Search found 1593 matches

by adamthesmythe
Fri Nov 10, 2017 12:06 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: 450,000 American Airlines MILES gifted to me - how to book
Replies: 25
Views: 2309

Re: 450,000 American Airlines gifted to me - how to book

michaeljc70 wrote:
Fri Nov 10, 2017 10:23 am
Plan ahead as miles can be hard to use depending on your itinerary.
For sure. In fact, you could just stay "miles WILL be hard to use."
by adamthesmythe
Fri Nov 10, 2017 12:02 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Steam Oven vs Microwave?
Replies: 7
Views: 541

Re: Steam Oven vs Microwave?

EVERYTHING cooks better than a microwave. A microwave is only good for fast, not good.

A steam oven is a specialty item, good if you bake. Now a convection oven will improve your life.
by adamthesmythe
Fri Nov 10, 2017 11:59 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Questions about buying a used car
Replies: 9
Views: 557

Re: Questions about buying a used car

I can't help on numbers 2 and 3, but why do you think a rental car would be treated worse than a regular used car? Logic tells me it would be the opposite Once upon a time people believed that you should break in a car by (1) not stressing it excessively and (2) varying speed for the first thousand...
by adamthesmythe
Thu Nov 09, 2017 5:02 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Best Approach for Purchasing Many Furnishings
Replies: 27
Views: 1688

Re: Best Approach for Purchasing Many Furnishings

Get what you can from hand-me-downs and then go to Ikea.

Sometimes local "antique" malls have pieces of furniture that are very usable and cost less than new cheap stuff.

Don't buy more than you really need to. Add to it gradually.
by adamthesmythe
Thu Nov 09, 2017 3:08 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Liability insurance for college students in dorms ?
Replies: 13
Views: 1011

Re: Liability insurance for college students in dorms ?

Just curious. What potential liability are you insuring? It is not unknown for college students to cause injury or death by their actions. However- I suspect this would not be covered by a liability policy- and most college students have few personal assets anyway. As far as I know parents cannot b...
by adamthesmythe
Thu Nov 09, 2017 11:46 am
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Teaching an old dog some tricks
Replies: 14
Views: 1609

Re: Teaching an old dog some tricks

Probably the simplest answer:

Money you will spend soon: keep it in the bank. (college? pay off mortgage?)

Money you want to use for retirement: a Vanguard target date fund. A mix of stocks and bonds that adjusts as you age.

There are much more elaborate ideas but maybe not better ones.
by adamthesmythe
Thu Nov 09, 2017 11:43 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: What do you think of this LTCI policy?
Replies: 10
Views: 394

Re: What do you think of this LTCI policy?

$2400/year (assuming she is 40) sounds kind of high. Spouse and I are paying twice that ($2400 each) for a comparable policy and we're in our 70s. OP doesn't give age but the implication is that wife is fairly young. 25 years is a looong time for things to change. I wouldn't even hazard a guess whe...
by adamthesmythe
Wed Nov 08, 2017 1:17 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Time to recover vision from cataract lens replacement
Replies: 13
Views: 670

Re: Time to recover vision from cataract lens replacement

Definitely check with eye surgeon. (I would have expected a followup long before now...)
by adamthesmythe
Tue Nov 07, 2017 6:24 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: DIY vs work extra and pay a pro
Replies: 37
Views: 2778

Re: DIY vs work extra and pay a pro

Hello, I think there is more then just money to consider in these circumstances. Additional factors I would consider are: *How long will the project take? *Do I need to find and buy very specific items to complete the project? *Am I risking my health and/or damaging my property by going the DIY app...
by adamthesmythe
Tue Nov 07, 2017 10:04 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Furnace Issues
Replies: 30
Views: 1799

Re: Furnace Issues

1. Unless I missed it, you don't actually say what kind of furnace you have. I assume gas. 2. There are several things that can cause intermittent ignition. One of the other posters has described the sequence of events when starting a gas furnace. 3. Unless you really really want to figure out the o...
by adamthesmythe
Tue Nov 07, 2017 9:58 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Should I terminate my rental contract early and face a penalty of 8k?
Replies: 9
Views: 686

Re: Should I terminate my rental contract early and face a penalty of 8k?

I was in a similar but not identical situation. I was in an apartment in a new location and then bought a house. There is almost always going to be an overlap and an extra cost when you move. Sometimes it just makes sense to take the "loss" and move on. > Can you sub lease to a friend / some one, wh...
by adamthesmythe
Mon Nov 06, 2017 9:02 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Where to invest home downpayment which I am not certain when to buy if ever?!
Replies: 62
Views: 3390

Re: Where to invest home downpayment which I am not certain when to buy if ever?!

If you belong to the Boglehead's anti-house faction, then you would just have taxable stock investments for retirement savings. Later, if you are "forced" to buy a house then the down-payment would naturally come out of the stock capital gains. Does this means that the bogleheadish way to consider ...
by adamthesmythe
Sat Nov 04, 2017 8:37 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Contract on Home Question
Replies: 14
Views: 883

Re: Contract on Home Question

Thank you for your comments. I believe the binding refers to the fact that they must respond to the offer by tomorrow (date specific). Not even one business day to decide! I recommended that she seek an attorney for a review. Too many caution flags for me. A 24 hour limit on an offer is reasonable ...
by adamthesmythe
Fri Nov 03, 2017 10:21 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Costco kitchen Cabinets and design service....
Replies: 13
Views: 2532

Re: Costco kitchen Cabinets and design service....

As a serious woodworker who has done many custom cabinet jobs I always tell people that 50% of a cabinet's quality is in the hinges and drawer slides. If the hardware is Grasse, Blum, or Havle and the cabinet boxes are 3/4" you are off to a good start. I noticed you made a "particle board" comment ...
by adamthesmythe
Fri Nov 03, 2017 10:16 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Should I keep the Condo or rent to Canadians?
Replies: 12
Views: 1328

Re: Should I keep the Condo or rent to Canadians?

It looks like you aren't making much money and that could be wiped out by a repair or assessment. If so it makes sense to keep the condo if you want the condo for yourself down the road. Otherwise it would be sensible to simplify your life by selling. The choice could be different if you expect sign...
by adamthesmythe
Thu Nov 02, 2017 9:40 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Considering a LG 55" OLED TV
Replies: 44
Views: 3716

Re: Considering a LG 55" OLED TV

Samsung does not make OLED TVs. TV displays are very different from phone displays, and the LG OLED TVs have had rave reviews. LG and Sony are the only US manufacturers of OLED TVs, and Sony uses the same panel manufactured by LG, so the only differences are styling/branding/speakers. Actually Sams...
by adamthesmythe
Thu Nov 02, 2017 9:36 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Help me understand the Used Car Dealership perspective
Replies: 29
Views: 3365

Re: Help me understand the Used Car Dealership perspective

They paid a bunch for that car and need a big price to cover it. They hope to find a buyer... Who knows they might. Look elsewhere. Could be the opposite. I have often suspected that dealers have a used car lot partly so you can see used cars for "not much less than" a new car, making the new car m...
by adamthesmythe
Thu Nov 02, 2017 5:36 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: A tax planning question about the proposed GOP tax plan
Replies: 7
Views: 1013

Re: A tax planning question about the proposed GOP tax plan

It's WAY too early to be asking about moves to make in response to legislation which is certain to change. If it ever passes at all.
by adamthesmythe
Thu Nov 02, 2017 5:34 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Retirees Move to Index Funds?
Replies: 9
Views: 1030

Re: Retirees Move to Index Funds?

Annmacq wrote:
Thu Nov 02, 2017 11:17 am
Two partners, 77 and 82, with assets of 2.6M managed by Morgan Stanley, are considering transferring assets to Vanguard Index Funds. At our age, is this recommended?
I'm pretty sure it's not recommended by Morgan Stanley.
by adamthesmythe
Thu Nov 02, 2017 12:58 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Do I have a good health care plan?
Replies: 11
Views: 682

Re: Do I have a good health care plan?

Good or not depends on your personal situation. High-deductible plans mean dealing with more unpredictability. I have suspected that one motivation for offering high-deductible plans is a belief that the prospect of a deductible payment will make people reluctant to seek medical treatment. Resulting...
by adamthesmythe
Thu Nov 02, 2017 10:48 am
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: the One investment to rule them all?
Replies: 25
Views: 3285

Re: the One investment to rule them all?

Hi, lets say you are 21 years old, house paid off, yearly expenditures are 50k. you can only invest in 1 mutual fund, etf or other investment vehicle to live off for the rest of your life.. what would it be and what is the absolute minimum dollar amount you would have to put in it for it to work? T...
by adamthesmythe
Tue Oct 31, 2017 10:20 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Inexpensive house or condo as home base (MKE?)
Replies: 39
Views: 4015

Re: Inexpensive house or condo as home base (MKE?)

You can easily be away from a condo for months doing little more than paying the bills. This is never true of a standalone house, which will require, at minimum, landscape maintenance. In either case, find out from your insurance company whether they require regular checks of the property. This will...
by adamthesmythe
Tue Oct 31, 2017 11:19 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: House - leaking chimney - thoughts?
Replies: 24
Views: 1089

Re: House - leaking chimney - thoughts?

Another old house owner here (and one experiencing a leak last weekend as well, unfortunately): Leaks can come from unexpected places, and fixing them is a trial and error process. Don't have anything inside fixed until you've patched the chimney and had another hard rain so that you're sure the ch...
by adamthesmythe
Fri Oct 27, 2017 9:19 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Should I change my car?
Replies: 13
Views: 864

Re: Should I change my car?

Higher riding position = crossover = worse gas mileage. Might be worth it.

I once drove a rented Rio and it was awful. There's a long ways up from a Hyundai. Consider trying some medium-priced options before going up to luxury.
by adamthesmythe
Fri Oct 27, 2017 9:13 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Going to SF, Yosemite and Sacramento and NOW PORTLAND
Replies: 49
Views: 2327

Re: Going to SF, Yosemite and Sacramento

Getting to/from Santa Cruz is a trek. There is no good way to get there. Take it easy and ignore the idiot tailgaters over the 17. You will use up one day getting there and back, if you want to do any visiting. Traffic is that bad. I might suggest heading to Santa Cruz one day, and doing Monterrey ...
by adamthesmythe
Thu Oct 26, 2017 1:00 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Accessing a Social Security Office
Replies: 20
Views: 1249

Re: Accessing a Social Security Office

I went 2-3 times when I was still back East, walk-in. I got there before the door opened. Even so there was a wait of an hour or so. Bring a book. I suspect the wait time depends on where you are. Despite being in a lower-income part of a big city, the wait was not too bad. Expect to rub shoulders ...
by adamthesmythe
Thu Oct 26, 2017 12:16 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: What are snowbirds doing for health insurance?
Replies: 12
Views: 1449

Re: What are snowbirds doing for health insurance?

Oh and to further prove my case I actually use doctors and hospitals in three states regularly. I live part time in Arizona and part time in South Lake Tahoe which is right next to Nevada. So we have doctors in Nevada, California and Arizona. So sometimes I drive to Nevada to see a doctor and then ...
by adamthesmythe
Wed Oct 25, 2017 9:53 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Trip in May: Starting in Munich, Ending in Interlaken - Where to go in between?
Replies: 27
Views: 1522

Re: Trip in May: Starting in Munich, Ending in Interlaken - Where to go in between?

For hiking you can't beat Saas Fee, with two spectacular high routes along each side of the Saas valley and lots of other possibilities. Grindewald above Interlaken has some good hiking but nowhere near as much as Saas Fee (or Zermatt, next valley over). Getting from Salzburg toward Interlaken by tr...
by adamthesmythe
Wed Oct 25, 2017 6:42 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Accessing a Social Security Office
Replies: 20
Views: 1249

Re: Accessing a Social Security Office

I went 2-3 times when I was still back East, walk-in. I got there before the door opened. Even so there was a wait of an hour or so. Bring a book. I suspect the wait time depends on where you are. Despite being in a lower-income part of a big city, the wait was not too bad. Expect to rub shoulders w...
by adamthesmythe
Wed Oct 25, 2017 4:47 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Planing Europe trip during Christmas, Eurorail pass or car rental
Replies: 16
Views: 842

Re: Planing Europe trip during Christmas, Eurorail pass or car rental

I guess I am going to rail. Parking in city center and drive on icy road is no fun. Any night train recommended? Such Paris to Rome, Rome to Wein. If you are going as far as Rome you really should consider using air for some of the links. You will need to check the internet about overnight trains. ...
by adamthesmythe
Wed Oct 25, 2017 3:54 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Planing Europe trip during Christmas, Eurorail pass or car rental
Replies: 16
Views: 842

Re: Planing Europe trip during Christmas, Eurorail pass or car rental

Given your proposed route, you would be driving over or under several mountain passes in the winter. You might want to look at your route on a map to see. Most of the important passes have either a car or car-rail tunnel so you might not need to drive over. This would be a good thing because some co...
by adamthesmythe
Wed Oct 25, 2017 10:44 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Laptops with eMMC hard drive
Replies: 3
Views: 359

Re: Laptops with eMMC hard drive

Had to look it up (although I suspected it was semiconductor storage) eMMC is a more affordable and slower Flash-based storage than solid state drives 32 Gb is VERY small for total amount of storage on something used with real applications. I expect a high school student would use all the available ...
by adamthesmythe
Tue Oct 24, 2017 2:24 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: New TV, what's important?
Replies: 42
Views: 2916

Re: New TV, what's important?

Silk McCue wrote:
Tue Oct 24, 2017 2:16 pm
I won't give up my 9 year old 720p 60" Pioneer Elite Plasma for anything. It is an exceptional piece of technology on so many levels.
I'm sure one of them is keeping the room warm.
by adamthesmythe
Tue Oct 24, 2017 2:23 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: New TV, what's important?
Replies: 42
Views: 2916

Re: New TV, what's important?

> I'm leaning toward 4K You will have a hard time finding anything that isn't. . Is OLED far superior to LED LCD technology? How much more is it worth, if anything? OLED is bleeding edge right now. In my opinion HDR is now well worth it, OLED maybe not. . If I get a smart TV (a given), do I need to ...
by adamthesmythe
Mon Oct 23, 2017 7:58 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: negotiating a home purchase (price reduction v work done by seller)
Replies: 9
Views: 708

Re: negotiating a home purchase (price reduction v work done by seller)

Financially you might like to have repairs rolled into the mortgage. The problem is that you may not know that they are done properly.

if the issues are minor and can be deferred a while then definitely take the price reduction.
by adamthesmythe
Mon Oct 23, 2017 4:52 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: How to make a Will myself?
Replies: 20
Views: 1159

Re: How to make a Will myself?

In some states a holographic will (a handwritten and signed will) is valid. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Holographic_will It is interesting to note that the entire will must be handwritten. In view of the extreme unlikelihood that this will will ever be used you might want to consider this if valid...
by adamthesmythe
Mon Oct 23, 2017 11:13 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Cold feet
Replies: 23
Views: 2362

Re: Cold feet

I have a pair of down booties, similar to

https://www.rei.com/product/105416/cabi ... oties-mens
by adamthesmythe
Sun Oct 22, 2017 7:57 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: 3-fund of SPDRs is better than of Vanguard ETF (lower ER)?
Replies: 24
Views: 2564

Re: 3-fund of SPDRs is better than of Vanguard ETF (lower ER)?

Once the expense ratio gets below a tenth of a percent or so it's worth spending your time thinking about other things.
by adamthesmythe
Sun Oct 22, 2017 7:53 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: What is the best thing to use to hang pictures?
Replies: 34
Views: 2358

Re: What is the best thing to use to hang pictures?

Can't beat the ooks http://www.ooks.com/index.html These will do for anything except, I don't know, things that get above 50 pounds or so. For ordinary pictures simpler and cheaper nail-based hooks are fine. If the nails are at 45 degrees or so one nail holds a considerable amount of weight even on ...
by adamthesmythe
Fri Oct 20, 2017 10:33 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Mercedes Benz E300 Navigation System
Replies: 35
Views: 1559

Re: Mercedes Benz E300 Navigation System

Mine in a VW is helpful but (1) lacks some features in Google maps (2) does not get automatically updated and (3) doesn't know about traffic. On the other hand, Google maps is not quite totally indispensable (I haven't figured out the relationship between the arrows and the direction I am traveling,...
by adamthesmythe
Wed Oct 18, 2017 8:10 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: 1st Time Cruise - Princess and wifi
Replies: 23
Views: 1994

Re: 1st Time Cruise - Princess and wifi

When you are move than a few miles from port both phone and wifi need to go by satellite. Think $, or maybe $$$ or $$$$$.

It's a vacation. Lose the phone and the email.
by adamthesmythe
Wed Oct 18, 2017 9:27 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Is it worth applying for Credit Limit Increase?
Replies: 21
Views: 1328

Re: Is it worth applying for Credit Limit Increase?

I can't see why you would ask for an increase if you didn't need it.

I did this once, ever, so I could pay the moving man.

In any case- even though fraudulent charges would be reversed- I would feel less comfortable carrying around cards with really huge credit limits.
by adamthesmythe
Tue Oct 17, 2017 1:28 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Honest Contractor Reviews
Replies: 10
Views: 683

Re: Honest Contractor Reviews

Skip the reviews and look at some of his work in person, the older the better.

Where I used to live concrete contractors would embed a stamp, with their name, phone, and year of installation.
by adamthesmythe
Mon Oct 16, 2017 1:24 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Where to notarize legal zoom documents? Trouble getting witnesses
Replies: 14
Views: 1088

Re: Where to notarize legal zoom documents? Trouble getting witnesses

What they said above. Sometimes your bank and if not the bank then UPS store. Even though it is a nuisance it may be worth having it witnessed by someone who knows you. I think expecially the living will, as witnessing means that some close to you are aware of your intentions and can even speak to y...
by adamthesmythe
Mon Oct 16, 2017 10:58 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Mineral Rights Valuation (Natural Gas)
Replies: 8
Views: 792

Re: Mineral Rights Valuation (Natural Gas)

They can access the gas without actually going onto the property, but even so there can be adverse consequences for the owner.

With all the recent publicity, I agree that not including the mineral rights could make the property hard to sell.
by adamthesmythe
Sat Oct 14, 2017 10:30 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: You career roots and your path to financial independence. "Actionable: steps and tips for others?
Replies: 56
Views: 5727

Re: Blue collar (or other) roots and your path to financial independence. Steps and tips for others?

Father was HS educated, mother went to secretarial school. Only one near relative went to college and he didn't graduate. First job was odd tasks for a machinist, second was bagging groceries.

I retired from a position as a full professor at a well-known engineering school.
by adamthesmythe
Sat Oct 14, 2017 7:09 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Which would you rather own: AAPL or S&P 600 Small Cap Index?
Replies: 57
Views: 3425

Re: Which would you rather own: AAPL or S&P 600 Small Cap Index?

> AAPL is more diversified, since it is worth more than the S&P 600 index constituents combined Apple has a countably small number of products that account for most of its sales (and a smaller number that account for most of its profits). A single problem with a flagship product could cause massive ...
by adamthesmythe
Fri Oct 13, 2017 6:07 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: How many miles/years do you keep your car?
Replies: 108
Views: 7422

Re: How many miles/years do you keep your car?

I have not had very positive experiences with used cars. I buy new, and probably keep 5 years or more. No particular plan for exactly how long to keep. I did have a Miata I kept for over 10 years, that was an exception. I like having a newer car that I don't need to think about much. I've driven lou...
by adamthesmythe
Fri Oct 13, 2017 11:11 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: How does the medical billing system work?
Replies: 34
Views: 2373

Re: How does the medical billing system work?

> So, if someone does not have insurance, I assume they pay the MSRP? like $50,000 versus $10,000? You will get billed for this amount. Whether or not not you actually pay it is a different question. I suspect many bills get negotiated down, and some don't get paid at all, and get written off or the...
by adamthesmythe
Thu Oct 12, 2017 2:37 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Washington DC Trip
Replies: 25
Views: 1717

Re: Washington DC Trip

Was there recently. You should know that the Sackler is closed and the Hirshhorn is less than it was. The Air and Space museum will be crowded, because it always is. Mount Vernon is enjoyable (if the weather is good) and There is also the Udvar-Hazy museum at the airport (which will be much less cro...