Search found 289 matches

by Cigarman
Mon Oct 15, 2018 11:13 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Doing my own taxes?
Replies: 13
Views: 1381

Re: Doing my own taxes?

Thanks for the reality check....

Probably best to leave things as they are.

For those who asked, I do all the other accounting functions (bill paying, entering invoices, etc.)
by Cigarman
Mon Oct 15, 2018 6:29 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Doing my own taxes?
Replies: 13
Views: 1381

Doing my own taxes?

Just finished writing checks to the IRS and my accountant and was considering whether I should do my own taxes going forward. In 2018 I will have paid my accountant approximately $4000 for Quarterly Tax Filing, Business Taxes and Personal Taxes. I own a sub Chapter S corp that generates about $1,000...
by Cigarman
Mon Oct 15, 2018 6:02 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: How Much Is Your Sewer Bill?
Replies: 78
Views: 3896

Re: How Much Is Your Sewer Bill?

Here is my latest bill in Holly Springs, NC (just outside Raleigh) Garbage 9.69 Yard Waste 3.00 Recycling 4.34 Water 26.54 Sewer 26.54 Irrigation Water 291.92 Stormwater 3.00 Note that I have a separate meter for irrigation (my wife is a gardener) so I don't have to pay the "sewer" on that. Weekly p...
by Cigarman
Sat Oct 06, 2018 6:35 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: What is your annual cost for health insurance?
Replies: 137
Views: 9568

Re: What is your annual cost for health insurance?

I have an HSA. $5000 deductible for me and my wife. Covered by BCBS transition plan 2014 Premiums were $675 per month for both of us 2019 Premiums are going to be $1367 per month so pretty much doubled. 2018 our premiums and deductibles totaled $23,800. We both met our deductible. I am curious what ...
by Cigarman
Tue Oct 02, 2018 5:21 am
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Help me understand how my Roth IRA went up so little this month
Replies: 9
Views: 1340

Re: Help me understand how my Roth IRA went up so little this month

Just for fun, if the Dow goes DOWN and your account goes UP, what does that do to one's brain? LOL. Sounds like a case of someone asking you what time it is and you explaining to them how a watch is built. I do a monthly spreadsheet of all my various accounts (retirement, savings, etc.) so I can see...
by Cigarman
Mon Sep 03, 2018 7:16 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Insurance Question for minor car accident (other side clearly at fault)
Replies: 11
Views: 1196

Re: Insurance Question for minor car accident (other side clearly at fault)

I had someone rear end me earlier this year. Clearly their fault. My insurance company (Amica) suggested I could either pay my deductible and then work to get it back or deal with the other driver's company. I told them, point blank, that they needed to handle it with the other insurer (Geico) since...
by Cigarman
Sun Sep 02, 2018 11:51 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: furnace came on even with thermostat off
Replies: 5
Views: 749

Re: furnace came on even with thermostat off

The wiring is old and if the insulation is starting to separate, make sure you use some good electrical tape so you don't short out either the AC or the furnace. We got new thermostats as gifts for Christmas and had that issue...zap! 25 year old furnace crashed on Christmas eve.
by Cigarman
Sun Aug 26, 2018 6:34 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Health care question - self employed- Whats your plan? Advice Needed
Replies: 24
Views: 1966

Re: Health care question - self employed- Whats your plan? Advice Needed

Today you are healthy, who knows about tomorrow. We are in NC and have had BCBS as self employed couple. When initially looking at insurance we thought about a plan with a $5,000,000 lifetime coverage limit. As the agent said, $5,000,000 is a lot of coverage (well, it was almost 20 years ago.) To da...
by Cigarman
Mon Aug 13, 2018 5:56 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Should I Do This? [borrow from relative to pay off loan]
Replies: 55
Views: 3114

Re: Should I Do This? [borrow from relative to pay off loan]

Should you do this, don't change your auto insurance...what happens if you are in an accident and you have dropped your coverage to a point where it doesn't begin to cover the cost of a replacement...oops right back to where you started. I wouldn't think paying off the loan early would hurt your cre...
by Cigarman
Mon Aug 13, 2018 5:28 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Junk Mail
Replies: 28
Views: 2706

Re: Junk Mail

But there's a flip side — jobs for all the people that produce this stuff. Probably soul crushing work for the people directly involved I am directly involved in the production and distribution of direct mail. I checked my soul, it is not crushed.....lol. The people I interact with do an honest's d...
by Cigarman
Thu Aug 09, 2018 6:09 am
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: What to do with Whole Life Policy
Replies: 13
Views: 1028

Re: What to do with Whole Life Policy

I know there are firms that can analyze whole life policies...someone else can chime in on what those are.... Back of the envelope math says that in 27 years they have paid in $45,000 and it is worth $77,000 today, a gain of $32,000 or 71% overall.... I think this is the primary reason why Boglehead...
by Cigarman
Sat Jul 28, 2018 7:21 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Routine Blood work with high deductible insurance
Replies: 25
Views: 1850

Re: Routine Blood work with high deductible insurance

Recently had a specialized scan done at a Hospital: Retail: $6500 Cash: $5200 Insur Pd: $2100 I paid the cash price and when insurance finally approved they paid the provider $2100. Thankfully, I am getting my $5200 back but time was of the essence in getting this completed and had to go through app...
by Cigarman
Fri Jul 06, 2018 5:48 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Advice For My Side Business - Reselling Used Electronics
Replies: 14
Views: 1466

Re: Advice For My Side Business - Reselling Used Electronics

I have a friend who seems to do well buying surplus toner cartridges from government agency auctions and reselling on eBay or Amazon. It is a bit of a crap shoot but all the cartridges are unused so the business is clean from that standpoint.
by Cigarman
Thu Jul 05, 2018 6:15 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Tipping at non sit down places
Replies: 94
Views: 8604

Re: Tipping at non sit down places

Oddly, there is an independent ice cream shop near us in the Raleigh, NC area that has a massive following. The owner hires high school and college kids 9 months out of the year (he shuts down Dec - Feb) and we frequent the place. Only accepts cash and checks and has instructed his employee's to REF...
by Cigarman
Mon Jul 02, 2018 5:52 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Retiring in Michigan (Ann Arbor)
Replies: 65
Views: 5130

Re: Retiring in Michigan (Ann Arbor)

Born and raised in Ann Arbor. Great place and you may want to look at Chelsea and Dexter too. Very close and housing may a bit less. Traffic on football Saturdays can be a pain, but it is only 7-8 weekends in the fall. Annual Art Fair (3rd Wednesday in July) is always great too. Southeastern Michiga...
by Cigarman
Sun Jul 01, 2018 8:05 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Anyone Experienced with Credit Card Fraud ? Need Advice
Replies: 21
Views: 2292

Re: Anyone Experienced with Credit Card Fraud ? Need Advice

I often times face the issue of credit card fraud (2-3 times a year) because I use my card for business purposes. It happens nowadays regardless of how careful you are. Never had to worry about debit card. Since you have been made whole, let it go. No need to put yourself through extra effort. In so...
by Cigarman
Sat Jun 30, 2018 6:23 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Should the client have included Sales Tax in the PO (Purchase Order)
Replies: 7
Views: 925

Re: Should the client have included Sales Tax in the PO (Purchase Order)

I own my own business and many of the POs I receive do not include sales tax. This could be because: A. The buyer just doesn't add it. I would say 95% of my POs come this way. B. Buyer is reselling the product or using it in a product that get's resold C. Customer is out of state and it is being use...
by Cigarman
Wed Jun 27, 2018 4:37 am
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Am I getting the run around?
Replies: 24
Views: 4393

Re: Am I getting the run around?

Is it not spelled out in your 401k plan documents? That is where I would look first. Heck, your company might not even know themselves if no one has ever done it and just going on what the bank/administrator is telling them. I would try to talk to someone at the bank who handles your account and kno...
by Cigarman
Mon Jun 25, 2018 5:56 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: House seller fudging disclosure re: buried oil tank?
Replies: 36
Views: 4360

Re: House seller fudging disclosure re: buried oil tank?

I would think a water hose inserted into one of the pipes and turning on the water would answer the question quickly....
by Cigarman
Sat Jun 23, 2018 12:28 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: 3 nights in Vegas
Replies: 49
Views: 3709

Re: 3 nights in Vegas

We go twice a year so we have done quite a bit of all.... My "Go To's" "O" show at the Bellagio. Buddy V's for Italian at Venetian/Palazzo Lunch at Country Club Grill at Wynn Beatle's Love Atrium at Bellagio...they always have a fantastic display. Since you are going Sun - Thurs or so, you should ge...
by Cigarman
Sun May 27, 2018 5:57 am
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Taking a pension to invest in stocks
Replies: 47
Views: 2761

Re: Taking a pension to invest in stocks

If he is a huge Ramsey fan and the financial advisor is an ELP, than is that 100% stock investment in mutual funds (as Dave recommends along with Bogleheads) or actual stocks? Can't speak to the taking pension while remaining employed but I would wonder how well the company's pension has performed o...
by Cigarman
Thu May 24, 2018 5:41 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: govt vs. private job offers: please help me decide!
Replies: 38
Views: 3641

Re: govt vs. private job offers: please help me decide!

So why not take the VA job, assuming it is along the lines of the 9-5 variety, and start a small, private practice of your own dedicated to a couple of evenings and one weekend day as you see fit (maybe 1-2 Saturday's a month)? At the very least you minimize your risk and you could avoid conflict of...
by Cigarman
Fri May 11, 2018 6:00 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Discount tickets for Vegas shows
Replies: 2
Views: 342

Re: Discount tickets for Vegas shows

You can get discount tickets at tix4tonight, just get there early and often times the more popular shows are not available. Unfortunately, you may end up paying full price. Also, if you have a larger group (say 4 or so) then the discount place may not have them all together.
by Cigarman
Mon May 07, 2018 5:01 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: New car for my wife
Replies: 25
Views: 3000

Re: New car for my wife

Why new with the value dropping so much in such a short time? I drive 35-40,000 a year and have had extremely good luck buying a 1-2 year old cars, from Car Max. Last two went 390,000 and 236,000. The 236,000 vehicle was totaled recently by my insurance company after i was rear ended and the cost to...
by Cigarman
Mon Apr 23, 2018 4:46 am
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: In-laws financial advisor rip off
Replies: 35
Views: 4485

Re: In-laws financial advisor rip off

The best way to avoid any additional drama is TO NOT GET INVOLVED. Even if your wife asks, you can politely reply "your parents need to ask for help or start reading Bogleheads.org, we don't need the extra drama/pressure that come's from trying to change their ways". It's hard to do but you will sle...
by Cigarman
Mon Apr 23, 2018 4:26 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: 2011 Acura RDX
Replies: 11
Views: 1203

Re: 2011 Acura RDX

Thanks so far...my traveling mechanic, who will inspect the car, says he much prefers working on Acura's as opposed to Fords...
by Cigarman
Sun Apr 22, 2018 4:55 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: 2011 Acura RDX
Replies: 11
Views: 1203

2011 Acura RDX

I'm looking at purchasing a 2011 Acura RDX to replace my Ford Edge that was totaled recently. Just curious from any Bogle's who own this vehicle or one a year or two older/newer. This one has just over 100,000 miles on it and I am going to have my mechanic go through it but just wondering if anyone ...
by Cigarman
Mon Apr 09, 2018 4:45 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Atlantis Bahamas for myself with 2 kids?
Replies: 13
Views: 2073

Re: Atlantis Bahamas for myself with 2 kids?

My wife and I visited Atlantis often a few years back. It is quite expensive to eat in their restaurants or just about buy anything from the resort. They were making a huge effort to get better when Bahamar was about to open. Now that Bahamar is open, not sure how Atlantis is responding. Your kids (...
by Cigarman
Mon Apr 09, 2018 4:24 am
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Help Me Make The Case Against Online Trading Academy
Replies: 33
Views: 2940

Re: Help Me Make The Case Against Online Trading Academy

I hear them every weekend on the radio in Raleigh....30 minute infomercial that really tells you nothing. To me, it is the same material re-hashed every weekend.

That's enough to get me to change the station and move on with my life.
by Cigarman
Fri Apr 06, 2018 5:48 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Car was totaled, next steps?
Replies: 18
Views: 1123

Re: Car was totaled, next steps?

Thanks all...it appreciate the quick responses.
by Cigarman
Fri Apr 06, 2018 5:30 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Car was totaled, next steps?
Replies: 18
Views: 1123

Car was totaled, next steps?

Hello All, My 2012 Ford Edge SUV was rear ended about 2 months ago. This week while in the shop getting fixed enough damage was found that the car is going to be totaled by my insurance company. It has 232,000 miles on it, I drive about 40,000 miles a year. The other driver was at fault and their in...
by Cigarman
Thu Mar 29, 2018 5:31 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Drip irrigation or pop-up sprayers for garden?
Replies: 19
Views: 2177

Re: Drip irrigation or pop-up sprayers for garden?

I would favor pop up sprayers...I'm in NC and get very aggravated with our drip and the squirrels who are forever chewing on the lines.
by Cigarman
Wed Mar 28, 2018 8:14 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Amica Increase
Replies: 59
Views: 6911

Re: Amica Increase

I am a big fan of Amica but they do have the habit of increasing the dwelling cost every year. You have to watch this closely as their assumptions on the value/replacement value are not always in line with reality. Check that closely as a previous poster mentioned.
by Cigarman
Sun Mar 11, 2018 6:31 am
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: PedalPub investment
Replies: 22
Views: 2286

Re: PedalPub investment

From 5 years ago:

According to the city of Minneapolis's Licenses and Consumer Services department, citizens lodged 38 complaints against pedal pubs in 2013, most of which had to do with "the driver's inability to maintain proper control of the passengers at all times while piloting the vehicle."
by Cigarman
Sat Mar 10, 2018 9:37 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Furniture Delivery Damage to Home & Furniture Recourse
Replies: 14
Views: 1351

Re: Furniture Delivery Damage to Home & Furniture Recourse

Did you pay by credit card and can dispute the charges? That usually get's their attention.

Assuming you took pictures, nothing beats going in and talking to the manager in person.

Get a quote to fix the door frame and have them refund that amount back to you.
by Cigarman
Tue Mar 06, 2018 6:05 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Painter did a sloppy job -- seeking advice on next steps
Replies: 28
Views: 3100

Re: Painter did a sloppy job -- seeking advice on next steps

I would do the following: 1. Explain in writing the problem and give him a week to fix it at his cost. Email or text should suffice. 2. If he requests more money or says that is the best he can do, find someone to repaint the whole ceiling. 3. Post a review. Not the "I'm p*ssed off in your face" rev...
by Cigarman
Mon Mar 05, 2018 6:11 am
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Life Insurance: John Hancock Vitality Rider
Replies: 9
Views: 754

Re: Life Insurance: John Hancock Vitality Rider

I'm just curious to see what those projections are that he showed you...could you post that?
by Cigarman
Sat Feb 24, 2018 7:13 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Alaska Princess Cruise: Shore excursions?
Replies: 21
Views: 1485

Re: Alaska Princess Cruise: Shore excursions?

One word of caution. If you are on a Cruise line sponsored excursion and its running way late past the time the ship is set to sail, they will hold the ship. If you are on your own and have issues, the boat may sail without you. We had an issue with a Princess excursion regarding whale watching and ...
by Cigarman
Fri Feb 23, 2018 6:46 am
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Need $100,000 in 20 years. Help!
Replies: 52
Views: 6521

Re: Need $100,000 in 20 years. Help!

2nd job? $400 per month = $100 per week over the 20 years you are talking. Maybe some sort of in home PT where you go to them. At $20 per hour you could knock it out in no time each week.
by Cigarman
Sun Feb 18, 2018 8:12 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Vancouver Vacation (Canada)
Replies: 18
Views: 1589

Re: Vancouver Vacation (Canada)

If you go to Granville, there are plenty of places selling fresh flowers....

Get some for the room, they are inexpensive and really liven up a hotel room. We did this when we left on an Alaskan Cruise from Vancouver.
by Cigarman
Fri Feb 16, 2018 6:38 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Should I be paying $1300/yr. for under/uninsured motorist protection?
Replies: 99
Views: 8486

Re: Should I be paying $1300/yr. for under/uninsured motorist protection?

A quick google of this shows it is required in MA. http://www.mass.gov/ago/consumer-resources/consumer-information/auto-and-vehicle-insurance/understanding-insurance.html At least the uninsured part, not necessarily the underinsured. I would seriously shop this around, especially if your driving rec...
by Cigarman
Sat Feb 10, 2018 12:25 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Confused about tax form 1099-G
Replies: 3
Views: 624

Re: Confused about tax form 1099-G

Enter "0". You did not receive a refund so you have no income to declare and hence you did not get a 1099-G. -20 will not work either.
by Cigarman
Sat Feb 10, 2018 12:21 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Good Hotel in DC
Replies: 46
Views: 3889

Re: Good Hotel in DC

Depending upon your budget I really like the Hilton Garden Inn on 14th Street is a very good location. From their website: Adjustable beds, complimentary internet and free cookies every evening are special treats at the Hilton Garden Inn Washington DC Downtown, conveniently located near public trans...
by Cigarman
Sun Feb 04, 2018 2:14 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Cigar buying help
Replies: 39
Views: 2832

Re: Cigar buying help

I had to chime in...all good suggestions. Personally I am a fan of Cain Nub cigars. 4" long, medium size (60 ring gauge). You will like the Connecticut's most likely as they are milder. Most of the flavor comes from the wrapper so the lighter the wrapper the smoother the taste. Darker wrappers tend ...
by Cigarman
Sun Feb 04, 2018 8:45 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: [New MA & VT Tax reporting]- 1099-K threshold reduced to $600
Replies: 105
Views: 7795

Re: New to me tax issue - Paypal 1099-k for selling personal property

As a side thought, probably no different than the $600 limit for contract labor. Theoretically, if you pay someone over $600 you are suppose to issue a 1099 (or similar form). Remember when all the people who were paying their nannies/housekeepers/etc. in cash got caught up in that (90's I believe)....
by Cigarman
Wed Jan 31, 2018 5:56 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Should I join Linkedin?
Replies: 48
Views: 4242

Re: Should I join Linkedin?

If you are in sales, be careful (see previous post about privacy settings). Those who connect with you may be trying to access your client list who you have "connected" with on LinkedIn.
by Cigarman
Mon Jan 29, 2018 6:42 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Transamerica Life insurance/investments
Replies: 39
Views: 2465

Re: Transamerica Life insurance/investments

Ask him...

1. Percent commission he is getting.
2. How much they are matching your contribution.

In your post you say "the salesman said..." multiple times. That should be enough to make you wary. Sales is about getting paid, not helping people.
by Cigarman
Mon Jan 29, 2018 6:29 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Home Alarm Systems
Replies: 16
Views: 1905

Re: Home Alarm Systems

I know you said you didn't want a DIY but Simplisafe is stupidly easy. Literally less than an hour, $15/month monitoring and very reliable when alarm goes off accidently (I know, they call very quickly as our pet sitter will attest). Recently had a keypad issue and they sent a new one at no charge e...
by Cigarman
Mon Jan 29, 2018 6:16 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Take HELOC deal to pay down mortgage?
Replies: 3
Views: 708

Re: Take HELOC deal to pay down mortgage?

Back of the envelope math is that the amount you save in interest is very little. 4.3% on $11,000 versus 3.4% on $11,000 not including any tax deduction you are missing out on. Seems like a lot of energy for very little savings and not reducing the time it takes to pay down your mortgage.
by Cigarman
Thu Jan 11, 2018 5:47 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Kenmore Washer Dryer
Replies: 29
Views: 1955

Re: Kenmore Washer Dryer

We bought LG washer and dryer, both front loaders, with stands about 5 years ago. I had to replace the motherboard on the washer but was able to get the parts no problem. These have tons of settings which to me complicates the matter. In fact, we probably only use about 3-4 settings on the washer an...