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Re: Mac reliability?

I had years of positive experience with IBM/Lenovo laptops. I bought a Thinkpad around 2005 that is still working with its original components. That said, my current Lenovo (Yoga 13) as well as my previous Toshiba laptop have been disappointments, and particularly disappointing was the response I g...
by TheGreyingDuke
Fri Jan 30, 2015 9:53 pm
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Mac reliability?
Replies: 75
Views: 2951

Re: Selecting a Medigap Policy with 28 Choices

California does not do such a good job at collecting this data, offering only "sample" rates. http://www.insurance.ca.gov/01-consumers/105-type/95-guides/05-health/03-medsup/index.cfm Vermont, my residence, provides a good table showing the cost of each and every provider http://www.dfr.ve...
by TheGreyingDuke
Thu Jan 29, 2015 8:05 pm
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Selecting a Medigap Policy with 28 Choices
Replies: 30
Views: 2338

Re: Income on credit card application for high assets/low in

toasty I am in a position similar to you, until 70 I will be in the 15% bracket, only income is from dividends and interest. I have always given the actual totals of these two items as my income, never been denied and always get enough credit. If it is only in the $5-8K range after six months I ask ...
by TheGreyingDuke
Thu Jan 29, 2015 9:43 am
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Income on credit card application for high assets/low income
Replies: 21
Views: 866

Re: Prices Paid - 2015.5 Volvo XC60 T6 AWD Platinum/Climate/

My main concerns would be related to long-term resale value and support. Still not comfortable buying stuff in this price range from the new Chinese owners, especially when there are so many viable options to choose from that are US owned or at least US Allies. Heck, even the federal government avo...
by TheGreyingDuke
Wed Jan 28, 2015 9:16 am
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Prices Paid - 2015.5 Volvo XC60 T6 AWD Platinum/Climate/Blis
Replies: 13
Views: 1330

Re: Bring USD to Louisiana USA from Philippines

Not sure if this is relevant, but I routinely wire transfer USD to China FROM Vanguard and they never charge a fee.
by TheGreyingDuke
Wed Jan 28, 2015 9:00 am
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Bring USD to Louisiana USA from Philippines
Replies: 19
Views: 1680

Re: Vanguard Flagship Service Experience

In agreement with previous posts, no big deal one way or another.

There was ONE time when I was in China and needed to submit some paperwork in hard copy, I cannot recall what it was. I Fedexed it to Vanguard and they credited me the $35 cost :happy
by TheGreyingDuke
Tue Jan 27, 2015 3:20 pm
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Vanguard Flagship Service Experience
Replies: 12
Views: 2296

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

All reasonable suggestions here, but my experience is that Costco has NEVER had the best rate, sometimes you find something useful on one of the aggregators (Kayak, Orbitz) but sometimes just use your favorite search engine, type in "care rental Oakland" and you might find some no name bra...
by TheGreyingDuke
Sun Jan 25, 2015 6:17 pm
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Rental Car Prices - is this the new normal ?
Replies: 71
Views: 5709

Re: Downsize, Reduce, Simplify.

Starting spending 6 months each year in China in 2006, sold the house in 2008 and have been "sleeping around" ever since. When we sold the house we got rid of lots of things (Goodwill, Craigslist, etc) and put other things in storage, an 8 X 20 unit. We have rented summer places on water, ...
by TheGreyingDuke
Sat Jan 24, 2015 11:18 am
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Downsize, Reduce, Simplify.
Replies: 65
Views: 7199

Re: Where to get medallion signature guarantee

I assume these things involve some legal risk to the bank, and that only honchos at a certain level are authorized to do them... but in these modern times of, you know, fax machines--i've even heard of Skype and videoconferencing--I don't see why the little branch can't call up the VP at the big br...
by TheGreyingDuke
Sat Jan 24, 2015 11:01 am
 
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Where to get medallion signature guarantee
Replies: 32
Views: 2485

Re: Malware problem on new PC

But the OP states that s/he noticed the problem AFTER installing Chrome, seems that a new machine would be susceptible to the same problem. I would go for the nuclear option and then carefully download Chrome, if that is still desired, from google and watch for any nefarious extensions or the sort. ...
by TheGreyingDuke
Wed Jan 21, 2015 10:49 pm
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Malware problem on new PC
Replies: 42
Views: 2627

Re: Keurig-cup coffee makers - why?

another article: http://www.motherjones.com/blue-marble/2014/03/coffee-k-cups-green-mountain-polystyrene-plastic We make our coffee with a chemex, organic coffee, unbleached filter, filtered well water. I don't like to drink anything else. (once you've had cancer, anything plastic is suspect.) Morn...
by TheGreyingDuke
Wed Jan 21, 2015 9:55 pm
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Keurig-cup coffee makers - why?
Replies: 71
Views: 5047

Re: Medicare Newbie

johnep wrote: I highly advise you to contact the SHIIP office in your state who are setup to explain Medicare to potential recipents. These people are very good at explaining Medicare and can offer you good advice.


This should be your first step, once you know A from B (and C and D) :D
by TheGreyingDuke
Wed Jan 21, 2015 9:03 am
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Medicare Newbie
Replies: 14
Views: 997

Re: Why are fruits not cheaper in California?

Fruits and vegetables *are* cheaper in CA, but you can't shop at the big grocery store chains. You need to shop at the farmers markets or the stores that sell *only* fruits and veggies. +1. Check out Berkeley Bowl. If you are on a budget they sell bags of bruised/ripe fruit for $1.29, usually weigh...
by TheGreyingDuke
Wed Jan 21, 2015 7:39 am
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Why are fruits not cheaper in California?
Replies: 28
Views: 1675

Re: What price are you planning to pay for your next car?

Less than $200 per month for a new car with nothing down. Free maintenance. Turn it in before anything on the 3-year warranty expires. Chevy Equinox, Malibu, or Cruze. Have done this for more than ten years with two cars in the driveway. Did I mention OnStar, XM Radio, and Roadside Assistance are i...
by TheGreyingDuke
Tue Jan 20, 2015 6:14 pm
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: What price are you planning to pay for your next car?
Replies: 91
Views: 6985

Re: Transfer of Assets and Capital Gains question

When I transferred some assets from Fidelity to vanguard, the cost basis came along, Vanguard had it accurately recorded. These were assets acquired AFTER the law required that cost basis be recorded and reported to IRS.
by TheGreyingDuke
Mon Jan 19, 2015 9:17 pm
 
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Transfer of Assets and Capital Gains question
Replies: 5
Views: 346

Re: MediCare and ? What are your out of pocket costs please.

Part A= $0 Part B=$145 (IRA to Roth IRA increased my income to the point where I pay a surcharge) Part C=$45 (high deductible F) Part D-=$15 These are monthly costs, only non-preventive service I have had the past two years was a broken arm, I think I wound up paying about $180 all in, including the...
by TheGreyingDuke
Sun Jan 18, 2015 10:02 pm
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: MediCare and ? What are your out of pocket costs please.
Replies: 17
Views: 1657

Re: Custom branded USB flash drive

All flash drives are not created equal, they differ in terms of reliability and speed. Be sure that you can verify both before making such a large purchase. I have bought many flash drives in China and indeed, the quality differs greatly. Not sure I would by 100 of them without some testing. I secon...
by TheGreyingDuke
Sat Jan 17, 2015 11:19 am
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Custom branded USB flash drive
Replies: 4
Views: 829

Re: Medigap

I have been told, that all Medigsp plans are required to provide certain coverage to be considered providers & that price and customer satisfaction/service are the determining factors. Has anyone else researched this? The service question is a bit of a distraction, in my experience. I go the do...
by TheGreyingDuke
Sat Jan 17, 2015 11:15 am
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Medigap
Replies: 9
Views: 795

Re: Medigap

The plans offered by the different entities, for a given letter (A, F, F high deductible, N, etc) are identical, the premiums are not. So most people will advise to go with the least expensive choice, for a given level of insurance. What letter plan you should buy depends on your individual requirem...
by TheGreyingDuke
Sat Jan 17, 2015 11:11 am
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Medigap
Replies: 9
Views: 795

Re: laptop reccommendations

If you go here: http://outlet.lenovo.com/outlet_us/ you can find a Thinkpad ( a business rugged laptop) at a cost not more than a run of the mill consumer grade laptop. They come with one year warranty, for $99 you can extend it to two years and cover accidents and drops. I have been doing this for ...
by TheGreyingDuke
Sat Jan 17, 2015 11:03 am
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: laptop reccommendations
Replies: 7
Views: 1019

Re: Biking in So. California

Thanks for the leads, have some work in front of me getting this sorted.
by TheGreyingDuke
Fri Jan 16, 2015 8:26 pm
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Biking in So. California
Replies: 9
Views: 799

Re: Biking in So. California

Raybo wrote:So, is the idea is to do loop or out and back rides?


Either works, we are eager to escape winter and flex our legs for a few days!
by TheGreyingDuke
Fri Jan 16, 2015 1:25 pm
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Biking in So. California
Replies: 9
Views: 799

Re: Biking in So. California

A bit more information might help. Do you like riding in the desert? What about along the coast if it involves being on the shoulder next to cars? How far are you willing to drive? Will you be staying in LA or can you be anywhere in southern California? We are up for the whole experience, desert ri...
by TheGreyingDuke
Fri Jan 16, 2015 12:48 pm
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Biking in So. California
Replies: 9
Views: 799

Biking in So. California

Circumstances lead to seeking a good place for five days or so of biking in Southern California. Our style is to go to one place, find some lodgings, and then take day trips, putting the bikes on a car to get to the start. We are intermediate in our ability, looking for either road or easy mtn bikin...
by TheGreyingDuke
Fri Jan 16, 2015 10:57 am
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Biking in So. California
Replies: 9
Views: 799

Re: R value of a wall

It construction the specifications are important but it is also critical that they be correctly implemented. I have gone along with a friend who is a mechanical engineer and does energy specs for commercial buildings and it is amazing how often the builders ignore the drawings and "do it the wa...
by TheGreyingDuke
Thu Jan 15, 2015 8:33 pm
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: R value of a wall
Replies: 5
Views: 671

Re: Anybody use Google Hangouts on cellphone to make WiFi ca

I have used it from overseas as well, no problem.

More recently, now I am in the US, when the Hangouts rings, there is no place for me to go to answer the calls. One or two seconds later it rings my cell phone, which I do not want to use (saving the minutes.) This as been a puzzle.
by TheGreyingDuke
Thu Jan 15, 2015 9:27 am
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Anybody use Google Hangouts on cellphone to make WiFi calls?
Replies: 18
Views: 1802

Re: How to transfer estate without including tax man

Wricha wrote:I want to make sure "significant other" is taken care of, if I die first.


Can we assume that you significant other is not a spouse? Because if it were a spouse there would be no problem doing as you envision.
by TheGreyingDuke
Tue Jan 13, 2015 10:53 am
 
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: How to transfer estate without including tax man
Replies: 27
Views: 2406

Re: Downside of putting condo in a trust

I know there are a lot of benefits to creating a living revocable trust and transferring assets. I'm thinking about transferring my condo deed to the trust, though I have some hesitations because I don't know much about this topic. Perhaps you could enumerate what the benefits that would accrue to ...
by TheGreyingDuke
Tue Jan 13, 2015 10:48 am
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Downside of putting condo in a trust
Replies: 29
Views: 2839

Re: Merrill Lynch or Vanguard

Ask your "advisor" if s/he has a fiduciary responsibility to you, likely there will be some hemming and hawing as the answer is most likely "no". As has been said, these advisors are salespeople who do not need to put your interests first. You have been given good advice above, k...
by TheGreyingDuke
Tue Jan 13, 2015 9:34 am
 
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Merrill Lynch or Vanguard
Replies: 48
Views: 3220

Re: Rental Car Driver Not Authorized

Rented a car for a week from Alamo in Vermont, did not think to add my wife to the contract.

Five days later, she backs into a parked car, damage to the rental was $1200. GEICO paid $700, AMEX picked up the deductible of $500 and all was good. No one asked about my wife's use of the car.
by TheGreyingDuke
Sun Jan 11, 2015 10:45 pm
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Rental Car Driver Not Authorized
Replies: 36
Views: 3277

Re: Looking to protect my downside - considering I/EE bonds,

If I can set up a 3rd treasury direct account under our trust, I might be able to meet my needs with EE Bonds alone or EE plus TIPS. I THINK the language of the trust will meet Treasury Direct's requirements, but I use my SSN for the trust ID, so that might cause a problem. My wife and I each have ...
by TheGreyingDuke
Sat Jan 10, 2015 3:31 pm
 
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Looking to protect my downside - considering I/EE bonds, CDs
Replies: 15
Views: 1798

Re: retirement coming, health insurance?

The wife just retired and isn't yet eligible for medicare. She was able to get ins. through the AHA with subsidies. The Silver Plan seems to be best for the money. As is often said around here, buy as much insurance as you need, no more. There is no one plan that is best for everyone, depends on yo...
by TheGreyingDuke
Sat Jan 10, 2015 10:14 am
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: retirement coming, health insurance?
Replies: 26
Views: 2910

Re: retirement coming, health insurance?

I am on Medicare, my wife has a few years to go. We bought her a high deductible on the Vermont exchange, $348 a month with dental.
by TheGreyingDuke
Fri Jan 09, 2015 8:16 pm
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: retirement coming, health insurance?
Replies: 26
Views: 2910

Re: Vanguard: Possible to transfer Contingent Coupon Notes?

Not exactly on point but... When my parents died I inherited some Canadian Pacific Perpetual Bearer Bonds; when these were purchased you actually clipped the coupon attached and brought it to the bank for deposit. As time went by they eliminated the coupons. I wanted to deposit these in a Vanguard a...
by TheGreyingDuke
Thu Jan 08, 2015 7:34 am
 
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Vanguard: Possible to transfer Contingent Coupon Notes?
Replies: 2
Views: 340

Re: What do you drive, and why?

I test drove the Honda Fit....you could really feel the road through the tires and up into the seat. Kalo Believe it or not this is a "feature" I actually find desirable and wanted! I like to feel connected to the road. To each their own! The Fit is a small urban runabout great for tight ...
by TheGreyingDuke
Wed Jan 07, 2015 6:15 pm
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: What do you drive, and why?
Replies: 205
Views: 17363

Re: New vanguard Rep

This is where a good online system works wonders. I did something fairly similar. Made a deposit from my checking into my wife's tIRA. I don't think it took more than 3 minutes with fidelity's site. No rep was involved. If I had wanted help, I could have clicked the chat feature 24/7 and received h...
by TheGreyingDuke
Wed Jan 07, 2015 5:54 pm
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: New vanguard Rep
Replies: 25
Views: 2741

Re: How Many Credit Cards do you have?

1) Quicksilver 2) Chase United (kept for one year to get the fee free use, this rotates with other fee-free one year cards) 3) Costco Amex (used for the gas discount although we don't drive much anymore Someone up thread mentioned having one card that his wife does not have, as she has one that he d...
by TheGreyingDuke
Tue Jan 06, 2015 6:45 pm
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: How Many Credit Cards do you have?
Replies: 99
Views: 16858

Re: Keurig Coffee Makers

I was consulting with a friend last week about what car she should buy. This is something I frequently do and it reminded me that we all have areas of our lives in which we are very demanding of quality and others where it doesn't matter so much. While I appreciate my need to have a high quality veh...
by TheGreyingDuke
Tue Jan 06, 2015 9:08 am
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Keurig Coffee Makers
Replies: 37
Views: 2736

Re: Cancelled flight - Mechanical issues

This has been my recent experience with Delta and USAirways/American. They will not put you on another airline. Maybe if you have some kind of "Chairman Super Double Gold Medallion" frequent flyer status, but I still doubt it. Had to sit at Charlotte for 10 hours when I could have been pu...
by TheGreyingDuke
Sat Jan 03, 2015 12:57 pm
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Cancelled flight - Mechanical issues
Replies: 12
Views: 2499

Re: Cancelled flight - Mechanical issues

This has been my recent experience with Delta and USAirways/American. They will not put you on another airline. Maybe if you have some kind of "Chairman Super Double Gold Medallion" frequent flyer status, but I still doubt it. Had to sit at Charlotte for 10 hours when I could have been pu...
by TheGreyingDuke
Sat Jan 03, 2015 9:38 am
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Cancelled flight - Mechanical issues
Replies: 12
Views: 2499

Re: Social Security Number on Dental Policy – Legal?

Not sue about Delta Dental ( my wife's ID number with them is NOT her SSN.) But when Blue Cross issued us cards some years ago and they used the SSN for the ID# I called them and they reissued the cards with a different number. You might try calling Delta, maybe give them a song and dance about ID t...
by TheGreyingDuke
Fri Dec 26, 2014 4:27 pm
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Social Security Number on Dental Policy – Legal?
Replies: 8
Views: 1103

Re: BMW X3 vs Audi Q5

Climate does not dictate a smaller wheel, but potholes do, as you increase likelihood of damage to the wheel. Actually, if you drive on snow, you might be better off with a bigger and wider wheel which gets more of that rubber surface area on the road than a smaller wheel which spins faster, probab...
by TheGreyingDuke
Thu Dec 25, 2014 9:50 am
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: BMW X3 vs Audi Q5
Replies: 30
Views: 3503

Re: BMW X3 vs Audi Q5

Out of curiosity, why do you prefer the larger wheels? I am looking at a Mazda 6 and the trim level I am considering comes with 19 inch wheels, which I see as a negative. The tires are dearer, the ride is harsher due to the lower profile, and they do not make the brakes bigger in the new space. Help...
by TheGreyingDuke
Wed Dec 24, 2014 4:22 pm
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: BMW X3 vs Audi Q5
Replies: 30
Views: 3503

Re: Quicken places double transactions in my CU account

One suggestion that has helped me when account downloading seems to be messed up... Deactivate and then reactivate online services for the account. (Edit Account Details -> Online Services -> Deactivate) At first that seemed a little scary but I have done it several times (when Vanguard changed its...
by TheGreyingDuke
Wed Dec 24, 2014 9:29 am
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Quicken places double transactions in my CU account
Replies: 2
Views: 431

Quicken places double transactions in my CU account

This just stared in September, looking to Intuit for help they suggest looking at the "downloaded ID", which you can add to the account view. Sure enough, the pair of duplicates have different ID #, which Quicken states indicates a defect in the ofx format of the Credit Union (something th...
by TheGreyingDuke
Wed Dec 24, 2014 7:11 am
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Quicken places double transactions in my CU account
Replies: 2
Views: 431

Re: Paying Just One Estimated Tax Payment

I think if you pay it on January 15 you will not be in a penalty situation. http://www.irs.gov/Businesses/Small-Businesses-&-Self-Employed/Estimated-Taxes When figuring your estimated tax for the current year, it may be helpful to use your income, deductions, and credits for prior year as a star...
by TheGreyingDuke
Tue Dec 23, 2014 7:30 am
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Paying Just One Estimated Tax Payment
Replies: 14
Views: 1490

Re: Building a New House

Hello All, Wanted to hire an architect and wanted to know how much do they cost. Meet with one person who stated that she takes 10% of the cost of the construction, though that was a lot. Need somebody to design a house and give recommendations about insulation and better build quality overall. I a...
by TheGreyingDuke
Fri Dec 19, 2014 11:38 am
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Building a New House
Replies: 11
Views: 1402

Re: What desktop should I buy.

I agree, and I'm not talented enough to "build" my own but the next best thing is to put your specs together on newegg.com and get exactly what you want and need. The other big advantage with building your system through them is that it doesn't come with any of the garbage software/ads/et...
by TheGreyingDuke
Wed Dec 17, 2014 9:53 am
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: What desktop should I buy.
Replies: 36
Views: 2717

Re: What desktop should I buy.

Between DW and I, we have used 3 HP laptops in the last 8 years and our current laptops are so sluggish and always acting up. I feel they make these laptops not to last too long. So we have decided to shop for a desktop. We don't want something too fancy but something that can last at least 10 year...
by TheGreyingDuke
Wed Dec 17, 2014 9:19 am
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: What desktop should I buy.
Replies: 36
Views: 2717
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