Search found 202 matches

by Bammerman
Sun Jul 26, 2015 1:18 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Harvest Savings Bonds or Proceed to Tax-deferred
Replies: 4
Views: 337

Harvest Savings Bonds or Proceed to Tax-deferred

For the past few years, we've been mostly living off my pension income and a modest part-time salary income while putting off taking social security until we're a bit older (we're both 63 now). I say "mostly" because our expenses slightly exceed our aforementioned income. We've by now almo...
by Bammerman
Fri Jun 12, 2015 2:17 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Do you telecommute?
Replies: 21
Views: 2027

Re: Do you telecommute?

I began telecommuting only after retiring from full-time work to part-time (same USG employer). Some of it was satisfying because it also involved a lot of phone work -- in other words, I had a fair amount of actual (if voice-only) human contact. On some projects I had very little social interaction...
by Bammerman
Sun May 10, 2015 9:08 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Ever visited Frankfort, Kentucky?
Replies: 9
Views: 1012

Ever visited Frankfort, Kentucky?

Next week I'm going to be CONSUMING (get it?) some battery power and fossil fuel to drive to Chicago, and I'm thinking of breaking the trip in or around Frankfort, KY. Looking for suggestions of pleasant (not fancy) places to stay and dine and walk around and relax there for an afternoon and evening...
by Bammerman
Sat Apr 18, 2015 6:19 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Father can no longer sign his name. Looking for solutions.
Replies: 23
Views: 2495

Re: Father can no longer sign his name. Looking for solution

If he is mobile and mentally competent, why not just take him (and his identification) to a notary public and have him sign the document in front of the notary? Then the notary public notarizes his signature. As a consular officer, I notarized thousands of documents. In addition to swearing in the p...
by Bammerman
Thu Apr 09, 2015 5:25 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Which Moto G or a different phone?
Replies: 20
Views: 2367

for what it's worth: FYI

Take a look at this Amazon deal of the day, which has a few hours to go, as I write this: http://www.amazon.com/dp/B00HPTMCRI/ref=gbrc_rlm_r-1_6742_a158005e?pf_rd_m=ATVPDKIKX0DER&pf_rd_t=701&pf_rd_s=right-new-1&pf_rd_r=1R8M39RA3E0GJD56SY89&pf_rd_i=20&pf_rd_p=2064246742 -- FYI onl...
by Bammerman
Tue Apr 07, 2015 4:49 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Bored -- wondering about day trading for fun
Replies: 61
Views: 6369

not really going to try day trading-- whatever that is

It was just a passing thought. I think I'll apply for a part-time job instead. It's not so much the want-more-money thing -- I don't want to spend any more time inside the house in front of a screen, especially now in the Spring. A job would get me out of the house and let me interact with actual hu...
by Bammerman
Sun Apr 05, 2015 9:33 am
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Bored -- wondering about day trading for fun
Replies: 61
Views: 6369

Bored -- wondering about day trading for fun

Boglehead investing is, let's face it, boring. At least, the conservative asset allocation I use is (very boring): 30% stocks, 70% TSP G fund and bonds. So I'm thinking about starting a tiny little day-trading thing, like $1,000 or so, if you can do it for that little. Is that small a sum feasible f...
by Bammerman
Sun Apr 05, 2015 8:49 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Gearing up for big replacement windows project
Replies: 35
Views: 3078

thanks - recommendations for storm windows?

Thanks everybody for all these useful comments. A dose of reality! I' going to go ahead with getting the estimate on new windows but I'm also going to look into getting new, high-quality low-E storm windows and storm doors.

Any recommendations for those?
by Bammerman
Fri Apr 03, 2015 9:50 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Gearing up for big replacement windows project
Replies: 35
Views: 3078

Gearing up for big replacement windows project

Soon after we moved into our 1925-built house seven years ago we (I) washed all the windows. 30 double-sash windows, with mullions, each with a double-sash storm window! Just in case you're wondering, that's 540 individual pane surfaces to wash. It took me forever, especially since most of them were...
by Bammerman
Tue Mar 24, 2015 3:27 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Does an electric car make sense for commuting?
Replies: 22
Views: 2991

Re: Does an electric car make sense for commuting?

Costs me about $1.00 to charge my Volt's battery.
by Bammerman
Mon Mar 23, 2015 5:40 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Does an electric car make sense for commuting?
Replies: 22
Views: 2991

Consider a Volt

A current-generation Volt should be perfect for your needs. You could drive your 30-mile round trip commute on battery power every day -- I.e., no gasoline! I get up to 45 (all-electric) miles from my Volt in the summer and about 35 miles in the winter. And you have no range-anxiety with the Volt. A...
by Bammerman
Sun Feb 15, 2015 10:04 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: I'm not a bad Boglehead [buying Powerball ticket]
Replies: 101
Views: 7116

Getting into the fantasy

Usually I look at this just like buying a movie ticket -- it's the cost of getting into the fantasy. And I do buy a movie ticket every once in a while, so why not a lottery ticket? (But: once, when I was walking home from the bus stop with my MegaBazillion lottery ticket in my pocket, I found myself...
by Bammerman
Sun Feb 15, 2015 9:45 am
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: No change to equity allocation in seven years?
Replies: 2
Views: 442

No change to equity allocation in seven years?

I use Financial Engines to keep track of my various investments, and have been for years. And for some seven years, since I retired, the percentage shown there for my allocation to all equities has remained the same, at 31%. Yet I have not done any (manual) rebalancing in these seven years. I can on...
by Bammerman
Sun Feb 08, 2015 9:12 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: time to replace my router?
Replies: 45
Views: 3944

Time Capsule

I replaced my old Netgear router with an Apple Time Capsule. This device combines a router with a big hard drive, and does two things: Acts as your router; makes automatic (Time Machine) backups via WiFi from your computer. Both functions are important to me. I like having my backup hard drive in a ...
by Bammerman
Thu Feb 05, 2015 4:58 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: [Janitor in Vermont leaves millions] A true Boglehead!
Replies: 55
Views: 4326

Re:A true Boglehead is about more than investing

I'm not too interested in what defines a "Boglehead", but I don't think that just being extremely frugal is enough to qualify. When I read this article, my main reaction was, "What a shame! All that money left -- for what? To whom? Why didn't he spend it while he could? Take some nice...
by Bammerman
Wed Jan 28, 2015 4:33 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Do you own / have you owned a Chevrolet Volt?
Replies: 40
Views: 5137

One year's operating costs

I thought it might interest some of you to hear what my operating costs have been for my first year's ownership of this 2013 Chevy Volt: I've driven just 6,944 miles since purchasing the car new on January 23, 2014. Most of those miles were driven in and around my home town. I took one road trip of ...
by Bammerman
Thu Aug 21, 2014 8:40 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Which 4 door with 250+ hp
Replies: 105
Views: 9642

Prius embarrassing? I don't think so and my Volt doesn't eit

We have a Prius and it's a fine car, not at all "embarrassing" in any way. But don't make up your mind until you test-drive a Volt! (Be sure to put it in "sport" mode first!) It's ZOOM ZOOM without the noise, 'cause it's electric, mostly.
by Bammerman
Thu Aug 14, 2014 8:48 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Considering buying a Plug-in Prius or a Volt
Replies: 40
Views: 3252

I have both. I love my Volt.

We have two cars, a 2010 Prius and a 2013 Volt. Both are very good cars. The Volt is much more fun to drive: it's more solidly-built, quieter, more luxurious and more powerful than the Prius. The Volt does have less leg room in the rear seats, if that's an issue for you. And it is a 4-seater, not a ...
by Bammerman
Wed Jul 23, 2014 1:42 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Best Way to Show Google Docs via Wi-Fi on a TV: Chromecast?
Replies: 7
Views: 1249

Re: Best Way to Show Google Docs via Wi-Fi on a TV: Chromeca

I think I would do this with an Apple TV, although that's more expensive ($99 vice $35 for Chromecast) -- Although I'm doubtful that her employer's Pcs are Macs. Actually, the idea of showing a looping slideshow of jpg slides isn't bad at all. She's specifically trying to avoid messing around with U...
by Bammerman
Tue Jul 22, 2014 4:39 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Best Way to Show Google Docs via Wi-Fi on a TV: Chromecast?
Replies: 7
Views: 1249

Best Way to Show Google Docs via Wi-Fi on a TV: Chromecast?

My daughter works for a non-profit with a very limited budget. She's been told she can spend $400 to get a 40" HDTV to put in their lobby to be used to display various messages, schedules, etc., that will change daily. She already maintains this info on Google Docs. She had asked me to research...
by Bammerman
Fri May 30, 2014 9:13 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Handheld GPS recommendations
Replies: 7
Views: 826

Re: Handheld GPS recommendations

I know this is not exactly what you are asking for, but for my day hikes I use my iPhone running the Motion-X GPS app. This really sucks the battery juice, so I bought a solar-power battery case that will last about a day and a half (running GPS) if necessary. And I carry a small Ziploc baggy for th...
by Bammerman
Fri May 30, 2014 4:20 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Finding/eradicating a "funky" smell from our Prius
Replies: 20
Views: 4068

Re: Finding/eradicating a "funky" smell from our Prius

I apologize for not having closed the circle on this thread. Here, somewhat belatedly, is how things turned out: Nothing I did made any difference so we took the car to the dealer. They found a dried pool of liquid on or near the battery (I no longer remember if it was the 12v or the big one), clean...
by Bammerman
Fri May 16, 2014 4:46 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Musing about a 4K UHD TV
Replies: 10
Views: 931

Musing about a 4K UHD TV

Today I was roaming around Best Buy and I paused in front of their display of ultra-high definition "4K" TV sets. I have to admit that I was blown away by one in particular by Samsung. I stood about five inches away from the screen and could not make out individual pixels! So I started to ...
by Bammerman
Fri May 16, 2014 4:37 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Do you own / have you owned a Chevrolet Volt?
Replies: 40
Views: 5137

Did not consider any all-electric cars -except, of course, T

I did not consider any all-electric cars (except, of course, the Tesla, ha ha) because of "range anxiety". Just not something I wanted to have to think about at all, and I don't with a Volt. Normally I do not drive far (very seldom more than 20-40 miles, which made the Volt perfect for me)...
by Bammerman
Fri May 16, 2014 12:31 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Do you own / have you owned a Chevrolet Volt?
Replies: 40
Views: 5137

updated stats

Just got back from my first road trip: 350 miles starting from a fresh battery, the Volt used 7.5 gallons of gas, for a total MPG of 46.5. (This brings my "lifetime" MPG in this car down to 176, wah!) This is very close to my highway MPG in my Prius of about 50. Of course, on a road trip, ...
by Bammerman
Fri May 09, 2014 8:43 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Do you own / have you owned a Chevrolet Volt?
Replies: 40
Views: 5137

electric bill cost of charging my Volt

ChinOOk: good question. I looked at my electric bills for the past three months. During this 3-month period in 2014 (Feb-April) I paid a total of $50.70 more than I paid for electric service for the same three months in 2013. That's $0.56 more per day over the 90 days. Of course that does not take i...
by Bammerman
Thu May 08, 2014 5:18 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Do you own / have you owned a Chevrolet Volt?
Replies: 40
Views: 5137

MPG update

Just thought I'd provide an update. Now at about 1,600 miles since I bought the Volt (I don't drive far, as a rule) and my mileage is somewhere north of 250 mpg. In 1,600 miles I have burned a grand total of 5.1 gallons of gas. In really cold weather the car was predicting 25-30 miles on a full char...
by Bammerman
Tue Apr 08, 2014 5:29 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: First Trip to India
Replies: 49
Views: 15935

Re: First Trip to India

You're about to have a wonderful experience! India is a fabulous, huge, fascinating, exhausting place. I worked twice in India: at the American consulate in Bombay in the early 80s and later, in the early 90s, at the American Embassy in New Delhi. Before you go, check in at travel.state.gov! To regi...
by Bammerman
Tue Mar 04, 2014 5:12 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Can you identify the view in this painting?
Replies: 8
Views: 1411

Re: Can you identify the view in this painting?

At first I thought it looked a lot like Mt. Gould across Swiftcurrent lake -- but the painting looks like there's a small glacier to the left of the peak. Maybe it's just a generic mountain-at-the-end-of-a-lake landscape.
by Bammerman
Tue Mar 04, 2014 9:01 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Can you identify the view in this painting?
Replies: 8
Views: 1411

Can you identify the view in this painting?

I bought this painting, by someone named Gombert, at the local Habitat ReStore after admiring it a long time. Can anybody identify the view? I think it's a real place, probably somewhere out west. https://bruceammermanspaintings.shutterfly.com/pictures/90 -- Thanks! (Consumer interest: maybe it's wo...
by Bammerman
Sat Feb 08, 2014 11:26 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Do you own / have you owned a Chevrolet Volt?
Replies: 40
Views: 5137

nothing's perfect in this imperfect world

Macchiato: the back seat is rather small, but that's not a problem for me as I tend to drive from the front seat. Just kidding. The back seat is kind of small and if you frequently haul large/tall people that might be an issue. But it's fine for not-large/not-tall passengers, I think. And the front ...
by Bammerman
Fri Feb 07, 2014 9:14 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Do you own / have you owned a Chevrolet Volt?
Replies: 40
Views: 5137

I took the plunge - happy so far!

Just to close the loop: I bought a 2013 Volt, and really like it so far (haven't owned it long or driven it far yet). It was the last 2013 on the lot, and with the 2014's due in any time, I got a good deal (even before the tax credit), even though it was "semi" loaded with navigation syste...
by Bammerman
Sat Jan 04, 2014 5:05 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Do you own / have you owned a Chevrolet Volt?
Replies: 40
Views: 5137

Do you own / have you owned a Chevrolet Volt?

I'm looking very strongly at buying a Chevrolet Volt, and if you have an informed, personal-experience-based opinion about this vehicle, I'd very much like to hear what you have to say. We already have and enjoy a Prius (usually my wife's car) but a Volt would match my driving habits and style more ...
by Bammerman
Mon Dec 23, 2013 8:18 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Do you tip a self-employed person or business owner?
Replies: 25
Views: 3177

Re: Do you tip a self-employed person or business owner?

My son-in-law worked as a server (today's PC term for waiter) for years; in his last job his official "salary" was just a joke: it literally just covered his payroll tax. I don't see how people can make it in those restaurant jobs. Servers NEED good tips just to survive. He and I have had ...
by Bammerman
Fri Dec 20, 2013 8:39 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Do you tip a self-employed person or business owner?
Replies: 25
Views: 3177

Do you tip a self-employed person or business owner?

I've always thought, don't tip a business owner or self-employed person, because their remuneration for, and incentive to give good service comes from their business profit (or lack of same). So I don't add a tip to the price of my haircut from my barber, who owns his own business. What do others he...
by Bammerman
Fri Dec 20, 2013 8:23 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Kindle Paperwhite web browsing experience
Replies: 9
Views: 1389

Re: Kindle Paperwhite web browsing experience

Like others have said, the web browser works, but it's not fun or fast. I only use it to download free books from Gutenberg.org, and it works fine for that.
by Bammerman
Fri Dec 20, 2013 8:19 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Discoveries with my new Paperwhite
Replies: 21
Views: 1964

Re: Discoveries with my new Paperwhite

You don't have to "buy" books to read on your Kindle or other ereader. There are many, many thousands of excellent, free books available for downloading (legally) either because they are now in the public domain or have been placed in the public domain by their authors. And you don't have ...
by Bammerman
Mon Nov 25, 2013 10:36 am
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Bitcoins as investment
Replies: 8
Views: 1030

Re: Bitcoins as investment

I understand very little about bit coins. First of all, I don't understand, where does their value "get started"? Or is that like asking, before the big bang, what was there? Originally value behind money was gold, or cows, or cowrie shells or something tangible. Now it's just about belief...
by Bammerman
Sat Nov 02, 2013 3:35 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Forbes Column about Bogleheads
Replies: 32
Views: 5285

Re: Forbes Column about Bogleheads

Pretty good article except the citation of 31,500 members is wrong. I got my membership card just last week and it says I'm number 31,429.
by Bammerman
Wed Oct 23, 2013 8:59 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: can I afford X?
Replies: 38
Views: 2277

Re: can I afford X?

Sometimes my wife asks me (about something "big"), "Can we afford it?"

I answer, of course we can. We have enough money. But, we'll not have that money to spend on something else. It's just a matter of choosing between various "goods".
by Bammerman
Fri Aug 02, 2013 3:16 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Do I owe a letter of apology to someone? [Coffee maker]
Replies: 5
Views: 1633

Do I owe a letter of apology to someone? [Coffee maker]

Upon our return from overseas duty we bought a Krups coffee maker (Type 865 combination coffee maker and espresso maker, made in Switzerland). After we got it home and used it a week or two, I found that there was something about the design that bothered me (can't recall what it was), and I wrote th...
by Bammerman
Sat Jul 13, 2013 4:25 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Considering increasing my equity exposure
Replies: 6
Views: 691

Re: Considering increasing my equity exposure

What is your intention for those assets - spend it down, leave it for heirs, etc? What type of annual returns are you hoping to generate from that portfolio? I ask all of these questions, because it seems like you have nearly won the game already and that begs the question, why take risk when you'v...
by Bammerman
Thu Jul 04, 2013 7:54 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Long-Term-Care Insurance Leaves Customers Groping
Replies: 61
Views: 5988

Re: Long-Term-Care Insurance Leaves Customers Groping

I've actually just been looking at this through USAA, who reps John Hancock. Am I being naive that USAA's general trustworthiness would provide some insulation from rate shocks, or is it really up to John Hancock, and there's just as much or more risk with them than anyone else? I bought LTCi from ...
by Bammerman
Sun Jun 16, 2013 4:30 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Considering increasing my equity exposure
Replies: 6
Views: 691

Considering increasing my equity exposure

For some time now I've been thinking that perhaps I'm too conservative in my investments, and I'm thinking about a change. I'm a retired federal employee with a generous pension that supplies about 90%-95% of our financial requirements. My wife and I both work part-time, each about 1/4 time or less,...
by Bammerman
Thu Jun 13, 2013 5:14 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: iPhone 5 advice/thoughts
Replies: 15
Views: 1065

Re: iPhone 5 advice/thoughts

The battery in my iPhone easily lasts me all day, but that of course depends on usage.

I never type anything on my phone but I frequently dictate long texts and emails, using either Siri or the dictation function within the apps. This works incredibly well.
by Bammerman
Sun May 05, 2013 6:39 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Need vacation ideas in the San Francisco region
Replies: 37
Views: 2354

Re: Need vacation ideas in the San Francisco region

Yeah, the thing is, we have to return the car before we get back on the train some days later to head on south. We can rent it in Monterey and return it without surcharge in Salinas, where we board the train. But if we rent the car in San Jose, we'll have a lot of back-tracking to do to get back to ...
by Bammerman
Sun May 05, 2013 5:56 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Need vacation ideas in the San Francisco region
Replies: 37
Views: 2354

Getting from Salinas to Monterey

Thanks for all the good ideas. We're arriving in Salinas by train on a Sunday and, guess what, no car rental places are open there on a Sunday! So we have to get to Monterey to rent our car. Yes, there's a series of buses we could take to get there (inexpensive, but takes too much time) or a taxi (m...
by Bammerman
Mon Apr 08, 2013 7:53 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Need vacation ideas in the San Francisco region
Replies: 37
Views: 2354

Plans are firming up nicely

Hi folks, Our vacation plans are firming up nicely. We'll be spending four nights in Berkeley (thanks to old friends who offered us a place to stay), and one night at the Glenn Ellen Inn in Sonoma, which should give us a chance to explore the city sights as well as the area to the immediate north of...
by Bammerman
Tue Mar 26, 2013 4:20 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Do You Haggle? If so: when, for what, how?
Replies: 94
Views: 10182

it's all about the market

I don't call it haggling, I call it "determining the correct price". Just like buying and selling stocks. Things are worth (in monetary terms) what others are willing to pay for them and what sellers are willing to let them go for. How does the seller know what the "correct" pric...
by Bammerman
Wed Mar 13, 2013 4:38 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: How can % of return go up but $ value of returns go down?
Replies: 8
Views: 824

So simple a child could do it!

Now I get it. 5% average annual return (L-2040) only LOOKS better than 4.17% AAR (L-Income), whereas $129 (L-Income) REALLY IS better than $126 (L-2040). $3 better!

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