Search found 124 matches

by GmanJeff
Wed Aug 15, 2018 7:59 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Best consumer products - made in USA
Replies: 62
Views: 3004

Re: Best consumer products - made in USA

C. F. Martin & Co. guitars, made in Nazareth, PA.
by GmanJeff
Thu Aug 09, 2018 7:47 am
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Vanguard Advisor
Replies: 11
Views: 791

Re: Vanguard Advisor

While you may be skeptical with regard to the prospect of either of you living to or beyond age 100, longevity risk is as real as other types of risk and should not be discounted unless you have a very good reason to anticipate a much earlier demise. You are being conservative with regard to your as...
by GmanJeff
Wed Aug 08, 2018 2:03 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Insurance refusing to pay for car accident
Replies: 26
Views: 2367

Re: Insurance refusing to pay for car accident

Frankly, $3500 isn't worth litigating over, except perhaps in small claims court without counsel, if that venue is available to you and you don't value your time too much.
by GmanJeff
Wed Aug 08, 2018 12:43 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Insurance refusing to pay for car accident
Replies: 26
Views: 2367

Re: Insurance refusing to pay for car accident

One option is to do nothing and absorb the damages yourself as the cost of not having comprehensive insurance coverage, a risk you knowingly assumed in return for lower insurance premiums. Without knowing the amount of your damages, it's difficult to offer advice in this regard. That said, you allud...
by GmanJeff
Wed Aug 08, 2018 9:19 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Grind and Brew Coffee Makers - worth it?
Replies: 30
Views: 2215

Re: Grind and Brew Coffee Makers - worth it?

[/quote] Which superauto needs such little maintenance??? I have a Saeco, and am about to give up on it. It needs a major cleaning (remove brew group, etc) every time I empty the dregs box. The amount of unused grounds that spill out past the brew group is disappointing, but I have finally started t...
by GmanJeff
Tue Aug 07, 2018 4:07 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Grind and Brew Coffee Makers - worth it?
Replies: 30
Views: 2215

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? The Krups machine tells you when to empty the grounds container and drip trays, although I typically do it before being prompted. L...
by GmanJeff
Tue Aug 07, 2018 2:31 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Grind and Brew Coffee Makers - worth it?
Replies: 30
Views: 2215

Re: Grind and Brew Coffee Makers - worth it?

I tend to dislike machines that create unnecessary material waste, i.e., Keurig and Nespresso. I am interested in an automatic espresso type machine, like the Jura J8, I guess. A question for those users: do those machines make a cup of regular joe, in addition to the lattes, capuccinos, etc.? Yes,...
by GmanJeff
Sat Aug 04, 2018 10:29 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: "Safe" recommendations to store important documents?
Replies: 10
Views: 1070

Re: "Safe" recommendations to store important documents?

The challenge with residential safes is that most are built to a price point, sacrificing protection. You'll see that few widely available safes have UL burglary ratings beyond the most basic level, Residential Security Container (RSL). A RSL actually provides a minimal level of anti-theft protectio...
by GmanJeff
Fri Aug 03, 2018 8:06 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Gated communities pros and cons? (Atlanta or anywhere.)
Replies: 67
Views: 4207

Re: Gated communities pros and cons? (Atlanta or anywhere.)

As one might expect, the answer to each of the OP's questions is "it depends". The range of response here make it clear that gated communities come in different flavors, so it's not possible to assert definitively that the OP will or will not find value in one. Some consist of an unmanned gate, some...
by GmanJeff
Thu Aug 02, 2018 8:42 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Career Change, Give Up and focus on Retirement, or Make the Leap???
Replies: 13
Views: 1424

Re: Career Change, Give Up and focus on Retirement, or Make the Leap???

Advantageous career transitions often require relocation and your options obviously would be greatly expanded if your spouse were able to be more flexible in that regard. While she may be happy where she is (and, apparently, with your working hours), you are not, and that is something which probably...
by GmanJeff
Thu Aug 02, 2018 8:01 am
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Unexpected early retirement - requesting advice
Replies: 56
Views: 6603

Re: Unexpected early retirement - requesting advice

In my view, your highest priority is to better understand your options for retaining FEHB post-separation. If available to you, the FEHB will greatly mitigate your financial risk associated with future medical expenses. Generally, you must be entitled to an immediate annuity under a retirement syste...
by GmanJeff
Tue Jul 31, 2018 9:50 am
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Old age investing--Seeking advice
Replies: 23
Views: 2929

Re: Old age investing--Seeking advice

[/quote] GmanJeff, Thanks for taking time to consider my situation. I have experience in farming, and the rented acres require little time and attention from me. If I were to convert the C.D.s to an index bond or balanced fund, do you have any suggestions? Thank you very much. [/quote] It's really a...
by GmanJeff
Sun Jul 29, 2018 11:37 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Service that reviews CCRC financials? [Continuing Care Retirement Community]
Replies: 12
Views: 1137

Re: Service that reviews CCRC financials? [Continuing Care Retirement Community]

I'm not sure a forensic accounting analysis will tell you much, unless you're looking for evidence of fraud and even then the ability to detect that will be dependent on the documentation available for review. A couple of things to look for specifically might include the company's history and polici...
by GmanJeff
Sat Jul 28, 2018 10:40 am
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Old age investing--Seeking advice
Replies: 23
Views: 2929

Re: Old age investing--Seeking advice

I suggest you add a goal beyond merely increasing income and growing your portfolio: preparing for a time when you may have a lack of interest or capacity in managing your investments and finances. As people age, some find they slowly lose interest or their ability to deal with investments and finan...
by GmanJeff
Fri Jul 27, 2018 10:52 am
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: What is the advantage of Robo Portfolio?
Replies: 8
Views: 1009

Re: What is the advantage of Robo Portfolio?

Well, some of that type of research involves behavioral economics, and some involves investment selection and building portfolios. You may disagree with the value of the conclusions supported by research into modern portfolio theory and capital asset pricing used by some robos, but it arguably repre...
by GmanJeff
Fri Jul 27, 2018 7:23 am
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: What is the advantage of Robo Portfolio?
Replies: 8
Views: 1009

Re: What is the advantage of Robo Portfolio?

1. Robos use proprietary algorithms for asset allocation which may (or may not) result in better results than a given individual will achieve on their own. Some are informed by Nobel-prize winning research. 2. Costs are relatively low. 3. Provide enforced discipline and rebalancing without the indiv...
by GmanJeff
Thu Jul 26, 2018 7:50 am
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Need Help with PAS plan
Replies: 16
Views: 988

Re: Need Help with PAS plan

It appears you require substantial assistance constructing, maintaining, understanding, and monitoring an appropriate portfolio and in withdrawing from it later in a tax-sensitive manner. Under these circumstances, you're likely to struggle to achieve the results you want if you proceed independentl...
by GmanJeff
Wed Jul 25, 2018 7:44 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: How much car can I buy?
Replies: 46
Views: 2096

Re: How much car can I buy?

If you run the #s, I suspect that even if you choose to spend $100K on a car you won't see a material long-term impact on your portfolio or net worth. Some impact, yes, but a material impact, no. In the end, probably nothing out of line with what will have happened due to the day in and day out fluc...
by GmanJeff
Tue Jul 24, 2018 12:32 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Son Hurt at Summer Camp
Replies: 65
Views: 7816

Re: Son Hurt at Summer Camp

As is obvious from the replies thus far, details matter. If you want to be cautious before proceeding to engage with the camp's insurer, consult with reputable personal injury counsel in the jurisdiction where the incident occurred. An initial consultation will typically be at no cost, and can provi...
by GmanJeff
Tue Jul 24, 2018 12:18 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Need Help with PAS plan
Replies: 16
Views: 988

Re: Need Help with PAS plan

if you don't understand why the $300K isn't being allocated in a manner similar to the $200K, you should ask for clarification. You seem to imply, but do not seem to actually know, that the $200K is an appreciated investment which would incur capital gains taxes if exchanged for other funds. If so, ...
by GmanJeff
Sun Jul 22, 2018 5:06 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: My meeting with the Vanguard PAS [Personal Advisor Services]
Replies: 23
Views: 3338

Re: My meeting with the Vanguard PAS [Personal Advisor Services]

This is simply one way of being conservative, inasmuch as lifespans are increasing and running out of money prematurely is arguably a bigger problem than having some amount left over. If you have a belief that your longevity will be less, and you want to act on that belief, you're free to adjust you...
by GmanJeff
Sat Jul 21, 2018 4:32 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Vanguard Advisor
Replies: 25
Views: 2548

Re: Vanguard Advisor

OP, as you can see, there are many here who consider PAS a good value, and others who are confident that they possess the focus, knowledge, skill, and discipline to achieve equivalent or superior results. It is not possible to know whether any particular respondent in either category is correct or i...
by GmanJeff
Thu Jul 19, 2018 11:35 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Vacation Ideas like Alaskan Cruises
Replies: 11
Views: 976

Re: Vacation Ideas like Alaskan Cruises

I just completed a 2-week Norwegian fjord cruise on Regent Seven Seas, and have done two two Alaska cruises, one of which was also on Regent. Norway does offer beautiful and uncrowded scenery and ports and was in some ways reminiscent of Alaska in that regard. A number of cruise lines offer Norwegia...
by GmanJeff
Wed Jul 18, 2018 7:36 am
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: How do you handle the urge to DO something?
Replies: 102
Views: 7135

Re: How do you handle the urge to DO something?

Adopt the PAS approach, which is somewhat more activist than what you outline. Revisit your portfolio quarterly, rather than annually. Not to necessarily make any changes, but to engage in a deliberate evaluation of whether rebalancing is called for either because of a shift from your planned asset ...
by GmanJeff
Tue Jul 17, 2018 7:42 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Alaska Trip/Cruise Summer of 2020. Help me plan
Replies: 23
Views: 1699

Re: Alaska Trip/Cruise Summer of 2020. Help me plan

Having taken two of them to Alaska, I'll echo the recommendations for a cruise, especially if you take advantage of shore excursions to see and experience things from the inland side as well as from the water, giving you a more complete picture than you'll obtain by only touring on land. One shore e...
by GmanJeff
Mon Jul 16, 2018 2:04 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Travel to Mainland China - Cyber Security
Replies: 25
Views: 2075

Re: Travel to Mainland China - Cyber Security

A VPN connection offers secure connectivity between the client PC/cell phone or other endpoint and the corporate network or other site you're connecting to but does nothing to secure the endpoint itself. If those endpoints are compromised, the security of the connection itself won't protect you from...
by GmanJeff
Mon Jul 16, 2018 1:52 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Have you ever purchased a pricy musical instrument?
Replies: 82
Views: 4344

Re: Have you ever purchased a pricy musical instrument?

Martin D-45. Retail price is $11,299. Purchased to play it; it is the only dreadnought-bodied instrument I own, and so is different in that respect from my other guitars. I have no expectation that it will necessarily retain or appreciate in value, but would not expect it to lose too much in value o...
by GmanJeff
Sun Jul 15, 2018 3:51 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Travel to Mainland China - Cyber Security
Replies: 25
Views: 2075

Re: Travel to Mainland China - Cyber Security

Just assume that any laptop and/or cell phone you bring with you will be compromised. Conduct no transactions unless you don't mind them being monitored. It's not possible to know with certainty what level of scrutiny you individually will receive, but there is no doubt that you will be unable to ma...
by GmanJeff
Mon Jul 09, 2018 12:58 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Ireland trip
Replies: 20
Views: 1568

Re: Ireland trip

Be aware that Icelandair generally flies older aircraft (i.e. no lie-flat seating in Business Class). If you find it difficult to sleep when flying East at night you may want to plan for a "recovery" day when you arrive in order to adjust to the time zone change.
by GmanJeff
Thu Jun 14, 2018 4:26 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Long Weekend in November - NOLA, Austin, Other
Replies: 26
Views: 1351

Re: Long Weekend in November - NOLA, Austin, Other

My impression of NOLA was not positive when I visited for a business conference and stayed in the French Quarter. It's noisy, seemed focused on bars where patrons seem to begin drinking early in the day, and did not feel like a safe environment. I would not return for vacation.
by GmanJeff
Wed Jun 13, 2018 2:24 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Vanguard Advisor Services
Replies: 45
Views: 3496

Re: Vanguard Advisor Services

OP, you might want to review prior threads discussing PAS. In them, as here, you'll find those who assert they can provide the same services for themselves at no cost and do it equally well indefinitely into the future, those who feel the service is something to be invoked by their spouses only afte...
by GmanJeff
Fri Jun 01, 2018 7:28 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Home elevator
Replies: 23
Views: 2178

Re: Home elevator

I don't have one, but would not in future buy a multi-story home in which to age in place without one. There is little point in having a multi-story home even with the master on the main floor if it's reasonable to anticipate that potential future mobility issues might limit one's ability to use sig...
by GmanJeff
Wed May 30, 2018 7:53 am
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Creative Planning vs Vanguard PAS
Replies: 94
Views: 6261

Re: Creative Planning vs Vanguard PAS

PAS is more than asset allocation through the selection of 2 or 3 funds and putting them on auto-pilot thereafter in return for 30 basis points. It includes their proprietary algorithm for a asset allocation model which is consistent with the financial plan they create for you that takes into accoun...
by GmanJeff
Wed May 23, 2018 12:32 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Buying a Woman's Tag Heuer On-line
Replies: 41
Views: 2535

Re: Buying a Woman's Tag Heuer On-line

I bought my son a new Omega Speedmaster Moonwatch Co-axial from Bernard Watch Company for his high school graduation. www.bernardwatch.com. I wouldn't hesitate to buy from them again. The watch was heavily discounted, arrived very quickly, packed well and in the factory box with all paperwork, and i...
by GmanJeff
Tue May 22, 2018 12:03 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Need Your Advice - Thank You
Replies: 11
Views: 990

Re: Need Your Advice - Thank You

#s 1 and 3 involve high fees, which are anathema to most here. Couple those options with the generally accepted dictum that active management usually fails to outperform over the long-term, and neither of those options would likely be recommended. # 2 offers the advantage of low fees, but lacks the ...
by GmanJeff
Fri May 11, 2018 4:12 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Locking Automatic Pill Dispensers
Replies: 4
Views: 538

Re: Locking Automatic Pill Dispensers

My mother is giving my father his meds, but I would prefer a system where her active intervention twice daily is less necessary, to allow for times when she sleeps in very late, or in the event she herself is hospitalized. My father is willing to take his meds but does need prompting as to which to ...
by GmanJeff
Fri May 11, 2018 2:38 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Locking Automatic Pill Dispensers
Replies: 4
Views: 538

Locking Automatic Pill Dispensers

I'm interested in trying one of these to assist in managing my father's medications. My mother helps fill his two conventional plastic 7-day multi-compartment pill boxes (one for morning meds, and one for evenings), but cannot be relied upon to always ensure my father takes the correct medications a...
by GmanJeff
Thu May 10, 2018 8:18 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Custom suit needed for a wedding. Help me shop around!!
Replies: 30
Views: 2359

Re: Custom suit needed for a wedding. Help me shop around!!

Brooks Brothers does made-to-measure, which will likely meet your needs without the expense of fully bespoke. In addition to being fitted to you with a higher level of precision and greater range of flexibility than simply adjusting an off-the-rack suit, you can obtain details like surgeon's cuffs, ...
by GmanJeff
Wed May 02, 2018 4:03 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Nontraditional Cruising
Replies: 21
Views: 2554

Re: Nontraditional Cruising

Cruise lines all have different characters and atmospheres. In general, the more expensive cruise lines (e.g., Regent Seven Seas, Crystal, SilverSea, and Seabourne) tend to operate smaller ships which often go to ports which are unsuitable for larger vessels. Children are less common on such lines, ...
by GmanJeff
Tue May 01, 2018 7:17 am
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Moving from managed portfolio to Vanguard Personal Advisor
Replies: 3
Views: 522

Re: Moving from managed portfolio to Vanguard Personal Advisor

In my experience, PAS is sensitive to capital gains issues and will collaborate with you to address them. They seem willing to retain holdings which you may prefer to not be sell immediately because of gain issues, and even may suggest that those be held in a non-PAS Vanguard account so you're not p...
by GmanJeff
Mon Apr 30, 2018 9:29 am
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Way behind on Retirement - advice desired
Replies: 15
Views: 2671

Re: Way behind on Retirement - advice desired

You have more than 20 years before your desired retirement date. Most here will advise against making decisions, whether to or what to invest in, and whether or not to buy rather than rent a residence, based on your predictions around future market movements in the equity, bond, or real estate marke...
by GmanJeff
Sat Apr 28, 2018 2:55 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: How To Handle Auto Accident Insurance Company Letter
Replies: 16
Views: 2310

Re: How To Handle Auto Accident Insurance Company Letter

ResearchMed is correct - let your insurance company interact with the other driver's insurance carrier. They represent you, the other company represents their insured. As to whether you need counsel, that depends. If your insurer obtains what you consider to be appropriate reimbursement for the dama...
by GmanJeff
Fri Apr 06, 2018 7:51 am
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: SEIA Advisors?
Replies: 5
Views: 481

Re: SEIA Advisors?

My mother-in-law uses SEIA and seems content. They devised an appropriate asset allocation model for her situation and provide periodic in-person portfolio reviews if desired, with financial planning and insurance advice as needed. She would not be able to manage her portfolio, or research answers t...
by GmanJeff
Thu Apr 05, 2018 5:58 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Want/need some income in semi-retirement
Replies: 90
Views: 7246

Re: Want/need some income in semi-retirement

You'll probably obtain more useful, as opposed to random, suggestions if you provide some relevant information: what are your skills, education, and hobbies? Can/will your spouse work to help make up the shortfall? For what length of time do you require supplemental income? What factors tie you to y...
by GmanJeff
Wed Apr 04, 2018 2:43 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Want/need some income in semi-retirement
Replies: 90
Views: 7246

Re: Want/need some income in semi-retirement

If you and your wife both obtain employment, each of you could work fewer hours and for less compensation than if only one of you works. That approach might also open retail, food service, and other opportunities which otherwise are insufficiently compensated for just one of you. Driving in the D.C....
by GmanJeff
Tue Apr 03, 2018 8:07 am
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Help getting started [dual citzenship - US and Israel]
Replies: 17
Views: 2018

Re: Help getting started [dual citzenship - US and Israel]

Once you have your tax situation sorted out, you might put some focus on long-term planning in terms of future income and expenses. Your income seems irregular and perhaps not even reliable into the longer-term future, so consider whether you might want to seek out more consistent employment, ideall...
by GmanJeff
Mon Apr 02, 2018 1:33 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Advice with Vanguard Investments Personal Advisor Services
Replies: 20
Views: 2134

Re: Advice with Vanguard Investments Personal Advisor Services

One of the features of PAS is that you'll be able to provide input into the financial plan the service will provide to you. That plan will take into account your risk tolerance and your spending plans, ideally resulting in a portfolio which appropriately balances your need for income and your desire...
by GmanJeff
Sat Mar 31, 2018 8:36 am
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Vanguard Advisor Fees
Replies: 10
Views: 865

Re: Vanguard Advisor Fees

PAS offers more than just disciplined rebalancing, although that alone can generate additional returns which cover the fee. It can enable disinterested or incapable family members to have low cost professional ongoing investment management if you are unable to provide that in the future, can provide...
by GmanJeff
Sat Mar 31, 2018 8:00 am
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Customer Service with Vanguard
Replies: 50
Views: 5238

Re: Customer Service with Vanguard

I have had VG accounts for a while and am now a PAS client. I have always been satisfied with the service and value received. Keep in mind that any enterprise will have occasional glitches, but that VG's remarkable growth in recent years reflects overall customer satisfaction rather than unhappiness.
by GmanJeff
Tue Mar 27, 2018 4:18 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Purchasing an instrument
Replies: 25
Views: 1359

Re: Purchasing an instrument

I'm in the "rent" camp on this. As others have noted, younger children's proclivities frequently change over time, and you're speaking of a relatively costly instrument. In addition, it is an uncommon instrument, making maintenance and future re-sale potentially more challenging. Finally, however be...