Search found 57 matches

by wstrdg
Wed Oct 18, 2017 1:13 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Brick Chimney Issues
Replies: 24
Views: 1427

Re: Brick Chimney Issues

Are you in Texas' earthquake country? Unsupported masonry chimneys have collapsed into homes during earthquakes and killed residents in California. And now Texas has 4.0 shakers: https://www.dallasnews.com/news/science-medicine/2017/09/25/fault-produced-north-texas-largest-quake-produce-even-bigger-...
by wstrdg
Mon Oct 09, 2017 12:43 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Join ebates for extra cash back
Replies: 22
Views: 1596

Re: Join ebates for extra cash back

We've used ebates for a little over a year and have earned about $40 in rebates when shopping online at sites such as ZenniOptical (eye glasses), Walmart, Best Buy, Target, Jet.com, Land's End. And yes, the ebate is earned on top of any credit card reward. Like the OP, we credit our quarterly ebate ...
by wstrdg
Thu Oct 05, 2017 2:26 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Bay Area Real Estate
Replies: 154
Views: 14380

Re: Bay Area Real Estate

Permanent renters in the Bay area: http://www.mercurynews.com/2017/10/05/lifestyle-switch-more-bay-area-residents-are-choosing-to-rent-than-ever-before-and-theyre-paying-through-the-nose/ I don't think anyone has mentioned the Bay area's unique geography, especially compared to a city like Houston. ...
by wstrdg
Sat Sep 30, 2017 10:08 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Bay Area Real Estate
Replies: 154
Views: 14380

Re: Bay Area Real Estate

calidude wrote: Not to be too morbid, but a lot of the housing supply is long held by people in their 60’s through 80’s who will not be around forever. I don’t know what percentage of houses have turned over in the last decade or two but I would bet because of prop 13 it’s lower Prop 13 has a huge i...
by wstrdg
Sat Sep 23, 2017 11:07 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: california homeowners - do you have earthquake insurance?
Replies: 79
Views: 6356

Re: california homeowners - do you have earthquake insurance?

Palomar is an alternative to the California Earthquake Authority. You can phone them for an insurance broker in your area and get a quote.
by wstrdg
Fri Sep 22, 2017 9:25 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Realtor to buy home?
Replies: 36
Views: 2942

Re: Realtor to buy home?

denovo wrote: Since your son is probably young and tech--savvy, I say go with Redfin, which does most things online initially. They will rebate you part of the commission and it may be good for him to have an agent first round. Yes, go with Redfin. They are a true real estate brokerage, unlike Zillo...
by wstrdg
Sun Sep 17, 2017 1:48 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Pocket money allowance for college student
Replies: 48
Views: 2680

Re: Pocket money allowance for college student

We didn't give our kids pocket money during college. Like you, we paid for tuition, room/board, books, travel home. They had some savings when college began and used that for pocket money. None had a car so no need for gas money. All had bikes. We did put authorize the kids on one of our credit card...
by wstrdg
Mon Sep 11, 2017 1:59 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Equifax customer information leak
Replies: 711
Views: 47375

Re: Equifax customer information leak

You may want to change your Equifax freeze PIN if it's just a date stamp. I froze my acct today and the PIN is random, so they seem to have fixed it. https://arstechnica.com/information-tec ... t-reports/
by wstrdg
Mon Sep 11, 2017 11:16 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: What do you do in slow travels?
Replies: 55
Views: 4344

Re: What do you do in slow travels?

Atlas Obscura is a wiki-driven encyclopedia of quirky spots to visit, the types of things that often only the locals know about. www.atlasobscura.com/
by wstrdg
Thu Sep 07, 2017 5:14 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Costco executive members now earn 2% on travel
Replies: 7
Views: 1129

Re: Costco executive members now earn 2% on travel

Costco Visa cardholders earn 3% on travel charges.
by wstrdg
Thu Sep 07, 2017 5:10 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Flaunt Your High-Mileage Car
Replies: 350
Views: 39590

Re: Flaunt Your High-Mileage Car

2000 Honda Odyssey with just under 90,000 miles. Not high mileage for 17 years. No major repairs, and only big expense was the universal belt, hoses, spark plugs at 80,000.
by wstrdg
Sun Jul 23, 2017 9:49 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: How much electricity are you using and how expensive it is?
Replies: 93
Views: 4872

Re: How much electricity are you using and how expensive it is?

We use power strips for everything except the refrigerator/freezer. This eliminates the "background" usage of zombie appliances, like your TV. And we're on a tiered rate plan, so we try not to use much power during peak rate periods. Our rates are off-peak .15/kwh, semi-peak .23/kwh, peak .34/kwh. Y...
by wstrdg
Wed Jul 12, 2017 6:28 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: [Sam's Club, Costco, BJ's, and other wholesaler clubs]
Replies: 274
Views: 15417

Re: Costco with a "gentle" bump for membership

Dental HMO is worth it for us. When our annual rebate is less than the annual membership fee, we will reconsider.
by wstrdg
Mon Jul 10, 2017 10:55 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Most Effective Rat Poison
Replies: 24
Views: 1521

Re: Most Effective Rat Poison

Traps are the most effective
+1 for traps over poison

Sick rats can crawl under your buildings, into your walls, and/or into your attics. They die there and rot and you'll end up spending big bucks to find them, remove the remains and repair the structure. Go for the traps.
by wstrdg
Sat Jun 24, 2017 1:46 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Bay Area housing
Replies: 69
Views: 6581

Re: Bay Area housing

You have a baby. What about school districts? Do you imagine that your child will apply to California public colleges? Have you looked at entrance standards for the UCs? - these change periodically, but the idea is to provide for a wide-range of qualified students, meaning that a good student at an ...
by wstrdg
Mon Jun 05, 2017 2:07 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: CIT Bank offering 1.15% savings account and up to $400 bonus
Replies: 9
Views: 1759

Re: CIT Bank offering 1.15% savings account and up to $400 bonus

Note that the bonus may not post until 45 days after you complete qualification (three full statement-months). You will need to keep the account open until the bonus posts, but you can withdraw the bulk of your funds. Just keep a de minimis amount in the account to keep it alive.
by wstrdg
Tue May 30, 2017 4:05 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: How best to care for someone who frequently falls
Replies: 32
Views: 3072

Re: How best to care for someone who frequently falls

If there are transitions between floor types (carpet vs hard floor, steps, etc), a visible color contrast may make it easier for him to navigate. You might do this with colored tape, a line of paint, etc. We painted a white stripe on the edge of my father's patio, after he fell off the 4-inch high s...
by wstrdg
Tue May 23, 2017 10:55 am
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Lazy way to increase returns on cash in Vanguard
Replies: 22
Views: 2742

Re: Lazy way to increase returns on cash in Vanguard

PurePoint Financial online savings is paying 1.25%
by wstrdg
Mon May 22, 2017 11:29 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Luxury Vinyl: Educate Me
Replies: 15
Views: 2559

Re: Luxury Vinyl: Educate Me

We were delighted with how easily LV cleans. A dash of vinegar and a drop or two of dish detergent in a bucket of warm water, mop, then mop again with clean water to rinse. Sparkling clean! Durable, difficult to scratch. You can use standard, tinted wood filler for any deep nicks. Up close, it doesn...
by wstrdg
Fri May 05, 2017 2:11 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Fairness in College Savings
Replies: 47
Views: 3356

Re: Fairness in College Savings

+1 for 529 plans We used the Vanguard 529 plan (state of Nevada). We enjoyed the flexibility of shifting unused funds from one child (who had free scholarship money and a paid graduate education) to another child who pursued professional school after college. Maybe one of your donees will pursue gra...
by wstrdg
Thu May 04, 2017 12:58 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Strategy for Mortgage Downpayment < 20%
Replies: 28
Views: 1872

Re: Strategy for Mortgage Downpayment < 20%

If you have the cash to put 20% down, still maintain 5 months of expenses in an emergency fund after you close, and have the ability to build back up your cash reserves to wherever it is you want them in around 4 months then I don't see what the issue is? I think you are being extremely overly caut...
by wstrdg
Sun Apr 23, 2017 3:06 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Buying a home in the Bay Area
Replies: 28
Views: 3897

Re: Buying a home in the Bay Area

For resale value (and maybe that baby-to-be), school quality is extremely important, maybe more so in the Bay Area than in other places because there are so many (small) school districts. Check out Castro Valley, just a few miles down the road from San Leandro, and also on BART. Remember that BART b...
by wstrdg
Fri Mar 31, 2017 3:21 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Is Craigslist still the main site to sell stuff locally?
Replies: 51
Views: 5634

Re: Is Craigslist still the main site to sell stuff locally?

+1 for Nextdoor. Especially useful to give stuff away or sell very cheaply. Goes fast in my neighborhood.
by wstrdg
Sun Mar 26, 2017 11:26 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Buying Sunglasses
Replies: 44
Views: 5681

Re: Buying Sunglasses

+1 for Zenni. Great prices & great quality.
by wstrdg
Tue Mar 21, 2017 4:26 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Child Planning Checklist
Replies: 42
Views: 3658

Re: Child Planning Checklist

A portable playpen may be more useful than a crib. When the baby starts to try to climb out, transition to a twin-size mattress on the floor. If the baby rolls off the mattress, no injury. As far as dressers go, we bought Elfa basket/frame units when our children were toddlers (20-25 yrs ago). They ...
by wstrdg
Sat Mar 11, 2017 10:39 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Cuttting the cable tv negotiation & the scam
Replies: 33
Views: 3826

Re: Cuttting the cable tv negotiation & the scam

flyingbison: Our media entertainment now comes from Amazon, Netflix, broadcast TV (only for local news/weather and PBS), and the public library +1. The Mohu Leaf antenna works well in our (very hilly) area. We attached it to a window (great asthetic, too!) We also use Redbox, but in our experience, ...
by wstrdg
Wed Mar 01, 2017 2:13 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: What Car Should I Buy My Daughter as a Graduation Present
Replies: 150
Views: 10454

Re: What Car Should I Buy My Daughter as a Graduation Present

And if she even wants a car in the first place?And if she even wants a car in the first place? +1 First son has a car and bikes/takes bus to work bc there is no parking Second son has a car and bikes/takes train to work bc traffic is a nightmare and no parking Daughter made it thru grad school with...
by wstrdg
Sun Feb 26, 2017 5:22 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Vanguard opens special offices for $1 million clients
Replies: 64
Views: 12147

Re: Vanguard opens special offices for $1 million clients

It seems that crossing the $1 million mark does not automatically upgrade your household to Flagship. My Personal Advisor said that the system periodically reviews and offers upgrades but otherwise you need to request the upgrade when your math shows that you qualify.
by wstrdg
Fri Feb 24, 2017 8:11 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: PurePoint 1.25% online savings $10K min
Replies: 57
Views: 11092

Re: PurePoint 1.25% online savings $10K min

Gronnie asked: How long do ACH transactions to/from take, are there any fees, etc? I opened my account in less than 5 minutes. They didn't seem to do a soft credit pull (no questions), and they didn't do the typical microdeposits to link the transferring bank. I got immediate email confirmation. He...
by wstrdg
Fri Feb 24, 2017 2:40 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Best high-interest checking/savings account?
Replies: 15
Views: 2599

Re: Best high-interest checking/savings account?

PurePoint 1.25% 10K minimum. Owned by Mitsubishi. FDIC insured. Some brick & mortar locations west of the Rockies.
by wstrdg
Fri Feb 24, 2017 2:37 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: PurePoint 1.25% online savings $10K min
Replies: 57
Views: 11092

Re: PurePoint 1.25% online savings $10K min

Who is PurePoint?
Our parent company, Mitsubishi UFJ Financial Group (MUFG), is the 5th largest bank in the world with total assets of over $2.4 trillion.


FDIC insured
by wstrdg
Fri Feb 24, 2017 1:30 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Is it safe to use an antique mold pan?
Replies: 10
Views: 1393

Re: Is it safe to use an antique mold pan?

Might contain lead, cadmium, copper salts: https://www.chowhound.com/post/risks-vintage-cookware-838224

Hang it on your wall as art.
by wstrdg
Wed Feb 22, 2017 12:26 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Overestimated income on 2017 ACA application
Replies: 4
Views: 568

Re: Overestimated income on 2017 ACA application

We also have wildly variable annual income. In our case, we overestimated for 2016, resulting in a bigger refund after filing our 2016 tax return. And we underestimated income for 2017 when we re-enrolled in late 2016. We paid our first 2017 premium (for January 2017) in October 2016, with a big sub...
by wstrdg
Sat Feb 18, 2017 6:29 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Need advice on girlfriend debt/finances
Replies: 82
Views: 8530

Re: Need advice on girlfriend debt/finances

+1 We were all formerly childless.
by wstrdg
Thu Feb 16, 2017 6:15 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Umbrella 1 million $500
Replies: 32
Views: 2878

Re: Umbrella 1 million $500

If you raise the liability on your auto policy first, then you may find a separate PUP cheaper.


Good idea but our agent says we are at the max on underlying auto.
by wstrdg
Thu Feb 16, 2017 5:54 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Umbrella 1 million $500
Replies: 32
Views: 2878

Re: Umbrella 1 million $500

A good provider of umbrella insurance is RLI. I have included a link below that you can use to get a quote online.


Thanks for the link. The online quote was $613/year. Our agent said our zipcode was a high rate area -- guess she wasn't kidding.
by wstrdg
Thu Feb 16, 2017 5:50 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Umbrella 1 million $500
Replies: 32
Views: 2878

Re: Umbrella 1 million $500

Rates depend upon how many cars you own, how many drivers you have in your home and if there are any younger drivers


Two middle-aged adult drivers only. Two old cars. No tickets, claims, etc.
We do own a house and 2 condos, but that only adds about $60. The condos are owner-occupied, not rentals.
by wstrdg
Thu Feb 16, 2017 1:14 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Vanguard personal advisor gone AWOL
Replies: 3
Views: 1271

Vanguard personal advisor gone AWOL

Had a very nice telephone consultation with Vanguard personal advisor in late January. She said she would send our plan to our Vanguard message box, and she scheduled a follow-up for 2 weeks later. I had to reschedule the follow-up for a later date -- because the plan has not yet arrived in my messa...
by wstrdg
Thu Feb 16, 2017 1:10 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Umbrella 1 million $500
Replies: 32
Views: 2878

Umbrella 1 million $500

We've been shopping umbrella coverage. Definitely want excess uninsured/underinsured motorist coverage, as we figure that's our greatest risk. We have underlying autos at 250K/500K. $500/year seems really high. We don't have a pool, boat, plane, etc. And this excludes any business coverage (we're re...
by wstrdg
Tue Feb 14, 2017 6:46 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Kids in Apartment Sharing Bedroom - Workable?
Replies: 55
Views: 4155

Re: Kids in Apartment Sharing Bedroom - Workable?

Kids don't care. And they may prefer to be together. We split our 3 among 2 bedrooms based on gender -- but our youngest refused to sleep in a room alone. So we moved her in with a brother. And the big bro got his own room. Don't be surprised if your kids PREFER rooming together. If you don't tell t...
by wstrdg
Mon Feb 13, 2017 6:50 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Windshield repair gone wrong....
Replies: 19
Views: 2561

Re: Windshield repair gone wrong....

Replace. Reputable repair won't leak. We had ours done after 15 years and even with all that sun damage on the seals, it's just fine. Leave the tape on for the recommended time -- then remove it gently.
by wstrdg
Mon Feb 13, 2017 6:47 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: New car for wife and what to do with old car
Replies: 48
Views: 3057

Re: New car for wife and what to do with old car

Since you have children, check out this website, Institute of Highway Safety for 2 factors: (1) crash worthiness & (2) crash avoidance/mitigation http://www.iihs.org/iihs/ratings We are a Honda family, but this site convinced us that Subaru Forester beat the Honda CRV when it came to safety.
by wstrdg
Sat Feb 11, 2017 11:00 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Convince Wife for Honda Odyssey
Replies: 48
Views: 3204

Re: Convince Wife for Honda Odyssey

Rent one for a week. Everyone is against a minivan until they actually use one. +1 But make sure you rent a Honda Odyssey, not a different make/model. That may be a challenge. We've rented Dodge, Chrysler, Chevrolet minivans and they aren't equivalent at all. We still drive our 2000 Odyssey (bought...
by wstrdg
Thu Feb 09, 2017 2:41 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: First Steps in My Retirement Planning
Replies: 4
Views: 749

Re: First Steps in My Retirement Planning

Shop around for student loan refinancing. You might do better. SoFi is a good place to start. https://www.sofi.com/refinance-student-loan/refinance-student-loan-rates/
by wstrdg
Thu Feb 09, 2017 11:54 am
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Eating an Elephant Need Advice [Portfolio help]
Replies: 11
Views: 2596

Re: Eating an Elephant Need Advice

+1 5. Breaking up with your FA: don't tip your hand. No need to discuss it with the FA. If the FA knows you're bolting the barn, you may find yourself pitched lots of stuff that can delay the move. My FA (actually my deceased parent's) actually suggested that I should leave bonds with her for a few ...
by wstrdg
Thu Feb 09, 2017 11:00 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Innovations in residential home buy/sell market
Replies: 0
Views: 314

Innovations in residential home buy/sell market

http://www.lendacademy.com/buying-selling-financing-homes-changing/

Innovations discussed include lower downpayment to shared equity schema to middleman-buyer to guaranteed-sale
by wstrdg
Tue Feb 07, 2017 1:49 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Transition from private insurance to Medicare
Replies: 21
Views: 1581

Re: Transition from private insurance to Medicare

Make an appt with these folks before you turn 65. http://www.seniorsresourceguide.com/directories/National/SHIP/ I once was a volunteer counselor with my state's SHIP (Health Insurance Assistance Program ): "SHIP is a free health benefits counseling service for Medicare beneficiaries and their ...