Search found 106 matches

by Jeanz
Sun Aug 28, 2016 3:07 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Time to stop updating older iPhones?
Replies: 15
Views: 1823

Re: Time to stop updating older iPhones?

This latest hack looks serious; updating an iPhone SE didn't do any harm that I noticed, although I haven't used it for anything as strenuous as Netflix.

https://www.theguardian.com/technology/ ... ne-spyware
by Jeanz
Tue Jun 28, 2016 1:04 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Would you want to know if your doctor doesn't take your insurance?
Replies: 59
Views: 2967

Re: Would you want to know if your doctor doesn't take your insurance?

This is just the result of a quick Google, but if I understand it correctly you are prohibited from entering into a private contract with a Medicare patient who requires emergency or urgent care. https://www.cms.gov/Outreach-and-Education/Medicare-Learning-Network-MLN/MLNMattersArticles/downloads/SE...
by Jeanz
Tue May 03, 2016 6:20 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Privia Medical Group
Replies: 56
Views: 3239

Re: Privia Medical Group

The problem, of course, is that a patient is not in quite the same position as a restaurant customer, who can easily leave a restaurant determined never to return, perhaps leaving an unfavorable review on Yelp. Patients are far more vulnerable; it's not only finances that are threatened, but health ...
by Jeanz
Tue May 03, 2016 12:38 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Privia Medical Group
Replies: 56
Views: 3239

Re: Privia Medical Group

Some years ago I was treated over a period of months by a very good doctor who had, unfortunately, outsourced his billing to an independent business. The business couldn't handle a change in insurance from BC/BS to Medicare at my 65th birthday, so billed me as an uninsured patient, at almost a thous...
by Jeanz
Tue Mar 08, 2016 4:22 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Managing mom's finances
Replies: 15
Views: 1562

Re: Managing mom's finances

Make sure that you know where official copies of your mother's birth certificate, marriage certificate, and your father's death certificate are, as well as records of either parent's military service, if any. For reasons of privacy it may be easier for her to do now than for someone to act for her l...
by Jeanz
Wed Mar 02, 2016 5:32 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Mom is 5 Social Security Credits Short - How Do I Help?
Replies: 20
Views: 2836

Re: Mom is 5 Social Security Credits Short - How Do I Help?

Did your father pay Medicare taxes, even if not Social Security taxes? If so, your mother would ordinarily be eligible for Medicare on his account. If not, she may be eligible to enroll by paying a premium for Part A, which is ordinarily free. She can call her local Social Security office and find o...
by Jeanz
Tue Feb 23, 2016 6:44 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Computing effective tax rate
Replies: 8
Views: 583

Computing effective tax rate

What is the customary way to compute effective tax rate when some income isn't taxed, like some of our Social Security and pension income? I could see doing it either way, or even both, but I'm curious about what people usually do.
by Jeanz
Thu Feb 18, 2016 1:25 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: I do not know how to back up my computer
Replies: 72
Views: 5272

Re: I do not know how to back up my computer

Windows 7 has backup software, which you reach from the control panel, under the label "system and security". That seems too obvious, so I'll mention that my husband has been using the free version of CrashPlan for some time:

https://store.code42.com/store/
by Jeanz
Mon Feb 01, 2016 1:36 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Need technical information [How to record TV audio]
Replies: 12
Views: 1424

Re: Need technical information [How to record TV audio]

You could look into Spotify instead; I use the free version, but to listen offline you'd need a $9.99 a month subscription. You'd install the app on your computer and use the free trial period to see how well it meets your needs.
by Jeanz
Sat Jan 30, 2016 7:04 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Dinner Ideas
Replies: 57
Views: 5699

Re: Dinner Ideas

Stir-fried vegetables, usually with a bit of meat, served with rice or noodles. Details: If you are using uncooked meat, cut it into strips about the size of a kitchen match, marinate it in soy and wine or in soy with a bit of rice vinegar. Brown a bit of garlic in a tablespoonful of oil, remove the...
by Jeanz
Sat Jan 30, 2016 3:51 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Need technical information [How to record TV audio]
Replies: 12
Views: 1424

Re: Need technical information

Some years ago I used Replay Radio (http://applian.com/replay-radio/) to record a radio program that was broadcast at an inconvenient time. If the television stations you are listening to have Web sites that offer streaming audio (often called "listen live") that might work for you. I beli...
by Jeanz
Thu Jan 28, 2016 8:52 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Asking questions of Vanguard
Replies: 10
Views: 1050

Re: Asking questions of Vanguard

Today I got an apology and a more relevant response from Vanguard. Unfortunately, that did not come until had completed Vanguard's customer satisfaction survey, giving the service the lowest possible rating. I don't like doing that, but at least my comment suggested additional training for their rep...
by Jeanz
Wed Jan 27, 2016 6:53 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Combining traditional and rollover IRAs
Replies: 3
Views: 336

Re: Combining traditional and rollover IRAs

Yes, that was a typo. What I meant was 'rollover'. Sorry about that, and thank you for pointing it out.
by Jeanz
Wed Jan 27, 2016 5:32 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Combining traditional and rollover IRAs
Replies: 3
Views: 336

Combining traditional and rollover IRAs

At Vanguard, I have a small traditional IRA and a rollover IRA; the traditional IRA has a basis in nondeductible contributions. Just for convenience, now that I'm really not likely to go back to work, I am considering combining them. If I wanted to do that, how would I go about it? Would I just tran...
by Jeanz
Wed Jan 27, 2016 1:53 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Asking questions of Vanguard
Replies: 10
Views: 1050

Asking questions of Vanguard

Has anyone used Vanguard's secure message feature to ask a question about its procedures? I tried, and got a response that showed that the "registered representative" hadn't understood the question at all. She then suggested that I telephone Vanguard, but a telephone conversation seems to ...
by Jeanz
Fri Jan 08, 2016 7:12 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Newspaper for Someone with poor vision
Replies: 11
Views: 834

Re: Newspaper for Someone with poor vision

Would a lighted hands-free magnifier help? Something like one of these, although I can't recommend a particular model:

http://goldviolin.blair.com/catalog/sea ... fying+lamp
by Jeanz
Tue Oct 13, 2015 5:44 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Bank transfer to someone else's account
Replies: 21
Views: 2023

Re: Bank transfer to someone else's account

Thank you, everyone! As it happened, a trustworthy relative was going to visit Grandma, so I sent a check with her. Lots of good ideas, though, because this probably won't be the last time.
by Jeanz
Fri Oct 09, 2015 2:28 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Bank transfer to someone else's account
Replies: 21
Views: 2023

Re: Bank transfer to someone else's account

Oh, I am sorry! I left out a significant piece of information -- this is my very old grandmother, who has never touched a computer and doesn't want to. There's a family effort to put together enough money to pay for assisted living until her house sells. She was good to us when we were kids, so we'r...
by Jeanz
Fri Oct 09, 2015 1:46 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Bank transfer to someone else's account
Replies: 21
Views: 2023

Re: Bank transfer to someone else's account

It's Capital One, but just knowing about Wells Fargo helps; there is a Wells Fargo branch nearby.
by Jeanz
Fri Oct 09, 2015 1:34 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Bank transfer to someone else's account
Replies: 21
Views: 2023

Bank transfer to someone else's account

Is it possible to initiate a transfer of funds from my checking account to someone else's credit union? This would be a gift, well under the taxable level, but still enough that I'm reluctant to send it in the mail.
by Jeanz
Fri Oct 09, 2015 12:57 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Trouble with family thinking we have more money than we do
Replies: 87
Views: 9532

Re: Trouble with family thinking we have more money than we do

On the question of gifts to your wife's family, it seems that your wife might want to consult her mother or some other respected older woman in her family, at least if she can do so privately. Gifts of cash can work as a form of saving, because a gift sets up or maintains a connection that can help ...
by Jeanz
Sun Oct 19, 2014 1:19 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Why do people use age instead of life expectancy?
Replies: 43
Views: 3679

Re: Why do people use age instead of life expectancy?

Even more than age, life expectancy changes over time. From various sources, my life expectancy at birth was about 66 or 67 years, but I've outlived that by some time. I am a white woman born in 1941, so had the longest life expectancy of any demographic group. Life expectancy changes every year, an...
by Jeanz
Fri Aug 01, 2014 7:45 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: How to stop collection for an invalid debt
Replies: 31
Views: 2437

Re: How to stop collection for an invalid debt

When I worked as a public librarian long ago the library worried about adverse publicity because it depended on public funding.
by Jeanz
Tue Jul 22, 2014 11:12 am
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Helping My Grandmother
Replies: 54
Views: 3970

Re: Helping My Grandmother

One thing you or your parents might do is make sure that she's aware of any programs that might help her. A place to start is with the county, which should have an "agency on aging" or a "division of senior services" or something of the sort. She might be eligible for a heating s...
by Jeanz
Sat Jul 05, 2014 7:45 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Retirement age for software engineers
Replies: 94
Views: 15162

Re: Retirement age for software engineers

I retired almost entirely at 65 years and eight months, my Social Security Administration "full retirement age". It was my choice, and I did some work later on the same government contract as a casual employee, stopping only when a year or so later I broke both wrists. If I'd recovered ent...
by Jeanz
Thu Apr 24, 2014 9:49 am
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Please explain a 3% SWR to me
Replies: 92
Views: 23840

Re: Please explain a 3% SWR to me

That probably why most things seems to use a 30 year retirement model. That's what I find puzzling. The Social Security mortality tables, if I'm interpreting them correctly, make it possible to compute the probability of surviving to, say, 96, 30 years after a retirement at 66. The tables I found o...
by Jeanz
Sat Feb 15, 2014 5:20 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: taxes done and…why is my spouse working?
Replies: 90
Views: 10181

Re: taxes done and…why is my spouse working?

Your wife needs to think about her own future before she makes a change. What is her potential career path if she keeps her job, and what happens to it if she leaves it, even if she keeps working under more casual terms? Please don't take offense if I mention that divorces do happen in spite of the ...
by Jeanz
Mon Jan 06, 2014 9:19 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: What did you do with unwanted baby gear?
Replies: 22
Views: 1489

Re: What did you do with unwanted baby gear?

The St. Vincent de Paul Society once came and collected a refrigerator that my mother insisted had to be donated instead of trashed. In that case, though, I suspected that they might have been doing her a special kindness by taking it away; I never knew. I had called her parish and asked; if you're ...
by Jeanz
Sun Jan 05, 2014 11:31 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: How much do you spend on books a year?
Replies: 47
Views: 2411

Re: How much do you spend on books a year?

Project Gutenberg I use all the time on my Nook e-reader. The epub format works well; I don't notice a difference between the Project Gutenberg books and the ones from the library. Our public library has a very limited collection of older materials, but Project Gutenberg and Google Books make many t...
by Jeanz
Fri Oct 18, 2013 3:50 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: career guidance, new to US, husband is radiology resident
Replies: 23
Views: 3569

Re: career guidance, new to US, husband is radiology residen

For a long time a good bet for someone looking for a first job was a temporary employment agency; that was especially true for someone with even minimal office skills. Do you know Excel and MS Word? Even if you don't, you could learn enough to use them either on your own or with an adult-education o...
by Jeanz
Fri Oct 18, 2013 3:07 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: New Tablet
Replies: 20
Views: 2006

Re: New Tablet

Another recommendation for the Nook HD; I have the smaller, 7-inch tablet, and I'm happy with it.
by Jeanz
Wed Oct 09, 2013 4:13 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Lead paint inspection prior to home purchase?
Replies: 18
Views: 1697

Re: Lead paint inspection prior to home purchase?

If you have it inspected and the lead paint is only on windows and doors, the simplest thing to do is to replace the windows and doors. The problem with just repainting them is that the paint gets scraped as the window sash moves up and down or the door opens and closes. The replacement should still...
by Jeanz
Sun Sep 29, 2013 9:09 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Mouse in House
Replies: 50
Views: 3928

Re: Mouse in House

The problem with a glue trap is that if it works you have a live mouse stuck to the trap. I understand that you can remove them with cooking oil, but then you have to spend some time in close contact with the mouse. I'd rather use an old-fashioned snap trap, even though they kill, because at least t...
by Jeanz
Mon Sep 23, 2013 7:37 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: .....
Replies: 40
Views: 5154

Re: Easy-to-use MP3 Player for Senior

Some headphones, particularly high quality audiophile headphones, have low sensitivity and small portable devices may not provide enough drive to get sufficient volume out of them. You'd think this would all be standardized, but it isn't. This is new information to me, so I guess I've been lucky. W...
by Jeanz
Mon Sep 23, 2013 4:40 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: .....
Replies: 40
Views: 5154

Re: Easy-to-use MP3 Player for Senior

There are a number of larger devices advertised on Amazon that play either CDs or MP3s, so you could investigate those and see if you think they'd seem more familiar. I have a Sansa Fuze, and I think it relatively easy to handle for something tiny. if your mother can still thread a needle, for insta...
by Jeanz
Mon Sep 23, 2013 4:29 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: .....
Replies: 40
Views: 5154

Re: Easy-to-use MP3 Player for Senior

I dropped my Nook ereader (in its case, and I was sitting down) without breaking it; after all, it doesn't weigh much to begin with. I have not (yet) dropped the Nook HD.
by Jeanz
Mon Sep 23, 2013 1:24 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: $350 HDMI Laptop Acer Aspire V5-131-2629.
Replies: 9
Views: 1238

Re: $350 HDMI Laptop Acer Aspire V5-131-2629.

Some years ago I bought an Acer Aspire One AO722-BZ84, not for streaming, but for use when we travel. Late last year I bought a Mediabridge HDMI cable to see if I could use it for streaming video; as I recall I tried a video from PBS. It worked right away, but we haven't actually used it a lot for o...
by Jeanz
Mon Sep 23, 2013 1:00 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Father left my Mother Suddenly, Need advice
Replies: 64
Views: 10836

Re: Father left my Mother Suddenly, Need advice

If his pension is subject to ERISA, as most are, while they are married she has rights under Federal law to a survivor annuity, I think half. He can waive the survivor annuity if she consents, as in this case she shouldn't. While they both live, or if they divorce, I believe that she needs to obtain...
by Jeanz
Mon Sep 16, 2013 2:44 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Affording stay at home parent
Replies: 74
Views: 8571

Re: Affording stay at home parent

Jeanz, to some extent I don't disagree; I was "torn between a desire for career advancement and a wish to spend more time with the family," but I never felt as though I should feel guilty for working. What I usually say from my elevated perch as grandmother is "All mothers feel guilt...
by Jeanz
Mon Sep 16, 2013 1:35 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Android Tablet
Replies: 42
Views: 4399

Re: Android Tablet

SpringMan wrote:[
+1. Another happy Nook HD+ user here.


Nook HD for me. It lets me load apps from Google Play, lets me create separate limited accounts for grandchildren, and fits in my purse. It still surprises me that so many businesses offer free Wi-Fi, but I'm happy to use it.
by Jeanz
Mon Sep 16, 2013 1:21 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Affording stay at home parent
Replies: 74
Views: 8571

Re: Affording stay at home parent

At the risk of being sexist/gender-specific, in my limited but observant life I have met many mothers who were held back because of "guilty" feelings about working outside the home; I have yet to meet a single father who felt that way. I have certainly met men who were torn between a desi...
by Jeanz
Sun Sep 15, 2013 11:00 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Affording stay at home parent
Replies: 74
Views: 8571

Re: Affording stay at home parent

One thing many women of retirement age regret is losing the opportunity to maintain their own retirement benefits. Divorced women, especially, are likely to find the half Social Security benefit inadequate, and, given a reasonable divorce arrangement, their ex-husbands and any subsequent wives suffe...
by Jeanz
Sat Sep 14, 2013 9:59 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Robotic vacuum cleaner
Replies: 45
Views: 5039

Re: Robotic vacuum cleaner

I have been using various Roombas for almost ten years. The floors are mostly hardwood, with a few area rugs, and the Roomba, if it's run often enough, keeps them remarkably clean. The area rugs go out to be washed occasionally, but that had to be done no matter what kind of vacuum we used. One has ...
by Jeanz
Sat Sep 14, 2013 7:24 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Affording stay at home parent
Replies: 74
Views: 8571

Re: Affording stay at home parent

For a woman who is thinking of becoming a stay-at-home mother, I would suggest very seriously that she avoid a gap in her resume. I was able to do this forty years ago by taking on serious volunteer work and going in for further education. Even so, returning to the job market was difficult and stres...
by Jeanz
Thu Sep 12, 2013 11:15 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Federal Retirees: Why Medicare?
Replies: 58
Views: 7857

Re: Federal Retirees: Why Medicare?

We have both Medicare and BCBS Standard through the Federal Employee Program, and, while I haven't done the math, there have been one or two very expensive surgeries between the two of us. I'd do it again in a minute.
by Jeanz
Mon Sep 09, 2013 2:18 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Tracking Donations
Replies: 25
Views: 1601

Re: Tracking Donations

I've never tracked donations before, but I did use It's Deductible to estimate the value of one donation of women's clothing. That was in April, when the taxes were still in my mind. Eleven items, including one suit that's appropriate for business wear, sixty-eight dollars. I used the "medium q...
by Jeanz
Tue Aug 27, 2013 7:51 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Some things a teen could do to help out parents college-wise
Replies: 74
Views: 5999

Re: Some things a teen could do to help out parents college-

If you have excellent grades and scores, look into colleges that offer merit scholarships.
by Jeanz
Tue Aug 27, 2013 7:47 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: assisting a retired parent, any financial tips?
Replies: 10
Views: 1016

Re: assisting a retired parent, any financial tips?

Is there an area agency on aging where you live? That organization should have information about help for low-income seniors, housing, nutrition, and so on. Some benefits depend on the state or even the city or county, so it would be worth inquiring. There is also a Web site http://www.benefitscheck...
by Jeanz
Fri Aug 23, 2013 12:22 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Social security survivor benefits question
Replies: 37
Views: 2840

Re: Social security survivor benefits question

Some of your posts suggest that one or the other of you might become disabled, and while I'm sorry about that, you might want to look at the requirements for benefits for a disabled surviving spouse. Social Security benefits are available to disabled workers, as well, although I think they're small.
by Jeanz
Fri Aug 09, 2013 2:49 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Best E-Reader: Kindle, Nook or?
Replies: 46
Views: 5140

Re: Best E-Reader: Kindle, Nook or?

Google books and Openlibrary.org are other good places to look for free public-domain books. Both also include works still under copyright, so that only snippets are available, but that can be useful if you're doing light research. Both Barnes & Noble and Amazon offer some free books for their e...

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