Search found 503 matches

by mw1739
Sun Oct 14, 2018 5:57 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: How Much Is Your Sewer Bill?
Replies: 36
Views: 1529

Re: How Much Is Your Sewer Bill?

Ours is flat rate of $39.XX per month. Recently got notice that it’s increasing to about $42.00 starting next year.
by mw1739
Fri Oct 12, 2018 10:36 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Considering new Honda Pilot, other suggestions?
Replies: 35
Views: 1820

Re: Considering new Honda Pilot, other suggestions?

Out of left field, let me suggest you check out the Buick Enclave and its platform mate, the Chevy Traverse. I never thought I'd say "I bought a Buick," but in March my wife and I bought a 2018 Enclave. It's still early days, but we're very happy so far. IMHO, the Enclave/Traverse is one of the few...
by mw1739
Wed Oct 10, 2018 7:08 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Fidelity Private Client Group: New Advisor
Replies: 17
Views: 1579

Re: Fidelity Private Client Group: New Advisor

When my Fidelity “guy” left a couple months ago I received an email and I believe a mailed letter. Then a few weeks ago I got a phone call and email from the new “guy” inviting me to a meet and greet dinner.
by mw1739
Tue Oct 09, 2018 5:10 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: What is your annual cost for health insurance?
Replies: 135
Views: 9213

Re: What is your annual cost for health insurance?

Family of 4 - annual premiums of roughly $2,400 for a great plan. $0 deductible and $11,000 max out of pocket. My son and I were in accident last weekend and helicoptered to a hospital ~ 1 hour away. I haven’t received the bill yet, but my quick review of the plan info indicates that will only be a ...
by mw1739
Fri Oct 05, 2018 8:52 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Washington, DC Trip & Fine Dining in the Area
Replies: 19
Views: 1508

Re: Washington, DC Trip & Fine Dining in the Area

If you're looking for "good," but not "Michelin-starred," you could try Founding Farmers. It's a farm-to-table group, and they do a fantastic job with a simple, down-home vibe with a twist. To be honest, I think that the quality of dining in D.C. is abysmal, so the fact that I thought this place wa...
by mw1739
Fri Oct 05, 2018 6:31 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Tackling Disney World - Discount on tickets?
Replies: 65
Views: 3656

Re: Tackling Disney World

We're going next week for 5 nights (3 days at the parks). You can use the Disney Magical Express to get to/from the parks. They now have a "Minnie Van" service through Lyft to get around the parks as well. We used a Disney Travel Agent (gets a cut from Disney) at no cost to us. She recommended good ...
by mw1739
Fri Oct 05, 2018 6:27 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Bareboat Charter in BVI
Replies: 20
Views: 2583

Re: Bareboat Charter in BVI

Sorry to veer off topic, but how hard is it to learn to bareboat sail a cat? I have plenty of boating experience but only on powerboats. I chartered a crewed cat in the BVI nearly 10 years ago and would love to do it all over again, but the cost of a crew really increases the cost.
by mw1739
Thu Oct 04, 2018 9:22 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Carry On Luggage Recommendations
Replies: 39
Views: 2138

Re: Carry On Luggage Recommendations

The Kirkland brand carry-on's from Costco are pretty well made for the price ($99) and you get the unbeatable Costco warranty.
by mw1739
Mon Oct 01, 2018 9:32 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Car rebates/incentives
Replies: 21
Views: 1364

Re: Car rebates/incentives

I bought my wife a 2018 Traverse about a month ago. She pushed me to go ahead and buy since the 2019's were coming out and she was very specific on what options and colors she wanted. No rebates or incentives available as you mentioned, but pretty much every dealer's bottom line price was the GM Sup...
by mw1739
Thu Sep 27, 2018 5:35 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Suggestions on Phonics & Reading programs for 4 year old? Pre-K to Kindergarten
Replies: 27
Views: 1203

Re: Suggestions on Phonics & Reading programs for 4 year old? Pre-K to Kindergarten

My children’s school uses the Zoophonics program in preschool to learn letters/phonics and switches to The Letter People series in pre-K for reading. We bought flash cards etc from these programs to reinforce at home. Also read Bob Books, which are great confidence boosters for kids.
by mw1739
Mon Sep 24, 2018 9:01 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: S Corporation vs. LLC Partnership Logistics
Replies: 17
Views: 1499

Re: S Corporation vs. LLC Partnership Logistics

I think you need to put your numbers into TaxCaster or similar program to get an accurate result, or have a CPA run the numbers for you. Offhand I see that you're excluding any income your wife earns, as well as standard/itemized deductions and personal exemptions from your calculation.
by mw1739
Thu Sep 20, 2018 7:31 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Bathroom and Basement Remodel Costs
Replies: 56
Views: 3750

Re: Bathroom and Basement Remodel Costs

I spent $75-$80k on a basement finish, which sounds similar to your specs, but included a bathroom with moderate finishes (already plumbed) and adding an egress window. Personally I regret spending so much on the basement and my wife now says she would have rather spent the money on the kitchen remo...
by mw1739
Tue Sep 18, 2018 2:46 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Honda Lawnmower Warranty Issue
Replies: 17
Views: 847

Re: Honda Lawnmower Warranty Issue

the employees stated the repairs were covered under warranty and nothing was owed. The dealer replaced the carburetor and all was well. When I review the warranty, it mentions that carb cleaning is not a covered service, but I don't see any other applicable exclusions. This is an issue between the ...
by mw1739
Tue Sep 18, 2018 11:01 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Honda Lawnmower Warranty Issue
Replies: 17
Views: 847

Re: Honda Lawnmower Warranty Issue

Maybe I missed something, but as I read your post you state that they replaced the carb, not a cleaning. What did they actually do? What is on your receipt? Depending on what was done the dealer may have submitted the wrong info for warranty reimbursement. The invoice states, "adjusted valves, chan...
by mw1739
Tue Sep 18, 2018 9:42 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Honda Lawnmower Warranty Issue
Replies: 17
Views: 847

Re: Honda Lawnmower Warranty Issue

Thanks for the advice on the gas - I'll consider trying it going forward. Any thoughts on how to deal with the dealer who represented that a service was covered under warranty but later backed out? In my opinion, as a "Honda Premier Service Dealer" they should know what is and isn't covered under wa...
by mw1739
Tue Sep 18, 2018 7:43 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Honda Lawnmower Warranty Issue
Replies: 17
Views: 847

Re: Honda Lawnmower Warranty Issue

My 2.5 year old Honda HRX lawnmower was not starting well, idling roughly, leaking fuel from the carburetor, and even backfired, so I took it to the local Honda dealer for repair. When I dropped it off and when I picked the lawnmower up, the employees stated the repairs were covered under warranty ...
by mw1739
Tue Sep 18, 2018 7:21 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Honda Lawnmower Warranty Issue
Replies: 17
Views: 847

Honda Lawnmower Warranty Issue

My 2.5 year old Honda HRX lawnmower was not starting well, idling roughly, leaking fuel from the carburetor, and even backfired, so I took it to the local Honda dealer for repair. When I dropped it off and when I picked the lawnmower up, the employees stated the repairs were covered under warranty a...
by mw1739
Thu Sep 13, 2018 8:49 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Pet insurance
Replies: 31
Views: 2777

Re: Pet insurance

I put one of my dogs down last week. A middle of the night trip to the emergency vet and the associated tests ran approximately $1000. I contemplated, but ultimately declined, surgery that would have cost $5,000, but had a very low chance of survival beyond 6 months. I put her to sleep for $200 the ...
by mw1739
Tue Sep 11, 2018 10:13 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Side Hustle Options/Suggestions.
Replies: 99
Views: 10143

Re: Side Hustle Options/Suggestions.

BTW...an earlier poster who said dog walking....I just had lunch with my old business partner. He told me he knows a guy making $50K/year as a full time dog walker. #wth When my dog was under 1 year old, I paid $10 every day to a grad student to walk him every afternoon on weekdays. When I'm away f...
by mw1739
Mon Sep 10, 2018 3:56 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Anyone else not save for cars?
Replies: 113
Views: 10234

Re: Anyone else not save for cars?

We save for general expenses (home repair, car, kids college etc.) and withdraw the money when needed. With that said, I dislike financing depreciating assets, so I've informally set a benchmark of 50% down and 50% financed. My wife's Chevy SUV (bought 2 weeks ago) is financed at 3% - the manufactur...
by mw1739
Mon Sep 10, 2018 12:20 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Planning after divorce
Replies: 8
Views: 1609

Re: Planning after divorce

Can you cover any of it out of normal cashflow? Given your tax rates, you're earning $200k+ and mention your home is paid off. Alternatively, you can take some from your taxable investments to cover a few years of withdrawals. Assuming you're locked into this and cannot cashflow it or expect to rece...
by mw1739
Fri Sep 07, 2018 7:42 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Certified Pre-Owned Cars (CPO): Is this normal?
Replies: 30
Views: 2522

Re: Certified Pre-Owned Cars (CPO): Is this normal?

I recently bought a CPO Chevy and the dealer mentioned it cost $450 for them to certify the car with GM, otherwise they would have had more room to negotiate. Considering it comes with a better than factory warranty, I was ok with the price. But in my case it was advertised as CPO... I would have ba...
by mw1739
Tue Sep 04, 2018 5:49 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Types of seed for new lawn or sod?
Replies: 24
Views: 1590

Re: Types of seed for new lawn or sod?

Seed Superstore has good seed varieties and well regarded blends. The prices are a little high, but the convenience can’t be beat.
by mw1739
Tue Sep 04, 2018 2:50 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Storage facility as investment.
Replies: 18
Views: 1639

Re: Storage facility as investment.

My in-laws own a storage business, but it's complementary to their primary business (multifamily real estate). I think it does pretty well, but there are still headaches. Apparently finding a good manager is tough, because as someone else points out, the job can be done by someone with no education....
by mw1739
Tue Aug 28, 2018 11:03 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Summer Day A/C Issues
Replies: 41
Views: 2227

Re: Summer Day A/C Issues

Do you have a heat pump system? The system not keeping up in the extreme temperatures sounds like a heat pump.
by mw1739
Fri Aug 17, 2018 7:01 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Helping mother-in-law after her husbands passing
Replies: 20
Views: 1444

Re: Helping mother-in-law after her husbands passing

Only making $2,100 per month as a State Farm insurance agent? Is she part-time? Can she increase hours to make more money? One of the biggest assets she has is the ability to earn money from her work in the future. If she could increase that, she will have a lot more flexibility in the future. +1. ...
by mw1739
Tue Aug 14, 2018 12:36 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Small business owner, mid 30s, doing great, clueless with investments
Replies: 22
Views: 2136

Re: Small business owner, mid 30s, doing great, clueless with investments

You may want to talk to your accountant about switching from a SEP IRA to a Solo 401k for 2019. You mentioned you "maxed" out the SEP at $35k last year. The 401k limit is $55k, which you could break down as $18.5k from you and $36.5k as an "employer match." This would allow additional tax advantaged...
by mw1739
Fri Aug 10, 2018 4:07 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Is your monthly expense really that stable or in reality, pretty volatile?
Replies: 46
Views: 3420

Re: Is your monthly expense really that stable or in reality, pretty volatile?

I suppose day to day spending is fairly stable but as you mentioned, one time things pop up. I had about 6k in extra bills last month. Some came out of normal cash flow and some came from savings. I have a rough idea of when our big annual bills are due and try to factor those into the overall budget.
by mw1739
Fri Aug 10, 2018 6:07 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: First time taking kids to airport..
Replies: 28
Views: 2384

Re: First time taking kids to airport..

Big fan of this car seat bag: https://www.amazon.com/J-L-Childress-Ultimate-Backpack-Padded/dp/B0009RNXNA/ref=sr_1_3_a_it?ie=UTF8&qid=1533899013&sr=8-3&keywords=car+seat+bag&dpID=41-9Dhku06L&preST=_SX300_QL70_&dpSrc=srch It has backpack straps instead of 1 strap, so the weight of the heavy car seat ...
by mw1739
Wed Aug 08, 2018 10:38 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Interviewing potential builders / GCs / General Contractors for Extensive Remodel / Renovation
Replies: 3
Views: 338

Re: Interviewing potential builders / GCs / General Contractors for Extensive Remodel / Renovation

Questions I would ask include: - How many projects do you have going on at a time? Are they new builds or remodels? How long would you expect my project to take? - Who are your subs? How long have you been working with them? - (Assuming you're living in the house while remodeling) - Who will have ac...
by mw1739
Sat Aug 04, 2018 5:01 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Nespresso?
Replies: 87
Views: 6450

Re: Nespresso?

Not to go off on a tangent, but what is everyone’s favorite pods? Roma is my go-to and I also like the summer Iced varieties. The wife enjoys the Vanilla. What does everyone else drink?
by mw1739
Fri Aug 03, 2018 7:04 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Home is *just* outside flood zone - how much flood insurance do I buy?
Replies: 50
Views: 3074

Re: Home is *just* outside flood zone - how much flood insurance do I buy?

Make sure you understand your coverage. Flood insurance does not cover basement improvements such as drywall, flooring etc.
by mw1739
Mon Jul 30, 2018 3:23 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Buying an electric golf cart
Replies: 6
Views: 836

Re: Buying an electric golf cart

The biggest variable with a used electric cart is how old the batteries are. Replacing the batteries in a 48v cart will run $6-800. The manufacture date of the battery should be stamped somewhere on it, but google the manufacturer and you will find the code telling you the date. I’m quite happy with...
by mw1739
Sat Jul 28, 2018 6:38 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: DisneyWorld-Needing specific advice
Replies: 33
Views: 1995

Re: DisneyWorld-Needing specific advice

We stay in the Fort Wilderness cabins, which I believed are in Disney’s Moderate category. You can take a boat to The parks everyday and they have bonfires with the characters at night. My kids love the experience.
by mw1739
Sun Jul 08, 2018 6:55 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: What do you pay for home services?
Replies: 55
Views: 3583

Re: What do you pay for home services?

Prices are in the ballpark of what we pay. We pay our cleaning lady (really just an entrepreneurial college girl) roughly $20 an hour to clean every two weeks. Landscaping runs $45 for me, but I chose to DIY except for when I’m on vacation. My neighbor owns a landscape company and reports that curre...
by mw1739
Sun Jul 08, 2018 6:45 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Subaru Ascent owners out there?
Replies: 17
Views: 2275

Re: Subaru Ascent owners out there?

How does the cargo trunk space compare on the Ascent? I can see the volume specs, but those aren't always comparable across manifacturers. So how usable is it actually in real life? I do a fair bit of dirt road driving where I don't need fancy four wheeling, but I do need high clearance... Unfortun...
by mw1739
Fri Jul 06, 2018 8:07 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Advice For My Side Business - Reselling Used Electronics
Replies: 14
Views: 1456

Re: Advice For My Side Business - Reselling Used Electronics

Back in college I used to buy pallets from a major reseller that were full of returns from major electronics stores (mostly Best Buy). I would then flip them on eBay/ craigslist. I would say that I made most of my profit on less than 10% of the items. There was some outright junk and a lot of stuff ...
by mw1739
Fri Jul 06, 2018 8:04 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Every Other Friday Off
Replies: 52
Views: 5465

Re: Every Other Friday Off

I work that schedule currently and can’t imagine not doing it. It’s great for long weekend trips, getting things around the house done or just spending time with the spouse/kids. Medical appointments are a little harder since (at least around me) many doctors, dentists etc. are closed on Fridays.
by mw1739
Fri Jun 15, 2018 11:19 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Long Weekend in November - NOLA, Austin, Other
Replies: 26
Views: 1464

Re: Long Weekend in November - NOLA, Austin, Other

I'm a huge fan of Charleston, but I'll also throw Asheville in the mix. Great food, huge craft beer scene and tons of outdoor activities.
by mw1739
Fri Jun 15, 2018 10:06 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Is anyone familiar with Connecticut Gift and Estate Tax rules? my son) tax rules?
Replies: 13
Views: 1159

Re: Is anyone familiar with Connecticut Gift and Estate Tax rules? my son) tax rules?

Bsteiner, This was extremely helpful due to numerical nature of your explanation, thanks. Here is the plan: I will gift $2.6 Million to my son now. I don't want him to deal with this stuff when I am gone. He will not be in a good state of mind. Yes, he will pay taxes on the stock gains eventually, ...
by mw1739
Thu Jun 07, 2018 10:06 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: How much to budget for a week long vacation for 2?
Replies: 79
Views: 4823

Re: How much to budget for a week long vacation for 2?

It's going to vary tremendously depending on where you go and what you do. My wife and I are getting away for 4 days later this month. Here's our expected costs: - Flight - $600 - Hotel - $2520 - ($600 a night paid with hotel points - Resort fee of $30 daily, so actual cost will only be $120) - Rent...
by mw1739
Sat Jun 02, 2018 9:33 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Have $2.5M at 30, career advice needed
Replies: 49
Views: 5721

Re: Have $2.5M at 30, career advice needed

It sounds like you feel house poor. The median house price in the Bay Area is something like $1.5 million. Why don’t you sell, buy a new house for cash and invest the difference?
by mw1739
Sat Jun 02, 2018 9:12 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Safeco Auto Insurance
Replies: 12
Views: 1222

Re: Safeco Auto Insurance

We’ve had auto, Home and umbrella with Safeco for 3-4 years. No complaints. The premium has increased, but when we’ve shopped around they are still the cheapest. No claims other than a windshield replacement, which went smoothly.
by mw1739
Sat May 26, 2018 9:18 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Rum and Summer Cocktails
Replies: 30
Views: 2227

Re: Rum and Summer Cocktails

I make most cocktails to taste, so forgive the lack of measurements:
Light rum
Coconut water
Fresh jalapeño slices
Simple syrup
Lime

Mix together in a pitcher and let the jalapeño soak preferably overnight. It’s refreshing and the peppers add a little kick.
by mw1739
Thu May 24, 2018 2:05 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Winter Home - issues/costs?
Replies: 33
Views: 2471

Re: Winter Home - issues/costs?

My in-laws have done this for the last 7-8 years. They used to move around year to year in Florida, but they've narrowed it down to one location that they've gone back to for several years now. Their main decision now is buy/rent. For the time being, I've encouraged them to continue renting - the pa...
by mw1739
Tue May 22, 2018 6:21 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: property tax assessment
Replies: 9
Views: 1015

Re: property tax assessment

I've appealed my taxes once and the process was similar to what TallBoy outlined. Sounds like you've already done step 1, so the next step would be to appeal that decision. I found out at that second meeting that the assessor maintains a list of comps for each property that you can request. I would ...
by mw1739
Tue May 15, 2018 6:28 am
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Small gift from Grandma to infant - where to put it?
Replies: 21
Views: 2132

Re: Small gift from Grandma to infant - where to put it?

If you currently own fewer than one share of Disney common stock, or do not currently own any shares of Disney common stock, you may join the Plan by completing an enrollment form and either making an initial cash investment of at least $175 or authorizing monthly deductions of at least $50 from a ...
by mw1739
Tue May 08, 2018 9:00 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Rental Cars:National, Budget, Alamo or Thrifty
Replies: 33
Views: 1884

Re: Rental Cars:National, Budget, Alamo or Thrifty

I find Thrifty and it’s cousin Dollar to be hit or miss depending on the location. I usually cross them off the list unless it’s vastly cheaper. I regularly rent from the others you mentioned and have no issues with any.
by mw1739
Thu May 03, 2018 12:58 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Budget for kid's sport?
Replies: 49
Views: 2678

Re: Budget for kid's sport?

He only has his adolescence once. Try to figure it out if he is enjoying everything. Soccer is relatively inexpensive as well. Sorry, something isn't adding up on the hockey. Our relatively inexpensive league is close to $800 for October through February. That's 2 practices a week and a game nearly...
by mw1739
Sat Apr 21, 2018 1:52 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Visiting Chicago - Foodie suggestions?
Replies: 28
Views: 2024

Re: Visiting Chicago - Foodie suggestions?

Not quite on the same level as some of these suggestions, but if you enjoy Mexican food, I like Rick Bayless’ restaurants, several of which are in the River North area.

I also had a really good meal recently at RPM Italian, which is apparently owned by some reality TV star.