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Re: Another Florida Keys question

We are flying direct to Key West from ATL. Should we bother renting a car in KW or is it fairly easy to get around? Next question, is there a cost effective and convenient way to get to Key Largo from KW without renting a car? Thanks. Unless you plan to stay in KW the whole time (which would not be...
by protagonist
Thu Apr 16, 2015 11:02 am
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Another Florida Keys question
Replies: 15
Views: 1808

Re: Can we afford [a masters degree]?

She should at least consider Johns Hopkins' certificate program in Data Science through Coursera. Would only cost her $470. https://www.coursera.org/specialization/jhudatascience/1 What is a "certificate program"? That's great that a venerable institution like Hopkins is offering certific...
by protagonist
Thu Apr 16, 2015 10:47 am
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Can we afford [a masters degree]?
Replies: 37
Views: 2383

Re: Can we afford [a masters degree]?

I'm in a data science masters. N of one and all that, but I've already obtained a paid internship that will last for a full year and have every reason to expect they will hire me next winter. My programs average starting salary is $80k and only about half my peers come into the program with previou...
by protagonist
Thu Apr 16, 2015 10:44 am
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Can we afford [a masters degree]?
Replies: 37
Views: 2383

Re: TradingPlaces' advice on travel awards

If you are making 4 night bookings, and if they have a hotel where you want to go, consider the three Club Carlson cards. Two cards have an 85K bonus and the third has a 60K bonus. But in addition, if you buy your room with points for one night you get the second night free. I got a really nice roo...
by protagonist
Thu Apr 16, 2015 10:38 am
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: TradingPlaces' advice on travel awards
Replies: 214
Views: 47482

Re: Can we afford [a masters degree]?

OK, you got me curious. It actually sounds fascinating. Yeah, do it. $40K tuition for a Masters is a bargain these days if it is from a reputable institution. And try to get the school system to pay tuition. Next, somebody has to explain to me what "competitive intelligence" is. Great term...
by protagonist
Wed Apr 15, 2015 8:17 pm
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Can we afford [a masters degree]?
Replies: 37
Views: 2383

Re: How does a retired person mitigate a Bond Bubble?

My mom is age 65 and retired. Her pension + SS pays her monthly expenses. Her entire IRA ($300k) is in Vanguard's Target Retirement Income fund (30% stocks/70% Bonds). Would the bond bubble bursting kill her IRA? If not, why not since it's 70% bonds? If so, how to mitigate it? Why isn't she in bank...
by protagonist
Wed Apr 15, 2015 8:09 pm
 
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: How does a retired person mitigate a Bond Bubble?
Replies: 46
Views: 5676

Re: Can we afford [a masters degree]?

Hi She is a math teacher would like to get a masters in data science. She will go to school at night and a few classes online. The program is 40k. We are mid 30s couple. We have enough in Roth to pay for it. Should we get loans or take money out from Roth? Thanks. I'm unclear as well as to what &qu...
by protagonist
Wed Apr 15, 2015 7:47 pm
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Can we afford [a masters degree]?
Replies: 37
Views: 2383

Re: WSJ: You may need less than 80% in retirement

Probably because we have a broken chromosome in every cell. The Y means we have more recessive traits, many of which are detrimental. Interesting. I understand why males are much more receptive to X-linked recessive diseases, whereas females are usually just carriers since her other x chromosome is...
by protagonist
Tue Apr 14, 2015 10:52 pm
 
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: WSJ: You may need less than 80% in retirement
Replies: 98
Views: 8878

Re: TradingPlaces' advice on travel awards

Glad to hear you booked! LoL: regarding the dangers of flying. I am also tempted by those offers a lot, but I can't really say I was ever able to take advantage of those: (1) it is hard to make those trips when working, (2) up until recently I was not a US Citizen, and traveling pretty much everywh...
by protagonist
Tue Apr 14, 2015 5:35 pm
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: TradingPlaces' advice on travel awards
Replies: 214
Views: 47482

Re: WSJ: You may need less than 80% in retirement

Why are we 65 year old males croaking at twice the rate of our female counterparts, as regards achieving age 95? I for one find this appalling. I shall do what it takes to correct this situation... I hope you mean you will discover new cures for prostate cancer and heart disease, rather than killin...
by protagonist
Tue Apr 14, 2015 5:08 pm
 
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: WSJ: You may need less than 80% in retirement
Replies: 98
Views: 8878

Re: WSJ: You may need less than 80% in retirement

"The over-100 population in the U.S. numbers about 55,000, according to a 2014 Census report; the number of centenarians increased by 60 percent from 1980 to 2010." "Eighty-one percent who live to 100 are women. Having had a lot of time to outlive their savings, 17 percent of those ag...
by protagonist
Tue Apr 14, 2015 1:51 pm
 
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: WSJ: You may need less than 80% in retirement
Replies: 98
Views: 8878

Re: On a budget and Friday night

FEI theatre in Arlington has 5 dollar matinees (7 dollar late night) - this is about as close as I've seen in the greater Boston area. It's a great area - only a mile or two away from the Minuteman bike path and lots of other stuff. Is that the old Capitol Theater that I remember from when I lived ...
by protagonist
Tue Apr 14, 2015 1:25 pm
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: On a budget and Friday night
Replies: 68
Views: 5017

Re: Cutting the cable cord - how did you do it?

But to me, substituting watching tv for watching netflix isnt really a lifestyle change - I get that it saves $$, but I wouldn't really see the point. I feel like TV provides a lot of value for the $, I just don't like the "time suck" and sedentary aspects of it. I don't think Netflix wou...
by protagonist
Tue Apr 14, 2015 1:17 pm
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Cutting the cable cord - how did you do it?
Replies: 110
Views: 9563

Re: WSJ: You may need less than 80% in retirement

longevity of older people is not exploding upward "In developed countries, the number of centenarians is increasing at approximately 5.5% per year" https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Life_expectancy For couples age 65 in the US, there is a 45% chance that one member will live to 90 and an 18% ...
by protagonist
Tue Apr 14, 2015 12:31 pm
 
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: WSJ: You may need less than 80% in retirement
Replies: 98
Views: 8878

Re: On a budget and Friday night

I really feel bad for those who don't have a second run movie theater in town. We only go to the real movie theater once a year or so. The rest of the time we go to the second run (dollar) theater (1-3 times a month.) So, $7 for the five of us. $15 if we get popcorn. If you're really cheap, you avo...
by protagonist
Tue Apr 14, 2015 12:21 pm
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: On a budget and Friday night
Replies: 68
Views: 5017

Re: Cutting the cable cord - how did you do it?

But to me, substituting watching tv for watching netflix isnt really a lifestyle change - I get that it saves $$, but I wouldn't really see the point. I feel like TV provides a lot of value for the $, I just don't like the "time suck" and sedentary aspects of it. I don't think Netflix wou...
by protagonist
Tue Apr 14, 2015 11:25 am
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Cutting the cable cord - how did you do it?
Replies: 110
Views: 9563

Re: On a budget and Friday night

I saw a movie with my friend in Manhattan last week- The Imitation Game- $14/ticket. Add a shared popcorn and a shared beer and the total was well over $40 for two. Arguably that is not bad for 2 hours of entertainment in NYC. But think of a family with 3 kids....a night at the movies is over $100. ...
by protagonist
Tue Apr 14, 2015 11:13 am
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: On a budget and Friday night
Replies: 68
Views: 5017

Re: let's focus on reality

daveatca wrote:How many males over the age of 65 wear decorative scarves?
1%, maybe.


When I turn 65 I plan to buy my first decorative scarf. It will go viral. I'm a trendsetter.
by protagonist
Tue Apr 14, 2015 9:48 am
 
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: WSJ: You may need less than 80% in retirement
Replies: 98
Views: 8878

Re: WSJ: You may need less than 80% in retirement

The article is spot-on. I spend a small fraction of what I was spending before I retired, when I was raising a child and had a wife and a bigger home. And my lifestyle is better. I don't bother budgeting and there is nothing I feel like I need or want that I do not buy. I thought I would need much m...
by protagonist
Tue Apr 14, 2015 9:45 am
 
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: WSJ: You may need less than 80% in retirement
Replies: 98
Views: 8878

Re: TradingPlaces' advice on travel awards

I just got the temporary Redcard at the Millbury, MA Target and loaded it with $500 plus the $5 charge....the transaction was extremely simple. Apparently there is little you can do with the temporary card other than using it to buy things at Target....I'm waiting for the permanent card to arrive. I...
by protagonist
Tue Apr 14, 2015 9:24 am
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: TradingPlaces' advice on travel awards
Replies: 214
Views: 47482

Re: On a budget and Friday night

I really feel bad for those who don't have a second run movie theater in town. We only go to the real movie theater once a year or so. The rest of the time we go to the second run (dollar) theater (1-3 times a month.) So, $7 for the five of us. $15 if we get popcorn. If you're really cheap, you avo...
by protagonist
Tue Apr 14, 2015 9:12 am
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: On a budget and Friday night
Replies: 68
Views: 5017

Re: On a budget and Friday night

I really feel bad for those who don't have a second run movie theater in town. We only go to the real movie theater once a year or so. The rest of the time we go to the second run (dollar) theater (1-3 times a month.) So, $7 for the five of us. $15 if we get popcorn. If you're really cheap, you avo...
by protagonist
Mon Apr 13, 2015 2:02 pm
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: On a budget and Friday night
Replies: 68
Views: 5017

Re: On a budget and Friday night

Movie theatres, sadly, are so 20th century. Whenever I go to the cinema these days, that used to be packed, it is nearly empty. There were three art cinemas downtown ten years ago and none remain- one is now an Irish pub and two are high-end performance venues. I have to strain to find another soul ...
by protagonist
Mon Apr 13, 2015 11:04 am
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: On a budget and Friday night
Replies: 68
Views: 5017

Re: Is 2007 Accord 60K mile service worth $300?

I probably have about a million miles on Hondas dating back about 40 years. Civics, Accords, Preludes and Elements. I've never done anything to them but change the oil unless they needed obvious maintenance (eg tires, brakes, timing belt on schedule, etc). My goal on each is a trip to the moon (238,...
by protagonist
Mon Apr 13, 2015 10:56 am
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Is 2007 Accord 60K mile service worth $300?
Replies: 52
Views: 3895

Re: Which 3 year old hybrid: Camry or Prius

Runner01 wrote:Not a hybrid but Honda Fit is always the answer.


Good point.
My friend just bought a new 2015 Fit for about the prices quoted above for the 2012 cars. She says she gets about 400 miles on a $20. fill-up.
by protagonist
Sun Apr 12, 2015 8:59 pm
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Which 3 year old hybrid: Camry or Prius
Replies: 36
Views: 2687

Re: Cutting the cable cord - how did you do it?

You don't need anything else besides a decent internet connection. Her costs now: $34.99/mo for up to 50Mbps internet However I live in Boston, and the two Cable provider choices I have are Verizon and Comcast. Comcast is currently offering internet at up to 25Mbps in MA for $45/mo. I called and th...
by protagonist
Fri Apr 10, 2015 5:24 pm
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Cutting the cable cord - how did you do it?
Replies: 110
Views: 9563

Re: Question about Obamacare in MA

It is my understanding that the OP moves around a fair amount, including being outside the US for a few months each winter. He therefore might not be in any state for over 180 days a year. He could very well become A Man Without a State if this continues... :) Yes, this is indeed the case. I've che...
by protagonist
Fri Apr 10, 2015 5:12 pm
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Question about Obamacare in MA
Replies: 4
Views: 455

Question about Obamacare in MA

I can legally declare myself a resident of either Florida or Massachusetts. I would prefer Florida, since there is no state income tax . However, I want to get health insurance via Massachusetts under the Affordable Care Act. Is this possible? Is anybody else doing this? I assume the answer is proba...
by protagonist
Fri Apr 10, 2015 11:36 am
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Question about Obamacare in MA
Replies: 4
Views: 455

Re: Cutting the cable cord - how did you do it?

Still preparing to cut the cord... Every day you postpone costs you money. Don't prepare. Just do it. Worst scenario, you pay $100/year or so for Netflix or Hulu Plus or whatever (if you find that even necessary), and stream what they don't provide from your laptop or phone over wifi via HDMI or a ...
by protagonist
Thu Apr 09, 2015 1:55 pm
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Cutting the cable cord - how did you do it?
Replies: 110
Views: 9563

Re: Poll: What is the credit limit of your credit card?

...And PLEASE pay it off in full monthly ....no excuse to pay usurious interest rates and penalties..... I agree completely. But it's worth noting that credit card company consider people who pay off in full every month to be undesirable "deadbeats" because they are using the credit card ...
by protagonist
Thu Apr 09, 2015 11:57 am
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Poll: What is the credit limit of your credit card?
Replies: 56
Views: 3399

Re: Poll: What is the credit limit of your credit card?

The larger your limits the better, ultimately, is your credit rating, assuming you pay off your cards every month. A fairly major component of credit score is the percent of your available credit that you use each month- the lower the percentage the better. But if you don't pay it off each month rel...
by protagonist
Thu Apr 09, 2015 9:57 am
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Poll: What is the credit limit of your credit card?
Replies: 56
Views: 3399

Re: Tree roots growing into sewer lines

I got two estimates for reaming so far- a recommended drain guy quoted $190/hr (?!...divorce lawyers charge less than that!) Here is another idea: Hire a divorce lawyer to divorce your tree, no roots attached. Victoria Or talk one into reaming my pipes (no pun or irony intended but the humor is not...
by protagonist
Thu Apr 09, 2015 9:34 am
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Tree roots growing into sewer lines
Replies: 41
Views: 1806

Re: Tree roots growing into sewer lines

Two possible solutions: 1) Have the line reamed out professionally. Not cheap. You can do it yourself with a rented power auger from Home Depot. You can get augers with 100 foot snakes. You need to access the line somehow. Can you access it be removing the toilet and running the auger down the drai...
by protagonist
Thu Apr 09, 2015 9:29 am
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Tree roots growing into sewer lines
Replies: 41
Views: 1806

Re: Tree roots growing into sewer lines

By the way, $9k to replace a slate roof?? (Maybe we need another slate roof guy!? :happy ) RM I got that vague estimate on the phone, calling him from Venezuela, so I didn't get details. I assume what he was talking about was replacing the exact same tiles, not putting in a new slate roof. I will p...
by protagonist
Thu Apr 09, 2015 9:18 am
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Tree roots growing into sewer lines
Replies: 41
Views: 1806

Re: Tree roots growing into sewer lines

We lucked out, by having it noticed that the roots were apparently beginning to twist the entire sewer line, boa constrictor style (or something similar). That was *not* going to end well, and there was no treatment from within the sewer line that was going to stop that. Hence... the tree removal. ...
by protagonist
Thu Apr 09, 2015 8:53 am
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Tree roots growing into sewer lines
Replies: 41
Views: 1806

Re: Cloud Storage

To break a 128-bit encryption code just to get into Protagonist's email would be cool but rather anticlimactic, even if you were one of Protagonist's ex-girlfriends. Be careful with NSA ex-girlfriends. Victoria +1. Thanks for the advice. From the article you provided, Snowden doesn't seem to think ...
by protagonist
Thu Apr 09, 2015 8:24 am
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Cloud Storage
Replies: 44
Views: 4398

Re: Tree roots growing into sewer lines

It's very interesting how many people posting here have had similar problems. My in-home problems have so far been trivial compared with some of the experiences others have posted. It was a one-time (the last time) regurgitation of water (not excrement) from my washing machine into my downstairs toi...
by protagonist
Thu Apr 09, 2015 7:42 am
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Tree roots growing into sewer lines
Replies: 41
Views: 1806

Re: Cloud Storage

In many cases breaking encryption is just a matter of trying every possible key. Computers are now fast enough that keys of 64 bits or shorter will allow trying all possibilities so some ancient stuff like 56-bit DES (published back in 1977!) can be broken without special understanding. Each single...
by protagonist
Thu Apr 09, 2015 7:27 am
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Cloud Storage
Replies: 44
Views: 4398

Re: TradingPlaces' advice on travel awards

Thank you, TradingPlaces, At this time I have my booking and am pleased with it. For 70,000 miles I will have free flights for three weeks in Germany and a week and a half in S. Korea. Both Berlin and Seoul were planned 2015 trips and the miles provided me with significant cash savings. To reduce f...
by protagonist
Thu Apr 09, 2015 7:13 am
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: TradingPlaces' advice on travel awards
Replies: 214
Views: 47482

Re: Cloud Storage

It is highly unlikely that the thief would have the ability to crack that ...not so unlikely for the cyber-hacker. Here are contrary scenarios: 1. The thief is a cyber-hacker. Identity thieves used to do dumpster diving. Fiddling with stolen computers is more dignifying. 2. The thief has a cyber-ha...
by protagonist
Wed Apr 08, 2015 10:19 pm
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Cloud Storage
Replies: 44
Views: 4398

Re: Tree roots growing into sewer lines

I'd look into having that tree removed for $500 or so and then call RotoRooter to chop up whatever roots got in there. Once the aboveground part of that tree is removed, the roots die. They don't have to be dug out... I've done this successfully I was told that the root system of the maple tree is ...
by protagonist
Wed Apr 08, 2015 10:00 pm
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Tree roots growing into sewer lines
Replies: 41
Views: 1806

Re: Cloud Storage

There are three situations that arise for us that have prompted me to look into cloud: ⋅  We travel and only take smart phone and tablets, no lap top. We want to store photos somewhere while on the road from both Android and Apple devices. Many Android tablets and smart phones will take e...
by protagonist
Wed Apr 08, 2015 7:42 pm
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Cloud Storage
Replies: 44
Views: 4398

Re: Tree roots growing into sewer lines

So far I only notice my problem when using the washing machine. The clothes come out unusually damp. When the washing machine flushes (large amt. of water rapidly flushing), water bubbles up in the toilet. The toilets flush fine. The sinks are somewhat slow draining (I use Liquid PlumR from time to ...
by protagonist
Wed Apr 08, 2015 6:32 pm
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Tree roots growing into sewer lines
Replies: 41
Views: 1806

Re: Tree roots growing into sewer lines

Thanks, jsl and whatu!

Would Root-X be a permanent solution if applied at regular intervals? Does it work well?
by protagonist
Wed Apr 08, 2015 4:35 pm
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Tree roots growing into sewer lines
Replies: 41
Views: 1806

Tree roots growing into sewer lines

I just got bad news from the city....roots growing into my sewer line in my front yard. The consequence was water backing up into my toilet when my washing machine drained and standing water in the washing machine. The toilets flush ok....sink drains are slow. I don't know how bad it is yet but thes...
by protagonist
Wed Apr 08, 2015 4:16 pm
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Tree roots growing into sewer lines
Replies: 41
Views: 1806

Re: Cloud Storage

I know this is going to make me sound like a Luddite. But I don't get the lure of cloud storage, since home storage is so cheap these days on external drives, thumb drives, sd cards, etc. I see many disadvantages of the cloud including: 1. Need for internet connection 2. Potential expense of use of ...
by protagonist
Tue Apr 07, 2015 11:57 pm
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Cloud Storage
Replies: 44
Views: 4398

Re: Which Moto G or a different phone?

My parents are on the Walmart FamilyMobile (through t-mobile). Their cell phones are quite bad so I'd like to buy my mother a new one. Some things I would like are: 1. a half decent camera to replace a point and shoot 2. a decent size screen (4.5" or bigger) 3. half decent performance -- doesn...
by protagonist
Tue Apr 07, 2015 11:48 pm
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Which Moto G or a different phone?
Replies: 20
Views: 2033

Re: Hate where we live, do we make major changes?

I like it Cold, Peaceful and Quiet in Northern New England U.S. Crime Index State Rank Higher crime index value means more crime. Rank Crime Index ▼ State / Population 1. 3,774 District of Columbia / 601,723 2. 2,297 South Carolina / 4,625,364 3. 2,259 New Mexico / 2,059,179 4. 2,233 Tennessee / 6,...
by protagonist
Tue Apr 07, 2015 10:05 pm
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Hate where we live, do we make major changes?
Replies: 132
Views: 12077

Re: Hate where we live, do we make major changes?

My wife & I hate where we live (upper NY), which obviously impacts our qualify of life. But financially we are golden: I make great $ working from home, she makes good $ with a max pension after 30 yrs, we max our 401k/403b/Roth and we have a nice nut saved (we're in early 40s). After 20 yrs of...
by protagonist
Tue Apr 07, 2015 9:58 pm
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Hate where we live, do we make major changes?
Replies: 132
Views: 12077

Re: Visiting continental Europe (first time) with kids

If you take a phone from the USA, I think it will have to be GSM and unlocked. I'm going to South Africa in December and I'm looking at my options to get my phone unlocked or buy one specifically for travel. I'm likely also going to buy an unlocked hotspot - I could likely use my smartphone but I l...
by protagonist
Tue Apr 07, 2015 9:23 pm
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Visiting continental Europe (first time) with kids
Replies: 20
Views: 1831
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