Search found 455 matches

by Polaris
Mon Nov 16, 2009 8:44 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Our experience buying a new car
Replies: 30
Views: 4671

i hate buying cars. the entire way it works and system in place upsets me. this is why i try to buy a car only about once every ten yrs. I agree, I dread having to buy a new car. I would be thrilled if I could order my next car at a competitive price from amazon.com and have it dropped off at my ho...
by Polaris
Sat Nov 14, 2009 11:04 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Interesting article regarding layoffs and spending.
Replies: 21
Views: 3533

That's why he refused to take a new job that didn't include a similar severance provision. One of the perks of his class is a completely different situation with regard to job loss. You're supposed to be able to ride through it in a way that people in my class can't. Is that true even if you're in ...
by Polaris
Tue Nov 10, 2009 1:07 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Maintain old car or buy new car?
Replies: 58
Views: 12697

Avoidable accidents are much more common than unavoidable accidents like the one in your example. This is why small cars cause the same or fewer fatalities per driver than so-called "safer" large SUVs. They handle better and allow you to actually avoid those accidents that are unavoidable. I have n...
by Polaris
Tue Nov 10, 2009 12:59 pm
Forum: Personal Investments
Topic: Pay Off 2nd Mortgage Vs Roth IRA
Replies: 28
Views: 4213

I disagree with the comments about missing an important opportunity with the Roth because it will only be three years of lost Roth. The savings in interest will make up for the lost money. I don't see how the savings in mortgage interest makes up for three years of "lost" Roth contributions ($30k) ...
by Polaris
Tue Nov 10, 2009 9:35 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Maintain old car or buy new car?
Replies: 58
Views: 12697

Re: Predictable

Not very concerned. I sold my 1989 rear-wheel-drive Mazda pickup in 2005 and it didn't even have a driver airbag. If it was safe enough to transport myself and family when I bought it and it was well-maintained, so I don't see scrapping a well-running older car or truck because of safety advances. ...
by Polaris
Tue Nov 10, 2009 9:28 am
Forum: Personal Investments
Topic: Pay Off 2nd Mortgage Vs Roth IRA
Replies: 28
Views: 4213

I would max out the Roths before throwing adding additional money at the mortgage. It's an opportunity that you can only take advantage of until you file your tax return each year, you're young and are likely in a low tax bracket (locking in lower tax rates now), you can withdraw your contributions ...
by Polaris
Mon Nov 09, 2009 8:49 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Maintain old car or buy new car?
Replies: 58
Views: 12697

only 75K miles? are you sure you need a new timing belt? IMO consider waiting until 100K+ to replace if it's a non-interference engine. Things like belts and hoses deteriorate over time even with light usage. I push the envelope with power steering and compressor belts, but changing any belt after ...
by Polaris
Thu Nov 05, 2009 2:51 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: House pay off emotional rewards
Replies: 71
Views: 10586

Taxes, insurance, and other maintenance costs, even here in Massachusetts, are far less than rent on a comparable property. I live in Massachusetts and that hasn't been my experience at all. At this point, my property tax and homeowners insurance is about one third of my annual PITI and rising. Eve...
by Polaris
Mon Nov 02, 2009 4:05 pm
Forum: Personal Investments
Topic: Maturing CD what to do?
Replies: 45
Views: 7352

Re: Final word on November I-bond rates

Okay, this has all been a good lesson in humility for me, and I'm glad I hedged my bets some and said I could still be wrong! I did miss the fact that you need to multiply by 2 to get the composite rate in the formula. This has certainly taught me more about I bonds. I don't know why they don't jus...
by Polaris
Mon Nov 02, 2009 1:11 pm
Forum: Personal Investments
Topic: Maturing CD what to do?
Replies: 45
Views: 7352

Re: Final word on November I-bond rates

Okay, the verdict is in, the new November postings, are on the gov website, and my skepticism was justified. The new posted inflation rate for November 1 is 1.53%, not 3.07%. The thing missing for me in the earlier posts was an clear explanation of how people could be '100% certain" before November...
by Polaris
Thu Oct 22, 2009 12:59 pm
Forum: Personal Investments
Topic: SSgA Funds, why do 401Ks stuff them down our throat?
Replies: 20
Views: 6434

We use the SSgA s&p 500 fund (SVSPX) in a "captive" account and it's not bad - No load and 0.18% expenses. The SSgA bond index fund (SSBMX) isn't terrible either - No load 0.50% expenses. Compared to some of the absolute garbage funds many 401k's have to offer, you could be doing much worse than SSg...
by Polaris
Wed Oct 14, 2009 12:50 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: NYT: Only Making Half as Much
Replies: 105
Views: 11526

Cherokee8215 wrote:That pilot's story makes me glad I'm not married,
I'm sure he'd be feeling just as sorry for himself even if he were single.
by Polaris
Wed Oct 14, 2009 10:57 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Redesigned Fidelity Full View
Replies: 13
Views: 3241

I had the same initial compaint on the format, but found by going to a one column display and going to the "Edit Dashboard Display" and only giving me the info I was interested in got me back to the original FV view. You may want to look at changing some of the default display items that were set a...
by Polaris
Wed Oct 14, 2009 10:10 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Straw buyer for car purchase
Replies: 57
Views: 9638

This doesn't sound unlike the bus trips that U.S. citizens take to Canada to buy prescription drugs.
by Polaris
Wed Oct 14, 2009 7:47 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Redesigned Fidelity Full View
Replies: 13
Views: 3241

Ron wrote:But it does (unless I don't understand your statement). Did you depress the "+" key to expand the info?
Yeah, it's technically there but not as nicely presented after the update IMO.
by Polaris
Wed Oct 14, 2009 7:42 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: NYT: Only Making Half as Much
Replies: 105
Views: 11526

Things are tough all over. I would love to go back to what I was making before the tech bubble burst in 2000/2001, but those days are long gone. :(
by Polaris
Wed Oct 14, 2009 7:36 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Using Cash Back Credit Card to Pay Mortgage?
Replies: 7
Views: 2959

Not really. This is one of the oldest questions over on FW, and the answer has always been this is one area you can not finagle something. There are various services where you can get the payment to them from your CC, but you've paid a 3rd party 2-4%ish. At FW, the best fee-free way to do this curr...
by Polaris
Tue Oct 13, 2009 3:05 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Redesigned Fidelity Full View
Replies: 13
Views: 3241

turntablist100 wrote:working fine in firefox for me
It's still a perpetual refresh for me. :(
by Polaris
Tue Oct 13, 2009 12:24 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Redesigned Fidelity Full View
Replies: 13
Views: 3241

I'm hating it so far, but hope I will get used to it. Having a simple way to look at all of my account balances broken down by institution like I could with the old version would be nice. I also haven't been able to use it with Firefox, although it works with Internet Explorer. I am getting sick of ...
by Polaris
Tue Oct 13, 2009 7:17 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Honda dealers
Replies: 29
Views: 4865

tommy_gunn wrote:obviously folks, we are in a recession/economic slowdown = less cars being bought = need to make money somewhere = pushing more service items = dishonesty
I've found car dealers to behave in a shady manner no matter what the economic conditions du jour happened to be. :)
by Polaris
Mon Oct 12, 2009 3:42 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Time: Why It's Time to Retire the 401(k)
Replies: 53
Views: 8443

Why do people go on so about the poor investment choices in their 401k accounts? How long do they expect the money to sit there anyway? The average job tenure in the US is now 5 years. After that it's in an IRA and eventually a Roth IRA where it could be feeding your wife or your kids 50 years from...
by Polaris
Mon Oct 12, 2009 8:18 am
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Time: Why It's Time to Retire the 401(k)
Replies: 53
Views: 8443

I like the idea of a universal retirement savings account. Why on earth should I be allowed to put 22k in a stinky old 401k that is littered with poor choices and high fees when I can only put 6k into an IRA where Ican choose from everything the market offers? That idea makes plenty of sense to me,...
by Polaris
Mon Sep 28, 2009 12:07 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Lawnmower Recommedations
Replies: 30
Views: 6144

It's funny that there were so many B&S recommendations. Those were the engines getting the bad reviews on Lowes.com, but it wouldn't surprise me if some of those people forgot to put oil in the engine. I found that odd too. Lots of people on lawn & garden forums I occasionally read seem to consider...
by Polaris
Mon Sep 28, 2009 7:33 am
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: The Bogleheads' Guide to Retirement Planning IS HERE!
Replies: 94
Views: 19109

Ah, did not know this was already out. I just ordered from Amazon and it should be here in a couple of days. :)
by Polaris
Fri Sep 25, 2009 10:37 am
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Help on Scary personal finance subjects
Replies: 72
Views: 11883

How about the hubris of money managers who delude themselves into thinking they're smarter than everyone else? I find statements like this pretty scary ( source ): I regularly trounce the market. So does my brother, who co-manages Clipper and Selected American Shares funds. So do some friends and do...
by Polaris
Thu Sep 24, 2009 3:04 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: What Are Bogleheads Doing About Home Heating Oil?
Replies: 35
Views: 5086

I'm still buying at market price this winter. FWIW, New England residents can check prices for some dealers at newenglandoil.com.
by Polaris
Mon Sep 21, 2009 7:54 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Should parents pay their kids' college tuition?
Replies: 79
Views: 14139

In general...NO. Especially if it's a boy. You might just be educating him in something more important than anything taught in schools, like how to become a man. I knew a family like this. The son was expected to pay his own tuition and worked his tail off driving a Coke truck and lugging soda arou...
by Polaris
Sun Sep 13, 2009 11:52 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: do you still sweat the small stuff?
Replies: 56
Views: 9577

I do sweat the small stuff. I use coupons for clothing, gifts, home improvement projects, groceries, dining out, etc. (there are good coupons for healthy food btw, like the stash of organic yogurt and whole grain bread coupons I have stockpiled). I cut my own grass, change my own oil, fix my own toi...
by Polaris
Wed Sep 09, 2009 10:07 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: New frugality is the new normal, by necessity - Yahoo! News
Replies: 20
Views: 3379

I think crazy consumer spending will ramp right back up as credit card and mortgage lenders loosen up the money. Many people have never known anything different and have no clue how bad things got last fall. For example, I have extended family that used to budget and be very frugal. Then over the pa...
by Polaris
Mon Sep 07, 2009 9:03 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Buy American car?
Replies: 51
Views: 7415

)I have a 2000 Toyota Solara V6 with 148,700 miles on it, no hint of a sludge problem. I replace the oil at 5,000 miles, using Castrol or Pennzoil or Toyota's oil (if the dealer has it on sale :lol: ), and I use Toyota filter. Same sludge problem mentioned for some VW engines, and VW's response was...
by Polaris
Sun Sep 06, 2009 4:48 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Buy American car?
Replies: 51
Views: 7415

Why are you nervous about sludge on a Camry? That's been a known problem with many Toyotas, particularly with the V6: link . Honda had a similar wart with an automatic transmission issue for its V6's (I think the Odessey/Pilot/MDX). My Honda had a transmission recall before it was six months old. :(
by Polaris
Sat Sep 05, 2009 7:45 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Small Business Income/Expense software
Replies: 10
Views: 1760

My CPA also recommended using Quickbooks and it's been doing the job for seven years now.
by Polaris
Mon Aug 31, 2009 11:31 am
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: How does ING Direct do it?
Replies: 86
Views: 17363

Gekko wrote:has anybody had both ING and HBSC? HBSC looks to pay a slightly higher rate but rate is not the only important thing.
I've had savings accounts with Ing and HSBC for quite some time now and have had a positive experience with both.
by Polaris
Sun Aug 30, 2009 11:36 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Please recommend Parent Internet monitoring program
Replies: 9
Views: 1887

leonard wrote:What important business do kids have to attend to the requires an internet connection?
Not sure what difference that makes. Children could be using an internet connection for "work" (school projects) or fun just as adults do.
by Polaris
Fri Aug 28, 2009 12:30 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Credit Cards going from Fixed to Variable = Business Decisio
Replies: 18
Views: 2616

Alex Frakt wrote:(unless you are one of the approximately 5 people in the US who put every borrowed penny into some sort of interest bearing instrument).
I'll wager that you could find more than 5 people on this forum alone who have done just that.
by Polaris
Mon Aug 17, 2009 8:12 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: New England Vacation
Replies: 12
Views: 2413

Re: New England Vacation

We stayed here in June. Wonderful hostess - Dee Girouard who is also a fantastic breakfast chef. Not sure about foliage, but the southern Mass coastal area is really pretty. Lots of whaling history in that area. It is not crowded and is off the beaten path. Mattapoisett is a beautiful town and not ...
by Polaris
Sun Aug 09, 2009 9:08 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: New England Vacation
Replies: 12
Views: 2413

I haven't been there in the fall, but we liked The Wildflower Inn in Lyndonville, Vermont so much we went back several times. Very quiet and peaceful, beautiful scenery, and it's run by very nice people.
by Polaris
Tue Aug 04, 2009 8:59 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Bicycle rack/carrier recommendations?
Replies: 18
Views: 3726

We have a Yakima roof rack with 4 Rocky Mounts trays for our sedan and have been very pleased with this setup. FWIW, I've found that the tray style bike carrier works well with the unusual geometries of kids bikes and adult bikes with step through frames ("girls bikes"). I've purchased this stuff fr...
by Polaris
Wed Jul 29, 2009 9:14 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Sealing Driveways
Replies: 10
Views: 3066

I asked the paving contractors that gave me quotes for installing my driveway about their position on sealing the driveway. Of the two I found most reputable, one said that he would never recommend applying it. He did recommend using a crack filler though to keep water from getting under the drivewa...
by Polaris
Thu Jul 23, 2009 2:25 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: How much do you spend on groceries ?
Replies: 105
Views: 16415

We spent about $130 monthly on groceries per person for a family of four last year. That amount includes all paper products, health & beauty products, cleaning products, etc.
by Polaris
Mon Jul 20, 2009 2:18 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Poll: I would borrow money to invest if...
Replies: 30
Views: 4596

And no I'm not talking about the 0% APR cash advance credit cards, they hook you in with this game leading you through a minefield of changing due dates and rules to get you to screw up and wham - interest rate just rose to 30% overnight backdated to date of advance. They wouldn't offer this if the...
by Polaris
Mon Jul 13, 2009 9:11 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Sites listing best CD rates
Replies: 8
Views: 2167

by Polaris
Sat Jul 11, 2009 10:49 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Buying an American-Made/American Based automobile...
Replies: 64
Views: 9132

I have not bought a car from America's Big Three since 1981, the last was a Chevrolet Malibu which was one of the worst cars I have ever owned; ........ A 1979 Chevy Malibu also cured me of buying from GM. It was the first new car for us, unfortunately a godawful piece of garbage. Next a Ford that ...
by Polaris
Mon Jun 22, 2009 8:03 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Tires for Acura MDX (or similar vehicle)
Replies: 10
Views: 10082

Our Honda Pilot (sister car of the MDX) came with Bridgestone Duelers which provided underwhelming wear and driving performance. When they wore out we replaced them with Goodyear Forteras and have found them to be far superior to the OEM tires so far...
by Polaris
Thu Jun 18, 2009 10:08 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Helping Adult Children
Replies: 86
Views: 14073

Re: Children

Read "The Millionaire Next Door"... It has a great chapter on subsidizing children and the damage it can cause... I was thinking along the same lines. It's pretty scary how some parents were giving their 40+ year old children an "allowance". Some parents did it to allow them to have more control ov...
by Polaris
Thu Jun 11, 2009 9:28 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Expensive Razors and Detergent
Replies: 19
Views: 3207

We used to just buy the cheapest detergent we could find a BJ's until I figured out that I could get Tide for the same price by stocking up on it when it was for sale elsewhere at a good price. I have bought 90% of our Tide at CVS drugstore over the past few years. The 32-40 load Tide is for sale at...
by Polaris
Tue Jun 09, 2009 7:05 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Alternatives to Mach3?
Replies: 51
Views: 13719

Re: Alternatives to Mach3?

I strongly suspect that people who talk about changing the blades seasonally have a significantly lighter beard. If I did that, shaving would be about as comfortable as tweezing. No thanks - I'll take a fresh blade and try to find the savings somewhere else. Not so, I go through 2-3 blades per year...
by Polaris
Mon Jun 08, 2009 2:24 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Alternatives to Mach3?
Replies: 51
Views: 13719

I have a pretty good supply of free Gillette Fusion and Schick Quattro razors and blades that I have picked up at CVS Pharmacy over time as they have periodic deals where they can be had for free after sale and coupon. These sales do occur throughout the year, although they are more prevalent aroun...
by Polaris
Sat Jun 06, 2009 8:14 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Should I Outsouce my Home Improvement ?
Replies: 45
Views: 5935

Since this is a personal finance forum, maybe you should look at it from a purely financial standpoint. Calculate how much you make per hour - including commuting time and time you spend working off the clock. If you could make more money than what the contractor would charge, hire him. Instead of ...
by Polaris
Fri Jun 05, 2009 3:16 pm
Forum: Personal Investments
Topic: Schwab Gets It! ....I think.
Replies: 3
Views: 1267

I think Schwab is starting to get it too. The introduction of the high yield checking and 2% cash back VISA were also very customer friendly. More "loss leaders" I guess... ;)