Search found 104 matches

by mgensler
Mon Mar 09, 2020 7:13 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Battery powered lawn mower recommendation
Replies: 71
Views: 2422

Re: Battery powered lawn mower recommendation

We have the green works twin motor mower and line trimmer. The first green works mower lasted 4 or 5 years. We bought another one and kept using the original batteries. The line trimmer is great. We bought an aftermarket brush trimmer attachment with renegade blades. We're able to cut 3" trees, vin...
by mgensler
Mon Mar 09, 2020 5:05 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Battery powered lawn mower recommendation
Replies: 71
Views: 2422

Re: Battery powered lawn mower recommendation

We have the green works twin motor mower and line trimmer. The first green works mower lasted 4 or 5 years. We bought another one and kept using the original batteries. The line trimmer is great. We bought an aftermarket brush trimmer attachment with renegade blades. We're able to cut 3" trees, vine...
by mgensler
Tue Mar 03, 2020 6:32 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: roof & central A/C aging - seek financial and mechanical advice
Replies: 13
Views: 1115

Re: roof & central A/C aging - seek financial and mechanical advice

The unit was in the attic sounds like an air handler. An A coil and a motor to drive the fan. Pretty simple and not much to break or repair. Do you have a hatch or steps where you can access it for repairs? If not, you might look to install one. Then you could replace the roof now and leave the a/c ...
by mgensler
Sun Feb 16, 2020 8:55 am
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: How much should I offer for this brick and mortar business?
Replies: 75
Views: 5387

Re: How much should I offer for this brick and mortar business?

OP, You have alot of good responses here. I was on the board of a nonprofit that ran a high-end event center. We added a 2nd mid range event center in a few years ago. We struggled to grow sales at the new place and had sales drop at the established place. In the last few years our area has seen a b...
by mgensler
Wed Feb 12, 2020 7:11 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Ultra High Deductible Health Insurance?
Replies: 53
Views: 3326

Re: Ultra High Deductible Health Insurance?

I posted this question a year ago. https://www.bogleheads.org/forum/viewtopic.php?f=11&t=271006 In the end, we decided to stick with the ACA bronze HSA plan. We found paying cash for everything is less costly than having them submit bills to the insurance. The discounted cash rate has been cheaper t...
by mgensler
Wed Jan 29, 2020 7:52 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Should I install modern water savings toilet in old building? Plumber says absolutely NOT TO
Replies: 52
Views: 5555

Re: Should I install modern water savings toilet in old building? Plumber says absolutely NOT TO

The new low flow toilets are much better than when they first came out 20 years ago. We have four 1.6 gal toilets (2 Toto and 2 American standard) in a 1959 house with cast iron plumbing. We've never had a clog in 10 years of use.
by mgensler
Wed Jan 22, 2020 6:52 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Insulating bedroom walls/floor from inside the house
Replies: 16
Views: 1440

Re: Insulating bedroom walls/floor from inside the house

We had a similar problem as yours. Original brick house built in 1960 and addition added in 2000's. When they built the addition, they wrapped the whole exterior with Hardie siding. We had an energy audit with blower door test and Infrared camera. We were able to caulk or foam most of the leaks. You...
by mgensler
Sat Dec 28, 2019 10:08 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Adding a Heat Pump to Oil Heat
Replies: 8
Views: 409

Re: Adding a Heat Pump to Oil Heat

The cost to upgrade to a heat pump should be minimal over a/c unit. The difference is pretty much just a reversing valve. I second what the previous poster said. Install a good thermostat. We use Nest with our dual fuel set up and it works great.
by mgensler
Fri Dec 27, 2019 8:47 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Recommended physical fitness websites/books/apps?
Replies: 83
Views: 6500

Re: Recommended physical fitness websites/books/apps?

Starting Strength by Mark Rippetoe --- the NY Times did an article on basic barbell exercises a number of years ago. This was their recommendation. Simple and it works.
by mgensler
Sat Dec 14, 2019 8:41 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Gifts to your employees- how much?
Replies: 113
Views: 7243

Re: Gifts to your employees- how much?

At our company of 200 employees we would give $300 to each employee plus have an off-site party. We encouraged department heads to take out their crew for a nice lunch paid for by the company as well.
by mgensler
Mon Dec 09, 2019 7:38 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Retired recently and buying your own insurance? How bad is it?
Replies: 54
Views: 5552

Re: Retired recently and buying your own insurance? How bad is it?

Mid forties with four kids on the ACA bronze hsa plan. We pay around $1700/mo rising to $1800/mo next year. No subsidies, that is the full amount. Deductible/ max out of pocket is around $14000/year.
by mgensler
Sun Dec 08, 2019 8:44 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Sell current home, down size and purchase a vacation condo?
Replies: 34
Views: 2857

Re: Sell current home, down size and purchase a vacation condo?

I'd recommend renting in the new place to try it out. Where we are at in FL, landlords would love to have a 3-4 month renter. We're also seeing zero appreciation in purchase price from when the units were new 15 years ago. You might want to check some recent sales in buildings you like to see if tha...
by mgensler
Mon Nov 25, 2019 7:42 am
Forum: Personal Investments
Topic: High Earning Millennial (Not Rich Yet):Need Advice on Real Estate Hold or Sell
Replies: 9
Views: 1949

Re: High Earning Millennial (Not Rich Yet):Need Advice on Real Estate Hold or Sell

I would see if your company would pay you the relocation money in cash. It sounds like it might be valued at $100k or more. You can then rent in the new area and take your time deciding what to do with your current home.
by mgensler
Thu Nov 21, 2019 7:15 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Vacuum recommendations
Replies: 58
Views: 4048

Re: Vacuum recommendations

We had a Miele for 14 years. It still worked when we gave it away although the plastic case was broken in a couple of places.

We switched to a proteam super coach backpack. This is what the pros use. It's cheaper than Miele, more versatile, bags are way cheaper, and much quicker.
by mgensler
Tue Nov 12, 2019 7:51 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: ACA Marketplace
Replies: 14
Views: 1943

Re: ACA Marketplace

I would login to healthcare.gov and talk to them about coverage after an emergency out of state. I would think he would have to be stable to be admitted. If that's the case then you could medivac him home.
by mgensler
Tue Nov 12, 2019 7:45 am
Forum: Personal Investments
Topic: Donor Advised Fund and Affiliated Charity
Replies: 1
Views: 181

Re: Donor Advised Fund and Affiliated Charity

We've been doing this for the last five years and haven't had any issues. If you plan to open a public charity, it has to meet the public support ratio. We're in the process of converting ours to a private operating foundation as most of the funds only come from us. Not really an issue, it just cost...
by mgensler
Wed Nov 06, 2019 10:54 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: ACA Marketplace
Replies: 14
Views: 1943

Re: ACA Marketplace

ACA should cover him for emergency purposes out of network when he is at school. Have him schedule his regular checkups when he is home. $200/month for a bronze plan sounds about right. We are paying $750/mo for four kids 12 and under on the Bronze HSA plan. The ACA plans are really just for annual ...
by mgensler
Tue Oct 29, 2019 6:09 am
Forum: Personal Investments
Topic: I’m done with index funds
Replies: 229
Views: 30059

Re: I’m done with index funds

Maybe think about what will happen if you ever decide to unwind this strategy or move to another investment advisor. We're in the multi year process of selling individual stocks and moving the proceeds to index funds. We're spreading it out over three years so the tax liability is spread out. We had...
by mgensler
Thu Oct 24, 2019 3:17 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Does the Average Homeowner Need a Water Shut Off Valve?
Replies: 56
Views: 6231

Re: Does the Average Homeowner Need a Water Shut Off Valve?

I don't have any direct experience with these. However, water damage is costly. According to PURE, the total water damage claims exceed the cost of any other claims including automobile accidents. We always turn off our water main before we leave for vacation.
by mgensler
Tue Oct 22, 2019 5:47 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: 501(c)(3) Public-Charity or a Private Foundation?
Replies: 38
Views: 2526

Re: 501(c)(3) Public-Charity or a Private Foundation?

We have the exact setup that you are considering. We use Schwab Charitable and transfer our appreciated stock to it. We then can make grants to other public 501(c)3's or to our own 501(c)3. We've had it setup this way for three years and no issues. To answer your questions. 1. complicated to manage...
by mgensler
Fri Sep 20, 2019 8:13 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Sold my S Corp Business - Should I File Unemployment?
Replies: 9
Views: 967

Re: Sold my S Corp Business - Should I File Unemployment?

Did you become an employee of the acquiring company? If so and the separation was involuntary then you might have a claim.
by mgensler
Fri Sep 20, 2019 8:07 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: *UPDATE* A/C and furnace - flooding
Replies: 52
Views: 5078

Re: A/C and furnace – probable replacement (soon)

Sounds like a plugged condensate drain. Try pouring some bleach down the PVC where it exits the coil at the top.
by mgensler
Sun Sep 15, 2019 7:38 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Used Tesla S or new Tesla 3?
Replies: 40
Views: 3745

Re: Used Tesla S or new Tesla 3?

I have a 2015 S dual motor 75 built in December. So, almost a 2016. It will be 4 years old in a few months with around 25k miles. It's been a great car. I've only replaced the wiper blades and one tire due to a screw in the road. Otherwise, it's never had any service. We had a 2013 S which had a few...
by mgensler
Thu Sep 05, 2019 2:30 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Are you thinking about having a home healthcare aide instead of moving to a retirement home?
Replies: 33
Views: 2633

Re: Are you thinking about having a home healthcare aide instead of moving to a retirement home?

Our experience was 18k - 20k for three shifts through an agency. Also included nurse visits for medication. We are in a MCOL.
by mgensler
Wed Sep 04, 2019 8:45 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: First-hand experiences with United Basic Economy for families?
Replies: 180
Views: 8076

Re: First-hand experiences with United Basic Economy for families?

We have four kids and have flown without seat reservations numerous times. I go into it assuming worst case the kids will be a few rows away. It always works out in the end. I wouldn't bother with the cash as most people will probably be insulted. Let's face it, most people don't travel in packs of ...
by mgensler
Mon Aug 19, 2019 8:29 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Battery powered lawn mower
Replies: 54
Views: 3716

Re: Battery powered lawn mower

We're on our 2nd greenworks dual blade mower. The first one lasted 5 years. We bought another since we still have the batteries and it still has the widest deck available. We have about 1/2 acre as well. We bought the higher end line trimmer from them a/too. All of it works great!
by mgensler
Sun Aug 11, 2019 7:18 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Chubb/PURE vs "normal" insurance (lifelong renter)
Replies: 3
Views: 768

Re: Chubb/PURE vs "normal" insurance (lifelong renter)

I think most folks use those companies because the mainline carriers don't service them. Think umbrella policies above $5MM, multiple residents, art collections, yachts, kidnap insurance, liability policy on home help, etc. A good quality company for you might be Amica. They are a step in between wh...
by mgensler
Tue Aug 06, 2019 7:26 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: FYI, Spanish bank ATMs [Dynamic Currency Conversion]
Replies: 64
Views: 5115

Re: FYI, Spanish bank ATMs

Experienced this in the Netherlands at an ATM this summer. ATM screen said exchange rate was +20% upcharge. Hit cancel and started to walk away. Machine dispensed euros anyway. I thought I had hit the wrong button. After checking our bank account online, found out we avoided the upcharge altogether.
by mgensler
Wed Jul 31, 2019 6:09 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Patio tables with firepits built in
Replies: 5
Views: 787

Re: Patio tables with firepits built in

We have a round one that seats four. We've had it for around 10 years and bought it when our kids were small. Ours has glass pieces in the middle which the kids used to like to throw. I also had to wash the glass once due to dirt and mold buildup. We use the table once per week for dining. We turn o...
by mgensler
Sat Jul 27, 2019 6:43 am
Forum: Personal Investments
Topic: Bootstrapping a company with retirement money
Replies: 85
Views: 4516

Re: Bootstrapping a company with retirement money

When we started our company, we both worked full-time jobs for three years. The company was profitable since nearly the beginning but it took 2 1/2 years to start drawing a salary. We waited an additional 6 months to make sure things were viable and to save some of the additional salary as an emerg...
by mgensler
Sat Jul 27, 2019 6:26 am
Forum: Personal Investments
Topic: Bootstrapping a company with retirement money
Replies: 85
Views: 4516

Re: Bootstrapping a company with retirement money

When we started our company, we both worked full-time jobs for three years. The company was profitable since nearly the beginning but it took 2 1/2 years to start drawing a salary. We waited an additional 6 months to make sure things were viable and to save some of the additional salary as an emerge...
by mgensler
Wed Jul 24, 2019 7:09 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Creative, "outside the box" to lower auto expenses?
Replies: 63
Views: 4023

Re: Creative, "outside the box" to lower auto expenses?

Why not keep both older cars and add an ebike or two? That's what we did. In the first year I was able to save 1800 miles and 280 trips by taking the ebike. We've also timed the trips and cycling in an urban area is faster than a car. I normally drive my car around 5500 miles per year. Now it's used...
by mgensler
Tue Jul 09, 2019 6:41 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Membership information and emails for a non-profit
Replies: 8
Views: 771

Re: Membership information and emails for a non-profit

We've looked at the CRM offerings for small non-profits. All of them have limitations. We recommend Hubspot as it is cheap and quick to get started. As your list of donors grow, you simply pay a little more. Neoncrm actually uses Hubspot to try to recruit clients.
by mgensler
Sun Jun 16, 2019 1:57 am
Forum: Personal Investments
Topic: High net worth individual seeks portfolio advice
Replies: 84
Views: 12377

Re: High net worth individual seeks portfolio advice

A lot of great pointers in this thread, and I appreciate that. I do have a few follow up questions. Why would anyone buy a 10 year treasury right now at 2.1% when you could get a 5 year CD at 3.15% from a 5 star rated bank (bankrate)? Is it because the treasury has less default risk or because it's...
by mgensler
Fri Jun 14, 2019 3:12 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Side hustle: car rentals via turo
Replies: 16
Views: 2017

Re: Side hustle: car rentals via turo

We've rented several times through Turo. It seems like the sweet spot for rentals are cars that the rental companies charge a premium for. We have 6 in our family so need a minivan or SUV. Oftentimes these cars can rent for $1,500 base rate or more per week depending on season and location. We typic...
by mgensler
Thu May 16, 2019 5:57 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Selling home- Demanding Buyer (Repairs)
Replies: 495
Views: 57835

Re: Selling home- Demanding Buyer (Repairs)

Of course your realtor said you should pay. We sold a house where the buyer found a few minor issues plus radon. We fixed the small items ourselves and told them we weren't going to do anything about the radon as all houses in the area have it. They ended up closing and paying for the radon mitigati...
by mgensler
Mon May 06, 2019 7:48 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Indian cookbooks
Replies: 25
Views: 2864

Re: Indian cookbooks

Vegetarian India by Madhuri Jaffrey. We love this book!
by mgensler
Fri May 03, 2019 12:06 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Dumb idea? [buy a condo to rent]
Replies: 37
Views: 3701

Re: Dumb idea? [buy a condo to rent]

We own a condo at the Seashore. We don't rent but rather let friends and family use it. In 5 years, the HOA went from $600 to $1100/month. Property taxes went from $10k to $16k. We've had two special assessments that were $15k. We had to replace the flooring and paint after the last hurricane took o...
by mgensler
Tue Apr 16, 2019 7:14 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Considering an e bike or conversion kit
Replies: 20
Views: 1287

Re: Considering an e bike or conversion kit

I've ridden my ebike 1000+ miles since I received it last September. It's a Wallerang. My wife bought a Blix. Make sure you go with the mid-drive as they are more balanced and reliable.
by mgensler
Wed Apr 10, 2019 4:34 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Typical financial milestones before purchasing second/vacation home?
Replies: 15
Views: 1118

Re: Typical financial milestones before purchasing second/vacation home?

Listen to your wife and go rent the nicest place you can find. It's going to be much more affordable and you won't have to deal with the headache of fixing a place remotely.
by mgensler
Tue Apr 09, 2019 11:33 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: pool heat pump vs gas heater in northeast US
Replies: 15
Views: 949

Re: pool heat pump vs gas heater in northeast US

We're in the Midwest with a 40k inground and a 400,000 btu raypak natural gas heater. We also do not have a solar cover due to the weight and pet/kid drowning hazard. The heater is great to extend the season a couple of weeks and warm the pool up before a party. It works great if the sun is out as w...
by mgensler
Tue Apr 02, 2019 6:26 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Family flying - picking seats at booking
Replies: 75
Views: 5598

Re: Family flying - picking seats at booking

We have four kids and at the ages of your kids the airlines always assigned seats together or in the same row. I think it might be some type of rule maybe by carrier or FAA. I wouldn't sweat it. Besides, no one wants to sit alone with a two year old. :)
by mgensler
Wed Mar 13, 2019 7:36 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Looking for New Property Casualty Insurer
Replies: 8
Views: 748

Re: Looking for New Property Casualty Insurer

+1 find an agent that will quote you Chubb and Pure. Set the deductible at 5k or 10k. You can also change the coverage on your contents if you find you have lower than their default policy. You'll be with a premium company at less than premium rates.
by mgensler
Sun Mar 10, 2019 2:55 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Home/Condo Insurance in Florida Recommendation
Replies: 15
Views: 1384

Re: Home/Condo Insurance in Florida Recommendation

Have a broker quote Chubb and Pure for the whole package. We were in a similar situation with Amica years ago. They are a good company but have limitations. We are oceanfront, so I'm not sure why they said that's a limitation.
by mgensler
Sat Mar 09, 2019 3:01 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Island Vacation with Shade on the Beach?
Replies: 40
Views: 4549

Re: Island Vacation with Shade on the Beach?

Long Bay Beach, Provodenciales, Turks and Caicos
by mgensler
Thu Mar 07, 2019 9:39 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Tesla Model 3 with young kids.
Replies: 30
Views: 4473

Re: Tesla Model 3 with young kids.

+1 on the model s with rear jump seats. We have 4 kids and that was a great sedan when they were little. Now have the X.
by mgensler
Thu Mar 07, 2019 8:47 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Preventive Care and Annual Physical 100% Covered but Charged?
Replies: 62
Views: 4542

Re: Preventive Care and Annual Physical 100% Covered but Charged?

My doc has me go to the lab a few days before the visit. That way she has the test results to discuss with me during the exam.
by mgensler
Wed Feb 27, 2019 4:10 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Looking for advice in selling a business
Replies: 14
Views: 1022

Re: Looking for advice in selling a business

My thoughts are 0% ownership or 100%. If you want to reward these employees and gracefully exit over time, maybe look into an ESOP.
by mgensler
Wed Feb 20, 2019 1:47 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Personal Liability Umbrella Policy question & "tuning"
Replies: 47
Views: 3930

Re: Personal Liability Umbrella Policy question & "tuning"

We went through this as well. The only data or calculators we could find were from insurance companies. So, we asked our attorney. They said it was extremely rare to see a judgement above $5 million. So, I suppose it depends on your risk profile. Will you have teenage drivers? Are you a doctor or hi...