Search found 317 matches

by BeerTooth
Mon Sep 21, 2020 11:59 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: bare-bones phone and cheapest prepaid plan for a kid
Replies: 53
Views: 3413

Re: bare-bones phone and cheapest prepaid plan for a kid

after a followup conversation with my wife, I now understand that what she REALLY wants is a pseudo-home-phone for when my son is home alone. We have an old Samsung Galaxy S3 sitting around without a SIM card. I installed WhatsApp and demonstrated that he can place a receive calls and text messages ...
by BeerTooth
Sat Sep 12, 2020 8:45 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: bare-bones phone and cheapest prepaid plan for a kid
Replies: 53
Views: 3413

Re: bare-bones phone and cheapest prepaid plan for a kid

thanks, looks like some good options for me to research
by BeerTooth
Sat Sep 12, 2020 8:14 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: bare-bones phone and cheapest prepaid plan for a kid
Replies: 53
Views: 3413

Re: bare-bones phone and cheapest prepaid plan for a kid

here's Clark Howard's 2020 list of cheapest cel phone plans: https://clark.com/cell-phones/best-cell-phone-plans-deals/ wow so Xfinity Mobile is already the cheapest option? Is there no "talk and text only" plan anymore? I don't even need a single GB of LTE data. There will likely be mont...
by BeerTooth
Sat Sep 12, 2020 7:49 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: bare-bones phone and cheapest prepaid plan for a kid
Replies: 53
Views: 3413

bare-bones phone and cheapest prepaid plan for a kid

Our oldest kid will be 11 soon and becoming more independent. Staying home by himself, going over to friends houses, arranging rides to get home from soccer practice, etc. He needs a way to stay in contact with me and my wife. Basic talk and text stuff. Mostly wifi but needs a 4G LTE option for when...
by BeerTooth
Fri Sep 11, 2020 1:02 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Wood burning inserts
Replies: 21
Views: 1556

Re: Wood burning inserts

One thing to be careful of if you split with a sledgehammer and maul is getting "golfer's elbow" which seems to not disappear completely. I'm not the only person I know who got the affliction from splitting. I enjoy the exercise and stress relief from splitting wood but use a lighter sled...
by BeerTooth
Fri Sep 11, 2020 12:35 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Wood burning inserts
Replies: 21
Views: 1556

Re: Wood burning inserts

Thanks everyone, great information. I do not have any other fuel source available besides electricity hence the switch to wood. We are familiar with cutting, stacking, and seasoning wood, have been using the inefficient fireplace for several years. I looked at the brands mentioned and really apprec...
by BeerTooth
Thu Sep 10, 2020 12:48 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Wood burning inserts
Replies: 21
Views: 1556

Re: Wood burning inserts

I did the wood burning thing for about 30 years. Started out with a small Jotul stove and lastly ended up with a large fireplace insert by Buck stoves. Now that I have natural gas, I replaced the insert with gas logs (mainly for looks), installed a very efficient gas boiler and got rid of the insan...
by BeerTooth
Thu Sep 10, 2020 12:12 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: How long could you live off your portfolio if the worst happened?
Replies: 110
Views: 10802

Re: How long could you live off your portfolio if the worst happened?

I see a lot of responses with the implicit assumption that you wouldn't downgrade your standard of living. I have a much more pragmatic view - I would draw down some percentage of my savings while maintaining my current standard of living, then gradually "live poorer" as necessary. In real...
by BeerTooth
Thu Sep 10, 2020 9:54 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Wood burning inserts
Replies: 21
Views: 1556

Re: Wood burning inserts

I had a Blaze King insert installed in my brick fireplace about 4 years ago. Cost was about $3500. I love it, but make no mistake, it is WORK to prep and feed it. Have you processed wood before? I grew up splitting wood with my dad so I knew what I was signing up for. I'm in a 3,000 square ft Coloni...
by BeerTooth
Thu Sep 03, 2020 9:37 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Insulation and air sealing quote - does this seem reasonable?
Replies: 18
Views: 1244

Re: Insulation and air sealing quote - does this seem reasonable?

yes, an $800 energy bill is ludicrous, and likely indicates your heat pump is switching to AUX resistive heating way too often. That is a cheap and easy fix. We had similar insulation and air-sealing done on our 3000 sqft house in New Hampshire 2 years ago. Cost about $3500 after utility rebate. Mak...
by BeerTooth
Sun Aug 16, 2020 7:37 am
Forum: Forum Issues and Administration
Topic: new controversial issue
Replies: 16
Views: 2028

Re: new controversial issue

Any adult reading the internet should develop the ability to just keep scrolling when they read a comment they don't agree with, rather than appealing to The Moderators to police the parameters of acceptable speech.
by BeerTooth
Wed Jul 22, 2020 11:18 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: cheap, easy, temporary heat blocking stuff for windows?
Replies: 44
Views: 2529

Re: cheap, easy, temporary heat blocking stuff for windows?

Exterior solar screens. Easy to make. If you have large/long windows, splurge for thicker AL framing. or Gila window film. Easy to put on so long as you absolutely soak the window and have at least one other person to help. Make sure you buy the correct version. Not recommended for low-e windows. I...
by BeerTooth
Tue Jul 21, 2020 12:15 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Duct Cleaning- Your Thoughts
Replies: 37
Views: 2308

Re: Duct Cleaning- Your Thoughts

I've never had my HVAC ducts cleaned. My logic is that any dust or mold particle stuck on the pipe walls is by definition not a risk of ending up in my lungs. I have a MERV 11 filter on the HVAC return to trap circulating particles.
by BeerTooth
Mon Jul 20, 2020 1:21 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Should I raid my kids college fund to buy a new computer?
Replies: 29
Views: 2796

Re: Should I raid my kids college fund to buy a new computer?

Shael_AT wrote: Mon Jul 20, 2020 12:48 pm Lol, what are we even talking about here?
well, to be fair, the other topic at the top of the board was asking whether it was medically safe to walk outside for exercise, given that there is sunshine outside....so apparently that's the level of things people have found to worry about
by BeerTooth
Wed Jul 15, 2020 9:46 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: tax software flagging backdoor Roth form
Replies: 4
Views: 434

Re: tax software flagging backdoor Roth form

I was finally able to accomplish this in the H&R Block online software, without creating 2 separate 1099's I had missed checking the box labelled "I rolled this amount over to an IRA account" "Did you roll this distribution into a Roth IRA account?" checked YES Completed the ...
by BeerTooth
Tue Jul 14, 2020 11:54 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: tax software flagging backdoor Roth form
Replies: 4
Views: 434

Re: tax software flagging backdoor Roth form

there's nowhere the enter "destination account" in the software the closest solution I could find via google search was talking about splitting the 1099 into two separate entries. But that example is for Backdoor roth, not Mega Backdoor Roth. https://ttlc.intuit.com/community/retirement/di...
by BeerTooth
Mon Jul 13, 2020 8:51 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: tax software flagging backdoor Roth form
Replies: 4
Views: 434

tax software flagging backdoor Roth form

This is the first year I started contributing to the backdoor Roth through my company 401k. I contributed to the After-Tax portion of the 401k throughout every 2 weeks through my paycheck. At mid-year and end-of-year, I called my company plan advisor and executed the conversion to Roth 401k. In the ...
by BeerTooth
Thu Jun 18, 2020 11:12 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Do I have other options than mortgage default? How do I handle foreclosure?
Replies: 36
Views: 4231

Re: Do I have other options than mortgage default? How do I handle foreclosure?

Pennsylvania is not a non-recourse state so be very of your choices. Seek legal representation at least. I have been working with a local lawyer for the last year or so, and we were actually just discussing the fact that if the difference between what the bank can sell it for and what I owe them is...
by BeerTooth
Tue Jun 16, 2020 6:05 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Do I have other options than mortgage default? How do I handle foreclosure?
Replies: 36
Views: 4231

Re: Do I have other options than mortgage default? How do I handle foreclosure?

recourse is a non-issue. We're talking about a 1400 square foot property in a rural area facing a busy highway. The bank is not going to sic the lawyers on an out-of-state owner to collect a judgement on a five-figure mortgage. The bank is happy to make this the owner's problem. Make it their proble...
by BeerTooth
Tue Jun 16, 2020 3:25 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Do I have other options than mortgage default? How do I handle foreclosure?
Replies: 36
Views: 4231

Re: Do I have other options than mortgage default? How do I handle foreclosure?

sounds like a bad situation. You've done your due diligence to resolve it. Can't offer any advice on what to do, but I can tell you there is life after foreclosure. I bailed out on a severely depreciated rental property in Arizona a few years after the collapse in real estate prices there. "Str...
by BeerTooth
Tue Apr 21, 2020 7:39 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: mortgage refinance with restricted lender options
Replies: 7
Views: 781

Re: mortgage refinance with restricted lender options

update to the update: lender has now reversed their decision on the FRM after sending it to underwriting. They're telling me the underwriter will only approve ARM options for me due to the foreclosure. I have never heard of this before. They are adhering to Fannie Mae guidelines with intent to sell ...
by BeerTooth
Thu Apr 16, 2020 11:47 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Car Dealers not really wanting to make a deal
Replies: 245
Views: 36447

Re: Car Dealers not really wanting to make a deal

heard an ad on the radio this morning from a large local dealer offering a new program "fully online" purchase. "no need to step foot on the dealer lot"
I can't imagine dropping $30k on a vehicle without at least test-driving it...but maybe some people will?
by BeerTooth
Wed Apr 15, 2020 11:51 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Advice - Anesthesiologist threatening collections
Replies: 59
Views: 6082

Re: Advice - Anesthesiologist threatening collections

reimann wrote: Wed Apr 15, 2020 11:42 am Lol as a doctor who performed a lot of scope procedures Medicare was paying me $199.

Reimann
that sounds like very fair payment for ~10 minutes of skilled labor
by BeerTooth
Wed Apr 15, 2020 11:41 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Advice - Anesthesiologist threatening collections
Replies: 59
Views: 6082

Re: Advice - Anesthesiologist threatening collections

... The good news is it's fairly easy to keep this off your credit report if it does go to collections. can you share your strategy on how to keep unpaid debt off your credit report? Given the amount of unethical billing behavior from insurers and providers, it would be nice to give the consumer so...
by BeerTooth
Tue Apr 14, 2020 8:28 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Anyone Having Problems with Zappos Delivery?
Replies: 2
Views: 1108

Re: Anyone Having Problems with Zappos Delivery?

I just placed an order with Zappos on April 8th. Order was delivered by UPS yesterday April 13th. Very happy with my new running shoes! I'm not sure if that data point helps you...
by BeerTooth
Wed Apr 08, 2020 11:31 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: mortgage refinance with restricted lender options
Replies: 7
Views: 781

Re: mortgage refinance with restricted lender options

update: heard back from the CU on the FRM. Closing costs would be the same as the ARM, and they can offer 3.5% 30-year fixed. Simple payback period on the savings is about 8 months. Seems like a no-brainer to lock in this low fixed rate, and I can survey my options again in a year to see if I can go...
by BeerTooth
Tue Apr 07, 2020 11:26 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: mortgage refinance with restricted lender options
Replies: 7
Views: 781

Re: mortgage refinance with restricted lender options

thanks for the input. I guess I'm asking two questions:
1. should I refinance or wait?
2. if I refi, should I do ARM or FRM?

would your answer change if I could lock in 3.75% 30-year FRM, a full 1.00% below my current rate, for $3,506 in closing costs?
by BeerTooth
Tue Apr 07, 2020 9:30 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: mortgage refinance with restricted lender options
Replies: 7
Views: 781

mortgage refinance with restricted lender options

Looking for some advice on whether to move forward with a potential mortgage refinance. Goal is simply to lower interest rate to take advantage of macroeconomic circumstances. No cash out desired. We’ve been in the house since 2015 and intend to stay for the forseeable future. Three kids 10 and unde...
by BeerTooth
Tue Mar 10, 2020 11:02 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: fraudulent checking accounts opened in my name - to what end?
Replies: 8
Views: 1332

Re: fraudulent checking accounts opened in my name - to what end?

Here is a story-about 25 years ago a young family member rolled over her 401k to an IRA at a brokerage account. The $1,100 balance somehow ballooned to $60,000. She tried to withdraw the money and was told she could not because it was not her money. She worked for a law firm and had them send a let...
by BeerTooth
Tue Mar 10, 2020 10:05 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: fraudulent checking accounts opened in my name - to what end?
Replies: 8
Views: 1332

Re: fraudulent checking accounts opened in my name - to what end?

alright I added a freeze to ChexSystems and Innovis Thanks to the Bogleheads community for educating consumers about these agencies. I consider myself fairly financially savvy, but I had never heard of ChexSystems or Innovis before. It bothers me that there are so many wildcat data-mining businesses...
by BeerTooth
Fri Mar 06, 2020 3:20 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: fraudulent checking accounts opened in my name - to what end?
Replies: 8
Views: 1332

fraudulent checking accounts opened in my name - to what end?

I have a free account at MyIDCare due to the OPM breach. This week I got two notifications from them - online checking accounts opened in my name at both JP Morgan Chase, and Citibank. Both accounts had $0.00 balance. My credit is frozen at the credit bureaus, but the banks tell me they don't do a c...
by BeerTooth
Tue Feb 04, 2020 9:10 am
Forum: Personal Investments
Topic: pennies for your thoughts
Replies: 11
Views: 1600

Re: pennies for your thoughts

I had a similar experience in getting away from MorganStanley about 10 years ago. It took a couple years and several phone calls. I would talk to my advisor's secretary and instruct her to "sell everything, send me a check, and close the account" - the next January I would receive a 1099 f...
by BeerTooth
Fri Nov 22, 2019 8:51 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Gas furnace with heat pump - most cost efficient?
Replies: 27
Views: 1236

Re: Gas furnace with heat pump - most cost efficient?

wow, at those rates, there is no crossover point. It's cheaper to heat with gas regardless of the outdoor temp * * assumptions: 11c/kWh electric and heat pump in the 2-3 COP range natural gas @ 6.43/therm ($19.28 bill/3 therms) and a 95% efficiency condensing gas furnace. Those are very cheap utilit...
by BeerTooth
Fri Nov 22, 2019 1:16 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Gas furnace with heat pump - most cost efficient?
Replies: 27
Views: 1236

Re: Gas furnace with heat pump - most cost efficient?

I set mine at 35ºF, until I realized natural gas is so cheap it makes the most sense to save wear & tear on the heat pump by just using the gas furnace. Yeah, that's what I'm thinking also. Locally, electric rates aren't terribly high, but gas seems to be pretty low right now. if you post your ...
by BeerTooth
Fri Nov 22, 2019 11:14 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Gas furnace with heat pump - most cost efficient?
Replies: 27
Views: 1236

Re: Gas furnace with heat pump - most cost efficient?

when you say "gas furnace" do you mean natural gas mains service, or propane bottle gas? A friend at work just installed a hybrid heat pump system (air source heat pump with propane furnace backup) We calculated the economic crossover point where it is cheaper to run propane than the heat ...
by BeerTooth
Fri Nov 22, 2019 10:43 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: GPS with airplane mode on iPhone
Replies: 5
Views: 390

Re: GPS with airplane mode on iPhone

GPS is a receive-only signal.

I'm so glad my childhood didn't include cellphones (or helicopter parents)...
by BeerTooth
Sat Nov 16, 2019 10:51 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Anyone switch from oil to propane?
Replies: 30
Views: 1741

Re: Anyone switch from oil to propane?

A colleague at work just had a new hybrid heat pump/propane system installed. The heat pump systems have come a long way in cold-weather efficiency. We did the math on the economic breakpoint and with $0.20/kWh electricity and $2.00/gallon propane it is cheaper the run the heat pump down to 10 degre...
by BeerTooth
Tue Nov 05, 2019 5:00 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: New Bosch dishwasher already faulted
Replies: 22
Views: 2771

Re: New Bosch dishwasher already faulted

We are needing new dishwasher ASAP....thinking Kitchenaid but hard to pick these days. I'm beginning to contemplate going back to hand-washing dishes. I wonder if the "labor-saving appliances" really amount to much after all the time and money we have spent repairing them, replacing them,...
by BeerTooth
Tue Nov 05, 2019 4:45 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: how much home and auto insurance do I need?
Replies: 11
Views: 797

Re: how much home and auto insurance do I need?

no broker - I prefer not to add middlemen to a transaction unless they add value for something I can't handle myself I share your preference but will share that I found the online broker added value on, among other things, the adequacy of coverage limits and replacement cost value which are two of ...
by BeerTooth
Mon Oct 28, 2019 11:43 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: how much home and auto insurance do I need?
Replies: 11
Views: 797

Re: how much home and auto insurance do I need?

If the house is wood frame construction $117-$125 would be pretty accurate for our area. No idea about N.H. The market value of the house includes the value of the land also. Am assuming that your's is not a condo or townhouse (?) So it is not really useful as an indicator of what the cost is if it...
by BeerTooth
Mon Oct 28, 2019 11:22 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: how much home and auto insurance do I need?
Replies: 11
Views: 797

Re: how much home and auto insurance do I need?

... Home + 2 Auto....Allstate-- Allstate is known for artificially inflating the per square foot cost of rebuilding. If I were you I would double-check the amount your dwelling is insured for. To be sure you aren't overpaying. If the actual cost for your area (based on type of home) is $140 per foo...
by BeerTooth
Mon Oct 28, 2019 10:17 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: how much home and auto insurance do I need?
Replies: 11
Views: 797

Re: how much home and auto insurance do I need?

no broker - I prefer not to add middlemen to a transaction unless they add value for something I can't handle myself
by BeerTooth
Mon Oct 28, 2019 10:00 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: how much home and auto insurance do I need?
Replies: 11
Views: 797

how much home and auto insurance do I need?

How much insurance do I need? Shopping around for insurance as I haven't done in quite awhile. Seeing significant savings potential ($600/year combined savings for Home + 2 Auto....Allstate-->Metlife) Want to make sure I am adequately/appropriately covered as a checkpoint before I switch I'm 38 year...
by BeerTooth
Thu Sep 19, 2019 9:49 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Unlocked, Refurbished iPhones?
Replies: 16
Views: 1234

Re: Unlocked, Refurbished iPhones?

iPhone 8 64GB refurb straight from Apple for $379.00. None currently available, but just check in periodically till they are: https://www.apple.com/shop/product/FQ6K2LL/A/Refurbished-iPhone-8-64GB-Space-Gray Apple refurbs are as good as new and have a 1 year warranty. Alternately, pick up one used ...
by BeerTooth
Wed Sep 18, 2019 9:51 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Unlocked, Refurbished iPhones?
Replies: 16
Views: 1234

Re: Unlocked, Refurbished iPhones?

I buy my used phones off eBay. My latest is an iPhone 7. I think I paid $225 or so. Swapped the SIM card myself. After about 6 months of usage, the battery life became troublesome, so I installed a new $10 battery and it's good-as-new.
by BeerTooth
Mon Sep 16, 2019 2:06 pm
Forum: Personal Investments
Topic: what should I be doing with my after-tax 401k contributions?
Replies: 30
Views: 2496

Re: what should I be doing with my after-tax 401k contributions?

The pro rata rules don’t apply to a 401k to Roth conversion. Also, for what it’s worth, the match that you are “getting” on your spillover is very likely the basic match that you are entitled to receive on your $19k max contributions. For example, if your company matches 5% of your contribution , t...
by BeerTooth
Mon Sep 16, 2019 11:03 am
Forum: Personal Investments
Topic: what should I be doing with my after-tax 401k contributions?
Replies: 30
Views: 2496

Re: what should I be doing with my after-tax 401k contributions?

The pro rata rules don’t apply to a 401k to Roth conversion. Also, for what it’s worth, the match that you are “getting” on your spillover is very likely the basic match that you are entitled to receive on your $19k max contributions. For example, if your company matches 5% of your contribution, th...
by BeerTooth
Sun Sep 15, 2019 3:54 pm
Forum: Personal Investments
Topic: what should I be doing with my after-tax 401k contributions?
Replies: 30
Views: 2496

Re: what should I be doing with my after-tax 401k contributions?

OK, I called my plan administrator yesterday. She confirmed that the company match does indeed apply to After-Tax contributions, and that After-Tax contributions can be converted to Roth 401k funds at any time. The only limitation is the minimum amount for conversion is $500. I'll probably wait unt...
by BeerTooth
Sat Sep 14, 2019 12:19 pm
Forum: Personal Investments
Topic: what should I be doing with my after-tax 401k contributions?
Replies: 30
Views: 2496

Re: what should I be doing with my after-tax 401k contributions?

OK, I called my plan administrator yesterday. She confirmed that the company match does indeed apply to After-Tax contributions, and that After-Tax contributions can be converted to Roth 401k funds at any time. The only limitation is the minimum amount for conversion is $500. I'll probably wait unti...
by BeerTooth
Sat Sep 14, 2019 12:16 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Best Leaf Blower?
Replies: 70
Views: 5172

Re: Best Leaf Blower?

blowing the leaves off the lawn seems really inefficient to me. Every time I watch someone doing it, it seems they walk several miles chasing leaves all over the yard like the world's worst sheepdog. I got a tow-behind vacuum for my mower - Cyclone Rake is the brand. The only extra time compared to ...