Search found 127 matches

by vshun
Fri Oct 25, 2019 8:20 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: TaxAct Discounts for 2019 version
Replies: 27
Views: 1904

Re: TaxAct Discounts for 2019 version

Used TaxAct for many years (prior to that used both leading competitors but TaxAct was cheaper though no frills). I am tired of playing their games with low prices on some days and to some new or existing customers but not to others and moved to FreeTaxUSA. Cheaper, no gimmicks or bait sales. One th...
by vshun
Mon Oct 21, 2019 2:10 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Updgrade car for new safety features?
Replies: 77
Views: 4866

Re: Updgrade car for new safety features?

I Rear cross-traffic monitoring- pretty useful in parking lots and reliably picks up cars passing by while you back up. Does not work for pedestrians so you must look in your rear view or rear camera. I have Accord 2018 and it works well on pedestrians. So do not have to twist your back/neck turnin...
by vshun
Wed Oct 09, 2019 5:50 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Consumer Reports
Replies: 36
Views: 3408

Re: Consumer Reports

Still subscribed to paper version but quality of content and reviews keeps going down every decade. Worth it still since it's not very expensive. To the poster who said that Amazon reviews are great subscription-this may have been the case 15-10 years ago when Amazon was just starting and people wer...
by vshun
Wed Oct 09, 2019 5:46 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Ally Savings Rate drops to 1.8%
Replies: 43
Views: 6238

Re: Ally Savings Rate drops to 1.8%

Discover is still 1.9.
Vanguard federal MMF is also 1.9. So this is way bigger reduction for MMF than it is for either Ally or Discover compared to rates 6 months ago.
by vshun
Fri Sep 13, 2019 8:23 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Best Dog Car?
Replies: 70
Views: 4572

Re: Best Dog Car?

Strange post. Any car will do. What do you call As large dog?
I have Newfoundland and Saint Bernard dogs and they both fit fine in the back seat of Toyota Prius 2007, with the kid in tow, 2 kids in a pinch though.
Any car you get they will enjoy going with you and stick their head out
by vshun
Tue Sep 10, 2019 7:00 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Costco washer/dryer delivery: tipping?
Replies: 54
Views: 4212

Re: Costco washer/dryer delivery: tipping?

I swear every week someone on this forum finds some new topic to raise and suggest tipping. Usual arguments: I have enough money and their salary is low, ets etc. Please stop. We all worked at some point I(when young) for minimum wage, and this was an incentive to do better. When your teenage son he...
by vshun
Wed Aug 28, 2019 2:49 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: What's Your Credit Card Rewards Strategy?
Replies: 4141
Views: 792980

Re: What's Your Credit Card Rewards Strategy?

A note to some recent posters who pay cellular bill with Chase Ink Cash for 5%: you may consider if its worth for you to switch that bill to Chase Ink Bold. While offering slightly lower rebate (3%) it provides insurance for all cell phones. So broken screen after fall becomes less of an issue. Of c...
by vshun
Sun Aug 25, 2019 1:30 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: When to have an Umbrella insurance policy
Replies: 39
Views: 4366

Re: When to have an Umbrella insurance policy

khh wrote:
Sun Aug 25, 2019 1:08 pm
Does your liability for your teenagers end when they turn 18?
I do not believe so, as far as I recall, ours continued past it, so I lost patience and dropped it. As far as I recall, in regards to auto policy,premium goes to the age of 25 years, perhaps liability mirrors that.
by vshun
Sun Aug 25, 2019 7:21 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Amazon -- no longer the lowest prices, evidently
Replies: 120
Views: 13184

Re: Amazon -- no longer the lowest prices, evidently

This case been a case for a while. Typical bait and switch, they started with lower prices when they were bookseller, but after running Borders out of business and shrinking BN bookstore, books went up in price. Same as they expanded into other areas of ecommerce. Case in point - need to replace yog...
by vshun
Sun Aug 25, 2019 7:07 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: When to have an Umbrella insurance policy
Replies: 39
Views: 4366

Re: When to have an Umbrella insurance policy

An umbrella policy will protect your future earnings from being garnisheed. Without it, it's possible you would be paying off a law suit for the rest of your life. To be clear, an umbrella policy, no matter how large, does not guarantee protection of your assets or future earnings. If you have a ju...
by vshun
Sun Aug 25, 2019 6:59 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Amazon Prime Video Movies and TV Shows
Replies: 20
Views: 1794

Re: Amazon Prime Video Movies and TV Shows

We have a few streaming services (as we have cut the cable a while ago), Netflix $16 (for UHD content), youtube premium(via GPM), Hulu no ads, Prime Student (son's student account). Even for $60 student fee, Prime is not worth it IMO. You can get many items cheaper somewhere else and not sponsor vi...
by vshun
Sat Aug 24, 2019 10:12 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Amazon Prime Video Movies and TV Shows
Replies: 20
Views: 1794

Re: Amazon Prime Video Movies and TV Shows

We have quote a few streaming services (no cable), Netflix $16 (for UHD content), youtube premium(via GPM), Hulu no ads, Prime Student (son's student account). Even for $60 student fee, Prime is not worth it IMO. You can get many items cheaper somewhere else and not sponsor virtual monopoly. Amazon ...
by vshun
Sat Aug 24, 2019 3:23 pm
Forum: Personal Investments
Topic: Close Vanguard and go all in with Fidelity?
Replies: 109
Views: 13389

Re: Close Vanguard and go all in with Fidelity?

Vanguard has been known to require Grand Pubah Wax Meddalion signatures from the pope just in case the other company requires them, without checking first to see if the other company does require them. They did have spots for the king to put his imprint on my mountain of paperwork. I ignored it and...
by vshun
Sat Aug 24, 2019 3:18 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Honda CRV, Accord, or Toyota RAV? UPDATE
Replies: 57
Views: 5081

Re: Honda CRV, Accord, or Toyota RAV?

I bought Accord. Coming from Outback, I expected to have a problem with sports equipment and was surprised I can fit inside kayak (playboat) or 29 mountain bike (front wheel off) or hockey equipment for 2 players. How recent is the model you bought, because they are all going to mail-slot like trun...
by vshun
Fri Aug 23, 2019 9:40 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Honda CRV, Accord, or Toyota RAV? UPDATE
Replies: 57
Views: 5081

Re: Honda CRV, Accord, or Toyota RAV?

I bought Accord. Coming from Outback, I expected to have a problem with sports equipment and was surprised I can fit inside kayak (playboat) or 29 mountain bike (front wheel off) or hockey equipment for 2 players. Fuel gauge shows I averaged 40mlg on 15T over 20K miles commuting/dunning errands in D...
by vshun
Mon Aug 12, 2019 8:24 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: [Vanguard ongoing glitches, August 12-13, 2019]
Replies: 256
Views: 17158

Re: [Vanguard price glitches, incorrect market info for August 12, 2019]

I had to sell (partial) one of these funds from Coverdell ESA today to pay for my son semester in college (which is due this Friday). After seeing this thread, when I was lucky to finally log in an hour ago, the remaining balance displayed really low (could not be explained by market drop and sell t...
by vshun
Thu Aug 08, 2019 1:16 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: A note on spending for kids
Replies: 148
Views: 11456

Re: A note on spending for kids

I also was in school in former Soviet Union. Won some math olympiads and later did Math PhD so not an average student there. One of the important things missing here in the US is geometry and the whole beauty of it. Greeks started in on a couple of axioms and then build theorems with proofs. Even in...
by vshun
Wed Jul 31, 2019 3:20 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Does the cost of children actually go down once the daycare comes off the books?
Replies: 35
Views: 1928

Re: Does the cost of children actually go down once the daycare comes off the books?

No. It goes up. Even if you use public schools it goes up. how? Assuming are you contributing regularly to the 529 since birth, I cannot image maintaining >=$2500/mo in "extra curricular" actives through high school. Two words: travel sports. Add on top of these 2 words: hockey or figure skating. T...
by vshun
Mon Jul 29, 2019 7:27 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: [Niagara Falls in September]
Replies: 12
Views: 582

Re: [Niagara Falls in September]

We just came from similar trip from DC suburbs for 3 days with 16 and 11 year olds. We stayed in Buffalo suburb East Amherst where hotels had way better pricing and it was 20 min side to American side in Niagara Falls State park. We did not cross to Canada as 16 year old would need a new passport so...
by vshun
Mon Jul 22, 2019 6:33 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Cost of children
Replies: 49
Views: 2140

Re: Cost of children

Even after you are done with daycare costs may go up. If your kids are playing house basketball/football league you might be OK but when they play travel hockey or figure stating tournaments you start longing for those years with just tax deductible daycare expenses.
by vshun
Sun Jul 21, 2019 3:09 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Dogs and homeowners insurance company
Replies: 86
Views: 5451

Re: Dogs and homeowners insurance company

If your dog does not have documented ancestry through a kennel club of belonging to a particular breed, then the dog is a mutt and you can truthfully say your dog is not one of the "dangerous" breeds. Good way around that since breed is not a scientific classification. Garbage in, garbage out :D. I...
by vshun
Sat Jul 20, 2019 4:58 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: New Subaru Outback Engine Offering for 2020
Replies: 45
Views: 4684

Re: New Subaru Outback Engine Offering for 2020

Voting for Turbo option. I went from Outback 2010 170hp to Afford 1.5 turbo 192 up/torque and what a difference in fuel economy, acceleration, quietness. I would love to go again Outback but feel they keep dropping a ball on engine design. And 2.5 is too fuel thirsty for me, as I get in Accord 37mpg...
by vshun
Tue Jul 09, 2019 10:58 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: (Tall) Buyer Beware: Honda Accord.
Replies: 73
Views: 7498

Re: (Tall) Buyer Beware: Honda Accord.

Perhaps an aftermarket seat cushion , designed for long drives, might help? Precisely what I do. Any drive longer than 2 hours I would use a cushion. If I forget it gets somewhat uncomfortable on long drives. Disagree on beware - think its way better car as alternatives. When I was buying it, Hybri...
by vshun
Tue Jul 09, 2019 10:54 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: How warm to set thermostat while away
Replies: 62
Views: 5099

Re: How warm to set thermostat while away

When on vacation, 86-87F downstairs thermostat and 88-90F upstairs. When at work, I have furry doggoes (Newfoundland girl and Saint Bernard mix boy) and they like it cool so keep maintaining same temperature as when we are home, 76F downstairs and 77F upstairs. We have Nest thermostats but cannot us...
by vshun
Thu Jun 20, 2019 12:26 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: How to avoid high vet bills?
Replies: 110
Views: 7331

Re: How to avoid high vet bills?

Too late for OP's situation (good luck, OP; I feel your pain), but people need to educate themselves about these expenses prior to picking up that cute little puppy or kitten. I'm afraid that the bulk of these expenses simply go with the territory of being a responsible pet owner. This. I am amazed...
by vshun
Wed Jun 12, 2019 1:48 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Subaru Outback 2017 - 2019 Comments
Replies: 20
Views: 2282

Re: Subaru Outback 2017 - 2019 Comments

From what I have read about the 4-cylinder turbocharged engines that many brands seem to be adopting, they are rated to have good fuel economy, but in the real world have significantly lower fuel economy. This is primarily due to the turbo being used at higher RPMs to move a medium to large vehicle...
by vshun
Fri Jun 07, 2019 2:31 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Gillette Fusion razors
Replies: 57
Views: 5359

Re: Gillette Fusion razors

I went from Fusion to Dorco (cheaper but blade was flimsy so plastic kept breaking) to Kirkland (in Costco) which is like 12 cartridges for $20 and they seem to do the job and last the long time.
by vshun
Fri Jun 07, 2019 10:31 am
Forum: Personal Investments
Topic: Chewy IPO
Replies: 43
Views: 3602

Re: Chewy IPO

I buy from them vs Amazon because I believe in supporting independent ecommerce retailers like Chewy, especially when they offer decent prices and support. Amazon has to be matching Chewy prices, and so if everyone buys from amazon and smaller retailers go out of business your Amazon prices will go ...
by vshun
Tue May 14, 2019 8:32 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Fair price for new Subaru Outback?
Replies: 20
Views: 2397

Re: Fair price for new Subaru Outback?

Price looks good. In general figure out dealer cost (invoice minus dealer incentives/holdback and leave $200-$300 for the dealer to make on this car). Your price appears to be under it unless they run some huge hidden dealer incentive.
by vshun
Tue Apr 23, 2019 7:25 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Who is buying 1-3 year old used Toyotas and Hondas?
Replies: 114
Views: 12937

Re: Who is buying 1-3 year old used Toyotas and Hondas?

BTW its the same for Subarus. I had all 3 and always buy new and never saw truth in "car loses this amount the moment you drive it of the lot". I usually pay invoice price - dealer holdback/incentives + 2% dealer profit so hard negotiation with quite a few dealers in the area. The price I pay for ne...
by vshun
Wed Mar 06, 2019 5:44 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Best Checking Account?
Replies: 50
Views: 5326

Re: Best Checking Account?

Why do you folks need to deposit cash as must have? I have been with online only bank from 1996 (first 'sfnb', subsequently 'firstib') and never had a need to go brick and mortar. My wife keeps $500 in local credit union but we have not been there like for 10 years when kids needed to deposit coins ...
by vshun
Wed Mar 06, 2019 5:41 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Chrome security issue
Replies: 40
Views: 3207

Re: Chrome security issue

I use Chrome password mgr with 2 factor authenticator set by Google Authenticator app and feel pretty confident about it. Also most financial sites prompt for extra info if someone logs in from unfamiliar computer. So thief would need to get my phone, fingerprint, etc to get to passwords before I ch...
by vshun
Mon Jan 28, 2019 9:46 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Backdoor Roth - Filling out Form 8606 - lines 6 thru 12
Replies: 28
Views: 1985

Re: Backdoor Roth - Filling out Form 8606 - lines 6 thru 12

Every year I had a lot of pain filling that form with TaxAct online and 2 years ago was IRS audited for some mistake on the entry (after many calls and letters trying to figure it out it turned to be an error on that cursed taxact form, so I submitted correct form printed and written by hand and it ...
by vshun
Mon Jan 28, 2019 9:28 pm
Forum: US Chapters
Topic: How Did You End Up Here?
Replies: 65
Views: 5643

Re: How Did You End Up Here?

I had been a long-time follower of the Vanguard Diehards/Bogleheads Unite forum on Morningstar. Recently someone asked a question on that forum about the difference between that forum and this one. So I came here to check this one out and am so glad I did. I am addicted to this site now as Ive lear...
by vshun
Mon Jan 28, 2019 8:44 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Honda/Acura maintenance minders
Replies: 56
Views: 4297

Re: Honda/Acura maintenance minders

I, unlike the other posters, find it a bit too conservative. Before MM I used to put synthetic oil and good filter every 10K miles, and also it was a good time to change your cabin air filter as well, and it was probably too aggressive anyway. And every 30K miles change other fluids such as bleed br...
by vshun
Thu Jan 24, 2019 9:12 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Where to buy CR2032 batteries?
Replies: 48
Views: 4003

Re: Where to buy CR2032 batteries?

Walmart or Target. I have not been impressed with Amazon prices and filtering out fake reviews via Fakespot became a chore.
by vshun
Sat Jan 19, 2019 10:59 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Car reviews - Consumer Reports or other sources?
Replies: 41
Views: 3526

Re: Car reviews - Consumer Reports or other sources?

Twenty years ago I had a lot of confidence in CR. I think with newer generations of CR journalists/writers, there appears to be more bias. It is difficult to quantitate, but as you say it seems that a U.S. car gets little respect now in CR, they always find something. Is it objective, I don't know,...
by vshun
Fri Jan 18, 2019 5:08 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Tax filing software
Replies: 61
Views: 5200

Re: Tax filing software

I also went to freetaxusalast year after many years with TaxAct after getting tired of their price increases and so called promo sales. Before it I used both turbotax and HR but they were way more expensive for whole filing package and feel like a rip off. To my surprise freetaxusa was not more diff...
by vshun
Thu Jan 10, 2019 9:26 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Suggestions on secular donations & time donations
Replies: 22
Views: 1364

Re: Suggestions on secular donations & time donations

Everyone has their own preferences but to start I would suggest going over charitywatch.org which will show top charities for each area. Then pick area you feel passionate about and validate organization with charitynavigator web site.
by vshun
Thu Dec 06, 2018 4:29 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: What are your property taxes?
Replies: 375
Views: 24018

Re: What are others paying for property taxes around the US?

Northern VA, about 9K on a house assessed at 800K, which is about what it would be worth for real (build in 2000, 4,700 square feet). Think our rate is about 1.1% and assessed values are not lowered (i.e. county makes real assessments, 3 sales of similar houses in the neighborhood last 6 months and ...
by vshun
Wed Sep 26, 2018 6:05 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: What's Your Credit Card Rewards Strategy?
Replies: 4141
Views: 792980

Re: What's Your Credit Card Rewards Strategy?

Unfortunately we had nothing but negative experiences with Citi Double Cash - went from VA to SC/Myrtle Beach i.e. just 2 states, went to Aldie - transaction $50 denied and card immediately cancelled on the spot. Replacement card received after call in 3 weeks. In addition login to account was disab...
by vshun
Mon Sep 10, 2018 7:18 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: IRS: Great customer service?
Replies: 27
Views: 3082

Re: IRS: Great customer service?

Was in similar situation to OP (2016 return, they want $1000 for backdoor Roth conversion which totally puzzled me), after multiple letters I decided to call them and was waiting for 2 hours. Turns out I did Backdoor for $6500 (turned 50) but form 8086 had $5500 so it was a helpful call, so need ame...
by vshun
Mon Sep 10, 2018 7:14 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: $25K car
Replies: 39
Views: 4268

Re: $25K car

I spent in April 25K after TTL for Honda Accord 2018. Before TTL I think it was 23.5K, with roughly 1.5K being TTL in NoVA area. Very happy with the car and its terrific value with Android Auto, safety features and decent 1.5T engine. I wanted hybrid but they did niot have it when I needed car and m...
by vshun
Tue Aug 28, 2018 6:09 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Minivan for family of 4.
Replies: 34
Views: 3363

Re: Minivan for family of 4.

We have minivan (Honda) but I have 3 kids and 2 dogs - Newfoundland and St Bernard mix. Without dogs everyone fits perfectly into our Accord sedan. I can also fit 29 MTB or kayak in Accord so modern sedans have huge space, but no kids in back row. However most people buy bigger vehicle than what the...
by vshun
Tue Aug 28, 2018 7:01 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Considering iPad to replace failing Nexus tablet
Replies: 60
Views: 5428

Re: Considering iPad to replace failing Nexus tablet

In our household we moved from Nexus tablets to Chromebooks and they seem to offer all family needs, including Android apps and touchscreen on some (I prefer 15 inch IPS display to smaller touchscreen display but to each his own).
by vshun
Fri Aug 03, 2018 7:44 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Charitable giving strategy
Replies: 43
Views: 2645

Re: Charitable giving strategy

charitynavigator and charitywatch are 2 favorite sites to identify and cross reference charities that are efficient and where your dollar goes a long way.
We mostly donate to dog rescue and environmental protection organizations rated A or A+ on both, with 87% or more going towards the cause.
by vshun
Thu Jul 05, 2018 7:48 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: How come voice command on Garmin GPS is so lousy compared to Google Maps?
Replies: 22
Views: 1921

Re: How come voice command on Garmin GPS is so lousy compared to Google Maps?

I see this only as an issue in areas such as National Parks, in which case I easily preload the map of the entire region into Google Maps. And I find it easier to use as I can type destination or pull it from Google MyTrips application and click on Navigate, then connect the phone to a car and vola....
by vshun
Thu Jun 14, 2018 5:23 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Bogleheads, tell me about your 40's?
Replies: 180
Views: 41833

Re: Bogleheads, tell me about your 40's?

I am 52 and physically can do more pullups/bench presses/handstand pushups then ever in my life, however body needs more and more time to recover between workouts. Previously could do 2-3 workouts a day (gym/kayaking/biking) and now barely one a day and sometimes take a day of break. Mentally I thou...
by vshun
Thu Jun 14, 2018 5:16 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Why do we need 529?
Replies: 42
Views: 4833

Re: Why do we need 529?

I would like to offer a reason why not: I saved enough in both Coverdell and 529 combo for my kid to get 4 year public instate tuition but he made his way to Air Force Academy. So if in similar situation, like service academy or scholarship, once can withdraw without penalty but pay regular tax rate...
by vshun
Fri May 04, 2018 5:39 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Budget for kid's sport?
Replies: 49
Views: 3103

Re: Budget for kid's sport?

My 2 kids are playing ice hockey and this is as expensive as it can get but what other game could be more fun for them to play and for you to watch? Every moment could result in a goal in one or another net so there is never a boring moment. Just enjoy it till they enjoy it, and once they quit ask t...