Search found 1725 matches

by ClevrChico
Sat Sep 19, 2020 8:13 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: HVAC Service Contracts & Annual Service
Replies: 50
Views: 2407

Re: HVAC Service Contracts & Annual Service

Annual furnace maintenance seems like a cash cow for hvac companies if you have modern equipment. It's a high price to pay for what likely will involve only changing the furnace filter. It's easy enough to inspect the flames through the window. A modern furnace will lock out if there's unsafe condit...
by ClevrChico
Sat Sep 19, 2020 8:00 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Pretending to enjoy sports for business/social reasons
Replies: 83
Views: 4585

Re: Pretending to enjoy sports for business/social reasons

I have zero interest in sports and don't pretend to. It doesn't seem to have any impact on business/social functions as guys will happily blab on about sports for hours despite any interest from me. I would struggle to name a pro sports team as so many have apparently changed cities since I was a ki...
by ClevrChico
Fri Sep 18, 2020 10:51 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Vastly different quotes for wallpaper removal and painting job
Replies: 31
Views: 1460

Re: Vastly different quotes for wallpaper removal and painting job

I've had painting quotes all over the spectrum for the same job. Since they were all professional painting companies, I went with the cheaper quote (at half the cost), and it turned out great. It's been years and no problems.

If ladders are involved, I'd make sure they are insured.
by ClevrChico
Mon Sep 14, 2020 1:21 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Coping with Megacorp rat race
Replies: 159
Views: 14351

Re: Coping with Megacorp rat race

You may consider changing your mindset. Make the Megacorp work for you instead of the other way around. Take full advantage of everything they have to grow yourself as much as possible so you are ready for the next position wherever that may be. Do they offer tuition assistance? Take it. What about...
by ClevrChico
Sat Sep 12, 2020 10:40 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: "Hobby" Money: Planes, cars, boats etc...
Replies: 113
Views: 7066

Re: "Hobby" Money: Planes, cars, boats etc...

Biking for me. Cost is probably < $10/year and it keeps me fit. :-) Cycling is very cheap, but it ain't that cheap, at least for me. I spend more than that just on tires for my road bike. I've also replaced worn out or damaged chain rings, chains, cables, pedals, etc. It take more than chain lube t...
by ClevrChico
Sat Sep 12, 2020 10:33 am
Forum: Personal Investments
Topic: Anyone successfully living off dividends & interest?
Replies: 203
Views: 18500

Re: Anyone successfully living off dividends & interest?

Yes, my family does this easily in a LCOL area. They have a great apartment, nice car, and travel frequently. It's very doable with social security and around $500k in investments. At that level they're paying $0 income tax, which gives them the equivalent income of a typical working family, albeit ...
by ClevrChico
Fri Sep 11, 2020 8:15 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Very slow shower drain, plumber couldn't fix, ideas? - Update
Replies: 77
Views: 6150

Re: Very slow shower drain, plumber couldn't fix, ideas? - Update

Good to hear it's working better. I'd definitely try round 2 or 3 of boiling water.
by ClevrChico
Thu Sep 10, 2020 8:42 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Amazon vs. eBay comparison
Replies: 20
Views: 851

Re: Amazon vs. eBay comparison

I use Wal-Mart.com for everyday household goods and Ebay for specialty items. I barely use Amazon anymore. My Ebay deal this week was getting a like-new winter coat for $35 that retails for $200. It looks like I'll need to get a band instrument soon. On ebay refurbs can be found for < $200, about ha...
by ClevrChico
Wed Sep 09, 2020 11:30 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Very slow shower drain, plumber couldn't fix, ideas? - Update
Replies: 77
Views: 6150

Re: Very slow shower drain, plumber couldn't fix, ideas?

I had a problematic sink drain for years, requiring weekly plunging. I poured about five gallons of boiling hot water down the drain, and it fixed the problem permanently.

It might be worth a try!
by ClevrChico
Tue Sep 08, 2020 11:06 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: What do you guys think of oil extractors?
Replies: 67
Views: 2956

Re: What do you guys think of oil extractors?

I've used an extractor on two cars for years. It's easy peasy on four cylinder cars with a straight path to the pan. No issues.
by ClevrChico
Sat Sep 05, 2020 10:23 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Buying guns not an option, what else
Replies: 56
Views: 4977

Re: Buying guns not an option, what else

Have your next door neighbors be retired. They don't miss anything. :-) Other than that, good locks on the doors (not big box store) and close/lock windows at night. Don't make enemies.
by ClevrChico
Sat Sep 05, 2020 9:19 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Declined 2 opportunities for advancement. Should I be trying to climb the corporate ladder or is being content okay?
Replies: 65
Views: 5758

Re: Declined 2 opportunities for advancement. Should I be trying to climb the corporate ladder or is being content okay?

My life rule is not to rock the boat when things are going well. I'm in a similar place as you, and I'd hard pass on both. There are plenty of people willing to work soul crushing jobs for $150k, so they'll have no problem finding someone else. :-) (50% travel is nasty and sacrificing tech skills to...
by ClevrChico
Wed Sep 02, 2020 1:21 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Offered a 2nd job (contract) Any pitfalls?
Replies: 33
Views: 1681

Re: Offered a 2nd job (contract) Any pitfalls?

I personally would only do this unless both companies approved. (Check your employee handbook on this.) As easy and lucrative as it would be to do, my "downtime" at work is when I've made the most impact and had the best ideas as an engineer. Time fraud does happen all the time and people have been ...
by ClevrChico
Wed Sep 02, 2020 10:42 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Cardio alternatives to treadmills?
Replies: 107
Views: 6933

Re: Cardio alternatives to treadmills?

I love my Electra brand bicycle as it is very ergonomic. I typically ride daily if there is no ice and it's > 30 degrees.

I use an elliptical on the really bad winter days.
by ClevrChico
Tue Sep 01, 2020 12:55 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Walmart+ service ($98/year = free delivery w/ $35+ order). Thoughts?
Replies: 121
Views: 7962

Re: Walmart+ service ($98/year = free delivery). Thoughts?

I tried something similar (maybe the same) a few months ago, and a tip was strongly suggested for the third party delivery person. (Which wasn't stated during signup.) So not really free. I cancelled before the trial expired. The delivery person proceeded with a delivery in a huge storm (instead of ...
by ClevrChico
Sun Aug 30, 2020 8:43 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Life change after laid off?
Replies: 30
Views: 3531

Re: Life change after laid off?

It seemed like the tech world was never going to recover from the .com crash. I wasn't sure I'd work in the industry again. I bought a mountain bike and spent most afternoons exploring beautiful trails. It turned out to a great opportunity. It took about seven months for the job offers to start roll...
by ClevrChico
Fri Aug 28, 2020 11:09 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Lead paint and house offer accepted
Replies: 47
Views: 3470

Re: Lead paint and house offer accepted

I have an older residence and treat any paint as lead paint. It just requires being careful. Both kids had their lead levels test below thresholds. Even modern glazed plates and mugs have lead in them, along with countless other products. :oops: At least we're not burning it in our vehicles.
by ClevrChico
Tue Aug 25, 2020 8:50 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Using up Dependable Care FSA during Covid?
Replies: 10
Views: 646

Re: Using up Dependable Care FSA during Covid?

I'm in a similar situation, and I believe the unused childcare money will be forfeited. There has been proposed legislation to remedy this, but I'm not aware of it passing yet. I also have the dilemma of deciding to contribute to a childcare FSA in 2021. Open enrollment is under three months away. M...
by ClevrChico
Tue Aug 25, 2020 1:18 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Low Earner... Creative ways to own a Tesla Model 3?
Replies: 101
Views: 7636

Re: Low Earner... Creative ways to own a Tesla Model 3?

Creative: Get a second job and wait for a potential government incentive/rebate.

Or realize a car is just a car, and usually a big waste of money. :-)
by ClevrChico
Tue Aug 25, 2020 12:57 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Thoughts on Tennessee
Replies: 116
Views: 13323

Re: Thoughts on Tennessee

I have family there, and it is beautiful. I found the rural areas to be a bit of a culture shock and lacking in businesses that other rural parts of the country had.

I'd definitely plan a long visit before making a decision.
by ClevrChico
Mon Aug 24, 2020 7:16 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Quit corporate job @ age 34 with $1.3M?
Replies: 225
Views: 21820

Re: Quit corporate job @ age 34 with $1.3M?

Keep saving and lets talk in 3-5 years :) Great advice! Also, switch to a non rat-race tech job. (They're out there.) I can't stress enough what a huge life improvement it is having a tech job with normal hours and a nice boss. It's even better now that permanent WFH is happening. Instead of the ru...
by ClevrChico
Mon Aug 24, 2020 7:02 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Do you talk to your friends/family/coworkers about this stuff?
Replies: 210
Views: 16292

Re: Do you talk to your friends/family/coworkers about this stuff?

Generally, no. Things get awkward enough with "What is your mortgage rate?" and "Did you receive your stimulus check yet?". (If asked these questions, just lie.) A parent and my spouse have granted me authority to their Vanguard accounts and let me manage their assets for them. This is a GREAT Vangu...
by ClevrChico
Sun Aug 23, 2020 10:30 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Quit corporate job @ age 34 with $1.3M?
Replies: 225
Views: 21820

Re: Quit corporate job @ age 34 with $1.3M?

Keep saving and lets talk in 3-5 years :) Great advice! Also, switch to a non rat-race tech job. (They're out there.) I can't stress enough what a huge life improvement it is having a tech job with normal hours and a nice boss. It's even better now that permanent WFH is happening. Instead of the ru...
by ClevrChico
Sun Aug 23, 2020 1:00 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: how often do you check your net worth?
Replies: 153
Views: 9465

Re: how often do you check your net worth?

I record it once/year in a spreadsheet. It goes back twenty years at this point, and it automatically updates a graph, which is fun to see.
by ClevrChico
Fri Aug 21, 2020 9:17 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: new car purchase: any reason NOT to do 0% financing
Replies: 90
Views: 7128

Re: new car purchase: any reason NOT to do 0% financing

Reasons to pay cash:

- $0 in loan fees.
- Simpler transaction, less chances to get taken advantage of.
- Choose insurance deductible, switch to liability only whenever you want.
by ClevrChico
Sun Aug 16, 2020 8:24 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: buying a car every year for almost no money
Replies: 60
Views: 9450

Re: buying a car every year for almost no money

One downside I see is that you may be paying more for car registration long term if your state is like mine. (Ours is a sliding scale based on car age.) If you carry comprehensive insurance, you'll be paying more long term, vs liability on a depreciated car. You'll be paying a doc fee at the dealer ...
by ClevrChico
Sun Aug 16, 2020 8:09 am
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Dr. Wade Pfau is my guest on the "Bogleheads on Investing" podcast!
Replies: 279
Views: 14623

Re: Dr. Wade Pfau is my guest on the "Bogleheads on Investing" podcast!

I don't understand how a pension can offer a buyout for significantly less than what one could buy an equivalent deferred annuity for, but that's another topic. If you mean your monthly income is higher under a pension, I can think of two reasons. First, the pool of pension fund participants may be...
by ClevrChico
Sat Aug 15, 2020 1:53 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Where to find a quality, lower cost muscle car
Replies: 92
Views: 5656

Re: Where to find a quality, lower cost muscle car

One alternative might be a 10 - 20 year old Corvette. There seem to be plenty of low mileage examples available from old owners and estates. Lots of bang for the buck with little headaches.
by ClevrChico
Sat Aug 15, 2020 9:13 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Products that last forever
Replies: 238
Views: 15252

Re: Products that last forever

Numerous tools such as hammers and hand drills. Also, in our case, a half-filled, glass, half-pint whiskey bottle with a cork stopper containing Needsfoot oil used more than 70 years ago to soften new, baseball gloves of mine and 30+ years ago to soften the gloves of our children. It was purchased ...
by ClevrChico
Sat Aug 15, 2020 8:53 am
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Dr. Wade Pfau is my guest on the "Bogleheads on Investing" podcast!
Replies: 279
Views: 14623

Re: Dr. Wade Pfau is my guest on the "Bogleheads on Investing" podcast!

Very interesting and timely for me. Thanks, Rick. I was revisiting accepting a pension buyout and decided not to take it. In my situation it seemed better to leave the pension, treat it like a bond/income, and maintain a higher equity allocation in my portfolio. That seems to line up what Wade Pfau ...
by ClevrChico
Fri Aug 14, 2020 12:48 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Large pay cut for better quality of life
Replies: 82
Views: 7464

Re: Large pay cut for better quality of life

If you don't need the money, work/life balance and health wins every time.
by ClevrChico
Tue Aug 11, 2020 1:47 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Any Tips for "Splitting" Finances in Married Couples?
Replies: 32
Views: 3271

Re: Any Tips for "Splitting" Finances in Married Couples?

We split 50/50 and track it with an app called Splitwise.

During some years, DS makes more, and some years I do. Fair enough.
by ClevrChico
Sun Aug 09, 2020 9:58 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Honda FIT
Replies: 50
Views: 2553

Re: Honda FIT

I love my 2009 Fit! I have no plans to replace it on the horizon.
by ClevrChico
Sun Aug 09, 2020 9:56 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Herman Miller Aeron chair
Replies: 64
Views: 4893

Re: Herman Miller Aeron chair

I love my Aeron!
by ClevrChico
Sat Aug 08, 2020 8:10 am
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Vanguard's journey to Amazon Web Services
Replies: 17
Views: 2667

Re: Vanguard's journey to Amazon Web Services

Darion wrote: Sat Aug 08, 2020 8:07 am What does this mean for a customer of Vanguard? Just looking for some high-level bullet points for the laymen.
* Increased speed of updates
* Lower cost
* Higher reliability
by ClevrChico
Sat Aug 08, 2020 7:46 am
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Vanguard's journey to Amazon Web Services
Replies: 17
Views: 2667

Re: Vanguard's journey to Amazon Web Services

This is an interesting video! This is my field of work, and Vanguard is ahead of the curve compared to some of its competitors. (Some of whom are just now planning cloud adoption, based on recruiters contacting me for their projects.) Vanguard isn't the lumbering IT giant some assume they are.
by ClevrChico
Thu Aug 06, 2020 10:21 am
Forum: Personal Investments
Topic: Is Vanguard still good?
Replies: 42
Views: 3337

Re: Is Vanguard still good?

Not only good, but still great. I've been a customer over twenty years, and it holds the core of my extended family's nest egg. For a buy and hold investor who wants the simplicity of admiral funds, I don't think it can be beat. (Mainly due to retirement benefits, I also have accounts at ML, PFG, an...
by ClevrChico
Sun Aug 02, 2020 1:02 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: "Hobby" Money: Planes, cars, boats etc...
Replies: 113
Views: 7066

Re: "Hobby" Money: Planes, cars, boats etc...

Biking for me. Cost is probably < $10/year and it keeps me fit. :-)

One can get a really great classic car for about $25k it seems. I like the idea of doing that when the kids are out of the house. For now, I must be practical.
by ClevrChico
Sun Aug 02, 2020 9:38 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Paying cash for a new car... should I let them run my credit?
Replies: 114
Views: 9330

Re: Paying cash for a new car... should I let them run my credit?

Just say no. +1 to this. I believe this is simply a way to qualify you as a buyer, and unnecessary if you're paying cash. This avoids getting to the 11th hour of negotiations and then learning the customer can't pay for the car. (They hate that!) By confirming good credit, they now have the opportu...
by ClevrChico
Sun Aug 02, 2020 9:25 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: How long to keep a car
Replies: 110
Views: 8699

Re: How long to keep a car

Are people here really keeping their cars for 20 - 25 years? It's easily doable. My previous car was 21 years old and only scrapped due accident damage. Its replacement is now eleven years old and still in great condition. Our other car is 16 years old and in good condition. I don't see us replacin...
by ClevrChico
Sat Aug 01, 2020 11:29 am
Forum: Personal Investments
Topic: Is it possible to disable online access to Vanguard?
Replies: 53
Views: 3525

Re: Is it possible to disable online access to Vanguard?

Would the account be less secure if you can't check it real time and not receive electronic confirmations of activity?

I know people that have had credit card fraud last for months because they never checked the paper statements. (Vs. catching fraud instantly with real time transaction alerts.)
by ClevrChico
Sat Aug 01, 2020 9:26 am
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Disappointed with Fidelity's Online Interface
Replies: 69
Views: 6204

Re: Disappointed with Fidelity's Online Interface

To be fair to the OP brokerage and banking websites are pretty terrible across the board, it's like a rite of passage in the financial industry. Fidelity has had the same wacky web interface for at least 10 years and it's very clearly 4 or so different sites glued together. +1 to this! I churned a ...
by ClevrChico
Thu Jul 30, 2020 1:15 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: "The Steak Dinner Annuity Pitch"
Replies: 114
Views: 12374

Re: "The Steak Dinner Annuity Pitch"

This reminds me of the "free carpet cleaning" that my mom signed up for. Our family was nearly reeled into buying a very expensive vacuum that was the last thing we needed at the time. A near miss and a good lesson to avoid these things!
by ClevrChico
Thu Jul 30, 2020 9:26 am
Forum: Personal Investments
Topic: Poor service at Vanguard making me re-think my decision
Replies: 96
Views: 8131

Re: Poor service at Vanguard making me re-think my decision

If I decided to switch, it would be Fidelity, since they offer a great Visa card and cash management account. It would be a nice one stop shop. I do like Vanguard's website and app over other brokerages, though. It's much simpler and easier to use. It would take a big problem for me to convert to et...
by ClevrChico
Mon Jul 27, 2020 11:21 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: On-call on weekends ?
Replies: 65
Views: 6188

Re: On-call on weekends ?

If you want to work in Ops without on call, you may want to consider being a contractor, as they're typically not put on call. (Maybe because it's a compensation gray area?)
by ClevrChico
Sat Jul 25, 2020 9:34 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: On-call on weekends ?
Replies: 65
Views: 6188

Re: On-call on weekends ?

It sounds like you have a typical IT/SRE job. Since you already accepted the position, I'd wait it out and see the what the culture is there. It's definitely not an HR issue. Most likely you will get comp time if you're salary and do after hours work. The flexible hours can be pretty sweet. I've had...
by ClevrChico
Fri Jul 24, 2020 2:48 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Amex Shop Small Online Shops
Replies: 37
Views: 3052

Re: Amex Shop Small Online Shops

Update: I tried using it today. Despite the Amex website saying the restaurant accepted Amex, the employee said they didn't. :confused I'll try somewhere else. Hmm. Maybe they did at one point, but have since stopped? I used the Amex at a second restaurant and immediately received a $5 credit notif...
by ClevrChico
Fri Jul 24, 2020 10:13 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Pursue a Job Offer I am not ready for? Apply more pressure for my Raise? Wait?
Replies: 56
Views: 4555

Re: Pursue a Job Offer I am not ready for? Apply more pressure for my Raise? Wait?

A 35% salary increase at the new company is a no brainer. Go for it, take it if offered, and don't look back. If your current company keeps kicking the can down the road for a raise, it's probably not going to happen.
by ClevrChico
Fri Jul 24, 2020 8:45 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: How dead is dead? (USPS mail)
Replies: 60
Views: 6668

Re: How dead is dead? (USPS mail)

The best thing to do with unwanted mail is to drop it in your recycling bin. Reminded me of what my father used to when the whole recycling thing started. He would pick up and bring home a bunch of flyers and free newspapers from the mall. He hardly ever read them but said he got them so he could h...