Search found 668 matches

by ElJay
Sun Feb 11, 2018 10:50 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Does it ever make sense to buy a new car?
Replies: 103
Views: 8903

Re: Does it ever make sense to buy a new car?

Lowest cost way to own cars over a lifetime is to buy a very reliable, low mile, well maintained 3 year old car at approx 60% of new cost and drive it 10 years and then sell it privately I'd love to know where everybody finds these "low miles 3 year old" cars at 60% of original sticker. I don't kno...
by ElJay
Sun Jan 28, 2018 11:54 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: How to Minimize Your Emergency Care Expenses
Replies: 272
Views: 59562

Re: How to Minimize Your Emergency Care Expenses

As a person with a HDHP I find it incredibly frustrating that pricing is the way it is. It is a "market" unlike anything else. A few months ago I had a fall at night, toughed out the pain until the next day and went to an in-network urgent care center. After waiting about two hours, they then immedi...
by ElJay
Thu Oct 12, 2017 9:25 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: 2018 Honda Accord
Replies: 54
Views: 7344

Re: 2018 Honda Accord

The Camry V6 is 301 HP. Also, I love the linear smooth response of naturally aspirated V6 engines. The driving experience of a 2L 4-cyl turbo isn't even close... Have you driven a 2.0t lately? I have an NA I6 in my 3-Series and the I4 turbo in the current 330 blows it away in all ways except engine...
by ElJay
Tue May 09, 2017 10:22 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Buying a luxury car (how dumb would it be to do this?)
Replies: 216
Views: 26319

Re: Buying a luxury car (how dumb would it be to do this?)

Anyone who knows BMWs knows to run away screaming from 7 Series car out of warranty, and 60,000 miles is often the break point in terms of very expensive repairs/maintenance (for lots of cars, not just BMWs). My 2011 E90 3-Series turned 60k miles recently, and it's had about $3k in maintenance/repa...
by ElJay
Wed Jan 04, 2017 7:56 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Vanguard And Yearly IRA Contributions
Replies: 7
Views: 752

Re: Vanguard And Yearly IRA Contributions

Vanguard doesn't know anything about contributions made at other custodians. The IRS and you will know via form 5498.
by ElJay
Wed Dec 28, 2016 2:20 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: How to get rid of your belly........
Replies: 82
Views: 12894

Re: How to get rid of your belly........

Lots of bro science going on in this thread. The high carb, low fat diet as represented in the food pyramid is the biggest "bro science" myth that has been perpetuated by our government and food lobbyists for the last 40 years. Absolutely astounding how hard it is to get people to look objectively ...
by ElJay
Thu Nov 10, 2016 6:45 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Amazon Echo
Replies: 88
Views: 15113

Re: Amazon Echo

I bought the "mini-Echo," the Tap, a few months ago because I wanted a small WiFi/Bluetooth speaker. I'm really happy with it. I mostly use it to listen to iHeartRadio or TuneIn stations, but the "flash briefing" (news) feature is pretty cool too. The Tap does not listen all the time for the wake wo...
by ElJay
Thu Oct 13, 2016 9:07 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Someone else's check got cleared from my Checking Account
Replies: 65
Views: 7580

Re: Someone else's check got cleared from my Checking Account

I processed checks once upon a time and it can happen. You can also experience something like depositing a check for $10,000 and perhaps have it clear for $10.00 without any human at the bank ever seeing the error. It's harder now for banks to do quality control after the Check 21 regulations were e...
by ElJay
Thu Oct 13, 2016 8:42 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Europe bus tours
Replies: 36
Views: 3174

Re: Europe bus tours

I think it's a great way to introduce yourself to Europe. You can find tours that offer as much or little freedom as you want. I highly recommend a tour that typically spends 2-3 nights per spot and doesn't try to cover too many miles on the bus. TLDR; There is a definite sweet spot with these tours...
by ElJay
Fri Jul 22, 2016 1:51 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Goal mindset when seeing ceiling in career
Replies: 32
Views: 3987

Re: Goal mindset when seeing ceiling in career

I know there's something in the human condition that urges a need to always get something more, to always move the goal post forward. I'm about where the OP is, a few years older and a few more grand a year, but basically the same situation. The fact is though, $100k/year where I live has moved me (...
by ElJay
Fri Jul 22, 2016 11:43 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: What type of new driveway should I get?
Replies: 21
Views: 3236

Re: What type of new driveway should I get?

I recently had my driveway and a couple of walkways paved with asphalt around my house in Maine. Most of the driveways around here are asphalt though there are a few concrete or paver driveways. I thought about having it done with pavers because of the improved aesthetics, but the price was way beyo...
by ElJay
Sat Jan 16, 2016 5:27 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Turn off water heater on vacation?
Replies: 93
Views: 83594

Re: Turn off water heater on vacation?

I'm interested to learn that people turn their entire water supply off... I usually turn off some things separately (toilet, washer, hydronic heating system water fill), but I have to say turning off the entire house makes more sense. In the winter I am a little nervous about turning off the fill fo...
by ElJay
Thu May 28, 2015 8:35 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: BMW needs new tires
Replies: 24
Views: 4254

Re: BMW needs new tires

I put some new ContiProContacts on my E90 last December and found the dealer was competitively priced with the local tire shops (both the tires and all the other crap that has to happen.) I figured the dealer had the bonus of dealing regularly with RFTs and would be less likely to scatch up my rims....
by ElJay
Thu May 28, 2015 8:09 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: 5000 btu open window air conditioner
Replies: 13
Views: 4353

Re: 5000 btu open window air conditioner

I bought a GE AEL06LS last year and I like it. I think its Energy Star rating was off the chart (in a good way). It's not too noisy and it is a lot lighter than a 10 year old Frigidaire I have. I use the timer option on it regulary both to turn it on before I get home or to shut it off in the night....
by ElJay
Sat Jan 31, 2015 8:01 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Do you respond to recruiters contacting you?
Replies: 27
Views: 3329

Re: Do you respond to recruiters contacting you?

I usually ignore them. I did talk with one last summer who didn't have his facts straight with regards to the salary of the position, so it was a waste of time. Many of them want me to move thousands of miles away. If Amazon wants to spin up a development site near me, I'd love to go in for an inter...
by ElJay
Mon Dec 22, 2014 7:49 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Travel Insurance
Replies: 30
Views: 9847

Re: Travel Insurance

I have used Trip Mate a few times. They paid out some money after I missed the beginning of a tour in Europe after weather cancelled our flights over. The "travel delay benefit" of $150/day/person did not completely cover our expenses that we had incurred from the delay. It did refund the day of the...
by ElJay
Mon Dec 22, 2014 7:23 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Most/Least Boglehead 2014 Activity?
Replies: 93
Views: 12738

Re: Most/Least Boglehead 2014 Activity?

Least: Bought a house that will never be as cheap as renting was. The vastly improved sense of community (and felling like I actually am "home") is totally worth it. Most: Got a (lame) raise and put it all toward my 401k; I am finally on track to max it out next year. I sold my parents on investing ...
by ElJay
Thu Jun 26, 2014 9:07 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Transfering inherited assets in-kind to Vanguard Brokerage
Replies: 13
Views: 1618

Re: Transfering inherited assets in-kind to Vanguard Brokera

Some of the heirs actually want the stock. They can always buy the stock with any cash they get. :) True. I think the estate is past the point of no return on this decision since all heirs have decided to do in-kind transfers. If EJ's fees were not so greedy I would have no problem simplifying the ...
by ElJay
Thu Jun 26, 2014 8:55 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Transfering inherited assets in-kind to Vanguard Brokerage
Replies: 13
Views: 1618

Re: Transfering inherited assets in-kind to Vanguard Brokera

Thanks a lot for the comments. She has talked to a concierge rep which dumped that transfer form on her and left her feeling confused and overwhelmed. It has kind of frustrated me since I recommended Vanguard. My own customer service experience with Vanguard has been mixed, but they have always ulti...
by ElJay
Thu Jun 26, 2014 8:31 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Any benefit of having both Traditional and Roth accounts?
Replies: 14
Views: 3055

Re: Any benefit of having both Traditional and Roth accounts

The main thought that keeps me maxing out my 401k with traditional funds instead of Roth is that I don't know what tax laws are going to be 30-40 years from now when I'm in my retirement. I do max out my Roth IRA, so I do have some tax diversity, but the immediate subsidy of the traditional 401k tax...
by ElJay
Thu Jun 26, 2014 8:02 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Transfering inherited assets in-kind to Vanguard Brokerage
Replies: 13
Views: 1618

Transfering inherited assets in-kind to Vanguard Brokerage

I am trying to help my mother transfer some stocks which she inherited to Vanguard Brokerage. The assets currently sit at Edward Jones in the estate brokerage account of her father, which will be split equally with her siblings. Thus far Vanguard hasn't been terribly helpful in assisting her with th...
by ElJay
Sun Jun 08, 2014 5:53 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Vanguard is number one!
Replies: 15
Views: 3453

Re: Vanguard is number one!

In January I got my first exposure to a Vanguard 401k. I'm happy to have access to the index funds I want, but their website (run by a third party, Ascensus) leaves something to be desired. Viewing my transaction history requires Java or ActiveX, which with the explosion of tablets and mobile device...
by ElJay
Sun Jun 08, 2014 5:40 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Time to transfer 401K to Vanguard - help please.
Replies: 14
Views: 1783

Re: Time to transfer 401K to Vanguard - help please.

If we're doing testimonials, here's mine from a few months ago: Roth 401k rollover from T. Rowe Price to Vanguard. The Roth 401k is a mix of Roth money and pretax money, the latter being matching funds and a previous rollover I had done. I already had a Roth IRA and Traditional IRA set up at Vanguar...
by ElJay
Tue May 06, 2014 11:31 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Should I be concerned: auto vs. umbrella insurance
Replies: 34
Views: 7840

Re: Should I be concerned: auto vs. umbrella insurance

It is interesting to see the differences from within the insurance companies! A few months ago I got a $1mm umbrella from Amica. I have $500k/$500k auto and the umbrella has a $500 (five hundred dollars) deductible (with the exception of $50k deductible for "loss assessments" which don't apply to me...
by ElJay
Sun Apr 20, 2014 8:49 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: suggestion for awd luxury sedan
Replies: 44
Views: 6608

Re: suggestion for awd luxury sedan

Have you considered the Volvo S60? An S60 T5 AWD sits around $46k after being gussied up with a lot of technology packages.
by ElJay
Sun Apr 20, 2014 8:30 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Possible fraud? Getting mail about a car I don't own.
Replies: 16
Views: 3051

Re: Possible fraud? Getting mail about a car I don't own.

I get occasional letters from a Toyota dealership saying they "need" my model/year Toyota and will pay $xxx for it. I did not buy my car at that dealership but I did take it in for maintenance once, so I guess I'm on their list forever! I had a Ford dealership, which I have never dealt with, that s...
by ElJay
Sun Apr 20, 2014 8:17 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Treasury Direct Payroll Savings Plan - Deposit Time
Replies: 4
Views: 813

Re: Treasury Direct Payroll Savings Plan - Deposit Time

Disclaimer: I haven't done payroll savings through TD in the past year and a half. When I did do it, my C of I history page (History > C of I History) would show a "Payroll CofI purchase" transaction when the payroll was processed, which was typically a couple of days before pay day. A bond would be...
by ElJay
Sat Mar 15, 2014 10:12 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: LED lights currently worth it personal financewise?
Replies: 55
Views: 4493

Re: LED lights currently worth it personal financewise?

I think it's worth it. I like the 5000K light from LEDs much better than the CFL version of 5000K, LED lights are at 100% brightness instantly, they don't dim over the years, and they stand up better compared with CFLs in areas that have short on/off cycles (e.g. the bathroom.) I don't put 5000K eve...
by ElJay
Sat Mar 15, 2014 5:04 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Was frugality a mistake? The downsides of saving too much.
Replies: 115
Views: 18449

Re: Was frugality a mistake? The downsides of saving too mu

:thumbsup I find that budgeting helps a lot in the psychological aspects of dealing with risk. It gives me a sense of where I'm at and where I can look to trim the fat if things get really tough. Without a budget, I would probably be frugal to the extent of being penny wise and pound foolish, blind...
by ElJay
Sat Mar 15, 2014 4:43 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: I don't want to upgrade XP just yet, is that ok?
Replies: 86
Views: 11270

Re: I don't want to upgrade XP just yet, is that ok?

Regards the browser , we've heard good things about Firefox and Chrome but we've had good luck with Internet Explorer - no reason to change for us . As others have already mentioned on this thread, anybody on XP needs to use a browser other than Internet Explorer. For one thing, many people who mak...
by ElJay
Sat Mar 15, 2014 4:19 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Switch from TW to DirecTV & killed on receiver fees?
Replies: 18
Views: 3220

Re: Switch from TW to DirecTV & killed on receiver fees?

Has anybody signed up to DirecTV without a credit check? I recently bought a house that has a dish on it already, and I'm considering going with them instead of Time Warner. As part of the home buying process, I got a mortgage (credit score 810). I find it rather hilarious that DirecTV doesn't trust...
by ElJay
Fri Mar 14, 2014 7:45 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: I don't want to upgrade XP just yet, is that ok?
Replies: 86
Views: 11270

Re: I don't want to upgrade XP just yet, is that ok?

No, it's not OK. Sincerely, A software developer who hates Internet Explorer 8. I upgraded my parents from XP to Windows 8.1 six months ago and they've had no problems getting acclimated to it. I just have all the icons to the apps they use on the desktop, and they just basically use it just like th...
by ElJay
Sat Mar 08, 2014 1:23 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Paying $1,000/yr to Vanguard ! Please Help Me
Replies: 40
Views: 8017

Re: Paying $1,000/yr to Vanguard ! PLEASE HELP ME

Have you examined what is in a $3000/mo PITI payment on a house? So let's say you buy a $600,000 house and put 20% down. You get a $480,000 30 year mortgage at 4.375%, making the principle and interest about $2400/mo. To start out, you will be paying more than $1700 per month in interest. If you are...
by ElJay
Tue Mar 04, 2014 7:14 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Used $35k Porsche on $64k income?
Replies: 95
Views: 9911

Re: Used $35k Porsche on $64k income?

The first thing to start with has to be with putting $500/mo into the 401k plan at work. Then if there's enough comfortably left for $500/mo to cover the payment and some maintenance (DIY maintenance still needs parts/supplies/tools) then what's the problem? A $18k car loan on $65k/year income is no...
by ElJay
Tue Mar 04, 2014 6:53 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: What's your dream car?
Replies: 197
Views: 19159

Re: What's your dream car?

Jaguar F-Type S Coupe in green. I want to drive it up Bear Notch Road in NH without the omnipresent coppers (thank you slow, timid drivers for saving me in the past).
by ElJay
Tue Feb 25, 2014 6:14 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: The Gecko cost me a lot of $. How often to switch car ins?
Replies: 78
Views: 10318

Re: The Gecko cost me a lot of $. How often to switch car in

Thanks ElJay. Glad to hear that Amica has retained you as a happy customer. Looking forward to ditching Allstate. When you say fed up with Allstate 6 month policies, do you mean Amica offers 12 month policies? I don't much care for 6 month policies either--but both GEICO and Allstate have them. I j...
by ElJay
Sat Feb 22, 2014 1:41 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: The Gecko cost me a lot of $. How often to switch car ins?
Replies: 78
Views: 10318

Re: The Gecko cost me a lot of $. How often to switch car in

I just ran a quote on Amica and home insurance is almost 50% cheaper! Car insurance is also cheaper. I don't think they offer umbrella insurance though. Amica offers umbrella insurance. I just bought a $1mm umbrella from them for about $100/year. I've been using Amica since 2008 when I got fed up w...
by ElJay
Sat Feb 22, 2014 1:21 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Medallion signature guarantee - is this requirement common?
Replies: 101
Views: 29641

Re: Medallion signature guarantee - is this requirement comm

I think your idea of Custodian B doing the heavy lifting might have some merit. Thank you. We won't know until people try it and report back. With Vanguard as Custodian B receiving rollover funds, I have not had any success in getting them to "handle" the transaction. My IRA is already established ...
by ElJay
Tue Jan 28, 2014 11:28 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Multiple Offers on House: Best and Final Bid Needed Tonight!
Replies: 38
Views: 6077

Re: Multiple Offers on House: Best and Final Bid Needed Toni

I always assume the seller, particularly if it's a bank, is telling tales and half-truths. In any case, it's irrelevant. Never ever ever get into an auction situation, no matter how much you like the house. Competition for a thing makes it seem more valuable than it would be otherwise. Set your bid...
by ElJay
Thu Jan 02, 2014 9:15 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Partially Invest Emergency Fund?
Replies: 19
Views: 1723

Re: Partially Invest Emergency Fund?

Personally I like gradually putting the money into ibonds-- can't touch it for the first year and then there is a small penalty (3 months interest) if you cash out within 5 years. Interest is tax-deferred and the interest rate is adjusted semi-annually so you always at least keep up with inflation....
by ElJay
Sat May 18, 2013 4:27 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Former 403-B plans, roll to Roth?
Replies: 4
Views: 450

Re: Former 403-B plans, roll to Roth?

I rolled from a TIAA-CREF 403b to a Vanguard rollover (traditional) IRA a few months ago. I started the process online at both companies, which provided me with paperwork to mail to TIAA-CREF requesting the distribution. Be sure that you complete the "unmarried determination" or "spouse's waiver" se...
by ElJay
Mon Apr 29, 2013 7:04 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Frontline--The Retirement Gamble
Replies: 325
Views: 51549

Re: Frontline--The Retirement Gamble

If teachers are having a difficult time with their own retirement plans and finances, would you really want those who don't have a clue doing the teaching? The education I got in school about finances was terrible. They told me how to balance a checkbook, but the "investment" part of the class was ...
by ElJay
Sat Apr 20, 2013 3:30 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Problems with Citi Forward Visa?
Replies: 2
Views: 1198

Re: Problems with Citi Forward Visa?

I've had a Forward card since they rolled it out in 2009. Back then, they had a separate card called mtvu or something that was aimed at college students, so Forward was not a "for college students" card at the time. My Forward card recently got converted to a Forward Visa Signature card, a product ...
by ElJay
Wed Apr 17, 2013 9:36 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Tiny down payments for home mortgages are back
Replies: 25
Views: 4932

Re: Tiny down payments for home mortgages are back

Homes are too expensive. I look at entry-level houses in my "small city" neighborhood here in Maine and I can usually comprehend to about 66% of what they want for them. The other 33% must be for the air that fills the house or something, because I'm not seeing it.
by ElJay
Tue Mar 26, 2013 7:43 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Hey, Vanguard has hired me! [Payment for taking survey]
Replies: 28
Views: 6646

Re: Hey, Vanguard has hired me!

I recently received a $25 survey offer from a firm named "Lieberman Research Worldwide." They insinuated that at the end of the survey they would tell me which "major financial services company" was sponsoring the study, but instead on the final page of the survey they asked me to email them to get ...
by ElJay
Sat Mar 23, 2013 4:40 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Continuous Variable Transmissions
Replies: 78
Views: 10834

Re: Continuous Variable Transmissions

I have to say it makes me laugh every time I hear a driver in a Subaru or Nissan with a CVT floor it and their engine just goes up to 5500 RPM and stays there. It's the weirdest thing. I would never buy one, and with conventional 8 speed automatics becoming the norm, I don't see any reason for CVTs ...
by ElJay
Wed Mar 20, 2013 10:06 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Vanguard Shows Flexibility During Botched Rollover
Replies: 2
Views: 774

Vanguard Shows Flexibility During Botched Rollover

tl;dr Vanguard opened an Admiral fund in my new Rollover IRA with only an $800 starting investment. I had a 403b at TIAA-CREF that was made up of two different contracts that I wanted to roll over to a new Vanguard Rollover IRA. One of the balances was about $800 while the other was over $10000. I ...
by ElJay
Wed Mar 06, 2013 9:30 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Dropping XM and Sirius
Replies: 19
Views: 3037

Re: Dropping XM and Sirius

Last year I bought a car which didn't have an XM receiver for the first time in nearly a decade and I wasn't about to wire one in. I think I generally get more variety from random shuffle on my USB stick of music in the car than what some of their channels were offering. The playlists on the decades...
by ElJay
Wed Mar 06, 2013 9:01 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Vanguard is frugal too!
Replies: 21
Views: 2743

Re: Vanguard is frugal too!

I'm more worried about: What am I paying the person who thinks about putting a box to collect nickels on the copier What am I paying the person who collects and handles the nickels the box has collected I think I'd rather simply have the employees make a few personal copies a year. I mean seriously,...
by ElJay
Thu Jan 31, 2013 6:59 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Microsoft Sec Essentials = Bad ??
Replies: 21
Views: 4503

Re: Microsoft Sec Essentials = Bad ??

I like Security Essentials. It stays out of my face. I had been using Avast but after version 4 the program became way too distracting and too often was begging for my attention for no good reason. I want something to just work in the background, and that's what MSE does. It's even built-in to Windo...