Search found 599 matches

Return to advanced search

Re: Tiny house movement.

Why not just try it out? Empty out all the rooms where you live now except 500 sq ft, block off the space or lock the doors to prevent cheating, and see what happens. Anything you don't want to discard until you commit goes into a locked room and is inaccessible. It might not be totally realistic, b...
by gd
Tue Sep 16, 2014 8:24 am
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: [can my family live in a] Tiny house
Replies: 53
Views: 2976

Re: Strange Billing Practice by Medical Provider

Are you within a deductible, thus liable for the full bill? That would make sense, yes? Except as you said, you would not accumulate any credit to the deductible, to your detriment. I once had a doctor who spent more time complaining about insurance paperwork than treating me, and might have taken s...
by gd
Tue Sep 16, 2014 8:11 am
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Strange Billing Practice by Medical Provider
Replies: 27
Views: 1479

Re: Strong dollar = tilt international?

Your question dipped into the mechanics before AA tilting. I would tread carefully here. I watch the euro, and my impression is that the short term euro rate-- you did write "suddenly"-- is pretty much knee-jerk trading activity. Someone somewhere always has a compelling, reasonable explan...
by gd
Sat Sep 13, 2014 8:19 am
 
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Strong dollar = tilt international?
Replies: 15
Views: 1254

Re: Neighborhood kid around 13 throwing rocks at my house

The kid has some emotional problems, like pretty much every 13-year-old on the planet. It's manifesting itself by odd little antisocial behaviors. Like pretty much every 13-year-old on the planet. He probably doesn't respond to you because he's embarrassed that he's working out some demon in his hea...
by gd
Fri Sep 12, 2014 7:49 am
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Neighborhood kid around 13 throwing rocks at my house
Replies: 55
Views: 2951

Re: Which generator do you have?

Perhaps I'm just lucky (or deaf), but my Kohler can barely be heard inside the house near where it is, and not at all in the bedrooms on the other side of the house. When I'm sitting reading the paper outside with the dogs as it begins its weekly test run, usually the three of us will not be driven...
by gd
Wed Sep 10, 2014 12:17 pm
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Which generator do you have?
Replies: 127
Views: 7080

Re: Peter Lynch was wrong

I made some money from MSFT because I worked at small companies that were revolutionized by PC-based engineering tools doing the work of mainframes costing x100. I made some money from EMC for similar reasons. I knew about QCOM before my stockbroker had ever heard of it, but didn't buy what I knew b...
by gd
Tue Sep 09, 2014 8:28 am
 
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Peter Lynch was wrong
Replies: 64
Views: 6024

Re: Which generator do you have?

My new neighbor has installed what appears to be one of the standard Home Depot natural gas models, probably Generac. It is as loud as a lawn mower, and there is no practical way to reduce the noise level. His costs will include my hotel bill when he lets it run all night. Won't your hotel possibly...
by gd
Tue Sep 02, 2014 9:01 pm
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Which generator do you have?
Replies: 127
Views: 7080

Re: Which generator do you have?

My new neighbor has installed what appears to be one of the standard Home Depot natural gas models, probably Generac. It is as loud as a lawn mower, and there is no practical way to reduce the noise level. His costs will include my hotel bill when he lets it run all night.
by gd
Tue Sep 02, 2014 8:24 am
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Which generator do you have?
Replies: 127
Views: 7080

Re: Should elderly play it safe & risk not having enough or

As others have said, the point of having investments for old age is to sell them off as you grow old. If there is a mental barrier against this, that's one argument towards an annuity-- take the issue off the table, take the head game off the table. Like it or not, the mental process is a factor her...
by gd
Tue Sep 02, 2014 8:03 am
 
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Should elderly play it safe & risk not having enough or no?
Replies: 17
Views: 2004

Re: Debating whether to keep current vehicle or purchase ano

If you can afford a new car, peace of mind is a major part of the equation for how you allocate your money. You obviously are concerned about it, because it caused you to make your first post after a long time reading.
by gd
Fri Aug 29, 2014 6:47 am
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Debating whether to keep current vehicle or purchase another
Replies: 44
Views: 2383

Re: using the 15% tax bracket

I just think if I can harvest LTCGs with 0% tax, and there's some consensus that the 0% treatment for folks in the lower brackets is going to disappear, it'd probably argue for doing that now. I think you'll get consensus only that the LTCGT for lower brackets won't go down. I'd hope unanimous, but...
by gd
Mon Aug 25, 2014 7:35 am
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: using the 15% tax bracket
Replies: 42
Views: 4391

Re: Tipping the virtual waiter/waitress?

One place I ate at, located on the the receipt below the signature line, had a printout of what a 10%, 20% 30% and so on would mathmatically be. Even better there was verbage like: 10% tip would be $x.xx (a fair tip) 20% tip would be $x.xx (standard) 30% tip would be $x.xx (is good tip) And so on.....
by gd
Sat Aug 23, 2014 7:25 am
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Tipping the virtual waiter/waitress?
Replies: 18
Views: 2014

Re: No room on your Windows hard drive? Cleanup Update files

If you haven't done this yet, be advised the restart (which it did not prompt for) on my computer took perhaps 1/2 hour, with 2 of the "configuring, do not shut your computer off" messages lasting maybe 15 minutes each. Very unusual and unnerving, and would have been a minor disaster if I'...
by gd
Sat Aug 23, 2014 7:16 am
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: No room on your Windows hard drive? Cleanup Update files
Replies: 49
Views: 3629

Re: Brad Delong commenting on Shiller's NYTimes piece

Long ago I dabbled in pattern recognition and signal analysis, and have a healthy appreciation for the ability of humans to see patterns in randomness. That said, the 10-year plot had some interesting form to it beyond the short-term plots. If someone cared about these stock-price measures more than...
by gd
Fri Aug 22, 2014 8:31 am
 
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Brad Delong commenting on Shiller's NYTimes piece
Replies: 4
Views: 1000

Re: Good place to buy eyeglasses without insurance?

I used Lenscrafters for a while, and while I probably had ok glasses once or twice, was amazed at how repeatably bad they were, several different locations-- misgrinding lenses, bad advice on lens material in response to very clearly stated needs and preferences. One guy at my expensive optician joi...
by gd
Fri Aug 22, 2014 8:07 am
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Good place to buy eyeglasses without insurance?
Replies: 39
Views: 2505

Re: need advice on soon to retire parents

"If I had it my way I hope they leave me nothing and enjoy all of their money." Interest rates aside, the easy way to do that is an annuity or two. Will you maximize investment gain? No. Will they have an easy, straightforward and pretty-darn-safe situation? Yes.
by gd
Sat Aug 16, 2014 7:43 am
 
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: need advice on soon to retire parents
Replies: 8
Views: 1223

Re: need advice on soon to retire parents

"move and buy in a much lower cost of living area, with no state tax. Preferably paying cash for the home." If this is all there is to it, no. Move to where they want to live for the rest of their lives, or at least the next 10 years, not because it has no state income tax. I know someone ...
by gd
Sat Aug 16, 2014 7:26 am
 
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: need advice on soon to retire parents
Replies: 8
Views: 1223

Re: Where to live? She works in Boston, he works in Worceste

Car commutes from Natick, Acton, Concord, etc. into Boston are brutal. Unless that's tolerable, use commuter rail, and make sure you can get parking if you need it. Both Natick and Acton have commuter rail; Acton is north station. No clue about driving to Worcester. Natick would probably work pretty...
by gd
Fri Aug 15, 2014 7:22 pm
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Where to live? She works in Boston, he works in Worcester
Replies: 27
Views: 2184

Re: Telephone Calls! Help! [Telemarketing phone calls]

Hint- when you research nomorobo.com, disable adblocker plus, because ABP apparently blocks the site. To get more information, you need to give your email address. Call me a cynic, but I'll be giving my email I use for junk mail... Edit- and yup, hotmail filtered their reply as junk mail. Maybe I'll...
by gd
Fri Aug 15, 2014 6:55 pm
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Telephone Calls! Help! [Stopping telemarketing calls]
Replies: 105
Views: 7136

Re: Why would a passive investor use ETFs?

A fringe case, but I moved money from a MF to a similar ETF for capital gains harvesting, after convincing myself it wasn't a wash sale. I'm hoping no one will now convince me it was.
by gd
Fri Aug 15, 2014 9:17 am
 
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Why would a passive investor use ETFs?
Replies: 60
Views: 3774

Re: The (un)freshness of Starbucks bakery products

Apparently corn syrup helps preservation a lot too which is why US sliced bread is so sweet. The HFCS industry claims it has a preservative effect-- *concentrated* sugar does in general, I recall from my home canning days-- but I'd quibble with the phrasing "which is why". I think the pri...
by gd
Fri Aug 15, 2014 8:32 am
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: The (un)freshness of Starbucks bakery products
Replies: 49
Views: 4519

Re: Where do you buy clothes?

Just had a major expedition to the local small family-owned mens clothing store in the small town next to us, in business for a century, half work clothes, the rest style-resistant casual and the odd tie, suit and dress shoes. More expensive than Target, with 1/10 the quantity and twice the useful s...
by gd
Wed Aug 13, 2014 10:03 pm
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Where do you buy clothes?
Replies: 105
Views: 9223

Re: Vanguard Balanced Index vs. Vanguard Lifestrategy Modera

Keep in mind that "balanced index" and "lifestrategy moderate" are marketing products. They may not exist in their current form in 10-20 years, much less 50. If you want to kill some time, try playing around with the .07% difference vs. possible variations in performance for what...
by gd
Wed Aug 13, 2014 7:35 am
 
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Vanguard Balanced Index vs. Vanguard Lifestrategy Moderate
Replies: 8
Views: 947

Re: Attitudes toward inheritances.

To the original question, I think inheritances hit a sweet spot-- free money, dangled far in advance to let thoughts about it fester and grow, and enough sense of social acceptance and entitlement to the money to make one feel allowed to think those thoughts. It's too much stimulation for people who...
by gd
Wed Aug 06, 2014 7:36 am
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Attitudes toward inheritances.
Replies: 113
Views: 10748

Re: Attitudes toward inheritances.

mojave wrote: perhaps I just have a thin skin.

You say this like it's a bad thing. Perhaps it's one of the things that make you an honorable and decent person, and you should nuture it.
by gd
Wed Aug 06, 2014 6:54 am
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Attitudes toward inheritances.
Replies: 113
Views: 10748

Re: Buying land and building house

No experience with your task, but some tangential thoughts. You are considering an unusual property that may be of no interest to others. It will be a large effort, and won't be a liquid asset. Make sure you are familiar with either the area, or the type of area. I moved to a blue-collar town becaus...
by gd
Tue Aug 05, 2014 8:03 am
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Buying land and building house
Replies: 22
Views: 2554

Re: Should I worry about being audited?

I have a harsher take on this than nisiprius, seeing a long-running pattern of behavior (she's made most of her money under the table-- e.g., illegally evading taxes). So far as bank safety is concerned, the money is no safer in your bank account than in hers, con men notwithstanding, and I imagine ...
by gd
Tue Aug 05, 2014 7:17 am
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Should I worry about being audited?
Replies: 34
Views: 3059

Re: Removing a beehive from mailbox newspaper holder

I had a similar situation happen to me before. I got on craig's list. Lots and lots of bee keepers will come and pick your hive for free. Someone came right at the time when the bees become dormant which is sunset, put a nylon sheets under the hive, sprayed some type of smoke on it, bees began fall...
by gd
Sat Jul 26, 2014 9:10 am
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Removing a beehive from mailbox newspaper holder
Replies: 43
Views: 4606

Re: Wall Street Journal Subscription Increase

When paying for a subscription or enrollment, I use my BofA credit card with ShopSafe, a service that provides a unique, one-vendor CC number with a limit and expiration of your choosing. Most companies rig enrollments with an autorenewal default. They run a charge a year later and the number is lon...
by gd
Sat Jul 26, 2014 8:19 am
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Wall Street Journal Subscription Increase
Replies: 29
Views: 2354

Re: Help me save my parents from Merrill Lynch

I've seen the same situation with relatives. I tell them I-Bonds and index funds, their neighbor gushes about his Morgan Stanley account executive who buys them lunch/dinner with a sales pitch. Their common sense tells them that this guy is a pro, with a building full of experts feeding him inside i...
by gd
Sat Jul 26, 2014 7:53 am
 
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Help me save my parents from Merrill Lynch
Replies: 54
Views: 6106

Re: Removing a beehive from mailbox newspaper holder

I just had a wasp nest establish under my front porch steps. We got along fine for several weeks, ignoring each other (my experience with all wasp nests, including bald-faced hornets, which seem to be a bit more aggressive). I needed to refinish the steps and had some mild disagreement with them, fi...
by gd
Fri Jul 25, 2014 7:12 am
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Removing a beehive from mailbox newspaper holder
Replies: 43
Views: 4606

Re: Helping My Grandmother

Your grandmother is in an undesirable spot, but still better off than countless millions. She'll survive. The uncle sounds more like a hapless jackass than a thief. Make sure you think about the psychological fallout, and the tradeoffs in costs and likely benefits of possibly making the defining eve...
by gd
Tue Jul 22, 2014 10:19 am
 
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Helping My Grandmother
Replies: 54
Views: 3318

Re: Helping My Grandmother

She can probably reduce her expenses somewhat with social programs. Check with her local social and senior services. I don't know how NJ works, but most MA towns have a Council on Aging, a volunteer committee running local senior services, usually with some paid professional staff. She may have acce...
by gd
Tue Jul 22, 2014 6:38 am
 
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Helping My Grandmother
Replies: 54
Views: 3318

Re: Honda Fit, Civic

Hijacking the thread slightly-- it sounds like the OP (and many replies, including mine) are looking for something like the old Subaru station wagons. I'd take a replacement for the Escort wagon in a pinch. I don't follow the auto fashions-- is there any sign anyone will come out with something like...
by gd
Sat Jul 19, 2014 6:52 am
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Honda Fit, Civic
Replies: 32
Views: 3260

Re: POLL: Walmart vs Amazon

I will often willingly pay a premium to shop at locally-owned stores located in a town center. I use my money to improve my quality of life, and shopping locally is an investment in that, although admittedly very inefficient. I spend time in a foreign country with very clustered populations, and the...
by gd
Fri Jul 18, 2014 10:23 am
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: POLL: Walmart vs Amazon
Replies: 137
Views: 8640

Re: Repair or Replace PressureWasher?

If you choose to buy a new one, consider trying to give the previous device away on a freecycle site. There may be someone more willing to repair it than you. Or perhaps try to give it away first and if you succeed, buy a new one with less guilt. As an aside, if a recipient can resell something I gi...
by gd
Fri Jul 18, 2014 10:01 am
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Repair or Replace PressureWasher?
Replies: 3
Views: 296

Re: Worst "Large purchase" ever?

No one here bought a house at the top of the market (like in 2006 or so)? Yup, within a few months, knowing we were in a bubble. I mentally reduced my net worth by the value of the house the day we purchased it, never expect to see my purchase price again, and don't care. It was a lifestyle choice ...
by gd
Mon May 26, 2014 9:31 pm
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Worst "Large purchase" ever?
Replies: 110
Views: 11837

Re: Hiring someone versus painting yourself

lululu wrote:I never let anyone work on my house or yard without my being there. I started this policy when I came home to find the gutter installers had sawn off all the decorative exposed rafter tails on my Craftsman house.

That's evil.
by gd
Mon May 26, 2014 6:45 am
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Hiring someone versus painting yourself
Replies: 51
Views: 4312

Re: Hiring someone versus painting yourself

I would be able to paint every so often for a couple hours a day. Hire. You do not have the time to do it better than a commercial painter, so just pay someone. I did my own. Figured it was a month, took two years. It was a tough job with unusual materials, and inconceivable that a commercial paint...
by gd
Mon May 26, 2014 6:42 am
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Hiring someone versus painting yourself
Replies: 51
Views: 4312

Q about exposed mass emailing addresses

In the last year or two I've received more and more wide-distribution emails from known-to-me organizations that have had a large TO: list exposed to all recipients. This bothers me a lot; I assume at least some of the hundreds of recipients have malware that will harvest my name and target me with ...
by gd
Thu May 22, 2014 6:17 am
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Q about exposed mass emailing addresses
Replies: 3
Views: 421

Re: New Google Moto-E smartphone for $129

I don't use smart phones, so a basic question. I know several people who have need of only a basic voice cell phone. One might text if it was easy, the other no. Both find feature phones frustrating-- difficult or confusing menus traversing tiny screens with limited buttons to navigate voice mail an...
by gd
Fri May 16, 2014 7:21 am
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: New Google Moto-E smartphone for $129
Replies: 42
Views: 3831

Re: Telephone sales illegal?

I was very content with minimal phone service until forced to upscale to get broadband internet. One of the side effects was call blocking-- the ability to reject anonymous callers, and set specific caller numbers that will be rejected. I block any number calling more than twice. It often works well...
by gd
Tue May 13, 2014 1:47 pm
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Telephone sales illegal?
Replies: 20
Views: 1424

Re: Borrowing Kindle Books from the Public Library

I have an unsubstantiated theory that few titles are available on my Overdrive system partly because there is no penalty or disadvantage in 1) requesting lots of titles even if you don't really want it, and 2) holding them until they expire after the full period. Real books must be physically picked...
by gd
Mon May 12, 2014 9:39 pm
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Borrowing Kindle Books from the Public Library
Replies: 20
Views: 2036

Re: Expiration of Best By dates on canned or packaged food

We approached one food bank that was looking for food but they rejected it saying "our clients prefer ONLY FRESH vegetables." I'd bet either a misunderstanding (e.g. they already had enough canned goods), or that the food pantry organizers have the snobby attitude problem, not the clients.
by gd
Wed Apr 30, 2014 8:35 am
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Expiration of Best By dates on canned or packaged food
Replies: 18
Views: 2830

Re: Expiration of Best By dates on canned or packaged food

The psychology of this is a labyrinth. Many-- not all-- of the people who need these services are there because they consistently make bad decisions and choices; that doesn't make it any less important or correct, just harder. I perceived a difference in attitude between short and long-term clients,...
by gd
Wed Apr 30, 2014 8:13 am
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Expiration of Best By dates on canned or packaged food
Replies: 18
Views: 2830

Re: Expiration of Best By dates on canned or packaged food

I volunteered for several years in a local food pantry. There are recommended (USDA?) standards for using expired, past-sell-by or past-best-by dates. Any such organization can easily find them. We distributed expired food within these limits (e.g. 2 years most cans, 1 year acidic canned food, dry p...
by gd
Tue Apr 29, 2014 8:19 am
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Expiration of Best By dates on canned or packaged food
Replies: 18
Views: 2830

Re: TV show recommendations?

I found it sad to read comments scornful of the special effects on a site streaming The Outer Limits reruns; it was magnificent zeitgeist. But if you all get bored, feel free to redo Wikipedia during commercials next weekend:
http://boingboing.net/2008/04/27/death- ... itcom.html
by gd
Mon Apr 28, 2014 7:02 am
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: TV show recommendations?
Replies: 304
Views: 127613

Re: Annuity type changed: honest accident or malicious?

It is not clear to me what the original "audit" letter stated about the account type. Receiving a survey doesn't quite make sense to me-- they're *asking* him what kind of account he has with them? And alarm bells don't go off? If it was the wrong type, he should have corrected them ASAP. ...
by gd
Fri Apr 25, 2014 9:48 am
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Annuity type changed: honest accident or malicious?
Replies: 15
Views: 2457

Re: Typical fees for an account with Morgan Stanley ?

I never understood who gets suckered into these accounts peddled by middlemen. Maybe the former clients can tell us why. Here's one explanation: Two households in my family have MS accounts, in both cases it is because they like having a specific person to talk to and who knows their account. They ...
by gd
Mon Apr 21, 2014 5:50 pm
 
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Typical fees for an account with Morgan Stanley ?
Replies: 20
Views: 2175

Re: Typical fees for an account with Morgan Stanley ?

I closed my last MS account several years ago, and haven't regretted it. I was spending a *lot* of time studying my statements trying to figure out confusing entries until I knew exactly what they were doing, for no discernible benefit. Two households in my family have MS accounts, in both cases it ...
by gd
Sun Apr 20, 2014 9:32 pm
 
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Typical fees for an account with Morgan Stanley ?
Replies: 20
Views: 2175
Next

Return to advanced search