Search found 117 matches

by andypanda
Fri Oct 19, 2018 9:22 am
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Forever Stamps as an Investment?
Replies: 32
Views: 3563

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: 103
Views: 4701

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: 3932

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: 11
Views: 1199

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: 1077

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: 1913

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: 1770

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: 8756

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: 3722

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: 8756

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: 1120

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: 5517

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: 4398

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: 595
Views: 87380

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: 11744

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: 6843

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: 85
Views: 11913

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: 2402

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: 3705

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: 9375

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: 3560

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: 3560

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: 56
Views: 4124

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: 5125

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: 56
Views: 4124

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: 7710

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: 13905

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: 13905

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: 7710

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: 8816

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: 4779

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: 7710

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 ...
by andypanda
Thu Aug 16, 2018 12:44 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Celebrating the day you retired
Replies: 46
Views: 3184

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: 41
Views: 2955

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: 111
Views: 7518

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: 624

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: 4512

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: 1890

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: 4512

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: 7986

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: 4512

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: 11056

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: 2204

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: 1866

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: 10085

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: 10085

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: 10085

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: 1542

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: 1462

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: 3714

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."