Search found 1570 matches

by ourbrooks
Sat Jul 22, 2017 12:30 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Alternatives to Sansa Clip+ MP3 Player
Replies: 22
Views: 1195

Re: Alternatives to Sansa Clip+ MP3 Player

Go to eBay and search for "mp3 player." You'll get a huge number of hits for non-name brand devices. Nearly all of them require a separate memory card. Which one is best? Splurge and spend a total of $10 for the three most likely ones.
by ourbrooks
Sat Jun 03, 2017 2:21 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Lump Sum or Annuity
Replies: 8
Views: 803

Re: Lump Sum or Annuity

E.g., for 30 years of a $525/mo withdrawal, starting in 4 years, the return on the lump sum would have to average ~5.4%/yr for the next 34 years. Yes, that's the return I get too. [1] But living to age 95 is optimistic. Based on the SSA 2013 Period Life Table , only 7% of males and 13% of females a...
by ourbrooks
Fri May 19, 2017 6:13 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: iPhone GPS apps
Replies: 15
Views: 1180

Re: iPhone GPS apps

Here WeGo is free and has offline maps, so you can still use it even if you can't get a cell phone connection. If you ever drive outside of big urban areas, this is well worth having. The company which produces it is owned by a consortium of German automakers who don't want to be dependent on Google...
by ourbrooks
Thu May 18, 2017 4:11 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Managing My Elderly Moms Portfolio
Replies: 13
Views: 1999

Re: Managing My Elderly Moms Portfolio

If you're sure she's going to exhaust her finances, why not just buy an SPIA (single premium immediate annuity)? If you put $700,000 into buying an annuity, at her age, it'd pay out a bit more than the $80,000 for as long as she lives. The amount the annuity pays out is not adjusted for inflation so...
by ourbrooks
Tue May 16, 2017 5:38 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Artificial Intelligence ETF
Replies: 12
Views: 1827

Re: Artificial Intelligence ETF

I've lost track - is this the third or fourth AI revival? I still have my proceedings from the 1985 International Joint Conference on Artificial Intelligence. Three kinds of things have happened along the way: 1. Algorithms have gotten better. Sixty years of continuous improvement in machine learnin...
by ourbrooks
Mon May 15, 2017 8:31 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Anyone else agree with my logic on silicon valley housing?
Replies: 84
Views: 7610

Re: Anyone else agree with my logic on silicon valley housing?

I'll agree that the weather in Austin isn't as nice as in the Silicon Valley area; it gets a lot hotter in summer and freezes in winter. If you come to visit, August is a good month to see what the weather is really like. Honesty compels me to state that there are a lot of music places available aft...
by ourbrooks
Mon May 15, 2017 8:15 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Anyone else agree with my logic on silicon valley housing?
Replies: 84
Views: 7610

Re: Anyone else agree with my logic on silicon valley housing?

Please, please, don't move to Austin. There are 20,000 - 24,000 people moving here a year and the City of Austin has done a miserable job of planning for growth. They expect traffic on the main, MOPAC freeway, to go from 185,000 trips per day this year to 320,000 trips a day by 2030. What are they d...
by ourbrooks
Mon May 15, 2017 6:43 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: mirror or clone my windows 10 HD?
Replies: 10
Views: 879

Re: mirror or clone my windows 10 HD?

I'm not sure "mirror" applies to your situation. I think you either want to "clone" or create a backup "image" of your entire system. To me, "mirroring" is when you have copies of a file or folder in more than one location and you want them to stay in sync (l...
by ourbrooks
Mon May 15, 2017 4:45 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: mirror or clone my windows 10 HD?
Replies: 10
Views: 879

Re: mirror or clone my windows 10 HD?

From the Start menu, go to Settings/Backup and select Backup and Restore (Windows 7). Connect an external HDD with enough space to hold all of the space you've used on your disk. Select Create a system image and select your HDD When it asks, create a recovery drive using a USB stick. Put the hard dr...
by ourbrooks
Thu May 11, 2017 3:47 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Home Addition Costs
Replies: 19
Views: 1798

Re: Home Addition Costs

Unless you're able to go see examples of what you're purchasing, be cautious about prices advertised online; they may not be the same grade of product. Also, was that the price of just the shower door or did it include installation? Glass shower door installation in my area are usually done by glass...
by ourbrooks
Thu May 11, 2017 2:39 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Home Addition Costs
Replies: 19
Views: 1798

Re: Home Addition Costs

Part of the problem might be, you went out for bids for the whole job. Contractors have a hard time controlling costs; maybe, when they finally get to your job, the subcontractor they were going to use is busy on another job so they have to use a more expensive sub. Maybe the cost of tile takes a bi...
by ourbrooks
Thu May 11, 2017 8:55 am
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Assisting Parents (82 and 78)
Replies: 17
Views: 1978

Re: Assisting Parents (82 and 78)

The stock market must be up; people are recommending equities to people in their 80s. In 2009, people were recommending no stocks to people in their 20s. Between 1999 and 2009 there was a 10 year period in which equities lost money; it can happen again. The rule of thumb used to be, don't put any mo...
by ourbrooks
Sat Apr 29, 2017 5:37 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: When to consider Long Term Care Insurance
Replies: 38
Views: 3051

Re: When to concider Long Term Care Insurance

Approximately how much did this policy cost? What were the policy limits? What company offered the policy? I'm guessing that the policy cost on the order of $2,000 a month and that policy limits were on the order of $300,000. In the case referenced, the client deposited 300,000 with the insurance c...
by ourbrooks
Sat Apr 29, 2017 4:18 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: When to consider Long Term Care Insurance
Replies: 38
Views: 3051

Re: When to concider Long Term Care Insurance

It is very fact dependent. For example a case I recently reviewed, husband 73 is care giver for 67 year old wife with MS. They are very wealthy but concerned about a long claim and funding 24 hour care. He will pay the first 300,000 of care then the insurance company pay the balance up to policy li...
by ourbrooks
Sat Apr 29, 2017 3:16 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: When to consider Long Term Care Insurance
Replies: 38
Views: 3051

Re: When to concider Long Term Care Insurance

There are some policies that will cover this worst case. And there are policies that allows you to cover the first few years then they will cover for life, guaranteed by contract. Please provide pointers to such policies. I claim that they no longer exist because the companies which offered them go...
by ourbrooks
Sat Apr 29, 2017 12:16 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: calculating best house value across US markets
Replies: 18
Views: 2005

Re: calculating best house value across US markets

You also might want to look at the data Zillow publishes.
by ourbrooks
Sat Apr 29, 2017 12:07 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: calculating best house value across US markets
Replies: 18
Views: 2005

Re: calculating best house value across US markets

What you want is the FHA Housing Price Index (HPI) ZIP5 map. It shows relative prices, which are not the same as relative values, but it's a start. If you work at home and rely on the Internet, one thing to be really careful about is connection availability in rural areas. You need to look at this s...
by ourbrooks
Mon Jun 20, 2016 6:33 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Hard to understand in percent for AA, any better alternative models out there ?
Replies: 22
Views: 1417

Re: Hard to understand in percent for AA, any better alternative models out there ?

I started with all fixed income investments for the first five years. Then I did a glidepath, in five year chunks, of percentage stocks going from 0 to 100 percent at 20 years and stayed at 100% out to 30 years. In the past, stocks have never lost money in any 20 year period, so I figured that after...
by ourbrooks
Mon Jun 20, 2016 3:33 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Hard to understand in percent for AA, any better alternative models out there ?
Replies: 22
Views: 1417

Re: Hard to understand in percent for AA, any better alternative models out there ?

The concern is not math. It is ability to correlate to a real life use-case/situation. What does this mean? :( Let me try and answer that, since I have the same problem as the OP. Why 60/40? Why not 63/38? The standard answer is that experience has show that 60/40 gives a "good" balance b...
by ourbrooks
Mon Jun 20, 2016 2:26 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Changing life path (giving up the dream) to FIRE
Replies: 26
Views: 4094

Re: Changing life path (giving up the dream) to FIRE

There's lots and lots of stuff on factors affecting urban development, but alas, I don't know of a good starting place. To get a feel for how things happen, you might try reading up on the history of the place where you live now. I've always found the life cycles of urban neighborhoods interesting; ...
by ourbrooks
Sun Jun 19, 2016 9:30 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: What would be the best way to sell this software?
Replies: 80
Views: 4183

Re: What would be the best way to sell this software?

As I posted earlier, try the 10 user test. They've actually got to use the app, not just watch you use it. Other applications which use Qt mostly do so because they have no other choice. They've got old, poorly structured applications which can't easily be split into front end/back end structures fo...
by ourbrooks
Sun Jun 19, 2016 8:25 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: What would be the best way to sell this software?
Replies: 80
Views: 4183

Re: What would be the best way to sell this software?

Most users have never worked with AWS and have no idea how to use the remote desktop launcher so you'll have to be ready to guide them through doing this, including people running on Windows XP, people running on Linux and people running on Macs. Are you prepared to become an expert on all the diffe...
by ourbrooks
Sun Jun 19, 2016 12:34 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Changing life path (giving up the dream) to FIRE
Replies: 26
Views: 4094

Re: Changing life path (giving up the dream) to FIRE

You don't want to move to a "rapidly growing" area. It might seem nice right now but you won't like it when it's all grown up. Those nice affordable houses? When the value of the lots increases, they'll be torn down and replaced by McMansions. You'll end up in the smallest and oldest hous...
by ourbrooks
Sun Jun 19, 2016 11:24 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Changing life path (giving up the dream) to FIRE
Replies: 26
Views: 4094

Re: Changing life path (giving up the dream) to FIRE

You don't want to move to a "rapidly growing" area. It might seem nice right now but you won't like it when it's all grown up. Those nice affordable houses? When the value of the lots increases, they'll be torn down and replaced by McMansions. You'll end up in the smallest and oldest house...
by ourbrooks
Sat Jun 18, 2016 6:36 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Customs Duty when buying from Overseas
Replies: 4
Views: 525

Re: Customs Duty when buying from Overseas

The duty that is owed depends on the item being imported; live fish are free to import; frozen horsehead mackerel have a 3% duty. The rate varies from free to 37.5% of the value of the goods depending on what you're importing and where you're importing it from. First question: What are you planning ...
by ourbrooks
Sat Jun 18, 2016 6:10 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Do I need a company to sell software?
Replies: 51
Views: 2668

Re: Do I need a company to sell software?

Are you sure your product is ready to sell yet? How many people have used the product besides yourself? How much code have you run through it? What other testing have you done? What version control do you use? How are you going to provide support? What happens if a customer calls when you're at your...
by ourbrooks
Mon Jun 13, 2016 8:31 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Help! Microsoft kills WIN Live Mail-2012
Replies: 22
Views: 2429

Re: Help! Microsoft kills WIN Live Mail-2012

What changing is just the outlook.com server. Just those servers are going to move to Microsoft Exchange. Unless the other companies are moving their servers as well, which is very unlikely, no clients should be affected. For the record, Windows Live Mail does support both POP and IMAP, just as Thun...
by ourbrooks
Mon Jun 13, 2016 7:16 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Help! Microsoft kills WIN Live Mail-2012
Replies: 22
Views: 2429

Re: Help! Microsoft kills WIN Live Mail-2012

The option to enable POP might not become available until they switch you to the new servers. There's material in the link on how to recognize when they've done that. Right now, devices and apps can already use POP, so the option doesn't make much sense. After they do make the change, unless you re-...
by ourbrooks
Mon Jun 13, 2016 4:24 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Help! Microsoft kills WIN Live Mail-2012
Replies: 22
Views: 2429

Re: Help! Microsoft kills WIN Live Mail-2012

What Microsoft is doing is changing the protocol that clients have to use in communicating with the server. Here's some information about the change: http://www.howto-outlook.com/howto/outlookcommigrationinfo.htm#pop3 . This is not a case of abandoning old technologies, since Exchange and Outlook we...
by ourbrooks
Sun Jun 12, 2016 7:39 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Cord Cutting, "local area networking" TV at home
Replies: 16
Views: 2336

Re: Cord Cutting, "local area networking" TV at home

In fact, the spec for HDMI doesn't specify a maximum length so, under the right circumstances, a 100' cable might work. Monoprice does sell them up to 100' long. As the lengths get longer, though, the quality has to be higher and I don't get the impression that the OP wants to worry about cable qual...
by ourbrooks
Sun Jun 12, 2016 5:32 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Recommendation for international SIM cards?
Replies: 30
Views: 2554

Re: Recommendation for international SIM cards?

If you have a T Mobile Simple Choice plan in the U.S., then texting and data download in Greece are free and calls cost $0.20 minute. This will probably work really well if you're the one doing the calling or texting, but your family in Greece will get charged international rates for calling you, ev...
by ourbrooks
Sun Jun 12, 2016 5:18 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: What does "Self Insure" mean?
Replies: 43
Views: 5021

Re: What does "Self Insure" mean?

....According the US Health and Human Services Dept. , someone turning age 65 today has almost a 70% chance of needing some type of long-term care services and supports in their remaining years. I'm guessing the 70% number you're seeing reflects the impact of unpaid caregivers . For example, accord...
by ourbrooks
Sat Jun 11, 2016 5:23 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Include Social Security in AA calculations?
Replies: 73
Views: 4735

Re: Include Social Security in AA calculations?

It doesn't really matter - you get the same results whether you include it or leave it out! Stocks have the highest average annual returns; if you want to make the most money, go 100% in stocks (well, maybe 10% in bonds). Stocks are also the most volatile asset class; they go up and down a lot and t...
by ourbrooks
Sat Jun 11, 2016 4:06 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Cord Cutting, "local area networking" TV at home
Replies: 16
Views: 2336

Re: Cord Cutting, "local area networking" TV at home

One issue is the length of the HDMI cable; HDMI is good for only about 25 ft. without a repeater. The second possibility is the one NJ2SLC mentioned. If your Verizon box has coax cable connections and if your TV also does, you could run coax between them. Coax will easily handle 100 ft. A Roku TV bo...
by ourbrooks
Fri Jun 10, 2016 8:02 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: What does "Self Insure" mean?
Replies: 43
Views: 5021

Re: What does "Self Insure" mean?

Thanks for the cumulative graph.

Since my earlier post, I've discovered one additional, useful fact: Only about 40% of people over 65 ever enter a nursing home at all.

This means that the overall probability of staying longer than five years in a nursing home is somewhere around 1%.
by ourbrooks
Fri Jun 10, 2016 6:39 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Hedging EUR Currency Risk for Instrument Purchase
Replies: 7
Views: 466

Re: Hedging EUR Currency Risk for Instrument Purchase

Everbank offers foreign currency accounts for U.S. residents. They even have FDIC coverage on the dollar value of the accounts and interest paying CDs in some currencies. They charge a 1% fee for the purchase of the foreign currency but, for $35, they'll send wires in the foreign currency. You could...
by ourbrooks
Fri Jun 10, 2016 10:13 am
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Illiquid assets pay you for holding them (?)
Replies: 34
Views: 2221

Re: Illiquid assets pay you for holding them (?)

There are other, common examples of an illiquidity premium. There are lot of posts about TIAA Traditional. In most plans, you are only able to withdraw from it over a 10 year period so it's pretty illiquid. It has a stable share price but with returns (says livesoft) of an intermediate term bond fun...
by ourbrooks
Fri Jun 10, 2016 8:30 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Pension-PBGC & Fund management
Replies: 9
Views: 542

Re: Pension-PBGC & Fund management

It is quite frequently the case that a pension buyout lump sum will not buy the same amount of monthly payments as the pension. First, even if the company uses exactly the same actuarial tables as the insurance company, they don't have the advertising or sales expenses that the insurance company doe...
by ourbrooks
Thu Jun 09, 2016 3:54 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Pension-PBGC & Fund management
Replies: 9
Views: 542

Re: Pension-PBGC & Fund management

Let's suppose that you do take the lump sum and you purchase a commercial life annuity with it. Even if the insurance company is highly rated today, will it be highly rated 10 years from now? The only protection you have is whatever coverage the California Life and Health Insurance Guarantee Associa...
by ourbrooks
Thu Jun 09, 2016 12:07 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: 401 k moved to tiaa from vanguard
Replies: 5
Views: 521

Re: 401 k moved to tiaa from vanguard

401K plans are an expense to a company; they pay the plan provider for providing the plan. Part of what the plan providers do is provide customer support such as a website and telephone lines. Support may even include local offices that can send people out to your company, people who are far more qu...
by ourbrooks
Wed Jun 08, 2016 4:46 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Who owns Vanguard?
Replies: 20
Views: 2913

Re: Who owns Vanguard?

ruralavalon wrote:I own Vanguard :D .


So do I. I also own State Farm and TIAA-CREF.
by ourbrooks
Tue Jun 07, 2016 8:11 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: What does "Self Insure" mean?
Replies: 43
Views: 5021

Re: What does "Self Insure" mean?

Here's the historical distribution of stays in nursing homes: http://1.bp.blogspot.com/_g6b7lckX2zE/THX7D3XuBpI/AAAAAAAABVI/fk7-z20ukqo/s1600/Screen+shot+2010-08-25+at+10.25.58+PM.png I note that you don't have a choice; everyone must self-insure since you can't even buy an LTCi policy which would p...
by ourbrooks
Tue Jun 07, 2016 7:14 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Self-insure LTC?
Replies: 31
Views: 2863

Re: Self-insure LTC?

I have LTC insurance. The agent told me that there is value to the policy in facilitating things with the nursing home. He made a big deal about how important this benefit is. He told me that Bill Gates has LTC insurance, for just this resson. Any truth to this? I am single with no children, so hav...
by ourbrooks
Tue Jun 07, 2016 4:51 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Self-insure LTC?
Replies: 31
Views: 2863

Re: Self-insure LTC?

To elaborate slightly on what Watty wrote, for an insurance company, an SPIA is the opposite of life insurance; the sooner you die the more money they make, so poor health alone is probably not a reason for an insurance company to deny you a policy. The issue about mental competence is a more subtle...
by ourbrooks
Tue Jun 07, 2016 4:28 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: What does "Self Insure" mean?
Replies: 43
Views: 5021

Re: What does "Self Insure" mean?

I presume it means you have enough saved to cover the costs out of pocket. 3.5k+/month for assisted living and 6.5k+/month for a nursing home isn't cheap though. X 2 in CT and most of the Northeast 2/3 as much in Texas. The median stay in a nursing home prior to death is 5 months; the average is 14...
by ourbrooks
Tue Jun 07, 2016 11:51 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Self-insure LTC?
Replies: 31
Views: 2863

Re: Self-insure LTC?

One option to consider if someone is going to require long term nursing care is to buy a single premium immediate annuity (SPIA). Even though someone may live quite a long time with an Alzheimer's or vascular dementia diagnosis, their life expectancy is still lower than someone in better health and...
by ourbrooks
Tue Jun 07, 2016 11:02 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Self-insure LTC?
Replies: 31
Views: 2863

Re: Self-insure LTC?

Nursing home care is the largest cost component in long term care and the most common diagnoses for long term stays are mental health diagnoses - Alzheimer's Type dementia and other dementias and depression. Things like strokes generally don't result in long stays; someone who is paralyzed by a stro...
by ourbrooks
Mon Jun 06, 2016 3:46 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: After 30 yrs at Megacorp my IT job was surplussed...
Replies: 52
Views: 7275

Re: After 30 yrs at Megacorp my IT job was surplussed...

Are you actually still working or did they escort you out the door? If they're still letting you work, they must trust you not to get revenge in the next six months. In fact, compared to other people's layoff experiences, they're sending you a message: get off the payroll but don't go away mad. A be...
by ourbrooks
Sat Jun 04, 2016 5:49 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: FASFA Questions [Free Application for Federal Student Aid]
Replies: 9
Views: 822

Re: FASFA Questions [Free Application for Federal Student Aid]

UT Dallas awards scholarships without the FAFSA form: http://oue.utdallas.edu/aes/ The only mention of the FAFSA form on the UT Dallas website is as a requirement for receiving financial aid, which is not the same as a merit scholarship. It looks to me as if the FAFSA form is required for needs base...
by ourbrooks
Fri Jun 03, 2016 2:36 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Constant Percentage
Replies: 8
Views: 1640

Re: Constant Percentage

Imagine it's 2007 and you withdraw 2.73%= $54,600 from your 100% stock, $2,000,000 portfolio. Next year is 2008 and the market drops 50% so you can only take out $27,300. Think about what kind of a life style you would have to lead to be able to cut your expenses by 50% year over year. Constant perc...

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