Search found 54 matches

by GatorFL
Tue Oct 20, 2020 5:04 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Trane HVAC - Bad Experience
Replies: 55
Views: 3486

Re: Trane HVAC - Bad Experience

Had a Trane installed 3 years ago. I had a 4 ton XR18 installed. This model is only 2 stages, but was advised by the installer that you get most of the benefit of multi-stage cooling without all the complicated technology of their multi-stage units. I like simple, they said it is much lower complexi...
by GatorFL
Thu Oct 15, 2020 8:11 am
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Bond alternatives
Replies: 96
Views: 6199

Re: Bond alternatives

I am getting 3% in a stable value fund. Would this be considered an alternative to BND? I like the fact that I am guaranteed the 3% along with principal preservation in this low interest rate environment. Gator Sounds like things have worked out so far. Would you mind sharing the fund? My cash is i...
by GatorFL
Wed Oct 14, 2020 6:45 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Bond alternatives
Replies: 96
Views: 6199

Re: Bond alternatives

I am getting 3% in a stable value fund. Would this be considered an alternative to BND? I like the fact that I am guaranteed the 3% along with principal preservation in this low interest rate environment.

Gator
by GatorFL
Wed Aug 26, 2020 9:13 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: What is the best concert you ever witnessed?
Replies: 434
Views: 32218

Re: What is the best concert you ever witnessed?

Live Aid, Philly, JFK Stadium, August 1983. I was there, it was like 98 degrees that day. It was an epic 1 day concert that was simulcast between Wembley and JFK. Back then, simulcasting a concert was a huge technological breakthrough. One of the highlights was Phil Collins playing in London early, ...
by GatorFL
Wed Apr 15, 2020 4:05 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: What are you doing for haircuts due to coronavirus shutdown?
Replies: 258
Views: 22679

Re: What are you doing for haircuts due to coronavirus shutdown?

Maybe it's a business opportunity to bring back the Flowbee that used to advertised on TV all the time. It cut hair as I recall but it had some kind of connection to a vacuum cleaner as well. I actually bought a Flowbee back in January. They are still in business and still making them in Texas. I a...
by GatorFL
Wed Apr 01, 2020 12:33 pm
Forum: Personal Investments
Topic: How much you lost/gain since Feb 20,2020 ?
Replies: 366
Views: 32931

Re: How much you lost/gain since Feb 20,2020 ?

Up .39% since 02/20/20, excluding contributions, up .37%.

Thankful...

Gator
by GatorFL
Sat Mar 21, 2020 9:48 pm
Forum: Personal Investments
Topic: How much you lost/gain since Feb 20,2020 ?
Replies: 366
Views: 32931

Re: How much you lost/gain since Feb 20,2020 ?

From 2/20-3/20: Down .3% I sold all equities in my portfolio on 2/21, moved to cash equivalents yielding a blended 3% in TIAA Traditional fund. Lost a few bucks on my REIT fund, that's it. So, yes, I timed it and was right "once". I'm currently looking at DCA back in starting in the next f...
by GatorFL
Tue Dec 24, 2019 11:39 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Anyone had success demanding a fully remote position at their current employer?
Replies: 31
Views: 2632

Re: Anyone had success demanding a fully remote position at their current employer?

I work from home as a technical manager for a small IT group for a specialized function for a state government entity. I started the position working full time on site and over time, gradually started working 1, 2, then eventually full time off site. I manage a team of highly technical people (10 pe...
by GatorFL
Tue Nov 12, 2019 5:25 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Attorney Career Advice needed
Replies: 11
Views: 1500

Re: Attorney Career Advice needed

I worked for many years as the head of Information Security for a megacorp. I partnered with in house legal to build an e-discovery process. There is a demand for corporate attorneys that can manage a process like that. The work is very much project management oriented with sourcing of labor to perf...
by GatorFL
Tue Nov 05, 2019 1:33 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Working from home vs in the office
Replies: 22
Views: 2033

Re: Working from home vs in the office

One thing to keep in mind is that after working largely from home for a long time, it's extremely hard to adjust to working from an office again. Working from home is particularly good for pre-retirement jobs where you aren't looking to be promoted, and are more likely to retire as a next step rath...
by GatorFL
Tue Oct 29, 2019 1:28 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Have you ever purchased a pricy musical instrument?
Replies: 106
Views: 8636

Re: Have you ever purchased a pricy musical instrument?

Another guitar guy here, playing for the past 45 years. My daughter is a cellist, and my son also plays guitar. My daughter's cello was the most expensive instrument. That was around 7K. I have owned way too many guitars over the years (at least 50), but I buy and sell them. Here's what I've current...
by GatorFL
Tue Oct 29, 2019 1:11 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Wireless exterior video camera
Replies: 20
Views: 2279

Re: Wireless exterior video camera

Living in Florida, I was worried that the Blink cameras would not hold up. They actually do well in the heat, other than reducing battery life. I bought rechargeable lithium batteries, so that isn't a concern as much. I get some false positives from bugs and such occasionally, but all in all I am ha...
by GatorFL
Mon Oct 28, 2019 1:40 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: How much do you plan to spend on your children's weddings?
Replies: 182
Views: 10719

Re: How much do you plan to spend on your children's weddings?

I have the "tale of 2 weddings". My daughter got married in October 2018, my son got married in September 2019. Daughter's Wedding: My daughter and her husband travel the world together and decided to marry themselves in the Rocky Mountains (it is legal to self-marry in Colorado). They are...
by GatorFL
Sat Oct 26, 2019 7:34 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Wireless exterior video camera
Replies: 20
Views: 2279

Re: Wireless exterior video camera

Your specs basically describe the simple and inexpensive Blink camera from Amazon. They are battery operated, wireless and include the free cloud storage. Amazon sells a 2 camera solution with 1 sync module for $180. The system is very barebones, but does a nice job of providing security video. I ha...
by GatorFL
Fri Oct 25, 2019 8:21 am
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: BND vs TIAA Traditional for Fixed Income
Replies: 8
Views: 519

Re: BND vs TIAA Traditional for Fixed Income

Thanks HouseBlend. You are correct, mine is an RC+ contract--Retirement Choice Plus. I am comfortable with my AA and with the fixed income including some of the RC+ (2.75%) as a hedge, but will stick with VBTIX for most of my fixed income. The proverbial sky has been falling on bonds for many years,...
by GatorFL
Fri Oct 25, 2019 7:21 am
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: BND vs TIAA Traditional for Fixed Income
Replies: 8
Views: 519

BND vs TIAA Traditional for Fixed Income

I recently moved my portfolio into TIAA, which is my employer plan who I plan on retiring from in 2 years. I did this to take advantage of the "Rule of 55", as well as to get access to the institutional class shares of Vanguard for VITSX (vs VTSAX). I set up my 3 fund portfolio, but then s...
by GatorFL
Wed Oct 02, 2019 7:06 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Who has had a pool?
Replies: 108
Views: 11169

Re: Who has had a pool?

Live in Florida, have an inground pool with a birdcage. Having a pool in Florida is mandatory for me. I have solar heating for the pool, which extends the swimming year to 11 months. I owned and built a pool for my old house in PA, so I have owned pools in both the north and the south, here are my o...
by GatorFL
Tue Oct 01, 2019 11:45 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: What services do you subscribe and pay monthly?
Replies: 4
Views: 725

Re: What services do you subscribe and pay monthly?

1. Internet service: $68 / month 2. Sprint plan for 4 phones (includes Hulu): $130 /month 3. HOA (which covers cable TV, trash removal, tennis, pool): $145 /month 4. Netflix Premium: $17.00 /month 5. Amazon Prime: $120 per year 6. Pool Service: $80 / month 7. Lawn Service: $80 / month $6,360 per yea...
by GatorFL
Sat Sep 14, 2019 12:47 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: The Berkshires or Finger Lakes?
Replies: 15
Views: 2074

Re: The Berkshires or Finger Lakes?

Another vote for the Finger Lakes. I grew up close to Ithaca, great town. There are many outdoor activities. Some personal favorites: 1. Taughannock Falls: This park is just outside Ithaca and is a great little hike either up the gorge on the bottom, or from the top. Highest single drop waterfall ea...
by GatorFL
Fri Sep 13, 2019 7:59 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: How old is your cellphone?
Replies: 168
Views: 10956

Re: How old is your cellphone?

I have had my iphone 6s for 4 years this month. I bought 4 of them for my family at the time (had 2 kids in college then). My 2 kids are on their own now, and have upgraded. My wife and I continue to putter along with the 6s with no issues. I bought Lifeproof cases for all of them, and I am on my 3r...
by GatorFL
Thu Sep 12, 2019 1:04 pm
Forum: Personal Investments
Topic: New Merrill Edge cash solutions (possibly?)
Replies: 38
Views: 6402

Re: New Merrill Edge cash solutions (possibly?)

Skibummer is correct, no ongoing requirement for maintaining the 100K. In fact, both are treated the same as cash in terms of trading, meaning that you can sell from either of those funds and don't have to wait for the settling period, you can basically use them just like cash to make trades.

Gator
by GatorFL
Thu Sep 12, 2019 4:12 am
Forum: Personal Investments
Topic: New Merrill Edge cash solutions (possibly?)
Replies: 38
Views: 6402

Re: New Merrill Edge cash solutions (possibly?)

I use TMCXX and PVOXX as cash sweep accounts in Merrill Edge. I spoke to them about the new Cash Management Solutions options shortly after it launched and these 2 had the best yield.
by GatorFL
Sun Sep 08, 2019 4:18 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: I'm gonna need a bigger TV...
Replies: 36
Views: 4863

Re: I'm gonna need a bigger TV...

Not to introduce scope creep, but the sound on most new 4K TVs is terrible. Additionally, the latest sound bars can use an HDMI out directly into the "ARC" HDMI input on the TV. This is important because it lets you completely integrate the sound bar volume controls into the single cable/T...
by GatorFL
Mon Aug 05, 2019 8:49 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: U.S. stocks in free fall
Replies: 21224
Views: 2880082

Re: U.S. stocks in free fall

I'm a "cheating" Boglehead. I used the cheating word, because I was very anxious where the market was last month, and I just felt like the rhetoric surrounding the lack of a trade deal started to smell like an old egg salad sandwich left in the fridge too long. I had a 70/30 portfolio, 60%...
by GatorFL
Thu Aug 01, 2019 12:42 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Personal Cloud Storage NAS - I'm Interestd!
Replies: 17
Views: 1931

Re: Personal Cloud Storage NAS - I'm Interestd!

If you have Amazon Prime, you get unlimited photo storage for free.
by GatorFL
Mon Jul 29, 2019 2:45 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Three or four-day Fall Getaways (Northeast US)
Replies: 19
Views: 1756

Re: Three or four-day Fall Getaways (Northeast US)

I grew up in the Finger Lakes, beautiful area, but it can get cold in October. There are some real gems if you like wineries and hiking. Here are some of my favorite places: 1. Fillmore Glen State Park in Moravia, NY: This is about 40 minutes from Ithaca, in a very small town. The park was built by ...
by GatorFL
Sat Jul 13, 2019 5:31 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Has anyone inherited a obligation/burden/responsibility?
Replies: 76
Views: 9109

Re: Has anyone inherited a obligation/burden/responsibility?

I have had a series of burdens passed on to me as a result of family deaths in the past 11 years. My kid brother was killed in a traffic accident in south Florida 11 years ago. At the time, my parents were still living, but were too old/poor to deal with any of the arrangements. I was not close with...
by GatorFL
Wed Jul 10, 2019 1:04 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Buying a Smoker
Replies: 154
Views: 13536

Re: Buying a Smoker

To answer the OP's 2 questions: "1. If, an when, could I generally expect smokers to go on sale. So far this summer I haven't seen this. My working theory is that late summer or early fall is a possibility -- change of seasons and change of inventory -- but don't know if that's true. A good smo...
by GatorFL
Tue Jul 09, 2019 10:29 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Buying a Smoker
Replies: 154
Views: 13536

Re: Buying a Smoker

My 2 cents. I have owned an electric smoker for 5 years now. I own a smoker from SmokinIt (https://www.smokin-it.com/Default.asp) . I use it at least once per month. I have refined my smoking process down over time and use my own rubs, finishing sauces, etc. I own the number 2 model, which can smoke...
by GatorFL
Fri May 03, 2019 3:08 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Rotational Program at MegaCorp for college grad hires
Replies: 40
Views: 2844

Rotational Program at MegaCorp for college grad hires

My son was hired at a Megacorp last year into a 2 year rotational program as a new college grad. He loved his first rotation, and his hiring manager would love for him to stay, but the rotation HR program manager said the program does not allow it. To make matters worse, his 2nd rotation will not be...
by GatorFL
Wed May 01, 2019 7:15 am
Forum: Personal Investments
Topic: 54yo and thinking about in early semi-retirement...
Replies: 8
Views: 1751

Re: 54yo and thinking about in early semi-retirement...

RJ, Regarding your question on LTC. I have not pursued it, but I have talked to a few long term care places here locally that offer various terms by signing up with them (write them a check, they promise not to throw you out kind of thing). I am most likely not going to do that for a decade or so, b...
by GatorFL
Tue Apr 30, 2019 2:56 pm
Forum: Personal Investments
Topic: 54yo and thinking about in early semi-retirement...
Replies: 8
Views: 1751

Re: 54yo and thinking about in early semi-retirement...

New to Bogleheads -- been lurking last couple weeks. I would like you guys' thoughts on my options these next few years given our situation, which is not ideal but better than that of a lot of people in the US. We live in a LCOL larger city in Alabama. I'm 54, wife is 52. This is maybe a bit long, ...
by GatorFL
Mon Apr 29, 2019 7:44 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: EXTREMELY frugal things from our parents and grandparents
Replies: 110
Views: 10803

Re: EXTREMELY frugal things from our parents and grandparents

My Dad was born in 1928, was a depression baby that grew up on a farm. I spent my childhood in poverty in a small city after he left the farm. Here are some of the notables: 1. I remember the rare occasion that we would travel to my grandmothers house 30 miles away. There would sometimes be a rainst...
by GatorFL
Wed Apr 24, 2019 12:33 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Pros/Cons of Condo Living?
Replies: 83
Views: 12557

Re: Pros/Cons of Condo Living?

Our first house was a townhouse roughly 30 years ago. No HOA, it was a nightmare. I can sum the nightmare up in 1 word: Subwoofer. The neighboring unit was a family that all listened to loud obnoxious music that kept us up and made life miserable. The local authorities would do little after we tried...
by GatorFL
Thu Apr 04, 2019 7:43 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Pay cash for hvac or leverage 0% financing?
Replies: 42
Views: 2272

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

I negotiated 3% off the price as part of the new system instead of the 0% financing last year on my new Trane system. I went with a trusted company and I learned two important things: 1. Duct work: In looking over the new system, it is vital to have all of the duct work inspected. My HVAC folks star...
by GatorFL
Tue Apr 02, 2019 12:08 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Amazon Fire Tablets are on sale ......
Replies: 14
Views: 1582

Re: Amazon Fire Tablets are on sale ......

I own 2 of the Amazon HD 10 Fire tablets. I picked them up from qvc.com of all places. They had a deal with a free 32GB card and a custom case for $119. They are great tablets for the money as long as you get out of "Fire Jail". I looked up how to break out of the Amazon universe and get G...
by GatorFL
Mon Apr 01, 2019 11:05 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: webcam/microphone and background for video interview
Replies: 9
Views: 796

Re: webcam/microphone and background for video interview

I work from home full time. I use a wired headset as the audio quality is much better than the laptop speakers/microphone. You also need to check the audio settings in particular. Take Zoom (popular video meeting app), it has audio settings where it "auto-adjusts" microphone levels, which ...
by GatorFL
Mon Apr 01, 2019 7:25 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: "The best and worst U.S. states for retirement"
Replies: 303
Views: 38520

Re: "The best and worst U.S. states for retirement"

Hard to argue with Florida (especially Sarasota) at #1......I'm good :happy The Florida summers are very humid. I can't imagine playing pickleball in July and August. Do people really do that? Yep, we sure do! Yes, it is hot and humid from June - September. Activities such as the daily walk, pickle...
by GatorFL
Sun Mar 31, 2019 8:17 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Boglehead Approach to Home Tech? Looking for Home Security Cameras
Replies: 19
Views: 1925

Re: Boglehead Approach to Home Tech? Looking for Home Security Cameras

Blink user for the last 6 months. I wanted something simple with no subscription fees. I also didn't want to replace my doorbell as it on the side on my entryway alcove and I didn't want to have to run new power. The Blink fit the bill, it has a self-contained battery and connected easily to WiFi. M...
by GatorFL
Mon Mar 25, 2019 8:09 pm
Forum: Personal Investments
Topic: Experience with Edward Jones?
Replies: 76
Views: 8466

Re: Experience with Edward Jones?

Our local county does the "Best of 2019" survey every year through the local paper. I was filling out my choices today (restaurants, services, etc) and was shocked to see the local EJ guy as one of the picks for Best Investment Manager. I immediately started a campaign with family and frie...
by GatorFL
Mon Mar 18, 2019 12:16 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Home automation
Replies: 6
Views: 1158

Re: Home automation

[/quote] The light and sprinkler zone thing is absolute genius. I would like to get a sprinkler controller. What about the Rachio do you really like? I need one with 16 zones, the ability to monitor weather and I’d really like it to work with some moisture monitors placed in the yard or have really ...
by GatorFL
Sun Mar 17, 2019 6:42 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Home automation
Replies: 6
Views: 1158

Home automation

Thought I would share some experiences with some home automation and specifically how easy things have become! I am sure my setup is not the most sophisticated, but here goes. You can automate nearly everything that connects to Wifi in the home these days. Here are some of those things in my house: ...
by GatorFL
Mon Mar 04, 2019 1:49 pm
Forum: Personal Investments
Topic: Another Edward Jones defector
Replies: 51
Views: 8976

Re: Another Edward Jones defector

I am also a former EJ survivor. I was dumb enough to sign up with them, although I did negotiate the front end fees from 5.75% down to 2.5% based on the assets I brought in. I still cringe when I think of that money gone! I still cannot believe I was stupid enough to sign up with them 10 years ago. ...
by GatorFL
Sun Feb 17, 2019 11:46 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Losing a job in your 50's...
Replies: 674
Views: 102494

Re: Losing a job in your 50's...

I recently spent a week vacation with my wife's best friend and her 2nd husband. He is 60, she is 53. I was shocked to learn that he signed for a boatload of Parent Plus loans for his oldest step daughter as well as the 2nd daughter. He didn't give an exact number, but said it was close to 6 figures...
by GatorFL
Thu Feb 07, 2019 7:41 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Setting up home office for first time
Replies: 14
Views: 1324

Re: Setting up home office for first time

OP, I am in my mid 50's, been telecommuting full time for the past 3 years and I am in IT. I also have a Dell laptop. Here is what works well for me. Dell, makes some decent docking stations, that is what I use. I have the logitech wireless keyboard and mouse. The little "dongle" takes up ...
by GatorFL
Wed Jan 30, 2019 2:36 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Please share some lifestyle creep you regret.
Replies: 226
Views: 28082

Re: Please share some lifestyle creep you regret.

Guitars: I have played guitar for 45 years now, and have always had serious creep in this area. I recently bought a top of the line Stratocaster and a mid range LesPaul. I bought a new acoustic as well, a new pedal board, new amplifier, etc. I find excuses to tell myself to get new equipment such as...
by GatorFL
Thu Dec 13, 2018 1:26 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: [Robinhood to offer 3% cash management program, not a bank account]
Replies: 153
Views: 12520

RobinHood Checking/Savings

[Thread merged into here, see below. --admin LadyGeek] Did anyone else see that RobinHood is now offering no fee / no minimum 3% for checking/savings? There is a waitlist, so I decided to jump on and see if its too good to be true. They also include no fee ATM. This would be a nice place to park ca...
by GatorFL
Tue Dec 04, 2018 10:25 am
Forum: Personal Investments
Topic: Considering residential real estate investment
Replies: 74
Views: 6290

Re: Considering residential real estate investment

I dipped my toe into real estate investing back in 2015. I live in a LCOL part of Florida. I bought an investment property in a blue collar neighborhood in October 2015 for 55K. The house had been completely remodelled, new roof and new AC. I used a Property Manager, and financed the property with 2...
by GatorFL
Wed Sep 12, 2018 11:07 am
Forum: Personal Investments
Topic: Self Directed Accnt at BOA's Merrill Edge. Hidden Fees ?
Replies: 9
Views: 1191

Re: Self Directed Accnt at BOA's Merrill Edge. Hidden Fees ?

The only downside that I see is that I cannot purchase admiral class shares for the popular Vanguard funds (VTSAX, etc.), I had to go with the ETF equivalents. I'm curious, I am also with ME for the exact reasons, do you know of another house that will let you purchase Vanguard mutual funds commiss...
by GatorFL
Wed Sep 12, 2018 9:21 am
Forum: Personal Investments
Topic: Self Directed Accnt at BOA's Merrill Edge. Hidden Fees ?
Replies: 9
Views: 1191

Re: Self Directed Accnt at BOA's Merrill Edge. Hidden Fees ?

I moved my tIRA into ME this year. I review all account activity in detail monthly and so far I have not had any fees. I am a platinum honors customer, which along with the cash bonus is why I switched. I pay no fees on ETF and stock purchases. The only downside that I see is that I cannot purchase ...