Search found 1372 matches

by TheGreyingDuke
Sun Dec 17, 2017 12:09 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Paying Medicare Premiums Quarterly While Suspending SS
Replies: 14
Views: 549

Re: Paying Medicare Premiums Quarterly While Suspending SS

I enrolled in Medicare 5 years ago, at the time monthly premiums were billed. Fast forward a few years and my wife enrolls and they are charging her by the quarter.

In order to simplify things, I send both in quarterly (using rewards credit card) and it has never been a problem.
by TheGreyingDuke
Fri Dec 15, 2017 12:19 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: New Honda CRV is MotorTrend's SUV of the year
Replies: 30
Views: 2454

Re: New Honda CRV is MotorTrend's SUV of the year

Yeah, I get it that snow tires are, well, much better in the snow. But in the real world, most of us buy all wheel drive vehicles for normal winter city/highway driving. That will be better than a vehicle without AWD. But most of us aren't gonna futz with snowtires too. Not sure what the big "futz"...
by TheGreyingDuke
Wed Dec 13, 2017 8:38 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Voice verification vulnerabilities
Replies: 0
Views: 167

Voice verification vulnerabilities

https://www.marketwatch.com/video/secto ... ow_video_2

Along with a step you can take to minimize your risk
by TheGreyingDuke
Mon Dec 11, 2017 9:33 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Snow Tires? Worth it?
Replies: 147
Views: 6264

Re: Snow Tires? Worth it?

Random question for the group. I currently have 4 wheel drive Honda CRV with all season tires. However, we just moved to a cold weather location with longer winters and I have a longer commute now than before. My questions: -Does anyone recommend snow tires, even if a 4 wheel drive care? I have a w...
by TheGreyingDuke
Sat Dec 09, 2017 8:18 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: I am buying a car: Most/Least Reliable Makes?
Replies: 70
Views: 4192

Re: I am buying a car: Most/Least Reliable Makes?

Consumer Reports seems biased. I trust Bogleheads more! :beer CR buys all the cars the actually test, puts then them through a series of objective and subjective tests in the hands of people who do this for a living and are not beholden to the manufacturers via advertising dollars. They are not the...
by TheGreyingDuke
Fri Dec 08, 2017 5:14 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Vanguard Trust Acct>Vanguard JTROS, can't automate div xfr
Replies: 0
Views: 117

Vanguard Trust Acct>Vanguard JTROS, can't automate div xfr

For years I have had my dividends and cap gains from two separate Trust accounts (His and hers, Vanguard) automatically sent to my credit union (JTROS) checking account. Life moves on and now I would like to have the same transferred to our Vanguard Advantage (JTROS) account, I am told that this can...
by TheGreyingDuke
Fri Dec 08, 2017 8:16 am
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Why is Vanguard switching all accounts to brokerage accounts?
Replies: 42
Views: 5081

Re: Why is Vanguard switching all accounts to brokerage accounts?

I have also (mostly) welcomed the change, the only glitch was that I had to re-set some of my preferences (re-invest, automatic transfers to checking).

One potential advantage is, at least as I understand it, the separate mutual fund accounts do not get protected under SIPC https://www.sipc.org/
by TheGreyingDuke
Fri Dec 08, 2017 8:02 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Lowering My Grocery Bill
Replies: 110
Views: 7080

Re: Lowering My Grocery Bill

Interesting comments (I read the WHOLE thing) and thought to chime in with our experiences. Retired couple, Central NY, endeavor to eat out once a week but usually don't manage to. No Costco here so have done a trial at BJ's, not the same but still money saving for organic peanut butter, high qualit...
by TheGreyingDuke
Thu Dec 07, 2017 4:11 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: First post from this retiree with questions - my daughter sent me here!
Replies: 34
Views: 3864

Re: First post from this retiree with questions - my daughter sent me here!

I am wondering why it has not been suggested that OP do some TIRA-Roth conversions. I can see one concern would be the Social Security "cliff", not an area that I have paid much attention to and not sure if disability social security is affected in the same way. Otherwise might not such a move make ...
by TheGreyingDuke
Tue Dec 05, 2017 9:10 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: 2018 Subaru Outback
Replies: 65
Views: 8430

Re: 2018 Subaru Outback

Don't most German cars use oil? Never owned one, but talking to people who have, it seems to be the norm. Owned about 18 German brand cars since 1975, with the exception of a couple of the 2002s, none of them burned oil. The current ride, 2009 Sportwagen with the 2.0 TFSI motor, goes 10,000 miles b...
by TheGreyingDuke
Tue Dec 05, 2017 4:12 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: What does Medicare cover for oversea retirees?
Replies: 8
Views: 1111

Re: What does Medicare cover for oversea retirees?

The F high deductible covers up to $50k of foreign emergency care last I looked. I think that also applies to the regular F, which is going away.
by TheGreyingDuke
Tue Dec 05, 2017 4:11 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: should I use vanguard's 2 step verification sign in
Replies: 34
Views: 3584

Re: should I use vanguard's 2 step verification sign in

dcabler wrote:
Mon Dec 04, 2017 12:54 pm
Been using the 2-step verification for a couple of months now. Only issue is that I often forget to have my phone with me when I log in. :D
I am not sure if this compromises security, but I use my Google Voice number for the verification code and get it as an email as well as on my phone.
by TheGreyingDuke
Fri Dec 01, 2017 6:10 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Have you moved to ETF's? Why or why not?
Replies: 33
Views: 2298

Re: Have you moved to ETF's? Why or why not?

I have Vanguard Total Stock Market Admiral Fund that I throw small dollars at. I wanted some small cap so I buy VB ETF's @ .06 ER when I have larger cash. I'll switch to mutual fund version when I get to $10k & throw small dollars there too. I like ETF's for this reason but prefer mutual funds. Eve...
by TheGreyingDuke
Sun Nov 26, 2017 4:29 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Chromebooks- What is the lure?
Replies: 148
Views: 16177

Re: Chromebooks- What is the lure?

I'm on the verge of ordering a Chromebook for my spouse. A requirement, however, is the ability to Skype. I find information claiming that Skype can be made to run on a Chromebook, but it sounds awkward and unreliable. Can anyone comment on this? There also seems to be a Google equivalent of Skype....
by TheGreyingDuke
Sun Nov 19, 2017 8:10 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Southeast Asia trip - Cash handling
Replies: 19
Views: 1351

Re: Southeast Asia trip - Cash handling

I was recently in China. Never used cash for anything. Everyone else was using various forms of paying with a cell phone, so they didn't use cash either. You know, like Apple Pay and the home-grown equivalents. So do SEA countries use cell phones for payments? Indeed, I am just back from a quick 2-...
by TheGreyingDuke
Thu Nov 16, 2017 9:45 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: ASUS Student Chromebook - thoughts?
Replies: 22
Views: 1232

Re: ASUS Student Chromebook - thoughts?

Just a side note for anybody shopping. I followed the above link to Costco and that model does look good. My ebates app popped up and told me that the same model was available for $47 less at jet.com with free shipping and a few percent rebate if you have ebates so a few more dollars saved. So just...
by TheGreyingDuke
Wed Nov 15, 2017 8:25 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: ASUS Student Chromebook - thoughts?
Replies: 22
Views: 1232

Re: ASUS Student Chromebook - thoughts?

There is a web-based Skype that works fine on Chrome OS.

And for the real adventuresome, you can always install Linux on a Chromebook.
by TheGreyingDuke
Wed Nov 15, 2017 8:13 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: ASUS Student Chromebook - thoughts?
Replies: 22
Views: 1232

Re: ASUS Student Chromebook - thoughts?

What they WONT do is the following: Play DVDs, even if you get an external DVD player. If you Dad has a DVD collection he wants to view he needs a regular PC or Mac laptop. The Chrome software doesn't support DVD playback so you can't work around the lack of drive by just getting an external drive....
by TheGreyingDuke
Wed Nov 15, 2017 10:24 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: SS application at 70, 1st of the month birthdate
Replies: 2
Views: 481

SS application at 70, 1st of the month birthdate

I have searched but there is enough somewhat conflicting information that I seek clarification, sorry for the redundancy. I turn 70 on February 1 and want to maximize my monthly benefit. Some past posts seem to indicate that I should apply to receive benefits as of January given my first of the Febr...
by TheGreyingDuke
Wed Nov 15, 2017 8:05 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Chromebook/Similar for Elderly Dad
Replies: 30
Views: 1947

Re: Chromebook/Similar for Elderly Dad

I have been a happy Chromebook user for some years, older Acer model. Keyboard and screen don't match up to my Thinkpad but it works fine for almost all of my activities (exceptions are taxes and some spreadsheets). One big disqualifier, likely not an issue for the OP. I am today just back from a tw...
by TheGreyingDuke
Sun Nov 12, 2017 6:07 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Why pay cash for a car?
Replies: 179
Views: 15305

Re: Why pay cash for a car?

If the rate is low enough to be attractive, it is being subsidized by the auto maker. If you go all cash, you can get some of that subsidy in the form of a price reduction.
by TheGreyingDuke
Sat Nov 11, 2017 2:32 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Personal letters to the sellers of your house can work!!!
Replies: 72
Views: 7506

Re: Personal letters to the sellers of your house can work!!!

Put me down as one who is skeptical about the value of most so-called home inspections. There may be exceptions but... One example, my son and daughter-in-law were buying a house and we were all there during the house inspection. I followed the inspectors around, they didn't do much more than flip s...
by TheGreyingDuke
Wed Nov 08, 2017 2:09 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Business Laptop Suggestions Request
Replies: 36
Views: 3110

Re: Business Laptop Suggestions Request

I am curious why not a Mac? I am typing this on a Lenova Yoga 2 Pro which I would not recommend due to unresolved flickering issues and pre-installed malware ("superfish"). We have two of these machines, bought around the same time, and we got them because they have high resolution and touch screen...
by TheGreyingDuke
Tue Nov 07, 2017 7:28 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Morningstar: Cognitive decline in aging. A strong case for portfolio simplification?
Replies: 98
Views: 8034

Re: Morningstar: Cognitive decline in aging. A strong case for portfolio simplification?

Pssst. "Apple, table, penny." How many people know what I am talking about? Zen question: is it really cheating to know the answer to a memory test by heart? You're not really supposed to remember the three items after you leave the office. And you're not supposed to teach everyone the only three t...
by TheGreyingDuke
Tue Nov 07, 2017 4:58 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Best strategy for selling cell phone on Ebay?
Replies: 33
Views: 1826

Re: Best strategy for selling cell phone on Ebay?

I have sold and purchased phones on swappa.com, I suggest them over ebay and their terms of engagement take care of most of your questions. Once I purchased a phone and it was plagued by the LG G5 looping problem, no issue it getting the sale reversed and my money refunded, Ebay on the other hand, i...
by TheGreyingDuke
Thu Oct 19, 2017 9:23 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Business Laptop Suggestions Request
Replies: 36
Views: 3110

Re: Business Laptop Suggestions Request

Another endorsement of ThinkPads, I have used them since 1990, great durability, decent depot service, and an array of accessories. The MacBooks fail on the last count, I use a docking station with my X230 and can attach a great number of accessories with a variety of connections, even going back de...
by TheGreyingDuke
Thu Oct 12, 2017 11:34 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Social Security Card - Should I get a Replacement
Replies: 47
Views: 2859

Re: Social Security Card - Should I get a Replacement

For those of us in border states to the north, driving to Canada to visit friends, have dinner, see a show, etc. is often a spontaneous act. Not having to think about packing a passport and knowing that my driver's license is always with me, avoids complications. Of course, I go back to the time whe...
by TheGreyingDuke
Wed Oct 11, 2017 8:55 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: China visa service recommendations
Replies: 5
Views: 438

China visa service recommendations

Looking to get a China visa, no longer able to get to NY to do it in person. The various services have different prices and seem to recommend different documentation. If it matters, I am seeking an F, multi-entry, 10-year visa. I have had numerous F visas in the past and this seems within the realm ...
by TheGreyingDuke
Wed Oct 11, 2017 6:03 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Social Security Card - Should I get a Replacement
Replies: 47
Views: 2859

Re: Social Security Card - Should I get a Replacement

If you live in a state that issues enhanced licenses, you will need to show your card if you seek one.

https://dmv.ny.gov/forms/id44edl.pdf
by TheGreyingDuke
Mon Oct 02, 2017 1:44 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Pressure washer with telescoping wand and bleach spray
Replies: 10
Views: 855

Re: Pressure washer with telescoping wand and bleach spray

You don't say what kind of siding but I'm going to assume it is plastic. You never want to spray your siding with a pressure washer if you are below the bottom lip of the siding. The pressure can force water up underneath the siding and cause mold and damage to your sheathing. You always want to be...
by TheGreyingDuke
Sun Oct 01, 2017 8:30 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Budgets: how do you track irregular income and expenses
Replies: 35
Views: 2601

Re: Budgets: how do you track irregular income and expenses

livesoft wrote:
Sat Sep 30, 2017 12:37 pm
We don't have a monthly budget any more. We use a yearly budget, sort of.
Never did a budget, even during the early years. Spent what we had to, saved the rest. As time went by accumulated surplus and would take a vacation or eat out more often.
by TheGreyingDuke
Sat Sep 30, 2017 9:38 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: "We can't complete your transaction at this time" Vanguard
Replies: 2
Views: 544

"We can't complete your transaction at this time" Vanguard

I have an orphan Roth at Vanguard, have overlooked it a when I got a notice that I was about to lose Flagship on it a logged on and attempted to move it to my "non-orphan" Roht. Got the message included in the title, told to call. I call and the rep has the same problem, puts me on hold for 10 minut...
by TheGreyingDuke
Thu Sep 28, 2017 5:14 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Accidentally Underpaid Income Taxes – Please Advise
Replies: 8
Views: 864

Re: Accidentally Underpaid Income Taxes – Please Advise

Check Publication 17 to see if safe harbor(s) apply to you?? (But your tax software or account should take care of that.) There is no safe harbor in this situation, safe harbor applies for underpayments that are either the amount you paid last year OR something like 90% of what is owed. The actual ...
by TheGreyingDuke
Mon Sep 25, 2017 5:04 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Do you subscribe to digital newspapers?
Replies: 92
Views: 5475

Re: Do you subscribe to digital newspapers?

BC_Doc wrote:
Mon Sep 25, 2017 12:24 am
I subscribe to the NYT online for $4.00 per month for an academic subscription (faculty rate).
How come I am paying $10 a month for the faculty rate??
by TheGreyingDuke
Sun Sep 24, 2017 1:09 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: How do I retain check writing on bond fund?
Replies: 21
Views: 1898

Re: How do I retain check writing on bond fund?

Are they changing the bank through which it clears??

Will the grandparent in current, active users?

Just a thought
by TheGreyingDuke
Fri Sep 22, 2017 2:19 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Gaps in new hardwood flooring
Replies: 52
Views: 3523

Re: Gaps in new hardwood flooring

Am I correct these floors are not pre-finished, but will be sanded and some finish coat applied? If so, the "gaps" will likely become less noticeable, but a credit card should not fit in the gap. To my eye, this looks to be pre-finished. It also looks like the installer did not do all that could be...
by TheGreyingDuke
Tue Sep 19, 2017 6:06 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Sticky family/parental care situation...long post
Replies: 19
Views: 2163

Re: Sticky family/parental care situation...long post

Awt198 wrote:
Mon Sep 18, 2017 6:24 am
Caregiver gets 24,000 under table. Tax free, plus her disability, she has a good gig.
If you think this taking care of an elderly individual with a terminal disease is a "good gig" you might leave your current employment and give it a go, it is way short of a "good gig".
by TheGreyingDuke
Sun Sep 17, 2017 7:52 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Medicare patients pay FAR MORE at 1300 rural Critical Access Hospitals
Replies: 55
Views: 3791

Re: Medicare patients pay FAR MORE at 1300 rural Critical Access Hospitals

Medicare also pays billions each year to train new doctors through residencies, that are mostly at large, university-affiliated medical centers. You never see this subsidy on the bill.

https://economix.blogs.nytimes.com/2013 ... -training/
by TheGreyingDuke
Wed Sep 13, 2017 8:17 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: US removing Kaspersky Antivirus from government computers
Replies: 38
Views: 3792

Re: US removing Kaspersky Antivirus from government computers

In 2016, I bought a laptop so that I could communicate with family when on an overseas trip. The laptop was a Lenovo and Kaspersky was the protective firewall and anti-virus software. I suppose everything I did got transmitted to the Chinese via a secret chip imbedded in the motherboard and the Rus...
by TheGreyingDuke
Wed Sep 13, 2017 7:53 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Turned down for umbrella insurance
Replies: 57
Views: 6024

Re: Turned down for umbrella insurance

When I first got umbrella insurance a decade or so ago, we were turned down by Ameriprise because they had discovered that my wife and I taught 6 months each year in China. Geico had no problems writing the policy.
by TheGreyingDuke
Wed Sep 13, 2017 7:48 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: US removing Kaspersky Antivirus from government computers
Replies: 38
Views: 3792

Re: US removing Kaspersky Antivirus from government computers

I use AVG Free on my Mac. Never a single virus in ~5years. Prior to that I had Windows and every virus protection under the sun. The machine was still infected every so often. I highly recommend running a Mac. 22 years using Windows, never a single virus, I have used a variety of free programs, I h...
by TheGreyingDuke
Sun Sep 10, 2017 7:50 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Who actually buys lottery scratch offs?
Replies: 43
Views: 3089

Re: Who actually buys lottery scratch offs?

I have never bought a lottery ticket but... When my then 16 yo son had a job in a mini-mart. he would come home expressing surprise at the number of people who would come in and buy beer, cigarettes, and lottery tickets. Often they were driving clapped out vehicles. It offered an opportunity for a g...
by TheGreyingDuke
Fri Sep 01, 2017 7:59 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: High-Deductible Health Plan vs. Peace of Mind
Replies: 42
Views: 4555

Re: High-Deductible Health Plan vs. Peace of Mind

Buy as much insurance as you need... Can you readily pay the deductible and out of pocket max if necessary? It is always of interest to me that we calculate things for health insurance differently from auto/home insurance. It underscores the absurdity of using an insurance mechanism but that is way ...
by TheGreyingDuke
Wed Aug 30, 2017 8:30 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Beginner Mountain Bike
Replies: 59
Views: 3520

Re: Beginner Mountain Bike

The many threads about this topic elicit three different sorts of responses: 1: Buy a used Craigslist bike, big discount over new. The big drawback, in my opinion, is that if you know from shinola about bikes you may buy something with a cracked frame, worn out shock, beat on bottom bracket or wheel...
by TheGreyingDuke
Sat Aug 26, 2017 7:35 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Tablets for hospital patients - Chromebook?
Replies: 3
Views: 574

Re: Tablets for hospital patients - Chromebook?

The one advantage to going with iPads is that it is likely that a majority of family members will have iPhones and apple-to-apple photo sharing and video conferencing with facetime is extremely slick and easy. But that would only make sense if each patient had their own permanent device. If you are...
by TheGreyingDuke
Fri Aug 25, 2017 3:56 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Buying a used Tesla
Replies: 18
Views: 2464

Re: Buying a used Tesla

And for vehicles whose in service date is before 1/5/2017, there is free, unlimited access to the network of superchargers.

There are some workarounds to get this even if you buy new after 1/5/2017, something about getting a referral from a Tesla owner
by TheGreyingDuke
Mon Aug 21, 2017 7:23 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Rental car booted for prior unpaid parking tickets
Replies: 31
Views: 3814

Re: Rental car booted for prior unpaid parking tickets

For what its worth, I rented from Hertz on an East Coast road trip late last year. We apparently did not pay a toll somewhere along the way and a ticket/fine was sent to Hertz. To their credit (and my chagrin) they were right on it and told us they would be adding $28 to the associated cc bill unle...
by TheGreyingDuke
Mon Aug 21, 2017 12:38 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Automatic IRA distribution, Fidelity and ETFs
Replies: 1
Views: 231

Automatic IRA distribution, Fidelity and ETFs

I recently helped an older relative transfer from an "advisor" at Fidelity to a self-managed account. Among other things it meant liquidating 18 (!) funds; since it was all in an IRA no tax issues. As a foreigner to Fidelity I searched out the three-fund option and bought them in ETF form. Now I fin...
by TheGreyingDuke
Thu Aug 17, 2017 6:25 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Want to give money to relative traveling int'l - options?
Replies: 19
Views: 1293

Re: Want to give money to relative traveling int'l - options?

What is the "impracticality" of traveling with cash?
by TheGreyingDuke
Thu Aug 17, 2017 6:20 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Leasing a vehicle
Replies: 22
Views: 3411

Re: Leasing a vehicle

at Gamma Ray wrote:
Thu Aug 17, 2017 2:54 pm
It will be fun to see what happens if Volvo goes through with their plan of going all electric in 2020.


What Volvo said has been widely reported incorrectly:

[url]https://www.nytimes.com/2017/07/05/busi ... c-car.html[/url