Search found 1404 matches

by mrc
Sun Oct 28, 2018 4:35 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Gutters and gutter guards
Replies: 64
Views: 11987

Re: Gutters and gutter guards

The gutters on the back of my house are three stories high, and there is a deck walkway and screen porch blocking access from the ground. If I place an extension ladder on the deck, the angle is creepy steep. The screen porch gable roof is closer to the gutter level, but the angles make for unsteady...
by mrc
Fri Oct 26, 2018 4:24 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Sound reduction in large house
Replies: 17
Views: 2255

Re: Sound reduction in large house

I'm the one that bought it up, so sorry about that. Carpet and window treatment, along with ordinary soft furniture results in a quiet (normal size) house everywhere I've lived. Even with honeycomb shades and hardwood floors the house is livable. Every time I visit a friend in a McM, or even a more ...
by mrc
Fri Oct 26, 2018 7:25 am
Forum: Personal Investments
Topic: Roth conversions from old company 403b
Replies: 3
Views: 375

Re: Roth conversions from old company 403b

Thanks Exit. Good to know the 403b funds can be place in a Roth. Tons written and posted about conversions, but that detail is difficult to find. When we moved funds from TIAA to Fidelity for the Roths, one check went right through and the account was funded within days. The other check got hung up ...
by mrc
Thu Oct 25, 2018 4:40 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: "Donating" unused family burial "spots"
Replies: 21
Views: 2356

Re: "Donating" unused family burial "spots"

I looked into this for my mom a while back. I discovered unwanted plots (in small rural cemeteries) have virtually no resale value. And it's not like you can drop it off as a donation at the local Goodwill or Salvation Army. I wondered about donating it to a veteran or someone more needy. But the ce...
by mrc
Thu Oct 25, 2018 4:00 pm
Forum: Personal Investments
Topic: Roth conversions from old company 403b
Replies: 3
Views: 375

Roth conversions from old company 403b

My wife is planning to convert some TIAA 403b funds to her existing Fidelity Roth IRA in 2019 and 2020. She will stop working in mid-January 2019 and at age 68 has two years before SS and RMDs. She has no tIRA now, just the Roth IRA. Q1: Can she convert 403b funds directly to a Roth IRA (at a differ...
by mrc
Wed Oct 24, 2018 1:44 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: PSA: Don't buy a big house
Replies: 248
Views: 28421

Re: PSA: Don't buy a big house

While we're griping about houses, let me add that I hate the space wasted by the jetted bath tub in our master bath. What a useless item that is annoying to clean. We're currently using it to store some cleaning supplies. :annoyed +1MM Our "super bath" easily ran the hot water tank out, and the jet...
by mrc
Tue Oct 23, 2018 12:06 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: PSA: Don't buy a big house
Replies: 248
Views: 28421

Re: PSA: Don't buy a big house

No one has mentioned my wife's objection to two-story foyers/great rooms and open floor plans of these McMansions: The noise is unbearable. Fire up a blender in the kitchen and the folks watching TV in a the great room can't hear the sound—even though it's often a different ZIP code.
by mrc
Tue Oct 23, 2018 8:24 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: House has major repair issues right after buying... options
Replies: 27
Views: 2465

Re: House has major repair issues right after buying... options

Wow that sucks... and I agree with the caution to beware of flippers. But look n the bright side - its just a couple of shower rebuilds. Could have been a lot worse - you could have had a bad roof, or a failing foundation, or found out the entire heating system had to be replaced. Next month ... :w...
by mrc
Sun Oct 21, 2018 3:59 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: No power in half the house
Replies: 17
Views: 1828

Re: No power in half the house

What was the cause?! Based on a prior poster's response, I think the neighborhood transformer blew out. I called the power company and they said it was equipment failure. There were three trucks out here between 1 am and 10 am. I'm glad it was resolved quickly and without involving an electrician, ...
by mrc
Sun Oct 21, 2018 12:26 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: No power in half the house
Replies: 17
Views: 1828

Re: No power in half the house

What was the cause?!
by mrc
Sun Oct 21, 2018 4:40 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: AAA Insurance is increasing my home insurance premium by 47.8%!!! with no claims filed
Replies: 30
Views: 3146

Re: AAA Insurance is increasing my home insurance premium by 47.8%!!! with no claims filed

I left AAA in September for CostCo's insurance affiliate (Ameriprise in my area). Saved $500 and got another 2% discount from using CostCo card to pay. This got me thinking about our insurance (auto, home, umbrella). So I went to the Costco/Ameriprise website and started with a home quote. I was su...
by mrc
Mon Oct 15, 2018 11:35 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: de-balling down comforter?
Replies: 7
Views: 658

Re: de-balling down comforter?

Clumping is a sign it's not completely dry. You'll want to dry it completely to prevent mold. Drying on warm for longer than you think. The tennis balls are a great idea. It sounds awful, but it works. My understanding is you can have it washed professionally, but never dry clean down. Front loader ...
by mrc
Sun Oct 14, 2018 2:57 pm
Forum: Forum Issues and Administration
Topic: Forum software upgrade bug reports and change requests
Replies: 497
Views: 179091

Re: Forum software upgrade bug reports and change requests

Don't think is OS or browser, but rather mobile device size. I can reproduce this using Chrome's Inspect Element tool if I set my device to iPhone 5/SE (320px wide) but it works properly on iPhone 6/7/8 (375px wide). I can confirm I'm seeing the same behaviour using Chrome on iOS 12.01. Device is i...
by mrc
Fri Oct 12, 2018 5:31 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Tips for staying active / injury-free into older age
Replies: 162
Views: 16051

Re: Tips for staying active / injury-free into older age

We switched (high omega-6) from flax to fish oil (high omega-3 EPA/DHA). One reason why here . Decide for yourself which best helps you stay most active and injury free. Good quality (liquid) fish oil is more expensive than flax seed oil, especially in the required quantities. But so is a knee repla...
by mrc
Fri Oct 12, 2018 4:30 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Lost Power for 24 hours - what food to toss?
Replies: 49
Views: 3751

Re: Lost Power for 24 hours - what food to toss?

If you kept the door shut ... Looking over that chart, a run to Costco, Trader Joes, Wegmans, and the dry cleaners on a hot summer day means I should toss everything from the first store when I get home. I leave eggs out on the counter overnight. They cook better at room temp. Anything that smells o...
by mrc
Fri Oct 12, 2018 8:02 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: ProFed Fed Employee Retirement workshop: FA sales or legit help?
Replies: 13
Views: 1471

Re: ProFed Fed Employee Retirement workshop: FA sales or legit help?

Your husband's agency HR department should have everything he needs to know at the ready. Retiring from federal service isn't an event, it's a process. Whether FERS/CSRS also matters. A good place to start is the OPM retirement website , but little takes the place of the agency contact. It's good to...
by mrc
Thu Oct 11, 2018 3:22 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: [Fidelity announces simplified index fund structure]
Replies: 20
Views: 3061

Re: Fidelity simplified fund structure announced

Correct. Email going out to existing shareholders now in prep for November. I brought it up because some tickers subject to change.
by mrc
Thu Oct 11, 2018 2:42 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: [Fidelity announces simplified index fund structure]
Replies: 20
Views: 3061

Fidelity simplified fund structure announced

[Thread merged into here, see below. --admin LadyGeek] Email communication from today announcing: A simplified index fund structure—we're moving away from multiple share classes to just one. Updated fund names and fund symbols Additionally, as of August 1, every investor now receives the lowest cos...
by mrc
Sun Oct 07, 2018 2:57 am
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Should I, and how, act on changes in managing diet and health?
Replies: 65
Views: 5517

Re: Should I, and how, act on changes in managing diet and health?

The food industry loves diets of all shapes and sizes because they can manufacture new food products that cater to those diets. As for which diet to choose, I recommend that you consult with your medical professional . That is akin to asking an Edward Jones rep, "What should I do with my $2M nest e...
by mrc
Thu Oct 04, 2018 5:02 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Apple - macOS Mojave
Replies: 35
Views: 3316

Re: Apple - macOS Mojave

If you use Backblaze for remote backups, be sure to upgrade the client before the OS. Backblaze sent out reminders to customers about heightened security policies within the OS that results in loss of access to some files with the older client.
by mrc
Wed Oct 03, 2018 5:36 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Remember traveler's checks? How to cash a forgotten stash
Replies: 29
Views: 3954

Re: Remember traveler's checks? How to cash a forgotten stash

Have you checked the VISA travelers checkques website?

Contact us, we’re here to help.
by mrc
Wed Oct 03, 2018 11:33 am
Forum: Personal Investments
Topic: Roth contributions when working part year maxing 401k
Replies: 5
Views: 332

Re: Roth contributions when working part year maxing 401k

This is helpful.

Last year's W-2 reveals all. Medicare wages - 401k (all pretax) = box 1 total.

Makes sense: You must earn all the money you set aside in a 401k and IRA.

We'll be careful about excess contributions.

Appreciate the advice.
by mrc
Wed Oct 03, 2018 9:11 am
Forum: Personal Investments
Topic: Roth contributions when working part year maxing 401k
Replies: 5
Views: 332

Roth contributions when working part year maxing 401k

I searched but Roths are a popular and complex topic and I can't find an answer to this question: One spouse is still working, and will work for several months in 2019, then retire. She intends to elect highest 401k contributions possible to attempt to max annual limit prior to separating. This will...
by mrc
Tue Oct 02, 2018 4:08 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Asphalt driveway replacement
Replies: 21
Views: 2188

Re: Asphalt driveway replacement

Another vote for concrete. Previous owners already resurfaced our driveway, so it was a touch higher than the garage floor. Every time it rained the garage took on water. I had dedicated shoes and clothes for the biannual re-coat job. The cost to replace with concrete was 2.5 that of grinding and re...
by mrc
Mon Oct 01, 2018 1:13 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Bose Noise Cancelling Headphones
Replies: 77
Views: 9708

Re: Bose Noise Cancelling Headphones

Are these good if you have intrusive tinnitus? For me, any background noise (a fan or motor running, radio, white noise at night) masks my tinnitus. Headphones do too. What I can't stand is dead silence, because the hiss/ring of my tinnitus becomes too loud to ignore. A noise cancellation headphone...
by mrc
Sun Sep 30, 2018 1:32 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: city water sewer vs well septic
Replies: 36
Views: 2793

Re: city water sewer vs well septic

All else being equal, I would choose city water and sewer. With all of the chemicals folks like to spray on their lawns and flowers, wells run the risk of contamination. At least with the city water, they run tests on it regularly. We currently have well and a septic tank and have had no issues wit...
by mrc
Sun Sep 30, 2018 10:08 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: city water sewer vs well septic
Replies: 36
Views: 2793

Re: city water sewer vs well septic

Unless you are choosing between two nearly identical homes, one with septic, one on muni, does it matter? Chose the house you like best. I don't know which of the two has the higher costs overall, but in our experience living in both types, septic costs are more sporadic compared to the more regular...
by mrc
Sat Sep 29, 2018 3:22 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: For real liquid cod liver oil.........?
Replies: 16
Views: 1331

Re: For real liquid cod liver oil.........?

jehovasfitness wrote:
Sat Sep 29, 2018 12:55 pm
wilked wrote:
Sat Sep 29, 2018 9:57 am
Carlson’s.

It should be pretty easy to find
This. Keep in fridge
+2 Carlson's liquid fish oil and/or cod liver oils among the best quality. The liquids are the best value as well compared to the tiny amounts of the substances you are after in most gelcaps.
by mrc
Fri Sep 28, 2018 3:04 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: SS 2019 COLA could be close to 3%
Replies: 55
Views: 6523

Re: SS 2019 COLA could be close to 3%

Has anybody noticed that today's millennium teenager will be getting $378,943 per year in SS benefits if she earns SS max every year for 35 years of her career? Oh, to be young has its advantages :-) Ref: https://www.ssa.gov/oact/tr/TR01/lr3B5-m.html Seriously, am I reading that chart wrong?? Yeah,...
by mrc
Fri Sep 28, 2018 12:30 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Public Student Loan Forgiveness Program Rejects 99% of Applicants
Replies: 27
Views: 2699

Re: Public Student Loan Forgiveness Program Rejects 99% of Applicants

Yeah, start charging for k-12 too, entitled kids think they can just get a free ride all the way through HS I’ll bite, lol..... We already do. I’m paying over $6k/year to our local ISD through property taxes. And we have NO kids. I’m already more than doing ‘my part’ for other people’s choice to po...
by mrc
Thu Sep 27, 2018 4:30 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: When do you need a hearing aid
Replies: 50
Views: 3772

Re: When do you need a hearing aid

The reality of it is, is that the longer you go without hearing well, the harder it is to recognize some words, after you are fitted with hearing aids. You tend to forget what they sound like, and it takes a moment to process the sound. People with profound hearing loss that go an extended period o...
by mrc
Tue Sep 25, 2018 5:22 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Which type of Primary Care Physician?
Replies: 54
Views: 4540

Re: Which type of Primary Care Physician?

dm200 wrote:
Tue Sep 25, 2018 5:21 pm
mrc wrote:
Tue Sep 25, 2018 5:15 pm
A geriatrician would not be out of line for a primary, otherwise I'd go with an internist.
As far as I can tell, "geriatrics" is not an identified Kaiser category for Physicians.
Please don't me mad at me, but that's one reason I don't care for Kaiser's HMO model.
by mrc
Tue Sep 25, 2018 5:15 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Which type of Primary Care Physician?
Replies: 54
Views: 4540

Re: Which type of Primary Care Physician?

A geriatrician would not be out of line for a primary, otherwise I'd go with an internist.
by mrc
Tue Sep 25, 2018 7:45 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Oil change interval for low-mileage vehicles
Replies: 89
Views: 9918

Re: Oil change interval for low-mileage vehicles

My 2009 Ford Escape has a oil life monitor in the trip computer. I suggest you use that to determine when to do an oil change as that comes straight from the engineers that designed your vehicle. It will light up to tell you when you need a change. The 3000 mile or 3 month oil change hasn't been re...
by mrc
Tue Sep 25, 2018 7:25 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Minimalist Lifestyle
Replies: 92
Views: 12457

Re: Minimalist Lifestyle

I know someone that I just helped with a garage sale this past weekend who said she was selling everything and just rebuying something if she really needs it. Why rebuy if you already had it? Actually, I think that is a smart strategy. A lot of times, people do not recycle or discard things because...
by mrc
Mon Sep 24, 2018 7:59 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Dark stain wood floors
Replies: 27
Views: 2605

Re: Dark stain wood floors

OnTrack wrote:
Sun Sep 23, 2018 10:46 pm
Due to less reflectivity, a room with a dark floor may appear to be darker. Just something to consider.
Dark surfaces make the room look smaller too.
by mrc
Thu Sep 20, 2018 11:55 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Painting kitchen cabinet
Replies: 23
Views: 1575

Re: Painting kitchen cabinet

Slight divergence - I am wanting to paint just the shelves inside the cabinets, because they are maked up by cans, pots, etc, over many years. The oiutside is Formica after a refacing job and is OK. My concern is what paint to use to make sure that once I put stuff back in, it doesn't stick/damage ...
by mrc
Wed Sep 19, 2018 2:28 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: TSP to Increase Stock Holdings in L Funds
Replies: 49
Views: 3294

Re: TSP to Increase Stock Holdings in L Funds

I wonder when the next change will be? Market timers should be so excited about this, that the TSP is always going to try to remain hip and viable to whatever's popular in a given year. The TSP is hip. You must be joking. They take forever to do anything. In order to do a withdrawal, you must eithe...
by mrc
Wed Sep 19, 2018 10:14 am
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: TSP to Increase Stock Holdings in L Funds
Replies: 49
Views: 3294

Re: TSP to Increase Stock Holdings in L Funds

Until we discovered the three-fund portfolio, we used an L fund that was a (much) later date than actual retirement age. We did this because the date fund was a too conservative for our taste. They still are: The 2040 fund (23 years out) at 28% bonds, remains higher than our desired bond allocation....
by mrc
Wed Sep 19, 2018 7:47 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: A Frustration w/ Ally Bank, Trust Account, and Paperless Statements
Replies: 28
Views: 3209

Re: A Frustration w/ Ally Bank, Trust Account, and Paperless Statements

A locking mailbox can solve this problem. Our box is across the street, and I've been thinking about doing just that for a while. Something like this model, isn't Fort Knox, but would deter the average drive-by sticky fingers from grabbing a statement.
by mrc
Sat Sep 15, 2018 3:34 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Lab test prices - exasperating!
Replies: 101
Views: 7222

Re: Lab test prices - exasperating!

The common theme with all these threads is insurance companies. Period. Insurance companies make it difficult to verify coverage, but I don't see how they're responsible for labs not providing you a cash price when you ask. Managed Care Pharmacy Benefit Managers 400 page health insurance plans One ...
by mrc
Wed Sep 12, 2018 2:11 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: TIAA: Help with Payout Options
Replies: 24
Views: 2495

Re: TIAA: Help with Payout Options

That is, don't annuitize at all, except for the TPA if necessary. This might make sense because (a) you don't need annuity income to help cover your expenses, and (b) your TIAA accumulation is a fairly small fraction of your assets. Putting it all into the IRA would simplify things. This is exactly...
by mrc
Mon Sep 10, 2018 3:31 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Botched countertop installation - leave it as-is or risk the repair?
Replies: 78
Views: 8902

Re: Botched countertop installation - leave it as-is or risk the repair?

For the record, that recent picture of the caulk goober gave me hives. Good luck!
by mrc
Mon Sep 10, 2018 12:01 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Botched countertop installation - leave it as-is or risk the repair?
Replies: 78
Views: 8902

Re: Botched countertop installation - leave it as-is or risk the repair?

I detest visible clear silicone sealer wider than a hairline. The cove of silicone on the cheek corners and finger smears along the side (or back) of the sink is not a professional installation. There is way too much caulk used. If this can't be redone and made a more flush install, I would be surpr...
by mrc
Sat Sep 08, 2018 3:17 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Can Sneakers go with Business Casual?
Replies: 172
Views: 10900

Re: Can Sneakers go with Business Casual?

Can they? Yes. But not in every situation. I wore an all black New Balance running shoe for years in an IT position within a financial services company. Despite the not invisible "N" on the side, my manager never said anything about a dress code violation. I wouldn't consider a flashy reflective sil...
by mrc
Wed Sep 05, 2018 2:40 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: HVAC annual contracts vs yearly annual cleaning
Replies: 32
Views: 2647

Re: HVAC annual contracts vs yearly annual cleaning

We have an oil burner, which does require an annual tuneup. Have service contracts on the furnace, oil-burner water heater, and A/C. Also the oil tank. During a severe February cold snap, the heat went out. Turns out, due to colder than normal temps, we simply ran out of oil. Ice put the auto-delive...
by mrc
Mon Sep 03, 2018 2:51 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Replace a central vac?
Replies: 4
Views: 361

Re: Replace a central vac?

I have a Beam whole house vac, and the vac unit died. I bought a new one and swapped it in for the old. Very easy. I bought a longer hose and a better power head at the same time. I removed the muffler and ran a 2" PVC to outdoors so now mine exhausts outside. Great invention. Hopefully any weakness...
by mrc
Mon Sep 03, 2018 12:26 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: How often do you change your HVAC filters?
Replies: 57
Views: 3670

Re: How often do you change your HVAC filters?

I never change them but I clean them often: I have washable 'self charging' electrostatic filters both behind the two main return grills, and at the furnace. I wash the furnace filter every month, and the returns every week. You should see the stuff that doesn't even enter the return plenum! We have...
by mrc
Fri Aug 31, 2018 1:35 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Federal retirees - avoid all tax withholding on retirement income streams?
Replies: 7
Views: 1279

Re: Federal retirees - avoid all tax withholding on retirement income streams?

The TSP website is a good resource 5. Tax Withholding From Your Withdrawal We must withhold federal income tax from the taxable portion of TSP payments made directly to you. For withholding purposes, there are three types of payments: eligible rollover distributions, periodic payments, and non-perio...
by mrc
Thu Aug 30, 2018 2:53 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Piano for a child
Replies: 60
Views: 3644

Re: Piano for a child

I was a music major, and owned a baby grand before a cross country move. I would never own another mechanical piano. They need constant upkeep, are sensitive to temperature and humidity, weigh a ton, and constantly need tuning. If I could still play, I would get a nice Yamaha digital. Look at the we...