Search found 246 matches

by open_circuit
Fri Mar 22, 2019 12:43 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Canceling escrow account
Replies: 23
Views: 1814

Re: Canceling escrow account

For others, you can simply not do escrow in the first place. When you apply for your mortgage you let them know that you will not be doing escrow. We did this when we bought our houses. However, I believe that the down payment must be large enough for the bank to agree to this. When I recently requ...
by open_circuit
Thu Mar 21, 2019 3:41 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: The $4,026,858.95 Car or a Worry-Free Retirement?
Replies: 245
Views: 10758

Re: The $4,026,858.95 Car or a Worry-Free Retirement?

PluckyDucky wrote:
Thu Mar 21, 2019 3:39 pm
Items merely for comfort are a waste in my opinion. Once you become comfortable, it's difficult to cut back. Ignorance is bliss.
Hedonistic adaptation is my enemy as well. :sharebeer

Thanks for the post Taylor.
by open_circuit
Wed Mar 20, 2019 10:19 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Beta Vanguard APP
Replies: 61
Views: 3489

Re: Vanguard beta app email - legit or phishing?

Data point -- I got the same e-mail today as well.
by open_circuit
Mon Mar 18, 2019 11:53 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Fishing Kayak recommendation
Replies: 50
Views: 2228

Re: Fishing Kayak recommendation

Going to throw out a completely different opinion than most here -- small, inexpensive, light, and easy to store. Intex makes some inflatable kayaks that can be purchased for ~$75. Look up the Intex Explorer K2. These can accommodate one or two persons, and are extremely portable. If you just want a...
by open_circuit
Thu Mar 14, 2019 4:57 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Graphics problems
Replies: 8
Views: 438

Re: Graphics problems

I've had issues like that when my video card is in the process of failing or has already gone bad. This has happened with two different discrete video cards over the last 15 years. This doesn't mean your hardware has failed also, but do consider it a possibility.
by open_circuit
Tue Mar 12, 2019 11:14 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Vizio TV Remote Issue
Replies: 10
Views: 587

Re: Vizio TV Remote Issue

Probably the best bet is to use a third-party RF remote (instead of infra-red) with an IR-blaster that you can affix to the TV over the IR receiver. The idea here is that you would then have a separate remote (different RF band or codes) for each of the TVs. I suspect this is not the solution you ar...
by open_circuit
Tue Mar 05, 2019 10:59 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Accounting for a third car?
Replies: 18
Views: 1181

Re: Accounting for a third car?

As long as you have a place to park it, the costs do not have to be high. We bought a third car a couple years ago, and costs have not been higher than expected. Since you probably aren't buying a Jeep (just empty every pocket!) as your third vehicle like we did, your costs should even be lower than...
by open_circuit
Mon Mar 04, 2019 4:51 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Has any retiree taken classes at 4-year college - for interest - e.g. Spanish
Replies: 106
Views: 5508

Re: Has any retiree taken classes at 4-year college - for interest - e.g. Spanish

I recall reading that classes at some state universities are free to audit for seniors who are local residents. University of Wisconsin, Madison comes to mind. (https://acsss.wisc.edu/senior-guest-auditors/) Op, I realize this doesn't answer your direct question, but I thought it would be useful to ...
by open_circuit
Mon Mar 04, 2019 2:08 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Why do you live where you live?
Replies: 134
Views: 8363

Re: Why do you live where you live?

Moved a few years ago to where I live now simply for new experiences before the opportunity passed us by. Sought out a new job in a new city 800 miles from the prior place and made it happen. I never particularly wanted to live anywhere, but it felt like staying put in our prior residence simply bec...
by open_circuit
Mon Mar 04, 2019 11:31 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Snowblowers
Replies: 44
Views: 2025

Re: Snowblowers

I have an electric 15A snow blower. I do not find it particularly heavy or hard to maneuver, but I am also not elderly. It has handled up to ~7 inches of wet spring snow admirably, although I do often take less than full-width passes late season when the snow is wet and heavy. I can't comment on any...
by open_circuit
Fri Mar 01, 2019 2:35 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Company Travel Question
Replies: 34
Views: 1367

Re: Company Travel Question

The official policy at the last place I worked was (paraphrased) "an employee should neither gain nor lose money due to a business trip". I thought this was an equitable and concise way to summarize a travel policy. It seems this should be the right way for an employer to approach the situation -- t...
by open_circuit
Tue Feb 26, 2019 4:11 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Things to do in Indiana
Replies: 54
Views: 2992

Re: Things to do in Indiana

OP here. We aren't retired (late 30s/early 40s) but simply take 5-7 days out of the year to go and visit a state we haven't been to yet. We went to Iowa/Nebraska last year and had a great time even though a lot of the attractions weren't "world class." Due to us closing on a house, we have to go a ...
by open_circuit
Sat Feb 16, 2019 11:18 am
Forum: Personal Investments
Topic: Vanguard Alert when Transferring Funds?
Replies: 5
Views: 328

Re: Vanguard Alert when Transferring Funds?

Vanguard manages costs on the fund partly by limiting transaction churn. It used to be (and probably still is) the case that automatic scheduled transactions are not affected by this warning. Additionally, you used to be able to send in a transaction request by mail that would also not be subject to...
by open_circuit
Thu Jan 31, 2019 8:47 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Yubikey and Linux
Replies: 2
Views: 341

Re: Yubikey and Linux

Thanks for posting this. It can be really tough to figure out that a problem is because of a missing udev rule.
by open_circuit
Thu Jan 03, 2019 5:02 pm
Forum: Personal Investments
Topic: Will Your Bank Cash In U.S. Savings Bonds?
Replies: 4
Views: 510

Re: Will Your Bank Cash In U.S. Savings Bonds?

I cashed several mature (paper) EE bonds at Chase last year. It was quick and easy to do so. I didn't ask about other types of bonds.
by open_circuit
Thu Jan 03, 2019 11:07 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Snow Plowing
Replies: 54
Views: 2567

Re: Snow Plowing

I bought a snow blower when we moved to a snowy climate. I use it when we have more than an inch or two of snow. My driveway is maybe 80 ft long, but I've never considered hiring a plow for it. The blower is great when the snow is wet and heavy, but overkill for snow this time of year, which is ofte...
by open_circuit
Wed Dec 26, 2018 10:03 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Nice jeans for work with lowest average cost of ownership
Replies: 107
Views: 7463

Re: Nice jeans for work with lowest average cost of ownership

I've had your job, but I never wore jeans while supporting the factory, only slacks (Dockers or similar). I was quite junior in my career at the time, and it was important to me to appear professional. I no longer have a factory support position, but my vote is for Levi 505 or 569 -- something slim ...
by open_circuit
Thu Dec 06, 2018 10:08 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Streaming over-the-air TV on a laptop
Replies: 17
Views: 1331

Re: Streaming over-the-air TV on a laptop

There was another thread very much like this recently. I can't recall what to search for to find it, however. I think the requestor in that thread was not purely restricted to free, but the HD Homerun came up in that thread as well. I've been using an HD Homerun since the very first version, so long...
by open_circuit
Tue Dec 04, 2018 10:11 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: ideas for a Xmas holiday in central Europe
Replies: 22
Views: 2158

Re: ideas for a Xmas holiday in central Europe

Stop by the Eisbachwelle in the English Garden while you are in Munich for the spectacle of some very cold surfing far from the normal waves.
by open_circuit
Mon Dec 03, 2018 9:49 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: First Triathlon. What bike to buy?
Replies: 34
Views: 1936

Re: First Triathlon. What bike to buy?

I rode my first duathlon on a hybrid. It sucked, but proved to me that a better bike would improve my satisfaction and get regular use. I never bought a time trial or triathlon bike, but instead picked up a decent used road bike and outfitted it with aero bars for training and racing. I competed as ...
by open_circuit
Fri Nov 30, 2018 5:08 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: United HealthCare
Replies: 27
Views: 2055

Re: United HealthCare

Have had UHC for over a decade (you get what the employer offers). No real issues with them in my experience.
by open_circuit
Wed Nov 28, 2018 1:26 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Restaurant Budget
Replies: 113
Views: 6812

Re: Restaurant Budget

We budgets $200 / month for restaurants for a family of 4. $700 / month sounds extremely high to me, based on how we choose to budget. Personal finance is personal, though, so you are free to set your scale as you choose.
by open_circuit
Mon Nov 26, 2018 11:27 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Robot Vacuum Cleaner?
Replies: 62
Views: 5094

Re: Robot Vacuum Cleaner?

I had a Roomba about 8 years ago. Spent more time cleaning and emptying it than a regular vacuum, so we got rid of it. Recently got an ecobee vacuum in a mystery bag from a website (cost $5). It did not support virtual walls and kept getting stuck, so I gave it away. Given that I had one that cost m...
by open_circuit
Wed Nov 14, 2018 10:05 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Mobile cellular hotspot for low data use
Replies: 17
Views: 1223

Re: Mobil cellular hotspot for low data use

I think that NetZero is still around and offers free low-volume wireless data plan (https://www.netzero.net/start/landing.do?page=fd/plans-mobile-static-s). I haven't used them, and am a little surprised they survived the post dial-up internet transition. Also look into freedompop (https://www.freed...
by open_circuit
Wed Oct 31, 2018 12:28 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Anybody use CenturyLink for internet service?
Replies: 25
Views: 1711

Re: Anybody use CenturyLink for internet service?

Century Link sends me advertisements for "lifetime price" service constantly, but they only offer ~25 Mbps DSL service at my address. I've never tried using CL because of this low service speed -- Comcast (ugh) will provide me > 100 Mbps for roughly the same price.
by open_circuit
Mon Oct 29, 2018 11:20 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: E911 Service
Replies: 20
Views: 1152

Re: E911 Service

I have subscribed to the Anveo service for several years. I have never needed to use 911 on that line, so I can't comment on whether it actually works from first-hand experience. It is easy to set up and only $15 per year. Additionally, when Anveo detects loss of connection to my obi device, I get ...
by open_circuit
Mon Oct 29, 2018 10:17 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Recommendations for A/T tire that also works well in snow
Replies: 8
Views: 475

Re: Recommendations for A/T tire that also works well in snow

BFG KO2 work great on my 05 Wrangler. I've had both the 30x9.5 and 33x10.5 on my Jeep, and I've never been disappointed with their performance. The KM2 (mud terrain), however, are notoriously bad in snow.

I use the KO2 for off-roading on Colorado and Utah trails.
by open_circuit
Mon Oct 29, 2018 8:57 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: E911 Service
Replies: 20
Views: 1152

Re: E911 Service

I have subscribed to the Anveo service for several years. I have never needed to use 911 on that line, so I can't comment on whether it actually works from first-hand experience. It is easy to set up and only $15 per year. Additionally, when Anveo detects loss of connection to my obi device, I get a...
by open_circuit
Wed Oct 24, 2018 3:11 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Coffee grinder
Replies: 56
Views: 4179

Re: Coffee grinder

For my AeroPress, I like the hand-operated burr grinder someone bought me from Amazon for Christmas last year. I have a nice electric burr ginder, but it is loud and really bigger than necessary when making a single cup with AeroPress. The manual (hand-cranked) burr grinder is quiet, small, and easy...
by open_circuit
Wed Oct 24, 2018 1:45 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Sweetner for Tea
Replies: 25
Views: 1314

Re: Sweetner for Tea

I like sugar or honey. For those who are watching their calories, my wife uses Xylitol . Don't know where she gets it (Sprouts?) but it is: - Natural (from trees) - Looks like sugar - Tastes like sugar - Isn't sugar! I add nothing to my tea. Ewwww Also, xylitol is highly toxic for dogs. Be careful ...
by open_circuit
Wed Oct 24, 2018 12:03 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Sweetner for Tea
Replies: 25
Views: 1314

Re: Sweetner for Tea

I add nothing to my tea. [head hanging in shame] I'm less of a man/woman than you are... I use the tea as a medium to convey the sugar I crave, lest someone see me drinking the honey straight from the container. Didn't mean to imply any shame. I never learned to drink coffee or tea with any additio...
by open_circuit
Wed Oct 24, 2018 11:00 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Sweetner for Tea
Replies: 25
Views: 1314

Re: Sweetner for Tea

I add nothing to my tea.
by open_circuit
Mon Oct 22, 2018 10:46 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: PSA: Don't buy a big house
Replies: 248
Views: 26367

Re: PSA: Don't buy a big house

Check out your heating and AC bills with those high ceilings, too.

I have been always baffled why so many Texas homes are built with such high ceiling and large windows. The sun is the enemy most of the year, there.
by open_circuit
Wed Oct 17, 2018 11:23 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Jury duty - already booked vacation
Replies: 51
Views: 5635

Re: Jury duty - already booked vacation

At one point you could call and ask for either a 3 month or 6 month extensions without having to speak to someone (IL). Back in college I got summoned on a day where I had a final exam. Asked for a 6-month extension so I'd get summoned during summer break. Never got called to come back in (and have...
by open_circuit
Mon Oct 15, 2018 9:13 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: How Much Is Your Sewer Bill?
Replies: 78
Views: 4233

Re: How Much Is Your Sewer Bill?

Not very boglehead-ish, but I have no idea. I think it's in the 30-40/month range, but is dependent on volume of water used. I don't have a choice to competitively shop water/sewer, so I pay the bill as long as it appears to be accurate. Without moving to a new house, I don't think there's anything ...
by open_circuit
Thu Oct 11, 2018 1:04 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Keep a backup hot water heater?
Replies: 104
Views: 5798

Re: Keep a backup hot water heater?

Replace it today if you're worried it will fail soon. An ounce of maintenance...
by open_circuit
Thu Sep 27, 2018 11:57 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Ventilated car seats?
Replies: 61
Views: 4479

Re: Ventilated car seats?

I would try a wood beaded seat cushion first. Shouldn't cost more than $20 bucks. I'm thinking that would make a twisty road a lot less fun. Has anyone here actually tried the beaded seat cover? I haven't. In addition to the aforesaid secure seating issue, it sure looks mighty uncomfortable. I have...
by open_circuit
Mon Sep 24, 2018 11:29 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Ventilated car seats?
Replies: 61
Views: 4479

Re: Ventilated car seats?

I bought a ventilated seat cover that plugs into a 12V outlet for ~$25. Works great, and I can use it in any of my cars or seating locations. I would happily get such a feature built into a new car if it was not part of a huge upsell package that I otherwise didn't want, but I wouldn't spend a few t...
by open_circuit
Mon Sep 24, 2018 9:43 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: squeaky lock and hard to turn key
Replies: 18
Views: 1095

Re: squeaky lock and hard to turn key

Blaster makes a dry Teflon lube that comes in a can like WD-40. It leaves a white film of Teflon where you spray it. This has worked great for me for many different applications where I don't want to use an oil lubricant that might attract dirt and gunk.
by open_circuit
Fri Sep 21, 2018 10:29 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Bathroom and Basement Remodel Costs
Replies: 56
Views: 3904

Re: Bathroom and Basement Remodel Costs

1. Agree with everyone that said a drywalled ceiling should be avoided. We have one and it has been a pain whenever work has need to be done. I'm confused by this. I don't know anyone who puts a drop ceiling on first or second floor of a house, yet I've lived in several houses with plumbing in betw...
by open_circuit
Thu Sep 20, 2018 9:51 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Moving to Dallas, how to establish residency
Replies: 47
Views: 3073

Re: Moving to Dallas, how to establish residency

And yes expect to spend hours for the DL. I burned 6 hours at the local DPS office applying for mine! No appointments were available although one could "get in line" online and perhaps save an hour off that time. Certainly make sure you have ALL the docs and also $40 in cash. They don't take credit...
by open_circuit
Mon Sep 17, 2018 1:39 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: I see now why Rollovers can take FOREVER ....
Replies: 74
Views: 8252

Re: I see now why Rollovers can take FOREVER ....

Even doubly stupid: My previous employer set up our 401k at Vanguard (yay!). My rollover IRA is at Vanguard. You would think this could mean it could all be done electronically, but, no, I have to have the Vanguard 401k cut a check, which is mailed to me, which I then mail back to Vanguard for depo...
by open_circuit
Tue Sep 04, 2018 9:43 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Selling a car to CarMax
Replies: 74
Views: 18568

Re: Selling a car to CarMax

I've sold a car to them. Did not try to negotiate, but I don't believe they would negotiate anyway. I was offered a price that I felt was fair at the time, so I sold the car to them. Very easy and quick process.
by open_circuit
Fri Aug 31, 2018 4:22 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: State Farm - Homeowners discount :)
Replies: 35
Views: 2736

Re: State Farm - Homeowners discount :)

Must be nice. Got my homeowners renewal packet in the mail this week (or so I thought). Instead of ~$1500-2000 / year, they are declining to write a policy because they think my 7 year old roof is too old. Not awesome to live somewhere with large hail claims... Did the letter say that your roof was...
by open_circuit
Fri Aug 31, 2018 9:14 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: State Farm - Homeowners discount :)
Replies: 35
Views: 2736

Re: State Farm - Homeowners discount :)

Just received my annual State Farm Homeowners Insurance bill. For an insured (replacement) value of $258,000 and 1% deductible - the annual bill is only $437 - after listed discounts of $205 because we also have State Farm auto insurance (2 cars) and a claim record discount of $142. Very Happy :) M...
by open_circuit
Thu Aug 30, 2018 9:33 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Zelle, online payments
Replies: 53
Views: 4729

Re: Zelle, online payments

I haven't found a regular or common use for it. A friend sent me some money via Zelle one time to pay their half of a split bill. It took a few days for the transfer to clear, which surprised me. I would have preferred to just get cash some time later, since I see this person frequently anyway. I ha...
by open_circuit
Tue Aug 28, 2018 4:45 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Minivan for family of 4.
Replies: 34
Views: 3091

Re: Minivan for family of 4.

aerosurfer wrote:
Tue Aug 28, 2018 4:00 pm
Nothing beats the stow and go seats too! Plenty of extra storage and turn the thing into a small cargo van with everything down.
I thought the plug-in hybrid version sacrifices stow-and-go because of batteries. Perhaps I'm misinformed or that was just last year's model?
by open_circuit
Tue Aug 28, 2018 4:43 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Colorado Summer Vacation - what to see and where to stay
Replies: 65
Views: 5649

Re: Colorado Summer Vacation - what to see and where to stay

Ok here's another question: which would you choose for a day trip, Mt Evans or Trail Ridge Road? You can pretty easily do both if you start in Estes Park and don't plan to hike (just drive through and see stuff). Trail Ridge will dump you near Grand Lake, and you can continue back through Berthoud ...
by open_circuit
Tue Aug 28, 2018 1:33 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Unique Phone Apps that you find yourself using most often?
Replies: 46
Views: 9939

Re: Unique Phone Apps that you find yourself using most often?

For those that like to go hiking or mountain climbing: Gaia gps: great trail app. I've used all the popular ones and find this the most reliable. No cell service needed. .. Peakfinder: one of the most ingenious apps I've seen. You point this to any mountains and it tells you the name of them. If yo...