Search found 1710 matches

by kramer
Sat Dec 14, 2019 3:19 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: "Safer" places for Spanish immersion experience?
Replies: 15
Views: 1364

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: 12
Views: 1780

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 I think nowadays it is more of an outdated concept as consumers are more informed than they used to be.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: 189
Views: 19031

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: 53
Views: 2061

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: 7951

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: 7951

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: 2293

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: 2726

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: 5985

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: 49
Views: 3822

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: 74
Views: 6907

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: 74
Views: 6907

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: 9862

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: 890

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: 1765

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: 8786

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: 5564

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: 9486

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: 6132

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: 14601

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: 8276

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: 14601

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...
by kramer
Mon Aug 12, 2019 6:20 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Breakfast Menu After Retirement
Replies: 73
Views: 10510

Re: Breakfast Menu After Retirement

My exercise is on the more intense side and I can't exercise properly after eating anyway... my minimum fast (assuming I ate a regular meal) before gym would be 2 hours, 3 hours before running ... and better if even longer.
by kramer
Sun Aug 11, 2019 9:11 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Breakfast Menu After Retirement
Replies: 73
Views: 10510

Re: Breakfast Menu After Retirement

did your breakfast eating habits change once you retired? No, just one cup of black coffee, both before and after retirement. When I worked, I was forced to eat earlier than I wanted at lunchtime, as my workmates were always anxious to get to lunch early. Now in retirement, I normally don't eat cal...
by kramer
Thu Aug 08, 2019 5:17 am
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Tax Loss Harvesting Worth it?
Replies: 176
Views: 12639

Re: Tax Loss Harvesting Worth it?

I was able to TLH during my working years and deduct $3000 from my *ordinary* income each year (was paying average tax of about 35% fed + state). Those gains have been (or will be) realized in my current retirement at 0% cap gains rate. So it was literally a $1,000 per year net win for me over a per...
by kramer
Tue Aug 06, 2019 9:58 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: FYI, Spanish bank ATMs [Dynamic Currency Conversion]
Replies: 64
Views: 4715

Re: FYI, Spanish bank ATMs

As a related addendum, I was buying tickets at a train station in Spain last year. The machines accepted cash (I think) or credit card. But they only accepted contactless payment credit card that have this symbol: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Contactless_payment This was not at all obvious from the...
by kramer
Thu Aug 01, 2019 9:55 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: How do you decide what car to buy for your kid
Replies: 91
Views: 4518

Re: How do you decide what car to buy for your kid

It might seem obvious but make sure that he will be allowed to have a car as a freshman and he will be able to get a parking space for it. At some colleges parking is in very short supply and there is a lottery to see who will get one. At some colleges parking can also cost hundreds of dollars a se...
by kramer
Tue Jul 30, 2019 5:22 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: What's your Uber passenger rating?
Replies: 118
Views: 7032

Re: What's your Uber passenger rating?

I am at 4.88. I have used Uber a lot in Mexico, also, probably about the same amount as in the US. When I had fewer rides under my belt, and I was paying for a 30 mile ride from a downtown for two of my relatives and I, one of my relatives was somewhat drunk, and kept trying to get the driver to tal...
by kramer
Sun Jul 28, 2019 10:21 pm
Forum: Personal Investments
Topic: Vanguard in Thailand - possible?
Replies: 9
Views: 1187

Re: Vanguard in Thailand - possible?

Back in 2008, you had to first contact Vanguard by phone to be able to authorize any login to a Vanguard account from Thailand. It was on their unpublished list of unsafe countries. I suspect that might have changed now but, knowing what I know now, I would only use a VPN to access my account from a...
by kramer
Fri Jul 05, 2019 10:44 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Banking for Nomads
Replies: 28
Views: 3354

Re: Banking for Nomads

I also suggest you get a second account with an ATM card and that is not in your wallet. In case you lose your wallet, get mugged, etc. You can still access cash. Second this. Redundancy is important. I have a credit union account and an Ally account. The cards are in two separate wallets if I trav...
by kramer
Sun Jun 23, 2019 11:39 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: [Book: Living off Your Money, by M. McClung (Prime Harvesting)]
Replies: 470
Views: 119840

Re: [Book: Living off Your Money, by M. McClung (Prime Harvesting)]

I second that! Would be great to hear from someone who is following the strategy. So far, it's been very simple (Prime Harvesting). My ETF portfolio was already worldwide diversified so I didn't change that. I started at 60/40 stocks/bonds (I was originally 65/35 before adopting the strategy, so I ...
by kramer
Sun Jun 23, 2019 9:35 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Suggestions for Wintering Over 2020
Replies: 14
Views: 1963

Re: Suggestions for Wintering Over 2020

Welcome to the retired world ;-) Since I retired, I have only spent time in cold places when I was visiting family. If you really like warm weather, then the only places like (or approaching) that in the winter in the US are southern Florida and Hawaii. January in Phoenix is 68/45 and Austin 61/41 ....
by kramer
Fri Jun 21, 2019 5:36 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Permanent DINK couples - Considerations, thoughts, etc?
Replies: 97
Views: 10852

Re: Permanent DINK couples - Considerations, thoughts, etc?

I am an early retired SINK, been retired about 12 years, now almost in my mid-50's. I would say these are the financial behaviors that I do or will do differently due to being single and childless: * I don't spend as much as I could now, saving more for the future when I might have to purchase home ...
by kramer
Sat Jun 15, 2019 11:55 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Health Insurance for Parents Traveling from Abroad
Replies: 3
Views: 448

Re: Health Insurance for Parents Traveling from Abroad

For any travel insurance that you buy for them, carefully read the pre-existing conditions clauses.
by kramer
Mon Jun 10, 2019 4:59 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Sports classes in Universities
Replies: 60
Views: 3983

Re: Sports classes in Universities

I attended a University of California university in the early 90's for my undergraduate degree. My sub-school (the large university I attended had several sub-universities within it that you could choose from) claimed to have the highest number of and most rigorous graduation requirements of any Ame...
by kramer
Sat Jun 08, 2019 11:51 am
Forum: Personal Investments
Topic: brokered CDs from fidelity/vanguard, bank reputation?
Replies: 28
Views: 2533

Re: brokered CDs from fidelity/vanguard, bank reputation?

yobyot wrote: I'd be interested in why the OP thinks Treasuries aren't attractive. I am not the OP, but I am guessing because the interest rates are usually much better for brokered CDs than for treasuries. At least when I was buying in February, CD's were offering over 1/2% more than comparable tr...
by kramer
Thu Jun 06, 2019 11:00 am
Forum: US Chapters
Topic: June 6, 1944 D Day and General Patton [D-Day plus 11 days, a war article by Ernie Pyle]
Replies: 42
Views: 4592

Re: June 6, 1944 D Day and General Patton

I was sad today thinking about it. I never got to meet my great uncle "Kramer" who died one month into this campaign and is buried in France. Thank you, sir, for your sacrifice. And thanks to the sacrifice of so many who saved our civilization so that we have our liberty. We owe it to them to rememb...
by kramer
Wed Jun 05, 2019 12:10 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Favorite youtube channels?
Replies: 81
Views: 8223

Re: Favorite youtube channels?

If you speak Spanish: Luisito comunica Over 23 million subscribers and in a short period of time Luisito has become one of the most famous people in Latin America thanks to his success with this channel. A combination of interesting travel videos around the world and videos about Mexico. He is truly...
by kramer
Mon Jun 03, 2019 10:04 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Foreign Tax Credit Limitation Explained
Replies: 12
Views: 1106

Re: Foreign Tax Credit Limitation Explained

Don't forget that you can look back one year for the foreign tax credit (besides carry forward 10 years). In my first full year of early retirement, I paid zero income taxes (all my income above the standard deduction was capital gains and qualified dividends). However, I ended up getting a four fig...
by kramer
Mon Jun 03, 2019 8:31 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Foreign Tax Credit Limitation Explained
Replies: 12
Views: 1106

Re: Foreign Tax Credit Limitation Explained

Bogleheads poster Magellan had warned about this cliff a few years ago and I took careful notice at that time. Thanks for posting this here. Personally, I normally lose around 60% of my foreign tax credit for other reasons. As a retiree not yet on Social Security, my tax rate is generally quite low,...
by kramer
Sun Jun 02, 2019 12:46 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Santa Fe real estate
Replies: 64
Views: 4582

Re: Santa Fe real estate

My friend was visiting Santa Fe last month (May) and it snowed.
by kramer
Sat Jun 01, 2019 12:16 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: 23 and me vs. ancestry- thoughts?
Replies: 38
Views: 3360

Re: 23 and me vs. ancestry- thoughts?

Only a couple of people in my extended family have done genetic testing, of which I am aware, one on each side. There was a serendipitous outcome. It turns out that my Grandmother's Aunt and her husband-to-be had a child very young that they gave up for adoption -- it wasn't a total secret, a few fa...
by kramer
Thu May 23, 2019 10:17 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: What computer to buy for snowbird
Replies: 37
Views: 3391

Re: What computer to buy for snowbird

Just a quick note, Surface Pros had a bad reputation for reliability, presumably from trying to pack so much into so small of a form factor, way more so than an ordinary laptop (at some point a number got out of the percentage returned for defects and it was high --- they have improved since then). ...
by kramer
Thu May 23, 2019 7:29 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Do you think we can stop funding our 529 plan?
Replies: 41
Views: 3145

Re: Do you think we can stop funding our 529 plan?

Also, something to consider is letting the children pay part of their own tuition and expenses so they have some skin in the game. What part of “we’d like to fund 100% of the cost” did you not understand? What is with this pre-occupation of having kids be burdened with debt on this forum? Kids have...
by kramer
Thu May 23, 2019 6:20 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Do you think we can stop funding our 529 plan?
Replies: 41
Views: 3145

Re: Do you think we can stop funding our 529 plan?

Also, something to consider is letting the children pay part of their own tuition and expenses so they have some skin in the game.
by kramer
Tue May 21, 2019 12:50 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Best SIM card for travel in Europe?
Replies: 38
Views: 3032

Re: Best SIM card for travel in Europe?

I have T-Mobile and in London the service was pretty bad IMO. Had 3G which was not very good. I paid 10 quid and got a nice unlimited SIM for 3 days. Most places in Europe have phone stands to sell you cheap SIMs like this. Yes, this is another good point about lesser service using a US carrier abr...
by kramer
Mon May 20, 2019 9:12 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Best SIM card for travel in Europe?
Replies: 38
Views: 3032

Re: Best SIM card for travel in Europe?

I was in Spain less than a year ago. Orange shops had vending machines to purchase their sim cards ... the machine even took a picture of your passport. The price was only 10 Euros and that included something like 10 GB of data, valid for 30 days. Valid throughout Europe. We were traveling in a grou...
by kramer
Tue May 14, 2019 11:34 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Driving in Lisbon Portugal?
Replies: 25
Views: 1505

Re: Driving in Lisbon Portugal?

I have not been to Portugal but I have driven in many countries. One of my personal rules is that I strongly prefer to observe and experience traffic in a country for at least a short time before I actually drive. If I am going to cold to a new country, I would be nervous about renting at the airpor...
by kramer
Thu Apr 25, 2019 11:10 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Digital Nomad - Automobile Insurance Issues
Replies: 18
Views: 1360

Re: Digital Nomad - Automobile Insurance Issues

their imited systems have no category for "always travelling". But I think the state of Oregon (or maybe WA) now has a category of "constant traveller" for DRIVER LICENSES (a different issue, of course), unlike other states that require you to prove you reside at a physical address in the Multiple ...