Search found 329 matches

by Optimistic
Wed Apr 15, 2020 11:59 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Eating out after lock-down is lifted
Replies: 112
Views: 10493

Re: Eating out after lock-down is lifted

Going to any public and potentially close proximity place is going to be strange and awkward until a Covid-19 vaccine is widely available. Nothing else is going to change this very bad situation regardless of the blustering wishful thinking that is going on. Ordering take out is risky, and we would...
by Optimistic
Thu Jul 18, 2019 8:43 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Social Security Survivor Benefits
Replies: 6
Views: 970

Re: Social Security Survivor Benefits

There used to be an option called " file and suspend ". This allowed the lower-earning spouse to receive spousal benefits from the higher-earning spouse while at the same time increasing their own (non-spousal) benefit by deferring. This is no longer an option. However, your MIL does not w...
by Optimistic
Tue Sep 25, 2018 12:43 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Digitalizing Old Photos Help
Replies: 22
Views: 1895

Re: Digitalizing Old Photos Help

I've finally decided to start the huge project of converting a big box of old photos to digital. I haven't done this before at all. Can someone lead me to the best method of doing this, barring a professional service? Thanks!! iPhone app PhotoScan. Can with iPhone and it saves to phone. Did tons of...
by Optimistic
Mon Sep 24, 2018 11:23 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Digitalizing Old Photos Help
Replies: 22
Views: 1895

Re: Digitalizing Old Photos Help

Google Photos has a built-in feature to scan photos that is pretty good and completely free. I'd at least try it out before spending any money on a dedicated scanner.
by Optimistic
Wed May 02, 2018 4:27 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Costco Vs Amazon Prime
Replies: 62
Views: 5997

Re: Costco Vs Amazon Prime

I'm not sure I understand the comparison. Are you only using Costco.com? Amazon offers way more products than Costco and from many different producers. I'm not sure I could get a good cheap bluetooth speaker, lacrosse stick, american girl doll accessories, Vivofit Jr activity tracker, etc from Costc...
by Optimistic
Fri Jan 12, 2018 11:41 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Do you have a antivirus for you Android phone?
Replies: 20
Views: 2062

Re: Do you have a antivirus for you Android phone?

It is difficult to get malware on an Android phone. You cannot install apps from outside the Google Play store unless you purposefully turn on the setting that allows installation from Unknown Sources. So, don't change that setting. Then, only download apps from the Google Play store you're familiar...
by Optimistic
Mon Aug 21, 2017 2:05 pm
Forum: Personal Investments
Topic: Help with my recently widowed mom's finances
Replies: 22
Views: 2068

Re: Help with my recently widowed mom's finances

I would like my mother to have the option to retire in the very near future. She is working on determining her monthly expenses. Her monthly expenses while retired are key in the decision of when she can retire. Don't forget to include expenses that are only paid once or twice a year (car insurance...
by Optimistic
Mon Aug 21, 2017 2:01 pm
Forum: Personal Investments
Topic: Help with my recently widowed mom's finances
Replies: 22
Views: 2068

Re: Help with my recently widowed mom's finances

It would greatly benefit your mom if she would work until 63.5 and then take cobra for health care. Less draw down from savings and healthcare is assured. Age 65 would be even better as medicare should be less expensive than cobra. Also shop around for better paying cd's. I think you should be able...
by Optimistic
Mon Aug 21, 2017 1:55 pm
Forum: Personal Investments
Topic: Help with my recently widowed mom's finances
Replies: 22
Views: 2068

Re: Help with my recently widowed mom's finances

If she wants to stay in the condo, she should refinance but first consider whether she might want to move at some point because of her health conditions, i.e., be closer to her doctor, clinic, hospital, etc. Her doctor will know whether and when her health care needs will require more care. If she ...
by Optimistic
Mon Aug 21, 2017 1:13 pm
Forum: Personal Investments
Topic: Help with my recently widowed mom's finances
Replies: 22
Views: 2068

Re: Help with my recently widowed mom's finances

I am sorry about your father. Are you familiar with the Government Pension Offset provisions? Just be sure that your mother's SS benefit is not affected by it before you make any decisions. The issue of healthcare, as you've noted, is critical. She should be able to keep her current coverage throug...
by Optimistic
Mon Aug 21, 2017 1:11 pm
Forum: Personal Investments
Topic: Help with my recently widowed mom's finances
Replies: 22
Views: 2068

Re: Help with my recently widowed mom's finances

I think she needs to figure out an AA (stock/bond ratio) on amounts beyond cash needs for a couple years' expenses. Age in bonds is one rule of thumb which would be 40 stock/60 bond. However, she has fixed income to cover basic expenses after FRA so she could easily go more aggressive to possibly c...
by Optimistic
Mon Aug 21, 2017 1:03 pm
Forum: Personal Investments
Topic: Help with my recently widowed mom's finances
Replies: 22
Views: 2068

Re: Help with my recently widowed mom's finances

I am sorry about your father. Are you familiar with the Government Pension Offset provisions? Just be sure that your mother's SS benefit is not affected by it before you make any decisions. The issue of healthcare, as you've noted, is critical. She should be able to keep her current coverage throug...
by Optimistic
Mon Aug 21, 2017 12:31 pm
Forum: Personal Investments
Topic: Help with my recently widowed mom's finances
Replies: 22
Views: 2068

Re: Help with my recently widowed mom's finances

What exactly is the survivor's SS benefit and her SS benefit at FRA? I would choose the higher benefit at FRA and the lower benefit at the early date (60 or 62, depending on which it is). I don't have the survivor's benefit in front of me at FRA. But, I'm 99% sure it is less than her SS benefit at ...
by Optimistic
Mon Aug 21, 2017 12:17 pm
Forum: Personal Investments
Topic: Help with my recently widowed mom's finances
Replies: 22
Views: 2068

Help with my recently widowed mom's finances

My father recently passed away very unexpectedly. I am trying to help my mother get her finances in order and would appreciate feedback. Mom is 62. She is currently employed, but would like to retire in the near future (6 – 12 months) if possible. She has a mortgage with 22 years remaining at 4.875 ...
by Optimistic
Thu Mar 30, 2017 1:11 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Lastpass bug
Replies: 18
Views: 2950

Re: Lastpass bug

I am concerned about a dishonest employee or principal of the company. Also, I worry about a company going out of business -- how secure will the servers/security be in a liquidation setting. From LastPass FAQs How is LastPass secure and how does it encrypt/decrypt my data safely? What happens if L...
by Optimistic
Mon Sep 19, 2016 9:26 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Fun Vacations v. Time with Family
Replies: 38
Views: 5271

Re: Fun Vacations v. Time with Family

an_asker wrote:To those folks who think international travel is over-rated: have you ever wondered why the North Koreans think that their country is the best?
Because if they say otherwise, they'll be executed by their dear leader.
by Optimistic
Thu Sep 15, 2016 12:15 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Fireplace Inserts
Replies: 17
Views: 3531

Re: Fireplace Inserts

I have a coal-burning insert that heats my entire house all winter and love it. It saves me money and keeps my house very comfortable. However, your situation appears to be quite different. It doesn't appear as though burning wood would save you much money. (By the way, wood isn't truly free unless ...
by Optimistic
Mon May 23, 2016 11:27 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Amazon has no head to head competitors?
Replies: 71
Views: 8199

Re: Amazon has no head to head competitors?

OP - I'm confused. Are you suggesting that in order to be a "direct" competitor, you need to sell exactly the same things exactly the same way (shipping speed, return policy, etc)? If so, you will find that almost no business has a direct competitor. In reality, Amazon has many competitors...
by Optimistic
Tue May 10, 2016 3:59 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Classic Bernstein 5 — What’s a Thing Worth?
Replies: 11
Views: 3596

Re: Classic Bernstein 5 — What’s a Thing Worth?

Simplegift - Would you mind putting links to the first 4 posts in the original post in this thread (and subsequent threads)?

Thanks!
by Optimistic
Fri May 06, 2016 5:13 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Is buying organic really that expensive?
Replies: 111
Views: 19271

Re: Is buying organic really that expensive?

+1 - it's a total marketing ploy. I refuse to buy organic out of principle. When my wife disagrees then I'll buy my own non-organic version of whatever she is buying. She'll see the light one of these days since she keeps having to borrow my milk when hers goes bad like 3 days after opening. I also...
by Optimistic
Fri Apr 29, 2016 10:08 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Term Life Insurance Situation
Replies: 9
Views: 1356

Re: Term Life Insurance Situation

HAMnEGGr wrote: 3. any other advice?
Start at Term4Sale.com.
by Optimistic
Thu Feb 25, 2016 4:35 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Going to 30/70 (Target Retirement Income Fund) at age 33?
Replies: 45
Views: 7538

Re: Going to 30/70 (Target Retirement Income Fund) at age 33?

Going to 30/70 is fine as long as you are willing to increase your savings rate and you won't be tempted to increase your stock allocation in the next bull market. Regardless, I suggest you determine what your savings rate would need to be with a 30/70 allocation. Then, begin using that new savings ...
by Optimistic
Thu Feb 25, 2016 4:18 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Rare Black Swan Pattern
Replies: 33
Views: 5782

Re: Rare Black Swan Pattern

Whakamole wrote:
Dutch wrote:The charts don't lie! I'm going all cash
What's the matter, chicken?
Maybe a little. It does look like the sky is falling.
by Optimistic
Wed Jan 27, 2016 1:57 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Is Comcast Blast Helpful with WiFi?
Replies: 17
Views: 4605

Re: Is Comcast Blast Helpful with WiFi?

Your internet speed probably had nothing to do with your Skype issues. Here is a link for Skype's bandwidth recommendation . The minimum download/upload speed for an HD Video call is 1.2 Mbps/1.2 Mbps. Recommended is 1.5/1.5. Even for a group video with 7+ people, the minimum is 4 Mbps/128 kbps and ...
by Optimistic
Thu Dec 17, 2015 9:56 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Setting up a tablet for a 3 year old
Replies: 3
Views: 664

Re: Setting up a tablet for a 3 year old

My kids (similar ages) sometimes use a phone or tablet too. However, I make sure the device is not connected to the internet when they have it. It is way too easy to stumble across wildly inappropriate things on youtube or anywhere else online in my opinion. Instead, I let my kids use apps (mostly e...
by Optimistic
Wed Dec 02, 2015 2:36 pm
Forum: Personal Investments
Topic: Advising my son on 401K enrollment, advise wanted.
Replies: 25
Views: 2510

Re: Advising my son on 401K enrollment, advise wanted.

The offerings in the 401k are not very good (high cost). I would advise him to contribute only to the employer match and then put any additional savings in an IRA at a low cost provider. Vanguard is preferred by the vast majority of Bogleheads because they offer the lowest cost funds. You should als...
by Optimistic
Tue Dec 01, 2015 4:28 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Best TV to buy
Replies: 96
Views: 12976

Re: Best TV to buy

Target has this Vizio 32" TV (LED, 720p, 60hz) that should be sufficient for you. With a combination of sales/gift cards, it can be bought today for $133.89. Today's sale price - $179.99 Cartwheel discount (10%) - $161.99 Target RedCard discount (5%) - $153.89 Gift card included w/ purchase ($2...
by Optimistic
Mon Aug 17, 2015 4:00 pm
Forum: Personal Investments
Topic: Using a dividend ETF for retirement income
Replies: 5
Views: 1333

Re: Using a dividend ETF for retirement income

Hi Paul, Welcome to the forum. Here is a search result for dividend vs total return . I suggest reading some of those threads as the topic has been discussed many times before. Generally speaking, the recommendation of the forum is to favor a total return approach. You say: In a down market-dividend...
by Optimistic
Mon Mar 16, 2015 1:43 pm
Forum: Personal Investments
Topic: Credit Report Very Low For No Reason? Fixing it?
Replies: 60
Views: 5465

Re: Credit Report Very Low For No Reason? Fixing it?

Blah - but I thought I wasn't supposed to check my credit score more than once a year ("hard pull") and I did it a month ago and it said 650 :( You checking your credit report via annualcreditreport.com does not constitute a "hard pull". You could do it every day and it would no...
by Optimistic
Thu Feb 12, 2015 3:40 pm
Forum: Personal Investments
Topic: Any alternative ways of creating income? Life insuran maybe?
Replies: 26
Views: 3567

Re: Any alternative ways of creating income? Life insuran ma

OP, I suggest spending some time with this site's Wiki. There is a specific entry for your question about ETFs vs Index/Mutual Funds . And, there are entries for lots of questions you probably haven't thought of yet. There's even a getting started entry. By the way, welcome to forum! I see you joine...
by Optimistic
Wed Feb 11, 2015 3:27 pm
Forum: Personal Investments
Topic: Any alternative ways of creating income? Life insuran maybe?
Replies: 26
Views: 3567

Re: Any alternative ways of creating income? Life insuran ma

OP, why are you interested in creating income at 26? The typical approach is to accumulate funds during your working years and then withdraw those funds in retirement. Some people feel more comfortable utilizing said funds in retirement if they do not have to touch the principal and can instead rely...
by Optimistic
Tue Feb 03, 2015 8:35 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: time to replace my router?
Replies: 45
Views: 10106

Re: time to replace my router?

OP - can you please explain how your router's performance has degraded exactly? I'm still using the the same Linksys WRT54G router I bought in 2005. The download speed from my IPS is capped at 20 Mbps. The signal is strong throughout my house (on both floors). And, I rarely share files across a home...
by Optimistic
Mon Jan 05, 2015 5:09 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Keurig Coffee Makers
Replies: 57
Views: 7884

Re: Keurig Coffee Makers

I find this fad just funny.... A lot of the same people who are raving about these things are the same ones that would be upset if you accused them of not recycling... They are vastly wasteful. In a shared work canteen environment, I'm sure they save a lot on cleanup but for person use.... I'm miss...
by Optimistic
Mon Oct 20, 2014 2:32 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: online shopping for laptop PC
Replies: 25
Views: 3236

Re: online shopping for laptop PC

You say you prefer Windows 7. But, Windows 7 is not optimized for touch-screen. It is even less optimized for Google Chromebooks.
by Optimistic
Fri Oct 17, 2014 10:47 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Be careful if you get this email [scam, infected with virus]
Replies: 12
Views: 2609

Re: Be careful if you get this email

Never open an attachment that comes from an unknown source! I'll go one step further with the advise and suggest not opening any attachments, even if you know the person. Some machines get taken over by these zombies, and send out nasty viruses to others, using the mail list. If the attachments are...
by Optimistic
Fri Oct 17, 2014 10:36 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Anybody ever reduce term coverage amount?
Replies: 16
Views: 1965

Re: Anybody ever reduce term coverage amount?

I did a 20yr-30yr ladder. What is the difference in price for you of doing the ladder or just doing 30 years? Having only $1 million dollars of life insurance 20 years from now doesn't sound terrible.
by Optimistic
Fri Oct 17, 2014 9:58 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Be careful if you get this email [scam, infected with virus]
Replies: 12
Views: 2609

Re: Be careful if you get this email

Never open an attachment that comes from an unknown source!
by Optimistic
Mon Sep 15, 2014 9:25 am
Forum: Personal Investments
Topic: Buying Annuity at Young Age for Retirement?
Replies: 6
Views: 1007

Re: Buying Annuity at Young Age for Retirement?

Why not just buy individual TIPS and/or I-Bonds? What will an annuity do for you that TIPS/I-Bonds will not (besides add cost)? There are no mortality credits for a 30-year old. Also, please specify exactly which kind of annuities you are considering.
by Optimistic
Thu Aug 28, 2014 2:12 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Burton Malkiel Opinion in WSJ -- "Are Stock Prices ..."
Replies: 26
Views: 4062

Re: Burton Malkiel Opinion in WSJ -- "Are Stock Prices ..."

Long-run equity returns from today's price levels are likely to be considerably lower than their 10% long-run average. So what's an investor to do? First, recognize that we are likely to be in a low-return environment for some time... If you have established your retirement savings plan assuming do...
by Optimistic
Fri Aug 22, 2014 1:52 pm
Forum: Personal Investments
Topic: HELOC + Margin = $200k to play with
Replies: 24
Views: 2854

Re: HELOC + Margin = $200k to play with

I have a $100k heloc at prime - 1% = 2.25%. my brokerage margin rate = 3% for margins between $50k and $500k that's 5.25% I'm paying to borrow $200k. :mrgreen: Instead of just investing in VTI and getting an 8.5% return, why not invest in VTI and SPY. SPY has a 10 year return of 8.21%. Then you'll ...
by Optimistic
Fri Aug 22, 2014 11:06 am
Forum: Personal Investments
Topic: HELOC + Margin = $200k to play with
Replies: 24
Views: 2854

Re: HELOC + Margin = $200k to play with

I have a $100k heloc at prime - 1% = 2.25%. my brokerage margin rate = 3% for margins between $50k and $500k that's 5.25% I'm paying to borrow $200k. Total Market (VTI) has averaged 8.5% returns over the past 10yrs. Nah.. too much risk for 3% profit. but wait.. that 5.25% is tax deductible. at a 25...
by Optimistic
Mon Aug 11, 2014 4:59 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: How important is my insurance agent?
Replies: 37
Views: 4010

Re: How important is my insurance agent?

Do you know what kind of insurance company you are getting and how "solid" the company is? What is their AM Best rating? (I would never go with anyone rated lower than "A".) It is worthless to have insurance with a company who does not pay claims or even hassles you when you hav...
by Optimistic
Mon Aug 11, 2014 11:15 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: How important is my insurance agent?
Replies: 37
Views: 4010

Re: How important is my insurance agent?

I recommend getting quotes from several companies. With auto, home, and umbrella, it is very possible you are overpaying by $1,000 per year. Over 27 years, no amount of intangibles is worth $27,000. I recommend finding an independent agent that can give you quotes for multiple companies. I would als...
by Optimistic
Thu Jul 24, 2014 10:06 am
Forum: US Chapters
Topic: favorite bogleheads posts?
Replies: 114
Views: 30419

Re: favorite bogleheads posts?

Favorite post, thread, or post to start a thread? So far the responses have covered all 3.
by Optimistic
Fri Jul 18, 2014 10:58 am
Forum: Personal Investments
Topic: Newbie whole life insurance policy question
Replies: 30
Views: 3821

Re: Newbie whole life insurance policy question

One more thing to add. If your term life insurance is with Northwestern, you are likely paying more than necessary. Look at Term4Sale.com to get an idea of what you should be paying.
by Optimistic
Fri Jun 27, 2014 1:53 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Paid off home as LTC Insurance?
Replies: 38
Views: 3210

Re: Paid off home as LTC Insurance?

I have been planning on using the proceeding from selling my home when I am older to help finance my LTC. Is there any flaw in this strategy beyond it may not be enough money to cover everything? Having enough money to cover long term care is the whole point of LTC Insurance. Targeting a specific a...
by Optimistic
Fri Jun 27, 2014 1:42 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: GoPro IPO
Replies: 31
Views: 4769

Re: GoPro IPO

I don't see any moat either. I think they are smart to do an IPO right at the height of their popularity and growth. Their marketing strategy has been brilliant so far. I bet it won't be long before smart phones (with a special bracket and/or waterproof case as needed) can do everything GoPro can d...
by Optimistic
Fri Jun 06, 2014 10:46 am
Forum: Personal Investments
Topic: Am I A Moron [savings account as an asset class]
Replies: 47
Views: 4085

Re: Am I A Moron

Financial calamity exists on a broad spectrum. There are many shocks to the global economy in which an FDIC-insured banking account would perform admirably. In fact, there was a good example only 6 years ago. Even if the economy had suffered much more in the great recession, your bank account likely...
by Optimistic
Thu May 29, 2014 12:00 pm
Forum: Personal Investments
Topic: When to open 529
Replies: 34
Views: 2759

Re: When to open 529

I would expect it is a personal preference. I do not like or believe in mixing up the intent of the accounts. That is, between retirement and college funding. Definitely agree with you there. We don't mix the two either, but I'm still unsure as to why there's a hard and fast rule to max retirement ...