Search found 654 matches

by jpelder
Wed Nov 20, 2019 3:12 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Vacuum recommendations
Replies: 12
Views: 340

Re: Vacuum recommendations

I've been pretty satisfied with my Shark Rotator upright. https://www.sharkclean.com/exclusive-offer/NV501WBKT/shark-rotator-professional-lift-away-upright-vacuum/ I purchased is less expensively at Target than is listed on the Shark Website. The Target version also came with a hard floor attachment...
by jpelder
Wed Nov 20, 2019 1:29 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Bill Gates' backed Heliogen may revolutionize energy industry
Replies: 56
Views: 4225

Re: Bill Gates' backed Heliogen may revolutionize energy industry

If you want to reduce worldwide energy use more than 50% - and simultaneously raise world-wide living standards to a basic middle class level - then the human population must come down. Worldwide populations can be reduced the fast way - megadeath - or over 200-300 years as societies attain a basic...
by jpelder
Fri Nov 15, 2019 8:21 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: External sreaming device on smart TV
Replies: 16
Views: 762

Re: External sreaming device on smart TV

We got a Samsung smart TV about 5 years ago. Its interface and speed is so poor now compared to the Amazon FireStick that we got a year ago. When we replace the TV, we won't be getting another smart TV
by jpelder
Tue Nov 12, 2019 8:13 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Fruit Fly Problem
Replies: 24
Views: 2442

Re: Fruit Fly Problem

You could run a comparison of vinegar to honey. Flies https://imgs.xkcd.com/comics/flies.png Source:: xkcd There really is an xkcd for everything. I've had a lot of luck with a bit of vinegar (or just old wine) in the bottom of a wine bottle with a funnel stuck in the top. Also bleach your drains a...
by jpelder
Tue Nov 05, 2019 7:51 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: payoff period for viable solar ?
Replies: 17
Views: 894

Re: payoff period for viable solar ?

In MA, net metering is legislated to last 25 years. Afraid my state isn't quite that enlightened; in fact, seems like a miracle we have it at all. Additionally, for me ...being immune to grid outages (requires batteries) That increases the cost and complexity of a solar system signifcantly. I do ha...
by jpelder
Mon Nov 04, 2019 1:20 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Flaunt Your High-Mileage Car
Replies: 544
Views: 72437

Re: Flaunt Your High-Mileage Car

2011 Chevrolet Cruze. Just passed 104,000 miles. Bought it new for cash right out of college (my parents saved for college, I got a scholarship). Looking to replace it with a small crossover in 2-3 years (currently have about $12k saved up for the next car)
by jpelder
Tue Oct 29, 2019 7:33 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Furnace air filters
Replies: 37
Views: 2906

Re: Furnace air filters

Quercus Palustris wrote:
Mon Oct 28, 2019 9:12 am
I like FilterBuy, sold on Amazon. Lots of sizes, MERV values, made in USA. Well built.
I do this, too. Much less expensive than buying the 3M branded ones at local stores. I subscribe, and they arrive at my door when it's time to change them
by jpelder
Thu Oct 24, 2019 11:46 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Spray on mold remover, for vinyl house siding?
Replies: 22
Views: 1595

Re: Spray on mold remover, for vinyl house siding?

This stuff worked great for me: https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B0019 ... UTF8&psc=1

You mix with water and spray it on with a pump sprayer. No rinsing. In a a week or two, the mold/algae is gone.
by jpelder
Tue Oct 22, 2019 1:16 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: car battery change or not? 2 year old battery
Replies: 118
Views: 6371

Re: car battery change or not? 2 year old battery

I am sure this is not true today, but at one time I believe a battery charge was not needed for a car to run just fine. If you had a manual transmission, you could get it started with a push or rolling down an incline. I did that a few times in my 1967 VW Beetle! No battery is needed to run once th...
by jpelder
Fri Oct 18, 2019 10:14 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Fed Workers Prep for Budget Delays
Replies: 18
Views: 2184

Re: Fed Workers Prep for Budget Delays

Isn't this off limits to discuss here? It could get that way quickly. It sounds like you're prepared with emergency funds ready to go. That's probably about all that you can do. It's hard to know what way political winds will turn, and we can't talk about it here (understandably). It also calls int...
by jpelder
Fri Oct 18, 2019 5:08 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Want to buy a new Tesla 3. Best auto loan rates??
Replies: 16
Views: 1561

Re: Want to buy a new Tesla 3. Best auto loan rates??

That sounds like a pretty good rate to me. Some estimates have the 5-year cost of ownership for a Model 3 as similar to a Toyota Camry. The lack of fluid changes and similar maintenance items makes a big difference, as does the low cost of electric "fuel" https://cleantechnica.com/2018/10/07/tesla-m...
by jpelder
Wed Oct 16, 2019 1:22 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: car battery change or not? 2 year old battery
Replies: 118
Views: 6371

Re: car battery change or not? 2 year old battery

My wife got a "change battery soon" test from a national chain oil change place. This was 4 years ago. The battery still works fine. I'll give you the same recommendation I gave her: one day, it won't crank. When that happens, get a jump and go to an auto parts store to buy a new battery. They'll in...
by jpelder
Thu Oct 10, 2019 10:57 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Anyone want to share their monthly budget? Here's ours
Replies: 153
Views: 32174

Re: Anyone want to share their monthly budget? Here's ours

We just had our budget re-do meeting a few days ago, now that DW's new paycheck has settled. I'm anal-retentive, and we both have natural overspender tendencies, so we track spending pretty closely. Both of us are teachers, and the paycheck numbers are take-home (so insurance, pension, and FSA are a...
by jpelder
Thu Oct 10, 2019 9:39 am
Forum: Personal Investments
Topic: New to investing and Bogleheads
Replies: 8
Views: 688

Re: New to investing and Bogleheads

I agree with goblue100. You do seem like a good fit for a Target-Date Fund I agree that y'all should be contributing the maximum amount to each 401k. The two of you should be saving at least $30,000, and probably more like $50,000 per year toward retirement. To the OP: could you post the funds avail...
by jpelder
Wed Oct 09, 2019 11:14 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Receipt and document scanning app for Android
Replies: 7
Views: 494

Re: Receipt and document scanning app for Android

The two that I know of are Microsoft Office Lens and Google Drive. For Google Drive, you'd have to open the appropriate folder before scanning, and I don't think Office Lens supports automatic categorization, but both apps take good scans. They're also free and created by reputable companies, which ...
by jpelder
Thu Oct 03, 2019 7:25 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Wedding Finances-Today
Replies: 107
Views: 8455

Re: Wedding Finances-Today

I'm just outside your timeframe (5th anniversary was back in August), but I'll butt in anyway :twisted: We got married on family property, so the venue was free, but we did have to rent tents, tables, and restrooms, so it came out about the same in the end. My FIL wrote us a check for the amount he ...
by jpelder
Tue Oct 01, 2019 11:46 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Dishwashers
Replies: 24
Views: 1665

Re: Dishwashers

It really depends on the dishwasher and the detergent. I've found that the name brand detergents do actually clean better than store brands. But the pressure from the sprayers and a clear path for the spray are more important determinants. A low-quality dishwasher is pretty much just a sanitizer, wh...
by jpelder
Tue Oct 01, 2019 9:10 am
Forum: Personal Investments
Topic: Edward Jones investment choices, how to find
Replies: 18
Views: 1462

Re: Edward Jones investment choices, how to find

I don't think EJ allows clients to directly choose anything. Her con, err, salesman may have some fact sheets available to read through
by jpelder
Mon Sep 30, 2019 1:06 pm
Forum: Personal Investments
Topic: 1 year checkup since getting my first job (age 24)
Replies: 9
Views: 1282

Re: 1 year checkup since getting my first job (age 24)

This is not a comprehensive recommendation, but one particular piece: A good amount of Roth would be beneficial for you, since you have the pension. What percentage of your income at the time of retirement is your pension? The larger a percentage of your final salary that is replaced by pension, the...
by jpelder
Wed Sep 25, 2019 8:19 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Teaching as a second career with no prior formal training in teaching
Replies: 24
Views: 1568

Re: Teaching as a second career with no prior formal training in teaching

Alternatively-certified High School Teacher here... As others have said, certification options vary by state. I also agree with the suggestion to go observe in classes before making the plunge. Community colleges don't require teaching certification, but it's a low-paying job unless you get a full-t...
by jpelder
Tue Sep 24, 2019 7:13 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Critical Update for Windows 7, 8, and 10
Replies: 9
Views: 906

Re: Critical Update for Windows 7, 8, and 10

Never use Internet Explorer. Ever. For anything. At all. Just no.
by jpelder
Mon Sep 23, 2019 7:37 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Suburbs or more expensive home closer to city center to maximize job opportunities (Nashville/Charlotte)
Replies: 13
Views: 1628

Re: Suburbs or more expensive home closer to city center to maximize job opportunities (Nashville/Charlotte)

Hi there, Charlotte-area resident here. Your housing costs will vary based on where you want to live, of course. If you have "banker salary" (Charlotte is a banking town), that is, household income in the $100k-$150k range, there are lots of housing options within a 10-minute commute of Uptown (that...
by jpelder
Wed Sep 18, 2019 2:06 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: [What TV Show Have You Recently Watched?]
Replies: 1564
Views: 167653

Re: [What TV Show Have You Recently Watched?]

"The Righteous Gemstones". I think there has been 5 episodes so far. Hilarious; and having lived for 5yrs where "mega churches" are the thing, far too realistic. I just started watching it last week. Only two episodes in so far (not much time for TV right now), but I'm loving it. Great casting and ...
by jpelder
Wed Sep 18, 2019 12:19 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: How to contribute HSA with carry over of FSA?
Replies: 4
Views: 297

Re: How to contribute HSA with carry over of FSA?

As far as I'm aware, the rollover shouldn't affect eligibility for the HSA next year. Maybe find some way to spend it just in case (For instance, I wear glasses and contacts, so I can always drop a few hundred on eyewear)
by jpelder
Sat Sep 14, 2019 9:34 am
Forum: Personal Investments
Topic: 401K-What funds should I pick
Replies: 21
Views: 1431

Re: 401K-What funds should I pick

Thanks for the feedback.I'm really surprise by the target feedback.Most if not all target funds are VTSM,VTI,VTBM,VTIB the fees are higher and returns lower. Yes I am chasing long term performance. Performance alone is not a good indicator of appropriateness. The stock funds will perform better tha...
by jpelder
Sat Sep 14, 2019 9:26 am
Forum: Personal Investments
Topic: 401K-What funds should I pick
Replies: 21
Views: 1431

Re: 401K-What funds should I pick

I'll agree with the other responders, also. The Vanguard Institutional Target-Date funds are a great "set and forget" option, at about the lowest cost possible (0.09%, if your cost inside the 401k is the same as what's listed on Vanguard's website). This would be my first choice in your situation. T...
by jpelder
Fri Sep 13, 2019 10:41 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Whistleblowing / Going Rogue at Work
Replies: 122
Views: 6463

Re: Whistleblowing / Going Rogue at Work

If you're willing to leave, possibly involuntarily, you can take the meeting. I basically see two possibilities of outcome: One, the new President wants to root out the problems, and wants to pick your brain about what you've seen. Two, he's not willing to make the changes, and wants to get rid of a...
by jpelder
Wed Sep 11, 2019 2:23 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: How old is your cellphone?
Replies: 168
Views: 9586

Re: How old is your cellphone?

I've got a Google Pixel 3a that I just bought two months ago in July, but I had kept my Pixel 1 for two and a half years before that. I only got rid of the old one because the battery had lost the ability to hold much charge (it would be dead within 1.5 hours of use, or 5 hours of non-use. I would r...
by jpelder
Wed Sep 11, 2019 6:51 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Minimizing hard credit pulls when getting mortgage preapproval
Replies: 14
Views: 939

Re: Minimizing hard credit pulls when getting mortgage preapproval

If my partner and I are interested in being ready to buy if we find the right house for the right price, but also are willing to wait up to 3 years before pulling the trigger so we can find the right place for us, are there any ways to be preapproved for a mortgage without totally destroying our cr...
by jpelder
Tue Sep 10, 2019 9:04 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Long term storage of clothes
Replies: 21
Views: 1601

Re: Long term storage of clothes

The air circulation is probably helpful for preventing mold if humid air is trapped in the box. I haven't had any issues with this having stored clothes in the plastic "under-bed" bins. But I tend to go into the bins a few times per year to add or remove things.
by jpelder
Tue Aug 27, 2019 1:42 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: MBS (Mortgage rates) not Rallying with Treasuries
Replies: 9
Views: 1026

Re: MBS (Mortgage rates) not Rallying with Treasuries

My totally anecdotal experience suggests that consumer rates follow the Fed closely when it benefits the bank, and they lag significantly when it doesn't. I.E: When fed rates fall, deposit rates follow quickly, while loan rates do not, and the opposite is true when fed rates increase
by jpelder
Fri Aug 23, 2019 2:08 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Lawn chemicals - any experts here?
Replies: 37
Views: 2260

Re: Lawn chemicals - any experts here?

On principle, I try not to use too many treatments on my lawn at all (I'm not chemophobic, I just hate lawns!). Glyphosate is pretty safe for animals of all sorts. It targets an enzyme in plants that isn't found in humans. Theoretically, you could drink the stuff (I will refrain from trying it, thou...
by jpelder
Fri Aug 23, 2019 7:12 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Should I skip scheduled car maintenance?
Replies: 26
Views: 1976

Re: Should I skip scheduled car maintenance?

You should rotate the tires every 6k-8k miles, but otherwise, just follow the intervals in the owner's manual. You probably have an oil life monitoring system, so trust it for when to change oil. Also remember to change the brake fluid every 3 years or so (My owner's manual doesn't mention this, but...
by jpelder
Sat Aug 10, 2019 8:53 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Pretty much broke --- what would you advise?
Replies: 85
Views: 9966

Re: Pretty much broke --- what would you advise?

She was an administrative assistant. These are CSR jobs now with admin tacked on wherever they need someone to pick up the slack. Let her know that. It could help her search. If she doesn't already do so, she could check state, local, federal government job sites. I know my county seems to always h...
by jpelder
Fri Aug 02, 2019 8:56 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Can I open an HSA if my employer doesn’t offer one?
Replies: 14
Views: 889

Re: Can I open an HSA if my employer doesn’t offer one?

As others have said, yes, you can use any HSA provider. If you plan on using the HSA funds as you go, rather than as an extra retirement account for investing, check with local Banks and credit unions. My credit union has an HSA with a 2.5% APR, which is great for an FDIC insured account
by jpelder
Wed Jul 31, 2019 8:43 am
Forum: Personal Investments
Topic: New York City Teachers’ Retirement System TDA - Put it all in the 7% Fixed Return Fund?
Replies: 45
Views: 3859

Re: New York City Teachers’ Retirement System TDA - Put it all in the 7% Fixed Return Fund?

wubdemil wrote:
Tue Jul 30, 2019 9:37 am
Are there similar benefits in the other 49 state + DC? This sounds like a great deal!!
Not here in NC. If you cash out your pension (if you leave service before being able to annuitize), they pay a guaranteed 4% on your contributions. The stable value funds in our 403b options pay 2-3%
by jpelder
Wed Jul 31, 2019 8:37 am
Forum: Personal Investments
Topic: Father investing with Edward Jones
Replies: 43
Views: 4728

Re: Father investing with Edward Jones

If he's afraid of handling the money himself I think Vanguard PAS would be an excellent fit. You'd go from ~2% total fees to less than 0.4%. If he's a little comfortable with DIY I'd see about dumping everything into a Vanguard LifeStrategy fund. Col. Potter bought mutual funds in an episode, I won...
by jpelder
Sat Jun 08, 2019 10:49 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Lodging and restaurants in Boone, NC.
Replies: 21
Views: 1581

Re: Lodging and restaurants in Boone, NC.

I was just in Boone and Blowing Rock this winter. Great towns. In Boone, Proper is a great restaurant. Fancified Southern food. Check around on Yelp to see other recommendations. I second the recommendation for seeing Blowing Rock, too. The Blowing Rock Ale House has great food (and, of course beer)...
by jpelder
Sat Jun 08, 2019 8:42 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Sports classes in Universities
Replies: 60
Views: 3940

Re: Sports classes in Universities

I took a Pilates class in college (University of Alabama 2007-2011) for a 1-hour graded credit. The kinesiology department offered similar classes in almost any sport you can think of. All were electives
by jpelder
Fri Jun 07, 2019 7:23 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Attn: teachers....Daughter considering 80% teaching position. Good idea?
Replies: 64
Views: 5329

Re: Attn: teachers....Daughter considering 80% teaching position. Good idea?

I agree with everybody: she should take it. A position at a good school with a good admin is more precious than gold. And science teachers are always in demand (especially if she can teach more than just Biology), so she can apply elsewhere with a good chance of hire if 80% doesn't turn into 100%
by jpelder
Mon Jun 03, 2019 11:18 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Solar - when replacing roof?
Replies: 45
Views: 3413

Re: Solar - when replacing roof?

There are some websites (EnergySage is one that doesn't ask for email or phone number in the first step) that will give you a very general estimate of your house's solar potential (satellite photos to judge roof space, angle, and openness, plus electricity usage information). An actual solar install...
by jpelder
Fri May 31, 2019 10:14 am
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Feedback on 403b meeting with school board member
Replies: 27
Views: 1564

Re: Feedback on 403b meeting with school board member

Let us know how it goes. My school district recently revoked access to our phenomenal state 403b plan (run by TIAA for very low cost), leaving us only a couple of insurance companies with high-fee variable annuities. I doubt I have enough clout to change anything, but you never know...
by jpelder
Tue May 28, 2019 7:16 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Teaching jobs
Replies: 79
Views: 5084

Re: Teaching jobs

High School Science Teacher here. It's always hard for a new teacher to get hired. Here in my district (Charlotte-Mecklenburg Schools), we're still in the "transfer period", where current district employees are applying for jobs at other schools in the district. While applications are open for outsi...
by jpelder
Fri May 24, 2019 7:41 am
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Is the housing market starting to collapse?
Replies: 122
Views: 13359

Re: Is the housing market starting to collapse?

I know that a lot of people who had been considering buying took the plunge last spring/summer after the Fed started raising interest rates (and mortgage rates started rising, too). I'm one of those people. I locked in my 4% on a 30-year fixed, knowing that I wasn't likely to see rates that low for...
by jpelder
Thu May 23, 2019 1:45 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Google Tool for coordinating vacation dates between friends?
Replies: 16
Views: 1342

Re: Google Tool for coordinating vacation dates between friends?

PollEverywhere has some ranked-choice polling options if you can choose a list. Maybe have everyone send their nominations. A conference call would honestly be my preference for deciding the location, since everyone can pitch their ideas and people can come to win-win compromises. Someone suggested ...
by jpelder
Thu May 23, 2019 1:40 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Is the housing market starting to collapse?
Replies: 122
Views: 13359

Re: Is the housing market starting to collapse?

I know that a lot of people who had been considering buying took the plunge last spring/summer after the Fed started raising interest rates (and mortgage rates started rising, too). I'm one of those people. I locked in my 4% on a 30-year fixed, knowing that I wasn't likely to see rates that low for ...
by jpelder
Tue May 21, 2019 11:37 am
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: "A Set-It-and-Forget-It Target-Date Series From Vanguard"
Replies: 120
Views: 14496

Re: "A Set-It-and-Forget-It Target-Date Series From Vanguard"

Bogleheads: I am an advocate for the expertly designed Vanguard Target Funds for investors who have all their investments in tax-advantaged accounts (IRAs, 401s, etc.). Morningstar, is currently featuring this article about Vanguard Target Funds: https://www.morningstar.com/videos/929967/a-setitand...
by jpelder
Sat May 04, 2019 9:28 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: College/life prep for young kids
Replies: 79
Views: 6915

Re: College/life prep for young kids

Hi! High school teacher here At those ages, just nurturing a love of reading, learning, and trying new things is about all you need to do. You could always ask them what they want to be when they grow up, but there's no need for any specific preparation (they'll likely change their minds!). Limiting...
by jpelder
Fri Apr 26, 2019 9:29 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: New Washer - Frontload or HE Top Load
Replies: 77
Views: 10938

Re: New Washer - Frontload or HE Top Load

I've been very happy with my LG Front-Loader. No experience with Samsung's version. Ours has a hard gasket with few corners to reduce the mold issues, and it has a magnetic button that allows the door to be propped open about an inch so that it can dry between loads (this might be a deal-breaker if ...
by jpelder
Fri Apr 26, 2019 8:01 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: So few ASHI Home Inspectors in my area...
Replies: 10
Views: 717

Re: So few ASHI Home Inspectors in my area...

Thank you so much for sharing your experience with regards to your father! I am trying to interview all ASHI certified inspectors within a 50 mile radius. I noticed that one of them is also a professional engineer. Do you think this would, in any way, make him a better home inspector? Also, he list...