Search found 692 matches

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: 1085

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: 1085

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 inexperie...
by strafe
Mon May 22, 2017 5:04 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: 2nd car for long commute
Replies: 15
Views: 1668

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: 1200

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: 941

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: 31
Views: 2372

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: 980

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: 2604

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: 2022

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: 2604

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: 44
Views: 3093

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: 1563

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.
by strafe
Mon Feb 20, 2017 7:35 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Costco: 6 quarts of Mobil 1 $27.99, normally $37.99
Replies: 51
Views: 5206

Re: Costco: 6 quarts of Mobil 1 $27.99, normally $37.99

Pennzoil currently has a rebate of two dollars per quart good for the entire year. After rebate, a 5 quart jug of Pennzoil Platinum (comparable to Mobil1) costs about $12-$14.
by strafe
Sun Feb 19, 2017 3:31 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Any Chromebook experts?
Replies: 21
Views: 2799

Re: Any Chromebook experts?

From the many excellent replies, I see I didn't phrase my OP correctly. I have a new Acer14 that appears to let me watch Amazon Prime immediately. I was trying to download from the downloadable list where I'm having an issue. It refers to compatibble devices and Acer is not listed. Going on a 7 hr ...
by strafe
Sun Feb 19, 2017 8:12 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Any Chromebook experts?
Replies: 21
Views: 2799

Re: Any Chromebook experts?

Recently purchased a chromebook but have been unable to watch Amazon Prime. My research seems to tell me they are not compatible. Can I download movies from any other sources? We frequently watch Amazon Prime video on our Chromebook. The issue must be your particular hardware or configuration, not ...
by strafe
Mon Feb 13, 2017 6:48 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Windshield repair gone wrong....
Replies: 19
Views: 2352

Re: Windshield repair gone wrong....

Would replace
by strafe
Mon Feb 13, 2017 6:03 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: New cars with turbo-4 engines -- good idea to buy?
Replies: 36
Views: 2409

Re: New cars with turbo-4 engines -- good idea to buy?

Plenty of manufacturers have been making turbos for a long time and have most of the kinks ironed out. Turbos add cost and complexity over a NA motor, but I wouldn't be worried about a turbo engine from an otherwise reliable manufacturer. The sad thing is that turbos do not give you better fuel mile...
by strafe
Sun Feb 12, 2017 12:32 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: I Came Away Impressed with Social Security Enrollment Process
Replies: 21
Views: 2604

Re: I Came Away Impressed with Social Security Enrollment Process

Does anybody have experience with how easy it was to apply for Restricted Application for Spousal Benefits only? My father filed an restricted application for spousal benefits last year. They screwed it up completely. It was processed as a full application, despite clear instructions. In contrast t...
by strafe
Sat Feb 04, 2017 9:22 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Car wash best practices in cold climates?
Replies: 37
Views: 3272

Re: Car wash best practices in cold climates?

This is the wrong forum for car care advice! A significant contingent thinks rain cleans their cars rather than being the source of dirt. (Maybe true in the desert)

Check out Autopia or Meguiars Online.
by strafe
Sat Feb 04, 2017 8:40 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Car wash best practices in cold climates?
Replies: 37
Views: 3272

Re: Car wash best practices in cold climates?

In my experience touchless washes are harder on the paint because they use hyper-aggressive chemicals to clean. Over time touchless washes discolor plastic trim, and as I learned the hard way on an older car with single stage paint, oxidizes the finish. And the car still isn't clean... Look for a &q...
by strafe
Fri Jan 27, 2017 6:41 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Are two in one Washer/Dryer combos a thing?
Replies: 17
Views: 2288

Re: Are two in one Washer/Dryer combos a thing?

I used a combo washer/dryer a few times during an airBnB stay. It was the cold water condensing type, and it was TERRIBLE -- not much better than a clothesline. You'd be much better off with a stackable unit that has a real dryer.
by strafe
Sun Jan 22, 2017 1:02 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: LendKey student loan refinance nightmare! help!
Replies: 6
Views: 864

Re: LendKey student loan refinance nightmare! help!

All, thanks for your advice. Too often the resolution to posts like these goes unmentioned. I thought I should post a final update. The funds were indeed sent to the wrong place. After making no progress working with LendKey customer service, I contacted the director of student loans at my alma mat...
by strafe
Sun Jan 22, 2017 12:52 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: LendKey Student Loan Refinance Review – Bad Experience
Replies: 0
Views: 286

LendKey Student Loan Refinance Review – Bad Experience

Having gone through the student loan refinance process, I discovered that many refi company “reviews” are nothing more than thinly veiled advertisements by paid affiliates. I thought I would share my personal experience refinancing my private educational loan with LendKey. LendKey (also known as CU ...
by strafe
Sat Jan 21, 2017 2:32 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Help with car buying decision
Replies: 5
Views: 516

Re: Help with car buying decision

It's almost always a better deal to keep driving (and repairing) and older car than getting a new one. Factoring in the tax deduction, my guess is that you'd come out ahead keeping your old Toyota (an inexpensive, fully depreciated vehicle) and deducting the standard mileage rate. You'd have to run ...
by strafe
Sat Jan 21, 2017 11:24 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Medical Charges vs Contract Price - Non Covered Work
Replies: 83
Views: 3767

Re: Medical Charges vs Contract Price - Non Covered Work

Your assumption that the pediatric group accepted a $150 contract rate is almost certainly incorrect. You have an insurance plan that doesn't cover many common physician services. The allowable charge your insurer shows on the EOB has no meaning. It's made up by the insurer. (And I would bet in- vs...
by strafe
Sat Jan 21, 2017 9:55 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Medical Charges vs Contract Price - Non Covered Work
Replies: 83
Views: 3767

Re: Medical Charges vs Contract Price - Non Covered Work

My insurance sent me an explanation of benefits that the contract reprice amount is $150. Difference of $400 or basically 1/4 of the billed price. This $150 is what the contracted out price is that is the maximum that this group would have received for the maximum 15 minutes in the room in the thre...
by strafe
Sat Jan 21, 2017 8:56 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Medical Charges vs Contract Price - Non Covered Work
Replies: 83
Views: 3767

Re: Medical Charges vs Contract Price - Non Covered Work

This isn't a way for the insurance co to pressure docs to join. It's a way for hospitals and doctors to collude and avoid negotiated rates for care. These are the same drive-by docs who you never see but are always used in operating rooms, and are never in network. More on this here: http://www.npr...
by strafe
Sat Jan 21, 2017 8:01 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Medical Charges vs Contract Price - Non Covered Work
Replies: 83
Views: 3767

Re: Medical Charges vs Contract Price - Non Covered Work

Strafe, the smalls claims action would be against the provider, not the insurance company. It would only require a filing fee to initiate. Provider would probable use attorney . It would be a nuisance for them to defend. I agree with you that it would probably be unsuccessful. Sorry, I guess I misu...
by strafe
Fri Jan 20, 2017 9:25 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Medical Charges vs Contract Price - Non Covered Work
Replies: 83
Views: 3767

Re: Medical Charges vs Contract Price - Non Covered Work

This isn't a way for the insurance co to pressure docs to join. It's a way for hospitals and doctors to collude and avoid negotiated rates for care. These are the same drive-by docs who you never see but are always used in operating rooms, and are never in network. More on this here: http://www.npr...
by strafe
Fri Jan 20, 2017 9:21 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Medical Charges vs Contract Price - Non Covered Work
Replies: 83
Views: 3767

Re: Medical Charges vs Contract Price - Non Covered Work

You sound stirred up and I don't blame you. Given the scenario you outlined you could pay the $550 and file a small claims court action for $400. You would most likely lose, but it is a way for David to poke the Goliath. My guess is that the insurance benefit summary spells out that this service is...
by strafe
Tue Jan 10, 2017 5:00 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Quarterly taxes with W2 and K1 income
Replies: 12
Views: 566

Re: Quarterly taxes with W2 and K1 income

it might be beneficial for you to do just the opposite -- withhold as much as possible from your W2 income, and eliminate or minimize your quarterly estimated tax payments. Your total annual W2 withholding is treated by the IRS as if it were paid evenly throughout the year, which can eliminate penal...
by strafe
Sun Jan 08, 2017 3:41 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Best Ways to Buy Time
Replies: 68
Views: 7674

Re: Best Ways to Buy Time

-Lawn service -house cleaning service -Mobile car wash/auto detailer -Weekly premade "family dinner" take out from local deli/restaurant -grocery store online order +/- delivery -autopay for all bills -Trunk Club (or similar) for clothes -TSA Precheck -electric car (less maintenance, no ti...
by strafe
Sat Dec 31, 2016 7:31 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Auto loan through PenFed. They require a VIN number?
Replies: 34
Views: 4687

Re: Auto loan through PenFed. They require a VIN number?

Look into Lightstream. After approval, they transfer the proceeds to your bank account. They don't make you pick out the car before you get the loan or hassle you about other details. so they give you a loan on a non-existent vehicle with absolutely no collateral, a vehicle that may or may not have...
by strafe
Sat Dec 31, 2016 7:26 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Joint accounts and monthly budgeting
Replies: 6
Views: 929

Re: Joint accounts and monthly budgeting

I had some difficulty identifying your specific question. You stated at the beginning this was about the mechanics of combining finances with a spendthrift individual who is not your spouse. However, the bulk of your post concerns where to.park medium-term savings and how to earmark for various purp...
by strafe
Sat Dec 24, 2016 7:13 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Umbrella Policy - do we still need it?
Replies: 36
Views: 4263

Re: Umbrella Policy - do we still need it?

- I remarried last year, and we use different agents with We're currently evaluating combining our auto policies, but it would require a higher coverage level on my husband's cars to meet the umbrella policy requirements . So both our auto and umbrella policy premiums would go up. I don't have the ...
by strafe
Fri Dec 23, 2016 6:38 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Auto loan through PenFed. They require a VIN number?
Replies: 34
Views: 4687

Re: Auto loan through PenFed. They require a VIN number?

Look into Lightstream. After approval, they transfer the proceeds to your bank account. They don't make you pick out the car before you get the loan or hassle you about other details. Wait, can I also pay cash for the car in full and then deposit the auto loan check into my bank account? Or will th...
by strafe
Fri Dec 23, 2016 6:34 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Auto loan through PenFed. They require a VIN number?
Replies: 34
Views: 4687

Re: Auto loan through PenFed. They require a VIN number?

New car buyer and first time getting an auto loan. I was approved for an auto loan but they told me I have to put the exact VIN number on the loan application before they will mail me a check . Do I just tell the dealership I will send them a check a couple days later after I buy the car at the dea...
by strafe
Fri Dec 23, 2016 4:02 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Auto loan through PenFed. They require a VIN number?
Replies: 34
Views: 4687

Re: Auto loan through PenFed. They require a VIN number?

Look into Lightstream. After approval, they transfer the proceeds to your bank account. They don't make you pick out the car before you get the loan or hassle you about other details.
by strafe
Sun Dec 18, 2016 7:49 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Grocery cart rolls into side of car, dent, scratched
Replies: 92
Views: 7081

Re: Grccery cart rolls into side of car, dent, scratched

I'm so sorry to hear that. What a terrible thing to happen, especially right around Christmas. I doubt that the grocery store would be much help, and it's unlikely you'll track down the scumbag that did this. I would take the car to a reputable body shop for an estimate (call high end auto dealers i...
by strafe
Fri Dec 16, 2016 7:57 am
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Good News For Bonds!
Replies: 98
Views: 12065

Re: Good News For Bonds!

As I understand it, if you hold your bond fund longer than the fund's duration, you should actually start to see a benefit from the higher rates . I have seen this statement many times, what does it actually mean? Does it mean, after the holding period = the duration, (1) your total loss is offset ...
by strafe
Thu Dec 15, 2016 9:02 am
Forum: Forum Issues and Administration
Topic: What happens when you speak in TICKER language.
Replies: 44
Views: 7915

Re: What happens when you speak in TICKER language.

Poster mas solved this problem years ago. Readers who don't want to memorize tickers can install the Greasemonkey or Tampermonkey extension in their browser and then install the userscript that mas wrote. Mouse over the ticker symbol in a post to see a tool-tip with the fund name. If the admins wer...
by strafe
Mon Dec 12, 2016 6:39 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Taking on a 5/5 ARM in this environment?
Replies: 27
Views: 2464

Re: Taking on a 5/5 ARM in this environment?

Fixed rate mortgages are an anomaly. In most locales outside the U.S., mortgage rates are adjustable. You should think of a fixed rate mortgage as an insurance policy that hedges against rising rates. As with any insurance product or warranty, the "expected value" favors the bank, not you....
by strafe
Sun Dec 11, 2016 10:33 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: New Tires for Saab 9.3 Sedan
Replies: 16
Views: 1274

Re: New Tires for Saab 9.3 Sedan

I recommend the Michelin. Make sure you get the Pilot Sport A/S 3+ (not the A/S 3 without the '+'). It is a fabulous tire.

You need all seasons if you are going to drive in cold weather (below 40), not just snow. You can't safely drive summer tires year round in St. Louis.
by strafe
Sun Nov 20, 2016 12:53 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Choosing a bond fund based on personal income, salary.
Replies: 5
Views: 863

Re: Choosing a bond fund based on personal income, salary.

in general, no matter what your income, you should try to put all your bond funds in tax deferred vehicles -- for example, in your 401k, 403b, or IRA. if you need to hold additional bonds in a taxable account, then the choice between a tax-exempt and taxable bonds boils down to the equivalent rate. ...
by strafe
Sun Nov 20, 2016 7:49 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Anyone Have Experience With Filing Complaint With FDA?
Replies: 22
Views: 2991

Re: Anyone Have Experience With Filing Complaint With FDA?

For what it's worth, levothyroxine (LT4) is one of the few drugs where at least some evidence exists for differences in bioequivalence / therapeutic equivalence between manufacturers. To be clear, one manufacturer's product is not inherently better or worse than another, but the dosage may need to b...
by strafe
Fri Nov 18, 2016 7:15 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Honda Cars
Replies: 96
Views: 9812

Re: Honda Cars

The Accord is a perennial favorite in the Car and Driver 10Best list. This year the Accord received favorable reviews compared to the Mercedes E-class, which costs twice as much. Go for it.

* 2017 10Best list
* Accord review
by strafe
Sun Nov 06, 2016 10:28 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Considering a 10% down vs. doctor's mortgage
Replies: 24
Views: 2687

Re: Considering a 10% down vs. doctor's mortgage

"Doctor's mortgage" does 2 things for you: 1. It generally provides more favorable treatment of student loan payments in calculating debt to income ratios. 2. It waives PMI for loan to value ratios above 80%. My experience from a few years ago was that rates and fees were comparable to tra...
by strafe
Thu Nov 03, 2016 8:09 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Dress shoes
Replies: 33
Views: 3995

Re: Dress shoes

Ecco Windsor slip on might fit your needs If this will be your only pair of business casual shoes, you should consider dark brown instead of black. Hard to find a durable shoe under $200. Most are glued on rubber soles. Allen Edmonds makes great quality dress shoes that are usually on sale for just ...
by strafe
Sun Oct 30, 2016 9:22 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Replacing run-flat tires on BMW
Replies: 34
Views: 4810

Re: Replacing run-flat tires on BMW

That's an option.

You should also look into the Bridgestone Driveguard tire line, which a next-gen run flat that addresses the shortcomings of the older run flat tire designs.
by strafe
Wed Oct 26, 2016 7:41 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Just released ratings steering me from Legacy to Camry
Replies: 35
Views: 2939

Re: Just released ratings steering me from Legacy to Camry

Absent a bona fide need for all wheel drive (Subaru generally) or cargo space (Outback specifically), I would buy the Camry. Don't overthink this.

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