Search found 180 matches

by mrb09
Sat Nov 02, 2019 10:15 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Costa Rica
Replies: 14
Views: 1757

Re: Costa Rica

We have also stayed further north on the Guanacaste Peninsula. It all depends on where you stay. We stayed at Punta Islita, but it has changed ownership since we were there many years ago, so I cannot vouch for it. Have a great trip! The hotel at Punta Islita is a Marriott "Autograph" hotel now, wh...
by mrb09
Tue Oct 29, 2019 6:32 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Mattress Run: Was it stupid?
Replies: 90
Views: 15223

Re: Mattress Run: Was it stupid?

Is it worthwhile to spend $75 for getting a Marriott Gold status? Victoria Gold gets a 25% vs 10% bump on points per stay, so if you're planning on staying at Marriott a lot next year, could be worth it. The actual perks don't come until Platinum when you get lounge access. In theory you're eligibl...
by mrb09
Sat Oct 19, 2019 8:18 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Wallets [Do you carry a wallet?]
Replies: 102
Views: 8591

Re: Wallets [Do you carry a wallet?]

Winston19 wrote:
Sat Oct 19, 2019 7:35 pm
I use a slim wallet - Tom Bihn Nik's wallet. Perfect for carrying a few cards and a little cash.

https://www.tombihn.com/products/minimalist-wallets
Me too. Love that wallet.
by mrb09
Wed Oct 16, 2019 1:06 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Show at Golden Nugget with "dynamic pricing"
Replies: 5
Views: 916

Re: Show at Golden Nugget with "dynamic pricing"

No idea on Golden Nugget, but saw Ray Wylie in a small venue here in California gold country and it was sold out in advance.

May depend on whether he gets another cameo in a mainstream country music video :)
by mrb09
Tue Sep 17, 2019 6:37 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: "End of Life" Issues
Replies: 30
Views: 3334

Re: "End of Life" Issues

MIL passed at our home, under the watch of Hospice. I can't thank the organization enough for their assistance in her last few weeks of life. An absolutely awesome organization. Even four years later we sometimes get a visit from one of MIL's Hospice team. +1. I can't say enough good things about H...
by mrb09
Mon Aug 26, 2019 5:45 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Retirement Expenses Rule of Thumb
Replies: 51
Views: 4361

Re: Retirement Expenses Rule of Thumb

I'm not retired, but I'm starting to get a plan, this was my simple model: - Take the income that I spend every year (not going into taxes or pre/post tax retirement savings) - Remove the expenses that will go away (like paid off house) - Add new expenses I plan to have (like medicare gap insurance)...
by mrb09
Sun Aug 25, 2019 3:28 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Marrying earlier for insurance/finances?
Replies: 39
Views: 2988

Re: Marrying earlier for insurance/finances?

When I was out of collage in my first full time corporate job, and my (future) wife was getting her masters, I popped the question with saying "maybe we should get married to get you some insurance". That was 35 years ago, so worked for us.
by mrb09
Tue Aug 13, 2019 9:16 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Personal Hearing Devices (not Hearing Aids)
Replies: 8
Views: 802

Re: Personal Hearing Devices (not Hearing Aids)

I have not tried any of the inexpensive ones, I have profound hearing loss which requires frequency compression, and right now I can only get that on higher end hearing aids. But chiming in to note that Apple already has a "hearing aid" accessibility option in the iPhone which I have hooked up to my...
by mrb09
Tue Jul 30, 2019 6:51 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: 3 Days in Seattle
Replies: 24
Views: 1501

Re: 3 Days in Seattle

Really enjoyed https://www.chihulygardenandglass.com , can bundle that with lunch or dinner at space needle.
by mrb09
Thu Jul 25, 2019 12:31 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Someone at Citibank signed up for an account, then listed my email address..
Replies: 31
Views: 2443

Re: Someone at Citibank signed up for an account, then listed my email address..

Nothing you can do but set email filters. I have a gmail address that is VERY simple (early beta adoptee back in 2002) and I get a metric ton of wrong emails. I have ATT and DirecTV, and I get at least 7 monthly bills for both for other people. Someone named Cedric just had his ATT suspended becaus...
by mrb09
Wed Jul 24, 2019 9:08 am
Forum: Personal Investments
Topic: Who has the best (easiest) Donor Advised Fund
Replies: 57
Views: 3124

Re: Who has the best (easiest) Donor Advised Fund

Hockey10 wrote:
Wed Jul 24, 2019 8:31 am
I can only speak to the Fidelity DAF. $5,000 minimum to open and very easy to use. I can't think of anything that would make it easier.
+1 Dunno about the others, but Fidelity has just been a breeze to use.
by mrb09
Mon Jul 22, 2019 12:00 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Financial Movies and Shows
Replies: 80
Views: 7736

Re: Financial Movies and Shows

Waking Ned Devine, 1999, is probably in the Mad Mad World category (although Mad Mad World cannot be topped -- how do you top a movie with a cameo by the three stooges?)
by mrb09
Wed Jul 17, 2019 8:35 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Box wine- update and recommendations?
Replies: 73
Views: 6460

Re: Box wine- update and recommendations?

Boto Box Zin and Pinot Grigio during the week, bottles from wine clubs on the weekend.
SimonJester wrote:
Wed Jul 17, 2019 8:10 pm
Big House red blend is our goto box
If I could get that I would, I used to get the bottles from Bonny Done Vineyard when I lived in Santa Cruz!
by mrb09
Thu Jul 11, 2019 11:47 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: How to Safely Share User IDs / Passwords with Spouse
Replies: 79
Views: 7219

Re: How to Safely Share User IDs / Passwords with Spouse

We use a 1Password family plan which allows a shared password vault. For financial institutions we use separate accounts with joint permissions (like Fidelity and Ally), but we also keep our own account passwords in the shared vault in case of emergency ("break glass"). For accounts like Netflix, we...
by mrb09
Thu Jul 11, 2019 12:23 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: WaPo: "Mobile Passport" is the best-kept secret in air travel
Replies: 47
Views: 8820

Re: WaPo: "Mobile Passport" is the best-kept secret in air travel

I have TSA-Pre but not global entry. I tried the mobile app coming into LAX, LAX (as usual) was pretty disorganized, there were no signs but I think a guy waived me through a mobile only line. Took same amount of time as for regular line. I've seen actual kiosks at SFO, but not at LAX (may have been...
by mrb09
Tue Jul 09, 2019 7:22 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Sandals with arch support
Replies: 30
Views: 3112

Re: Sandals with arch support

Vionics. You can find them on Amazon. I have two pair of Vionics sandals and a pair of casual loafer style shoe I use for work. Very helpful in treating the Plantar Fasciitis I developed. Vionic Men's Tide Toe-Post Sandal - Flip Flop with Concealed Orthotic Arch Support Brown 11 M US https://www.am...
by mrb09
Mon Jul 08, 2019 10:31 am
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Americans believe they need $1.7 million, on average, to retire
Replies: 284
Views: 30926

Re: Americans believe they need $1.7 million, on average, to retire

Thesaints wrote:
Mon Jul 08, 2019 10:27 am
Retiring at what age ? With How many mouths to feed ? Averages can be dangerous numbers to rely on; the average shoe size in the US is 10 for men, for instance.
Indeed! If "on average" 91% said "one million" and the remainder said "ten million", you'd end up with about 1.7 million.
by mrb09
Sat Jun 29, 2019 10:30 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Buying a house for Mom - Pros, cons, pitfalls?.
Replies: 55
Views: 3883

Re: Buying a house for Mom - Pros, cons, pitfalls?.

My wife and I bought a house for my parents when they retired. We rented it to them with a significantly subsidized rent. No loan, we were landlords and they were renters. We ate the difference between rent and loan amount. The main reason for doing this was to move them closer if they started needi...
by mrb09
Thu Jun 27, 2019 9:39 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Deferred compensation, thoughts?
Replies: 22
Views: 1959

Re: Deferred compensation, thoughts?

I started mine a few years ago, I'm now 6 years away (hopefully) from retirement at 65. I have a five year pay-out on the plan, and I'm trying to get the payments to be equivalent to my SS when I take it at 70 . Not that this is the sole reason, but when I use retirement calculators I just say I'm t...
by mrb09
Wed Jun 19, 2019 7:29 pm
Forum: Personal Investments
Topic: Topic: tiny house + property good or bad investment?
Replies: 39
Views: 3484

Re: Topic: tiny house + property good or bad investment?

I think you'd be better off with a small "fixer up" cabin. If you build a tiny house on unimproved land you still need to deal with new code for septic, well, electricity or solar w/ batteries, etc. That's a pretty high fixed cost. If you find a small cabin, you get all that even if it isn't up to c...
by mrb09
Thu Jun 13, 2019 10:14 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Side x Side/Utility Vehicle
Replies: 20
Views: 1428

Re: Side x Side/Utility Vehicle

And now for an opposing point of view :) We have a small ranch with horse pastures and logging access roads down to a pond. We get snow during the winter, not a lot, bit over axle high. We had a Polaris Ranger 500 6x6 that lasted about 15 years (still going to the person we sold it to), we now have ...
by mrb09
Thu May 23, 2019 3:22 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Google Tool for coordinating vacation dates between friends?
Replies: 16
Views: 1346

Re: Google Tool for coordinating vacation dates between friends?

Maybe create a shared calendar, and folks can start with their blackout dates? Then you can add planned dates once you find a good time for all.
by mrb09
Fri May 10, 2019 10:25 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Hearing getting bad, which Hearing Aids would you recommend ??
Replies: 36
Views: 2846

Re: Hearing getting bad, which Hearing Aids would you recommend ??

I got my first set of hearing aids in my mid-50's. I'm into "profound" sound loss, I can't hear high frequencies at all unless they're compressed into a lower frequency. Too much motorcycles, rock n' roll and loud lab equipment in my youth :) I first did the $6k-ish ones (top of the line Phonaks). M...
by mrb09
Wed May 01, 2019 1:10 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Alka Seltzer Tablets but without medication?
Replies: 12
Views: 1505

Re: Alka Seltzer Tablets but without medication?

You might try "Nuun" tablets. Popular with cyclists, runners, and others. It's sort of a sports drink in a tablet that fizzles when you drop it in water. Various flavors, not sure if there's a plain. They aren't super carbonated but similar to Alka seltzer without the medicine. +1 on Nuun, tasty an...
by mrb09
Fri Apr 26, 2019 5:58 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: replacement for Airport Express for music
Replies: 19
Views: 1309

Re: replacement for Airport Express for music

Had same problem with flakey airport expresses. My solution was to take our obsolete v1 and v2 iPads, put them on stands and use them instead. I hooked them up the same way as the expresses, just plugged in an earphone jack with stereo cable splitter. I use cloud based iTunes library, but I'm pretty...
by mrb09
Mon Apr 22, 2019 9:37 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Which WAP to replace Airport Extreme - please no mesh recommendations
Replies: 116
Views: 6313

Re: Which WAP to replace Airport Extreme - please no mesh recommendations

I used to have an extreme and 3 expresses for my wifi network. I replaced the main network with google wifi which is a mesh and what you said you don't want. But the part that might be interesting is I kept the extremes and expresses, just configured them for slaves. I use the extreme for my time ma...
by mrb09
Sat Apr 20, 2019 5:43 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: What I don’t understand about Donor Advised Funds...
Replies: 57
Views: 5105

Re: What I don’t understand about Donor Advised Funds...

Not much to add from what's already been said, other than my own experience. I started one just this year with Fidelity, and I've been extremely happy with it. I had some extra cash from a stock sale, so I used some of that as a lump sum to fund it for several years. I was able to verify all local c...
by mrb09
Wed Apr 03, 2019 8:24 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Help me plan 3 days in Vancouver
Replies: 15
Views: 1353

Re: Help me plan 3 days in Vancouver

Was there for a short week a few years ago, wife and I took the train up from Seattle. - Had a good time walking around Stanley park. - We were walking (+ ferry) distance to Granville Island, so we went there often and saw a show once at the Granville Island Stage - Had dinner and walked around Yale...
by mrb09
Thu Mar 28, 2019 11:39 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Marriott Bonvoy Brilliant & Chase Reserve..?
Replies: 7
Views: 868

Re: Marriott Bonvoy Brilliant & Chase Reserve..?

If you're going for Bonvoy status (platinum, titanium, etc), the MB Boundless (Visa) card will give you night credits. Not sure about the Brilliant (Amex)
by mrb09
Wed Mar 20, 2019 11:46 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Best Bank for Newlyweds
Replies: 27
Views: 1867

Re: Best Bank for Newlyweds

Congratulations! I'm sure plenty of other banks do this as well, but I know Ally works well with two separate logins and a combination of individual and shared bank accounts. Very easy to move money between accounts, with no transfer delay. So I know it is good for married couples, but my wife and I...
by mrb09
Wed Mar 20, 2019 1:14 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Questions on RSUs and Stock Options
Replies: 17
Views: 741

Re: Questions on RSUs and Stock Options

Only other thing I'd add is if you're selling some old options and are otherwise getting RSUs these days, might be a good year to do a donor advised fund donation if you're considering that anyway. That's what I did.
by mrb09
Mon Mar 18, 2019 8:00 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Slow cooker vs Instant pot........
Replies: 62
Views: 4837

Re: Slow cooker vs Instant pot........

I love my instant pot and use it at least every few weeks. Need to have dinner at 7:00 and I haven't started dinner by 6:00? Out comes the instant pot for soup, stew or chicken curry. Not much cleanup either, since all the saute is in the one pot. I use a slow cooker a few times a year when I can ac...
by mrb09
Thu Mar 14, 2019 6:51 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: What's Your Opinion on Nest Thermostats
Replies: 62
Views: 5851

Re: What's Your Opinion on Nest Thermostats

I have three zones and three nest thermostats. Also four nest smoke/co2 monitors. No complaints. They were easy to install and work well. We have learning set off, just have them on a schedule plus manual overides. My wife loves being able to adjust the temperature on her phone. Not sure they are th...
by mrb09
Sat Mar 02, 2019 6:26 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Thinking of Buying a Watch - Recommendations?
Replies: 74
Views: 5453

Re: Thinking of Buying a Watch - Recommendations?

Another vote for Citizen eco-drive. I'm not sure how long I've had mine, but it is over 10 years and I've never replaced the battery or had it maintained in any way. I lost it once for a few months in a drawer, and when I found it I just put in a window for a while to recharge, been as good as new e...
by mrb09
Fri Mar 01, 2019 5:22 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Men & Women: What do you pack for travel inside 1 carry-on luggage only??
Replies: 169
Views: 12336

Re: What do you pack for international vacation travel??

This is what I carry. It fits in a carry-on sized travel bag, although I check it along with my wife's larger wheeled bag (hence "pocket knife" contents). Even though we check the bags, using a backpack style carry-on lets me carry my bag on my back and pick up hers if we're going up and down a lot ...
by mrb09
Sat Feb 23, 2019 3:18 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Can solar be worth it??
Replies: 78
Views: 8639

Re: Can solar be worth it??

The standard inverters used with solar panels shut down when the power fails. There goes your redundancy! There are solutions to that problem. In my case, I have 32kw of battery storage on order and the solar used to charge them stays up when grid is down. No danger to linemen. Plus, incentives to ...
by mrb09
Sat Feb 23, 2019 10:30 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Can solar be worth it??
Replies: 78
Views: 8639

Re: Can solar be worth it??

I am considering solar on a new addition. I currently live in a location that has the second lowest electricity rates in the US. So why consider solar? Redundancy if grid goes out especially in winter. The standard inverters used with solar panels shut down when the power fails. There goes your red...
by mrb09
Sat Feb 16, 2019 4:12 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Techies provide me best practices
Replies: 21
Views: 2122

Re: Techies provide me best practices

Aside from the other good advice, - I'd make gmail 2FA a top priority, since if anyone gets access to your email they can often do a password reset on your less protected accounts. When you set this up you get a list of access codes that can be used if you lose your second factor device (phone or wh...
by mrb09
Thu Feb 07, 2019 12:17 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: My wife going back to school for Masters in Counseling - online
Replies: 48
Views: 3171

Re: My wife going back to school for Masters in Counseling - online

My wife did something similar. She's in her 60's and did this just a few years ago. She had her original masters in human behavior, retired from high tech usability experience jobs, then got her second masters in marriage and family therapy from a for-profit university. Then after 3000 hours of inte...
by mrb09
Fri Feb 01, 2019 9:13 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Building a house in rural mountains
Replies: 70
Views: 7520

Re: Building a house in rural mountains

Didn't build from scratch, but do live on 50 acres in rural mountain-y area. House was here, but we put in the barns and redid the well. Don't have a snow-cat, but do have tractor, utv and atv with a snowplow. Random bits of advice: - Especially if you have horses, have a water plan for when somethi...
by mrb09
Fri Jan 25, 2019 11:58 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: New Home Computer of Some Kind
Replies: 40
Views: 2394

Re: New Home Computer of Some Kind

What about one of the "pro" tablets, whether ipad pro or Surface pro The iPad Pro is a wonderful piece of hardware, but I wouldn't recommend it for your uses. You basically want to do things with the PC that are not possible or too cumbersome on the iPhone. Guess what, those things will be just as ...
by mrb09
Mon Jan 21, 2019 11:59 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Button Down Shirts / Travel Pants / Light Jacket? Other Tips from experienced Boglehead world travelers?
Replies: 179
Views: 15353

Re: Men's No-Cotton Travel Pants Suggestions? Other Tips from experienced world travellers?

Due to health, I have not travelled in several years. Recently upgraded my passport, TSA Precheck, Travel ID, etc. ("newbie" ready to ride/fly). Now packing for an upcoming trip, I've found that my assortment of travel pants have "shrunk" in storage. (that must be it) :shock: Thus, I am on the hunt...
by mrb09
Fri Jan 18, 2019 8:17 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Curry Powder?
Replies: 38
Views: 2319

Re: Curry Powder?

Penzey's 8 jar pack, because "best" is pretty subjective. https://www.penzeys.com/online-catalog/indian-curries-8-jar-gift-pack/c-24/p-1550/pd-gb Expensive, but you will probably derive some amusement from trying them out. Tasting the various kinds is good experience for making your own, too. I use...
by mrb09
Sun Jan 13, 2019 2:30 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: buying and shipping art work internationally
Replies: 10
Views: 692

Re: buying and shipping art work internationally

Bought some signed first nation lithographs in Canada a few years ago, no issues at all with shipping. One dealer had their own in-house shipping, and one used a third party shipper. Paid by credit card and they handled everything.
by mrb09
Tue Jan 01, 2019 11:41 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Snow Plowing
Replies: 54
Views: 2809

Re: Snow Plowing

Rural California at 3500 feet elevation, 500 yard driveway. Have a Polaris ATV with a snow plow, and compact tractor with a bucket loader if the snow banks get too high (it has happened). Hand clear around the house/barn. We also have a four wheel drive truck with studded snow tires if I can't compl...
by mrb09
Sat Nov 10, 2018 12:52 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Seeking Advice - Emergency Preparedness
Replies: 56
Views: 3903

Re: Seeking Advice - Emergency Preparedness

install a natural gas generator...... or get solar panels with a battery that can hold a charge for a few days. Thanks - I am leaning that way (generator). The solar panels plus batteries is much more expensive. The solar panels plus battery also have a federal 30% credit, and you will not have an ...
by mrb09
Wed Oct 31, 2018 8:48 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Planning first international trip - London/Paris
Replies: 74
Views: 4952

Re: Planning first international trip - London/Paris

Just adding to what other folks are saying: - Don't even think of renting a car - Stay near a tube station - Save Paris for the next trip. - Get an Oyster card Last few times I was there, I used the Heathrow express to get from the airport into the London (arrive via Paddington Station) and used a t...
by mrb09
Tue Oct 09, 2018 9:48 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Best headphones under 500 bucks
Replies: 79
Views: 7505

Re: Best headphones under 500 bucks

I'm a value guy, so my cans are Audio Technica ATH-M50x for home. They perform well above their $150 price point. I haven't personally tested their higher-end ATH-M70x, but based on my experience would not be surprised if for $300 they perform similarly to $500 'phones. I have some older Audio Tech...
by mrb09
Tue Sep 25, 2018 6:50 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: When do you need a hearing aid
Replies: 50
Views: 3737

Re: When do you need a hearing aid

Hi all! I’m 66 YO & have been wearing hearing aids for 11 years now. I believe that when you are tired of saying “pardon me, what, huh, or what did they say”, or asking someone to tell you what was just said on tv, you will know when it’s time to buy. I just got tired of hearing only 80% - 90% of a...
by mrb09
Tue Sep 25, 2018 4:07 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Electric Shaver/Beard Trimmer
Replies: 21
Views: 2029

Re: Electric Shaver/Beard Trimmer

I use: - An old Braun trimmer (something like a Braun BT5050, not sure what older model I have) for trimming my goatee and mustache - A Remington HC4250 for my mostly bald head - A safety blade for my face So what works for me is a specific tool for the job. I use the blade once a day, and the trimm...