Search found 834 matches

by ncbill
Mon Sep 28, 2020 5:55 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: A simpler car.
Replies: 176
Views: 10973

Re: A simpler car.

Nobody else takes their decade-old (or older) vehicles to the local Maaco franchise for a cheap repaint?

Done the above on three vehicles so far once the clear coat started peeling and was happy with the results...even with prep costs averaged under $1000 per vehicle.
by ncbill
Mon Sep 28, 2020 5:38 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: DIY life style. Typical Boglehead?
Replies: 65
Views: 4733

Re: DIY life style. Typical Boglehead?

I DIY small things...fix toilets, replace switches/outlets, etc. I have replaced toilets in the past but if I needed a new one today I'd pay for the installation of a one-piece. Given my age I plan to never again get up on a roof or high enough ladder to clean gutters, etc...my choice of townhouse l...
by ncbill
Tue Sep 22, 2020 8:25 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Why buy medical insurance ?
Replies: 113
Views: 7295

Re: Why buy medical insurance ?

I don't really see any rational way a person with means can go bare in the US ... it's not just the uniquely high cost of US health care, but the unnegotiated rates paid by the uninsured. But you can go bare in other countries, where cash for services is much more common (and often even the norm). ...
by ncbill
Tue Sep 22, 2020 7:37 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: How to cash an estate check when there is no estate?
Replies: 18
Views: 1510

Re: How to cash an estate check when there is no estate?

All dead people have estates. How else would we be able to settle financial matters? A check is a negotiable instrument payable to the named party. Said party may endorse the check and make it payable to another party or on demand. I have no advise for your particular situation, but I think you can...
by ncbill
Wed Sep 16, 2020 1:26 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Is it worth to relocate for retirement?
Replies: 140
Views: 13277

Re: Is it worth to relocate for retirement?

We moved from CA to SC last year, and invariable when locals we have met say that we must be happy to be out of such a highly taxed State I usually just smile and don't disabuse them of that fantasy. I've been criticized on this forum for saying most total taxes are comparable in most areas, but fr...
by ncbill
Wed Sep 16, 2020 10:59 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Solar - after 1 year the results are in.
Replies: 64
Views: 6754

Re: Solar - after 1 year the results are in.

Gimme a break...how many people can get nearly 50% tax credits on a solar install anymore?

The economics really change when you're paying it all out of pocket.
by ncbill
Thu Sep 10, 2020 4:24 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Replacing a 20-year-old central air conditioning
Replies: 66
Views: 5962

Re: Replacing a 20-year-old central air conditioning

There's a reason, however, that people who require supplemental heating and have access to natural gas do not use heat pumps. Because gas is cheap as chips to run; still works great under 40*, and the furnace part will last for much longer than the compressor. Instant heat & different heat are two ...
by ncbill
Wed Sep 09, 2020 6:52 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Repair plasma television or get new TV?
Replies: 71
Views: 4438

Re: Repair plasma television or get new TV?

I had my 2011, 50" Panasonic plasma fixed (the infamous "factory screws too short" problem) 5 years ago...paid ~$200, which included two in-home visits.

Still my main TV, but I would not repair it again today...would instead buy a decent 55" local-backlight LCD HDTV or maybe even OLED.
by ncbill
Wed Sep 09, 2020 3:22 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Need some advice for buying my first flat screen TV.
Replies: 61
Views: 3372

Re: Need some advice for buying my first flat screen TV.

brad.clarkston wrote: Mon Sep 07, 2020 1:01 pm The TCL 5-Series (4K TV with HDR - about $400) or the or Vizio M-Series Quantum (the same) is good TV's to look at in your price range.
My kid picked up the 55" version of the 5-series for ~$300 at Sam's Club & loves it...didn't care about local dimming.
by ncbill
Wed Sep 09, 2020 1:30 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Replacing a 20-year-old central air conditioning
Replies: 66
Views: 5962

Re: Replacing a 20-year-old central air conditioning

The main thing is variable speed, I think. People keep throwing around this term without understanding it, which introduces tremendous confusion. When people say "variable speed," in most situations they're simply referring to an ECM blower fan. As I've previously mentioned in other threads, on a n...
by ncbill
Wed Sep 09, 2020 1:19 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Are the days of 7% avg index returns over?
Replies: 65
Views: 9562

Re: Are the days of 7% avg index returns over?

In Jerome Powell's latest interview on NPR it was hinted that this may be the case since more and more people are investing. Moving forward would it be more realistic to expect returns of 3-4% on average now? I think even Bogle mentioned something like this in the past where he thought the average ...
by ncbill
Wed Sep 09, 2020 1:06 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Saving on flight schools!
Replies: 20
Views: 1951

Re: Saving on flight schools!

How old is the OP & do they have a 4-year undergraduate degree?

The US military is currently paying my recent graduate to attend flight school.

Though they'll have to work for them for several years afterwards...
by ncbill
Thu Sep 03, 2020 12:19 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Undergrad College List
Replies: 64
Views: 4441

Re: Undergrad College List

For med school don't forget the HPSP option:

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Health_Pr ... ip_Program
by ncbill
Wed Sep 02, 2020 4:46 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Walmart+ service ($98/year = free delivery w/ $35+ order). Thoughts?
Replies: 121
Views: 7985

Re: Walmart+ service ($98/year = free delivery w/ $35+ order). Thoughts?

I vote: "a sneaky backdoor way to eliminate free shipping."
by ncbill
Mon Aug 31, 2020 2:06 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: charging an EV
Replies: 250
Views: 14841

Re: charging an EV

I actually think it’ll be sooner. Solid state battery tech is 2-3 years away according to Toyota. Once that hits, things get interesting quickly. 2025 according to toyota. https://www.caranddriver.com/news/a33435923/toyota-solid-state-battery-2025/ . 2025 is 4-5 years away form limited production n...
by ncbill
Sun Aug 30, 2020 2:12 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Umbrella Insurance - Worst Case
Replies: 142
Views: 9800

Re: Umbrella Insurance - Worst Case

Court could object that you are not bankrupt. Deciding that you don't want to pay a bill is not the same as bankrupt. Is your attorney claiming the above or are you just speculating? Again, absent DUI I see no trouble discharging such a judgment via bankruptcy. If RMDs have already started one coul...
by ncbill
Sun Aug 30, 2020 1:58 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Umbrella Insurance - Worst Case
Replies: 142
Views: 9800

Re: Umbrella Insurance - Worst Case

afan wrote: Sat Aug 29, 2020 7:54 pm Provided the court let's you do that.
What objection do you think the bankruptcy court would have?

Also, technically one doesn't have to take a RMD in any given year...they can choose to incur the penalty instead.
by ncbill
Sat Aug 29, 2020 5:03 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Umbrella Insurance - Worst Case
Replies: 142
Views: 9800

Re: Umbrella Insurance - Worst Case

To OP - I suggest that there is a risk in your situation that is not obvious. You are young, high income earners. A lawsuit against you could focus on your future earning power rather than current assets. Get the umbrella. It is cheap. One thing, I don't know how you get umbrella when you don't own...
by ncbill
Sat Aug 29, 2020 4:29 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Umbrella Insurance - Worst Case
Replies: 142
Views: 9800

Re: Umbrella Insurance - Worst Case

The choice presented to the plaintiff is generally to settle for the policy limits and get paid immediately or have to go to court try to do better than the limits and then have to collect. They pretty much always settle for the limits unless it's a heinous incident (damages several orders of magni...
by ncbill
Fri Aug 28, 2020 12:41 pm
Forum: Personal Investments
Topic: How much did you save?
Replies: 102
Views: 13807

Re: How much did you save?

Over a 20 year military officer career, I started saving about $1k/mo in the 1990’s with approximately a 50/50 asset allocation, when I didn’t really know what I was doing. The military TSP opened in late 2001, at the bottom of the dot com crash, whereby I started maxing out (unmatched) contributio...
by ncbill
Fri Aug 28, 2020 12:33 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Umbrella Insurance - Worst Case
Replies: 142
Views: 9800

Re: Umbrella Insurance - Worst Case

The choice presented to the plaintiff is generally to settle for the policy limits and get paid immediately or have to go to court try to do better than the limits and then have to collect. They pretty much always settle for the limits unless it's a heinous incident (damages several orders of magni...
by ncbill
Fri Aug 28, 2020 11:33 am
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Can we talk about the future of oil?
Replies: 72
Views: 4779

Re: Can we talk about the future of oil?

Oil is used mostly for transport...and electrification of that sector in every segment (personal vehicles to commercial transport) is only accelerating. So I sold my oil stocks last year, though I do still have a couple of direct oil & gas investments (actual wells) that will run their course over t...
by ncbill
Fri Aug 28, 2020 9:59 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: charging an EV
Replies: 250
Views: 14841

Re: charging an EV

Plug in hybrids and regular hybrids are certainly excellent for fuel conservation, but they do lack one of the best aspects of having a true EV. The lack of maintenance and the longevity. Bingo. That was the very pleasant surprise of EV ownership, for me, the almost complete lack of maintenance req...
by ncbill
Thu Aug 27, 2020 7:18 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Dealer service cracks dash doing passenger airbag recall.
Replies: 10
Views: 966

Re: Dealer service cracks dash doing passenger airbag recall.

You can try to escalate the issue. Though, I doubt it will really hurt resale value any FWIW. I will admit I would be pretty annoyed if this had happened to me. That said, realistically I don’t think a future buyer of a 2007 vehicle will be too concerned about it, i.e., I don’t think it will have a...
by ncbill
Thu Aug 27, 2020 11:09 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Finding balance in life: When do you let up off the gas?
Replies: 105
Views: 9619

Re: Finding balance in life: When do you let up off the gas?

Leases are fine for those who want to drive a new vehicle every few years, especially given the OP's income & net worth. The XC90 was leasing well in the past, checking over at leasehackr [sic] dot com can tell you if they're still a deal. I'd just buy the Lexus, though...and I recommend looking at ...
by ncbill
Thu Aug 27, 2020 8:47 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Maintenance and Repair of HVAC, Water Heaters, etc
Replies: 28
Views: 2454

Re: Maintenance and Repair of HVAC, Water Heaters, etc

What can you do yourself? A relative has kept their electric water heater going for decades by draining it once/year, unscrewing the drain valve (you can buy a replacement brass valve if yours is plastic) and then using a wet/dry vacuum via that opening to remove any sediment accumulated at the bott...
by ncbill
Thu Aug 27, 2020 8:37 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Poll of the retirees among us--spending in retirement
Replies: 76
Views: 6691

Re: Poll of the retirees among us--spending in retirement

If you have Medicare and decent supplemental insurance and drug insurance (and also long term care insurance), are you still vulnerable to high medical expenses as you age? Also, I am curious if the reported expenses here (from the study and the comments) include income taxes or not. Thank you. My ...
by ncbill
Tue Aug 25, 2020 6:19 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Poll of the retirees among us--spending in retirement
Replies: 76
Views: 6691

Re: Poll of the retirees among us--spending in retirement

Yep...go-go to slow go to no go. The most successful retiree I've known was my great uncle...retired from a major bank in his early 50s with the gold-plated pension, traveled the world with his wife for the next decade or so, then was restricted to the USA for the next few years, then restricted to ...
by ncbill
Tue Aug 25, 2020 5:48 pm
Forum: Personal Investments
Topic: Intermediate bond index versus Total Bond Index
Replies: 34
Views: 3830

Re: Intermediate bond index versus Total Bond Index

What intermediate bond index do people recommend for those of us at Fidelity?
by ncbill
Tue Aug 25, 2020 5:37 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: A Beater Truck and a FAT 401k...
Replies: 104
Views: 10285

Re: A Beater Truck and a FAT 401k...

Its the Bogleheads "I'm more frugal than you" -off! This time it was a trick question - Trucks get too low of gas mileage and can have higher registration and insurance rates. Whomever didn't say "20 year old Corolla" lost - good luck next time. I'm fixing up a Camry of this generation (different y...
by ncbill
Thu Aug 20, 2020 3:32 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Fidelity card fraud
Replies: 36
Views: 3946

Re: Fidelity card fraud

I recently had a fraudulent charge on my Fidelity card. What blew my mind is that they called me to ask if the fraudulent charge was legit and wanted me to confirm my identity with last 4 of social and other info... I said " You called me! I'm not giving you that info". I hung up and called the num...
by ncbill
Thu Aug 20, 2020 3:20 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: How to Get Rid of an Old Car
Replies: 40
Views: 3524

Re: How to Get Rid of an Old Car

However you get rid of it, make sure to retain a copy of the document showing that you no longer own it. That's in case a subsequent driver gets into an accident. If you sign over the title, and give it to the buyer, do you become dependent upon the buyer to get car's new ownership recorded at the ...
by ncbill
Wed Aug 19, 2020 2:17 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Health Insurance + ACA Subsidies + Early Retirement
Replies: 35
Views: 2446

Re: Health Insurance + ACA Subsidies + Early Retirement

The problem isn't so much regular Dr visits, it's the potentially serious problems that come up. If you get a $20,000 out-of-network trip to the ER with some tests (which is very easy to do) and your insurance decides they'll pay $5,000 because that's what they'd pay an in-network provider, then yo...
by ncbill
Wed Aug 19, 2020 1:38 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: "Where Are the Liquid Alternative Shareholders’ Yachts?"
Replies: 64
Views: 5058

Re: "Where Are the Liquid Alternative Shareholders’ Yachts?"

The worst investing decision I ever made was signing on with a FA who emphasized the use of liquid and illiquid alts. The best decision I ever made was lurking around here for a year and learning enough to fire him. Ditto, though all the alternatives I was sold were illiquid ...bright spot is I'll ...
by ncbill
Tue Aug 18, 2020 12:43 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: College costs for 4 kids -- is my plan unrealistic?
Replies: 31
Views: 2813

Re: College costs for 4 kids -- is my plan unrealistic?

Or for U.S. citizens, join the military and have Uncle Sam pay for it: 1. ROTC scholarships (what my kids did)...national or campus-based...pays tuition & fees. 2. Military academies...USMA, USNA, USAFA, USCGA, USMMA...what one of my kids did after a year of the above. 3. In many states, joining the...
by ncbill
Tue Aug 18, 2020 12:34 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: The 0.5% Rule (SWR) [Safe Withdrawal Rate]
Replies: 419
Views: 24299

Re: The 0.5% Rule (SWR)

If my mattress is generating taxable income, then I think my wife and I need to have a conversation... A hypo where money is literally under a mattress is ridiculous, unless you're part of the Soprano family. Again, that's the point. That even money generating no return (i.e. under the mattress) wi...
by ncbill
Tue Aug 18, 2020 10:46 am
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: "Where Are the Liquid Alternative Shareholders’ Yachts?"
Replies: 64
Views: 5058

Re: "Where Are the Liquid Alternative Shareholders’ Yachts?"

The worst investing decision I ever made was signing on with a FA who emphasized the use of liquid and illiquid alts. The best decision I ever made was lurking around here for a year and learning enough to fire him. Ditto, though all the alternatives I was sold were illiquid ...bright spot is I'll ...
by ncbill
Sun Aug 16, 2020 6:43 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Car shopping PHEV / ICE / or all electric?
Replies: 114
Views: 8323

Re: Car shopping PHEV / ICE / or all electric?

I know tesla fans will hate me for saying this, but stick with ice especially if you plan to do long distance driving OR dont have a car charger where you live. Hybrid is a waste of money. Electric Vehicle is a PITA when it comes to charging esp long distance travel. (ICE takes 5 min to charge from...
by ncbill
Sun Aug 16, 2020 4:40 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Car shopping PHEV / ICE / or all electric?
Replies: 114
Views: 8323

Re: Car shopping PHEV / ICE / or all electric?

I know tesla fans will hate me for saying this, but stick with ice especially if you plan to do long distance driving OR dont have a car charger where you live. Hybrid is a waste of money. Electric Vehicle is a PITA when it comes to charging esp long distance travel. (ICE takes 5 min to charge from...
by ncbill
Sun Aug 16, 2020 4:15 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: College
Replies: 25
Views: 2340

Re: College

After a surfeit of family togetherness when my undergrad unexpectedly returned home last March I allowed them to upgrade their off-campus accommodations starting this fall to a shared house, with year-round pool (Florida!) That way, if they get kicked off campus again due to an outbreak of Covid-19 ...
by ncbill
Wed Aug 12, 2020 9:20 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Calling all Long legged BHers for SUV or Car advice
Replies: 49
Views: 2796

Re: Calling all Long legged BHers for car advice

Keep the Mercedes. Go to one of the Mercedes Benz forums and figure out how to cut your maintenance costs. No need to use a dealer, dealer parts or even a place that does engine work at all for things like rotors and brake pads. For the next level up of work, find an independent mechanic with exper...
by ncbill
Fri Aug 07, 2020 8:43 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: College tuitions and how to help our daughter pay them
Replies: 85
Views: 4879

Re: College tuitions and how to help our daughter pay them

Hi, Our daughter got admitted to college next year and we are trying to figure out how to pay the tuitions. She wants to become a vet, so it's close to 8 years (when she is in vet school after 4 years, she could be paid). She got a $5500 FASFA loan and a scholarship ($1000) which leaves her having ...
by ncbill
Fri Jul 31, 2020 1:59 pm
Forum: Personal Investments
Topic: Mid-Life / Mid-Career Crossroads - Help Us Make Sense of it All
Replies: 44
Views: 5315

Re: Mid-Life / Mid-Career Crossroads - Help Us Make Sense of it All

Based on your finances, I think it would be a tragedy if you continue to work at a place where your are miserable or unhapppy. Millions of people dont have your finances and dream of being in a position similiar to yours so they can quit jobs they find soul-sucking or difficult to tolerate. You onl...
by ncbill
Fri Jul 31, 2020 1:32 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Repair Refrigerator?
Replies: 61
Views: 3634

Re: Repair Refrigerator?

Just read the post - will add my 5 cents... We have a Kitchenaid side by side that is 16years old and still looks okay. It had some issues over the years incl. a control board. The board was no longer available from the factory. I was able to repair it myself with help from youtube and google. We r...
by ncbill
Wed Jul 29, 2020 8:02 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: How much umbrella insurance?
Replies: 12
Views: 1016

Re: How much umbrella insurance?

The main thing to consider is that no matter how much you get, you will always be responsible for a successful judgement in excess of the policy limits. So the question becomes, based on your situation, how high do you think a judgement against you could go? How does one even begin to think about a...
by ncbill
Wed Jul 29, 2020 7:11 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: subaru outback limited or audi 4 quattro?
Replies: 49
Views: 4145

Re: subaru outback limited or audi 4 quattro?

I've owned several Subarus with conventional transmissions for 20+ years, 200,000+ miles.

But for me personally the jury's still out on the reliability of their CVT, so I'd lease.

I'd definitely lease the Audi.
by ncbill
Tue Jul 28, 2020 10:53 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Another Used Car Thread
Replies: 32
Views: 2203

Re: Another Used Car Thread

I finally bought something. I did a load of research, and think I got a solid deal. $5,000 for a 2012 Prius Three with around 147k miles. It has the solar roof option, which I didn't care about, but still mentioning it. I think I landed right in the middle of the road in terms of car I picked up. N...
by ncbill
Mon Jul 27, 2020 9:14 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: TV antenna
Replies: 48
Views: 2616

Re: TV antenna

Cut the cord in 2013, tried several antenna. Being only 30 miles from downtown Chicago there isn't really any reason you need more than a $10 set of rabbit ears that allow for the antenna to be angled in any way. You definitely should not need anything in the attic or that costs mote than $30. I th...
by ncbill
Fri Jul 24, 2020 5:11 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Pros and cons of buying a big house
Replies: 60
Views: 5209

Re: Pros and cons of buying a big house

pros: - handy when hosting large groups - handy if family/friends stay for extended periods (assuming you like their stay) .... Funny - I have these in the cons list :) Would prefer no room for people to use us for vacations/etc. - rather they stay in a hotel. If I can't host a large group as well ...