Search found 1501 matches

by ClevrChico
Sun Oct 13, 2019 10:39 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Home Inspector vs Independent Contractors
Replies: 9
Views: 666

Re: Home Inspector vs Independent Contractors

If you can find a good handyman, that would probably be your best bet. They should be able to give you accurate repair estimates too. I found out later that my home inspector was nearly worthless. I should have been tipped off on the ridiculous giant SUV they showed up in. I had to remind them to ch...
by ClevrChico
Sat Oct 12, 2019 9:17 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Replace water heater just because it's old?
Replies: 65
Views: 4602

Re: Replace water heater just because it's old?

My water heater is 30+ years old and still works great. It is in a basement and any leak will go down a drain, so it's not a worry.
by ClevrChico
Sat Oct 12, 2019 9:03 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: $575 to replace rear brake pads and rotors on a 2017 Subaru Forester?
Replies: 64
Views: 4140

Re: $575 to replace rear brake pads and rotors on a 2017 Subaru Forester?

DIY is always an option too. A lot of cars require special tools for brakes these days. Japanese cars typically have rotor screws which are JIS. You'll be in a world of hurt if you strip them out with a phillips. If they're seized and rusted you'll also get to enjoy sledge hammering them loose with...
by ClevrChico
Sat Oct 12, 2019 8:21 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: $575 to replace rear brake pads and rotors on a 2017 Subaru Forester?
Replies: 64
Views: 4140

Re: $575 to replace rear brake pads and rotors on a 2017 Subaru Forester?

That sounds about right for a retail shop. OEM grade parts are around $130 wholesale, and it would be common for a shop to mark those up to $300. Flat rate would be two hours in the low $100's/hour, and you're out the door at $575. The one man shops in the industrial areas of town would probably be ...
by ClevrChico
Sat Oct 12, 2019 7:43 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: When is private (elementary) school worth it?
Replies: 68
Views: 4260

Re: When is private (elementary) school worth it?

During parent teacher conferences ask the teacher's thoughts about skipping a grade next year. That's what we did, and it was the right decision for us. (I personally think the public schools are better here.)
by ClevrChico
Sat Oct 12, 2019 7:37 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Husband/Wife at Same Mega-Corp -- Individual or Joint Health Insurance?
Replies: 15
Views: 1473

Re: Husband/Wife at Same Mega-Corp -- Individual or Joint Health Insurance?

We're in the same situation, and individual insurance has the most financial advantages for us. The company makes an HSA contribution, and this allows us to "double dip" in that. There's an $800/year advantage for us to hold individual insurance. With our plan, joint would only make sense if both in...
by ClevrChico
Sat Oct 05, 2019 7:28 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Do people in HCOL areas have a higher net worth and more wealth building potential than LCOL?
Replies: 289
Views: 20528

Re: Do people in HCOL areas have a higher net worth and more wealth building potential than LCOL?

I'm only familiar with tech, and that is absolutely true for FAANG and startup companies which are in HCOL areas. https://www.levels.fyi/ confirms this. The generous stock grants, bonuses, and promotional opportunities are incredible. There are several posts on here with young single digit millionai...
by ClevrChico
Thu Oct 03, 2019 8:41 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Advice for hiring a cleaner/cleaning company
Replies: 7
Views: 783

Re: Advice for hiring a cleaner/cleaning company

We tried both companies and recommend individuals. All were mediocre, despite being expensive. DS and I decided to split up duties, DIY, and save the money.

Hopefully you have better luck!
by ClevrChico
Tue Oct 01, 2019 4:43 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Willingly going from lucrative job to unemployed?
Replies: 132
Views: 13189

Re: Willingly going from lucrative job to unemployed?

Your thinking is right on track. I don't consider 50-60 hours sustainable at all in tech. Even 40 isn't sustainable if you're nose to the grindstone. You need time off ASAP. Engineer a severance, leave of absence, etc. You have $2M and can easily take a long break. I guarantee you'll emerge a happie...
by ClevrChico
Sun Sep 29, 2019 7:54 am
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: How much cash do you keep in your HSA?
Replies: 63
Views: 4416

Re: How much cash do you keep in your HSA?

My HSA automatically maintains a balance of $1k in cash. I've seen no way to change this, and it seems to work well.
by ClevrChico
Sun Sep 29, 2019 7:50 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Anyone pivot away from Corporate America
Replies: 18
Views: 3726

Re: Anyone pivot away from Corporate America

Why not work part-time for Corporate America? I've seen this done with success. Flexible working arrangements are very common these days!
by ClevrChico
Sat Sep 28, 2019 7:38 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Where do you buy parts for DIY Auto repairs
Replies: 46
Views: 3150

Re: Where do you buy parts for DIY Auto repairs

Other than fluids, batteries, and tires - ROCK AUTO is my one stop shop. Here's an example this week: I needed the most basic headlight bulb on the planet - an H1 halogen bulb. Two years ago, it was $4.99 at the local auto parts store. Now, the price is $13.99! The price at Rock Auto for the same bu...
by ClevrChico
Sat Sep 28, 2019 7:29 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Have you ever had to deal with an "evil" co-worker?
Replies: 11
Views: 1401

Re: Have you ever had to deal with an "evil" co-worker?

If there is poison in a work environment that you cannot avoid, then leave. I worked for CEO Evil more than once and left when it became untenable. +1 Evil coworkers are most successful where this is a toxic culture. Keep your eyes open and leave for a better paying position if it's bad enough. In ...
by ClevrChico
Sun Sep 22, 2019 11:16 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Tax form for Seniors.
Replies: 23
Views: 1661

Re: Tax form for Seniors.

I thought it was The Onion when I first read about this. But, the form looks great. I know plenty of folks that still used tried and true paper returns.

Too bad the standard 1040 doesn't look like this....
by ClevrChico
Fri Sep 20, 2019 7:28 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Dental Insurance for Retirees
Replies: 62
Views: 4651

Re: Dental Insurance for Retirees

Delta and Metlife are the big ones around here and who I would stick with. The real savings with insurance is that you pay in network fees for procedures vs. cash price. Cash price on a crown here is $1,200. With Metlife, $740. Insurance is likely going to cover your checkups too. So if you regularl...
by ClevrChico
Thu Sep 19, 2019 10:43 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: IT compensation comparison
Replies: 256
Views: 20659

Re: IT compensation comparison

The major downside of LCOL tech is lack of any company equity, which obviously can make the FAANG workers rich quickly. LCOL areas do have their own tech scene, and can pay very competitively (or better) when you consider COL. I had a SV FAANG offer, and my LCOL Megacorp had better retirement (signi...
by ClevrChico
Sat Sep 14, 2019 10:23 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: High-dollar Plumbing Issue Decision
Replies: 21
Views: 3022

Re: High-dollar Plumbing Issue Decision

rocket354 wrote:
Fri Sep 13, 2019 7:53 pm
In my email correspondence I've asked a bunch of questions, a few of which have gone unanswered, so I keep imagining they're not being forthcoming. .
Yes, a big red flag! I'd remove them from consideration based on that.
by ClevrChico
Fri Sep 13, 2019 8:49 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Best Dog Car?
Replies: 70
Views: 4387

Re: Best Dog Car?

You may want to look into the Honda Fit. While being a subcompact, you can "fit" an incredible amount in the back. It can easily accommodate one largish kennel with the rear seat folded down. Two? Possibly. It's fun to drive and has an available standard transmission, if you like those attributes. R...
by ClevrChico
Sun Sep 08, 2019 5:05 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Solar Install w/ SolarCity
Replies: 65
Views: 5553

Re: Solar Install w/ SolarCity

Wow, that's seems really expensive, in terms of pay back time. :shock: Also, aren't the batteries rated for 10 years of use? +1, I agree having recently looked at solar. I'd want a five year payback time or better to pursue it. OP's system seems very expensive. I'd rather spend the money on energy ...
by ClevrChico
Sat Sep 07, 2019 8:42 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Mensa membership
Replies: 90
Views: 7083

Re: Mensa membership

A high school classmate was in MENSA. They were a B- student and made F life choices. I've never thought highly of MENSA after that.

Truly smart people don't need to tell anyone they're smart. You just know they're smart.
by ClevrChico
Thu Sep 05, 2019 10:02 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: There's a Boglehead on Judge Judy today. [TV show]
Replies: 18
Views: 3734

Re: There's a Boglehead on Judge Judy today. [TV show]

Love it! That's not your typical Judge Judy participant!
by ClevrChico
Thu Sep 05, 2019 9:55 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: How much do you tip ubereats?
Replies: 35
Views: 2873

Re: How much do you tip ubereats?

$3 - $7 depending on distance.

The additional fees/markup + tip really add up and become ridiculous. I only use it to treat help if we're in the middle of a project. To me, that's an ideal use case for food delivery.

For my family, I'll jump in the car and pick it up myself.
by ClevrChico
Thu Sep 05, 2019 6:20 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: semi-DIY solar panels
Replies: 39
Views: 3206

Re: semi-DIY solar panels

DIY seems like the only way to make the numbers work here in the Midwest. Turnkey installers apparently have big overheads that increase the price dramatically. The equipment itself isn't that bad. Best to spreadsheet things to calculate ROI. Don't forget to include opportunity cost as you'll be pay...
by ClevrChico
Thu Sep 05, 2019 6:15 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: ISP rural area what are my options?
Replies: 23
Views: 1894

Re: ISP rural area what are my options?

https://www.fmca.com/fmca-verizon-4g-mifi Rv not required. From the T&C: There is no data limit within a given billing cycle. However, you will see decreased speeds upon 25GB of usage in a given billing cycle. Slowdown speeds will range between 200kbps up/down. Normal 4G LTE speeds will resume at t...
by ClevrChico
Thu Sep 05, 2019 6:08 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Some Computer Science Career Advise?
Replies: 56
Views: 4765

Re: Some Computer Science Career Advise?

I hate it when employers are stingy on promotions. Go for the new job!

And congrats on the new opportunity! That's quite amazing for a MCOL. Getting any kind of equity outside of a HCOL area seems very rare.
by ClevrChico
Mon Sep 02, 2019 11:01 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Does anyone have a dishwasher they recommend?
Replies: 47
Views: 2912

Re: Does anyone have a dishwasher they recommend?

I’m happy with my 5 year old Bosch. Low end model with stainless interior on the sides, plastic on the bottom. It was $600 on sale at Lowe’s. It does a very good job of cleaning and is fairly quiet. +1 - I did the same and agree. It's amazingly quiet and cleans super well. Just clean out the filter...
by ClevrChico
Mon Sep 02, 2019 8:21 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Not gaining weight on vacation?
Replies: 115
Views: 5600

Re: Not gaining weight on vacation?

I lost weight on my last vacation.

I skipped breakfast, volunteered to carry all the heavy luggage, let others choose the restaurants, lots of walking, and went easy on the alcohol. Maybe I need a post vacation vacation. :oops: :D
by ClevrChico
Sat Aug 31, 2019 7:14 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: When was the most stressful financial time in your life?
Replies: 142
Views: 22141

Re: When was the most stressful financial time in your life?

There were a few years my parents struggled when I was a young kid, and the stress trickled down to me. It turned me into an (overly) hard worker and disciplined saver. I've never had any money problems as a result.
by ClevrChico
Thu Aug 29, 2019 6:10 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: While there is a high school question - my daughter wants to graduate early
Replies: 76
Views: 3735

Re: While there is a high school question - my daughter wants to graduate early

If they have something to graduate early to, I say go for it!

If not, stay in school. I declined early graduation, and I'm glad I did. That last six months of high school were my favorite.
by ClevrChico
Sun Aug 25, 2019 10:26 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Manager is Interviewing Candidates (External) before Job is posted
Replies: 57
Views: 5739

Re: Manager is Interviewing Candidates (External) before Job is posted

If the company wants you to apply for a job opening, they will let you know. As in, "This isn't a job offer, but we strongly encourage your to apply for position X." Otherwise, I expect the the success rate to be near zero. Companies also tend to favor external candidates over internal candidates, n...
by ClevrChico
Thu Aug 22, 2019 6:49 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: White collars- How much is your work downtime?
Replies: 203
Views: 17028

Re: White collars- How much is your work downtime?

It was a phenomenon in factories too. (If the machines weren't breaking, the maintenance crews were still paid.) Actually, if machines aren't breaking it is in large part due to them being properly maintained by the hard working maintenance crews! :beer Very true! And tech is quite similar. :shareb...
by ClevrChico
Wed Aug 21, 2019 11:08 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: White collars- How much is your work downtime?
Replies: 203
Views: 17028

Re: White collars- How much is your work downtime?

I hate to say it, but is this a generational issue? I come from the part of the US where the Puritans instilled a work ethic into us. Sorry if this sounds condescending. If I were working for a place that let me float around doing nothing for more than half the day, I'd go crazy. I think technology...
by ClevrChico
Wed Aug 21, 2019 5:06 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: White collars- How much is your work downtime?
Replies: 203
Views: 17028

Re: White collars- How much is your work downtime?

As far as downtime in tech, it's really up to the person and management. You can be close to 80%+ utilized if one seeks out new projects and management doesn't put the brakes on. (I hate being bored.) If one wants 100% downtime, it's certainly possible to do little for a surprisingly long time and g...
by ClevrChico
Wed Aug 21, 2019 4:52 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Go for new job (more pay but travel) or stay?
Replies: 65
Views: 3746

Re: Go for new job (more pay but travel) or stay?

I'd expect much more of a salary premium for those travel requirements in tech. With a family, it's a definite thumbs down regardless unless one really needs the money.
by ClevrChico
Wed Aug 21, 2019 4:45 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Chicago - What to see, do & eat in two days
Replies: 71
Views: 3790

Re: Chicago - What to see, do & eat in two days

Having just made a similar trip, here are my thoughts. Lyft has been sending me targeted end of summer promotions with 10% - 50% off rides. At that level, it can be a nice alternative to the CTA with a family. Sometimes it was cheaper! Also, some CTA bus drivers let my kids ride free, one wanted to ...
by ClevrChico
Sat Aug 17, 2019 3:19 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Uber Driving
Replies: 30
Views: 2291

Re: Uber Driving

Rideshare requires drivers have fairly new cars. Most drivers make $10 - $15/hour doing the math in my head based on my usage. The big numbers you see are usually from drivers not including depreciation and wear/tear. You can buy a push lawn mower here and net $30/hour for comparison. Not to mentio...
by ClevrChico
Sat Aug 17, 2019 3:16 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Aliens have captured my husband [wants to buy a Porsche]
Replies: 138
Views: 10677

Re: Aliens have captured my husband [wants to buy a Porsche]

3.5/5 is probably pretty accurate for reliability. Not great, but could be worse maybe. :-) If you have an independent Porsche mechanic, I wouldn't let it scare me too bad.
by ClevrChico
Sat Aug 17, 2019 3:11 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Uber Driving
Replies: 30
Views: 2291

Re: Uber Driving

Rideshare requires drivers have fairly new cars. Most drivers make $10 - $15/hour doing the math in my head based on my usage and tipping behavior. The big numbers you see are usually from drivers not including depreciation and wear/tear. You can buy a push lawn mower here and net $30/hour for compa...
by ClevrChico
Sat Aug 17, 2019 9:29 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Moving for better public schools?
Replies: 64
Views: 5157

Re: Moving for better public schools?

We're in a similar situation, and despite some family pressure, we've taken a wait and see approach. So far it's worked out great. Worst case scenario, we would simply rent an apartment and move to a different district if a school wasn't working out. Great Schools ratings are meaningless and AP cour...
by ClevrChico
Fri Aug 16, 2019 9:30 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: What companies provide the best customer service
Replies: 58
Views: 3839

Re: What companies provide the best customer service

American Express - Great customer service, excellent phone app.

Hilton - Always a pleasure to deal with when exhausted from travel.

Slice - Very helpful humans behind this pizza ordering app.
by ClevrChico
Fri Aug 16, 2019 9:21 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Taking a break in your 50s: Is it the kiss of death?
Replies: 86
Views: 8526

Re: Taking a break in your 50s: Is it the kiss of death?

I've thought about the same thing. For now, I use some of my vacation for many three day weekends. That helps a ton.

I'm a 40's tech worker and don't like the idea of being an "old" guy in the job market.
by ClevrChico
Thu Aug 15, 2019 6:44 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Brown Bag Lunch Ideas
Replies: 70
Views: 4597

Re: Brown Bag Lunch Ideas

At my 2 or 3 last full time (I now work only 20 hours a week) jobs, I really wanted to get out of the office at lunchtime. I was able to find several all you can eat lunch buffets nearby. I found many different types - Chinese, Japanese/Korean, very nice Italian, Italian/pizza, American. My "mental...
by ClevrChico
Thu Aug 15, 2019 6:42 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Brown Bag Lunch Ideas
Replies: 70
Views: 4597

Re: Brown Bag Lunch Ideas

Aldi's frozen Casa Mamita chimichanga is $.79. Throw in a fresh avocado and some salsa, and you have a very tasty and reasonably healthy $2 lunch.

Total prep/cook time is two minutes.
by ClevrChico
Wed Aug 14, 2019 7:38 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: "Negotiating" Salary
Replies: 74
Views: 5660

Re: "Negotiating" Salary

The best thing they can do is research, research, research.

Most corporations stick to their budget, and they won't be able to negotiate more than 10% of an offer. They will happily turn down the best candidate in the world if it means going outside their budget.
by ClevrChico
Sat Aug 10, 2019 12:01 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: ways to stay a little cleaner during diy car maintenance
Replies: 39
Views: 2353

Re: ways to stay a little cleaner during diy car maintenance

As far as clothing, I wear a boiler suit. It is perfect for this kind of thing and is inexpensive.
by ClevrChico
Sat Aug 10, 2019 8:23 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Vehicle Air horn
Replies: 29
Views: 2456

Re: Vehicle Air horn

Some Italian cars have air horns. Go for it!
by ClevrChico
Sat Aug 10, 2019 7:47 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Healthy fast food
Replies: 152
Views: 10435

Re: Healthy fast food

Don't forget to watch the sodium content. Many restaurants are ridiculous when it comes to this, even for "healthy" options.

I usually order a plain burger with no salt.
by ClevrChico
Thu Aug 08, 2019 6:28 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: How to find a reliable car service center?
Replies: 45
Views: 2407

Re: How to find a reliable car service center?

Only 100% method is to diy. Even good independents have bad days and can overcharge. DIY is far from 100%. Anyone who works on a vehicle for themselves or as a business makes mistakes at times or comes up against problems they don't have the tools or expertise to solve. You really need to ask aroun...
by ClevrChico
Thu Aug 08, 2019 6:23 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Dept Outsourced - Job Worries - Need your Advises
Replies: 69
Views: 6886

Re: Dept Outsourced - Job Worries - Need your Advises

I was in a similar situation a few years ago. I used my network of colleagues (key) to switch from a specialty legacy job to a cloud job. I took the A Cloud Guru courses, did some self study, and I now feel pretty competent in the new field. Change is hard, but my effort has given me job security fo...