Search found 346 matches

by andypanda
Tue Nov 19, 2019 9:59 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Toughest Purchase of my Life. Engagement Ring time
Replies: 225
Views: 14052

Re: Toughest Purchase of my Life. Engagement Ring time

My wife is lovely. I love her. We love her rings. I'm happy, she's happy. People comment on her rings every week. We got married this past November just after my 69th birthday. She's only 65 and looks a lot younger. We knew each other very casually through work as far back as 1991 and started dating...
by andypanda
Tue Nov 19, 2019 8:46 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Why are most insurance products to protect against catastrophe but vision & dental insurance are for ordinary use?
Replies: 28
Views: 2194

Re: Why are most insurance products to protect against catastrophe but vision & dental insurance are for ordinary use?

I think my dental and vision insurance has always been more preventative in nature. They want to catch things before you need major surgery that will cost them dearly. I know as a retired state employee my Anthem dental insurance mostly pays for 6-month checkups. It used to pay a fair amount for thi...
by andypanda
Mon Nov 18, 2019 3:22 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: AWD Camry
Replies: 38
Views: 2862

Re: AWD Camry

Now I remember, it was the All-Trac. It was full-time AWD with a dash button to lock the center differential and make the f/r power split 50/50.

I think they used it on the Celica and the Corolla, too.
by andypanda
Mon Nov 18, 2019 3:13 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: AWD Camry
Replies: 38
Views: 2862

Re: AWD Camry

Rereading the promo statement, the new Camry AWD system shouldn't hurt the gas mileage at all. The AWD car will only weigh 165 pounds more and the driveshaft decouples from the drive train at the front when AWD isn't required. That's different than the full-time 50-50 systems or the older systems th...
by andypanda
Mon Nov 18, 2019 2:53 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: morality, kids, tuition etc
Replies: 68
Views: 4001

Re: morality, kids, tuition etc

Oh sure, pick on the community college kids. :) https://pregnantoncampus.studentsforlife.org/campus/ucla/ "UCLA... Pregnant? Parenting? You are not alone. There are resources on campus and in the community to support you as you seek your college degree." Fwiw, I went to public Virginia 4-year school...
by andypanda
Sun Nov 17, 2019 6:40 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: AWD Camry
Replies: 38
Views: 2862

Re: AWD Camry

Interesting addition to the lineup, but I don't know if my wife will want to give up the 268 hp V6 in her Avalon Touring after driving it for 3 years. She used to drive 4 cylinder Camrys and put a few hundred thousand miles on them, so I suppose she'd be open to a 200 hp Avalon. For now we're talkin...
by andypanda
Sat Nov 16, 2019 2:46 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Help :- Need a power wheelchair
Replies: 20
Views: 1416

Re: Help :- Need a power wheelchair

"I expect the scooter is not allowed indoors." In the USA the Americans with Disability Act certainly permits the use of electric mobility scooters indoors at all so-called covered entities - generally any place open to the public, etc. Use may be refused if a clear cut safety issue is involved. It'...
by andypanda
Thu Nov 14, 2019 9:32 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Question on product ratings...(Amazon and Google)
Replies: 7
Views: 475

Re: Question on product ratings...(Amazon and Google)

The one-star ratings are useful if they list a specific problem the user had. I always look at the low ratings to see if there's a common complaint about the item or the seller. It could be something as minor as a fishing reel that didn't precisely fit a specific model of rod. That could be the rod ...
by andypanda
Thu Nov 14, 2019 9:20 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Windows 10 Version 1909
Replies: 9
Views: 1074

Re: Windows 10 Version 1909

I upgraded an old HP laptop last week from Windows 7. It was free upgrade and I had a little spare time, so I thought I'd try it. Fwiw, it's an HP Pavilion m7-1015dx "Entertainment PC" I bought at Best Buy in 2012. The onboard sound is now a little muted, but I don't use the speakers anyway. And the...
by andypanda
Tue Nov 12, 2019 10:38 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: (Sigh) "Wasting" year-old smoke detector batteries...
Replies: 93
Views: 4830

Re: (Sigh) "Wasting" year-old smoke detector batteries...

My handheld digital fishing scale is still running on a 9v I removed from a smoke detector in 2014. Two more from that year are powering two old Craftsman digital multimeters. A fourth one is in a stud finder.
by andypanda
Tue Nov 12, 2019 8:36 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Help :- Need a power wheelchair
Replies: 20
Views: 1416

Re: Help :- Need a power wheelchair

Here's something I learned in 2010 when I bought a $3500 powered scooter for my father (with his money.) This was not a large $10k or $25k power chair, just a scooter. The owner of the local medical equipment company told me that the $3500 price was the Medicare price for approved patients and that ...
by andypanda
Sat Nov 09, 2019 2:12 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Was I ripped off at the car dealership?
Replies: 73
Views: 6686

Re: Was I ripped off at the car dealership?

I have no idea if you got ripped off. Based on 54 years of buying and owning cars, I know that some dealers are much more honest than others.
by andypanda
Sat Nov 09, 2019 10:48 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Amazon delivery
Replies: 32
Views: 3654

Re: Amazon delivery

" it’s amazing what you can accomplish with the money you save by not paying taxes." It's amazing what you can accomplish by steadily investing profits back into your company. I'm like Amazon, I only pay what I am required to by the federal tax regulations. I'm not going to skip taking a deduction a...
by andypanda
Fri Nov 08, 2019 4:26 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Question for Car experts - how urgent/important are these maintenance items
Replies: 36
Views: 3333

Re: Question for Car experts - how urgent/important are these maintenance items

"2016 Sienna that I recently took in for 45k mile " I've never even heard of a Toyota belt going bad that fast. Maybe after 100k or so, but not to any of mine and I bought my first Toyota in 1987. Heck, I kept my 2010 Highlander limited for a full 6 years and never replaced a belt. Fwiw, I'm amazed ...
by andypanda
Fri Nov 08, 2019 8:04 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Amazon delivery
Replies: 32
Views: 3654

Re: Amazon delivery

We have never had Prime, but usually get our deliveries within a day or two. Once we got it the same day. I think it was an employee on the way home. I beginning to feel almost surrounded by Amazon facilities. We're 11 miles north of the fulfillment center that handles the small items and 30 miles n...
by andypanda
Thu Nov 07, 2019 3:22 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Best month to take RMDs?
Replies: 86
Views: 4562

Re: Best month to take RMDs?

I vote for...

"Go on, take the money and run" - Steve Miller
by andypanda
Thu Nov 07, 2019 8:57 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Your Fantasy Kitchen (Cookware-wise)
Replies: 57
Views: 4134

Re: Your Fantasy Kitchen (Cookware-wise)

" Cast iron is great for frying or grilling"

I use mine a lot outside on a gas grill to fry chicken, pork chops, soft shells, crab cakes, etc. Feel like blackening something? Avoid the extra heat and aroma in the kitchen. Keep the splatter and the smoke in the yard.
by andypanda
Wed Nov 06, 2019 8:31 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Your Fantasy Kitchen (Cookware-wise)
Replies: 57
Views: 4134

Re: Your Fantasy Kitchen (Cookware-wise)

We're very pleased with the All-Clad TK set we bought a few years ago. We liked the handles better than the regular All-Clad lines. Since then we've added some pieces - on sale of course. If you wait and search you can get up to 40% off on sets. In addition, there's a family-owned company in Pennsyl...
by andypanda
Sat Nov 02, 2019 8:03 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Should I Restore this Ethan Allen Furniture Set? (updated w/ before/after pictures)
Replies: 18
Views: 2507

Re: Should I Restore this Ethan Allen Furniture Set?

That looks great and I have a question. I'm in the middle of using Dark Oak Restor-A-Finish on a 106-year-old round oak kitchen table with 4 leaves and 6 chairs. It belonged to my grandparents and it's going to a family with a 4-y-old and a 4-month-old. So far it looks great, but what do you suggest...
by andypanda
Mon Oct 28, 2019 6:47 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Do you plan to actually spend down your portfolio?
Replies: 104
Views: 9752

Re: Do you plan to actually spend down your portfolio?

"Do (did) you REALLY intend to spend down your portfolio " Did I intend to? Yes. Will I? Yes. I hope. Have I? No. I'm 69 and retired the day before I turned 62. Having made the mistake of working much too long at one job I have a pension based on 38.5 years. Then I waited until 66 to take SSA retire...
by andypanda
Mon Oct 28, 2019 6:24 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Who does your tax returns?
Replies: 103
Views: 5200

Re: Who does your tax returns?

CPA firm. I did my own taxes every year starting in the '60s. From '06 through '17 I did my parents' taxes. I never used software and many years didn't use a calculator. I like numbers and filling out forms in ink. I got married last year and with the new tax laws, her income, IRMAA, foreign taxes p...
by andypanda
Sun Oct 27, 2019 8:08 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: HVAC check ups?
Replies: 46
Views: 2979

Re: HVAC check ups?

"Just saying... you're paying a 5x+ markup on 'parts' (refrigerant), plus labor (probably $100/hr or more) for something that requires <$150 in tools, and an EPA test anyone could pass with 2 hours of studying. If you can change your own brake pads, you have the ability to check/add charge to a AC/H...
by andypanda
Sun Oct 27, 2019 3:19 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: HVAC check ups?
Replies: 46
Views: 2979

Re: HVAC check ups?

" It only takes a few seconds on Ebay or various online supply houses to see what refrigerant, even R22 for now, is going for. R22 is around $10-20/lb and 410a is maybe $5/lb. " That's just peachy if you know how to properly evacuate the system and add the correct amount of refrigerant. I don't know...
by andypanda
Sun Oct 27, 2019 11:36 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: HVAC check ups?
Replies: 46
Views: 2979

Re: HVAC check ups?

"Having a tech check your system is not insurance, as it doesn't cover the cost of repairs if needed. Unless you have a contract that states that." I said it's the way I feel - it's been unused and not needed. I can afford to self-insure, but Virginia requires auto insurance or you can pay the $500/...
by andypanda
Sun Oct 27, 2019 9:49 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: HVAC check ups?
Replies: 46
Views: 2979

Re: HVAC check ups?

"I have spent almost $600 in 8 yrs for what I perceive is nothing." That's the way I feel about what I've spent on car insurance every year since 1965. But I keep paying it. More on point, has anyone else been following the rapid increase in R22/Freon prices? Since new Freon-using units were banned ...
by andypanda
Sun Oct 27, 2019 8:46 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: HVAC check ups?
Replies: 46
Views: 2979

Re: HVAC check ups?

"I am capable of examining the two systems in my house and making any decisions about them."

Do you have manifold gauges for your system so you can check the operating pressures and figure the superheat and supercooling numbers, etc?
by andypanda
Sun Oct 27, 2019 8:04 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: What frugal thing did you do today?
Replies: 1082
Views: 121321

Re: What frugal thing did you do today?

I bought gas near the airport on the east end of town and got BP gas for 7 cents/gal less than Costco. Citgo was 5 cents less and Valero was 3 cents less. Lots of choices. Of course I wouldn't go to Costco anyway because Costco is on the west side of town and I'd have to drive 30 minutes just to get...
by andypanda
Sun Oct 27, 2019 7:31 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: HVAC check ups?
Replies: 46
Views: 2979

Re: HVAC check ups?

Does a natural gas low pressure hot water boiler count as HVAC? My 1916 house has radiators and a Burnham gas boiler. It isn't anything fancy, just a standing pilot and a pump to circulate the water from the basement to the 2 upper floors. I've had it checked/serviced 5 times - once to replace the p...
by andypanda
Sat Oct 26, 2019 8:23 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: HVAC check ups?
Replies: 46
Views: 2979

Re: HVAC check ups?

We will be paying $200 per year for two checkups starting this coming spring. I wrote a check for $19,000 in early spring for a new high end variable speed Lennox heat pump, air handler and rigid insulated steel duct work and the first year of service is no-cost. I figure $200 per year is cheaper th...
by andypanda
Sun Oct 20, 2019 11:45 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Wallets [Do you carry a wallet?]
Replies: 102
Views: 8230

Re: Wallets [Do you carry a wallet?]

I like my billfold. It holds my lifetime Virginia fishing license, my North Carolina saltwater license, my boat registration, $400 in case I run into a good cash-only deal on something, the usual $200 or $300 walking around money. And a couple of bandaids. Oh, and the usual stuff that's already been...
by andypanda
Sat Oct 19, 2019 12:20 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Continuing Disability Review
Replies: 21
Views: 1269

Re: Continuing Disability Review

Maybe you provided SSA with some info or background on your sister with her permission at some point. Now they want updated info. SSA normally has applicants sign releases of information for each source. You may be one. www.ssa.gov/disability/professionals/bluebook/evidentiary.htm "Severity Once the...
by andypanda
Sat Oct 19, 2019 9:33 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Why so many iPhones??? Why did you pick it? Why do you upgrade it?
Replies: 156
Views: 10031

Re: Why so many iPhones??? Why did you pick it? Why do you upgrade it?

"Does the iPhone have CLI?" I hope not. I had quite enough of that nonsense back in the mid-80s when I was assigned to an office that ran on an Apple IIc and an Apple IIe. I eventually convinced the purse minders to buy us a 286-based system and a LaserJet after I pirated a copy of DOS and some usab...
by andypanda
Sat Oct 19, 2019 7:39 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Why so many iPhones??? Why did you pick it? Why do you upgrade it?
Replies: 156
Views: 10031

Re: Why so many iPhones??? Why did you pick it? Why do you upgrade it?

" Can you simply plug in the iPhone and transfer pictures/documents/etc off of it or do you still have to use iTunes or some other weird proprietary software?" Yes, you can use a wire. I don't know any other way. :) Okay, there is iCloud suppose if you want to bother with it. Heck, I have an old HP ...
by andypanda
Fri Oct 18, 2019 6:41 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Car waxing/sealant for a newb (not for high level detailing)
Replies: 23
Views: 3395

Re: Car waxing/sealant for a newb (not for high level detailing)

It rains quite a bit here in central Virginia - more than Seattle - so that knocks down the dust from my adventures hauling my 16-foot boat to lakes that don't have ramps. Or roads sometimes. I have a red 4Runner fwiw and also drive it on the Outer Banks beaches. Anyway, give Turtle Wax ICE wash & w...
by andypanda
Wed Oct 16, 2019 6:52 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Toyota Extended Warranty
Replies: 13
Views: 1074

Re: Toyota Extended Warranty

"2. Jerry Johnson at Midwest (Kansas)" I bought my 6yr/75k warranty from him in 1/2010 when I bought a new Highlander Limited. I'm in Virginia. I broke even on that when a computerized something or other and the alarm system failed after 5 years. The warranty was $525 and the work the dealer did was...
by andypanda
Wed Oct 16, 2019 5:52 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Why so many iPhones??? Why did you pick it? Why do you upgrade it?
Replies: 156
Views: 10031

Re: Why so many iPhones??? Why did you pick it? Why do you upgrade it?

"the insanity (IMHO) about "apple fans" that will shell out $1000+ every time a new iPhone comes out every year " Your data is old. iPhone 11 = $699. iPhone 11 with double the memory = $749 Then there's one more memory upgrade, but we got 2 of the $749 phones this week. My old 6s worked, but was wel...
by andypanda
Sat Oct 12, 2019 3:40 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: What frugal thing did you do today?
Replies: 1082
Views: 121321

Re: What frugal thing did you do today?

I regreased the axle hubs on my boat trailer. I don't know how much I saved because I've never paid to have it done. It took me about as long as it would have taken to drive it to the mechanic.
by andypanda
Fri Oct 11, 2019 7:43 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Overland brand slippers for cold feet?
Replies: 17
Views: 1343

Re: Overland brand slippers for cold feet?

I don't know a thing about Overland, but my wife is 64 and says L.L. Bean's Wicked Good Moccasins are the best wool slippers she's ever had. She'd wear them to bed if I'd let her.
by andypanda
Wed Oct 09, 2019 4:32 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: POA Reimbursement
Replies: 48
Views: 3045

Re: POA Reimbursement

"They should be calling you up to get an explanation of what is happening." The explanation was written on the form every year. 1. A trust is paying all of her bills. 2. Her SSA money is in the account where you send it every month. Every penny. Seriously, he reminded me of the SNL character yelling...
by andypanda
Wed Oct 09, 2019 3:32 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: POA Reimbursement
Replies: 48
Views: 3045

Re: POA Reimbursement

If you take money for your time, is it taxable income? If it's taxable, wouldn't you be better off inheriting it later? Of course I am an only child and had POAs for both my parents, so whatever I did wouldn't come back to bite me... unless it was the IRS. I don't know the answers. I moved my parent...
by andypanda
Tue Oct 08, 2019 7:02 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Economics of upgrading to latest iPhone vs one generation behind
Replies: 36
Views: 3011

Re: Economics of upgrading to latest iPhone vs one generation behind

""Trade-in" on a phone? There really is such a thing?" I got $100 for my 6s yesterday, and it didn't have top-of-the-line memory either. And the battery was down to holding 81% on a good day. They wouldn't give me anything at all for the 5c my wife bought in late 2013. A 5c? We weren't dating or mar...
by andypanda
Mon Oct 07, 2019 8:44 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Economics of upgrading to latest iPhone vs one generation behind
Replies: 36
Views: 3011

Re: Economics of upgrading to latest iPhone vs one generation behind

I bought my wife an iPhone 11 today. Her iPhone 5c has been struggling since we started dating 5 years ago. <Insert long story about getting her Verizon account merged/moved to mine.> I bought an iPhone 11 for me while I was at it to replace my 6s. I paid cash for it and am paying these off. They ga...
by andypanda
Sat Sep 28, 2019 1:05 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Apple iPhone iOS 13 Discussion
Replies: 77
Views: 8699

Re: Apple iPhone iOS 13 Discussion

"Had to use iTunes to update

Over the air update led to a U1 chip problem"

13.1.1 loaded just fine on my 6s. :mrgreen:
by andypanda
Fri Sep 27, 2019 3:53 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Stump Grinder - Ridiculous Side Hustle??
Replies: 51
Views: 7495

Re: Stump Grinder - Ridiculous Side Hustle??

I was wrong about the stump grinder guy using a 40 hp diesel. The tree service showed this afternoon to take out the 7 small trees and then the stump grinder came. I misremembered. He has a VERMEER SC60TX. "60HP Caterpillar Turbo Diesel Engine with the Auto-Sweep System. The undercarriage is retract...
by andypanda
Fri Sep 27, 2019 3:39 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Wheel Alignment?
Replies: 18
Views: 1582

Re: Wheel Alignment?

Our Toyota dealer does alignment checks for free, if you don't ask too often. :) They check my 4Runner every 10k or so because I use it offroad a lot and also tow a boat offroad. So far it's only needed aligning once. My wife's '16 Avalon Touring with 18" wheels wore out the cheap factory Bridgeston...
by andypanda
Fri Sep 27, 2019 3:20 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Apple iPhone iOS 13 Discussion
Replies: 77
Views: 8699

Re: Apple iPhone iOS 13 Discussion

13.1.1 is out now. :D
by andypanda
Wed Sep 25, 2019 7:00 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Medicare Part D IRMAA premiums and deduction from Social Security
Replies: 13
Views: 1085

Re: Medicare Part D IRMAA premiums and deduction from Social Security

The Commonwealth and Anthem call our Medicare-coordinating plan Advantage 65, but it's not a Medicare Advantage plan. I can't tell you the number of times over the years I've tried to explain this to former coworkers planning their retirement. It's not a Medicare Advantage plan... "But it says Advan...
by andypanda
Wed Sep 25, 2019 4:30 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Medicare Part D IRMAA premiums and deduction from Social Security
Replies: 13
Views: 1085

Re: Medicare Part D IRMAA premiums and deduction from Social Security

Regular Medicare. My card has my name and number and under it says Part A (2015) and Part B (2015). The state calls their Medicare-coordinating plan Advantage-65, which I find confusing. Here's a blurb they use on the retirees' site... "Under the State Retiree Health Benefits Program, there are seve...
by andypanda
Wed Sep 25, 2019 11:58 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Medicare Part D IRMAA premiums and deduction from Social Security
Replies: 13
Views: 1085

Re: Medicare Part D IRMAA premiums and deduction from Social Security

Answered.

Yes, I'd never had Part D and didn't want it and they started deducting IRMAA Part D when the started deducting IRMAA Part B.

But all is well. I filed the SSA-44 form in April and they corrected it and refunded everything back to January - Part B and Part D.
by andypanda
Wed Sep 25, 2019 5:39 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Medicare Part D IRMAA premiums and deduction from Social Security
Replies: 13
Views: 1085

Re: Medicare Part D IRMAA premiums and deduction from Social Security

"I had to take steps to have Part D premiums deducted from SS." Keep a close eye on them, I had the opposite experience. When I began having IRMAA deducted from my check for Part B this past January they also began charging me for Part D IRMAA. But I've never had Part D. I've had Anthem insurance as...