Search found 81 matches

by bac
Fri Oct 30, 2020 12:40 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: setting up chemo out of state
Replies: 10
Views: 598

Re: setting up chemo out of state

My late sister was able to arrange chemo 1500 miles from home when she needed to be there for a grandson's birth, eight or 10 years ago. (Her daughter was dealing with a difficult pregnancy and had other children at home.)
by bac
Mon Oct 12, 2020 5:30 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: NJ driver's license renewal by mail - good idea??
Replies: 16
Views: 688

Re: NJ driver's license renewal by mail - good idea??

I recently renewed my NJ car registration online, and received the paper document within a couple of weeks. I wouldn't go near a Motor Vehicle Commission office right now unless it was required. A Real ID license would be nice, but I'm not going to wait in line for one; TSA is happy to see my passpo...
by bac
Thu Aug 20, 2020 2:57 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Anyone having this issue with Steelcase Leap v2
Replies: 2
Views: 260

Re: Anyone having this issue with Steelcase Leap v2

My experience with the Leap V2 is the same, but then I had the same problem in the previous couple of chairs (think Staples specials). I suspect part of the problem is that I am not, um, well-endowed in the gluteal region. I had picked up the Leap, with leather/vinyl upholstery, for $70 used, so no ...
by bac
Fri Jul 03, 2020 12:01 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Verizon Visa
Replies: 55
Views: 4774

Re: Verizon Visa

After I signed up, VZW rendered my monthly bill showing the usual autopay discount of $5 using the new Verizon Visa. It also showed a promotional credit of $4.17 ($100 divided by 24 months), but it's offset by a charge of $4.17. No explanation for that. Predicted bill for next month reflects the $4....
by bac
Tue May 19, 2020 8:47 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Jeep Cherokee drive-train service
Replies: 9
Views: 512

Re: Jeep Cherokee drive-train service

Thanks for the replies. My do-it-yourself skills do not lie in the automotive area, so I have been relying on the dealer up to now, having negotiated free scheduled service when I bought the car. That deal has run out, so this may be the time to find a local mechanic. I have a lead on one, with the ...
by bac
Mon May 18, 2020 1:44 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Jeep Cherokee drive-train service
Replies: 9
Views: 512

Jeep Cherokee drive-train service

My 2016 Cherokee Limited 4x4 (six-cylinder) has nearly 40,000 miles on it. The dealer has recommended front differential service ($150), rear differential service ($150) and transfer case fluid service ($150), all based on time and mileage rather than as a result of inspection. I'm trying to figure ...
by bac
Sun May 10, 2020 10:47 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: United Airlines miles and bankruptcy
Replies: 46
Views: 4169

Re: United Airlines miles and bankruptcy

Airlines supposedly turn a profit on their frequent-flier programs by selling miles to banks and other third parties.

See <https://thepointsguy.com/2017/03/do-loy ... make-money>.

My guess is our accrued miles are probably safe, though subject to being devalued at any time.
by bac
Fri Mar 27, 2020 5:31 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: How are you going to use your stimulus money?
Replies: 222
Views: 13229

Re: How are you going to use your stimulus money?

It'll go to an organization helping those affected by the coronavirus crisis or directly to out-of-work family members.
by bac
Sat Mar 14, 2020 9:10 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Coronavirus Flight Cancel Thread
Replies: 251
Views: 16319

Re: Coronavirus Flight Cancel Thread

Canceled a pleasure trip on United on Thursday afternoon. Did it online with no problem, receiving a credit for future travel. Fare was low enough that if I can't use the credit, I won't cry; I feel bad about the damage being done to the airline industry. Trip was to commence the next day, Friday. I...
by bac
Mon Feb 03, 2020 10:18 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Update: Vanguard required re-registration of Yubikeys
Replies: 6
Views: 849

Re: Update: Vanguard required re-registration of Yubikeys

Same experience today when I went to download my January statements. Briefly worrisome and somewhat annoying as I had re-registered my key January 7.
by bac
Sun Jan 26, 2020 12:39 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Making funeral arrangements? Consider "pre-need" insurance
Replies: 35
Views: 4232

Re: Making funeral arrangements? Consider "pre-need" insurance

My sister used to own a cemetery. Amazing what you can and cannot do. In many places (unincorporated cities mostly), you can just go bury old uncle Bob in the backyard. My dad's ashes were buried in the side yard of mom's house (on the farm). For years after he died, nuisance telco calls asking for...
by bac
Wed Jan 22, 2020 7:43 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Anybody else have trouble with USPS Informed Delivery?
Replies: 36
Views: 5261

Re: Anybody else have trouble with USPS Informed Delivery?

I usually get the Informed Delivery email like clockwork at 8 a.m. Occasionally, thought, it'll show up later in the day, even after the snail mail has been delivered. Rarely, the pictured pieces of mail will be delivered a day (or more) later. On one occasion, there was no mail delivery until after...
by bac
Mon Jan 20, 2020 11:15 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Looking for a good duplex scanner
Replies: 22
Views: 1170

Re: Looking for a good duplex scanner

Based on recommendations in another thread, I recently bought the Fujitsu ScanSnap iX1500. So far, I love it. It's fast and convenient and compact.
by bac
Sat Jan 18, 2020 8:41 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: What do you think of Verizon's change in strategy?
Replies: 4
Views: 1885

Re: What do you think of Verizon's change in strategy?

I pretended to be a new customer on the web portal (with some difficulty, because it demands your street address), and it came up with a price about $20 above what I'm paying now. I just went out of contract, so I'll probably let things ride. Or see what Altice/Optimum can do for me.
by bac
Thu Jan 02, 2020 11:27 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Is volunteering worth the hassle?
Replies: 98
Views: 8535

Re: Is volunteering worth the hassle?

I retired on a Friday (the 13th), and applied the following Tuesday at a food pantry I had previously supported with food and monetary donations. While I wanted to do good with my newfound time, I also wanted to keep some structure in my life. That was in 2008, and I've stuck with it. I'm blessed wi...
by bac
Tue Dec 31, 2019 7:53 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: ‘It Bogles the mind’ — Where’s Jack Bogle?
Replies: 22
Views: 2309

Re: ‘It Bogles the mind’ — Where’s Jack Bogle?

He made AP's list of influential people who died in 2019: "John C. Bogle, 89. He simplified investing for the masses by launching the first index mutual fund and founded Vanguard Group. Jan. 16." <https://apnews.com/621ec8197bd2861322d8cb380c6c51ae?utm_source=Twitter&utm_medium=AP&utm_campaign=Socia...
by bac
Wed Dec 25, 2019 12:05 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Credit card payment habits
Replies: 72
Views: 4402

Re: Credit card payment habits

I usually pay each credit card manually shortly after the statement posts online (with statements from the same card issuer synchronized). I prefer to get it off my plate. Occasionally I'll set payment of a large balance (i.e., more than $1000) for late in the grace period if I need a direct deposit...
by bac
Mon Dec 23, 2019 5:52 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: What tech wiring in new build house?
Replies: 124
Views: 7462

Re: What tech wiring in new build house?

I'm amused that the thread has gotten this far without someone mentioning fiber. At a minimum, I'd provide a route for a preterminated fiber-optic cable from where utilities enter the building to where your router will be located. There are fiber providers who put their optical network terminals ins...
by bac
Fri Dec 13, 2019 4:41 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Ultralight laptop - docking station?
Replies: 41
Views: 2266

Re: Ultralight laptop - docking station?

I have a Lenovo X1 Carbon Ultrabook and a Lenovo USB-C dock. They work nicely together, though I mostly use a Lenovo desktop at home. Monitor, ethernet, keyboard and mouse all connect to the dock.
by bac
Wed Nov 27, 2019 3:25 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Craigslist vs Kelley Blue Book cash offer for car
Replies: 13
Views: 1610

Re: Craigslist vs Kelley Blue Book cash offer for car

Three years ago, I found a buyer for a car the low-tech (no-tech?) way. Though I got some lookers via Craigslist, I ended up selling it to someone whose mother-in-law lived up the street from me and saw a for-sale sign on the car. Someone else who saw the sign was fairly serious about the car as well.
by bac
Fri Nov 08, 2019 3:35 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Any NJ lawyers or former heirs out there?
Replies: 5
Views: 1040

Re: Any NJ lawyers or former heirs out there?

Ex-executor here. I can provide a data point involving the New Jersey estate tax (which has been repealed): I received a notice of acceptance and waivers on August 29, 2017, for a return dated March 23, 2017. So, it took slightly more than five months. I had been warned to expect six months. I assum...
by bac
Thu Oct 31, 2019 11:44 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: APC power backup for extended outages
Replies: 29
Views: 1719

Re: APC power backup for extended outages

I get perhaps four hours out of my network's UPS units (the FiOS optical network terminal in the garage has its own). Unless you have a huge UPS or a Tesla Powerwall, you're going to need a generator for extended outages.
by bac
Fri Oct 25, 2019 6:59 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Who does your tax returns?
Replies: 103
Views: 6264

Re: Who does your tax returns?

I've been using TaxCut for what seems like 20 years. Before that, I did returns by hand.

I've seen accountants screw up tax returns, so I figure I can't do too much worse.
by bac
Tue Oct 22, 2019 6:36 pm
Forum: Personal Investments
Topic: Fidelity Disclosed Personal Account Information
Replies: 20
Views: 2975

Re: Fidelity Disclosed Personal Account Information

Sheesh. That might be worse than when Fidelity reps TWICE phoned my sister's house and asked for her despite having been informed she had died.
by bac
Mon Oct 14, 2019 4:10 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: [Vanguard glitch] Your brokerage Consolidated Form 1099 is now available
Replies: 40
Views: 2297

Re: Anyone else get an erroneous 1099 email notice from Vanguard today?

Yes. Thanks for passing along the info. I should have checked Bogleheads before logging onto my account to find nothing there. Saw the notice hours ago, but couldn't look into it until now. I muttered a few choice words when I saw the notice, fearing I'd have to revise a tax return, but was happily ...
by bac
Sun Oct 06, 2019 2:58 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Hospital wants me to prepay for procedure. Normal?
Replies: 84
Views: 23695

Re: Hospital wants me to prepay for procedure. Normal?

Before I had cancer surgery in 2010, the hospital ran a credit check on me. The inquiry showed up on a credit report under another name. I hadn't provided an SSN. I was not required to pay anything in advance; I don't know whether may sterling credit was responsible.
by bac
Sat Sep 21, 2019 3:05 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Dental Insurance for Retirees
Replies: 62
Views: 5408

Re: Dental Insurance for Retirees

My dentist offers an "office plan," which provides two exams a year and a significant discount on restorative services. Cost is probably equal to what the two exams total. Alas, his rates seem high but so does the quality. I floss like crazy and otherwise try to take good care of my teeth, so whatev...
by bac
Wed Sep 11, 2019 12:48 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: How old is your cellphone?
Replies: 168
Views: 10885

Re: How old is your cellphone?

I got my Pixel XL in December 2016, and it's still going strong (I did manage to crack the screen a few months back, but it's not too obvious). I upgraded to Android 10 this week. The only thing I really yearn for in a new phone is wireless charging, which my previous phone had. I'd like to hit the ...
by bac
Thu Sep 05, 2019 2:29 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: BofA ShopSafe going away
Replies: 111
Views: 9303

Re: BofA ShopSafe going away

Uhmmm I use this .... is there any alternatives with other banks.... Citibank offers virtual account numbers, which I've used more often than ShopSafe. I like being able to set a dollar limit, in particular. I use the downloaded app on my desktop or laptop. I'm guessing BofA's decision to kill Shop...
by bac
Wed Sep 04, 2019 7:10 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Internet security and vpn
Replies: 35
Views: 3284

Re: Internet security and vpn

If you have Verizon FiOS, Verizon will show you your router's password when you login to your Verizon account. How do they know what you set it to? The router tells them. Their equipment, their rules. This is why I use my own router (and its wireless) behind the FiOS router. I use the latter wirele...
by bac
Mon Aug 26, 2019 7:08 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Faxing From Computer - Any Free, Reliable Services?
Replies: 13
Views: 1542

Re: Faxing From Computer - Any Free, Reliable Services?

I, too, am wary of online fax services as anything I send is likely to have financial or medical information. USB fax modems are inexpensive: <https://www.amazon.com/Dell-NW147-External-Compatible-Number/dp/B001L7IVCK/ref=sr_1_4?crid=CQ701SKZAMWH&keywords=conexant+usb+modem&qid=1566864422&s=gateway&...
by bac
Tue Aug 13, 2019 7:36 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Do you "lock" computers in your home?
Replies: 77
Views: 6324

Re: Do you "lock" computers in your home?

I seldom do it manually, but both my desktop and laptop Windows 10 machines lock when they go into sleep mode after 10 or 15 minutes. I bought a USB fingerprint reader for my desktop that makes it a breeze to log back in; it works better than the built-in fingerprint reader on the high-end laptop.
by bac
Sat Aug 10, 2019 2:29 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Verizon Network Extender
Replies: 13
Views: 742

Re: Verizon Network Extender

I had experience with a Verizon network extender (albeit of the 3G variety) several years ago while house sitting. I found that its range was no more than about 20 feet in an open room, and when the power went out (more than once) it took about 45 minutes to reacquire its GPS bearings and become fun...
by bac
Fri Aug 09, 2019 9:02 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Ponder this, BH's... is Ben & Jerry's worth it?
Replies: 142
Views: 12318

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

I'll occasionally buy Ben & Jerry's when it's on sale for $2.88 at ShopRite. I keep a pint in the back of my freezer for emergencies (i.e., guests or a really bad day).
by bac
Thu Jul 11, 2019 2:05 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Avoid MD-88s [commercial aircraft]?
Replies: 61
Views: 4094

Re: Avoid MD-88s [commercial aircraft]?

Yet it's still safer to fly than to venture outside your home. Outside your home? Hundreds of people die every year in tub/shower accidents. It's dangerous to get out of bed. (It's also dangerous not to get out of bed.) More on topic: Count me among those who see the drive to the airport being much...
by bac
Thu Jul 11, 2019 9:57 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Volunteer suggestions
Replies: 55
Views: 3568

Re: Volunteer suggestions

I volunteer at my countywide food pantry. I signed up the Tuesday after the Friday (the 13th) I retired, knowing that I would need some sort of activity at least one day a week. All in all, it's been very rewarding and good for me. My regular shift is one morning a week as a shopper, as it's a "clie...
by bac
Thu Jun 06, 2019 7:53 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Buying Burial Plot in advance
Replies: 53
Views: 3634

Re: Buying Burial Plot in advance

Only buy burial plots if you intend to use them, not as an investment. My files are littered with deeds for sets of plots in a memorial park. My parents bought and sold several sets of graves, from what I can figure. They repose (with my paternal grandparents, sister and a niece) in one set of eight...
by bac
Tue Jun 04, 2019 7:55 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Costco or Sam's Club?
Replies: 134
Views: 10393

Re: Costco or Sam's Club?

I just joined Costco, spurred by a promotion making it close to free. When it first opened in my area, years ago I got the impression that the quantities were too much for a single person and the selection too limited (one or two kinds of toothpaste, for example). In the intervening years, I worked ...
by bac
Mon Jun 03, 2019 4:10 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Medicare broker
Replies: 27
Views: 1332

Re: Medicare broker

Yup, I used an independent broker when I was trying to find my way through the maze of options. He checks in every November to see if I want to look at different plans. He has been helpful and costs me nothing. So, how does he make a living? Who pays him? It would have to be commission from insurer...
by bac
Mon Jun 03, 2019 3:53 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Medicare broker
Replies: 27
Views: 1332

Re: Medicare broker

Yup, I used an independent broker when I was trying to find my way through the maze of options. He checks in every November to see if I want to look at different plans. He has been helpful and costs me nothing.
by bac
Sun May 19, 2019 5:25 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Disposing of Residential Landscaping Rocks, Concrete, etc...
Replies: 22
Views: 2021

Re: Disposing of Residential Landscaping Rocks, Concrete, etc...

My municipal recycling center takes almost anything (including metal, construction debris, electronics, car batteries and tires) that's not toxic waste.

Or, perhaps this is a solution: https://www.homedepot.com/p/WM-Bagster- ... /202228840
by bac
Sat May 18, 2019 4:15 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: How do I prevent yellow underarm stains on my white shirts?
Replies: 24
Views: 3638

Re: How do I prevent yellow underarm stains on my white shirts?

Apply antiperspirant at night, even if you shower in the morning. It works much better that way. See <https://lifehacker.com/apply-antiperspirant-at-night-for-maximum-effectiveness-1570562830> Alas, I learned this lesson (via an item in an AARP publication) only after I retired and stopped wearing d...
by bac
Tue May 07, 2019 6:33 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Shingrix [Vaccine availability]
Replies: 153
Views: 15785

Re: Shingrix [Vaccine availability]

My Stop & Shop here in New Jersey has signs saying Shingrix is available. I got mine in April at Wegmans a couple of weeks after being added (for the second time) to a waiting list.

Arm hurt enough that I took naproxen, as advised.
by bac
Sat May 04, 2019 5:40 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Removing coaxial cable from exterior of home
Replies: 7
Views: 1283

Re: Removing coaxial cable from exterior of home

You might want to leave the coaxial cable in place so, if Verizon hikes the price of FiOS service or you have service problems, you can easily switch over to cable. I've switched back and forth a couple of times. If indeed there are four cables in addition to the FiOS fiber, at least one is probably...
by bac
Sun Apr 28, 2019 9:43 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Is ACH Billpay risky?
Replies: 47
Views: 4512

Re: Is ACH Billpay risky?

I permit ACH pulls only for credit card payments, my municipality for property taxes and water/sewer, and the natural gas utility. Only problem I've had was when Barclayscard tried to pull $29,400 from my checking account a few years ago. Quite a shock when I checked my account online one morning, a...
by bac
Tue Apr 16, 2019 12:24 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Executor of Will - Selling House in Poor Condition
Replies: 84
Views: 7042

Re: Executor of Will - Selling House in Poor Condition

Re: Insurance.

If memory serves, I was told (by Liberty Mutual in New Jersey) that I had to leave furniture in the house in order to maintain insurance coverage. Totally vacant house would have been a problem.
by bac
Tue Apr 09, 2019 2:05 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: How Much Do You Pay For Haircut?
Replies: 115
Views: 7674

Re: How Much Do You Pay For Haircut?

$13 for a buzz cut at Supercuts, plus a $5 tip. I get a professional cut four or five times a year (when I have a special occasion coming up) and do some trimming on my own in between.
by bac
Tue Feb 05, 2019 6:13 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: How much do you keep in checking?
Replies: 135
Views: 12634

Re: How much do you keep in checking?

In recent years, I had been keeping circa $15,000 in checking, as the account paid at least 1.51% APY up to that amount. Now that Vanguard Prime MMF is paying well above 2%, I'm less inclined to keep as much in checking. My checking is a high-yield account that requires receiving online statements, ...