Search found 1091 matches

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: 2234

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: 26
Views: 2024

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: 2234

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: 20
Views: 1490

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: 2234

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: 2234

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: 2504

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: 399

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: 1861

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: 4821

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: 3054

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: 683

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: 683

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: 3723

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: 2150

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: 1732

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: 3353

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: 381

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: 4174

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: 130

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: 417

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: 766

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: 417

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: 758

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: 529

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: 4128

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: 4128

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: 2490

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: 516

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: 4185

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: 900

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: 4185

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: 17839

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: 3129

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.
by TheGreyingDuke
Sat Mar 19, 2016 8:58 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Bread - The Cost and Convenience
Replies: 94
Views: 8858

Re: Bread - The Cost and Convenience

I recently watched a documentary on Netflix titled "Cooked" where they spoke about the truest form of bread and how people from thousands of years ago made their bread. Back then, ingredients to make bread was flour, water, salt, wild yeast and air. The process isn't hard but it did take ...
by TheGreyingDuke
Sat Mar 19, 2016 10:09 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Account Aggregation tools?
Replies: 14
Views: 889

Re: Account Aggregation tools?

What is the issue with Vanguard's switch to Yodlee ? As stated above, I enter the information from outside investments manually (this includes Treasury Direct), do this once a month or less, and the number is close enough. This, combined with Vanguard's Portfolio Analyzer, given me enough. I have ne...
by TheGreyingDuke
Sat Mar 19, 2016 9:49 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: What steps to take to decrease likelihood of credit card fraud
Replies: 31
Views: 2073

What steps to take to decrease likelihood of credit card fraud

There is another tread asking about experiences with Citi Bank and their responsiveness to occurrence of fraudulent use of credit cards, I was struck by the responses of people who had more than one occurrence of fraud on their cards. In over 40 years of using credit cards I have never had such an e...
by TheGreyingDuke
Thu Mar 17, 2016 7:12 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Making new mulch bed yourself - what do I need?
Replies: 35
Views: 2284

Re: Making new mulch bed yourself - what do I need?

Roundup? Why would anyone want to use this for anything as trivial as the OP's project. Last month, an international agency declared glyphosate, the primary ingredient in the popular product Roundup, a “probable human carcinogen.” The weed killer also has made recent headlines for its widespread use...
by TheGreyingDuke
Wed Mar 16, 2016 6:07 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Bread - The Cost and Convenience
Replies: 94
Views: 8858

Re: Bread - The Cost and Convenience

Most of the no-knead recipes I have seen are for a high hydration dough. Hydration is measured by dividing the weight of the flour into the weight of the water. The recipe I have linked, not one I have tried or necessarily recommend (I see it calls for all-purpose flour, I would opt for high gluten ...
by TheGreyingDuke
Wed Mar 16, 2016 6:05 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Bread - The Cost and Convenience
Replies: 94
Views: 8858

Re: Bread - The Cost and Convenience

Most of the no-knead recipes I have seen are for a high hydration dough. Hydration is measured by dividing the weight of the flour into the weight of the water. The recipe I have linked, not one I have tried or necessarily recommend (I see it calls for all-purpose flour, I would opt for high gluten ...
by TheGreyingDuke
Wed Mar 16, 2016 12:41 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Income dropped, Medicare costs should as well:
Replies: 14
Views: 1494

Re: Income dropped, Medicare costs should as well:

I wouldn't be holding my breath . Doesn't sound like you have one of these life-changing events so I wouldn't expect a change until 2017 when it would have happened anyway even if you hadn't done anything. STEP 1: Type of Life-Changing Event Check ONE life-changing event and fill in the date that t...
by TheGreyingDuke
Wed Mar 16, 2016 10:20 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Bread - The Cost and Convenience
Replies: 94
Views: 8858

Re: Bread - The Cost and Convenience

As mentioned, bread baking is an art and science, there are chemical reactions underway and a basic understanding of them will serve a lifetime of benefit. I do the four ingredient method one better, with sourdough you have flour, water, and salt. Once you get the hang of it and bring your power of ...
by TheGreyingDuke
Wed Mar 16, 2016 9:59 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Income dropped, Medicare costs should as well:
Replies: 14
Views: 1494

Re: Income dropped, Medicare costs should as well:

Our 2014 income was inflated due to a large IRA conversion along with a matching charitable contribution, I didn't realize that Medicare went of AGI rather than Taxable income.

My premium for 2016 was automatically reduced by Medicare, it took no action on my part.
by TheGreyingDuke
Tue Mar 15, 2016 9:06 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Home Warranty Worth it With Aging Furnace/AC?
Replies: 26
Views: 2232

Re: Home Warranty Worth it With Aging Furnace/AC?

You don't give enough details but...

When the current system gives out you might want to consider a heat pump (split units). They are heat and AC in one and, depending on our house, climate, and energy costs, you might come out ahead.

http://quietside.com/samsung.html
by TheGreyingDuke
Mon Mar 14, 2016 4:40 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Windows 10
Replies: 54
Views: 5201

Re: Windows 10

Updated two ThinkPads here about two months ago, oldest of the two is three years old.

Went smoothly, machine seems a bit faster and no problem with programs, although I don't use anything too esoteric. AN ancient Samsung laser printer also works fine.
by TheGreyingDuke
Sun Mar 13, 2016 9:49 am
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Vanguard rep calls: consolidating into brokerage
Replies: 21
Views: 2849

Re: Vanguard rep calls: consolidating into brokerage

I was not notified, but when I called a few months ago to close some inherited accounts that had zero balances, I was told that some of my accounts could be consolidated. I agreed and all has gone smoothly.
by TheGreyingDuke
Sun Mar 13, 2016 8:39 am
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: When to simplify due to cognitive decline?
Replies: 39
Views: 4265

Re: When to simplify due to cognitive decline?

Four funds seems simple enough... if you have any assets in taxable there would likely be unwanted tax implications.

You (or your spouse) could always sign up for the .3% Vanguard advisory service, maybe less expensive than the capital gains you would incur.
by TheGreyingDuke
Thu Mar 10, 2016 8:17 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: How long between accepted offer on house and closing
Replies: 17
Views: 1515

Re: How long between accepted offer on house and closing

I think that people are drawing some incorrect inferences, partly as a result of my incomplete description of the situation. The owner is an elderly woman whose husband is terminally ill. They have not lived in the house since November and have no intention of resuming full time residence, I think t...
by TheGreyingDuke
Thu Mar 10, 2016 4:56 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Vanguard rep calls: consolidating into brokerage
Replies: 21
Views: 2849

Re: Vanguard rep calls: consolidating into brokerage

For me there are some issues which have been discussed with my Flagship rep, but not resolved. VG issues a brochure that said dividends (in taxable) could be paid directly to a bank (I'm retired and take dividends). My representative and an alternate denied this, this checked further and said it co...

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