Search found 386 matches

by dpc
Thu May 03, 2018 12:12 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: How to finance new home-IN a hurry!
Replies: 22
Views: 1428

Re: How to finance new home-IN a hurry!

We got a mortgage on our new house before selling the old one. As long as the old house is paid off and you qualify, it is possible. One possible sticking point is that the lender wants to see INCOME regardless of your assets. If you're retired, it can be difficult to get a conventional mortgage due...
by dpc
Sat Mar 24, 2018 8:07 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Buying large heavy items from places like Amazon
Replies: 22
Views: 1919

Re: Buying large heavy items from places like Amazon

You got to be insane to buy bulky items, perishable food items, or something of the sort from amazon. Must be a lot of insane people out there. I've had somewhat mixed results, but Amazon has been good at working things out. I've have major problems with Home Depot. Costco has been good. We ordered...
by dpc
Tue Feb 20, 2018 7:27 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Thinking about selling GE to invest in an index fund
Replies: 25
Views: 2897

Re: Thinking about selling GE to invest in an index fund

I'd reduce your holding in GE. They have a lot of problems. You don't have to do it all at once if you prefer to not just dump it. "Mental accounting bias." GE just sold off their electrical equipment business to ABB. So pretty much anything that Thomas Edison would have associated with GE is gone. ...
by dpc
Tue Feb 20, 2018 7:21 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: House rewiring - cost of copper
Replies: 29
Views: 2093

Re: House rewiring - cost of copper

Sounds like sales BS. Copper prices fluctuate, but I'm not aware of any long-term upward trends. Majority of your costs will be labor. As others have pointed out, the copper is only part of the cost of the cable. Speaking as a EE, if you do this - make all receptacle circuits 20 A with #12 wire. Als...
by dpc
Sat Feb 17, 2018 1:44 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Retirees: The common sense withdrawal method
Replies: 168
Views: 17878

Re: Retirees: The common sense withdrawal method

It's good keep in mind that there is a powerful selection bias at work at Bogleheads.org. Most people on this forum are generally frugal and perhaps overly concerned with their finances. "Common sense" works when we have generally have not had a problem in our working life with overspending, excessi...
by dpc
Sat Jan 27, 2018 12:28 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: What to do with large stock holding in taxable account
Replies: 32
Views: 2571

Re: What to do with large stock holding in taxable account

If he needs the money for retirement, he should really diversify. That is more important than tax impact. Way too much of his net worth in one stock. It will all be long-term capital gains - I'd assume at 15% rate, but I'm not a tax accountant. I'd be selling off big chunks pretty quickly. He just h...
by dpc
Tue Jan 16, 2018 8:56 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Need to buy new printer. Suggestions for best value?
Replies: 32
Views: 2511

Re: Need to buy new printer. Suggestions for best value?

At a pure anecdotal level, I've been happy with the Brother ink-jet all-in-one we've had for a couple of years. We don't print that much so the cost savings per page for laser printing doesn't mean too much to me. YMMV.
by dpc
Sat Jan 13, 2018 1:24 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Will never not upgrade Business travel again
Replies: 21
Views: 3116

Re: Will never not upgrade Business travel again

I agree with you. I always try to upgrade to the "plus" seating. BUT..... If you ever have to change travel plans or even if the airline bumps you to another airline for some reason, you will generally lose the upgrade. It's non-refundable. Just something to be aware of.
by dpc
Sat Dec 30, 2017 6:33 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Credit Union Banks Vs Regular Bank
Replies: 13
Views: 1164

Re: Credit Union Banks Vs Regular Bank

If your main goal is chasing the highest interest rate for savings account, then you'll probably do better at a bank, although not always. We've banked at credit unions for 50 years due to better service, local ownership and lack of misleading marketing and sales practices. The online banks seem to ...
by dpc
Thu Dec 28, 2017 9:23 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Stopped Check 2018 Property Tax - Etiquette to County?
Replies: 38
Views: 3516

Re: Stopped Check 2018 Property Tax - Etiquette to County?

Well, the 2018 tax will have to be paid, even if not deductible. I guess I don't see the reason to pay $30 to stop payment.
by dpc
Wed Dec 27, 2017 1:17 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Moonlighting Income - Convert from Sole Prop. to S-Corp or LLC for 2018?
Replies: 6
Views: 530

Re: Moonlighting Income - Convert from Sole Prop. to S-Corp or LLC for 2018?

There's little complexity in forming an LLC, at least in most states. I've done it a few times. But an LLC is taxed as a pass through to your personal income. You can elect to have the LLC taxed as a corporation, or at least you could. I don't know if that's changed. As far as the IRS is concerned, ...
by dpc
Sun Dec 24, 2017 12:47 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: What frugal thing did you do today?
Replies: 483
Views: 41818

Re: What frugal thing did you do today?

I didn't buy a new car today (again).
by dpc
Sat Dec 16, 2017 5:17 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Electric Energy Usage
Replies: 86
Views: 5913

Re: Electric Energy Usage

You didn't mention your refrigerator and/or freezer. Frost-free refrigerators and freezers used to be notorious energy hogs. Your winter thermostat settings seem high. Most people set down to 68 or so. You can only do so much. Do what you can, and live with it. Enjoy the family at home - it doesn't ...
by dpc
Fri Nov 10, 2017 1:17 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Personal letters to the sellers of your house can work!!!
Replies: 74
Views: 9084

Re: Personal letters to the sellers of your house can work!!!

We sold our house about three years ago in a great seller's market. We had three offers the first day, two above the asking price - both cash. We got two "heartfelt" letters from the potential buyers about how much they loved the house. We didn't pay much attention to the letters and went with the h...
by dpc
Fri Oct 06, 2017 11:47 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Cash in a local bank or credit union
Replies: 54
Views: 4186

Re: Cash in a local bank or credit union

A bit off-topic, but the events in Puerto Rico remind me that money in a checking account in a local bank or credit union is not cash. Puerto Rico has become a cash economy and the ATMs are out of cash or have no power. I don't have an answer, but something to keep in mind.
by dpc
Sun Aug 06, 2017 10:57 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Delta priority boarding - first timer
Replies: 80
Views: 7604

Re: Delta priority boarding - first timer

Interesting to read all the comments about not checking bags. I went through that phase as fairly frequent business traveler, but totally past it now. Unless it is very short trip, I always check my bag. I'm generally carrying a fairly full backpack of laptop and other work-related material that I c...
by dpc
Thu Jul 06, 2017 2:59 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Better hurry if you want a gas-engine Volvo
Replies: 96
Views: 6906

Re: Better hurry if you want a gas-engine Volvo

I agree that this is mostly marketing hype and perhaps Volvo's desire to carve out a new niche. Internal combustion engines will be with us for a long time. If you compare energy storage by weight/volume of gasoline or diesel versus storage batteries, the hydrocarbons win by several orders of magnit...
by dpc
Fri Jun 23, 2017 11:36 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Thinking about the death thing for taking SS
Replies: 17
Views: 1891

Re: Thinking about the death thing for taking SS

There is a fairly good chance that at least one of you will live well beyond 85 unless you know something you haven't shared. The greatest risk of old age is running out of money. Something like 60% of elderly people in nursing homes receive Medicaid and Medicaid pays over 50% of all long-term care ...
by dpc
Wed Apr 26, 2017 12:09 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Vanguard has switched to brokerage only accounts
Replies: 126
Views: 28268

Re: Vanguard has switched to brokerage only accounts

I'm an extremely lazy investor so I switched to brokerage since I couldn't see going to the hassle of moving my money elsewhere and I was generally happy with Vanguard. In the transition, there were a lot of transactions that occurred but in the end, I don't recall having any major issues. I still d...
by dpc
Tue Mar 07, 2017 9:32 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Oh no! The Ohama Titanic Syndrome signal.
Replies: 24
Views: 5524

Re: Oh no! The Ohama Titanic Syndrome signal.

Good thing I listened to CNBC a long time ago and took a 100% cash position in 2009. Just waiting for them to tell me it's safe to get back in the market. 8-)
by dpc
Tue Mar 07, 2017 1:27 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Searched forum, unsuccessful, how to find doctors who take Medicare
Replies: 62
Views: 4649

Re: Searched forum, unsuccessful, how to find doctors who take Medicsre

I would start calling local doctors and asking their staff about Medicare. No national database will ever be highly accurate. There is a huge variation by locality. We lived in Corvallis OR for many years. The largest practice (Corvallis Clinic) will not accept new Medicare patients. I thought it wa...
by dpc
Mon Mar 06, 2017 8:19 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: At what age did you drop life and disability insurance?
Replies: 56
Views: 5738

Re: At what age did you drop life and disability insurance?

Most financial planners will tell you that disability insurance is more important than life insurance if you have dependents. When you're young, you are much more like to become disabled than die. Also, if your company provides disability insurance, I believe the proceeds would be taxable income. If...
by dpc
Mon Mar 06, 2017 6:59 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: At what age did you drop life and disability insurance?
Replies: 56
Views: 5738

Re: At what age did you drop life and disability insurance?

I'm guessing about age 55. Kids out of college, house paid for. Didn't make sense to keep paying the premium. As a friend of mine stated it - why pay for your wife and her next husband to get a windfall.
by dpc
Thu Mar 02, 2017 6:37 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Replace gas water heater with electric?
Replies: 40
Views: 6727

Re: Replace gas water heater with electric?

I'm not worrying about purchase and installation cost But you're worried about energy costs? That seems illogical. Money is money. I'd prefer gas, especially since you have everything in place. Replacement should be straightforward. It will be cheaper in terms of energy costs. That said, if you wan...
by dpc
Wed Feb 22, 2017 2:46 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Do you replace your electrical switches/outlets or use an electrician?
Replies: 93
Views: 7492

Re: Do you replace your electrical switches/outlets or use an electrician?

He did not even switch off the circuit breaker - said he did not need to - been an electrician for over 30 years Sigh.... as an electrical safety person, this is always disheartening to hear. Electricity won't care how long he's been an electrician. He absolutely should have de-energized that circu...
by dpc
Wed Feb 22, 2017 12:42 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Amazon Coupon Code [expired now]
Replies: 23
Views: 2857

Re: Amazon Coupon Code

Also does not apply to Amazon Gift Cards.....
by dpc
Fri Feb 17, 2017 12:59 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Best way to set up small account for incidentals after Mom passes away?
Replies: 19
Views: 2046

Re: Best way to set up small account for incidentals after Mom passes away?

Agree that a joint checking account is the best solution, assuming there is sufficient trust between siblings. Our dad put my sister and I on his checking account when our mother died. When he died, we could simply write checks as needed. He tried to keep enough money in the checking account to cove...
by dpc
Fri Feb 10, 2017 12:53 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Why don't stock prices go up on payday?
Replies: 43
Views: 4671

Re: Why don't stock prices go up on payday?

Traditionally, for people working in the trades, payday is always Friday. If a contractor were to miss a Friday payroll, there would be - trouble. I suspect this applies to a minority of workers these days.
by dpc
Sat Feb 04, 2017 3:57 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: online engineering degrees- waste?
Replies: 13
Views: 2064

Re: online engineering degrees- waste?

In terms of career advancement, I don't think you would gain much from another degree. Manufacturing companies are much less focused on degree types. If you wanted to work for an engineering company, an engineering degree from an accredited school is a necessity to qualify as an "engineer". Since yo...
by dpc
Fri Feb 03, 2017 6:40 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Lexus PreCollision Safety System (auto braking)
Replies: 35
Views: 3502

Re: Lexus PreCollision Safety System (auto braking)

The cost per life saved is somewhere over $50,000,000. Source please. Also there are negative consequences, both physical and financial, to automobile accidents beyond fatalities. The question of the utility of auto braking has been discussed before. The differences of opinion and reasons stated ar...
by dpc
Mon Jan 23, 2017 7:50 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Turned down for Citibank Costco Visa
Replies: 25
Views: 6490

Re: Turned down for Citibank Costco Visa

Anyone who has this card buys their gas at Costco I have the Costco card and almost never buy gas at Costco. But I could be the exception. If someone wants to shop at Costco and pay for the membership, what is the issue with getting their Visa card? And none of this relates to the OPs question anyw...
by dpc
Thu Jan 12, 2017 8:53 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: how friends can hurt you financially unintentionally
Replies: 24
Views: 3599

Re: how friends can hurt you financially unintentionally

This is perfect explanation of why I don't give friends investment advice.
by dpc
Fri Jan 06, 2017 1:39 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Is Iphone/Ipad fingerprint signin reasonably secure?
Replies: 57
Views: 5354

Re: Is Iphone/Ipad fingerprint signin reasonably secure?

it is technically easier to obtain your fingerprints than cracking your long password
Just curious if there are any verified cases of this? Plenty of people have been compromised by keystroke loggers.

Don't forget to cover up the camera on your laptop. 8-)
by dpc
Thu Jan 05, 2017 7:04 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: "Ponzi Schemes and Ego"
Replies: 10
Views: 1976

Re: "Ponzi Schemes and Ego"

“Our comforting conviction that the world makes sense rests on a secure foundation: our almost unlimited ability to ignore our ignorance.”
― Daniel Kahneman, Thinking, Fast and Slow
by dpc
Thu Jan 05, 2017 12:04 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Amazon Prime shipping to post office for pickup?
Replies: 18
Views: 11830

Re: Amazon Prime shipping to post office for pickup?

This seems like more of a USPS issue than Amazon. Either they didn't leave a notice or it was lost somehow. I buy a lot from Amazon and of the issues I've had with shipment/delivery, nearly all involve the USPS. Currently waiting on an order that I foolishly selected for "No Rush" shipping. 8-) Was ...
by dpc
Tue Jan 03, 2017 11:50 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Running electrical wire (Romex) on outside of house without conduit. Allowed?
Replies: 29
Views: 11726

Re: Running electrical wire (Romex) on outside of house without conduit. Allowed?

If you want to know if the present installation meets code (it clearly does not, IMO), just contact your local building department and ask their electrical inspector. Was a permit pulled when this was installed? The local inspector is the "Authority Having Jurisdiction" or AHJ in NEC-speak. If you w...
by dpc
Mon Jan 02, 2017 1:26 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: This is a good weekend to start tracking your net worth.
Replies: 69
Views: 6686

Re: This is a good weekend to start tracking your net worth.

It would be kind of an unusual situation for a mortgage balance to exceed total NW wouldn't it I suspect there were millions of people in that situation in 2009. A lot of people still have no savings, but have car loans, mortgages, and credit card debt. Bogleheads is not a representative sample of ...
by dpc
Wed Dec 21, 2016 2:37 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Shipping Large Items Cross-Country?
Replies: 10
Views: 1432

Re: Shipping Large Items Cross-Country?

There are moving companies that specialize in shipping furniture cross-country. I did this recently for some of my father's furniture after he died. My thoughts: I would expect the shipping costs to exceed the value of the wine barrels. If shipped common-carrier as freight, you'll need to specify li...
by dpc
Wed Dec 21, 2016 2:31 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: How do you track your finances?
Replies: 79
Views: 8678

Re: How do you track your finances?

Basically, I don't. I look at my investment and banking accounts online but rarely change anything. I look over each credit card statement but have them all on autopay. Every so often I transfer some money to our checking account. I review the bank statements for anything surprising, but I don't bal...
by dpc
Tue Dec 20, 2016 1:10 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: The True Cost of Owning a Dog
Replies: 176
Views: 17383

Re: Cost of dog ownership.

Anyone who is compelled to attempt to calculate the total cost of pet ownership should definitely not get one. Just send an annual contribution for half of your projected annual cost to your local animal shelter and we'll all be better off.
by dpc
Tue Dec 20, 2016 12:51 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Honda Pilot vs Toyota Highlander?
Replies: 88
Views: 19545

Re: Honda Pilot vs Toyota Highlander?

What is wrong with it? Did you wreck it? What's included in the $5k?!? What else would be needed?
Calm yourself and give the OP the benefit of the doubt. It's not too hard to get to a $5000 repair bill these days.
by dpc
Mon Dec 19, 2016 6:37 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Honda Pilot vs Toyota Highlander?
Replies: 88
Views: 19545

Re: Honda Pilot vs Toyota Highlander?

I have a 2012 Pilot and it's been a good vehicle. I like the new Pilots - I believe the lower end models (without leather) have a 6-speed transmission as standard. But I can't really speak to problems or issues with the newer Pilots. Ours has been good. Highway mileage is good (26 or 27), but mileag...
by dpc
Fri Dec 16, 2016 6:44 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Cell phone carriers (looking to switch)
Replies: 34
Views: 2857

Re: Cell phone carriers (looking to switch)

There are a lot of incentives being offered to switch, including phones. My only warning is to check the coverage at your home and make sure you can cancel your new plan if coverage is not good. Maybe in NYC it's all good, but the three most important things in cell phones are coverage, coverage, co...
by dpc
Thu Dec 15, 2016 3:33 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Medicare IRMAA
Replies: 7
Views: 1040

Re: Medicare IRMAA

I appealed mine, got it reduced, then recently got a letter stating that they looked at my 2015 tax return and found that I made more money than I estimated (don't think this is true) and re-instated the IRMAA. For me, it's not worth trying to appeal it again. I'll pay it and hopefully it will event...
by dpc
Wed Dec 14, 2016 1:41 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: On-line order, in-store pickup
Replies: 27
Views: 2897

Re: On-line order, in-store pickup

I've done this a few times and it's generally worked fine. Home Depot was fine. West Marine was OK - they don't charge your card until you pick it up. Assuming you went to the Customer Service desk at Home Depot? I will agree there are a lot of clueless people working at Home Depot, especially in la...
by dpc
Tue Dec 06, 2016 12:25 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: 2nd cell phone in different area code
Replies: 13
Views: 2144

Re: 2nd cell phone in different area code

I only wanted to add that the issue of "area code" is becoming less and less important. The young people working for me before I retired often kept their cell phone number even after relocating across the country. Most people have nationwide plans for their cell phones and most landlines now have na...
by dpc
Wed Nov 30, 2016 3:13 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Should I buy a new car for safety's sake?
Replies: 152
Views: 9048

Re: Should I buy a new car for safety's sake?

I knew this was going to be a snow tire thread in the end. 8-)


Dave
by dpc
Wed Nov 30, 2016 3:02 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Wisdom of saving money and buying a cheaper ultrabook- specifically Thinkpad 13
Replies: 18
Views: 1921

Re: Wisdom of saving money and buying a cheaper ultrabook- specifically Thinkpad 13

Very happy with my Acer Aspire S7 UltraBook. But it was a higher end machine when I got it a couple of years ago. The solid-state hard drive is the only way to go. Unless you like buying new computers or on a limited budget, I wouldn't skimp. Extra RAM and larger SS HD have worked well for me. Good ...
by dpc
Mon Nov 28, 2016 11:48 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Gas range and refrigerator suggestions?
Replies: 13
Views: 1485

Re: Gas range and refrigerator suggestions?

Regarding the gas range, anecdotally we had a horrible experience with Samsung on a gas range. Customer service was absolutely terrible. Based on this experience, I will never buy another Samsung product. Your mileage may vary, of course. The range we purchased was highly rated in CR.
by dpc
Fri Nov 18, 2016 2:35 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Where to get iPhone screen replaced
Replies: 23
Views: 2328

Re: Where to get iPhone screen replaced

If you are close to an Apple Store, I'd set up an appointment and take it there. Probably the safest bet. Of course, I take my car to the dealer for service as well. I broke my screen on a new 6S, but we live nowhere close to an Apple Store. I happened to be in downtown LA on business last week, so ...