Search found 90 matches

by cpumechanic
Fri Jul 20, 2018 8:52 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Gift cards: which is "better / safer"? physical or electronic?
Replies: 19
Views: 681

Re: Gift cards: which is "better / safer"? physical or electronic?

I use gift cards frequently but always buy them online at a discount. I won't buy them unless they are at least 15% off, and I stick to restaurants that I go to and use them to take my wife out to eat. I have had instances of fraud, but since I bought the cards second hand I call the on line merchan...
by cpumechanic
Tue Jul 10, 2018 3:58 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Penn Fed 3% 5 year CD's 30% penalty if early withdraw
Replies: 5
Views: 788

Penn Fed 3% 5 year CD's 30% penalty if early withdraw

Hi Got an email today from Penfed.. searched and did not find anyone else talking about this. Minimum investment 1000, could not easily locate maximum allowed. The penalty for early withdraw is 30% of the total amount that would have been earned if you left all funds in for full period. They do indi...
by cpumechanic
Mon Jun 04, 2018 5:28 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Dehumidifier for humid basement. I want one that lasts.
Replies: 37
Views: 9354

Re: Dehumidifier for humid basement. I want one that lasts.

Do you have a water heater in your basement? If yes and it is electric, look at a replacement unit that includes a heat-pump on top. It reduces your electric usage by 40% or more, and the heat pump dumps cold dry air into the basement and acts as a dehumidifier. I paid $1100 for mine, and got $450 b...
by cpumechanic
Mon Apr 23, 2018 4:43 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: New retirees: so whatdayathink ?
Replies: 97
Views: 11895

Re: New retirees: so whatdayathink ?

Retired year 2 as of this month. Pushed out of Megacorp at 60, plan was to leave at 62.. Glad they did it.. no regrets... I hated the thing they had turned my technical job into. Sigh. A good friend who worked with me at megacorp/high tech said it would take a year to get used to retirement. I agree...
by cpumechanic
Tue Feb 27, 2018 11:47 am
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Understanding Yields on Bonds
Replies: 4
Views: 662

Understanding Yields on Bonds

Hello I am hoping to get more educated on bonds, as I am currently retired and have a very conservative 70%bond/30%stock AA. I am invested in the Total Bond Market (BND) and in Corporate Bonds (VCIT). I understand the BND is less risky if things crash compared to VCIT, but like VCIT for the higher r...
by cpumechanic
Mon Jan 08, 2018 5:55 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Best Phone Plan for 1 person
Replies: 86
Views: 4286

Re: Best Phone Plan for 1 person

To repeat my earlier post.. feel free to let me know if this is no longer available Search for Red Pocket on Amazon. $21/month paid 12 months in advance. Resell Verizon service, works fine. Unlimited Talk , Text and 3GB of data per month Never mind, I just looked, here is the link. https://www.amazo...
by cpumechanic
Mon Jan 08, 2018 1:06 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Best Phone Plan for 1 person
Replies: 86
Views: 4286

Re: Best Phone Plan for 1 person

Search for Red Pocket on Amazon. $21/month paid 12 months in advance. Resell Verizon service, works fine. Unlimited Talk , Text and 3GB of data per month for the wife, more than she needs. Her Moto g5 Plus with 64gb of internal memory was $200 cash, has better screen, faster processor, and more memo...
by cpumechanic
Mon Jan 01, 2018 11:36 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Costa Rica
Replies: 17
Views: 2302

Re: Costa Rica

We have been to costa rica 2x times in the last few years. First visit we flew into SJO and stayed in SJO a few days. Interesting..but the razor wire all over the city was a turn off to me...., we rented a 4 whl drive vehicle from Hertz or Avis and paid the price we had expected. (Note that some car...
by cpumechanic
Mon Dec 11, 2017 2:23 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Espresso Machine suggestions?
Replies: 41
Views: 3477

Re: Espresso Machine suggestions?

I have had this machine for 4+ years https://www.amazon.com/DeLonghi-ESAM3300-Magnifica-Super-Automatic-Espresso/dp/B000N2YKQ0/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1513019819&sr=8-1&keywords=esam+3300 Comes with 2 year warranty, and if purchased with correct credit card that will add another 12 months. So.. you s...
by cpumechanic
Sun Dec 10, 2017 11:26 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: 840 credit score Million dollar farm.. low income cannot get Heloc?
Replies: 64
Views: 5265

Re: 840 credit score Million dollar farm.. low income cannot get Heloc?

I asked my wife who is more familiar with the details of her "auction buddy"... the farm is a "gentleman's farm" with 10 acres or so.. and stone buildings in proximity to Philly... so... I apologize for referring to this as a Farm, with capital F and it is more like a farm small f. Properties like t...
by cpumechanic
Sun Dec 10, 2017 7:22 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: 840 credit score Million dollar farm.. low income cannot get Heloc?
Replies: 64
Views: 5265

Re: 840 credit score Million dollar farm.. low income cannot get Heloc?

RM https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Inside_Job_(2010_film) Should answer your question about my "attitude" towards the banking industry and too big to fail institution's. If you haven' t seen this movie about the financial crisis.. I highly recommend watching it... the interviews with the PHD economist...
by cpumechanic
Sat Dec 09, 2017 9:16 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: 840 credit score Million dollar farm.. low income cannot get Heloc?
Replies: 64
Views: 5265

Re: 840 credit score Million dollar farm.. low income cannot get Heloc?

Hello all Thanks for all the replies, most nice, some not so much. I don't have a lot of intimate details to share on my friends finances, but he is a high end antique dealer and does indeed make the income from buying selling those items, and yes.. the recent market is worse then it has been. I hav...
by cpumechanic
Fri Dec 08, 2017 6:00 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: 840 credit score Million dollar farm.. low income cannot get Heloc?
Replies: 64
Views: 5265

Re: 840 credit score Million dollar farm.. low income cannot get Heloc?

Feedback... Alex NINJA Loans were common before 2008. No Income, No Job, and No Assets. The no Assets don't apply here farm and other assets are available.. ...banks won't participate is the issue. Why not sell the farm... Ok... Let me ask my friend who has lived on his farm (now worth 1 million dol...
by cpumechanic
Fri Dec 08, 2017 5:53 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: 840 credit score Million dollar farm.. low income cannot get Heloc?
Replies: 64
Views: 5265

Re: 840 credit score Million dollar farm.. low income cannot get Heloc?

Ok.. He also has 50K available in cash to support his business.. but does not want to use this to pay off his Mortgage. To clarify Farm is a farm he has owned for many years.. and is not a working farm with income. He has other property.. and a net worth much greater than just the farm/property. I u...
by cpumechanic
Fri Dec 08, 2017 4:46 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: 840 credit score Million dollar farm.. low income cannot get Heloc?
Replies: 64
Views: 5265

Re: 840 credit score Million dollar farm.. low income cannot get Heloc?

Adding background information.. Family friend is >60 years old.. and has done antiques for many years... income goes up and down, and no.. if selling Antiques went south... he would not have other options to "earn" income. So.. you have assets, you have a long history of paying off any/all debts... ...
by cpumechanic
Fri Dec 08, 2017 4:11 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: 840 credit score Million dollar farm.. low income cannot get Heloc?
Replies: 64
Views: 5265

Re: 840 credit score Million dollar farm.. low income cannot get Heloc?

To clarify: He has discussed new mortgage options and feedback from banks is the same.. your income is too low, regardless of value of property. Again... I find this odd.. if his credit score was suspect, or he had multiple bankruptcies.. I might understand. But.. his credit history is excellent.. t...
by cpumechanic
Fri Dec 08, 2017 3:55 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: 840 credit score Million dollar farm.. low income cannot get Heloc?
Replies: 64
Views: 5265

840 credit score Million dollar farm.. low income cannot get Heloc?

Friend of family (no computer skills) has high credit score, million dollar property (farm) and a very small remaining mortgage that is coming due in a few months. Income is ~50K per year from buying selling antiques.. His feedback is no bank will allow him a HELOC (Home equity line of credit).. to ...
by cpumechanic
Wed Dec 06, 2017 3:24 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: $450 Rebate on $1079 hot water heater with heatpump
Replies: 6
Views: 1143

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

Hello Thanks for the topcashback idea.. they provide a 4% cash back for lowes online purchase's at this time. I got 5% on my Chase Ink card since I bought the gift cards at Staples when they were on sale last week, but I missed that added 4%.. I agree.. using the system to minimize cost's allows me ...
by cpumechanic
Mon Dec 04, 2017 9:21 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: $450 Rebate on $1079 hot water heater with heatpump
Replies: 6
Views: 1143

$450 Rebate on $1079 hot water heater with heatpump

Sorry to post yet another hot water heater thread... but I wanted to share that the local electric company has a $450 rebate on heatpump hot water heaters. Using 10% coupon from ebay at lowes, and buying $100 gift cards for $90 makes the deal even sweeter. I assume that I can also claim a 30%? disco...
by cpumechanic
Thu Nov 30, 2017 4:39 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Sous Vide?
Replies: 75
Views: 12197

Re: Sous Vide?

Hi I have an Anova and use it routinely for things like steaks and scallops. Anything that is damaged if overcooked is a good option for this method. Nearly impossible to overcook an item, and if guests arrive late.. you just keep the meat/food in the bath until they arrive and can finish post arriv...
by cpumechanic
Wed Oct 04, 2017 8:07 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Looking for advice on an automotive paint job.
Replies: 20
Views: 1530

Re: Looking for advice on an automotive paint job.

All I have had three late model vehicles painted by my local Maaco shop and they did an excellent job. I did not opt for the lowest cost, and they worked with me to allow me to remove and reinstall door trim and mirrors to reduce labor costs. The paint used was a good as OEM, and the of all the jobs...
by cpumechanic
Wed Oct 04, 2017 7:54 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: TV DVR Dilemnia: OTA or Satellite
Replies: 11
Views: 1270

Re: TV DVR Dilemnia: OTA or Satellite

Investigate HDhomerun options by silicon dust. They just released a DVR option that provides a nice schedule of upcoming shows, and stores to a home NAS (hard disk on your network) or to a local "always on PC" on your network. Cost for the DVR option is $35/year (not $15 per month) works well. And i...
by cpumechanic
Sun Sep 24, 2017 8:12 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Lifestyle Creep
Replies: 142
Views: 13908

Re: Lifestyle Creep

This is funny, but as a boglehead... I had to reply Bought boat needed inboard engine replaced.. bought engine on ebay, installed, had oil leak, uninstalled, re-installed, works fine. Now in garage last two years.. anyone want a Searay? :D Bought BMW hardtop convertible with 25K miles Sandy Flood ca...
by cpumechanic
Tue Sep 19, 2017 8:14 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Another cut the cable thread
Replies: 14
Views: 1629

Re: Another cut the cable thread

I found that my local internet provider charges about $6 per month for basic cable (added to my normal $55/month internet only fee). This includes enough local channels to suit my needs. I also installed a small modern antenna in the garage attic, and with an amplifier this antenna receives another ...
by cpumechanic
Fri Sep 15, 2017 11:42 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Can not decide between washing machines
Replies: 47
Views: 3647

Re: Can not decide between washing machines

I have front load Samsung washer and dryer. At a little over 5 years the "spider" rotted away and the washer starts violently shaking and rubs on the front seal and ruins same. The spider is some kind of "pot metal" casting and when in contact with the stainless steel drum and immersed in water the ...
by cpumechanic
Mon Aug 14, 2017 5:14 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Bough gift cards from cash card.com and somebody else used them all
Replies: 25
Views: 3485

Re: Bough gift cards from cash card.com and somebody else used them all

Hello Sorry to hear about your issue.. good luck with your credit card company. Several of the gift card re-sell sites have very recently updated the guarantee and now offer a 12 month guarantee ... I won't advertise who does this, but just do a search and you will find them. This is a huge improvem...
by cpumechanic
Mon Jul 24, 2017 8:35 am
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: VCIT Year to Date growth? Exactly how is it calculated
Replies: 12
Views: 824

Re: VCIT Year to Date growth? Exactly how is it calculated

Kevin/all Thank you for the education and the links to the definitions... I now understand how the returns listed as % are calculated.. and they make sense. I liked the detailed explanations listed on the Yahoo Finance links.. unlike the glossary at M* that provides a very basic word based definitio...
by cpumechanic
Sun Jul 23, 2017 10:58 am
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: VCIT Year to Date growth? Exactly how is it calculated
Replies: 12
Views: 824

Re: VCIT Year to Date growth? Exactly how is it calculated

The 3.49% includes reinvested dividends. To use a hypothetical, suppose a fund was priced at $10 on 12/31/2016 and you owned 100 shares, or $1000. On 3/31/2017, it was at $10.50 and it paid a $.25 dividend. That comes right out of the fund, so the price drops to $10.25. So, if you reinvest that you...
by cpumechanic
Sun Jul 23, 2017 10:54 am
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: VCIT Year to Date growth? Exactly how is it calculated
Replies: 12
Views: 824

Re: VCIT Year to Date growth? Exactly how is it calculated

Ok.. so when I follow the link you shared to get "adjusted price" on Yahoo the numbers work out to exactly 3.49% from Dec 30 to June 30. Sorry but I like to think of an ETF fund like a stock.. and the closing price on each day is the price I would receive if I sold my shares. What exactly is the def...
by cpumechanic
Sun Jul 23, 2017 10:30 am
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: VCIT Year to Date growth? Exactly how is it calculated
Replies: 12
Views: 824

VCIT Year to Date growth? Exactly how is it calculated

Sorry if this dumb question but when I look up VCIT on morningstar I see that it says the NAV is up 3.49% Year to date. When I look at the closing price on Dec 30 2016 I see a value of 85.7 $/share.. and the closing price on Friday July 20th was 88.02. When I divide those two values I get 1.02707117...
by cpumechanic
Wed Jun 14, 2017 6:43 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Getting a Florida Sunpass
Replies: 14
Views: 2069

Re: Getting a Florida Sunpass

Get the sunpass, the least expensive one is $5 at publix, and there is a sunpass app you can add to your smart phone. You fund your account, and you can add a rental car license plate and a clear start date/time for rental, and end date for rental as you drive off the rental car parking lot. Decline...
by cpumechanic
Thu Jun 08, 2017 10:03 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: EZPass not read, rental car, high fee
Replies: 37
Views: 5820

Re: EZPass not read, rental car, high fee

Slightly off topic but I decided to share. When renting cars in FLA rental companies scam you with high fees to cover the toll by plate tolls present on many south FL highways. You have two options.. 1, buy a temp $5 pass at local store (publix) and place on dash, you must also create a login and en...
by cpumechanic
Thu May 04, 2017 7:03 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Motor Home
Replies: 33
Views: 4578

Re: Motor Home

Hello Question was: =================================================================== These seem very reasonable. How many do they comfortably sleep? Is there an option for a family of 4 or really meant for a couple? =================================================================== There are sev...
by cpumechanic
Wed May 03, 2017 7:27 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Motor Home
Replies: 33
Views: 4578

Re: Motor Home

Wow.. a lot of negative feedback on RV's. Here is my story.. Purchased 10 Year old Diesel Mercedes Benz (MB) Sprinter chassis (Winnebago View) last year with 22K miles on the clock, one owner. Verified Car Fax. Small enough to park in normal parking spot (think very big pickup truck) 23 feet long an...
by cpumechanic
Sat Apr 08, 2017 12:25 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Impact on SSDI for disabled child and delay in parents SS
Replies: 13
Views: 1440

Re: Impact on SSDI for disabled child and delay in parents SS

Thanks again for the replies and clarifications.

It surely helps.. wish SS was not so complicated but... it is what it is.. and I paid them a lot of money over the years.

Best regards to all.

CPU
by cpumechanic
Fri Apr 07, 2017 6:33 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Impact on SSDI for disabled child and delay in parents SS
Replies: 13
Views: 1440

Re: Impact on SSDI for disabled child and delay in parents SS

Oblivious investor.. thank you.. your reply was what I needed. Disabled son's SSDI benefits are not impacted if I delay start of SS. They are fixed , and he cannot collect SSDI until I start to collect... That would lead me to start my benefits earlier since dollars he does not collect are lost fore...
by cpumechanic
Thu Apr 06, 2017 4:05 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Impact on SSDI for disabled child and delay in parents SS
Replies: 13
Views: 1440

Re: Impact on SSDI for disabled child and delay in parents SS

Hello I did find the pages BL linked... and the page on spousal SS says that it can compute impact on spousal benefits for spouse with no one under her care.. in my case she helps care for my disabled son. So that page did not help. The other link talks about how disabled child is elgible for SSDI, ...
by cpumechanic
Thu Apr 06, 2017 7:27 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Impact on SSDI for disabled child and delay in parents SS
Replies: 13
Views: 1440

Impact on SSDI for disabled child and delay in parents SS

Hello I have searched this site, and the WWW and cannot find answer. I am 60 and have a disabled son who was injured many years ago. He is currently on SSI and I just learned that he can collect SSDI based on my earnings. He meets all the requirements (disability started prior to age 22). My old pla...
by cpumechanic
Wed Mar 15, 2017 7:04 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Early Retirement - what to do about healthcare?
Replies: 228
Views: 33037

Re: Early Retirement - what to do about healthcare?

Mim.. you provided an exact answer to the question for those who retired since the ACA was enacted. I agree.. until things change.. that is the approach... based on your work history.... Current laws have no ""means test".. IE.. you can have $10E6 in the bank.. and still qualify for subsidy. As of t...
by cpumechanic
Tue Mar 14, 2017 6:24 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: PayPal - Any Disadvantages?
Replies: 49
Views: 6111

Re: PayPal - Any Disadvantages?

Years ago.. I read some paypal horror stories.. best advice.... if you link any bank account, make sure it is not your primary bank..open an account at some local credit union with no fees, and use that to interface with paypal... years ago.. you could not open an account unless you linked to a bank...
by cpumechanic
Mon Mar 13, 2017 7:25 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Tell Me: can I use cellular wireless to stream TV with my Roku?
Replies: 4
Views: 1731

Re: Tell Me: can I use cellular wireless to stream TV with my Roku?

This is an option: http://www.4gcommunity.org/ I use sprint 4G unlimited service to play netflix on FireTV box while away from home. No issue, streams fine.. even 3g will work if you are patient. Their coverage (sprint) has improved greatly.. and if the coverage is poor you are likely in a wild area...
by cpumechanic
Fri Mar 10, 2017 5:00 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Amazon Fire TV Stick with KODI - Anyone try this?
Replies: 17
Views: 5122

Re: Amazon Fire TV Stick with KODI - Anyone try this?

Firetv box is quad core ARM cpu
Firetv stick is dual core ARM cpu.

Last time I checked, see specs on Amazon for perfect info.. as they introduce new versions, and I have version 1

CPU
by cpumechanic
Fri Mar 10, 2017 3:50 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Amazon Fire TV Stick with KODI - Anyone try this?
Replies: 17
Views: 5122

Re: Amazon Fire TV Stick with KODI - Anyone try this?

Buy the Fire TV box, not the Firetv stick, if you use Kodi much it will use a lot of memory, and the Fire TV box has a USB 3 port on the back that you can move applications to, be sure to purchase a USB 3 memory stick for the higher speeds. Kodi is a wonderful open source app, and as others have poi...
by cpumechanic
Sat Feb 18, 2017 5:16 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Anxiety about buying used car
Replies: 50
Views: 4851

Re: Anxiety about buying used car

Hi If you want a cheap, reliable transportation.. buy local, from a local human, not a dealer. Buy from FIRST owner.... not from dealer As soon as car has second owner.. you cannot trust whatever current owner tells you..because they don't know history of the car. To avoid the liars and cheats on Cr...
by cpumechanic
Tue Dec 13, 2016 2:51 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Tax loss harvest and avoid wash sale?
Replies: 4
Views: 442

Re: Tax loss harvest and avoid wash sale?

Hi livesoft All I am trying to do is harvest some tax loss in 2016 since the BND fund has gone down in the short term. Long term.. I have no issue with the fund.. just trying to save some tax $ for 2016. Curious why you suggest waiting a few days.. I am in no hurry just want to do it prior to year e...
by cpumechanic
Tue Dec 13, 2016 11:57 am
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Tax loss harvest and avoid wash sale?
Replies: 4
Views: 442

Tax loss harvest and avoid wash sale?

Hello I moved some bond fund money from VANGUARD INTERMEDIATE TERM TAX EXEMPT ADMIRAL CL into BND (Total bond market) on 10/11/2016. I now have a $5.8K loss in this brokerage account (taxable) that I would like to harvest for 2016. Goal is to move the $ into another bond fund or ETF that is still bo...
by cpumechanic
Thu Nov 24, 2016 9:03 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: recommendations on frugal living forums?
Replies: 18
Views: 5263

Re: recommendations on frugal living forums?

Happy Thanksgiving everyone Slickdeals dot net is very active , and lists deals of any/all sort... problem I have is I end up buying things that are great deals.. but maybe not needed at that moment LoL. Just bought a very nice 24 inch by 32 inch tall tool box with ball bearing slides from Lowes for...
by cpumechanic
Fri Nov 11, 2016 8:46 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: TDBank promo just started easy $600
Replies: 109
Views: 19099

Re: TDBank promo just started easy $600

Hi Investorguy.... You are correct in what the current requirements are.. I see on other sites that the requirements have been updated to eliminate the push from current bank option to fund the account. When I set up the accounts 4 months ago.. I met the requirements at that time, and they have hono...
by cpumechanic
Thu Nov 10, 2016 5:41 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: TDBank promo just started easy $600
Replies: 109
Views: 19099

Re: TDBank promo just started easy $600

I started this post.. and my view is with banks.. if it is not illegal.. it is legal. If you don't understand where I am coming from .. please take 2 hours and watch this documentary.. .. very educational. I had no idea the Ivy League economists were also part of the problem.. but.. I guess it makes...
by cpumechanic
Sat Nov 05, 2016 1:41 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: 2017 ACA subsidies not available if elgible for Cobra?
Replies: 15
Views: 2562

Re: 2017 ACA subsidies not available if elgible for Cobra?

Hi All Thanks for the replies.... it looks like I will need to call them, since when I entered my information on the WWW site, it asked many questions about cobra, and then provided an "eligibility document" In that document is says: ==================================================================...