Search found 1737 matches

by kramer
Mon Jun 15, 2020 12:47 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: HSABank changing terms about account minimums?
Replies: 55
Views: 3906

Re: HSABank changing terms about account minimums?

I saw this email a couple of weeks back, also. I am no longer adding to my HSA (not eligible). I only keep about $100 in my HSA cash account and the rest of my funds are in the linked TD Ameritrade Brokerage Account. So since I only move funds from my TD Ameritrade Account to my HSA cash account ab...
by kramer
Sat Jun 13, 2020 11:14 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: HSABank changing terms about account minimums?
Replies: 55
Views: 3906

Re: HSABank changing terms about account minimums?

I saw this email a couple of weeks back, also. I am no longer adding to my HSA (not eligible). I only keep about $100 in my HSA cash account and the rest of my funds are in the linked TD Ameritrade Brokerage Account. So since I only move funds from my TD Ameritrade Account to my HSA cash account abo...
by kramer
Thu Jun 04, 2020 2:00 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: E-Bike recommendations
Replies: 115
Views: 7758

Re: E-Bike recommendations

I love the e-bike concept and many good posts here. Something important to add is that there is a backlog of ordering now for almost all brands ... sales tripled during the pandemic, people are waiting up to multiple months to get their bikes, supply chains in China are not functioning as well, serv...
by kramer
Wed Jun 03, 2020 4:03 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Anyone booking flights for 2021 travel?
Replies: 68
Views: 5462

Re: Anyone booking flights for 2021 travel?

I am first focusing on Summer and Fall travel 2020. I will book with fairly short notice, this seems to be the best way to minimize last minute problems with flight and hotel bookings.
by kramer
Wed May 13, 2020 12:52 am
Forum: Personal Investments
Topic: Early retirement ladders for subsidies
Replies: 11
Views: 1402

Re: Early retirement ladders for subsidies

I am wondering what others are doing for the years retired before being able to take from retirement accounts. I take money from a taxable investment account. If you don't have one, that forces you to get creative using the rule 72t that JoMoney mentioned above. Or keep working. Same here, I retire...
by kramer
Mon May 11, 2020 7:35 am
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: At what moment does retirement begin?
Replies: 68
Views: 5860

Re: At what moment does retirement begin?

I felt retired when I got back to my apartment after my last day of work. Weirdly, there was a big check for my accumulated vacation pay that had been slipped under the door, about 7 weeks worth, I don't know why it wasn't direct deposited. Anyway, I have not worked for money since then (2007). Shor...
by kramer
Sun Apr 12, 2020 2:00 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Why not buy mobile homes instead of overpriced traditional homes?
Replies: 82
Views: 8926

Re: Why not buy mobile homes instead of overpriced traditional homes?

I see a lot of misunderstanding in this thread. Many mobile home parks are owned by the residents, they are not rented spaces. Basically, it is run by an association that collects a monthly fee from each of the home owners and the board members are all park residents. When you buy a residence in the...
by kramer
Sun Mar 29, 2020 5:54 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Is anyone here retired without owning a house or any real estate?
Replies: 22
Views: 2273

Re: Is anyone here retired without owning a house or any real estate?

I've been retired for 13 years and I have never owned a home in my lifetime, current age mid-50s.

I do still think that some day I may own ... but it's not really a financial issue, it's a lifestyle issue.
by kramer
Sat Mar 28, 2020 11:18 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Where to find a live, online teacher for foreign language and voice lessons for a 5 year old?
Replies: 6
Views: 548

Re: Where to find a live, online teacher for foreign language and voice lessons for a 5 year old?

I have used italki.com and been very happy with it. I use professional teachers for Spanish from Mexico and sometimes from Spain. We use Skype for communication. You can see reviews of other students, schedule an initial shorter trial class to see if the teacher is suitable, etc. I pay an average of...
by kramer
Tue Mar 03, 2020 11:05 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: USB-C PD wall charger for laptops
Replies: 15
Views: 1013

Re: USB-C PD wall charger for laptops

I bought a high quality USB-C PD charger from Amazon with two USB-C ports along with a couple USB-C to USB-C cables. When I travel, I use it to charge my laptop, my phone, my noise cancelling headphones, and my USB-C battery. It's the only charger I bring now. I do bring one USB-A to USB-C cable for...
by kramer
Tue Feb 25, 2020 7:51 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Do you ever use cash?
Replies: 228
Views: 13723

Re: Do you ever use cash?

In the past year I traveled throughout Mexico, Philippines and Indonesia. Except for hotels, plane tickets, and AirBnB, almost all of that on cash. In Mexico, even many online transactions like buying a bus ticket or airline ticket, cannot be easily done with a foreign credit card due to security is...
by kramer
Thu Feb 20, 2020 9:35 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: HS Latin or Spanish/ASL?
Replies: 63
Views: 2560

Re: HS Latin or Spanish/ASL?

Like some others have said, I would encourage Spanish, it's not even a close call. A fourth year of high school Spanish will probably bring the student to only a lower intermediate level (B1), unfortunately. I would encourage outside learning of Spanish if the student is enthusiastic about it.
by kramer
Wed Feb 19, 2020 9:32 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Optimal age to purchase SPIA
Replies: 42
Views: 4826

Re: Optimal age to purchase SPIA

2. Deferred annuities are as was mentioned more directly aimed at longevity insurance because in theory the pricing would not be skewed by the provider knowing you were an already long lived person, when you get a SPIA quote at age 80 they do know that. However in practice previous detailed threads...
by kramer
Wed Feb 05, 2020 7:51 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Longest battery smart phone
Replies: 35
Views: 2572

Re: Longest battery smart phone

For exactly this use case I recently purchased a 5000 mAh battery that can charge and be charged via Usb-c (fast charging and discharging). I got a 6 inch USB-c on both ends cable. Fast charges my phone on the go. The battery is small and easily pocketed. My smartphone is USB-c. I thought 10,000 was...
by kramer
Wed Jan 15, 2020 11:05 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Holiday in Indonesia...not Bali?
Replies: 11
Views: 1089

Re: Holiday in Indonesia...not Bali?

I was in Bali in late September last year (shoulder season, not high season) ... it was overrun by tourists ... it was so bad that I looked up the statistics and discovered that the number of Bali tourist arrivals doubled from 2013 to 2018 ... I would not go back unless I was on the way to somewhere...
by kramer
Mon Jan 13, 2020 4:55 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Carrying to much cash to Ecuador
Replies: 53
Views: 4459

Re: Carrying to much cash to Ecuador

I carried travelers checks just in case. Never had a problem cashing travelers checks. Wow, that's old school. I haven't seen traveler's checks since my childhood. I'm not even sure where I would get them. Circa 2010, I couldn't even get the bank that issued me the traveler's checks to cash them in...
by kramer
Sat Jan 11, 2020 9:09 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Recommend Dual SIM smartphone please
Replies: 25
Views: 1968

Re: Recommend Dual SIM smartphone please

The US G7 is single sim. Some International G7 are dual sim. With international versions, you usually don't have a warranty and check the supported bands to be sure enough TMO bands are included. Personally, if use is mainly US, I'd avoid international phones and go with the Pixel 3a. Yea I just fi...
by kramer
Sat Jan 11, 2020 4:25 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Carrying to much cash to Ecuador
Replies: 53
Views: 4459

Re: Carrying to much cash to Ecuador

I was recently reading about going to Galapagos, and it was common to request cash payments in 20 dollar bills or under. Someone even wrote something like 100 dollar bills can't be processed or something like that. When I was in Ecuador 14 years ago, I got cursed at for buying a $2.50 Shawarma with ...
by kramer
Tue Jan 07, 2020 9:28 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Reasons for Cap Gain Harervesting?
Replies: 17
Views: 1163

Re: Reasons for Cap Gain Harervesting?

If you could harvest your gain at 0%, why won't you do it? It will increase your cost basis. More opportunities for TLH and lower your future capital gain. The reasons not to do it (there are not many) is that there is something better to do with the limited income space (Roth conversion, for insta...
by kramer
Mon Jan 06, 2020 8:08 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Traveling to Japan for first time
Replies: 44
Views: 2874

Re: Traveling to Japan for first time

I got my Japan sim card delivered to a US address before my trip by using the Japan Experience web site: https://www.japan-experience.com/ I also purchased a one week unlimited rail pass ($260) from the same site but which I activated later at a strategic day during my 16 day trip, but you won't nee...
by kramer
Sat Dec 21, 2019 10:01 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Anyone start saving late and still retire early?
Replies: 61
Views: 5764

Re: Anyone start saving late and still retire early?

I didn't get out of school/training until my late 20s and it took me until around age 32 to get to a net worth of zero. In my late 30s now and will probably hit my number within the next 3 to 5 years depending on market returns. Not much of a secret; it's just math. I make good money, though signif...
by kramer
Sat Dec 21, 2019 3:07 pm
Forum: Non-US Investing
Topic: Favorite country to live in after FIRE?
Replies: 191
Views: 18914

Re: Favorite country to live in after FIRE?

Scotland may be our retirement destination. Decent public services, great scenery and coastal walks and housing isn't expensive for the most part. Can you get Right to Remain? NHS is falling to pieces. People dying on gurneys in corridors outside emergency. Scotland might separate and rejoin EU. Bu...
by kramer
Sat Dec 21, 2019 2:51 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Tax Law Changes for 2020
Replies: 355
Views: 28209

Re: Tax Law Changes for 2020

I see little change for me with the RMD age going from 70 1/2 to 72. I assume that the distribution table will continue to be the same , just with the 70 and 71 erased, since they are based on the number of years you are expected to live. The federal government has recently proposed a new RMD table...
by kramer
Fri Dec 20, 2019 5:53 pm
Forum: Non-US Investing
Topic: Favorite country to live in after FIRE?
Replies: 191
Views: 18914

Re: Favorite country to live in after FIRE?

I think everyone, including the OP, has to make their own criteria. And match that against what is available. For instance, visa and tax considerations are very important and often not considered enough (I can rule out a nice country like Spain on these criteria alone). I wish I had thought more abo...
by kramer
Fri Dec 20, 2019 5:37 pm
Forum: Non-US Investing
Topic: Favorite country to live in after FIRE?
Replies: 191
Views: 18914

Re: Favorite country to live in after FIRE?

Eh. Have you guys ever lived in Thailand or Panama or somewhere like that? People from those countries want to come here. Safety, education, amenities, and quality of life are far better in developed countries. The higher living cost is worth it for anyone with average or above average US financial...
by kramer
Wed Dec 18, 2019 7:34 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: "Safer" places for Spanish immersion experience?
Replies: 84
Views: 7416

Re: "Safer" places for Spanish immersion experience?

I wouldn't go to learn Spanish in Brazil, English in Texas or French in Quebec. This is why one should learn Castilian Spanish in Castilla. Not is South/Central America, Andalusia or Barcelona. I have to strongly disagree here. The Latin American dialect of Spanish is by far the most spoken. In fac...
by kramer
Wed Dec 18, 2019 4:47 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: "Safer" places for Spanish immersion experience?
Replies: 84
Views: 7416

Re: "Safer" places for Spanish immersion experience?

Go to Barcelona, Spain. If you can afford it, reward yourselves with a Med cruise afterwards. -B Ha! Barcelona-- The ONLY place in the world I've ever visited where I was mugged ! Similar threads such as this have come up over the years regarding "safe places to visit," and inevitably, Barcelona is...
by kramer
Sat Dec 14, 2019 3:19 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: "Safer" places for Spanish immersion experience?
Replies: 84
Views: 7416

Re: "Safer" places for Spanish immersion experience?

Yes, I can recommend a specific city that is the safest large city in Mexico and considered safer than any large city in the USA (statistically). And thousands of Mexicans in more dangerous areas have migrated there for safety. That city is Mérida, Mexico ... it is located on the Yucatan peninsula a...
by kramer
Wed Dec 04, 2019 12:32 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Buying new iPhone from: locked or unlocked?
Replies: 13
Views: 2251

Re: Buying new iPhone from: locked or unlocked?

I would never buy a locked phone under any circumstances. I think nowadays it is more of an outdated concept as consumers are more informed than they used to be.
by kramer
Wed Dec 04, 2019 12:26 am
Forum: Personal Investments
Topic: "The Wealthy Renter" by Alex Avery.
Replies: 191
Views: 21397

Re: "The Wealthy Renter" by Alex Avery.

I do think a lot of this comes down to personality and lifestyle. I have never owned any real estate, age mid-50's and retired over 12 years ago, classic boglehead in that all my extra income went straight to savings. The idea of working on and improving a house or working with contractors or shoppi...
by kramer
Wed Nov 27, 2019 1:42 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Two Factor Authentication ---Living Abroad
Replies: 58
Views: 3048

Re: Two Factor Authentication ---Living Abroad

I have used a Skype phone number for this for years. However, I would say it only works for about 1 out of 3 financial institutions, the rest detect that it's a VOIP number and the text never shows up. So in those other cases, I have it call me at my Skype number and the robot calls me and verbally ...
by kramer
Fri Nov 22, 2019 8:22 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Spending money to make travel easier and luxurious?
Replies: 85
Views: 8627

Re: Spending money to make travel easier and luxurious?

I use Google FI now for phone service ... on average it costs more than getting local sim cards, but it's a great convenience to be connected as soon as you land. And that initial connectedness can be helpful for communicating with your AirBnb host or summoning an Uber. I think private and small gr...
by kramer
Thu Nov 21, 2019 2:11 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Spending money to make travel easier and luxurious?
Replies: 85
Views: 8627

Re: Spending money to make travel easier and luxurious?

I use Google FI now for phone service ... on average it costs more than getting local sim cards, but it's a great convenience to be connected as soon as you land. And that initial connectedness can be helpful for communicating with your AirBnb host or summoning an Uber. I think private and small gro...
by kramer
Wed Nov 20, 2019 9:34 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Year in Europe (location advice)
Replies: 34
Views: 2610

Re: Year in Europe (location advice)

One thing to consider is using AirBnb in several cities (I agree with other posters that I wouldn't base myself in one place all that time). You get more of an immersion experience than a hotel and it is generally much less expensive and higher quality. I am doing this right now in a foreign country...
by kramer
Wed Nov 20, 2019 8:38 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Warning about Uber Pool billing
Replies: 24
Views: 2921

Re: Warning about Uber Pool billing

I don't have a lot of experience with Uber Pool, but I have used it several times in the US but only once did they actually pick someone else up. And the whole thing worked out well and was fair and saved me some cash and the billing was as expected. It was a 45 mile trip to the airport, I had plent...
by kramer
Sat Nov 09, 2019 7:24 pm
Forum: Personal Investments
Topic: Retire at 50(ish) possible?
Replies: 38
Views: 6300

Re: Retire at 50(ish) possible?

Just to be clear, you will be a US resident and will have to have year around health coverage in the US. This is in addition to any coverage you buy for your time overseas. The idea of part time US health insurance is not supported by the ACA. The traveling part of your plan, even in LCOL countries,...
by kramer
Fri Nov 08, 2019 1:36 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Should I Travel ot Ecuador?
Replies: 51
Views: 4632

Re: Should I Travel ot Ecuador?

I have traveled all over the world including to many places that folks consider unsafe. I can say that Quito is definitely not a safe city for a foreigner after dark or at anytime really. That being said, I would definitely not cancel your trip ... for me, it wouldn't even be a close call. But exerc...
by kramer
Mon Nov 04, 2019 11:55 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Uber VISA rewards cut
Replies: 77
Views: 13702

Re: Uber VISA rewards cut

Is an Uber buck worth a whole dollar toward Uber rides? I assume there is no quick expiration on the Uber bucks? I actually use Uber enough in various countries, including the USA, that I would definitely be able to use all the credits (although I will go months at a time without being able to use ...
by kramer
Sun Nov 03, 2019 11:55 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Uber VISA rewards cut
Replies: 77
Views: 13702

Re: Uber VISA rewards cut

Is an Uber buck worth a whole dollar toward Uber rides? I assume there is no quick expiration on the Uber bucks? I actually use Uber enough in various countries, including the USA, that I would definitely be able to use all the credits (although I will go months at a time without being able to use a...
by kramer
Wed Oct 09, 2019 10:11 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Do you carry your passport with you during international travel?
Replies: 110
Views: 10984

Re: Do you carry your passport with you during international travel?

I carry my US passport card with me, I have a picture of my passport on my phone, and I leave my passport at my hotel or home unless I have a specific use for it that day. I often also take a picture of my passport entry stamp, if there is one. In some police states, like China, you might have to re...
by kramer
Tue Oct 08, 2019 1:05 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Travel health ins. for visitors to US - Patriot Platinum vs Atlas America vs Others?
Replies: 9
Views: 1117

Re: Travel health ins. for visitors to US - Patriot Platinum vs Atlas America vs Others?

At least you are taking the time to carefully research. I am currently in the US for a few days only and have been traveling for awhile and so I gave myself an hour last week to research and make the choice, Patriot Platinum. But I can tell by your post that I know less than you and can't add any va...
by kramer
Tue Oct 01, 2019 10:51 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Uber in foreign countries
Replies: 25
Views: 1888

Re: Uber in foreign countries

The charges are in foreign currency. Uber has revolutionized taxi service in Mexico City, which has become Uber's largest worldwide market. Before, traveling in a licensed cab there was a risky endeavor for locals and tourists alike, but now people feel safe again using Uber. When I used Uber there,...
by kramer
Fri Sep 13, 2019 3:26 am
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Vanguard Flagship Services -- Another One Bites the Dust
Replies: 51
Views: 9637

Re: Vanguard Flagship Services -- Another One Bites the Dust

Never used the service in a decade or so of Flagship. Can't miss what I never used. I'm sorry that a service you enjoyed is going away. Same here. I have no idea if I ever had a specific Flagship advisor or anything like that. I don't even think I have called Vanguard in the last decade. But I am q...
by kramer
Wed Sep 11, 2019 9:09 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Retirees: Ever feel really lazy?
Replies: 42
Views: 5780

Re: Retirees: Ever feel really lazy?

I am mid-50s, been retired for over 12 years ... to answer your question, no I am not feeling lazy at all, I love my social life, I keep plenty busy, pursuing a number of goals and hobbies, keeping in touch with my family, traveling to a new country later this week with longtime friend, language lea...
by kramer
Tue Sep 10, 2019 2:34 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Electric Bicycles
Replies: 116
Views: 10144

Re: Electric Bicycles

I think some of these e-bikes (like the Rad series) look awesome. I have a question for those that use them ... how do you handle security? Basically, how do you lock them up ... could someone steal just the battery without much effort, etc. I guess I would put a removable lock box on the back, too,...
by kramer
Mon Sep 02, 2019 6:35 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Not gaining weight on vacation?
Replies: 115
Views: 6509

Re: Not gaining weight on vacation?

Yes, I understand about the free breakfast thing ... I don't even eat breakfast when at home and when in Bangkok recently I avoided the buffet breakfast a few times or just had black coffee there but mostly I ate a lot when I wasn't so hungry. Not to mention that the city is an amazing foodie destin...
by kramer
Sun Aug 18, 2019 10:53 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Anyone retire in their 30s?
Replies: 108
Views: 15131

Re: Anyone retire in their 30s?

Here's a guy who retired in his mid 30s: Paul Terhorst. https://www.amazon.com/Paul-Terhorst/e/B000APQCD4/ref=dp_byline_cont_pop_book_1 The linked tome was written decades ago, and influenced tons of people. The financial advice in it is long out of date, but the rest of the work still resonates. (...
by kramer
Sun Aug 18, 2019 1:04 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: WSJ print edition renwal time - any discounts?
Replies: 77
Views: 9271

Re: WSJ print edition renwal time - any discounts?

btw - they don't let you cancel online; it must be done over the phone
This alone would prevent me from ever subscribing.
by kramer
Sat Aug 17, 2019 10:08 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Anyone retire in their 30s?
Replies: 108
Views: 15131

Re: Anyone retire in their 30s?

I can relate to what you are feeling. I got a late start (started college at age 23) and started my first real full-time job at age 29 (engineering) in Silicon Valley with a graduate degree from a top university. I loved my job for almost one decade and I was a star at work (same company whole way w...