Search found 197 matches

by suemarkp
Sun Oct 27, 2019 5:40 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Wi-Fi Calling on AT&T
Replies: 17
Views: 1223

Re: Wi-Fi Calling on AT&T

Also see if there is a preference setting. My Android phone has a wi-fi preferred -vs- Cell signal preferred check box. I tell it to prefer the cell network, but it auto switches to wi-fi if the cell is too weak.
by suemarkp
Sat Oct 26, 2019 9:22 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: HVAC check ups?
Replies: 46
Views: 2974

Re: HVAC check ups?

If you have a system that is new enough to still be under warranty, the warranty may require annual servicing. Do you know any major brand that states this in their warranty? My recently installed Daikin AC unit has a 5 year warranty by default, and 14 years if you register online AND have an annua...
by suemarkp
Sat Oct 26, 2019 1:34 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: First Republic Bank doesn’t have physical coins
Replies: 76
Views: 4860

Re: First Republic Bank doesn’t have physical coins

This devaluation of our money illustrates why silver was removed from it. That 1950 dime is worth a bit over $1.00 in silver content. The quarter and half scale by face value (half is worth a bit over $5). I think people would like coins better if they bought more than they do now. I don't mind coin...
by suemarkp
Sun Oct 20, 2019 11:56 am
Forum: Personal Investments
Topic: Odds of Illinois Teacher Pension Solvency to use for Planning Purposes
Replies: 27
Views: 3008

Re: Odds of Illinois Teacher Pension Solvency to use for Planning Purposes

I have heard that Illinois has strong constitutional protections for pensions (they must be paid first). However, what I would ask is how is Illinois going to overcome the shortfalls as the pension liabilities are grim. You may collect your pension only to find that property taxes have tripled. I wo...
by suemarkp
Tue Oct 15, 2019 11:08 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: coin collection - sell or keep?
Replies: 17
Views: 2391

Re: coin collection - sell or keep?

I'd buy a Blue Book of coin values. This is a wholesale price whereas the Red Book is retail price. No one pays retail. Even coin shops won't pay you wholesale. I've generally received about 60% to 70% of the blue book value for coins sold to coin shops (both online ones and local ones). Some are mu...
by suemarkp
Sat Oct 12, 2019 7:55 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Electric Car Charger - options/Amp settings?
Replies: 42
Views: 2686

Re: Electric Car Charger - options/Amp settings?

The only cost difference should be in the materials. 55 vs 75 amp would be the difference between 8 gauge and 6 gauge wire. Looking at the Home Depot website for a quick comparison on individual THHN type wire you would pull through conduit, 8 AWG is 26 cents/foot and 6 AWG is 41 cents/foot (in a 5...
by suemarkp
Sat Oct 12, 2019 7:32 pm
Forum: Personal Investments
Topic: Need help for investing life insurance for 6 year old nephew
Replies: 21
Views: 2310

Re: Need help for investing life insurance for 6 year old nephew

When my wife died I asked an attorney about a trust. She said unless you are talking about at least 750k, the trust fees will be larger than any gains if anyone would even manage a trust that small. What are the odds of needing some of that money short term (e g. A gift of shoes or winter coat from ...
by suemarkp
Sat Oct 12, 2019 12:00 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Electric Car Charger - options/Amp settings?
Replies: 42
Views: 2686

Re: Electric Car Charger - options/Amp settings?

The typical cost steps for power are 60A, then 100A. Circuit breakers between 60 and 100 cost more for some reason. That long run will cost you in wire, but the trenching and labor are the same for 55, 70, or 100A. Remember, if you are running power to a building you must also have a certain amount ...
by suemarkp
Tue Oct 01, 2019 10:03 pm
Forum: Personal Investments
Topic: Roth conversions now or later?
Replies: 13
Views: 2368

Re: Roth conversions now or later?

If you do decide to go up into the 22% bracket, look out for crossing Medicare income limits which will raise your premium. I don't think they align with the tax bracket, it is lower. Your income at age 63 will be used to calculate Medicare premiums when you are 65.
by suemarkp
Tue Oct 01, 2019 2:54 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: AA batteries (in a blood pressure monitor for example)
Replies: 39
Views: 2448

Re: AA batteries (in a blood pressure monitor for example)

Electrons will move to the lowest potential just like water will find its lowest level that it can given a pathway. So new batteries connected electrically to used batteries will essentially "charge" the old used batteries until all connected batteries are at the same potential. If the used battery...
by suemarkp
Tue Oct 01, 2019 2:34 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Sound"proofing" basement -- what about hvac ducts?
Replies: 9
Views: 1029

Re: Sound"proofing" basement -- what about hvac ducts?

Our upper floor has ducts in the floor going to a main trunk below. The basement rooms have grills right on the side of the main trunk. This allows a lot of sound to flow between floors. I would recommend duct branches both above and below. More bends are better, but not as good for air flow. I have...
by suemarkp
Sun Sep 22, 2019 11:06 am
Forum: Personal Investments
Topic: My plan to sell taxable investments and increase 401(k)
Replies: 17
Views: 999

Re: My plan to sell taxable investments and increase 401(k)

With an income of 90K, they are nearing the top of the 12% tax bracket. I doubt they will be in a lower bracket in retirement. I'd do all roth now. If your income pushes you over the limit of the 12% bracket, the use enough pretax 401k to keep you under the limit.
by suemarkp
Fri Sep 20, 2019 12:18 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: 2 Year-Old Trane HVAC, 0 Refrigerant
Replies: 11
Views: 1073

Re: 2 Year-Old Trane HVAC, 0 Refrigerant

For that price I would research charging the system myself. And very likely I would do it. I'm pretty weird though. You need an EPA license to buy refrigerant. Didn't use to need one, but now everyone does. What I don't know is how easy is it to get the license -- some stupid easy test, or do you n...
by suemarkp
Fri Sep 13, 2019 4:38 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Best Leaf Blower?
Replies: 70
Views: 4258

Re: Best Leaf Blower?

Also consider a yard sweeper. I have a lawn tractor and mulch, but also pick up the clippings, twigs, and leaves with the sweeper towed behind it. It holds more volume than the tractor bagger bins. And it relatively easy to dump (can be a bit heavy to rotate when the grass is wet). I think they make...
by suemarkp
Fri Sep 13, 2019 4:19 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: High-dollar Plumbing Issue Decision
Replies: 21
Views: 3120

Re: High-dollar Plumbing Issue Decision

Did each say how they were replacing it (e.g. plastic DWV or NDS pipe)? Is this interior pipe, exterior pipe, or both? How much is under concrete, pavement, or lawn, and is it being restored nicely? Are both pulling permits (and do they need to)? Did they have a labor broken out on the estimate so y...
by suemarkp
Sun Sep 08, 2019 5:24 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Microwave keeps tripping circuit breaker
Replies: 26
Views: 1760

Re: Microwave keeps tripping circuit breaker

Plug a Kil-A-Watt between the microwave and the outlet. Monitor the voltage while it is running. Is it staying close to 120V? If not, check the outlet wiring for tightness both at the outlet end and breaker end. If so, switch the Kil-A-Watt to amp mode and monitor the amp draw. It should typically b...
by suemarkp
Mon Sep 02, 2019 2:04 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: How to help niece improve her driving
Replies: 94
Views: 6104

Re: How to help niece improve her driving

Accidents was referring to crashes when not auto crossing. On an autocross course, if you exceed the limit of your vehicle you run over rubber cones. If you don't know where the edges of your car are, you run over rubber cones. I'm not sure of the OP's true problem really is. Racing type courses hel...
by suemarkp
Sat Aug 31, 2019 6:49 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: for those diy’ers - how easy is it to replace an alternator?
Replies: 22
Views: 1720

Re: for those diy’ers - how easy is it to replace an alternator?

And if it isn't clear why they want that core deposit, it is because you can buy remanufactured/rebuilt alternators. They need a source of broken ones in order to rebuild them.
by suemarkp
Fri Aug 30, 2019 2:37 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: 2 year old A/C leak, $$
Replies: 21
Views: 2046

Re: 2 year old A/C leak, $$

I have about given up on heat pumps. Too many parts in the refrigerant system to leak or fail. The parts may be cheap or free, but the evacuation of the system and freon refill seem to always cost way more than it should. R134a costs $5 - $10 per pound and hvac repair places seem to charge $40 - $50...
by suemarkp
Thu Aug 29, 2019 11:18 pm
Forum: Personal Investments
Topic: Question about Roth 401K
Replies: 26
Views: 1197

Re: Question about Roth 401K

You didn't mention it, but does your 401K plan accept after tax contributions? If so, you could do the mega back door Roth each year of about $35K while still doing $19K pre-tax. Maxing the pre-tax and after tax will give you a nice traditional and Roth mix. You could also just do the minimum in the...
by suemarkp
Thu Aug 29, 2019 2:42 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Vehicle idle stop-start when parking
Replies: 54
Views: 3905

Re: Vehicle idle stop-start when parking

Our Subaru works the same way, but it has a programming difference that makes it better. The car doesn't turn off when you press the brake. It waits a bit, maybe 10 seconds or so, before shutting down. It doesn't shut off when parking. Only when you're stopped (like at a traffic light or RR crossing...
by suemarkp
Wed Aug 28, 2019 5:23 pm
Forum: Personal Investments
Topic: What is a DC retirement account and what should I do with it?
Replies: 6
Views: 441

Re: What is a DC retirement account and what should I do with it?

It could also be a Deferred Compensation plan. Best to know what it really is (401(k) plan, 403(b) plan, 457 plan, 409(a) "golden handcuffs" plan). Maybe it doesn't really matter in the end as long as you keep it in a retirement type account unless its a 409(a) which can't be rolled into a retiremen...
by suemarkp
Wed Aug 28, 2019 2:46 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Advantages to Military Service and Beyond
Replies: 4
Views: 928

Re: Advantages to Military Service and Beyond

A secret clearance doesn't open a lot of doors but can help at defense contractors (Boeing defense, Lockheed, Northrop, Raytheon, cloud services like AWS, etc). More marketable is a top secret with SCI or SAP accesses. You need to find the contractor job within 6 months of having your clearance admi...
by suemarkp
Sun Aug 25, 2019 2:17 pm
Forum: Personal Investments
Topic: Roth Contribution LImit Enforced
Replies: 1
Views: 424

Roth Contribution LImit Enforced

My daughter just opened a Roth account at Vanguard. It has been like pulling teeth to get the kids to save, but at least she did it. They have little interest in messing with funds or balancing, so I had her put money in a target date fund. I'm afraid at some point she'll forget there is an annual l...
by suemarkp
Fri Aug 23, 2019 9:30 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Cash out Refi - Influence on Capital gains?
Replies: 9
Views: 767

Re: Cash out Refi - Influence on Capital gains?

Are the capital gains that aren't excluded taxed at ordinary rates or long term capital gains rates?
by suemarkp
Fri Aug 23, 2019 9:25 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Lawn chemicals - any experts here?
Replies: 37
Views: 2238

Re: Lawn chemicals - any experts here?

My understanding is that the problem isn't the glyphosphate in Roundup but the other ingredients. Rodeo is a glyphosphate based product that can be used with the proper surfactant on water. It is used around here to control phragmite. I should have been more clear. That warning is only on the weed ...
by suemarkp
Fri Aug 23, 2019 2:31 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: RV purchase ?
Replies: 86
Views: 6176

Re: RV purchase ?

One more comment on weights. The front and rear axles have a weight limit on your tow vehicle. You could be with the GVW limit of the vehicle but still have an overloaded axle. You can move some of this weight with the chains on the weight distributing hitch, and that is part of figuring what link o...
by suemarkp
Fri Aug 23, 2019 2:04 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Lawn chemicals - any experts here?
Replies: 37
Views: 2238

Re: Lawn chemicals - any experts here?

I have a 4 acre yard. I buy broadleaf weedkiller in a concentrated gallon jug that I have to sign for. I use a lawn tractor, GPS (speedometer), and calibrated tank sprayer to make sure I am applying the mix at the proper gallons per acre limit. To me, the more concentrated versions of the chemicals ...
by suemarkp
Sun Aug 18, 2019 7:28 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Ethernet, MoCA, House Wiring
Replies: 24
Views: 2121

Re: Ethernet, MoCA, House Wiring

Your coax cables should be hubbed from some central point. You need to find where the splitter is/was and hope you can get ethernet there or one of the remote ends. See if you can find where the dish was and follow that cable -- it goes directly to the splitter. You can also do what was done in the ...
by suemarkp
Fri Aug 16, 2019 10:24 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Refinance...am I missing something?
Replies: 15
Views: 991

Re: Refinance...am I missing something?

Does the "break even" time account for the fact that you're resetting the clock on the new mortgage to 30 years? You'll have 2 more years of making payments compared to where you are now, even though the interest amount will be rather small in those last two years.
by suemarkp
Thu Aug 15, 2019 3:22 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Neighbor's FIOS cable running over my yard
Replies: 52
Views: 6935

Re: Neighbor's FIOS cable running over my yard

Most codes require at least 10 feet of clearance of wires over parking areas and more so over driveways. Is there a road or gravel lot under this wire? Trying the nice approach first is best (call Verizon and complain it is too low, even if you have a trailer or something over 10 feet tall). If that...
by suemarkp
Thu Aug 15, 2019 3:06 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Headache buying new minivan
Replies: 37
Views: 4242

Re: Headache buying new minivan

Honda needs the timing belt replaced at 100K miles. This is an expensive service and it is wise to replace the water pump at the same time since it has to come off anyway to change the timing belt. Does this van have just under 100K miles (or if over do you know if this service has been performed)? ...
by suemarkp
Tue Aug 13, 2019 10:21 pm
Forum: Personal Investments
Topic: Where to withdraw money for spending?
Replies: 18
Views: 2870

Re: Where to withdraw money for spending?

There is no 15% tax bracket (except for long term capital gains), so are you in the 12% bracket or the 22%? I'm thinking with the income sources you listed, it would be the 12% bracket which would keep the long term capital gains in the 0% bracket (a nice place to be). Take a look at how much your R...
by suemarkp
Tue Aug 13, 2019 2:08 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Is this 25% savings?
Replies: 67
Views: 5173

Re: Is this 25% savings?

Those people also probably think you're even if your portfolio had a 25% loss and then a 25% gain. Percentages don't work the same up and down and don't cancel out.
by suemarkp
Sun Aug 11, 2019 1:50 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Condo pool requires having an attendent on duty
Replies: 25
Views: 3186

Re: Condo pool requires having an attendent on duty

For basic water quality, a morning and evening test should be plenty (and adding chemicals them if needed). The last post may be implying the Baby Ruth bar on the pool floor that isn't a candy bar... Similar to when I took my kids to the pool for swimming lessons that were right around dinner time. ...
by suemarkp
Fri Aug 09, 2019 5:55 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: House being sold as 2553sqft livable, but tax records show 2053? Cause for concern?
Replies: 37
Views: 3115

Re: House being sold as 2553sqft livable, but tax records show 2053? Cause for concern?

My house has this same issue. There is a floor plan on the county site that shows the correct perimeter, but the total area isn't right. A tax assessor came by a few years ago and I tried to correct the problem. I even gave him a floor plan I made drawn to scale, but he still got it wrong. The origi...
by suemarkp
Sun Aug 04, 2019 10:31 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Honda/Acura maintenance minders
Replies: 56
Views: 4297

Re: Honda/Acura maintenance minders

Nice. My 2016 doesn't have a code for brake fluid changes.
by suemarkp
Sat Aug 03, 2019 3:26 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Honda/Acura maintenance minders
Replies: 56
Views: 4297

Re: Honda/Acura maintenance minders

Some things go by time and not miles. Almost all Honda/Acura's require brake fluid changes at 3 years. There is no maintenance minder for that. I'm old enough to remember how age would take its toll on things -- heater and radiator hoses, belts, antifreeze, and even oil. All of these have improved w...
by suemarkp
Tue Jul 23, 2019 1:48 pm
Forum: Personal Investments
Topic: Self Funding Ideas for Long Term Insurance
Replies: 30
Views: 1865

Re: Self Funding Ideas for Long Term Insurance

Since the OP is currently working, how long do you continue to work? Do you have medical and disability insurance that could effectively make LTC insurance moot until you retire? The reverse mortgage should cover you after age 62. Seems like the issue is what solutions can you use from now to 62.
by suemarkp
Mon Jul 15, 2019 3:17 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Gold Coin for fun, not for investment or numismatics [Canadian Maple Leaf]
Replies: 31
Views: 2750

Re: Gold Coin for fun, not for investment or numismatics [Canadian Maple Leaf]

Where are you going to buy this coin? I wouldn't buy from directly from the mint. I believe JM Bullion had a recent sale on maple leaf gold coins and the "condition" listed was "varied". You'll get these cheaper, as they are selling ones that have been dropped, scratched or otherwise damaged so they...
by suemarkp
Mon Jul 15, 2019 3:03 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Liquid solar blanket for inground pool?
Replies: 4
Views: 588

Re: Liquid solar blanket for inground pool?

I thought it worked a little bit, but not near as good as a cover. Seemed to only last a few weeks too..
by suemarkp
Sat Jul 13, 2019 9:52 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Water Heater Anode Replacement
Replies: 32
Views: 3115

Re: Water Heater Anode Replacement

how long does it take a 50 gallon hot water heater to 'cool off' once you throw the breaker? Google seems to focus on how long it takes the tank to heat up (like after a new install) but I cannot find how long it takes the water to cool if you actually turn it off. I threw the breaker off around 1P...
by suemarkp
Sat Jul 13, 2019 5:51 pm
Forum: Personal Investments
Topic: my mom is a "financial advisor"
Replies: 66
Views: 7842

Re: my mom is a "financial advisor"

I wrote an investing document for my kids and used AGTHX as an example of a bad fund. I chose it because my wife has it from her EJ investments and I have the similar Vanguard growth fund. So I compared it to VIGAX and said while AGTHX was slightly ahead of VIGAX when looking at the returns, it cann...
by suemarkp
Thu Jul 11, 2019 2:26 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Why Is Cord Not Included?
Replies: 32
Views: 4198

Re: Why Is Cord Not Included?

If the outlet was installed correctly, you should be able to remove the bottom drawer of the range and reach way back to pull the plug out. Then you can see 3 prong vs 4. If house was built in 1979 then it is probably 3 prong unless it's a mobile home.
by suemarkp
Wed Jul 10, 2019 11:28 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Drive to Olympic National Park from Midwest
Replies: 26
Views: 2158

Re: Drive to Olympic National Park from Midwest

Also, don't plan on going 70 MPH on highway 101 on he Olympic peninsula. I think the speed limit is 60 and many times you get stuck behind motorhomes going slow. Sometimes, highway 101 goes through the middle of town so it slows way down there too. I hope you have a lot of time planned for this trip...
by suemarkp
Wed Jul 10, 2019 11:19 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Why Is Cord Not Included?
Replies: 32
Views: 4198

Re: Why Is Cord Not Included?

I think the best answer is the plug type. Houses built before sometime in the 1990's had 3 prong plugs for dryers and ranges. Then, the NEC changed and required a separate grounding wire so the receptacles became 4 prong. There are lots of older houses, so no one will know which plug type you need. ...
by suemarkp
Sat Jul 06, 2019 1:05 pm
Forum: Personal Investments
Topic: Gold & Silver in a portfolio
Replies: 61
Views: 3132

Re: Gold & Silver in a portfolio

Might want to think about selling that Palladium -- it has been on a tear. I don't know when the market top will hit or if it has already hit, but it is historically overvalued right now. Maybe swap it for platinum (which will almost double the ounces) or gold.
by suemarkp
Fri Jul 05, 2019 10:20 pm
Forum: Personal Investments
Topic: I'm beside myself about my dad's investment account
Replies: 32
Views: 5738

Re: I'm beside myself about my dad's investment account

Is this the return of just the investment and advisor fees, or does it include the trust fees? I looked into setting up a trust when my wife died, and no one said it was worth it unless you had $1M or more because of the fees involved.
by suemarkp
Thu Jul 04, 2019 12:23 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: DIY Home Security like Ring and SimpliSafe vs paid services like ADT and Rampart. What do you advise for and/or against?
Replies: 29
Views: 2946

Re: DIY Home Security like Ring and SimpliSafe vs paid services like ADT and Rampart. What do you advise for and/or agai

Many of these items have limited security value. Alarms make noise which may cause a burglar to flee quicker, but not sure how quickly cops will show up to a house alarm (false alarms). So why pay for monitoring. If you want to pay for monitoring, it is cheaper to use a DIY alarm (Simply Safe, Vison...
by suemarkp
Wed Jul 03, 2019 9:17 pm
Forum: Personal Investments
Topic: Gold & Silver in a portfolio
Replies: 61
Views: 3132

Re: Gold & Silver in a portfolio

Seems to me that the costs of truly owning physical gold for investment purposes far outweigh the benefits. The initial markup over spot price, Cost of safe/safety deposit box for storing, insurance, and 28% collectibles tax on selling are enough to turn me off. Sure is fun to look at and hold in y...