Search found 1132 matches

by TheGreyingDuke
Fri Jul 22, 2016 2:55 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Expensive car maintenance or allocate to next car fund?
Replies: 31
Views: 1596

Re: Expensive car maintenance or allocate to next car fund?

Anybody who wants to sell you a transmission flush (not just a simple drain) is someone to avoid. he potential harms attendant are legend, they only benefit the shop doing it.

http://www.allstatetransmission.net/transmission-flush-and-fluid-change-information
by TheGreyingDuke
Mon Jul 18, 2016 1:42 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Dividing large sum among several banks - mechanics
Replies: 11
Views: 765

Re: Dividing large sum among several banks - mechanics

FYI Found this at Capital One site. (I Use CapOne 360 checking and money market) "Deposits are insured by the FDIC for up to $250,000 per depositor. A single account is insured up to $250,000. Joint accounts are 50/50 ownership and insured up to $250,000 for each individual on the account, equ...
by TheGreyingDuke
Sun Jul 17, 2016 7:17 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Medicare Part B Income Limits
Replies: 9
Views: 889

Re: Medicare Part B Income Limits

A few years ago I inadvertently converted too much from my TIRA to the Roth, this was occasioned by a 5 year's wroth of charitable contribution made in the one tax year. This put me into the category for extra Medicare premiums; the next year, with income back to "normal", the surcharge we...
by TheGreyingDuke
Sat Jul 16, 2016 3:41 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: VG Move to Brokerage Accounts and Roth Conversions
Replies: 10
Views: 693

Re: VG Move to Brokerage Accounts and Roth Conversions

For this same login there also is a trust account on the old platform. I am not upgrading any trust accounts to the new platform until forced to, because it requires additional paperwork--you can't just do it online. There have been no issues with having a mix of accounts on old and new platforms. ...
by TheGreyingDuke
Fri Jul 08, 2016 7:00 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Costco Tires - Anyone ever frustrated?
Replies: 86
Views: 5602

Re: Costco Tires - Anyone ever frustrated?

I guess I'll be sticking with discount tire. I rotate the tires myself every other oil change so I only need Discount tire for the free balancing and road hazard warranty. You can probably get away with rotating every 10-15k instead of every 5. Midas will also rotate for free with an oil change if ...
by TheGreyingDuke
Sat Jul 02, 2016 10:55 am
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: R.I.P. CIT Bank 3.25% brokered CD (called)
Replies: 49
Views: 4618

Re: R.I.P. CIT Bank 3.25% brokered CD (called)

One other thing about brokered CDs is that you will have a capital gain or loss when it matures (or is called) if you bought it at a price other than 100, which is likely . No, it is not "likely". If you purchase new issue brokered CDs (as I almost always do), you purchase at par (100) an...
by TheGreyingDuke
Sat Jul 02, 2016 7:19 am
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: One thing I have always wondered..why should investors buy and hold when a stock/bond/fund keeps dropping and dropping?
Replies: 74
Views: 5949

Re: One thing I have always wondered..why should investors buy and hold when a stock/bond/fund keeps dropping and droppi

If you are holding a broad market index fund like VTSAX, a drop in the quoted price is a blessing allowing you to buy more shares for the same amount of dollars. And if the asset price goes up it is a curse?? I am put off by the frequent celebration for decreasing asset value, as someone who is in ...
by TheGreyingDuke
Sat Jul 02, 2016 7:15 am
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: R.I.P. CIT Bank 3.25% brokered CD (called)
Replies: 49
Views: 4618

Re: R.I.P. CIT Bank 3.25% brokered CD (called)

One other thing about brokered CDs is that you will have a capital gain or loss when it matures (or is called) if you bought it at a price other than 100, which is likely.
by TheGreyingDuke
Sat Jul 02, 2016 6:58 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Unexpected Medical Facility Charges - Outpatient Surgery
Replies: 48
Views: 3422

Re: Unexpected Medical Facility Charges - Outpatient Surgery

It is disingenuous to place the burden on the consumer to ferret out the actual charges, in my experience no one (the doc, the hospital) can tell you what the cost of a procedure will be. Until there is transparency on the pricing of this "product" to excoriate the consumer for not doing d...
by TheGreyingDuke
Mon Jun 27, 2016 3:33 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: An actual book on LastPass?
Replies: 35
Views: 2343

Re: An actual book on LastPass?

There are some sites that don't like to have LastPass fill in user name and or password, usually secured financial sites. In this case you click on the square with the three horizontal dots (it will be red if you have logged onto LastPass), and you will see "Show matching sites", click on ...
by TheGreyingDuke
Mon Jun 27, 2016 10:08 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Recommend Ad Blockers
Replies: 21
Views: 799

Re: Recommend Ad Blockers

Even when I whitelist Forbes on AdBlock it still thinks I have it blacklisted
by TheGreyingDuke
Fri Jun 24, 2016 7:23 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: My first smartphone
Replies: 17
Views: 2033

Re: My first smartphone

A few years ago at least partially based on advice and opinions from this forum I changed my cell phone provider from Verizon to Page Plus for my flip phone. Since I am a low usage customer I have one of PP low cost pay-as-you-go plans and have been very satisfied with my thriftiness and haven’t se...
by TheGreyingDuke
Wed Jun 22, 2016 6:43 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Where to find data on medical procedure complications
Replies: 8
Views: 848

Re: Where to find data on medical procedure complications

If you don't trust your doctor, go elsewhere - everyone will be happier. If your doctor shrugs at a second opinion, and you have time and resources for a second or third opinion, jump. Most docs are elated with other opinions, and some are not. I rejoice in 17th opinions because 16 of those take th...
by TheGreyingDuke
Tue Jun 21, 2016 10:01 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Where to find data on medical procedure complications
Replies: 8
Views: 848

Where to find data on medical procedure complications

Is there a resource to identify, for a particular procedure, what facilities have the lowest complication rate? The procedure in mind is amniocentesis and various sources state that the complication rate ranges from 1 in 200 to 1 in 400, a not insignificant difference. It is clear that those who per...
by TheGreyingDuke
Sat Jun 18, 2016 10:37 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: I hate cell phones [battery problems]
Replies: 17
Views: 1959

Re: I hate cell phones [battery problems]

Latest phone (LG G Stylo - went cheap because my expensive phones would always fail) isn't charging (it says that it's charging, but the percentage actually goes down). When it isn't charging, battery completely depletes in a matter of hours, even with light use. I've had it 6 months. Is that enoug...
by TheGreyingDuke
Thu Jun 16, 2016 5:11 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Sell or Rent it out
Replies: 9
Views: 1150

Re: Sell or Rent it out

In my opinion the only numbers to consider are the $275k price he can get now, and $1600/mth rent. These numbers do not make for a profitable rental property. In most areas of the US you can achieve the 1% rule, meaning the monthly PITI payment is 1% of the value of the house. Some places people wi...
by TheGreyingDuke
Tue Jun 14, 2016 4:11 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Buying vs Leasing a Car
Replies: 27
Views: 1935

Re: Buying vs Leasing a Car

You didn't mention the cost of garaging your vehicle, that can be a factor
by TheGreyingDuke
Tue Jun 14, 2016 8:40 am
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Donate stock instead of cash?
Replies: 47
Views: 2117

Re: Donate stock instead of cash?

For some turgid prose, read the IRS publication on charitable donations: https://www.irs.gov/pub/irs-pdf/p526.pdf If you donate appreciated assets there is a lower limit on the percentage of AGI you can deduct in a year, excess will be carried over, somewhat undermining the bunching of deductions ef...
by TheGreyingDuke
Sun Jun 12, 2016 9:30 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Encyclopedia, World Book, Complete Set, 1960 Ed.
Replies: 37
Views: 2768

Re: Encyclopedia, World Book, Complete Set, 1960 Ed.

An exception to the lack of worth in printed encyclopedias would be the Britannica, 9th or 10th edition. Well written articles by people tops in their field.

http://www.1902encyclopedia.com/about.html
by TheGreyingDuke
Fri Jun 03, 2016 8:47 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Medicare MSA option
Replies: 2
Views: 331

Re: Medicare MSA option

I cannot respond to most of what you asked but I think the conventional wisdom is one should choose the Medigap policy with the lowest premium (within the level you prefer). I have had the High deductible F plan for three years with Colonial Penn, they are not highly rated, but never a problem with ...
by TheGreyingDuke
Thu Jun 02, 2016 6:02 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: neighbor issue - do I need a fence?
Replies: 90
Views: 6883

Re: neighbor issue - do I need a fence?

I will take a different position here... If you intend to stay put it seems that the years of confrontation and escalation has not produced the wanted results. Building a fence is like squeezing the tube of toothpaste, the problem will emerge elsewhere. For sure, there may be no amicable solution he...
by TheGreyingDuke
Tue May 31, 2016 7:50 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Foreign coins, old US stamps from storage
Replies: 9
Views: 753

Re: Foreign coins, old US stamps from storage

Indeed, I was looking at all the low denomination stamps ("Overrun nations stamps") and thinking how many of them I would need to paste on an envelope, no room for an address!
by TheGreyingDuke
Tue May 31, 2016 4:33 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Foreign coins, old US stamps from storage
Replies: 9
Views: 753

Foreign coins, old US stamps from storage

Cleaning out the storage unit and found old stamp albums, mostly stamps from the 1930's-1970's, some plate blocks.

Also a gallon jar filled with foreign coins, many (FF, DM, IL, etc) no longer in circulation.

What to do with them?
by TheGreyingDuke
Tue May 31, 2016 11:59 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: What Book Are You Currently Reading? Part VI
Replies: 1713
Views: 401705

Re: What Book Are You Currently Reading? Part VI

" GRIT The power of Passion and perseverance " by Angela Duckworth. Great non fiction. Highly recommended: Five stars. Page turner, chuckful of great vignets/ studies with scientific underpinnings as to what leads to excellence. ( spoiler alert: IQ, talent, good looks are overrated compar...
by TheGreyingDuke
Mon May 30, 2016 6:41 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: When to get first car service done
Replies: 70
Views: 3498

Re: When to get first car service done

Lots of waste oil, lots of nasty stuff to dispose of:

http://www.latimes.com/news/la-hy-wheels27feb27-story.html
by TheGreyingDuke
Wed May 25, 2016 8:17 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Replacing carpet in house - clean air ducts?
Replies: 7
Views: 760

Re: Replacing carpet in house - clean air ducts?

When we replaced a five year old carpet with hardwood there was quite an appalling amount of fine black grit under the padding. Since we deal with allergies and the like, we replaced the carpet with hardwood.

There were no ducts in that house by the way.
by TheGreyingDuke
Tue May 24, 2016 7:00 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Living without a checking account
Replies: 48
Views: 3789

Re: Living without a checking account

Thanks for all the responses... I am retired, no paycheck Dividends currently flow into a CIT savings account, I transfer as needed to local CU Checking Recurring bills come out of the checking account(here is where the 6 transaction limit on money market/savings accounts hinders things). No great n...
by TheGreyingDuke
Mon May 23, 2016 8:45 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Living without a checking account
Replies: 48
Views: 3789

Living without a checking account

Getting ready for a move to another state, looking at options for local checking account and wondering if I really need such an item. I right few checks (rent, which goes away with the move, some political contributions which can be made in other manners). Is it time to ditch this old way of moving ...
by TheGreyingDuke
Thu May 19, 2016 9:51 am
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Recast a mortgage right at the begining
Replies: 25
Views: 1969

Re: Recast a mortgage right at the begining

I may be missing something but...

Why not move the money from the European bank into an account onshore, where the money could be verified??
by TheGreyingDuke
Tue May 17, 2016 3:28 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Does this simple TLH strategy make sense?
Replies: 5
Views: 576

Re: Does this simple TLH strategy make sense?

And as always accompanies these threads, you might want to turn off automatic reinvestment of dividends and capital gains, else you might inadvertently trigger a (small) wash. Some wouldn't care as the amount is likely trivial.
by TheGreyingDuke
Tue May 17, 2016 9:14 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Arrgghhh !!! Windows 10 installed overnight
Replies: 92
Views: 8617

Re: Arrgghhh !!! Windows 10 installed overnight

On the right hand side, very bottom of the screen, there is a little space marked off my a vertical line, the height of the taskbar. Click on that (NOT right click) and you get your desktop. Click it again and you are back to where you had been. BTW, I have been using 10 for five months or so on two...
by TheGreyingDuke
Thu May 12, 2016 1:43 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Downsize to One Auto in Retirement ?
Replies: 43
Views: 3425

Re: Downsize to One Auto in Retirement ?

Depending on all the facts and circumstances, the low cost of rental cars for 1-3 days (and unlimited mileage) can often be a good fit for downsizing to one car. We were at one car for about 6-9 months last year and the rental for some trips was very good (new model car and low cost). We have sever...
by TheGreyingDuke
Wed May 11, 2016 9:09 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Renting vs owning
Replies: 141
Views: 15420

Re: Renting vs owning

____________________________________________________________ REAL LIFE EXAMPLE My personal situation: Yearly costs for my home includes principle $19667, mortgage interest ($4566 with 25% deduction) $3424, property tax ($7000 with 25% deduction) $5250, Home owners association $600, Home insurance $...
by TheGreyingDuke
Tue May 10, 2016 8:29 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Finishing Attic Space - Code Issue with Walkup Stairs
Replies: 20
Views: 2168

Re: Finishing Attic Space - Code Issue with Walkup Stairs

It doesn't look like the double hung windows you showed would meet the requirements for egress, since only half the window is open. This could be a sticking point if the local authorities see this as a change in use.
by TheGreyingDuke
Mon May 09, 2016 12:17 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Is buying organic really that expensive?
Replies: 111
Views: 10734

Re: Is buying organic really that expensive?

Personally, I think the exposure to pesticides on our food should be more of a concern than the ancestry of the food. The major "benefit" of it GMO commodity crops (corn especially) is that allows for large amounts of herbicides to be applied to the land where the crop is growing, without...
by TheGreyingDuke
Mon May 09, 2016 7:13 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Is buying organic really that expensive?
Replies: 111
Views: 10734

Re: Is buying organic really that expensive?

I am amused by the labeling of organic products as a "scam". It would be a scam if the producers did not follow the guidelines of their certifying entity, this may happen from time to time but is not characteristic.
by TheGreyingDuke
Mon May 09, 2016 7:02 am
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Treasury Direct owes me $$
Replies: 4
Views: 928

Re: Treasury Direct owes me $$

I have also had great luck with their phone support staff, very helpful at unlocking my account on one occasion.
by TheGreyingDuke
Mon May 09, 2016 7:00 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Am I about to lose $5,000/yr in taxes due to my move?
Replies: 7
Views: 1673

Re: Am I about to lose $5,000/yr in taxes due to my move?

Others have given you good detail but the general idea is that getting a refund from taxes previously withheld is never desirable, why lend them the money all year??
by TheGreyingDuke
Mon May 09, 2016 6:52 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Buying a house for an adult child (child adult?)
Replies: 94
Views: 8608

Re: Buying a house for an adult child (child adult?)

A dissenting voice here, if you can afford it and think they are responsible (why do they have a lousy credit rating??), my tradition tells me to go ahead and do it. I often find myself dissenting from these sort of queries on this forum, thinking that my role as parent never ends, even when the tie...
by TheGreyingDuke
Fri May 06, 2016 9:49 am
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Retirees: Who's not changing their AA, ever?
Replies: 46
Views: 4081

Re: Retirees: Who's not changing their AA, ever?

I am 68, retired for the last 9 years and have a 47% equities/53% bonds and delaying SS until 70. I haven't re-balanced (or sold anything other than to harvest some losses) in the past 10 years. When I retired the ratio was around 40-60 and has crept up over the years. Too many gains to sell equitie...
by TheGreyingDuke
Tue May 03, 2016 4:06 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Offer made on house, now accessory apartment is not "legal"
Replies: 16
Views: 2566

Re: Offer made on house, now accessory apartment is not "legal"

UPDATE: I got off the phone with the Director of Code Compliance for the town. He searched the records and states that the only permits issued for the house in question did not include an accessory apartment. Further complicating the situation is that the house is in a co-op (for those of you not fa...
by TheGreyingDuke
Tue May 03, 2016 12:28 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Chase Sapphire Preferred
Replies: 41
Views: 4252

Re: Chase Sapphire Preferred

Citi has an American Airlines card, AAdvantage Platinum, which has a bonus offer of 50,000 miles after $3000 in spend, with the annual fee waived the first year. Search around a bit online and you should be able to find this offer. It sounds like a better fit for your travel plans. The 50,000 mile ...
by TheGreyingDuke
Mon May 02, 2016 8:32 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Offer made on house, now accessory apartment is not "legal"
Replies: 16
Views: 2566

Re: Offer made on house, now accessory apartment is not "legal"

...there is no second egress (it is in the mostly sub-grade level). This causes me concern given the need for insurance protection for our assets, including a $4 million umbrella policy. How did you not notice that there was no second egress? I am not sure what you are asking... we walked through t...
by TheGreyingDuke
Mon May 02, 2016 5:36 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Medicare help!
Replies: 25
Views: 2744

Re: Medicare help!

I would start with your state's free service to help you sort things out. It looks like you are in Virginia so go here:

http://www.vda.virginia.gov/vicap2.asp
by TheGreyingDuke
Mon May 02, 2016 5:32 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Offer made on house, now accessory apartment is not "legal"
Replies: 16
Views: 2566

Re: Offer made on house, now accessory apartment is not "legal"

Thanks for all the replies, to clarify... We have not signed a purchase agreement, this came up in the conversation with the lawyer as to contingencies (we have no other contingencies to add). The idea of doing it under the radar does not work for us, too many assets at risk. There is no way to guar...
by TheGreyingDuke
Mon May 02, 2016 10:24 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Offer made on house, now accessory apartment is not "legal"
Replies: 16
Views: 2566

Offer made on house, now accessory apartment is not "legal"

We made, and had accepted, an offer on a house that was presented as having a legal accessory apartment. Now it appears that its legality is questionable. While the town appears to be unclear if it can be used as such, there is no second egress (it is in the mostly sub-grade level). This causes me c...
by TheGreyingDuke
Thu Apr 28, 2016 10:05 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Should a 60 yr old buy her first house?
Replies: 27
Views: 2788

Re: Should a 60 yr old buy her first house?

From the time I was 25 until I was 60, I always owned a home. These were always new houses that I built myself and I enjoyed trouble-free experiences as a result. At 60 my wife and I became peripatetic, renting, traveling, keeping a small footprint with a small storage unit holding many of our posse...
by TheGreyingDuke
Thu Apr 28, 2016 9:39 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Thoughts on buying home without an agent (special case)
Replies: 4
Views: 470

Re: Thoughts on buying home without an agent (special case)

I have sold my house on my own, in this case the buyer had hired and paid a real estate person. I hired a lawyer to look things over and closed without incident. The buyer never set foot in the house before buying. Yesterday our offer on a house was accepted, it is a FSBO. I will do the inspection m...
by TheGreyingDuke
Tue Apr 19, 2016 6:45 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Consumer Cellular- a tale
Replies: 14
Views: 2149

Re: Consumer Cellular- a tale

A few years ago I ported my "forever" number to Google Voice; now when I go from provider to provider I am indifferent as to the number they give me, I continue to use the GV number and forward ti to whatever I have been assigned. Total cost $20 (except it is free if you are porting a Spri...

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