Search found 977 matches

by strafe
Sat May 16, 2020 4:34 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Pay off Tesla as Planned or Keep Cash for Covid Uncertainty?
Replies: 62
Views: 3724

Re: Pay off Tesla as Planned or Keep Cash for Covid Uncertainty?

I would stay liquid. Keep the loan for now. Re-evaluate in January.
by strafe
Thu May 14, 2020 7:03 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Secrets to a great lawn
Replies: 65
Views: 5179

Re: Secrets to a great lawn

I always chuckle when northern lawn care questions pop up every spring. The first secret is that 90% of the job takes place in the FALL . Three things to do starting now: 1. Set your mower deck to the highest setting , about 4". Your lawn will be thicker and greener. A tall, healthy lawn crowds out ...
by strafe
Mon May 04, 2020 9:05 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: No sidewalk ramp or a steep ramp?
Replies: 14
Views: 1098

Re: No sidewalk ramp or a steep ramp?

It looks like there is a driveway with curb cut out 10ft away.
by strafe
Wed Apr 29, 2020 7:06 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Our company just closed our regional office permanently
Replies: 35
Views: 5394

Re: Our company just closed our regional office permanently

Count your blessings that you’re still employed. The bigger the shift toward virtual work, the less likely your concerns will be realized. Plenty of people already work remotely with successful careers. Too early to be catastrophizing. Regarding your last point, I think you’re right. If people are n...
by strafe
Wed Apr 29, 2020 1:15 pm
Forum: Personal Investments
Topic: Best brokerage with robo-like features
Replies: 29
Views: 1244

Re: Best brokerage with robo-like features

Try VT (ironically remove the ‘I’ to add international)
by strafe
Mon Apr 27, 2020 9:38 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Physicians: Ambulatory Surgery Center (ASC) - Setting Up
Replies: 7
Views: 813

Re: Physicians: Ambulatory Surgery Center (ASC) - Setting Up

ASCs are in distress right now as demand for medical care has evaporated. We’re watching the implosion of fee for service health care. It’s far from certain that things will return to “normal” anytime soon. I believe permanent structural changes are coming. ASCs will sell at a deep discount — high p...
by strafe
Wed Apr 15, 2020 5:45 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: IRS Get My Payment up and running
Replies: 369
Views: 24305

Re: IRS Get My Payment up and running

Site is broken when I tried. “Payment status not available” Seems from comments above and on Reddit this is a widespread glitch. No deposit in my account either (have always used DirectPay for taxes owed). I see info in the FAQ about identity verification. It didn’t ask any questions. I have a credi...
by strafe
Thu Apr 09, 2020 9:04 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Estimated taxes and income loss: annualized installment vs. skip 4th quarter
Replies: 4
Views: 302

Estimated taxes and income loss: annualized installment vs. skip 4th quarter

I'm self-employed. My income is fairly constant quarters 1-3. I earn about 50% of my total annual income in 4th quarter. I planned to make safe harbor estimated tax payments based on 2019 taxes owed. Due to the economic collapse, I am uncertain whether I will receive any excess income in Q4. I have ...
by strafe
Sun Apr 05, 2020 5:23 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Medical Billing Issue and Collections
Replies: 9
Views: 843

Re: Medical Billing Issue and Collections

I would go to the doctors office demanding they call off the bill collectors. If no actual bill was received by the patient from the doctor, then doctor has no grounds to to send it to collection agency. If they don't do this, then demand a credit to your account of the difference between the bill ...
by strafe
Sun Apr 05, 2020 6:23 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Medical Billing Issue and Collections
Replies: 9
Views: 843

Re: Medical Billing Issue and Collections

This sounds like a mess, and the medical office is doing a poor job of communication and addressing the concern. My curiosity was piqued by this. It looks like preventive care / annual wellness visits are a regulatory minefield. Makes the complexities of Social Security rules look tame. I don't beli...
by strafe
Fri Mar 27, 2020 11:52 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Lawnmower recommendation (Gas + SP)
Replies: 48
Views: 1558

Re: Lawnmower recommendation (Gas + SP)

I wish someone would come up with website (let’s hypothetically call it “The Wirecutter”) that compares products with hands on tests and gives a recommendation for the best option for most people.
by strafe
Wed Mar 25, 2020 10:00 am
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Betterment users - how is TLH working right now?
Replies: 2
Views: 419

Re: Betterment users - how is TLH working right now?

2 for each slice, I believe.

There must not be many Betterment users on this forum.
by strafe
Tue Mar 24, 2020 4:14 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Betterment users - how is TLH working right now?
Replies: 2
Views: 419

Betterment users - how is TLH working right now?

I've been contemplating using Betterment for some time. How is TLH working right now with the choppy market? I've got to imagine the system is racking up stout tax losses for many people.
by strafe
Tue Mar 03, 2020 9:03 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Sec 199A Qualified Business Income - proration of deductions for retirement and health insurance?
Replies: 0
Views: 216

Sec 199A Qualified Business Income - proration of deductions for retirement and health insurance?

Looking for input from those with expertise in the smoke and mirrors of Sec 199A and QBI. I have always done my own taxes but this will likely be the year I hire a CPA. My question: Are QBI deductions for self-employment health insurance and/or retirement contributions prorated according to the exte...
by strafe
Sun Mar 01, 2020 9:37 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: furnace on the second floor
Replies: 13
Views: 643

Re: furnace on the second floor

It’s forced air from the furnace. It’s moved where it needs to be via the ducts, it’s the residual temperature in the rooms that rises. And what’s your options if you don’t have a basement? I am just thinking that forcing hot air down is a bit of wasted energy. No options. These are re-sale homes a...
by strafe
Wed Feb 26, 2020 8:50 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: The "Stuff" Happens Fund - for when life's not fair
Replies: 10
Views: 1275

Re: The "Stuff" Happens Fund - for when life's not fair

How is this different from an Emergency Fund? For starters, an Emergency Fund is for emergencies. :wink: It differs in 2 ways. 1) Scale-- An emergency fund is there as a safety net for financial catastrophe, the classic example being prolonged unemployment. It is supposed to be left untouched durin...
by strafe
Wed Feb 26, 2020 8:08 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: The "Stuff" Happens Fund - for when life's not fair
Replies: 10
Views: 1275

The "Stuff" Happens Fund - for when life's not fair

We've all had moments where we've felt cheated or wronged. Sometimes over big things. But often over little things. Not always about money. The natural reaction is to get angry and fight. There are hundreds of threads on this forum from people who've felt violated by various transactions. At some po...
by strafe
Sun Feb 23, 2020 8:02 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Beard trimmers - down to stubble
Replies: 12
Views: 1442

Re: Beard trimmers - down to stubble

Not sure I'd classify 5 days of growth as stubble, unless your facial hair grows slowly.

A trimmer with #1 guard (1/8") should maintain a 5-day look. The Wahl Peanut is a good, inexpensive option.
by strafe
Mon Feb 17, 2020 6:39 pm
Forum: Personal Investments
Topic: Bridging to SS with annuity- why not?
Replies: 28
Views: 1928

Re: Bridging to SS with annuity- why not?

The benefit of an annuity is in the insurance / mortality pooling. As a general rule, the more “investment-like” an annuity, the less desirable it is. A 15yr period certain annuity could be replicated with a CD or bond ladder at lower cost.
by strafe
Mon Jan 20, 2020 6:28 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Hybrid/EV fees imposed by states... punitive?
Replies: 13
Views: 1006

Re: Hybrid/EV fees imposed by states... punitive?

Makes sense. The primary purpose of gasoline tax is to cover road maintenance. Wear and tear on roads is driven largely by vehicle weight and miles driven. Historically that could be approximated by fuel consumption. With hybrids and EVs, the assumptions coupling fuel consumption and road maintenanc...
by strafe
Sun Jan 19, 2020 5:55 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Need emergency car repair..what would you do?
Replies: 34
Views: 3469

Re: Need emergency car repair..what would you do?

We're all assuming that you can't put the old belt back on and drive the car in for replacement. A worm belt has a lot more give/stretch than a new one. You may not be able to feel the difference until you try putting it back on. +1 Does this belt run water pump or power steering? Don’t even think ...
by strafe
Wed Jan 01, 2020 7:47 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Safe Harbor - multiple W2 jobs
Replies: 2
Views: 299

Re: Safe Harbor - multiple W2 jobs

Unfortunately I don’t think that’s correct. The FICA overpayment is returned to you as a refundable credit. See the instructions for IRS form 2210 line 3. Only certain credits are counted as a payment for safe harbor purposes. Excess SS withholding isn’t listed as one of them. But maybe others more...
by strafe
Tue Dec 31, 2019 1:31 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Apple iMac 2013? Replace with Fusion? Or all SSD? Security? Questions
Replies: 38
Views: 2806

Re: Apple iMac 2013? Replace with Fusion? Or all SSD? Security? Questions

I would replace the failing HDD with another spinning disk and remake it as a Fusion drive. The cost of a 2TB drive is about $60 these days.
by strafe
Fri Dec 27, 2019 9:06 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Dealership shenanigans
Replies: 25
Views: 3161

Re: Dealership shenanigans

You have a copy of the contract, right? Can you see where the error occurred? Presumably you would be re-signing the original contract with an annotation. If they draw up brand new papers, that would be a red flag. I also agree this should be done by mail. There is no way I would drive from Atlanta ...
by strafe
Mon Dec 23, 2019 8:12 am
Forum: Personal Investments
Topic: Fund Roth or pay off student loans?
Replies: 17
Views: 638

Re: Fund Roth or pay off student loans?

Well the remodel loan is probably going to be anywhere between 5-6% interest, but then later combining that with my first mortgage. Anyways does it sound silly to then borrow at a high rate ? Yes and no. My home is already worth more than my loan. With the remodel it’ll get an added 100k in value. ...
by strafe
Mon Dec 23, 2019 7:24 am
Forum: Personal Investments
Topic: Fund Roth or pay off student loans?
Replies: 17
Views: 638

Re: Fund Roth or pay off student loans?

Recently payed off 2 student loans. $1,800 at 5% and $1,300 at 5.5%. I have a $4,200 student loan left at 4.2% and another one for $2300 at 3.6%. I have the money to pay it off and forget about it. Or should I contribute enough to my 2019 Roth IRA and pay off the loan slowly? I have no credit card ...
by strafe
Tue Nov 26, 2019 5:11 am
Forum: Personal Investments
Topic: Vanguard debited account twice?
Replies: 10
Views: 834

Re: Vanguard debited account twice?

For the sake of simplicity, assume the following in a brokerage account: $20k VMMXX $100k VTSAX I initiated a transaction to transfer the entire $20k of VMMXX to my linked account. It now shows up there. However, a couple days later, now my Vanguard balance shows $80k, broken down as follows: -$20k...
by strafe
Sun Nov 24, 2019 3:27 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Apple Watch 5. 40 mm or 44 mm. Cellular or not.
Replies: 22
Views: 2393

Re: Apple Watch 5. 40 mm or 44 mm. Cellular or not.

Go to a store and try it on.
The larger size is preferable so long as it looks reasonable on the wrist.
by strafe
Sun Nov 17, 2019 8:03 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Tablet for 2 year old for long car trip
Replies: 27
Views: 1582

Re: Tablet for 2 year old for long car trip

One tip: a gallon ziplock and packing tape can make a nice tablet holder on the headrest. And y’all, chill out. Letting a kid watch some content on a road trip is not going to stunt development. If they’re buying a tablet only now, their kid isn’t a vegetable and the TV is not their babysitter. +1 ...
by strafe
Sat Nov 16, 2019 8:01 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: New to K-1 tax filing (partner)- looking for suggestions on references
Replies: 3
Views: 356

Re: New to K-1 tax filing (partner)- looking for suggestions on references

The main differences are: 1) you will need to file quarterly estimated taxes -- unless you can withhold enough with your W-2 job 2) you will need to pay self-employment tax Paying estimate tax gets complicated if income is lumpy throughout the year (bonuses, etc). Learn about the the 110% safe harbo...
by strafe
Fri Nov 08, 2019 11:07 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Car folks! Bottom of depreciation curve right now?
Replies: 20
Views: 3738

Re: Car folks! Bottom of depreciation curve right now?

(Inspired by the "911 Not a Money Pit" thread...) Fellow automotive enthusiasts - What are you seeing hitting the bottom (or near)of the depreciation curves right now that you find cool/interesting/desirable: Two I have my on of my list that are under $10K: Early 2000's Lexus LX470 Mid-2000's Jagua...
by strafe
Fri Nov 08, 2019 10:27 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Seller's agent not letting us use a buyer's agent
Replies: 122
Views: 11399

Re: Seller's agent not letting us use a buyer's agent

I would submit an offer through your agent. The seller’s agent would presumably have an obligation to present your offer to the seller.
by strafe
Fri Nov 08, 2019 10:21 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Was I ripped off at the car dealership?
Replies: 73
Views: 7094

Re: Was I ripped off at the car dealership?

Can’t tell from the details you provided whether it was necessary. A stain on the oil pan by itself wouldn’t be reason to change the gasket. How often (in terms of miles) did you have to add make up oil? How much oil leaking on the ground? Assuming there really was some seepage but no significant le...
by strafe
Thu Nov 07, 2019 2:09 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Wife's car hit in a parking lot - how to deal with various issues?
Replies: 67
Views: 6084

Re: Wife's car hit in a parking lot - how to deal with various issues?

How much did you pay for it when you bought it? About $4,000 dm200 wrote: ↑Mon Nov 04, 2019 3:02 pm The girl was clearly 100% at fault Your opinion. If they decide to file a claim but you don't report it to your insurance company, how will your liability coverage protect you from the damage that yo...
by strafe
Sat Nov 02, 2019 6:25 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: 1st Tax Audit in 22 years!
Replies: 37
Views: 5518

Re: 1st Tax Audit in 22 years!

Just wanted to close the loop on this issue. I used audit defense to send paperwork to IRS. It included original loan docs, HUD-1 statement and a copy of annual interest paid. I also had to fill in a worksheet to calculate the amount of interest I could claim. That amounted to only $108K, instead o...
by strafe
Tue Oct 22, 2019 9:17 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Dodge Grand Caravan 45k Miles and broken transmission, Advice for a Car Noob
Replies: 13
Views: 1234

Re: Dodge Grand Caravan 45k Miles and broken transmission, Advice for a Car Noob

Sorry to hear about the hassle. I’m having trouble following the story. It’s broken, but maybe not broken? It’s under warranty but not under warranty? It’s $2800, or $6000 or $8800 to fix? What is the $30k figure? The cost of buying a new car? ( The 2014 van is worth maybe 8k now and wouldn’t have c...
by strafe
Sun Oct 20, 2019 4:53 am
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Pensions - Why Isn't Time In the Market a Part of the Formula?
Replies: 30
Views: 4193

Re: Pensions - Why Isn't Time In the Market a Part of the Formula?

Cash balance pension address this flaw by using a notional account balance and defined rate of return. The lump-sum option of CalPERS is essentially a cash-balance plan, with a notional balance (the defined employEE contributions plus interest) and a defined rate of return (6%). But it doesn't resu...
by strafe
Sun Oct 20, 2019 4:41 am
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Pensions - Why Isn't Time In the Market a Part of the Formula?
Replies: 30
Views: 4193

Re: Pensions - Why Isn't Time In the Market a Part of the Formula?

OP- You’ve highlighted what I consider to be one of the fundamental problems with traditional defined benefit pensions. It was a feature. If you are an employer, why would you give money away to somebody who’s not working? They’re not crazy. It is crazy. Consider the OP's example. Employee A - Hire...
by strafe
Sat Oct 19, 2019 4:54 am
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Pensions - Why Isn't Time In the Market a Part of the Formula?
Replies: 30
Views: 4193

Re: Pensions - Why Isn't Time In the Market a Part of the Formula?

OP- You’ve highlighted what I consider to be one of the fundamental problems with traditional defined benefit pensions. Cash balance pension address this flaw by using a notional account balance and defined rate of return. Another solution would be to make defined benefit plans portable across emplo...
by strafe
Mon Oct 14, 2019 4:22 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Frustrated with dentist fees
Replies: 82
Views: 6695

Re: Frustrated with dentist fees

I have very good insurance - United Concordia through blue cross federal . My dentist submitted charges to my insurance and the insurance denied part of the payment as they felt part of the services rendered were not necessary . The dentist office wants me to pay the fees about $150 which the insur...
by strafe
Mon Oct 14, 2019 4:13 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Frustrated with dentist fees
Replies: 82
Views: 6695

Re: Frustrated with dentist fees

I have very good insurance - United Concordia through blue cross federal . My dentist submitted charges to my insurance and the insurance denied part of the payment as they felt part of the services rendered were not necessary . The dentist office wants me to pay the fees about $150 which the insur...
by strafe
Mon Oct 14, 2019 5:19 am
Forum: Personal Investments
Topic: Breaking from federal service and going fee basis - retirement options?
Replies: 4
Views: 511

Re: Breaking from federal service and going fee basis - retirement options?

Your eligibility for traditional IRA tax deduction depends in part on whether you are covered by an employer retirement plan (and of course income level) for that calendar year. You may want to separate just prior to Jan 1.
by strafe
Wed Oct 09, 2019 12:31 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Hybrid w/CVT or Non-Hybrid 8 speed
Replies: 23
Views: 1563

Re: Hybrid w/CVT or Non-Hybrid 8 speed

I've heard that hybrid CVTs are a different beast than non-hybrid CVTs. No similarities over than the name but I'm no expert. this is accurate, most hybrids use a single fixed gear ratio transmission with a motor/generator on the input and another on the output, and create different effective gear ...
by strafe
Mon Sep 30, 2019 5:36 am
Forum: Personal Investments
Topic: Bonds vs. paying off mortgage - comparing returns
Replies: 9
Views: 1504

Re: Bonds vs. paying off mortgage - comparing returns

The after tax yield on the CD is less than your mortgage rate (I’m making some assumptions regarding your marginal federal and state tax rate).

The difference is small enough that this isn’t an algebra problem. You need to decide whether you value liquidity or reduced debt.
by strafe
Wed Sep 18, 2019 4:39 am
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Why do long term treasuries diversify an equity/treasury portfolio
Replies: 23
Views: 1965

Re: Why do long term treasuries diversify an equity/treasury portfolio

See this thread for theoretical underpinnings (not specific to leverage): https://www.bogleheads.org/forum/viewtopic.php?t=289049 Short answer is that correlation and magnitude of price swings in long term treasuries better offsets swings in stock prices. This is only true at very high stock allocat...
by strafe
Tue Sep 17, 2019 5:56 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: International Medical emergency story [travel to Canada, no insurance]
Replies: 58
Views: 4429

Re: International Medical emergency story

Sorry to hear that. I think it's important to take a step back and realize this is not a worst case scenario. Worst case scenario would have been that he died or that he did not receive emergency medical care. They resuscitated and stabilized him without payment. Requiring upfront payment from a for...
by strafe
Sun Sep 15, 2019 11:54 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Do you trust Microsoft updating your Windows 7 machine?
Replies: 122
Views: 7177

Re: Do you trust Microsoft updating your Windows 7 machine?

You guys are only on Windows version 10?
I made it all the way up to Windows 98 before I switched to a Mac.
by strafe
Sun Sep 15, 2019 11:45 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Stubborn water spots on car paint - help!
Replies: 12
Views: 744

Re: Stubborn water spots on car paint - help!

ScratchX is not too abrasive to use on the entire car — especially if working by hand. It is a little more abrasive that Meg’s ultimate polish but less abrasive than M105. Head over to the Meguiars Online forums for more advice. Very high quality forum for issues like this. You should not put a seal...
by strafe
Sun Sep 15, 2019 7:33 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Best Dog Car?
Replies: 70
Views: 5074

Re: Best Dog Car?

Outback (4-cyl) or Prius. Both are real dogs.

Here's a complete list, albeit a couple years old.