Search found 297 matches

by jbuzolich
Sat Feb 02, 2019 8:10 pm
Forum: Personal Investments
Topic: Ally Bank's nightmarish online reviews -- should I be worried?
Replies: 97
Views: 8839

Re: Ally Bank's nightmarish online reviews -- should I be worried?

Like many others on this site, I've had many years of great experience with Ally. It's our main cash savings location and has been for years. Never an issue. Opening and closing accounts online and never talking to anybody. I've closed no penalty CD accounts and immediately had the funds in savings ...
by jbuzolich
Sat Jan 12, 2019 9:26 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: 457 vs 403b
Replies: 120
Views: 7784

Re: 457 vs 403b

457 plans do feel like a secret sometimes. I'm on the 457 plan oversight committee at my job and accepted a personal fiduciary responsibility being on that group. We're in local government and it feels like very few employees know or have interest because of the pension plan we already have. Anyway,...
by jbuzolich
Tue Jan 01, 2019 1:57 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Saving at Costco
Replies: 109
Views: 8244

Re: Saving at Costco

Threads like this make me feel extra fat. Family of three and we love Costco and never worry about spoilage. We freeze what we won't get to right away which feels like faster weekday meals later on. When we do have spoilage we don't like the waste but we're still saving money because it's 4x the qua...
by jbuzolich
Mon Dec 31, 2018 2:04 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Underfunded escrow account
Replies: 11
Views: 503

Re: Underfunded escrow account

Another +1 to this being very common. For us the escrow is short every single year since taxes on the home value have been going up yearly. We get the option to lump sum or change the monthly payment. We just do the monthly change.
by jbuzolich
Sat Dec 29, 2018 6:03 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Financial advice to family members
Replies: 37
Views: 3440

Re: Financial advice to family members

Like others have posted, it's generally best to stay out of giving financial advice to family unless they ask you for input. I know it can be extremely frustrating. Sometimes the best offered advice can actually push family in the wrong direction. One great gift you can give to your entire family is...
by jbuzolich
Thu Dec 20, 2018 8:58 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: How much do you pay for internet only?
Replies: 79
Views: 5249

Re: How much do you pay for internet only?

I'm sure it's regional but I'm really surprised by the comments with 100Mbps being too much. Around here that's a basic connection and you're going to have a tough time with more than one stream at a time during the evenings. We have a 100Mb connection but usually just one stream going and other con...
by jbuzolich
Tue Dec 11, 2018 11:21 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Buy Lexus CPO now or wait until end of Dec.?
Replies: 23
Views: 1565

Re: Buy Lexus CPO now or wait until end of Dec.?

I seriously wanted a Lexus before buying our Subarus in the last couple years. Each time I looked at Lexus though I couldn't make the cpo work out for me. The dealers would not move their price at all and it was literally within 15% of what I could get pricing on a brand new one for. I gave up and d...
by jbuzolich
Tue Dec 11, 2018 11:07 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Desktop Computer. All in one or separate? And which one?
Replies: 34
Views: 2028

Re: Desktop Computer. All in one or separate? And which one?

Also depends what you mean by gaming. Casual online games like cards, ones with matching colors or patterns, and games on social websites run on just about anything including the cheapest budget computer. Then there is serious gaming where the player would expect that you're building something from ...
by jbuzolich
Tue Dec 11, 2018 11:01 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Fax without a telephone line
Replies: 23
Views: 2312

Re: Fax without a telephone line

It is hard to believe but yes I'll echo the groups that are stuck forever on physical fax sending and receiving. I'm in local government so of course we're years slow in many things, but I can't believe many of the medical offices we interact with require fax. Not even a discussion whether to consid...
by jbuzolich
Sat Nov 24, 2018 11:04 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Replacing TPMS stem/kit when replacing tires?
Replies: 16
Views: 1317

Re: Replacing TPMS stem/kit when replacing tires?

Not sure on the accuracy but yes I have read that the tpms needs to be replaced every time the tires are replaced. Apparently moisture can cause them to fail over time with more exposure. Every time we change tires now the fee is always there of roughly $9 per tire no matter what.
by jbuzolich
Sat Nov 24, 2018 6:33 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Best MVNO for Verizon Network - any updates?
Replies: 30
Views: 2111

Re: Best MVNO for Verizon Network - any updates?

Had good luck with Page Plus when I just had the one line. Moved to Total Wireless because it was less expensive and included more data with our two line plan. Been working great for the last year or so and we're averaging $61 total monthly.
by jbuzolich
Thu Nov 22, 2018 11:13 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: CD vs Auto loan payoff
Replies: 19
Views: 1068

Re: CD vs Auto loan payoff

If you did the math right then the interest on the CD might be better. The decision to pay off or not might be mental though or what makes you sleep better at night. We had two loans on cars recently all at zero interest. Mix of four year term and larger balance at five years. I would have kept the ...
by jbuzolich
Thu Nov 22, 2018 1:37 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Tiny Baby Spiders on my Toaster
Replies: 40
Views: 3163

Re: Tiny Baby Spiders on my Toaster

Cannot tell my DW about any spiders or we might be in a hotel until extermination has been verified. Given the toaster location, I think my reaction would have been to look closely for a few seconds in curiosity, then turn on said toaster until no further evidence. Vacuum or paper towel squisher nea...
by jbuzolich
Wed Nov 21, 2018 8:26 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: All inclusive resort with 9 year old?
Replies: 16
Views: 2128

Re: All inclusive resort with 9 year old?

We've been to a Riu in Mexico with our son when he was six or so and he loved it. Felt very excited to walk around and pick food rather than waiting on menus. Quick service is always great for kids. Plus the kids pool had water slides.
by jbuzolich
Wed Nov 21, 2018 9:27 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Home remodeling costs
Replies: 13
Views: 1326

Re: Home remodeling costs

Only accurate way really is to write out what you want and start getting quotes from contractors if you are ready. If you are in the savings phase then save way more than you think you'll need. Talk to your neighbors about what they spent and recommendations on contractors. We've been renovation our...
by jbuzolich
Wed Nov 21, 2018 9:15 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Buying Google Home Minis on Ebays
Replies: 14
Views: 1357

Re: Buying Google Home Minis on Ebays

I would assume they are legit. There have been so many promos on the Google home minis and Google home over the past year that I would expect the mini to be free or nearly so.
by jbuzolich
Mon Nov 12, 2018 9:46 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Laptop warranty-Costco’s version?
Replies: 4
Views: 525

Re: Laptop warranty-Costco’s version?

Squaretrade used to have amazing word of mouth feedback. I have known people who appreciated the easy claim process. The company has been aquired by a major insurance company though and the positive vibes seems to be gone. I don't have direct experience and I imagine I would still trust it if Costco...
by jbuzolich
Mon Nov 05, 2018 9:50 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Diamonds [Earrings and ring]
Replies: 24
Views: 2692

Re: Diamonds [Earrings and ring]

The few purchases I've done with my wife have been with Blue Nile and it was a good experience. Specifically on the engagement ring, she got mad at the price when she saw what I was building and negotiated me down to spending less even though she liked the setting and stone shape. Was further confir...
by jbuzolich
Sun Nov 04, 2018 1:21 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Dentist replaced crown a few months back and now I'm told the tooth needs to be pulled!
Replies: 49
Views: 3579

Re: Dentist replaced crown a few months back and now I'm told the tooth needs to be pulled!

There is a lot of judgement and preference between individual dentists in my opinion. Your previous dentist may have not done anything wrong at all in recommending a replacement crown, if they felt the underlying structure was still ok. The new dentist might be much more conservative and would have ...
by jbuzolich
Sun Nov 04, 2018 10:02 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Deal fell through and didn't get escrow money.....
Replies: 56
Views: 6008

Re: Deal fell through and didn't get escrow money.....

Agree with the other posts in that sounds like seller didn't understand contingency. Nothing to do with mortgage crisis. Contingency condition was triggered so deal was off with no penalty. Around here anyway I would think the earnest money would only go to the seller in a really rare situation and ...
by jbuzolich
Sat Nov 03, 2018 7:16 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Credit card Surcharges
Replies: 41
Views: 1828

Re: Credit card Surcharges

Agree on the recommendations to check out Square or the processor advertised by Costco. The Square rates are around 2.75% maximum on swiped transactions and you negotiate down from there if you have volume.
by jbuzolich
Sat Nov 03, 2018 11:45 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Where to stay to visit Yosemite
Replies: 12
Views: 1283

Re: Where to stay to visit Yosemite

Decide which area and entrance of the park you want to visit. I'd say it's too large to visit more than a couple areas from one of the gates in only a couple days. I also recommend a house rental such as Airbnb near whichever side of the park you want most. We have a place we occasionally rent out o...
by jbuzolich
Wed Oct 31, 2018 8:17 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Am I Risking My Life to Sell My Car?
Replies: 37
Views: 4782

Re: Am I Risking My Life to Sell My Car?

I would just drive to the closest tire shop and ask them to replace with lowest cost available, even if used. Should be $100 or under. Then drive straight from tire shop to CarMax on the same trip and drop it off. Get your check. Carpool or ride share home.
by jbuzolich
Sat Oct 27, 2018 9:03 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Car hit while parked, no note, just want damages as cash from insurance
Replies: 18
Views: 2977

Re: Car hit while parked, no note, just want damages as cash from insurance

Just had to total my car at the end of September. Hit from behind while we were stationary. Anyway our insurance emailed me the value estimate within a couple days and just gave two numbers. The higher number I mail them the title, the slightly lesser number I keep the car. We did not want the vehic...
by jbuzolich
Wed Oct 24, 2018 8:15 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Cat's dental work costs
Replies: 31
Views: 2315

Re: Cat's dental work costs

This bill looks very average to me especially since it's described as surgery and not just a cleaning. Any time our pets need something dental I immediately buckle down for $1000 or more.
by jbuzolich
Sun Oct 21, 2018 9:35 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Has anyone taken out an online mortgage?
Replies: 42
Views: 4218

Re: Has anyone taken out an online mortgage?

+1 for aimloan.com. We've done a purchase and a couple refinances through them and it was quick and easy. I love the options of modeling the rates with the related closing costs, going less out of pocket when we wanted to.
by jbuzolich
Wed Oct 17, 2018 1:12 am
Forum: Personal Investments
Topic: Ally Bank Transfers
Replies: 3
Views: 1061

Re: Ally Bank Transfers

Do you have a question or you are just sharing your experience? Is there a reason you didn't want to directly manage the CD yourself in your Ally account? I've had and still have a number of CDs with Ally. Redeeming CDs always had instant availability into savings or checking at Ally. Could transfer...
by jbuzolich
Sat Oct 13, 2018 6:09 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Pension fund fiduciary
Replies: 2
Views: 274

Re: Pension fund fiduciary

That does not sound like an enviable position to be in. Are you also an employee of the company that has this pension or are you a participant of the pension you are a fiduciary member for? I am a fiduciary for a 457b plan of which I am a participant and am a member with others of the oversight comm...
by jbuzolich
Sun Sep 30, 2018 10:34 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: city water sewer vs well septic
Replies: 36
Views: 2482

Re: city water sewer vs well septic

Definitely positives and negatives with both. I agree with the earlier comment about with well and septic you pay it in the end anyway but likely much less on a monthly basis. When we were looking at cabins, first place we were on contract with was contingent on inspections. Paid quite a bit out of ...
by jbuzolich
Fri Sep 28, 2018 8:38 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Good flip flops
Replies: 46
Views: 3568

Re: Good flip flops

Reef Fanning was a huge change for me. Now that's all I buy and I watch the Olukai as well but have not bought any yet. Each pair of Reef Fanning last me a couple years with at least one tropical trip yearly and near daily part time wear at home.
by jbuzolich
Tue Sep 18, 2018 11:11 pm
Forum: Personal Investments
Topic: CalSTRS Pension - Does refund of contributions make sense?
Replies: 7
Views: 758

Re: CalSTRS Pension - Does refund of contributions make sense?

Another thing to consider is access to healthcare. I'm PERS and my wife is STRS but we're both 20 years from retirement. If you leave your funds on account and eventually take the pension you can also pay the healthcare rates for coverage through their offerings. If you cash out completely and are n...
by jbuzolich
Mon Sep 03, 2018 12:26 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Walmart is not Amazon
Replies: 54
Views: 7002

Re: Walmart is not Amazon

My experience has been similar in that Walmart is getting some orders from me now but still has a long way to go in regard to selection and then reliable shipping. Packaging is about even and both do really stupid packaging about half the time. The worst packaging ever though was a Google Express or...
by jbuzolich
Sat Jul 28, 2018 10:55 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Toughest Purchase of my Life. Engagement Ring time
Replies: 207
Views: 10685

Re: Toughest Purchase of my Life. Engagement Ring time

My wife got mad at me and negotiated back from the original engagement ring I was building at Blue Nile. She would have wanted even less than we settled on but I was kind of into gems in high school so I had some minimum specs that I wanted. Still though she talked me back to the lowest I could do. ...
by jbuzolich
Mon Jul 02, 2018 8:38 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Airbnb - cleaning fee, service fee, occupancy fee....???
Replies: 132
Views: 12332

Re: Airbnb - cleaning fee, service fee, occupancy fee....???

Probably already talked to death but yes there is a high level of visibility here on the fees and other charges but they don't seem unreasonable to me. The only one on that screenshot set by the host is the cleaning fee which at $15 seems really low. The service fee is set by Airbnb and they charge ...
by jbuzolich
Sat Jun 30, 2018 11:23 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Best insurer? Allstate vs chubb vs AAA or others
Replies: 42
Views: 4383

Re: Best insurer? Allstate vs chubb vs AAA or others

Another +1 for Amica. I've had a total car loss with them and they made it comfortable as it could be. All our policies are with them and I don't expect that will change.
by jbuzolich
Tue Jun 26, 2018 9:20 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Tequila and Magaritas
Replies: 75
Views: 7769

Re: Tequila and Magaritas

I can't stand Jose Cuervo and can't really say why. Don't care for it and get a headache. El Jimador is my tequila of choice and get the reposado plenty of places locally for $15-$16 usually. Mix that with Costco margarita mix without alcohol and I always get compliments. Even more compliments with ...
by jbuzolich
Sun Jun 17, 2018 8:27 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Sacramento Home Owners - House Areas/Questions
Replies: 16
Views: 2242

Re: Sacramento Home Owners - House Areas/Questions

I think one important reminder for anyone reading this is that all these towns are in the general Sacramento area, yes, but are also a half hour to one hour drive from each other or from Sacramento depending on traffic. We're coming up on ten years in Woodland which is just ten minutes north of Davi...
by jbuzolich
Sat Jun 16, 2018 11:05 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Inherited jewelry & diamonds--how to value & how to sell?
Replies: 5
Views: 1348

Re: Inherited jewelry & diamonds--how to value & how to sell?

If jewelry is well known designer you might get some value for it but perhaps 50% of retail at most. Jewelry just has terrible resale in my experience. Probably because of the huge markup claimed in the original creation and sales. There are multiple refineries that will buy the metal for 85%-95% of...
by jbuzolich
Sun Jun 03, 2018 7:07 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: want to buy a larger bed
Replies: 14
Views: 1461

Re: want to buy a larger bed

We have a standard King which is wider. Also sometimes called an Eastern King to differentiate from the California. Regular King is more common name though. California king in the last 15 years seem to be considered the best by many but they are longer at the trade of being slightly more narrow. I'm...
by jbuzolich
Sat May 26, 2018 9:55 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Professional negotiator
Replies: 21
Views: 2640

Re: Professional negotiator

My reaction on first read through is that there could be interest but general demand would be low without a ton of marketing effort or if you really found a nitch with some group of regular buyers. The sample purchases you listed are often things a typical household would only do once every 5-10 yea...
by jbuzolich
Fri May 25, 2018 8:56 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Has anyone used www.newacunit.com before
Replies: 5
Views: 660

Re: Has anyone used www.newacunit.com before

Hope the install goes well, but yeah on the discount I was thinking you found it for $1600 when I opened the thread. Couple hundred you could likely do the same or better getting 3+ quotes. We installed a four zone ductless mini-split at our cabin and the quotes ranged just over $10k apart from each...
by jbuzolich
Sat May 19, 2018 1:51 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Mitsubishi wall air conditioner
Replies: 34
Views: 2654

Re: Mitsubishi wall air conditioner

Parents have a two zone Mitsubishi mini split at their house in Oregon and love it. We put a four zone Fujitsu mini split in our cabin towards Yosemite and love it. The cabin really wouldn't be as usable as it is now for us without that heating and cooling capability.
by jbuzolich
Thu May 10, 2018 8:28 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Custom suit needed for a wedding. Help me shop around!!
Replies: 30
Views: 2630

Re: Custom suit needed for a wedding. Help me shop around!!

If you have a Nordstroms local go get fitted and see what the tailor has to say about your friend. Their semi annual men's sale is right around Father's Day and brands such as Hugo Boss can be had for approx. 50% off. I have a 10+" difference between my chest and waist and the tailor does wonders w...
by jbuzolich
Tue May 08, 2018 1:57 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Vehicle Tires and Dry Rot
Replies: 20
Views: 2562

Re: Vehicle Tires and Dry Rot

Yes absolutely. Follow the manufacturer guidelines please. If you are a low mileage yearly driver it is very likely you will need to replace your tires far before you ever get near the wear bars. If your vehicle is parked full time in the sun they may only be safe for 3-4 years regardless of miles u...
by jbuzolich
Sat May 05, 2018 9:31 am
Forum: Personal Investments
Topic: dad, can I have some money
Replies: 14
Views: 3560

Re: dad, can I have some money

Scenerio- dad roll-overed 401k to tira via advisor about 4 years ago when he retired at 62. paid like 40k tax on this (dumb advisor) so now sitting with 104k in tira This has me a little confused. The rollover to a tIRA should not have generated any taxes. What were the taxes for? Yeah me too, that...
by jbuzolich
Tue May 01, 2018 3:21 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: How to book family vacation package?
Replies: 1
Views: 354

Re: How to book family vacation package?

Most likely you will need to shop around on your own and find what works for you. I don't think there is any one best solution. Personally I use multiple options from your list nearly every time we go on vacation. I check package prices on all the big travel websites plus Costco. Usually end up book...
by jbuzolich
Thu Apr 26, 2018 8:20 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Comfortable Commuter Cars under $50K
Replies: 81
Views: 7002

Re: Comfortable Commuter Cars under $50K

Subaru legacy limited. I've done many seven hour drives in mine and find it very comfortable. Eyesight system is great for highway cruising or stop and go bumper to bumper traffic. Just did Sacramento to Disneyland and back with it. Less than two tanks of gas in total.
by jbuzolich
Tue Apr 17, 2018 9:14 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Buy a used car or lease one for business use
Replies: 10
Views: 1336

Re: Buy a used car or lease one for business use

Typically with a lease the full amount paid each year can be claimed as a business expense against revenues earned. I think there might be a situation where larger startup costs of a lease if any have to be spread over the life of the lease for claiming but I could be wrong. When buying, the price ...
by jbuzolich
Tue Apr 17, 2018 9:09 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Got hit with a $2800 Medical bill. Can I negotiate?
Replies: 187
Views: 12902

Re: Got hit with a $2800 Medical bill. Can I negotiate?

You can always ask for a discount or to settle. Maybe offer 30% of gross charges as that is likely more than they would get from most other payers. With the situation you described though I would guess that it is highly unlikely. Your insurance is providing you a benefit of paying for part of the bi...
by jbuzolich
Fri Apr 13, 2018 6:55 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Buy a used car or lease one for business use
Replies: 10
Views: 1336

Re: Buy a used car or lease one for business use

Typically with a lease the full amount paid each year can be claimed as a business expense against revenues earned. I think there might be a situation where larger startup costs of a lease if any have to be spread over the life of the lease for claiming but I could be wrong. When buying, the price p...