Search found 4837 matches

by madbrain
Sun Apr 22, 2018 5:20 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Is this solar panel bid reasonable?
Replies: 51
Views: 2972

Re: Is this solar panel bid reasonable?

BTW, to corroborate the EV consumption data, I just reviewed the data from our smart EV chargers at home. They only keep data up to 6 months. For the rolling 6 months period, these add up to 2100 kWh. There was also 77 kWh of Chargepoint at work (not free). So, call it 2177 kWh for driving, or about...
by madbrain
Sun Apr 22, 2018 4:49 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: To take or not to take delivery of Tesla 3
Replies: 694
Views: 56033

Re: To take or not to take delivery of Tesla 3

I paid 32900 for the bolt out the door. Base model and fast charge option, comfort package. After 7500 tax credit it's under 27k so at least 20k less than current model 3 configurations Sounds like you got a pretty sweet deal. I can't help but look over your math - 32,900 - 7,500 would be only 25,4...
by madbrain
Sun Apr 22, 2018 4:36 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Is this solar panel bid reasonable?
Replies: 51
Views: 2972

Re: Is this solar panel bid reasonable?

BTW, here are some real-world solar production reports in San Jose. The system is currently using 28 Sharp 240W mono panels on 28 M190 micro-inverters, and 12 Talesun 235W poly panels on M215 micro-inverters. Ie actually 28x240 + 12x235 = 9540 W DC. Our worst year so far was 2017 : https://i.imgur.c...
by madbrain
Sun Apr 22, 2018 4:10 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Is this solar panel bid reasonable?
Replies: 51
Views: 2972

Re: Is this solar panel bid reasonable?

I am cosidering going for rooftop solar, around 4KW capacity. I have a few quotes ranging from around $2.2 to around $3/W after a tax credit of 30%. Are These prices competitive in the Silicon Valley? $3 after tax credit is not competitive, IMO. How do you feel going with big guys (Tesla, Sunrun,,,...
by madbrain
Thu Apr 19, 2018 8:41 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Is Los Angeles a good place long term to live financially?
Replies: 159
Views: 9998

Re: Is Los Angeles a good place long term to live financially?

at 967 sq foot house in my Midwest metro area (consistently rated as one of the top places to live in the U.S.) , it wouldn't cost more than $150-$200k. May I ask where that is? I was going to point out that I knew a place in San Jose where you could find condos or townhomes of that size for $80K, ...
by madbrain
Thu Apr 19, 2018 7:36 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: What's Your Credit Card Rewards Strategy?
Replies: 2543
Views: 476807

Re: What's Your Credit Card Rewards Strategy?

I think you hit the nail on the head with the highlighted portion. :wink: I'm a person who wants to maximize earnings married to someone who values simplicity. Same here :) I tried stickers on the multiple card. Didn't help my husband pick the right card for each case, unfortunately. If I were sing...
by madbrain
Thu Apr 19, 2018 6:12 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: To take or not to take delivery of Tesla 3
Replies: 694
Views: 56033

Re: To take or not to take delivery of Tesla 3

My continued thinking process from there is that I can wait for the $41K car and not get full or partial federal credit (base model estimated date is next year) or buy the 50K car and get 7.5K federal credit and essentially think of it as a 42.5K car (though i pay taxes on the 7.5k that equals anot...
by madbrain
Thu Apr 19, 2018 2:41 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: To take or not to take delivery of Tesla 3
Replies: 694
Views: 56033

Re: To take or not to take delivery of Tesla 3

Second, we looked at a Bolt and while it is not as nice as the M3, it is still a fun car to drive, comfortable in the back seat and (after rebate) is at least 20k less expensive than M3. I was looking at KBB fair market prices for base bolt and it showed 35K. You were able to buy it at a much lower...
by madbrain
Thu Apr 19, 2018 2:36 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Quitting job - what to do if getting walked to the door
Replies: 106
Views: 10672

Re: Quitting job - what to do if getting walked to the door

My former employer, Megacorp,did not pay out unused PTO. They said PTO was granted and not earned. Yet the grant appeared on paychecks in the same amounts as if you had earned them. Go figure. That might not be legal in some states, like California. My employer changed to "unlimited vacation", whic...
by madbrain
Thu Apr 19, 2018 2:32 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Quitting job - what to do if getting walked to the door
Replies: 106
Views: 10672

Re: Quitting job - what to do if getting walked to the door

This is why it is better to give notice on the 1st of the month and not the 30th. (That way you get health insurance coverage for the whole month.) If you give notice on the 1st and give 2 weeks notice, you will usually get only 2 weeks of free insurance Giving 2-weeks notice on the 16-17th day of ...
by madbrain
Thu Apr 19, 2018 2:22 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Is Los Angeles a good place long term to live financially?
Replies: 159
Views: 9998

Re: Is Los Angeles a good place long term to live financially?

I understand what I’m trying to do is difficult, and might be overly ambitious for me at this time. BUT I think if I skipped going to school and just moved there, even for just a year, I could have a lot of fun and a great experience. Like I said, I’m thinking around ~5K a month for rent, ~4K a mon...
by madbrain
Thu Apr 19, 2018 2:12 am
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: I want to pay off my mortgage. Am I crazy?
Replies: 54
Views: 5115

Re: I want to pay off my mortgage. Am I crazy?

I would pay off Everything. Give yourself "options" :happy It's the exact opposite you are doing by paying off the mortgage - taking options off the table, locking your money into home equity, which you may not be able to access later unless you sell the house. With higher interest rates, debt-to-i...
by madbrain
Thu Apr 19, 2018 2:09 am
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: I want to pay off my mortgage. Am I crazy?
Replies: 54
Views: 5115

Re: I want to pay off my mortgage. Am I crazy?

If you decide you don't like not having a mortgage, you can always get another one from the bank later. Congratulations. I have to shake my head when I read arguments like this. "If you don't don't like your low-rate, fixed mortgage, with tax-deductible interest, just pay it off. And if you miss it...
by madbrain
Tue Apr 17, 2018 10:36 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: To take or not to take delivery of Tesla 3
Replies: 694
Views: 56033

Re: To take or not to take delivery of Tesla 3

If Tesla is not actually able to deliver on FSD within the expected lifespan of the car, would they refund you the $3K ? I don't suppose this is an option that can be retrofitted installed post-sale, is it ? Same question for the EAP, or EAP+FSD. I don't know the answer to your questions. All the c...
by madbrain
Tue Apr 17, 2018 7:29 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: To take or not to take delivery of Tesla 3
Replies: 694
Views: 56033

Re: To take or not to take delivery of Tesla 3

I'm an owner of a Model S, with enhanced Autopilot (EAP) and FSD. I made a mistake in buying these. As mentioned earlier, EAP is just a bit better than adaptive cruise control. Not worth $5K for what is does. Why did I get it? It is necessary for FSD. FSD is not standalone. But now after 1 1/2 year...
by madbrain
Tue Apr 17, 2018 1:54 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Costco gas
Replies: 67
Views: 5392

Re: Costco gas

Do you go out of your way to buy gas at Costco? Those who drive a "premium" tier car, do you buy premium gas? Thanks! No. Costco gas is no better than Exxon or Shell. I use Exxon station because it's closer and the price is usually similar or lower than Costco. Each station has widely different pri...
by madbrain
Tue Apr 17, 2018 1:48 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Costco gas
Replies: 67
Views: 5392

Re: Costco gas

Never. My time is much more valuable than the $5-10 I save by waiting upwards of 15-20 min waiting in line for Costco gas. Unfortuantely, my time is not. We love Costco gas and it's part of every trip (alas). The 100-gallon minimum is a killer, though. :D 100 gallon ? What are you driving ?
by madbrain
Mon Apr 16, 2018 5:04 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Costco gas
Replies: 67
Views: 5392

Re: Costco gas

sport wrote:
Mon Apr 16, 2018 3:37 pm
For the last year or so, Costco has stopped accepting AMEX cards. They now accept Visa cards instead.
Indeed, and the Citi Costco VISA card gets 4% back on gasoline (at any gas station, not just Costco). Not that it matters to me since I only use about $200 of gas per year on my Volt PHEV.
by madbrain
Mon Apr 16, 2018 5:02 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: To take or not to take delivery of Tesla 3
Replies: 694
Views: 56033

Re: To take or not to take delivery of Tesla 3

4. You get your credit when you file your taxes, or throughout the year if you adjust your withholdings. With a tax obligation of $17,400 you’d be eligible for the full credit. The "full" credit would depend on when one would take delivery of the car, if Tesla goes through the maximum number of veh...
by madbrain
Mon Apr 16, 2018 1:58 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: What Movie Have You Recently Watched?
Replies: 3497
Views: 986215

Re: What Movie Have You Recently Watched?

A Quiet Place. I'm giving it 3.5 out of 4 stars. Enjoyable thriller with mild horror element. Distinctive backstory which creates a great audioscape for the movie. I was definitely on the edge of my seat for much of it. For sure there are some plot holes, but who really cares? Just came back from t...
by madbrain
Mon Apr 16, 2018 1:41 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: What Movie Have You Recently Watched?
Replies: 3497
Views: 986215

Re: What Movie Have You Recently Watched?

Dunkirk: Unlike the majority, I thought it was terrible. I agree. Laughable, really. Just so much stupid stuff. Maybe the worst was the grounded boat that the soldiers took refuge in, and when it started to float, they somehow decided that ONE guy getting off would mean the difference between it fl...
by madbrain
Sun Apr 15, 2018 6:27 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Google Pixel just died
Replies: 10
Views: 1416

Re: Google Pixel just died

Did you have a password set on the device that you had to type in at startup time ? If so, and it was running a recent version of Android, the device was encrypted. The data on it would not be recoverable without that password, at least in theory, unless someone found a backdoor into it. I would not...
by madbrain
Sat Apr 14, 2018 5:23 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: What Movie Have You Recently Watched?
Replies: 3497
Views: 986215

Re: What Movie Have You Recently Watched?

Molly's Game. Great movie. Jessica Chastain is perfect, as usual.
by madbrain
Fri Apr 13, 2018 5:26 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: [ANOTHER!] HSA/HDHP or PPO plan?
Replies: 10
Views: 586

Re: [ANOTHER!] HSA/HDHP or PPO plan?

Yes, I tried to clarify that in an edit. It's $333.33/month. On the deductibles, if we meet the ded in January, then it stays with us all year. The plans are with the same company, *shudder* UHC. I guess I still don't understand. Why specifically January ? If you meet it in any month of the year, i...
by madbrain
Fri Apr 13, 2018 2:11 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Anyone Deleting Facebook?
Replies: 329
Views: 21685

Re: Anyone Deleting Facebook?

They are far more sophisticated on collecting data on you than you realize. Its not just about how you use their service - they collect data on you through tracking cookies and several other means not to mention simply buying what they desire from aggregators. The tracking cookies are fairly easy t...
by madbrain
Fri Apr 13, 2018 2:05 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: [ANOTHER!] HSA/HDHP or PPO plan?
Replies: 10
Views: 586

Re: [ANOTHER!] HSA/HDHP or PPO plan?

Employer HSA Contribution: $4k (yes, $4,000, once per month), we put in the rest (per paycheck, not lump sum) up to the IRS max. If it's really $4k per month, it's a no brainer. I assume you meant per year. All deductibles RESET on Jan 1, not PLAN YEAR. This has proven important in the past when sw...
by madbrain
Wed Apr 11, 2018 12:24 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: What's Your Credit Card Rewards Strategy?
Replies: 2543
Views: 476807

Re: What's Your Credit Card Rewards Strategy?

Some things like utilities and phone bills, etc. just don't benefit by using something else. Phone bills get 5 UR points per dollar with my no-fee Chase Ink Cash. Redeemed for travel at 1.5cpp with my Sapphire Reserve, that's 7.5% back. My other utilities (PG&E, San Jose water) don't accept credit ...
by madbrain
Tue Apr 10, 2018 1:38 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: What's Your Credit Card Rewards Strategy?
Replies: 2543
Views: 476807

Re: What's Your Credit Card Rewards Strategy?

...I did. I have 2 Fidelity elan visa cards at 2 % cash back. Don't use them because the benefits suck . Only keep them open because they are some of our oldest accounts. Can you elaborate? We have a Fidelity 2% CB card and use as our general purpose "cash back" card - where we don't get more cash ...
by madbrain
Tue Apr 10, 2018 3:48 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: What's Your Credit Card Rewards Strategy?
Replies: 2543
Views: 476807

Re: What's Your Credit Card Rewards Strategy?

Thanks for the tip. When I was looking last year around Memorial day, even 2 months before, all the 4-5 star rooms with $300-$500 A night, plus tax. We didn't go to Hawaii because of this. No point in getting a free flight if we have to pay those prices for a room. $795 for 5 nights is a great pric...
by madbrain
Tue Apr 10, 2018 3:42 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: What's Your Credit Card Rewards Strategy?
Replies: 2543
Views: 476807

Re: What's Your Credit Card Rewards Strategy?

This would have been great info to have 10 days ago, the date my husband cancelled his Hawaiian credit card. Do you still have yours to be the lucky recipient? Otherwise, sometimes credit card companies allow reinstating of a canceled card. Not sure if that is worth it or if you’d end up paying an ...
by madbrain
Mon Apr 09, 2018 9:49 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: What's Your Credit Card Rewards Strategy?
Replies: 2543
Views: 476807

Re: What's Your Credit Card Rewards Strategy?

We haven't used the miles yet. The airfare is one thing, but the hotel room costs in Hawaii are crazy. We may need to figure out ways to use those miles on partner airlines, as we don't want to let 100k miles expire. Awardwallet is very useful for tracking miles/points expiration. Really depends on...
by madbrain
Mon Apr 09, 2018 9:47 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: What's Your Credit Card Rewards Strategy?
Replies: 2543
Views: 476807

Re: What's Your Credit Card Rewards Strategy?

... As far as your answer, I used to have a flat Fidelity Amex 2% card and 1.5% Fidelity 1.5% VISA card . ... You should be able to get that 1.5% Visa card converted to a 2% Visa card with a phone call to Fidelity. I did. I have 2 Fidelity elan visa cards at 2 % cash back. Don't use them because th...
by madbrain
Mon Apr 09, 2018 9:46 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: What's Your Credit Card Rewards Strategy?
Replies: 2543
Views: 476807

Re: What's Your Credit Card Rewards Strategy?

I haven’t studied the HA program in detail but verbally they claimed you can transfer miles between members for no fee. If that's really true, then it would work out for us - one free transpacific roundtrip for 100K miles, and the other one paid. Apparently if the recipient is a Hawaiian Airlines c...
by madbrain
Sun Apr 08, 2018 1:54 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Lithium Battery Life Expectancy?
Replies: 6
Views: 642

Re: Lithium Battery Life Expectancy?

sandramjet wrote:
Sat Apr 07, 2018 10:41 pm
A Chevy Bolt battery pack (60kWH) costs just over 15K, should it go out before warranty (8 years)
It's 8 years or 100,000 miles, whichever comes first. Where did you see that price for the battery pack ?
by madbrain
Sat Apr 07, 2018 8:25 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Lithium Battery Life Expectancy?
Replies: 6
Views: 642

Re: Lithium Battery Life Expectancy?

Ev cars have multiple ways to prevent battery bricking. http://www.ibtimes.com/tesla-says-its-model-s-battery-will-not-brick-418774 Maybe true for the model S, but at least 5 older Tesla Roadster did have their battery bricked . https://jalopnik.com/5887265/tesla-motors-devastating-design-problem
by madbrain
Sat Apr 07, 2018 7:04 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: What's Your Credit Card Rewards Strategy?
Replies: 2543
Views: 476807

Re: What's Your Credit Card Rewards Strategy?

I haven’t studied the HA program in detail but verbally they claimed you can transfer miles between members for no fee. If that's really true, then it would work out for us - one free transpacific roundtrip for 100K miles, and the other one paid. At 60k miles each, or 120k total, I think we could f...
by madbrain
Sat Apr 07, 2018 6:34 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: What's Your Credit Card Rewards Strategy?
Replies: 2543
Views: 476807

Re: What's Your Credit Card Rewards Strategy?

We may need to figure out ways to use those miles on partner airlines, as we don't want to let 100k miles expire. I think JetBlue is their only domestic partner. http://hawaiianair.custhelp.com/app/answers/detail/a_id/528 I ended up transferring my Hawaiian miles (from a credit card a few years ago...
by madbrain
Sat Apr 07, 2018 6:26 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: What's Your Credit Card Rewards Strategy?
Replies: 2543
Views: 476807

Re: What's Your Credit Card Rewards Strategy?

We aren't familiar with Hawaiian Airlines program or their MasterCard (yet!), but can you keep the points/account active by using the charge card? That works for both of the major programs we use, so the points can just sit there (or increase, due to the ongoing spending). (Someone who helps us wit...
by madbrain
Sat Apr 07, 2018 6:13 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: What's Your Credit Card Rewards Strategy?
Replies: 2543
Views: 476807

Re: What's Your Credit Card Rewards Strategy?

Credit card rewards are a game and fun for some. When I add credit card rewards to other forms of reward optimization, such as rewards checking accounts, brokerage transfer rewards, frequent flyer miles/promos, priority pass utilization, timeshare promos, rental car promos and savings, solar rebate...
by madbrain
Sat Apr 07, 2018 6:10 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: 1st World Problem - Pet Insurance
Replies: 19
Views: 1872

Re: 1st World Problem - Pet Insurance

My 1st job was with a major life/health insurance company. I tend to agree with you and thus may go the self insured route, similar to my approach to LTC insurance. The "house" always win. I think life / health / LTC are all far more regulated than pet insurance, because they cater to humans and no...
by madbrain
Sat Apr 07, 2018 2:37 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: 1st World Problem - Pet Insurance
Replies: 19
Views: 1872

Re: 1st World Problem - Pet Insurance

I will be getting Pets Best insurance when we get our new puppy in July. https://www.petsbest.com/ Their $1000 deductible plans are only like $12 a month for me and there is no annual lifetime limit. If my dog gets cancer and needs a 10-15k treatment, I would feel like a horrible person if I couldn...
by madbrain
Sat Apr 07, 2018 1:52 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: What is Megacorp?
Replies: 62
Views: 4467

Re: What is Megacorp?

samsoes wrote:
Sat Apr 07, 2018 12:27 pm
That's correct. Alphabetically, the letters HAL are each one off from IBM.
Yes, I'm well aware of that. But this was never confirmed by Kubrick. And of course IBM didn't really want the association with a malfunctioning computer.
by madbrain
Fri Apr 06, 2018 7:04 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: What is Megacorp?
Replies: 62
Views: 4467

Re: What is Megacorp?

Raymond wrote:
Fri Apr 06, 2018 5:09 pm
Don't forget the Umbrella Corporation, United Aerospace Corporation, Tyrell, Cyberdyne Systems, etc. :P
Also, US Robots and Mechanical Men ! And the maker of HAL-9000, which was suspected to be IBM .
by madbrain
Thu Apr 05, 2018 7:30 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: What's Your Credit Card Rewards Strategy?
Replies: 2543
Views: 476807

Re: What's Your Credit Card Rewards Strategy?

Funny stuff! and I would ask you why you carry around a bunch of CC's No need to do that, especially when a lot of spending is done from the comfort of one's home nowadays, not at retail. But even for retail use, one can carry a single smartphone with a mobile wallet and store up to 10 credit cards...
by madbrain
Thu Apr 05, 2018 7:23 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: What's Your Credit Card Rewards Strategy?
Replies: 2543
Views: 476807

Re: What's Your Credit Card Rewards Strategy?

Credit card bonuses make an interesting hobby, especially for travel enthusiasts. I agree there isn't a serious economic opportunity here if one applies value to time and energy involved. Another interesting statistic might be to cite what fraction of total spending on travel can be underwritten by...
by madbrain
Thu Apr 05, 2018 4:01 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: VHCOL Home Buying Advice (Bay Area, where else?)
Replies: 65
Views: 4861

Re: VHCOL Home Buying Advice (Bay Area, where else?)

b) Better to buy something small and upgrade later, or bite the bullet now and never move? As others have posted, Prop 13 encourages you strongly to buy what's right for you in the long term and stay put. I bought something relatively small in 1997. I didn't move up until 2010, when the real estate...
by madbrain
Thu Apr 05, 2018 1:46 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: What's Your Credit Card Rewards Strategy?
Replies: 2543
Views: 476807

Re: What's Your Credit Card Rewards Strategy?

Just wondering how you invested the nearly $19,000.00 you say you got in 'rewards'? Suspect it is all gone because it was consumed. Everyone always says they would have spent the amount ANYWAY - rationizaion again! If you show me a way to put $19K in my bank account/etc - money that I can invest - ...
by madbrain
Wed Apr 04, 2018 9:19 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: What's Your Credit Card Rewards Strategy?
Replies: 2543
Views: 476807

Re: What's Your Credit Card Rewards Strategy?

I havent 'financed' ANYTHING since I got totally out of debt in 1987. When purchasing a vehicle I will take 3-4 $10,000.00 bank checks PLUS a lot of cash. No, I don't carry $40K in cash to buy a new truck, but I carry enough in checks and cash to buy what I want. If they want a sale that day(someti...
by madbrain
Wed Apr 04, 2018 8:52 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: What's Your Credit Card Rewards Strategy?
Replies: 2543
Views: 476807

Re: What's Your Credit Card Rewards Strategy?

My most recent example of getting a great discount for cash was last year when my wife wanted a 'side by side' 4-wheeler. I pretty much know the prices of these and the markups. The guy took the specs I wanted and wrote up a contract. It came to nearly $12,000.00; which I knew was very high. I took...
by madbrain
Wed Apr 04, 2018 8:42 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: What's Your Credit Card Rewards Strategy?
Replies: 2543
Views: 476807

Re: What's Your Credit Card Rewards Strategy?

Victoria, I do use credit cards for bonuses and I understand where you are coming from. But "no free lunch" covers more than money. In the information age, the most critical currency is attention, and accumulating bonuses and rewards uses a lot of attention. I went through this process, I learned ho...