Search found 69 matches

by vbdoug
Sun Jul 19, 2015 11:05 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Costco Prescription Glasses
Replies: 17
Views: 1390

Re: Costco Prescription Glasses

Two months ago I went to Costco for a test and prescription for new glasses. I was told I had a cataract in my right eye but it was too soon to have the surgery. A month later I received my newly purchased both clear and dark glasses from Costco. With both new glasses the right eye was not very clea...
by vbdoug
Thu Jul 02, 2015 11:06 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Foreign bond funds
Replies: 6
Views: 880

Re: Foreign bond funds

This new bond fund: are you referring to BNDX, VTIBX, or something else? I have held PFUIX in my retirement account and {because of the ER} felt this might be a better fund.
by vbdoug
Wed Jun 10, 2015 10:18 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: California Homeowners’ Property Tax Exemption
Replies: 8
Views: 1226

Re: California Homeowners’ Property Tax Exemption

I am quoting this from another source: "One possible problem is if you have a homeowner's exemption on your property taxes. This may be disallowed if the property in the name of a trust. You would need to check with your local taxing authority". My property is in my personal trust and I wi...
by vbdoug
Wed Jun 10, 2015 7:29 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: California Homeowners’ Property Tax Exemption
Replies: 8
Views: 1226

California Homeowners’ Property Tax Exemption

i have owned a condominium in the Palos Verdes district of California since 1979 and only heard of this exemption today. Those that qualify {and not all will} may receive a savings of about $70 dollars a year on their property tax. Application is free. Does anyone have any experience with this deduc...
by vbdoug
Tue Mar 24, 2015 2:32 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Costco optical
Replies: 30
Views: 3803

Re: Costco optical

I have used Costco optical for 12 years and am very satisfied with their quality of their services as well as their prices.
by vbdoug
Mon Mar 09, 2015 5:24 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Selecting a Medigap Policy with 28 Choices
Replies: 42
Views: 4156

Re: Selecting a Medigap Policy with 28 Choices

I will be 65 next month and was purposefully unaware of the intricacies of Medicare until just a few months ago. I chose Plan A, B, D and F-HiD. From what I understand price is the prime criteria for picking Plan D and F-HiD. The monthly rate for Plan B is fixed at $104.90, Plan D with Humana-Walmar...
by vbdoug
Fri Mar 06, 2015 1:07 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: What are Costco's best deals?
Replies: 220
Views: 23657

Re: What are Costco's best deals?

Last week I purchased a pair of Kirkwood dark glasses for $26.49. I purchased a second pair today. Good value
by vbdoug
Fri Mar 06, 2015 12:37 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Mac reliability?
Replies: 89
Views: 5470

Re: Mac reliability?

Mac's are more reliable because fewer viruses are written for them. I went to Apple ten years ago and have gone from an iMac to a MacBook, two iPads and four iPhones {I sold the old iPhones on eBay}. If I have an Apple product that is not under warranty I simply make an appointment with the Apple st...
by vbdoug
Mon Mar 02, 2015 6:50 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: What are Costco's best deals?
Replies: 220
Views: 23657

Re: What are Costco's best deals?

I am a huge fan of Costco. I went there today. Later I went to a discount store and found two items that I had purchased at Costco cost 50% more at the "discount" store. Costco has quality goods.There is a Sam's Club within a hundred yards of the Costco I go to. Costco has more people wait...
by vbdoug
Thu Jan 29, 2015 7:08 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Selecting a Medigap Policy with 28 Choices
Replies: 42
Views: 4156

Re: Selecting a Medigap Policy with 28 Choices

I was given the name of 11 companies from Medicare that offer Plan F High Deductible coverage. Three of those were duplicate companies and two did not currently offer Plan F High Deductible. Of the six I received an offer of a call back from two and did receive quotes from four. Three were in the $6...
by vbdoug
Wed Jan 28, 2015 8:57 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Opus Bank
Replies: 12
Views: 1607

Re: Opus Bank

Opus bank just lowered their rate to 0.89%. They are a bricks and mortar bank in Los Angeles. I am still happy but curious if anyone knows of any "physical" bank that pays a higher rate.
by vbdoug
Wed Jan 28, 2015 6:50 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Selecting a Medigap Policy with 28 Choices
Replies: 42
Views: 4156

Re: Selecting a Medigap Policy with 28 Choices

This is an old thread but the poster asks a question that is very relevant to me now: What is the best way to compare Medigap policies? I am most concerned with price for a high deductible Part F in the city of Los Angeles. The author's primary conclusions {based on the responses} are that one can g...
by vbdoug
Tue Nov 18, 2014 11:36 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Apple Stores - do they try to be awful?
Replies: 41
Views: 6528

Re: Apple Stores - do they try to be awful?

vbdoug wrote: I am "all Apple" with an old iMac, an iPad and a couple of iPhones. The Genius bar has helped me many times without cost for products that are well out of warranty. I do wish to say that today a friend of mine went to the Apple store in Manhattan Beach. He saw a very long lin...
by vbdoug
Tue Nov 18, 2014 9:13 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Apple Stores - do they try to be awful?
Replies: 41
Views: 6528

Re: Apple Stores - do they try to be awful?

I am "all Apple" with an old iMac, an iPad and a couple of iPhones. The Genius bar has helped me many times without cost for products that are well out of warranty. I do wish to say that today a friend of mine went to the Apple store in Manhattan Beach. He saw a very long line and went to ...
by vbdoug
Tue Sep 23, 2014 3:17 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: What Book Are You Currently Reading? Part VI
Replies: 887
Views: 159046

Re: What Book Are You Currently Reading? Part VI

Of Rats and Men by John L Smith.

An excellent biography about mob lawyer and former Las Vegas Mayor Oscar Goodman.
by vbdoug
Mon Jul 21, 2014 5:41 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Best Method to Sell a U.S. Coin Collection
Replies: 13
Views: 2203

Re: Best Method to Sell a U.S. Coin Collection

I spoke to a PayPal rep some weeks ago concerning what would happen if the buyer claimed "empty box". She told me that if the amount of purchase was more than $1,000 PayPal would insist on a police report from the purchaser. Obviously a fraudulent buyer could do so anyway but it might serv...
by vbdoug
Tue Jul 01, 2014 11:25 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Best Method to Sell a U.S. Coin Collection
Replies: 13
Views: 2203

Re: Best Method to Sell a U.S. Coin Collection

Some years ago the folks at CNI advised against selling PCGS coins on eBay and I mentioned those concerns in an earlier post. Contrary to what I said, you CAN have some restrictions on prospective buyers; although perhaps not as many as one would wish. I have monitored a few eBay auctions the last t...
by vbdoug
Fri Jun 27, 2014 10:23 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Best Method to Sell a U.S. Coin Collection
Replies: 13
Views: 2203

Re: Best Method to Sell a U.S. Coin Collection

I am in the same boat. I have a vast collection of coins that sits in safe deposit boxes. I read the comment about California Numismatics or CNI. An old friend of mine spoke very well of them. Their current Yelp recommendations are so-so. I only went there once and was not very happy in how they tre...
by vbdoug
Tue Apr 15, 2014 7:42 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Converting i-bonds to electronic
Replies: 7
Views: 714

Re: Converting i-bonds to electronic

Thank you for your responses. Re stevewolfe, even though I am currently having issues with the web site I would prefer to have all my i-bond investments in electronic form for reasons of simplicity and consistency. Re scritic, the instructions are very clearly written. I had forgotten that I had ope...
by vbdoug
Tue Apr 15, 2014 2:38 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Converting i-bonds to electronic
Replies: 7
Views: 714

Converting i-bonds to electronic

I want to do this but I have found the Treasury Direct web site most unhelpful. For those that have all ready tried to convert, was it seamless or if not, what were your issues?
by vbdoug
Mon Mar 10, 2014 2:27 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Opus Bank
Replies: 12
Views: 1607

Re: Opus Bank

Re Opus Bank. I have had the account for a few months. They did advise me that the interest rate was subject to change. They just lowered it from 1.05% to 1.00% APY. I park a little money there at a good rate. I have never seen them advertise their rate except by post card. I am still happy.
by vbdoug
Sat Mar 08, 2014 1:46 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Son moving to LA - neighborhood/town recommendations?
Replies: 43
Views: 3910

Re: Son moving to LA - neighborhood/town recommendations?

He should go to one of the South Bay Beach Cities; Manhattan, Hermosa or South Redondo. It is expensive but he will have the time of his life.
by vbdoug
Wed Jan 01, 2014 11:15 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: i-bonds
Replies: 5
Views: 1135

Re: i-bonds

Mel, thanks again for your time and expertise. I will purchase 10k this month and the remaining 5K after I get my tax return. Best to all.
by vbdoug
Wed Jan 01, 2014 6:18 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: i-bonds
Replies: 5
Views: 1135

Re: i-bonds

It was Mel's comments on the old M* forum years ago that convinced me to purchase i-bonds annually. As far as I am concerned he is the most authoritative advisor on i-bonds that I can imagine. This issue is resolved. Thank you, Mel, for your response. If I may, one last question for the forum. I exp...
by vbdoug
Wed Jan 01, 2014 5:15 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: i-bonds
Replies: 5
Views: 1135

i-bonds

I have purchased I-bonds for the last few years and will to do it again in 2014. I just went to Treasury Direct and under "Maximum Purchases" it states "$10,000 each calendar year for each Social Security Number. You may buy up to $10,000 in electronic i-bonds, and up to $5,000 in pap...
by vbdoug
Wed Dec 04, 2013 1:39 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: I just sold half my TIPS, now what to buy
Replies: 25
Views: 2361

Re: I just sold half my TIPS, now what to buy

Yesterday I sold half my TIPS funds {VIPSX} because I did not want a bond fund with that long a duration. That transaction will close tonight. And tomorrow I will use those funds to purchase the S/T TIPS fund, VTAPX. Just now I exchanged the other half to the TIPS fund into VTAPX. That transaction w...
by vbdoug
Tue Dec 03, 2013 8:31 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: I just sold half my TIPS, now what to buy
Replies: 25
Views: 2361

Re: I just sold half my TIPS, now what to buy

Thank all of you for your comments and let me answer them. My IPS is 40% stocks, 50% bonds and 10% cash/cd's. It is high in short term assets because I believe interest rates will rise {eventually} and I am getting pretty good rates on my savings/cd's. The advisor suggested VTABX {Total Internationa...
by vbdoug
Tue Dec 03, 2013 6:16 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: I just sold half my TIPS, now what to buy
Replies: 25
Views: 2361

I just sold half my TIPS, now what to buy

Yesterday I received a letter from Vanguard introducing "Vanguard Personal Advisor Services" and called them up. That service charges a .3% fee and I said that I would pass. Because I am Voyager Select I ended up speaking to an advisor that explained how TIPS are subject to extreme interes...
by vbdoug
Tue Dec 03, 2013 3:20 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: costco auto insurance
Replies: 16
Views: 6096

Re: costco auto insurance

I switched to Costco/Ameriprise car insurance from AAA about 10 years ago and saved a lot of money. I have been in two accidents since then and have been treated well. I have since added home insurance along with an umbrella policy and feel quite content.
by vbdoug
Mon Nov 25, 2013 7:03 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Will an iPad be cheaper now (Black Friday) or in January?
Replies: 12
Views: 1571

Re: Will an iPad be cheaper now (Black Friday) or in January

Three years ago on Black Friday I saved $50 on an iPad 2 using their toll free number. It took about 20 phone calls to connect with a salesperson. As I recall they do not publicize their Black Friday sales until very close to the date itself.
by vbdoug
Sat Nov 09, 2013 2:11 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: best place to park $200K for a year?
Replies: 22
Views: 2844

Re: best place to park $200K for a year?

In California, both Opus Bank and Union Bank offer money market rates of 1.00% or higher. Opus Bank does not publish their rate; other local banks may
by vbdoug
Fri Nov 08, 2013 8:20 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: iPad deal at Target
Replies: 23
Views: 4087

Re: iPad deal at Target

Thank you climber2020! Only one person at Target was set up to make the refund and so with a short line it took about 35 minutes to get my $200 gift card. That store was out of stock so I drove about 7 miles and picked up my new iPad Air at another Target store. You rock!!!
by vbdoug
Wed Oct 30, 2013 5:18 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Opus Bank
Replies: 12
Views: 1607

Re: Opus Bank

Today my 3 month CD via Vanguard expires and should be swept into my Prime Money account. The .35% rate for 3 month CD's remains unchanged. The Opus Bank rate is still 1.05% APY. I would like to thank those that have contributed to this thread. I realize that 1.05% is not very much, but when you con...
by vbdoug
Wed Oct 16, 2013 8:03 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Opus Bank
Replies: 12
Views: 1607

Re: Opus Bank

After reading the scathing personal reviews in deposit accounts.com it is interesting to hear of one positive experience. From what I gather Opus caters to business and individuals that do not require a lot of fuss. I have not had the occasion to monitor the offerings by banks of teaser rates to att...
by vbdoug
Tue Oct 15, 2013 2:19 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Opus Bank
Replies: 12
Views: 1607

Re: Opus Bank

Thank you for your responses. My CD expires on the 30th and if things go as planned I hope to open my Opus account on the 31st. The rate has been 1.05% since July. It is a money market account so both sides can be flexible. It is FDIC insured. There are not any penalties of any kind. Smartypig is no...
by vbdoug
Sun Oct 13, 2013 4:41 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Opus Bank
Replies: 12
Views: 1607

Opus Bank

I have a certain amount of cash that I kept in Vanguard's Prime Money Fund. I moved those funds to one of their "outsourced" 3 month CD's that offered an interest rate of .35%. It matures on the 30th of this month and continues to offer the same rate of interest. As are many, I am looking ...
by vbdoug
Sat Oct 12, 2013 7:24 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Vgpmx down 40%, time to buy?
Replies: 36
Views: 6795

Re: Vgpmx down 40%, time to buy?

I have almost 5% of my Vanguard portfolio in VGPMX. In "normal" conditions I expect it to trail the market. But I am in a place where I am more concerned about inflation and the relative value of the dollar than I am about making a slightly higher return. For that reason I may increase my ...
by vbdoug
Tue Oct 08, 2013 7:54 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Interest rate of Vanguard money market
Replies: 11
Views: 2650

Re: Interest rate of Vanguard money market

This is a response to my previous comment made in July of 2013. So I purchased a 3 month CD using Vanguard with a rate of @ .35% that is going to mature in a couple of weeks. The current rate is still .35% for a renewed CD. I just received a post card from Opus Bank [bricks and mortar and local} off...
by vbdoug
Fri Aug 30, 2013 2:34 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Vanguard Energy Funds
Replies: 3
Views: 625

Vanguard Energy Funds

What drives VGELX or VGENX? I understand that the health of the world economy is key, but I also thought that the recent unrest in the Middle East might have caused these funds to skyrocket. What are the primary forces that would affect these funds?
by vbdoug
Thu Aug 29, 2013 10:24 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Grocery shopping price comparison (Costco vs BJs vs Sams...)
Replies: 35
Views: 6067

Re: Grocery shopping price comparison (Costco vs BJs vs Sams

There is a Sam's about a mile away from where I live. About 10 years ago a Costco opened right next to it and for awhile I went to both stores. In terms of price and quality Costco is at least two cuts above. I would say there are more people waiting to get into Costco before they open than the tota...
by vbdoug
Thu Aug 29, 2013 10:13 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Why no Vanguard 2% cash back Visa card?
Replies: 36
Views: 7826

Re: Why no Vanguard 2% cash back Visa card?

After abandoning the Schwab card after they gave up the 2% rebate I went to Priceline. Now that Priceline is now underwritten by Barclays I expect they will also eliminate the 2% rate. So I put 3K into Fidelity's Spartan Total Market Index Fund {FSTMX} with an ER of .10 and am now using their AX car...
by vbdoug
Thu Aug 01, 2013 5:29 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Freezing credit Reports
Replies: 8
Views: 695

Re: Freezing credit Reports

+ 1 more. I have had my credit frozen for about 8 years. It is easy to unfreeze and a terrible hassle if you lose your pin {and I did that, too}. The protections a credit freeze can give you are greatly worth the price
by vbdoug
Wed Jul 24, 2013 1:13 am
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Interest rate of Vanguard money market
Replies: 11
Views: 2650

Re: Interest rate of Vanguard money market

In my original post my primary concern was getting a little more interest than what the Vanguard Prime Money Fund paid. And for that relatively small amount I do not think that effort would be worth my time. However, I have accumulated a large amount of VFSUX {Short-term Corporate bonds} that compri...
by vbdoug
Thu Jul 18, 2013 5:17 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Interest rate of Vanguard money market
Replies: 11
Views: 2650

Re: Interest rate of Vanguard money market

I just got off the phone with Vanguard and everything dm200 states is fact. The Vanguard rep added that while one month CD's are not available today they might will be offered tomorrow. He confirmed that the best rate on a 3 month CD was .35% today and speculated that the one month CD tomorrow {if o...
by vbdoug
Wed Jul 17, 2013 6:01 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Interest rate of Vanguard money market
Replies: 11
Views: 2650

Re: Interest rate of Vanguard money market

I have most of my short-term reserves locked up in a five year c/d with a credit union that will mature in about 3 1/2 years. The rest of it in the Vanguard Prime Money Market Fund and I also have some investments in the Vanguard GNMA Fund. I like the idea of keeping some short-term reserves with Va...
by vbdoug
Tue May 07, 2013 8:03 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Lessons from the last crash?
Replies: 44
Views: 4253

Lessons from the last crash?

Were there any? Most investors suffered in the last stock market crash. After the downturn, Bogleheads who stayed the course did quite well. We could have another panic. Or maybe not. My question for the Bogleheads: Did the crash change your investment strategy in any way whatsoever?
by vbdoug
Tue Apr 30, 2013 1:05 am
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: I-Bonds: Paper or Electronic
Replies: 44
Views: 2149

Re: I-Bonds: Paper or Electronic

As the OP I want to thank you all for your assistance. I have decided to maintain holding both paper and electronic I-Bonds. While it would be a tad more convenient to make them all electronic, essentially it does not make that much difference. I have made copies of all of my I-Bond certificates and...
by vbdoug
Fri Apr 26, 2013 12:45 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: I-Bonds: Paper or Electronic
Replies: 44
Views: 2149

I-Bonds: Paper or Electronic

I have about 30k of each and I was thinking about making them all electronic for reasons of simplicity. Are there any negatives to this concept and are there any things I should be aware of?
by vbdoug
Mon Mar 25, 2013 7:40 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Cheap Wall St Journal?
Replies: 64
Views: 8893

Re: Cheap Wall St Journal?

Thanks for all the good advice. My subscription expired a week ago but they are still delivering the paper. I just went to eBay and paid the $49.99 on a "buy it now" deal for a full year subscription. The seller says the new subscription may take up to four weeks to start so I may or may n...

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