Search found 336 matches

by brajalle
Sun Nov 22, 2020 5:08 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Any Car Tire Enthusiasts Out There?
Replies: 21
Views: 1706

Re: Any Car Tire Enthusiasts Out There?

We just replaced our Toyo tires on our 2017 Toyota Highlander with Michelin CrossClimate2 and love them. Smooth quiet ride and performed well in our first snow. If you have access to Consumer Reports you will find that the CrossClimate rates higher than the Defender 74 to 62 in the overall score. F...
by brajalle
Sun Nov 22, 2020 5:05 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Hulu + Live TV price increases
Replies: 43
Views: 3217

Re: Hulu + Live TV price increases

If you are a Tmobile or Sprint customer you can get the new Tmobile tvision. They have 3 packages, plus a 4th that is $10 that is harder to find on their website.

Other than that, for live tv, antenna or Sling maybe.
by brajalle
Sun Nov 22, 2020 4:51 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Tires for low mileage vehicle
Replies: 5
Views: 513

Re: Tires for low mileage vehicle

Your tires may last longer than you think, you can just inspect them for dry rot and other degradation. Alternatively, take it to be checked out, but realize most shops have an incentive to sell you tires. I do not have a cheap option necessarily to recommend, but the Nokian WR G4 line is a great se...
by brajalle
Mon Nov 02, 2020 5:01 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Disability insurance recommendations?
Replies: 22
Views: 1403

Re: Disability insurance recommendations?

Side note - Group disability insurance policies are not nearly as comprehensive as individual policies. Make sure you understand the differences if you have to decide whether to opt out of a group policy in order to maximize your individual coverage. Most group policies don't allow opt-outs unless ...
by brajalle
Sun Nov 01, 2020 7:39 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Color laser printers.
Replies: 30
Views: 1595

Re: Color laser printers.

They are not really well known judging by this thread, but you should consider an ink tank printer. It can print quality photos since it is an inkjet, and has a lower cost per page than even B&W on a laser. The name brand ink refills are fairly cheap, but you can lower it even more with somethin...
by brajalle
Sun Nov 01, 2020 5:05 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Disability insurance recommendations?
Replies: 22
Views: 1403

Re: Disability insurance recommendations?

1. I am not sure dependents necessarily have a ton to do with disability insurance, I think the choice to have it has more to do with your desire to insure lapses in your ability to work. Sure, kids can be expensive, but it is all just hedging loss of income pretty much. If there is a lapse in your ...
by brajalle
Thu Oct 29, 2020 11:55 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Car Batteries
Replies: 127
Views: 5867

Re: Car Batteries

Thanks sport! I agree. Wouldn't the charger and load tester help me decide if it was the battery or the charging system? Charging system problems are much more uncommon than battery failures. If you want to check the charging system, you could just put a volt meter across the battery when the engin...
by brajalle
Thu Oct 29, 2020 11:37 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Help...we're getting a dog!
Replies: 146
Views: 7550

Re: Help...we're getting a dog!

Anyway, the breeder is recommending Fromm Gold Puppy Food but I noticed that Costco's Kirkland Signature Puppy formula gets great reviews and the ingredients are very similar...while being less expensive. Does anyone have experience with Kirkland dog food? Well, not sure how much value our n=1 user...
by brajalle
Thu Oct 29, 2020 1:59 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Help...we're getting a dog!
Replies: 146
Views: 7550

Re: Help...we're getting a dog!

I do not really have much to add to most of the commentary above since it is mostly behavioral sort of stuff. I would recommend researching vets carefully. Compare prices, ask how emergency calls work, etc. We have had a vet where you could not leave for $500 no matter what. Always tests, prescripti...
by brajalle
Thu Oct 29, 2020 1:12 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Car Batteries
Replies: 127
Views: 5867

Re: Car Batteries

"Has anyone here tried Duracell from Batteries+Bulbs? " I bought 3 Duracell AGM Group 31 deep cycle batteries from them in March for my trolling motors. I like them a lot so far, although they were $200 and something each and weigh 67.5 pounds apiece. If you order on line and pick them up...
by brajalle
Sat Oct 24, 2020 8:42 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Opened a Fidelity CMA Account
Replies: 39
Views: 3521

Re: Opened a Fidelity CMA Account

Care to elaborate on the weaknesses of the Fido credit card? It is actually issued by Elan, aka US Bank, not Fidelity. Many people are not fond of Elan, they do not have a great CS reputation. YMMV, my own interactions have been fine, and I have had the card since before it was a Visa with Elan. Th...
by brajalle
Sat Oct 24, 2020 8:13 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: House Purchase with a Single Agent
Replies: 19
Views: 1371

Re: House Purchase with a Single Agent

I have done it before, it was not much different than anything else in that you still just need to watch out for yourself. I think it actually helped me gain some extra concessions on the sale because the agent was talking directly to both parties. The seller sold the property at a slight loss from ...
by brajalle
Sat Oct 10, 2020 3:29 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Amazon Prime - Value?
Replies: 146
Views: 15270

Re: Amazon Prime - Value?

If you can save the membership $$ and still get items in the same time, its a bit meaningless. If I need something ASAP, I go to a brick and mortar to buy, else 5 days is no real issue the majority of the time. It was our experience that without prime the items still took the same amount of travel ...
by brajalle
Mon Oct 05, 2020 1:33 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: If you have a pension, how do you view it?
Replies: 203
Views: 14384

Re: If you have a pension, how do you view it?

I have a state gov pension. It is a modest pension calculation and we are still part of SS. No automatic COLA (so I assume nothing, but they have been doing $450 annual bonuses since about 2008 in lieu of COLAs). As of 2019's report it is funded at 80.1%, but that has been increasing after they adju...
by brajalle
Mon Oct 05, 2020 12:46 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Condo homeowner associations in financial trouble - What effect on condo prices / ability to sell?
Replies: 16
Views: 2120

Re: Condo homeowner associations in financial trouble - What effect on condo prices / ability to sell?

I think the reason you're not finding much on it is because it depends on a ton of factors. It is possible many condo purchasers may not even think to review (or understand fully if they do) such financial issues. The only way some people may know is if a bank review of the finances catches a proble...
by brajalle
Sun Sep 27, 2020 8:49 pm
Forum: Personal Investments
Topic: How to combine finances with your spouse? Recently married/early30s
Replies: 55
Views: 4271

Re: How to combine finances with your spouse? Recently married/early30s

Thoughts on how to best handle our accounts going forward? A post-nuptial agreement. Yep. He can still protect his taxable accounts, provided he doesn't later co-mingle them, and can probably at least protect the current value of the retirement accounts. In many states it is too late to have the sp...
by brajalle
Fri Sep 25, 2020 11:45 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Android 11 on Pixel 3A question
Replies: 8
Views: 523

Re: Android 11 on Pixel 3A question

Installed on 3a and 3a XL - no major issues. The drop down with flashlight, airplane mode, etc being shrunk by a row is the most annoying thing so far. May have slightly improved an issue we had with our phones going on a roaming LTE over a non-roaming connection.
by brajalle
Thu Sep 24, 2020 1:23 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Company ST Disability Benefits Limits
Replies: 15
Views: 714

Re: Company ST Disability Benefits Limits

Most short term plans pay 50% to 66% of pay, and commonly have low caps. The vast majority max out at 13 or 26 weeks. They were really designed more for lower wage / blue collar jobs. There are many professional type employers who offer them but plan design tends to mimic historical norms. = I had ...
by brajalle
Thu Sep 24, 2020 5:31 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Consumer Printer Prices
Replies: 44
Views: 2924

Re: Consumer Printer Prices

Generic ink cartridges for some older model inkjet printers are around $2 a cartridge. Do you all think that generic ink on newer models will ever reach that low coast level? I know the consensus is to buy a color laser printer, but how many pages will I need to print to get to a cost of around 5c ...
by brajalle
Thu Sep 24, 2020 5:27 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Synology NAS -> DS220J, DS420j, DS418
Replies: 38
Views: 2044

Re: Synology NAS -> DS220J, DS420j, DS418

For anyone reading this at a later date, you can often get the exact same drives for NAS storage or storage in general by shucking them. They are much less expensive than buying drives by themselves. This involves buying external storage hard drives and removing the casing. A good resource for more ...
by brajalle
Tue Sep 22, 2020 5:19 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Consumer Printer Prices
Replies: 44
Views: 2924

Re: Consumer Printer Prices

I've found the Wirecutter to have good printer reviews (good reviews in general). A good alternative to Consumer Reports. They have several recommendations depending on your budget and needs. Several were in stock that I checked on. That being said - wow, you're right, printers out of stock left and...
by brajalle
Fri Sep 18, 2020 3:55 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: what do others pay for umbrella insurance, and is it needed?
Replies: 58
Views: 4790

Re: what do others pay for umbrella insurance, and is it needed?

Indiana Farm Bureau. There is much that goes into an unbrella premium that isn't captured when people just tell you premiums as others have indicated. Even then, I haven't seen any post an actual breakdown in these threads. You can ask your agent if they will breakdown your premium into individual c...
by brajalle
Fri Sep 18, 2020 3:35 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Best family cell phone plan(s) - Specific scenario
Replies: 8
Views: 828

Re: Best family cell phone plan(s) - Specific scenario

You will want to check out Visible. It's a verizon MNVO that is...owend by verizon but operates independently. Base cost is $40/mo for unlimited, but each additional line that uses your code (limit 4 total) brings it down $5/mo. Those lines do not have to be on your account, merely associated with t...
by brajalle
Thu Sep 17, 2020 1:05 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Too Many Monthly Digital Subscriptions - Time for Apple One?
Replies: 25
Views: 2615

Re: Too Many Monthly Digital Subscriptions - Time for Apple One?

Our setup- Hulu - Free (Sprint) Netflix - Shared (family - use sometimes - I add a gift card to the sub) CBS - $5/mo (average, they often run 50% off if you "cancel" & free months) Amazon Prime - Free (family - don't use much) PlutoTV - Free Spideroak (unlimited cloud storage) - $125/y...
by brajalle
Thu Sep 17, 2020 3:37 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Fidelity CC declined, they deny declining
Replies: 41
Views: 3663

Re: Fidelity CC declined, they deny declining

I haven't seen this mentioned, but you can also be denied by the card processor the merchant uses. They have their own denial lists. Somehow I ended up on Stripe's list because of a boating trip purchase about two years ago - whenever I cannot use a card (or cards) at a merchant, it is always Stripe...
by brajalle
Sun Sep 06, 2020 4:03 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Thoughts on condos?
Replies: 65
Views: 5899

Re: Thoughts on condos?

I share this to underscore previous advice for anyone considering buying a condo to review meeting minutes and the financial statements, but even then it can be hard to know what is really going on with an HOA. My state doesn’t entitle prospective buyers to review reserve fund studies. If I’d had a...
by brajalle
Mon Aug 31, 2020 6:33 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Home Warranty
Replies: 20
Views: 1078

Re: Home Warranty

When I purchased our old condo, the realtor suggested a home warranty which the seller threw in. It covered an issue with the dishwasher motor dying - didn't use it again before it expired. From reviewing those warranties, here are some common issues (or ones that you need to pay more to get coverag...
by brajalle
Mon Aug 31, 2020 3:15 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Bee keeping
Replies: 64
Views: 3538

Re: Bee keeping

I was a way for a couple of days and just got back to this post. Thanks again for the additional information. I am not sure about lifting 40-80 pounds. I know I can lift about 35-30 pounds easily. I scuba dive, not as much as I used to, it's a dying hobby of mine for a variety of reasons. But a tan...
by brajalle
Sat Aug 29, 2020 9:43 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Bee keeping
Replies: 64
Views: 3538

Re: Bee keeping

My dad just retired and has been following a 'mentor beekeeper' along for a bit. Looks like he'll have his own soon enough. This being a boglehead forum, can someone put some color on the economics? Is this a passion/hobby (nothing wrong with that) or can it carry itself from selling the honey? I d...
by brajalle
Wed Aug 26, 2020 9:25 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: What is your base charge for electric? I have an $42 electric access fee.
Replies: 52
Views: 2704

Re: What is your base charge for electric? I have an $42 electric access fee.

Power is out more here by 2-4x, but nothing too bad - about twice a month - it's actually back on sooner typically than the large-for-profit (2-4hrs vs 4-12hrs). Wow :!: both 2X per month or 1/2 to 1/4 of that seem shockingly frequent to me. We have had 2-4 outages in 23 years. Thunderstorms tend t...
by brajalle
Tue Aug 25, 2020 4:35 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Are emergency funds for suckers?
Replies: 202
Views: 16041

Re: Are emergency funds for suckers?

An emergency fund is a broad strategy that works for everyone who can't manage debt or savings super well - ie probably 80-90% of the population (it could be more). The links earlier in this thread bear witness to just how little cash availability the average household has. That is why Dave Ramsey's...
by brajalle
Tue Aug 25, 2020 3:58 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: What is your base charge for electric? I have an $42 electric access fee.
Replies: 52
Views: 2704

Re: What is your base charge for electric? I have an $42 electric access fee.

Rural co-op = $35/mo base connection charge. Large multi-state for-profit power company 15 miles away = $3.49/mo Once you add up the 20 riders that the large for-profit has, the actual kwh charge is fairly similar. Actually, for 2/3rds of the year the co-op might be lower and the large for-profit wa...
by brajalle
Sun Aug 23, 2020 8:47 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Stage 4 Cancer and Young Family
Replies: 105
Views: 14849

Re: Stage 4 Cancer and Young Family

I'm very sorry at your diagnosis - you obviously care a great deal about your wife & daughter and are incredibly thoughtful. You might look at Fivewishes.org - to help make end-of-life wishes known. If setup right the answers you give can be legally binding, and it may help prevent some moments ...
by brajalle
Sun Aug 23, 2020 6:58 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: move from Microsoft Office to Libre Office - any advantages or disadvantages for those that have done so?
Replies: 45
Views: 3370

Re: move from Microsoft Office to Libre Office - any advantages or disadvantages for those that have done so?

I was a long time Office user, both for work and personal. In retirement, I only use LibreOffice and have trouble locating the commands I know are in the drop downs somewhere. Maybe it’s just me since I don’t use it as much as I used to, or maybe I don’t use it as much because the commands are orga...
by brajalle
Sun Aug 23, 2020 3:47 am
Forum: Personal Investments
Topic: Physician with special needs child seeking money management advice
Replies: 6
Views: 1467

Re: Physician with special needs child seeking money management advice

6) Any specific special needs parenting advice? Sorry this isn't money management specific, but since you asked for #6 as well... Most of my response is by necessity a bit general. At 9 years in, being a Doctor, and with your likely age being in your 40's, you may have a good handle on some or all ...
by brajalle
Sun Aug 23, 2020 2:53 am
Forum: Personal Investments
Topic: Financial Checkup for a 20+ Year Boglehead
Replies: 25
Views: 3102

Re: Financial Checkup for a 20+ Year Boglehead

Unless I missed it I did not see anything about saving for your kids college. You only have about six years until that starts and with your kids ages you will have two kids in college at the same time. What are your plans for that? Yes, excellent question. We do not have any savings set aside for o...
by brajalle
Sun Aug 23, 2020 2:17 am
Forum: Personal Investments
Topic: 529/HSA asset allocation
Replies: 14
Views: 1007

Re: 529/HSA asset allocation

You appear to have a pretty good handle on this and the prior posters covered most ground already. If you can do it, frontloading the 529 does seem to make a ton of sense. Only thing I will note is to see if your state has any tax advantages for 529 accounts. If so, it's possible you may want to con...
by brajalle
Sun Aug 23, 2020 2:08 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: buying a car every year for almost no money
Replies: 61
Views: 10451

Re: buying a car every year for almost no money

Can you manufacture some taxable income to meet the federal tax credit? For example, selling appreciated investment will do. You may buy them back at the appreciated price immediately after selling. No I can't really unfortunately. Everything I have invested is in 1) a 401a or 457 that require sepa...
by brajalle
Sun Aug 23, 2020 1:35 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Dental insurance for seniors
Replies: 29
Views: 2589

Re: Dental insurance for seniors

One poster mentioned going south of the border for expensive dental work. If that isn't an option, look for Dental schools nearby - they often will do expensive work for cost. My parents do this - they get a 10% cash discount at our dentist (sadly, they won't ever bother with the Delta Dental card)...
by brajalle
Sat Aug 22, 2020 2:41 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Dental insurance for seniors
Replies: 29
Views: 2589

Re: Dental insurance for seniors

You may want to look around at discount card options. For example, Delta Dental offers a Delta Dental Patient Direct discount card - https://www.deltadental.com/us/en/dental-insurance.html Unfortunately, it's not available in all states, but it has been expanding. The last time I checked, it was $80...
by brajalle
Sat Aug 22, 2020 1:55 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: move from Microsoft Office to Libre Office - any advantages or disadvantages for those that have done so?
Replies: 45
Views: 3370

Re: move from Microsoft Office to Libre Office - any advantages or disadvantages for those that have done so?

It's fine for basic office work, it can be hit or miss when it comes to specific scripting or formatting, such as in Excel. I'd say 95% of people may never see a problem, or if they do, it's not going to be a major one. I'd say the same thing could be said about Google Docs except I'd change that nu...
by brajalle
Sat Aug 22, 2020 1:39 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Vitamix Worth It?
Replies: 156
Views: 21005

Re: Vitamix Worth It?

I got my Vitamix two days ago and love it! My first blend - which was intended to be a smoothie - needed to be eaten with a spoon, but tasted good and I'm learning how to adjust with each new blend. I am very impressed with how well it blends kale and chia seeds or flax seeds within a recipe so tha...
by brajalle
Sat Aug 22, 2020 1:27 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: buying a car every year for almost no money
Replies: 61
Views: 10451

Re: buying a car every year for almost no money

Without any negotiation I am able to get an offer on a new Clarity for $32,300 OTD: Subtract $7500 federal tax credit and $800 PG&E rebate and the effective price is $24,000. I am pretty sure I’ll be able to get $24k for the car in 12 months (I plan on driving it only 5k miles) Man this is temp...
by brajalle
Sat Aug 22, 2020 1:21 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: EV Tax Credit Question
Replies: 7
Views: 604

Re: EV Tax Credit Question

I would think even after 1 year you can likely still sell it for more than the net purchase price after credit. I'd say that is quite likely you'd be able to sell it. There was a recent thread here about someone (vanpan) who bought a Clarity Base for about $30.6k OTD - net cost of $22.3k - then sol...
by brajalle
Sun Aug 16, 2020 9:25 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Dental insurance choice - please advise
Replies: 5
Views: 584

Re: Dental insurance choice - please advise

Discount plans - if we're talking about the same thing - they can be out there. Delta Dental - I believe in Indiana, Ohio, and Michigan - offers a discount card for example. I'm unsure about other regional Delta Dentals. If you buy direct, it's $80/yr for the entire household. It's not insurance, ju...
by brajalle
Sun Aug 16, 2020 8:07 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Car shopping PHEV / ICE / or all electric?
Replies: 114
Views: 8439

Re: Car shopping PHEV / ICE / or all electric?

I'm glad the OP shared their journey. Unfortunately I missed this thread, but I'm surprised nobody suggested a Honda Clarity to her. It met most of her requirements on paper - 55-60 mile EV range, PHEV, has a pretty nice interior, and you can get a great price for it - about $30-31k OTD in SoCal on ...
by brajalle
Sun Aug 16, 2020 7:30 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Cleaners for washing machine, dishwasher, disposal, etc.
Replies: 31
Views: 1819

Re: Cleaners for washing machine, dishwasher, disposal, etc.

1 - Follow whatever the manufacturer says for maintenance generally 2- Washer - we've used Affresh before - it does do something 3 - Dishwasher - We've only used vinegar - works fine 4 - Garbage disposer - never had a need to "clean" it 5 - Coffee maker - vinegar has worked fine for us I w...
by brajalle
Sun Aug 16, 2020 7:08 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Solar Panel Warranties
Replies: 9
Views: 813

Re: Solar Panel Warranties

BogleFan510 and illumination - those are some great stories of the pitfalls of relying on warranties. There's some interesting stories out there on the devastation in the solar industry in terms of closures. A jan 2018 article here - https://seekingalpha.com/article/4140006-u-s-solar-industry-dead-f...
by brajalle
Sun Aug 16, 2020 6:27 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: EV Tax Credit Question
Replies: 7
Views: 604

Re: EV Tax Credit Question

There is no stated holding period that I can find (one may apply to other state/local/utility stuff though). Requirements from - https://www.irs.gov/irb/2009-48_IRB#NOT-2009-89 (1) The vehicle is placed in service by the taxpayer in a taxable year beginning after December 31, 2009, and is acquired b...
by brajalle
Sun Aug 16, 2020 7:05 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Solar Panel Warranties
Replies: 9
Views: 813

Re: Solar Panel Warranties

Example - I can buy panels from overseas with 25yr warranties for about $0.22-$0.25/watt+shipping (+about $0.05/watt) and the same place sells an entire 10kw system pretty much (panels, mounts, inverter, cabling) for about $9.5k+shipping - it would still potentially cost labor to install, but you c...