Search found 198 matches

by valleyrock
Tue Apr 13, 2021 7:52 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Oral surgeon said we were legally required to give SS#, then they got hacked
Replies: 50
Views: 5384

Re: Oral surgeon said we were legally required to give SS#, then they got hacked

I leave SSN sections blank and if they ask, I maintain that it is not legally required. It's never been a problem. Of course, banks and such require them and in PA to register a car or get a driver's licence, they do indeed require a social security card. It's part of Homeland Security rules to make...
by valleyrock
Thu Feb 25, 2021 7:13 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Water leakage - fix it or not?
Replies: 54
Views: 3360

Re: Water leakage - fix it or not?

Suggestions on finding contractor and other expertise: I find that Nextdoor.com is very useful, asking and/or using the search feature. Also Angieslist sometimes. Yelp, not so much. Facebook...meh. There are civil/environmental/municipal engineering firms that have a subspecialty in leak detection, ...
by valleyrock
Sun Feb 07, 2021 8:18 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: PC Build Thread - 2020... and beyond!!!
Replies: 516
Views: 35030

Re: PC Build Thread - 2020... and beyond!!!

Long thread, I didn't check but in case not mentioned, for the novice who wants to build a PC, the Linus Builds videos on YouTube are great. My teenage son built a couple of desktops using these videos and partspicker. We have a Microcenter nearby, so that's a good spot to check out, in person or on...
by valleyrock
Sun Feb 07, 2021 7:58 am
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: At which interest level (2%?3%?more?) would a savings account tempt you?
Replies: 44
Views: 3078

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

Totally unthinkable in today's world. My bank offers 3.7% on a 2-month CD, 5.7% on a 7-month CD, and up to 6.3% if you're willing to use a term of 12-months or more. Maybe you meant "totally unthinkable in America" and not in the world :happy What bank is that, and do they have a maximum ...
by valleyrock
Thu Nov 19, 2020 5:15 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Happily retired but seriously considering going back to work
Replies: 78
Views: 6665

Re: Happily retired but seriously considering going back to work

Seems to me there's not much else to do right now, probably, until an effective vaccine is distributed. That might be a good basis to say to them that, for right now, the work might be just the thing, what with not being able to go places, see a lot of family, etc. But that, when things hopefully ch...
by valleyrock
Tue Nov 10, 2020 10:57 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: When to freeze child's credit files
Replies: 13
Views: 1141

Re: When to freeze child's credit files

My teenager had to give his SS number to get paid for a summer camp job, and unfortunately took his card in as an ID at a burger joint where he works some. The number is used on the ...is it the W-9 form for reporting income. What he turns 18, we'll freeze his 3 credit reports and we'll set him up w...
by valleyrock
Thu Nov 05, 2020 11:36 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Duties of home health care provider
Replies: 29
Views: 2287

Re: Duties of home health care provider

I've been through this with an ill, aging parent, and have some insight. This is a very important issue, especially as the population ages. Indeed, there are home aides of all sorts, with varying contracts. Unfortunately, many "aides" are not allowed to even give people their medicines. I ...
by valleyrock
Tue Nov 03, 2020 1:09 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Are cheap all-in-one printers fine?
Replies: 28
Views: 2114

Re: Are cheap all-in-one printers fine?

I think it partly depends on how often you're printing. If your printer will sit for days or weeks without use, those ink-jets just plum clog up. If you use it daily, a good ink-jet might be just fine. Laser printers can sit for months or longer without use, and won't clog, so that's my choice.
by valleyrock
Tue Nov 03, 2020 12:46 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Is there a better meta-review site than Wirecutter?
Replies: 30
Views: 3376

Re: Is there a better meta-review site than Wirecutter?

Great topic! Wirecutter is OK for many things, but since they were acquired by the NYTimes, they've upped the number of products they cover and sometimes they don't necessarily have experts to review some things. For thermometers, I recall they contacted a bunch of nurses and/or hospital people, but...
by valleyrock
Tue Nov 03, 2020 12:25 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Car Batteries
Replies: 127
Views: 6042

Re: Car Batteries

When you buy a car battery you'll want to look for the freshest one on the rack. +1 That's certainly more important than brand. 30 month? I change battery every 2 years lol What? why would you change a battery every two years? To avoid battery failure, aka breakdown maintenance. I've paid my batter...
by valleyrock
Fri Oct 30, 2020 7:09 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Computer Science Degree or Self Learn?
Replies: 72
Views: 4745

Re: Computer Science Degree or Self Learn?

A couple of points/ideas: --Sometimes taking a number of the right courses might be sufficient to break into a field. For example, there might be 10 courses in computer science that would do the trick. Analogously, there are master's degrees for people with diverse backgrounds. The first degrees in ...
by valleyrock
Thu Oct 29, 2020 9:12 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: How does the IVOL ETF work?
Replies: 18
Views: 2109

Re: How does the IVOL ETF work?

Grant's Interest Rate Observer did a podcast about this ETF with its head, Nancy Davis, on October 16. https://www.grantspub.com/podcasts.cfm?podcastform=1 As noted above, one of the "selling points" Nancy Davis touts is access to the options market, which she says is valued at $22 Trillio...
by valleyrock
Thu Oct 29, 2020 8:41 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Car Batteries
Replies: 127
Views: 6042

Re: Car Batteries

wfrobinette wrote: Thu Oct 29, 2020 2:26 pm
sd323232 wrote: Thu Oct 29, 2020 7:45 am 30 month? I change battery every 2 years lol
What? why would you change a battery every two years?
To avoid battery failure, aka breakdown maintenance. I've paid my battery dues, thank you very much.
by valleyrock
Tue Oct 27, 2020 8:30 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Car Batteries
Replies: 127
Views: 6042

Re: Car Batteries

Nowadays I buy the best battery they have at NAPA or at Autozone. Then I replace them every three years because I got tired of doing breakdown maintenance on batteries. But I don't drive new cars, change the coolant every 2 years, putting in 5-year antifreeze, and change the automatic transmission f...
by valleyrock
Sat Oct 17, 2020 7:09 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Verizon Fios internet
Replies: 28
Views: 2498

Re: Verizon Fios internet

I've researched this and implemented what I think you want. For the asking, Verizon will change your connection from the coaxial cable connection to ethernet. Then you connect an ethernet cable (CAT 6, or now some recommend CAT 7) to the ethernet port of the ONT (optical network terminal, usually in...
by valleyrock
Mon Oct 12, 2020 1:29 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: How to listen to good music in a car without satalite radio or internet?
Replies: 31
Views: 1779

Re: How to listen to good music in a car without satalite radio or internet?

You could send Spotify from your phone to your car tape player by either plugging your phone into the player with hardware, or by using a bluetooth receiver. There are hard-wire earphone male plugs with a cassette on the other that a tape player can read. And there bluetooth receivers that work the ...
by valleyrock
Sun Oct 04, 2020 9:28 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Compressing .PDF File
Replies: 25
Views: 1405

Re: Compressing .PDF File

The short story is the pdf files are built from chunks that are already compressed so when you run it through winzip, there isn't any extraneous information that can be removed. If you want to reduce the size of a pdf file, generally you have to reduce the size of the image files within the pdf fil...
by valleyrock
Sun Oct 04, 2020 9:18 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: PSA: don't be stranded by a dead key fob battery
Replies: 50
Views: 5433

Re: PSA: don't be stranded by a dead key fob battery

Like a car battery, water heater or other consumable, put it on a change cycle every x years and then move on with less worry of being stranded. I do that with car batteries. But not hot water heaters. Apparently, if you do maintenance on hot water heaters, they'll last a lot longer than if you wai...
by valleyrock
Sun Oct 04, 2020 9:12 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Oil change disaster
Replies: 127
Views: 14035

Re: Oil change disaster

Once I left the filler cap off and it did make a mess, blowing oil within the engine compartment. I may have driven it a few miles, but no trouble lights. Once I cleaned it up, things were fine. Never did that again. To those with time and the inclination to do it yourself, get the Haynes manual for...
by valleyrock
Fri Oct 02, 2020 3:32 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Experience? Buying items such as computers directly from manufacturer (e.g. Dell) instead of Amazon
Replies: 46
Views: 3053

Re: Experience? Buying items such as computers directly from manufacturer (e.g. Dell) instead of Amazon

I have purchased laptops directly from Lenovo, and then I usually buy the on-site warranty for 3 or 4 years when it's a laptop for my work. No issues. But I also have bought slightly used Lenovo computers from eBay. My last one had about 1.5 years left on the warranty. Corporations replace all their...
by valleyrock
Thu Sep 17, 2020 8:31 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Long Term Care Insurance (LTC)
Replies: 22
Views: 1965

Re: Long Term Care Insurance (LTC)

Original Poster here. After reaching out to the company, I’ve learned that “compound inflation” is 5% compounded annually. They gave me updated payout limits as of 1/1/2020: $2,653 monthly maximum - facility $1,591 monthly maximum - assisted living facility 60% $1,326 monthly maximum - professional...
by valleyrock
Fri Sep 11, 2020 6:39 pm
Forum: Personal Investments
Topic: Father has 300k+ as a 68 year old. What investing strategy would you advise?
Replies: 33
Views: 4620

Re: How would I structure my father's retirement?

Get him some books by Bill Bernstein. He's a physician.

Maybe that will click with your father and he'll end up managing YOUR money.
by valleyrock
Fri Sep 11, 2020 6:34 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Managing Indoor Humidity
Replies: 62
Views: 3657

Re: Managing Indoor Humidity

Yep, seal that basement up and keep the humidity at around 50% or lower. I believe below 60% is necessary to prevent mold growth. (see https://www.epa.gov/mold/mold-course-chapter-2 , etc.) I buy digital humidity (and temperature gauges) and put them around, one at the opposite end of the basement f...
by valleyrock
Fri Sep 11, 2020 6:19 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Used Car issues Ohio
Replies: 37
Views: 1932

Re: Used Car issues Ohio

At this stage, yes, drive it right back over there and talk to the boss and the boss's boss, politely, and ask for your money back. There's a chance they'll do the right thing. If you don't ask, they obviously will not.

Then rent a car and go on vacation and figure it out later.
by valleyrock
Fri Sep 11, 2020 6:04 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Bet that 30-year mortgage rates are below 2.00% by July 2021
Replies: 37
Views: 3983

Re: Bet that 30-year mortgage rates are below 2.00% by July 2021

Yep, go to the refinance megathread. It's all there.

Personally, I lump the costs that are not negotiable (appraisal fee, title insurance, and taxes (some states)) into my calculations. There's no such thing as a no-cost loan when these things are factored in.
by valleyrock
Fri Sep 11, 2020 5:50 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Questions to ask a prospective financial advisor
Replies: 112
Views: 5229

Re: Questions to ask a prospective financial advisor

Ask:

Can you please provide me with a copy of your resume?
by valleyrock
Thu Sep 10, 2020 8:32 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Should we buy a $3M+ house with parental help?
Replies: 167
Views: 12271

Re: Should we buy a $3M+ house with parental help?

I don't believe anyone has pointed out that there may be certain gift tax implications?
by valleyrock
Fri Sep 04, 2020 2:57 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Daughter almost ready to launch into professional life
Replies: 45
Views: 4410

Re: Daughter almost ready to launch into professional life

I have one to add, for someone joining the workforce. Check out, for a woman, Molloy's classic "New Women's Dress for Success." Molloy became a sociologist, and ran experiments to determine what clothes to wear when and the effects of various clothing choices in different situations. One k...
by valleyrock
Fri Sep 04, 2020 12:09 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Getting out of a recently purchased condo
Replies: 32
Views: 5245

Re: Getting out of a recently purchased condo

Apples ≠ oranges Flooring / carpeting issues ≠ foundation issues Value is absolutely destroyed on a for sale property with disclosed foundation issues. Especially at this price point. Put yourself in the shoes of a potential buyer: “Gee, the sellers bought a $1.7M house, put this place on the marke...
by valleyrock
Thu Sep 03, 2020 10:58 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Getting out of a recently purchased condo
Replies: 32
Views: 5245

Re: Getting out of a recently purchased condo

I'm an engineer, which affects my thinking on repair issues. I'd consider being proactive on the foundation issue. Get a couple of foundation repair companies to write up estimates on a repair. As necessary, get a civil engineer involved. They'll often do an initial verbal report, and as needed they...
by valleyrock
Tue Aug 25, 2020 7:30 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Umbrella Insurance - Worst Case
Replies: 142
Views: 10141

Re: Umbrella Insurance - Worst Case

In my experience, to get an umbrella policy, one has to have one's vehicles and home insured by the same company, as well. We were paying around $300 per year for a $1M umbrella policy (with Amica), added to cars and homeowner's policies. Then we upped it to a $2M policy, for something like another ...
by valleyrock
Tue Aug 25, 2020 4:29 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Cousin died He did not leave a will
Replies: 85
Views: 11504

Re: Cousin died He did not leave a will

Looks to me like CA Probate 101 is the bees knees, and no need to pay an attorney, unless you can find one who'll work by the hour to advise along the way, one who's familiar with the steps and unwritten rules procedures in the jurisdiction you're in. But it's likely the various clerks can answer qu...
by valleyrock
Tue Aug 25, 2020 3:17 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Cousin died He did not leave a will
Replies: 85
Views: 11504

Re: Cousin died He did not leave a will

I'd ask friends and contacts for the names of a few experienced estate attorneys nearby, then call them, explain what's up and ask about what they'd do to help. When they start talking about a retainer, fees, an initial free meeting, etc., ask them if they are willing to be hired for, say 2 or three...
by valleyrock
Tue Aug 25, 2020 3:01 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Any car enthusiasts? (or soon to be)
Replies: 130
Views: 8712

Re: Any car enthusiasts? (or soon to be)

How about a Rolls Canardly?....It rolls downhill, and can hardly make it up the other side!
by valleyrock
Tue Aug 25, 2020 2:54 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Thoughts on Tennessee
Replies: 116
Views: 14024

Re: Thoughts on Tennessee

I lived in Nashville a while, and on the landlord-friendly front, I was surprised that every single rental used the same lease, whether it was an individual renting a small attached apartment or a corporate apartment building. The lease gave all the cards to the owner, of course. Also, Tennessee is ...
by valleyrock
Fri Aug 21, 2020 8:29 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Refinance Mega Thread
Replies: 10213
Views: 733628

LenderFi process, etc.

I need advice. We applied to LenderFi for a Refi and all went OK. (Refi amount is $274,000.) I asked from the beginning what rates we can get, with various rates, etc. The LenderFi agent sounds very competent and nice and said we need to first unfreeze our credit reports. Did that, then called, and ...
by valleyrock
Sun Aug 16, 2020 3:52 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Products that last forever
Replies: 239
Views: 16660

Re: Products that last forever

antwerp wrote: Thu Aug 13, 2020 8:58 pmCrocs
My crocs usually only last a couple of years before the tread goes, and they become extremely slippery and dangerous on anything smooth if it's even slightly wet.

(Or were you thinking of the reptilian kind?)

Somewhat OT, but this is a cool tools site: https://kk.org/cooltools/
by valleyrock
Fri Aug 14, 2020 8:35 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Refinance Mega Thread
Replies: 10213
Views: 733628

LenderFi communications on rates, etc.

I filed a refi application toLenderFi and have responded to the assigned loan manager in an email and IM that I'd sure like to discuss what interest rates they would offer us. The discussion would be nonbinding, of course. LenderFi now sent the whole kit and kaboodle for us to electronically sign an...
by valleyrock
Fri Aug 07, 2020 12:10 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: How to sell a used car with engine problems?
Replies: 35
Views: 3032

Re: How to sell a used car with engine problems?

Just a note about used car prices. Use nadaguides.com . They are the industry standard. I don't know where this Kelly Blue Book came from. Nada prices are used by bank loan officers and car dealerships. Their values can be used for no haggle used car buying and selling.
by valleyrock
Thu Aug 06, 2020 6:19 pm
Forum: Personal Investments
Topic: Help my Aunt decide on Edward Jones or somewhere else
Replies: 55
Views: 3326

Re: Help my Aunt decide on Edward Jones or somewhere else

I agree about not talking at all to EJ anymore. They are clever and know very well that meeting with people, having breakfast with them, the whole relationship building thing actually works. I'm sure they are taught how to do all this. By contacting one of the other firms mentioned here, she can ini...
by valleyrock
Tue Aug 04, 2020 9:02 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: New house... replace toilets?
Replies: 25
Views: 2058

Re: New house... replace toilets?

I got new toilets two years ago when we bought a house. Really glad I did. I did my homework and made sure I didn't get a low, cheap model. It's a good idea to check into the options. I made sure at a Lowes but then got a plumber to install commercial grade toilets that they can get. Expensive, but ...
by valleyrock
Tue Aug 04, 2020 9:44 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: What Car Maintenance Do You Do?
Replies: 165
Views: 9208

Re: What Car Maintenance Do You Do?

I do a lot of my own car work, weather permitting. Information is key. Information sources I use include the Haynes manual for my car (around $25, very well written with lots of basic and specific information on maintenance and repair procedures), a subscription to alldatadiy (procedures, data on re...
by valleyrock
Sun Aug 02, 2020 10:12 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: USPS insurance claim.
Replies: 22
Views: 1809

Re: USPS insurance claim.

I had this happen recently (but the package showed up later at a neighbor's). The postmaster advised first calling the main usps number and basically filing a notice that a package was not received. This is done using the delivery address/post office. It was a long wait on the phone, but when they a...
by valleyrock
Wed Jul 22, 2020 8:50 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Getting a refund on a cancelled vacation
Replies: 22
Views: 1871

Re: Getting a refund on a cancelled vacation

Just curious if any sort of trip insurance would have been helpful here.
by valleyrock
Fri Jul 17, 2020 10:02 am
Forum: Personal Investments
Topic: Newly Dual-Dentist Couple
Replies: 25
Views: 1735

Re: Newly Dual-Dentist Couple

This site may be helpful: https://www.whitecoatinvestor.com/ . He discusses and applies a lot of bogleheads thinking.
by valleyrock
Mon Jun 29, 2020 11:24 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Advice on WiFi vs. Wired at Home?
Replies: 34
Views: 2360

Re: Advice on WiFi vs. Wired at Home?

Consider the powerline approach. It works for us. See, for example: https://www.digitaltrends.com/computing/everything-you-need-to-know-about-powerline-networking/ It's pretty smart technology, using the AC wires in your house to transmit WiFi. (You have to plug directly into the sockets.) We have s...
by valleyrock
Mon Jun 29, 2020 12:32 am
Forum: Personal Investments
Topic: Fidelity Website says password expired
Replies: 12
Views: 2696

Re: Fidelity Website says password expired

Careful of phishing scams.
by valleyrock
Thu Jun 25, 2020 2:31 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Water Heater Question
Replies: 19
Views: 1148

Re: Water Heater Question

One suggestion: if you get a new tank, have them put it in a tray/aluminum pan, which you can buy for this purpose. I've learned recently that there is a procedure for maintaining hot water heaters: https://www.houselogic.com/organize-maintain/home-maintenance-tips/water-heater-maintenance . Good lu...
by valleyrock
Wed Jun 24, 2020 3:12 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: U.S. stocks in free fall
Replies: 22922
Views: 3007347

Re: U.S. stocks in free fall

The most recent Wealth Track interview (actually it's a 2-parter, and this is the second one) is more or less along these lines. https://wealthtrack.com/this-is-a-bear-market-rally-life-has-changed-homebody-investments-will-flourish-says-rosenberg/ And what did you learn from permabear Rosenberg? A...
by valleyrock
Mon Jun 22, 2020 11:23 pm
Forum: Personal Investments
Topic: There is a transaction I didn't make, help.
Replies: 18
Views: 2030

Re: There is a transaction I didn't make, help.

Here's a good place for random passwords: https://www.grc.com/passwords.htm (I usually just use a subset and insert some capitals and extra symbols). Lastpass works well for me. There must be some sort of two-factor identification for your account(s), and surely there are some other means of impleme...