Search found 748 matches

by strafe
Fri Apr 20, 2018 7:45 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Car for 23 year old
Replies: 30
Views: 1768

Re: Car for 23 year old

Consider a lightly used Hyundai Sonata
by strafe
Fri Apr 20, 2018 7:44 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Car for 23 year old
Replies: 30
Views: 1768

Re: Car for 23 year old

Used Lexus ES. Find the nicest one owner with low miles in your price range. I recently bought an 05 ES 330, 75k miles. $7k Beautiful car. Toyota reliable. Till the repair bills come Why do you say that? The ES330 is a Camry with a nicer interior. I’ve never though of Toyotas as expensive to keep o...
by strafe
Thu Apr 19, 2018 4:32 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Car value: old car with low mileage
Replies: 22
Views: 1443

Re: Car value: old car with low mileage

Please come back after the sale and let us know what happens. It seems like just about any car in good shape without mechanical problems should be worth at least $3-4k for private party sale. On the other hand, you'll be competing against some decent cars in that price range. I can't imagine there's...
by strafe
Tue Apr 17, 2018 5:14 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Mozart in the morning, please
Replies: 18
Views: 2285

Re: Mozart in the morning, please

Amazon Echo Spot

pair with another speaker if you need better sound
by strafe
Wed Apr 11, 2018 4:52 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Student Loan Repayment Plan
Replies: 41
Views: 1503

Re: Student Loan Repayment Plan

If the loan balance grows substantially due to accumulating interest, the tax bill owed at year 25 forgiveness could exceed the cost of repaying the loan on a normal payment plan. The tax bill in year 25 could be hundreds of thousands of dollars. The limits on negative amortization in REPAYE would p...
by strafe
Tue Apr 10, 2018 8:31 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: VA Physician TSP matching and FERS
Replies: 7
Views: 503

Re: VA Physician TSP matching and FERS

performance pay does not count toward TSP match or FERS calculation, but market (specialty + locale) pay does count.
by strafe
Fri Mar 23, 2018 7:18 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Why can you "spend more" if you buy SPIA?
Replies: 12
Views: 1096

Re: Why can you "spend more" if you buy SPIA?

You can spend more because you plan for an average life expectancy and not a maximum life expectancy.
by strafe
Sun Mar 18, 2018 7:38 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: London Hotels
Replies: 59
Views: 3849

Re: London Hotels

Check out the Renaissance at St. Pancras
by strafe
Fri Mar 16, 2018 7:02 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Lease of new Truck
Replies: 8
Views: 712

Re: Lease of new Truck

I second the 24 month lease being a better deal from residual standpoint. The one pay is marginally attractive but need to take in consideration how much gap insurance will cost to cover you in the event the car is stolen or totalled. Crash day 1 with no gap, lose 8.5k. Gap is sometimes included by...
by strafe
Fri Mar 16, 2018 4:49 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Modest stereo system
Replies: 57
Views: 3522

Re: Modest stereo system

This won’t meet the requirements for FM or vinyl,but consider the Apple HomePod. You can link two or more of them for whole house sound.
by strafe
Sat Mar 10, 2018 6:33 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: MD-Phd (Harvard) vs MSTP (School X)
Replies: 44
Views: 3694

Re: MD-Phd (Harvard) vs MSTP (School X)

Harvard is the #1 school in the world by many ratings. I wouldn't think about this one too long. Best students, profs, resources. Yale #11 Hopkins #17 UCSF #18 What is the source for this? Are these universities or medical schools? Rankings, for whatever they’re worth, depend on what you’re attempt...
by strafe
Thu Mar 08, 2018 9:41 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: MD-Phd (Harvard) vs MSTP (School X)
Replies: 44
Views: 3694

Re: MD-Phd (Harvard) vs MSTP (School X)

UCSF and Hopkins are peer institutions to Harvard. Unless pursuing a specific research program or mentorship opportunity available only at Harvard, I would choose the MSTP program with the assurance of funding.
by strafe
Thu Mar 08, 2018 8:19 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: 0W-20 Synthetic Motor Oil
Replies: 58
Views: 7239

Re: 0W-20 Synthetic Motor Oil

There are four cars in our family...three require/can use 0W-20 synthetic motor oil (Lexus LS460; Honda CRV and Toyota Corolla). The other (Lexus RX330) needs 5W-30 and I used synthetic last time. I am/plan to run all four vehicles for 10,000 miles/1 year, which ever comes first. Please let's NOT t...
by strafe
Sun Mar 04, 2018 7:00 am
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Pay off car loan or keep money in bond fund?
Replies: 11
Views: 878

Re: Pay off car loan or keep money in bond fund?

I would refinance to a lower rate and preserve your liquidity. However, the more savings you have, the less I think this decision matters.
by strafe
Fri Mar 02, 2018 5:07 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Sweet Spot For SEER Rating
Replies: 29
Views: 2199

Re: Sweet Spot For SEER Rating

The ECM blowers are worth every penny. I would rule out the 14 SEER since it does not have ECM. 2-stage A/C is a comfort feature (improved humidity control and smaller on/off temperature fluctuations) -- not necessarily all that cheaper to run. An ECM blower already gets you much of the dehumidifica...
by strafe
Tue Feb 20, 2018 4:20 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Paying off car loan good for credit?
Replies: 19
Views: 910

Re: Paying off car loan good for credit?

It depends on the ratios of -debt payments to income, and -auto loan balance to liquid savings. If your debt payments are high relative to your income, pay off the car loan. If you are short on savings / illiquid, do not pay off the loan. Neither apply? your score is >800 and none of this matters. ...
by strafe
Tue Feb 20, 2018 4:12 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Paying off car loan good for credit?
Replies: 19
Views: 910

Re: Paying off car loan good for credit?

It depends on the ratios of
-debt payments to income, and
-auto loan balance to liquid savings.

If your debt payments are high relative to your income, pay off the car loan.
If you are short on savings / illiquid, do not pay off the loan.

Neither apply? your score is >800 and none of this matters.
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: 883

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: 883

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: 1661

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: 1774

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: 761

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: 7807

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: 7807

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: 2247

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: 1088

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: 3998

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: 3998

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: 4216

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: 7024

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: 25370

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: 5128

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: 2335

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: 1934

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: 3262

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: 1934

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: 1934

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: 1934

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: 14959

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: 854

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: 7197

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: 2442

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: 158
Views: 16226

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: 2123

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: 3380

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: 6808

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: 27
Views: 2220

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: 1429

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: 9505

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.