Search found 2037 matches

by curmudgeon
Thu May 21, 2020 1:45 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Alternatives to Craftsman Tools
Replies: 94
Views: 5956

Re: Alternatives to Craftsman Tools

Harbor Freight is hit or miss. Some of their products are serviceable for at least occasional use. Others are tool-shaped garbage. TO BE FAIR: I was recently dragged to HF by one of these people and I did notice some useful things at good prices. So, HF isn't all bad. I guess that's the "hit or mis...
by curmudgeon
Tue May 19, 2020 6:42 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Hot Tub hard water
Replies: 8
Views: 536

Re: Hot Tub hard water

Are you checking your water regularly? The "6-way" test strips will give you a picture of much more than just the chlorine levels. It may be that your water is getting out of balance in other ways (acidic, for example). There are treatments for various water adjustments. I wouldn't think hard water ...
by curmudgeon
Mon May 18, 2020 4:11 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Importing an almost new car into CA
Replies: 23
Views: 1428

Re: Importing an almost new car into CA

It still leaves the reg fee and ensuring that the car has a 50 state compliant smog certification as issues. 50-state smog is overblown as an issue. It only applies if you are a current CA resident when you buy and first register the car (and then only if it has less that 7500 miles or is less than...
by curmudgeon
Mon May 18, 2020 2:10 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Importing an almost new car into CA
Replies: 23
Views: 1428

Re: Importing an almost new car into CA

I don't think smog testing would be a significant issue as long as the car was properly registered in the previous state, preferably for several months at least. Yes, you would have to get a smog test done, but as long as you haven't modified the car from manufacturer spec, it's just another minor ...
by curmudgeon
Sun May 17, 2020 7:48 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Buying carnival cruise ship bonds
Replies: 10
Views: 1485

Re: Buying carnival cruise ship bonds

I've thought about it, but only vaguely. I doubt these bonds would be trading at par on the secondary market at present, so the yield available to you or I might be less. Being secured by ships is an interesting question. I can easily see the potential that cruising returns to a significantly smalle...
by curmudgeon
Sun May 17, 2020 7:31 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Importing an almost new car into CA
Replies: 23
Views: 1428

Re: Importing an almost new car into CA

I don't think smog testing would be a significant issue as long as the car was properly registered in the previous state, preferably for several months at least. Yes, you would have to get a smog test done, but as long as you haven't modified the car from manufacturer spec, it's just another minor ...
by curmudgeon
Sun May 17, 2020 2:54 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Importing an almost new car into CA
Replies: 23
Views: 1428

Re: Importing an almost new car into CA

I don't think smog testing would be a significant issue as long as the car was properly registered in the previous state, preferably for several months at least. Yes, you would have to get a smog test done, but as long as you haven't modified the car from manufacturer spec, it's just another minor d...
by curmudgeon
Sat May 16, 2020 4:37 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Alternatives to Craftsman Tools
Replies: 94
Views: 5956

Re: Alternatives to Craftsman Tools

Completely serious question; what makes Snap On tools worth the premium? I do a reasonable amount of small engine work with Home Depot tools and have never had an issue but perhaps I don’t know what I’m missing with a more high end brand? My view is that Snap-On and other pro grade tools generally ...
by curmudgeon
Sat May 16, 2020 4:11 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Fraudulent charges... Getting really tired of the number of times this happens and resulting hassle.
Replies: 56
Views: 4416

Re: Fraudulent charges... Getting really tired of the number of times this happens and resulting hassle.

In normal times I try to use cash for most small purchases, cards for larger ones. We do a lot of international travel, and do a similar pattern with that. I'd say we've only had to do card replacements about once per 3-4 years. I'd wonder if the OP has someplace in their normal round of transaction...
by curmudgeon
Fri May 15, 2020 12:38 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: How to use up $300 Chase Sapphire Reserve Travel Credit
Replies: 23
Views: 1560

Re: How to use up $300 Chase Sapphire Reserve Travel Credit

You might be able to buy Southwest points which wouldn't expire to make use of the credit. I have the impression that Southwest is doing something along those lines right now. Some of the other airlines are doing that as well, but on the others you would be dependent on award seat availability when ...
by curmudgeon
Wed May 13, 2020 11:55 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: kia ivt failures [Intelligent Variable Transmission]
Replies: 6
Views: 633

Re: kia ivt failures

That certainly is a very early failure. I'd be inclined to think it might be a manufacturing defect (as opposed to design defect) failing that soon, which might mean the replacement would have had better quality control.. In either case you've got a pretty long warranty on it, so I'd probably see ho...
by curmudgeon
Wed May 13, 2020 11:48 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Husband Died and Spouse lack of knowledge.
Replies: 37
Views: 6131

Re: Husband Died and Spouse lack of knowledge.

I would suggest starting with the Nolo Press "Executor's Guide". A paper copy might be better than the ebook. It won't answer all the questions, but it will give some starting points for many of the issues she is facing.
by curmudgeon
Wed May 13, 2020 12:47 pm
Forum: Personal Investments
Topic: Does the social security average include income above the cutoff?
Replies: 4
Views: 418

Re: Does the social security average include income above the cutoff?

When calculating AIME for social security benefits, do you include reported income above the social security cutoff amount? (Around $120k) I've read a lot about how social security is calculated. They average the highest 35 years of income, adjusted for inflation, and then apply a progressive formu...
by curmudgeon
Tue May 12, 2020 2:45 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: How to get Toilet Paper ? seriously.
Replies: 684
Views: 55510

Re: How to get Toilet Paper ? seriously.

I was at my local grocery yesterday. The paper aisle looked like a herd of locusts had gone through; no TP, paper towels, tissue, napkins at all. But everything else in the store was pretty normal stock. They even had little virus kits with a few masks, gloves, and some hand sanitizer for $10. But w...
by curmudgeon
Sun May 10, 2020 9:55 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: New convertible under 50k?
Replies: 39
Views: 2424

Re: New convertible under 50k?

Convertibles are becoming more scarce in manufacturer lineups as the dominance of SUVs knocks out car platforms. Miata is still the really solid default option, but the low seating position can be a challenge, especially with age. The 2-series BMW, and the Mini convertible would probably be the next...
by curmudgeon
Sun May 10, 2020 1:01 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Home improvement and capital gains
Replies: 7
Views: 945

Re: Home improvement and capital gains

The IRS pub referenced by FiveK is your starting point. In general, improvements add to your cost basis in the house (and therefor subtract out of your potential gain before considering any exclusion). Repairs don't add to the basis, except under a few very specific conditions. The simple case for i...
by curmudgeon
Fri May 08, 2020 11:05 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: COVID-19 has revealed the stark deficiencies in long-term care facilities regardless of ratings.
Replies: 80
Views: 5321

Re: COVID-19 has revealed the stark deficiencies in long-term care facilities regardless of ratings.

Nursing homes account for about 60% of the Covid-19 deaths in Connecticut. (1627 out of 2718 in total as of 5/6) That may sound high but officials have been very vigilant about counting properly . I think all the folks working there are trying their best but its a very difficult and sad situation. ...
by curmudgeon
Wed May 06, 2020 5:04 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: RV vacations for Post Coronavirus Traveling?
Replies: 16
Views: 1318

Re: RV vacations for Post Coronavirus Traveling?

We've had an RV (5th wheel) for two years now. Bought it used, haven't spent a ton of money on it, but have fixed and tweaked it in a variety of ways to suit us. We ended up doing so much other travel that we haven't gotten a lot of use out of it so far. This year might in theory be different, with ...
by curmudgeon
Wed May 06, 2020 3:54 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: 2020 travel plans
Replies: 95
Views: 4405

Re: 2020 travel plans

We were fortunate in that we didn't have any pre-paid travel plans for 2020, so no worries about refunds or cancellations. We do normally travel quite a lot, but don't normally make commitments long in advance. At this point, we'll keep our travel planning even more short-range for a while. I'd love...
by curmudgeon
Mon May 04, 2020 7:16 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Glue for lucite plastic to metal
Replies: 7
Views: 663

Re: Glue for lucite plastic to metal

I would consider using a hot glue gun. It shouldn't impact the materials, wouldn't require precise mating of the pieces, and should be fairly easy to clean off if needed. It's not super strong, but the application doesn't seem like it would need that.
by curmudgeon
Sun May 03, 2020 10:50 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Window AC for bedrooms and living room, any recommendations?
Replies: 28
Views: 1380

Re: Window AC for bedrooms and living room, any recommendations?

Where is this? I can't imagine anywhere outside Alaska or above 8,000 feet that wouldn't have A/C other than some low income areas. Large portions of the west coast don't bother much with A/C. I have central A/C in my house, but typically only use it 10-12 days a year (and even then usually just ru...
by curmudgeon
Sun May 03, 2020 10:13 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Window AC for bedrooms and living room, any recommendations?
Replies: 28
Views: 1380

Re: Window AC for bedrooms and living room, any recommendations?

Most of the free-standing units (such as the one in the link) will only create a localized cool zone. While having the exhaust vent out the window helps, the unit still has to pull replacement air in to replace that exhaust, which will normally be unconditioned outside air. It's a bit like the heat...
by curmudgeon
Sun May 03, 2020 9:35 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Window AC for bedrooms and living room, any recommendations?
Replies: 28
Views: 1380

Re: Window AC for bedrooms and living room, any recommendations?

I know you said window unit, but also consider the free-standing unit that sits in the room and just vents to the outside. We use those, and they work great. They are on sale now at Costco for $400. https://www.costco.com/de'longhi-pinguino-500-sq-ft-4-in-1-all-season-use%3a-air-conditioner%2c-heat...
by curmudgeon
Fri Apr 24, 2020 10:25 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: How to get Toilet Paper ? seriously.
Replies: 684
Views: 55510

Re: How to get Toilet Paper ? seriously.

Costco senior hour was packed and hazardous. Long lines too. No TP. Better luck just going to Wallmart and supermarkets and small stores as needed. Also not as busy and better social distancing. Surprised that quite a few seniors at Costco had no personal protection to consider others. Oh well. Mad...
by curmudgeon
Thu Apr 16, 2020 1:54 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Retirees: what are you doing with all the home equity?
Replies: 117
Views: 7428

Re: Retirees: what are you doing with all the home equity?

I regard our paid-off home as forming a stable base for retirement. As Watty mentioned, it provides an effective "imputed income" for housing, which is somewhat inflation-protected (property taxes and maintenance may still increase). It's also a store of value which has generally kept up with inflat...
by curmudgeon
Thu Apr 16, 2020 1:21 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Apple Released a New Low-cost Iphone
Replies: 172
Views: 14294

Re: Apple Released a New Low-cost Iphone

I still have an iPhone 6 with an Apple replacement battery that requires multiple chargings per day. Reading about the SE2 has caused me to reconsider waiting for the 12 to come out later this year. From what I read, other than camera differences and no facial unlock feature, neither of which are i...
by curmudgeon
Tue Apr 14, 2020 11:32 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Flying in September, think it will be safe?
Replies: 73
Views: 4162

Re: Flying in September, think it will be safe?

... A road trip of any distance is almost certainly going to be riskier than flying. It just feels safer because we have an illusion of control. I would probably not consider a non-business trip to Europe or Asia this year. The uncertainties are just too high. But within the US, I'll fly wherever I...
by curmudgeon
Mon Apr 13, 2020 11:43 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Flying in September, think it will be safe?
Replies: 73
Views: 4162

Re: Flying in September, think it will be safe?

If the trip is important to me, I expect I'll be willing to fly this summer or fall. The last flying trip I made was at the end of February. On the west coast, a lot of people were already cutting back exposure (including myself), but the trip was important to us, so we did it and just took some ext...
by curmudgeon
Mon Apr 13, 2020 3:12 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Stale Gasoline?
Replies: 25
Views: 1824

Re: Stale Gasoline?

Just no. It's not worth the hassle or the increased hazard to be storing significant extra gas in your garage.
by curmudgeon
Sun Apr 12, 2020 11:45 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Garden edging- question
Replies: 24
Views: 2073

Re: Garden edging- question

Doesn't landscape fabric degrade within a few years? In this case, though, I'd probably backfill the edging with decomposed granite. It should pack in nicely, be less weed prone, and not an issue if it migrates into adjoining areas. Thanks, curm.... However, I live in the Northeast, and I read this...
by curmudgeon
Sat Apr 11, 2020 6:19 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Garden edging- question
Replies: 24
Views: 2073

Re: Garden edging- question

Doesn't landscape fabric degrade within a few years? The cheap landscape fabric degrades much faster than the heavy high grade stuff. I took out a retaining wall recently which had used heavy landscape fabric to enclose rock backfill. The fabric had been in there for 15-18 years, and was still in e...
by curmudgeon
Sat Apr 04, 2020 9:57 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: First-timer facing ACA cliff for 2020: any penalties (or opinions)?
Replies: 12
Views: 940

Re: First-timer facing ACA cliff for 2020: any penalties (or opinions)?

Be aware that state income tax refunds (if income tax was deducted in prior year) also get added into your ACA MAGI... Can you expand on that a little? I’m prepared to believe that may be true under some circumstances, but it wasn’t for us in 2019. (We made a large 2019 estimated tax payment in Jan...
by curmudgeon
Sat Apr 04, 2020 4:59 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: First-timer facing ACA cliff for 2020: any penalties (or opinions)?
Replies: 12
Views: 940

Re: First-timer facing ACA cliff for 2020: any penalties (or opinions)?

While so much is subject to change, my projections show that we'll potentially be right at the edge of the ACA cliff at the end of the year, even after potential HSA and IRA contributions. (Any extension beyond July of the $600 extra weekly unemployment income would "doom" us, but no complaint, as ...
by curmudgeon
Fri Apr 03, 2020 3:01 pm
Forum: Personal Investments
Topic: Share what worked in your plan during the crisis
Replies: 103
Views: 6962

Re: What worked

The "pay off your house" advocates are happy as well. When I retired three years ago, I suppose I prepared for this crisis (though with little expectation of needing those preparations). Up until that point, I was 100% equity, with leverage in the form of mortgages on two houses we owned. At retire...
by curmudgeon
Thu Apr 02, 2020 5:43 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: The end of cruise ships [cruise line stock prices]
Replies: 246
Views: 26077

Re: The end of cruise ships

The quarters are not closer than a typical hotel or restaurant. Do guys never go to a movie theater or a Broadway show, or a casino, or a restaurant? It's the same crowding on a cruise ship as you'd find walking in any city going to a restaurant or a show. Except on the top deck you always have a n...
by curmudgeon
Thu Apr 02, 2020 3:32 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Coronavirus (Consumer Issues) How you are preparing?
Replies: 1588
Views: 128584

Re: Coronavirus (Consumer Issues) How you are preparing?

.... My use case is measuring my own temperature. I have an old thermometer that give me inconsistent readings. I seldom measure my temperature but these days, it is useful to have a reliable thermometer. The non-contact thermometers that give the result in a few seconds look good. But $50+ seems t...
by curmudgeon
Thu Apr 02, 2020 1:16 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Coronavirus (Consumer Issues) How you are preparing?
Replies: 1588
Views: 128584

Re: Coronavirus (Consumer Issues) How you are preparing?

I listened to a podcast recommending digital thermometers that work at a distance (non-touch). I looked them up on Amazon and saw prices ranging from about $50 to over $100. Does anybody use this kind of thermometer? Do you recommend any specific model? What is a reasonable price? Victoria What is ...
by curmudgeon
Mon Mar 30, 2020 11:37 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: How to "Reverse" an Exterior Door Pet Door Piece?
Replies: 14
Views: 883

Re: How to "Reverse" an Exterior Door Pet Door Piece?

There's a reason most people use "pre-hung" doors when replacing; taking the door trim off and fitting the door complete with jambs into the rough opening. Hanging doors, and getting them to swing and fit right, is surprisingly difficult. So do you think even if I can figure out how to reverse the ...
by curmudgeon
Mon Mar 30, 2020 11:16 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: How to "Reverse" an Exterior Door Pet Door Piece?
Replies: 14
Views: 883

Re: How to "Reverse" an Exterior Door Pet Door Piece?

There's a reason most people use "pre-hung" doors when replacing; taking the door trim off and fitting the door complete with jambs into the rough opening. Hanging doors, and getting them to swing and fit right, is surprisingly difficult.
by curmudgeon
Sun Mar 29, 2020 10:04 pm
Forum: US Chapters
Topic: [Archived] Bogleheads community discussion - Coronavirus
Replies: 4963
Views: 190740

Re: Bogleheads community discussion - Coronavirus

Germany will issue coronavirus antibody certificates to allow quarantined to re-enter society Researchers to test thousands for immunity as Berlin plans exit strategy for pandemic lock down https://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/2020/03/29/germany-will-issue-coronavirus-antibody-certificates-allow-quaran...
by curmudgeon
Thu Mar 26, 2020 3:17 pm
Forum: Personal Investments
Topic: What does it mean to have X years of expenses in cash/fixed-income?
Replies: 54
Views: 2402

Re: What does it mean to have X years of expenses in cash/fixed-income?

Doesn't everybody want to go to sleep at night knowing they have, say, a 60/40 asset allocation at all times? (Or at least maintain your re-balancing bands?) And wouldn't spending your fixed income funds violate this and possibly screw up a stay-the-course plan? Certainly not everybody. I think I c...
by curmudgeon
Wed Mar 25, 2020 10:04 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: What is with the printer paper delivery times on Amazon?
Replies: 39
Views: 2315

Re: What is with the printer paper delivery times on Amazon?

We ordered some (5 reams) last week, and ended up with a 1-week delivery schedule. I know they are slammed, so I don't mind this one being low on the priority. If it was really going to take a month, I might look at other options like a drugstore.
by curmudgeon
Wed Mar 25, 2020 9:57 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Costco Senior hour Tue and Thur
Replies: 70
Views: 5734

Re: Costco Senior hour Tue and Thur

We've been choosing to avoid the "senior hours" at local stores, at least until things settle down a bit further. We did a Costco run this afternoon here in silicon valley. Parking lot was 1/3 full. No line for gas (really rare here). Store was quite sane; made me think of 25 years ago before Costco...
by curmudgeon
Tue Mar 24, 2020 12:17 pm
Forum: Personal Investments
Topic: roth conversion
Replies: 13
Views: 1152

Re: roth conversion

Dahl49 wrote:
Tue Mar 24, 2020 11:29 am
Is there a Vanguard roth conversion calculator I can use? Or another one that is available?

thank you
What are you trying to calculate? Current taxes? Potential future value? There have been a number of discussion threads here in the past.
by curmudgeon
Mon Mar 23, 2020 7:26 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: ACA MAGI calculation for mid-year start: a few questions (int/divs/cap gains)
Replies: 7
Views: 319

Re: ACA MAGI calculation for mid-year start: a few questions (int/divs/cap gains)

Thanks again for your sage advice, nalor511. I will definitely get out of the monthly mindset. Though I will take one last look at Medicaid, as I can harvest losses incrementally on some mutual funds to be eligible month-to-month until need to convert to ACA if that's possible. Remember that only a...
by curmudgeon
Mon Mar 23, 2020 12:27 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: ACA MAGI calculation for mid-year start: a few questions (int/divs/cap gains)
Replies: 7
Views: 319

Re: ACA MAGI calculation for mid-year start: a few questions (int/divs/cap gains)

Part-year is sometimes awkward for ACA MAGI. My understanding for most taxpayers is that interest is counted when received. Dividends are a little tricky; they may be counted (and reported by brokerages) in December even though they are actually received in January. Capital gains are based on the sa...
by curmudgeon
Mon Mar 23, 2020 12:16 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Renting property at a loss, and depreciation recapture
Replies: 22
Views: 1312

Re: Renting property at a loss, and depreciation recapture

Yes, AGI is above $150k. So, I can't deduct the losses from my normal income. And if we sell within a few years, I won't have any capital gains to use the losses on. So I'm still not clear if I can use the losses to offset the depreciation recapture, or if I will have to pay taxes on the depreciati...
by curmudgeon
Sun Mar 22, 2020 11:24 pm
Forum: Personal Investments
Topic: Recently retired, should I protect equity and sell?
Replies: 20
Views: 2281

Re: Recently retired, should I protect equity and sell?

Sounds like you are in good shape no matter what you do. I don't see any reason to do any selling with the market chaotic and no near-term need for cash. Give it a couple of years.
by curmudgeon
Sun Mar 22, 2020 11:17 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Upside down car: advice [car loan]
Replies: 57
Views: 2918

Re: Upside down car: advice

Should I advise him to suck it up for 3 more years and pay it off, or to sell the car at a loss, pull a loan to cover the amount that’s underwater and buy for himself a used $5,000 car? Beside the car situation, he has no debt, and I believe his credit is fair, in the 600ish range. Thanks This soun...
by curmudgeon
Sun Mar 22, 2020 10:05 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Renting property at a loss, and depreciation recapture
Replies: 22
Views: 1312

Re: Renting property at a loss, and depreciation recapture

you only get to deduct the losses on your current year return if your AGI is less than $100K. Otherwise the losses carryforward, and when you sell the rental they flow thru in the year of sale... this can help with your depreciation recapture... Mike As i understand it, there's a graduated deductio...