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Re: Driving in Costa Rica

I would rather drive than take a tour bus again in Cost Rica. We stopped there on a cruise once and took a tour bus to go rafting on a river. We were going up a hill on a two lane road, I look over and we are in the oncoming lane passing a line of other buses and you couldn't see what traffic was go...
by rixer
Fri Aug 22, 2014 12:23 pm
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Driving in Costa Rica
Replies: 21
Views: 1161

Re: Good place to buy eyeglasses without insurance?

We get our eye exams and eyeglasses at Costco. I'm very happy with their service and price. I also get good deals on Ray Ban sunglasses there.
by rixer
Fri Aug 22, 2014 10:05 am
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Good place to buy eyeglasses without insurance?
Replies: 32
Views: 1558

Re: Signing up for medicare Oct 1

I have Plan F Hi-Ded and so far it's worked out very well.
by rixer
Thu Aug 21, 2014 5:44 pm
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Signing up for medicare Oct 1
Replies: 9
Views: 848

Re: Power of Attorney

If you do a google search, type in "durable power of attorney (name of state)"
There are free forms available to fill out with instructions and then you need to get it notarized. I'm thinking about doing this for the wife's father who is 92.
by rixer
Wed Aug 20, 2014 1:50 pm
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Power of Attorney
Replies: 27
Views: 1695

Re: Haitian Cotton [couch]-how to clean economically

I would be cautious about using developer from the beauty supply as it is hydrogen peroxide and can cause major damage to organic fabrics like cotton. There are products out there specifically for cleaning Haitian cotton. It is usually a low ph cleaner with sodium bisulfite in it. ( it stinks so ven...
by rixer
Mon Aug 18, 2014 2:20 pm
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Haitian Cotton [couch]-how to clean economically
Replies: 4
Views: 411

Re: 3 Fund Portfolio at Schwab?

Just use a 4 fund portfolio at Schwab then. You can purchase SCHE, an etf for emerging markets.
by rixer
Sun Aug 17, 2014 10:35 am
 
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: 3 Fund Portfolio at Schwab?
Replies: 29
Views: 2153

Re: SS question

So just to make sure I understand this right.... ... I took my SS at age 62. ... My wife isn't eligible for SS on her own. She took spousal benefit based on my earnings at age 62. ... We are both past FRA now. So if I die she can stop the spousal benefit and begin receiving what I currently receive...
by rixer
Sat Aug 16, 2014 9:22 am
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: SS question
Replies: 14
Views: 1337

Re: SS question

I believe they will get the full benefit if they wait till FRA to claim survivor benefits. So if she claimed at 62, she should keep her own benefit until she reaches FRA and then switch to survivor benefit. The survivor should get what the deceased was getting at the time or what the benefit would h...
by rixer
Fri Aug 15, 2014 2:59 pm
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: SS question
Replies: 14
Views: 1337

Re: Indirect grilling (now a total fan)

Indirect cooking is the way to go for those bigger cuts. My outdoor cooking skills went up tremendously when I purchased a Traeger pellet grill/smoker. It's so easy, just push the button and it's an automatic controlled auger fed system. You can put a brisket in the Traeger, go to work and come home...
by rixer
Fri Aug 15, 2014 9:00 am
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Indirect grilling (now a total fan)
Replies: 13
Views: 1923

Re: How to organize accounts for paying off $50k in debt.

I still use a ledger book for that. You only need one bank account and each debt you want to save for has it's own page in your ledger book. The Total will also have it's own page and you'll have a page for discretionary spending, that's what's left after you account for all the debts you're saving ...
by rixer
Fri Aug 15, 2014 8:19 am
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: How to organize accounts for paying off $50k in debt.
Replies: 13
Views: 1033

Re: Best websites to buy quality meat for grilling?

It's too expensive for us but this is what Costco has on special order.
http://www.costco.com/beef.html
by rixer
Wed Aug 13, 2014 2:58 pm
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Best websites to buy quality meat for grilling?
Replies: 22
Views: 2552

Re: Renting forever: financial suicide?

Financial suicide for most folks would be reaching retirement age and not having a house that's paid for. Housing is never really paid for, even if there is no mortgage. Property taxes are recurring expenses. Their increase is capped with Prop 13 in California however, which is an incentive to buy ...
by rixer
Wed Aug 13, 2014 1:06 pm
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Renting forever: financial suicide?
Replies: 90
Views: 9449

Re: Renting forever: financial suicide?

Financial suicide for most folks would be reaching retirement age and not having a house that's paid for.
by rixer
Tue Aug 12, 2014 9:43 am
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Renting forever: financial suicide?
Replies: 90
Views: 9449

Re: A few days in San Francisco - what to do?

Be sure to catch Beach Blanket Babylon in North Beach one evening. It's a riot! ( a good riot ) :sharebeer

http://www.beachblanketbabylon.com/
by rixer
Wed Aug 06, 2014 12:48 pm
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: A few days in San Francisco - what to do?
Replies: 9
Views: 664

Re: Medigap-AARP United Healthcare or Horizon BCBS?

AARP didn't have a Plan F Hi Ded in my area so I went with Anthem BCBS.
by rixer
Wed Aug 06, 2014 11:14 am
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Medigap-AARP United Healthcare or Horizon BCBS?
Replies: 5
Views: 436

Re: Is Medigap insurance really needed?

Here's what I'm paying. Medicare Plan A.... Free Medicare Plan B.... $1258 Medicare Plan D.... $312 Medigap Plan F Hi-D $450 ................................. Total............... $2,020. This keeps the cost down if I don't need much health care but if things are serious, the Plan F Hi D pays everyt...
by rixer
Wed Aug 06, 2014 11:12 am
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Is Medigap insurance really needed?
Replies: 83
Views: 4142

Re: Sensible planning for MediGap choices given price disper

I don't know why those price vary so much from one area to the other but I have Anthem BC here in N California. At age 65 the cost for my Plan F Hi Ded was $450 per year when paying annually which comes out to $37.50 per month. I have had the plan for 11 months now and am very happy with it. I was o...
by rixer
Mon Aug 04, 2014 1:16 pm
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Sensible planning for MediGap choices given price dispersion
Replies: 18
Views: 618

Re: Is Medigap insurance really needed?

A Plan F Hi Deductible medigap policy cost me $450 per year if paid annually. That comes out to $37.50 per month. It covers everything a regular Plan F does after a $2,100 deductible. Seems reasonable to me.
by rixer
Sun Aug 03, 2014 10:35 am
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Is Medigap insurance really needed?
Replies: 83
Views: 4142

Re: Where should I open a Solo 401k account?

I opened mine at Schwab basically because I already had an IRA there. It was simple and they took care of the process for me.
by rixer
Fri Jul 25, 2014 9:36 am
 
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Where should I open a Solo 401k account?
Replies: 18
Views: 1229

Re: File and suspend qustion

Another tactic is a restricted application where she takes her reduced benefit at age 63, you file RA at age 66 and collect spousal from her until you turn 70. She will get somewhere around $1100 and you'll get somewhere around $665 spousal =$1765. Then when you turn 70, you file for your own, get a...
by rixer
Sat Jul 19, 2014 12:54 pm
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: File and suspend qustion
Replies: 6
Views: 792

Re: Verbal agreement for yard service gone bad: legal risk?

I hired a yard care service for the first time this summer. My yard has shrubs and roses that need regular trimming along with a couple of manicured privot tree's and a rose arbor. Because I was injured, they got out of control. The weeds also were in some of the flower beds. The yard care co. charg...
by rixer
Sun Jul 13, 2014 10:09 am
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Verbal agreement for yard service gone bad: legal risk?
Replies: 26
Views: 3159

Re: My house just flooded

If your home is a conventional home and not a mobile home, sitting on a foundation of cinder blocks may not be up to code. You might end up having to put a solid foundation in, depending on the building codes in your area.
by rixer
Fri Jul 11, 2014 10:02 am
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: My house just flooded
Replies: 13
Views: 2036

Re: Smokers [for cooking]

+1 for the traeger. Set it and forget it and you can use it as an oven. Haven't used my actual oven since the temps hit 70. Made pizza on it, lots of chicken, steaks, ribs, vegetables, fish for the lady. Best part about the thing is it can smoke and just be used as an oven/grill too at higher tempe...
by rixer
Wed Jul 09, 2014 2:11 pm
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Smokers [for cooking]
Replies: 47
Views: 4607

Re: Replacing the front door to house

I replaced all the old interior doors in the house a few years ago. Like 123 said, there are door shops that will customize the door for you. You take the old door to their shop, they measure it, the hinge placement and the door handle and deadbolt holes are cut out to your old door's dimensions. I ...
by rixer
Wed Jul 09, 2014 10:27 am
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Replacing the front door to house
Replies: 20
Views: 3117

Re: Easy careers to last me to retirement?

You could start a window cleaning service for little money and set your rates and schedule to fit your lifestyle.
by rixer
Mon Jul 07, 2014 4:19 pm
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Easy careers to last me to retirement?
Replies: 92
Views: 13962

Re: Homeowner responsibility for water service line

The subdivision where I live was built in the early 60's. There have been 3 homes that I know of here that had their water line rust and burst. It floated their yards. These old pipes were not copper but galvanized. When I re-landscaped my yard, I decided to replace the line at that time while the y...
by rixer
Mon Jul 07, 2014 11:17 am
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Homeowner responsibility for water service line
Replies: 45
Views: 2107

Re: Smokers

I love my Traeger Pellet Smoker/Grill. It's so simple to use and maintain the fire/heat. Simply press the button and set the dial for what temp you want and it will cook unattended for hours. There's no messing with the firebox to keep things going as it's automatic.

I got it at Costco.
by rixer
Mon Jul 07, 2014 10:47 am
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Smokers [for cooking]
Replies: 47
Views: 4607

Re: Time to buy a tv or wait 2 years?

Samsung say's plasma is dead and is shutting down it's plasma tv business. They will focus on curved and ultra-high-definition models that use LED technology.

http://money.cnn.com/2014/07/03/technol ... ?iid=HP_LN
by rixer
Thu Jul 03, 2014 3:50 pm
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Time to buy a tv or wait 2 years?
Replies: 66
Views: 5870

Re: Time to buy a tv or wait 2 years?

I've seen that 4k Samsung at Costco many times. I've never seen a more dramatic picture on a tv before and at some point I will buy one. It probably will be a couple of years from now so I'm going to hope my old 65" dlp will hold out. There's not much sense in buying one now at these high price...
by rixer
Thu Jul 03, 2014 11:06 am
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Time to buy a tv or wait 2 years?
Replies: 66
Views: 5870

Re: Another when to start Social Security question.

I was working on the assumption that if she filed in August, she would get no social security for the last five months (Aug. - Dec.) that she was working. I assumed that her salary would be higher than the earnings permitted for any benefit. After she quit, then her reduced--because of starting 3 y...
by rixer
Tue Jul 01, 2014 5:56 pm
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Another when to start Social Security question.
Replies: 13
Views: 969

Re: Another when to start Social Security question.

Can't Rixer's question be answered with the information we have? It all depends on his wife's age and percentages of whatever her PIA may be, right? Suppose her PIA is $1,000. Suppose, given what Rixer said, she turns 63 on January 1. If she files in August rather than 5 months later in January, sh...
by rixer
Tue Jul 01, 2014 4:41 pm
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Another when to start Social Security question.
Replies: 13
Views: 969

Re: Another when to start Social Security question.

Thanks for the correction, sscritic. Another question: does she actually lose anything by making too much for the earnings test? Isn't this a de facto way of delaying social security? John If you have a deduction for excess earnings, they recompute your benefit at FRA. If she waits to start until a...
by rixer
Tue Jul 01, 2014 1:30 pm
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Another when to start Social Security question.
Replies: 13
Views: 969

Another when to start Social Security question.

I'm throwing this question out here because I value the wise bogelhead opinions. I'm retired and will turn 66 in late August. The wife is 62, still working and will retire Dec. 31 this year when she will be 63. Our plan was for her to claim early SS at the end of the year when she retires and I woul...
by rixer
Tue Jul 01, 2014 10:47 am
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Another when to start Social Security question.
Replies: 13
Views: 969

Re: Best Road Trip Vehicle

We rented a Murano SUV for a road trip a few years ago and it worked out nicely. On one side trip, we went to Bodie, a ghost town in the Eastern Sierra's. The road out there was miles of washboarded gravel road. I'm glad we didn't have our car with us. At any rate, it sat up high, was easy on my bac...
by rixer
Thu Jun 26, 2014 10:38 am
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Best Road Trip Vehicle
Replies: 35
Views: 2786

Re: Retired Bogleheads want to relocate to California

Sacramento area has reasonable housing prices and is big enough to have all the right shops, restaurants, entertainment and medical facilities. The surrounding foothill towns like Roseville, Folsom, El Dorado Hills have low crime and are desirable neighborhoods. You're also close to Tahoe, San Franc...
by rixer
Wed Jun 25, 2014 4:36 pm
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Retired Bogleheads want to relocate to California
Replies: 109
Views: 6966

Re: Craftsman Shop-Vac replacement filters

I have a craftsman shop vac also. Like the others have said, I shake out the dust when it is dry. If needed, I'll hose it off with a nozzle. The filter is made to get wet. It's a Wet/Dry vac. Just make sure it's dry and shaken out before you hose it off and let it dry before you put it back in. I've...
by rixer
Thu Jun 19, 2014 1:36 pm
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Craftsman Shop-Vac replacement filters
Replies: 13
Views: 663

Re: Reliable car for a long commute

I love Honda's. We had an Accord for 21 years and was the most reliable vehicle we ever had. It wasn't very comfortable on long road trips though. A Toyota Avalon is much more comfortable for longer trips and commutes. They aren't too bad on gas either. Any particular reason an Avalon would be more...
by rixer
Wed Jun 18, 2014 4:38 pm
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Reliable car for a long commute
Replies: 19
Views: 853

Re: Reliable car for a long commute

I love Honda's. We had an Accord for 21 years and was the most reliable vehicle we ever had. It wasn't very comfortable on long road trips though. A Toyota Avalon is much more comfortable for longer trips and commutes. They aren't too bad on gas either.
by rixer
Wed Jun 18, 2014 3:52 pm
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Reliable car for a long commute
Replies: 19
Views: 853

Re: [can you] shop at Costco [without a membership?]

I used to have a membership card for Sams, but I eventually dropped it because I was not buying enough there to justify the cost of the card. Occasionally if I need an item from them, I borrow a friends card and use it. My friend does not have to go with me. When I go in I just hold the card up and...
by rixer
Tue Jun 17, 2014 6:23 pm
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: [can you] shop at Costco [without a membership?]
Replies: 68
Views: 5087

Re: [can you] shop at Costco [without a membership?]

I suggest purchasing membership at Costco. It's my favorite store and with the rebates from my Executive membership and the Amex rebates, the cost is minimal and can easily be free. They have good deals on great merchandise. I also buy my gas there and get rebated from Amex.
by rixer
Tue Jun 17, 2014 2:29 pm
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: [can you] shop at Costco [without a membership?]
Replies: 68
Views: 5087

Re: Strategies for Saving

There's a lot of ways to cut expenses so that's a whole different thing. What works well is to figure out how much you can save after expenses. Then on every paycheck, have that amount transferred to a savings account and you live on the rest. It will take a few months to get used to it but then it ...
by rixer
Mon Jun 16, 2014 4:07 pm
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Strategies for Saving
Replies: 19
Views: 2116

Re: Retirement age now But all in cash

I believe that even if you draw SS early, your spouse will still draw spousal benefit of half your FRA benefit as long as he's 66 (FRA).
by rixer
Sun Jun 15, 2014 9:54 am
 
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Retirement age now But all in cash
Replies: 18
Views: 2959

Re: Help with smoky condo sought

See if you can rent an ozone generator at a rental yard. I think you have to run it for a couple of days and you can't be in the unit while it's running. Maybe you could take a weekend trip somewhere while it's working. It burns up the smoke odor through oxidation. You'll probably want the fan circu...
by rixer
Sat Jun 14, 2014 10:02 am
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Help with smoky condo sought
Replies: 15
Views: 1477

Re: Curious SS "when do I take it" spreadsheet

Major problem is that formula for cell L9 (and later in col L) assume 12% annual return on the 66-70 SocSec benefit. You're adding 1% of the account balance to the reduced SocSec payment, not 1%/12. And a couple other minor quibbles: The increase factor in cell C2 assumes a 7% increase each year of...
by rixer
Fri Jun 13, 2014 3:55 pm
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Curious SS "when do I take it" spreadsheet
Replies: 5
Views: 893

Re: Medicare Advantage to Medigap

I use Medigap Plan F Hi Deductible. It has worked out very well for me and is affordable. The thing that makes it so sweet is that Medicare negotiates the regular price down to a much smaller amount and then medicare Plan B pays for 80% of the dr or hospital charges so that 20% left over is usually ...
by rixer
Mon Jun 09, 2014 2:38 pm
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Medicare Advantage to Medigap
Replies: 14
Views: 1443

Re: Is schwab good?

I'm very happy with Schwab.
by rixer
Tue Jun 03, 2014 1:03 am
 
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Is schwab good?
Replies: 13
Views: 1077

Re: Social Security at 66 vs. 70: A Bird in the Hand?

Now consider the numbers if the younger, lower earner spouse claims her ss benefit and you draw spousal benefits for 4 years while delaying your own benefit to age 70.
by rixer
Mon Jun 02, 2014 4:16 pm
 
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Social Security at 66 vs. 70: A Bird in the Hand?
Replies: 54
Views: 4121

Re: Delaying Social Security benefits - information from NAS

If I worked 50+ hour weeks for 40+ years paying into Social Security and I only got 3 payments in retirement - I would be pissed too. Yes he missed out on 'anything' -- all the money he put into SSI for the past 40+ years! :oops: It's more like buying insurance. If you pay for auto insurance for 40...
by rixer
Sun Jun 01, 2014 1:39 pm
 
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Delaying Social Security benefits - information from NASI
Replies: 31
Views: 2211

Re: Would you work without pay?

I won't even work FOR pay.
by rixer
Thu May 29, 2014 5:48 pm
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Would you work without pay?
Replies: 63
Views: 4041

Re: AMEX Card - waiving annual fee?

Costco has a Amex card with no annual fee.
by rixer
Wed May 28, 2014 4:06 pm
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: AMEX Card - waiving annual fee?
Replies: 15
Views: 2278
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