Search found 135 matches

by andypanda
Mon Dec 03, 2018 6:23 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: IRMAA Avoidance Strategies
Replies: 20
Views: 1664

Re: IRMAA Avoidance Strategies

I made a lot of money in 2017. I just received my notice that my Medicare premium will be $428-whatever per month during 2019.

I did the only thing I could do... I got married last month. :sharebeer
by andypanda
Mon Dec 03, 2018 6:08 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: What frugal thing did you do today?
Replies: 503
Views: 51177

Re: What frugal thing did you do today?

I installed four 4' LED shop lights in the garage. The old fluorescent fixtures were a buzzing nightmare and the bulbs were fading fast. I need to put two more over the '64 Olds convertible and two or three upstairs in the storage attic. I don't take one-hour showers, but it wouldn't run the shallow...
by andypanda
Mon Dec 03, 2018 5:44 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Garage door openers - please compare Chamberlain B970, B980, B1381?
Replies: 24
Views: 1856

Re: Garage door openers - please compare Chamberlain B970, B980, B1381?

"Another recommendation that you take this opportunity to convert to a jack shaft opener. LiftMaster 8500 is the most common."

I installed an 8500 myself 3 years ago and it's been great. The installation was fairly straightforward considering I was 65 and had never even owned a garage before.
by andypanda
Sun Dec 02, 2018 9:50 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Has anyone on this board painted over wallpaper?
Replies: 46
Views: 3013

Re: Has anyone on this board painted over wallpaper?

I have a house built in 1916. One bedroom - 15' x 16' with 10' ceilings - had 3 layers of painted wallpaper. Wallpaper, oil paint, wallpaper, oil paint, wallpaper, oil paint-latex-latex. Oh yes, I got it all off. Even the two painted layers on the ceiling. The other rooms weren't as bad. I was a lot...
by andypanda
Sat Nov 24, 2018 7:26 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: What’s your “barometer” for luxury purchases?
Replies: 72
Views: 5463

Re: What’s your “barometer” for luxury purchases?

I still have the stainless Omega Seamaster my parents gave me when I finished my undergrad degree in 1972. I haven't worn a watch in decades. I'm 68 and paid off my mortgage in 1997. I haven't had a car payment since 1987; I save up and then buy. I buy nice stuff when I think I'll enjoy using it. I ...
by andypanda
Fri Nov 23, 2018 10:13 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: What financial information do you share with your family and relatives?
Replies: 112
Views: 9686

Re: What financial information do you share with your family and relatives?

"Why on earth would anybody in their right mind share financial information with extended family? What good could come from sharing?" Two years ago I wanted to buy my 83-year-old aunt and uncle a new car and a new $4k John Deere riding mower and they were their typical sweet down home selves and wou...
by andypanda
Sun Nov 18, 2018 8:25 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: parents buying home for sibling
Replies: 44
Views: 5714

Re: parents buying home for sibling

"Assuming they can afford to do this" Will they be selling a home with no mortgage payment? Can they afford to make the new mortgage payment if, heaven forbid, the payments aren't made as promised due to illness or layoff or whatever? I'm a trusting soul, but I always cut the cards just in case thin...
by andypanda
Sun Nov 18, 2018 8:09 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: IRS announces 2019 Tax Rates, Standard Deduction, etc.
Replies: 27
Views: 5673

Re: IRS announces 2019 Tax Rates, Standard Deduction, etc.

"The Bureau of Labor Statistics has been calculating an "experimental" CPI-E for sometime" According to an old report, even BLS doesn't believe the numbers are accurate. It appears they simply used data from the CPI-U and did some calculating. I suppose we could call it educated guesswork. www.bls.g...
by andypanda
Thu Nov 08, 2018 8:33 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: College graduation gift amount
Replies: 25
Views: 1815

Re: College graduation gift amount

A cash gift?

I got lunch and a stainless Omega Seamaster so I wouldn't be late for work the first day. The watch was $105 in 1972 and I don't know what lunch cost.

The watch still works, too. I quit working in 2012... :sharebeer
by andypanda
Wed Nov 07, 2018 7:36 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: diamond appraisals
Replies: 3
Views: 462

Re: diamond appraisals

Have you checked the Pricescope site/forum list of independent appraisers to see if there is one near you? You can certainly ship an insured diamond to an appraiser, but it adds to the cost. www.pricescope.com/appraisers You ideally want an appraiser who doesn't buy or sell diamonds. www.pricescope....
by andypanda
Mon Nov 05, 2018 8:26 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Diamonds [Earrings and ring]
Replies: 24
Views: 2625

Re: Diamonds [Earrings and ring]

Unfortunately, at this point De Beers/Lightbox is only selling earrings and necklaces. Of course, when they get their production ramped up you could always buy a necklace or stud earring and have the 1 carat round lab grown diamond set in a ring. 8-) They've really undercut the entire lab grown mark...
by andypanda
Mon Nov 05, 2018 6:41 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Diamonds [Earrings and ring]
Replies: 24
Views: 2625

Re: Diamonds [Earrings and ring]

"I bought my DW wedding ring, necklace, and earrings all at Blue Nile. It has been over 10 years." It seems their prices have been increasing according to the regulars on Pricescope. Maybe the new owners want a better return on their investment. In 2017 the company was purchased... From Forbes... "A...
by andypanda
Sun Nov 04, 2018 8:43 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Diamonds [Earrings and ring]
Replies: 24
Views: 2625

Re: Diamonds [Earrings and ring]

I bought 1.5 carat super ideal round diamond in April from www.whiteflash.com and had them set it in a simple platinum setting by Vatche. Fwiw, it's an F & VVS2. We're getting married next week and have a small diamond wedding band coming for her and a plain platinum band for me. They also do earrin...
by andypanda
Tue Oct 30, 2018 8:09 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Speeding ticket and insurance
Replies: 29
Views: 2285

Re: Speeding ticket and insurance

I got a ticket on the interstate from a Virginia Trooper in 2011 - 9 mph over the limit (he was nice, it could have been more.) I mailed the check in and assume Geico heard about it since I live in Virginia, but my rates didn't go up. Of course, I've been with Geico since the '60s, so maybe that ent...
by andypanda
Tue Oct 30, 2018 7:48 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Washing machine/dryer shopping
Replies: 38
Views: 2881

Re: Washing machine/dryer shopping

I've been thinking about buying a new washer and dryer. Now I think I won't. This thread has saved me a lot of money. Thanks. My large capacity Kenmore washer and gas dryer have been completely reliable since I bought them in 1986. I did replace the squeaky idler/tensioner thingy on the dryer belt i...
by andypanda
Sun Oct 28, 2018 7:41 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Is Geico Good for Auto/Renter/Umbrella Insurance?
Replies: 15
Views: 1497

Re: Is Geico Good for Auto/Renter/Umbrella Insurance?

I've had Geico auto since the '60s and haven't had any problems at all. Two years ago a long dead soaking wet tree limb fell from a city tree onto my 2010 Highlander Limited. It broke the windshield, dented the windshield frame, and put 3 or 4 large dents in the roof. Somehow it missed the sunroof. ...
by andypanda
Sat Oct 27, 2018 10:25 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Car battery?
Replies: 75
Views: 7051

Re: Car battery?

"Deka Batteries (East Penn Manufacturing) are regarded as some of the best. NAPA brand batteries are Deka. Deka makes also makes a ton of industrial batteries, energy storage, etc." I like Deka batteries a lot. I recently bought 3 Deka deep cycle Group 31M batteries at Batteries Plus to run my troll...
by andypanda
Fri Oct 19, 2018 9:22 am
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Forever Stamps as an Investment?
Replies: 32
Views: 3751

Re: Forever Stamps as an Investment?

"Costco sells forever stamps at a small discount" I didn't know that. I buy a book when I need one from 7-11 or the local Food Lion grocery. They sell them at face value. I'm sitting here trying to decide what to do with a $100,000 CD I have coming due. I'm trying to envision what $100,000 in stamps...
by andypanda
Fri Oct 19, 2018 8:35 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: When to change tires; and what brand
Replies: 131
Views: 8615

Re: When to change tires; and what brand

"If you have ever hydroplaned with well worn tires you too will become a believer in NEVER letting tread depth get too low." I've hydroplaned on tires that were almost brand new. We get lots of thunderstorms and heavy rains in addition to the usual run of the mill tropical systems and nor'easters bl...
by andypanda
Thu Oct 18, 2018 5:33 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: How Much Is Your Sewer Bill?
Replies: 78
Views: 4151

Re: How Much Is Your Sewer Bill?

"Sad to see such an attitude toward a scarce and essential resource," The septic tank costs $300 every 5 years to have it pumped out. What's that, $5/month? This is a requirement of the 1988 Virginia Chesapeake Bay Preservation Act. If we didn't live in the watershed we probably wouldn't need to eve...
by andypanda
Wed Oct 17, 2018 6:42 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Thinking of buying a brand new Toyota 4Runner TRD
Replies: 14
Views: 1692

Re: Thinking of buying a brand new Toyota 4Runner TRD

Here's the link to page 328 www.toyota-4runner.org/5th-gen-t4rs/154 ... r-328.html

Their real world prices and tactics were invaluable when I was buying my end-of-the-model-year 2016 Trail Premium with KDSS.

The forum has many other useful threads, too.

John
by andypanda
Sun Oct 07, 2018 1:50 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Early retirement health insurance from employer
Replies: 9
Views: 1123

Re: Early retirement health insurance from employer

"The approximate premiums are about $10k/yr for self and family, going done to about $7k/yr when my kids are off the policy and it's down to me and my spouse." The prices look good to me, but the possibility of increases is scary. I retired at 62 in 2012. I'd been a Virginia state employee for 38+ y...
by andypanda
Sun Sep 30, 2018 7:01 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Botched Roof Job. What to do.
Replies: 15
Views: 1955

Re: Botched Roof Job. What to do.

"Short of a 2nd re-roof, I don't think there is any fixing this one" My father hired a roofer and got a really, really bad roof. Crooked lines, nails in the wrong place, the whole nine yards. The roofer laughed at him. My father hired the best inspector he could find had a multi-page report in hand ...
by andypanda
Mon Sep 24, 2018 5:56 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Best/worst flavors of Gatorade/Powerade
Replies: 25
Views: 1813

Re: Best/worst flavors of Gatorade/Powerade

Frost.

My fiancee's grand nephew left some here and I tried it after mowing a couple of acres on a 95*F day with 80+ humidity. Refreshing and not too offensive. It's the only flavor I've tried, but I liked it enough to buy some on sale plus it was a 2-for-1 deal. Maybe I'll take one fishing tomorrow.
by andypanda
Sun Sep 23, 2018 1:27 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Physical Banking - Any benefits anymore?
Replies: 139
Views: 8873

Re: Physical Banking - Any benefits anymore?

"Last month we bought a car, and the dealer accepted a $35k personal check" I've been writing personal checks for new cars since 1986 without even a hint of hesitation by a dealer. Twenty months ago I wrote a check for a new 4Runner Trail Premium and another check three days later for a new Avalon T...
by andypanda
Sun Sep 23, 2018 1:07 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: How to get rid of rabbits
Replies: 66
Views: 3830

Re: How to get rid of rabbits

"I've eaten wild rabbit and it was the nastiest gamiest piece of meat I've ever had." Was it soaked in milk overnight? My grandmother always preferred using buttermilk left over from churning butter, but most folks don't keep buttermilk around - and the stuff at the grocery isn't the same thing alth...
by andypanda
Sat Sep 22, 2018 5:06 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Physical Banking - Any benefits anymore?
Replies: 139
Views: 8873

Re: Physical Banking - Any benefits anymore?

In addition to the lollipops and bank boxes, in April I needed to wire $25k to Texas for an engagement ring and it was a breeze to walk into Suntrust, sit down with the manager for 10 minutes and let her do the work. They are there when I need them and they don't bother me the rest of the time. "The...
by andypanda
Tue Sep 18, 2018 12:00 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Suntrust Bank online banking has been down since Sunday.
Replies: 9
Views: 1137

Re: Suntrust Bank online banking has been down since Sunday.

It was up and running as usual when I got up this morning at 5:30. I've banked with them since 1999 when they bought Crestar and they're okay. And with Crestar since they bought United Virginia Bank way back when. I got my 7-digit checking account number in 1975. A few of the Suntrust employees have...
by andypanda
Fri Sep 14, 2018 6:41 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: [Wearing] Shorts in Egypt
Replies: 71
Views: 5618

Re: Shorts in Egypt

"Shorts are a crime against elegance." People are elegant. Elegant people can wear anything. Jackie Kennedy in shorts was always elegant. And it wasn't the clothes. Me? Doesn't matter what I wear - not elegant. :sharebeer Moderately handsome I'm told, but certainly never elegant no matter how much I...
by andypanda
Thu Sep 13, 2018 3:25 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: I need a chainsaw to trim branches and limbs!!
Replies: 93
Views: 4473

Re: I need a chainsaw to trim branches and limbs!!

I own 2 gas chainsaws and used to do tree service work in high school and college. I use a 18v Dewalt sawzall 90% of the time for trimming and chopping up fallen limbs on 2+ acres surrounded by woods. Get a few Diablo blades or something similar at Harbor Freight. I have a 5'x8' trash trailer stacke...
by andypanda
Wed Sep 12, 2018 7:42 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: My 2017 CRV is a victim of the dreaded oil gas-dilution issue
Replies: 710
Views: 105411

Re: My 2017 CRV is a victim of the dreaded oil gas-dilution issue

That's sad. The least they could do would be to add a little humor to their empty messages... :D

Dear Honda customer, "All Your Base Are Belong to Us"
by andypanda
Wed Sep 05, 2018 3:46 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: GEICO Windshield Repair and Waive of Deductible
Replies: 27
Views: 12597

Re: GEICO Windshield Repair and Waive of Deductible

"I wouldn't do business with a glass repair shop that charges insurance companies more than they charge customers "

I'd charge more too if I had to deal with insurance company adjusters and paperwork, so I don't blame them. :beer
by andypanda
Wed Sep 05, 2018 3:36 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Walmart is not Amazon
Replies: 54
Views: 6961

Re: Walmart is not Amazon

I love Walmart ship to store for inexpensive stuff I need soon that doesn't qualify for free shipping elsewhere: a $2.99 weedeater part, a box of 200 foam Maxlite earplugs for $17 & not the usual $27, 3 pocket t-shirts, a new blade for a Braun razor, etc. I've also used it for to get slightly more e...
by andypanda
Wed Sep 05, 2018 3:23 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Ford Fusion under Safety Recall for 2 Years - Ford Can't Fix - help
Replies: 87
Views: 12705

Re: Ford Fusion under Safety Recall for 2 Years - Ford Can't Fix - help

Fwiw, just because your vehicle is not currently listed as recalled doesn't mean it won't be. The feds allowed the makers to phase in the recalls through 2019. In other words, just because your vehicle has a faulty part doesn't mean it's been recalled. It isn't recalled until the feds say it's recal...
by andypanda
Sun Sep 02, 2018 12:43 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Crazy Rich Asian -> Movie
Replies: 16
Views: 2436

Re: Crazy Rich Asian -> Movie

I can't wait to see it. My fiancee likes a good romantic comedy, but we haven't been to a movie house since we started dating 3.5 years ago. We prefer to watch movies at home. My second cataract surgery was last Tuesday and our house guest for the summer left today, so maybe we will actually go toda...
by andypanda
Sun Sep 02, 2018 6:38 am
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Can margin be beneficial for long-term investing?
Replies: 61
Views: 3830

Re: Can margin be beneficial for long-term investing?

''Right now rates at many of the big, popular discount brokers are around 7%-8%. And rates are relatively low historically." Ouch. Seriously? I'm 68 and started investing in the late '60s and never knew what the rate was on margin money. I didn't care and never asked. Well, I suppose 7% or 8% is a l...
by andypanda
Sat Sep 01, 2018 8:36 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: New Brake Pads
Replies: 97
Views: 9492

Re: New Brake Pads

"Add to that the fact that you can do this in the comfort of your home " How do you get your car into the house? Our 4Runner and Avalon won't go through the door? :sharebeer I pay the dealer to do stuff on the vehicles. I work on my boat, the Toro zero-turn, the Deere X380, the trash trailer and the...
by andypanda
Sun Aug 26, 2018 4:14 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Best ultra thin pocket knife?
Replies: 54
Views: 3633

Re: Best ultra thin pocket knife?

"Just wealth-signaling" Trouble is, my knives stay in my pocket 99.5% of the time. They aren't like wrist watches. ;) I love Chris Reeve knives. Exceptionally useful, but quite expensive. That reminds me, I need to send one of my Sebenzas back for sharpening. I know how to sharpen knives, but some o...
by andypanda
Sun Aug 26, 2018 3:56 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Best ultra thin pocket knife?
Replies: 54
Views: 3633

Re: Best ultra thin pocket knife?

Cutting things. :) String, packing tape, envelopes, blister packs, weeds, vines, small limbs & all sorts of stuff. I worked in an office for 40 years and was the only person who never said, "Let me go get the scissors from my desk." I'm 67 and started carrying a pocket knife before I joined the Cub ...
by andypanda
Tue Aug 21, 2018 7:29 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Where to buy engagement ring?
Replies: 61
Views: 4813

Re: Where to buy engagement ring?

Fwiw, re: goodoldgold

Jonathan "Rhino" Weingarten is not working at GOG any longer. His family (mother?) still owns it though afaik.
He is now running...

www.augustvintageinc.net

One more thing I learned at Pricescope.
by andypanda
Tue Aug 21, 2018 5:04 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Your major and investing/finance?
Replies: 99
Views: 5199

Re: Your major and investing/finance?

Physics.
Psychology.
Counseling.

In that order.

I still don't know anything about investing. When I was little my family taught me to save and spend less than I made. Fortunately I knew just enough to put in it the stock market beginning in the '60s and let it ride.
by andypanda
Tue Aug 21, 2018 4:50 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Where to buy engagement ring?
Replies: 61
Views: 4813

Re: Where to buy engagement ring?

Here is one NY vendor who comes highly recommended on Pricescope. www.yelp.com/biz/i-d-jewelry-new-york I suggest browsing the Pricescope Rockytalky forum for info on Super Ideal round diamonds. Just having the highest GIA or AGS rating for cut isn't enough if you want a diamond with maximum sparkle...
by andypanda
Tue Aug 21, 2018 1:13 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Reckless driving ticket in VA-Help!
Replies: 124
Views: 7796

Re: Reckless driving ticket in VA-Help!

"God help you if you speed elsewhere in VA." Maybe if you have out of state plates. :) I'm 67 and always drive 5 or 10 over the limit at a minimum and always keep it under 80 on the Interstate. The last ticket I got was in 2011 and the one before that was in 1986. The 2011 ticket was on I-64 west ju...
by andypanda
Mon Aug 20, 2018 7:12 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Remind me (again) how real estate isn't a GREAT investment?
Replies: 158
Views: 14159

Re: Remind me (again) how real estate isn't a GREAT investment?

"Example #1 1) Be the top 10 students of the high school class of your country" You reminded me of one of the ways my father motivated me when I was a very young child. He told me to study and do well, and that he had studied hard and finished 2nd in his high school graduating class. A few years lat...
by andypanda
Sun Aug 19, 2018 9:01 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Remind me (again) how real estate isn't a GREAT investment?
Replies: 158
Views: 14159

Re: Remind me (again) how real estate isn't a GREAT investment?

I've known folks who made a great deal of money by owning anywhere from 12 to 35 single homes, duplexes or small apartment buildings. Nothing fancy, all working class and student rentals. I never wanted to work that hard, especially while holding a full-time job. It was a seven day a week gig for th...
by andypanda
Sat Aug 18, 2018 3:33 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Reckless driving ticket in VA-Help!
Replies: 124
Views: 7796

Re: Reckless driving ticket in VA-Help!

"Lyft is cheaper than dealing with a corrupt system." How is it corrupt? The law is the same for everyone - you drive 20 over the limit and you're at risk (along with everyone else on the road when you are.) If you're determined to drive fast, we have VIR... Virginia International Raceway virnow.com...
by andypanda
Sat Aug 18, 2018 11:31 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Edward Jones rep door knocking
Replies: 90
Views: 9004

Re: Edward Jones rep door knocking

I have had a lighted doorbell next to my front door for 26 years. It isn't hooked to a buzzer, bell or ringer. My friends know to knock. My close friends come straight to the kitchen door.
by andypanda
Sat Aug 18, 2018 11:16 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Adult piggy bank
Replies: 54
Views: 4836

Re: Adult piggy bank

"If you are serious about saving money or getting control of your financial life, get over these psychological issues. At least start handling them head on. You can't run a marathon with crutches." www.runnersworld.com/news/a21267745/amputee-runner-completes-comrades-marathon-with-crutches/ "Even af...
by andypanda
Sat Aug 18, 2018 7:42 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Reckless driving ticket in VA-Help!
Replies: 124
Views: 7796

Re: Reckless driving ticket in VA-Help!

Hire a lawyer. Most folks don't get the maximum penalties, but here they are... "The maximum penalties for a reckless driving conviction in Virginia are: Six (6) DMV points $2,500 fine 6 months driver’s license suspension 12 months jail time" And a reminder, not only is 20 mph over the limit RD, so ...