Search found 448 matches

by NateW
Wed Mar 20, 2013 10:34 am
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Ending Advisor Relationship & Getting Cost Basis
Replies: 19
Views: 2074

Re: Ending Advisor Relationship & Getting Cost Basis

I was in this situation about five years ago. I simply sent the financial adviser a short, polite letter stating my wife and I decided to manage our own investments and therefore were ending our relationship with the financial advisor. I thanked the advisor for her services. My wife and I signed the...
by NateW
Thu Mar 14, 2013 3:21 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Hot water heater question
Replies: 34
Views: 3151

Re: Hot water heater question

The hot water heater in one of my rentals went out recently. The renter is a licensed plumber. He said he charges $100.00 to replace water heaters and that is what he charged me. I bought a 40 gallon electric water heater at Lowes for $270.00 plus tax. Total cost was $370.00. One of the posters sai...
by NateW
Thu Mar 14, 2013 10:19 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Poll: Umbrella Insurance
Replies: 34
Views: 3711

Re: Poll: Umbrella Insurance

Now who would want to insure their umbrella? But seriously, I knew what this insurance was, but never gave it any thought until I read about its merits on the Forum last year and now have a 1 million umbrella insurance policy, which is over my net worth. My main concern is some pedestrian running ou...
by NateW
Thu Mar 14, 2013 10:07 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Hot water heater question
Replies: 34
Views: 3151

Re: Hot water heater question

You can get a 50gal water heater for about 300. Installation is fairly easy, I am not a handyman put my last 2 in myself. You will pay about the same price for installation. Dito on replacing it yourself. I replaced the one in our house with a GE natural gas 40 gallon one from Home Depot for about ...
by NateW
Thu Mar 14, 2013 10:04 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Hot water heater question
Replies: 34
Views: 3151

Re: Hot water heater question

The urgency of replacing the water heater depends on whether or not the leak, if it gets bad, will damage the renter's property. If the water heater is in a drip pan with a drain, or next to a floor drain in a basement, I would not replace the waterheater unless it failed to work or the leak became ...
by NateW
Tue Mar 12, 2013 2:04 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Credit Cards [Bad Experience]
Replies: 40
Views: 5307

Re: Credit Cards [Bad Experience]

I love credit cards. NFL Extra points card: Spend $1000, get $400. Check, x2 American Express Gold: Spend $1000, get $500. Check, x2 Chase Business Ink: Spend $5000, get $500. Check. Total: $2300 for shuffling some money around. Nice! I'll have to look for those. How do you find these deals? --Nate
by NateW
Tue Mar 12, 2013 2:00 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Credit Cards [Bad Experience]
Replies: 40
Views: 5307

Re: Credit Cards [Bad Experience]

Sorry about your experiences. I had a similar experience a couple of times (card denied, fraud alert placed on it), but due to my buying pattern setting the alert in action. The same card, on another occassion, someone in Mexico did somehow charge $850 to my account for "auto repair" and t...
by NateW
Wed Mar 06, 2013 7:59 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Virus: Win32.Downloader.gen
Replies: 27
Views: 4687

Re: Virus: Win32.Downloader.gen

If the virus is active, i.e., if the executable file is running, the AV software and Malwarebytes can't remove it. It must be stopped first. Simply stopping the process in Task Manager usually won't do it. You can run a freeware called "Rkill" to stop the process and then Malwarebytes can ...
by NateW
Fri Feb 15, 2013 10:14 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: May need new water heater
Replies: 46
Views: 5049

Re: May need new water heater

How handy are you? It's actually not that hard to replace the water heater yourself. I replaced the gas hot water heater in my home and the replacement was a GE (yes, they make a natural gas-fueled water heater) from Home Depot for $450 with a 9 year warranty. Truck rental was $20 to get the heater ...
by NateW
Fri Feb 01, 2013 12:34 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Microsoft Sec Essentials = Bad ??
Replies: 21
Views: 4216

Re: Microsoft Sec Essentials = Bad ??

Having used a variety of AV suites over the years, I'd say that Security Essentials is near the top of the pack overall. I have yet to get a virus using Security Essentials on two machines for three years. Security Essentials mixed with adblock extensions in Chrome/Firefox/IE and smart browsing/ema...
by NateW
Fri Feb 01, 2013 12:11 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Do you pay your taxes/insurance separate from your mortgage?
Replies: 42
Views: 4187

Re: Do you pay your taxes/insurance separate from your mortg

I don't like escrowing with my mortgage company. When I did escrow, several years ago I finally got tired of the mortgage company's required escrow balance falling too low (according to them) and them increasing my mortgage payments a little to increase the escrow account balance to catch up. Happen...
by NateW
Tue Jan 15, 2013 12:40 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Questions to ask when buying a used car
Replies: 12
Views: 1342

Re: Questions to ask when buying a used car

a clean carfax/autocheck should not be relied upon as an indication that the car has never been wrecked. there are plenty of cars out there (mine included) that were wrecked and have frame damage, but are not reported to the authorities polled by carfax. in the following case there would be no reco...
by NateW
Mon Jan 07, 2013 7:14 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Healthcare Alliance Pharmacy Discount Card
Replies: 2
Views: 746

Healthcare Alliance Pharmacy Discount Card

I just received in the mail what appears to junk mail (but with an attempt to look professional), sent "presorted standard" class from Healthcare Alliance, with the caption "Good News--You've Been Accepted". The letter is personalized and has two Pharmacy Discount Cards affixed w...
by NateW
Mon Jan 07, 2013 6:51 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: For those of you who have kept your cars for a long time...
Replies: 95
Views: 7229

Re: For those of you who have kept your cars for a long time

My beloved '97 Nissan pickup was totalled by a hit & run driver very early in the morning on New Years, the first police report of 2013 in my city. I was sleeping, it was parked on the street in my residential neighborhood, and somebody hit it and took off. My car was totaled the same way (but ...
by NateW
Wed Nov 28, 2012 2:31 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Knowing when to invest?
Replies: 18
Views: 1395

Re: Knowing when to invest?

"My online broker charges $10/trade, so I would be looking at spending $30 each time if I DCA'd my way in." Why don't you move over to Vanguard, to the land of low-cost index funds and no-cost (in most cases) fund purchases. I can't advise you as to when to buy in, since I buy on a continu...
by NateW
Wed Nov 21, 2012 1:57 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Software to Automate Portfolio Rebalancing?
Replies: 16
Views: 2025

Re: Software to Automate Portfolio Rebalancing?

Thank you for your replies. I've been trying to simplyfy my portfolio. Recently I exchanged Vanguard's European, Pacific, and Emerging Market stock funds for their Total International Stock Market for a nice tax loss harvest in my taxable account:happy. The reason for the VG target date funds is my ...
by NateW
Wed Nov 21, 2012 7:47 am
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Software to Automate Portfolio Rebalancing?
Replies: 16
Views: 2025

Software to Automate Portfolio Rebalancing?

Do any of you automate your portfolio rebalancing to get in line with your desired asset allocation? If so, what do you use? Ideally I am looking for a system where I download the data from each mutual fund account and I then get the allocation percentages and dollar amount by the fund categories of...
by NateW
Mon Nov 19, 2012 11:24 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Water boiler replacement
Replies: 7
Views: 1362

Re: Water boiler replacement

Seven years seems to be a very short life for a boiler. My guess is they last 20 - 30 years, so I would question the need for relacement. If the firebox is sooted up, can it be cleaned and the burner adjusted? The melted electrical board and wiring appears to be a short, which may have caused the bu...
by NateW
Mon Nov 12, 2012 7:33 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Generator or No Generator
Replies: 82
Views: 19983

Re: Generator or No Generator

I was on the south side of Sandy's path, in Northern Virginia. I've been contemplating the same thing. About a week ago I bit the bullet and bought a Honda 2KW inverter generator, new. I could have bought one of several Chinese knock-offs for about half of what I paid, but after reading the reviews,...
by NateW
Thu Nov 08, 2012 3:42 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Is it time to install a whole-house generator?
Replies: 193
Views: 24985

Re: Is it time to install a whole-house generator?

Well, I found one alternative for about $230 power inverter that could run my 1/3 hp sump pump and/or 1/2 hp well pump from my car's cigarette lighter: m PW2300-12 2300 watts continuous/4600 watts peak An automible's electrical system can not supply the 2.3 KW inverter output. An automible alternat...
by NateW
Thu Nov 08, 2012 3:24 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Is it time to install a whole-house generator?
Replies: 193
Views: 24985

Re: Is it time to install a whole-house generator?

Used about 3 gallons of gas in the 21 hours - if I would've run out of my 5 gallons I had a siphon hose ready to tap the 34 gallons in our two cars - we made sure to fill up Monday night. On a side note, try to see if you can actually do that. I also had fuel in my car planned as a backup - except ...
by NateW
Thu Nov 08, 2012 8:39 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Is it time to install a whole-house generator?
Replies: 193
Views: 24985

Re: Is it time to install a whole-house generator?

You have to maintain the generator, and that costs money, so figure those ongoing expenses into your "does it make financial sense" calculation. To me, the answer is "no." If one were to do their own maintenance, the cost is not significant. The unit should be self-starting on a...
by NateW
Thu Nov 08, 2012 8:24 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Is it time to install a whole-house generator?
Replies: 193
Views: 24985

Re: Is it time to install a whole-house generator?

If I were to guess, from a pure financial standpoint, you probably will recoup little of the $20,000 cost when you sell the house, but it may make your house sell much easier among the competition, so in essence, you may get a good portion of your investment back in an indirect way. But in the big s...
by NateW
Wed Nov 07, 2012 3:41 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: 401k: I messed up my employer match
Replies: 22
Views: 2433

Re: 401k: I messed up my employer match

My employer (match is per pay period and you must contribute to get the match) has the same procedure for its 2.5% measly match and it took me contributing too much, to early, to my 401k plan where I reached the maximum contribution limit and the contributions stopped about 9 months into the year an...
by NateW
Wed Nov 07, 2012 3:24 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Diesel vs Hybrid car?
Replies: 30
Views: 2447

Re: Diesel vs Hybrid car?

I take it you are keeping styling, drivability/handling, and options and features out of the equasion for now. I can speak from the diesel side, having owned and driven nothing but VW diesels since 1990. Present car is an '04 Jetta TDI. Diesel fuel presently averages around 10 - 20% more than the pr...
by NateW
Wed Nov 07, 2012 11:55 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Another Generator Question [How to minimize gas consumption]
Replies: 28
Views: 2491

Re: Another Generator Question [How to minimize gas consumpt

Yes, keeping the refrigerator and freezer cold is top priority. I have the standard frost-free refrigerator/freezer combo and a 9 cubic upright manual defrost freezer. When I prepared for Sandy, I decided I would use generator sparingly. To do this I made copious amounts of ice ahead of time (beginn...
by NateW
Sun Nov 04, 2012 7:34 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: What is Needed to Get Free HD Channels on TV?
Replies: 23
Views: 2120

Re: What is Needed to Get Free HD Channels on TV?

Also, there is no such thing as a HDTV antenna. A pair of rabbit ears from the 70s would work just as well. The carrier frequencies have not changed since the early days of TV broadcasting. Channels are broadcast in the UHF and VHF range as they always have. Go to this website m and put in your zip...
by NateW
Sun Nov 04, 2012 6:22 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: What is Needed to Get Free HD Channels on TV?
Replies: 23
Views: 2120

Re: What is Needed to Get Free HD Channels on TV?

I don't have one and mine works just fine. It's necessary to have the TV scan for the available channels. Did you do that? Yes, I did the channel scan from the TV set-up menu and of course, 0 stations were found. I live in Washington, DC. I looked on Wikepedia under the acronym for the converter th...
by NateW
Sun Nov 04, 2012 4:35 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: What is Needed to Get Free HD Channels on TV?
Replies: 23
Views: 2120

What is Needed to Get Free HD Channels on TV?

I'd like to know what I have to buy in order to get over-the-air HD broadcasts. I live in a major metropolitan area (with fairly close stations) and have two new HD LCD TVs. I currently have cable. I'd like to be able to watch TV if there is a power/cable outage (I have an inverter generator). The r...
by NateW
Wed Oct 24, 2012 9:51 am
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: When is the Deadline for 401K Plans to Report Fees?
Replies: 9
Views: 892

Re: When is the Deadline for 401K Plans to Report Fees?

Thanks for all your replies. My 401K plan uses branded TransAmerica funds with exorbitant ERs (upwards of 2%) and Paychex is the plan administrator (I think). The statements come from Paychex. I do know what the ER of my Vanguard (Transamerica branded) Retirement Date fund is (1.64%). This info come...
by NateW
Wed Oct 24, 2012 8:51 am
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: When is the Deadline for 401K Plans to Report Fees?
Replies: 9
Views: 892

When is the Deadline for 401K Plans to Report Fees?

I just received my 401K quarterly statement from my employer. It covers my investments for the period of 07/01/12 through 09/30/12. There is no mention of plan fees. This statement contains the exact same verbiage as my previous quarterly statement. It does not even mention any pending requirements ...
by NateW
Fri Oct 19, 2012 6:53 am
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Celebrate the FSA
Replies: 69
Views: 13739

Re: Celebrate the FSA

One other thing I did not see mentioned yet. You ARE supposed to keep ALL documentation submitted to an FSA for as long as you are required to keep your tax returns in case of an IRS audit. I did not know about this and read it recently on something from my wife's FSA plan. I have not been keeping t...
by NateW
Fri Oct 19, 2012 6:32 am
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Celebrate the FSA
Replies: 69
Views: 13739

Re: Celebrate the FSA

Don't pass this one up if you are offerted it. I am a big advocate of them. Back in the late '80s I worked for a trade association that had one (must have been around when they began) and my first wife and I had a young son and I maxed out the child care provisions and had a little put aside for med...
by NateW
Thu Oct 18, 2012 2:53 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Honda extended warranty
Replies: 38
Views: 7698

Re: Honda extended warranty

I never buy extended warranties period (goes for all products). Half of the reason is I have read many studies that on average, you will never recoup the money. Also, if you have the money to cover an unexpected mechanical failure, more the reason not to buy extra warranty coverage. That's what emer...
by NateW
Thu Oct 18, 2012 11:56 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: My Bank Put Someone Else's Money In My Account
Replies: 28
Views: 9800

Re: My Bank Put Someone Else's Money In My Account

I wouldn't have tried to go to my bank or call them, the first thing I'd do is look up the deposited check images when I logged in to my account online. What century is this? This is interesting. My credit union does not show me images of checks deposited into my account. I can only see the images ...
by NateW
Wed Oct 17, 2012 6:16 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: My Bank Put Someone Else's Money In My Account
Replies: 28
Views: 9800

My Bank Put Someone Else's Money In My Account

I noticed a $120.77 deposit in our bank savings account that I believe neither me or my wife made. I first walk into the branch and thell them about it, but ask to see a picture of the item deposited just to make sure. The bank person can not get a copy and then tries to convince me I must have made...
by NateW
Thu Sep 27, 2012 11:32 am
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Stock Funds Losing Money in 2012, But S & P Up 15%?
Replies: 4
Views: 909

Stock Funds Losing Money in 2012, But S & P Up 15%?

For weeks I have been seeing articles on Money.com about stock mutual funds bleeding cash. Today I read, "The week's retreat brings the 2012 outflow total to nearly $87 billion." But stocks have been a really great investment this year, on average. The S & P returned 15% year to date. ...
by NateW
Tue Sep 11, 2012 1:20 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Truly Disruptive Car Technology
Replies: 25
Views: 2664

Re: Truly Disruptive Car Technology

Man, I'd hate to get hit by a car while in that thing.

--Nate
by NateW
Tue Sep 11, 2012 1:18 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Space Heater Recommendations?
Replies: 31
Views: 3108

Re: Space Heater Recommendations?

Since its a rental, other than talking with the landlord to fix the existing heating system, or add insulation, I would not perform any building modifications. As for a safe electric heater, we use the oil-filled radiator style and use it on cold nights. They don't get hot enough to start fires and ...
by NateW
Thu Aug 16, 2012 8:04 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Have you received new 401K fee disclosures at your company?
Replies: 33
Views: 3728

Re: Have you received new 401K fee disclosures at your compa

Given the new regulations from the Department of Labor on fee disclosure for 401Ks set to go into effect this summer, for those of you still working and participating in plans, have you received communications or disclosure yet from your company? My wife works at a big hospital in San Diego and par...
by NateW
Sat Aug 11, 2012 6:33 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: FSA technical questions
Replies: 6
Views: 860

Re: FSA technical questions

I find it very odd that your personel department can not answer your questions. Sometimes there is a company that administers the FSA that is seperate from your human resources department. If so, call them. This is the way I understand it, but please verify what I say, since its been a long time sin...
by NateW
Fri Aug 10, 2012 6:31 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Is my 401k plan a total rip off?
Replies: 17
Views: 3492

Re: Is my 401k plan a total rip off?

It could be worse. My ER is 1.64% for a TransAmerica branded Vanguard 2050 fund. At least contribute enough to get the full company match (if any) and then into a Roth at Vanguard (if under the income limit) and then consider contributing more to your 401k. The tax advantage probably outweighs your ...
by NateW
Fri Aug 10, 2012 9:50 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Post-Spending Regret
Replies: 64
Views: 6170

Re: Post-Spending Regret

I look at it this way: Just remember "you can't take it with you when you die". So you might was well spend a little, within reason, and enjoy life. There may be a time when you can't. If you don't spend a little, when warranted (everyone deserves a nice vacation), you could end up with a ...
by NateW
Thu Aug 09, 2012 2:55 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: What was Your Starting Salary Out of College?
Replies: 151
Views: 11721

Re: What was Your Starting Salary Out of College?

Year was 1985. Salary was $18,500/year, analyst for a DoD contractor in the Washington, DC area. Having a "secret" security clearance and working in the Pentagon was kind of neat, though.

--Nate
by NateW
Thu Aug 09, 2012 1:15 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Will gluing a penny to car battery make it last longer?
Replies: 46
Views: 13796

Re: Will gluing a penny to car battery make it last longer?

"I believe voltage regulators are much better and more reliable than they used to be, too. In Ye Old Days they were electromagnetic-relay-thingies that cut off and on, and were probably not all that accurate when they were new, and might fail with age and undercharge or overcharge the battery. ...
by NateW
Thu Aug 09, 2012 12:14 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Clogged Pipes
Replies: 29
Views: 2941

Re: Clogged Pipes

After you get the clog removed, use some preventative measures. For our tub drain I use a drain screen (got it at Home Depot or Lowes for a couple of bucks). Its actually a fairly fine stainless steel screen in a round frame, meant for drains. It flows water better than the metal basket with holes t...
by NateW
Thu Aug 09, 2012 8:12 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Will gluing a penny to car battery make it last longer?
Replies: 46
Views: 13796

Re: Will gluing a penny to car battery make it last longer?

"Funny (but true) story. I drive a 1994 Buick, and the battery runs down periodically, since I drive (max) 15 miles/week. So I call AAA. Guy from AAA says I should drive at least every other day, and at least 100 miles/week, to keep the battery charged." Something else is wrong. Either you...
by NateW
Thu Aug 09, 2012 8:08 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Will gluing a penny to car battery make it last longer?
Replies: 46
Views: 13796

Re: Will gluing a penny to car battery make it last longer?

Too bad pennies aren't made of copper. Pennies minted 1981 and before are 95% copper. You should be able to still find the copper ones in circulation. I've been working on cars for 35 years and I've never heard of the copper penny trick to keep battery terminals corrosion free. I can say that with ...
by NateW
Tue Aug 07, 2012 1:46 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Are these refinance closing fees reasonable?
Replies: 26
Views: 3661

Re: Are these refinance closing fees reasonable?

As I understand it, "points" used to buy down (prepay) the interest are deductable over the live of the loan for tax purposes, but "points" (the loan servicing fee) is not a deductable expense. I do not like having taxes and insurance escrowed. For the last refinance I opted out ...
by NateW
Sun Aug 05, 2012 4:16 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Auto Tire Question
Replies: 30
Views: 3707

Re: Auto Tire Question

I run mine down to the wear bars. I think this is 3/32 inch of tread left. Unless the tires are severly dry rotted, age should not matter. The slow leak is cause for concern, though. At this point, it's probably not economical to patch the tire (has to be dismounted and an internal patch installed a...