Search found 178 matches

by fogalog
Sat May 08, 2021 9:59 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Acquiring Foreign Property — FX Question
Replies: 7
Views: 579

Re: Acquiring Foreign Property — FX Question

Thanks. I will keep the thread updated. To answer your questions, it will be a vacation property, probably in the €1.5 million range. I have some ability to absorb adverse fluctuations from now until the purchase (by either buying less, paying more or working an extra few months). I have done the s...
by fogalog
Mon Apr 26, 2021 2:28 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Saving for and paying for a $5m house
Replies: 68
Views: 8655

Re: Saving for and paying for a $5m house

After taking a look at what you get for your money in the Bay Area (not much), we have decided we would like to save for a $5m house in about 3 years. We realize this is very much a want rather than a need, and we are lucky to be able to consider a choice like this. This gets us an approximately 40...
by fogalog
Mon Mar 29, 2021 9:23 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Solar Installation - 2 Years Later (Updated)
Replies: 94
Views: 17272

Re: Solar Installation - 2 Years Later (Updated)

For folks in PG&E territory, there's some confusion over how actual bills look and what the end of the year true up. Here are some portions of my actual bills. This thread is almost tailor-made for my situation - thank you. I have a quote from a reputable local Bay Area company. Right now (Marc...
by fogalog
Sun Mar 28, 2021 12:14 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Google Backup and Sync - password for access
Replies: 2
Views: 221

Re: Google Backup and Sync - password for access

There are two similar but separate google drive applications. I use “backup and synch” to synch a folder from my hard drive across multiple devices (computers and phones) and also of course on my google drive. If you log out of google on your laptop and quit “backup and synch”, a password will be re...
by fogalog
Sat Mar 13, 2021 7:48 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Wife just crashed her car into mine. Tips on handling insurance?
Replies: 55
Views: 6919

Re: Wife just crashed her car into mine. Tips on handling insurance?

Is there anything special I should do before I call my insurance and start finding a body shop (should I just call the dealership for that?) since this is an “in-family” crash? I didn't see a response to this so yes, I have called the service department of the dealer and asked them for a recommende...
by fogalog
Sun Jan 24, 2021 7:18 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Expatriation Tax : How to value gain on Angel Investments?
Replies: 8
Views: 1189

Re: Expatriation Tax : How to value gain on Angel Investments?

Apologies in advance for resurrecting an old thread but I am considering a similar proposition. I am curious regarding the issue of determining the FMV of a private stock - wouldn't a 409a valuation suffice for the IRS? That's what I have used in the past to determine FMV when exercising stock in th...
by fogalog
Mon Dec 28, 2020 12:43 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: What kind of bike and where to get it - 2021 edition
Replies: 57
Views: 4128

Re: What kind of bike and where to get it - 2021 edition

I have bought a few bikes second hand and the rest from a local store. They should take the time to understand your needs and help you get fitted for a bike. If you haven't ridden for a while, I cant stress the need to get the right size bike enough. Yes, Trek and Specialized are good brands and ye...
by fogalog
Mon Dec 28, 2020 11:59 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: What kind of bike and where to get it - 2021 edition
Replies: 57
Views: 4128

Re: What kind of bike and where to get it - 2021 edition

I have bought a few bikes second hand and the rest from a local store. They should take the time to understand your needs and help you get fitted for a bike. If you haven't ridden for a while, I cant stress the need to get the right size bike enough. Yes, Trek and Specialized are good brands and yes...
by fogalog
Sat Dec 19, 2020 4:02 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Apple Macbook Air 2020 discounted
Replies: 35
Views: 3174

Re: Apple Macbook Air 2020 discounted

Has anyone bought a refurbished Macbook Air directly from Apple? Or a trusted place? Yes, I bought a refurbished 2020 Macbook Air earlier this year from Apple . I also bought a brand new one earlier in the year. They were indistinguishable from eachother. I have bought many refurbished products fro...
by fogalog
Sat Dec 19, 2020 2:42 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: safe to run Disc utility on Mac?
Replies: 6
Views: 539

Re: safe to run Disc utility on Mac?

late 2015. spinning beach ball a problem. Should I run first aid? take to a shop? or time to retire it after 5+years and upgrade thanks First, a 2015 Mac is not that old. I would not assume you need to replace it, though you might have a hard drive that needs to be replaced - Disk Utility will help...
by fogalog
Sat Dec 12, 2020 12:08 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: New Wifi 6 access point slower than 10 year old verizon router
Replies: 56
Views: 3526

Re: New Wifi 6 access point slower than 10 year old verizon router

-- LookingForward...agree, need to rule out a cable problem. I'm using three cables connected with two passive couplers. Anyone of those cheap cables or connections could be an issue, in theory (although I have a feeling the cable would either fail altogether rather than just slow things down, at t...
by fogalog
Wed Dec 09, 2020 11:06 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Oatmeal -- figuring out what I bought earlier
Replies: 71
Views: 6438

Re: Oatmeal -- figuring out what I bought earlier

Thanks for offering to PM me a picture, but all the canisters seem to resemble one another. At least that's the case for the two TJ's products I currently have; the canisters look close enough to what I recall the container of the product I like looking like. Just out of curiosity and if it's not t...
by fogalog
Tue Dec 08, 2020 3:49 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Oatmeal -- figuring out what I bought earlier
Replies: 71
Views: 6438

Re: Oatmeal -- figuring out what I bought earlier

We bought oatmeal from Trader Joe's in the past and like it well enough. Unfortunately, I don't recall the specifics of what we got, and whatever oatmeal we currently have from TJ's isn't what we want. I think the earlier stuff was steel cut oats. It took about 30 minutes to prepare. Of the two var...
by fogalog
Thu Dec 03, 2020 10:50 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Trade in MacBook Air (Intel) for M1 version?
Replies: 23
Views: 2631

Re: Trade in MacBook Air (Intel) for M1 version?

Thanks guys for your responses. You've persuaded me that there's really no need to trade up right now. I think I'll hold onto my $429 and use it to help pay for an upgrade to an M1 MBA in 3 or 4 years. That's exactly what I'm doing. I have a MBA from 2019 and really considered switching to the M1 M...
by fogalog
Thu Dec 03, 2020 2:41 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Switch from dual monitors to one big one?
Replies: 39
Views: 3121

Re: Switch from dual monitors to one big one?

USB-C and Thunderbolt 3 look identical but are (annoyingly) not the same. I think you have already decided but there are two pages on Apple Support that I'd suggest you take a look at: Adapters for the Thunderbolt 3 or USB-C port on your Mac or iPad Pro and Use the 23.7-inch LG UltraFine 4K Display ...
by fogalog
Wed Dec 02, 2020 3:29 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Apple experts or anyone using the new MacBook Air M1
Replies: 60
Views: 5764

Re: Apple experts or anyone using the new MacBook Air M1

Have you tried resetting the SMC? I also recommend downloading Coconut Battery to better understand if the problem really is the battery. Depending on your use case, a 2015 Macbook Air may not really be that old - I regularly use a Macbook Pro that is much older than this. For simple email / browsi...
by fogalog
Wed Dec 02, 2020 1:41 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Apple experts or anyone using the new MacBook Air M1
Replies: 60
Views: 5764

Re: Apple experts or anyone using the new MacBook Air M1

I have a MacBook Air (early 2015). Recently the battery has been giving me trouble (random shutdowns at battery level 25%, 57%, 72%)to the point of keeping it attached to power at all time. I'm planning to keep this as a backup and replace the battery. Have you tried resetting the SMC? I also recom...
by fogalog
Mon Nov 30, 2020 2:56 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Apple experts or anyone using the new MacBook Air M1
Replies: 60
Views: 5764

Re: Apple experts or anyone using the new MacBook Air M1

I have a MacBook Air (early 2015). Recently the battery has been giving me trouble (random shutdowns at battery level 25%, 57%, 72%)to the point of keeping it attached to power at all time. I'm planning to keep this as a backup and replace the battery. Have you tried resetting the SMC? I also recom...
by fogalog
Sat Nov 14, 2020 5:32 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: New MacBook Pro with M1 processor
Replies: 129
Views: 10308

Re: New MacBook Pro with M1 processor

Personally I would wait a couple of months. This is a brand new chip albeit in the same exact enclosure. (I have a 2020 MBP / 32GB / 2TB and the ergonomics / keyboard / screen are excellent, I have to say - much better than the prior MBP generation). But Apple has had some doozys with regards new pr...
by fogalog
Tue Nov 03, 2020 11:38 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: iPhone upgrade trick w/AT&T
Replies: 59
Views: 8031

Re: iPhone upgrade trick w/AT&T

Read the fine print right above the "Start Now" button. It says you need to use the offer code: TRADEINOFFER20. Or go do the trade-in at an AT&T store. Not sure if resellers can do this or if it needs to be a corporate store, but we have a corporate store nearby. Note that you can als...
by fogalog
Tue Nov 03, 2020 11:37 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: iPhone upgrade trick w/AT&T
Replies: 59
Views: 8031

Re: iPhone upgrade trick w/AT&T

eddot98 wrote: Tue Nov 03, 2020 10:36 am Don’t use that site. I called them and got a very knowledgeable agent who walked me through the whole process. Your phone should be eligible for the full $800 trade in value if you have one of the right plans.
Thank you. I will try the store.
by fogalog
Tue Nov 03, 2020 10:30 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: iPhone upgrade trick w/AT&T
Replies: 59
Views: 8031

Re: iPhone upgrade trick w/AT&T

I feel like I am missing something here.

When I go to the site (https://tradein.att.com/) and enter the details of the phone for trade-in (iPhone 8+, 256GB), it tells me on screen that I will get $155, not $800.

What am I doing wrong?

Thanks.
by fogalog
Mon Oct 26, 2020 2:26 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: IMac Gmail viewing problem
Replies: 7
Views: 582

Re: IMac Gmail viewing problem

It is possible you accidentally zoomed out on the compose page. With the page open, hold down the command and "+" keys to zoom in. Tap repeatedly to zoom in. On a Mac standard keyboard, you likely have to hold down the command and shift keys and then click the "+ / =" key at the ...
by fogalog
Thu Sep 24, 2020 11:19 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Synology NAS -> DS220J, DS420j, DS418
Replies: 38
Views: 2133

Re: Synology NAS -> DS220J, DS420j, DS418

If you really are worried about a double-disk failure then I'd suggest getting a 6-bay system and running RAID-6 (which I assume the Synology supports). I've been running a ReadyNAS Pro 6 for about 10 years and have not had a single drive issue. I recently replaced the 1TB drives with 4TB drives, st...
by fogalog
Sun Sep 20, 2020 1:48 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: iMac - wait or buy now, if so which one?
Replies: 60
Views: 4259

Re: iMac - wait or buy now, if so which one?

I would not wait. I am on my second iMac; I purchased it fully loaded with maximum memory and fastest processor. The first one lasted me 10 years without any problems until it got too slow for most personal / business functions. I purchased the second one over a year ago without regret and expect i...
by fogalog
Sat Aug 22, 2020 2:03 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Best way to inherit a house
Replies: 19
Views: 2135

Re: Best way to inherit a house

If your sister is a resident of the Republic of Ireland and therefore subject to taxation there, she will be liable for inheritance tax should that be the path you choose. There is a significant exclusion amount - I believe €300k, perhaps more - but after that it is significant: 33%. edit: It's curr...
by fogalog
Wed Jul 29, 2020 5:52 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Need to destroy old external Hard Drives
Replies: 103
Views: 5736

Re: Need to destroy old external Hard Drives

Disclaimer: like an earlier poster in this thread, I too worked in the industry. I also agree with their point: most of the advice here is overkill. Hook the drives up to your mac, open Disk Utility and wipe the drives securely. That's it. That's all you need to do. Don't take my word for it - to qu...
by fogalog
Sun Jun 28, 2020 12:08 pm
Forum: Personal Investments
Topic: Participate in ESPP?
Replies: 28
Views: 1384

Re: Participate in ESPP?

I have participated in a few ESPP programs in the past which were all pretty much as you describe - free money, very low risk - but I have never seen this condition: -must hold shares one year before can sell There are certainly withholding period restrictions as it relates to qualifying / non-quali...
by fogalog
Thu Jun 25, 2020 8:35 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Mesh Wifi
Replies: 130
Views: 10145

Re: Mesh Wifi

Sorry.. what do you mean by IT? Forget about VPN, I want my normal router to be my IP gateway My-computer ---- Google-Mesh-AP ------ My-Router ---- Internet Same IP subnet between My-Computer and My-Router I meant if your current router supports bridge mode. As I said in my previous post, you canno...
by fogalog
Wed Jun 24, 2020 10:55 pm
Forum: Personal Investments
Topic: High net worth portfolio advice
Replies: 154
Views: 24128

Re: High net worth portfolio advice

First, congratulations on your success. I too am a greencard holder, resident in the Bay Area. I would recommend you consider talking to an estate lawyer and setting up a trust, particularly if you will have children here. Inheritance in the US is very different for beneficiaries who are citizens ve...
by fogalog
Tue Jun 23, 2020 3:22 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: TransferWise versus Interactive Brokers - thread?
Replies: 72
Views: 12189

Re: TransferWise versus Interactive Brokers - thread?

transferwise makes everything easy. IB makes everything hard but is cheaper. That is how I look at it. If I was transferring 6 figures I would want it to be easy so there is less chance of a mistake and things going wrong. But a $100k transfer will cost you over $450 more by using TransferWise rath...
by fogalog
Tue Jun 23, 2020 2:06 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: TransferWise versus Interactive Brokers - thread?
Replies: 72
Views: 12189

Re: TransferWise versus Interactive Brokers - thread?

Thanks everyone for the responses. I will check out OFX and IB. Regarding TransferWise: I have used this a lot of the last few years (US->UK) and the user experience is excellent: I make a transfer from my phone, fund it via same-day ($0) wire from my bank, and it arrives at the destination bank acc...
by fogalog
Mon Jun 15, 2020 11:54 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: New construction house - what to consider?
Replies: 161
Views: 10980

Re: New construction house - what to consider?

Having done a fair amount of construction, I agree with a lot of responses here. That said I cant help but think that you would be well advised to talk to an architect. In the house I am sitting in now, which we built 10 years ago, we planned out every detail with the architect we used and it was wo...
by fogalog
Mon Jun 15, 2020 3:01 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: TransferWise versus Interactive Brokers - thread?
Replies: 72
Views: 12189

TransferWise versus Interactive Brokers - thread?

I have been using Transferwise for years and am generally happy. I am about to make a sizable (6-figure) international transfer and wanted to examine my options. I am sure I saw a thread here this year about using Interactive Brokers (or maybe some other platform) to buy currency on the forex at mar...
by fogalog
Sun Jun 14, 2020 12:05 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: What to do with property in UK
Replies: 11
Views: 818

Re: What to do with property in UK

Question: How do we leave this property to our children? The attorney in the US who just did our will has no idea! Thanks. If you do choose to keep the property and the property is in England, you need to contact a solicitor in England and have them create a will for you and your wife. It will cost...
by fogalog
Sun Jun 07, 2020 1:04 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: How to sell old iPhones?
Replies: 21
Views: 1398

Re: How to sell old iPhones?

Since it has not already been posted here, you can also sell them back to Apple for a gift card for future purposes. Values aren't as high as Craigslist etc., but it's pretty safe.

https://www.apple.com/shop/trade-in

Good luck!
by fogalog
Sun May 31, 2020 1:57 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Refinance Mega Thread
Replies: 10338
Views: 753947

Re: Refinance Mega Thread

I am in a slightly unusual position. I have a paid-off house in the Bay Area but was seeking a cash-out mortgage (to buy a retirement / vacation property in another country where I cannot get a mortgage - it's a little complicated). I will likely sell / downsize my current home & retire within 7...
by fogalog
Sat May 30, 2020 7:30 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Suggestions for a comfortable desk chair on a budget
Replies: 36
Views: 2605

Re: Suggestions for a comfortable desk chair on a budget

Check Craigslist and sorts for used Herman Miller chairs. +1 I bought a re-manufactured / open box Herman Miller Aeron chair in 2002. I think I paid about $400 when retail was about $800. It is still as good as new. You should be able to find them used, excellent quality for $250-300 on craigslist ...
by fogalog
Sat May 30, 2020 11:39 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Replacement Windows in Stucco house
Replies: 19
Views: 1663

Re: Replacement Windows in Stucco house

Use high quality windows and professional installers and professional stucco contractors who will flash in the new window flanges correctly. There is wisdom here. A "replacement window" uses the frame and tie-in from the old window and adds another point of entry all around. This approach...
by fogalog
Tue May 19, 2020 4:59 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Dual citizen, USA passport expiring, how to travel internationally
Replies: 72
Views: 5062

Re: Dual citizen, USA passport expiring, how to travel internationally

The continued replies are extremely helpful (& admittedly fascinating to me for some reason). Family member was pursuing an open in person acceptance facility this morning. I know they had their identity documents with them. I did not get a status update from them. But all in all they are makin...
by fogalog
Sun May 17, 2020 1:18 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Dual citizen, USA passport expiring, how to travel internationally
Replies: 72
Views: 5062

Re: Dual citizen, USA passport expiring, how to travel internationally

Note to the posters recommending carrying the expired passport. You cannot both apply for a passport and travel on the second country passport with the expired US passport: the person applying will need to submit that expired US passport as part of the application process. In addition, if the passpo...
by fogalog
Mon Apr 20, 2020 8:09 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: BMW X5 - advice on purchase
Replies: 49
Views: 3313

Re: BMW X5 - advice on purchase

agree at end of day leasing BMW is way to go. When, i pull in for service, no anxiety when meeting with service advisor knowing this car is disposable depreciating luxury ride. When they suggest service outside scope of warranty my response, hey if I owned the car agree your advice for more ($$$) s...
by fogalog
Sun Apr 05, 2020 2:19 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Help with Router & WiFi Extender Setup for large area: Help Please.
Replies: 43
Views: 1653

Re: Help with Router & WiFi Extender Setup for large area: Help Please.

Sandtrap, I bought the 3 units of the old version of Nest and let it sit in a box for a year before installing. I couldn't believe that it was so easy. My router routes through a brick chimney. Another unit goes through an outside brick wall. The report on my iPhone APP says that I have optimum ser...
by fogalog
Sun Apr 05, 2020 1:29 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Help with Router & WiFi Extender Setup for large area: Help Please.
Replies: 43
Views: 1653

Re: Help with Router & WiFi Extender Setup for large area: Help Please.

Sandtrap, I bought the 3 units of the old version of Nest and let it sit in a box for a year before installing. I couldn't believe that it was so easy. My router routes through a brick chimney. Another unit goes through an outside brick wall. The report on my iPhone APP says that I have optimum ser...
by fogalog
Sat Mar 28, 2020 1:50 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: black stain on concrete: mold or hazard?
Replies: 16
Views: 1183

Re: black stain on concrete: mold or hazard?

Are there trees above the area? Does it hose off? It sounds a little like "honeydew", a problem we had in our back yard. Aphids eat the tree leaves and excrete "honeydew" onto the surface below, which goes black / mouldy over a few days. yes, there are tall trees nearby. Difficu...
by fogalog
Sat Mar 28, 2020 1:35 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: black stain on concrete: mold or hazard?
Replies: 16
Views: 1183

Re: black stain on concrete: mold or hazard?

Are there trees above the area? Does it hose off? It sounds a little like "honeydew", a problem we had in our back yard. Aphids eat the tree leaves and excrete "honeydew" onto the surface below, which goes black / mouldy over a few days.
by fogalog
Sat Mar 28, 2020 1:30 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Need recommendation on a trampoline
Replies: 23
Views: 1801

Re: Need recommendation on a trampoline

We bought a Springfree trampoline for our kids many years ago. They are expensive but they address many of the issues that people tend to cite when talking about trampolines being dangerous: no metal edges, springs or poles to hit and a very strong, zippered net. I assembled it myself. You still nee...
by fogalog
Fri Mar 13, 2020 8:54 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: BMW X5 owners, do you recommend upgrading maintenance plan or tires?
Replies: 15
Views: 1255

Re: BMW X5 owners, do you recommend upgrading maintenance plan or tires?

Owners of multiple BMW X5s here. Great cars in general. It is not clear from your post but for the last two leases, we purchased the "wheel & tire" insurance. This pays for tire replacements for damaged tires with a $50 copay. We live in the Bay Area and so the combination of potholes ...
by fogalog
Sat Feb 29, 2020 11:19 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: General house remodeling approach
Replies: 30
Views: 2734

Re: General house remodeling approach

+1 on using a reputable architect. Best money I spent remodelling our house 10 years ago. It is not clear how urban / rural you are but if you have Nextdoor in your neighbourhood, you could send a note out to your local group asking for recommendations. There are a lot of good design-build firms out...
by fogalog
Fri Feb 28, 2020 10:39 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: TV recommendations?
Replies: 37
Views: 2649

Re: TV recommendations?

Since you bought plasma 12 years ago, I'm going to go out on a limb and infer that the picture quality matters to you. The TL;DR is therefore: +1 on wirecutter (for almost every electronics purchase these days - it's just really good) +1 on the LG OLED. I bought a 65" C8 (last years version of ...