Search found 1275 matches

by TheGreyingDuke
Tue Apr 25, 2017 10:48 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Purchase new, but older model cell phone - Best method?
Replies: 11
Views: 875

Re: Purchase new, but older model cell phone - Best method?

The Moto G5 shares the same form factor as the SG5, but will be much more powerful, have a warranty, and the latest software. All for $229 from amazon. Keep in mind that, inexplicably, the new Moto, at least it US version, lacks NFC. It has caused me, a loyal Moto G user (the original and the 3) to...
by TheGreyingDuke
Tue Apr 25, 2017 10:18 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Purchase new, but older model cell phone - Best method?
Replies: 11
Views: 875

Re: Purchase new, but older model cell phone - Best method?

Take a look here:

https://swappa.com/

I bought a phone there once, it was a refurbed model but when I got it it was stuck in a "bootloop" (LG G5). Easy communication with the help of the swappa staff and my money was returned to my paypal account quickly.
by TheGreyingDuke
Tue Apr 25, 2017 7:32 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Car sharing with neighbors and liability
Replies: 15
Views: 1428

Car sharing with neighbors and liability

I am giving some thought to leasing an electric vehicle (Kia Soul) with two neighbors. We are in a close knit community and my query is about legal arrangements and protections, rather than the other factors involved. The lease is $180 a month for three years, 30k miles and no down payment, fyi. How...
by TheGreyingDuke
Mon Apr 24, 2017 5:55 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Becoming a homeowner/landlord in a college town?
Replies: 43
Views: 3570

Re: Becoming a homeowner/landlord in a college town?

If in fact you are thinking of Ithaca... Why live in town during the summer? Unlike the rest of the year when there are many on campus activities at both Cornell and Ithaca College, during the summer the action is out of town, the gorges, the hiking, the lake. If I were looking for a summer house he...
by TheGreyingDuke
Thu Apr 20, 2017 1:20 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Bank Bonus Master List
Replies: 9
Views: 1363

Re: Bank Bonus Master List

Up to $400 ( for greater than $300k) at: https://bankoncit.com/savenow-direct/

No nonsense with direct deposits, debit card use or the likely.

$250 for greater than $100k
by TheGreyingDuke
Wed Apr 19, 2017 1:51 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Pooled special needs trust
Replies: 0
Views: 232

Pooled special needs trust

I am helping a widowed cousin set up a special needs trust for her 50-year-old son. The amount, depending on her assets when she dies, will be in the $250k range. I am looking at these special needs trust as a way to simplify things but the information available on the eligible organizations (She li...
by TheGreyingDuke
Wed Apr 19, 2017 8:41 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Moving from Chicago NW suburbs to NJ/NY area
Replies: 31
Views: 2329

Re: Moving from Chicago NW suburbs to NJ/NY area

If I had to drive to work in either if these unnamed locations, I would forget about it (in most situations, there are exceptions, a job in Morristown, NJ for example).

Where are the locations of the two offers? Is there decent public transport available??
by TheGreyingDuke
Wed Apr 12, 2017 8:33 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: See advice for traveling to NYC on a regular basis
Replies: 14
Views: 1122

Re: See advice for traveling to NYC on a regular basis

Train from Syracuse is a bit over 6 hours, the cost is $65. Driving time is 4 hours, 250 miles at $.50/mile that is $125. Then you need to find a place to stash the car (BigBucks) and hope that you don't need to leave during rush hour. The bus can be as short as 4.5 hours and $46. Forget flying, not...
by TheGreyingDuke
Fri Apr 07, 2017 12:49 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Transferring Retirement Accounts - Problems?
Replies: 11
Views: 792

Re: Transferring Retirement Accounts - Problems?

Get the Vanguard "Concierge" involved in this. Have them pull the accounts from where they live rather than initiate anything with the current custodians.One hint is to be sure that the old account and the new account are identically titled if it is Simon T Legree on the existing be sure t...
by TheGreyingDuke
Fri Apr 07, 2017 11:16 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Vanguard app, mobile check deposits and all-in-one accounts
Replies: 4
Views: 334

Re: Vanguard app, mobile check deposits and all-in-one accounts

Can you use mobile deposit with one of the other accounts and then transfer the funds to the desired mutual fund/brokerage account? Extra step but not much extra time. I had the check made out to Vanguard FBO because it was an IRA transfer. The other accounts were zombie estate accounts for estates...
by TheGreyingDuke
Fri Apr 07, 2017 9:11 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Vanguard app, mobile check deposits and all-in-one accounts
Replies: 4
Views: 334

Vanguard app, mobile check deposits and all-in-one accounts

I had an IRA CD coming due at a local credit union, had them send me a check made out to Vanguard Fiduciary Trust FBO The GreyingDuke. I decided to try to Vanguard app to deposit it (I have no use for mobile access to my account) and once logged in was given a list of only a few of my accounts (all ...
by TheGreyingDuke
Fri Mar 31, 2017 3:36 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Medicaid, tax on home sale, 3 owners
Replies: 2
Views: 376

Re: Medicaid, tax on home sale, 3 owners

$20k is the proceeds for each owner, what was the cost basis?
by TheGreyingDuke
Tue Mar 28, 2017 12:03 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: NFC (near field communication) desirability
Replies: 11
Views: 943

Re: NFC (near field communication) desirability

My phone has NFC. I use it occasionally for mobile payments, but it's hardly critical as few enough places take it that you can't leave your credit cards at home. For a mid price phone with NFC plus great specs, consider the OnePlus 3T. If you won't take advantage of a high spec device otherwise, I...
by TheGreyingDuke
Sun Mar 26, 2017 4:27 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: NFC (near field communication) desirability
Replies: 11
Views: 943

Re: NFC (near field communication) desirability

Mobile payments are MUCH faster than a chip card. Indeed, most of the early iterations of the chip technology seemed quite slow. My local (Upstate NY) grocery chain, Wegman's, only recently installed their chip reading tech. It is instant, really two or three seconds after I insert my card it tells...
by TheGreyingDuke
Sun Mar 26, 2017 12:55 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: NFC (near field communication) desirability
Replies: 11
Views: 943

Re: NFC (near field communication) desirability

GKSD wrote:What do you want to use NFC for? Mobile payments at the retailers?


That's it, mobile payments
by TheGreyingDuke
Sun Mar 26, 2017 9:54 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: NFC (near field communication) desirability
Replies: 11
Views: 943

NFC (near field communication) desirability

I am looking to replace my Moto G (second generation) with a new phone 9cracked screen aging battery issues). I like the specs of the new Moto g5 but it lacks NFC, which is something I would use. But I am not sure how useful it really is. Does whipping out your phone really save anything over whippi...
by TheGreyingDuke
Fri Mar 24, 2017 4:48 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Dizzying Medicare options [in Massachusetts]
Replies: 64
Views: 3846

Re: Dizzying Medicare options

.......bought the High deductible F supplement, I can afford the $2200 annual deductible and am covered 100% after that. To buy first dollar coverage would cost me an additional $2000 a year so after four years on Medicare I have saved about $7200....... Well, am not getting that at all. Where do y...
by TheGreyingDuke
Thu Mar 23, 2017 3:43 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Dizzying Medicare options [in Massachusetts]
Replies: 64
Views: 3846

Re: Dizzying Medicare options

One factor often overlooked when buying health insurance is applying the general principle used when buying other insurance. Taking risk commensurate with your situation (health, age, wealth) is a customary metric we apply with house/auto/life insurance and should apply, for the most part, with the ...
by TheGreyingDuke
Thu Mar 23, 2017 7:30 am
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Vanguard: "Important: We've been unable to reach you by email"
Replies: 36
Views: 3655

Re: Vanguard: "Important: We've been unable to reach you by email"

Something is up with Verizon e-mail,apparently I have to go through some kind of trouble to keep my e-mail account working by March 23 or something. Sounds like a pain in the neck. The people who try to get you to buy Fios every so often,price from one sales pitch to the next seems to vary such tha...
by TheGreyingDuke
Wed Mar 22, 2017 10:10 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Purchasing a 2017 Hyundai Sonata Sport 2.0T
Replies: 16
Views: 1274

Re: Purchasing a 2017 Hyundai Sonata Sport 2.0T

Because Hyundai is a horrid company who knowingly put defective engines in their sonatas (so did kia). Hyundai settled a huge lawsuit because of this. I own a sonata and it has lost so much value it's not worth having full coverage on it. It might be easier to name the auto manufacturers who have N...
by TheGreyingDuke
Mon Mar 20, 2017 8:38 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Short visit to Hong Kong - "must do/see"?
Replies: 16
Views: 1251

Re: Short visit to Hong Kong - "must do/see"?

Lantau Island, the Big Buddha, some great hiking and a nice boat ride from Central. There is also a fishing village on the island (Tai O) worth a visit. Quite rural and a good break from the buzz of Hong Kong. There is also great Indian restaurants in Hong Kong; when we would spend 6 months in Guang...
by TheGreyingDuke
Sun Mar 19, 2017 11:50 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Rule of Thumb for Getting Rid of Car
Replies: 51
Views: 5482

Re: Rule of Thumb for Getting Rid of Car

Just as an example I have Toyota Yaris 2009 but I purchased on 2010. Last week it gave me the signal showing low tire pressure. I pulled to a Direct Tire for a free air. The guy said this is not about air it is about TPMS and I need to change it. Tire Pressure Monitoring System battery needs to be ...
by TheGreyingDuke
Sat Mar 18, 2017 3:32 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Vanguard reinvested my dividends - what now?
Replies: 20
Views: 2159

Re: Vanguard reinvested my dividends - what now?

I had a different snafu when converting to the all-in-one account. My dividends had been swept to an external account and with the switch, that setting was lost and the funds were deposited in my sweep account. Once I saw that I re-activated the prior setting. I did look through the paperwork that a...
by TheGreyingDuke
Sun Mar 12, 2017 9:32 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: H &R Block and Federal interest on state returns, not automatic
Replies: 5
Views: 421

Re: H &R Block and Federal interest on state returns, not automatic

The 1099-Int has a box for Treasury interest. This is where you would put the interest from US securities you hold. The 1099-Div has a check box that will activate the dialog for the percentage of US Treasury interest. Funds would report interest on a 1099-Div. It works fine for me. Operator error,...
by TheGreyingDuke
Sun Mar 12, 2017 9:25 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: H &R Block and Federal interest on state returns, not automatic
Replies: 5
Views: 421

Re: H &R Block and Federal interest on state returns, not automatic

Interestingly, when reading through the Vermont tax department outline of the issue, it refers back to McCullough V Maryland (1819) as the basis for the exemption (as well as various federal statutes). That case is emblazoned in my mind from an undergraduate constitutional law course as establishin...
by TheGreyingDuke
Sat Mar 11, 2017 4:42 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: H &R Block and Federal interest on state returns, not automatic
Replies: 5
Views: 421

H &R Block and Federal interest on state returns, not automatic

Finishing a run through of taxes and found that H & R Block tax software does not apparently query on how much Federal interest you might have, interest that is not taxable at the state level. You seem to need to go in an do it manually, surely they should at least ask. Interestingly, when readi...
by TheGreyingDuke
Fri Mar 10, 2017 7:59 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Credit union safety
Replies: 16
Views: 1182

Re: Credit union safety

Is your emergency fund greater than the $250,000 NCUA insurance limit? You could always split your deposits among multiple banks and credit unions to diversify risk. It is, for personal accounts, usually very easy to multiply this $250,000 limit. Retirement (IRA) accounts are separately counted, as...
by TheGreyingDuke
Mon Mar 06, 2017 7:32 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: "Purchasing" someone's auto lease, short term
Replies: 5
Views: 490

Re: "Purchasing" someone's auto lease, short term

Jack FFR1846 wrote:Only if the Focus is a manual. Reliability on the dual clutch automatic is worse than "insert any vehicle ever made here".

Indeed, it is a manual!

Of course there are other options out there at similar cost, mostly a bit higher.
by TheGreyingDuke
Mon Mar 06, 2017 6:47 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: "Purchasing" someone's auto lease, short term
Replies: 5
Views: 490

"Purchasing" someone's auto lease, short term

We are in a situation were I need to get another vehicle for 6-12 months (the community in which I live will have established electric vehicle charging stations by then and I am in for an EV). Initially, was looking at $3500 cars to just use around town, 2005 Accord for example. I then looked at buy...
by TheGreyingDuke
Sun Mar 05, 2017 10:19 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Oil Change Advice Honda CR-V
Replies: 40
Views: 2429

Re: Oil Change Advice Honda CR-V

https://www.edmunds.com/car-news/tips-advice/stop-changing-your-oil.html Going with some historical interval for oil changes, based on the engines of the 1960's, makes little economic sense (except for the purveyors), causes serious environmental problems, and is akin to buying a high fee mutual fu...
by TheGreyingDuke
Sat Mar 04, 2017 9:48 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Climate and happiness revisited
Replies: 111
Views: 7421

Re: Climate and happiness revisited

Retired mid sixties and just moved to FL this year. Having spent my entire life outside of NYC I thought it was time for a big change. Love it here, just got back from a sunny day at the beach. Yesterday I played tennis with friends, tomorrow on my team. Love it, love it, love it. The weather allow...
by TheGreyingDuke
Wed Mar 01, 2017 4:53 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Medigap F vs F High Deductible decision
Replies: 34
Views: 1864

Re: Medigap F vs F High Deductible decision

It is insurance you are buying, not pre-payment for anticipated medical costs. Just as with your collision insurance on your car, buy a deductible that you can manage. In my case, I picked the High F plan, if I had to pay the 2200 each year I could do it. So far, four years in, I think I have a tota...
by TheGreyingDuke
Tue Feb 28, 2017 1:03 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Electric Toothbrushes - again
Replies: 17
Views: 1395

Re: Electric Toothbrushes - again

Used an Oral B for years, no complaints. The it wore out (I did relpace the battery once) and went to get another. The new models no longer are dual voltage and as someone who travels internationally x2 a year, this was unacceptable. The Sonicare is dual voltage, it took a few days to get accustomed...
by TheGreyingDuke
Mon Feb 27, 2017 9:29 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Septic System Groundcover
Replies: 8
Views: 593

Re: Septic System Groundcover

Native grass and wildflowers is an excellent approach. And keep it mowed to keep deep rooted vegetation off, use a light weight walk behind mower, you want to avoid compressing the ground which would happen with a heavy tractor for example. 10000 square feet! That is some monster leach field and if...
by TheGreyingDuke
Sat Feb 25, 2017 9:39 am
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Vanguard opens special offices for $1 million clients
Replies: 64
Views: 10755

Re: Vanguard opens special offices for $1 million clients

Sorry to disappoint you folks, but I was at Vanguard's brick and mortar location in Malvern when I had $20K invested and when I had $200K. Both times spoke to advisors. That was a few years ago, and now I guess I can go there and not be concerned about being out of place. Indeed, when my second par...
by TheGreyingDuke
Sun Feb 19, 2017 10:54 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Long Day Trip: Drive Old Car or Rent Car?
Replies: 59
Views: 3726

Re: Long Day Trip: Drive Old Car or Rent Car?

At this moment, we are 230 miles into a 10 day 1500 mile trip throughout the Northeast. For 10 days the rental is $200, insurance is covered on credit card (yes, including loss of use). At this rate it is worth my while to rent. As a side benefit I get a car with an automatic (I drive a stick) which...
by TheGreyingDuke
Sun Feb 19, 2017 10:39 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: What Do You Keep In Your Bank Safe Deposit Box?
Replies: 66
Views: 7443

Re: What Do You Keep In Your Bank Safe Deposit Box?

We recently moved and that forced me to empty the safe deposit box. The contents were: Old coin collection going back to the late 19th Century Various wills and medical power of attorney documents from friends who had named me Paper e bonds purchased in the 1990's and I bonds that were tax refunds O...
by TheGreyingDuke
Thu Feb 16, 2017 6:42 am
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: CIT Bank???
Replies: 6
Views: 545

Re: CIT Bank???

I have used them for several years now, both CDs (in the past) and the 1.05% savings (recently raised from .95%). I have it linked to my Vanguard Advantage account which I use as a checking account and have them move a monthly amount. No issues
by TheGreyingDuke
Sat Feb 11, 2017 4:03 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: How Much Cash Do You Actually Hold?
Replies: 110
Views: 11210

Re: How Much Cash Do You Actually Hold?

I exclude CDs, I bonds, EE bonds from the cash totals. To me those are bonds, some with a free put option. Retired, not yet collecting SS, small pensions (covers state and US taxes) and keep about 18 months in high yield savings account, which also receives dividends from mutual funds. Each month I ...
by TheGreyingDuke
Thu Feb 09, 2017 3:08 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Deal on 2016 CPO Honda Odyssey
Replies: 34
Views: 2305

Re: Deal on 2016 CPO Honda Odyssey

The ubiquitous call for OTD (out the door) prices is one that confuses me, since it usually infers tax included. But if the tax in your jurisdiction is 5% and in mine it is 7.55, what I really want to know, as a relevant data point, is your total price (vehicle, document fee, etc) BUT not including ...
by TheGreyingDuke
Wed Feb 08, 2017 7:49 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Wow, Vanguard Flagship service is bad. Really bad.
Replies: 151
Views: 22358

Re: Vanguard Select???

Another member here just PMd me saying that with my investment level, I should be Flagship Select. Indeed, I just got off the phone with Vanguard and asked about that level, and they said I qualify. I asked why I was not automatically moved, and they said it is by customer request only. It is not a...
by TheGreyingDuke
Thu Feb 02, 2017 4:49 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Please help buying new Avalon limited!
Replies: 51
Views: 3778

Re: Please help buying new Avalon limited!

Although it will be interesting to see what they quote you, if you don't live in California it won't be a "fair" comparison since California (and a dozen other states) have extra emissions and clean air requirements on cars sold here compared to other states. http://e360.yale.edu/features...
by TheGreyingDuke
Thu Feb 02, 2017 4:17 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Natural Gas detector alarm
Replies: 2
Views: 336

Natural Gas detector alarm

We had an incident in our community house earlier this week; I came in early one morning and smelled gas (we are on a natural gas line). Called the supplier, they got out her in 15 minutes and identified 4 small leaks, two of them not on appliance connections but in 90 degree joints. No nasty conseq...
by TheGreyingDuke
Thu Feb 02, 2017 11:05 am
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: HSA reimbursement for 2015 cataract surgery
Replies: 28
Views: 1907

Re: HSA reimbursement for 2015 cataract surgery

Under Medicare payment will be made for the basic implant; if you want something other than that (toric, multi-focal) then there is no coverage.

Look here https://www.caring.com/questions/does-medicare-cover-cataract-surgery and read down through the comments for real world experience.
by TheGreyingDuke
Sun Jan 29, 2017 8:28 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Fix a car or not?
Replies: 14
Views: 1271

Re: Fix a car or not?

It's a bogus metric. I repaired my 18 year old truck almost 7 years ago after it was totaled. My consideration was that I liked the truck, knew what it had been through, and none of the repairs would affect the longevity of the truck. Insurance totaled it, valuing it at $2,900. I bought it back for...
by TheGreyingDuke
Thu Jan 26, 2017 8:44 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: XFR from Fidelity "Premium" to self-managed Fidelity
Replies: 4
Views: 297

Re: XFR from Fidelity "Premium" to self-managed Fidelity

^EXCELLENT, right to the point (and eerily similar to the situation of my cousin).
by TheGreyingDuke
Thu Jan 26, 2017 8:22 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: XFR from Fidelity "Premium" to self-managed Fidelity
Replies: 4
Views: 297

Re: XFR from Fidelity "Premium" to self-managed Fidelity

Indeed, I had some similar thoughts. The question is what is the easiest way to effect the switch?

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