Search found 4417 matches

by protagonist
Tue Feb 21, 2017 11:32 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: What's Your Credit Card Rewards Strategy?
Replies: 1205
Views: 149009

Re: What's Your Credit Card Rewards Strategy?

I'd love to be wrong, but I don't see Chase / Citi / AMEX making general policies more lax. Maybe some targeted offers, but not general policies. Policies like 5/24 are not an issue for absolute majority of people, so there's really no reason to make the rules less restrictive. I think for the majo...
by protagonist
Mon Feb 20, 2017 4:39 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Good Modern Science Fiction
Replies: 224
Views: 23197

Re: Good Modern Science Fiction

I have asked him. We have been facebook friends for quite awhile. Me too. :D I respond to his political rants from time to time. My facebook name is Michael Curri (in case you notice my posts there). It used to be Hiro Protagonist, but I got kicked off. Like a phoenix I rose from the ashes with a n...
by protagonist
Mon Feb 20, 2017 8:04 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Good Modern Science Fiction
Replies: 224
Views: 23197

Re: Good Modern Science Fiction

I have been following him for a long time as well, Sandi. I read all of his books, though I think The Long Run is, by far, the best. Interesting to find another fan since his stuff is pretty obscure. I don't know why it has never been picked up for a movie. It's a film begging to be made IMHO. You ...
by protagonist
Sat Feb 18, 2017 8:44 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Vietnam
Replies: 31
Views: 2513

Re: Vietnam

Thanks for all the advice so far. J love the idea of "HanoiKids". I doubt if I will be in Hanoi this time around, but I would imagine that children would give better city tours than professionals...more fun anyway,,,,plus it gives you a chance to give something back (English lessons and cu...
by protagonist
Sat Feb 18, 2017 8:17 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Vietnam
Replies: 31
Views: 2513

Re: Vietnam

I will pass Vietnam now if it still requires a visa to be there. Getting a visa was easy. I spent no more than 10 minutes at the Vietnamese consulate in NYC, paid my $80, and picked it up 3 days later. No prior photos necessary- you can take a selfie and email it to them, which is what took part of...
by protagonist
Fri Feb 17, 2017 11:08 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Android apps useful for travel to Vietnam
Replies: 0
Views: 73

Android apps useful for travel to Vietnam

Other than the obvious general ones (eg Tripadvisor, Google Maps, etc.) Looking for: 1. Good apps for travel suggestions (including food, sights, etc.) Ability to mark points of interest on an offline map is a plus. 2. Good apps for learning the Vietnamese language (I tried Lingo and another one, bo...
by protagonist
Fri Feb 17, 2017 11:02 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Vietnam
Replies: 31
Views: 2513

Re: Vietnam

It's a big country. Where are you going? Arriving in Saigon. Don't plan to initially spend more than a day or two there. I've been in big cities a lot lately and I think I will want to escape, though if I fall in love with Saigon I could stay longer. Then traveling to Mui Ne (probably by train) to ...
by protagonist
Fri Feb 17, 2017 10:48 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Any books really change your outlook on life?
Replies: 270
Views: 40735

Re: Any books really change your outlook on life?

Very few books changed my outlook on life. Exceptions: Age 15- The Alexandria Quartet, as well as assorted lyrics by my favorite music idols (Bob Dylan sticks out). Age 18-25: Just about anything I read regarding theoretical physics. Age 40: books on Chaos theory, as well as The Book of Predictions ...
by protagonist
Fri Feb 17, 2017 10:20 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Vietnam
Replies: 31
Views: 2513

Vietnam

I'm going there next week.

Any comments or suggestions?
by protagonist
Fri Feb 17, 2017 10:15 am
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Who would quit playing if they already won?
Replies: 106
Views: 10352

Re: Who would quit playing if they already won?

I already won and I stopped playing. Or to be more accurate.....any "playing" I continue to do is with money that does not put me at significant risk if I lose all of it....so I suppose it can be defined as "playing" in an accurate sense. It's not like I'm "filthy rich"...
by protagonist
Fri Feb 17, 2017 10:03 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Good Modern Science Fiction
Replies: 224
Views: 23197

Re: Good Modern Science Fiction

The Long Run by Daniel Keys Moran. A little known classic. One of the best ever. Just read the reviews. He's reprinted the series as a self-published set. You can also get them as a Kindle bundle. Note that The Long Run is just one of four books in the Continuing Time series. And A.I. War: The Big ...
by protagonist
Fri Feb 17, 2017 10:00 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Amazon Echo
Replies: 88
Views: 10804

Re: Amazon Echo

TOJ wrote:
So you keep a stereo system on and tuned to the Dot's input 24/7?


Sorry it took so long to answer this...I've been away.

No, I have the Dot connected to a bluetooth speaker (by bluetooth).

It can play and stand on its own....not bad that way....but better fidelity through the speaker.
by protagonist
Sat Dec 31, 2016 12:13 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Amazon Echo
Replies: 88
Views: 10804

Re: Amazon Echo

I just bought 6 Echo Dots- 2 for myself....I found them so much fun that I bought 4 more for holiday presents. I see no point in getting the more expensive models with built-in speaker.....the little dot offers far more flexibility. I have one playing through a good stereo system downstairs and anot...
by protagonist
Sat Dec 31, 2016 12:09 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Amazon Echo
Replies: 88
Views: 10804

Re: Amazon Echo

I just bought 6 Echo Dots- 2 for myself....I found them so much fun that I bought 4 more for holiday presents. I made 4 people very happy. I see no point in getting the more expensive models with built-in speaker.....the little dot offers far more flexibility. I have one playing through a good stere...
by protagonist
Sat Dec 31, 2016 12:01 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Delayed Gratification In Life & its fallacies
Replies: 56
Views: 5916

Re: Delayed Gratification In Life & its fallacies

I wonder how the other BogleHeads approach life... I was not born with a silver spoon in my mouth. I financed my own education through loans, jobs and student teaching. I was a hippie back in the 60's/early 70s. I worked when I had to , in order to finance my next adventure. And I had a lot of them...
by protagonist
Sat Dec 31, 2016 11:41 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Learning an instrument as an adult? Seven Week Update
Replies: 131
Views: 10891

Re: Learning an instrument as an adult?

Any folks on here decide they'd like to learn to play an instrument for the first time as an adult and total beginner? As in, you cannot even read music? If so, what did you try and how did it go? My daughter has been playing the flute for two years and had her first public recital this weekend. Sh...
by protagonist
Sat Dec 31, 2016 11:32 am
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Bernstein-"To Make Money They Didn't Need".....and Pascal's Wager
Replies: 187
Views: 19125

Re: Bernstein-"To Make Money They Didn't Need".....and Pascal's Wager

[quote="larryswedroe" b) the arguments should always consider the marginal utility of wealth which for most people, the vast majority, tends to decline very rapidly once they have "enough"--whatever that means to them, generally supporting a lifestyle that they are comfortable wi...
by protagonist
Thu Dec 29, 2016 12:21 am
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Bernstein-"To Make Money They Didn't Need".....and Pascal's Wager
Replies: 187
Views: 19125

Re: Bernstein-"To Make Money They Didn't Need".....and Pascal's Wager

If someone is 65 and has $1,600,000 you might say they have "won the game". Though they actually still have a 10% chance of "losing the game" by outliving their safe assets. Are you assuming that person has no other source of income, such as social security? If you have that muc...
by protagonist
Thu Dec 29, 2016 12:08 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: France or Switzerland
Replies: 52
Views: 5133

Re: France or Switzerland

Folks, we're debating whether to visit France during next summer. Terrorism is of course the big worry given the recent spate of unfortunate incidents. DW is worried that we'd be caught in it or be affected somehow. Hence Switzerland is the fall back option. Anyone have any perspective to share ? F...
by protagonist
Wed Dec 28, 2016 11:51 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Bernstein-"To Make Money They Didn't Need".....and Pascal's Wager
Replies: 187
Views: 19125

Re: Bernstein-"To Make Money They Didn't Need".....and Pascal's Wager

If someone is 65 and has $1,600,000 you might say they have "won the game". Though they actually still have a 10% chance of "losing the game" by outliving their safe assets. Are you assuming that person has no other source of income, such as social security? If you have that muc...
by protagonist
Wed Dec 28, 2016 11:37 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Best rate buying euros or Canadian $$ in US
Replies: 16
Views: 1167

Re: Best rate buying euros or Canadian $$ in US

I believe they've done away with the 10% surcharge: http://www.havanatimes.org/?p=117419 I don't believe they have. From your article (3/16): "He said the decision should enter into force as soon as US authorities allow Cuban state institutions to use the dollar in transactions in the United S...
by protagonist
Tue Dec 27, 2016 10:35 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Decent quality reading glasses
Replies: 21
Views: 1800

Re: Decent quality reading glasses

Zenni optical
by protagonist
Tue Dec 27, 2016 10:35 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Help me understand if/why I should buy bonds in this environment
Replies: 21
Views: 2545

Re: Help me understand if/why I should buy bonds in this environment

Note: this isn't a "why should i invest in bonds when stocks generally do better and I can just invest it all in stocks?!"type of question. It's more a question about bonds in the abstract, because I cannot find any bond ETF or fund right now where I want to pour in 8% of my portfolio tom...
by protagonist
Tue Dec 27, 2016 6:11 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Best rate buying euros or Canadian $$ in US
Replies: 16
Views: 1167

Re: Best rate buying euros or Canadian $$ in US

I called a currency exchange place in NYC and also visited two local banks here in MA. The "official rate" online states $1000 US is worth $1357 CAN or 956 euro. The local banks (including TD Waterhouse....thought I might do better buying CAD at a Canadian bank) as well as the NYC exchange...
by protagonist
Tue Dec 27, 2016 2:19 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Best rate buying euros or Canadian $$ in US
Replies: 16
Views: 1167

Re: Best rate buying euros or Canadian $$ in US

I had to buy a large quantity of Euros a few weeks ago and my friends that work in banking recommended me to buy it at one of the currency exchange businesses in downtown Miami. I was surprised that they sold me Euros at a few pennies over the official rate (1.043 vs. 1.040 on that day) while Chase...
by protagonist
Tue Dec 27, 2016 2:02 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Declaring state residency for tax filing purposes
Replies: 18
Views: 1432

Re: Declaring state residency for tax filing purposes

What Epsilon Delta says is apparently true. For MA: "An individual's domicile, or legal residence, depends upon all the facts and circumstances in each case, including the good faith of the individual. An individual may have multiple residences at one time, but only one domicile. The legal resi...
by protagonist
Tue Dec 27, 2016 1:46 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Best rate buying euros or Canadian $$ in US
Replies: 16
Views: 1167

Best rate buying euros or Canadian $$ in US

I need to buy either Euros or Canadian dollars with US dollars in the US. I realize that is usually a losing proposition, but it is something I need to do. Does anybody know how or where I can get the best possible exchange rate? Most US banks charge a huge premium over the official rate. I need to ...
by protagonist
Tue Dec 27, 2016 9:33 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Declaring state residency for tax filing purposes
Replies: 18
Views: 1432

Re: Declaring state residency for tax filing purposes

South Dakota specifically allows for residency if you have no other homestead. You must spend at least one night there physically. There is further information online. Here is the affadavit to be executed from the state's website: https://dps.sd.gov/licensing/driver_licensing/documents/RESIDENCYAFF...
by protagonist
Mon Dec 26, 2016 9:37 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Great CD Promo! Andrews FCU 84 mo 3.01%
Replies: 184
Views: 22913

Re: Great CD Promo! Andrews FCU 84 mo 3.01%

Two things: 1. If you refer another person you can get $50 and the other person can get $50 if they do a direct deposit of at least $500. Does anybody know the details of this...both how to do it, AND if you have tried a direct deposit from another financial institution via EFT, which ones worked? A...
by protagonist
Mon Dec 26, 2016 8:48 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Declaring state residency for tax filing purposes
Replies: 18
Views: 1432

Re: Declaring state residency for tax filing purposes

Say your income is coming from SS, or from, say, index fund investments at Vanguard or Fidelity (a likely scenario since a retiree is more likely to be in a position of traveling around or living in several homes and not having a single domicile)? Thus not from a specific state? And some states (FL ...
by protagonist
Mon Dec 26, 2016 8:24 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Declaring state residency for tax filing purposes
Replies: 18
Views: 1432

Re: Declaring state residency for tax filing purposes

That's a very interesting question. Many states seem to have a requirement of six months of residency per year, and certainly there are many people who probably have significant income but don't live in any one state for more than half time. Not my situation, but I would be interested in reading res...
by protagonist
Sat Dec 24, 2016 9:26 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Bogle backfire?
Replies: 81
Views: 12792

Re: Bogle backfire?

There are items where by buying a quality item your chances of appreciation or at least maintaining value are nearly guaranteed, if you know what you are buying. I think fine vintage instruments fall into that category. The vintage 1955 Mark VI saxophone I bought maybe 7 or 8 years ago has tripled i...
by protagonist
Sat Dec 24, 2016 9:15 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Good Modern Science Fiction
Replies: 224
Views: 23197

Re: Good Modern Science Fiction

The Long Run by Daniel Keys Moran.

A little known classic. One of the best ever. Just read the reviews.
by protagonist
Tue Dec 20, 2016 10:29 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Grocery cart rolls into side of car, dent, scratched
Replies: 92
Views: 6763

Re: Grccery cart rolls into side of car, dent, scratched

Life is short and time is valuable. Is this really how you want to spend it? Fighting a likely futile battle over minor cosmetic damage to a 7 year old car? A famous person said: "That to which you give your attention only grows stronger in your life". (Or maybe the famous person plagiariz...
by protagonist
Tue Dec 20, 2016 10:15 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Cutting the cord in NYC, but I love my channels
Replies: 18
Views: 937

Re: Cutting the cord in NYC, but I love my channels

It keeps changing but I currently pay about $135/month for Verizon Fios in NYC, which gets me: - High speed (around 50/50 Mbps) internet - TV, basic cable, HBO, Showtime - Phone (I think it's voip, but it's close to a landline in quality) - Cable card rental for my Tivo XL4 And then we pay $9/mo fo...
by protagonist
Tue Dec 20, 2016 8:53 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Learning an instrument as an adult? Seven Week Update
Replies: 131
Views: 10891

Re: Learning an instrument as an adult?

I recall seeing posts here by people who were interested in learning ukelele. Fortuitously, I just received this email. Long shot I know, but if anybody who wants to learn (or explore learning) ukelele is in shouting distance of Southern Vermont, this might interest you: Hey Music Fans. During the m...
by protagonist
Mon Dec 19, 2016 3:37 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Learning an instrument as an adult? Seven Week Update
Replies: 131
Views: 10891

Re: Learning an instrument as an adult?

Is the dulcimer similar to the ukele in ease of learning? The sound is quite different, but the dulcimer's is lovely. Have been hearing it often on holiday songs and I'm thinking of trying it out. What little I know about dulcimers is that they are tuned to an open chord and they play a diatonic sc...
by protagonist
Sun Dec 18, 2016 7:57 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Credit Card plans and thoughts?
Replies: 10
Views: 1137

Re: Credit Card plans and thoughts?

Jags4186 wrote:
I think the OP should be a guinea pig...that's how all the good information is found out anyway.


Even if OP can get it, there are only 12 days left in Dec. OP would have to receive the card in the mail and then book the flight and have it post. It's cutting it fairly close.
by protagonist
Sun Dec 18, 2016 11:17 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Learning an instrument as an adult? Seven Week Update
Replies: 131
Views: 10891

Re: Learning an instrument as an adult?

I purchased a bass clarinet a few years ago with a goal to join the municipal band. It was pretty easy to get to a basic level, as I had played clarinet in school. Now, we've moved and there isn't really a municipal band option near us. So, it sits collecting dust. Same as the 4-5 guitars that I ow...
by protagonist
Sun Dec 18, 2016 11:09 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Can I use this as a carry on?
Replies: 10
Views: 1135

Re: Can I use this as a carry on?

One tip....whenever possible get your boarding pass online and go straight to the gate.
Harried gate officials do not like having to check baggage if they don't have to. Your chances of slipping by are greater than if you show up at the ticket counter with your bag.
by protagonist
Sun Dec 18, 2016 11:04 am
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Fidelity ERs - Look Into Your Crystal Ball
Replies: 21
Views: 1760

Re: Fidelity ERs - Look Into Your Crystal Ball

I've been using a Vanguard IRA for several years and have always been somewhat...disappointed...with their website's features. But, I've stuck with them for their ultra-low expense ratios and the fact I'm a fan of them bring investor owned...the same reason I recently switched to a credit union. Wi...
by protagonist
Sun Dec 18, 2016 10:57 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Credit Card plans and thoughts?
Replies: 10
Views: 1137

Re: Credit Card plans and thoughts?

Hello all, looking for some opinions or suggestions on my plans for credit cards. I am trying to earn some extra cash for free since I basically put everything on a credit card and pay it off right away. Currently, the only card I have is the Chase Freedom card. After some research, I am looking in...
by protagonist
Sun Dec 18, 2016 10:48 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Need Help: Drowning in Debt
Replies: 60
Views: 5990

Re: Need Help: Drowning in Debt

This is a budgeting issue. Are you able to go back and determine where you spend your money each month? What items can you cut in order to be cash flow positive? It is 100% a budgeting issue. With an income that high, there's got to be a several thousand dollar a month leak in your pocket. You have...
by protagonist
Sun Dec 18, 2016 10:33 am
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: $400,000 Roth Conversions Between Ages 66-69?
Replies: 133
Views: 16983

Re: $400,000 Roth Conversions Between Ages 66-69?

I thought I qualified my comments by saying Roth conversions are not for everyone . You are right about CD and bond-based IRAs. But since this thread started out talking about conversions for high net worth individuals and has attracted many of them, that is who I was primarily addressing. How do y...
by protagonist
Fri Dec 16, 2016 10:15 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Learning an instrument as an adult? Seven Week Update
Replies: 131
Views: 10891

Re: Learning an instrument as an adult?

I purchased a bass clarinet a few years ago with a goal to join the municipal band. It was pretty easy to get to a basic level, as I had played clarinet in school. Now, we've moved and there isn't really a municipal band option near us. So, it sits collecting dust. Same as the 4-5 guitars that I ow...
by protagonist
Fri Dec 16, 2016 10:13 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Learning an instrument as an adult? Seven Week Update
Replies: 131
Views: 10891

Re: Learning an instrument as an adult?

I purchased a bass clarinet a few years ago with a goal to join the municipal band. It was pretty easy to get to a basic level, as I had played clarinet in school. Now, we've moved and there isn't really a municipal band option near us. So, it sits collecting dust. Same as the 4-5 guitars that I ow...
by protagonist
Fri Dec 16, 2016 9:59 am
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: $400,000 Roth Conversions Between Ages 66-69?
Replies: 133
Views: 16983

Re: $400,000 Roth Conversions Between Ages 66-69?

Thank you for your thorough response, celia. I do have one obvious issue here: 3) The account value will continue to grow until distributions become greater than the growth. RMDs start at 3.65% of the account value and stock market returns are more often than not, greater than that. Most of us have ...
by protagonist
Thu Dec 15, 2016 9:53 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: $400,000 Roth Conversions Between Ages 66-69?
Replies: 133
Views: 16983

Re: $400,000 Roth Conversions Between Ages 66-69?

Advisers say you generally need to hold the Roth IRA for 15 to 20 years to make it pay off. So they generally don't recommend conversion for anyone over age 60. "If you're going to hold the IRA for less than 10 years, you definitely don't want to do it," says Tom Wiggins, a Certified Fina...
by protagonist
Thu Dec 15, 2016 7:44 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: $400,000 Roth Conversions Between Ages 66-69?
Replies: 133
Views: 16983

Re: $400,000 Roth Conversions Between Ages 66-69?

I'm struggling with the same issue . Age 64, retired at 55....most of my savings (80% or so) are in taxable. The remainder is in an IRA, Until I am eligible for Medicare I have resisted IRA conversion to avoid high health insurance costs. This article (from bankrate.com) seems to suggest that conver...

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