Search found 499 matches

by sschoe2
Fri Aug 07, 2020 5:19 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Compare the state tax across states - California, Florida
Replies: 48
Views: 3824

Re: Compare the state tax across states - California, Florida

Why do people move for tax reasons in their retirement? I'm not in that stage yet but I figure I will be my most wealthy at that time. Why wouldn't I just live wherever I want? It is to preserve nest egg for their kids? Some people honestly can't afford it. A ton of people in Illinois are leaving b...
by sschoe2
Wed Aug 05, 2020 2:18 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Refrigerator Advice
Replies: 51
Views: 4615

Re: Refrigerator Advice

I have a boring 11 year old GE top freezer model with an ice-maker in the freezer. It works well. I actually rarely use the freezer for anything. All the food I buy and cook are refrigerator. The only real maintenance I've had to do is general cleaning and cleaning the coils which when I bought the ...
by sschoe2
Wed Aug 05, 2020 2:09 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Does a PhD qualify me for a new line of work?
Replies: 28
Views: 2622

Re: Does a PhD qualify me for a new line of work?

In the sciences I agree with others who have said the ROI is really really not there. I got my MSc and watched the PhD grads at the lab I did my work at have a harder time finding a job than felons. They were seriously discussing whether they could get away with hiding their PhD to get a job. I was ...
by sschoe2
Tue Aug 04, 2020 12:54 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Verizon Wireless hassle!
Replies: 40
Views: 4144

Re: Verizon Wireless hassle!

A lot of people on my reddit forums have had problems with Verizon and many found filing a FCC complaint gets someone competent on the case.
by sschoe2
Tue Aug 04, 2020 10:44 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: replace front door?
Replies: 13
Views: 1040

Re: replace front door?

For smaller areas of rot I just remove the bad wood with a chissel and fill the void with bondo, sand it flush, and repaint.
by sschoe2
Tue Aug 04, 2020 9:58 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Do not use Personal Capital
Replies: 143
Views: 30459

Re: Do not use Personal Capital

I've been using PC for about 2-3 years. I too was annoyed by sales calls in the beginning but haven't received any in years. I find the tool very useful. I am under no delusion that they are collecting data. Everyone is collecting data, Google, Facebook, Twitter, the credit reporting agencies, the ...
by sschoe2
Mon Aug 03, 2020 12:21 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: What Car Maintenance Do You Do?
Replies: 134
Views: 5554

Re: What Car Maintenance Do You Do?

I'm doing more and more myself. I also had a fear of being crushed but I always support the car with 2 jack stands as well as the jack so that is very unlikely. I do oil changes, transmission fluid changes, simple repairs so far, a transmission sensor replacement, replaced a bumper cover and side mi...
by sschoe2
Mon Aug 03, 2020 9:27 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Cyclists...where are you getting your masks?
Replies: 54
Views: 4450

Re: Cyclists...where are you getting your masks?

I do not wear a mask when cycling. I go on a lot of vigorous rides and can't have anything restricting my breathing. I just carry a mask in my pack for going in places like convenient stores and such. Also everything I have read indicates outdoor activities like cycling are a very small risk for tra...
by sschoe2
Mon Aug 03, 2020 9:19 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Do not use Personal Capital
Replies: 143
Views: 30459

Re: Do not use Personal Capital

I've been using PC for about 2-3 years. I too was annoyed by sales calls in the beginning but haven't received any in years. I find the tool very useful. I am under no delusion that they are collecting data. Everyone is collecting data, Google, Facebook, Twitter, the credit reporting agencies, the g...
by sschoe2
Mon Jul 27, 2020 10:48 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: TV antenna
Replies: 48
Views: 2289

Re: TV antenna

I live about 20 miles due west of downtown Chicago. I initially had an RCA Yagi type antenna on my roof but switched to a Clearstream 4 antenna. It gets me 72 channels including cbs nbc abc fox pbs etc. https://www.amazon.com/Antennas-Direct-ClearStream-Multi-directional-Installation/dp/B008PBTPOI/r...
by sschoe2
Sat Jul 18, 2020 6:13 pm
Forum: Personal Investments
Topic: 401k with high ER or Taxable Account
Replies: 39
Views: 1794

Re: 401k with high ER or Taxable Account

Also if you live in CA and move to say NV or another no/low state income tax state you evade CA income taxes.
by sschoe2
Thu Jul 16, 2020 2:36 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Death of estranged parent
Replies: 54
Views: 5854

Re: Death of estranged parent

If he didn't have many assets and depending on the laws in the state he lived in, A small estate affidavit would be simpler and cheaper than probate. Just fill out and notarize the form, collect the assets, pay the debts, and distribute the rest. In most state, a lawyer isn't necessary and funeral e...
by sschoe2
Thu Jul 16, 2020 2:34 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: what is your weekly workout routine?
Replies: 112
Views: 11886

Re: what is your weekly workout routine?

M Bicycle
T Bicycle
W Bicycle
R Bicycle
F Bicycle
ST Bicycle
SN Bicycle
Typically 25-50 miles each ride
by sschoe2
Thu Jul 16, 2020 8:02 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Who switched my windshield wiper arms?
Replies: 69
Views: 8701

Re: Who switched my windshield wiper arms?

Is it possible a previous mechanic you went to had to remove them to work on the engine. For instance on my Honda Fit it is necessary to remove the wiper arms, plastic cowls, and metal shelf to access the spark plugs which are on the far side of the engine.
by sschoe2
Sat Jul 11, 2020 5:33 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Bike upgrade recs?
Replies: 51
Views: 2795

Re: Bike upgrade recs?

The last bike I bought was a Motobecane carbon road bike with Ultegra 6700 from Bikesdirect.com but I already knew my size and do my own mechanics. I have been very pleased with it. I bought it in 2010 and put over 20k miles on it replacing or upgrading parts as needed. New chain and tires yearly, b...
by sschoe2
Sat Jul 11, 2020 5:29 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Bike upgrade recs?
Replies: 51
Views: 2795

Re: Bike upgrade recs?

Is there a local bike club/group? They could really help you and steer you in the right direction.
by sschoe2
Fri Jul 10, 2020 9:14 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Bradford White vs Rheem Gas Water Heater
Replies: 41
Views: 2477

Re: Bradford White vs Rheem Gas Water Heater

Bradford Whites are difficult to replace the anode rod on. It is built in to the hot water outlet port so you have to unhook that line then hope you have enough headroom to pull it out and put the new one in which isn't common. Rheems have a separate port that you just unscrew the rod from the top ...
by sschoe2
Tue Jul 07, 2020 10:05 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Bradford White vs Rheem Gas Water Heater
Replies: 41
Views: 2477

Re: Bradford White vs Rheem Gas Water Heater

Bradford Whites are difficult to replace the anode rod on. It is built in to the hot water outlet port so you have to unhook that line then hope you have enough headroom to pull it out and put the new one in which isn't common. Rheems have a separate port that you just unscrew the rod from the top a...
by sschoe2
Fri Jun 05, 2020 8:32 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Bicycle Recommendation?
Replies: 49
Views: 4561

Re: Bicycle Recommendation?

The bottom bracket is the lupus of bike repair (House MD reference). It's never the bottom bracket. Something is loose or needs lube.
by sschoe2
Wed May 27, 2020 10:17 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: The "Best of" for Aldi?
Replies: 135
Views: 11425

Re: The "Best of" for Aldi?

I loved their cheap $2.30 frozen pizzas but have been on a diet all year so none of that...

I buy almost everything from Aldis's Quick oats, Chicken, Red grapes, pasta, pasta sauce, greek yogurt, milk bones, spices, laundry detergent and fabric sheets etc.
by sschoe2
Wed May 27, 2020 9:34 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: NJ property taxes too high. What are my alternative states?
Replies: 97
Views: 7941

Re: NJ property taxes too high. What are my alternative states?

Same problem here in Illinois Chicago area. I am trapped here for my job. It is very difficult getting a decent job in my profession (Chemistry) so that is the only reason I stay in Illinois now. I am planning to leave the second I retire or if I get laid off at my job. I am looking at the Carolinas...
by sschoe2
Wed Apr 08, 2020 10:07 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Best home printer/scanner?
Replies: 39
Views: 2825

Re: Best home printer/scanner?

I also have a Brother all in one (MFC-j870). I can get generic ink cheaply for it though I don't do much printing at home.
by sschoe2
Wed Apr 08, 2020 10:05 am
Forum: Personal Investments
Topic: How often do you add money to stock market?
Replies: 48
Views: 3524

Re: How often do you add money to stock market?

401k bimonthly
rIRA monthly
by sschoe2
Fri Mar 20, 2020 9:06 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: How accurate are bank appraisals?
Replies: 17
Views: 1266

Re: How accurate are bank appraisals?

If the house is in move in ready condition the appraisals are typically very good. If it is an as is handyman special type property that needs a lot of work the appraisals are often way high. My aunt has a tear down house in a desirable suburbs but in a flood plain and couldn't sell it. She came clo...
by sschoe2
Fri Mar 20, 2020 8:58 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Master of biology degree
Replies: 40
Views: 2072

Re: Master of biology degree

As others have said not a wise investment. Jobs in short supply pay levels for most sciences are at the level of a garbage man. I would not recommend it.
by sschoe2
Mon Mar 09, 2020 9:23 am
Forum: Personal Investments
Topic: Market down over 6% today
Replies: 56
Views: 6015

Re: Market down over 6% today

ARGH!!! THE SKY IS FALLING!!! THE SKY IS FALLING!!! [runs face first into a wall]

Seriously you'd think Covid19 is the 21st century black death.
by sschoe2
Mon Feb 24, 2020 10:15 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: How often do you need new car tires?
Replies: 50
Views: 4106

Re: How often do you need new car tires?

My Fit has very small wheels which means more rotatons and less material. Therefore a set of tires only lasts about 35-45k miles.
by sschoe2
Sun Feb 23, 2020 10:49 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Do You Avoid Advertisements & Commercials?
Replies: 84
Views: 4811

Re: Do You Avoid Advertisements & Commercials?

A few weeks back I was researching some veterinary conditions and treatment options for my dog and now every time I watch YouTube I get an add for a Veterinary forum because Google thinks I am a Veterinarian. Annoying. I wish ad block was an option for my Samsung Smart TV.
by sschoe2
Sat Feb 22, 2020 10:24 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: How quickly did you receive your 2019 tax refund?
Replies: 111
Views: 8582

Re: How quickly did you receive your 2019 tax refund?

Fed a bit under 2 weeks
Illinois 1 month and counting still waiting.
by sschoe2
Fri Feb 21, 2020 9:01 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: what to do with 50% home insurance price increasing
Replies: 18
Views: 1346

Re: what to do with 50% home insurance price increasing

Insurance rates are very location dependent. I think State Farm maybe competitive in the middle part of the country, but it is among the most expensive ones where I live. Chicago area I ended up switching from SF to Allstate about 3 or 4 years ago. SF was among the highest. When my mother got sick ...
by sschoe2
Thu Feb 20, 2020 8:51 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Property Taxes
Replies: 10
Views: 1004

Re: Property Taxes

Have you ever filed an appeal with the county assessor to lower your property taxes? Any tips you could provide would be appreciated. Thanks! Yes pretty much every year. [deleted lines about politics and with swearing]. I bought a house in the western suburbs of Chicago and every year they try to r...
by sschoe2
Thu Feb 20, 2020 8:47 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Perform own oil change pros & cons?
Replies: 224
Views: 11368

Re: Perform own oil change pros & cons?

Hogan773 wrote:
Wed Feb 19, 2020 4:41 pm
They must want to get people in there so they can also change the blinker fluid for only $19.99 extra,
Someone took their Honda Fit to a dealer and they tried to sell him on changing the power steering fluid. Fit's have electronic power steering there is no fluid.
by sschoe2
Wed Feb 19, 2020 1:45 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Perform own oil change pros & cons?
Replies: 224
Views: 11368

Re: Perform own oil change pros & cons?

Many people live where visibly working on a car is not allowed. As I mentioned I did do oil changes a couple of times in store parking lots, but wouldn't feel right about doing that today. Even if I bought the oil there, it's just... awkward. A lot of homeless people live in their vehicles in Walma...
by sschoe2
Wed Feb 19, 2020 11:55 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Prenup - Worth It?
Replies: 237
Views: 10529

Re: Prenup - Worth It?

Call me old-fashioned but I would never get a pre-nup. A pre-nup is like saying "let's make a lifetime commitment to eachother BUT let's put some agreements in place in case I want to back out of the commitment". I am old fashioned too, but from my point of view you have it backwards... it's like s...
by sschoe2
Wed Feb 19, 2020 10:48 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Prenup - Worth It?
Replies: 237
Views: 10529

Re: Prenup - Worth It?

I'd definitely get the prenup but as a guy I don't see what is in it for me getting officially married. Your partner is nearly as free to ditch you married or just being steady. The difference is if you are married they can take you through the family court and if you are a male without a prenup you...
by sschoe2
Wed Feb 19, 2020 10:43 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Perform own oil change pros & cons?
Replies: 224
Views: 11368

Re: Perform own oil change pros & cons?

"So does anyone still change their own oil changes or do most just bite the bullet and have others do it for them? Thanks all :sharebeer" Yea I am a diy'er and you save a ton of money doing your own maintenance and repairs. Also a lot of times they will use whatever oil they have in bulk and not ne...
by sschoe2
Thu Feb 06, 2020 3:01 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Would you drive without a spare tire?
Replies: 193
Views: 11658

Re: Would you drive without a spare tire?

If you do have a spare tire, don't forget to check tire pressure every now and again. It's no good to you if you need it and it doesn't have enough air. :shock: or just keep a $15 cigarette lighter port air compressor with you. If you have a slow leak you might not even need to change the tire just...
by sschoe2
Wed Feb 05, 2020 8:18 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Would you drive without a spare tire?
Replies: 193
Views: 11658

Re: Would you drive without a spare tire?

Just a tip you might want to check your lug nuts. Many service places overtorque them and the last time I worked on my brakes I needed a breaker bar to get them off. Your lug wrench in your trunk might not do it.
by sschoe2
Mon Feb 03, 2020 12:35 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: PSA: Replace the anode rod on your water heater every few years to prolong its life.
Replies: 89
Views: 7664

Re: PSA: Replace the anode rod on your water heater every few years to prolong its life.

That is my manufacturer, too. Thanks for posting. FWIW, it lasted 18 years. Plumber wouldn't entertain trying to fix it, but I got a $500 rebate from NJ on the replacement, so not all that expensive. What was wrong with it? Typically if it isn't leaking/rusted out the other issue is the flame senso...
by sschoe2
Mon Feb 03, 2020 9:53 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: PSA clean your refrigerator condenser coils
Replies: 4
Views: 1288

PSA clean your refrigerator condenser coils

Just like your A/C your fridge has condenser coils that need to be clean and have a good flow of air passing over it to cool the pipes with hot coolant. They tend to accumulate dust which insulates the coils from the air and reduces the surface area causing your fridge to have to work harder because...
by sschoe2
Mon Feb 03, 2020 9:42 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: PSA: Replace the anode rod on your water heater every few years to prolong its life.
Replies: 89
Views: 7664

Re: PSA: Replace the anode rod on your water heater every few years to prolong its life.

Not always possible. I have a Bradford White. In order to change the anode rod I would have to unsolder the hot water outlet pipes, take out the entire outlet assembly, replace the rod (which I don't have enough headroom and they don't make a segmented rod/outlet assembly) and then resolder the hot ...
by sschoe2
Fri Jan 24, 2020 10:39 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Replacing Working Washing Machine
Replies: 14
Views: 1460

Re: Replacing Working Washing Machine

No it's the printed circuit boards. They are soldered together very cheaply and the removal of lead from solder also weakened it. They don't handle vibrations, fluctuations in temperature, nor humidity very well over long periods of time. My washer and dryer are basic 10 year old models (top loader)...
by sschoe2
Thu Jan 23, 2020 2:43 pm
Forum: Personal Investments
Topic: High fee 401k
Replies: 7
Views: 541

Re: High fee 401k

And of course do your best to educate the HR department and lobby them switch providers. Several employers have been sued for breaching their fiduciary responsibility to their employees over this.
by sschoe2
Tue Jan 21, 2020 4:08 pm
Forum: Personal Investments
Topic: How much to hold in international equities (VTIAX)?
Replies: 248
Views: 15330

Re: How much to hold in international equities (VTIAX)?

Since my 401k is in Vanguard Target 2045 and they have 40% of stocks in VTIAX I buy 100% US stock index in my IRA to bring it down to about 20%. I am not as bullish on international as Vanguard I believe about 20 to 25 is ideal.
by sschoe2
Tue Jan 21, 2020 9:54 am
Forum: Personal Investments
Topic: Why are vanguard TDF so aggressive?
Replies: 54
Views: 4422

Re: Why are vanguard TDF so aggressive?

My gripe with Vanguard Target Date Funds are the 40% of stocks international are a bit too bullish for my tastes. I reduce that by buying 100% VTI (Total US Stock Market Index ETF) for my rIRA so that brings it down to about 20-25% international. John Bogle was a proponent that because the large S&P...
by sschoe2
Fri Jan 10, 2020 10:19 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Ooma Phone Service - I Do NOT Recommend
Replies: 49
Views: 17400

Re: Ooma Phone Service - I Do NOT Recommend

I would just send them a certified letter that you are canceling their service then block the charges and if they come after you report them to the FTC and state's attorney general and you may even have grounds to sue them.
by sschoe2
Fri Jan 10, 2020 10:13 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: 1 yr ban of 401K contribution?
Replies: 66
Views: 7146

Re: 1 yr ban of 401K contribution?

I had that. My company has a 6 month wait before you could join the 401k plan but the only entry dates are 1/1 and 7/1 and I started 7/6 so I had to wait a whole year.
by sschoe2
Mon Jan 06, 2020 11:47 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: WWYD- repair or replace washer and dryer?
Replies: 26
Views: 1376

Re: WWYD- repair or replace washer and dryer?

If you can't DIY I'd replace. I have a 10 year old Maytag Top load washer and dryer. I replaced the gas valve coils on the dryer, and the lid sensor, transmission, and clutch on the washer. The parts are very cheap and they aren't too tough to serivce. I put about $10 into the dryer and $100 into th...
by sschoe2
Mon Jan 06, 2020 9:53 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Share your net worth progression
Replies: 1675
Views: 422936

Re: Share your net worth progression

It took until I was 30 to remove my head from my sphincter and start investing. Don't feel too bad I watched my father invest in stocks when I was a kid and he had an uncanny ability to pick stocks of companies that would go bankrupt. Montana Power, Kaiser Aluminum etc. That and 2008 scared me off ...
by sschoe2
Fri Jan 03, 2020 7:32 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Which Toilet Flapper?
Replies: 30
Views: 2452

Re: Which Toilet Flapper?

Other than a cheap $2 flapper from Walmart any decent $5-10 flapper should be fine and last at least 5-10 years. As others have said there might be some slime/mineral buildup on the seat. Give it a good scrub down. Also don't use the in the tank bleach cleaner systems. They degrade flappers quickly.