Search found 147 matches

by mgensler
Thu Sep 10, 2020 8:44 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Miele Appliances for New Build Condo
Replies: 32
Views: 1709

Re: Miele Appliances for New Build Condo

We love our miele dishwasher. It was well worth the premium over the Bosch. Vac was fine except the case fell apart and backpack vacs are more efficient. We have the laundry as well and those have been the most reliable washers and dryers we have ever owned. The wall ovens are ok. They take a little...
by mgensler
Tue Sep 08, 2020 6:59 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Managing Indoor Humidity
Replies: 62
Views: 3520

Re: Managing Indoor Humidity

That sounds normal to me. You can check for leaks around the foundation but the HVAC in the basement probably doesn't run long enough to reduce the humidity before reaching the set point. We have all tile floors (no carpet to hold in the moisture) in our basement and run the HVAC fan for a few hours...
by mgensler
Fri Sep 04, 2020 12:01 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Credit Card Charge Dispute Who Generally Prevails?
Replies: 51
Views: 3729

Re: Credit Card Charge Dispute Who Generally Prevails?

When we had our business, customers with Amex cards almost always won. One important point is if you don't have the product, you should win. Example: returned, never shipped, stolen off the porch, etc.
by mgensler
Thu Aug 27, 2020 10:20 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Maintenance and Repair of HVAC, Water Heaters, etc
Replies: 28
Views: 2454

Re: Maintenance and Repair of HVAC, Water Heaters, etc

Most of the HVAC furnaces and condensers are sealed systems these days. Change the filters, clean the condenser coils with coil cleaner, change the humidifier pads, pour bleach in the condensate lines, and check the flame on the burner. We do it ourselves and the material costs are between $30 - $60...
by mgensler
Tue Aug 11, 2020 8:04 am
Forum: Non-US Investing
Topic: How to allocate capital tied up in family business?
Replies: 9
Views: 557

Re: How to allocate capital tied up in family business?

We never accounted for it unless the bank needed it. However, they already had access to all of our books so we didn't need to put it on our personal financial statement.
by mgensler
Sun Aug 02, 2020 8:37 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Replacing Toilet Stop Valve
Replies: 93
Views: 3924

Re: Replacing Toilet Stop Valve

Also for size is there a common size? It looks like 1/2" pipe with a 3/8" supply side. My townhome was built 16yrs ago. While I'm there should I replace the fixed supply pipe with a braided flexible one? If your toilet supply is in good shape, I would leave it. It appears to be copper and that's wh...
by mgensler
Sun Aug 02, 2020 8:33 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Replacing Toilet Stop Valve
Replies: 93
Views: 3924

Re: Replacing Toilet Stop Valve

If you have copper water lines, that's a compression valve that has a brass ferrule. The ferrule squeezes the copper line to hold the valve on. You're going to need to reuse the nut and ferrule. If you cut the ferrule off, you most likely won't be able to get the new one on unless you cut the pipe ...
by mgensler
Sun Aug 02, 2020 7:51 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Replacing Toilet Stop Valve
Replies: 93
Views: 3924

Re: Replacing Toilet Stop Valve

If you have copper water lines, that's a compression valve that has a brass ferrule. The ferrule squeezes the copper line to hold the valve on. You're going to need to reuse the nut and ferrule. If you cut the ferrule off, you most likely won't be able to get the new one on unless you cut the pipe b...
by mgensler
Fri Jul 31, 2020 8:46 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: S-Corp owners: How do you deal with profits and pass-through tax obligations?
Replies: 2
Views: 337

Re: S-Corp owners: How do you deal with profits and pass-through tax obligations?

Well, you can get a line of credit from a bank to smooth out the lumpiness in cash flow or you can slow down/stop marketing. Yes, it's a challenge especially if you have a business with physical inventory or expensive equipment. We invested 30% of our profits before tax back into our business every ...
by mgensler
Mon Jul 27, 2020 8:41 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Buying Beach House in New England
Replies: 44
Views: 4228

Re: Buying Beach House in New England

Not really surprised to hear the opinion that what we have saved is nowhere near enough to enjoy life, fund grandchildren educations and buy a $1M beach house. Please do not listen to the folks here who wouldn’t retire unless they had $10M in the bank and 10 years left to live. You have $6M. Let’s ...
by mgensler
Fri Jul 24, 2020 12:57 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Possibly losing health insurance. Experiences with ACA
Replies: 57
Views: 3960

Re: Possibly losing health insurance. Experiences with ACA

We're a family of six and have been on an unsubsidized bronze ACA plan for 2 1/2 years. ACA is fine if you consume a little or a lot of healthcare. If you are in-between, it's not a great deal. Fortunately, everyone is healthy in our family and we have only used insurance for routine office visits. ...
by mgensler
Sat Jul 18, 2020 8:37 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Protective Claim for Tax Refund Regarding ACA SC Review
Replies: 21
Views: 1131

Re: Protective Claim for Tax Refund Regarding ACA SC Review

Our CPA alerted us to this. Said it was a long shot and it would cost $400 to file. We decided to pass.
by mgensler
Sat Jul 18, 2020 5:00 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Umbrella Insurance: Plymouth Rock vs PURE ?
Replies: 53
Views: 2860

Re: Umbrella Insurance: Plymouth Rock vs PURE ?

Interesting. I have long carried a higher homeowners deductible but a lower auto. My auto carrier does not go as high as $5,000, which seems a waste. I really need the auto for the liability or maybe a totaled car. I wold be fine with $10,000, if I could get it. I know a number of people who have C...
by mgensler
Sat Jul 18, 2020 4:54 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Umbrella Insurance: Plymouth Rock vs PURE ?
Replies: 53
Views: 2860

Re: Umbrella Insurance: Plymouth Rock vs PURE ?

We switched to PURE from AIG about 5 years ago. AIG wouldn't write an umbrella for more than $5mm. This doesn't make sense. AIG writes umbrellas up to $100 million. https://www-200.aigprivateclient.com/index.php?Page=excess-liability-comprehensive-coverage Maybe it was AIG but not Private Client? M...
by mgensler
Sat Jul 18, 2020 3:52 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Umbrella Insurance: Plymouth Rock vs PURE ?
Replies: 53
Views: 2860

Re: Umbrella Insurance: Plymouth Rock vs PURE ?

We switched to PURE from AIG about 5 years ago. AIG wouldn't write an umbrella for more than $5mm. This doesn't make sense. AIG writes umbrellas up to $100 million. https://www-200.aigprivateclient.com/index.php?Page=excess-liability-comprehensive-coverage Not sure. 5 years ago they declined to go ...
by mgensler
Sat Jul 18, 2020 3:48 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Umbrella Insurance: Plymouth Rock vs PURE ?
Replies: 53
Views: 2860

Re: Umbrella Insurance: Plymouth Rock vs PURE ?

Sounds like you are on the edge of needing a PURE or Chubb type of insurer. If the other insurance company has a rating equivalent to PURE and you don't anticipate going above $5mm on the umbrella then maybe it makes sense to switch. We switched to PURE from AIG about 5 years ago. AIG wouldn't write...
by mgensler
Fri Jul 17, 2020 10:03 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Stainless steel appliance cleaner - need recommendation
Replies: 42
Views: 2060

Re: Stainless steel appliance cleaner - need recommendation

+1 for vinegar and water in a spray bottle with a microfiber cloth. Works better than any of the polishes and you only have to clean the fingerprints and handles rather than the whole panel.
by mgensler
Fri Jul 03, 2020 5:23 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Cost of gutting and renovating a building
Replies: 16
Views: 1321

Re: Cost of gutting and renovating a building

We live in a big city in OH. We did a gut renovation 10 years ago and it was around $110/ft. We didn't replace the roof or windows but we had some structural issues to deal with. We also put in mostly premium finishes. You might want to check comps in the area. That would give you a ballpark to work...
by mgensler
Thu Jul 02, 2020 3:20 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: cable vs. fiber internet. Which to choose?
Replies: 31
Views: 2080

Re: cable vs. fiber internet. Which to choose?

Are they offering a lower price for a lower speed? We have 250MB down and 100MB up fiber for $44/month. Our unifi firewall can't even handle 250MB. Max we can achieve is about 160MB. This is still more than enough for a family of 6.
by mgensler
Wed Jul 01, 2020 5:46 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Elementary school in Fall - choose Virtual or In-person
Replies: 120
Views: 8533

Re: Elementary school in Fall - choose Virtual or In-person

Our schools will be taking temperatures at the bus stop. If the kid has a fever they are isolated on the bus and sent directly to the nurse. (Can't deny them entry to the bus as they might not have an adult at the house.) Everyone will be temperature checked at entry to the school. Masks will be req...
by mgensler
Tue Jun 30, 2020 6:59 am
Forum: Personal Investments
Topic: Activity assessment fee in Fidelity
Replies: 9
Views: 1090

Re: Activity assessment fee in Fidelity

I can confirm that both Schwab and Fidelity charge this fee. Not sure where Schwab lists it on their site but it's clearly there when you go to sell.
by mgensler
Thu Jun 25, 2020 9:33 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Viking Built In Refrigerator--Repair or Replace? UPDATED
Replies: 94
Views: 4100

Re: Viking Built In Refrigerator--Repair or Replace?

I took a closer look and the Sub Zero Designer Columns sure look the same as the Thermador/Miele Columns. We have the classic Sub Zero at our 2nd home and it has the compressor/coils on top with plenty of room to work on and easy to keep clean. The Thermador columns at our primary home have the comp...
by mgensler
Wed Jun 24, 2020 7:45 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Viking Built In Refrigerator--Repair or Replace? UPDATED
Replies: 94
Views: 4100

Re: Viking Built In Refrigerator--Repair or Replace?

We really like our Sub Zero. Much simpler mechanics than the Thermador. Looking at their site you can get a 24" freezer and 36" refrigerator for around $15,000. Is install really $8,000? Maybe shop around for a lower cost install or just go with stainless steel panels.
by mgensler
Fri Jun 19, 2020 9:01 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Setting up and Managing a Private Foundation
Replies: 42
Views: 1580

Re: Setting up and Managing a Private Foundation

We have both a DAF and a Private Operating Foundation. We donate appreciated stock to the DAF and invest it there according to our IPS. We make donations from the DAF including to our Private Operating Foundation. The foundation only has a checking account. The foundation can then run it's own progr...
by mgensler
Wed Jun 17, 2020 8:17 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Parents in a tough situation for retirement
Replies: 117
Views: 13484

Re: Parents in a tough situation for retirement

You need to get out of the house quickly. You are not a neutral 3rd party when your financial well being is dependent on them maintaining their cash flow. Maybe this is the time to talk to a lawyer and figure out a plan where you can exit the real estate. In the future, if you want to help them out ...
by mgensler
Tue Jun 16, 2020 6:42 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Outdoor / Patio ceiling fan recommendation?
Replies: 23
Views: 971

Re: Outdoor / Patio ceiling fan recommendation?

Checkout fanimation as well. Priced somewhat under Big Ass Fans. It's typically the blades that absorb moisture and give out or the housing will start to rust eventually. The latter is more of a cosmetic issue. We have some fanimation fans with metal blades that are 10 years old and going strong. Th...
by mgensler
Fri Jun 12, 2020 6:38 pm
Forum: Personal Investments
Topic: Advice for investing a large fixed income portfolio
Replies: 27
Views: 1947

Re: Advice for investing a large fixed income portfolio

@TomatoTomahto: I thought about a formal LMP but decided against it because of tax-inefficiency of TIPS and complexity of implementation. I also looked at my own “quasi-LMP” approach, using future spending levels to help triangulate on my desired asset allocation. This implied numbers lower than 70...
by mgensler
Thu Jun 11, 2020 6:42 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Noisy return/intake in new HVAC
Replies: 63
Views: 3173

Re: Noisy return/intake in new HVAC

You will need to find the cfm of the blower and then check the cfm of the duct size and the return openings. Blower CFM will be in the manual. There are online calculators that you can use to get the cfm rating of the duct size and return opening. Also check what air filter you are using and what is...
by mgensler
Mon Jun 08, 2020 7:32 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Looking at buying house with in-ground pool. What questions should we ask?
Replies: 62
Views: 3894

Re: Looking at buying house with in-ground pool. What questions should we ask?

If it's a gunite pool (concrete with plaster), look at the condition of the plaster. Any cracks in the pool? Any broken tiles at the waterline? Does the pool leak? Does the plumbing leak? If you are in an area where it freezes, look at the pool deck. Has it heaved or cracked? When it rains hard does...
by mgensler
Sat Jun 06, 2020 1:34 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: DAF -> 501(c)(3) -> Scholarship
Replies: 28
Views: 1128

Re: DAF -> 501(c)(3) -> Scholarship

We have both a DAF at Schwab and a 501c3 operating foundation. In theory you could do all of this but the cost of the foundation is going to be an issue. You will have to pay to set it up, annually pay for insurance, state filing fees, accounting fees, etc. It's possible you could do most of this y...
by mgensler
Sat Jun 06, 2020 12:12 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: DAF -> 501(c)(3) -> Scholarship
Replies: 28
Views: 1128

Re: DAF -> 501(c)(3) -> Scholarship

We have both a DAF at Schwab and a 501c3 operating foundation. In theory you could do all of this but the cost of the foundation is going to be an issue. You will have to pay to set it up, annually pay for insurance, state filing fees, accounting fees, etc. It's possible you could do most of this yo...
by mgensler
Thu Jun 04, 2020 7:27 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: E-Bike recommendations
Replies: 118
Views: 8690

Re: E-Bike recommendations

250W motor should be plenty. We live in the Cincinnati urban area and have to traverse hills where ever we go. My wife has a Blix and loves it. We have mid drives but most of the market seems to be rear drives right now. Hello from Loveland! The bike trail that runs through Loveland is where we wou...
by mgensler
Mon Jun 01, 2020 8:34 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: E-Bike recommendations
Replies: 118
Views: 8690

Re: E-Bike recommendations

250W motor should be plenty. We live in the Cincinnati urban area and have to traverse hills where ever we go. My wife has a Blix and loves it. We have mid drives but most of the market seems to be rear drives right now.
by mgensler
Tue May 26, 2020 6:04 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Painting the house//estimates and experiences
Replies: 20
Views: 1560

Re: Painting the house//estimates and experiences

We just had about 3500 sq feet of walls and ceilings only painted. They supplied Sherwin Williams Emerald and moved all furniture and wall hangings. Bids were close to each other and averaged $12.3k. We assumed painters were slow. Turned out they are very busy. I guess everyone is tired of looking a...
by mgensler
Sun May 24, 2020 7:53 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Cheap way to ship a few boxes?
Replies: 14
Views: 997

Re: Cheap way to ship a few boxes?

Actually, you would be surprised at how much shipping costs are in the total price you pay for goods. Yes, companies get discounts but it's not what you think it might be. Depending on the size and weight of the boxes you might get a better rate strapping them to a pallet and shipping via LTL carrie...
by mgensler
Fri May 22, 2020 11:48 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Bicycle Recommendation?
Replies: 49
Views: 4659

Re: Bicycle Recommendation?

Any bike you can get your hands on right now. Bike shops are nearly sold out across the country.
by mgensler
Wed May 20, 2020 7:05 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: How specific should I be in my will with regards to investing?
Replies: 14
Views: 1302

Re: How specific should I be in my will with regards to investing?

We specified ours be managed by Vanguard PAS if we both were to die. Seemed like the simplest, low cost option which maintained future flexibility.
by mgensler
Mon May 18, 2020 11:56 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Choices of and precautions at hotels in this summer
Replies: 52
Views: 3145

Re: Choices of and precautions at hotels in this summer

We stayed at a Marriott last week. Some of the changes that they've made include: Valet is closed, must self park now. Gym/pool closed. No breakfast. They gave us a breakfast in a bag which consisted of an orange, granola bar, and yogurt. The lobby was locked and had to ring a bell. They also had co...
by mgensler
Sun May 03, 2020 2:13 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Working with commercial landlord during this mess??
Replies: 8
Views: 995

Re: Working with commercial landlord during this mess??

Have you talked to any other event space owners? Locally, our event spaces are working together to come up with guidelines to take to the health department. They also seem to be booking events for the fall. People are still going to want to get married. Maybe you could help them find a space outdoor...
by mgensler
Thu Apr 23, 2020 3:21 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Which new kid's bike to buy online?
Replies: 42
Views: 1794

Re: Which new kid's bike to buy online?

If they are ready for 26" bikes, there are not a lot of options. Our 10 year olds just upgraded to 26" Woom bikes. They are great bikes for kids as they are only 20 lbs. Plus the chainring (front gear) is small so they can climb hills easily. They had 24" Orbea MX that cost about the same but are ma...
by mgensler
Thu Apr 23, 2020 3:03 pm
Forum: Personal Investments
Topic: tips on transitioning to a 3 fund portfolio
Replies: 16
Views: 1781

Re: tips on transitioning to a 3 fund portfolio

Thanks to everyone that replied to this thread from two years ago. I'm happy to report that we successfully transitioned our accounts from individual stocks, bonds, and mutual funds to a three-fund account. I'm also happy to report that we did it without incurring significant capital gains. Being pa...
by mgensler
Mon Mar 09, 2020 7:13 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Battery powered lawn mower recommendation
Replies: 71
Views: 2564

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: 2564

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: 1144

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: 5845

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: 3393

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: 5645

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.