Search found 57 matches

by hsmith
Sun Jan 17, 2021 12:50 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Best leaf vacuum?
Replies: 10
Views: 721

Re: Best leaf vacuum?

I have a Toro Ultra Model No. 51598, and am happy with it. It is a corded electric model. It functions both as a leaf vacuum and as a leaf blower. When used as a vacuum, it sucks up leaves and loose grass, etc., grinds it and sends it to a collection bag. This process, according to the Amazon ad, &q...
by hsmith
Fri Nov 20, 2020 12:20 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Recliner chair
Replies: 14
Views: 1329

Re: Recliner chair

Lazyboy. I agree that La-z-boy makes good chairs. I had a La-z-boy chair for my office and after 15+ years it was as comfortable as it was on day 1. However, I had a bad experience with La-z-boy recently, so if you're considering a purchase, be forewarned. I went to a La-z-boy store to order a recl...
by hsmith
Sun Sep 20, 2020 1:19 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Best shoes for running?
Replies: 65
Views: 3443

Re: Best shoes for running?

Lots of good advice above - the right shoes (for you) can make a big difference. One thing I didn't see mentioned above is the type of surface you're running on. Years ago, I developed runner's knee while training for a marathon. A running doctor (he was a podiatrist) quizzed me about a number of th...
by hsmith
Fri Aug 14, 2020 10:16 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Driving Boston to Nashville
Replies: 51
Views: 2796

Re: Driving Boston to Nashville

... 2) The second option is about 40 miles longer but avoids NYC and routes through Upstate NY, PA, OH and KY. Is there a "quality of life" difference between the two routes? Keep in mind I don't usually drive a moving truck, although I have done it before. The first route seems more moun...
by hsmith
Sun Mar 22, 2020 3:47 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Expensive ink cartridge for Canon printer
Replies: 21
Views: 950

Re: Expensive ink cartridge for Canon printer

It's rare for an ink based printer to cost less in the long run regardless of how much you print. Buy a laser printer and don't look back. FWIW, I use an HP B&W printer and buy large, non-OEM cartridges that work just fine . lessismore22: What vendor do you get the non-OEM cartridges from? Have...
by hsmith
Thu Feb 20, 2020 11:38 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Any ideas for a little extra money each year?
Replies: 34
Views: 3171

Re: Any ideas for a little extra money each year?

Are there any easy things someone can do to earn a few thousand dollars per year? Ideally this is something that can be accomplished at odds hours throughout the day, which in all likelihood would make this an online job. ... Are there any ideas people might know or does anyone here do anything to ...
by hsmith
Wed Feb 19, 2020 8:10 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Moving due to house/location regret?
Replies: 18
Views: 2440

Re: Moving due to house/location regret?

No similar experience to share. I don’t think it’s a petty reason to move. If you can afford it financially, then it’s a personal decision. Do what makes sense for your family. Try to minimize the disruption on the kids’ schooling if possible by moving in before new school term starts. I also have ...
by hsmith
Wed Feb 19, 2020 6:38 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Can we trust wirecutter reviews?
Replies: 41
Views: 5591

Re: Can we trust wirecutter reviews?

Not speaking to wirecutter specifically but fake online reviews posted by paid foreign/Chinese workers is more and more of a thing. Amazon is rife with it. Amazon reviews are almost worthless. Yes, fake reviews are a big thing on Amazon. I check most Amazon purchases at fakespot and reviewmeta. Eve...
by hsmith
Thu Jan 30, 2020 3:07 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Considering an iPad. Is it worth it?
Replies: 116
Views: 7234

Re: Considering an iPad. Is it worth it?

... With that said, getting older and having a harder time seeing I thought I'd look at the larger ipad (12") and it was nice but at nearly $1,000 thought it was overpriced. If I had to replace right now I'd probably just get a standard $300 ipad (currently have Air) or maybe a Samsung Tab S6 ...
by hsmith
Wed Jan 29, 2020 7:30 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Considering an iPad. Is it worth it?
Replies: 116
Views: 7234

Re: Considering an iPad. Is it worth it?

Simply, yes! Though I’ve bought them cheaper by buying a generation or 2 older than the current one (pricing very reasonable). I’ve bought them certified pre-owned from Apple on Amazon with no issues. iPads are the only tablet I’ve owned, so no basis for comparison, though IMO I believe they are th...
by hsmith
Sun Jan 19, 2020 7:31 pm
Forum: Personal Investments
Topic: Is it worth it for me to start backdoor Roth-ing?
Replies: 8
Views: 988

Re: Is it worth it for me to start backdoor Roth-ing?

[/quote] I didn't even know this might be an option. There's nothing on the 401k plan website that indicates anything about rollovers so I'll have to contact a representative later in the week to get info. I have access to numerous Vanguard funds in my 401k (for example Vanguard Windsor II Fund and ...
by hsmith
Tue Dec 31, 2019 4:42 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Wyze Cam reviews
Replies: 28
Views: 3128

Re: Wyze Cam reviews

... Too bad, the cameras had been getting good reviews at their price point. I almost bought one the other day. No good review from me. I had one that crapped out after a month or so of use. It was great when it was working, especially for what I paid for it (about $25). But I wouldn’t buy one again.
by hsmith
Thu Dec 26, 2019 7:09 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Albany NY - relocation
Replies: 11
Views: 853

Re: Albany NY - relocation

My younger brother has received a job transfer to Albany, NY. He will only physically need to be in the city one day per week, so this gives him some flexibility in terms of housing locations. Please suggest any areas appropriate for a 40 something single professional. He enjoys coffee shops, art f...
by hsmith
Mon Dec 16, 2019 11:31 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Places to Go Out When You Don't Want to Spend Much or Any Money
Replies: 129
Views: 11435

Re: Places to Go Out When You Don't Want to Spend Much or Any Money

You’re looking for a weird fight here. Your first move was to dismiss the whole thread and call for it to be shut down. Then you ignored the fact that nguy44’s initial post was about private facilities (hotels), and accused him of marginalizing the homeless. Now you’re treating a reaction to your s...
by hsmith
Mon Dec 16, 2019 8:42 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Buying last year model car when new models are out
Replies: 44
Views: 3362

Re: Buying last year model car when new models are out

Update: I drove the car; it’s was a demo/loaner at the dealer which means it’s been used and has about 4,300 miles on it. He said I’d get the balance of the new car warranty....not sure it’s still a great deal. 🤔 The high mileage would be a concern for me, too. Maybe you could use that for leverage...
by hsmith
Wed Dec 11, 2019 12:37 am
Forum: Personal Investments
Topic: I Finally Have Money to Invest! Where should I Put It!
Replies: 35
Views: 3170

Re: I Finally Have Money to Invest! Where should I Put It!

... In your 401k I suggest using fewer funds . Consider using some combination of these very broadly diversified funds ... I agree with most of the advice above, especially regarding simplification of the portfolio and focusing on low cost funds / ETFs. Also, you may want to check out another web s...
by hsmith
Tue Dec 10, 2019 11:33 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Retirement Friendly States
Replies: 441
Views: 36299

Re: Retirement Friendly States

Right, otherwise people would be flocking to move to the absolute lowest cost of living city/town in the country. Not sure where that is, but I suspect it's not the most pleasant place to live. Agreed. Here is a short list of cities that popped up on a "Lowest cost of living cities in the Unit...
by hsmith
Mon Dec 09, 2019 6:58 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Do you subscribe to Consumer Reports?
Replies: 57
Views: 4206

Re: Do you subscribe to Consumer Reports?

Yes. Print and digital. I am happy to support them with both subscriptions, to help keep them in business. It's rare to find a publication or web site that isn't trying to sell something. CR seems to be unaffected by threats of lawsuits, or pressure from advertisers (since it doesn't run ads). [/quo...
by hsmith
Mon Dec 09, 2019 6:47 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Amazon Echo Dot
Replies: 77
Views: 4251

Re: Amazon Echo Dot

No worries here! I ensure that I do all of my nefarious verbal plotting underneath the Cone of Silence. +1 for the "Cone of Silence" reference. In addition to the other uses mentioned, we have paired our Echo devices to a Logitech Harmony Hub, and can give voice commands to our home theat...
by hsmith
Mon Dec 09, 2019 12:14 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Retirement Friendly States
Replies: 441
Views: 36299

Re: Retirement Friendly States

... Still trying to understand what all these great services are that I get in NJ from my high state taxes. The services I do use like schools, police, local roads, etc. are all paid by my property taxes. Don't forget - you also now have the benefit of a new official State of New Jersey Twitter acc...
by hsmith
Thu Nov 28, 2019 12:49 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Moving to Schenectady/Albany NY
Replies: 10
Views: 1420

Re: Moving to Schenectady/Albany NY

Cost of living in the area is relatively low. There are parts of the stockade area in Schenectady proper that aren't bad if you're single and like living close to downtown. If a bedroom community is more your speed, parts of Glenville are nice, and the commute would be very short. Clifton Park is e...
by hsmith
Mon Nov 11, 2019 8:26 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Snow tires
Replies: 54
Views: 4469

Re: Snow tiresR

I have always run Bridgestone Blizzacks for snow tires and today when my LC was in for it service they put on Nokian Hakkapelitta 8 SUV snow tires..I asked them about it and they said try em you will like em...ok...so I will give them a shot... anyone else had these tires . We dont get a ton of sno...
by hsmith
Mon Nov 11, 2019 12:15 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Should I buy the family cottage?
Replies: 99
Views: 9618

Re: Should I buy the family cottage?

Speaking as the owner of the family home, don't do it. Most replies are concentrating on the investment aspect. It's not an investment. It's a timeshare. And like a timeshare, it's difficult to sell and even if you do, you'll be glad to break even. Others will live there without your permission, ju...
by hsmith
Wed Oct 30, 2019 5:55 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Apple Pay. Does anyone use it?
Replies: 196
Views: 14585

Re: Apple Pay. Does anyone use it?

Apple Pay is different than the Apple Credit Card. Apple Pay simply connects your phone to one of your existing credit cards. The Apple Credit card is basically a virtual credit card with its own account. I have Apple Pay and use it with FaceID and it works amazing. I recently got an Apple Card, wh...
by hsmith
Mon Oct 21, 2019 11:03 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Updgrade car for new safety features?
Replies: 77
Views: 5976

Re: Updgrade car for new safety features?

I would not hesitate to purchase a vehicle with the new safety features. Recently totaled a 2016 MDX, lady turned across 2 lanes of traffic and admitted not seeing me in the far lane, I slammed on the brakes but was unable to avoid her. Airbags discharge in both vehicles, both totaled. I wondered i...
by hsmith
Fri Oct 18, 2019 3:19 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: How to avoid Medicare IRMAA Surcharge
Replies: 72
Views: 6813

Re: How to avoid Medicare IRMAA Surcharge

When my wife and I applied for Medicare, SSA looked to our previous federal tax return from 2 years. That pushed us into the top IRMAA tier. We will not have MAGI at that previous level in retirement, so we submitted the “Life changing Event” appeal form with documentation from our previous employe...
by hsmith
Fri Oct 18, 2019 3:11 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: How to avoid Medicare IRMAA Surcharge
Replies: 72
Views: 6813

Re: How to avoid Medicare IRMAA Surcharge

When my wife and I applied for Medicare, SSA looked to our previous federal tax return from 2 years. That pushed us into the top IRMAA tier. We will not have MAGI at that previous level in retirement, so we submitted the “Life changing Event” appeal form with documentation from our previous employe...
by hsmith
Fri Oct 18, 2019 3:10 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: How to avoid Medicare IRMAA Surcharge
Replies: 72
Views: 6813

Re: How to avoid Medicare IRMAA Surcharge

When my wife and I applied for Medicare, SSA looked to our previous federal tax return from 2 years. That pushed us into the top IRMAA tier. We will not have MAGI at that previous level in retirement, so we submitted the “Life changing Event” appeal form with documentation from our previous employe...
by hsmith
Fri Oct 04, 2019 9:25 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Side income ideas for a non-lawyer JD holder?
Replies: 30
Views: 2385

Re: Side income ideas for a non-lawyer JD holder?

I graduated from law school and worked "BIGLAW" for about a year before being laid off during the Great Recession. I found a non-law government job and have been employed in it since then. My job is pretty solid. I get to work from home most of the time, and have a lot of freedom during b...
by hsmith
Sat Sep 28, 2019 10:24 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Buying a home with unpermitted addition
Replies: 59
Views: 6928

Re: Buying a home with unpermitted addition

Do you know why the sellers don’t want to take care of it? Because maybe they know it’s going to be a major PITA or an issue and don’t want to deal with it. I wouldn’t touch it. +1 I'd walk away, too. It could very well wind up costing you more than you think you're saving. Don't be pennywise and p...
by hsmith
Sun Sep 22, 2019 4:28 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: New Camry Questions
Replies: 101
Views: 7239

Re: New Camry Questions

... Push button start is mainly useful in winter so it likely has little value to you in SoCal. Not very effective for cooling down a hot car using the A/C. ... I’m not familiar with what the Camry key fob can do, but my GMC Acadia’s key fob can also roll down all of the windows remotely. I find th...
by hsmith
Wed Sep 18, 2019 12:06 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Need ideas for NY Upstate Getaway
Replies: 48
Views: 3606

Re: Need ideas for NY Upstate Getaway

Sorry to hear. Lake George is a very nice area, Bolton Landing just a hair north is a big less touristy but a bit more costly. We were up in the Glens Falls area this summer for my daughter's softball tournament and we went out in Lake George for a night. The Adirondak Nationals car show was just 2...
by hsmith
Mon Sep 16, 2019 7:22 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: The Berkshires or Finger Lakes?
Replies: 15
Views: 2099

Re: The Berkshires or Finger Lakes?

i will be going on Columbus Day Weekend; i'm sure that will be a zoo as well. think i am sold on Ithaca. i am a big fan of their wines, though not sure how many of the wineries are close to Ithaca. one of my favorites, Dr. Konstantin Frank is pretty far. You may want to look into doing a wine tour....
by hsmith
Sun Sep 15, 2019 7:24 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Depositing Mobile Check Question
Replies: 18
Views: 1891

Re: Depositing Mobile Check Question

I have a check that I am not sure if I deposited it somewhere. I am not seeing the deposit on any of my accounts. If somehow I deposited it twice what are the various penalties that can occur? Or will they just reject the check and if I do it in my Fidelity Account, maybe not even charge me? Thanks...
by hsmith
Wed Aug 28, 2019 1:07 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Faxing From Computer - Any Free, Reliable Services?
Replies: 13
Views: 1608

Re: Faxing From Computer - Any Free, Reliable Services?

I, too, am wary of online fax services as anything I send is likely to have financial or medical information. USB fax modems are inexpensive: <https://www.amazon.com/Dell-NW147-External-Compatible-Number/dp/B001L7IVCK/ref=sr_1_4?crid=CQ701SKZAMWH&keywords=conexant+usb+modem&qid=1566864422&a...
by hsmith
Tue Aug 27, 2019 10:38 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Coffee becomes cold too soon
Replies: 119
Views: 11246

Re: Coffee becomes cold too soon

I don't know what you consider to be a normal mug, but my parents got these and swear by them: https://smile.amazon.com/Hydro-Flask-Travel-Coffee-Press/dp/B07G3R47K7/ref=sr_1_2_sspa?crid=2B02HR83O1EXQ&keywords=hydroflask+coffee+mug+12+oz&qid=1566838612&s=gateway&sprefix=hydroflask+c...
by hsmith
Tue Jul 30, 2019 6:25 pm
Forum: Personal Investments
Topic: 401k contributions after retirement?
Replies: 10
Views: 1238

Re: 401k contributions after retirement?

Thanks for all the feedback. Main reason to roll it over is to simplify my finances. I would be able to eliminate my previous employers account and the brokerage firm that manages the account. Household income will be over $103k so I guess I wouldn't be able to contribute to an IRA. You wouldn't be...
by hsmith
Sun Jul 28, 2019 7:37 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: FMLA, short term disability and related questions
Replies: 14
Views: 1525

Re: FMLA, short term disability and related questions

1. As i understand FMLA allows her to get 12 weeks of unpaid maternity leave. Would she be eligible for short term disability or other such options to recieve some income during this leave period ? According to a U.S. Labor Department FAQ: “(Q) Is my employer required to pay me when I take FMLA lea...
by hsmith
Mon Jul 22, 2019 2:23 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Lightweight, durable, laptop bag
Replies: 29
Views: 2155

Re: Lightweight, durable, laptop bag

I'm looking for a recommendation on a light-weight, durable laptop bag. I have a very nice Tumi full-size laptop bag. It looks brand new after 9 years and has taken a beating, flying with me probably more than 1M miles and thrown all over my car, and the office. The problem is that it's too big. It...
by hsmith
Tue Jun 25, 2019 8:45 pm
Forum: Personal Investments
Topic: Personal Finance Guidance / Questions
Replies: 10
Views: 1418

Re: Personal Finance Guidance / Questions

... 5. I have an HSA option, should i be taking advantage of this now? ... 5. An HSA is arguably the best place to invest, so I'd say yes. Tax-deferred going in, tax-exempt when used for medical expenses, and can be invested in stocks/bonds. The more you contribute the more it'll grow (TAX FREE!), ...
by hsmith
Tue Jun 18, 2019 6:36 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: 2013 Cadillac SRX - Corroded / Pitted Wheels
Replies: 12
Views: 1047

Re: 2013 Cadillac SRX - Corroded / Pitted Wheels

... Do you know what is causing the pitting? Is it environmental damage (acid raid) or is it perhaps not cleaning your wheels/washing your car frequently enough? Brake dust is usually very corrosive. Again, some cars brands regardless of how much you clean the wheels tend to have to have issues (BM...
by hsmith
Mon Jun 17, 2019 9:44 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: 2013 Cadillac SRX - Corroded / Pitted Wheels
Replies: 12
Views: 1047

2013 Cadillac SRX - Corroded / Pitted Wheels

I own a 2013 SRX. All four of its original 20" wheels have become corroded and pitted, and need to be replaced. One of the wheels is so far gone that it is causing the tire to lose air, and it has to be checked / refilled with air regularly. The dealer wants to sell me an OEM replacement set. T...
by hsmith
Fri Jun 14, 2019 10:54 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Teacher - Disability Insurance Plan
Replies: 9
Views: 668

Re: Teacher - Disability Insurance Plan

Per their site: "... After the stated period, disability is an inability to perform duties of any occupation based upon experience, training, or education. For consideration of disability, you must discontinue working, remain under regular and appropriate care of a physician, and proof of loss...
by hsmith
Wed Jun 12, 2019 7:07 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: [Forget] The Seaweed! We're Headed For Cancun!!
Replies: 17
Views: 1774

Re: [Forget] The Seaweed! We're Headed For Cancun!!

There really isn't anything "nearby." If you want to travel a bit there are several Mayan sites within driving distance (e.g. Tulum and Chichen Itza). Cancun isn't really Mexico, so if you want to experience a bit of that you can take the bus into town. You can eat there for about 25% or ...
by hsmith
Sat May 25, 2019 6:18 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Finally broke down and bought a new ipad....
Replies: 20
Views: 3160

Re: Finally broke down and bought a new ipad....

My 10 year old laptop was slowing down so after much debate I bought a new in the box ipad for $200 off a friend and I must say I like it way better than my laptop. Excellent! Do you do a lot of typing? I have friends with tablets who also like them a lot. They do about 95% reading and very little ...
by hsmith
Sat May 25, 2019 6:01 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Any benefits to low salary job with high income spouse?
Replies: 32
Views: 7336

Re: Any benefits to low salary job with high income spouse?

She will be building up SS credits on her own work record instead of having all the years be 0 earnings. After 10 years of earning ‘something’, she will be eligible to start collecting on her own record even if you are still working. (When you start collecting, she will start taking half of yours.)...
by hsmith
Mon May 20, 2019 10:26 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: New York Community Solar
Replies: 1
Views: 313

New York Community Solar

I just got an email from our electric utility, National Grid. The ad was promoting something they’re calling New York Community Solar. See: https://newyork.nexamp.com/ The ad says “Subscribe to your share of a Nexamp solar farm to support local clean energy and save up to 10% on your annual electric...
by hsmith
Mon May 20, 2019 11:31 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Microsoft Wireless Display Adapter Alternative?
Replies: 15
Views: 1709

Re: Microsoft Wireless Display Adapter Alternative?

... The Miracast based Microsoft Wireless Display Adapter works good some of the time, but on videos it often becomes choppy (video starts to cut and lag). Does Chromecast avoid this problem? _________________________________________ My experience with video over Chromecast has generally been good....
by hsmith
Sun May 19, 2019 6:13 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Microsoft Wireless Display Adapter Alternative?
Replies: 15
Views: 1709

Re: Microsoft Wireless Display Adapter Alternative?

... With Chromecast, I don't believe it can mirror or project a Windows laptop screen right? This article says you can cast the Windows desktop, as well as the output from selected programs: https://www.lifewire.com/use-chromecast-to-show-windows-desktop-4129536 However, there are some limitations,...
by hsmith
Sun May 19, 2019 4:18 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Microsoft Wireless Display Adapter Alternative?
Replies: 15
Views: 1709

Re: Microsoft Wireless Display Adapter Alternative?

Hi, I'm looking for HDMI over Wifi functionality (called Miracast) to extend a Windows 10 desktop to a TV screen. I tried the Microsoft Wireless Display Adapter which works great for basic stuff like browsing and simple videos. But if I play a high action video on the laptop, the streaming on the e...