Search found 116 matches

by xerxes101
Tue Sep 17, 2019 6:00 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Looking for recommendations/advice for waterproofing a balcony
Replies: 7
Views: 494

Re: Looking for recommendations/advice for waterproofing a balcony

Flashing between wall and deck joists/floor was most likely not installed properly. Not an easy fix but unless the deck is flashed properly the leak will continue, and potentially seriously damage the wall that is attached to the deck. Tile and grout is not supposed to be waterproof. Sealing is des...
by xerxes101
Tue Sep 17, 2019 6:13 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Looking for recommendations/advice for waterproofing a balcony
Replies: 7
Views: 494

Looking for recommendations/advice for waterproofing a balcony

Hello All, My house has a stucco exterior and I have a balcony deck extending out of the master bedroom which is covered with tile. Every once in a while when there is bad rain storm, I see evidence of a leak underneath the balcony as the stucco gets wet. I am worried about the water causing damagin...
by xerxes101
Sun Sep 15, 2019 1:47 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Do you trust Microsoft updating your Windows 7 machine?
Replies: 122
Views: 6130

Re: Do you trust Microsoft updating your Windows 7 machine?

I am thinking they are trying hard to make a perfectly good system obsolete, hoping that consumers will go out and purchase their Windows 10 offering. If MS does not provide updates/patches for Windows 7 it would very quickly not be a perfectly good system. It costs them money to do this. As others...
by xerxes101
Sun Sep 15, 2019 1:42 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Do you trust Microsoft updating your Windows 7 machine?
Replies: 122
Views: 6130

Re: Do you trust Microsoft updating your Windows 7 machine?

[/quote] Age of your machine is important IMO. Personally, if I had a machine running Win 7, not sure I'd upgrade it at this point, I'd buy a new laptop w/ Win 10 (or a Chromebook), use that for accessing bank accounts and the like and turn the Win 7 machine into a leisure device for simply surfing ...
by xerxes101
Sun Sep 15, 2019 1:40 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Do you trust Microsoft updating your Windows 7 machine?
Replies: 122
Views: 6130

Re: Do you trust Microsoft updating your Windows 7 machine?

strafe wrote:
Sun Sep 15, 2019 11:54 am
You guys are only on Windows version 10?
I made it all the way up to Windows 98 before I switched to a Mac.
ha ha real funny, you are the smart one :beer
by xerxes101
Sun Sep 15, 2019 1:39 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Do you trust Microsoft updating your Windows 7 machine?
Replies: 122
Views: 6130

Re: Do you trust Microsoft updating your Windows 7 machine?

I also think they have the ability to expedite this planned obsolescence in the background without consumer's knowledge, and for that reason I am suspicious of their updates. I for one am not planning to replace my machine with another Windows product anyway and likely I will opt for Google Chrome ...
by xerxes101
Sat Sep 14, 2019 10:51 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Do you trust Microsoft updating your Windows 7 machine?
Replies: 122
Views: 6130

Do you trust Microsoft updating your Windows 7 machine?

Now that Microsoft has announced that they will no longer support Windows 7 in 2020, I noticed that the volume of their updates have increased a bit. Frankly, I do not trust them. I am thinking they are trying hard to make a perfectly good system obsolete, hoping that consumers will go out and purch...
by xerxes101
Wed Sep 04, 2019 7:24 pm
Forum: Personal Investments
Topic: HELOC with Third Federal Savings & Loan
Replies: 16
Views: 4828

Re: HELOC with Third Federal Savings & Loan

I recently applied for and got a HELOC from Third Federal. Their rate is great right now: Prime - 1.01 which works out to be 4.49% at the moment. My only complaint is that they made me pay for the state taxes here in VA which is based on the total line of credit. I decided to do that because they in...
by xerxes101
Sun Jul 14, 2019 8:21 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Anyone buy the Nissan Rogue over the Honda CRV???
Replies: 86
Views: 5669

Re: Anyone buy the Nissan Rogue over the Honda CRV???

The Honda CRV has been beat up often on this forum. I think "often" partially depends on the number of negative comments, or number of people complaining. Also, I'm not aware of anyone actually reporting an engine failure because of the oil dilution problem. Personally, I would use Consumer Reports...
by xerxes101
Sat May 25, 2019 8:46 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: American Express lowered my credit limit
Replies: 61
Views: 5426

Re: American Express lowered my credit limit

I got the same letter and cancelled the card. I figured I could do better than their 3% on groceries anyway by using combination of Discover and Chase Freedom, and other credit cards I have. It did leave a bad taste in my mouth and that's why I decided to cancel, otherwise I usually do not cancel.
by xerxes101
Sun May 19, 2019 7:39 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: How to deal with home upgrades - HELOC or not?
Replies: 23
Views: 1674

Re: How to deal with home upgrades - HELOC or not?

I vote for HELOC if you could get a reasonable interest rate and assuming that it is no cost. The HELOC I got recently from my credit union was absolutely no cost and I really like the convenience of borrowing against it and paying it off whenever I want. It also helps that the interest you pay is t...
by xerxes101
Thu May 16, 2019 7:48 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: More car buying advice
Replies: 29
Views: 1882

Re: More car buying advice

Thanks everyone for the replies. I'm waiting on a pre purchase inspection on the 2016 and if that comes back good chances are I'll buy it. The Carfax indicates it was rear ended and the airbags didn't deploy, so hopefully it will end up being nothing. As I'm in the mountains, the nearest large car ...
by xerxes101
Sun May 05, 2019 12:20 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Just Bought an Annuity
Replies: 171
Views: 16606

Re: Just Bought an Annuity

This is why I would never buy a Variable Annuity: ONE FAULTY INVESTMENT Best wishes. Taylor I'm always surprised about how little advisors know about the products they sell. I asked one of our 403b providers why they didn't offer a low price total index fund and he said, "because the 403b rules onl...
by xerxes101
Sun May 05, 2019 12:15 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Just Bought an Annuity
Replies: 171
Views: 16606

Re: Just Bought an Annuity

Thanks to OP for this posting and the answers he has provided which have been very informative. I am now wondering what was the cost or commission of the New York Life SPIA versus other annuity providers such as Schwab, Fidelity, Vanguard, or TIAA-CREF. I know for sure that TIAA-CREF does operate in...
by xerxes101
Wed May 01, 2019 7:16 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Reviews on Honda Insight
Replies: 34
Views: 2633

Re: Reviews on Honda Insight

I am looking to replace my old car and was initially planning to buy the Civic. However I see that Insight might be a good alternative. Major use for the car is for daily commute to and from work roughly 12 miles each way. Traffic on good days is light but on most days is stop and go on the highway...
by xerxes101
Sat Apr 20, 2019 9:21 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Basement water issues
Replies: 37
Views: 3252

Re: Basement water issues

I think your best recourse is to sue the flipper and/or home inspector for failing to disclose this issue. This could be very difficult to do and the real issue is that the cost to sue could be greater than the cost to remediate. We looked into this on our house but let’s say we spent $10,000 on an...
by xerxes101
Wed Apr 17, 2019 9:22 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Best and cheapest way to finance a new car: dealership?
Replies: 23
Views: 2036

Re: Best and cheapest way to finance a new car: dealership?

xerxes101 wrote:
Wed Apr 17, 2019 9:18 pm
I would get the 3.9% with 500 customer cash back, make one payment and then refinance through Penn Fed Credit Union at 2.45% for 36 months, win-win :sharebeer
[/quote]

oops, Make that PenFed and 2.49% for 36 months
by xerxes101
Wed Apr 17, 2019 9:18 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Best and cheapest way to finance a new car: dealership?
Replies: 23
Views: 2036

Re: Best and cheapest way to finance a new car: dealership?

or bank? i am a Chase and Ally customer. Mazda will give me 60 months at 2.9% or 3.9% with -$500 customer cash. has anyone done any better at a bank or credit union? I would get the 3.9% with 500 customer cash back, make one payment and then refinance through Penn Fed Credit Union at 2.45% for 36 m...
by xerxes101
Fri Apr 12, 2019 6:33 am
Forum: Personal Investments
Topic: Principal is buying Wells Fargo Retirement, which holds my 401k
Replies: 13
Views: 1215

Re: Principal is buying Wells Fargo Retirement, which holds my 401k

My company 401k is with Principal right now and I am afraid I don't have anything good to say about them at all. In our plan, they basically take low expense ratio index funds from Vanguard and Fidelity and they tack on a certain percentage to the expense ratio for "handling" the 401K (I believe in ...
by xerxes101
Sat Apr 06, 2019 9:54 am
Forum: Personal Investments
Topic: BofA / Merrill Edge is [Tempting me to] Switch from Vanguard
Replies: 49
Views: 4777

Re: BofA / Merrill Edge is Making Me Switch from Vanguard

Also, did you pay any points with that rate? Sounds like you must have.
by xerxes101
Sat Apr 06, 2019 9:21 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Can I use QBI for my Rental Properties?
Replies: 20
Views: 1523

Re: Can I use QBI for my Rental Properties?

abuss368 wrote:
Fri Apr 05, 2019 7:45 pm
As a side note, REITs are allowed the 20% QBI deduction.
Do you mean you are allowed QBI deduction as an REIT investor, could you please clarify that?
by xerxes101
Fri Apr 05, 2019 2:03 pm
Forum: Personal Investments
Topic: BofA / Merrill Edge is [Tempting me to] Switch from Vanguard
Replies: 49
Views: 4777

Re: BofA / Merrill Edge is Making Me Switch from Vanguard

The qualifying mortgage balance threshold is around $500k.

Could you please post the link for this offer if you have one?
by xerxes101
Fri Apr 05, 2019 1:18 pm
Forum: Personal Investments
Topic: BofA / Merrill Edge is [Tempting me to] Switch from Vanguard
Replies: 49
Views: 4777

Re: BofA / Merrill Edge is Making Me Switch from Vanguard

Is there a web page that advertises the HNW tier levels/benefits? I think OP is probably getting the mortgage deal not so much because of the amount of money he is transferring, but because of his mortgage balance at 3M. I doubt if BofA would give that kind of a mortgage rate to someone with a few ...
by xerxes101
Fri Apr 05, 2019 10:57 am
Forum: Personal Investments
Topic: BofA / Merrill Edge is [Tempting me to] Switch from Vanguard
Replies: 49
Views: 4777

Re: BofA / Merrill Edge is Making Me Switch from Vanguard

They aren't making me of course but their offer is tough to pass up. It all started with a refi on my home. I am currently about 3 years in on a a 7 year interest only at 2.7% with another bank. BofA has me locked in on a $3M loan refi at a 7 year interest only at 2.375% or a 10 year interest only ...
by xerxes101
Sun Mar 24, 2019 11:31 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Honda vs. Toyota: Which has more bang for the buck?
Replies: 120
Views: 14498

Re: Honda vs. Toyota: Which has more bang for the buck?

I've had both. Honda seems to sell at a bit higher price, all other things being equal. I had problems with the Honda but not the Toyota. So I lean Toyota. But anecdote is not data. Both are very good so I would make your decision based on a features/ price comparison. I have had the exact same exp...
by xerxes101
Sun Mar 10, 2019 7:09 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Can you opt out of specific bank /credit card company marketing and credit checks?
Replies: 11
Views: 1020

Re: Can you opt out of specific bank /credit card company marketing and credit checks?

Thank you all for your replies. I think I may freeze my credit for a while to try it out. I wish the industry would evolve so we as consumers could decide which financial institutions we want to do business with and we could exclude the ones we do not want to do any business with from sending us pro...
by xerxes101
Sat Mar 09, 2019 6:14 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Can you opt out of specific bank /credit card company marketing and credit checks?
Replies: 11
Views: 1020

Can you opt out of specific bank /credit card company marketing and credit checks?

Hello All, Once a year I pull all my credit files from Experian, Equifax, and TransUnion for free to review them. Here is the link if anyone is interested to do that: https://www.consumer.ftc.gov/ I have noticed that Capital One keeps pulling my credit. I do not do any business with them. I guess fo...
by xerxes101
Wed Feb 20, 2019 9:02 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: What's Your Credit Card Rewards Strategy?
Replies: 4104
Views: 775201

Re: What's Your Credit Card Rewards Strategy?

I don't think this has been mentioned yet, but there is now an option at Ebates for new accounts to pay in American Express MRs at a 1:1 ratio. https://millionmilesecrets.com/news/ebates-is-offering-a-new-way-to-earn-amex-membership-rewards-points-1500-bonus-points-for-new-sign-ups/ If you already ...
by xerxes101
Wed Feb 20, 2019 11:59 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: $3k repair estimate for 2010 Audi A4 Avant
Replies: 19
Views: 1110

Re: $3k repair estimate for 2010 Audi A4 Avant

Why 50/50? That seems arbitrary and unfair to me. At the very least, they should reimburse you on a prorated basis based on miles driven.... Is it possible to negotiate this with Audi? Maybe split the repair cost 65/35? Be that as it may. What Consumer Reports recommended several years ago about whe...
by xerxes101
Sat Feb 16, 2019 8:45 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Buying a used car..how many owners is too many owners?
Replies: 24
Views: 5435

Re: Buying a used car..how many owners is too many owners?

Idealy the fewer owners the better. I look for a car with some time and mileage left on the factory warranty. My mom just bought a one owner Sienna, turns out the one owner was a rental company! It has plenty of time left on the factory warranty. All recommended service was performed. Who drives a ...
by xerxes101
Sat Feb 09, 2019 4:38 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Experience selling car to Carmax?
Replies: 110
Views: 221946

Re: Experience selling car to Carmax?

Reporting a bad experience with CarMax too as far as the price they wanted to give me for my late model used car. The price they were trying to sell a car which was exactly like mine as far as year, model, options, mileage was exactly $5,000 more than what they offered to buy it from me...that was r...
by xerxes101
Wed Jan 30, 2019 9:29 pm
Forum: Personal Investments
Topic: Got suckered into universal life insurance
Replies: 27
Views: 2605

Re: Got suckered into universal life insurance

Bump up your insurance from work to the amount of student loan + anticipated mortgage and you are good to go. Cash out this universal insurance and write off your loss as the price you had to pay to learn about how not to invest your money in the future.
by xerxes101
Tue Jan 29, 2019 5:47 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: What frugal thing did you do today?
Replies: 1041
Views: 111441

Re: What frugal thing did you do today?

Went and got myself the most expensive coffee in Starbucks...it was free, because today is my birthday! :D
by xerxes101
Fri Jan 25, 2019 6:03 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Home insurance going up every year...
Replies: 58
Views: 3721

Re: Home insurance going up every year...

I have stuck with Geico They underwrite Travelers :wink: Actually, you have it backwards. :wink: :wink: GEICO sells homeowner insurance from various underwriters. GEICO does not underwrite homeowners insurance. In your case, Travelers is the underwriter. GEICO is the agent and/or seller of the poli...
by xerxes101
Mon Jan 21, 2019 12:01 pm
Forum: Personal Investments
Topic: Employer offering HDHP but no HSA!
Replies: 12
Views: 1264

Re: Employer offering HDHP but no HSA!

Xerxes, Your employer is not obligated to offer an HSA--meaning, they're not obligated to deduct your HSA contribution out of your paycheck. If it does, that's great. They may very well offer an HSA-eligible plan but you'll need to verify. I've had HSA-eligible plans since 2005 and the plans will u...
by xerxes101
Sat Jan 19, 2019 12:01 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Used electric car - a good deal?
Replies: 28
Views: 1736

Re: Used electric car - a good deal?

Have no personal experience, but I have steered 3 people to buying used Leafs (off-lease vehicles with <30k miles for $8-$10k) and they all have had good experiences. Pick one up before the EV tax credit is gone and the off-lease ones are no longer a bargain. Do you mean you can qualify for the tax...
by xerxes101
Thu Jan 17, 2019 8:36 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Anyone with experience with Carmax?
Replies: 74
Views: 24984

Re: Anyone with experience with Carmax?

In my experience CarMax selling prices are above the market, and I do not believe any of the hype trying to convince the consumers that they pay better money for their trade-ins than other dealers. The offer they made me on my car was lower than what the other dealers offered and I would not buy fro...
by xerxes101
Sun Jan 06, 2019 10:25 am
Forum: Personal Investments
Topic: Am I being ripped off in my 401k? (Good Vanguard funds available but fees seem questionable)
Replies: 22
Views: 2120

Re: Am I being ripped off in my 401k? (Good Vanguard funds available but fees seem questionable)

So....hmmmmm...that's all I can say at the moment.

Is it possible that they are charging you a transaction fee for any type of rebalancing? Although it does not seem that they are doing it on a quarterly basis.
by xerxes101
Sat Jan 05, 2019 4:19 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: TurboTax Prices
Replies: 302
Views: 42401

Re: TurboTax Prices

Hate to say it, but there's almost a 100% chance that you're using pirated software ... This is a legal question I suppose, but to what extent is it my responsibility to determine if the software I bought (in good faith, originally from this 3rd-party seller on Amazon) is pirated or not ? Or, put a...
by xerxes101
Tue Jan 01, 2019 8:27 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Lively HSA is now Fee Free
Replies: 15
Views: 1427

Re: Lively HSA is now Fee Free

Too little too late. Yep. I actually contacted lively support earlier in the year letting them know the investing fees were keeping me from using them, and suggested that they remove the fees for folks with a balance greater than X (suggested they choose one that would make it profitable). Now Fide...
by xerxes101
Mon Dec 31, 2018 6:46 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: "Bank Of America Cash Rewards Card Now Lets You Choose Your 3%(=5.25%) Category"
Replies: 225
Views: 32055

Re: "Bank Of America Cash Rewards Card Now Lets You Choose Your 3%(=5.25%) Category"

The main limitations of BofA checking, even with Platinum rewards, is lack of international ATM refunds, foreign transaction fees on ATM, and outgoing ACH and wire fees. Seems a bit stingy - Chase and Wells waive those fees at similar asset levels. Maybe it's changed since I last looked into it. Wh...
by xerxes101
Mon Dec 31, 2018 11:15 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Can you have an HSA and FSA?
Replies: 20
Views: 956

Re: Can you have an HSA and FSA?

I think I read somewhere that if your company offers an FSA plan, you are not allowed to open an HSA account, but it would be great if someone could verify / clarify this. My company offers HDHP, but I am told not all HDHPs are HSA eligible so I am stuck with the FSA plan and I really don't like it ...
by xerxes101
Mon Dec 31, 2018 11:04 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: TurboTax: Deluxe or Premier?
Replies: 8
Views: 1038

TurboTax: Deluxe or Premier?

Hello All, For years I have been buying the TT Premier version to do my taxes because TurboTax was telling me that individuals who receive rental income need to buy the Premier version. This year I got smart and checked the Deluxe version which is way cheaper, and I noticed that Schedule E is includ...
by xerxes101
Sun Dec 30, 2018 10:27 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Help Me Get Rid of Chubb/Reduce Cost of Homeowners Insurance
Replies: 15
Views: 2444

Re: Help Me Get Rid of Chubb/Reduce Cost of Homeowners Insurance

I switched my car insurance to Geico, and even though they don'y have a presence in the home insurance business space, they work with many home insurers. Last year, they got me started with Liberty Mutual at a reasonable rate and I was happy to go with them. When Liberty Mutual tried to raise my ann...
by xerxes101
Sun Dec 30, 2018 10:13 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: TurboTax Prices
Replies: 302
Views: 42401

Re: TurboTax Prices

Prices for deluxe and premier include a $10 Amazon gift card for today only. $30 for deluxe $40 for deluxe plus state $55 for premier plus state I did not realize that was a limited-time offer and I missed it....Darn!... :oops: Does anyone know if Amazon usually puts the $10 Amazon gift card TurboT...
by xerxes101
Fri Dec 28, 2018 9:44 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Schwab partial share liquidation fees
Replies: 13
Views: 631

Re: Schwab partial share liquidation fees

UpperNwGuy wrote:
Fri Dec 28, 2018 8:30 am
jhfenton wrote:
Fri Dec 28, 2018 7:15 am
Thanks for reminding me to never to do business with Schwab.
Many of us very happy with the service Schwab provides.
+1
by xerxes101
Sun Dec 09, 2018 10:23 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: What's Your Credit Card Rewards Strategy?
Replies: 4104
Views: 775201

Re: What's Your Credit Card Rewards Strategy?

+1 to the BoA credit card strategy w/ platinum honors rewards. 2 BoA Cash Rewards cards (1 per spouse) = $5k/quarter spending cap. 1 BoA Premium Rewards card. 5.25% gas (including Costco's) 3.5% wholesale/groceries/travel/dining 2.625% all else ~$0 annual fee after jumping through a couple of hoops...
by xerxes101
Sun Dec 09, 2018 10:00 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Contractor draws during remodeling project
Replies: 25
Views: 3057

Re: Contractor draws during remodeling project

In my opinion, this should have been spelled out in the initial contract you signed with him before he got started.
by xerxes101
Sun Oct 21, 2018 8:26 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: AAA Insurance is increasing my home insurance premium by 47.8%!!! with no claims filed
Replies: 30
Views: 3087

Re: AAA Insurance is increasing my home insurance premium by 47.8%!!! with no claims filed

...and also "yearly rate adjustment" :shock:. I have not filed for any claims during the past year, and neither of those two reasons are convincing or reasonable to me, especially the first one . Have you had claims in other years? That's kinda how that reads to me. I have not had any claims during...
by xerxes101
Sat Oct 20, 2018 4:23 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: AAA Insurance is increasing my home insurance premium by 47.8%!!! with no claims filed
Replies: 30
Views: 3087

Re: AAA Insurance is increasing my home insurance premium by 47.8%!!! with no claims filed

I can think of 2 possible things that could be responsible. Neither of these are the result of anything that you necessarily did. Has there been a significant decline in the credit rating of anyone named as an insured on the policy (fraudulent credit activity by someone else on a card could screw u...