Search found 1107 matches

by TheGreyingDuke
Mon May 30, 2016 6:41 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: When to get first car service done
Replies: 52
Views: 2219

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: 673

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: 3535

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: 3535

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: 1781

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: 527

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: 72
Views: 6067

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: 3233

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: 14552

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: 2081

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: 10225

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: 10225

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: 889

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: 1612

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: 8173

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: 3839

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: 2503

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: 3999

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: 2503

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: 2578

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: 2503

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: 2503

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: 2653

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: 445

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: 2057

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...
by TheGreyingDuke
Sat Apr 16, 2016 6:36 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: A Month in Manhattan
Replies: 87
Views: 5295

Re: A Month in Manhattan

Where to start? It would help to know your interests. Food, for sure (Jackson Heights will let you check off several cuisines in a visit) Free museum hours?? http://www.nycgo.com/articles/free-nyc-museums I fancy the City of New York, Museum (Central Park West) and the transit museum. Check to see w...
by TheGreyingDuke
Sat Apr 16, 2016 8:12 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Door problems with new Subaru
Replies: 41
Views: 3470

Re: Door problems with new Subaru

When I got my 1961 VW beetle (in 1966) it was always hard to close either door if the other one was closed. At the time it was felt to be a feature, not a flaw, evidence of the well-sealed interior. I think there were even stories of how one could float for about 20 minutes, being as air tight as th...
by TheGreyingDuke
Fri Apr 15, 2016 12:46 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Computer driver question
Replies: 9
Views: 732

Re: Computer driver question

In your Device Manager do you have missing drivers? Are you saying the sound driver did not install? No sound? Windows 10 should be able to locate the drivers for most items.Perhaps pick a specific item/driver so we can narrow down the information. I have sound and everything seems to work fine. I ...
by TheGreyingDuke
Fri Apr 15, 2016 12:14 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Computer driver question
Replies: 9
Views: 732

Re: Computer driver question

Drivers for what? If it is for an old printer, try the manufacturer. I have an old Samsung and they had a generic driver that works fine. This may also be the approach for other peripherals. Otherwise you can go here: http://windows.microsoft.com/en-us/windows-10/update-drivers-in-windows-10 and see...
by TheGreyingDuke
Tue Apr 12, 2016 9:31 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Used car buying Qs
Replies: 51
Views: 3928

Re: Used car buying Qs

1. Under no circumstances should you purchase a salvage title car for a family member. I would contend that the big exception to this is for a theft recovery. Years ago I bought an Accord EX (1997) it had been stolen and the seats and wheels taken. The shop I bought it from replaced the missing ite...
by TheGreyingDuke
Tue Apr 12, 2016 9:20 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Switch to Geico from USAA
Replies: 32
Views: 2267

Re: Switch to Geico from USAA

Been with them for years (20+), only one claim, no problems. Once every few years I check out other outfits, sometimes on or the other comes up a few bucks less, but not enough to make a switch, figure that longevity pay pay off someday.
by TheGreyingDuke
Tue Apr 12, 2016 10:08 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Looking to buy a decent Windows laptop ...
Replies: 17
Views: 1851

Re: Looking to buy a decent Windows laptop ...

I had the same problem with my Lenovo, which I was otherwise happy with. No more Lenovo for me. I got an ASUS a few months ago. I like it. Seems like it will hold up, but I guess you never know. JT Many of these threads get boilerplate and based on ONE experience. I will jump in, maintaining that t...
by TheGreyingDuke
Tue Apr 12, 2016 1:11 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: My current bicycle tour in Italy
Replies: 35
Views: 3526

Re: My current bicycle tour in Italy

JoinToday wrote:
I might have to rethink this. SF to LA on a bike is something I would like to do, but I am not sure I am up to it.


I did it four years ago (actually, from Santa Barbara to Berkeley) and it was wonderful, never felt in jeopardy, the traffic is moving rather slowly and drivers gave you some room.
by TheGreyingDuke
Wed Apr 06, 2016 4:44 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Securing Computer Info when in for service? Can I do the calibration of the monitor myself?
Replies: 3
Views: 393

Re: Securing Computer Info when in for service? Can I do the calibration of the monitor myself?

Twice in the past 10 years I needed to send a ThinkPad in for service; they always requested I remove the hard drive before dispatching it.
by TheGreyingDuke
Fri Apr 01, 2016 3:40 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: do you do airbnb ??
Replies: 64
Views: 4531

Re: do you do airbnb ??

We have used both VRBO and Airbnb on Kauai, in NYC, upstate NY, Boston, never a problem. I really hate the impersonal nature of hotels, but realize others may feel differently.

Probably a total of 10 rentals
by TheGreyingDuke
Fri Apr 01, 2016 3:30 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: US Citizen, resident in Greece, using US bank debit cardF
Replies: 0
Views: 144

US Citizen, resident in Greece, using US bank debit cardF

Family member resident in Greece where there are daily limits on cash withdraws from bank, credit cards are not viable option. Is it possible to set up an account for her in the US and then have her use a debit card connected to that account to both withdraw cash and pay some bills. The latter by it...
by TheGreyingDuke
Mon Mar 28, 2016 5:19 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Growing Brussel Sprouts in Ohio
Replies: 6
Views: 468

Re: Growing Brussel Sprouts in Ohio

I think brussel sprouts are best grown as fall crops planted in summer. I've gotten big tall plants but the sprouts were either small or not tight balls. Brassicas in general can be very sensitive to heat. 6-8 weeks before a hard freeze, pinch out the growing tip, this will concentrate the energy o...
by TheGreyingDuke
Mon Mar 28, 2016 3:49 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Smart phone issues
Replies: 10
Views: 803

Re: Smart phone issues

To get to settings/firmware you need to log in to the router; I think Netgear uses 162.8.0.1, you can check with your brand and see what the log in site is. From there you can update firmware, but follow the earlier suggestion to see if it is the phone or the outer.
by TheGreyingDuke
Mon Mar 28, 2016 3:44 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Growing Brussel Sprouts in Ohio
Replies: 6
Views: 468

Re: Growing Brussel Sprouts in Ohio

I am a greenhorn gardener and successfully grew some Tomatoes last year. I want to grow some brussel sprouts and just put them in the ground yesterday (probably a little late). The PH of my soil is a little on the acidic side (6.0). Anyone have tips? I am not sure of your climate zone and it is not...
by TheGreyingDuke
Mon Mar 28, 2016 10:35 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Computer docking station suggestions
Replies: 7
Views: 804

Re: Computer docking station suggestions

I have used ThinkPads for years with a docking station (the OP specifically asked for docking stations, not cabling which requires a disconnect each time you move the laptop). I think that the Lenovo ThinkPads (as well as the Dell and HP business lines) are available with docking stations. I am writ...
by TheGreyingDuke
Sat Mar 26, 2016 1:31 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Biking in France, NOT touring
Replies: 5
Views: 562

Biking in France, NOT touring

The idea is to go to one place and take daily rides, looping back "home" each day. We prefer staying put in order to get to know one locale really well. We are 3/4 bikers, handle rides up to 50 miles a day here in hilly Vermont. Would want to average less as DW is only a little enamored of...
by TheGreyingDuke
Sat Mar 26, 2016 11:56 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Home too small
Replies: 45
Views: 4346

Re: Home too small

Because, as cited in some posts, "going up" is more expensive and disruptive than "going out", I wonder of it is possible/practical to add a smaller footprint, two story addition "going out". So, for example, if you want 1,000 mor sq ft, then a 500 sq ft two story addi...
by TheGreyingDuke
Sat Mar 26, 2016 11:52 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Home too small
Replies: 45
Views: 4346

Re: Home too small

Because, as cited in some posts, "going up" is more expensive and disruptive than "going out", I wonder of it is possible/practical to add a smaller footprint, two story addition "going out". So, for example, if you want 1,000 mor sq ft, then a 500 sq ft two story addi...
by TheGreyingDuke
Fri Mar 25, 2016 10:47 am
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Fisher Investment
Replies: 26
Views: 2598

Re: Fisher Investment

Some years ago my brother-in-law, who is a financial newsletter junkie, signed on with Fisher. After about a year or two of constant buying and selling, and no real return in a rising market, he dumped them. Took about two years for the entreaties from Fisher, urging that he return, to stop. Stay fa...
by TheGreyingDuke
Wed Mar 23, 2016 7:22 am
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Treasuries question
Replies: 5
Views: 531

Re: Treasuries question

Sell them. Treasuries maturing this soon are dead money. Their yields (YtM, what you really care about) are no greater than 0.9% and 1.2%, respectively, if they mature in December of their years. Less if earlier. You will get a capital gain, but that's better than the income tax you must be paying ...
by TheGreyingDuke
Tue Mar 22, 2016 9:55 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Vanguard won't complete a transfer What do i do?
Replies: 27
Views: 4326

Re: Vanguard won't complete a transfer What do i do?

I had to transfer a mess of accounts my parents had at the time of their deaths. The only obstacle was that they wanted all the heirs to open an account at VG (which actually was a good thing because one of my nieces needed to NOT get her hands on the assets in readily negotiable form). Took a coup...
by TheGreyingDuke
Tue Mar 22, 2016 7:45 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Brick & mortar bank rec in NYC
Replies: 9
Views: 963

Re: Brick & mortar bank rec in NYC

It is hard to make a recommendation without knowing specifically what your need for a bricks and mortar bank consists of. ATMs, wire transfers, medallion sigs, etc? One off the wall suggestion is the ValleyNational Bank. It is a community bank that started in NJ and has recently expanded into NY and...
by TheGreyingDuke
Tue Mar 22, 2016 7:31 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Vanguard won't complete a transfer What do i do?
Replies: 27
Views: 4326

Re: Vanguard won't complete a transfer What do i do?

I had to transfer a mess of accounts my parents had at the time of their deaths. The only obstacle was that they wanted all the heirs to open an account at VG (which actually was a good thing because one of my nieces needed to NOT get her hands on the assets in readily negotiable form). Took a coupl...
by TheGreyingDuke
Tue Mar 22, 2016 7:14 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Tesla Model 3 anyone?
Replies: 279
Views: 18760

Re: Tesla Model 3 anyone?

It is in my calendar, coincidentally, I will be visiting family in LA, about five miles from the dealer. Otherwise, I am about 180 miles from the closest. What do I have to lose? The alternative is to buy a used S but it is a bit too much of a statement for me to make in my community. I know I shoul...
by TheGreyingDuke
Mon Mar 21, 2016 9:00 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: How to Prepare for Medical Costs in Retirement?
Replies: 35
Views: 3285

Re: How to Prepare for Medical Costs in Retirement?

I follow the adage: Buy insurance to cover things you will not be able to pay yourself

I have $1000 collision deductible, Medigap Plan F (high deductible), barebones Rx (Part D) for $18/month, BUT a $3 million umbrella policy. I self-insure the rest, including long-term care.

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