Cheat Sheet Q & A:

Subject: iPhone battery drain


The question:  Hello Brian, I heard a tip from Rush Limbaugh that if you shut your phone off immediately after getting a full charge the battery will not run down as quickly. Give it a try and let us know. Thanks so much.


Bottom Line:  This question/antidote is in response to the battery drain issues many of us have been battling since the 7.1 update for iOS was released a couple of weeks ago.  A little quick background…


I updated my phone almost immediately after the update was released.  By the next morning I could already detect that the battery life of my phone was being dramatically affected due to the update.  I mentioned the issue on air the next day (suggesting that if battery life is an important consideration for you, perhaps you should hold off on the update unless you’re frequently within reach of a charger). 


Like many people I’m on the go consistently for about 10-12 hours per day.  That often means that I’m not in one place where I can charge my phone for any meaningful length of time. Like many people I’m on the go consistently for about 10-12 hours per day.  That often means that I’m not in one place where I can charge my phone for any meaningful length of time.  That hadn’t been an issue for me as I’d consistently have 50%+ battery life each day by the time I was able to charge at night.  Since the update I’ve had my phone die on me twice and I’ve had to stop down what I’m doing on multiple other occasions to charge my phone.  Not good.  So with that in mind I did try the suggest mentioned above from Rush.  The result…


After charging my phone to 100% and rebooting my phone I’m not noticing any significant difference.  I left my phone off of a charger last night so I could observe if there was an impact.  I also made sure that all of my apps were closed.  Without using my phone for anything for about six & a half hours while I slept I lost 9% of the battery life.  Prior to the update I’d usually only lose about 2% of the battery life over the same period of time…  So for my phone at least it’s not a fix.  Speaking of a fix…  I’m hoping that Apple comes out with an update to their update addressing this issue. 


If you have a topic or question you’d like me to address email me:


Audio Report:


How much more will your flood insurance cost you this year?:


Bottom Line:  This has been a big topic of conversation around the country but especially in our state.  The Federal Flood insurance program is awash in red ink after a high number of claims in the last two years (the most notable being claims stemming from super storm Sandy).  With a $25 billion deficit the Government has been weighing possible reform with significant policy price increases.  One of the three states in the cross hairs targeted with the biggest increases…  Yes Florida. 


We’ve been told that increases of 25% even without a history of any claims on a property could be expected in designated flood zones.  That’s a significant year over year increase for anyone but especially those who are on a fixed income.  So what can you expect?  I just received my flood insurance renewal for 2014 and the increase was 12% over 2013.  My home is in a flood zone and doesn’t have any claim history.  So perhaps this will be a good news/bad news year for Floridians.  If my situation is endemic of what others can expect, the increase is about half of what we had been warned to expect but enough to cause a financial burden on someone with limited financial flexibility. 


Audio Report:



Auto leases hit an all-time high...  Why that may not be a good thing:


Bottom Line:  I’m not going to be the person who lectures on auto practicality.  As a lover of sports cars I’ve not always made practical buying decisions.  That being said, if you are value minded, or if you’d like to be…  This is for you. 

Auto leasing, as a percentage of all vehicle transactions, has never been higher.  According to data from Experian:


·        28.4% of all vehicle financing is lease activity


·        That’s a 3.6% increase year over year and an all-time high


So why is that perhaps not a good thing? 


There are benefits to leasing including:


  • You don’t have the instant new car depreciation


  • You have greater flexibility to test and try different cars


  • You likely won’t face major maintenance issues that you’ll be financially responsible for

However when it comes down to value it’s a different story. 


  • The average cost of a lease is currently $420 per month


  • That compares to an average $471 for the average new car loan and $352 for a used car

So clearly the used car option is the cheapest of the options but let’s say that you want a new car via purchase or lease.  Even then, buying will generally be a much better long term value.  How since the payment will average $51 per month until it’s paid off? 


I looked for the current cost of maintenance for the average vehicle:


  • According to AAA the cost of maintenance is an average of 5 cents per mile driven per year. 



  • For the average person who drives 8,000 miles per year the cost of unscheduled maintenance is $400 per year

Or to put it a different way…  Unscheduled maintenance costs less per year than one month’s average lease payment. 


So on the five year new car loan:


  • You’ll save an average of $3060 leasing

However by year six:


  • You’ll save $4640 that year and each subsequent by owning

So the value minded person will be significantly better off in the long run by owning rather than leasing.  Even if you only drive your new car for one additional year after you pay your car off. 


Audio Report:



It's official – Floridians are winos:

Bottom Line:
  I’m not sure at what point you cross over from a wine consumer to a wino but when we’re talking about the consumption per person in terms of gallons…  I think we’re there. 


According to Vinepair:


  • Wine consumption per person has risen every year in the US (and Florida) since 1994

In Florida…:


  • Our consumption has increased from 2.2 gallons per person per year to 3.2 gallons per year

Or to put it a different way…


  • Our wine consumption per person has increased by 45%!

Florida is also one of the top ten states in the country for wine consumption per person (Vermont at greater than 4 gallons per person is #1).  So pop the cork. Not that you needed me to tell you.  Cheers.


Audio Report:



The vacation home is back in vogue:


Bottom Line:  Not surprisingly a vacation, or 2nd home, wasn’t much of the overall housing market during the housing crisis.  After peaking in 2006 with 14% of all home purchases being vacation properties, we saw a decline for several years until 2013.  They came back in a big way. 


According to the National Association of Realtors:


  • 13% of all property purchases in 2013 were vacation homes


  • The region where most of the properties were purchased: The South with 41% of all vacation home purchases


  • The state with the most 2nd home purchases in the South:  Florida

So indeed Florida led the country with 2nd home purchases in 2013 and you’d imagine that trend would likely be continuing throughout 2014 as well.


Audio Report: