Search found 187 matches

by markpa
Sat Mar 02, 2013 2:03 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: PA Inheritance Tax -- Life Insurance Question
Replies: 10
Views: 2917

Re: PA Inheritance Tax -- Life Insurance Question

I just served as executor of an estate in PA, and I had to ask very similar questions of the recorder of wills, attorneys, and the PA dept. of revenue enforcement agent. Life insurance proceeds are indeed non-taxable for PA inheritance purposes. In our case, they avoided the probate process all toge...
by markpa
Thu Jan 31, 2013 1:51 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: I Wrecked The Rental Car
Replies: 28
Views: 7357

Re: I Wrecked The Rental Car

I'm surprised at how many bogleheads enjoy overpaying. My car insurance that I purchase at home covers me 365 days a year, in whatever vehicle I drive/rent (NOTE: check your policy language carefully. Mine covers me as long as it's not a TRUCK, VAN, or worth over $65k MSRP) This costs me about $2 a ...
by markpa
Fri Aug 10, 2012 2:12 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Two part car accident question
Replies: 28
Views: 2148

Re: Two part car accident question

repairing vs replacing a quarter panel is an extreme price difference ,because the replacement likely adds 5-10 hours @ $150/hour for paint, shop labor, and shop supplies related to painting. plus the removal + reinstall tmie. On a 6 year old car that you are considering dumping, repair it as cheapl...
by markpa
Sun Jul 29, 2012 8:31 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Rent checks getting "lost" in mail, lazy landlords
Replies: 51
Views: 9319

Re: Rent checks getting "lost" in mail, lazy landlords

I have a relative who has a problem related to a rent check and billpay Landlord informed him that his rent check was late/never received. He looks online and Fidelity mysmartcash shows that the check was cashed (they don't withdraw the funds until it's actually presented for payment, unlike some bi...
by markpa
Thu Jul 26, 2012 11:56 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Questions about my home energy audit
Replies: 131
Views: 12547

Re: Questions about my home energy audit

that contractor is trying to hit a home run and make a killing on you. literally, 75-85% profit. A 16 seer unit? of all the efficient upgrades I'm amazed that's all they quoted. A family member had a new 3ton 22 seer AC unit with 96% furnace for $8100. parts + labor. that included dual stage thermos...
by markpa
Sat Jul 21, 2012 10:41 am
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Help: Girlfriend's Dad Believes She Should Time the Market
Replies: 70
Views: 6344

Re: Help: Girlfriend's Dad Believes She Should Time the Mark

at some point in the future, her father won't be getting her 401k statements mailed to his house , won't be doing her taxes, etc.

there is always the possibility of her thanking him for the good advice but not actually allocating the account his way.
by markpa
Tue Jul 17, 2012 9:53 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Will I be properly insured? (auto/umbrella)
Replies: 12
Views: 1805

Re: Will I be properly insured? (auto/umbrella)

insurance sites also rate based on your zip codes, area safety/thefts, claim history sites like geico make it super easy to get tons of quotes, starting at the state minimum coverage all the way up. One thing that was nice with Liberty Mutual is that they show the rate based on multiple deductibles,...
by markpa
Mon Jul 16, 2012 11:01 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Going to a timeshare presentation - advice?
Replies: 59
Views: 9682

Re: Going to a timeshare presentation - advice?

Sit there. quietly. RESIST temptation to get in any kind of philosophical discussion with the sales rep. Go by yourself. Most presentations say "if married." you're divorced/single. If your ring comes off that is, take it off a day before the presentation so there isn't a mark on your fing...
by markpa
Mon Jul 16, 2012 9:19 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Will I be properly insured? (auto/umbrella)
Replies: 12
Views: 1805

Re: Will I be properly insured? (auto/umbrella)

full or limited tort? deductible? unless you're driving a 60k vehicle with a $50 deductible and full tort coverage, the price seems about 2-3x what I'd have expected if you have any property (rental-tenants insurance) or homeowners, then ask about a combined policy discount. Geico offers discounts f...
by markpa
Sun Jul 08, 2012 1:51 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Need to tow car
Replies: 10
Views: 2421

Re: Need to tow car

there are websites that give competitive quotes for transporting your vehicle on a car trailer to your new destination. I got a quote on a full size car and it ranged from $895-1300 for a 2500 mile move. the higher charges were in the form of upsells. "do you want your car on the upper level fo...
by markpa
Wed Jun 27, 2012 9:30 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Basement flooring - laminate? Which brand?
Replies: 46
Views: 9665

Re: Basement flooring - laminate? Which brand?

very happy with allure plank flooring. moisture proof and very realistic. nice and thick, and a pretty good guarantee. sold at home depot or lowes. go to youtube for some good self install videos. you just cut it using tin snips/thick shears, peel off the backing and set it in place. the only concer...
by markpa
Tue Jun 26, 2012 10:45 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Real Estate Agent NOT Letting Me To View a House!
Replies: 34
Views: 6422

Re: Real Estate Agent NOT Letting Me To View a House!

ask your brokerage firm to sign (or in some cases, provide) an asset verification letter. Fidelity required me to draft the letter and overnight it to them for a signature which they were able to fax back to me per attached letter of instructions. "client xyz has authorized me to discouse that ...
by markpa
Tue Jun 19, 2012 10:10 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Appliance Repairs: Is it worth it?
Replies: 44
Views: 5803

Re: Appliance Repairs: Is it worth it?

I would not put even $100 into our current refrigerator, a 25cu ft side by side with icemaker from 1999 why? energy star's calculator which can look up old unit's specific model # tells me I'd save 600kwh per year ($80) each and every year if I replaced it with the same size from a newer energy star...
by markpa
Thu Jun 14, 2012 12:57 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: What do I need to know about diesel German cars?
Replies: 32
Views: 3769

Re: What do I need to know about diesel German cars?

My vote is FOR the Diesel car. I've read reports within the next 5 years, one in six US cars will be a diesel. Diesel has more BTU per gallon so even paying more per gallon it's a better buy than gasoline. I have owned two Jetta TDIs. First was automatic, second (current) is a manual (much more fun,...
by markpa
Wed Jun 13, 2012 10:18 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Seller won't provide property disclosure form???
Replies: 39
Views: 4384

Re: Seller won't provide property disclosure form???

tell the realtor you won't consider looking at other properties requiring this disclosure. maybe they can find out this through the mls or by calling the listing agent before showing new properties to you. Many times in business and life someone has attempted to give me a 'usual', 'customary', or 'j...
by markpa
Mon Jun 11, 2012 11:21 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Renting Vs. Owning at 22
Replies: 83
Views: 6316

Re: Renting Vs. Owning at 22

rent a room or condo if you can. In a smaller city, renting a room can be as cheap as a couple hundred per month. I have a friend who pays $350/month plus a tiny amount for utility costs, he has a studio apartment and loves it. I am a homeowner but still pay $450 a mont--In propert taxex (on a $130k...
by markpa
Mon Jun 11, 2012 10:45 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: New job or accept counter offer at old?
Replies: 33
Views: 3974

Re: New job or accept counter offer at old?

I have a good friend who works as an engineer, his first firm never gave him a performance review/raise for 8 years, nor was he proactive in asking for one. He was the only worker who was hired on salary, and he was the only one working every saturday. he still filled in a timecard and was expected ...
by markpa
Mon Jun 11, 2012 5:45 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: The need to pay for online data backups?
Replies: 41
Views: 3231

Re: The need to pay for online data backups?

there are many advances and while I'd trust an online provider I'd try to back up to a second competing online provider or to a physical pc. Google has proven they are a trusted provider. I've read many data recovery post mortems, most of them end up apologizing to a fraction of the affected users f...
by markpa
Mon Jun 11, 2012 5:35 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Help with wife's Health Insurance plan
Replies: 19
Views: 1631

Re: Help with wife's Health Insurance plan

with most employer plans they are not medically underwritten, so I doubt you'd have an issue with a denial for that reason. I am not sure if the provision about currently being insured relates to your wife's coverage not wanting to be secondary or have a 2nd policy in place on the same person, or if...
by markpa
Mon Jun 11, 2012 5:33 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: "Crashplan" for computer backups?
Replies: 55
Views: 5315

Re: "Crashplan" for computer backups?

most online backup providers do not keep all your files, they select only documents, photos, and files smaller than a certain # of megabytes. This is great except you may keep your cherished memories in a nonstandard location. The ones that say unlimited often ban you when you use what they consider...
by markpa
Sun Jun 10, 2012 10:12 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: A rental with 13% return, help me find the catch
Replies: 86
Views: 6855

Re: A rental with 13% return, help me find the catch

mak, great posts. I can relate to so much of it as I bought some rental homes in Nv. Credit checks here aren't worth doing, rental references always check out perfect (they are usually family members who have no idea who the owner on county books if for the house they 'own'). First home, great neigb...
by markpa
Sun Jun 10, 2012 8:58 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: rate of mpg decline above 60 mph ('05 Malibu)
Replies: 19
Views: 2496

Re: rate of mpg decline above 60 mph ('05 Malibu)

interestingly enough I drove an 05 malibu (newer body style, not mailbu classic) 4 cylinder for 10k miles from in '06. I drove across country, 2750 miles in 30.5 hours plus a 3 hour nap. Driving it at top goverened speed (106mph) for more than half the trip. During that time I got only 200 miles per...
by markpa
Sat Jun 09, 2012 3:12 am
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Any fix for botched inherited non-spousal IRA?
Replies: 54
Views: 13947

Re: Any fix for botched inherited non-spousal IRA?

I would keep escalating to Vanguard. Fedex overnight a written letter to an executive level manager. I would write that per the IRS requirements, the correct box was checkmarked for IRS purposes (key point!), the check never touched your hands, and it went directly to the successor firm. However, de...
by markpa
Sat Jun 09, 2012 12:21 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: putting microwave over stove (?!)
Replies: 17
Views: 12693

Re: putting microwave over stove (?!)

when I am cooking on the range, sometimes the microwave vent fan comes on by itself to reduce the heat as a safety.
by markpa
Sat Jun 09, 2012 12:13 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: "normal" electricity usage?
Replies: 57
Views: 10731

Re: "normal" electricity usage?

I have a whole-home energy montior (theenergydetective.com) TED5000 bought via amazon. shows consumption in $ or KW per hour, per day, real time and historical. built in web server. I love it. I found the soda machine at work used 500kwh a month, gone. new tabletop machine uses 24kw per month. 4ft t...
by markpa
Fri Jun 08, 2012 11:50 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Need advice - threatening contractor
Replies: 77
Views: 9312

Re: Need advice - threatening contractor

are you people absolutely crazy? I would not cave in to a threat. I would not pay a penny more for the job. Any contractor that I've EVER used that does an ounce of extra work over and above the WRITTEN contract has a pad of WRITTEN change authorization forms. He can't argue that he did extra work w...
by markpa
Tue Jun 05, 2012 2:47 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Is Liberty Mutual a good company for Auto Insurance?
Replies: 32
Views: 11545

Re: Is Liberty Mutual a good company for Auto Insurance?

I have Liberty Mutual (since 2005) and am absolutely thrilled. With an affinity discount (credit union), and combined discount, adding my home to the auto policy meant only a $150 increase in price. The homeowners from a different company was $900/year. We had a claim (hit and run off the road, othe...
by markpa
Tue May 29, 2012 6:44 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: How did you pick your estate lawyer?
Replies: 12
Views: 1370

Re: How did you pick your estate lawyer?

I recently did the entire probate process for a relative who had been named executor of a will. Cost ~$150 in state filing fees. No attorney representation was needed. We had some work but it was pretty routine after the first transaction. Bank accounts, investments at Fidelity, had a few medical de...
by markpa
Thu May 03, 2012 11:16 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: dryer vent cleaning--your thoughts?
Replies: 26
Views: 4366

Re: dryer vent cleaning--your thoughts?

my vent was almost totally clogged where it exited the side of the house about 15 feet up in the air. The grate/cover basically crumbled when we finally got up to it, and a brick of lint came out with it.

drying time went from 2.5hrs to 40 minutes.
by markpa
Thu May 03, 2012 12:48 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Buying an "investment" condo
Replies: 19
Views: 1890

Re: Buying an "investment" condo

property, especially if you live out of your local area, is quite a risk. ask lots of questions. who rents it, who manages it, what is their current and future fee. is a company going to be in competition with you for rentals? when it needs maintenance such as carpet cleaning, or paint work, will th...
by markpa
Thu Mar 22, 2012 1:05 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Auto insurnace claim for a minor accident?
Replies: 11
Views: 3071

Re: Auto insurnace claim for a minor accident?

if you aren't comfortable putting in a claim with your $500 deductible, it sounds that it's time to raise your deductible to $1000. When I did so I saved an extra $220 a year on my insurance. Since I have claims less than every 2.25 years, it's saving me money PLUS putting me at less risk for having...
by markpa
Sun Mar 11, 2012 9:37 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Tire Warranties
Replies: 55
Views: 6770

Re: Tire Warranties

if you buy from tirerack any dealer who sells that brand has to cover your warranty by allowing you fill out a mfr claim form. they may try to claim road damage instead of early wearout though just start buying at costco, they include road hazard and very good warranty service. you'll have a great e...
by markpa
Mon Mar 05, 2012 11:02 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Anybody figure out the "new mattress" game yet?
Replies: 58
Views: 8761

Re: Anybody figure out the "new mattress" game yet?

Last year I bought a brandnew sealy queen set for $155. Then 2 months later I got a groupon for Mattress Firm for $200 gift certificate for $50. I used it to get a 199.99 queen set, thier 2nd cheapest, during a free tax, free delivery promo. Walked out the door for $0.00 (I didn't ask for the extra ...
by markpa
Thu Mar 01, 2012 12:09 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Las Vegas baby!
Replies: 11
Views: 1867

Re: Las Vegas baby!

vegas homes are 1/4 the price that they were 3-5 years ago, and taxes went down by an equal amount It's amazing that a $160k house only costs $1400 in real estate taxes per year. do the move!! The airport can get you almost anywhere, non stop. Very convenient for visiting friends or having folks vis...
by markpa
Fri Feb 17, 2012 1:25 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Found $100 Bill at Walmart
Replies: 161
Views: 14336

Re: Found $100 Bill at Walmart

Acts of honesty are appreciated, and I've been the recipient more than once: I was out of state last year and I left my wallet containing about $1600 (!) cash, my only id, and all my credit cards at a Costco food court seat. Arriving 50 miles away at my hotel with no way to check in (or fly back hom...
by markpa
Thu Jan 19, 2012 10:43 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Client refusing to pay invoice
Replies: 39
Views: 3375

Re: Client refusing to pay invoice

this is absolutely a standard NDA. you won't use anything that's non public nor will they. The company probably has contracts that require them to be on file for any outside vendor/consultant. If you delay or refuse to send this you are likely jeopardizing their relationship with their paying custom...
by markpa
Wed Dec 14, 2011 1:31 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Owning a used jalopy: Same cost as leasing brand car.
Replies: 132
Views: 8434

Re: Owning a used jalopy: Same cost as leasing brand car.

Leesbro-- nothing down. crazy august 2010 deal in a couple northern virginia and MD dealerships only (something like 5 of the top 9 dealerships are within a 50 mile radius of DC). all other areas wanted $50-100 more per month. not too long after their media hit on the camry brakes failing. even the ...
by markpa
Wed Dec 14, 2011 1:24 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Owning a used jalopy: Same cost as leasing brand car.
Replies: 132
Views: 8434

Re: Owning a used jalopy: Same cost as leasing brand car.

as others have said,sometimes leasing is a good deal, but remember that leasing companies are making money or they wouldn't be offering them. The original poster has a dataset of 1, maintenance costs that included possible big mechanic profits (and potentially substandard repairs if they overlooked ...
by markpa
Wed Dec 14, 2011 1:14 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Really funny and true SNL skit
Replies: 7
Views: 1558

Re: Really funny and true SNL skit

funny in 2007 and still funny now.

they should force anyone applying for a mortage, car loan, etc watch it
by markpa
Wed Dec 14, 2011 1:12 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: help with avoiding a cashier's check scam
Replies: 15
Views: 2833

Re: help with avoiding a cashier's check scam

I realize the check was already cashed, but the proper thing to do would have been spend exactly 44 cents returing it, untouched/unsigned. as others have mentioned there are already buyer options in place,in case it is lost/stolen/never presented. if they mailed it to you orignally it could have bee...
by markpa
Wed Dec 14, 2011 12:45 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: making an enormous mistake at work
Replies: 83
Views: 8866

Re: making an enormous mistake at work

fire her. If ever you are called to task about this issue, you acted as strongly as you could have. you need to be able to demonstrate that you took the breach as seriously as possible. The insurance company may be subject to a lawsuit, or at minimum need to notify certain patients that their data m...
by markpa
Fri Nov 04, 2011 9:48 pm
Forum: Forum Issues and Administration
Topic: https access to bogleheads.org?
Replies: 20
Views: 2971

Re: https access to bogleheads.org?

I'm very surprised that the site doesn't use https for the logins. Surely, it's an option for the new forum software phpbb. I'm concerned that the site admins admit and are aware of the plain text thing, but I don't see anything pointing this out during the sign-up or log-in process. Thus, only tech...
by markpa
Fri Nov 04, 2011 7:25 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Standby Generator
Replies: 96
Views: 14367

Re: Standby Generator

When I looked into these a few years ago, gasoline generators had a useable service measured in hundreds of hours, thus were meant for very occasional use only. Plus unleaded gas goes bad quickly. Diesel generators, on the other hand, were a bit more expensive but rated for more than 50x the service...
by markpa
Thu Nov 03, 2011 11:01 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Home Security System Options?
Replies: 17
Views: 2789

Re: Home Security System Options?

get a system from 2gig. www.2gig.com, available as a '3-1-1 kit' (3 door/windows, 1 motion, 1 keyfob--EASY to install yourself!). buy it from amazon built in cell phone transmitter so no phone line is used. Saving you even more $$. their overpriced (retail) site is www.vivint.com. they get $100-200 ...
by markpa
Thu Oct 13, 2011 8:56 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Cracked windshield -- how to proceed?
Replies: 33
Views: 6574

I was in the same situation recently: Called three local shops (one was Safelite) Quotes were $970.00, $455, and $604.00. All commented on what an expensive, custom windshield my car required. Called the same shops back. In two cases talked to the exact same sales reps. "It turns out I don't ha...
by markpa
Sat Oct 08, 2011 12:06 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: third party property claim
Replies: 2
Views: 648

If this happened almost a year ago, you're behind the curve filing suit against your tenant. I believe that is still the best course of action, and frankly I'm surpried that your insurance company hasn't already started to do so by subrograting their payout to the responsible party. Your partner did...
by markpa
Fri Oct 07, 2011 11:34 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: HSA Advice
Replies: 8
Views: 2097

will they accept the fee with new funds (non HSA/without forcing a sale?)

If so I'd go that route, until a lower cost HSA custodian with investments alloewd shows up.
by markpa
Mon Sep 26, 2011 12:10 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Any stay at home dads?
Replies: 26
Views: 3069

I'm biased as a technology employer, but we skip over hiring anyone who sets up their own company or tells me that they moonlight. I don't want them taking clients on their own and setting up their own company after they've been with my firm for a while. Non compete agreements are great on paper but...
by markpa
Mon Sep 26, 2011 12:01 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Cash appropriate for wedding gift?
Replies: 45
Views: 6570

I setup a $100 bank billpay for a good friend's wedding. On repeat every 3 months for a year. They got a kick out of it and we got 4 thank you cards.

I think all the honeymoon money was spent early on, so I know they appreciated it. Sad that people can't budget their $$ better.
by markpa
Wed Sep 14, 2011 12:56 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Paypal
Replies: 19
Views: 2516

I have purchased a lot of books on eBay, some as low as $4 or so. I pay from my bank account so the seller doesn't incur a fee from the use of a credit card. Getting 4 cents back isn't as important as what I think is fair. I set this up many years ago and never had a problem. I didn't even know you...