Search found 2261 matches

by SimonJester
Sun May 09, 2021 10:29 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Help me choose a piano for my 10-year old
Replies: 67
Views: 4271

Re: Help me choose a piano for my 10-year old

My vote get the Digital piano and keep your current upright. How bad out of tune is it? My youngest is currently in college in a music program and we have done just that. He has a digital piano he uses (which he took to his dorm) and also uses our upright acoustic which hasn't been tuned in 20 years...
by SimonJester
Thu May 06, 2021 9:07 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Did I hire a bad property manager?
Replies: 21
Views: 2536

Re: Did I hire a bad property manager?

Brianmcg321 wrote: Thu May 06, 2021 6:49 am Isn't being a landlord fun.

"It's passive income." they said.
Yes its passive income, the income passes from you to the property manager...
by SimonJester
Wed May 05, 2021 3:17 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Toilet Bids
Replies: 53
Views: 4157

Re: Toilet Bids

tibbitts wrote: Tue May 04, 2021 1:23 pm Here we go again with how easy everything is to d-i-y including performing brain surgery on yourself.
Hogwash! Performing brain surgery on ones self is no more complicated then performing rocket surgery. Getting the brain out was the easy part... the hard part was getting the brain out...
by SimonJester
Fri Apr 23, 2021 8:41 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Buying a house but not moving into it? Is that OK?
Replies: 36
Views: 4361

Re: Buying a house but not moving into it? Is that OK?

Biggest issue I think is insurance, you absolutely need to let your insurance know its not occupied.
by SimonJester
Tue Apr 20, 2021 3:29 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Question About Claiming Son as Dependent
Replies: 37
Views: 2387

Re: Question About Claiming Son as Dependent

There is not much benefit to claiming son as dependent; on the contrary, doing so directly means that son will have to pay more in taxes than he otherwise would. Why? Because he will be dinged at your (parent's) tax rate. The AOTC is a huge benefit to the parents if they qualify otherwise... AOTC h...
by SimonJester
Sun Apr 18, 2021 5:56 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Question About Claiming Son as Dependent
Replies: 37
Views: 2387

Re: Question About Claiming Son as Dependent

an_asker wrote: Sun Apr 18, 2021 2:14 pm There is not much benefit to claiming son as dependent; on the contrary, doing so directly means that son will have to pay more in taxes than he otherwise would. Why? Because he will be dinged at your (parent's) tax rate.
The AOTC is a huge benefit to the parents if they qualify otherwise...
by SimonJester
Sun Apr 18, 2021 5:31 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: cost of college
Replies: 11
Views: 1007

Re: cost of college

I would not lockup everything in a 529. So many things can change in a child life in 18 years. I am dealing with an overfunded 529 now, and will probably end up passing it onto grand children (if there are any). And by the way this was with a 50/50 split of funds in the 529 and outside the 529. Col...
by SimonJester
Sun Apr 18, 2021 10:18 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: cost of college
Replies: 11
Views: 1007

Re: cost of college

I would not lockup everything in a 529. So many things can change in a child life in 18 years. I am dealing with an overfunded 529 now, and will probably end up passing it onto grand children (if there are any). And by the way this was with a 50/50 split of funds in the 529 and outside the 529. Coll...
by SimonJester
Thu Apr 15, 2021 10:50 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: fire pit recommendations
Replies: 33
Views: 3492

Re: fire pit recommendations

I have a large chiminea and it works great. Highly recommended. We have one and used it for a long time but discovered the fire pit is so much more enjoyable. First only a few people can sit around the chiminea and it doesnt put out much heat except in the front. Most of the rest of the heat goes o...
by SimonJester
Thu Apr 15, 2021 11:10 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Biggest expenses in life
Replies: 50
Views: 4244

Re: Biggest expenses in life

In order of expense:

1) Taxes
2) Children's College
3) House
4) Vehicles
5) Vacations


2-5 worth it...
by SimonJester
Tue Apr 13, 2021 4:59 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Zelle/Venmo/Cashapp?
Replies: 44
Views: 4052

Re: Zelle/Venmo/Cashapp?

It’s a safer way to receive funds as once received as transactions are irrevocable. However, when sending funds, one must be very careful about where they are sent (a correct email or phone number is essential), and know that there’s basically no recourse once the funds are sent. I’ll be using it f...
by SimonJester
Sat Apr 10, 2021 8:47 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Gardening 2021
Replies: 46
Views: 4074

Re: Gardening 2021

In 5B here, I have carrots and radish in the ground. Indoors I have peppers starting to sprout along with winter squash and cucumbers sprouted now about 2" high with their first set of leaves. We generally cant put anything in the ground until after mother's day here. Looking forward to tomatoe...
by SimonJester
Tue Apr 06, 2021 9:03 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: fire pit recommendations
Replies: 33
Views: 3492

Re: fire pit recommendations

big box home improvement stores sell fireplace kits containing a steel ring and landscape blocking to decorate the outside of the ring hiding it from view. I went this route a few years ago and am very happy with it. Its big enough for several people (6 to 8) to all sit around and get warmth. It ra...
by SimonJester
Tue Apr 06, 2021 8:52 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Safe and secure car sale
Replies: 12
Views: 810

Re: Safe and secure car sale

Receive Venmo, Paypal or Zelle payment I'd put these options in the same territory as personal checks certainly PayPal, less familiar with Venmo and Zelle. PP will tend to side with the buyer in disputes. These can be worse then a check in my opinion. Option A Cash Option B Meet at bank and have th...
by SimonJester
Sun Apr 04, 2021 7:31 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Which life insurance to get? Work vs. personal policy
Replies: 34
Views: 2429

Re: Which life insurance to get? Work vs. personal policy

I prefer a policy that’s not tied to my employment. The risk is, you get sick, then lose your job, then die. I want to be insured if that happens. Or, lose your job, get sick, and die. In truth though, I have both. My employers provides a policy for me. And I have separately purchased one. Cant say...
by SimonJester
Fri Mar 26, 2021 4:13 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Owners Title Ins., purchasing property from Judge
Replies: 43
Views: 2662

Re: Owners Title Ins., purchasing property from Judge

80% of the title will be insured (lenders title insurance), it's just my 20% that would be self-insured. I thought lenders title insurance only protected the lender. Presumably, once the loan is paid off, you will own 100% of the property outright. Wouldn't you need owner's title insurance on 100% ...
by SimonJester
Thu Mar 25, 2021 8:22 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Whole house humidifier recommendations
Replies: 14
Views: 860

Re: Whole house humidifier recommendations

99.99% of the world (maybe more) live without artificial humidification. You can too. There can be significant problem to having very low humidity in your house. We can all live without a lot of things but most prefer to live in comfort vs a difficult hard life. My indoor humidity will read down in...
by SimonJester
Wed Mar 24, 2021 4:02 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: House inspection report
Replies: 22
Views: 2409

Re: House inspection report

I have a patch in my downstairs bathroom ceiling, there was a leak in the bathroom above over 20 years ago that required opening up the ceiling. There is no leak now, nor has then been for 20+ years. Patching happens in older houses if there is no current leak, move on...
by SimonJester
Mon Mar 15, 2021 11:19 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Emergency fund: money market to I Bonds
Replies: 18
Views: 1932

Re: Emergency fund: money market to I Bonds

Just keep in mind it takes a few days to actually get money from the cashed I Bonds. I always have a multi tier emergency fund. Checking account, Savings accounts, Ibonds and CDs. I can access money quickly if needed, the move onto the I-Bonds and then CDs...
by SimonJester
Mon Mar 08, 2021 6:43 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Using OBD2 scanner to evaluate used car buying
Replies: 102
Views: 4810

Re: Using OBD2 scanner to evaluate used car buying

Wow there is a TON of misinformation out there in this thread. A bad ODB2 reader module could indeed short out the ECM and cause a expensive repair. A friend of mine is a master mechanic with his own shop, (he uses $20K+ OBD2 scanners by the way), he has seen vehicles with bad ECMs due to things be...
by SimonJester
Mon Mar 08, 2021 6:20 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Using OBD2 scanner to evaluate used car buying
Replies: 102
Views: 4810

Re: Using OBD2 scanner to evaluate used car buying

Wow there is a TON of misinformation out there in this thread. A bad ODB2 reader module could indeed short out the ECM and cause a expensive repair. A friend of mine is a master mechanic with his own shop, (he uses $20K+ OBD2 scanners by the way), he has seen vehicles with bad ECMs due to things bei...
by SimonJester
Mon Mar 08, 2021 2:35 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Peloton purchase inquiry
Replies: 27
Views: 2544

Re: Peloton purchase inquiry

I know a co worker of mine has one and had a part break on it making it unusable. It is covered under warranty but they are saying they cannot get the part for several months. Just be aware...
by SimonJester
Sun Mar 07, 2021 5:37 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Using OBD2 scanner to evaluate used car buying
Replies: 102
Views: 4810

Re: Using OBD2 scanner to evaluate used car buying

For what its worth, Ive actually stalled out a vehicle with a reader app on a computer pulling the OBD2 data too fast and overloading the computer on the car. Thankfully I was in park in my driveway when this happened...
by SimonJester
Wed Mar 03, 2021 8:51 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Mechanics of teen's 1st tax return
Replies: 35
Views: 2026

Re: Mechanics of teen's 1st tax return

Just wake sure you review EVERYTHING before you submit the e-file. My oldest son (now on this third tax return), rushed through the program and chose to itemize deductions with $0 of deductions vs the standard deduction. Boy he was mad for a bit when the program told him he was going to owe several ...
by SimonJester
Wed Mar 03, 2021 8:47 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Urgent Care bill - does this seem high?
Replies: 44
Views: 2526

Re: Urgent Care bill - does this seem high?

You got off cheap, my youngest son had a $1,300 glass of water in the ER a few years ago. Most expensive glass of water I ever paid for! So funny longer story, we sat down to eat dinner which was pulled port sandwiches. He takes a bite and swallows only it doesn't go down. It doesn't come out either...
by SimonJester
Wed Feb 24, 2021 11:14 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Tax Refund IRS Processed Quickly
Replies: 25
Views: 2428

Re: Tax Refund IRS Processed Quickly

Got mine today all of $2.00. Its going into the bank to earn interest :greedy
by SimonJester
Wed Feb 24, 2021 11:07 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Umbrella Policy; Anyone actually made a claim?
Replies: 211
Views: 16120

Re: Umbrella Policy; Anyone actually made a claim?

This fact is especially useful for avoiding the scenario where someone sues you for $300,000, but you only have $100,000 in auto insurance. If the auto insurance company knows that its total judgement will likely exceed the policy limits of $100,000, the insurance company will simply cut a check to...
by SimonJester
Sun Feb 21, 2021 11:39 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Busted water pipe, now what? Help a Texan out.
Replies: 187
Views: 14312

Re: Busted water pipe, now what? Help a Texan out.

not to highjack thread but i’d like advice also. looks like i have a leak in wall along master bath and there is an outdoor spigot as well. i can only see what water leak from the outside (under brick at foundation). I can’t see any damage inside as thats where my bathroom cabinets are built and se...
by SimonJester
Sun Feb 21, 2021 11:19 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Do you need to remove credit freeze to open brokerage accounts?
Replies: 18
Views: 1202

Re: Do you need to remove credit freeze to open brokerage accounts?

There are TONS of credit reporting agencies

https://www.consumerlawfirm.com/credit- ... encies.htm

But the other major ones are CheckSystems, Innvois, and CLUE.
National Consumer Telecom & Utilities Exchange is also becoming a big player to worry about as well
by SimonJester
Sun Feb 21, 2021 11:06 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: microsoft hotmail vs SMS for 2FA
Replies: 17
Views: 877

Re: microsoft hotmail vs SMS for 2FA

Two factor authentication is something you know (your password) and something you have. The second factor could been a finger print, a physical keyfob device, a USB token, your email account, your cell phone number (SMS). The last two are not really item you have, they are services provided to your...
by SimonJester
Sun Feb 21, 2021 10:32 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: microsoft hotmail vs SMS for 2FA
Replies: 17
Views: 877

Re: microsoft hotmail vs SMS for 2FA

Two factor authentication is something you know (your password) and something you have. The second factor could been a finger print, a physical keyfob device, a USB token, your email account, your cell phone number (SMS). The last two are not really item you have, they are services provided to your ...
by SimonJester
Fri Feb 19, 2021 11:41 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Do you need to remove credit freeze to open brokerage accounts?
Replies: 18
Views: 1202

Re: Do you need to remove credit freeze to open brokerage accounts?

Many banks, credit unions and brokerages use a soft pull credit report to verify your identity. My experience was that I had to unfreeze to open the account...
by SimonJester
Fri Feb 19, 2021 12:30 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Has anyone had a TurboTax return that included a form 1116 accepted?
Replies: 207
Views: 11225

Re: How long is the IRS taking to accept returns

I submitted Saturday 2/13 it was accepted 3 minutes later! Much faster then in past years.

My state was accepted a few hours later, but their web site still has no record of my filing...
by SimonJester
Tue Feb 09, 2021 6:33 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Is it me or a lot of 2020 tax forms late this year?
Replies: 45
Views: 4255

Re: Is it me or a lot of 2020 tax forms late this year?

There are a number of forms the IRS has not yet finalized, this is preventing E-filing in some cases...
by SimonJester
Sun Feb 07, 2021 10:02 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Return to office after covid shutdowns
Replies: 183
Views: 7391

Re: Return to office after covid shutdowns

There are significant IT infrastructure costs in enabling mass employee WFH. Every company went through this in March / April, increasing network bandwidth as well as telecommunication trunks. Major Network / Telco carriers were maxing out their infrastructure as well in the beginning. There are hug...
by SimonJester
Mon Feb 01, 2021 11:36 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Poor Call Quality on Google Voice
Replies: 26
Views: 2169

Re: Poor Call Quality on Google Voice

High jitter is caused by network congestion and in your case its the upload path. As I said before you are competing with all your neighbors for the same cable pipe going back to your cable provider, and then all their customers going out to the Internet. Speak with your cable provider and see if th...
by SimonJester
Sun Jan 31, 2021 12:28 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Help With Understanding Financial Aid Offer
Replies: 16
Views: 1003

Re: Help With Understanding Financial Aid Offer

Just some things to consider, I have two in college now and this is what what I find. The tuition and fees listed will be based on 12 credit hours, however they will push your student to take 15 per semester. This will raise that number up. My students have never spend anywhere near the allotted boo...
by SimonJester
Wed Jan 27, 2021 9:09 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Poor Call Quality on Google Voice
Replies: 26
Views: 2169

Re: Poor Call Quality on Google Voice

I have similar setup in my home. Here is the deal, your Internet provider does not offer any guaranteed quality of service on their service. So your VoIP packets are competing with everyone else on the Internet to get to their destination. With residential service we are all in this boat together. N...
by SimonJester
Tue Jan 26, 2021 9:07 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Buying AirPods with 529 money?
Replies: 23
Views: 2386

Re: Buying AirPods with 529 money?

I vote yes, Air Pods are like $120 - $200 depending on model, if this get disallowed you would owe the tax +10% on the gains from that. Its not going to be a lot of money.
by SimonJester
Tue Jan 19, 2021 10:13 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Engagement Ring
Replies: 140
Views: 8067

Re: Engagement Ring

I'm so glad I was poor when I got married. 1/3 carat engagement ring at JC Penny's - $230, which so far has worked out to $7.18/year. +1 For me a wedding ring is like a marriage litmus test. If your spouse has issues because you bought a $500 ring instead of the $50,000 one, is that a sign of issue...
by SimonJester
Mon Jan 18, 2021 5:28 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: PIP on Auto Ins - Necessary?
Replies: 15
Views: 1101

Re: PIP on Auto Ins - Necessary?

Here is a question - if you don't have PIP but you do have normal health insurance, will your health insurance NOT cover your medical bills related to an auto accident? I chose not to get the "medical payments" coverage on my Geico policy, assuming it is redundant. Keep in mind your PIP p...
by SimonJester
Mon Jan 18, 2021 12:23 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Money for college/Is this reasonable?
Replies: 18
Views: 1872

Re: Money for college/Is this reasonable?

We have done a mix of 529 and taxable accounts. Remember you will want 16K (4k / year) per child outside a 529 if you qualify to the AOTC. For outside investments we went very conservative using a mix of CDs, I-bonds, and regular savings accounts. Your time horizon is about 4 years for the oldest ch...
by SimonJester
Sun Jan 17, 2021 9:34 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Calling all Amica insurance people. Will I get a discount for pleasure driving?
Replies: 11
Views: 1277

Re: Calling all Amica insurance people. Will I get a discount for pleasure driving?

I think it really depends on your state, when I asked about this a few years ago they told me there was no discount for low or minimal driving.
Since insurance varies by location and situation it would be best to call up and ask. Then shop around and see what others will offer...
by SimonJester
Thu Jan 14, 2021 9:57 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: What is the correct premium to pay for a Toyota vs a Chrysler?
Replies: 53
Views: 3453

Re: What is the correct premium to pay for a Toyota vs a Chrysler?

I'm sure Siennas are reliable and at least they don't rust out. But twice the life??? Do people really drive Sienna's 20 years? I have 17 years on my 2004 Sienna, I am just now hitting the first repair, leaking radiator (known issue Toyota fixed in subsequent models). It was paid off in 5 years, an...
by SimonJester
Mon Jan 11, 2021 3:45 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Cost of owning older vehicle
Replies: 38
Views: 3329

Re: Cost of owning older vehicle

jhawktx wrote: Mon Jan 11, 2021 12:07 am
Good plan except on #2 I would keep it for longer. I have a 2007 Corolla I bought new and it is still a great car.
I was going to say the exact same thing... I am on 17 years with our minivan and just now have the first repair (coolant leak). I will never have a car payment again...
by SimonJester
Mon Jan 11, 2021 11:06 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Whole life insurance - tax law changes may make it more attractive
Replies: 27
Views: 2177

Re: Whole life insurance - tax law changes may make it more attractive

I suspect these will still be a bad deal for almost everyone...
by SimonJester
Sun Jan 10, 2021 10:01 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: $900 Dyson Floor Lamp
Replies: 13
Views: 1631

Re: $900 Dyson Floor Lamp

Pandemic Bangs wrote: Sat Jan 09, 2021 5:06 pm It looks like you can continually adjust the color temp and there must be a sensor for ambient light, too, which it can respond to.
The Philips WIFI smart LED light bulb has a similar feature which you can then put into any normal lamp for only $12
by SimonJester
Sat Jan 09, 2021 9:04 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Weird Phone Conversation with Fidelity
Replies: 56
Views: 5594

Re: Weird Phone Conversation with Fidelity

Wow, on drugs really? I take it you have not worked in a call center. The work gets pretty monotonous at times. Back in the late 90s I worked for Microsoft, I could walk users through fixing their problems in my head without even looking at my screens. Creating a positive experience for the customer...
by SimonJester
Fri Jan 08, 2021 11:13 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: 529 funds for off-campus housing - online classes
Replies: 12
Views: 1751

Re: 529 funds for off-campus housing - online classes

Jumping into this thread because I have a follow-up question that I can't glean the answer to based on previous replies: Son is currently renting a non-university apartment next to campus and the 1-year lease is from July 1 to June 30. The school is on the semester system and the housing portion of...
by SimonJester
Thu Jan 07, 2021 10:43 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: end auto lease, what would BHers do?
Replies: 34
Views: 2303

Re: end auto lease, what would BHers do?

relentless1 wrote: Sat Jan 02, 2021 11:20 am The kids are off to college so we don't need the 3rd car.
You might check with the kids, will they be coming home for summer and need a vehicle for summer jobs?