Search found 265 matches

by andypanda
Tue Jun 18, 2019 6:31 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: My Cost of Progressive Lenses/glasses - did I pay too much?
Replies: 60
Views: 2837

Re: My Cost of Progressive Lenses/glasses - did I pay too much?

"You could easily get top of the line for $300 at Costco " Top of Costco's line anyway. For many years I gladly paid what it took to get the newest Varilux progressive lenses and titanium frames. I liked being able to see clearly. And to have them fit to me with all of my quirks of head size and wid...
by andypanda
Sun Jun 16, 2019 6:07 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: 40+% increase in auto policy (GEICO) - normal?
Replies: 67
Views: 3765

Re: 40+% increase in auto policy (GEICO) - normal?

My Geico bill came the other day. They used to do 12 months, but changed it to 6 months years and years ago. Anyway, the bill for my 2016 4Runner Trail Premium with KDSS dropped $5. I have a very high deductible and reasonably high coverage. I've been with Geico since 1967 and I haven't seen any rea...
by andypanda
Sat Jun 15, 2019 9:39 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Cartier bracelet
Replies: 40
Views: 3087

Re: Cartier bracelet

I vote for just buy her what she wants right now. And smile about it a lot. :D

Otoh, a Leatherman Tread bracelet is only $175 and it has 29 tools. Comes in stainless or black. www.leatherman.com/tread-425.html

I wonder if they'd gold plate one for me?
by andypanda
Wed Jun 12, 2019 6:31 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Toyota Sienna tire replacement at 12k miles
Replies: 72
Views: 3816

Re: Toyota Sienna tire replacement at 12k miles

I'm not surprised. I wasn't surprised when my wife's Avalon Touring completely wore out all 4 18" tires in 20k miles. New car tires are - in my experience - junk. I started driving in 1966. Fwiw, Discount Tire has matched Costco twice for me this year - once on Michelin Premiers for her Avalon and o...
by andypanda
Wed Jun 12, 2019 6:19 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Trust fund disclosure on asset disclosure?
Replies: 7
Views: 647

Re: Trust fund disclosure on asset disclosure?

"The disclosure is for nursing home care." When I moved my parents to a comprehensive facility I disclosed enough assets to pay for either 2 or 3 years. This was 2007 and I don't precisely recall, but the facility was fine with it. But it wasn't one of those places that requires you to sign over all...
by andypanda
Tue Jun 11, 2019 4:25 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Passport photos cheap
Replies: 50
Views: 2408

Re: Passport photos cheap

I suppose things have changed since my last renewal. The passport office at our main post office took mine.

Maybe I was just lucky. Free is good.

"Many passport application acceptance facilities also have a passport photo service."
by andypanda
Tue Jun 11, 2019 6:31 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Anything you wish you had spent money on when you were younger?
Replies: 71
Views: 6460

Re: Anything you wish you had spent money on when you were younger?

I wish I'd gone to Woodstock. :sharebeer But I'd finished my freshman year of college and was working 70 hours a week that summer doing tree service work. Instead of making a $1.25/hour at McDonalds like I did the year before, I was making $2.35/hour for the first 40 and $3.37 for the other 30. Not ...
by andypanda
Mon Jun 10, 2019 4:28 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Paying for rent is throwing away money...myth?
Replies: 302
Views: 18514

Re: Paying for rent is throwing away money...myth?

Location, etc. And little luck. I bought my house in 1980 for $41,000 and I could barely afford it. I probably should have kept renting. I put $9,000 down and financed the rest. I paid it off in 1997 after refinancing it twice to lower the rate from 12.75% to 9.25% to finally 7%. The same sized hous...
by andypanda
Sun Jun 09, 2019 7:59 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: What frugal thing did you do today?
Replies: 843
Views: 84930

Re: What frugal thing did you do today?

We spent $15 and took the 3-hour ferry ride from Ocracoke Island NC to Swan Quarter and saved 3 hours of congested driving and 3 hours of gas. That amounts to about 10 gallons in my 4Runner when it's loaded down with a week's worth of vacation stuff including surf fishing gear and all the stuff my w...
by andypanda
Fri Jun 07, 2019 8:45 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: how to deal with people who are not living boglehead way of life
Replies: 45
Views: 2738

Re: how to deal with people who are not living boglehead way of life

"...and all of those people think they are normal..."

They are normal. You said so. :)

normal = usual, average, or typical
by andypanda
Wed Jun 05, 2019 2:33 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Would you buy a house without a garage?
Replies: 95
Views: 5918

Re: Would you buy a house without a garage?

I'm 68 and have never had a garage, but I've always had a full basement. I got married last fall and she came with a 3-car garage. My boat is in one bay, her late husband's restored '64 2-door Olds convertible is in the 2nd bay, and my workshop and 2 riding mowers takes up much of the rest. There is...
by andypanda
Wed May 29, 2019 5:28 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: What has changed in new home construction over the years?
Replies: 49
Views: 6074

Re: What has changed in new home construction over the years?

My home was built in 1916. It has 14-inch thick solid brick walls from the basement floor all the way up past the 2nd floor. The roof is Buckingham slate. The interior walls are plaster. The wood is full-sized - a 2 x 10 really measures 2 x 10, etc. The ceilings are only 10' and I'd prefer 12', but ...
by andypanda
Sun May 26, 2019 9:12 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Deer hit car near kid's school...file claim back home?
Replies: 27
Views: 1658

Re: Deer hit car near kid's school...file claim back home?

Check your state law. In Virginia you are required to immediately report hitting and killing a deer or bear - either to a game warden or the local police. www.dgif.virginia.gov/wildlife/deer/faq/#avoid-hitting-deer "Any person who is involved in a motor vehicle collision that kills a deer or bear is...
by andypanda
Fri May 17, 2019 8:27 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Why do plumbers get paid so well?
Replies: 84
Views: 6222

Re: Why do plumbers get paid so well?

It's 4 years of supervised work AND 240 hours of classroom training in Virginia and there are other ways to qualify. www.usaplumbing.info/license/va/virginia-plumbing-license-requirements But that's to qualify, not work. Once you do the 4 years and take the classes it only qualifies you to take the ...
by andypanda
Fri May 17, 2019 7:24 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Social Security Disability: Fibromyalgia
Replies: 31
Views: 3530

Re: Social Security Disability: Fibromyalgia

Having worked for the state agency that does the disability evaluations for Social Security, here's where most initial applications go wrong. The person signs release of information forms for Social Security instead of obtaining copies of medical information themselves and submitting it. If you rely...
by andypanda
Fri May 17, 2019 6:36 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Probate costs?--I am the sole heir and the executor
Replies: 65
Views: 5807

Re: Probate costs?--I am the sole heir and the executor

I was in a similar situation in Virginia in 2016 and had no idea what I was doing. Make an appointment at the probate office. I did. They gave me checklists with due dates and generally walked me through the entire process. This is what they do for a living and they want it to go smoothly. :) I was ...
by andypanda
Tue May 14, 2019 8:17 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Car lost acceleration
Replies: 111
Views: 6053

Re: Car lost acceleration

"so a mechanic who doenst need a degree or plumber or electrician shouldn't make anywhere near what I make" I hate to be the bearer of bad news, but those folks provide important necessary services that are in very, very high daily demand. To many of us they are much more important than a CPA, no ma...
by andypanda
Mon May 13, 2019 3:02 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Home Air Filters
Replies: 65
Views: 12926

Re: Home Air Filters

"with little noticeable restriction of airflow through the forced-air heating/cooling system" That's what Consumer Reports says. What do they mean by noticeable? The HVAC pros use precise measuring instruments to measure the air flow of specific systems that are required to operate at certain pressu...
by andypanda
Mon May 13, 2019 2:49 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Home Air Filters
Replies: 65
Views: 12926

Re: Home Air Filters

" Having air intakes in each bedroom keeps the air flowing and balanced well throughout the house." From what I was told, and from what I've read, having at least one return in each room is ideal. In the case of a bedroom, if there isn't a return it's difficult for the system to push air into the ro...
by andypanda
Mon May 13, 2019 7:34 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Home Air Filters
Replies: 65
Views: 12926

Re: Home Air Filters

"I have a few buddies that do HVAC and they all use cheap fiberglass filers. The others restrict air and put more strain on the unit, wearing them down faster." I agree, unless your system was built to use a 5" thick high MERV filter or something similar. The professionals I spoke to had a particula...
by andypanda
Mon May 13, 2019 7:05 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Car lost acceleration
Replies: 111
Views: 6053

Re: Car lost acceleration

Is it weird? Not really I don't think. I'm guessing the bouncing battery has probably partially broken a battery cable (or knocked something loose inside the battery), but the loss of power was never long enough to reset the ECU - that takes 10 or 15 minutes or more. The ECU computer learns your dri...
by andypanda
Sat May 11, 2019 4:36 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Mosquito control in Central Va
Replies: 22
Views: 1585

Re: Mosquito control in Central Va

With the rain we've had in the Richmond area the past two years I don't think there's much hope of avoiding the skeeters. They're thick especially around sunset. We either stay in around dark or load up on the bug spray. After every torrential thunderstorm this afternoon we joked that maybe the skee...
by andypanda
Sat May 11, 2019 4:30 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Best way to kill poison ivy
Replies: 43
Views: 2259

Re: Best way to kill poison ivy

I vote for Roundup. www.roundupreadyplus.com/resourcecenter/application-reminders-for-roundup-brand-agricultural-herbicides Just this one page from 2016 shows the agricultural application rates of up to 64 ounces per acre. Multiply that half gallon by 100s or 1000s of acres and any one farm - or wor...
by andypanda
Sat May 11, 2019 7:06 am
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: 1966-1982 Stock Market
Replies: 11
Views: 2331

Re: 1966-1982 Stock Market

"It was inflation that neutered the real returns." It was wild back then, being able to buy CDs with rates of 10% to 18% and just about staying even with inflation. According to this chart... www.forecast-chart.com/rate-cd-interest.html ...rates peaked at 17.98% in August, 1981. Of course it wasn't ...
by andypanda
Tue May 07, 2019 5:53 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Lost Mail
Replies: 29
Views: 1666

Re: Lost Mail

Once upon a time the Post Office lost the check I'd mailed to pay my electric bill. I found out when the next bill showed up that I had not paid it. Okay, I paid it again. Time went by. Tick tock, tick tock. Seven or eight months later I received an envelope from the PO with a free stamped plain env...
by andypanda
Mon May 06, 2019 6:56 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: ants - aargh
Replies: 69
Views: 4107

Re: ants - aargh

Ants? Ants rule this area. We have heavy daily dew from the James River and the water table is only 20 feet down. Anyway, the Terro liquid works just fine, but the Amdro 6-packs are less messy. You pull the little plug in the center and set it out where you see them walking. Maybe shake one drop out...
by andypanda
Mon Apr 29, 2019 6:38 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Fencing
Replies: 8
Views: 1099

Re: Fencing

Google Why do squirrels chew on aluminum? The answer is because it is perfect for sharpening their teeth. "Rodent teeth have a very hard enamel on the front and are much softer on the back. That means when they chew on hard objects (aluminum electrical box and arm rests), their front teeth wear down...
by andypanda
Sun Apr 28, 2019 6:22 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Does DampRid work?
Replies: 6
Views: 740

Re: Does DampRid work?

A goldenrod heating element works better IMO, or a plain old hot light bulb in a coffee can. But bulbs burn out. I've been using Goldenrods for more than 20 years. They will lower the humidity and prevent rust by keeping the contents a degree or two warmer than the outside air. This prevents condens...
by andypanda
Fri Apr 26, 2019 4:44 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Should I apply wax on vintage items?
Replies: 9
Views: 1058

Re: Should I apply wax on vintage items?

It has worked as advertised for many, many years on my firearms, leather, etc. I haven't tried it on paper yet. A very, very small amount is all you need to use.

If you have something metal you want to store away and forget about for a decade or so, use RIG grease.
by andypanda
Fri Apr 12, 2019 6:13 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Help Me Move to Low Country USA
Replies: 22
Views: 2900

Re: Help Me Move to Low Country USA

It's coastal South Carolina and maybe Georgia. It depends on which hair you are splitting and who is doing the splitting... :)

www.tripadvisor.com/ShowTopic-g60814-i1 ... orgia.html
by andypanda
Tue Apr 09, 2019 7:32 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Financial solicitation by my doctor
Replies: 71
Views: 8243

Re: Financial solicitation by my doctor

"Those who seem promising targets for fund-raising may receive a visit from a hospital executive in their rooms, as well as extra amenities like a bathrobe or a nicer waiting area for their families." "I find this practice to be very disturbing" You and me too. They can't even wait until you get wel...
by andypanda
Sat Apr 06, 2019 6:31 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Drill & driver combo kit comparison
Replies: 46
Views: 2666

Re: Drill & driver combo kit comparison

Will the tools be used daily or just from time to time around the house? When I began dating my wife 4 or 5 years ago there was an 18v yellow Dewalt reciprocating saw in the garage that had been purchased sometime prior to her husband's death in 2008. A saw and a battery, but no charger. I borrowed ...
by andypanda
Fri Apr 05, 2019 5:45 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: What happens if I put more than 30 bills into ATM?
Replies: 21
Views: 2634

Re: What happens if I put more than 30 bills into ATM?

You can put money into an ATM? It never crossed my mind. :oops:

I know Suntrust limits me to $600 in twenties when I'm getting walking around money once a week or so.
by andypanda
Fri Apr 05, 2019 5:34 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Annual Income Requests
Replies: 15
Views: 2245

Re: Annual Income Requests

I signed up for a Home Depot credit card last month to get the discount on a purchase. I was buying $68 worth of electric heaters and they gave me $25 off for applying. (We were having a total heat pump replacement done, ducts and all, and needed 4 cheap heaters for a week.) Other than the info from...
by andypanda
Thu Apr 04, 2019 5:57 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Pay cash for hvac or leverage 0% financing?
Replies: 42
Views: 1772

Re: Pay cash for hvac or leverage 0% financing?

That's sounds good. I tried for a hefty discount, but they countered that they have 4 installation crews who stay busy and they don't need to deal. And the local home show was coming up the following weekend and that usually results in about 400 new leads for the 4 salesmen. By April the installers ...
by andypanda
Thu Apr 04, 2019 5:29 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Pay cash for hvac or leverage 0% financing?
Replies: 42
Views: 1772

Re: Pay cash for hvac or leverage 0% financing?

I just bought a Lennox heat pump, air handler and wifi thermostat for my new wife's old house. And I had them tear out the old duct board and flex duct work and install insulated galvanized steel pipe in the crawl space. I wrote a check and they knocked 3% off the whole deal. And I qualified for the...
by andypanda
Mon Apr 01, 2019 6:42 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: What is your annual cost for health insurance?
Replies: 155
Views: 12918

Re: What is your annual cost for health insurance?

Let's see... I'm 68... $428.60 per month for Medicare Part B this year. $307.00 per month for my Anthem supplement as a retired Virginia state employee. Includes some vision, hearing and dental. Total = $8827.20 for this year. I got married in November, but my wife is 64 and still working. Her state...
by andypanda
Fri Mar 29, 2019 8:05 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Experience with replacing heat pump - Carrier or Lennox?
Replies: 16
Views: 890

Re: Experience with replacing heat pump - Carrier or Lennox?

"Thanks Andy. I’m confused by the Elite not having a variable air handler but having a semi variable air handler with a constant torque motor. Did your provider explain the difference? Stepping up the Signature gets you the true variable air handler which supposedly provides better dehumidification....
by andypanda
Thu Mar 28, 2019 5:46 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Experience with replacing heat pump - Carrier or Lennox?
Replies: 16
Views: 890

Re: Experience with replacing heat pump - Carrier or Lennox?

Manuals J, S, T & D. Did I miss one? I read a lot on HVAC-Talk too and it's hit or miss if they don't have time to answer some inquiries, but I enjoy their attitude and the no-price-discussion policy. I just went through a heat pump install after moving into my new wife's 25-year-old rancher. The 13...
by andypanda
Wed Mar 27, 2019 7:03 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: High School Senior Pictures
Replies: 91
Views: 4835

Re: High School Senior Pictures

Okay, I'm officially old, grouchy and out of touch. People pay hundreds of dollars for pictures when a child graduates from high school? It's high school, get a job, go to college, enlist, do something to make you famous. :) I get it. Peer pressure is a real thing. Everybody is doing it. Come to thi...
by andypanda
Wed Mar 27, 2019 6:51 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: New 2019 RAV4 is now out - looks good
Replies: 128
Views: 14439

Re: New 2019 RAV4 is now out - looks good

The boxy wheel well openings are ugly, the fender flares are really ugly, the front end is better but still ugly. I gave up after seeing the exterior pics. What is it with Toyota; I bought my first one in '86 and their styling in, uh, interesting. I have a 2016 4Runner Trail Premium with KDSS, so I ...
by andypanda
Mon Mar 25, 2019 7:02 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Do you treat inheritance as a singular or shared asset?
Replies: 113
Views: 5503

Re: Do you treat inheritance as a singular or shared asset?

"It sounds like it comes down to a lack of trust, but correct me if I'm wrong." Okay, you're wrong. :D It's more a matter of management. "You inherited it, you deal with it." Of course, I've been retired for 6 years and she's a little younger and still working, so we're set in our ways and just got ...
by andypanda
Mon Mar 25, 2019 6:37 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Propane Weed Torch?
Replies: 27
Views: 2413

Re: Propane Weed Torch?

A friend uses a torch on his long gravel driveway 2 or 3 times a year. He has the tank strapped to a cheap hand truck. One of the $39 ones from Harbor Freight should do.
by andypanda
Sun Mar 24, 2019 8:37 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: IRS notice 3/22/2019: for 2018 taxes, no penalty if 80% of tax shown on return was withheld or est taxes paid
Replies: 13
Views: 2298

Re: IRS notice 3/22/2019: for 2018 taxes, no penalty if 80% of tax shown on return was withheld or est taxes paid

"They should have given some sort of reward to those who were instead not caught by surprise and diligently made their estimated payments."

Thanks, I needed my good laugh for the day. Next you'll want to be thanked for working hard and paying taxes and supporting the government. :sharebeer
by andypanda
Sun Mar 24, 2019 5:30 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Pay 1/4 taxes to avoid $75 fee?
Replies: 21
Views: 1555

Re: Pay 1/4 taxes to avoid $75 fee?

"I have never figured out why some are so eager to pay taxes at the first opportunity, long before the taxes are due." In my case it's so I can fully enjoy my retirement and not have to twist my mind into a knot trying to figure out how close I can cut the estimated payments to hit the number on the...
by andypanda
Fri Mar 22, 2019 6:22 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Are RMDs that bad if you're not an over-saver?
Replies: 139
Views: 13418

Re: Are RMDs that bad if you're not an over-saver?

"We love paying taxes! It only occurs if you have made money. We hope each year has an increased tax load. Tim" I like the way you think. I'm 68 and got married this past November, so maybe I won't be in the highest IRMAA tier for the rest of my life. Or maybe we will. I never thought I'd have these...
by andypanda
Sun Mar 17, 2019 7:36 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: New HVAC systems before selling home
Replies: 29
Views: 2138

Re: New HVAC systems before selling home

"The quote was for 3 ton Trane 16 SEER AC and 80% efficient gas furnace on both levels." Are they variable speed modulating units that communicate? Are all of the coils aluminum or aluminum/copper? I'm just curious. And nosy. :mrgreen: We had a new 4-ton system installed last week in a single story....
by andypanda
Sat Mar 16, 2019 7:48 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Car Dealer invoice
Replies: 7
Views: 1232

Re: Car Dealer invoice

The idea has been kicking around for quite some time, but I love the way this guy phrases it. https://clark.com/cars/eye-opening-truth-about-dealer-invoice-price "2. Anyone with the savvy to run a profitable lemonade stand should be able to look at the difference between the invoice and retail (stic...
by andypanda
Wed Mar 13, 2019 12:07 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Travelers Home Insurance
Replies: 7
Views: 373

Re: Travelers Home Insurance

I've had a replacement policy on my home since January, 1980. It's was built in 1916 and is now in a historic district. I've never filed a claim. I tried to raise the deductible from $5k to $10K a decade ago and the customer service rep said it would be a big headache, have to go to some committee, ...
by andypanda
Fri Mar 08, 2019 6:06 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Who Can I Hire to Evaluate Heating Situation in my Home?
Replies: 34
Views: 2099

Re: Who Can I Hire to Evaluate Heating Situation in my Home?

"(Umm, you HAVE bled the radiators, right?? Although normally this is an issue for upstairs radiators.)" Usually, but I think it depends on how the system of zones is plumbed. I know from my house that a radiator half full of air does not get very hot at all, but I have tall cast iron radiators and ...