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Re: Rental Car Prices - is this the new normal ?

littlebird wrote:Are you coming to AZ during Super Bowl week?

No way! We were looking at the middle of February.
All we wanted to do was come out for a week and look at retirement communities. I didn't anticipate the trip would cost over $2000.
Sorry, my kilt is showing.
by Bustoff
Sun Jan 25, 2015 6:43 pm
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Rental Car Prices - is this the new normal ?
Replies: 64
Views: 4816

Re: Rental Car Prices - is this the new normal ?

Try searching through the expedia/orbitz/hotwire sites for off brand companies. Do searches on reviews for the city you're going to. We used firefly in Ft Myers this past summer for about $8 a day. I saw other cities (like Philly) where the reviews were horrible......office in bad part of the city ...
by Bustoff
Sun Jan 25, 2015 9:51 am
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Rental Car Prices - is this the new normal ?
Replies: 64
Views: 4816

Re: Rental Car Prices - is this the new normal ?

Thanks for the suggestions and links -- I bookmarked them and will keep checking.

You guys are right about the location. I just checked LAX for the same time period and got rates around $418.

In 2011 our car rental was $189.97 for 7 days.
by Bustoff
Sun Jan 25, 2015 9:26 am
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Rental Car Prices - is this the new normal ?
Replies: 64
Views: 4816

Re: Rental Car Prices - is this the new normal ?

The most annoying part is almost half of the charge is in taxes in fees. If you are a AAA member try booking Hertz through their website. They have good discounts. Just checked. My AAA rate is $570.10, that's $46 less than the lower of the two above. Nowhere near livesoft rates. My last rental car ...
by Bustoff
Sun Jan 25, 2015 8:53 am
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Rental Car Prices - is this the new normal ?
Replies: 64
Views: 4816

Re: Hawaii Visit (Maui). Need advice

If you don't have a guidebook already, I always get the most recent edition of Maui Revealed. There's a kindle version if you have an e-reader. Their maps are especially good, really useful for getting around. +1 "Maui Revealed" is an amazing guide book. We've been to Maui a couple times ...
by Bustoff
Sun Jan 25, 2015 8:27 am
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Hawaii Visit (Maui). Need advice
Replies: 31
Views: 2329

Rental Car Prices - is this the new normal ?

What's up with these insane rental car prices! I need to rent a mid-size car for a week (7 days - no extra's) Alamo - $616.55 Thrifty- $684.13 The cost of the rental car is more than our two round trip airfares. It's been a few years since we rented a car, but is this what it costs now? To the veter...
by Bustoff
Sun Jan 25, 2015 8:18 am
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Rental Car Prices - is this the new normal ?
Replies: 64
Views: 4816

Re: Retirement in Arizona - Seeking Advice

In fact, upon checking the other Sun City locations, I found no info re the cost of golf for residents at those locations either. Don't understand why they make it so difficult to determine the cost of such an important activity. Sun City West golf prices ($26-$43 - seems reasonable and the courses...
by Bustoff
Fri Jan 23, 2015 8:43 am
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Retirement in Arizona - Seeking Advice
Replies: 67
Views: 4470

Re: Retirement in Arizona - Seeking Advice

"The Villages" in Florida includes free golf for residents. There's no such thing as a free lunch, or free round of golf. If residents don't pay greens fees they pay for maintenance of the course through other fees. When they advertise "free golf" at The Villages, everyone knows...
by Bustoff
Fri Jan 23, 2015 6:07 am
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Retirement in Arizona - Seeking Advice
Replies: 67
Views: 4470

Re: Retirement in Arizona - Seeking Advice

"The Villages" in Florida includes free golf for residents. Was curious if the Dell Webb retirement communities include golf for their residents, so I just checked the golf fees at Sun City Festival. What da! Even their "Special Resident Rate" looks really expensive. This is fro...
by Bustoff
Fri Jan 23, 2015 6:05 am
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Retirement in Arizona - Seeking Advice
Replies: 67
Views: 4470

Re: Retirement in Arizona - Seeking Advice

"The Villages" in Florida includes free golf for residents. Was curious if the Dell Webb retirement communities include golf for their residents, so I just checked the golf fees at Sun City Festival. What da! Even their "Special Resident Rate" looks really expensive. This is from...
by Bustoff
Thu Jan 22, 2015 10:32 am
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Retirement in Arizona - Seeking Advice
Replies: 67
Views: 4470

Re: Retirement in Arizona - Seeking Advice

BigFoot48 wrote:Image

Okay BigFoot, that's not fair!
Spectacular view!
by Bustoff
Thu Jan 22, 2015 10:01 am
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Retirement in Arizona - Seeking Advice
Replies: 67
Views: 4470

Re: Retirement in Arizona - Seeking Advice

Climate: I tell people that Phoenix has two seasons: spring and hell. Actually, how bad summers are depends on your perspective. I moved here from New Orleans and find the summers to be no big deal. Yes, it's hot but you don't sweat like you do in the South or Midwest where the humidity is much hig...
by Bustoff
Thu Jan 22, 2015 9:45 am
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Retirement in Arizona - Seeking Advice
Replies: 67
Views: 4470

Re: Retirement in Arizona - Seeking Advice

Hey Bustoff, We feel your pain. We loved our 22 years in the mountains of Colorado. Unfortunately my wife developed a sever allergy to grasses and our home on a golf course didn't help one bit. She also has mild scleroderma which really affects blood circulation in her hands during cold weather. So...
by Bustoff
Thu Jan 22, 2015 8:43 am
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Retirement in Arizona - Seeking Advice
Replies: 67
Views: 4470

Re: Retirement in Arizona - Seeking Advice

We've lived in Scottsdale (11 years), Tucson (13 years) and rural SE Arizona east of Benson (4 years - much too rural!) and visit Sun City West frequently, and like Tucson the best now (although Scottsdale in the 1980's was wonderful). The Sun Cities have some nice houses and lots of retail and ser...
by Bustoff
Thu Jan 22, 2015 7:59 am
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Retirement in Arizona - Seeking Advice
Replies: 67
Views: 4470

Re: Retirement in Arizona - Seeking Advice

Sun City area used to be nice -- about 20 years ago. Now it's swallowed up in the metro and there's too much traffic and congestion. You used to be able to do convenient shopping at lots of small close-by grocery stores and you could drive there in your golf cart. Now you can only go to crowded sup...
by Bustoff
Wed Jan 21, 2015 8:29 pm
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Retirement in Arizona - Seeking Advice
Replies: 67
Views: 4470

Re: Retirement in Arizona - Seeking Advice

Great comments! I'm curious how others decided whether to join a golf club in North Scottsdale like "AWH_CPA" mentioned above, versus living in an over-55-community like Sun City. Just to be clear. If you are looking at the North Scottsdale private clubs, expect to pay high six figures fo...
by Bustoff
Wed Jan 21, 2015 6:24 pm
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Retirement in Arizona - Seeking Advice
Replies: 67
Views: 4470

Re: Retirement in Arizona - Seeking Advice

Great comments! I really like the idea that in Arizona you can be in completely different climate within a few hours drive. Can't do that in Florida. I'm curious how others decided whether to join a golf club in North Scottsdale like "AWH_CPA" mentioned above, versus living in an over-55-c...
by Bustoff
Wed Jan 21, 2015 5:12 pm
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Retirement in Arizona - Seeking Advice
Replies: 67
Views: 4470

Re: Retirement in Arizona - Seeking Advice

Lots of folks obviously live in Phoenix during the hot summer months. Most of them work there or don't have a lot of bucks to afford a summer escape so they don't have a choice. If you have a choice and have the energy to set up a summer household out of the Valley I'm sure you'll want to get out o...
by Bustoff
Wed Jan 21, 2015 12:12 pm
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Retirement in Arizona - Seeking Advice
Replies: 67
Views: 4470

Re: Retirement in Arizona - Seeking Advice

thenextguy wrote:Not really answering your question, but have you considered Palm Desert, CA?

Funny, you mention that. We were at the Marriott in Palm Desert a year ago. It's beautiful there. But aren't their summers as bad as Phoenix?
by Bustoff
Wed Jan 21, 2015 11:58 am
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Retirement in Arizona - Seeking Advice
Replies: 67
Views: 4470

Re: Engineered Hardwood

Anyone know whats cheaper per square foot to have installed, Carpet or Laminate ?
by Bustoff
Wed Jan 21, 2015 11:03 am
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Engineered Hardwood
Replies: 29
Views: 2858

Re: urgent: how to identify top surgeons for a procedure

My wife's primary care doctor recommended the surgeon.
Also check Vitals and Healthgrades websites.
by Bustoff
Wed Jan 21, 2015 10:53 am
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: urgent: how to identify top surgeons for a procedure
Replies: 49
Views: 3978

Re: Lexus RX330 vs RX350

Thanks livesoft, that's good to hear. This is one I'm looking at that's not too far from me. Does this price seem in line to you? http://www.cars.com/vehicledetail/detail/621516315/overview/ Was at the Lexus dealer last week getting a price. However, they were quoting me a price on a 2015 RX 350. S...
by Bustoff
Wed Jan 21, 2015 10:49 am
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Lexus RX330 vs RX350
Replies: 16
Views: 1469

Re: Do you bring lunch to work or buy?

When I was working I browned bagged it. Went out with the gang only occasionally.
Also, I didn't like the idea, nor understand the need for a big heavy lunch, particularly when most of my day involved siting on my butt.
by Bustoff
Wed Jan 21, 2015 10:45 am
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Do you bring lunch to work or buy?
Replies: 122
Views: 12806

Re: Retirement in Arizona - Seeking Advice

IronMantis wrote:You might find a lot of great information here: http://www.city-data.com/forum/phoenix-area/

Thanks IronMantis.
by Bustoff
Wed Jan 21, 2015 10:38 am
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Retirement in Arizona - Seeking Advice
Replies: 67
Views: 4470

Re: Florida West Coast vacation with small kids

it's more difficult to access the beach because you have to find parking and a public access path. And you have to pay for parking. We also Stayed in Naples for the winter for 3 years. Yes, you have to pay for parking if you want to park right next to the beach. However, if you go right to Olde Nap...
by Bustoff
Wed Jan 21, 2015 10:34 am
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Florida West Coast vacation with small kids
Replies: 24
Views: 2604

Retirement in Arizona - Seeking Advice

We have been searching for retirement locations. We currently live in the Midwest where both summers and winters are pretty unpleasant. Southern California was our ideal first choice, but the cost of homes there made it unrealistic. I'm early sixties and spouse is late fifties. We love outdoor physi...
by Bustoff
Wed Jan 21, 2015 10:22 am
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Retirement in Arizona - Seeking Advice
Replies: 67
Views: 4470

Re: Florida West Coast vacation with small kids

After many week long visits to Florida, we rented a condo in Naples during December and January a couple of years ago. Some observations: The weather was remarkably consistent -- sunny and 80 almost every day. You definitely want a pool. Unlike California, there's no view of the beach/water because ...
by Bustoff
Wed Jan 21, 2015 7:26 am
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Florida West Coast vacation with small kids
Replies: 24
Views: 2604

Re: Poll: What Percent of TIPS in Taxable Account

I was considering a Tips ladder a while back but couldn't pull the trigger.
We have been buying the annual max in i-bonds for the last 3 years.
by Bustoff
Tue Jan 20, 2015 1:28 pm
 
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Poll: What Percent of TIPS in Taxable Account
Replies: 27
Views: 1665

Re: “How Does Aging Affect Financial Decision Making?”

I bought some VXUS a couple months ago and can't remember the price I paid. :confused
Probably better off not knowing.
by Bustoff
Tue Jan 20, 2015 1:24 pm
 
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: “How Does Aging Affect Financial Decision Making?”
Replies: 54
Views: 2759

Re: Florida in the summer

What's the lesser of two evils, one house living year round in Florida and suffering through the summer, or having the expense of a second home there with the ability to get out before summer. I think it would be interesting to see the number of Bogleheads who live in Florida year round vs those who...
by Bustoff
Tue Jan 20, 2015 11:28 am
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Florida in the summer
Replies: 81
Views: 5484

Re: Best online checking account

It drives me crazy each year when I get the 1099-INT from Bank of America. I finally opened an Ally checking account. They pay 0.60% if you maintain a $15,000 balance.
by Bustoff
Tue Jan 20, 2015 7:53 am
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Best online checking account
Replies: 52
Views: 4899

Re: Florida in the summer

My ideal climate is found in parts of California: generally 50 to 60 in the winter, 70 to 80 in the summer, with very low humidity. I love the weather in the San Francisco East Bay (Berkeley, Oakland), Santa Barbara, San Luis Obispo, etc. However, those are not cheap retirement destinations. +1 Lov...
by Bustoff
Mon Jan 19, 2015 1:18 pm
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Florida in the summer
Replies: 81
Views: 5484

Re: Florida in the summer

Now that I'm retired, eliminating winter has become a priority. (for some reason, winter didn't feel as bad when I was working). My first choice would be Southern California where the weather is perfect all year round; but it's too expensive. The next choice is a buying a second home in Florida for ...
by Bustoff
Mon Jan 19, 2015 7:53 am
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Florida in the summer
Replies: 81
Views: 5484

Re: Florida in the summer

Swampy wrote:If you come here in summer, you will never come back to Florida - and you would really miss out on how great it is the rest of the year.

I can't believe Florida summers could be much worse than Missouri in July and August.
by Bustoff
Sun Jan 18, 2015 4:55 pm
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Florida in the summer
Replies: 81
Views: 5484

Re: Tilting to Corp. Bonds

Are there any allocation guides for the fixed income side? In other words, is there anything like an "age in bonds" equivalent rule of thumb for how to allocate the fixed-income side? For instance, if someone is over 60 and retired with a 30/70 stock/bond allocation, how would one go about...
by Bustoff
Sun Jan 18, 2015 10:38 am
 
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Tilting to Corp. Bonds
Replies: 36
Views: 2927

Re: THANK YOU!!! Bogleheads Conference #13 (2014)

Would anyone be aware when the Q&A to Jack Bogle may be available? Nothing's changed since the last time you asked and I responded upthread. http://www.bogleheads.org/forum/viewtopic.php?p=2241077#p2241077 Thanks Mel! I am looking forward to it. Perhaps someday I can attend a conference! Any ta...
by Bustoff
Sun Jan 18, 2015 9:52 am
 
Forum: Local Chapters and Bogleheads Community
Topic: THANK YOU!!! Bogleheads Conference #13 (2014)
Replies: 73
Views: 8758

Re: Vanguard cd question [Brokered CDs]

Would anyone buy a 10 yr brokered cd at 3.4 if offered today? Yes, but it depends on what money you're allocating here. A large part of my portfolio is in fixed income, and I currently allocate part of it to long-term CDs in lieu of intermediate-term treasuries. I see a corporate intermediate fund ...
by Bustoff
Wed Jan 14, 2015 8:35 am
 
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Vanguard cd question [Brokered CDs]
Replies: 47
Views: 6302

Re: What was your costliest investment mistake?

Selling in 2008. Wish I could say I was 18 and stupid, but I was 55 (and stupid).

Oh, I forgot another ... buying a bunch of JDSU at $450 and not selling until it was down to 40. I recall Cramer advising not to sell because JDSU stood for, Just Dont Sell Us.
by Bustoff
Wed Jan 14, 2015 8:08 am
 
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: What was your costliest investment mistake?
Replies: 119
Views: 9599

Re: Duration and Bond Fund Barbells

All things being equal, would the combination of LT and ST treasury index funds that is identical to the duration of a single intermediate treasury index fund respond in the same way when rates change? From a recent article in MONEY: Hold Bonds for Safety, Not for Income Fixed-income investors have...
by Bustoff
Wed Jan 14, 2015 6:27 am
 
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Duration and Bond Fund Barbells
Replies: 7
Views: 786

Re: Two Homes in Retirement?

Once upon a time I did a cost analysis of owning a second property and I figured out that if I was going to own it and if it would cost us $ 750 k and we would stay there 2 months out of the year, it would cost us $ 500 a night. We have friends from Minnesota who recently bought a casita not far fr...
by Bustoff
Mon Jan 12, 2015 7:48 am
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Two Homes in Retirement?
Replies: 38
Views: 3496

Re: boglehead workout

I do aerobic one day and anaerobic the following day. Very simple. Run four miles one day, then strength training using my own body weight on the following day. They say moderate levels of exertion are optimum. But then they also say calorie restriction is the only scientifically established way to ...
by Bustoff
Mon Jan 12, 2015 7:16 am
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: boglehead workout
Replies: 39
Views: 4531

Re: Vanguard cd question [Brokered CDs]

Would anyone buy a 10 yr brokered cd at 3.4 if offered today? That doesn't seem like a screaming bargain to me, but I'm not that smart when it comes to fixed income investing. I try to keep an eye on posters like Kevin M and ogd -- they clearly possess a better understanding of this stuff. I notice...
by Bustoff
Sat Jan 10, 2015 10:12 am
 
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Vanguard cd question [Brokered CDs]
Replies: 47
Views: 6302

Re: Vanguard cd question [Brokered CDs]

I'm now curious why they are offering a choice of 2.3% or 2.250% on those Goldman Sachs 5-year CD's. Why would anyone choose the lower rate? That "pattern" is very common, where the same issuing bank will have a higher rate offered and one or more lower rates. My assumption is that the is...
by Bustoff
Fri Jan 09, 2015 11:13 am
 
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Vanguard cd question [Brokered CDs]
Replies: 47
Views: 6302

Re: Vanguard cd question [Brokered CDs]

For my tax-advantaged account I'm seriously considering the Vanguard brokered 5yr CD at 2.3% being issued by Goldman Sachs. Can anyone explain the "Conditional put" options are about ? Thanks, Bustoff P.S. thanks to LadyGeek for the cautionary info on brokered CD's The "conditional p...
by Bustoff
Thu Jan 08, 2015 1:59 pm
 
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Vanguard cd question [Brokered CDs]
Replies: 47
Views: 6302

Re: Vanguard cd question [Brokered CDs]

If you login to your Vanguard account, more details appear. For example, call options don't appear until you login. I see a lot with call options. Vanguard's search tool doesn't include call options (I don't see where you can select this or not). For the survivor option, I see "Conditional put...
by Bustoff
Thu Jan 08, 2015 12:39 pm
 
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Vanguard cd question [Brokered CDs]
Replies: 47
Views: 6302

Re: Poll: Do you own I Bonds?

We just started buying the max per year a couple of years ago. Not too excited about buying more at 1.48%.
With gas at $1.59 per gal, I'm tempted to redeem them and buy a Lexus RX 350.
by Bustoff
Wed Jan 07, 2015 6:09 pm
 
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Poll: Do you own I Bonds?
Replies: 62
Views: 5459

Re: 2015 BOGLEHEAD CONTEST REGISTRATION

1953.87
by Bustoff
Tue Jan 06, 2015 7:31 am
 
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: 2015 BOGLEHEAD CONTEST REGISTRATION
Replies: 556
Views: 19740

Re: Looking for affordable winter activities.

Thanks for suggestions. We decided to rent for a month or two somewhere in Florida.

Now the search for a location and property.

Any recommendations would be appreciated.
by Bustoff
Tue Dec 09, 2014 10:18 am
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Looking for affordable winter activities.
Replies: 19
Views: 1660

Re: Bogle Advises Investing No More Than 20% Outside U.S.

... a balanced index that sticks to the U.S. for stocks and high-quality intermediate-term bonds for the fixed-income portion.

+1
by Bustoff
Tue Dec 09, 2014 10:11 am
 
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Bogle Advises Investing No More Than 20% Outside U.S.
Replies: 106
Views: 13176

Re: Looking for affordable winter activities.

Can we get an idea of what "affordable" means to you? There's some people on this board who a 2-week retreat to a private villa in Tahiti would be "affordable". There are others to who spending $20 to go ice skating is "expensive". Can you provide some guidance on this...
by Bustoff
Mon Dec 01, 2014 9:34 pm
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Looking for affordable winter activities.
Replies: 19
Views: 1660
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