Search found 620 matches

by Bob B
Fri Sep 30, 2016 1:53 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Chimney Help, Please
Replies: 27
Views: 1385

Re: Chimney Help, Please

As a former firefighter I implore you not to just live with it. I have fought many devastating chimney fires. Since you are interested only in "weekend ambiance', have you considered installing a gas insert if you have natural gas or propane available? It would be considerably less expensive th...
by Bob B
Wed Sep 28, 2016 1:10 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: I should probably have life insurance, right?
Replies: 19
Views: 1308

Re: I should probably have life insurance, right?

Before you think about life insurance, do you have disability insurance? I did not see any mention of it in your OP. You are much more likely to suffer a disability than die at your age. You should have both - disability and life insurance with a young family.
by Bob B
Fri Sep 23, 2016 3:22 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Minor fender bump question
Replies: 17
Views: 1343

Re: Minor fender bump question

Thanks for the replies everyone. After further research, in the state I live fault for property damage can have split blame as was mentioned earlier. So I will call the other party back tomorrow and if they wish to pursue the insurance route I will also request their insurance information so the ad...
by Bob B
Tue Sep 20, 2016 2:47 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Social Security Strategy
Replies: 4
Views: 808

Re: Social Security Strategy

I am 65 and am currently receiving Social Security disability benefits. My wife is 61. If upon attaining 66 years of age, maybe I suspend my SS disability payments and at the same time, as my wife turns 62, may she start collecting SS based upon her earnings record. Then, when I turn 70, as I once ...
by Bob B
Tue Sep 13, 2016 6:27 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: News About Medicare Supplement Changes
Replies: 19
Views: 1481

Re: News About Medicare Supplement Changes

As far as a book recommendation, I thought Medicare for Dummies was pretty good. Thank you for the lead, but buying this book seems to be as confusing as Medicare itself. This note is from Amazon's listing: "Medicare For Dummies, 2nd Edition (9781119079422) is now being published as Medicare F...
by Bob B
Tue Sep 13, 2016 2:05 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Selling a home without a realtor
Replies: 29
Views: 2563

Re: Selling a home without a realtor

My advice to you is to spend a few hundred dollars and have a real estate lawyer by your side. You have a lot of questions and you need protection from making an expensive mistake. There is too much money at stake here to not have knowledgeable representation. A lawyer will cost far less than the re...
by Bob B
Tue Sep 13, 2016 1:43 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: News About Medicare Supplement Changes
Replies: 19
Views: 1481

Re: News About Medicare Supplement Changes

It never ceases to amaze me how convoluted our Medicare system is, especially given the fact that it is for a class of people who may have reduced cognitive ability. With that in mind, what would be the best written resource for somebody close to Medicare age (let's say <2 yrs.) that will summarize ...
by Bob B
Mon Sep 12, 2016 2:37 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: HD TV antenna replacement
Replies: 13
Views: 1433

Re: HD TV antenna replacement

Just be aware that there is no such thing as a HD antenna. It is a marketing concept. You can pull in beautiful broadcasts with a coat hanger if you are close enough to the towers. Here are a few articles for reference and education: http://www.dennysantennaservice.com/1373792.html http://www.dennys...
by Bob B
Sat Sep 10, 2016 4:37 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: "Letter of Final Instructions"
Replies: 45
Views: 5764

Re: "Letter of Final Instructions"

Taylor, Are you at all concerned about having all of this information neatly arranged in one binder in the event of a burglary or fire at your home? That is the biggest issue I have not yet solved - how to help our surrogates or survivors while keeping the information safe and secure. Our two childr...
by Bob B
Sat Sep 10, 2016 4:25 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Just answered telephone political poll. Now concerned.
Replies: 49
Views: 5238

Re: Just answered telephone political poll. Now concerned.

Well, they addressed me by my name. If they know my name and phone number, then they also know my address. At the end of the poll, they asked for my birth year. Now they know my political affiliation. I've always registered independent and never wanted my partisan affiliations known. I'm kind of ki...
by Bob B
Fri Sep 09, 2016 9:16 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: new iPhone contract structure
Replies: 8
Views: 1143

Re: new iPhone contract structure

Hulk wrote:...It is about time to get a new one but I cant stand having to pay for it.


And the cell phone companies can't stand giving you free phones anymore. What a concept - you want something, you pay for it.
by Bob B
Wed Sep 07, 2016 3:20 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: What to do with my CD collection
Replies: 35
Views: 2642

Re: What to do with my CD collection

badger42 wrote:
I find Craigslist / Freecycle full of time wasters. Too many late pickups / no-shows / flaky people / etc.


Agreed. I will NEVER invite a stranger from the Internet to my home. I ask family first. If no takers, I donate to a local cause. Tax deduction and feel good solution.
by Bob B
Wed Aug 31, 2016 8:00 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: WSJ $99 for 6 months -- worth it?
Replies: 54
Views: 3225

Re: WSJ $99 for 6 months -- worth it?

Before you drop $100, find a newsstand (might be difficult if you are truly in the boondocks) that carries the WSJ and buy it for a few days. If you like it and get something useful from it, then subscribe. Nobody else can make that decision for you. Can you cancel and get a refund for unused editio...
by Bob B
Thu Aug 25, 2016 6:52 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Disability insurance
Replies: 3
Views: 398

Re: Disability insurance

Have you searched the forum? There have been many threads recently about disability insurance asking the same question you are. I think you will find your answer, or at least suggestions. It is a good question and I was happy I had disability insurance outside of my employer. When you are young, dis...
by Bob B
Tue Aug 16, 2016 1:44 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Letter From State Farm
Replies: 16
Views: 3450

Re: Letter From State Farm

You didn't give us a lot of information to go on, but my first question would be do you even need this insurance anymore?
by Bob B
Wed Aug 10, 2016 6:57 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: okay to leave deposit on vehicle?
Replies: 30
Views: 1883

Re: okay to leave deposit on vehicle?

No way do I give the dealership any money until I have seen and driven the car. That's my policy.
by Bob B
Sat Aug 06, 2016 5:28 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Toyota care plus prepaid maintenance
Replies: 50
Views: 10595

Re: Toyota care plus prepaid maintenance

tj wrote:For my civic, at various SoCal dealers:
September 2013 - 22k miles - engine filter $59.95 59.95
September 2013 - 22k miles - cabin filter $59.95 59.95


$60 each for air and cabin filter changes!!?? One can buy either of those filters for about $20 each and change them in under a few minutes!
by Bob B
Sat Aug 06, 2016 3:21 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Experience with Honda airbag recall?
Replies: 139
Views: 26738

Re: Experience with Honda airbag recall?

coachz wrote:We put or vin number into the honda site for this 1 month old 2016 CRV EX and it had no recalls. Is that all we need to do ?


Yes. If your car ends up on the recall list you will get a letter. But, i don't think a 2016 will be affected.
by Bob B
Sat Aug 06, 2016 3:13 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Taxing of windows installations
Replies: 10
Views: 1074

Re: Taxing of windows installations

If the contractor is buying the material for the job, he would pay the sales tax when he buys the material. Normally, he would add the tax he paid to the price of materials in your contract and give you just one number for material (which will also include his markup.) Installation labor is not tax...
by Bob B
Fri Aug 05, 2016 11:52 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Taxing of windows installations
Replies: 10
Views: 1074

Re: Taxing of windows installations

If the contractor is buying the material for the job, he would pay the sales tax when he buys the material. Normally, he would add the tax he paid to the price of materials in your contract and give you just one number for material (which will also include his markup.) Installation labor is not taxa...
by Bob B
Sun Jul 17, 2016 10:35 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: How many bond funds do we really need?
Replies: 3
Views: 418

Re: How many bond funds do we really need?

Intermediate -Term has been the sweet spot for me for many years, though I use VBILX - IT Bond Index Fund Admiral, not VFIDX.
by Bob B
Wed Jul 06, 2016 8:46 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: synthetic oil changes
Replies: 134
Views: 8725

Re: synthetic oil changes

I used to think those were great, until buying an oil extractor. No more getting under the car or mess, easy peasy. Yup, greatest thing ever. I love not needing a jack or drain pan to change my oil and filter, and using one, maybe two, paper towels to clean up. I'm confused! How does an oil extract...
by Bob B
Wed Jul 06, 2016 8:27 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Health Insurance for Retirees ?
Replies: 35
Views: 5058

Re: Health Insurance for Retirees ?

I ask again, is the Cobra I am being offered a good deal? I think it is and am ready to sign up. Thanks, Ken Yes, your rate is good. I too found my COBRA coverage better than any ACA plan I investigated (how sad.) It will take me to Medicare since I have an extension beyond 18 months due to a disab...
by Bob B
Tue Jul 05, 2016 6:50 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Condo vs Townhouse Living
Replies: 35
Views: 4495

Re: Fire escape

You might want to rethink your exit strategy. Most people will not survive a 300+ feet fall in water that you will encounter jumping off 35th floor assuming ground level swimming pool. Golden Gate Bridge is only 200 feet and it has 98% fatality rate for people jumping off the bridge in water. Even ...
by Bob B
Mon Jul 04, 2016 2:08 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Vanguard REIT Index (VGSIX): a Good Investment, Now?
Replies: 11
Views: 3728

Re: Vanguard REIT Index (VGSIX): a Good Investment, Now?

...also what's the difference between buying investment property and renting it out vs REITs? A REIT fund will be more diversified than owning a single or a few properties (dozens to hundreds of properties.) No landlord responsibilities for you. Also, REIT funds are made up of apartment buildings a...
by Bob B
Sun Jul 03, 2016 12:54 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: synthetic oil changes
Replies: 134
Views: 8725

Re: synthetic oil changes

munemaker wrote:
Swansea wrote:Oil, brake and coolant are all auto fluids that deteriorate with time.
Synthetic oil is needed in turbo charged engines.


As well as transmission fluid, ...


Except in my Corolla with a CVT, the transmission oil cannot be checked and there is no Toyota recommendation to ever change it.
by Bob B
Sat Jul 02, 2016 7:57 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Taxation of IRA Dividends and Capital Gains
Replies: 8
Views: 685

Taxation of IRA Dividends and Capital Gains

Quick question about taking dividends and capital gains from a Traditional IRA - if I have those dividends and CG distributions automatically transferred from my traditional IRA to my taxable money market fund, that is a taxable transaction, correct? (BTW, I am 63 years old.) That same scenario from...
by Bob B
Mon Jun 27, 2016 3:20 pm
Forum: Forum Issues and Administration
Topic: BH [Bogleheads.org forum] is back!
Replies: 51
Views: 5400

Re: BH [Bogleheads.org forum] is back!

mrc wrote:Yay. I was going nuts.

Huh? What was going on in the investment world at 6:35 am on a Sunday that caused you to go nuts over a website outage? I am really curious.
by Bob B
Tue Jun 21, 2016 6:51 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Anyone else have problems with appliances from Home Depot?
Replies: 29
Views: 2095

Re: Anyone else have problems with appliances from Home Depot?

celia wrote:I prefer simpler cars and appliances...


Right on! I can't wait for the posts (problem complaints) about the new Samsung Family Hub refrigerator with its cameras and monitor. What people will spend their money on.
by Bob B
Thu Jun 16, 2016 10:51 am
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: VBILX or VBTLX? [Vanguard Intermediate-Term or Total Bond]
Replies: 16
Views: 1498

Re: VBILX or VBTLX?

seanmerron wrote:
mongstradamus wrote:Another issue i would take into account with Vanguard Intermediate term bond vs total bond fund is if you want MBS in your bond fund or not. At least thats what i was looking at when i was looking at bond funds.


MBS?


Mortgage Backed Securities
by Bob B
Sat Jun 11, 2016 1:08 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Had entire lawn sodded, now some animal is creating holes...Philly Burbs Area
Replies: 27
Views: 1239

Re: Had entire lawn sodded, now some animal is creating holes...Philly Burbs Area

I cannot confirm what type of sod they laid down. I can ask the company. My wife is pushing for seed, and I am trying to tell her just getting a patch of sod, cutting it to form is best. For the Philly area, this is not the time of year to start seed. The summer will kill it. You need to wait until...
by Bob B
Thu Jun 02, 2016 3:16 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Social Security Disability???
Replies: 27
Views: 2048

Re: Social Security Disability???

Start keeping a hand written journal of the problems you experience. After my wife was diagnosed with MS some years ago our family attorney suggested this. By the time her MS worsened to the point of filing for disability she had about 5 years of spiral notebooks plus all her doctors records and MR...
by Bob B
Wed Jun 01, 2016 4:17 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: New "Flagship Select" level at Vanguard
Replies: 46
Views: 11000

Re: New "Flagship Select" level at Vanguard

I find the Vanguard "levels" to be a marketing joke. Over the years, I have passed through many of the levels and nothing changed other than the cost of stock trades which was not important to me. When I made it to Flagship, a Flagship rep calls me about every six months and asks me the sa...
by Bob B
Tue May 31, 2016 10:57 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: backyard for a new house, pavers questions
Replies: 36
Views: 2075

Re: backyard for a new house, pavers questions

I think the contractor is light on the base. When I had a small paver patio installed, the contractor told me 8" base for patios and 10"-12" base if vehicles will drive on it. This is mid-Altlantic where the ground freezes. Maybe the spec is less if the ground does not freeze. An inad...
by Bob B
Mon May 30, 2016 7:10 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Windshield chipped - call insurance company?
Replies: 26
Views: 2009

Re: Windshield chipped - call insurance company?

This falls under the Comprehensive portion of your insurance, not Collision. There will be no adverse effect on your record or rate, so get it fixed.
by Bob B
Tue May 24, 2016 7:09 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Why are health care funds down in 2016?
Replies: 10
Views: 1095

Re: Why are health care funds down in 2016?

Brooks wrote:Some of that must be market reacting with emotion.


Well, I think you just described the stock market.
by Bob B
Mon May 23, 2016 6:02 pm
Forum: Forum Issues and Administration
Topic: Warning Levels
Replies: 1
Views: 770

Warning Levels

What does Warning Level [1] mean in a profile? Are posts held for moderator review before appearing on the forum? Does the warning level eventually expire? Thank you.
by Bob B
Sun May 22, 2016 8:28 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Local TV channels - via streaming?
Replies: 29
Views: 1942

Re: Local TV channels - via streaming?

Has anybody turned their mattress springs into a TV antenna? It should be easy to do. Are you ok? I just noticed today that you're frequently commenting on posts - but not making any sense. Do you have a E.E. degree? It makes perfect sense and would be a very Bogleheadish thing to do. It would not ...
by Bob B
Wed May 18, 2016 3:14 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Proper Protocol to Handle Fender Bender
Replies: 41
Views: 3711

Re: Proper Protocol to Handle Fender Bender

So, everybody says call the police. Sounds like good advice and I would do it. But, what if the accident is in a big city like Philadelphia where police will not respond to a fender bender? Then what? Did find this http://www.jefferson.edu/university/security/auto_accident.html I once had a fender ...
by Bob B
Wed May 18, 2016 3:12 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Proper Protocol to Handle Fender Bender
Replies: 41
Views: 3711

Re: Proper Protocol to Handle Fender Bender

So, everybody says call the police. Sounds like good advice and I would do it. But, what if the accident is in a big city like Philadelphia where police will not respond to a fender bender? Then what?
by Bob B
Mon May 16, 2016 4:28 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: private health insurance: broker or no?
Replies: 2
Views: 397

Re: private health insurance: broker or no?

The advantage of using a broker is that you can get prices without actually applying for a policy. If you apply for a policy on your own and you are denied, that is on your record and few other companies will offer you a policy.
by Bob B
Mon May 16, 2016 4:25 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Best use of HSA
Replies: 4
Views: 822

Re: Best use of HSA

Now that I am retired, I use the HSA account I built up while working for large expenses, like the hearing aids I have to pay for tomorrow. My plan is to use it up before I die :D .
by Bob B
Mon May 16, 2016 4:20 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Is it OK to leave home wifi on?
Replies: 55
Views: 4078

Re: Is it OK to leave home wifi on?

cheese_breath wrote:I leave mine on all the time, but I don't leave any computers turned on. If someone has been casing the neighborhood and knows what wifi are usually on I'm afraid he might suspect I'm gone if mine isn't on too.


How does your WiFi broadcasting identify your home address?
by Bob B
Sun May 15, 2016 3:11 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Quick SPIA question
Replies: 9
Views: 1187

Re: Quick SPIA question

I agree with Taylor. No reason not to spread it around. Do you really believe in the "too big to fail" propaganda?
by Bob B
Sun May 15, 2016 3:07 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: how do you track and view your asset allocation?
Replies: 27
Views: 2328

Re: how do you track and view your asset allocation?

Microsoft Excel spreadsheet with a couple of pie charts. I update it once every quarter. Very quick and easy and it is secure on my computer.
by Bob B
Sun May 15, 2016 2:59 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: 30 minute commute?
Replies: 80
Views: 7423

Re: 30 minute commute?

From what I've read, and what fits with my own life: * 1 hour commutes are not very sustainable , particularly in a world with snow and traffic Really? I sustained a 2+ hour round trip commute for 20 years in Pennsylvania (with snow and traffic extending that to 3+ hours once in a while.) The job w...
by Bob B
Tue May 10, 2016 12:21 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: I cannot stop buying... [Investing/Personal Finance Books]
Replies: 54
Views: 7729

Re: I cannot stop buying... [Investing/Personal Finance Books]

I have The Investor's Manifesto, The Boglehead's Guide to Retirement Planning and Social Security Made Simple. They cover everything that is needed to know.

What would I gain by sinking more money into books that are just variations on a theme?
by Bob B
Tue May 10, 2016 12:03 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Noise Reduction
Replies: 59
Views: 4999

Re: Noise Reduction

A white noise generator (fan) is very effective with masking noises. I can't sleep without one due to my tinnitus and sensitivity to noises. http://www.amazon.com/dp/B000KUHFGM/ref=wl_it_dp_o_pd_nS_ttl?_encoding=UTF8&colid=2VA38XSPDCZSD&coliid=I2E96X00BAM777&psc=1 $50 and you don't have ...
by Bob B
Mon May 09, 2016 11:37 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Tips for Selling Bedroom Set
Replies: 27
Views: 2211

Re: Tips for Selling Bedroom Set

I'm new at donating household items to charity. How big of a tax donation receipt can you expect to get from an expensive bedroom set? And how do they come up with the number? "They" usually don't come up with the number. You do. The charity typically gives you a receipt that lists the it...

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