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Re: Hotel in Verona, Italy?

We visited northern Italy last summer and had a great time. We spent several nights in Verona. We were happy with our hotel / pensione, but it wouldn't satisfy your needs (long flight of steps and no elevator). As for hotel location, I would think something off Via Mazzini or near Piazza delle Erbe ...
by rjbraun
Thu Feb 19, 2015 11:14 am
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Hotel in Verona, Italy?
Replies: 8
Views: 588

Re: Barclaycard Arrival Plus

Capital One has no foreign xfer fees, but won't have chip & pin until later this year: http://www.capitalone.com/credit-cards/chip-cards. Actually, the Capital One card will be chip-and-signature, not chip and pin. The website tries to spin this as a positive: "Good news! Capital One chip ...
by rjbraun
Tue Feb 10, 2015 10:26 pm
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Barclaycard Arrival Plus
Replies: 23
Views: 1824

Re: Barclaycard Arrival Plus

If you are looking at strictly cash, the Fidelity Retirement Rewards AMEX is 2%. The money is deposited into a Fidelity account. There is also an Investment derivative. The nice thing about the card is that it doesn't have the gimmick of 1% now, 1% when you pay that the Citi Double Cash Card has. T...
by rjbraun
Tue Feb 10, 2015 10:24 pm
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Barclaycard Arrival Plus
Replies: 23
Views: 1824

Re: Barclaycard Arrival Plus

I actually don't own a car (I know, people may find it odd, but I live in a big city with good public transportation). I don't find it the least bit odd. For a lot of us, we can only afford international travel if we cut back other places, and a car can be the biggest money-sucker, especially if yo...
by rjbraun
Tue Feb 10, 2015 10:21 pm
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Barclaycard Arrival Plus
Replies: 23
Views: 1824

Re: Barclaycard Arrival Plus

PenFed Platinum Cash Rewards has no annual fee, no foreign transaction fee, Chip + PIN, and might be worth holding anyway since it has 5% cash back at gas stations. Only a great deal half the year since Chase Freedom typically has two periods where the bonus category includes gas stations. Thank yo...
by rjbraun
Mon Feb 09, 2015 11:05 pm
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Barclaycard Arrival Plus
Replies: 23
Views: 1824

Re: Barclaycard Arrival Plus

The no-fee card I just got does not have a chip. Hhmmm, I thought I read that the no-fee card comes with a chip, but I guess not. Ugh. I think my Citi AAdvantage card comes with a chip, but I probably won't renew that, once the annual fee kicks in. Besides, I think they charge a fee for foreign tra...
by rjbraun
Mon Feb 09, 2015 10:42 pm
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Barclaycard Arrival Plus
Replies: 23
Views: 1824

Re: Barclaycard Arrival Plus

This looks like one of the few cards available with chip and pin, as well as no foreign transaction fees. Did you travel internationally and were you able to use it in train kiosks, etc.? Yes and yes -- travel internationally and used the card to purchase tickets at a train station in Italy (Verona...
by rjbraun
Mon Feb 09, 2015 10:26 pm
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Barclaycard Arrival Plus
Replies: 23
Views: 1824

Re: Barclaycard Arrival Plus

I would recommend simply calling Barclay and downgrade to the no annual fee version which is the "Arrival World Mastercard" so you maintain the same level of credit. This way your credit score is not negatively impacted. You can then get the Citi Double Cash which is 2% cash back on all p...
by rjbraun
Sun Feb 08, 2015 7:21 pm
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Barclaycard Arrival Plus
Replies: 23
Views: 1824

Barclaycard Arrival Plus

I'm approaching my one-year card anniversary and will need to decide soon whether to pay the annual membership fee. I'm inclined to cancel the card. I've been doing the credit card "churn" to a moderate degree but normally don't have any cards that require an annual fee. I've always cancel...
by rjbraun
Sun Feb 08, 2015 5:55 pm
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Barclaycard Arrival Plus
Replies: 23
Views: 1824

Re: Where to find career help for clueless 40+ person

I think jsl11 has provided very good suggestions, especially #1 and #2. "The Five O'Clock Club" model can be effective. I participated in the program years ago (mid-career) and found it helpful. It provided structure and personal accountability to my search. Ultimately, of course, it's inc...
by rjbraun
Wed Jan 07, 2015 1:47 pm
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Where to find career help for clueless 40+ person
Replies: 3
Views: 786

Re: Experiences using VRBO, Airbnb internationally

I've not booked through VRBO, airbnb or similar, though I do see the benefits of apartment stays while traveling. To date, I've either "piggybacked" on others in my group who had already made the arrangements or I've booked an apartment through a hotel. I felt as if there would be greater ...
by rjbraun
Tue Nov 25, 2014 8:17 am
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Experiences using VRBO, Airbnb internationally
Replies: 26
Views: 2775

Re: PhD in Computer Engineering?

VictoriaF wrote:Financial industry is actively recruiting "rocket scientists." If all other prospects fail, one can settle for a $200k salary on Wall Street.

Victoria

I thought the financial industry was kind of struggling these days. What areas are actively recruiting rocket scientists?
by rjbraun
Mon Oct 20, 2014 10:40 pm
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: PhD in Computer Engineering?
Replies: 33
Views: 3468

Re: Small Moneysavers Which Add Up

For the remaining book lovers among us, Thrift Books sells used books for about $3 to $4, including postage. I only discovered them within the last couple of months. Of the several books I've bought so far, I'm totally pleased. I found the description of book condition to be accurate. http://www.th...
by rjbraun
Sat Oct 11, 2014 11:12 pm
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Small Moneysavers Which Add Up
Replies: 74
Views: 7725

Re: Small Moneysavers Which Add Up

For the remaining book lovers among us, Thrift Books sells used books for about $3 to $4, including postage. I only discovered them within the last couple of months. Of the several books I've bought so far, I'm totally pleased. I found the description of book condition to be accurate. http://www.thr...
by rjbraun
Thu Oct 09, 2014 10:34 pm
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Small Moneysavers Which Add Up
Replies: 74
Views: 7725

Re: How can I stop feeling depressed about my finances?

Semiotic, I've read parts of this thread over the past several days, but I haven't kept up with everything. Like someone else posted above, I figured that I would chime in now, at least in part because I have been thinking about your comment (or others') dismissing the value of a degree in English. ...
by rjbraun
Wed Oct 08, 2014 9:16 pm
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: How can I stop feeling depressed about my finances?
Replies: 130
Views: 15364

Re: Health insurance decision

lululu wrote:Is there an out of pocket maximum?

Yes, good point by you and celia above - thank you. I need to do a line-by-line comparison, I just need to find the time for that.

Off to work now, but appreciate your feedback and would still appreciate more ideas from folks!
by rjbraun
Wed Oct 08, 2014 6:43 am
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Health insurance decision
Replies: 5
Views: 472

Re: Health insurance decision

I suggest comparing all the features of the two plans if you haven't yet. Be sure you check for maximum out of pocket you would have to pay on both. If you should be hospitalized for a week, a 10-30% co-payment would be rather burdensome. I hope $1,000 isn't the full premium for the insurance--ie, ...
by rjbraun
Wed Oct 08, 2014 6:41 am
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Health insurance decision
Replies: 5
Views: 472

Health insurance decision

I currently have an HMO at work. All of my doctors are in-network and I'm generally very satisfied with the coverage provided. The main issue (and reason for posting) is that the annual premium runs almost $5000. My employer offers another plan that would cost about $1000. People I've spoken to unde...
by rjbraun
Tue Oct 07, 2014 10:53 pm
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Health insurance decision
Replies: 5
Views: 472

Re: Obese airline passenger

Southwest has a very fair policy, but it is not very consumer friendly and my guess is many people who could use it do not. It requires the "customer of size" to book (and pay for) two or three seats in advance -- with reimbursement for the extra seats after the flight. http://www.southwe...
by rjbraun
Sun Sep 28, 2014 10:22 pm
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Obese airline passenger
Replies: 62
Views: 5232

Re: Obese airline passenger

Flying is already a very stressful event for nearly everyone. Here is what it comes down to: Why should someone's obesity problem (whether medical or otherwise) also become my problem? Since this post is not actionable and will just serve to irritate folks on both sides, probably time to shut er do...
by rjbraun
Sun Sep 28, 2014 9:42 pm
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Obese airline passenger
Replies: 62
Views: 5232

Re: What to look for in a homeowner's policy

Loss of Use: 150K I assume that this would cover cost of alternate accommodations and related expenses such as food / meals, etc., if you were to be displaced as a result of your loss. Will the policy allow you to stay in a similar quality place as your home, in terms of the actual residence, locat...
by rjbraun
Sat Sep 27, 2014 10:11 am
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: What to look for in a homeowner's policy
Replies: 11
Views: 896

Re: Norwegian Airlines

If you're on the same ticket, of course you will be seated together. Not sure they would stay in business very long if they split couples and families higgledy-piggledy around the plane. You could also just call and ask them: 1-800-357-4159 And this on their web site about seat allocation in genera...
by rjbraun
Thu Sep 25, 2014 10:31 am
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Re: Norwegian Airlines
Replies: 25
Views: 2506

Re: Norwegian Airlines

As for seat allocation, no, you are allocated a seat before you board. It is not a mad scramble. If I recall correctly, the ticket price quoted does not include luggage, meals or seat reservations. I'm willing to forego the first two, but especially as I would be traveling with my partner, how does...
by rjbraun
Wed Sep 24, 2014 2:40 pm
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Re: Norwegian Airlines
Replies: 25
Views: 2506

Re: Please critique my 2015 household budget

The expense that seems the most out of line is the food line. Do you really spend $200/week? That seems like the first place to save, if you need to. Yes, this is what popped out at me too. I'm not defending or justifying OP's food budget, nor am I criticizing it. I'm simply saying that as a fellow...
by rjbraun
Wed Sep 17, 2014 8:38 am
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Please critique my 2015 household budget
Replies: 21
Views: 2155

Re: Ideas for thanking a doctor

OP here: I took people's advice and wrote a handwritten note, basically thanking my doctor for his fine care and professionalism despite the presumably challenging conditions he faces at times. I also bought several bags containing individually-sized packages of nuts and dried fruits for him to shar...
by rjbraun
Tue Sep 16, 2014 9:13 pm
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Ideas for thanking a doctor
Replies: 75
Views: 5881

Re: Meetings over the lunch hour, taboo?

Start Rant: I'm seeing a shift here with one of our clients, I hope the trend does not continue but I'm afraid its going to become more common just like people thinking I want to talk business when I'm on vacation. I can definitely sympathize with you, but especially given that we're talking about ...
by rjbraun
Mon Sep 15, 2014 3:44 pm
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Meetings over the lunch hour, taboo?
Replies: 46
Views: 4114

Re: Would you quit over the pretend boss

If you are a manager, then why don't you manage the COO and the CIO to get 1. A huge raise 2. Incredible bonuses 3. More staff to complete the work they want done 4. More vacation days 5. A better work environment 6. Etc. I don't see how this comment helps the OP. Good managers can manage. You can ...
by rjbraun
Wed Sep 10, 2014 8:50 pm
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Would you quit over the pretend boss
Replies: 33
Views: 3217

Re: Anyone moved from NY?

I live in NYC and can appreciate the hassles, crowds, intensity that others take issue with. But, I also feel as if I enjoy and take advantage of the city's offerings: concerts, museums, other cultural offerings, convenience of being able to walk to places or take public transportation and not havi...
by rjbraun
Wed Sep 10, 2014 11:04 am
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Anyone moved from NY?
Replies: 43
Views: 3238

Re: Anyone moved from NY?

I live in NYC and can appreciate the hassles, crowds, intensity that others take issue with. But, I also feel as if I enjoy and take advantage of the city's offerings: concerts, museums, other cultural offerings, convenience of being able to walk to places or take public transportation and not havi...
by rjbraun
Wed Sep 10, 2014 8:12 am
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Anyone moved from NY?
Replies: 43
Views: 3238

Re: Anyone moved from NY?

I live in NYC and can appreciate the hassles, crowds, intensity that others take issue with. But, I also feel as if I enjoy and take advantage of the city's offerings: concerts, museums, other cultural offerings, convenience of being able to walk to places or take public transportation and not havin...
by rjbraun
Tue Sep 09, 2014 10:14 pm
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Anyone moved from NY?
Replies: 43
Views: 3238

Re: Checklist of info to have on elderly parent?

This NY Times article apparently was published a couple of days ago, though I just noticed it today. Somewhat to my surprise, I haven't seen it referenced on BH, though perhaps it has been. While I haven't had time to read the entire article yet, it seems germane to this thread, so I figured I would...
by rjbraun
Mon Sep 08, 2014 10:34 pm
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Checklist of info to have on elderly parent?
Replies: 20
Views: 2298

Re: Giftcards

In case one of your gift cards is from REI, I've heard that they have given the cash value in the past, if you can't find anything you want to buy from REI. Actually, I think I read that from a BH here! Depending on just how many cards you have and of what value, it may be simpler to just take a sli...
by rjbraun
Mon Sep 08, 2014 9:20 pm
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Giftcards
Replies: 14
Views: 1247

Re: Inverse Convexity of TBM

I have seen this mentioned a couple of times. I don't have a clue what it means. To me, the inverse of convexity would be concavity. :D I don't know how Geometric Dimensioning and Tolerancing applies to bond funds though. :wink: Can anyone shed some light on what this means and why it is a potentia...
by rjbraun
Thu Sep 04, 2014 9:04 am
 
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Inverse Convexity of TBM
Replies: 13
Views: 612

Re: Anyone familiar with Switzerland?

I also recommend Interlaken, Grindelwald and taking the train up the Jungfrau. I wish we went to Zermatt to see the Marterhorn. Trains are very easy and go everywhere. I've been to the Matterhorn (and Interlaken and the Jungfrau), and it is indeed spectacular. Our hotel in Zermatt had a spot-on vie...
by rjbraun
Thu Sep 04, 2014 8:48 am
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Anyone familiar with Switzerland?
Replies: 14
Views: 1111

Re: Determining who makes it past age 90?

Fascinating 60 Minutes TV segment about a groundbreaking research study known as "90+". Some findings from the study: * People who exercised definitely lived longer than people who didn't exercise. As little as 15 minutes a day on average made a difference. 45 minutes was the best. Even t...
by rjbraun
Tue Sep 02, 2014 3:38 pm
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Determining who makes it past age 90?
Replies: 32
Views: 2060

Re: New 2% cash back Mastercard from Citi

Just signed up as well. Currently rocking the amazon card which is 3% at amazon, 2% gas/restaurant/drugstores, 1% elsewhere and the Quicksilver 1.5% on everything. It is a slight hassle to remember which card to use currently. This card will basically be all I use unless I shop at Amazon : ). I wil...
by rjbraun
Tue Sep 02, 2014 9:13 am
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: New 2% cash back Mastercard from Citi
Replies: 237
Views: 43025

Re: Philly Hotels, with the family

It's been a while since I've been in the Philly area, but if you have a government affiliation, I do believe that the Four Seasons actually has a government rate that makes staying there comparable to a less well-regarded hotel on the outskirts of the city. One of the few places that I know of wher...
by rjbraun
Mon Sep 01, 2014 6:13 pm
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Philly Hotels, with the family
Replies: 15
Views: 1117

Re: New 2% cash back Mastercard from Citi

Just signed up as well. Currently rocking the amazon card which is 3% at amazon, 2% gas/restaurant/drugstores, 1% elsewhere and the Quicksilver 1.5% on everything. It is a slight hassle to remember which card to use currently. This card will basically be all I use unless I shop at Amazon : ). I wil...
by rjbraun
Mon Sep 01, 2014 6:09 pm
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: New 2% cash back Mastercard from Citi
Replies: 237
Views: 43025

Re: Philly Hotels, with the family

It's been a while since I've been in the Philly area, but if you have a government affiliation, I do believe that the Four Seasons actually has a government rate that makes staying there comparable to a less well-regarded hotel on the outskirts of the city. One of the few places that I know of wher...
by rjbraun
Mon Sep 01, 2014 10:33 am
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Philly Hotels, with the family
Replies: 15
Views: 1117

Re: Ideas for thanking a doctor

I just wanted it thank everyone for all the helpful feedback and suggestions. I got some great ideas for my current situation as well as useful suggestions for possible future situations. Thanks very much! I'm still certainly interested if others have ideas or thoughts on this and don't mean to clos...
by rjbraun
Sat Aug 30, 2014 11:09 pm
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Ideas for thanking a doctor
Replies: 75
Views: 5881

Re: Ideas for thanking a doctor

Yes, it would be nuts to give candy to health professionals :oops: :D How about an assortment of nuts? For sanitary reason, it should have each serving individually wrapped or something to that effect. :D That's a REALLY good idea, especially in a location where there are more likely to be sick peo...
by rjbraun
Sat Aug 30, 2014 11:03 pm
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Ideas for thanking a doctor
Replies: 75
Views: 5881

Re: Ideas for thanking a doctor

Would a moderately priced bottle of wine be inappropriate? Even if they are not a drinker, they may be an entertainer. I also like the idea of giving sweets, which could be shared among the office staff. I am ashamed to say, I never even thought of doing something like that. I have had many very go...
by rjbraun
Sat Aug 30, 2014 10:53 pm
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Ideas for thanking a doctor
Replies: 75
Views: 5881

Re: Ideas for thanking a doctor

Yes, it would be nuts to give candy to health professionals :oops: :D How about an assortment of nuts? For sanitary reason, it should have each serving individually wrapped or something to that effect. :D That's a REALLY good idea, especially in a location where there are more likely to be sick peo...
by rjbraun
Sat Aug 30, 2014 10:35 pm
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Ideas for thanking a doctor
Replies: 75
Views: 5881

Re: Ideas for thanking a doctor

The next time you are enjoying a vacation or a gathering with your family, send your MD a picture with a note saying something along the order of "thanks for the part you play in keeping me healthy to enjoy this". I guarantee that will have an impact, and be greatly appreciated. Expressio...
by rjbraun
Sat Aug 30, 2014 10:25 pm
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Ideas for thanking a doctor
Replies: 75
Views: 5881

Re: Ideas for thanking a doctor

My wife is a doctor. I asked her. She likes cards but doesn't really want or like personal gifts as we have too much clutter already. However, gift baskets for the staff or that can be passed on through to the staff are always doubly appreciated. Makes my wife feel good and makes her look good with...
by rjbraun
Sat Aug 30, 2014 10:21 pm
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Ideas for thanking a doctor
Replies: 75
Views: 5881

Re: Ideas for thanking a doctor

You could also just tell them directly at the end of an appointment with a brief but heartfelt thanks - i.e. "I just wanted to take a moment to tell you how much I appreciate the care you give me and the manner in which you approach your profession. I know it is a challenging job but I really ...
by rjbraun
Sat Aug 30, 2014 10:08 pm
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Ideas for thanking a doctor
Replies: 75
Views: 5881

Re: Ideas for thanking a doctor

My father was a well known, nationally prominent physician in his field and I remember well that nothing seemed to create more of a commotion and an impression that some exotic food gift, whether it was live lobsters, gourmet steaks, obscure whiskey... Cuban cigars... well, that's not quite food, b...
by rjbraun
Sat Aug 30, 2014 9:47 am
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Ideas for thanking a doctor
Replies: 75
Views: 5881

Re: Ideas for thanking a doctor

Is the doctor in a larger practice or a hospital system where there are "patient ratings" (increasingly common, I think)? You could ask, and if so, ask if he/his office can send you a link, or otherwise help you to find that, so you can post your good experience, give the number ratings, ...
by rjbraun
Sat Aug 30, 2014 9:46 am
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Ideas for thanking a doctor
Replies: 75
Views: 5881

Re: Ideas for thanking a doctor

cheese_breath wrote:Pay your bill? :wink:

Yup, that's a given :beer
by rjbraun
Sat Aug 30, 2014 9:07 am
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Ideas for thanking a doctor
Replies: 75
Views: 5881

Ideas for thanking a doctor

There seem to be a lot of doctors on this site, so I figure I've got the right audience here. I saw Dr. Sandeep Jauhar's book "Doctored" at the bookstore recently and then read his WSJ piece yesterday (actually, maybe the release date was today). I guess I've been fortunate, as I've had so...
by rjbraun
Sat Aug 30, 2014 8:32 am
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Ideas for thanking a doctor
Replies: 75
Views: 5881
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