Search found 183 matches

by adestefan
Sun Apr 18, 2021 8:46 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Cost of a 4 seasons room build in midwest?
Replies: 5
Views: 766

Re: Cost of a 4 seasons room build in midwest?

Unless someone has done it in the past 6 months nothing they tell you is going to be accurate. There is still exceeding high costs for building supplies right now. If you do get figures from people that have done it recently (last 3 years or so) I’d add at least 40% to what they paid.
by adestefan
Sun Apr 18, 2021 8:42 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Vinyl Fence
Replies: 25
Views: 1630

Re: Vinyl Fence

Be aware that all building materials and labor are demanding a price premium right now. I have a really close friend who is a general contractor and is turning down tons of work this spring due to being booked until at least July or August with his current crew and subs. That’s with wholesale materi...
by adestefan
Sat Apr 17, 2021 6:41 am
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: I Bonds variable rate @ 3.54% in May
Replies: 71
Views: 9173

Re: I Bonds variable rate @ 3.54% in May

Why has the Treasury set the variable rate so high? This is so much higher than anything FDIC/NCUA insured out there. Suggests that inflation is rising fast. The “high” inflation rate is a mathematical fluke caused by the timing of the big dip caused by the start of the pandemic and the April repor...
by adestefan
Tue Apr 13, 2021 6:58 am
Forum: Personal Investments
Topic: Alternative to Total Bond?
Replies: 46
Views: 4570

Re: Alternative to Total Bond?

Rates are rising, bond values are down; it’s what bonds do. If you keep running to better when you’re down, then you’ll continuously lock in losses.
by adestefan
Sun Apr 11, 2021 9:10 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Best 4 wheel drive vehicle
Replies: 75
Views: 5940

Re: Best 4 wheel drive vehicle

Subarus handle sand like a champ. Mainly because they have full-time AWD unlike most other electronic systems.
by adestefan
Sun Apr 04, 2021 6:50 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: People with Covid-19 vaccination record cards: where are you keeping them?
Replies: 178
Views: 15312

Re: People with Covid-19 vaccination record cards: where are you keeping them?

About "passports" https://www.washingtonpost.com/health/2021/03/28/vaccine-passports-for-work/ I don't think any reasonable person expects the paper cards to have any use to prove vaccination. I expect some combination of a phone app and database will happen. It is not surprising this is ...
by adestefan
Sun Apr 04, 2021 5:53 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: New Tool Suggestions
Replies: 31
Views: 2196

Re: New Tool Suggestions

BatBuckeye wrote: Fri Apr 02, 2021 5:18 pm Lots of people are real fans of the Festool brand. $$$$
If I was an everyday crafts person I would invest in Festool just for the excellent dust collection and vacuum system. That stuff can do havoc to your lungs over time.
by adestefan
Sun Apr 04, 2021 5:50 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: New Tool Suggestions
Replies: 31
Views: 2196

Re: New Tool Suggestions

I’d recommend getting a good vacuum with a HEPA filter. I see lots of drywall and tile/mortar dust in your future and that’s a pain to clean.
by adestefan
Sun Apr 04, 2021 5:45 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Jobhunting after Covid-19 quit
Replies: 35
Views: 4465

Re: Jobhunting after Covid-19 quit

I interview dozens of people every year; look at way too many resumes in a tech area. I wouldn’t even care or ask.

Also, I ignore cover letters. They hurt people more than they help. I know this isn’t conventional wisdom.
by adestefan
Tue Mar 30, 2021 4:37 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: What to do with 20 year old Bosch Dishwasher
Replies: 33
Views: 2317

Re: What to do with 20 year old Bosch Dishwasher

I’d make sure the door seals are well cleaned. And if you have any exposed screws/bolts on the door tighten them. A common cause of door leaks are dirty seals and loose screws that cause a gap in the seal. My wife freaked out over a tiny drip of a leak that ended up being a single loose screw on the...
by adestefan
Tue Mar 30, 2021 4:29 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Will building material costs return to Earth? Bonus (?): Deck Material Selection
Replies: 25
Views: 3173

Re: Will building material costs return to Earth? Bonus (?): Deck Material Selection

Have you looked at other alternatives like IPE? Another wood that has the properties of Teak and while cheaper, still expensive. Approx $7 sq ft for 1 by stock. It weathers to a nice gray. I used it for a deck about 15 years ago (Southern New England) and have been quite happy with it. Please don’t...
by adestefan
Tue Mar 30, 2021 4:23 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Which Subaru would you recommend for my mom (mid 70s)?
Replies: 31
Views: 1990

Re: Which Subaru would you recommend for my mom (mid 70s)?

I’ll second that she has to sit in them. The height is also different and it will depend on how comfortable she is getting in and out. But any of the Crosstrek, Forester, or Outback would be fine vehicles for her.
by adestefan
Tue Mar 30, 2021 4:13 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Online purchase damaged during shipment - PayPal or credit card dispute?
Replies: 12
Views: 747

Re: Online purchase damaged during shipment - PayPal or credit card dispute?

If it was shipped freight you should have rejected the delivery. On top of that you had it repaired and installed.

But PayPal is usually so anti-seller that they’ll probably do something. It’s why I won’t use eBay and PayPal as a seller.
by adestefan
Sun Mar 21, 2021 1:08 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Oven temperature accuracy
Replies: 26
Views: 1462

Re: Oven temperature accuracy

Sometimes your oven lies to you, too. I have a Kenmore oven with a regular and a convection setting. In the manual it tells you in the convection setting the actual temperature is 25 degrees less than what it shown on the display.
by adestefan
Fri Mar 19, 2021 4:30 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Need Help Buying Car, part 2
Replies: 81
Views: 6322

Re: Need Help Buying Car, part 2

You’re being too picky to get the best deal. Just email 3 or 4 dealers with your exact specifications and pick the best price. Be aware you may have to wait a number of months for the production line to get to your order if you’re ordering something that’s not showing up in anyone’s stock. The deale...
by adestefan
Fri Mar 19, 2021 6:34 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: National Reputation of Worcester Polytechnic Institute (WPI)? other input welcome too
Replies: 211
Views: 12340

Re: National Reputation of Worcester Polytechnic Institute (WPI)? other input welcome too

Every time the talk of a CS degree comes up on this board people jump on the “it’s only worth it if you get hired by a FAANG + Microsoft” wagon. As someone that has turned down multiple job offers from Google, Amazon, and Microsoft I just want everyone to know there are other jobs out there in the C...
by adestefan
Wed Mar 17, 2021 6:14 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: What expenses should be part of an emergency fund?
Replies: 37
Views: 2905

Re: What expenses should be part of an emergency fund?

That's a big if... Admittedly, I've only been paying attention to my investments the past 2.5 years or so, but in that time I've not harvested substantial losses. (For clarity, last March had substantial losses but those were already used up by selling off a concentrated position and diversifying i...
by adestefan
Wed Mar 10, 2021 7:07 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Can I get the new customer rate from Verizon Fios? Or should I switch to Spectrum?
Replies: 54
Views: 7434

Re: Can I get the new customer rate from Verizon Fios? Or should I switch to Spectrum?

Recently Verizon has been giving everyone the “new user” deals with no contracts. Just tell them you want to switch to a mix & match plan or do it online.

It’s kind of refreshing to no longer have to worry about doing the dog and pony show of switching service every two years.
by adestefan
Mon Mar 08, 2021 6:30 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Daughter taking a Job in DC - where to live?
Replies: 111
Views: 7152

Re: Daughter taking a Job in DC - where to live?

Crime in DC is concentrated to specific areas. I lived there during worst times and would be fine having my daughters’ live in 90% of the city.

My experience was different than most since I lived in DC (near Howard) but commuted to outside Baltimore for work.
by adestefan
Sat Mar 06, 2021 4:45 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Bogleheads who own individual stocks in "funny money" accounts, how do you know when to rebalance?
Replies: 40
Views: 3134

Re: Bogleheads who own individual stocks in "funny money" accounts, how do you know when to rebalance?

Trick question. Rebalancing isn’t a thing because you always hodl... stonks always go up, forever or to the moon, whichever comes first. Diamond hands. It’s such a small percentage that it’s more like an expense than a part of my AA. Theres this chunk of money that may go to the moon or it was some...
by adestefan
Sat Mar 06, 2021 1:19 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Can Subaru Outback cabin and air filters get really dirty in just 3500 miles?
Replies: 77
Views: 3851

Re: Can Subaru Outback cabin and air filters get really dirty in just 3500 miles?

Can it? Yes. Is it a horrible up sell targeting people who don’t know it’s a 5 minute fix and a $10 part? Always. I have terrible seasonal allergies and usually change mine in early summer after the spring tree pollen season and in early winter after the fall leaves all fall. Every time it’s been a ...
by adestefan
Thu Mar 04, 2021 11:53 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Financial impact of a temporary assignment in the DC area
Replies: 32
Views: 2346

Re: Financial impact of a temporary assignment in the DC area

If I were in that situation I’d seriously consider the Navy Yard idea. Ask them to throw in some Nationals season tickets and I’d move tomorrow.
by adestefan
Tue Mar 02, 2021 5:28 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Depreciate Solar Panels If Electric Utility Issues 1099 Misc
Replies: 45
Views: 3257

Re: Can I Depreciate Residential Solar Panels If I'm Taxed on the Income They Generate

Can you accurately determine the portion of the overall system (panels + inverters) that is used for personal use vs. “income producing use” and does it remain the same every year? I haven't thought about every possibility, but perhaps you could calculate the percentage of the amount of solar kwh s...
by adestefan
Tue Mar 02, 2021 10:48 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Depreciate Solar Panels If Electric Utility Issues 1099 Misc
Replies: 45
Views: 3257

Re: Electric Utility Issued 1099 Misc - OK Taxmeisters, Now What?

You would also need to show that X% of the solar panels are ONLY used for producing income. This will be an issue where your personal usage of the panels are co-mingled and that x% will fluctuate due to your increase in demand or decrease in production due to weather, etc. over the year. Could you t...
by adestefan
Sun Feb 28, 2021 11:46 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Urgent passport issue
Replies: 42
Views: 7086

Re: Urgent passport issue

Curious, how easy is it to get state senator attention and how do they make it happen? You call their office, talk to their staff, senator calls you back and they know who the admin is in passport office? Every Senator has a constituent services office that can help grease the wheels of government....
by adestefan
Sun Feb 28, 2021 8:36 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Chimney repair estimates
Replies: 11
Views: 1068

Re: Chimney repair estimates

Don’t be surprised at high costs of masonry work when “it’s only 10 bricks.” Depending upon the height and location they’re going to spend a significant amount of time prepping and tearing down.
by adestefan
Thu Feb 25, 2021 11:26 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Can I grow Black Oil Sunflowers in my garden from bird seed?
Replies: 6
Views: 739

Re: Can I grow Black Oil Sunflowers in my garden from bird seed?

You can cut the heads off and dry the seeds in a garage or other dry space. If you let them go in the garden there’s a chance the squirrels will pull them down and have a feast.
by adestefan
Thu Feb 25, 2021 10:15 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Prepaying Mortgage Aggressively (Ramsey approach) vs. Investing
Replies: 140
Views: 10987

Re: Prepaying Mortgage Aggressively (Ramsey approach) vs. Investing

RagingBullMarket wrote: Thu Feb 25, 2021 10:02 pm My mortgage is 5.5%

Do I aggressively pay off my mortgage before investing more money in my taxable account?
You refinance ASAP.
by adestefan
Wed Feb 24, 2021 10:44 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Calling all Plumbers (or anyone who has bought a toilet).
Replies: 76
Views: 6350

Re: Calling all Plumbers (or anyone who has bought a toilet).

Then call and tell him to put in what you wanted. Don’t do the passive aggressive, petty thing like sitting on a payment for a couple weeks.
by adestefan
Tue Feb 23, 2021 5:57 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Best decision(s) in your financial life
Replies: 167
Views: 13377

Re: Best decision(s) in your financial life

Market timing my divorce for when I was already broke... I had a co-worker who dumped all his tech stocks and mutual funds at the starting 2000 into cash because he was finalizing his divorce. Said he didn’t want her to get one penny more than what she thought she was getting. Ended up being the be...
by adestefan
Tue Feb 23, 2021 3:39 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Best decision(s) in your financial life
Replies: 167
Views: 13377

Re: Best decision(s) in your financial life

For me it was deciding to buy 21 bitcoin back when it was ~$640 each. :sharebeer It's just that my worst decision undid it all.... I decided to sell off all my bitcoin when it fell to ~$480 each. :oops: When bitcoins for came out, like a few months after the first paper was released, I was messing ...
by adestefan
Tue Feb 23, 2021 3:35 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Best decision(s) in your financial life
Replies: 167
Views: 13377

Re: Best decision(s) in your financial life

Set it and forget it it.

Especially in regards to automatic allocations to both retirement and taxable accounts.
by adestefan
Mon Feb 22, 2021 1:29 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: don't want to buy I bonds; what ETF will mimic?
Replies: 39
Views: 3147

Re: don't want to buy I bonds; what ETF will mimic?

You could overpay your income taxes and then buy paper bonds with your tax refund so you don't have to make an account.
by adestefan
Sun Feb 21, 2021 10:45 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: No tax refund for the first time
Replies: 81
Views: 5020

Re: No tax refund for the first time

You need to fix your W4’s. It’s not as simple anymore to get accurate withholdings, especially with two high income earners.


https://www.irs.gov/individuals/tax-wit ... -estimator
by adestefan
Sun Feb 21, 2021 6:55 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: I Think I *Can* Buy This Home, *Should* I Buy It?
Replies: 44
Views: 3273

Re: I Think I *Can* Buy This Home, *Should* I Buy It?

Any rental income from the in-laws if they remain on the property?
by adestefan
Sat Feb 20, 2021 1:16 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: E-filing form 1116 [FreeTaxUSA]
Replies: 122
Views: 9893

Re: Can't E-file form 1116

Wow. This is absolutely unbelievable. How boneheaded is the IRS????? I wouldn’t assume that the IRS made this change. It may be from some law or a random regulatory change made last year. There was a lot of fuss changing foreign designations, especially in early January, that may have caused this c...
by adestefan
Sat Feb 20, 2021 12:51 pm
Forum: Personal Investments
Topic: Short-term investment for luxury spending (not a must)
Replies: 8
Views: 761

Re: Short-term investment for luxury spending (not a must)

How much of your $160k are you willing to lose? Answer that question and then you’ll know if you’re okay.
by adestefan
Sat Feb 20, 2021 10:25 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Has anyone had a TurboTax return that included a form 1116 accepted?
Replies: 207
Views: 10727

Re: How long is the IRS taking to accept returns

Our joint return on TT was accepted in an hour - filed at about 10:00p and accepted around 11:00p on February 19. We are getting a refund this year, for the first time in a decade (overshot our estimated tax payments). I'm curious how long it will be before we see the direct deposit. https://www.ir...
by adestefan
Sat Feb 20, 2021 10:05 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Has anyone had a TurboTax return that included a form 1116 accepted?
Replies: 207
Views: 10727

Re: How long is the IRS taking to accept returns

I didn't realize the IRS wasn't accepting returns until the 12th so I initiated my federal e-file on the 7th. It was accepted by the IRS on the 15th. I checked this morning and my refund is being issued on the 23rd.
by adestefan
Sat Feb 20, 2021 7:58 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Which ideas or strategies that helped you discover through Bogleheads?
Replies: 48
Views: 3117

Re: Which ideas or strategies that helped you discover through Bogleheads?

I’m generally a pretty lazy person. Bogleheads shows that it’s perfectly okay to be lazy about your investments.
by adestefan
Thu Feb 18, 2021 7:55 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: House buying negotiations
Replies: 122
Views: 9767

Re: House buying negotiations

You low balled them 10% before it was even on the market. You can go back with the $1.25 and show them real comps (which is why you have a realtor), but unless it ends up sitting on the market you probably missed out.
by adestefan
Wed Feb 17, 2021 6:21 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Issue with Mortgage Interest - TurboTax Deluxe 2020 (Desktop)
Replies: 35
Views: 2926

Re: Issue with Mortgage Interest - TurboTax Deluxe 2020 (Desktop)

anon_investor wrote: Wed Feb 17, 2021 6:19 pm Does that fix it?
I don’t know. My combined balances weren’t over the limit. It would be a quick check for someone that does have the bug.
by adestefan
Wed Feb 17, 2021 6:17 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Issue with Mortgage Interest - TurboTax Deluxe 2020 (Desktop)
Replies: 35
Views: 2926

Re: Issue with Mortgage Interest - TurboTax Deluxe 2020 (Desktop)

There’s a checkbox on the mortgage interest worksheet form that says something like “This mortgage was paid off due to a refinance.” Nowhere in the TurboTax question interface is this exposed. Try going into the actual worksheet form and checking that box.
by adestefan
Wed Feb 17, 2021 11:26 am
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: The premise of the "emergency fund" is flawed
Replies: 559
Views: 33149

Re: The premise of the "emergency fund" is flawed

Even the definition of an emergency isn't universal here at BHs. I don't see how many of the possible events some are planning to use ER funds to address qualify as emergencies. Still, everyone has priorities on how they will muddle through life. Yep! There's also a difference between an emergency ...
by adestefan
Mon Feb 15, 2021 8:31 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Why would an N95 mask have a 20-25°C temperature limit?
Replies: 18
Views: 1672

Re: Why would an N95 mask have a 20-25°C temperature limit?

The way an N95 mask works is through a combination of filtering and special fibers that can maintain a static electric charge to attract certain sized particles. That static charge will be optimally maintained at that temperature and humidity. That’s why N95 masks can only be sterilized with hydroge...
by adestefan
Sun Feb 14, 2021 9:00 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: What was the Dot-Com bubble like?
Replies: 167
Views: 11536

Re: What was the Dot-Com bubble like?

I was just about ready to graduate from college with a computer science degree and I remember friends that graduated a year or two before tell me about how they'd show up to work and half the building would be dark. Some noticed "this is not good" and moved to the more well established com...
by adestefan
Thu Feb 11, 2021 8:30 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: What is your favorite non fiction book?
Replies: 142
Views: 8513

Re: What is your favorite non fiction book?

The Making of the Atomic Bomb by Richard Rhodes I know it’s almost 800 pages, but pretend you’re reading two books instead of one. I read about 50 non-fiction books a year, including a lot that have already been posted, and it’s the best non-fiction book I have ever read. Be sure to buy a used copy...
by adestefan
Thu Feb 11, 2021 10:49 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Anyone else like having passwords that they can remember?
Replies: 65
Views: 3773

Re: Anyone else like having passwords that they can remember?

No. My password manager has 511 login items in it. I want them all to be unique and random.
by adestefan
Thu Feb 11, 2021 6:58 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: HOA Dispute Tree Root Damage
Replies: 15
Views: 1842

Re: HOA Dispute Tree Root Damage

You pay for the repair.

Is the tree unhealthy or poorly maintained? Why do you think the HOA owes you money?
by adestefan
Sat Feb 06, 2021 8:00 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: At which interest level (2%?3%?more?) would a savings account tempt you?
Replies: 44
Views: 3079

Re: At which interest level (2%?3%?more?) would a savings account tempt you?

Right around 5% would be a good spot for short to mid-term cash holdings.