, you should go. The digital projectors are incredibly sharp, film making has improved unbelievably, the sound is great, where we went they have lounge chairs that are far apart from ot...
by michaelingp
Mon Jun 10, 2019 12:07 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Toaster ovens - safe? better alternative?
Replies: 50
Views: 3816

Re: Toaster ovens - safe? better alternative?

Do the math for your kitchen. The only reason the circuits work is the breakers are thermal driven so they take many minutes to heat up before tripping. Plus they are designed to support surge currents and temporary overloads with out tripping. This statement got me thinking, so I looked up the spe...
by michaelingp
Mon Jun 10, 2019 11:46 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Toaster ovens - safe? better alternative?
Replies: 50
Views: 3816

Re: Toaster ovens - safe? better alternative?

We replaced an ancient toaster oven with a Panasonic Toaster Oven NB-G110P (around $90). It is reasonably small and very simple in operation. I've started to use it for almost anything that fits in it, like tater tots, frozen pizza (a couple of slices), etc. The toast function is timed, but seems to...
by michaelingp
Mon Jun 10, 2019 10:50 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: How to get good at a racket sport without coaching?
Replies: 43
Views: 1473

Re: How to get good at a racket sport without coaching?

My brother and I met the best pickleball player we'd ever encountered. Finally, my brother asked, "How the heck did you get so good?" Sounded to me like a stupid question, but the answer was, "I hit 500 balls a day." So, I'd recommend the ball machine. I also agree with the others. You HAVE to play ...
by michaelingp
Sun Jun 09, 2019 7:45 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Tree Touching Power Line - Do I Have Any Choice Other Than to Take Down the Tree?
Replies: 24
Views: 2194

Re: Tree Touching Power Line - Do I Have Any Choice Other Than to Take Down the Tree?

We have had a tree touching the power line (identical to 2nd picture) for years, maybe a decade. The electric company just puts a sleeve on it like the article shows. I don't understand how an oak tree can grow so much in one year to tear the cable out of your house. If you are set on resolving it t...
by michaelingp
Wed Jun 05, 2019 3:49 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Smoke Alarms - Individual Battery Operated vs. Hard-Wired Linked
Replies: 28
Views: 1285

Re: Smoke Alarms - Individual Battery Operated vs. Hard-Wired Linked

I'm not sure how to evaluate his advice. It would be expensive to run wires from basement to first floor and then second floor. Do I need to take his warning seriously, or should I leave things as they are? BH advice would be valued on this question. Did he give you an estimate? A good "old work" e...
by michaelingp
Tue Jun 04, 2019 4:30 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Reliable Wireless Mouse?
Replies: 31
Views: 1544

Re: Reliable Wireless Mouse?

I have a Logitech M325 wireless mouse, 3-button (push down on wheel for "middle button"), and the wheel pivots left/right to serve as back/forward when viewing web pages. Owned it for 4-5 years, only replaced batteries twice. If it died tomorrow I'd still be quite satisfied for under $15. Same here...
by michaelingp
Tue Jun 04, 2019 10:15 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Financing / Affording a Sportsmobile / luxurious small Class B RV…?
Replies: 49
Views: 2414

Re: Financing / Affording a Sportsmobile / luxurious small Class B RV…?

Without a tow vehicle you're stuck wherever you make camp. In some destinations that's fine. In most, it's not. If you're sticking to developed campgrounds with hook-ups, you'll find yourself unable to make grocery runs or drive a few miles to a trailhead. Without hookups, a class B simply can't su...
by michaelingp
Mon Jun 03, 2019 7:31 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Financing / Affording a Sportsmobile / luxurious small Class B RV…?
Replies: 49
Views: 2414

Re: Financing / Affording a Sportsmobile / luxurious small Class B RV…?

Cheaper ones can be bought for 80K. I am looking for something fully customized and built for our needs. It needs to sleep 4, seat 6 and fit in a standard parking spot. Sportsmobile has been building camper vans for 50 years and have a custom pop top that can meet our conditions Have you actually s...
by michaelingp
Mon Jun 03, 2019 8:06 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Financing / Affording a Sportsmobile / luxurious small Class B RV…?
Replies: 49
Views: 2414

Re: Financing / Affording a Sportsmobile / luxurious small Class B RV…?

I am interested in buying a good SportsMobile or a Class B Van that is less than 20ft length. The cost of the ones we like is in the range of $120-150K. I do not prefer a second-hand one as I would like to have all the latest safety features/driver features etc. I do plan / hope to keep it for the ...
by michaelingp
Sun Jun 02, 2019 8:16 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Now that we know we're just digital prey, tell me about ad blockers and other apps and which ones are best
Replies: 35
Views: 3857

Re: Now that we know we're just digital prey, tell me about ad blockers and other apps and which ones are best

I use AdBlock Plus and it does a good job, but the problem is that web developers have gotten better and better writing web code to detect ad blockers so more and more sites are detecting ad blockers. It's always been a back and forth battle, but right now I think the advertisers are winning. Call m...
by michaelingp
Sat Jun 01, 2019 10:11 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Double ovens, please advise on these options, have gone through 2 ovens in under 10 years.!
Replies: 49
Views: 3261

Re: Double ovens, please advise on these options, have gone through 2 ovens in under 10 years.!

Are you sure the installer has followed the instructions for ventilation to the letter (or even allowed a bit more)? Even our very cheap wall ovens have lasted over 10 years.
by michaelingp
Sat Jun 01, 2019 9:56 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Haven't filed my Nondeductible IRA form 8606
Replies: 9
Views: 709

Re: Haven't filed my Nondeductible IRA form 8606

All these years I've been keeping a spreadsheet detailing all my NDA's, only to find that last year, the first time I withdrew money, TurboTax had been keeping track of them and did everything automatically.
by michaelingp
Thu May 30, 2019 2:56 pm
Forum: Personal Investments
Topic: Rethinking Individual Stocks
Replies: 76
Views: 7603

Re: Rethinking Individual Stocks

Actually, I was worried more about the Medicare MAGI than the taxes. When exceeding a threshold by a few dollars can mean paying an extra $200 plus a month increasing annually for the rest of your and your wife’s life, I wanted to avoid that. Compared to that, a few thousand dollars in extra taxes ...
by michaelingp
Thu May 30, 2019 2:44 pm
Forum: Personal Investments
Topic: Am I playing a losing game?
Replies: 33
Views: 3316

Re: Am I playing a losing game?

but a small part of investing is to invest in what you have a personal interest in. If by "personal interest" you mean you have the time and skills to analyze and compare certain investments better than all the other investors who have devoted their education and career to it, by all means go for i...
by michaelingp
Tue May 28, 2019 7:22 am
Forum: Personal Investments
Topic: How to Opt-Out of Vanguard Personal Advisor Services
Replies: 11
Views: 2155

Re: How to Opt-Out of Vanguard Personal Advisor Services

OP should check out this document, which describes the service and how Vanguard gets paid: https://personal.vanguard.com/pdf/vpabroc.pdf I would maintain that if you have the skills and intelligence to read and understand that document from top to bottom you have more than enough intellect to manag...
by michaelingp
Mon May 27, 2019 7:38 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: M/39/Single - need to take a career break to address mental health; looking for advice on provided financial situation
Replies: 33
Views: 4269

Re: M/39/Single - need to take a career break to address mental health; looking for advice on provided financial situati

Beware of over-sharing. Everything you are asking in the post would be exactly the same if you just said you wanted to take a break from work to enjoy the wealth you've accumulated. Yes, it is 2019, but there is still a lot of stigma attached to mental illness.
by michaelingp
Mon May 27, 2019 7:24 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Win 10 image backup software?
Replies: 49
Views: 4243

Re: Win 10 image backup software?

2. How do you keep your backup images encrypted? It doesn't appear that the free version of Macrium that you recommend above includes encryption as a feature. All supported versions of Windows will read and write to a Bitlockered external drive. So, as long as you have Windows Pro on one PC, you ca...
by michaelingp
Mon May 27, 2019 6:49 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Do we need a will/trust/etc?
Replies: 59
Views: 3882

Re: Do we need a will/trust/etc?

Most of my acquaintances don't even know that they can set up the deed to their house as a TOD. I learned it on Nolo. An attorney definitely will not be sharing that information with you. Mine is one of the states that do not allow this. I asked my state legislators why, and they said they have rep...
by michaelingp
Mon May 27, 2019 2:52 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: House not selling
Replies: 138
Views: 11612

Re: House not selling

If the house has been on the market for three months, wouldn't a buyer who likes the house but thinks it is overpriced make an offer of what they think it's worth?
by michaelingp
Fri May 24, 2019 9:10 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Keeping old negatives from photos (why keep them?)
Replies: 26
Views: 2255

Re: Keeping old negatives from photos (why keep them?)

My mother had a few thousand slides, fairly well organized. I sent them all to India to be digitized. I think the cost was $700 or so and they did a great job. I put the images on a digital frame, and I believe she really enjoyed them. By the way, quite a few of the slides had been damaged by mold, ...
by michaelingp
Mon May 20, 2019 6:00 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Do handymen typically guarantee work?
Replies: 20
Views: 1535

Re: Do handymen typically guarantee work?

Not really relevant, but I really like the shelf systems that use a heavy duty horizontal bar mounted on the wall near the ceiling or into studs and the shelf supports hang on them. I like to hang on the supports to test them (I'm 180 pounds).