Search found 160 matches

by MichaelRpdx
Fri May 19, 2017 4:19 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Opticians: is there any difference in quality of Costco glasses?
Replies: 25
Views: 3091

Re: Opticians: is there any difference in quality of Costco glasses?

:thumbsup
mrc wrote:
Pajamas wrote:The primary reason eyeglasses cost so much in the U.S. is because one company dominates the entire industry.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Luxottica


Yep. Posts like this are why I wish there were a like button. :-)


Me too :-)
by MichaelRpdx
Fri May 19, 2017 1:52 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Few days in Portland in July
Replies: 36
Views: 2208

Re: Few days in Portland in July

In the food world PDX Eater has a large number of "Best of ..." map posts. Like this one
https://pdx.eater.com/maps/portlands-best-classic-restaurants
by MichaelRpdx
Fri May 19, 2017 10:21 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Few days in Portland in July
Replies: 36
Views: 2208

Re: Few days in Portland in July

Have we persuaded you to extend your time in Portland yet?
by MichaelRpdx
Tue May 16, 2017 12:16 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Few days in Portland in July
Replies: 36
Views: 2208

Re: Few days in Portland in July

If it's the weekend of the 28th the Oregon Brewers Festival will be in full swing. Pro Tip: arrive as soon as they open. Anything later and you'll spend your time waiting in line. The Japanese Garden is rated as the best outside of Japan - highly recommended. The Chinese Gardens are more easily acce...
by MichaelRpdx
Wed May 10, 2017 1:23 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Expat Retirement Location with Health Care Eligibility
Replies: 30
Views: 2739

Re: Expat Retirement Location with Health Care Eligibility

I am considering dabbling in language lessons as I prepare for retirement, and your perspective certainly encourages that path. ;) As a first step in that direction I strongly encourage Duolingo. https://www.duolingo.com/ It is free, very easy to use, and very reasonable for putting a foundation in...
by MichaelRpdx
Sun May 07, 2017 1:54 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: United Mileage Plus CC - worth it?
Replies: 25
Views: 1667

Re: United Mileage Plus CC - worth it?

We use it for the priority boarding, elimination of the baggage fee, and occasional TSA-PreCheck flag.

Is that worth it to you?
by MichaelRpdx
Sun May 07, 2017 1:12 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Expat Retirement Location with Health Care Eligibility
Replies: 30
Views: 2739

Re: Expat Retirement Location with Health Care Eligibility

So, health care in retirement is looking like more of a wild card than planned for, which got me to thinking: Are there any tropical/warm locations where a US-expat can live, and still be covered for residency healthcare? I believe that some countries don't allow expats to have property ownership, ...
by MichaelRpdx
Sat May 06, 2017 7:48 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Best salads
Replies: 46
Views: 3820

Re: Best salads

What are your favorite salad ingredients, combinations, dressing ingredients, etc.? My goto lunch salad: Core: ⋅ two heads of romain ⋅ shredded carrot (a full one) ⋅ chopped red onion Add ons: ⋅  shredded cabbage ⋅  chopped apple ⋅  bell p...
by MichaelRpdx
Sat May 06, 2017 3:40 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Acceptable Success Rate to Retire using Firecalc
Replies: 41
Views: 2939

Re: Acceptable Success Rate to Retire using Firecalc

when start pushing the envelope a bit I get as a success rate just above 95%. Under the Investigate tab on the far right of the menu you can select this option to hit a targeted success rate: Given a success rate, determine spending level for a set portfolio, or portfolio for a set spending level S...
by MichaelRpdx
Sat May 06, 2017 3:32 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Anyone still upgrading their PC build? (Not replacing the machine)
Replies: 51
Views: 3871

Re: Anyone still upgrading their PC build? (Not replacing the machine)

I add RAM and upgrade harddrives in my laptop. It's eight or ten years old now. Having said that, I'm expecting its replacement next week. As to desktops, I've always built mine from parts and upgraded as needed. The last couple of upgrades have been storage upgrades, replacing a pair of disks with ...
by MichaelRpdx
Fri May 05, 2017 1:59 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Why save so much for when you're old?
Replies: 163
Views: 18056

Re: Why save so much for when you're old?

First of all, congratulations on starting saving at your age. Note: you can touch your IRA and 401(k) at 59 1/2 without restrictions. Under some circumstances, you can access the funds much earlier. Two examples: ⋅ withdrawal of all contributions from a Roth IRA after it has been open for ...
by MichaelRpdx
Thu May 04, 2017 12:39 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Road trip to western states
Replies: 38
Views: 2004

Re: Road trip to western states

I've lived in Idaho, Oregon, California, and New Mexico. Personal favorites in the regions: White Sands in NM - stunning and beautiful, especially under the light of a moon. Redwoods of Northern California - omg what trees. Crater Lake Oregon - a pristine high mountain volcano crater lake with stunn...
by MichaelRpdx
Thu May 04, 2017 8:32 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Most "technologically savvy" bank?
Replies: 32
Views: 3035

Re: Most "technologically savvy" bank?

I have an old account in ING Direct in Europe and I have to agree that it is much more better. They have a ton of features on the website that you would normally have to do over the phone or in person here in the USA. Did you look at CapitolOne360? They acquired ING Direct's US operations. The web ...
by MichaelRpdx
Wed May 03, 2017 7:51 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Most "technologically savvy" bank?
Replies: 32
Views: 3035

Re: Most "technologically savvy" bank?

I have banking and credit cards with Chase. There website is OK but I have had good experiences about how quickly they notify me about potential fraud and how they deal with it. I travel internationally quite often and think they are really good at this. Wow, seriously? I can recall off the top of ...
by MichaelRpdx
Wed May 03, 2017 7:41 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Most "technologically savvy" bank?
Replies: 32
Views: 3035

Re: Most "technologically savvy" bank?

What banks do you think are the most "technologically savvy"? Are there other killer features out there I just don't know about? I think a big feature is two factor authentication, which not everyone does, and even some that do, don't do it very well. I believe you'll find banks leapfrogg...
by MichaelRpdx
Wed May 03, 2017 6:44 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Ted Seides "Why I lost My Bet With Warren Buffett" - Bloomberg
Replies: 64
Views: 6695

Re: Ted Seides "Why I lost My Bet With Warren Buffett" - Bloomberg

I am, and I'm sure there's at least a few others. Even people who followed a simple "Three Fund" or "Second Graders" portfolio have also done well relative to the many other slice-n-dice portfolios people come up with and the 'stories' that go with it. http://i65.tinypic.com/2ak...
by MichaelRpdx
Wed May 03, 2017 6:27 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Ted Seides "Why I lost My Bet With Warren Buffett" - Bloomberg
Replies: 64
Views: 6695

Re: Ted Seides "Why I lost My Bet With Warren Buffett" - Bloomberg

The only point I agreed with was the relative lack of diversification in the S&P 500. A three fund portfolio with total stock market, total international stock market, and the short/intermediate bond fund of your choice would be better. IMHO, the average investor could do far worse than just go...
by MichaelRpdx
Wed May 03, 2017 6:17 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: have you accepted a lower cost lifestyle to retire early?
Replies: 71
Views: 8747

Re: have you accepted a lower cost lifestyle to retire early?

I find it easy to live in a low cost of living place and then to travel inexpensively to places of natural beauty for extended periods of time. Places of natural beauty often do not have nearby decent health care nor Whole Foods and TJs since those are usually found in wealthy suburban areas that c...
by MichaelRpdx
Sat Apr 22, 2017 7:42 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Larry Swedroe says "Goodbye."
Replies: 336
Views: 36674

Re: Larry Swedroe says "Goodby."

Mr. Swedroe,

Thanks for everything. Enjoy your time with family, it's richly deserved.
by MichaelRpdx
Thu Apr 13, 2017 6:54 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: What % of your income have you converted to wealth?
Replies: 133
Views: 15976

Late starters

We're at about 45%.
Significant savings didn't start until we were in our late 30s.
First home purchase at 38.
by MichaelRpdx
Thu Apr 06, 2017 8:17 am
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Hit my # for retirement, how do I protect it until ready to quit?
Replies: 15
Views: 2365

Re: Hit my # for retirement, how do I protect it until ready to quit?

Hello Everyone, I'm 38 years old and I have turned extremely risk adverse and no longer want to risk any retirement funds until I actually retire. [snip] My goal is to gain advice on how to preserve my capital (inflation adjusted?) and then when I see a ~20% dip in the market from its current high,...
by MichaelRpdx
Mon Apr 03, 2017 12:29 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: China Trip - Visa Expediter?
Replies: 26
Views: 1414

Re: China Trip - Visa Expediter?

My wife and I have used https://chinesevisaexpress.com/ and the service has always been great. My trips have included both business and tourism.
by MichaelRpdx
Mon Mar 13, 2017 8:25 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: GEICO auto rates vs. USAA: too good to be true?
Replies: 127
Views: 10550

Re: GEICO auto rates vs. USAA: too good to be true?

. The auto quote came in about $120 less every 6 months ($20/mo.) than USAA. The Umbrella policy quote however, stopped me dead in my tracks: over $1,000/yr. more than USAA! I'm also amazed at the "over $1,000/yr", even though you don't mention the size of the policy. Unless you exhibit r...
by MichaelRpdx
Wed Mar 08, 2017 1:05 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: GEICO auto rates vs. USAA: too good to be true?
Replies: 127
Views: 10550

Re: GEICO auto rates vs. USAA: too good to be true?

I switched to Geico several years ago and am a happy camper.
All of my claims have been handled well.

At last renewal I received an unexpected premium decrease.
Yay!
by MichaelRpdx
Mon Mar 06, 2017 8:04 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Roth Withdrawal Sanity Check
Replies: 6
Views: 628

Re: Roth Withdrawal Sanity Check

Ah! The rub is our 401(k)'s Roth option has been available for less than five years. Thus the requirement that the account be in existence for more than five years has yet to be met. My mortgage rate is 3.64%. I can recoup the entire mortgage interest tax benefit by increasing my 401(k) contribution...
by MichaelRpdx
Mon Mar 06, 2017 4:02 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: What Book Are You Currently Reading? Part VI
Replies: 2315
Views: 690824

Re: What Book Are You Currently Reading? Part VI

The Shadow of the Wind by Carlos Ruiz Zafón. Set in Barcelona after the Spanish civil war the book follows a boy's search for an author whose books are being bought up and burned. The writing is some of the best I've read in years. The story itself is hypnotizing. Gabriel García Márquez meets Umber...
by MichaelRpdx
Mon Mar 06, 2017 3:50 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Roth Withdrawal Sanity Check
Replies: 6
Views: 628

Roth Withdrawal Sanity Check

I just got off the phone with the 401(k) administrator. I called with withdraw the Roth balance of my 401(k) in order to pay down my remaining mortgage balance. The representative said the contributions are not taxed but the earnings are. I am over 59 1/2. Was the rep correct? If so my understanding...
by MichaelRpdx
Sun Feb 26, 2017 11:41 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Do you recommend using credit karma's tax product?
Replies: 52
Views: 6063

Re: Do you recommend using credit karma's tax product?

I plan to. The decision was strongly influenced by being a happy Credit Karma customer for credit monitoring and a trial run through the start of the process. Dear Wife is going to do the returns as a learning experience this year. I've been doing the filing for both of us for decades and we're agre...
by MichaelRpdx
Sun Feb 26, 2017 11:26 am
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Weekend Entertainment: Read the Long Bet
Replies: 0
Views: 311

Weekend Entertainment: Read the Long Bet

Not just any long bet, the one from nine years ago between Warren Buffett and Protege Partners.
The comment stream is filled with statements on why one or the other side will prevail. You may find it entertaining and eductational.

http://longbets.org/362/#adjudication_terms
by MichaelRpdx
Sat Feb 25, 2017 12:02 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Buffett Annual Letter 2016 [Jack Bogle is a hero]
Replies: 69
Views: 5888

Re: Warren Buffet says Jack Bogle is a hero.

I also noted a Business Insider story on it. Let's go to the source: http://www.berkshirehathaway.com/2016ar/linksannual16.html If a statue is ever erected to honor the person who has done the most for American investors, the hands- down choice should be Jack Bogle. For decades, Jack has urged inves...
by MichaelRpdx
Fri Feb 24, 2017 4:42 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Hearing Aid Benefits
Replies: 24
Views: 1794

Re: Hearing Aid Benefits

Another Costco vote. I"ve worn hearing aids for over a decade.
Costco does no upselling, their testing is accurate, the prices unbeatable.
by MichaelRpdx
Fri Feb 24, 2017 11:47 am
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Advice to my sister
Replies: 4
Views: 880

Re: Advice to my sister

Thanks to the early responders. The book is on hold at the library. I agree that 4% doesn't make sense. It is a well known rule of thumb that I'm sure she'll encounter at some point. That's why I followed up with the caution about it not factoring in SS income and went on to mention retirement calcu...
by MichaelRpdx
Fri Feb 24, 2017 8:59 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Retirement vs Down Payment
Replies: 32
Views: 2590

Re: Retirement vs Down Payment

spammagnet wrote:Are they accepting applications? :happy

I had the same thought. The relocation from west to east coast though...
by MichaelRpdx
Fri Feb 24, 2017 8:17 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Retirement vs Down Payment
Replies: 32
Views: 2590

Re: Retirement vs Down Payment

Now, the reason I won't leave for more money comes down to quality of life. My employer provided health insurance allows me to purchase high quality no-deductible insurance for the both of us at a total of $150 per month, I'm provided with an annual travel stipend that allows us to travel just abou...
by MichaelRpdx
Fri Feb 24, 2017 7:50 am
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Advice to my sister
Replies: 4
Views: 880

Advice to my sister

My sister and I have discussed my early retirement planning. We're both in our late 50s, I hit 59 1/2 next week. I'd appreciate your feedback on some recent advice I gave her. Recently she asked: In broad generalities I'd be interested in your thoughts. Such as a minimum of X in had (inclusive or ex...
by MichaelRpdx
Thu Jan 12, 2017 1:14 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: social security calculation
Replies: 41
Views: 3387

Re: social security calculation

For an extremely detailed answer see IIRS Publication EN-05-10070.
I built a spreadsheet based on this document and now know what my benefits would be.
It's not very difficult.
by MichaelRpdx
Tue Jan 10, 2017 5:14 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: How to build passive income
Replies: 45
Views: 4710

Re: How to build passive income

"I'm curious about this too. Are there other options besides rental properties?" I'm open to anything that will generate the best passive income for me. My thinking is a rental property but I'm open to any suggestions (stocks, bonds, etc). You want income instead of growth? What is the ob...
by MichaelRpdx
Tue Jan 10, 2017 2:15 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Outliving your savings - pessimistic news
Replies: 21
Views: 3772

Outliving your savings - pessimistic news

This story from CBS http://www.cbsnews.com/news/us-retirees-life-expectancy/ states US retirees don't live as long as their peers in other countries - so we have less to worry about with respect to having enough wealth to see us through. sigh. The lede: If you’re an American retiree worried about ou...
by MichaelRpdx
Sat Jan 07, 2017 1:51 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: How to dress for winter vacation in Alberta
Replies: 45
Views: 2666

Re: How to dress for winter vacation in Alberta

Good morning, Bogleheads. My wife & I will be leaving soon for a vacation at Lake Louise in Alberta, where lows will be -20 F. Can you all recommend what to wear in that kind of weather? Boots, pants, ear covers, etc? Thank you so much for any advice. While in Spain last October we met a couple...
by MichaelRpdx
Fri Jan 06, 2017 10:17 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: What monetary value has your education provided you?
Replies: 107
Views: 6131

Re: What monetary value has your education provided you?

The records for what my education cost no longer exist. However, I've been working since 1972 and in 1993 I was hired into a Fortune 500 company in a position that required a bachelor's degree. The area of the degree was not important, but for that job you were required to have a degree to be consid...
by MichaelRpdx
Fri Jan 06, 2017 9:12 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Best/ safest way to access Vanguard account online?
Replies: 16
Views: 2276

Re: Best/ safest way to access Vanguard account online?

What is the safest and best way to access my Vanguard and other financial accounts online? Any new tips or recommendations from Boglehead nation? The connection from your web browser or phone app to Vanguard's, or other, site is encrypted in such a way as a third party cannot decrypt the session. T...
by MichaelRpdx
Fri Jan 06, 2017 9:42 am
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: When is 59 1/2 for those born August 29, 30, 31?
Replies: 20
Views: 2029

Re: When is 59 1/2 for those born August 29, 30, 31?

The IRS and their definition can't be any clearer, calendar months. If your birthday falls on a day that has more numbered days then the month that you will turn .5, you use the last day of the month as your .5 anniversary. Don't over think this, the main point is that they use months not days. Tha...
by MichaelRpdx
Thu Jan 05, 2017 7:08 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Affordable home exercise
Replies: 91
Views: 7308

Re: Affordable home exercise

Pluto9th wrote:A book on using ones own body weight for fitness training: ”You are your own gym" by Mark Lauren. [ snip ] Hmm, Kindle version is $1.99, maybe I'll go buy it now.
+1 Bodyweight is always with you.
by MichaelRpdx
Thu Jan 05, 2017 7:07 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: REGISTRATION FOR THE 2017 BOGLEHEAD CONTEST
Replies: 676
Views: 22503

Re: REGISTRATION FOR THE 2017 BOGLEHEAD CONTEST

1989.57 - Here's hoping this guess is way off.
Thanks for hosting the contest!
by MichaelRpdx
Thu Jan 05, 2017 6:16 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: When is 59 1/2 for those born August 29, 30, 31?
Replies: 20
Views: 2029

Re: When is 59 1/2 for those born August 29, 30, 31?

livesoft wrote:If a few days matters to any one of the folks in this predicament, then I want to read about why. Thanks!

In truth they don't. But I am curious about what my actual date is.
It will be a week or two later when I withdraw funds to pay off the mortgage.
by MichaelRpdx
Thu Jan 05, 2017 2:32 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Hearing aid 101
Replies: 78
Views: 6714

Re: Hearing aid 101

I agree with you in terms of the exorbitant cost. One should be able to buy this for $2.99 each and should be disposable given where the current technology is. I disagree about the exorbitant cost. In your ear is not just an amplifier but a signal processing computer that selectively boosts frequen...
by MichaelRpdx
Thu Jan 05, 2017 2:25 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: When is 59 1/2 for those born August 29, 30, 31?
Replies: 20
Views: 2029

When is 59 1/2 for those born August 29, 30, 31?

Since there is never a February 30 or 31 and usually no February 29, when is 59 1/2 achieved for those of us born in late August? 183 days? March 1? Other? Update: The calculator at http://fiftynineandahalf.com/calculator.html shows the 30th as March 2 and the 31st as March 3. Yet September 1 folks ...
by MichaelRpdx
Thu Dec 08, 2016 11:33 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Retirement: Where $200K Will Last 30 Years
Replies: 113
Views: 20043

Re: Retirement: Where $200K Will Last 30 Years

Can a U.S. citizen just choose to move anywhere? Wouldn't there be a need to get permanant residency or citizenship? Yes, you still need to do that. In many countries there is even a special residency visa class of Retirement. Panama has a very low requirement, basically show $1,000/month in income...
by MichaelRpdx
Wed Nov 23, 2016 12:34 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Replacement Sofa Cushions
Replies: 14
Views: 1367

Re: Replacement Sofa Cushions

I just replaced the foam in our couch cushions last weekend. This is the second time I've done it. This time I remembered to write down the vendor, date, and price on the foam pieces (with a sharpie) before inserting them into the covers. I went to a local foam place in both cases. One of the two so...

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