Search found 1219 matches

by deanbrew
Thu Mar 22, 2018 3:39 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: New vs Used Camry vs Accord
Replies: 64
Views: 3707

Re: New vs Used Camry vs Accord

New? Drive them both and find out which you like better. Make sure to drive the different trim levels. With the Accord, I've usually found the EX-L to be the sweet spot in terms of value/comfort/content. Used? Neither the Accord or Camry. If I were looking at used cars, I would look at the Mazda 6 a...
by deanbrew
Tue Mar 20, 2018 2:54 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: What is your favorite reasonably priced bourbon?
Replies: 148
Views: 12448

Re: What is your favorite reasonably priced bourbon?

lazydavid wrote:
Tue Mar 20, 2018 2:52 pm
bltkmt wrote:
Tue Mar 20, 2018 2:35 pm
BanquetBeer wrote:
Sat Sep 23, 2017 8:27 am
My favorite in that whole category is glenlevit 15yr
Isn't that a scotch, and not bourbon?
Glenlivet is a scotch for sure. I don't know what Glenlevit is :P
I think that's scotch that was distilled in a 60s tract home.
by deanbrew
Tue Mar 20, 2018 1:12 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: What is your favorite reasonably priced bourbon?
Replies: 148
Views: 12448

Re: What is your favorite reasonably priced bourbon?

Kirkland can be a bit of a crapshoot. They source from two different distilleries; Buffalo Trace (Frankfort) and Jim Beam (Clarmont). I bought some about three years ago in Louisville and it was great. I have purchased several bottles since I moved to Jacksonville, and they all had a noticeable Jim...
by deanbrew
Wed Mar 14, 2018 12:31 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Redfin implicit hidden costs.
Replies: 23
Views: 3251

Re: Redfin implicit hidden costs.

I was at a few open houses where the selling realtors were immediately telling me (and being pushy) about *other properties* or new developments they were representing. And I was thinking, if was was the seller who used that realtor, I'd be upset that they were steering me away from my own property...
by deanbrew
Mon Mar 05, 2018 5:12 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: re-siding house - vinyl or hardiplank?
Replies: 54
Views: 5080

Re: re-siding house - vinyl or hardiplank?

I know cement board (Hardie is just one brand) has been EXTREMELY popular for several years, but the fact that it needs painting is a HUGE downside IMO. In that respect, it's similar to owning a house with wood siding, isn't it? Hardie says it won't need painting for 15 years, but I'm curious if tha...
by deanbrew
Wed Jan 31, 2018 2:37 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Is this new car the smarter option?
Replies: 24
Views: 1742

Re: Is this new car the smarter option?

If more people bought a car with safety as a priority and had even moderately realistic expectations in terms of the chances of having a serious accident when chose make and model, there would be a lot more large cars out in the streets. No way I am driving around in a lightweight low-budget tin ca...
by deanbrew
Fri Jan 26, 2018 3:52 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Sell one year minivan or not
Replies: 11
Views: 738

Re: Sell one year minivan or not

We own a Honda Odyssey that we bought four years ago. Even though we don't use the full people and cargo capabilities all the time, it does come in very handy when we need something from the hardware store, lumber yard or Sam's Club. Or to haul stuff somewhere. Or when we have 5 or more people. I do...
by deanbrew
Fri Jan 26, 2018 10:07 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: What steps should my sister and I go through to claim our inheritance?
Replies: 21
Views: 2759

Re: What steps should my sister and I go through to claim our inheritance?

I am not trying to be unkind, but I offer here for perspective that I suspect that your stepmother's siblings will have a good laugh amongst themselves if you approach them asking for personal property. You are the out of state siblings of their sister's husband who died 8 years ago. Putting myself...
by deanbrew
Thu Jan 25, 2018 4:18 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Life insurance company wants money back
Replies: 45
Views: 4595

Re: Life insurance company wants money back

This is incorrect. While generally the incontestability period kicks-in after one-two years of the policy being in force, there are exceptions, most commonly for situations where the insured's ages is misstated/misrepresented on the application. It wouldn't necessarily involve voiding the policy, b...
by deanbrew
Thu Jan 25, 2018 3:52 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: What steps should my sister and I go through to claim our inheritance?
Replies: 21
Views: 2759

Re: What steps should my sister and I go through to claim our inheritance?

From some quick research, and I am no lawyer, it seems you should have inherited half of your father's estate upon his death. The other to your step mom, and once she passed you two would not have been entitled to that half. It sounds suspiciously like you need a lawyer. Agree. I don't see any reas...
by deanbrew
Tue Jan 23, 2018 2:45 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Trying to pay down mortgage, but...
Replies: 32
Views: 2990

Re: Trying to pay down mortgage, but...

This is the universe telling you not to pay down your mortgage. :mrgreen: Haha, that's exactly what I was thinking. I could possibly see doing Option B, as it's simple and automatic. There's no way I would try and make multiple extra payments each month, knowing I would have to track them somehow. ...
by deanbrew
Fri Jan 19, 2018 11:40 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Any downside to having a low property (house) assessment from the town?
Replies: 11
Views: 1050

Re: Any downside to having a low property (house) assessment from the town?

When I've been in the market to buy a house, I absolutely look at appraisals. If there are 3 houses with the same asking price and one of those 3 is 20% lower than the rest, I assume that there's a good reason for that and discount it in my mind. Appraisals or assessments? They are two different th...
by deanbrew
Fri Jan 19, 2018 11:38 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Any downside to having a low property (house) assessment from the town?
Replies: 11
Views: 1050

Re: Any downside to having a low property (house) assessment from the town?

Assessed value means pretty much nothing in relation to resale. Don't worry about it. All that matters is what the market will pay and what it would appraise for. I agree. Don't worry about the assessed value. Just enjoy the lower taxes. Assessments are conducted using "mass appraisal" techniques t...
by deanbrew
Thu Jan 11, 2018 9:15 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Diminished value claim - small claims court
Replies: 23
Views: 1423

Re: Diminished value claim - small claims court

The purpose of my question is that it seems to me that if "diminished value" is something that folks believe an insurance company should pay, then wouldn't it be logical that a responsible individual should pay as well? Absolutely, I don't see any difference. But either way, it's only going to happ...
by deanbrew
Thu Jan 11, 2018 9:01 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Diminished value claim - small claims court
Replies: 23
Views: 1423

Re: Diminished value claim - small claims court

OK - what if we turn the situation around and suppose this does not involve insurance. You do damage to my car and it is your fault. Complete repair of the damage costs $1,000 -- BUT I (legitimately) claim my car now has "diminished value" (after the repair) of $2,000. In addition to having paid th...
by deanbrew
Fri Dec 29, 2017 4:02 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Think Home might have Asbestos (what to do?)
Replies: 20
Views: 1271

Re: Think Home might have Asbestos (what to do?)

1) The type of Asbestos that is "hazardous" is the type considered "friable" or easily airborne. 2) Floor Tile containing Asbestos is NOT a hazard as long as it is intact and not "powdered" 3) Ceiling tile that is in good condition and has not become "friable" is not a hazard and as long as it is i...
by deanbrew
Thu Dec 28, 2017 2:53 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: gift cards - caveats
Replies: 41
Views: 2101

Re: gift cards - caveats

In that case, I assume that the charity needs to spend down the card before the fees start to kick in as well. I suppose a well-run charity will know to do this, but the more I learn about these cards the more furious and outraged I feel. :annoyed :annoyed :annoyed No, I don't donate the card to th...
by deanbrew
Thu Dec 28, 2017 12:20 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Need to shop insurance: curious what you have?
Replies: 22
Views: 1447

Re: Need to shop insurance: curious what you have?

Every couple of years, I shop around. I have a spreadsheet with vital info that I update when it comes time to shop. It has headings with the following information: Vehicles: I list each vehicle, with year, make, model, VIN and number of miles driven each year. Car coverage: I indicate what I have n...
by deanbrew
Thu Dec 28, 2017 12:10 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: gift cards - caveats
Replies: 41
Views: 2101

Re: gift cards - caveats

I almost never get store-specific gift cards, and I agree those can be a pain to manage/carry/use. As for Visa gift cards, I end up with those instead of paper checks when I get rebates on purchases. I hate them because I hate to carry them and remember to use them before the monthly fees kick in. S...
by deanbrew
Mon Dec 11, 2017 11:06 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Dad Needs Help Buying Wedding Liquor
Replies: 71
Views: 7119

Re: Dad Needs Help Buying Wedding Liquor

I agree with the posts that you are over doing it with the wide varieties. I have been to a couple recent weddings with the bride/groom drink, beer, wine, and a couple different hard liquors for mixed drinks. I would do the following... 2-3 different beers Jack Daniels (Maker's Mark) Captain Morgan...
by deanbrew
Thu Dec 07, 2017 2:39 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Side Hustle Taxes
Replies: 18
Views: 2469

Re: Side Hustle Taxes

What kind of local taxes would a business owe? This one will have the most variance, I suspect. I pay a 1.0% local income tax to my county, which gets split up between the county, township and school district. That's 1.0% of net income (after deducting business expenses, pension contribution, etc.)...
by deanbrew
Thu Dec 07, 2017 2:27 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Side Hustle Taxes
Replies: 18
Views: 2469

Re: Small business accounting and taxes

3. She should use "real accounting" software for the business. Quicken is not the answer. You need to track income, expenses (by category). Personally, as a Mac user, I use AccountEdge https://www.accountedge.com for my software. Are you aware that Quicken has a version specifically made to track b...
by deanbrew
Thu Dec 07, 2017 1:40 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Side Hustle Taxes
Replies: 18
Views: 2469

Re: Side Hustle Taxes

Open a solo 401k. You would be able to defer nearly all of her income so you won't have to worry about paying estimated taxes. This is what we do for my wife's yoga teaching income. Good advice. If the side income isn't needed (or to the extent you want to save it for retirement), then contributing...
by deanbrew
Thu Dec 07, 2017 12:47 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Dad Needs Help Buying Wedding Liquor
Replies: 71
Views: 7119

Re: Dad Needs Help Buying Wedding Liquor

I'll pass on commenting on anything but the bourbon. Jack Daniels is technically a bourbon, but is not typically marketed as such. The federal criteria to be considered a bourbon are incorporated into the Tennessee state definition of a Tennessee Whiskey. A Tennessee Whiskey must be produced in Ten...
by deanbrew
Wed Dec 06, 2017 7:42 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Vegas on a budget
Replies: 49
Views: 4020

Re: Vegas on a budget

Fremont Street Experience is still quite cheap. In every sense of the word. Yeah, but I would consider it a must if you have never been to Vegas. Or even if you have. I go to Fremont Street every time I go to Vegas. It's cool to see the old casinos, with the low ceilings and seedier atmosphere.
by deanbrew
Wed Dec 06, 2017 10:39 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Holiday Tipping
Replies: 30
Views: 2503

Re: Holiday Tipping

Luckywon - The pay I refer to is $26K annually. Fully agree they deserve a tip! Another good tip for them would be to get a union job!!! All trash hauling in my county is by private companies, and none are unionized. I doubt most pay more than $10 an hour to the guys hanging off the back of the tru...
by deanbrew
Wed Dec 06, 2017 9:41 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Used Car Buying Help
Replies: 20
Views: 1573

Re: Used Car Buying Help

$19k sounds high to me. I had a friend just buy a brand new one loaded for less than $27k. For that price why not just buy a brand new corolla? Yea they're not as big, not as nice, etc...but its brand new. Im all about buying used cars...if you can get a deal. $19k for a 3 year old camry isnt a dea...
by deanbrew
Wed Dec 06, 2017 9:27 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Holiday Tipping
Replies: 30
Views: 2503

Re: Holiday Tipping

Good thought. Thanks for the Idea. Why would I like to tip them? I often put out more volume, or items, than they are contracted to pick up and these guys do it out of the goodness of their heart. Of all the people who perform regular services, I think the newspaper carrier and trash haulers probab...
by deanbrew
Tue Dec 05, 2017 2:47 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Vegas on a budget
Replies: 49
Views: 4020

Re: Vegas on a budget

3 day trip to Vegas to relax, do we need a rental car? are everything in the walking distance? If you plan to stay in town, you won't need a rental car. The hotels and casinos are LONG distances apart, though, so it takes a lot of walking. There are also monorail and bus options, as well as Uber, L...
by deanbrew
Tue Dec 05, 2017 1:54 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Holiday Tipping
Replies: 30
Views: 2503

Re: Holiday Tipping

I don't know how to tip the garbage collectors. I put money in a card, in an envelope with a great big red bow on it, and tape it to the top of my trash bin. It's obvious that it's a Christmas card, not trash. I put an amount in that can be split evenly either two or three ways, because I'm not sur...
by deanbrew
Tue Dec 05, 2017 1:48 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Used Car Buying Help
Replies: 20
Views: 1573

Re: Used Car Buying Help

The Avalon is significantly nicer than a Camry, with better materials and more features. We still have a 2002 Avalon that my wife bought new. It has 160k miles and is being used by our son. It's still a reasonably nice car to drive and ride in. If it depreciates more than a Camry, then I'd say it wo...
by deanbrew
Tue Dec 05, 2017 1:40 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Vegas on a budget
Replies: 49
Views: 4020

Re: Vegas on a budget

In 'n Out Burger: Need I say more? Peppermill: A classic Vegas diner decorated in 70s/pimp chic. Lunch/Dinner are ok, breakfast is outstanding. Omlettes are expensive at $13-15, but are HUGE (5-6 eggs!) and fantastic. These are the two that immediately came to mind. If the OP is a West Coaster, the...
by deanbrew
Tue Dec 05, 2017 1:33 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Holiday Tipping
Replies: 30
Views: 2503

Re: Holiday Tipping

I would suspect that the masseuse, nail person and beautician are tipped each time service is proffered, so I see no need to provide an extra tip at Christmas. The newspaper delivery person and gardener are a bit different, and I think a holiday tip is a nice gesture, though not required, of course....
by deanbrew
Mon Dec 04, 2017 3:49 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Is This How the ACA Can Help Me?
Replies: 10
Views: 1160

Re: Is This How the ACA Can Help Me?

Yes, thanks for pointing that out for others. CSR is only possible with a Silver plan. But PTC (tax credits) are applicable to Bronze, Silver, Gold and Platinum plans. In my area, Silver plan premiums went up by more than 50%, and other plans went up much less, resulting in Silver plans not being r...
by deanbrew
Mon Dec 04, 2017 3:08 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Is This How the ACA Can Help Me?
Replies: 10
Views: 1160

Re: Is This How the ACA Can Help Me?

That's interesting. For some folks in your area, Silver plans may still be a better deal due to the cost-sharing reductions that are available to folks with incomes under 250% of the poverty line. Yes, thanks for pointing that out for others. CSR is only possible with a Silver plan. But PTC (tax cr...
by deanbrew
Mon Dec 04, 2017 2:47 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Is This How the ACA Can Help Me?
Replies: 10
Views: 1160

Re: Is This How the ACA Can Help Me?

As I understand it, the critical income numbers are $22,411 and $64,960 (for a household of two people). If your MAGI is between the two numbers, then it makes sense to apply on the federal website and choose an ACA plan. Don't worry about taxable income. MAGI is AGI plus tax-free interest and a cou...
by deanbrew
Wed Nov 22, 2017 12:33 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Limited Pay Life Insurance
Replies: 9
Views: 586

Re: Limited Pay Life Insurance

My questions are as follows: 1. I don't know much about life insurance (other than keeping it and your investments separate), but this doesn't seem quite as scammy as whole life generally does. Does it seem correct that they'd pay $300,000 over 5 years for a policy that will pay them a $800,000 dea...
by deanbrew
Wed Nov 22, 2017 12:09 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Refinance to 15-Year Fixed or Not?
Replies: 10
Views: 716

Re: Refinance to 15-Year Fixed or Not?

I think I would definitely refinance to a fixed rate loan if I were you. The risk of interest rates going up and your ARM adjustments is too significant. I would also look carefully at 15, 20, 25 and 30 year loans. Yes, the interest rate on a 15 year loan is probably the lowest, but you are locked i...
by deanbrew
Tue Nov 14, 2017 6:03 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Did you want to set up a payment plan for that?
Replies: 19
Views: 2598

Re: Did you want to set up a payment plan for that?

I'm a little surprised at the replies here. Yes, Bogleheads, with their generally high incomes and generally high savings rates can just eat $200 - $1000 expenses in stride. Just write a check or swipe your credit card and pay the bill at the end of the month. A huge chunk of this country does not ...
by deanbrew
Mon Nov 13, 2017 12:35 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Did you want to set up a payment plan for that?
Replies: 19
Views: 2598

Re: Did you want to set up a payment plan for that?

No, I pay cash for a car, but finance the phone. :D The difference is I get a monthly bill from Verizon anyways so folding in the cost of the phone (at zero interest) makes no difference to me. When I pay cash for car I do it so I won't get a monthly bill. Exactly. Why pay the full price of the pho...
by deanbrew
Sat Nov 11, 2017 9:54 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Tipping for restaurants where you order at the counter
Replies: 126
Views: 16713

Re: Tipping for restaurants where you order at the counter

I would tip the same dollar amount on Tuesday as you would the regular price the other days. Another reason the percentage standard is flawed.
by deanbrew
Sat Nov 11, 2017 9:30 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Tipping for restaurants where you order at the counter
Replies: 126
Views: 16713

Re: Tipping for restaurants where you order at the counter

There's a #4 variation which I see at Asian restaurants. - Full service, but PAY at the counter. I give a traditional tip in that situation. I also typically tip 10% at buffets if the waitstaff was good. But for counter service? No. Mexican restaurants are often like that too, it seems. I tip the f...
by deanbrew
Sat Nov 11, 2017 4:52 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Tipping for restaurants where you order at the counter
Replies: 126
Views: 16713

Re: Tipping for restaurants where you order at the counter

White Coat Investor wrote:
Sat Nov 11, 2017 4:40 pm


I definitely DO NOT tip in advance. That's bizarre. What are you going to do if the service sucks, ask for your money back?
I agree. I also hate the policy with the automatic 18 percent tip. I nearly always get lousy service with the automatic tip.
by deanbrew
Sat Nov 11, 2017 3:32 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Tipping for restaurants where you order at the counter
Replies: 126
Views: 16713

Re: Tipping for restaurants where you order at the counter

Last, I do think there's a social pressure component in that we tip because we come face-to-face with the server. For example, many of my friends are generous tippers in restaurants and bars, but do not tip the hotel housekeeper, which I think is a substantially more difficult job with less pay. Th...
by deanbrew
Sat Nov 11, 2017 2:26 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Tipping for restaurants where you order at the counter
Replies: 126
Views: 16713

Re: Tipping where you order at the counter

Why wouldn't you tip for #3? Someone is serving you food and cleaning up afterwards. Because I expect them to paid a regular wage and not some stupid 1/4 minimum wage + tips. Fair enough, I guess. But I definitely tip for #3. It's hard to know how they are being paid, I grant you. Is there a rule t...
by deanbrew
Sat Nov 11, 2017 2:08 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Tipping for restaurants where you order at the counter
Replies: 126
Views: 16713

Re: Tipping where you order at the counter

FraggleRock wrote:
Sat Nov 11, 2017 2:04 pm
123 = No
Why wouldn't you tip for #3? Someone is serving you food and cleaning up afterwards.
by deanbrew
Sat Nov 11, 2017 1:19 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Tipping for restaurants where you order at the counter
Replies: 126
Views: 16713

Re: Tipping for restaurants where you order at the counter

Your nearby cafe where the owner takes all the tips, for himself. That is an afront to me. That is unethical, unreasonable, and wrong in so many ways. I would not eat there if I knew is for a fact. I would tell them that also. So wrong. I agree that it is unethical. When I eat there I either leave ...
by deanbrew
Sat Nov 11, 2017 9:38 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Tipping for restaurants where you order at the counter
Replies: 126
Views: 16713

Re: Tipping for restaurants where you order at the counter

Probably #3 - BUT I do not have the situation of take-out at a "regular" type restaurant, but observe this when eating at some. At some places (such as Silver Diner in this area), I observe wait staff place the takeout order, get it after order complete, wrap/bag it and collect the payment. Such fo...
by deanbrew
Tue Oct 31, 2017 5:37 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: 2018 ACA rates now live....
Replies: 228
Views: 16985

Re: 2018 ACA rates now live....

Worrying about the CSRs will only come into play if congress does something to restore the CSRs, right? Aren't these subsidies not being paid/funded as of now? The insurance companies are required to provide CSRs regardless. All this court decision and the Trump Administration agreeing to comply do...
by deanbrew
Mon Oct 30, 2017 4:52 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: 2018 ACA rates now live....
Replies: 228
Views: 16985

Re: 2018 ACA rates now live....

The insurance companies are required to provide CSRs regardless. All this court decision and the Trump Administration agreeing to comply does is change who pays. Now instead of the federal government, it will be the insurances companies who pay. Except, it is really the rate payers who will end up ...