Search found 678 matches

by mw1739
Thu Jul 02, 2020 8:53 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Lithium Ion Battery for Golf Cart
Replies: 8
Views: 574

Re: Lithium Ion Battery for Golf Cart

I put my golf cart in storage this winter for the first time (November-March). Left it plugged in and the batteries were fine come spring. Another option is renting a cart in your snowbird destination. My in-laws do that in Florida when they stay all winter. In the long run it probably costs more th...
by mw1739
Wed Jul 01, 2020 12:16 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Sanity Check: Career Gap Year
Replies: 40
Views: 2437

Re: Sanity Check: Career Gap Year

Financially, yes you could make it work. Should you? That’s up to you and your family. Coming from someone with kids a few years older, I would wait a couple years so the kids can actually remember the trips and be more self sufficient (and reduce the hassle of traveling with toddlers). I second the...
by mw1739
Mon Jun 29, 2020 8:01 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: LDC projector for outdoor use?
Replies: 5
Views: 354

Re: LDC projector for outdoor use?

Posted similar topic recently:

viewtopic.php?t=316406

I was encouraged to pickup a refurbished Epson. I also posted the link to the projector and screen I picked up. Used them a few times with no complaints.
by mw1739
Thu Jun 25, 2020 8:44 am
Forum: Personal Investments
Topic: Are we on track if we just max tax-advantaged to retirement?
Replies: 11
Views: 1513

Re: Are we on track if we just max tax-advantaged to retirement?

Take some of your cash and take the family on vacation (once it's safe to do so). Kids are only young once and those memories are great.
by mw1739
Wed Jun 24, 2020 2:30 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Help me decide whether or not to refinance
Replies: 34
Views: 1832

Re: Help me decide whether or not to refinance

I'll take a different perspective - how long are you planning to stay in this house? If it's less than 5 years, I would just go for the 30, otherwise I would go for the 20 (which is what I did last month at the same rate).
by mw1739
Tue Jun 23, 2020 8:36 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: IRS Expands eligibility for Corona Virus Related Distributions
Replies: 62
Views: 5755

Re: IRS Expands eligibility for Corona Virus Related Distributions

How do you prove “due to COVID-19?” I know people whose hours were cut when customers mysteriously stopped showing up. Now that customers are showing up again, their hours have increased. By the end of the year, it’s possible their hours will cumulatively be more than they would have been in an alt...
by mw1739
Sat Jun 20, 2020 10:30 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Am I in a position to negotiate? 801 credit score cash out refinance
Replies: 27
Views: 2441

Re: Am I in a position to negotiate? 801 credit score cash out refinance

Depends on the breakdown of the $9,400 in closing costs. Are you escrowing? If so how much of that is taxes and insurance?

I did a 20 year cash-out refi at 2.875% last month with about $1,500 in pure closing costs. Similar credit profile as yourself.
by mw1739
Sat Jun 13, 2020 8:13 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Deck railings
Replies: 26
Views: 2135

Re: Deck railings

Recently replaced my top rail. The previous rail was cracking and rotted in a couple sections. Replaced it with new 2x6 pressure treated lumber. Wish I had composite railings to match my composite deck boards, but that’s a much bigger project.
by mw1739
Fri Jun 12, 2020 9:41 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Backyard Movie Night
Replies: 22
Views: 2129

Re: Backyard Movie Night

As a follow-up, I ended up purchasing the following products: Vankyo Leisure 3 Projector: https://www.amazon.com/Leisure-Upgraded-Portable-Projector-Compatible/dp/B078KF8CSX RCA Projector Screen: https://www.walmart.com/ip/RCA-100-DIAGONAL-PROJECTOR-PORTABLE-SCREEN/273597564 For about $200, I'm sati...
by mw1739
Fri Jun 12, 2020 9:33 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Buy or Rent / Move or Stay (NJ/PA)
Replies: 7
Views: 634

Re: Buy or Rent / Move or Stay (NJ/PA)

Are you willing to decrease your retirement savings and/or charitable giving to afford a house? I don't see how the math works out with your current savings level and giving. I don't live in the area, but regularly work in the Princeton/Ewing/Yardley area and would rank them Princeton, Yardley, Ewin...
by mw1739
Sat Jun 06, 2020 7:27 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Backyard Movie Night
Replies: 22
Views: 2129

Re: Backyard Movie Night

You may want to check the Epson Factory store: https://epson.com/Clearance-Center/Home-Entertainment/c/cc301 They carry refurbished projectors with a two or three year warranty. I purchased a high end projector there about seven years ago for a home theater. Paid about half what it sold for new and...
by mw1739
Sat Jun 06, 2020 6:37 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Passport Renewal
Replies: 9
Views: 1255

Re: Passport Renewal

Mine has been “in process” since the beginning of March. As I understand it the passport folks can’t work from home and are just now starting to go back to the office.
by mw1739
Fri Jun 05, 2020 8:38 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Looking for a Sit / Stand Desk and Office Chair
Replies: 10
Views: 854

Re: Looking for a Sit / Stand Desk and Office Chair

Since you want something inexpensive, I might suggest the IKEA adjustable height desk. I think it’s about $250 and well reviewed.
by mw1739
Wed Jun 03, 2020 10:57 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Did you see a drop in your expenses in May?
Replies: 29
Views: 1771

Re: Did you see a drop in your expenses in May?

Nope - March and April were way down but May was a bad month. Paid for some repairs to the house (3k), new dishwasher (1k), Anniversary gift, Mother’s Day gift, and the economy started re-opening so we made overdue Costco trips and everyone got haircuts. Aside from the repairs and gifts, spending wa...
by mw1739
Mon Jun 01, 2020 8:18 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Backyard Movie Night
Replies: 22
Views: 2129

Re: Backyard Movie Night

In to hear responses as my wife has been asking me to look into this. I’m finding a huge gap between name-brands which seem to start at about $800 and the typical Amazon stuff where it’s hard to really know what you’re getting. The refurbished Epson mentioned above looks interesting and isn't too b...
by mw1739
Sun May 31, 2020 11:34 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Backyard Movie Night
Replies: 22
Views: 2129

Re: Backyard Movie Night

Great feedback. I hadn’t considered the darkness factor so maybe I should look for a slightly better projector or check out ebay for used ones.
by mw1739
Sun May 31, 2020 9:42 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Backyard Movie Night
Replies: 22
Views: 2129

Backyard Movie Night

Can anyone offer advice on a projector setup for a backyard movie theater? I’m thinking less than $200 for this occasional use item and see many on Amazon from $100-$200. Any tips on best brands, models, specs etc. would be appreciated.
by mw1739
Wed May 27, 2020 11:23 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: The "Best of" for Aldi?
Replies: 135
Views: 11295

Re: The "Best of" for Aldi?

Aldi was our regular hangout before the lockdown. Since lockdown, I see long lines outside every time I drive by (think they limit # people in the store). We now shop at Weis, not as good but no lines. I still prefer Aldi if things start to improve. Wondering if Aldi is well stocked during this tim...
by mw1739
Tue May 26, 2020 7:34 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: The "Best of" for Aldi?
Replies: 135
Views: 11295

Re: The "Best of" for Aldi?

Fresh cut Salsa
Salami bites
Peanut butter cookies (Way better than Tagalongs)
Take and bake pizzas
Frozen fresh cut green beans
Almond Milk
by mw1739
Tue May 19, 2020 7:17 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Central Indiana: Reasonable Cost?
Replies: 16
Views: 1226

Re: Central Indiana: Reasonable Cost?

Doesn’t seem entirely unreasonable, but not a great price either. I’d get a couple more bids and also price out some of the materials so you can have a better idea of an all-in price. I think the volume of “widgets” your contractor will have to buy is higher then you think when you consider everythi...
by mw1739
Thu May 14, 2020 9:47 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: What to do with canned chicken?
Replies: 45
Views: 3377

Re: What to do with canned chicken?

Chicken roll ups - my kids favorite meal (made it for them tonight actually).
https://www.plainchicken.com/chicken-roll-ups/
by mw1739
Mon May 11, 2020 8:45 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Portable Laptop Monitor
Replies: 11
Views: 407

Re: Portable Laptop Monitor

My company previously issued Lenovo portable monitors which worked well and were light, but smaller than your requirement (12-13"). They then switched to HP portable monitors which are bigger (14" maybe?) but are much heavier (weighs more than my laptop). I've heard good things about the Asus portab...
by mw1739
Sun May 10, 2020 3:37 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: What are your alternative plans this summer if it was travel?
Replies: 65
Views: 5497

Re: What are your alternative plans this summer if it was travel?

Had a Caribbean trip planned for next month which is cancelled. Currently debating between heading to the beach or Arizona for a week to escape reality.
by mw1739
Wed May 06, 2020 7:10 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Amazon Prime Membership Question [Considering to drop membership]
Replies: 136
Views: 9576

Re: Amazon Prime Membership Question

Same day or next day shipping no longer seems to be the default option for most of my orders. Despite that, I've found that most items arrive the next day. Still happy with my Prime service. Very dissatisfied with the shipping speed of my recent Costco.com purchases however.
by mw1739
Thu Apr 30, 2020 9:19 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Roofing Experts... Help me Identify my Shingles (w/ links to pics)
Replies: 16
Views: 1150

Re: Roofing Experts... Help me Identify my Shingles (w/ links to pics)

Recently had about a dozen shingles replaced after a bad windstorm. When I took a shingle in to get it matched, my choices were to match the color exactly today or be off slightly but it will blend in after a year or so of fading. The roofing company recommended the shingle that will match after fad...
by mw1739
Wed Apr 29, 2020 7:05 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Our company just closed our regional office permanently
Replies: 35
Views: 5457

Re: Our company just closed our regional office permanently

Yes my company has been doing the same for the last 2 years. Many employees at my company travel often so it made little sense for desks to sit empty 50-75% of the time. Even in the larger regional offices we’ve been consolidating locations and reducing floor space. It doesn’t seem to hurt promotion...
by mw1739
Wed Apr 29, 2020 7:06 am
Forum: Personal Investments
Topic: Considering starting Roth Conversions???
Replies: 11
Views: 1056

Re: Considering starting Roth Conversions???

Converting at the 24% marginal rate is questionable, especially given your predicted retirement in 5-6 years. Unless you have a pension or other source of income to keep you at the higher tax rates, you would be better served converting after retirement.
by mw1739
Tue Apr 28, 2020 11:20 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: House Siding for MN - LP / Hardie / Steel?
Replies: 12
Views: 1075

Re: House Siding for MN - LP / Hardie / Steel?

My house has Hardie siding with cedar trim. The woodpeckers love my cedar trim, but don't touch the Hardie siding. I have to replace a couple pieces of trim each year from woodpecker damage. If I wanted to spend the money, I would replace all the cedar trim with Hardie trim.
by mw1739
Tue Apr 28, 2020 11:14 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Hilton Vs Marriott
Replies: 16
Views: 1284

Re: Hilton Vs Marriott

Stick with whichever brand is best for your business travel and particularly whichever brand you prefer for your personal travel. Assuming you stay ~ 150 nights each year, you should be able to have both Diamond and Titanium status, which is a pretty powerful combo. Platinum status at Marriott doesn...
by mw1739
Tue Apr 28, 2020 9:05 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: How do you explain no COVID19 Stimulus Payment?
Replies: 89
Views: 7317

Re: How do you explain no COVID19 Stimulus Payment?

I guess I had the opposite problem: delicately avoiding the fact that I received a payment. Plus carefully instructing my wife not to mention it if the topic comes up. I always knew we were on the lower end of the income spectrum for our upper middle class social circle, but the stimulus payments co...
by mw1739
Sun Apr 26, 2020 8:36 pm
Forum: Personal Investments
Topic: Why am I even saving for retirement?
Replies: 223
Views: 20238

Re: Why am I even saving for retirement?

Similar age and position here. I’m operating under the assumption that I’m saving for my kids retirement at this point. Life will almost certain throw some curveballs though and it’s always reassuring to have too much than not enough.
by mw1739
Thu Apr 23, 2020 8:02 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Budget for Home Upgrades and Maintenance Reserve Fund?
Replies: 23
Views: 1284

Re: Budget for Home Upgrades and Maintenance Reserve Fund?

My house is about 20 years old and I’ve lived here for 7 of those years. We probably did spend $20-$30,000 when we moved in replacing all the carpet in the house and painting the interior and exterior, but aside from that, I don’t think we’ve ever spent more than $1,000 a year in actual repairs. Tak...
by mw1739
Fri Apr 17, 2020 7:05 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Frugal quarantine habits to keep
Replies: 87
Views: 8398

Re: Frugal quarantine habits to keep

Started shopping at Aldi since it’s less crowded than the other options and the pickup options are usually 1+ week out at our usual store. Enjoying the quality of food and the lower prices. I would guess I’m saving at least $20 a week if not closer to $50.
by mw1739
Thu Apr 16, 2020 6:25 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Refinance Mega Thread
Replies: 2632
Views: 210371

Re: Refinance Mega Thread

Finally got a closing date scheduled with a local credit union. Took ~ 45 days to receive final approval even with an appraisal waiver.

2.875% 20 year cashout refi.
Cash to close only for prepaid escrow
by mw1739
Wed Apr 08, 2020 3:34 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Having internet connectivity issues during the workday
Replies: 51
Views: 2923

Re: Having internet connectivity issues during the workday

May not be doable, but if you're using a VPN, see if any of the softwere apps and tools you are using will still work when not on the VPN. At our company people found out some applications still worked even when not connected through VPN (for example, Slack, Skype and Outlook). Last week we had a Z...
by mw1739
Tue Apr 07, 2020 11:54 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Rural Home: Getting Hardwired?
Replies: 39
Views: 2663

Re: Rural Home: Getting Hardwired?

A family member recently had to pay about $10,000 to run Comcast cable to their semi-rural home. Comcast did offer what is essentially 0% financing with a 3 year contract.
by mw1739
Tue Apr 07, 2020 8:54 am
Forum: Personal Investments
Topic: Benefits/novelty of single share of BRK.B?
Replies: 21
Views: 1723

Re: Benefits/novelty of single share of BRK.B?

Do it. I bought each of my kids [one] share of Disney stock when they were little, and they enjoyed reading the Annual Report publications that came out describing future film and park investments. Of course, with market timing, I eventually lost money on my purchase when we eventually sold, but it...
by mw1739
Fri Apr 03, 2020 6:24 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Are your personal expenses down during stay home and shelter?
Replies: 180
Views: 10834

Re: Are your personal expenses down during stay home and shelter?

I'm guessing a slightly positive benefit for day to day expenses (excluding the 3 trips we had to cancel). Down: Gas, Eating Out, School Lunches for the kids Up: Groceries, Slight increase to online shopping Deciding to tackle some spring projects with my extra time at home will cost much more than ...
by mw1739
Thu Apr 02, 2020 10:55 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Homemade Salad Dressing
Replies: 51
Views: 3188

Re: Homemade Salad Dressing

We made Cilantro Lime dressing last night for a steak salad.

Olive Oil
Cilantro
Garlic
Lime
Salt & Pepper
by mw1739
Fri Mar 27, 2020 8:59 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: How are you going to use your stimulus money?
Replies: 222
Views: 12815

Re: How are you going to use your stimulus money?

Straight into the wife’s bank account for her spending money, so I suppose it will stimulate the economy. The kids money will go to the 529s though.
by mw1739
Fri Mar 20, 2020 9:00 am
Forum: US Chapters
Topic: How Is Your Job Being Impacted By The Current Crisis?
Replies: 505
Views: 52322

Re: How Is Your Job Being Impacted By The Current Crisis?

Telecommuting from home for the foreseeable future. Normally work from home 1-2 days a week when I'm not traveling anyway, so not a huge change. Also just found out I got a promotion that I applied for before all the Coronavirus mania. Pros: 10% raise Cons: more air travel to the Northeast (at least...
by mw1739
Tue Mar 17, 2020 8:24 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Help with Router & WiFi Extender Setup for large area: Help Please.
Replies: 43
Views: 1521

Re: Help with Router & WiFi Extender Setup for large area: Help Please.

I run a DIY mesh network in my 6200 sq ft home. I have my master Wifi router next to the cable modem. Two other Wifi routers around the house are configured as access points and connected back to the main router via Actiontec MOCA adapters. No idea what my wired speed is, but I regularly get 200 Mbp...
by mw1739
Wed Mar 11, 2020 3:20 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Rebook Airfare to save $1,200?
Replies: 12
Views: 1124

Re: Rebook Airfare to save $1,200?

A friend tried to do this today for a United flight next month. In between cancelling and rebooking, the airfare went up. Now their family is stuck paying more than they were originally for the same flight.
by mw1739
Tue Mar 10, 2020 9:28 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Should I refinance? And how do I find a 20yr mortgage?
Replies: 5
Views: 753

Re: Should I refinance? And how do I find a 20yr mortgage?

I’m locked in at 2.875 on a 20 year loan from a local credit union. We are 7 years into a 30 though, and like you, I can’t quite swing the 15 year payment. With 28 years left I might be tempted to just go back to a 30 and make extra payments. Personally, I don’t trust myself not to spend the extra c...
by mw1739
Mon Mar 09, 2020 1:28 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Refinance Mega Thread
Replies: 2632
Views: 210371

Re: Refinance Mega Thread

Locked in a 2.875% 20 year cash-out refi. Shortens my term + rolling in my HELOC balance will result in ~ $100 lower payments each month.
by mw1739
Sun Mar 08, 2020 11:18 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Refinancing when it's NOT your "forever" house
Replies: 29
Views: 2181

Re: Refinancing when it's NOT your "forever" house

I have 23 years left at 3.75%. I’m currently looking at a 20 year loan at 2.75%. The payment stays the same but more of each payment will go to principle. I’ll “save” a few thousand in interest each year, so I don’t see any downside even if I move in less than 10 years.
by mw1739
Fri Mar 06, 2020 2:19 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Refinance Mega Thread
Replies: 2632
Views: 210371

Re: Refinance Mega Thread

Currently 7 years into a 3.75% 30 year mortgage. Submitted application today for 2.75% 20 year mortgage. Payment stays roughly the same and cuts 3 years off the mortgage. The payment jump to a 15 year is too much for my liking since this isn't likely our forever home.
by mw1739
Fri Mar 06, 2020 7:01 am
Forum: Personal Investments
Topic: Is it Possible to Opt-out of Fidelity Premium Services?
Replies: 17
Views: 1970

Re: Is it Possible to Opt-out of Fidelity Premium Services?

I get similar emails a couple times a month from Fidelity. I also get similar emails from Schwab who holds my 401k. Who cares? I get far more silly emails from any store I've ever bought something from each week than I do Fidelity. In fact, the title of the Fidelity emails is clear enough that I don...
by mw1739
Sun Mar 01, 2020 3:22 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: USB-C PD wall charger for laptops
Replies: 15
Views: 992

Re: USB-C PD wall charger for laptops

I use the one USB-C port version of the RAVPower charger you linked to for my Latitude 7390 with no issues. Regularly on sale for $20-$25 on Amazon.
by mw1739
Sat Feb 15, 2020 11:36 am
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: How much should I offer for this brick and mortar business?
Replies: 75
Views: 5674

Re: How much should I offer for this brick and mortar business?

If the current owner would lie to the IRS, what makes you think he’s being honest with you? Run away from this mess