Search found 356 matches

by reisner
Sat Jun 17, 2017 9:36 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Worth it to buy expensive clothes?
Replies: 90
Views: 7607

Re: Worth it to buy expensive clothes?

Some years ago I found L..L. Bean's quality had declined. It may have picked back up, but I'm still looking for better. I would like some information on both their quality control and human rights record, since everything they sell seems to be made in China. Patagonia on the other hand publishes ext...
by reisner
Fri Jun 16, 2017 8:29 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Worth it to buy expensive clothes?
Replies: 90
Views: 7607

Re: Worth it to buy expensive clothes?

I like to look neat, trim, well-turned out. Not dressy, not metrosexual, not Italian, not a Londoner, just my style, but not so pronounced that it would interfere with my chatting with a lawyer, or a Hell's Angel. I notice that most men of anywhere near my age (71) dress like plain slobs, unless it'...
by reisner
Mon Jun 05, 2017 8:04 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Worth it to buy expensive clothes?
Replies: 90
Views: 7607

Re: Worth it to buy expensive clothes?

I'm not rich enough to buy cheap stuff. I buy the best I can find at a price I can afford (I am a great bargain hunter) and keep it a long time, even have it repaired. If an item begins to show some wear, it still shows a lot of class.
by reisner
Wed May 31, 2017 9:51 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Any books really change your outlook on life?
Replies: 280
Views: 44871

Re: Any books really change your outlook on life?

"Being Wrong" by Kathryn Schultz, a brilliant and hilarious writer.

"The Examined Life" by Stephen Grosz--a psycholanalyst's case histories told as mini-mysteries.

"How to Speak Money" by John Lanchester, another brilliant and hilarious writer.
by reisner
Mon May 01, 2017 9:26 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Shopping habits and timing of purchase
Replies: 13
Views: 1408

Re: Shopping habits and timing of purchase

I too have a strict in-out policy. It started because I had a small house with very little storage. When my mother-in-law died and we came home with an Explorer full of her and the grandmother's stuff, we had to give away sixteen bags and boxes of our own stuff to Goodwill. When we got a rice cooker...
by reisner
Sun Apr 30, 2017 8:19 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Retirement and renting vs. home ownership
Replies: 13
Views: 1210

Re: Retirement and renting vs. home ownership

I've owned and rented, mostly in California but also in Washington state. It always seemed like I had more money when I was renting. Having made a bundle, by accident, in the ups and downs of the California market, I would be inclined not to buy another house. I'm not going to make another bundle (a...
by reisner
Sun Apr 30, 2017 8:18 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Retirement and renting vs. home ownership
Replies: 13
Views: 1210

Re: Retirement and renting vs. home ownership

I've owned and rented, mostly in California but also in Washington state. It always seemed like I had more money when I was renting. Having made a bundle, by accident, in the ups and downs of the California market, I would be inclined not to buy another house. I'm not going to make another bundle (a...
by reisner
Tue Apr 25, 2017 10:30 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: $300+ to remove a racoon. Really?
Replies: 83
Views: 5036

Re: $300+ to remove a racoon. Really?

Is there a problem here? Stench, fleas, some threat to pets? Coons are not my favorite animals, but I'd just let the family grow up and move on when they are ready and then block the access. Though I have live-trapped a couple of dozen possums and a hundred roof rats, I usually like seeing critters ...
by reisner
Sun Apr 23, 2017 7:17 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: National Parks in Northern CA
Replies: 34
Views: 2323

Re: National Parks in Northern CA

I prefer to enter Yosemite from the east side, up the Tuoleme Pass Rd, staying in Lee Vining by Mono Lake--if that fits in with your itinerary.
by reisner
Mon Apr 10, 2017 8:05 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: You can never go "home" - retirement
Replies: 85
Views: 12749

Re: You can never do "home" - retirement

Jersey City! Are you kidding me? Wait, wait, it's been discovered by the New York via Brooklyn via Hoboken crowd. Even so, no thanks. Hey, Martha, Martha Stewart! We were born in the same hospital, The Margaret Hague; it's going condo now. How about you, are you going back?

Didn't think so.
by reisner
Mon Apr 10, 2017 6:19 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Low-earners- What is your profession?
Replies: 262
Views: 25015

Re: Low-earners- What is your profession?

by livesoft » Mon Apr 10, 2017 3:27 pm reisner wrote: I was Professor of Classics and Humanities at San Diego State University for 35 years. When I retired in 2005 (and salaries have not gone up much since then, unlike my pension) I was making 81K. Stanford Ph.D. Tons of publications and community s...
by reisner
Mon Apr 10, 2017 5:19 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Low-earners- What is your profession?
Replies: 262
Views: 25015

Re: Low-earners- What is your profession?

I was Professor of Classics and Humanities at San Diego State University for 35 years. When I retired in 2005 (and pay has not gone up much since then, unlike my pension, to which I had always contributed about 5.5% of salary) I was making 81K. Stanford Ph.D. Tons of publications and community servi...
by reisner
Sun Apr 09, 2017 6:41 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Packing cubes for travel
Replies: 60
Views: 4378

Re: Packing cubes for travel

I wrote this about throwing away old clothes on a trip. It got a lot of mail.

http://www.nytimes.com/1995/02/19/trave ... there.html
by reisner
Sat Apr 08, 2017 8:13 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Packing cubes for travel
Replies: 60
Views: 4378

Re: Packing cubes for travel

I find a couple useful for socks and underwear in a roll-aboard. My weekend and car-travel bag had one big compartment, and nothing seemed to help me deal with that big black hole guarded by an abrasive zipper. I traded that in for a Red Oxx Safari Bag (winner of Outside magazine's Gear of the Year ...
by reisner
Sun Mar 26, 2017 2:55 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: What is your favorite consumer product?
Replies: 301
Views: 40967

Re: What is your favorite consumer product?

Big fat Pelikan fountain pen Noodler's Bulletproof ink Rhodia notebooks MacBook Air Miele vacuum Logitech Squeezebox radio Icebreaker merino T shirts Handmade belt from Hollows leather Gran Sasso sweaters Keen hiking shoes Patagonia almost anything Benchmade Mini-Griptilian folder (be sure to sand d...
by reisner
Wed Mar 15, 2017 9:57 am
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Do you avoid international investing like Jack Bogle?
Replies: 151
Views: 8827

Re: Do you avoid international investing like Jack Bogle?

If I were in the acquisition phase, I would be buying international. But I'm not, and I see no reason to sell my Vanguard TSM (all in taxable) to buy international.
by reisner
Sun Mar 05, 2017 12:53 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Describe your Reasonable Dream Home
Replies: 51
Views: 3583

Re: Describe your Reasonable Dream Home

Bright light in winter through many large windows and glass doors. Shade in summer from surrounding greenery. (A view, as I learned when I had a view through thirteen french doors of bay, island , lighthouse, Olympic Mountains, quickly turns into a painting over the sofa.) Very functional space on o...
by reisner
Thu Mar 02, 2017 7:46 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Bonds AND dividends down
Replies: 23
Views: 2682

Re: Bonds AND dividends down

Kevin M,

Thanks. That helps a lot.

Rob
by reisner
Thu Mar 02, 2017 4:06 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Favorite survival books?
Replies: 41
Views: 3635

Re: Favorite survival books?

The Odyssey

Brazilian Adventure by Peter Fleming, brother of Ian

Disappearances by Howard Frank Mosher, recently deceased. The great American novel as far as I'm concerned. Made into a terrible movie by the way.
by reisner
Wed Mar 01, 2017 7:00 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Bonds AND dividends down
Replies: 23
Views: 2682

Re: Bonds AND dividends down

Bonds are more complicated than the average Vanguard investor knows when he chooses his AA. Naytheless, could anyone put it in plain English to this befuddled Stanford Ph.D. why my monthly deposits into my sweep fund are going down along with the prices of my bond funds? I appreciate all the respons...
by reisner
Wed Mar 01, 2017 11:28 am
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Bonds AND dividends down
Replies: 23
Views: 2682

Bonds AND dividends down

I thought bond yield was supposed to go up as bonds prices went down. So why are the dividends down about 15% the last few months on my Intermediate Term Index and IT Investment Grade Bond funds?
by reisner
Tue Feb 28, 2017 11:07 am
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: the tax pain of rebalancing
Replies: 2
Views: 304

the tax pain of rebalancing

My AA is 55/45, at age 71 with a DB pension.I am currently not far off that at 58/42, but PE ratios are very high right now, and I need to take some money out of the taxable account for a new roof and fence. So far I have pretty much kept the rebalancing to changes within my Roth. That won't be poss...
by reisner
Mon Feb 27, 2017 11:30 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Why not to do ROTH Conversion
Replies: 29
Views: 3166

Re: Why not to do ROTH Conversion

I did a Roth conversion at the end of 2009. The stock market was near the bottom, and I was living in a state with no income tax but expecting to move back to a state with high income tax. Barring those conditions, I don't think I would have done the conversion at age 64.
by reisner
Fri Feb 24, 2017 8:42 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Which puppy to buy: golden retriever or labrador retriever?
Replies: 120
Views: 7510

Re: Which puppy to buy: golden retriever or labrador retriever?

The last poster brings up size. My wonderful vet (large animal and small, bird dog owner, cross country horse racing champ) has a theory that within a given breed smaller is healthier. Certainly I have to wonder at the gargantuan specimens being bred and shown in some breeds. On the dog beach in San...
by reisner
Thu Feb 23, 2017 9:17 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Which puppy to buy: golden retriever or labrador retriever?
Replies: 120
Views: 7510

Re: Which puppy to buy: golden retriever or labrador retriever?

Not to highjack this thread, but a lot of the discussion has been on adoption vs. buying a pup from a breeder. There are reasons for insisting on a purebred of one sort or another that have little to do with "aesthetic" preference: you want a dog from a breed with a tradition of performing...
by reisner
Thu Feb 23, 2017 8:01 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Which puppy to buy: golden retriever or labrador retriever?
Replies: 120
Views: 7510

Re: Which puppy to buy: golden retriever or labrador retriever?

I'm glad you could judge the temperment of your Llewellin on meeting him.


Actually I spent an hour a day for a week with him before taking possession. By the third day we couldn't wait to see each other.
by reisner
Thu Feb 23, 2017 1:42 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Which puppy to buy: golden retriever or labrador retriever?
Replies: 120
Views: 7510

Re: Which puppy to buy: golden retriever or labrador retriever?

This is an animial that you will spend the next hopefully 15 years with .... the advice about going to a shelter or getting a rescue dog although I sympathize with the plight of those dogs, is just plain ill advised for a very expensive 15 year investment. I couldn't disagree more strongly. By gett...
by reisner
Wed Feb 22, 2017 10:07 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Which puppy to buy: golden retriever or labrador retriever?
Replies: 120
Views: 7510

Re: Which puppy to buy: golden retriever or labrador retriever?

Regarding the recommendation for using a Furminator to pull out gobs of hair: It works great, but the price has soared with its popularity. The Furblaster, available on Amazon, is much cheaper and works at least as well.
by reisner
Tue Feb 21, 2017 3:15 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Which puppy to buy: golden retriever or labrador retriever?
Replies: 120
Views: 7510

Re: Which puppy to buy: golden retriever or labrador retriever?

All breeds have their pluses and minuses, except of course for the breeds I prefer. Goldens are reportedly very prone to cancer, perhaps because (again, reportedly) they are all descended from just a couple of male dogs in this country. Labs--according to a recent article in, I believe, the NY TImes...
by reisner
Fri Feb 17, 2017 9:31 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: buying umbrella insurance in CA
Replies: 7
Views: 727

Re: buying umbrella insurance in CA

I get car, umbrella, and home insurance all from the Hartford through AARP. Their service has been outstanding. They went to bat for me in a fight with Liberty Mutual, when LM wanted to lowball a payout and have me take 10% responsibility for getting hit (pretty standard behavior for them, I have he...
by reisner
Mon Feb 13, 2017 5:58 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: why invest internationally?
Replies: 72
Views: 3986

Re: why invest internationally?

I cashed out of a cash-cow house in San Diego in 2005, retired, and relocated to Washington State for a while. I didn't know what I was doing and by chance put a good portion of the profit into Fidelity Canada and Latin America. Those funds were earning over 40%, and that carried us through not quit...
by reisner
Wed Feb 08, 2017 5:25 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Napa/Sonoma Recommendations
Replies: 46
Views: 2958

Re: Napa/Sonoma Recommendations

I love the town of Sebastopol, and the Hopmonk Tavern there for its old California atmosphere and a great selection of wine, beer, a wide range of food, and live music most nights.
by reisner
Fri Jan 13, 2017 10:02 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Keeping kitchen knives sharp
Replies: 54
Views: 4690

Re: Keeping kitchen knives sharp

A King waterstone, 1000/6000 grit.
by reisner
Thu Dec 22, 2016 12:49 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Sudden increase in VG TSM dividend
Replies: 19
Views: 2984

Re: Sudden increase in VG TSM dividend

Wizard--

I was wondering if my high dividend wasn't good for P?E ratios.
by reisner
Tue Dec 20, 2016 6:03 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Sudden increase in VG TSM dividend
Replies: 19
Views: 2984

Re: Sudden increase in VGTSM dividend

That link shows quarterly dividends that range from $14.10 to $16.63. Mine just jumped from 2K to 3K!!
by reisner
Tue Dec 20, 2016 3:13 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Sudden increase in VG TSM dividend
Replies: 19
Views: 2984

Sudden increase in VG TSM dividend

I just noticed my quarterly dividend from the VG Total Stock Market fund turned up in my sweep account. It is 50% higher than in recent quarters. Any idea why?
by reisner
Sat Dec 17, 2016 11:44 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Cell phone carriers (looking to switch)
Replies: 34
Views: 2356

Re: Cell phone carriers (looking to switch)

Check out Republic Wireless. I'm currently paying $20 a month for phone, text, and internet.
by reisner
Wed Dec 14, 2016 4:21 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Fountain Pens - Do you use one?
Replies: 104
Views: 7310

Re: Fountain Pens - Do you use one?

Deltoid--

Pelikan makes great pens and stands behind them for life, with a little repair shop in the old Manchester NH cotton mill.
by reisner
Wed Dec 14, 2016 11:20 am
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Has anyone adjusted their retirement account AA with the market increase?
Replies: 26
Views: 2362

Re: Has anyone adjusted their retirement account AA with the market increase?

Retired and drawing SS and a DFB pension, once I passed a certain number for my Vanguard investments a couple of years ago I rebalanced from 60-40 to 55-45. Recently the stock percentage shrank a little, but since the election it has crept up to 57-43. I'm not going to do anything. Perhaps it would ...
by reisner
Tue Dec 13, 2016 9:44 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Fountain Pens - Do you use one?
Replies: 104
Views: 7310

Re: Fountain Pens - Do you use one?

In over twenty-five years of use my big Pelikan--it's either the 800 or 1000--has never leaked or clogged. Unless you have to use cartridges there's no reason to buy the much inferior Mont Blanc. For the last five years I have used Noodler's bulletproof ink in all my pens. Since it bonds only with c...
by reisner
Sat Dec 10, 2016 9:05 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Frying pan recommendations
Replies: 53
Views: 3641

Re: Frying pan recommendations

Carbon steel skillet from Blu Skillet Ironware. Beats cast iron all to heck.
by reisner
Thu Dec 01, 2016 7:12 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Hearing aids: best brands and where to get them?
Replies: 35
Views: 3794

Re: Hearing aids: best brands and where to get them?

I tried two audiologists. Same test results, close to six grand for only one product offered that had to be serviced in one location. I went to Costco. Same test results, many products, service available around the country. I bought the best they had, better than the audiologists' offerings, for 3K....
by reisner
Tue Nov 29, 2016 10:41 am
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: What was your Asset Allocation before and after retirement?
Replies: 91
Views: 10464

Re: What was your Asset Allocation before and after retirement?

Retired at 60 in 2005 with a good pension, health insurance and a house paid off. AA was 70/30. About 2008, as the market started to fall, rebalanced to 60/40. Held at that untill 2013 or 2014 when the market had risen considerably and I was taking SS, and the accounts were about a third higher than...
by reisner
Sun Nov 27, 2016 12:08 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Investing vs Buying A Home?
Replies: 35
Views: 3336

Re: Investing vs Buying A Home?

So many issues to consider: How much do you like or hate doing home maintenance? How big a home do you want? The answer will factor into investment costs. Married or single? Usually the nesting and owning impulses are stronger with a partner than alone. How fussy are you about your surroundings bein...
by reisner
Wed Nov 23, 2016 10:34 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: From no state-tax to state-tax
Replies: 26
Views: 3061

Re: From no state-tax to state-tax

Before I moved back to California from Washington State (no state income tax) I converted my IRA to a Roth, so that I would never have to pay state income tax on top of federal. Luckily, the market was at the bottom, so my Federal was reduced too.
by reisner
Mon Nov 14, 2016 6:54 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Which state to move for milder weather
Replies: 118
Views: 14188

Re: Which state to move for milder weather

No, to San Diego. I may be a contrarian; people love it. Having lived there for 35 years, in downtown La Jolla no less, I couldn't wait to leave. Real estate is crazy. We sold at the peak in 2005; our old house dropped 40% soon after but would now sell for a good 20% more than we got. The traffic is...
by reisner
Wed Oct 05, 2016 4:43 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Required to pay with Amazon gift card!
Replies: 11
Views: 1008

Required to pay with Amazon gift card!

I found just the binoculars I wanted at Amazon. The best price by far was offered by a new independent vendor. I could not place the order through Amazon. I had to send him my name, address, and phone number. He said Amazon then would get in touch with me. They did not. He said they claimed they had...
by reisner
Wed Sep 21, 2016 4:48 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: The Bogleheads' "100 Things Worth Every Penny" List
Replies: 275
Views: 39699

Re: The Bogleheads' "100 Things Worth Every Penny" List

I am struck by how modest and humane most responses are. The things named for the most part fall within middle-class desires. No pigs at the trough hereabouts. Relationships with people and pets are valued most highly, as are experiences like travel or attending events with loved ones. I got a boost...
by reisner
Tue Sep 20, 2016 4:48 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: The Bogleheads' "100 Things Worth Every Penny" List
Replies: 275
Views: 39699

Re: The Bogleheads' "100 Things Worth Every Penny" List

Since someone mentioned Fiskars products, I should note that Tabor (Available on Amazon) has them beat every whichway for quality and design.
by reisner
Mon Sep 19, 2016 5:43 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: The Bogleheads' "100 Things Worth Every Penny" List
Replies: 275
Views: 39699

Re: The Bogleheads' "100 Things Worth Every Penny" List

Many things that can be gotten at a discount on Sierra Trading Post or eBay and a few that cannot: Discount: Wool by Icebreaker, Scottish cashmere, New England Shirt Company, Viyella shirts, Creswick wool-alpaca blankets, linen dishtowels or bath towels, books for one cent on Amazon, Republic wirele...

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