Search found 85 matches

by andypanda
Thu Aug 16, 2018 12:44 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Celebrating the day you retired
Replies: 44
Views: 2393

Re: Celebrating the day you retired

I left the office at 3 p.m. and told everyone I was buying drinks and appetizers at a Mexican place. The usual agency thing was for everyone to chip in and buy the old retiree lunch. Pfui, they all had kids and bills and stuff and needed free drinks after work. After the Mexican joint, one of my for...
by andypanda
Thu Aug 16, 2018 12:37 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Sign - Speed checked by Radar
Replies: 39
Views: 1950

Re: Sign - Speed checked by Radar

https://wtop.com/virginia/2018/03/speed ... -virginia/

Virginia stopped the aircraft ticketing program in 2012 due to a lack of funds. Each airplane cost $150/hour to operate. But we still have 425 signs...
by andypanda
Wed Aug 08, 2018 9:49 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Minivan Vs SUV Experience
Replies: 109
Views: 6463

Re: Minivan Vs SUV Experience

Has Volvo maintained their automobile production quality since Ford sold Volvo to Zhejiang Geely in 2010? Fwiw, I don't have little children and drive a 2016 4Runner that I use to pull a boat and drive on the beach. I haven't used the 4WD-Lo range much and have only played with the locking rear diff...
by andypanda
Thu Aug 02, 2018 7:16 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Replacing pilot light in gas boiler with electronic ignition? (HVAC/furnace question.)
Replies: 9
Views: 566

Re: Replacing pilot light in gas boiler with electronic ignition? (HVAC/furnace question.)

"They said it was normal for the the thermocouple not to make it through the whole winter." I disagree. I had a Burnham natural gas boiler installed in November of 1980, but mine only heats the low-pressure radiators. It's in an unfinished basement that's 75% below grade and the only heat is from th...
by andypanda
Tue Jul 31, 2018 8:23 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: When mortgage rates are high, why invest in stock market?
Replies: 36
Views: 4287

Re: When mortgage rates are high, why invest in stock market?

"Underlining that houses are, generally, a poor long term financial investment - because of the high cost of carrying the investment (both physical repairs & outgoings like property taxes). It's also the case that if you live in certain (generally coastal) cities that your house has been the best in...
by andypanda
Tue Jul 31, 2018 7:25 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: $4,400 Chimney Repair - Does This Make Sense?
Replies: 24
Views: 1785

Re: $4,400 Chimney Repair - Does This Make Sense?

I had a 39' flue with a broken/falling clay liner. The house was built in 1916 and the chimney is rather large and solid brick. Imagine the chunks of tile or clay piling up in the bottom and blocking the exhaust gases leaving the furnace or boiler. In my case a natural gas boiler. Anyway, you're quo...
by andypanda
Mon Jul 30, 2018 7:38 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: When mortgage rates are high, why invest in stock market?
Replies: 36
Views: 4287

Re: When mortgage rates are high, why invest in stock market?

"Isn't the real question "why would someone take out a mortgage when rates are that high when they could instead be investing in the stock market"?" In my limited experience over the past 40 years or so in a very high demand inner city neighborhood, the answer is: Because when the rates drop the sel...
by andypanda
Mon Jul 30, 2018 6:38 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Soc Sec benefit estimates: Anyone get a nasty surprise when filing?
Replies: 61
Views: 7665

Re: Soc Sec benefit estimates: Anyone get a nasty surprise when filing?

I applied 3 months before I turned 66. I don't recall any communication after they acknowledged receiving my application. My first payment was deposited on time. I wasn't depending on it, so if it took more time it took more time and I didn't spend any time on hold waiting to ask about it. Of course...
by andypanda
Mon Jul 30, 2018 6:19 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: When mortgage rates are high, why invest in stock market?
Replies: 36
Views: 4287

Re: When mortgage rates are high, why invest in stock market?

As already mentioned, do both. If you can't do both, maybe you're looking at too much house. I bought my home in January of 1980. I put 26% down on a 70-year-old fixer upper and got a 30-year conventional mortgage at 12.75%. It was a deal, the rates kept going up. Iirc they went to 16 or 18%. Meanwh...
by andypanda
Sun Jul 29, 2018 5:43 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: An argument against self-insuring for long-term care
Replies: 214
Views: 10383

Re: An argument against self-insuring for long-term care

DC3509 wrote: "That seems to me to be a curious choice when there is a government program that we all pay for through taxes that is available to assist with nursing home care, and there are lawful ways to shield assets and still qualify for the program. Is it a moral objection? That people don't ful...
by andypanda
Sun Jul 29, 2018 11:13 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Assisted Living Expenses
Replies: 30
Views: 2048

Re: Assisted Living Expenses

Medicaid rules vary from state to state. Not all states have Medicaid funding available for assisted living. And the rules can change from one year to the next. www.payingforseniorcare.com/medicaid-waivers/assisted-living.html In addition to the problem of higher-end places not taking what Medicaid ...
by andypanda
Sun Jul 29, 2018 10:47 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Any reason a building should not consent to a condo buyer using a family mortgage?
Replies: 19
Views: 1635

Re: Any reason a building should not consent to a condo buyer using a family mortgage?

"For instance, if there were a foreclosure, it’s not clear to me whether we’d have a preference between a bank foreclosure or a foreclosure by an individual." You might care if, say, the child of a famously loud, drunk and obnoxious movie star or musician moved in and didn't make the payments to mom...
by andypanda
Sun Jul 29, 2018 7:28 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Toughest Purchase of my Life. Engagement Ring time
Replies: 207
Views: 9258

Re: Toughest Purchase of my Life. Engagement Ring time

"We consider those with the diamond ring as folks that have no financial sense." Talk about jumping to conclusions about people you don't know. Maybe they still have $5 million in the market, everything they own paid for, and a nice $23,000 ring, too. Maybe you and your friends are just penny pinche...
by andypanda
Fri Jul 27, 2018 8:32 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Toughest Purchase of my Life. Engagement Ring time
Replies: 207
Views: 9258

Re: Toughest Purchase of my Life. Engagement Ring time

"When I saw it, my first thought was "rock salt". That's what it looked like." Also known as frozen spit. www.pricescope.com/community/threads/what-makes-a-diamond-look-like-frozen-spit.10942/ One response from 2003: "The United States Department of Defense sold off its large supply of "industrial d...
by andypanda
Fri Jul 27, 2018 3:04 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Toughest Purchase of my Life. Engagement Ring time
Replies: 207
Views: 9258

Re: Toughest Purchase of my Life. Engagement Ring time

Pricescope is good. The Rocktalky forum has good advice on not only what makes a very good cut, but selecting between the various colors and clarities. Be aware that many of the on line vendors are selling from wholesale lists that they do NOT own, and it many cases have not even seen. Others have i...
by andypanda
Thu Jul 26, 2018 9:03 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Debt free -- impact on credit score
Replies: 16
Views: 1454

Re: Debt free -- impact on credit score

I have limited experience, but here it is. I've been debt free since 1997 and my Suntrust Visa account shows me a Fico score on line. For many years it has bounced between 805 and 810. Last summer I opened a Best Buy charge card when I bought a fancy KitchenAid range and an LG refrigerator. I got 5%...
by andypanda
Sat Jul 21, 2018 7:22 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Garage door experts
Replies: 19
Views: 1402

Re: Garage door experts

The openers I've had have a rope with a handle that you pull to release the mechanism and put the door in manual mode. Then when the power comes back on, or you finish servicing the door, you pull the rope again to put it back in gear. I'd do a single door myself, but they are heavy. Pulling one dow...
by andypanda
Fri Jul 20, 2018 7:29 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Fake IRS calls - anybody care?
Replies: 62
Views: 3489

Re: Fake IRS calls - anybody care?

"where the robo caller asks straight off, "Can you hear me""

Even when my friends call and ask if I can hear them, I always say NO. Now I have some of them doing it. Or maybe I'll give them the old, "At the tone, the time is 8:28 a.m. DING."
by andypanda
Mon Jul 16, 2018 5:56 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Did I get ripoff by this car mechanic?
Replies: 37
Views: 3925

Re: Did I get ripoff by this car mechanic?

When you price parts online with free shipping and next day delivery, remember that the dealer or local mechanic is paying someone to go get the parts that day or they are paying the supply house to delivery them...asap. And the cost of billing, invoicing, inventory and insurance, and all that other...
by andypanda
Mon Jul 09, 2018 3:42 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: What do you pay for home services?
Replies: 55
Views: 3481

Re: What do you pay for home services?

I just paid to have a large old red maple cut down and a medium pine that was just too old and leaning. The red maple was so old and brittle that the last wind storm broke the two upright center pieces out leaving a nice V-shaped tree in front of the house. It was always dropping limbs and I'd have ...
by andypanda
Mon Jul 09, 2018 1:00 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: What do you pay for home services?
Replies: 55
Views: 3481

Re: What do you pay for home services?

We do the interior cleaning. I used a load of store credit coupons (from buying kitchen appliances on sale at Best Buy) to get a high-end NEATO robot vacuum. It does a good job on the open spaces, etc. (List price was $699 and they regularly sold it for $599. Then it went on sale prior to Christmas ...
by andypanda
Mon Jul 09, 2018 6:26 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Anyone with experience in Social Security/SSA Hearings?
Replies: 15
Views: 1582

Re: Anyone with experience in Social Security/SSA Hearings?

I worked with individuals with disabilities for 38 years and many of them received - or used to receive - SSDI and/or SSI. 1. You need a lawyer if you go to a hearing. The Administrative Law Judge is a lawyer and you need a lawyer who understands the finer points of SSA disability regulations and sp...
by andypanda
Mon Jul 09, 2018 5:58 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: What methods are you using to deterimine price to offer on new cars
Replies: 15
Views: 1417

Re: What methods are you using to deterimine price to offer on new cars

Another vote for online forums. I bought 3 new cars the end of 2016 with 2 of them coming from the largest local Toyota dealer. I'd done my research using everything I could find including forums, TrueCar, Edmunds, etc. (The other one was a Nissan for my aunt and uncle an hour down the road.) Much t...
by andypanda
Sat Jul 07, 2018 3:49 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Monthly Water Usage
Replies: 61
Views: 4209

Re: Monthly Water Usage

Hmm, good question. We use a lot and I have no idea how many gallons. We're on a 20-foot shallow well that hasn't run dry in 25 years and the septic system doesn't have a meter on it either. We've debated having a deep well drilled, but the level of the tidal James River is only 90 feet down so they...
by andypanda
Tue Jun 26, 2018 1:29 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: car for long-distance driving
Replies: 80
Views: 5312

Re: car for long-distance driving

I'm retired, my part-time 4WD 4Runner is for pulling my boat and driving on the Outer Banks beaches. I stay home when it snows. I walked to work for 25 years when I lived in the Fan District in Richmond and the office was 6 blocks over on Broad St. I was often the first and sometimes only one there ...
by andypanda
Mon Jun 25, 2018 9:56 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: car for long-distance driving
Replies: 80
Views: 5312

Re: car for long-distance driving

"AWD for the first part of your trip crossing the Appalachians, if it even snows that far south," HAHAHAHAHAHA. Stop it, you're killing me. The worst part of the winter - even in Richmond - is that the snow isn't as bad as the ice layer under it, over it or in place of it. Or the driver's with no cl...
by andypanda
Sun Jun 24, 2018 7:27 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: 2007 Toyota Corolla
Replies: 39
Views: 2374

Re: 2007 Toyota Corolla

My fiancee had 2 Camrys when we started dating 4 years ago. The 2003 4-cylinder had 220k miles on it when she sold it to her son's inlaws 2 years ago. It is still in daily use and pushing 260k. No major repairs. Only oil changes and some hoses. The 2006 4-cylinder had 190k on it when she gave it to ...
by andypanda
Sat Jun 23, 2018 6:31 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: car for long-distance driving
Replies: 80
Views: 5312

Re: car for long-distance driving

"good choice for Midwest weather conditions" I'm more familiar with the winter weather and year round traffic up and down the Valley on I-81 and across I-64 over Afton Mountain to Charlottesville. Will you be coming through WVA to Lexington VA and up I-81 with the semis and snowbird RVers to Staunto...
by andypanda
Mon Jun 18, 2018 5:39 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Should I take possession of a certified mail?
Replies: 151
Views: 17061

Re: Should I take possession of a certified mail?

"There are times when this forum doesn't feel very friendly...."

Speaking only for myself, an old retired guy...

Image

:)

But it's only Monday, so things may change.
by andypanda
Sun Jun 17, 2018 8:43 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Should I take possession of a certified mail?
Replies: 151
Views: 17061

Re: Should I take possession of a certified mail?

If you do go, these stamps are really eye catching. Assuming you use stamps of course.
Image
by andypanda
Sat Jun 16, 2018 10:42 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Inherited jewelry & diamonds--how to value & how to sell?
Replies: 5
Views: 1228

Re: Inherited jewelry & diamonds--how to value & how to sell?

If you think the diamonds are nice enough that you'd want to invest a hundred or two hundred each for a written report by an independent appraiser, Pricescope has a searchable database. (I'm a recent member of their forum and bought a $24k engagement ring from Whiteflash.com based in part on the for...
by andypanda
Fri Jun 15, 2018 11:56 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Should I take possession of a certified mail?
Replies: 151
Views: 17061

Re: Should I take possession of a certified mail?

Years ago I had a notice stuck to my front door to come to the Post Office and sign for something. I was working, my parents were in assisted living and nursing home care two hours away and time was precious. Okay, I finally got over there and signed for this important letter. It was from the hospit...
by andypanda
Thu Jun 07, 2018 6:32 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: New Medicare card
Replies: 28
Views: 1870

Re: New Medicare card

I got my new card last week. Self-sealing laminating sheets or pouches are available at most office supply stores for a few dollars a pack. I know two sporting goods stores around here that sell singles for $1.00 for folks who want to protect their hunting or fishing license. Press it on and trim to...
by andypanda
Tue Jun 05, 2018 7:08 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Employer-subsidized retiree health insurance questions
Replies: 19
Views: 1246

Re: Employer-subsidized retiree health insurance questions

"Usually only government employers." I wish I'd worked for that government. :greedy I worked for the Virginia government for 38 years before retiring in 2012. From 2012 until I was forced into Medicare at 65 in 2015 I had to pay 100% of my Anthem premium. Including prescription, dental and a little ...
by andypanda
Sun Jun 03, 2018 7:50 am
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Why have a savings account at all?
Replies: 153
Views: 11124

Re: Why have a savings account at all?

" The most vocal and obnoxious advocates of savings accounts also gave the worst reasons." You are certainly entitled to your opinion. If you don't want a savings account, don't have one. It doesn't make someone else wrong for taking a different approach. Me? I like having savings and CDs and checki...
by andypanda
Sat Jun 02, 2018 7:10 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Replaced beater car, oh how ever to regain feelings of financial superiority?
Replies: 29
Views: 3486

Re: Replaced beater car, oh how ever to regain feelings of financial superiority?

Buy a beater Cavalier for a backup. Drive it when you need an ego boost. :sharebeer I worked for a state agency that bought a bunch of new low-end Cavaliers. Maybe they were high-end, how can you tell? They were nearly useless on the highway and uncomfortable when they were new. I can't imagine driv...
by andypanda
Mon May 07, 2018 6:51 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: When to buy new underwear?
Replies: 86
Views: 6707

Re: When to buy new underwear?

I say buy them when you can afford them. Or when they're on sale. That's where my money goes to buy my baby clothes; I buy her everything to keep her in style. She wears silk underwear, I wear my only pair. Say, boys, that's where my money goes. - old song Or, "She wears silk underwear. I wear my la...
by andypanda
Tue Apr 24, 2018 11:31 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: IPhone Faulty Battery Diagnosis
Replies: 32
Views: 1783

Re: IPhone Faulty Battery Diagnosis

"or just simply shut off when it goes below 50% battery life remaining." My iPhone 6s will shut off every week or three when it gets to 35% or 40%. It might do it twice in a few minutes and then restart and operate properly for a few more hours. The rest of the time it will operate until it gets dow...
by andypanda
Sun Apr 22, 2018 11:26 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Mowing with a ZTR - sharpening blades
Replies: 22
Views: 1718

Re: Mowing with a ZTR - sharpening blades

"You may want to get a 1/2 inch cordless impact driver. It should make taking off the bolts much easier."

Thanks, that's what I have. A Dewalt DC820.

I was responding to the comment that he just reaches under the deck with a socket and removes the blades.
by andypanda
Sun Apr 22, 2018 8:55 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Mowing with a ZTR - sharpening blades
Replies: 22
Views: 1718

Re: Mowing with a ZTR - sharpening blades

"just reach under with a socket to get the blades off..simple" I've never been able to comfortably get both arms under the deck at the same time - one to hold the blade (or the 2x4 blocking the blade from turning) and one to ratchet it off. This is really a problem on the center blade on my mower. M...
by andypanda
Sun Apr 22, 2018 8:22 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: How much off MSRP should one expect?
Replies: 23
Views: 2561

Re: How much off MSRP should one expect?

"TrueCar" They used to be very good, but I'm suspicious of them the past few years. The word on the web is that they rely on advertising and such too much now and maybe don't provide the best info. Still, they provide some good info. 15 months ago I bought a new 2016 Toyota 4Runner Trail Premium w/K...
by andypanda
Sun Apr 22, 2018 8:06 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: How long have you been unemployed?
Replies: 60
Views: 6044

Re: How long have you been unemployed?

Since I retired 5 years ago at age 62. I've never collected unemployment. Prior to that, my only period of unemployment (unpaid) was from January, 1974 until the end of November, 1974. I'd finished doing K thru grad school straight through and I wasn't lifting a finger for a bit. Oh, that's not righ...
by andypanda
Sat Apr 21, 2018 3:23 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Mowing with a ZTR - sharpening blades
Replies: 22
Views: 1718

Re: Mowing with a ZTR - sharpening blades

I use a full-sized floor jack to lift the front end of my 50" Toro. Then I slide two ramps in backwards under the casters and let the mower down. Doing it this way leaves good access to all 3 blades. I had a few old 18v Dewalt cordless tools, so I spent $90 on a bare Dewalt DC820 impact wrench and b...
by andypanda
Tue Apr 17, 2018 9:30 am
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: New to board with Brighthouse Annuity question?
Replies: 42
Views: 3263

Re: New to board with Brighthouse Annuity question?

"Macro Consulting" Thank you. I may do this out of pure curiosity. My 63-year-old fiancee's late husband bought some kind of life insurance product contract and I can't make heads or tails out of it. He bought it in late 2007 before he died of cancer. The company calls and writes her at least once a...
by andypanda
Wed Mar 07, 2018 5:07 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Is Cash Trash? The Purpose of Cash
Replies: 178
Views: 19157

Re: Is Cash Trash? The Purpose of Cash

" From casual reading somewhere, having a comfortable cash cushion is a apparently major source of contentment in life for people in general." Great, I was starting to feel all alone because I wasn't trying wring an extra penny out of every dollar. :) Been there, done that, didn't even have a penny ...
by andypanda
Fri Feb 23, 2018 11:53 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: What frugal thing did you do today?
Replies: 483
Views: 44633

Re: What frugal thing did you do today?

I took the braid fishing line off of my favorite freshwater reel and reversed it. Now the 2-year-old worn and dirty line is next to the spool and I'm fishing with clean line that's never been in the water. A $20 savings. To show that reversing the line is thrifty and not simply cheap, I'll mention t...
by andypanda
Tue Feb 20, 2018 9:55 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: What's your cash position
Replies: 105
Views: 11193

Re: What's your cash position

"If you have a dollar of cash, what is the purpose of that dollar?" Cash is pretty. I like it. I'm 67 and 5 years into retirement and living mostly on a pension and full SS retirement. I have - after buying a truck for me and a car for my girlfriend and a car for my aunt and uncle(and a big John Dee...
by andypanda
Fri Feb 16, 2018 7:47 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Is this a MLM? American Inst of Cert Tax Planners
Replies: 8
Views: 1065

Re: Is this a MLM? American Inst of Cert Tax Planners

" How many Certified Tax Coaches are there in the US?

There are less than 500 specialists in 48 states trained by American Institute of Certified Tax Coaches." - from their FAQ
by andypanda
Sat Feb 10, 2018 10:10 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: your assets - now verses end of year?
Replies: 38
Views: 2801

Re: your assets - now verses end of year?

I check my taxable account every morning after 2 or 3 cups of coffee. I'm retired, so this could be anywhere between 6 a.m. and 10ish. I retired in 2012 and haven't taken a penny yet, so I'm not checking out of any kind of fear or dread - just habit. Since 1/1 it's down $56k. From the high point thi...
by andypanda
Tue Feb 06, 2018 11:20 am
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Today was a Really Bad Day
Replies: 278
Views: 49266

Re: Today was a Really Bad Day

I checked my taxable account balance at 5:45 this morning while I waited on the coffee to brew. It was the same as it was on 12/15/17 and I was really happy with that balance then and it's still a nice balance now. Sure, I'd like the $160k back that it's dropped in the past week, but it's still up v...