Search found 418 matches

by Artful Dodger
Fri Sep 21, 2018 1:24 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Apple watch Series 3
Replies: 2
Views: 251

Re: Apple watch Series 3

I have the 3 with cellular as well. Like it a lot. Use for alarms, timer, all the time. I normally use my phone but can access texts, email, get calls, Use activity tracking for workouts, and get HR as well. Use the music service at gym with cellular so I don't need phone. Having the directions come...
by Artful Dodger
Fri Sep 21, 2018 9:31 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Traveling Outside of US and on Medicare
Replies: 5
Views: 715

Re: Traveling Outside of US and on Medicare

First, check your supplemental coverage. As noted above, most popular supplement plans include $50K of foreign medical care reimbursement. Standard Medigap Plans C, D, F, G, M, and N provide foreign travel emergency health care coverage when you travel outside the U.S. Many Med Advantage plans will ...
by Artful Dodger
Thu Sep 20, 2018 4:14 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Don't trust Tripadvisor reviews
Replies: 64
Views: 6558

Re: Don't trust Tripadvisor reviews

I've used Trip Advisor for years with no issues. I know there are some fake reviews, and you can usually scope those out. Often someone with just one or two posts, and sometimes it's just obvious. There are a lot of frequent travellers who have lots of reviews from all over, and have both hotel and ...
by Artful Dodger
Thu Sep 20, 2018 3:53 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Is there any active forums/BBS grouping up non-Bogleheads?
Replies: 14
Views: 1226

Re: Is there any active forums/BBS grouping up non-Bogleheads?

Very depressing forum post: https://www.bogleheads.org/forum/viewtopic.php?t=148446 Wow, that was depressing.. :( :( I recall a few years ago, a poster who was just convinced Apple was going to tank. He had all his reasoning laid out, and was going to short them, or buy puts...with all his remainin...
by Artful Dodger
Wed Sep 19, 2018 2:13 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: What is your single most expensive mistake?
Replies: 205
Views: 13596

Re: What is your single most expensive mistake?

Bogleheads: My most expensive mistake was to use a broker for our investments from 1950 until 1986 when we moved to Vanguard. Thank you, Jack! Best wishes. Taylor I get what you mean. But, there weren't a lot of other options in the fifties and sixties than buying through a traditional broker, and ...
by Artful Dodger
Tue Sep 18, 2018 8:17 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: PPO to HSA switch - Planned Pregnancy
Replies: 9
Views: 605

Re: PPO to HSA switch - Planned Pregnancy

For clarification, the Sec 125 adjustment is the pretax savings attributed to the payroll deduction. Since you said you were 35% tax bracket, I calculated your true cost at 65% of the payroll deduction for each plan.
by Artful Dodger
Tue Sep 18, 2018 8:13 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: PPO to HSA switch - Planned Pregnancy
Replies: 9
Views: 605

Re: PPO to HSA switch - Planned Pregnancy

For simplicity, I assumed no expense for you other than annual preventive exam covered at 100%. Mom - $20,000 maternity Baby $1000 first year / non-preventive charges HSA Mom - $3000 deductible + $1700 coinsurance = $4700 Baby - $100 coinsurance Total - $4800 Employer Contribution to HSA - $900 Tota...
by Artful Dodger
Tue Sep 18, 2018 5:41 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: PPO to HSA switch - Planned Pregnancy
Replies: 9
Views: 605

Re: PPO to HSA switch - Planned Pregnancy

Ignoring the HSA contribution for right now, what is the bi-weekly cost for the CDHP plan?
by Artful Dodger
Tue Sep 18, 2018 4:38 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: PPO to HSA switch - Planned Pregnancy
Replies: 9
Views: 605

Re: PPO to HSA switch - Planned Pregnancy

Please confirm both individual and family deductible and out of pocket for both plans. Also, is the deductible aggregate or embedded? An aggregate deductible can be met in full by one family member. Embedded deductibles are satisfied individually. So, in your example, you may have a $3000 family ded...
by Artful Dodger
Tue Sep 18, 2018 4:21 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Nytimes.com subscription price testing?
Replies: 9
Views: 780

Re: Nytimes.com subscription price testing?

I pay $8 monthly for the NYT, and, I believe, $49 for the Washington Post with our Amazon Prime discount. Both digital versions.
by Artful Dodger
Mon Sep 17, 2018 10:14 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Is Hardwood Floor No Maintenance (vs Carpet)?
Replies: 39
Views: 3740

Re: Is Hardwood Floor No Maintenance (vs Carpet)?

I think alot depends on the apartment, and condition of existing floors. Our daughter went to school in Chicago, and a rented a number of older apartments with hardwood. Most looked like they were original (ie. ancient) and were definitely worn. Whether or not they were regularly cleaned wasn't goin...
by Artful Dodger
Fri Sep 14, 2018 12:56 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: I need a chainsaw to trim branches and limbs!!
Replies: 93
Views: 4166

Re: I need a chainsaw to trim branches and limbs!!

I'm with the "find the appropriate electric tool crowd" if you're looking for something for branches and limbs. I can tell you, it is easier than you think to do serious damage to yourself. I've used a gas chain saw 25+ times, and almost caught my leg once. A friend's brother was using (totally inap...
by Artful Dodger
Fri Sep 14, 2018 12:44 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Dental Coverage Feedback
Replies: 13
Views: 989

Re: Dental Coverage Feedback

It could very well be a wash. One thing to keep in mind is the tax status of the premiums. Most plans use a section 125 flex arrangement to reduce your wages by the amount of premium. This is similar to the flexible spending account you mentioned. As you state, there is a $1097 difference between th...
by Artful Dodger
Tue Sep 11, 2018 1:01 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Toilet Makes A Flushing Sound Occasionally
Replies: 37
Views: 2820

Re: Toilet Makes A Flushing Sound Occasionally

We had the exact same problem with two toilets in the house. I spoke to a friend who owns a hardware store and he said the same as most here - replace the flapper. He also gave me some blue tabs to put in the tank to confirm the replaced flapper fixed the leak. Basically what is going on is the tank...
by Artful Dodger
Mon Sep 10, 2018 7:47 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Taking on project work after retirement?
Replies: 11
Views: 1095

Re: Taking on project work after retirement?

I think as long as it is rewarding, I'd go for it. I'm self-employed with an S-Corp, and can see downsizing to handling a few clients who I enjoy for a little extra income, and some business deductions. I remember years ago, in the early 80s, my father retired, then was hired back as a consultant. $...
by Artful Dodger
Mon Sep 10, 2018 1:39 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Amazon Prime - Value?
Replies: 72
Views: 5781

Re: Amazon Prime - Value?

Artful Dodger wrote:
Mon Sep 10, 2018 1:13 pm
Worth it for us. Usually watching shows on Amazon Video. Occasional discounts at Whole Foods. WaPo subscriptions. And, oh yes, they have this service where you order stuff online, and they ship it to you for free!
Plus John Krasinski as Jack Ryan. Who who have thought it? Pretty good so far.
by Artful Dodger
Mon Sep 10, 2018 1:13 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Amazon Prime - Value?
Replies: 72
Views: 5781

Re: Amazon Prime - Value?

Worth it for us. Usually watching shows on Amazon Video. Occasional discounts at Whole Foods. WaPo subscriptions. And, oh yes, they have this service where you order stuff online, and they ship it to you for free!
by Artful Dodger
Fri Sep 07, 2018 1:03 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Self-Employed Dependent Care FSA?
Replies: 7
Views: 393

Re: Self-Employed Dependent Care FSA?

S Corp and LLC owners cannot participate in FSA plans. You can take the child care tax credit.
by Artful Dodger
Fri Sep 07, 2018 12:37 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Time to look at SS [When should I take Social Security?]
Replies: 55
Views: 4933

Re: Time to look at SS

I generally use the default 'mortality weighting' and discount rate (see below from the opensocialsecurity "About" page). For me it's a good way to avoid the trying to guess when you die problem. The inputs I used were guesses based on what was said in the OP. They are surely wrong in detail, but p...
by Artful Dodger
Tue Sep 04, 2018 4:43 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: HVAC annual contracts vs yearly annual cleaning
Replies: 32
Views: 2212

Re: HVAC annual contracts vs yearly annual cleaning

We have the same offer from our HVAC people, and we just get the annual inspection/cleaning. This is the same company who installed the two systems when we built the house in 1994. We pay $150 each annually for both systems, and they come out twice to inspect, clean, etc. It's worked out well for us...
by Artful Dodger
Tue Sep 04, 2018 3:10 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Establishing residency after relocation
Replies: 14
Views: 725

Re: Establishing residency after relocation

The good news about Washington state is there is no state personal income tax. You should be able to file your 2018 Virginia taxes, and pay only on what you earned from your Virginia employer. My daughter moved to Washington state about five years ago, and I helped her file taxes, and there were no ...
by Artful Dodger
Tue Sep 04, 2018 2:16 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: What will you do when you find you have more money than expected?
Replies: 91
Views: 9692

Re: What will you do when you find you have more money than expected?

I would estimate that many/most bogleheads will be in this position, after fretting for decades about having enough, suppressing lifestyle to save, and then finding once retired that you have much, much more than you need. One of the subcultural flaws here IMO is the tendency to obsess and over-pre...
by Artful Dodger
Tue Sep 04, 2018 12:37 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: When do you drop collision insurance?
Replies: 52
Views: 2861

Re: When do you drop collision insurance?

my current car is a 2000 Camry. It has 145K miles on it and I hope to keep it for another 3-5 years. KBB says it is worth about $2,200-2,800 in value. Does it make sense to keep collision insurance on this car at a cost of $200 a month. I believe I am close to the point of making sense to drop it b...
by Artful Dodger
Fri Aug 31, 2018 3:50 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Are CDs considered an investment?
Replies: 75
Views: 3966

Re: Are CDs considered an investment?

Perhaps not years ago but lately CD rates are rising high and I got some CDs with over 3% interest rate. I have a CD ladder and the 5 year CD interest rate is 3.5%. I wanted some money to be in safe investments and to me, the interest rates made it worthwhile. And I felt CDs were safer than bond fu...
by Artful Dodger
Fri Aug 31, 2018 11:19 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Nespresso?
Replies: 87
Views: 6357

Re: Nespresso?

My partner and I used a Nespresso machine for a number of years and were really happy with it. It doesn’t make top of the line coffee, but it is quite adequate and really easy to make (neither of us are morning people, so we value something easy.) Fairly recently I was doing a deeper dive on our sp...
by Artful Dodger
Fri Aug 31, 2018 7:17 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Mega Downsize....
Replies: 91
Views: 8329

Re: Mega Downsize....

Here's a contrarian view. I know someone kind of like you, house full of fancy furniture and lot of just... stuff. If I had all the money he had blown on just pure nonsense, I would be retired and I'm under 40. To me, a person that ends up in your and his situation is probably impulsive. And your a...
by Artful Dodger
Thu Aug 30, 2018 3:01 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Fidelity's calculator suddenly more optimistic?
Replies: 12
Views: 1734

Re: Fidelity's calculator suddenly more optimistic?

I'm with wanderer on Fidelity's Full View. If i can't get mine fixed soon, I'm going to reach out to Fidelity for some help.
by Artful Dodger
Thu Aug 30, 2018 2:58 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Fidelity's calculator suddenly more optimistic?
Replies: 12
Views: 1734

Re: Fidelity's calculator suddenly more optimistic?

I check mine regularly, and it usually runs pretty consistent. I sometimes do make adjustments - lowering future income, raising expected spending, etc., and the end of life number comes down accordingly. I do recall last fall, after my birthday, or possibly just after Jan. 1, there was a significan...
by Artful Dodger
Wed Aug 29, 2018 12:01 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: What Book Are You Currently Reading? Part VI
Replies: 3290
Views: 995400

Re: What Book Are You Currently Reading? Part VI

Cornell '77: The Music, the Myth, and the Magnificence of the Grateful Dead's Concert at Barton Hall by Peter Conners I just received this as a birthday present from a good friend who's a fellow Dead head. I have the recent reissue of the show, and perused the book while listening. Super surprised ...
by Artful Dodger
Tue Aug 28, 2018 1:47 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: How do you 7 figure guys organize multiple accounts?
Replies: 164
Views: 11847

Re: How do you 7 figure guys organize multiple accounts?

Up until a month ago, if you had asked this question, I would have given Fidelity's Fullview a hearty recommendation. They just upgraded, and I haven't been able to relink all my accounts. I think the final product will have more functionality than the previous, but time will tell. By having all the...
by Artful Dodger
Fri Aug 24, 2018 2:03 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Business Travel as an independent Contractor
Replies: 4
Views: 638

Re: Business Travel as an independent Contractor

I've been using Hotwire a lot lately. Began about two years ago when travelling, and was not always sure at which town we would end. I've never been successful with just using one chain as my travel is too on and off. I usually use the option where you know the location, stars, customer rating, but ...
by Artful Dodger
Thu Aug 23, 2018 1:37 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: COBRA to Spouse's insurance - QLE?
Replies: 6
Views: 375

Re: COBRA to Spouse's insurance - QLE?

Here's the rule: (I bolded the applicable parts) Q5: Upon loss of eligibility for health coverage or termination of employer contributions for health coverage, what are a plan's obligations to offer special enrollment? When an employee or dependent loses eligibility for coverage under any group heal...
by Artful Dodger
Thu Aug 23, 2018 12:43 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: COBRA to Spouse's insurance - QLE?
Replies: 6
Views: 375

Re: COBRA to Spouse's insurance - QLE?

Left my job few months back and I am on a subsidized COBRA plan. Employer subsidy is ending at the end of this month, and that will make my COBRA payment go higher (almost 10x) from next month. So, I want to move to my spouse's plan as a dependent. Is this a valid qualifying life event (QLE) to joi...
by Artful Dodger
Thu Aug 23, 2018 9:44 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Earn 1.5% on your checking account without the usual hoops (at Fidelity)
Replies: 64
Views: 7137

Re: Earn 1.5% on your checking account without the usual hoops (at Fidelity)

You can get a little bit more yield using SPRXX instead of SPAXX (1.85% vs. 1.57%). Or even using FZDXX 1.97% ($100k to start, $10k to maintain). All of these options require you to manually purchase the fund in the CMA (but will be automatically liquidated as necessary to meet debits). Yep, good p...
by Artful Dodger
Wed Aug 22, 2018 9:17 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: What Movie Have You Recently Watched?
Replies: 3692
Views: 1058080

Re: What Movie Have You Recently Watched?

The Vietnam War 18-hour PBS documentary by Ken Burns. Apparently I slept through most of US history class, because much of this material is new to me. Always interesting to learn more about a topic that is so familiar. I must have been sleeping also. Watching the first few I did not know the French...
by Artful Dodger
Tue Aug 21, 2018 3:56 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: As an American, where are some great places in the world to retire?
Replies: 151
Views: 14703

Re: As an American, where are some great places in the world to retire?

Just a FYI, according to the site, the OP has left the building. :?

"The requested user does not exist."
by Artful Dodger
Fri Aug 17, 2018 12:27 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Recent Trip to Naples, Italy
Replies: 14
Views: 1864

Re: Recent Trip to Naples, Italy

I would like to go back to Naples. The last time we were there was right after we were married. We took the train from Rome, then hopped a ferry to Capri for the day, then a late train back. So, not much time actually in Naples. We were returning to the train station, and weren't 100% sure of our wa...
by Artful Dodger
Wed Aug 15, 2018 7:25 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Paying for Medicare by credit card
Replies: 10
Views: 1128

Re: Paying for Medicare by credit card

I pay by credit card to get the 2 percent reward, but I send in three months of premiums at a time so I don't have to hassle with monthly remittance. I also use a virtual number on the slip I send back and make a notation that the payment is for more than one month. I did get nervous once when the ...
by Artful Dodger
Wed Aug 15, 2018 4:10 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Books - Your 3 Best - (Nonfiction, Fiction, Financial/Investing)
Replies: 48
Views: 5392

Re: Books - Your 3 Best - (Nonfiction, Fiction, Financial/Investing)

The "What book are you currently reading" thread has became one of my favorites, and led me too many new books I otherwise wouldn't have known about. https://www.bogleheads.org/forum/viewtopic.php?f=11&t=147398&start=3150 Thanks to all who have contributed to that. I thought it might be useful to l...
by Artful Dodger
Tue Aug 14, 2018 3:46 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: As an American, where are some great places in the world to retire?
Replies: 151
Views: 14703

Re: As an American, where are some great places in the world to retire?

If they really are interested in retiring to some place outside of the US, you may want to consider getting them a subscription to International Living. I've been getting it for years. Lots of interesting articles about cost of living, quality of life, real estate, etc. in countries all around the w...
by Artful Dodger
Mon Aug 13, 2018 6:53 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: High Deductible Health Plans & Retirement
Replies: 12
Views: 1937

Re: High Deductible Health Plans & Retirement

It depends on the specific plans and how you plan to insure yourself in retirement. I have seen some plans were the HDHP was almost a no brainer, where the savings in premiums was more than the additional out of pocket cost. I have seen others where the HDHP premiums are only modestly cheaper. Also...
by Artful Dodger
Mon Aug 13, 2018 2:26 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: What's the reason you would buy reading glasses at...
Replies: 42
Views: 2546

Re: What's the reason you would buy reading glasses at...

Not sure what age you are. Most younger people don't need reading glasses/ It often comes with age. I wore contacts to correct long vision (nearsightedness) for most of my life. Around 45, my close up vision started to go, and the doctor corrected my lenses to make one better for near vision and one...
by Artful Dodger
Thu Aug 09, 2018 12:46 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Anyone regret paying off mortgage early?
Replies: 504
Views: 111265

Re: Anyone regret paying off mortgage early?

I have been thinking about this too, as I'm close to retirement. I always wanted to have a paid off mortgage when I retired, one reason being it would reduce the taxes I will have to pay thus also reducing the total draw from investments, which are mostly in pre-tax accounts. We refinanced about 6.5...
by Artful Dodger
Wed Aug 08, 2018 2:33 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: What Book Are You Currently Reading? Part VI
Replies: 3290
Views: 995400

Re: What Book Are You Currently Reading? Part VI

I'm also almost finished with the unabridged version of The Count of Monte Cristo by Alexandre Dumas. It's nothing like the movies I've seen or the Classic comics version! https://www.amazon.com/Count-Monte-Cristo-Penguin-Classics/dp/0140449264/ref=sr_1_3?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1533743857&sr=1-3&keywo...
by Artful Dodger
Wed Aug 08, 2018 2:27 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Insurance refusing to pay for car accident
Replies: 26
Views: 2480

Re: Insurance refusing to pay for car accident

Yes, it was a single hit, car C hit Car B and Car B plowed into my car. I took the car to a local body shop and they estimated the damage to be around $3,500. I'm with the others who say since you dropped collision, you're on the hook for the repairs, absent an offer from Car B or Car C. You might ...
by Artful Dodger
Tue Aug 07, 2018 7:27 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: [What TV Show Have You Recently Watched?]
Replies: 825
Views: 89630

Re: [What TV Show Have You Recently Watched?]

Just finished watching episode 2 of season 2 of Unforgotten. This is a British mystery series we watch on PBS Masterpiece. I think its pretty good. Both seasons are three episodes, about 90 minutes each. The story revolves around finding an old murder case from 20 to 30 years ago, then putting the c...
by Artful Dodger
Tue Aug 07, 2018 7:19 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Grind and Brew Coffee Makers - worth it?
Replies: 30
Views: 2389

Re: Grind and Brew Coffee Makers - worth it?

For the higher end super automatic machines what is the cleaning process like, especially for the used grinds? I assume you still need to empty and clean between uses? There's a small container that collects the grounds - they're pushed into a small puck - and after 10 or so cups the machine says t...
by Artful Dodger
Fri Aug 03, 2018 9:31 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Nespresso?
Replies: 87
Views: 6357

Re: Nespresso?

When our Nespresso finally gave up, I decided to look for something that didn't give me all the waste and hopefully would be cheaper in the long run. I am happy to say we purchased a Gaggia Velasca, which is a super automatic machine. You pour beans into a hopper at top, add water, and it will grin...
by Artful Dodger
Fri Aug 03, 2018 2:02 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Nespresso?
Replies: 87
Views: 6357

Re: Nespresso?

I actually think the Nespresso machines make a pretty good cup. We had the traditional machine for about four years before it conked out. It made the smaller cups, regular espresso and lungo. The pods available from Nespresso were $.70 to $.85 per pd if I recall. my brother has the newer version whi...
by Artful Dodger
Fri Aug 03, 2018 12:40 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: charitable giving
Replies: 4
Views: 343

Re: charitable giving

Of our charitable giving - 50% goes to our church 25% to Rotary local and The Rotary Foundation 25% to local charities - about half service (Women's Crisis, Refugee programs, Autism, and others) and half local cultural (museums, park conservancy, symphony, arts). The Rotary Foundation has been rated...