Search found 395 matches

by SurfCityBill
Tue Jan 30, 2018 12:44 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Warning: 2017 HR Block program miscalculates federal tax (windows)
Replies: 16
Views: 1831

Re: Warning: 2017 HR Block program miscalculates federal tax (windows)

whodidntante wrote: ↑ Mon Jan 29, 2018 7:43 pm The livesoft fiscal year ends in September? Automatic extension to FILE, but if you will owe money, that needs to be sent in by normal due date. [OK, you're probably kidding :wink: At 58,000+ posts and counting, livesoft is lucky if he'll get to his ta...
by SurfCityBill
Tue Jan 16, 2018 5:39 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Emerging Markets equities went sideways for 50 years 1920-70
Replies: 24
Views: 2273

Re: Emerging Markets equities went sideways for 50 years 1920-70

I'll bet that dividends are not included in that chart. If so, it's pretty much worthless.
Hard to calculate the value of those dividends when they were in the form of a goat, steins of beer, or bushels of corn. :happy
by SurfCityBill
Tue Dec 12, 2017 12:18 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: best cashback credit card ?
Replies: 48
Views: 5565

Re: best cashback credit card ?

I find the Discover card has the easiest rewards interface, just transfer whatever dollars into your monthly statement. Rather than transfer rewards directly into my Discover statement I exchange them for discounted gift cards on Discover. I was able to get 10% off Lowe's cards effectively saving $...
by SurfCityBill
Tue Dec 05, 2017 2:33 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Are plasma TV's gone forever?
Replies: 36
Views: 4952

Re: Are plasma TV's gone forever?

My 7 year old 54" plasma's show a "max" wattage consumption of 465. That is high but I still have to say the picture may not be 4K quality but it's certainly good enough for me. I really don't need to see every pore on the newscasters face. :wink:
by SurfCityBill
Thu Nov 30, 2017 7:59 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Are plasma TV's gone forever?
Replies: 36
Views: 4952

Re: Are plasma TV's gone forever?

I have had two Panasonic Plasma TV's for 7 years. Both work great. As well as the day I set them up. :D
by SurfCityBill
Thu Nov 30, 2017 7:07 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Random package from Amazon - early warning of identity theft?
Replies: 21
Views: 4738

Re: Random package from Amazon - early warning of identity theft?

You are the pawn in a scheme called "Empty Package Scalping / or Brushing". Chances are the people perpetrating this scam don't have anything more than your name and address, but it would be wise to monitor cc accounts nonetheless. Here is a link that explains why you're receiving these empty packag...
by SurfCityBill
Tue Nov 28, 2017 3:44 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Charles Schwab Experiences?
Replies: 90
Views: 13182

Re: Charles Schwab Experiences?

Been with Schwab since they were the only discount broker available. Used to transact trades via phone, now obviously laptop. I think in 30 years I've been to a Schwab office about 3 times. Not sure why you'd ever need to go. My visits were to sign off actual stock certificates. Recently helped my c...
by SurfCityBill
Tue Nov 28, 2017 2:10 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Tax Software recommendations?
Replies: 15
Views: 1657

Re: Tax Software recommendations?

I've used TT on-line version for years except last year I purchased TT CD version from Sam's. Unless I missed something, I was unable to roll all my prior on-line TT data into the CD version. This may apply to all on-line vs CD versions of tax preparer software but it made the process last year a lo...
by SurfCityBill
Wed Nov 22, 2017 2:03 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: How do I sell silver coins?
Replies: 13
Views: 2009

Re: How do I sell silver coins?

alpenglow wrote:
Wed Nov 22, 2017 1:40 pm
I've sold a number of coins on eBay without a problem.
+1
by SurfCityBill
Wed Nov 22, 2017 1:40 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Did you tell anyone you paid off your mortgage?
Replies: 338
Views: 40145

Re: Did you tell anyone you paid off your mortgage?

We decided it was an excuse for a party. We held a friends and neighbors mortgage burning party. We got a few of the "your so lucky" comments but about half the people there had paid off mortgages. (We were 55 and we weren't the youngest there with a paid off mortgage.) Are you serious? A mortgage ...
by SurfCityBill
Wed Nov 22, 2017 1:17 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Jetted Tub: Maintenance and type
Replies: 8
Views: 907

Re: Jetted Tub: Maintenance and type

Have had a jetted tub for 20 years. Came with the house. Like many others we used it very few times. Sounds like a neat idea but the novelty wears off very fast. Reminds me of the PIP (Picture in Picture) feature I had to have on an older TV. Used it about 3X too.
by SurfCityBill
Wed Nov 22, 2017 1:06 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Best auto loan rates?
Replies: 19
Views: 2479

Re: Best auto loan rates?

Mike Scott wrote:
Tue Nov 21, 2017 9:34 pm
I have had very good service through penfed.org
+1
by SurfCityBill
Wed Nov 22, 2017 1:03 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: service life of (walk behind) lawn mower?
Replies: 45
Views: 3352

Re: service life of (walk behind) lawn mower?

Bought a Rally electric in an end of season sale at Target in 1989. Blades sharpened periodically. Continues to run find.
by SurfCityBill
Fri Jun 16, 2017 11:13 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Umbrella Insurance options
Replies: 33
Views: 4297

Re: Umbrella Insurance options

Thanks for addressing the required liability limits on auto. Thought I'd see what Geico's umbrella rates are and came in much higher than prices I'm seeing in these posts..... $1,000,000 $648 $2,000,000 $1,069 $3,000,000 $1,555 $4,000,000 $2,070 For my quote (your circumstances will be different) h...
by SurfCityBill
Wed Jun 14, 2017 1:04 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Do I have a problem in the backyard in need of a professional?
Replies: 34
Views: 5312

Re: Do I have a problem in the backyard in need of a professional?

Probably just a 14' snake, no worries. Can't we all just get along?
by SurfCityBill
Wed Jun 14, 2017 12:42 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: College admissions question - she got a "C"
Replies: 100
Views: 11081

Re: College admissions question - she got a "C"

I can share with you how a "C" can be a concern. Because of the shear number of applicants (83,000 overall in 2016) San Diego State Univ strongly suggests that you do not apply for a Nursing major if you received a "C" in chemistry. It was the only HS class my daughter received less than an "A" or a...
by SurfCityBill
Thu Jun 08, 2017 12:26 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: How often do you redeem your credit card cash rewards?
Replies: 54
Views: 4525

Re: How often do you redeem your credit card cash rewards?

We redeem a portion of the accumulated balance for discounted gift cards typically around the holidays.

Also used to buy four $100 gift cards at Lowe's at a 20% discount shortly before making a large purchase.
by SurfCityBill
Thu Jun 08, 2017 11:51 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Los Angeles house buying
Replies: 38
Views: 4901

Re: Los Angeles house buying

nealc, Based on your comment that moving out of the area is not an option and you plan to stay for 15 years+, then buy. In 1989 I was in much the same position you're in now. My intent was to find a house my family could live in for an extended period of time, 30+ years, if necessary. Using my simpl...
by SurfCityBill
Tue Jun 06, 2017 2:51 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Mouse In Apartment
Replies: 55
Views: 6880

Re: Mouse In Apartment

by livesoft » Mon Jun 05, 2017 12:12 pm SurfCityBill wrote: As unpleasant as a snap trap is, I'd strongly recommend you do not use poison. They eat it then climb into a wall and die leaving you with a bad smell for several weeks. Dead rats don't smell for several weeks. I'd give them about a week t...
by SurfCityBill
Mon Jun 05, 2017 11:13 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Mouse In Apartment
Replies: 55
Views: 6880

Re: Mouse In Apartment

As unpleasant as a snap trap is, I'd strongly recommend you do not use poison. They eat it then climb into a wall and die leaving you with a bad smell for several weeks.
by SurfCityBill
Mon Jun 05, 2017 10:30 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Do I need umbrella insurance?
Replies: 17
Views: 2512

Re: Do I need umbrella insurance?

Teenagers who drive are rolling lawsuit traps. Definitely have umbrella coverage until they are out on their own. I think OP and others should have umbrella insurance regardless of teen drivers. Adults make mistakes when driving too. But OP should be weary of some of the numbers mentioned here like...
by SurfCityBill
Fri Jun 02, 2017 3:32 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Umbrella Insurance options
Replies: 33
Views: 4297

Re: Umbrella Insurance options

Thanks for addressing the required liability limits on auto. Thought I'd see what Geico's umbrella rates are and came in much higher than prices I'm seeing in these posts..... $1,000,000 $648 $2,000,000 $1,069 $3,000,000 $1,555 $4,000,000 $2,070 :confused Your figures are meaningless, except for so...
by SurfCityBill
Wed May 31, 2017 12:41 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Umbrella Insurance options
Replies: 33
Views: 4297

Re: Umbrella Insurance options

Thanks for addressing the required liability limits on auto. Thought I'd see what Geico's umbrella rates are and came in much higher than prices I'm seeing in these posts..... $1,000,000 $648 $2,000,000 $1,069 $3,000,000 $1,555 $4,000,000 $2,070 :confused
by SurfCityBill
Wed May 31, 2017 11:31 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Umbrella Insurance options
Replies: 33
Views: 4297

Re: Umbrella Insurance options

So in line with this whole discussion....I'm currently carrying high liability limits on auto insurance due to two teenage drivers. Since umbrella policy kicks in after auto insurance limits would it make sense to drop current auto liability to lowest legal level to reduce cost of policy and let the...
by SurfCityBill
Mon Apr 17, 2017 8:00 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Is my electric bill high?
Replies: 60
Views: 8009

Re: Is my electric bill high?

Luckywon, my circumstances are very similar to yours except no a/c here. Live in SoCal with an average monthly bill of $80. $60+ in winter, $100-120 summer. I've learned to cheat a little on the pool pump. Run it consistently in summer but skimp a little in winter with no water quality issues. Turne...
by SurfCityBill
Sun Apr 16, 2017 3:10 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Do you have an umbrella policy?
Replies: 193
Views: 24491

Re: Do you have an umbrella policy?

For you umbrella policy owners, would a typical policy cover my non-minor dependent children? (Currently students)
by SurfCityBill
Tue Apr 11, 2017 1:17 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Honda Pilot good 1st vehicle for teen?
Replies: 46
Views: 3742

Re: Honda Pilot good 1st vehicle for teen?

Option 2 Both my teens learned to drive in a 2006 Pilot. My daughter still uses it. Rather large and bulky and a challenge to parallel park but if they can master a large vehicle they can handle just about any. My son's Sonata is a go-cart compared to that Pilot. To answer Livesofts comment on why a...
by SurfCityBill
Thu Mar 30, 2017 2:18 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Potential HSA Excess Contribution Fix
Replies: 2
Views: 352

Re: Potential HSA Excess Contribution Fix

Thanks Spirit Rider. After reading Pub 969 and your comments I think I understand. Appreciate your input.
by SurfCityBill
Wed Mar 29, 2017 11:56 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Not opting for 529... anyone else?
Replies: 175
Views: 13270

Re: Not opting for 529... anyone else?

Two kids and I contribute $200/month per kid, plus any bonus money I get during profit sharing season. I do this because I fully expect to pay for my kids college. My parents paid for mine and it was solid gold not having loan repayments - I saw a recent FB post from a college classmate celebrating...
by SurfCityBill
Tue Mar 28, 2017 10:28 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Potential HSA Excess Contribution Fix
Replies: 2
Views: 352

Potential HSA Excess Contribution Fix

I left an employer at the end of January. During Jan, I contributed $570 toward an HSA and my company made a one time contribution of $800 for a total of $1,370. I was planning on maxing out the HSA based on a Family Plan +55 catch up for a total of $7,750. My new company does not offer an HSA, so f...
by SurfCityBill
Tue Mar 28, 2017 9:54 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Not opting for 529... anyone else?
Replies: 175
Views: 13270

Re: Not opting for 529... anyone else?

I wouldn't exactly call investing in 529's a "no-brainer" because everyones circumstances are different but for me it has been a "no-brainer". I have made modest contributions to 529's for over 15 years and have two kids in college now. My modest contributions have doubled during that time and the b...
by SurfCityBill
Fri Jan 20, 2017 10:04 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: New SUV, $50G, Pilot/Highlander/Other
Replies: 146
Views: 22783

Re: New SUV, $50G, Pilot/Highlander/Other

For high $30's, Chevy Traverse LTZ trim package would seat 7 comfortably and have all the amenities of a $50k SUV.
by SurfCityBill
Fri Jan 20, 2017 9:47 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Pay down 1.9% loan or invest
Replies: 61
Views: 6087

Re: Pay down 1.9% loan or invest

I keep telling myself that I'll never borrow money again, but my last two car purchases were 3 year loans at 0.99%. It's simply a no brainer. Even the dealer was shocked. He was offering 5.05%.
by SurfCityBill
Fri Jan 20, 2017 9:03 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Where to get $100k for home remodel?
Replies: 34
Views: 4369

Re: Where to get $100k for home remodel?

PenFed Credit Union offers attractive HEL. 3.74% 5 year if you're 80% or less LTV. My out of pocket 4 years ago was zero. No appraisal, no closing costs. I think I was on the hook for a $10 notary charge.
by SurfCityBill
Fri Jan 20, 2017 8:55 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Turbotax Costco Sale vs Online
Replies: 8
Views: 9249

Re: Turbotax Costco Sale vs Online

Good question OP. Like you I have been using the on-line version of TurboTax for years and just found a very attractive discount at Sam's Club for a boxed set of Premium Fed & State. While I assume the on-line version performs identically to the installed boxed software, I'm wondering if the boxed s...
by SurfCityBill
Mon Jan 16, 2017 7:54 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: How much do you typically spend in a restaurant?
Replies: 171
Views: 13218

Re: How much do you typically spend in a restaurant?

Usually if I can keep my wife from ordering the $14 martini or similarly ridiculously priced top shelf margarita dinner for two is usually reasonable. When the martini is the cost of the entree you know it's going to be painful. We found a great italian place where you bring your own wine, no corkag...
by SurfCityBill
Mon Dec 05, 2016 9:07 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: 2nd cell phone in different area code
Replies: 13
Views: 2142

Re: 2nd cell phone in different area code

Look at the app Sideline. Allows you to add a second line to your current phone and chose the number.
by SurfCityBill
Fri Nov 11, 2016 9:48 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Filling in the swimming pool
Replies: 30
Views: 4153

Re: Filling in the swimming pool

simple man wrote: ...I am paying about $250/month to have it maintained.... What do they do for $250 a month? That seems insanely high. We live in the Northeast and have an in-ground pool that takes us 20 minute tops a week to maintain. It's literally checking the skimmers once every couple of days...
by SurfCityBill
Sun Oct 30, 2016 2:41 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Schwab and 1099s
Replies: 11
Views: 1087

Re: Schwab and 1099s

I've run into delayed 1099's with Schwab for years. They will usually send a notice telling you which funds are likely to delay your 1099 and these tend to be international in nature. I don't know if these international firms just don't get around to reconciling their numbers in a timely fashion or ...
by SurfCityBill
Tue Oct 25, 2016 12:08 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: How many have moved from California due to Cost of Living?
Replies: 108
Views: 14390

Re: How many have moved from California due to Cost of Living?

Wow, I'm blown away with all the anti-California sentiment. I live in So Cal but travel frequently for work. I've been to 40+ states. Love many aspects of most of them and have often thought how my family would adapt to some. Fourth of July at some simple town square in Ruralville or going to a HS ...
by SurfCityBill
Sun Oct 23, 2016 4:50 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: How many have moved from California due to Cost of Living?
Replies: 108
Views: 14390

Re: How many have moved from California due to Cost of Living?

Wow, I'm blown away with all the anti-California sentiment. I live in So Cal but travel frequently for work. I've been to 40+ states. Love many aspects of most of them and have often thought how my family would adapt to some. Fourth of July at some simple town square in Ruralville or going to a HS f...
by SurfCityBill
Sun Oct 16, 2016 7:02 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: What podcasts do you listen to?
Replies: 67
Views: 8972

Re: What podcasts do you listen to?

Stacking Benjamins
Planet Money
Money for the Rest of Us
Star Talk
Freakonomics
Stuff They Don't Want You to Know
Clark Howard
The Way I Heard It - Mike Rowe
The Disciplined Investor
The Truth About Money - Ric Edelman
Revisionist History
Stuff You Missed in History Class
Seven Minute Explainers
by SurfCityBill
Sun Oct 09, 2016 1:16 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Do we need annual furnace exam?
Replies: 26
Views: 3753

Re: Do we need annual furnace exam?

Recommended, but I never have and my furnace is date coded 1989.
by SurfCityBill
Sun Oct 02, 2016 9:02 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Does it matter what type of college one goes to?
Replies: 250
Views: 20397

Re: Does it matter what type of college one goes to?

If you're choosing a profession that doesn't put a lot of importance on where you received your education (as long as you did so from an accredited institution) than spending extra money doesn't make sense for an Ivy or other "top brand" school. Examples would be nursing, computer science, physical ...
by SurfCityBill
Sun Sep 04, 2016 10:12 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Homeowners should consider flood insurance
Replies: 78
Views: 8615

Re: Homeowners should consider flood insurance

I've had flood insurance for the entire time I've been in my home. Almost 20 years. This was a condition of my mortgage whomever the lender was during this time since I live in a "flood zone". Considering this is Southern California and I'm only allowed to water my lawn twice a week I've always hate...
by SurfCityBill
Sun Sep 04, 2016 9:14 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Bay Area hotel?
Replies: 18
Views: 1815

Re: Bay Area hotel?

If you're willing to cross the Bay, the Hotel Aura in San Bruno was a good choice. New construction. Free parking. SF hotels wanted $60 to park. Close proximity to SF (about 15 minutes). Free breakfast, nothing sensational but included self-made Belgium waffles, yogurts, cereals, muffins, fruit. Gre...
by SurfCityBill
Sun Sep 04, 2016 8:54 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Apps for spendings tracking
Replies: 7
Views: 1051

Re: Apps for spendings tracking

I used MINT for awhile.
by SurfCityBill
Sun Sep 04, 2016 8:50 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Are LED bulbs getting more efficient?
Replies: 34
Views: 4806

Re: Are LED bulbs getting more efficient?

Yes, LED's are getting more efficacious. Meaning the lumens produced per watt is getting better. This is occurring across the board in LED's used residentially to LED's used in commercial and even stadium applications. The pace at which this is happening is very similar to computer chip upgrades in ...
by SurfCityBill
Sun Sep 04, 2016 8:41 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Ric Edelman's The Truth about Retirement on PBS
Replies: 142
Views: 16803

Re: Ric Edelman's The Truth about Retirement on PBS

First, I'll say for the most part I do like Ric E. Perhaps I don't know enough about him to see some of his conflicts and problems but on the surface I like most of what he says. That being said, I do not agree with him about maintaining a mortgage into retirement unless you have little to no saving...