Search found 162 matches

by brajalle
Wed Oct 03, 2018 9:10 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: New Snowbird- Tucson AZ
Replies: 21
Views: 3307

Re: New Snowbird- Tucson AZ

You might take a look at the Green Valley area (and surrounding) south of Tuscon. It's a (mostly) retirement community. I know, for example, that my parents and uncle have rented their condos for many years to snowbirds - I'm sure there are still places open based on hearing conversations over the y...
by brajalle
Mon Oct 01, 2018 12:34 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: What is your single most expensive mistake?
Replies: 293
Views: 25264

Re: What is your single most expensive mistake?

Miscalculating an income-based down payment assistance grant program by about $200 in income, grant was worth about $10k.

I'd say eating outside the house is probably far worse though in terms of $$ and health.
by brajalle
Mon Oct 01, 2018 12:28 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Has anyone else noticed that HDHP are actually better for those needing expensive Rx?
Replies: 18
Views: 2280

Re: Has anyone else noticed that HDHP are actually better for those needing expensive Rx?

The assistance for name brand drugs is a significant boon to people with high med costs. A $2500 topical my wife gets has a $1200 assistance card, and I also use 12% off pharmacy gift cards. Our $3k deductible ends up being about $1525, as I fill all other prescriptions the end of the year, then fil...
by brajalle
Sun Sep 30, 2018 5:06 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Geico umbrella us dropping me. What can I do?
Replies: 37
Views: 5521

Re: Geico umbrella us dropping me. What can I do?

There are stand-alone umbrella policies out there btw. A few quick googles turned up about 5-6 companies.
by brajalle
Sun Sep 30, 2018 4:42 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Acoustic Pianos
Replies: 42
Views: 2066

Re: Acoustic Pianos

A member of my immediate family has owned a piano repair/tuning/etc business for 30+yrs. Does not do retail sales of any sort. I grew up helping move quite a few of those pianos, but that is about the limit of my direct involvement. There are many, many good brands of used pianos out there. Some of ...
by brajalle
Mon Sep 24, 2018 10:29 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Fed up with health insurance situation
Replies: 117
Views: 7399

Re: Fed up with health insurance situation

I just wanted to add that the price being paid and the plan arrangements are pretty comparable to my employer's COBRA costs and plan deductible/oop caps.
by brajalle
Sun Sep 16, 2018 4:43 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Does anyone use Personal Capital, Mint, Tiller, or You Need a Budget?
Replies: 52
Views: 8090

Re: Does anyone use Personal Capital, Mint, Tiller, or You Need a Budget?

I also use YNAB Classic. Still works fine for me. Not really a fan of monthly fees. Actually have a 2nd un-used key. No friends/family were interested in budgeting...
by brajalle
Tue Aug 21, 2018 4:21 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Cell phone insurance
Replies: 25
Views: 1926

Re: Cell phone insurance

I definitely would skip cell phone insurance through the carrier. Here's what we've done, including for a claim just in July - 1. Homeowners policy. $0 deductible, $750 coverage, around $20-25/yr. Recent claim was, take letter in that it was not repairable by local phone repair store, offer to demon...
by brajalle
Mon Aug 20, 2018 2:07 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Chevy Volt for Commute
Replies: 24
Views: 2358

Re: Chevy Volt for Commute

Sorta a shame that the visionary Volt is likely done after the 2019 model year. Where did you read this? Sounds like it will be the last generation but it should continue until 2020 or beyond, until replaced by a crossover. 2019 will charge in 1/2 the time as before and I doubt that’s a one year fe...
by brajalle
Sat Aug 18, 2018 10:29 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Chevy Volt for Commute
Replies: 24
Views: 2358

Re: Chevy Volt for Commute

Add me to the all electric camp! LOVE driving electric! Side note: if you're not aware, range will vary widely depending on outside temperature and use of heat/AC. If you live in a place where you deal with cold winters, make sure to factor in that your range will be much less than what you expect ...
by brajalle
Sat Aug 18, 2018 10:18 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Chevy Volt for Commute
Replies: 24
Views: 2358

Re: Chevy Volt for Commute

Chevy Volt - Small trunk, middle seat has no leg space Honda Clarity - Even smaller trunk due to being a sedan Toyota Prius Prime - No 5th seat, EV range only 26 miles BMW i3 - Ridiculously expensive, no 5th seat My money is on the Volt because at least it has a 5th seat. The Prime would be good if...
by brajalle
Sat Aug 18, 2018 9:10 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Best (most practical, low cost) Luggage for Airline Travel
Replies: 56
Views: 3917

Re: Best (most practical, low cost) Luggage for Airline Travel

Luggage choices really depend on how/where/how-often you travel. A good upgrade choice IMO is Eagle Creek over the budget offerings. Several of their lines have the "No Matter What Warranty", read more here - https://www.eaglecreek.com/warranty I've had to use the warranty only once - on stitching t...
by brajalle
Thu Aug 16, 2018 6:26 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Chevy Volt for Commute
Replies: 24
Views: 2358

Re: Chevy Volt for Commute

We ended up checking out the Volt as well as the Honda Insight (hybrid) and Clarity (plug-in hybrid) just 2 days ago. Was very surprised with the outcome. Walked away ranking them - 1) Clarity, 2) Insight, 3) Volt. The interior of the Volt (even Premier) seemed much cheaper than the Honda's, and hon...
by brajalle
Sat Aug 11, 2018 11:13 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: AAA & AARP = Travel Benefits?
Replies: 27
Views: 2609

Re: AAA & AARP = Travel Benefits?

I haven't seen these AARP discounts mentioned yet - 15% off Dennys 10% off Carabas, Bonefish, Outback, Rainforest Cafe (there's more, that's just the larger chains) British Airways - $65 off economy, $200 off business (US origin only) Someone mentioned MedJet Assist - it's up to 18%, which is pretty...
by brajalle
Sun Aug 05, 2018 10:00 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: My Credit Card Rewards Strategy
Replies: 28
Views: 2625

Re: My Credit Card Rewards Strategy

You're missing some low hanging fruit - a 2% general CB card. I'd recommend the Citi Doublecash, their purchase protection perks (cash rewind, extended warranty, etc) put it up over several of the others IMO. Past that, there's the Ft. Knox FCU card that has 5% CB on gas. The uber card that is 4% on...
by brajalle
Fri Jun 15, 2018 1:48 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Timeshare ever worth it? Please share details
Replies: 123
Views: 11617

Re: Timeshare ever worth it? Please share details

I've researched HGV timeshares extensively. My analysis suggests they can be a good deal if you 1) buy intelligently after much research via resale, 2) like to vacation regularly in areas with timeshares, and 3) are comparing the price/experience to hotels. Basically, for HGV, you look for the prope...
by brajalle
Mon Apr 30, 2018 1:45 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Credit Card for International Travel
Replies: 28
Views: 2092

Re: Credit Card for International Travel

Thanks to all who replied. With this much collective knowledge and wisdom, this forum is like a gold mine. For sure I need to look closer into the "PIN priority" feature. I will go look things up and do more research following the various leads and suggestions you posted. Thanks! I know you were lo...
by brajalle
Sun Apr 22, 2018 1:12 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: What is a good flat rate cash back credit card?
Replies: 80
Views: 11266

Re: What is a good flat rate cash back credit card?

Just stopping by to state that Citi cards have other consumer protection/insurance benefits that are pretty nice. Ie, +2 years on warranties for example, and the excellent price rewind program. This easily makes the Double Cash card superior to the Fidelity 2% for example IMO.
by brajalle
Sat Feb 17, 2018 6:29 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Good brands for Kitchenware?
Replies: 40
Views: 3601

Re: Good brands for Kitchenware?

I was looking at consumer reports reviews. They recommend non-stick coated pans in their reviews. I don't think I can rely on them because they don't give the warnings about non-stick that I see elsewhere. I'm a bit surprised to be honest. Almost everywhere gives a little notice that non-stick has ...
by brajalle
Fri Feb 16, 2018 11:57 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Good brands for Kitchenware?
Replies: 40
Views: 3601

Re: Good brands for Kitchenware?

Some good resources for research - America's Test Kitchen, Cooks Illustrated, Consumer Reports, Wirecutter/Sweethome I'll echo that All-Clad and Lodge seem to be the Blendtec of pots/pans and cast iron. I'm not sure there's something too similar for other kitchen items in terms of brand (except indi...
by brajalle
Fri Feb 16, 2018 11:37 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: The value of car body repairs/upkeep of older cars?
Replies: 33
Views: 3309

Re: The value of car body repairs/upkeep of older cars?

I have a 19 year old Honda in the midwest that has zero rust. YMMV. As far as repair, look at the quote cost, but personally I'd probably just skip cosmetic repairs and only try to halt the rust's progression and make sure there's nothing going on with rust underneath. Your car could easily run for...
by brajalle
Thu Feb 15, 2018 8:13 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: The value of car body repairs/upkeep of older cars?
Replies: 33
Views: 3309

Re: The value of car body repairs/upkeep of older cars?

I have a 19 year old Honda in the midwest that has zero rust. YMMV. As far as repair, look at the quote cost, but personally I'd probably just skip cosmetic repairs and only try to halt the rust's progression and make sure there's nothing going on with rust underneath. Your car could easily run for ...
by brajalle
Wed Feb 14, 2018 11:13 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Honda vs. Toyota: Which has more bang for the buck?
Replies: 119
Views: 12550

Re: Honda vs. Toyota: Which has more bang for the buck?

I've owned 3 different Honda's, and my parents have owned 3 as well. They've also had a Toyota and my wife drives a 2010 Corolla. Grandparents have had 3 Toyotas. Based on those (admittedly limited) experiences, and my dissatisfaction with the build quality and interior of the Corolla, I'd steer tow...
by brajalle
Wed Feb 14, 2018 10:56 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: What is the best place to buy pet food online?
Replies: 28
Views: 4168

Re: What is the best place to buy pet food online?

We buy at Petco. Both in-store and online. In-store they'll match online prices. Online they're typically the same price as or a few dollars cheaper than the other sites mentioned above. There are other advantages to Petco - - Pal Rewards (worth 5% rebate, beware expiration dates on the rewards) - S...
by brajalle
Mon Feb 05, 2018 4:43 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: BIG ($180k) student debt!! Strategy needed.
Replies: 54
Views: 9918

Re: BIG ($180k) student debt!! Strategy needed.

Curious about the ethics of borrowing money with the strategy of looking for / counting on debt forgiveness from the git-go.. Who else (maybe taxpayers?) ends up paying off the loan walked away from? How about the old-fashioned notion of her paying off the debt she voluntarily incurred? It should a...
by brajalle
Mon Feb 05, 2018 4:09 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: 3rd Shifters, Seeking Advice.
Replies: 11
Views: 1134

Re: 3rd Shifters, Seeking Advice.

I've worked 3rd shift for over 10 years. I'm fairly lucky in that I have 12hr shifts and 3/4 days off each week - which helps vs 2. I too would recommend no stimulants after a certain time, and to have a healthy diet. Whenever I went to an unhealthy diet, I found staying awake at the end of my shift...
by brajalle
Fri Dec 29, 2017 3:41 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Good VPN?
Replies: 21
Views: 2466

Re: Good VPN?

Most people seem to just post what they themselves use. To that end, I've had a good 3 years with AirVPN. Won't say it's blazing fast though. I didn't like "just" using what I've been using and "just" trying what others are using - there's actually no great way to evaluate VPN's I've found, and no w...
by brajalle
Sat Dec 09, 2017 3:33 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Mortgage as percentage of take-home pay
Replies: 79
Views: 9076

Re: Mortgage as percentage of take-home pay

Years ago I read a thread similar to this one except also asking if there was a certain % you felt like you had enough extra money or felt tight on the budget. The thing I took away from that thread's comments was that people with PITI+HoA of under 20% gross income were the ones that said they felt ...
by brajalle
Tue Dec 05, 2017 2:01 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Running Linux vs Other OS?
Replies: 33
Views: 2156

Re: Running Linux vs Other OS?

While technically Linux, I think the OP is missing Chrome on that list.

I'd probably consider it the most Boglehead OS on the list tbh. Probably has the best mix of simple/cheap.
by brajalle
Tue Dec 05, 2017 1:47 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: $450 Rebate on $1079 hot water heater with heatpump
Replies: 6
Views: 1307

Re: $450 Rebate on $1079 hot water heater with heatpump

We've been happy with ours - got a similar price/overall deal via Sears on their Kenmore unit about a year ago. I believe the GE, Rheems, and Kenmore are all manufactured by the same company. The smart module isn't too bad, supposedly will notify us of leaks when we're not home for example. The cool...
by brajalle
Tue Nov 28, 2017 5:43 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: new TCL 55 4k TV has washy, pinkish cast
Replies: 18
Views: 1627

Re: new TCL 55 4k TV has washy, pinkish cast

Anxiously following this thread as I am looking at TCL tvs to replace my Samsung. Two reviews I read rated the TCLs as best value. My Samsung has a good picture but some sort of loose connection causes lines in the picture. The temp fix is to manually flex the entire body of the tv. Getting tired o...
by brajalle
Tue Nov 14, 2017 4:16 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Looking for a Catamaran
Replies: 21
Views: 2073

Re: Looking for a Catamaran

I'd recommend posing this question at Sailing Anarchy or Cruisers Forum, but they're going to want to know ALOT more info about your needs, wants, sailing area, budget, etc. If you had to force me toss out a name on this forum not knowing anything else, but assuming some sort of normal cruising, saf...
by brajalle
Mon Nov 13, 2017 3:47 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Investing HOA reserve money?
Replies: 24
Views: 2186

Re: Investing HOA reserve money?

My small (14 unit) condo association of which I'm president ladders our reserve funds in CDs. Further, I'd recommend finding a law firm that specializes in condo associations in your city (or state - there's like 1 real specialty place in our state of ~6 million). They often have reasonable costs fo...
by brajalle
Mon Nov 13, 2017 3:39 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Chromebook vs Windows 10?
Replies: 56
Views: 4859

Re: Chromebook vs Windows 10?

My wife has had a chromebook for several years. It's perfect for her, and has been so much less of a headache to be tech support for me. I strongly recommend one for internet browsing for anyone. That being said, a couple of downsides (not at all dealbreakers vs all the benefits) - - some issues pla...
by brajalle
Mon Nov 13, 2017 3:26 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Growth of Medicare Advantage enrollment
Replies: 68
Views: 5243

Re: Growth of Medicare Advantage enrollment

Have a good friend on this areas most popular MA plan. Needed a double lung transplant. The networks most qualified provider turned him down, and gave him 6 months to live. He "moved' to outside the area and enrolled in regular medicare and supplement. Was evaluated at Duke and Cleveland Clinic. Cl...
by brajalle
Tue Nov 07, 2017 12:22 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Social security regular vs disability
Replies: 10
Views: 1461

Re: Social security regular vs disability

You do not need to involve a lawyer until the appeals process in filing for Disability (this is after the 2nd step - the request for reconsideration). Social Security actually does a really good job on clear-cut cases with medical documentation, ie it sounds like your case would likely be one. I wou...
by brajalle
Mon Nov 06, 2017 11:53 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Considering a LG 55" OLED TV
Replies: 50
Views: 5959

Re: Considering a LG 55" OLED TV

That's not how the Citi extended warranty works. It does not add years to non-manufacturers warranties, only to manufacturers. They specifically call out this example in the benefits documentation for the Citi Costco card at http://citi.com/Costco I took a second look - hrm, it is less clear than I...
by brajalle
Sun Nov 05, 2017 1:06 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Considering a LG 55" OLED TV
Replies: 50
Views: 5959

Re: Considering a LG 55" OLED TV

Costco has the register rebate where you can get the 3 year Squaretrade warranty extension for $0 net cost. The Citi Costco card adds 2 years onto that - so you actually get 7 years of warranty coverage! (1 year LG, 1 year Costco, 3 years Squaretrade, 2 years Citi) That's not how the Citi extended ...
by brajalle
Mon Oct 23, 2017 3:18 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Citi Price Rewind iPhone 7 Did They Pay You?
Replies: 17
Views: 3117

Re: Citi Price Rewind iPhone 7 Did They Pay You?

$100 deposited into my account 😀 Calling back worked. Lesson learned submit via paper and provide documents. Sounds like a lot of hassle. They advertise these benefits and they sound great until you have to spend so much time and effort to actually get the benefit. They really don't take much time ...
by brajalle
Sat Oct 14, 2017 7:01 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Citi Price Rewind iPhone 7 Did They Pay You?
Replies: 17
Views: 3117

Re: Citi Price Rewind iPhone 7 Did They Pay You?

The paper form for Citi Rewind works great. We don't even use the tracking website honestly.
by brajalle
Sat Sep 30, 2017 3:51 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Hardwood/Laminate floors ?
Replies: 17
Views: 1952

Re: Hardwood/Laminate floors ?

We recently had to replace our kitchen floor. I'd suggest looking into Vinyl plank flooring. Think: it's vinyl but looks like hardwood. It's similar to laminate -- but is water*proof* (versus water resistant for laminate). We picked it up at Home Depot and installed ourselves. Pretty easy install p...
by brajalle
Sun Sep 10, 2017 3:39 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Name something you had to have and now you regret purchasing it?
Replies: 387
Views: 46592

Re: Name something you had to have and now you regret purchasing it?

Membership in AARP Walgreens likes to run a promo in Sept/Oct annually, where you spend like $20 and get a coupon for a year of AARP membership. We've done this for several years. I don't eat there a ton, but 15% off at Denny's and 10% off at Outback isn't too bad. Regrets - A 7.1 surround system w...
by brajalle
Thu Aug 31, 2017 2:43 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Xfinity Mobile
Replies: 130
Views: 18280

Re: Xfinity Mobile

bandoba wrote:
Thu Aug 31, 2017 10:59 am
Thanks for heads up. Were you able to order 5 phones/lines as 1 order? I could checkout only 1 phone at a time.
One by one. Although I didn't try anything else.
by brajalle
Thu Aug 31, 2017 5:35 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Xfinity Mobile
Replies: 130
Views: 18280

Re: Xfinity Mobile

I am getting a page that says "Our site is temporarily unavailable". When I don't get that message, the phone is OOS! Weird. Their website was up and down last night, and I couldn't complete a single order when I did get through. It always failed at the end. This morning though, everything was work...
by brajalle
Thu Aug 31, 2017 5:25 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Coyote Defense
Replies: 69
Views: 7329

Re: Coyote Defense

From what I've read, pepper spray is typically quite effective unless it's windy. If you're downwind of the animal, you could wind up just blinding yourself. They have pepper spray delivered by gel and foam as well. This helps a bit with the whole windy, downwind, or fear of getting it back in your...
by brajalle
Wed Aug 30, 2017 4:39 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Kitchen knife set. Good quality - Recommendations
Replies: 55
Views: 7873

Re: Kitchen knife set. Good quality - Recommendations

Cutco knives are made out of high carbon steel and they are stamped rather than forged. They also have an oddly-shaped cutting edge that you can't easily sharpen effectively yourself. Part of what you are paying for is the "free" sharpening service. If you do go with Cutco, be advised the handles w...
by brajalle
Wed Aug 30, 2017 6:10 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Possible January trip to Naples, Italy / Amalfi Coast
Replies: 37
Views: 3303

Re: Possible January trip to Naples, Italy / Amalfi Coast

Someone mentioned taking a Rick Steve's tour, but I can't believe nobody has mentioned the guidebook. Buy. The. Guidebook. We took a trip to Italy in 2012, and had a blast. The Rick Steve's book covered pretty much every bus stop, discount, tourist pitfall, hints, and restaurants you could want. I t...
by brajalle
Sat Aug 26, 2017 5:30 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Kitchen knife set. Good quality - Recommendations
Replies: 55
Views: 7873

Re: Kitchen knife set. Good quality - Recommendations

Getco - I'll second the sweethome/wirecutter recommendation. I'll also second a few comments about Cutco. If you're looking at a new, quality set, they're probably a bit overpriced (definitely if you're looking at used or cheap alternatives). They are good quality and we're very happy with ours. As ...
by brajalle
Mon Aug 07, 2017 10:06 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: LED light bulbs
Replies: 97
Views: 11561

Re: LED light bulbs

Of the bulbs I have, the Philips L-Prize winning model is by far the best. They have a CRI of 92, dim perfectly with standard dimmers, even shifting their color temperature as they are dimmed, mimicking incandescent bulbs with this (IMO) desirable trait. Test bulbs passed 25,000 hours of testing wi...
by brajalle
Thu Jul 13, 2017 3:59 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Cutting the Cord: Who's Best?
Replies: 51
Views: 7504

Re: Cutting the Cord: Who's Best?

Not much to add to the above, except that if you have AT&T phone service there are potentially some discounts on DirectTV Now.