Search found 109 matches

by White Oak
Thu Oct 22, 2020 1:08 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: New kid on the way, should we get a new minivan? or else?
Replies: 55
Views: 2350

Re: New kid on the way, should we get a new minivan? or else?

The answer is always minivan: https://static.wixstatic.com/media/057590_fe00a96179a845a49261531ce798ef21~mv2.jpg/v1/fill/w_980,h_551,al_c,q_85,usm_0.66_1.00_0.01/057590_fe00a96179a845a49261531ce798ef21~mv2.webp This comes from Alex on Auto's YouTube channel. He has two recent reviews on the Sienna a...
by White Oak
Mon Oct 19, 2020 5:44 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Convince us to buy our first luxury car!
Replies: 191
Views: 9943

Re: Convince us to buy our first luxury car!

You mention your emergency fund, but how much do you have saved in your retirement accounts and taxable account? If it was me, I wouldn't buy an expensive new luxury vehicle until my net worth was north of $2M. Based on your age, I'm guessing you are not there yet. Livesoft has a rule of thumb that ...
by White Oak
Tue Oct 06, 2020 6:26 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Attic and air sealing
Replies: 9
Views: 929

Re: Attic and air sealing

If you haven't already, you should read the PDF from Joseph Lstiburek at the bottom of the linked webpage: https://www.buildingscience.com/documents/guides-and-manuals/gm-attic-air-sealing-guide/view He gives a list of things you should check before starting the air sealing, and also the procedures ...
by White Oak
Mon Sep 28, 2020 5:41 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Does anyone recommend this $350 laptop?
Replies: 51
Views: 3650

Re: Does anyone recommend this $350 laptop?

From a review: Continuing the Gateway's tale of "Hey! Not bad," the 128GB SSD might be an odd Chinese brand you've never heard of, but it's a real M.2 NVMe SSD which can be replaced or upgraded. Although the 4GiB RAM the system comes with is soldered to the board, there's an empty DIMM slot availabl...
by White Oak
Thu Sep 24, 2020 8:04 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Changes to employer-provided life insurance - benefits now paid through employer
Replies: 19
Views: 707

Re: Changes to employer-provided life insurance - benefits now paid through employer

DaftInvestor wrote: Thu Sep 24, 2020 3:22 pm If the company starts doing badly and they offer everyone a weekend away on the company using a chartered plane to get everyone to a location for (Bermuda, etc.) for the getaway - I would NOT get on the plane. 8-)
That would be a quick way to create some positive cash flow. :D
by White Oak
Thu Sep 24, 2020 8:01 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Changes to employer-provided life insurance - benefits now paid through employer
Replies: 19
Views: 707

Re: Changes to employer-provided life insurance - benefits now paid through employer

Perhaps this is set up this way to avoid the benefits being subject to federal or state estate taxes, as they would be considered outside of your estate. That is entirely possible. The guy who originally set all this up was pretty savvy, so it wouldn't surprise me if he factored this in the decisio...
by White Oak
Thu Sep 24, 2020 7:56 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Changes to employer-provided life insurance - benefits now paid through employer
Replies: 19
Views: 707

Re: Changes to employer-provided life insurance - benefits now paid through employer

This is not exactly the same but it reminds me of the story with walmart. https://news.wfsu.org/wfsu-local-news/2010-05-07/walmart-sued-for-collecting-life-insurance-on-employees Interesting, I had never heard of this before. Thanks for sharing the link. "Dead Peasants Insurance" ... ouch Thankfull...
by White Oak
Thu Sep 24, 2020 7:52 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Changes to employer-provided life insurance - benefits now paid through employer
Replies: 19
Views: 707

Re: Changes to employer-provided life insurance - benefits now paid through employer

I would not count on this life insurance being there for your beneficiaries when I died. I hope that you have adequate term life insurance outside of this COLI policy. We had a COLI policy on all employees at my former employer. Employees were required to give consent in order to be insured. The mo...
by White Oak
Thu Sep 24, 2020 7:43 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Changes to employer-provided life insurance - benefits now paid through employer
Replies: 19
Views: 707

Re: Changes to employer-provided life insurance - benefits now paid through employer

Is this even Kosher? If you are not a "key person", and the proceeds would not go to the company to reimburse them for the, er, lost value of 'you'...?? Maybe some insurance gurus could opine about whether "key person" coverage can be used this way. Also, is there anything that makes the company ke...
by White Oak
Thu Sep 24, 2020 2:51 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Changes to employer-provided life insurance - benefits now paid through employer
Replies: 19
Views: 707

Re: Changes to employer-provided life insurance - benefits now paid through employer

Here’s one more wrinkle - what happens if you leave the employ of the company? Will they still own a policy on your life? My understanding of these types of plans is the owner will keep the money since they are paying the premiums. I'm not sure what would happen if I left. On a previous version of ...
by White Oak
Thu Sep 24, 2020 12:40 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Changes to employer-provided life insurance - benefits now paid through employer
Replies: 19
Views: 707

Re: Changes to employer-provided life insurance - benefits now paid through employer

Thanks for the thoughts all. I'm going to follow up with the HR lady and ask for some clarification on this change.
by White Oak
Thu Sep 24, 2020 12:39 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Changes to employer-provided life insurance - benefits now paid through employer
Replies: 19
Views: 707

Re: Changes to employer-provided life insurance - benefits now paid through employer

Nate79 wrote: Thu Sep 24, 2020 8:57 am You should always try to have term life insurance outside your company provided life insurance.
Thanks for the advice Nate. I do have a personal policy for $2M. This is on top of that.
by White Oak
Thu Sep 24, 2020 12:36 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Changes to employer-provided life insurance - benefits now paid through employer
Replies: 19
Views: 707

Re: Changes to employer-provided life insurance - benefits now paid through employer

TomatoTomahto wrote: Thu Sep 24, 2020 8:55 am Be very careful walking through the parking lot.
Especially during a bad quarter... ☹️
by White Oak
Thu Sep 24, 2020 12:35 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Changes to employer-provided life insurance - benefits now paid through employer
Replies: 19
Views: 707

Re: Changes to employer-provided life insurance - benefits now paid through employer

https://www.investopedia.com/terms/k/keypersoninsurance.asp Based on this link above, key person insurance is purchased by a company to protect against the risk to the company of a key employee's death (C-level executive, key salesperson who brings in most of the company's business). The main thing...
by White Oak
Thu Sep 24, 2020 6:39 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Changes to employer-provided life insurance - benefits now paid through employer
Replies: 19
Views: 707

Changes to employer-provided life insurance - benefits now paid through employer

My employer provides us life insurance with a 500k benefit. Every few years they shop the policy around, and this year they are changing providers. What is odd is that they are calling it a "Key Person Plan". I work for a small company, about 25 of us. It seems odd to call us all "key persons". Are ...
by White Oak
Wed Sep 23, 2020 9:36 am
Forum: Personal Investments
Topic: Updated: Personal Finance Advice for New PhD
Replies: 31
Views: 2063

Re: Updated: Personal Finance Advice for New PhD

Undergraduate Loans $16,000 Guilt Free Spending (26.08%): $954.30 Salary: $56,000 25% allocated to "guilt-free spending" seems way too high given your position. I would put most of that toward your student loan. If you put it all toward the loan, it'd be paid off in 1.5 years. Maybe put $800/month ...
by White Oak
Sun Sep 20, 2020 6:47 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Which used hatchback to choose?
Replies: 31
Views: 2228

Re: Which used hatchback to choose?

I was recently in the market for a fuel efficient hatchback. I was mostly looking at the Prius V, but I ended up getting a Ford C-Max.
by White Oak
Tue Sep 15, 2020 1:35 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Lawn mower recommendation
Replies: 91
Views: 6112

Re: Lawnmower recommendation

I think the main thing is battery capacity. I have three 4ah batteries for my half acre (the mower can fit one + a spare, and I swap to the third when I switch from back to front yard). That's not really a problem for me, but you'd need 4-5 for a full acre- which would likely get annoying. I think ...
by White Oak
Tue Sep 15, 2020 12:37 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Lawn mower recommendation
Replies: 91
Views: 6112

Re: Lawnmower recommendation

I have been seriously considering ego products to replace all my lawn care equipment. We have close to an acre or grass to cut but often do not cut the whole thing in one day. It takes me about 1 hour to 1:15 to push mow with our husqvarna 22’ mower. We have one 12’ wide 30’ long steep hill. One co...
by White Oak
Sat Aug 29, 2020 3:11 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: HVAC Communicating vs. non-communicating and Mini-split
Replies: 19
Views: 1226

Re: HVAC Communicating vs. non-communicating and Mini-split

I guess there are trade offs with your option 3, but I am thinking about doing something similar, adding a mini split to our house with a central heat pump system. Mini splits are supposed to be more efficient (no duct losses), and you'd have two independent systems, which would give you some breath...
by White Oak
Sun Aug 09, 2020 9:14 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: New hybrid SUV? Talk me into/out of it
Replies: 33
Views: 2587

Re: New hybrid SUV? Talk me into/out of it

Sticker on my 2019 Ford Escape SE was $27,000. With no haggling, I purchased the car at $ 20,500 . It has a full array of safety features including AWD, lane-keep, radar cruise, cross traffic alert, and more. 1.9% financing. Very comfortable seats. A Honda CR-V AWD EX will have similar features at ...
by White Oak
Tue Aug 04, 2020 8:31 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: E-Bike recommendations
Replies: 118
Views: 8797

Re: E-Bike recommendations

finfire wrote: Tue Aug 04, 2020 3:26 pm bafangusadirect.com
Thank you for the link! So roughly $1000. Now I just need to decide when to pull the trigger.
by White Oak
Wed Jul 29, 2020 6:30 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Variable Speed HVACs
Replies: 31
Views: 2221

Re: Variable Speed HVACs

If the only issue is humidity I would look at adding a dehumidifier rather than replacing a fairly new system with something much more expensive. +1 Having a dehumidifier allows you to specify independent set points for temperature and humidity. This should increase comfort in the fall and spring w...
by White Oak
Tue Jul 28, 2020 6:14 am
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: All Weather leveraged stomps Hedgefundie and other portfolios !
Replies: 129
Views: 9431

Re: All Weather with utilities vs All Weather Leveraged !

And here there is a comparison of ASx3 against popular Hedgefundie 60/40 version and 55/45 one https://www.portfoliovisualizer.com/backtest-portfolio?s=y&timePeriod=4&startYear=1985&firstMonth=1&endYear=2020&lastMonth=12&calendarAligned=true&includeYTD=false&initialAmount=10000&annualOperation=0&an...
by White Oak
Sat Jul 25, 2020 11:10 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: wait for new toyota sienna?
Replies: 40
Views: 2692

Re: wait for new toyota sienna?

lazydavid wrote: Sat Jul 25, 2020 10:52 am 2. Hybrid-only. I have no concerns here about reliability/longevity, but rather power.
This is a good point. The numbers are 296 hp versus 243 hp.
by White Oak
Sat Jul 25, 2020 11:02 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: wait for new toyota sienna?
Replies: 40
Views: 2692

Re: wait for new toyota sienna?

Has Toyota solved their battery shortage problem yet? I remember reading that they are having trouble fulfilling RAV4 Hybrid orders due to lack of batteries, and they orders they are taking are at or over msrp. Are you thinking of the RAV4 Prime? That is being released this fall and will have limit...
by White Oak
Sat Jul 25, 2020 10:41 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: wait for new toyota sienna?
Replies: 40
Views: 2692

Re: wait for new toyota sienna?

Has Toyota solved their battery shortage problem yet? I remember reading that they are having trouble fulfilling RAV4 Hybrid orders due to lack of batteries, and they orders they are taking are at or over msrp. Are you thinking of the RAV4 Prime? That is being released this fall and will have limit...
by White Oak
Thu Jul 23, 2020 9:22 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: wait for new toyota sienna?
Replies: 40
Views: 2692

Re: wait for new toyota sienna?

If it were me, I would wait. ~20 mpg versus ~30 mpg is a big improvement. There are a lot of improvements in creature comforts, as the old model is almost ten years old. The one big downside is that the middle row isn't removable, which limits what you can haul. We have an older Odyssey, and I'm hop...
by White Oak
Fri Jul 17, 2020 10:56 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Who switched my windshield wiper arms?
Replies: 69
Views: 8784

Re: Who switched my windshield wiper arms?

Doom&Gloom wrote: Fri Jul 17, 2020 10:32 am Bargain basement guys are bargain basement guys for a reason.
Indeed, although I would still take the trade-off. I think my regular independent mechanic wanted $1200 for the job, and he is usually pretty reasonable. This guy charged $600.
by White Oak
Fri Jul 17, 2020 7:50 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Who switched my windshield wiper arms?
Replies: 69
Views: 8784

Re: Who switched my windshield wiper arms?

AC evaporator replacement is a prime candidate for the swap. In many cars the cowl has to come off (in addition to dismantling the dash). If the wipers need to come off for the AC evaporator replacement, then that would be the most likely cause. For that repair, I took it to a bargain-basement guy ...
by White Oak
Fri Jul 17, 2020 7:34 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Who switched my windshield wiper arms?
Replies: 69
Views: 8784

Re: Who switched my windshield wiper arms?

When I bought my 2018 Kia Optima I found I the same problem you have. I can not manually move and lift the wiper blades to clean the windshield. The arms are recessed under the hood. After reading the manual, I learned there is a procedure to move the arms to the 12:00 O'clock position and they can...
by White Oak
Fri Jul 17, 2020 5:48 am
Forum: Non-US Investing
Topic: Is Tastyworks a good broker? Or other US brokers for Europeans?
Replies: 2
Views: 661

Re: Is Tastyworks a good broker? Or other US brokers for Europeans?

Glad to hear that it is working okay so far. I haven't seen much discussion of this brokerage on Bogleheads. Most or all of the references have been for futures, for example: https://www.bogleheads.org/forum/viewtopic.php?t=289144#p4722427 It sounds like it is a newer, smaller brokerage, so I guess ...
by White Oak
Fri Jul 17, 2020 5:32 am
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: The Battle of different cap size investments
Replies: 25
Views: 1793

Re: The Battle of different cap size investments

Do not buy both the S&P500 index and the vanguard mid-cap fund. The largest holding in the mid-cap fund is Digital Realty Trust Inc, which is at #146 in the S&P 500 index. Out of all 455 holdings in the mid-cap fund, a good amount of companies are included in both indices. Vanguard follows the MSCI...
by White Oak
Thu Jul 16, 2020 6:26 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Who switched my windshield wiper arms?
Replies: 69
Views: 8784

Re: Who switched my windshield wiper arms?

BionicBillWalsh wrote: Thu Jul 16, 2020 4:10 pm Were there any zip ties on the door handle?
Not that I saw. Is that a common joke?
by White Oak
Thu Jul 16, 2020 3:27 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Who switched my windshield wiper arms?
Replies: 69
Views: 8784

Re: Who switched my windshield wiper arms?

Ping Pong wrote: Thu Jul 16, 2020 3:21 pm We’re you in the UK recently? You might have forgotten to switch the arms back. Though you’d normally do that when you switch the steering wheel.
+1

I forgot to mention that small detail. :D
by White Oak
Thu Jul 16, 2020 2:17 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Who switched my windshield wiper arms?
Replies: 69
Views: 8784

Re: Who switched my windshield wiper arms?

Raymond wrote: Thu Jul 16, 2020 1:39 pm
About the inspection parts swap scam - this is why I go to an "inspection-only" auto inspection place (I use DEKRA): https://www.dekra.us/en/inspection-stations/
Thanks for the link. I'd never heard of that before.
by White Oak
Thu Jul 16, 2020 2:15 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Who switched my windshield wiper arms?
Replies: 69
Views: 8784

Re: Who switched my windshield wiper arms?

Raymond wrote: Thu Jul 16, 2020 1:39 pm
Have you recently argued with anyone about your fridge magnets?
Everyone I've told this story to in person has asked me, do I have any enemies? Not that I know of, but maybe some that I don't know about...
by White Oak
Thu Jul 16, 2020 2:09 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Who switched my windshield wiper arms?
Replies: 69
Views: 8784

Re: Who switched my windshield wiper arms?

I can’t find locking wiper nuts in Amazon. Does somebody have a link? This is my best option so far: https://www.harborfreight.com/threadlocker-no-42-10-ml-medium-strength-65192.html I was mostly joking about the locking wiper nuts. But if I've been hit once, I figure the probability for a second t...
by White Oak
Thu Jul 16, 2020 2:05 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Who switched my windshield wiper arms?
Replies: 69
Views: 8784

Re: Who switched my windshield wiper arms?

So in a similar thought, have you have any repairs or replacements of the windshield? Last summer I had the AC evaporator (under the dash) replaced. I'm pretty sure I've washed the car several times since then. Other than the state inspection last week, that's the only time I've had it serviced in ...
by White Oak
Thu Jul 16, 2020 9:58 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Who switched my windshield wiper arms?
Replies: 69
Views: 8784

Re: Who switched my windshield wiper arms?

I checked over my car, drove it 170mi to NYC, used a hotel garage for 2 nights. When I checked the car after getting back, one spark plug wire had been replaced with a completely different brand that I had never owned - but roughly the correct length. The replacement wire checked out okay, to the e...
by White Oak
Thu Jul 16, 2020 9:45 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Who switched my windshield wiper arms?
Replies: 69
Views: 8784

Re: Who switched my windshield wiper arms?

Depending on how they are arranged, at 10 years of age, they should look worn if they are original. I’ve had cars before where all the black paint had been worn off the arms over time, so they were silver on top. Do yours look new? No, I don't think they are new. There are a few places where the pa...
by White Oak
Thu Jul 16, 2020 9:41 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Who switched my windshield wiper arms?
Replies: 69
Views: 8784

Re: Who switched my windshield wiper arms?

The wiper arms on a 97 to 01 Camry get pressed onto a splined shaft that allows them to be timed to the correct orientation. That is why when you go to replace them, one should put a piece of painter tape on the windshield showing the correctly location of the blades so when you go to put them back...
by White Oak
Thu Jul 16, 2020 9:37 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Who switched my windshield wiper arms?
Replies: 69
Views: 8784

Re: Who switched my windshield wiper arms?

I don't think anyone switched your wiper arms. It might sound crazy but, I'm pretty sure you can just pull up on the driver side arm (same angle as the windshield) and both arms will lock into place higher on the windshield. After you have changed the wiper blades, just push driver side arm down an...
by White Oak
Thu Jul 16, 2020 9:33 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Who switched my windshield wiper arms?
Replies: 69
Views: 8784

Re: Who switched my windshield wiper arms?

This is essentially the plot of a murder mystery: The Case of the Transposed Wipers by Carolyn Keene. In the plot, a woman dies in a car accident in a rainstorm, and the detective soon realizes that the woman's wipe arms had been swapped, leaving an uncovered spot on the windshield that was careful...
by White Oak
Thu Jul 16, 2020 9:31 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Who switched my windshield wiper arms?
Replies: 69
Views: 8784

Re: Who switched my windshield wiper arms?

Is it possible a previous mechanic you went to had to remove them to work on the engine. For instance on my Honda Fit it is necessary to remove the wiper arms, plastic cowls, and metal shelf to access the spark plugs which are on the far side of the engine. That's possible, although I believe the l...
by White Oak
Thu Jul 16, 2020 9:26 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Who switched my windshield wiper arms?
Replies: 69
Views: 8784

Re: Who switched my windshield wiper arms?

Swivelguy wrote: Thu Jul 16, 2020 7:31 am Do you have kids? Kids do... things sometimes.
My 3-year-old son does like tools, but I think this would be a bit beyond his skills. :D
by White Oak
Thu Jul 16, 2020 6:52 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Who switched my windshield wiper arms?
Replies: 69
Views: 8784

Who switched my windshield wiper arms?

Funny story... This weekend I was washing my ten-year-old Camry, when I realized that I wasn't able to raise the driver-side wiper. The base of the wiper arm sits below the hood, and the hinge was hitting on the hood, not allowing me to lift the wiper blade. This seemed odd, and I hadn't noticed any...
by White Oak
Thu Jul 16, 2020 6:04 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Any way to use a phone app on a computer?
Replies: 12
Views: 1003

Re: Any way to use a phone app on a computer?

If you are open to buying another device, you could use Samsung DEX. That lets you plug in your phone to a monitor and use a mouse and keyboard. I bet you could buy a used Samsung phone for a reasonable amount.
by White Oak
Wed Jul 15, 2020 7:30 am
Forum: Personal Investments
Topic: Calculating Portfolio Uncertainty (Analytically)
Replies: 7
Views: 438

Re: Calculating Portfolio Uncertainty (Analytically)

Something like this? https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Propagation_of_uncertainty If you are okay with assuming everything is normally distributed, then the uncertainties Python package will do all the propagation of uncertainty for you, for an arbitrary set of calculations. It is simple to use if yo...