Search found 50 matches

by walker46
Tue Aug 14, 2018 10:28 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Sidewalk repair - price in line?
Replies: 32
Views: 1890

Re: Sidewalk repair - price in line?

City gave us a code violation for cracks in three sidewalks. The property in in S. Florida. I requested a few estimates and only one contractor responded. He wants to obtain a city permit, remove the old walks and replace them. The three sidewalks to be replaced are 8 x 4 feet each. I realize there...
by walker46
Tue Jul 10, 2018 9:39 am
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Where do you read financial news?
Replies: 44
Views: 5069

Re: Where do you read financial news?

If someone leaves a Wall Street Journal on the counter at the restaurant where I eat breakfast I'll pick it up and read it. But this doesn't happen everyday. While I like to read interesting stories about businesses and keep up on the latest speculation about macro trends and CD interest rates, day ...
by walker46
Tue Jun 19, 2018 9:44 am
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Buying CDs each month for decades
Replies: 22
Views: 5458

Re: Buying CDs each month for decades

I agree with the others about this being a labor intensive task. Depending on the number of institutions you get the CDs from, you could potentially be getting up to twelve 1099 forms when you do your taxes. :shock: If you keep on getting CDs from different institutions in following years, you'll b...
by walker46
Mon May 14, 2018 6:16 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Stopping unwanted "junk" newspaper
Replies: 60
Views: 16527

Re: Stopping unwanted "junk" newspaper

Around here apparently whoever it is that is paid to deliver them doesn’t like them either. When I go to recycle my real newspapers at a nearby church the recycle bin is usually half filled with unopened bundles of the junk newspapers and we haven’t been bothered by anyone actually delivering one in...
by walker46
Mon Dec 11, 2017 8:33 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: What are your big-picture ‘rules of life’ —financial or otherwise?
Replies: 123
Views: 14636

Re: What are your big-picture ‘rules of life’ —financial or otherwise?

Never play cards with a man called Doc. Never eat at a place called Mom's. Never sleep with a woman whose troubles are worse than your own. - Nelson Algren


And who hasn't found themselves in trouble after ignoring one or more of those rules?
by walker46
Tue Nov 21, 2017 9:20 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Why not take Social Security at 62
Replies: 334
Views: 30987

Re: Why not take Social Security at 62

Luckily this doesn’t apply to many people but if you have a disabled son or daughter whose disability was diagnosed before the age of twenty-two, when you begin to draw social security their disability benefits will switch from the SSI (Supplemental Security Income) program which is minimal to the S...
by walker46
Wed Oct 11, 2017 8:22 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Social Security Card - Should I get a Replacement
Replies: 47
Views: 3532

Re: Social Security Card - Should I get a Replacement

If you live in a state that issues enhanced licenses, you will need to show your card if you seek one. https://dmv.ny.gov/forms/id44edl.pdf In Michigan I got an enhanced license using just my current drivers license and my passport. I can't remember what I needed for my passport but it wasn't a soc...
by walker46
Fri Apr 28, 2017 6:42 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Gifting a down payment/avoiding gift tax
Replies: 27
Views: 2938

Re: Gifting a down payment/avoiding gift tax

If you are worried about paying tax on that $80-100K you will just have to report it, but you won't pay taxes on it. The lifetime gift tax exemption is 5M. THIS. Actually the lifetime exemption right now I believe is $5,490,000. That number is the current exemption on the federal estate tax. So wha...
by walker46
Thu Apr 13, 2017 4:46 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Saving for college for my son with autism
Replies: 22
Views: 4154

Re: Saving for college for my son with autism

I'm surprised that no one has mentioned ABLE accounts which are a special new type of 529 account that is used to save for education and other non-educational needs of the disabled without disqualifying them for disability benefits. It's pretty new and is administered on the state level and at this ...
by walker46
Wed Jan 25, 2017 10:20 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Jackson Hole in July?
Replies: 16
Views: 2812

Re: Jackson Hole in July?

National Museum of Wildlife Art - since all of the artwork is wildlife related - this might be worthwhile for your family. Beautiful museum. Even if you don't go in - stop by and see the outdoor sculptures - great photo ops. +1 When this was suggested to us I thought it was probably just a tourist ...
by walker46
Tue Nov 22, 2016 11:46 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Fountain Pens - Do you use one?
Replies: 104
Views: 9678

Re: Fountain Pens - Do you use one?

When I was in grade school back in the fifties you had to do all your work in pencil until you hit fifth grade and then in fifth grade the teacher handed you a ball point pen to use. This was when ball point pens were new and not cheap. In sixth grade you moved up to a fountain pen and a bottle of i...
by walker46
Thu Dec 31, 2015 11:14 am
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Is the collapse of oil price a "black swan"?
Replies: 133
Views: 17508

Re: Is the collapse of oil price a "black swan"?

A year or so in, I wonder if anyone has any more thoughts on this? It seems to me that the drop in oil price has been more a bad thing than good. It’s wreaked havoc with the stock market and many economies around the world including in Saudi Arabia, the country that triggered it. At the same time, d...
by walker46
Mon Dec 07, 2015 9:55 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Holiday tipping: letter carriers
Replies: 120
Views: 11560

Re: Holiday tipping: letter carriers

I was a mail carrier a long time ago, almost fifty years ago. Only a handful of people tipped and usually the tip consisted of cookies which I appreciated. I didn’t expect a tip since I felt I was adequately paid and I was in fact better off financially than many of the people I delivered mail to. I...
by walker46
Fri Jul 03, 2015 7:39 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Lake Michigan Credit Union
Replies: 60
Views: 10488

Re: Lake Michigan Credit Union

I've been a LMCU member for about fifteen years. They are very popular around here (Grand Rapids.) I've encountered nothing but great customer service. I split my CDs between them and Ally bank. Their rates are comparable and sometimes better if you watch their specials. Besides 1.55% for a thirty-s...
by walker46
Sun Apr 12, 2015 9:08 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Ally Raise Your Rate CD
Replies: 2
Views: 1119

Re: Ally Raise Your Rate CD

sawhorse wrote:. . . Is this standard practice at other banks?
It's the same at my local credit union.
by walker46
Mon Mar 30, 2015 4:59 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Detroit: up-and-coming technology city
Replies: 18
Views: 1946

Re: Detroit: up-and-coming technology city

I lived there thirty-five years ago. I live in western Michigan now. If I were a young man though I think I might head back there. Almost anything you can say about Detroit good or bad is true. I’d go so far as saying that there are certain parts of the core city that are actually booming. That woul...
by walker46
Sat Jan 10, 2015 9:24 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: cat water fountain
Replies: 75
Views: 10396

Re: cat water fountain

Had the same issue with one of our cats (one of three.) This is the one we bought:

http://www.amazon.com/Pioneer-Fountain- ... 7Z3JXHQA4P

They all seem to enjoy it.
by walker46
Thu Dec 11, 2014 9:03 am
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Is the collapse of oil price a "black swan"?
Replies: 133
Views: 17508

Re: Is the collapse of oil price a "black swan"?

This is beneficial to US, Europe, and Japan . Bad for OPEC nations. Bad for Vladimir Putin. Bad for Iran. In normal times it would be good for Japan but since their economy is struggling and their inflation rate is virtually zero, the lower oil prices might push them over the edge into a deflationa...
by walker46
Tue Nov 11, 2014 6:48 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Buying Furniture
Replies: 27
Views: 3347

Re: Buying Furniture

I heard this straight from my patient who is a furniture store salesman. The mark up for furniture is up to 4-5x what they paid for it. This means they're still making enough money after giving you a 70% discount (enough to pay the salesman's commission anyhow) I worked for one of the major high-en...
by walker46
Sat Aug 30, 2014 5:57 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: NYC [Visit to New York City]
Replies: 45
Views: 3707

Re: NYC [Visit to New York City]

VictoriaF wrote:Central Park
Staten Island Ferry

Victoria
And for a Boglehead what's great about these two recommendations is that they are free.
by walker46
Fri Aug 22, 2014 8:00 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Do you tip on the tax? [Restaurants]
Replies: 124
Views: 9191

Re: Do you tip on the tax?

I tip on the total, generally 20%. A couple of times in the last month I've run into a new situation that annoys me. Instead of a hard copy check, the server shows up with an IPAD or tablet device of some type that shows the charges. First they run your credit card through the tablet then instead of...
by walker46
Wed Jul 23, 2014 2:06 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Will baby boomers retiring spell doom for the markets
Replies: 45
Views: 6851

Re: Will baby boomers retiring spell doom for the markets

International investors will quickly shore up any inefficiencies in the market caused by a mass sale of assets by baby boomers. We already see this in CA and NY and even Chicago real-estate markets where desirable properties are being snapped up by cash buyers from overseas. People (foreign or dome...
by walker46
Fri Jul 18, 2014 6:47 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Poll - Do You Read Businessweek?
Replies: 30
Views: 3411

Re: Poll - Do You Read Businessweek?

If I was going to subscribe to a business magazine it would be The Economist. One of the few really literate publications left. I subscribed to the Economist for many years, but gave it up a while ago. It seemed to have drifted into becoming to much of an opinion magazine, and I just wasn't that in...
by walker46
Mon Jul 14, 2014 7:37 am
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: CD ladder emergency fun
Replies: 22
Views: 4534

Re: CD ladder emergency fun

From the title of the thread, I thought this was about something different. I wouldn't bother getting CD's from an emergency fund just to get the few extra basis points. I would just put some in I Bonds and leave the rest in the savings account. I don't think the extra few basis points are worth th...
by walker46
Sun Apr 20, 2014 7:33 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: POLL: If Eligible For Social Security .....
Replies: 71
Views: 6404

Re: POLL: If Eligible For Social Security .....

While I felt fine at 64 and still do at 67, I started collecting at 64 partly based on health issues: diabetes, high blood pressure, and high cholesterol (all treated.) I figured might as well get started since the odds were I might not live into my nineties or whatever the payback age is if I waite...
by walker46
Sat Mar 15, 2014 4:15 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: LED lights currently worth it personal financewise?
Replies: 55
Views: 4444

Re: LED lights currently worth it personal financewise?

After a lifetime of buying bulbs that only last a year or two, it’s a little disconcerting to see the promised life on the LED package and realize that you are now buying light bulbs that will likely last longer than yourself.
by walker46
Fri Jan 10, 2014 8:22 am
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: buy I-bonds now or wait after May 1?
Replies: 50
Views: 12076

Re: buy I-bonds now or wait after May 1?

Even trivial decisions have to be made I suppose. But whether you decide to take your significant other out to eat tonight or not likely will have a larger financial impact than whether you buy your 10k of I-bonds in January or May. Say the fixed rate goes up another .2% and you buy in May, that’s w...
by walker46
Thu Dec 05, 2013 6:06 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Buying music CDs
Replies: 32
Views: 2562

Re: Buying music CDs

I try to buy as directly as possible from the artists themselves, either at their merchandise table at a concert or from their own website. That way most of the money is going to them rather than to Itunes or Amazon or whatever. Lately most of my purchases have been of indie music and those groups c...
by walker46
Mon Sep 02, 2013 9:44 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Another "what to do/see" - Salt Lake City
Replies: 28
Views: 3026

Re: Another "what to do/see" - Salt Lake City

You might want to take a drive to Antelope Island State Park which is the largest island in the Salt Lake. There is a causeway that links it to the mainland so you can drive to it. Among other things on the island, there is a large herd of 500 to 700 bison. Most of the year they run loose. I've only...
by walker46
Fri Aug 23, 2013 7:57 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Moving brother out of Mom's house
Replies: 26
Views: 5199

Re: Moving brother out of Mom's house

We have an adult son with high functioning autism (what until recently was called Asperger’s) who is in his thirties who so far has not been employable in any meaningful way even though he is highly intelligent. He is currently on disability but we are still hopeful that someday he will find a niche...
by walker46
Fri Mar 29, 2013 9:56 am
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Penfed, Ally, or Barclays?
Replies: 13
Views: 5675

Re: Penfed, Ally, or Barclays?

If you’d prefer to stay with your local bank maybe you can make a secret deal with them for a CD that matches a higher online bank rate. I didn’t think this was possible but I was standing in line at my local credit union the other day in order to buy a small 2K CD and in the cubicle next to the lin...
by walker46
Mon Feb 18, 2013 8:38 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Whole Dollar Rounding on Tax Forms
Replies: 41
Views: 8842

Re: Whole Dollar Rounding on Tax Forms

I wish the tax forms didn't require rounding. I think it is more work to do the rounding than just to use the actual numbers. I would think there would be more rounding errors on tax forms than there would be math errors if the real amounts were used. For most people after all, the math is done by e...
by walker46
Thu May 17, 2012 9:20 am
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Ally Bank
Replies: 35
Views: 8300

Re: Ally Bank

Apparently in this discussion I'm the only one concerned about the status of Ally Demand Notes (Ally Financial) rather than Ally Bank CD's. But if there is anyone else out there that has a demand notes account, I found this Ally Financial FAQ that says the Demand Notes are OK and are outside the ban...
by walker46
Sun May 06, 2012 6:11 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Ally Bank
Replies: 35
Views: 8300

Re: Ally Bank

Any fear if Ally bank is heading into trouble due to its relationship with its mortgage unit, see NY Times article. http://www.nytimes.com/2012/05/06/business/troubled-mortgage-unit-threatens-ally-financial.html?ref=business Until recently I had a little more than 50K in non-FDIC insured ally deman...
by walker46
Wed Sep 14, 2011 8:03 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Has anyone ever had an office in a business center?
Replies: 12
Views: 1693

If you are trying to grow your business, find one that houses your biggest competitor or at least business from the same or related industries. That's a good recommendation to find one that houses other people in the same or related businesses. Long time ago when my wife first started her law pract...
by walker46
Sun Aug 07, 2011 5:12 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: New bank acount demands, OK?
Replies: 22
Views: 4246

Re: New bank acount demands, OK?

Trying to open up a HSBC direct account for savings and received a phone call telling me to e-mail or fax my driver's license and social security card to them. I can't remember going through such a drill for my local bank - is this a new security requirement? Is it safe to e-mail scanned images of ...
by walker46
Mon Jun 20, 2011 2:14 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Car Names, not Numbers
Replies: 24
Views: 2200

Names don't always translate well to other languages and cultures. Witness the Nissan Bluebird. In Japan it's the Bluebird! But how many Bluebirds could they sell in Germany or the US? The did sell one called a Fair Lady! :? Ah, the Fairlady Z. The newer 370Z isn't a half bad little car. Chugs gas ...
by walker46
Fri Jun 17, 2011 9:38 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Minimum in Prime Money Market Portfolio
Replies: 7
Views: 1282

I use VMFXX, Federal Money Market, the same way you use the Prime Money Market. Even though I could make a few bucks more in interest in my local checking account than I make in VMFXX, I keep the minimum $3000 in VMFXX. The small gain from moving $3000 is not going to change my life enough to bother...
by walker46
Tue Jun 14, 2011 10:20 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: What's the least you ever paid for coach tickets?
Replies: 23
Views: 1925

How far back? Around 1966 I used to regularly fly on United from Grand Rapids to Chicago and back just for fun on a special youth standby fare of $12 each way. The regular fare was only $24. The planes were hardly ever full back then so you weren't taking much of a chance flying standby. As long as ...
by walker46
Fri May 13, 2011 9:23 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Any Barefoot Runners
Replies: 128
Views: 17276

When I ran high school cross-country in the early sixties we almost always ran barefoot. The quality of running shoes, at least the ones our school bought, was pretty bad back then so it wasn’t a hard choice to make. The trainer would paint the bottom of our feet with what I believe was some kind of...
by walker46
Thu Apr 21, 2011 9:43 am
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Who is getting out of REITS?
Replies: 22
Views: 2831

I'm staying the course but I've stopped automatically re-investing the dividends in VGSLX. I still do on the rest of my funds so I guess that is sort of a passive re-allocation.
by walker46
Thu Mar 31, 2011 6:53 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Eat Out - How Often
Replies: 102
Views: 18592

Two or three times a week, I go to McDonald's for three cookies and a senior coffee - total cost $1.73 after tax. Ride my bike to McDonald's every day for a senior coffee and one oatmeal raisin cookie (healthier I figure than the chocolate chip,) $1.04 including tax. I consider this a coffee break ...
by walker46
Fri Mar 25, 2011 7:33 am
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: How to hedge against rising interest rates?
Replies: 36
Views: 7086

Not a hedge exactly but I've been storing cash in floating rate demand notes until I feel better about bonds. In particular; GE Interest Plus, Caterpillar PowerInvestment Notes, and Ally Demand Notes. There are probably others. The interest rates are adjusted on these weekly. If and when interest ra...
by walker46
Mon Mar 21, 2011 6:17 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Not financing a car - Is it only me?
Replies: 100
Views: 13267

Except when I was very young, always cash. Until a couple of years ago, I used to put the money I was saving for a new car in my GMAC Demand Notes account. When it came time for a new car, I'd write a check to the dealer against that account. I always felt it wasn't me buying a car so much as it was...
by walker46
Thu Mar 10, 2011 6:07 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Saving energy with compact fluorescents
Replies: 113
Views: 14412

Re: A few tips, etc

- Many CFLs tend to overheat in enclosed fixtures; they are designed for airflow to cool the electronics. This can be another cause of premature failure. So is there any danger in using a CFL in an enclosed fixture? I was in my local Home Depot yesterday to deposit my used CFL's in their overflowin...
by walker46
Sun Feb 20, 2011 9:07 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Benefits of Social Security at 62
Replies: 64
Views: 7237

Hopefully not a situation many are in but if you have a disabled child who is collecting SSI, when you apply for SS early the child will be switched (after the proper paperwork) to SSDI. The child's SSDI payments will be calculated based on what your social security benefits would be if you had appl...
by walker46
Fri Feb 18, 2011 8:28 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: In terms of income, how expensive is your primary residence?
Replies: 100
Views: 13864

1) .7
2) 1.5
3) 1981

More important to me than this ratio of home value to income, the equity in the house when we bought it represented 95% of our net worth. It now is only about 10%.
by walker46
Thu Jan 20, 2011 11:15 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Medical procedure cost lower without insurance?
Replies: 10
Views: 1737

Two stories: My doctor used to give a discount for cash if you paid at the time services were rendered. His office stopped doing this they claimed because they could not give a discount that resulted in them charging less to a patient than either a Medicare or Medicaid (can’t remember which – probab...
by walker46
Wed Jan 19, 2011 8:12 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: How long do you keep your records for expenses?
Replies: 27
Views: 3679

Guess I'm alone in having 15-year-old credit card bills around. Assuming this means you never get rid of them then you are creating a giant clean-up job for your heirs. My parents kept all their old phone, electirc, gas bills etc. and it took forever to go through all this stuff after they died to ...
by walker46
Wed Jan 05, 2011 9:42 am
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Classic Books about great depression financial experience?
Replies: 23
Views: 3562

Not a book (although I think there is a companion book) but I've recently been watching a video "Riding the Rails" which is a documentary made in 1998 that interviewed people who were teenagers during the depression who road the rails as hoboes looking for jobs. It gives a very moving picture of how...