Search found 73 matches

by sbaywriter
Tue Sep 18, 2018 6:43 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Bank of America credit card “feature” (be careful with autopay)
Replies: 45
Views: 2548

Re: Bank of America credit card “feature” (be careful with autopay)

My Cap One card says the following: We will debit your AutoPay Bank Account on your due date even if you make other payments. No debit will be made if you have a balance of $0 when the AutoPay Payment begins processing, typically 1-2 days before your due date. So not just BoA. So yeah, it requires s...
by sbaywriter
Thu Sep 06, 2018 4:54 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Implementing a QCD at Fidelity
Replies: 17
Views: 1270

Re: Implementing a QCD at Fidelity

Thanks for posting the link to the form. I have a Fidelity IRA but have not done any RMDs or QCDs, but have done both from Vanguard and am considering at some point consolidating at Fidelity, so interested in the answer to this question. This following part was surprising to me because when I did a ...
by sbaywriter
Wed Sep 05, 2018 10:10 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: How much to spend on rent in high COL area?
Replies: 15
Views: 1536

Re: How much to spend on rent in high COL area?

In Silicon Valley a couple of years ago, a nice (as in recently built, air conditioning) 2 bedroom in Mountain View (Google land) would go for 3500 and up. Older units maybe 2500. I guess that's VHCOL vs HCOL. So it's all relative, sometimes you are forced to pay more because that's what it costs.
by sbaywriter
Tue Aug 21, 2018 7:33 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Retirement location planning
Replies: 19
Views: 2140

Re: Retirement location planning

There is a guy named Ron Stack who sells books evaluating retirement places including Florida and has a huge website with info on various places to live in Florida and risks to be aware of. You might find it informative. But keep in mind that his approach to sell book seems to be to use scare tactic...
by sbaywriter
Mon Aug 20, 2018 9:30 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Retirement location planning
Replies: 19
Views: 2140

Re: Retirement location planning

I recently moved to Tampa Bay area - Tampa airport is nice and has many flights - I think including international, not sure. Hurricanes: areas by the coast or right on Tampa Bay are evacuation zones because of potential storm surge but inland areas can still get the winds and flooding from heavy rai...
by sbaywriter
Sat Jun 23, 2018 2:15 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Relief From Pain provision in Advance Care Directive
Replies: 10
Views: 777

Re: Relief From Pain provision in Advance Care Directive

Probably refers to if you are willing to receive palliative sedation - you can google that for more info - basically being sedated into unconsciousness as a relief for pain when dying.
by sbaywriter
Mon Jun 04, 2018 10:51 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Would like to bounce some ideas regarding renting a home or condo
Replies: 16
Views: 1294

Re: Would like to bounce some ideas regarding renting a home or condo

When I lived in LA area many years ago in rental houses, several came with stove only, or stove/refrig. Most had no washer/dryer. Maybe there is a nearby laundromat. Yes you can find used appliances.
by sbaywriter
Mon May 28, 2018 10:12 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Financial plan review for a widowed mother
Replies: 18
Views: 1963

Re: Financial plan review for a widowed mother

She claims that now that she's on his benefits she can't see what hers would be when looking online.
This is true, had the same situation - it will no longer show hers. She can call Social Security office and ask them for that info.
by sbaywriter
Thu May 24, 2018 9:03 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Changing Medicare Part D Plan
Replies: 2
Views: 356

Re: Changing Medicare Part D Plan

I am pretty sure you do it all through the insurer. My experience: I moved from California to Florida last year. I was on a Humana part D plan. I checked the medicare website and it showed that Humana had the same plan in Florida. So after I moved I called Humana about changing my address. Turned ou...
by sbaywriter
Thu May 17, 2018 9:06 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Renting storage unit
Replies: 24
Views: 2015

Re: Renting storage unit

Yes it can become expensive long term and you might be better off getting rid of more stuff than storing it, or spending the money to organize it better rather than on storage costs. What seems to happen is people don't have time to sort through accumulated stuff, or they inherit a bunch of stuff an...
by sbaywriter
Thu May 17, 2018 8:18 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Buying I bonds - what is the purpose of Registration on TD website
Replies: 22
Views: 2459

Re: Buying I bonds - what is the purpose of Registration on TD website

OP had question about what happens if the owner of the bond is incapacitated and another question on what happens in event of death - these are 2 different situations. I don't think the "incapacitated" question was answered - I don't know the answer and would be interested. On the other question, ad...
by sbaywriter
Thu May 10, 2018 1:40 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Medicare Part B sticker shock - should I appeal
Replies: 7
Views: 1501

Re: Medicare Part B sticker shock - should I appeal

There is a form you can fill out and file with SSA when your income is reduced because you stopped working. It is SSA-44 Medicare Income Related Monthly Adjustment Amount Life Changing Event. Work stoppage is one of the "events." It may help to have something from your employer confirming that you s...
by sbaywriter
Tue May 08, 2018 4:53 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Do you know anyone unhappy in a CCRC?
Replies: 41
Views: 5006

Re: Do you know anyone unhappy in a CCRC?

Not much new to add to comments above but will share my mom’s experiences, since she left a CCRC. She was in her mid 80s but still active and in good health, and worked part time. She lived in an apartment close to public transportation and within walking distance of stores and services. But the apa...
by sbaywriter
Tue May 01, 2018 2:00 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Career change and going back to school at 40+
Replies: 37
Views: 3586

Re: Career change and going back to school at 40+

You've got a lot of good suggestions. Just want to chime in to agree with them and encourage you to keep investigating your options, including what others suggested of talking to people in fields that appeal to you, doing self-assessment career type tests to discover other possibilities, etc. I got ...
by sbaywriter
Sun Apr 22, 2018 5:13 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: How long have you been unemployed?
Replies: 60
Views: 6201

Re: How long have you been unemployed?

Between 2002-2004 after dot com crash in silicon valley was sporadically employed on short term contracts for about a year and a half before getting a longer term contract and eventually a contract that morphed into permanent job where I stayed for 10 years. Part of that was geography - was trying t...
by sbaywriter
Fri Apr 20, 2018 5:19 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Guaranty appraisal on real estate. Good idea? This must be a bubble?
Replies: 21
Views: 1564

Re: Guaranty appraisal on real estate. Good idea? This must be a bubble?

I had the "guarantee x amount if appraised lower than offer" on a contract when I sold my house couple of years ago - another hot housing market - it did appraise at offered price. Sounds like your realtor is giving you some good guidance on how to approach the market. But if the realtor is telling ...
by sbaywriter
Mon Apr 16, 2018 12:17 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Help with CD ladder strategy for emergency fund
Replies: 36
Views: 3270

Re: Help with CD ladder strategy for emergency fund

Forget the brokered CDs - they are for people with lots of money they need to allocate to fixed income investment, not for people deciding what to do with 10k of their emergency fund. I saw in other thread there is 10k minimum required for Vanguard brokered CDs. Yes treasury bonds and I bonds are ot...
by sbaywriter
Thu Mar 15, 2018 7:47 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Recommended savings ‘Buckets’?
Replies: 30
Views: 2748

Re: Recommended savings ‘Buckets’?

Depends on your circumstances and what works for you. Like, depends on your age and how employable and mobile you are - some jobs or industries you can be unemployed for long stretches or indefinitely if over 50. In such a case, would use CDs, I-bonds, etc rather than stock investments since stock m...
by sbaywriter
Fri Feb 23, 2018 6:21 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: I week in California, Road Trip Planning
Replies: 65
Views: 4387

Re: I week in California, Road Trip Planning

Visiting as a tourist on vacation requires planning a different trip than visiting to find out nice suburbs you might want to live. I think I remember from earlier you were interested in exploring places to live. If you need to live close to a major airport or place with jobs, places like Ventura, O...
by sbaywriter
Fri Feb 23, 2018 4:56 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Help! Buying my first sofa/couch
Replies: 27
Views: 1915

Re: Help! Buying my first sofa/couch

If you are young, you can probably get best deal with ordering online. Older people like me have back issues that require test drive. I would check out a few local furniture stores first. If you find several you like in store you could note details like: height of back, depth of seat , height of top...
by sbaywriter
Mon Feb 12, 2018 11:14 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Live / work in California - Technology Career
Replies: 99
Views: 7515

Re: Live / work in California - Technology Career

Just a note on climate. To understand California climate (both northern and southern) along the coast, you need to understand how the marine layer affects the climate. Google marine layer. When you live with a mountain range between you and the ocean, you can see the white mist rolling in , with the...
by sbaywriter
Sat Jan 27, 2018 6:57 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Renting out current home to rent elsewhere...thoughts?
Replies: 7
Views: 772

Re: Renting out current home to rent elsewhere...thoughts?

Not clear to me why. Is it that you are reluctant to sell the place because you are afraid prices will continue up and you will never afford to be able to buy again in that part of California? I rented out my house and rented elsewhere because it was underwater on mortgage during the housing bust an...
by sbaywriter
Sat Jan 20, 2018 10:08 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Pros and Cons of High Rise Condos for retired couple
Replies: 47
Views: 5699

Re: Pros and Cons of High Rise Condos for retired couple

Would they have any concerns about earthquakes? I went through 2 major earthquakes in LA area (1971 and 1994) - I would never want to be in a high rise in earthquake country. Especially if I were getting older and might have to travel down multiple flights of stairs to evacuate.
by sbaywriter
Fri Dec 29, 2017 6:30 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Severance Pay and 401k contributions
Replies: 15
Views: 2381

Re: Severance Pay and 401k contributions

When I was laid off in large RIF in California, the WARN act mandated 2 months notice so for those 2 months I requested that all of my paycheck go toward 401k. Then the severance payment was given after the 2 months. Don't know if that applies. Not sure why you said 50 percent of paycheck - I was ha...
by sbaywriter
Sun Dec 17, 2017 8:11 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Overnight guests
Replies: 15
Views: 2020

Re: Overnight guests

Agree with other suggestions on discussing with husband. In some areas it is common for people who commute long distance to rent room locally and stay there 2-4 nights a week. Maybe he needs to find an arrangement like that. I would feel same as you but would want to make it clear that in an emergen...
by sbaywriter
Sat Dec 09, 2017 11:09 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Save all this money, what do you splurge on?
Replies: 193
Views: 19655

Re: Save all this money, what do you splurge on?

For a brief year where I had extra money I bought 3 framed original artwork from working artists in my locale. They were giclee prints so to me look like original art, not that flat dull poster stuff. My rationale: I am not an artist, I love the art created by others, I think artists are not rewarde...
by sbaywriter
Sun Nov 26, 2017 12:10 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: My Social Security Site not showing my future benefits
Replies: 11
Views: 1223

Re: My Social Security Site not showing my future benefits

Same thing happens (your own benefits no longer visible) if you claim widow/widower benefits while holding off until later on your own benefits.

You can call them and ask them to calculate your own benefits for you - well, at least I did that a year before I claimed.
by sbaywriter
Tue Oct 10, 2017 7:59 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Moving Stroke Victim Out of State
Replies: 23
Views: 2524

Re: Moving Stroke Victim Out of State

As far as the phone it may be possible to port the number to Google voice - there is a tool you can use to check.

Google "can I port landline to Google voice" and you should find it.
by sbaywriter
Wed Aug 16, 2017 4:38 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: If you received robocalls from cruise lines
Replies: 13
Views: 2019

Re: If you received robocalls from cruise lines

It's 300 maximum - probably more like 30 cents actual? From the FAQ Each RMG telemarketing call you received will have a maximum value of $300. You may file a claim for up to three calls per telephone number included in the Call Records. This means that your maximum payment amount could be $900 per ...
by sbaywriter
Sat Aug 12, 2017 8:46 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Moving from LCOL to HCOL -> what do I need to take into account?
Replies: 6
Views: 1117

Re: Moving from LCOL to HCOL -> what do I need to take into account?

No comments on prices, only weather and scenery: Ventura/Oxnard - beautiful and temperate. Miles of beaches and inland hiking in the hills I lived there long time ago (1980s) - the marine layer (think gray and foggy) keeps it lovely and cool (sometimes downright cold) during the summer. I prefer coo...
by sbaywriter
Fri Jul 28, 2017 10:58 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: GF Picking a college major
Replies: 105
Views: 7777

Re: GF Picking a college major

I agree with the suggestion of previous posters to take some time off and get some kind of job - that worked for me. But times were different then. And of course none of us really have the full picture here and the decision is ultimately the GFs. I dropped out of college in the 1960s because althoug...
by sbaywriter
Sun Jul 16, 2017 6:56 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: San Jose and San Francisco Trip
Replies: 24
Views: 2309

Re: San Jose and San Francisco Trip

Lived near San Jose for 20 or so years but not sure why anyone would make a special trip to visit it unless there for business or family when there is so much to see in SF. In SF 4 art museums that might have special programs for kids. There's Chinatown for different cultural feel. Golden Gate park ...
by sbaywriter
Mon May 08, 2017 5:45 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: how to copy old audio cassettes to pc?
Replies: 19
Views: 2082

Re: how to copy old audio cassettes to pc?

I bought (off Amazon, for about $20) a little cassette player that came with USB connector: AGPtek® Tape to PC Super USB Cassette-to-MP3 Player Converter With USB Cable, Headphones and Software It comes with a install CD but if I remember right what it has on the CD is Audacity. Anyhow, I think I th...
by sbaywriter
Sun Apr 30, 2017 3:53 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Buy condo now, or wait a few years and then enter CCRC?
Replies: 26
Views: 3303

Re: Buy condo now, or wait a few years and then enter CCRC?

Some factors to consider - how familiar are you with that CCRC? Are you confident you would feel happy in that kind of environment? Can you "try it out" by renting on site for a few days and checking out dining facilities, etc. My mom moved to one. She had been living in a walkable city and right ne...
by sbaywriter
Thu Apr 27, 2017 12:13 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Best strategy for retaining tenants?
Replies: 30
Views: 2603

Re: Best strategy for retaining tenants?

Speaking as a renter - if they are good tenants, they know it, and probably expect you to know it and reward them by not giving them any big rent increase when their lease is up. A small increase, maybe 2 - 3 percent would not come as shock and probably wouldn't cause them to move, if that is your c...
by sbaywriter
Sun Apr 09, 2017 10:00 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Trip Ideas - San Francisco & Northern CA
Replies: 31
Views: 3404

Re: Trip Ideas - San Francisco & Northern CA

Gosh, so much beauty in California coast - just remembered - if you are really headed way north, Prairie Creek Redwoods state park has a spectacular and easy 5 mile hike through redwood forest down to the coast - that is, it is easy if one member of party is willing to drop the rest off at top of tr...
by sbaywriter
Sun Apr 09, 2017 9:44 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Trip Ideas - San Francisco & Northern CA
Replies: 31
Views: 3404

Re: Trip Ideas - San Francisco & Northern CA

Monterey Aquarium is great and there is kayaking nearby which I would think would be fun for teens, and if you are down that way, second vote for Pacific Grove and Asilomar State Beach - very easy access to beautiful beach bluff trail with crashing waves for anyone with physical limitations on hikin...
by sbaywriter
Sat Apr 08, 2017 1:24 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Cold weather family summer vacation ideas
Replies: 32
Views: 3968

Re: Cold weather family summer vacation ideas

As you already discovered, California coastal area stays cool to cold in the summer due to marine layer.

Just a reminder that highway 1 is closed at Big Sur due to the bridge collapse and not expected to reopen until end of Sept 2017. So driving all the way on highway 1 is not possible.
by sbaywriter
Wed Mar 29, 2017 12:20 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Credit score dropped 30 points because I paid off my auto loan?
Replies: 49
Views: 10146

Re: Credit score dropped 30 points because I paid off my auto loan?

I paid off mortgage when I sold house and the next month the score dropped about 30 points and one of the reasons that showed up was that I didn't have any installment loan. But within a couple of months it came back to about where it was before, maybe slightly higher. I'm not positive the payoff ca...
by sbaywriter
Tue Mar 07, 2017 11:29 am
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Anyone use LPL financial?
Replies: 27
Views: 5868

Re: Anyone use LPL financial?

Yes back in just before the dotcom crash when I didn't know anything - or at least the advisor was affiliated with them in some way. The advisor I went to did not charge me any advisory fee except I think for the planning session, but put me into 4 - 5 American funds with 5 + percent front loads.
by sbaywriter
Wed Feb 22, 2017 3:06 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Mysteries or other books set in contemporary Japan?
Replies: 14
Views: 1424

Re: Mysteries or other books set in contemporary Japan?

Thanks to that website just posted above I found the "police procedural" I was thinking of - it's James Melville, series with Tetsuo Otani, the Superintendent of Police in Kobe, Japan. Well-written, not much violence, think I will re-read some.
by sbaywriter
Wed Feb 22, 2017 12:16 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Mysteries or other books set in contemporary Japan?
Replies: 14
Views: 1424

Re: Mysteries or other books set in contemporary Japan?

You could try the Rei Shimura series by Sujata Massey. Young Japanese American heroine living in contemporary Japan. I found it "ok" in terms of conveying atmosphere - not great. The writing likewise ok not great - but these days there is so much horrible shlock being churned out for ebooks that it ...
by sbaywriter
Thu Feb 16, 2017 9:37 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Closed my Roth IRA due to political uncertainty - mistake???
Replies: 102
Views: 7891

Re: Closed my Roth IRA due to political uncertainty - mistake???

Not an expert, but it seems like incorrect information is being posted on this thread about Roth IRA withdrawals and taxes/penalties. You can withdraw your contributions from a Roth account at any time with no tax or penalty. The tax/penalties apply only to earnings not to contributions. And only un...
by sbaywriter
Thu Feb 16, 2017 3:19 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Anxiety about buying used car
Replies: 50
Views: 4964

Re: Anxiety about buying used car

I have similar concern about smell of smoke in used car - my last used car that CPO former rental car bought from dealer. Apparently they "deodorized" it with some new smell fragrance before I test drove it. Once the fake fragrance wore off, I could smell the smoke. It took months and multiple clean...
by sbaywriter
Mon Nov 28, 2016 1:11 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Relocating from NY to CA for a job offer
Replies: 51
Views: 6214

Re: Relocating from NY to CA for a job offer

Recent rental prices: Mountain View (next door to Palo Alto) - $3500 for 2 bedroom apartments, $4000 for 3 bedroom. But Mountain View has become Google City. More on Morgan Hill as a possible place to live: I used to live in Morgan Hill and commute to Mountain View. Ugly commute in rush hour. Becaus...
by sbaywriter
Fri Nov 18, 2016 8:26 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Driving from San Jose to San Diego - Where to Stop
Replies: 18
Views: 3596

Re: Driving from San Jose to San Diego - Where to Stop

If you take 152 across to the 5, I agree with earlier poster that Casa de Fruta is a nice stop, but you haven't gotten very far south. Another alternative is to take 101 further south and take another highway east to the 5. I think it's highway 46 at Paso Robles, though maybe it's 41, I get confused...
by sbaywriter
Thu Nov 10, 2016 1:55 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Mattress Shopping Advice
Replies: 11
Views: 1610

Re: Mattress Shopping Advice

Adding a "what not to do" that I haven't seen in other threads. The stores tend to have mattress sales on Memorial day and Labor day. So you can buy at about 40 percent off full price. But the what not to do is - what if it doesn't work out and you need to replace it - the big sale is gone and you a...
by sbaywriter
Sun Oct 23, 2016 10:01 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Back Up Camera for Automobile
Replies: 12
Views: 1648

Re: Back Up Camera for Automobile

I'm interested too - if anyone has recommendations on best brands and easiest to use or drawbacks one should be aware of. Google online - lots of information about backup cameras, their features, cost, installation. The cameras seem to go for under $200 and maybe another couple hundred if you get pr...
by sbaywriter
Sun Oct 02, 2016 5:00 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Florida Real estate
Replies: 17
Views: 2183

Re: Florida Real estate

Prices not all the way back to pre-bubble burst territory but yes, have been moving up the last couple of years and there has been some flipping going on. Also be cautious of buying in flood plain (AE category)- areas even inland may be in that category. The risk to consider is possible increases in...
by sbaywriter
Fri Sep 23, 2016 3:09 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Trader Joe's Fans - good value?
Replies: 91
Views: 10524

Re: Trader Joe's Fans - good value?

Regular TJ shopper since the 70s in LA. Then it was the cheese and chocolate. Now it's mainly the convenience and some better deals than supermarket: Handful of nuts - various kinds Frozen cheese and green chile tamales Frozen brown rice Eggs Packaged butter lettuce/radicchio mix salad Ricola cough ...