Search found 730 matches

by strafe
Fri Feb 09, 2018 6:35 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: iPhone backup for dummies (OneDrive, external hard drive)
Replies: 10
Views: 826

Re: iPhone backup for dummies (OneDrive, external hard drive)

To add to all the confusion, both iPhones are listed using the same Apple ID for Mr. Gatti. With recent updates, the phones are acting crazy (e.g. both ringing when receiving calls). I wanted to get everything backed up before setting up new iPhone under DIFFERENT Apple ID. It’s ok to keep the same...
by strafe
Fri Feb 09, 2018 6:31 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: iPhone backup for dummies (OneDrive, external hard drive)
Replies: 10
Views: 826

Re: iPhone backup for dummies (OneDrive, external hard drive)

This is what I have: - Mr. Gatti iPhone - Mrs. Gatti iPhone - new iPhone (for Mrs. Gatti) - PC - OneDrive 1 TB plan - iCloud plan - external hard drive (WD Passport) This is the issue: I am trying to back up all the photos and videos off our iPhones and would ideally like to have them backed up to ...
by strafe
Fri Feb 09, 2018 6:20 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: sudden overnight problem with spam email
Replies: 20
Views: 1371

Re: sudden overnight problem with spam email

celia wrote:
Fri Feb 09, 2018 5:27 am
If they found their way to your spam folder, what's there to worry about? They will delete themselves periodically.
+1
Why worry about it?
by strafe
Thu Feb 08, 2018 9:44 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Multiiple indicator lights on (car)
Replies: 44
Views: 1610

Re: Multiiple indicator lights on (car)

There’s a reasonable chance all 4 are caused by low battery voltage / bad alternator.
by strafe
Wed Jan 24, 2018 10:30 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Car buy/lease question
Replies: 8
Views: 715

Re: Car buy/lease question

It depends. You need to run the numbers for the specific car. For a 3 year holding period, leasing may be cheaper than buying if the manufacturer subsidizes the depreciation charge (usually by inflating the residual value, a la BMW). Leasing is a purchase and future sale all wrapped up into one tran...
by strafe
Thu Jan 18, 2018 7:33 am
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: $399 - New Course - Fire your Financial Advisor - By WhiteCoat Investor - Anyone?
Replies: 121
Views: 7550

Re: $399 - New Course - Fire your Financial Advisor - By WhiteCoat Investor - Anyone?

HueyLD wrote:
Thu Jan 18, 2018 6:46 am
Why would any Boglehead pay so much money just to be told to fire his/her financial advisor?
Finance nerds / Bogleheads are clearly not the intended market.
by strafe
Thu Jan 18, 2018 7:30 am
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: $399 - New Course - Fire your Financial Advisor - By WhiteCoat Investor - Anyone?
Replies: 121
Views: 7550

Re: $399 - New Course - Fire your Financial Advisor - By WhiteCoat Investor - Anyone?

Here’s a tip on how to fire your financial advisor. Pick up the phone and call Vanguard- tell them you want to move all of your assets to them in-kind. After the assets have been moved, call the financial adviser or drop them an email - You’re FIRED! $399 sounds a bit over the top, but then again I...
by strafe
Mon Jan 08, 2018 6:05 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Car recommendations needed for growing family
Replies: 34
Views: 2099

Re: Car recommendations needed for growing family

We're relocating from a city where we didn't need to have a car, to a suburban place where we need two cars. Since I've lived in major cities all my life and always used public transit, I've never actually owned a car. We're a family of 4 with a toddler and baby. Our parents are also likely to visi...
by strafe
Sun Jan 07, 2018 7:51 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Overpayment on W2. Please help.
Replies: 13
Views: 1068

Re: Overpayment on W2. Please help.

That’s aggravating. Individual income taxes are paid on a cash accounting basis. Unless you returned the overpayment in 2017 (which you didn’t), I don’t think they can adjust your 2017 W2. The amount is large enough that you may be able to claim a tax credit for the loss. I don’t know specifics on t...
by strafe
Sat Jan 06, 2018 7:16 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Car people: 2014 E63 AMG or 2018 E400 wagon??
Replies: 69
Views: 3830

Re: Car people: 2014 E63 AMG or 2018 E400 wagon??

I would under no circumstances buy an AMG car with 1 year warranty remaining. My parents have had 14 Mercedes (a few of them AMGs) and I have had 2 myself. These cars love to break when the warranties run out and the cost to repair is generally punitive. On my father's last SL55 AMG, ~$35k in repai...
by strafe
Sat Jan 06, 2018 7:11 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Car people: 2014 E63 AMG or 2018 E400 wagon??
Replies: 69
Views: 3830

Re: Car people: 2014 E63 AMG or 2018 E400 wagon??

I'd say the primary driver should decide which to buy.

If it were up to me, I'd choose the E63 wagon. Will be much more fun, retain its value, at the expense of running costs. Having owned an E-class previously, I wouldn't worry too much about the warranty.
by strafe
Wed Jan 03, 2018 7:27 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Oil filled space heaters
Replies: 39
Views: 4087

Re: Oil filled space heaters

Looking to buy a space heater to keep temp in living room more comfortable. I am leaning towards an oil filled radiator type heater. I understand they take longer to reach temp / warm up a room. My home has a heat pump that struggles when temps get in the teens, even with stage 2 electric heat. Any...
by strafe
Tue Dec 19, 2017 5:56 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Can I afford it: Dodge Challenger
Replies: 122
Views: 6679

Re: Can I afford it: Dodge Challenger

Go for it. You can afford it if you want to afford it. You’re right to be cautious making a large purchase. Budgeting is an exercise in setting priorities. I think most of the replies telling you ‘no’ reflect others’ personal priorities. For what it’s worth the Challenger has excellent resale value....
by strafe
Tue Dec 05, 2017 6:40 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Prepayment of SALT Taxes? [State and Local]
Replies: 270
Views: 24076

Re: Prepayment of SALT Taxes? [State and Local]

I'm nearly certain that the federal tax treatment of a SALT refund depends on whether those taxes were deducted in the prior year. If you deduct SALT on 2017 tax return, any refund issued in 2018 would be considered an addition to income for 2018 (irrespective of whether you take standard deduction ...
by strafe
Tue Dec 05, 2017 5:48 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: selling an older car on eBay-no bites!
Replies: 65
Views: 4858

Re: selling an older car on eBay-no bites!

Consider listing it for auction at Bring a Trailer.

For a classic car, it’s a better bet than Craigslist.
by strafe
Tue Nov 21, 2017 6:04 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Recommend a daily driver
Replies: 43
Views: 2255

Re: Recommend a daily driver

Agree with others that leasing would be a good bet.

I think the VW GTI is the ultimate inexpensive fun car. Dealers in the DC area (not sure where you are) are selling them under $20k out the door.
by strafe
Mon Nov 20, 2017 6:52 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: HelloFresh meal boxes - disputing credit card charge
Replies: 19
Views: 1769

Re: HelloFresh meal boxes - disputing credit card charge

In a situation where I had unexpectedly been enrolled, and the company said it was too late to cancel and it seemed plausible that the box had really already been shipped, I would probably just cuss, and say, "Oh, well, they charged me but they're sending me food," make sure I had canceled the subs...
by strafe
Sun Nov 19, 2017 10:09 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: service life of (walk behind) lawn mower?
Replies: 45
Views: 3161

Re: service life of (walk behind) lawn mower?

I surmise from this thread and others like it that the secret to lawn mower longetivity is to never change the oil.

I bought a Honda HRX (great mower) this spring and have already changed the oil once or twice. This doesn’t bode well for me.
by strafe
Sun Nov 19, 2017 7:42 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: HelloFresh meal boxes - disputing credit card charge
Replies: 19
Views: 1769

Re: HelloFresh meal boxes - disputing credit card charge

I did the promotional meal box and it was clear to me that I needed to act by a certain date or my service would be continued and my credit card would be charged. I prepared and ate the free meal, decided that I was not interested in the service and canceled ASAP. I got no charge on my credit card ...
by strafe
Sun Nov 19, 2017 5:52 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: HelloFresh meal boxes - disputing credit card charge
Replies: 19
Views: 1769

Re: HelloFresh meal boxes - disputing credit card charge

Thanks. I don't think we've had a chargeback in years. As to the the request for a credit card #, all I can say is that it was not a red flag for my wife. Burying the auto-subscribe in the terms and conditions and their unwillingness to cancel the transaction (even though it will not ship for many m...
by strafe
Sun Nov 19, 2017 5:37 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: HelloFresh meal boxes - disputing credit card charge
Replies: 19
Views: 1769

HelloFresh meal boxes - disputing credit card charge

Based on the information below, would we be successful in a credit card dispute? Here is what happened: HelloFresh sent my wife a promotional code for a free "3-dinner" meal box. It required a credit card # to verify the delivery address. Unbeknownst to us, HelloFresh enrolled her in a recurring mea...
by strafe
Sat Nov 18, 2017 7:20 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Costco Eyeglasses - No satisfaction guarantee. Any chance of resolution?
Replies: 27
Views: 7266

Re: Costco Eyeglasses - No satisfaction guarantee. Any chance of resolution?

I once bought prescription glasses fron Costco and would never do it again or recommend to anyone. The lenses — which they told me were their highest quality — had unacceptable levels of chromatic aberration and distortion. Their $10 3-pack of reading glasses (same prescription) had better optical q...
by strafe
Wed Nov 15, 2017 6:42 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Home voice dictation experience
Replies: 8
Views: 790

Re: Home voice dictation experience

The (free) voice dictation built into Mac OS X works well. I certainly would not buy a third party product without trying it first.
by strafe
Mon Oct 30, 2017 6:57 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: An individual who owes me money wants my routing and account numbers for ACH transfer. Safe?
Replies: 76
Views: 7007

Re: An individual who owes me money wants my routing and account numbers for ACH transfer. Safe?

He emailed to say he sent a "test" $1 transfer, and is asking me to confirm that I see this. So you've already given him the information? Yes, I gave it. And then, :oops: maybe I should have paused. But... Wait I think I misunderstood. You are not confirming test deposits. You are just confirming t...
by strafe
Mon Oct 23, 2017 12:29 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Which minivan?
Replies: 25
Views: 2252

Re: Which minivan?

I would add the Chrysler Pacifica to your short list and remove the Sienna . The Pacifica has been winning most minivan comparison tests, though probably won't be quite as reliable as the Honda. The Sienna is outdated. Of note, there's a steady supply of Pacificas coming in from rental car fleets. ...
by strafe
Sat Oct 14, 2017 5:27 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: anyone else not liking the new cars?
Replies: 135
Views: 11722

Re: anyone else not liking the new cars?

Something like a Genesis G80 might be a good fit for you.
by strafe
Tue Oct 03, 2017 8:21 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Do I replace AC evaporative coil or get a new unit?
Replies: 26
Views: 2034

Re: Do I replace AC evaporative coil or get a new unit?

What is a "unit?" I have no idea what you are asking. Do you have a packaged A/C (common in the south) or a split system? If the latter, are you talking about the furnace/air handler, condenser or both?
by strafe
Fri Aug 25, 2017 4:12 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Can dispute an expensive medical bill
Replies: 39
Views: 3314

Re: Can dispute an expensive medical bill

Expensive?? $281 sounds like a bargain for the services received.
by strafe
Tue Aug 22, 2017 11:21 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Why do we consider cash flow from rentals but not our own homes?
Replies: 89
Views: 6650

Re: Why do we consider cash flow from rentals but not our own homes?

I think your logic is sound.

I see a home (specifically a "nicer" home) as a consumption item to the extent that its cost (or imputed rent) exceeds that of basic housing.
by strafe
Tue Aug 15, 2017 5:51 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Filing Restricted SS Application - Language Check
Replies: 20
Views: 1474

Re: Filing Restricted SS Application - Language Check

The online application itself has the following question: "If eligible for both retirement and spouse's benefits, delay receipt of retirement benefit." If you answer "yes", which my wife did, one is filing a restricted application for spousal benefits. In the remarks section, my wife did make the f...
by strafe
Tue Aug 15, 2017 5:43 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: trailer SUV combination for tyro
Replies: 11
Views: 1355

Re: trailer SUV combination for tyro

I think a used class B is a dicy proposition unless you really know the motor and transmission condition. It is one thing to have a car break down on a trip, but an RV is a big box, even a class B. This. The downside of a motorhome is that a mechanical problem forces you to take your whole home int...
by strafe
Sun Jul 09, 2017 3:36 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: how to destroy hard disk with personal info
Replies: 99
Views: 9251

Re: how to destroy hard disk with personal info

I usually open the drive case (just remove the Torx screws), remove the platters, and use 2 pairs of pliers to fold them into tacos. You could also use a nail punch to perforate the case and destructively mar the platters, without disassembly.
by strafe
Sat Jul 08, 2017 5:17 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Planning for a 25k to 30k windfall
Replies: 14
Views: 1867

Re: Planning for a 25k to 30k windfall

I would definitely not spend most of this money on a car that is more than your current net worth. You've been living without a car; can you continue to do so for now? Otherwise buy the cheapest thing you can find that runs.. Normally good advice, but an E46 M3 is a collectable car that will hold i...
by strafe
Tue Jun 13, 2017 11:46 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Lithium ion yard equipment batteries
Replies: 19
Views: 1695

Re: Lithium ion yard equipment batteries

EGO makes the best consumer-grade battery powered lawn equipment on the market right now. You get what you pay for.
by strafe
Sat Jun 10, 2017 8:54 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: What Do You Pay for an Oil Change?
Replies: 129
Views: 11004

Re: What Do You Pay for an Oil Change?

I spend about $20 to do it myself:
5qt synthetic oil (either M1 or Pennzoil after rebate) - $12
Filter - $8

Time - about 30 min, which is less than I would spend driving to/from a shop and waiting, and I know it's done right
by strafe
Sat Jun 10, 2017 8:42 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: To re-paint car bumper, or wait
Replies: 12
Views: 1256

Re: To re-paint car bumper, or wait

If you consider that minor, I wouldn't bother fixing, at least not professionally.

Put some touch up paint on the areas where the metal is exposed to reduce corrosion risk. Most bumper covers these days are plastic.
by strafe
Wed Jun 07, 2017 5:10 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: EZPass not read, rental car, high fee
Replies: 18
Views: 3415

Re: EZPass not read, rental car, high fee

Right, I can see that registering the tag is the sure fire way to go. Never had to do so in the past, although when I am in my registered vehicle I get, from time to time, "Call EZPass" on the board as I pass through the toll. Never have so I assume they do as suggested above and match the tag to t...
by strafe
Sun Jun 04, 2017 6:10 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Used 2013 Audi A5 or New Honda Accord Sport
Replies: 71
Views: 7074

Re: Used 2013 Audi A5 or New Honda Accord Sport

The way you framed the question is telling. Buy the Honda.
by strafe
Tue May 23, 2017 7:44 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Should I get a dual-action polisher for my working car?
Replies: 18
Views: 1995

Re: Should I get a dual-action polisher for my working car?

Raymond wrote:Autopia.org is the Bogleheads equivalent for car cleaning and detailing.
+1.

Meguiars Online is also a good resource and the advice tends to be more straightforward.
by strafe
Tue May 23, 2017 7:43 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Should I get a dual-action polisher for my working car?
Replies: 18
Views: 1995

Re: Should I get a dual-action polisher for my working car?

I think a polisher would only make it worse. Take a look at all the black cars out there with a finish ruined by a polisher. You'd have better luck by doing a "clay" job on your car, then put on a good coat of wax. The OP is asking about a dual action polisher. Rotary buffers in inexperienced or in...
by strafe
Mon May 22, 2017 5:04 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: 2nd car for long commute
Replies: 15
Views: 2337

Re: 2nd car for long commute

Have you thought about changing out the Fiesta (and possibly the truck) for a Golf GTI or Golf R? More fun, still practical, and more tolerable for long commutes.
by strafe
Mon May 22, 2017 4:12 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Replace timing chain based on miles or years? [ignore]
Replies: 18
Views: 1835

Re: Replace timing chain based on miles or years? [ignore]

As others have pointed out, your chain is probably good for the life of the engine. Some cars do in fact need chain replacement (along with tensioner and guide rails) due to a combination of miles and age causing chain stretch, tensioner failure and/or brittle plastic guides. For example, 70s and 80...
by strafe
Wed Apr 19, 2017 7:54 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Selling classic car via consignment
Replies: 10
Views: 1184

Selling classic car via consignment

Does anyone have experience selling a classic or special interest car via consignment? I'm planning to sell my mid 80s Mercedes SL convertible this spring. The car is in impeccable shape. The prices for these are highly dependent on condition (many of them are junk). A local classic car dealership i...
by strafe
Sun Apr 09, 2017 10:16 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: bought a maintenance plan w/car (vw golf alltrack) - good deal or not?
Replies: 36
Views: 4396

Re: bought a maintenance plan w/car (vw golf alltrack) - good deal or not?

Your Golf has a media element filter located on the top of the engine. So get yourself an oil extractor , do the oil changes yourself and save a ton of money. You don't have to jack the car up, and as long as you wear gloves you won't even get dirty. Looks like your oil filter is $10 , and you can ...
by strafe
Sat Apr 01, 2017 2:10 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Student Loan Forgiveness Program Approval Letters May Be Invalid
Replies: 6
Views: 1131

Re: Student Loan Forgiveness Program Approval Letters May Be Invalid

It's an outrage if their loans are forgiven. If they are, then taxpayers will be out in streets. Considering that the public service loan forgiveness provision is written into the loan promissory note, I'd say it is the borrowers who should be outraged if the government violates the loan agreement....
by strafe
Sat Mar 18, 2017 6:31 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Best Way to Give Our Son a Down Payment
Replies: 18
Views: 2965

Re: Best Way to Give Our Son a Down Payment

If I recall, gift funds need to be seasoned (in your son's possession) for three months, otherwise they may be disqualified. If you mean in the eyes of the bank, then no they don't. They will just require a statement (signed by the buyer and the gifter) that the money is a gift and not a loan (whic...
by strafe
Sat Mar 18, 2017 6:23 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: public service loan forgiveness: expecting it? consider spousal income!
Replies: 18
Views: 2610

Re: public service loan forgiveness: expecting it? consider spousal income!

I think your math may be off The income based repayment plan caps your payment at the amount equal to a 10-year amortization. In other words, the payment stops increasing with income once you cross that threshold. If you are in IBR, you won't be paying the loan off early and you will still benefit f...
by strafe
Tue Feb 28, 2017 7:00 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Best Way to Give Our Son a Down Payment
Replies: 18
Views: 2965

Re: Best Way to Give Our Son a Down Payment

It might be wiser for another reason as well, that being your son's qualifying for a mortgage loan. Those loans are carefully vetted. If the loan officers find he could not qualify without your contribution, it could be denied. In other words, his finances need to be supportive of the anticipated l...
by strafe
Fri Feb 24, 2017 6:13 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: How much are independent contractors really taxed?
Replies: 48
Views: 4561

Re: How much are independent contractors really taxed?

Total taxes are the same when you are an employee, but the full tax amount is hidden from your view because part is paid on your behalf by your employer. Consequently, your salary accounts for only 70-75% of your total compensation as an employee (including other fringe benefits). You can't compare ...
by strafe
Wed Feb 22, 2017 6:25 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Requesting review of my IPS (Doctor)
Replies: 23
Views: 1828

Re: Requesting review of my IPS (Doctor)

KidneyMD wrote:I'm in my first year of a 3-year fellowship and will be entering a subspecialty that pays about $125-150k/yr starting salary.
Unless you plan to take an attending nephrology job at Harvard, you're significantly underestimating your starting pay.