Search found 387 matches

by MJS
Sun Oct 13, 2019 4:44 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: X Country Driving Trip across the US, solo
Replies: 25
Views: 1903

Re: X Country Driving Trip across the US, solo

When you get to your pre-booked motel, ask if they give a discount for (as applicable): seniors, AAA, AARP, military, ex-military, government (including state gov, state universities, city gov, county gov), business, members of Lions or DAR or Moose or Elk or Deer Lodges ... whatever. Motel prices a...
by MJS
Sun Oct 13, 2019 4:18 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: 1 week camping tour, Phoenix-El Paso, suggestions?
Replies: 20
Views: 943

Re: 1 week camping tour, Phoenix-El Paso, suggestions?

For the weekends and Veteran's Day holiday, I recommend making a reservation at SW state & national parks. Winter is the prime camping season in the desert southwest. +1 for Catalina State Park: https://azstateparks.com/reserve/catalina/camping/ ... But also Gilbert Ray , especially if you plan to v...
by MJS
Sun Oct 06, 2019 8:39 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: More Nasty and Unexpected Changes With Part D Plans Next Year
Replies: 49
Views: 5590

Re: More Nasty and Unexpected Changes With Part D Plans Next Year

The zip code search box is a fiasco. According to the site, my favorite Costco Pharmacy no longer exists. There is no way to add it. Unbelievable. (or maybe not) Plans are listed by county (not city, town or village.) Pharmacies are listed by zip code. If your Costco is in the same county as your r...
by MJS
Sun Oct 06, 2019 7:54 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Experience with Costco Leather Sectionals?
Replies: 3
Views: 540

Re: Experience with Costco Leather Sectionals?

The catchall terms "leather" or "genuine leather" are pretty elastic. They can legally be anything from bonded leather (animal skin remnants glued together and bonded to fabric) to the legally defined "Genuine Full Grain Leather" (tanned cow hides including both the top and suede layers.) Check the ...
by MJS
Thu Oct 03, 2019 9:06 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Wedding Finances-Today
Replies: 107
Views: 7506

Re: Wedding Finances-Today

They say the average cost of a wedding in NJ is around $42K last time I checked. However, consider the difference between average and median: 30 weddings @ $5,000 20 @ $15,000 20 @ $30,000 20 @ $40,000 4 @ $100,000 3 @ $200,000 2 @ $300,000 1 @ $600,000 Average = $43,000 ... but only 10 cost more t...
by MJS
Wed Oct 02, 2019 4:55 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Wedding Finances-Today
Replies: 107
Views: 7506

Re: Wedding Finances-Today

Using Costco for wedding food, booze, cake(s), flowers, and invitations is a current trend. A frugal wedding and starting married life with a nice emergency fund might make their lives happier.
by MJS
Mon Sep 30, 2019 4:53 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: high toilet
Replies: 33
Views: 3102

Re: high toilet

Take some time to figure out what height you would really like. Allow for the height of the seat. Maybe stick a small tape measure in your purse and measure a few... +1. Short persons use high toilets with their toes dangling inches above the floor. Trying to leap off the seat is tedious to painful...
by MJS
Mon Sep 30, 2019 3:18 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: COSTCO Citicard credit/discount question
Replies: 32
Views: 3574

Re: COSTCO Citicard credit/discount question

Generic CITI credit cards saved CITI some money by dropping quite a few benefits on September 22nd. The Costco CITI card also dropped some benefits, although not as many as the generic CITI. To maximize your card's value, review the new list of benefits.
by MJS
Thu Sep 26, 2019 10:04 pm
Forum: Personal Investments
Topic: Threw me a curve [unexpected layoff]
Replies: 36
Views: 5727

Re: Threw me a curve [unexpected layoff]

If you have a spare bedroom, consider finding a housemate. In most states, the money from renting is considered passive income (not wages,) so you continue to receive unemployment. Doing AirBnB is more iffy; some states definitely consider hospitality to be work. Your public library can find out how...
by MJS
Sun Sep 22, 2019 2:58 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Have you copyrighted a poem?
Replies: 16
Views: 980

Re: Have you coyrighted a poem?

Roses are red. Violets are blue. Have I just stolen some copyrighted material. I have no clue. Nope. Nothing stolen. 1. Items copyrighted before 1924 are now in the public domain. Mr Sherlock Holmes is not protected. 2. "Fair use" permits free use (of a limited subset of material for certain purpos...
by MJS
Mon Sep 16, 2019 2:20 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Have you copyrighted a poem?
Replies: 16
Views: 980

Re: Have you coyrighted a poem?

If you've written it down or spoken it aloud or signed it for a deaf person ... it already has been copyrighted. In the USA, the Copyright Office states: "Your work is under copyright protection the moment it is created and fixed in a tangible form that it is perceptible either directly or with the ...
by MJS
Sun Sep 15, 2019 3:19 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Improving Lighting in a Dimly Lit Condo
Replies: 26
Views: 1580

Re: Improving Lighting in a Dimly Lit Condo

If you plan to paint the walls a bluish white or grey, use bluer bulbs. If you paint the walls with warmer colors, use warmer bulbs. Mixing colors makes everything muddy. (If you live in a cold climate, blue tends to feel chillier.) Use semigloss or glossy or even pearlescent paint. Paint the ceilin...
by MJS
Sat Sep 14, 2019 12:17 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: U.S. stocks continue to soar!
Replies: 1528
Views: 157411

Re: U.S. stocks continue to soar!

... I believe the S&P 500 goes ex-dividend on 9/20 but VTSAX went ex-dividend today. So VTSAX seemingly dropped today but the S&P didn't. I would expect next Friday we'd see the opposite; a security like SPY will drop around 0.5% more than VTSAX. VFIAX goes ex-dividend on 9/24 so keep your eyes out...
by MJS
Fri Sep 13, 2019 11:52 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Books set in New Zealand/Australia (police procedurals)
Replies: 21
Views: 1225

Re: Books set in New Zealand/Australia (police procedurals)

Arthur Upfield's series was written in the 1930-1960's. The historical and social background are secondary to the police procedural in a rural nation.
by MJS
Mon Sep 09, 2019 11:36 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: no idea - bourbon
Replies: 23
Views: 3088

Re: no idea - bourbon

The flavor of your open bottle of bourbon will be different after two years, and very oxidized and weak after ten. If you don't need much, buy "mini" 50 ml size (about 2.5 ounces) at a liquor store: the unopened mini bottles will keep for 10 years each. With the minis you can try different brands to...
by MJS
Sun Sep 01, 2019 2:57 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Most economical way to move small load 1000 miles
Replies: 40
Views: 3181

Re: Most economical way to move small load 1000 miles

I have not tried the "Uber-for-Shipping" service GoShare,
https://www.goshare.co/, but you might check their terms and estimate.
by MJS
Sun Sep 01, 2019 9:24 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Not sure what to do
Replies: 25
Views: 2524

Re: Not sure what to do

You have weeks of vacation, so consider taking Fridays and some Thursdays off for the rest of the year. (Don't answer phone, text or email!) If your employer can't let you take even a little time, then at least get a 5% raise since you're so valuable. Your employer is going to push until you push ba...
by MJS
Fri Aug 30, 2019 9:29 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: What, besides dishes, do you run through your dishwasher?
Replies: 85
Views: 6254

Re: What, besides dishes, do you run through your dishwasher?

If you're spraying a frying or baking pan with cooking oil, hold it in the dishwasher. Any escaping oil will wash away instead of hitting the counter or floor.
by MJS
Fri Aug 30, 2019 10:57 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: What, besides dishes, do you run through your dishwasher?
Replies: 85
Views: 6254

Re: What, besides dishes, do you run through your dishwasher?

The metal filter from the stove exhaust fan: even if you don't run it, it still gets dusty.

The crumb catcher and rack from the toaster oven; the glass base from the microwave.
by MJS
Fri Aug 30, 2019 5:29 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Maui Honeymoon Daily Spending Budget
Replies: 39
Views: 2650

Re: Maui Honeymoon Daily Spending Budget

Costco has a gift card selection that includes Hawaii--golf, spas, day trips, luaus...
https://www.costco.com/gift-cards-ticke ... ii%2522%7C
by MJS
Thu Aug 29, 2019 5:28 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Planning a Europe trip in Dec 2019 last week. Need advice
Replies: 27
Views: 1628

Re: Planning a Europe trip in Dec 2019 last week. Need advice

If you bring your rice cooker, you will need to bring a European power converter/adapter unless the cooker has a dual voltage toggle... the toggles are usually tiny & hidden. If it has a 110/230 toggle, remember... alas ... to turn it back to 110/USA from 230/Europe when you return. On the other han...
by MJS
Thu Aug 29, 2019 12:03 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: What is your plan for the last few years of a long life?
Replies: 230
Views: 15242

Re: What is your plan for the last few years of a long life?

The word "suicide" is not a good one. Maybe something like "end the life peacefully" is better one. Why do you prefer to use an euphemism when discussing suicide and assisted suicide? I think there is value in addressing difficult end-of-life issues with clear and precise language. O'Carroll's 1996...
by MJS
Wed Aug 28, 2019 7:31 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Medigap - choose cheapest of desired plan type?
Replies: 10
Views: 843

Re: Medigap - choose cheapest of desired plan type?

Avoid "Attained-age-rated" plans. They're cheap when you're younger & healthier, but the price can go up steeply as you age. Look for either
- Community-rated/no-age-rated
- Issue-age-rated/entry-age-rated
by MJS
Tue Aug 27, 2019 9:35 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Best of Bogleheads - your #1 takeaway
Replies: 151
Views: 14652

Re: Best of Bogleheads - your #1 takeaway

rossington wrote:
Tue Aug 27, 2019 7:12 pm
This Forum (and it's resources) is addicting...in a most wonderful way. :beer
"It's dangerous to go alone." Thanks for the wisdom and support, Bogleheads.
by MJS
Tue Aug 27, 2019 9:17 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Coffee becomes cold too soon
Replies: 116
Views: 8327

Re: Coffee becomes cold too soon

Problems abound.... But have similar issue with my late afternoon early evening pre dinner chilled gin martini straight up in martini glass. It gets lukewarm too soon.... Consider investing in heavy, cut-crystal martini glasses, kept in the freezer until needed. Waterford is offering a good deal: $...
by MJS
Tue Aug 27, 2019 7:18 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Paying off 0% car loan early
Replies: 52
Views: 2573

Re: Paying off 0% car loan early

Sweeten the decision to keep the loan by contemplating the Weirdness of Credit Scores. Pay it off early, your credit score may take a hit. Pay off the debt in its natural cycle, your credit score goes up. Source
by MJS
Tue Aug 27, 2019 6:01 am
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Retirement Expenses Rule of Thumb
Replies: 51
Views: 4143

Re: Retirement Expenses Rule of Thumb

The only rule of thumb I've heard is that you want your savings+SS to replace around 50, 60, 70 or even 80% of your pre-retirement income. That rule of thumb is based on x% of expenses when there's 25 more years of retirement ahead . To approximate an age 65 income, run a simple inflation calculato...
by MJS
Mon Aug 26, 2019 4:04 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Coffee becomes cold too soon
Replies: 116
Views: 8327

Re: Coffee becomes cold too soon

Get a heavy, thick-walled, narrow-rather-than-wide, earthenware mug such as the East Fork and pre-warm it while the coffee brews. Note that Genuine Scientific Evidence shows that the colour of your mug can change the flavour of your coffee. I love the aroma of coffee, so I'd find a mug that doesn't ...
by MJS
Mon Aug 26, 2019 11:54 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Desk: Where can I found one like this?
Replies: 16
Views: 1886

Re: Desk: Where can I found one like this?

lthenderson wrote:
Mon Aug 26, 2019 8:59 am
Check out local woodworkers.
+1. This allows to choose your wood and design and desk height, especially if you're willing to spend more than $50!
by MJS
Sun Aug 25, 2019 10:25 am
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: U.S. stocks in free fall
Replies: 12294
Views: 2099134

Re: U.S. stocks in free fall

The term Bunny Market was popular back in 2016, and it is a fairly accurate description of the way that prices are hopping around.

Bunny Market
by MJS
Sun Aug 25, 2019 6:17 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Financially independent - now completely lost
Replies: 30
Views: 5531

Re: Financially independent - now completely lost

Your wife works, your kids are in school, so being away is difficult... but have you considered a summer sabbatical or even for all of 2021 -- perhaps in your country of origin? Common things to do on sabbatical: write, develop tools, take classes, teach, do charitable work, or research. Good luck!
by MJS
Wed Aug 21, 2019 4:20 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: U.S. stocks in free fall
Replies: 12294
Views: 2099134

Re: US Stocks in Free Fall

Bluce wrote:
Wed Aug 21, 2019 3:46 pm
I'm still confused. Aren't we supposed to be in the "other" (stocks are soaring) thread today?? :confused
Oh. For me, until the Soaring Heights of 3000 (or at least 2975) have passed, we're merely bobbing along in the free fall zone. A very emotional and market based response, but there it is.
by MJS
Wed Aug 21, 2019 10:56 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Moving from Del Sur to Clairemont/Bay Ho - San Diego
Replies: 3
Views: 295

Re: Moving from Del Sur to Clairemont/Bay Ho - San Diego

Clairemont/Bay Ho is closer to the beach and has much nicer weather.
by MJS
Tue Aug 20, 2019 3:15 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Retirement benefit Choice: Rule of 85 vs Age 65
Replies: 22
Views: 1459

Re: Retirement benefit Choice: Rule of 85 vs Age 65

At https://smartasset.com/investing/inflation-calculator, assuming 2.5% inflation,
$3400 in 2033 = $2,406 in 2019
$4700 in 2045 = $2,473 in 2019

This looks more like $66 per month. Math is weird.
by MJS
Tue Aug 20, 2019 2:08 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Should I paint dark brown wainscotting?
Replies: 33
Views: 2152

Re: Should I paint dark brown wainscotting?

The room is very busy with the brick, wood door, & floor colors and textures. I'd paint the paneling and wall the same color - perhaps a lighter shade of the new flooring or a light shade from the brick. Paint the ceiling an even lighter shade of the same color.
by MJS
Mon Aug 19, 2019 1:13 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Paying credit card "current balance" vs. "statement balance"
Replies: 48
Views: 4479

Re: Paying credit card "current balance" vs. "statement balance"

If raising your credit score is important, you might consider keeping your Utilization Level under 20% or even 10%, rather than merely paying your statement each month.
by MJS
Sat Aug 17, 2019 9:46 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: What are these plants?
Replies: 7
Views: 1243

Re: What are these plants?

Send your photo to the LA Agricultural Extension Office
http://celosangeles.ucanr.edu/about/contact/

The seed pods look like Brassica...
by MJS
Thu Aug 15, 2019 10:27 am
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Why is market timing bad in this case?
Replies: 52
Views: 3256

Re: Why is market timing bad in this case?

Assuming 10% annual returns until recession hits, with a 20% drop in equities, we get: Crash happens in one year HISA: 1,025,000$ Pofolio: 880,000$ Market timer won ... Subtract 1.5 to 3% each year for inflation. Safe is very expensive. Generally, for people who are worried about Sequence of Return...
by MJS
Wed Aug 14, 2019 12:42 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: U.S. stocks in free fall
Replies: 12294
Views: 2099134

Re: U.S. stocks in free fall

I know market timing is stupid, but I've been at my 1st job now for 1.5 years and it's felt like my portfolio has been spinning the wheels with the rest of the market. I've got a 401(k) and Roth with about even funds 85/15. Does anyone here think I need to move out of stocks until the big drop happ...
by MJS
Mon Aug 12, 2019 8:16 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Social Security -- Take it at 62, 67 or 70
Replies: 329
Views: 26924

Re: Social Security -- Take it at 62, 67 or 70

FWIW, I’m 63, widowed and planning to defer until 70 for the guaranteed 8% per year increase in longevity insurance payment. You may already be doing this, but for others.... The recommended strategy (including Mike of Open Social Security) for those who have been widowed is to : At age 60, you cou...
by MJS
Fri Aug 09, 2019 9:27 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Ponder this, BH's... is Ben & Jerry's worth it?
Replies: 142
Views: 10559

Re: Ponder this, BH's... is Ben & Jerry's worth it?

Note that ice cream is sold by volume-ounces, not weight-ounces. Read the labels to compare grams (mass) per half-cup serving (= 4 volume-ounces) -- see how much ice cream ingredients you're buying (rather than air) with a premium frozen dessert product vs inexpensive. Sometimes there's a significan...
by MJS
Fri Aug 09, 2019 2:36 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Social Security -- Take it at 62, 67 or 70
Replies: 329
Views: 26924

Re: Social Security -- Take it at 62, 67 or 70

What if one were to take the benefits starting at 62 (assuming they don't need the SS to live on), and invest it at a conservative rate of return (say 4%)? Would the combination of the lower payment invested for 8 years (age 62 through 69), plus the out years (age 70 to death, whenever that is) res...
by MJS
Thu Aug 08, 2019 2:52 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: U.S. stocks continue to soar!
Replies: 1528
Views: 157411

Re: U.S. stocks continue to soar!

willthrill81 wrote:
Thu Aug 08, 2019 1:56 pm
It seems that the market has gotten over its little temper tantrum. Lately, the market has been seemingly acting more like an unruly two year old than a rational adult.
There was a time when the market was Rational? And Adult? Oh, wow! Maybe those days will come again. :sharebeer
by MJS
Thu Aug 08, 2019 2:24 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Vacation spots, Christmastime, Eastern/Southern US, Caribbean
Replies: 18
Views: 614

Re: Vacation spots, Christmastime, Eastern/Southern US, Caribbean

I have not been there in a long time so this is not really a specific recommendation but I would think that San Diego would be worth considering if you can get direct flights there. San Diego: Lots to do and lovely weather, but the ocean will be in the 50°s. Great for beach walks, bird watching & k...
by MJS
Tue Jul 30, 2019 3:00 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Please help with vacation locations
Replies: 45
Views: 2173

Re: Please help with vacation locations

Relaxation Luxury Budget: Caribbean cruise in shoulder season. General ideas: 1. Travel during the off season for your location. 2. Prioritize one, skimp on the others * Travel - first class plane seats, special railroad rooms, cruise suites VS economy * Lodging - resorts, five star accommodations V...
by MJS
Fri Jul 26, 2019 10:11 pm
Forum: Personal Investments
Topic: Should I pay off my mortgage?
Replies: 34
Views: 2440

Re: Should I pay off my mortgage?

One point in favor of the 15 year fixed mortgage is that it provides some protection against 1970's style mega-inflation. While the Fed has made considerable efforts to control inflation, predicting the future is chancy. You could think of your $2500 as purchasing 15 years of inflation insurance...
by MJS
Fri Jul 26, 2019 9:40 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Experience with Costco Citi Visa?
Replies: 34
Views: 4355

Re: Experience with Costco Citi Visa?

Ditto darrvao777. I wasn't able to get the chip-and-PIN to work in Iceland at some gas stations.
by MJS
Mon Jul 22, 2019 6:19 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: When family members fight over the check when out to eat
Replies: 103
Views: 8327

Re: When family members fight over the check when out to eat

In my family, picking up the check is how formerly-kids announce that they are now grownups. The first-borns tend to be more serious and intense about winning, and younger/poorer family members tend to buy breakfast or ice cream instead of gourmet meals.
by MJS
Thu Jul 18, 2019 12:59 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: wine in cans
Replies: 34
Views: 2454

Re: wine in cans

Trader Joe's 187ml / ~6oz cans of wine are handy for picnics, camping and lunch. The rosé is good for a summer afternoon sip by the pool or patio - both in taste & size. Ah, I do pour mine into a glass.
by MJS
Mon Jul 15, 2019 10:02 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Phone options when traveling out of country?
Replies: 25
Views: 1996

Re: Phone options when traveling out of country?

If you will be relying on WiFi to do financial or private transactions, consider adding a paid-for virtual private network (VPN) to protect communications. I use NordVPN.