Search found 1872 matches

by neilpilot
Sat Sep 01, 2018 3:45 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: IRMAA costs
Replies: 7
Views: 806

Re: IRMAA costs

The above information, in particular from cas, is correct and comprehensive. However if your 2016 income exceeds the IRMAA cutoff but you had a qualified live changing event such as retirement in 2017 or 2018, then you can file an IRMAA appeal. The process is simple, and if successful you will reduc...
by neilpilot
Sat Sep 01, 2018 12:26 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Should I go ahead and replace noisy washing machine now or wait?
Replies: 11
Views: 552

Re: Should I go ahead and replace noisy washing machine now or wait?

When the appliance repairmen was here for my dishwasher I had him listen to the washing machine on spin cycle. He said the bearings were starting to go. This was about 14 months ago. A bearing and seal set for your washer costs $50-$70 online. There's an excellent 3-video series on uTube on how to ...
by neilpilot
Sat Sep 01, 2018 12:01 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Should I go ahead and replace noisy washing machine now or wait?
Replies: 11
Views: 552

Re: Should I go ahead and replace noisy washing machine now or wait?

We have a Maytag Neptune washing machine that is at least 16 years old. It has never needed any service, and it still washes clothes well. However, on any spin cycle it is so loud that even with the laundry room door closed it is extremely loud and getting louder by the week. DH wants me to replace...
by neilpilot
Sat Sep 01, 2018 11:55 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Lexus vs. Mercedes
Replies: 86
Views: 6613

Re: Lexus vs. Mercedes

I'm not saying OP is doing this but many people do. Your car says something about you whether you want it to or not. Subconsciously, this is how most people choose a car that fits their persona and there are surprisingly accurate stereotypes for each make and model. Luxury cars are mostly marketing...
by neilpilot
Sat Sep 01, 2018 11:34 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Tesla Refund
Replies: 19
Views: 2420

Re: Tesla Refund

Tesla refunded my $1k deposit as a direct deposit into my checking account less than 24 hours after my request.
by neilpilot
Sat Sep 01, 2018 8:31 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Daily Driver (Car) Over 100K Miles?
Replies: 96
Views: 7155

Re: Daily Driver (Car) Over 100K Miles?

I drive a 2004 Mercedes Benz C230 with just under 110K miles. No major issues and hoping to keep it for at least few more years. Just sold my 2002 C240 at 130k miles. It hadn't seen a Mercedes dealer since the new car free maintenance expired, I did most of the maintenance, and never had a major pr...
by neilpilot
Sat Sep 01, 2018 8:19 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: New Brake Pads
Replies: 97
Views: 9446

Re: New Brake Pads

Been doing my cars this way for 20-25 years. Never had a problem... Great that you haven't had a problem....yet. If you don't want it buy or borrow a single jack stand, at least consider placing the wheel you remove under the spindle/ball joint area so if the car drops it had a chance to impact the...
by neilpilot
Fri Aug 31, 2018 3:33 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: New Brake Pads
Replies: 97
Views: 9446

Re: New Brake Pads

Op I would call 3 or 4 other independent mechanic. I skip dealer because they always rip you off. Mention you want a good price and these 2 jobs are what you want done. 95% of the time, I got a better price by as much as 15-30% by just calling a couple shops around the area. Your over a half year t...
by neilpilot
Fri Aug 31, 2018 1:22 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Auto Renewals
Replies: 22
Views: 1237

Re: Auto Renewals

Why when I call XMSirus "deal" every 5-6 months I always have them send an invoice, even when there was a small invoice fee. I simply don't want them to have my cc #.
by neilpilot
Fri Aug 31, 2018 8:57 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: State Farm - Homeowners discount :)
Replies: 35
Views: 2708

Re: State Farm - Homeowners discount :)

I also think this is actionable. If you want to save money, bundle the insurances. If you do not get a discount, ask for one. This actually made me check my insurance paperwork to make sure that I have such a discount. I used to think that a bundled discount would beat separate underwriters. Howeve...
by neilpilot
Fri Aug 31, 2018 8:25 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: State Farm - Homeowners discount :)
Replies: 35
Views: 2708

Re: State Farm - Homeowners discount :)

I also think this is actionable. If you want to save money, bundle the insurances. If you do not get a discount, ask for one. This actually made me check my insurance paperwork to make sure that I have such a discount. I used to think that a bundled discount would beat separate underwriters. Howeve...
by neilpilot
Fri Aug 31, 2018 7:08 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Gurgling noise from sink
Replies: 28
Views: 2410

Re: Gurgling noise from sink

Sure, but what’s the point? AAA’s originally said that the sink drained rapidly. What would the plunger clear from the already open drain? Perhaps the blockage is further down, and the pipe will take the sink full of water. If more water is put down the drain, it might back up into the sink. In any...
by neilpilot
Thu Aug 30, 2018 9:33 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Gurgling noise from sink
Replies: 28
Views: 2410

Re: Gurgling noise from sink

I found a small sink plunger at our local home center and tried it but it didn't make any difference. Be sure to seal the overflow drain in the sink when using a plunger. Otherwise, the air just goes out the overflow drain and there is no pressure. A wet rag can be used to seal the drain. Sure, but...
by neilpilot
Thu Aug 30, 2018 4:35 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Suggestions for the promotional $$ deposited into tIRA after execution of Backdoor Roth
Replies: 7
Views: 403

Re: Suggestions for the promotional $$ deposited into tIRA after execution of Backdoor Roth

The $500 is considered "interest" earned by the tIRA, and as such is not taxed until withdrawn.
by neilpilot
Thu Aug 30, 2018 9:40 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Bosch dishwasher odor
Replies: 56
Views: 5374

Re: Bosch dishwasher odor

If you haven't already, first confirm that the drain hose is installed properly. The hose has to go up to the bottom of the counter-top and then down before it connects to the drain under the sink. This "high loop" is required unless you happen to have an air gap where the drain is connected. Also, ...
by neilpilot
Wed Aug 29, 2018 8:56 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: My 2017 CRV is a victim of the dreaded oil gas-dilution issue
Replies: 665
Views: 97731

Re: My 2017 CRV is a victim of the dreaded oil gas-dilution issue

JPH - From a table on this website: https://www.bobistheoilguy.com/viscosity-charts/ 20 5.60-9.29 30 9.30-12.49 It appears that Blackstone is using the range for 30-weight oil in reporting your results (as best I can tell anyway). Is that what your report shows? I agree with your observation. The v...
by neilpilot
Wed Aug 29, 2018 10:43 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Comcast Cell Phone Thingie
Replies: 4
Views: 472

Re: Comcast Cell Phone Thingie

There are several threads about "Xfinity Mobile". You need to be a Comcast internet customer. I suggest you search to find out more than I will post here. We switched 2 lines from AT&T 1 year ago, received free phones using an Xfinity promo, and our bill dropped from about $80/mo to the $5-$17 range.
by neilpilot
Wed Aug 29, 2018 8:28 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Negotiating with XM
Replies: 27
Views: 2647

Re: Negotiating with XM

I've been playing this stupid game with them for probably 7+ years now: -Call a week before expiration, take subscription off auto-renew and cancel. -Wait for subscription expiration date to pass. -Call and tell them I want the 5 month deal for $25-$30. I always get it. The trick seems to be that t...
by neilpilot
Wed Aug 29, 2018 7:04 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Negotiating with XM
Replies: 27
Views: 2647

Re: Negotiating with XM

I love negotiating with XM! The funny thing is, they’ve got a ton of money out of me just by “caving” and giving me the lowest price you can find on Google (about $5 per month) each time I call. They also save me time by not haggling with me too much on the way down. I don’t know why other service ...
by neilpilot
Tue Aug 28, 2018 2:20 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Summer Day A/C Issues
Replies: 41
Views: 2262

Re: Summer Day A/C Issues

The HVAC man should have already done this, but you might wash out the outside condensing unit. It won't hurt anything and might help. Just take a garden hose with a nozzle on it and holding it about 2 inches from the unit (where the metal fins are) move it up and down washing every inch of it. Be ...
by neilpilot
Tue Aug 28, 2018 11:45 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Summer Day A/C Issues
Replies: 41
Views: 2262

Re: Summer Day A/C Issues

I have been told that if the unit is fully charged and working properly the temperature coming out of the vents should be 18-20 degrees cooler than the current indoor temperature so if the indoor temperature is 78 degrees then the air coming out of the vents should be 58-60 degrees. Extending that ...
by neilpilot
Tue Aug 28, 2018 11:33 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Summer Day A/C Issues
Replies: 41
Views: 2262

Re: Summer Day A/C Issues

The HVAC man should have already done this, but you might wash out the outside condensing unit. It won't hurt anything and might help. Just take a garden hose with a nozzle on it and holding it about 2 inches from the unit (where the metal fins are) move it up and down washing every inch of it. Be ...
by neilpilot
Tue Aug 28, 2018 11:12 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Summer Day A/C Issues
Replies: 41
Views: 2262

Re: Summer Day A/C Issues

70F at the vent seems not good. Ours is in the low/mid 50s to mid 60s. 70% humidity inside is not good either. Seems very high. Do you know how old the furnace/AC unit are? Do you know the efficiency rating? Air temp of 70F at the vent means you could never cool below 70. That seems very odd. Actua...
by neilpilot
Tue Aug 28, 2018 10:44 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Installing a new toilet - shut off valve and wax ring
Replies: 33
Views: 2298

Re: Installing a new toilet - shut off valve and wax ring

For the valve, leave it alone unless it starts leaking. You run a small risk of damaging the pipe in changing in out and why spend money you don't have to. As for the ring, I've always used the wax seal. They are cheap and work. +1 Imyeti2, what's your reason for questioning the plumber's advice?
by neilpilot
Mon Aug 27, 2018 5:09 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: How often do you change your HVAC filters?
Replies: 57
Views: 3221

Re: How often do you change your HVAC filters?

It seems the only value to an annual checkup would be to visually check the heat exchanger to make sure its not cracked. (The blower fan is in a sealed compartment.) But then a CO2 alarm at Home Depot is pretty cheap (and required by California code) Everyone knows that California code can be way o...
by neilpilot
Sun Aug 26, 2018 11:36 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: My 2017 CRV is a victim of the dreaded oil gas-dilution issue
Replies: 665
Views: 97731

Re: My 2017 CRV is a victim of the dreaded oil gas-dilution issue

You can qualitatively measure the volumetric amount of fuel dilution by taking a sample, ideally during an oil change, and very carefully measuring it's volume. The larger the sample, the more accurate the measurement will be. Leave that known volume in an open container, in a warm and ventilated l...
by neilpilot
Sun Aug 26, 2018 11:26 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: My 2017 CRV is a victim of the dreaded oil gas-dilution issue
Replies: 665
Views: 97731

Re: My 2017 CRV is a victim of the dreaded oil gas-dilution issue

You can qualitatively measure the volumetric amount of fuel dilution by taking a sample, ideally during an oil change, and very carefully measuring it's volume. The larger the sample, the more accurate the measurement will be. Leave that known volume in an open container, in a warm and ventilated lo...
by neilpilot
Sat Aug 25, 2018 8:54 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Christine Benz: "75 Must-Know Statistics About Long-Term Care"
Replies: 31
Views: 5899

Re: Christine Benz: "75 Must-Know Statistics About Long-Term Care"

neilpilot, those premiums seem incredibly low. Is that true? $800 a year? Even for those in their 30s or 40s, that's more like a monthly premium for that level of coverage ($1.5 million per person). And this is for large corporate group policies with companies like J Hancock. I'm just curious. Than...
by neilpilot
Fri Aug 24, 2018 4:13 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: My new car buying experience.
Replies: 46
Views: 9728

Re: My new car buying experience.

Excellent post! Thanks a lot for documenting in fine detail the steps you took. Thanks to all the knowledge shared by generous individuals like OP here, i took a similar approach Went for a test drive of 2018 Elantra - was quoted an OTD price of $16,600 (with a mandatory loan at 6%+ (to avail a $15...
by neilpilot
Fri Aug 24, 2018 4:07 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Circuit breaker stays tripped
Replies: 29
Views: 2767

Re: Circuit breaker stays tripped

I had the same thing happen at our house. An electrician spent a couple of hours researching every outlet. The culprit was an outdoor porch light that had a short in it. Money well spent to have lights stay on again and no more tripped breaker. Very surprised you had a light and outlets on the same...
by neilpilot
Thu Aug 23, 2018 2:21 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: How come people use Amazon Locker?
Replies: 15
Views: 1582

Re: How come people use Amazon Locker?

I use their locker to return an item.....simpler than a drop-off at the shipper of USPS.
by neilpilot
Thu Aug 23, 2018 7:57 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: If you buy a classic car in Europe and aim to keep to drive it daily for 50 years
Replies: 26
Views: 1862

Re: If you buy a classic car in Europe and aim to keep to drive it daily for 50 years

Let's consider something like an Alfa Romeo 1750 GTV, BMW 2002, or Lancia Flaminia coupe/Fiat 124 Sport/Jaguar S-Type etc. I would not be living in an urban centre, more like the countryside or small town. Based on your list, you will need a second car or scooter for the extended periods when your ...
by neilpilot
Wed Aug 22, 2018 12:39 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Troubleshoot water heater
Replies: 11
Views: 777

Re: Troubleshoot water heater

I used a non contact voltage tester and it doesn’t appear power is going to the water heater. So I’m hoping it’s just a tripped fuse. Do you have breakers or fuses? A fuse will not trip, it will melt or "blow", and should have a visual indication that's it's blown. A circuit breaker can trip, and t...
by neilpilot
Tue Aug 21, 2018 9:28 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: wood flooring recommendations
Replies: 13
Views: 1356

Re: wood flooring recommendations

In my last house I paid an installer to install prefinished 3/4" Bruce hardwood in 2 bedrooms. After watching how it was done, I later bought a small air compressor, rented a pneumatic nailer from HD and did the remaining 2 bedrooms. I already had a mitre saw and it wasn't very hard. Fast forward to...
by neilpilot
Tue Aug 21, 2018 8:41 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Wood pad for garage door separating from wall: Who is responsible?
Replies: 9
Views: 1528

Re: Wood pad for garage door separating from wall: Who is responsible?

As Wilshuer has indicated, depending on the nature of the problem there maybe a simple DIY fix.

But to address your question, I would think that you are responsible.
by neilpilot
Tue Aug 21, 2018 8:33 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: First Home Project - Flooring Estimates and Material
Replies: 2
Views: 304

Re: First Home Project - Flooring Estimates and Material

I'm in the process of installing LPV (luxury plank vinyl) with an integral pad, to replace carpet. Our driver in choosing this floor was water resistance rather than scratch resistant. The nail down oak hardwood I installed in the other 3 rooms has held up quite well since it was installed 8 years a...
by neilpilot
Tue Aug 21, 2018 8:25 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Cell phone insurance
Replies: 25
Views: 1940

Re: Cell phone insurance

Don’t buy extended warranties/insurance for things you can afford to replace. Get insurance if it’s free. Wells Fargo credit cards offer cellphone insurance up to $600 a phone simply by paying your monthly bill with the card. Buy phones that cost $600 or less. Good tip on your Wells Fargo benefit. ...
by neilpilot
Mon Aug 20, 2018 1:08 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Sellers beware on eBay.
Replies: 66
Views: 6365

Re: Sellers beware on eBay.

If you itemize your taxes, garage sales and ebay are a waste of time for low dollar items. Donate and deduct. A few boxes of clothes and other items can easily add up to a $500 deduction. I suspect for very many Bogelheads the increase in standard deductions will make charitable deductions a thing ...
by neilpilot
Sun Aug 19, 2018 12:42 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Anyone sell their car to Carmax or webuyanycar.com?
Replies: 34
Views: 3971

Re: Anyone sell their car to Carmax or webuyanycar.com?

Just replaced my 2002 C240 with a 2016 GLC. The C240 had a bad oxygen sensor throwing a check engine light, and some cosmetic issues but otherwise ran fine with 130k miles. The dealer offered me $500. I suspect I could have sold it for $1500-2000 but didn’t want the hassle. Carmax gave me $1k.
by neilpilot
Sat Aug 18, 2018 3:35 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: oil pan threads stripped - pan saver okay?
Replies: 33
Views: 2223

Re: oil pan threads stripped - pan saver okay?

My frugal self with an old car might have the plug welded and use an oil extractor for future oil changes. +1 for an extractor. I've used the same Mityvac, on 4 different cars, since 1998. My DW's 2002 C240 was sold last weeks at 130k miles, and my current ride 2008 Vue is at 150k. Both were purcha...
by neilpilot
Sat Aug 18, 2018 9:05 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: oil pan threads stripped - pan saver okay?
Replies: 33
Views: 2223

Re: oil pan threads stripped - pan saver okay?

My frugal self with an old car might have the plug welded and use an oil extractor for future oil changes. +1 for an extractor. I've used the same Mityvac, on 4 different cars, since 1998. My DW's 2002 C240 was sold last weeks at 130k miles, and my current ride 2008 Vue is at 150k. Both were purcha...
by neilpilot
Thu Aug 16, 2018 8:01 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Terminating an employee with company car
Replies: 62
Views: 6225

Re: Terminating an employee with company car

Employee kept a log of personal miles and our accountant helped him keep it square on taxes. What were the business miles? Even getting to the office is not considered business miles (generally). They are commute miles. Back in the 80s I worked for a company that was British old school, and provide...
by neilpilot
Thu Aug 16, 2018 7:53 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Celebrating the day you retired
Replies: 46
Views: 3217

Re: Celebrating the day you retired

That was how I celebrated the day I retired. I am still celebrating although the factory has since closed. Thank God, I wasn't there when it happened. About 6 months after I retired, the company announced the closure of the manufacturing process I formerly managed. A few months later, they asked if...
by neilpilot
Thu Aug 16, 2018 3:59 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Mail order pharmacy
Replies: 45
Views: 1803

Re: Mail order pharmacy

I think this is a common option; so does my Aetna Part D plan. Also, many posters seem to think that 90 day meds are only an option if you mail order. I have my doctor send electronic prescriptions for my maintenance medications to Kroger pharmacy, and they are usually available for pickup in 24-36...
by neilpilot
Thu Aug 16, 2018 3:43 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Mail order pharmacy
Replies: 45
Views: 1803

Re: Mail order pharmacy

Humana allows you to reorder your 90 day meds after two months from your initial fill. So does our Kaiser plan. Makes it very, very convenient. I think this is a common option; so does my Aetna Part D plan. Also, many posters seem to think that 90 day meds are only an option if you mail order. I ha...
by neilpilot
Thu Aug 16, 2018 10:15 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Mail order pharmacy
Replies: 45
Views: 1803

Re: Mail order pharmacy

Now that I have to take meds every day, it would be nice to have them mailed to my house. My cat also has daily meds to take. If I could find a good mail order pharmacy it would save me standing in line every month. Can you suggest a good mail order pharmacy? When I considered mail order it was act...
by neilpilot
Wed Aug 15, 2018 8:26 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Travel over thanksgiving holiday, drive or fly?
Replies: 50
Views: 2529

Re: Travel over thanksgiving holiday, drive or fly?

It's threads like this that remind me why I bought my airplane. Yea those single engine small planes are just a beacon of safety. I feel safer flying in my single during the peak Thanksgiving travel days than being in interstate traffic. Also, If you do some research you might find that the data sh...
by neilpilot
Wed Aug 15, 2018 8:16 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Discarding dead cell phone without purging my data
Replies: 33
Views: 3007

Re: Discarding dead cell phone without purging my data

I assume you are set on discarding the phone, and that it has a removable battery. Before you do, remove the battery and leave the phone in a very slow oven (150-175F) for 3-4 hours. Then remove it, allow it to cool to room temperature, and then insert the battery and plug it into a charger. If it w...
by neilpilot
Wed Aug 15, 2018 8:12 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Travel over thanksgiving holiday, drive or fly?
Replies: 50
Views: 2529

Re: Travel over thanksgiving holiday, drive or fly?

It's threads like this that remind me why I bought my airplane.
by neilpilot
Tue Aug 14, 2018 11:58 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Using Uber Without A Cellular Data Connection (UPDATE)
Replies: 25
Views: 2621

Re: Using Uber Without A Cellular Data Connection

My stateside cellphone service is with an MVNO so no options for international service. My cell service is also an MVNO on the Verizon network. Xfinity Mobile worked great this spring in the UK and France, and was also a tenth the cost of my former AT&T service. But if you truly will not have the o...