Search found 455 matches

by Polaris
Tue Jun 29, 2010 11:32 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Preventive maintenance question [car]
Replies: 24
Views: 2643

If this car is your "baby", I would spend the money on preventive maintenance. If you consider the car to be mere transportation, I wouldn't replace any 19 year old parts until they needed replacing (especially considering you probably have many more 19 year old parts on the old girl). :)
by Polaris
Tue Jun 29, 2010 8:53 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: parents enabling adult children
Replies: 122
Views: 19854

Re: Enabling a child

It is to laugh. This may be true in a certain subset of situations. But when a grown child crosses a certain threshold of irresponsibility, the very childishness of their behavior can undermine your resolve by activating your parenting instincts to provide for young children. You can extoll the rig...
by Polaris
Mon Jun 28, 2010 11:35 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: parents enabling adult children
Replies: 122
Views: 19854

Re: Enabling a child

I don't know if you have kids, but it's hard not to give your offspring what they want. You are right that it's not good for your sister, but cut your parents some slack. It's their money. I disagree with the first sentence. I never had a problem with saying 'No' to my two step-sons as they grew up...
by Polaris
Mon Jun 28, 2010 8:23 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: parents enabling adult children
Replies: 122
Views: 19854

Re: Some ideas

And even more importantly, you might save the relationship between your kids, because once you're gone, all they have is each other, and it's sad when those bonds have been severed by resentment over unequal treatment. A couple of factions of my wife's aunts are no longer on speaking terms due to d...
by Polaris
Mon Jun 28, 2010 8:17 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Being afraid and lost opportunity
Replies: 25
Views: 4197

She always says to check all her clothes pockets if she dies, because she hids money there. It will be like a treasure hunt. :) My grandfather said the same thing before he died. We found thousands of dollars in cash in suit pockets, in shoes, taped under dresser drawers, etc. Some cash was probabl...
by Polaris
Fri Jun 25, 2010 3:29 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: parents enabling adult children
Replies: 122
Views: 19854

To all the parents out there, could you explain what would drive someone to have entirely different expectations for their equally capable children? And how they can continue the pattern despite knowing that it's hurtful to the other siblings involved? I like the Economic Outpatient Care concept di...
by Polaris
Fri Jun 25, 2010 11:13 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: parents enabling adult children
Replies: 122
Views: 19854

I don't know if you have kids, but it's hard not to give your offspring what they want. I hear that a lot, but I don't get it. I worry about how my nieces and nephews have become very entitled and pretty much expect having things handed to them. We're trying really hard to make sure that doesn't ha...
by Polaris
Wed Jun 16, 2010 2:24 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: How Do We Make A Short Term Loan To Son Sans Gift Tax?
Replies: 37
Views: 3954

You and your wife should each be able to gift him up to $13k per calendar year with no gift tax concerns. In that case, whether he pays you interest or even pays you back is of no concern to the IRS.
by Polaris
Thu Jun 03, 2010 9:00 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: How much would you pay for curbside trash pickup?
Replies: 55
Views: 9049

We used to pay a private contractor $21 per month to pick up our trash before our road was accepted by the town and finally gave us access to the municipal service. We didn't have the option of bringing our own trash to the dump, so this was the most convenient (and legal) way to get rid of it.
by Polaris
Sun May 30, 2010 10:58 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Self Propelled lawnmower recommendation
Replies: 18
Views: 4479

I did look at the LawnBoy's before I bought the Husqvarna. I would love to buy a quality lawnmower for around $300 that will last. The lasting part is important. The yard I use this machine on is large, maybe 3/4 acre and the mower really has to perform. A riding mower is out of the question becaus...
by Polaris
Sun May 30, 2010 7:58 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Self Propelled lawnmower recommendation
Replies: 18
Views: 4479

After doing some research, I ended up getting a Lawn Boy (owned by Toro) for ~$300 four years ago and it's the nicest self propelled mower I've ever used. It's never given me a problem, starts up easily, mulches well, and to date has been easy to maintain myself.
by Polaris
Wed May 19, 2010 2:48 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Router
Replies: 25
Views: 3602

I would probably get a couple of ASUS RT-N16's and load dd-wrt open source firmware on each. Then I'd set up one as a router (house) and one as a wireless bridge (guest house).
by Polaris
Sun May 09, 2010 9:18 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Anyone here a database expert?
Replies: 33
Views: 4845

Depending on your budget, you can also have database SQL-driven searches scan the text of documents stored in the database. I worked on a system for a client more than 10 years ago where they used what is now called Oracle Text technology that allowed their sales force to remotely run keyword search...
by Polaris
Thu May 06, 2010 7:51 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Garden Hoses/storage
Replies: 12
Views: 3366

After our plastic one from Home Depot broke after a short time, we broke down and bought a Rapid Reel from amazon.com about 5 years ago. It still looks and works great and was worth the extra cost.
by Polaris
Mon May 03, 2010 7:58 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Looking for a new aluminum finish laptop
Replies: 11
Views: 2386

13 inch MacBook Pro http://store.apple.com/us/browse/home/shop_mac/family/macbook_pro?mco=OTY2ODExMA Apologies to all the Apple people out there - but I would NEVER buy an Apple product Thanks for the suggestion though :) Why? Cost. I am an iPod user and don't have anything against Apple products (...
by Polaris
Wed Apr 28, 2010 9:18 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: e-Bill Pay: how do you handle this?
Replies: 36
Views: 10223

Re: Don't give biller access to accounts

There are 225 million adults in America. 28 million of them don't have a bank account, leaving 197 million who do. If Clark Howard had one such person every single show, every show of the week, every week of the year, every year for the past 20 years he'd have 52,000 anecdotes. 52,000 out of 197,00...
by Polaris
Tue Apr 27, 2010 11:46 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: e-Bill Pay: how do you handle this?
Replies: 36
Views: 10223

Spirit Rider,

Thank you for making my point far more eloquently than I ever could have. :)
by Polaris
Tue Apr 27, 2010 7:43 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: e-Bill Pay: how do you handle this?
Replies: 36
Views: 10223

Re: Don't give biller access to accounts

If you send them a check you are in essence giving them access to your account. You give them the routing number and account number. If they were going to do something malicious through ACH that is all they need. BearWolf There's malicious, and then there's incompetent. If your electric company has...
by Polaris
Mon Apr 26, 2010 11:32 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: e-Bill Pay: how do you handle this?
Replies: 36
Views: 10223

Re: Don't give biller access to accounts

No harm in allowing a biller access to your account. For a credit card, sure. I've heard plenty of callers on the Clark Howard show over the years who have struggled to get their money back when businesses have had direct access to their checking/saving accounts. He recommends using bill pay to pus...
by Polaris
Fri Apr 23, 2010 7:44 am
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Wholesale food prices rise most in 26 years
Replies: 26
Views: 3368

Strawberries are cheap right now ($1.50 - $2 per pound on sale around here), but I've definitely noticed that food prices are on the uptick again.
by Polaris
Fri Apr 23, 2010 7:43 am
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Disaster Recovery exercise this weekend
Replies: 2
Views: 979

Although I've never heard of an industry-wide test being publicized, this is a pretty common exercise even among companies who many people wouldn't even miss in the event of a true disaster.
by Polaris
Thu Apr 22, 2010 9:25 am
Forum: Personal Investments
Topic: What do you say to the investment advisor cold call?
Replies: 111
Views: 13761

If one of my kids answers the phone, and I can tell by what they are saying that it's a telemarketer on the other end, I sometimes just let my kids stay on the phone and talk to them until they give up. I've done that with a very persistent caller who didn't get the hint after I never answered the ...
by Polaris
Wed Apr 21, 2010 9:12 am
Forum: Personal Investments
Topic: What do you say to the investment advisor cold call?
Replies: 111
Views: 13761

I stop people like this from wasting my time by having caller id and screening all calls from numbers I don't recognize. 95% of unrecognized callers don't even bother leaving a message.
by Polaris
Mon Jan 18, 2010 8:53 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Will you pay for the New York Times online?
Replies: 110
Views: 15761

I have been browsing the web site of local newspaper for many years now and they have just started charging for online access. People who subscribe to the print edition now have to pay about $20 per year for access and non-subscribers have to pay about $175. I now get my local news elsewhere.
by Polaris
Mon Jan 11, 2010 8:38 am
Forum: Personal Investments
Topic: I-Bond interest
Replies: 19
Views: 4448

how can you do that with treasurydirect when they also use a card for security I haven't looked at how the Vanguard aggregator handles the TD card since I use the Yodlee-powered Fidelity Full View. The Yodlee site allows you to type in the rows of characters on your card to answer the security ques...
by Polaris
Sat Jan 09, 2010 12:50 pm
Forum: Personal Investments
Topic: I-Bond interest
Replies: 19
Views: 4448

Re: I-Bond interest

I am curious Norris about how those I-Bonds are in a Vanguard account. I was under the impression that you could buy them either electronically from Treasury-Direct, or paper from a participating bank. Could you shed some light for me ? If you have electronic I Bonds at treasurydirect, you can have...
by Polaris
Sat Jan 09, 2010 12:47 pm
Forum: Personal Investments
Topic: SEP or not? what are the factors?
Replies: 3
Views: 957

I know we don't have to fund it. I'm wondering whether it would make sense to. It seems like it would take quite awhile to make up for that 10% that would have to be paid toward the employees' contribution That's the gotcha of a SEP. If the business can't afford to contribute 10% for employer contr...
by Polaris
Wed Jan 06, 2010 10:27 am
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Selfishness and Vanguard
Replies: 5
Views: 1925

I would certainly use the rules to my advantage and I don't blame anyone who does the same.
by Polaris
Sat Jan 02, 2010 4:09 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: New PenFed CD Rates
Replies: 34
Views: 7204

msbella wrote:Has anyone tried to open more than one 5-year CD at PenFed on the same day? Will it allow this or is it best to try again tomorrow?
thanks
I've opened two 5 year CDs at Penfed on multiple occasions with no issues, including yesterday. :)
by Polaris
Fri Jan 01, 2010 2:50 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: *****
Replies: 35
Views: 4250

Interesting topic. Looks like I'm at about $617 between Penfed/Fido/Amex for 2009.
by Polaris
Wed Dec 30, 2009 9:39 am
Forum: Personal Investments
Topic: Minimum Risk Money, If Not in a CD, Where?
Replies: 9
Views: 2069

How about some Penfed CDs? According to the Bank Deals Blog, they will offer a January special with a 3.25% APY 3-year CD, 3.50% APY 4-year CD, and a 3.75% APY 5-year CD.

Not as nice as the 6.25% APY CDs they had three years ago, but still pretty competitive in this rate environment.
by Polaris
Tue Dec 22, 2009 9:53 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Should you always counter offer when offered a job?
Replies: 39
Views: 10568

I received an offer for a job I wanted back in the day, but felt the salary was a bit low. I inquired about that and the hiring company pretty much told me to go away and ended all contact with me. While that did turn out to be a blessing in disguise since I ended up taking a different job that set ...
by Polaris
Tue Dec 22, 2009 9:41 am
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Which bear market is worse? 2000-2003 vs 2007-2009?
Replies: 23
Views: 3505

Even though the current recession is a much more severe event, the burst of the tech bubble was far worse for me personally. I work in the tech field and still make less than I did 10 years ago. I was also less financially prepared back then, but I learned those lessons well and was very well prepar...
by Polaris
Tue Dec 22, 2009 9:34 am
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Holiday Tipping?
Replies: 26
Views: 4342

All of this gift giving is just adding to the Christmas orgy of excess. I give the person who does a great job delivering the paper a gas gift card because they get paid a pittance, but I pay for services like haircuts, deliveries, etc. when I get them and don't see why I'm supposed to exchange gift...
by Polaris
Thu Dec 17, 2009 3:36 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: "Great" novels you couldn't finish
Replies: 92
Views: 12587

The Last of the Mohicans.
by Polaris
Sun Dec 13, 2009 11:18 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Pentagon Federal [decreases] 1.25% rewards
Replies: 13
Views: 3653

Maybe with items UPC scanned they credit based on what the majority of the order consists of. No it doesn't work that way. Every store has a Merchant Category Code. Usually Super Wal-Mart and Super Targets are not counted as grocery stores because they have a different MCC than your typical pure pl...
by Polaris
Mon Nov 30, 2009 8:03 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: car accident in MA, other driver's fault
Replies: 16
Views: 4604

gurusw wrote:Thank you Polaris. The funny part is that both of these websites do not have any dealerships.
I wonder if dealers tend to outsource auto body work? That was the case with the Honda dealer I bought my last car from a few years ago.
by Polaris
Sun Nov 29, 2009 8:20 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: car accident in MA, other driver's fault
Replies: 16
Views: 4604

When I was looking at repair shops, I read an article about "Certified" and "Qualified" auto body shops somewhere that led me to assuredperformancecare.com . I found one on the Commerce Insurance list that was "Qualified" and they fixed my car with a new OEM hood and bumper (I saw the invoices when ...
by Polaris
Sun Nov 29, 2009 10:51 am
Forum: Personal Investments
Topic: Career Change - No 401k
Replies: 6
Views: 2089

Sounds like a SEP IRA or a solo 401k would work. There's some good info on small business retirement plans at vanguard.com.
by Polaris
Sat Nov 28, 2009 11:12 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: car accident in MA, other driver's fault
Replies: 16
Views: 4604

I went through this last year in MA when someone cut in front of me and the front passenger side of my car hit their passenger side door. I called in to file a claim with my insurance company (Commerce) and they had me take my car in for an appraisal. A check arrived in the mail a couple of days lat...
by Polaris
Thu Nov 26, 2009 10:55 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Question about snowblowers
Replies: 48
Views: 11276

Re: Question about snowblowers

...I may have to get a snowblower. My house has a 18 feet two car driveway that's 50 feet long. There's a walk way that's 40 feet to the door that's 4 feet wide. The sidewalk is 4 feet wide and extend about 10 feet on each side of my driveway. Driveway and walkway are made of brick. we have a big y...
by Polaris
Wed Nov 25, 2009 7:31 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Question about snowblowers
Replies: 48
Views: 11276

I think an electric starter is key. It doesn't matter what it can do if you can't start it. Agreed (e.g. a plug-in electric start). While I've restarted a unit while using it for awhile (warmed up) - from a cold start it is quite difficult. However, after using it for awhile and running the gas tan...
by Polaris
Wed Nov 25, 2009 12:02 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Question about snowblowers
Replies: 48
Views: 11276

I have an Ariens two stage for my 100' x 15' driveway and have been pretty pleased with it although it does get bogged down with the occasional slushy snow. And if you're not in a hurry, I would check Lowes and Home Depot in January and February if you have a mild winter in your neck of the woods. A...
by Polaris
Sun Nov 22, 2009 10:41 am
Forum: Personal Investments
Topic: Paying for home with credit cards??
Replies: 7
Views: 1964

This does sound like the money merge account that Curlyq mentioned. It's basically an expensive mortgage prepayment system sold via multi level marketing where they use smoke and mirrors to add additional principal payments to your mortgage. The folks at fatwallet.com have ripped it to shreds for a ...
by Polaris
Fri Nov 20, 2009 8:59 am
Forum: Personal Investments
Topic: Paying for home with credit cards??
Replies: 7
Views: 1964

Kenster1 wrote:On another note.....can you actually pay your mortgage with a credit card? I didn't think it was possible.
You can do this using the billpay functionality of former MBNA credit cards. No rewards points, but you do get to float your money for an extra month.
by Polaris
Thu Nov 19, 2009 11:29 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Praise for Automatic Bill Payment (not online bill payment)
Replies: 45
Views: 8281

Clark Howard advises against it. I guess he gets too many consumer complaints from folks using that process. Lots of the callers I've heard had problems with health clubs and alarm companies continuing to drain their checking accounts after their contracts have expired or service was canceled despi...
by Polaris
Wed Nov 18, 2009 7:49 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Am I crazy for wanting to refinance to a 30-year?
Replies: 56
Views: 8386

You don't state your age jlq39, but I think that is an important factor. While many here are older and thus more financially conservative, I am in my late 30's and am basically doing what you propose: I have a 30 year mortgage plus the cash to pay the entire thing off if I want to (most of it in CDs...
by Polaris
Wed Nov 18, 2009 4:04 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Praise for Automatic Bill Payment (not online bill payment)
Replies: 45
Views: 8281

I'd much rather push the money from billpay. Giving utilities and mortgage and credit card companies direct access to my checking account scares the willies out of me.
by Polaris
Tue Nov 17, 2009 8:51 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Shopping for Car Headlights??
Replies: 15
Views: 2634

Re: Shopping for Car Headlights??

This is a good thing to keep in mind. I mean, the dealer IS going to make money off of you, but I seriously doubt they're marking their parts up 400% from what you could get from the 'net. I broke a rearview mirror and they only marked the part up about 10%, and they were honest about it. jaydrebwa...
by Polaris
Tue Nov 17, 2009 12:31 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Shopping for Car Headlights??
Replies: 15
Views: 2634

Don't know about what specific part you're looking for, but I've had good experiences buying online from Infiniti of Scottsdale: infinitipartsusa.com.