Search found 939 matches

by neilpilot
Thu Oct 19, 2017 7:38 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: medicare supplment
Replies: 21
Views: 1386

Re: medicare supplment

We've been very happy with AARP's deal with United Health Care Plan F for several years. I understand that Plan F will go away soon for new applicants, and it appears most folks are recommending Plan G as the best remaining one. We went with F because it paid for overseas relocation. Admittedly the...
by neilpilot
Wed Oct 18, 2017 10:45 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Using a broker for a Supplemental Medicare Plan?
Replies: 21
Views: 750

Re: Using a broker for a Supplemental Medicare Plan?

Whether you use a broker or not, the commission is already baked into the rates. That's how it is in my state, so even if you don't use a broker, you're still paying the same rate which already has the commission included in it that cannot be taken out. If you find a good broker, they can be helpfu...
by neilpilot
Wed Oct 18, 2017 8:56 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Using a broker for a Supplemental Medicare Plan?
Replies: 21
Views: 750

Re: Using a broker for a Supplemental Medicare Plan?

rotorhead wrote:
Wed Oct 18, 2017 8:46 pm


I've been using a broker for 11 years now, and my Medicare Supplement premium is $0.00. Can't do much better than that.
This is surprising. Are you sure you have a medicare supplement? You do realize that a Medicare Advantage plan is NOT a medicare supplement plan?
by neilpilot
Wed Oct 18, 2017 6:31 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Using a broker for a Supplemental Medicare Plan?
Replies: 21
Views: 750

Re: Using a broker for a Supplemental Medicare Plan?

When I talked to a broker, he didn't offer the low priced provider I was already considering.
by neilpilot
Wed Oct 18, 2017 6:29 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Why not switch from Medigap F to G now?
Replies: 20
Views: 1760

Re: Why not switch from Medigap F to G now?

I thought F and G were the same except F (not high deductible F) had no deductible/out of pocket, but G had a ~ $2K per year deductible/out of pocket. Is that not the way it works? No, this is not the way it works. Medicare Part B has an annual deductible. For 2017, it's $183. F covers it; G does n...
by neilpilot
Wed Oct 18, 2017 6:27 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Am I paying too much for insurance?
Replies: 18
Views: 1661

Re: Am I paying too much for insurance?

My opinion is you should contact an independent insurance broker for the answer. Most, if not all, comments you will get here are likely to provide comments on what they pay, based on a mismatch of your particular circumstances and local risk factors.
by neilpilot
Fri Oct 13, 2017 3:56 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Does IRS have equivalent of credit freeze?
Replies: 20
Views: 1415

Re: Does IRS have equivalent of credit freeze?

SimonJester wrote:
Fri Oct 13, 2017 9:22 am
The best thing you can do if you do not qualify for the IRS IP PIN is adjust your withholding so you end up owing a little bit come tax time
Actually that has always been the best thing you can do. No need to give the IRS an interest free loan, even at the current low rates.
by neilpilot
Fri Oct 13, 2017 6:56 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: First Winter (Dec/Jan) Vacation in Europe. Any suggestions please!
Replies: 26
Views: 1782

Re: First Winter (Dec/Jan) Vacation in Europe. Any suggestions please!

We have friends in Munich and have visited several time in the winter. Often we spend a week or so in Bavaria, and then catch a cheap flight to Malaga, rent a car, and stay in a timeshare in Marbella. Nice weather, less crowds and very interesting day trips (Seville, Gibraltar, Grenada, etc).
by neilpilot
Fri Oct 13, 2017 6:41 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Medicare Advantage vs. Supplemental
Replies: 40
Views: 2405

Re: Medicare Advantage vs. Supplemental

Since you are "more concerned with getting the best coverage possible" be sure to determine if the Part C MA option is an HMO, I.e. Will it cover you at the provider of your choice? We selected Medigap G for maximum flexibility over our MA options.
by neilpilot
Thu Oct 05, 2017 8:15 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Umbrella insurance
Replies: 46
Views: 8441

Re: Umbrella insurance

sidneyinplanning wrote:
Thu Oct 05, 2017 7:57 pm
just checked Geico, 1 milion policy in PA is now $299 a year.
In PA, and anywhere else for that matter, the cost will also depend on your relative risk.
by neilpilot
Thu Oct 05, 2017 3:45 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: RMD Question
Replies: 30
Views: 2677

Re: RMD Question

Thanks all. I guess I can start taking my RMD on Jan 1 2018 instead of later in the year. Right. On the other side of the coin, some folks my try to do Roth conversions in the first part of that year prior to turning 70-1/2. That's not permissible by IRS regulation and puts one in an Excess Contrib...
by neilpilot
Thu Oct 05, 2017 2:08 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Question About Long Term Care
Replies: 75
Views: 5748

Re: Question About Long Term Care

There is no free lunch, true. But there also should be clarity and less fear-based selling. The average stay in a care facility is about a year, not three years. As mentioned by others, the average stay for someone needing facility care using LTCi is well over 3 years. Also, there was a "free lunch...
by neilpilot
Thu Oct 05, 2017 2:03 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: RMD Question
Replies: 30
Views: 2677

Re: RMD Question

Thanks all. I guess I can start taking my RMD on Jan 1 2018 instead of later in the year. Right. On the other side of the coin, some folks my try to do Roth conversions in the first part of that year prior to turning 70-1/2. That's not permissible by IRS regulation and puts one in an Excess Contrib...
by neilpilot
Wed Oct 04, 2017 1:45 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: $5k inheritance & portfolio question . . .
Replies: 6
Views: 865

Re: $5k inheritance & portfolio question . . .

I'm all for simplicity. Why not simply commingle the 5k with your Vanguard (taxable account)? What's the point of keeping it separate?

If your income qualifies you for a Roth you can make that contribution anyway, independent of the inheritance.
by neilpilot
Wed Oct 04, 2017 7:18 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Soliciting personal recommendations for a Barcelona trip
Replies: 56
Views: 4452

Re: Soliciting personal recommendations for a Barcelona trip

denovo wrote:
Tue Oct 03, 2017 11:07 pm
One thing that just popped in my head, the central government could try to squeeze Catalonia by cutting off all intl flights going in and out.
Not a chance. Much more likely that the Spanish air controllers will strike......again
by neilpilot
Tue Oct 03, 2017 9:56 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Visiting Paris - should we buy tickets in advance?
Replies: 37
Views: 1623

Re: Visiting Paris - should we buy tickets in advance?

I had a Visa chip and pin card from BofA. Verified before leaving that it was true chip&pin. Used it everywhere, but I was never given the opportunity to put in my pin. Even with the ticket kiosks at CDG, Paris and Lyon. Sometimes I would be prompted to enter my pin, but before I could get past the...
by neilpilot
Tue Oct 03, 2017 9:50 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Visiting Paris - should we buy tickets in advance?
Replies: 37
Views: 1623

Re: Visiting Paris - should we buy tickets in advance?

Definitely buy skip the line tickets or timed entry tickets for Versailles, Eiffel Tower (sunset is nice), and catacombs. The Louvre there is an underground entrance that the line is way shorter and air conditioned. Air conditioning in November! You might check Groupon. We've used a few dinner vouc...
by neilpilot
Tue Oct 03, 2017 2:39 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Equifax customer information leak
Replies: 711
Views: 47163

Re: Equifax customer information leak

There are plenty of examples, including the past few posts, that demonstrate that a Fraud Alert can be pretty useless, and often simply ignored. You need to Freeze you account at all of the CRAs. If you delay since you plan to apply for credit soon, you are simply taking a chance. You might be bette...
by neilpilot
Fri Sep 29, 2017 2:47 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Short-term and Long-term tax question
Replies: 5
Views: 270

Re: Short-term and Long-term tax question

Actually, if you sell the shares "by the 12 month mark" then entire sale maybe short term. In order for the first 100 shares to be long term, the sale must occur on or after the 12 month mark. Also be careful not to confuse trade vs settlement date, since that could result in a sale a few days short...
by neilpilot
Fri Sep 29, 2017 1:54 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Is the new Chevy Equinox any good?
Replies: 58
Views: 5452

Re: Is the new Chevy Equinox any good?

If you're really curious, make a reservation with a car rental location that has one and drive it for a week. It will be well worth the few hundred dollars to see if you like before buying. I did this with my current car which is a Chevy Cruze. Chevy is also releasing a version this summer with a D...
by neilpilot
Wed Sep 27, 2017 5:16 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Equifax Credit Freeze 100% online
Replies: 35
Views: 5205

Re: Equifax Credit Freeze 100% online

I was told via email (and it took a week to even get a reply to an email): " In this case I can confirm that Equifax will provide the confirmation and the pin number to your Security Freeze, by mail, within the next 7 to 10 business days." That came on Sept 19th and I have not received anything in ...
by neilpilot
Wed Sep 27, 2017 4:39 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: My Smartest Financial Moves
Replies: 62
Views: 5940

Re: My Smartest Financial Moves

My employer relocated me from Buffalo to NJ in 1982. I placed an offer on a house that was 4-5 times the cost of my condo in Buffalo, and my mortgage was at 16-7/8% (not a typo). But, I was able to refi at around 9.5% in just 6 months. In the meantime my employer paid me a 3-year mortgage differenti...
by neilpilot
Wed Sep 27, 2017 4:09 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Can't place fraud alert at Equifax
Replies: 15
Views: 824

Re: Can't place fraud alert at Equifax

I know. But I'm saying that a Fraud Alert does very little to actually secure your information, whereas a freeze MAY actually help. While the FTC site says a CRA "MUST" validate your identity, their validation can be as simple as asking for your SS#, address and DOB. That should be easy for a crimi...
by neilpilot
Wed Sep 27, 2017 3:55 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Equifax customer information leak
Replies: 711
Views: 47163

Re: Equifax customer information leak

I put in a security freeze at ChexSystems on 9/12. As fate would have it, I needed to open a savings account last week. The bank said to me "are you aware that you have a security freeze in on your account?" I said "yes." And that was all there was to it. I didn't need to lift the freeze in order t...
by neilpilot
Wed Sep 27, 2017 3:35 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: My boneheaded financial mistakes
Replies: 77
Views: 9578

Re: My boneheaded financial mistakes

I'm actually surprised that someone hasn't said they made a mistake buying a timeshare week. I've bought 2 at vastly discounted prices, put them to good use, and have no regrets.

However the vast number of Bogleheads here think timeshares are very much a financial mistake.
by neilpilot
Wed Sep 27, 2017 3:30 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Can't place fraud alert at Equifax
Replies: 15
Views: 824

Re: Can't place fraud alert at Equifax

I know. But I'm saying that a Fraud Alert does very little to actually secure your information, whereas a freeze MAY actually help. While the FTC site says a CRA "MUST" validate your identity, their validation can be as simple as asking for your SS#, address and DOB. That should be easy for a crimi...
by neilpilot
Wed Sep 27, 2017 3:27 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Verizon TravelPass
Replies: 45
Views: 3266

Re: Verizon TravelPass

I no longer use GoogleMaps due to serious limitation mentioned, as well as what I consider an unfriendly user interface. I highly recommend HERE, which I've used extensively on both the Android and IOS platforms. However, using GoogleMaps wifi only on my Android I can get walking or transit navigat...
by neilpilot
Wed Sep 27, 2017 2:14 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: $700 to install a dishwasher seem by a plumber?!
Replies: 65
Views: 4471

Re: $700 to install a dishwasher seem by a plumber?!

Our run-of-the mill dishwasher needs replacing and our condo requires the installation be done by a licensed plumber. If you definitely decide your only option is to follow condo rules to the letter and pay thru the nose for a licensed plumber, I suggest you first confirm with the condo board that ...
by neilpilot
Wed Sep 27, 2017 1:54 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Can't place fraud alert at Equifax
Replies: 15
Views: 824

Re: Can't place fraud alert at Equifax

A fraud alert requires that any lenders or creditors take reasonable steps to verify your identity before issuing new credit in your name. A fraud alert doesn't "require" lenders or creditors to do anything. It just alerts them to the possibility that you've been the victim of identity theft. They ...
by neilpilot
Wed Sep 27, 2017 1:20 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Can't place fraud alert at Equifax
Replies: 15
Views: 824

Re: Can't place fraud alert at Equifax

A fraud alert requires that any lenders or creditors take reasonable steps to verify your identity before issuing new credit in your name. A fraud alert doesn't "require" lenders or creditors to do anything. It just alerts them to the possibility that you've been the victim of identity theft. They ...
by neilpilot
Wed Sep 27, 2017 1:14 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Verizon TravelPass
Replies: 45
Views: 3266

Re: Verizon TravelPass

I have used Project Fi with a Nexus 6P (one, soon to be two generations behind current versions) in 10 countries in the least year. In general the service is seamless. However I did run into data issues in two countries. In Hong Kong to get data to work I had to drop down to 2G in the options and o...
by neilpilot
Wed Sep 27, 2017 12:58 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: $700 to install a dishwasher seem by a plumber?!
Replies: 65
Views: 4471

Re: $700 to install a dishwasher seem by a plumber?!

Good thing it's a replacement, since the connections are already in place. It would be much more $$ if they were doing it from scratch. :D
by neilpilot
Wed Sep 27, 2017 12:52 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Verizon TravelPass
Replies: 45
Views: 3266

Re: Verizon TravelPass

I no longer use GoogleMaps due to serious limitation mentioned, as well as what I consider an unfriendly user interface. I highly recommend HERE, which I've used extensively on both the Android and IOS platforms. However, using GoogleMaps wifi only on my Android I can get walking or transit navigati...
by neilpilot
Wed Sep 27, 2017 12:29 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Verizon TravelPass
Replies: 45
Views: 3266

Re: Verizon TravelPass

Using Google maps offline by downloading maps when on wifi works great, or even downloading the maps when home. I went overseas and was able to use the GPS on my phone without using data for driving directions. However, and I never figured out if this was just something I was doing wrong, I don't b...
by neilpilot
Wed Sep 27, 2017 10:29 am
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: I'm shocked! [Mother 100% in bonds and annuities]
Replies: 67
Views: 6371

Re: I'm shocked!

Should my mom start giving assets to my brother and I to protect her money in case dad gets worse ( Right now mom takes care of dad) or my mom gets to the point of needing care? I haven't had that talk yet. Am I correct about that? I hate to bring it up to her, so I haven't. Can I please get some i...
by neilpilot
Wed Sep 27, 2017 9:50 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Quick social security question
Replies: 10
Views: 1781

Re: Quick social security question

I had no problem 3 1/2 years ago when I applied online based on my ex husband's record. Everything went smoothly. In 6 months when I will start SS based on my record, I will again apply online. Good for you. I filed for Divorced Spouse Benefits in person almost two years ago. They wanted certified ...
by neilpilot
Wed Sep 27, 2017 9:32 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Verizon TravelPass
Replies: 45
Views: 3266

Re: Verizon TravelPass

Using Google maps offline by downloading maps when on wifi works great, or even downloading the maps when home. I went overseas and was able to use the GPS on my phone without using data for driving directions. However, and I never figured out if this was just something I was doing wrong, I don't b...
by neilpilot
Wed Sep 27, 2017 8:56 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: My boneheaded financial mistakes
Replies: 77
Views: 9578

Re: My boneheaded financial mistakes

About 15 years before I retired, even though I had sufficient knowledge and experience to manage my investments I thought I was too busy at work and it would take too much time. So I handed most of my account to an Merrill Lynch adviser. I did OK but so did he :D I retired 2 years ago, took charge o...
by neilpilot
Tue Sep 26, 2017 5:16 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Equifax customer information leak
Replies: 711
Views: 47163

Re: Equifax customer information leak

Won't make a bit of difference. The whole system is broken and setup with wrong incentives, and a forced early retirement of CEO is not going fix it... Agreed, and his $18 million annual pension isn't making me feel any better about it. With this breach, Pandora's box is open and can't be shut agai...
by neilpilot
Tue Sep 26, 2017 2:15 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Unbelievable AT & T
Replies: 29
Views: 3580

Re: Unbelievable AT & T

I got so tired of AT & T harassing me to take data that I moved service to Consumer Cellular and pay half of what I paid before, and now have data too. I was with AT&T mobile for decades. I was never harassed, and in general was very happy with their customer service. We're switching because we use...
by neilpilot
Tue Sep 26, 2017 1:52 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Unbelievable AT & T
Replies: 29
Views: 3580

Re: Unbelievable AT & T

I think your's is a reasonable approach. Coincidentally, we just reduced our AT&T mobile family account from 3 lines to 1, and it's likely we will eliminate the last line soon. So your post is useful for me. I may try to get information on our options BEFORE I transfer that last line out. It hasn't ...
by neilpilot
Tue Sep 26, 2017 11:10 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Equifax Credit Freeze 100% online
Replies: 35
Views: 5205

Re: Equifax Credit Freeze 100% online

I called Equifax "Security Freeze Department" and, after holding for 27 minutes, the CS rep . . .explained that it was a common occurrence to have a freeze occur and, due to web site traffic, be then disconnected without confirmation or a PIN . . . [and] told me to expect to receive my PIN in the m...
by neilpilot
Tue Sep 26, 2017 10:33 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Equifax Credit Freeze 100% online
Replies: 35
Views: 5205

Re: Equifax Credit Freeze 100% online

A week ago I posted that, after several earlier attempts at an Equifax freeze where their website froze or returned an error, on 9/15 my freeze attempt offered only the option to lift a freeze. That implied that I had a freeze in place, even though their site never confirmed the initial freeze or o...
by neilpilot
Mon Sep 25, 2017 10:31 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: DIY gas fire pits. Propane or Natural Gas?
Replies: 13
Views: 1070

Re: DIY gas fire pits. Propane or Natural Gas?

Watty wrote:
Mon Sep 25, 2017 10:22 pm
It would be good to check with your home insurance company to see if either would affect your insurance rates.

neilpilot wrote:
Mon Sep 25, 2017 9:15 pm
A DIY alternative is to enlarge the propane feed valve orifice with a 1/8in drill bit.
:oops: What could go wrong with that?
Pretty simple, actually.
by neilpilot
Mon Sep 25, 2017 9:15 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: DIY gas fire pits. Propane or Natural Gas?
Replies: 13
Views: 1070

Re: DIY gas fire pits. Propane or Natural Gas?

Burners are generally sized for the type of gas. Propane is often higher pressure and would have smaller openings. If hooked to natural gas, it might work but be weaker flame, or it might not work at all. Check to make sure this is an option if it's something you're planning, unless the burner you'...
by neilpilot
Mon Sep 25, 2017 9:01 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: DIY gas fire pits. Propane or Natural Gas?
Replies: 13
Views: 1070

Re: DIY gas fire pits. Propane or Natural Gas?

Are you considering the standard 20lb propane tank. Figure it will last around 8 - 10 hours if you settle for a low fire, or as little as 4 hours at max burn.
by neilpilot
Mon Sep 25, 2017 8:53 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Little "sawdust" piles on Hardwood Floors
Replies: 8
Views: 2043

Re: Little "sawdust" piles on Hardwood Floors

It might be cheaper to tent the house than replace the hardwood floor. Added benefit of killing any termites you may have. Get expert advice. There are many species of powder post beetles. If they remain in the wood dormant, they normally will be immune from typical tenting or similar fumigation me...
by neilpilot
Mon Sep 25, 2017 8:46 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Social Security Question [Social Security Offering Lump Sum]
Replies: 26
Views: 3108

Re: Social Security Question [Social Security Offering Lump Sum]

An article in Kiplinger's indicates this is legit but may or may not be a good deal for you. It sounds like if you are past full retirement age, they give you the option of getting six months retroactive benefits but they then adjust your benefit amount as if you had started collecting benefits six...
by neilpilot
Mon Sep 25, 2017 6:27 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Lifestyle Creep
Replies: 142
Views: 11637

Re: Lifestyle Creep

For years we are 2 income family and have done a good job of controlling the big expenses - our house is modest for our income and the most we've ever spent on a car is $24 and we tend to run them to the ground. Wow... I wish I could figure out how to get a car for $24! Mostly buy low mileage used....
by neilpilot
Mon Sep 25, 2017 12:47 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Crowd funding
Replies: 2
Views: 224

Re: Crowd funding

Are you asking this in relation to "Personal Investments"? How would you consider this an investment?